Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Saturday, December 27, 2008

INDULGENCES

Well, when I was watching the Macy's Parade, I saw a float with a neat pink castle. I thought, oh my, I want that. Fat chance though.
That weekend there was a Toy's R Us catalog in the paper. Imagine my surprise to see a sort of Pink Princess castle available. It must be from some stories for girls I guess. But, I decided the price was more than I would pay. So, I put it aside.
A week later I decided to check Amazon. They had it for about half price. Sold!! Came in time for Christmas too. Sorry, what can I say, my 'child' said, 'need that'.

Friday, December 26, 2008

CHERISHED TOY

What does Christmas mean to a child? The wonder and magical joy of receiving the wished for toy from the symbol of Christmas giving. The incredible tree appears. There is the promise of special treats. But, the toy is the main thing.
I just finished watching this year's 'A Christmas Story' fix. And thought yes, to kids it's 'THE' toy. Was there a special toy or gift that you looked for? Did you ever receive it? Or are you waiting for it yet?
For me, the toys were a doll with extra clothes and then a dollhouse. I did get them eventually, and I have them yet. Although, the doll's clothes are long gone. I also wished for a real china teaset. That, I had to wait for. I bought one for myself when I was an adult. Works out that way sometimes.
My older brother desired a Lionel train and a B-B gun. He did get those too.
My younger brother just wanted everything. Didn't get all of it though. Davy is 10 years younger than me and Bud is 14 years older than Davy. Kid Bro. was always ticked off because he would never be able to catch up with us in age. So he tried to do it with toys.
After my Dad retired and he and Mom were moving to their new home, all the boy's toys were stolen. The train and Tonka toys. I had already taken my toys with me.
My Hb. can only remember a toy farm set and a toy castle fort set. Both of which are long gone as they were passed on. A worse fate for toys I cannot imagine.
I know I had an awful time keeping my things hidden from Mom and kid brother.
I hope to find a true collector to pass them to. Because toys are artifacts and depict an age and life that is past.
I hope some people out there have had a the magical experience of receiving their Christmas wish.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

SNOW DAY

All of this welcome snow, finally stirred up a memory of a snow day up home one year.
It must have been a week vacation for me to be home at that time.
Snow had been forecast, and finally here it came. Started out with small flakes, so we thought , oh won't last long or lay down much after all.
Then, as we watched, the air began to grow thick with flakes and the thicker the snow the bigger the flakes.
I said to Mom and Dad. I have to go out in this! You want to go out in that!? oh, yeah!. I generally do not go when there is any sort of storm. But, this, this was rare. Mom said, you don't have a parka. Yes I do. I know where my old parka is. Ran across it the other day. Boots, did you bring your boots with you? Yep. So, I quick layered up my clothes, put on a scarf around my neck, and scarf on my head under my hood. Put on my finger mittens. This is why I otherwise hate bad weather. All that bundling.
I went out the back door, that way I could walk mostly through the young trees, and not get so snowed on. But, I still step into the snow when I wanted to. The young trees were all ready beginning to droop from the weight of the snow. It was snowing that heavy. All was quiet with only the sound of the falling snow as it landed. Pli, pli , A very soft 'plop' sound. The flakes were huge, between 1 inch to almost an inch and a half wide. Some a good 1/8 inch thick. Very plushy looking. Swirling, dancing as they fell. The longer I was out, the thicker the snowfall. But I always knew where I was, because that's why I stayed in the trees.
I walked through the trees, up to the east side of the mill. Out from Aunt Hazel's. Because from there, was a wide open space and I could watch the snow from under a cedar tree.
It was wonderfully magical. Everything appears so ethereal and otherworldly.
Mesmerizing. All that was needed was for me to see the Snow queen in her crystal sleigh pulled by white horses.
I soon noticed that snow was piling fast, and was almost deeper than my boots. so, time to go back to the house.
Mom said, I was afraid you might get lost in the snow it's falling so thick. I told her where I had been. So, I knew my way through the trees.
Took all my snow gear off on the utility room and brought to the kitchen to dry. Made some hot chocolate and watched the snow through the big glass windows in the front room.
Snowed the rest of the day and all night. We were snowed in come morning.
The dogs did not like the deep snow. Makes ice balls in their fur. Very uncomfortable. That was last time I got to see and play in such a snow fall. I don't think there was another like it. It was blizzard. We don't have those up there.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

FIRST SNOWFALL

There has been snow around us on the foothills. and hail in downtown. But, other areas have had dustings of snow. Snow in the bay area. Amazing. It has been very cold and my Hb. and I are NOT handling it well. He bought me one of thse 'Snuggle' blankets you may have seen on TV. But he got mine from eBay. I find it comfortable.
We have rain, quite a bit, which we really need. Or there will be rationing again next year. As cold as it has been. It is not what people in the midwest and north east are going through.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

PUMPKINS

I have been doing some drawing. By hand, not computer. I do a pencil, and add color with color pencils. I like the rather unfinished look right now. It has a simple appeal to me. I have two others and will do one more of this type of subject. Then I will change content.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

HAPPENSTANCE

Have you ever had an opportunity to actually feel the earth turn? To sit on the ground and be conscious of the movement? it is a phenomenal experience. Let me tell you. But, it was one I was never able to duplicate, even by going back and sitting in the same spot. Now, that was disappointing.
One day, during a late summer, I was restless. I told Mom I was going to go watch the sun set. She asked me where I was going to watch. I said, out the backdoor, Down the dog trail to the old log road, to Grandpa's rail fence, climb that. Then walk through the field, half mile up to a clear view of Mt. Shasta.
She said ok.
Well, it took me awhile, I had almost ran out of time when I arrived to where I wanted to be.
The sunset was just beginning to be all full of color. I sat on the dry grass, there was some creosote weed, compositae and stray alfalfa in the turkey grass and the dusty smell of late summer.
I sat there and watched, and as I watched the Sun descend I sort of tipped my head back a little, and-----------
I could actually feel the Earth turn. I could truly feel the ride we all get everyday and never notice. It was not an illusion, because to check, I closed my eyes for a few seconds. That was most deeply devout spiritual feeling I have ever experienced. To just for real know I was one with the Earth and Universe. It was overwhelming, I nearly fainted. But, Instead I got up and started back to the house. before I did. Jeez, Mom and Dad would have believed me to have been gotten by a Lion or Coyotes or something. I didn't want them to have to come looking for me. I made it back just at twilight.
Mom asked, how was the sunset?
I said, incredible, I will tell you later. And went to my bedroom.
I was in my twenties and home from school for the summer.
The next day, I told Mom about it.
She asked me some questions to check my perceptions. and she then knew it had been a very exceptional experience.
I sort of forgot about it. Then oh, maybe a few years later. I went back to the same place at about the same time of year. Never ever happened again. A gift to be given to me only once. However, it is etched in my soul.
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Mt. Shasta does have it's own mythology. It is a volcano.
It seems too fantastical for me.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

NATIVITY


I wasn't raised in a religion. My Mom and Dad had had negative experiences in that regard. However, they both left the choice up to my brother and I to acquaint ourselves if we wanted to. Our first exposure was Summer vacation Bible School.
At Christmas we therefore never had a creche'. I sort of always wanted one. And thought, maybe when I have my own place.
I still hadn't a creche' until after i married. Well, my Hb. he wanted one too. We wanted a big one like the Europeans have. Big, with lots of people and animals. The first year, it was simple. A couple of years later, Hb. made a cave out of papier mache'. Looked soo, neat. It finally disintegrated. And we used one of the mossy ones from Woolworth's.
We had to begain small though. Because of finances. First we just bought the center of the scene. The Holy Family, the Kings and a few animals. They came from Woolworth's. It meant a lot to us. As the years went by, the Creche' grew and grew. We found nice figures from Italy. Added farm animals. We had our scene for years and years. When we moved here, we sold it. As we have no one to give it to. By then there were over 70 pieces, I think. I had lost track.
This a picture from the first year.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

CLOSE UP

Here is a close up of part of my under the tree Christmas scene. I love Rudolph, he is my favorite Christmas character. I always wanted one. I was so delighted when Lennox came out with a figure. Now, every year, he lives under our trees along with several friends.
As an adult, I having been indulging my child. She is not self indulgent though. Not really. She just loves sweet lovely things. And can at last play. She didn't get to play in that other time.
Fantasy was laughed at and derided, denigrated. She lived a terribly dismal life. I am just trying to make up for it a little.

