Thursday, May 31, 2007

Reading Rainbow

Ha! Not the show.

While wandering around uptown yesterday, I wandered in to the bookstore and bought the two books on the top of the stack below. Labyrinth I found in the used section. Religious mystery, history, and France. What more could I ask! The one on the top, Ida B, I bought new. It's a children's book about a homeschooled child that has to return to school when her mother has to undergo cancer treatments. I just checked out the reviews on Amazon and it looks like you either love it or hate it - mixed reviews. I'll let you know.

The rest of the books in the stack I found at the library Book Sale today. They'd restocked their Book Sale shelves and I found a bunch of odd and intriguing titles. They also increased the prices so the 50 cent books were now a dollar and the dollar books were two dollars. Still can't complain.

Four other books I bought at the library were art and design books so I posted about them over at Laume's Studio. Lots of new reading!

At the moment I'm in the middle of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I've been rereading all the HP's before the new and final book comes out in July. Have you noticed, the HP media hype for the new book has already begun? I can't read e-mail or browse a newspaper or magazine now without something about Harry or J K Rowling. Today I stumbled upon a spoiler - ARGH!!! I HATE SPOILERS!!! It was an officially released spoiler, but still, I would have been happier not knowing it. And I know as the release gets closer, it's only going to get worse. Once the book comes out I plan on running home from the midnight party and locking myself up without television or computer until I finish the last page.

The stormy weather that moved in late yesterday stuck around all day with muggy gray skies and spatters of rain. This evening the wind was so strong I wondered if I was going to see cows and farmhouses swirling by! What I did see was RAINBOWS!

I took a few photos above the neighbors' rooftops and then jumped in the car and drove a half mile down the road to take a few more picturesque shots. There were actually two rainbows but the second one, although visible to the naked eye, wasn't easy to pick up through the lens.

I did see cows but they all had their feet firmly planted on the ground. Mr. 218 was particularly interested in the lady with the camera.

Beach baby

Lisa sent me some grandbaby pics today. She already put this first photo of Joli up on her blog but I had to share it here as well because it's just the cutest picture I've seen in a zillion years! Now THIS is what I call Beach Treasure!

I think someone is passing judgement on the texture and flavor of sand!

Little white bonnet. Wee person. Long windswept beach. Big blue sea.

I remember a photo of me as a toddler in a wide white bonnet and a ridiculously frilly red and white bathing suit. Wish I had a copy of it so I could upload it here to accompany the picture of Joli. I loved that bathing suit. Funny the odd little things one remembers from childhood.

Is she researching how fast sand slips from her fingers or is she wondering who that shadowy kid with the big ears is sitting in front of her?

Apparently it was a perfect day for the beach in San Diego. Up here, several weeks from the start of summer, we got a taste of summer temperatures followed by an unexpected early evening storm. Even got a quick little rainbow out of it and the air smells so fresh and clean tonight. Perfect sleeping weather.

And now off to sleep. Or at least off to read some more Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. The last book to reread before the 7th book comes out in July.

I put up some photos of old walls over at Laume's Studio if you like old walls. (Old walls? Did she say "old walls"?) Yes. I said old walls. You can stop whispering.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Pets, pets, and more pets

I watered the garden and got a couple hours of cleaning and moving shelves in today (for more info on the ongoing redecorating scenario, check out the photos on my Laume's Studio blog). The rest of the day was pretty much an at-home vacation. It was one of hubby's rare days off and he wanted to go the tea room for lunch, so we went to the tea room for lunch, followed by some shopping (see photos of my pretty new necklaces over at Laume's Studio) and chatting with friends uptown, a short interlude for the above mentioned work, a dinner date with a friend at a local Mexican restaurant, and then a cappuccino and conversation with hubby under the stars on the Starbuck's patio. I'm finishing up the day with blogging some recent adorable pet photos and then if I'm not too tired, popcorn and an episode or two of Doctor Who. Yeah, life's just a chair of bowlies today.

Oh, and if all that relaxing and fun wasn't enough, son Sam called with the good news that he sold his house (remember the custom tile work?) and son Joe called to say he's getting a promotion and raise. Good news all around! Knock on wood.

