Thursday, February 28, 2008
Last summer, on my second trip to the Sonoma Coast, I found these succulent plants growing wild along the craggy slopes that led down to the water.
I liked their dusty blue/pink/purple coloring. And many of them had flowers.
I don't know how it happened, but a few tiny succulent rosettes somehow ended up in my pocket.
Here they are, now several months later. They have taken hold and started to grow.
They look very different from their former, wild selves. The leaves are darker and more elongated. Maybe because they have been doing their growing over the winter. And maybe the environmental conditions are much different for them here than they were on the cliffs.
There were also these kinds of succulents growing in the same area. Amazingly, these also mysteriously found their way into my pocket.
This is how they looked when I first potted them up.
This is from a few weeks ago. (same plant)
Again, their appearance is quite different from how they looked in their original location. I did have them on my covered patio over the winter, in order to keep them sheltered from the cold and wet while they were still establishing themselves. I have recently moved them to a sunny area.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
First, I installed Google Reader. Now I don't need to check on all my favorite blogs. Their updates come to me. I should have done this a long time ago.
Then this morning, I ditched my old web browser homepage, which was just local news ABC7.com, and set up a Google homepage. It has little boxes you can pick and choose what you want. I have a to-do list, a calendar, Photo of the day, weather, and more. (including the Google Reader.) I don't mean to sound like a commercial for Google, but their products are functional, free, and easy enough for me to figure out how to use.
Of course, the standard homepage is pretty boring, but they give you a bunch of choices to change it to. They call it "themes". So I found a theme with this cute frog/ladybug duo, and the little banner scene actually changes throughout the day. (They started out at sunrise with donuts and coffee!) I came home from the arboretum this morning, starving, threw together some leftovers, zapped them in the microwave, and plopped down in front of the computer to see my new friends were eating their lunch too. He he!
Saturday, February 23, 2008
It's Mexican Pickled Carrots vs. Kimchee. Battling for supremacy. (or as Jessi says, "which one will spoil the milk?") This silly idea popped into my head. I scribbled it out in ArtRage, but it's too lame and badly drawn for my art blog. But I don't mind putting it here.
I like the fact that I got an idea (as silly as this was) and was able to just illustrate it quickly and simply. I always think I'd like to do more spontaneous artwork, but usually it doesn't happen. I should try harder.
I still lament the loss of the little bug-shaped wood pieces I used to have. They looked more or less like the unfinished piece in the upper left. I could paint them into multiple kinds of bugs, be they beetles, spiders, flies, bees, or whatever. I once put several of them onto a cute little painted box and gave it away to someone I haven't seen since. I wonder if she still has it, and I'm sorry I never took a picture of it.
To make matters worse, I can't find those little unfinished wood pieces in that shape anymore. I've looked in the local arts 'n' crafts stores and online. I even contacted the company whose name was on the original package, and they told me the pieces had been discontinued. So in a fit of bittersweet nostalgia, I recreated them digitally, tried to make them look 3-D, and "painted" them to look like bugs. I'd still rather have the real wood thingies, though.
If anybody knows where I can get some, please let me know.
UPDATE: Whaddayaknow! Blog-pal Julie found some here. Thanks, Julie!
Friday, February 22, 2008
The Dog's Diary
8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm - Dinner! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!
The Cat's Diary
Day 983 Of My Captivity
My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet. Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates my capabilities. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am. There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of "allergies." I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow, but at the top of the stairs.I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released, and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded.The bird must be an informant. I observe him communicating with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Today, in a committee meeting at the arboretum, someone brought up the idea of selling root beer floats in the children's garden during our upcoming Green Scene plant show and sale. She wanted an old fashioned sign on a wooden board. It put such a vivid picture in my mind, I came home and made one in Photoshop.
It also gave me one hell of a craving.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
The Right Brain vs Left Brain test ... do you see the dancer turning clockwise or counter-clockwise?
If clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain and vice versa.
Most of us would see the dancer turning counter-clockwise though you can try to focus and change the direction; see if you can do it.
LEFT BRAIN FUNCTIONS
RIGHT BRAIN FUNCTIONS
So, we've all been watching the lady spin, and we are finding that she does spin both ways, and if you watch her long enough, you start to feel a little queasy.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
It's another thing to show a few frames from the blooper reel.
This is my front porch. Dusty and neglected. I don't think the color is really as gray as it looks.
But it adds to the mood. Notice my poor euphorbia. This is actually one of my favorite plants. I've nurtured it from a tiny stem, which I had salvaged when the other 90% of it was rotting away. It's really taken off over the last couple of years. But it got really top heavy, and then it blew over in the wind. I propped it up against that post, and it's been there ever since.
Then there's this poor thing. It once looked like this:
And it even made flowers.
And this. Sad, huh?
I could go on and on. But I'll spare you the gory details for now.
Thursday, February 07, 2008
1 bag Trader Joe's 17 Bean and Barley Mix
4 cups or 32 oz. veggie broth
1 cup each:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 tsp dried basil
1 can diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
1. Soak bean and barley mix overnight. (or use quick soak method: Bring the beans and water for soaking to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove the beans from the heat and cover the pot. Let the beans stand in the soak water for 1 hour. At the end of the hour, discard the soak water and cook the beans. )
2. Drain and rinse. Pour 4 cups of vegetable broth over beans and cook on medium heat for approximately 1 hour.
3. Add chopped onion, celery, carrots. Press in garlic cloves and dried basil, salt and pepper to taste, olive oil, diced tomatoes, bay leaf .
4. Add about 4 more cups of water or vegetable broth and let it all cook on low to medium heat for another 1-2 hours.
The recipe is basically what was printed on the bag of beans, with a few tweaks by me. I also added about 2 tablespoons of dehydrated vegetable mix and some little ham cubes.
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Monday, February 04, 2008
It has its limitations, like no more than 3 songs by the same artist, and you have to have at least 45 songs in your playlist, and then you can't pick and choose which song you want to hear, they just play at random. But I was able to find 45 songs without too much trouble. (Although, for a couple of them, I pushed the wrong button and added them into my playlist by mistake. I'll eventually go back and fix them later.)
Anyway, most of these are songs I've liked for many years. I will try to add more current favorites soon.
Sunday, February 03, 2008
Bridgestone Tire Super Bowl Commercial: Squirrel vs Car
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Fedex Super Bowl Ad: Carrier Pigeons Bad Choice for Shipping
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The rest of the ads can be found here.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
But that's how they do it. So now I have the Mork & Mindy theme song stuck in my head.
Friday, February 01, 2008
I embroidered this when I was pregnant with my first child. (That would date it to 1986.) This was a period in my life when I did very little in the way of art, so I remember being very proud of it.
It was actually a cloth diaper, and I had intended to use it as a burp rag, or maybe let the kid carry it if he wanted to, like Linus or something. Turned out, Michael wasn't a blankie type of kid. Brice was, though, but not for this one. He bonded with a little yellow blanket that he had.
I don't think I saved any of their little clothes, and very few books and toys. But I held onto this little blankie baby. Maybe someday, I'll have a grandchild to give it to.