Archive for June 2013

Lantana   1 comment

There are about 150 different species of flowering plants in the Lantana genus, all in the verbena family (Verbenaceae). Some are shrubs, some are spreading and low-growing.

The flower clusters are called umbels, and are typically a mix of yellow, orange and red florets. The flowers change color as they mature, and the tiny flower clusters often have 2 or 3 colors during the flowers’ display.

These hardy flowers can be nice low shrubs, or ground cover, depending on the species you have.

Posted June 30, 2013 by henrymowry in Photography

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Just Sayin’   1 comment

Albert Einstein, on his 72nd birthday. Photo by Arthur Sasse, March 14, 1951, (AFP - Getty Images)

Albert Einstein, on his 72nd birthday. This photo was a favorite of Einstein’s; he sent copies to his friends! Photo by Arthur Sasse, March 14, 1951, (AFP – Getty Images)

The Boston Channel reported that “the only known signed copy of the photograph went up for auction and sold for nearly $75,000 in June, 2009″.

Payton, June 22, 2013

Payton, June 22, 2013

Happy to make a deal on any autographed photos you might need. You’ll have to wait until she can properly hold a pen, though.

Posted June 29, 2013 by henrymowry in Photography

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Key Woodworking Tools   1 comment

My garage hasn’t seen a car in many years. What it does see is woodworking.

Here are the key floor and bench top tools that I use. I’ve built everything from our kitchen cabinets to curio boxes. Check out some of my work on my woodworking blog, which is a part of the Lumberjocks website. See my projects, here.

Finishing The Blocks   1 comment


264 Blocks For Baby

Natural Wood Finish

Non-toxic Paint Finishes for Wood Toys

264 Blocks for Baby   2 comments

I have always looked at sets of hardwood blocks as a wonderful gift for any child. I played with blocks. You played with blocks. Payton needs to play with blocks, too.

I bought the book Making Toys That Teach, and it’s a good thought starter. I decided to make the blocks as the first project … and it’s definitely over the top. The plans call for 264 blocks. The blocks are based on 1-1/2″ as the base increment, so I needed a lot of 8/4 hardwood stock (which is 1-1/2″ thick when it is sanded), as well as some 4/4 stock (which is 3/4″ thick when sanded) … some of which got planed down to 3/8″.

The book suggested I use hardwood odds & ends that were in the shop … but I don’t use enough 8/4 stock to have odds and ends! I did have red oak (which is what I make just about everything from), along with some hard maple left over from when I made the workbench top.  I bought a couple of walnut and purpleheart boards for color.

Time to get started!

California Buckwheat: Spring   1 comment

The white puffballs on the California buckwheat, Eriogonum fasciculatum, turn orange in the fall … but until then, they’re a native food source, and a particular favorite of honeybees — like the one I captured below.


California Buckwheat: Fall

This Teacher’s Slow Journey   1 comment

There is a reason Henry controls the blog and not me…I might be the world’s worst blogger. Sorry for the hiatus friends. Life has been a bit wild over the past few months and it all has to do with my teaching career.

CSETI first stopped blogging to focus on passing my English CSET(California Subject Examinations for Teachers). That test was one of the most miserable experiences of my life. I thought I knew things about literature and teaching the English language…I wasn’t wrong, but I definitely didn’t know ALL THE THINGS. The minutiae on this exam was astounding. Every greek god, every major work of literature from the dawn of time, every poem, every author, every grammar rule, every exception had to be somewhere accessible in my brain. But I passed and am now a credentialed English teacher! Hooray!

We just won’t talk about the fact that this was attempt #2.

Pitiful excuse #2: I finally got some teaching experience under my belt! This school year was pretty wonderful for me. I got to work on my first school musical, Cinderella. It was definitely a learning experience, but I had an amazing partner and we put on a lovely show(She’s also a fabulous blogger. Check her out at Bees Times Three!). We were the directors, the set builders, the costume designers, the choreographers, and the student wranglers. I’m a wizard with a safety pin, let me tell you. It might have been a nearly insurmountable amount of work, but it was awesome.

At the same time, I taught English as a long term substitute. Oh, the papers. If you know an English teacher, give them a hug. They’ve probably spent the last nine months grading papers and need summer break more than you could possibly imagine.

I finally feel like this is my year. Later this afternoon I’ll be headed to orientation for summer school. I’ll be teaching sixth and seventh grade. I couldn’t be more excited! I’m hoping this nervous energy will help me write lesson plans. Here’s hoping I’ll start sharing some lovely teaching anecdotes and blogging MUCH more. I’m slowly making my way towards having my own classroom. This journey hasn’t been easy, but I know the rewards will be great.English teacher


Goals For Year 2   Leave a comment

A great tasting tequila, and with its undefeated record in taste tests so far, it's going to be hard to replace Don Celso Reposado in our Perfect Margaritas!