We're still all sad and adjusting to Fred being gone. Even though I'm an experienced pet owner, it's surprised me how much the pecking order and daily routine has changed with his absence. We hadn't really thought about it before his death, but on reflection realize that Fred had been the top, top cat. The animals have all been sticking closer to us humans in the last few days. Maybe we've been sticking closer to them a little bit too. I was out and about taking photos in the garden yesterday and had an entire entourage of helpers. So I photographed them as well. When I could catch them between dashing or rolling or other activity. The toughest part is whenever I crouch down to take a photo of anyone, the subject tends to come running towards me and the camera to be petted. Still, I managed a few nice shots.

From L to R above: Miranda, Onyx and Mongo guarding the front door.

Buck in his kennel. Look at that soulful look! He's trying to express how, if I'd just let him out in the backyard with me, he'd NEVER even consider jumping over the fence when I wasn't looking. And he's not crossing his paws. Honest!

Here's George Weasley keeping William's football company. Apparently it looked lonely.

Charlie Weasley and his shadow!? Nah. That's a garden sculpture in the background.

"Are you going outside again Mom? Are you? Can I come with you? Pick me up! Please! I wanna come with you! What's that? A camera! Hey, I'm cute! You can take my photo! Just pick me up! Let's go outside!" Rosie believes every activity should obviously include her.

Onyx was a feral kitten that our daughter brought home and then moved out leaving him behind. He's an absolutely gorgeous cat and until recently, useful only as a decorative item that just happened to eat cat food and shed that long black hair.. For years and years he has been a recluse, rarely letting anyone close enough to touch him. Now, suddenly, in the last few months, he's decided to try out this whole "interacting" gig. I don't know who's more pleasantly surprised at how friendly he has become, him or us. Here he is lounging on a ledge inside the safety of wisteria and rose vines.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

It's not about getting a three day weekend.
It's not about barbeques and potato salad.
It's not about the first summer movie blockbuster.
It's not about mowing the lawn and getting the garden in.
It's not about holiday traffic.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Holiday Photos #25

I said I planned to post holiday photos more frequently, but I haven't been doing a very good job of it. I have a few more of Edinburgh before we can get back on the train at Waverly Station.

This is a photo I took from atop a double decker bus. William loved riding on the top. I have to admit it was pretty fun to ride in the very front of the top section. It felt like no one was driving the bus! Hubby likes monkeys, so I had to show him the Monkey Temple. I wonder what sort of store it was, we didn't have enough time to stop and see.

We had so much fun on the ghost tour under the bridges, we took another tour in the evening to a cemetery. While walking through the city on the tour, we came across this rather boxed in nowhere spot just off the Royal Mile. It might be rundown, but it isn't forgotten, as you can see by the placement of one of the art cows in the bottom left corner. It's one of my favorite photos of the trip.

This was another spot we walked by on the tour. We went back later when the shop was open and it was indeed a shop for witch's supplies. And check out the street sign - Candlemaker Row.

This pub and statue is just outside Greyfriar's Cemetery. Most people seem to have heard of Greyfriar Bobby (that's the dog, in case, like me, you'd never heard the name before). Since I hadn't heard of him, I wasn't very impressed, but I guess he's famous, so we took a photo of him and saw his master's grave in the cemetery.

Here's a photo taken from inside the cemetery, but it's the only one I'll show you this post. I'll save the rest of the ghost tour for the next post. I just wanted to show you this to say - see the two windows lit with a golden light in the middle of the image? That's the window of the coffee house where J K Rowling sat and wrote much of Harry Potter and the Sorcercer's Stone. Or, if you're reading the UK version, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Cool, huh!

We went in search of it the next day and found it, a place called The Elephant House. At least, we thought we found it. Maybe the tour guide had been wrong, there didn't seem to be any sort of "birthplace of Harry Potter" sign or anything. I asked an employee and they assured me I was in the write..., er right place and that he thought there were a couple of photos about it over on their bulletin board. I liked that they didn't make a big deal out of it. Still, I couldn't help but be secretly thrilled (okay, maybe not so secretly) to be sitting in the same place Rowling had sat, maybe drinking my coffee from the same cup she'd once sipped while struggling through a particularly rough chapter.

