Thursday, December 27, 2007

Good bye old fella, hello handsome

As this year, 2007, slides into oblivion, it's time to think back about the good, the bad, and the ugly. Let's all hope twenty o eight will be a stunning year.

We lost a few friends:
Good bye,
Walker, Ken, Lois,

Made some new ones:
Gail, Paul, Jeremy, Ken, Kathy

Connected with some old ones:
Welcome back,
Nikki, Darryl, Dorothy, Scott
  • My sister and husband sold their house in Florida and took to the open road.
  • My lemon tree gave forth green buds, flowers and finally this past week, lemons.
  • I got to see my sister three times this year, three!
  • The fires didn't come into our little valley, this year, but the wind did.
  • Apple stock rose 134% this year, amazing.
  • I started working in pastels and produced quite a bit. Down side, I sold nothing.
  • My garden tour was successful and I continue to love giving tours at the Getty Center.
  • Riding public transportation and walking became important.
  • After 37 years of marriage, we both learned more about each other.
  • We learned how to fill and empty a black water tank.
  • I discovered I can has cheezeburger?
And the best thing about the upcoming year,
  • There's only one more year to his presidency, crazy though it will be, one more year.
My new year's wish for all of you is happiness, prosperity and peace. We won't get the last unless you bitch to your elected officials so get out there next year and write letters.

For me, I only hope I can continue to continue for one more year.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The best of the season to you

Yes, I mean you, you who read this blog on a regular basis, you know who you are. This is the time we set aside to see old friends and family, take time to thank them; or forgive them, and think about those that have been in our lives and aren't anymore. Our time is so short on this planet, almost fleeting, so make sure you take a bit of time to say the things need saying.

Since I've seen way too much stress at Christmas time, mostly self induced, I've try ways to side-step the angst. Our family, albeit small, has a difficult time getting together so we celebrate the holiday when we can. This year it will be December 29. The actual day means little to me, it's the getting together that is important. I gave up celebrating the religious aspect of the holiday such a long time ago, as did my family, so we have no problem shifting the celebration.

This would all be different if our mother was still alive. She was the elf herself. She was always so excited about Christmas morning that if she spent the night, which she did on occasion, she'd be playing Johnny Mathis' Christmas music at five a.m. because she couldn't wait until we were all up. So now, even though she's been gone for a while, if I hear Mathis's Christmas Song, I know another angel got it's wings.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Jimmy Hoffa, I think I know where he is

Freaky things seem to follow me around like a hungry hound. Last week, while Christmas shopping, we stopped in a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf store for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. While paying for my tea the contents of my wallet spilled out on the counter and before I could grab it, my drivers license slipped into an abyss. Seems there is a drivers license sized crack between the two counters and that's where my license went.

When I asked the staff person if they could get it out they assured me they couldn't. Huh? You must be able to. Nope. I was mystified but after I was sure no one else could get it out I hustled over to the DMV and $21 later my license was replaced.

Now I've asked a few friends who's fault this was, I was lobbying for it not being my fault, but I couldn't get anyone to agree with me. Like my sister said, it was just a freak accident that probably couldn't be reproduced if you wanted. I just want to be there when the coffee bar is removed, for whatever reason, and they tear out the cabinets. Who knows what else is down there.

What bastards!

Who am I ranting about, today? The auto industry. California, along with 16 other states, wants to write tougher auto emission standards regarding cars and trucks and the genius in Washington decided it would be better if all states were to work together. I agree we should all have the same laws but what's wrong with the tougher standards for everyone?

What a silly question. The the auto makers would actually have to act sooner and those big contributors to politicians might not contribute big anymore. Again, Bastards.

Washington fat-cats sleeping with the auto industry 1
Global warming and your children's future 0

Monday, December 17, 2007


Words to live by

Mejor un minuto en la vida, que la vida en un minuto

Better a minute in your life, than your life in a minute

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Happy Birthday

Lorna Eley
December 15, 1922
February 5, 2002

Happy Birthday, Momma. Thanks for everything from your loving family and friends. Your life continues in your children, grand child and all you touched.

Hello, Acme, I'd like to place an order

Move over Wile E. Coyotee here comes Jeff.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Don't Cheet on me

Because I think words are fun … I've found the Urban Dictionary. Not that they are the last word on words but they sure are one of the funniest.

Such as, Cheet

The orange dust that coats your fingers and lips after eating Cheetos. This is why you shouldn't eat Cheetos in public unless you have a wet-nap handy.

"I know you've been eating my Cheetos again - You've got Cheet all over your clothes!"

And, Hobosexual but I'll let you explore that one.

Monday, December 10, 2007

He's crossed the picket line

With the Writer's Strike heading into extra innings and more TV programs heading into re-runs you'd think there wouldn't be enough comedy writing here in Southern California. Wrong. At least wrong for this household.

This morning, as most mornings, my beloved, the pooch, and myself were watching the morning news from bed. A story about a, can't-even-remember-her-name, model aired with her reason for getting a breast augmentation. Seems she was quite flat chested and the butt of many jokes growing up. Sadly, I understand, as I was called "butter-ball" by my father when I was little. I can't even imagine why I'm not in therapy.

My darling took in the story then commented that she should do what I do. Confused, I am ample of bosom all on my own, I asked what he meant. Straight man is just one of my many job titles and it's the first of that definition, thank you.

"She should feed them like you do, he said." My quizzical look prompted the following. "That's what you're doing when you drop food on the front of your blouse, right?"

Rim shot, please.

Friday, December 07, 2007

T'is the season

My holiday season is shaping up nicely. My sister, sans her husband, will be arriving on the 25th. We are understanding of my brother-out-law being absent because he's back to being the Super Salesman while they are wintering in Arizona.

Prior to that we'll be attending a Christmas Eve pajama party with our extended family. I've even bought new jammies to wear. This should be fun. The dinner will be, of course, breakfast which has all possibilities. This same extended family will come to our house for Christmas day dessert. I love making the sweet stuff and I have a wonderful new recipe to try along with a few favorites.

Christmas, to me, is when we can all get together; not one specific day so we will celebrate with the whole family on the 29th. That means presents, food and mimosas. If our family had a crest there would be a flute of champagne laced orange juice surrounded by our names spelled out in Scrabble tiles on a field of pet hair. One can almost see the heraldic banner flapping in the breeze.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Sacrificed on the alter

Now I should have time to work on my blogs. My last attempt to sell my artwork this year was, no surprise to me, a bust. Venues where they have handmade baby bibs are fine but not for my work, evidently. Plus I had a very different area for my booth. It was in a church and I was up two stairs on the alter. Yikes, me, a heathen, on the alter. Bad juju all around. First, customers couldn't just walk by and look at my table, they had to look up. Then, even when I'd invite them up to see more of my work, they just didn't seem comfortable.

Having that bird's-eye-view I saw how many people shopped. They like to walk by, give the booth a sweep, then--if interested--they touch something. The only thing I sold were cards and I did twice as good at the Sr Center craft show. Why, because people could pick up the cards. Now, I'm not saying the crappy location had everything to do with it but it sure seemed like it was part of it. People seem to like my art, they are very complimentary but not enough to cough up some cold hard stuff.

Discouraged? Well, yes, a bit but I will regroup after the holidays and see if I can peddle my wares somewhere else. There's a gallery in Noho, North Hollywood, that might need some inventory.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Bye, John

Last December I'd written about John, our Red Kettle Bell Ringer that sat outside my local market. I even went so far as to have virtual Red Kettle on my blog. I'm passing on that this year because all year long I received solicitations from the Salvation Army. Enough. I didn't raise much money for them but they sent me lots of mail. What a waste of money.

