Monday, December 22, 2014

Freshly Baked Bread

Yesterday, I made bread. White bread, to be precise.  I even followed the recipe, almost precisely, which is pretty good for me. I forgot to add the salt, but that's okay. We already finished one loaf.

I thought about putting up the Christmas tree yesterday morning, but chose to bake bread and make carrot and leek soup for lunch instead. I had a yen for freshly baked white bread for the past two days.  And, since I wasn't going to find what I wanted in the local grocery stores or bakeries, I might as well knead one to fulfill my need. Yuk, yuk.

I don't make bread much anymore. Not that I was ever a bread baker. I just like pounding the dough. Okay, the kneading. Knead, knead. Pound. Pound, Knead. 

Easy pounding. Not like the first time I made bread many decades ago. Imagine me, a 20-year-old college girl living in a second-floor apartment in San Francisco's Richmond district. It's late in the evening. Because I'm either stressed or bored, or both, with my studies, I am making bread on the flimsy kitchen counter.  Knead, knead, Pow! Pound. Pound. Pow! Pound Pound. Knead, pound, knead. My roommates say, "Gee, Sue take it easy."

Rat-a-tat-tat. Rat-a-tat-tat.  There is an angry rap at our front door. It is our downstairs neighbor. He is not very happy with the loud, continuous thuds keeping him awake. Poor guy.

I learned my lesson: Pound bread dough quietly and kindly.

By the way, the Christmas tree just might go up today.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Rusted Running Feet

Plod, plod, plod. I jogged nonstop all the way around the block. Nearly one-quarter of a mile that first day. Yes, it was tough. On my lungs. On my knees. On my whole body.

Lumber, lumber, lumber.
The second day, I jogged, gasping, but nonstop, for half a mile.

When I got home, I told the Husband that my jogging went from  plod, plod, plod to lumber, lumber lumber.

The Husband asked, "How is plodding different from lumbering?"

The sound is different. It is.

Pad, pad, pad. My gait sounded like Molly the Cat's when she scoots across the kitchen floor in search of something mischievous to do. I went three-quarters of a mile that third day. I remembered to breath in through my nose and not my mouth. I tried not to think of the twinge in my right knee.

The fourth morning, I laid in bed thinking which route around the neighborhood would make one mile. And I thought about whether I ought to run at all. Maybe I ought to pay attention to the twinge that was now twanging in my right knee. It might go away after I stretched and rumbled along the street a bit. Or, it might tear.

I got out of bed and did my stretching exercises.  Afterwards, I decided for once in my life to pay attention to my body.

That was last week.

"Walking is just as good," the Husband said yesterday as we walked back from the bicycle shop where Tilda-Hilda was getting an extra-duty tire tube installed. "It's better for your knees."

"I know. I just miss the feeling of running."

It's been nearly 30 years since I ran -- excuse me, jogged -- on a regular basis. That was when I lived in San Francisco and ran every other day in Golden Gate Park. I liked going pad, pad, pad down the dirt paths, imagining that I was a village messenger bringing important news to the other villages. And, I liked participating in the fun races for the tee shirts. Actually the idea of doing a local 5K run in January got me motivated to see if I could actually do the motions of running again. Now I know.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Once Molly catches that turkey, I will start cooking.

I am grateful for many things. . .
the Husband, the Mama, and Molly the Cat.
the friends in my life.
the ability to live the life I choose.
the earth, the sun, the wind, and the water.
the unconditional love of God.
Peace, joy, love, and happiness to you, Dear Readers. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Don't Take My Picture!

Lately, I've been helping the Mama pick up the leaves in the backyard. Even when it's about to rain or when the wind is being blustery. Why? Because the Mama is out there. And, she'll stay out there until she is a) satisfied that she has picked up as many leaves as she could before more fall from the trees,  or b) tired and has begun ranting about the next door neighbor's dirty tree that sheds lots and lots of clusters of red berries and skinny hard leaves, which are quite difficult to pick up.

After years of calling out the back window, "Come in, Mama, it's too cold!" Or,  "It's windy! Just wait until the wind stops." Or, "It's raining!" I now step outside, followed happily by Molly the Cat who has been cooped inside because the Mama decided it's too cold, windy, and/or rainy for her to be outdoors.   I usually head to the other side of the yard  with my favorite rake. The sooner the leaves are picked up, the sooner the Mama -- and Molly the Cat -- will come indoors.

Some days I bring my camera with me. Between building piles, I click away. Both the Mama and Molly the Cat dislike my taking photos of them. Today was no different. "Don't take my picture," the Mama said, bending to pick up another stray leaf.  Molly didn't say anything. She merely walked away or turned her back to me.

So, fine. I took a photo of my shadow. It reminded me of Peter Pan. By the way, notice Molly the Cat's tail in the picture?

Sunday, November 16, 2014


Last week,  I read a post by Manzanita at Wanna Buy a Duck about a blogger friend who was visiting her. She'd ended her post with a question: "Have you ever visited in person with a blogging buddy?" I thought that would be pretty cool to meet a fellow blogger in person. But, I figured the odds are slim since the bloggers I would love to meet one day live in such far away places as Montana, British Columbia, Hawaii, Australia, the East Coast, and Malaysia. And, these days, far-away traveling is not on the horizon for the Husband and me.

Ha! Was I proven wrong. About meeting blogger buddies in person, that is.

On Tuesday, I received an e-mail message from Courtney of Maui Jungalow. She and her husband were visiting in Silicon Valley for a couple of days and she wondered if I might be interested in getting together. Voila! The next day, the Husband and I met them at the motorcycle seat factory in our town where Courtney's husband was ordering a custom-made seat for the BMW bike that he was rebuilding.

From the moment Courtney and I said Aloha, we chattered away, stopping only to get into our cars to drive to a restaurant.  Over breakfast, the four of us talked story. Story after story. It's as if we hadn't seen each other for a long time, and we just picked up from where we had left off. Have you ever felt that way with folks you've just met?

Courtney gifted us with pretty shells from Hawaii. A bit of sand fell out of them, which is so cool.  I can't recall the names of the different shells, except for the sea anemone quills on the bottom left. They are all so lovely.

Mahalo, Courtney, for the Aloha shells and the visit. Hope to see you again in person. Maybe next time it'll be in your hometown.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Ready to Go!

Tomorrow, I start another 30-day challenge of keeping excessive, delicious carbohydrates out of my diet.

It's called the Sweet Fire Challenge, lead by nutrition education Mary Toscano. I completed another of her 30-day challenges in August. My poor eating and non-exercise habits began creeping back a few weeks ago, so when I learned about this new challenge, I decided to jump in before I gain back the pounds and inches I've lost, as well as lose all the sensibilities I've gained.

