Wednesday, September 10, 2014

August 365 Project

Yes August was finished. September is in the works.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge

Have you done it yet?  My video is on Facebook.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Bike Shopping

A grandma  walks into a bike shop with her grandson. Clerk asks how he can help. Grandma says, "I'm a little lost with this process but I need something for my grandson." The clerk sizes up the grandson who is now eleven and heads toward the mountain bikes. Grandma adds, "please be kind to my budget and I think he has it more in mind to get a BMX." Meanwhile grandson is already looking at the price tags and has picked out not the cheapest one but one with a middle of the road price.

"Sorry, I can't let him test it with those sandals," the clerk points at grandson's feet.

"It's ok," Grandma says. "We're just looking. So what can you do for me?"  He leads Grandma over to some cruiser type granny bikes with fat tires and seats the size of a sofa cushion. "Those don't look likely to make it up the big hills around here," Grandma comments. Looking down the row, Grandma spies some hybrids with smaller seats and thinner tires. "What about those? I do still have a little oomph in me you know," she says.

The clerk squirms and gives Grandma a sheepish grin, "I knew that." Yeah right. Grandma tells him we'll be back on Friday with proper shoes.

Friday, August 01, 2014

The Rest of July

The 365 project was completed with daily photos but it turned out to be a bit of a challenge considering the last eleven days came with a few complications. We could just say the happier days were the trip to The Dungeon and lunch at The Rainforest Cafe on the 21st and the afternoon at Chouinard Winery on the 27th. Not that anything bad happened between those days. It was just busy so the photos are random glimpses of the days.

The most productive day would be on the 29th when I clicked the publish button for Chris's book first book of his Trilogy, Firefly Dreams: In the World of Hipponox . He could use some support in the form of reviews. 

Lastly, the sad part. We had to put Rusty down on the 30th. We miss him dearly but find peace in thoughts that he might now be with his lifelong partner, Minnie.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

No Dogs On Beach

It was a perfect weather day for a trip to Half Moon Bay. All was well until we discovered the poor dogs wouldn't be allowed on the beach. Did we let that stop us? Hush! Don't they look happy after their romp? We are happy too... we didn't get caught.

It's a little late but yes I did get my photo on the 365 Project last night. Here it is... leaving the Lafayette Reservoir after the Rossmoor Big Band USO show.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Dinner Is Served

Little J is working on his cooking skills in hopes of losing the "OhPickyOne" nickname. His entree for tonight's chicken enchilada dinner turned out to be a tasty perfection. Grandma's addition of some fresh fruit and Cole slaw rounded out the menu. Perhaps we have a future chef in our midst.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Send in the Clouds

I'm seeing a trend in this blog lately. I guess it goes along with the old saying, if you can't find something safe to talk about, talk about the weather. Kind of boring perhaps but, yes, it is safe. The clouds are a welcome relief from sticky hot days. My garden could have used a downpour but it sprinkled only enough to mess up the cars.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Drought Berries

It's an annual tradition to have at least one piled high, golden brown, old fashioned blackberry pie, usually in August. Doesn't look like much will happen in the next 30 days so might as well put away the recipe book. Will be lucky to get enough berries for a bowl of cereal. Planning to do some serious trimming end of summer and hope for a better crop next year.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Catnap Weather

Another day of nearly 100 but it's supposed to be noticeably cooler tomorrow. Now that I'm working at home more, I get to see how the kitties survive the heatwave. Wanda takes a spot near the semi-productive air conditioner in the living room yet Rusty still takes up desktop real estate.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Tunnel Vision

I've been trying to get a good photo inside the new bore of the Caldecott Tunnel but since I'm usually the one behind the wheel, it's a bit awkward. I gave Little J a shot at it this morning on the way to church and this is what he came up with. Maybe I should have washed the windshield first. Next time. Meanwhile we are enjoying a faster commute to Oakland these days.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Pizza Moons

Little J's counselor suggested that he might want to learn how to cook this summer since he is so picky about what I put in front of him. So here was his first attempt straight out of All Recipes. It worked. He ate them with gusto and actually they weren't bad.

