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Showing posts from February, 2015

The Comma

The comma has always, always given me problems. Where, oh, where to put that itty-bitty squiggly line of a hook within a sentence. That's why I love writing simple sentences, where the commas I generally need are for a series. Series? Yes, as in red, white, and blue. Or, if you're one who withholds the last comma, then: red, white and blue.

I don't know what they teach in English these days, but back in my day (hahahahaha, back in my day, as if I'm sooo old, but to someone younger than 60, I suppose I am), I was initially taught the series (or serial or Oxford, if you prefer) comma. That's the one where you place a comma before the conjunction: red, white, and blue.

That all changed in 10th grade. The English teachers, as well as the journalism instructor, were marking me off for following the series comma rule and demanding that I drop the comma before the conjunction: red, white and blue. Me, being a sheep, followed suit. From day one, I thought a series without…

Behind the Screen

"May I go outside, please?" asked Molly the Cat, nearly squishing her face to the screened door.

Molly and I are heading over to The Weekend in Black and White, hosted by Dragonstar. Come join us by clicking here.


The Dude, The Husband -- Observant

I love it when the Husband says, "Take a picture of me." And, I trail after him as he excitedly heads over to a building, a sign, or something else that he has observed. I wait as he sets himself up, then says, "Go ahead."

This photo, for instance. He saw this sign last year at a corn maze. It wasn't obvious to me what he was going for but that didn't stop me from taking the photo. It's only now that I see what he had been pointing at.

No. I don't recall him taking off his hat that day.

Today is the letter O at Jenny Matlock's Alphabe Thursday. That's where I shall be checking out other N posts. Come join me by clicking here.



Growing!

My ABC Wednesdaytheme: The Mama and Her Authentic Green Thumbs
. . .and Fingers


And just like that the Mama's trees in the backyard are bursting with life. I'm participating in ABC Wednesday, a meme began Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and administeredtoday by Roger Green at Ramblin' with Roger. Today is the letter G. Click here to read other G posts.


Being Inspired

Recently, Birgit of BB Creations honored me with the Inspiring Blog Award. Thank you, Birgit, I appreciate it very much.

The award came with a request that I write about three things that have inspired me this past few weeks. As usual, I started by pulling out the dictionary.
Inspire -- To rouse/motivate/encourage/influence/incite someone to do or feel something. In particular, to do some kind of creative thing. Highly incited to clean the bedroom Being bit two nights in a row, and having those bug bites swell and itch to no end, inspired me to find the source and do something about it. Poor Molly the Cat was brushed and combed several times throughout the day. Then I decided to look under our bed since I was being bit on my feet.

Horror!

Carpet beetles were feasting on a blanket that once belonged to the Husband's parents, which we had tucked under the bed last summer. Out came the vacuum cleaner again! I got down on my stomach and back to vacuum and ended up with a bunch of bug…

Mellow Lemon Yellow

When the Mama bought her lemon tree, she lucked out big time. Not only does it bear Meyer lemons, but it also gives forth citrons. Someone had grafted a couple of citron branches to the lemon tree, unbeknownst to her and possibly the nursery from which she bought the tree. 

Some of the citron are Buddah's hands. They're the ones that are oddly shaped, generally looking like fingers. Buddah's hands can get truly creepy looking.

Today I'm hooking up with Monday Mellow Yellows, hosted by Gemma Wiseman. Click here to see other yellow-colored interpretations of the world.

Five Book Reviews for My 2015 Reading Challenge

I love reading books. Writing book reviews, not so much. I tell myself it's good for me to write them for my 2015 Reading Challenge. Discipline and all that. Of which, I have been finding the time to read for pleasure more regularly. Yay! for that. Boo! though, as a couple of the books I've read don't fit any category. This may mean another level of discipline—finding books that do match the challenge categories. I'll think about it.

Anyway, today, I give you four reviews. Just so you and the FCC know: Should you click on the Amazon links and happen to purchase anything there, Amazon may reward me with a bit of change.

