Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

2016 is hours away 
(on our side of the world).
Let's greet the New Year
with wonder and cheer!

Love ya all,
Su-sieee! Mac
The Husband
The Mama
Molly the Cat 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Jane Austen -- Yardmaster

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

Jane Austen, Action Doll, sighed.

"That Lydia," Jane mumbled. "She never puts the ladder away.  If only I could fire her and Wickham. They are horrible workers."

"Perhaps I could get myself transferred from this rail yard," Jane thought. "Hmmm, I wonder. . . ."

Today is the letter Y at ABC Wednesday, the weekly alphabetical meme started by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and administered today by Roger and his ABCW team.  To check out the other participants, as well as to join in, click here.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Low Tide in Monterey

To celebrate the last Tuesday of the year, I'm hooking up with Our World Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Lady Fi, Gattina, Sylvia, Arija, Sandy, and Jennifer. To check out other participants, as well as to join in, click here.

Monday, December 28, 2015


I was going to say that the Husband and I met a Mr. Squirrel at the beach this afternoon. But, he could've been a Ms. Squirrel. I wonder if there's a way to tell the gender of a squirrel. Who knows how many female squirrels I may have offended in the past.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

T'was Nearly a Full Moon

I took this photo of a nearly full moon on Christmas Eve, then cropped and added art filters in Photoshop. 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Warm Hearts

“Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”
~Anonymous, Greek proverb

I read that Greek proverb this morning on Facebook. It reminded me of the Daddy when he planted peach, pear, apple, persimmon, cherry and fig saplings around the backyard of his and Mama's house. "These trees are for the grandchildren," he said. I recall thinking how lucky those kids would be to climb the trees. The Mama moved before the Only and Older Brothers' kids were old enough to try them out. I like to think that other kids did.

The proverb also had me thinking of the Mama and her wonder of planting the apricot and avocado seeds from the fruit that we've harvested from her trees. This year two of the second generation apricot trees bore fruit. I have no doubt that all the other apricot and avocado trees will do the same one day. It'll be one crazy fruit forest out in the backyard when the trees grow up.

I love that my parents are among the people in the world who have the heart and vision to plant trees for the future. I shall continue on the tradition.

Heart Warm Wednesday
is a new weekly meme hosted by the kind-hearted Jenny Matlock. Click here to read posts by other participants. There's still time to link up, it you'd like.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Jade Plants and a Rose

I didn't notice the good-luck jade plants growing next to the Mama's red rose bush by the patio until I started playing with this photo in Photoshop. Now, why did I think the jade plant in the front yard is the only one sporting white flowers? Silly me.

The red rose was what caught my eye the other morning when Molly the Cat and I went out to stalk a squirrel we saw tiptoeing along the fence. A bird distracted Molly from the squirrel. Not good hunters are we. Which is just as well. After all, what would we do with the squirrel had we caught it.  Fortunate squirrel.

From the Husband, the Mama, Molly the Cat, and Me, Su-sieee! Mac:   
Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Day 84 with Tilda-Hilda

I would be remiss if I did not mention that the Husband and his Sun Flame and Tilda-Hilda and I took a short ride this morning. We rode about four miles to and from the library. It was a pleasant ride and I borrowed another book in the Mary Russell-Sherlock Holmes suspense series by Laurie R. King. One of these days I'll write about the books I've read. I'll tell you this much: The series is set in the 1920s and Mary Russell is Mrs. Sherlock Holmes, who is 35+ years younger.

Off I go now to bake persimmon breads and cookies.

Jane Austen -- Xmas Santa

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

"One of the great advantages of living in your modern world is being able to play St. Nicholas," said Jane Austen, Action Doll. "It was truly a delight to be around the children. So much joy and wonder."

"I hope I can do this again next year. Ho, Ho, Ho!"

Jane and I are linking up with ABC Wednesday, a weekly meme started by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and administered today by Roger Green and the ABCW team.  Today is the letter X. To visit the other participants, please click here.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Beyond what we can see is the universe. Who else got goosebumps?

See you tomorrow with Jane Austen, Action Doll.

