pen rainbow

Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday—The Photoshop Gallery: WC Sunset

Late summer sunset in Walnut Creek

Taken with an iPhone4_post-processed in Lightroom4 & PS CS3

First day of September

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thursday Mini-Post: Colonel Meow

All hail!  Colonel Meow, the 2014 Guinness World Record holder for The Cat with The Longest Fur

World longest cat hair_photo by

Colonel Meow is a two-year old Himalayan-Persian rescue kitty from Los Angeles whose gorgeous-darling! fur is 9-inches long.  That's a lot of feline fluff!


Click HERE if you want to check out the colonel's official Guinness World Record website  

His Fluffiness

Owners, Anne Marie Avey and Eric Rosario report that the colonel is pleased and mildly annoyed with his newfound célébrité.  The colonel requires his servants (a.k.a. his owners) to brush him two to three times a week.

Click HERE to friend Colonel Meow on facebook.  Check out pix of his friends wearing their cats as hats (in photos).

Click HERE to see funny pix of Colonel Meow & his canine minion, Boots

Click HERE if you want to follow the colonel on twitter

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Good for You, Good for The Home—Rainbow Centerpieces

Fresh flowers + clear vases + colored water = Cheerful, inexpensive decor

Bright & cheerful_photo by Niki_papery & cakery

Check out this great idea for table decoration from Papery & Cakery by sisters Ali (cakery) & Niki (papery).  

All you need are bud vases, a bouquet of white daisies, water & some food coloring.  It's all about style...simple, elegant, easy & creative.  

I love them lined up to catch the sunlight!  If you had a theme color for your party, you could use different shades of the same color, e.g. dark and light pinks & reds for Valentine's Day or shades of purple for an elegant Thanksgiving table.

White daisies add a crisp white touch.  Niki points out that carnations will absorb the color.  Actually, that might be a neat way to go!

Try it & see what you can create for an everyday celebration.      

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tuesday's Cupboard—Crockpot Chicken Vindaloo

Adapted from original recipe_Weight Watcher's SLOW GOOD Super Slow-Cooker Cookbook, ©2005

This will make your house smell heavenly!  

Equipment:  7-quart slow cooker

Prep + cooking time:  5.75 hours (45 mins prep + 5 hours cooking)


Makes 6 servings


    • 1 large sweet onion, cut into 1-1/2 inch wedges 
    • 3/4 to 1 lb new baby heirloom potatoes, cleaned & cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes (or use regular new potatoes)
    • 4 boneless skinless split chicken breasts, cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces (about 1.25 lbs.)
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 2 cups chicken broth
    • 3 generous teaspoons Thai red curry paste 
    • 2 heaping teaspoons curry powder
    • 1 14-oz. can LITE coconut milk (use the whole can)
    • **  Indian Naan flatbread (optional)


  1. In single layers, place onion, potatoes and chicken in a 7-quart slow cooker.
  2. Sprinkle with salt.
  3. Combine the broth, curry paste, and curry powder in a medium bowl; pour over the chicken and vegetables.
  4. Cover and cook until the chicken and potatoes are fork tender, 4-5 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low.
  5. About 35 minutes before cooking is done, stir the broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and coconut milk into the slow cooker.    
  6. Cover & cook on high until vegetables are crisp-tender & brightly colored.
Sweet onion cut into large chunks

baby heirloom potatoes about the same size as the onion & chicken

chicken cut into 1-1/2 inch chunks

Cook on high for 4.5 to 5 hours

Make your own broth

Curry powder & red Thai paste add spice to the stew

Available at Safeway

Add veggies & coconut milk 35 minutes before serving

16 oz. bag of broccoli & cauliflower florets + 2 c. baby carrots
Delicious with Naan bread!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday—Bertrand Russell's 10 Commandments of Teaching

Interesting reading for Back-to-School Week...

From  Bertrand Russell's manifesto on teaching, "A Liberal Decalogue," The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell, Vol. 3: 1944-1969, p. 71-2.

Professor Russell_UCLA_google images

Bertrand Russell was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1950 "in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought."

Professor Russell was a lecturer at the London School of Economics (1896) and Trinity College at Cambridge (1899) and a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles (1939).  He died in Wales on February 2, 1970, at the age of 97.    

1.  Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.

2.  Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.

3.  Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.

4.  When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.

5.  Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.

