Sunday, May 31, 2015

Last Day in May Ramble

Today was watering-the-flowers morning, so Tilda-Hilda and I didn't go out for a ride. Maybe later if I can fix the twist in her tire, which makes her go bump, bump, bump. I didn't think much of it until I looked it up online. Experts say it's not a good idea to ride with a warped tire. The descriptions about what may cause a twisted tire reminds me of panties riding up. Poor Tilda-Hilda! If I can't fix her tire, then she's going to the bike shop tomorrow.

Watering the Plants

Our county finally imposed restrictions on water use for landscaping during the drought. I think it ought to stay in place even after the drought is over. But, that rant is for another post. Currently, everyone is allowed two days a week to water landscaping, which for us is Wednesday and Sunday. We water everything by hand. It takes longer, but it's more efficient and saves on water. So we think.

Because the Mama has a tough time of managing the hose, without spilling water all over the sidewalk, I water the flowers in both the front and back yards.  I leave watering the vegetables to her, which she can do any day of the week. The Mama has been kinda good about leaving the flowers to me. Still, she can't help watering any flowers next to the vegetables, if she thinks they can't wait another day. I don't make a big deal about it, like I would've have last year.  (I'm maturing.)  I just skip the flowers she has watered.

As for the lawn, I don't water it. Neither does the Husband, which is usually his task to do. He might later in the summer if the Mama starts watering it when we're not around. She likes her lawn. I don't blame her. We tell her she has to choose. Vegetables or the lawn? Interestingly, the two times that the Mama watered the lawn, it rained the next day.

Tiny Avocados

The other evening I was curious about whether the avocado tree had any fruit. It had a lot of flowers a couple months of ago. So, while Molly the Cat was eating her dinner alfresco on the patio (a story for another day), I checked out the avocado tree. Ooh la la! If all goes well, we're going to have a big crop this year. Right now, the fruits are the length of a fingernail, more or less. Here's how one branch of baby avocados looked this morning.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Day 5 with Tilda-Hilda

Tilda-Hilda and I wandered on back roads today. Doesn't that look like a chicken or a bunny up ahead of us? I think it's a chicken, because I was listening to the cluck of chickens around us.

We also came across an orchard nymph. I was thirsty and rolled to a stop beneath some shade. As I sipped water, I turned to look at the orchard. Voila. There she was. Be sure to look up the tree to see the nymph's face.

Friday, May 29, 2015

A Slight Shaft of Light

I'm linking up with the Weekend in Black and White. Come along with me to check out B&W photos by participants from around the world.

Day 4 with Tilda-Hilda

Tilda-Hilda met Wally Whale, Junior on this morning's ride. I don't know what the name is of the little fellow behind Wally, Junior. How about Inka Dinka Doo?

Speaking of which, I could go for some Jimmy Durante right now. How about you?

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Baker, California

My Alphabe Thursday theme—Places I've Been
The Husband and I stopped in Baker, California fifteen years ago around this time of the year. Baker is a small town located at the point where Interstate 15 and California State Route 127 meet. Highway 127 takes you to Death Valley National Park, while Interstate 15 heads to Las Vegas. Each place extreme in its own way.

We were heading back home from Las Vegas, which was our first visit there together. Talk about surrealism. Las Vegas, that is. But, that's for another day.

Baker is in the Mojave Desert. It's known for having the tallest thermometer in the world—134 feet high.  The electric sign was built in the early 1990s to memorialize when Death Valley recorded 134 degrees Fahrenheit on July 10, 1913.

You've heard the saying, "It's so hot you could fry an egg on a sidewalk." Standing next to the thermometer is a sculpture of a pan of fried eggs. How appropriate.

Alphabe Thursday is hosted by the delightful and thoughtful Jenny Matlock. This week is the letter B. Click here to check out what other participants are writing about.

Day 3 with Tilda-Hilda

Tilda-Hilda and I didn't go out yesterday. Too much to do. By mid-afternoon, I stopped stressing myself about not going out for a ride. I was moving around a lot, which I told myself was what counted.

This morning, Tilda-Hilda and I pedaled up and down the hills for 34 minutes. Pretty good for us. See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Tomato Plants

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

Today, I'm showing you photos of the Mama's tomato plants.  She has one huge tomato plant growing in her squash patch. That's it in the above photo. She says the plant has two tiny fruits.

