Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Computers: Love 'em or Hate 'em?

Like many people I have a love/hate relationship with computers. Today I love them. Why? Well this morning I was thinking about my old dog Rip who I had when I was about 12 years old and lived in Flamborough. I hope I haven't told this story before, so bear with me if I have. I can't find it on my posts.

I had been saving up for a tennis racquet and had collected the great sum of ten shillings! One day I read in the newspaper about a dog called Tip, whose master, an elderly shepherd, had died all alone up on the moors of Derbyshire. All alone that is, except for his faithful, loyal dog, Tip. Tip had stayed with his master's frozen body for 15 weeks. Tip did survive the ordeal and his photo is shown below to prove it.

Upon reading this story I took my carefully saved ten shillings and told my mother, "I'm going out to buy a dog and I'm not coming back 'til I get one!" I asked all over the village if any one knew where there was a dog for sale. Finally I was directed to a h
ouse where an owner had a dog he didn't want to keep. I paid my ten shillings and took him home. His name was Rip and he was about six months old. Rip lived for almost 20 years. After I went to college and got married he stayed with my parents. He was a wonderful friend!

So what has this to do with computers? Well after thinking about Rip and Tip this morning I decided to see if I could find anything on the internet about Tip. Remember Tip lived more than 50 years ago. I simply Googled: Tip the Dog, UK. I could hardly believe it. The fifth entry down I found him!!! So now I have the whole story and a photo. Notice how much alike Tip and Rip are.


I guess I do love computers -- some times!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Trees of Carlsbad.

I've thought for a long time that I would like to take some photos of Carlsbad's grand old trees, so yesterday I set out to do it. First I decided I wanted to find one with fall foliage, just to put us in the mood, but that was easier said than done. I circled a good mile radius from our house before I came to this one.

Most of the leaves on our deciduous trees just shrivel up and die. Sometimes I may be driving along a road and think to myself, "Why are all these trees dying?" Then I remember it is fall. Some trees have red leaves all year round like the sugar maple or Chinese maple. So it is hard to find a tree that is actually turning from green to gold or red. It is especially hard this year because we haven't had any cold nights to encourage them to turn. The good side of this of course, is that we have not had to turn on the furnace.

The photo above and the one below is to show some of the many eucalyptus trees we have in North San Diego County and to tell you why they are there. The early settlers planted thousands of these trees because they grow so straight and they thought they would make a good investment for railroad ties -- and probably telegraph poles. However, they soon discovered that they dry out and crack and so are no good for these purposes.

Another thing about eucalyptus trees is that they are highly flammable. So when fire season comes along, they are really dangerous. I have seen fire race up a hill to a grove of eucalyptus trees and then the trees seem to explode with flames shooting up a hundred feet or more! There is a small housing development not too far from us called Hosp Grove and the houses are all set in the midst of a fair-sized grove of eucalyptus trees. You couldn't pay me enough money to live there!! It is all very picturesque but I would have nightmares living there.

If we have to have these kind of trees I would be much happier if they would populate them with Koala Bears then at least we'd have some wild life in among them.

The picture above and the one below show two of some grand old, old eucalyptus trees situated on Grand Avenue, down town Carlsbad. There are a good many more like these down town. They are magnificent because of their size. If you compare them with the cars at their base you can see just how large they are.

This tree below, can be found in Holiday Park, just off Freeway #5. I think it is a star pine but I'm not sure. The tree is interesting because it has just been fenced off.

If you look at the photo below you can see why it has been fenced off and two warning signs placed there. The cones are very large and could do you some damage. Sadly there were none there to photograph yesterday. Since the fencing has only recently been erected I suspect someone has been hit and the city is trying to avoid future lawsuits!

Along the east side of Holiday Park there is a line of palm trees -- very tall and stately. Arborists have to climb these to give them a 'haircut' every now and then. But they don't climb them like the islanders of the South Seas do!!

You can see just how tall they are by comparing them with the street light.

I would liked to have taken this photo with the whole tree against the sky line. There is another one just like it about a half mile further the left. But I'd have to take my life in my hands to avoid traffic right here, so we have to make do with this.

