Friday, February 29, 2008

Most of this stuff makes me happy

My Potion solid perfume (from Lush) was waiting for me when I got home yesterday. It smells wonderful (my husband agrees). It came with samples of a couple of their buttercreams – Heavenly Bodies and Skinny Dip. I put a little Potion on, and we went for a walk by the river. It was a beautiful evening, but the walk was a bit depressing because they’ve started to remove some mature trees in preparation for a levee expansion project. Near a tree that had been felled, we heard a Bewick’s Wren scolding. No doubt the tree had been part of its territory.

The sunset was lovely, though.
There were these bright yellow mushrooms.The cute tendrils of wild cucumber were everywhere.
On the craft front: Granny square tortoises from Roman Sock, via the Craft Magazine blog. There are lots of other cute patterns, including a tree frog and a manta ray.

Ta ta for now,

Monday, February 25, 2008

Random Thoughts of 2-25-08

Spring is here! We have several species of California lilac (Ceanothus sp.) in our front yard, and at least two species are starting to bloom. The wild cucumber (California Man Root, Marah fabaceus) is sprouting along the river -- its tendrils are so charming. Here's a photo. In a few weeks (mid-March is the best time), we will make our annual pilgrimage to Table Mountain to see the wildflower display, the California newts, the waterfall, and so much more!

The Antique Pattern Library, via Here is the site description: This ongoing project is an effort to scan needlework pattern books that are in the public domain, to preserve them, so we can keep our needlework heritage in our hands. These scans have been photoedited to make them more useful for needle workers, and to reduce file sizes. They are available, for free, to anyone who wants them, for educational, personal, artistic and other creative uses.

How to make papier-mache beads from newspaper at Craft magazine blog, originally from A Storybook Life

Good night,


Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Magic Potion

Carnation from my 2-21-08 bouquet

Potion is finally available as a solid perfume from Lush! I am so stoked! Carnation heaven, here I come! I just ordered some. I am taking a risk because I have very sensitive skin, and there is a strong chance that this will give me a painful rash, but I'm going to hope for the best. The guy on the phone was super nice (Canadian, yah know), and he, like me, had been holding on to his bottle of Potion Lotion for several years and opening it every once and a while to enjoy the scent and wondering if it was still OK to use after three years (their stuff is made with a lot of fresh, natural ingredients, which have shorter shelf lives than other things). I finally discarded my bottle a few months ago. Since I have sensitive skin, it made my hands burn soon after I put it on, so I only used it a couple of times and then all I could do was sniff the bottle occasionally and dream ...

Honeycomb Vase is Made by Bees, via the Craft magazine blog.

Here are a couple of pictures from the total lunar eclipse on Wednesday. In the second photo, you can see a lavender-blue hue on the right side of the moon.

I love these strawberries and raspberries at Primrose Design. She even shares a pattern for the strawberries! I've never done any cross stitching, but this may provide the inspiration.

I'm hoping that this flex neck scrubber will make cleaning the shower easier. I picked it up at Linens 'N Things (what an asinine name for a store) last week.

Several years ago, I picked up some very pretty Gwen Frostic note cards in the gift shop of the most excellent Nature Center at Shaker Lakes (anyone visiting Cleveland should stop there). I used
one of them to cover a candle in a glass container. I really love this drawing.Ta ta for now,

Friday, February 22, 2008

Random Thoughts of 2-22-08

  • An embroidered lyrebird (near the bottom of the page). Cool! According to this video clip, the number one Attenborough moment for the UK audience is the scene with a Superb Lyrebird. David Attenborough's awe and love of the natural world are inspiring. Plus, he is such an adorable and avuncular little old man.
Good night,

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Happy February 21st!

