Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Bethlehem Star shines over Dublin/Pleasanton/San Ramon

This is the abbreviated story of Del's Bethlehem Star. See slideshow at right for full story.
It all began with Del's dream and a lot of PVC pipe. My brother Ron is captured here "aiding and abetting" the plan.
Del's vision is taking shape.
Del and Ron painted it black to make it less reflective.
If you noticed your electricity hiccup Thanksgiving weekend, this could have been why. The star has 205 10-watt C-9's. Thank goodness it'll be on a timer.
The crew: Art Amon and sons (& daughter's boyfriend), neighbor Gus, and Chris & Laura Flanders. My brother Ron photographed the event.
A modern day barn-raising, I mean star-raising!
Hoisting it up. So far so good . . .
Oops! PVC is way more flexible than we thought. This was the darkest moment of the day where we began to doubt and to pray really hard!
Well, it's up, but with one broken piece and quite the curve and a floppy top.
Chris Flanders to the rescue.
Finally looking stable from top to bottom.
It was all worth it in the end.
Now Dublin, San Ramon, and Pleasanton CA have a Bethlehem
Star shining in the West to help celebrate Christmas.
Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Gicle'e discovers the inkjet printer

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Gicle'e can't quite figure it out . . .

Thanksgiving at the Morissette's

My brother Ron came down for the Thanksgiving weekend and we decided to just let it be the three of us for Thanksgiving Dinner. Of course, that didn't keep Del from smoking a whole turkey and throwing mulitple slabs of ribs on the smoker!
The meat plus sweet potato fries, new red potatoes and asparagus made for a nice Thanksgiving meal and the company was great. :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

These two turkeys have something to be thankful for, and so do I. Actually, I have a lot of things. A wonderful husband and step-kids, my brother Ron joining us for Thanksgiving, my other brother Ken sending his Thanksgiving greetings, a great bunch of friends, a diverse family, a fun yet profound church and pastor, nice neighbors, a good job and smart people to work with, two new darling kitties, the Christmas season and all the beautiful moments and craft opportunities that holds. In other words, too many blessings to count! I hope this finds you also counting your blessings and sharing Thanksgiving with family and friends.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ashley and Gicle'e

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Ashley and Gicle'e discover the bathtub and suds. Ashley's trying to keep cool about the whole thing, but Gicle'e can't resist checking it all out.

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Perhaps Gicle'e was weaned too young? I'm amazed that Ashley patiently lets her attempt to nurse. They are both fixed females and are not sisters though they are the same age.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

An Autumn Walk in Dublin, CA

Beautiful fall colors. Amazing what you can find under a freeway overpass . . . In honor of my brother Ken. Boo!!
Swallow's nests.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Gicle'e Playing

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OK. So, this is my first video ever and of course, it's sideways (you wouldn't expect it to be right on my first try, would you)?! It does show you a glimpse of why there's suddenly so much more laughter in this household. If you look closely, you can see Ashley in the background looking on.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A friend of mine sent me this. I can't get over how much this looks like my two kitties. :)
Here you can see Ashley and Gicle'e together, albeit looking a little guity for being caught lounging on the dining room table! But hey, aren't they cute?!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

This kitty finally has a name!

Thanks to so many friends and family who gave us such great, unique, creative suggestions. In the end, the name Ashley seems to be the one that's sticking. Her color is like ashes and it's a pretty name that she seems to be OK with. The kitties are acclimating nicely and getting along well with each other. Since Ashley is about twice the size of Gicle'e (though they're both 4 months old) Ashley seems to be the alpha cat. Nevertheless, she spent most of Sunday hiding. Del and I turned the entire house upside down inch by inch looking for her and finally gave up. We were about ready to name her figment because we were beginning to think that perhaps she was just a figment of our imagination. Then that evening as it was getting dark, she just sauntered down the stairs and into the family room as if it was no big deal. Last night she and Gicle'e entertained us all evening. Gicle'e would hide behind the ottoman and Ashley would wait until the Gicle'e got curious and poked her head out beyond the corner of the ottoman and then Ashely would ambush her. When that happened, it was a sudden wild furball explosion with both of them shooting straight up into the air. I don't when I've laughed so hard.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Newly Adopted Kitty #1: Help! I need a name . . .

