Monday, October 31, 2011


May the witches not find you.....(even the cute little mousie ones)

May your treat bag be full....

And just to be safe, eat something reeking of garlic!

Happy Halloween to one and all!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bah --- Viewer Discretion Advised

I got up to my cabin last weekend to discover that I have had a leak under my sink (probably the reverse osmosis unit going bad, but I guess the plumber will tell me for sure) and that I now have extensive water damage.  I have been traveling a lot and had not been up to stay for about thee weekends and lo!  I discover this....

The plumber will be there tomorrow.  The insurance adjuster arrives at 9 AM on Friday morning.  I fear that this may not be covered by my insurance, judging from the dire things that were said to me on the phone today.  I would have, ordinarily, been on the phone to the claims people on Sunday except that we had a little family medical emergency....Nonie had to have her gallbladder removed on Monday morning.  She just got sicker and in more and more pain on Sunday and finally she called me at 11 PM to come and take her to the ER.  They kept her overnight, running this test and that scan, and they ascertained that she was, indeed, having a gall bladder attack and that the bad ol' thing had to come out.  Now.

And so, as she said, She is now "not all there."  Hey, her words, not mine!

I can not believe the wonders of laparoscopic surgery.  She went into the operating room in great, horrible pain and came out about 2 1/2 hours later (after her recovery room stay, too) laughing and chatting and acting like she was totally ready to start doing the Hokey Poky.  The day and night difference was amazing and her recovery is continuing to be fast and wondrous.  I am so very, very glad she is feeling so well and making such a speedy recovery.  What a relief!

She looks pretty darn good for someone who'd been so very sick just 24 hours before.

And least you find all the horrible moldy photos too icky for words, I leave you with a recent photo of my smallest grandbaby.  She is not icky!

PS  There is also the happy fact that the All Blacks (New Zealand's National team) won the Rugby World Cup, which is wonderful news to me.   Guess I'm letting my little "rugby problem" out to the world in general, but it was a knuckle-biter of a game (against France, who played very well).  But, hey, my favorite team won!  Yippee!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

My New Ride

I've been looking at bicycles for a while now.  I had pretty much settled on getting myself a Public bicycle when lo!  And behold!  I found the very one I had decided upon on sale!

It was exactly the right color.

One of the things I most admired about the Public bikes is that you have the option of having it shipped 99% assembled.  Not being a bicycle mechanic the thought of trying to put one of these babies together made me blanch, but only having to put on the handle bars, the pedals and the seat?  That's within my skill range!

It has a back rack and I have the front rack for it, too, I just haven't gotten it on the bike yet.  There is a nifty basket, with spring-loaded clips, that snaps onto the rack so I can go get those few items I ran out of or forgot to buy at the grocery store without  having to fire of The Blue Beast.  (I love my car but I don't need to use it all the time....)

I took my new ride for a short spin yesterday afternoon after the twenty minutes or so it took me to get it totally assembled, and it is a dream to ride.  I'm going to be having some fun on this thing.  Just keep your fingers crossed that I don't crash and burn!  It's been quite a while since I did any serious bike riding and I think I'm going to need a little time to get back in the habit.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Song for Autumn

I am not ready for winter.  I am, to be honest, not yet ready for autumn and it is my favorite season.  I am not ready for Halloween.  I still feel like there is not enough sun warmth soaked into my bones.  Is this because I am getting old(er)?  Or is it because it was a crummy weather  summer in the NW?  Probably both.

The only real way to handle this growing cold weather apprehension is to meet it face on.  I need to remind myself all the things I love about autumn and the slow slide into winter.  I need to remind myself that I get a lovely gift in January and look forward to that time.  (I'm going to Africa again.)  So, here are a few of my favorite things about the autumn.

Leaves turning beautiful golden, red and russet colors and....

....really foggy days for walking ad thinking and breathing deeply....

....and making spiced cranberries for Thanksgiving and for gifting at Christmas.

I love finding abandoned bird's nests and adding them to my expanding collection.  They are so much easier to see once the leaves fall and I know the inhabitants have left for warmer climes further south.

All the autumn colors are especially wonderful at the cabin, where there are so many cedars and other evergreens to act as a foil for making the bright, fleeting hues pop.  It makes weekends spent there, cozy and snug, so beautiful and gives me something to look forward to all week long.

I love clear, frosty coooooold days.  They just pull me outside and make me want to explore.

I love the countdown to Christmas, especially lovely this autumn as all my children, their spouses and all the grands will be home with DH and me this special, special year.

