Friday, August 31, 2007

Tallulah-Palooza Friday

Caption A: "Does E really equal MC squared?"
Caption B: "Bring me a peeled grape, please."
Caption C: "I wonder what's for dinner . . ."

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Wilbur the Chef Pig shrugs his shoulders and says, "Sherri is very very busy and very very hot and can't come up with a coherent sentence today, let alone a witty and interesting blog post. Whatevs."

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Z Is for . . .

Zee end, ooh la la! (What? Yes, "Z" is also for "Zany and zealous zebras in zoos," but I didn't have a photo of that . . . ).

This fun little trip through the alphabet has come to a close. I originally thought I'd run a list here of all the things I thought of after the fact or that I couldn't illustrate--but then I decided that was boring. A picture of Tallulah Mae's tail (post-bath extra-fluffy edition) is much better, no?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Y Is for . . .

Yoga. I've been practicing yoga for more than ten years now. It does all of the things it's supposed to do: it centers me, it makes me stronger, it makes me more flexible, and it humbles me. I prefer my yoga slow, calm, and thoughtful--and these are all qualities I seek in myself, as well. I'm inspired when I see 75-year-olds in class, because I know that if I keep practicing, I'll be able to get myself into Adho Mukha Svansana (Downward-Facing Dog) for years to come.

Y is also for "Yippee, I'm almost at the end of the alphabet!"

Monday, August 27, 2007

We Interrupt this Alphabet

"So today is your birthday, that's what I've been told. What a wonderful birthday, you're one more year old. On a cake there'll be candles all lighted for you. And the whole world is singing, 'Happy Birthday to You.'"

Happy Birthday, Vivi Sue!!! I love you (and I love this silly photo of you, too!).

X Is for . . .

. . . Xanadu (definitition: "an idyllic, exotic, or luxurious place"). It's actually not exotic or even particularly luxurious, but this is my house (the backyard, actually), and to me, it's Paradise. It's fun to go to other places (the Yukon! The Big Island! Hong Kong! Bakersfield!), and don't get me wrong, I love to travel (the being there, though, not the getting there--airports, ugh). In the final analysis, however, home is where I like to be. If you look closely, you'll see iced coffee and some digestives. Now picture me with a fat book and my hubby and dog, and, ahh . . . Xanadu.

Xanadu also refers, of course, to the fabulously cheesy 1980 movie starring Olivia Newton-John and Michael Beck (and Gene Kelly!), set in a roller disco. Love it! Here's a link to a marvelous video from the film . . . tightrope walkers! Zoot-suited dancers! Roller skaters! Neon! Olivia in shiny costumes! Ah, good times.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I Really Do Know My ABCs . . .

Um. Guess I didn't realize that when you do a draft post ("W") on Saturday, publish a different one on Saturday ("V"), then try to publish the draft ("W") as Sunday's post--it doesn't work that way. Just think of this as a little alphabetic detour. It's probably fixable, but the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, and I have a dog who needs a walk, so I'm out of here!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

V Is for . . .

. . . veggies! Yum yum yum. The only thing on that plate that I grew was the tomato (and yes, helpful ones, I do know that a tomato is a fruit, not a vegetable, but work with me here); the rest came from our CSA.

V is for vegetarian, too. I'm one, my husband is not, and it's all good.

("V" is also for Vivi Sue, who's about to have a birthday . . . )

W Is for . . .

Windows, people, windows. (Better than "Whatever," which was my first thought--I've got very little for "W"!). I love to take photos of windows . . . with their graphic qualities, they're very photogenic. So, I present to you, for your enjoyment, a cavalcade of windows near and far.
Oh, and "W" is for wax heads (under what other circumstances could I EVER possibly post this picture from Madame Tussaud's in London?!).
Whew, almost done with the alphabet! (Hey, another "W"!).

Friday, August 24, 2007

Tallulah-Palooza Friday

Oh, don't you wish we could read her mind?

U Is for . . .

. . . Um. Uh. Uh-huh . . .

Thursday, August 23, 2007

T Is for . . .

Oh, y'all thought I was going to say "T Is for Tallulah Mae," didn't you? I figure, any dog who has an entire Friday named after her doesn't need an alphabet post about her . . .

In this case, "T" is for texture. I love to photograph textures; when I shot in black and white, it was especially nice (not knocking the Digital Miracle Machine, though!). So, a few texture-y moments:

Oh, and "T" is for Tallulah toes . . .

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

S Is for . . .

"S" is so for many things . . . all four of my names, for starters! S to the fourth power.

