Monday, July 28, 2008

Pen in hand

Women reading

FOR TODAY July 28...

Outside My Window...

Blessed bright blue skies after weeks of hazy yellow (though there are now fires in Yosemite, 75 miles to the east)

I am thinking...

my weight (up), my daughter (silent), my son (sick), my bank account (gaunt), my hopes (glimmering)

I am thankful for...

my dear Chris- husband, lover, friend, partner, ally, & support; our life would be dark & hard without him

From the kitchen...

there is lots of experimenting going on with the goodies we brought back from Oregon- we found the best (& biggest) Asian market ever, so we are fully stocked on sauces, seasonings, rice, & noodles to try out.

I am wearing...

A red & brown floral skirt, red knit top, brown leather slides, & a bright green sweater- it is very cold in here!

I am creating...

a new skirt, since my favorite one has developed an inconveniently placed hole that isn’t repairable.

I am going...

to meet with a new group of knitters tonight, one that was formed on Ravelry & is meeting in the next town over.

I am reading...

Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen, Corpse Pose by Diana Killian (who also happens to be in one of my favorite singing groups, The Browne Sisters), & The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs

I am hoping...

to get caught up on the pile of backed-up work- the first of the month is just around the corner.

I am hearing...

David Russell playing Peschatore che va cantando by Pietro Paolo Borrono; a crop duster working the nearby fields; my boss banging around her file cabinets

Around the house...

daddy-long-legs have proliferated into every corner of every room; it’s time for a good turn-out of all the kitchen cupboards; the garden isn’t as prolific as I would like- I have no carrots or lettuce this summer & the cucumbers are coming on slowly- but I do think the lemon tree has finally set some fruit

One of my favorite things...

a new treat- Ice Breakers Restore Mints, Pomegranate Lemon-Aid (I’ve only found them at Target so far)

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:

Dentist appointment Tuesday for Sam, senior portraits on Wednesday, back to choir practice on Thursday, Chris’ birthday on Saturday

Here is picture thought I am sharing.

Buschart Garden

Here is where I was wandering this time last year- a view thru the Rose Arbor at Butchart Gardens, British Colombia

Friday, July 25, 2008

It's all relative



I was visiting Gail this morning & this Friday meme from caught my attention. I am fairly aware of my shortcomings- areas where I don’t live up to my ideals- & like most people, I probably pay my faults more attention than strictly necessary. One thing I know I don’t do often enough is to focus on & appreciate my personal strengths, giving myself credit for the things I get right.

The last one is where I’ve spent most of my time today. Over the past few years, I’ve been challenged from several sources to write a family mission statement, spelling out specifically the goals & values on which we base our lives. As procrastination is one of my failings, I’ve pondered things in my mind- writing, editing, musing, rewording- but never committed anything to paper before now. Obviously, it’s not a finished product- I was going for succinct instead of eloquent- but I think I have a start of something worthwhile.


1.     Of peace, joy, love, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control, which are you most lacking?  Patience, goodness, & self-control

2.     Of peace, joy, love, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control, which are you most blessed with?  Peace, love, & humility

3.     The Scout Law says that a scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. Which of these are relative strengths for you?  Trustworthy, helpful, & reverent 

4.     Which of the elements in the Scout Law are relative weaknesses for you?  Friendly, obedient, & thrifty

5.     If you were to create a list-type law, such as the Scout Law, for your occupation, what might it look like?  The evidence of a truly successful life is integrity, usefulness, modesty, kindness, service, friendship, love, & contentment.



Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Wanderers have returned... lots of goodies!
Last month, you might remember I signed up for a swap over at Peggy's site,
The Simple Woman. The premise was to be thrifty, finding one new thing, one gently used thing from your home, & a thrift store find, all of which have a Summertime theme & to spend no more than $12.00.
While we were away visiting the in laws in Oregon, my package arrived from Jamie of Notes from the Farm, so here are some photos of the treasures she sent.

You can't see them here, but the girls have evidently been circling the box for a couple days & are highly impatient to have it opened (judging by the tiny teeth marks on the packing tape)

"Oh, goody! Peanuts!"

