Friday, April 30, 2010

Last day of April

I don't know why I thought I wanted to blog everyday, but I made it! I will skip next month, although I might see what the theme is and do a couple of blogs just on the theme.
This is my official blog of the day. Take it or leave it!

Here...I'll add a picture. Or how about two? This is my wind chime taken at night. I love the glass beads.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Yay...bigger is better!

Look what I did.

It's dark in the corner, but you get the idea.

Enjoying their new digs!

A friend gave me a box of cages. There were three cages in there and the only thing missing was the top to one of them. I took two of them and wired them together by removing the middle top wall of each cage top. Then I wired the bottoms together. It makes one really nice sized big cage and all three birds can be in there together. I wasn't sure about putting the parakeet in with the cockatiels at first, but they are doing just fine. They have been together for a long time, but the parakeet always had his own space. I love the fact that the cage looks much neater, now. The other two cages didn't match at all.

I was going to take some pics of them while I was taking pics of the cage, but they kept running from the camera. Scaredy birds! ha ha.

Run. Save yourself.

Running from the evil camera.

Trying to hide from the evil camera.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Big stash

This is what is on my walls in the room in which I'm sleeping these days. I used to have about double this amount of fabric, but I went through and got rid of things that I no longer wanted, needed or if it was something I thought I would never use. This is actually not ALL of my fabric. I have a separate four shelf unit that holds all the flannels. These two walls were much more organized before my son stayed in this room. I used to have the stripes all together and the plaids all together and the checks all together within each type. Actually, all my ginghams are still together. You just can't see it in this picture. OCD works for some things pretty well! ha ha.
After I paint in there I am going to reorganize it and put the stripes, plaids and checks all back together again! (Maybe by color, ha ha).I can take another picture if any one is interested.

My knits, fleece, fur and robe material.

My home dec, velveteen, corduroy, denim, cottons and cotton blends.

Time management is important. I don't sew because I always have too many "other things" to do. I want to sew, but every time I go in the sewing room I see some other things I wanted to finish up first. This means I need to go back to scheduled sewing time. And, when I go into the sewing room, I need to put blinders on and know that the other things in there will get done in due time. Or maybe not, but part of killing procrastination is learning to do the task at hand. NOW! So I'm going to work on that. I'm going back to making an exclusive time for sewing. And in that time I am going to SEW ONLY. Wish me luck. I have lots of things I want done and out of my sewing basket(s).

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The trouble with clouds.

The trouble with clouds is that when you see a really cool one, you have to have your camera right at that moment. If there is no other reason in the world to have your camera with you at all times...this is it!

This big space you see here in the clouds was a hole in the clouds when I first saw it. I had just left the house and Mom pointed out this nice hole in the clouds. When I looked it was in the shape of a heart. I raced back to the house as fast as I could and had Jeren bring the camera out to me, but alas...clouds just move too fast sometimes. So what we have here is a big gaping hole in the clouds, all stretched out and not resembling at all the lovely heart shaped hole that I was hoping to capture!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Alternative Affirmations

This came to me in an email and I thought it was cute, so I'm sharing it here.

Alternative Affirmations...

1. As I let go of my feelings of guilt, I am in touch with my inner sociopath.

2. I have the power to channel my imagination into ever-soaring levels of suspicion and paranoia.

3. I assume full responsibility for my actions, except the ones that are someone else's fault.

4. In some cultures what I do would be considered normal.

5. My intuition nearly makes up for my lack of wisdom and judgment.

6. I need not suffer in silence while I can still moan, whimper, and complain.

7. When someone hurts me, I know that forgiveness is cheaper than a lawsuit, but not nearly as rewarding.

8. I am at one with my duality.

9. Blessed are the flexible, for they can tie themselves in knots.

10. I will strive to live each day as if it were my 50th birthday.

11. I honor and express all facets of my being, regardless of state and local laws.

12. Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so!"

13. A scapegoat is almost as good as a solution.

14. Just for today, I will not sit in my living room all day in my underwear. Instead, I will move my computer into the bedroom.

15. I will no longer waste my time reliving the past. I will spend it worrying about the future.

16. The complete lack of evidence is the surest proof that the conspiracy is working.

17. Before I criticize a man, I walk a mile in his shoes. That way, if he gets angry, he's a mile away and barefoot.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Happy birthday to me.

