Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Afternoon on the Patio

The goldfinches finally found the Nyjer seed. There are eight of them in this photo (counting the one in flight and NOT counting the bottom right which is a house finch). I counted eleven at one point this afternoon. They have consumed more than 6" of the seed in less than 24 hours.

The humming birds found the patio decoration my sister gave me earlier this year.

The California Towhee found the little bit of seed I threw down just for him.

This humming bird has been taking a drink from our water fountain. Sorry, I had to shoot it through the patio window.

Bailey decided he ought to be flaunting his new sleek, slim, svelte self, if the birds were going to get all the attention.

(from Field Guide to the Birds of North America)

The exciting thing of the afternoon was that we had a wrentit visit us. He has a loud and beautiful song and this is the first time he has visited. I was able to make a good identification of him once he came out of the bushes. They are quite shy in spite of their loud song and they seem to be quite rare, being found only along the California and Oregon coast line. My new goal will have to be to get my own photo. This will not be easy as they hide in the shrubbery and rarely come out. But I think our waterfall attracted him. Unlike the fountain, it is set back in the bushes.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Mortgage Burning

Our new Worship Center was completed in1991. Today it is a large multi-purpose building used primarily for worship and includes Sunday school rooms, prayer rooms, a choir loft and platform area, a balcony and a large kitchen. The main floor is used not only for worship but for dinners, wedding and funeral receptions, youth functions and community purposes. A spacious parking garage was established under the main building with an elevator giving access to the three floors of the building. This enormous undertaking entailed a total of $5.5 million dollars to see the dream come to fruition.

On Sunday July 12th, this year we held a special celebration:

Because of the difficult financial circumstances under which we have all been laboring these past few years, we hardly dared hope.... so it was with a genuine and heartfelt sense of praise and thanksgiving that we held...

a good ole' Mortgage Burning!

Elder Ken Johnson did the honors of the burning and my husband, because he was the senior pastor when the concept and construction took place, delivered a message of praise and challenge for the future.

What a milestone in the history of our church, which has been preaching the Gospel for 85 years in Carlsbad.

As you can imagine, the doxology was sung with great enthusiasm:

"Praise God from whom all blessings flow".

Monday, July 20, 2009


I'd like you to meet Miss Ede.

A week or two ago, some of our ladies at the church attended a luncheon for all those who have been regularly visiting the elderly and those who are not well and unable to attend worship services. We call our group WINGS -- Women in God's Service.

We were all surprised to see EDE at the luncheon.
She is 103 and as sharp as a razor.

We were even more surprised when donning a black wig and a peasant shirt, she took over the microphone and regaled us with the following poem -- all perfectly memorized and delivered with enthusiasm and actions. I just wish I'd had a video of her. It was amazing.


I love that organic cookin', and I always ask for more.

They call me Miz Natural down at the health food store.

I only eat good sea salt; white sugar don't touch my lips.

And my friends is always askin' to take 'em on macrobiotic trips.

But at night I take out my strong box that I keep under lock and key

And I take it off to my closet where nobody else can see

I open the door so slowly, take a peek up north and south

Then I pull out a Hostess Twinkie and I pop it in my mouth


In the daytime I'm Miz Natural, just as healthy as I can be,

But at night I'm a junk food junkie

So please have pity on me, oh please have pity on me!

At lunch time you can find me at the Whole Earth Vitamin Bar

Just eatin' plain white yogurt from a hand thrown pottery jar

And drinkin' fresh pressed cider with a carrot stick for dessert,

And wipin' my face in a natural way on the sleeve of my peasant shirt.

But when the clock strikes midnight and I'm all by myself

I work the combination of my secret hide-away shelf.

Then take out some Fritos corn chips, Dr. Pepper and an Eskimo Pie

Then I sit back in expectation of a genuine junk food high.

In the daytime I'm Miz Natural, just as healthy as I can be,

But at night I'm a junk food junkie

So please have pity on me, oh please have pity on me!

Now the folks down at the commune, they think I'm pretty neat.

I don't know nothin' 'bout arts 'n crafts, but I give them something to eat.

I'm a friend of Ewell Gibbons and I use homegrown good spice

And I've got an ole Grecian pottery jar filled up with raw, brown rice.

But lately folks I've been spotted with a Big Mac on my breath,

And I run into Colonel Sanders with my face as white as death.

But some day I'm afraid they'll find me spread out upon my bed,

With a handful of Pringles 'tater chips and a Ding Dong by my head.

In the daytime I'm Miz Natural, just as healthy as I can be,

But at night I'm a junk food junkie

So please have pity on me, oh please have pity on me!

Ede, the Junk Food Junkie

What a treat! And how we laughed!

Friday, July 17, 2009

More Backyard Birds

This one looks like he did a little too much partying last night!

Juveniles (house finches or sparrows) waiting for me to go inside so they can get at the seed I've thrown down for them. We have more than ten juveniles from this spring's hatchings.

"A demain"... as Claude would say.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


The weather has turned warmer and the humming birds have been around much more. I have been honing my skills for taking hummingbird photos. I discovered it was not so difficult as I thought. Once they have landed to take a break to sit in the sun, they let you get surprisingly close. I think these are mostly juveniles. These are the best shots out of about 30 or so I took in two afternoons.

