Some like it hot...

But, I'm not one of them! I grew up in the South...humidity and heat caused me to have continuous heat rashes and sweaty hair. There are NO pretty pictures of me as a kid! I didn't see a good photo of me until 8th grade, when we moved to Oregon, where the humidity is low...and the heat is, too...


These days, when it's hot, it's hot. My house is hot. My car is hot. My husband is hot, but that's a different story. I came home from school district meetings and somehow made the mistake of looking in the mirror. Not only is my hair purple (that's another story), but it's flat and shaggy. My cheeks are flushed and my boobs are all sweaty...all because of the extreme heat. Now, my friend, Carnivorous Hippy, loves the heat! Heck, she's from S.Cal, where heat is dry...so no rashes, no drippy hair, etc. Me, however, give me a cool breeze, 68-74 degrees, and a nice fan...


My Partial Orange Study...

It's been fun, going about the house, searching for "orange." My picture file is full of more than 100 items already! However, it's sooooo boring downloading them onto Blogger, so I've settled on just a few to share...


Back in the day...

My husband's grandfather, "George Chickering," is the man on the very front of the steam engine, far right. He was the engineer in the early 1920's. This photo hangs near the entrance of "Camp 18" on Hwy. 26. We have admired the photo for years, but have been unable to find a copy...so, I tried capturing it with my digital camera...


Too good to pass up...

I couldn't pass up "stealing" this photo from another site...pretty funny site! Unfortunately, I can't remember the site! I'll try to remember...and then give credit where credit is due!


The Big Boat...

This weekend, Hubby and I are off to do some sturgeon fishing near the mouth of the Columbia River! We're taking the "Big Boat" on this adventure. The "Little Boat" gets used for drifting in local rivers (Santiam, Alsea, Siletz).

We're going to load up with good food, good wine, and good books! We'll hope for beautiful weather and will enjoy our down-time together! If I catch a sturgeon, Hubby will do "anything I want!" Hmm...no kids with us this weekend...no dogs...no housework...free-spirit! I wonder what I'll have him do! (wink, wink!)

Oh, and for your viewing entertainment, here are the bodies from which I stole the heads. What a beautful garland they make! This bike is at the entry to our driveway!


Possible Side Effects...

I'm home with a bad head cold today. It started yesterday...actually, now that I think of it, days ago, with a headache, stuffy nose...you know the routine.
So, I'm taking advantage of this healing time to read in my new favorite book. It's called Possible Side Effects, by Augusten Burroughs. It's full of true (probably a bit embellished) stories from his life. In case you're wondering he wrote Running with Scissors.


Here are some of my favorite quips from Augusten:

p. 203
"Sommer blew on her tea and then took a quiet sip. Her face revealed nothing: was it too hot? Just right? Her expression remained something I couldn't measure. I was accustomed to reading faces in order to understand things. I was illiterate with Sommer's mask."

p. 133
"'I had this dog once,' I said. 'I bought him from a pet store on the Upper East Side. He was old, for a puppy. A year and a half. And all he did was run in circles. I'd trip over him, because he circled my legs. And to get him off me, I had to walk over to the dining table and tranfer him over to one of the legs.'"

p. 38
"The phrase 'old money' has always made me sad. Reminding me of the bald fact that I come form generations-deep dysfunction and have all the pedigree of an electric chair."

"If I had to have a baboon heart like Baby Faye, what better guy to do it?"



Today in the garden...
Beautiful False Indigo
(aka Baptista)
Varigated Sage and other herbs...
View in back...Hebe, Cardoon, Wysteria, and Climbing Red Rose...
Looking up at the Black Locust in full-bloom!
My first mosaic...it sat out all Winter, so it's had better days!
"Tequila Sunrise" Columbine! Makes me want some tequila right now!
These Digitalis are about 9 feet tall! I grew this bunch from seed! Because they are biennials, I had to wait a long time to see the results! I think it was worth the wait!