I don't have a picture of me blowing out candles on this computer, so here is one of Jeren blowing out candles! ACtually, I believe these were the candles that you can't blow out. They keep re-lighting. They are fun! and I think he is in the middle of saying something about it.

Well, I've managed to survive on this planet for 60 years. I remember when I was a kid and every summer we belonged to the library's reading club. One time our theme for the reading club was the 21st century. I'm sure (knowing me) that I still have my certificate and the little pin in the shape of a rocket ship. Each year they gave us little pins to illustrate the theme which we wore proudly on our visits to the library. Everyone believed in the 1960's that rocket ship travel would be quite common by now. It is not.
I can remember thinking how far away 2000 seemed. There was this saying that most people I know used when things were going slow. "Maybe by the year 2000." There were other variations on it, but it was widely used as a way of conveying the thought that things were going slow or might never happen. It seemed so far, far away. 2000. A completely new century. A whole new era of traveling in rocket ships and far out space outfits and living on the moon.
Here we are in 2010. It went by pretty fast. We are not really doing any of that stuff. We have some pretty streamlined cars and planes, but we are not planet hopping and jumping on rockets to get places.
60 really doesn't feel much different than 15 in many ways. Of course, physically speaking, it is way different. I can still do the splits. Not sure why, because I CANNOT lean over to pick something up off the floor. Well, I CAN, but there is always that fear that I will not be able to straighten back up and/or will fall over. I have found that if I throw my right leg out behind me that I can lean over with balance, but there is still that fear about not being able to straighten back up. The body is a little stiffer and less cooperative. Things hurt that never hurt before and, I have actually found that lids do get harder to remove from jars. I can't swing my hammer as well. Nails that I used to be able to sink with two to three hits are now taking me four to five hits. Using the hammer to take out nails is also a little harder.
Overall, I've fared pretty well, though, and looking forward to the next ten years. I figure every day I wake up is a blessing and all good things beyond that are serendipity! I'm looking forward to retirement, although who knows if I really will retire. I miss staying at home, but working keeps me from being a complete hermit. Left to my own devices I'm not sure I would venture out much. So I'm another year older, hopefully at least a little bit wiser and ready to attack the next decade with gusto!
Thanks mom! I would be nothing if not for you! I Love you!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The weather

The weather has been crazy today. It was sunny when I got up. Then it alternated between sunny, cloudy and sunny again. It was nice and bright and sunny and I thought maybe I might go outside when all of a sudden it was raining. As in pouring cats and dogs! Raining sideways because of the wind. Crazy April weather.
That's all I have today.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Got nothing.

I don't have much to say today. I've been completely lazy and the only work I've done in the last few days besides general housecleaning is to farm my virtual farms on Facebook.

How about some pictures of Ward's Lake Park in the spring?

You can just see the top of Mount Rainier from the playground area of the park.

Nice little lake.

Gary Oaks


From the fishing dock.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


It's easy to make jokes about Alzheimer's, especially when my memory is playing tricks on me, and I can't even find my purse while it's hanging on my shoulder. I do sometimes worry about it, though, when my brain gets a little foggy. There are little things, like the day I was trying to write the word purse and kept writing purche, instead. It's not like I don't know the word. But three times I tried to write it right and it came out wrong. It's a little scary sometimes, even though I joke about it.
Joking aside, it is a serious illness and one usually reserved for those senior years of our lives. That's why I find this to be one of the saddest stories I've seen in a long time. It just seems unfathomable. I can't imagine how it must feel to be her husband to have to "lose" her while still having her there and to be having to take care of both her and a new baby. I'm glad to see that the baby has not inherited the gene. My heart goes out to her husband, though, who now has a wife and child who both need his care around the clock. I find it incomprehensible that she was denied disability for this. They are, however, setting up fundraisers to help with the costs he is going to incur. He seems to work for a truly caring boss.
I sure do wonder about the future for them. It is no easy feat taking care of someone with Alzheimer's and she is very young, so if the rest of her health remains good it will be a long, long road ahead. I'm sure he will get help, but how sad for both of them.
I don't really have an ending for this blog. This article has just been on my mind since I first read it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Big through the magic of the macro lens.

Stamen inside an azalea.

Rhody bud.