A nice big bag to carry my summer knitting;

Handmade soap samples

A patriotic pillow in homespun fabrics (from her home), a cunning little shelf found at a garage sale, & some zinnia seeds to put in the garden.

Oops~ there's Dahlia, ready to explore (she was inside the bag within seconds, playing with her pilfered packing peanut)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Patient is Stable



I have recovered from the trials of last week.


The outside temperatures have returned to the high 80’s to low 90’s, the norm for this time of year.


Blue sky is once again asserting itself through the smoke haze.


Both my car & my fingers are operational.


And the A/C at the office in is functioning with a vengeance- it is currently 68° inside & we’re all wrapped up in sweaters; no one is complaining, for fear that Facilities Management will come “adjust” it again & send us back to the sauna.


This week, I am working feverously at my worksheets, spreadsheet, & “In” box, preparing for a few days of blessed release. Sam & I are leaving tomorrow afternoon for a road trip up to Oregon to visit the in-laws, with a side trip to Crater Lake National Park, & will return late Monday evening.


As my mother-in-law only has dial-up connection & gets a bit…*ahem*…pissy about people wanting to actually spend time on the computer (other then checking email, forwarding email, or looking up a recipe- the “accepted” online activities, IHHO), I seriously doubt I’ll be around until Tuesday next week.


Have a fabulous few days, doing nice things just for you; come on, you know you deserve it!


I leave you with this, another installment of the popular


Cat Haiku

(author unknown)

The food in my bowl

Is old, and more to the point

Contains no tuna.

Cat face

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Watch out for the "Whaaambulance"!


Oh, my~ am I glad that week is over!

First there was the current heat wave- the temperatures have been from 100˚ to 110˚ all week. Everything is dry as tinder, water & electricity restrictions are in place, & my poor veggies are wilting, despite twice daily watering (by hand, with conserved bath & wash water.)

Then there was a resurgence of wild fires & traveling smoke that has blanketed the valley, striking everyone with burning eyes & congestion. Go to this link to see the current situation (which is dire); note that of the 35 or so fires burning across the US, 22 are in California alone. Earnest prayers on behalf of all the exhausted & overextended firefighters are needed.

Of a more personal nature, the air conditioning in my office has been virtually non-functional since Monday; it works until around 11:00 am, & then shuts down for the rest of the afternoon. By 1:00 pm, the office temperature is 87˚ & climbing; Thursday, I finally got permission to close up at 1:00 pm- a tough call, since it was payday for the worksite-based branch- & move operations back to the main branch for the remainder of the day. Oy- you should have heard the abusive messages that were left on our answering machine! I spent most of Friday explaining that it wasn’t just because we were severely uncomfortable- the computers couldn’t handle the temps either & were shutting down.

Tuesday was the day my car died & I had to wait outside for 45 minutes until AAA could get there; the battery was a seriously dead duck (he couldn’t even jump-start me- as soon as the cable was removed, it died again), so $100 later, I have a new one with an 84 month guarantee. Wednesday, my transmission started dragging & making ominous noises as I drove to the Garden Club meeting; Chris replaced the filter & fluid the next day, & it seems to be okay for now. Oh, did I mention that my extended warranty expired last week? Yep, they time that stuff pretty well.

To cap off a wonderful week all the way around, Friday morning, as I was watering my lemon tree (which is thankfully blooming again- the last heat wave caused all the newly set fruit to shrivel up & drop off), a wasp took exception to my activities, stinging the middle & ring fingers on my right hand. Son of a baked biscuit- that really hurt! My fingers were swollen for about 8 hours & I loaded up on antihistamines just in case.

The saving grace of the week was…uh, maybe it was…no…ummm…wait, I’ll think of something…well, I guess I’ll need a little more time to find the silver lining.

Okay, pity party over; I’m going to my recliner to knit & watch my DVD- The Vicar of Dibley, hysterically funny & highly recommended.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Baked, Bored, & Blah



Is anyone else having as much trouble as I am getting back into the swing of things after the long weekend?

We were spectacularly lazy the past few days (well, at least Sam & I were- Chris worked most of it, but did have Friday off) & I find myself less than motivated to do any kind of sustained mental activity. Sam thinks it is the combination of heat (108° today) & the return of the smoke-filled air; I think it’s simply a relaxation hangover.

