Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Remember this little green guy?

Well, he isn't so little anymore.

As a matter of fact, he is getting pretty big. He looks like a dinosaur.

Just look at that head piece. Wow! And his colors. Sometimes he's green, sometimes he's blotchy brown, and other times he's sandy colored. A true Chameleon.

As you may recall, I was a little bit apprehensive about letting A.J. get a reptile, but he really is cool. He still moves like a little old man - very slow - except when he spots a cricket. Then, like most young males, he moves quickly so he doesn't miss the meal.

He eats and eats and eats. No cricket stands a chance against his sticky semi-transparent, gray tongue. It's exactly like those rubbery, sticky hands every kid has gotten out of the vending machine. You know the ones. The ones in the clear plastic bubble container. The ones that boys always flick at each other and then giggle and giggle about. He stores his tongue somewhere in his throat and then it flicks out about 4-5" to get his food. Weird creature of nature.

Anyways, this last picture is of him on A.J.'s bedroom screen. A fun forced perspective. Makes it look like he's attacking the house!

Too much fun!

ps. Myles is not a free-roaming reptile. He is safe in his cage most of the time under the heat lamps so he can stay warm.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Can you believe it's FRIDAY again, already? It seems like I just posted my TGIF from the 19th.

Where does the time go?

As September comes to an end, I can feel the Holidays creeping in. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years. Hold on, it'll be the month-of-love before we know it.

I think we've (we took a family vote!) decided this year to merge the holiday decor. As many of you know, Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my favorite movies. I love, love, love the animation, the music, and the Disneyland Haunted Mansion celebration of Nightmare.

So, just to be different AND less stressed with my time (o.k., maybe just a little lazy?) this year, I plan on leaving up the Halloween decorations. Then in November, they will be joined by fall harvest decor. Then in December, the spiders will don red, Santa hats in a field of fall leaves covered in snowflakes! Weird? Maybe, but every year it's rush, rush, rush to do the presto-chango quick-change decorating.

Rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay......so be it!!!

Happy Holidays - ALL of them! Together at last!

** Note: Both of the photos on this post were "grabbed" off the internet, and I do not claim artistic rights to either of them. I'm sure they are copywritten to Tim Burton, Walt Disney Pictures, or other licensed artists...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Apple Core...Baltimore....

Well, not actually Baltimore. Far from it. Opposites, to be exact.

Southern Oregon.

But Apples no the less.


I picked these apples this morning. Tiny little things. Snack Size.

Cold. Crunchy. Sweet.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I missed it!!!!

Darn! I actually missed the first day of my favorite season - FALL!!! It was yesterday!

I woke up in a Fall, not foul, mood and had to close the dining room windows cause it was a bit chilly in the house. I even thought about starting the first fire, but we are still on Yellow fire alert around these parts. Good thing too, cause our whole valley has been full of smoke off-and-on most of the summer. It's been a really weird Summer. Just a few hot days, but mostly mild and overcast with smoke.

Anyways, yesterday morning, after vacuuming the floors, I decided it was time for the summer words to go. The scrabble tiles in my word-tin on my little table top by the fireplace now remind us of Fall. And, I did it yesterday, but I didn't know until today when I looked it up on Google, that yesterday was the official day!!!

Oh well....Happy 2nd Day of FALL!!!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

It's getting closer....

So, maybe it doesn't look like much now, but I can visualize it ALL Done!The original inspiration. I priced this one. Whew! Way too pricey for my blood. So I treasure hunted my own. At $25 each, these side lites are just the ticket. A little sweat equity and....

This is our new front door and entry from the inside. For those whom I've been boring with the installing, sanding, priming, priming again, painting, painting and painting yet another coat of 3 colors of paint - buttercream side lites on the outside, red door on the outside and soft white on the inside - I'm sorry, but this is really, really exciting to me.

You see, when we bought this old place, it had four front doors and no one ever knew what door to go to. So we removed and rebuilt this section to be our FRONT door entry. The plan is to finish building my dream porch - a raised, covered porch with wide stairs. A far cry better than the two doors that had old, form-follows-function plywood ramps.

Now, even though we still have three doors on this side of the house, this is our new, official FRONT door. The other two are BACK doors. One into the new, middle back hallway and the other into the back hallway that will lead into the pantry/kitchen - great entry for unloading the groceries from the back driveway.

