fledge capable of flying, from Middle English flegge, from Old English -flycge; akin to Old High German flucki capable of flying,
Old English flEogan to fly -- more at FLY
intransitive verb, of a young bird : to acquire the feathers necessary for flight or independent activity

Monday, March 22, 2010

One of those days.

Ever have one of those days? No, not one of those day, but one of Those Days. Capital-T-Those, Capital-D-Days, that just seems almost unbelievable, because of all the wonder you experienced?

Yesterday, I had the great priviledge to visit Santa Cruz Island of the Channel Islands off the coast of California. Upon approaching the island, our ferry was greeted by a huge flotilla of dolphins. Too many to count. Generally, it is said, for every dolphin you see, there are seven under water, which you don't. If I were to estimate the number of dolphins I saw jumping and leaping and surfing the ferry's wake, I'd have to say I saw 1,000...times seven...equals...a lot of dolphins! The kids and I could easily hear these beautiful creatures communicate in clicks and whistles as they rode the bow wake.

The island seemed to be greeting us also with a huge bouquet of sunny giant coreopsis over all of the hillsides. This plant only blooms for a short time and, perhaps because of the recent rains, she really showed off.

There is a National Park located on Santa Cruz Island, one of the Park Service's least frequented national parks. But there is another part of the island, which is even less frequented. Less frequented by humans, that is. There is a huge swath of land owned by the Nature Conservancy, whose stated mission is "to preserve the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive." And this the Nature Conservancy accomplishes by buying land and resources with important biodiversity and ecosystems and then preserving those ecosystems. Which means, to a great extent, culling non-native plants and animals--including humans--from the land. Humans are so infrequent here, that the very rare and endangered cat-like Santa Cruz Island fox can hardly be bothered by our big loud Toyota Tacoma to pitter patter out of the way on the bumpy dirt road.

Included in the Nature Conservancy's property is a historic cattle ranch, which the Nature Conservancy also lovingly and carefully conserves. The cattle and horses are long gone, but the lovely buildings and housings remain in this idyllic setting.

We ate a picnic lunch with a view to the mountains over this swimming pool. Yes, you're right: I imagined in my head I was the ranch owner, contemplating cattle prices, mending fences, scolding lackadaisical ranch hands and purchasing a fine new mount at the next rodeo. Hm? What? Say something? Oh. I guess I never outgrew pretend play.
A beautiful day full of wonder and surprise too must end, so back down the whitewashed pier to the waiting ferry with us. In a final farewell, a young grey whale shows off by breaching the surface. He first spy hops, waves a few times his tail, and then, AHHH! jumps way out of the water, twists and slaps down hard to make a splash worthy of this mighty mammal.
I'd like to also think that this showy display was a reminder to us that today is World Water Day. Water: We need it, we are it. So, let's take care of it. Cheers!

Thank you, Clay, for allowing us onto the Nature Conservancy property. Good luck with those grad school applications. Thank you, Gar and Ben for the invitation! It was an amazing day.

I hope you all have a day full of wonder today, as well.

Not a whale, exactly. Exactly, a grasshopper. Exactly a grasshopper perched on my son's dirty sock (because of the spikey-hurty things on his legs). Not a whale, but an impressive resident of the island nonetheless

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

And, let's get outta here.

In the hotel lobby, Dad is showing son a few things about billiards. Daddy's-girl daughter is not pleased. This activity is just not Anna-centric enough. Anna wants outta there.

So...what's a daddy's girl to do? Leave a trail of breadcrumbs through the forest? Or lacking both a forest and breadcrumbs, leave a trail of gummi bears toward the swimming pool?

Say what you will about her means. But she does have a way of getting her way.

FYI: Shirt - Design Sabine Pollehn Hilde

Monday, March 15, 2010

Let's get outta here

I needed to get out of my head for awhile. And the kids needed a change of scenery. So we went back up to Mountain High for a couple of days on the slopes.

My points pass was quickly depleted and my knees a bit achey, so I spent some time making yo-yo's in the sun. Ahhhh...California...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Post Anything Monday

Rube Goldberg Machines -- I dig 'em

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Forum quorum

We are trying to get this forum started. And I, as is commonly known, am afraid of forums. And here I am moderating one...