The Mama has four tomato patches in various parts of the yard. The tomatoes all started as seedlings in this box. In other words, these are the plants that did not get transplanted else where.

All the patches of transplants are quite healthy. Here's one of the patches.

Then, there's my tomato plant. This was supposed to be a pot of milkweed for the monarchs. Ha! A week ago, the wind blew the tomato plant's container on its side breaking off the branch. The Mama, fortunately, came along and stuck the branch back into the pot. The tomato plant just might make it.

It's ABC Wednesday. That's where I'm linking up today. Click here to check out other participants with me.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Here We Go Again

This morning, I put on my orange tee-shirt, grey yoga pants, mismatched socks, orange Converse shoes, and red fingerless gloves, which I topped with my old don't-mess-with-me (in my mind) orange jacket. Tilda-Hilda was happy to see me again.

Today made two days in a row for Tilda-Hilda and me. Twenty-minute rides, more or less. I puffed and gasped as I went up slopes and whoo-hoo'd with glee as I coasted down them. My knee twinged a couple of times, but not enough for me to turn back home. And, when I pedaled across an open field, I recalled again what I like about riding bicycles and was ready to take on another hill.

I haven't pedaled Tidla-Hilda since the beginning of the year. A friend asked me why not? Simple. I got lazy, which meant I lost all my muscle tone and gained back nearly all the weight I lost. Five months of laziness is enough. Tomorrow morning Tilda-Hilda and I will go out for a bit longer of a ride. Slowly and surely, we'll get back to taking those long rides on the back roads again.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

Memorial Day
by Helen Leah Reed

        No warrior he, a village lad,
                needing nor words nor other prod
        To point his duty; he was glad
                to tread the path his fathers trod.
        Week days he worked in wood and field;
                with homely joys he decked his life;
        The sword of hate he would not wield,
                nor take a part in cankering strife.
        On Sunday in the little choir
                he sang of Peace and brotherly love,
        And as his thoughts soared higher and higher,
                they reached unmeasured heights above.

        A cry for Freedom rent the Land -
                "Our Country calls, come, come, 'tis War;
        Together let us firmly stand;"
                he answered, though his heart beat sore
        At leaving home, and kin, and one
                in whose fond eyes too late he read
        That life for her had but begun
                with the farewells he sadly said.

        A half a century has passed -
                and more - since all those myriads fell;
        For he was one of those who cast
                sweet life into a Battle's hell.
        The village has become a town,
                brick buildings the old graveyard gird;
        Of him who fought not for renown,
                no one now hears a spoken word,
        But on the Monument his name
                in gold is lettered with the rest.
        Without a sordid thought of fame
                he to his Country gave his best.

        Strew flowers, then, Memorial Day
                for him, for all who for us fought.
        With speech and music honors pay;
                teach what our brave defenders taught.
        And now our sons are setting out;
                the call for Right rings to the sky,
        "Our Country! Freedom!" hear them shout,
                re-echoing their Grandsires' cry.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Bean-Leaf Chomper

"Someone ate all the bean sprouts," the Mama said in April.

"The birds ate them," I suggested. The Mama looked at me like "Yeah, right."

The other day I was in the garden with Molly the Cat. I learned something new about Molly. She likes the taste of bean leaves. Purrrrrrrrr.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Random Scenes: Don't Slam the Door!

Don't Slam the Door!
by Su-sieee! Mac
S-L-A-M !!


“I’m sorry, Ma,” said the tiny young girl. “I forgot.”

“One of these days, Alessa, something terribly awful will happen when you slam that door,” said her mom.

“Yes, Mom,” Alessa said, thinking that was just too silly of an idea. Still, it did frighten Alessa a little and she stopped slamming the door. 

Then, one day she forgot.

S-L-A-M !!

The building shook.

Things tumbled off the shelves and walls.

The trees and the houses rocked and rolled.

The bridges collapsed.

The roads crumbled.

The cities fell apart.

The water in the bay shook. 

The mountain tops blew off.

All over the world, the crusts moved and shook and sunk and rose.

The earth spun off its wobble.

It bumped into the moon, next into Mars, and then into Jupiter.

Earth bounced back towards the sun, sucking up all the other planets of the solar system.

The sun and all the planets exploded and swirled into a swirl, swirling, swirling, swirling and collapsing into a black hole.

Everything was pitch black. Silent.

