Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Things I've never tried before

When we, a friend and I, were planning our trip to the Southern part of the US I thought I'd be eating all the typical local fare. My grandmother was a fantastic cook and make fried chicken, chicken fried steak, biscuits, and all smothered with gravy. Yeah, we got that and it was all terrific.

Here are two items I'd never had, boiled peanuts and Brunswick Stew. The peanuts look wet and soggy and had the texture of a cooked bean but were salty and a bit addictive.

The Brunswick Stew was an odd concoction of ground pork and chicken cooked with tomatoes and some corn kernels thrown in. Not a huge amount of flavor but not as horrible as it looked.

We tried both in a tiny old BBQ place in Macon, GA; Satterfield's. They were quite nice to us Yankees and when we said we'd never tried either brought a sample to the table. That was what stands out in my mind, how nice most people were in the South.

Not finding anything interesting in Macon we headed to Savannah.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Ten pounds of kisses

No dog could replace our Buddy but this one will fit in here just fine. Meet Sadie. She's a 3 1/2 year old, ten pound terrier mix and she's stolen our hearts.

A rescue of a rescue, her last owner had her for only three months. He was not physically able to handle a young dog. I'm not sure she ever had a walk but here she will get lots of leash time. We need to work on some easy commands like sit and stay.

She is very good in the car and that was a "must-have" as Dan will take her everywhere. Sadie has almost mastered the doggie door by herself. So many new things here. She's not such a good eater but we will give that some time. She's very friendly with humans and we'll work on the problems with other dog.

Dan is very taken with her and we hope she'll enjoy a long life with us. All our dogs lived into their old age here.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

RIP, Steve Jobs

So many tributes, every blogger, every graphic artist, every geek is feeling the loss today. The whole of humanity feels the loss.

My entire adult life was driven by Apple. My career was possible because of my MAC skills. Thanks Steve.

My darling husband would be one of the last people to use a computer. Just never was very interested but when I got my iPad he took to it right away. It was so easy, so intuitive he learned to navigate the Internet and use e-mail. Now he does his banking, reads and listens to news stories and communicates with family and friends online. Thanks Steve.

Did you know Steve how many success stories there were about your creations? Did it give you a swelling sense of pride? I hope so. I hope you knew before your time was up how many lives you improved but as clever as you were, I'm sure you did.

We are all made of recycled star parts but Steve seemed to have had more than most.

Monday, September 26, 2011

It's just time I'm wasting

I sat down at my computer to Google something. Something I wanted to know the answer to. It was important enough to sit down and turn on my computer. You see, I usually just pick up the iPad but my darling companion is hogging it right now.

So I sit down and go right to Google, oh but first maybe I'll read my Twitter. Who knows what important information will be there. Nope, nothing today. Back to Google, but wait, I should look at my list of feeds, you know, those important sites. Love to read Pioneer Woman wonder what she's cooking for dinner. Oh, the Getty Blog has something interesting so I spend ten minutes reading.

Yes, now back to Google. Gee, look what the market did today, sheesh, depressing but if I'm looking at that then maybe I should look at my checking account balance. Good, all bills paid and not overdrawn. That makes me feel good.

Back on the Google search page but for the life of me I can't remember what I originally wanted to know. Do you suppose it was important? Yesterday I thought it was important to look up the lyrics for Cielito Lindo. Oh, I'm sure it will come to me.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What a find

While looking for something I was rummaging through some storage boxes. You know, those boxes you stick the things you just don't know what to do with. Things that have sentimental value but you don't need to see them all the time. I have one entire bedroom, albeit small, dedicated to this type of stuff. I optimistically call it my studio but it's become the dumping ground for junk.

When my mother-in-law passed we sorted through her personal items, boxed up things we thought we wanted to keep, and donated the rest. I'd never get rid of photos though I've ended up with some of people we don't have a clue as to their names. And, to make it worse when her mother-in-law passed she did the same so there are more pictures of strangers.