My children (and Albin, the Swede) painted my Adirondak chair! It simply glows in the shade!
Ooo-Ahh...pretty "Bunch Sage!"
This is a cool flower! It's actually an annual that reseeds quite successfully. It's called "Three-Birds-Flying!" When you get up close, each flower head looks like a funky parrot with its wings outstreched in full flight. It's Latin name is Linaria.

Unbelievable Oriental Poppy! The number of flower heads this year on this plant is outstanding! Its pollen is bright, indigo blue!
This is Jupiter's Beard. It is my absolute favorite flower, besides all of the others. However, it spreads seed quickly and I am diligent about keeping it contained. I have 2 varieties...this deep pink and some pure white.


Hybrid Columbine...

After years of planting Columbine from nurseries all over Oregon, my garden has now morphed out some cool hybrids...and we recently named one after "Albin," our Swedish exchange student. He had requested that I do this. It's a blend of "Tequila Sunrise" and "Eggshell."

Hubby and I went out in the dark this evening and had some fun collecting flower heads from all over the gardens! We weren't able to get a sample of each, as it got too dark. Also, some have already gone to seed. He LOVES Columbine, which is why I make sure to plant at least 3 new varieties each year.

Tomorrow's the Big Day!

Tomorrow night I'm taking 2 teenagers to see "My Chemical Romance" at the Portland Rose Quarter. Woo-wee. In case you haven't heard, they are an "emo-style" band...very big in Europe. We just happen to have a Swedish exchange student living with us, hence the trip to Portland. The Swede thrives on their music and my own son agreed to go with him, even though he admitted, "It's going to be a long night, Mom." Both boys are going to color their hair funky colors (the Swede already does that) and will wear dark, thick eye-liner. They're going to wear all black clothing and try to fit in as much is possible.
Hubby and I intend to just hang out downtown while the boys hit the concert. We'll actually park on the westside of the river and take Max to the Rose Quarter to avoid the parking issues there.
Thing is, it actually will probably be a fun concert!


Howling at Himself!

Can you see the mirror?

This morning it is absolutely beautiful here! The soft sprinkles are oh, so lightly pittering on the leaves and flowers. I could hear it through our open bedroom window as I woke up. I planned on sleeping in, but was up by 5:45, because I just couldn't WAIT to get out and begin working in the garden. I went out onto the deck to enjoy my coffee and the Sunday Gazette-Times and the 3 dogs were quietly napping at my feet. Suddenly, ol' Theo started braying up a storm! He becomes super-protective when anyone comes near our home and alerts us all with his classic Basset Hound, "Woooooo-wooo-wooo-wooo!" I nearly jumped out of my seat!

As I looked around to see what he was fussing about, it dawned on me that he had just discovered his reflection in one of the many large mirrors I have hanging on the fence in back. The thing is, those mirrors have been out there for over a year...and he just noticed! What a watch-dog!

Other views this morning: From the deck, my funny fish, and my old wicker plant stand...

Four Fairy Gardens!


Thoughts Survey...

Last night after a school program, a co-worker asked me to come and sit in her car for awhile, as she had something to say.
It appears that after school, our principal had asked her to meet in the office for a "one-on-one" discussion. Being a teacher for years, I can tell you that whenever a principal comes by your room in the morning, and says, "I need you to come to my office after school," it's never for a trophey or award. It's always something...either something a parent is upset about or that you've mistakenly left something "confidential" on top of the copier for everyone to see and you're in BIG trouble! The teacher, in the meantime, has a lump in her throat for the ENTIRE school day, along with a sick feeling in her stomach, wondering what it will be today...
Anyway, my friend went into the office. After the door was closed, the principal said a lot of very negative and mean things...such as, "It has come to my attention that you are a difficult person for many others to work with.Recently, 3 other co-workers have come to me to let me know that you have either hurt their feelings or made them feel nervous when they try to work with you." When my friend asked, "Who said this about me? Maybe I should talk with them and resolve this," the remark was made, "I am not at liberty to reveal that information."