This is the fence where the flowering bushes grow that get the afternoon sun and where the humming birds hang out.

Monday, July 13, 2009


I have been trying to keep up with my art work and these are the products of my hard work since I got back from Norway.

This one is done on a miniature, 3 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches. I found a new blog called Illustration Friday. They give you a subject and then you produce your idea of the subject. I'm supposed to post a link etc. but I haven't figured out how to do that yet as they want a thumb nail as well and I have to experiment a little. The subject for this effort was HOLLOW. Not too arty but I hope I've made the point.

I've been meaning to reproduce this one for months. It is taken from a picture on a tile that my husband brought home from Portugal, many moons ago. I really liked the atmosphere the artist created. I wish I could have made mine with more intensity of color, but couldn't do it for this one.
Gail who has a blog posted a beautiful embroidery sampler a week or so ago. I wanted to try and copy it, but because there was so much detail and the wavy center part was so much broader, I would have had to make the picture too large to do it justice. So I did my toned down version of it. Not nearly so good as the original, but still I think pretty, if you didn't know I did a cop out!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Getting tired of the hot weather already?

About six weeks ago this was the scene where I was -- Northern Norway.

I didn't post these photos before because I thought maybe you were getting too much Norway.

This was the day I went to see the huskies. I took this photo because it was such a terrible day -- and so typically what I thought of as Arctic weather. It had just finished pouring with rain.

We were taken into a Lavvo, which seems to be the Sami equivalent of a tepee.

Inside was a beautiful warm fire, a hot drink and some cake. It was warm and dry. (Not the cake!)

Look at that gorgeous fire -- and the kettle already boiling on the fire.

We sat on reindeer skins and it was warm and comfy while the rain pounded on the roof and the wind blew so hard the canvas flapped and waved in the gusts.

Soon the rain stopped and we went outside to see the dogs. See my post of June 21, '09

And look what I saw! Which just about sums up my day!

The really cool thing about going to Norway in May and June is that now we are home we still have gorgeous weather for July, August, September and October -- and we have all those wonderful memories!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Colorful Fourth of July

We just sat and relaxed for our Fourth of July. It was a gorgeous day -- better than we've had for over a month. So I just sat and enjoyed the flowers. Barry had been doing a little studying for some services he has coming up and as I walked from the patio into the kitchen, this colorful sight met me.

A hot pink theology book -- how's that for something different? "Mark's Superb Gospel" was lying on a colorful brochure that had come in the mail. It was one of Barry's study books without its dust cover on. He usually takes the dust covers off when he is using his books, but underneath was this brightly colored book. What a surprise!

That gave me the urge to look for bright colors and since I was outside most of the day these shots were inevitable, A nasturtium which had spread from the neighbor's yard and which I am now enjoying too. I really think the gaps between the deck slats added to the attractiveness of this photo. I didn't even plan it that way. I was just turning around to see what caught my eye, snapping photos as I went. This was really a lucky shot.

And so was this. These are the flowers of the giant bird of paradise. Just look at that beautiful blue sky. If you look closely, you can see the sugary sap running out of the "beak' part. The birds love these plants -- especially the orioles and humming birds.

Next were the rich purple flowers of the potato vine. They are also like the flowers of the Deadly Night-shade which grows as a weed in England and is poisonous. But I want to rename it with something prettier. I have to give some thought to this idea. I think the word 'star' has to be in it somewhere because of the bright yellow star in the center and the star-like indentations in the purple part. The purple could represent the night sky. So how about Midnight Star?

Right beside the potato vine is one of the feeders. This one is for the goldfinches. No matter how hard I try I just can't seem to get my bird photos in focus. I know my hands shake and the birds move so quickly. Most of our goldfinches are the lesser goldfinch. Not so brightly colored as the regular American goldfinch.

Finally I went out to the front yard to take a photo of our jacaranda tree. It is absolutely in full bloom and a riot of color. This photo doesn't do it justice -- guess why -- it was the bright sunshine. But I'm not going to complain about the sunshine. We on the coast have been waiting for weeks for this kind of weather. Most photographs come out best if they are taken in the first two hours after dawn or the last two before sunset, so I'm told.

Finally "Old Glory" itself gave the day its rightful colors.

Hope you had a great weekend.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

If You Can't Beat Them...Join Them

Before we went away, I bought quite a large seed cake for the birds, so they wouldn't miss my regular feeding too much.
Of course they didn't touch it. I left it up for 6 weeks in all and tho' the birds perched on it they never attempted to eat anything off it. The Scrub Jay might have done but I haven't seen him around for a while. So, since the squirrels were trying every which way to climb the feeding posts, I decided to put the seed cake down on the ground on the other side of the patio, trying to distract them from the bird feeders. This is the result:


Two hours later!!

These photos are by courtesy of my husband who lets me sleep late in the mornings (I go to bed late too,) and he knew I would want them for my blog. He is very long suffering with what he calls my menagerie. Not only that, but he brings me a cup of tea every morning to help me wake up. I am truly spoiled.