Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Hazel the Hula Dancing Hammerhead Shark


"Hello, Hazel here," said the happy-go-lucky hammerhead shark into her phone.

"Winnie! How are you? What's happening?"

"Is that Winnie? Is it true about her and Thomas?" called Davey from across the dressing room. She and her brothers Dicky and Danny swam over and hovered closely by.

"Hopping high, you say. . .Huh, say that again? The Daffodils are being quite hyper right now. . .

"We are not!" said Danny, splashing a bit huffily.   "Shhh," Dicky said to his brother.

"Hoooo Hooo Hoooo!" Hazel turned to the triplets. "Winnie and Thomas are getting hitched."

"Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!"

Hard pounding knocks on the dressing room door hushed the performers. Through the door, they heard "Five minutes to show time!"

"Winnie, we are so very happy for you!. . .Can you hear the Daffodils? They're all heedless with joy. . . Honey, the show is about to start. Let me call . . .Really? You want me to perform the Hawaiian Wedding Song dance?. . .I would be honored to do the hula for you and Thomas at your wedding. I'm humbled. . .Yes, yes, I'll call you tonight. Give your sweetheart a huge 'hear-hear' from us. Love you!"

Hazel and the Daffodils hugged each other, hardly containing their joy. They twirled harum-scarum around each other as they headed out the door for their first performance of the day at the Honalee Bay Aquarium.

Oh, happy days! A wedding celebration is on the horizon for the ABC Wednesday creatures. Stay tuned.


H is the theme for week two of Round 22 of ABC Wednesday. Check it out here. Thank you much, ABCW team!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

What's That?


What kind of hairy flower is that?

Molly the Cat!

There's no end to her delightfulness and cuteness and all wonderfulness.



It's time for Our World Tuesday. Here's the link for you to check out participants from around the world, and maybe to join up yourself. Thanks, Our World Tuesday hosts!


Monday, February 26, 2018

So Many Ways to Learn Things


Never kick a cow chip on a hot day. 
~ Will Rogers

Some people have to learn things on their own, no matter how wise or common sense the advice. Nothing wrong with that. They simply need to be ready to clean their shoes. Or, worse, throw them away. I wonder if Will Rogers actually kicked a cow chip on a hot day.


Sunday, February 25, 2018

Cheers to the Daddy!


Today is the anniversary of the Daddy's spirit passing into the Heavens. I didn't realize that until I checked the calendar to write the date for a journal entry. Must've been why I didn't feel like getting up this morning. The Husband said, "You were dragging yourself down the hall."

The memories are strong. Here are a few moments that I recall about the Daddy: Him handing my five-year-old self a pear that he picked from the orchard where we sat. It was the Daddy's smoke time. No matter where he was in the tomato field, where he kept watch of the water flow in the irrigation canals, far away or near by, he walked back to the car and sat with me until smoke time was over.

The Daddy taking me to my first day of school, my first day of first grade, and my first day at my new school. Nothing was ever said between us that I can remember. I scurried beside and a little behind him swinging my lunchbox. He walked up to the teacher or the principal and confidently introduced himself and me, then after a brief conversation with the adult, he looked at me, as if saying 'You're a big girl. I know you can take care of myself."


The Daddy saying to my 19-year-old self, "Don't be a hippie." If you're interested, click here for a story about that incident.

The Daddy climbing three flights of stairs to my new apartment in the City. I came out to the hallway to see him lean against the wall as he looked at the last flight of stairs.  Breathless he said to my 26-year-old self, "Are you trying to kill me?!"

The Daddy and I walking on Geary Boulevard in search of a liquor store.  The Daddy wanted to buy a pint of whiskey to celebrate the family all being together.

The Daddy making one of his rare, and always important, phone calls to me. This was his last phone call. He asked my 28-year-old self when I was coming for a visit. "Don't wait long," he said, signing off.

The Daddy standing at the doorway to my old bedroom on the last night of my visit, simply looking at me as I did whatever silly thing I was doing. "What?" I asked. "Nothing." He smiled. I went back to doing whatever silly thing I was doing, feeling him look some more, then left. Two weeks later, while I sat at my first lunch out with the colleagues at my new job, I felt a long cool flush go through my chest. Later, I learned that was about the time the Daddy died.

That was 36 years ago. I am so fortunate to have had the Daddy in my life.


I'm linking up with All Seasons, a weekly meme hosted by Jesh at Artworks from Jesh St.G. Click here to check out Jesh and her meme. For the participants list, click here. Thanks, Jesh!




