---Alice Abrams

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Old Homestead

The House That Dad Built

This is where I grew up.  Imagine a row of eucalyptus trees (a wind break) going down the side of the property, and instead of tract houses, fields of alfalfa.  We had an acre behind us, with some chickens, and then orange groves all around.  I know I wrote about my pet hen, Nancy, well, this is where we did our roaming.

The house was built in 1951.  My brother came in 1954.  Even though I was a very young bride (17), this is the place I still call home.  My roots are here and I feel close to my parents when I visit.  My brother and his family still live here and it looks great!  My mom and dad planted the huge Sycamore tree in the front yard that is showing off by thrusting it's roots through the driveway and sidewalk. My brother planted the liquid amber that is the only sign of autumn in Orange County.  It hovered aroud 75 degrees this year at Christmas.   

I don't miss the traffic, but I sure miss this house.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Veteran's Day 2011

  Brennan Newberry's NASCAR entry

I guess every person in military who's had the opportunity to do this has!  Robby looks so young here, it was about two years before his death.  Never would have thought when he was a little guy, that one day he'd be sitting in the palace of a despot!    For all of you who have served, enjoy this photo, because without our troops despots would be reigning all over the world!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Commercials! And Other Stuff

Along the Kern River at Hart Park

Thanks for your responses to my request.  Commercials can be so wonderful - consider the Super Bowl phenomenon!  But more often than next they're guaranteed to make you reach for the remote.  I think our local commercials are the worst but some of the nationals are pretty bad, too.  The silliest ones are for "enhancements," Zestra and Cealis (sp) are the worst, especially the folks sitting in bathtubs out in the middle of a cornfield!

We tend to like the ones with animals, but my favorite is the baby stockbroker in the crib.  He's in trouble because he tried riding the dog and mom took his laptop away. It's very clever and the baby is adorable. I can't begin to tell you the name of the brokerage house, though!
Have any of you seen DIY "I Hate My Kitchen?"  Well, that's how we feel about this mess.  My former son-in-law gutted our kitchen at our previous house, put in all new cabinetry, new counter tops, new appliances, etc. It was gorgeous!  So moving in here, with the pretend wood paneling was disheartening, to say the least!

My present son-in-law finished the new cabinet fronts for the kitchen. (My daughter has kept the cabinet shop open). As I've been peeling away layers, there are at least two different types of wallpaper involving ugly little red teacups and orange flowers.  They previous owners left a lot of wallpaper that they'd used in the den.  It's not bad - better than the fake paneling for sure!  It looks kind of like grass cloth which I've always liked and it's back in style again.  So I tried papering over the ugly mess of teacups.  It looked pretty good for awhile - until it started peeling off.  So, I tried glue.  Nope, didn't work, either.

So, our SIL is going to put new backing up which we can either tile over or paint.  Instead of dark pretend paneling, it will be crisp and light!  I can hardly wait!  A couple of years ago we bought all new appliances but the kitchen still looks shabby.  We replaced the indoor-outdoor carpeting which was in all the bathrooms and kitchen.  Who wants carpet in the bathroom?  YUCK.  Painting over the pretend paneling is hard work.  It takes 2-3 coats of Kilz and you've got to get in all the little grooves which eats up paint brushes like crazy.

Next, we'll replace the counter tops which are laminate butcher block - charming - with a newer grade of laminate that really doesn't look too bad.  But that will have to wait a bit.  Doing things in bits and pieces has driven me crazy.  I want to wiggle my nose and just make it all happen, but I haven't had any luck in that department!

Anyhoo, I'll be happy just to get this part finished.  One step at a time...Patience.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Where Did Summer Go?

I wish I could say I took this photo, but I'm using the PC instead of my laptop and haven't moved my photos over here.  Can't honestly say I know how!  My old reliable VAIO is about ready to bite the dust.  It takes me ten minutes for it to open, and I get a Shockwave crash notice everytime I try to do anything!  The PC loads really fast but my back can't take too much of this chair.