Friday, December 5, 2008

CHRISTMAS TREE SCAPE

This is a picture of my tree scape for this year. With the flash, the tree lights don't show well. But, without the flash, all of the decorations aren't visible. this is all I will do for now. I have been too ill do more. I have more reindeer, and my angels, plus my little christmas tree collection. but, I no energy. I put the things under the tree away in February, we leave the trees out all year.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

FOG



Fog, seems so very mystical and unreal. Changes the whole landscape. Are there otherworldly beings slipping around and through the fog.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

WILDLIFE

It is interesting to live only 17 miles from downtown. And about three miles to the nearest mall. And in order to view wildlife, all I need do is look out my window or across the patio. the deer have moved to another area of the grounds, because they herd in winter. Oh, there weren't any deer and human contacts this year. The last two years previous, there were several. In fact, a buck attacked our postal person, right here in our cul-de-sac. He had to yell for help and three men came o his aide. All sustained injuries before the buck finally ran off. When the deer herd and leave, that is why we have the turkeys using the area for their browsing and feeding grounds. Must be a lot of food for them as they come by several times a day. They are so comfortable now, that if they are tired, they lay down and rest under the small shrubs just on the other side of the patio wall, by the guest parking lot. The flock consists of nine hens and the tom.
I went out and sat in my patio chair Monday. And watched the birds flocking and sreaming, because there is weather change going on. Birds do that. There were only the little birds; sparrows and finches I think. Two kinds of sparrows for sure. No blackbirds, we don't seem to have them here. There used to be Chick-a-dees. but, no more. I don't know why. No Robins either. Used to be. Maybe the Ravens scared them away. Ravens are sacred bird in many cultures. A gathering of ravens are called; an unkindness of Ravens'. Interesting.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

PINK SKIRT

Well, the skirt is finally done. The only thing, there is no room for a waistband, because the doll's waist is so small. She is 4" around. Very tiny. I may have made the skirt a 1/4" too long. I don't know. But it doesn't hang right And I made the placket wrong for this style skirt too. It is the sort of thing that only shows up after the fact. No, I'm not redoing it! Too complicated. Eithne will just have to live with it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

CANDIED PEAR

This all the pieces I ended up with. I began with two full pears. But, Hb. cut most of the pieces too small to use for glazing. There were 12 pieces, but we each ate one. There were more last night, maybe two dozen pieces. We kept tasting, you know.The brown color is from the cinnamon. like I said, when I am experimenting, I work in small batches. That way, if I mess up, it's small mess.
I will make some more next week. the pieces will be larger too.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

ADVENTURES IN COOKING--Candied Fruit

Well, I found a project for myself during November and maybe December.
I ran a across some recipes for making candied fruit. And I thought I would see what happened. I was tired of doodling with apples. Therefore, I decided to do pears. besides the pectin in pears seems easier on my stomach.
I am now now on my second pass. The first time I didn't take time to really memorize the recipe. So, I ended up with just some cooked sliced pears.This time I have a sort of candied pear slices, but the pears were the soft flesh kind, so came out a bit too soft. But---- they were candied. I had gotten the sirup to the correct heat.
Hb. is going to pick up another type of pear for me tomorrow.
A type that has much firmer flesh. And we will make larger slices. I am only doing one or two pears at a time. That way, I only make a small mess. And if it gets really botched, There is not a big waste. I hate to waste food.
I got to thinking this afternoon, and remembered that my family has not had a good track record for making candy. Remember my post about the 'Fudge Farce'? Ha, ha,!
But, then, hey, doing the sirup for glace', is very like the sirup to make 7 minute icing. And Mom and I had that down pat.
The 'ball' stage is the same. So, that's why I decided to give making candied fruit a college try.
Stay tuned, I will let you know how this next batch turns out.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

VARIOUS-FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT

Amongst some things I had kept papers and souvenirs, I found some small essays from when I was in high school. Mrs. Corrigan was a botch, (oh typo, well maybe not really), of a teacher. She was a bitch too. I never could seem to do it right I guess I kept this because she had actually gave me a 'good' grade. She was miffed with me, because I had made a golden brown tweed coat in Home Ec. class and she wanted to buy it from me. I turned her down and said it was for my Mother. Really, though I just couldn't stand her. Guess I ought to have sold it after all.
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Here is one of my stories. From back then. My Junior year in high school. English-III
I have always liked to write short stories.
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THE FIRST WAFFLES

Lady Margot was in her home. She was baking and she was making some nice wheat cakes. She had just taken some fresh ones out of the . The table being cluttered, Lady Margot set them on a chair to cool.
Just then, her husband, Sir Dave the Dragonslayer came in. He had on his chain mail armour. After he had greeted her, he sat down--right on the fresh cakes! His wife scolded him, but he ate them anyway.
His wife liked the effect of the chain mail marks on the cakes and Sir Dave liked the way the dents kept the butter from running off.
So, every week after. She made him put on his armour and sit on the cakes.
Well, the rage spread. But, after awhile the men got tired of sitting on the cakes, so they had irons made for their wives to use.
_______________________
And that's the story about the First Waffles.
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This is a cooking legend I found in Mom's Betty Crocker Cookbook. I found several ideas for class assignments in that book. Received very good marks too.-------- I received a B+ on this one.
I was docked a little on neatness. For these assignments, we were only graded on content and style.

Monday, November 17, 2008

TURKEY---5,000 WAYS

How many ways can you prepare a turkey?
The Food Channel has really been going gung ho on the Thanksgiving Dinner thing. Sunday night was the battle of the chefs. Then everyone else is having their own take on the food. You know, I just no longer care. I am satiated and I've not even eaten anything. In fact I can't . IBS prevents me. I just might be able to have a small piece of white meat. And otherwise, mashed potatoes. This is the first year we have had Comcast cable and Food TV. Although we may have had it where we were before we moved here. Although five years ago, I know I didn't watch it that much. At the time I found it hokey and boring. It has been seriously revamped since. The line up has already been redone and we have only had this for a year. Everybody is nuts to attract the 'young' demographics. They completely forget the mature audience with a more sophisticated and discerning taste.
I rather enjoyed watching Food TV because it is the only really creative show on TV. I used to watch Carol Duvall on HGTV. I liked the crafts. TLC and Discover channel had crafts too. But, they have been canceled. And replaced with stupid reality stuff. DUMBB. Yuck.
You may wonder how, with my IBS and can't eat much, that I can watch all that food cooking going on? Well, I used to have this really great diet tape. Subliminal suggestion. Worked great, I no longer have to listen to it. Still works. That's why I can watch all that cooking and not get hungry. In fact, I become quite turned off.
Hb. has learned a lot of things for his use. Nice. He cooks quite well. And enjoys it too. He has a high metabolism and can eat almost anything.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

OUTING

Awhile back on, October-29th. I finally got cabin fever and had Hb. take me for a ride. So, he surprised me and we ended up at Fabric Warehouse. Well, I as was dressed for daytime and I went in. I haven't been to a fabric store in two years. Quilting had pretty much replaced personal sewing and the cottons are quilt fabrics. I had a momentary memory lapse and went looking for a small print in pink. Most of the fabrics were in warm and jewel colors. Maybe only three bolts in pink. And not in any pattern I would use. Hb. turns to me and remarks, "are you sure you want to stand in a line that long tonight?"
I looked and said," oh, no". The line was half way down the aisle from the check out. The line for the cutting table was as long.
I observed," perhaps it was people after work coming shopping".
There was a young woman shopping in the same aisle, who turned to me and said, "no. it's because it is three days before Halloween. It's also like this before Christmas too. Or any holiday".
I laughed and said, "Oh my goodness, that's right. It has been so long since I have been out. I had forgotten that it's always a zoo trying to shop during any holiday".
So, Hb. asked, "so, you aren't going to try to buy something tonight?"
"Nope, no way, I replied, Besides, I just considered, I was looking for 'pink' fabric. This is Winter. Pink is a Spring color. I wasn't really thinking."
I looked around some more, at fabric, and some decorative items and Christmas ornaments. Then my back began to hurt very bad. I told Hb. that it was time to take me home.
I didn't buy anything. But that is alright, at least I had gotten out and away from home for awhile. I will go look for pink print fabric after Christmas and when the Valentine fabrics are put out.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

WILD TURKEYS

These are not tame turkeys. Nor are they my turkeys. They are wild turkeys that freely roam the grounds of the gated community where I live. And, thank goodness, we are not allowed to feed the wildlife. The only feeders allowed are the ones for the Hummingbirds. Because when an animal eats, what goes in, does come out, you know. If someone is caught feeding, they are heavily fined as it is against the rules and the law. The wildlife is quite comfortable here and no fear of people. This summer past, right here by our dwelling there was a young Cougar crying for it's mother. Scared the ho-hay out of me. The Game Warden was called the next day to hunt it down. I don't know the outcome. If an animal is caught, they transport it to somewhere far away.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

TURKEYS!

