Monthly Archives: July 2013

Bob’s Guerrilla Herb Garden

When my neighbor Bob goes out of town I watch his dogs for him.

My charges for the week.

My charges for the week.

He is out of town currently, and while I was over hanging out with the pooches I couldn’t help but notice the sad state of a corner of his yard.  And then I remembered when he was over a few days ago he admired my beautiful basil plant, and lamented how he loves to cook with fresh herbs but doesn’t have any growing in his yard.

After I dropped the kids off at their camps, I headed to Walter’s Nursery.  I got herbs, soil, micro bark ground cover, pots, and some lobelia plants.  I took me about two hours to put in Bob’s guerrilla herb garden.  I chose to put the herbs in pots, to give him flexibility when adding more, or taking out dead ones.  I also left plenty of space for him to add pots, in case I missed his favorite herb!  I buried them partially in holes in the ground to keep their profile low (he has automatic sprinklers in there) and to keep them moist.  I put in three larger pots and 5 smaller ones, and planted lobelia flowers in each pot for some color.

Check out the pics of the whole project below.  Double click for a larger view.

Before.pic

Pots in a row

Pots in dirt

Approve garden

Happy.herbs

Awesome.garden

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Filed under Gardens/Plants/Nature

Two Days in Laguna Beach

Near sunset, from the pool deck, sunlight sparkling on the water

Near sunset, from the pool deck, sunlight sparkling on the water.

Spent a few nights up in Laguna Beach with the husband.  He is the travel planner, he found a little inn right on PCH.  Walked the neighborhoods and a few beaches, hung out at the pool, found a bookstore and bought a book, got some good cheese and olives.  They served a fancy breakfast at the inn.  I had lemon waffles and about 4 cups of coffee.  It was very quiet, which is nice when you have screaming kids.  Some pics below…double click on them to enlarge so you don’t miss out on all the great details.

Lovely neighborhoods, it reminded me a bit of the town in the Studio Ghibli movie "Kiki's Delivery Service".

Lovely neighborhoods, reminded me a bit of the town in the Studio Ghibli movie “Kiki’s Delivery Service.”  Though I don’t know how they would react to a girl riding her broomstick through town, since you can’t even ride a motorcycle! (see parking meters above)

This beach was a across the PCH, though we had to walk a ways to get to a crossing place.  Stunning beach, more like what you find in Northern CA than SoCal.

This beach was just across the PCH from where we were staying, though we had to walk a ways to get to the tunnel that goes under the highway. Stunning beach, more like what you find in Northern CA than So Cal.  Andrew on pathway down to the beach, Vikings fan weather vane, bikini girl getting photos taken by fake medieval tower.

Lots of California scenery.  Surfers waiting for a wave, two young women laid out on a rock like sushi, yoga guy doing his thing on a crowded family beach, guy with Davey Crockett fringed leather backpack.

Lots of California scenery. Surfers waiting for a wave, two young women laid out on a rock like sushi (lower right), yoga guy doing his thing on a crowded family beach, guy with Davey Crockett fringed leather backpack.

The Casa Laguna Inn and Spa.  Very pretty place, lots of flowers, fountains, warm colors, comfortable nooks.

The inn was a very pretty place; lots of flowers, fountains, warm colors, and comfortable nooks.

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Filed under Travel

Blog Header Photos I Didn’t Use

I was looking for a background for my about.me page today (yet another social media foray of uncertain efficacy).  I dug around in my folder of rejected header photos for my blog, and had a wonderful time looking back at some great images.  I thought I would share them.  I chose the glass beach photo for my about.me page, as you can see if you glance to the right.

Enjoy…

Water lilies

Water lilies

Sonoma Vineyard

Sonoma Vineyard

Sunset outside of Zion National Park, Utah

Sunset outside of Zion National Park, Utah

Headland near Gualala, northern CA

Headland near Gualala, northern CA

Gualala again

Gualala again

Glass beach at Fort Bragg, northern CA

Glass beach at Fort Bragg, northern CA

Sonoma grapes

Sonoma grapes

pelicans

Pelicans flying near Gualala

Spring flowers in Pennslyvania

Spring flowers in Pennsylvania

em.eyes

Emma’s eyes

Kids with skulls of early hominids at the San Diego Museum of Man

Sam’s eyes

Emma at Natural History Museum in Washington D.C.

Emma at Natural History Museum in Washington D.C.

Sam on a cardboard swing in Wisconsin

Sam on a cardboard swing in Wisconsin

kids.skulls

Kids with skulls of early hominids at the San Diego Museum of Man

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The Cheeseburger Head Spider and Other Rare Arthropods

Here it is, the Cheeseburger Head Spider.

Here it is, the Cheeseburger Head Spider.

It has happened again.  I was wandering the aisles of Barnes and Noble (yes, bookstores do still exist), and I found a craft book that I was compelled to buy.  It was Bead Bugs by Amy Kopperude.  When I find books like these they invariably add to my list of random skills, which I am hoping will one day coalesce into some sort of monetizable activity, but this has not yet happened.  See my posts “It’s Every Sock’s Dream to Become a Sock Doll” and “I Stole My Daughter’s Present and Made Art With It” to get an idea of the wide range of my incredible talents.

So I bought the book and brought it home.  I already had a few bins of beads and wire tools, as I make jewelry occasionally.  And can you believe it, the Gem and Jewelry Show made its way to San Diego just a few weeks after I bought the book.  So my son Sam and I (check out his cool blog on my blog roll) went to the show, picked up even MORE beads and some wire, and I got to work.  In the book I bought the artist was diligent about keeping her bugs on the realistic side.  I wasn’t really, and I blame my son.  He insisted we buy these glass beads shaped like cheeseburgers, and then when I asked him what kind of spider he wanted me to make for him he replied, “A cheeseburger head spider”.

Some pics of my creations are below.  I also happened to buy some glass owl beads at the show, and there happened to be a project with an owl in cage in my new book that I adapted for my owl beads.  It came out wonderfully.

There are a few take home lessons from this blog post.

1.  You may think you have enough beads, but you never really do.

2.  I’m pretty sure cheeseburger head spiders don’t exist, but they should.  Wanna hear my joke? What do cheeseburger head spiders eat?  French flies.  Oh yeah, I’ve still got it…

3.  If brick and mortar book stores disappear, serendipitous finds like my bug book won’t happen nearly as often, and I won’t be able to continue to add skills like Bead Bugger to my resume of life.

Three beetles having a meeting.  The turquoise bug to the left is one of my favorites.

Three beetles having a meeting.

A caterpillar and and ant.  Isn't there a fable by Aesop with that title?  There should be...

The caterpillar and the ant. Isn’t there a fable by Aesop with that title? Or am I thinking of the joke where they walk into a bar?

Cats.  I know, I have issues.  The same place that I got the owl beads, cheeseburger beads, and octopus beads had cat beads.  Which I bought.  Because I have an illness.  How can you not love cats???

Cats. I know, I have issues. The same place that I got the owl beads, cheeseburger beads, and octopus beads had cat beads. Which I bought. Because I have an illness. How can you not love cats???

One of my absolute favorite things I have made lately.  I hung my caged owl in my garage/lounge/art studio, over my corner table.  Perfect!

One of my absolute favorite things I have made lately. I hung my caged owl in my garage/lounge/art studio, over my corner table. Perfect!

Wine.charms

A set of wine charms I made for my friend Leslie for her birthday. I still have to put the little attachment rings on them. I found another use for those awesome owl beads!

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