I have no news - good or bad - which is of itself good news.  It's been hot but tolerable.  The cooler has cut our bills in half since we're not having to use the A/C.  We had a few really humid days so we cranked it up then but not enough to hurt the wallet.  It's so nice to be cool and not quaking in fear of seeing the next electric bill!

We're having trouble with feral cats.  Some sweet little old guy across the street feeds them.  They have one litter after another, and it breaks my heart.  The problem is they drive my dogs nuts.  They walk the fences tormenting them and sit outside the fence or sliding glass door and stare at the dogs.  The worst part of it is when my birds see them.  Good gravy!  Our Nanday Conure (parrot) is so loud I'm sure everyone in the park can hear him!   And I'm not just whistling Dixie!  It's like an air raid siren going off...  So it falls on us to keep the zoo quiet so we don't disturb our neighbors, even though it's the cats' fault!  I'm going to call the "Cat People," and see if they trap and release or will take them and find families for them.  I wish people would be responsible pet owners.  Sheeesh.

So how is everyone surviving the political mess?  I watch as much on TV as I can stomach, then find something else to do.  I have gotten so mad I've actually thrown stuff which scared the dogs to death.  As Glenn Beck says, I have blood shooting out of my eyes!  In today's newspaper there was a blurb that LA voters will have to vote on a bill making porn producers provide condoms for their "performers."  Now, isn't that just ducky.  I will admit I saw a smattering of an X-rated flick and had to bleach my eyes.  But waste time and money for a bill?  ARGHHH. 

I don't have a clue who I will back in the elections.  They start so soon that everyone is absolutely sick of politics - it's no wonder they can't get people to show up at the polls.  I don't really like anyone running so far.  Perry reminds me of a used car salesman - there's just something about the guy I don't like.  Have to wait and see how many skeletons start popping out of closets.  

I have homework for you all.  I really enjoy Sandee's Wednesday post where she posts a question.  I have one for you.  What is your favorite current commercial and your least favorite?  I'll post mine after you all post yours. 

Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Sad Birthday

I haven't gotten back in "the groove" as I'd hoped.  It's been hot - who doesn't know that!  I've been fretting too much and worrying too much - about things I can't change.  Lots of unnecessary wheels spinning around and they're smoking! 

You've all been very gracious about our loss.  I cannot thank you all enough for your kind words and wonderful expressions of sorrow.  My daughter and her hubby received Robby's personal belongings from the base, along with his car.  I haven't spoken to them recently but saw it posted on FB.  I can imagine it wasn't easy going through all of the things he had with him, especially since he'd been away from home for 3, almost 4 years. 

Today Robby would have been 22 years old. 

The Bible Says Life is But a Vapor....

"The wind is blowing forward, forward and forward. Out of this day, into the next, out of this week, into the following one, and from this year into another. Try as we might to hold onto the sycamores, and whatever familiar landscapes surround us, gradually we lose our grip and are swept forward into a river of tomorrows."

-----Herb Benham, The Bakersfield Californian

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Posy for Your Thoughts

These are in my daughter, Corinne's yard...

My parrot, Spanky (Nanday Conure)
He hates the camera! 

I typed a post the other day, re-read it and dumped it.  No particular reason, I just thought it sounded "lame."  Then I got to thinking, I'm not getting graded on what I post.  Although there's always the chance you won't want to come back and read any more posts!  I think since I started out blogging to work out some issues, I still have the feeling that I need to be writing essays or about some super epiphany that unlocked the key to my existence.  Okay, I think we all know that's not gonna happen, so here goes nothing.

I used to be a very good speller.  Nowadays I find myself typing along like mad only to find words underlined in red and I have absolutely no idea why!  I'll retype and it's still wrong.  Sometimes I'll figure it out or just give up and use another word. Or I'll forget words and can't remember the word I'm looking for.  My cousin assures me it happens to her, too, so either we're both losing our minds or it's just more of this crappy aging process!!!

