Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Loving the Green Hills

Simply wonderful and marvelous. See you tomorrow.

Monday, January 25, 2016

A Pass to Read

Yesterday, as I was weeding out stuff I've been storing for decades, I found a hallway pass that was made out to me in my last semester of high school. The pass allowed me to go sit outside on the Senior Class benches to read my book. Yes, you read that right—a pass to read!

My first period was Reading, an English elective. I loved that class. We read novels and plays of our choice in class and wrote book reports about what we read. Without that class, I doubt I would've ever read such classics as Babbitt, Our Town, Death of a Salesman, The Jungle, Winnie the Pooh, and Rabbit, Run.

I don't know what it's like today, but 45 years ago when a high school senior already had her credits locked in for graduation, life was a picnic. Just as long as she didn't do something stupid, nor get caught for doing something stupid.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


Did you ever see the movie Up, the animated movie about the old man who ran away by tying balloons to his house and flew to a waterfall in South America? He and his companion, a stowaway Cub Scout, met a mechanical dog by the waterfall. The very intelligent speaking dog got sidetracked every so often by squirrels and when he thought he saw one, he'd suddenly turn and say, "Squirrel!" Well, that's me. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Delightful Curb Appeal

The items for this week's Friday Hunt, hosted by Teresa of Eden Hills are:
1) Starts with D.
2) Week's favorite.
3) Beautiful.

For me, they all came together in this reflection of tree branches in a puddle of water near our public library. I didn't find anything I wanted to read in the New section. Any disappointment I had was quickly wiped out when I saw this reflection.

To check out other Friday Hunt participants, click here. If you'd like to join the hunt, you have until Sunday evening to link up.

More about Me

When I can't think of what to write, I look in my "Drafts" folder for an unfinished post.  This one is a meme I started writing a year ago. The survey was longer. It only took me several decades to realize that I don't have to answer every question. It's not like I'm filling out a job application to be me. 

Four Jobs I've Had
Hand pollinator for a seed research company
Clerk typist in the San Francisco Financial District
Substitute teacher  (shudder)
Freelance writer (I'm my best employer yet.)

Four Movies I've Watched More Than Once
Two Weeks Notice with Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant
Pride and Prejudice (all of them! including the one with Greer Garson and Sir Laurence Oliver)
Monsters, Inc. (I love the relationship between Sully and Boo)
Ground Hog Day (I think I'm finally good. Don't need to see it another time.)

Four Places I Have Been
Florence, Italy
Seoul, Korea
Hawaii—all the islands except Lanai
Smokey Mountains

Four Things I Won't Eat

Any kind of egg other than a chicken's

Four of My Favorite Foods

Potato chips
Ice cream
Prime Rib
Wild mustard greens

Four TV Shows That I Watch

The Daily Show
Big Bang Theory
The Middle

Four Things I'm Looking Forward to This Year

The end of the drought  (I hope, I hope.)
Cello instructions
My 45th high school class reunion
The Presidential election

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Loving the Rain

Rain warms my heart. Big time!

After four years of drought, the rain we've been having nearly every week, and sometimes several days in a row, is wonderful. We won't know until April (perhaps) if this El Niño weather pattern will break the drought. Knock on wood.

As you can see, the rain has brought our lawn back. The Mama is happy about that.

I'm heading over to link up with Warm Heart Wednesday, the meme hosted by the lovely Jenny Matlock. Want to join in and/or read what other participants have written? Click here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Boinggg. . . .!

Boing! Boing! Boing!

Its boingness is more so since I only drink it now and then. Boing! Boing! Boing!

Yesterday was my day of Boing! I brewed coffee for the Mama, the Husband, and me to sip as we ate old-fashioned doughnuts. Yummmmmmm.  Boing!

It's the letter B on ABC Wednesday, the weekly meme started by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and continued today by Roger Green and his ABC Wednesday team. Click here to participate and/or to check out other participants.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Pretty Pink Daisies

I love these pretty pink daisies of the Mama's. They're so hearty. They've made it through the frosty mornings and now they're bouncing happily under the steady rain we're having. 

