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Showing posts from March, 2018

Surprise, Surprise!

Seriously, I did not see these flowers yesterday nor the day before, and I was working in the section where they are. So, yeah, I was shocked to see them this morning. "Hello! How are ya?" the gorgeous flowers said.

I forgot what the plant is. My friend Google says it's a rockrose plant. Whooo-hoo! It doesn't look at all like the rockrose plant next to the mailbox, which is getting bigger but yet has to bloom. Another surprise to come in the yard. 

This plant that bloomed this morning came home with us last year around this time. It worried me throughout last year. It kept looking like it was about to give up living. My friend Google pointed me to a website of rockrose experts where I learned that the rockrose plant blooms for a month in late spring/early summer and the blooms last for only a day. It's a perfect drought resistant plant and can thrive on neglect. Good to know!



Our Mountain View

Yesterday morning I discovered the mountain view from the side yard. Well, okay, I've probably seen the view a hundred thousand times before, but yesterday, I finally took note that by golly I can see the mountain between the houses across the street.

That's the Santa Ana Mountain, part of the southern end of the Diablo Range that runs from the Carquinez Strait, just northeast of the San Francisco Bay, to a bunch of miles south of the Pinnacles National Park, which is about 30 or so miles from us. The park, that is.

We have a fuller view of the mountains over the rooftops from upstairs, but I like this view better. For some unknown reason, having a peek of the mountain, which I've seen since a child, is rather assuring.

Today I'm hanging out at Skywatch Friday. Come join me by clicking here. Thanks, Skywatch Friday hosts!

The Mama's Roses are in Bloom

Spring is nature's way of saying "Let's party!". ~ Robin Williams





Leticia and the Ladybugs

"Leticia and the Ladybugs is my favorite of favorite bands," said Jennifer the Jack Rabbit. She wiggled into a more comfortable perch on one of Charlie's humps.

Bubba Byrd jumped up and down on Charlie's other hump. "How long now before the show starts?"

"Settle down, Bubba," said his sister Bingo who sat on Charlie's neck. She turned to the Bactrian camel, "Thanks so much Charlie for letting us sit on you."

"My pleasure, Bingo. I figure this is better than clinging to Ghandi's neck for a couple hours."

"Oh, Charlie, you silly guy," said Bingo, flying up to Charlie the Camel's head. "Yooo-hooo, Ghandi!"

She had to call up to Ghandi the Giraffe a few times before she caught his attention. He was all nerves. He was responsible for getting the band to sign the contract to play at Thomas' and Winnie's wedding. He said, "I hope they'll let us into the band's dressing room!"

&quo…

The Poppies are Popping

Pop.

Pop.

Pop.

The California poppies started showing themselves in the front yard about a couple of weeks ago. Every morning, a few more orange lovelies wave hello to the world. Totally grand.

There are so many poppy plants in the meadow part of the yard that some are actually dying.  It doesn't help that fox tails, some kind of vetch vine, clover, and leftover overgrown lawn are also competing for soil, light, and water. Survival of the fittest.

The daisy bushes have increased in size, more than I thought they could and would. They've infiltrated into the territories of the roses. Poor roses. Later this year I must decide whether to cut back the daisies or transplant the roses to their own dedicated section in the yard. Maybe next to the fence where I've sown sunflower and more wildflower seeds, which may not grow because the poppies are spreading out there, too.  We shall see.


If you'd like to see the progression of the yard, click here


I'm hooking up with Ou…

Hay(na)ku

My six-word poem is called a hay(na)ku, a poetic form created by Eileen R. Tabios. The basic format is this: First line = one word. Second line = two words. Third line = Three words.  If you'd like to learn more, check out Eileen's webpage

In February I submitted three poems for the upcoming anthology, HAY(NA)KU 15 (working title). One of them was accepted. Whooo-hooo! The last time I had a poem published by someone other than me was. . .hmmmm. . .about 40 years ago.




Sounds of a Sunday Afternoon.

I can hear the roar of the motorcycles in the near distance. Many of them are more than likely tourists and friends of local bikers who have come for the annual bikers' blessing held at the Catholic church earlier this afternoon.  Unless things have changed, the bikers take turns riding a short path on the church's parking lot. Either at the beginning or the end of the path (I can't recall), a priest sprinkles holy water on them as they pass by him.

Competing with the motorcycles' engines and the whistling of the Spring wind is the every-so-often sound of children shouting and screaming. There are probably Little League baseball games happening at the nearby park.

And while you're imagining it all, throw in the call from an occasional dog and crow.

Bwark, bwark.
Roooooooar. Cawwww, cawwwwwww. Yaaaaay! Wwwwwwwwwwwwind.

Listen, an airplane—a single-engine craft, I believe—is flying over the house. That silenced everything else, for now.


