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June 2012
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August 2012

B is for Bees #allaboutme #Lovekate

In the garden there is a small, but abundant lavender bush. Lavender is one my all-time favourite fragrances. I used to buy straight lavender oil to use as perfume when I was in college, and have a couple lavender-scented sachets that I keep in my "intimates" drawer. (I know, TMI! Sorry!) I would love to cut off a few pieces  of this plant to bring that delightful scent into my home, but I'm not quite brave enough to battle the bees for it! The bush is simply COVERED with bees! I tried to get some pictures, but most of them didn't come out because those busy little bees are fast!

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I was doing OK until the bees kinda discovered me and started pestering me, so I fled! It's not that I'm scared of bees, exactly, but when I was a kid, I was stung by a bee, so now I'm wary of them. I was on a field trip to Rocky Reach Dam with my Blue Bird group frolicking barefoot around a grassy area by the Visitor's Center when I stepped on a bee and it stung me. I suppose it had every right to since I stepped on it, but ouch! It hurt like madness and my food swelled up really bad. It was scary, but a really nice older couple came over and helped out. They carefully pulled out the stinger, then mixed up some bakintg soda and water and put the paste on the site of the sting. I think that was supposed to take the swelling down or something, but I remember my foot was swollen for several days.

I didn't have any other allergy problems from the sting - thank God! - but I really don't want to get stung again and find out if my allergy to bees has gotten any worse!

Still, I really wish I knew where those bees lived, because I bet their lavender honey is delicious! 

Cheers!


@Earthbox Garden Update #earthbox #organic

Well, our little Earthbox garden is going along just fine! No ripe tomatoes this week, but the Bush Goliath tomato plant is quite full of good-sized green ones, so we should be getting some soon. Also, I noticed the Big Beef tomato plant is finally starting to get some more little green tomatoes on it. I'm curious to see how big they actually get! As for the peppers, the one on the right is still going strong, and has a couple peppers I could harvest, but I'm holding out to see if they'll turn red, and the runt ont he left I think might actually have grown a little bit! There may be hope for it yet!

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Teaser Tuesday: Small Medium at Large by Joanne Levy #teasertuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Smallmedium
This week I'm reading another MG book called Small Medium at Large by Joanne Levy. I thought it sounded really cute and I'm interested in reading books about ghosts (especially since I'm currently writing one!). Here are my teasers from page 52 on Nicky the nook:

My eyes went really wide. 

"What?" Alex asked, obviously noticing my sudden change of expression.

"Who is there?" I asked, looking up at the ceiling.

Happy reading! Cheers!


Shiny and New

Last week I got a few shiny, new things. First off here's my pretty, shiny toes:

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... all decked out in Sparrow Me the Drama by O.P.I. (from the Pirates of the Carribean collection). I think this is my new favourite shade of pink. Previously I though the perfect pink was O.P.I.'s Japanese Rose Garden (and I do still love it!), but this colour might've knocked the champ off the block! 

Next I went and got my hair cut. Nothing drastic or even fabulous, but after using some "beach hair" texturizing spray that totally destroyed my hair, I really needed to get the dead, split ends cut off. It's still fairly long, but looks and feel SO much better!

And finally, I stopped by Staples to make a copy of my grandpa's Ramblings - a brief autobiography of his life in Montana he started writing a couple decades ago - and saw that they were having a MASSIVE technology sale. I've been struggling with my HP mini laptop for the past year or so because my eyesight is just so bad, and decided this was the perfect opportunity to upgrade to a larger laptop! I debated between a couple HP laptops, both with 15" screens and fairly lightweight, though the $600. one had more memory and longer battery life than the $400. one, but they both had good, comfortable, easy-to-use keyboards, and I could easily read everything on both screens. I was just about to go with the more expensive model for the additional memory and battery power, when I remembered to look for a camera card slot. I'm SO glad I checked because the one I was just about to buy did NOT have the slot! Gah! I would've totally been screwed when I needed to download pictures off my card! Phew! Disaster averted!!

Anyway, here's my new laptop:

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So far I LOVE it, but haven't yet named it. (Yes, I'm one of THOSE people who name their stuff. My old laptop's name is eddy, my nook colour is named Nicky and my iPhone is izzy, just to name a few!) Now I just need to cancel my Verizon contract with the mini, then I can sell it on eBay.  

Another new piece of technology I purchased at Staples was a new keyboard for my main computer. I really disliked the keyboard that came with the Sony all-in-one - the keys were too flat and too close together, so I kept hitting the wrong key and having all kinds of crazy misspellings. Also, my wrists hurt when I typed on it for too long. So I tried out a few different keyboards while I was at Staples, and finally decided on the Logitech Wave:

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I LOVE it! It's SO comfortable and easy to use. I've tried ergonomic keyboards before, but the keys were too far apart and I found they were difficult to type on. This keybaord is set up in a "wave" shape (hence the name Wave!), that feels very natural.  And, it even came with an uber comfortable mouse!  