I was out working in the yard the other day and had a "heat thing."  I made it into the house, aimed for the chair, missed, wound up on the floor and the next thing I remember is Wally sitting with me on the floor with cold rags on my face and neck.  I should know better.  I wasn't outside very long but I haven't been doing the amount of yard work I'm used to doing.  I had heat prostration years ago while doing yard work, and I've got to be careful.  I tend to go full bore and get spent quickly.  Anyway, I'm fine.

The dogs are finally starting to play!  We got Sophie for Homer since Katie died, and he was used to having a play pal.  Sophie was so sick and undernourished when we brought her home she didn't feel like doing much other than sleeping, eating and getting loved.  Within the past couple of weeks, they've been chasing each other through the house, but tonight they really put on a show!  Sophie was spinning in circles and leaping in the air.  Quite entertaining!

Loving Big Brother as usual but especially liking Rizzoli and Isles!  I've read most of the books by (okay brain, kick in!) can't remember author's name but I'm sure you know who I mean!  The TV show with Angie Harmon is actually very good...

Leah posted on FB that Robby's headstone had been placed.  I was surprised it was so soon.  The guy from the mortuary actually took a couple of photos and sent them to Bob and Leah!  I thought that was exceptionally nice. I'm going to take some flowers over for them.  It just still doesn't seem real.....

Well, do I get graded for this mess?  Hope not!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My Blog-lite!

Our new dog, Sophie.  She's a rescue from the pound. She's a real sweetheart.
Since these photos were taken, I think she's gained a pound or two!

Here are some of the roses in my garden....

All of my well intentions of blog-lite!  I've been having a migraine festival that comes and goes. I keep trying to come up with something cute and clever - ha, ha.  So, nothing........

My granddaughter, Ashleigh, had her birthday yesterday!  She's now the ripe ol' age of 24. My birthday is today - and I don't really care, but I'm the ripe ol' age of - choke - 64.  I don't feel a second over 75, at least.  Funny, I don't think of myself as being 64 but my body sure looks like it!

I'm still working on the blog-lite stuff but in the meantime, here's a link:  Life is but a vapor..

And Roses for all!!!


Dear Levon,

I don't know how to contact you, but I am so happy that you left me a comment!  I have been worried that something might have happened to you, and I understand that things may have been rough for a spell, but I am just SO glad to know that you're here and I hope you'll reach out again. I have missed your posts and hope that you'll feel up to posting again soon.

I plan on listening to the songs you suggested.  Music is a large part of who I am as well.  Thanks for your musical offering...

Dear friend, please post or comment again soon!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Beautiful Face

 At Robby's services this young man stood at attention as the casket was carried into the chapel.   He's from Jamaica but is now proudly a citizen and serving his country.  We were lucky enough to spend some time with him and a lot of his buddies as they stayed at my younger daughter's home for a couple of days before returning to the base.  I thought he should head to Hollywood when he leaves the service...he probably has different ideas, though.

Anyway, it's been a horrific few weeks, and I'm going to try to get back in the swing of things.  While I'm far from being over the hurt and loss I'm going to use my "Echoes in the Night" for further posts about grief and the process of healing.  My whole purpose for blogging starting out with the loss of my son-in-law, Doug. I don't want to use this blog for more grief.  

I'll go back to the things that make life worth living and enjoying. None of us know when we will leave this earth and I'd like to make it as pleasant a ride as possible.

Monday, May 30, 2011

In Memory of Robby

This Memorial Day is far different than those of years ago.  This one is personal although it was not through an act of war.  We've met some wonderful young men and women who serve our country as they came to the service for Robby.

There was a group of 12 out on a sunny day riding their motorcycles.  I didn't know this until Friday as I thought he was alone when he died.  This gives all of us a lot of peace knowing he was surrounded by his best buddies.  We got to spend a lot of time over the past few days with these young men.  We broke bread together, laughed together and you bet, cried together.  Our country is in good hands.

This is the tribute I wrote for his On-line Obituary.  If any of you would like to post a comment, the link is on my Facebook page.  Again, thanks so much for your prayers, support and well-wishes.
Life sometimes hands us such sadness we think we will break under the sheer weight of it. Death reaches out to wrench from us our very hearts, but we must keep going. There's no rest for this, no stopping. 

