My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant


Friday, September 28, 2012

SkyWatch Friday: Sunrise, Sunset


There's been no shortage of skies worth watching and photographing this month, just of time to turn them into posts! But here are four of my September favorites: two sunrises taken from our back patio (the second one just this morning), and two sunsets shot from our front porch. 

The days seem to be passing almost this quickly, too: it's sunrise, then boom! ~ it's sunset already!...





Happy Friday and happy skywatching, everyone!


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

ABC Wednesday: K


Kicking back and Keeping it simple for K week, here's a Knockout of a flower I'd never seen before, spied on a walk with our furry Kids this summer. Not Knowing what these Kaleidoscopic flowers were I looked them up, so now I Ken that they're Kniphofia...

also Known as Red Hot Poker, Torch Lily

Yellow Kniphofia

(Speaking of plants, our landscaping Kicked off on Monday, so Knock wood I'll have a worthy photo to include for "L" next week - and won't Keel over before then from all the Kerfuffles with contractors)! :-)

Remember, one Key to good Karma is Kindness,
and - no Kidding - another is to Keep visiting...


Kiss, Kiss! :-)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

ABC Wednesday: "Joyful"


Judging that examples of Sheridan's street art collection seem Justifiably popular (and are also Judicious blog subjects while life remains a Jumbled Joke of fence staining, landscape planning, unpacking, window treatment shopping, and the unceasing Job of cajoling a Jamboree of contractors), I bring you another, Just in time for J week! This sculpture, titled "Joyful," is an exuberantly Jolly and Jovial piece of art in front of our local YMCA...

Ah, to be a carefree Juvenile again!

Can't you Just feel her Joie de vivre?


Joyful
by Angela Mia de la Vega
With gratitude to all YMCA Staff
for helping raise the children of Sheridan,
including ours: Chris, Brian* and Julie.
Roger and Fachon Wilson
2009

*Brian was BW's pre-loader at UPS about 10 years ago!

Join me in enJoying more Joyful Jays at...



Since I never seem to have the time nor energy to email these days, here's an update for those of you who may be interested...

Last week our cedar backyard "privacy" fence was completed (well, almost - the gate still needs bracing and a sturdier latch, because dang, does it ever get windy here!), our custom stain color was approved by the HOA Landscaping Committee and we've been staining it almost every day since. I spent two full, LONG days staining it by myself while BW was at work, and BW and I have put in a day and a half together, so now we "only" have the inside back portion plus a couple of sections by the gate remaining but have had to quit while they've been hauling and spreading topsoil since Monday. The Bobcat operator hadn't been at it five minutes when he crunched three of the stained boards, which will now have to be replaced and restained (and that has been typical of this whole project, which is why it feels like it will never be finished!) By the way, I put "privacy" in sarcastic quotes, since the HOA rules dictate that any fence in our little row of six houses be a 5' tall cedar privacy fence, and I figure the person who came up with that rule must have been about 4'1" or a child. Because for most adults, a 5' fence does not privacy provide - but it does keep the dogs in and other critters (mostly) out, so though we'd never have chosen this fence style or material, we had no choice. We'd hoped to be able to apply about half the stain using a sprayer, but for various reasons that didn't work out - so it's all been grueling, tedious brush work. 

The topsoil smells suspiciously (and strongly) like cow manure (this area under development and the source of everyone's topsoil used to be a cattle ranch and feedlot, ack!), so the dogs consider it "edible landscaping" and seem quite thrilled with their back yard so far! ;-) Won't they be surprised when they also get their own 3' rock path around the entire inside perimeter of the fence, a yard of Tall Fescue, and a Fat Albert Blue Spruce and Greenspire Linden tree back there! (There will also be a flower bed beneath the breakfast nook and a Renaissance Bridalwreath Spirea in the backyard, but those will probably not get planted till next spring). Plans also call for a couple of varieties of Mockorange, pink peonies, upright rose bushes, Russian Sage, Spike Speedwell, a multi-stem Amur Maple and a Dwarf Burning Bush on the house's wide south side, and another flowerbed in front of the front porch. (If only the actual plants would show up looking like they do in the photos I shared, but I expect spindly sticks instead!) :-)

The post in the foreground with the measuring tape 
marks the future location of the Linden tree, 
while the one in the distance by the new fence 
will be the Fat Albert's new home.

Of course, all of this, down to the rocks and mulch we've chosen for some areas, is dependent on approval from the above-mentioned Landscape Committee, which we're hoping to receive soon as our landscaper intends to start work next week. (I haven't had to ask for so much permission since I was four!!) But anything will be better than our former "landscaping," when this is what passed for a flower garden...


and poor Josie, who loves to conceal herself behind foliage (the spirea we'll be planting is for her benefit as well as for us to enjoy!), had only this for a tree to hide behind! :-)


In my spare time (snort), I keep unpacking, urged on by our next door neighbor who is desperate for my empty boxes as she's packing up her dad's house that just sold. Since I wasn't as diligent as I should have been in labeling the contents, and used a lot of previously-labeled recycled boxes whose content lists bore no resemblance to this move's contents, I keep unpacking stuff I don't want or need while still trying to find things like my dragonfly plate! Thank goodness for the bonus room, where I can see I'll be spending many a winter's day sorting, organizing and repacking stuff for storage and a spring yard sale.