Behind this tree is the Buena Vista Lagoon, a great bird sanctuary. It is one of several salt water lagoons along the San Diego County coast line. I will have to make another post to tell you, and show you, these unique lagoons.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

For Nick Harvey

I'm posting this painting for Nick because he has also done this "Girl With a Pearl Earring". I did this about two years ago, in the evenings when we were on Kauai. Nick did his in pencil and if you would like to see it go to www.art-by-nick-harvey.blogspot.com I'd like to make this a link but I can't seem to make it wowork that way. Something I'm not doing right I'm sure.
OH Wow! It worked! Now if I can only remember what to do next time I want to make a link...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Two More Art Pieces

I think this is number 6 in my DOORWAYS collection. It is from a photo taken by Ken of Stouffville of Canada, and is a door of Christ Church Cathedral, Ottawa. Thanks Ken for giving me permission to copy this.

This is just playing with colors, which you know I like to do. I called it rainbow Ribbons.

I now have pretty well all my ATC's posted on my Chris J Prismera Blog that is listed in the side bar to the right. Click on this in the side bar if you want to see them without my usual blogspot commentary.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


We took the day off again last Friday and this time we went to the Oceanside Pier. It was a gorgeous day. In fact it has been gorgeous now for several weeks. We ate lunch at Ruby's at the end of the pier and sat outside with a plate of fish and chips to share, followed by a caramel sundae, also shared. Who are we kidding? Well it was our 49th Wedding Anniversary and we have both been dieting for weeks, so we figured we deserved it!

This is the view south. That white looking building far off on the horizon is the Carlsbad Power Plant. Such a shame that such a beautiful place should be remembered as 'that place with the power plant on the beach."

There were a lot of surfers. The waves were in good shape but not very large. Even so, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. There were quite a few people on the beach also.

Now I have some good news and not so very good news.

First, the GOOD: Our two sons are going to come with us to Kauai when we go for Thanksgiving! This will be the first time we will have been together as a family since Dad's funeral in 2004. Please pray that we have a real blessed time together. Our youngest son is just getting through a difficult relationship. Our oldest son I'm sure could use a break too. And MOTH and I are just totally happy to be with them both.

Now, the NOT SO GOOD: I put my back out again yesterday. I was just getting out of the shower and bent down to wipe the shower door rail. It felt like a bubble burst in my lower back. This is now happening three or four times a year, so I think I really need to see what can be done about it. So a trip to the chiropractor for me tomorrow and probably a couple more times this week and next. Ice usually helps a lot but not enough this time. I just hate spending that kind of money, but our insurance doesn't cover it. Ah well...things could be much worse.
Limited computer time for me for a while.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It Will Never be So Clean Again!

What will never be so clean again?....The garage floor!!! Yesterday MOTH spent the whole day lifting everything out of the garage. Remember we've lived here for 35 years. Then he blew out all the dust with the leaf blower. Today the workman came, commercially cleaned, sealed and painted the whole floor. Look at that shine!! It took from 9:30 a.m. to about 2:30p.m. We can't walk on it yet or move anything back in preferably for two days. The biggest problem? The cat's kitti-litter. We spread a drop cloth in the hall and moved the kitti-litter to it. The cat usually gets to his kitti-litter through a cat door in the hall/garage door. I was worried to death he might be offended, (the cat that is), and have an accident but so far he has accepted it all as perfectly normal. This from a cat who used to run upstairs and hide under the bed if the doorbell rang when we first got him.

I took these photos from the hallway door looking into the garage. The door you can see below opens into the back yard, north. This wasn't quite as sudden as it may seem. We've been talking about doing it for quite some time. So we had them come out and give us an estimate and decided to get it done two days later because the weather was really dry, (Santa Ana, but the winds were further north) and there was certainly no rain forecast. Remember everything inside the garage was/is now outside in the back yard, including the washer and dryer.

So here am I with a silly look on my face -- I was telling Moth how to use the camera, it's different from his -- and Bailey sitting on my lap in his usual position, face front, while the work was in progress. He looks a bit worried, but that's because he doesn't like the camera.

KUDOS to MOTH for working so hard to move everything! Now if we can only get it all back in, we'll be set for the men who are coming to put more insulation in the attic in about a week.

Incidentally, you might recognize the design on my T shirt as the one on which I based my medallion drawing a couple of posts ago.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

More of This and That

First, two more designs to go with the other one I posted the other day. I really enjoy doing these, mainly because it is really just playing with colors and I like the results. But I have no idea what I'm going to do with them.

Green Theme

Blue Theme

Now, the latest visitors to my back yard:

A grey squirrel caught in the act!

The scrub jay visits every day with his mate -- actually, sometimes several times a day.

