Saturday, May 31, 2008

More About My Weekend

So far this weekend I have done piles of laundry, gone to the farmers market for cucumbers, carrots, strawberries and green beans.

I have discovered that while I am good at multi-tasking, I cannot spin dog hair, read blogs, drink hot cocoa and keep an eye on the sporting event The Professor is watching on the TV all at the same time. Three of the four maybe. But an accident is destined to happen under these circumstances. And it did. I spilled the hot cocoa on the laptop.

We went in to hyper mode and grabbed computer, rags and wet cloths and sopped up the damage. The cocoa spilled on the futon where the laptop was sitting and down on to the grey carpet. I cleaned the carpet and futon cover while The Professor dealt with the computer.

So far, it seems there is no major damage. The keys on the keyboard are sticking but I've applied the "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog's back" exercise over and over to unstick the keys. I may have to purchase a new keyboard if the keys don't loosen up. I was hoping to use my tutoring money to buy more memory cards for my camera to use during our upcoming vacation trip or maybe spend it on exciting trinkets (just kidding, I don't shop much on vacation or any other time). Oh well, one simply cannot live without a working computer, can one?

And the absolute worst part of this disaster? I had made the cocoa with the Jeff de Bruges Cacao en Poudre from France and the only thing that enjoyed the exquisite flavor was my keyboard.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Happy Weekend

This is where The Professor and I went for a walk. We started at the Ventura Harbor Village parking area, walked through the shops to the harbor. We turned away from the channel and proceeded all the way around the harbor, looking at the boats moored in the marina.

We strolled all the way to the other side of the channel where we could look across to where we had started. Then we walked back around the marina, through the shops and back to our car.

Have a happy, fun filled weekend, everyone!

I'm going to do housewifey things like cleaning, cooking and gardening. And knitting. I am nearing the end of a couple of projects. If I finish, there will be photos.

What are you doing this weekend?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Photo Challenge: Common

Photo Challenge: Common

The Book of Common Prayer

For more photos, go to spunwithtears.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Early Evening

I love it when the evening sun streams through my windows, filtered by the white sheer curtains, and highlights the books on the shelf. The fantasy of it all, books and light, makes me smile.

I love to sit on my sofa in the evening sunlight and watch how the shells in the pottery plate shine and shimmer and remind me of the beaches where I walked, and chose them, and plucked them from the sand and surf.

I love to sit there and drink a cup of tea or sip a glass of wine. Sometimes I knit, other evenings I read.
If you were here, sitting on my sofa, what would you do?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Jane tagged me for a meme:

1. What was I doing ten years ago?
Memorial Day, 1998. We were living in Hillsboro, Oregon, two kids in college, one kid in high school at the community college, one kid in homeschool. I'm sure I was sleeping in because I was teaching high school US History and homeschooling one kid and it was the end of the school year.

2. Five things on my to do list today:
Post on my blog (done), sit around and relax (done), clean, do laundry, prep for tomorrow's tutoring session.

3. Five snacks I enjoy:
Starbuck's maple oat nut scones, ice cream, bananas, apples, potato chips.

4. Things I would do if I was a millionaire:
Pay off any remaining school bills my kids might have. Buy The Professor his dream car which is another 1968 Shelby Cobra convertible (yes, he owned one when we got married and we sold it when we had to choose between Chaplain Dan and the car). I might buy a house in Redondo Beach, but then I might not. I might buy another house in my current home town. Or I might just invest the rest of the money and live off the interest.

5. Places I have lived:
Portland, Oregon. Coos Bay, Oregon. Hillsboro, Oregon. Canyon Country, CA. Los Angeles, CA. Camarillo, CA. Northridge, CA. Southgate, CA. Wheaton, Illinois. Waukegan, Illinois. Carol Stream, Illinois. Bandung, West Java, Indonesia. Manokwari, Papua, Indonesia. Meyokda, Papua, Indonesia. Moyeba, Papua, Indonesia. I may have missed one or two places....

Now I am supposed to tag other blogs but I don't like doing that. If you want to play, feel free!

Thank You

Memorial Day, USA, 2008

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Photo Challenge: Pink

Thursday Photo Challenge: Pink

Better late than never...

Geranium Pink
For more photos, go to spunwithtears

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Tea For Two

Take one new packet of Earl Grey tea-

Put the tea in a NEW BLUE WILLOW TEA POT from Chaplain Dan and The Princess-

Serve in Blue Willow tea cups-

If you wish, pour milk in your cup (like MamaMia does)-

I love my new tea pot! Thank you, Chaplain Dan and Princess!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Pot Pourri Post

I am taking a break from dog hair spinning to spend a few minutes blogging. I have eight skeins spun and probably before I go to bed I will ply two more skeins.

Many people have mentioned our California jacaranda trees that are blooming right now, so I decided to take a picture of the magnificent purple tree in one of the local shopping centers.

Many of my neighbors have hummingbird feeders as our area is evidently a favorite hummingbird haunt, definitely a 'destination' on the hummingbird yearly tour. I received one feeder as a Christmas gift from a friend and then my neighbor 'upgraded' her feeder to a bigger one and gifted her old one to me. So, now I have two feeders. They hang on the side of Willow's Cottage near the front door. I have a few 'regulars' who stop by for breakfast, second breakfast, nuncheon, lunch, afternoon snack, teatime, dinner, and dessert. They seem to like the jasmine snack bar as well.

