Happy Belated (by months) Birthday Liz

It’s become a bit of a tradition in the family to post a few old photos in honor of someones birthday.  And of course life got busy, time passed, and I did not honor a couple of birthdays.  So to recognize Liz’s long pat 22 year birthday (December 2); here are some photos that might make her smile.  Happy belated birthday Liz.


Liz’s fantastic mac & cheese

Today Liz learned how to make Mac and Cheese.  Started with the roux — butter and flour thickener and finished with homemade bread crumbs.  Fantastic flavor, Liz did a great job.  Looking forward to dinner.

Liz’s Mac and Cheese Recipe.


  • 8 table spoons butter
  • 8 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 6 oz montery jack cheese
  • 10 oz sharp cheddar cheese
  • pepper
  • mustard
  • 2 lbs pasta — cooked and rinsed with cold water
  • Breadcrumbs


Create a Roux by melting the butter and stirring in the flour.  As it turns to thick lumps, add the milk slowly, stiring constantly to ensure no lumps.  Add cheese chunks slowly while stiring.  Add pepper and mustard to taste. When all cheese is melted, you are ready to create the cassorole.  Cover bottom of pan with cheese sauce.  Layer pasta and cheese sauce.  Put breadcrumbs on top and cover with more cheese sauce.  Cover with foil. Bake the casserole for 30-45 mintes at 375 degrees.  Remove foil for the last 15 minutes to brown the bread crumbs.

To make the bread crumbs, shred stale bread into small pieces.  Bake at 400 degrees between 5 and 10 minutes. Crumbs are ready when bread is dry and crispy.  Can use a rolling pin if needed to crush bread into finer crumbs. 


Congratulations Liz

Today was a very special day.  Liz graduated from the school of engineering cum laude, chemical engineering.  I felt honored and proud as I watched her walk across that stage.  It was a lovely ceremony where each department recognized their own students.  After the ceremony, we went over to the  duck pond at UNM for pictures.  The last photo was taken at dinner.  I think that one could be a great oil painting.

Liz Congratulations.  Thank you for being such a great kid.  I am proud of you.  It is exciting to see you blossom into a strong, intelligent, beautiful young woman with lots of possibilities to explore.  I know you will succeed at whatever you want.  And I am excited that you will be sharing a summer with us before heading off to start a Ph.D. program in chemical engineering at Ohio State next fall.  Love you.  Mom




The word of the day is roadtrip

Roadtrip.  Roadtrip.  Roadtrip.  If I repeat this word enough maybe I’ll be able to go to work and enjoy it.  Today is friday, an off friday at my workplace.  No one will be there except me.  And I am only there to make up the hours from my trip last week.  I was really happy to visit my parents and look forward to doing it again.  But that does not translate into my being happy about going to work on what should be a three day weekend.  So I repeat the word ROADTRIP.

What roadtrip represents is time with Bob.  Liz graduates, actually all three girls have a graduation ceremony this spring.  Mags and Liz have their ceremonies on the same day in two different states.  Thankfully, Kates graduation is local and in June, so attendance is easy.  For a variety of reasons,  many of them relating to laziness in planning trips, we are not going to Maggie’s master of science ceremony in State College, Penn State, PA.   Instead we buy her off with a graduation present of first and last months rent, something she thinks is pretty awesome.  And now we are figuring out how to attend Liz’s ceremony.  My preference is a roadtrip.

When Liz was deciding which school to attend, UNM (University of New Mexico) seemed like the best deal.  Not only was it the cheapest; but California schools were being substantially impacted by the recession.  Constant budget cuts, overcrowded classes, and impacted schedules where a five year or six year bacholers degree seemed all too common.  In contrast, UNM offered the ability to get the classes needed at a school with a great rating at half the cost.  What was there not to like? besides the fact that it was 1000 miles (or so) away from home.  So I took Liz on a roadtrip to see the school, part of my strong-arm techniques.  She had applied simply because I had asked her to do so based on cost.  And then she got accepted with a great scholarship.