This year there was a new bell ringer outside Von's. I knew it had to be bad news but I asked her where John was. "Sadly, he'd passed away this year, she said and lots of people were asking about him." I made a donation in his name but I am quite saddened by his passing. Though he was challenged many ways, he always had a smile and an upbeat attitude. When I'd see him outside on a chilly day I'd say, "John, aren't you cold? Oh, no, luv. I could be in worse places than this." Let's hope John is in a better place and if you're in a giving mood, don't forget the think of John as you put some money in the little red kettle.

Speak with your wallet for those who can't

This is not an endorsement for Taco Hell but in 2005 they ended a consumer boycott by agreeing to pay an extra penny per pound to Florida tomato pickers. One penny. Mickey D's got on board. This extra penny would go directly to the pickers. They make about $.77 a bucket. This is now only a dream to the pickers because Burger King, with headquarters in Florida, says no way. Now the tomato growers are ready to cancel the deals with Taco Bell and McDonald's.

Way to go, King. So if you pay the extra penny a pound to the migrant workers it could cost you about $250,000 a year. Chump change. In 2006 your execs made more than twice as much money as ALL, yes all, of the roughly 10,000 tomato pickers in south Florida earn.

On Nov 30 marchers protested at their headquarter.

So the next time you're hauling your kids to some fast food, think about what's it's costing the worker who brought you the tomato. If you spend money at their store you are condoning their policy of worker abuse.

If you'd like to contact them you can call or write. They don't accept e-mail communication. So I called them this morning to tell them their policies on paying Florida pickers are unAmerican and I'd never buy anything from them. After the phone rang at corporate headquarters, many many times, a somewhat harried receptionist transfered my call to Consumer Relations. I hope they register all these complaints.

Burger King Corporation
5505 Blue Lagoon Drive
Miami, Florida 33126

Corporate Headquarters - 305-378-3000
Marketing/Advertising Information Requests - 305-378-7200
Consumer Relations - 305-378-3535


You have got to love a vehicle, such as blogs, that gives you such satire.

lolgrims, go to it.

And for those of you that have not seen the inspiration for this site,

I can has cheeze burger

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My hometown

We go to Hometown Buffet not for the food but because on Saturday's they give special treatment to classic cars. They let you park on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant and only charge us 7 bucks a piece. My beloved loves this. The food is marginal in the taste department but does have a decent salad/fruit bar and I can make my own root beer float. They used to have baked potatoes, which I love, but have discontinued that item lately. Now, I'm only setting the stage for the real story.

A few weeks ago, we had just come back from ten days camping and were tired, so we joined our other car (cheap meal) enthusiasts for dinner. It seemed way more crowded that usual and when we finally paid and went inside we saw the reason. A wedding reception. Yes, wedding reception complete with bride, in long white dress and groom, in tuxedo. The whole wedding party sat at a table by themselves while the guests, in various states of formal wear, sat in the tables in front of them. On the perimeters were the regular patrons.

Us peasants had to watch as the groom threw the garter and the bride tossed the bouquet. They cut the cake, complete with photos and then the bridal party filed, unceremoniously, out.

Let's hope this was the choice because the room they originally booked burned down. I did feel a bit cheated--there was no DJ to play, "Play That Funky Music, White Boy" or "YMCA"

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

December Desktop Calendar

December and winter are almost here but not quite. No, it's not December 1 I'm just a few days early.

The calendar is now your background and all your files or shortcuts will be floating on top. You can rearrange them but not the background calendar.
Don't want it once you've selected it?
PC users:
  • Select Start, Control Panel, Appearance & Themes, Change desktop background.
  • If the image is distorted, select "center" under Position.
  • To remove, select none and apply.
MAC users:
  • Select System Preferences
  • Desktop & Screen Saver
  • Select a new image
  • If the image is distorted, select "center" from the pull-down
Hope you enjoy this months calendar. Next month usually gets posted on the first or second day of the month.

Do you enjoy these calendars? I know a few people download it for their desktop. Let me know if you could use a different size.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Florida, give me your beach ... but nothing else.

Posting on either of the blogs has not been top of my list for a few months. I find myself distracted by a variety of things. We'd been camping then flew off to Florida for a wedding and although it was only five days, it took up space in my brain for planning.

The wedding was great and I'm not usually a fan of visiting relatives for an extended time. We all stayed at a large resort, had our own car, and met and socialized with relatives off and on, then had the big party at the reception. My darling companion and I had plenty of time to ourselves to explore the west coast of Florida, St. Petersberg specifically.

The west coast beaches have always been my favorite. Jeeze, I talked my beloved into buying a RV so we could spend more time at the beach. The beach we stayed on was so different and quite beautiful. St. Pete's Beach has long flat expanse of beach with very small waves rolling quietly in to the shore. At least that's what the surf was like when we were there. The sand is very different, as well. Almost white and so fine that it compacts and you can walk on it with little problem. In the surf line it's hard like concrete. The water was chilly but not as cold as Ventura the same time of year. Every morning there was a virtual rush hour with all sorts of people walking up and down the shore line.

One day we traveled into St Petersberg with the intent of seeing some of Georgia O'Keeffe's paintings. I was thrilled to see a brochure for The Museum of Fine Arts with my all time favorite painting of hers, The Poppy. When we arrived more than half of the museum was closed do to construction but to my delight, there in the gallery was this beautiful red flower. Ah, but that was it, one painting by her and nothing else. So we made a pilgrimage to see one painting. The weather was beautiful, the museum sits across the street from a small bay, so it wasn't wasted time in the least.

If this was the only time I'd spent in Florida I would have moved there in an instant. But, I know they have hurricanes, bugs and humidity. Hey, they even had traffic, nope, I'll still take LA.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Desert Camping

You can't really call this desert camping, we're at a lovely campground equipped two swimming pools, hot tub, full hook ups, and because it's before the "season" starts, it's cheap. My beloved has been stellar with the towing and the parking of the fifth-wheel and at this place, whew, it's made for much small trailers. The other two have not had that easy of a time. This is a much older park when trailers and motor homes were not 38ft and have big ass trucks that pull them. We all got parked and set up without too much angst.

We are all having fun and I paid for the Pomona Camping at the casino last night. Woo Whoo! I'm gonna try to pay for this tonight. Wish me luck

Thursday, November 01, 2007

November Desktop Calendar

Leaves falling? Yes, it must be November.

Do you enjoy these calendars? I know a few people download it for their desktop. Let me know if you could use a different size.
The calendar is now your background and all your files or shortcuts will be floating on top. You can rearrange them but not the background calendar.
Don't want it once you've selected it?
PC users:
  • Select Start, Control Panel, Appearance & Themes, Change desktop background.
  • If the image is distorted, select "center" under Position.
  • To remove, select none and apply.
MAC users:
  • Select System Preferences
  • Desktop & Screen Saver
  • Select a new image
  • If the image is distorted, select "center" from the pull-down
Hope you enjoy this months calendar. Next month usually gets posted on the first or second day of the month.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Clampett's are on the move, again

The time if finally here, I've been waiting for months. What with the truck's transmission falling apart and the big car show, it was iffy whether we'd get to go. But here we are taking the 5th wheel, with doggy, and heading out to meet my seester and husband in Pomona. They've been traveling with friends from Canada so I'm double excited to finely meeting Mr. and Mrs. Nutz. Do check out her Flickr. She has some wonderful pix of the Las Vegas area.

