Friday Five

TGIF, my friends! It's finally Friday (and a payday, as well!), and I could NOT be happier. I know last Friday was a holiday, which is awesome, yes, but I really do love my Fridays at work, because it's more relaxed and we don't answer phones! Seriously, it sounds like a little thing, but not having the phones ring incessantly is a blessing! Anyway, on with the Friday Five List:

1.   So, did everyone have a fantastic, safe and sane 4th of July weekend? I did! I got to hang out with two of the most awesome women on this earth: Darlene and Pammie Sue! We spent the 4th at Pammie's house drinking wine on the patio, chatting, snacking, and watching comedians on the iPad. Sunday we wandered around downtown SLO, did some shopping, and had lovely drinkies at Novo. It was too brief a visit, but it was super fun, and it was nice to kind-of get away from it all!

2.  It's been MUCH cooler here on the Central Coast this week, which has been a welcome relief. The past two nights I haven't even had to have my window open at night! I've been sleeping much better, I think, because of that, even though I enjoy the cool, fresh, night air, and hearing the occasional cricket or hoot owl, the traffic noises are always jarring. 

3.  So, I'm planning to buy a new all-in-one printer/scanner/copier. I have a separate printer and scanner right now, and they take up a  lot of space. I'd like to streamline my desk area a bit, so I can work on various scanning and photo printing projects. Do any of you have an all-in-one you could recommend, or have any experience - good or bad - with them? I'm mostly curious, as I've pretty much decided on this one, but if anyone has had some serious problems or issues with it or negative feelings of all-in-ones in general, I might reconsider. (Thanks in advance!)

4. So, this weekend is the Lavender Festival in Paso, but I don't think I'll go this year. I still have a lot of organizing to do at home, and while I mowed the front lawn last night, the backyard is getting a little out of hand, and might need to be tamed a bit. Also, I'd kinda like to save a free weekend for a trip to the beach, rather than just to Paso, especially considering I was just there in May for the Art Festival.

5. Here's another inspirational chalkboard message discovered at The Backyard behind Bru Coffeehouse. I'm not 100% sure what this message is supposed to convey, however. I mean, I get the "Live in the Sunshine" and "Swim the Sea", but "Drink the Wild Air"?, I'm a little confused. You can't really drink air, right? I mean, you can gulp air down sometimes when you're working out too hard, but that just makes one belchy, which isn't so much fun. Anyway, it's pretty, and, well, interesting!  I hope you all have a fantastic weekend, and I'll see you next week! Cheers!

F is for Friends #bloggingfromatoz #f @weetacon @missingweetacon #friends

Recently I had the chance to spend some quality time with a bunch of my bestest friends (who also happen to be the coolest people on the planet!!) at Weetacon in Green Bay, WI. We took a hay ride in the rain, ate delicious food, had a charity auction and bake sale, went roller skating and partied down at a totally awesome 80s party. It was a blast and it was fantastic to see everyone again!






NaBloPoMo April 2012


Valentine's Day Cards

For the past several years, my good friend Weetabix has been hosting a Christmas card exchange, which I have always enjoyed participating in. I mean, who doesn't love getting Christmas cards in their mailbox? Or, just getting cards in general? A card is so much nicer to see sitting in your mailbox than another bill! Am I right?

Miz Bix enjoyes getting cards, too, apparently because for the first time ever, she held a Valentine's Day card exchange!  I initially contemplated buying cards, but then in a moment of creative mania, I dragged out some blank cards, rubber stamps, paper and ink, and put together a couple rather nice (imho) cards for the exchange:

Valentines Day Card 1 Valentines Day Card 2

I really enjoyed making the cards, and found that the activity kinda stirred a part of my creative being that had been in sleep mode for some time. So. I think I might start stamping again. Yes, I just might do that.

Five Words

So, recently I asked my blogging friend Mary for 5 Words to help inspire me to write an entry. She'd gotten some of her own from a fellow blogger, and I thought it was a great idea. Now that I have them, however, I find myself lacking other words to go with the five she gave me. This should be a piece of cake since they are relatively easy words. I mean, she gives me tomato, and lo and behold, here I am blogging about our massive tomato plant and all the delicious fruit bursting forth from it.

She also gave me family, has always been a very important part of my life, and has been particularly foremost in my mind the past couple of weeks. First off, about a week ago I recieved a letter in the mail from my father's brother informing me of an upcoming family get-together for my Aunt Alice's 95th birthday (which was actually in January, but they're just throwing the party now, probably because the weather's better in South Dakota now than it was in January). I used to hear from her at least once a year - usually at Christmas - but hadn't for a couple years. I knew she'd had a couple strokes and was living in a home, and I figured she was just too incapacitated to write, or had passed away. I honestly don't expect this side of my family to inform me of such things, so I was surprised to get this letter. And very happy to learn my favourite Aunt is still alive and well!

