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J is for J.J.

We all like to go back to a restaurant that makes us drool when we think about the food we had there. Don't you agree?

In my county, J.J.'s Burgers in San Juan Bautista is that kind of place for me when it comes to a burger. Garlic fries, too. Drooooooool.


J is the featured letter today on ABC Wednesday. Click here to read about this weekly meme, and click herefor this week's list of participants.  Thank you, ABCW Team!


I is for In Search of the Letter I

Yesterday afternoon, at Bertuccio's, a produce market in Hollister, I remembered I had yet to photograph a sign or such that began with the letter I. Twice, I combed that store in search of the letter I.  Amazingly, no vegetable, fruit, or food product began with I.

Aha! The vintage weigh scale on display had something: IN TRADE. The complete phrase was NOT LEGAL FOR USE IN TRADE. I have no idea what that means.


To check out ABC Wednesday, click here. For this week's participants, click herefor the list of participants.  Thank you, ABCW Team!




H is for Hourly Parking

In my hometown of Hollister, downtown parking is free for three hours, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday.  It used to be two hours, but some people complained they couldn't get their business done within that time, and, no way were they going to park in the city garage where it's free all the time. That's too far of a hike.

Downtown Hollister is five blocks long. We are spoiled.  


To check out ABC Wednesday, click here. For this week's participants, click herefor the list of participants.  Thank you, ABCW Team!


G is for the Masonic G

The Masonic Lodge of San Benito County was established 147 years ago ago, three years before San Benito became a separate county from Monterey County. Its home is the familiar brick building with the infamous clock tower at the corner of San Benito and Fourth Streets.

The Masonic symbol of a G in the middle of a square and compass is on the outside wall above the lodge's entrance. The G stands for Great Architect of the Universe, as well as for Geometry. If you're interested in learning more, check out this page at the Masonic Lodge of Education web site.


To check out ABC Wednesday, click here. For this week's participants, click herefor the list of participants.  Thank you, ABCW Team!




F is for First Floor Offices

About two months ago, The Husband and I came across this bulletin board at the old courthouse, currently home to various county offices. 

To check out ABC Wednesday, click here. For this week's participants, click herefor the list of participants.  Thank you, ABCW Team!

E is for Embroidered Details

Perhaps after drinking several beers, I may be enlightened to see window reflections with my eyes closed.  But, I'll stick to sipping one glass. :-)

To check out ABC Wednesday, click here. For this week's participants, click herefor the list of participants.  Thank you, ABCW Team!

D is for Don't Worry about the Dog

This warning sign hangs in the window of one of the tattoo and piercing shops in town.

To check out ABC Wednesday, click here. For this week's participants, click herefor the list of participants.  Thank you, ABCW Team!


C is for Cute and Charming

My theme for #23 Round of ABC Wednesday: Signs & Such of San Benito County, California
TheCozy Cup Cafe is one of several cute and charming restaurants that serves delicious breakfasts and lunches in Hollister,our county seat. It's an old-time haunt (nearly 30 years) of locals run by the ever friendly longtime owners, Frank and Wendy.

The cafe serves a generous portion of its delicious choices that sometimes the Husband and I share an order. When we opt to order individually, I often go home with leftovers. Yay! Currently, my favorite dish is its special chile verde omelet. Mmmmm.


Some mornings the Husband and I get a yen for a mocha, which, until recently, meant driving to Vertigo Coffee Roasters in San Juan Bautista, the second biggest city (population, about 1975) in the county to get our fix. Not any more. 

Evan, a former Vertigo barista, recently opened Calavera in Hollister. The young entrepreneur is also a latte artist. Like Frank of Cozy Cup Cafe, Evan is a Hollister…

B is for Baler

The mascot for San Benito High School, also known as Hollister High School, is the Baler. The mascot is not the machine that turns loose hay into compacted bales. Uh uh. It's the farmer who once upon a time cultivated hay by hand.

When I was in school, nearly 50 years ago, we were formally known as the Haybalers. I have no idea when the name was shortened to Baler. What I do know is this: Once a Baler, always a Baler.


To check out ABC Wednesday, click here. For this week's participants, click herefor the list of participants.  Thank you, ABCW Team!

A is for Alterations

Today starts a new round of the alphabet at ABC Wednesday. My theme for #23 is nothing ambitious as the last round, so I think. Signs and Such that I happen to see as I wander around San Benito County, California, my home, is this round's theme.

