"People from a planet without flowers
would think we must be mad with joy the whole time
to have such things about us."
~Iris Murdoch, A Fairly Honourable Defeat

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Gourds, Mums, Maggie and ..,oh no, a snake.

Remember when my grandson helped me plant the little gourd plants at the beginning of the summer? I planted quite a few different kinds, at the time, but he helped plant this smaller variety. Well, guess what? The Bean's plants are the only ones that produced any gourds ..., and only three gourds.




WELL, THIS IS MY GOURD HARVEST.

Oh, Bean, you must have magic in your hands. You are the best little planter of seed starts there every was. You planted them just right. It may only be three gourds but they are beautiful! When they are really dry, next spring, we will decorate them and call them "gourd babies".
I planted some Mums in the barrel near the front door this morning, rearranged some pots and
cleaned up the clutter on the porch. Looks much better.

It's suppose to rain next week. I know..., it's California, but we have to have some
inconvenient weather once in a while.














Maggie is not looking forward to the rain. She loves lying outside under the rose bushes. She says that when it rains we are going to have to close the bedroom door when she takes her afternoon nap so the pupster, Carl, doesn't come in and bug her. She says that she won't be able to go outside to get away from him.
"OK Mag's. We won't let him chew on you and bite your tail. The bedroom is yours."













Now for the Snake story....

Yesterday I had some errands to run and when I returned home I saw Annibel, the cat, in the middle of the gravel driveway, in front of the garage. I thought that she was just waiting for me, which seemed odd. She never stands out there waiting for a car to come up the hill.
Then I saw her biting at something.She was pawing and jumping back, lunging and retreating.

When I drove up closer I saw something moving on the ground in front of her. Yep! You know how I said that we were so lucky this year? That we did not have one Rattlesnake visit us all summer? Well, I spoke too soon. It was a "baby" rattler. and Anni' was playing with it.
I drove up closer and Annibel backed away. I got out, left the car running and picked up Annibel, closed her in the garage, got a shovel and went back to the car. By then the snake was moving under the car so I got in, carefully ,and drove over and away from the snake. Then I had to do what I had to do. This is always a bit traumatic for me. I don't like killing anything and this little snake was just a baby. JUST A BABY.
I put it in the garbage can after I killed it. Never throw a poisonous snake out into the bushes. They still have venom in them.
As much as I would like to be "at one" with venomous snakes we just can't let them come near the house. We went through two dogs losing a stand off with one a couple of summers ago and the vet bills were astronomical.
Annibel is OK. I'm OK. But I will be glad to see the Prospector come up the driveway this afternoon. His week of fishing is over and I am really looking forward to his arrival. Where there is one baby rattler, there may be more. Until it rains we will have to watch every step we take. It is the price we pay for living in this beautiful place. We share it with wonderful creatures who, once in a while, make the mistake of trespassing on the "human places". I am so sorry little snake. Each of you that I kill makes another small hole in my heart.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Vintage Thursday

Back when my Grandmother was getting ready for a date she wanted to make herself look really pretty like all of us. This was a time when only the wealthy had electricity and no one had a "electric" hair dryer. A sunny day or sitting in front of the hot, old wood stove was how you dried your hair.
Making yourself gorgeous was hard work, but in a changing America we were already making items that would help make this task easier. This mirror and powder holder were in a large set of "vanity" items that were made by the DuBarry company that had developed a plastic that looked like Ivory.

I remember this set on a dresser, with a tray of other items on it, in my Grandmother's guest bedroom . This was the room I always slept in when I stayed with her. This room was a beautiful, magical place; considering she lived in the hills above Napa Valley and everything was very rough and in disarray most of the time (which I loved too). But, in this one room, everything was clean and in order. It was, after all, the "guest" room and even thought I was usually the only guest that stayed with grandma, she kept the room as if it was going to be visited by someone of the utmost importance. I guess that was how I felt..., exquisitely important.


There were many other items, in this set, which have been divided up and given to members of the family since Mom died. She always had the whole set on her dresser in her bedroom and I'm sure she would like the idea of each person having what they wanted. She kept these memories of her mother and we will keep them for her and the memories go on, and on, and on.....

Please check out the other vintage posts that are part of Vintage Thingies Thursday at Colorado Ladys Blog.


Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Almost Wordless Wednesday; The Great Mother Lode Pet Photo Contest


Carl won 3rd place in the local newspaper photo contest (out of 500 entries).



"Yes Carl, you're a handsome dude... congratulations little man."
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Creepy Visitors


"Carl, I need to tell you something. This is the time of the year when the Tarantulas start moving around outside. It's a big spider that's searching for a mate and you will see them walking around everywhere. I don't want you to touch them or try to bite them. You be a good boy and stay away from them. No barking at them, either, because they won't hurt us and we don't want to bother them while they look for a mate."