I'm doing the extreme challenge, which requires that I follow three simple rules from November 11 to December 10:
1. No food or alcohol after 7:30 p.m.
2. No foods with flour or with more than 20 grams of sugars per serving
3. Do 30 minutes of exercise, or do 7,000 steps, every day.

Soooooo, today, I ate sourdough bread and a maple old-fashioned doughnut for lunch. I'll probably have a bit more sourdough bread for dinner, along with three or four mini mini-chocolate-chip-cookies.  Yes, yes, I ate—and shall eat—veggies and protein with my meal.

I'm sure I can do this 30-day challenge. Again. With the help of Tilda-Hilda, my beautiful pink cruiser, of course.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Ms. Molly the Cat

Today is all about Molly the Cat.

The gorgeous girl has been shepherding us for two-and-a-half years. The Mama, the Husband, and I all agree -- how ever did we manage before she came into our lives?

Sometimes I like to work on the computer before breakfast. On some mornings, Molly jumps up on the desk and stretches out. "Hurry up," she says. 

"How can I?" I ask her. "I can't see the screen. I need to use the mouse." 

"Mrrrr," she says. "That's your problem."

Most mornings before we eat breakfast, Molly and I head out the front door. I fetch the newspaper while she checks the grounds. Some days, Stewie, from down the street, sits beneath our car. Molly scowls intently from afar and when she decides Stewie is too slow to take the hint, Molly approaches in attack mood.

Stewie has learned from past encounters that it's best to just leave.

After breakfast, the Mama opens the screen door for Molly to go into the backyard. "Be good," the Mama tells her. "Don't leave the yard."

"Mrrrr," says Molly. "We'll see."

Soon, the Mama joins Molly. Each of the ladies makes sure the other stays out of trouble. Somewhat.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Afternoons are for sleeping after a yummy lunch. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Molly and I are hooking up with the Camera Critters Meme. We look forward to checking out other lovely creatures. Come join us by clicking here.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Uh-uh, Not Doing It. Yet.

Today,  begins NaNoWriMo, which is short for National Novel Writing Month. Thousands of writers from all over the world commit themselves to completing a 50,000-word novel by the end of the month. That's about 1,666 words a day. That is not easy!

Last year, I signed up to give a try. My enthusiasm lasted one day, which, for last year, was pretty good as I was feeling quite burnt out. I just didn't know it then.

Once upon a time I wanted to write a Great American novel. Do I still? Dunno. I do have my unfinished novel, The Mystery of Sweet Fat's Ballroom, on my computer. The story takes place in both the present and in the mid-1930s. Lately, I think I should rewrite it. Keep the story in the 1930s, with flashbacks, if any, going back to the early 1900s. Okay, writing that got me excited. I might just go immerse myself in the past to get the imagination juices rolling. But, I know, for sure, I won't be writing 1,666 words today.

So what got me thinking about NaNoWriMo. Blogging friend Widdershin is taking part and what inspired her was creating a book cover on PULP-O-MIZER. She was not kidding, it is fun making a book cover. That up there is mine.  Try it yourself. Here's the link.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

I Am the Mama's Daughter

"How do other people clean their refrigerator coils?" I asked the Husband as he walked through the kitchen. I was laying on my side, looking at thick globs of dust clinging on the coils.

"They don't," he said.

"The vacuum cleaner can only reach so far."

"Use a yardstick." Sigh.

Earlier yesterday morning, the Mama asked me, "When are you going to vacuum the refrigerator coils?" Sigh. I thought I'd done it six months or a year ago, but the way time flies, it was probably two years ago.  I need to wash the kitchen floor soon, so I figured I might as well deal with the coils first. It would only take 10 minutes.

Ha! Maybe it would've, if I had not gone and fetched the big yellow flashlight and shined it on the coils. Sigh. I had to make some kind of effort to get at those globs of dust. Not that the Mama would get down on the floor and inspect my job. That's something she can no longer do. Getting herself down on the floor, that is. I want to go on record here that I'm no spry chicken myself.

Half an hour later, I was still laying on my side on the kitchen floor. Behind me laid a useless broom and the vacuum cleaner, while the yardstick that the Husband got for me laid ready by my side.  I finally found a good tool for scraping, pulling, and picking out the dust. Chopsticks!  I'll have you know that I used my left hand, and I'm right-handed.

Every time I thought I was done, I made the mistake of shining the flashlight on the coils. After the second time, I realized my persistence and stubbornness were like the Mama's. I only quit when I hit something that I shouldn't have.  That's okay. The coils are clean enough for another year. Or two.

By the way, the opening to the refrigerator coils is narrower than it looks in the above drawing. A lot more!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Sound of One Cricket

Will the cricket be background music to words anytime soon?

Stay tuned, dear readers.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Breaking Personal Myths

This morning I crushed my own myth that I need a bicycle with a bunch of speeds to ride on Lone Tree Road, which is one of the foothill roads several miles from our house. Tilda-Hilda and I traveled 3 to 4 miles up the road before turning back. My goal was to get to the gate that either the county officials or residents close when they think the road is too dangerous to travel.

Once I reached that gate, I pedaled a half-mile or so further to find a spot to take a photo of Tilda-Hilda. You're so lucky that I just thought about taking photos of where Tilda-Hilda and I have been around our county. I promise though that I will show only photos of our toughest feats. But, then, what constitutes toughest, eh?

It's about another seven to nine miles to the end of Lone Tree Road (where the public can access it). Once upon a time, I said pedaling the length of this road is on my bucket list. But, that's when I thought I needed a 10-speed or 7-speed bicycle. No more! Pink cruiser babe, Tilda-Hilda, has the mechanical ability to do it, and, with more practice, I can pedal and walk her up to the end. It would definitely be one fun coast back down the road. Wheeeee!

If you'd like to see where I would be going one day, please click here and here. Those photos were taken during the Spring.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

O is for . . .

Ovulation. No more of that for me.

Old. That's what I am and I'm fine with it.

Ostentatious. Who me?

Ovid. Never read his stuff. Should I start?

Ogre. I can watch a Shrek movie over again.

Ocean. Sometimes I think I could live by the ocean, especially if it is a warm ocean in which I could swim every day with the Husband. Say, like the ocean surrounding the Hawaiian Islands.

Obequitate. As some of you dear readers know, I love to ride around on Tilda-Hilda, the pretty hard-working pink cruiser that she is.

