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Showing posts from January, 2015

Go, Piggy, Go!

One of my favorite things at our county fair last October was the pig races. Sueeeeeeeeeeey!

Wow! I had no idea that pigs could run so fast. Number Five soared over the hurdles like she had wings sprouting out of her pink jumper.

It's Camera Critters today. Come check out photos of other cute critters with me by clicking here.


The Livestock Auction Stands at the County Fair

Would you like to see other B&W photos by bloggers from around the world? Click here to go to The Weekend in Black and White, hosted by Dragonstar. 

The Dude, the Husband -- A Keeper

The Husband and I were watching Celebrity Apprentice earlier this week. (Yes, indeed, we're hooked on this show even though we know we ought to avert our eyes, but we can't help it.) And, we both noticed that one of the female contestants looked like she had a makeover.

"Her mustache used to show," the Husband said.

"You noticed it, too, did ya?"

"It was obvious," he said.

"Not really," I said, turning my face to him and pointing above my upper lip. "This is obvious."

"I don't see any mustache," the Husband said.

"How can you not?""

"Because you're so sparkly."

"What?"

"I don't see anything but you're sparkliness."

Sighhhhhhh. The Dude is a Keeper!

And, a few years ago, this keeper decided to play at being a bell keeper. No. Make that a bell ringer!

Today is the letter K at Jenny Matlock's Alphabe Thursday. That's where I shall be checking out other

Cut the Stems, Then Plant Them

Clip. Clip. Clip. 

That's what the Mama has been doing among her geraniums lately. Pruning off old and decaying branches so that new growth will take place by spring. Just doing her magic among the geraniums, both in the front and back yards. 


Always the recycler, the Mama doesn't throw out all of the pruned branches. No, sir-eeee, Bob. She snips off the geranium stems to plant in bare spots in the yard, front and back. They take root, then several weeks later. . .Voila! Flowers!

Which stems have a chance of rooting, you may ask? Because, I surely do. Shrugging is her answer. So, I watch her choose the stems to plant. Her selection is based partly from her many years of gardening and horticulture experience. Part is from a feeling, an instinct. And, part is from the geraniums telling her.  At least, that's what I like to think.

The Mama is humble. She is surprised as everyone else when plants under her guidance burst forth with abundant flowers and fruits. Just becau…

#3 Book Review for My 2015 Reading Challenge

On Sunday night, I read The Happy Hollisters, being that it was published in the year I was born (1953), a category in my 2015 Reading Challenge. The Happy Hollisters was the first of the 33 titles of the Happy Hollisters series written by Andrew E. Svenson, under the guise of Jerry West.

I had bought the book several years ago at our local thrift store on a whim, because I was born and raised in Hollister, California and now living in Hollister again. As a kid, I remember seeing the series at the public library, but I bypassed the Happy Hollisters for the Nancy Drew series. If I had known that the Hollisters solved mysteries, I may have become a fan way back when.

I like the Hollister kids, from 4-year old Sue, to 6-year old Holly, 7-year old Ricky, 10-year old Pam, and 12-year old Peter. Each character has lots of positive energy and common sense.  One of the things I like about the Hollister kids is how they feel bad after doing something wrong, apologize, and seek to make amends…

Lola Julia

Lola Julia was my grand aunt. And, a grand aunt she most definitely was. (Lola means grandmother in Ilokano, the Mama's language.) Lola Julia was a one-of-a-kind woman. Once, the Mama said that I was like Lola Julia.  That's one of the best compliments I have ever received.

Unlike most Filipino women of her generation, Lola Julia had a career. Her father encouraged her to get an education. She became a nurse. During World War II, she worked at a hospital for mentally ill patients. When the Japanese solders took over the hospital, she and the other nurses pretended to be patients.  By the 1950s, she was in the United States working as a nurse, first on the East Coast and then on the opposite side of the country. In the 1970s, Lola Julia retired from a supervisory nursing position for a San Francisco hospital.

Lola Julia married late in life. She was in her late 40s or early 50s when she married Uncle Sam. She knew him when they were youngsters in the Philippines. They were s…

Through a Church Door

Can you tell I'm looking through a church door? It's a small, old wooden church in my town. I've always wanted to go inside and look around, but peeping through its door is the closest I can get for now.

When I took this photo, I did not expect to get any reflections. I was totally surprised to find double reflections -- me taking the photo and a a close-up of my face and camera. The photo is a little bit spooky for me.

Want to see other photos of reflections? Come join me at Weekend Reflections.  