S is for sewing (check out this darling little child-sized sewing machine!). My mom is a marvelous seamstress, and she used to make many of my clothes and her own clothes, too--she made herself the most amazing purple (!) lace evening pantsuit (bell bottoms, almost tunic-y top). Wow! The dress below is what has come to be known in my family as The Dress. It's my senior prom dress, and the photo doesn't do it justice: ruffle after ruffle after ruffle. She stayed up night after night just to finish it. (My prom date has been edited out: first of all, privacy and all that, and secondly, he looks decidedly less than thrilled to be there (I asked him, so . . . high school, bah).

Sadly, despite her skills, I never did learn how to sew, and I never took Home Ec. I took lessons a few years ago and I really really liked it (though I struggled with aspects of it), and then I put the machine away and haven't really touched it since. Sigh. But I will, one of these days (really, I will!). Don't know if I'll ever be able to make a ruffledy dress, but a totebag, perhaps? A girl can dream!
I do sew by hand, though, and I really love doing it. This WIP (that stands for "work in progress" for all you non-craft-blog folks) is a little felt Scottie, a baby gift. I'll show it again when it's finished, and I'll link to the pattern, kindly posted on the blog Allsorts, one of my favorites (note to self: add to Links list)--if you start poking around her blog, be warned: much cuteness ahead!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

R Is for . . .

. . . rick-rack! I'm fixated on it and obsessed with it (and consequently have quite a lot of it). Even if it's in a gnarly snarl with thread, elastic, and seam binding, stuck to the bottom of a cigar box, I always buy it.
And "R" is also for ribbon. Everything I said above about rick-rack is also true for ribbon. And I have a LOT of it, also. Oh yeah. Grosgrain, sateen, jacquard, satin, Tyrolean--it's all good.

And radios--I have such nostalgia for how things sound on radio. I have a distinct and happy memory of being with my Grandpa as he listened to Cincinnati Reds games on the radio. The crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd--it's so much better to hear it than to see it, I think; I get a warm fuzzy feeling when I happen across a game on the car radio. I also remember lying in the sun or lounging in the pool while listening to AM Top 40 radio--to this very model, in fact. "Hooked on a Feelin'" or "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown," or "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)," anyone?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Q Is for . . .

. . . Quirky tourist attractions. The smaller and weirder and grungier, the better! The pic above was taken at Trees of Mystery , in the heart of the redwoods in Klamath, California. And oh yeah, Paul Bunyan talks: to me he said, "Hey there, little lady," in an Elvis-type of voice.
Ginormous talking lumberjacks not your thing? How about the Oregon Vortex and House of Mystery (there seems to be a mysterious thing going on here). I have to say, it was weird--I don't get it! Ooh, spooky . . .
There's no mystery here: it's quite simply "The World's Largest Wood Building."
We go from very large to very small (and a wee bit disturbing, quite frankly) at the Enchanted Forest in Salem, Oregon. Doesn't Little Miss Muffet look a wee bit disheveled (and short legged)? This little attractions is home of one the most amazing displays we've ever seen: the Dancing Fountains, l ocated more or less in the snack bar, were basically synchronized lawn sprinklers with colored lights shining on them in time to music. It was marvelous! No, really, you've got to love and appreciate such things . . .
And let's end this quirky travelogue with Zig Zag Zoo, one man's fantasy land of, um stuff, set up in his front yard near Newport, Oregon. Toilet seats are a favorite material--and really, why not?
B. and I actively look for these sorts of things (this was an entire vacation built around them, actually), and we always remind each other to "be reverent": that is, one must always respect the vision/obsession/madness of the folks who create these magical places. (A small giggle is allowed!)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

P Is for . . .

. . . Parrots? Parties? Puppies (well, yes, always, but not this time)? No, "P" is for Parents. We all have them, and if we're lucky, we get a set like mine. Along with B., my parents are probably my very biggest fans--always have been and always will be--and that means a lot (and meant a lot when I was an unpopular, tall, gawky kid in glasses). In ways big and small, in ways far too numerous to list, they've always been there for me. Not that things were ALWAYS perfect and peaceful (two more "p"s!), but on the whole, my childhood and adolescence were pretty wonderful.

My mom--that's her above, with my older brother as a six-month-old--and I are so very much alike in so many ways. We joke that we share the little-known "Little Debbie" gene because my late grandma, my mom, and I all love Little Debbie oatmeal creme pies (junk food extraordinaire, yum)--and that's only the beginning of the traits (good and bad, I think) that we have in common.

