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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

One Rad Rake

Check out my newest find.

I have been keeping my eye out for a rake like this for a while.

When one goes estate sales, one does not have a shopping list in hand like one would if one was going to the grocery store since one never knows what treasures one will come upon. In fact, some sales are a total bust...and one just walks away empty handed (something in which one's family is thanking the heavens, for one's pantry, garage, and house of one who is infected indeed starts bulging at the seams if one does not do a little purging periodically).

You see, each sale is different. In deed, one must be discriminatory in the types of sales one bothers with. One can waste precious time and gas going to busted estate sales. For example, this weekend, one was good and one was "junk".

On our way to the estate sale, my sister and I happened to be talking about things we might be looking for, you know, like furniture, kitchen items, etc...We need none of it but we are both infected with the disease.... The only thing I said was, "I want to find a metal rake".

My sister discovered "the rad rake" at sale #1 leaning against a table in the garage. I exclaimed, "It is perfect!". I promptly wrapped my delicate "little" fingers around it's handle and whisked it away.

It is the best rake ..ever. It is so well designed.
It is the perfect weight...not to heavy...not too light.
It is the perfect width..not to wide...not too narrow.
The prongs are far enough apart to rake up the leaves but the gravel and dirt is left behind.

The sweet, smooth, hardwood handle is the perfect length and diameter.
And who can argue with it's lifetime guarantee (it has already outlived its previous owner and most likely will out last me!) and one buck price?

Oh this rad rake feels so good.

So good, that I pulled it out of my car the minute I got home and immediately set out to rake up my garden. First up were the gravel pathways, then around the raised boxes, then the rose garden, then the brick pathways, then the flower beds, then out front under the camphor trees....I raked until it got too dark (just think, if I had started in the daylight, I might have started raking my neighbors' yards!) I finally ended up with a dozen little piles of organic material.

I am certain you think I am one crazy lady. I must be the only one you know who rakes under the moonlit sky..and one who goes gaga over a rake.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Neighborhood Block Party

My sister did it again.
She is amazing when it comes to putting together an event.
Her neighborhood (the court and surrounding streets) had their 22rd annual block party and for the fifth year in a row it was held at her home.

The neighbors like to have it at Martha's house because her house

1. is situated at the end of the court which makes for safe play for the little kids
2. has a nice long driveway which is perfect for cooking the burgers and dogs and serving the food
3. has the loveliest garden, (between hers and my garden we put together six of these wild and crazy flower arrangements which were placed in "vintage" mason jars..some pics can be viewed here)

My sister knows how to put on fabulous events (remember my daughter's wedding? SHE made that happen) She made flags, bought cute vintage red/white gingham tablecloths, made blackboards from estate sale trays, served food in her 50's/60's style bowls and platters, organized desserts and grill masters, shopped for EVERYTHING (except for the meat for hamburgers/hot dogs), labeled a recycling & garbage station, moved tables and chairs, and made everyone feel so welcome.

She has a most fabulous style, and is the mostest and bestest hostess

I'm taking notes dear sistah.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I See the Moon, The Moon Sees Me

Did you see the moon last night?

I have one word for it....


Last night around 9:00 as my sister and I

were motoring south on 280 heading to our parents house,

we were blasted with this gigantic buttery yellow spotlight

sitting at the horizon in the sky.

Did anyone else see it?

It took my breath away.

My sister asked,

"Why is the moon look so large at the horizon?"

I stammered, "I think it has something to do with an optical illusion,

but really not sure."

So we asked our dad.... he is the go to person when you need an anwer

...but he couldn't remember.

So I wikied it.

There is one "answer" here

and here.

That sight is indelibly etched into my brain.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Baby Shoe

I can finally put the word out...

I am going to be a grandma!!

Mr. and Mrs. Shoe are having a baby shoe.

I hear from veteran grandmas

that being a grandma is the sweetest.

I'll let you know in six months

when the little cobbler comes out of the oven.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Spring Into Summer

The solstice the other day means summer has officially begun. I have been reflecting upon our spring here in the bay area. We not only had a wet spring (we desparately needed the rain which turned to snow in the mountains) but also a cool one. The plants and flowers have been a bit confused because they weren't sure if it was winter or spring..the weather just kept changing from sunny to rainy to sunny to rainy to cloudy and semi-warm to cool to cold to hot to cool to semi-warm. I wouldn't mind it one bit if our spring weather continued into summer. Actually, so far, it hasn't been too bad. Just keep this up Mr. Weather!

