Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The "H" I Say


The other day I decided to keep a daily Have-Done list. For awhile, that is. Until I no longer need to let myself know that I have accomplished something each day.

Every day, I add things to my To-Do list. As you can see in the photo, the items don't always get done right away. Sometimes, not for weeks after I put them on the list.

The Have-Done things, so far, were not on my To-Do list. That's okay. They were usually stuff:

•  I would've distracted myself to do so I wouldn't do anything on the To-Do list. For instance, dig up a narrow piece of the front lawn to create a new home for a bunch of jade plants that no longer fit in their pots.

•  I would've discovered I needed to do before I could do a To-do item, such as clean the freezer in order to start it up again.

•  I needed to do that moment because they needed to get done then and there. We needed to pay that water bill, you know.

•  I would've eventually put on my To-do list. That would've probably been the applesauce I made this morning from the apples I picked off our tree last week.

There you go. That's how I am right now.  

H is the letter for this week's ABC Wednesday. (Thank you very much, ABCW team.) To read other H-inspired posts and/or to join in with your own, please click here.


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Friday's Hunt v.2.9

The cues for Friday's Hunt this week are: 1. Starts with I   2. Week's favorite   3. Pink

So, here's my week's favorite picture: The pink-faced Husband quickly inserting himself into the photo I was taking of the apples and lemons that I harvested from our trees.  I love that silly guy.


Friday's Hunt is a weekly meme hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills. To check out the other participants, please click here.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Happy Birthday to the Mama!


The ever loving, curious, generous, and unique Mama would've been 95 years old today. Shoot up the  fireworks! Bang on the walls! Pick some tomatoes! Dance up a storm! Sing, sing, sing!


I searched through my archives for a story to share about the Mama. This one is my favorite, which was published on June 18, 2010. Originally, it was entitled Talking about Sex with the Mama. The new title says it better.

Some Kind of Wonderful
 
Yesterday the mama asked me to explain something she was reading in an AARP flyer. It was a short article about what a woman can do about vaginal dryness so that intercourse isn't so painful.

Uh.

The mama is a voracious reader. She likes to learn. Both things I didn't know until the husband and I became her roommates several years ago. English is not her primary language, and I would say on a scale of 1 to 10, her English reading comprehension is about a 4, more or less. She doesn't let complicated or unfamiliar words get her down. If she's interested in a story, she plows through it. If she's really interested in what words mean precisely, she asks me.

So, she asked me. 

Hoo boy.

The mama hadn't even taught me about sex when I a kid. The only instruction I received that came closest to the topic was the afternoon of getting ready for my senior class prom.  She showed me a gigantic safety pin, then put it in my purse, saying something like "In case you need it." She walked away before I could ask "For what?" I figured that out years later. She didn't have to worry. My prom date came out of the closet years later.  If I'm recalling that eventful afternoon correctly, the mama gave me the safety pin after the daddy advised me, "Don't go f***ing around."

The parents. Do I love them!

But, back to the curious mama of today.

"Kiki," I said, somehow recalling the Ilocano slang word for vagina, pointing to hers, then mine.

"It's about what to do when it's dry. . . ." She looked at me with surprise.

"And you want to have sex." I quickly walked away, but not before noticing that she went back to the article. 

In the kitchen where I thought he hadn't heard, the husband asked, "What was that about?" 

I think maybe something kind of wonderful.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Gutsy Guys at Work


I had a few G thoughts to write about for ABC Wednesday this week. Alas, the day comes, and those ideas are lifeless. So, for today, I give you a photo of construction guys. They're working merely feet from the highway. Their job is one that requires a lot of guts.

To check out this week's ABCW participants, please click here.

 

Monday, August 22, 2016

A Sloth Who Likes to Read


"Stop reading," ordered the Mama. "Go outside."

I'd probably been lying on the bed reading for three or four hours that sunny summer weekend afternoon. I was probably 12 years old.

That's what the Mama got for buying me a bed with a bookcase headboard. It was packed full with paperback books that I purchased from the monthly Scholastic book catalog during the school year. Three or four dollars bought me a lot of books back then. I shall always be grateful the Mama and the Daddy let me buy so many, and for leaving me alone to read the books over and over most of the time.

Reading was my favorite thing to do in summer, followed by riding bicycles, watching movies, and eating. Except for the bicycle riding, I seem to have slipped back into my once-upon-a-time summer routine. I'm not getting much done, I admit. And, yes, my clothes are feeling snug. Again.

I really do need to urge me to step outside and do something. There's still time today to water the flowers in the backyard, or pick up all the apples and lemons that have dropped off the trees, or rake the leaves, or put everything back in the shed, or . . . .

Maybe I'll take my book outside with me as incentive. After each thing I finish, I can read a chapter.

Yeah, right.

I'm a grown-up. First things, first. But, that could be reading.

Silly me, thinking I can bribe or shame myself into doing things.


Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Season of Plenty


The other day, the Husband and I drove around Pajaro Valley in Santa Cruz County (next door to our county) just because we felt like it. The fertile Pajaro Valley has fields full of strawberries, cages full of raspberries and blackberries, and still a few orchards full of apples.