We have plans to see the Drags and do some other things I hope--like a bit of horse racing--but I'm afraid the Oak Tree Meet ends on Sunday the 4th. We need a "day stretcher" to fit in all the things we'd like to do.

After we leave Pomona we'll head to the desert and stay for another few days near Rancho Mirage. Mary is expecting us and we are planning an early Thanksgiving only without Big and Lil Bird. They are winging their way to London for a round of business. Maybe they'll have a pint of Guinness for us all. We'll miss them but I'd go if I had the chance.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The party's over

Los Doyers didn't make it to the playoff this year and that saddened me. The Red Sox swept the series to win the title; a little disappointed. Like I said before, I watched hoping a National League team would win. If the truth be told, the real reason I watched was those games would be the last baseball until Spring. "O, wind, if Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?"

Please don't think I'm in a down mood this morning because the other big event, our car club, the Roam'n Relics charity car show, was held in Moorpark, CA on Sunday and was a big success. They usually are. After twenty-eight years we know how to put on a big event. How big? Over 450 cars, too many spectators to count, and lots of money raised for our charities.

We won't count how many pairs of tired feet, weary backs, or draggin' asses we had; all the club members will be fine in a day or two. We never measure success by those things, we measure it by the faces of the kids and families we help all year 'round.

To all those street rods that packed High Street in Moorpark yesterday, we can't thank you enough.

Friday, October 26, 2007

I've become the Art Nazi

My first art sale was last Friday and Saturday and though I had fun and learned a lot, it suffered from a lack of too many of customers. Ya know, you have to say that part about I learned a lot. It's like when you're trying to get a date for a friend and you say, "She's real smart and a good listener, too." That being said, I actually did learn something, bottom line, they didn't like my prints enough to buy them. OK, so I'm disappointed but undaunted in my quest to sell something.

What I did find were some pretty nice people, they bought my handmade cards, and some pretty odd ones, as well. For those of you that don't personally know me I've always worked at some job or another that required quite a bit of customer service. Basically I can be pretty polite, when I want to, and when you're trying to sell something that's what you have to be. I do have grooves from biting my tongue but they are starting to heal.

An older citizen came up to my table and without any prompting shared with me why she couldn't buy any of my prints. I nodded and hoped she'd move one, no such luck. Then she went into some long winded story about how her husband can't lift his arms above his head to hang any of the art they already have and she showed me by lifting her arms way over her head. I knew this to be true because if he could lift his arms he'd have strangled her long ago. Then she proceeded to tell me what a creep her cousins boy was because he's been promising to come and hang the art. Still nodding, still hoping she'll leave since I had a small table and her wide ass was taking up space for real customers, and still biting my tongue. Ah, finally she moves on, relief.

Or so I thought. The next day she walks up and starts the whole conversation, again. When she gets to the arm lifting I stop her and say, "Since this is the same story you told me yesterday I assume everything is still the same." Yup she said and was off. I usually would have listened to her whole rambling and not said anything but, hey, it's MY business and if I want to be rude to people I can. If people can be selective about what they are buying I can be selective about who I sell to. No Art for you!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Breast Cancer awareness month

Most jokes about gender generalizations leave me cold but this one hits the nail on the head. Oh, I can't believe I used that lazy, hackneyed platitude but it was such an easy joke. That's what perpetuates gender stereotypes; jokes. So let's laugh a bit more at our selves.

The battle between the sexes--you know, like the war in Iraq--will never be won but we are so oddly drawn to humor we joke about anything. For me, I like the fact that I'm so different from my spouse. I don't understand all he does but after 37 years I've realized I don't need to. He'd echo the same if asked.

We are different. We are hardwired to handle problems and enjoyment differently which gives both sexes twice the ability to solve problems. As long as we listen to each other we'll survive.

And while I'm on the topic of listening, girls, listen to me for a moment, if you're over forty, make that appointment for your yearly mammogram. Most insurance companies pay 100% of the cost. Sure it's uncomfortable for a few moments but the pain outweighs the benefit. Just do it, then go buy yourself a new hammer, err, shoes.

To balance the stereotypes. "If men ruled the world"
  • Birth control would come in ale or lager
  • Garbage would take its self out
  • Tanks would be easy to rent
… and so on, you know the drill.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

That's not wind it's a collective sigh of relief

The winds have died down a bit here and though you can't see Simi Valley, we are under the blanket of smoke, we are now out of danger. The fire took the same path it did in '03 but stopped near Fillmore.

Our garage, car, and just about every closet you open smells like we've been smoking meat. After the horror story reports from San Diego, we'll take some smoke.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Nose full o'smoke

It is the season here is Southern California, the burning season. The winds are the major culprits but having homes built in canyons, albeit a beautiful areas, make protecting from the firestorms damn near impossible. The firefighters go way above their job title this time of year.

We just happen to live south west of the Canyon Country fire and although we do not live in a hilly area they are all around us. What we suffer from is the smoke. They winds drag the smoke, and sometime embers, across the canyons and into Simi. A few years back we had quite the scare as it burned a number of different areas here. It even shut down our annual charity car show it burned so close. With this year's show being held next Sunday we are all holding our collective breath.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Time to take a shower

This morning, about an hour before dawn, and the next few mornings is the time to see the Orionid meteor shower. They will be coming out the constellation Orion, one of the easier to recognize, and we saw quite a few this morning. Our morning sky cooperated with a clear view and the moon had already set so we enjoyed quite a treat.

As a bonus, Venus is still the morning star and it is spectacular in the predawn sky. Almost unnerving it's so large. Are those Venusians looking back at us?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

When will it be over?

The baseball playoffs are only mildly holding my attention. I can't figure what team I like. The Rockies and D-backs had the unmitigated gall to beat out the Dodgers. Well, that's the way I like to think it happened.

None of the teams are concerned with my allegiance enough to say, send me a nice card inviting me to watch their games and root for them. You know, like those cards the magazine companies send you for years after you no longer subscribe. That would be a nice gesture. No, they are just assuming us fans of the game will care one way or another who wins. Which might be true. I guess I'd be rooting for a National League win and Arizona seems to have spunkier players though Colorado's team is hairier.

This does present a problem but with my sister and company back in Arizona for the second time this year and and it's looking like they may, at least for the winter, stay put for a while I could be leaning towards the Diamond Backs to take the Pennant this year. Who knows, I might be visiting Arizona and want to take in a baseball game and I'd be quite ashamed to say I didn't root them on in their hour of need. Such a conundrum.

Monday, October 08, 2007

I'm addicted to peace and quiet

Out of town for me can be as local as 25 miles at my daughter's or Palm Desert which is more than 150 miles down the road. It was the latter this week and a well deserved rest. I've been working hard getting items ready for the October Arts and Craft Sale and since my beloved was in Sacramento attending a car show I hustled my bustle down to visit Mary, my step-mother.

I had a bonus, her sister, Pat--always good for a laugh or three-- was also visiting and as an extra, extra, their brother-in-law dropped by one evening and stayed for dinner. B-I-L lives in Alaska but has a place just a few golf courses away. He'd brought his builder down to get ideas for remodeling his condo the two of them showed up with a bottle of wine and stayed for an impromptu dinner.

B-I-L is a former Governor of Alaska and is quite the story teller. It was an enjoyable evening and I slept until almost eight the next morning. Blame it on the wine. I passed for 8:30am coffee with the two Alaskans and walked the dog instead. Both of us were happy.

