Archive | February, 2009

My new very best favorite bird artist this week

28 Feb
Chickadee Art by karingrow

Chickadee Art by karingrow

I used to raise Labradors.  Labradors love everyone and are convinced that everyone loves them.  So, in the spirit of Labradors, I want to tell you about my new best, favorite bird artist.  karingrow has an etsy shop.  She has felted birds, bird paintings, and . . . wait for it . . . Boston Terriers.

Oh sure, it would be better if she had Rat Terriers . . . or even Labradors! Still, it’s pretty clear that the first dog of birding is Chet Baker (as seen by this photo shoot . . . he is one patient birder!). Plus, Chet knows from art given that his Mether, Julie Zickefoose is a phenomenal bird artist herself.

Given that Chickadees are the favorite birds in America — just ask the guys at 10,000 Birds — you NEED to go buy a Chickadee painting!  After all, she’s my new best favorite bird artist this week!


Hope of Spring

26 Feb


A leaden gray sky
flutters of delicate pink
Who can see the sky?

For more hopeful skies, visit SkyWatch® Friday.

Also posted at Spring Haiku 2009.  Enjoy!

© 2009.  All Rights Reserved.  Liza Lee Miller

Cute, Cuter, Cutest

26 Feb

Della the Cow

Is this the cutest bebee cow you’ve ever seen?  She visited our school today.  I took 163 pictures of her and her larger friend.  I’ll spare you all of them but is there anything cuter than that sweet little moist noise?  Or those long luscious eyelashes around those furry brown eyes.  So amazingly sweet!

Wordless Wednesday: Images of Kindle 2

25 Feb

The Graveyard Book on Kindle 2

The first book I’m reading on my Kindle:  The Graveyard Book.  Neil Gaiman’s Newbery Award winning book!

Birds on my Kindle2

Kindle has wonderful screensavers . . . including beautiful birds!

Ruby Tuesday – Kindle Watch

24 Feb

Ruby likes to watch the world go by

Ruby will be on Kindle 2 Watch today.  It helps that the UPS guy gives her a dog biscuit everytime he sees here.  He’s so good that if no one is home, he leaves it on the package for her.  She LOVES our UPS guy!


So, it shipped yesterday (2/23).  I paid for overnight shipping.  And yet, the delivery info still says that I can expect it on the 25th.  And while math has never been my strongest subject, I’m pretty sure that 23 + 1 = 24 not 25.  But, while I can tell from the package tracking that it left Memphis at 12:08 this AM, it is still destined to arrive tomorrow.  Somehow I’ll survive the wait.

Here is what I’ve already ordered for my Kindle.   So that I have something to read right away.  Thankfully, Amazon has a nice long list of free books available.  I haven’t even started scratching the surface of the free public domain books.  Anyway, I’m very excited . . .

  • Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn (first in the series, sounds interesting)
  • Once a Cowboy by Linda Warren (free romance)
  • Baby Bonanza by Maureen Child (free romance)
  • Silent in the Sanctuary by Deanna Raybourn (free offering in the Silent in the . . . series)
  • Kindle user’s guide by
  • Dragonheart: Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern by Todd J. Mccaffrey (Lifelong McCaffrey fan — I’d read the Pernese phone book if they had phones . . . or books, for that matter)
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean (I’ve been SO excited about reading this . . . it’s my real Kindle treat!)
  • The Last Templar by Raymond Khoury (Saw a made-for-tv movie on this book.  It was intriguing enough to know that the book would be better so . . . trying it out)

But, how will I wait?  Tapping my fingers anxiously, no doubt.  I’ve actually given Greg permission to unbox the Kindle (unheard of for me . . . I don’t even like it when someone reads a magazine before I get a chance to open it myself first).  But, it has to be charged up and I don’t want to waste time waiting for that first charge when I get home.

Greg suggested that I pre-organize my lessons for my classes so that I can have time to play with the Kindle.  Really though, it’s the blogging that I should pre-organize.  🙂 But, should I disappear off the face of the blogosphere for a few days, well, now you know why!


Update! The Kindle Has Landed!  Greg emailed me that “We have Kindleage!”  He opened the box and charged her up for me.  I can hardly wait to go home.  Oh, and for all my ranting about Ruby loving the UPS guy . . . uhm, FedEx delivered it!  🙂

Wild Turkeys in the Rain

23 Feb

Wild Turkeys in the rain

Doesn’t everyone choose to go out walking in the rain chasing turkeys on a golf course?  Especially in a rain like that?

