Thursday, June 28, 2007

For Sale

My daughter is in a constant state of wanting to move...hates our house (which we love) and is always on the lookout for something newer, bigger, better....different. Anyway, driving by this older home the other day and of course she wants to get the info sheet. So I stopped (to her suprise) and told her that we might just go look at it. I'm not in any way looking to move, but you never know, if we saw a really great house we might be tempted. She can't quite believe I'm serious and because she is leaving for dance camp the next day, she won't even be able to go with us to look (not sure why but I feel the need to go right away just in case it gets sold quickly and we can't go later) So on Monday, we call our good friend who is a realtor and off we go.

It really is a cute house, just outside of town on half an acre...2 bathrooms (heaven to us - 6 people sharing 1 bath) neat covered front porch, and the kitchen has been updated.

I love the lot, nice big trees, covered patio, shop, and a horseshoe pit which Luis and Wils put to immediate use.

But...the ceilings are lower than our 9 footers (which makes it feel smaller) there is no dining room, the fridge sits in the attatched laundry room because the kitchen is too small to accomodate it, and the floors seem to be a bit 'bouncy' in areas (not a good sign). It would be a wonderful starter home if we were 20yrs. younger and wanted a 'project'. But our house is almost finished....we are in the process of turning the shop into a studio apt. for our boys (with it's own bathroom!) and we put in all new floors last year as well as the solar. Plus, my husband and I LOVE being a block from downtown. It is so neat to be able to walk downtown to the cafe or the bookstore...I would SO miss that.

Now I'd like to take Annie back to see it, even tho we really don't want to buy it. I think maybe she should see it, maybe (and I'm not holding my breath) she'll come back with an appreciation of what she has. She may not want to admit it, but we have a pretty cool HOME...

...and here's one I took today (in way too much sun) of our Home Sweet Home...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

My talented brother

This is a shot of my Moms garden, which my brother Robert takes care of (Element landscaping- Simply the Best-for all your gardening needs- open 24hrs :) .

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cooling off

And here's one of our nephew Luis (the big white foot on the left belongs to Wilson).

Monday, June 25, 2007

Nate and friend

My nephews have been spending lots of time with us this summer and Nate just LOVES the kittens. We should probably try to sneak one into his luggage when he goes home...OK, so its a grocery sack and he lives 10 min. away , the point is ...the cats must go.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

leftover pic...

...from the 365 blog. That was a fun one Ruth...lets do food again!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Another flower picture...

...that's actually a squash blossom. Pretty much the only thing this plant has put out is blossoms, the squash just kind of die off....someone told me it's our bee issue (as in -not enuf).

Friday, June 22, 2007

First Business Card...ever

I love daughter (pictured) hates it. I just spent $30 on 250 business cards; am I supposed to throw them away because she can't stand the picture? I love my DD, honest I do....but crimony...and just so you know, she hates about half of the pics I take of her and my goodness she's georgous! I don't want to traumatize her for life, but really .....who am I going to give these to anyway? Maybe I'll keep them for now, and in a month or so (as our budget permits) I'll have some more made up....geez!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Go Solar!

Just thought I'd share a pic of our photovotalic energy system (Ok... solar...geez). We have a fairly small (for now) system of 14 panels, but it's something. Now if we could just figure out where the energy drain on our house is, we'd be fine. We've done comparisons with just about everyone we know and the concensus is...our usage is higher than it should be. Even the electrician is stumped. Edisons energy auditor gave us an A+ after doing a complete examination of our house and appliances etc. We are very conservative with our electric usage and have replaced windows and insulation in half the house (all 1100 sq. ft. of it). Despite all our efforts, our usage remains the same as houses twice the size. We have our air-conditioning set on 88 (which just thrills our kids to no end) but even the whole house fan is using energy at an alaming rate. It's so incredibly frustrating to KNOW that something is wrong here but have no idea how to find out what it is..... be continued.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


...but at least now I run for the camera instead of running for the hills!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Dance Recital

Beautiful daughter, not such a great shot. The lighting was so dim that I had to set the iso to 3200, so there's quite a bit of noise in this one. But at least I wasn't using flash like 39 other people in the auditorium. May I take this opportunity to impart a piece of wisdom to some of you who insist on using flash in a dark venue when you are more than 25 ft. away from your subject.
IT DOESN'T WORK (that's me yelling). Using flash at that distance (and that was the closest spectator, some were 50-60ft. away) accomplishes many illuminates quite nicely the backs of heads in the row in front of renders the stage completely dark because in flash mode, the camera automatically increases the shutter speed and closes down the aperture to compensate for the bright flash....and most importantly, it irritates pretty much the entire audience (at least the non-flashing segment). I can’t imagine the dancers are helped by it either, tho my daughter says it doesn’t bother her. Since I also purchased the DVD, I am curious as to how the constant flashing is going to affect the quality of the recording….we’ll see.

