Monday, December 07, 2009

Singing in the car...

I used to love, love, LOVE singing in the car with the girls when they were little... as much as I loved doing the same when I was a little girl. There are a handful of songs I remember singing in the car with my sister, mom, and dad back in the late 60's... I was really fond of these songs (still am!) and hearing them always makes me smile. The first video doesn't show anything, but it was the only link I could find of what seems to be the the original recording.

"Hair" from the Broadway musical

"Close to You" by the Carpenters

and "Joy to the World" by Three Dog Night

And here's one of the songs my daughters and I loved to belt out, "Kokomo" by the Beach Boys

Thursday, December 03, 2009


*eh hem* doesn't look good for today. It was 32° this morning when I was outside feeding critters and running dawgs around for poopy breaks. brrrrrrr!
Well a little peek at my favorite weather website, Wunderground tells me that we are about to have a freeze with a 50% chance of snow tomorrow. Austin has a 70% chance of snow tomorrow. crap. This means all the tropical plants are going to take a beating. I was really hoping we could squeak by this winter without a freeze just to see if the papaya fruit would ripen on the tree.

Our grapefruit and oranges are almost at perfection... they just need about another two weeks I think.

Oh! in the spirit of citrus et al. Today I got a membership to the Urban Harvest group in Houston and have registered for a couple of their classes on permaculture. I also want to take a couple of their classes on caring for citrus trees. Saturday I'm going to a citrus-tasting event they are having. Apparently, folks bring all sorts of citrus from around the area to sample and chat about species that grow well in the Houston-area. I wish I could remember what varieties of citrus we have. I'm looking forward to learning more about being a better gardener and finding out ways to make our little chunk of land a sort of micro-farm that can provide us with some a decent percentage of our fresh veggies and fruit.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Application for Trademark published

Now down to (hopefully) the final phase of the process...

Notification from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office:
The mark identified above has been published in the Trademark Official Gazette (OG) on Nov 24, 2009. Any party who believes it will be damaged by the registration of the mark may file a notice of opposition (or extension of time therefor) with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. If no party files an opposition or extension request within thirty (30) days after the publication date, then within twelve (12) weeks of the publication date a notice of allowance (NOA) should issue.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Cheryl gave me this little armadillo years ago... I take him with me wherever I go. He has seen better days, on his trip to Nova Scotia he lost an ear. Here he watches over my progress on the square at Via Colori this past weekend.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Via Colori is next weekend!

This is a nice photo that Jamie took while I was finishing up my 10'x10' square last November. I love doing this event and being around all the artists, you can almost feel the creative energy buzzing all around while you work.

The Center for Hearing and Speech hosts Via Colori every year. As far as I know, it is their primary fundraiser. One of the few fundraisers I know of that is truly for a good cause - to help deaf (or near-deaf) children get what ever hearing devices they need, and help them learn to interact with their worlds. The children come from families who would otherwise not be able to afford such help. The Center always welcomes visits and I have wanted to go there since learning about the place, but I am sorry to say ANOTHER year has gone flying by and I have still not gone.

This year The Center actually considered me as one of their sponsored artists! I kinda talked them out of it, as I don't have the professional art background and appeal that they need to help draw people to the event. The Center did however make me one of their "Select" artists, which is VERY flattering.

If you want to learn more about the Center for Hearing and Speech in Houston, here's a link to their website.

Next weekend, if all goes well, I'm going to try my hand at "honoring" one of my favorite Degas paintings "Cafe Concert Singer."

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Hair cut!

Went out today and got myself a haircut. It's the first time I've had anyone cut my hair since WAY back when I whacked it all off real short.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ghetto Beanwiches!

1. Heat up the beans and mash them.
2. Toast open-faced hamburger buns
3. Plop spoonfuls of mashed beans on buns and top with shredded-cheddar cheese
4. Melt the cheese and garnish with chopped onion.
5. Assemble the bunnage and try to eat without everything squirting out the backside of your buns :-)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Deer Head!

While visiting with the girls Saturday we stopped at a resale shop that was packed floor to ceiling with a LOT of stuff. Jamie picked up this wooden deer head. We had a great time on the way back to Jamie's house, she held the deer head out the window like a dog might do, moving the head around as if the deer head was checking out people in cars next to us. It was pretty funny.
Within one night Jamie transformed it into a great dia de los muertos work of art.

Here's some pics off my phone from when we loaded Chels' VW to take it to it's new home. Thank goodness for come-alongs!

Here's one I took just after getting to Chels' house

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Rain Barrel update

this is where the barrel ended up parked at. I think I should have dropped the position of the spigot at least an inch lower. I really like Dad's idea of making a collar that catches even more rain. Currently the barrel has been out since Oct 8, and the water level is just now getting above the spigot.

