Thursday, July 23, 2009

What Happens at the Bowling Alley, Stays at the Bowling Alley

Unless of course, I blog about it. Lisa will probably blog about it too. And maybe even Victoria. We're just a blob of bloggers around here. A billow of bloggers? A branch of bloggers? Hmmm.

Back to bowling -

See me smiling. I bowled a really good game. After getting solidly beaten by everyone last time we went bowling, I was the top scorer today. Yay me!

Lisa bowled well too, coming in third place, although by the look on her face she wasn't too thrilled with this particular throw.

All the bowling balls look a little concerned and amazed too.

Totally shocked us all by coming in second, the amazing Joli and her little bowling ramp. She had a lot of fun carrying the heavy ball, lifting it into place, and pushing it off. Then she'd run off, not particularly concerned what happened to the pins. As you'll, she had more important things on her mind.

Like flirting with the local military guys. Like mother like daughter I guess. Hehe.

There was more than bowling going on. There was a lot of hanging about.

Some dancing.

Reading. I offered up the first of three urban fantasies by Holly Black and three days later Victoria was polishing off the third book!!!

Texting and soda drinking. Hubby is a texting fiend. He could give your average teenager a run for their money. Sometimes I take his phone away from him.

It was a busy day, more adventures in the afternoon. I'll try to get them up tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

More Flowers, More Family

Busy today. Sewing and creating is still in full force. Housecleaning had to be done again (funny how it never stays done no matter how much one scrubs or vacuums!), a list of things to run out and buy at the market, Walmart, health food store and dollar store. And the house is filling up, Joe, Lisa and Joli camped their way up the Sierra's this last week and finally arrived here where they were delighted to find such luxuries as showers, refrigerators, and washing machines.

All this to say, all I've got for ya are some pretty pics I took of the garden. I noticed the morning glories and cosmos are finally blooming and it inspired me to get my camera.

This color is right next to the new dining canopy (that I haven't taken a photo of yet for you), but we can't enjoy it much as it's still too hot to use!

We had wonderful turnips from the garden last night. I'm really excited about this first and largest heirloom eggplant developing.

It's so hot even with daily watering some of the plants with larger leaf surfaces (in particular, the pumpkins) are drooping midday.

The leek flowers are pretty.

It's amazing to think that all these barrels were down to dirt just a few months ago. I replanted from scratch and ruthlessly weeded volunteer flowers that threatened to take over the new occupants, but was happy to see that some of the reseeders I enjoy and thought I'd lose in the garden redo have made a decent comeback - my self seeding petunias and johnny-jump-ups, the cilantro and a few other herbs. There's Hubby in the background, making sure everything gets watered.

I only managed a couple photos since the kids showed up today, but I snapped this one only minutes after they'd all arrived. Somehow Joli had already managed to get Victoria to read to her. Too Many Pumpkins. It's never the wrong time of year for Halloween books in this house.

I'll have more sewing project photos up on the studio blog by tomorrow.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Two Girls Lost in the Woods

So maybe we weren't lost, maybe we were just wandering. I took Victoria up to see some of our local creeks, rivers, springs, lakes. It was another hot day and water seemed like a good plan. (photos will click to open)

We went to see the clear water and springs at, clever how they named the place, Clear Creek.

These water plants looked like little trees atop the surface. Hard to tell in the photo which part is above and which below the water.

They were doing some road work on one end of the park, the noise sort of blew the peaceful mountain serenity. But the local wildlife didn't seem to mind. This appeared to be the Bottoms Up Club.

You might get an idea if you click on this photo - there were thousands of swallows above our heads, I assume they'd found a swarm of tasty insects. You don't usually see swallows midafternoon, I've only seen them like this at dusk before.

Then we cooled off at Lake Almanor. Victoria's like me, she spent as much time looking down at the ground and collecting rocks as she did looking around her and photographing the bigger scenery. An older gentlemen wandering along the beach was nice enough to take this photo of the two of us.

We went into the little logging town of Chester for lunch, ate at one of my favorite restaurants. I took a photo of her on the dining patio with the flag behind her to so she can show she's really in America.

Balancing midriver.

Making friends with the local woodland fae.

Wandering around all faelike ourselves. We realized we should have brought our faerie wings, it would have been a great place for some forest setting pics. Maybe in a few days, we're hoping to go walking and swimming at another river when the rest of the company arrives.

Taking a photo of the moss. We both love our macro settings.