Lilac buds.

These little flowers are in the grass. <1 inch.

Over easy.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Almost forgot to post this.

Look how big Daelin is getting. You can see his hair growing!

Whatcha doin' grandma?

Mommy and Daddy love me, but I just noticed something down there.

Grinning at his mom.

Posing with Dad.

David and Nikki.

Towhead in the making.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I thought "big" would be an easy subject, but I ran out of ideas right away. I think I'm just busy right now and not so into blogging. Here are some photos I've taken of big things.

Mount Rainier

The Badlands (Black Hills)

San Francisco

The Moon

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Why complain when you have choices?

I don't understand the complaining that people do when they have other choices that would solve whatever issue it is that they are complaining about.
Our break room food isn't always the best. Sometimes the choices are just not things I like and sometimes the presentation is less than great and sometimes it's just too salty, too dry, too spicy...I could go on, but I won't. People are constantly talking about how "icky" it is and how it makes them sick and how this and how that. So, here's a thought...bring a lunch! Easy fix. But no, they won't bring a lunch because they would rather sit and complain. I just don't get it and I want to lob the "lousy" food at their heads!
First of all, the break room always have bread and fillings available to make sandwiches. They always have soup. They always have dry cereal and oatmeal packets and ramen soup cups.
Second of all, they are constantly berating the poor folks who work our employee dining room and that really annoys me because they treat them like they are lesser folk. They are just doing their job to the best of their ability, just like the rest of us and they don't cook the food. They just serve it.

We have a medical plan that includes Group Health or you can use what they call the Group Health options plan. With the options you can pick any medical provider you choose. You are not STUCK with a GH doctor. But I've been with Group Health for over 30 years and always had good care. In those 30 years I've had exactly ONE incident that caused me to complain and it was not about my actual care. I get so tired of people going on and on and on about it and calling it "Group Death". I just want to say, "Grow up and get a life!" No one is forcing you to go there. You have a choice and if it's that "BAD" then pay a little more and make the choice. Stop whining because you don't like the care you get and get care you like. No doctor is perfect, they all are human just like we are. Doctor Welby only exists on television. Real doctors are busy folks and sometimes have bad days just like we do.

Ok...done ranting now.

Friday, April 16, 2010

One last marble.

Yesterday I finally finished my big bottle of laundry detergent. When I poured it out I got one last marble.

It's a nice day today and I'm hoping we can get a little sunny streak going so I can finish the digging I was doing before we started getting our downpours. I have decided I am going to do the straw bale gardening this year. I am excited about trying something new.
I also want to build a potato tower. I need to walk up the street and find the guy who told me about it so I can see his.

That's about all I have today. I've been soaking my feet so that I can trim my nails and rub off the rough areas and I need to go do that.

Boring blog, I know. Oh well.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

6 more marbles.

I was without power for most of my pre-work day today, so this has to be a quick blog. So how about a picture of six more marbles in the soap? haha. I wonder how many more he put in there.
That's all the time I have for today, folks!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I have to go back to work tomorrow. I so wish I didn't have to work. I've super enjoyed my days off and actually spent time with people for a change. I am beginning to realize that I really need to do this more often. I get to where I am overwhelmed by the things I feel I need to do and want to spend all my time doing them, so I can be free to visit and enjoy my friends and family once they are done. But things will never be done. Even if I finish up everything I have on my plate right now, there will be more to come.

I am beginning to see that I need to be able to balance my life between what I think I HAVE to do and the rest of my life including seeing people and following my artistic pursuits.  I tell myself this every so often and then go right back to the same old way. I can't seem to get past being a hermit. I don't know if being a hermit is the problem or if it's a symptom of a problem. Maybe it's just nothing more than being a hermit. But I do know I've enjoyed these past few days of spending time going places and doing things. It's really not that hard to go places, even on the days that I work. I've just somehow gotten myself into thinking that it is. (sigh)

I'm going to work on that.

I'm trying out the new editor in this bloggy land and I'm not sure if I like it. It's a little weird.
I am going to go play my Farm Town now and get sleepy so I can get to bed at a decent hour.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

On the Farm (another picture heavy blog).

