Friday, September 18, 2015

we got new camping mugs!

Now we just have to go camping. Preferably somewhere that has no pollen. Or dust. Or flowers. Sigh. Maybe we'll just camp out on the sofa and enjoy a cuppa in these gorgeous enamelware mugs. We picked these pretties up at Jimtown Store in Healdsburg and I wanted to get the entire collection...tumblers, bowls, teapots...siiigh. If you can't make it to Jimtown, you can find these and more on Amazon as well as the PBS store. Or, trying searching for Folklore Day & Night. Have fun!

Monday, September 07, 2015

all the things i saw standing on a corner....

Photos taken from where we parked the car to go to Bovine Bakery in Petaluma. I do love a city or town with character. Take your camera out and stand in one spot...see what you can see!

Friday, September 04, 2015

and then there was the accordion festival....

The mister and I have not been to the Accordion Festival in ten years so we decided it was time we took a mini road trip up north. We loaded the car up with a few snacks, beverages, and tunes, and hit the road.
But first, lunch at Jimtown Store in Healdsburg, California (aka Napa Valley, where there are more wineries than you can shake a stick at). The driving was slow but the gas prices were great! It had been about eight years or so since we visited Jimtown so it was a must see in my book (the food is fantastic!) We chowed down on burgers that were so good I am still thinking about them (the pickels made them). I had many glasses of the best hibiscus tea ever. After we ate, there was a quick wander around the shop where while I forgot to pick up a jar of those amazing pickles, I did pick up two enamelware mugs to replace our fire king on camping trips.
Our digs for the weekend was at your average run of the mill Motel 6 that charges you $5 for wifi! The rooms were clean but that service fee is stupid. We said no thanks to that and hit up both Starbucks and Burger King for an instagram fix each day. It helped that the motel was in the same parking lot as a Black Bear Diner which is where we fueled up for breakfast.
I had to be at school on Monday so we only hit up the festival for one day. One very long, music-filled day. It was great! We picked up a nifty contraption to use when sitting to help ease back pain and all that jazz. The guy selling them did not have a card or website and I can't find anything like it online right now but when I do I'll let you know. It went around your waist and looped over your knees using your own body weight to counter balance your position so your back would not hurt. The mister and I paired off throughout the day and our backs felt great! I also got a nifty wrap-a-round skirt dealio that doesn't actually wrap around me but is ruffely and will look nifty with jeans, and boots. Kinda steam punky a la jek.
So many great acts and interesting people to see. There were accordions everywhere of course and I am happy we made the trek up for it. It was really crowded though and some of the people used up way more space than they should have and that may have make me a little bit cranky but overall it was a great day.
There were food vendors, candle makers, parasol sellers and more. There was a dance dance set up for polkaing and waltzing, and there were various other acts scattered about the grounds. We're thinking this may be a neat place for the mister to peddle his ukes at next year. 
We ended the day with a delicious Vietnamese dinner and some fresh fruity Paletas from fru-ta. Woke up early the next day for a quick bite at Bovine Bakery before heading south to IKEA in Emeryville so that I could pick up a shelf for the classroom. Phew! More Cotati pics to follow!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

the perseids: a campout

camping beds
The Perseids meteor shower is visible in the U.S. every August and every August we aim to go out and watch meteors. Some years we manage to schlep ourselves out to a dark sky while others we throw in the towel due to light pollution or a full moon.
waiting for the show
This year, there would be a new moon  which meant dark skies! After making sure there would be little or no cloud coverage, we took advantage of geography and headed out to Carrizo National Monument which is only two hours away. We even brought the nephew a-go-go along for the ride and found ourselves to be the only folks in the campsite.
early morning meteor watching
We drove into the campsite around 8pm and set up our sleeping area first. Since we were the only folks around we took the first site with a view of the open sky in the direction of where Perseus would rise (no tent, just sleeping rolls). The mister set up his telescope while the nephew wandered around in search of bullet casings and the like. I checked out the bathroom situation which was not good. Thank goodness for the pstyle!
first photo of the day
The sun was setting and we were sticking to red bulbed headlamps and flashlights to help our night vision. There were still active critters bounding and flying around. We heard coyotes howl and a great horned owl serenaded us all night long.
the nephew does not want to wake up
As we prepared for the evening we began to get a glimpse of the show. No fireballs but nice bright shooting stars with starry dusty tails. Better than fireworks!
Through the telescope we got to see Saturn and two of its moons, the Trifid Nebula, and the Lagoon Nebula. It was also dark enough to clearly see the Milky Way. Truly beautiful. We went to sleep around 10pm and would wake up every other hour or so to watch the sky. We lost count of all the activity, it was very cool. We even saw them in the morning with the sunrise. Really cool!
We didn't pack much but I did bake some brownies and packed some milk and apples so we had a perfect camp out breakfast. The other junk food (popcorn, potato chips, and chocolate) didn't get consumed as we were too busy watching the sky.
they sound like rain
The campsite is pretty barren but they have planted cottonwood trees here and there and they are on an irrigation system (which woke us up around 4am, it was quite a startle). I think they will offer some really pretty shade when they get larger. On the plus side, when the wind travels through the leaves it sounds like rain.
playing early bird
We were up and on our way back through the park by 6:30 in the morning. We could hear meadowlarks and burrowing owls and quail. It was warming up but still cool enough to wander around.
on the road again
I may not be the best morning person but I love when I manage to be a morning person. Especially when I am outside and all around me is nature. Swoon!
pretty cirrus clouds
We took the nephew to Selby Ranch where we wandered and took in the old barn, rusty truck, and weeds. The sky was a tremendous shade of blue.
it was dry, dry, dry
Evidence of the drought was everywhere. Here, the ground would crack with each step. So many textures and layers to see.
made a new friend
The mister and the nephew were way ahead of me (hello pokey camera person) and managed to spook this gorgeous barn owl. The old barn at the ranch has been dilapidated and falling down for ages. Recently it was rebuilt in parts and the old windows were meshed in. The owl probably entered the barn from a hole near the roof. It took a few flights around the interior before it found the hole and flew out to meet the sky.
This old rusty truck has been here for ages. The nephew spent some time exploring it and the area around it. I, of course, took photos.
obligatory self portrait
While leaving the barn I finally felt awake. What a difference from that first pic of me to this, right? I was still groggy from the lack of sleep. Spent more time watching the sky than sleeping...oh and the bats! There were bats that kept swooping right across our faces. They worked better than bug spray! If you ever get the chance to sleep outside under the stars without a tent, go for it! I'm glad we did it. We need another camp pad though, my old hips are killing me but still, it was gorgeous! There are a few more pics to follow...check 'em out.
walking into the sunrise
oodles of birds
the path to soda lake
and four miles of dirt road to the camp site