So we took a roadtrip to UNM–Liz and I.  It was great.  We had a wonderful time, saw some great sights, and bought my first piece of metal sculpture.   I loved the shop we stoppped at before seeing Salt Canyon.  I think the shop was called the copper pickle (perhaps Liz remembers the name).  There were signs all over the roads leading to this shop.  There Liz got a great bracelet with copper, gold, and silver strands.  And I bought Bob a piece of copper artwork — a beautiful Gecco which now hangs in our hall in our house.  At the school, we took a tour where the most memorable moment was Liz asking the guide about snow.  He said that it snowed a few times per year, usually melting by noon.  Liz was excited about snow being a proper southern california girl who had never seen it snow. The other participants in the tour were from Minnesota and excited that the snow melted.

On the way back, we stopped at a rock shop in Quartzite.  It was memorable and I want to go back.  So I am willing to endure days of driving just to visit a rock shop.  Plus the joy of another roadtrip with Bob.  I like that kind of trip; getting in the car and just driving away to the next destination.  We get to spend a few days in may going to Albuquerque before attending the graduation.  Yes, I look forward to those days.  It will be a great vacation.  Then a couple a days watching Liz graduate and helping her deal with four years of life accumulation.  Bob and Liz (the lucky ducks) then are going on an extended road trip, possibly to CArlsbad Caverans.  And I the not so lucky duck have a long drive home.  But still it is a roadtrip and I love them in all forms.  I’ll get to spend a couple days listening to some great book on tape and driving where I want.  I’ll build enough slack into the schedule that if I decided to spend 3 days driving home, it’s ok.  And that needs PTO — the vaction time hours from work.  

So because I need PTO hours, I will go to work on my off-friday and make up the vaction tie from last monday.  But you will understand if I chant the word “Roadtrip” to myself during the day.

Fall Colors, a simple photograph

This is a simple composition–a leg, some leaves, and bits of hands. But I love the colors and contrast, they remind me of the winter season colors. Took this picture at the Empire State Mine during Thanksgiving weekend. We had gone to visit my parents, Liz had flown in for two days from New Mexico. Flying on Thanksgiving and Saturday following turned out to be OK experiences, those days were not as crowded. Now it is the Sunday after New Years Eve and we are about to again take her to airport and she again will be departing for New Mexico. I don’t want her to leave, that means vacation is over. We had lots of fun as a family.

Being able to take your kids out is one of the joys of getting older. Since they are adults, I don’t have to be a big meanie and say no to everything. In fact I can corrupt the kids with bad habits. Last night we corrupted Liz and took her out for a glass of wine before a family dinner at Grandma’s house. Yes they carded her at 50 barrels in downtown Vista; but that is part of the fun when you have been a legal drinker for only one month. And thus I was able to get a nice photo of Liz, her dad, and Elly. The picture of the old pepper tree was a bonus, the lighting is good.


So what does this have to do with the daily prompt: First!

Tell us about your first day at something — your first day of school, first day of work, first day living on your own, first day blogging, first day as a parent, whatever.

Everything. It is the last day of vacation and that means the first day of work for the new year begins tomorrow. So I have an obligation to smile, wish Liz best of luck on beginning her new year of life and work, and then go on to do the same. Think we will visit the Zoo as a celebration of the last day of vacation. Might even get a chance to see the parrots flying since we will be there early.

Photos from December 2013 at Brindejon

Can’t believe this didn’t get posted earlier. It has been sitting in my draft box for months. But given that the pictures were taken in December 2013, this seems a fitting time to post it. Enjoy the photos
Cleaning up my photo stash and came across these great pictures. There were a couple of good days at my parents farm. First was a silly little toy that shot a helicopter up into the sky. Everyone had fun trying it out.