I'm linking up with All …

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge

Shall I or shall I not?

Sign up for the 2018 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, that is.  Post Monday through Saturday, rest on Sunday. April 1 doesn't count because it falls on a Sunday.

Shall I or shall I not?

The last time I participated was two years ago. It was fun.

Shall I or shall I not?

Of course I am. Why else would I write about it?

My theme: Jane Austen, Action Doll, Seeks a New Career

I confess that my theme and posts are recycled from another ABC challenge (not Blogging from A to Z April Challenge)  I did over two years ago.   There are no rules that said my entries must be brand-new musings, so why not. I'm into recycling, repurposing, and whatever that other r-word is. Reuniting?

If you want to learn more about Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, click here.



Click.

For the last two weeks I've been obsessed with doing jigsaw puzzles online. It simply happened. I entered a contest to win a copy of the upcoming Mary Russell–Sherlock Holmes mystery by Laurie R. King  that involved completing a jigsaw puzzle at Jigsawplanet.com.

I had no idea I liked doing jigsaw puzzles. Before I knew it, I found myself going back to the website every few hours to do 32-piece, 60-piece, 99-piece, and 120-piece puzzles of landscapes, flowers, and street scenes. I told the Husband about the website. He-he. He's doing them, too.

We talk about doing real puzzles, only that would require either clearing the kitchen table or bringing in a folding table into the living room. Problem with the latter is that would mean moving stuff around to make space for the table. Not going to happen. We could probably clear the kitchen table but then where are we going to eat.

Before I frittered away the hours on doing online jigsaw puzzles, I was consumed with playing a word…

After the Rain

We've had a wonderful few days of rain and, if our luck sticks, we'll have a bit more rain on Saturday. Hurrah! The Diablo Range is finally starting to turn green. Hurrah! Hurrah!

This view is looking east on Hillcrest Road. When I was a teenager several decades ago, this was a two-lane road with orchards on both sides of the road. Those were the days when it rained a lot. All the orchards and farms that surrounded us may have been a contributing factor for that.

Hanging out at Skywatch Friday. Come join me by clicking here. Thanks, Skywatch Friday hosts!

Waiting for the Honey Bees

"People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day." ~ A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Katja the Kookaburra

"Oooh, kedgeree is one of the special's today," said Edwina the Egret, reading a window sign as she followed Agathe into Katja's Kaffeeklatsch. "I didn't know the bakery also created savory items."

"Katja only started baking savory dishes recently," the aardvark said. "My favorite is her termite kreplach."

"You're in luck, Agathe," called Katja the Kookaburra from the counter. "The dough was kneaded 20 minutes ago. Let me take some termites out of the freezer and I'll be right with you. Sit over by Kalena the kitten, dears. Katie, kindly serve them whatever they want."

"You're the bee's knees, Katja! Thank you." Agathe turned to the koala and asked for a kombachu drink.

"I would like the krill and kimchee concoction, along with your kedgeree dish," Edwina said keenly.

As the two friends settled themselves around the table, Katja flew out of the kitchen and perched herself on…

The Daddy on the Mainland

This faded photo of the Daddy was taken in 1946. That's all I know about the photo because the Mama had printed the year on the photograph. Technology has finally allowed me to see the image a bit more clearly.

Until today, I thought the Daddy was standing in a desert or someplace in Los Angeles. Now, I think the photo may have been taken somewhere nearby Hollister, soon after he moved here. The Daddy had been living in Hawaii for 18 years or more. He said that after the war, he was homesick for family. He had no idea if the family in the Philippines was alive, but he knew Uncle Frank was in Hollister, so he bought himself an airplane ticket to California. While serving in the Army during the war, he became a U.S. citizen, which I suspect made it easier for him to travel without questions.

In a year, the Daddy would go visit his mom and siblings in the Philippines. He told me that if his girlfriend was still unmarried, he would propose to her. I don't know know if he was kidd…

El Camino Paraiso

In Fall 1962, the family moved into a brand new house on a brand new street a couple miles east of town. Lucky 711 was the street number; El Camino Paraiso, the street name. Translation: Paradise Road. Myself, I prefer "The Road to Heaven" because the cemetery, run by the Catholic Church, sat next door.

I thought a ghost lived in my bedroom closet. Every now and then, until I left for college, just as I was falling asleep, I experienced old hag syndrome, a kind of sleep paralysis. The only way I felt safe was to sleep in a fetal position on my left side, facing away from the closet.

Cute yellow house, don't you think? It had a huge back yard, enough space for the Daddy to grow a good-size vegetable garden, as well as plant fruit trees and raise chickens, pigeons, goats, and pigs. Fortunately for us we lived in the county. With all that, the Parents still were able to put in a patio, some lawn, and a flower garden. 

