Archive for November, 2010

Christmas Decorations Part Two


It’s the LAST DAY of Art Every Day Month.  Tomorrow I don’t have to post!  Wahoo.  About now you’re probably saying, well you didn’t have to post every day anyhow. It’s been a bit excessive. In some ways, yes, of course.  But it’s been a self-challenge and a form of self-discipline to decide to do something and stick with it.  I’m sorry I haven’t been in the studio but that’s the way it is.  I’ve focused on photography and photo essays.

But for this last post I’m going to do more Christmas decorations because, as I said yesterday, they qualify as art.  So here we go.

First, Nikolai and the angel.  My mom made these.  Over the years I’ve debated whether to keep them or not.  I never was that fond of the angel, and Nikolai is getting sort of ragged.  But I’m so glad I still have them.  Because I don’t have my mother in the real sense of the word.  She’d never be able to create anything now, and she probably wouldn’t remember she had done these in the past.  She’s well, she’s happy, and she doesn’t know that she doesn’t remember.  When I take Nikolai and the angel out of the box I can see my mom – how she used to be, the interests she had, the love she had for the family, making a Nikolai for all of us four kids.  I’m getting a little choked up writing this so I’ll move on.

This isn’t any better because my mom made the snowman also,  A few years ago – I say a few but it’s probably 10 at least – she did a “tune up” because snowman was coming apart.  He’s still shaky, but I’ll keep him until he dissolves or otherwise disappears.

My sister gave me this silver tea pot.  I think she bought it at By the Water Tower Antiques in Exeter.  We like to go up there periodically and Cris and I both admired this.  She bought it, and  being my generous sister, she gave it to me.

The snowman plate is from a student, Ries Murphy.  I’m telling you his name because I want you to remember it.  He’s graduating from college this year and he’s enlisted in the Marines – but what Ries is, is a writer.  I knew it immediately in the seventh-grade.  I told him he was a writer.  He went through various stages throughout junior high and high school – he was going to be an architect, he was going to be a priest, etc. – but each time I told him no, in fact, he was a writer and he wasn’t going to be able to not write.

I was right, as Ries finally acknowledged.  His university degree is in creative writing.  I’ve read some chapters from the book he’s working on and it is brilliant.  He is brilliant.  I had many brilliant students in their own ways, but Ries as a writer, and William as an artist – well, writing and painting chose them, they didn’t choose writing and painting.  Sometimes you cannot escape your destiny nor should you try to.

I’ve had these little guys around for a while now.  These little figurines are something I would have avoided at all costs for most of my life.  I have an abhorrence for things that are “cute.” Somewhere along the line, that changed.  I love my little mice and the snowmen and actually purchased them – they weren’t given to me.  We have a “thing” in our family with us three sisters.  We like small things – little animals and so on.  Old broken ceramic animals.  Little figures destined for the junk heap.  We rescue them from the thrift stores. We give them homes and don’t want to break up the family.  We have them in curio cases and little shelves all over our houses.  Old printer’s type drawers make particularly good shelves.

And finally, we are at the North Pole.  Besides the Dickens’ Village, I collect Dept. 56 from the North Pole collection.  I started this because it’s the sort of thing that I, as a child, would have been delighted with.  I would have been enraptured and stories would emerge about the little village coming to life.  Since I have grandkids, I started collecting so they could similarly be transported to magic places.  Unfortunately, they did not seem to enjoy them so much.  Until last year. Annabelle was thrilled. She wanted to touch every piece and she looked for a long time.  Thank you, Annabelle. I expect Cooper to be similarly enthralled.

So here, in the back on the right, you have Tillie’s Tiny Cup Cafe.  Elves need a place to hang out and get a cup of coffee after all their hard work.  In front is the Hot Chocolate and  S’mores stand for a quick treat on the go.  Even people that live in snowy climates like ice cream, so the ice cream vendor is beginning his rounds.  And the Kris Kringle Elementary School is in session.  A lineup of elves is carrying some glitter garland through the snow because it’s time to decorate.

The gum drop tree in the back needs some help I’d say.  It makes me want real gum drops – I love gum drops but you don’t see them so much anymore.  Or maybe I’m not in the right places.  Reindeer Flight School is in session, while various elves rest on the candy cane benches.  To the left you can just glimpse the movie theater playing Babes in Snowland.