The circular driveway is no longer, as well. No more sitting in the family room (the "blue room" - which is no longer blue either, but will forever be referred to as the "blue room") and feeling like cowboys and indians with the cars driving in a circle around the house. We plan to put in some grass and a little bit of landscaping where the road used to be.

Anyways, back to the entry way. This weekend the doors and side lites are finally painted, inside and out! Yesterday, I thought they were finished, but then as I was peeling off the painters tape, it pulled off the paint from the lower section of the door! Nice huge bubbles of peeling paint!!! ADVICE: DO NOT USE latex paint that has vinyl in the ingredients! ONLY use 100% Acrylic Latex. It doesn't peel. It covers beautifully. It is very, very strong paint. So strong, it sticks to your fingernails and you have to scrub and scrub to remove it. AND it can be sanded should something bad happen. The darned vinyl-type latex paint, when sanded, just balls up into little rubbery boogers! Great. Nothing better than a Do-over!

So, tomorrow, I'll start on the ceiling by putting up the pine tongue and groove strips. It should begin to look really cottage-y in there. Next, I'll prime and paint them white. Then, I'll start work on the walls. I'm planning on adhering 2" strips at 14" intervals, capping them horizontally at 5', and then painting the whole lot a little darker cream.

Next, will be the floor installation. Hickory flooring boards - the click and lock type. After installing the nail-down oak hardwood in A.J.'s room and the middle back hallway, this should be a breeze!

Check back for the finished results. Hopefully, things will move along quicker than the doors and side lights did.

Happy Sunday night!!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Blah, Blah, BLOG...

Yeah, I know, I've been rambling alot lately about this-and-that, and sometimes it seems like the words, words, words go on forever. So, to help offset those posts, and give you a break - I'd just like to say -

Happy Friday!

Bee Happy!

Life's just Ducky!

ps. I couldn't help but share these two little guys. I found them on completely separate treasure hunts - oh, no. Not the start of ANOTHER collection.....?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Third Times a Charm

If after three times something isn't right, you shouldn't do it again, RIGHT?

Well, today was the third time. Phillip and I won't be having lunch at our local Wendy's anymore.

You see, the first time, (well, not actually THE first time eating there) we placed our order and just as we sat down to eat, one of the employees who was out on a smoking break came in the front door and announced, "who has the grey Silverado truck in the parking lot? It's just been hit!" So, Phillip got up and went outside to check it out. Needless to say, by the time he came back in, his food was cold. Nothing worse than COLD fast food!

Anyway, an older guy, apparently was in drive-thru and changed his mind. As he was backing out, he crossed the entire width of the handicap parking spot and backed right into the side of our truck. He was kind enough, however, to offer to fix it "'cause I have some tools at home." Nice gesture, but no thanks. The damage was a little more than a "home garage" could handle.

Next time, we were sitting in the glassed-in dining room and there were hundreds of little birds, sparrows or chick-a-dees, flying around on the drive-thru side. Cute! Well, not so cute. Actually, it was quite a scene from the Hitchcock movie, The Birds. They were flitting around everywhere. Including right into the huge glass pane windows. Kamikaze birds!!! I won't even gross you out with the details, but just imagine, if you will, what a little bird does when it hits a solid pane of glass full speed ahead. Most of the customers sitting at the tables by the window actually had to move. A few even left, they were so grossed out!!! The employees just kept commenting how this happens every year. Um, maybe, they should put up some sort of blinds or even window clings so the poor little birds would know there was glass there!!! DUH!!!

So, that brings us to today. Lunch break. I ordered a DOUBLE STACK Cheeseburger, a side of mandarin oranges and a water. My double stack was more the size of a White Castle Slider. What happened? The bill was the same, but the food was a shrinky dink. My fork was bigger than the burger. Is there some sort of FDA conspiracy to get us Americans to lose weight? Maybe it's a good thing? Same fast food fix, but 1/3the calories. Ok, I'll rationalize it that way.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Quick! Sand!!!!

Have you ever wondered what it is about the sand at the beach that makes you want to be buried in it?

Seems every time we go to the beach, it's only natural to dig a hole and cover our feet in the sand up to our knees.