  • Happy Birthday, E!!!
  • Many years ago, on February 21st, a certain 19-year old boy that I had been hanging around with for several months called and told me that he liked me very much. I responded that I liked him very much. It's been 17 years, and I still have a tremendous crush on him. To celebrate this anniversary, we went out for crepes after work today. We each had a Mediterranean Crepe with a side of rosemary-garlic potatoes. This is a picture of the Apple Crepe that we split for dessert. Good stuff.
  • I hope that everyone enjoyed the total lunar eclipse last night. We did. We did not see a flash of turquoise, but we kind of saw a lavender hue on the right side of the moon.
  • A friend at work brought in the latest David Austin Roses catalog. I liked it so much, that I ordered my own. It makes for excellent reading and viewing. I adore the photos, descriptions, and the names of the roses! I want The Ingenious Mr. Fairchild -- it looks like a peony, and according to the catalog, "It is very healthy. It has a strong and deliciously fruity rose fragrance, with aspects of raspberry, peach and a hint of mint." Ahhhhhhh. We have native roses in our front yard, and their smell is a little faint, but it is heavenly -- a little spicy like carnation perfume. Once again, ahhhhhhhh ...
  • I enjoy crocheting (mostly granny squares), but no matter how I hold the hook, some part of my ring finger goes numb and stays that way for a long periods of time. In fact, I worry that I've done some nerve damage. Oy vey.
Good night,

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I've got something else to say today

We missed Carl last week, but we got our fix tonight :-) Carl spoke a lot about Democritus in tonight's episode, which led my husband to share an Edward Abbey quote, which I am liberally paraphrasing here:

"My heroes are Bertrand Russell, who died fighting, and Democritus, who died laughing (laughing at Plato)."

Finally, just because, I leave you with an Albert Camus quote:

We all carry within us our places of exile, our crimes, and our ravages. But our task is not to unleash them on the world; it is to fight them in ourselves and in others.

Good night,

Total Lunar Eclipse on 2/20!

Sounds like it will be beautiful (and early enough for me to get to bed at a reasonable hour)! See NASA's Web site for details.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Dish Towel

I finished the dish towel last night. Cute, yes? I used this Vogart pattern from the Hoop Love Flickr group.

Check out these awesome grapevine socks! Be sure to look at all four photos.

I like this butterfly collage on Ali Edwards' blog, via doe-c-doe.

Ta ta for now,

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Short and Sweet

It's so windy here, that I'm afraid the power will go out. It's time for bed anyway.

Good night,

Friday, February 8, 2008

San Francisco, etc.

Hummingbird at Fort Mason

Today’s entry is about some of the fauna from our January 19-20, 2008 trip to San Francisco. I’ll show the flora in another post.

The herring spawned in San Francisco Bay a few days before our trip. This article explains the phenomenon. The article says that "While the males release milt into the water, the females swim with their bellies near suitable substrates and release up to 45,000 sticky eggs that adhere to the surface of the chosen substrate. For San Francisco Bay herring, suitable substrates include natural and manmade structures that are relatively siltfree, such as eelgrass and the red algae Gracilaria, rocks, shells, pier pilings, jetties, and boat bottoms." I have problem knees, and my sweet husband clambered down the rocks to take pictures of the roe for me.

The gulls were chowing down on the tiny (about 1/8 inch in diameter) golden eggs. The food was more than plentiful, yet the gulls were still stealing from each other and screaming their heads off (not a surprise :-)

Here’s a calm one:

SATURDAY, 1-19-08

Fort Mason Area, near the marina: Along the water at the marina, there were tons of gulls eating herring roe. The Surf Scoters were much closer to shore than usual, so we got great looks at them. There were tons of jellyfish.This very cooperative Peregrine Falcon was perched on the mast of a sailboat. Look at the heart-shaped pattern on the right (its left side).

We also saw a Harbor Seal and a Sea Lion (no photos).

A cute dog at the marina (yes, it was with a person):
Until this day (1-19-08) I had never never seen a Black-crowned Night-Heron (or any heron, for that matter) hunker down on the ground like this. We watched it for a while -- it seemed quite calm and cozy.

We looked for the Orchard Oriole that had been seen recently at the Fort Mason Community Garden. We didn’t find it, but the plants (some of them in bloom) were quite lovely, and the gardeners were very sweet.

We saw the feral parakeets. They sounded a little like Acorn Woodpeckers.

Here's a hummingbird on its nest (can you tell that I took it through our spotting scope? :-)

At the Presidio, at about 4:20 P.M., we saw the Rose-breasted Grosbeak (a male with just a stripe of rose down his front) that had been hanging out there.