The Mama sold the yellow house in 1987, a year aft…

Tuna Fish Surprise

The last time I made Tuna Fish Surprise was in home economics class in seventh grade, which was...hmmmm....over 50 years ago. That was the first time I ever made the dish—a can of tuna fish, a can of cream of mushroom soup, crumbled potato chips, and, I don't know what else. I have a vague feeling we baked the tuna fish on sliced bread. It was after all public school, the 1960s, and the objective to teach us, girls, how to prepare delicious fare cheaply and quickly within 30 minutes or less.

The home ec teacher let us give our dish away to other teachers, which meant being able to roam the hallways during class hours. So, yeah, you bet I went that way. I chose Mr. Anthony, the gruff old science teacher. Why should all the favorite teachers get all the good stuff?

Yesterday was the second time I made a version of the dish. After consulting the cookbooks and the Internet, I figured anything could be put together for this dish. Thus, it's name. Uh-huh. Got it.

To two cans of sust…

A Picture for My Thoughts

I'm taking apart the first album of the Mama's. Not her first one ever, but the first in a long line of albums. Sigh.

What's with the so-called "acid-free/archival" pages in this album? The cellophane breaks apart when I take out the photos. So much for trying to use my hands with delicateness and refinement.

For some reason-yet-to-be-identified, I'm saving the 3x5 pieces of paper (with a single punched hole) that were used as dividers between photos. The how-can-I-repurpose-this part of me has prevailed.

I don't know what to do with the photos after I've scanned them. For that matter, what am I going to do with the scanned photos. May be why there are long intervals between scanning sessions. And, for a session to happen, I need to play my era of Rock & Roll and Latin music so I can wiggle and waggle in my chair, as I do this rather sad and joyful exercise of remembering stuff in photos.  For instance: the rainy wedding day of a cousin; our yel…

Blurriness

My eyes, even with the glasses on, are still seeing blurry images. The ophthalmologist dilated them about four hours ago so she could see clearly into them. And, what did she see?

Sufficient level of cataracts to merit surgery for which the health insurance company would be willing to pay. The cataracts are worse in my left eye.  On my arbitrary scale of 1-10, the doctor says 5 or 6. My right is 4, but a 5 when she factors in the glare of lights I see when I drive at night (which is the reason I don't like to drive at night). I've known for seven years or so that cataracts have been developing, but I thought I would be in my 70s, maybe 80s, before I had to start considering cataract surgery. Booo. Hisssss. Bummer.

The Daddy had cataract surgery in his left eye when he was. . .gee. . .about my age. He hated wearing the contact on his other eye, which either the Mama or I had to insert. That was always an ordeal. Blink, blink. Eventually, he went back to the comfort of wearin…

Pelican in the Front Yard

Cool pelican, don't you think?

His head? I have no idea what happened to it.

He's requesting a sparkle-sparkle body. The better to show off his plumage, so he says. Only then will he reveal his name.  Giggle. 




Judge Jennifer the Jack Rabbit

Knock, knock.

"Please enter," said Judge Jennifer, hanging up her judicial gown.

"That was quite a jaded case," Agathe the Aardvark said from the doorway. "You must be exhausted. We can do our jaunt another day."

"The walk will do me good," the jack rabbit said. "Just let me get my camera and phone and I shall be ready to go. Will Filemon be joining us?"

"He'll meet us at the meadow. He said he'll jet about and try to locate the tree before we get there."

"That jocular flying squirrel," jested Jennifer. Agathe giggled, then said, "Filemon does have a way of forgetting a job once he's in flight."

The walk from the courthouse to the meadow took longer than usual, but neither friend minded the slow pace at all. Agathe snacked on ants or termites that she found while Jennifer snapped photos of jackals drilling the street with jackhammers, juvenile jaguars jumping into a jeep, a Jesuit jogging up …

Misbehaving Trees?

I saw a bunch of naughty trees the other morning.

Okay, knotty, to be precise.


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!



Snoozy Molly

I love it when Missy Molly by Golly chooses to cuddle next to me on the couch. The thing is she can fidget, but I'm not allowed, according to her majesty. When she no longer can take my movements, she sits up, shakes her head, as if to sigh, and walks over to the Husband, nestling beside him.

Zzzzzzzzzz. . .zzzzzzzzzzzz. . .

Last night I happened to have my camera in my pocket. With much slyness and swiftness on my part, I clicked, clicked, clicked away at the Girl.




Once Upon a Time

This was in 1996 (or 1997) in our backyard at our first home together. We had an awesome view of San Francisco Bay and, behind the Husband and all that greenery, of San Francisco.

It had been about 20 years since either of us lived in a house. What a luxury that was. No flights of stairs to carry groceries, packages, or laundry. Open the front door and sit on an actual porch. Until sound walls were built by the freeway a few miles below us, we heard no traffic. And, we had a huge backyard with nothing in it so we could transform it into anything we wanted. Yes, definitely a wonderful first home for us to get used to each other.