Wild Turkeys. Yeah, we have turkeys here. They have come down from the foothills to get away from hunters and other predators.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

NEW DRESS FOR EITHNE

Even though this year I have been plagued something awful with my IBS. Some days it is of short duration. After a nap of an hour or two, I can recoup my energy somewhat. I did finish one dress for this little doll.
You know, in normal circumstances, I could finish a dress a week. Really, they are about a four hour project. Because I am only doing little cotton frocks. They are patterns I work out first in cotton. Then I cut them from silk.
I have started another dress, I began it maybe a couple of months ago. See, that is how debilitating IBS is. I can't work when I ache. And my stomach hurts. And my hands flutter when I hurt.
It seems though, that reading the Elm Creek Quilt series has helped my out of a blue time, I am able to focus better. So, here is a skirt for another outfit. I have made good progress with it. The most time consuming part is the ruffle for the bottom trim.
These are all hand stitched. I usually do not hand stitching for this size doll. Only the bodice perhaps. But, the skirt pieces are large enough for the sewing machine. My sewing machines are still in their cases. I haven't felt up to pulling them out.
Anyway, I am feeling quite pleased that I have made some real headway on this outfit. That first dress took a year or so. I'm hoping to be able to cut out the top this week, although, I not sure which style I am going to use yet.
Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

FAIRY DOLL

A couple of weeks ago, I received a copy of the flyer from Beverly Fabrics. They send a new flyer every month. But this one is for November, but, was their Christmas sale. I browsed thru it to see what was up. All I found that I was slightly interested in, were some winter deer figures, of white plastic covered in heavy snow glitter. Well, I thought maybe a couple of those. So, I circled the picture. I really don't collect anymore. At least I keep telling myself that. But, I 'NEEDED' some new toys. The rainy season has started so, that's why I was looking at the flyer.
Next, I saw the ad for some fairy dolls to decorate with. There wasn't any size or price shown. But, they were to be marked 30% off. I thought, um, those are kind of cute. Although, I don't collect fairies anymore either. Besides, the fairies I did have, were sold on eBay this summer past. I decided to think about them anyway. So, I circled the picture. As the sale didn't start until November 1st. Gave me time to think things over, and prevents me from being too impulsive.
As it happened, come November first. It rained, hard, all day. I don't go out in the rain. I always get chilled and end up sick for days later. So, Hb. went out for me to Beverly Fabrics. I had given him some pricing and size perimeters.
He did well. and chose this lovely Woodland Fairy and brought her home for me. She's 10 inches tall. A little taller than I was expecting, but I do like her. A new doll always cheers me up.
Oh, I decided against the reindeer. Too flimsy.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

NOVEMBER

Well, November is here again. For me, the end of the year always comes too fast. I no longer look forward to it as I used to. When I was still designing flowers. I always worked all of the holidays. And the longer the hours the better. There were some people we used to know, who would invite us for dinner. But, oh, sorry. I'm working. They weren't really sincere you see.
So, now, November is just another 'Fall' month. I collected some small things and put together this fall arrangement-scene. I put it out in September and exchange it for Christmas after Thanksgiving. I really like the elfens. They are called 'Acorn' children. I put it under our Christmas trees in our patio window. Those are real rose hips from two of my bushes.

Friday, October 31, 2008

GOLDEN CHILD

When my little poodle died. I was absolutely devastated. I told myself, I would wait until I could handle things, before I got another fur friend. That lasted about two days.
I had no idea where to go to find another pet. As it turned out, the kennel where I had found Pepper, was still in business. Even though it had been ten years, since I found Pepper there. How about that?
I went there. Told the owner who I was and about my loss of Pepper. She said, well, she didn't have any poodles right then. and I replied, I think I would like a different breed, because, if I had another poodle It would only remind me of Pepper. I didn't want that..
Anyway, I came home with a glorious golden Lhasa-Maltese female puppy. What a trial and blessing and joy she was. This breed is very hard to train. They are too smart and need a good reason for what is required of them. Maybe, as it turned out, I think she may have trained us. She was pure sweetness. It was a papable thing when she was happy and playing. I have never before or since felt such pure unequivable love. She taught us a lot. I named her 'Saffron'. Because my poodle I had named, 'Pepper'.
I found her in September 1969. We had her for 15 years. She left us October-31-1984.

Monday, October 27, 2008

HALLOWEEN AT THE DORM

I was trying to think of a Halloween memory to use for this month.. Then I remembered
living at the dorm at Jr. College.
In a previous story, I wrote that my kid brother and I only got to go trick or treating, and having Halloween only the one time. That was the year we lived in town.
Well, when I went away to Jr. College. I stayed in a dorm. A girls only house. Nice place. It was an old Edwardian 2-story. With a large front porch and nice set of steps. Fun. It was the first year for that the Jr. College had a dorm. So I was in a town when Halloween came round. The Housemother had budgeted out money from her own pay, for treats. She was such a dearest, sweetest lady. She made: popcorn balls, candy apples, two kinds of cookies and something else, I can't remember. I think a couple of the girls helped her. I didn't get to, because of class scheduling.
The dorm was right across from an elementary school. So, the kids knew about us. And we knew many of them name. Some were quite regular visitors. They hung mostly on the front porch and steps. There were only a couple of the kids actually permitted inside. It was better for them to have restricted access. To them it was quite socially elevating , that they had 'college' students' for friends.
We would put out the treats after dinner and make things ready for our guests. In those days the costumes were mainly Disney or Tv characters. Very sweet. Oh yes, Superman, Davy Crocket, Cowgirls, cowboys, fairies, Snow White, maybe Cinderella. You know there may even have been a 'Tom Corbett, Space Cadet'. Very popular space adventure at the time. So there was something before 'Star Trek'.
They were lots of fun. The kids enjoyed the home made goodies too. We were inundated and over ran with little tricksters. I think the first year we ran out. But, the next year, we had some left overs. Halloween is like that, I found.
I attended school there for the two years. Then I transferred to the Art College.
Gosh, but I hated leaving that wonderful time behind. That's life.
But, you know what? Even though I went on through school. Because we lived in apartments, only adults, I never got to see Halloween until after I married and lived in family neighborhoods.

Monday, October 20, 2008

EXASPERATED

Are you as tired as I am over all the political blather and mud slinging ? Wow, I will be so glad when the voting is over. All of this campaigning has been going on for TWO YEARS!! The longest in history! Makes me exasperated.
Right now, I couldn't care less. Because at the end, the candidates show their true colors, and guess what? They are both chumps.
My Dad, being a businessman. With his own business, was a Republican. So was my Mother. As my Dad explained when I asked him the difference. He said, well, the democrats giveth and the republicans taketh away. Or whatever.
When I was in high school. Civics was still taught. We even had a presidential election the year of the real election. Complete with a full campaign. Two of the boys played the part of the real candidates. The boys acting the parts, wrote their own speeches, with help of the teacher. The speeches were based on the same platforms of the real candidates. The election was held on the real date too. You know what, even in our re-enactment. The boy that played the real winner, won too! We were all surprised, because Mr. Neasham was careful to pick boys who were just students. We were all delighted with the outcome.
The kids now days, need to experience something like that. To get them to feel more connected to society.
Even by the time my nephews got to high school, the class had been been eliminated. Man! Was I indignant!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

VARIATIONS ON A THEME

A theme for this month I decided would be leaves. Several different pictures. Will be made and put up. I have some pumpkins too. There will be pumpkins for November too, along with other harvest things. Am also using Halloween images and ideas for costumes. So, quite a few images for October.
Oh. I almost forgot about , Octoberfest. I'm going to have to develop some images for that.
Have you ever gone to an Octoberfest? Lots of fun. Not just drinking.
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http://artisanway.etsy.com/