Saturday, February 24, 2018

Purple!

The Mexican lavender has popped back in the front yard. Hurrah!

When the Daddy and the Mama bought their house a long time ago, it wasn't completely finished so the builders let us choose the colors for the rooms. I chose purple for my bedroom, my own four walls with a door. No more more sharing with the Only and Older Brother. That was a pretty good luxury for an almost 10-year-old and for the parents, too. So I think.

In the end, the painters mixed up the Parents' and my choices. They got a muted purple bedroom, while I got a bright yellow one.  Both the Mama and I were bummed, but we sucked it up. C'est la vie.

It was just as well that I didn't get my choice. The color yellow, color experts say, is great for nurturing joyfulness and stimulating intelligence and mental somersaults (perfect for growing minds), while the color purple is good for promoting deep thoughts and spirituality. Once I moved into puberty, I became a rather surly, mopey girl too serious for her own good. Thank goodness for yellow walls (and books).

When I turned 17, I painted the walls white. Boring! I was in a poetry stage, so I illustrated one of my angsty teenage poems on the south wall. Something to do about a gnu who is invited to a party but his cousins, the wildebeests, ignore him because he acts and thinks differently from them. Yeah, it was a good thing I didn't have purple walls when I was a kid.


Friday, February 23, 2018

Blooming Blooms Bloom


Despite the cold temperatures and lack of rain, the first of the wildflower blooms have appeared in the front yard. This morning, Molly the Cat and I saw a cosmos (upper left corner), lupine (upper right corner), and California poppy (lower right corner). They're all volunteers from last year's plantings.

Also presenting itself is the first freesia (lower left corner) of the season. Not sure, but I think they're from bulbs that got planted last fall. These flowers have a light fragrance. Mmmmmmmm.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

We Be Retired


Life is good.

Yesterday my retirement check got deposited and our health insurance and car insurance premiums got paid. Today we went to Costco and splurged on beer, potato chips, pesto sauce, potstickers, toilet paper, and Brita filters. Oh my goodness, we even bought a carpet runner for the hallway.

Am I being sarcastic? Facetious? I don't know anymore.

The Husband and I are now in the category of retired seniors on limited income, so buying groceries at Costco today felt like a luxury. Going home, I found myself justifying the purchases by figuring how much we saved by buying in bulk.  

Going through life with the responsible happy-a-go-lucky Husband makes living less scary. I truly believe him when I ask him to tell me "Everything will be all right." The Husband thinks that people ought to eat well because it helps maintain good health. Why should we deprive ourselves of good health, regardless of our income, right?

Yup. Life is good. At the moment the Husband and I are snacking on the potato chips and beer while we play on our computers. It also sounds like a winter storm may be heading our way.



Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Gentle Grousing with Ghandi and Guy

  
Note: That's the French pronunciation of Guy, said like ghee, a kind of clarified butter.
That said, on with this week's tale for ABC Wednesday.
* * *

"Guy, you'll tear that guide yet," said Ghandi the Gamekeeper, glancing over at Guy A. Gator the Grill Chef, who was whipping not-so-gladly through Gator Cuisine. Ghandi laid a three of hearts down on his game of solitaire.

Guy slapped his hand on a page so vehemently the gin-mill of a bar went silent for a glued second. Guy growled. Or, was it more of a groan? "Look at this!"

Ghandi leaned over the gator's shoulder and read aloud, "The Greatest Gator Gumbo!"

Ghandi grazed Guy's shoulder lightly and gingerly, so the big guy knew that the giraffe was in his corner. "Humans and their follies," said Ghandi.

The two good friends raised their glasses in the air, took a long gulp of martini, gibbered, then sighed.

"Today, a human wanted a special order of gator gumbo," grumped Guy.

"How did you set her straight?"

"I presented myself at her table, bowed, and gently stated 'Madame, I am very sorry. It is our policy to forgo the serving of alligator meat. Please choose another dish.' The waiters told me that I turned about with so much grandioso and gravitas, the customer genuflected behind me."

Ghandi guffawed and snorted while Guy grinned and guzzled more martini.

"How was your day, mi trés grand ami, with the games?" Guy asked after Ghandi's last giggle.


"The grass is no greener on my side. At least today," griped Ghandi. "Bingo and Bubba Byrd spent hours at the putting green on the mezzanine. They were gabbing and gossiping the whole time. After they left, it took forever to scrape their poop off the fake grass."

"A gamekeeper's job is never done, from rising to setting sun," toasted Guy. Ping went their glasses as they touched.