The Elf Spa is just the place for tired elves with sore muscles.  If they’re too tired to walk, they can take the polar bear taxi, who’s motto is “they will bear you anywhere.”  In the back, Santa surveys the entire scene from the bridge above the perpetually frozen pond.  It is a magical place indeed.

So that’s it although I should add one note.  After last night’s post, I went online and ordered Cratchit’s Corner, Bob Cratchit holding up Tiny Tim in the classic “God bless us, everyone” pose, and some carolers to annoy Scrooge as he tries to suppress all Christmas cheer.  It’s about time I added to the Dickens’ Village.

As we say goodbye to November and Art Every Day Month, I wish you the joy of decorating, if indeed you do decorate.   I usually say I’m not going to put out the villages this year, or not decorate but I always do because each decoration tells a story.

Decorating for Christmas: Dickens’ Village, Gurley candles and more


Second to last day of art every day month.  Y’all won’t have to see posts from me EVERY single day unless Gwen Bell is doing Best of Blog.  I’d better check.

Decorated for Christmas yesterday and today.  I’m calling it art of sorts so I can share as this post.

This is something my SIL (Jen’s husband) made for us years ago.  YEARS ago and I use it every year.  I think it’s called a Swedish Christmas Tree? This year it’s the centerpiece at the dining room table.  We’ll probably never sit there so it won’t be in the way!  I’m using a gold shawl as a runner – something I bought at Olvera Street last year.

These funny things are candlesticks my sister bought years ago as she was rummaging and reselling on eBay.  I wish she was still doing that except I bought too much of her stuff and she gave me too much.  But I use these every year.  They are different, that’s for sure.

Raise your hand if you remember these.  Gurley candles – they were so inexpensive when we were kids and to think we didn’t appreciate them because they were a dime a dozen, almost literally.  My sisters find these and buy them.  These were an Xmas gift from my Alaska sister years ago.  I just love them.  Nostalgia.  I’d like more.

Cost Plus World Market has been selling these little nutcrackers for several years and I’ve bought the ones I can find from places we have traveled.  I have Italy, France, China, Alaska, Mexico and England.  Next year I hope to get Hawaii.  And I hope we’ve gone someplace new also.

A couple of years ago I bought a giant pack of ornaments at Costco.  It just seemed like a good idea.  So I wrote each family member’s name on an ornament with puffy paint.  Cant’ really read them b/c I had to hang them high in the new house.  I used to put them on garlands up the staircase.  It was nice to have a staircase to decorate for nine years, but I am so happy to be on the flat land now.

More collecting: Dept. 56 makes various villages for collectors and I have been building a Dickens’ Village and the North Pole.  We used to have a theater in town called The Great American Melodrama, and my youngest daughter was cast in The Christmas Carol several times.  During those years I believe I had the entire play memorized.  When I became aware there was such a thing as Dept. 56 and they manufactured Dickens’ village pieces, another collector was born.

Starting from the left – because the display now takes up lots of room – we have Williams’ Coal Works and the house of Ebeneezer Scrooge.  I seem to have lost the light for Scrooge’s house but that’s fitting, isn’t it?  He probably wouldn’t replace anything that stopped working.

Moving along to Thomas Mudge Timepieces and the poulterer’s stand.  The little boy is standing there – he goes to buy the turkey for Scrooge at the end of the play and when Scrooge asks does he know which one, he says “The one as big as me?”

There is a coal wagon making a delivery to Mudge Timepieces, and next door is Scrooge and Marley’s Counting House.  On the right is Fezziwigs.  Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig are standing in front celebrating their anniversary.

Fezziwig’s delivery wagon is heading out past the town square.  The Chocolatier’s wagon is making Christmas deliveries also.  You can barely see the newstand in front of the park.

People are gathered in the town square, which needs maintenance because the sculpture on the statue has lost her head. Alas, she will remain that way.  People are sitting on benches visiting, and Father Christmas is making his way with a sled full of toys.

In the foreground, Bob Cratchit is pulling Tiny Tim on a sled.  Behind them is the knife sharpener. The Royal Stock Exchange is in the background.

Next to the stock exchange is a building of flats, and I think Fred lives there.  To the left is the East Indies Trading Company and to the right is the fire station.

This is the Old Globe Theater.  Some folks are riding in a one horse open sleigh.

Writing this has inspired me to check out what pieces might be available this year.  Oh my.  Perhaps tomorrow I’ll finish the month with the North Pole.

Reflections Image and Word: She Killed the Moon


Art Every Day Month – Day 28.  That means after today, we have two days left! How did this happen? What seemed so difficult to keep up with is almost over, gone in a blur.