Interviewers on national news programs are notorious for picking on folks by saying, "How do you feel about the fact that many others are questioning your motives?" or "Several people have expressed the opinion that you don't have a clue about your own job." If I were being interviewed, I'd say, "Who? Give me some solid evidence of this statement and I'll answer it!" It's just a way to air ones personal gripes in a passive-aggressive manner, isn't it?

So, here's my survey question:

Should a principal/boss/supervisor be allowed to say to you, "Others have come to tell me ____ about you," but not have to reveal whom those "others" are? Along with your "yes" or "no" answer, please give an explanation.

Oh, by the way, the teacher friend I spoke of at the start is an amazing teacher. Yes, she is curt and to the point, but, like me, she has 30 high-needs students in her classroom and very little support from the school district. We both devote our energy to our students, first, as that's who we're really there for...


Les Schwab is gone...

Here in the Northwest, we rely on Les Schwab for all our truck and car tire, brakes, alignment, etc. needs! I read today that ol' Les has died...at the age of 91! I remember him in commercials clear up until 1999, but didn't see him anymore after that.

Family friends from California came to stay with us for a week over Christmas 2006. Wendy, the mom, laughed and laughed when we went to a gas station and an actual attendent came to the car, wearing a white shirt and dark pants. She could not get over the fact that in Oregon we cannot pump our own gas (it's the law!) I LOVE it! When I go to Oklahoma to visit my grandmothers, I've always pumped their gas for them, as it saddens me to see old ladies having to climb out of their cars to do that job.

Anyway, I told Wendy about Les Schwab...and even took her there to show her what happens when someone pulls up in a car outside the shop. Sure enough, in LESS than 5 seconds a handsome young man in white came bounding out to ask us what we needed! Wendy just about flipped!

So, here's to Les Schwab! He is the Tire King and always will be!


Oh, No! The reality of Carnivorous Hippy's Cream Cheese Lid!

Oh, my! I read what Carnivorous Hippy wrote about the cream cheese lid! When I turned the lid over, AAAACCCKKK!

In college, my turntable on my old Pioneer Stereo could play forwards and backwards. Everyone in my dorm would bring me albums to play backwards. We'd scream when we listened to "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen! There were others, but this song, in particular, got us!


She's loud, but the neighborhood wouldn't be the same without her...

This is La Nina, the little pygmy goat who resides just about 15 feet from my driveway. She's the neighborhood noise-maker...and we love her! Her owner is a dear friend of mine and we've been discussing the possibility of my family purchasing "El Nino" so that we can all enjoy "bebe chivas" soon!


A Pirate who plays a modified cello...yes, it's true!

My friend gave me a personal cello lesson tonight. We, fortunately, drank more ale than we played music, but it was so much fun! When I got home, I thought, "Hmmm...since we're playing a pirate-themed song, I wonder if there are any pirates who actually play cello?" Goodness, look what I found! There's this guy who honestly plays his own modified cello...and, you guessed it, he dresses like a pirate!
I'm so glad CH is in my life. She and her family make me laugh almost every single day. Isn't THAT what life really is all about?


Dry Water...

Honestly, does this merit any discussion?

In the garden today...well, actually yesterday!

Got some great ideas for garden art while visiting "The Vintage Roost," a cool little 3-times-a-year craft sale that takes place just a few miles from here. A group of women from Albany created this magical event, housed in a small barn constructed more than 100 years ago. It's an "invite only" event I've been attending for about 6 years...and I LOVE it!
Here are some scenes from yesterday...

"Leather Leaf" hydrangea, purchased from my friend who has created "Morning Wood Nursery." I now have 18 varieties of hydrangea to admire.

A view down the back pathway.

Barbie heads in the herb garden...nothing more to say...

The wisteria is in full-bloom along the back of our shop. We cut it back hard 2 times each year to encourage the big blooms!

Garden sculpture I bought at Fall Festival last September. It was produced by a local artist...and I'm going to visit her workshop soon so that we can design something with native fish images!
My newly revamped compost area. My husband and son reconstructed the original compost bin to have more open sides, for more air flow. I love it!
Wallflowers and Japanese Honeysuckle, along with some lavender just waiting to burst into bloom!