Showing posts with label ABC Wednesday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ABC Wednesday. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Keeping Out the Birdies and Kitties

Click here if you'd like to see how the former lawn has progressed.
From last Thursday to Monday morning, I've been playing in the front yard, changing more of the looks of the former lawn. You see, the weather predictors said that rain is a coming. (And it has!) So, of course, I needed to take advantage of the rain. I dug, hoed, and pulled patched of turf and sowed wildflower seeds. The Husband also got in the fun and dug holes for the Mama's roses that were getting nowhere anymore in their pots.


One of the dilemmas of creating flower plots in the front yard is trying to keep the birdies from eating the seeds and the kitties (not Molly the Cat) from turning the plots into their personal latrines.

No problem. The Mama taught me a good enough solution.

We took the branches that we pruned from the fruit trees last winter and criss-crossed them across the flower plots. Voici, voilå!


With sun, rain, and good fortune, all will be in bloom by the end of April.

It's ABC Wednesday time. Click here to check out what other participants are posting about the letter K. Thank you, ABCW team!



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Just.


When I saw the episode of Grace and Frankie, an original Netflix series starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, in which Frankie (Lily) mentions her diary and Grace (Jane) responds with "Your bullshit diary where you write in the air?", I thought that's how I've mostly been blogging the last 11 months. Unlike Frankie, I mentally write the words.

Have you seen Grace and Frankie by the way? In a nutshell it's about two vibrant women in their 70s who suddenly become roommates because their husbands announced they are gay, been having a secret relationship with each other for years, and want a divorce from Grace and Frankie because so that they can married. A mouthful, huh?

The series revolve around Grace and Frankie coming to terms with suddenly being on their own after 30-40 years of marriage. It's also about the women becoming each other's main support, although they don't think much of each other's life style. Grace is an uptight former CEO of her own company while Frankie is an old hippie artist. There are also secondary stories about Bob (Grace's husband played by Martin Sheen) and Saul (Frankie's ex played by Sam Waterston), as well as the adult children of Grace and Bob and Frankie and Saul.  Another mouthful!

I love this show. The storyline. The subject matter—after all, how many TV shows feature older people in a not-so-schmaltzy way. The cast, wowza! One of the creators of the show is Marta Kauffman who also co-created Friends. Quality! And, lots of strong writing, I must add.

Okay. Enough about this show before I distract myself from my original intention of today's blog. If you want to know more about the series, check out the Grace and Frankie website or the Wikipedia article about the series.

My original intention? I began this post on Sunday. Today is Wednesday.

My original intention?

Focus, focus, Susie, my darling dear.

My original intention?

Just—in all senses of just—to let me know that I need to express. . .to articulate. . .to humor. . .to feel out loud what's inside my soul.

Just often sad.

That shall pass.

And, while it is passing, I shall do my best to write my thoughts via the keyboard rather than in the air.


It's ABC Wednesday. This was my J post. Click here to please check out other participants. Thank you ABCW Team!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Ilocano Tribe

Su-sieee! Mac, 1985.
It's the letter I at ABC Wednesday. My contribution is an edited post that I originally published on April 10, 2013. To check out ABCW posts from bloggers around the world, please click here. Thanks ABCW Team!
In 1985, I spent several days camping in Havasu Canyon with the First Husband-to-be. Havasu Canyon, known for its gorgeous waterfalls that run down to the Colorado River, lies just outside of the western border of the Grand Canyon National Park. We stayed at the Havasu campground on the Havasupai Indian Reservation run by the Havasupai Tribe. (I have no idea if that's how it is today.)

Havasupai means people of the green blue water. And, yes, the pools of water were a spectacular green blue color when we were there.

To get to the campground back then, you either flew in on a helicopter or hiked the winding 10-mile trail down to the canyon floor.

I was (and still am) a slow walker, so the First Husband-to-be got to the campground office before me. The reservation was under my name so he and the office manager patiently waited for me to get there. The two men were talking when I entered the office. I immediately recognized the manager's voice. I had spoken to him over the phone a month earlier.

"Can you tell me if it will rain in April there?" I had asked.

"It's hard to say," the office manager had answered.

"Does it usually rain in April?" I had rephrased my question, thinking he didn't understand that I wanted a general idea of what the weather was like that time of year.

