---Alice Abrams

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Manic Monday - Orange

Image courtesy of Tropical Nights

I'm not a Fall person - the season depresses me because of the death of the green things. Today, I needed to post something that reminds me of what will reoccur in the spring when nature renews itself. And because I needed a laugh, I threw in the egg yolk being naughty.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Photo Hunters - Original

These are three of my favorite paintings. I hope you enjoy them!

(For clarification, I did paint them myself, in oils)

Here's the link for TN Chick and Photo Hunters:

Thursday, September 27, 2007

When I Am Famous...

When I am famous ...

Okay, I "borrowed" this, stored it for a week and I don't remember where I got it! I can't acknowledge if you would like to take the tag, don't credit me!

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car)
Johnny Chrysler

2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie)
Peppermint Snickerdoodle

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name)

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)
Det. Blue Dog

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)
I don't have a middle name! So, I'll just use my blog name:
Gracie Hollywood

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first)

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink)
The Blue Margarita

8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers)
Glenn Thomas

9. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy)
Happy Butterfinger (he, he, he...)

10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names )
My mom didn't have a middle name, either...I'll use her maiden name!
Morris Clayton
11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)
Runze Reno

12. SPY NAME/BOND GIRL: (your favorite season/holiday, flower)
Christmas Orchid

13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”) Pineapple Shortie
14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)
Smoothie Palm

15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”)
The Scrapping Rain Tour

Thursday Thirteen - P.C. Cats

In honor of all my cat-loving friends!

Thursday Thirteen Banner courtesy of Samulli

Politically Correct Terms For Cat Owners:

My cat does not barf hairballs ~ he is a floor/rug redecorator

My cat does not break things ~ she helps gravity do its job

My cat does not fear dogs ~ they are merely sprint practice tools

My cat does not scratch ~ he is a furniture/rug/skin ventilator

My cat is not a "shedding machine" ~ she is a hair relocation stylist

My cat is not a "treat-seeking missile" ~ she enjoys the proximity of food

My cat is not a bed hog ~ he is a mattress appreciator My cat is not a dope addict ~ she is catnip appreciative

My cat is not a lap fungus ~ he is bed selective

My cat is not a ruthless hunter ~ she is a wildlife control expert

My cat is not evil ~ she is badness enhanced

My cat is not fat ~ he is mass enhanced

My cat is not lazy ~ he is motivationally challenged
Here's the link for more Thursday Thirteen participants!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Power of Pink

TOGETHER, WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN FINDING A CURE Since 2003 Brighton has donated nearly $2 million to breast cancer charities. In our 5th annual year of Power of Pink, we are tripling our efforts by introducing not one or two, but 3 new pieces of jewelry! We invite you visit Participating Brighton Retailers and see the latest earrings, bracelet and necklace Brighton's designers have created to support breast cancer research, education and treatment.*
Many stores are having exciting Power of Pink events...check out our calendar to find an event near you!

I don't know about you but I am nuts about all things Brighton! They are offering this beautiful charm bracelet for "Breast Cancer" month. For participating retailers, check here:

$5.00 from each purchase will be donated to Breast Cancer research.

Asara: Asara's Mental Meandering
Mags: Ms Maggie Moo Talks 2 U

What? Me Get Old?

AN ESSAY ON AGING...(received by e-mail
and I do not know the author)

"The other day a young person asked me
how I felt about being old. I was taken aback, for I do not
think of myself as old.
Upon seeing my reaction, she was
immediately embarrassed, but I explained that it was an interesting
question, and I would ponder it, and let her know.
Old Age, I decided, is a gift.I am now, probably for the first time
in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my
body! I sometime despair over my body, the wrinkles, the
baggy eyes, and the sagging rear. And often I am taken
aback by that old person that lives in my mirror (who looks
like my grandmother!), but I don't agonize over
those things for long.
I would never trade my amazing friends,
my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a
flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself,
and less critical ofmyself. I've become my own friend.I don't