We took Wonka on his first trip to the Oregon coast. We took the top off my Jeep, removed the back seat and put* Wonka in. *you see Wonka has short legs and doesn't jump into the Jeep or the bed of our truck, like most dogs would - he has to be "put" in place! He was so good at riding along.

At first, I was worried he might freak and jump out, but instead he just sat there and laid his chin on the center arm rest between Phillip and I. Breathing and breathing hot, dog-breath-air on us, with an ocassional wet nose print and slobber. GROSS!!! So, we kept telling him to "get back" in his own space. Finally, he relaxed and enjoyed the ride - and his own space! Ok, truth be told, we relaxed and enjoyed that Wonka was in his own space...

Neither, Phillip or I are really what you would call DOG PEOPLE, but Wonka is an exception. He is the BEST dog there is, BUT there are still limits to the love - the slobber, the wet dog smell, the dog farts - only REAL DOG PEOPLE can tolerate THAT.

Anyway, back to the beach. Wonka is such a calm, laid back dog, that he even got in on burying his feet in the beach sand. Go figure. Wonka liked being buried up to his knees. NOTE: Even though Wonka was quite content being buried, soon after A.J. buried him, he dug him out! Wonka was NOT harmed in any way.

Kyle, Wonkas "real" master, buried his feet too, just at the wave line. There he was, pretty much a full grown man, playing in the sand. No big deal, right? That's what I thought until I watched two completely different woman stop within minutes of each other and ask him if he was alright. Hmmm? He wasn't showing any signs of distress. He wasn't verbally screeching. Yet, they felt compelled to show their concern. Quite the opposite of those hidden camera Dateline NBC shows they always air about people in the park in some sort of trouble or conflict. Hardly anyone ever stops to help.

Glad to know Kyle would have been saved from "quicksand" - if he had needed to be saved!!! Thank you anonymous Oregon beachcombers.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

How silly is this?

A.J. washed and cut up the romaine lettuce for Chicken Caesar salad and this is what he left on the counter.

My mind when into high gear and I started singing - one little, two little, three little indians..... Why does this kind of stuff rattle around in the cranium?

I haven't sang this song in years. But these? Well, these get blurted out at our house every once in a while - "I am stuck on Band-Aid brand, cause Band-Aid's stuck on me." "Oh I wish I were an Oscar Mayer weiner, that is what I'd truly love to be. 'Cause if I were an Oscar Meyer weiner, everyone would be in love with me." And lets not forget, "My baloney has a first name, it's Oscar. My baloney has a second name, it's Meyer. Oh, I love to eat it everyday, and if you ask me why I'll say, 'casue Oscar Meyer has a way with - B - O - L - O - G - N -A!"

Speaking of baloney, I was thinking this morning about sandwiches. (I must have been hungry?) Actually, I was first thinking about chips. Plain corn chips, potato chips, Fritos chips, Doritos chips. In my head, I was pairing up chips with sandwiches. My favorite combos. Potato with PB&J. Corn with fried egg. Fritos with baloney/cheese. Doritos with cold cuts. Grilled Cheese with Campbells Tomato Soup made with 1/2 can of milk, not water, and with crunched-up plain Saltine crackers. Weird? Maybe, but if those two guys in City Slickers can pair up ice cream flavors with entrees, I can pair up my sandwiches with chips.

So while we are on the subject of sandwiches, here is a REALLY bizarre one my grandma on my mom's side shared with me... It might sound GROSS (and when I was little I always voiced my opinion of how gross it sounded), but as an adult, on occasion, it actually hits the spot. Are you ready?

PEANUT BUTTER, PICKLES, AND MAYONAISE. All four food groups. meat(pb), veggie(pickles), dairy(mayo)- ok, that one's a stretch, grains(bread). Umm, Umm. TASTY!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

2nd hand treasures

As promised, here are a few more of my recent treasure-hunting finds.

It's amazing what tickles my fancy when I'm out there searching amongst the eclectic mix of junque.

First, this little guy just made me smile. Plus, everyone needs a pal

Next, is this cute little dress. Even though there are no girls in the house - except me, I bought this with the idea to embellish with a stamped phrase, buttons, ribbons, etc... It found its home on a 29 cent hanger I had collected previously. 29 whole pennies. Pennies don't buy much these days. I've heard that it costs more to produce a penny than their face value, but I always pick them up when I see them - BIG surprise, huh? LOL I guess they are like friends, the more you have the richer you are.

