Posts Tagged ‘CED2010’

The theme is senses, and mine are certainly full; plus I have a studio – finally!


Remember Annie’s Song by John Denver?

You fill up my senses
Like a night in a forest
Like a mountain in springtime
Like a walk in the rain
Like a storm in the desert
Like a sleepy blue ocean
You fill up my senses
Come fill me again.

It’s a love song, but as April wanes, so does Creative Every Day’s theme of The Senses.  Nature fills up my senses as well as love – the song is perfect.  Anyone reading these blogs knows I’ve been slightly possessed by clouds this year.  The places clouds can take you! On our drive home from L.A., there were clouds aplenty.

Look at these colors.  From the bluest of blues to the whitest of whites, with shades of gray.  Even some brown. The clouds express such turbulence, but I find them exciting and beautiful. They don’t leave me feeling turbulent, but full of possibility for the unexpected.

As we headed up Interstate 5 and over the summit, we had this view of hills with wildflowers, a cloud sitting on the mountain, and blue skies.  What could we expect?

I was hoping for storm.  I hate missing weather! And during the day, there had been a humdinger of a storm in Bakersfield.  My sister said she walked out of her hair appointment and the skies opened up, negating the effects of the beauty salon.  My daughter said she was on yard duty where she teaches and the sky was blue.  But in the blink of an eye the sky began disgorging buckets of water.  And the wind was ferocious.  So I hoped these clouds spoke of a storm in my near future.

It was looking ominous and hopeful at the same time.  Storm, yes, but driving in the rain? Not so fine.  We, however, were not in control.

Here comes the rain.  Wow.  As we got to the bottom of the hill (I say “hill” but it’s more like a very steep downgrade that has two runaway truck ramps), I saw the most stunning rainbow of my life.

Look closely and you can just see that it’s a double rainbow.  And if you click on the photo to make it bigger, you’ll see that the pot of gold for this rainbow is a patch of pink wildflowers. We pulled off the road as fast as possible so I could get a photo, but it sure doesn’t capture the brilliance of this rainbow.  Talk about filling up senses.

This is the only photo that isn’t “car” photography.  All the others I took from the car.  My husband was driving so it’s not as bad as it sounds.  I love taking photos from the car.  Have to be so fast and sometimes the pictures are better than if you’d taken plenty of time.

I really do feel rapturous when looking at scenes of such great beauty.

And then we passed the other end of the rainbow – obscured by clouds but so intense in color.

I’m thinking, if I’m not careful people are going to start calling me the Cloud Lady.  But look at these – the light on the hills, the rain streaks, a hint of white, and then the layers of gray overlaid with puffs.

Almost home, and this was the most spectacular sky yet.  Wow!!!  As an English teacher, I wouldn’t let kids use more than one exclamation mark per essay, but these clouds deserve at least three.  They look like spooks.

After we got home and unloaded the car, the heavens emptied once more.  How could all that moisture be up there? Rained hard most of the night.  And at our cabin?  Ten more inches of snow.  There’s been so much snow this year we’ve not been able to get to our street.

A new studio

My studio is operational.  Now, for the time to work.  I’m going to Colorado on Tuesday to visit my daughter and family – so will I get anything done before then? Doubtful, but it’s ready when I am.

I have my work table set up, a place for the paper cutter (always hard to devote so much space to the paper cutter but it’s necessary), and even stuff on the walls.  Ok, art, not stuff.  I’m missing the drafting table – no room – so I’ll have to learn not to spread out so much as I work.

A place for my easel.  Technically, it’s William’s easel but the chances of him reclaiming it are slim so I might as well call it mine.

And we bought this nifty bookcase at Ikea for me to store paintings and photos in.  Most of my photos are still at the other house and this’ll fill up pretty quickly, but it’s so much better than what I’d been doing – having framed photos sitting in closets all over the house.  When I needed something I’d have to think – hmm, Altered Landscapes are in the studio, I think Italy is in my bedroom closet, Alaska is in the office cupboard – it wasn’t very efficient.

I should mention in case you are a new reader, that on my web site you can see my art and photographs.  I’ll be adding some new ones soon, as well as more items to my Etsy store.

Finally, my “office” is operational too.  Enough room finally for the computer and printer, the Epson 2200 photo printer, and my flatbed scanner.

So life is good.  My senses are full and not quite as tired as they were.  The worst of the move is over.  We’re not done – still stuff at the other house – but what’s left is mostly my husband’s business:  the garage, his office, etc.  He’s helped me so much that he is much less settled.  I have a pretty special husband.  We’ve been married 41 years – I think I’ll keep him.  He fills up my senses too.

The last move


Move move move.  Dance moves. Pick-up moves. Sneaky moves. Move it!  Get a move on.  Smooth move. And so on.  And then there’s the biggest move of all – the house to house.

What would we do without family?  My son-in-law and daughter, Matt and Jen; sister Cris and her husband Bill; nephew Daniel and his girlfriend Melissa; niece’s husband Jeff; my husband Mark who is always a hero; and The Bakersfield Six.