And then we had fun searching for snow. That took some work, most of it had already melted. But my girls are always resourceful and managed to find a 4 foot hill for sledding. As you can see in the photos, the dogs had a wonderful time.






And then there was the group lamp painting session




that was a good trip. everyone had fun.

Happy Very Belated 21 Birthday Liz

Maggie again put me to shame with her birthday post. Dang. It’s been a busy week. But motherly duty calls and I enjoy writing a birthday post for my daughters. So here it is.

Liz–Happy 21st birthday. Welcome to the real adult world where you can engage in almost every activity. And since you graduate from college next fall, you even get emancipated with the FAFSA form. Yep, that is correct, my income will no longer determine if you are eligible for assistance from college. But that’s only because you will be graduating. Otherwise you would still be shackled to your dad and I according to the rules made by congress. And in honor of your birthday, I have a collection of photos and stories for you.

The first picture shows you reading in our kitchen from last summer. I am including this picture because I like the composition. Someday if I get skilled enough and if I get enough time, I might do this as a painting.


The second photo was a good day at your grandparents house. We all were laughing. Your dad can be such a ham at times, but it does make for great photos. Sometimes I wish I could be as loose as him.


Dog beach in Del Mar. What is there to not like about this. Wonderful beautiful beach surroundings, great sand, hundreds of happy dogs, water, and dirt. Elly comes home a complete mess. After this trip where she learned to swim, we stopped at a taco shop in Encinitas. Elly barfed on the ground outside the shop — the result of drinking too much salt water.


The next two pictures were from a magical trip to Point Loma, Cabrillo National Monument. Bittersweet trip, we were taking you down to the airport and left early because we were worried about traffic. Turns out that we had no problems and thus had several hours to wait. Decided to visit the national monument where the guy was really nice and let us into the park for free. We got there for the last 15 minutes of the gift shop and in time for a wonderful sunset. More than wonderful, it was one of the best sunsets I have ever seen in my life, the colors were intense. After watching the sun go down, we went and had bad chinese or mexican food from a shopping center on rosecrans. I Hremember how cold it was, we were both bundled up in scarves and hungry.

Work calls,I am running out of time so the stories for the last few photos will have to come later.   Basically these photos make me smile..  Happy Belated Birthday.  I love you.

image image image image

3 Tails up and other tales

Tonight Kat called the cats for dinner — Sally, Sophie, Charrrrliiee; Sally, Sophie, Charrrrliiee. They all came running for dinner with 3 tails up in the air. That’s power and it is useful. They all want their cat treat or tuna or whatever delicacy is on the menu. It is the one tool I have for getting the cats into the house. And it has been needed because Charlie has been testing his limits. He’s been escaping out windows and doors multiple times over the last few days. And every time it is the same; he gets outside and then panics–an “Oh Shit, where an I type moment”. At that point, if one calls him for dinner; Charlie happily comes running into the house and gets a good meal. Hope this is just spring fever and not a new trick for getting extra meals.

In other news; Liz is coming home for easter weekend. She’s excited; more accurately everyone is excited. Grandma gets to cook easter dinner; I’m broke after buying two unexpected plane tickets. I haven’t talked with her since then; but reports from others indicate she sounds much more chipper.

And Maggie is coming home sometime in May. That means I get to catch up on the gossip with her. Right now I only know snippets of what’s going on: picking a thesis topic, meeting with advisors, lining up research grants, being extravagant and buying a bike, and even sneaking off to Baltimore for a weekend with Josh. To be fair; he was working — it was a trip associated with his med school application. And the bike is transportation / exercise so one can’t complain. The funniest story I’ve heard about Maggie is from my mom. Evidently a friend of hers who wears a wig after going through Chemo; found some bugs in her wig. And she shipped them to Maggie so they could be identified. Now my mom’s friend is eagerly waiting for answers and might even be calling Maggie directly. I hope these bugs were not lice.