Because of the spinning, I haven't picked up my camera since Friday and so I don't even have a photo to show you of the Mother's Day gift that arrived via the mail. I'm so excited to show it off. Maybe tomorrow.
MamaMia is here visiting for a few days. And we are hoping for a whirlwind visit from The Boy and his mama over the weekend.
There are 16 days of school left this year. But, who's counting?
I did not post my last week's walking steps totals yesterday. So here they are now: 8,871 steps was my average. I did several days with 10,000 steps or more, but Saturday was so warm I barely walked out to the mailbox, so my totals reflect the one lower day.
OK. Back to spinning.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Spinning a Yarn

A while ago, I agreed to do a favor for a friend. She asked me to spin some fiber for her to give to her grandfather. Two bags of shelty dog hair collected from the grandfather's beloved shelty.

It came to me already washed but not carded or cleaned of stickers and grass. So I decided to predraft the fiber by hand and not put it through my drum carder or hand carders.

I've been spinning steadily for several weeks (after waiting for a new drive belt which I purchased the last time I visited Village Weaving and Spinning in Solvang, CA).

I've filled several bobbins with spun and plied yarn and now have six skeins finished.

Usually spinning is a relaxing, reflective activity. I get in the groove and just spin and allow my mind to go where ever it wants to go. This fiber requires more attention because I didn't card it. It's light gray so there is no color interest. It's boring. And. It' hair.

I hope I'll be finished soon.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Southern California Weather

Our Southern California coastal mediterranean weather isn't always sunny. Sometimes it's grey, damp, and dreary.

The presence or absence of the sun and the blue sky makes a big difference.

Earlier this week, we had grey skies like the first photo. Now we are into hot weather and blue skies like the second picture.

I am still walking and recording my daily steps although I haven't posted my weekly averages. Some weeks have been more productive than others, stepwise. Last week I averaged only 7,711 steps per day because I did not walk much one day because a cold really got me down. So far this week my daily steps have been over 10,000 every day. Happy Wonderer and I will be meandering down my street in just a few minutes to add another 10,000 steps to our count today!

Thursday Photo Challenge: Shapes

Shapely mosaic. Ventura Harbor Village, Ventura, California.

For more Photo Challenge pictures,go to spunwithtears.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Speaking of Succulents...

Come to think of it, there are succulents everywhere in Southern California. There are cacti in the wild landscape.

Large succulents in public places, like these on the grounds of California State University, Channel Islands.

Smaller varieties grow in residential gardens.

Thank you all for your thoughts and suggestions about what to do with the succulents MS gave me. I agree with Knitting Linguist and Caroline. I prefer the herb garden plants of the Mediterranean climate, but maybe there is a place for succulents.

Monday, May 12, 2008

In the Garden

We drove up the Coast Highway on Saturday to Santa Barbara to visit MS. She had called and asked us to lunch and offered some plants from her garden.

MS's front yard has no grass (The Professor is cheering.) Most of the front garden is filled with succulents and they are overgrowing their space and threatening to escape on to the driveway. We cut back several of the larger plants and brought the 'starts' home with us. They filled our trunk and back seat.

Now I am rethinking the whole idea of putting succulents in my garden at Willow's Cottage. These plants are BIG. They can grow to gigantic sizes and I just don't have the room to accomodate them. I don't even know their names.

They don't share space well with roses or lavender. They require much less water than the camellias, so I should not plant them along the east side of the house.
What to do?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms!

My mother

June 1922-February 1994.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Whale Watching

Whale watching is a favorite California Pacific Coast activity. Every year the whales migrate north in the spring. They start in Baja California and graze their way to their summer place in the North Pacific Ocean. And they usually pass Ventura County beaches by swimming between the mainland and the Channel Islands. People charter boats and go out to see if they can see a whale up close. Sometimes the whales will swim in close to the mainland shore to feed, and wave their tails and make all the spectators excited.
We had heard the university faculty and staff people were meeting at Pt. Mugu to go whale watching one evening in late April, so The Professor and I packed a picnic dinner and drove out to Pt. Mugu. We never did connect with the group, but we walked around the big rock at the point looking for the best spot to sit and scan the water for a sighting.

We saw squirrels and seagulls.

We stepped over wild flowers.

We sat on rocks and ate our sandwiches and carrots and talked with the other watchers. We used our spyglass* and looked north and south and straight out to sea and saw--nothing except more birds and a couple of boats. We were just about ready to pack it all up and head home since the whales had all decided to skip this matinee performance.
And then! Way out on the horizon, there he was! A whale spouting and breaching! Can you see him in the photo?

I'll zoom in a little so you can see better. See? There he is! That little white spot waaay waaay out there almost at the horizon.

Yeah. We thought the whole thing was a bit anti-climatic, too. Maybe next year, we'll buy tickets for one of the boat charters and go out there by the islands. Maybe we'll be lucky and see the whales up close.
*The spyglass is really a pair of binoculars. But I like the sound of the word spyglass. It sounds so much more romantic and Melville-ish.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Thursday Photo Challenge: Family


For more Thursday Photo Challenge, go to spunwithtears.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Ojai Valley Visit

Last Friday I had the opportunity to visit Ojai Valley Lavender and Roses Farm with a friend. Our purpose was not necessarily to tour the rose gardens but when Alisa the lovely owner offered a tour, well, we couldn't pass up this chance to see a truly wonderful organic rose farm.

There is really not much I need to write. Just gaze at the photos and you will be as enchanted as I was. The Ojai Valley is nestled in the mountains above Ventura, California and you can see the mountains in the background towering above the farm.

Acres and acres of roses and lavender are grown for sale to various markets.

Lavender and roses--my two favorite flowers. The ladybugs and bees agree.