Friday, December 31, 2004


Of the five I worked on the other night, this is my favorite. It's a day lily called Siloam Little Fairy. We got a starter batch of lilies from a company called Oakes Day Lilies. They're located in Tennessee and have a website.

These were the flowers that had me skidding into work just in time last summer. Day lilies do last a day. Although some fade out faster than others. (this one fades) And by the time I get home from work the yard is in the shade. I began to feel like I should just take the camera with me when I went out te door. Anyway I was able to find just the perfect shade of pink to complement the bloom.

Of the six we got, two were past their blooming season for this year. I can hardly wait to find out what Strawberry Candy and Scarlet Lady look like.


This one turned out so well. It's a dahlia-name unkown. It's one of the smaller varieties. Maybe three feet tall at best. Big dahlias, the ones that are a foot across are spectacular-in other peoples yards. Unfortunately, dinner plate size blooms mean huge stems, they sag and have to be staked. Also, you might as well hang out free lunch signs for the snails and slugs.

We've realized we have to take a kind of zen approach to gardening. Fortunately we couldn't afford to go all out when we did the switch from grass and it's a good thing, because some of these plants have gotten a lot bigger than we anticipated.

Anyway, this little beauty hangs out by the camellia by the driveway.


This is a Shasta Daisy. The original plants came from my grandmothers yard.

This is another tough puppy. Give 'em a little water and a lot of sun and they are very happy. In fact they get so happy they want to take over the flower bed. They do very nicely next to a fence where they can just do their thing.

Ok picture, I think I'll try a little yellow background next time. I mean what can you put with a white flower?


This is a black eyed susan. We got three plants summer before last and put them in at the end of the season.

This summer they came up as expected and just grew and grew and grew. I swear the end result was about three or four feet long, three feet or so high and at the top about three feet wide. They are tough, love the sun, and last FOREVER. In fact if you want to finally put 'em down, turn down the heat and bring on the rain.

Again, a candidate for note cards.


Sorry, I was so pumped the other night I popped the pictures into my journal, said whoopee, pretty cool, and went to bed.

Anyway, this is a purple cone flower. It's been knocking about the yard for several years. This is a plant that you can ignore and it still looks wonderful. We relocated it to the front yard last year and it's sitting smack in the middle of the lavender. I really like this side view for use on a note card or something like that.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004


I've been playing in the Photoshop sandbox again. I'm finally getting closer to what I've been "seeing" in my mind's eye.


One of the kingdoms in Return of the King is called Rohan. Early in the film the king, Theoden, describes one of the characters as “an honorable man.” I get the impression that this is the highest complement for a person that Theoden can bestow. This has been bubbling around in my head since I first saw the film. I’ve composed a lot of journal entries in my head and haven’t been happy with any of them.

When was the last time did you hear anyone described as honorable and it wasn’t part of a title? As in the honorable judge Hector Smith. There have been many business and political leaders in the news over the past few years. Certain members of the past and current administrations, certain business leaders, people in the news and entertainment industries that have had many adjectives joined with their names. I’m not sure that honorable would apply to any of them.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

The day after Christmas

Hey, I'm not giving up the Christmas music until I absulutely have to.

Went to a wonderful Christmas Eve service Friday. Actually, any Christmas when I haven’t lost my voice is a plus. I think it’s been over ten years since I could carry a tune during any part of December. There were a lot of kids at the service including one little one that just about made it through the hour before the chortling started to turn into either (I’m very tired, may we go home now? Or “I’m starving---------) Lots of carols. Took the long way home and looked at some of the lights around town. As best as you can when it’s very foggy.

Spent a quiet day Christmas listening to carols and working on some new collages using the pictures I took last summer. I still haven’t gotten next to 90% of what Elements can do, but I’m sure having fun with the other ten percent. If you’re curious go to the Webshots link on my journal page and open cards and collages.

Taking this week as vacation so I should have time to play some more. Mom went to my sisters in Portland. Unfortunately, when I get good and tired, I have a hard enough time getting a decent nights sleep in my own bed, let alone someone elses. Actually a day or two on my own every six months or so is a treat. So, Merry Christmas sis, my extra gift to you is mom.

