Monday, November 30, 2015

Happy Birthday, Anne's Creator!

Did you see the Google doodle today?  It honors L.M. Montgomery, the author of the Anne of Green Gable series and many other books. Today is Ms. Montgomery's birthday. She would've been 141 years young. A baby compared to Methuselah.

Anne of Green Gables was one of the books that Mrs. Patterson, my fifth grade teacher, read to us after lunch to settle us down. It instantly became one of my favorite stories. I didn't want to be Anne, but I did want to be like her: imaginative, creative, kindhearted, mischievous, spunky, intelligent, open, and spiritual. I  learned to appreciate nature through Anne's adventures, as well as to recognize when I had met a kindred spirit.

I don't know much about L.M. Montgomery. Only today did I learn that L.M. stands for Lucy Maud. A nice solid friendly name. Reading this brief biography, I learned how Ms. Montgomery's life somewhat parallels Anne's life.

Going to Prince Edward Island is still one of the places I want to see.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Lazy Sunday

"It's 9:01!"

"It is!" exclaimed the Husband, throwing the bed covers off him.

As if it mattered that we got up late. We didn't have to get anywhere or have anything done by 9:00 a.m. today.  Although getting up later meant no early bike ride with Tilda-Hilda. Maybe we'll go for a spin around the neighborhood after I rake leaves in the backyard and prune some vines and such in the front yard.

I wondered why our alarm clock didn't wake us up. I opened the blinds in the living room. Molly the Cat looked up from the couch. Ha!

The Mama? I peeked into her bedroom. She was sleeping soundly.

Yes, a perfect Sunday morning.

Now a perfect Sunday afternoon. I still haven't gone outside. Those colored pencils distracted me.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Day 81 with Tilda-Hilda

Tilda-Hilda and I pedaled just over seven miles in 42 minutes this morning. Hurrah!

The Search for the Missing Teeth

"Are my teeth over there?" asked the Mama, as she slowly shuffled towards the kitchen.

Hence, began an all-day search for the Mama's dentures.

We went through her clothes pockets, looked behind and under things, moved things from here to there in her bedroom and bathroom, the kitchen, the hallway, and the living room. Several times.

The fortunate thing was that the Mama had not gone outside into her garden that morning.

The plus side to the Mama misplacing her dentures was that she found her cute, green hand towels and she reorganized her bathroom. I also think she was mentally stimulated by the challenge. I thought I could see her brain cells tightening as she recalled more of her path between the kitchen and her bedroom.

So, where did the Mama finally find her dentures?

Precisely where she put them. In her vest pocket, which was on her bedroom closet floor. The one piece of clothing she normally wears that we had not thought to look through. Oh well.

I'm actually grateful that the dentures went missing. I discovered we could all keep our sense of humor and be all low-key about it all. That hasn't always been the case. Also, the Mama has been a lot more in the moment since then. And, she was able to smile big for the camera on Thanksgiving Day!

I'm linking up with Warm Heart Wednesday, a joyful meme hosted by the lovely Jenny Matlock. Yes, yes, I know it's past Wednesday. That's the cool thing about the meme. You have several days after Wednesday to hook up.  If you'd like to participate and/or read other warm-hearted posts, please click here.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Day 80 with Tilda-Hilda

Brrrr.  The frost was heavy on the roof tops and fields this morning. Maybe if I hadn't eaten that second helping yesterday, I wouldn't have insisted on going.  Hilda-Tilda and I pedaled 6.5 miles in 42 minutes.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Day 79 with Tilda-Hilda

Tilda-Hilda and I pedaled nearly six miles in 41 minutes this morning. We managed to get up a couple of hills that we hadn't done in a few months. I am very thankful that we still have the power.

To break up the difficulty of the first hill, we popped by to say hello to the Daddy. Tilda-Hilda requested a photo with him. I think the Daddy would've been happily surprised that Tilda-Hilda is bright pink.

Best wishes and Happy Giving of Thanks Day to you all, Dear Readers!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Jane Austen -- Train Conductor

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

"It's a beautiful day for a train ride," said Jane Austen, Action Doll, to the handsome long-haired passenger.

"Do you enjoy being a train conductor?" he asked.

"Verily," she said. "I'm a substitute, working on weekends when the regular conductor is ill or needs to be absent."

"Would you like to do it permanently?"

