Saturday, March 24, 2007

Bookshelf Meme

Laura has challenged EVERYONE to a Bookshelf Meme! I don't think she seriously means EVERYONE in the world. For one thing, not everyone in the world has a computer. Then there's the whole babies and the infirmed thing. Different languages.... I don't even think she means EVERYONE on the internet, really. But she did mention me by name, so I know I'm included in her somewhat vague, infinity tinted category of people. And she also wanted EVERYONE to include all those people who ANYONE (in this particular case that would be me) mentioned it to so that now means YOU. So, please consider yourself tagged. And then let me know so I can come to your blog, turn my head sideways, and read your book titles. And you might want to make sure you go to Laura's blog first, to see that I'm not really following the rules and you might like her rules better.

Okay. Now. Why am I rebelling and making my own rules? First, we have the equivalent of about a dozen floor to ceiling bookcases full of books in this house. And all our books are categorized. I'd hate to just show you one bookshelf and you get the idea I do nothing but sit around reading dictionaries and thesauruses (thesaurusi?) all day. Or only philosophy. Or... well, you get it. The logical thing to do would be to show you the shelves which hold most of my fiction books, but those are currently in an almost impossible to squeeze into much less photograph set of shelves behind the entertainment center.

Secondly, my bookshelves are currently in a state of transition. (read that in part to mean "a mess") But no, really. Some shelves are going to be removed, others moved around. In part to get my fiction books out of what turned out to be a bad place to shelve them.

Third, there's abso-friggin-no-way I'm gonna type out the names of all those books! It's almost 3 am in the dark wee hours. And I have to do all the packing for our trip tomorrow. And somehow convince myself to get to bed early enough to drive all day on Sunday. And... whine.... whine....whine... it's too much work!

I do adore looking at people's bookshelves though. And their knick knacks. And their refrigerator magnets. And desk mess. And photographs. I completely understand the appeal of this meme. So, here's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna simply post MORE bits of bookcases. So if you can't read all the titles, you can just find more titles in the next photo. You'll have so many titles to read that you'll end up with a stiff neck if you try to read them all! I think though, if you click on the photos to enlarge them, you can make them big enough to read the bulk of them. (in fact, clicking on the photos is the only way you're gonna be able to read the titles)

Okay. Here goes. Oh, man. This takes bravery. They are such. a. mess. I can't believe I'm doing this. I mean, ignore the cobwebs. Damn. I think I should get some of those chocolate orange candies that I forgot to enter the drawing for just for exposing my cobwebs to public ridicule. I mean, I work so hard all year to make them look authentic and real and all. But since I'm not done "designing" them yet, I know you can tell they're just fake plastic. Sigh. It's embarrassing. Nevermind. I just lost my image as Miss Suzy Homemaker. Sigh.

Here ya go. I'll close my eyes while you look....

By the way, those little chairs used to be all nice and organized. Until evil cats knocked them down so many times I got sick and tired of picking them up and now when I find them on the floor I just toss them back on the shelf willy nilly.

If you really can't make something out, just ask me about it in the comments and I'll try to respond in the comments whenever I'm not busy entertaining my granddaughter. I mean, it's amazing, they've got this internet thing all the way down there in San Dee-Aye-Go!

Friday, March 23, 2007

A Treasure Trove

I told you I'd be back to show you all the great finds I uncovered on my treasuring hunting expedition yesterday. I can hardly wait, so let's just get started.

Hmmm, my photos are still uploading. Well, I can tell you about a few things I got that, although treasures, weren't the type of thing I bothered to photograph. I found two dresses, a pair of pants, and a cute Halloween shirt for my granddaughter - who I get to see and kiss and hold in just three days time!!! I also got a little interactive car "dashboard" for her to drive. And I found a yogurt maker for my DIL.

Here's the one piece of clothing I found I want to share, this jacket. I just love the knubby texture. I hope the photo shows what a wonderful periwinkle blue color it is. I also found two nice long sleeved shirts and a multi colored knitted vest.

