Sunday, July 23, 2017
I don't think I'm there yet—a succulent crazy mama.
I did go to a succulent and cactus show a couple months of ago. It was something to do. It was free.
And, yeah, okay I did buy $30 worth of plants, which I finally planted in that ceramic planter above. The purchases were the orange and red moon cactuses, that spiny looking tree, the cactus with the tiny white flowers on the right that's blending with the white rocks, and the succulent in the metal planter on the left. Maybe that little succulent in the center of the bowl. I can't recall. I also can't remember if I kept their name tags.
Yesterday, I dug out the Mama's spindly looking aloe vera plants in the back yard. They were nesting next to the apricot tree and geraniums, getting too much water and not enough sun. I thought I would plant them today in a sunnier part of the backyard, but I felt too tired. Maybe tomorrow morning, I'll at least stick the largest plants into the ground, and a few of the new growth in old shoes.
Yes, shoes. I have two bags full of the Mama's and my old shoes to turn into planters for succulents. I don't know about the Mama's platform shoes, maybe they'll become part of a border. That might look cool, don't you think?
I tell you if it weren't for gardening, I don't know how I would've coped with everything these past 15 months.
I'm sharing at Jesh's All Seasons, her weekly meme that she hosts at her site Artworks by JeshStG. Click here to check it out. Thanks, Jesh!
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Come See the Strange Thing!
Posters called out to the Husband and me once upon a time at the county fair.
Only a Dollar!
How could we resist?
We walked up to the counter, plunked down our two bucks, and entered the tent.
Pictures and articles were plastered on the wall. I didn't want to read. I wanted instant gratification. Where is the Strange Thing!?
Then. . . . Eeeeeeeeeeeew!
On display was a shriveled up something that looked like a dried up armadillo. Yuck. The Strange Thing! was said to be a blood-sucking creature called a chupacabra.
Was it real? Qué sera, sera? The Internet mostly says the chupacabra is an urban legend, but that doesn't keep the curious from conducting field research.
Years later the Husband and I crack up whenever one of us brings up The Strange Thing! Have we learned our lesson? Will we plunk down hard-earned cash to see the next Strange Thing! at a county fair? Qué sera, sera?
By the way, we have our own little strange thing sitting on the kitchen window ledge. (Did you think I'd ever get to that?) It's definitely for real, our strange thing is. It's a citron, a kind of lemon, which also goes by the name of Buddha's Hand.
Don't let the photo fool you about its size. It's nearly three inches long and two-and-a-half inches high. Pretty strange, but kind of cute. Giggle.
Hooking up with Our World Tuesday. Click here to check out other participants. Thank you, OWT hosts!
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Cool word, huh?
I learned it this morning in the novel I'm currently reading, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. Zetabetical. Google coughed up 39 results of the word, its earliest use in 2003.
In the novel, the protagonist, Eleanor, organized the tins on her kitchen shelf in zetabetical oder.
Tins? The novel is set in Glasgow.
Zetabetical. From the statement, I take the word to mean alphabetical in reverse order. You know, starting with Z. It wasn't easy for me going backwards, as you can tell in my picture. Giggle.
Next week, a new round begins under Melody, the new ABCW administer, and her team at a new address. For the next ABCW round, I shall go through the alphabet writing about movies I've seen. Yup.
I've almost forgot. Click here to check out more Z themed posts.
Saturday, July 1, 2017
Note: I wrote this post yesterday from the iPad, then sent it to my computer by email. Perhaps one day I'll learn to cope and paste on iPad. Anyway, by evening, I was too pooped to get on the computer and publish this post. In the end, does it really matter if I had? :-)
I'm taking a short writer's break from being a domestic goddess. Brief no doubt because I have been thinking about writing that first sentence for the last 10 minutes. Every so often that sentence repeated itself in my brain when I wasn't distracted by The Solid Gold Oldies music station on TV playing in the background and by the ambitious things I want to complete before dinner begging for mental attention.
I forgot. What was the intent of this post?
Probably to brag about the things I have finally got to and then some. Should that be one word: then some, thensome?
To my great surprise the Blenheim apricot tree gifted us—and the birdies—with many branches full of fruit. We can't eat the apricots faster than they ripen on the tree. For every apricot we pick, one smashes on the ground. Not a bad ratio, considering we thought the tree wasn't interested in producing anymore.
This afternoon I finally turned off the computer and took care of the apricots. I froze a bunch of fruit, baked an apricot pie, made apricot pouches with the leftover filling and pie crust, and created a spicy sesame apricot salsa. Olé!