Scratchin' Molly, by Golly

Molly the Cat is up on the roof of the shed, scratching her pretty little nose against the apple tree branches. "It's what I like," said Molly. "Purrrrrrrrrr."

Molly and I are hooking up at Camera Critters. Click here to join us.



A Drive in the Country

Today is The Weekend in Black and White. Click here to check out B&W photos by bloggers around the world.

The Dude, The Husband -- Son of Jim

The Husband's dad, Jim, was a cool father-in-law. Jim was all for taking this photo of the Husband and him holding hands around the tree in his front yard. This was about 12 years ago. We miss Jim.

Today is Jenny Matlock's Alphabe Thursday. Yup. That's where I shall be checking out other J posts. Come join me by clicking here.

Bag It for Next Week

The Mama saves the empty plastic bags in which potting mix, garden soil, and wild bird seed come. I'm not talking about small plastic bags. They are bags that once held 1.5 or 2 cubic feet of dirt or 40 pounds of bird seed.  Once upon a time, I threw the bags away only to learn that the Mama fished the bags out of the garbage can and hid them in the garden shed. "I can use them for something," she said,  when I found the bags.

Yup. The tiny, 90+, always-resourceful lady did find a use for the bags for her garden work. When she's in cleaning mode, which is pretty much every day, she carries a bag in which to throw leaves, twigs, weeds, and other green waste. When the bag gets too heavy, she leaves it for me to pick up and empty into the green waste recycling can. 

Some weeks, the green recycling can gets filled within two days because we've been pruning trees or pulling out vines or such. Then, the Mama tells us to bag any green remains to put into the recycle ca…

Molly the Don't-Mess-with-Me Cat!

"You want a picture, Su-sieee! Mac?" asked Molly the Cat. "Okay, I'll give you a sweet picture!"

Did she ever!

Today, Molly the Cat and I are linking up at Sweet Shot Tuesday, hosted by Kent Weakley. Click here to check out sweet shots by other bloggers.

Cubed Tofu

Did you know that you can buy tofu already cubed? 
Seriously. I must quote the Mama now. "These businessmen are very smart. They know how to make money."
The other night I opened what I thought was a container of a block of extra-firm tofu. As I was about to drain the now opened container, I noticed loose pieces of tofu. What the heck? Then, I saw that the container was full of small pieces of tofu. I looked at the wrapper. Extra-firm CUBED tofu!  Again: What the heck?  
So much for having fried slices of tofu with roasted Brussels sprouts for dinner. It was time to get creative.  As the Brussels sprouts roasted in the toaster oven, I diced a fragment of orange bell pepper, a handful of browning chives, cilantro, and a bunch of garlic cloves. I also chopped salami slices, which I found in the freezer. 
I heated a big glob of bacon fat. Yes, bacon fat. The bell pepper was thrown in first. Two minutes later, the cubed tofu. Stir. Stir. Stir. In went the rest of the ingredient…

Sunday Ramble

I had completed a post for today several days ago. It featured a photo that I hooked up to a photo meme. Then I decided to hook up a photo on my other blog -- Take 25 to Hollister -- to the same meme. So, off came the finished post for this blog. You'll see it later this week.

Certainly, I could've posted both, but I didn't want to think about how to handle my visits to bloggers participating in the meme. Should I comment under one blog or both? If done individually, which blogs should I visit as The View from the Top of the Ladder and as Take 25 to Hollister. I just make things more complicated than they need be.

Seeking Oompah My goal for 2015 is finding my creative groove again. That is why I'm rambling on the blog today rather than seeing if there are any Modern Family reruns on TV. Posting on my blogs daily is part of the plan to finding my creative groove, mojo, hoodoo, voodoo, fancy, desire, and plain old oompah.  Of course, once I do my thing for today, I may …

#2 Book Review for My 2015 Reading Challenge

Thug Kitchen is written by Matt Holloway and Michelle Davis, who are 29-year-olds, hence I can cross A book written by someone under 30 off my 2015 Reading Challenge

If swearing bothers you, walk by this cookbook, because a lot of f-bombs and sh-wordsare dropped. The title had me open the cover at the bookstore, but it was the novelty of the cussing that drew me into flipping through the book. There was nothing new under the sun for me. I know how to roast garlic, for instance. But, what  impressed me was that the authors offered recipes like the ones I make up and not make again because I can't remember what I did. Maybe I cook like someone under 30.