Monday, October 13, 2008

COLUMBUS DAY

What do you think? Would it have been better if he had sunk?
The ships were caravels. Small compact ships with a shallow draft, perfect for navigating for exploration. On History TV there was a program about Columbus. Seems he became a real tyrant and highly prejudiced. And felt justified in enslaving the native peoples.
When I was in school, it was a good holiday. Now no one except the Italians celebrate it as an Italian culture day. They are trying to give it a more positive spin. Good idea.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

COSTUME IDEAS

OK, it's that time of year again. are you trying to decide how to dress. Aren't these better than those hideous gruesome horror things? Ugh. Gross.
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http://artisanway.etsy.com/

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

OCTOBER OUTING

Not much going on. We had some rain finally, first rain since March 15. Otherwise the weather has been fairly nice. I will appreciate it as long as it lasts. Then remember the good days, when it is all dreary and gray.
But, now the days are to be nice again. With blue skies.
Had to go to a dentist today.
Well, that filling I lost, can't be replaced. The tooth is too far gone. Needs a root canal. And a cap. I hate caps. They never really get sealed tight enough, and the tooth goes faster than one with a filling.
But, what is neat, is I finally got out. The First time since last November. So a good thing anyway. After the dentist, I had Hb. drive on down to our local Barnes and Noble.
It has been so long since I was in a bookshop, that I became almost overwhelmed been the sheer number of books. How about that. I found that interesting. Although, it could have rather been being around so many strangers. Since I live a very isolated life.
My back and hip began to hurt before I before I had covered all the favorite categories.
My final choices were three magazines and one book.
I bought; American Art Review, the 'Watercolor' magazine, both just really super issues this time. I also bought; 'DOLLS' magazine. The book I decided on is titled; Garden Spells' by Sarah Addison Allen. I'll let you know how it is.
Because I know nothing about the book, except what is on the back cover.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

PUMPKIN TIME

Now September is all done,
Today is October-one.
Anticipate the coming Fest.
Planning how one will dress.
Treats for goblins,
they ring the bell,
'trick or treat' they will cry,
Then they spy,
The basket with the prize,
Pass them out, one for one a piece,
Off the little elfens run,
with my house they are done.
Going now from door to door,
getting treats, many more.
The night for the little ones is fun.
With their loot go to their homes.
There to enjoy their pay,
after the night's foray.
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Orig. Poem-2008-CGZ
Orig. Art-2008-CGZ
Copyright-2008 by: CGZ
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My Etsy Shoppe:
http://artisanway.etsy.com/

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

INSPIRATIONS

Since it is Fall, I was thinking about how this was the time of year I would have been working madly on stuff for shows and the boutique.
I thought that I had made my doll Willowby in '71, but, turns out I didn't get to working on her until '72. Because as I discovered, it wasn't until then, that my dear friend-CM told me about the wonderful: Susan Sirkis', 'Wish Booklets". ('Joy and Riches'!!!) Ms. Sirkis had designed an entire series of period fashions from the 19th. Century for dolls. She had included a pattern for a cloth doll to dress. If one didn't have an antique fashion doll. Then over a number of years, I made a complete wardrobe for my Willowby doll. She is 13" tall. With set in brown glass eyes from Germany. I gave her a brown wig. And here I thought it all only happened a year earlier. Willowby is the lucky possessor of a wardrobe of at least 35 outfits. In between sewing for her, I was working on a lot of other things too. I roped my, Hb. into making a wardrobe closet for her. Came out nice. It is *stuffed* full of costumes. Fairly bulging. Including hats and shoes. I did sell a couple of the 'Willowby' dolls. I only made about four dolls total, including my 'Willowby'. I had a lot of trouble with my wax formula. Before Willowby, Which was in 1970, I was making wooden toys assembled of various wooden findings.
These were based wooden folk toys from Europe. I even carved 5 1/2" little wooden dolls modeled after the Grodnerthal Dolls from The Black Forest in Western Germany.
And I was designing and sewing small animals of felt, fur fabric and velours. Most were in one twelfth scale. Later at a Miniature dollhouse collector's show, I saw the wonderful mini felt dolls made by an Artist named Betsy Heistand. ( unfortunately, she got caught by cancer and is no longer with us.) Her dolls were not high priced, but yet were just out of my reach. However, I saved my money and finally became the proud caretaker of one of her little 5 1/2" dolls. I was so excited and inspired that when I came home, I had to design something similar. After that I only made miniature dolls of cloth and felt. I even used ultra suede.
The doll's ran 5-6". But I did sometimes make smaller dolls.
When I showed them at doll shows, my doll club and a Christmas Boutique. They were well received. It was a lot of work but also a lot of fun.
I made those for several years. Then my life changed and I couldn't make the minis anymore.
I did continue to make some dolls, but, they are very tall dolls. I think they are wonderful/ rather a version of the boudoir dolls.
I cannot bring myself to sell any of them yet. It would be, somewhat akin to selling a child. What will happen to them when I am no longer here, I have no idea.
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This is a picture of my 'Baroness'. She's quite a true lady. Her given name is 'Artemisia'. Which means, always young. She is about 20" tall. One of the last group of dolls I made.
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Here is the address for my 'Etsy' shoppe

Thursday, September 25, 2008

ONE THING AFTER ANOTHER

Geez, but this has been a perfectly horrid year. I have been sick oftener than ever. The IBS just seems to get worse.
So, many things have happened, but I won't list them. So everything just gets in the way pf my having any kind of life anymore.
The only thing good, is that the wildfires are all out. Last year there were 6 fires, this year there were hundreds. Tragic, let me tell you.
Where I grew up in the northern part of my state, there is this mountain I have driven over for years. It was always so very beautiful. The Dogwoods and Redbud in the Spring, the riot of color in the Fall.
Back sometime in the early 90's this freaking idiot set a fire, just north of the county seat, the fire burned for miles, burning down two historic towns from the 1850's. The fire burned all the way up over the mountain. It was finally stopped just short of the first town on the north side of the mountain.
I have been up there only once since. Absolutely heartbreaking. I have not had the heart to go back, even to visit my cousin and aunt. It takes at least fifty years for a forest to recover from a fire.

Monday, September 22, 2008

ODE TO AUTUMN

Autumn has come today.
Now is her time
awhile to stay.
she turns the leaves
all brilliant shades,
to ease the shortness
of the the sky blue days.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I HAD A LITTLE POODLE......................

HER NAME WAS: PEPPER

She's gone.............
This small bit of life,
A mite of my soul.
A wisp
She danced only an
eyewink of time
in Sun.
A small bright flame,
whiffed out, as though
blown away on an autumn zepher.
To others, she may have seemed
to be, but a tuft of fluff.
A trinket, a toy.
But she was my true joy.
They couldn't,
no, never
understand,
There was only one-
PEPPER.
My ever present, devoted friend,
my tiny love.
For that was her life.
It was more that I was hers, than she was mine.
And-now,
she's gone..............
Dancing after a a bird of paradise
across the milky way.
Maybe, come some
future eternity,
God will let me
belong to her again.
*******************************************************
She was ten. I found her in September- 1959 and lost her in September 1969.
I will write the story sometime.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

UPDATE-MISC.

