Monday, December 29, 2008

Think Pink

What do you really buy a cat? Canned pink salmon! Here's Miss Kate enjoying her Christmas present! And it's wild pink salmon, just like her.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree

Christmas, Christmas, jolly, jolly Christmas! Is over? What? It's hard to believe it's over! I think I may have to adopt the Chanukah (we usually see it spelled Hanukkah) approach of multiple days of celebrating. I know it has much more meaning than just people having fun for more days, but wouldn't it be cool if Christmas was a week long!? We shop, wrap, cook, visit and call family, write cards and celebrate but then, it's ONE day that is the day. Apparently, I had a really nice Christmas this year and I am simply wanting more Santa time. I guess I could leave our tree up 'til end of February or so. :o) Ha.

Saylor and Kate have been loving laying by the fire, all warm and cozy. It's been a nightly ritual since we've had cold weather and rain. We snuggle on the couch and they snuggle on the little pad by the fire. Cozy central.

A few days before Christmas, James' Mom gave Saylor some Christmas attire: an elf hat! Kate, however, was not so sure. I think I heard her say but why do you have two sets of ears now!? I think I'm going to have to puff myself up like a raccoon!

And puff, she did! Oh my!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Daily Kindness

I made a little pact with myself that every day until Christmas, I would try to do something good for some person or some animal. Today I donated to a woman who runs Apifera Farm and is adopting a senior goat named Guinness (pronounced Guinn-ius, like Phinneus). Of course, it wasn't totally selfless, as she promises to send a bunch of lavender from her farm to anyone who donates over a certain amount. She is also getting ready to adopt a senior dog and sells artwork that supports senior dogs in shelters. She sounds like a really special person and I feel good just being a part of this wonderful goat story. And, thank you to Guinness, also, for making my heart feel so full. What a darling goat!

Ginger & Her Philly-Friend's Skunk Tale

Okay folks, I am very excited to say that Ginger of Deep Fried Kudzu fame sent in a very funny skunk story about her Philly buddy. Side note: when I first started reading blogs, I came upon Ginger's and was simply awe-struck at how productive any one individual could be. This woman makes like 50 pies at Thanksgiving. That's Ginger. She's amazing. Anyway...back to the story: it almost sounds hard to believe! But, city folk can lead sheltered lives, can't they?! Now, for Ginger's story:

"I saw you were looking for skunk stories. Well, when I was in college I had a friend from Philadelphia. Like...he was *really* from Philly. A real city boy. He came to Alabama to visit me and we were driving somewhere and smelled a skunk. Well he had NEVER smelled a skunk in his whole life (I guess they are not city dwellers?) so he looked at me just like "what is WRONG with you!?"! He did not know *what* was going on - he'd never "experienced" skunk-funk!"

And, by the way, dear readers, the Skunk Challenge is still on! If you have a story, send it and I'll post it! You can just put your story in a comment and I'll get it that way.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Skunk Stories Anyone?

My dear friend, Mike, read the Saylor Skunk Story that I posted recently and had one of his own to share. Just had to post it, it's really funny. And maybe this can be sort of a skunky blog challenge - do you have a skunk story? If so, send it to me! I'll post it!

Email from Mike:
Subject: Skunk Story

Your story reminded me of our skunk story, which is not quite as dramatic, but still funny. We were leaving Texas for good, and driving the two cars back to Florida. I was in Dallas, Terri was in Austin, and we met in a po-dunk town near Houston in the evening. We were supposed to find a hotel for the night (fulfilling your rule), and I told her to meet me at one in this town. But when I met Terri at the hotel, I told her that I didn't want to stay there.
"Why not?" she said.
"It smells like a skunk."
"That's not the hotel, that's the van; I hit a skunk on the way down here."

