It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet.... As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, his eye... ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn. ~Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Wishful Thinking and a Few Highlights


There is an old expression that goes..."Hope springs eternal." Well, that's my mantra these days. When the gray hair arrives, even in places besides your head, and your skin starts to look like you remember your grandmas looking like. When your eyelids start sagging into you eyes and making you look like you partied too much the night before and you didn't. When , no matter what you do to "take 10 years off your over all appearance" nothing works... then it's time for desperate measures.
I don't have the money for face lifts and tummy tucks, but if I did I think I'm at that level of desperation that I might do it if I had a few thousand dollars of disposable income floating around. But I don't. So, what's left? .... La Petite Frost.
I don't think it's too much to ask that if you buy this product, the results should come somewhere close to the picture on the front of the box. I know I'm probably 40 years older than this model. I KNOW that I probably weight more. Ha! I haven't had my lips puffed up and my bangs aren't long and straight like hers, but..., gee wiz! I just want to maintain a little fantasy of my former self.
So I bought the box with the beautiful girl on it and yesterday morning while the Prospector was gone (I NEVER do this when he's around. It's just too invasive for an audience), I slipped on the plastic cap; pulled my hair through the holes in the cap with a miniature crochet hook, until my aching fingers where crying for me to stop; prepared the bleaching solution and spread it all over my head, being very careful not to drip any on my age spots. Then I waited 45 minutes. I wanted the maximum effect.
Well, I guess my hair looks lighter and more "summery". I'm thankful for small improvements at this stage of my life. I still think that L'Oreal should use OLDER models so we don't have so far to fall when we make comparisons. But, like the gold ring on the carousel. We always have to reach.... keep trying.
Then, to add insult to injury, I was in the bathroom slopping on the solution, when Carl walked in on me....

His ears went up and his eyes got bigger. You'd thing he had seen a monster (or a strange dog) inside the doorway. I said some reassuring words to him and he GROWLED at me. Then he ran into our bedroom and hid under the bed.
After I removed the cap and washed the "H75 Chardonnay" solution out of my hair Carl cautiously returned. Farmlady was in the bathroom again and the monster was gone. He wagged his tail and left. Dogs!

I like the highlights. I feel better.., lighter. Maybe with a new style of eyeglasses I could pass for , Oh, 57 maybe 56.., late 50's.., 60? Now I need a haircut because I got some of the "solution" on the hair that I forgot to tuck under the cap and it looks like I fell asleep in the sun with a swim cap on. I'm thinking I should use some of that nasty concoction on my age spots. Couldn't hurt!
Getting older is very high on the Suckometer. I try to not care. I keep telling myself that wisdom is better than beauty. But there she is..., that model on the box.... looking eternally beautiful.
There's no justice in this world...
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Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Shoot Out ; with a camera


I think I'm finally getting this BOKEH technique down.
Remember what Bokeh is?
In photography, bokeh is the blur, or the aesthetic quality of the blur, in out-of-focus areas of an image, or (derived from Japanese word "boke", meaning 'blur') - In photography, refers to the creative use of lens blur as a composition.
The photo above is a White Globe Lily.


This is a common Thistle, but I don't know what kind.


The Red Clover is everywhere right now. As I walked up to the top of the hill it's like a carpet beneath my feet.

I had no photos of a "Zoo" (the photo topic for this week), so this is my maverick Friday Shoot Out.
For "Zoo" photos go here.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Big Ouch


Cutter took a trip to the Vets yesterday. We did the dirty deed and had him neutered. He's not happy about it.


Carl doesn't know what to think. He has forgotten about the same trip that he took over a year ago. He just doesn't understand why "Cut cut" is being contained in the pen and can't run outside with him.


"Cutter! Are you sticking your tongue out at me? You will be a better man for this. No more wanting something you can't have. In a few days you'll feel fine. Now, get that tongue back in your mouth. It'll be OK."
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Monday, May 17, 2010

Goat Cheese and a Warning from Murphy... I think.


We made GOAT cheese Saturday. It was really fun and easy. I drove up from Sutter Creek a few miles, driving toward Volcano, where we lived for 3 years when we first moved to Amador Co. The lady who offered to show us how to make goat cheese is a member of our goat club and she, very generously, showed us the process.
She also fed us lunch with everything made from goat cheese and goat milk. We were served a mixed green salad with circles of breaded and baked goat cheese slices, a goat cheese quiche with mushrooms and onions, a "goat cheese" cheese cake and goat milk ice creme. OMG! It was all delicious. What a treat!! The quiche, with big pieces of goat cheese in it and the ice creme were my favorites. I learned that Nubian dairy goats produce the best milk for making cheese because they have the highest fat content. Not that my goat boys would care..., because they don't do milk, but Brownie needs to know that female goats have great value in the goat world and actually produce something for their owners. He thinks he's a "big cheese" just because he eats grass. I think we need a couple of milk goats around here to show him otherwise.


Last night I took a walk and when I came back I went over to the goat house to say hello and tell the boys about my Saturday cheese making experience. Murphy seems to be the only one who was interested. The others were inside their shelter.
Murphy, as usual, seemed to want to tell me something but the words were strange and I really didn't understand what he was telling me.