This past week or so, I have been in a lot of pain. I don't know how I did it, but I hurt my back. All the way down my right leg too. Tried, aspirin, Naproxen both. Not at the same time. All it did was make my stomach hurt for days. Rubbed on Aspercreme, Not much help. I don't know, I am not going to blog anymore. I think I have decided that I am not going to blog anymore. No one finds me interesting or intriguing anyway. I am going to finish at the end of December.
From now on I will just finish writing my stories for my book in order to get it done. But, I wish other people would write life stories. Memories, dreams, wishes etc.
Since I hurt so much , I've not written. Haven't done any sewing either and I had just started a new dress for my doll.
I haven't talked about my garden, because whenever I do, something dies. Guess I am not supposed to share in that respect. Remember the red daises? They've not bloomed since, and they had just been doing just fine.
Also, as usual my IBS has really been a nuisance. Gee, I am finally getting tired of not being able to go anywhere.
Then there have been a lot of tech problems. Both of our computers went on the whack. Hb.'s computer had to be wiped and redone. Mine may need to be too. The new virus thing screwed everything up and had to be redone. I just hate it when the software twiddles with my content And rearranges everything.
The only person I see now, is my Hb. I haven't even talked on the phone to my friend in New York.
My niece in law has decided to eleminate me from her email list. Little twit.
I had my first two blog books published at http://www.lulu.com/. What bugs me about that, is, I have proof read those things at least half a dozen times. And I am finding typos yet!!
Oh, yeah, lost a piece of filling in a tooth, now I have to find someone to fix it!
It has been a great year.
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We have have an Etsy shop now. If you would like to look, here is the address:
http://artisanway.etsy.com/

Friday, September 12, 2008

YELLOW MOON

Have you noticed how yellow the moon is? That is because there are at least six volocanoes going off around the world, spewing ash and trash in to the air. Adding to the changes in temperature, along with what man is contributing.
And the sunsets are only yellow and orange. None of the beautiful plums, mauve and rose. This could last for serveral years. It will be interesting to see what the winter weather will be.
Now that wildfires are mostly out, there is ash. Keeps me just a little ill all the time. This has not been a good year for me. What are other people with breath and lung conditions doing.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

OUR DOG-ROVER

This is sort of both a school story and a dog story. Thought it might be appropriate for September: back to school month.
I had mentioned one of our dogs in an earlier blog. He was a spunky little dog. Mostly Fox Terrier. Very active, and no one really took the time to play with him. So he always went off to find his own adventures. Just like a boy, ever in mischief. My older brother considered Rover his dog. But, you know, I don't remember the two of them being together that much. Sometimes I would try to get Rover to play with me. He put up with it for awhile, then off he would go, where ever. Later, after I was grown, I read that Terriers are a one person dog. Although, he was very 'pack' savvy . He knew if he was hurt or needed help. He would go right to either Dad or Mom.
I do think Rover would follow Bud to school sometimes. He would show up in the schoolyard. Climb the steps and wait outside on the porch for recess. Bud, never could find where Rover came into the schoolyard. As the front had a chainlink fence. And the other three sides were 'square wire' fenced. Bud didn't have to worry if Rover might get thristy while waiting, because there was a creek at each end of the yard. At recess Rover would run around with all the kids. Mom, Dad and Bud didn't like him to do go up there. Because we were afraid for him. So, Bud would sometimes send Rover home. He didn't want to, but he would go anyway. You know, the dog would always go right home, no dawdling. Bud would ask Mom later. And they compared notes. Mom said, well, that's why Rover turns up at the back door hungry.
A cattle rancher, Old cranky, ornery 'Dee' Oilar might think our dog was *arter* his bitch cattle dogs. Female dogs were the only hounds he used. Male dogs fight back when they are mistreated. Now days we could report him. But, he would likely might just shoot the SPCA officer first.
But, Rover's biggest downfall, was, that he would always go out in the woods after the female coyotes. And fight with the male coyotes. Jeez.
___________________________________________________________________
Rover was an outdoor dog. Dad's rules: animals belong outside. However, Rover had snug little doghouse in one corner of the woodshed.
There are pictures of Rover, I just don't have any.

Friday, September 5, 2008

NOCTURNE MEDITATIONS

It's three o' clock AM. Do you know where your cat is? I'm a dog person myself.
When I can't sleep. I get up, rather than toss and turn. I've always had trouble sleeping at night. I place it on two things. First: I was born at 1:AM . Pretty much shot the night for all concerned. Second: a person has to feel comfortable and secure. For me, never happened.
I seem to be able to think better at night. It's rather as though, once everyone else has gone to sleep. I am able to sort myself out. I mostly go over my life. Looking back. Whereas, before I looked forward. And I philosophized. Trying to work out where I fit on , in scheme of things.
I have always taken time every once in awhile to stop and access my life. To check and see where I have been. What I have been doing. Examine and analyze. I visualized my life pattern as being like a one of those mille' piece puzzles. Finding new pieces and fitting them in. Or finding unexpected pieces, that change the pattern. I have to remove things and redo a part of the vision. Life is ever unpredictable. No matter how much one allows for it.
I look back and I actually have done most of the things I wanted. What I haven't, well, Just let go.
As it is said, 'an unexamined life is not worth living'. I have found that to be quite true.
I have since found out that this a human trait. Men do it one way, We women another way. We take things apart piece by piece. We are, fixers, healers and want to make all things well. Women are raised that way. But, we were not told it's ok to nurture ourselves. We must care for ourselves. It is not being selfish. It's renewing our spirits, recharging our batteries. This a good thing.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A MEMORY

An empty hall after midnight.
Shadows in the corners.
The hall sits quiet in the gloom.
Lit-------
only by starlight
and yellowed gleams
of a setting moon.
A waft of air breathes by,
a crack, a creak
echos faintly through
the drowzy, empty place.
Yet---if one listens,
very still,
you can yet hear,
a faint, faint echo, of the music
and the laughter, the was there.
And if you look carefully
amongst the shadows,
you can see,
the shapes and shades,
of the dancers, that had been there.
Twirling, turning, spinning
around the dance floor.
The air stirs,
a chill draft drifts down.
And the hall is alone.
Settling quietly
in the starlight glome.
*******************************
Orig. Poem-copyright:1962 &2008
Orig. Poem by: CGZ
____________________________
I wrote this poem along time ago.
Way before the Haunted House thing in Disneyland.
This is not a haunted house story at all.
My family and I had spent the evening in the hall square dancing.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

SILVER SUNSET

There are a lot of things out there on the internet, making fun of people aging, the silver seniors. Well, that is to me not funny. In fact, disrespectful. Hey kids, you are going to be there soon. So mind what you do.
I do not obsess about my age. I never have. What I hate about aging, is, that it happens, without being asked. I believe it is that, as I was growing up, I was around people of all ages. So, I could observe the many ways of dealing with life as it comes. Aging is what happens. The boomers did not have that, and with the 'Youth' mania of the Hippie era. All those idiots ignored their best role models. I could see what was in store for me as time passed. And, I did not go crazy, anticipating the process.I had many role models, what I do, is ignore age . Although age discrimination runs rampant right now, as the hippie-boomers age. And the younger people are in total denial. Wait till it happens to them.
I won't be here. But, what goes around, comes around.
Chronological age is just a number, it's up to us how we face it. Life goes on. You deal the best you can.The best thing is to maintain an interest in life, and have a youthful attitude. Growing up is enlightening. Just sitting around growing old is a waste of life.
My Dad lived to be 80.
Mom died at age 59. I would have loved to see how she aged. because, I once asked her if she would color her hair when it began to gray. She said, Absolutely not! I've earned every one of them.
I'm sorry, I had to laugh. She was right.

Monday, September 1, 2008

ELUSIVE SCENT

The scent of Autumn has come wafting in on soft gentle fingers of the a small Chinook..
The touch is subtle, more a sense, or feeling. The scent captures you and holds you raptured in it's gentle thrall. Catching one off guard.
To close my eyes and stand and let the delicate tendrils of scent, curl around in drafts and swirls. Just the slightest of movements. Let it wrap around, become one with it. Entwine with the aura.
It is a heady experience.
One could become lost within the scent of Autumn.
But, I open my eyes, take a breath. And go back in the house.
Too much beauty to bear.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A 'PINK' DESIGN FOR EMBROIDERY

This is a design for the china pink. or maybe it's a single carnation for embroidery. It is from the book: Design For Floral Embroidery by Elizabeth Geddes, that I found in during one of our trips to Britain in the 1970's. I found the most wonderful array of crafts and needleart books over there. I must have bought at least fifty over time. Finally got smart and had them shipped. Saved weight and left room for lighter things.
The Pink and carnation was a favorite motif in English Embroidery. It was done in all forms of needlework. It was a symbol of desire. And love. That was before the red rose took over in the mid-1800's.
I had all of these lovely books. And only really used the doll and toymaking ones. I never did get back to doing any embroidery. Which is really too bad. I did a lot when I was a teen ager.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

'CHINA' PINKS

We had had some lovely Dianthus-'China Pinks'. this summer. Two containers of them. They were very pretty. I hadn't seen or even thought about 'Pinks', probably since I was at Home. I do not even remember who may have had them. Mrs. Lorenzen. Maybe my Grandmother Zettie. Who knows.
The flowers were doing very well. blooming and so sweet.
Then boom, they got splocthed by jet fuel. we are on a military flight path. The planes aren't every day. But often enough to ruin many of my roses and potted plants. We can move the pots, but not the roses.
China Pinks are such an Quaint Antique flower. The Victorians loved them, because to them the pinks were quite exotic.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

NATIONAL CON TIME=part 1

Gahhh! I am so fed up with all this nonsense. I'm to the point, I couldn't care less. They all sound alike. If I could, I would write in 'Snoopy'. But, that's not allowed anymore. Too bad.
I find both to be scary.