As luck would have it, we drove through a massive rain storm the next day, and it seemed to wash off most of the funk.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Big Bear Weekend

Last weekend, we went with our friends Steve and Jeff to Big Bear to J.'s parents' mountain house. Drove up Friday night and came back Sunday afternoon. It was a frosty 22 degrees at night, and around 40 during the day. No snow, but lots of chilly air. The sun was out and we had two beautiful days. Since there's not a ton to do, you have no choice but to relax - and that we did. My favorite times were the morning - drinking coffee with the fire going, and putting peanuts out on the railing to attract the blue jays, woodpeckers, and squirrels.

I took this during our hike. This is a view from the top - out over the lake.

A curvy tree. I wonder what made it that way. Hm? It was very unique. One of the many wonders of nature.

Here's our girl Saylor, having a little ice, as a drink. There were a few areas where we saw some snow/ice on the ground. Steve fed her several pieces - hydration! Of course, WE forgot to bring water, but we were only gone just shy of 2 hours.

Trimming the Tree

Last Thursday we went over to trim the tree with James' Mom and Dad. While I already had a decent dose of Christmas spirit, this relaxing, fun night increased it by a few notches. This is the tree with ornaments galore and finial on top. But there's still a skirt to be added, and of course, prezzies.

And then, some beautiful vintage paper elves from Mary's wonderful collection of vintage ephemera. What a festive group, these little dudes.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Kate's Sun Salutation

Someone loves to lay on the table in the sun in the morning. This is her morning ritual. She then retreats to the chair seat where she takes a nap for a couple hours. Such a silly tabby.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Saylor Meets a Skunk

Gee, what is this collection of ingredients? Some interesting recipe for a home spa treatment? Um, no. The other night I was watching Worst Week (it is so funny!) when I noticed James kind of hurrying up to the front door. Through our rippled glass door I see Saylor and it looks like she's drooling! Um, what's up? Well, I crack the window to get a better look and in comes a WAVE of skunky air. OMG! Saylor got skunked! I ran to the store and got White Vinegar and Peroxide and concocted the anti-skunk wash. Then, we had to do a final rinse of white vinegar and water, which you leave on the poor dog. It all worked out, but good lord, what an ordeal. And there is one rule of dogs getting skunked that seems to hold true for everyone I've talked to. It ALWAYS happens right late at night, usually before bedtime!!!

Here's the girlie all lathered up. And of course, she was very good about the whole thing. She's such a good dog. Next up: Kate's Morning Sun Salutation.

Hel-looooo Out There, It's Me

Hello folks out there in blog land!!! I have missed you. A lot has been going on. But is there a scientific answer for the absense of my posts? The best I can come up with is this: I just plopped onto the floor right after the Kitchen Poetry challenge and didn't get up! But I really was here the whole time, or stuck in a parallel universe. This can happen if you're not paying attention. :-)

So, first thing: the Craft Show! It was really fun, and fortunately we were able to avoid spontaneous combustion; just barely though because it was soooo hot that morning. By 10:30 it was like 125 degrees on the asphalt bank parking lot. Here are some pics of my booth (in the forefront) and Ms. Foziewisp's (with 2 customers eyeing the wares). We each sold almost exactly the same dollar amount of stuff. As I sat there in the sweltering heat contemplating the prospect of re-packing the car, however, I had a blue light special and slashed prices. That helped sales! :-) Most of my items were vintage goodies I'd collected over the years. I had certainly already gotten my money's worth of having them, some as long as 15 years or more, and they were old when I bought them! I felt good about off-loading the stuff. And it really was kind of fun talking to all the shoppers.