√ A book with magic As I read The Game by Laurie R. King, I traveled back to the Flapper Age, wandering around India with 60-ish Sherlock Holmes and his much younger wife Mary Russell.  The couple was sent there by Mycroft, brother of Sherlock, to find the 50-ish missing spy Kim O'Hara, the once-upon-a-time young boy about whom Rudyard Kipling wro…

A Ditzy Moment

A couple of weeks ago, the Appliance Guy checked out the burners on our electric stove. We were down to only one working burner. I actually watched the third burner spit up flames as it died. Both the Mama and I were worried that we'd have to get a new stove. All for naught. The Appliance Guy told us that all we needed were burners and immediately called in an order for us.

Since the Appliance Guy was there, I asked him if it was possible to calibrate the oven. "It's not working?" he asked, opening the oven door.

"Sometimes my dishes come out dry or undercooked, even though I follow the time and temperature on the recipes," I said, watching him take out the oven racks, turn them around, and insert them back.

"Were they in backwards?" I asked.

The Appliance Guy stood up. "The door wasn't closing properly because of the racks."

"Oh."

"The stove is also old," the Appliance Guy said, which he most likely added to c…

Point of View

Today, I'm participating in The Weekend in Black and White. To check out some very cool photos by bloggers around the world, please click here.


The Dude, the Husband -- Nature Guy

The Husband's and my first not-a-date nearly 20 years ago was a hike up a mountain. We learned a lot about each other as we climbed up and down the mountain that day. For one, we both watched Lawrence Welk as kids. He was, in fact, the first person of our generation to whom I ever admitted watching that show.


We've been on a lot of urban walks and wilderness hikes since that first not-a-date nearly 20 years ago. A traipse through a pine forest is the Husband's favorite kind of walk. Meandering among the trees clears his lungs and refreshes his soul.

The Husband also likes to walk along the beach. So, he's very willing to drive to my favorite beach where the ocean air clears my lungs and refreshes my soul.


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



Prize-Winning Flowers at the County Fair

For a bunch of years, a long time ago, the Mama raised flowers that won various prizes at the local county fair. However, she never received the praise, glory, or, for that matter, the prizes because the flowers were not hers. They belonged to a female relative of a co-worker of the Mama's. At the time, the Mama was the supervisor of the research technicians at a seed research company. Her authentic green thumbs and fingers made every plant she touched grow happily and abundantly in the fields and the greenhouses. Everyone, from the bosses to the laborers, who worked with her knew it. Of course.

The Mama told me this story about three years ago when I was putting together my first flower arrangement entries for the county fair. (I was amazed she had kept this secret for so many years.) Every spring, the female relative of her co-worker purchased a bunch of flower seedlings and gave them to the co-worker who brought them to the Mama. She placed the seedlings in one of the company …

How I Spent My "Gone Reading" Day

I need to put up my "Gone Reading" sign more often. I got some good reading done yesterday. It did take awhile before I actually ran to the bedroom and escaped into another time and place but when I did I read for two hours before it was time to make dinner. In the evening, I went back to the mystery I was reading until I turned the last page of the book, which I will tell you about another day.

To feel okay about going reading, I decided to cross a few things off my To-Do list. I finally put the photos I had scanned back in the Mama's albums. Some of them even went back on the correct pages. Hopefully, the Mama won't notice. I filed away some documents and put papers to shred in a neat pile on the floor.

I even researched what kind of milkweed grows in our area and where to purchase the milkweed seeds. Milkweed is what monarch butterflies munch on as they pass through from here to there. When I was a kid, monarch butterflies were a common thing to see around here…

"Gone" for the Day

Does anyone put up a "Gone Fishing" sign anymore?

I think it's a good idea to check out now and then. So, I'm posting my sign. Hopefully, I'll get some good reading done. See ya tomorrow.

A Sunday Riddle

I've got something short and sweet for you today. And, hopefully, amusing.  Here's the first riddle I ever memorized, way back in fourth grade!

What colors do you paint the sun and the wind?
Answer: The sun rose and the wind blue.  Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

If I repeated myself, oh well. That's what comes of being another year deeper in senior citizenry.

Being Artsy-Craftsy

When I was a young thing living in San Francisco a long time ago, I thought it would be fun, neat, and so very cool to be a street artist. Alas, I was no artist nor a crafter of pottery, jewelry, candles, hand sewn clothing, or other items that I thought I would like to make and sell.  Still, a young thing can dream. Okay, fantasize.