So, I think I'm pretty much set for technology for a long, long while! Cheers!


A is for Art (All About Me Blog Challenge) #allaboutme #Lovekate

For the first installment of the All About Me Blog Challenge over at Love, Kate's blog, I chose Art to represent the letter A. Art has always been a big part of my life from playing with colouring books or drawing stick figure pictures as a child to writing poems and stories, creating rubber stamped greeting cards, and taking artistic photos as an adult. 

Below are a couple of hand stamped cards I made for Thanksgiving and Christmas:

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And a few years ago I made a chapbook featuring some of my hand stamped art, photography and writing including short stories, poetry and haiku:

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Recently I have been participating in a Photo a Day Challenge hosted by Chantelle from Fat Mum Slim, and while I haven't always managed to take a photo for every topic or theme or whatever you want to call it, I have taken several pretty good shots. I posted 30 of my shots in a 30 Days of Creativity Wrap Up post just the other day. Check 'em out! 

I also enjoy viewing other people's art in museums, galleries, in coffee shops, or just on the street. 

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Painting by a local artist displayed at Bru Coffeehouse in Atascadero, CA.

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Graffiti found on a wall in an alleyway in San Luis Obispo, CA.

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A statue in the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in Santa Barbara, CA.

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A painting in progress in the gardens of the San Juan Capistrano Mission, San Juan Capistrano, CA.

'Till next time ... cheers!


30 Days of Creativity & Photo a Day June Wrap-up #photoadayjune #30DoC

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Well, June has come and gone and while I did okay with Chantelle's Photo a Day Challenge and 30 Days of Creativity, I certainly could've done much better. Especially with the tagging! I think I only remembered to tag two or three pictures with #30DoC! Also, I had hoped to do some stamping, but, alas, time just got away from me, and I didn't get any cards done.

Anyway, above is a collection of 30 photos I took during the month of June - most of them for Photo a Day Challenge, others were for other photo challenges and some were just because the picture was there just begging to be taken. So, starting left to right, top to bottom, my 30 photos for June are:

  1. Lavender and Stone
  2. Yellow: Photo a Day Challenge #13
  3. Words
  4. Door: Photo a Day Challenge #11
  5. Hat: Photo a Day Challenge #6
  6. Time: Photo a Day Challenge #14
  7. Fave Photo I've Ever Taken: Photo a Day Challenge #20
  8. From a Low Angle: Photo a Day Challenge #12
  9. Sun Through Trees #1
  10. Fog Arrives in SLO
  11. Hawk Watching a Baseball Game
  12. Baked Eggs (not just the photo; cooking can be creative, too!)
  13. Art: Photo a Day Challenge #13
  14. Flower
  15. My View Today: Photo a Day Challenge #9
  16. Atascadero Art and Wine Tour
  17. Morning: Photo a Day Challenge #1
  18. Close-up: Photo a Day Challenge #4
  19. Fresh Dill and Cucumber Salad (Clean Eating July 2012)
  20. Heart Shaped Cherry
  21. Atascadero Lake Reflection
  22. Sunday Breakfast
  23. Something Cute: Photo a Day Challenge #25
  24. On the Shelf: Photo a Day Challenge #28
  25. Our First Tomato of 2012
  26. Jug Wine
  27. Sun Through Trees #2
  28. New Summer Shoes
  29. Yellow Field
  30. House: See It Sunday Photo Challenge

Teaser Tuesday: Bigger Than a Breadbox by Laurel Snyder

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Biggerthanabreadbox
Happy Tuesday! This week (after I FINALLY finished Out of Oz - a really good, but really LONG book!) I'm reading Bigger Than a Bread Box by Laurel Snyder. This is a middle grade selection about a little girl who has a bread box that grants her wishes. Sounds like a nice, light, sweet read! My teaser is from page 66 on Nicky the Nook:

So I turned on the TV in my room, patted the bread box gently, and made a wish. I'd gotten in the habit of patting the box each time I made a wish. It felt like a way of saying please, and maybe also thank you.

Happy reading! Cheers!


First Gardening Update in July

Hopefully I'll be better at updating our growing garden during July than I was in June. We've already harvested one tomato and I'm sure there is at least one more ready to be picked. Let's find out!

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Here is our Bush Goliath tomato plant. We got our first tomato of this one and it looks like there's a couple more ready to go!!!

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This ginormous monstrosity is our Big Beef tomato plant. We only have this one odd-shaped little "frankentom" so far, but the bush is covered with blossoms, so I'm still hopeful!

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Okay, so I just don't know what to think about the sad, little dwarf pepper plant on the left there. It's not dying, but it's not really growing, either. The other pepper plant is doing really well, and even had a pepper ready to pick!

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For lunch yesterday I used both tomatoes and the pepper in a pasta tuna salad - it was SO yummy! The tomatoes were juicy and sweet and the green bell pepper was really sweet, too!

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Cheers!