We stopped at Gizdich Ranch, which is well-known for its apple juice and homemade apple and berry pies. You can also pick your own apples and various types of berries, if you want.  Our mission. My mission (the Husband was a captive audience) was to purchase hollyhock seeds. Unfortunately none were to be had yet. But, we did come away with four cobs of corn for a dollar and a look at a bunch of fancy buggy-looking Bugatti's that one of the guys said were each worth $2 million+.

The Bugatti guys (5 or 6 of them) caused a traffic jam at the ranch. Not because they couldn't find parking spots, from what I saw, but because the drivers and passengers stood in the path of us, drivers, trying to find parking. I almost didn't want to stop. If the Bugatti people were this arrogantly ignorant about they being in the way, what would they be like in the gift shop and restaurant. Fortunately, the drivers hung around their cars, while their passengers disappeared into the antique store.

I'm glad I sucked in my temper, otherwise I wouldn't have seen the display of Gizdich's biggest and tiniest apples. We'll stop by Gizdich again for hollyhock seeds and maybe one of their pies.


Time to link up with Seasons, a weekly meme hosted by Jeanette at Artworks from Jeshstg. Click here to check other participants and possibly link up as well.


Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday's Hunt V2.8


This week's clues for Teresa's Friday's Hunt at Eden Hills are: 1) Starts with H  2) Week's Favorite  3) Single.

My favorite photo this week shows hands as in the Mama's hand and the drummer's hand.  As for single, the Mama's single focus at that particular moment was feeding her baby a delicious treat.

To check out other Friday's Hunt participants, please click here.



Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Flight


On the afternoon that the Mama died, the Husband, Long-time Friend Kathy, Molly the Cat, and I sat on the patio and ate our lunch. The Mama's apple tree and her butterfly bush gave us shade from the warm Spring sun. The sky was blue. The Mama's roses, daisies, and other flowers were in bloom. The birds serenaded us. The Mama's bedroom window faced the backyard. I like to think that she could see, smell, and hear the day as we did and that she enjoyed listening to our relaxed cadences and tones.

At one point I leaned back in my chair and gazed at the sky. A crow was lazily flying back and forth. It was like a photo, the crow framed by the foliage of the Mama's trees and bushes. As I watched the bird, I felt like I could see the Mama's spirit flying up towards the crow and dancing alongside it.

When I finally looked away, I saw a white butterfly fly out of the Mama's garden by the  rose bushes. That was the first white butterfly I saw that day, which, ever since the Daddy died 34 years ago, represented the Daddy saying to me, "Hello. All is well."


At the Mama's rosary service, I read this short tale that I wrote three years ago. I had posted it on June 5, 2013.

The Girl That Did Fly

Once upon a time, in a far away place, a little girl wished upon a star, "I wish I could fly."

Unlike other fairy tales, Midge's wish did not come true. So, she thought.

One morning, Midge woke up, thinking, "Ah, today is the day I shall fly."


She flung off her blankets and jumped to her feet.

Bounce! Bounce! Bounce!

With each bounce, Midge hung in the air higher and longer. Nearly three-quarters to the ceiling, she turned somersaults and back flips, cartwheels and spins.

She bounced and she bounced until her grandmother opened her door.

"Very good, my dear," said Lola Sue smiling so proudly. "You're getting to be quite good with the triple flips. I do believe you take after your grandma."


Lola Sue jumped onto the bed, and together they bounced.

Bounce! Bounce! Bounce!

Holding hands, they bounced even higher and higher.

"I think it is time," Lola Sue said."Are you ready?"

"Yes! Yes!" exclaimed Midge, although she knew not what it might be.


"Then let us go!"


Midge and her Lola Sue bounced once more, hung a second, then flew around the room. 


"Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh," said Midge. "Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee."

"Hold on tight," said Lola Sue, as she lead the little girl out the door, through the house, and out a window into the Lola's garden. From there, they soared up through the banana plants and into the big, blue sky. 



Today is the letter F at ABC Wednesday, a wonderful meme with awesome bloggers from around the world. Click here to check out these other bloggers, and maybe to join in yourself.  Thanks to Roger, Di, Melody, and all of the ABCW team for giving us a place to share ourselves.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Baaaaaaaa


Good ricotta?

I think it is made from sheep, because that's the artisanal stuff we bought at the independent, natural goodness supermarket in Santa Cruz last week.

I forget that cow's milk isn't the only source for cheese until I eat cheese that's made from other animals. Maybe if I'd been more careful, I could've found the good ricotta made from cow.

For breakfast I ate a peanut butter-ricotta-honey sandwich. As I chewed, I thought of sheep, their wool, their face, and their hooves. I recalled the Warner Brothers cartoon in which the wolf wore sheep's clothing to get closer to the sheep. The sheepdog always beat the wolf at his game. Of course. The funniest part about the cartoon was the end when both the sheepdog and wolf clocked out of their work shift and said, "See you tomorrow."

Molly the Cat came mewing to see what I had for breakfast. She likes cheese, too. I gave her a pinch of the ricotta from my sandwich.  Sniff, sniff. She walked away.

