Archive | October, 2008

Skywatch at the pumpkin farm

30 Oct

Pumpkins 2008

Along the coast
Fog hugs the shore in a wet blanket
Everything grows in the rich soil
Moistened by the air, cool but not too cool
And pelicans fly over the artichoke fields

©2008, Liza Lee Miller

Extreme Close-Up
(Extreme close-up)

For more skies, foggy or otherwise, visit Sky Watch.

After visiting some skies, make sure you stop by I and the Bird #87.
Birds and skies go hand-in-hand, don’t you think?

Wordless Wednesday — What on Earth?

29 Oct

Plum?  Tree at Wilder Ranch

Saw this tree at Wilder Ranch.  Have no idea what this fruit is.  Clues?

Fall Ritual – Pumpkin Farm

27 Oct

Pumpkins 2008

Fog
Fat
Pumpkins
Provoke smiles
and much silliness
Soon they will be Jack O’Lanterns

©2008 Liza Lee Miller

Wordless Wednesday – Pumpkin Farm on the Coast

27 Oct

Pumpkins 2008

Pumpkin Farm
Davenport, California
October 2008

My House Monday – An Long-Awaited Update

26 Oct

Long awaited by me at any rate . . . not sure how eagerly my readership is to discover what we’ve been doing on the house but oh well.  🙂

When last we met [click], we had finished the flooring and then school was starting soon and . . . well, you can imagine how much we’ve gotten done since school — that giagantic time sync — started.  Well, actually, maybe you can’t because you don’t know to factor in the persuasive insistance of on Mr. Miller that progress be made.  Oh, and his mother is also amazing and comes to help us a lot.  I have given up a few precious Saturdays to get work done many times since school started.  So, here is my update . . .

Before:
New Dining Room Table and Chandelier

This is my “old” dining room looking it’s best.  First of all, notice the nasty carpet.  Ugh!  I’d never put white carpet in a house.  We intended to get rid of it within a year of moving into our house.  That was 2001.  Sooooo, you can imagine how glad we were to get rid of it.  The new flooring is a godsend.  Also notice the white drapes that don’t quite reach the floor.  Lovely — highwater drapes.  They are all the rage.  They were necessary because our old slider took up most of that wall and was aluminum framed with single-paned glass.  In the winter, that room was unbearable even with the drapes (of course if they’d reached the ground it might have been better!).  The worst thing about the room though was the traffic pattern.  The table was designed to be smackdab in the middle of the room and that meant that all the traffic had to go around it.  It was the hub of the house — traffic came in from the entryway and living areas of the house, the kitchen, the backyard, and the garage access all went through that room with a table right in the middle of it all.  Useless design.  My architect husband had to fix that poor planning.

During:
Dining Room Update

During shots can be chaotic and overwhelming.  Note that the new floor is in and the new slider is in.  We got a smaller slider and re-oriented it so that it opened on the opposite side.  We also moved the light switch so that it is by the slider in the right place.  The walls are painted the same lovely yellow as the kitchen walls so it feels continuous.   Let’s look at some details.

Dining Room Update

New slider — smaller and double-paned glass.  Light switch recently moved.  Stool there to facilitate painting of walls.

Dining Room Update

Oh, we went ahead and took out a ugly, dangerous electric wall heater in the dining room.  We patched the wall and put in an electric socket.  Much more useful.

Dining Room Update

Most of our house has very rough-hewn trim at the windows and doors.  But, Greg felt that a more elegant look was called for in the dining room.  Hey, he’s the architect.  He also wanted to make sure that our {ahem} inexpensive vinyl sliding door looked less like an inexpensive vinyl sliding door.  Nice trimwork painted the same white really dresses it up.

Dining Room Update

Looks nice, doesn’t it?  The switchplate cover is one I did at our last Crafty Chix day in September.  I’m not happy with it but I can live with it.  🙂

Dining Room Update

This wall will eventually house a sideboard and a flat-screen tv.  Those are high-priced items that will have to wait awhile.  So, it’s hard to see how this will look eventually but it’s still looking better and better.

Dining Room Update

This armoir is an “antique”.  It used to house the kids’ tv and videos.  Now it’s my
“office/studio.”  It’s going to house my art stuff and my computer.  I’m turning my office (aka the dungeon) back into a full-time laundry room and pantry.  It’s going to take some getting used to but I think it will work out well in the long run.  Doesn’t it look gorgeous on the new floor with the yellow paint?

Nearly done:

Dining Room Update

So, it’s nearly finished.  Through the slider, you can see the white door to the laundry room.  It’s getting a fresh coat of paint.  The table is uncovered and in place.  We moved the chandelier to it’s new spot.  So much work still to do but my goodness this much feels very, very good.  As I type this, I am sitting in that black chair there on my laptop enjoying that cup of mocha on the table.  What a change from just a few months (and a lot of hard work) ago.

Well, I’d better get dressed . . . my mother is due here mid-morning so she can learn to be a teacher!  🙂

Skywatch – 80mph Sunset

23 Oct

80 mph sunset in Central California

Along Hwy 101 outside of King City, California.

See more skies at Sky Watch.

Field Trip Report

22 Oct

The best part of teaching is going on field trips. I do have to warn my students, however, that if cool birds are present, I may stop caring that they are there.  I gave my students permission to say, “Uh, Ms. Miller, please pay attention to me, now!”  Shortly after I took this picture, one of them said just that.  Kids are cute.

Birds at Wilder Ranch

But, pelicans are cuter!  🙂   And don’t get me started on cormorants!  🙂

Wordless Wednesday

22 Oct

Light switch at Wilder House

Fall Flowers

20 Oct

seed pod

fuchsias at Wilder Ranch

Both were seen at Wilder Ranch State Historic Park last week.  Fall in California . . . it’s a beautiful thing.

The right tool

20 Oct

Moleskine Notebooks

I am something of a pen and paper junkie.  Taking me to an art store is a sure way to lose me to the pen section.  I love a fine tipped ink pen in bold colors.  I love the feel of the pen on nice paper.  Moleskine notebooks are such nice paper.  And, now they have mini pink ones.  Pure bliss.

Moleskine Notebooks