Proof that it is indeed a small world (are you gonna get that song stuck in your brain now!? Sorry), we bumped into some fellow travelers we'd met at the B&B in Bath. They joined us for lunch and then we all posed for this photo in front of the coffee house.

Here's the sad part. We exchanged e-mail addresses and when I got home I fully intended to e-mail them a copy of this photo. But somehow I misplaced or tossed all the information I saved with people's names and e-mails. Not just these folk but everyone's e-mails that I had collected the entire trip. I was and still am mucho bummed.

But maybe, by some miraculous coincidence, someone might know these people? The man's name is Stuart. Or perhaps Stewart. Didn't ask him how he spelled it. I can't remember his wife's name -argh. The older woman is her mother. His mother? Her name is Mary. Mary lived in Colorado - Denver area I believe. The couple were from San Diego area and were planning on moving to Colorado in the near future. Anyone? Really nice people. They probably think I'm a total flake. Well, I suppose I am. I lost the info.

Next holiday post I'll get back to the ghost tour and cemetery. It was frightfully fascinating!

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Thursday, May 24, 2007


My cat Fred was hit by a car and killed late last night. Our neighbors found him and kindly wrapped him in a box to spare me the pain of finding him in the road. They handed me his red collar.

Fred has a twin brother George. Fred and George Weasley. You can see how hard it was to tell them apart when they were little. (I think he's the one in the middle in this photo.) The only way you could tell them apart was by touching them. Even though they looked exactly alike, Fred's fur was softer. It was softer than velvet. He was the softest cat I have ever known.

But it wasn't always convenient to walk across the room and pet Fred or George or whoever it was before you knew who it was, so we put a red collar on Fred. Fred is Red. The ginger cat in the photo above is Charlie Weasley. He's not from the same litter although you can see that they were still brothers through and through. We also have Fred and George's litter mate, a tortoiseshell female, Ginny Weasley.

Here's Fred just a few weeks ago. He was following me around the yard helping me take photos of fairies.

We have a lot of cats. We didn't mean to have that many cats. Long story. We care for them all, each unique and sweet in their own way. But a few of our cats hold extra special places in our hearts. It could be argued that Fred was my cat. Part Siamese, he talked to me. He slept curled up by my shoulder every night. He was always curious about everything we did. If there was a box, he was the first one inside it. If there was an empty lap, he was the first one to fill it. If there was the smell of turkey in the air, he was the first one to come running. If we were inside the house he wanted to be in the house with us, if we were outside in the yard, he wanted to be in the yard.

The last time I saw him was this afternoon. He was lounging on the front porch, his soft coat looked silver from having rolled in the dirt. I leaned down to pet him, little puffs of dust poofing into the air with each pat-pat-pat.

Now he is gone and I am sad. Jeff is sad. William is sad. George is sad. (really - he keeps smelling Fred's collar and circling around in our laps and looking up at us with a sad, confused face and purring too loudly, like a cat purrs when it's in pain. I don't know how he understand, but somehow he does.) Even the other cats are all gathering around more closely than they usually do.

We're all sad.

Jeff e-mailed me this poem a little bit ago.

In Memory of Our Cat, Ralph

by Garrison Keillor

When we got home, it was almost dark.
Our neighbor waited on the walk.
"I'm sorry, I have bad news," he said.
"Your cat, the gray-black one, is dead.
I found him by the garage an hour ago."
"Thank you," I said, "for letting us know."
We dug a hole in the flower bed
With lilac bushes overhead,
Where this cat loved to lie in spring
And roll in dirt and eat the green
Delicious first spring bud,
And laid him down and covered him up,
Wrapped in a piece of tablecloth,
Our good old cat laid in the earth.
We quickly turned and went inside
The empty house and sat and cried
Softly in the dark some tears
For that familiar voice, that fur,
That soft weight missing from our laps,
That we had loved too well perhaps
And mourned from weakness of the heart.
A childish weakness, to regard
An animal whose life is brief
With such affection and such grief.
If such is weakness, so it be.
This modest elegy
Is only meant to note the death
Of one cat so we won't forget
His face, his name, his gift
Of cat affection while he lived,
The sweet shy nature
Of this graceful creature,
The simple pleasure of himself,
The memory of our cat, Ralph.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Improvements Going on All Over

The dragon was roaring bright and early this morning. By this afternoon they had the forms in for the curb, which they'll probably pour tomorrow while they put in the forms for the sidewalk inside that. Maybe we'll have a sidewalk by the weekend, maybe not until after Memorial Day. I'm hoping to get a chance to put a little something personal into the cement before it sets - maybe a special stone or a "Z" for our family name.

