Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Wishing for a little rain - some thoughts on the drought.

Today is Tuesday.  A watering day.  We are allowed to water on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday.  I am beginning to remember those days.   At first I'd forget and then see my plants thirsty and sneak them a little water on the wrong day.  Now I'm starting to get with the plan.

Still a bit of green, but this was last year or maybe the year before.

Our part of California has suffered with a drought for several years now.  Things are getting tough when it comes to water.  Our governor has asked us for some serious conservation measures.  I think he hasn't asked for enough.

While our lawn has gone first dry, then mostly dirt, and we've trimmed our trees and taken one down (a water sucking tree), I drive a few blocks away to see a development covered by a HMO that has green lawns and plants and such.  Their CC&r's (the rules governing their Home Owner's Association) won't allow people to let their lawns go brown.

I resent that.  Sometime down the road I may need that water to drink.  Our water reservoirs are way down, way, way, down and the water that comes from them tastes of algae at times.  The water people close that reservoir, treat it, and open it up again later.  Meanwhile I drink filtered water.  The filter is on our new (smaller) refrigerator and I'm thinking we might need a larger one at the kitchen sink.

My grandmother used to leave a pitcher of water in the bathroom for us to use as drinking water. I can see us doing that - only with a small container.

A friend is catching the water that comes from her shower while she's waiting for the warm water.  She runs that water through her refrigerator's filter and uses it to drink.  (She didn't shower in it, she just captured it so it wouldn't run down the drain and be wasted.)

Our geese stand on their plastic feet on the remnants of our lawn.
This is also last year or the year before.
My neighbor still washes down her driveway and waters her beautifully green, but small yard.  I don't know if she's saving in other ways.  I do know that the back part of her acreage is dirt and her animals long for the green grass of the lawn.

You see, it hits each of us differently.  It would help a lot if we just had a wet winter.  What rain we've had just soaks into that thirsty ground.  A nice rainy winter.  That's what I'm hoping for.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

People Watching at an art gallery

I love to browse art galleries, but I'm not overfond of artist's receptions.  Still, when My friend Anne Johnson invited me to a reception featuring her paintings I happily said I would go.  Anne's paintings are featured at ArtBeat on Main St. in Vista, CA, where I live.  The card I received also offered "a fine wine bar and special live music."

Sounds good, right?  I'll just show you a selection of my photos and tell you why I took them.

This is Anne Johnson on the left and another of her friends on the right.  Did you expect a young woman with jeans and a paint spattered shirt?  Maybe that  was Anne once upon a time.  Now she's a petite well-mannered woman, a little shy and a great artist.  Her paintings are large - maybe a half sheet (2 x 3 ft?) of paper with a deckled edge.  She says she lays her paper on the floor of the studio part of her garage and does her painting that way.  She just opens herself to what she feels at the moment.  She must feel good because her paintings are calm, colorful, and interesting to look at. They'd fit well in a modern house.  Actually, they'd fit well anywhere people loved having it around.

An art show requires people who love art.  Although this gallery shows many artists, Anne was tonight's special artist.  People lined up as they came in to look at everything.  The gallery is also a wine bar and serves snacks.  They also offer painting classes.

For the reception they brought in Robert Parker to set the mood. 

This is musician Robert Parker.  I loved his lively music.  He was willing to sit for a photo.  He's just there for the reception.

This guy is just a bonus.  He'd been at the bar next door and decided to join the crowd at the gallery.  I wish I could have heard him play those bongo drums.  This is just a photo opportunity.

If you live nearby, Anne is featured artist through October 11th.  Drop by and see her paintings at 330 S. Main, Vista, CA.


Friday, September 19, 2014

The epitome of gardening ease.

My granddaughter Brandis once had a condo with a tiny deck outside.  She kept wondering what she could grow in pots in such a small space.  Ken, whom she later married, smart woman, made her a cute little planter of just the right size.

Jump ahead a year or two and Brandis and Ken have moved to Texas!  She decided not to take this cute planter with her and guess who has it?  Me, of course.  I have lots of room to plant things, but I'm having more and more trouble getting all the way down there to dig out the weeds.  Problem solved!

