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Showing posts from June, 2012

30-day writing challenge ~ Day 30 (It Could Have Been Worse), Challenge posts I would recommend

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It Could Have Been Worse.  The last day of the We Work for Cheese Writing Challenge!

Not sure if the topic means this writing competition could have been worse, I found it delightful, from the bloggers I've "met" to reading their posts about their lives, loves, struggles and triumphs (and a whole lot of humor thrown in for good measure).

I am pretty much a daily blogger.  There is just so much STUFF to write about, so much to share in photographs.  My next foray is a personal challenge of 30 days of photographs for the month of July.

Noteworthy posts of this challenge (I enjoyed reading ALL of them) include:

Shoot Me Now, Katherine's Wolf Spidershttp://www.shoot-me-now.com/wolf-spiders/  Maybe it's the pictures, but this one stays in your mind.

We Work For Cheese, Nicky's His Name Isn't Harveyhttp://www.weworkforcheese.com/2012/06/best-friend/  A charming, well written post.  It reminded me of when my kids were young.

Shoot Me Now, Katherine's Five…

30-day writing challenge ~ Day 29 (Breaking the Rules)

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Breaking the Rules.  WWFC Day 29 writing challenge topic.

While I may have been one to break the rules as a youth, my work life is now governed by rules.  There are rules and regulations associated with running a business.  There are rules regarding personnel, financial accounting, trust accounting, document retention, records management and disaster preparedness.  There are the rules in the human resources realm.  In an interview, don't ask any questions about family, sexual orientation, religion or age.  You may ask if the sky is blue, but only on a cloudless day.

I also live in the grand state of Caleeforneeya (you would have had to hear Arnold Schwarznegger pronounce it to get the full effect), a place chockful of rules and regulations, especially for businesses.  You must have numerous insurance policies in place, such as commercial general liability insurance, workers compensation insurance, errors and omissions insurance.  There is licensing to do business in the City and…

30-day writing challenge ~ Day 28 (The Turning Point)

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The Turning Point.  Day 28 of the WWFC writing challenge.

The one thing that comes to mind with this theme is the day a person graduates from high school or college.  There are so many choices and so many paths to take.  It is hard to impress on the newly-minted graduate that choices made at that stage of the game can be life altering.  How many of us think, if only ...?

There is also the interesting movie, The Turning Point.  Tres ballet-centric.


The movie was made in 1977.  The year I graduated from high school.  One of the options I considered was joining the Navy to become a nurse, but I didn't choose that path.  This year marks my eldest's fifth year in the Navy.  He is now stateside after being stationed in Japan.

Here is an excerpt of an email (author unknown) that has circulated through my family.

Rules for the Non-Military

Dear Civilians, We know that the current state of affairs in our great nation has many civilians up in arms and excited to join the military.

For…

30-day writing challenge ~ Day 27 (Side of the Road)

Side of the Road.  WWFC Day 27 writing topic.

This prompt brings to mind times I have seen burning vehicles along the side of the road.

The first event was in Phoenix, Arizona.  I was driving a black Plymouth Fury on Grand Avenue.  There was a car fully engulfed in flames on the other side of the road near the median.  I, oblivious to the laws of whatever, drove on the inside lane closest to the median. The heat I experienced when I drove by is the most intense I had ever known.  Young and dumb, I was uninjured, but still.

The second event was some years later.  A family in a motor home were heading south on I-5 to California.  Earlier we had passed them and when we happened upon them again, the motor home was engulfed in flames.  This happening I knew enough to view from afar.

Another item you see along the side of the road, especially up country, are rattlesnakes.  Those reptiles like to sun themselves in the middle of the road.  You can figure the outcome of that practice ~ squ…

30-day writing challenge ~ Day 26 (An Intervention)

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An Intervention.  Day 26 of the WWFC writing challenge.

The only thing that comes to mind with this topic are those interventions undertaken for severe alcoholics or drug abusers.

I do know of one acquaintance who escaped out of her house from an upper story bedroom just to avoid an intervention team.  She eventually went through another intervention and prevailed over the alcoholism.  She died just a few short years after being clean and sober - one of life's cruel jokes.