This is a hodgepodge of things I didn't really need to photograph either, but I did want to show you the fun flamingo iced tea glass. I sort of gushed "Isn't it cute" about the glass to the cashier at the thrift store and she was a bit noncommital in her reply. I guess that's what makes things fun, everyone loves something different. My every day silverware is really stainless steelware - although it's really cool, it's shaped like twigs - but I always drink my soup from a silver soup spoon. I had one silver soup spoon, it used to be my grandmother's. The family always fought over who got to use it. Me. If I was one of the people eating soup. I found another one just like it a few years ago. And now I found another one in a different, but equally pretty, design. It's all about the flavor of eating off silver. It seem to taste better somehow. Just one of my quirks.

Not the best photo but you can get the idea. It's an art deco style lamp in a lily pad design. Charlie likes it. It's just a reproduction, it's not even metal. But I don't care, it will still look great once I find a glass shade for it. I used to own a beautiful art deco lamp, it was small, but heavy metal. It wasn't old, it was a contemporary artist, but ooooh so pretty. My husband broke the glass flower shade for it and decided since the lamp was "broken", he'd throw the whole thing away. GRRRRRR.

I found the old lid with the sweet kittens circling it in a basket full of unclaimed and unmatched lids. The jar bottom has an old candle melted in it, I'll have to get the wax out of it. But the color and fit matched perfectly and I want to use it to store buttons or paperclips or bobbins or who knows what.

This is quite a large mirror. It has a few scratches in it and unfinished edges, which only adds to it's charm in my opinion. What I love about it though are the cool, slightly creepy, etched fingerprints in the bottom. Do you see them? I should have done a close up of them for you since they have a lot of detail. It appears as if a ghost left them, or maybe some mishievous creature who inhabits the world on the other side of the glass. I wonder who's fingerprints they really are?

This is probably my favorite find of the day. It's an old French jewelry box. it's also a music box. Well, hmmm, I assume it was manufactured with the intent to be sold in France. The bottom is stamped "JAPAN". I would have bought it regardless but I was thrilled to discover the music box still plays! It's hard to tell from the photo but it's rather large. The words on the edge say "La Petite Marchande de Fleurs" which I assume means "a little flower market"? Inside are wooden compartments lined in red velvet. One compartment is missing a "floor" but it will be an easy thing to insert a new little velvet lined piece into it.

These had no manufacturer's marks on the bottom so perhaps they're from the sort of forms that people paint and fire themselves. No matter, I liked them.

Take a closer look at the pretty pastel lid. I liked the unfussy, unmatched look of it.

Just a couple of contemporary coffee mugs I liked. Hubby is always complaining that I yell at him for using MY coffee mugs. He says that I claim ALL the coffee mugs and that there are none he can safely use without me yelling "Don't use THAT mug!" at him. Not true. He has a few mugs of his own. And yes, I'll claim these as "mine" but I won't mind him using them so much because although I like them, they aren't my special mugs. It might seem like I'm being territorial, but you have to understand that hubby has a bad habit of leaving coffee mugs places like outside on a fence post, or on top of the woodstove, or atop a perilous stack of books, or on the very edge of the counter where someone will brush up against it and...... SMASH. So, it's just easier to give him his own, "husband proof" coffee mugs. Sort of like the need to revert to plastic dishware with children. I'm just saying.

A few books. Anyone remember way back in one of the first holiday photo posts I shared, a scene of a little alley in Bathe with a cafe sign that said The Moon and Sixpence? I pondered then where the phrase originated - now I know, this book by W. Somerset Maughan.

Oops - this next photo, if you're my mom - DON'T LOOK! Or look if you want. These are for you.

My mom collects Santas and I really liked the old fashioned primitive look of these. I assume they're reproductions. If they are the real thing, well, then I got a really amazing deal on them. Either way they're just as nice to look at.

