Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Creatures of the Trail

Yesterday, I posted photos of the martians the Husband and I sighted on our recent walk. Today, I give you photos of the various earthly creatures we saw. Some were mild-mannered while others tried to scare us with ferocious looks. They weren't trying too hard because I didn't run away, and I'm truly a big scaredy-cat. 

Today is Our World Tuesday, a wonderful meme that let's bloggers from around the world meet and greet and share their part of the world. Click here to join us.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Martians Sighted

Don't those shadows look like astronauts wearing their bubble helmets?

Sure, they do.

Okay, maybe not.

Did you ever see the TV comedy My Favorite Martian in the 1960s or as reruns later on?  It starred Ray Walston as the martian who lived on Earth and his disguise was Uncle Martin to reporter Tim, who was played by Bill Bixby. It was a silly and very likable show. At least for me. I always enjoyed it when Uncle Martin's martian antennas popped out of his head.

Guess what the Husband and I saw yesterday on our hike?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday Ramble

Who thinks Sunday is the start of the week? Who sees it as the end of the week? And, who shrugs and asks, "Is today Sunday?"

"Wake up you sleepy heads!" Molly the Cat meowed rather insistently outside our bedroom door. I was ready to float back to sleep. So much for being lazy this morning.

Today, I hope to get the Husband and me out the door to stretch our legs on a nearby trail. I'd like to see the green slopes and wildflowers before they are no longer.

All signs say that we'll be going through another year of severe drought. A few weeks back, the newspapers were carrying stories that stated our reservoirs hold only one year's worth of water. In our county, the powers-that-be has decided to continue with educating us about water conservation rather than fining us for excessive use. Unfortunately, the stubborn folks, who don't believe that the drought is horribly bad, will continue to make sure their lawns are green.  For the past two years, we tell the Mama she has to choose -- water for her lawn or for her vegetables and flowers. The lawn is again starting to look ragged.

I'm always hoping for rain.

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge

This coming Wednesday starts Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. Every day, except for Sunday, I shall be posting something around the letter of the day. This is my third year of doing the challenge, and this year I decided to go with a theme. Dat da da dahhhhh. . . Food!

It'll be all about food, in some way.  Mostly, I'll be sharing my memories of food, for instance, stories about shredding coconut, butchering chickens, and the Mama getting 60 pounds of tripe. Perhaps a recipe now and then, and sometimes a post about current food stuff, such as magical meringue, my dream kitchen, and cooking the holy trinity.

Stay tuned, dear readers.

Saturday, March 28, 2015


A few months ago, the Husband and I resubscribed to Netflix  which means were back to seeing movies and chomping on popcorn in the afternoons. So, now and then, I'll talk about a movie that I want to share with you, dear readers.

My first share is a comedy and love story called Cuban Fury. It's a British film starring Nick Frost, Rashida Jones, and Chris O'Dowd. You may not recognize their names, but I'm sure you know them when you see them on screen.

Bruce, played by Frost, was a child salsa prodigy. With his sister as his dancing partner, he won contest after contest. Then, on his way to a dance competition wearing sparkly clothes, a bunch of insane jealous boys from his school called Bruce names and beat him up. That was the end of dancing for Bruce.

Twenty-some years later, fat and out of shape, unhappy and lonely, Bruce meets the woman of his dreams (Rashida Jones) who loves to salsa. Yup, you got it. Bruce wants to get back into the salsa groove. But, can he? And, when he does get his groove back can he win the heart of the woman of his dreams? Bruce has competition, of course, for her attention in the form of a tall, handsome, but creepy, co-worker (Chris O'Dowd) who also dances. Bruce and the co-worker have a dance-off in a parking lot that's both funny and impressive.

Nick Frost is amazing in this film. This is the first time I've seen him without Simon Pegg. Maybe you saw them in Paul, the hilarious movie about the alien the two picked up while on vacation in the United States. Pegg does show up in Cuban Fury for a split second. He was brilliant.

Okay, back to Frost. All that salsa dancing he does in the film is all him. He trained for six weeks, nearly every day, prior to the start of the filming. I greatly admire an actor who wants to go the distance rather take the easy way out with a stand-in to do the hard stuff.

I'd see this love story again. And, again . . .

