Sunday, December 26, 2010

Winter blahs

This picture, taken from my backyard this afternoon, says the 1000 words I can't coherently put together about how I feel lately.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

For 2 bucks, I took a chance

I bought this plaster house at the Goodwill store last week. It's pretty big. I put my glasses next to it for size reference.

The good: Cute little details. I used to love to paint these kind of things.

The bad: the tree is busted on top. I didn't even notice it till I was in line to pay for it. Those little blobs at the base of the tree are teddy bears. There are several teddy bears around the house. Unpainted, they're not very cute. I hope I can paint them cute.

I easily fixed the busted part. And removed the price sticker. But it's still a lot to paint, with my increasingly arthritic finger. And there's a lot of snowy white roof. I'm not sure how it will turn out. Or even if it will turn out. But for $2.00, I decided it was worth the gamble.

I'll let you know how it goes.

So last week

neighbor's tree
Around here, the fall colors hit their peak in early December. Everywhere I go, I'm seeing these gorgeous colors, and always wanting to stop and take pictures of them, quick, before the leaves fall off. In the end, I end up just walking up the street and taking pictures of the neighbors' trees. No, I don't have any trees at my house that have these colors.

neighbor's tree

arboretum tree
This was at the arboretum.

We had a few days of very warm temperatures. And a splendid sunset. Those days are over now. We are having rain. Days of rain.

The wet stuff

This is a screen shot of the little weather gadget on my Google homepage.

This morning, Jerry and I ventured out to the tamale place, where we had a nice Mexican breakfast and bought 4 dozen tamales for Christmas Eve (and beyond), and now we're safe and dry at home, not going anywhere else this weekend. We've found a good radio station for our favorite Christmas music, (you can listen to it online, too) and after listening for, oh, maybe 3½ hours, I've had enough for today. I'm also changing the lyrics to suit the weather. (I'm Dreaming of a Wet Christmas. Baby it's Wet Outside. You get the idea.)

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A little bit of Christmas Cheer

If you know me, you know I can get pretty humbuggish about Christmas, and the decorations that go with it. But Jerry likes to feel the warm fuzziness of the season, and I don't want him to
feel deprived. Still, our house is not set up for optimal holiday decorating. There's really no place for a full-sized tree. So I did the best I could with the fireplace area. It looks friendly and festive, but it's not over the top.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Some art that caught my eye

Just a few of the weird and funky things we saw when we spent some time in an "antique mall". It was really just a big old store, divided up into little booths, each one filled with old crap and treasures. Of course, it's up to the shoppers to figure out which is the crap and which is the treasure. The whole place smelled like my grandma's house.
I really liked this picture. It was labeled as a Hungarian drawing, but it looked more like a print.

There was one booth with stuff from the 60's and 70's. Compared to the offerings in other booths from older decades, this one was had much brighter colors. I especially liked the mushroom calendar from 1974.

And this thing. It looked like a display case that was trying to look like an arcade game. Hand painted with a space man shooting an alien.

This guy looks familiar.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

31derful Years

I've always liked how Baskin-Robbins used the word 31derful. A fun word, but let's face it, you can't use it every day. (unless you are Baskin-Robbins) But I can use it this week, as Jerry and I celebrate our 31st anniversary, in honor of which I have usurped their motto and their vintage advertising art. (see this bag that I used for inspiration.)


Love you, Jerry♥

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

When life gives you lemons persimmons

Actually, Mrs. W. gave me these persimmons. Aren't they pretty? I'm going to make something with them, maybe this weekend. I found a bundt cake receipe that looks good.

I cut them all up and put them in the freezer for now. Hopefully the finished product will be update-worthy.

Fall Photos

burr oak

tulip tree

tulip tree leaf

fulip tree leaf

Unnecessary quotation marks

Ok, I'll admit that this is a really crappy photo, but at least you can read the sign, including the words "Meat Cutters", and "CERTIFIED". Notice that last word is quoted, capitalized and underlined! If I were one of the guys that work behind the counter, I'd be insulted.
This is not the first time I have complained about Stater Brothers' over use of quotation marks. I wonder if the wording on this sign was written by the same person who inspired this ranting post I made last summer
I have also found an entire blog devoted to the superfluous use of quotation marks.

Sweet old girl


Marley-Mar enjoying a bit of sun the other day.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Boomie looks like a clock

That's what Michael said the other day when Boomie was laying with his head hanging over the arm of the chair.

