One Lovely Blog Award

I feel like I have arrived!

Cherry tree, bee and me – I’m the invisible one behind the camera.

Rlcarson , http://randpphotoalbums.wordpress.com/, just nominated my blog for the Lovely Blog Award! Thanks so much! Renee and Pallas have some of the most amazing cloud and sunset pictures ever. Yesterday I had the hardest time writing, and had more readers than any day except the first, and I think most of those readers were me editing. I enjoy R’s blog, and especially his last comment when he nominated me (hehe!) It’s amazing to me to be out there writing and having someone respond – much better than a journal!! Thanks so much!

Pass it on!

These are the rules for receiving this award:

1.) Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them in your post.  (See above)

2.) Share 7 things about yourself.

• I love to learn.
• I love to teach as I am learning, not when I am already an expert.
• I am never an expert.
• I love to write.
• I love to eat, but cooking, not so much.
• I walked in a three-day 60 mile Sarah G. Komen Race for the Cure when before it had any bad publicity.
• I love a great story, so sometimes I exaggerate. I know – you’re shocked! I don’t exaggerate much. Stories are better when you don’t have to make them up – just slant them slightly.

3.) Nominate 15 or so bloggers you admire.

In no particular order, here are the 15 blogs that I have most enjoyed during my short blogging journey.

1. http://smilesalot1969.wordpress.com/
2. http://mangoshenanigans.wordpress.com/
3. http://seasonsgirl.wordpress.com/
4. http://tasithoughts.com/
5. http://lesleycarter.wordpress.com/
6. http://cristianmihai.net/
7. http://photonatureblog.com/
8. http://amazingazaleas.wordpress.com/
9. http://manipalphotoblog.wordpress.com/
10. http://travelagos.wordpress.com
11. http://lijiun.wordpress.com/
12. http://suellewellyn2011.wordpress.com/
13. http://modernchristianwoman.com/
14. http://whoslifeisthisanyway.wordpress.com/
15. http://suchthelike.com/
4.) Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know.

That is the time-consuming, but interesting part. Some of the sites you may not get back to as regularly as you mean to do, so this is a great way to revisit those who have encouraged you along the way. Thanks so much to all of you, and especially http://randpphotoalbums.wordpress.com/ my nominator

Old Sacramento

I don’t know how a person can turn a fun day into a boring article, but I’ve started this at least three times, and I have succeeded in boring even myself all three times.

I could just describe the site of my story, and let you take guesses about where it takes place, but the title was the one good thing I started writing, and I refused to edit it.  So I ruined that serendipitous moment.  I wanted to tell you all about my pictures of Evangeline’s Costume Mansion, but I forgot to resize my pictures, and they wouldn’t load fast enough, so in the interim I started writing about paying $20 for parking, then getting  lost.  That’s an exaggeration.  No, not the parking fee.  You can’t get lost if you have a working a cell phone.  If you can’t read a map, or the directions, or even if you can, and you can’t see your husband, if you are conspicuous enough, he will see you and text you, “Look to your left.”  There he was waiting to eat at Railroad Fish and Chips at 1100 Front Street.

But Evangeline’s really was the shop that grabbed my attention.  At work I am planning a student event in Allensworth, a turn of the century freedom colony State Historic Park in southern Tulare County, and my fellow planners want to bring the historic state park to life by training 150 African-American teen docents to be the townspeople resplendent with turn of the century costumes.  So when I saw costumes in this old west town, I thought, “Perfect, I’ll find just the costumes I need to bring Allensworth to life.”

I walked in and was greeted by the saloon girl up on the shelf.  She probably gets her feathers ruffled by the air conditioning blowing on her all the time, but she never complained while I was there.

Sally pointed the way with her cane to the Old West Room.  This was the room if you wanted to look like Sally.

I was pretty sure that we didn’t want 75 young teen-aged female students looking like Sally.  For a little bit more respectable look, you could walk out the door and into the hall.   However, the key words here were “a little bit”.  Still not quite right for a student event for teaching local second to fourth graders about California’s only all African-American freedom colony, founded by Col. Allensworth, a retired Army chaplain.  Fortuitously, there were more rooms.

 Unfortunately, the rooms had different themes, and none of them quite fit the Allensworth I had envisioned.  It was an interesting diversion, though.  For someone feeling a little more militant, and a little pessimistic about the air quality in California, then this might be the perfect costume topper.

Of course there were boots or shoes to go with every costume.

Ladies, right this way. Boots and gloves to go with your gas mask.

Now, if you want to go even higher in the line of military gear, you can go to the very top.

Arnold, what are you doing in with this bunch? You are the terminator, not the Commander-in-Chief.

Maybe you’ve felt a bit off your game, a little strange, out of it even.  Have they got the costume for you!
I AM smiling.

Just hope you don’t land in the hospital.

If you do I hope you find someone helpful to fit into  these shoes.
 
There were bloody legs and heads, police helmets and badges and more shoes,  but after that I thought I’d better find my ride back to the real world.  
So I headed back to the street to call my husband, but I got side-tracked.
About then my cell phone vibrated me, “Look to your left.”  It was time to go back home.

Yard Art Springing into Summer

Some of our yard art automatically changes with the seasons even though California is not as seasonal as Indiana where I grew up.  When I started this website, the creek behind our house that is a sandy trail for motor cycles 9 months out of the year had water in it.