I love old table cloths, napkins, handkerchiefs and the like so it was a pleasure to find a large box of these items. Table cloths were from the 50s and most in quite good shape. A few of the hankies were embroidered with "Anna Barrett Jones" I thought that was my mother-in-law's maiden name and since she was married once before these had to be from about 1930. My husband reminded me her middle name was Maria and Barrett was his Grandmother's maiden name and these must have been hers. They are in good shape but still think they are 50s era handkerchiefs by some of the designs but fun to have the history on.

I also found a lovely hand painted fan that most likely was my father-in-law's mothers. She was originally from Spain and it is in very good condition. Not sure if it's much older than the 60s but a nice piece to keep. Our lil bird may remember her as she was young when her great-grandmother passed. She was in a nursing home the last few years of her life.

I found lots to keep me wondering about but I still didn't find the original item I went searching for. Ah, the search continues. Wonder what else will turn up?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Love posting from a bouncing truck

Heading home. Great time, met some very nice folks and two dopes. Jeeze, smoky fires are for a reason, you have wet or green wood, get a clue.

The great group was a man, his two sons and his three grandsons. All boys trip, kids get to be as dirty as they can. They were trying their best. Grandpa could nt have cared how dirty the trailer got as long as they were happy. Lots of giggles heard there last night.

We gave up our space to a couple from Bakersfield and she said she thought she'd seen us at a car show. Yep, lived there two years. After chatting Dan found a common friend. They promised to stop by the Sept show, Dan will be inspecting cars at the Museum.

All in all it was a great trip, thanks to my darling companion for taking me.

Yesterday at Faria Beach

Last night I went to sleep with moonlight on the water and this morning awoke to a sparkling blue Pacific ocean. I feel I'm so very lucky to be able to get to the ocean from time to time.

Years ago I gave up on the notion of owning a beach house and unless the lotto favors me this is as close to beach living as I'll ever get. I've made friends with this reality which is a lot easier on the psyche.

It is Friday and the families with children are starting to arrive which means we'll be leaving tomorrow. Having nothing against children still doesn't make me enjoy screaming kids.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Be warned

The squirrels here at Faria Beach are a challenge. We think it's because they've been eating regularly what with all the summer campers. They are fat with shiny coats and are quite confused that the chuck wagon no longer pulls up to feed them. I've pelted a few with a stone and they chase the stone in hopes it's a treat. I'm a rather poor shot.

Nothing can be left unattended if it has something to do with food but they investigate everything, just in case. Washing out my Dutch Oven from last night's dinner I caught one hanging on to the side and taking a sip. Dishwater, really?

Someone here is feed them still for I just watch a rather fat-cheeked fellow dig a deep hole, deposit what was in his cheek pouches, and they cover the hole with dirt and gravel. He was double quick doing the pretty fine job and squatted over the concealed hole. This must be how he finds it for his later snack.

Watching a few this morning, scavenge about looking for something tasty, Dan did inform them of the fact my relatives have eaten their kind in the past and that I have quite the sharp knife-- Be warned.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Sometimes the blindside sneaks up on you

For a variety of reasons I've not posted here. Summer; we've been busy walking/hiking. Lazy; it's oh so easy to stay away from the computer when the couch and a good book beckon. Creativity; my level has been low, read non-existing. Evaluating; just how important is this blog? Combine them all together and you get two posts since April.

Writing here has always been a release for me. Saying somethings I don't vocalize but it feels good to get out into the open. Getting through tough times; just wanting to forget or remembering good times; leaving a record of both.

Saturday, in the mail, I received Buddy's dog license renewal notice. They ask to be notified if you no longer have the animal so I tossed it on my desk with a reminder to call after the long holiday. When I called this morning I surprised myself. You see, telling the clerk we no longer had Buddy made my voice crack. I took a moment and started again. The clerk was more than patient, thank you, and I made it through.

There are some folks that say, "It's just a dog for god's sake, get over yourself!" and I have to say I feel that way too but boy, did I lose a good friend.

Lately we've discussed getting another dog and I keep saying it's because we can be more free to get away without having to worry about a pet but I wonder if that's the case with me. Am I too afraid to get so attached again? Do I miss Buddy or just having a dog? In 42 years of marriage this is the longest stretch without one.