Monday, December 21, 2015


The Mama's persimmon tree gave us an abundant crop this year. We're sharing the fruit on the top branches with the birds and squirrels. I told them to leave the lower branches for us. So far, so good.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Wearing Raindrops

It's been raining this weekend and the weather forecasters say it may rain everyday but Wednesday and Friday. I like that.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

A Good-Luck Jade Plant

The Mama's jade plant by the front door is in full bloom right now. It surprises me. I didn't think it would bloom in chilly weather. The Mama says that the jade plant is good luck and that a blooming jade planet is even luckier. I like that.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Tools for Fun

 Gosh, it's been one busy week. I apologize to the blog hops and memes that I hooked up with this week. I'm very late about visiting other bloggers, as well as responding here on The View from the Top of the Ladder. That's my plan tomorrow. 

Among the things the Husband and I did today was a stop at the art supplies store so I could spend my birthday money. I purchased a lot of cool stuff for the Husband and me to have fun with—suede boards, colored pencils, colored pens, drawing pad, Mod Podge, fabric glue, air-dry clay, and oven-bake clay.  Whooo-hooo! It's great being 62-years-old.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Another Jabberwocky Down!

"Oh, frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"

We slewed a Jabberwocky, my friends. We did!  Hooray, Hooray!

We being the Mama, the Husband, and me.

Today's Jabberwocky being the Mama's annual Christmas shopping trip to J.C. Penny's.

Once upon a time, the Mama walked back and forth across the mall. Today, it's an effort to make it through one department store. We all wondered if she could even make the walk from the sidewalk to the door. She does not believe in canes, walkers, nor wheelchairs.

On wobbly legs, the Mama plodded slowly through the crowded aisles. I was her eyes looking at sizes, prices, and colors. The Husband scouted out the store: What are the other departments on this floor? Where are the cash registers? Where is glassware? Which is closer, the elevator or escalator?

The Mama sat often. On boxes, on shelves, and on chairs. The Husband stood guard and kept her company while I sought items to bring back for her to check from the comfort of her seat.

Yes, indeed. Today was a warm-hearted adventure. The Mama did well. The Husband did well, as did I.  Together, we can handle the jabberwockys.

Today, I'm linking up to Warm Heart Wednesdays, hosted by the wonderful Jenny Matlock. Click here to join in or check out more posts.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Jane Austen -- Window Washer

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

"No. This is is not my new career," said Jane Austen, Action Doll." I am simply filling in for a good friend. She is presently suffering from vertigo, the poor dear."

"When she's feeling much better, I'm sure we'll have a good laugh at her developing vertigo. Madeline truly has no fear of heights." Jane giggled.

A day with Jane Austen can only mean it's ABC Wednesday. Please click here to read W-theme posts by other bloggers. Thank you, ABCW team.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Pete the Cat

I bought this painting for my birthday. Isn't  it darling? It was showcased in the recent children's art exhibition at our local art gallery.  The painting is based on the Pete the Cat books. Guess what books I'll be searching for when I go to the library.

This cute painting was done by a class of transitional kindergarten (TK) students in Sunnyslope School, which is a couple of blocks from our house. That's where I went for fourth and fifth grades over 50 years ago. My gosh!

The note attached to the painting says that the students used their thumbprints to create the flowers that Pete the Cat is enjoying.  So sweet.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Getting Back the Meaning of Christmas

Back in 1990 (or 1991), when I was in my mid-30s, I decided to reclaim Christmas. To celebrate it. To enjoy it. Without commercialism. But, with meaning. With joy. With fun.

For years, until that moment, Christmas was something I went through. Ho, ho, humbug, ho, ho. Not totally. I enjoyed singing Christmas carols and I liked the sparkle-sparkle of the Christmas lights. And, I loved giving presents. So, you see, I wasn't a complete loss into grumpiness or miserableness around Christmas-time. I simply thought the spirit of Christmas was lost beneath all the excessive Buy! Buy! Buy!

I don't recall exactly when the light bulb went over my head, but it did, thank goodness. I didn't have to be depressed about Christmas being commercial. Bingo!

The first thing I did was make a fireplace to hang up Christmas socks and pin Christmas cards around. See the white sock? A yellow pterodactyl sat on top of the  sock. I put the space heater in front of the fireplace, so the First and Late Great Husband and I could imagine it was giving off heat.  Giggle.

I just remembered that we strung lights around our ficus tree. LOL

Birgit of BB Creations wrote that she's hooking up with the Christmas Joy Blog Hop, which ends today. After reading Birgit's cool Christmas memory, I was inspired to join in. To check out other Christmas posts, click here.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Day 83 with Tilda-Hilda: A Birthday Ride

My day 83 ride with Tilda-Hilda was yesterday. It was my birthday ride, from our house to my favorite coffee shop just over 13 miles away. Whoo-hoo!