"A clock?"

"You know, like a Salvador Dalí clock."

The Persistence of Memory, by Salvador Dalí.

Well, when you put it that way, I guess he does look like a clock.

Note: I am embarrassed by the condition of the chair that Boomie is relaxing in. I didn't think it looked quite that shabby in person. Perhaps, in the same way the camera adds 10 pounds to a person, it also adds shabbiness and filth to old chairs.

Our leather furniture, purchased on sale from a department store about 12 or so years ago, has not aged well. I had a product to clean it with, and it worked well, a little too well in fact. I realized too late that the cleaner was actually removing the paint from the leather. This, together with the fact that the dogs use our furniture as their doggie beds, has hastened its demise. That being said, I am reluctant to banish the dogs from laying on it, so I am resigned to living with old, dirty, shabby furniture until the dogs die.

Not that I am in any hurry for the dogs to die. Boomie is just 2 days away from the 2 and a half year anniversary of his amputation, and look at him up there. He can still hoist his old carcass up on the chair all by himself. If Boomie is a clock, I hope he keeps tickin' for a long time.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The cactus egg

Seon gave me this for my birthday. She had no idea I have been trying to grow an aloe from a seed. She just knows I like cacti.

packaging info
Here's how it's supposed to grow*.

How it will all go down*
*Your results may vary

first crack
No turning back now.

seed paper
Inside the shell is soil and a little paper with a couple of tiny cactus seeds (of unknown, but most likely common species).

extra seeds
Also included was a packet with a few extra seeds, which I stuck in shell as well.

So now, we wait
I was a little concerned about what would happen to the seed paper when I watered it, and I decided to put a few granules of crushed pumice on top. Turns out the paper dissolved quickly when I watered the soil in the egg.

So now, we wait.

I did search online to see if anyone else had documented their experience with an Eggling cactus. I found this set on Flickr.

Monday, November 08, 2010

3-legged neighbor dog update

I saw them again, yesterday. Through my kitchen window, I saw them walking across the street. I hurried outside and called out to them. "I just want you to know I have a 3-legged dog too!" I said. They crossed the street to meet me.

The lady, actually a young woman, is Amy. She is new to the neighborhood. The dog is Lana. Lana is a sweet German Shepherd. Amy adopted her as a tripawd, through a rescue organization. Poor Lana had previously lived chained outside as a guard dog, until one day she got loose and ran into the street. She was hit by a car. She paid with her leg, and part of her tail, but she earned her freedom and has started a new life with her caring owner.

At this point, I don't know when or if our dogs might meet. Lana, like Boomie, is not very friendly with strange dogs. But at least we know of each other's existence now, and that's a start.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Reaching out

The other day, I was in the house minding my own business, when Michael came home and announced that he had just seen a woman walking a 3-legged dog right past our house. In the nearly 2 1/2 years since Boomer's amputation, I have never seen a 3-legged dog in our neighborhood, so I was very excited and I ran outside to see.

By the time I got to the sidewalk, the lady and her dog, indeed a right rear amputee like Boomie, were almost to the corner. Too far for me to yell, run after her, or otherwise make a spectacle of myself. But I have been thinking of them ever since. Last night at around the same time, I kept watching to see if they might come by this way again. But I didn't see them.

Why do I care? I don't really know. I guess I just want to say Hi. Let her know that we here are also members of that special club. The "Tripawd" club. I made a silly little sign and hung it on the geraniums closest to the sidewalk. Maybe she will see it next time she walks by. Maybe she will want to introduce herself and we can talk about our dogs.

Under the parasol tree

under the parasol tree
I took this picture this morning as I was hiding from the sun on a beautiful 90+ degree day in the arboretum. I like how these leaves lose their color from the bottom up.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The weeds are always the first to grow

Our drizzly weather this past week has encouraged all manner of plant life to sprout from that which I jokingly refer to as my lawn.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Birth of an aloe?

There's this pretty, but rather haggard-looking aloe that I know of.

A couple of months ago, I pinched a little pod from its withered stem, and sprinkled a precious few tiny seeds over some gravel in a pot.

It's not pink, but I think this is a baby.

Friday, October 01, 2010

An unexpected tomato plant

Way back in June, we had some plumbing problems. Jerry opened the drainage cleanout under the kitchen sink, and a little gush of water and yucky kitchen scraps came out. He fixed whatever it was (and it turned out to be the washing machine drainage, not the kitchen,) but the point of my story is that way back in June, a tomato seed from the drain planted itself under my kitchen window.

