Archive for March, 2010

Bend it Like Sarah: Soccer in the Desert


2010
03.30


We were in Mesquite, Nevada, right outside of Vegas, for my granddaughter’s soccer tournament.  She was playing with the Bombers for the first time, and when the subject came up long ago, I said, “I’ll go!”  Of course, this was before we bought a new house on impulse, have a move scheduled for this coming Saturday, and all that.  So as I wrote about a couple of days ago (Waking up in Vegas), we (my daughter, granddaughter, and two other granddaughters we brought along for the ride) headed out to Vegas.

On the way to the soccer fields, we passed Joe’s Crab Shack.  Having a grandson named Joe who recently joined Facebook, I snapped the photo so I could post it, tagged with Joe’s name.  I knew he’d enjoy it and he did.  I asked him if he’d been crabby since we left.

It was great to watch Sarah play soccer.

That’s Sarah in the white shirt, #28.

She played a great game.

After the game, this pool was what we had on our minds.  We barely had time to get back, cool off, and make the second game.  But we did it.

This was the life.  It was remarkably cool to sit on a lounge chair in the pool itself.  The grandkids made the most of it.  The pool, oddly enough for being in a desert resort, is barely open.  When we asked why it was open 10 to 5 only, we found out that it’s because in the evening folks are supposed to go in the casino and gamble, not enjoy the pool.

We brought the kids some lunch, they lounged a bit more,

and it was back to the soccer fields, where Sarah made the winning goal of the second game!  Wahoo!  Very fun.

Tomorrow, we make an impulse decision to stay another night, exhaust ourselves walking on the strip, and head for Los Angeles for the Black Eyed Peas concert.

By the way, if you like the desert, I have some terrific photos on my website in the Nature Gallery – photos of Arches National Park in Utah primarily, some of Colorado.


Waking up in Vegas


2010
03.28


Finishing up March with Creative Every Day’s theme of stories, I’m going to tell the story of our trip to Vegas.

To wake up in Vegas, we had to get there first – not my destination of choice.  But my granddaughter was playing a soccer tournament with the Bombers and she thought her mom (my daughter) needed someone to drive with her.  So Gramser, being up for adventure most times, came.  We also brought two other grandkids along.  The people waking up in Vegas would be Jennifer, Ali, Sarah, Daxton and me.

We set out up Highway 58 through Tehachapi.  It’s a gorgeous drive any time of year, but Spring –

Orange trees in the foreground, green hills.  Trains.

Always many trains.  In fact, we go by the world-famous Tehachapi Loop.  It is world-famous, really.  Ask any train buff.  The Loop is a real feat of engineering.  In order for a train to be able to go up the steep grade, engineers devised a loop in which a train that’s 85 boxcars or longer will actually loop over itself as it ascends.  The Loop is a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.  No, I didn’t know we had those kinds of landmarks either.

Tehachapi has lots of wind farms.  I love looking at the windmills.  I did a post recently about wind farms in Palm Springs.

So far, since the trip had just begun, the photos are pretty good – not too many bugs on the windshield.

This was a good omen – others heading the same place we were.  Go Bombers!

After Tehachapi, the road descends into Mojave, which has a real spaceport – Scaled Composites is located at the Mojave Spaceport.  That’s Burt Rutan’s company, the one that developed the Voyager, and along with Richard Branson, Spaceship One that won the Ansari X Prize.  Then the road goes past Edwards Air Force Base, famous for space shuttle landings most recently, but mostly for the flyboy culture when Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier and pilots along with astronauts hung out at Pancho Barnes Happy Bottoms Riding Club.  The book and movie The Right Stuff fills you in.

Then we go past Boron, home of one of the world’s largest deep pit mines.  Past Barstow where we were so happy to have a Starbucks stop, and on to the wonderfully strange town of Baker.  Baker is famous for the huge thermometer that advertises the scorching summer temperatures.

Four of the five of us are at the bottom – can’t get the whole thing from so close.  But there are other “landmarks” I always look forward to in Baker.  One is a motel – the Bun Boy?  Really.