This photo didn't come out as well as I'd hoped. But aren' t these little birdcages cute? They're about 4" high, maybe 5". I have a couple of other even smaller birdcages. These are actually big enough to put some wee birds or perhaps wee fairies inside them. I also have a really big, white birdcage that I put crows inside and then drape with cobwebs for Halloween. I could also do twinkly lights or something and use it at Yule, but I haven't done that yet. After I took this photo I decided to leave one of the birdcages right there in the flowering quince and I moved the other, hanging it in the peach tree.

A couple of gold frames. The larger one actually has a nice print in it, but I'll probably take it out and just use the frame.

When I showed you my tea pot collection the other day, I displayed a cup just like this only in a burgundy color. I went back and got another one in pink. And here you can really see the sweet little rose covered spoon. Can you tell I like to mix gold and fancy things with rustic and folk art things? Please don't ask me to choose between the two styles. Too hard. Eclectic is my middle name.

I didn't find these coffees, they just showed up on my doorstep in a goodie box my mother mailed to us. So far we've tried the Snicker Cookie and the Eggnog and both are yummy! I can hardly wait to try the Chocolate Cherry! I told her she had to stop sending me "stuff" as I was trying to downsize my belongings (and yes, I do see the irony in mentioning that in this post - shut up! - and I do really still mean it, Mom, about downsizing) and so she sent us something we love and can use up instead. Don't I have a nice mother?!

Do you have any idea how hard it is to take a photograph of something under glass without catching reflections!? Reflections are EVERYWHERE! This is the best I could do, which makes the painting look sorta blah, but it's not in real life. I think the thrift store thought it was just an old frame with a print in it. It's an original watercolor. And it matches a larger watercolor painting I have of the ocean. Let me go see if I can make out the artist's name....M. Jacobsen.
I paid $6, which is more then the frame and mat would cost me. It's image is rather small, probably 4"X6". My other painting is much larger, the image being about 18"X24". That one was also already framed and matted nicely and cost me, again at the thrift store - $5.

You can't really tell what a nice deep green this is. It's from Portugal and apparently it's a collectible. I didn't care so much. I thought the green would match the other green pieces I showed you the other day with my green tea pot. And the pumpkins around the edge. I loved the pumpkins.

And now...... wanna KISS!?

I've saved the best for last. Well, this and the jewelry box and the mirror are my three favorites, so one of the best for last. Isn't my new tea pot just a hoot?

I hope you enjoyed seeing all my new finds. Now I've gotta run. Don't even have time to spell check so, uhm, sorry 'bout that. But I have just enough time to take William out for some fast food dinner, like I promised him, before I go off for a nice sit down dinner with my friend Shelly.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Oh, We Got Trouble!

Right here in Susanville!
Right here in Susanville
With a capital 'T' and that rhymes with, er Another "T'
and that stands for 'Tea'

You like my nice hatchet job on The Music Man lyrics? But trouble it is. Oh woe is me - will I ever find time to clean house or make art or write witty blogs if I have a TEA ROOM in town!
Look what I found uptown today:

I am so excited! No, not excited. I'm EXCITED!!!!

First the French decor shop and now this. If I live here long enough, you think it will turn into a real hidden treasure of a town? Maybe - but probably not without the cost of traffic and high prices and all that other side of the coin. But still. I am over the moon. I hope it's nice. I hope it can stay in business. It's not even open yet and I'm all worried about it closing.

Moving on, shall we, I have to say that I was quite exhausted from all the traveling I did yesterday for the International Bloggers Tea Party. Oh, my! I must have circled the globe at least twice! And I had more fun online than I have in a long while. I still haven't managed to visit everyone who attended, but I will continue in the weeks to come until I've managed to meet each and every blogger.