Last, for tonight, is this solid cast metal mailbox. I'm not exactly sure that it's NOT a reproduction, but I bought it for a song. I've seen the reproductions and they aren't cheap. I have this one hanging between two of the windows in my scrapbook/craft room - I won't show photos, as the room isn't completely done yet - and I might actually be moving to another part of the house - but in the meantime, it's in there. The Coronet Dominoes graphic is actually the lid of an old dominoes box. Of course they were 2nd hand too and since the box was in really bad shape, I tore off the lid and threw away the box. The dominoes now reside in a glass canning jar next to the other canning jars of various sized dominoes, scrabble tiles, watch parts, clothes pins, etc....

So for all you fellow collectors and crafters, get out there and hunt. I'd love to see what you find in your part of the country.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Happy Friday!!!

Well, it's actually almost Saturday, so Happy Friday Night!

Today was a busy day. Phillip taught me how to vacuum form on the 18" x 18" machine today. It's amazing what he knows! He even designed and built the machine several years ago! Like I said, amazing! I'm his biggest fan!!!

So after I learned how to form, which was a scary and exciting learning experience, he treated me to a Chocolate shake with lunch. What a guy! Then he dropped me off at the local AT&T store and I "traded" in our phones for I-phones. My friend, Kay, showed me her new phone the other day and Phillip has wanted one since February, but today was the big day. I think they are a bit frivolous, but it's growing on me.

A.J. is now the proud new hand-me-down owner of Phillips old phone. Boy was he surprised! He has always wanted a phone but I just let him borrow mine when he was at a friends house, down-town, or at an afterschool event.

We went and picked him up from the football game tonight and he saw my phone. His immediate response was "did I get a phone?" This is the response we've gotten alot lately. IE: birthday in July - after he got his presents "I thought I would get a phone" NOPE! ....so tonights answer was "nope, not this time either". "but Mom, I doubt you'll let me borrow your new phone now". Enter here: quickly change the subject...."how was the game, etc..."

So, when we got home, I let Phillip surprise him with his new phone, complete with the INCREDIBLES ring tone. Then, the LAW was dropped upon him. "DO NOT EXCEED YOUR ASSIGNED MINUTES. NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS RULES. TEXT MESSAGING RULES. NO INTERNET ACCESS." Wow, nothing like a suprise with rules....Oh well. I NEVER had a cel phone when I was 15, NOR did I have TEXT messaging. Then again, I guess times were much different then. DUH! It was the 80's. Only the cops in Leathal Weapon had a cel phone - and it was the size of a shoebox and the battery was on wheels!!!

Funny how much things have changed in just 20 years. I wonder what will be the norm in 20 more. Maybe we'll be replaced by robots that think and feel. If that's the case, this will be Phillip and me. Can you see any resemblance?

Actually, these "robots" are mine. I bought the red one a couple of years ago when Robots the movie came out. The tin girl, I found at Salvation Army and she just made me smile. Her eyes are bright blue and open and close - just like the old baby dolls we used to play with. Last weekend, Phillip surprised me with this sweet pose on top of the TV in our room. I know all these sugary-sweet posts may make us seem like saps, but the truth is we are still like newlyweds only with the advantage of having almost 25 years under our belts to know what make each other smile and be happy!

** Note to my newly married friend, Megan - REMEMBER THE LOVE NOTES!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Knock, Knock....

Really. Who's There??? I can hear you breathing. I thought I may have even heard a chuckle or two. Sometimes, I think I can even hear you commenting....

I read a blog yesterday http://whenmonkeysflyinkc.blogspot.com/that was wondering who was reading her blog. I keep wondering the same thing. I know someone is. That "someone(s)" are sure to let me know when I've not posted anything new to read and see. So where are the comments? Huh? COMMENT ALREADY!!! Inquiring minds want to know.....well, at least I'd like to know....LOL

So anyways, even if you don't want to comment, here are some more interesting and not-so-interesting things to grace your monitor.

As you already know, I love to collect. OK, maybe that's an understatement, but I thought I'd share a few of the items found on my recent "collecting" trips....