Then, the Mad Greek is always good to gawk at.

Never tried the food there.  But for the first time, we stopped at the Alien Jerky store.

Got four aliens right here.  Three of them emerged with t shirts.  Alien shirts.

Unlike aliens, we were under antiquated automobile transportation, so we pressed on.  You can see the the windshield has picked up a few bugs.  Next landmark was Primm – a little fake town with outlets and a casino.  Actually, I don’t want to besmirch Primm – maybe they were a real town before the Casino.

That’s Primm up ahead.  By now the car was rocking and rolling.  We didn’t need no stinkin microphones!

The driver and shotgun positions were filled by responsible older persons who just sang their heads off without mics.  I mean, we didn’t want to look stupid to passersby.

We always have such a great time together.

Last stretch – almost there.  The team was staying at the Red Rock Casino and Resort, technically in Mesquite, and we were glad to be off the Strip.

We checked in, headed to our rooms, which were pretty terrific, and gawked at the television in my bathroom.

See the mirror?  The television screen was right in the mirror.  We Bakersfield folks are easily impressed. I turned it on and it landed on the South Park episode about scientology.  Pretty funny.  Tonight I took a bath and watched the Angels and Cleveland play.  Last night I watched Dancing with the Stars.  It was fun, but I’d never get my reading done if I had a television in the bathroom.  I get my magazines read while soaking in the tub.

So we were hungry!  And went to the Mexican restaurant in the resort.  It was actually outstanding.  We topped it off with $5 in the slot machines – and I won $25!  Thanks, Jim.  You can beam me up now.  Tomorrow I’ll talk about soccer.


Not the Jabberwock


2010
03.22


I have been so frustrated at not being able to work because of all this packing and moving, that I made a little time to do a journal page. I used an image of the Chimera of Arezzo, which we saw last  year at the Getty Villa in Malibu.  I also used a very strange bird called a Shoebill that we saw at the San Diego Wild Animal Park.  I do have more animal park photos in my animal gallery. And a tour guide company actually used one of a cheetah in its online guide.

The journal page turned out kind of funny.  I had the Jabberwock in mind because I kept thinking, O Frabjous Day! Callooh! Callay! from Carroll’s poem Jaberwocky, but the collage wasn’t developing very frabjously.  So for what’s it worth, here it is.


Saturday Night and Nothing to Do? Not True; Plus New Relatives and Wildflowers


2010
03.20


Saturday Night

Saturday night, just like any night for me.  That’s far from a bad thing.  It’s been a busy day packing and showing the house.  I’ll be glad when this house thing is done!  Next week we close on the new house and can move and start settling in.  We had dinner at my daughter’s after her family had a hard day of soccer.  Yes, when a son plays two games and a daughter plays three, and the parents sit for hours in hot sun watching, it can be a hard day.  Fun day, but hard day.  So we relaxed and they unwound, we packed and moved boxes, and Saturday night becomes a time to stay home and read, blog, write, relax.  I still have some wildflower photos to post, but first – great excitement.

A New Relative

My son-in-law has been going nuts on ancestry.com, working for hours every day compiling family trees.  He and my daughter are going back on both sides of all four families – Matt’s mom and dad and my mom and dad.  And they found Nick.  My mother’s father George had a sister, Ruby, whom we were not much aware of.  Ruby is Nick’s grandma and George, her brother, is my grandpa.  That makes Nick second cousins with me and my siblings.  I think.  Anyway, Nick is thrilled because he didn’t know much about this side of the family and had no idea what became of Ruby’s brother George. And we are tickled pink to find that side of the family.

So – Nick is a fairly close relative we knew nothing about!  He grew up in England and I have all sorts of cousins in England it turns out.  He lives in Tanzania now working for a malaria control organization, but he’s going to visit Bakersfield next fall.  So exciting!  And here’s something bizarre.  You know I posted the last few days about my jaunts through Arvin, Lamont and Weedpatch?  We have all kinds of small towns around here, including one called Pumpkin Center.  My husband works in Wasco, another small town, and Nick has actually been there.  What an amazing world we live in.

