Friday, July 31, 2015


To see more black and white photos by other bloggers, check out  The Weekend in Black & White, hosted by Dragonstar.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Ka Lae, Hawaii

My Alphabe Thursday theme—Places I've Been

"This is it," I said to myself, looking out at the Pacific Ocean. "The farthest place south in the United States."

Thirteen years later, the Husband said something similar as we gazed out at the horizon. We were standing at Ka Lae on the Big Island of Hawaii. It's also known as South Point or The Point.

I've had the good fortune to visit Ka Lae twice. The first time was on my solo trip in 1984 and again in 1997 with the Husband, which was his first trip to Hawaii. These photos are from our trip.

The water at the most southern point of the U.S. was very inviting. Even looking at the photo, I imagine myself jumping in.  Imagining is best. The currents are very strong at Ka Lae, so swimming is not recommended. The Husband and I are good swimmers, but we knew it was best to heed the warnings.

The windmills weren't there in 1984. So I was very surprised to see them. Ka Lae is a perfect place for a wind farm, with the steady, strong trade winds. From what I've read online, the ones we saw on our trip have long since been replaced by newer windmills, which are owned by the Pakini Nui Wind Farm. According to the wind farm's website, the windmills produce power for about 18,000 homes.

Many historians believe that the Polynesians first landed here when they first came to the islands. That was sometime between 400 and 800 A.D.  Ka Lae is considered a sacred place. I think it is.

Soon after we returned home, the Husband bought a computer (love at first sight), and several months later, he said See ya! to his 9-to-5 job. A great decision by the Husband. Also, to go to Ka Lae with him, as well as by myself.

It's Alphabe Thursday with the lovely Jenny Matlock. Today's letter is K. Click here to read posts by other participants.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Day 41 with Tilda-Hilda

"Why are you up so early?" asked the Husband.

"I want to ride the bike before it gets too hot," I said.

"Take the phone."

Tilda-Hilda and pedaled off to Tres Pinos, going about a mile pass the village. Our round trip today was about 13.5 miles in 78 minutes. Whooo-hooo!

Jane Austen -- Cowboy!

ABC Wednesday theme: Jane Austen, Action Doll, Seeks a Life Change

"Yi-ha!" said Jessie, taking Jane Austen, Action Doll, by the arm.

"Get a move on, Janey," said Woody, gently pushing Jane forward.

"Where are we going?" asked Jane.

"You are going to participate in your first horse show," said Woody.

"I have not ever ridden a horse before."

"Don't you worry your pretty smart head, Janey," said Jessie, "You'll be riding Bullseye before you know it."

"Yes, m'am!" said Woody.

Jane looked at the confidence shining on both her friends' faces. She felt as sure as them. "All right, then. Let's go!"

"Yi-ha!" all three exclaimed.

It's ABC Wednesday, and this week's letter is C.  To check out other letter C posts by bloggers from around the world, click hereABC was started eight years ago by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt.  It is currently maintained by Roger Green with the help of his team of ABC wonders.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Ms. Molly

"I own all that I see," says Molly, sashaying down the paths of the Mama's garden.

I've caught her eating bean leaves and sitting happily in a box of green onions. When I scold and shoo her from the veggies, she retorts, "You have no business telling me what to do."

Glaring at me, Molly kindly moves away from where she's not supposed to be.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Day 40 with Tilda-Hilda

The TV weather casters say we're going to go through another heat wave. So far, so good today. Tilda-Hilda and I went out later than usual so I could drop off books and DVDs at the library. The Mama said, "Don't go far." The Husband said, "Do you have the phone? Be careful." Molly the Cat said, "Mewww." I think she wanted to either a snack or to go outside in the front yard. I asked her if she'd like to ride with us. She could ride in the basket. No answer.

Tilda-Hilda and I both agree. Earlier is better. Today, we pedaled 10.5 miles in 59 minutes. We made sure we didn't overdo or overheat ourselves.

Until next time.

Summer Domestic Diva Challenge -- One Down!

Ha! I completed  #4 on my list of seven things to do before the summer ends. 

A jar of lemon peels covered with vodka is now sitting in the cupboard with the glasses. In four to six weeks, it will become lemon extract. I hope, I hope. 

