Monday, August 30, 2010



Sunday, August 29, 2010


I don't know about where you live, but turkeys have started multiplying around here like rabbits! It seems like everywhere I go lately, I see them. I'm not sure if they know how close Thanksgiving is or not! Thanksgiving could really ruin your day if you were a turkey. It could really ruffle your feathers...literally!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

"Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things." ----------------Elise Boulding

Here's the bag that I finished for Karen who is retiring from 30 years of service and work in the Agriculture Department of Placer County. She will really be missed. So, maybe a few bugs will remind her of all of us still working toward the same goal.

The inside of the bag. Granted: not some expensive, consumer-driven bag with a "name brand" (although I DO have my own labels...does that make it a "name" brand?) but, nevertheless, a bag hand-made by me with fabric that I already had in my stash so I didn't need to purchase more. It gave me a great sense of satisfaction to be able to get back to my drawing again. I miss it! Hello Fall---here I come, pens in hand, ready to hit the paper!

And, here's another bag I made last night and finished up this morning. It is a birthday gift for my friend at work who turned 60 today. She is having a party this afternoon and probably couldn't have picked a better day. It is SO cool; almost cold really. Clouds have come in, there is moisture in the air, and the wind is blowing. I quite enjoy parties where you get to bundle up with lots of clothes. Hot, summer parties are not quite my style. I guess in that respect, I am like Willow. She stays inside when it is hot. If I didn't HAVE to be outside in the heat, you can bet I wouldn't be. And, as I sit here typing this, I hear the patter of rain drops hitting the roof! YIPPEE!!!! A change in the weather. It only puts me closer to Fall. Goodbye Summer, hello Fall.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


A friend from work is retiring in September. She was the person who trained me as an Agricultural Inspector's Aide 7 years ago. We trap lots of bugs: moths, beetles, glassy-wing sharpshooters, psyllids and flies mostly. So, I thought that I would try and combine a few of the things that I love to do: draw and sew.

Last weekend I worked on the layout for a flap on a messenger bag for Karen. This is what I have come up with so far. My friend, Frank, who was an Entomologist in the Navy, gave me 3 wonderful books with lots of drawings so I tried to incorporate a few of the details of different flies.

It will definitely be a most unusual bag. I'm not sure that she will be able to use it everywhere (bugs are not something you would normally see over someones shoulder) but at least it will be a memory for her...something she can take with her "off in the sunset".

September is shaping up to be a really big month. Lots of parties, lots of weekend trips, lots of celebrations. In general, lots of changes. And, September signals the beginning of absolute favorite season. Salmon fishing on the Smith River might be in the works, camping trips to the ocean (the Fall is by far the best time to be at the fog and less crowds), a weekend at Donner Lake with friends painting,... so many fun things to do.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Tomorrow it is supposed to get to 107 degrees in the valley! I can't believe that I will be working in that heat. Fortunately, I have an air-conditioned truck to cool me back down when I come in from outside. I'm leaving the truck running tomorrow, that's for sure!

Dogs know how to cool off. They go to a cool tile floor and lay down, close their eyes and take a nap. I might just have to take a few lessons from Bodhi tomorrow and find a cool place to close my eyes and rest. And drink plenty of water. It is going to be a busy week.

Five years have come and gone just like that! In the blink of an eye, my granddaughter is going to school. Where did all the time go? We watched her every day for 2- 1/2 years. Now, she will be off on her own, riding the bus, doing homework, and meeting new friends. I wonder what kind of friends she will make the first day of school? I hope that whomever she meets will be the kind of friend that will accept her, warts and all. She is outspoken like her Grandma. She is stubborn like her Grandma. But, would I let any of that change my feelings about her? Absolutely not! And, I hope that she never tells me she never wants to see me again just because I correct her spelling while she is doing her homework. After all: if someone you love can't correct you, who can? She will probably experience many more rejections before her time on this earth is over.