When we're not out tromping and splashing in nature, we've been back at the house working on our Faerieworld outfits. Been getting lots done but I forgot to take photos today. I'll rectify that tomorrow and post a few peeks at things on the studio blog tomorrow.

Tur-rific Tur-nips.

From the garden. Aren't they pretty!? And tasty. Much less starchy than storebought turnips. One was really spicy flavored, the others were mild. Had them for dinner. Sauteed the turnip tops as well.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Annoying Things

Annoying thing #1 - the heat. UGH. Temperatures over 100 degrees. Enuf said.

Annoying thing #2 - our internet cable company. It's switched ownerships three times over the last few years. The first two companies did a fairly decent job. This last company has the same friendly local people but the service is intermittent, sluggish, and makes me want to switch companies. But our local options aren't numerous. And I'm tired of changing all my internet information, I'm finally just getting all the e-mail and password preferences fixed from the last changes. Lately the service has been almost nonexistent. But, enough whining.

Let's chat about happy things instead.

We went to Reno on Friday and picked up our British Faery friend Victoria who's here for a nice long visit until we all head up to Faerieworlds at the end of the month. Poor girl has never even been close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. But she's holding up admirably.

We're having fun, despite not being able to get online to tell anyone about it. Making outfits and other faery garb, discussing food and cultures and watching televison (another Trueblood addict in the making), and we headed over to the fair last night so I could have eat my once-a-year treat of a locally made Indian Taco. YUM!

The only thing we've taken photos of so far were of the shiny lights on the carnival midway, which has nothing to do with what we did, which was to tour the exhibit halls and chat with the many folks who passed us on the main vendor corridors to catch up on hellos and hugs. But, I didn't want to pass up the opportunity to photograph all the bright colors. So, for your entertainment: (I think you can click to open them larger this time - last time I told you that, I was lying, but try again, this time I'm pretty sure it will work)


My favorite, would have taken more photos of these - they were "clackers" (? - noisemakers I assume) but it was at a vendor stall and I didn't want to stand too close and have them wonder why I was photographing their merchandise. Just liked the pretty light and color. Victoria and I think we'll go back and actually buy some today. We were really tired last night and, duh, it didn't occur to us then.

Photos up on Laume's Studio of some of the fabric goodies I bought in Reno.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Busy Wings

Life has been very very busy. Mostly all in a good way. Lots of work getting done. Garden busy growing (including the weeds, which means lots of weeding to do too!) Lots of family coming and going and coming again - a busymaking but lovely thing. All this to say, it's tough to find blogging time. Why does the idea of summer being a lazy hazy time persist so determinedly in my brain in the face of so much evidence that it is not!?

Lots of photos (although I've been sort of off my usual snapping everything in sight mode) have been queueing up to be posted here. These are from last week and I'm using them to say "We've been busy little faeries, flying from project to project these days!"

The grandkids wanted to try on their wings for Faerieworlds. This will be their first year attending, I'm so excited they will be experiencing it! Garrett is such a little comedian, always has a schtick. Joshua and Nonny are waiting more patiently, not sure what to do.

Fly, of course. Here they are practicing. "Can we really fly?" Joshua asks. Oooh, tricky question. Don't want to ruin the fun but don't want them attempting to jump off something either!

Now that's the idea. Faeries flying all over the yard!

Look at the rosy cheeks of an Anastasia Fae! (Her name is really Anastasia Faye!)

Benjamin the baby fae slept through the wing practice. There's nothing like holding a sleeping (and heavy) baby to relax the spirit. I didn't notice when Hubby took this photo - check out Rosie in the background looking all sad and misplaced.

Well, speaking of wings, I've gotta fly. Lots to do and not enough time left to do it all in. I could sure use some magic faery dust to help me get everything done on time. (Gee, I hope that isn't a street term for some illegal substance!) Company arriving in three days. Mucho cleaning and organizing still left. Errands and evening appointment are gonna take a chunk outa today. Harry Potter premiere tonight. (gotta have priorities!) Book club tomorrow. Haven't read the book yet. Haven't even started the EIGHT outfits I have to design for Faerieworlds yet. Weeds keep growing. And so on and so on ad infinitum.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The Road Not Taken

There are a dozen or so houses that I carry around in my head. Most of them are houses that at one time in my life I visited with the idea of buying them. Some are places I actually lived but moved away from, one is my grandmother's old homestead, and a few I've only visited in my dreams.

But all of them are real to me and all of them are more than just a structure sitting on a certain square feet of land. Each represents a road not taken and the thought of them brings to mind a detailed and entire life I might have lived if I had chosen that path instead of the one I'm on.

