How Old Were You When You Started Driving?

#noblopomo Day 12, WordPress Photo Challenge: Tiny

Most men started driving when they were tiny.

Maybe women do too, but in my world cars were a way to get somewhere, not the destination. Not in my husband’s world. Cars were the destination.

A few of my husband's tiny cars
A few of my husband’s tiny cars. In the background he poses with Chip Foose when his big car won an award, and he won the door prize. Wahoo! 

In Woodlake kids drive tiny cars on the street one day a year. The Kiwanis Club hosts a Soap Box Derby during Rodeo Week in May.

A tiny car for a tiny person to drive.
A tiny car for a tiny person to drive.

Kiwanis checkers insist that drivers are 8 years old, but we know that some tiny racers have slipped by with their parents’ permission.

tiny-101

A crowd gathers to watch the tiny drivers race. Even the golf cart looks big in comparison.

Runners race chase the tiny cars as they speed.
Runners chase walk after the tiny cars as they are pulled to the starting line.

How it works first time up:

Hold on for dear life!
Hold on for dear life!
  • Kids and parents check in.
  • A Kiwanian asks for the child’s driver’s license, and the kids stare back without a smile. Parents grin sometimes.
  • Elementary teachers and parents conflict over verify their grade level.
  • The child puts on their safety helmet.
  • They trudge up the ramp and step into the car.
  • The Kiwanis pusher holds the car until the race begins.

So Far So Good!

Tiny drivers hang on!
Tiny drivers hang on!

Gravity does the rest of the work.

Go! Go! Go!
Go! Go! Go!

The kids soon learn that one car goes faster. They do not get to choose which car they drive.

The next time they race, they are brave. The race lasts about an hour depending on how many kids show up.

Let's do this!
Let’s do this!

The Kiwanismotto is “Serving the Children of the World.” This is one of many fun ways that Kiwanis of Woodlake serves the children of our community.

Other activities include:

  • Toys for Joy – making sure that all children have a present for Christmas.
  • Dictionaries for all third graders. (Kiwanis and Rotary)
  • Special Olympics Bowl-A-Thon
  • Miracle Mile of Quarters – to raise money for the Children’s Hospital
  • HOBY Conference Scholarships
  • College Scholarships
  • Outdoor Environmental Education Scholarships
  • and much more

If you would like to help us or join Kiwanis, please contact me tchistorygal@gmail.com.

Kiwanis is a tiny club in a tiny town of ranchers, farmers and farm workers. At last count I think there were 19 members working tons of volunteer hours each month.

If you would like to help Kiwanis to spread the word about what they do for the community of Woodlake, CA, please share this post with your friends and groups.

For more thoughts about tiny, click here.

I participate in WordPress' Weekly Photo Challenge 2016
I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2016

Looking Down From the Roof Cleaning Solar Panels

With electric bills soaring to over $700 a month in the hot San Joaquin Valley summer, we switched to solar several years ago. Dust deposits cut back on their efficiency by about 13% according to my husband who watches the bill carefully. So early in the morning about every six weeks he climbs up on the roof.Looking DownHe scrubs the solar panels down with a long brush, the hose and a long squeegee. Up on High001Our bill was about $20 the first YEAR and about $115 lastYEAR, and you know the rates did not go down.Up on High002I want to give a shout up to him for taking such good care of things at our home. Thanks VP. You earned some well deserved R & R.Up on High003What would you like to do? Up on High005I know.  Pick up another long stick, and play in the water.

For more views of this weekly photo challenge,  look down, click here.

 

Alphabet Photo Challenge

Alphabets ruled my life when I taught kindergarten. We had multiple pictures for every letter, and they dominated the decor. Letters are so prevalent in the decor of our lives today, I think I look past and through them now … unless they make me laugh!

Alphabet

Teachers are so accustomed to reading upside down, that sometimes they forget that they can actually read right-side up.

Alphabet2

This must have been a page turner, and the reader couldn’t be bothered with directionality.

Alphabet3

Sometimes it’s important to read ahead to learn about where you are going so that you don’t miss the things you might really enjoy.

Alphabet4

Or you can read signs and wing it.

“Of course, I’m hungry. Let’s stop here!”

Speaking of reading, thanks Paula Terrill for telling me that you read all my posts, even if you don’t comment. It’s nice to know!  🙂 I write to be read. Don’t you?

For more thoughts about alphabets check out the Weekly Photo Challenge here.

I participate in WordPress' Weekly Photo Challenge 2016
I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2016

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fray

I’m not a fray kind of person.  Sometimes you need skill to join the fray.  These Mock Trial students had the skills and got heated, there’s no dispute about that.

Mock Trial 1

Sometimes you just happen onto  a fray.  I remember walking in downtown Portland leaving Portland State University during a war protest.  Wouldn’t you know it the press wanted to talk to me about it?  I wanted to catch the bus home.