Hopefully, she is wise enough to know that we corrected her because we cared. She is a precocious young girl, filled with curiosity and kindness and love. She will do well with whatever she decides to do in life, I just know it. She is artistic and creative and filled with dreams and imagination. She stands on the precipice of her life, ready to take the challenge of what lies before her. And...she loves animals. Need I say more?

Saturday, August 21, 2010


When I think about what my dream job would be, it would never include this! Can you imagine having to interview for this job? Do you have to prove that you are capable of catching a rattlesnake? Do you have to act excited about the prospects of finding a rattlesnake in the first place? And what about pay? How do they decide how you will get paid? Is it based on how many rattlesnakes you catch and bring back to the office? Do you get hazardous pay for this job? So many things to ponder! I'm glad that I don't even have to think about doing this job in the first place.

They only thing that I can see that is beneficial to having a job like this is that you get to work on your own and are out in the field (so to speak) each day. No office job; no mundane phone calls to answer; no colleagues to deal with; no chance of someone trying to take your job away from you. I guess there's job security in that, right?

Thursday, August 19, 2010


"Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars...and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole of existence is joyful. Everything is simply happy. Trees are happy for no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to become rich and they will never have any bank balance. Look at the flowers----for no reason. It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are."


Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Two weeks ago I started taking a meditation class. It is becoming part of my daily practice now and as such, it needed an altar to be complete.

Ganesh was sent to me by M. Heart, a wonderful gift I might add. Ganesh is widely revered as Remover of Obstacles and more generally as Lord of Beginnings.

He is honored at the beginning of rituals and ceremonies and invoked as Patron of Letters during writing sessions. Perfect! He will be there for me during my ritual of meditation each day and he will be there during my writing sessions. Maybe not with this old Underwood typewriter, but he will be there nonetheless. Namaste'.

"You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose."

-----Indira Gandhi

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Here's the final resting place for my wonderful assemblage made by Jen Worden. It sits here with some of my most cherished jewelry and special paintings. I hope it is happy here. I know that I am every time I look at it. Forgive me for dragging this out for so many days. I just wasn't able to get a decent photo last night so had to wait until today.

A close-up. I wish you all could see the details up close. Her wings are made out of mirror and a piece of wood, all carefully wrapped with wire and solder. Her head has stacks of different objects and then there is the wonderful glass body that used to be the handle to an old-fashioned coffee pot. I wish I could find a spot that Jen signed this piece. So far, I can't see her signature anywhere, just a personalization to me specifically on the metal piece. I think that I will attach her postcard to the back. That should say it all. Have a happy Wednesday everyone!

Monday, August 16, 2010


This stamp was next to my name. Does this make me The Queen Bee? Receiving a package in the mail like this, I sure FEEL like a Queen Bee!

Unwrapping the package, I see Styrofoam peanuts AND a hint of FAVORITE COLOR!

More red and an incredible leather handle. Ooohh...what excitement!

Paper on the inside with German words everywhere. Another surprise inside the zip-lock bag!

Here's Jen's postcard, with the necklace part of the art piece. Oh...I can hardly believe this is mine!! It is even stamped: Made for Teri. Could anything be so perfect? Even B was hovering over me as I opened the box. For those of you who didn't see the finished product, go to yesterday's post. Tomorrow, I will take photos of it in its resting place in my house. I told B "This kind of thing wouldn't be for everyone, but it is PERFECT for me!! Absolutely perfect. Jen: thanks a billion. I owe you big!

Saturday, August 14, 2010


There must be something going on across the country. M. Heart at Secret Notebooks-Wild Pages posted this and Thursday night while out to dinner with some friends, I see the above. Does someone go around the country selling these kinds of things to restaurants and merchants or do the shop owners just find them?

Then, some creative artwork by one of the waitresses at the restaurant we ate at: South Pine Cafe: Their card says: Feel the joy! Yes, indeed!