Seeing as how I lacked inspiration for today's topic and have been pretty much checked out on vacation for the past few days, an intervention is in order for my thrift shop tendencies.  I visited Mendocino Coast's Thrift Shop "For the Animals" and found ~


a metal caseful of 35mm slides for $5 ranging in dates from 1955 to 2009, and a Donny Hathaway Collection CD ($2).  Remember the duet with Roberta Flack, Where is the Love? (one of my fav oldies). 

Image collector that I am, my day was compl…

30-day writing challenge ~ Day 25 (Worst Christmas Ever)

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Worst Christmas Ever.  Day 25 of the worst writing challenge EVER (JK!)  Nicky of WWFC blames Dufus Claus for today's topic.

Why this theme on my birthday?  Yes, yes, I know - six months from Christmas, works well for receiving gifts, evenly spaced and all.

There have been many worst Christmases for me, it is my least favorite holiday, but I still get wrapped up in all of the festivities.  In 2011, I did a blog post a day for the month of December, JEEZ was that hard work.  I took lots and lots of photographs and ended up liking the final postings.  This December I will produce Kitschmas postings, lots of kitsch, perhaps a little glitz, certainly all around merriment.


Image via http://englishmum.com/2008/12



Here is my birthday present to myself - a lead crystal lamp purchased at Goodwill on 16th Street in Sacramento for $20.  I thought it would be worth it even if the lamp didn't work, but it does!


Here it is, in all of its gloriousness ~


I've been on vacay for the past…

30-day writing challenge ~ Day 24 (Toast of a Fav Blogger)

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Toast of a Favorite Blogger.  Day 24 of WWFC's writing challenge.

A quote from Monty Python's Flying Circus, "And now for something completely different!"

Vintage Passions Just Like Mine http://www.vpjlm.com/  Careful when you open her home page though, it is NSFW (Not Safe For Work).  She describes herself as a Mexicana blogger who happens to live in England.

She greets her readers with Hola mis lovelies! What up biatchs? Hola mis prostitonas!
One of her weekly features is Tarot Card of the Week, picking cards from different decks and posting a detailed reading.  
She dresses up and highlights her finds from boot sales.

She posts Spanish words and the English translation.  She has a unique writing voice and is quite the character.

Nicky, the gracious hostess of the We Work for Cheese 30-day Writing Challenge, has recognized each blogger participating in the WWFC 30-day writing challenge  Link to that post ~ http://www.weworkforcheese.com

30-day writing challenge ~ Day 23 (Stiletto Heels)

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Stiletto Heels.

Now WWFC has hit on a subject I know (or pretend to know) something about.  Heels!  Love them.  Can't wear them.  There is something about a exquisitely made shoe, the Christian Louboutins and Manolo Blahniks. *sigh*  Heels make an outfit look oh so chic.


And these shoes are just divine.  The Bianca ~ http://us.christianlouboutin.com
A woman's fascination with heels begins early on.  I know, as a toddler, I would rummage through mummy's closet and then clump up and down the hallway in her heels.  
I tend to be on the low end of the scale when it comes how many heels I own - less than ten.  The shoes are crippling and wearing them changes one's entire posture.  But, amazingly enough, when you wear the darn things long enough, you can even run in them.  
Stiletto Heels.  It's a love-hate relationship. 
Link to the other bloggers participating in the WWFC 30-day writing challenge ~ We work for cheese

30-day writing challenge ~ Day 22 (Like There Is No Tomorrow)

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Like There is No Tomorrow.  WWFC Day 22 topic.

In an attempt to avoid inspirational quote overload (this topic being one that could easily happen), I do admit that after the loss of a friend, acquaintance or relative, one tends to view life differently.  All the more reason to live life to its fullest.  I challenge my readers to break out, try something new, wear bright colors, say "hello" to a stranger.



Warning - When I am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple
When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple with a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me. And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves and satin candles, and say we've no money for butter. I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired and gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells and run my stick along the public railings and make up for the sobriety of my youth. I shall go out in my slippers in the rain and pick the flowers in other people's gardens and learn to spit.
You can w…

30-day writing challenge ~ Day 21 (Favors I'd Ask)

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Favors I'd Ask.  Topic of the WWFC 30-day writing challenge.