I must add, however, that there was one negative to the whole thing and that is, I've discovered a whole pack of enablers. I had so much fun looking at everyone's lovelies yesterday that today I went out treasure hunting all afternoon. I did find a bunch of amazing stuff. So maybe that part isn't negative. But I have to explain all the bags and boxes to my husband. ("But dear, the bags and boxes we already have all over our house were getting lonely. They were in need of some new friends!") And never mind that I have no display space left that isn't cat endangered. That's sort of a negative. But it was FUN. AND.... AND... AND..... IT WAS FUN.

So, now that I was able to spin that one around (whew), photos will follow. First I have to clean up a lovely little present some furry creature left in the front entry. And then if that doesn't make me lose my appetite, I haven't eaten all day and that's next on the agenda. And then I have to do some, bleh, some chores. I'll be back later.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Bloggers Tea Party - Pt. 2

The bloggers tea party I refer to is going on over at Artsymama's blog. Be sure to go see what's up. I already posted about it in my last blog, but this is Pt. 2 and my original idea - to share my teapots with you.

I was going to just dust (cough, cough, hack, cough) them off a bit and take a simple photo of each of them but then I decided they'd look better with a bit of tea towel or what not beneath them. The next obvious thing was to add a tea cup. And then... well, I got a bit carried away and made these small vignettes. I tried not to spend all day doing it, but I do now have cabinets opened wide, assorted cups and saucers that auditioned spread out all over the kitchen, knick knacks scattered about, and a shelf full of stationary and art supplies knocked over and left for the cats to attack. So, yeah. All your fault.

But it was fun to dig around my house and really look at and take pleasure in some of the beautiful things it holds. It inspires me to keep dusting after I start cleaning it all up again later.

My mother gave me this tiny tea pot. I love it. I bought the dragonfly cup and saucer at World Market. Hubby broke the handle on it and instead of copping to it, he tried to glue it back together before I noticed. Ahem. Like I wouldn't notice that the handle was glued back together with a huge gap in lining it up. Harrhump. I think the little dish is from my mom as well. Nest full of eggs is from a wonderful French style shop that just opened up in our tiny town called La Belle Maison. I go in there regularly just to get a "fix" of being surroudned by beautiful things. That is, beautiful things that are regularly dusted. The tea towel is from there too.

I bought this cauldron shaped tea pot on eBay. I have a Kitchen Witch Theme in my kitchen, so how could I resist her! The little sugar bowl was a find at a local thrift/antique shop. I can't remember where I got the silly black cat. I've got a half dozen live black cats as well. The orange cloth is actually a dishcloth from the little French shop. And "Elpheba"in the background was a really wonderful surprise birthday gift from my hubby.

This whimsical tea pot I found in a junk shop in Sweet Home, Oregon. I can't really call it an antique store. It wasn't a thrift store either. It was just a big barn sized building stuffed to the rafters with old stuff. I bought a bunch of great things that day and sadly left behind a number of other things that were much too large to carry back home in my small Subaru. The tea cup was a sale find at Ross Department Store. And the Cecily Mary Barker flower fairies are from my collection. There was a flower fairy in the first photo too, sitting on the edge of the nest.

Another tea pot from my mom. I've never actually used this one, it sits on a decorative shelf. The old jar was in an online secret sister gift swap box. It held the most wonderful loose leaf herbal tea blend. It made a cup "full of flowers". I drank it all up and now it holds some other tea from the health food store. Can't remember where I got the little birds, they're a fairly new addition to our home.

I inherited this Hall tea pot from my Great Aunt Florence. She was my grandmother's twin sister and they lived together for as long as I can remember them. They were identical in their youth, but by the time I was born, my grandmother was the round, soft and plump one and Florence was thin and angular. They reminded me of the two of the taller fairies in Disney's Sleeping Beauty. They always fondly bickered like them too. At the time, I wasn't quite sure why she bequeathed it to me specifically as I didn't drink tea much at the time. Well, except iced tea. But she must have known something I didn't, because since that time I have become an avid connoisseur of all things tea related. The lovely gold trimmed tea cup, saucer and spoon (which is gold with little roses on the handle - wish that had come out better in the photo) are all from La Belle Maison. The little chair clock was a Bunco winning - I used to play Bunco with my mom and her friends. And the pen I picked up in the gift shop when we visited Castle Caernarfon in Wales.