Going to Austin this Friday night

Inside of Chelsea's VW. She built this with her father. I thought I had a pic of the outside, but I can't find it.

I've rented the smallest U-Haul Truck I could find along with a car carrier so that I can bring Chelsea her old Volkswagon. I haven't driven a truck and trailer since back in the 80's so I am a wee-bit apprehensive, but I'm sure I'll do okay. I had hoped that I could get away with only renting a trailer, but as it turns out our truck isn't rated to carry just the trailer without having a weight distributing hitch installed.

Chelsea is going to have to drive me home on Sunday because U-Haul charges an additional fee of .99 cents a mile if you return with the truck and trailer. If it's a one-way trip to Austin and I drop the truck and trailer there, the mileage fee is waved. How strange is that?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I'm a dirty two-timing blogger!

Been posting in my "No Impact" blog for this week. Actually, it's more like "Lower Impact" for me, I'm finding bad old habits die hard I'm afraid. But I am making small changes, and the project is definitely making me think about what I am doing.

The OTHER blog

Friday, October 09, 2009

Wazzhappenin here

Well... at the top of the list is we heard from G Jr. this morning who is now back in Kuwait and preparing to head to his base out just off the Tigris river, near the border of Iraq and Iran. He was eligible to get out of the army at the end of this month, however the army always reserves the right (and usually exercises that right) to extend a soldier's enlistment time until they are done with you. G Jr will be over there for a year. We already feel anxious and miss him.

Gordy and I have decided to be a little radical and paint our house in what we like to call a "Caribbean" style. I haven't admitted to G just yet that I am a little hesitant about our color choices, but hell, it's just paint, we can change it eventually. Behr has a neat little app on their website that allows you to play around with color choices and see them on various styles of houses. Once you think you have decided on something you can order little 8 oz samples of the paint for about $7 bucks a piece. I received my three samples yesterday and couldn't wait to see what it was going to look like. Along with the paint samples Behr sends a little paint-roller with little roller trays, so during my lunch break i painted a small area of the backside of the house.

This picture doesn't do a good job of showing the actual colors. Actually, the colors look kinda yucky in the picture. In real life they are definitely "bold" but I have come to like them, i think. sure i do... yep.

Last weekend one of my little yard projects was to get some dog-proof containers and plant some veggies in one of the areas that is now open to sunlight. I planted tomatoes, romaine lettuce, zucchini, brussel sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, along with a few herbs: dill, oregano, basil, and mint.

buckets o' food

Monday, October 05, 2009

Getting a trademark

Back on July 1, 2009 I filed online with the US Patent and Trademark office, for a trademark on "iBirdCount." I can't fathom what sort of research is involved with this process. Checked the status of my application, and learned that as of Oct. 2, the examining attorney could see no initial problems with the trademark and so the status has been moved to "Approved by the examining attorney for publication for opposition."

Of course I had to look that up. What they are going to do is publish our application for trademark in the Trademark Official Gazette, where any entity having issue with the name "iBirdCount" has 30 days to dispute it.

If everything goes well, the US Patent and Trademark office states that we may be issued a certificate authorizing our use of the word in 12 weeks after the publishing period... *phew* this seems like it is taking forever.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Homemade Rain Catcher

Used a "Brute" contractor-grade garbage can. The spigot is a 1/2" PVC ball valve so that a standard hose could be attached.

This isn't going to be tied into a downspout, I'm going to place it near my working compost. Hopefully get enough rain to keep the compost pile moist when I need to.

Garbage can: $30
Spigot and PVC couplings: $5
2 washers: 54 cents

Since I had the screen and glue already, total cost today was $35.54

I hope it holds up okay and fulfills its intended purpose well-enough.

I'm going to stick a potted plant on the center of the lid to "purty" it up some.

Here's another pic of the lid:

Lid of Rain Catcher

Monday, September 14, 2009

Dutch vs. the Faucet

Gordy captured a quick vid of Dutchie-boy burd having a row with the kitchen faucet.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Scooter's Storage Compartment

Scooter's Storage Compartment
Originally uploaded by Michael-Ann

Glueing stuff today... thought i would start with something "safe" to see how it works out. So far, okay. But I think I am sticking to the lines too much, when I think of the art-cars I like best, it's always the ones who created/glued outside the box.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hot in Texas

Don't know who to give credit for this image, was emailed to me. Thought it worth sharing :-)

Interesting Sky

Interesting Sky
Originally uploaded by gordyt

Odd to see this mix of small dark and white clouds... like salt & pepper clouds.