I described our dinner and hotel in this entry.

SUNDAY, 1-20-08

On Sunday, we looked for the Burrowing Owl that had been hanging out near the Sutro Baths. We didn’t see it, but there were some good birds in the trees (including Pygmy Nuthatches) next to the lot in which we parked.

We did see the Harlequin Duck and Barrow’s Goldeneye (both males) that have been in the Hunter’s Point area lately.

On Wednesday, 1-23-08, we looked for the Townsend’s Solitaire that had been seen in South Land Park. We ran into a friend who lives in the neighborhood who was also looking for the bird. We didn't find the bird, but I got to meet the friend’s AWESOME cats, Bodie and Jade. My husband had been raving to me about how sweet Bodie is, and it’s all true!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Here is the complete entry for today's Merriam-Webster Word of the Day:

haplology • \hap-LAH-luh-jee\ • noun

: contraction of a word by omission of one or more similar sounds or syllables

Example Sentence:
Johnny's teacher, determined to stomp out any instances of haplology in her classroom, corrected him every time he pronounced "probably" as "problee."

Did you know?
Try to say "pierced-ear earrings" three times fast. That exercise will demonstrate why haplology happens: sometimes it's just easier to drop a syllable and leave yourself with something that's easier to say (such as "pierced earrings"). American philologist Maurice Bloomfield recognized the tendency to drop one of a pair of similar syllables a little over a hundred years ago. He has been credited with joining the combining form "hapl-" or "haplo-" (meaning "single") with "-logy" (meaning "oral or written expression") to create "haplology" as a name for the phenomenon. Haplology is quite common in English, and often the contracted forms it generates spread into the written language. In fact, haplology played a role in naming the nation that is the cradle of English: "England" was condensed via haplology from "Engla land."

"Haplology" is so awkward to pronounce, that you could commit a haplology just by saying it :-) According to this Web site, "England used to be known as Engla land, meaning the land of the Angles, people from continental Germany, who began to invade Britain in the late 5th century, along with the Saxons and Jute."

I heart words!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

All Stuff, No Nonsense

  • Yes, we voted! Then, we came home, rustled up some grub, and settled in with said grub to watch Cosmos.
  • Sweet sketches/paintings of Dark-eyed Juncos by Floresita.
  • The National Museum of Natural History's North American Mammals Web site (connected to the Smithsonian Institution) is "a searchable database of all living mammals of North America." You can search by location, species name, common name, and conservation status. You can even search their special collections for images of skulls, bones, and teeth. Damn, I love reference materials!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Random Thoughts of 2-4-08

Check it out! This person embroidered their "childhood heroes" -- Bob Ross (what neat and tidy french knots in his fro!), Shel Silverstein, Jacques Cousteau, and Crystal Gayle.

Maybe I should do Mr. Rogers. Or Roy Underhill -- my mom and I watched his show when I was a kid, and I had a silly dance that I did to the Irish music in the introduction to his show. Ah, PBS ...

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Random Thoughts of 2-3-08

It’s Sunday night. I was cooped up in the house for several days, resting and getting over my cold. I did venture out on Saturday to go grocery shopping and to buy a new spoon rest (I know, thrilling, huh?) At Target, I ran across Chocolate Mix Skittles. Sounds like a bad idea to me. Here’s a review from Candy Addict.

Up until now, I haven’t embroidered many practical items. I have a number of pieces that are on vaguely square-shaped pieces of material. If I ever learn to sew, perhaps I’ll make the aforementioned pieces into a quilt. Speaking of quilts, I like this idea from Creative Juice on making a quilt out of old printed T-shirts. I have a bunch of old T-shirts with nature themes that would work well for this project. Anyway, this weekend, I started embroidering a flour sack towel, which is something that is actually useful. I also made a Terry the Terrier (from The Cute Book by Aranzi Aronzo) felt mascot (it’s not easy stuffing those tiny legs) and a bunch of paper beads.

My husband and I found the new episode of Torchwood a bit disturbing – let’s just say that the characters allowed the ends to justify the means, and the means consisted of torture. Torture is never acceptable.

Well, that’s all for now.

Good night,