What can I say about my father? There he is up there in his natty plaid blazer and flat-top, in the mid-sixties. He's one of a kind, that's for sure. Among other things, I share his, shall we say, rather (ahem) prominent schnozz, as well as the uncanny ability to recognize actors in old movies (for instance, something like "Look, that's Robert Redford when he was twelve")--it's a gift! I always used to say that he could do anything, fix anything, etc., and I still proudly proclaim my everlasting status as a "Daddy's girl."

So, in a nutshell, without going on or becoming too sentimental or maudlin, "P" is for parents--I love mine dearly and hope that you love yours, too. Have you talked to your parents lately? Go on, call your mom!

(P.S.: I know that some of my sweet friends have lost one or both of their parents, but I also know how much they love, present tense, their parents. Even if you can't physically call your parents, send out a spiritual phone call to them . . . )

Saturday, August 18, 2007

O Is for . . .

. . . the ocean. I'm a Pisces, and I definitely connect with water. I love the way the ocean smells, the way it sounds--it's mesmerizing. I might well whinge and moan about walking for an hour or two down a city street, but I'll wander down a beach for that long and be surprised when I realize how far and how long I've walked. Of course, being a foziewisp, many shells and bits of sea glass are likely to be garnered along the way. . . this photo was taken in Hawaii, on the Big Island. The knobular thing in the middle of the photo is the face of a green sea turtle, known as honu--such cool and majestic creatures.

"O" is also for organic. B. and I try really hard to be good citizens of the world, and for us that means organic, as often as possible. The result is sometimes not pretty--witness the devastation wrought above on my rosebush by rose slugs (larvae of a type of fly). It happens every year--they eat the leaves down to nothing, then I remove the skeletized leaves and wait for healthy new ones to emerge. Better some gnarly leaves than the application of some sort of icky poison.
We also try to buy organic products whenever we can, and we belong to an organic CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm. This week in our box we found heaps o'greens (collards, chard, kale), heirloom tomatoes, zucchini, and peaches, among other goodies. I have to admit that sometimes being organic has its annoyances, everything from our cutting garden turning into a gopher playground this summer to the fact that organic shampoo just often doesn't lather as exuberantly or leave your hair quite as sleek and shiny. Oh, well . . . on the whole, I just believe wholeheartedly in the big O--why, naughty minds, that stands for "organic."

Friday, August 17, 2007

Tallulah-Palooza Friday

"Tallulah likes ice cream, Tallulah likes ice cream . . . " (What's not to like?) It's from this place:
They make all of their own ice cream on the premises. Yummy.

N Is for . . .

. . . napping, one of life's greatest little pleasures. The art of the nap is here being demonstrated quite nicely by Miss Tallulah Mae. How that girl gets those back legs stretched up towards her face like that, I'll never know . . .

Thursday, August 16, 2007

M Is for . . .

Marriage. I absolutely LOVE being married (to my own sweet B., of course, not just any old husband!). I think it's a little bit miraculous when you manage to find--of all the people in the world--that one person that you really can't wait to see and be with, morning, noon, and night. So, here's to wedded bliss. (OK, Miss D.--probably BOTH Miss Ds--don't roll your eyes too much!)
On a much less important note, "M" is also for Martha Stewart. I loves me some Martha--I've been an ardent fan ever since I first bought Martha Stewart Living way way back when (I've since acquired the coveted No. 1 issue, making mine a complete set), and I still love the magazine and its spinoffs. I used to love the TV show, too; when it first came on, it was on at 5 am on Sunday mornings in LA, so we'd record it and then watch it later over Sunday breakfast. I adored the segments filmed at some gorgeous farm or at the studio of someone who made quilts or baskets or sleigh bells. Unfortunately, I can't abide the new show (post prison). The studio audience is off-putting, and the celebrities--ack. I don't need to see Carol Channing making cupcakes or Regis Philbin stuffing a turkey. Really, I don't. So, alas, my Martha habit is confined to printed media these days. I do still love her, though . . . Go, Martha, go!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

L Is for . . .

Libraries! I love them . . . I become totally greedy when I'm in one. I'm almost compelled to check out full armloads of books at a time. The first library I have a clear memory of is this one, in Wellsville, New York. This library in Lexington--now a Carnegie Center for Literacy--was wonderful. The young readers' section was up a set of marble stairs, and I always felt as if I were climbing a staircase to some very magical place. Little did I know that I would marry a librarian--how perfect!
Ah, libraries--can't you almost smell that fabulous masses-o-books smell from here? Mmmm...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

K Is for . . .

