Friday, April 29, 2011

Aliens of the Scariest

On tap today: attending the premiere of Aliens of the Scariest, the stop motion film created by my oldest son's class.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Red Poppies

In the lovely burst of orange of the California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) at the entrance to our property, two red blossoms have opened. This is the first I've ever seen of the red California poppy despite being a California native who tends to spend quite a bit of time outdoors.

With a bit of online research, I've discovered that these plants are not impostors. They too are Eschscholzia californica, most likely either Mikado or Red Chief.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

In Progress: Claiming the Garage

When we took hold of the title to what has become Camp Ramshackle a mere nine years ago, an ample amount of boxes filled with items from our previous home went straight into our garage. Our items also joined a colony of things left by the previous owners. Eric and I have both worked at various times to deal with the garage. Admittedly, it has been in fits and starts.

Something caught hold of me as of late and I have been steadily working on the garage. I am reminded of my work finally straightening out a storage space in our small home when my youngest still had chubby legs.

Entering the world of the garage is a mixed bag. Some parts of the excavation/reclamation have gone smoothly. But parts of the garage are like a time capsule. Going through the amassed items, paper work and art is almost like psychoanalysis with a specter of who you were then through the lens of who you are now. Sobering.

The job is large, so I've adopted the rhythm of working on it every day for about 20 minutes. The interesting transformation since I've been in the garage so much is that I have fallen deeply in love with my garage...not for what it will be when it is all organized...but for what it is right now. My garage is a great place. I'm looking forward to getting in there today and making more headway. I imagine once I get it all cleaned up, I might just be in there all the time.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Spring Break

Today we return to the rhythm of school and life outside of spring break. This taste of spring has whet my appetite for summer just around the corner.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sweet Leisure

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cardinals Overhead & Being 3 Under the Table

Photo by youngest son, age 3.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Long and Winding Woad

Thanks to a natural dyeing with woad workshop offered at French General earlier this month, I have been bitten by the natural dye bug. Following are some photographs of the event. I wrote about the plant and process more extensively at Root Simple.

Woad pigment oxidizing emerging from the vat yellow, quickly turning green then blue.

Woad workshop comrade experimenting with gradations.

Woad dyed garments drying on the line.

French General is offering another Woad Workshop on September 24, 2011, 9AM-4PM. Class size is limited.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Behold the Artichoke

Seeing the artichoke bear fruit is enough to bring a tear to my eye. It has been a tough slog to get these to grow. I am incredibly appreciative.

Backwards Beekeepers on CNN

Eric posted this on Root Simple, but it merits another post. If you haven't checked it out, you can take a peek here.

Nice work Roberta, Amy, Russell and Kirk!

Backward is the new forward!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pedal Power

Last year around this time, I took some cargo bike test drives at the Flying Pigeon in northeast L.A. I would love to get a bakfiet. I've allowed myself a year of dreaming (and will continue to do so). In the interim, my youngest son and I decided to get a kid bike seat.

The kind folks at the Flying Pigeon got us suited up with a Yepp seat in my son's color choice. I will continue to dream about owning a bakfiet. In the meantime, you can find us on the road now.

Eric and my oldest son ventured out to test our new set up too. The Yepp seat is kid tested. Parent approved.

When my youngest son and I ventured into the store on Saturday, we were the fourth kid/parent team in line to pick up a kid bike seat. Will you be the next?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Charlie Bucket's Humble Home

The tight floor plan.
Model crafted by my oldest son.

Through the front door.

Grandpa Joe, Grandma Josephine,
Grandpa George & Grandma Georgina's bed.

Through the passageway.

The Bucket's dining table with a bowl of cabbage soup.

Alas, never enough soup to fill the seven family member's bellies. Charlie's life is about to change. He found a dollar in the snow, bought two candy bars and found a Golden Ticket. He is one of five lucky children who enter Mr. Willy Wonka's factory and receive a lifetime of candy.

We are reading Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. And only have two chapters left. After finishing the book, we might watch the film version starring Gene Wilder which contains perhaps my favorite movie quote ever.

"Charlie, did you hear about the boy who got everything he wanted? He lived happily ever after." -Willy Wonka

Hoping you find your Golden Ticket.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Skunk Visitor

Early Monday evening, Eric and I caught sight of our dog Trudy barking madly in the yard with little rushes at something. Eric went outside & found the source of Trudy's consternation, a very young skunk. I ran out with the camera to snap this rather timid shot. What a beautiful creature with such an incredibly fluffy tail. The skunk's tail was practically larger than the entire animal. My distant shot doesn't capture the bright white of the tail with the last two inches of the tufting fur dramatically colored black.

I watched this skunk for about twenty minutes. Thankfully, no dog or person was sprayed. If we were, we would have resorted to the quasi-miraculous skunk spray remedy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Good Morning Sunshine

The anticipated poppy orange has gloriously arrived.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Art Supply Organization

Living in a very creative household where art is created daily, the art supply box can get jumbled. Every so often a thorough reorganization is needed, some items are donated, pencils are sharpened and materials cataloged.

Then the boxes go from a busy mess... a much neater easily accessible supply box. We dug in yesterday with new projects and plan to do more today.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Resplendent in the Grass

A good day hike includes plenty of this.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Bottlebrush (Callistemon)

Art instillation at the Audubon Center at Debs Park

Saturday, April 2, 2011

One Small Egg

Found in the yard. About an inch wide and long but missing the reverse side...pecked evenly open. There's a newbie at Camp Ramshackle. I'm not sure where, but I'm looking.