It was July when I noticed it there, just a few inches tall. This was not a good place to grow a tomato plant, under a big overhang on a north-facing wall. I pulled it out and put it, with its single skinny root, in a cup of water, fully expecting it to die right away. To my amazement, it not only lived, but quickly developed a big root system in the cup. I knew I needed to get it into some soil, but feared the transplant shock might kill it, so I tried putting it in a little pot with really soggy soil, so it might think it was still in the cup of water.

It continued to grow amazingly well, and I eventually transplanted it into one of my planter barrels, where it has continued to amaze me.

It's in a tomato cage, but it hardly needs it. I have never seen a tomato plant with such straight, sturdy stems. As it got bigger and bigger, I was wondering if it would bear fruit. Maybe it was a supermarket tomato, some kind of hybrid that doesn't reproduce well from seed. The flowers looked a little different, too. I was prepared to be disappointed to find they were sterile.

Not sterile. :)

It has a bunch of these suckers growing on it now. I think they're Roma.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Chalk drawing in the style of Australian Aboriginal Art

At the school where I volunteer, there's an art program which consists of traveling teachers who take their lessons to every school in the district. Unfortunately, they can't always go to every classroom at every school. And while the art teacher visited Mrs. W's class last year, she is not able to this year.

But she has been gracious in sharing her lessons with me, so I can do them with Mrs. W's class.

This is the next lesson in her series. They are done in a sort of Australian Aboriginal style, including an "X-ray" view and lots of repeating patterns.

I have collected a bunch of simple line drawings of Australian animals for the kids to use as guides. This looks like such a fun project, I decided to make a lizard one just for myself in ArtRage, but it still looks like chalk, don't you think? I even included a couple of mistakes, where I goofed up on the alternating pattern of purple and orange triangles in the frame. I wonder if the kids would notice?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Not just "hot"...

"Death Valley hot!"

I pulled these from the page. DV may get hotter later, but we've already gone 5 degrees over what they predicted for Fullerton, and the hottest part of the day is still to come.

I'll try to update this in a few hours.

UPDATES: 1:30pm DV: 112, Fullerton: 111
3:09pm DV:114, Fullerton: 109 (I guess we peaked here.)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Where Summer meets Fall

In front of my local Trader Joes, the battle for the supremacy of the seasonal big, round, vine-grown produce favorites has suddenly shifted in favor of pumpkins. Just in time for the equinox.

Happy Autumn!

Monday, August 30, 2010

My own digestive system should be this cuddly

It's been a long time since a TV commercial has captivated me as much as this one for Yakult probiotic drink. The star of the ad is an impossibly cute, pink, fuzzy... digestive system ?!

Isn't he cute? Although the one in the video is cuter than the static shot above, I think he's ever so much cuter than the Snuggle Fabric Softener bear, who has similar beady eyes and fluffy fur. I have no business wanting a stuffed toy, but if they ever sell these, I'd buy one.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Star Gazing

There is no logic that shines from stars,
Only light, perhaps to show
The next road I will travel.

When I was much younger, I placed a mystical significance on stars, especially certain stars.
When I was a little older, I realized what a bunch of hooey that was.
Nowadays, I still feel just a little sentimental attachment to the stars of Orion. Looking up at them helps me remember how I used to feel so long ago....

For Illustration Friday. Just under the wire.

Things were simpler back then

I was folding the laundry tonight, when I noticed the changes clothing companies have made in the washing instructions they put on the garment tag. If it even has a tag anymore. Many T shirts don't have tags. They just have the information printed right inside the back of the shirt collar.

Anyway, here's what it says on one of Michael's solid-color T shirts that he got at Target:

(apparently no room for punctuation)

Now here's what it says on the tag of a genuine 1970's-era Hang-Ten T shirt that used to be Jerry's and now Michael wears it:


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Legless and Headless?!

There's nothing Boomie enjoys more than a good roll in the grass, especially since he's been wearing his harness more. He can't roll around with the harness on, because of the handles, (His new nickname is "Suitcase" by the way), so when I take it off, the first thing he wants to do is roll around a little.

He was just rolling for joy and I was taking pictures. This one was just too funny because it looks like he's missing his head. Here's a good video from a couple of years ago of him rolling.

Marley is not amused.