I also have a children's Fiesta Ware tea party set which is toooo cute, but I decided that would have to wait for another day. I want to get back to visiting the rest of the tea party-ers. I'm having a lot of fun.

P.S. In case you'd like something a bit stronger then tea, I have a post up on Laume's Studio today about wine art.

A Bloggers Tea Party

Over at Artsymama there's a tea party going on and bloggers all over the world are invited. Make sure you stop by, have a cuppa, snack on some of the yummy looking snacks she already has displayed, and enjoy the artsy tea chatter.

It's late and I'm off to bed soon, but I wanted to post this now so that those early risers/readers have a chance to participate if they're so inclined. I'm hoping to have time to post some more tea talk (after eight hours of sleep, give or take an hour), so check back here as well later today.

For the time being, I'll just add a bit of tea trivia:

One of my favorite Buffy quotes:

Buffy: "I just want to be alone and quiet in a room with a chair and a fireplace and a tea cozy. I don't even know what a tea cozy is, but I want one."

Here's a tea cozy that would be just perfect for her.


One of the best things about visiting the UK last spring was that it was an entire country (three countries actually) full of people who didn't look confused or entertained at the way I take my tea. In the U.S. I have to order my tea very carefully to make sure I get milk or cream. In England if I ordered tea I almost always got not only an entire pot of tea but also a pitcher of milk, sugar, a cup and saucer, and a tea spoon. Often I'd also get an additional pot of hot water - so I could "freshen" my tea pot. Even on the trains, when a cup of tea meant just a paper cup of tea, they would automatically fill up an extra cup with little containers of milk and sugar and a stir stick to take back to my seat. So. Cool. To be amongst Tea People.

We went to several tea rooms while we were there. Apparently one we went to in York, Betty's Tea Room, is quite well known. We actually went to Little Betty's Cafe. It was lovely. We sat at a first floor (second floor for us Yanks) open window watching folks walk below on the cobblestones, while a light rain fell in a musical patter on the baskets of flowers hung just outside the windowsill.

Here was my tea. Don't those sugars "cubes" look like little snowballs!"

This odd little pastry had a kinda scary name, which I can't recall at the moment. I do remember he was quite tasty however.

Another thing I remember is how we had a long, friendly chat with the nice young waiter. Eventually, after an embarrassingly looooong time, it finally dawned on us that he wasn't just passing the time, he was patiently, and so politely Britishly?, WAITING for us to leave. Seems we were the last customers. Nay, we were the last people left in the building. Even the other employees seemed to have left, and the poor kid was waiting for us to finish so he could lock up and go home himself.

I truly don't want to admit how long it took us to figure this out. I will admit that this was not the first time this happened to us - it was the second. The first time was in a shop in Conwy, Wales. Fortunately the lesson finally sunk in and it was the last time we made the same mistake. (At least I hope it was!) Hey, we're used to American employees, who would have no hesitation at hinting that they were ready to close. Not that they wouldn't be friendly or polite about it, but they'd mention they were closing, or they might lay down our check and ask if we needed anything else, or they'd make some discreet (or not so discreet) cleaning up activities nearby. But not the Brits. Nooooooo. After that we were careful to pay close attention wherever we went, to make sure there were other diners/shoppers/customers still around.

Yawwwwn... well, I'm off to bed. More later.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Spring Equinox

The spring equinox is either today or tomorrow. No one seems quite sure this year, apparently because the astrological moment of the equinox is just a few minutes past midnight Greenwich Standard time, leaving the world straddling the two days.

