Sunday, August 31, 2008

Colleen's Bad Day

Yesterday, at about 9 A.M. BOTH of Colleen's dogs were bitten by a rattlesnake. She is nursing Wampa, her white Scottish Terrier at home while Chomper, the Pug, is at the only vet in Northern California that has any antivenom. Both dogs were bitten in the face while digging in Colleen's yard.
Because it has been more than 24 hours and Wampa has begun to move around, eat, and drink, it looks like she might be OK. The vet called to say Chomper is improving and would be released this afternoon. Please hold good thoughts for the dogs and for Colleen who is also suffering. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Brace Yourself

Logan is getting braces. They don't actually get installed until November, but in preparation, he had two baby teeth extracted that would just not give way when the replacement canines came in, and I'm having more than $6,000 extracted from my bank account. Insurance pays $1,500. All of Colleen's boys had orthodonture (spell check says this is wrong, but doesn't offer a corrected spelling--the blog spell check is limited, and so am I), but I have conveniently forgotten how much it cost. And we live in a part of the country with lower rates than most anywhere else. So, go ahead leave a comment that will make me feel like I'm getting a good deal.
Today was bumper crop day in the garden. I picked a dozen ears of corn and cooked all of them. I will microwave the leftovers tomorrow -- I find this is the most fresh-picked tasting way of dealing with abundance. A very large yellow crookneck squash will no doubt sit around till it rots. We had two Lemon Boy tomatoes sliced for dinner, I froze two meals worth of green beans, and we have reasonably-sized zucchini for tomorrow. The pumpkins are nearly ripe, there are four, and they are gorgeous. I hope I pick them at the right time. I plan to keep them in the refrigerator downstairs, praying they make it till Halloween when I will paint faces on them and then cook them for pies. I'm keeping my eye on one large cantelope, hoping to pick it at its peak. There are several other smaller ones I'm comfortable leaving on the vine for a while. Meanwhile, I am planning next year's garden.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Waikiki High Rise

When I name my quilts. I try to think of something that ties the quilt to the owner. Considering the "building blocks" in the center of this quilt, the fabric of ocean waves, and daughter-in law Rachel's ability to dream of wonderful vacations, "Waikiki High Rise" seemed apt. I finished this quilt today, 19 days after her birthday. When we celebrated on the 10th of August, she unwrapped an incomplete quilt. I had to wait for the quilt shop to get more thread before I could finish it. Now I will mail it tomorrow.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Flora and Fauna













We drove by Grandpa and Julia's this afternoon to bring them squash from our garden. Ben was reluctant to part with it, but I assured him we were in no danger of running short. No one was home, but we still spent an hour there, looking at the garden and its inhabitants, like this gorgeous hummingbird moth. The dialog on www.hummingbirdmoth.com
sounds just like the conversation Ben and I had.
And we saw what some other creature had for dinner. Most of the leaves of this plant had been reduced to veins, but there was no sign of the diner(s), and the surrounding plants were untouched.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bad Hair Day


Because today was picture day at both boys' schools, I took them to get haircuts yesterday. We tried a new local barber, hoping to save some time and gas. Well, Logan's haircut was a disaster. He looked like Ringo Starr. It was bad and we both knew it. He vowed he could not go to school and wouldn't have a picture of that hair in the yearbook. I really couldn't blame him. So, he took the day off as a "mental health" day and I called Holly, my hairdresser. She agreed it was one of the worst haircuts she had ever seen and set to work fixing it. Logan was delighted and when we got back in the car, he said to Ben, "That Holly, ya gotta love her!" Whew!
This photo is the new improved haircut -- I know it doesn't look like a hair cut, but that's the whole idea -- make it shorter without looking like a new hair cut.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Atlanta Gay Pride

Ken's AIDS quilt panel was displayed in the Atlanta Gay Pride Show in July this year. See: http://www.aidsquilt.org/pride2008/
for a slide show. Ken's panel is in block 5786 and can be seen in slide #49 as well as in the background of several other slides labeled "Atlanta Pride 2008 . . . It hangs on a wall below and to the right of the last "s" in the sign that says "And the quilt still grows."