6.  Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.

7.  Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.

8.  Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.

9.  Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.

10.  Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday—Celebrations Week!

Celebrate every day this week —Goodbye Julene!

Forget your troubles, come on get happy
You better chase all your cares away!

Lyrics by Ted Koehler, Music by Harold Arlen, 1930

Epcot Illuminations_Walt Disney World_photo by dsmp

Happy Days Are Here Again...Sunday

CooCoo for Cocoa Puffs...Monday

Hit The Road Jack...Tuesday 

Car Crash...Wednesday

Livin' In Your Own Private Idaho...Thursday 

Steam Train & Lorry Wreck...Friday


Saturday, August 24, 2013

tHe SatURdAY sToRE — Dennis The Menace Matches

Another retro treasure from Truckee!

A nearly complete carton of really cute, vintage Dennis the Menace matchbooks!  23 out of the original 24 matchbooks, unused and each with an original caption, all in the original carton.  Dated 1951. 

On the back of the carton:
"This container prepared in accordance with Chapter IV Article 14 Sub-Paragraph B found on Page 45 of the 1951 Domestic Postal Guide, and can be mailed to any destination within the continental limits of the United States, providing the ends and front flap are securely fastened with heavy gummed tape.

Monogram California
2500 - 18th Street
San Francisco 10, Calif.

Made in U.S.A."

Click HERE to see a listing for a single DM matchbook in clean condition on Ebay ($7).  I am selling this as an intact collection, not individually. 

My price:  $150 for the whole box + free shipping & insurance

Contact me if you are interested!

Make sure you love it!  No refunds (it's simpler that way).  

copyright 1951

Could be sent by U.S. Mail!

Neat scalloped edges & silver foil interior of the carton

Closed top of the carton

Open top down view

Original Dennis the Menace comic strip by Hank Ketcham

Friday, August 23, 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thursday Mini-Post: Cute Baby Lizard Tummy Rub

Your "awwwww" moment for today...

This cute baby bearded dragon likes to have her tummy rubbed.  Who says reptiles don't have personalities?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Good for You, Good for the Home—DIY Garden Markers

A really fun DIY idea from August Wren by Jennifer in New York

photo by

What a neat folk-art idea for labeling planting areas in the garden!  All you need is...

•  clean river rocks, any size
•  white water-base latex paint
•  eco-friendly finish / sealant

Bees wax would work well as a water-resistant finish, however it will not hold up very well in extreme heat.  Use google search to find eco-friendly products like Eco-Simplista for inexpensive clear satin sealers.

If you don't feel like making your own, order them from August Wren on Etsy for $6 each!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tuesday's Cupboard—Slow Cooker Manhattan Clam Chowder

A great recipe for busy days when you don't have time to make supper later on!  Easy & satisfying!

Easy & delicious Manhattan clam chowder

This is one of those recipes that gets better the next day.  It freezes well and is just as delicious when reheated.  Top with grated Parmesan and freshly ground black pepper.  It is extra good served with Ritz Roasted Vegetable crackers & cheese cubes.

My substitution:  Instead of 2 russet potatoes, use a small bag of cleaned baby heirloom potatoes.

Adapted from Weight Watchers Slow Good Super Slow-Cooker Cookbook © 2005

Slow Cooker Manhattan Clam Chowder

Makes 6 servings

Equipment:  7-quart slow cooker


•  2 tsp. canola or olive oil
•  2 large sweet onions, chopped
•  2 - 14 oz. cans "petite cut" diced tomatoes, undrained
•  3 - 6 oz. cans chopped baby clams (do not drain)
•  1 bag of heirloom baby potatoes or 2 russet potatoes, peeled & chopped
•  3 flat-leaf sprigs of parsley, chopped (about 1/2 c.)

•  1/2 tsp. kosher salt
•  1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

•  7 cups water

Grated (or shredded) Parmesan cheese for garnish


1.  Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.

2.  Transfer the onions to a 7-quart slow cooker.  Add the tomatoes, clams, potatoes, parsley, salt & pepper.  Pour 7 cups of water over the clams & veggies.  Stir to combine; cover & cook until the veggies are fork tender, about 4.5 - 5 hours on high, 8-10 hours on low.  