Oh well, doesn't bother me much. We'll just spread the celebrating out over a couple of days. I don't have much planned. I want to color eggs tonight. If I'm lucky hubby will stop reading articles about sports cars online and William will decide it won't mar his teenage cynicism long enough to join in. I think they will, but it's not the same in a small family as it was when we had a house full of kids.

We used to do the whole colored eggs, bunny baskets thing on Easter, along with most of the U.S. population. We'd started out in that tradition and although it's been decades since we've celebrated Easter as a religious event, I continued with the spring traditions on that date as it meant it was lined up with community egg hunts and school holidays for the kids.

A lot of Pagan holidays are spot on the same date as Christian ones, since the Christians often co-opted the pre-existing celebrations. But for some reason, I can't remember why - maybe it was so it didn't look as obviously co-opted or maybe it simply conflicted with the Pope's regular golf date - in any case, it was decided the resurrection would be tied to the vernal equinox but not on the equinox. Instead it would be two weeks after the first full moon nearest the equinox if it landed on a Sunday and the groundhog hadn't seen his shadow or wasn't still too hung over or exhausted from driving all the non-existent snakes out of Ireland. Something like that. You can Google it if you want. Oh, and while you're at it, I was trying to find a photo to go with this post, something to show the day and night in balance. I decided not to borrow anything online, but I thought this painting of the sun and moon was really beautiful.

So this year I realized there was no longer any reason not to celebrate on the equinox. So today and tomorrow it is. We'll do the egg thing tonight. I still have to go get some chocolate rabbits and treats so tomorrow morning they'll magically appear in baskets we will leave out for the bunny. I'll make an effort to do something celebratory in the kitchen - a nice dinner or a big fancy breakfast or maybe just make some Hot Cross Buns.

Mostly what I want to do to celebrate the return of spring is spend the first full day out in the garden cleaning up mulch and planting the earliest seeds. Peas and greens for sure. I can tell you right now that my family is NOT going to share my enthusiasm for this idea. They will point out that WORK isn't what people do on holidays. That is, after they argue that it's not really a holiday. Which will work well for me because then I can say "In that case, since it's not really a holiday, you can both help." And if all the guaranteed grumbling doesn't get me down, I plan to have a great time playing, not working, in the dirt. It's all a matter of perspective. Or maybe it's a matter of balance. After all, it is the equinox.

Monday, March 19, 2007

My true conscience?

Your conscience is often portrayed in cartoons and movies by an angel on one shoulder reminding you to do the right thing and a devil on the other shoulder cajoling you to give in to your more selfish desires. It appears my conscience is not a devil and an angel, but a dog and a cat.

I wonder what that says about me? Or how that affects my decisionmaking? Probably Rosie is saying "You should get up. Do something useful. I'll help. It will be fun!" while Charlie is yawning and saying "It's comfy here. Why get up? You'd only disturb me. Call for more coffee to be delivered."

Which one would YOU listen to?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Spring is springing

Only a couple more days until the official start of spring, but I went out in my yard the other day and discovered that nature just couldn't wait. Look what I found!

The forsythia is trying to bloom. (This particular plant has never been very healthy, but every year it tries and I don't have the heart to take it out.)

I found a daffodil. (which means it will probably snow again soon. My daffodils always seem to get snowed on). I also found a "cat tail" Ha!

Oh. Look. I found whole cats too. They love the warmer weather and now there's a swarm of them underfoot every time I'm in the front yard.

As you can see, they helped me take all the photos. Let's pretend the cat head is so you can get a size contrast and not because someone was being nosy. Here are some narcissus.

I found a golf ball. Odd. We don't play golf. Maybe it's a new type of mushroom. It's way past time to pull back the leaf mulch from the perennials.

Some pretty pink hyacinth. Hyacinth - I can't say that word without thinking of the BBC sitcom Keeping Up Appearances.