Ghandi continued his grievance, "Charlie the Camel galloped in today. Do you know him?"

"He is a gigantic consumer of our vegan gumbo," Guy gushed proudly.

"Charlie is also a ginormous pinball game fanatic. He does his best to share, but once he gets going, he bogarts the pinball machine and I hear grumbles and groans from the other animals. And, Charlie is a rambunctious gamester, gyrating like Elvis and gurgling when he wins and growling when he doesn't. He grips the machine so tightly that gashes in the wood and glass have started to appear."

"Thank goodness the only creatures waiting a turn were Filemon the Flying Squirrel and Edwina the Egret. After playing a game of Life, they gave up on Charlie and went outdoors to glide to and from between the building's gables, which they know they are not to do."

"Golly, it does sound like a lot of fun," said Guy, glowing from his second martini. He raised his glass. "As the original Ghandi said, 'Hate the sin, love the sinner.'"

"He had such a gracious way of saying things," said Ghandi the Gamekeeper, clinking his glass to Guy's. "'In a gentle way, you can shake the world.'"


G is the theme for week two of Round 22 of ABC Wednesday. Check it out here. Thank you much, ABCW team!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Seeing Things in Things

See the rat (on the left) walking up the top of the hill?
The Husband and I see faces and shapes in rocks, trees, and other inanimate objects. How about you?

Scientists call this phenomenon of seeing things within things facial pareidolia. Some experts say that neurotic individuals are inclined to have this ability. Other experts claim that this condition is quite strong in religious people and those who believe in the supernatural. Leonardo da Vinci considered pareidolia as a tool that artists can use to visualize possible scenes to paint or draw. Carl Sagan thought that pareidolia was a form of survivor tool for individuals to recognize if approaching people are friendly or not. All interesting theories, don't you think?

A tree full of trolls?

What profile do you see: A person? An antelope? Sideshow Bob?


I'm hooking up with Our World Tuesday. Here's the link for you to check out participants from around the world, and maybe to join up yourself. Thanks, Our World Tuesday hosts!

Monday, February 19, 2018

A Monday Ponder


I got to wondering: Are we so healthy that the doctors have nothing to do but administer medication for the flu?

I find it curious that when we get the flu, our tendency is to see the doctor or go to the emergency room for an antidote to the virus. It used to be when we got the flu and saw the doctor, he would try not to scoff at us. "It's just the flu," he'd say. "Go home, get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids, and cover your mouth, for gosh sake, when you cough or sneeze." Well, the doctor wouldn't forsake the gosh, or, if he did, at least not say it out loud."

Same thing with the cold. I think the doctor would actually look at us with disdain, but he would've covered his scowl by puffing out cigarette smoke, if those old movies are to be believed that doctors smoked cigarettes while seeing their patients.

The difference between having a cold and the flu? To me, the Husband is quite a lot more miserable when he has the flu. Over the last several years,  however, he's not as miserable so last month I was surprised when he told me it was the flu he had. "This too will pass," he said, staying warm under the blankets. The Husband is a tough cookie, I tell you.

As to my original question (up at the top of the post if you can't recall), I do think that we're healthier, in general, and the doctors are quite busy helping us stay healthier.

Until later.

P.S. We're actually having a wintery day! The wind is swishing through the trees and chilled air is coming through the windows. Excuse me, I need to find my sweatshirt.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Six Years Together!


Today marks Molly the Cat's sixth anniversary with us.

Yup, six years ago, Molly the Cat and I locked eyes as I walked towards the cat adoption fair in the pet store. She seemed to be daring me to choose her instead of old steady calm Pirate with the one eye. As Molly paced back and forth in her cage, glaring at me, I thought, "She looks like a handful."

The Husband told me that when he first saw Molly, he thought, "That's a cutie."

So it was me that Molly needed to convince to want to pick her up. I'm glad she did. I can't remember what it was like before Molly the Cat, Missy Molly by Golly, came into our lives.

The first time Molly graced the blogosphere.

These Humans let me sleep anywhere I want.

That shed is no more. I loved sitting on its roof and sleeping under its eaves.

Once I mark this, it's mine, whatever it is.

Walking the fence was fun when I was a youngster.

A hunting I shall go, a hunting I shall go. . .Bugs!

Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Six years later, the Humans still let me sleep anywhere I want.

There's nothing like a good book.

I miss the Little Old Lady.

Me and my Humans made the local papers: This is the day we adopted each other.