In this next picture the fray was a Civil War reenactment.  The Friday before the big weekend at Kearney Park in Fresno, Fresno County Historical Society hosted students from all over Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Madera Counties to an event called Civil War Time Travelers.  At this event they met the actors who taught them about everything from Civil War medicine to shooting cannons.   Similar to the first battle of the Civil War, the students ate their picnic lunches on the grounds and watched the battle as though it was a show.  Fortunately, no one died during the fray.

 

CWTTR

Although a fray is usually a conflict or dispute, I sometimes visualize it as activities.  I ambled toward this crowd in Boston as I walked the Freedom Trail remembering a different fray of long ago.  Although it caught my attention, I kept my feet firmly planted on the sidewalk, and my eyes down, so as not to get chosen to dance.  I’ve been know to fall over just standing outside a museum waiting to go in.

Frey2 RSome people joined right in.  It was a lively show.

For more on frays click on the icon below.

wordpress-20141

Weekly Photo Challenge: Extra, Extra

Extra, Extra

Cousin Hal and I stopped momentarily in New Castle, DE to mark the landing-place of William Penn in 1682. We relaxed in a park on the Delaware River in this tiny historic village, named “Tomakonck,” place of the beaver, by the natives that settled there.   We didn’t see any beavers.  The extra entertainment we found in New Castle lurked in the lower left corner of my camera.

Serious conversation

Who knows what two ducks have to talk about.  But I don’t think it’s much different from any male and female that live in the same place.  His Eminence, the strong silent type, dominated the discussion early on, as Dolly Duck listened… silently, waiting her turn to talk.

Come back here

Sure enough, he quit quacking. Dolly started to speak. Maybe H.E. didn’t hear her.  Maybe he had just used his 10,000 quacks for the day, and it was time for a swim.  I don’t really know because I don’t speak “duck.”

Quacking Up

But the situation seemed vaguely familiar.

For “Extra, extra” reading, click here.

Word Press Photo Challenge: On Top

I like to be on top of things.  So does my cat, Scardy Kitty.

Scardy on top

Other animals feel the same way.  Maybe they feel safer if they are on top.

on top of the piling

To be on top signifies power, visibility, and with-it-ness.  Seldom is there a church or a government without a spiral or a dome.  We look up to and admire the tops of those buildings.

Church Top

Here is a church tower I saw at the picturesque town of New Castle, DE

Old South Meeting House

This Bostonian Congregational or Puritan church, the Old South Meeting House, where Boston’s citizens met and demanded their rights from the British officials has an aspiring top.

on top of the MA Statehouse

Governor Samuel Adams presided over building the new Massachusetts State House in 1795.  At the time leaders claimed that this beautiful building held the top, most prominent position in the nation. Notice the gold dome.  No one knows how much it cost; they probably paid top dollar for it.

Top2Workers like to be on top of their work.

on top of the train Supervisors like to be even higher.  We stood on top of a bridge at the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum overseeing the work of these workers chipping ice into the cooler car.

on top of the horse

Manny is growing up to be a top-notch bear.  He loves to climb on top of things.  Hal suggested that he needs velcro to stay on top.  Maybe that’s what we all need.  What do you think?

Click here to see more examples of “on top.”

 

 

WP Photo Challenge: Reflections

These birds lined up on the log and posed for this picture so beautifully.  Were they preening for the morning, admiring their own reflection?  As I watched them, others pulled out their own cell phones and admired them as they reflected into the water along Bob Jones Trail on the way to Avila Beach.

IMG_2500

If I were a painter, I would paint this picture.  Have a beautiful day.  🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Habit

I walk every day at least two or three miles.  It helps me eat more sweets, which is what I really love.

Bob Jones Trail from Ontario Road to Avila Beach
Bob Jones Trail from Ontario Road to Avila Beach

When we travel, my husband walks with me and Puppy Girl unless he gets a phone call for work.  Then he stops and talks business.

Do you see that butterfly over there, Mom?
Do you see that butterfly over there, Mom?

Puppy loves to do both.  Walk and talk, and I think she could chew gum at the same time if we gave it to her.

Could I please have some gum, Mom?
Could I please have some gum, Mom?

Should we?

I don't mind the wait, Mom.  I mean really, look where I am, and look where you are.  You can go on if you want.  I'll wait with Dad.
I don’t mind the wait, Mom. I mean really, look where I am, and look where you are. You can go on if you want. I’ll wait with Dad.

She sits or stands patiently as Dad talks on, and on, and on. Deal closed?

Could I ride, Mom?
Could I ride, Mom?

At home we walk around Bravo Lake, and meet the locals.