The first thing I plan to make with the stuff is lemon cookies. They were the first—and when I think of it, the only—cookies that the Mama baked when I was a small kid. They were perfectly round, golden, and yummily lemon flavored. I have yet to taste a lemon cookie that rivals my memory of the Mama's cookies. 

If you're curious, this was my recipe, which I adapted from Mommypotamus's.
  1. Zested 9 medium lemons. Don't get any of the white peel. 
  2. Place lemon strips in a jar and cover with about 1.5 cup of vodka. 
  3. Shake well, then put in a cupboard.
The rest of the instructions are from Mommypotamus:
  1. Shake the mixture every day for a week.  
  2. Shake every so often for 4 to 6 weeks, which I shall translate as once every 3 or 4 days. 
  3. Strain the lemon peels and pour lemon extract into clean jars. 
  4. Store in cabinet or refrigerator.

What will I do with those lemons I zested? (The zester is a very cool tool by the way.) Make lemonade!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Day 39 with Tilda-Hilda & The Guys

Tilda-Hilda and I went out with the Husband and his Sun Flame this afternoon. Yaay!

We pedaled to downtown, stopping here and there for me to take photos for my other blog, Take 25 to Hollister. We pedaled and walked about 4 miles. Slow and easy. Half the time we pedaled against the wind so that made for a good workout. 


Seven Things to Do Before Summer Ends

It's time for me to make a list of all domestic diva things I want to accomplish this summer. Otherwise, I will just vaguely think about doing them, which in my world means "I'll do it tomorrow." As we all know, tomorrow really never comes.

I shall ring Tilda-Hilda's ding-a-ling bell and...and...and...proclaim my list of things I shall complete before the first day of Autumn.

1. Sew the Husband another tunic.

2. Sew myself a tunic.

3. Sew the Christmas vest for the Husband, which I said I would do....uhm, two Christmases ago.

4. Make lemon extract.

5. Make limoncello.

6. Make candied ginger.

7. Bake energy bars. So, Tilda-Hilda and I can pedal farther and further down roads.

I can do these seven things. I can!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Day 38 with Tilda-Hilda

Tilda-Hilda and I pedaled over 12.5 miles in 67 minutes today. Quite good, I say, after missing three days.

On Thursday, the Husband and I went on hike, climbing up and down a mountain path. It was fun. But, my left knee was crying out in pain as I walked the last mile. The poor Husband, having to listen to me. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Hiking Under the Redwoods

Another Friday, another black & white photo. Which also means participating at The Weekend in Black and White, hosted by Dragonstar.  Click here to see works by other participants.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

St. Joseph Cathedral Basilica

My Alphabe Thursday theme—Places I've Been

I've driven and walked by St. Joseph Cathedral Basilica in San Jose, California countless of times over the last 40 years or so. But, it was only last October when the Husband and I were walking back to our car from the nearby San Jose Museum of Art that we popped into the cathedral on a whim.

It was not all what I expected. The interior was large, airy, and light.  The ceilings and dome were  adorned with amazing art murals.  And, the sanctuary was surrounded by spectacular stained glass windows.

The cathedral began as a small adobe church in 1803. It was the first parish in California. (San Jose was established as the first Spanish settlement about 26 years earlier.) Earthquakes and fires destroyed four churches. The fifth, and current, building was completed in the 1880s.

Major restoration was done on the church in the late 1980s. In 1990, it formally became St. Joseph Cathedral.  Seven years later, the Vatican granted it status as a Basilica.

Here are a few more photos of the church interior.

It's the letter J at Alphabe Thursday, a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful Jenny Matlock.  Click here to read more about the letter J. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Jane Austen, Professional Baseball Player

ABC Wednesday theme: Jane Austen, Action Doll, Seeks a Life Change

Playing at third base, ladies and gentlemen, is the great lady herself. Jaaaaaaaaane Austeeeeen.

I like to think that Jane Austen is athletic because her characters are. Lizzy Bennett enjoys taking long walks in the woods, for instance. That said, would being a professional baseball player be a good career change for Jane Austen, Action Doll?