Again, I've gone and modified the writing theme from "Favors I'd Ask of Satan" to "Favors I'd Ask."  It is like the movie Beetlejuice ~ don't say his name!  Give him no credit, Lucifer, the fallen angel.  I wouldn't ask him for any kind of favor, seems the trade in that bargain involves a soul ...

Having said that, FAVOR NO. 1 would be to live life on a guest ranch.  No, I haven't fallen and knocked the ever-lovin sense out of myself.  I know that would require a lot of personnel, ranch hands, farm equipment - all that business.  Heck, I can do the bookkeeping, hire the best to do the rest!

A place in particular I have in mind is Highland Ranch in Philo, California.  Here is the website description ~

Imagine a collection of cozy lodging cabins scattered around a 125 year old ranch house nestled among the most majestic trees you've ever seen such as Coast Redwood and Dougla…

30-day writing challenge ~ Day 20 (Going solo)

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Going solo.  Day 20 (10 more days to go on the WWFC Writing Challenge)

I've found going solo is not my idea of fun.  I just don't do well on my own.  Daytime is fine when I can commando thrift shop or visit my family or friends, but when nighttime falls sometimes I get lonely.

When I am not blogging, the other internet site I frequent is CafeMom.
There are so many postings along the line of - should I divorce my husband, he is [fill in the blank here ~ cheating on me, looking at me sideways, gaming too much, bromancing his friends, texting another woman, boring me, blah, blah, blah]?  I try to discourage these ladies-in-wanting from leaving their marriages.  One cannot anticipate the fallout from the dissolution of a marriage - from the anger and resentment from the jilted spouse, the hurt and confusion of the children, to the ostracization from the family.

I have read theories that the downfall of America is in part because of the disintegration of the family unit.  Single …

30-day writing challenge ~ Day 19 (Camels)

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Day 19 of the WWFC writing challenge, today's topic being "Camels."

They spit, or so I've read.



One thing I don't quite understand are those who have llamas as pets.  I see them up in the hills grazing with the sheep and goats.  I doubt they are being used as a meat or pack animal.  Maybe someone can 'splain this to me.



I guess llamas spit too, but mainly at other llamas over food or if their space is invaded. Wouldn't it be something if it were socially acceptable to spit at people if they invaded our space?  It would be a spittin kind of world.  The closest we get to it is spitting watermelon seeds at each other.  Even then, that is more in jest than serious space-invading counter measures.

Yay!  1,000 points just for this post.


Link to the other bloggers participating in the WWFC 30-day writing challenge ~ http://www.weworkforcheese.com




30-day writing challenge ~ Day 18 (Setting Sail)

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Setting Sail.  The 18th day of the WWFC writing challenge.

While I have not been in a sailboat in many, many years, each fishing season I do fish for lingcod, bottom fish and salmon off of California's north coast.  I also drive the fishing boat when Captain VZ needs a break (guess that makes me the First Mate).


So few people have actually been out on the ocean, either they are prone to seasickness or just fear it.  There is so much open space and you are bobbing around in a small craft in a very large body of water.

We love it when we catch lingcod.  They are also called seawolves - for good reason, look at his chompers!  


Setting sail or trolling in a fishing boat, no matter how you experience the lake or ocean, being on the water is a great experience.  We have seen whales, dolphins, killer whales, seals and jellyfish.  Once you've eaten fresh fish straight from the ocean, you will never order a fish entree from a restaurant, ever again.


Naples, Italy - September 1959.

30-day writing challenge ~ Day 17 (Yes, we have no bananas)

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The awkwardness of the common banana?  Day 17 of the WWFC writing challenge.

Nothing awkward about that - just a daily breakfast food for me.



Chiquita was the brand I knew the best as a kid.  There were the stickers, I was obsessed with those Chiquita banana stickers.
For some odd reason, I would place all of the stickers on the underside of our dining room table.  My parents never knew about my sticker stash.  Even now, I honestly can't explain why it was so important to me to keep them.


On to a totally different subject - escaping the Sacramento heat.  While we were not able to take the boat out (rough seas and all), we were able to enjoy the North Coast from the shore.