This second pic is a close-up of some of Sherri's vintage items. It's fun to look over the table and remember the estate sale that we went to together to find these things! Great memories. Next up: Saylor Meets a Skunk.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Happiness Times Two

These two videos are really inspiring. I couldn't decide which I liked more, so I put them both here! The first one is about a new movie coming out called The Shift. This is the trailer. It's a bit foreboding in the first 30 seconds, but then it's very hopeful and inspiring. And, I feel that it rings very true. We can do these things. I liked the part that says leadership does not require you to be an elected official. Service can be done by anyone. You. Me. Everyone!
The second video is so great. I watch it every few days - ha! The song is called Praan and it is by Gary Shyman (I bought the song from iTunes). Gary's myspace page is here and he has a play list that lets you hear the whole song fo' free. The video is called Happy People Dancing on Planet Earth. It's just beautiful. Enjoy! The words to the song are beautiful too - here they are - but in the song the words are sung in Hindi or some other language:

The same stream of life
that runs through my veins night and day
runs through the world
and dances in rhythmic measures.

It is the same life
that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth
in numberless blades of grass
and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.

It is the same life
that is rocked in the ocean-cradle
of birth and of death,
in ebb and in flow.

I feel my limbs are made glorious
by the touch of this world of life.
And my pride is from the life-throb of ages
dancing in my blood this moment.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Kitchen Poetry -- #5

Kitchen poetry, Katie style. There was a nice breeze coming in the window this morning and the girlie was sniffing all that was in the air. It's starting to get cooler, off and on. Yay! We tend to be somewhat season-less here in Cali, so it's nice to feel some sort of weather change from the sunny and 76. I know many folks will tell me to nip it. But I would honestly love to have more of a fall. OK, maybe I have to draw the line at the white stuff. While it is pretty, I am so not good at walking on it!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Kitchen Poetry -- #4

The morning coffee and bread ritual. A life without bread is a life not worth living. There are so many diets that tell you to nix the bread. These are not my diets! OK, so certain sizes of jeans of days past are in the very back of that drawer, and may never come out, but I happily munch my sourdough toast in the morning and I'm not looking back! Bread does the heart good. Actually, whole wheat IS good for you. I usually have whole wheat, but that loaf of sourdough caught my eye yesterday, and I enjoy its chewy goodness.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Happiness Abounds

There are some great posts out in blogland about the election. Love this one that I saw today at simplesong.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Kitchen Poetry -- #3

Ahh, the kitchen poetry continues. Some of my favorites are here and here! The second one is in Italian!

Mr. Owly here was picked up at an estate sale. At first, he held dish towels, but now he's the keeper of paper napkins. I wonder what his original purpose was? Hmmm?

Yet another little corner. The big red pepper mill and my favorite instant coffee. Kosher salt is kept in the Italian Food Seasoning jar. And above it all, a pic of sweet Saylor when she was but a wee pup.

Deliciously-scented Mrs. Meyers kitchen products. The dish soap and hand soap are so fragrant. She also makes a great all-purpose cleaner that is so nice for floors; makes the whole house smell great. Yummy scents. The lavender dryer sheets are also wonderful.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Oh Happy Day

Two magnificent events occurred today and my heart is truly filled with joy and hope. Barack Obama won the Presidency and Prop. 2 passed. Last, but not least, votes are still being counted for Prop. 8, and we are remaining hopeful.

(Edited 11/5: Looks like Prop. 8 did pass which means the few folks I know who actually got married during the 5-month window will be at the mercey of the courts to find out if their unions will be rescinded. Pitifully wrong.)

Monday, November 03, 2008

Kitchen Poetry -- Part 2

At the end of the night, before we hit the hay, the last thing on the day's agenda is Katie's evening eye drops. She gets desmopressin drops for her (rare) diabetes insipidus condition. Twice a day. It's not true diabetes, just a mimicking of symptoms. Poor girlie, but she is so very good taking them and they work great to alleviate her issues. She just lays in James' arms, and we hear not a single mew. Of course, it is immediately followed by treats! The kitchen is usually cleaned up by this time and just the under counter lights are on. The low lighting called out for a couple more kitchen pictures for the Simple Sparrow blog challenge!