We thought it was about time to get the snow tires off the Subie. I mean, we could have snow again this season, never say never up here in the mountains (we had snow here on the 4th of July one year), but it's unlikely. We took the car down to have the tires swapped and walked down to a local restaurant to wait. They have this little outdoor section. We've never used it because it's so windy out there, but this year they added some screening and tied the umbrellas down. Today was the perfect day to try it out - it wasn't snowing, and it wasn't 100 degrees in the shade. We tried to pretend we were at a little sidewake cafe in Paris. It was kinda the same. Except for the SUV's and logging trucks rumbling by.

I bought a new rose today. It looks a little straggly right now, but at least it's already in the ground (thanks to hubby) and it will grow into it's space.

It's an English rose, one of those wonderful roses with a thousand petals. The best thing about it though is it has a rich spicy old rose scent. I wish you could put your nose up to the monitor and take a big sniff. It's heavenly.

And speaking of heavenly, look what I bought. I've been eyeing her for weeks now and finally broke down and brought her home today. Yes, I know, I'm no longer a Catholic. I'm not even a Christian. But I have a special fondness for Our Lady of Guadalupe. I didn't realize until I looked up a link for her that some people consider her a blend of the Virgin Mary and earlier central American goddesses. Although I'd never researched the image, I've always responded to her as the Goddess, with her blue star covered cloak, her golden aura, and the moon and cherubs at her feet.

I cleared out under an established grape arbor in my back yard and it makes a perfect green grotto for her. I'll have to plant some flowers underneath. She seems perfectly at home with the Tibetan buddhist prayer flags, the pentacle wind chimes, the angels and the fairies hanging in the apple tree just a few steps away. Isn't she beautiful!

I also bought a few more veggie, herb, and ground cover plants and got some of them in the ground this evening. The mosquitos drove me indoors before I could finish.

Later afternoon and early evening was filled with what else - more painting tasks.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

There Be Dragons!

I think I already mentioned that our city is putting in sidewalks on our street. Apparently they were able to get some federal funding and as far as I can tell, it's only our street. Or perhaps we're just the first street. I'm not sure why our street is the victim... er, winning street. I think it has something to do with providing sidewalks for kids walking to and from school, as that was the reason sidewalks were put in on the busier street that runs along the side of our house. There's a junior high school just down the way. In that case, it was actually somewhat beneficial to us, as it stopped the kids from walking through my gardens.

But I have yet to find a neighbor who's particularly happy about getting sidewalks on our street. It means we all have to park our cars somewhere else when the snow plows come through. In the past we were able to pull our cars up where the sidewalks will be installed. Obviously that option won't be there any more and most of us don't have large driveways, as this is an older neighborhood.

I'm trying to look on the bright side. Once the sidewalks are in people will be parking farther into the street (when there is no snow) and it will narrow the driving lanes. We have a lot of traffic because our street is a convenient way to cut over to one of the only streets that goes out of town. Maybe this will help reduce the speed of cars just passing through.

They started on the other side of the street from us, went all the way down to the end of the street and then started working their way back up to our house. Yesterday they gave us a moat!

And look - there be dragons! Noisy ones with big teeth. They growled and dug and made sleeping difficult this morning.

I went out to take these photos and discovered that at the corner of our property they had cut into my rock garden and then hauled away the rocks they'd dislodged. They also cut one of our soaker hoses in two. I wandered up the road until I found a foreman and explained the situation to him. He was very nice. He had the "dragon rider" return my rocks. He also came over to check the hose and said they would replace it for us.

While we were standing in the dirt chatting, he kicked some of the dirt around and than bent over and recovered an old creamer bottle that had been hidden under the street all this time. Since it wasn't discovered on my property, I couldn't lay claim to it. Instead I went and got a shovel and did some treasure hunting for myself.

