Saturday, July 26, 2008

Stuff - it just happens

Let's just get the sad part over with first. My son Joe and his family have three pets - two cats and a turtle. In the last two days they've lost two of them. First their turtle, Henry, escaped under a fence from his new yard and disappeared. Knock on wood, maybe they'll find him. Maybe he'll come home again. One can always hope. Then their cat Romeo had sudden breathing problems this afternoon. Lisa and the baby had to leave for the airport so it was left for Joe to race Romeo to the vet where the news was dire and they had to have him put to sleep. They didn't get to say goodbye before Lisa and Joli left on their trip and Lisa didn't get to say goodbye to Romeo. There are pictures of everyone, pets included, on recent posts on Lisa's blog. I bet they'd appreciate a note of sympathy if you hopped over to leave a comment. I really liked Romeo myself, my "grandkitty", and so I'm sad too. I'm sure their other cat Sampson will be a very sad kitty. Animals know.

William had his annual sports physical for football the other day. Our regular doctor couldn't get him in before the deadline for this coming year's football season, so he saw a new PA at the clinic. She was new and a bit zealous according to hubby and son. She passed him only with a provision he get an eye exam because his vision was a bit borderline on that eye chart thing. Hubby explained that William had already had an eye exam with our optometrist and that we knew he had a very, very mild case of nearsightedness. The eye doctor told him it was really up to him if he chose to wore corrective lenses as it was too slight to be fixed unless it was causing him problems in school or driving, which it was not. The PA wasn't convinced however, insisted he have another exam, arguing that she didn't want him to get "knocked down" or "hit with the ball" or anything like that. Uhm, yeah. Has she ever WATCHED a football game???????!!! Getting "knocked down" happens a lot, even to players with 20/20 vision. Whatever.

I felt great all five days I was up in the cool temperatures of Washington state. I came back home and by midday of my first day back the heat and smoke gave me a headache and made me feel dizzy and exhausted. I think I'm allergic to my life. Or at least my town.

We had to buy a new laptop. Financial ouch. I got a free iPod Touch with it. My teenager is mad at me because I won't give it to him. I actually thought about it because it's not the type of thing I would have gone out and bought for myself. But then I started thinking about it. When I was a kid, my mom struggled to make ends meet and we didn't have fancy toys. When I was a young adult I couldn't ask my folks for money and I lived frugally. After I had kids, I've spend decades raising them on thrift stores and discount shopping and camping trip vacations and grow my own vegetables and all manner of economical choices. The last couple of years has been the first time ever that I can really say we've had a generous amount of fun money. And that's dried up again because of changes at hubby's job and because of the economy. I decided that I had no reason not to enjoy the new toy myself. So, to any of my children that might think I don't need an ipod, I have just one thing to say - Phhhhbbbbtt!

I went to Deb's blog and found a meme she borrowed from Kicking it in Crazyville , and I found myself wanting to answer all the questions, so here it is:

Know & Tell1. What is your favorite mode of transportation (flying, train, car, boat, etc.)? Why? Most of the time I like to travel in all those ways. I'm a bit burned out on traveling at the moment, but once I'm on the road, in the air, out of port, etc., I'd probably get into the mood pretty easily. It's a pretty easy choice to say that my favorite is train travel. I love the rocking motion, the freedom to move about the cars, the snack or dining car, the scenery, the old fashioned train stations. I like the motion of a boat too, but trains are #1

2. If you could fly like Superman, jump and swing like Spiderman, swing on vines like Tarzan or fly on an umbrella like Mary Poppins, which would you choose? Spiderman and Tarzan have to expend way too much energy for my tastes. Superman obviously has more power so that might be my first choice, but Mary Poppins gets to bring whatever she wants with her in that amazing bottomless carpetbag, so even though she's slower getting where she's going, she seems content. Another day I might have said Superman, but today I'm feeling mellow and I'll go with Poppins.

3. You’re driving down the road and you see a small cluster of people, all with their thumbs out hoping to hitch a ride with you. As you near the group you realize that the people standing there are Queen Elizabeth, Johnny Depp, Barrack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and John Grisham. You only have room for one person. Who would you pick up? Oprah seems nice enough but I'm not a huge fan. Ditto Grisham. I'm not terribly interested in meeting the Queen. It's a toss up between Depp and Obama - can't I squeeze them both in? They're both fascinating people and I'd so love to talk to them. And yet, damn, I might have to say Queen Elizabeth because, really, she's old and in all good conscious could I really leave her standing out on the side of the road in the hot sun? And I think the others would probably be too polite to get in the car and leave her there too.

