Showing posts from August, 2006

Goodbye Glenn Ford

A short note as I am posting away from home. I heard that Glenn Ford passed away today at the age of 90. He starred in some wonderful movies: Cimmaron, The Teahouse of The August Moon, The Man From Colorado, The Desperadoes, Cowboy - and the list goes on and on. He never won an Oscar. In my humble opinion that is probably a compliment. A great one. Rest in Peace .

Blog Day August 31, 2006

Blog Day August 31, 2006 Oh how I love to read blogs. I have around 10 that I pop into every morning before I head to work and nearly always spin some kind of comment, just to let them know I've been by. Sometimes (always) I'm late for work and just breeze in and out without a word. I do have some other blogs I read. They run the gamut - anything and everything. Here are five that I think you will enjoy visiting.... at least once!!! One of my favorite is Middle East Journal by Michael Totten. He is a professional journalist who has been traveling and writing an independent view of the happenings in that part of the world. One of my favorite posts was his strange trip to Libya, also pubished in the LA Weekly . If you don't get a chance to read any of his other works, do take the time to read that one. Another fascinating tale is his BACK TO IRAQ series, part 1 , part 2 , part 3 , part 4 , part 5 , and the finale . Let me know if you think he is crazy or a 21st century explo

When our cat said "Woof"

The first two weeks of The Contessa‘s sojourn in our house she spent under our bed. She was probably traumatized by the four weeks she lived at the animal shelter and needed some time to be by herself. The hubby and I put her food, water, and kitty litter in our bathroom. It was apparent that she was venturing out that far while we were at work. Then one evening she made an appearance in the family room where we were both reading. She spent a lot of time inspecting the furniture, bookcases and the warmth of the fireplace. She jumped up and walked across our laps but didn’t linger. Once she spotted the kitty door to the garage, she made a beeline to it and through it. We figured she’d seen one of those before. (The litter box followed her out there that day. Yes!). We were happy that the season under the bed had ended. The days passed and changes in her demeanor were barely apparent. She would jump if we moved too quickly, she would only let us pet her for short moments, she would hide

Dinner, gastropods and backing up.

Amanda is here for a visit (with little Curly Mop), so the hubby fixed her favorite dish for dinner. She said, "mom, post a picture of pop's stew on your blog." So here's dinner. Yes, those are green olives in the stew! Later, when Curly Mop was fast asleep, Amanda headed out the front door to meet up with a friend just back from Iraq. She poked her head back in and said "Mom, there is a slug on the sidewalk." She placed her key beside it just to prove we weren't photoshopping. We could rope and saddle him up and attempt eight seconds without sliding off. You first. It was officially 97 degrees here today in spite of the heavy layer of blue smoke in the valley. Slugs are the wet and rainy lovers so I was perplexed. Hey.... maybe he's a Blogger Tech? (I've been hoping for some help on step number four on the back up your blog instructions.) Perhaps word is out about the new pond in the back yard. The pink lily bloomed today.

The first stroke

I pulled out my watercolors this afternoon. I wanted to begin a portrait of my Benjammin kid. I have a camping photograph with a real smile on the kids face, so I knew that it was one I could use. I chose the colors that I thought would match his blond hair and pink cheeks. Hair color is the more difficult of the two. I tested on scratch paper that I save for just that. The water was prepared and the brushes were chosen; I laid out a clean towel for my little brush rituals and for spills. Then it hit me, just like it always does. The fear of the first stroke . I just sit there...frozen, scared, wondering what the heck I'm doing thinking I can paint a picture. (In this case a portrait of a grandson.) The feeling does not pass. I just have to force myself to pick up the brush and find a spot to begin. I hope to start another watercolor class this September so that I can learn more skills and become more confident. My teacher is amazing. I watch her in fascination and envy. I want to

And They were Living in My fridge

In case you don't know what you are seeing, the term is 'COOLING GARBAGE." I put it off as long as possible. Why do we put leftovers in there? We know their ultimate destination is the garbage can. Is it guilt? Waste not, want not? Full to the maximum capacity and nothing for dinner. I'd like to see a show of hands for all who have experienced this phenomenon. How about, looked once, looked twice, and still went back a third time to see if anything has appeared in there since the last time you looked. Deed is done. I cleaned it. I thought I spotted Elvis's blue suede shoes in the cream cheese. Does that count as a sighting?

They are here

Ran across this at another blog I visit daily, and I had to share it. Just needed to prove that there are aliens among us. Enjoy!

Smoke gets in my eyes

This has been a miserable week of coughing, burning eyes, sneezing and generally feeling like an old smoker. There is a wild fire about 30 miles to our southeast that has burned over 65,000 acres. Some of our friends who live close to the mountains could see the reflection at night. (Picture from newspaper) I've been a little bit self-centered, and I'm feeling quite guilty. So much is being destroyed, and here I am complaining.... cough, choke, sneeze , spittum and all that stuff that grosses the other ladies out. I hope it rains soon.

