Vintage Adventures

Howdy! I'm a crafty gal living in the Golden State of California; all about vintage clothes, swing dancing, knitting, cooking, books
and adventures!

Monday, May 24, 2010

{School in the forest}

I was reading the news this morning and came across a fascinating article..
About a kindergarten in a forest!
This one is in Washington state; basically it's an educational outdoor camp for kindergartners.
There is a teacher and assistant that supervise the children as they explore.
Children are taught about insects, animals, weather and edible plants.

I think that this is an amazing idea!
I am the oldest of 5, the youngest being 6.
I always felt bad whenever I saw him in front of the tv..
Children should be in reality, not virtual-reality.

If I ever have a kid, I am so sending it to a school like this!
Cedar Song Nature School

I walked through the Schwarzwald while in Germany:


Sunday, May 23, 2010

{Life and death}

Just two days ago was the scariest day of my life.
The day started out normal enough.. humid and cloudy.
Then it got pitch dark when it was only 19.00 (it usually gets dark around 21.00 or so).
Later around 19.30 there was lightning.
Hans and I were driving to the store to get juice (one gets dehydrated easily when it's this hot)
I heard a strange noise.. like a semi-truck attempting to put on their brakes and screech to a halt.
I figured it was our Dodge Calibur's brakes, that there was something horribly wrong with them.
I kept hearing the sound, and that's when I realized that it wasn't brakes.. it was the tornado siren!
We pulled into the parking lot.
Upon getting out.. the light was as if looking through a colored filter on a camera.
Everything was yellow-green.
There were people clustered around the entrances to the store.
We quickly went in, got out juice, and paid.
Upon walking out.. the light had turned red-purple.
It was raining very hard.
Cloud-to-ground lightning.
Hans brought my attention to the sky to the east.. where a tornado had touched down!
In Vine Grove and moving 25 mph.
Vine Grove is 10 minutes away from Radcliff, where we live.
I had never seen anything like this before.. dark clouds touching the ground.
We drove as quickly as possible back to our apartment.
I kept my eye on the tornado to the east.
I called my mom and told her that I love her, just in case!
I just wanted to get home and protect my cats, and us too.
The sky was purple and the light was red.
The rain was so heavy that we had to pull over and drive on the side of the road.
Finally we made it home!
I could barely see the trees there was so much rain and mist.
I will never forget those colors.. purple, red, yellow-green..
The short walk from the car up the stairs to our door got me soaked as if I had jumped into a lake.
I quickly gathered all of my potted plants and brought them inside.
Got a suitcase ready in case we were to be moved on base for protection.
Checked and the warning had been lifted.
The tornado blew itself out.
I have never been so relieved (ok so that's not really true there's been lots of times when I've been so relieved.. but you know what I mean)!
The rain subsided.
We went outside to look at the sky.
There were still a bunch of scary clouds hanging around, but I felt a lot better.
I then stayed inside because I didn't want to get hit by lightning, because cloud-to-ground lightning is the kind that most often hits trees, buildings, people, etc.

The reason that I'm so scared of tornadoes is.. well..
Growing up, my Mother would always tell me the dreams she had and of course, some were nightmares.
She often had nightmares involving tornadoes.. because despite being from Virginia, she did grow up in Ohio where there are tornadoes.
Being a young impressionable child, I took her fear and made it into my own.
I don't think this is necessarily bad.. tornadoes are something to be taken seriously!

Oh and yesterday I made delicious pizza entirely from scratch!
Topped with a simple pesto, vegan mozzarella cheese, broccoli, black beans and pineapple.
Accompanied by Rumble-ade (rum + my homemade lemonade).
Simply divine!

I apologize for the bad picture.. iphones are great but their cameras leave much to be desired!
In the middle where the clouds are touching the ground.. that's where the tornado was.
I took this from outside my apartment building.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Some days I just feel as if I'm retreating inside myself.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010


A bunad is a traditional Norwegian costume, with looks and designs varying throughout the different regions of Norway.
I looked up the design and sewed a bunad from the Finnmark region.. because that's where Hammerfest is and that is where my great-great-great-great grandfather came from!
At the time I had a phobia of sewing machines so this is all sewn by hand.
I wore this to the 2009 Vista Viking Festival.. GREAT fun!
I really need a sewing machine.. planning to find one on craigslist.