Starting off!

We've done longer rides, but this is the first time I've ever pedaled Tilda-Hilda to San Juan Bautista, which I've been wanting to do for three years. I was hoping to accomplish my goal this past August, but my knees got all whiny and worrisome. For about four months, we mostly pedaled around our neighborhood and it wasn't until the end of November that I ventured out and about. Although I only worked up to a few miles per trip, I decided last week to simply do this ride on my birthday, if the weather is good (no rain nor thick fog) and my knees are in good order.

Looking back from whence we came: The highway we crossed at the end of the field.

I admit I was a bit scared leading to yesterday, although I have often driven the path I would be taking. I would be crossing a highway, which worried me even though there are traffic lights at the intersection. And, I'd be zig-zagging through San Juan valley, which can sometimes feel like it takes forever to cross by car.

An organic apple orchard

The Husband was worried, too. I heard it in his voice, even though he didn't say anything. I'm glad he didn't. No doubt, he probably had the same "What if's" going through his head. What if I got a flat tire? What if an idiot driver didn't see me? What if there's no reception for the cell phone? What if I hurt myself?. . . .

My last stop: This is where I called the Husband to let him know
I've only a few miles left to go.

Yesterday was beautiful morning for a ride. Bright and sunny. A bit on the chilly side, which I didn't realize until I was drinking my delicious mocha java. My feet were cold for a long while afterwards.

Cattle greeted me, as I passed them by in their fields. Mooo. So, did horses. Neighhhhh. Birds, too. Chirrppp. I did surprise a few birds off their perches along the road. Sorry.  And, drivers waved to me as I pedaled through the valley. Sweet.

Here we are! At Vertigo Coffee. Safe and sound.

It was a great ride and easier than I thought. Tilda-Hilda and I pedaled 13.28 miles in 77 minutes, not including the times we stopped so I could take photos. Pretty good for a new 62-year-old woman.

My birthday mocha java. Yummmm.

And, next time, I'll pedal back home. Maybe.  The Husband drove over to fetch Tilda-Hilda and me. Isn't he a very nice guy?

Going home.

Update: Blogger Petra-Pippa Koenig of Germany kindly invited me to join her linky party that she hosts on her blog, What Happened in Your Surrounding or Your Mind This Week? (That's an English translation.) Click here to check out the participants. Thanks, Pippa!

If I remember, I shall also link up with Warm Heart Wednesday, hosted by Jenny Matlock. Until then.


Saturday, December 12, 2015

A Rose for Me

I'm writing this yesterday. Not caring about proper grammar. Because today is my birthday. Giggle. 

This old lady is a young 6-2. Ha!

If the weather and my body cooperated,  and I didn't chicken out, Tilda-Hilda and I have begun my new adventure around the sun by pedaling our way over to San Juan Bautista for breakfast. The Husband shall have driven over and met us there. And, together we shall have figured how to tie Tilda-Hilda into the trunk for our trip back home. Knock on wood.

Until later, dear friends.

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Reflection in the Cement Pond

After a rain, a temporary shallow puddle develops on our patio. I like to call it our cement pond. The cool thing about this cement pond is the reflection I can see in it.  That's what I saw this morning.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Loving the Leaves

I love the way the leaves cover our front yard this year. This may be the first year the yellow-and-red blanket is is thick.  The photos show how it looked today.  The Husband raked the leaves the day before yesterday. 

While the Husband raked, I put up a few Christmas decorations around the yard to cheer up the Mama as she looked out the window as she ate her breakfast.  This time I did more than add red bows to the tree. See the green bough on the fence? That's new, thanks to the Godmother. She was downsizing her Christmas stuff, so she gave me the bough and a bunch of cool ornaments.

The Autumn leaves and the holiday decorations in the front yard are a few of the things that perked me up this week. How about you?

I'm linking up with the lovely Jenny Matlock's Warm Heart Wednesday. Click here to join the meme and/or read more warming posts.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Jane Austen -- Not a Villain

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

"Thank goodness! The world knows I am not a villain!" exclaimed Jane Austen, Live Action Doll. She stood on the courthouse steps, tired and verily relieved that this whole nightmare of incarceration was over.

"While in prison, I met women who chose to be villains. Career criminals, mind you. Some where in their past, they lost hope and faith in humanity." Jane shook her head. "They are very sad, miserable people. I cannot help but feel sorry for them. But, I do not excuse them for the horrible decisions they make to victimize others."