Obtuse. "You are such an obtuse thinker, Susie," said my high school government teacher long, long ago. Ha! He didn't know me at all. Now, if he had said to me, "You're such a dreamer." 

So, now you know a bunch more stuff about me, brought to you by the fifteenth letter of the alphabet.  Olé!

I'm hanging out at Jenny Matlock's Alphabe Thursday today. Come join me and read other posts featuring the letter O.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Mama's Day

"Do you think it would depress the Mama if she saw photos of herself from her younger years?" I asked the Husband yesterday morning.

"I don't know," he said.

"Would you like it?"

"Sure. But that's me."

I would, too. But, I wasn't sure how the Mama would feel. So, I decided not to make a mosaic photo to give her for her ninety (cough third) some birthday.

You'd never guess what happened yesterday evening. The Mama asked me to find the photos of her wearing her Maria Clara dress and make big prints of them.

So, I did. She'll be surprised when she sees them because it takes forever for me to do things. She had asked me to hem her jeans on the sewing machine.  I finally did yesterday. But, the pants had sat so long on the chair that Molly the Cat took to sleeping on them.

This photo was taken in November, 1962, a few weeks after we moved into the house that she and the Daddy purchased.  She was standing in the barren backyard, which over the next 24 years became happily planted with roses, lawn, a huge vegetable garden, and fruit trees.

Happy Birthday to the Mama!

P.S. I'm hooking up with Gemma Wiseman's Monday Mellow Yellows. Please click here to go to that site.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Nearly to the Top


Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwessommmmmmmmmmme! Awesome, awesome, awwwwwwwwwesomme!

Everyone in the valley below should have heard me as I coasted down the hill this morning. Whooooo-hoooooo!

Once a week for the past four weeks, I have been pedaling up Cienega Road, going further each time. I have yet to make it to the very top, but after today, I know that one day I shall. I managed to pedal about three-quarters up what I thought was the first incline, only to look up and see it was one long continuous incline.

When it got too steep, I got off Tilda-Hilda (I think she may be partial to Tildy-Hildy) and walked her up to my first goalpost. Once there, I decided to walk a little further. Why not? I thought, I'm here. When it no longer seemed steep that I would fall trying to engage the pedals, I hopped on the pink cruiser and pedaled up the hill for a couple more yards. But, instead of turning around, I chose to walk Tilda-Hilda a few more yards to that fence post in the photo.

What a glorious ride down it was. Did I say that already?

"It looks like that's the top," the Husband said when he saw the photo. "From there, the road heads down into that other valley."

Trés awesome, if it is! Next week, Tilda-Hilda and I are going to the top.


I'm hooking up at Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. Come along with me and visit other N posts in the blogosphere.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

That Effervescent Older Couple

I was in my late 20s when I first noticed that there would always be one older couple dancing their hearts out to a band playing in the middle of a mall or a hotel, or at a street fair or a farmers market. The couple would waltz, do the box step, cha-cha-cha, boogie-woogie, or just freestyle to the music.

The couple would be so full of joy that others would watch with big grins and smiles on their faces. A few people would even clap in appreciation. And, yes, there would be the few boors who would point at the older couple, laugh and make fun of them. But, then that's what boors do.

Well, here's the good news. Turns out the Husband and I have become one of those effervescent older couples.

Sam Farr 30-Day Challenge

I'm done! Yesterday was the last day. Whoo-hooo! I followed the rules as well as can be.
  1. I ate no foods made of flours or had more than 20 grams of sugar per serving.
  2. For 29 out of the 30 days, I ate no food nor drank alcohol after 7:30 PM.
  3. I worked out every day, pedaling Tilda-Hilda, the pretty pink cruiser, for a total of 303 miles and walking an altogether 6.55 miles.
Pretty darn good for this "young" old fogey.  Onward!

Today, I'm joining at  ABC Wednesday. This week is the letter "E" as in effervescent.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Ride Along with Me

Yippeee! One more week to go with the 30-day health challenge.

Have I lost weight? I don't know. I decided not to weigh myself when I started because I get very disappointed that I've lost only half-a pound or gained 2 pounds when I think I must've lost a gazillion pounds. Both the Husband and the Mama said I looked smaller today. 

This past week I was missing bread. Rice or quinoa with peanut butter, pesto, or brie doesn't quite do it. Next week, I'll be searching for sourdough bread and maybe jalapeño tortillas. Not to worry, I won't go overboard. I decided to do an additional two weeks, but I'll modify the challenge by allowing myself to eat one kind of floured item each day, if I feel like it.

My workouts changed this week. One morning, I woke up feeling too tired to bicycle so later that day I walked. I don't like walking because my knees hurt afterwards, which the Husband says is because I don't pick up my knees.  That day I discovered if I used my core (meaning suck in my gut), swung my arms, and swayed my hips (as in doing the hula), I propelled forward without putting a lot of pressure on my knees. My pace was also a bit quicker. After the workout, I decided to do more walking. If there was a public pool available, I'd add swimming to the mix, too.

We've had very foggy mornings the last few days. How foggy? You couldn't see the nearby mountains. So that meant it wasn't safe for me to bicycle. It also meant I ate breakfast before rather than after my workouts. I definitely had more energy. Interestingly, I felt hungry more often throughout the day though today the feeling wasn't as strong. Maybe my body is just adjusting.

Today, Tilda-Hilda (my pretty pink bike) and I accomplished another goal. We biked 15 miles. Up and down. Down and up. Whooo-hooo! Here's a segment of our ride, if you're interested in coming along on the bumpy ride with me.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Meet Tilda-Hilda

Finally, after 10 years, I have named the pink cruiser bicycle that I pedal. Say Hello to Tilda-Hilda.

Isn't she pretty? She's a bit shy, but very dependable. That Tilda-Hilda. Since December 31 of last year, she has taken me about 558 miles, which is like making three round trips from my hometown to San Francisco. Wowza!  

And, in all that time, she has only had one flat tire, which I wrote about over here. That's a pretty good feat since I have a way of not noticing what I run over.

I am very proud of Tilda-Hilda. She gets a gold star. I get one too, for pedaling her all that much.

Update of the Congressman Sam Farr 30-Day Challenge

Yesterday (Monday) began the third week of the challenge. Whoo-hooo!

I shall toot my horn and say that I have been strong and skipped the ice cream, sesame balls, Filipino sweet flour balls, and fruit tarts when they were readily available.

I'm already thinking about what I want to do when this challenge is over. I heard that when you do something 30 days in a row, that thing becomes a habit. Don't think that works for me. On Sunday morning, I smelled pancakes at least twice on my ride and thought that's what I want when this is over. Then this morning, I pedaled through the shopping plaza that houses the best doughnuts in town. Yeah, you got it. I wanted a doughnut. But, not enough to break the challenge.  So, good for me.

