Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Celtic Evening

Earlier this month, our local museum hosted “A Celtic Evening”.

It started with a “traditional” Irish meal of Corned Beef brisket, scalloped potatoes, green pea salad and Irish soda bread. Dessert was a parfait that made use of Bailey’s Irish Crème liquor.

Then we moved to the auditorium for a concert by “Vintage Wildflowers”. They are a trio from Oklahoma who perform Celtic music (and a bit of Woody Guthrie!).

It was a fun evening. I wish the museum would have more programs like this.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

2 Babies, 1 Sprinkler... Priceless!

 What’s more fun than playing in the hose sprinkler on a hot summer day?

When I saw this puppy sprinkler at Home Goods I just had to get it for Little Bird and Little Hoss.

“Yowser!!  That’s cold!!!”

But it didn’t take long for him to have another go at it.

Little Bird enjoyed chasing bubbles thru it.

Aren’t those the cutest little wet feet ever?!

I guess she thought it would be a good car wash… until it squirted her in the face! 

Sharing sprinkler drinks with Daddy was a lot more fun!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summertime Plans

What an incredibly busy June this has been!! Up to today, I have only been home six days … and I had something going on 5 of those days. I got home last night from a week in MO celebrating Little Hoss’ 1st birthday.

Now I’m back and I’m working on my plans for the next 8 weeks. Catching up on my blogging is definitely on the list! I’ve just started telling about my trip to Washington State and there have been a couple road trips since!

I have several outside projects lined up for my EARLY mornings (only time it’s possible to do yard work here in steamy TN). I’m going to put in a Japanese courtyard in front of my house (the area between the sidewalk and the house) and I am going to get my herb garden in and finally I am going to work on one small area in the ‘bird garden’ to make it look beautiful.

During the heat of the day (that being from 9am to past sunset!) I will work on inside projects. The big project is remodeling my hobby room. This is the one messed up with the water damage. I’m setting up an area in the garage as a temporary hobby area (and building a permanent workbench area) so I can keep building/crafting/creating. I’m determined to start keeping up with the theme challenges at Funky Junk!

And there are all sorts of classes lined up to tell you about (and ones I’ve taken too!). There’s a lot of cooking going on this summer. Wait til you hear about my CSA boxes.

Yep… summer is looking like a lot of fun!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Funky Nautical Junk

One of the fun things about going to the shipyard with Himself is all the cool things I can photograph.  Everywhere I look there are fascinating objects. 

There are pallets and pallets full of ropes.

Ropes of every shape and color you could imagine.

Chains of all sizes sit rusting on the dock.  This anchor chain has links that are around two feet long! 

I’d love to have this hook!

There are even ropes with chains!

In other places you can find piles of nets. 

And stacks of crab pots with netted sides.

I don’t know what these pipes are for but aren’t they fun with that flower shape and pops of bright color?

Everywhere on the dock are turn wheels connecting hoses carrying who-knows-what. 

This old dock cleat caught my eye.  It’s marked “Atlas Foundry – Tacoma”.  I would take it home in a heartbeat if given the chance!  It looks ancient.  I wonder how old it is?  The company dates back to 1899. 

This welded tag was on a piling floating in the bay. 

And all of that is before we get to his ship – the M/V Independence.  Not quite sure what this grappling hook is used for but I love the contrast of the yellow against the blue.

Once on the Indy, there are more ropes tied in interesting knots!

These knots are called “monkey fists” and are used to help get ropes from the ship to another ship or the dock.  The monkey fist is tied to a lightweight rope that is tied to heavy rope.  You throw the monkey fist over like a baseball and pull the heavy rope to you.

This big chain is the Indy’s anchor chain.

One way to get to or from the ship is in the “man basket”.  This is a man basket that is collapsed down.

When you go down to the engine room, there are all sorts of pipes and rods.  I have no idea what they are for but I love the way they look!

The repetition of the yellow turn wheels and every other one having a red tie was a surprise.  Aren’t the brass tags great?

This green turn wheel was big.  Looks like it has had a rough time of it too.

There’s a little bit of everything with this wench… bars, wheels, gears, ropes. 

I wonder what this is for? 

I think this is part of the mechanism that controls the anchor chains.  It was heavy duty and grease laden.

Cool looking at any angle!

It’s funny watching the deckhands watch me as I photograph the things that are part of their everyday life. Sometimes they will go over to see if they can figure out what I found interesting enough to take a picture of. Usually they walk away shaking their heads.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Another Child To Care About

I would like to introduce Josphat. He’s 14 years old and in 8th grade. His favorite subject is science and he is ranked 3rd in his class!

I am sponsoring Josphat thru a special program at Nairobi Kids (  ). It’s called the SOS Sponsorships. For a minimum donation of $25 (you can donate more) you can be linked with a primary school child and send them letters of encouragement. And that means a LOT to them. Altho the sponsorship does not cover their school fees or supplies, you can use the online store to purchase items for them… if you wish. It’s not required.

For more info and to see photos of these precious kids, check out their blog at  

Monday, June 13, 2011

Wandering In Washington

I am just back from a trip out to Washington State.  It’s been 3 years since I’ve been there.  Himself had to take some medical renewal classes before he left for Alaska, so it was the perfect opportunity for a short vacation. 

Himself has a cousin who lives east of Tacoma who invited us to stay with them.  We always enjoy visiting with M and L.  Their home faces Mt. Rainier; you can just see it in this photo I took from our room as L was grilling salmon for dinner.

I really like western Washington.  Even tho the weather was rainy for a good portion of our trip,

…it always cleared up right when we wanted to do something outside.  And it was so cool… unlike the temperatures in Tennessee!

I don’t mind the rain.  That’s why it looks so beautiful there!

Besides, the rain makes for its own beauty.

Like this drippy tree (photo taken by Himself!).

And the amazing variety of mosses…

…which are on just about any surface that doesn’t move!

Mt. Rainier did come out a few times.  On clear days it dominates the eastern horizon.  I was surprised at how far away you can see it. 

I’m drawn to the rivers that flow down from it.  Cold and clear, they run over smooth granite boulders.  Every time we visit I fill a large flat-rate postal box (or two) with cobble stones I’ve picked up.  You may laugh about mailing rocks, but they are a great souvenir of our visits. 

The other thing I love about western Washington are its beaches. 

Dark volcanic sand, driftwood and cool breezes…

…and lots of those granite boulders and cobbles.

We packed a lot into our two weeks. There are so many things to share that I’m going to write about them over a few weeks time.