I am putting in another pairing from the Reflections – Image and Word exhibit at the Arts Council of Kern.  I took the photo to go with LisaAnn LoBasso’s poem.  I blurred it a bit on photoshop and deepened the color, but it was a spectacular moon night when I took this.  If you click on the link you can see the photo in its original state.

She killed the moon by  LisaAnn LoBasso

Today she is two percent.

Waning crescent. I cannot find her anywhere.

Two percent exists in the dark sky.

She seems invisible.

I wonder if she is searching for herself, like I am now.

Is she dead?

My husband says I killed her when I took his keys, his wallet—his heart.

Shoes, his only asset.

In this blacktop day.

I want to fly into the sky like Imrryr, like a bird

Shooting, like a star, shooting like

My father, on the ranch.

I want to profess. I didn’t kill her! I didn’t, I didn’t kill the moon.

But then I realize as the day hides beneath her shroud,

And the cowboys come home.

I did kill her. Yes, now, tonight

At the early break of light, I am trying to find that sliver.

Of us both.

Yellow, waning, two percent.

A crescent ready to unfold and open.


Fun in Alta Sierra: Sledding and Skiing only 1.5 hours from Bakersfield


Yesterday was a fine day to have fun in the snow – since our cabin is in Alta Sierra, which is having unseasonably low temperatures like much of the West Coast.  And with the temps comes more snow than usual also.  So while we were up for Thanksgiving, I took advantage of the location to do photo journals for Art Every Day Posts.   And you know what? It’s Day 27 and I haven’t missed once.  That takes discipline, something I often find in short supply.

So on to the fun.  Everyone skedaddled to sleds as soon as possible.

I don’t think the temperature got above freezing once but that didn’t deter anyone.  But me and Jennifer.  We were deterred.

We’re on our third year owning our cabin and that white truck hasn’t budged once.  What they are all walking on? That’s our street, Connifer.  Right.  Doesn’t look much like a street – it’s not plowed, and the snow just grows and grows all winter long.

We also use our next-door-neighbor’s driveway when he’s not in residence.

Sledding always gives way sooner or later to combat.

Snowball fights.

Friday morning most of the group headed out for Alta Sierra Ski Park just a hop and a skip away from the cabin.  Everyone wanted to go tubing but as it happened, the tubing wasn’t open but neither was the park!  Opening day was today.  By some miracle, however, Benjamin, Sophie and Joe ended up skiing.  For Benjamin it was old hat.  Sophie and Joe had never been on skis before but they ended up having a lesson (perhaps the park staff used it as part of training day) and it was sure good PR because they are hooked.

Look how rapt Sophie is.  Both she and Joe took right to it, skiing down the slopes with no problem.  Alta Sierra has seven slopes from ultra-advanced to easier and I’m sure Sophie and Joe were on the easiest.

Sophie is on the lift, which she said was on her bucket list – riding a ski lift.  I don’t know what to think of a 13-year-old with a bucket list but I guess it never hurts to know what you want to do.

Now she has just gotten off the lift like a pro – first time.  Joe has already landed there on the left.

They each had an instructor – three kids, three instructors.  What a deal.  This photo looks down from the top of the lift.

And this photo looks up.

Sarah just watched.  She’s recovering from strep and mono and although she’s been cleared to do whatever she feels like, her  energy goes only so far.

The Three Skiers – the twins and cousin Benjamin – had a wonderful time and we know much more skiing is in their future, for which their parents are gearing up.

By the way – all you Bakersfield readers – did you know that barely 1.5 hours away you have seven ski runs, two lifts, and a tubing and all-terrain park?  Check it out. Don’t miss out on the fun in your own backyard.  It’s snowing now and more is predicted for tomorrow.  Aunt Anne from Anchorage said we have more than they do right now –  so take advantage of it.

Thanksgiving merriment


Art Every Day Month continues even though I would rather be a slug today and recover from eating too much.  Not piggy-too-much, but more than usual.  I could make stuffing during the year and then not eat so much on Thanksgiving, but.  Here’s a little photo journal through parts of our Thanksgiving weekend.  Wednesday has been covered already –the adventure we don’t want to repeat. Yesterday the family arrived – at least part.  Kim and fam were in Colorado with Karen and fam, but between Jen, Matt and kids, and Anne, Kent, Cristina and Benjamin, there were 11 of us at Kamala Kabin – our place in Alta Sierra.  They all had a long trudge through the snow also.  This year is wicked so far – how early is this snow? The Mountain Parade had to be canceled.  Not usually this cold and snowy this soon.  We’ll see if that augers for a cold winter.