For example, there's a house about four blocks from where we currently live that the realtor took me to when we came here long ago. It was really just a shell of a house - it needed new flooring, new windows, new wiring, new plumbing, new everything. But it was in a prime location and came with four acres of bottom land that wasn't "valuable" because it was flood zone and couldn't be built on. When we moved here, I was leaving a budding nursery business behind and it would have been the perfect spot to grow a new and permanent nursery business here. Because I didn't think at the time that our family was up to the challenges that came with the actual house, and because I was discouraged from considering it by a few people, I passed that road by and in my mind, I also passed up a key juncture where I could have chosen my future as "plant lady".

Another house that has stuck with me all these years was an abandoned house high in the mountains above San Diego. It was in worst shape, if that was possible, than the first house I described, but it came with substantial acreage and a private view that went on forever. I remember it had rooms that unfolded one into another, like a domino game. It had a Japanese style garden gate that needed paint and oil but which the wind sang beautifully in as it passed through. I actually got as far as having the realtor write up an offer on this house. I literally backed out with my pen poised above the contract, a sudden certainty that it was the wrong thing to do. A few days later Hubby got the transfer back to northern California that we had been told was impossible. Still, with not choosing this house, I saw myself walking away from the path that led to me building a retreat center that would have nourished me, my family, and many other people.

I know that if I had truly chosen these locations, my life may have unfolded in completely different ways than I have imagined them. I know this. But it doesn't really matter, it's my way to organize and remember all the choices in my life and where and when I made them.

A huge undercurrent in my life now is the decision we'll be making in the next few years where to move when and once William is off to college and launched, and Hubby retires. My family calls to me in several different directions, hubby's needs factor in, and my own goals (if I can ever chose amongst that maze of directions!) put in their two cents.

Deep down at a level that doesn't have a reason, I know what path I want to take. My heart tells me where I should be, knock on wood, things work out to allow it. I have an imagined life already plotted out for this particular scenario. And yet, at the same time, I know I truly don't know what that path will bring. Life is too unpredictable. There are too many places where you can't see beyond the hill or around the curve, or past the thick trees, to know what will come next. And isn't it better that way, really? What fun would it be if we didn't have some delights and challenges to make the journey worth traveling.

Still, it doesn't keep me from wondering and worrying each time I come to a crossroads. Which path? Right or left? An intriguing direction might peter out into thicket of impassable tangles. A beautiful looking beginning might end up becoming a long, boring valley. And yet what each path says to us at that point, paused between two directions, is all we have to help us decide because, as Frost so eloquently reminds us - "Yet knowing how way leads on to way,I doubted if I should ever come back."

No matter how much we weigh the pros and cons, ponder the possibilities, at the end it all comes down to the stillness of that last moment when we listen to the whispers in our heart and taking the very next step, make our choice.

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The Road Not Taken

by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Friday, July 03, 2009

More Family, Flowers, and Floppy Puppy

This is the time of year when our overgrown weed/flower front garden makes the entrance look very inviting, yes? So inviting, that more family has come visiting. Sam and Ashley came over yesterday, and they brought their new puppy Jax.

Jax: "Hey, I remember you! Wanna play!"
Rosie: "Oh no! Not him again!"

Jax had never meet a feline, he was very curious. Here he is checking out Ginny Weasley. Fortunately our cats have all had their share of dog and puppy visitors and don't get terribly hissy or annoyed. So far everyone's fine. Well, except for when Jax tried to play with Mongo's tail and Mongo swatted him. Jax is a fast learner though. "YELP! No tail biting. Gotcha." Not a good pic of Ashley.

But here's a nice one. Joli's not the only cutie on our tree swing. Ashley's looking pretty in the yard.

More pretties in the yard. The daylilies are blooming.

Including this beautiful burgundy one, the only remaining specialty lily of the half dozen we planted.

Sam and Ashley are off to spend the rest of the weekend in Lake Tahoe and we're babysitting the grandpuppy. We were given all sorts of instructions - geeze, you'd think we'd never raised any kids or animals without their help. Hehe. Ashley giving Jax one more kiss goodbye.

We're supposed to put him in his crate for sleeping or when we have to go somewhere. He sleeps in there just fine but I think he looks very sad in there in the day.

Much happier on the couch, doncha think! He's a very sweet tempered guy. And silly. And floppy. And smart. Right now Rosie is napping on the couch next to my side, and Jax is napping on the floor next to my feet. It's a dog sleep dog world.