Here we have a couple of vintage clipboards. They are just waiting patiently to be repurposed into some sort of artwork. I especially like the laminated wooden strip board. You don't see those at the office supply stores! The scrabble tiles are part of a huge scrabble tile collection that I love to practice my spelling with. Actually, I think I spell pretty good - most of the time. The one I have trouble with these days - remember, I'm 40 now! - is math. I've been using my trusty adding machine for so long, that the abacus part of my brain is on pause! Last in this vignette, is a ruler I found at the local Y-swap meet. For you Southern Oregon locals, notice the Jacksonville address and the AREA CODE? 503??? How long ago was that? (click on photo for a closer view)

Now here are some of my other quasi-vintage finds. The suitcase is a little worn, but I LOVE the patina. I couldn't resist these baby shoes. INSERT STORY HERE: For some reason, I cannot resist baby shoes. Maybe it's because anything miniature is too too cute or maybe it's because I still have my baby shoes - AND they aren't covered in bronze! But, anyway, I seem to have a knack for finding little shoes. This pair I bought, but I regulary find "single" little shoes here and there. Not while shopping, but in random places - gutters, sidewalks, parks, etc....I even found a little boys leather boot when I lived in Washington state over Thanksgiving weekend floating in the grocery store parking lot. Yes, floating in the water from the torrential downpour that happens there 9 months of the year. So, I have a fairly good sized collection of little person shoes. Someday, I plan to make an area in my yard/garden with a sign "Garden of Lost SOLES". Little shoes look so, so cute with miniature plants growing in them. END OF STORY!

Well, I leave you for now. I'll continue tomorrow with a few more collected items. Until then.....

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Save Ernie!!!

Yup, that's exactly what was on my mind day after day after day at about 5:30 p.m. M-F, back in the early 90's, when I was commuting from my State Farm Insurance job from Northridge to Simi Valley on the CA-118 freeway.

I don't remember when exactly I first spotted Ernie, but once it registered in my head that it was him laying there on the side of the road, I couldn't help but look for him every night after work while bumper to bumper in Caltrans' road work hell. He kind of became a mascot signaling the end of my workday. A beacon at about the half-way point on the road to home - laying just to the right of the white line.

First, a few hundred feet to the concrete lane-blocking barriers. Then, ever so slowly, everyday he was a bit closer to where the barriers started to block the far right lane, forcing all us commuters to merge left. Did anyone else see him? Did anyone even care that Ernie - our favorite Sesame Street character lay abandoned? Injured? How did he get there? Was a child heart-broken, having lost his beloved stuffed Ernie? I'd like to think it wasn't BERT's doing....?? I know they had their issues, but come on. Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck fought - and in violent, explosive ways, but they always showed up in the next cartoon. They were never missing.....

So, after a number of weeks - you know road work in California can take decades! - I finally told Phillip about Ernie and how he lay there, getting rained on, getting wind blown, getting fumed out from all the bumper-to-bumper traffic AND how someone needed to SAVE ERNIE!!!

Alas, the following weekend after spending the day with some friends in the "Valley" the four of us were on our way back to Simi - on the CA-118 freeway. There HE was. Almost up to the barriers. Close enough to save from the side of the freeway safely -blocked by the barriers. Our friend, Darrin, who was driving, pulled over past the barriers and I watched my sweetheart of a husband from the rear window, run at least 1/4 mile, on the safe side of the barriers, and SAVE ERNIE!

What a guy! Oh and Ernie only had a scraped-up (read missing) foot fabric that exposed his stuffing. Ernie got cleaned up once we got home. Then he immediately went into Dr. Phil's Custom Propmaking & Repair Center for a quick miniature leg/foot cast. Yup, a real, honest to goodness cast. Ernie was on light duty and on Monday, after his cast was cured and hard as a rock, he accompanied me on my commute to work so all my friends and co-workers could sign his cast!

Really! This is a non-fiction tale. No names have been changed to protect the innocent (crazy humanitarians).

So, it shouldn't come as any surprise that just a few weeks ago, I saved Raggedy Andy from his sad life spent in a cardboard box at the local Y-Swap Meet. $2.00 and he was mine for the taking. He, too, needed a little TLC. You see, he had suffered some sort of neck injury - dog bite, mad child, freeway car accident???