4. What was the most memorable trip you’ve ever taken? I've been on lots of amazing trips but I'd have to say the month I spent traveling around the UK and France with William two years ago. It's changed my life in so many ways and opened up so many new interests.

5. If you were planning a road trip with your best friend, where would you start, what would you stop to see and where would you end? Well, I am planning a road trip with my best friend actually. My hubby and I are packing up the Bronco and trailer camper to go to Oregon and the Faery Festival next weekend. And I'm SUPER excited about it. We've been looking forward to it since the end of our first Faerieworlds Festival last year.

But if we could go anywhere and money was no object, then I think renting a Mini and traveling about the UK would be fun. Or some car of my hubby's choice and traveling around France and Italy would be equally fine. Here in the U.S. I'd want to start from home and travel all around the U.S. visiting the areas I have yet had a chance to visit. We'd head to New Orleans, and then through the south, down to the Florida Keys, up the Atlantic coastline, through New England, across the border to Montreal, and then we'd decide from there what route to take heading west that would take us back home. Of course we'd stop to visit all our kids and other family along the way, and a few good friends as well.

6. You are able to transport yourself back to any time. What would it be and why?

I'd have to think about this one, there are so many times that would be fascinating to see for myself. But the first thing that comes to mind is, I'd like to go back to the life and times of Jesus and get the real story for myself. Especially if I could bring back things like written transcripts, video, photographs. Settle a lot of questions once and for all. Or maybe I'd just go back to my early childhood and bask in the love and company of all the wonderful family members that I've loved and lost since then.

7. Would you have flown with the Wright Brothers when they first discovered air travel? Nah. But I sure would have liked to have seen it. Funny, there was a time when I was young, early adolescence to young adulthood, when I would have jumped aboard a space ship without a second thought. Now that could actually happen (assuming I had enough money), I don't have any desire.

And last but not least, I promised more photos of the growing family:

Here's the new mommy and daddy with the new baby. I thought it was cute how Noel and Nickolai have matching t-shirts. It wasn't planned.

Here's Nickolai showing us he can open his eyes!

Garret is usually just a walking smile.

He's all about being silly and sweet. Okay, so occasionally he gets so excited he gives you a karate chop or two. But that's a little boy for ya.

Joshua is more the social coordinator. Always needs to be in the circle of what's going on. Here he is holding his new brother. I really like this photo.

And here he is posing with Nonny. His idea. He loves his siblings. "Okay, now let go of your sister so she can breathe, okay?"

Anastasia is all about babies. Here she is making a bed for one of her many dolls.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Nickolai Alexander Hall

Such a big grand name for such a wee sprout to grow into.

Here he is. All 7 lbs. 9 oz., born July 20 at 2:20 am, not even a half hour after mom and dad arrived at the hospital! And the reason I've been absent from the blogging world this week. I've been up in Washington smooching on my new grandson. Well, that AND my computer decided it didn't want to charge any more. Well, that, AND that, AND these three wild ones below have been keeping me exhau...entertained as well.

I've got more, cuter photos of one or two of the kids at a time, but this seems to be the only one I got of all three of the older (older compared to a newborn that is) ones together - I didn't take anywhere near as many photos as I would have liked, there just never seemed to be time. Plus it was hard to get everyone to stay in one place long enough to take a photo. It was like trying to keep beads of mercury together. (Remember doing that? Back before anyone thought to warn us it was toxic and kids shouldn't be allowed to play with the silvery stuff?) I didn't remember to take a photo of all four kids together, or the family together, at all.

As you can see, he fit nicely in my suitcase. As nice as the idea seemed for a moment, there's all those late night nursings, diaper changes, and colicky evenings to consider. Plus his big brothers were very upset at the thought of me taking him with me. (His big sister was more concerned about making him fit better in the suitcase.) So I decided it was best not to sneak him home.

I hope to see him again soon, he'll change so quickly in the months to come. I hope to see all those "big" kids again soon too. I'm home now where I'm sorry to say it's still hot and terribly smoky. Sheesh, what's left to still be burning in Northern California!? Nevermind, don't answer that. I'm just sooooooooo ready for the fires to be out and the sky to be blue again.