What Carl really heard..."Carl, Blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah blah..., walking, blah, blah...,good boy, blah, stay, blah, blah.. no barking, blah , blah, blah....."

And they have come...., like an army of creepy crawlers, looking for love.
This is a variety of the Desert Tarantula. There are over 30 species found in the southern U.S. and up to the dry foothills of California. The female lives up to 20 years because she stays mostly under ground only coming out to grab some unsuspecting mouse that walks by the burrow. The poor male, for all his efforts, doesn't live long. He wanders around searching for a mate from sunset until dawn, then hides during the day.
This one was in front of the goat house last night when I went out to give the goats some dinner. It rained two nights ago and it's been very cold. This change in the weather always seems to bring them out.
Annibel (our cat) and I noticed him at the same time. I had to shoo her away and then I ran into the house to get my camera. When I came back Anni' had gone off to terrorize the chickens. She didn't even seem that interested. Maybe she has had this confrontation before. It's like she knew to leave it alone.
I have to tell you that I'm arachnophobic and if this big fellow greeted me in my house somewhere I would probably have a heart attack. But, outside, and for some reason as big as they are, I find myself more interested than fearful. This spider has one aim in life and it's not to bite me. He's just looking for a female Tarantula and he is very one minded about it. He has purpose. He's in far greater danger from a hawk, turkey or a fox around here. I think that he would crawl right over my hand and keep going if I stuck it in front of him but...., that is NEVER going to happen. He may be furry, like Carl, but he's still a SPIDER.
I actually have to say that I like this guy. I kind of feel sorry for him..., being driven by all those instincts and male urges. I hope he finds what he's looking for.



When I finished my chores and went back into the house, THIS is what greeted me......
"Carl! What's the matter boy? Why are you hiding? Those spiders can't get into the house. They will be gone, soon, anyway. Come on sweetie. Wanna biscuit?"
Carl didn't come out right away..., but he wagged his tail.
What Carl heard was, "Blah, blah, blah, blah, hiding? Blah, blah,blah..., biscuit?"
All of a sudden he was turning around and flying out from under the bed. It was not only "biscuit" time, but "dinner" time and "sit on the couch and snuggle" time too.

Oh, the joys of having a puppy.


Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 5, 2009

Wonderful, blissful weekend


Sis came up for a couple of days. Sometimes I think she just wants to have some peaceful "away" time...., with CARL. There is definitely a mutual admiration going on here. When she holds the pupster close to her I see the cares of her world fall away. This puppy is all about the warm cuddle and the extra lap.
The Prospector went on a fishing trip for a week so we had a "girl" weekend. Someone I know didn't even get dressed on Saturday..., wore her PJ's all day. In her defense, they were very fashionable, almost street clothes looking, PJ's.., but pj's none the less.
We had our coffee, toast and "stinky" cheese breakfast and then spent the entire day talking, laughing, crying, resting, playing with Carl and making poly clay jewelry. There is something about having uninterrupted time. Time that is only yours..., for whatever you choose. That was our gift this weekend. Other than my "rounds" with the farm animals early in the morning and after dinner , we had all day Saturday to just PLAY.., with our imagination and Sculpey polymer clay.

My little works of art are above, Sis' are below. I made the "boo" crow necklace for her to wear for Halloween. She will be hosting a party of friends in a few weeks and needed something creepy for the occasion. That's a real claw ,attached to it, from a dead Dove that I found on one of my walks. (Thank you, oh immortal Dove.)
She made me the charming beauty( on the left, below) with framed words ("blessed sanctuary") under a faceted glass bead and a small bluebird hanging from it. How beautiful is this?
The rest was just experimentation and fun.


We did all this with Halloween in mind and had so much fun with it. Poly clay is very versatile. I plan to do a tutorial soon on making one of these pieces with flat sided craft marbles instead of resin. It's an easier and faster way to make pieces of jewelry. We also used pieces of mica for glass. Mica is a nice change instead of something clear. It gives the window an antique look.
They were not completed. They still need a protective coating of Mod Podge or varnish of some kind, and the small skull , bird and hand ornaments need to be attached. This was a very easy project when you have all day to play and all the useful jewelry making equipment. What do you think? Didn't they turn out "charm"ing and unique?

We needed this weekend. It was a well deserved gift of time. It was a small moment of refuge...., and Saturday night? IT RAINED. Our first heavy, dust disappearing, air cleansing , fire quenching promise from Mother Nature that a change has finally come and Summer is over. Hearing the rain, Saturday night, outside my bedroom window was so reassuring. .., like someone holding my hand in the dark.
Today it's cool and windy but sunny...., and everything smells like wet, clean clothing drying in the sun. Maggie is lying on the front porch gathering up the warmth and Carl is looking for my sister(who left yesterday afternoon) and wondering where she might be. I am letting the house go for another day...., everything is going to be just fine.
Posted by Picasa