It was so quiet there, no traffic, no barking neighbors--no stress weekend. Now, back to work.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

At the same location for two years

Two years? I've been ranting and rambling for two years? Looking back over the last two years it seems I've become less political in the posts. Crap, that worries me. Maybe I've just given up until we get the current administration out of office in November. Let's think about how we vote this year, folks. Can we stand anymore of this?

This is great, I don't have to remember what was going on in my life last October, I can just link back to the previous posts. Jeeze, a lot of stuff has happened. Anyone who says retirement is boring doesn't know the same people I do.

What was going on October 5, 2006 and October 5, 2005.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I'm smarter than my pants

It's not that I subscribe, one-hundred-percent, to the notice it's wrong to wear white after Labor Day it's just that I was raised by a mother who put clothes aways for the winter. I admit I always thought it not all that fashionable, as well. Stating this causes a conundrum of conscience for me.

All summer long I've searched for a pair of white slacks that I really enjoy wearing. Nice, expensive slacks and they were no where to be found--until this morning, while cleaning out a closet for the truck that comes to the neighborhood ever so often. There they were, just mocking, me hanging in the back of a closet, knowing full well it is September 24.

What's a girl to do?

Well, yesterday the temperature broke 90 with warm the rest of week so, Sherman, set the way back machine for August and hand me those pants.

Monday, October 01, 2007

October calendar


Not meant to scare, this pumpkin started out a friendly guy but somehow turned a little ominous.

Do you enjoy these calendars? I know a few people download it for their desktop. Let me know if you could use a different size.
The calendar is now your background and all your files or shortcuts will be floating on top. You can rearrange them but not the background calendar.

Don't want it once you've selected it?
PC users:
  • Select Start, Control Panel, Appearance & Themes, Change desktop background.
  • If the image is distorted, select "center" under Position.
  • To remove, select none and apply.
MAC users:
  • Select System Preferences
  • Desktop & Screen Saver
  • Select a new image
  • If the image is distorted, select "center" from the pull-down

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bring the champagne

No, we didn't sell the Tear Drop but we did find the need for something with facilities. There are places at the beach that require you to be self-contained and in the Tear Drop that means a zip-lock baggy. No.

We will be camping in November with sister Doodles and Company so we needed a shake down cruise. Thursday was the maiden voyage of (to be named) trailer and I hope to have pix from the beautiful blue Pacific later. It was a wonderful few days and no dead whales wash up on the beach.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Please sir, buy my painting

Ok, I'm taking the plunge. I'm going to put my work out there and see if someone wants to spend money for it. The local senior center is having an Art/Craft show next month and I've reserved a table. Right now I'm getting together what I think my sell, I'll know of the 19th and 20th of October. Will I be surprised? I hope in a good way.

Editor note: I'm also tinkering with the idea of using PayPal to sell prints online, we'll see.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Random thoughts

Can't say why but I woke up thinking of my grandfather this morning. He was my father's dad and died some time in the '80s. Not that I went to the funeral, I did not care for this man. Was scared of him as a child and couldn't be bothered as an adult. My grandmother I loved.

Howard Bryant was born in 1896 into the second family of his father's. That meant he had brothers old enough to be his father and uncles his own age. Odd family. The first time I read the definition for "gruff" I was sure that word was coined for him. He never once showed any affection for us grand kids, we were only noise makers in his opinion. I'm sure we were but we were kids.

When I was fifteen or so my mom and dad, living in Southern California, got a divorce. When my mom sent Christmas cards to our grandparents in Indiana, Howard sent them back. He'd disowned us. Imagine that, so you can see there was no love loss from me. So why would I even think of him now?

The only logical reason would be he could fix anything and was quite inventive, not unlike my dearly beloved husband. While the other grand kids got kicked out of Grandpa's basement workshop for asking too many questions, I just sat quietly on a stool and watched him. He always had pocket knife that he used for everything whether to whittle off the edge of a kite bow to make it fit or turn a screw.

He made beautiful kites. Oh, not for us to fly, we weren't worthy. He would show us how to fly them then take them back to his basement. He made one that had a semi-enclosed lit candle and it rose straight up until the candle blew out, then stayed hovering on the upper currents of air. No running required to get it aloft.

Don't you wonder what makes some people so mean? He didn't have a bad life, though died of cancer in his 80s. He saw all his five children grow to adults, have families of their own and acquire some amount of success. His wife was a lovely woman who never made a fuss about anything. He wasn't rich but had enough to retire on which gave him more time to smoke and work in his basement. I guess there doesn't have to be reasons for everything but trying to find them wakes you up at five a.m.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

More rain?

The rain went from a gentle shower to a downright washout in less than twenty-four hours. Last night we had a thunder and lightening storm. That might be normal for some parts of California, but not here. More than once last night the entire bedroom lit up, I sat straight up in bed then heard the thunder. I thought someone had turned on the lights.

Today, while out shopping and in a large building, I heard the rain beating on the roof. More than a few shoppers made it to the window to see the sky open up and pour out rain. It flooded the parking lot in seconds. Now, the beautiful blue sky is dotted with puffy white clouds and weather report calls for something close to 80 tomorrow. I love Southern California!

Friday, September 21, 2007

The child has come

It is raining. That should be the whole post, there isn't much to say about rain except it is desperately needed here in Southern California. Fire season you see and we've not had any since March and we are 12 inches below what we need. March? Are we to thank El Niño? Will the baby stay for a while or toddle off without much more than a shower?

My office window is open and it's a gentle rain right now, so pleasing to my dry ears. Though it's cooler it's by no means cold so the sounds, and smells are wonderful. I do so enjoy the rain that's been absent for so long, I could listen to it for hours. Maybe I will.

Just be careful out there, the streets are wicked slippery from the accumulation of oil, now mixed with water. Do savor this wonderful rain as it will only be here for a day, then gone for who knows how long.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Camping in the wild

We usually don't need too many amenities when camping with the teardrop but a shower would have been nice on this last camp out.

We stayed at Montaña de Oro, a CA state campground just south of Morro Bay. The weather was gorgeous and the wildlife, so friendly. Well, maybe a touch too friendly. The camp is just about over run with raccoons and they have no fear of humans or dogs so they do exactly what they want after sun down.
This little guy my beloved picked up at the local museum store. He was the best behaved of the lot.

We camped with about 35 other teardrops and had a great time learning new ways to cook. Quite a few do some cast iron cooking in Dutch Ovens and even gave a demo on Saturday morning. Looks fun and if I try it out I'll post on PBE.

When you camp and you are the only teardrop in the place you stand out, way out, and really draw a crowd. We all had to laugh because the first question people ask is, "Do you really sleep in that?" I'm thinking of having shirts made with the answer. Camping all together gives you a chance to look at some different ways people have put these little trailers together.

We met some new friends and saw some people we'd camped with last March in Lake Perris and everyone was hoping to make this a yearly camp out. I'd say yes to that. The one great thing about teardrops is they are all different; some odder than others, sorta like the people who own them.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

What did he just say?

My tracking app for this blog shows what people Google to get to this site and there has been a number typing in "french benefits" so I thought I'd see what some of the other sites came up in Google.

One is called Eggcorn , a database of malaprops. A malapropism is the incorrect use of a word by substituting a similar-sounding word with different meaning, usually with comic effect. Egg Corn being one for Acorn. The site is very geeky in a linguistic sort of way and that appeals to me. I mean, I did read "Eats, shoots, & leaves."

Once, listening to NPR I heard the reporter utter this sentence.