I didn't find a whole bottle, drat, but I did find a lot of treasures. Glass, bones, half an old electrical insulator band. I felt like an archeologist. What if the bones were human bones!? Yathink I could convince David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel to come and investigate? Unfortunately they look too big - probably cow bones. Maybe dairy cows? To go with the dairy bottles?

My favorite was this glass that had turned luminscent. I know the bottles wouldn't have been multi-colored originally. I wonder what creates the change? Age? The type of glass? A reaction with the soil or the oil from passing cars or some sort of bacterial reaction?

I also liked the ones with painted or raised lettering. It was like finding shards of heiroglyphics. Now all I need is an old town phone book, the local Rosetta Stone, to decipher the "strange markings".

It made me suddenly wish that William was a young homeschooler again. I pictured him grabbing a shovel and having fun with me. Alas, he was off sitting at a desk in a classroom - not necessarily a bad thing, sometimes even a fun thing (I liked school), but I'm guessing not as much fun as digging in the dirt.

So I had to make my own fun.

"There was a little girl,
who had a little curl,
right in the middle of her forehead...."

"..... and when she was good,
she was very, very good,
and when she was bad,
she was horrid."

For the latest update on my wall painting, go check out Laumes Studio.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Wierd Things About Me Me

There's a meme going around where you're supposed to name seven or ten or forty eight wierd things about yourself. I was going to post something else today but people keep grabbing up chunks of my day and I'm running out of time to do what I'd planned to do, so to save time I'm going to do this meme instead. I'll just start naming some wierd things and then stop when I feel satisfied.

I gave my first child both his mother and father's names without realizing I'd done it.

I have this whole refrigerator dough cookie eating ritual that started because... well, it's complicated. I've only been able to graciously share my refrigerator dough cookies with anyone in the last few years.

I don't mix my chocolate mix into my milk. I like it dry (like Nestle's Quik mix, if I still bought Nestle's products, which I don't ) on my spoon and then dip it in the milk and drink it by th spoonful.

I got badly bullied by a very obese girl in elementary school and it took me a long time not to have a negative first impression of overweight women when I would meet someone new. I KNEW why I reacted the way I did but it took a long time not to feel the reaction anyway.

I general like snakes and spiders.

I had a thing for koala bears as a teenager. It started innocently enough - they were soft and cuddly, someone bought me a koala "teddy bear". Eventually I had a whole collection of them. At some point in my twenties I gave them all away.

I was very flat chested as a teen and young adult. I was always a little envious of women who were more amply endowed. Then I nursed three children. When I was all done nursing babies, I was left with a bra size several letters bigger (if I wore a bra, which I only do once in a full moon - which I guess is another wierd thing about me) and now I sometimes wish I was more flat chested again.

Unless it's whipped cream, I like my cake without frosting.

When I was a kid I thought long haired, droopy eared dogs were the best. Now I prefer short haired perky eared dogs.

I have a hard time sleeping in places with manufactured white noise - like in hotel rooms, air conditioning, freeway sounds... Wind, foghorns, and the sound of the ocean put me to sleep immediately though, even when I try to stay awake to listen to them.

I used to have experiences of synesthesia as a child as well as experiences that might fall outside or beyond that label. The experiences faded and mostly disappeared by adolescence and although I can remember what it was like, some of the intensity and details are harder to capture as time goes by.

I usually know who's on the phone before I pick it up.

Well, okay. That's enough. Time to go get some other things done today.

Sigh. Now William needs me to drive him to school to get some things out of his locker he forgot he needed to do a report. So much for my plans.

If you want to do this meme (probably everyone has done it already 'cept me - hey, Lisa! You haven't done it yet), leave me a comment letting me know.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Assorted Moments

Rosie is determined to get every last bit of whipped cream out of the cup. Check out that tongue action!

I walked along the river the other day on my way to a dinner date with a friend. This spot is called The Dam. My kids have gone swimming here on many a summer's day. I walked the new trail along the river a lot earlier this spring when everything was still gray and leafless. It looks green and beautiful now.

I noticed this graffiti in a drainage ditch that allows a small stream to go under Main Street, not far from the high school. "Steven" is one of the four teenagers that our high school lost this last school year. A teen who gambled with risky behavior and lost. I wonder if the teen (I assume it was a teen) who wrote the graffitti realized the symbolism in where he chose to write his message. At least, I see a lot of symbolism here. I originally described what I saw here but then, reconsidering, I erased it, deciding it was better left to the reader.