chide myself for eating that
extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly
cement gecko that Ididn't need, but looks so avante garde
on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to
be extravagant. I have seen too many dear friends leave
this world too soon; before they understood the great
freedom that comes with aging.Whose business is it if I choose to
read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon?
I will dance with myself to those
wonderful tunes of the 60 & 70's, and if I, at the same time,
wish to weep over a lost love ... I will.
I will walk the beach in a swim suit
that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the
waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances
from the jet set.They, too, will get old.
I know I am sometimes forgetful. But
there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I
eventually remember the important things.
Sure, over the years my heart has been
broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved
one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's
beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us
strength and understanding and compassion. A heart
never broken is pristine and sterile and will never
know the joy of being imperfect.
I am so blessed to have lived long
enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful
laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many
have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair
could turn silver.
As you get older, it is easier to be
positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't
question myself anymore. I've even earned
the right to be wrong.
So, to answer your question, I like
being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become.
I am not going to last forever, but while I am still here, I
will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or
worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every
single day. (If I feel like it)"


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Please, Make it Go Away!

This is what the back of our property looked like after we moved in, in May.
Blue skies and foothills...
This was the same but from a different angle...

Now, we've got big ol' honkin' earth movers, working from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., raising dust and racket you wouldn't believe - unless you've had earth movers working directly behind you.
I'm just hoping we don't wind up with Valley Fever from all the dirt that's been fallow for so many years being stirred up! Pesimist.
They come right up to the fence, (which we were going to replace) and make the ground rumble. As you can tell, we are no longer going to be the last row, and from the position of the big ugly, yellow monster, you can see that the new mobiles going in will be much higher than we are and will block our view completely!!! We chose this particular mobile because of the fact that we would have no one behind us. Great cosmic practical joke, huh?
(I just found out today that they're going to be an "Own-Your-Own Lot" mobiles, with garages. Maybe we'll just hop the fence and move into a newer unit! Now, I'm talkin' optimism!)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Manic Monday - Kit

My entry for this week's MM word - Kit - is Kit Fox. Living in the San Joaquin Valley, we're privy to some interesting species, some of which are, unfortunately, endangered. Because of the severe laws in effect, I'm afraid someday our farmers will become endangered as well!
But this little guy is a winsome little fox. At our previous house, we had an area just a block away that these foxes lived in. Sometimes at night, if you were real lucky, you could catch one in the headlights.

We live in the 'burbs but it was all rural not too many years ago. In the nine years we lived in the southwest part of town, in our backyard I have seen a 'possum staring down at me from one of our banana plants; a hawk swoop down and fetch it's lunch in the form of a mouse; a skunk, whose tail was at full alert and managed to get off a good spray right under our office windows; and many other wonderful creatures! But I count it good fortune to see one of these cuties~


Conservation comments:
The San Joaquin Kit Fox is a cute, curious, and endangered resident of the San Joaquin Valley of California and is found in the Central Valley and foothills.
STATUS: Endangered. We are working hard to prevent this.
DESCRIPTION: San Joaquin kit foxes are the smallest foxes in North America. They are about 51 cm long. (About 20 inches) This doesn't count their tails. They weigh a little over 2 kg. (About 5 pounds) They have long legs and large ears. Their coats range from tan to buffy gray in the summer. This changes to silvery gray in the winter.
FOOD: Small mammals such as mice, kangaroo rats, squirrels and rabbits. Ground-nesting birds. Insects.
HABITAT: San Joaquin scrub and grasslands.
MATING: Kit foxes can breed when one year old. Adult pairs stay together all year. In the fall, females begin to clean and enlarge their pupping dens. The foxes mate between December and March.
Litters of two to six pups are born in February or March. Pups emerge from the den after about a month.
PREDATORS: Red foxes, coyotes, domestic dogs, bobcats and large raptors.
RANGE: Most San Joaquin kit foxes live on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.
THREATS: Loss of habitat to farming and development. By 1979, only about 6.7% of the San Joaquin Valley's original wildlands south of Stanislaus County remained untilled and undeveloped.
Predation and competition from larger species such as the nonnative red fox.