Cleanup took longer. That's what I'm resting from, which is about to be over.
Next on my agenda is to pare lemon rind and soak them in vodka for my first ever attempt at making limoncello. I've been wanting to try that for the past 13 years.
Thursday, June 15, 2017
One of my favorite flowers.
One of the first flowers I successfully grew as a kid.
When I was a teenager, they let me grow sweet peas on the south side of the house. I can't recall though if I was a decent shepherd of sweet peas. You know, if I had watered them regularly without being told. I doubt they would've told me if I forgot. Knowing the parents, they would've given the sweet peas a drink if they were watering in the area. The parents were great. I like to think they were impressed that I actually took an interest in growing stuff. I also planted Sweet Williams beneath a tree in the front yard, but they didn't do as well as the sweet peas.
Sweet Peas. Sweet Williams. Yup. I was attracted to the names.
This morning I collected sweet pea seed pods in the backyard. Their season went quickly. The sweetpeas in the picture are the last for this year. They're volunteers. I didn't even know there were sweet peas until I looked out the window of L Studio, which used to be the Mama's bedroom, the second or third morning of healing from my not-a-hysterical surgery. The sweet peas. The geraniums. The roses. The trees. The jungle that the Mama created. Looking out the window that morning, I recalled the Mama doing the same thing after she got up.
Quite calming. Quite tranquil. Quite quiet.
Sunday, April 9, 2017
It's past noon and I haven't done what I said I would do today.
But, I did make apple scones for breakfast and went out to the front yard with Molly the Cat to deadhead daisies and pull some weeds. Now I'm writing about it all.
All distractions from filling out income tax forms.
Doing the taxes should take less than two hours. I already did a first pass last month to get an idea of the damage to our checkbook. So, no big deal, right?
I'm listening to the Full Sail album by Loggins & Messina in hopes that it will get me into the mood. Yes, right after I imagine myself snorkeling in Hawaii. Ah, such pretty fishes.
I'm linking up with All Seasons, a meme hosted by Jesh of Artworks from JeshStG. Click here to check out other participants.
Thursday, March 2, 2017
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.
Monday, January 23, 2017
We've been having a wonderful winter of rain. The rainfall during the last couple of weeks has been like it used to be with flooding creeks, roads, and streets. It's possible the powers-that-be will say the drought is over in our area. Still, we shall need to continue to conserve water because our local population is growing due to the hundreds of houses being built.
I seem to want to work out in the garden just at it starts raining. All that means is I go outside while it's just a light drizzle to deadhead flowers and snap off jade branches killed by the frost.
Our front lawn has come back. With a vengeance, I think. The Husband says the grass is thick because he hasn't cut it. Not once since it started coming back. I'm fine with that. Actually, I'm curious to see how tall the grass can grow before I pull some out in a month or so when it's best to sprinkle pixie dust and wildflower seeds.
I took the above photo yesterday. Below is how the lawn looked in previous months. Giggle.
I'm linking up with All Seasons today. It's a weekly meme hosted by Jesh at Artworks from JeshStG. Click here to check out the other participants and/or to join the fun.
Saturday, January 14, 2017
Some mornings I wake up with a mission in my mind. Today, for example, the goal for the Husband and me is to bring down another bookcase to the living room from upstairs.
Very easy, you say.
As long as I keep us on task, which means not getting distracted by something else. I have a not-so-committed goal to make something out of cabbage and ground turkey. Maybe make a non-stuffed cabbage casserole. Stuffing cabbage sounds too time-consuming. I know: What else do I have to do? Well, bring down the bookcase and all the books in that bookcase. I'd also like to go outside and prune the apricot tree while it's still cold. And, maybe one or two of the scraggly rose bushes.
It's nearly 11:35 a.m. See what I mean about getting distracted. No? Well, I just wrote this post.
Sunday, January 8, 2017
Rrrrrrrr-umble. . .BANG!
I didn't see it, but I did hear the thunderstorm sometime after midnight. I was quite happy not to see the flashes. FLASH!
It has been raining. Glorious, glorious rain. And, if the weather guys are correct, it will continue to rain until Thursday. Knock on wood.
During a not-raining lull this morning, Molly the Cat and I ventured into the backyard to see how things are holding up. Our raggedy back fence heartily stood up to yesterday's wind. Whhhheeeeeeeewwwwwh. . .