In any case, here are some of the delights I witnessed, experienced and enjoyed these past several months, some in my own yard/town and some as I hiked with my sister up by "the Dish" or at Rancho San Antonio:

* Months filled with copious amounts of rain and cool breezes I.L.O.V.E.D.I.T...

* Balls of fluff peering over the edge of a nest at the top of a dead tread, "bullet ridden" with holes made by the adult peckers.

* A mother turkey clucking away as we approached her chicks hidden in the tall grass. Occasionally a baby bird would "fly" to catch up with mama.

* Dozens of baby bunnies hopping and darting to and fro, across the trail.

* Two five foot long snakes performing their mating dance right next to the trail (for over a half an hour)...the only thing missing was some exotic music.

* Streams (which are usually dry) bulging with water...

* Cows lazily chewing their cud standing by the side of the trail. Their big brown eyes piercing you as you walk on by. The tan ones are my faves.

* Papa and Momma quail with their brood following in a line behind them.

* Patches and patches of poppies, daffodils, and tulips blooming in the median strips or along the side of the road.

* Lush green rolling fields filled with birds.

* Apricots on the trees near the library.

* Star jasmine in full bloom....this might not be too fun for those with hayfever or allergies.

* Cool breezes, big puffy clouds and a gigantic round moon in the sky.

These just a few of the things that I have enjoyed this spring.

Bring on the warm lazy summer! (Glad I work in an air conditioned office).

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Dad

I am grateful for these two wonderful people,
my grandma and grandpa.

They had my dad, one of six children. Isn't he the cutest baby?
My dad grew up to become one handsome and dashing young man.

Who fell in love with and married my mother, a most beautiful damsel.

And had me, one of eight children.

Ever since I was a baby, I have held tight to his guiding hands....
He has supported me, loved me, taught me, nutured me, provided experiences for me, given me opportunities, been a supreme example to me, showed me how to learn and been my rock.

I love my dad more than...
the stars in heaven...
the sand on the beaches...
the water in the oceans...
the trees in the world...
and the birds in the skies....

To my Pop...
Happy Father's Day

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Vintage Finds

I was driving home from the pool Friday morning and spotted the fluorescent sign with handwritten words:

Garage Sale Today


I usually don't bother with "Garage Sales"...but thought, it is 8:30, I am on my way home, I can simply drive by and check it out. So, without skipping a beat, my car automatically followed the perfectly positioned signs, just like following bread crumbs dropped by Hansel and Gretal.

My hair is dripping, I'll just run a comb through it.
My swim suit is wet under my fuzzy and sweats, but I don't care.
My wallet is full of bills ...and I think to myself, "Maybe, perhaps just maybe, I will find a tiny treasure this morning."

My heart skips a beat or two as I walk up the driveway.
Is this "garage sale" really an estate sale in disguise?
That is OK... but it is not OK to advertise a garage sale as an estate sale when it is a garage sale...you know it when you see it...the people are still living and they are selling all new stuff.

First stop, the garage. The garage where the true bargains lie (or is it "lay"?).
My eyes fell upon this:

My, my, same pink paint as the cradle I just outfitted. I didn't have the heart to leave this doll treasure....and whisked it away into my van.
An hour later, as I am driving down San Antonio, I spot another sign...this time it says:

"Estate Sale"

I couldn't resist.

As always, first stop is the garage. Found this:
The green plaid top is the coolest. I think I will find a spot for it in my potting shed. And then, when we go car camping (that is, if we ever do that again!) I will fold it up and bring it with me along with my vintage water jug.

Next, I swing through the kitchen which has foil wallpaper from the seventies (orange/yellow/gold) on the ceiling and inside the cupboards. The house, stuck in a time warp, hadn't been touched since it was first built (my guess, sometime in the 60's)

Picked up a couple of vintage aprons,
one with butterflies,
the other with cats...to add to my collection.