Friday, March 27, 2015

Molly the Cat's Shadow

"Who is that?" asked Molly the Cat.

"That's your shadow."

"Make it stop following me."

"We have to go inside then."

"No," said Molly the Cat. "It better know that I do the leading around here!"

Molly the Cat and I are participating in The Weekend in Black and White, hosted by Dragonstar. Please click here to see B&W works by cool bloggers around the world.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Dude, The Husband -- So Sweet!

My favorite sweets are lemon chiffon ice cream, cherry pie, chocolate cake, and, of course, the Husband!

The other week when I posted one of the Husband's cartoons of Quagmire the Slacker, I mentioned that Quagmire's girlfriend's name is Granola.  Some of you were curious about how she looked.  I asked the Husband if I may share my favorite cartoon of the duo for the letter S in my series of him for Alphabe Thursday.  "Sure," he said. "What's the word?"

"You'll have to wait," I said. "So, you can be surprised."

Can you guess why this cartoon of the Husband's is one of my favorites?

Yup. Because it shows how Quagmire is so sweet. Just like the Dude that is the Husband.

Jenny Matlock

To check out other S posts in Alphabe Thursday, hosted by the lovely Jenny Matlock, please click here

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Knocking Our Heads

My ABC Wednesday theme: The Mama and Her Authentic
Green Thumbs. . .and Fingers
Last week I was transplanting iris under the lemon tree for the Mama, and I kept knocking my head on the same lemon branch. You'd think I would remember after the first collision. Or, the second time. Or, even the third time. . . . Once I harvest the lemon off this particular branch, it's getting pruned.

I love the Mama's backyard. So does the Husband. The one problem we have is that when all the trees and vegetables have completely bursted forth with their leaves and fruit, we can't walk around the yard without knocking our heads on the low branches, bumping into bushes and vines, and stubbing our toes along the narrow pathways. It's not too bad for me since I'm short, but the Husband, uh-uh. There are a couple places he can walk around at full height and without him grumbling, "This place is too small!"

It goes without saying, but I will anyway, that everything about the yard is perfect for the Mama. (And Molly the Cat, who wants you to know that she is in the second photo in case you don't see her.) But, then the Mama created the backyard of a vegetable garden and mini fruit orchard. She charmed the trees to be at the perfect height for her to harvest many of the fruits.

Mischievous her though has been allowing the chayote vines to climb up a couple of the trees, which means that we often have to wait until the wind blows them down. So far, none of them have knocked anyone's head off.

Here's the Mama shuffling gracefully in her backyard of a jungle in the Summer of 2012:

It's ABC Wednesday, a meme began by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and headed today by Roger Green and his helpers. Click here to read posts around today's letter K.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

John Steinbeck Said . . .

The Husband and I had a wonderful time wandering about on our monthly 23rd date. We saw quite a lot of amazing and interesting stuff and met some very nice people during  our travels.  One of our stops was the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas. If you're into John Steinbeck, you'd like this museum. It's all about Steinbeck and his works.

There was so much for me to see, to read, and to absorb as I went from exhibit to the next. Reading the honesty and wonder in Steinbeck's words was like breathing in oxygen.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Six Elvis

Say hello to  Six Elvis, everyone.

He's one of my artsy-craftsy calendar dates. His hair reminded me of Elvis Presley, hence, the Elvis part of his name. 

Here's how he looked when he was drawn on February 6.

That's it for today. The Husband and I are off on our 23rd-of-the-month date. We're actually going to get out of town this time. See ya!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Writing Under the Influence

The following was written yesterday afternoon (and edited much later) . . .
This is a first for me. Sipping a beer as I tippy-tap out words on the keyboard.

This, I'm having -- the beer -- right after drinking a small (which in olden times would've been medium) cup of wonderful coffee. I drink coffee now and then, alas. I like the taste of coffee, as well as the thinking that evolves with the caffeine, but this old body of mine can no longer handle daily consumption of the stuff.  Pobrecita. See, even the little Spanish I know gets evoked in the brain cells.