Monday, May 17, 2010


Nothing but rain and bad dreams the past weekend.
But I did see a firefly on Friday night!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

{Memento mori}

Today marks the 1 year anniversary for when my first Norwegian Forest Cat, Bentley, died.
I just got him off of craigslist on December 12th, 2007.
His owner had surgery and couldn't take care of him.
We were meant to be together..
He was from a breeder in San Jose, California (that's where I'm from)
His breed is Norwegian Forest Cat (I'm Norwegian)
His birthday is October 1st (mine is the 11th)
I fell in love with him and took him home with me.
He was my feline-soulmate-child.
Words cannot express how close we were..

In March of 2008 he became ill.
I took him to VCA Animal Hospital in Point Loma.
He received the best care there that a cat could possibly receive.
His veterinarian was one of the kindest people I have met in my life..
Our visits often overran the allotted appointment time because we would get into medical discussions!

I wrote all of this in my personal, hand-written journal:

--March 03, 2009--
About 10 days ago Bentley just wasn't eating so I took him to the vet. He got x-rays and bloodwork done and it was discovered that he has hepatic lipidosis. Pathophysiology: Hepatic lipidosis occurs when a cat doesn't eat for a period of time. The cat's body starts digesting fat which in turn goes into the liver where it replaces liver cells. Bentley has jaundice.. his little nose, ears, gums and skin are yellow due to the inability of bilirubin to go into the liver.. because there are fat cells there and not liver cells. He wouldn't eat anything.. not liverwurst, not turkey, not salmon, duck, venison, chicken or beef. I was force-feeding him for about a week. I gave him mirtazipine (appetite stimulant) for awhile and he doesn't even need it anymore. He eats and drinks all by himself now, but he's still dehydrated so I have to give him kitty I.V. subcutaneous fluids. He only weighs 16 pounds.. compared to 21 pounds in November. Part of his ample weight is his breed. Norwegian Forest Cats are the second largest breed of domestic cat in the world. Males can weigh up to 20 pounds!

--May 14, 2009__
Bentley died yesterday at 10.30. He was only 6 1/2 years old.. and with me for 1 year and 5 months. He had surgery the day before to put a feeding tube in, yet his condition rapidly deteriorated overnight. He had bruising and petichiae.. most likely because his clotting factors were compromised due to the liver disease. He was hypothermic at 94 degrees fahrenheit and 100 is normal for cats. I went to see him at the hospital and he was under heat lamps, not responding to heat. He was on oxygen and pain medication too. Things came to a point where the act of prolonging his life was prolonging his death. And so he died exactly the way I want to: an overdose of barbiturates (I think). I kissed him goodbye. I've been violently ill all day. I have a migraine that no pills can quell and I'm nauseous and dry-heaving so of course eating is out of the question. Bentley is being cremated.. I am planning on getting him a beautiful antique urn so that he can stay with me (in my room).

I am still saving up for this beautiful antique cremation urn...


I was organizing and cleaning when this caught my eye:


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

{Upside down}

Well the movers came a day early.
Unfortunately they were not able to move my 900-pound upright piano upstairs..
but my neighbor was kind enough to give it a temporary home in her garage!
Oh my goodness.. our apartment looks like it has been hit by a hurricane!
So much unpacking and organizing to do.
Spent 7 hours on it today and right now, I am just done!
Nothing like a dark and stormy to cool one off.
We're supposed to have thunder storms today, wednesday, thursday and friday.. we'll see.

Among my belongings:
bird ornaments created a century apart.
The older one was left by Beulah Olson, the old owner of the big victorian house I grew up in in San Jose, California.
I shall write more about that house another day :)
She left a lot of things.. furniture, x-rays, old letters..
I know that she moved to Canada.
She used to send my family a card every Christmas.
That stopped a few years ago, in the '90's.. I think she has since died.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

{Tiny and new}

Yesterday H. surprised me with a 6 1/2 week old kitten!
I named her Alice.