I’ll do anything for cookies

After years of being shot down, Donald lowered his sights a little:

 

Low expectations

 

“I’ll do anything for cookies.”

For cookies? Really? Poor guy.

…What would he do for a pie?

I’m not one to call the kettle black, though. I am a fiend when it comes to sweets, especially cookies. They’re little, portable bites of goodness. I made the mistake of baking a roll of Pillsbury’s seasonal peppermint sugar cookies early this week. I used my blackened, well-seasoned baking stone and these rocked. But ya know what? They’re all gone now. Howie doesn’t even like them. He took one bite of one and handed the remainder of the cookieĀ back to me.

Who does that??

I can’t keep stuff like that in the house. If there is healthy stuff available, I’ll eat it. If there are cookies or anything else delectable like them, that’s where I gravitate. Just step away from the sweets, m’am, and no one will get hurt.

The image is an illustration from a 1948 Baby Ruth candy advertisement. Click the image above and you’ll see the whole ad. I found it at plan59.com, which boasts a huge online repository of vintage ads and art, plus offers prints and hi-res image of the same.

By the way, I always assumed the candy bar was named after baseball great, Babe Ruth, but it turns out there’s speculation it was named after others. Baseball wins, though. Snopes has the skinny.


3D anamorphic street art of Julian Beever

Many of us have received email forwards containing photos of three-dimensional (3D) drawings by Julian Beever. The trick is, they’re three-dimensional only when viewed from a specific vantage point. Here are a few photos of his sidewalk art. In each pair of photos, the first shows the piece from the preferred viewing angle while the second shows it from the “wrong” side. You can see it takes some highly tuned spatial orientation on the part of the artist!

Julian Beever's Swimming Pool in the High Street, viewed from the best angle

Julian Beever’s Swimming Pool in the High Street, viewed from the optimal angle.

Julian Beever's Swimming Pool in the High Street wrong side

Julian Beever’s Swimming Pool in the High Street, viewed from the “wrong” side.

Julian Beever's Kate's Last Crawl, viewed from the best angle

Julian Beever’s Kate’s Last Crawl, viewed from the optimal angle

Julian Beever's Kate's Last Crawl, viewed from the "wrong" angle

Julian Beever’s Kate’s Last Crawl, viewed from the “wrong” angle

I see the theory in how these are done, but I’ve never attempted to do an extreme perspective drawing like this. I wouldn’t know where to start! Fortunately, there are some online resources available which show the basics of how these works are done. Don’t you love the Internet? :)

This Instructables page shows fun examples by user Greasetattoo : How to do 3D Anamorphic Artwork and Sidewalk, Street, and Driveway Art (kudos on the great choices in keywords, by the way – they worked!). I especially like the series of photos with the stool. They had a lot of fun with that one.

If viewing his work online isn’t enough for you, there’s a book available. Pavement Chalk Artist: The Three-Dimensional Drawings of Julian Beever. Want to try your hand at some pavement art yourself? Check out Sidewalk Canvas: Chalk Pavement Art at Your Feet. The cover alone caught my eye; that lion is really well done. If you’re going to try your hand at chalk art, Crayola has a nice 52-Count Chalk Carton. A lot of the chalk sets out there just have a few pastel colors.

If you’re interested in learning how to do this kind of art, but are a more visual and hands-on learner, there are video tutorials on YouTube. I put together a playlist of some. If you have suggestions of other YouTube videos on the subject, let me know and I might add them to the playlist so everyone can enjoy them.

 

 

Mansight: Things hiding in plain view

Mansight, hiding in plain sight.

The mister and I have a long-running joke about mansight. It’s a term I coined to describe the phenomenon explaining the inability of most men to see what is right in front of them. You know what I’m talking about, ladies. You ask him to get the cottage cheese out of the fridge, but he insists there is no cottage cheese in there. You look, and the cottage cheese container is performing covert ops, stubbornly hiding in plain sight next to the carton of last night’s take-out leftovers. That’s mansight.

So, I laughed aloud the other night when I ordered Chinese food for delivery from the awesome Billy Lee’s Chop Suey House since Howie was at a meeting. This was the fortune in my cookie: “You find what you’re looking for; just open your eyes!”

I didn’t just laugh when I read that, I roared. It’s not often something so perfect shows up in a fortune cookie. So, I made a little sign, writing “Mansight…” and drawing a heart. I affixed the fortune in the heart’s center and placed the sign on the fridge.

Saturday morning, I asked my beloved if he’d noticed the fridge.

“Yes….”, he said, a little testily. I asked him when he noticed it and he replied, “This morning.”

I put it on the fridge Tuesday night.

That, friends, is mansight.

Happy valentine’s day, Howie – I love you dearly!

I caught Santa, and you can, too!

Can you imagine the look on your kid’s face when you show him a photo of Santa in your own living room?

When I saw this site, icaughtsanta.com, I smiled. What a fun, original idea! Best yet, I have a discount code for my readers. But more about this later.

Our girls, despite their being four-footed, got to see Santa. See for yourselves!

Santa was just reaching into his bag of toys when he heard a low growl come from behind him...

Santa was just reaching into his bag of toys when he heard a low growl...

Santa reaching for the puppies.

Santa likes his reindeer well enough, but he had to pet the sleeping puppies before heading back up the chimney.

Time’s a wastin’….Head over to icaughtsanta.com, upload your photo, and watch St. Nick appear. I have a coupon code for you, too: SANTA50 will get you half off your order. This is great fun!