3.  Garnish with grated or shredded Parmesan.  Serve with Ritz roasted vegetable crackers & cheese cubes.   

Petite diced toms have a more intense flavor than regular diced toms

Sauté the onions in olive oil until tender

I substituted petite heirloom potatoes for 2 russets in the original recipe
Main ingredients in the crockpot_Stir to combine

Add 7 cups of water to the main ingredients

Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday—The Book Sculpture Corner

Transforming used books into works of art

Artists breathe vibrancy and 3-D storytelling into repurposed books...

Su Blackwell, Wild Flowers_2006

"Wild Flowers" 2006 by Su Blackwell_google images

Artful Living by Kelly Campbell Berry

Charlotte's Web by Kelly Campbell Berry_google images

Butterfly by Cara Barer

Butterfly by Cara Barer_google images

Live Garden Journal by cloutierj

A blank book transformed into a 3D garden journal_deviantart image

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday—Have a Postliminal Week!

Celebrating Rites of Passage

Celebrating at Walt Disney World
Preliminal:  Detachment
Liminal:  Transition
Postliminal:  New Identity

The older we get, the more we experience rites of passage.  When we are young, these traditional milestones are often recognized by formal coming of age events.  A Bar or Bat Mitzvah, a Quinceañera party, or a high school graduation all mark transitions from childhood to a more formal adult social status.

So, when does a person become fully adult?  Most people would agree that a person is recognized in society as an adult when they are fully independent, both financially and in terms of managing basic life decisions.  But, the process does not happen overnight, and the transitional stage is known as liminality.  

"Liminal" comes from the Latin root, limin-, meaning "threshold."  It is a period of disorientation and necessary ambiguity.  It can be applied to individual development as well as to social and cultural development.  We see cultural liminality when social norms are changing.  When the change is widespread, we see cultural revolutions such as the Civil Rights Movement, which lasted for 14 years (1954-1968) and led to the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Fair Housing Act in 1968, and Women's Suffrage, which lasted for 72 years (1848-1920) and led to ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920.

The concept can also be applied to periods of time and to places.  Twilight, for example, is a liminal period of time.  Equinoxes and solstices marking the seasonal changes are liminal times on the calendar.  Borders, disputed territories, crossroads, rivers, hotels and airports are all liminal places.  In mythology and storytelling, a spirit would be considered a liminal being.  There is even an application in theoretical math.  

Many of the postliminal (Type I) properties of the transformation-group C-algebra can be deduced from the dynamics of the transformation group (H, X).

Liminality can be applied to anything that is in a state of inbetween-ness.        

Liminality is an important step toward postliminal stability.  A rite of passage is complete when an individual or a society is recognized with a new identity.  Once the rite of passage has taken place, the individual (or the group) is stamped by the formative experience.  

Adult rites of passage continue throughout our lives, and on some level or another, we are always in a liminal state of transition as we move toward stabilizing various aspects of our lives.  Rites of passage are effective tools for managing long-term indecision.  When rites of passage are watered down, the significance is lessened, and the new identity/role is less certain.

Here's to weddings, graduations, the first day of high school, paying off the house, big birthdays, big moves, anniversaries, retirement, and first steps.  

Find something to celebrate today! 

Have a great week!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Saturday Store—1952 Numechron Desk Clock

A super-cool vintage clock that still works!

I found this neat little clock in my nightstand in Tahoe!  It is dated June 1952 and has a manufacturer's stamp that reads "TELE-VISION CLOCK CORP. OF AMERICA  7249 Frankstown Ave., Pittsburg 8, PA.  Made in U.S.A." 

Works great!  There is a low electrical buzzing noise when the clock is in operation.  :)

Click HERE to see a similar listing on Ebay

My price:  $60 + free shipping!

Let me know if you're interested.  Contact:

dated June 1952

back with original cord

Military time

Neat Bakelite casing

length = approximately 8"
Width = 4 inches

Tele-Vision Clock Corporation of America

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday—The Photo Gallery

Focus & Blur

Using exposure value (relative shutter speed to aperture) to create interest

Post-processing:  Textures_kk traverse + kk villa_by Kim Klassen_TopazDetail2_feature enhancement

It's sunflower season!

Post-processing:  Texture_kk jamal_radlab stylets_contrast LUMA_edge blur

Mother hens

Post-processing:  CS3_dodge to lighter center of flower_Lightroom4_curves adjustment

Brilliant orange begonias

Post-processing:  CS3_curves adjustment

Luminous white begonias