Doesn't the Husband look cute? In college, he was given the nickname "Farmer Dick" by his friends. Not because he was a farmer, but because he wore overalls a lot.  (That's another thing the Husband and I had in common when we were young.)  He makes a handsome farmer, the Husband does, so I say.



I'm linking up with All Seasons, a weekly …

Transplanting Roses

I'm tired. Satisfyingly, though.

My left knee is growing stiffer by the second, as are my shoulders and hands. I'm fine with that. I accomplished my goal today before it started raining. For about four hours I've been digging holes by the back fence for roses which I transplanted from pots  (the orange roses, for instance) and from the middle of the banana plants. I've always wondered what the Mama had planted first, the banana plants or the roses.

All the transplanted roses began as cuttings that the Mama stuck in the dirt. Whenever she trimmed her roses, she'd propagate a few branches, so who knows what generation the roses are that I stuck into the ground today. If you're interested, here's an old post about the Mama's roses.

I also have a bucket of rose cuttings, which, if my body doesn't protest and it's not raining too awfully much, I'll put them into the ground tomorrow. Rose cuttings don't grow for me in pots. Mostly because I fo…

The Hulk

Anyone else think the cloud looks like the top half of a puffy Hulk?

Hanging out at Skywatch Friday. Come join me by clicking here. Thanks, Skywatch Friday hosts!

Oh-nay Lah-nay Bridge

"Here comes another oh-nay lah-nay bridge," said the Husband. We were driving on a windy road somewhere on the island of Hawaii a long time ago.

"Oh-nay lah-nay?"

"See, oh-nay lah-nay," the Husband said, gesturing towards the yellow sign we were passing.

"Oh." That's one of the infinite reasons I'm with the Husband.

A few hours ago, we drove over two, maybe three oh-nay lah-nay bridges while we meandered the country roads a few miles from home.



Iago the Iguana and the Invitation

We invite you to jump for joy with us on our wedding day, Wednesday, June 27, 2018, at the Honalee Bay Aquarium! Infinitely, Winnie & Thomas
"Hey, Iago! I see you got your invitation," called Guy A. Gator to the iridescent iguana basking in the sun on the immense igneous boulder.

Iago opened one eye to watch his alligator friend indolently swagger towards him, clutching the heart-shaped invitation in his mouth.

"Going, are you?"

"Indubitably," Iago answered somewhat indifferently.

The iguana half-listened to Guy's incessant chatter. Iago yawned, idly gazing at the horizon. His eyes widened. He sat up straighter. Edwina the Egret, his imagined love, soared in the near distance.

Iago's heart beat faster as he watched the ingenious creature glide to a stop beside Guy.

"I figure since Thomas and Winnie are vegetarians, I'd grill their favorite veggies and cook them into my famous gumbo for the reception," said Guy in a tizzy.

"Oh,…

Life is Grand

"I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life  which are the real ones after all." ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder


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!



Sailing Away

"Sailing, sailing over the bounding main. . . ."

In this case, the bounding main is a dinner plate standing tall in the front yard.  It didn't seem to mind the rain. Happy Monday to you!


Molly the Cat's Satisfying and Satisfactory Sunday Morning

Molly has asked that I tell you about her satisfying and satisfactory Sunday morning, and before breakfast, too.

Molly and I were deadheading daisies in the front yard. Molly is the supervisor, in case you're wondering. About 20 minutes into clipping soggy dried daisy heads (we had rain—yay!) I glanced up to see Molly sitting with her body tensely taut and intently watching the flamingo. From my angle, Molly and the faded artificial bird seemed to be in a stare down.

Five minutes later, I noticed that Molly had moved halfway closer to Albert. That's the flamingo's name I've decided.

Three minutes ticked by: Molly was in stealth hunter's mode. She quickly and quietly tiptoed around me and crept into the bushes to (no doubt) ambush Albert from behind.

I wonder who was surprised more—Albert or Molly.

That was not the end to Molly satisfactory morning adventure. No m'ams and sirs.

Ten minutes later, I was planting tiny daisy branches (in hopes they'll grow) b…

A Flowery Welcome

The Mama loved her flowers. Every time she trimmed her flowers, she planted many of the trimmings directly into the soil elsewhere. And, they grew. I'm hoping that will happen for me, too.  Here's what her daisies, geraniums, and rosemary in the front of the house looked like this afternoon. Oh, Happy Spring!


Passing Through

I believe cats to be spirits come to earth.
A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud
without coming through.
~ Jules Verne
Hanging out at Skywatch Friday. Come join me by clicking here. Thanks, Skywatch Friday hosts!