Lately, my morning brew is a cup of boiled water. I'm just not into tea or hot lemon juice right now. For the past week, I've been wanting coffee from Vertigo, a coffeehouse in San Juan Bautista that roasts and grinds coffee beans fresh every day. It's about eight miles, more or less, away. Not far at all, but getting dressed and doing this and that before getting into the car first thing in the morning takes too much time and energy.  By the way, if you're ever in San Juan Bautista, be sure to stop for a cup of Vertigo's brew. The folks there also make some of the best pizza in the area, which they bake in their outdoor pizza oven.

Ah, there I go distracting myself down another path. I have to say, I like the altered state I'm feeling with the caffeine and the beer. Happy buzzzzzzzz. I wonder how authors could write under the influence of alcohol or another mind altering drug besides caffeine. I can understand the drug helping one dig deeper into the caverns of the imagination, but to be able to channel the thoughts down to the fingers over the keyboard. That's something I could not train myself to do. It's just as well. I'm already addicted to potato chips and ice cream.

I heard that F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote while under the influence of alcohol as did Truman Capote and that guy who wrote The Sound and The Fury in which a full-haired Yul Brynner (ooh-la-la!) played someone in the movie version of the novel. William Faulkner! Were there any well-known female authors? Excuse me, while I go over to Google. . . .

Wowza!  Elizabeth Barrett Browning was hooked on opium also known politely as laudanum. The doctors had first prescribed it for her nervous hysteria, which I understand was a state of not getting deliciously satisfying lovemaking. I've never read any of Browning's work. Looks like I will now.

What do you think? Is my writing any more different under the buzzy influence of a strong cup of coffee and one beer than water?

Saturday, March 21, 2015

From the First Blog

Cu'Pie Baby Bird says "Chirp. Chirp." was the first blog I wrote and published. That was back in 2007. Did I really say, "back in 2007"? It was only eight years ago, but it certainly seems like much longer. I bet I still have things left to do on my To-Do list from back then....Oh, yeah, I do! The big one: Have a garage sale. Hmmmm.

Where was I? Today, I decided to share a post from my first blog. Here thou goeth.

Movin' On Up 

Originally posted Sunday, June 17, 2007

We are moving up in the world. Or maybe the cliché should be -- we’re keeping up with the Jones’s. (Edit from Dick: “You can say either. It means the same thing.**)

Yesterday we stopped at Bed, Breakfast, and Beyond. (Another edit from Dick: “No. It’s Bed, Bath, and Beyond.”) This was our second stop in over a month, a very unusual thing for us. The only stores we grace more than once in a blue moon are the grocery store, the drug store, and the bookstore.

Our mission this time round was to buy a cherry pitter and a kitchen trash can with a lid. We headed for the beyond section where Dick immediately found the cherry pitters that are dishwasher safe. As we circled the section, I couldn’t help but get a package of silicone basting brushes and another plastic- thingy that covers a dish as it heats up in the microwave. Each item is wonderfully dishwasherable, too. (Editorial comment from Dick, the Dishwasher: When choosing any new item that must be washed, it must be dishwasher safe.)

We walked all over the store searching for a garbage can. Turns out the selection of receptacles were in front of the store, next to the entrance. The top of the line was $179! I wonder how much garbage you would need to throw out before you felt you recouped your investment. You know, after a certain point, every bit of garbage is just gravy, dude. Turkey or beef, doesn't matter.

We settled on something far less expensive, but still a bit luxurious for a garbage can—$39!. It’s a 30-liter silver-streamlined garbage can with a fitted black top AND a foot pedal you can press to open the top. Hoo-ha! And the engineer designed it so that the part of the garbage bag that folds over the rim is not visible. (Editorial comment from Dick: Regardless of what you see in the photo.) It looks and works very trés cool.

Yep, we now own a cherry pitter, two silicone brushes, and a posh garbage can. We are definitely moving up in the world. Right up there with the Jones’s.

**I know I can make the changes without quoting Dick, but what’s the fun in that.

Update: The cherry pitter is still a fun gadget because I rarely use it. The silicone brushes keep moved around the kitchen so it takes awhile to find one when I want one. The foot pedal no longer works on the posh garbage can. It's a good thing we didn't purchase that expensive one. The dishwasher went kaput several years ago and the Husband now washes dishes by hand two or three times nearly every day. One of these days we'll get that dishwasher fixed or buy a new one. It's definitely on the To-Do list.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Daisies in Black and White

It's The Weekend in Black and White. Click here to check out wonderful B&W photos from around the world.