I gave myself until January to decide.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A quick visit to Memory Lane

Marineland of the Pacific–the place most southern California kids, before the mid-80s, knew very well. I think I was fifteen and not driving yet but my big sister took me there on a Saturday. We always had good memories of visits when we were much younger. I did think it was odd they had tuna sandwiches in the snack bar, oh the horror!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Goodbye our dear friend

Pets can be the best friends you'll ever have. Of course, they can also dig through the trash, eat books, or jump fences. Buddy was all of those things and more. He was Dan's constant companion while I was still working and my watchdog when Dan was away. Always willing to take a ride, or a walk, or a nap and if you had an extra french fry, oh he was your best friend.

Wednesday morning, while on their morning walk, Buddy was viciously attacked by a stray dog. He was bleeding from two wounds on his right side. We got him to the Vet, Dr Ron Animal Hospital in Simi Valley, and after x rays and exam were told his situation was very serious. Buddy was 15 years old, had a heart murmur, and is pretty much deaf and almost blind. Not a good candidate for surgery and the Vet was pretty sure the bites had punctured his intestines. With a heavy heart we told him to go ahead with the euthanasia. He did not need any more pain.

We can not say enough of the wonderful Vet, Dr Ron, and his great compassionate staff. They were wonderful and made the tough decision so much easier. He said we'd done the right thing and for a moment I wanted to try and save him but I knew in my heart it would not be good for my gentle friend. Even though it was difficult we said our goodbyes.

To the person who lets their dog run free, for whatever reason--shame on you--your dog has taken from us, in the most horrifying way, our darling little dog and brought sadness to friends and family.

To all our family and friends that have been so supportive, our love and thanks. See my sister and daughter's blog for their lovely sentiment about this great dog. Tombstone Tumbleweed and Maltese Parakeet.

Finally, to our little terrier Buddy, thank you for letting us be your caretakers for 15 years. We will miss you.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Buddy, the fashionista

Buddy after haircut 4/11

The hundred-year-old dog wasn't happy to get his photo taken after his haircut. He looks marvelous but as you can see by the tail placement he's not thrilled. He seemed to be afraid of the camera in my hand. New for the old dog.

What I was trying to show is how young he looks with his hair short. Must make an appointment for me.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

You should be safe at home

2 Dodger Fans Beat, Critically Injure Giants Fan « CBS Los Angeles

Cheering for your respective sports team is what makes the experience at a venue so much fun. I don't clap and scream at home, well, for the Dodgers but I'll scream at the top of my lungs in Chavez Ravine. It's fun to attend a game but it shouldn't be lethal.

Baseball is not a violent sport. Oh yeah, sometimes someone will slide into second, spikes up--trying to breakup a double play. A pitcher just might throw a bit to close to a batter but only to move him off the plate. So why do some people think they can beat someone near to death for cheering for another team? How do you get all amped up enough for something like the incident after the Dodger/Giants game? Can you blame it on the beer?

I've heard say if you cheer for the other team at Dodger's Stadium you'll get crap. Last year we were at a Giants/Dodger game with lots of Orange and Black in the seats around us and no one had a harsh word. Looks like we were just lucky to be there on a calm night.

There had to be people watching this fight because it takes forever to get all the people to their cars and out of the Ravine. Where are they? Hard to believe there aren't 50 cellphone videos of this floating around. Someone needs to come forward with some info because these two morons are not just stupid, they're dangerously stupid.

Monday, April 04, 2011

A few days getaway

Sunset Faria Beach 3/30/11
The ocean was great and the weather better but the Beverly Hillbillies pulled in next to us with their double wide and blocked our view. Ah, we were planning to leave the next day anyway. When they fired off the generator the next morning and it backfired it sealed the deal. Their motor home, all of 35 feet, was in a spot better laid out for a tent but somehow they squeezed in. It just proves my law, "Just because you can squeeze in a size 12 that doesn't mean you should." Seems like that rule applies to more than clothes.

Sunset Faria Beach 2

Faria campground is nice but when it's full it's crowded. We are lucky we don't have to camp during the weekends so we packed up. We'll head back there for more during the week when it's peaceful and filled with seniors. My first choice is Rincon but we can't camp there with the teardrop and the truck doesn't like the trailer we usually use. Why can't we all get along?