Chris got home at a reasonable time Thursday evening- especially considering he had driven into work instead of taking the commuter bus, & had to deal with the holiday commute traffic- & since the boy had gone off to a friend’s for the night, we decided to go out for dinner, the first time in literally months. We tried a new place that opened up a couple months ago, Famous Dave’s BBQ; the side dishes were great, the entrees good, but not outstanding- for the price, I’d prefer Texas Roadhouse. We watched one of the DVDs I got from Net*flix, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, before heading off for an early night.

Before you ask, no- Chris did not wake me up to watch the hot air balloon launch this year (you know Mama doesn’t do 5:00am- last year was a fluke! )  In fact, he missed it all together; when I got up at 7:30, he was face down on top of the comforter, snoring like a band saw. It was just as well, because the launch ended up being cancelled due to wind gusts & a chance of thunderstorms.

It was very atypical weather for the 4th of July; it only got up to 85 here, after the clouds burned off (last year, it topped out at 115°), & the coast was fogged in most of the day. We considered going into San Francisco for the fireworks at Fishermen’s Wharf, or even over to Jack London Square in Oakland, but no one could muster the energy or enthusiasm. I made an early visit to the gym to ride the bike & over to the store for provisions, but spent the rest of the day at home, doing a little yard work, napping, & watching the NCIS marathon & the Capital Fourth on PBS. We didn’t even go over to the high school to watch the fireworks, though our new neighbors did their level best to recreate the show in the front yard; poor Poppy & Dahlia couldn’t figure out which way to hide- they really dislike the noise.

Saturday & Sunday was more of the same; one trip out for necessities, lounging around reading or watching movies, a bit of knitting, napping, & work on my Garden Club presentation. Sam had a friend over, so they camped out in the study, playing video games, & I actually cooked: breakfast-for-lunch, with gingerbread pancakes, bacon, & fresh fruit, & stir-fried chicken with vegetables & soba noodles for dinner.

Well, I’d best get back to work~ Wednesday is the Garden Club meeting & I need to finish my outline, collect some samples for visual aids, & print some handouts. I decided to go with a general overview of Home Composting, focusing on low tech, low cost equipment for the small home gardener.

Yeah, I know~ yawn....

Monday, July 07, 2008

Care to know why my hair is white?

This is what my oldest does in his spare time:

This is just time trials- he's "only" doing 137-140 mph Confused

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Two entries in one day?!

Yes, I know~ this is unheard of around the Garden, but I came across this video & it cracked me up!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Bucket List

I haven’t seen this movie yet (don’t know if I will, because you know I only like happy endings) but the Apron Queen has challenged me to think about my personal “Bucket List”~ you know, the things you want to do before it’s your time to meet our Maker.

I’ve not led an adventurous life~ far from it actually, due mostly to my natural inclinations toward safety & comfort~ but I have been blessed with opportunities to experience some of what this wide, wonderful world has to offer & that has whetted my appetite for new experiences.

After careful consideration & endless revision, here is my list (subject to change & update at the whim of the Gardener):

C Own my own home

C Finish my Bachelor’s Degree

C Buy a brand new, straight from the factory car, just the way I want it

C Learn to speak basic Italian

C Play the mandolin

C Paint watercolors landscapes

C Sing torch songs in front of an audience

C Take a cruise to Alaska

C Travel across Canada by train

C Spend a month in Scotland & the Isles

C Take a walking tour of English gardens

C Stay overnight in a castle

C Join in a sing along at an Irish pub (preferably in Ireland)

C Travel to New Zealand

C Take a cooking school vacation in the Umbria region of Italy

C Kiss my husband at the top of the Eiffel Tower

C See the Pyramids

C Wear a size 12 (or smaller) again

C Have a tummy tuck- I want to see my toes again

C See my children get married

C Watch at least one child or grandchild graduate from college

C Hold my great grandchild

Hmm, from the look of things, my ambitions will keep me from ever being in #1; since I will invariably add to the list as I manage to check things off, let’s just hope I am granted enough time (not mention energy & financial resources) to work my way through the inventory.

So, tell me, what is on your list?