Today, I'm participating in ABC Wednesday, started by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and currently maintained by Roger Green, with the help of his team of ABC wonders.   To check out other letter B posts, click here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Day 37 with Tilda-Hilda

Tilda-Hilda and I did another long loop today—over 14 miles in 74 minutes. We went over three bridges. One was short, wooden, and very low to the ground, more like a cattle crossing. Ah, cattle crossing. What a misnomer. A cattle crossing is supposed to keep cows from passing through that point.

Onward and upward.

Enjoying the Day

While pedaling Tilda-Hilda (my pink cruiser of a bicycle) along a zig-zagging back road, I happened to glance up. I sure am glad I did.

Today, I'm taking part in the meme Trees & Bushes, hosted by NatureFootstep. Click here to see works by participants from around the world.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Day 36 with Tilda-Hilda

Tilda-Hilda's and my mantra today was: Traverse, traverse, traverse. Zig-zag up the hill.

Because we have a late morning appointment, we did a short ride today. It was invigorating. I averaged an 11.1 mph pace on our 7.77 mile route (I love the redundancy in digits) in 42 minutes.

I discovered something today. A bicycle ride can clear up a morning headache. Yaay!

Until the next time.

Five Things On My Desk

I have more like 200+ things on my desk if I were to count individual papers and photographs. My desk was originally a kitchen table, which means chaos rules.  Though I think it's relatively neat at the moment.

Okay, five things that are on my desk.
  1. Two seeds—an apricot pit and a lemon seed from fruit in our backyard. Well, there aren't any more apricots. The Mama, the Husband, and I happily ate them all. Molly the Cat turned her nose to them.
  2. A brown rubber lizard. I got it and several of its siblings more than 30 years ago. I gave the siblings away as trick gifts. Yes, I've scared people with the lizard. It doesn't have a name. I wonder if it would like to be called Buddy.
  3.  My address book that fits neatly in my purse, if I remember to bring it.
  4.  A paperweight that has a dandelion inside it. The Father-in-law gifted it to me long ago.
  5. Recipes for soft gingerbread cookies, lemon-poppy seed quick bread, and a friend's mom's recipe for Spanish rice.
What's on your desk? 

P.S. It's just past midnight and still 72 degrees.  I'm listening to a chorus of crickets. It's rather delightful.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Day 35 with Tilda-Hilda

The other night I dreamt that Tilda-Hilda had two flat tires. I asked the Husband what that could mean.

"I don't know," he said. "Maybe it has to do with the car tires we're going to buy."

I hope so. Knock on wood that Tilda-Hilda doesn't ever get two flat tires at the same time.

Just before I went out the door this morning, the Mama called out to me from her bedroom. I peeked in and told her I was going for a ride.

She sat up in bed. "Don't go far," she said.

"I won't."

The dream. The Mama's warning. A sky that looked like it could rain. Maybe I shouldn't go out, I thought. But, it had been two days since the last ride. And, my appetite has been up lately. So, out the door I went.

Tilda-Hilda and I pedaled for 78 minutes, roaming around 14.5 miles, today. No flats. Okay, I didn't pay attention to the Mama. But, I did turn around on one road when I saw a Confederate flag.

Random Scenes: First Meeting

First Meeting
by Su-sieee! Mac

Lianne and Brian tumbled to the sand, their legs tangling together. Two barking Saint Bernard puppies rushed up and climbed all over them.

“Off, Pooch! Get off!” Lianne and Brian said at the same time in the same stern voice. Neither of the puppies obeyed.

 “I give up!” Lianne laughed and tried to cover her face from an exuberant dog’s tongue.

“You can’t give up!” Brian said between laughs. “Stop that Pooch!”

“Look after your own dog,” said Lianne, managing to get a hold of her dog.

“That’s what I am,” Brian said, holding his puppy to his chest.

 “Your dog's name is Pooch?’”


“Copy cat.”

“Pooch?” He nodded to Lianne’s pup.

 “You bet.”

 Brian grinned. “I’m in the midst of a genius.”

“Or mediocrity,” said Lianne, grinning back.

"What have we here?"

Lianne gazed up at a tall woman who looked like she stepped out of a fashion magazine.

"Honey," said Brian, his legs still entwined with Lianne's. "This woman's puppy is Pooch. Isn't that funny?"

"If you say so," the woman said. "I need to get to work, Brian."