It's time for Our World Tuesday. Click here to join the meme and/or check out what's going on with participants in other parts of the world.

Monday, January 18, 2016

What's Wrong with People?

"Today is a holiday," I reminded the Mama this morning. "So, no mail. No library. No banks. No schools."

"What's the holiday?" the Mama asked.

"Martin Luther King Day."

"Is this the day he was born?"


The Mama sighed. "The good people die too soon. Poor man."

She shook her head. "The crazy person who killed him. Too many crazy people. What's wrong with people?"

The Mama's question had me pondering throughout the morning. My conclusion, at the moment: Insecurity. Fear is based on insecurity. Anger? A person gets angry because she does not get her way, which puts her in an insecure position. Jealousy is essentially feeling insecure for not having what someone else has. Greed in a person is due to his insecurity that he don't have what others have.

Unfortunately, there are greedy, angry, jealous, and fearful people in this world who manipulate our insecurities for their purposes. I like to think that the majority of us have our heads screwed on straight and can see through their inhuman minds and souls. I have faith that positive light prevails over negativity.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Recalling The Best Thing Done with Lemons

The memory of the best lemon meringue pie I ever ate

Still makes me smile.

Still gets me goofy with a sugar high.

Still makes me feel weak at the knees.

A sigh of deliciousness.

That slice of the best lemon meringue pie is very long-time gone.

Back in 1984.

In a red building in a small shopping center in the middle of cowboy country.

On The Big Island of Hawaii.

A sigh of deliciousness.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Eden Hills' Friday Hunt v1.3

The Friday's Hunt, a photo meme hosted by Teresa of Eden Hills, is a lot fun.  She gives you three items to photograph each week, and you can choose to do one, two, or three of them.  I had a photo last week that would've been perfect for all three items this week. Oh well.

Starts with C

I've decided to use my archives for the alphabet item. I took the photo of this cow in November 2014 during a hike with the Husband. Moooooooo.

Week's Favorite

The Only and Older Brother surprised us with a visit on Sunday. He brought BBQ for lunch, so I'll excuse him for not waving to the camera. I did get him to smile. Just as good. (Yes, that's a smile.)


One of my goals this year is to reduce the clutter in the house. Everywhere. Everything. So far I've accomplished sorting and organizing the business cards and library cards that I like to collect. Baby steps, but at least they are forward steps.  We're supposed to have rain over the next several days. You know what that means.

Okey-dokey. You can link up until Sunday evening, if you'd like to participate in the hunt. For more details or to check out the other participants, click here.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Work in Progress

Some of you may recall that last month I bought an empty burlap sack, which once held coffee beans, at my favorite cafe. The sack hasn't moved from where I draped it when I took the photo of it last month. It questions me every day: So, what am I here for?

Yesterday morning, as I was picking leaves off the lawn, I thought how exceptionally pretty they are. Bingo! So, I collected a few and brought them indoors to dry. By afternoon, they were in the office. Ah-ha! Within minutes, I attached a few of them to the canvas. Hmmmm.

I looked down at the floor and saw the box that held stuff I used for a floral arrangement for last year's county fair. Hellllllllloooo! called some blue dried flowers. They went up on the sack.

Then all went quiet.

To be continued.

* * * * *

I'm linking up with the weekly meme, What Happened in Your Surroundings or in Your Mind This Week?, which is hosted by Pippa Koenig. To join in and/or to check out the other participants, click here.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Angels of All Types

Today's share is with Warm Heart Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by the generous Jenny Matlock of Off On My Tangent. Instead of a recent happening, I'm writing about a wonderful thing that took place in the distant past, which I was reminded about last week.

* * *

Once upon a time when I was a young thing living in San Francisco, I commuted 36 miles across the bay to my first dream job. Twice a day, I got to drive over the seven-mile long San Mateo-Hayward Bridge. Do you know how calming it is to drive over an expansive body of water? That's another story perhaps.