And spotted these:
Felt so good when my daughter commented, "They look like they came from Anthropologie"...Well, these are the real deal, not a reproduction, and the seven of them cost about the same as one glass at Anthro...which makes them all the better in my book.

It is time to go home and purge...to make room for the new stuff coming in.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Four of Them

I had four of these installed on my car last week.

My tires were horribly unsafe.

They were either balled, unevenly worn, and/or thread bare.

Ahhh...the difference full treads make!

No more....

slipping and sliding down the road

or fear of a blowout.

Pay attention when the tire pressure idiot light comes on!

You will not only save on gas,

but also your tires will take you farther.

Ahhhh...love the smooth ride.
Aren't new tires great!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I am Flying High

I am flying high ...

You might ask why?

Well, Peter landed a job at NASA in Mountain View.

It is an internship program through De Anza College

and will last 18- 24 months.

He will be working with the "Super Computer".

(NASA computer circa 1973)


We are so happy and proud.

It is time to celebrate.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Before/After Chairs

I spotted two of these blue chairs at an estate sale in Palo Alto last summer and convinced my sister to purchase them (for $30 bucks each). I saw the chairs' potential..... truly authentic 1940's chairs...the real deal... and not reproductions ..no sirree.

Well, to make a long story short, I ended up buying the chairs from my sister and proceeded to pick out fabric to have them recovered by my favorite upholstery shop in Mountain View (Sterling). It turns out that Sterling had recovered the chairs over 45 years ago..for we found their tag on the bottom of the seat.

Here is a picture of the chairs as I was staining the wood (I wanted to get rid of the a natural maple look):

I took them back to Sterling for them to do their magic.....and whaaalaa....the finished product:

These chairs are so comfortable. I love the curved backs, I love the darker stain. I love the natural "linen" fabric. I love how easy it is to move them around. I love how they provide added seating in the room without taking up too much space. I guess you might say, I am pleased and it feels so good to bring them back to life.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Caboose

This sweetie patootie is the caboose in our family and today is her birthday.

(Isn't she the most adorable little one on the planet?)

We loved to spoil her, and take care of her.

(Here I am pushing Gwen after church on Sunday way back when.
See those white shoes? I remember polishing them each Sunday before church.)

This little cutie pie turned 48 today.

Gwenny is so much fun, is caring, always thinks of others, remembers everyone's birthdays, comes up with the best birthday/Christmas/anytime cards, loves to travel, is very good at her job (works at Intuit), has two dogs (Dug and Bette) who adore her and she loves them, has an incredible laugh, has the cutest freckles, is married to an absolutely wonderful husband (Johnny).....and is the bookend of our family.

Happy Birthday baby sister...looking forward to your big birthday bash on Saturday.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

One Hot Day

So we had one hot day last Saturday (and it was only in the low 80's).

Did you hear the complaining? It has been so long since we've had hot weather, I think we forgot what it felt like.

Really.... I am such a wimp...I am not good in hot weather.

I find it so much easier to get warm by layering ON ...and so much harder to get cool (we don't have air conditioning). There is only so much one can take off without becoming totally immodest. At my age, I prefer modesty.

I have enjoyed our cool spring. ..love the rain... love the cool, and sometimes cold mornings and evenings.... even love the snow in the mountains (especially since I don't live up there!)

I know, I know...the plants and flowers are all mixed up and confused ...their blooming/growing schedule is off by at least a month.

But, just think of the good things that have come from this crazy, cool , and unseasonably rainy spring:

1. more snow pack

2. slower snow melt (less flooding)

3. full reservoirs

4. longer blooming season

5. green hillsides for a longer time (they have now just turned brown)

6. and very happy and comfortable gardeners who enjoy the beautiful weather as they weed, feed and plant in their garden.

Luckily, the heat lasted a day and we are back to our very pleasant, cool and breezy weather.

I so very much love it this way!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Purple Petunias

One of my most favorite paintings at the DeYoung museum in Golden Gate Park is "Petunias" by Georgia O'Keefe. Every time I visit the museum, it is the very first painting I go see (check it out here ). The simple velvety texture of the purple flower petals is exquisite.

So, in honor Georgia O'Keefe I plant purple petunias.

Before planting:

After planting:

I love purple petunias.