"He left the court room followed by a phallics of photographers. Hmmm. Do you think he meant phalanx? What I'd like to believe is he just thought, "Look at all those "dick-heads chasing him." and somehow it stuck in his brain.

So back to this blogs name, French Benefits. I got the name from the following TV commercial that was drilled into our brains a few years ago.

Satirized in a an ad campaign for FedEx Ground:

In “Wrong,” a guy is chastised by his co-workers for being a source of misinformation. “Steely Dan is not one person,” berates one guy. “We get fringe benefits, not French benefits, it’s not the Leaning Tower of Pizza, and James Dean was an actor—Jimmy Dean makes sausages.” The guy is then told that he’s wrong by thinking that FedEx ground is too expensive. “So we don’t get French benefits?” he replies.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

We do love her so

My sister and I have a darling aunt that is over eighty. I won't say exactly, she's a bit vain about her age, but be sure, she has hit the eighty mark. I call her every Saturday morning, it's a ritual. She's my mother's baby sister and since Mom's been gone I call her. I'm not sure she's a surrogate mom but I do enjoy talking with her. Very few, other than my sister, knew my mom as well as she did.

Auntie went to TJ Maxx the other day to look for bargains and in the lingerie section noticed they had a bra in her size. She's a tiny little woman and I guess it's a plus to find one her size on sale. She never tried it on and took it straight to the register where, while waiting in line, noticed the straps were studded with rhinestones. Wha?

When I asked her if she put it back she said, "Heavens no. You just don't find many $5.99 bras in my size. I took it home and took off the rhinestones."

Can you imagine what the the clerk thought about this old dolly buying a sparkly bra.

Friday, September 07, 2007

"Fair"ly sure this isn't healthy

This should be on our food blog but I'd be embarrassed to post it. We do lean toward the healthy side over at Peanut Butter Etouffee.

It seems the state fair circuit has gotten out of hand with fried foods. Here were the contenders for the Texas State Fair contest on Labor Day. I'm almost disappointed, our Ventura County Fair only had the usual stuff on a stick and deep fried. My late-friend Crystal, who performed at the county fair each year, always said, "If you deep fry it and put it on a stick someone will buy it." I'm sure she'd chuckling at this.

Deep Fried Latte
Fried pastry topped with cappuccino ice cream, caramel sauce, whipped cream and instant coffee powder.

Fried Cookie Dough
Cookie dough with chocolate chips, pecans and coconut, dipped in batter and fried. Other cookie flavors may be offered.

Zesty Fried Guacamole Bites
Small scoops of guacamole breaded and fried. Served with salsa or ranch or spicy ranch dressings.

Country Pride Peach Cobbler on a Stick
Peach cobbler with dumplings rolled in pastry dough and fried. Covered with brown sugar and cinnamon and put on a stick.

Fernie's Fried Chili Frito Burrito Chili and chili-cheese-flavored Fritos wrapped in an uncooked flour tortilla and fried. Toppings include cheese sauce, shredded cheddar, jalapeños, sour cream, hot sauce and onions.

B.W.'s Original Fried Banana Pudding
Banana pudding wrapped in a flour tortilla, fried and topped with whipped cream and powdered sugar or cinnamon.

Mama's Fried Sweet Potato Pie
Pie filling wrapped in flour tortilla, fried and topped with powdered sugar and cinnamon.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Viva Los Doyers

Tommy Lasorda, former manager of the LA Dodgers, turned 80 the other day and he's still on the team's staff. To honor him September 14 will be Lasorda Bobble-head Doll Night.

Not that I don't want to give Lasorda his due but don't tell me this doll is him; this is really a Bill Clinton doll they dressed in a Dodger uniform.

The our LA team is only three games behind Arizona and San Diego in both the Wild Card and the National League West. Yikes! They actually have been playing a bit better. At least Penny didn't self-destruct after the first bad inning last night.

Go Dodgers

Monday, September 03, 2007

Labor Day

Today we celebrate the social and economic achievements of the American worker. Salute to Trade Unions everywhere without them we'd still have child labor, unsafe work conditions and no eight-hour day. They have trained skilled workers in their trades and fought for increased wages and a better standard of living.

Of course we never would have had Jimmy Hoffa. But let's be thankful for something today; if you know a union-man or woman, they getting fewer and fewer these days, give them a pat of the back for a job well done.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

September's Desktop Calendar


September is creeping up on us like a cheap pair of panties so before it overtakes us, here's this month's calendar.
The calendar is now your background and all your files or shortcuts will be floating on top. You can rearrange them but not the background calendar.

Don't want it once you've selected it?
PC users:
  • Select Start, Control Panel, Appearance & Themes, Change desktop background.
  • If the image is distorted, select "center" under Position.
  • To remove, select none and apply.
MAC users:
  • Select System Preferences
  • Desktop & Screen Saver
  • Select a new image
  • If the image is distorted, select "center" from the pull-down
I like to use the smaller size that keeps a boarder around the calendar. I hope you enjoy this little feature and let me know if you use it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Camping; a side trip to the brewery

Since we camped a few days before our club members joined us in Solvang we took advantage of some of the other local spots, one being the Firestone Brewery. After breakfast and a shopping trip into town that included a stop for a yummy danish, we headed back to the campground. It was close to lunch and we'd walked off that danish, well, maybe, so I suggested stopping by the brewery for a tour, if they had one, or at least a taste of their beer.

We were disappointed somewhat, the only tours were in their Paso Robles facility but they did have a bar and you could get a tasting of four four ounce beers for six bucks and it included a souvenir glass. We ordered the tasting for two and a plate of sliced meats, cheese and bread for us to share.

The first glass was their Honey Blond Ale which would be good for a new-to-beer taster. It is very smooth and didn't have the "hoppy" taste of most brews. It did have a honey flavor. Nice and light.

Next was their Pale Ale. Ok, tasted like just regular beer, might have been a bit too hoppy for me.

My favorite was next, Double Barrel Ale. Quite smooth but hearty. We even bought a six-pack for the rest of our camping trip.

Last was a heavier dark beer. I did like this as well but not as much as the Double Barrel Ale. Funny because I always prefer a darker beer. I can't remember the name but it was between a stout and a porter. Nothing can beat MacTarnahan's Black Watch Creme Porter. We found that gem on a vacation to the Oregon Coast a few years back. Trader Joe's did carry it for a while but I guess we were the only customer and they stopped stocking it.

Full to the brim we found our way back to the campground for a nap. We had to rest up for the BBQ that evening.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Butter and sugar

It's odd when retirees say they are on vacation but we took a few days away in Solvang, a semi-local touristy type town with a Danish theme. As a matter of fact, Solvang is Danish for butter and sugar. Yikes I don't know what they had more of, bakeries or wine tasting bars. The area got way into wine tasting after the popularity of the movie, Sideways, which was located/filmed in the Santa Inez Valley.

The area is quite beautiful and my beloved and I have been going there since before we were married and make it back there often if nothing else but to eat breakfast at Ellen's. This little restaurant, only a dozen or so tables, was the first place we'd ever eaten in Solvang and in the 80s they moved from the town up the road to Buellton, home of Pea Soup Andersons, another famous eatery. Ellen's has wonderful Danish pancakes with a mild veal sausage with a name I can't pronounce. If you say Danish sausage they know what your are talking about.

There are a number of bakeries in town and they are all good. My favorite is Mortensens. You can't imagine how fresh these pastries are. If you are there and on a diet, this would be a good time to go off.