Kimono as Art

On Saturday, I went with James and my in-laws to the Itchiku Kubota show at the SDMA. It was truly breathtaking. Kubota's son, Itchiku Kubota II, spoke first about his father. A truly touching fact that he revealed is how this show marked 6 years since his father's passing and that Buddhists celebrate 2 years, 6 years, and 12 years after someone dies. I felt honored that we could be a part of the 6-year marking.

You can view some of the exhibit at this site. And a cool video here. One of the most interesting points of the discussion was learning about Kubota's moment of truth. Although he began studying yuzen (rice-paste resist) dyeing at age 14, six years later when he was 20, he stumbled upon a fragment of elegantly patterned cloth in the Tokyo National Museum. "Trembling in the face of such mastery and refinement of beauty," he relates, he stood transfixed for three hours. "In a sudden moment, I encountered a source of boundless creativity which revealed to me my calling." Oh, would not any of us not relish a happening such as this? To be propeled to do something with such conviction? Another amazing fact was that after he became so inspired it took him another 20 years to perfect the technique and then another 20 years to have his first show.

Kitchen Poetry

There's nothing like a little blog challenge to get your blog mojo going. Sometimes I get in a slump over what to post. But, over at Simple Sparrow, Toni is looking for photos of kitchen life, or her term: kitchen poetry. Neat. Last night, part of our dinner consisted of an organic tomato salad with balsamic vinegar and snipped herbs from the new herb garden, which is growing I might add! BTW, I heard about this challenge at the one and only Foziewisp.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

SpookTabular Halloween

One of my favorite holidays, after maybe Thanksgiving, is Halloween. And, OK, so I get pretty giddy around Christmas, too. And Easter and all those bunnies isn't exactly not fun! I love holidays. But, here we are on Halloween!
Check Miss Kate looking through the front screen as I decorated the outside of the house. She would run when little goblins walked up.

I was dressed as a witch this year - my usual costume, except when I do Country Woman which consists of this long, green vintage skirt and a white shirt and boots! Ha.

Funny pic! Guess I needed a little red eye correction feature, but for a spooky Halloween picture it works great!

How about this adorable little Spider Man!? He and his Mom live in the neighborhood and they walk with their rottweiler every day past our house. So glad they stopped! He's just darling.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Birthday Goodness

Hi everyone out in blog-land. I hope this post finds you delightfully well. I am great, and even recently celebrated a birthday - on Tuesday the 28th to be precise. I got a gaggle of cards which ALWAYS makes me smile. I love seeing the mailman arrive on the days before, and on my b-day, because I usually have a card or two each day and it's so fun to open them. Here's my haul:

OK, so this next bit falls into the 'funny or sad' category. So, during my birthday shopping trip, I was walking by Godiva chocolate and saw this chocolate cat in the window. It was really cute, and it looked just like Kate. So, in I go, and buy it. Well, I sat it by the window where I had all my cards standing and it somehow melted.

So . . . now it looks like this - kind of like it's turning it's head waaaaaaaay sideways. I cracked up when I discovered it. Because ya know? It's still tastes good. I just had a little nibble off it's melted paws. I couldn't resist posting the melty picture. It's pretty hilarious. Poor chocolate kitty!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Sunday Herbal

Today I spent the late afternoon planting herbs! It was very relaxing and grounding. No soil pun intended. There's marjoram, basil, mint, chives, parsley, oregano, rosemary, and dill. Except for the thyme, there's a Mammas and the Papas' song in there. Ha! They are now all nicely situated on a plant stand that was a gift from my friend and Foziewisp blogger, Ms. S. I adore the stand, and love the way the terracotta pots look on it. Fun! Some of the herbs seem kind of small in the pots, but fingers are crossed that they'll sprout up!

