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Day 16: Lost and Found


Clearly, I have lost my ability, and desire to do Science Experiments, but this week my grandson Connor is staying with us, and being the crazy science kid that he is wanted to do a project. We talked about a lot of things , but one thing I learned is that “Bill Nye the Science Guy”  is Connors hero!

Good to know…

Knowing, and being familiar with Mr. Nye gave me a pretty good idea of what I was in for.   As our morning started to unfold Connor asked me if I had any potatoes.  We don’t really eat potatoes, so I inquired as to what he wanted potatoes for, hoping he wasn’t going to try  stuffing them into the tailpipes on our cars!  Finally he whipped out his trusty laptop…the one Santa brought him last Christmas, and pulled up this potato experiment on YouTube.

Making Mud from  a Potato!

So off we went to the closest grocery store to buy the biggest russet potatoes we could find. I pulled out the food processor, and started following directions on YouTube….. what do you know….It Worked!  I could have bought an entire bag of potatoes, but who knew.  Basically, I’m pretty sure we were working with potato starch here, but the results were intriguing..    Once it settled into the bowl it was solid, almost too hard to move around.  But once the solid was picked up,  it started to turn to liquid, and Connor keeps telling’s edible too!

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Through this entire experiment, I realized I might have lost the desire to experiment with things like potatoes, but leave it to a nine-year old to help me find the fun in science experiments!

I’m so glad I didn’t try and talk him out of doing this, even though my kitchen looks like kids have been experimenting in it, and when you think about it my inner child must have come out to play because it really was fun, and I wasn’t even worried about my kitchen!

This is pure kids fun, and I found myself loving every minute of it!




Day Ten: A Sweet Sixteen Birthday In My Backyard?


Ramblings of  a sixteen year old on her  birthday!

Today is my sixteenth birthday, and I know something good is going to happen, after all I’m sixteen now!!!  There is definitely a hush over the entire household because no one is saying a word.

I’m starting to get excited, could Mom be planning a party for me?   If she is, and doesn’t tell me, I could be caught totally off guard!   And yet, a surprise party would be fun….are there really any surprises…of course she’s would be planning a party for me…I’m  Sixteen Today!

Don’t they know I’m old enough to know what’s going on… better get ready, well you know…anything could happen…after all I’m sixteen now….

Late morning …

It’s been  really stressful so far,  just hanging around, listening to some of my favorite records. Mother is starting to clean up the patio, and set the table for four people.  Strange, why only four?  …  I think I need to do my hair, and get dressed…I need to look my best!

 I am at my dressing table making myself gorgeous…just in case

When I pranced out of my room dressed, with my hair done to perfection…….the patio had been decorated with pink, and white crate paper all around the gables, and down the pillars.  The table was set with all pink and white flowers, with Mom’s best china, and paper cups.  Paper cups…what’s with that?  Aren’t I worth putting the crystal out for?  How could she treat me like this?  Another time she just clearly doesn’t care about me!

Soon…three of my best friends are at the front door. Check it out…there is Charlene, Sandy, and Bonny..but they aren’t dressed up.   They should have dressed as if this were the special occasion that it is!  After all this is my birthday party.. and I am sixteen now!  Also, the presents weren’t very big…what’s with that?  Aren’t I good enough for bigger presents?


I feeling kind of , well…..sick!  My stomach is starting to churn, and I feel dizzy.  This isn’t good!  Not good at all!!!  I’m trying not to show how I feel, but I think I’m getting pale, might just really… throw up!  CRAP…CRAP CRAP CRAP!  What did I do to deserve this?  The girls are changing into their bathing suits, and I’m stuck here on the patio.  I don’t dare move around or I will hurl.

My friends are splashing around, swimming, laughing, and playing tag in our pool without me, and I’m stuck here, on the patio, on the chaise….sick…ready to splat Cheerios and milk all over everything!

Mother is starting to  put food on the table, it looks so yummy.  How fair is this?  The chips and dip are already out – which I love, but now..finger sandwiches, potato salad, and Petit fours….OhMyGod!   I love potato salad…. I love chips and dip too, actually I love food!  All food, any food you can think of, I love it all.  Except maybe lima beans, I don’t love lima beans.  I really hate lima beans!  Mother always tries to serve lima bean casserole during lent, and I always gag.  Once I told her they tasted like SHIT,  wow that went over well!  I really thought I would lose my life over that comment, but I’m still here!  After all I was being honest, and they always told me honesty is the best policy!  I guess…not when it comes to lima beans though.  Anyway, I’m now realizing that even though all this food looks really good, if I take even one bite, I’ll lose it!

