Tuesday, May 26, 2015


I was on a cruise ship a few months ago when something happened that has niggled at my conscience for a while since then.

I was sitting in the library area, feet up, on a very comfortable chair, drawing and watching the seascape glide by.  An older husband and wife sat a few yards away from me and a few yards away from them a group of exuberant  students filled up the padded benches just to their left.  Because of the way I was sitting I could see both the students and the couple very clearly.

After a while the students moved on.  Soon after that, the husband of the couple casually stood up and strolled toward the padded benches, picked something up and just as casually returned to his seat.  He had in his hand some kind of  iphone or ipad. Then followed a conversation between them as to what to do with the ipad.  The wife opted to either leave it there or turn it into the desk.  The husband felt that whoever he gave it to would probably keep it for themselves.  As the debate continued in subdued voices, I sat as though concentrating on my drawing.  At some point the wife mentioned that I had probably seen and heard what had happened.  The husband assured her not to worry about me, he was sure I hadn't seen or heard anything, (too old and too intent on my drawing).  What neither of them knew was that I have excellent hearing, and as a teacher I am unusually alert to deliberately casual behavior -- someone's usually up to no good.

After about ten minutes they both got up and took the iphone with them. For as long as I was there no-one came back looking for their possession.

I have no idea what happened in the end, but I must admit that I am disappointed in myself that I didn't do or say something to prevent this from happening.  Even worse, at the time it didn't even occur to me to intervene.  I know I was absorbed in my drawing, but I also know the difference between right and wrong.  Maybe I was just waiting to see they would do.

What do you think?  To me, doing nothing is the same as being part of the problem, not part of the solution.

This incident was brought to mind by Berowne's post today where you can find another moral dilemma for you to solve.

My contribution to ABC Wednesday's letter T.  Thanks Denise and Roger and all other helpers.  For more contributions please click  HERE

Sunday, May 24, 2015


It's been a week of up's and downs -- mostly ups.  Once I got word from the hospital that that nasty movi-prep wasn't necessary, the surgery was a breeze!  In at noon, home by 6;00 pm. No pain , just a little soreness and stiffness.  They think they got the adhesions from past surgeries that were causing the problems.  I'll know more after the follow-up appointment.  Thank you Lord!

Can you believe it we have people actually come to the front door to say how much they like the improvements we have made to our front yard!  It is quite simple (see two posts ago) but I guess quite effective.  The large stones were more expensive than we had anticipated but we decided to bite the bullet, because they'll be here longer than we will, they will take care of the drought problem and they won't blow away with the leaf blower.

I've been lured on to facebook, (I said I'd never do it....) mainly because my past students need someone to contact for their school records now that the school is closed.  But I have discovered the fun of catching up with old high school friends (60 years ago!) and others along the way, not to mention some new friends from Flamborough where I lived all those years ago, with wonderful photographs, enough to make me homesick.

Now if I can get myself together to do something exciting I'll have something more to blog about.

Thank you for all your prayers and thoughts.

FOOTNOTE -- PHOTOS from my old High School -- Bridlington High School for Girls, E. Yorks:

The gym complete with climbing ropes.

The Great White Hall

The Magnificent Elm Tree that once was struck by Lightning

I'll be back!

Saturday, May 16, 2015


Our topic for CREATIVE TUESDAY this week is:


  I am not very good with fantasy as I mentioned to Michael, our Creative Tuesday facilitator,
so I resorted to zentangles.  I am such a down-to-earth realist!  I don't even read fantasy or science fiction, nor watch those kinds of movies.  Even so it was quite fun to do but I still felt it needed a little life in it so I added the squirrel and an enormous acorn for him -- a gift from the tree.

This is not due until March 19th but in order for it not to get lost with ABC Wednesday I have posted it early.  Why don't you hop over to Creative Tuesday and see what others in this community have contributed to illustrate this theme?  Please click on LINK here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


In our retirement park, the homes are all manufactured homes, some small, some large, all well kept and well maintained.  We don't have a large front yard -- which is exactly the way we wanted it, but the ice plant in front of the house, was beginning to die off and needed replacing with....something.  So I got busy and designed what I thought would be attractive, low maintenance and drought resistant.  We are under strictly regulated water usage in our area because we are now in our fourth year of drought.  The change has been in the works for a couple of months (We had to have HOA approval first.)  So now it is all finished I have some photos to show the change we have made.


The tree is a Lantana and has never stopped blooming since the day we moved in.   The purple flowers at either end are bouganvillea which flower most of the year and will grow like a vine, which I plan to train to drape over the shell and the stones in a limited way.  It should only need trimming. We also put a pot of Fortnight Lilies at either end to add some greenery. They are named that because they flower every fortnight.  They are also easy to grow and don't mind the hot weather. Finally, we left the one solitary sago palm where it was originally planted by the previous owner.

The fisherman is a tribute to my growing up years in the village of Flamborough on the East Coast of Yorkshire.  We bought him a good number of years ago and hadn't found the right place for him in our new yard until now.