More grandkid photos tomorrow.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Food, Mostly

Well, I'm still here. Waiting for my next grandchild to signal he's about to arrive. The plan is to drive up to Washington to help with the rest of the grandkids when this new one shows up. My daughter was convinced he's be here well before his due date. The due date was this last Thursday so, that didn't happen. At first every day I'd think - Oh, just one more day so I can get stuff done before I leave - and now I've switched to - well kiddo, you better hurry up and be born or I won't have time to drive up and get back in time to get ready for the end of the month travel plans. So, here I am. Trying to get stuff done and keeping one eye on the clock... well, on the calendar.

I thought I'd be out of town this Saturday but in case I was still here, one of the sellers at the farmer was going to bring me some heirloom tomatoes. I remembered at the last minute and when I got there he still had some left, so I've got some pretty multi-colored tomatoes for salad.

I also still have a box of regular red tomatoes left from last week's market. I've been wanting to make gazpacho and salsa with them but I didn't have any jalapenos. I went to the regular market but all the hot peppers had signs in front of them saying they couldn't guarantee the health safety of them and that one should eat them at your own risk. What!? They can't guarantee they're safe to eat but they're selling them regardless? Uhm, yeah, makes me want to grab a whole bag of 'em and bring them home. Raw food roulette? No thank you. But I found some jalapenos at the farmer's market today, so yah! Only, I forgot until I got home that I also need cucumbers. Which I don't have. So now I have to go to supermarket after all. Hopefully there will be no signs on or near the cucumbers.

I promised hubby if I was still here on his day off I'd go back to the fair with him, so that's where I spent yesterday afternoon. We had another Indian Taco. That makes three for me this year, possibly a record number for one fair. Usually I splurge on a handmade corndog as well, but I was afraid my stomach couldn't stand another fried food. Hubby got a corndog though. the batter fried up in a really unusual shape. He considered saving it and selling it on eBay. But then we all decided that really, unless it looked like Jesus, it probably wouldn't sell for much. It looks like Snoopy's bird friend, Woodstock. Not as much of a market for Woodstock shaped food I'm guessing.

I've become totally spoiled by the fruits and vegetables I'm getting every week at the farmer's market. Unlike their supermarket bethren, these foods have a little something extra - flavor. I'm already feeling sad thinking about the end of the growing season here.

Gotta run, I've got wings to make (no, not chicken wings, I have faery wings to design) and cucumbers to buy.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

County Fair

I said I'd get back to you about the state of our county fair. The bad news is that I was right about my fears that there would be less fair entries. The good news is that I was wrong about the way the premium fee system was set up. Unfortunately that wasn't clear to me and I suspect, because there were so few entries, it wasn't clear to other people either.

If you remember me railing in a post last month about the fair's decision to charge a dollar entry fee per item, you might also remember that I suggested that it would be more reasonable to put a cap on the number of entry fees one would pay. Apparently that is the way it worked, after $10 in fees for individual class entries, additional entries were free. Well, great! But not so great that I couldn't figure that out from the premium book.

This gives you an idea of the main exhibit hall. In better years it would have been so full you wouldn't have been able to see the entire hall in one full sweep. There was only about a quarter, maybe a third, of the regular amount of entries. Usually there are hundreds of canned goods, the tables you see in the foreground are all there was this year. The back wall shows all the quilts, usually the quilts are packed in tight and take the whole length of the building.

On a positive note, the exhibits were beautifully displayed this year, a big improvement over last year's "yard sale" look.

This refrigerated display is usually jampacked and some cakes and pies end up having to be displayed elsewhere. This year, as you can see, there's about a dozen entries total?

It was even worse in the floral and agricultural exhibit hall. It was almost empty. There are additional classes and judging that come in today so maybe it's not so echo-y and desolate in there now. One can only hope. The plus side for those that did enter is that because there were so few competitors, almost everyone's entries won a blue or red ribbon.

The last exhibit hall is for fine arts and crafts and they didn't appear to take such a serious blow. There were noticably less entrees, maybe about half what past years have seen, but at least the walls were all filled with things to see.

Moving on from the exhibit halls, there's more to a fair. I wandered through the commercial buildings and got a supply of new pens and keychains and for a dollar donation my car now sports a new Obama for president bumpersticker. Then I took a break for an annual tradition - a delicious Indian Taco. YUM.

After that I wandered around a bit more to take in all the odd sights only a carnival can create.

This girl clearly doesn't realize she has a problem. Look at the size of that monkey on her back!

