Thursday, March 29, 2007

Desert Picture Heavy Post

Out past the town of Mojave and Edwards Air Force Base, is this mine on the side of the mountain. It is cool looking from a distance. you wonder what they mine out of it. This is on the south side of Hwy 58. On the north side is another mine, an open-pit mine. It is on the desert floor with the mine built over it. Here you can click on each site to see what they mined. In the bit of searching I have done online, the picture below could be a mercury mine or a gold mine. There were and are to this day several working mines in this area.

My uncle has a vacation home, just outside of Joshua Tree National Park. That was our destination. This was an old run down cabin from the 1930's I think. About 10 years ago, maybe more, maybe less, he started cleaning it out and making it into a nice desert vacation get away. It is very relaxing, mostly quiet except for the occasional noise of a motorcycle dirt bike, and the cooing of doves and sound of cactus wrens.

Prickly Pear Cactus
Prickly Pear candy is good. I know we got some on our trip to the Grand Canyon three years ago. It is very sweet.

Barren desert.

Stink Beetle that I found in the kids' bathroom on Saturday morning. I gently took him/her outside. Black in upper left corner of picture. It was the size of my thumb from the joint to the tip of the nail.

I saw at least a dozen jet trails within a twenty minute time frame as I sat outside on Saturday morning trying to draw in the sun and some warmth. The wind was blowing a little bit so I didn't get too warm.

Toward Joshua Tree National Park.

My partially finished block for the month of March. Robert says I should call it my desert block.

Barrel cactus.

Young Joshua Tree.

Up close spikes on the young Joshua Tree.

Beautiful rocks in front of the house. They are lining most of the front deck.

Jack Rabbit by the front wheel of the van.

Looking Southwest towards the Little San Berdardino Mountains and San Bernardino Mountains. (I think)

Definitely the San Berndardino Mountains, with snow on one of the peaks.

Another Joshua Tree. I promise there will be lots more later.

I haven't figured out what cactus this one is. There is also a close up of it right below. To me it looks like coral with spines.

Cholla, or Jumping Cholla, or Teddy Bear Cholla. We had these in Arizona when I was a kid. They were not fun if you got prickled by them!! The white one in the middle of the picture.


Thank you!! I think this is it. The Western Redbud. Wikipdia has more pictures.

It isn't the Butterfly Bush, but that was a good idea. I had heard last year that those are invasive species in Oregon, and when I looked on this site, there are states that they won't ship to, so it must be non-native or invasive in other states as well. Thank you MotherGoose and Becky.

Once in a while I will get emails about the Arbor Day Foundation and their specials when you become a member. They offer Redbud trees, and I have often thought they were pretty and would like one. Hmm, we have two empty tree spaces now..........

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Really, I am here......

I meant to blog after dd's birthday and my time got away from me. Kim got her ears pierced a week after her birthday. We did end up at Claire's Accessories and they were great about the piercings. It was quick and almost pain free. Kim said it hurt for just a bit, then went away. They were clean and courteous about the whole experience. They gave us explicit instructions to follow and Kim has been religious about following them. She has found that some places we went into over the past couple of weeks have really freaked her out. Places that she has felt like weren't clean enough for her to enter their doors and she would get infected ears just by being there. It is good for a quiet chuckle to ourselves, but I think I understand where she is coming from.

We went on a quick trip to the high desert of southern California and I have a ton of pictures to share. Between Kim and myself, we took over 200 pictures, and I went through and labeled all of them today. There were some pictures that I didn't get that I later wished I had taken. Oh well. I'll tell you what they were later.

We see these trees in the Spring when we drive to California, they are absolutely beautiful and I asked Robert to stop. I would love to know what they are. The bees love them, they were all over them when we stopped, but they don't seem to smell a lot. They look a little bit like lilac flowers when you get close to them, but not quite. They are just this beautiful shade of purpley-pink. We have seem them before on our drive down, usually just in the mountains above Lake Shasta. This time we actually saw them around Sacramento as well. In some spots they kind of looked invasive.

We left last Wednesday and drove to Corning, CA, getting there around 6:00 pm. We like to stop in Corning because they have olives there. I didn't get any pictures of the olive trees, but this is the place we really like to stop at and stock up on olives. Her prices are more reasonable than the touristy place up the road. They process their olives without using lye. Most of the olives in the industry go through a lye bath. These are processed in a brine instead. We really like the flavor a lot better, and they Tehama style keeps things like almonds and garlic crisp once they have been canned. We actually stopped there twice, once on the way down to get two jars, one for us to eat and one to leave at our destination, then on our way back to really stock up. There are signs as you come to Corning about it being the Olive City.

When we left Corning the next morning, we ended up behind this!!! It literally went 35 mph for about 10 miles before taking an overpass to let traffic by. I can only imagine how far back the traffic was, in the rear-view windows it looked like it went for miles. As we passed it, there were signs on it about live animals. It wobbled back and forth as they went down the road.