In April the flowers getting most of the attention in our yard were primarily the wild, California poppies.  Bees were busy.

Cherry blossoms attracted the bees, too.

Trees this year promised lots of cherries.

Things happen, and in a region where the temperature usually goes from wintry cool to instant three digit numbers, our weather pattern took a detour on April 11 and pounded our yard art.

All I could do is stand and watch the beauty and art in the storm.

Some of the living art made it.  The cherries, not so much.  If you look really closely you still can’t find a single cherry on the tree that looked so tempting before April 11.

By the end of May I anticipated biting into ripe juicy apricots in spite of the hail.

Tonight, two weeks later, I have lost some of my naivety about trees that tease you with their abundance.

However, I can’t totally lose heart and hope.  We may not have green thumbs when it comes to fruit, but the roses  bloom until the weather does get into the 100s, and the cooler than normal temperatures helped them keep up their artful color.

Some of our yard art is planned quaint.

Some is unplanned quaint.

And on this breezy, summer evening in June Puppy Girl and I enjoyed becoming part of the quaint yard art.

Seven on Sunday

Six on Sunday was my least popular post.  Hard to mess with Ten on Tuesday.  Maybe 16 on Sunday might sell better, or maybe the holy number 7.  Can I find seven holy things today?  Pardon me if I bend the word a little, but I’ll give it a shot.  Tell me if I succeeded.

1.  “Holy cow, that is an expensive car,” both my husband and step-son explained in  hushed, I wish I could win the lottery tones.

“The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren was an expensive supercar that boasted a top speed in excess of 200 mph and could sprint from zero to 60 mph in under 4 seconds. Unless you were a CEO or media mogul, the SLR was unlikely to show up on your shopping list, as a new one cost around a half-million dollars. It’s equally unlikely that you’ll ever even see one, since overall sales numbers for the North American market were only in the hundreds before the car was discontinued in 2009.”

2.  Native American stories handed down over generations venerate the wolf as a holy animal.  Today people still love the lone wolf and honor it in a different way.

3.  Holy matrimony requires attending an occasional car show on Sunday even.  One must pay proper reverence to the cars that make the most noise and go the fastest.   There were some other breeds at the Corvette show in Sacramento.  This was his pick of this litter.

4.    Wikipedia is becoming accepted even in some academic circles if it has sources and it vetted.  According to this controversial source, “The English word “holy” dates back to at least the 11th Century with the Old English word hālig, an adjective derived from hāl meaning “whole” and used to mean “uninjured, sound, healthy, entire, complete”. The Scottish hale (“health, happiness and wholeness”) is the most complete modern form of this Old English root. The modern word “health” is also derived from the Old English hal.”

By the end of the show my normally somber-looking husband had a healthy and holy smile on his face.

5.  Gold and silver often denote power, riches, or prestige.  As it is written, at his birth the holy Christ-child received gold and other valuable gifts from the kings that came from afar to pay him homage.  Had he been born in the 1970s, he might have received one of these.

6.  Do you have a holy curiosity?  Not the kind that kills cats, but  weren’t you wondering what the back half of the longer vehicle was?  I had never seen one.  Imagine cruising down Interstate 5 in 1972 next to this Cadillac motor home.  Who might have been driving it?

7.  Historically water has had holy purposes in many religions.  It functions to cleanse the body of both evil and dirt, and prepare one for sacred service.  Air, on the other hand, has been taken for granted.  Dirty air is an unholy, unhealthy mess.  In the early 1900s, 1912-1917 to be exact, GM sold electric trucks.  They never caught on.  In 1997, GM tried again to introduce a vehicle that would help keep the air clean.  The EV1, produced in 1996, was leased only.  When the leases expired, GM thought they destroyed all the EV1s.   This One got away.

The rest were reincarnated as Nissan Leafs, which should  be leaves, but isn’t.  Now isn’t that reVolting?

The boys and I all had a great time in Sacramento, both at the Corvette show honoring the veterans, and at the California Auto Museum.  Hats off to the California Auto Museum which allowed veterans free admission today.  We all recommend this museum if you enjoy history, cars, trucks, famous people, or something to do on a Sunday afternoon.

 

Lee Skywatcher

What fascinated me today was the sky.  On the way home from work in the west was a block of grisly gray from high in the sky to the ground.  On the east was a dust devil.  That just seemed wrong, but what was really wrong was that I didn’t have my camera.  So I got it out when I came home.

Fortunately for me, the sky stayed diverse long enough for me to get tired of taking pictures.

By the way you don’t want to plant eucalyptus trees too near your pool.  They don’t clean up after themselves.  I faced east as I took these first two pictures.  Watch when I turn about 135 degrees.

Gray adds depth and interest to the sky, maybe even to one’s life if you believe the philosophers. As a hair color, and according to my fashion expert and co-worker, Glenn,  gray should not be an option in my wardrobe either.   But it looks nice if the sky is wearing a little of it – in places.

What made this evening particularly interesting was the next turn.  Looking straight south you could almost imagine yourself in another world.

You should neither spit into the wind nor take pictures into the sun. But in the spirit of providing you all with an accurate recording today’s sky display, I did it anyway.   If you live in the midwest or east, these skyscapes may not seem spectacular to you.  But in this area if you have something other than dusky,cloudless,  lifeless blue, you grab your camera and point up.