They all made it possible to get the heavy stuff over.

This is the last move for sure.  I feel so out of sync, out of time, out of the real world.  I can’t quite remember what I usually do with a day – all I’ve been doing for weeks now is moving.  And fulfilling previous obligations, which were fun – the trip to Las Vegas for granddaughter Sarah’s soccer tournament, the Black Eyed Peas concert. And this week William came to visit.

William was a student of mine in 7th grade – six years ago?  He’s twenty now.  He went off to boarding school in Lugano, Switzerland, where I visited him three times, and then to college in London, where I visited once.  I had to cancel last November’s trip because of the recession, so I haven’t seen William for 1 1/2 years.  Naturally, when he came to Bako to spend three days with me, I didn’t unpack one single box!  The time was dedicated to him.  The drive to get him at Union Station in Los Angeles was beautiful.  Until I got into Los Angeles itself and my navigation system went berserk.  It took me all over the place and when I saw Staples Center I knew it was kaput.  So I got off the freeway, pointed the car in the right direction, and made it – frazzled, but I made it.  The final insult was that the CD player wouldn’t regurgitate the navigation disk until the next day, when it spit it out unasked for.

So besides those events, it’s been pack, carry, move, unpack.  Over and over again.  We’re rich enough to buy a beautiful house but not rich enough to hire movers.  Wow, we have a lot of stuff.  I’m getting rid of more and more as I unpack.  I’ve taken pictures of each “discard” and put them on Kodak for my kids to see so they can claim what they want. I’m up to “Up for Grabs Album Six.”  Lots going out.   Whatever wasn’t adopted went to Goodwill.

We did have a lovely sky on moving day.  View from the backyard.

I’ve also been taking pictures of special items as I unpack, and I’ll write on them why that item is special.  Already, I look at something and wonder if it was my grandmothers or Mark’s moms.  If I can’t remember, is the object still special?  Things are just things ultimately.  But for me, things are part of the fabric of my life.  I like to look at something and recall where we bought it – which country, which vacation.  I like to remember events and people.  My things all say something to me.   They all have stories.

When my mother-in-law died, we sorted out her possessions.  I took many of them because no one else wanted them, but I knew that they all meant something to Marian.  I was sad looking at the mound of collectibles, some old and chipped, and wondered if that was what a life boiled down to – the accumulation and degradation of objects.  So I took her china, the Waterford, the collectibles she bought on trips all over the world.  In my weird way, I honor Marian when I use these objects, display them, etc.  Not in excess – a great deal did end up at Goodwill.  So that’s why I’m writing on photos of my special objects, just in case my children wonder about them.

For example, Mark’s grandfather gave us this dish on our wedding day.  It’s hand-painted china; don’t know if he got it somewhere or already had it – and it wasn’t quite the kind of question you could ask.  “So GG, did you buy this for us or did you already have it around?”  Wish I  knew, but I guess all that matters is it came from GG and it’s old.

I want the kids to know that this cocktail shaker was my parents, and it witnessed many a great party with singing, dancing, food and drink.

Another strategy I’m being careful about is making things accessible.  I don’t want platters stacked high, so I have to move and lift and replace when I want one.  I want my tablecloths easy to find without digging through plastic bins.  If I run out of room, I’m going to have to get rid of something.

The house has challenges.  It’s so much bigger than the old one, yet I’m down a couple of cupboards with shelves, like the cupboard under the stairs, and I’m down bookcases.  We’ll solve those problems, and indeed, they are wonderful problems to have.

Being flat-out exhausted is a wonderful problem to have also, in that we’re moving from one beautiful house to another, and that puts us in the highest echelon of families world-wide.  We are not rich by any means.  At least, in how America defines rich.  But we have riches beyond compare when measured against the rest of the world.  So my complaints are not real complaints.

BUT – I am never moving again.  I’ll have to be hauled out feet-first, or taken to the old-age home if it comes to that, because this is a strenuous occupation for 63, and I don’t want to be contemplating it at 65, or 68, or 73, etc.

We have so long to go until the move is complete. The living room looks pretty good.

But my husband’s office is still a work in progress.

But we’re far enough along for me to reenter the real world.  I have friends out there, on facebook, on twitter, and in person, plus family members, and I need to reconnect.  I haven’t blogged for quite a while.  I never feel isolated like this when we’re on vacation, but this moving is a whole different deal – bone tired, unable to think, cook, process, much less interact.  When William was here, I felt like I’d been released from prison!

So that’s that.  The Big Move.  Underway.  In progress.  Step by step.  And next week the cats get to go outside.  Meanwhile, they have adapted well and look much like they did in the old house.  Lily just stretched and is contemplating if she should really get up, or extend her afternoon nap.

Bend it Like Sarah: Soccer in the Desert


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


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


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.

Weedpatch Camp and Sunset School: Right Here in Kern County


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


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


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)


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.

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


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!