Here's the ever present county search and rescue trucks and carts. Notice the special unit truck in search of a good joke. HA!

Nah, just kidding. That's actually Flo the Clown. What a snappy dresser, doncha think! I really loved her nametag, you can just make it out behind her thumbs up. Same as the insurance commercial Flo with the "big tricked out name tag" - you know her?! Only Flo the Clown said her name tag is cooler because it's pink and shaped like a flower. She was a good sport to pose for me.

This was a free children's play area which was really nice. I took a photo of this part of it because I really liked this "musical instruments", sculpture? You can probably see it better if you click to enlarge. It's all sorts of pots, pans, and cow bells along with assorted spoons and ladles to use as "drum sticks". All hung on a frame and painted in a swirly tie dye. My kids would have loved this thing and doesn't it spark all sorts of zany ideas for garden art?

Last but not least I went to see the animals. This is the new judging pavillion. It looks really nice.

We have a new one because some young teens got inside the old pavillion last summer and did this. And speaking of fires, if you look at the background to the right side of these two photos, you can clearly see the low mountains in the background of the photo from last year and you can see how hazy and smoke covered those same mountains look in the photo I took yesterday. And this was a fairly "good" smoke day seeing as you could see the mountains at all!

Here's an old 4-H friend, Robin, shearing one of her sheep for show.

And here's what happens when you forget to stop shearing - you run out of sheep! LOL. Speaking of hollow sheep, I had to go back to the fair last night to check on something I wanted to buy from a vendor (they ended up not having it in the color I needed - pout) and I decided to buy some more Indian Tacos and bring them home for the family for dinner. They were out of beans and meat for the tacos but they sold me the fry bread with everything else on it so I could take it home and add my own beans. A friend's teenager was working in the line making the Indian Tacos and she chatted with me, mentioning that she was supposed to bring home a corn dog from the fair for her mom. She added "Do you think they've run out of meat too?"

I assured her that the meat was in the middle of a corn dog and it would be pretty unlikely that they'd accidentally sell her the "corn" without the "dog" inside it! We ended up leaving the fair together and I teased her that her mom would be mad if she ended up with a hollow dog, maybe she should take a bite and check to see if there was meat inside it!

I liked this big black hen. She was enormous! Her feathers were so pretty and shiny (I think I'm totally obsessed with black feathers now that I'm making a raven costume) and she was very friendly. Her name was Oprah. I wonder if she gave all the other hens new cars to bring home from the fair? Hehe.

This little hen looks like someone tossed her into the dryer and forgot to add an anti-static sheet.

Walking around the fair in the middle of the afternoon was a hot adventure. I ended up buying an iced tea, but doesn't this glass of lemonade painted on a food vendor's truck look refreshing!?

I didn't go through the midway at all. Except for the Tilt-o-Whirl, I'm not a big fan of carnival rides. I did like how the carnival they hired this year had all sherbet colored rides instead of the usual reds and oranges.

I put up even more fair photos, of some of the quilts and exhibits, as well as pink and green photos for the Shades of Inspiration color group, over on Laume's Studio. Don't forget to check them out too.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Due dates, Deadlines, and Deviant Art

This is what I wish I could do all day. Heck, this is what I wish I could do all summer. But with a book and an iced tea. And maybe I wouldn't try to sit in the windowsill. But you know what I mean.

But I won't be sitting in a windowsill or anything else. It feels like we're already in the home stretch for the end of summer and things are speeding up. Or rather, have never slowed down and found a summer pace ever, not once this season. We spent the end of spring and beginning of summer traveling, then filled up our time with lots of company and any number of summer viruses. More day trip travel for errands, doctor's appointments and what not. And last but not least, heat and smoke making everything complicated and NOT fun. (and really, are you as sick and tired of hearing me talk about the weather as I am of hearing me talk about the weather!?)

My daughter Noel is going to have a baby any time now, her due date is tomorrow. I'll be zipping up to Washington state to help her out after the birth and then zipping back to work frantically to get costumes and camping gear all ready and packed for the festival. And after that, it's August. And although that might still technically be summer, for us it's the beginning of fall with school and football not waiting to start filling up the calendar again.

Summer. A nice season. If you can find it.