My children have been given the saddest of all tasks; losing a son. My heart has broken watching them as they grieve his loss, but the love they have for each other will help them endure it. 

My sweet Robby has touched so many lives and hearts. He had so many wonderful friends who will keep his memory alive. They'll relive the goofy things they did and treasure each joke, each moment of laughter a thousand times, repeated through time... The young men and women with whom he served his country - his brothers and sisters at arms - they'll remember all of the days spent abroad in places they'll never forget nor want to return to. Some will return willingly because they love this country and are so very willing to give it all they have, in some cases, their lives. We honor you.

I was able to share some very special moments of time - too fleeting - with Robby a few months ago. Just watching his expressions as he talked, the spark in his eyes, his willingness to share with me his thoughts as he talked about his future and which path he would take, and how much he loved being with "the guys." Robby had an enormous capacity for love. He was always prepared to give of it freely and without conditions. That is a gift. My grandson occupies a place in my heart that I will treasure as long as I walk this earth.

Here is a gift to all of you from the one who gives us peace: "Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." --- Hebrews 4:16

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Broken Hearts

Our Marine, Robert William Rawlins, "Robby," went home to be with Jesus today, May 21, 2011.

Our darling grandson, Robby, our marine, passed away today as the result of a tragic motorcycle accident. Our hearts are broken, and it's only through the peace and grace of Christ that we will endure. Please pray for his mom, (my daughter, Leah) and his dad, Bob and sister, Ashleigh.  

The top three photos are from March, the last time we were with him.  The bottom picture is at his folks' home on leave.  He's got Chico , his mom's dog in his hoodie.   That was our Marine, silly, funny, loving and very much a wonderful young man.  We loved this child so much, and will always treasure his memory..  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Time for a Laugh!

Little "factoids" amuse me.  I love hearing things that make you shake your head and go, "WHAT?"  And not in a political way, either!  Just little snippets of info that make us smile and amuse us...

My favorite:  It is a law in France that you have to provide your toilet to anyone who suffers from Crohn's Disease.  Seriously, sufferers have a card issued to them by their doctors that oblige anyone who is the lucky recipient of a knock on the door to provide use of your restroom.  Can you image having a total stranger knock at your door and you have to let them in???  Well, it is France, after all.....


*SPAM makes excellent furniture polish (Uh, I'll pass!).
*SPAM can steam-proof your mirrors.  When showering rub spam on your mirrors. (Uh, don't think so!).
*SPAM makes excellent fishing bait (Now that might work!).

*Peanut butter:  Former senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, once shaved with peanut butter while on a camping trip (for best results, avoid shaving with extra crunchy!
*Grease a car or truck axle.  George Washington Carver developed axle grease from peanuts.  (I think Jiffy Lube might be cheaper!)
*Bait a mouse trap with peanut butter!  Unfortunately, I know this works!

*Coca-Cola:   Clean a toilet bowl.  Pour a can of Coke into the toilet bowl and let the Real Thing sit for one hour, then brush and flush clean.  (When do you add ice?)
*Remove grease from clothes.  Empty a can of Coke into a load of greasy work clothes, add detergent, and run through a regular wash cycle.  (These "handy hints" sure aren't cheap!)
*Shaking up a bottle of Coke for use as a douche immediately after sexual intercourse has been considered an effective method of contraception among the uneducated.  It does not work. (Holy Krap!  Wonder when they caught on - after the 9th or 10th kid?) 

"Every cloud has a silver lining, and soon they'll 
figure out how to tax us for that, too...."

Monday, May 16, 2011

Thank you all...

You all have helped me through this difficult week.  Katie was 12 years old and was stricken suddenly with Pancreatitis.  I'm thankful that her illness was very brief and she didn't have to suffer very long. This photo isn't very clear but it's such a good example of her good nature and sweet spirit.  Can't you just see Homer sitting there waiting to get her attention?