"Sometimes it rains. Sometimes it doesn't rain."

I had hung up from our conversation rather flustered. Years later, I realized how silly it was to ask about weather that has yet to happen.

"Hello," I said to the office manager, noticing that he looked at me oddly. I thought maybe I had something on my face.

Not much of a small talker, I got to the point. Pulling out my wallet, I asked, "How much do we pay?"

"Nothing," he said.

"Huh?"

"Nothing."

"You don't have a camping fee anymore?"

"For you, it's free."

"Free? Okay. Thank you."

"What tribe are you from?"

"Tribe?" I hesitated. The First Husband-to-be said later that he hoped I'd say 'The Ilocano tribe'.

"Uhm, I don't belong to any tribe. My parents are from the Philippines. They're Ilocanos."

The office manager looked disappointed.

"I don't mind paying," I said.

"That's okay," he said, shrugging. "We're all the same."

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Hole.


Is a hole only round? Can't it be oval, triangular, hectagonal, or another shape?

Must a hole be whole? A whole hole. Couldn't it be partial?

Is a hole always black? Not green? Purple? Rainbow? If it's white, could we see it?

Could a hole by holey? We just can't see the multiple holes in a hole.

Finally, could there be such a thing as a holy, holey whole hole?


Now that you've had your fill of holes, head over to ABC Wednesday, where I've parked my link. It's a fun weekly meme with wonderful bloggers from around the world. Thanks, ABCW team, for hosting the letter H. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A Guy of a Cloud


Do you see the cloud's brow, nose, and slight grin? It looks like a male profile, so I'm calling the cloud Guy.

Hey, Guy!

I saw Guy this morning as the Husband and I drove over to Freedom to buy Molly the Cat her food and stuff. (Yes, the Husband was behind the wheel.)

Perfect timing, I say. The letter G is the theme of this week's ABC Wednesday. Click here to see what other bloggers have shared.  Thanks, ABCW team!


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Flowers Now and To Come


This week has been one of delight when it comes to flowers.

One of the Mama's orchids has a blossom. I only noticed the flower over the past weekend. I truly was going la, la, la when I've been watering the orchid pots. Oh well, makes for a nice surprise. Aren't the orchid's colors gorgeous? The Husband's bicycle has almost the same color of green.  

Sigh. I miss pedaling around on Tilda-Hilda, my sweet pink cruiser.


The ornamental pear tree is in full bloom. This is the second year that the tree's branches are in synch with their flowers. Until last year, it could've been October, December, March, June, or whenever a branch felt like showing off its blooms. I'm happy with whatever it wants to do.


On Valentine's Day, I sowed a large packet full of seeds that when in bloom will attract butterflies and hummingbirds. I threw the seeds in that old drawer (in the photo) and in that space in front of it. I put branches and twigs on top of the ground to keep birds and cats out. A trick I learned from the Mama.

So, if all goes well, 26 days from now, the drawer and ground will be crowded with asters, black-eyed Susans, milkweed, California poppies, echinacea, scarlet sage, wallflower, and a few other flowers.  Knock on wood.


F is the featured letter on ABC Wednesday this week. The meme lets participants link up for several days after Wednesday. Thank you very much, ABCW team.  Click here to go to the ABCW site.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Exquisiteness.


With all the current churning of evilness in our country's leadership, we need to take time every day to look for the wonder, the beauty, the eloquence, and the love in our lives and our environment.

Call me simple, if you like. Doesn't matter. I have faith that we shall get positiveness, common sense, and humanity back in power again.

It's the letter E at ABC Wednesday. To check out ABCW posts from bloggers around the world, please click here. Thanks ABCW Team!


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Jumping the Ditch


It's the letter D at ABC Wednesday. My share is a post that I originally published on April 11, 2014. To check out ABCW posts from bloggers around the world, please click here. Thanks ABCW Team!


Because I was born 10 days after the cut-off date for first graders, I was sent home on the third day of school. Fine. The Mama had her hands full caring for Baby Sister and figuring out the new house that we had moved into about a week before school started. That meant I got to go with the Daddy for part of the day. Great!
 