And lastly, today in my MAILBOX (my favorite place) this wonderful note arrived! I am so excited I could BURST!!! Awhile ago, Jen Worden, an incredible artist who lives in Nova Scotia, put out an offer on her blog that if you sent stuff to her and you paid for the shipping, she had the option to use the stuff (or not) and if she did, she would mail it back to you and she would pay for the return shipping. You can read about it here and see what she created for me. I will post pictures of it when it arrives too. But, her pictures might do better justice to the piece than mine. So, go take a peak at it. I can't wait until Monday when we can go to the post office and pick it up. I will be on pins and needles all day long, waiting to open the package. Thanks, Jen, for all your effort. I am thrilled beyond words. She creates the most incredible things. She has been in challenges with Seth Apter over at The Altered Page. I am happy to say that I have purchased some of his artwork too and have never been disappointed at what arrives. There are just so many wonderful artists. A person could go broke buying art. But what a glorious way to spend money!

Friday, August 13, 2010


Today, while I was driving around on my route, I was listening to NPR and an interesting story came on. It involved DNA testing and a study that the University of California, Berkeley has planned. It seems that "the University of California, Berkeley has a bold plan to convene a campus discussion about genetic testing by having incoming freshmen submit saliva samples for a DNA assay."

Hmmm....I had just been discussing this very issue last week. I have recently been watching the shows on TV about finding out about your genetic history, your roots, your family ties. It intrigues me and makes me curious about "where I come from" and who I came from.

My ancestors came to the United States from Russia; specifically a town named Bessarabia. The records of my family stop here in the United States when they arrived by ship. I would love to know more about them and my heritage. On my father's side, I can only trace that far back also and there are many errors in the census rolls that make it difficult to discern certain family members because of mis-spellings and errors.

You can read the entire article here. It seems that "under pressure from state health regulators, the university won't give participating students their individual results. That sort of personal information, the state said, would constitute a medical test, and would need to be ordered by a doctor and performed by a certified lab." The school "...wanted to spark the interest of these students, because, whether they like it or not, their genetic information will be used in their medical treatment in their future---and that future is only a few years away".

Think of the possible implications that this test could imply. There are any number of ways that this kind of information could be interpreted. Good can come from this kind of information and also it can also be detrimental too. The choices are endless. The discussion continues. Who exactly should control genetic information? And why?

Thursday, August 12, 2010


---Albert Einstein

This is the first time I have ever seen Donner Lake shrouded in a layer of clouds. It made me pull over at the first spot and snap a picture.

Can you imagine the effort that went into making this bridge on sheer granite cliffs? The train runs through the Sierras at this point

and goes through these snow sheds at this point. All of this is sitting right over Donner Lake. Imagine what it is like covered in snow and how the Donner party must have felt when they first encountered it that fateful winter.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Water flows through me
toward the stone in your heart.
I wait patiently
on this precipice
hoping that a drop
of my loving kindness
will penetrate your heart
of stone.
I can perch here
(and I probably
Some stones
are harder
than others.
Some stones
Some stones
buried in
water to penetrate.
See my outstretched arm?
It holds the possibilities.
It holds the water.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


This post is inspired by Kimmie's post here. She left on a vacation to the islands about a week ago and posted this wonderful picture of this bright orange airplane. I don't know if the plane is hers or not, but it reminded me of the photos that I had taken at the beginning of the year up at our local airport in Georgetown.

I have this fascination with finding faces in everything! I see them in rocks, in trees when I walk, in all sorts of things. I'm not the only one. Melanie over at Secret Notebooks, Wild Pages sees them in things too. She recently posted a leaf that had Edvard Munch's "The Scream" all over it! It is fascinating to me to see these things in inanimate objects as well as other places. Kimmie's plane looks like a bug wearing sun glasses with an incredible mouth that just might be blowing a kiss (or a swear word...who knows!)

This one says "Ooooooooohhh" so very softly. "Just what have I been doing to make my nose turn so blue?"

This one is trying really hard at something. Maybe running, maybe working? Who knows. But the expression says "trying hard". Puff, puff, puff. Doesn't it make you out of breath just to think about it?

This one looks like a mosquito planning on which target to hit first. The eye is squinting really hard and focused...sheer focus is imprinted on this face to me.

