The Sock Zone

A little bit of random

A to Z Challenge: Z is For Zonker April 30, 2013

Day 26. My final post in this a to z challenge with the exception of my reflections post is Z is for Zonker.

No not the comic strip character, but he was named after it. Zonker is my very spoiled house cat. He has a deep meow like his daddy and some pretty sharp claws that when he’s playful, likes to reach out and snag some skin. His favorite place to sleep is either a clean basket of clothes or on top of my son’s winter coat.

My sons argue about whose cat he is. But we all know he’s pretty much he’s own kitty.

Zonker

Zonker

 

A to Z Challenge: Y is for Yarrow April 29, 2013

Today is day 25 of the a to z challenge. Tomorrow is the last day of this month long challenge. Y is for Yarrow.

Yarrow is also known by the names Milfoil, Old Man’s Pepper,Soldier’s Woundwort, Knight’s Milfoil, Herbe Militaris, Thousand Weed, Nose Bleed, Carpenter’s Weed, Bloodwort, Staunchweed, Sanguinary, Devil’s Nettle, Devil’s Plaything, Bad Man’s Plaything, and Yarroway.

The leaves of the plant have a feathery appearance. The flowers are white, pale lilac, yellow, pink, orange and red. They look like small daisies.

yarrow2

Parts of the plant that can be used are the whole plant, stems, leaves and flowers, collected in the wild state, in August, when in flower.

The stalks are dried and used in I Ching divination.

Yarrow Tea is a good remedy for severe colds, being most useful in the commencement of fevers, and in cases of obstructed perspiration. It opens the pores freely and purifies the blood, and is recommended in the early stages of children’s colds, and in measles and other eruptive diseases.

 The younger leaves are said to be a pleasant leaf vegetable when cooked as spinach, or in a soup. Yarrow is sweet with a slight bitter taste.

yarrow3

The leaves encourage clotting, so it can be used fresh for nosebleeds. The aerial parts of the plant are used for phlegm conditions, as a bitter digestive tonic to encourage bile flow, and as a diuretic. The aerial parts act as a tonic for the blood, stimulate the circulation, and can be used for high blood pressure; it is also useful in menstrual disorders, and as an effective sweating remedy to bring down fevers.

Yarrow

As with any plant or herb seek medical advice before using.

 

A to Z Challenge: X is For Xantu’s Hummingbird April 27, 2013

Today is day 24.  X is for Xantus’s Hummingbird

This cute little fellow is about 8-9 cm in length. The male has a black tipped slender straight bill. Its throat is green. In the female the throat is brown. The upper body and back feathers are green, and the crown and face is a blue-black. The belly is a cinnamon brown. Distinct markings are a white and black stripe around the eyes. They have a straight dark tail.

They are endemic to Baja California, and are an accidental vagrant to California and British Columbia. They can be found around arid scrubs, desert, mesquite trees and back yards. Their diet includes nectar and insects.

Xantus's_Hummingbird1

Photo by tehag
 

A to Z Challenge: W is for Wire Wrapped Jewelry April 26, 2013

Today is day 23 of the a to z challenge only 3 more days to go. W is for wire wrapped jewelry.  

Wire wrapping is one of the oldest techniques for making jewelry by hand. In wire wrapping, jewelry is made using jewelry wire and findings similar to wire (like head-pins) to make components. Wire components are then connected to one another using mechanical techniques with no soldering or heating of the wire. A wire is bent into a loop or other shape and then the wire is wrapped around itself to finish the wire component making that loop or shape permanent. Because of this technique for wrapping wire around itself this craft is called wire wrapping.

 Examples of wire and beaded jewelry made using wire wrapping techniques date back to thousands of years BC. The British Museum has samples of jewelry from the Sumerian Dynasty, found in the cemetery of Ur that contained spiraled wire components. This jewelry is dated at approximately 2000 BC.

photo from British Museum

photo from British Museum

Other samples of jewelry from Ancient Rome show wire wrapped loops (one of the important techniques in making wire wrapped jewelry). This Roman jewelry is dated to approximately 2000 years ago. In the manufacture of this early jewelry the techniques for soldering did not exist.

photo from British museum

photo from British museum

Later, as the technique for soldering developed, the wire wrapping approach continued because it was an economical and quick way to make jewelry components out of wire.

 One of the best wire wrapping artists that I have found is Nichol Hanna. Her jewelry is just amazing. She is a true artist in every sense of the word. You can find her jewelry here at:  http://nicolehannajewelry.storenvy.com/

photo by Nicole Hanna

photo by Nicole Hanna

Some day I hope to be able to make jewelry like this. She has many tutorials on sale also for those who would like to learn how to make some of her gorgeous jewelry. For now I will just have to admire her jewelry because I’m just not at this level. Who knows someday I might get this good.

 

A to Z Challenge: V is for Vacation April 25, 2013

Filed under: A to Z challenge — Cynthia @ 2:33 am
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V is for Vacation

Everyone needs a vacation, time away from the stresses of life. Whether it’s an elaborately planned vacation to an exotic paradise or a camping trip to your favorite fishing hole, everyone needs a break.

Most of my vacations are staycations, I never leave home and that’s okay too.  Just a change of routine for a week is sometimes the best vacation.

I haven’t had a real vacation in over a decade, but I promised myself that I would go on a cruise in a couple of years while I was still young enough to enjoy it. It’s been something I’ve always wanted to do.

Despite the recent problems with a couple of cruises, I still plan on going. I’m not sure who I will be going with since it doesn’t appeal to my husband in the slightest. I figure that by 2015 I can save up enough to go.  As far as which cruise line I will use, I will wait and decide much closer to the time I want to go.

How about you? What’s your dream vacation?

 

Costa_Deliziosa

 

A to Z Challenge: U is for Umbrella April 24, 2013

Filed under: A to Z challenge — Cynthia @ 2:15 am
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Today is day 21 of the a to z challenge. U is for umbrella.

I remember back in the summer of 1980, I was 18. I had finished my technical training in the Air Force and was home on leave. It was the day before I left home to go overseas to Okinawa. I really wanted to have a barbeque but it had been raining all day. So being clever as I was, I got the umbrella from my mom and dad’s patio table and sat holding it over the grill. My dad took this photo and I got my barbeque. Oh the memories.

002

 

A to Z Challenge:T is for Tortoise April 23, 2013

Filed under: A to Z challenge — Cynthia @ 1:45 am
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Day 20 of the A to Z Challenge: T is for Tortoise.

I have two tortoises that have lived with me for about 15 years now. When I first acquired them I thought they were males and gave them the names Darth Vader  and Tom. When they started laying eggs I realized that I needed to change their names. They are now Dartha and Tomi. I never seem to have normal animals. Their favorite food is cat food with an occasional tomato.  They love to sit in their water dish. Tomi loves to be petted and will stretch her neck out as far as she can. Dartha would rather be left alone and hides in her shell. Yep silly tortoises.

Dartha and Tomi

Dartha and Tomi

 

 
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