We need to complete our search for The Perfect Margarita. It’s pretty clear that with its undefeated record in taste tests so far, Don Celso Reposado Tequila is in. But we still need to tweak the recipe!

This blog began to scratch a creative itch … and to provide a platform to chronicle my search for the perfect margarita.

One year later, I’m not as itchy, but I’m not content, either. I haven’t perfected the margarita yet. Clearly, I’m not yet done!

Moving forward, here’s what I’m going to accomplish in the next year:

1. More Presidential Portraits. Since Velda doesn’t read them, I’ve got an opportunity for unfettered free expression. After 35 years of marriage, that’s a very rare thing I must exploit. (the only problem is I’ve run out of Presidents. Hmmmmmm.)

2. Since I’m out of Presidents, I need to identify more old, dead people to write about so Velda won’t read those posts, either. If you have suggestions of old, dead people that Velda won’t find interesting, please advise.

3. More posts about alcohol. Writers need alcohol to function, apparently. Maybe I can grow up to be Hemmingway if I do a series on rum.

4. Note to self: you need to learn to like rum. Haven’t really sought it out since that Colorado summer filled with Bacardi 151. And that was a long, long, long time ago. Thank goodness.

5. We need more posts with Velda’s recipes. MrsMowry’s too. It’s not that they are particularly popular (see yesterday’s list of the top posts, here). However, when we’re preparing a recipe blog post, that means the ladies are cooking so I can photograph the process. Which means excellent cooking in the home. And when the ladies are cooking, life is good. Usually.

6. In case you’re wondering if I cook, the answer is no, no I don’t. I did cook for a time while Velda was in grad school, but apparently my creations were not up to her standards. She still casts aspersions in my direction eleven years later, as do the kids. So, for the record, I will continue to not cook and I will continue to not blog about not cooking. You’re welcome.

Here’s to year 2!

Posted June 23, 2013 by henrymowry in Media

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Most Read Posts From Year One   3 comments

Here’s a list of the most viewed posts from the MowryJournal in its first year.

Don’t get me started on web statistics and their reliability. I’m out of media sales.  However, here are the pages, in order, that the internet gurus of WordPress believe are the most popular … very unlike those that were my favorites, of course. Want to hop on a band wagon or three?  Bon appetit!

The Perfect Sunset

The Perfect Sunset

The Perfect Sunset


Portraits: Theodore Roosevelt

Space Shuttle Endeavour

Orange Liqueur Taste Test

Orange Liqueur Taste Test

Orange Liqueur Taste Test

I Am An Eagle Scout

Portraits: Zachary Taylor


Portraits: Rutherford B Hayes

Hawaii's Botanical Gardens

Hawaii’s Botanical Gardens

Hawaii’s Botanical Gardens

30: Hawaii

Portraits: Woodrow Wilson

John Wooden’s Statue

My President

Black And White

In his farewell address to the American people given in January 1953, President Truman referred to this concept very specifically in asserting that, "The President--whoever he is--has to decide. He can't pass the buck to anybody. No one else can do the deciding for him. That's his job."

My President

My Favorite Posts From Year 1   4 comments

Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of Thank you for your attention through what has been a very entertaining year … for me. Truly, thanks for your support, your comments, and your readership. I’m having fun, and believe you must be as well!

Here are my favorite posts of the last year. Some have been seen by practically no one. If you missed some of these, then bon appetit!

The game's made for tailgating, and in spite of Michael currently in the final year of getting his Master's from USC, the game HAD to be painted in UCLA colors.  Both Velda and Michael got there degrees from UCLA; once a Bruin, always a Bruin.  And if you know anything about this college rivalry in Southern California, you know this was a big deal!


An Actual Conversation


Digitizing Family Photos

Get Big Ones

Healthy Eating Is Not As Hard As It Seems

The Columns are all that's left of an Admin building that burnt in 1882, are set in the middle of Francis Quadrangle, AKA the Quad.

Sobbing On An Airplane

I Am An Eagle Scout

The Migration of Harry B Hepler

My President

The Perfect Sunset

With poncho held high, the Mist Falls trek proved to be one of the best parts of this great family vacation in Kings Canyon National Park.

Ultimate Family Event

Portraits: Abraham Lincoln

The Presidential Seal

Sobbing On An Airplane

Things To Do When You’re Locked Out Of The House

Ultimate Family Event

US Flag: The First

Velda’s Ahi Wraps

Ahi Wrap 20

Velda’s Ahi Wraps

Posted June 21, 2013 by henrymowry in Media

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