I left the bookstore without the cookbook, but I kept thinking about the intriguing recipes such as ginger-mushroom summer rolls, cauliflower cream pasta,  spicy plantain chips, and lemony red lentil soup. A couple weeks later when I was choosing books online for my birthday gifts, I thought, "Why not?" I needed inspirat…

Palm Fronds

Today is The Weekend in Black and White. Click here to check out B&W photos by bloggers around the world.

The Dude, The Husband -- So Irreverent

My new Thursday thing is all about the dude in my life, the one I call the Husband. He said I may, and I believe he heard me when I asked if I can feature him weekly on this blog.

I have a lot of photos of the Dude, the Husband. He has a way of walking into my frame just as I'm clicking the camera.  And, then there's the sudden inspiration either of us get for him to pose a certain way. This photo, today, was his idea.

I'm linking this post of my irreverent husband with Jenny Matlock's Alphabe Thursday. Click hereto read other I posts with me.

The Mama and Her Authentic Green Thumbs. . .and Fingers

The sun had set but the Mama continued to bury the dried leaves from the miracle tree into the soil in preparation for spring planting. She was nearly finished and she would accomplish her task. It did not matter to her that night was falling and getting colder. And with luck, her daughter would not come along and bully her to stop and go inside the house already.

That was yesterday evening. Her daughter -- me! -- did come along. I don't think I bullied her, but I did make a silly exasperating remark about it being cold and dark, as I put her garden bench away for the night. She did finish her gardening task, by the way.

The lovely dedicated crew at ABC Wednesday (begun by Mrs. Nesbitt) is starting a new weekly round of the alphabet today. So, I've decided to do a theme for this round -- The Mama and Her Authentic Green Thumbs. . .and Fingers. Among this avid, assiduous agriculturist's feats are taking the stink out of broccoli, growing three awesome producing apple tree…

Uhm, Hanging Out at Twitter

If I want to, I can start my social security benefits at the end of the year. So, do I really want to finally learn about social media? This came to mind yesterday afternoon when I wanted to know something about Twitter hashtags. Yes, indeed, I can cross that off my January To-do list.

Learning about Twitter hashtags opened up a new can of black beans. (Not worms, because there are a lot of them in our compost bin.) Just like that, I found an easy-to-comprehend article about hashtags. That got me curious to go to my Twitter account, which I rarely do because I plead the old person's lament of "I don't understand how it works." Yet, I have a Twitter account that is hooked up to the Facebook pages for my two blogs -- this one and Take 25 to Hollister. A technical friend told me I could do that, so I did and left it at that. Until yesterday morning when I daringly added a hashtag to a Facebook post. I had to find out if I used it correctly and appropriately.

So, there I …

I Have My Eyes on You, Tiny Bird.

Molly the Cat is more prrrrrr! than bite. She climbed this tree a few times last winter to catch a bird or two. No luck. Will she climb it this year?  Perhaps when the Mama and I no longer have any leaves to rake.

Things to Do in January

I'm one of those people who has good intentions of doing things. I'm also one of those people who needs to make a To-Do list to keep her focused on performing the tasks. Some times I even complete every item on the list. That said, here are the things I want to accomplish in January.

Put photos back into the Mama's albums. Now, this item I ought to be able to finish in a flash.

Make cafe curtains for the kitchen window.A few years ago, I made easy-peasy yellow curtains that are not the easiest to scoot along the rod. I did not put the centerpiece for holding up the rod in the precise center, which bugs a certain precise person, who shall be nameless, and possibly the other precise person, who shall also be nameless, in this household.

Make a bird feeder.The screw mechanism for the cover of the feeder failed sometime last year. But, because the birds can still balance and eat on the feeder, I've ignored replacing it. Recently, the birds have taken to pooping on the cover…

Mama Was Up the Ladder. Again.

Sawing. Clipping. Raking. Sweeping. Pushing dried limbs, branches, vines, leaves, and seed pods into plastic bags. That's how I spent most of my afternoon.

It wasn't what I had planned. When the Husband and I left this morning to do the errands, the Mama was reading the newspaper in the living room. Ninety minutes later, I looked out the back door to see a high limb on the miracle tree precariously hanging above the Mama, who sat beside the tall ladder, stripping dried leaves from skinny branches into her bucket.

I was furious. One, the Mama had been up the ladder. And, two, I had asked her the other day, after cutting back her banana trees, if she'd like me to prune the rest of the miracle tree. "No," she said. "The green (recycle) can is already full." Good, I thought, I'd prune the tree next Thursday.  Ha!

"You know we don't like you on the ladder," I growled, throwing my purse on the ground, and hurriedly climbing the ladder to s…

Hello, Blackbirds!