The Daddy irrigated the rows upon rows of crops on the valley floor. During his morning break, the Daddy came home to fetch me. I'd get in the car with my Golden Books, coloring books, and crayons and down the hill we would go. While the Daddy worked, I entertained myself with my books and when that became tiring, I'd wander and explore, but never too far from the car and always where the Daddy could see me. We'd go home for lunch and sometimes I'd get to go back with the Daddy.
 

A ditch stood between the fields and the car. It also separated me from the Daddy. Without help, I could not get over the ditch, especially when it was filled with water. One day, I decided to get over the ditch. Yup, that day it was full of water.
 

I jumped.  Wheeee! I landed safely on the other side.
 

I turned around and jumped back. Then I jumped again. Back and forth I went.
 
Splash!
 

Before I knew what happened, the Daddy pulled me out of the ditch. I was not hurt.
 

"Your mom is going to be mad," the Daddy said in his quiet voice.
 

I looked down at myself all wet and muddy. Oh-oh.
 

From that day on, until we moved again, I stayed home with the Mama and the Baby Sister. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Color!


Bold, bright, brilliant, yet tranquil, joyful, and sensual. . .

COLOR!!!
That's what I need to see a lot more. 

The Mama put it this way, as she planted more flowers in her crowded boxes: "I like flowers. Lots of flowers." 

By the way, that cluster of the Mama's pink roses are hanging out in the backyard. They don't seem to mind our cold wet winter. Thank goodness!


It's the letter C at ABC Wednesday, a fun meme with participants from around the world. Want to join in or check out other C posts?  Then please click here.  Thank you, ABCW team!


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Banana Quixote


The banana plant reminds me of Don Quixote fighting at the windmills. Don't you think? This Banana Quixote attacks the apple tree branches.

By now, the Mama's banana grove ought to be pruned back. The rain and the muddy ground have kept me from doing the job. When it's not raining, the temperatures have been in the 30s in the early mornings. I was going to say that's cold for us, but that's only because we forget from one winter to the next.

Anyway, this year I've learned that icy temperatures burn the banana fronds dry, just like not watering would. Interesting, huh?

Click here to see what the grove looks like the rest of the year.

 It's the letter B on ABC Wednesday. Click here to join in and/or check out the other participants of the weekly meme.  Thank you, ABCW team!




Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Letter A


So, what did you think about when you read the letter A?

The Scarlet Letter?  Alvin from the Chipmunks? "A-a-a-a-a" as in the Fonzie's?

Nope. You get no analyzing from me about your answer.

Mine, you ask?

Avocados. That's because an avocado fell from our tree during the amazing storm this past weekend. Most of the fruit are at the top, which surprised me. I didn't think we'd have much of a crop because of the big one last year.  But nearly every time I looked at the avocado tree, and it was infrequent, I found another hidden among the leaves. Trés cool.

I read that avocados start ripening once they're picked and that the best place to store avocados is on their tree. In two or three days, the avocado may be ready to eat. Maybe four days. If so, our feasting on avocados begin.

Once all the avocados are harvested, we'll lop off the top branches. The Mama taught me to prune high in the tree so that the fruits would grow low on the tree. We shall see.


Wait, wait. Don't go yet. I also want to tell you that the letter A is also for ABC Wednesday, the fun weekly meme I've been doing for two or three years. Today ABCW begins it's 20th round. Yaaaay! Sadly, it also starts the final round for Roger and other ABCW administrative team members. Thank you very much for your dedication and good cheer!

If you'd like to join in or check out the other participants, please click here.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Zabaglione, Molly?


"No, thank you. Zabaglione is not for me," said Molly the Cat. Very politely too. Missy waited patiently by her little table. That's one of the ways she lets us know that she's ready for a meal.

Yup. Our darling spoiled feline has a table, which is actually a small cheese board, placed sweetly upon a placemat. Molly likes to keep a few of her balls nearby.

Zort, as Pinky of "Pinky and the Brain" would say.

It's the letter Z at ABC Wednesday. Another end of a round, thank you very much ABCW team. Want to join in and/or check out the other Z participants?  Click here then. 



Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Yummy Pumpkin Bibingka


"I'm going to make bibingka," I said on Christmas morning.

"Do you know how to make bibingka?" asked the Husband. 

The Husband forgot that I've baked this Filipino dessert a few times before. Of course it was easy for him to forget since the Mama liked to make this cake treat nearly every Christmas and for any day she deemed special.  I don't know if I'll carry on the Mama's annual holiday tradition. It simply felt good to have some kind of warm sweetness enveloping the house on Christmas morning.

