Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

We had our first rain in months here in Central California. I like it and think it's just right for Halloween. I just hope it isn't pouring tonight for the Trick-or-Treaters.
We are all ready for Halloween here Amongst The Oaks; tombstones, spiders, pumpkins, Jacobs ladder, candy, dinner (soup) already made. On my way out the door I noticed how pretty these pumpkins looked. I got them at a self service farm stand the other day.
I've got to fly, but have a fun and safe Halloween and don't eat any of....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Locks of Love

Teen2 did something wonderful last Saturday. She cut her hair for Locks of Love. She scrubbed it for the next user, donned a tiara and we set off for the salon. Cathy (our stylist) made a ponytail, measured it, and quickly cut it off.

Teen2 said it was really weird to see her hair lying there on the counter, but she didn't seem shocked. In fact, she seemed to be enjoying it all; the shampoo, the trim, the styling.

And I'm quite proud of her. Someone is going to get some really nice, healthy, well loved hair. From a really cool kid, even if I do say so myself.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Homecoming Game

Ah the Homecoming football game. Here's the beginning of the game where they introduce everyone and do the coin toss. Since it was Homecoming, several old guys from the graduating class of 1958 were there. Hmmm, that would make them 68 years old. They trotted out onto the field for recognition too.
The game got off to a great start with our team quickly scoring a touchdown. And then a couple more. And then it was halftime, the real reason we go to the games.

The band and auxiliary took to the field, played the Star Spangled Banner and did a little routine.
Then the special awards for best carnival booth, best car, best sound system in a car, and worst car were announced. And guess who won that award? Our own little Teen1. She was so happy! It may not seem like that is something to be happy about, but she won gas and a carwash, so she was delighted.

And then the Homecoming Queen nominees were chauffeured in on fancy new convertibles by their daddies. They were all introduced and applauded, then the Queen was announced and crowned by last year's Queen.

We sat through another quarter watching our team romp down the field. Then we decided we would probably win, so we headed home. Cause we're old.

And the funniest part of the whole evening (for me anyway) was when the Lord of the Manor snuck through the handicap walkway just behind all those old alumni from 1958. The attendant didn't even question him. He blended in with those 68 year old guys. I walked up the stairs laughing and met him at the exit gate still laughing. Aren't Homecoming Games fun?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I've been tagged

Kat has tagged me to tell 6 quirky things about myself, but I just can't narrow it down to 6, so I'm going to show 6 things I collect instead. I collect these little buildings from places I've traveled. This one is from Venice.

I also collect old family photos. These are my parents, my grandparents, and the Lord of the Manor's great grandmother and great great grandparents.

And I collect mice. Here is a small section of my collection. I keep it in a glass fronted cupboard in my bedroom. I lined the shelves with old pillowcase edges that grandmother made.

I also collect pitchers.

And of course you know about the books.

Now this one is almost embarrassing. I have a few sets of dishes. The Lord of the Manor made these nifty sliding shelves to hold some of them. The others are in the buffet and china cabinet in the dining room...and there are some in the laundry room too. I also collect pillows and tassels and tablecloths and clocks, and artwork, but the rules said 6, so (whew!) I'm done.
I'd like to tag you right now. So if you are reading this (all 6 of you), consider yourself tagged! Seriously, it's fun, so give it a try.
Here are the rules for the tag:
1. Link me to your blog.
2. List 6 quirky things about yourself or 6 things you collect.
3. Link to 6 other blogs or pass on the tag.
4. And remember playing is optional. You can change the rules if you like.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Lunch at the Spa

We celebrated our anniversary at the Spa again this year. I talked about it last year, but I didn't show you our lunch, so today I'll show you the food.

Here is the Lord of the Manor's beet salad. It tasted as yummy as it looked.

Here is my pear and endive salad. The sweetness of the pear was perfectly offset by the bitterness of the endive, and accented by the richness of the blue cheese and nuts. Scrummy!

Here is the entree we shared. Pan seared salmon with polenta and ratatouille.

We managed to find room for lava cake for dessert. Then we waddled over to the spa for our massage. What a wonderful day.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Band Review Season

It's that time of year again. That time of year when high school kids (and lots of their parents) get up at 3:20, stagger to the school, get on the yellow buses, rattle down the road for a couple of hours only to arrive at another school where they get to
lift heavy stuff off the truck, change clothes in the parking lot, eat strange food at strange times,

practice, practice, practice, help and encourage each other,
and finally pull it all together for the performances. Great life leasons are learned at band reviews. Great friendships and great memories are formed too. Now if we could just teach that flute her left from her right, we'd be awesome.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Art in the Home

Spot, who is an amazingly intelligent and worldly lurcher, asked about some artwork in my home. So here is a little sampling. Above is a copy of the relatives's painting called Drying Sails. Below is a larger piece called Summer Morning, St. Ives. The originals are at the Monterey Museum of Art.