Right outside Starbucks I saw this Land Rover or Jeep or Bronco or whatever it was, with this interesting antennae art. Antannae creature?

Did anyone else see the movie Tidelands? I rented it on the recommendation of a fellow blogger. I found the movie artistically fascinating and, although the story line and some of the scenes are deeply disturbing, I really loved the surrealism and the surprising sweetness of the main character's ability to survive in an unbelievably horrible situation. I haven't mentioned it because I don't really know how to "recommend" it. It's probably the most bizarre film I have ever seen and I'm not quite sure what it says about me that I liked it. I guess I can only say "Watch it at your own risk." If you do, you'll understand what this has to do with Miss Barbie Head.

Speaking of movies, I went to see Shrek last night. It was cute. Well worth seeing. It wasn't quite the WOW of the first two movies, though don't let that stop you from going to see it. I'm only dropping it to an A instead of an A+, that's all. I've been thinking about it and the reason it loses that plus mark is only because a) it is the third movie and so we've become used to the amazing animation style and b) the movie does have new characters and new scenes but they are used in smaller doses. Instead it depends more on characters we already know, in groups, so the impact isn't as large. I also think it's a shorter film. But it's lots of fun. We'll be buying the DVD when it comes out.

And speaking of Shrek, who is green, I'm off to work on my painting issues now. If you want to know more about my decorating drama, seeing as it's artsy, I've taken the whole subject over to Laume's Studio.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sad Day, Happy Day

First, the sad news. It was finally time for little Princess Joli and her mommy-in-waiting Lisa to go home. So sad. We had So. Much. Fun. We sewed, painted, cooked, ate out, played, danced, gardened, laughed. I'm amazed we didn't get kicked out of the Chinese restaurant last night. After the hats, things got so crazy Lisa and I were practically snorting tea out of our noses we were laughing so hard. And then William waved his arm in excitement and tipped over an entire glass of water. I introduced Lisa to the movie Amelie and the shortlived but amazing television show Wonder Falls. It's going to take some time to adjust to no happy, smiling, demanding baby to entertain us. On the bright side, at least I'll stop ignoring all my blogging buddies so much.The happy news is that the woodstove is finally out of my house. Originally I felt sad and sentimental about getting rid of it. That was before the boys moved it into the middle of the hallway and we had to squeeze around it for most of the last week to get back and forth from the livingroom to any place else in the house. I was happy that our friend and neighbor decided he could use it. Since we broke our furniture dolly trying to move the behemoth, he rounded up a sturdier dolly and a winch (I almost wrote "wench"), and when I came home from seeing Lisa and Joli off this afternoon (we had to stop by the high school so they could say goodbye to William at football practice and then Starbucks for a drink for the road), Jeff and Al were just finishing up and my hallway was now woodstove FREE!!! They wanted me to take a photo to prove that two old guys could move the thing all by themselves.

More good news, although it's good news that make my brain hurt, the hunt for the right wall color has begun. Yesterday Lisa spent most of the day painting and decorating a couple of cabinets I gave her. While she was busy with that, I bought some paint to audition for the walls. I started on the bricks with the color to the left. That first green is much lighter and brighter than it looks in the photo. So back I went to another store for a couple more colors, those on the right.

It was hard to tell what the colors would look like on their own against that red brick, so I wandered around painting the three interconnected areas that I want to paint - the kitchen, the livingroom, and the dining room. I want to paint them all the same color as they form an open U shape with the diningroom at the bottom of the U, the kitchen on one side of the house (with no direct sunlight although not terribly dark) and the livingroom in the front (brighter with winter sunlight).
I painted the three colors in four different areas and discovered that what looked great in the front room was too dark for the back room, what was just right for the kitchen was too yellow for the livingroom, what matched the accessories in the front was too muddy for the accessories in the back. ARGH!!!! Too hard to think! Brain hurt! But now that my house looks like it's painted in "camo", I'm committed to following through sooner rather than later.