Four decades later I am finally exploring that artsy-craftsy part of me.  Some of you already know I like to take photos. And, last year, I threw caution to the wind and illustrated my stories during the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. That was very scary. Drawing, that is. Here's an example of my new found artistry.

Last week, I decided to doodle a daily calendar. Storybeader at Stroll Through Storyland planted the seed in my head when I read her post about calendars. Then, Tony, a photographer/artist friend from my young-thing days, shared a doodle page from his art journal on his blog. That clenched it for me. So, for now, I'm reminding …

Molly says, "Stop!"

Jump.

That was Molly the Cat. She jumped onto my not-so-organized desk, tip-toed across my arms as I was tippy-tapping on the keyboard, then crawled through spaces that were crammed with stuff. Of course, I had to stop to watch her. And, I had to take her photo when she decided to rest her tail on my keyboard.

"Get the picture," said Molly the Cat. "Then, get me my lunch, Missus."

Molly and I are hooking up with The Weekend in Black and White, hosted by Dragonstar. Come check out other black and white photos with us by clicking here.

The Dude, The Husband -- March, March, March

Once upon a time, the Husband was part of the marching band in both high school and college. He played the trombone. He totally loved the experience from what I can tell. And, he still has his marching skills. Sometimes when we go walking, he marches ahead of me, turns and marches back, and when we meet, he turns quickly face forward. I have to say, his precision makes me swoon inside.

Last year, we walked over to the hardware store to purchase a couple of pieces of long lumber to shore up the back fence.  The husband marched them most of the way home. Check out his style. Can you just see him in a marching band playing the trombone once upon a time?


Today is the letter M at Jenny Matlock's Alphabe Thursday. Come check out other M posts with me by clicking here.

Endless Energy

In the late 1990s, when the Mama was in her mid 70s, her doctor prescribed her one and only medication -- a pill for low thyroid. The doctor started her with .05 mg, a very low dosage. But, in the Mama, woooo-weee! It made her run the marathon, jump over the moon, and lift several 100-pound bags of soil every day.

Essentially, taking the medicine made her tired. And, of course, after awhile she stopped taking it.

A few months went by before I discovered she was not taking her medication. While visiting her one weekend, I noticed she was looking very tired so I checked her bottle. She was very good at not refilling prescriptions.  The bottle was the one I had ordered months ago and it was still full. The Mama admitted that she stopped taking it. Sigh. 

"Why?" I asked. She shrugged. Her usual answer to questions to which she was not ever going to respond.

"That's why you're feeling tired," I said. "The doctor prescribed this medicine so you can have the…

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Actually the hair went two days ago -- on Sunday. Clip. Clip. Clip. Clip. The Husband did the whack job for me.

The longest strands of hair were about 17 inches long. That was nearly four years of growth. Definitely the longest I ever grew my hair.

Nearly four years ago, the Husband and I shaved off all our hair. He did his beard as well. That was the second time we did it. Our reason the first time around was to see how long it would grow in a year.  (Here's the link to that story if you're interested.) As for the second time...uhm, I don't recall. But, after a year went by, we wanted to know how long it would be after two years. Then, three years. After which I just thought of growing our hair as our five-year plan.

In the past few months, having long hair became a drag. Depending on how I sat or laid, I'd pull on my hair.  Grooming it daily was a pain. Some days, I pulled it back without combing it. If I went out on those days, I wore a hat. And, washing the hair …

A Mellow Yellow Field

Isn't this field of yellow mustard lovely? It was quite happy, I thought, because of the rain. This weekend our area had its first rainstorm of the year. Hopefully, we'll get more rain to soften the blow of another year of drought.

Being that I caught such a mellow yellow field with the camera, I hooked up with Monday Mellow Yellows, hosted by Gemma Wiseman. Click hereto check other mellow yellow photos by bloggers around the world.

Remembering Dawn

Yesterday, I found an unfinished draft that I wrote about four years ago. It was about Dawn who I had not seen since the mid-1980s. About four years ago, I learned that Dawn had died, and she had been dead for 12 years. Only in her 40s, she died from pneumonia in London.