Kentucky, my beloved home state. Not only was I born and raised there (with a few detours along the way), but many of my ancestors were also Kentuckians (or Tennesseans)--"my people are from there," as we like to say, y'all.

The images above were taken several years ago on a trip in and about Lexington (my hometown). People on the West Coast generally have no idea how utterly gorgeous Kentucky is --it's every shade of green in the spring; every shade of orange and red and brown in the fall; and just as lovely in summer and winter. The people are friendly, the bluegrass music rocks, the food is yummy (Derby pie, anyone?) . . . I could go on and on, really. I'm right proud to call myself a Kentuckian.
I didn't appreciate Kentucky until I moved away, to Southern California. Now I fondly remember the way the air felt and smelled on that very first day of fall . . . the lightning bugs . . . the smell of newly mown grass on an early summer morning . . . the crunch crunch crunch of leaves on every sidewalk during October. It's not a perfect place of course--but then, it's hard to find perfection, no? My Old Kentucky Home, indeed.
"K" is also for knitting. I love to knit but unfortunately am barely past the knit/purl stage. I do hope to improve--and I have loads of fun knitting books and magazines (new and vintage) full of things to make. The Web is loaded with free patterns, as well as talented knitters and their blogs--I draw great inspiration from them. Someday . . .

Monday, August 13, 2007

J Is for . . .

R-r-ring, r-r-ing, r-r-ring.


"Hello, Jack called--he'd like his beanstalk back . . . "

"J" is for Jack and the Beanstalk, which is seemingly being enacted in my cutting garden courtesy of this plant. It came up all on its own, not planted by me--and now we have eight-plus feet of mystery, growing ever taller. If I see a giant's hand reaching down, I'll be sure to photograph it and do a blog post about it . . .

Oh, and "J" is for Jeopardy! (that exclamation point is really part of its name): I was on it last December . . . but only one show, so you know what THAT means.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I Is for . . .

. . . intermission (also known as "I can't really think of anything relevant for "I." Other than ice cream, of course!). So, an interlude (another "I") on a hot summer day.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

H Is for . . .

Handbags, vintage. This is but a small portion of my collection, almost all of them picked up for a song here and there (the one in front was a quarter!). The fab red patent leather one in back is ginormous, and thus doesn't get carried very often, but it's one of my favorites nonetheless. It would be so cool to have them on display somewhere, somehow, but I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon! (B. is rolling his eyes as he reads this). Anyway, I love handbags--and that's what these are to me, not purses. My grandma Betty called them "pocketbooks," and hers always had chewing gum (minty, like Trident) and a handkerchief in it (among other things, of course). Sometimes, when I open up a handbag like one of these, I smell a faint minty, powdery, sweet smell that reminds me of her, and I smile . . .
H is also for Holidays. B. and I celebrate, in some small way, most holidays, large and small. The first gifts we ever gave each other, before we were married, were Easter gifts, and it's mandatory on Memorial Day and Labor Day to eat ice cream, no matter what (should that become a federal law, maybe?). And we love the "H" holiday: Halloween. We have a rather large collection of Halloween-o-bilia, some of it vintage, some of it reproductions of vintage, some of it just Halloweenish (you'll see much more it on, well, Halloween!). We don't dress up in costumes or go in for the supergory stuff--just jack-o-lanterns, black cats, and spooky witches. Oh, and candy. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, please, with a chaser of M&Ms.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Tallulah-Palooza Friday

"You are getting sleepy . . . sleepy . . . sleepy. . . . When you awaken, you will give me biscuits. And frozen carrots. And coffee, lots of coffee . . ."

G Is for . . .

. . . gee, I don't know. Oh, wait--how about Gardens? I love to wander through gardens and touch the wooly plants and smell the fragrant plants and commune with my faves, the bees and the butterflies. This is the spectacular garden at Mt. Vernon.

The picture above is from Buena Creek Gardens. I love the rusty birdcage . . .

Note that "G is for Gardens," not Gardening, about which I wax and wane. I do love to garden--to plant, to water, even to weed; I'm fascinated by seeds and love to watch them germinate and sprout their tiny leaves--but I hate to prune, and I am quite hung up about planting something and then fretting about whether it was the right thing to plant, in the right spot, etc. Then I take a deep breath and realize that gardens are constantly changing, growing, and dying, and no garden is ever permanent--nor should it be. So maybe "G" is for gardens, gardening, and grace.

Oh: and "G" is for Gnomes . . .