Our real reason for the trip was to camp a bit and go to the Saturday Car Show in town. They closed off the streets to park nearly 300 cars of all varieties. We took our 51 Chevy pick-up. Nothing special, just a driver but it always gets a comment or two. A number of other car club members met us there and we had a great time, eating, (again) shopping and enjoying the lovely day.

We were only gone a few days but it was nice to get away from the routine. We hope to do more camping in the upcoming months when the kids are back in school and us seniors can have the sites all to ourselves. Next teardrop trip is in September, can't wait.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Hold on, the next ten years will be a bumpy ride

Since my sister and her husband left Florida I don't follow hurricanes anymore. That would be hurricanes with a small "h" not the NHL team. Not that I don't care about hurricanes, I do. I feel sorry for anyone to go through the anguish of losing everything so quickly and was reminded of our natural disaster risks here in California just a few weeks ago; earthquakes. It was only a 4.6 and for those outside of the state, that's just a wake up call. The 3.5 a week later was so minor if you weren't standing still you missed it.

I don't get excited until they are up in the "fives" range but that isn't to say it didn't wake me up. My adrenalin was pumping pretty good. After any perceivable quake I check the USGS site. Handy because it's automatic and they can pinpoint it quite quickly as to location and get pretty close to the magnitude. When you have a resource like that it gives the illusion of some sort of control.

Quake 101: Sharp jolts mean it was pretty close. Those slow rolling coaster of a ride quakes are usually farther a way. I don't think the jolt travels but the roll seems to go on for a long distance.

No one wants to relive the horror of a Katrina sized storm again but with global-whatever it seems our weather is in flux. Who do you believe? NOAA say there could be above normal number of storms this season. That would be the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration not the ship builder. In the West we are in a drought but Texas and the entire middle of the country might need an ark. I'd have both NOAAs on speed dial if I lived in Texas this year.

I'm sure the scientists are scratching their collective heads over what actually is going to happen, I feel it has already started. Nothing gloom and doom, just a reality. We've punched our atmosphere around so much, what can we expect.

At least we haven't caused Earthquakes--wait, maybe that's a reaction, as well.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

New lawn

Here is my beloved with a borrowed Troybuilt fixin' up our yard for our new sod. He was considerate and didn't fire it up until after 8:00am. Well it was a Saturday morning but he wanted to get some work done before it hit 90. August is here with a vengeance.

Notice Buddy is off to the side supervising the whole project. He got bored after a few minutes and went inside for a nap. So like many other supervisors I've known.

This morning I helped rake the weedy material out of the dirt. After about an hour and a half we'd filled one huge trash can and cleaned up. There is nothing as satisfying as a job well done. Unless it's breakfast at Jerry's which is what this hired hand got. Now he's a good boss!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Friday, August 10, 2007

Bayer gave me a headache

Usually I show our dog's smiling face but this is a shot of a huge open sore caused by Bayer's K9 Advantix. This happened last week after I applied the dose as directed. It's not the first time I've used this or products like it. I switched from Frontline because the Advantix is more diligent on Ticks and we've been camping more lately.

I called Bayer, the maker, because I saw nothing about this in the safety pamphlet. They seemed very worried because they've never heard of this happening. And, please send us all bills from the Vet. This really scared me and I made an appointment for that same day.

My Vet said, yes, this happens but not that often and he says Bayer knows about this. He wasn't going to charge me because their Bayer rep. would pick up the bill. Maybe the person I talked to was new. I think the person I talked to just didn't want to admit they have this problem.

Do be careful with your doggies and watch carefully after applying. The Vet said I could switch back to Frontline but I'm not so sure now.

Monday, August 06, 2007

And now, a little word from our sponsors.

Marketing my art has always been difficult for me. When I was a kid you never boasted about what you could do and that's followed me to adulthood. I do feel I have some talent but never tried to sell anything.

Now I've found a wonderful website that let's more people view my work and this will give me an idea if it will sell. It's called VC Artfarm. If you're interested please take a look. If you are an artist, this is a site that is free of charge to post your work.

The site is provided by a group called Museum Quality. They are in Camarillo, California and do remarkable scans and Giclee reproductions. I'm planning to sell the Giclee prints.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Wat elze?!

i r a taco i r nootrishus and tasty

This is from a crazy site called I can has cheezburger? Where do people come up with this stuff? It is for the enjoyment of the masses.

I know, I'm being quite lazy just posting these links but it is a busy time for this woman. I can has many funny post, soon.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sunday, July 29, 2007

And now, a little Yiddish

Dolores and I carpool to the Getty on Wednesdays. I think I enjoy that as much as the Getty its self. We do laugh a lot and I learn a bit of Yiddish at no extra cost.

Here is one of her definitions.

A schlemeil is someone who drops something on the floor.

A schlimazel steps in it.

Friday, July 27, 2007

A little green update

My daughter is getting into the swing of solar cooking. First she cooked a pot of rice, this time she's done a near-complete dinner. I could not be prouder.

Me? I'm still try to cut down on oil consumption by taking some public trans and walking to the market when I've forgotten one or two items. Now that the summer has turned up the heat that's not as easy, so I keep my errands to the early morning. Lucky, most of our stores open early here.

Speaking of shopping at the market. Do you hate those plastic bags as much as I do? Most markets these days sell the reusable shopping bags. Trader Joe's has the coolest. I keep an assortment in my trunk to accommodate any size purchase.

Last week I did get a chance to try the Metro Train into LA. I'm always looking for the perfect balance to get me to the Getty Center. I carpool most weeks and when I don't try an alternative. The train to Van Nuys stops just about ten minutes from my house and after a 30 minute ride I pick up one bus that goes directly to the Getty. This save me a bit of time because I don't have to transfer; no waiting for that additional bus.

Is this cheaper for me or save me time? Nope. I do it because I have to prove to myself it can be done. We should all find a way to conserve, all of us.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Bring a book

Traveling by bus I have found some interesting people. Take the last trip. I'm sitting on the bench, minding my own business, reading my book. When you travel this way it's always good to have something to do while you wait. A nicely dressed, somewhere near 40 year-old, walks up and sits beside me and proceeds to tell me her life story. Do I have one of those sympathetic faces?

Her story was too long for this post but the synopsis was she didn't get the job she applied for because they don't hire felons. This got my attention; I closed my book. She went into some long involved situation where she hooked up with a "weirdo", her words, and offered, with the help of a friend, to move is stuff into a storage unit. Flash forward to a storage yard where the moving friend gets drunk, she gets irritated and slams the car into reverse to race out of there, not seeing her helping friend who's bent down behind the car. Yep, backed over her and killed her instantly, she said.

Me: Killing someone with a car isn't felony manslaughter, is it?
Her: It is if you leave the scene of the accident.

She said she didn't drive away but ran down the street to a hospital to get help. So they have a trial and "... now I can't get a stinkin' job!"

Sad situation, yes, but never in this conversation did she mention the friend she'd killed, never. My god, no remorse at all? Nope, just poor me, now my life is ruined. Oh look, here's the bus.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

August Desktop Calendar

Here is the desktop background picture to be used as a calendar for August. It's easy but you need to know how to change your background on your computer. Here are some quick steps:

  • PC users-right click or Mac users Control click, the image and select "Set as Desktop Background"
The calendar is now your background and all your files or shortcuts will be floating on top. You can rearrange them but not the background calendar.