Poor Kate, now she just gets abused. SAT’s, CAT’s, STAR Testing, AP exams, and more; it seems this is test season for her. Everyone wants her to take yet another test and so there have been endless numbers of study groups. On the plus side, she can drive to them and thus neither Bob nor I have to chauffeur. She has been working hard; still playing golf; and going to school. On the other hand, she is the sneakiest of my three girls with respect to household chores. It seems that something is always going on when there might be work to do.

On Monday night, Bob and I stayed up to watch the lunar eclipse. I even got permission from work to come in late on Tuesday. Kate rolled her eyes at our doings “Mom wants to celebrate WHAT?”; but then she buckled down and made some fantastic lemon cupcakes. She’s a very good cake maker; if you ever get the chance to try her stuff, DO. It’s well worth the calories. Her cupcakes have flavor; unlike many of the ones bought in stores and even bakeries. Bob pulled together a great dinner and we spent the night outside. I realized I had never fully watched a lunar eclipse from beginning to end before. It was beautiful. Laying on cots, we watched the moon change phases and become red. There was an amazing amount of light even when the moon was fully obscured. The clouds would lightly drift by; looking like ghostly tendrils hiding the stars for a few minutes before leaving us.

Bob and Elle are doing well. I talk about them together because that’s how they spend most of their days; together. Every morning Bob goes out for a long walk with Elle and again in the evening. In between, she goes with him wherever possible. Running chores, taking care of our all basic necessities; it’s really nice to have someone home doing all that work. I feel very spoiled and lucky. For the last week; he’s been working on refinishing a couch. The wood frame looks really great. Soon we will have to face into the cushions. It turns out that foam has become very expensive. We are looking at hundreds of dollars to make six big cushions. I’m not sure what good alternatives are; perhaps reusing the existing cushions and put on a new cover. Nothing new; this would be the 4th covering put on the same cushion. It just feels wrong to reuse them again; but I don’t want to spend the money on new ones.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve learned how to use several new on-line systems. First was buying tickets with Skyscanner.com for Liz on monday. It went well, despite the two tickets. The crashed browser is probably my fault. I was overloading my computer and think I clicked the wrong button. So now I can trust buying the tickets for Europe through that service. And then last night I tried the free file with the IRS. Worked great; was able to file for an extension with no problem despite it being the 15th of april. This kills me; I started the taxes in February and have been almost done for weeks. Guess I’m trying to do too many things. This weekend they will get done, we need the refund for our trip to Europe this summer.

Well the coffee is all gone and work is waiting. Take care and talk with you later.

Fortunes and Airline Tickets

Liz called today, very blue. It’s been a really rough semester. Classes are hard, her roommate has a totally different schedule, and she’s been getting migraine headaches again. I’ve never heard her sound as run down as she did today on the phone. So we were extravagant and bought her a ticket home for this weekend. I can’t give her a hug from long distance and I can’t solve her problems. But we can let her know she is loved by buying a plane ticket. Everyone is delighted, especially American Airlines.

Yep, that’s right American Airlines is happy because I ended up buying two tickets for her. When I clicked purchase on the first ticket; the browser died. And I could find no record of any purchase made. Liz was on the phone; so of course, I had to buy another ticket. And because the tickets are non-refundable; I can’t get my money back. But I was able to get a credit for the second ticket. Even the reservation clerk agreed that something must have gotten screwed up since the same person can’t fly twice at the same time. So it’s double the happiness — Liz comes home now and she comes home again sometime in the future. I just didn’t know that I wanted to buy two tickets today.

Should have known that it was going to be one of those days. I have two different tarot deck apps on my IPAD–the druid oracles and the wildwood pack. Both have gorgeous pictures; done by the same artist Will Worthington. I love his work and enjoy playing with the virtual cards. So today I got the same card, Mama Bear and Mama Bear reversed. It had to be an interesting day given the conflicting messages. I’m connect by primal roots to root of earth and the emotion of a mother. Ferocious; I have to be careful to not be overwhelmed by primal forces. Put family first and enjoy the creative forces of the day. Remember how to nurture. Who knew the creative forces came from some unknown outside influences. Some would have have called these forces God.