One of my fears is doing a good job of keeping the bad stuff out of the forum. It starts already at approving members. There must be some kind of creepy software out there that just scans the internet for new forums that pop up and automatically registers weird things for membership. It's pretty easy to recognize and eliminate prospective member ZoloftForLess (and worse...) from membership, but some other screen names and emails and IPs ... eh ... I just don't know ...

Anyway, if I haven't approved your membership, that is the reason. If you would like to re-apply, maybe give a girl a clue... How about an * in your screen name? Or something else? If nothing else, send me an email and I'll make the connection.

Sorry for the inconvenience. I just want to do this right and let UggBootsDirect find a more fitting forum.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Today: Shaun White as guru and contact paper

Shaun White and I have so much in common.

Wait, let me rethink that: The two-time Olympic snowboarding gold medalist, great and mighty Double McTwist 12-60-sama, gracer of the Rolling Stone cover twice, mentioned by President Obama and bearer of flaxen red tresses and I, a Redondo Beach hausfrau, do not have so much in common.

However, I was listening to a radio interview with the Flying Tomato. He answered a question as to why does he keep going? Keep pushing the boundaries? When he could just kick back and just let the money and the girls flow in? His answer went like this:

"I always just get to a certain point where I feel bored. I feel like I need to do go out there and do stuff. And what's crazy, everybody wants to understand how I do it. Everybody wants to know how I do this, how I stay motivated to do it.

It's something that's not fun. It's not fun. It's fulfilling. It's like you go out there and you slam after slam...it's like a math problem and you sit there throwing solutions at it and you finally get the answer. And you receive a good feeeling, a warm feeling..."

Do you ever get that? Where you're working on something that you just want to figure out? Well, that's where Shaun White and I are just so alike. Totally same wavelength. We're like spiritual siblings. We could totally hang out...right?

All this red gingham and scraps of paper and landscaper's cloth (yes, landscaper's cloth is my secret weapon) is just me, slam after slam, trying to figure out the problem of making the most beautiful dress...ever...

Now, about those tissue paper sewing patterns. Today: Clear contact paper.

Clear contact paper should be available at your local craft, home improvement or scrapbooking store. I ordered mine on Ebay. It seemed the most affordable way.

My contact paper came on rolls 9 feet long and 18 inches wide. One roll was more than enough to cover one pattern sheet.

Now to the nitty gritty.

First, I removed the creases from the pattern sheet with a warm, dry iron.

I spread the pattern sheet out over the flat, cleanly swept floor.

Before applying the contact paper, I feel a bit like Shaun White at the top of the half pipe...yeah, that's the ticket...Shaun White needing to master a triple McTwist 1550 to win the Gold Medal and return America to her former superpower superglory...

Okay, I exaggerate. Maybe. Just a bit. But, applying this contact paper cleanly and smoothly without any McTwists does require some superhuman ability. At least for me.

I place the contact paper slightly outside the edge of the pattern sheet, so that the contact paper also adheres to the floor to hold the pattern sheet in place.

Now this is kind of difficult to explain, but try to envision that you need to separate the contact paper from the backing. I do this by just sliding my flat hand across the backing and pulling it down the length of the pattern sheet as the contact paper adheres to the pattern sheet. Slow and steady. Slow and steady, there you go... The roll of contact paper unrolls as you go...contact paper to one side, backing to the other...
Hopefully, the contact paper is lined up nice and even and the contact paper runs straight down the pattern sheet. That way, two lengths of this contact paper will cover a pattern sheet.

However, if you do not have superhuman lining-up-the-contact-paper-parallel powers, and the contact paper sort of veers this what or that as you slide down the pattern sheet, you can cut and piece bits of contact paper to patch up the missed spots.

As you apply the contact paper, you will notice that there are little air pockets between the contact paper and the pattern sheet.

Running your hand over the contact paper will get rid of most of the air pockets. Or use a rolling pin or spatula.

I used Dracula spatula and it took I bite out of my work.
Nothing a bit of contact paper Band-Aid-ed over the spot doesn't heal.

This technique is a bit difficult to master. But it does have the extra bonus of bragging rights. No, I mean it has the extra bonus of protecting your pattern sheets from spills.


  • Contact paper: 12 rolls of 9'x18" contact paper plus shipping $23.00 (Ebay).
  • Amount needed: One roll per SCKL pattern sheet, with plenty left over to patch over boo-boos.
  • Rating: I'll give this method 4 out of 5 stars, because it does require some manual dexterity and Shaun-White-like-mastery of the space time continuum.

Monday, March 1, 2010


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