Gorgeous Dawn was one of the most sophisticated, yet down to earth, individuals I have ever met. She had a style that I could only describe as the beauty of Italian art, music, film, and food.  And, she had a light that caused both men and women to turn around and smile in appreciation.

Dawn was the sister of my brother's friend who fell in love with my best friend at the time, back in the early 1980s. So, I ended up hanging out with Dawn now and then. If we hadn't had this connection, I doubt that Dawn and I would have ever met, as we did not move around in any other of the same circles. She was the artist living in the North Beach of San Francisco, while I lived in the Richmond District, working three pa…

Atta Girl, Jane Eyre!

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen used to be Numero Uno on my all-time list of favorite books. Then, a few years ago, I read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. And, just like that, after 40-some years, Pride and Prejudice became number two. 
So, what took me so long to read Jane Eyre
I was introduced to the novel in seventh grade when our English class watched the 1943 movie starring Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine. Until I watched the 2006  BBC series of Jane Eyre with Toby Stephens and Ruth Wilson, I had no idea that Jane Eyre had a lot of gumption, courage, desire, determination, and smarts. Ms. Fontaine's portrayed Jane as meek and overpowered by the selfish Rochester. Then after I saw the 2011 film of Jane Eyre, starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender, I finally decided to read the novel. 
Wowza! I love Jane. She stands up to Rochester from the moment she meets him to the moment they finally reunite. Rochester is a fortunate man because he has Jane's love. I admire J…

The Old Bank's Windows

My camera is a point-and-click Canon Powershot A1200 so I generally have no idea how my photos look until I see them on the computer. Now and then, I'm very surprised by a shot. Like this one. When I took the photo I was focused on the curtains and the ornamental piece between the windows. Imagine my thrill to see the reflections in the windows.

Today, I'm sharing at The Weekend in Black and White, hosted by Dragonstar. Click hereto see other black and white photos by bloggers from around the world.

The Dude, The Husband -- The Lion-Hearted Man

Not once-upon-a-time, but in the now in a land that could be considered far, far away lives a lion-hearted man with a wonderful sense of humor.  He is a man of many talents and skills. He can interpret the colors and shadows of a forest scene on paper with pastels, pencils, or paint. He can play a cool trombone,  dance his ass off, and whistle like the birds. He can say very articulately, with great logic, why an individual or organization, is being inhumane. This man can do so many things.

Once-upon-a-time, this lion-hearted man met a woman deep in the throes of woes. Day by day, he enchanted her and helped her climb out of the abyss and back into the light of laughter, imagination, and love. Then one day, they decided to marry. And, they continue to live happily onward, with some occasional forays into Grrrrr! but that is to be expected. They are a regular, loving couple after all.

Today is Jenny Matlock's Alphabe Thursday. Yup. That's where I shall be checking out other

The Mama's Daisies

The Mama loves her daisies, but she complains that they're a pain to deadhead. She does it anyway so that they continue to bloom. And, bloom, they do throughout the year. I've taken to snapping off old and spent daisies off the plants in the front yard while Molly the Cat wanders about. When I started, it was to be a good assistant to the Mama. Now, I do it more for me. It helps me find zen.

One of these days, I'd like to get her some regular white daisies. Check out what colors and types she has now.


Today is the letter D at ABC Wednesday, a fun weekly blog hop created by Denise Nesbitt 16 rounds ago. Currently it is being administered by Roger Green at Ramblin' with Roger, with the help of his ABC Wednesday friends.  Please click here to read other ABC posts.



A Sign of Long Ago

This aging handsome sign hangs from an old, run-down, vacant building in my town. The hotel has been empty for several decades. As a kid, I thought the building held secrets about evil goings on. I still do. The Husband was with me the afternoon I took this photo. Otherwise, I would've taken photos of the building from the corner or across the street. Yes, I'm chicken. Buk. Buk. Bukkk.

It's Sweet Shot Tuesday. This is my sweet shot of the week. To check photos by other bloggers, please click here.


Orange Umbrella

Today, I'm hooking up with Mandarin Orange Monday, hosted by LorikArt. Click here to check out "orange" work by other bloggers around the world.

Lori suggests that we have fun playing with out images. So, I did and had a blast playing with the various filters at Photoshop.  Thanks, Lori, for the encouragement. Here's the final result.