Sunday, December 13, 2015

Oak Galls

We were on our morning walk yesterday, and I happened to look up into one of the California coast live oak trees by the sidewalk, and saw LOADS of oak galls in it!

I think they are marble galls, at least that's what they look like to my untrained eye.  There's another kind called oak apples, but they seem to be whiter than these that we found.
 This field guide put out by US Department of Agriculture has a chapter on gall wasps on 
p. 28.  They describe them as oak apples.

Looks like the wasps that developed in this one already left via the exit holes.

It's nice to know that if we ever need a source for making iron gall ink, we've got a great local crop!

Happy gall spotting!


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015

Coyote in the Neighborhood

As we were walking home after our 2 mile walk this morning, 
a crow on a light post started yelling and making a huge fuss. 

I said to my husband, "He's cursing about something."

I saw a movement behind a knoll - it was the head of a coyote!  
He took off running up the street past where we were standing, and at the same time I whipped out my little camera and started taking photos.

Boy, was he fast!

He ended up in the brush at the foot of the hill behind our house
and turned around to take a look at us.

Coyotes sure have big ears!
He was a healthy big guy, the size of a German Shepherd dog.

As he went further up the hill, his ears were pointed back at us.

And with one last backward look, he blended into the bushes and disappeared.

Whoo-hoo!  Our first up close coyote encounter.



Sunday, November 29, 2015

Dutch Start to Christmas

I've wanted a Dutch girl doll for a long time to go with our Holland Week lessons, and finally found one on Ebay that I thought was cute enough and at a nice low price.

She's a Target Dolls of All Nations Holland doll, made in 1995 by Unimax and 12" tall.  
Her skin is darker than it shows in the photos - more of a dark taupe.

I've had these cardboard Victorian ornaments for over 30 years -
 I think I bought them at Mozart's Gift Shop in Redlands, California.
Our little Christmas tree is a rosemary bush we got at Lowe's.

It's interesting that these Dolls of All Nations were subject to a copyright infringement case brought in 2001 against Target by the famous Swiss doll maker, Heidi Ott, alleging that they are knock offs of her Little Ones dolls.

I have to say, she does have that Heidi Ott look to her face.

Love and hugs,


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sing Those Calories Away on Thanksgiving Day

This cute folk art tea towel from Italy posts all the calories you need to know about to make you feel guilty in the kitchen this Thanksgiving, ha ha!

But it also has a hidden message.....

You can SING those calories away while you're cooking...

or harvesting mushrooms...

or feeding the chickens...

or watching over the pig...

or picking flowers...

(just be aware you might frighten the local squirrel population)

or while you're picking apples...

or harvesting the wheat...

You'll know it's time to stop singing when you fit in that special holiday outfit again -

or when the hen refuses to lay any more eggs due to your racket.

Love and hugs,


Our Last Maui Preschool Graduation Program

I found this video of our preschool children at the last graduation program we did on Maui.

I hope you enjoy what these little three, four and five year olds were able to learn and do with great poise after a year under God's and our instruction :)

Blessings with love and hugs,


Friday, November 20, 2015

Joseph's Coat Climbing Roses

Wednesday we went to Home Depot and bought these Joseph's Coat climbing roses for our back garden.

I've been wanting some, but figured we'd just have to get some bougainvillea since I hadn't seen any of these gorgeous multi-colored roses.

I'm so glad Home Depot got them in stock!

This is my favorite photo.

They're waiting for my dear husband to put them into their holes.
The lighting on them is from the sun (behind) and the sun's reflection off our living room windows (in front).

We have family coming over for Thanksgiving, and are trying to get things looking nice and more finished in our garden.

Hope you are having fun planning for your Thanksgiving if you live in the USA.

Love and hugs,


Embroidered Alpine Blouse

I found this gorgeous embroidered alpine blouse on Etsy several years ago.
If I were the seller, I couldn't have been able to list it :)

I have it hanging on a vintage Russian wall hanger.

Unlike most modern tops, it was hand embroidered on the back

on white linen fabric.

I adore the peplum pleats!

Obviously done by a skilled embroiderer.

One of those clothing treasures that you don't see much of anymore.

Hope it's inspired you to excel at whatever you set out to do :)

Love and hugs,