The tradition I will carry on is the Mama's like to experiment with recipes. I read a recipe for pumpkin mochi which I thought would translate quite well into pumpkin bibingka. Both recipes use sweet rice flour rather than wheat flour. Instead of condensed milk, I used a combination of coconut milk and lactose-free whole milk. I'd give you the recipe but I modified it as I was going and you know how that goes.

The result turned out pretty yummy. Not too sweet since I cut the sugar by a third.  I was surprised that the pudding-texture of the cake came out almost like the Mama's, which means I may have approximated the secret ratio of liquid to dry ingredients that the Mama used. Nearly every Filipino woman has her own unique take on bibingka once she has mastered the basic recipe.

"It's like pumpkin pie without the crust," said the Husband.

I think the Mama would've liked it, too.


Y is the letter for this week's ABC Wednesday, a weekly meme that has been around for 10 years. Thank you, ABCW team!  Want to join or check out the participants? Then click here.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

There's an X!


Do you ever see faces in rocks? The alphabet in landscapes? Spaces that look like they could be portals into another dimension?

Me too.

Merry Xmas! Happy Holidays!

Be Happy!


I'm happily linking up with ABC Wednesday. Please click here to check out the other participants and/or to join in.  Thank you, ABCW Team!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Stained Glass Windows


The Husband and I wandered about the country roads yesterday afternoon for my birthday treat. Our first stop was at the small old church in Tres Pinos, California, population nearly 500. (These links will lead you to my posts about the church and town, if you're interested in know about them.)

We happened to be in luck. The church doors were open.  I'm not a churchgoer, but I find comfort sitting inside this church every so often. Maybe it's because I was baptized there.

As always, I enjoyed contemplating over the stained glass windows. They are eloquent in their simplicity. They are poetry.


It's the letter W at ABC Wednesday. Click here to join in, or to check out other participants. Thank you, ABCW team!


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A View of Something Pretty

This morning I thought today was the letter W on ABC Wednesday. What shall I do? I wondered.

Then it dawned on me that today is December 7 -- Pearl Harbor Day. I can repost the War! piece I wrote several years ago about my parents's experiences on that day in 1941. Yes, that's what I would do later when I had a chance.

An hour ago was my opportunity to do my post. Whoops. It's actually the letter V. I thought vice, viceroy, vicious, villain, vile and all kinds of v words that had me thinking of our new President-elect and his, shudder, proposed advisors and cabinet secretaries. Vleahhh.

I decided you would prefer to see something pretty. So, here you go—the Mama's flowers in the front of the house. They are in bloom this moment. I don't know how long they'll last. It's starting to get quite chilly.


To check out other participants in ABCW, please click here. Thank you, ABCW team!



Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Uh-toot!


"We can't store the persimmons in the garage," I said to the Mama and the Husband at the lunch table one day. "There's an uh-toot."

The Mama laughed.

"What's that?" the Husband asked.

"A mouse," I said. Most likely I shuddered. Rodents give me the creeps.  "Uh-toot in Ilocano means mouse. Right, Mama?"

"Uh-taut," said Mama. "You have a funny pronunciation."

"Uh-toot," I said.

"Uh-taut."

"Uh-toot," said the Husband. "She's saying the same thing."

The Mama smiled.

"Uh-toot," I said. "Be careful. If you say Ah-toot, you're talking about a fart."

That conversation happened a few years back. Recently, I learned that the Ilocano word for mouse is bau, which I never heard the Mama or the Daddy use. I also found out that the spelling for fart is o-t-o-t. 

The Mama considered mice as farts. Giggle.


Today is the letter U at ABC Wednesday. Click here to join in and/or check out what other participants are sharing.  Thank you, ABCW team!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Trieste


Trieste is the name of the street I live on. The Husband pronounces Trieste as Tree-est. The Mama used to say Trees-tay. I like to say Tree-es-tay. Molly the Cat simply says Mwrr.

Today, I found out that I was wrong about what trieste means. I thought it meant sad. In Italian, which is the word's origin, trieste means market place. (Italians pronouce the word as tree-es-tay.) According to Wiktionary.org, trieste is from the Latin word tergeste, which comes from Venetic, a once-upon-a-time language in the long-time-ago region of Veneto.