Hey Mister, can I ride your horse? No hablo perro, Senorita.
Hey Mister, can I ride your horse?   No hablo perro, Senorita.

You never know who will be walking that three miles.

What do you do as a habit?  Click here to find out what others do.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Companionable

I love companionable.  People and animals getting along together.  Maybe even plants, anything that breathes.  Things???  Well, Manny is companionable, but usually…  Well there are a few things I can’t do without, too, come to think of it.

SFW Companionable 120

Puppy Girl and Mama Kitty are about the same size and very companionable.  Even from the start Mama accepted PG.  Who knows why?  She hates other cats that come around.

BJ and Piggles

I used to raise guinea pigs.  my puppy BJ was so jealous of what we gave the guinea pigs that he would eat things that dogs just hate – like lettuce.  He and Bud were very companionable with the guinea pigs when we fed them.  Piggles didn’t mind being companionable.

History Girls

My good friends, the history girls, and I decided that one of our outings would be to see Wicked.  I found these perfect sparkly red shoes at the Sears store in the shopping mall near the theatre – wonder why?  They were only $9.99.  Who could pass on that?  We wore them and felt companionable, not just with each other, but with the play as well.

SFW  Companionable117

Now I have to go BE companionable with the Woodlake Kiwanians who put on a July  3rd Fireworks Display.  I hate working in 108 degree heat, but I am going to be companionable – until I melt.  🙂  Lots of love to everyone.  Remember to be companionable tomorrow as you celebrate our freedom to be companionable.

Weekly Photo Challenge: In the Background

Michael Pick would like me to do something different in the background – me, not the scenery.  No wonder they call it a challenge.  People/objects we know and love, or who are interesting are usually the focus of our thoughts and pictures.  Now Michael I’m not happy about this.  I’m having to think – AGAIN, and I just did that yesterday.  I mean really, I do have some excellent background pictures with Manny in the foreground and San Diego Bay in the background.  Won’t that do, Michael?

Granted Manny is not blurry, but he's sort of not the focal point.
Granted Manny is not blurry, but he’s sort of not the focal point.

That is surely better than this next one in which Manny is clearly the center of attention.

Manny is clearly King of Fuzzy Bay in this picture.
Manny is clearly King of Fuzzy Bay in this picture.  Oops, even his tag is showing.

Then I thought about our trip to Hawaii last year.  Vince and I were both more fascinated with the views than with having OUR PICTURES as the highlight.  We were both taken with this long set of steps down to the beach on the island of Maui.  Ever been here in Honolua-Mokuleia Bay?

Better here in picture one?
Better here in picture one?

We both posed, but IN THE BACKGROUND, Michael.

Or here in background picture 2?  Don't answer that!  I was feeling like an optometrist trying to measure how good your eyesight is trying to get us OUT OF THE BACKGROUND!!
Or here in background picture 2? Don’t answer that! I am feeling like an optometrist trying to measure how good your eyesight is trying to find us IN THE BACKGROUND!!

I’m not mad, mind you, but instead of taking 15 minutes like I planned to take to whip through this challenge, it took – well let’s just say I didn’t get my walk in.  Oh well, I have proof that I have at least climbed some stairs in the last year or so.

Or better here in #3
Or better here in #3

Now if important figures, are supposed to be big, but out of focus, I think I have just gained the photographic ability to do that, but you can tell me if this is what you mean.  It was an accident.

Thanks for making me think today.  🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Change

I started quilting many years ago, then took about a 35 year break.  Over the years the quilting hobby changed drastically.  This year I noticed that quilters incorporate much more bling and texture into their quilts than I’ve ever noticed before.  Bling might come in the form of fancy machine embroidering with multi-colored or metallic threads or objects sewn onto the quilt.  Quilters also bling their quilts in the same way they glitz clothing – with beads, and shiny things.

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Clothing changes over the years, sometimes gradually, sometimes drastically.  In this entry, the artist created a doll from a picture of her grandmother.  She used fabric from some of her grandmother’s trousseau to make the dress.  In just two generations clothing styles have changed drastically, but beauty is constant.

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This quilt reminds me of many changes that I have seen since I’ve been reintroduced to quilting.  First of all, I don’t remember seeing quilts of scenes.  In this imaginative quilt actual photographs are printed on fabric, then appliqued to the  quilt.  Finally the quilt has a bit of bling, such as lace curtains.  Did you all notice the Prius taxi?

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Another change is the amount of texture I see in quilts.  It used to be that the primary texture came from the quilting itself.  Today we see a tremendous amount of texture appliquéd onto the quilts.

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Change is often overwhelming to folks.  I hope you don’t feel too inundated by all of these examples of change.

Not to CHANGE the subject, but don’t forget to vote for my bloggy friends in my sidebar.  Lots of love to you all, Marsha 🙂  🙂