Isn't it cute?  It's a comfortable height for me. My hubbie filled it with planter mix and such.  All I had to do was plant it.

Well, the butterfly and the bird flying above the planter are solar lights and at night they change colors using the sun of the day.

The tallest thing is a small rosemary bush that I intend to plant in that big brown planter at the bottom right of the photo.

Then, trying to go in circular fashion, I've planted parsley, thyme, oregano, lemon chive and in the middle, a bit of basil.

Can you see the checkered lid there?  That's a jam jar with holes poked in the lid.  I added some water, some vinegar, and a bit of oil (not enough to seal the top of the liquid).  This is because I know how much little bugs like basil.  I buried it in the planting mix because I didn't want to look at dead bugs.

Also in the planter is a succulent I intend to plant out by the mailbox as soon as it cools and some pine cones from my neighbor's tree.  

On the lower shelf there's a planter with something in it and a cement core that took my fancy.  I will probably put plantings in pots on the lower bench on this side of the planter.

So, I know Brandis had a great time planting and I want her to know I did too.  In a few weeks these herbs will be filling in the planter and I can start using them.  In a planter close by, I'm planting mint.  Gotta keep that mint confined or it takes over the place.

Thanks Brandis.  I love it.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

12 dinner plates, 12 lunch plates, and a small perfect bowl.

I began married life with a service for 8, melmac, white with a single rose curling around the plate.  My choice.  I loved it.  I also had 8 lovely crinkle glasses, a hand-embroidered tablecloth sewn by my grandmother, both gifts.  While I waited for Roy to return from his  WESPAC cruise (he was on a navy aircraft carrier with a paid trip to Japan and China), I collected silverware from the local gas station - one piece of silverware with every fill up.  I had service for 8 in stainless steel.  I also had a silver service for 8 with double teaspoons - a wedding gift, but we rarely used it.

12 dinner plates, 12 lunch plates and a small perfect bowl.

It was enough.   I was pleased with it.  I didn't long for china.  I longed for choice and I had it.

I did own china - twice.  I participated in a grocery story giveaway - the plates were a dollar a piece with a grocery bill of over XXX.  White china with a border of tiny roses on it.

Then, I came into china big time.  A friend had been in an earthquake and her china hutch fell over, breaking much of the china.  Since her insurance company bought her a new set, she asked if I wanted what was left of the broken set.  Of course I did. Most of the cups were broken, but not all.  The saucers were enough, most of the plates, and odd bits and pieces.  For years our family dined with our company using the Earthquake China and telling the story of how we came to have it.  Later, one of my daughters got the Earthquake China.

Over the years, I've enjoyed switched out the china, or pottery, or whatever and having a new look at our family table.  I usually bought them at clearance sales for about a dollar a plate and I only bought dinner plates, salad plates, and dessert plates.  If there were enough plates (a dozen was a good number for us) then it didn't matter about how many of the others we had.  When I got tired of them, I gave them to a charity thrift shop.

My granddaughter Laura has the blue and white Bavarian china my grandmother gave to me.  With the china I told her the story of it.  It's not a complete set.  Life has been experienced.

Once, after taking a set of pottery to a thrift store, I was browsing the store when I heard the cashier selling my plates to the next buyer.

Through most of our 55 years of marriage, our dinnerware was cheap and came with stories.  Most of it was beautiful.  That's a requirement.

Recently when our cobalt blue glass plates began to show hard use, I knew it was time to buy more.  I decided to buy some forever plates.  Now I could afford to pay a little more, but I still went to Cost Plus where they were selling out their dinnerware.

I had to go to two stores before I had my 12 plates and 12 lunch plates.  I love them.  I decided to buy a set with little decoration, planning to change the look with new place mats or table cloths.  (The every-day stainless is still a big mishmash from whatever had survived.)  I love my new dinnerware:  creamy white with a rough terra cotta edge.  (They chip and have flaws.  The few chips are terra cotta color.)