Well, I did.  I saw these turkeys last Tuesday but I didn’t have my camera with me.  I was really upset since first of all, I really like turkeys and secondly . . . uh, hello . . . do you see that white one there, in the middle?

So, when we drove by today, we saw them again, I had my camera and I had my husband drop me off in the rain.  I followed them taking pictures.  I ended up walking back in the pouring rain with a big grin on my face.

Wild Turkeys in the rain

I like this picture because you can see how different the white one looks from the others.

Wild Turkeys

Wild Turkeys

It’s a little hard to tell from the picture, but I think that some of the other turkeys have more white than one might expect.  I wonder if it’s a family relationship.

Wild Turkeys

For more wonderful birds, visit Bird Photography Weekly.

A Day at the Quilt Show

22 Feb

I spent yesterday at the Pajaro Valley Quilt Association show.  There weren’t enough bird quilts to do my usual “strange birds I saw” report.  What I did see was some spectacular quilts. Sit back and enjoy the show . . . no worries, not all the quilts . . . just my favorites!

Super Nova by Denine Guy
Super Nova by Denine Guy
Denine is my best friend since high school.  This wall-sized quilt is much more dramatic in person.

Expanding Star by Judy Mathieson
Expanding Star by Judy Mathieson

A Happy Garden by Nan Fitch
A Happy Garden by Nan Fitch

When I'm Breathless, I Wear Purple by Maris Faler Azevedo
When I’m Breathless, I Wear Purple by Maris Faler Azevado

Swirling Seaweed by Barb Frances
Swirling Seaweed by Barb Frances

First & Last!?? by Wendy Ruddick
First & Last!?? by Wendy Ruddick

Peacocks of Baltimore Became Pavos Reales en el Valle di Pajaro by Pamela Harris
Peacocks of Baltimore Became Pavos Reales en el Valle di Pajaro by Pamela Harris

Allow me to brag a little . . .

21 Feb

Ruth played in her 5th grade Winter Concert last night.  She played with the whole band and did a solo.  She played Kum Ba Yah.  I was so proud of her.  Want to hear it?  You know you do . . . [click]

I put it up at Flickr — usually I do Google Video so I can embed them here in the blog but I prefer to keep all my media together on Flickr so I’m trying it this way.  You can leave comments here or at Flickr space.  Or nowhere.  I realize I’m being very indulgent here.  But that is a mother’s perogative!

Ruth playing the flute

Is our drought over?

20 Feb


With our intense rainfall over the long holiday weekend, the question remains as to whether or not we can stop worrying about drought.  The short answer is nope.

The long answer requires looking at some data.  First of all, I found an amazing website called US Drought Monitor.  Wondering if there’s a drought anywhere in the US?  Wonder no more . . . every week, they analyze the country and determine the drought status of every region.  They have a great map and a code.  My region in California is currently in a D1 (Drought Moderate) but we’re surrounded by D2 (Drought Severe).  One storm changed my area from D1 to D2.  Hopefully, we’ll continue with slightly higher than normal rainfall for the rest of the season and pull out of the fear of drought altogether.

Using data from our Water District’s historical record, I used figured out the Mean, Median, Mode, and Range (just like I teach the kids at school).  I didn’t use all the data — just the data since 1975.  The mean (average) is 52″.  The median (put all the data in order from least to greatest and find the middle number) is 46″.  The mode (most common — after I rounded the numbers so that any of them were common) is 50″.  Our range for Boulder Creek is 20″ to 100″.

When I first talked about the lack of rain, we were at around 15″ for the year which is frighteningly low especially since we had received almost no rain in the month of January which is typically one of our heaviest rainfall years.  We are now at 28″ for the year and more rain is coming.  This is very hopeful.

The problem is that even if we make it up to our normal rainfall, we haven’t hit that normal mark in the last two years.  Last year, we had 40″, the year before that 30″.  So, we are making up a deficit.  Our reservoirs are frighteningly low.  One year of normal rainfall won’t fix that.

So, no, not really.  We’re in much better shape but we need a few more storms like that one before we’ll feel safe.  Still, it’s looking like I’ll be able to water my garden this summer which is a good thing!

Spring Dress

Raven Story – Beginning, Middle, and End

19 Feb

The beginning . . .


The middle . . .


The end . . .


For more gray winter skies, visit Sky Watch Friday.