Today, for the first time this year, the blackbirds were in the nearby tree. It looked like they had spent the night.

I'm hooking up with The Weekend in Black and White. Click here to check out B&W photos by bloggers from around the world.

My photo turned out so stark that I played around with the artistic filters in Photoshop. I like these looks the best.  What do you think?




#1 Book Review for My 2015 Reading Challenge

Five days into the 2015 Reading Challenge, I can cross off my first item —a mystery of thriller. Whooo-hooo!

Queen of Hearts is the eighth book in the Royal Spyness Mysteries series by Rhys Bowen.  This is one of three mystery series that I look forward to reading the latest stories. Bowen's Royal Spyness Mysteries  is set primarily in London in the 1930s.The protagonist is Georgie, the great grandaughter of Queen Victoria. She would become queen should King George and the 33 heirs before her were to die all of a sudden. So, it's very unlikely.

Georgie's formal name is Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie. Her father, the Duke of Atholt and Rannoch, gambled all family's fortune away, so Georgie is broke. Because she's of royalty, she can't make a living for herself although she has tried. In the first book (and maybe the second, I can't remember), she secretly worked as a maid. Queen Mary likes Georgie and often sends for her to do some bidding, such …

Who iZZZZZZZ This?

Are you a zorilla?
Noooooooo.

Are you a Spanish zorro?
Noooooooooooooo.

I am Molly the Cat!You know that.
Molly the Cat and I are linking up at Mrs. Nesbitt's ABC Wednesday. To read other Z posts, please click here.

A Quick and Easy Fix

I forgot to buy a 2015 calendar for the Mama. I had planned to make her one again, but I thought about it too late to have it be delivered by the new year. I figured I'd print out the dates and attach the page to last year's calendar. On Sunday, I did that.

The Mama thought it was a new calendar.  Hmmmmm.

An Early Morning Mellow Yellow

Molly the Cat's and my pre-breakfast routine is to fill the bird feeder in the front yard. We do that for the Mama, who worries that the wild birds can't find anything to eat, especially in the winter. I think Molly likes this routine as much as I do. It feels great breathing in the crisp, cool air while the early morning sunlight bathes our bodies. 

I'm usually the second one up in the household. Every so often, I'm the first. Molly is no where to be seen until I've opened the kitchen curtains. Voila! The sleepy-eyed cat is sitting before me. Yawning. And, as I take a step towards her, she stretches in all her glory.

"Shall we go outside?" I ask, turning the locks to the front door. Molly pads over. When I open the screen door, she rushes out to the sound of birds flapping out of the yard.

Not to worry, Molly's meow is worse than her bite. She likes to watch birds and occasionally chase them. But, that's it. She caught a bird once, and had no i…

An Ultimate Reading Challenge

PopSugar.com has come up with an "Ultimate Reading Challenge" for 2015. It offers 50 suggested types of books to read during the year, such as a book your mom loves and a book you were supposed to read in school but didn't.  Here's the link to the challenge.

Since I can already check one book off the list, methinks I shall take up the challege.

A review of the book? Sure, I'll write one. Stay tuned.

Here's the challenge list:


Something about a Trail

"Hello." "Good morning." "Happy New Year!" "Have a nice day."

Most people, I've noticed, are friendly to each other on walking trails. Some are even willing to stop and pass a few moments to cheerfully talk to strangers. Maybe we should imagine that all streets, roadways, paths, sidewalks are trails.

Today, I'm linking up with The Weekend in Black and White, hosted by Dragonstar. Click here to see other black and white photos be bloggers around the world.


That's Me!

I like taking selfies of the Husband and me. Some folks think he takes our selfies because he's taller.
Nope. I got proof, too. Check out my reflection in the Husband's sunglasses. And, yup, that's me in the hat beside him.

Weekend Reflections is where I'm hooking up today. Click here to check out reflections from other parts of the world.



Waking Up the Words Within

"Here we go, Su-siee! Here we go!" claps my internal cheerleader.

"Come on, Su-sieee! Mac!" encourages my internal coach, "You can do this!"

Where am I going? What is this?  Beats me.

That's untrue. I do know. I've been reluctant to say it aloud. For quite a long while.

Deep breath. Another deep breath. Another. And, another.

Here I go. Here I go.

I shall not be afraid of the words. I shall not be afraid of how they may combine. I shall not be afraid of writing.

Forget the baby steps. A giant step is what I need to take.  

The only permission I need is my own.

Here I go!


Here I go!