Wildflowers

I travel Granite Road/Highway 155 all the time to get to our cabin.  I find it beautiful in all seasons, but there’s nothing quite like spring.

We have so many beautiful fields but they are all fenced – at odds with the old cowboy song Don’t Fence Me In. In this case, though, they are not fencing us out, but the cattle in.

These guys were pretty funny.  They watched me approach and as soon as I stopped and looked at them, they were off.

On the other hand, in this next photo, I pulled over to take photos and this burro walked a long way to come see me.

I took this with my cell phone.  I’m pretty sure this is the same guy I photographed and used in the Burro Love collage last year.

I had my tripod with me – so I didn’t have to prop the camera on the car and run like crazy to get in the photo.

In fact, this was all I was trying to do when my burro friend wandered up.  I spend some time scratching his face to make him happy.  But the point is the wildflowers – gorgeous.

The most abundant flower is the fiddleneck.  But isn’t it amazing how the same flower can look so different against rocks, trees, in different contours?

This is my favorite of the day’s trip.

Even man made objects like telephone poles don’t detract from the photo.

You can see a tinge of orange – the poppies are almost in full bloom.  I mean, you can see a lot of orange, but I’m referring to the fiery orange a little over halfway up.

I like the two tanks on the hillside.

Poppies in the distance.  This photo has so many hues in it.  Partly the lighting but all the oranges, the lavenders, wow.

That brown lump is a cow.  I did a post last year on photographing wildflowers. This may be a good time to link to it.

People like to make fun of hot, dry, dusty Bakersfield.  But when you can take drives of several hours in spring, in all directions, and see such displays, what’s to make fun of?  We take the bad with the good here, and there’s a lot of good.

I want to get out again and wander, but I think I’ll be consumed by packing and moving.  I hope Lily and Tiger aren’t too disturbed by the move.  Right now they are happily asleep on the bed, lifting a paw now and then for grooming.  This is what they look like.

Of course, for more flower photos or other nature shots, hop over to the web page.


Weedpatch Camp and Sunset School: Right Here in Kern County


2010
03.19


I have a few more pictures from my wildflower jaunts earlier this week, but first I want to show a couple from the Lamont-Arvin area.  There are many Okies in Kern County – and it’s a term we use affectionately.  During the 1930s, right on the heels of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl occurred. During the dust bowl, people from the affected areas of the Great Plains streamed into California and Kern County.  There were rumors of jobs in the fields, yet folks weren’t much better off once they got here than they had been at home.  For a quick history of the dust bowl, click on the link above – it’s the Wikipedia article and it’s pretty good.  Do click on the link if only to look at the photos if you’ve never seen a dust storm.  Unbelievable.  AND read the bottom of the article about the influence on the arts of the great Dust Bowl migration, where there is a mention of the Bakersfield Sound!  Yes indeedy, here in Bakersfield we have a brand of music all to our own and it’s known worldwide.

The Weedpatch Camp right here in Kern County was a bright spot for those lucky enough to secure a tent spot.  A few of the buildings have been preserved and restored and are now on the National Register of Historic Places.

I drove by and took a few photos the other day.  John Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath featured Weedpatch Camp, which has also been known as the Arvin Labor Camp and Sunset Camp. The buildings in the picture are the library and the post office, and the movie Grapes of Wrath was filmed right here.

These buildings formed the community center where dances and other activities were held.  Tom Collins was head of the camp and a better administrator couldn’t have been found.  He had compassion for the migrants in their terrible situation.  He also was helpful to John Steinbeck.  This article has a great review of their roles.  I was lucky enough to read Collin’s original journal of the Weedpatch Camp and I wish I could remember more details.  He is a man whose name should be widely known.

I went through Weedpatch the other day – remember?

The migrant children suffered terrible discrimination so the Kern Superintendent of Schools, Leo B. Hart, said that if no one would accept them in their schools, he’d build them a school, and he did – known then as The School at Weedpatch Camp and now as Sunset School.  You can read the whole story in Children of the Dust Bowl – it’s a young person’s book so a quick read but a great history.