Next, last Friday would have been my daddy's 74th birthday, which is really hard for me to imagine since he died when he was 45 (technically 46, but we don't really count those last couple of weeks between his birthday and his death-day since he was heavily medicated and really out of it). I find it hard to imagine him as an old man! I also find myself still missing him a great deal even after all this time.

Finally, this past Sunday was my grandmother's 94th birthday. (Yes, you are reading that right: my father's eldest sister IS older than my mother's mother! She's older than my mother's father, too, who is still 93.) To celebrate, mom and I bought Subway sandwiches, a pasta salad, watermelon and angelfood cake with whipped topping, and had a nice quiet lunch up my grandparent's house. Later I stepped outside to see how their tomato plants were doing:


They're doing great, btw. They have three ginormous plants all of which are loaded with tomatoes! Soon my grandparents will have more tomatoes than they know what to do with!

Another word Mary gave me was fantasy, which is the genre of novel I prefer. In fact, I've been reading a lot of really good fantasy novels lately: 

  1. Darkangel  by Meredeth Ann Pierce

  2. The Wild Wood by Charles de Lint

  3. Powers by Ursula K. Le Guin

  4. The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

  5. Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

Mary also gave me the word ocean, possibly knowing how very much I love the ocean, how I could stare for hours (and have, actually) at the waves coming in and going out, how I enjoy getting my feet wet despite how cold the water is, and how I love to photograph it:


The last word Mary gave me was composition, which I thought would be difficult to incorporate into this post, but actually I’ve managed to compose a pretty good entry. Ha! j/k.  Anyway, the kind of composition I normally do is in my photography. My mom says I have a gift when it comes to taking  pictures. I guess I do … but, sometimes I just get a lucky shot …


… other times I agonize over the arrangement and spend several minutes rearranging stuff and several shots from different angles to get it just right.


Whichever it is, I’m usually quite pleased with the final result. And, I'm actually quite pleased with the end result of this entry, too. It may not be as creative as a stort story or a poem, but at least it's more interesting than a meme or quiz!

Thanks for the five words, Mary! See you in Wisconsin in October???


Here in Ohio

When I came out here to visit my friend Jewel I knew there was a distinct possibilty I would be doing a lot of reading and playing with kitties while she rested and recovered from the bi-lateral PE she suffered a couple weeks ago. I did not anticipate, however, spending most of my first day here with her in the ER. But I guess we never plan these things; they just happen.

She was in a lot of pain and after we had lunch and were browsing a warehouse furniture store for a comfy chair for her new house, she started feeling lightheaded and the pain was worse. She called her doctor and he told her to go get it checked out. So here we are: Jewel getiing blood tests and Xrays and scans, and me waiting to see if I get to drive her home tonight, or if she'll be admitted.Here in Ohio


My blogger friend Bozoette Mary gave me an "O"! (No, not that kind of "O", you silly perv!) It's an alphabet meme going around the web. You get a letter and write 10 things about it. She had "S"; she gave me "O". I've decided to add a twist to the challenge by posting photos of things that start with the letter "O" as well! Off we go!

1. Ocean.  It's no secret that I LOVE the ocean! Particularly the Pacific Ocean, but that's just because I'm a West Coast girl born and raised, so it's really the only ocean I know.


2.  Ornament. This is one of my favourite Christmas ornaments, given to me by my Aunt Alice many, many years ago:


3.  Organic.  I know everyone is trying to be healthier nowadays and one way is to eat only organically grown foods, like these tomatoes mom and I grew in the garden last summer:


4.  Old.  I love old stuff - antiques, vintage, retro, doesn't matter. I especially like to photograph old stuff like these old wine bottles at the Beringer winery in Napa Vally, CA.


5.  Oak.  Oak trees are apparently very important to the Central Coast of California. They're protected, even. Personally, I don't like them. They're ugly in the winter and bit of them break off and crash onto people's cars. (No one I know, but I've seen ...) Still, wine aged in oak barrels is quite tasty and a collection of barrels make a great photo op:


6.  Orange.  A woman I work with (okay, one of my bosses!) has an orange tree in her back yard. Lucky duck!


7.  Octopus. The Avila Beach Marine Institute has some awesome displays of marine life including this very active octopus:


8.  O.P.I.  It's my favourite brand of nail polish, and my favourite colour is Malaga Wine!


9.  Olive Oil. It's a very heart-healthy, good-for-you fat. I always cook with it now. I can't remember the last time I used a vegetable oil in anything.


10. Outdoors.  I should really spend more time outdoors, I know. Especially here on the Central Coast where there's so much natural beauty. I really will try to do better. Later. When it stops raining.