I came across this sign for alterations on a window of a long-time laundry service on main street in Hollister, the county seat. Today, fewer people have basic sewing skills, or, for that matter, the time to do mending, unless a person is willing to do it while stuck in traffic.


To learn more ABCW, click here. For this week's participants, click herefor the list of participants. See you next week for the letter A. Thank you, ABCW Team!

Zed. Zowie! Zee.

Last week was the wedding of Winnie the Wallaby and Thomas the Tree Kangaroo. They hope you enjoyed the fun. They are honeymooning in Australia and New Zealand, by the way.

Their reception was a blast. Sorry to say, pictures have yet to be processed. Judge Jennifer the photographer has been busy in court, and her assistant Zebediah the Zorilla Striped Polecat is no where to be found. Neither is Nalia the Napoleon mastiff of the Nfinity x 3 Security, for that matter. Some of the creatures say the two have taken off to Las Vegas.

Fortunately, I have at least one more photo to show from the wedding. Winnie, Thomas, and some of us wedding attendants thought it would be fun to pose in a silly face-in-hole board. Crazy, huh? Us, animals, in human bodies.

The wedding cake by Katja the Kookaburra was delicious. The music by Leticia and the Ladybugs was delightful. The decor by the Max Family, divine. And, when Hazel the Hammerhead Shark finished the Hawaiian Wedding Dance hula, there was no…

Yes! The Wedding of Winnie & Thomas

Throughout the morning the Northern Yellow Bats and the Southern Yellow Bats rang the bells in the campanile in the center of the Honalee Bay Aquarium & Gardens.

Insects and sea creatures, birds and reptiles, and two-legged and four legged animals in their Sunday best flew, padded, trotted, and swam to the grounds to behold the moment they had been waiting for the last three months.

By mid-afternoon, the moment began. The Yodeling Yellowjackets flew to their marks on the cut-out heart beside the officiant. As they began singing Yodel Love Call, the happy guests quieted and turned their attention to the eastern end of the meadow.  Slowly coming into view was Yagel the Yak, proud as all can be. Carefully and steadily, he pulled the cart on which stood the handsome and beautiful wedding couple of the moment.


Some guests cheered and clapped their paws, while others hooted and stomped their feet. Winnie  and Thomas blushed. Tears streamed down their faces as they waved and blew kisse…

Xuxa the Xantus's Hummingbird

"Agathe, welcome! Thank you for coming all this way," said Xuxa the Xantus's hummingbird, meeting her heavily breathing friend at the top of the high knoll outside of the Honalee Bay Aquarium and Garden.

"Xuxa, dear, you look lovely as usual." Agathe the Aardvark blew kisses as she readjusted her red hat.

"Oooh, the photos do not do justice to how chic and pert your hat is."

Xuxa twirled as she would on a fashion show catwalk. Blowing kisses to Agathe, she said "Merci beaucoup for my red Parisian beret. I love, love, love it."

Agathe and Xuxa sat in the shade where the Xantus's hummingbird had placed water and snacks. Agathe sighed contently, taking in the changing landscape from the canyon to the distant mountains. "I do love your view, Xuxa. I must come and visit you more often."

"Anytime. You have carte blanche in our meadow," said Xuxa. She pointed to the mound by Agathe. "Fresh termites, Love?"

Whil…

Winsome Winnie the Wallaby Bride-to-be

"Ladies, only two weeks more!" Winnie the Wallaby said, waltzing dreamily around the room in her wedding dress.

Edwina the Egret, her best lady, sang, "Waltzing Mathilda..."

Two of Winnie's better ladies joined in the song. As they sang, Judge Jennifer the Jack Rabbit hopped and pirouetted while Undine the Uakari twirled and swayed around the soon-to-be bride.

"Glorious!" Winnie said out of breath. The four creatures clapped and hooted. "Too bad the other better ladies couldn't stay."

"These dresses are gorgeous," cooed Edwina looking at herself in the mirror. "I feel so pretty."

"That's because you are pretty, Edwina, dear," said Undine. "The dress has nothing to do with it."

Edwina kissed the cheek of her favorite uakari.

"Oooh, what do you think Iago will say when he sees her?" Winnie teased.

Edwina blushed. "Enough of me," she huffed, pretending to inspect her right wing. …

Valentina and Volare the Vietnamese Elephants

"Oh, my," said Valentina the Vietnamese Elephant, touching her trunk to her heart. Tears of joy nearly blinded her vision. She smiled at her newly adopted son. "You are in for a surprise, my little Volare."