I'm linking up with All Seasons, a weekly meme hosted by Jesh at Artworks from Jesh St.G. Click here to check out Jesh and her meme. For the participants list, click here. Thanks, Jesh!



Saturday, February 17, 2018

Roast Beef Sandwich for Breakfast


I've heard the Husband say at least twice how much he enjoyed his roast beef sandwich for breakfast this morning.

I generally figure every morning that I'll be having a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast. Easy-peasy, you know. Some mornings I surprise the Husband and me by making a hot breakfast. I hadn't planned on it today but I started flipping through a cookbook  because I decided to weed out the cookbook collection. After all how many cookbooks do I need when I'm not one to follow a recipe the way it's written?

I didn't know I had a Costco cookbook (I wonder if I got it for free). It has lots of cool photos illustrating short and delicious-sounding recipes from big-time chefs such as Mary Esposito and Jamie Oliver. I found a recipe towards the end of the cookbook that inspired today's breakfast. Coincidentally, the Husband walked into the kitchen as the oven light bulb lit over my head.

The poor Husband. I often, if not nearly almost, don't consider that the Husband is still waking up when I ask him hard questions, like this morning:  "Doesn't horseradish mayonnaise sound good? Would you like a roast beef sandwich with horseradish mayonnaise for breakfast?"

"Roast beef sandwich for breakfast," he repeated. He's thinking it's not a breakfast food. He'd like the sandwich. He knows he would. 

"We have horseradish mayonnaise?" he asked. I tell you, I literally saw a question mark over his head.

"No, but I can easily make it. We have horseradish and we have mayonnaise. What do you think? A roast beef sandwich for breakfast. I can add an avocado to it."

"Mmm. We have roast beef?"

"It's in the freezer."

"Meat takes a long time." He kind of looked disappointed.

"It's cooked already. I saw the container of roast beef in the freezer the other day. A few pieces left. I pop them into the toaster oven to defrost. What do you say?"

"Sure, I'll have a roast beef sandwich for breakfast."

The result was a roast beef-farmer's cheese sandwich on sliced sourdough bread, on which I spread a horseradish, avocado, and minced red onion mayonnaise mixture. Next time I'll skip the mayonnaise. I also added an overflowing handful of baby lettuces for good measure. Yummmm.

I ask you: When was the last time you had a roast beef sandwich for breakfast?


Friday, February 16, 2018

Happy Lunar New Year!


Happy Chinese New Year!

Today is the first day of the Year of the Dog, a new year on the Chinese lunar calendar. The Dog is one of the 12 symbolic animals in the Chinese zodiac, meaning each animal-year comes up every 12 years.  The rose is one of the lucky flowers for those born in the year of the Dog. Interestingly, 2018 is not such a lucky year for Dogs.

Do you want to know more about the Year of the Dog, whether you're a Dog, the Chinese zodiac, or the Chinese lunar calendar? Here's one web page to check out.


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Winter Afternoon Light


“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

Travel with Charley: In Search of America is in one of my to-read book piles. It may be the next book I reach for, being that I'm curious to learn what John Steinbeck was seeking as he wandered about the country with his canine pal Charley in 1960. Steinbeck was traveling in the era to which the present administration seems to want to return. You know the "Make America Great Again". Myself, I would rather not return to the age when civil rights for all was not honored by those mean-spirited in power and those cowardly who sided with the powerful.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Filemon the Flying Squirrel's First Flight


Filemon the Flying Squirrel fixed his goggles fairly on his face. He took a few deep breaths to steady his fraught nerves. Really, truly, he repeated to himself, he had nothing to fear. So said his friends Bingo and Bubba Byrd who sat beside him.

"Filemon, flying is what you are about," said Bingo, patting his shoulder.

What if it isn't?" fretted Filemon.

"Dude, you're feeling first-time jitters," Bubba said. "I was awfully fidgety before my first flight. But when I took my first hop into flight, oh my folly golly jolly. I was all fat smiles. My wings flung widely. I floated in sunshine. It was fantastic, Filemon!"

Filemon found himself feeling quite calm.

"Filemon! Filemon! Filemon!"

The flying squirrel searched the ground below for the source of the faint cries. There, near the shoreline were his friends jumping up and down on the beach and waving funny red signs.

"Filemon!" cheered Agathe the Aardvark. Following her was Edwina the Egret, "Filemon!" and not to be outdone was Charlie the Camel, "Filemon!"

"Look who also made it for your inaugural flight," said Bingo, pointing her red sign towards the sea.

