Friday, July 31, 2009

On a mission

La Purisima Mission, just one in a chain stretching the length of the state, is a wonderful stop while heading to Lompoc. We put it on our list of "Things to do" while vacationing in Central California.

Because it is far from any city the mission complex has the space to show the vastness of outposts settled by the church in the 18th century. This large tract of land is used to illustrate the hardships of creating a settlement so far from Spain and whether you agree with their intrusion on the native population or not, it is interesting to see how they lived.

The local Indians did not fare well under the Mission rule, many died, their culture stripped from them in the name of civilization, and many conscripted into the army. Oh, and let's not forget their baptisms into Mother Church.

In 1834, when the Missions were ordered to secularize, the native population, once again, got the worst of the bargain. The promised land they'd farmed was eventually taken away and the Padres left Purisima to populate another Mission in Santa Ynez leaving the Chumash Indiangs to fend for themselves.

Walking through the buildings you get a sense of the pride once there but also the sadness of the treatment of the native peoples. Working so hard to be treated with respect that never came. My fourth-grade history never talked of this aspect of the California Missions but then that was in the late 50s. I wonder what they tell the kids now?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bees as far as the eye can see

It's only natural to find bees in a field of lavender but this was amazing. I've heard that with global warming there were less honey bees. You'd have never thought that by seeing this beautiful field. This is Andre's Lavender and they sold a variety of products as well as plants. Since I'd scalded my hand a few days earlier I bought a small bottle of oil. This oil is said to have medicinal properties and I can't say it helped but the aroma is great; and that's enough for me.

This is the second field we stopped to visit. The first was Clairmont Lavender Farm owned by a curmudgeon who, when asked about the tour touted in the vacationers handbook, told us we could walk through any of the fields if we liked. What a jerk.

If it weren't for the bees I'd have laid right down in this field it was that beautiful.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

More little cuties.

The one horse wasn't happy until everyone was up.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Too late!

Vacation was filled with chuckles, this is just a sample. We did laugh a lot but eventually got around to a snap or two. I'll be posting them this week once I concur Dirty Laundry Mountain.

The horses referred to in the sign were miniature horses at the Quicksilver Ranch. Click on the link to see what they are all about but I'm warning you, it's a real schmaltzy website. The designer should be hung by their thumbs for that one.

The ranch is free to visit and if you're in the Santa Ynez Valley in Central California do stop by. These tiny horses are so cute and the babies even tinier.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Facebook is worthy; imagine that

Facebook has it's advantages though I've not yet decided it's worth all that much to me. It did let me get back in contact with someone I'd not spoken with in ages, John Gray. John was my first photography teacher and an inspiration to me my whole adult life. Everyone should have a "John Gray" in their lives. I would never have explored the wonder that is the computer graphics or stepped outside of my comfort zone to try new things. So I thank Facebook for allowing me to listen to John once more.

John would always propose questions to make his students think and now with Facebook he can reach a larger audience. Here is just one of the current questions. I'm posing this to you, the photographer or anyone else that would care to answer. Answer here and I'll send them on to John.

"Recently I asked my classes to write a paragraph or two answering the following question: How do you think the world would be different if photography were never invented? You can post them on Facebook or you can send them to my email account. If you are in touch with any photographers please pass the question on."

Monday, July 20, 2009

Time seems to fly faster than a Saturn-five rocket

A few years ago I had this post, Moon dust gets in your eyes. We are now celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Moon Walk as well as 4o years with my darling companion. Forty years ago Apollo 11 on a Saturn V rocket headed toward an eventual landing on the moon and I've been in love ever since.

Since my sister and her beloved also had their first date then as well, I'm wishing them a happy 40th year, too.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A royal visit

The Princess came to visit last night. She brought her royal entourage and was very pleased with her new ball and bubbles. Most of dinner was to her liking except for the carrots. We look forward to seeing her visit us again.

Lightening strikes

Some lucky bastard/bastardettet has won the California Lottery but that's not news. Someone is always winning the California Lottery; it's just not me. It's just never in my neighborhood, either. Ah, but Wednesday night some lucky schmo did indeed win and the ticket was bought blocks from my house. There was ten mil walking distance from my purse and I bought mine across the street.

At first I was pissed. Oh great lightening doesn't strike twice-- now I've got to go to another town to buy my tickets. Then it realized how great is to win ten million. Good for them. I hope they need it, who couldn't use ten mil right now, or I hope their family or friends or neighbors could use it and they will be generous enough to do something fun, like throw a big party.

So now I've got to change my lottery ticket buying policy, now I can't buy a ticket here anymore. Vacation is coming up and I'll buy a ticket when I get out of town. I might even buy a few tickets along the way. We could stop every twenty miles and buy a ticket or two. Or find a town where no one has won. I wonder if there's a list?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Warn the townspeople

Oh Crap! Sarah Palin is coming to Simi Valley to speak at the Reagan Library. August 8. I must find something else to do that week for the town will be atwitter. I mean honestly, all the Republicans will be Twittering their heads off.

Monday, July 13, 2009

This, is life

There is a blog I read regularly, The Pioneer Woman. She's funny, witty, and has a bunch of kids, dogs, horses, and family. Mix that all together with the fact she's a dynamite cook and a fantastic photographer who lives on a cattle ranch and you've got a great read. I keep a link to her on the right side of this blog under Foodie Friends so visit her from time to time for a laugh or a tear or a damn good recipe. If you are into homeschooling she's got that covered as well.

PW often photographs her dogs and this snap makes me smile. I keep going back to these photos and what I realized is this is an analogy for life. Sometimes it grips you right by the throat but if you relax it will stop. It might even give you a slobbery kiss.