"What did you see out there, Momma?" the little boy asked, stepping towards the opening among the trees. "Whoaaaa! Who are those animals coming down the hill?"

"They are all your new family, Sweetheart. They've come to welcome you home."

Volare jumped up and down. He ran to his new momma and melted into her body. He loved her the moment he saw her just a few hours ago. Mmmmm.

Valentina scooped up her new son and carried him into the open field to meet her friends, the ABC Creatures, led by the soon-to-be-married couple Thomas and Winnie.

"Momma,  Momma," said Volare. "They're singing my name!"





V is the theme for this week of ABC Wednesday. Check out the meme here and the list of this week's particip…

Undine the Uakari

"Sweet loveliness, I want you to take your boots off and lay yourself on that grass right now," said Undine the Uakari firmly, yet gently, to her friend, the wedding planner.

"But," said Agathe the Aardvark.

"No but's, Girl! You can hardly keep your eyes open and tail up."

"I don't know how professional wedding planners do it." Agathe gratefully kicked off her red boots. "Just a few more things to sort out, then I can sleep through my days again."

"Ha! That's what she said last month," said Bingo the Byrd from the branch above Agathe's head.

"Hello, Bingo, I didn't see you there," Agathe said, turning her neck to look up. "That's a cute hat. Is that an umbrella?"

Bingo tittered. "It's an umbrella hat! Undine made it."

"I have one for you, too, Agathe." Undine opened a multi-colored umbrella hat, twirling it for the full effect.

Agathe giggled and stomped her feet. …

The Bridegroom: Thomas the Tree Kangaroo

"Hey, Best Man, look how sharp you are," said Thomas the Tree Kangaroo, jumping to the next branch to make room before the mirror.

"I believe you," said Iago the Iguana, his eyes shut and sweat pouring down his brow. His nerves were frayed from being high up on the tree branch and not from being confined in a powder blue morning suit tailcoat, blue violet vest, and a powder blue top hat.

"If it weren't for the vest, Iago would be completely powder blue," said Charlie the Camel from the ground.  All of Thomas' grooms animals laughed, including Iago.

"Eh, mate, you going to be okay?" asked Thomas, looking at himself in the mirror again. Bubba Byrd perched on his shoulder while Ghandi the Giraffe hovered behind them.

Iago opened one eye and glanced around at his friends. "We do look good in these wedding clothes."  Filemon the Flying Squirrel and Thomas did a high five.

"Iago, remember to give Guy A. Gator his tailcoat, …

Stanley the Salsa King

"¡Hola, Señors, Señoras, y Señoritas! ¡Bienvenido!" said the colorfully dressed instructor perched on top of a very tall stool.  Welcome, One and All, to El Studio de Salsa, Samba, So Forth and So On."

The snail spoke clearly, boldly, and charmingly for all the larger animals to hear. "Me llamo Stanley, the Salsa King.  In six weeks time, you all will be dancing the salsa, samba, rumba, cha cha cha, and merengue at Thomas' and Winnie's wedding reception."

Lemon meringue pie?" Guy perked up, bringing Charlie the Camel out of his reverie to nearly stumble over the alligator. "Dude!"

Edwina the Egret sighed while Agathe the Aardvark rolled her eyes. The other animals giggled and snickered.

"You are all nervous, no?" asked Stanley the Snail.

"Yes!" his students said in unison.

"Good, good. Let us channel that nervousness. I want you all to close your eyes, listen to this Eddie Palmieri song, and simply let your bo…

RIP Rhonda, A Rebel of A Raccoon

Cheers to Steve Arevalo, Big-hearted Teddy Bear of a community activist! May his spirit soar in joy and peace throughout the Universe!This story is for you, Steve.
Agathe the Aardvark stood at the podium, looking out at the enormous room filling up quickly with Rhonda the Raccoon's family,  friends, and colleagues. All the bayside windows and doors were wide open for Rhonda's ocean friends to be part of the memorial. Agathe listened to snippets of conversation among sniffles and loving laughter:

"We could always count on sweet  Rhonda."

"I hope she bit him deep and hard, I do."

"If only she didn't have such a temper."

"That evil man deserved what he got. Rescinding environmental regulations, poo!"

"The Humans should be thankful Rhonda's last words were for us to stand down and not seek revenge."

"Brava, Rhonda!"

Agathe turned to the portrait of Rhonda hanging over the stage. She will miss her dark-eyed friend,…