Don't want it once you've selected it?
PC users:
  • Select Start, Control Panel, Appearance & Themes, Change desktop background.
  • If the image is distorted, select "center" under Position.
  • To remove, select none and apply.
MAC users:
  • Select System Preferences
  • Desktop & Screen Saver
  • Select a new image
  • If the image is distorted, select "center" from the pull-down
I like to use the smaller size that keeps a boarder around the calendar. I hope you enjoy this little feature and let me know if you use it.

Monday, July 23, 2007

We need less priests and more Uncle Daves

I'll confess; I've never been a great Catholic. My family ranges from people like me to one who should have been a priest. My uncle goes to Mass every day of his life and has for as long as I can remember. I, on the other hand, can't remember the last Mass I attended other than a funeral.

What has me confused is why so many abuse victims? Are there that many ratty-assed priests? Mahonney said he was truly sorry. Yeah, sorry he had to pay out all that money. Tell me what they are doing to keep this from happening again, then I'll be happy. LA Catholic Church apologies.

Now the Pope says "Other Christians are not true Christians." Huh? Another uncle, recently departed, was a Lutheran, through and through. Never missed church and was the most genuinely honest and moral person I've ever known. So when he died you think St Pete says, oops, all that good living, sorry, we've about 100 pedophile priests ahead of you, you know, Catholicism is the only true religion.

Does this sound like another religion? If you don't believe in my way of thinking … fill in the blanks. I'm not saying Pope Benny and the Jets suggests strapping on vests and heading down to the local Protestant Church but come on, where did this come from? There is a reason pontificate, to express one's opinion in a way considered annoying, came from that section of Rome.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

It's all in how you look at it

My darling friend Dolores was at the dentist this week and when asked by the staff if she was "attached" she said no. They have a man she should meet, he drives at night and has his own teeth and is only 94 year-old. She thinks she might pass on that introduction.

Different things are important at different times.

When you're 15,
"He can drive his mother's car."

When you're 25,
"He has his own car and can buy alcohol."

When you're 35,
"He has a job and never been married."

When you're 65,
"He has a pension and health insurance."

When you're 95,
"He can still drive."

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tuscan wall

This is from Ilva's photos. I hope she still doesn't mind if I paint them. For some reason I've started working smaller rather than larger. Larger is what I want but each time I choose something it becomes about 8 x 10 inches. I must get out of this rut. In my defense, this size is easier to transport back and forth to class.

Disclaimer: I'm just snapping a pix from my dinky camera for these posts.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Diamonds are what this girl wants

Baseball has always been one of the few sports I will attend in person. When my dearly beloved and suffered through my unfortunate incarceration in Bakersfield we became fond of the local Minor League team, the Blaze. The behind-home-plate tickets went for about five bucks and two dollar beers. What's not to love? You could even pick up tickets from local merchants. These got you into the cheap seats for a buck or two. You could go for a few innings and leave when the other team scored double digits. It was like being in the movie Bull Durham, without Tim Robbins or Kevin Costner, of course.

Now the LA Dodgers' tickets are a bit pricier. You could spend a grand for two similar tickets so I am content to watch them on TV, the seats are more comfortable. A trip to the ball field is what a desire so I hope to talk the old boy into at least one outing before the end of the season.

You might have noticed on the right-hand side the blog I've posted some "News" about the Dodgers. They are doing great right now, first place in the West so here's hoping we have something to cheer about in October.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

So many sights; so little paper

Back from a week at the beach. This is the dry hills around Santa Ynez. The sky was a beautiful blue, no fog. More on the trip but I needed to get this out of my head and on paper.

Dolphins off the beach in Ventura. They came about an hour before sunset. I missed the shot of two of them surfing in a wave, you'll have to take my word.

Our camp in Pismo. Wow, what a nice place. Pismo Coast Village RV Resort.

Creek between us and the town of Pismo. Simply wonderful. Only draw back: there is a six month wait for reservations. We were lucky because we only wanted two days and we were willing to move for the second day.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Slight remodel

We are off to the beach for some camping this week. It won't be as hot as last week but still it's good to get away. While I'm gone I've left a few new things to ponder so ponder at will.

Blogger has added a few new features to the side of their blogs. I'm trying the Poll with a question about visiting this blog. Not that I care that much but what I am doing is testing its functionality before I put it on our food blog, PBE.

The other is "A bit of News" also located on the right-hand side; scroll down. I've added stories about things that interest me, Apple, the LA Dodgers, and Simi Valley, California. These topics could change. I do need to find a way to filter these topics. Apple is coming up with stories about "apple pie".

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Ever have one of those days when nothing goes right?

This would be the theme of my Saturday.
  • Blogger is wonky
  • I get out my sewing machine, which was just repaired, and the case was put on wrong so I can't plug it in.
  • My printer is acting foolish
  • I went out to do some shopping and when I returned the sprinklers had been running for two hours.
  • My husband is away and not answering his cell phone.
  • When I tried to access my voice-mail it says it's been disabled and to call. They aren't there on the weekend.
  • Trying to talk with my sister, she's on the road traveling, the phone is wonky.
  • I can't find my recipe for my shortbread cookies.
I'm going back to bed, see ya on Monday

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


This is from a photo Doodles took at the Getty Center while they were visiting last month. Oh, has it been that long they've been gone? Where does the time go?

She and Mr Doodles are busy taking more photos so I can continue to paint. Damn nice of them, don't you think?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

All aboooaaaarrd!

With July comes triple digits here in Southern California. Since our mornings are still cool enough to walk I've challenged myself to be up and out before 7:00 am. This isn't too difficult because I've always been a "morning person."

One of my routes takes me across a railroad crossing and usually the train is the Metrolink, a commuter train heading for Los Angeles. This morning a fast moving freight made me stop. With the sun behind the train I turned and watched the hypnotic flash of the cars going by. The space between each car was a framed picture and it reminded me of a Zoetrope, the precursor to moving pictures.

On the opposite side of the train a man walking his dog was frozen into separate frames. I was mesmerized. Sequenced frames viewed together would make one fluid motion; a moving picture. The the train passed returning everything to normal. I had to wonder if that's how movies were invented.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Poultry from the Getty

These are really called Echeveria but I've always know them as Hens and Chickens, they are a succulent similar to an aloe but they have these wonderful pinky orange flowers. This painting is from another photo taken by my sister, doodles, at the Getty Center last month. I love how the leathery leaves absorb the pink from the flowers.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Parrot owners, are you deaf?

In our neighborhood, we have a family that moved in just four houses away. They must be deaf because they manage, and I say that instead of own, a parrot. I've never seen this bird but he must be fourteen feet tall by the sound of him. When I walk, I've noticed he's parked out in their screened-in porch. How do I know he's there? He screeches at about 90 decibels, somewhere between the roar of a jet engine and and Al Qaeda business meeting.

Ever so often, it happened this morning, he screams like someone is trying to force him into a small paper bag. That or the Golden Retriever that lives outside has finally had enough. I'm voting for dog.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

My birthday is a movable feast

For those friends who don't know this, my birthday is really in December but I celebrate it in June. You see, having a birthday close to Christmas is a pain. My mom was always good enough to try and make it fun but the weekend before Christmas, who has time? As an adult, it was even worse I was busy and my Mom, mother-in-law, and grandmother all had to be born during that season. So I had an idea.

When I was about to turn thirty, six months prior, I told my family, I'll age myself six months if I can celebrate in June. Everyone was quite agreeable with this, even my father. The only holdout was his mother who insisted in sending a card in December.

When I retired from my last job I told everyone this story, they were amazed. I never thought it was a big deal. My only problem is I never thought about what else was going on, Father's Day. Sometimes it even fell on the same day, sheesh. Well, don't want to change it again, but I do enjoy having more time to enjoy my special day.