A Place for the Kit Fox to Hide: We help win California's first Safe Harbor, Posted: 01-Jan-2002;

Updated: 08-May-2007
Small and delicate, with huge ears, the San Joaquin kit fox has been called "the ballet dancer of the canid world." This small, graceful carnivore has been on the endangered species list since 1967. More than 95% of its grassland and desert scrub habitat in California's San Joaquin Valley has been eradicated by housing, mega-malls and farms. But a recent agreement brokered by Environmental Defense improves the tiny fox's chances for survival. Kit foxes share the San Joaquin with larger, faster coyotes that prey on them. In self-defense, the mostly nocturnal foxes have for millennium been digging escape burrows where they hunker down until it's safe to come out. But in cultivated fields and orchards, there are few places left to dig. The foxes have become increasingly easy pickings for the coyotes, their leading cause of death, according to Dr. Patrick Kelly, director of the endangered species recovery program at California State University, Fresno.
Kelly studied kit foxes in the vicinity of the Paramount Farming Company outside Bakersfield, and conceived a new way to help: Why not install artificial burrows for the foxes to escape from coyotes on farmland?
It seemed simple, but there was a catch. Paramount, if it cooperated, might become liable under the Endangered Species Act for its farming activities near the burrows. Why would the landowner take such a risk? "Unfortunately, a history of conflict has made private landowners extremely wary of the Endangered Species Act," says Michael Bean, director of our wildlife program. Some valley farmers have reportedly resorted to plowing fallow fields to keep endangered species away.
"Our concern was that we'd do the right thing, and it would backfire," says Scott Hamilton, Paramount's resource manager.
Safe Harbor's Promise
Kelly enlisted Environmental Defense and our Safe Harbor initiative. Safe Harbor agreements, introduced by us in 1995 and adopted nationally by the Fish and Wildlife Service, allow landowners to help endangered species voluntarily while being protected from new liability. Bean was pleasantly surprised when, after hearing about Safe Harbor, Paramount "took about 10 minutes to agree."
After our plan was embraced by Paramount, the company built 25 escape burrows on its land and even volunteered to pick up the cost. Bean and Kelly are impatient to open the dens, which are still capped in anticipation of final federal approval of the agreement. "The foxes need some time to check them out," Kelly says. "And their breeding season is coming up soon."

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Photo Hunt - Paper

My spare room is stacked with boxes full of paper; paper for altered books, scrapbooks, cardmaking and other "artsy-fartsy" projects! I cut pictures out of magazines to use with altered books and a book I'm working on. I have boxes full of cards I've been saving over the years to use in some way. I love papers, especially all of the different textures and colors.

The little book above started out from a kit and I further embellished it. The photo is of me and my dad circa 1955.

Please check out TN Chick's website for more Photo Hunt participants!

Friday, September 21, 2007

It's Raining - It's Pouring - Yipppeeeee!!!

To some of you, this may be a very boring post. To those of us in a drought area, it's thrilling!
We are breaking the record for a low for the day and it's raining!!! We haven't had measurable rain since May, and after experiencing several days of temperatures in the 100's, just to smell the sweet smell of rain is divine! Last week it was in the 90's. Today, it is 75. Yipppeeeee!
It is supposed to climb back up next week but after a reprieve, it will be a snap!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

You've Got to be Kidding...

What in the world is going on???
This little fuzzball is going to be speaking at the U.N. (that's another post completely!) and wants to lay a wreath at Ground Zero??? I THINK NOT!
Under his command, our servicemen and women are being killed. And he wants to lay a wreath at Ground Zero? No, he wants to manipulate the media and have a little dog and pony show! It's bad enough that he's going to speak at the U.N. with the other fuzzball, Hugo Chavez, but Columbia University has extended an invitation for him to speak there next week. Isn't that just wonderful? A man who denies the Holocaust occurred; a man who denies basic human rights to his own people; a man who continually taunts Israel with annihilation; a man whose county allows women to be stoned to death for an infraction of the law (I could go on and on but I'll quit here). And one of our colleges invites him to speak to the student body? The college admin says that it will be a question/answer session also. Well, I believe in Santa Claus. Is the fuzzball (I admit it, I can't spell his name and fuzzball fits) going to be handed softballs? Of course! Will the media be allowed in? Doubtful! And would it matter? They will probably be fawning all over every word he says against our military or our leadership. This will be turned into an adoration session for so-called free speech, showing the rest of the world how wonderful Americans are by giving someone like this an opportunity to address our citizens. B.S.!!! Free speech is afforded our citizens under the Constitution...not megalomaniac tyrants who are killing our people! What is wrong with the University of Columbia!!! This is about as ridiculous as it gets, folks.
(In that photo above, you can bet he's not checking out the chicks, unless they're being stoned, that is....)

A Belated "Thank You" for a Smile!