First, though, we had some celebrating to do!

Confession Time

This year’s dinner was provided largely by Trader Joe’s.  I bought their stuffed turkey breasts,  gravy, fresh garlic mashed potatoes, yams with pecans and other goodies.  I bought the huge bag of rolls from Costco because if we don’t have those, my grandkids will never show up again.  Dinner was delicious – as good as I would have made, or better even.  And we maintained our tradition of having party crackers and wearing our crowns during dinner.

We’ve been wearing crowns for as long as I can remember – and at least since Sarah was in a high chair (she’s now 15 1/2).

Although the kids have graduated to the “adult” table, we had to reinstate the “kids” table at the cabin.

We had many spirited games of nerts – or is it nertz – and I lost big.  I figured if I couldn’t win, why not lose with flair?  I also went down spectacularly in a game I cannot remember the name of but that’s no matter because I’ve christened it “The Pretty Game.”

Some of the men relaxed.

I insisted we have a group shot – no matter how good or bad anyone thought they looked, didn’t matter.  We were taking a picture.  I did not lug that tripod through the snow for nothing.  Plus, I had to amaze everyone with my remote.  Sarah took control of that and took so many pictures that we were laughing raucously.

We were a small but happy group and really did enjoy our Thanksgiving in the mountains.  Tomorrow I’ll post the “outdoor” part of the weekend – sledding and skiing.  Until them, I’m going to will away the effects of the stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, pumpkin pie and all the rest.

A Thanksgiving adventure: Over the river and through ghostly woods (don’t try this at home)


Well, I don’t need another experience like yesterday’s.  Oh, no no no no no.  Mark and I headed up the hill to our cabin in Alta Sierra for Thanksgiving.  Today we have family coming but we needed a head start.  We got halfway up the hill to Glennville and stopped at Hassano’s to eat.  Doesn’t look like much but the food is top notch.  The first thing we noticed was it was COLD.  A different kind of cold than we’ve felt there before – it’s somewhere around 3,500 feet.  The waitress told us snowflakes had just been floating down.

Then – up to the cabin at 6,200 feet.  We immediately encountered the sign that said chains required in 10 miles.  And then we were in ghostly woods.

We were not in fog.  Oh no, not the thick tule fog we get in Bakersfield.  We were in clouds and it felt so still and quiet, so untouchable and even mystical.

I didn’t ask Mark to stop for photos but once or twice since it was slow-going, and even though we were the only car on the road, it was snowy and slick.

Finally, we stopped at a pull-off by Slick Rock Road One for the…you guessed it, chains.

As you read on to the meat of the adventure, keep in mind this lovely tire with chain (almost) perfectly applied.  And while Mark did this, I scoped out the surroundings.  I found a perfect tree.  Would that we could take it, snow and all, for a Christmas tree.

I noticed how much snow there had been by what had been plowed to the side.

I looked over at Slick Rock One cabin and admired the pattern on the roof.

After the snowfall, the trees gave up more of their cover, heading towards naked for winter.  But across the street, other trees were still putting up a fight, holding on to those fall leaves.

My eyes landed on leaves outlined by ice, which may be the most magical image of all.  Ice storms look like fairy castles but they can be deadly.

Back across the street, the clouds were closing in.

The road had gathered its cloak closer, as if to shut out the cars.  Maybe we should have listened.

The real adventure begins

None of this was of any consequence when compared to the real adventure.  We headed down Old State Road, which had been plowed.  Caltrans had done a good job on Highway 155.  But the road to our house was not plowed.  And I wish I had pictures to show you, but you’ll have to take my word because I was too busy shoveling snow to take photos.

Should we go up our road?  We’d driven through snow like that before – we had snow tires, 4-wheel drive and chains.  Going up the S-curve.  Made the first turn.  Didn’t make the second turn- ended up stuck.  Whoa.  What to do?  Mark maneuvered any way he could – no dice. Mark noticed that one of the tires was without chain.  We found it in the snow, mangled.  I started shoveling snow out from behind the tires – but what was that I heard? A sound much better than eight tiny reindeer.  I heard a snow plow.  Off I went to find it and luckily I had my STABILicers on – shoes with metal cleats that fit over the shoes I was wearing.  I’m not hired by STABILicers to plug these ice shoes, but they are invaluable.  We rented some in Sequoia National Park once, and when we bought our cabin I bought about 10 pair in different sizes for guests.  Better than broken bones on slippery ice.