When we moved to Kern County in 1979, I was astounded to learn that this historic site was right here in my new backyard.  I’ll bet that most residents of Kern County don’t know we have this significant historical landmark.  It thrilled me then and it still does.  It’s quite a story.

Kern County residents (and others) can find a wealth of information at the Lamont Library and from local Dust Bowl historian Doris Weddell.  Contact information is on this page.  Also, there is an annual Dust Bowl Festival in Lamont every year.  Info on that can be found also at that link.

I Wanna See You Strut


2010
03.18


I wanna see you strut, strut, strut, come on walk for me,

Strut, strut, strut, how you wanna be,

Everybody’s looking for some love but they don’t know

How to let it all hang out, that’s why they’re solo…

These are the lyrics to an Adam Lambert song titled Strut. It’s the first thing I thought of yesterday when I stopped at Hart Park to check out the peacocks.  It’s spring and these guys are strutting.  They do know how to let it all hang out and they will find love, at least of the temporary peacock variety.  They were so funny to watch – preening, parading around while the females didn’t give them the time of day.  Yet.

They turned and swayed; their feathers blew in the wind and made all kinds of amazing patterns.

This guy took a break from his strutting around and looked very picturesque in front of the palm fronds.

Hart Park, just outside of Bakersfield, has about 30 resident peacocks.  No one is quite sure who brought them there, but they’ve been around since the 1950s.  Park employees are not allowed to feed the birds, but the public feeds them as do the Cat People.

These creatures are magnificently impossible.  How could you design something like this? You’d be told it’s too gaudy, no one would believe it, it must be a creature out of a fantasy novel.  But here they are.

That bird shows pride, curiosity, and a little bit of belligerence.  Have you heard a peacock squawk?  They are LOUD.

Amazingly enough, these birds can also fly.  If you look here you can see the back view of the peacock – last year’s photos.   Go to photo 13 and look just above the clump of downy feathers – that fan-shaped cluster of feathers makes a terrific rattling noise when Mr. Strutting Fine Feathers is trying to get the attention of a female.

A little bit of a stretch here.

As far as I’m concerned, there just can’t be too many peacock pictures.  If I looked like that, I’d strut around too.

This looks completely fake, doesn’t it?   That green stuff is so detailed and complex.

I’m so beautiful.  But I am also fierce!  And a little bit scary.


Wildflowers: A Story of Spring and Renewal


2010
03.17


Yesterday I talked about Kern County oil and agriculture as the base of our economy.  Today, wildflowers will tell a story of Spring.  Spring, in turn, tells a story of renewal, rebirth, and hope.  We all feel it.  As Spring approaches, the days get nicer, the trees and bushes start to hint of new green, but the first day that feels like Spring is different.  The air is balmy, we want to go outside, life is relaxed all of a sudden, and of course it stays light longer.

We’ve had such abundant rainfall here in Kern County so it’s a good year for wildflowers, one of the most exciting signs of spring.  Yesterday I took some wildflower photos on Highway 223, but today I drove up to Rancheria Road, one of my favorites.  Yesterday I tempted you with poppies.  Here’s another.

It was perfect lighting.  The trouble with nature is it doesn’t do what we want when we want.  Today, for example, it was hazy – not perfect conditions for wildflower photography.  But yesterday…

California Poppies are exciting.  When entire hillsides are covered and the sun is out, the landscape is ablaze.  Intense and fiery.

I’m not sure what these little flowers are, but they are always alone.

Today I set out again, this time to Rancheria Road.  This road goes from Highway 178 up to Highway 155 and comes out right near our cabin in Alta Sierra.  It’s still closed on our end though due to snow, so I couldn’t go all the way through.  And although there were flowers everywhere, it was so hazy.  C’est la vie.

So, yup, it’s me, trying to take a self-portrait that also has flowers in it.  It’s kind of weird, but then again so am I at times.

This little guy was so delicate and pretty.  Names? I really don’t know too many of the wildflower names, and whereas at one time I would have looked them all up and tried to remember, now I just enjoy them.  I have enough other stuff to remember.