I have strong powers today; so I’m using them to make Bob laugh. He didn’t realize until now that I had two tarot decks that I use for a daily fortune. Even after almost 35 years together, I can still surprise him. That is a good thing. And because tonight is a full moon lunar eclipse; it’s fitting the gods have influence. In fact; some religions are calling this the beginning of the end; the rhapsody or disaster described in revelations that begins with a blood moon–the first of four total eclipses which happen to fall on Jewish Holidays and begins during easter week. And if they are wrong; well almost any moon can be called a blood moon it’s an effect of the angles between the sun, earth, and moon. Since the holiday schedule is established based on moon cycles and there are eight more sets of 4 total eclipses in a row this century.

Here are the cards
From the Druid Oracles

And from the wildwood deck


Calm start to the new year

On New Years morning, all of us were tired. On Tuesday, we had done the long drive back from THE FARM (my parents place). It takes 11-12 hours without bad traffic. But we did get to stop at Tito’s Taco’s in west LA on the way home. Tito’s Tacos has been a family tradition for most of Bob’s life. He went there as a young boy, riding his bike and buying large flour tortilla’s for a nickel. And of course his parents ate. There, it was both good and cheap. Later, Bob and I used to eat there all the time when we were living in Mar Vista and attending UCLA. Even 25 plus years since we left LA, we still like to eat at this restaurant. The girls and Elly look forward to it. Elly gets to sit under the outside tables smelling lots of good food. And then when done, she gets a doggy tostada: beef, beans, cheese, and perhaps a bit of lettuce on a tortilla chip. Yummm!

We all had a good time up north and yet, all were glad to come home. It was funny in the morning, Elly knew something was up and stuck very close to Bob while we were packing the car. My folks were fantastic, they got up at 4 am to make everyone english muffin egg sandwiches customized for individual people. And there was lots of good coffee. So Bob and Kate got no cheese on theirs while Liz and I had cheese with the egg and ham. Then Elly slept the entire way home, sprawled in the backseat over various occupants. Kate got some good driving practice, first on Highway 5 in the Central Valley and then from Los Angeles down to Oceanside. At one point, there was a stalled car ahead in our lane. Kate was having trouble merging into another lane and we got lucky — the car was able to move over. She did a good job driving, it was tough driving for anyone.

For New Year’s Eve, Kate had a friend come visit and they got to order pizza delivery. Gunshots and firecrackers started at 9 pm (new york time). But before 9 pm, I had gone to bed, telling Bob I was so tired I felt sick. Sleep helped, I was in bed for over 12 hours which felt delightful. New Year’s Day started with lots of play and fun. Charlie decided at way too dark oh so early in the morning with play. He wanted Sophia to get up. But since she didn’t want to play, Sophia buried into the blankets and Charlie went hunting. That means he puts his paws under the blankets and fishes for something. When it’s my back he finds, it hurts. And so he got booted from the bedroom. Then he stood outside the door and sang. Elly busted out of the kitchen and came crawling into bed, opening the door for Charlie. All three animals got booted from the bedroom and Bob got up to make coffee. I slept.

Later in the morning on New Years Day, Sally the cat took over my pillow. She likes to sleep in the morning sun. Sophia and Charlie are more people cats, they took over Liz’s lap and I was able to get a great picture of all dozing happily in the sun.


The first day of 2014 continued to be very nice. Spent the morning trying to get my computer downgraded. Have with much difficulty gotten to the point where I want the computer to install windows 7 software. As I go through the process — using several computers including the IPAD to look up manuals, the MAC to run how to videos from you-tube, and an xp computer to copy files onto chips. Have multiple devices and still can’t seem to get this new laptop to remove it’s OS. Why do they make it so hard to set up a programming environment?

