Road Trip!

After a job interview at 8:30am...(can you believe it, me a night person?) I took off on a road trip! Driving up the 57 to the 210 west to the 5 north to the 99 north to Stockton and then up into the mountains, it was some trip. If not for the Happy Music CDs (4 of them!) that Jen Fingal burned for me, I would have been asleep, not a good thing to do while driving. I sang along with Kermit in the Rainbow song, vanquished creativity killing vampires, remembered loves and felt love refreshed! I am one of the lovers and dreamers too. Thank you Jen for the encouraging words and music! Now I just have to catch up on all of the musicals! I was headed for Mom's in the foothills of the Sierras. Change of Latitude/Change of attitude! Mom and I always enjoy watching sunsets, seeking out wildflowers, feeding the birds and reading quietly...She is a retired librarian, so my brother and I learned the value of books early on! The flower above is, I believe, Blue Eyed Grass, found by the side of the road.


Fairies reported at Pitcher Park!

Pat Barrios, Fairy Godmother in charge, on the left, and Mayor Pro Tem Tita Smith on the right, visit with a local grandmother, name unknown, who came with her grand daughters to the Fairy Party at Pitcher Park. There were LOTS of moms, grandmothers, daughters and even the Fairy Queen, Jan Chomyn. This lovely party raised money for the Pitcher Park Foundation and scholarshops for the FFA students at Orange High School.
This fey fiddler played enchanting Irish folk music, and fairies danced around the maypole. The fiddler, a product of Orange County High School of the Arts was wonderful, but her preference is for classical music!

Both tiny and tall fairies danced around the MayPole! Peter Pan was present, although the Lost boys were of course...lost! TinkerBelle was a bit shy so we only heard her!
There were all sorts of interesting mythical creatures at the party. Take a look at this lovely fairy and her charming friend! There was a story teller, with little fairies sitting in the fairy circle we found under the ancient avocado tree, planted by Mr. and Mrs. Pitcher. I would not be surprised to learn that Mr. and Mrs. Pitcher were at the Fairy Party (at least in spirit), enjoying all of the fairies flitting about! Have you ever seen such wings?I too had a role to play at the Fairy Party. I shared fairy poetry! The knowledgeable librarians in the children's section at Orange Public Library found more selections than I could fit into my perfomance time. There was poetry about fairies going marketing, an entreprenurial fairy, fairy attire and of course fairies and moonlight. I am looking forward to doing this event next year! Oh, my wings? I tucked them into the straps of my overalls-----I am, of course, a garden fairy!


Blue Sky Red Tree

I have no idea what this tree is called...red flowers shaped like commas....here is what they look like on the tree(above) and here (below) is what they look like on the ground. Beautiful!


Painting Party!

So, can you believe it? I have such good friends, Jennifer in the middle and Alison on the far right that they actually VOLUNTEERED to help me paint the largest of the bedrooms and the attached bathroom. ** We painted and talked and listened to oldies and ate pizza and cookies and drank beer and still managed to do it all on three nights without many goofs...the ceiling too! Speaking of the ceiling, Chris Edwards, not pictured here, a stand-up comic by trade, was a huge help! He could reach higher, paint faster and was funny too! I am hoping we all do not "show up" in his material.....HUGE thanks to all my painting buddies. Next time, Bob, we will wait for you! **Please note the very attractive painting attire in the photo above! We were using the latest off white
fashion color, Swiss Coffee, more swiss than coffee. You can't see it here, but we were wearing more than our share!


Fish Prints

After trying three different markets, I finally found some Tilapia to use for Fish Prints, the arts activity at our year-end Luau. Yes, Fish Prints. This Japanese printing technique can be done with fake, rubber fish, but what fun is THAT?We used poster paint, water based. The kids first did ocean background, blue and wavy, and then used 2 inch brushes to coat/paint the fish. Next step, laying the already dry ocean on the fish and pressing gently to transfer the fish image to the ocean. They turned out beautifully. Sorry all the artwork went home with Mom and Dad or Abuelitos/as.


Read and Create-The Final Season

For the past six years, I have either facilitated or managed the Read and Create Program. This program combines reading, art, parental and other's community involvement. Once a week for eight weeks, Santa Ana police officers or Orange County probation officers came to read books to 3-12 year olds. Each week each child took a copy of the book home to build their personal libraries. The books, art supplies, prizes for the most active readers as recorded on their reading logs, were paid for by donations. Some of our donors were The Gas Company/Sempra Energy, Volvo, The Perfect Game, Epicor and others. The group of Read and Create graduates and parents you see above are from El Salvador Community Center. This great program fell victim to the severe budget cuts delivered by the City of Santa Ana Council and management. The staff position was cut and the program cancelled. Over the six years I took care of this program, we shared books with over 700 children. I consider myself and all of sponsors, Marie Moreno of the O C Probation Dept and those who loved this program as Good Fairies, of the book variety. Thanks so much for caring about encouraging kids to read and create!


Take time to stop and smell the roses

Ok, even though I am crying at the drop of a hat, I do remember that this too shall pass and that I better stop and smell the roses while I can....so I do.
There are beautiful flowers lining the walkway at the Southwest Senior Center, which is now the "main office" since the depleted budget demanded that we close our Main Office...can you tell that red is my favorite color?


El Salvador Recreation Center and MY KIDS

At El Salvdor Community Center we have a partnership with Orange County High School of the Arts. Every so often, when they have a break from auditions, rehearsals and shows, some of the high schoolers come and teach and do arts/music/dance activities with the kids in the El Salvador After School Program...it is a lot of fun for the students...all ages, teachers or ASA participants. This time is was " Under the Sea" song and dance....
Thanks OCHSA!