Same thing with exercising. Will  I have built enough gumption by the end of 30 days to continue to bicycling and walking on a daily basis? We shall see.

Now, where shall Tilda-Hilda and I go tomorrow?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Done and Did -- Week One of the 30-Day Challenge

"Wouldn't you like some potato chips with lunch?" I asked the Husband, as we waited for the light to turn green.

"Sure." He's such a sweetheart.

"Beer would taste good with potato chips. Shall we get some beer, too?"

"Absolutely!" I made a left into the supermaket parking lot.

"But, can you have chips?" he asked. I was on my second week of the 30-day health-and-fitness challenge.

"Yes, as long as they're not made from flour," I answered, easing the car into a parking spot far away from the door.

"You can't have beer then," he said.

I was momentarily bummed out. And, all this time we'd been driving around town doing errands, I'd been thinking of a gin and tonic. Not that I'm a big cocktail drinker,  But, today, I've been desiring an alcoholic drink. Then, my brain cells kicked in. "Alcohol is okay, as long as it's not past 7:30 PM."

"Are you sure? Beer is made from grain."

"Grains are okay. Flours, no. Any kind of flour. Not even gluten-free flours."

This 30-day challenge is going along as fine as can be. Kicking out flours and sugar has been easier than I thought, even when the Husband and the Mama are eating ice cream or pie for dessert. If it's not 7:30 PM yet, I eat an apple or some kind of fruit for my dessert. If it's past 7:30, I go bug Molly the Cat.

Interestingly, the daily exercise rule has been the hardest to do during the first week. I don't think I have ever purposely worked out for at least 60 minutes each day. Tops has been three or four days in a row, ranging from 30 to 50 minutes. When I chose to do the extreme challenge, I didn't think doing an extra 15 minutes of exercise would be as tough as it has been. Ha! But, I did it. I worked through the aches and tiredness. One of the things that kept me going was thinking of the Mama continually pushing herself at 92 years old to work in her garden everyday.

So, I'm giddily proud to say that I pedaled 62.8 miles on my fat pink cruiser bicycle and walked 2.2 miles during the first week of the challenge.

And, yes, I had three hands full of jalapeño potato chips and a bottle of summer ale with lunch today. Yum!

On to week two! Whooo-hooo!

Update: 7/22/2014 -- This is the second time I got the sugar gram wrong. First, I thought it was 28 grams, then 22 grams. I need to get new glasses. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

30 Days towards a Healthy Lifestyle

Tomorrow starts the 30-Day Sam Farr Challenge for me. Sam Farr is my representative  in the U.S. House of Representatives and last week he decided to take health educator Mary Toscano's invitation to a 30-day healthy lifestyle challenge. In so doing, he invited his constituents to join him.

In a nutshell, from tomorrow, July 12, until August 12, I will follow these three rules:
  • No food or alcohol after 7:30 PM.
  • No foods with flour (including gluten-free flours) or more than 20 grams of sugars (per serving).
  • Complete 1 hour of exercise of 10,000 steps daily.
I feel confident that I can handle rules #1 and #3 quite easily.

Thirty days without pasta, bread, cereal, ice cream, cookies, and pie? That will be the toughie for me. It's the primary reason I decided to take the challenge. I've slipped back into the habit of eating desserts, rolls, pasta, and such, knowing full well that they aren't good for my eczema, estrogen dominance, and right-at-the-border diabetes. I need to go cold turkey and I'm using this 30-day challenge to help me get through it.

So, what did I do yesterday, the last day I could indulge in flour and sugar. I ate pizza for lunch. And, at dinner, I ate pesto pasta and a BIG portion of double chocolate with fudge ice cream.

I am ready!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Bunch of Firsts in June

A Happy July First to you, Dear Readers!

And, because it's July first, I'm going to tell, and show, some of the firsts that the Husband and I experienced in June. Bottom line: summer is definitely here. Whooo-hooo!

As some of you know, I do another blog called Take 25 to Hollister, which is all about where we live in California. Yup, Hollister, California. Our history and culture is not at all like the fictional Hollister, California of clothing fame. If you're interested in knowing the difference, check out this post. But, I mention the blog because our first-time experiences took place in Hollister and nearby locations. You'll also probably notice the watermark on some of my photos. Now, on with the show and tell.

Hollister Airshow


Have you ever seen an air show from the flight line? It's definitely a different experience from suddenly stopping on the side of the road and peering up into the sky at the planes. That's how I've seen air shows in the past. The aerobatic pilots were amazing. I don't want to learn to fly anymore, but I wouldn't mind riding along with one of them. And, when I watched the WWII fighter trainers fly by, I got emotional thinking about their roles.

I also had another first. A local online news portal left a press pass for me, so I could cover the airshow. I didn't use it though, because I'd already bought tickets. But, I should've anyway for a souvenir, huh?

If you'd like to see more airshow photos, you can check out my Facebook album. You don't need to be a Facebook member or sign on to see it.

Greenhouse Tour

For the past few years,  greenhouse growers in nearby Monterey County open their doors to the public once a year. They give tours of their operations and give visitors the opportunity to purchase their gorgeous flowers and trees. The Husband and I managed to see four of the five greenhouse companies. Breathing in all that fresh oxygen made me quite mellow. I also have an album of our greenhouse tour, if you're interested.

Mission San Juan Bautista Fiesta Opening Procession

About seven miles west of Hollister is San Juan Bautista, which is named after Mission San Juan Bautista, one of the 21 missions that Spanish padres built in California between 1769 and 1833. The church holds an annual festival in honor of St. John the Baptist.

The fiesta began after mass with a procession from the mission, around the historical San Juan Bautista plaza, down to the main street of town, through part of town, and up to the historic olive grove where the fiesta was held. This year, the procession was led by a conchero dance troupe, which held a traditional blessing ceremony next to the statue of St. John the Baptist. Want to see more photos? Check out this album.

Hollister Hills

The Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area is few miles south of Hollister. Nearly every day, trucks loaded with dirt bikes, ATVs, and other off-road vehicles head up to the park. The Husband and I have often wanted to wander there, and we finally had the chance when we learned it had a nature area for hikers. On the map, it looks like a large area, but it's not. The longest trail is a mile, more or less. As we traipsed over a few low bridges, I thought what a gorgeous walk this would be after a spring rain.

