Saturday, May 31, 2014

May 2014 365 Project

I might be an approaching the amateur status. If not, then at least I'm trying and succeeded in getting in one photo each day this month. Not sure what I'd do without a smart phone since I don't always remember to take along the point and shoot. In all honestly, however, I'd have to admit that often the photos taken with the Galaxy S4 turn out better than the ones with the Samsung WB250F. Yes, I know... it's all about the one behind the camera.

Memorial Day... Not

Somehow I had it in my head that we used to observe Memorial Day on May 31st so I made a point to take this photo of the memorial crosses in Lafayette this morning. Since my memory often tricks me these days, I checked wikipedia and discovered the official date used to be the 30th. It all gets so confusing; this year we observed the day on the 26th.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Lunch Spot Job #1

This is the lunch spot for job #1... the job I have worked for 30 years (not always at this location however). Sad to note that this office will be shutting down soon and I'll be working from home. At least there will still be work for me so I shouldn't complain. Who knows, I might even find time to start writing that book.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Recycled Glass

Notice the tiny shopping cart emblem. These are glasses made out of recycled glass. Inspiration, including the emblem, was drawn from my oldest son. Those who know me, know the rest of the story.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Lunch on the Deck

The lunch spot for Job #2. Not real exciting view but it is rather peaceful on the deck. What can I say other than it was a busy day and I was too lazy to walk and look for photo opportunities. If I was just a bit taller I could have snapped the baby birds nesting up in the corner of the deck. Instead, I left a few bread crumbs behind for mama bird.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Spectacular Decisions

Picked up the new purple specs today. It was a tough decision but made much easier by the very helpful ladies at Diablo Valley Eye Medical Center. Dr Riedel has been there long enough that he treated my father and one of my best friends agrees... he is the best in the west.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Pope Om

Returning from the Music Festival, Grandma is too exhausted (mostly from the near 100 degree temperatures) to cook. Little J is demonstrating some helpful tips for chilling out as we wait for our dinner at a very crowded Back Forty BBQ. OMMMMMMMMMMMMM

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Tuning In

Little J and Grandpa joined Grandma for the day at the music festival.  JJ's favorite was Ophir Prison Band even though he missed the Rubber Ducky set. He settled for an Ophir kazoo and patriotic parade. He was a good sport to hang out with all us old people.

Saturday, May 24, 2014


Day two of the Sacramento Music Festival at one of our favorite  venues. Blistering heat didn't seem to affect this performance by Meschiya Lake and the Lil Big Horns. She has become one of our favorites.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Checking In

It's the beginning of our annual girls only adventure to the Sacramento Music Festival. Embassey Suites is our home away from home. Looking forward to another memorable weekend of great music, seeing old friends and indulging in street food.

Sent from Samsung tablet

Thursday, May 22, 2014

5th Grade Art

As the school year begins to wind down, we find ourselves at the final elementary school open house... at least for us... this time around. Fifth grade is the turning point and time to move on to middle school in the fall. Our open house visit was brief this year. Little J was not much interested in checking out any of his old classrooms or prior teachers; he just wants to be done with this venue. It's hard to believe there are only three weeks left for this school year.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Forgotten Menagerie

What may have been coveted and cuddled now collects dust on two out of reach top shelves. What to do with all these muppets of the past, once precious friends and bedtime soul mates? Most are like new. Possible donation solution: SAFE Stuffed Animals For Emergencies. Problem is, the one in my area is not currently accepting donations.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Lemon Tree

My inspiration today comes from my son who writes this to his dad for Father's Day:

The Lemon Tree

Great inspiration has come from a tree,
From Odin to Eden, we climb to see.
I see great redwoods and their worshiping ferns,
Holding root-hands through each the world’s turns.

From olive trees comes anointing oil,
And fruitful blessings up from the soil.
From India to Sri Lanka and back,
Bodhi’s kin still teach “no greed for the lack.”

Don’t ask me which tree is best of all,
I might say they all make messes in fall.
But do ask which one inspires me the most,
And I’ll answer on its behalf, a boast.

Never has a lemon tasted sweeter,
No sour spirit to make me deter.
I tell you this is entirely true,
Because we watched each other as we grew.

As mom fed us, dad fed that little tree,
Our family: tree, mom, dad, brother, me.
Your roots grown tight in your half-a-barrel,
Happy thing, a yellow Christmas Carol.

Sorry, dad, I once killed your woody friend,
But by your love, he came back in the end.
All those spiders sure loved him just like you,
Their webs like grey hair showing wisdom’s hue.

And the bees in spring, they paid special care,
Sharing all the latest buzz from their lair.
“Dumb” you say that I say “a plant can feel,”
“Yuck” I say to the fruit that you must peel.

OMans 5-9-2014

Monday, May 19, 2014


Look who's nesting in our back yard. Yesterday a spotted newborn appeared for a few brief moments. We are expecting a rafter of poults (that's the name for a baby turkey, in case you didn't already know) any day. What else might come our way this spring? Maybe a scurry of squirrels, an escargatoire of snails, a grist of bees, a charm of hummingbirds, a lounge of lizards, a mischief of mice, a den of snakes, a host of sparrows, a bed of worms? Find your animal group here.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Norwegian Roots

Somehow I lost a day and thought today was 17th Mai. It was after I took the photo and went to upload to my 365 project that I discovered it is the 18th. So, I'm a day late but here are a few little mementos of our roots. Little J at eleven is still afraid of the troll. Claims it gives him nightmares and yet he loves movies like Godzilla. Hmmmm.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Snail Mail - Movies - Etc

It started off a dull day, nothing but boring mail at the P.O. Not even worth the gas to go there. 