NY Times Article about the Christmas Eve arrival of Troops


Heavy Storms at Sea Dash Hopes of Veterans to Reach Homes by Christmas

Carrier Fought Four Storms in 9-Day Crossing—Battleship Washington Also In

Most of the 15,000 soldiers who arrived in New York yesterday from European an Asiatic ports after experiencing storms of hurricane force on the Atlantic appeared to accept philosophically the prospect of another Christmas away from home.

The service men who arrived here represented more than one-third of the estimated total of 40,000 returning to east and west coast ports on Christmas Eve.

Disappointed at first when they learned that the severe weather they had encountered would delay their separation from service and return home until after Christmas, officers and men appeared to brighten considerably as they realized that they were back in the United States and within reach of their homes by telephone and telegraph.

Skyline Symbol of Home

Bernhard M. Auer of Bronxville, N.Y., returning from twenty-two months over seas service, during which he was a special agent of the Army's Counter Intelligence Corps in India and Burma, seemed to sum up the prevalent attitude when he said:
"When I saw the New York skyline again and knew that I was really back in the United States and close to my family, nothing else counted. My Christmas is going to be all right."

Mr. Auer returned from Karachi, India, on the Navy transport General McCrae that brought 3,208 passengers to Pier 88 North River. The largest group to arrive here came on the aircraft carrier Enterprise. She carried 5,057 passengers, including 4,086 Army officers and men, from Southampton, England, to Pier 13, Staten Island.

Comdr. John Monro of Andover, Mass., damage control officer of the Enterprise, said that during the four storms the carrier encountered in her nine-day crossing the forecastle deck had been awash in eight to ten feet of water from waves up to 75 feet high.

The pounding waves, in a gale that reached an eighty-mile-an-hour velocity, carried away loose gear in the forward section of the carrier, smashed a ten-foot steel walkway on the starboard bow, forty feet of timber railing on the flight deck and the lashings of about forty life rafts on the flight decks. None of the rafts were lost.

Commander Monro declared that Capt. William L. Rees had done "a masterful job of seamanship" in battling the weather, which he compared to a China Sea typhoon.

Tells of Seven Storms

On the battleship Washington, Capt. Francis X. McInerney, said that the storms he encountered during the ship's ten-day crossing from Southampton with 1,570 soldiers were the worst he had experienced in twenty-six years at sea.

"There were seven storms and twice the wind reached hurricane force," Captain McInerney said. "The waves ran from seventy-five to 100 feet high, loosening rafts, damaging the superstructure and injuring several seamen."

The late Gen. George S. Patton Jr., who was burried yesterday in Luxembourg, was to have arrived on the Washington. Reservations for his passage had been made before he was injured fatally in a motor accident. His naval aide, Rear Admiral Frank J. Lowry of Cresco, Iowa, returned on the Washington as scheduled.

The Washington docked in an adjoining berth to the General McCrae at Pier 88. The battleship was three days overdue and the navy transport, which took twenty-seven days to come from Karachi, was five days late.

Other transports arriving yesterday or due to dock last night were the General Hodges from Karachi with 3,217 troops, the Waycross Victory from Antwerp with 1,580, the Daniel H. Hill from Havre with 568, the William Rayburn from Southampton with 34, the Zane Grey from Havre with 84, the George Gipp from Antwerp with 29 and the Spetsan from Calcutta with 28.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Composting area

Bwahahaa...I didn't realize until just now, that when I took this pic of my work area, my old lab was back there working on a little compost area of his own.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Neighbor's Beagles Tree a Cat

There was a lot of commotion going on next-door when I went home for lunch to let our dawgs out for their afternoon potty-break. As soon as the beagles noticed me, they came for me. Those two dogs drive me nuts with their relentless barking day in and out.

Dang Barking Beagles
On another note, I think our little papaya tree may be trying to flower/fruit.
Possible Baby Papayas
Everything is wilting with the nasty heat and lack of rain.
Wilted Yard

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


Gordy recently put a new carb and new battery in my scooter, so I am officially again back on two-wheels whilst toodling around town. Today, during my lunch run, I decided a pair of goggles might be a nice addition to my riding ensemble. I found these neat-looking ones made by a company in France and imported by British Classics in Florida and ordered them today. WOOT!

Next, I think I'm going to try gluing stuff on the storage compartment that can be mounted on my scooter... something to make the scooter more visible (less likely to get hit) and perhaps add a little extra fun to the ride. I've got some E6000 glue, which is what all the art car people recommend for sticking things to your car.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

The Morning After Jerkiness

It has been that slow creep from silent defense shields in place to tiny snippets of less awkward conversation sometimes accompanied by an o...