Molly was busy sniffing out what she probably hoped would be wild animals while I shot photos. We are so different from the Mama who would've swept as many leaves as she could before she decided it was too muddy and cold to be outside.
By the way, did you find Molly among all that green stuff? In the photo up there, that is. Yes, the path was once clear and free of leaves. :-)
And, look, here. A rosebud! The Mama's spirit continues to shine in her rose bushes.
I'm linking up All Seasons, a weekly meme hosted by Jesh at Artworks from JeshSTG. To check out the other participants or to join up, please click here.
Sunday, January 1, 2017
"What got into you?" asked the Husband, looking across the table as I cracked walnuts.
"The bananas got browner just like you said would happen," I answered. We bought the bunch of organic bananas yesterday afternoon. I only wanted three bananas, but when I saw that the bananas were a bunch for a dollar, I couldn't bring myself to buy three bananas when I could purchase eight for the same price. Would you?
I don't remember if I fully answered the Husband's question. I recall that he went back to checking out Facebook so I must've said that I want the walnuts for making banana bread. Now I think I'll bake scones. Easier. Then I'll freeze the rest of the bananas. I found out I don't even need to peel, slice, or stick them in freezer bags. And when I want to use one or two for baking or smoothies, I simply microwave the bananas for a minute or two. Voila!
It's been a good new year so far. I've been very productive, too. Along with cracked walnuts, I've made a pot of New Years' beans and rice, wrote a couple of short pieces (I'm including this post), brought some books downstairs, and envisioned a bit more about how the living room shall look. The Husband and I went down to the storage lockers and brought back a few boxes and things and looked in the attic to see what the Mama hid there.
I know. What's gotten into me? The possibilities of the new year I suppose. Let's see what happens tomorrow.
May you all have peace, joy, and wonder in 2017!
To start the new year, I'm linking up with All Seasons, a joyful meme hosted by Jesh. Click here to check out the meme. Maybe you'd like to join in as well.
Monday, December 12, 2016
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
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!
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Harvesting crops is hard back-breaking work. Every time I pass by a field of workers, I'm very grateful to them. How can anyone not want to give them a living wage?
It wasn't until 1978 that farmworkers on large farms were finally included under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which required their employers to pay them minimum wage. Still, in some states today, farmers can choose to give their workers a piece-rate wage rather than a minimum hourly rate. It's not a high piece rate either. For instance, if a worker receives 50 cents for every bucket of tomatoes she picks, she would need to pick about 2.5 tons of tomatoes to earn an equivalent minimum hourly wage for a 10-hour day. I think all states ought to mandate hourly wages for farmworkers.
I've got a Mama story for you. She always laughed when she told me about her first year working in the fields of America. It was either the first or second year that she was living here, so that was 1950 or 1951. She decided to pick tomatoes to help bring in money for the family. She was paid something like 25 cents a box. When she picked a bucket of tomatoes, she carried it to the end of the row and put it in the box.
"That was so hard,' the Mama said. "I didn't know what I was doing. It took hours to fill a box."
By the time she had two boxes, the farmer had come around. "He was a nice man," the Mama said. "He felt sorry for me. He started picking tomatoes and putting them in my boxes."
He was the same man that later taught the Mama how to drive an old Model T. But, that's another story.
I'm hooking up with Jeanette's Seasons, a weekly meme that closes tomorrow. Click here to check out her blog and other Seasons' participants.
Tomorrow is now today. That means it's time for ABC Wednesday, which is a meme in which I like to participate. It's the letter N this week. I figure with a little addition to this post's title and the fact that the Mama's boss was a nice guy, this post fills the bill. Click here to check out other ABCW participants.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
London Bridge is falling down,In first grade, we sang this Mother Goose rhyme as we marched under an arch formed by the joined hands of two kids. The hands came down on "My Fair Lady" and the two kids would then rock the captured kid between their locked hands, as we sang a verse about taking the key and locking the kid up. When that verse was over, either the captured kid chose a side and stood behind that kid or took that kid's place, after which, we marched and sang the rhyme again.
falling down, falling down.
London Bridge is falling down.
My Fair Lady.
I don't remember what the point of the game was. For that matter, what the rhyme was all about. After three or four rounds, I would look longingly at the playground, even willing to climb up the jungle gym. And, that I disliked to do.
I didn't become curious about the London Bridge until 1975 when I learned that a rich American had bought the bridge and reconstructed it brick by brick on Lake Havasu in Arizona. A friend and I were driving cross country at the time and hoped to see it, but we ended in the wrong place. Bummer.