But, turns out a newspaper error was our gain. Asked for tickets to Spiderman II but didn't check what was printed on the stubs. I did notice that the young man charged us for four tickets, however, and went back to get a credit. It wasn't until after we bought popcorn that I noticed that we had 12:25pm tickets. Lady at counter told us there was no 10:55am show. She assured me that we wouldn't get arrested if we wanted to sit in on Godzilla and was kind enough to supply us with 3D glasses. Two for one! Little J and friend - very happy. Grandma - all super-heroed out.

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Purrfect Accountant

My hairdresser got a little snippety in more ways than one today. No, she wasn't unkind; she just asked the usual question as to how my writing is coming along. When I informed her, "it's not.", she suggested that I might want to reread/rework "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. I promised I would do so... think she'll forget in five weeks when I return?

Meanwhile, I did have some real, paying work to do. At least Rusty stayed on the back side of the screen this afternoon... for the most part.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

It's All Good

For the 365 project I posted the flower bouquet, taken on my break at work as I wandered around the grounds. To me it resembles the stages of life, all beautiful in their own way. 
The rest of the day: After all the tests at the eye doctor, I came out with no signs of age related diseases, and a new pair of purple glasses on order for a corrected 20/20. I call that a good day.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mother's Day Message

Discovered this mylar balloon on the hillside behind the house when I went out to get the morning newspaper. Someone's mother must be very sad to lose her special greetings.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Looking for Luck

Missing my son who used to have such good luck finding the four leaf clovers. Life takes its unexpected turns and we must let go, move on, and let it be.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Where Dreams Come From

The last thing eleven year old Little J sees from his pillow at night. Me... I'd have nightmares. Little J... he tallies up all the good dreams at the breakfast table.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

Let's just say sometimes it's easier to remember your mother than to dwell on your own mothering...

Saturday, May 10, 2014


Spent last two full days working on son's book and getting close to publishing his next draft. Distractions come easy and I can't help but look out the window. Time to clean up the patio chairs. It's going to be blazing hot next week so summer evening patio dinners will be a necessary escape from our "unairconditioned"  kitchen.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Swim with the Turtles

My souvenir from Kauai was a carefully chosen mug from a specialty gift shop, Banana Patch Studio.  Hand-painted mugs often have tiny idiosyncrasies making selections a challenge but I picked the one that depicted one of my fondest memories... swimming with the turtle at Po'ipo. Unfortunately, the first time I poured hot coffee into the mug, it cracked. It might have been something I did or it might have been defective, but the good news is... it was replaced... free of charge. So, if you happen to visit Kauai, shop here. You'll get a one of a kind souvenir with a guarantee that they stand by their products!

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Free Comic Book Day at Library

Little scored on his trip to the library today. Four comics plus posters and a calendar for his wall. Plus an original illustration.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014


I'm fairly sure that little gas pump symbol didn't exist when I learned to drive and neither did that little arrow underneath. If I bothered to read the car manual, I might have discovered it but what geek would read those? It seems at age 65 there are still things to be learned. My recent travel mate informed me that not knowing which side of the pump to approach was not an excuse to not fill up the rental car.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Weeds, the Endless Project

Tackled the front yard weeds, leaving the back hillside for another day. The weed eater struggled near the end so looks like it's time for a replacement. Wondering now if it might be better to spread a little toxic weed killer around and be done with it. So much for my original idea of planting a native garden... or did nature already take care of that for me?

Monday, May 05, 2014

Why I Don't Cook

Homegrown, fresh picked artichoke... a bit woody and the earwig left a bitter aftertaste.

Pineapple stored upside down to sweeten... not so sure about that.

Mandarin Chicken... grandson says Panda Express is better.

Tomorrow night... McDonalds.

Sunday, May 04, 2014


The Portabella Mushroom sandwich gets my vote for favorite at Lucca's in Benicia. Perfect ending to a fun red hat day. Started out with seeing Benicia Old Town Theatre Group production of Same Time Next Year, one of my all time favorite movies. The show runs through May 10th... catch it if you can.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Point Reyes

Probably not the best picture of the day but perhaps the most meaningful shot. We spotted the Tule Elk on the way into Drake's Beach. I captured lots of wild flower pictures during our walk on the Earthquake Trail at Point Reyes. We also saw a sea otter swimming out of the ocean, up a creek, and disappearing into a drainage pipe. My shot of him turned out blurred and hard to find in the murky water. The photo op I missed was the two gray whales breaching. Beginning to wish I had a better camera but wondering if what my friend says is more on target... "it's not about the camera; it's the person behind it."

Friday, May 02, 2014

Sweet Pineapples

Checking out at Trader Joes, the clerk asked me if I store my pineapples upside down. "Why would I do that?" I asked.

"They are like peanut butter," she explained. "You know how some parts are better than others? The sugar separates and settles on the bottom. Turn it over for a day and it will work it's way through and even out the sugar content."

We shall see.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Spring Cleaning

It's May Day and some people might be out dancing around the Maypole, frolicking among the flowers, and jumping over fire for good luck. I'm the one tackling spring cleaning. Or at least making a stab at it. All those chemicals are bad for you so I must take frequent breathing breaks.

All this because the cats are shedding. Tuesday when I picked up Little J from school, he gave me one of those "roll the eyes" looks and let out a sultry "Seriously, Grandma?"  "What?" I asked. He quickly pointed out that my navy blue shirt was covered with cat fur. That's how I ended up getting busted for taking a nap in the middle of the day. First thing in the wash today is the bedspread.

Vacuuming didn't last long... the machine overheated when the fur started flying. Might have to detour to the vacuum repair center. Meanwhile I'm thinking a little duct tape might come in handy. Not for the vacuum. For de-furring the cats. Once they come out from under the bed. Here kitty kitty.