Today my story is about my commute home one particular late afternoon. At the time, I drove an aging red Dodge Colt that I was constantly taking into the shop for something old to fix. No doubt you know where the story is heading.

After safely getting over the beautiful bridge and up the freeway to the City, the car chose to give up on the heavily traveled Sixth Street, which was then known as where a lot of drug addicts and homeless lived. I was about a half block from Market Street, the main drag in downtown San Francisco. I was in the left lane. Honk! Honk! HONKKKKKKK!

By then I knew the drill. When all the cars had furiously driven around me, I quickly opened my door, got out, and gave my all to push the car towards the curb. Fortunately, the car was small, light one and I was sturdy and strong.

Before I knew it, three disheveled guys ran from the sidewalk and started pushing my car. I jumped into the driver's seat and steered it to safely. I was already thinking how I could reward the guys. Six dollars was all I had.

"Are you okay?" One guy asked me.

"I'm fine." I said. "Thank you very much!"

"It's a good thing we were here," said another guy.

I pulled out my wallet. "I'm sorry I don't have much to give you."

They declined the money. Once they saw I no longer needed their help, they walked away. Angels, they were.

To read other warm-hearted stories, click here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Attempting to Speak Ilocano

Ilocano is the Mama's primary language. It was the Daddy's as well. Ilocano is one of the languages of the Philippines. I'm one of those second-generation people who can understand their parents' primary language proficiently but is a doofus when it comes to speaking it. I don't even think I spoke it before I went to school, which was probably because the Only and Older Brother was already in school when I came along.

Because we've lived with the Mama for over 12 years, I've gained back much of my comprehension skills. It's a good thing. As the Mama has gotten older, she is speaking more in Ilocano without realizing it. Her hearing is pretty bad, which has me thinking that a lot of the time English sounds like jibber jabber to her. I've started using a word or two of Ilocano, when I can think of it. Of course, my Ilocano also sounds like jibber jabber to her.

Doesn't matter. Broken Ilocano talk, here I am. 

Adda iti kayat mo? Is there anything you want?

Awan. Nothing. 

Ado.  A lot.

Today ABC Wednesday starts Round 18, which begins my third round with the meme. Whooo-hooo! This cool meme was started by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and continues today under the helm of Roger Green and his ABCW team.  Thank you!  If you'd like to participate and/or check other participants, please click here.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

In the Bucket

One of the things Molly the Cat likes to check out when she goes out to the backyard is a bucket full of water that sits next to the patio. I wonder if she sees what I see in the bucket.

Today I'm participating in Our World Tuesday. Click here to join in and/or to see what's going in other parts of the world.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Creative Play #2

I'm a kid when it comes to doing (making? creating?) art.

"Look, look. Look what I did," I say, jumping from one foot to the other.

I mostly do that to the Husband. Yesterday, I found myself doing it to Only and Older Brother, who I hadn't seen in two years.

"Look, look, Brother. Look what I did," I said, showing him my Creative Play #1 on the iPad.

"Hey, you can sell that!" Only and Older Brother said. I didn't know if he was being funny. I never know with him.  But, I took it as a thumbs up.

Unlike long ago I'm not concerned whether or not people like my art work. I'm simply having fun exploring that side of me. Finally.

I'm hooking up with Creative Every Day hosted by Leah Piken Kolidas. Click here to join in or to check out other participants.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Another Pruning Job

This afternoon the Husband and I pruned the Miracle Tree. Saw-saw-swear-saw. Clip-swear-clip-clip. We were three branches away from finishing when Only and Older Bionic Brother surprised us with a visit. Whooo-hooo! He came out to watch us complete our job and that brought out the Mama. The first time she set foot in the backyard since October. Whooo-hooo! 

Thankfully, it was a warm day. The Mama's eyes were good from afar. She couldn't resist. "Cut that branch." "And, that branch." I was perched on the ladder at a weird angle so it took me awhile to find "And, that branch." The Brother's eyes for pruning were still good. "You want to cut that one so it doesn't grow towards the house."