At another corner of the house, I planted some of the herbs in vintage California pottery pots I've picked up at estate sales. The yellow ones and the green one were each 50 cents. Gotta love that. I just realized the white iron tables are also from Miss Sherri - purchased at one of her yard sales! Stuff doesn't really ever go away, it just changes addresses!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Wonderful Wedding, Oh Happy Day

The happy event has taken place! (Just look at this lovely program and fan that was on each chair. The calligraphy is amazing.) On Saturday, Oct. 18th, Erin and Colin tied the knot in the Bahamas at the Ocean Club. The garden there was just gorgeous, and the happy couple were beautiful and shining with love. Since the marriage had to comply with Bahamian laws, there was E.'s grandfather, Charles, who conducted most of the ceremony and then a Bahamian pastor who did another part. But, before they could pronounce them husband and wife, the bride and groom had to step behind the altar and sign their marriage license. It was all very Bahamian.

This is my brother Guy, Erin's Dad, standing at the altar with E., right before he stepped away (on his terms, of course) to "give her" to her husband-to-be, Colin.

Here they are listening to their vows. I'm so proud of my sweet niece. She said her vows with such strength. Of all of the ceremony, this part made me cry a bit.

This was the walkway next to the area where they were married. A couple other detail pics follow of the garden structure. It was so beautiful. I will get some history on this for another post.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Rio Celebrates 10 Years on Oct. 17th!

Is this not a face you can love? Is this not the handsomest boy at the doggy day care? Well, I think so. This is Rio, the darling Springer Spaniel and fur child of my dear friends Gail and Jay who live in Fort Myers.

This is Rio spending some quality time at K9's Come First with long-time girlfriend, Ambyer. Yes, with a 'y'. She's showing Rio some love with her little doxie licks on his cheek. How cute is that!? But, Mr. Ri-Ri is looking somewhat pained here, isn't he!? Oh these pups can't get enough of me...sigh. I just can't shake Ambyer. BUT, she's pretty and she is the principal's daughter so Gail and Jay tell Rio to get with the program!

Happy Birthday Rio! Have a great day on the 17th!

Driving Across Florida

While I was in Florida the last time, my brother and I drove to see my Uncle Ernie and Aunt Gloria. I had not seen them in many years, dare I say 15? 20? They live in Hobe Sound and it was about a 3-hour drive. The weather that day, like your typical Florida weather, brought some rain. I love driving through the state of Florida, if not just for the instant on/off rain amidst the sunshine, but for the beautiful scenery. It's such a pretty state. Beautiful skies and fields and trees. These were a few shots I took while we were driving, just out the car window.

This below, believe it or not, is a rest area. It was pristine, with gorgeous, tall palms.

The fields along the road here are sugar cane. There are miles and miles of them.

Grey storm clouds rolling in before the rain started.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The 'About Me' Blog Challenge

A friend and fellow blogger over at Craft Lolly issued a blog challenge: that we put together a list of personal likes, dislikes, etc. - a "who am I?" list. So here goes:

- I am a total animal lover and wish all creatures of the earth could be free and happy all the time
- I love the mountains, especially during the beginning of fall when it's sweater weather but not snowing
- I hate being cold
- I will always love my cat Oreo forever into infinity
- I love spending time with my hubby doing nothing much
- I am a foodie
- I want to go to the birthplaces of my mother and father: Cologne, Germany and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- I love antiques and vintage things
- I could go to estate sales and garage sales every weekend
- I love Florida beaches
- I am starting to be much more interested in History
- I love to go to yoga classes
- I crochet, but I don't knit
- I love to sleep - it's my vice
- I love Anthropologie
- I love good cheese
- I am a Scorpio
- I grew a 1/2" in the past couple years - so says the doctor
- I am an idealist, a romantic, and a dreamer
- I worry a lot about the less fortunate and the environment
- I miss my family, they have all passed on, and I still talk to them
- I am often too nice and sometimes it backfires
- I am a total francophile
- I'm a democrat (big surprise)
- I love my husband's family
- I am incredibly proud of my brother, Guy
- I have good business sense
- Okay, enough about me...

Yes We Can