The Parade

Another annual event that we have is the San Benito County Saddle Horse Show and Rodeo, which begins with a parade through downtown Hollister. This is the first year that I went without the Husband who was ill. It turned out he had a bad case of vertigo, which is another story. I certainly missed sitting next to him on the curb, which is truly the best view for watching parades.

Yes, I have a Facebook album of the parade. Here you go.

The Rodeo


Before the Husband came down with vertigo, I won free tickets to the rodeo. Whoo-hooo! We played it by ear and by the time of the rodeo, the Husband said he felt fine, though a bit wobbly, and was raring to go. And, so we saw our first rodeo ever. Yi-haw! Yup. I have an album of more photos that you can check out, if you'd like.

What a month! No wonder I feel tired. Now, it's time to go prune the tree and cut the lawn in the front yard. See ya.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Hush, Mockingbird, Hush!

Our sweetie-cakes is bored.

How do I know Miss Molly by Golly is bored?

"Break time," she mewed. She hopped up on my desk, walked back and forth on my keyboard, and checked out what was on the computer, then plopped down in front of me, insisting that she be petted.

Molly rarely comes upstairs into the office in the morning on her own volition. (Ooooh, big word. Could my ability to recall vocabulary be coming back? Take that Menopause!) And, the only reason she normally doesn't care to seek out my attention at this time of the day is because she's enjoying herself in the Mama's garden.

So, why wasn't she there on this gorgeous summer day? Unfortunately, summer brings back her seasonal harasser—the mockingbird. Every time, Molly the Cat goes outside, the bird suddenly appears and screeches at her. Molly just sits and looks at it, as if saying, "What's your problem?" The mockingbird then swoops at her and as Molly retreats to the house, the bird tries to peck at her back.
When we hear the mockingbird, the Husband or I go out to chase it away. The mockingbird, alas, is no longer scared of either of us.

This year, the mockingbird has a partner, and they have made a nest either in the tree in the front yard or one of the persimmons in the back. Sometimes both of them are going at Molly. Poor baby.

I tell Molly that she needs to stand up for herself, to hiss and show them her claws. I even demonstrate. For a moment, I can get that mockingbird to scram, but it's more like we're arguing with each other. Molly mews at me, as if saying, "That's so undignified. I just want them to leave me alone."

So do we.

Hopefully, the mockingbird babies will be born soon and the family will fly away to their next port. Then, Molly can get back to her morning roaming and relaxing in the back yard.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Socks, Lovely Socks

I drew socks the other day because I bought some socks for the Mama and me. They are just as colorful as the ones in the picture. The Husband bought socks, too. He was the instigator, which meant he needed socks and the Mama must have forgotten to give him socks for Christmas. Actually, it was more like she forgot to tell me that she wanted to buy his annual Christmas bunch of socks. I should've remembered, but I haven't been good in that department either.

A couple weeks ago, I forgot about the Mama's doctor appointment. At least, I remembered the following day and called the doctor's office. We went on Friday for his five-minute examination to make sure she is still ticking. Yup, she is indeed. Her blood count actually went up,  and her blood pressure is that of a spring chicken. The Mama also gained a pound. She'd been losing a pound every four months for the past two years so I was very happy to hear the nurse say she was 110. The Mama's reaction. "I'm eating too much." Yeah, right. What she is doing is eating regular servings of food more than usual. And, now that it's summer, she's snacking on fresh fruit more. Yay, fresh fruit!

Every day, the Mama comes in with a couple of apricots that have dropped from up high. As she hands them to me, I make a mental note to go with the Husband to look up high into the tree to see where the apricots are hiding. Of course I forget. As I'm writing this I now remember that I planned to prune the butterfly bush yesterday afternoon. All I can say is that last night I finally cooked the eggplants, okra, and leftover roasted chicken into a stew for dinner.

Let me get back to the subject of socks. I can't remember the last time I bought an article of clothing for myself, unless the Mama's Christmas clothing gift for me counts. She gave me a cute pleated denim blouse that we both agreed look nice on me. Our tastes in clothes are quite different. She likes structured, tailored clothes while I like mine free and flowing. This bunch of socks amazingly had styles and colors that match our tastes.

The Mama told me to pick my socks first, but I said nope to that. Making choices is difficult for her, even picking socks. But, she did it, with Molly the Cat watching intently. The Mama gave me the socks I like, which were the orange and blue colored socks. I knew she would like the red and black colored ones.

Molly the Cat? She only wear socks in my imagination. Though, maybe she wouldn't mind wearing socks upon her dainty paws, especially when she's traipsing around the Mama's boxes of sprouting vegetables. Maybe then she wouldn't leave evidence of having been where she is not supposed to be. The other day, the Mama asked Molly, "Was that you who pulled the flowers off the eggplants?"  Molly the Cat merely walked away, without saying a mew. I wonder if she'd like to wear a sock on her swishy tail.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Eggplant, Tomato, and Sausage Pasta

The other night, I made the kind of red pasta sauce for which I have been hankering for the longest time. Hurrah! The photo shows the leftovers I ate for breakfast.

Getting that "perfect" taste was by accident so I have no idea if I will be able to do it again. Booo!

I'm one of those people who likes to read cookbooks but modifies recipes while cooking and doesn't pay attention to how things are being changed. I also rarely measure amounts, and, when I do, I'm eyeballing amounts. That's probably why my chemistry experiments in school usually failed. Ha! on the person who copied my answers.

Ingredients I Prepped
  1. Slice 1/4" circles out of two long Japanese eggplants
  2. Destem a handful of cremini mushrooms and slice them into halves
  3. Mince two fist fulls of chives (which is from the Mama's garden)
  4. Smash and mince 6 to 9 garlic cloves (assorted sizes of small to medium)
  5. Dice a small yellow onion.
  6. Slice 1/4" circles out of two basil-mozzarella sausages  (already precooked)
  7. Defrost a cereal bowl of frozen tomatoes, probably 10 to 14 small and medium size (which we had picked last year at a U-Pick organic tomato farm)
  8. Boil 8 ounces of  fresh garlic-basil pasta.
How I Cooked the Sauce

Saute the onions for a couple of minutes, then add the mushrooms, garlic and chives. Stir. A minute later, add the defrosted tomatoes. Stir. A few minutes later, add the eggplants. Stir. A minute later, add dried basil and black pepper. (I don't add salt because the Husband is on a low-salt diet.) Let it all simmer for about 5 minutes, gently stirring now and then to make sure the eggplants get cooked in the juices. Finally combine the sausages with the concoction. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes, stirring to make sure nothing gets stuck on the bottom of the pan. That happens to me a lot. (Note:  If the sausages weren't precooked, I would have added them after sauteing the onions.) Oh, at the last minute I threw in less than a handful of leftover snap peas.