And I love that my favorite poet, Mary Oliver, always has words that lift my heart and help me see things in a better light.
Song for Autumn 
In the deep fall
    don't you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it will be to touch
    the earth instead of the
nothingness of air and the endless
    freshets of wind? And don't you think
the trees themselves, especially those with mossy,
    warm caves, begin to think
of the birds that will come — six, a dozen — to sleep
    inside their bodies? And don't you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
    the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow? The pond
    vanishes, and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
    its blue shadows. And the wind pumps its
bellows. And at evening especially,
    the piled firewood shifts a little,
longing to be on its way.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Everywhere I go, everywhere I look, here in North San Diego county, there are succulents.  More and more succulents and the are all...well....very succulent.

I have become quite fond of them over the last few years.  Some of them, like the agave above, have the most elegant lines.

I love these 'lettuce-y' ones, although I do not know the name of them.  The red edges against the sage green of the body of the leaf is unexpected and lovely.

These little green balls are my daughter's (Ungrateful Wretch) favorites.  We bought a lot of different succulents and replanted her boxes in the front of her house.  The old plantings had run their course over the summer and were looking drab and, well, dead.  So now the boxes are stuffed full of a wide variety of succulents, and some remaining and thriving, herbs.

I have a few succulents at home, but they often drown over the winter, given the vast amounts of water that insists on falling from the sky in the Pacific Northwest.  Since I return home tomorrow I am stocking up on sunshine and viewing healthy and hale succulents.

Must be 90 degrees here today.  I'm going to freeze to death when I return home.  I am not ready for winter!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

LegoLand Halloween Party Night

Yesterday my daughter, grandchildren #2 and #3 went to LegoLand to experience their Halloween Party Night.  It was sort of creepy.  There were spiders in palm trees....

....and children rode on rides.  The #2 granddaughter was excited to take this "flight" but #3 grandchild (and #1 grandson) seemed somewhat apprehensive.  Gramma Gramma had to hold the backpack and extra clothes and was, therefore, denied the flight.

My daughter (Ungrateful Wretch) was being somewhat cavalier with her mother.  Always picks on me, that one.

There were actual dancing skeletons.  They were pretty darn good tap dancers, too, those skeletons.

And there were these enormous spiders----everywhere!  Beware!!!

We were all very impressed with this fellow, who could balance on an enormous rubber ball, roll around wherever he wanted to go, and NOT. Fall. Off.

How do they do that?

Magic light sabers were purchased.

Good thing, too, as they were desperately needed to protect us all from icky spiders......

I was especially delighted with this very tall, very glowing blue ghoulish ghostly thingie.

And there was a giant Halloween pumpkin-moon shining through the trees.

We found an old, gray-haired Lego lady and so we posed with her.  (The Ungrateful Wretch insisted.  Something about bonding with "my kind, my people".  See, I told you she was an Ungrateful Wretch.)

None of us had ever been to Mini Land in the dark.  It was different and fun and I loved to see it with all the shadows.

The cemetery in the Old New Orleans (St. Louis cemetery, if memory serves.)  section was my favorite part of Mini Land---so seasonally appropriate.

And as if we really needed any more gilding the lily, FIREWORKS!!!!!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Double Double

Today was a good day, a very good day.  I am in Southern California visiting with my daughter and her family.  It's always a treat to be able to spend time with the grandchildren, but if I were to be totally honest, there is one over-riding, completely compelling reason to travel from the Pacific Northwest to Southern California.  And that reason is simple.  We do not have In-N-Out restaurants where I live.  It is very sad but we do not.

There are TWO HUNDRED AND FIVE In-N-Out outlets in California and NOT ONE in Washington state.  Is this fair, I ask you?  NO, it is NOT.

We went to In-N-Out for dinner this evening.  My grandchildren both have their favorite meals, which they got.  Their mommy has her favorite, also.  And Gramma Gramma (that's me) has hers, too,  and they fixed it exactly the way I love it.  Lots of "fresh" onions, not raw onions, but "fresh."  You can have your onions "grilled" or "fresh", or not at all, if that's your choice.  You can only order a hamburger, or a cheeseburger, fries and drinks at In-N-Out.  That's it.  Believe me, you have to understand that they have got that limited menu down.

The burgers are so good that if you even look like you might be thinking about taking a tiny little nibble of your granddaughter's hamburger (ketchup only), you will get a very suspicious look and she will turn away so you can't lunge at her and grab her food away.

My very own daughter (Ungrateful Wretch) will taunt you with the last french fry......

.....and my grandson will gobble up his cheeseburger, from safely across the table, where I couldn't reach it.

I understand they open at 10:30.  Anyone want to meet me there for breakfast?