Dogs, grief and gratitude


sarah-greyOur year ended on a sad note as we said goodbye to our sweet old girl, Sarah. She was our coffee-loving, bean crunching girl. We got her in 1999, the same year we bought our house. Howie and I both grew up with dogs and loved them, but as renters we’d not been able to own one the first seven years we were married. So, with the new house came the decision to add a dog to our family.

The girls We found her by way of a classified ad offering her puppies. When we got to the house, Sarah greeted us enthusiastically, wagging her tail and rolling over for belly rubs. Her pups were four months old and still nursing her in addition to eating puppy food. Unlike their mother, however, they were shy and fearful. We asked if they were trying to find a home for Sarah and they said yes.

Her owners said she was born in 1997 or 1998, offspring of one of their beagles (which they raised for hunting) and a chow. The beagle genes were readily apparent, but the chow didn’t contribute much. If her daddy even was a chow.

She had a strong prey drive and a busy beagle nose. She was fine with our indoor cats, but woe to any animals she encountered outside! I think the only animal to ever stand her down was an opossum who turned to face her. Suddenly Sarah had other pressing business.

What she really lived for was squirrels. If she saw one, she’d chase it to a tree and sit at the tree’s base, staring up, as long as you’d let her. If you clicked your tongue in a vague mimicry of a squirrel, she’d perk up, whine and go to the nearest window to look for one. She never tired of this! She knew squirrels lived in trees, so when we’d go by trees while out driving, she would get very excited. Yes, she was just a little obsessed with them. :)

Cheeky squirrelWe even had one particularly cheeky squirrel who would come right up to the front window and tease her. At times, they’d be staring each other down, nose-to-nose, with only a double-paned window between them. She also loved to watch the fish in our pond. And she was very interested in the large pleco fish in our aquarium.

sarah-bw-patio-naps-1-wBut she was also the most obedient dog we’d ever had — and no thanks to us! From the day we brought her home, she stayed right by us and came when called. She routinely dashed out the back door and made a circle through the neighbor’s yard when we let her out (scouting for squirrels), but she came right back when we called her. We wished we could take credit for her manners!

She was our constant companion in the garden, our “moley dog” who burrowed beneath the covers every night, and our fearless watchdog. Actually, the only person she guarded us against was the mailman; she really hated the mail carriers and pitched a fit whenever one would come and dare to drop mail through the slot in our front door.

Sarah had her fifteen minutes of fame in this video:

She won second place in the contest. My photos of her and our other dogs were also pictured on Innova Pet’s line of Karma organic dog food promotional materials. That story is here.

Sarah had some sort of episode overnight and on the morning of December 28, she appeared to have had a stroke. Her head was cocked to one side and her eyes darted rapidly back and forth (nystagmus). She could not stand and walk, but stumbled as she tried to balance. From what I looked up, strokes are rare in dogs and she most likely had canine vestibular syndrome (also called peripheral vestibular syndrome), a common ailment of the inner ear and one which she might have recovered from.

Sarah woofs for her bean However, we had to look at the hard facts. She was fourteen years old and had recurring problems with her hind legs. No one in our household is physically capable of bending and carrying a 35-pound dog multiple times a day; considering the dizziness made her so she could barely stand, let alone walk, she would have to be carried outside to go potty. Dogs with this condition can take weeks to recover, and often must be given anti-nauseal drugs because the vertigo makes them sick to their stomachs (imagine being severely seasick all the time).

We couldn’t see putting our old girl through all of this. Our vet said it could also have been caused by a brain tumor. Given the many visible lumps and bumps all over our old girl, it well could have been a tumor causing the symptoms. It could also have been a stroke, though unlikely. Our vet advised that we’d likely be prolonging the inevitable if we tried waiting it out. So, with hearts brimming with sadness, we made the difficult decision to euthanize her.

Sarah begs for her beanHopefully it will be many years before we have to face this heartache again. Those of you who have loved a pet deeply know how we feel, know that those who dismiss such grief with “it’s just a dog” don’t get it. Losing a pet is so painful, but they joy they bring to our lives fills me with gratefulness.

Our vet sent us a lovely sympathy card, one which our brindle girl Stella sniffed out of the pile of mail as soon as it hit the floor. She then tried to open for us. Having come from the vet’s office, the paper must be redolent with all kinds of interesting smells. We’re so glad we have our remaining girls to make us laugh!

This is a picture story that illustrates one such gift of laughter from Sarah:

Heidi Daus “Pretty as a Peacock” ring



Peacock ring

Originally uploaded by gardenwife


Mom and went to Caribou Coffee last night and visited with a couple of friends. Before our friends arrived, I took some photos of the ring I got mom for Christmas. This is just a cellphone shot, but I liked how it came out. I’d like to take some really good macros of this ring.

It’s the “Pretty as a Peacock” ring by Heidi Daus. I really like her designs. They’re classic designs with lots of bling. You can see more of her designs (not just rings!) at her website and at HSN’s website. Oh, my gosh, I *love* her stuff!!

Let your contacts’ names remind you

I know he sometimes misses simpler work, jobs he could leave behind for the night or weekend, and I appreciate his working so hard. He’s always taken those after hours work calls at his programming jobs, often when some coworkers wouldn’t even answer their phones. He’s a good man!
Anyway, My hubby changed the contact name for work to so this is what he sees when they call him. It’s a good reminder for those times when he’s sound asleep or a call comes at an otherwise inconvenient time.