Only and older Brother stayed the afternoon. Hurrah! That also meant the Husband and I didn't have to deal with the yucky part of the pruning job—snipping, cutting, and bagging the branches, leaves, and seed pods—until tomorrow. That's okay. It was great seeing Only and Older Brother.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

A Friday's Hunt on a Saturday

Today I'm participating in the Friday's Hunt, a new weekly meme hosted by Teresa of Eden Hills. You have until Sunday to hook up. Click here to join and/or to check out the participants. It's trés fun! Now, on with my finds.

Starting with B

That's the Mama's tiny banana grove in August. It didn't get as full as usual last year because of the drought. The grove usually yields two to five banana blossoms, which the Mama sometimes harvest for us to eat. Sometimes tiny bananas grow, but the cool weather sets in before they can ripen.

Here's what the banana grove looks like today. I pruned the dried tops of the banana stalks (Are they called trunks?) last week. They'll grow back by Spring. Hopefully. This is the first year I pruned the grove without the Mama's instructions.

Week's Favorite

Molly the Cat yawned just as I snapped the camera. I think she did it on purpose. She doesn't care for me taking photos of her. I wonder what she'd say if she knew I posted her photos online. Shhhh! Don't anyone ever tell her.


I finally got a shot of one of the birds sharing our persimmon crop this year. Tweet, tweet.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Creative Play #1

Here's my first experiment of doing something creative that's completely different for me. I learned the technique of layering two or more photos together in Photoshop while doing the Jane Austen Action Doll posts.

I took three of my photos to make this collage. The woman is a store dummy and that's a chair in the shape of the hand. Both strange objects in the first place. The final effect kind of gives me the creeps. How about you?

I'm linking up with the Friday meme called What Happened in Your Surroundings or in Your Mind This Week? hosted by Pippa Koenig. Click here to join in and/or to check out other participants.

Update: I'm also linking up at s~A(R)T~urday, hosted by artist Claudia Willison. Be sure to check her out, too.



Thursday, January 7, 2016

A Lot of Love

The Husband and I made a special trip to Monterey last week so I could spend the birthday money the Mama gave me for someting pretty to wear. I was hoping to find a new top or two in Macy's. No such luck. Nearly everything was made out of flimsy, slick-like fabric. It reminded me of polyester from the 1960s and 1970s. The few things that I did like were too expensive even at 50% off. For instance, I saw a bohemian (aka hippie) style tunic that was cute, but at the original price of $200+, no thank you. I checked out a couple of other women's apparel shops in the mall. Zilch.

About two hours later, I met the Husband at our meeting spot. We sat on a bench and enjoyed the warmth of the day for a long while before we headed back into Macy's to buy us some bed sheets. We found a package of 700 thread count sheets for half off, about $60. A great deal. The cashier made it even a better bargain by giving us an extra 10% from a newspaper advertisement. "Thank you," I said, "That's kind of you."

"I like deals, too," she said.

Our transaction was interrupted when the younger clerk beside her asked for help. She was new on the job and didn't know how to handle a grumpy customer's request. Our clerk resolved the problem easily, putting both the customer and novice clerk at ease. She turned back to us. "Thank you for your patience."

"No problem," the Husband and I said. It truly wasn't. I actually thought the other customer's transaction was interesting and wouldn't have minded following the clerk to the store's dock where she would fetch the appropriate item for the customer. The Husband told me later that he was surprised to hear there was a dock and would've liked to have seen it, too.

"You two have a lot of love," the clerk said, pointing her finger from me to the Husband. "I saw it immediately."

"We've been together for over 20 years," said the Husband.

"Thank you," I said. I didn't know what she meant, but I loved it. I was certainly glad that we drove to Monterey that day.

I'm hooking up with the warm-hearted Jenny Matlock's Warm Wednesday meme. Click here to check out other warm-hearted tales, as well as to join in if you like.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Only the Mama!