Last night I finally decided that the color on the bottom in the last photo (called Dragon's Hide - love that name), taken one shade lighter, might work. So off I went to buy some of that this morning. On the way to the store I decided to check one more place in town that carries paint and, to make matters worse or better, I'm not sure yet, I found three MORE colors that are completely different than the ones I've already seen and which might work even better.

The swatches are so teensy tiny, I think I'm going to break down and go buy all four colors. It's the only way to tell what they'll really look like in my house. The paints I don't use, I can mix all together and use to paint something else, like maybe all the hallway doors. The hallway is dark, you won't be able to tell what color they are anyway. Or I can paint some old furniture. It's a good thing I like green.

The paint store is about to close. Off I go. When I get back, I'll mosy on over to my studio blog tonight and post some photos of Lisa's artistic efforts.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

We are a Normal Family

Really. I'm sure of it. Somewhere, deep deep down underneath it all, there's some part of us that is like other people. I mean, everyone wears their napkin on their head if it looks like a crown. Right?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

I hope everyone had a nice Mother's Day. Or, at least a nice weekend. I had both. Sam has been so busy over the last nine months or so building his house that he hasn't had much chance to get away. He's finally nearing the end though, so he and his girlfriend Kyla were able to take off a weekend to come up for a visit. I'd like to say it was because it was for Mother's Day but I'm sure it was mostly to have a chance for Uncle Sam to get a chance to see his niece. He hasn't seen Joli since she was under a month old. They got along like ol' friends from the moment he arrived on Friday.

On Saturday Kyla, Lisa, Joli, William and I went on an all day Ghost Tour in Virginia City. I'd bought the tickets as a fundraiser for a local group. We had a lot of fun, a lot of sun, and a lot of walking. I'll post photos of that later. The rest of the time, we all just hung out and enjoyed each other's company.

Mostly we just relaxed.

Some of us practiced our sitting up.

Some of us wore goofy hats. If you keep in mind that William is 6'3" tall, you can tell how tall Sam's truck is in the background. Sam let William drive it. William has had less then an hour and a half of driving experience on his permit so far. That's brotherly love!

The boys played football in the street and then played in the tree swing.

Later I asked the guys to try to move the woodstove out to sit by the woodpile there in the background. This is where I'll have my yard sale later this summer. I want to keep the stove wrapped up in a tarp until then and then just uncover it for the sale. Alas, even with three strong men, they only managed to accomplished moving it down off the tile about two feet from it's original position. They broke our furniture dolly. And now the stove is sitting in the middle of the archway between the living room and dining room. Our neighbor showed up in the middle of things and said he'd be happy to take the woodstove off our hands. The only thing, how to get the stove across the street to his house. We can't even figure out how to get it six feet away to the front door! I gave my husband and the neighbor until Tuesday (their next mutual day off) to get it out of the middle of where we have to walk to get anywhere in the house. After that I'm calling the local woodstove company and paying $100 to have them haul it away just so I can move on with things.

Fortunately, some of us were feeling much, much better. I'm recovering from my spring cold. And look at Rosie's ears. All perky and pointed up. Yah! Rosie's back to her bouncy self.

There was some bubble blowing and Starbucks drinking.

I got lots of nice gifts from everyone for Mother's Day. Kyla brought me this pretty butterfly for my garden.

Sam brought me over a propane barbeque. He'd bought a new one and offered me his old one. All we had was an old fashioned barbeque that used charcoal briquets which meant that it was a lot of work to use, so I'm really excited to have a propane one. I'll be able to do a lot of grilling this summer! My favorite is vegetable kabobs. Yum! Although he'd offered it to me before this weekend, since it arrived just in time for Mother's Day, I'm counting it as a gift, along with the fact that he barbequed for us all on Saturday night. Lisa cleaned up the kitchen afterwards, so the meal was completely work free for me. Now that's a Mother's Day gift!

On Sunday I got phone calls from my mom (I called her first - whew!), and my daughter and son who weren't able to visit. I even got a cute e-card from a friend and a free coffee coupon from my local Starbucks. Jeff and William gave me cards, flowers, a balloon, and coffee in bed. We all went out for lunch later, although I treated the kids instead of vice versa. Lisa also made me a really cute homemade book. I'll try to remember to take a photo of it and show it off on my studio blog.

But the best gift of all, of course, was just the chance to be together.