"Perhaps, one day. I have other jobs," Jane said, with a twinkle in her eye.

It's the letter T on ABC Wednesday, a fun weekly meme started by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and today administered by Roger Green and His ABCW team. To join in and/or to read other T posts, please click here.

Day 78 with Tilda-Hilda

Tilda-Hilda and I went out for an early ride this morning, just over four miles. We went downtown so I could take photos for my other blog, Take 25 to Hollister. We did a lot of stopping, so I figure I got a bit more exercise in from getting on and off Tilda-Hilda and walking her along the sidewalk.

It was a nice brisk morning to be out there. We even got to ride through a few rain puddles. Yay!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

When I Was Very Young

I pulled out the high school yearbook of my senior year the other evening and came across this note I wrote to myself in the book.  I must've written it days or weeks after I graduated. Warning: The grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation  may make you cringe.
I'll just have to write small, for the last two hours I've gone through 4 years of yearbooks and from what I've wrote in the 1st year I am still with the same problems namely weight, vocation, myself, and etc. but I think I have changed. In fact I know I have. Especially in my grades. I resolve 'TO" keep a "B" average at least next year." Right! I resolve "To MEET the hero so I can either be disappointed or happily insane." I resolve "to shock people next year." Yearbooks are wonderful. Together you have pictures of the people you like and dislike. Ah, may life go on and good luck till you die. . . .
I signed it simply "I". 

Let's see. I accomplished my academic goal. (My GPA that last semester of high school had fallen below 2.0. Fortunately, I'd already had the credits to graduate). I finally met the hero several years ago. (It's just as well I did not meet him back then.)  I think I did shock some people as I lost 25 pounds that summer. 

I still think yearbooks are wonderful. More so because I show pictures or myself or read things I've written or others have written to me to the Husband and he laughs along with me.  

That photo above shows me in my daily cool-weather get-up: white blouse, jeans, saddle shoes, and the Older Brother's green wool coat with horn buttons.  My wire-rim glasses were new. Gosh, how I loved them. When I got them, I felt so "free" and that anything was possible. If they had only arrived before I took my senior class photo.  So thuggish.


Monday, November 23, 2015

Watching TV with the Daddy

Yesterday, Georgy, of Jubilee Street and Remember Freedom, wrote a post on her former blog that sparked a memory bubble. (Thanks, Georgy.) That's watching "Bonanza" with the Daddy on Sunday evenings. It came on after "The Wonderful World of Disney." I can't recall if the Daddy watched that with me. If he did, that was nice of him to let me watch it.

We watched TV nearly every evening together in our favorite spots. The Daddy sat on his recliner while I laid on the floor with my legs on the couch.  I had a good excuse for being near the TV. I was the Daddy's channel changer and fixer of the horizontal line on the TV screen.

P.S. I'm linking up with Art Every Day Month Day at Creative Every Day.

P.P.S. Monica, hostess of the NatureFootstep Digital Art Meme, invited me to link up. So, I shall.  Thanks, Monica.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Rooty Toot Toot

A warning for delicate ears: Bodily toots are being mentioned on today's post. (giggle)

Yesterday, I wrote  how I forgot the topic about which I wanted to write. Well, it came to mind last night when I saw a cartoon that a friend posted on Facebook. Thanks, Thomas.

So, here's what I couldn't remember yesterday. (giggle)

I'm one of those people whose body systems get all relaxed when she wanders around a bookstore. The moment I enter the door, total zen. Unfortunately for those around me, I'm one of those book browsers who not only gives the occasional loud ah! when she sees an interesting book cover, but also an occasional silent toot, leaving a lingering aroma. I try not to, but, hey better out than in.

Sorry for the TMI, but it's to set you up for this next paragraph. (snort)

The future-Husband and my first adventure included a visit to a used bookstore in his neighborhood. I have no idea if the shop still exists. I hope it's still there. It's a grand store and not solely because the future-Husband brought me there. Way in the back of the store (giggle), I came across a sign pointing to a corner nook. It was the first time I'd ever seen a sign like it in a bookstore (giggle). Or any business, for that matter. I don't recall the precise words (snort). It went something like this—FART HERE

The future-Husband and I were meant to be. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Oh, Well

Just before we turned off the lights last night, the Husband and I were talking about something that reminded of something else that I thought would be fun to write about today. I always like when that happens.