For my Brother , and for Swampwitch

Something that Swampwitch said on one of my posts intrigued my brother, and he has asked that I share this with her and the rest of you. I have plans to write about all of these people in more detail as I learn more about blogging and as time permits. It is for my siblings and their children and my children. However, I hope you still will enjoy this brief history and story. My Great Grandfather, Franklin Castle, married my Great Grandmother, Augusta Travis, in 1877 in Battle Creek, Michigan. He already had four sons (possibly only 3 living) and a daughter named Hattie from his first marriage. My grandmother, Grace, was born to Franklin and Augusta in 1879, and five more children followed. My Grand Aunt Hattie wrote some journals before she died in 1965. A portion of one of her journals can be read below these old photos. In it she tells of their journey from Michigan to Delta Colorado. My great grandparents at their cabin in Delta, Colorado. I believe that is my grandma Grace between

Roses, no Dahlias

Roses love sunshine, so they grieve not for the Globe Willow. The Matador The Anenomes are reaching for the open sky. Water hyacinths, lillies, and various other pond plants seem to be thriving in their new home. But, we miss our Dahlia's. We didn't get them out of storage in time because of the delay in our yard work. We think it was fungus. Here is a link to Confessions of a Pioneer Woman original poem dedicated to her dying dahlias . These are last years pictures. They were so pretty. gone.................................................................................. gone.................................................................................

Little Green Men

I'm a believer.

Bird Shot

Wolf Fork is a mountain stream that plummets down a narrow rocky canyon in the Blue Mountains just southeast of the small town of Dayton , Washington . The year was 1951, and Dan was once more on the trail of the deer that he could “never” shoot. His dad had pulled him early from his warm bed and together they had revved up the old International pickup and headed into the foothills. They parked the truck close to the tumbling water, then proceeded on foot into the rocky terrain and brush with the stealth of two skilled hunters and trackers. The October morning was hovering in the 30’s, but the biting wind had exaggerated the cold, causing both to shiver and grow stiff from the chill. Around 10 o’clock , the two hunters discovered a slight swale in the rocks that dipped below the canyon ridge. It was the perfect spot to take refuge from the wind and still afford them a panoramic view of the canyon. Within the shelter of the rocks, they maintained their hunting mode

Blow, Prairie Wind.

No breeze tonight. The turbines in one of the largest wind farms in the United States were not creating wind energy tonight, but were standing silent in the distant skyline. A mauve smoke has settled into the hills and valleys with an erie calm. In the foreground the flag was in repose above the rainbirds soaking a vineyard.

Where's There's Smoke............

Friday evening we headed to the west side for some complicated business. Smoke from the Mount Hood forest fire was apparent in the horizon and the reflection in the Columbia River. Coming home tonight, just a few miles from home and the sun was on fire in golds and crimsons. The Message: Psalm 50 1-3 The God of gods—it's God!—speaks out, shouts, "Earth!" welcomes the sun in the east, farewells the disappearing sun in the west.

Word Verification

Anyone having as much fun as I am with word verification? Or am I just to easily amused. The very first WV that caught my eye was FODWOX. It can be used for any special occasion. If your grandchild shows you his bruised knee, you just say... 'Fodwox! That must have hurt" If your good friend gives you a pair of earrings that you've been waiting to buy... you say "Thank you.... you are just fodwox!" If you see your hubby's nice looking bottom in his tight jeans walking around the corner of the house, you say.... " hubba hubba Fodwox. " (Stealing a little hubba hubba limelight from Julie over at Another Chance Ranch.) I'm sure not all the WV's are as versatile as that one. Hope you might share in the fun and get your creative juices flowing - let me hear what you come up with in your blogger language. I'll start: Kugsx The sound made when people suck food from between their teeth. Oubsru OH! You BS'er YOU! Mkador Ma

Thirty years ---- it can't be true

When you are young and in love, everything is wonderful. You even get forgiven for giving your groom a frizzy permanent before the wedding. (He's reconsidering, though!) That angle of a picture was a poor choice with a low back dress. I look like a giraffe. Believe me, my neck really stopped close to the hair line. I just found the very few wedding pictures we had taken. Most of them were poloroid. Two professional ones. Our daughters wanted to have them out for the party on Saturday and we couldn't find them. Of course HAD I KNOWN ABOUT THE PARTY I could have looked ahead of time. (: Just thinking now that we should have put the family albums on a table and let people look at the passing of the years. The newborn babies, the 1st birthday cake, the spagetti covered 2 year old, the first steps, the swingset, the birthday parties, the first tootheless grin, the softball games, the kites at the beach, the chickenpox, the camping trips, the first trout, the pajama parties, the dog