I'm busy sewing and cleaning but I'm going to try to find a few hours of summer this afternoon by visiting the first day of our county fair as, depending on when I leave town, it might be my only chance to attend. Some of you know I've had my ups and then downs with the fair, and I was frustrated and concerned about their decision to charge high fees for fair entries this year, so I'm wondering what I'll find. It would be nice to discover I'm wrong and the fair is lovely this year, but the snarky side of me is sort of sure I'm not and it isn't. We'll see. I'll let you know.


I don't spend a lot of time in William's, room. Mainly it consists of picking my way through size 13 shoes and computer equipment to find him in the semi darkness to give him a kiss goodnight or opening and standing in the doorway to proclaim "STEPS WILL BE TAKEN IF YOU DON'T GET OFF THE COMPUTER AND GO UNLOAD THE DISHWASHER NOW!"

But for some reason, which I've already forgotten, I was stumbling around in his room looking for something last week. I think I was looking for something for him that he swore wasn't in his room and I swore was - but in any case, I was in his room when I noticed this addition to his interior design.

Those are William's initials so I'm guessing that rather tall stick stick figure is William himself. "Self Portrait in Duct Tape".

I think it was inspired by residual creative energy left over from the biology field trip. On the instruction sheet given out to parents, in the list of things to send with your child, was duct tape, and plenty of it. Theoretically they use it to hold down tents in the wind and fashion all manner of rain gear in the typical foggy and rainy coastal weather. Of course the teenagers don't actually use it for any of those purposes. Instead they duct tape friends (yes, cover an entire person in duct tape) and make duct tape footballs and duct tape locks so that people find themselves unable to open their tent zippers. I was an exceptionally good parent this year and found duct tape in the school colors of gold and purple. He used it to duct tape up his best friend James. Maybe he then stole James' silver duct tape from him and this is what he brought home.

Now that William has a job ("Would you like me to Super Size that item, sir?") he's decided to stock up on the basic necessities. I refuse to buy these for him anymore. Oh well, at least I don't have to listen to him arguing his case for them anymore. He's buying his own case.

So, that's it. I hope you weren't looking for me to drip pearls of wisdom today. I'm off to look at sheep, dahlias in a glass jar, watercolor paintings of someone's child, radishes on a paper plate, pigs, bunnies, quilts, jars of pickled beans, paper mache bowls, and of course the odd people a fair always pulls out from the etherworld. I might even splurge and get myself an Indian Taco. Yes. Definitely. And a Lemonade. And maybe top it off with a strawberry shortcake at the Fair Boosters stand. I might find a little summer this afternoon at that!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Garden Montage

I feel blog lazy today so I've decided to just take you on a ramble about the gardens. The gardens, mind you, are more a wild jungle of green. My intentions to wrestle them back into some sort of order this year never got beyond the idea stage. Travel, company, and procrastination got in the way but the final nails in the coffin of this plan was the nonstop weeks of smoke and heat. But fortunately hubby's favorite hobby is watering so even though most of it is weeds and overgrown invasion loving plants, it looks pretty and green and something new gifts us with blooms each day.

Some people can't get it to grow, we can't seem to get rid of it. Our perennial sweet peas are past most of their blooms and are happily growing seed pods. Don't let it fool you, you can't eat them. If you could, we'd be set for the year! I really need to pull out 80% of it, but in the meantime, it's pretty.

My sundial is being swallowed up by Yarrow, Fancy Milkweed, Russian Sage, and French Tarragon.

I've been on a no buying anything new kick this year. Well, not counting things like milk and laundry detergent and socks for the teen and so on. But this blue fellow seemed to need to come home with me from the hardware store. He's very pretty in the garden and I don't regret the impulse.

Here's some more garden creatures. You'll find them out here every day under our big shady maple - coolest spot on our little homestead and you can watch the world walk, drive, flutter, or run by.

I did manage some garden time in late spring and I made a little Halloween theme garden in this wine barrel. A black and orange garden ball (pssst, it's an old bowling ball), orange and black pansies, orange marigolds that will bloom later in the season, and a black heirloom tomato plant called Dark Prince. I can hardly wait to try one. Mwahahaha. And oh yeah, there's some morning glories twining in there I see. They'll have to go before they take over. Why can they grow by the hundreds in my vegetable garden but no matter how many seeds or plants I try to transplant to my arches, fences, or trellises, they just go phhhbbbt and won't grow on them!? Me and morning things, not the best of friends these days apparently. Maybe I'd have better luck if I tried growing Moonflowers again.... hmmmmm....