This morning, I woke up thinking about what I wanted to write. But, I couldn't recall. The Husband couldn't remember either.

I figure the thought would pop up by lunchtime. It didn't happen. Nor, did the thought reveal itself after lunch.

Still, I wrote about something. Ha!

See you tomorrow.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Going Out Tonight

This evening I will step out of my comfort zone when the Husband and I pull up to the local country club for dinner. I would think that by now I wouldn't be silly about such things. After all, we've been there for breakfast, a drink at the bar, and a special event. But, dinner. This will be a first.

I definitely want to go to dinner, as it's the club's prime rib buffet with several yummy choices of dessert. I've been craving prime rib for a long time. Plus, one of our favorite bands will be playing. I'm interested to hear what they'll play for dinner music. Some Frank Sinatra? Lawrence Welk?

The Husband said go look at the band's website for a sample of songs they might play. Wowza! How am I going to eat my dinner if I'm bopping in my seat along to "Mack the Knife," "Girl from Ipanema," or "Lonely Bull." There, I feel a little bit better.  I think I'll wear my yellow or sparkly purple Converse shoes in case the Husband and I decide to dance.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Warm Hearted Wednesday

Warm Hearted Wednesday is a weekly meme that reminds us to think of the joys that happen in our lives, which range from buying a new colored pencil (yes!) to celebrating an anniversary (whooo-hooo!). The meme is hosted by the delightful Jenny Matlock who started it this week. Want to join in or learn more? Please click here.

My positive thing this past week is our lawn. I live in California. For those who don't know, we're in our fourth year of a severe drought. This year, we really let the lawn go. Now and then the Husband hand watered it for about 10 minutes to appease the Mama, who loves her green lawn. But, she had to choose this year:  Either water the lawn or water her flower and vegetable gardens.

For the past three or four weeks, we've had one day of steady rain each week. Hurrah! There was enough rain to bring much of the lawn back on its own.  It's nice to see the lawn happy again, for awhile.

To read more Warm Hearted Wednesday posts, click here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Jane Austen -- Smokejumper

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

"Helping fight wildfires is part of my duties as a park ranger," said Jane Austen, Action Doll. "Being trained as an aerobatic pilot, I thought I'd be able to handle being a smoke jumper. Hence, when an opportunity became available, I signed up."

"Fighting fires in the remote areas is very frightening. That's a good thing, I believe. At least for myself. It keeps me from doing disingenuous bravado things that could lead to injury or death of my teammates or myself."

The photo (sans smokejumper Jane Austen, Action Doll) is in public domain.
The photographer is Karen Murphy of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
The photo was downloaded from Public Domain Images

Today is the letter S at ABC Wednesday, a fun weekly meme started by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and now administered by Roger Green and his delightful ABCW team.  Want to participate or read other posts? Then click here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Patiently Waiting

Our original avocado tree has about 30 fruits. The Mama and I counted them a few weeks ago.

I learned that avocados start to ripen once they're picked, and the best place to store avocados are on their trees. Up until a point. And, that's when they look like they're about to shrivel, which means they'll soon fall. Those we won't want to eat. I'm sure the Mama would still say, "Nothing wrong with them." Anyway, I don't want the avocados to get to that point.

Maybe after Thanksgiving, we can pick an avocado and see if it'll ripen in two weeks. Yummmm. Knock on wood.

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Mama's Happy

Today is a sunny day, but quite chilly because of the wind factor. According to the thermometer, it's about 52 degrees in the sun.

Molly the Cat came inside about 20 minutes ago. How about the Mama?

The Mama says it's colder inside, even with the heater on.

She'd come in if the garden happened to be inside.  Maybe.

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Is it coincidence that there are dates in both the Husband's and my family that are common? Or, is it synchronicity? I prefer thinking it's the latter. I also prefer not figuring out how it's so.

That said, November 15, for example,  is special for both the Husband and me.

November 15 is the Husband's Dad's birthday. Jim would've been 97 years old today. Happy Birthday, Jim!

November 15 is the Mama's and the Daddy's wedding anniversary. They would've celebrated 68 years together. Happy Anniversary to the Mama and the Daddy!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Friday, November 13, 2015

Changes Made by Ms. Molly by Golly

See Molly the Cat. See her sleep. She sleeps on what once was the Mama's favorite chair to sit when she read the newspaper or her novels and biographies. The once-upon-a-time favorite chair of the Mama's is now one of Molly's favorite places to nap.