I owe Morgen, of It's a Blog Eat Blog World, and Linda, of This and That, an apology. They both were kind enough to bestow this "You Make Me Smile" badge and I forgot to display it. Now that's just unacceptable! So, my apologies to both of you, and I hope I can still make you smile as you both do me.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Fall Thoughts

This was the beginning of autumn a couple of years ago up in Kernville - that's the Kern River. If we want a quick Sunday afternoon type of get-a-way, we often head up here. It's only about a 45 minute trip (through some of the most windy roads!).
This was my yard last year - a still-blooming bougainvillea, a green mimosa and a liquid amber that is already changing colors! They were a confused group...

A few weeks later, our hard frost killed the mimosa and the bougainvillea (and a couple of my queen palms). That's the risk you take when you grow tropicals in a zone 8 or 9, depending on which guide you look at!

I have a dozen different roses here, along with two navel orange trees, one of which is loaded with fruit. We went almost twenty years between major frosts. I hope that holds tree for the next couple of decades!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Manic Monday - Crisp

When I saw the word "crisp," on Mo's website, the first thing I thought of was "crisp cookies." Then I started "over-thinking" it, trying to stay away from fall because I figured that was what most people would head for so I decided to post about the crisp, clean feeling of standing near a waterfall and being overwhelmed by the spray as it moistens your skin, hair and clothes.
I've stood by little trickling falls in foothills and footpaths, and by mammoth falls in Yosemite and Hawai'i. They are refreshing and ethereal, especially those that flow into pools of reflective waters...
(I'm going to go back to my lair -and dream of waterfalls)
Please visit "It's a Blog Eat Blog World" for more Manic Monday participants!

Friday, September 14, 2007

I'm Out

Update: I'm letting my neck rest a bit more. I'm still having "issues" with the migraine monsters - I miss everyone terribly but my neck is still out of whack.

I can't shake these headaches so I'm out for awhile. Be back as soon as I'm
human again.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Monday, September 10, 2007

Our Latest Marine...

Another hero in the making... Leaving boyhood behind and off to boot camp!
September 2007My grandson, Robby, is in his second week of boot camp down at Camp Pendleton to achieve his goal of becoming a Marine! He's my oldest daughter's son. Please keep him, along with mom and dad, in your thoughts and prayers as he begins his adventure!
June 2007

Warm the Globe Through Friendship

Warm The Globe Through Friendship
I got this over at "A Little Piece of Me" and wanted to post it: Claire and Vic have a great idea!
"One of my first blogging buddies has come up with a way to show some blog love, cyber holding of hands around the world.
Here is what Vic from Cariboo Ponderer came up with:
A good way for a blog to get established is to have backlinks. So I came up with the idea of
All you have to do is copy this post with the list of links below and add your link at the end.As others do the same we get the word out about a lot of great blogs. Eventually we may circumnavigate the globe.A lot of my visitors and certainly those on my sidebar are great bloggers, with great blogs, so click read more, copy the post and add your link!That’s it, then just sit back, and watch the links grow, over time. "
Cariboo Ponderer
Down River Drivel
Me, my life, my garden
Author blog
A little piece of me
The BiPolar Diaries
Turning the Pages of Life
A Place I Call Home
Time With Shelby
Mothers Home
Down River Drivel
Chicken's Life
Dottie's Place
Echos of Grace

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Manic Monday - Clue

Sung to a strain of the blues...minor chord

Too many days go by, feelin' like I haven't got a clue;
Days I lie around the house, feelin' down and blue.
Then the dates on the calendar fly by way too fast,
And then all of a sudden, 'nother birthday has gone past.

I got the birthday blues, feelin' old and clueless;
Got the birthday blues, all alone and useless.
Feelin' like a granny with my hair up in a bun;
Walkin' like a loser, feelin' like I'm done...

Switchin' from a minor key to one that's major C;
Readin' words and feelin' that the blues are killin' me.
Gonna take a clue from people who are feelin' mighty fine;
And tell myself bein' clueless is just a state of mind!

No more birthday blues and feelin' old and clueless;
Got no more birthday blues, not alone and useless.
Gonna pick up my troubles and pack 'em in a bag,
Throw 'em in the river - now it's my turn to brag!

No more birthday blues and feelin' old and clueless....

Please visit MO, the originator of this meme, Manic Monday...