Happy Spring, Dear Readers!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Dude, The Husband -- A Reliable Guy

My Alphabe Thursday theme -- The Dude, The Husband
"I must take a photo of the lupine," I said to the Husband as I got off Tilda-Hilda, my trusty pink cruiser. "Have you seen it?"

The flower voluntarily chose to grow by the side of our driveway. It's the first lupine ever to grace our yard, so, of course, I had to record it.

I had a difficult time getting the right angle because of bright sunny day. I tried casting a shadow on the lupine, but when I bent over to take a photo, there went my shadow. Then, the Husband was suddenly by my side, admiring the purple beauty.

"Would you please put your shadow on it so I can take a photo?"

The Sweet Husband did.

I'm a fortunate woman, I am.

It's the letter R at Alphabe Thursday, hosted by Jenny Matlock. Please click here to read other posts by bloggers around the world.

Jenny Matlock

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Just a Jumble of Joy!

My ABC Wednesday theme: The Mama and Her Authentic
Green Thumbs. . .and Fingers

It's Spring! Quite a lot of joyful things are going on in a happy organized higgledy-piggledy manner in the Mama's backyard. And, it's all the work of the Mama.

Colorful flowers greet the Mama each morning.

The Mama nods at the rosebuds that say hello
to banana leaves as they unfurl around the roses.

An abundant of tomato seedlings surprised the Mama, who
is now transplanting them all over the yard.

The persimmon and other fruit trees dance in their new dress
of leaves, giving the Mama shade as she happily works beneath. 

It's time for ABC Wednesday, a meme began Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and headed today by Roger Green and his helpers. Click here to read posts around today's letter J.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Is it redundant to say vintage typewriters? After all, who sells new typewriters these days? For that matter, has anyone invented a new model recently?

A girlfriend and I stumbled across this display of typewriters in Downtown Los Altos, California last week. They all looked spic and span. I don't think my fingers are strong enough to make the keys go clickity clack.

We have three, maybe four, portable typewriters in the house. One is an electric, two (or one) are (or is) Brother typewriters from the late 1960s, and one is a very old, but not ancient, clunky typewriter like the ones you see in black and white movies. I bought that in a garage sale, thinking I'd use it. Ha! It needed a lot of cleaning so I put it back in its accompanying case. I have no idea where it is now.

I took a typing class in high school, which was one of two classes that I learned skills I still use today. The teacher roamed around the classroom, making sure we did not peek at our hands as we typed. He also made sure we had perfect posture. Except for the numeral 5 and 6 keys, I can type without looking at my hands, even when I'm slumped on my chair.

Today, I'm linking up at Our World Tuesday. Click here to see what bloggers are sharing about their part of the world.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Meeting Blogging Friend Lisa

Lisa stopped to take a photo of a chair in the shape of the hand in front of the furniture store. She told me about an article on chairs she read on her flight. Now, she wants to take photos of chairs.

"I must take a photo of Lisa taking a photo of the chair," said Farel, brother of Lisa.

"I must take a photo of you taking a photo of Lisa taking a photo of the chair," I said.

That delightful silliness was last Thursday when the virtual blogging world suddenly became real and I met blogging friend Lisa from Malaysia in person. Wowza, indeed!

Lisa and I met on my other blog, Take 25 to Hollister, which is about my hometown and the place where the Husband and I currently live. The "25" refers to the two-lane state highway that leads into Hollister from the north. This bit of information will make sense a few paragraphs later.

On Wednesday night, I received a Facebook message from Lisa: "I'm heading to Hollister tonight!"

Huh! I read her message a couple of times to make sure I was reading all the words straight. Curiously, Lisa had floated into my mind that afternoon. Perhaps I was picking up her vibe. Lisa had been visiting friends on the California coast and the evening she wrote she was with her brother, Farel, who lives in San Jose. (Farel, please forgive me if I have spelled your name wrong.)

The next afternoon, the Husband and I headed over to their hotel and we met, wouldn't you know it, kindred spirits. We took them to lunch, then a tour around town. At one point, Lisa was taking a photo of the city streets and said to me, with a big smile, "I took 25 to Hollister." I don't think Lisa realized how honored I felt when she said that.