Here’s my trusty Ford Escape Hybrid.  I love this car – the Awy Team (away team).  It’s a Star Trek license plate.  Did you see the college decal in the photo in yesterday’s post?

Looking closely, all kinds of little flowers show up.  Spring is a story of diversity.

They all mix together.  Spring is not only a story of diversity, it’s a story of inclusion.  Think how much calmer we would all be in this life if we could just open our arms and embrace inclusion.

Bringing a tripod would have made it a lot easier to include myself in photos, but this was a story of adventure.  And a story of “How Fast can Susan Move?”  Fast enough, as you can see next.

Haha – I didn’t even know when the camera went off but I made it.  Isn’t the landscape gorgeous? The rolling hills?  That’s the road down there.

Beautiful.  New growth, new color, and the seeds for next year’s growth.  Spring is indeed a story of renewal.

One more for today.  Tomorrow I should pack, but I have a feeling I’ll be heading up Hwy 155 to see what’s blooming up there.  I should visit my parents first, then I already know I’ll head for the hills.  Why fool myself?  Spring is a story of rebirth, renewal, diversity, inclusion, and adventure.  I have to get my adventures as they present themselves.

Who knows where the road will take me?  As I always say, if you come to a fork in the road, take it.

By the way, on my web page in the Floral Gallery, there are lots of photos of last year’s wildflowers on Rancheria Road.  Take a look – they are stunning.


Kern County: A Photo Jouney through Oil and Agriculture (and Wildflowers)


2010
03.16


Kern County is oil.  Kern County is agriculture.  Today I set out on a little drive to check out the wildflowers, but it turned into a story of oil and ag also.  This is me.  Ready, set, go.

When I say our economy here is based on oil and agriculture, I mean it.  Sometimes they are inseperable.

See what I mean? They share the same fields!  Kern County is technically a desert, but that drainage ditch shows a precious ingredient, water.  As they say, food grows where water flows.  And the San Joaquin Valley, where Kern County is located, California’s Central Valley, is known as the breadbasket of the world.

Next time you buy carrots, look at the package.  They will almost certainly be from Grimmway Farms or Bolthouse Farms – the biggest carrot growers in the world.  The drive I took today took me through the little towns of Arvin, Lamont, and Weedpatch, where Grimmway Farms is.

Yes, we have a town called Weedpatch.

When the first shuttle landing was taking place at Edwards Air Force Base – also in Kern County – I remember that the news organizations were all over the place.  There were actually correspondents stationed in Weedpatch waiting to hear the sonic boom.  Don’t you love it? “Reporting from Weedpatch, California…”

So I set out, taking a meandering path, going where the road took me.

I went past some orange groves.  This tree has oranges on it.  We see these every day; we even have an orange tree in our backyard.  Most of us have lemons too.  But when I was in Palm Springs for the Adam Lambert concert, I went to lunch with a group of Glamberts, and we passed orange, grapefruit and lemon trees.  You would have thought we’d seen the space ship Enterprise or something, everyone was so excited.  And I remembered that in most of the country, people don’t have orange trees, that to some people these are exotic.  All what you’re used to.  Anyhow, this was a scraggly orange tree.  Needed trimming.  And the trimmer was in action.

The machine in the middle of the rows has rotary blades that can cut the tops and sides of the trees.  There’s no sense letting the trees get so big that oranges can’t be picked.

Gotta say, I was pretty excited to see this.  I was standing at the front of the row with my camera, and didn’t realize how fast this thing was coming – so I had to scramble and jump in the car and move it just in  case this contraption had a wide turning radius.  Needn’t have worried.

This brings me back to oil, water and ag.

Cool picture, huh?  You can see it all, including a faint tinge of orange in the distant hills.  From here I got back on Highway 58 only to exit on General Beale Road just in case there was something to see.  And there was.  A whole truck of beehives was being unloaded with a forklift.  The driver was in full bee-keeping regalia.