At noon, I went on a labyrinth walk with some friends to welcome the new year. It was joyous, I felt good. Last time I had done the walk, I had to be careful. Yesterday, I could walk and not think about any knee injuries; that is good progress. After that, we went to see the Hobbit — a good fantasy movie, a lousy interpretation of the book. Smaug was great and there were some good scenes with Gandalf. But the barrel riding looked like a disney ride and the ending was very abrupt. It’s painful that we have to wait another year for the end; amazing how a 250 page book can be turned into three movies. To end the day, Bob cooked a good dinner–nothing fancy, just frozen leftovers–but it tasted good. Finished the evening by doing a bit more work on a story. It’s hard to write, I need to make a set time for doing this. But that will come this year somehow along with a lot of other new activities. I’m looking forward to 2014.

Vacation — where to start

Vacation — six days with minimal responsibilities except feeding people and having fun.  Where to start….that’s the big question?  Mosaics, reading novels, playing with my new computer, or playing with my new books on pastels?  Plan a big dinner for Thursday, play solitaire, or whatever.  Definitely a question to ponder over coffee.

Yesterday was tense, I was unsure until late in the afternoon if I could really get today off. But my co-workers who knew how much I’ve been working over the last week all agreed to take care of any problems that might arise. And I did get brownie points for being willing to come in if needed.  Didn’t leave a phone number but told people my phone was listed in the white pages.  The general advice was to not answer the phone and life would go on.

So last night I got to pick up Liz from the airport. Thanksgiving madness had not yet started, the airport was relatively deserted.  Even got one of the premium front row spots.  Liz’s plane even came in early, traffic was good, and we got home about 8:30 pm, hungry and ready to use a toilet.  Only to be informed there was no water; wait.  There was cold pizza for dinner.

Turns out that pipe from the water main to our house is plastic. And Bob found the pipe yesterday evening.  Another geyser, another pipe fix, and waiting for the glue to dry. Only the first fix didn’t take and had to be redone.  Another round of happy dog dancing in water and mud.  Another trip to the hardware store, more fixing; this time in the dark.  And then waiting for the for glue to dry. About 9:30 pm, we were allowed to turn back on the water.

But today all is well, the sky is glorious, and the morning awaits.  Guess I’ll go start my mosaic tabletop project.

Ordered to write a post because LOTS has been happening

Life has been HAPPENING the last few days. Lots has been going on and Liz ordered me to write a blog post. After all, she said, she can’t keep up with the happenings if I don’t write. So where to start. The big things or the little things.

Ok, with the big things. First, I made a decision NOT to attend school this fall at Palomar. But this is not a bad thing. I need to do physical activity like swimming or walking on a regular basis, otherwise I won’t ever be able to walk normally. I need to work — paying the bills is something important to me. I need to sleep. And I want / need to spend time with my family. I also want / need to spend time exploring my new skills as an artist. So I decided to act on an unusual opportunity. I’m going to rent space as a resident artist at a yet to be establish art school.

Yep, I’m making a public declaration that I want to be an ARTIST. But….there are always BUTs. This is a very interesting opportunity. There is a wanna be sculpture school in Fallbrook, a few miles away from Vista. They are the ones doing the iron pour next weekend. I’ve got a piece they are coating with ceramic shell for this event. An iron pour is a big event, they don’t happen very often and so I’m willing to take advantage of opportunities. While at the school, I was talking with the owner about private lessons. Since I injured my knee last spring, I was unable to finish my bronze box, bell, or other pieces. It bugs me, I like working with metal and want to make wonderful sculptures. Unfortunately, crutches and power tools don’t mix. The idea of using a sawzall combined with crutches makes ME wince. But instead of private lessons; the owner of this to be art school, Brandon Roy, suggested I should join as one of the resident artists.