The Verdict

I served the dish by first putting a layer of noodles on the plate, next a slice of provolone cheese, then a layer of the sauce. 

The Husband told me what he thought about the dish before I could ask. "Yum," he said. "This is like eggplant parmigiana."

"I like the eggplants," said the Mama. She ate most of the sauce, picking out almost all of the eggplants.

Molly the Cat turned away from a sampling, but she did give it a good sniff.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

It's Garbage Day, Again.

I'm not going to talk about garbage, other than to say that tonight we put the garbage cans out on the curb.  It seems like I just brought them in, which is my way of saying that lately the days go by much too quickly. I had planned to write a post on Monday, then yesterday, and then before lunch this morning. Now, I want to post this before I start making dinner in um 20 minutes.

It's going to be a good dinner, too. We went to the Farmers Market this afternoon. All three of us—the Mama, the Husband, and me. It was a rare outing for the Mama and even rarer because she initiated the adventure. She was able to walk a block, back and forth, before she tired out. Hurrah for the 90+ Mama! Although, afterwards, when she plopped into the car, she said, "I don't think I will come anymore." And, when we reached home, she said, "I don't think I can go anywhere anymore. I want to sit down all the time."

We could get her a walker with a chair so that she could sit whenever she wanted, but she won't push a walker. She won't use a cane for that matter because she feels that using a cane makes you get older quicker. Maybe she's right. I don't know. I like using a walking stick when we go on hikes. It gives me false confidence when I'm going downhill. Anyway, I'd like to find something that we can subtly carry and open for her to sit whenever she needs to rest. Any ideas?

Okay, time for me to go make dinner, which will be fresh basil and garlic pasta, Italian basil mozzarella sausage, with steamed sugar peas and asparagus. Dessert will be a slice of cinnamon roll and fruit salad composed of apple, peach, strawberries, and nectarines. Except for the apple, everything was purchased at the Farmers Market. I love going to Farmers Markets. How about you?

By the way (I know, I'm being non-sequitur today), the happy broccolis was on the side of an Albertson's truck. I took the photo as we were driving down the freeway to San Diego for the 60th wedding anniversary of the Husband's Uncle and Aunt. I was planning on writing about our weekend adventure and maybe I will one day.

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Kind and Thoughtful Guy

The other day the Husband pushed my pink beach cruiser along the highway while I walked slowly behind him. Is that a sweetheart or what?

I'd ridden nearly 8 miles when I heard POW! My rear wheel shook like something got caught in the spokes. A few minutes later, the bicycle was not going as fast as my feet were pedaling it. Hello, Flat Tire. Grrrr.

Thank goodness, I had the camera to distract myself as I pushed the bicycle beside me. Want to see the photos that I took of cows & horses, grass, palm trees, and yellow barn?

And, I had the cell phone. Pshew. It was days like that I was glad I paid attention to the Husband when he asked, "Do you have the phone?" It took a couple of tries before I got hold of the Husband to tell him what happened so he and the Mama wouldn't worry.

"Would you like me to come and walk with you?" he asked.

"You don't have to," I said, "But, that would be nice."

About 40 minutes later, I was waving and ringing the bicycle bell to catch the husband's attention on the other side of the street.

"Hi," he said, handing me a banana.


"I brought some water, too, but I spilled most of it."

We pulled over into the shade of an orchard to rest. I didn't want to sit down. It would be just harder to struggle back up. My feet were tired and aching in my worn down blue Converse shoes, which were good for pedaling bicycles but not for walking. As I ate the banana, the Husband talked about how it took him awhile to get the Mama to understand that I had a flat tire and I walking down the highway, but I was fine.

"I thought about driving over," he said. "But I didn't know where any rope was for tying the bike in the trunk."

I nodded, pushing  the bike back onto the highway, "Here, let me take it," said the Husband.

"I think I need to lean on it to walk. You know like the way Mama pushes a shopping cart in the store. False confidence."

"The bike's heavy. You'll be able to walk better without it. Give it a try," he said.


As he took the bike, he said, "Anytime you want it, just let me know."

The Husband was right. It was easier.  And, when we got home, he asked if I'd like to go out to breakfast. 

What a guy, don't you think?

Monday, May 12, 2014

A Bargain Jar of Pickles

$3.99 for a gallon jar of kosher whole dill pickles. About 70 of them. Three to four-inches long and rather thick, too. As far as I'm concerned, the $3.99 gallon jar of pickles is the best deal at Costco.Yes, indeed.

A medium-size jar of kosher pickles at the supermarkets costs more than that. And, when I think how much a single Kosher pickle of this kind costs at a deli—oh, my!

The Husband and I bought our second gigantic jar of pickles last week. We went through the first jar in a little over two months. Uh-huh, we like our pickles. We don't eat a pickle every day nor do we each eat a pickle. Even though pickles contribute to our probiotic consumption, we gotta be moderate about it. We also do not want to get tired of these yummy pickles that take up a lot of space on the top shelf of the refrigerator.

The Mama doesn't care for pickles. Too sour. But, she does eye the jar, no doubt thinking about what could be stored in it. I asked her if she would like the first jar. Magnanimously, she answered, "Keep the jar." Cool! She can have this second jar. I still have no idea what to use the empty jar for. So many possibilities. One of which is a terrarium. Maybe an aquarium for goldfish. Molly the Cat wouldn't be able to reach in there.

Open-Faced Tuna Fish Sandwich

Have you tried deep-fried pickles yet? Me, either. But, what I shall try making one day are baked cheesy pickle balls. It's the same, simple concept as cheesy olive balls. Make a dough out of flour, cheese, and butter; next wrap pieces of the dough around small chucks of pickle; then bake at 400 degrees for  about 20 minutes.

The other day, I made open-faced tuna fish sandwiches that the Husband said was "Tasty!" and that the Mama ate all up. Molly took a nibble and smacked her lips, which I've chosen to interpret as a paws up.

It's a very simple recipe. Mix together some or all of these ingredients in a bowl (Add other ingredients that you like, too):
1 can of tuna
Diced pickle
Diced avocado
Diced olives
Diced red pepper
Minced green onion
1 heaping Tablespoon of mayonnaise
1 heaping Tablespoon of pesto (I used some from the jar we bought at Costco)
Black pepper to taste

Cut a sandwich roll in half, lengthwise. Hollow out each half, and then fill with the concoction.

As Julia Child used to say, "Bon Appétit!"