This time of year, it’s dark when I go to work and dark when I get home so I don’t see much of the yard during the week. It was fun to check things out yesterday while the sun was out. Ah yes, Christmas gift from the Weather Fairy-approximately half a day of sunshine for Christmas-then it rained. Anyway, a few daffodils and bluebells are already peeking through on the south side of the yard. It’s been relatively mild and the rhodie and camellia buds are getting nice and plump. There is a stubborn little yellow primrose that is till blooming and the Marguerite daisies haven’t quite given up yet. At this rate, the crocuses should be peeking through in a couple of weeks. So, even in the darkest part of the year we have the promise of Spring. Reminds me of shy little boy or girl peeking from behind mom or dad.

Sunday, December 19, 2004


Well, it’s a foggy Saturday night and I’m semi cross-eyed. I guess that’s better than totally cross-eyed. A couple of special cards to be made. Elements and I becoming more comfortable with each other. I may actually have learned enough to make reading the book useful.

Anyway, my sister’s birthday is the day after Christmas (talk about your slightly overdue Christmas present-my very own baby doll) and for the first time since they moved to Eastern Oregon for Rick’s first teaching job, they aren’t coming home for the holidays. Several reasons-he’s facing minor but painful surgery and to be honest they are both dead tired. They’re both teachers-good ones-but it takes a lot out of you.

So…………birthday and Christmas have to be organized this weekend so we can get stuff to UPS by Monday. Still long distance phone calls and chatting are cheaper than motel bills. I don’t trust the weather in the Columbia Gorge this time of year. If the weather holds it’s not a problem. If it decides to snow, freeze and blow  (the Columbia Gorge-AKA the Great Northwest Wind tunnel. There are actually five seasons in that part of Oregon-the usual four and windy) you can find yourself staying in Umatilla longer than you planned. Or, stuck on this side wanting to go east. My dad used to pass along a story from a guy he worked with. The co-worker had a VW Superbeetle. He had to go to eastern Oregon during really bad weather. Apparently between the ice and the wind he almost ended up in the river. To hear him tell it the car got replaced with something a lot heavier at a dealership at the next ext.  

Something to look forward to for the New Year. We are replacing our dealer computer program at work. Oh, joy I can spend part of my vacation reviewing my debits and credits. The new program takes everything from the opposite tack of the ADP program. January should be very interesting.

Well, now it’s a foggy Sunday morning. When it looks like I’m going to ramble a bit-I make the entry in Word and transfer it. Any of you out there with Macs know that the entry in your journal is one loooooooooooooong straight line for every paragraph. Makes correcting your mistakes cumbersome.

The extended cut of the Return of the King is now out and I’m about 95% happy with the results. The other 5, I can understand. It would have taken too long to explain why they were doing what was left out to make it worthwhile. Elijah Wood, the young actor who plays Frodo-the poor sod saddled with that nasty ring- basically finished growing up during the main filming of the picture. He celebrated his 18th birthday right after filming started and I am constantly amazed at the sheer power of his performance.

Ok, I gotta get going. Need to go pick up a couple of last minute items to stick in sis’s package. Hmmm. I may have to pick up two little beef sticks. If I send one the kids’ll finish it before their dad’s up to getting any. I guess I could claim that eating it will lead to premature hair loss or something like that. Rick’s safe-he’s already lost his. LOL

Sunday, December 12, 2004


This is what I came up with for inside the cards.


A piece of midnight blue for the sky that night,
And scrap of silver for the stars.
White, gray, and brown for the creatures looking on,
With a swatch of gold for a mother’s love.
Stitch together with the angel’s song,
And surround it all with a cord of Hope.


An angel told Your mother You were coming.
Shepherds came to repeat a message,
The angels singing to the stars
told them where to look.
Three strangers brought their gifts and wisdom.
The brightest star of all blazed over Bethlehem,
It brought them to Your door.