We were lucky enough to be invited to a retrospective of the artist's work at the Carmel Art Association in 2001. It was grand to see so much of her work gathered together from museums and private collections. We've also seen her work at the Oakland Museum, and the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco. And we've also seen her work in the in law's living room and a second cousin's dining room in Chagford. What a delight to have an artist in the family.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Halloween Wreath

I made this Halloween wreath yesterday evening. It is made from the dregs that I found at the new Michael's store here in town. It used to be conveniently close to our house, and we used to bop over there frequently, now it's about two miles away. Anyhow, I stopped by Monday to check it out, and there was very little Halloween stuff left. Plenty of Thanksgiving and Christmas, but almost no Halloween. I wanted some more birds for my dining room display. Seems like just two weeks ago the place looked like a cheap remake of the Birds, but I couldn't find a single crow! Drat!
In all fairness, the new store is much nicer; well lit, well organized, bright and clean. I'm sure I'll come to like it, but it really bugs me that I have to shop for every holiday two months in advance.
So I ended up with a black wreath, some black leaf garland, and three styrofoam skulls. I found the bones font online, printed out the little ovals, and glued them to a ribbon. Then I nestled the banner in the foliage, and that was it.

Happy Halloween from here Amongst The Oaks.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Grand Tour

Sorry I've been away so long, but we've been busy, busy, busy. We worked on the cottage all weekend and we have to be at school nearly every night this week. After last night's meeting, though, Teen2 and I went to Flourish & Blots. She found some books she wanted and I found a calendar. It's called The Grand Tour and has turn of the century photos of Europe's great cities.

Here's Venice and Florence. Both still look the same today, but the clothes have changed.

Here's the Karlstor in Munich and the Eiffel Tower being built.

And above is Fleet Street in London, looking toward St. paul's Cathedral.
To busy to do anything but armchair traveling here Amongst The Oaks.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

My Great Aunt

I went to visit this cute lady yesterday. She is my grandmother's little sister. There were eleven children; my grandmother was the second child, this woman was the tenth. She is my oldest living relative. Just take a guess at her age. While you think, I'll tell you a little about her.

She remembers my grandmother coming back home to live with them when she was just a child because grandpa found work nearby building a bridge. At that time, my grandparents already had three children. And the great-grandparents still had ten kids at home, so that's sixteen people in one house! Above is a photo of the family about that time. My great aunt is one of the little kids. My grandmother and grandfather are at the top right holding two of their three children. My mother wasn't born yet, so she isn't in the photo. My great grandparents are the two in dark clothes.
My great aunt has always had a strong personality. She remembers learning to drive in a boyfriend's car. When he asked her for a date, she said only if he would let her drive his car. She knew her Daddy would never teach her to drive, but she had a great desire to drive so she found a way.

Her first marriage was bad so she left him. That was unthinkable back then, but she quickly found another husband and they had one child. That husband died young, so she married for a third time. He died around 1985, so she lives alone now, but don't think she's lonely! She's always busy visiting with friends and relatives and she always seems to have a boyfriend. The current boyfriend occupies her weekends, so don't go to visit her on the weekend - that's reserved for him.

Did you guess that she is 80? or maybe 90? Nope, she is 97. And see her left hand there in the photo? See what she's holding? Her car keys. She still drives! I noticed when we finished lunch at the restaurant, she got her keys out even though I was driving. She's still sharp as a tack, so I don't think she was confused. I think she just likes to be in the driver's seat. And you know what? I want to be just like my great aunt when I get old.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Check out this yard I saw on my way home from work recently. I'm so jealous. They have everything! A bloody bride and grisly groom, lots of tombstones, a real casket, and lots of dead flower arrangements. They certainly win my award for best decorated house.

Then there's my house....I put out a few tombstones and my pots of fire Saturday. I was thinking maybe it needed something more, but this wasn't what I had in mind!

It seems some of Teen1 and Teen2's friends had fun in the middle of the night.

So guess what Teen1 and Teen2 did early Sunday morning?
But look at the evidence I found. I think it's about a size 7 Converse, so I'm checking all their buddy's shoes now.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Lodi Street Faire

We went to the Lodi Street Faire on Sunday. It's always lots of fun with antiques, crafts, food and people watching. This booth had interesting treasures from Europe. I really liked those wicker baskets and that work table. They had a similar work table covered with metal. That would be a great addition to a crafts room, wouldn't it?

They had several sets of cafe furniture. I gravitated towards this red set, of course. But I already have lots of patio furniture, so I don't really need it. This red coffee grinder caught my eye too. Mainly it reminded me that I needed a cup of coffee....

In the end we only bought one tiny thing for Acorn Cottage; a little cast iron hook which I'll show to you soon. But we had a nice day out from Amongst The Oaks.