Friday, May 9, 2014

Liebster Award = Revealing A Bunch about Moi

Ah, the Liebster Award. In the best Jackie Gleason voice doing a Scarlett O'Hara imitation that I can muster, I say, "How sweet it is!"

Birgit of BB Creations,  who I met during the 2014 Blogging from A to Z Challenge, nominated me for the Liebster Award. It is a virtual medal that bloggers present fellow bloggers as recognition for the enjoyment they receive reading the awardees' posts. That's my interpretation of the award. If you're interested in learning more about the Liebster Award, check out this post by Lorraine Reguly at Wording Well.

Bloggers can choose to accept or reject the Liebster Award. I accept the award with much gratitude. Thank you very much, Birgit.

Like the Oscar and most other awards, a blogger can be nominated several times over. I've been fortunate to be nominated twice. Yaay for me. So much for modesty on my part today. :-)

The Rules for Accepting the Liebster Award

According to Reguly, the rules vary for the Liebster Award. These are the set of rules passed on with Birgit's nomination, which the anal-retentive editor inside me took the liberty of editing. Be sure to include these rules in your post. And, if you feel like revising further, go for it.
  • First and foremost, HAVE FUN!
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and be sure to link back to his or her blog in your post.
  • List 11 facts about yourself.
  • Answer 11 questions by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 5 to 10 bloggers with less than 300 followers. You may not nominate the blogger who nominated you.
  • Make up 11 questions for your nominees to answer.
  • After you publish your post, go to your nominees' blogs and tell them they have been nominated.

11 Facts about Me

  1. In college, I changed my undergraduate study from social science to interdisciplinary liberal studies because I didn't want to do a senior paper.
  2. When I went back to school to get my teaching credential in social science, I had to do that required senior paper. Ha!
  3. I moved 11 times in the 23 years I lived in San Francisco from 1973 to 1996.
  4. Way back when, I came in last in the fun run around Angel Island in San Francisco Bay. I definitely earned my tee-shirt.
  5. I mix up left and right. A lot.
  6. I write another blog called Take 25 to Hollister
  7. After reading Jane Eyre for the first time a couple years ago, it went to the top of my books-that-I-like-to-re-read list, replacing Pride & Prejudice, which had been #1 for several decades.
  8. When I think someone is being condescending to me, or acts like I shouldn't be where he or she is, such as a shop or event, I remind myself that my books can be found in the Library of Congress, and most likely that person does not.
  9. The right lens of my eyeglasses has a long scratch, which I've been saying I'd replace for the past 3 or 4 years.
  10. I wear a pair of bright yellow Crocs with a Lilo charm inserted in one of the holes.
  11. I play much too much Pet Rescue Saga on Facebook.

The 11 Questions that Birgit of BB Creations Asked Me 

  1. What animal do you always visit at the zoo or watch on TV before any other? Why? 
    I like to visit the elephants. They're just darn tooting cute.
  2. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
    That I've been a self-employed writer for 28 years.
  3. If you won the lottery, what would you do?
    Pay off all our debts. Pay off the Mama's house. If it's a big winning, purchase a house with a couple acres so that there's lots of space between us and the neighbors. Otherwise, the Husband and I would travel, set money aside for a rainy day, and donate to certain charities.
  4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you go? 
  5. Name 5 things you like about yourself?
    I roll with the punches. I'm not a high-maintenance person. I still have effective defensive driving skills. I hold my ground. I'm honest.
  6. What's your favourite holiday and why?
    I don't have any favorite holiday, unless I count my birthday.
  7. What is your favourite film? Your favourite actor/actress? 
    Can't think of just one movie. Among my favorites are Danny Deck Chair, Calamity Jane (with Doris Day), Groundhog Day, The Man Who Sued God, and Two Weeks Notice. Favorite actor/actress?  I like watching movies that feature Jodie Foster, Billy Connelly, Maggie Smith, Emma Thompson, Jack Black, Sandra Bullock, or Adam Sandler.
  8. Which movie or TV show do you wish was gone from your sight? 
    All those glum movies that feature a bleak, violent future.
  9. Which entertainer do you feel needs a good spanking and be sent to a farm to work?
    Lindsey Lohan. She is a very talented young woman.
  10. Who do you admire, living or dead?
    I admire my parents.
  11. What makes you smile?
    Molly the Cat and the Mama sleeping together on the couch in front of the TV.

My Nominees for the Liebster Award

  • Bit to Read:   Isa-Lee is an author and freelance writer who blogs about books and various topics that interest her.
  • Maui Jungalow:   Courtney lives in Maui (lucky woman!) and gives readers a local view of living in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
  • Net on the Net:  Jeanette is from Michigan and writes about her job, home, family, and anything and everything that she feels like. 
  • Sue Elvis Writes: Sue hails from Australia, homeschools her kids, and writes about life with  energy, love, humor, and matter-of-factness.
  • Sweetbearies Art Projects:  Julia writes about art and her various art projects, generously providing videos or illustrated steps on how she does certain techniques.
  • The Trans-Gentle Wife:   Lucy describes herself as "An ordinary wife in an extraordinary marriage." I think she is quite an extraordinary person.
  • Widdershins Worlds: A resident of Canada, Widdershins, an author of science fiction, fantasy, and lesbian fiction, writes about writing and life in general. 
  • Yeakley/Jones Family: Ann maintains three blogs; this one, which she linked up to the A to Z challenge, is about genealogy and the stories of her past and present family members.

11 Questions for the Nominees

  1. What was the last thing that made you laugh?
  2. What's one thing that irks you?
  3. About how long do you think can you stand on one foot?
  4. Time yourself. How long did you actually stand on one foot?
  5. What would you want for your last meal?
  6. What's something that you would not regret about having missed doing?
  7. What's one thing that scares you, but you do it anyway? 
  8. What's something fun that you would like to do right now?
  9. Would you rather be an eagle, crow, or parakeet?
  10. If you could be a sitcom character, who would you be?
  11. Who rules -- Jane Eyre, Elizabeth Bennett, or Jo March?
I like these questions so much, I shall answer them, too, but on another post some other day. I think you've had enough about me for now.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Fun Time was Had by Me at the A to Z

A few days ago, I met a professional photographer who told me that he never took photos between 10 AM to 4 PM because the lighting is bad then.  I left his gallery with "Never between 10 and 4" embedded in my brain, but still with disbelief. It being nearly 6 PM, I went crazy taking photos. Dang, if there wasn't a magical quality of light in the photos. I truly did not bank on it happening in my photos.

So, what does that have to do with my evaluation about the Blogging from A to Z Challenge in April that I completed. Beats me. All I know is that I wanted to use the above photo for this post before I even wrote it. Maybe by the end of the post, the metaphor of taking photos will show itself.