I don't think the Mama cares that Molly has taken over her chair. There's no more daily paper to read. We stopped it because it cost over $80 a month for mostly advertisements and selected pieces of old news. We still get the weekly local paper, which the Mama reads on the sofa between watcher her favorite games on television.

Maybe the Mama will reclaim her chair from Molly if she decides to read her books when the weather gets too cold and wet to go outside. We shall see. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

My Happy Zone

Today ends the round of Alphabe Thursday hosted by the wonderful Mrs. Jenny Matlock. It's also the final round of the meme.  Jenny has decided to retire it due to her health, which I hope the doctors can resolve very soon. Thank you, Jenny, for being you.

My theme this round has been the Places I've Been. Hence, for the letter Z, I give you some of the places that almost always put me in my Happy Zone.

In the Water

~ Photo taken by the Husband.

In Hawaii

~ Photo taken by the Husband.

In the Mama's Garden

At a Library (or Bookstore)

Wherever the Husband and I Dance

~ Photo taken by Lisa Q.

Any Where Tilda-Hilda and I Ride

Around the House with Molly the Cat

Any Place with the Mama

And, Most of All, Everywhere with the Husband

~Photo taken by a friendly woman amused at our antics.

 There you go, my letter Z for Alphabe Thursday. To join in or to read other Z posts, click here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Jane Austen -- Park Ranger

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

"I am truly in my element," exclaimed Jane Austen, Action Doll.  "Being a park ranger is definitely my favorite job thus far."

Jane threw her arms up in the air. "Delightful!"

'Tis the letter R at this week's ABC Wednesday, hosted by the wonderful ABCW team lead by Roger Green. The meme was begun several years ago by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt. If you'd like to participate or to read more R posts, please click here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Cool Stuff!

It's not my birthday.

It feels like it though.  

Today, the Husband and I drove over to Freedom to buy food for Molly the Cat. Our task was done quicker than we estimated, so we headed down the road to Watsonville to visit the art store and bookshop before lunch.

I'd only planned to buy a couple of new colored pencils at Wild Rose's Artists' Supplies and Custom Framing, but you know how it goes. I checked out the shop's art paper. Marbled paper. Oooooh. Wavy, corrugated paper. Gotta have that. Small rectangle-shaped suede paper. 25 cents, sold! My plan is to make masks. Yup.

At Crossroads Books, I bought a mystery called Shaking in Her Flip-Flops. Can't go wrong with a title like that.  Another neat thing about the book is that it's written by Joyce Oroz, an author who lives in nearby Aromas. The Husband and I also decided to purchase a copy of The 2016 Farmer's Almanac. That's always fun reading.

To top off getting all this cool stuff, we found a new yummy place for lunch—Imura Japanese Restaurant. Not only does it serve delightful sushi but awesomilicious Korean dishes. I've been missing Korean food.

So, you see, buying cool stuff and eating Korean food have me feeling like it's my birthday. Happy smiles all around.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Monday Morning with Molly the Cat

"You want to go outside?"

Molly the Cat was sniffing at the front door, as I came down the stairs.

I opened the door and out she tumbled into the morning. The ground was wet from yesterday's rain, but she managed to find her way through the maze of flowers to the sidewalk and her favorite patch of grass.

The lawn, by the way, is starting to look like a lawn again. Thank you, rain!

Molly had no interest in walking beyond the flowers. She would've seen the rainbow, if she had.

"Stop with the camera," said Molly, turning back to the house. "It's time for food."

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Day 77 with Tilda-Hilda

This morning I took Tilda-Hilda out on a spin because I wanted to get some early morning photos that I might use for my other blog, Take 25 to Hollister. I caught a scene that I liked, which is here.

Tilda-Hilda and I pedaled through some of Hollister's original residential neighborhood and then out towards new development. All in all, we traveled about five miles.  It felt wonderful being out in the crispy Autumn morning.

By the way, Tilda-Hilda is posing in front of the high school where I went. San Benito High School. Haybalers, aka Balers, are us!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Eau de Fried Steak

Lately, I've been using a facial cream made up of tallow from grass-fed cows and organic extra-virgin olive oil. Every time I rub the stuff into my face, I think of fried steak. Yummmm. That's the smell of the cream. And, that's what my face smells like.