My hubby must have been inspired by the stacked rocks we saw last week, because this little pile wasn't here the last time I looked. Again, a cat included in the photo for size perspective. Oh, two cats. There's another one sneaking in the top left corner.

The next time I go out to the garden, I really need to trade in camera for a rake and spade. The gardening season hasn't even officially started yet and I'm already behind!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy Corned Beef and Cabbage Day

I often tell people I'm a vegetarian because it's easier than going into the whole complicated truth which is that I'm about a 80/20 or maybe 70/30 split - vegetarian/omnivore. But that 20 to 30% nonvegetarian me is mainly all about eating fish and chicken. The occasional sausage (because I'm from Wisconsin and it's just in my genes, okay!) But about two or three times a year I eat red meat. St. Patrick's Day is one of those times.

I don't cook it at home because I am the only one in the family who likes it. Particularly the cabbage part. I guess that's the northern European part of me. I go out and order it at a restaurant each year. William swore he wanted to go with me and strung me along all day with "later, let's go later" and then went off with his friends. (He didn't actually want corned beef and cabbage, he just wanted to go out to eat so he could order a hamburger and big plate of fries.) I finally called him on his cell and said I was too hungry to wait any longer, I was coming to pick him up. He said "Oh, I forgot. I just ate at Burger King. You can go without me."

GRRRR. I called a friend but by then it was too late for her to make plans. So I went alone. Well, me and Jim Butcher and Sue Monk Kidd. They didn't order the corned beef dinner either though. Just me. (The Lithuanian me. The Irish me. The French me. The Spanish me. The Austrian me.) The quarter Irish me loved it.

Erin go bragh!

Friday, March 16, 2007

A High Desert Travelogue

Hubby and I took a day to ourselves on Wednesday. We didn't go to Redding to visit our son Sam. We didn't take William or Rosie with us. Nope. We just got in the car and headed somewhere All By Ourselves. It was lovely. It's about a 100 mile trip to Reno and it's usually about getting there as fast as one can. This time we took our time, stopping to take photos and wander near the highway several times. I mean wander in a good way. A touristy, artist way. Not in a drunk, amnesia victim way. Or a psychopath ghost hitchhiker way. Or a bag lady way... never mind. Moving on...

These acrobatic rocks are stacked up near the entrance to someone's ranch. As you can see, it's a beautiful warm spring day.

Here are some less talented rocks just laying about. But I still thought it looked picturesque.

There used to be an antique store out in the middle of nowhere. Well, the folks who live in Doyle won't like me saying they live nowhere but trust me on this one - it's the middle of nowhere. Anyway, this ol' clunker sits near the dirt road that led to that antique shop at one time. They painted it up all kitschy and added a sign to catch the attention of traffic passing by. The shop is long gone, but this cool road art is left for us to enjoy.

We stopped and wandered around an old cemetery. Part frontier graves, part more recent graves. We recognized a lot of the family names from our community.

Talking about kitsch, there were a lot of well tended graves but I'm not sure about the abundance of plastic flowers and whirligigs. I mean, is this tacky or just folk art and cool? It's certainly colorful, I'll give it that! I guess it's better to be loved and remembered than abandoned and forgotten, no matter how tasteful (or not) the gesture.

This old church sits just off the highway. It's been in the process of being renovated for at least eleven years now. I wonder if it's owned by a church denomination or just someone local trying to maintain a historical building.

A long drive but eventually we arrived in Reno. Somewhere along the road the decision was made to go to the Nevada Museum of Art. It was nice. They were having an Andy Warhol exhibit which was interesting although somehow this manages to be the third time I've seen it. That's sort of weird since I get to go to museums only once in a blue moon. I think I saw it in London and San Diego. Don't I sound like a world traveler!

Speaking blue moons, you couldn't take photos inside the museum, but you could take them up on the roof, where they have a few sculpture pieces. I liked how this sun sculpture held a crescent moon inside it. I uploaded another photo of it on Laumes Studio, showing the shadow moon a bit better. I was just messing around with putting my shadow inside it here. I just realized it makes me look somewhat like a "drawing down the moon" goddess. Or maybe a spider.