I know he needs people to help pay the rent until the school gets started. But it’s a chance to work with some great artists as an apprentice. Yes, I’m called a resident artist; but I will be learning more than doing art. Brandon Roy would be willing to spend the 5 minutes at random intervals helping me finish existing bronze pieces and start new ones. The other resident artists (and I’ve met several of them) also are willing to help me learn. And I know that there are going to be opportunities to help get this school started. I’ve already been asked (by his business partner) if I can help with the 501C(3) paperwork for the IRS. So it’s another big project where I get the privilege of paying to play. But it’s such an exciting opportunity — working with some really great artists, setting up yet another school program, and learning how to do art myself. Plus, I can do this on weekends. So that leaves the week free for work, exercise, sleep, and then family during the week. It becomes a manageable schedule, letting me deal with the exercise and weight issues in a more rational manner. And the answer is yes, I’m very happy to trade the need to read a NOLO book about 501-C(3) IRS tax exempt organizations for the chance to learn about some really great art; even if I didn’t think I was ready to become a sculpture.

So this coming weekend, I’ll turn in 3 months rent for an “art studio” space and become a resident artist. And I now need to figure out how to tell palomar community college that I need a leave of absence. We will see how all turns out. But I would never even have considered this opportunity without the knee injury. It’s amazing how things can change rapidly.

So what else is going on in life. The answer is lots. Kat is redoing her room. Today she totally emptied the room, learned how dirty wall-to-wall carpeting is, and began repainting her walls. Tomorrow she finishes the painting and will buy some new flooring. Later this week, she will learn how to install flooring in a bedroom. Bob is helping her, I have escaped most responsibilities since I have to work. Work seems easy to pulling up carpeting and cleaning the floor afterwards.

Liz is busy working in New Mexico. It sounds like her internship has worked out wonderfully. Not only is she getting double paid through an NSF grant at UNM (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque); but she’s having a blast learning new things. Today she was talking about wearing a bunny suit while learning how to use a microscope in a clean room to measure silicon chips at Sandia. Sounds like a really fun job for someone who’s just completed a sophomore year. She’s happy with the job. I’m jealous of where she is working (Sandia National Labs). And they want to keep her. It can’t get much better than that.

But it does. I get all three girls at home for 3 days at the end of july. It can’t get much better than that–another picture of the three lewis girls. Maggie and Liz still laugh about the last one. I made such a fuss, we went over to grandma’s house; woke up Kate; and took a picture. She looked so grumpy in the photo. Of course, 30 years from now, those 3 girls will be glad I’ve insisted on taking a picture every time they get together. Right now it is still an imposition.

So what else is going on. Well Maggie finishes her job in a few days. I think she’ll be happy; Hopland was not as much fun as other jobs have been. After a few days in San Francisco, she’ll come home albeit with a boyfriend. That’s ok. I like company; the more the merrier. So her boyfriend will be very welcome at our house. She’ll stay a few days or a couple weeks before leaving for back east. Mag’s has to be in Penn State by early August for graduate school. In the meantime; I’ll enjoy her company.

And Kat is very busy enjoying her summer. Between the beach, room remodels, and other activities; I barely see her. She has been busy working on the driver’s ed, so she may become a student driver in the next few weeks.

Thank goodness we have Bob at home. Without his constant support and more importantly home cooked dinners, I don’t know what would be happening. Lots of disorganization and a lot less art. I’m happy for his support. He’s helping everyone keep organized and sane.

There’s lots else happening, but it’s almost 10 pm. Tomorrow morning, 6 am, the swimming pool beckons. While I may not want to get up at that time, the swimming is important for my walking skills. So It’s time to stop blogging and go to bed. More news later.


Liz came home last night! Hurrahhhh!!! We get her for a few days before she heads back to a new job in Albuquerque.