Friday, August 22, 2008

BLUE SKY


Just beautiful! At last. It's so nice, The fires seem to be contained and mostly out, because the sky has been a deep blue again as it is supposed to be. Beautiful autumn blue skies again. I can breath again. I don't cough only a little. So my body is recovering from all the smoke. It's great. And I seem to be regaining some of my strength. So I'm not quite so tired all the time.
To look up and see blue with the green trees against the sky. True color, no gray. I forgot to look at sunset tonight to check the color. Because there has been enough smoke on the opposite side of the bay to produce some spectacular effects.
I hope no more fires break out, but, there is still Labor Day to come. Someone's barbeque or campfire is bound to break loose. Hope not though.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

HARVEST-FIRST FRUITS

Home grown. Totally organic. We are surprised to even have this many.
He can eat them. I tasted a slice or two. And they are good. But, humm, frustration, that taste gave me a stomach ache.
I was looking forward to tomato sandwich.
Oh, well.
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I hope sharing these won't jinx them. Very often, sharing our garden causes everything to die.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

GRAHAM CRACKER COOKIES

We didn't do S'mores. didn't know about them. But, we weren't campers. Not really. Although we did do a little. Dad liked to go camping. Ha,ha. We lived in the country and he liked to go camping. I always found that ironic.
But, anyway, one of favorite treats were Graham Cracker cookies. They were something we could make when we needed something to do and 'needed' a treat. Or maybe snowed in and couldn't get to town. Mom kept the crackers around and all we needed for the frosting was powdered sugar. So when we were bored we made cookies. Very good with milk. They were always special.
But, we never made S'mores. Had never heard of them. I didn't run across them until I was an adult. I don't like them. Too messy.
I've not made crackers cookies in a long time, because, I can no longer handle the fiber. But they were very tasty.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

NOT MUCH

I really haven't much to share. My life is pretty blah. Not really, but to anyone else, it would seem so. I haven't said anything about my garden, because when I do, something dies.
I sent Hb. to barnes and Noble with the titles of two books. That just MAY be worth reading. He found both of them. Amazing, I very often had to order a book I wanted. Well, they were tolerable. One was the third in a trilogy. So, I am sending him to the book store to look for the first two. We are fed up with Amazon. So, will buy local. He doesn't mind, gives him a chance for a good walk.
The other book is one of three also. I don't think I will bother with the other two.
I watch quite a lot on the Food channel. Finally figured out why. It's the only craft show on T.V. anymore. Yes, cooking is both an Art and a Craft. I used to be a fairly good cook. And now I know why some things I tried didn't turn out well. I stopped cooking during the 80's & 90's. By the time I got home from work. I was just way too tired. So, I taught Hb. how to cook. He does pretty good. He's even creative. He can still eat real food. I can't. However, once in awhile, we have to go to 'The Joy Of Cooking' for a refresher.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

AFTERMATH

Well, there are still fires going on about us. but they are not so ferocious. The smoke isn't so heavy and it comes and goes. We have these really brilliant sunsets. Unreal. All the houses turn a coral color and the trees become red and burgundy. There was a little rain the other day. There was a double rainbow, in shades of red and gold.
However, all that smoke exposure left us with a respiratory infection. I still cough a lot. And I have a fever that comes and goes too. 99.1 -99.5. And for me that is enough. Leaves me dizzy and weak. Hb. is somewhat ill too. When the smoke blows away and the sky is a nice deep blue, we are much better.
My cousin up in northern California said the visibility is about 1/2 mile. Because up there is where the highest amount of lightening fires were set. Just horrendous.
Before we were getting the smoke from the fires south of us. But, now the smoke is all the way from Yosemite.
The poor valiant firefighters. They are so bushed. And we just lost some in a crash. Terrible.
This year is the worst.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

NEW PATTERN

Things haven't been quite so bad lately. So, I have been able to actually do something creative. I can only sew when I can concentrate, and my hands aren't so shakey. But, that's ok.
I had finally made a dress for my small fashion doll. And I wanted to do another one or two, while I am yet able.
This pattern that I chose to work on, is an authentic one from an antique doll magazine from the 1870's.
The original pattern was made for a doll 17 1/2" tall. Eithne is 9 1/2" tall. So, it had to be reduced.
It is for a 7-gore princess style dress. Very intricate. I am only making the 'toile' model first, to make sure the pattern will actually fit right. After the ajustments, then I will cut it out of the good fabric. The sleeves are going to give me fits though.
The picture shows three of the four main pattern pieces pinned and rweady to be cut out, which they are now. And mostly sewn together.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

NEW CAR

Well, yes and no. My birthday was this weekend past. I don't care to celebrate them anymore. In fact I try to ignore them entirely. But, Hb. knew I wanted one of this year's Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s cars. So he got one for me and gave it to me on the day. It is a nicely made model. A large size, 8 1/2 inches.

Friday, August 1, 2008

LOVELY PEACHES

In my July issue of Sunset Magazine, there is a short item about a small orchard, here in town.
It is one of the very few left. the article gave the address and phone number. The orchard grows 33 types of peaches, plus other stone fruits. Yumm. So, Hb. looked uup the directions. And Friday morning he drove down to see what might be left.
He came back with one basket of eight lovely free stone peaches. The baskets all came prefilled and you couldn't just buy anything separate. Well, you know that is quite understandable.
I tried only half of one peach. Oh, my! Oh nice. A real peach with real peach taste and texture. I haven't had a peach like that, since the last one I picked from my Grandpa's tree forty years ago. I would have liked to eat the entire peach. But, I wanted wait and see if my stomach could handle it.
Store bought fruit is a travesty and a fraud.
I kept the piece of peach. No stomach ache. So it was, all organic. that is what the man said. No, poisons.
Fabulous.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

OUTDOOR COOKING

Have you ever covered a potato with wet clay? Stuck it in a hollow under an campfire? Neat huh? If not, you really missed out on a special treat.
What started me remembering the incident, were the groundsmen raking the pine needles up from the pine trees out by the parking area. Also, Food Channel has been obsessed with BBQ. So, I thought I would entertain you with what used to be the original.
Where I grew up, we lived right in the middle of a young pine forest. So, every Spring the ground would be covered several inches in pine needles.
My Dad would put my brother and I to raking up the needle fall from inside the fenced yard and out by the drive and his office cabin. Also, between the house, woodshed and garage port. The rest of the needles out in the woods, were raked up by the guys from the sawmill. But, the guys didn't get to do afterwards, what Bud and I did.
If the weather was just right. No wind, not too dry. Bud and I would go to Mom and ask her for something to bonfire cook. Well, we always had potatoes, so many years, that is what we used.
We would each have our own small pine needle fire. We would dig a shallow hole. Line it with rocks. Tony our dog was always interested when there was food going. So, he would be there. Yeah, he liked fire baked potatoes too.
Make some mud and cover the potatoes with a shell of mud. Put the potato in the hole, cover that with a goodly amount of pine needles. We would burn needles until we thought the potato was done. Took maybe half an hour.
If Mom had purchased some hot dogs and marshmallows that month. Bud and I would toast hot dogs while the potatoes were baking. This would be our supper. Boy, Tony loved those days. He would just sit and drool in anticipation of the treats he would get.
Nothing like a bonfire toasted hot dog. No bun. When we felt the 'tater might be done.
would dig it out of the fire. Scrabble it around on the ground, then pick it up to break the hardened mud casing off. Mostly, they were done enough to eat. We ate the potatoes with salt , butter, and well, charcoal. I don't know, I guess it's a kid thing. Yes, Tony got his share too. Dogs will always like 'people food'.
Bonfire marshmallows are great too. All crispy all around, pull that off, eat it. Then toast the bit that's left. Like getting two marshmallows out of one. Oh, yeah, sometimes we had apples to roast too. Those were good. The heat developed the sugar.
After my kid brother was born, our chore assignments changed, and we didn't get to do that anymore.
Dad had the hired men do all the raking.
************************************
This is a picture of the house where I lived as I grew up. It no longer exists. It was destroyed some time in the 70's. But you can see all the pine trees.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

100th ANNIVERSARY

In the last week's issue of Newsweek, there is an article about Anne Of Green Gables. It is the 100th Anniversary of the release of the first book. There are a lot of amazing centennial events planned. And Anne is more popular than ever. The Japanese just love her.
I didn't know anything about Anne until I was an adult. Anne may be popular in the east and mid-west. But the Wilder books may have been more available. And maybe the librarians deemed the better role models. Anne can seem a bit silly and scatter brained. I don't know.
If you are a real fan, go to the website and see what is still going on. Gas may be going down. A trip may be yet possible.