I brought him home and promptly stitched him up and adjusted his collar to hide his scar! I think he is happier now, but he's still waiting to be re-united with his beloved Raggedy Ann... Be patient Andy. Your soul mate is out there somewhere. I'm keeping my eyes open.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Ever need a vacation?

Me too! Only problem is now the airlines are charging for those additional bags. Remember when we used to pack that "extra" empty suitcase just so we could shop and ship our treasures back for FREE???

We'll folks, looks like those days are over.

Phillip and I were talking about another trip to Maui, but now we'll either have to rent those overly-used (say it with me - WORN OUT!) snorkel gear packages or pay almost as much as our snorkel gear cost to fly it over to the island with us. What is the world coming to?

Our other option, since we usually rent a condo with a small, stackable washer/dryer unit, is to wear the snorkel gear over our one set of outer wear with our swim wear underneath! Now THAT would be a sight OR make you wish you were sight-impaired!!!

Alas, we probably won't be travelling anytime soon due to our recent remodeling expenses - and we haven't even begun that Carribean Blue Master Suite complete with the over-sized soaking tub. I've always said life's too short, but you can't have it all at once! So I'll have to settle for the salt-water soak in the 1970's (pronounced vintage) 5-foot fiberglass tub! O.k., I know, vintage fiberglass - now that's a stretch! But whatever I need to tell myself, right?

In the meantime, Phillip and I will just keep working hard making the fake vintage crates & luggage for the Mouse! I'm sure HE doesn't have a problem paying for the extra bags!!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

I'm always so sad.....

Yes, I am so sad when I see "old" family pictures and correspondence sitting in a box at the local 2nd hand store. There are piles and piles of this kind of stuff at every antique store I've ever been to.

And check out the "guaranteed forever" promise on the cover of this little booklet of photos. As a scrapbooker, makes me wonder how things like this booklet full of photos survive. We are all so concerned about ACID FREE and LIGNIN FREE products these days and yet these are still beautiful black and whites - GUARANTEED FOREVER!

Maybe it's because I'm such a "saver" or maybe it's because I have very, very little historical family memorabilia. True, I have tons of my immediate family photos and I have EVERY SINGLE love note and card Phillip has every written me, but I'm talking about the proverbial steamer trunk or cedar hope chest full of generational documents.

I am so sad that somewhere out there, there is someone or someones, that these photos and photo albums that are now in my possession belong to. How amazing would it be to have a complete stranger find such objects of affection and find the means to return such a treasure to the appropriate relatives? Just the thought of that is, well, it's just euphoric!!!

About 10 years ago, I found an early Sunset (before it was a magazine? - I seem to recall it was from like the 1930's or 1903 or something) photo travel guide. The address label, although yellowed through the years, was still attached. Guess what? The address was the same one of the house a friend had JUST purchased! The very same address in the very same town. I was SO excited. I immediately called my friend and shared this wonderful news! I'm not sure if she kept the magazine or not, but I know I would have. I may have even framed it and hung it on the wall, but that's just me.

My latest find was in a stack of postcards at one of our local thrift stores. A few months back, Phillip and I were in L.A. on business and went to Pasadena to visit a friend. While sitting in traffic, as you always do on the L.A. freeways, I noticed a mountain - more like a hill? and it was named Eagle Rock for the eagle-shaped rock formation on it. I was mildly fascinated but thought no further about it. That was until I found this postcard. It is postmarked March 3, 1913 and has a postmark stamp that reads - World's Panama Pacific Exposition In San Francisco 1915.

It is addressed in pencil to a Mr. W.T. Downs Detroit, Michigan 773 Greenwood Avenue

The body of the greeting and the return address is written upside-down:

Hello Bill,

How is everything around the City. Lots of work here but no wages don't think I'll stay here only till April don't know yet where I'll go Geo. 723 W-7th St Los Angeles Cal.

See what I mean? What happened to George? Where did he go? What type of work was he looking for? Was he married? Alone?

I want to go to 723 W-7th St Los Angeles. Just drive by and see. Is there a house there? Or is it a high-rise office building? Was it a house in 1913? Or a boarding house, maybe?

I never liked history in school, but I'm finding it more fascinating as I grow up...I'm just loving this stuff!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

End of Summer Blues....