Not too soon after Molly left, I picked the cheese out of my sandwich. There's only so much sheep whey my taste buds and stomach can handle.

Don't even get me talking about lamb. Shudder.

P.S. That's an old photo of Missy Molly by Golly. I like to think that's what she thought of the ricotta this morning.



Wednesday, August 10, 2016

It's Elementary, My Dear.

"Make an effort."

This morning I read that line in Emma: A Modern Retelling by Alexander McCall Smith). I felt like the character, and the author, was talking to me.  

Please make an effort, Susie. 

The Mama said it another way about herself when she felt tired, which was every day for her last several years. Plain and simple, she used to say, "I push myself."

After we buried the Mama this past April, the Only and Older Brother said to me, "Keep on living."

I scoffed at what the Only and Older Brother said. Of course, I'd keep on living. Why would I not? Lately, though, honesty keeps trying to surface. Drat that honesty. For that matter, dang to introspection, rumination, and heart-searching that show up in my dreams.

Sigh.

So, this is my effort today for the letter E for this week's ABC Wednesday: a story that I shared three years ago (April 5, 2013) about an amazing thing that reminded me of the wonderful effortlessness of life.

Flying with the Eagles

The Loneliest Road in America truly sums up the stretch of U.S. Route 50 through central Nevada. I had no idea Nevada had so many desert valleys until I drove this national highway.  You get over one mountain range and voila! It's deja vu—another endless valley floor with a mountain range staring from afar.

In the late 1980s, the First Husband and I decided to drive cross-country, from San Francisco to New York. However, the first day of our adventure began with a dental emergency and a pain that would eventually make itself known as cancer for the First Husband. After several days of checking with doctors, we got in our red Mazda pick-up truck and headed east, with an open mind that we would turn back at Denver if the First Husband did not feel well.

I don't remember how we decided to take U.S. 50 rather than the more direct U.S. 80 through Nevada to Utah. Most likely it was the romantic notion of driving the Pony Express Route. Those poor fellows. Miles of dust behind them and miles of dust before them. Still, if I had lived during that era, I would've wanted to have been a Pony Express rider. As it was, I did imagine myself a modern one as I drove us through eastern central Nevada. Instead of the U.S. mail, I was delivering the First Husband to several places in the United States where we could research the life of his father, a first generation Korean American who had dedicated himself to Korean independence from Japanese rule, as well as to spreading the Christian word. But, that's a tale for another day.

As we approached the Utah border in the Great Basin desert, the First Husband was napping in the passenger seat. Not too long after passing the sign welcoming us to  Utah, I saw two huge birds standing in the lane up ahead. As we got closer, I saw that they were nipping at a carcass on the ground. One bird glanced up at our advancing truck.

"Husband! Husband!" I slowed down, but continued driving forward. They were bold and handsome eagles. Young ones, I think. I was almost upon them as they positioned themselves for take off.

One eagle opened its wingspan. It seemed to be as long as the width of the front of the truck.

"Husband!"

The First Husband woke up in time to see us driving between two gliding eagles before they soared upwards into the sky. 



Please click here to check out the other participants and/or link up in this week's ABC Wednesday.


Monday, August 8, 2016

Happy Birthday to Our Molly!


Molly the Cat is six years old today. According to her adoption paperwork, that is.

Molly doesn't like cake. But, we do. So, the Husband drove to the bakery to buy a slice each of chocolate cake and lemon cake for him and me to share. What's a birthday without cake, right?

Molly got an extra pouch of chicken breast and beef mix. She licked her plate clean after eating both pouches.

She's a big girl now, our sweet Molly.


I'm hooking up with Seasons, a meme hosted by blogger and artist Jesh. Click here to check other Seasons participants.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Friday's Hunt 2.6


The cues for this week's Friday's Hunt, hosted by Teresa of Eden Hills, are: 1) Starts with F  2) Week's Favorite  3) Shiny

It's been a busy week—high school class reunion stuff (45 years! Tonight is our dinner-dance.)—so I'm doing a stretch with my entry by using a photo I've posted last year. This morning I was looking at the print of it on our kitchen wall and thinking this is one of my favorite photos. Light bulb! I have my week's favorite photo.

Some of you are familiar with the Husband, and maybe even this photo. There you go: Familiar.

Shiny—the sunlight reflecting on the creek.

To check out other entries for Friday's Hunt, click here.  Gotta run. See ya.




Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Deranged Husband


 Snort. Hahahahaha. I doubt that I'll ever not laugh when I look at this photo.

Two years ago, the Husband and I were doing a self-guided greenhouse tour. I'd barely parked the car and turned off the engine when the Husband jumped out, saying, "Take a photo of me."

"Be sure to get the sign," he said. 

Hahahahahahaha. 

The Husband let me enter the photo in the humor photo category at our county fair that year.  My caption was: "Deranged—Upon arriving at yet another tour, the husband became deranged." 

Yup. I won a blue ribbon for it. My first ever. 

I love the Husband!


Time to hook up with  ABC Wednesday. Today is all about the letter D. Click here to join in and/or to read what other bloggers from around the world are posting today.