So last night, Kate was working with too many electronic devices–after all how many devices does one need at a single time? Anything more than one seems too many although she usually manages 3-5 simultaneous devices. It was decided an intervention was needed. Here are the results.




too much fun

Liz left today for school. She won’t be back for months. Mags is in San Fran for the weekend and won’t be back till later in the week. Even when she comes back, it will be for a day or two at a time. Trips to Ohio and Pennsylvania checking out grad schools, getting ready to move to Northern California, and other things will take her time. So we won’t see much her either. The joy of having all three girls together has to wait. Instead noise and chaos, we have quiet, some order, and much lower grocery bills. The rhythm of our lives has changed again. Kate mentioned that she also has some mixed feelings about this–loving the chaos of her sisters and loving the attention given to the only child at home.

Before Liz left, she and I ran errands and did a bit of play as well. I got to see Queen Califia’s Magical Sculpture Garden in Escondido for the first time. Got no pictures from there, too many small kids running around having a great game of hide and seek. So you’ll have to visit the website to see the beautiful sculptures. I”ll get back there someday with a camera when the lighting is right and I can take pictures without interruptions.
But I did get some great pictures where Liz was having too much fun. She was playing on a swing. The IPAD can take some amazing pictures. I love the action shown in these shots. Someday I might be able to paint these pictures; preferably in oil. Of course, I need to improve my basic drawing skills and learn more about life drawing first. And then it might be useful to learn a bit about how to use acrylic and oil paints; I’m sure there are a few tricks I need to know.





I’m looking forward to the spring semester. At Palomar, I get to take Bronze Foundry 1 — the beginning of creating bronze statues. Didn’t think that I would get to take this class for another couple years. There is a prerequisite class that is only offered on Mondays and Wednesday evenings. Because of VIFT (the big band tournament), I can’t take this class for at least another year. But teacher let me skip the prequisites because I’ve been doing the paper mache sculptures. So I start this class on the 22nd. Had to drop the illustration class, but things are working out on the drawing side as well. There is a new art gallery, studio, and wine bar in downtown Vista. The lady running the gallery is going to teach some beginning drawing classes and life drawing classes on Saturdays, starting Feb 2nd. Whoooohoooooo, I get to do both things: learning to draw and learning how to do sculptures. And with the lower grocery bills, I might even be able to afford some of the art supplies.

As for Queen Califa’s garden, I’ve been meaning to go for a while. Checking on the website, it looks like I’ve been meaning to go for over 10 years. Why does it take so long to do something as simple as this? Don’t know and hope I start getting more things now in my present. That is part of my goals for 2013 — get outside more and do some more things with family and friends. And the art seems to be a good excuse for doing that. Have to continue collecting those photos for the someday to be painted pictures. The journey will be exciting.

Too many good things = no posts

Well the last few days have been wonderful — full of laughter, joy, and family events.  Big news was that Liz came home unexpectedly on Thursday.  She and I arranged this on Wednesday, a grand surprise for all.  Everyone has been having fun and poor Liz has not had a free moment.  Add in an air show, puppy graduation ceremonies, VIFT, and lots of other things.  All these great stories will get told sometime over the next few days.  In the meantime, I’ve got a band tournament to go see.

So for the moment we’ll share a couple pictures from the 2012 miramar airshow and give you the stories later.  Here is Liz and I from the inside of a tanker plane.  Notice the deluxe seating — in a tanker one is glad to have any seat since most things simply get bolted onto the floor.

Here’s Liz in front of a really cool airplane.  Long, black, and sleek; this plane would look menacing if it came sailing towards you.

Here I am standing with a really big robot.  Wonder what this one is supposed to do.  Sort of reminds me of Star Wars and all the big droid bots.

These were the patriots, a civilian jet demonstration team.  Liz really managed to get a great picture of them in the air.

And this is my favorite picture of the blue angels.  They were grand finale and very impressive.  But by that time I had seen some many great airshow events that I had become jaded.  The stunts were fantastic, but I no longer knew what was or was not possible by standard pilots.  The margin of error is so close–they were flying with 18 inches between the wings and the cockpits of planes.   The planes were so close to the ground, it’s hard to believe they were moving at 400 miles per hour.