And then there were the bowls.  Not cereal bowls, but nice round serving bowls. (I'll tell you another time about serving bowls.)  I didn't need them.  I didn't have room to store them.  I loved those bowls.  So I decided on one.  I love it.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Famous words to ponder.

I get posts from the Huffington Post with my email.  Today they're discussing The Most Highlighted Passages from Classical Books.  Here's the link.

As a writer I wonder how those wonderful classic inspiring words happen to fall in with all the who, where, why, and whats.  Definitely, it's a moment of inspiration that was put onto the paper (classical quotes usually were on paper, not digital).  I wonder how many times the author moved the words around, trying to show this nugget to its best advantage.  Maybe they thought great things like that all day long.  Maybe.  I tend to think of it as hard work and an understanding of human nature.

Read the quotes, then tell me what you think.


Monday, September 15, 2014

A new day

Many of your know I've been caught up on Facebook.  Yep!  It hooked me and hooked me good. Lately, I am beginning to wonder if that's how I want to spend my time.  I LIKE anything my friends post.  I LIKE all sorts of pages, then use the pages to liven up my posts.   I've been asking myself what is the value in that?  I think it's time for a change.

When you blog, you have to think.  I still meet friends.   I look forward to reading their posts.  I know one friend loves frogs and another friend is overflowing with children.  This I like.

Let's catch up a bit. Children and grandchildren:

Laura and Jeremy
  1. Our daughters still invade us and we love it.  For a few days we are just family again and our house is filled with laughter.
  2. Better yet, our daughters are becoming friends and are learning to respect each other's differences, maybe even liking each other for their differences.
  3. Laura and Jeremy got married.  Pictures in a minute.  We converged on the Delta King in Sacramento last June and had a great time visiting, taking photos, and of course, seeing these two best friends get married.
  4. Alicia collected her BA and went to San Francisco for a new job.  Part of the plan is to use that job to help step up into a PhD program.  
  5. Brandi and Ken moved to San Antonio, Texas where she has a new job.  I never thought she'd leave San Diego, but she's loving it in Texas.  (Of course it's been awfully warm here for September.)
  6. Holden is in school in Washington State, and his sister Brynne has joined a Roller Derby Club in her Finnish town where she is learning the womanly art of bashing the other gal without getting hurt herself.
  7. Brynne is Boo Boo Doll
  8. Laura and Jeremy gave us our first great-grandchild as he brought his son into their marriage.  It's going to be fun to get to know him.

You see, I still remember how friendly everyone is and I'm treating you like part of the family - the way you do me at times.

Roy and I have not gone out of our minds and gone back to work.  We are fine.  If you remember Pally, my defibrillator, I will mention that Pally stays quietly in residence and does not frighten anyone by going off.

Pepper tree coming down
  1. Our home has a new look.  Because of the drought in California and the imposition of controls on how much water we can use, we thinned our beautiful (and not so beautiful) trees in the yard.  Some of them had died already.  When the world becomes normal again (if it ever does) we'll have a lot of planting to do.  It looks so bare out there.  We kept the trees we felt were valuable to us, and cut down what wasn't.  There's a huge pile of mulch out by the road (firewood too), and another larger pile of mulch where our lawn used to be.  BTW, someone is going to have to spread all that mulch!  Not me in this heat.
  2. Roy volunteers to drive Seniors to their appointments for the City of Vista.  They pay him mileage and that's it.  It makes Roy feel good and gives me a bit of time to myself.
  3. When I'm not keeping my doctor's family in luxury, I am still in watercolor class.  I think I'm getting better.  Maybe next blog I'll show you some.
  4. I've also been doing my church's web site and Facebook page (San Marcos Lutheran Church).  I thought working on that web page was going to be the end of me, so I quit last week.  I'm leaving it in much better shape than it was.  However, my opinion is that they should trash it and begin again ------ and I'm not the one to do it.
  5. The Facebook page is fun so I'll still do it.  Facebook drives me crazy with all their "improvements" but it usually straightens out after a bit.
This is a long post, and I want to add some pictures.  Stop and say Hi.  I haven't talked to some of you in a very long time.


Wednesday, December 25, 2013