I mean BLOOMS!

You can feel it in the air. The nights are a little cooler and the days are getting a bit shorter. The little-bit of landscaping that we have is in the final stages of Summer blooming - someday, when the long, long, long laundry list of remodeling to the house is complete, we will get to start on REAL landscaping. With a profusion of all-season blooms.

True, we have a year-round evergreen backdrop with to-die-for mountainous, valley and river views in three directions, but the previous owner didn't spend a whole lot of time properly landscaping the property and we haven't done much either. I would call it hap hazard at best. Or maybe just NATURALIZED! Yeah, that's it - naturalized.

I'm not a huge rose bush fan - love the roses, but not the upkeep and the thorns! - but the greenhouse, at one time years ago, was used for miniature rose growing - Country Flowers. Therefore, there were little roses plunked here, there, and everywhere around the house. Planted in the most inconvenient spots. Right where they would stick your pantlegs, your shoelaces, and your hands when trying to weed around in the beds. I've a done some careful "weeding" of many of them, but have kept the huge - and I do mean HUGE! bushes full of little pink roses. They've been pruned a few times over the last 4 years, some even to the point that I thought they'd croak due to my drastic pruning techniques - but NO, they came back with more vim and vigor.

So anyways, in addition to the roses and the WILD Wisteria vines planted in what I like to think were originally just temporary locations - we have inherited a few other climbers. One is this beautiful Passion Flower vine. It has the most unique flowers. Such a complicated structure, yet delicate.

Then, there is this Trumpet vine. I pruned it back to a nub last winter. At least the parts I could chop at. It was actually working its way under the T-111 siding on our upper story AND it somehow found its way to grow in a wee crack in the upright 4x4 deck support AND began to split it in two. Beware: Their looks can be deceiving. These little delicate buggers are so powerful. I bet it could split a rock in half!

Then, there is this not-so-little shrub bush that I planted from a 4" pot from Wally World two summers ago. I don't remember what it's called, but man oh man, this year it has attracted so many honey bees and some sort of moths. I'm glad to be doing my part for the bee population. I bet if I had some bee skeps or hives, we'd have honey!

So, I guess what I'm learning, is that although our yard is not "ideally" landscaped and "perfectly" manicured, I AM surrounded by LOTS and LOTS of beautiful blooms that on their own are standing the test of time - even with some neglect. They are patiently waiting for me to give them all the nuturing love they deserve AND maybe even some friends!!!!

Blooming where their planted!!! Literally!!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

It's been a while....

So, it's been a while since I've blogged.

I have a whole list of excuses, but here are the top three:

1. My camera battery was dead - a crime, I know, but it was dead and I couldn't find the charger - I'm SO organized, you know....

2. My laptop had some kind of virus and it kept acting up. Everytime I'd click a link, it would send me somewhere completely unrelated. Yes, I have a computer at work, but it's no fun blogging without photos - see item 1.

3. I've just been doing so much lately - you have to trust me on that one. Yeah, I know, maybe if I'd blogged, you'd see what I was up to all that time!

O.K., so that said, I've found my battery charger, I restored my laptop, and even though I'm still busy, but I'm hoping to be back on track and be blogging regularly -at least more than once a month.

So, here's a quick recap of my long 4-day Labor Day weekend. We ate good food. Cleaned the garage, cleaned/organized the greenhouse (which it looks like Ty will be "living" in for a while - it will make a great little studio-type apartment with a smaller greenhouse area - it's amazing what a partioned-wall will do), we cleaned up outside and stored the tons of "useable" construction debris ie: left-over nails, screws, flashing, cedar siding, shingles, etc..., started staining & painting the cedar siding/shingles and trim, went shooting at the sportman's park (on the windy/cold/rainy Sunday! - go figure!), repaired Raggedy Andy's neck (therein lies a blog for another day) and just plain had a good weekend!

Kyle came home from California on Thursday night. A.J. started high school today - Wow! The last of my 3 boys in high school. Can you believe it? HIGH SCHOOL!!! I thought I was feeling old!!!

Anyways, I am still trying to get organized enough to live a better, less chaotic life. There is a ton of things I want to do. A ton I need to do. So I better go for now, so I can get to gettin' things done.
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