Back in the day, it was quite common for mental institutions to have fully functioning farms. One of these was Western State Hospital in Lakewood. It is located in what used to be Fort Steilacoom, which was an early military post for the army. It was decommissioned as a military post in 1868, and, in 1871, a mental hospital was established there. Farming was introduced to mental institutions in the early 20th century as a way to provide occupational therapy for the patients. Western State's farm was a Dairy farm, although they also grew chickens for eggs, and pigs and turkeys for meat. The men patients took care of the animals and worked the fields and orchards, and the women took care of the seeds and the canning of the produce. In the seventies it was ruled that patients could no longer work without pay and farming was gradually ended in most institutions because it was no longer viable. There is a synopsis of Western State's facility here Scroll down to page 3 to read specifically about the farming.

When the kids were little we used to love hiking up on the hill where the old hospital was. It was still partially standing at that time, and we used to climb up the stairs to the upper floors and look around. Eventually, they tore it down for safety reasons, more because of the drug activity than the actual deterioration of the building. They have since put a memorial up there where the building used to stand.

The grounds are still beautiful, although not groomed. It is a nice place to walk. There is a mile path around Waughop Lake, which is to the back of the property. There are many paths up and down the hill, and lots of room to picnic and/or just while away the day. When the kids were little we often went there for dinner, cooking on the built-in grills and sitting and relaxing while they played on the big toy. When I was there yesterday for the photo shoot with Alex and Logan, I took the time to get some new pictures of some of the farm buildings.

Looking through the loft at the bare roof.

This side still has most of it's roof.

The path we took down the hill. This in no way shows the steeper path we came down with Logan in his stroller. Oh my, we were happy to get to this spot!

The covering over the old floor of the hospital building.

These are the original steps up to the building that we used to take when we entered to look around.

Some of the buildings are lacking paint. Such a nice rustic look.

This silo is cement. As you can see the wooden structure around the ladder is crumbling.

I love the look of these two silos. They are faced with stone tiles and have a rich tone to them. I don't know if you can see it, but the date is on them. They also give the dimensions. They say:
Built in 1931. Size 14 X 28 ft. Capacity 88 tons. The one on the left says Silo 2 and the one on the right says Silo 3.

The silos with the surrounding barns.

In this picture you can't even tell the silos are in there.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Not all of today's photos were of Alex and Logan...

I had so much fun today with my camera and my subjects, Alex and Logan. This is not my grandson, Logan, but my friend's son Logan. We had a great time walking through Fort Steilacoom Park, up to the memorial and down to the farm buildings. Logan was a trooper and super enjoyed his little hike through the park. He wasn't the most cooperative for some of the photo ops I wanted, but I made do with what he tolerated. He is, after all, only 20 months. I tried to keep a candid feel to the photo session, so that it wasn't one pose after the other.
We were there for over three hours, which gave me plenty of time to also get in some macro shots and some new shots of the buildings. I love those old farm buildings.

Today's selection is my favorites of the macros. I'm also including a few of my favorite shots of Logan and Alex. What a fun day it was! I got to babysit Daelin again which was a nice bonus, so I invited Jewel over so she could see him. We had a great visit and played with her new Nintendo DS. Which part? The camera. Now that is a fun little camera. We laughed pretty hard at some of the crazy pictures you can take with that little unit. It has some crazy features!

First, the macro shots:

These tiny little flowers are about a quarter of an inch long.

The day was warm enough for the bees to be out, but this bee was too cold to move very fast. He was on top of a fire hydrant warming up so he could fly.

How did I live to almost sixty without realizing that holly bushes have flowers. I knew they had berries, but never realized they had these beautiful yellow flowers.

I have no idea what this little flower is, but if you look closely you can see the aphids sitting inside the petals. It's not quite two inches across.

These little blue flowers are coming up all over the hill surrounding the monument. I'm not sure what they are, but maybe a morning glory?

More holly flowers.

When we were kids we used to pull these little purple blossoms out of this plant and suck on them. They have a sweet nectar inside. I have no idea what they are, either.

The dreaded scotch broom. But it makes a good subject.

Another little flower I need to identify. It is just over an inch across.

A few of my favorite moments with Alex and Logan:

Dancing in the grass.

I have close-ups of them on this little piece of the barn, but I like this picture of the barn with Alex. I will probably make a cropped copy.

One of the few smiles Logan produced. Maybe it's the name.

He was watching a plane.