Driving across California is a unique experience. We crossed mountains, farmland with stinky feedlots, fields of crops and orchards, and more mountains like these. I love these wind farms. I think they are so cool to look at and marvel at how much energy they produce. I don't know how much it is, but it just seems like it would be a lot.

To end this post, these were taken by Kim about 3 hours before we reached our destination. She said the colors really looked like this, especially the egg-yolk yellow. I wasn't looking.

More later, I have laundry to do, and we really need groceries, especially 1/2&1/2 for our coffee. :)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Happy Birthday my dear Baby

This is why I blog, the fun little things you can do with it, wishing your spouse, kids, friends a happy birthday or anniversary or whatever you want to wish them.

June 1994

Kim is special, she has always been special. She is the eldest granddaughter of the eldest granddaughter of the get the picture. Today she turned 13. This is a marker for her!! She has been excited for this day for several months. How many days til my birthday? She has been counting down and getting more and more excited. Does she want anything? NO. What are you supposed to do for a teenage girl who does not want anything for her birthday?
Well, I came up with a great idea. For a long time she has wanted to get her ears pierced. We have said no, not until she is responsible enough to take care of newly pierced ears so they don't become infected. A few weeks ago, Kim and I went to a Lia Sophia jewelry party. It was lots of fun. One of the items I saw in the catalog were birthday earrings. Pierced. I ordered them without her knowledge. They came last week. Yesterday I printed out a special coupon just for her. It said, "Redeem this coupon for your very own pierced ears." I gave them to her with the earrings. Oh my gosh, you should have seen her face light up as she read the coupon and opened the box. She was absolutely delighted!! She at first had chosen to get her ears pierced after our Spring Break vacation, but after visiting the shop, she decided that next week will work perfectly well. The other item she received for her birthday, two skeins of Lorna Laces Shepherd Sock in the colorway Black Purl. Oh it is so pretty!! We will take the yarn with us on Spring Break and hopefully a pair of socks will emerge.

I am excited for my dear girl, because she is excited. Happy Birthday Sweetie.
May 2006

Today, March 7, 2007.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Contest News

My unofficial hat, it's actually a bag that dd has been working on for a while. She took the names, stuck them in there and we pulled one out.

The winning name is "Pertelotte" submitted by Roxie. I have met Roxie, while standing in line together to meet Ms. Pearl-McPhee last year. Roxie, I will email you later tonight to get the prize sent off to you. Thank you everyone for playing along with me, and for the great anniversary wishes.
I read in one place that Pertelotte was one of seven of Chanticleer's wives, and he was infatuated with her. I have to say this would be funny among my friends, right Jean? I can just hear Penny giving me grief about it!! (sorry a little inside joke there)
Now, it's off to bed, so I can be a good mom tomorrow and bake cake and fix a special dinner for a special birthday girl, more later......
Oh, I know I messed up my blogger template. I am still trying to figure out how to fix it.

Monday, March 05, 2007

A Love Story

Many years ago, I saw this gorgeous guy at our church picnic. He was playing volleyball while my girlfriend and I were sitting under a tree. I had a test the next day, so I was studying hard, or at least trying to. (I was a senior in high school) I don't know if I actually met this guy that day or if it was several weeks later, after my 18th birthday. My dad had taken me out for dinner and at the restaurant, they took a picture of me that my dad kept and carried around in his pocket so he could whip it out and brag about his daughter. Well, this young man happened to be attending/helping with some meetings that my parents were also involved with. My dad pulled out this photo and it caught the young man's eye, so the next week at church, he wished me a happy birthday. I didn't think much about it, but several weeks later he came up to me again to tell me he was leaving within a week or so to go to Guam for several months. You see, he was in the Air Force, and he was stationed less than 5 miles from where I lived, in fact, it might have been 3 miles from our house to the end of the runway. During church that morning, my brain started working on this idea. Approaching my dad was easy. "Hey dad, can we invite this guy over for lunch after church?" "Sure, he's a nice guy." So, I went up to the young man and asked him if he'd like to come over. He had to let his friend's know he wasn't staying for the potluck and he wouldn't need a ride home from them, and then we all piled in my dad's little car and headed for home. It was a wonderful afternoon of getting to know Robert. Because this was California in November, it was nice outside, so we took a walk with our dog to the park. During this afternoon visit, it came out that he would be gone for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I think it was the weekend before Veteran's Day, and he would be leaving right after Veteran's Day. So we put together an impromptu Thanksgiving Dinner and Christmas Day, to be done on Veteran's Day, after we went downtown Sacramento to see the Veteran's parade. It was a fun day!! Then he left.

"Hi, I'm at LAX, on a layover, I thought I'd call and say hi. We are stopping over very briefly in the middle of the night in Hawaii." A day or two later, I started getting letters. Beautifully written friendship letters. I wrote back and it started this wonderful, aching, long-distance relationship. On Christmas Eve there was a huge parcel on our doorstep. Addressed to ME, from HIM!! Inside was the most beautiful hanging shell plant-holders. If you think of the macrame hanging thingys, it's like that, but much more beautiful. I think we have 3-5 of them now, but no place to hang them.