I bought a book on beekeeping once.  I was going to be a bee keeper during the late 60s – you know, when we made our own granola, baked all our bread, and went to gather dandelions for dandelion wine.  Except if you’ve ever tried that, you know it’s physically impossible to collect enough dandelions for wine.

Here’s a picture showing the full scene where the bees are.

Kern County is BIG.  We’re the third-largest county in California, area-wise.

Here’s a close up of a bee hive I took last year.  The hives are being distributed, by the way, because the bees pollinate the crops.

As I was getting back on the freeway, I saw a stop sign where obviously someone hadn’t stopped.

I started out in pursuit of wildflowers, which I did find, but I found so much on the way to wildflowers, that I’m saving them for tomorrow.  So I tootled on up to Highway 223 and passed this cattle shute.  Cattle is also a big Kern County crop.

What’s cool about this is that last time I was out here, maybe 10 years ago? I took a photo of this but it was a misty day and it had a ghostly appearance to it.  I entered that photo in the Kern County Museum of Art annual Visual Arts Fest and won the first prize!  I wanted to jump right in here and take the same angle but now there are signs posted about security cameras.  Phooey.  In compensation, though, there was a really cool fence.

Onward!  Highway 223 winds up a hill and back down again, which reminds me of a song I sang endlessly as a child.  Mom says that for a long time, every morning when she and Dad got up, I was in my room with my wind-up phonograph, singing to a record: “The King of France with 40,000 men,  marched up the hill and then marched down again.” Powerful lyrics, huh.  I loved that song.

The point being, from that hill we have a nice view of the agriculture down in the valley.

Tempting you for tomorrow with view of wildflowers.  Here’s some more temptation.

While I was up there I took a nifty rear-view mirror photo so you can see my college decal on the back window.

I was now down in the valley, the valley so low.  And hungry so I went by McDonalds in Arvin, where a kid’s meal cheeseburger tastes the same as it does in New York, and found an orchard not yet in bloom to eat in.  Actually, the trees may be dead.  I don’t know.  But on my web site, there are photos of other types of Kern County orchards in bloom – almonds and wow, something I don’t know but the blossoms are pink.  The first three are almonds, then more almonds at G4-99, and at G4-117 you get the pink blossoms.  Conveniently numbered in case you want to buy some, uh huh.

Across the street was evidence of another huge Kern County crop – grapes.  The vines are still dormant but I love them like this – they make me think of a city with an electric grid.

I headed on home, but stopped for a huge bag of oranges at a roadside stand between Lamont and Weedpatch – only $3.00.

So that’s just a short tour of one teensy bit of Kern County.  And to tempt you, here’s a little of what tomorrow’s post will look like.

This was a great day – my favorite kind.  Just driving around and seeing what’s out there.


Alternative Energy: Palm Springs Wind Farms


2010
03.15


I promised photos of the windmills just outside Palm Springs.  And I just remembered – got so caught up in the buying and selling of houses, neither of which is fully accomplished yet, that I forgot about it.  And I know that every single person reading this has been holding his or her breath waiting for these photos.  Now you can get excited, jump up and down, or run around the block, because the photos are here!

Remember how fun it was to run around with those little pinwheels when we were little? Obviously, had we been thinking about anything other than the colors swirling around, we would have seen that we were making energy.  If we were of a scientific inclination, we might even have thought about harvesting that energy to power something else.  How about running around with this pinwheel?

When I was leaving Palm Springs after the Glamtastic weekend with my twitter friend Nita from Oklahoma, I took a few side roads to see how close I could get to the windmills.  It was fun.  Oh – for the uninitiated, glamtastic describes the Adam Lambert concert we were at.

What I always see is patterns – the patterns of the blades, of the windmills, how the pattern changes depending upon where you are.  I tend to photograph patterns frequently.  In fact, in the Nature gallery on my web site, I have a river bottom, cactus, cactus garden, G4-222 of the sand at Pismo, G4-223, the pattern of the aspens in Ouray, Colorado, some sunsets, sand dunes, orchards – all of which caught my eye because of the patterns they created.

I like symmetry also.  In these two lines my mind saw palm trees.  After all, I was in Palm Springs and Indio, home of the date palms and date shakes.  Dang it, I forgot to get a date shake!  Phooey.