Zoe passed away last year, and we brought Homer home to "Aunt Katie."  He bugged and pestered her to no end.  She did everything she could to escape from him but finally accepted him and they became very good buddies.  She endured having her ears bitten, her tail chased, and being awakened for another round of tug-of-war.

She gave us so much pleasure and she never gave us a minute of worry.  Sweet, sweet Katie.  We'll always miss you...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Point of Grace

I don't usually post music videos but this one really touch my heart.  Things are so tough right now; people with life-threatening situations, illnesses; employment on the decrease; gas increases; food increases; wars; government run amok all over the world.  And yet.....
there's hope.  Not the kind of "hope" promised to us by politicians, but real hope.

I hope this brings you comfort as it has me.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Definitely Not a Good Thing!!!

Bakersfield is the nation's most polluted city

Photo: David Jordan

MSA: Bakersfield, Calif.

Worst county: Kern County

PM2.5 annual design value (2007-2009): 22.6

Total population: 807,400 people potentially exposed

We make either the top or bottom of so many lists!  We're at the very southern end of a valley. and the wind blows all the junk from the bay area, where it sits blocked in by mountains.  It's another reason so many of us have asthma, sinus infections, and valley fever.  And we get Tule (toolie) fog, which like the air, hangs in the lowest places and holds in all of the particulate matter (and causes way too many wrecks!).  

Honestly, we can drive to the coast for a day, and you can feel the pressure start receding.  When you drive home over the Grapevine (Hwy 99) and start the decline you can see the brown stuff hanging over the valley.   Move?  Where.  How.  All of our kids are here...Maybe a mass exodus is needed!

I've gotta go use my Netti Pot!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Sphinx on the Loose!

I have to start by apologizing to my cousin, Lynne, who will be going "Oh yuck!!!"

Our dog, Homer, thinks these Sphinx Moths make the best toys ever, but he thinks he's a cat.   This time of year they're thick around the lights outside and yes, they're huge.  He had one last night which got loose and was flying about the den, and I honestly thought at first it was a Hummingbird!  We haven't had one quite as big as the one pictured, but pretty darned close.

Poor Wally.  It's his job to catch and release.  When possible.  Most of the poor things are munched to death, but the few that survive get released out front where he can't get to them - except I'm thinking all of the feral neighborhood cats will be feasting.

Ah, spring has sprung!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Little Wiglet that Wouldn't

Back in the sixties, big hair was all the fashion, especially these neat little wiglets!  They were really pretty and easy to just comb your hair up and slap in a few hair pins; you were set to go!

Sounds pretty good, no?  Well, mine was like a rabid animal that was out to get me!  I was walking through the parking lot at Knott's Berry Farm and a breeze kicked up.  My angry wiglet went flying off my head like Rocky, the squirrel, rolling over and over through the debris and leaves.  Off I went, chasing the errant hair when I noticed a car load of guys checking out the situation.  I guess they weren't animal lovers because they tried really hard to run over the squirrel!  They were laughing like drunken hunters, causing me to run all the harder, while keeping one hand over my now naked head!

I caught the poor thing and slapped it on my head, dirt, leaves and all.  The guys laughed at drove off.  I'm sure they're probably telling their grandkids about the time they chased a poor girl's pet.

Same wiglet, another story.  When I was in high school I was in the performing choir.  Our director was famous for creating the "Singing Christmas Tree," which was a scaffolding arranged like the skeleton of a Christmas tree.  There was rope providing a way of climbing up and also on which to hang Christmas lights.
We all wore green choir robes which were heavy and certainly not intended for climbing!  I had a duet so my spot was right under the star on top so I had some serious climbing to do!  To create a dramatic effect, and not have the audience watch us scramble up the tree, like monkeys, the lights were off.  As soon as we were all in place the Christmas lights went on, and the candles we were holding were turned on.  It was always quite awesome.