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Photo Hunt - Music

This is the hubman, playing his Ibanez guitar, which is modeled after a Gibson. I bought him a Gibson Les Paul Anniversary model for a wedding present but he traded it for a Fender Stratocaster, and no, I didn't mind.

He also has a beautiful guitar he made from hand with help from Doug, our SIL. We have so many guitars and amps I can't keep up with 'em. Notice the shirt?
He's self-taught, doesn't read music but listens to something and plays by ear. That's a blessing!
We both love music and a car trip involves time spent choosing which CD's to take!

Here's the link to TN Chick and a lot more Photo Hunt participants. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

And the Wind Blew Our Way!

Stepping out in front of our place at 4:30 in the afternoon, the sky looks like a winter storm is moving in. But the color is a bit off. The reason for that is this isn't a storm front, it's August and this is smoke from the Zaca fire over 100 miles away!!! You can see that we're on a hill and the sky is blue at the bottom of the photo. The Zaca fire originated by Santa Barbara on July 4th and was finally contained on September 4th! It burned over 240,000 acres and cost over $118 million dollars.
This was taken from the back yard - it was so dark the flash on my camera went off! It's no wonder we all had headaches and sinus problems!!!
You may or not know that this area is second to none for air quality in the U.S. We are in a valley and all the junk from the bay area drifts down here and backs up against the mountains to the south. We actually have days in the winter where the air cops encourage neighbors to tattle on neighbors for lighting fires in their fireplaces.
In the summer months, of course we have all the pollutants from extra traffic on the freeway and from agriculture. And thanks to Mayor Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, we have L.A.'s crap (literally!) spread on some land LA owns which is going to affect our ground water! We voted to ban it (wouldn't you?) but thanks to the wonderful courts, they overturned the desires of the voters. Add all of this to the stew, and you get our air. Now we're getting Mexican trucks, too! AIYEEEEEEE! This is taken from Tehachapi Mountains, looking out over the valley in which I live, in the winter. What you're seeing is valley fog, what we lovingly refer to as "Tule Fog," (pronounced as tu-lee) because it hangs so low. All of the pollutants (such as smoke from wood fires, hence the ban on fireplaces) stick in this fog and make the air unbreatheable for people with lung conditions. And, it's deadly. People drive too fast for the near zero visibility and we have horrific traffic accidents, some involving many cars and big rigs.

The joke in all this is our city council members decided to place a sign at the outskirts of town that reads, "Bakersfield, Life as it Should Be." Sure, if you don't breathe!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Thursday Thirteen - More Phobias!

I started this list a few weeks ago. Here are some more of mankind's deepest fears:
(Please feel free to add your comments about your fears...)

Androphobia: Fear of men -
While not generally fearful of men, there are a few I've given wide berth!!!
Anthropophobia: Fear of human companionship -
I'm pretty solitary. Lots of people scare me to death!
Bathophobia: Fear of deep places -
Claire should be very happy this doesn't affect her; otherwise, she couldn't have gone spelunking!
Gynephobia: Fear of women -
Just one: the Wicked Witch of the North that I had the pleasure of working for. And when I finally stood up to her - the fear vanished!
Hedonophobia: Fear of pleasure -
Weird...can't even imagine!
Hypengyophobia: Fear of responsibility -
My kids all went through this one at about age 15...
Hypnophobia: Fear of sleep -
I have insomnia. Does that count???
Nyctophobia: Fear of night or darkness -
I had "night frights" as a child and had to sleep with a light on but not as an adult. Once in awhile, if something spooks me and I'm by myself, I can still feel the hairs on the back of my neck waving in the breeze.
Pathophobia: Fear of disease -
Only radiation sickness!
Pediophobia: Fear of children or dolls -
Ill behaved children and old dolls give me the willies. Where do clowns fall? I hate clowns!
Scopophobia: Fear of being stared at -
When I wore my first two-piece bathing suit at the beach when I weighed 120#; later in life, it was when I weighed 269 and wore a tent!
Tocophobia: Fear of childbirth -
Not until I had my first child!
Triskaidekaphobia: Fear of the number thirteen -
This has crept into society since there is no 13th floor designated in a high rise building. Silly...That's like one of Empress Bee's Blond jokes - there's still a 13th floor!!!
Here's the link for Thursday Thirteen!

Wordless Wednesday