Maybe I should just be glad they didn’t bring balloons…..

Sunday, June 17, 2007


This is an old picture but I really like it and it's my blog... so there.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

another from graduation...

Sam with Amber, what a sweetie....

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Experimenting with silhouettes....

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

playing around in photoshop....

...and wasting a perfectly good lemon.

Monday, June 11, 2007

flowers and fences

Shuttermom did a DOF challenge this week and this was my entry, turns out I really love this photo....

Sunday, June 10, 2007

just thinking about...

how much I love our yard....or maybe I just love being home.

Saturday, June 9, 2007!!!

I was going thru some wedding candids from our niece's wedding and came across this shot of the bouquet being caught. I really like the angle and the action that it captures, but I especially love the intent look on the flower girls face.

Funny I never noticed it before....

Friday, June 8, 2007

Newest member of the Zoo

We now have a bird....well....Annie has a bird. Why (you may ask) do we have a bird? Why would a family with 9 (count'em...9) cats have a bird?

I don't know why....I wish I did, but I don't....

Maybe the more important question might be....
why do we have 9 CATS?

Thursday, June 7, 2007


Sam graduated Friday night and we are SO proud of him. He was named the Lions club Athlete of the Year and is a California Scholastic Federation Life member (he took off the gold cord as soon as graduation was over) Smart, good-looking AND an athlete....whew... where did this kid come from?

Now, on to my rant of the day. I enjoy graduations about as much as a trip to Wal-Mart...always a pleasure to see how low people have sunk in the manners department. The High School has instituted a new rule, balloons are only allowed on the perimeters; if you have a balloon bouquet you need to sit on the outside of the spectators in order to NOT block any ones view of the festivities. Good rule...maybe a ban on air horns will be next; we have 3 more graduations to attend and I'd like to have SOME hearing left in my old age. In we go to the stadium, half hour early and seating is limited but we do find a section in the upper corner and settle in to watch the debacle. All is well until an older (old enuf to know better) woman positions herself and her two gigantic balloons smack in the middle of our vantage point to where Sam is sitting. One is in the shape of a dinosaur, I missing something here?...what does that have to do with graduation? But I digress…

I must confess that I have the patience of a gnat, so I immediately start steaming and thinking of ways to let this clod know that we are NOT going to sit and look at these monstrosities for an hour. She eventually figures this out herself and tries (in vain) to hold the balloons in her lap and hunch over them. I then decide (and it is a decision) to relax, breathe, and let go of my disgust at the situation. I ask my husband to tell her that we will tie her balloons to the railing next to us so she (and the rest of the crowd) can enjoy the graduation. We do this in sign language as she can not speak English (hey, just stating the facts) and she is appreciative of the offer. I feel much better having (for once) kept my temper in check and ‘made lemonade’ as it were, out of a potentially bad situation.

..."Compassion. I have too much compassion. And that's why I'm a wreck."....

The ceremony ensues...all is well...until the front row of graduates (the last to actually graduate and the one with the top 10 students) stand to begin to receive their diplomas. Sam was...I kid you not....number 11 in his class, so he and all the CSF members are also in the front row. This is when Ms. Balloon lady and her entourage decide to get up and leave....her child having already received his diploma, so to heck with the rest of us. She turns to us and motions that she wants her balloons. I politely point to the graduates and shake my head in still graduating...parents still watching....please sit down (you freakin' idiot). She sits for a few seconds and again turns to request her balloons. Sam has not been named yet and I'm livid but I figure it's I turn to the gentleman next to me (from North Carolina) and say, "Oh well, I guess we lose that battle"....and he says, "Nope, let her wait".

Well, she is now looking panicked....not sure if the whole 'doesn't speak English' is playing into this, but Mr. North Carolina decides to back off and unties the balloons and hands them to her. In the middle of all this Sam has graduated (our group cheered him quite loudly) and tho I did see him, the ugly scene pretty much ruined the joy of the moment.

In looking back after the evening, my brother said they should admonish the parents in Spanish (as they did in English) to please stay in your seats until ALL the graduates have been named. My problem with this thinking is....#1 they make that announcement at the beginning of the ceremony and it has been forgotten (or deliberately ignored) by the end of the night.....#2 manners don't rely on interpretations, she could clearly SEE that kids were still graduating, she shouldn't have to be TOLD to stay in her seat. And she wasn't alone, as soon as that last row of kids stood up the mass exodus began. Rudeness was not limited to this group of was a widespread phenomena....this was just the group that affected our family.

How sad that we now are going to have to station security in the stands to keep people in their sad that we have to FORCE people to be sad that the teenagers were better behaved than the adults....shame on them!

…."I'd like to send every one of them to an island somewhere . . . wrapped in heavy chains"....

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Goodbye High School

Sam graduated last night....more to follow.