Please, please, please.

Don’t slam the door.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Blenheim Apricots

Hopefully, in a few weeks we'll be eating these Blenheim apricots from the backyard.

It being Friday, I'm participating in The Weekend in Black and White, which is hosted by Dragonstar. To see other participants, please click here.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Aromas, California

Today starts another round of the alphabet at Alphabe Thursday, hosted by the delightful Jenny Matlock. My theme this time round is places that I've visited far and near. So, the first place is Aromas, California, which has the distinction of being within two counties—San Benito and Monterey counties—as well as being within a few miles of the borders of Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties.

With a population of about 2,700, this incorporated town is about 18 miles west from Hollister where I live (hence the signature). But, it was only last year that I first visited Aromas when Friend Jenn and I checked out several artists who were taking part in the annual open art studio tour of San Benito county. These photos were taken then.

Five things I like about Aromas.
  • Aromas stays green longer than Hollister. I suppose it's because Aromas is nearer to the coast and gets refreshed by the ocean fog that rolls in. 
  • Aromas is a small town full of friendly people. The center of the community is the Aromas Grange.
  • A thriving supportive artist community lives there. 
  • One of the businesses has a huge chicken statue gracing its entry way.
  • Aromas seems to be in the middle of no where, but it is within 10 minutes or so from the 101 highway.

To check out other Alphabe Thursday participants, please click here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Sparkly Dancing in the Shed

My ABC Wednesday theme: The Mama and Her Authentic
Green Thumbs. . .and Fingers
It may not look like the Mama is smiling, but she is. She's happy as a lark in the photo. Pourquoi?

One reason is that at the time I snapped the camera, it was raining cats and dogs. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I was indeed standing in the rain and grinning ear to ear. Rain, as I've said over and over, is scarce in our part of the world.

Prepping camote (yam) stems for her vegetable garden was another reason the Mama was gleeful. The previous day, the Husband and I bought her four bunches of camote leaves at the farmers' market.  She had been snipping away for about half an hour before the first raindrops plopped on her colorful clothes.

While I was dancing in the rain, the Mama was dancing inside the shed. Not physically doing the cha cha, but mentally. Just look at the sparkle in her eyes and the smile on her lips. Instead of cooped up in the house, the Mama was sitting snug and dry in the shed, stripping off camote leaves from their stems, while the rain drummed a cool beat on the metal shed.

That was last Thursday. Yesterday (Tuesday), the Mama had another happy day when she planted the camote stems into the ground.

Today is the letter S at ABC Wednesday, a meme began by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and now managed by a team of wonderful folks led by Roger Green. Click here to read posts by other participants.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Joyful Rainfall

It's more photos of last Thursday's rainy day and night. Actually, it's a photo of the Mama's vegetable garden and two segments of that photo which I "painted" in Photoshop. 

This is the growing puddle next to the sidewalk.

Today I'm linking up with Creative Every Day. To visit other participants, please click here.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Random Scenes: A Surprise Visit

Ago  (Ah-go) watched the water slowly run towards the end of the bittermelon row. When he was finished watering all the rows, maybe he would drive to the Senior Center for lunch. The food was okay. The best part was talking with his friends.

Someone was bound to ask him about Song. "Have you heard from her?" "Where is she now?" Although it has been weeks since she left,  a few of his compadres still shook their heads in disbelief that his single daughter was criss-crossing the United States in her small yellow car. Young, unmarried women don't do that, according to them. Not  in the Philippines. Not even in the United States. "Times are different," one friend, usually Danny or Pablo, said. "Song is tough and level-headed. She can handle trouble."

Level-headed, yes, thought Ago, pulling up a weed between the vegetable rows. Tough? Her mother, the Old Lady, thought Song was tough because she talked back. He didn't see it that way. Song defended her actions. Maybe that was a sign of toughness. He preferred to not think any harm would come to his daughter on her trip. Ago moved the water hose to the last row.

At the beginning of May, Song came home for a visit from college. "I'm going to drive across the country with a girlfriend when school is over," she announced. "We're going to New York where her family lives. Be back sometime in July."

Ago and the Old Lady did not want her to go, but they had no say about it. Song was 20 years old. Her life was already hers. She was living on her own in San Francisco, working while going to school. She had shown herself capable of taking long drives by herself to see her friends in Southern California. And, last year, he saw for himself how she took care of things when the two of them traveled to his home town in the Philippines.