In 2007, I finally saw the London Bridge when the Husband and I did a road trip to the southwest. The bridge is gorgeous, no doubt about it. I was thrilled to see the once-upon-time bridge that spanned the Thames River. Seeing this European bridge in a desert setting though was quite surreal.
In the photo, I was posing so it looked like I was holding up the arch. Alas, I was too short. Giggle.
Click here to see what the L other bloggers are writing about for ABC Wednesday. Thank you, ABCW team!
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
I entered 5 k's in the Google search box just now and this mathematical equation came up:
k - k - k - k - k = -5.52259408 × 10-23 m2 kg s-2 K-1
I hope it refers to something full of kindliness. Best to think that way. After all, an OK is a better thing than a KO (knock out).
kind - kinder - kindest - kindly - kindness = -5.52259408 × 10-23 m2 kg s-2 K-1
Keep on keeping on. Peace out.
You got it. It's the letter K on ABC Wednesday. Click here to check out what bloggers around the world are writing about K. Thanks, ABCW team!
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Just kidding around.
Just feeling like a kid again.
Just who do you think you're kidding?
Just a punk kid.
What's just that, kid?
Just a new kid on the block.
Just saying, "Hi, Kid!"
The kid just said, "Bleeeet."
Just handle with kid gloves. Handle just with kid gloves. Handle with just kid gloves. Handle with kid gloves—just.
What are ya? Just some kind of whiz kid?
Just kidding aside.
Yup. I drew a picture of just how I recall my small barefoot kid self.
J is this week's letter for ABC Wednesday. Click here to read other J-themed posts by blogger from around the world. Thank you, ABCW team!!
P. S. Uhm, I thought this week was the letter K. Like how I just barely put the post back on the right track?
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
What do the I's have?
I don't know.
The idiom just came to me. So, let me go look it up. . . .
Oh, it's not the I's, but rather the ayes. Now, that makes sense. The ayes have it. In other words, the majority of people who voted in favor of something won. Okey-dokey.
Pondering and writing about that idiom interrupted my original intention for this post. The thought started the other night. What came first: Ink or inkling?
Did someone have an inkling and needed ink for her pen to write about it? Or, perhaps, hmmm, she spilled ink on herself because someone surprised her by whispering in her ear. She stood up quickly, saying with much irritation to that person, "Inkling!" She was too polite to swear, you see.
This morning, while the Husband and I sat not impatiently in the doctor's office (simply a routine visit for the Husband), I wondered what came first: Imp or impossible? And, Id or idiot?
The inspiration for today's post is ABC Wednesday and the letter (wait for it) I. To check out other I-themed posts, click here. Thank you ABCW team!
Sunday, September 4, 2016
Almost every morning that I start off the day at the computer, Molly the Cat saunters into the office. She acts nonchalantly, ignoring me at first. She goes around the room, rubbing her body against the doorway, the chair legs, and whatever else may be in her path. Then she stops beside my chair. I know what's coming next.
Molly struts back and forth before me. She doesn't care if she has interrupted my writing, my scrolling, my whatever-I-am-doing on the computer.
"Come on, Molly. Let me click this link." I reach under her body to the keyboard.
"Just don't step on the keyboard." Ha! She will if she wants.
Purrrrrrrrrrrrrr. She rubs her head on the edge of the printer, along the pencils in the cup, the umbrella plant that stretches toward the desk, and everything else she wants to mark. Like she hasn't already.
Molly also wants me to pet and hug her to her heart's content. Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
Okey-dokey with me. Most mornings.
Okay, all mornings.
This morning was no different. Well, except, I starting singing while I petted her. The purring stopped. Her ears went up, as in Danger-Danger ready mode. She looked at me with pained eyes. I stopped singing. She relaxed. I sang, continuing to stroke Molly. Her ears pricked up again. She turned her head away from me. She looked like she was wondering if she ought to jump off the table. I stopped singing. She turned her head back to me. I sang. She turned away.
"Molly doesn't like me to sing," I said to the Husband, as he walked into the office.
Molly looked at the Husband as if to say, "Save me. Tell her to stop. She's loud and off-key."
The Husband already knows that. The first time he heard me sing, he told me I was tone deaf. That was 21 years ago. He says these days I can stay on key a lot more.
I sang some more. Molly jumped off the desk and walked (at least she didn't run) out of the office.
Well. Golly gee.
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
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.