The hundred-year-old-dog did pretty well but not being able to see makes his life more confusing especially someplace without all his familiar smells. His nose works fine and was never more evident than our lunch at the BBQ joint in Ventura. He could smell the meat smoking and when we got our sandwiches he let us know we weren't quick enough with his share. Nothing wrong with the sniffer.

The 3G worked on the iPad so we had some communication not that I'm gonna watch a movie but good to check up on e-mail and the like. AT$T was so spotty on our driving vacation to Pueblo, CO last year but Ventura seems to be part of their area with no problems. What did we do before computers?

So what's on the horizon? A trip north.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tea at the beach

My life could not be better, well, maybe if I won the Lotto, but tea with MY honey sitting by the waves. Actually, who needs money?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Update to Teardrop camping: life is an adventure

We worried about the wrong gods, the weather gods were appeased it was the mechanical gods we should have thought about. All loaded up, pulled out beyond the gates--truck won't start. Seems as the column, where the key goes, has a very important gear and it broke. Bummer. No one is going anywhere in that truck.

We got the trailer unhooked and pushed back in the back yard and Dan "hot wired*" the truck to get it behind the gate. He realized it was not something that could be fixed in an hour, more like days, so while he worked I unpacked all the camping stuff. Everyone, including the hundred-year-old-dog, was disappointed. Good thing it happened in the driveway and not our first gas stop along the way which would have meant towing. We hate towing.

After living with old cars for more than 40 years these kinds of problems always pop up and I'm sure will continue as long as we keep driving old cars. No quitters here.

* For any law enforcement folks reading this post please note Dan would never use his "hot wiring" knowledge for anything nefarious. But it has come in handy more than once.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Weather of not

Our once-a-year Teardrop Gathering (we've gone since '07) is this week and with rain in the forecast my honey is none to pleased. His Safety Event was rained out last Sunday so the weather gods have not been too kind to him lately. Quoting Noah, I say go for it, what the hell is a little rain going to do?

We've not had the Teardrop out since our unfortunate accident in New Mexico and it's been repaired. The water leak has been fixed with the wood stripped out of the galley and replaced and everything is looking quite spiffy. I've got all my cast iron loaded for a few days of Dutch Oven cooking. Oh how I look forward to this. Will be making a carrot cake, potato side dish, and two pots of chile verde--not all on the same day, whew.

Before we get on the road I will attend the last Life Drawing class of this quarter and partake in a potluck. This class has been a lot more familial than the other with everyone eager to bring something. Jay is marketing this as "The Last Supper" but that sounding a little too ecclesiastical I think it should be called "The Luncheon of the Boating Party." After all, Renoir's masterpiece is much more festive.

I'd like to say I sacrificed a chicken last night to the rain gods but actually I just burnt dinner a bit. So, snorkel and fins in hand we'll head for the lake.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Life drawing final

Life drawing final

Our final is to be a narrative and most of my work has been very detailed. I wanted to break away from that and create something totally different for me. That's part of what the class is about.

Friday, March 18, 2011

When dopplegangers meet

When dopplegangers meet.
Self portrait assignment for my life drawing class but I didn't get it finished. There are a few touches I'd like to add but given the size, about 90 inches wide, it takes a while to get it up on the wall in my tiny studio. After the class is done, hopefully.

Most people don't get this and I was reluctant to even post it but here it is. My teacher understood right away, as did some in the class, so I was happy with that.

The quarter is near over, only one more class. I will miss this class, I've learned so much from Jay, the instructor, and hope to take another class with him in the future. He will be teaching this summer in Brittany, hmmmm.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

More from the drawing collective

All these drawings are from class with live models. The first is a new model for us and though she was very graceful in the posing she twitched and moved and yawned so I didn't make her very pretty.

The last two are of a male model we were lucky enough to have for many classes. He was perfect in holding a pose and just a nice guy, too. He never spoke until the break and then never looked at any of our work though did comment on homework hanging on the boards. When he left he said how much progress we'd made. Nice touch. I was hoping he'd be back for last class.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Life drawing

I wish it were more life-like. Dan said it looked like Pruce or Marci.

This one might be better.

self portrait

So here is Dan. Close I think but his mouth looks like his mom.

portrait dan