Hummer - the winged variety

This morning I ate my breakfast on the patio by the new "water feature." There were probably six hummingbirds chasing each other around the yard and over the fence into the neighbors. I grabbed my trusty little digital and got my 2nd wonderful picture in two weeks. Isn't he gorgeous? The honeysuckle seems to be their favorite attraction. The sparrows and finch were not safe from these little buzzing menaces. It is amusing for me to watch the house sparrows attempt to escape the rufous and his acrobatics. It is so beautiful I don't wan't to go to work. Well, I wouldn't want to go to work irregardless of what the day is like. I'd rather sit out there all day with my camera and my binoculars. I think my next purchase will be a tiny laptop so I don't have to blog indoors. I would like to set up my water color table out there as well. The Contessa, our cat shares my love for watercolors. Several times I have discovered her sprawled across my wet paints, or

Another rare scene

This morning I noticed that Karmyn had posted a photograph taken on her way home on Sunday. It was taken at Hood River in the Columbia River Gorge. So, I'm posting another rare scene, further east in the same Gorge. My cousin and I were traveling home in early June when we spottted a herd of Mountain Sheep close to Interstate 84. Fortunately SHE had her digital camera as I only had my mouth open. There was o ne breathtaking moment when what was probably the alpha male came charging along the trail towards us. Once he realized we were just a couple of old women he stopped and headed up the hill. I hope you can see them, it's such a small picture.... but then it's a big Gorge!

Everyone has a Fart story

Everyone has at least one fart story. Some of you may know that I have a tendency to name things . The following incident is known in our family as The Mother’s Day Fart . (update: aka The Wal-Mart Fart -- ***Amanda) I was my eldest daughter’s guest of honor at Washington State University (Wazzu) on a mother’s day weekend some years back. Her roommate’s mother enjoyed the same privilege. Most of the weekend is a faint memory with the exception of two things. The first was a late evening rainstorm that lured thousands of earthworms to the surface. They were anterior to posterior (I'd say end to end, but don't they have heads?) on the sidewalk when we were returning from a special musical affair. By the time we arrived at the dormitory I swear I was two inches taller from all the goo stuck on my shoes. Then, of course, there was the fart. We woke up late Sunday, which made our plans for a nice brunch morph into a lunch across the border in Moscow, Idaho. The Chinese restaurant

What does a Grandpa do?

He cut down a tree . He ripped up a yard. He lived through about as much mud and dust as if he lived in a tent. Sometimes he got a little help from grandma, who really rocks. He put up with the razzing about his perfectionist ways. He dug a hole and turned it into a lovely pool and waterfall. Finally, when his 9 year old granddaugh ter, the red headed girl , said "it isn't a pond, grandpa, until you have fish," he stopped partying and released some goldfish. He made his grandchildren happy. He makes me happy. If you look very close, you might even see the fish smilin'. o o o ô ô <>

THE BACK YARD (...there once was a hole) UPDATED

REMINDER: First picture taken in March, others in August. Here is an update - mostly so Willowtree will know we didn't photoshop. If you look just to my left you will see the bamboo entry (or whats left of it) from the yard party on Saturday. Kailani , you would have thought the bamboo was a hoot. You want a pond ?? but you have the whole Pacific Ocean. The hubby started to take them down and I said STOP. Leave it. Let me love seeing it for just a little while longer. Darn... I'm crying again. Robin , you would have had so much fun seeing everyone dressed up. My grandaughters with coconut bra' brother wearing a grass skirt. Those girls........... .......................God blessed us. We sure think of all the times we coulda, shudda, woulda been better parents - looking back. And 7 grandkids and all those new rocks around the pond.... and no one fell in!

It's a Carnival

It was truly a carnival at our house today. Our three lovely daughters surprised us with a Hawaiian luau 30th anniversary celebration. I'm sure you will hear about it from Karmyn when they get home. I'll let her tell the story. I only know what happened since this morning. What a party! Friends, family, food, fun! In the meantime.... please don't forget the bloggin chicks 10th carnival and head on over there for the cotton candy and the ferris wheel. Well..................... it could happen! I've entered a post from June. (I've been bloggin for two months yesterday.) PS. when you hit this june link you have to scroll down quite a way. When I changed templates, something happened and my archives has a long scroll before the first post. ???? I'm sure it is something that Michele or Lindsey can figure out. (Lindsey at Suspension of Disbelief must be having some tech problems, because when I posted this her blog lwas not coming up as usual)

My Sky

We are so close to finishing up THE BACK YARD. Well, we never ever truly finish landscaping. Things are always changing. But, for the past few evenings as we have worked, the sky has been changing and looking so awesome that I have snapped pictures upwards instead of pictures of the yard. Perhaps tomorrow you will get to see what has finally become of the horrid mess we had in March. The hubby has worked his fingers to the bone. I've helped as I have been able. Our friends Mike and Kim have spent hours the past three days helping with the water feature. That has included accompanying us to the mountains to haul rocks in for landscaping. (Yes we have a permit.) You can't ask for better friends. Mike said he recalls the saying that "Love is a behavior not just a feeling." PS. It's raining