During my awkward climb, my poor little wiglet got hung up in the rope causing it to go askew.  So now I had the task of climbing up the scaffold, holding on to my choir robe, my candle, and now my hair!  It was tilting over the side almost to my ear.  Talk about cockeyed!  I managed to reposition it and reattach it with the hair pins.  When the house lights were turned on I was all in one piece, albeit with a slightly off kilter head of hair.
(This is a link about the tree and its creator, Mr. Alex Encheff, the best teacher I ever had, bar none.  Sarge may be interested that the choir in subsequent years participated in events at Pearl Harbor, the first to do so)

One more tale (no pun intended!)...I was restocking inventory in the shop, hanging stuff on pegboard.  There were metal hangers hooked to the pegboard on which the item was hung.  I bent over to pick up some product and when I stood up, the wiglet was - yep!  You guessed it - hanging on the hook, leaving me looking like a nitwit.  I grabbed that puppy (or squirrel!) off the hook, slapped in on my head and went to the stockroom, horrified, wondering how many people had seen that gruesome display.

Remember, these events happened when I was 16-17, subject to much embarrassment.  When I told my mom what happened, she said "Have you thought of using bobby pins instead of hair pins?"  Duh....

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Spring is here!  I love this time of year, when ol' man winter is still
lingering in the air, not yet ready to yield to the warmer days ahead.
This was taken from the cemetery, about a mile from our house
  It has a wonderful sweeping view of the valley.   

I'm not certain what type of tree this is - my guess is it's a flowering plum.  
I love the way the little blooms look like butterflies dangling at the end 
of fairy wands.  Oooh, am I waxing poetic?  

Have a wonderful week, my friends! 

Friday, April 08, 2011

A Delightful Day

What a great visit we had with the kids!  Our Marine is snuggling with Ryleigh, our great-grand (she had an ear infection and this is the biggest smile I was able to get!)  Our Marine is still a kid - check out the horns on gramma's head!  I'm 5'6" so you can tell our Marine is one tall drink of water.  His grandfather, my former husband, was 6'5" so we know where he got his height gene!

The top photo and the pool are just a couple of reasons we hate to go home after spending an afternoon there.  When they were having the house built, the coffered ceiling wasn't being done correctly, and Doug told the guy he expected it to be redone. The worker asked Doug what difference did it make.  You don't use the dining room that often!  Needless to say, it was fixed properly!  That seems to be the attitude of today's workers...

The pool is my favorite place to be.  When all of the plants bloom and the palms put out new fronds, it is absolutely gorgeous.  Daughter has planted so many roses and Birds of Paradise, it's a colorful, tranquil spot, a wonderful place to be....