Friday, July 11, 2014


Today's cable experience turned out to be worse than yesterday's car ordeal. First the promises:  I'd have better equipment and more channels; I'd have faster internet (25mbps); plus I'd save $20 a month. Or course I'd jump on that deal. So the installer shows up. "Where do you want the phone?" he asked. I was quick to inform him that there was no phone in this deal. He came back with something about a package deal but that he would go ahead with the install without the phone and I could call Comcast and straighten it out. After over an hour hour on the phone with Comcast: I get to keep the upgraded equipment; I get a slight increase in internet speed (6mbps); I don't get any extra channels; I pay $20 more per month. Happy? NO NOT AT ALL. The first lady offered me three months of HBO and Showtime for my trouble. By them time I got though with the manager, that went out the window with the rest of the promises.  Oh, and did I mention, there is an outage on cable TV this evening? This isn't over yet.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Driveway Ornament

After yesterday's frustration with returning the leased vehicle, I bit the bullet. So here is my commitment to working another six years. Hoping it will last as long as I am capable of driving. Hey, I didn't like having a blue car anyway. It just wasn't queenly enough for this red hatter.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Oak Galls

What tender morsel is this little guy after? I haven't observed this before but am guessing there must be something good to eat in there. This is the best I can do for today.

Most of the day was taken up at the car dealership... my lease was up and the options are bewildering. Let's just say, I don't think I'll ever lease a car again... there are too many hitches when the time is up. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I should know better.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Expect Delay

One small delay and the entire day is thrown off. Problem is since there are 20 minute delays at both routes out of town, there is no escape. So who is responsible for both ends of town being blocked at the same time? There has to be some logic somewhere. Beginning to feel like we are living Under the Dome.

Monday, July 07, 2014


Another frequent visitor to my home office has been scrambling around the new bird feeder. There was a bit of a ruckus atop the eaves this morning with his clumsy approach. He has been peeking over the edge of the roof all day but I suspect he'll figure out the angle soon enough. Meanwhile today's flying visitors included California Towhees, a Mourning Dove, a couple of Blue Jays, the house finches and a couple others I haven't identified.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Bird Sanctuary

Despite my filling a nearby feeder with the special blend from Wild Birds Unlimited, Mama Bird was not pleased to have me hanging out on the patio this sunny warm afternoon. I'm willing to share that wee bit of real estate under the eaves so in turn she must accept that there will be a landlord on site. It happens to be just outside my office door and provides a cheerful and melodic respite while from working at home. All the more reason to leave my yard as nature intended it.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Kid in the Candy Shop

One can't go to Old Sacramento without stopping by the taffy shop. After all there are free samples. That is free samples every single time I have ever been there except yesterday. I should have known when I saw the security guards. To make a long story short, Grandma got busted sampling the Red Velvet Taffy. When we returned today, the old deal was back... we each got to sample two pieces (fortunately they didn't seem to remember me and the sentinels were gone). So many choices.

Friday, July 04, 2014

4th of July

View from the Tower Bridge fireworks at Raley Field. We scattered with the crowd for the best view. Perfect warm evening treat. Happy 4th!

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Life is a...

Bowl of Cherries. Getting in gear for the 4th of July so looked for something red, white and blue. Seems like it's hard to shoot red as I discovered before when trying to shoot a display of all my red hats. So this is my late in the day attempt to get something in just under the wire. Going to go eat them now... sweet strawberry cherries.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Scoping it Out

Glad it wasn't me going in there. I was perfectly happy to settle in on this side of the door. All came out well. Seems like the older we get, the more time we spend in these kinds of waiting rooms.

Meanwhile an elderly lady (yes I can say elderly... I may be old but I'm not elderly yet) accompanied her hubby into the prep room. When she came out, the receptionist told her to make herself comfortable and if she needed it there was a restroom over in the corner. She sat on the edge of her seat opposite me scoping out the room. After a few minutes of studying the man/woman sign on the door, she asked the receptionist, "So where is the restaurant you mentioned?"

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Blue Fortune

Agastache Blue Fortune is the latest addition to our garden. I was looking for a "butterfly" plant and this is what was available in our local nursery. It was labeled "Hummingbird Mint." Supposed to attract butterflies and hummingbirds and it flourishes with little water and not a lot of care. On top of that it is deer resistant. All key words for me. But wait - what are those little purple and red critters lurking about the pot?

Monday, June 30, 2014

How Hot Is It?

Hot enough to dry the artichokes. Since my goal this summer seems to be working on an arrangement of dried plants, the warm weather is welcome. Hot weather? Not so welcome. Thank goodness for our tiny little air conditioner that works so hard just to keep the living room bearable. Counting myself lucky that tomorrow I work in an air conditioned environment.