She could have had a V-8

I don't like tomato juice. Nor do I like V-8 juice. This post has nothing to do with either. I hope that you will understand my choice of title when you reach the end of this very short story. About one month ago I spent an evening pointing my mouse at the "next blog" icon in the upper right hand corner of the screen. It was a revealing evening; there is alot of junk out there. One of the blogs that opened was a young man in an argument with his father. Dad wanted him to go on the family vacation to Hawaii. He was balking because he had just met this girl and he thought she might be 'the one.' He didn't want to miss the chance of having her in his life by taking off for ten days of fun in the sun with family. The comment queen (me) had to give him advice. I said, "GO!" If she's the one, she'll still be the one when you get home. No sooner had I commented when another post appeared with the same counsel. He said he appreciated our input. I w

Tag along

When I was little we played many variations on the game " Tag." Frozen Tag, Poison Tag, 123 Tag , and Tag, You're IT are a few that come to mind. There's a new game in town now that I have been blogging - two months this week! During this introduction period I have been ? tagged four times. I skipped number three because I felt I was to new to blogging to make sense with my answers. Todays ?tag is a double tag team . I tagged White Trash with a hoaky questionaire a long time ago and she finally answered my tag and upped the ante with a return ?tag about books. Wintertime is when I do most of my reading, snuggled up in my big easy chair with my quilt and a fire crackling. THE BACK YARD project that we started in March, (no choice) and then the continuing saga of THE BACK YARD has kept me out of my easy chair. Also, I started blogging, and have been spending waaaaaaaaay to much time on this new addiction. (Do we all have to go to some blogger treatment center to k

Mommy, where did I come from?

Twenty years ago my youngest daughter Mandy asked the question that every mother knows is coming, but just doesn’t know when. ” Mommy, where did I come from?" she queried one afternoon. I remember sitting down with some serious spinning inside my head but I attempted to keep it 'light'. "Oh," I replied, "you came from the love that daddy and I have for each other." From that beginning, I attempted to explain, using the least explicit details, how our intimate relationship brought her, a beautiful little surprise, into our lives. Her eyes rolled and her mouth twisted in that "mom you are crazy" look that she can still direct at me today. "No, mom.... not that! Megan came from California, and I want to know where I came from!" she exclaimed with both hands on her waist and a foot already tapping the floor. No matter how much we try to be, parents are never prepared. During the past 10 years, my brother and I seriously began questionin

What is wrong with this picture?

Last winter I took a Thursday night watercolor class after work. One evening the class had finished a 6-week project, so our instructor suggested we all relax and do a fun one niter. She told us to pull out our masking tape and design some trees on our cold press paper. We made our personal color choice for the background, blow dried our work, removed the tape, and finished by painting in the birch trees. It didn't take very long, and we all had a fun time. The most entertainment arrived, however, when the quickies were placed on the white board for all to scrutinize and share. Someone noticed that there was something VERY wrong with my picture. I had hoped it would be overlooked. Never! A group of aspiring artists don't miss a lick! We all laughed; I was embarassed. But as you can see I never threw the picture away. Several of you have asked me to display one of my paintings. I hope you enjoy looking for the mystery. I apologize that my scanner is not large enough to photo the

Baby Quail

My friend Venus prepared to water a large potted plant on her deck a few weeks back only to discover that it held six little eggs. She quietly backed away from the nest and then kept her eye on the planter from inside the family room glass sliding doors. A Quail hen soon scurried in from the garden to sit on her future bevy. Venus, her husband, and 6-year old daughter gave the hen her privacy and protection while waiting patiently to see if the eggs would hatch. Then, on the very day they were preparing to leave for a weekend of camping, the first Quail popped out. Can you see its beak and little brown fuzzy head? The planter was empty when they returned home. We hope they all scampered safely away!

Flowerbeds, Finches and Hummingbirds

Tonight this little hatch-year sub adult male Rufous posed long enough for me to snap him with my digital camera. He had just finished fighting an aerial battle with another young hummer. As he lies in wait for the return of his arch enemy he appears to be saying "I dare you to just try and get to my honeysuckle." Then on the oppposite fence line the goldfinch were chattering as only finch can do. They were shy and flew away when I approached their communal bird bath. After they flitted off to the hanging sunflower seeder they didn't seem to care about my camer a any more. In fact, notice that the one on right center was looking right at the lens saying " chee chee cheeze ." As for me, my destination tonight was the flower bed that runs between the fences. I was supposed to dead-head and weed. Oh well..................... a wise woman named Scarlet once said, "After all, tomorrow is another day." (oh yeah.. and it's Friday, too)