Still, Ago worried about his daughter, hoping the best for her every moment. Maybe he would skip the Senior Center today.

"Hello! Hello! Daddy are you out here?"

Ago stood.  Could he believe his eyes? He ran towards the house, calling, "Song, is that you? Are you home now?"
Hello Dear Readers,

I'm trying something new -- drafting very short shorts of fiction, personal memoirs, or a mixture of both. All random stuff until something shows itself, if it does. I'm not sure if it'll be a regular feature. For now, let's just see what happens. 

Have a wonderful day,
Su-sieee! Mac

Sunday, May 17, 2015

First Memory

Going on four-years-old is my estimation of how old I was. I could've even been a year younger because I was lying in bed in the parents' room rather than in the bedroom I shared with Older Brother. I couldn't sleep because my brain was on.  I thought my brain was like a television, except I had no dial to turn it off. So, I thought I could change the channel by imagining a scene at Ninong Pablo's house. Click. My brain was still on.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Another Rambling Saturday

The greatest thing that happened this past week was Rainy Thursday. It rained throughout the day and night. And, at one point, it came down in buckets. Of course, I had to go outside and take photos. I got totally drenched, and loved every huge raindrop that my tee-shirt absorbed.

The Mama loved the rain, too. She was outside when the rain started, and decided to go hang out in the shed as the sky kept crying. On this coming Wednesday's post, I'll share what she did during the rain.

Writing Travel Bits
Lately, I've been writing descriptions about local places for Mapquest. Once upon a time, I thought I wanted to be a travel writer, but other things came along to drop that thought in the wish bucket. Writing these occasional short pieces is fulfilling that dream. Here are a few of the places I've written about so far: Pinnacles National Park, National Steinbeck Center, San Benito County Historical Park, and the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph.

A rock climber at the Pinnacles National Park

Vanna White
On most week nights, we watch The Wheel of Fortune with the Mama. Every time Vanna White walks to the puzzle board, I wonder the same thing. How much does Vanna White make? After years of asking that question, I finally remembered last night and did a Google search. I now wish I had not. It truly is better to be ignorant about some things.

How much do you think she earns touching the lit-up squares so that the letters appear?

Eight million dollars a year! So says Celebrity Net

Yeah, I know. I'm going to cheer myself right now by baking lemon zucchini bread, with poppy seeds, if I can find them.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Sweet Bird

Today, I'm participating in The Weekend in Black and White, hosted by the delightful Dragonstar. To see B&W works by other participants, please click here.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Dude, The Husband -- and His Zzsuzzsie!

My Alphabe Thursday theme -- The Dude, The Husband

This month marks 20 years of the Husband and I knowing each other. Was it true love at first sight? I don't know. I definitely felt an electrical current running between us, and it was a cool, overcast morning in San Francisco when we met.

Our first play outing was a week later. We hiked up Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County. Hmmm, I think I mentioned this before. It sounds familiar. So, I'll just say this: We talked nonstop all the way up to the top and back down. And, we've been together ever since that day.

A Few of the Things We Had in Common When We Met
• We were widowers.
• Our first spouse was older than us.
• We each drove an old Volvo.
• We spent time in Santa Cruz during the summer when we were kids.
• We liked puns. (We still do.)

Today is the letter Z at Alphabe Thursday, which is hosted by the lovely Jenny Matlock. Please click here to check out other participants of this weekly ABC meme.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Mama's Roses

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

The Mama loves her roses. They're all over the back yard.  In odd places, such as the middle of her banana grove.

Some of the roses started as branches that she pruned from the roses in her front yard. Others are branches that she pruned from those branches that she pruned from the roses in her front yard.

I'm sure, there are third and fourth and fifth and so on and so forth generations from either the roses in the front or the back yards. Did I confuse you? Let me just say that it's been years since the Mama has planted a new rose bush.

She prunes a branch off one of her rose bushes and sticks it in the ground where ever she pleases. She waters it and that's it. No special food or fertilizer.

The Mama's philosophy: A branch takes and roses bloom, or it does not. But, she always hopes it will. From what I've seen, since I often water the flowers now, her transplants bloom 90 percent of the time.

Today is the letter at ABC Wednesday, a meme began by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and now managed by a team of wonderful folks led by Roger Green. Click here to read posts by other participants.