Sunday, June 29, 2014


We're having a heat wave so we headed toward the water for relief. Treasure Island, that is. Where there just happened to be a flea market going on. (Oh, OK, we knew that... it happens every last weekend of the month). We escaped the heat, ate gourmet food truck food, bought nothing, and sampled chocolates. Captured this on the way out for the photo of the day. Check out the Bliss Statue (originally from the Burning Man Festival) and see what she looks like when lit up in evenings.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

On The Ball

Letting go of yesterday's theme of fake flowers, I did attempt to do a bit of yard clean up this morning. Decided to give it another go with a couple of new plants. Little J accompanied me to the nursery and insisted on a healthy ghost pepper plant even though it came with a caution sticker... "warning extremely hot, handle with gloves." So how does one eat a ghost pepper if it's too hot to touch?  I chose a Hummingbird Mint and some basil for my corner of the garden. We'll see who has the greener thumb.

Last errand of the day was Target... Little J is on the Ball.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Wishful Blooms

The truth is yesterday's deer do not make today's blooms. Look a little closer and you will see. These purple roses are the best I can do. They came from Michael's craft store. Just another example of garden art from the Wittsend. Bonus, the deer don't eat them.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Last Supper

One of our favorite restaurants is closing soon. We've visited this restaurant site for forty plus years and fondly remember when it used to be Cape Cod House, the best seafood restaurant in town. Always seemed strange to eat Mexican fare there for the last few years. Apparently the city decided we need more condos and less restaurants. Not sure when it's closing and the coupons still come in the mail so taking advantage of it while we can.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Bambi x 2 vs Ears

There was excitement in Little J's voice this morning when he woke up to two Bambi surprises in the front yard. They are almost tame in an uncanny kind of way, not too easily startled. It was the mama who came along and disrupted their peaceful rest. Oh well, we could only spend a short while admiring them anyway since we were out the door early to prepare for an important adventure.

Of course Little J didn't want me to post any back sided views of his hospital garb so I caught just a piece of it while we were waiting for his surgery. Less than an hour later, with a new set of ear tubes, he now finds out he can hear quite well. Big bonus for me... the doctor promises that Little J will now immediately clean his room on the first request. No more "I didn't hear you" excuses. Thinking teachers will be pleased as well.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Mended Windows

You break it;we fix it. Summer air conditioning model. Free. Call 1 800-BEWIRED.

Monday, June 23, 2014

If We Build It, Will They Come?

Actually Little J & I completed this project quite some time ago and I probably already posted a pictures of our birdhouse project. I'm doing this today in memory of the rescued baby hummingbird that Little J so tenderly cared for... it died this morning and is buried under the birdhouse projects. Maybe more healthy ones will come. (I know... this is not a hummingbird house!)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Lunch Before Follies

The Molls and a few friends enjoyed lunch at Strizzi's in Pleasanton before attending the Golden Follies. Lunch was delicious. The Follies were entertaining (if only I could kick that high when I'm 80 something, I'll be happy). Companionship outstanding as always when hanging out with Red Hat friends.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

What the Truck

Lots of interesting things to photograph today at Jack London Square "What The Truck" event. 
Guess I was drawn to this one because it's purple. 

My favorite truck stop was the Ice Cream Taco Truck. Little J's favorite would be the Game Truck which contained five large video screens and a truck load of video games. Thinking this might be a useful investment for Little J's 12th birthday party.

Meanwhile, Grandpa waited patiently at Jack London's old hang out.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Morning Visitor

It's always a pleasure to find these guys sleeping in my front yard when I go out to get my morning newspaper. Not so happy are the neighbors who live behind tall fences to keep their garden beautiful. To each his own I say. Even better was seeing two little bambi's scampering up our nature friendly hillside. I'll take my weeds and nature for now. Flowers to decorate the dinner table are an inexpensive venture to Trader Joes and look at all the water I save.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Karate Kid

Enough lazing around playing video games. Time for some action. Last night I downloaded the 7 Minute Work. Thinking it might be beyond a grandma's capabilities, I figured I should observe someone of young years so I challenged Little J to try it out while I sat back and watched the timer go around. Of course it was a piece of cake for him but yes he did work up a sweat. Thinking maybe I can modify it for me... notice I said maybe. Meanwhile, there's always Karate... for Little J, not Grandma.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Summer Boredom

School's been out for a week and grandma purposely let him play all the video games he wanted. Fact is, I've been busy readying office for the move so needed to use the electronic babysitter. Now that we got that out of his system and the office is looking good, it's time to move on.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Back There

Waiting in car for Little J. What to do for an hour. Why not take 365 photo of the day. But what could be of interest here? Find something. Anything. Look back. There it is. Am I bored or what?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Eyesore or Monument?