When he returned in mid-January, we spent as much time together as possible. Weekends, evenings, whenever we could squeeze in the time. Then Valentine's weekend, we went to see my grandmother who was in the hospital at the time. Her birthday is February 14, so it was special to go see her. I did not see that at the time, I was bored!! I had friend's in the area, even an old boyfriend that I hadn't seen for a few years. BAD IDEA, I wanted to go out with my friends. I have no idea how I got home to Sacramento, it was a 3 hour drive, but my parents and Robert went home without me. It still hurts to this day to think of the hell I put him through. So, Valentine's Day is a non-day for us really. When I did get home the next day, it was tense. It was tense for the next 5 months as I partied with my friends and tried to finish up my senior year. Robert came to my graduation. There were other girls in my class that he was friend's with. But, when he came up to congratulate me, I melted and asked him to come over for our family and close friend's party that afternoon. He did, and we started over.

When he was done with his 4 year tour, I think it was another 7 months after this, he stayed in the area working for a while, then came home to Oregon to start at the community college in Roseburg where his mom and step-dad lived. We knew at that point we were going to get married. We just didn't know when. For 4 months one of us drove the 12 hour trip to see the other. I think I must have come up in October, he came down in November, I came up in December and spent Christmas with his family, and the car broke down, so his step-dad drove me to Redding and my dad came and picked me up. Then in January he came down to CA. We planned to spend Valentine's Day together in Oregon, but there was a snow storm coming over the mountain's and my dad would not drive me up. I fell apart. I called Robert on the phone and just balled my eyes out. How could this happen? So, you know what we planned? We planned a wedding. A "let's go to South Lake Tahoe and get married" kind of wedding. Who cares about anyone else. HA. Did it work? NOPE. I must have said something to someone, it came out and my grandma said, "no you aren't." I told them we were getting married in 3 weeks and that was that. Would you believe my mom put together a wedding for 350+ people on a very small budget, and we were married 3 weeks later? Yep!! I can only imagine the work that went into it. I really have no clue. I just remember all of my relatives there, even my other grandma who just happened to be in from Singapore (I think). So, we were married in our home church, on a Sunday morning at 11:00 am., had a fingerfoods lunch reception and by 4:00 were driving to Oregon so he could finish Winter Term at school. I am sure that many thought it wouldn't work out for us. I am sure they thought we married for "other" reasons. (See 7 months down the line) But we didn't, we (I) couldn't stand being away from him, still to this day, if either of us goes away for more than a day, it's really hard.

I don't know why I am smurking in this photo, maybe it's something Robert said to me, or his brother as best man was making a toast?

Yes there were hard times, not working when I should have, because I was pg. Going to school full-time for both of us, with a toddler. But we did it. We made it work. We had a great support system of friends and family. Yes it was hard, and there are days now that can still be a struggle. I think every couple has them, but marriage takes work, you can't take it for granted.

So here we are, 18 years later. Still in love. Happy Anniversary, honey.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Anniversary Contest

Editing for more information at the bottom.

I am a sockateer. What that means is, I go up to BMFA™ approximately every other month to help bundle, label, fill sheet protectors with patterns and generally have a great time with the shipping of the Rockin' Sock Club™. As part of this job, I have to be very careful what I say and when I say it away from the job. I can't let out the secrets. Because folks have been getting their packages, it's ok now. Another part of my job, is to attend Camp Cockamamie this year. I don't know exactly what I will be doing, but it should be a fun time!! However, I need to come up with a chicken name. Something catchy, something sassy maybe? I don't know, I'm having a hard time trying to come up with this chicken name. Here are the ones that are taken, Hen-Pecked, Hurricane and Etta, which is short for Henrietta.

These are the ones I have come up with so far, only by searching online for chicken names or famous chickens.

Miss Prissy from Foghorn Leghorn Looney Tunes™
Little Red (Hen)
Chicken of Bristol (Monty Python)
Babs or Ginger (Chicken Run)

So come up with some catchy chicken names and leave them in the comments section with a way to contact you. The prize is 2 of the older (original) skeins of STR in Rocky Horror. I think they feel like lightweight and they are 200 yds each. Rocky Horror makes great Halloween colors or great OSU Beaver colors. The other item is a Blue Boo. Sometimes mistakes happen in the dye process, this is one of them. I think the colors are really cool though. This is a worsted weight, 560 yds or 8 oz, and the colors are pink, light green, blue and yellow. Very pastel like. If these colors aren't to your liking, I do have some other of the sock yarn in the old colors of green and blue, but I didn't take pictures of them.

The contest is open until Tuesday, March 6, 6:00 pm. I am not sure how I will choose, but it will probably involve names in a felted bag. Hmm, can I turn this into a school lesson?

Oh, one more thing, if you are overseas or outside of the USA, please play along!!

Edited section:

This name is to be used by me as a "camp counselor" name. Like summer camp. And I think because of trademark issues I shouldn't use the name Rockin' Sock in it.