It was pretty cool that a train went by.  A long train of containers stacked double.  Making energy, using energy.

I like the tire in the foreground.  The only other thing out there that didn’t belong was a toilet!  No photo though; too much sun and that white porcelain was blinding.

The train is smiling at me. Like a smile missing a tooth.

Ooh I love these two rows of different types of windmills.  I know people complain about these things, but I actually find them quite beautiful – and interesting.  And in places where we have plenty of wind – why let it go to waste?  That’s what kills me about Bakersfield.  We should all have solar panels on our roofs – this is the land of almost constant sun.  We need to be moving faster toward utilizing what’s already there.  We need to “pick” the sun just as we pick the oranges off our trees.

Just a beautiful photo.  In my opinion.  And there were patches of snow on the mountains still.

Now it’s time to get out there looking for wildflowers.  I’m going to try to get out for a few hours tomorrow.  I know I should stay home in case someone calls about the house – but I can return calls.  Gotta see what’s out there and tomorrow’s weather will be gorgeous.  Gotta get while the getting is good.


Party! Gimme Some Sugar Bliss, Plus New Photos up on Web Site


2010
03.13


We have a party

Saturday at 9:25 pm. I am one exhausted person. Today we gave a bridal party for a dear friend and it was so much fun. So much work, but that’s what it takes to produce a party where people have a good time. I have to say – people, Bakersfield peeps listen up – I ordered cupcakes from Gimme Some Sugar -the party was Italian-themed so I asked if they could make tiramisu cupcakes.  Yes, they could.  And they did.  And we were in heaven.  My God, I hope they make this a standard item in their bakery because I’ve never tasted anything like these.  I have some left and just writing this makes me want to run downstairs and eat another one.  Who cares how many calories they have?

I didn’t cook my own food for this party.  When I asked my friend Shari if I could have a party for her and Mike, I didn’t know we were going to run out and buy a house! So I ordered the food from Luigi’s Deli here in Bako.  Fantastic.  Frankly, I don’t see any reason to cook if you can get stuff as good or better as you can make at home!

The day started out cool which necessitated a rethinking of how to set up.  But it all worked.  We had music – do you know that an accordion player is the best background music there is?  Richard Noel is the best.

Besides Richard, take a look at the wall colors.  These are our happy colors and we need to paint the new house the same way.

First,  you can see more wall colors.  Then, my wonderful friend Pat on the left.  We’ve done theater together, we taught together, we even shared a classroom one year.  In the middle is her daughter Janna, and next to her is Jessica.  Janna and Jessica have been friends with my youngest, Kim, since they were knee high to a grasshopper.  Almost.  There were in an entertainment group and spent many happy times with us.  I love the way life comes around and fragments of the past turn up again in the present.  Some ties can’t be broken no matter how much time goes by without visits.

Everyone is concentrating hard as we correct the Shari and Mike quiz – a list of about 40 statements that were true about Shari, Mike, or both of them.  We had fabulous prizes – only the finest from Ross!  Seriously, they were very cool, if not valuable.

That’s Mike,  me and Shari – there was a lot of fun and laughter as we went over this quiz.  And it turned out to be not only a fantastic party, but the weather improved and we had another beautiful big sky day on the lake.

Who will buy…new photos on the web site

Who will buy
Who will buy
This wonderful feeling?
I’m so high
I swear I could fly.
Me, oh my!
I don’t want to lose it
So what am I to do
To keep the sky so blue?

Remember the song “Who Will Buy” from Oliver?  Sometimes I wonder if anyone will ever buy photos from my web site, but you know what? I keep putting them there anyhow.  Have some new ones up.

Eight are in the Miscellaneous gallery.  Three are in the Floral gallery.  In the Nature gallery you’ll find fifteen new ones, and in the ART gallery there are six.

So that does it for this girl tonight.  Time to read a little Harry Potter for the zillionth time, and then sleep.  Another open house tomorrow.  I can’t wait to start leaving my toothpaste on the counter again!