Monday, April 04, 2011

April Fool Photo

I love these roses!  We bought the plant last year and the flowers have been awesome.  We had a few oranges left and I thought it made a neat shot...
~~~We got to see the kids yesterday.  Our Marine drove up from 29 Palms to surprise his sister - and she was.  He doesn't think his unit will see any more action (how he would know, I don't understand, but I hope it's true).  Ryleigh, whose 3rd birthday was yesterday, had a touch of an ear infection/cold.  I didn't get any real good photos since she felt so punk, but I have some to get posted anyway.  She is such a character!

One of her presents was a baby doll.  When dad set it up, it started talking - in SPANISH!  Argh.  He opened it up and found a switch that put it English.  Sheesh.  I guess I should be glad it wasn't in Chinese.  I guess that's next.

I'm in the mood to rant about the state of the world, but I don't want to end on a downer!  Peace, love and blue skies for you this week!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Well, another week has gone by!  I guess the earthquake really did knock the earth off it's axis - we're spinning out of control!  Every morning I wake up, make my protein shake (every a.m. for ten years!), and turn on Fox.  Meghan Kelly is my favorite in the a.m.  I wait to see what the craziest thing of the day will be, and sometimes it's really hard to choose!  Between Chucky Schumer's ad libs (ha, ha!) and the President's odd ball group of cronies (boo!), radiation spilling into the Pacific....  And yet, no one will tell the truth.  Maybe Obama needs to hire an astrologist.  I think he uses a dart board to plan his dirty deeds.

Okay....enough of that joyful stuff!  It's Friday p.m. and I'm watching True Crime stuff; hubbys' watching a Doobie Brothers DVD.  We went to Costco yesterday to pick up my meds.  Costco is the cheapest place for prescriptions.  Having no insurance, I was going to have to pay over $300 just for one.  Costco is so cheap it's actually less than what I paid with a co-pay with Blue Cross! 

We stopped at Marie Calendar's for an early dinner.  I call it Old Fogie Hour.  The geriatric crowd seems to love MC's.  The prices have really gone up and the food just didn't seem as good as usual.  Our favorite Mexican restaurant changed hands and the new chef isn't cutting it.  Ay Carumba!  Our old faithful Mom and Pop Mex restaurant has finally closed it's doors for good.  Most of the places are too cookie-cutter for our taste buds, so we're on a replacement hunt.  We like the authentic stuff .  Now that funds are dwindling I guess we'll have to settle for Taco Bell (ugh!).

The photo at top?  I took it at the park several months ago and played around with it.  With the sepia tones it reminds me of an Asian screen print.  I kinda like it.

The "kids" are driving me nuts.  Homer loves chew toys.  The problem is he devours them!  The stuffed babies don't have any stuffing left after a couple of hours, so I have to be vigilant to make certain he doesn't eat it.  He chews up hard rubber toys, too.  He and Katie love to play tug-of-war with them, and they act like kids.  Katie will steal a baby and run outside with it with Homer at her heels.  Next thing we know, Homer comes flying through the den with Katie at his heels - and so it goes.  I buy them chew bones and treats but they are too expensive for every day.  Never a dull moment! 

It was in the high 80's today, the highest of the year.  I know you guys that are battling snow would change places with me in a heart beat, but I prefer the 60's-70's.  It's supposed to rain tomorrow (yay!) and then back in the 60's Sunday.  Our rain fall for the year is double the normal and I'm thrilled.  Time to get the hoe and do some prep for the flower beds.  My favorite time of the year!

Happy weekend to all of you! 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My, Oh My.

I cannot believe how long it's been since I've posted anything.  I don't think I've ever gone this long.  I've been thinking of just quitting, but I've had a time of introspection, which depression causes one to do, and I think I'd be better off forcing myself to continue.  The last couple of months I've gone underground.  I seem to pull the blanket over my head, ignoring all and everything that makes me happy.  I play the silly little FB games - keeps my mind busy. 

I've got another blog I purposely set up for the blah, blah, blah, I'm depressed, poor me, blah, blah, blahs....
Now, the thing is - I need to use it!  I want my friends to come here and leave feeling better than they did before. I want to give, not take. 

So, here we go.  I've missed all of you so much, but I'm not going to waste more time on navel gazing - at least, not here!

The windchimes are in my backyard.  Don't you just love the way the pine tree had it's limbs whacked off?  The heart is for all of you.....

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Gray Day Downtown

I have no idea what this building is - I need to go back and find out.  I love the little niche in the middle of the turret.  Linda - I'm a big disappointment because I'm posting w/o checking.  I love that the leaves here and below echo the colors of the building, and I love the burgundy trim on the windows below.

I'm nuts about this clock.  I like the lines and style, especially the way it pops against the more modern lines of the building behind it. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Return of the Jam Jar

 "The Little Chapel by the Lake"  When I was little, I would sit 
