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CritterPainter's Blog

Various ramblings of a country gal


the rest of my weekend, garden update.

Category: gardening among the rocks | Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 11:54 pm

Well Friday was so perfect I wondered what the rest of the weekend would bring. Saturday we loaded the bikes into The Gas Guzzler (it's a tiny truck, no excuse at all!) and headed out to the bike path. Went a bit farther than we have before, which meant a couple of nervous street crossings but all went well. Saw plenty of wildlife, and discovered that further down the path it brushes up against the Deschutes river, just beautiful.
Sunday was our 22nd anniversary so DH decided to heat up the smoker. Kept mesquite going on a chicken for something like 6 hours, plenty of time for me to make potato salad and broccoli salad. DS even came by for awhile, bearing gifts of chocolate for us both. He was feeling a little sheepish because when his band was playing, he decided to play the drum cymbals... with his headstock... knocked the guitar right out of tune and he had to do an emergency retune on stage. Fortunately the audience thought it was funny too and just rolled with it.
So now I'm officially in the new millennium, DH bought me an ipod shuffle. DS got it loaded up (or whatever you call it). Apparently one has to name their ipod for it to work, and he dubbed mine "scooty puff" (recognizable to other Futurama geeks) I promptly botched the thing up and it's sitting waiting for Tech Support to get home from work. He's very patient with me, thank goodness...
I picked the last of the reachable pie cherries this morning. I'm in no mood for baking so am thinking about juicing them. But that might just be nutty. I'll really miss having fresh raspberries with breakfast every morning, when the season's done. DD doesn't do well with many fruit types (the textures cause her big problems) but she loves raspberries. My grapevine is loaded with tiny green grapes too, but I can't recall what kind it is. I know I've been wanting a delaware, and I know for sure it isn't concord. Guess autumn will tell. I tied back the tomato plants that were crowding out the chilis, but I planted those peppers in the wrong place so don't know if they'll amount to much. Still watching the squash, rhubarb and potatoes, they seem to be debating about whether to live. And, ugh, tent caterpillars have begun to move in on my birch tree!
My old hens are stressed out from the little banties and have been eating their eggs. So I build a second pen for the roosters. No dice. They broke out and were back in the old pen this morning. I've reworked their fence and will try again tonight. Silly birds. We are supposedly getting rain tomorrow. I sure hope so...

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Ran away from home 7/25

Category: gardening among the rocks | Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:16 pm

First a couple of quick pics- I love the patterns of rat lines, masts, and such on these tall ships. We didn't go out on any of them, just watched from the dock
This is the card I'd mentioned. Funny gal who got it was all concerned that I'd given her the painting I'd created. Had to break to her that it's just an acrylic I roughed out to try to get the composition I wanted. It's canvas-textured paper, glued to a card
DH had Friday off. The company has been sending him to places along the coast to work for the past couple of weeks, and I've been really wanting to go too. So we packed out early in the morning and headed for Westport. A light, high fog belied the fact that it was an enchantingly perfect day at the beach.
The fishing boats were already out by the time we got there, but we had timed our arrival for the lowest point of the tide anyways. Surfers filled the parking lot, getting into their garb that made me think of a seal-theme dress ball more than anything. We started at the South Jetty, since that's where the best agate searching is. DD wore here zip-up sweat shirt and set to work filling the pockets with the choicest sand dollars, bits of shell, and stones. I wore a red-fleece jacket bought on some long-ago trip to Monterey Bay that turned out colder than I'd expected. DH, the California boy, didn't bother with a jacket at all. We worked our way up the beach together slowly. DH and I kept getting ahead of DD, and would turn to watch her work her way toward us. She would eventually notice our watching, flash her ready smile, and show us some treasure she'd found. She has a good eye for shells. Only kept the pinkest, the whole sand dollars, the chunky scraps of shell polished by the surf. As I gathered my own finds, I discovered that my left hand pocket had a small hole in it. I moved to shift my treasures to the other pocket then paused. It really didn't matter, after all, if a bit of shell or intriguing pebble fell back to the sand. The hollow crab claw, the translucent white stone, were all for now, for this moment, walking on the beach by the South Jetty with my husband and daughter. Any other time and place and they would become objects of clutter, projects I meant to make something with or do a sketch of. I left them where they were, in the pocket with the hole, and lay my head on DH's shoulder. It was a perfect day.