Rescued – almost

Ah – there was Tom, my savior, clearing out the parking lot of the Greenhorn Grill.   What could he do? He could plow out behind our car and maybe we could back down the hill.  He hadn’t been able to plow there yet because too many cars had been stuck!  Tom said the snow was a different consistency than usual – very heavy and wet with ice underneath.  It had snowed and rained and I guess there was too much moisture to push on through to the other side.

Now what?

Road behind us plowed and still we couldn’t move.  I started shoveling again when two guys on snowboards zoomed by and stopped.  Hey, could you help us?  Three more snowboarders arrived.  They were young, strong, everything we could want.  So they guided Mark in how to turn the wheels since we were quite close to the edge with a nice drop off – nothing that would injure us, but it sure would injure the car to slide down there.  They all five pushed on the car to make it go the way we wanted.  And we were down.  We parked in someone else’s parking place.

Rescued, for real.

I had a brilliant idea.  We had all the stuff for Thanksgiving dinner and the car was full.  Have any of you broken a trail, uphill, through deep, soft snow?  Where you sink to your knees with each step? It is NOT fun and in no way an adventure.  I was already beat from running up and down hills to find the snowplow and then shoveling snow.  I kept thinking of all the people who die of heart attacks while shoveling snow and I am 64.  So is Mark.  How many trips would we have to make?  It was a long walk – this next photo is from the balcony of the cabin and you can’t even see where our car was!

BUT there were five young, strong guys there.  Could they help?  Yes, they carried everything, making several trips each.  I started up with my tripod, a light duffel and a snow shovel.  Pretty soon the path was littered with items as I discarded them one by one.  These guys were angels of mercy and we gave them money to have dinner at the Grill on us.  Phew.  And off they went on their snowboards, jumping over the very ditch we would have landed in.

In the house it was much warmer than outside – 48 degrees.  It was 24 outside.  But the heater would not stay on.  Not to worry, I knew just what to do because it had happened when I was at the cabin with my daughter Karen, and she figured it out.  So I gave Mark a bowl of steaming hot water and three towels and instructed him to find the pipe that went from the heater in the basement to the outdoors and thaw it. He was pretty darn impressed that Karen had figured this out – while several men stood around saying oh no, that couldn’t be it.  Why do men insist on thinking women can’t do stuff? Anyhow, three hours later we were at 65 inside which is actually quite toasty.


We’d had visitors since our last weekend up.


We made it to grandmother’s (and grandfather’s) house

We’d gone over the river and through the woods, but you can forget about the horse knowing the way to carry the sleigh through the freshly fallen snow.  Forget about ho-ho-hos and jingle bells.  Down on the driveway we heard the most wonderful sound of all, and it wasn’t Rudolph.

Happy thanksgiving, everyone.  We have so much to be grateful for, including the fact that we have a cabin in the woods, have family to share with us, have heat in the house, doors that lock, and cupboards full of food.  In other words, we have shelter, food, security, family, friends – so much more than most people in the world have.  With that knowledge always in the front of my mind, I find it impossible to seriously complain about anything anymore.

And – with blogs, the internet, Creative Every Day, twitter and Facebook, we have an extended family the world over.  Even though I suffer technology overload sometimes, I’m grateful for it, nonetheless.

Lake Truxtun and Bakersfield’s Beauty – yes indeed, we have some


Going to do my best to post the next few days – but when we were at the cabin last weekend the internet was very iffy.  We’ll see this time – I think the storms are over.

Beauty can be found anywhere in anything – a person’s face, a flower, a landscape, even industrial and manufactured items.  Perversely, those items considered ugly or forgettable can have their own beauty.  There is even beauty in pain if you listen to artists and creative people. Conceptually, I understand that.

In Bakersfield we have a manufactured lake called Lake Truxtun because (hold on to your hats for some real originality here) it’s on Truxtun Extension.  It’s an arid place, mostly because the city was going for the natural look – natural to what would be there if a lake was there (which is not natural).  It’s near the Kern River however, and the City of Bakersfield is in a mighty fight with those who control water allocation to let us have water in our river year round.  There’s plenty of water – it’s just diverted from the river as it goes through town.