The museum tuckered out the hubby. Turns out he was starving. He didn't mention this. There are these wonderful tools for communicating. They are called "words". It didn't occur to him to use these "words" to let me know he was faint with hunger. Men! We did go eat directly after this, more on that later.

Here's me messing with reflections. I think this photo is a good visual representation of what you'd see if you looked inside me recently. I'm split down the middle. Which reflects the real me? And it's all sort of blurry, not to mention all those distractions down in the bottom right hand corner.

It took everything in me to stand, nay, lean on this glass railing. I'm a bit acrophobic. Not enough to stop me from enjoying the view from up high, but enough that I may make whimpering noises in the effort. And no, I do NOT scream. Usually. My kids are lying!
Do NOT listen to them.

This roof was four stories up. I kept confusing Jeff by telling him we were on the 2nd floor when we were on the 3rd or the 1st floor when we were on the 2nd. Because what us Americans call the 1st floor, Europeans call the Ground floor, what we call the 2nd floor, they call the first floor. And so on. I spent so much time climbing up and down stairs in the UK that I guess being in a museum, by association (since we went to so many museums while we were over there), made me revert back to the European way of counting floors.

See the mountains in the background? This isn't a very flattering photo of them, they're much more majestic in real life, but I point them out to say if you were really high up, just the other side of those peaks is Lake Tahoe. It's really neat to see from a plane because the lake is higher in elevation than the valley on this side and it's easy to imagine if there was ever a crack in the mountain ridge, all that water pouring out onto the city. Well, easy to imagine if you have an odd imagination like mine.

Along with the Warhol exhibit they had a Latino exhibit which was lovely but way too small of a selection, a student art exhibit, and of course their permanent collection, which had changed a bit since our last visit. The best thing we saw at the exhibit though wasn't art, it was a puppy. A real live Neapolitan Mastiff puppy that was the size of a pony! You know the dog that plays Fang in the Harry Potter movies? It was like that, only this one was a brindle. Just one of it's paws was the size of my Rosie.

After the museum I put away my camera. We were headed for a Thai restaurant when we passed by an Indian Curry and Kabob place and stopped there instead. It was spicy but yummy, and since it was midafternoon, the place was empty except for us and one other couple (and two workmen fixing the front door) and they had a Bollywood movie playing on two large flat screen televisions. Sort of like an ethnic "sports bar"?

We also went to Trader Joe's and Wild Oats for specialty groceries, a bead shop, World Market for my lime margarita popcorn salt (but they were still out of stock - wah!) and TWO bookstores. I had a mental list of books to look for and found all of them plus a few more. That was a real treat! Hubby got two books full of shiny photos of cars. Yawwwwn. Other then groceries and books, I didn't buy a lot else. I got five tiny heart charms at the museum gift shop. A half dozen beads and some silk cord at the bead shop, some dental floss, and the perfect yellow butterfly for last year's Yule tree. Ever since Joshua has died I have added one yellow butterfly a year and last year I couldn't find one that seemed right. So yah for me, I waited and it eventually appeared. Oh, and I bought two new CD's - a compilation called Celtic Crossing (traditional Celtic music down in a contemporary music style) and The Pogues. So we had new music for the long drive home in the dark.

It was a lovely spring getaway. The only "bad" thing that happened is that I chose to wear sandals for the first time this season and by the end of the day my feet were not thanking me for it. I woke up yesterday and when I tried to get out of bed I realized my calves were even more unhappy. I decided a good way to deal with it was to walk two miles to pick up the car at the repair shop to "stretch them out". Today I am hobbling around the house whispering "ow, ow, ow, ow...". Maybe I should take another walk. Or maybe just hang out on the computer. I haven't decided if I'm up for any more pain or not yet.