This was my second year doing the challenge. I found it more enjoyable than last year. One reason was that I did not link up both my blogs to the challenge, even though I post to the other blog, Take 25 to Hollister, every day. I chose to link up The View from the Top of the Ladder because I've been undisciplined about writing since last year's challenge.

I drew pictures to illustrate some of my posts. That's another reason this challenge was more fun for me. I'm one of those people who is scared of drawing and hardly draw with the intention of drawing. So, I was very pleased and encouraged by the positive comments that fellow bloggers wrote about my illustrations. Will I continue? We shall see.

This year, I had no expectations of myself, which included going all the way through the alphabet. I told myself that I can withdraw from the challenge at anytime that I felt stressed about any aspect of my life. About all the pre-planning I did was create a list matching letters to dates and jot down possible topic ideas that came immediately to mind for the first week of letters. It helped that I focused on a week-by-week basis.

Last year, I assumed I would have a lot of visitors—and comments—because of the number of participants, so I was disappointed when only a handful dropped by and commented. I was also let down last year that there weren't return visits from bloggers, and I visited more than five blogs most days.  This year, I had no expectations about visitors—if any, or how many, would drop by, and if they commented about what I wrote. Every day, I visited a bunch of new blogs as well as revisited blogs with which I felt a connection, without a care if the bloggers came by mine. That was very freeing. And, you know what? I met some wonderful bloggers.

Participating in this challenge provides me the opportunity to visit a wide variety of blogs. I learned so many things through this year's challenge, from art techniques at Sweetbearies Art Projects to genealogy at Yeakley–Jones Family History, actors' bios at BB Creations, 1930s slang words at Rumer has it...,  self-acceptance at The Trans-Gentle Wife,  medicinal herbs at Wanna Buy a Duck, insider things about Hawaii at Maui Junglalow, and places to eat in New York City at Buttercup Counts her Blessings. And, the storytellers. Oh my. They are enchanting, in particular, Sue Elvis Writes, Kathryn O'Halloran, and Sarah's Brand New Chapter.

My thanks to the organizers of the Blogging A to Z Challenge. I appreciate all of your efforts and time put in to this event.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Things to Do Today

The first, okay, maybe it was the fourth, thing I did this morning before breakfast was write that To Do list.

I did finish the mystery I've been reading at breakfast. I diligently stuck with the story although I didn't care for the protagonist who was too much of an insecure whiner. But once I learned who the suspect was, I skimmed through the final scenes. I closed the book and purposely went to complete something else.

For about the next two hours, I topped off the Mama's outdoor potted plants with potting soil. It was something I had been thinking about doing for the last two summers. The other week, while the Mama was watering her plants, she mentioned that they needed more soil.

"Uh-huh," I said, glancing at them and thinking I need to do that before she got to it. Fortunately, for me, a few days ago, the Husband and I bought three huge bags of potting soil. The Mama requested one, but I bought two extra bags. Not because I was going to add soil to the potted plants but because I have plans on building a planter box to replace the broken-down one full of roses. And, I would need those bags for the new planter box.

Yup. You got it. I used up those two extra bags topping off the Mama's potted plants, and I didn't even get to all the pots. They will have to wait for another day and maybe it won't be in the distant future. 

The items on today's written To Do list? We shall see.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The End Zone

It was cold and foggy on the day of the club picnic. What better way to get warm than to play touch football.  That day, nearly 40 years ago, was the first time (and the only time ) I've ever played the game. We didn't even play it in girls PE in high school, which now when I look back, I wonder why. We had field hockey (loved those sticks), archery, swimming (my favorite), soccer (hated all that running), folk dancing, tumbling (aw, gee, again!), bowling, and an assortment of other sports, but no touch football. Not even flag football. Again, I wonder why since football was a big deal in my high school.

Anyway, I digress. In case, you've forgotten, or are confused, this tale of my rare athleticism happened when I was still a not-so-petite, petite young woman in college. Everyone had traveled an hour or so to a park south of the city. I have no idea anymore where it was, but I do remember the large meadow where we played touch football. Always willing to try almost anything once, I joined in the game. It couldn't be worse than being stuck way out in left field in a softball game.

This having taken place nearly 40 years ago, only one football play sticks in my memory. The one that counts. Our team was in a huddle, listening to our captain explain the play. Blah, blah, blah was what I heard until he said, "Sue, you run down to the goal line. If you're clear, I'll throw it to you. Then you run into the end zone."


"Okay?" the captain said.

I probably gulped as I nodded. Why me? But, there was no time to ask for his rationale. If I were to guess, it would be the element of surprise. Who in his right mind would throw a football at one of the most out-of-shape persons there.

The goal line was far, far away to one—meaning me—who does not care to run. But, hustle I would to save face.  Once the play was in motion, I lumbered as fast as my fat legs could go. No one followed me. Ha!

Near the goal line, I caught my breath as I watched the action near the middle of the field. If anything, I was safe from being run over. I focused on the captain, who was searching for a receiver. He stopped, then threw the ball way up into the air, aimed directly at me. I followed the football across the sky, losing it at one point. I held my arms up as the ball came sailing down. Plop! The ball landed between my hands. I pulled it towards my body, turned, and quickly ran the few feet into the end zone.

Yup. I'm still amazed, nearly 40 years later.
I've been participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this month. And, today is the last day. To check out other participants, click here.
Thank you for your visit and interest in reading The View from the Top of the Ladder. Please drop by again.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Five YEAR Plan

The other week, the Husband and I decided on a five year plan. First five year plan we've ever made about anything, too. The best part about it: We're already in year three. (By the way, did I use that colon punctuation properly?)

What is this five year plan? And, how is that related to the photos of our hair?

I'm glad you asked. This tale starts in 2010 when the Husband and I decided to go bald. The Husband also chose to shave off his mustache and beard. You can read that story here, if you're interested. In 2011, we shaved off our hair again. In 2012, we wondered how long our hair would get after two years. When 2013 came along, we got used to our messy look and thought about trimming it all once the temperatures got very hot. They never did.

So, here we are again at our anniversary of shorn locks. The last time my hair has been this long was in my youth, albeit (oooh, love that transitional word) my hair back then was much, much thicker. The Husband says the same thing. About the length of his hair, that is. He's still got a thick mane on him.

Having no goals or objectives these days about anything, we thought why not? Let's make this hair growing thing a five year plan. We shall see.

Here we are in 2011.

I'm participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this month. To check out other participants, click here. See you tomorrow.