The Husband has no sense of smell. Poor guy. He doesn't get to smell how deliciously like fried steak I am.

Why am I using this yummy eau de fried steak? I have a horrible case of facial eczema and experts say that tallow fat mimics human skin, has minerals that help heal and protect the skin, and has natural cleansing and anti-inflammatory properties. It's too early to say if eau de fried steak is working.

No. I haven't been eating a lot of fried steak lately. But, I do think about it each time I apply eau de fried steak on my face.

P.S. Tilda-Hilda and I did a quick pedal around the neighborhood this morning. I totally got myself out of breath. Maybe, I'll talk myself—and the Husband—into pedaling to an estate sale that's going on downtown.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs

My Alphabe Thursday theme: Places I've Been

For many years, I've wanted to visit the Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs, a once-upon-a-time very popular resort in the foothills of the southern end of the Diablo Range. Now part of the Henry Coe State Park, this historic landmark is about 10 miles northeast of Gilroy, California, which is nearby my town of Hollister. Unless there are special events or planned guided tours by the all-volunteer, nonprofit group Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs (GYHS), the place is not open to the public.

Two weeks ago, GYHS held a special event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the hot springs being made a historic landmark. (It's listed on the National Register of Historic Places and also designated as a California Historical Landmark.) Yup, the Husband and I attended the event.

The grand hotel, club house, swimming pool,  soaking pools, and other magnificent structures of long ago no longer exist. Many of the guest cottages still stand. The GYHS has renovated several of the cottages already. One of the volunteers told us that because they are historic structures, they must be rebuilt in the same manner. That  means if something was built incorrectly, it can't be fixed, but built incorrectly again. The buildings were constructed between 1870s and 1920s, which, if you think of it,  incorrect construction isn't always all that bad.

The ladies' bathhouse

The Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs is a beautiful, peaceful place. I can see why people of long ago were willing to travel for hours on dusty trails to get there. San Franciscans, for example, traveled three hours by train to Gilroy, then another three hours in a horse and buggy after a night's stay in town. Staying a week or two in a luxurious resort in the wilderness had to be a lovely respite from the city.

The 24 cottages were named after the states.

The history of Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs goes back to 1855 when a shepherd stumbled upon it as he was looking for his sheep. Twenty years later, the hot springs became a big-time, fancy resort that attracted people from near and far, including the rich and famous, such as Mayor James Phelan of San Francisco and hot-shot industrialist Claus Spreckels.  

Prior to 1938, the place was known as the Gilroy Hot Springs and it was considered the best mineral springs in California. The springs are still there, but, they cannot be used. During our guided tour, we saw a small stream and hole. If I recall correctly, the water was about 110 degrees.  Interestingly, we learned that mineral springs are usually found near mercury deposits.

Watsonville lettuce grower Harry K. Sakata purchased the property in 1938, making it the only mineral spring resort in California owned by a Japanese American. This was a very big thing back then when Japanese were among the various minority groups being discriminated, whether they were immigrants or born in the United States. Under his ownership, Sakata added Yamato, which means Japanese, to the property's title.

This Shinto Shrine was originally part of the 1939 World's Fair Japanese Pavilion.

When the U.S. entered World War II, nearly all of the Japanese Americans, including Sakata, were placed in internment camps in remote areas of the United States. After the war, Sakata regained ownership of the hot springs and allowed interned Japanese Americans to reside there until they found places to live.

Laura Dominguez-Yon, one of the founding members of the GYHS, was born at the hot springs and lived there for several years with her family. She is an encyclopedia of information about the landmark. So, consider yourself fortunate if she is your tour guide or gives a presentation about the Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs.

Laura (far left) told us many stories about the hot springs. Up on the
hillside is one of the old-time cottages being renovated.

Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs is near the Hunting Hollow entrance to Henry Coe State Park, so you can take a longer hike before or after your visit. The hot springs is only accessible by GYHS guided tours, which are usually available on the 2nd Saturday and 4th Sunday of the month. Visit the GYHS website for more information.

Climbing to the mountain peak was a popular challenge of old-time resort visitors.

Another late day for me to take part in Alphabe Thursday, hosted by the lovely Jenny Matlock. It's the letter Y.  To read other posts or to participate, please click here.