And this one is relieved. Maybe relieved to finally be on the ground again; maybe relieved to get all those heavy people out of his belly. I just see relief, plain and simple, on this airplane's face. Can't you see an "Ahhhhh..." coming out of that mouth?

Isn't imagination a wonderful thing? It never ceases to amaze me what I can see in the shape of something, the shadow of something else, the dream sequence that inspires me to look or think about something in a totally new way.

Here's to people who are flying in these wonderful airplanes. Kimmie: I hope you return safely from your flight. You might even already be home. I hope you don't mind that I borrowed your image. I hope I credited you properly for it. And here's to looking out the windows and seeing the wonderful world that we live on. I hope that looking out of the window inspires someone to dream, think good thoughts, reach out to someone that you care about, create wonderful works of art, and even see clouds in the shapes of hearts, like Melanie did! The possibilities are endless. We are only limited by our minds and our stubbornness to do so.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

This headstone rests right next to B's Uncle Ken at Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, Calif. I'm sorry if it's a bit morbid to post such a picture but I was enamored by his name. I wonder about it. He only lived a short time on this earth but here I am, posting about him. He lives on I suppose in what other people think about him.

I can only make up stories about him and his wonderful name. But, I would almost bet that his entire life he had to explain how it came to pass. Have any of you ever heard of this name before? In my entire life I have never heard anyone with a first name of Square. I have heard of a last name of Lockett. In fact, I knew a lady in my twenties named Syd Lockett. Maybe she is related to Square!

Isn't it incredible how just a simple name can set the tone for someone his/her entire life? I love the stories I could weave for Square. Rest in Peace!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


There are some of you who don't eat meat, there are some of you who don't eat red meat but will eat pork or chicken, and there are some of you who will eat anything. If you fit into the last two categories, here is a recipe you might want to try. I thought it was delicious, with a slightly sweet taste that really goes well with the pork.

Alton's Molasses and Coffee Pork Chops

1 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled
6 oz. molasses (about 1/2 cup)
2 tbl. apple cidar vinegar
1 tbl. dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 teas. ground ginger
6-8 sprigs fresh thyme
4--6-8 oz. bone-in pork chops

Marinate at least 2 hours or overnight. Preheat grill to medium. Remove pork from bag. Pour marinade into saucepan, boil gently until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 12-15 min. Remove thyme stems. Grill chops 3-4 min. per side (internal temperature 145). Rest for 5 min. Serve with glaze.

These were really tender and moist. We served them with mashed red potatoes and fresh garden corn. The perfect summer meal. Like Willow says: easy peasy!

Monday, August 2, 2010


I have had this terracotta planter since my early 20's. It was given to me by an old boyfriend who loved plants. It remains with me today even though he has passed away. Can you believe that I picked these sweet peas from my garden the other day? They have survived the hot summer sun. Sweet peas are my flower: the month of April.

This chicken plate I purchased at Crow Valley Pottery on Orcas Island last summer. I wish I had more. The next time I go there I will buy more to add to my collection. Having this plate reminds me of the special spirit that you find on Orcas.

These two "birds of a feather" were given to me by my friend Victoria. They were her mother's and when she passed away, Victoria thought of me. I love them! They sit in my kitchen window all year long. Every time I look at them I think of her Mom.

I am very fond of all things crow so last year I purchased this from my favorite nursery. It lights from behind so his eye is always glowing. The nests were a Christmas gift from my daughter.

I keep all my recipes in this wonderful black and white box and when a friend mailed me this card, it just had to be placed on the top of the box. It is done by a Coquille Tribal Member named Toni Ann Brend who grew up in Coos Bay, Oregon. She presently lives on the Kilkich Reservation along the Cape Arago Highway. Toni feels a strong spiritual connection to each of her pieces and it is her hope that as you fulfill your dreams the spirit will touch you and bring you peace. Isn't that a wonderful message? All artists have messages. As Toni says at the bottom of her card: We have much to learn from each other.

Sunday, August 1, 2010









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