The party went on without me because I was so excited I had made myself sick.  I never sat at the table, I don’t even remember opening my presents although I know I must have.  The food never hit my mouth, and my entire party was horrible.  I spent the whole day on the chaise lounge watching everyone else have fun, while I gaged down vomit.  After everyone left, the table was cleared, the decorations disappeared, and everyone went about their normal routine….. miraculously….. I recovered.

And that my friends, is the story of my perfectly wonderful, devastatingly horrible Sweet Sixteen Birthday Party!


PS:  As I sat to do research looking for the tunes of the late fifties that all of us listened to, at least where I lived in the suburbs of Los Angeles, they brought a smile to my face just remembering those early days.  I use to tell everyone I was an original Valley Girl until I realized that made me older than dirt!  So now, I’m just a Valley Girl, and that made me somewhat as old as dirt!   Don’t you just love YouTube, there isn’t  anything, you can’t find on YouTube, and I thank them for all the wonderful stuff.   I hope you enjoy.

Ramblings of an Overheated Artist?


Sometimes on FB there will be surveys about things like, if you were a car, what would you be or, if you were an animal what kind would you be. One very early morning when I was feeling particularly fabulous, I started thinking about describing myself, all I’d been through in my life, and the resilience I have.
I’m strong, determined,  I don’t have to be right, but I’m not always wrong either. I have a sixth sense about me –  I know when I’m not being told the truth, I can feel it. I’ve lived long enough to have wisdom, some of it from learning experiences, some of it I just know!  I don’t do the FB thing very often, actually I really don’t care if they think I’m a fast car, or a lion, or what my color is!


That being said, I was thinking how I would describe myself, and this is what I came up with…..

I’m an Oak Tree!  A mature, sturdy, mighty oak!  I stand tall, yet I can bend, I am filled with wisdom, and the owl that lives in my branches provides me with whatever information  I don’t know!  You can’t have it any better than that!  I haven’t any idea what kind of owl would be living in my branches, but I do know we’re best friends!

I don’t know what the owl would have to say about that, I really haven’t taken the time to talk to him lately.  If truth be told, I haven’t seen him lately.  He’s tricky, and only comes out at night, probably after I’m in bed.  He also may be preoccupied with a lady owl.  What she-owl wouldn’t want to stay in a mighty oak with her dream he-owl?  I have chimes playing all night long, and they can hunt, and return to the safety of my branches.

Did I hear you say I was crazy?

Maybe!  I prefer to call it creative.  By the way this was not my intention to write anything remotely like this, but its way too hot to do much of anything else, even painting!  Maybe especially painting!

Back to the Owls!

Before my very eyes, and ears I think I have an Owl family in my branches.  There is a lot of rustling going on during the day, and this I know from going out to water plants, and check on my Matilija Poppy.  This is only about the sixth poppy I’ve tried to grow–without any success!  This time my son-in-law John  is nurturing it!  Good thing, because as I said, I’ve killed the previous five.  At least the leaves are still green, and in this 100+ degree weather too.  That’s another story though.

The good thing is that a few doors down for our home, there are abundant critters, so the owls will have plenty to keep their tummys full, and plenty to feed the little owlets after all that kissing stops!


You remember this…..

Mr. & Mrs. Owl sitting in a tree


first comes love, then comes marriage,

then come the owlets in a

Baby Carriage!

Ok Back to the Owls!

I’m not sure owls even have baby carriages, after all how would they push them, and how on earth could they keep them on even the sturdiest of my limbs?   If they pushed the carriages off the limbs  would it be accidental or would they really be trying to encourage the owlets to fly?   I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

Back to the Owls!

Now I’m positive it’s the heat!

I know it sounds like I’ve been smoking something, but you’re wrong!  I don’t smoke, and I told you it was the heat!

Any questions or comments, I’m more than happy to answer them for you.  You might have some additional thoughts on the subject as well.  If so, please comment, or email me!  I’d love to hear what you have to say….

Maybe you’re advice would to have those little buggies outfitted with magnets so they would stay on the branches, you know much like a San Francisco trolley.  Either way, the owls need your help, maybe I need your help as well.

Go ahead let me know what you think,  I can take it!