Welcome to your Father’s world


Pines and firs, spices and wreathes,
Baking cookies and carols drifting through the air,
Hugs and guessing what’s under the tree.
Colored lights and steaming breath on a frosty night.
A baby sleeping in His mothers arms,
Wondering shepherds and angels singing to the stars.



Saturday, December 11, 2004


I've finally realized a long held ambition. To create some cards that are my work. Well, mine and Apple, Canon, Kodak, Photoshop, whoever made the silk rose, the christmas picks, the tree, and the madonna I painted............

The rose and the collage are from our Christmas tree and I painted the madonna years ago. Three cheers for close up filters.

Friday, December 10, 2004


Just hangin' out listening to Bing Crosby sing Christmas carols. Enjoying the lights, the first tree we've put up in about five years. A really original bunch of decorations and the tag end (I hope) of a cold. Believe me it's hard to do anything on a computer (or anything else) when all you want to do is stay horizontal and bury your head UNDER about ten pillows. Leave my wake up call for next year please. It appears something has been going around at work and I finally got it. One of these years I will be able to sing the carols in tune instead of doing my famous froggie impersonation.

Found out where I stand in the great scheme of things. I thought Misty wanted my loving attentions. Turns out I was just a ladder substitute so sharp eyes could check out the little sparkly spun glass ornaments on the tree. Silly me.

More later, If I fall asleep on the keyboard, the rest of this entry will be very interesting, if unreadable. :-)

Sunday, December 5, 2004


Shot this little guy through the front window. Very talented, manages to eat hanging up side down. Drives the inside cats crazy. Can you say "neener, neener, neener?'

I got home one day awhile back and squirrel was munching happily. The little male house finch that hangs around kept buzzing him. If you had a heat sensor, I swear that bird would have been radiating indignation.

Friday, December 3, 2004


There has been a small tempest in a large teapot over an ad produced by the United Church of Christ. For those who have not seen the ad go here.     I have watched the ad three times. Once on the news and twice on the net. Quite frankly at first I wasn’t seeing what some others were insisting they were seeing and now that I do, it scares the bejeezus out of me. Where someone might see a lesbian couple, I’m seeing mother and daughter or perhaps two sisters with several years between them. This would be true in my case. I have nine years on Roberta and fourteen on Colleen. I keep my hair short and wear a lot of slacks and sweaters. The girls go for a look a little more feminine. It makes me wonder. If two of us go shopping or out to eat and show some affection are we going to attract the wrong sort of attention?

Where some are seeing a gay male couple, I see friends or brothers or cousins. I have five nephews from two families. The boys range from twelve to twenty. If you know them and know what to look for, you realize that they are relatives. But, the two oldest do look and are built a lot differently from each other. If they hug in public, or go down the street with their arms over each other’s shoulders, are they going to attract attention they’d rather not have? Granted, in their case, someone might notice but decide not to do anything about it. Jon redshirted for U of O football this year. He’s about 6’2” and about 3’wide. I exaggerate, slightly, He’s a gentle giant just like his dad. Oh, and number five, the youngest takes totally after his dad. He does not look like the other four at all except for his brown eyes. Neither of my blue eyed brothers in law managed to get even one blue eyed kid.


There is a wonderful scene in the mini series Jesus of Nazareth. (If you can find it, I highly recommend it. It is available on DVD and the cost is reasonable. Personally we watch it a couple of times a year) The disciples have had their first round of teaching and are setting out two by two. At least one pair has their arms over each other’s shoulders. Would that scene even be filmed that way now? Let’s not even get into thirteen dusty, sleeping in their clothes, bearded, longhaired, travel-stained, taking what they’re offered for dinner, homeless guys traveling together.


The ad will be shown on many cable channels, but the three broadcast networks refuse to show it for a variety of reasons. I assume they will continue to show ads using sex, especially women, as a come on. I assume we’ll continue to have the opportunity to contemplate drugs for erectile dysfunction. I assume we will continue to be inundated with ads to buy, buy, buy, buy whether you have the money or not. I'm sure we will continue to be urged to measure our personal worth by the cost and size of our possessions. But we will be spared the horror of being asked to be part of something larger than ourselves.