This little section of my garden might be an eyesore to me but it's a monument to my oldest son. Three years later, it still brings back those bad memories of the day the puppies died. Somehow I envisioned this spot would be a garden for annual flowers; something living and fresh. Or, just because I sometimes have a sick sense of humor, perhaps a bit of catnip.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

How Do I Get Down?

Little J found the Kid Zone at the Cajun Zydeco Festival. Grandma found some good music. Grandpa (and Grandma) found some delicious fried artichoke hearts smothered in baby shrimp sauce. We usually avoid this festival due to usual temps in the 100's but today was a cool eighty something. With filtered bright sun comes burns which we were unprepared for since it was a last minute decision to head that direction after church. Added expense... hats for Little J & Grandma. Oh well, I'm prepared to wear blue on our "hats of another color" event.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Artichoke... again

I left the artichoke on the stalk on purpose to see the purple bloom. Good for the critters too since at attracted a bunch of the baby bees. That is until I showed up with the camera. Oh well, this is the status as of the plant today. Maybe I should bring it in for a dried flower arrangement?

Friday, June 13, 2014


Little J and I have talked a lot lately about mindfulness in order to keep focused and on task. No problem during this exercise in concentration. He worked hard and came home with his advanced orange belt. I just discovered each belt color has a meaning. For orange it's "Sprout is blossoming into a plant."

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Books for Sale

Interesting way the local library displays used books for sale (you need to enlarge the photo to see that the books are hanging on ropes). Snapped the picture as I was waiting to pick up Little J so the lighting at that hour was not ideal for the shot. I'll admit it; I haven't visited this shop. I do my reading on the Kindle these days. Not exactly the most inexpensive way to feed the habit but then again I don't have all that much time to read. Speaking of reading, school is out as of today. Must get Little J enthused about reading instead of playing on the computers while he's at the library.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Yep, It's Trash

Best I could do today. Tomorrow is our semi-annual big pick up day and I scrambled as best I could after a long work day. The best thing is you get an opportunity to "donate" recycled items the day before and if nobody wants the stuff, it just gets scooped up on dump day. I was surprised to see the items I put down last night did indeed disappear. Old story... one man's junk is another man's treasure.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

What's Wrong With this Picture?

Line dancing night so I'm trying to revive after a busy day at work. If only I could get my shoes on the right feet I might not feel like I have two left feet.  Inspiration for this one comes from Lil Sis, who I know goes nutz when she spots shoes lined up this way.

Monday, June 09, 2014


Been under the weather for a couple of days. It all started with cleaning up the kitchen to paint. Managed to get the ceiling and walls washed and began to work on the corners when it hit. Must have been the flu cause it struck like lighting; One minute I'm painting... the next I'm flat out in bed. Two days later and it's a work day. Looks like we'll be living out of kitchen boxes for another week. Meanwhile, in the garden, unsupervised artichoke shows it's stuff. Doesn't matter. Can't find the salt and pepper anyway.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Happy Friday

For Little J on the last Friday of the school year, sending him off for the day with a somewhat balanced breakfast. At least it got a smile out of him in the early morning. The countdown is on for next Thursday, after only half a day, school is out for the summer. Something tells me boredom will set in early. Need to figure out how to keep Little J busy and myself sane.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Almost Ripe

Plums ripen in another month or so and if we're lucky, we get to sample a few before the squirrels get to them. These ones happen be at Job #1 so we might have the office moved before they are ready. Mine at home are another story being small and best suited for the hungry animals that lurk in our yard.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Tree Ornaments

Little J has grown at least half a dozen shoe sizes since he "lost" these shoes. I tend to have blinders when there are things out of place around here, otherwise I'd lose what mental balance I have left. But the other day when the boss came by, he pointed them out. My quick response, "it's garden art." Not going to climb the tree to change that either. Maybe I'll throw a few more pairs up there. See how many it takes before the neighbors say something.