After the downtown sights, we drove around the countryside a bit and headed over to our house where Lisa and Farel hung out and had dinner with us. At one point, Lisa, Farel, and the Husband were sitting in the living room bent over tablets and laptops enjoying themselves, each other, and the magical Internet. Me? I was whipping egg whites which is always magical to me.

Lisa fell asleep over her computer. Jet lag had caught up to her. When she woke up, she smelled the aroma of frying fish and said, "It smells delicious. It feels like home."

See you again, Lisa and Farel!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Standing in the Mustard Field

"Take my picture, please," I asked the Husband in the mustard field. I walked through the tall mustard to hand him the camera. I wanted to see which was taller -- the mustard or me. What do you think?

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Spring Lambs

The other day, the Husband and I visited friends in Los Altos Hills, who took us over to see the baby sheep at Hidden Villa. That's a non-profit organic farm and wilderness preserve that is open to the public, as well as offers various educational programs. The place is gorgeous. We also checked out the pigs, goats, chickens, and cows. Today, though, I'm posting photos of the sweet, darling lambs.

These darling babies were one-day-old. 

The cutie pie seemed to be asking, "Hmmm, what is this?"

This sweetie was the sole black sheep of the group. 
I'm hooking up with Camera Critters today. So, please click here to see what lovely creatures that bloggers around the world are featuring.

Camera Critters

Friday, March 13, 2015

Sweet Smile

Today I'm linking up with The Weekend in Black and White, a photo meme hosted by Dragonstar. Click here to see wonderful b&w photos by bloggers around the world.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Dude, The Husband -- Quagmire's Creator

Quagmire the Slacker is a figment of the Husband's quick-witted mind. Three of the many things I love about Quagmire are 1) he wears his suit of powder blue and a white ruffled shirt to important functions; 2) he thinks in puns; and 3) his girlfriend is named Granola. 

By the way, both Quagmire and his creator are also quick on their feet.

I'm participating in Alphabe Thursday, hosted by Jenny Matlock. My theme is The Dude, The Husband. This week, the letter is, you guessed it, Q. Click here to check out other Q posts. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Inang Mo. . .Emeteria

My ABC Wednesday theme: The Mama and
Her Authentic Green Thumbs. . .and Fingers
In the Mama's language of Ilocano, the word inang means mother. This photo is the Inang of the Mama when she was 70 years old or so. The last time the Mama saw her Inang was in October 1949, just before she sailed with the one-year old Only and Older Bionic Brother from the Philippines for the United States. The two were heading onward to their new lives with the Daddy, who was already living in their new home. 

I think it's fascinating that the Inang of the Mama signed that photo in 1971 to her daughter not as Inang Mo (your mother) but by her first name Emeteria. That to me is very forward thinking for a woman of the Filipino culture of her generation, which makes me very proud. Having never met the Inang of the Mama, I do not think of her as lola (the Ilocano word for grandmother), but as the bright, beautiful, and bold woman Emeteria.  

To know a little something about Emeteria, is know a bit more about the Mama and her authentic green thumbs. . .and fingers.

Emeteria married at the age of 14 to Cipriano who was 13. Her family was unhappy with the marriage. Not because both were young but because he was poor and a "pure" Filipino. (Emeteria's father was from Spain.) By the time, Emeteria was 28, she had given birth to five sons and one daughter. About two years later, Emeteria was a widow and the sole supporter of her family.

From the Mama's stories, I think of Emeteria as a Renaissance Woman. Better yet, a Wonder Woman.  Emeteria worked and managed their farm, as well as made money by sewing clothes, making and selling bottles of salted fish called bagoong, and doing other things. 

To help Emeteria, the Mama, at nine-years-old, was taken out of school to care for her younger brothers and the house. As the Mama grew, she learned how to raise crops, grow vegetables, tailor clothes, and do the various jobs that Emeteria did.  All of which made the Mama, herself, become a Renaissance Woman—a Wonder Woman!

The Mama in 1975

I'm participating in ABC Wednesday, a meme began by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and managed today by Roger Green at Ramblin' with Roger. Today is the letter IClick here to read other posts.