Here is one happy dog!


Mr. VZ and Zipper running along the Pudding Creek shoreline.

Here is a link to the other bloggers participating in the WWFC 30-day writing challenge  ~ http://www.weworkforcheese.com

30-day writing challenge ~ Day 16 (Hanging out in the cemetery)

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Hanging out in the cemetery.  The WWFC day 16 topic.

My father's ashes are entombed at the Mount Tahoma National Cemetery in Washington State.  He was a WWII Army veteran.



These images were captured at a Memorial Day service I attended a couple of years ago.  It was a touching, reverent ceremony for those who have served.  May my father and those many, many others, rest in peace.

What The Living Do by Marie Howe

Johnny, the kitchen sink has been clogged for days,
some utensil probably fell down there.
And the Drano won't work but smells dangerous, and
the crusty dishes have piled up

waiting for the plumber I still haven't called.  This is
the everyday we spoke of.
It's winter again: the sky's a deep headstrong blue, and
the sunlight pours through

the open living room windows because the heat's on too
high in here, and I can't turn it off.
For weeks now, driving, or dropping a bag of groceries
in the street, the bag breaking,

I've been thinking: This is …

30-day writing challenge ~ Day 15 (First Place)

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First Place.  Day 15 - we are halfway there!

Ah, this harkens back to my concert performance days.  I was a member of a French horn quartet and we were in competition with other local classical groups for high school music awards.  Our quartet earned First Place in the competition.





Brass instruments.
 We were quite the ensemble.


Today is Friday and I'm just not focusing - am looking forward to escaping the Sacramento 100+ degree heat and heading to the North Coast (hoping to post fishing pictures very soon) ...

Link to the other bloggers participating in the WWFC 30-day writing challenge ~ http://www.weworkforcheese.com

30-day writing challenge ~ Day 14 (Short Hair)

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Short hair.  Day 14's topic of the WWFC writing challenge.

Ok, so I modified the theme from "the short hairs" to "short hair."  The original theme meant going down a road I really didn't want to travel, and since this is a no-rules competition, I've changed it to suit my purposes.

Short hair is easy, breezy, must be styled every day and requires frequent trips to the stylist to maintain.  Long hair is more versatile, it can be worn up or down, in a bun or braid, bouffant or BIG hair.


I had a hair disaster for a few months, it was cut way too short, bits and pieces stuck out in a cacaphony of hair jumble.  It was tamed by clips, scrunchies, hats, kerchiefs and smoothers.  My hair was schlumpy, so I felt schlumpy.  I got my hair "did" so I'm back (see recent photo posted on my blog).  Yeah, wishing I did look like the Henry Clive seashore beauty ....

Link to the other bloggers participating in the WWFC 30-day writing challenge ~ http://www…

30-day writing challenge ~ Day 13 (The Other One)

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The Other One.  Day 13 must be my unlucky day ~ I got nuthin but this:


Be sure to check out the postings of my cohorts in the writing challenge, each day's participants change depending on the topic.  Link to the other bloggers participating in the WWFC 30-day writing challenge ~ http://www.weworkforcheese.com

30-day writing challenge ~ Day 12 (In the Kitchen)

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In the Kitchen.  The twelfth of June of the WWFC writing challenge.

I have orchids in the kitchen windowsill.  They bloom and bloom and bloom.  I am thinking it must be something in the water.  It is well water, sans the City of Sacramento additives (of which they supposedly filter out) of arsenic, barium, chromium, flouride, nitrate and chlorine.  Link to 2010 water quality report.
http://www.cityofsacramento.org/utilities/water/documents/CCR_LINO_web.pdf  What must be good for the orchids, must be good for me.

We also defrost meat by submersing it, while still packaged, in water.  Rarely do we use the microwave to defrost meat.  I believe that appliance changes the character of the meat during the defrost cycle.

I grow as many herbs and vegetables as possible.  My experiment this year is yellow watermelon.  I've never even heard of this hybrid, supposedly it is sweeter and more honey-flavored than the red flesh melon.


The freezer is full of upland game birds and ocean fish.  Suz…