Editors note: No dogs were harmed in the shooting of these photos. PW wouldn't hurt a flea. Well, maybe a flea but never another dog. That's one of her attributes I admire.

Friday, July 10, 2009

It's not what's for supper

I've never had a problem eating animals. Killing them, that might be more difficult but if I were hungry I'm sure I'd have no problem. I never had a problem until now. Lil bird is off at Sheep Camp and these two precious animals were born while she was there. She also has adorable pix of her holding one shortly after it was born all dewy eyed and nuzzley.

Look at them, all sproingy with their new little lambie legs and sweet little lambie eyes. Well at the market this morning, as a picked up some lamb chops, those sweet little lambie eyes were staring back at me. Damn. I love lamb, in all chops and cuts but those precious little wet noses and darling sproingy legs wouldn't let me put those tasty lamb chops in my basket.

Now one of lil bird's fortes is a scrumptious rack of lamb and I wonder how this experience will effect her. That lamb she fixes is wonderful. Damn, I say, damn.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Life is good but going to get better

As a working person looking at a retired person a vacation doesn't make any sense. But I am looking forward to getting away and relaxing. At home I have no excuse for being lazy but on vacation I can sleep late, eat someone else's food, and drink wine.

The past two weeks have been challenging but being evacuated from the Getty Center yesterday was the last straw. My beloved Wednesday afternoons canceled. I do so look forward to spending my time there and it was snatched away before we even got started. Not one visitor did I assist in finding the restroom nor delight with my humor about the coffee cart. No special information such as the number of goats that eat the brush on the hillsides. Which brings up a good point, did those goats do their jobs this year? One does wonder with the ferocity of the fire racing up the canyon yesterday.

So I missed one day, there will be more, and now we know how efficient the GC is at getting 2500 people off the hill. Good job.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Lil bird goes to camp

Our darling daughter is going to camp; Sheep Camp on Martha's Vineyard to be exact. You can follow her adventures on her blog, Maltese Parakeet. There will be a request for a Twitter password but if you don't have one, just cancel and you can read her blog updates. Her first update was from the airplane at 30,000 feet.

The backstory for this trip; she loves to knit and is quite accomplished, so when see saw the blog Fiber Farm she jumped at a chance to visit and learn how to get yarn from the sheep to the needles.

Some people were very suprised when they heard how she was spending her vacation but not her mother and father. She has always been the type of person who, when sees something she wants, goes out and accomplishes it. Love her spirit. Good luck lil bird.

Friday, July 03, 2009

A funny for the 4th

Because I'm not a fan of the e-mail passed on from friend to friend my good friends rarely send them to me but after the week I've had this one was appreciated.

Briefly, my week: First was the leak and now our Honda Hybrid, six years of age, has decided it would like some new batteries. Not those everyday, lets buy them at Pep Boy's batteries, but the fancy designer type. You know the type, the ones costing us three grand. Yes, three large will just about cover it. I'm wondering how much you can get for a kidney.

So, here is a funny for the 4th. I do need to predicate this with a warning. Do not be drinking, sipping or even thinking of doing the aforementioned while reading this. Honest.


Some of you may have already been warned of this …

You've heard about people who have been abducted and had their kidneys removed by black-market organ thieves.

My thighs were stolen from me during the night a few years ago. I went to sleep and woke up with someone else's thighs. It was just that quick. The replacements had the texture of cooked oatmeal. Whose thighs were these and what happened to mine?

I spent the entire summer looking for my thighs.

Finally, hurt and angry, I resigned myself to living out my life in jeans. And then the thieves struck again.

My bum was next. I knew it was the same gang, because they took pains to match my new rear-end to the thighs they had stuck me with earlier.

But my new bum was attached at least three inches lower than my original! I realized I'd have to give up my jeans in favour of long skirts.

Two years ago I realized my arms had been switched ...

One morning I was drying my hair and was horrified to see the flesh of my upper arm swing to and fro with the motion of the hairbrush. This was really getting scary - my body was being replaced one section at a time.

What could they do to me next?

When my poor neck suddenly disappeared and was replaced with a turkey neck, I decided to tell my story. Women of the world wake up and smell the coffee! Those 'plastic ' surgeons are using REAL replacement body parts -stolen from you and me! The next time someone you know has something 'lifted', look again - was it lifted from you?

THIS IS NOT A HOAX. This is happening to women everywhere every night.


P.S. Last year I thought some one had stolen my Boobs. I was lying in bed and they were gone! But when I jumped out of bed, I was relieved to see that they had just been hiding in my armpits as I slept.. Now I keep them hidden in my waistband.

Thought this was too 'important' not to pass on... Have a wonderful day - with a joy filled heart.

P.P..S. - These same thieves came into my closet and shrank my clothes! How do they do it????

Just thought you should know.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

My jackass ears payed off

For the past two days we've known we had a water leak in the wall between the living room and front bath room. Soggy carpet drew our attention to the problem but replacing the toilet seal didn't fix it at all. After tearing up the carpet in the living room we saw it was a very slow but constant leak. This morning, when all was quiet, I listened to the wall and I heard what I thought was a hissing noise. My beloved measured the area of the sound and climbed into the attic about the bathroom. When he came down he knew the next step was to remove some drywall. Behind the toilet was the logical place and after exposing the water line in the area I'd heard the hiss he shined a light into the abyss.

It took a minute of peering in to find an almost imperceptible pin-prick of a leak in the copper pipe. The water was spraying against the wall stud, then dripping down to run out into the living room.

Now the oddest thing about the leak, there was nothing touching the pipe or had touched it nor was it bent or crimped. The house is over 40 years-old but copper isn't supposed to corrode.

Now, my darling is putting on his plumber pants and fixing this problem. And, no one should complain about my "jackass ears" again.