She turned and headed towards the parking lot. Brian turned to Lianne, "I'm sorry. I don't know what happened."

"Me neither," Lianne said. "Up, Pooch!"

Both dogs stood up.

Lianne and Brian laughed. Brian stood up and held out a hand to Lianne.

"Thanks," said Lianne, "But, I think I'll sit here for awhile."

"Okay. Well,  uh, here's where you tell me your name."


"Lianne," he said, scooping up his dog. "I'm Brian. And, you know Pooch. Well, okay. I hope to run into you again."

"Same here," she said, holding onto her Pooch.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

From Bela Lugosi to Tina Fey

By Screenshot from "Internet Archive" of the movie Dracula (1931)
( [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
Blogger friend Birgit of BB Creations is a movie maven. (I don't know anyone else who has seen Start the Revolution Without Me.) Several days ago, she did a post around the concept of six degrees of separation. Within five moves, she connected Strangers on a Train to Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure in five moves.  Check out the post yourself.

After reading Birgit's post, I wondered if you could connect any two actors within six moves.  Bela Lugosi and Tina Fey, for instance.  Birgit made the connection, but she's giving me a chance to make my connection before unveiling hers. If she hadn't, I probably wouldn't.  Researching the question was fun and didn't take as long as I thought it would. 

So, here you go: How Bela Lugosi and Tina Fey are connected.

1. Bela Lugosi and Greta Garbo co-starred in Ninotchka.

2.  Greta Garbo was in Grand Hotel with Joan Crawford.

3. Joan Crawford starred in "Eyes", an episode on Night Gallery, which was directed by Steven Spielberg.

4. Steven Spielberg directed Lincoln, in which Joseph Gordon Leavitt portrayed Robert Todd Lincoln.

5. Joseph Gordon Leavitt played an uncredited cameo bit in The Brothers Bloom starring Mark Ruffalo.

6. Mark Ruffalo had a role in Date Night starring Tina Fey


Friday, July 17, 2015

Look. Up in the Sky!

Today, I'm participating in The Weekend in Black and White hosted by Dragonstar. To see more black and white photos by bloggers around the world, please click here.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Day 34 with Tilda-Hilda

I didn't think I would have a chance to go out riding with Tilda-Hilda this morning. The fog was thick when I woke up. Fortunately, it started breaking up within an hour. So, off we went. It would've been a good day for a long ride, but I told the Husband we were going through the neighborhoods. I had the phone, but I didn't feel like calling.

As a compromise with myself, Tilda-Hilda and I pedaled down a road parallel with the last neighborhood. We also took a very short side trip on a road that ended at a winery. That's what's beyond Tilda-Hilda in the photo.

Our trip today was nearly 10 miles, which we did in 54 minutes.

Happy trails to you.


My Alphabe Thursday theme—Places I've Been

We've all traveled somewhere via our imagination. Maybe after we read or listened to a grand story, saw a wonderful movie or TV show, or heard an amazing song or sound. Until I was grounded with a serious job (translate: heavy responsibilities) in my 20s, I had a rich, vivid imagination. With each, and even more, serious job or work project, my imagination seemed to get duller and duller.

When I feel low on imagination, I visit a particular memory. And, slowly I feel my imagination edging back. 

Many years ago while visiting the Only and Older Brother and his family,  Youngest Niece asked me to make stuff out of play dough with her.

"Sorry," I said, flopped out on the couch. "My imagination isn't working today. There's nothing inside my head."

"You can borrow some of mine," the five-year-old sweetie said. She pressed her fingertips on her forehead, then pressed them on mine.

How could I not play with Youngest Niece after she loaned me her imagination?  I pinched off a piece of clay and pretended enthusiasm. After awhile I got into rolling, molding, and forming the different colors of clay into figures and buildings. Together,  Youngest Niece and I made up stories about our creations. The heaviness and tiredness I felt melted away. 

When I was getting ready to go home,  Youngest Niece ran up to me. "Wait, Auntie Susie. I need my imagination back." I bent down. She pressed her fingertips to my forehead, then pressed them on hers.

It's Alphabe Thursday with the lovely Jenny Matlock. Today's letter is I. Click here to read other participants' posts.