I love the idea that we live on Trieste, a market place. I shall now imagine myself selling, trading, and giving away the creations of my heart. They may be words, images, and things out of stuff. Hmmmm. When I was a young thing living in San Francisco I wanted to be a street artist when I grew up, but I had no idea what I could sell as I had no artistry of any kind. That's what I thought then.

Things are different now. I have the time to play with paint, ink, pencils, glitter, dyes, rocks, dirty, hammers, saws, needles, thread, paper, fabric, straw, flowers, paper, and so on and so forth, et cetera, et cetera. I can explore, discover, experiment, and simply try my hand at finding what kind of artistry is inside me. Who knows, if I want to, I might even make a small living out of it.

By the way, in Spanish, triste means sad or mournful. I'm glad to know that I don't live on a street called sadness. Maybe now melancholy and I can make a truce. 


It's the letter T at ABC Wednesday. Click here to join in on the fun and/or read posts by other bloggers around the world.  Thank you, ABCW team!


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A Simply Stunning Surprise


Wowza!

I planned on writing something serious today about current events, but then I received wonderful news this morning that I want to share. It was the first email message I saw when I opened my mailbox.  Giggle, giggle.

First some background.  Are you familiar with the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series by Laurie R. King? This is one of the few series that I keep up with. In a nutshell, in case you're not, Mary, the wife of Sherlock, is the main character in the series. Mary goes from being Sherlock's apprentice to his equal partner in marriage and detection.  Together, they resolve situations for clients and Sherlock's brother who is in the deepest of deep English intelligence, as well as for themselves. The time frame for their adventures is the late 1910s and 1920s. For more about the series, click here.

So, what's my news? 

Last month I entered that drawing above of Mary and Sherlock on a hillside in Laurie R. King recent fan art contest. It's my interpretation of Sherlock and Mary in their first years together. Sherlock and Mary discuss a case while the apprentice practices her juggling, a skill that she shall use when she is in disguise as a gypsy or other vagabond. Sherlock smoking his pipe is a sign that he is focused on making sense out of the clues that have revealed themselves.

Yes, the news.  I won First Runner Up in the Contest! The announcement is here. Whooo-hooo!

It's the first time I ever placed in an art contest. Wowza!


We're up to the letter S in ABC Wednesday, thank you very much ABCW team. To join in and/or check out the participants, please click here.
 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Not Quite With It Sometimes


Once upon a time when I was young, I needed to have a car insurance adjuster give me an estimate on the damage done to the car I was driving at the time. I no longer recall what the damage was and how the car got damaged, which makes me think that some one thumped or scraped the car in a parking lot and drove away. Or, something similar that made a big enough of a dent for the Daddy to tell me to take it into an insurance office so that I can get it fixed. Immediately.

Got it. 

At the time I was a big girl working and living in San Francisco. Whoo-hooo!

Very responsible I was, this big girl that I was. I even knew where to take the car, without looking it up in the phone book. Remember that book?

Early one Saturday morning, a friend and I drove over to the State Farm Insurance Office near a mall south of the City. Easy peasy. I went into the office and told a guy what I needed. He picked up a clipboard, and, leading me back outside, asked, "Do you have your insurance card?"

"It's in the glove compartment."

"You get it while I take a look at the damage."

No problem, which was the motto of this big girl that I was.

I sat in the passenger's seat and opened the glove compartment. A whole bunch of stuff came tumbling out. And, sitting right on top of all that stuff were a couple of tampons.

Giggle. 


The friend didn't think it was funny at all. "Sue!" She was quite embarrassed when the insurance guy was suddenly behind her.

"Here it is," I said, stuffing everything back into the glove compartment and shutting the door. Snap.  I like to remember the snap as a nice devil-may-care snap. Snap.

"You know we're State Farm Insurance?" asked the insurance guy.

"Yes."

He handed me back the insurance card. "You're with Farmer's Insurance."

Giggle.


It's the letter Q at ABC Wednesday. Q-dedicated posts (or should I say dedicated Q posts?) are especially tough for me. For that matter, so are the other 25 letters of the alphabet.  Click here to check out other Q posts by ABCW participants. Join in, too, if you like.

Thanks, ABCW team!