We're still waiting for: a metal book rack to arrive for our cookbooks so we can free up a much-needed pantry shelf, our return address labels that allegedly shipped from Colorado Springs nearly 2 weeks ago, and 10 window treatment samples so we can get our window coverings show on the road. The corbels are up on the front of the house (and look great!), except for the front porch which will have a different corbel style, and due to a builder oversight we're still waiting for the corbels for the back of the house. We're also still waiting for the capstone for the front porch stone bench, and the grids for our garage door windows (supposed to show up next week, but since we've been told that about twice a month since JUNE, you will forgive our skepticism!) Inside the house, much has been taken care of but there are still several things in need of repair, replacement, adjustment, and/or completion, including the tile backsplash in our kitchen. Our garage is a disaster with no hope of parking a car in it in the near future - it's been the fence-stain mixing and clean up area, plus all the house primer and paint along with the backsplash tile we bought is stored out there along with several large cartons shipped by our kitchen cabinet manufacturer that contain replacement drawer fronts in the wrong style and some 96" long trim pieces that no one ordered or needs. Those are all going back to Home Depot today while I run errands!

Which I need to get ready to go do, along with walking the dogs, doing laundry, marinating tofu - because regular life doesn't stop no matter how persuasively I might beg. 

Those of you who are waiting for email replies and/or reciprocal blog visits, thank you for bearing with me and please keep doing so for a while yet! This new home construction process takes far longer and requires way more patience than I possess, but one day it will be more or less finished - and then the cleaning, yard work and regular maintenance can begin! (Why didn't we just buy a yurt?!)

Enjoy the rest of your week, dear friends and blog readers! :-)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

ABC Wednesday: Illumination


Is it just me, or are Wednesdays rolling around at an Insane rate?! In any case, for this week's ABC Wednesday may I Introduce this hodgepodge of Illuminating photos, past and present ~~

For me, no Illumination is more Ideal than that Imparted by the sun, especially at sunrise...

Our Initial sunrise after moving in to our new home

Impressively, it Illuminates even through cloud cover and rain...

Sunrays Impale rainclouds over a country road in Big Horn

And by close of day, the sun hasn't lost its Intense, Intoxicating allure...

Our first colorful sunset, from our front porch

And I enjoy some of the ways we Illuminate our surroundings after dark...

party lights beneath my friend Robyn's patio umbrella

flames (which I find nearly Impossible to photograph well)
dance in Robyn's patio firepit

And finally, our new house is still Incomplete and is being finished in Irksomely slow Increments, so it feels an Infinitely long way from being Impeccably blog-ready. But in the Interim, here's a peek of our two favorite light fixtures...

Breakfast nook light

Overhead ceiling light in the study

Incidentally, more Illumination is Impending, as my favorite lamp will be the star of my "M" week post! (You'll have to use your Insightful Imaginations to puzzle out how a lamp could be anything but Inappropriate for M week!) ;-)

Enjoy the Illustrious Illustrations of I at


And think of me as I begin the Intimidating task of staining the Infinite number of cedar boards on our new fence!! Ick.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

ABC Wed/SkyWatch Fri: Headdress


Due in part to a continued lack of hours (still unpacking, herding contractors, and hoping to get our landscaping and window treatment acts together soon), but mostly to the fact that this set of photos fits both memes this week, this post is doing double-duty for ABC Wednesday and SkyWatch Friday.


This handsome new addition to Sheridan's street art collection appeared on a street corner early this summer. Created by Tom Ford of Untamed Design and titled "Warbonnet," the Native American headdress/warbonnet, tomahawk and shield are crafted in large part from what appear to be metal equipment parts and scraps. I took most of these photos on an overcast day in July and stopped to take one more on a clear day in August (click on any to enlarge)...


This piece, on loan to Sheridan for a year,
is available for sale for $3,500.


Some detail 
(The gear chains also form the entire tomahawk,
which is most visible in the second photo)


For hordes of (H)aitches, head over to...


and to...


for more views of the heavens!

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SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

  • INFERNO ~ Dan Brown
  • MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD & EVIL ~ John Berendt
  • MY NOTORIOUS LIFE: A NOVEL ~ Kate Manning
  • ONE SUMMER: AMERICA, 1927 ~ Bill Bryson
  • QUIET: THE POWER OF INTROVERTS IN A WORLD THAT CAN'T STOP TALKING ~ Susan Cain
  • THE BEAUTIFUL CIGAR GIRL ~ Daniel Stashower
  • THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY ~ Erik Larson
  • THE SHADOWS, KITH AND KIN ~ Joe R. Lansdale
  • THE TIPPING POINT ~ Malcolm Gladwell
There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"