Monday, July 28, 2008

HISTORY OF THE HORSE

When I found this book on Amazon, I had to have it. But, what a hassle. Took two months to get it. bought it from a seller. not, directly from Amazon. What a mess. You don't want to know.
Anyway the book is great. It is about the migration of the horse, rather than the evolution.
And how the breeds may have been developed for different tribes for different needs.
The Lippinzaners are a type. the original is named: Iberian.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

FOUR FOOTED BANDITS

I ought to have taken a picture of the mischief. But, I was too surprised.
I have a very hard time sleeping. So, awhile back, I had gotten up around 6 o' clock am. I decided to go see if the paper had come. I stepped outside and was completely startled, there were crackers all over the place. And I thought, what? Crackers, where , what-who? Then my brain started to work, and 'oh', Hb. must have forgot and left some in the garage. He usually puts them in our storage area, that has a locked door. So, I went on into the garage, and OH! MY! GOODNESS! There was a half destructed 12 pack case of crackers that been attacked and chewed open. What a mess!! I knew raccoons were destructive, but, wow! There were crackers all over the place, all around the garage, strewn across the main entry and a box scattered down the walk. I even found some out across the side lawn and even out on the outside of the patio, I found three boxes in the case,that hadn't been touched. They were in the middle. I was able to salvage them.
So, I went and woke up Hb. so he could sweep up the mess, before the other two occupants of the tri-plex got up. I wasn't able to help, because, I had been having bad dizzy spells. And I wasn't able to move around too much. What a thing to wake up to.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

WISHES AND DREAMS

At this time in your life, have you done what you hoped to have? Have any of your wishes and dreams happened? Or did you forget about them, because life got in the way?
Do you know anyone who has their dream? Is it a big dream or a small one? Although, really all dreams and wishes are big ones. How old were you, when you began to wish and have dreams?
I had wishes when I was little. But, they were very nebulous. Mostly they were about dolls and having someone to play with. ((I was an adult before I found a kindred soul to share my love of dolls with.) Oh, yes there were other things I wanted. More grown up things.
There were a few small things that have worked out for me. I appreciate every one of them.
But, I think the saddest thing about wishes and dreams. Is that, my Mom and Dad were never granted even one small wish. Nothing, nada, nix, nil-not. We lived well. Wanted for nothing. But, if not fed at lease one wish, life is just a fight. Not one dream or wish either one of them had hoped for came true. One could only wonder why. My brother and I had a hard time too. But, we had what we required. Our problems were other people, who were just too ready to try to belittle us. I would not let them. I developed serveral 'looks', expressions that learned from Mom. My 'green flash', could really scare them. (Mom had a very effective 'blue' flash' glance.)Otherwise, I just did not let people like that into my life or around me. My brother would get into fights. Not fists. He would wrestle them down and sit on them, until they gave up.
Wishes and dreams are wonderous fragile things. If you have one, nurture it carefully. If some have come true, celebrate.
(Strange= blogger won't let me type. correctly.)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

DRAGONS

I didn't know what to read next. And I wasn't in the mood to go over to our little Library. So, finally I decided to read the Dragon stories by Anne McCaffery again. I had Hb. bring them down from the Loft. I can't make the stairs anymore. They are just as absorbing as always. I open thew book, begin reading, and I am dropped right into another world. Well, now I have to pick out something else, since I have finished them.
I am not crazy about dragons. Because I am not into the fantasy games thing. I do not own even one Dragon figure. Very likely because not one dragon figure I have come across even remotely resembles the Dragons I see in my mind when I read those stories.
This is the first book in the series.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

ODD COLORS

You know, one of the funkey side effects of the all of the smoke in the air, is: We have had a sort of blood orange Sun and also, hah! a Chedder cheese Moon. Nice. So all that is needed is some arugala and some dates or figs. With a little vinigrette. Very California, doncha think?
Or do you think I ought to count acid rain as the dressing?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

AMATEUR THESPIAN ADVENTURES

It's been hot. But that's July. I am totally down. And can't get myself up. The San Jose Ballet Company is performing, I wish I could go. They have a very nice program. And next year, they are going to perform 'A Mid-Summer Night's Dream'. Ooh, but I would love to see that. When I was in college and took theater, we put on an excerpt of the 'Bottom's Dream' sequence. No, I wasn't in that performance. I worked on costumes, scenery and props. I did have parts in some of the other plays we did. But, costuming was what I was really interested in. I was taking the Costume class too. The class designed and made all the costumes for the characters. Sometimes, the costumes were from Goodwill. Or the person's own wardrobe. It was a fun time.
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This is a costume I designed and made for the character of 'Dido'. Danni liked it so well, she tried to buy it. But, Miss Seguin said , no.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

SWEET PEAS

Finally, the Sweet Peas bloomed. Or rather 'a' Sweet Pea finally bloomed. Since I had made that story of the flower of the month, we looked for some seeds. This wine color package is all we found. We almost lost the seedlings when the first hot spell hit. But, so far so good. No, I can't detect a fragrance on them.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Monday, June 30, 2008

BURNING DESTRUCTION

They say on the news, the fires are going to last until we get a good rain. That's maybe December. California has over 1,000 fires burning.
The smoke is miserable and I feel ill constantly. Think how others who are seriously ill are doing. And I have a headache everyday. So, I will very likely not write too often.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

SMOKEY SUNSET

This is pretty much how the sunsets look like right now. That foreground is the sun's reflection on the water. I didn't do a very good realization on this one.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

EVER TWILIGHT

Her life was always gray and sere. An unending existence of empty loneliness.
She had heard about something called: the Light. It was said that was why there wasn't dark all the time. The Light could shine even though the overcast was so very thick, Even those who had once experienced the Light, could barely remember what it really was like.
If one has never lived in a brightness, would they miss it? Can you miss something you've never had? There is a great big tome in The Hall Of Books. One can look up strange words with strange meanings. Terms so alien, one cannot even begin to come close to comprehending what those words might mean.
There were times that the gray cover seemed to thin and an unusual thing would happen. A big, bright round spot would appear. There were those who said that was the Light source, trying to shine through the dense, gray, layer of gloom.
The first time she saw it, she wondered at it.
Other times , she noticed an odd thing. There were people who seemed to sort of glow, making their own light. Each person had their own level of light. There were most often, two or more together. Very puzzling. Where she came from there had been no one who glowed like that.
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Orig. Story by:CGZ
Copyright: June-2008
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I may write more. Not sure though.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

FIRE!!!!!!!!!!!! AND--SMOKE!!!!!!

