Friday, March 30, 2012

Springing a Pathway

Fast grow the weeds at Camp Ramshackle, along with everything else. Spring is here. Cousins/niece/nephew, aunt/sister on a spring break trek with a stop at Camp Ramshackle.

Time to prepare for a family dinner party. Pull the weeds, get the trailer in order, pick up the dog poop. Baking a secret delicious dessert. Shhhh! Looking forward to being up all night talking, laughing, hopefully avoiding any fresh mounds of dog doo, but it all washes off in the end. I'm sure it would just make us laugh anyway, although some are sure to laugh harder and a bit longer than others.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Saturday Slowness

Monday, March 19, 2012

Buena Chica Cheesecake

Buena Chica Cheesecake baked this weekend. Report from eaters: tasty, thumbs up. Although I do not eat dairy or gluten, I enjoyed making this simple fantastic-smelling confection with my youngest son, resident food processor operator & KitchenAid fan.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Rainy St. Patrick's Day

A leprechaun trap constructed. Terms of containment defined after much debate: catch and release.

Rain, lots of it.

Aspirations: fire, bake Buena Chica Cheesecake (from school fundraiser cookbook), origami, housekeeping & movie night.

Friday, March 16, 2012

I Want to Be Here

Setting aside a little daydream time to wander around this picture.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ramshackle March Madness

My son posted an open call to all to join the games. The family gathered round.

My oldest son and I began the heat. Little did I know this guy has been practicing. He walloped me in about three minutes, a resounding and quick defeat.

Eric and my youngest squared off for the next round. The lad in green struck fast and calmly, making quick work of team two. Then my youngest and I entered as doubles in another round suffering yet another drubbing by the unstoppable kid. Eric went one on one with the advancing kid and was shut down. Eric demanded a rematch and evened out the score, but it was a hollow victory. The kid played hard and strong, eliminating us all in the advancing rounds. He holds the title as reigning Ramshackle Fastrack Champion.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Apiary Upkeep

Eric and I took advantage of the great weather to open the hive and do some necessary maintenance.

Eric prepped a blue deep box. We put the deep on the bottom. We had some deep frames mixed with short frames in our regular supers. We pulled all the deep frames and put them into the new blue super. The bees had drawn comb below some of the short frames next to the deep frames, so I cut that off and tied it into new frames.

We thought we might cut out some honey, but after moving the boxes about, we decided to let the bees have time to acclimatize to the changes. I hope to go on a solo mission for honey, with Eric as my mentor, in a couple of weeks. I'm looking forward to it.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

So Many Louvers

And not a one that fits the three broken ones in the trailer. Every single one too short and/or too wide.

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Brief Break from Los Angeles

Every spring, we like to spend some time in Joshua Tree in search of wildflowers. Three families. Good food. Rock climbing kids.

Campfires. Marshmallows. We hit a sacred window of good weather. After we left, the nights went down to 28° and the winds began to howl. Thankful for the adventure. Ready for more.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Following Sun

Friday, March 2, 2012

Ramshackle Archeological Find

As Eric shoveled dirt for a home project, he unearthed a few curiosities, a small medicine bottle, abandoned modern irrigation, and the "Mon Reve" artifact above. As a university student, the local paper ran a weekly question and answer of people on the street. One of my favorite questions was: what was your best find (now entire television networks seem to be based on this simple question). I remember an antiques dealer unearthed a painting of value that he acquired for a small amount and sold for over $100,000, financing a remodel and addition to his shop. So every time I delve into some nasty project like cleaning the garage, I fortify myself with the motivating delusion that I may find the Hope diamond in the rafters.

Eric's "Mon Reve" find is a World War I trench art relic.

Eric unearthed this information via Google books:
A typically French design was the disc-shaped lighter (briquet) which has what appears to be commercially made circular plaques welded onto each side. These plaques portray a profile of a large-nosed soldier's head, wearing a soft cap--in fact a caricature of the German General Crown Prince Wilhelm. Sometimes, as with the one shown here (Figure 6.9), small inscriptions were added--in this case one side says 'Mon Reve' (My Dream), with 'Paris' lightly scratched onto the soldier's collar, while the other side is inscribed with 'L'eau De La Marne Est Amere' (The Water of the Marne is Bitter) and this time 'Verdun' appears on the collar. On the Paris side the Crown Prince's mouth is upturned in a smile, while on the Verdun side, the mouth is downturned and tears fall from the eye (see also Warin 2001: 165). Such lighters seem to embody not just the frusted attempts of the German High Command to capture Verdun and leave the way open to Paris, but also the terrible sufferings of the French infantrymen at Verdun.
From Nicholas J. Saunder's Trench Art: Materialities and Memories of War.

I wonder how this lighter ended up in Camp Ramshackle. I don't think it will finance any major remodels, but maybe if Eric keeps digging, that Hope diamond will surface.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Planet House Sculpture

Inspired by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince, my oldest son created a model of his own planet heated by two volcanoes, one inside the house and outside the house. His favorite friends live with him there. The bat to the right of the door.

His dear friend Sharpie (foreground). Avatar of my son in the background.

And YarYar (background) and his dog Joy. All pictures represent actual stuffed or plastic characters in my son's life who pretty much accompany him on all adventures, especially in pictures. Sharpie and Joy were both hand sewn by my talented sister-in-law the force behind ketch-i-kreatures.