The Kern River Parkway Foundation, largely due to the unflagging dedication of Rich O’Neill,  has done an amazing job developing a bike path along the river as well as advocating for preservation and returning the area to it’s natural state.  And I mean NATURAL natural.  Wetlands and all that so often sacrificed to “progress.”

So today I took a walk on a short segment of the parkway – from a parking lot to the lake – to see what I could see.

This is an overview of the lake and the island in the middle.  People fish here every day and it is stocked with trout.

This is a closer shot of the island.

I didn’t have time to walk to the area above, but there have been dozens of egrets hanging around.  Or are they herons?

The device above aerates the lake I believe, and at this time of year there are always cormorants sitting around, sometimes stretching their wings out in the sun to dry.

The pathway is  inviting approaching the far end of  the lake.

Why, I could almost believe I was back in Colorado!

This is a little lake next to the big one.

A heron was fishing.  Although, as I said, I’m not sure of the difference sometimes between herons and egrets, I’d bed this is a heron.

I was thinking this was a loggerhead shrike but now I’m not so sure.  Anyhow he was flitting about, as were scrub jays.

Finally, many years ago someone painted this entire tank and it’s beautiful, plus it’s a special gift to beautify what was industrial so it fits in with nature.

That was lots of wildlife for a short one hour walk.  Plus, I saw the fallen trees left by the part-time resident, a beaver.  Some residents fret and complain, but the beaver, when in residence, is allowed to stay.

The Streets of Bakersfield – in the fall


Just an art every day entry of trees cloaked in their fall clothes.  Yes, even dry, dusty, hot Bakersfield, CA can have beauty in fall.  A few posts ago I was leaving Colorado and I said I left at the end of their fall colors, but would get to Bakersfield for the start of ours.  All these photos were taken on Coffee Road between Stockdale Highway and White Lane.  If you’re a Bako resident and want to see colors, get out now because they won’t last.

I like the way the white on the above photo falls off the page.

And finally, seed pods.  Because what would fall be without the promise of spring?

Don’t forget that in the photo galleries – tabs at the top of the page – I have many more gorgeous nature photos, including fall colors.

Driving in a winter wonderland


Looking for snow

We went to the cabin Saturday because a storm was expected and I just felt like seeing the snow fall.  When we got there, we made it in no problem – no chains, easy walk up the steps.  Then it started to snow.  If you click on the picture to enlarge, you can see the snow falling.

Our car…

I wanted snow, I came for snow, and I got snow.  I took a really neat picture of the back step.

Chain chain chains

When we left on Sunday afternoon, it really was a winter wonderland, a slippery slidey winter wonderland.  We had to stop so Mark could put the chains on.

Some trees still had their fall clothes on – double dipping in seasons.

The view looking down in the valley was clear with fog or mist in the distance. Some fall leaves are peeking out down there also.

Hail to the…hail

We drove through a hail storm and finally got low enough to feel safe taking off the chains.  The road  had not a speck of snow nor ice on it when Mark started taking the chains off.  I would have taken a photo to prove it if I’d known what was next.

Yes, it started to hail.

The chains were just about off but we wondered if we should put them back on!  I mean, this was totally clear when we stopped.

The hail kept freezing up the windshield wipers so we had to pull over and clean them out.  But it kept happening.  Poor things were working so hard.

Wild turkeys and quail

As we reached Glennville we saw a flock of 30 wild turkeys.  Mark counted them.  On the way up, we saw quail.  I mean we saw QUAIL.  Every few feet we drove, dozens of quail ran across the road.  There had to be over 100 of them easily all together.  What was this, a quail convention?  I told Mark that they must have gotten out of small group sessions and were joining together again.  Never seen so many quail in one place.   A little father down the road we saw a deer, and then a tarantula making it’s way to wherever they go for the winter.

And then we were down in the valley.  The air was crystal clear. The last  bit of snow fell from the car.  We could hardly believe we had just come from a winter wonderland.

A new addition to the dining room table


Up at our cabin we have a dining room table that was a cast-off when we took it.  It couldn’t have gotten much worse, so I decided to paint it. Then I decided to put the name of each grandchild on the table? Why? I don’t know but it sure seemed like a good idea.  This is what it looks like.

Some of the family is coming up here for Thanksgiving, so I needed to make the new addition to the table.

Half of the Bakersfield Six will spend Thanksgiving with the Colorado Four – grandkids, that is.  We’ll miss them.  For anyone checking in on this blog for the first time, I just returned from Paonia, Colorado, where I was helping as Samuel, my 10th grandchild was born.