Our darling friends gave me a great party with food and family and friends. A strong emphasis on food. Abodanza! Appetizers, salad, soup, main course and to top it off, cupcakes.

Thanks to all who came and made it so special.

Editor's note: Recipe for the stuffed mushrooms are on Peanut Butter Étouffee.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Testing, can you see me now?


When I'm at the computer I never seem to have a calendar when I want it so I've created a desktop background picture to be used as a calendar. It's easy but you need to know how to change your background on your computer. Here are some quick steps:

  • PC users-right click or Mac users Control click, the image and select "Set as Desktop Background"
The calendar is now your background and all your files or shortcuts will be floating on top. You can rearrange them but not the background calendar.

Don't want it once you've selected it?
PC users:
  • Select Start, Control Panel, Appearance & Themes, Change desktop background.
  • If the image is distorted, select "center" under Position.
  • To remove, select none and apply.
MAC users:
  • Select System Preferences
  • Desktop & Screen Saver
  • Select a new image
  • If the image is distorted, select "center" from the pull-down
What I'm looking for is feedback from anyone who uses this.
Does it work for your machine?
Is it too big/too small?
Wouldn't want this on your desktop?

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Onion and tomatoes

At the farmer's market I found this great red onion. My fasination was with it's furry roots. The tomatoes were from a different FM. I seem to get most of my inspiration from veggies on display.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Mac person living on a PC Web

With family visiting I didn't have much desire to paint but now that I'm alone I find myself in the studio again. I'm trying to decide how to market my work. It's not easy but with the encouragement of my sister I think I can give it a try.

Here is a small piece I've just finished. I apologize for the color. I work on a Mac and to me the color looks garish but if I adjust the color for my platform it will look horribly washed out on a PC. When I was gainfully employed and did this for a living, I had two computers side-by-side, it was much easier. Why didn't I just design on the PC? Like I said, I'm a Mac-person; end of discussion.

The inspiration is a photo from a food blogger, Lucullian Delights. Ilva is a brilliant photographer and I've always wanted to try my hand at one of her images. I've already tried her recipes; no one person could be so talented, she must have a twin. Thanks, Ilva for giving me permission to use your photo, I hope I did it justice.

If you'd like to see more of my work, just click on "Pastel" at the bottom of this post under Labels. As always, I'd be pleased with comments, good or bad.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Gypsy Caravan is on it's way; again

Cat, Sister and Brother-in-law took off down the road for their next adventure. Always sad at their parting but I know, when they settle, it will be closer than Florida. We are all happy about that.

Their next stop is heading north to Sequoia and beyond so they needed an early morning departure. I envy them their adventure for I think I've a bit of gypsy in my bones, too.

No, we didn't swap trucks, this is darling husband being funny with his truck when we camped together at the beach. While parked under their fifth-wheel it did get some odd looks.

The beach camping trip, albeit short, was great fun. Buddy dog enjoyed watching the abundance of squirrels and rabbits in our area. Amazed at how many there were but I never noticed any natural predators and they were very good at stealing Buddy's dog food so they adapted to us humans.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Explain, please

I have no idea what this game show is about but it's pretty funny?

Summer blooms at the Getty Center

The Central Garden at the Getty Center is in full summer bloom. I can't believe how lucky I am to be a docent on the top of the hill and with the summer comes many new visitors to see this beautiful outdoor work of art. I've finally finished working on my tour and actually gave it once to about twelve visitors. It was a weak start but I finished strong, now I need to perfect my delivery and everyone will be happy. It is very satisfying when you know the visitor is experiencing something new.

The architecture tour is still part of my assignment as well as the Family Room and new Sketching Gallery so I can't ever be bored on my shift. So come visit this summer if not for the Art, for the blooms.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Together, again

The Gypsy Caravan arrived on Sunday and as you can see, all three of us fit into my kitchen; the sister, me and daughter. We are busy already but plan to do some real cooking soon, this was just lunch. Most of my posting will be on PBE so forgive me for not keeping this blog up to date I'm sure I'll get back to my normal ranting, soon.

Friday, June 01, 2007

You thought LA's traffic is hazardous

Rush hour in New Delhi is more dangerous these days with an old elephant holding up traffic if he suspects food in any of the cars. He forces the drivers to stop by standing in front of the car and then stays there until the driver gets out and he can extract his toll.

What's next? Raising the bus fare?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Get out of Purgitory free card

You'd think being retired I'd have this spic and span clean house. How wrong you'd be. My house cleaning consists of tidying up the kitchen and baths, making sure my dearly beloved has clean britches and dusting, if we have company. Of course when we have overnight guests I feel compelled to clean a bit more and since my family will be converging here in June I've been in Über clean mode.

Because I've gotten lazy I only do one or two chores a day then either walk, write for this and the PBE blogs or paint. I do spoil myself. Today's chores consisted in cleaning ceiling fans and the aluminium blinds in both front rooms. Yikes, what a boring job and if I were still associated with the Catholic Church I'm sure I would have offered up this time as penance for the poor souls in Purgatory. A product of some Catholic schooling, every boring job drags my mind back to Nuns making you feel no time is wasted when there are souls to push onto their final reward.

This sort of stuff all ways got me into trouble in school like the time I, quite seriously, asked the Nun if I could sort of "bank" some prayers for a few of my friends I know will need them once they die because they should be going straight to hell. Detention, Miss.

Something in the back of my mind say some recent Pope eliminated Purgatory a few years ago but I'm not sure. If this was changed I am sure everyone got the express into heaven just like when, during the the 60s, they eliminated the Friday penance of no meat. Says so somewhere in Canon Law, which, I might add, reads like some Californian ballot propositions. The church never does seem to get it's story right, Inquisitions, Indulgences, and Insolent Priests.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Under the Tuscan sun

When our dear friends visited Tuscany they brought back a lovely plate for our kitchen. It has all the wonderful colors of the kitchen and that is where it will hang but I couldn't resist a small, quick still life before it goes on the wall.

They also brought back some lovely photos so, even though I didn't travel to Italy, I can paint like I did. Only you and I will know this secret, shhhhhh.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Hate the war; not the Warriors

Something stabbed me in the heart on Friday while waiting for our movie to start. No, not a heart attack though with all that butter-flavored-oil on the popcorn these days I'm surprised. It wasn't a tussle with another movie goer for a seat but a commercial. God how I hate paying so much to view a movie and seeing commercials but this one gave me a jolt. It was for the National Guard and although I know about the Guard this commercial put this Memorial Day in perspective for me.

When these Americans signed up for the Guard they signed to serve America, Federal or State. They are the ones who show up during floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes with the knowledge that in times of war, they will serve there as well. They signed up to protect us with the understanding we'd protect and take care of them.

It is unfortunate they are in a place, I feel, is not serving democracy like the current administration tells us but serving some other interest we'll find out at a later time. I don't hold all of us responsible for letting this happen, for not voting to change the administration when we had a chance just like I don't hold the soldier responsible for being in Iraq.

We can really thank them for their service by bringing them home.

A Million Thanks

Saturday, May 26, 2007

First in a kitchen flavor

Doing a kitchen theme is something I've always wanted to try. I've always been drawn, pardon the unplanned pun, to Cook's magazine, I've even framed two of their covers but wanted more of my kitchen palette. So here is a start. I hope the color looks better on a PC than it does on my Mac.

Comments or criticism always welcomed.