"If dear Tom Lefroy, had not been my lawyer, who knows what would have happened to me," said Jane. "Thank goodness, my undercover role has not been undermined. Onward and upward!"

The letter V is featured on this week's ABC Wednesday, a meme that was begun by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and today administered by Roger Green and his delightful ABCW team. Click here, to check out other V posts

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


While I was at the dentist this morning, the tech guy came to fix our Internet connection. I didn't realize he would need to go in our office. Otherwise, I would've stuffed the dirty laundry further into its basket, which is in the hallway outside the office and picked up my bra off the office chair. Or, if I was home, I would've run up the stairs before him and quickly put the unsightly out of sight.

The Husband said he apologized for the mess.

"That's OK," the tech guy said. "Is it that time of year?"

"No," the Husband said. "That's who we are."

The Husband was nice. It's really who I am.

We both wondered what the tech guy meant by 'the time of year'.

Will I be better about the clutter, piles, and things tossed around the office, the hallway, the stairs, and our other spaces?

I doubt it.  I'm going outside to rake some leaves.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Doing It

We're without Internet access at home today. With good fortune, the company will find the problem tomorrow. Until then, I shall go roaming town for free Wi-Fi. In the process, I'll learn how to use this iPAD.  And until Internet returns at home, I'll post old drawings.

Here's five-year-old Su-sieee! Mac jumping a ditch.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

A Blank Slate

This afternoon I bought a very large burlap sack at our favorite cafe for $5.41. (What a deal!) It once held coffee beans from India.

Now, what shall I do with it? Use it as a canvas? Sew tote bags? Make a skirt? Cover a box? What?

What would you create with this beautiful, very large burlap sack?

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Cutting-Hair Time

"This is scary," said the Husband, as he cut above a chunk of rubber-banded hair. "Oh-oh."

"Hearing you say 'Oh-oh' is scary," I said, keeping my head still. He had two more chunks of hair to cut off.

"I wish you'd go to a professional."

"Why should I, when I have you—Monsieur Dicky."

This morning I woke up with a decision. Several, actually, but those can keep for other posts. Maybe. This decision was to have the Husband cut my hair. He cut my hair earlier this year, and it turned out nicely. Unless people were simply being nice about my haircut. Doesn't matter.

I haven't taken a good look at the result yet. He says that the left side is shorter than the right. I told him we have a new style.

It's a hairstyle in progress. I cut myself bangs, but I may have cut them too short to be bangs. We'll know once I wash my hair. Yup, you heard right. I didn't wash my hair before having the Husband cut it. I wanted to see if really mattered. Muahahahahaha.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Bark, Bark! Hooooooowwwwwwl!

A cute huge puppy lives next door. Whenever his humans go to work, they put him in his kennel outside. That is near our kitchen window.

Bark, Bark! Hooooooowwwwwwl!

All day.

The puppy has gotten better about barking and howling less. And, as long as I'm on the other side of our house, I can tolerate his whines and demands to be brought back inside the house. But, there are times when my patience wears thin.

The Mama told me to be nice and not tell them about the barking and howling.  What about them being nice, I said.

His humans are nice people. A young couple. The Husband and I talked with them a couple of weeks ago. It turned out they are aware of the puppy's barking and howling. We were the third neighbor to inform them.

The puppy's humans are doing their best to resolve the problem.  At least, I hope so.

I do feel sorry for the puppy being out in the elements during the day. Still.

Bark, Bark! Hooooooowwwwwwl!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Warm-hearted Rose

We've had frosty mornings for the past two weeks now. I'm pretty much used to it now. Yesterday, I noticed a rose bud waving as I was raking leaves in the backyard. Then I noticed several more here and there around the yard. They are the Mama's blooms.

Today, I'm linking up with Warm Heart Wednesday, a new meme hosted by the lovely Jenny Matlock. Click here to read joyful posts.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Jane Austen -- Undercover Superhero

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

"My dear ABCW friends," whispers Jane Austen, Action Doll, looking stealthily to the left and right. "I wish you to know about my secret job."

Jane clears her throat. "When duty calls, I go undercover as Authora! whose power is mightier than the sword. Have quill will time travel."

"Please keep it on the QT, I beseech you."

You know it. Today is the weekly meme ABC Wednesday.  To check out what other bloggers have to say about the letter U, please click here. Thank you, Roger and ABCW team.