in the little booth with Florence and help her take tickets and sell 
the transfiguration picture of Jesus that was shown in the chapel.
She's the lady in the photo, dressed in period clothing.

My Little Jam Jar, come home to roost....

Most of you know of my connections to Knott's Berry Farm.  I started the saga with my parents meeting way back in the last 30's and marrying in 1941.  After the war, my dad, mother and my mother's sister started a business.  It was called Art Glow Studio.  They had the shop where they created items on our home property, and they employed maybe 5-6 women.  (Why can I remember most of their names but I can't remember the name of the book I'm reading????)  They had two concepts:  One was the "Art Glow Studio," which my aunt operated.  It was at Knott's, across from the Little Chapel on the Lake, where the Inspiration House would be in later years.  They made plaster figurines and painted them with phosphorescent paint.  You held the item up under direct lamp light, turned off the light and the object would "glow in the dark!"

The second aspect of the Art Glow Studio was jam jars and creamers.  You know that the "berry" in the farm was the boysenberry, which was developed locally by Luther Burbank. Walter Knott grew boysenberries and they sold pies at the original berry market (where my mom, aunt and dad all worked)As Knott's became more popular, along with the restaurant (Chicken Dinner Restaurant), they started selling souvenir items, one of which was the jam jars.

My folks had three or four huge commercial kilns at the shop and they made a lot of different ceramic decorative pieces.  I remember plates, figurines, lamp bases, vases, things of that sort.  And the jam jars.  The jars were baked in the kilns, then they were painted, baked again, then the decals were baked on.  I can see my mom using a sponge dipped in (I think) gold leaf in liquid form and dabbing the gold around the edge of  the lid and the bottom of the jar.  The leaves and berry were hand-painted.  (After my folks started the Inspiration House, Knott's bought the jam jars and "outsourced" them and they all carry the stamp "Knott's Berry Farm." I have seen a couple of those...)

It's a shame that we aren't blessed with foresight because I had no idea that one day I would wish that I had kept one of  those little jars.  I started looking for one years ago when I would find myself in an antique shop or second hand store.  I have found a lot of our everyday dishes that came from Kresses Department store, and some of them are actually stamped "Made in Occupied Japan."  But I never found a jam jar.  One night a couple of weeks ago I checked out ebay.  Guess what?  I found three of them!  All with the "Art Glow Studio" stamp!  I can't tell you how I felt!  One for me and two left over for my girls!  I love looking at the gold lettering and realize that my mother wrote that...  Little joys in life and heartfelt pleasures mean all the world to me.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Greetings from Fogville...

Well, we're kinda socked in with Tulle ("toolie") Fog.  Nasty stuff, really, as it causes major accidents, and the air quality control folks have your neighbors rat you out if you dare light a fire.  Since our air quality is so bad, I do kinda get that, but what's a cold, drippy, foggy night without the option of a roaring fire?  Okay, I don't even have a fireplace...but wouldn't it be nice?

I made some nice hot chai tea and munched on some cinnamon crisps.  Totally decadent woman that I am, I even chewed off a bit of dark chocolate, consoling myself that it's all for my health.

I took off yesterday for my second venture to Costco because they didn't have my meds Friday.  On the way home, I meandered through downtown B-town with my trusty little camera.  It was grey and drippy - a perfect day for some architectural shots.  We have some lovely old buildings here.  There were no people to speak of so I didn't care if I looked foolish hopping out here and there, but, as luck would have it, my battery went dead.  I did get a couple of really neat shots I'll post later.

I know you all back east, except for you Floridians, are suffering with all of the really cold stuff, so I'll quit my bellyaching.  But you all know how I prefer the cold to the heat (sorry, Sandee and Bee!!!). 

I hope the week ahead treats all of you well and may blessings abound!

(Reading a very good book:  "Just Do Something, a Liberating Approach to Finding God's Will, or How to Make a Decision Without Dreams, Visions, Fleeces, Impressions, Open Doors, Random Bible Verses, Casting Lots, Liver Shivers, Writing in the Sky, Etc." ---Kevin De Young)

Thursday, January 06, 2011

My Resolutions and Other Stuff

I don't usually make resolutions but I figured most of these
would be easy for me, especially the next-to-last one!

This is my very favorite picture of my great-grand, Ryleigh!

Do people not own mirrors anymore???   
Or is her head on backwards?

After all those years working at Knott's I didn't think anything
could shock me when it comes to people's personal appearance.
But this one got me.  That black stuff you see on the lady's head 
and hanging down her back?  IT'S HAIR!  (Or a reasonable facsimile).
Wait - what's reasonable about this mess?

We're off to a good start for the new year.  At least Madame Pelosi had her gavel 
taken away from her.  I just wish Boehner had whacked her with it.  And he kissed
her!  YACK!  That would mean some serious mouth washing with some Jack Daniels!!!