Leapfrogging beside their huge red sign were the Daffodil triplets—Davey and her two brothers Dicky and Danny. Filemon could't hear them, but he knew they, too, were shouting cheers of encouragment.

My friends are far-out fabulous! thought Filemon. He nodded to the Byrds. "I'm ready."

"We'll count you off," said Bingo. Filemon took one more deep breath as he got into take-off position.

"Five!" Bubba began.

"Fifteen!" continued Bingo.

"Five hundred fifty-five!" Filemon shouted, taking his first step into flight. "Ffffwwweeeeeeeeee!"

"Hurrah, Hurrah! Hurrah, Hurrah!" shouted the Byrds from the tree, the Daffodils from the sea, and the trio of Agathe, Edwina, and Charlie from the ground below.  "Fly, Filemon, Fly!"

Filemon felt so alive! His heart was filled with so much frabjous joy and love. Filemon called down to all his favorite buddies, "Thank you, thank you for your friendship! Happy Valentine's Day!"



F is the theme for week two of Round 22 of ABC Wednesday. Check it out here. Thank you much, ABCW team!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Yesterday & Today in the Front Yard


The other day I came across these photos of the Mama's front yard in 2010. Neat and proper, how the Mama loved her gardens and landscaping to be. A philosophy that differs from mine, which is essentially a higgledy-piggledy one, although you might say that there is order in chaos.


It has been almost two years since I've taken over the Mama's gardens and landscaping. Flowers have gotten out of hand. The canna lilies, for example, were winning in their plot to take over the front garden so I dug out most of the bulbs and transplanted many elsewhere last month. The Mama's rosemary bushes, on the other hand, are getting straggly in a way that I wonder if they may be on their last legs.

The Mama's roses got rather tall. Some nearly reached the roof. She deadheaded them, but after someone mentioned how tall the roses were, she was no longer interested in cutting them back. So I thought. Now I wonder if was because it was too difficult for her to prune them and she didn't want to ask me to do it for her. Here's a link to the story about the Mama and her tall roses.

At the end of December, I got brave and pruned the roses back. They're still on the tall side. Here's how the front and side gardens looked yesterday. Notice how full the bougainvillea and jade plants have gotten near the front door. I suppose I ought to trim them for easier access to the front step.


As some of you may know I've written previously about how the Mama loved having a lawn. Green and plush, which was difficult those last several years of her life because we were in a horrible drought. We were limited to our water use, so the Mama had to choose: the lawn or her vegetable and flower gardens. She settled for the Husband watering the lawn sparsely, but there was usually evidence that she had watered the lawn when we had gone off for the afternoon. Here's the Mama's lawn in 2010.


And, here's a picture of what the ever evolving landscape looked like last month. Higgidley-piggidley in a somewhat orderly way. The daisies, roses, geraniums, and most of the succulents were plants that the Mama kept in containers.

I like to think the Mama's spirit is pleased with the changes made to the once-upon-a-time lawn. What do you think?



I'm hooking up with Our World Tuesday. Here's the link for you to check out participants from around the world, and maybe to join up yourself. Thanks, Our World Tuesday hosts!

Monday, February 12, 2018

A Monday Morning


Yesterday afternoon, and into the night, I essentially did something like a cramming session. As is my wont, I waited to the last minute to complete documents to bring to the self-help legal center at the courthouse this morning.

Monday is the only day the center is open for five hours. I made sure that the Husband and I got out of the house in time to get there at 8:00 a.m. because I was told that people begin lining up minutes before the door opens.

Half a block away I could see parking spaces right next to the building. We were so in luck!

The courthouse doors were still locked at 8:01 a.m. Peeking through the glass door, we saw no guards manning the security screening machines. Odd, right? I walked a bit further up and noticed through the windows that the shades were drawn at the counter where the court clerks ought to be. Eerie!

"Is this a holiday?" I asked the Husband.

"Is this the 19th?" he answered. "President's Day is the 19th."

"That's next week. I'm going over to the bakery. Maybe they'll know."

I took a couple of steps and happened to see the paper sign taped to the inside of the window next to the door. CLOSED for LINCOLN'S BIRTHDAY.

Oh well.

Back at the car, we were telling each other that since we're dressed we ought to go somewhere. So we headed over to a nearby local park for a walk.  My bum knees let me walk about half a mile along the path. Hurrah. The Husband walked further. When we sat on a bench for a rest before heading back to the car, I noticed that my tunic was inside out.

"It's a good thing the court was closed," said the Husband. "The impression you would've made."

A flibbertigibbet one, I suppose.  Giggle.