We have had lots of positive comments from passers-by.  Even the park manager said she liked it. The only negative factor was that we had to take out our tulip tree.  It was still quite small, but as they can grow extremely large--as tall as 50 feet -- it was probably not a good place to have it.  In addition it had to be protected from frost which we could do at this size, but would have had some difficulty as it got much larger, even though we only have a few nights of frost per year.

I know rocks are not a good substitute for grass, but in our climate they fare much better than grass.

All in all we are quite pleased and look forward to seeing the plants develop.


This is my contribution to ABC WEDNESDAY, that enormously popular and successful project begun by Mrs. Nesbitt and continued by Roger Owen Green and his team of volunteers.  To see more fascinating and educational entrees please click HERE.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


Are you ready for this ?
All the answers begin with Q

1.  Name one of the 6 actors in "A Midsummer Night's Dream."  (Hint:  It is also the name of a fruit).

2. The general name for any four footed animals.

3. An intended prey or victim being hunted.

4.  If you have an extremely contagious disease, you may have to be ................

5.  A hard rock-like mineral that comes in several colors. 

6.  A ship coming into port will often dock at one of these.

7.  A province in Canada where French is widely spoken.

8.  Another name for mercury because of its fluid motion and attractive color.

9. A medicine that was commonly given to treat malaria.

10.  A traitor who collaborates with an occupying enemy country.

BONUS:  A tropical American bird, (think - around the Amazon) the male of which has long green tail feathers.


1.  Quince                                              6.  Quay
2.  Quadruped                                        7.  Quebec
3.  Quarry                                              8.  Quicksilver
4.  Quarantined                                      9.  Quinine     
5.  Quartzite                                         10.  Quisling

BONUS:  ( I thought this one was hard.)  A Quetzal.

What do you think?  Was this too hard?  It's easy to make up questions when you know the answers.

This is my contribution to ABC Wednesday, that most popular and successful meme started by Mrs. Nesbitt and so ably continued by Roger Owen Green.  Please click HERE to see what others have submitted for their ideas for the letter 'Q'.

Monday, May 4, 2015


I loved this theme and had no shortage of ideas but this is the one I decided upon.  I call it "Puddles".

I think this is one of my most favorite pictures that I have drawn in recent years, not because it is so especially good, but I like the mischievous girl, and the dog looking equally mischievous.  I like the colors and especially the movement. 

This is the first drawing I have done in about a month -- since I came out of the hospital actually.  For a while I didn't have the mental energy or enthusiasm to draw or write, but I have felt so much better this past week that I was just ready to go with this picture!

Click on this LINK to see what other members of Creative Tuesday have done and then why not consider joining us?

P.S.  I have surgery in 3 weeks -- shouldn't be serious, but there might be a gap in my posts again until I get my energy back.  Thank you, if you can be praying.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


I think I'm finally up to posting again, but it has been a long and not too pleasant six weeks.  Apart from the actual medical procedure, the worst was that the hospital doctors took me off my normal medications, cold turkey.  After I complained, they gave me something as a substitute, which was not effective and which my own doctor said was "too little, too late".  Consequently the side effects of going off my normal meds turned into strong withdrawal symptoms for about a week or more.  Not pleasant.  In fact very scary.  It has taken me about 3 weeks to begin to feel like myself again.

In the mean time I've missed April, but not completely since our lovely little new home is in the midst of trees and the creek and I've been able to recuperate by watching the baby birds, and birds passing through, not to mention the antics of the ducks, which I'm sure will be accompanied by ducklings any day now.   Everything is pretty well in full flower now.

Somewhere along the line we have acquired a new all-black duck.  He is quite a bit larger than the other mallards and I have not been able to identify him.  

This is obviously not a very good shot, but I'm posting it  to show how much like a goose he is.  In some sunlight his head and neck do have the green iridescent  color like the other mallards, but not nearly so noticeable.  He has to be some hybrid I think.  He does mix with all the other ducks and they don't seem to object to him, even though he is quite a bit larger.

We have had the beautiful purple ice plant removed, because it is dying back in a quite a few places and looking kind of unsightly.  It's coming to the end of its life.

We have also trimmed back the large Lantana bush which never stops blooming, and made some major changes in the look of our small front yard.  These should be finished in a day or so.  I will publish the photos soon.  I know I'm going to be pleased.  As much as I liked the ice plant, it only stayed looking beautiful for about a month.

I don't think I will get back into ABC Wednesday this week, but hope to be back to this and Creative Tuesday next week.

I am to have exploratory laparoscopic surgery in the next three weeks or so, but I am hoping it will be no more than a 48 hour procedure and not involve cutting out my medications.  You can be sure I will be letting my needs be known long and loudly after the last fiasco.  The next major hurdle will be if they find anything and what they (I) will choose to do.  Will cross that bridge when I come to it.

Hope to be blogging again soon.  See you then.