This is the compost pile. Obvious, right? No? It's been taken over by pumpkins (at least I think that's what they are) on the bottom and grapevine on the top. I'm curious what we'll get, we haven't had pumpkins in a few years and it's obviously way past the opportunity to move them, so I've instructed William to dump the compost NEXT to the compost pile on top of a grove of tall weeds between the compost pile and the dog kennel.

Hollyhocks have taken over the yard front, back, everywhere. Most of them are cream, white, and pale pinks. A few that hint at yellow. I like this one stand of dark magenta along the back fence.

Wait a minute, you say. This is a garden photo? Yes, in fact, it is. It's the chandelier at one of our local Chinese Restaurants called Happy Garden. Hah! Gotcha. I've always liked this light fixture, the tiny blue crystals on the edges are just such an unexpected twist on the traditional. This is just the bottom of it, it's very tall (long?) and hangs in the middle of the restaurant.

This matching fixture hangs near the cashier's counter. The large round center mimics the center of the chandelier and really get a chance to shine on this light which reminds me of a crystal sunflower.

And now, speaking of Happy Garden, I have ten minutes to change into something clean, brush my hair, grab my purse and cell phone, and drive there to meet my friend Shelly for a lovely, chatty, air-conditioned, delicious lunch date.

Oh, I have some faery photos up on Laume's Studio if you want to take a peek. Some are faeries in the garden, so that ties in nicely with this post, and the other pics are what I'm working on for faery garb for the fast approaching festival. Let me know what you think - do you like my outfit so far?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Treasure Trove in Tropical Temperatures

I've been staying away from treasure hunting lately because I've been focused on decreasing, not increasing, my belongings, but this was an extravaganza event and I had specific goals. One of the thrift shops was having a big parking lot sale - fill a bag or box, haul it away, and just pay them what you think it's worth, or, if you couldn't decide, then $7 for a giant black garbage bag or box full. They'd been overwhelmed with donations and had spent a week trying to pick through it best they could in the heat and decided it just needed to be reduced asap. I was on the hunt for some of the last items needed for faerie garb and for baby and kid clothes for my grandkids.

The temperature has been hovering around 100 all weekend, plus the ever present smoke. I first discovered the sale on Friday. I only had an hour before they closed to nose through stuff. I got so "into" the hunt that I almost passed out from the heat - oops. The shop manager gave me a bottle of water and I recouped enough to drag myself stuff out to my car and home.

I went back Saturday, right after I went to Farmer's Market as the two events were right across the street from each other. (Yah, I remembered to go to the Farmer's Market! I have lots of tasty fruits and vegetables!) I spent about forty minutes at the market and then went to the parking lot sale. This time I remembered to bring water (which I left in the car and it turned so hot I couldn't drink it!) and spent another couple of hours sifting through the huge asphalt field of boxes and bags. One of my finds was two outdoor chairs (we only have three and that's not enough when anyone comes to visit) and three really nice indoor chairs for the dining room. Somehow we go through chairs in this family like other families go through .... I don't know, toilet paper. We're always breaking them and ending up with a net loss of chairs every six months or so. So, I got five chairs for.... are you ready for this.... $8.

I brought all my boxes and chairs home and called for Hubby and William to come help unload them from the car. Hubby got there first and we had all but one chair unloaded into the front yard when William showed up. He spread his hands in disgust and said "Mom, what is this! More chairs!? We don't need any more chairs! Do you realize how white trash this looks!? Mom! Com'n. Why?"

I looked around and laughed. Sure enough, there were chairs, hammocks and loungers lined up literally from one end of the front yard to the other. I told him I'd decided to "Embrace my inner white trash!" He was not amused.

Here's a photo, you can't really see all the chairs, but you get the idea. The red ones are the new outdoor ones. I'm not thrilled with the cushions but they'll do for now, or maybe I'll cover them or buy new cushions on sale at the end of the year. On the other side of the sidewalk you can see the metal framed blonde wicker (rattan? What do you call that natural woven pattern?) chair. I got one like that and two matching ones with arms. They're in really excellent and sturdy condition. After I took the photo they went indoors for our dining room table.

But if you look the other direction, the front yard looks much prettier. This is what you see when you're sitting in one of those "ugly" chairs. Hmmm, I think it's time to mow the lawn. Maybe some night, in the dark, when it's cool?