Monday, August 10, 2015

All tapped out

(i know this is on instgram, shh!)
 Eegads! I have lost this blogging mojo! When I sit down to edit photos I remember all of the quirky, silly, pretty, and/or ridiculous things I could write about or even just post and then I don't so when I sit down to actively blog my brain draws a blank and I think I have nothing. I am all tapped out.

But I'm not. I have just lost the habit of blogging. I need to write more, not for internet approval but for myself. Writing a blog has many rewards, one of which is connectiveness. I write for connection, community, sharing memories and photos, and exercising my creative skills. Oh how I have missed those creative skills!

I'm not back. Not yet. I have too much clutter elsewhere to clear before I can clear the noggin and get back into writing but I will try to share some photos and words here and there even if it is just reposting my instagram. Yes, I'm on instagram. I'm late to change. Don't like it. I miss flickr but all the cool kids are on instagram (I'm sooo not cool and still on flickr) so I try. That said I do not use a smartphone. I use a small samsung pay-as-you-go dealio. I do not like phones. I'm so backward, I can't even figure out how to purchase a smartphone which makes me feel stupid which makes me dive under the covers and get all sad-racoony. I am so not a grown-up.

So for now I will try, to post at least once a week if not more. Hop on over to Instagram if you want to see photos. I will rarely repost photos here as it drives me bonkers to see the same photo and text on multiple, facebook, instagram. I use each of these platforms but for different reasons...I'm so not one of the cool kids.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

enjoying what i can, when i can

The sunflowers are slowly passing through but in the meantime they make me so very happy to gaze upon. The birdies are feasting like crazy and sometimes they are so involved in their sunflower salads they do not even notice me a flower's width away.
More so than the flowers or the birds, I think it is the bees that really make me happy. I can happily sit and watch bees all afternoon or morning. I've been known to do just that in the car even when I spy good bee activity out and about. Flowering rosemary seems to be a favorite and it is often used as landscaping for oodles of businesses.
I wasn't able to get a photo but there was a mockingbird nest in this rose that grows against our garden arbor. One side of the arbor is the rose, the other, scarlet runner beans. The gourds were grown a couple years ago and have dried out quite nicely. Mister drilled some holes hoping to attract birds but the birds seem to prefer the roses.
Even the sunflowers that have gone past make me happy. The petals look like worn paper and the birds still partake of their offerings and the bees still gather. I'm hoping to salvage one of the larger heads so that the kiddos at school can remove the seeds. The birds are not really into sharing but I'll sneak in later this week and make a grab for it!
 Mister built a hammock stand for our hammock (which is too short for us a-go-gos...the hammock, not the stand) and we were able to enjoy it for a day before a rare thunderstorm came through soaking the wood to smithereens. The wood was already green as big box lumber stores farm it before i has an opportune time to dry. The stand is now in the garage drying itself out. Hopefully we'll get another few days of lazing about it in. I took some time to watch the birdies...
Especially this guy or gal? Mama mockingbird bringing food to the chicks of which there were three. I never could really see them but they peeped up a storm. We gave them lots of space and still there was a day when s/he dive bombed my head a dozen or so times. They wait until your back is turned and then pull a Hitchcock on you. The birdies have fledged and we haven't seen or heard from them for a few days now. Wish I could have captured them with the camera.

Other than garden visits there has been coffee visits and pink room cleaning. I think the dust from the room has put a spell on me but I'll muddle through. Little bits and pieces are falling into place. I'm uncluttering here and there and the noggin is feeling a little freer as well. Eleanor is super packed with boxes for the thrift and I'm taking pictures as I go. Tomorrow I will take a break from the tiny work (I do what I can, when I can) to get my hair trimmed, hit up the library, enjoy a cuppa with a friend, and shuffle all those boxes off to the thrift. I'm already a smidge tired thinking of it all but a good kind of tired...the kind that makes me smile.