This little fledgling house finch sat just outside the window for quite some time. He still has some baby fluffy feathers. At first I thought he was sick, but he was eating the seed and about ten minutes later he was gone. He let me get as close as two feet to him, which is how I got this close up.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

An Interesting Afternoon

Who says we don't have seasons in Southern California? We do, and fire season is one of them! I've been saying I need to get out of the house more often, so after Bible Study yesterday, MOTH and I drove over to Oceanside Harbor -- about 10 minutes away. As we were leaving we commented that there looked to be a small fire on Camp Pendleton -- just a small column of smoke in the sky. Half an hour later this was the view. Fortunately no-one was hurt, but about a thousand acres was burned. There's a LOT of acres on Camp Pendleton to burn. They're predicting another Santa Ana at the beginning of next week.

How's this for a day's catch? A 200 lb and an 81/2 foot sword fish. We just got there as they were weighing it. A couple of young guys caught it earlier in the day, two miles off the coast at Del Mar -- just a 20 minute drive down the coast. They were pretty pleased with themselves.

There's always something interesting to see at the harbor. Here are some pelicans on the bait dock and a seal in the water nosing around, hoping for bait.

It's good to see how many brown pelicans there are now. When we first came down here in the 70's, there were very few. The use of DDT, now illegal, meant that the shells of the pelican's eggs were very thin and few of them survived.
It's certainly a different story now. They look so majestic on the water -- like the swans in England. By the way, did you know that all swans in England belong to the Queen?

Later we stopped for a while to admire the harbor view and thought this one legged seagull had found an appropriate perch.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Blogging and Server Problems

Tropical Foliage

Dear Blogging Friends:
My server is having problems and we are having difficulty receiving e mails and also posting comments -- and maybe even receiving comments. Don't give up on me. This situation should not last more than a week or two. In the mean time I will continue to post blogs and comments and hope they are actually getting through. Whether you hear from me or not, I am blogging and commenting. Hopefully all will soon be put to right.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

This drawing based on my husband's original photo.

In 1984, my husband and I and our two sons took a cruise to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary which was coming up in the fall. We took a Windjammer "Barefoot Cruise". It is much more informal than the usual cruises -- has no casinos or theaters, shops etc. and carried only about 200 people. The cabins are smaller than the usual cruise ships and it has the general air of ship-mates style. We loved every moment of it. The ship itself was so beautiful -- a real ship with four masts and sails. Our boys even got to take a turn at the wheel.

Since this has been a year for hurricanes, I thought you might like to know the fate of this beautiful ship. In 1998 she was cruising near Honduras and Belize. Hurricane Mitch came on the scene. Quickly she headed for Belize. The passengers and 10 of the crew were put ashore and the 30 crewmen left were to face Mitch's erratic path, 50 foot waves and 178 mph winds. Expecting the storm to move north and then west
, the ship went south. But the forecasters were confused and Mitch shifted unexpectedly a couple of times and finally bore down on the Fantome which was now trapped in the Gulf of Honduras. Late Wednesday afternoon, on October 28, 1998 the Fantome lost its satellite antenna and was never heard from again!

A few days later, eight life vests, two life rafts
and part of a staircase were found off the coast of Honduras. That was all that was found of the beautiful ship, Fantome.



This picture is based on the design of
a sunburst on a T shirt I bought not long ago. The pattern on the shirt was done in colorful studs. I took the pattern and dressed it up quite a bit, making it up as I went along. I'd been reading the blog "We Three, Ginger Cat Tales", one of my favorites, so I thought I would keep the ginger type colors. My shirt is dark brown and the studs are glittery, but I didn't want to make the background of the drawing, brown, so I kept it white. My husband even commented on it when he saw it lying on my desk, so I figured it must be good enough for the blog! It was fun to do any way. It isn't an ATC size, but is 4 1/2 inches square.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Up and Down; Far and Near

The antibiotics have drained me of all creativity this week. Well, that's my excuse, anyway. Also a family crisis with one of my sons -- his relationship of seven years -- has kind of taken the wind out of my sails. Don't you wish you could live your kids' lives for them?

On the up side, Moth returned home safely after a very blessed time in Bulgaria and Macedonia. While he was there, the Gypsy church were able to dedicate the land they had just purchased with help from MSM and CCCC, for their first church after communism.

This is the Board of the Morning Star Messengers who met last week for Moth's report and to send Pastor Max (in the blue shirt), on his way to Micronesia to teach for a month. Me, second from right. Barry, far right
This is one of the photos of the dedication of the land for the Gypsy church. Very rough land, much prayer, work and funds needed to now begin to build.

Next trip for Moth is to Portugal in about three weeks.

I'll be back soon with two more pieces of art work I have been doing in my 'spare' time.