On New Year's Eve Day I noticed this rose bud. The odd thing about it is that its branch is among several rose branches sitting in a bucket of water that the Mama set aside in early October. She pruned the branches from the rose bushes in the front yard and was going to plant the branches in the backyard. But, then her health sidetracked her.

This is the first time I've ever seen a rose branch in water take blossom. Another surprising thing is that we've had cold temperatures, including frosty mornings, for several weeks. I can only think that the Mama's love for her roses is strong and the roses love her back.

By the way, the Mama is doing better. If you're interested in what happened, you can read about the Mama's health in last Sunday's post.

Today, I'm hooking up with Our World Tuesday. To link up yourself and/or to read what's going on with other participants, click here.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Tilda-Hilda, Day 2 in 2016

When I woke up this morning, the streets were wet. We must've had a pretty good rain because all four us of slept later than usual.  Tilda-Hilda and I took a chance that it wouldn't rain and it didn't. We pedaled nearly six miles in 34 minutes. I was looking for a big puddle to take a reflection photo of Tilda-Hilda. No luck. Maybe next time we go out after a rain, which may be at the end of the week. Whooo-hooo! (For the rain, that is.)

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Eden Hills' First Friday's Hunt

I'm participating in a new meme called Friday's Hunt, which is hosted by Teresa of Eden Hills. You can link up until Sunday, in case you're wondering if I know what day it is. If you'd like to join in and/or check out other participants, click here (after you read my post, I hope.)

A is for Artichokes

I'm used to seeing fields of artichokes near the coast. So, it's very strange to see them growing in our area, which is about 40 mile from the coast. I wonder if the artichokes taste any different.

Week's Favorite

Yesterday, the Husband, the Mama, Molly the Cat, and I received a trés cool gift from Cousin Kuting (which means tiny and cute in Ilocano). It's a large sturdy canvas bag perfect for everything that needs being carried. Molly the Cat sniffed it, which I take to mean that perhaps if need be she would jump into it and be smuggled into somewhere that we need to be secretive about. But, that's not the neatest part about the bag. Cousin Kuting printed a photo of the Husband and me dancing on one side of the bag. That's pretty sweet!


For the past two months, the Mama has been getting shots to build up her red blood cells because her anemia got dangerously low. It was very tough going the first six weeks. The medication took a lot out of her. She lost her appetite. She could barely walk and everything—joints and muscle pain, hearing loss, and so forth—that was physically wrong with her seemed worse. She mostly slept.

This past week was one of the best weeks for the Mama and that's cause for celebration. She looks great. Her appetite is back. She sleeps less during the day. She has more energy and is looking around for things to do. She hasn't gone outside yet—the first winter that she hasn't played in her garden every day—but that's okay. It's very cold and when it isn't, it's raining. And, she's being her normal complaining self.

Cheers for the Mama!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

A Carleen Original

I love handcrafted gifts. This Christmas I received one of the most amazing, beautiful handcrafted gifts ever—a quilt by Sister-in-Law Carleen. Isn't it gorgeous?! The pattern is trés cool.

The photograph doesn't do justice to the the bright and contrasting colors of yellow, green, purple, turquoise, and bits of bright blue. Carleen used a tropical theme because, she said, I was a tropical gal. I totally like that.

Needless to say, but I shall anyway, this Carleen original warms my heart big time and many times over!

I'm sharing this post with Warm Heart Wednesday, a new weekly meme hosted by the amazing Jenny Matlock. Yes, yes, I know it's Saturday. :-)

Friday, January 1, 2016

Tilda-Hilda, Day 1 in 2016

A new calendar year means the start of another round of Tilda-Hilda's and my work-outs. This morning, we braved the cold and pedaled 6.11 miles in 37 minutes. Pretty good, considering we've been lazy the past three weeks.

In 2015, we pedaled about 516 miles in 84 days. More than half of the mileage was pedaled in June and July. The goal in 2016 is to ride steadily throughout the year. I can already tell you that I'm thinking excuses not to go out tomorrow or the next day or the next.  We shall see.