Monday, December 14, 2015

eureka: mini road trip

Eureka, California is one of the rainiest towns in the state. We spent three days up there in November and the weather was perfect, not a drop in site until the morning we left for home. Here's a sneak peek at some of the happy color Old Town had....not bad for a normally grey and gloomy kind of place, not bad at all!

Friday, December 04, 2015

f-f-f-f-flaky!

Eegads but these past few months I have felt utterly flaky when it comes to crafting, writing, creating, etc. I have no excuses but good gravy I feel it. Sheesh!

Back in September, I put together seven, SEVEN, different capsule wardrobes. I even photographed them AND I created those photo doohickeys with labels and numbers and everything. When I was putting it all together, I was excited about the colors and combos but when it came down to actually wearing said colors and combos. there was only one I kept reaching for which I suppose is the whole point, to find out what works best for my life, style, personality, and body, right?

So while I was working my way through the capsules, I have worn at least one ensemble from maybe 5 of the capsules, I hit upon a sale at LOFT and bought a few shirts, some trousers that worked, and some trousers that didn't and I fell in love with a few pieces....which I keep reaching for and wearing and while I feel like I am obligated to work through those capsules (the doohickeys are made after all) my heart is just not into it. What my heart IS into is slate blue, charcoal grey, rust, coral, and mauve. Siiiiiigh.

Maybe I will have a photo day and just photograph all the outfits or at least the outfits I have not yet gotten to. I don't know, the pink room is still in need of becoming a room (have I mentioned that I have been feeling flaky?) and I have holiday gifts to make and wrap, not to mention getting the darn decorations out of boxes and onto something. Ooof!

So, in between the flakiness, the attempts at wearing my capsules, work, and life, we went to the symphony, enjoyed Thanksgiving, and we managed to take a wee road trip up to Eureka, California and hike ourselves silly. Pictures coming soon, I hope. I won't promise anything anymore but I will put in some more effort than usual.

Oh! And the plus side of everything? I did some research and found a thyroid medication without acacia in it and have been taking it for two months and things are looking up or are beginning to. I still do not feel anywhere near like my old self but my energy seems to be visiting for longer. I also discovered I have been taking too much vitamon B and taking it wrong for lack of a better word and changing that up may lead to even more energy! I am very excited about that. I miss my old self. Hopefully this will keep my allergies in check and I can go outside again without all the ick that follows.

Cross your fingers for me and please visit again! 

We're on our way to L.A. for a holiday shindig this weekend and we've managed to squeeze in four visits. Looking forward to seeing and squeezing favorite peoples! Wish we had more time to see more! 


Friday, November 06, 2015

the great capsule wardrobe adventure continues

Blue Sleeveless Top, a.n.a/Penneys
Cap Sleeve Tie Dye
Navy Cap Sleeve w Buttons, Anne Klein, thrifted
Grey Short Sleeve, F21
Burgundy and White Boyfriend T, Old Navy
Mauve, Slate, and Grey Cap Sleeve, thrifted
Rust Graphic Boatneck, Blue Platypus
Mauve 3/4 Sleeve. Old Navy
Black 3/4 Hi-Lo, Cable and Gauge
Burgundy Linen Dress, The Gap
Grey Maxi Skirt, a.n.a
Grey Pencil Skirt, F21
Black and White A-line: Lularoe Azure
Chambray High Waist Trouser, The Gap

Sunday, October 18, 2015

fortunate

Yesterday I spent $21.50 on three pomegranates, a half gallon of fresh squeezed orange juice, and a small heirloom dry farmed watermelon.  I feel fortunate that I am able to do so. $21.50 on five items that will expire within days of purchase is a bit steep.

$21.50 for me is a smidge shy of two hours of work on an assisting day. If you make minimum wage that is about three hours of work. That $21.50 can fill half a gas tank to get you to your job, pay for one-two weeks of public transit, cover the retail cost of a handful of Target tank tops, or maybe cover the cost of an asthma inhaler if you have good insurance.

$21.50 is a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter, small jar of jam, two pounds of apples, 5 bananas, a head of lettuce, and a bag of baby carrots which can be lunch for you or your kiddo for a week. $21.50 can be a lot of things more filling or even more useful than three pomegranates, half gallon of fresh squeezed orange juice, and a small heirloom dry farmed watermelon. If I purchased these at my local grocer the poms would be smaller and more expensive and grown who knows where, the juice would not be fresh, and the watermelon would be a mockery of a melon that only looks like one on the outside. At my farmer's market I chatted with the guy who sells two variety of poms and the juice he coaxes out of them, I grabbed the last half gallon of fresh squeezed juice and talked about the excitement of the blood orange juice that appears in January, and I high-fived the guy with the green pick-up truck loaded with those gorgeous seed-full dry farmed watermelon that he grew about thirty-miles away. So much better than three pumpkin-spice lattes or a handful of tank tops from Target. So much better and skewed as not many people have the opportunity to visit a farmer's market or grow their own food. I am very fortunate.

My town often has large 50 gallon drums posted near the doors of our supermarkets. These are for our food bank for you to add to when you shop. If you do not feel up for selecting said food, there are often packed bags you can purchase for $5-$10 that already have food in them. When there are no bags ready, there are cards you can grab at the register for as little as $1. They make it very easy for you to give and I do. Often I will round up my purchase to the next $5 or so dollars, they make it easy and it helps. Sometimes the round-up is under $2 other times I grab a packed bag or two or add a couple pounds of rice and or grains to the drum. The markets in my neighborhood do this year round, not just at Thanksgiving, for which I am grateful. I remember being that family that could use a bag or two of groceries. If you are wondering where your food banks are in your neighborhood click here, it's easy to do and you can manage a week without lattes or acai bowls

Yesterday I spent $21.50 (without batting an eye) on three pomegranates, a half gallon of fresh squeezed orange juice, and a small heirloom dry farmed watermelon.  I feel fortunate that I am able to do so. $21.50 on five items that will expire within days of purchase is a bit steep.  I am very fortunate.


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!
sunrise
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!
breakfast
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.
exploring
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