I might have remembered to bring water but I was really stupid to forget that I was wearing a low cut tank top. I leaned over with my hair hanging down and my back and shoulders exposed in 100 degree temperatures for over two hours!!!! After I'd unloaded the car yesterday, and moved the chairs inside, the guys both went off to work and I went inside to lay down "for a few minutes". A few minutes ended up being a three and a half hour nap!!! I woke up and realized I was in pain. I can't believe I didn't think about sunburn. I've been hiding from the sun for so many weeks now that I just didn't think about the rules of being outdoors.

Today, again, I'm so sick and tired of hiding from the smoke and heat I decided I'd take a walk regardless - I'd just walk slow. At around the one mile mark my eyes were burning and my lungs hurt. Stupid me. But it's so frustrating to be stuck in the house.

Anyway, my hours of treasure hunting were well worth the pain and suffering. I found a huge box of clothes and baby items for Noel's three kids and baby-to-be (literally any day now!) I found another stack of great stuff for my other grandbaby Joli. I found a pair of black work pants for William and several pair of shorts and a Hawaiian shirt for Hubby. I found an entire box of ribbons, glitter, beads, buttons, garlands, and fabric. And another box full of clothing for costumes and for refashioning projects.

And I found some other stuff, some practical things like an iced tea jar and a package of new pens and things like that, which I won't bore you with. And some other things I thought you'd enjoy seeing.

I found all sorts of wonderful new scarves. I've definitely got a scarf fetish going. But, I didn't bring home all the scarves I saw, just the ones that caught my eye. People are always getting rid of scarves, they just don't know what to do with them I guess. Hmmm, I just realized there were two more I already put in my bedroom. And another great big giant shawl sized one, forgot to put that one in the photo too. There's a cat's ear in the corner - he kept trying to stick his butt in the photo and I had to snap this photo quickly before he sashayed back into the middle of the shot again. And can you see Rosie peeking out behind the scarves? Seems my photos are never pet free. Some are silk, some are cotton, some are just silky polyester. The scarves, not the pets.

This is a cute little heart shaped wire basket for outdoors. The little doggies and bone are a stacking toy, like those Russian dolls. I thought the grandkids would get a kick out of them. Last but not least, a rabbit made entirely out of shells. Come on, you can't tell me you could pass up something as ugly cute as a rabbit made entirely out of shells, could you!? We actually had a children's story when my boys were young about a rabbit that travels under the sea to visit a mermaid. So, I had to have him.

The stack of plates are a plastic set with vegetables on it - very cute and hopefully will be an alternative to my family taking our breakable dishware outside. On top of those is a pearlescent pink dish and a ceramic butterfly. The bowl to the right is old china. It's got a few tiny chips under the rim but I bought it for display, it has a sort of Marie Antoinette French scene in it. You can see it better if you click to enlarge. The front china plate is newer and in good shape and I couldn't resist the bind weed and little ladybug.

An odd collection - a children's Halloween book for my collection, a sweet Mary Engelbreit book, a antique set of metal circular needles still in the package, a tiny pink burlap gift bag with a metal flower on it, and a very heavy plaque for the garden wall with a unicorn on it. I liked the whimsey of it.

A metal framed glass tray, a set of Indian tins, an inlaid shell copper bowl, a little brown creamer with gold swirls painted on it, and some beautiful old silver. The silverware was the only thing I paid more than pennies per item for. I paid $10 for all of it. I particularly liked the gold plated serving spoon and the five iced tea length spoons. The others were cheaper and I figured maybe I could use them for some art work. But I love iced tea spoons and I'll really use them in the kitchen. Heck, I'll probably polish it all up and use it.

A little rose coaster, some silk autumn leaves for the faerie wear, and a neat old tote bag in black and white.

Three poppies in a row for garden candles. They're a little more colorful than the photo makes them out to be, but they do have a sort of faded artsy look to them.

A little picnic table for the kids to play with or maybe for the faeries out in the garden to use. Two little sheep and a rubber duck came home with me too, for the grandkids to play with, and they're all ready for a picnic.

And the last photo, a box of old Scrabble pieces for crafting, a totem pole for Sam, who collects odd "sculpture from around the world" for his house (and never reads my blog so it's safe to show you even though it's a gift item), a tea ball, two metal butterfly frames (I already have a couple of these tucked away in a box of things my mom gave me, so now I'll have a whole row of them), and two old brooches for pinning my scarves.

So, that's it. An exhausting but successful weekend of treasuring. Argggggh! A shipload (Subie load?) full of booty, me maties! A pirate's life for me!