Friday, August 15, 2008

See How They Grow




On back-to-school day, I can't wait for the boys to get on the bus. Then, I spend an hour in the afternoon pacing and fretting, waiting for them to get home. And when they get home, they empty their backpacks full of forms, supply lists, rules,
schedules, and syllabi. Ben is enthusiastic about all his classes, Logan has some concerns about his social studies teacher. I did notice that the handouts from all Logan's other teachers had positive, exciting messages; the social studies handout was full of rules and restrictions. Hmmmm.

The photos show back- to-school day this year (with Logan's friend, Cameron) and back- to-school day the first year we lived in Missouri, three years ago.

The cool rainy weather has allowed me to turn off the air conditioning, but it has also slowed down the garden - a good thing for squash and pumpkins, not good for tomatoes which may never ripen! Tonight we will eat corn and yellow crook neck squash. The cantelope is about 5 inches in diameter, the pumpkin about 15" and the squash is producing faster than we can eat them even if we eat them every day.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Boys Will Be Boys





None of the men in our group could resist a photo op with these beautiful women after taking in "50's at the Hop" in Branson yesterday. All enjoyed the show -- Ben and Logan especially enjoyed getting up on stage to do the hand jive.

Bill and Ernie hit the road a couple of hours ago and expect to spend tonight somewhere in New Mexico.

Today we are trying to settle down and get ready for school. The bus picks up at 7:00 A.M. That will be a shock to our systems after a lazy summer.

Monday, August 11, 2008

What Happens When Geeks Breed


Uncle Bill and Cousin Ernie came to town armed with their laptops. With the help of my wireless router we established IT central at my dining room table. Bill and Ernie are home-based in Southern California and are on the last leg of a nearly 6,000 mile road trip in a '78 Ford Station Wagon. Bill is a WWII vet, a B-24 co-pilot in the South Pacific. Lately, his claim to fame is road-showing his restored Norden Bomb Site which replicates a landscape and the dropping of bombs. He has shown it at air shows with the Collings Foundation and many other venues. Most recently he exhibited it at a Concours d'Elegance at Meadowbrook Hall (the Dodge mansion) outside of Detroit. Tomorrow we will probably take in a show in Branson. I love having my friends and relatives visit.

Some gardener I am. Turns out my watermelons are pumpkins. I do have many cantelopes on the vine, and a few watermelons.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Dog Days

Here's my mystery plant -- can anyone help me identify it? I am thinking it could be poison ivy or poison sumac.

It's hot! Around 100 with a heat index of 107. I don't like it, the dogs don't like it, and the garden loves it. We will have plenty of corn in a few days, maybe for dinner this Sunday when the family comes for a "feast," or on Tuesday when Ernie and Uncle Bill will be here en route from Detroit to Pasadena. And so far, knock on wood, there are no worms in the corn! I'm still picking and freezing green beans, I've eaten the first tomato, we have yellow crook-neck squash, and there are melons/pumpkins on the vine. I planted Heart O' Gold cantelope, nostalgic for Fallon's famed melons, and I'm hopeful that we have some of them coming along. I'm not sure this climate and soil will produce the fruit of my memories, but I'm dreaming.

Here's our biggest baby watermelon -- it's about the size of two grapefruits. In our melon patch, honey bees are as busy as . . . well, you know. There's no sign of colony collapse in our area.

Ben is home, settled in, and I am at ease. The drive to and from Saint Louis was uneventful except for a special stop at Trader Joe's. It was frustrating to be there and to be unable to buy frozen or fresh food because I had no way to keep it safe in the heat. But I did manage to stock up on some Two Buck Chuck.

By the way, the spider web disappeared the next day.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Escape Artists

After I took this picture, I scooped up the vines and heaped them back into the garden bed and in so doing, discovered one of our jumble of vines is an unwelcome intruder -- poison ivy! That explains the mysterious rash on my ankles and hands. I will get some disposable gloves and try to keep it at bay.

Logan and I escaped the heat yesterday at the movies, catching "Journey to the Center of the Earth" -- it was better than I expected: lots of silly chasing, falling, monsters, screaming, etc. in a kind of Indiana Jonesish way. I'll take 60 year-old Harrison Ford any day over Brendan Fraser.

I drive to Saint Louis tomorrow to pick up Ben if Tom and Nichole decide to let him come home. Boy, do I miss him.