So, she's a gorgeous grey kitty. Any ideas for a name? I'm trying to decide between Ashley and Misty at the moment, but could be persuaded by any cool name that signifies grayness, fluffyness (other than the overused "fluffy"), green-eyed-ness, etc. The test is that it has to sound good in the following two-word sentence: "Here ______". As to her personality, she's been hiding under the sofa all day (but then again, this is just day one). That said, when we did pick her up, she snuggled and purred. So, she's basically a shy lover. Thoughts for a fitting name?

Newly Adopted Kitty #2: Giclée

We've named her Giclée (pronounced "zhee-clay"). Giclée is an invented name for the process of making fine art prints from a digital source using ink-jet printing. In this kitty's case, it looks like her fur was squirted with wavy bands of different colored patterns including brown tabby, orange tabby, and pure white. Cool!

Two more views of Gicle'e

What a sweet little girl. She's four months' old and she's very curious and playful.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Look what I found outside my door a couple of days before Halloween! I hadn't had time to get and carve a pumpkin and this looked festive (kind of like a modern art scarecrow). What is it, you may ask? Well, I asked the same thing. It's a gift from my woodworking neighbor . . . made out of guitar-building botched attempts. Check out his blog for the whole story. http://billsguitars.blogspot.com/

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Evening Prayer

For the darkness of the night enveloping the earth, enclosing the day's labour, thanks be to you, O God. For the quiet that surrounds me and your promise of peace deep within me; for the stillness of sleep for my body and the hope of healing for my soul, thanks be to you. I bring not only my own wearienss but the tiredness of people who struggle this night. I bring not only my own pain, but the sufferings of those who cry out. Hear my soul's prayers for rest, O God, hear my heart's plea for healing. Recall the events of the day and pray for the life of the world. -- Celtic Benediction

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sunday Morning Prayer

I watch this morning for the light that the darkness has not overcome. I watch for the fire that was in the beginning and that burns still in the brilliance of the rising sun. I watch for the glow of life that gleams in the growing earth and glistens in sea and sky. I watch for your light, O God, in the eyes of every living creature and in the ever-living flame of my own soul. If the grace of seeing were mine this day, I would gimpse you in all that lives. Grant me the grace of seeing this day. Grant me the grace of seeing. --- from Celtic Benediction by J. Philip Newell

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sunrise Prayer

"I watch this morning for the light that the darkness has not overcome. I watch for the fire that was in the beginning and that burns still in the brilliance of the rising sun. I watch for the glow of life that gleams in the growing earth and glistens in sea and sky. I watch for your light, O God, in the eyes of every living creature and in the ever-living flame of my own soul. If the grace of seeing were mine this day I would glimpse you in all that lives. Grant me the grace of seeing this day. Grant me the grace of seeing." From Celtic Benediction by J. Philip Newell

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Chihuly

I've been a fan of glass for many years. I love its translucence, its mystery, and having worked with it in a kiln, its unpredictability. Although I've mostly done fused or slumped glass and only tried glassblowing once, I am big fan of masters like the glassblowers on Chihuly's team. My husband and I were blessed enough to get a "backstage tour" of his home and studio thanks to my nephew's sister who worked for him.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Not a bad idea. Skates would work too, as would simply walking.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Watercolor Flowers

I love flowers! I wouldn't call myself a master gardener by any means, but I'm a pretty good dead-header. Doesn't sound glamorous, but it does keep things blooming a whole lot longer (something I learned from my father who raised orchids and fuschias). I've been playing with Corel "Painter" lately and created this "watercolor" out of picture I took of flowers in my kitchen window with dappled sunlight on them. Not too exciting yet, but I'm excited by the possibilities! :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Gifts of Lavender

I had a huge lavender crop this year and wondered what to do with it all. My sister-in-law, Marilyn, found an article on how to make lavender wands. Since then, I've found a good explanation on the web as well: http://www.gardengatemagazine.com/extras/62lavenderwand.php
I made many of these while on an airplane. The plane smelled sweet, I believe we were all more relaxed thanks to the soothing properties of the aromatic lavender, and I sure did get a lot of curious onlookers who had never seen them before. I'm hooked. I hope my harvest is even greater next summer.
My husband, Del, took me out the night of my birthday (Sept 12) to a wonderful local restaurant and we ate outside. This was the view from our table and there was a live band playing on the other side of the water. Perfect!

The Gift of a Sunbird

This is one of the favorite images I've ever captured. I had been getting up before dawn every morning for about a year and taking sunrise pictures. This morning, as I was capturing the rising sun, a raven flew into the frame at just the right moment. It was truly a gift.