"What's the matter Murph'?" I heard him say it again..., one of those Welsh sounds came out of his mouth. The language, in my opinion, that this goat channels is from some other place and time.
I never did understand what it was that he was trying to tell me, but last night we heard an animal somewhere out there screaming as if it was being attacked.., and then silence.
This morning the gate had been broken loose again and 3 of the goat boys were outside in the run. Murphy was still in the goat house doorway looking at us with those strange eyes.
"What's going on Murph'?" I asked.
This time he didn't say a word. He just looked at me and then out at the other goats.
Something is not right. Something is spooking the goats. I sense that it might be the mountain lions that our neighbor filmed a few weeks back. Maybe I'm wrong. It could be a loose dog , a coyote, a lynx or fox too. The grass around the chicken coop had been sat on, but nothing has tried to get into the enclosure. Annibel is locked in the garage at night, so it's not her.
We are on guard around here. The Prospector is fixing the fence, but I think we should close the goats in completely. A Mountain Lion does not respect a fenced area if it's hungry. I don't argue with the instincts of a wild animal if they need food.
Murphy knows and he's trying to tell us. But, with all the stories I tell about these goats, I don't really understand what he's saying so we need to be vigilant. We may have to stand guard for a few nights to see what's going on.
Murphy knows. All the animals do.
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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Missing pictures for the post below.



Please leave comments on the post below these photos. Thanks
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Slugs Under the Stepping Stones of Memory



The summer before I went into the 6th grade, in Pleasant Hill, CA., the school district had so many new families moving into the area that they decided to build a new elementary school. They tore out an old walnut orchard and transformed the empty acres into a new school.... and it was right down at the end of the street from where I lived. They called it Strandwood. The year was 1956.
This last weekend I walked my grandchildren back down to this school and the memories came flooding back. The above collage has three photos with the word "here" on each one. Each word represents a different memory.
The top photo is the front of the school. It's much prettier than it was that first year. We had no trees, hedges or gardens then. But it was a brand new school and we were the FIRST GRADUATING CLASS. All of the 6th graders were big important students. We were the oldest and the "big deals" for the year. We only stayed for one year and them moved on to Pleasant Hill Junior High School a few miles away.... but for one shinning school year we were the "alpha" kids.
Where you see the word "here" in the top photo is the spot where a couple of friends and I ( the summer before the school opened ) climbed onto the roof and down through a skylight into the school office. We thought we were really cool until we looked around and saw the new Principal standing in the doorway of his office. He was so mad at us. He gave us a long speech about breaking and entering, told us that we would probably have to go to the police department and took our names and phone numbers. I remember trying not to cry in front of my friends.
Now, mind you, I was a "good" girl and this wasn't something that I had ever done before. I was so scared that I could hardly breath. He told us that he wouldn't call the police but that we were to go home and he would be calling each of our parents that afternoon. He must have known how scared we were because he actually never called any of our parents. I sweat bullets for a week waiting for that phone call. It was all the punishment I needed. Never again, no matter who I was trying to impress, did I do anything like that and years later( I mean many YEARS later.. probably like 3 years ago) I told my Mom what had happen. She laughed and said that, knowing me, waiting for the principal to call was probably punishment enough. As I have said before, I have had this "closet Catholic" guilt thing going on inside of me my whole entire life. The day school started I was hoping that I wouldn't run into the Principal in the hallway. I didn't want him to be reminded to call our parents. I still think he got too busy or lost the list with the phone numbers. I still think about it.
The second "here" on the right is a photo of the main hallway and in the distance, the cafeteria. I got to serve lunch there and polished my domestic skills cleaning the tables afterwords. They gave me a free lunch for this effort and sometimes an extra ice cream or cookie.
I was also the third ghost in Dickens, A Christmas Carol. that year. I wore a huge black cape with a hood and showed Scrooge the future, while pointed with my finger. No words. It was an easy part and my first stage appearance. I was hooked for life. I went on to a short illustrious career in high school as an ACTRESS.
The third "here" is the best one. This is where, without flowers, trees or air conditioning units, I received my first kiss from a boy. Yes, it was exciting and wonderful. I'm sure we were in love. I just don't remember his name or what he looked like...., but I remember where it happen. "HERE" marks the spot.
So now, some 54 years later, I'm here with my grandchildren....



watching them play on the "new" playground. Gone is the wood sided, bark filled area with metal equipment that tested your ability to climb the highest, balance the best and swing the longest. Oh! I guess these new and softer playgrounds do the same thing. They are definitely more colorful. The equipment is different but the children are similar, each with his own skills and abilities. Each challenging themselves to be the best. I love the shadows on the green (and padded, like the local gym) fake grass. That could be me below the Bean. The ghost of years past. The outline of a child is always similar, in a way.The memory dims but the childhood continues. My memories will fade. His will develop, in the same place, only differently.
Little Bean is just starting to build his story. Hopefully my photos will remind him of this sunny day, walking with his Noni, to the school playground where she tells them the stories of long ago..., of walnut orchards and mustard grass in the meadow.., of an old oak tree on the hill behind the school and running up that hill so fast that she thought her lungs would burst. Too many memories to count. So many memories...

And then they discovered the slugs under the stepping stones. They met another little boy and it became a "boys will be boys" quest to find the most slugs.
We found a bottle with an orange cap. We, carefully, brought home 15 or 16 slugs and 2 "rolly pollies". The Bean carried his in his shirt. Yep! It was a record day.


My photos did not show up with this post. I was only able to retrieve the first one so I will do a separate post with the two photos that are missing. I'm beginning to think that that blogging/ computer "fates" have an issue with me lately.