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taking a minute to breathe...

Category: gardening among the rocks | Posted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 8:45 pm

WOW it's been busy lately. My pickup died when I was coming home from the grocery store, about 8 miles from home. I'm SO glad I have AAA!! A couple of really nice guys stopped & helped me push the truck out of traffic while I waited for the tow to show. So it's been in the shop about 5 days, just got it back last night. Meanwhile, I was working on a painting (pics to follow soon. )
I tried something new for this painting. I found this paper at an art store up in Tacoma (we were up there for the Tall Ships festival, again, pics to follow). It's textured like fairly rough canvas. Guess it's for practicing oil techniques, but since most of my small paintings wind up adhered to greeting cards, that's where my mind went. A gal near me has had a deer visiting her back yard. She backs up to a greenbelt. It was annoying for a while, since Ms. Deer was feasting on the flowerbeds like an all-you-can-eat Doe Diner, but one day she proved that it was not just the phlox making her phat. She had twins. This friend knows how potty I am about animals, so took a bunch of photos for me. I used the canvas paper to paint the deer in artist acrylics for a card for her. Being stuck at home gave me plenty of time to focus on finishing it!
Speaking of painting, a friend who was in the meeting for the folks doing VBS next month whispered that the team had decided to have me paint a mural. Still waiting to see whats up on that front, the last mural I did was gigantinormous and took a very long time to do!
It really is remarkable how "just staying home" can be so busy. Since I was here, I reckoned, I had time to bake. Two pans of Nanaimo bars, that sort of thing. A big plate is going with me to a hen party...er... women's group get-together tonight. Another big bit was delivered to my boyo at the campground (major puppydog eyes from a couple of folks who caught me delivering it). How did I deliver it, you ask, without a car? Well, we got a call that the truck was fixed, so headed up into town to get it. We got all of 8 blocks before it died again. Sigh. But at least we were able to go by the camp, which is on the way home again, sort of, just a few miles out of route.
Then my mom called, wanted to go to Costco- I have a card, she doesn't, so going there requires spending an afternoon with me and my daughter, no great hardship for Grandma. And my anniversary is this weekend; I was fretting about how to get DH's present while lacking a car, so this worked out rather well. So there was another afternoon. Busy busy.
I've discovered I have more than enough posts here to put a title under my name. Being flighty and impulsive, I can't seem to land on one that really works. So if anyone wants to reply to my blog, could you suggest something? Maybe you can help spark my mind a little!

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Bike conversion pics

Category: gardening among the rocks | Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 5:36 pm

I have yet to paint the bright flowers on DD's taxi, and am still looking for a little windsock to fly from the post that use to hold a flag, but we took her out for a spin in it this week. Several old, unused railroad beds around here have been paved over for use as bicycle paths. I'm still optimistically waiting for them to pave the one that runs near my place, but DH loaded up the bikes and drove us to this one.
Oh, first the bike conversion. Here's the bike when I started:


After much rust-scrubbing, removing the basket, and constructing my brilliantly engineered conversion.
I picked up an old car-booster seat at a yard sale, but it didn't work to hold DD in. I tore it apart and modified the belt structure. It's looped around the bike frame for security, and has an adjustable buckle for security. A friend was going to toss some sofa cushions, and I salvaged one to pad the seat. I stash it away when it's not being used


Here's how DD fits in her seat. She can't get her fingers into the spokes now, and it's actually pretty comfortable. Still need a foot rest, and a bike basket to hold her water bottle & such (did someone say garage sale?)This image removed, forgot that just anyone could get at these...
One last shot, DD & DH. I'd just pedaled the taxi up an incline, DH took over because I was just worn out. I took several shots here, the others were all blurry since I was actually riding while shooting.
this one too

Last edited: Fri Jul 11, 2008 5:03 pm

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