There are over 840 fires in my state. I swear the whole state is burning. This is a very bad summer. All that smoke is making me and other people sick. Collateral damage you know. I have had a headache everyday. Probably will continue to until the fires are out. Ugh, this just terrible. Losing valuable forests. People losing their homes and their animals. Wild animals dying.
Maybe that's why we had a young Cougar right here outside our bedroom last saturday. That's another story. Scary. That's wildlife MUCH too close.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

MID-SOMMER SOLSTICE

Turn HOT Friday, just in time for Solstice. Will be HOT today too. Triple digits. Ugh! I can never sleep with the AC, and then I do get chilled too, having to use the Air. Yes, it is worse without. Today we are going to see how long we can wait, before turning it on. Because yesterday we turned it on about 2:PM, ran it until after sundown.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

PRETTY CLOTHES

When I became too old to play with dolls. (or so my Mother thought) I discovered it was ok to be a collector.
When I became a teenager I had found some books on doll collecting and antique dolls.
We went to the movies a frequently, because they were the main source of entertainment back then. I particularly enjoyed any movie with period dress. That's why
I became very interested in finding out about the style of clothing people used to wear. Period dress. The mid-to late 19th. century especially.
Of course 'Gone With The Wind', which is not a favorite, except for the costumes. There was, Reap The Wild Wind, too. Way too many to remember or list.
It was so nice to see, to go to a movie and look at the really pretty clothes women used to wear. Up where I grew up, it was all shirts and blue jeans. Some did wear plain cotton frocks. However, almost every woman had a special dance dress or two. Because there was a community dance somewhere, almost every weekend.
My Mom and I always liked pretty clothes. Mom was average size so she was able to find clothes in her size. But me, well, I have always weighed more for my age than average. The stores carried very limited selections. My solution to the fitting problem was solved with 'separates.' I was not 'fat', I was heavier than I ought. I wasn't a big eater. either. But, since my parents as children had known want. They always made us kids 'finish our plate;. For my big brother that wasn't much of a problem. But, I always had a stomach ache when I had to eat too much. After I was an adult , I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. And no cure, took thyroid pills for years. Helped keep my weight under control. So, I have fought my weight all my life.
Well, since I loved pretty clothes. I was able to make some occasionally. It was the only way I could have pretty clothes in my size.
The costumes in the movies were so elegant and feminine, but hoop skirts and bustles and farthingales were no longer worn. That was another thing that attracted me to dolls.
I could make dolls and dress them in period styles. Very much feeding my bliss. (or at least one of them.) People used to wear incredible clothes. Of course the many layers in winter were most practical too. No central heat you know.
Therefore since I cannot find pretty clothes in my size most of the time, I dress very plain and simply. ----But, I can sew for my dolls and make them wonderful things. Half the dolls I collected were chosen for the clothes they wore. The other dolls are for make, age and style.
Bustles, hoopskirts, farthingales. My favorite era is the 19th. century. But, I also like the 18th century styles. For modern dolls, the Victorian Revival of the 1950's is also a favorite now, because of the full skirts. The was called the era of 'The New Look', by the designer, Christian Dior. Silly man. Anyone could see that it was a return to Victorian thinking.
I miss having pretty clothes to wear. And, anyway, I don't go anywhere so, at any rate, I have no need for special dressing.

I will look and see if I can find a picture of some sort, to show what stlyes I liked.
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This a dress I designed long time ago. I was going to make it up. But, I got into dolls.
Nevermind the fur. Back then fur was acceptable. No, I did not myself own a blue fox scarf.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

EITHNE- DRESSED

Eithne is so happy. She finally has a dress to wear. She is 9 1/2" tall. and this dress is something new for me. It is all completely hand sewn. Usually only the dollhouse size dolls are hand sewn. Anything 6 or 7" tall and up, I use the sewing machine. But, both machines need servicing, so, I had to sew it all by hand. It was a rewarding exercise, to re-train me to concentration and 'patience'.
I even used to use my sewing machine to sew all of the clothes for my 'Barbie's' wardrobe, that I used to have. That may be a future story.
The skirt for Eithne's dress, is an authentic 1860's skirt pattern in six gores. But, the bodice is one I designed and styled with bell sleeves as the gown is a Summer dress, after all. I made the gown of a pink batiste with a printed white shadow floral pattern.
I'm really quite pleased with how it turned out. It is very much a 'Dolly' dress rather than an authentic copy of a period costume.
I sewed on the dress and finished it while I was not blogging during May. So, I wasn't totally idle.
Eithne is a loveley reproduction, F.G. mini French Fashion doll, made especially as a surprise gift for me, by my good friend, 'C.M.' and her daughter. I treasure this beautiful little doll.

Friday, June 13, 2008

MY ROSES

Here are my roses, taken wih the camera we are trying out. As you can see I have the vase on the chest where I have some of my dolls. Two interests in one picture.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

BEEN WARM

I went out this morning and cut a vase of roses for the house. I actually prefer looking at them in the garden. But, since it turned hot the sun just fries them. so, that's why I cut them. All the roses are fragrant this time and my room smells lovely.
Our camera went on the fritz, so no pics. The picture card wore out. What a bummer. So, Hb. has been researching what may best suit our needs and not be too taxing to our sensibilities. Everything has to be so complicated. Young people need to lighten up. I am surprised the cellphones don't have a built in electric razor too. Ha! so someone sees this, and says, hey, yeah. Why not? I would not be surprised. The cellphones are the New Age, Swiss Army Knife.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

MY GARDEN

After all the trouble we've had trying for a garden here. This year we finally have a fairly nice one. About half our roses we put in containers. The roses are the best we've had since our first garden at our first house. The roses were so nice. Then come first of June, the temperature climbed and fried my roses. and they were so very pretty. My Gerber daisies were popping flowers regularly. It was so nice. We are having temps. in the high 80's and mid-90's. So far we haven't used the AC yet, but we will this week. Of course compared to back east, 90's are balmy. The eastern seaboard is having triple digit temps.
But, my garden is fried and won't recover until things cool off in the Fall. Sigh. Well, it was nice while it lasted.
Hb. found some Sweetpea seeds and planted them. They are growing rather slowly. We used to have sweetpeas. This is the first planting in several years.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

DEFEAT AND DISMAY

What an upset. No crown for Brown. Defeated by his feet I just knew it. His hooves did not behoove a win, this time in.
So, who the heck is Da' Tara? And where did he come from? Never bet on the touted horse. But, long shots don't work either. I never spend on anything but a sure thing. I'll buy a book first.
History not made this year.
We are all looking for another Seabisquit. He was one of a kind.

Friday, June 6, 2008

OFF AND ON

I have sort of left off blogging so enthusiastically, because I am just not feeling well, and I have to save my energy. Besides my computer is working so slow, I've almost decided: to heck with it.
Amazon is impossible and don't even mention eBay. My spy bot thing is a bit overprotective. Just more frustration than occupation and fun.
Also, with blogging it was getting too much of dissecting my life. I have lost the fun part of writing my stories. And I have sick too often with my IBS.
To top that off, I ordered a book about horses from an Amazon seller and never recieved it. They credited me with a refund and said they have sent another copy, now, isn't that the pits? The seller is out the price of a book. I just hope I do recieve the second book.
This is only the fourth time, in 10 years, this has happened to me.
Who's stealing my books?
In between bouts, I am doggedly sewing on a dress for Eithne. That dress was maybe started four years ago. But, that is another story.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

NOISY NUISANCE

I hate these birds and we have always been plagued by them.
Can't shoot 'em. They are protected.
Anyone who thinks their song is pretty is totally 1050% tone deaf.
Thank goodness, the bird doesn't care for Jazz or Classic music.
Especially flutes.
Don't leave negetive comments. I'm entitled to my opinion.
I know birders will be aghast.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

JUNE FLOWERS

June is a time for roses.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A MOTHER'S DAY STORY

I remembered that I do have a very special memory of my Mother.
My Mom was still in recovery after her first bout with breast cancer. I also had a small medical situation , so we both had to go all the way to the City four times a year for our quarterly checkups.
Anyway, it was rather interesting that almost all of the sales ladies who helped when we were clothes shopping, to take us for sisters. It usually happened when Mom asked an opinion about a garment she had on. Or maybe if I was trying on something. I would say,"Mom', etc".
The sales lady would say, in a startled way, " Mom?" You are Mother and daughter?"
"I believed you to be sisters!"
The restuarnt waiters did too.
The first time it happened, we were quite startled. Then we remembered that there were people up home, Who have always known us, that occasionally got us mixed up.
"No, we are Mother and daughter." I would add, " we are best friends too."
After a few times this occurred, Mom finally asked me if it bothered me, to be taken for sisters.
"No, not a whit. I am proud we could be sisters. It's not that I may appear too mature. It is that you look much more youthful then you think you do." I replied.
Mom, was at 'that' age when women begin to take a second look in the mirror and wondering. My Mom never did look her chronological age. Both of us were NOT sun bathers. And staying out of the sun sure keeps the skin smooth and clear.
So, after that when someone exclaimed, " I thought you sisters!". We would just reply, "that's ok, we very often are taken for sisters". And thank you for the lovely compliment."

Friday, April 25, 2008