Sunday, September 28, 2008

More Miniatures

Bailey has no ill effects from his encounter with me last week. He is just as friendly, sweet and gentle as ever. I have been working at this drawing for a couple of weeks. It's not as perfect as I would like but I'm not so dedicated to perfection as to erase part of his face, the left eye actually, and start that part yet again. I might never get it right! So here it is , as is.

The Culprit!


After drawing these leaflets, which I picked out of my garden, I realized why I find it so difficult to draw or paint from real life. I lay these leaves on a black background and tried to draw them. But in the end I had to take a photograph of them and draw them from the photo. I think this is the reason why: if you draw or paint from real life, the light and therefore the shadows and color are constantly changing. I don't seem to be able to hold the image as it was when I first started drawing, in my head. Therefore I have to have a photo or another painting that is stable. As I have said before I have never had any art lessons so I am learning as I go along. I do think I have learned a lot since I have been doing so much more for the blog, though it may not be noticeable to you. I notice it while I am drawing because for some things I don't have to think so hard or experiment as much to achieve a desired effect. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Incidentally, my leg seems to be healing well, but only after hot compresses and a week (not up yet), of antibiotics. I was a little worried yesterday as it was still inflamed but the hot compresses seem to be effective. I will know on Tuesday when I go back to see my doctor.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Tale of a Tail

This is my big, beautiful, blue-eyed Bailey-Boy, who is so sweet and gentle and never bites or scratches. Some of you have met him before. Well I met him yesterday in a way that I had NEVER met him before!

Yeooowww!! -- that's Bailey! Owww! --that's me! I accidentally stepped full weight, (but no shoes) on his tail. Poor boy! He shot off and moped under the kitchen table for the rest of the day. After checking on him, I could see no harm done, then I saw the blood dripping down my leg. I cleaned my wounds very thoroughly. No big deal! Just a cat bite, I thought -- well, a LARGE cat bite. He weighs almost twenty pounds.

This was the bite this morning, when I thought it would probably be OK. Sorry for the rather unsightly view of my leg. You're supposed to be looking at the bite any way!
Look at the size of that bite!! Two front fangs, two inches apart. I told you he is a BIG cat!

But by noon that bite was looking like this!

So right after I had taken my Bible Class, I went to the doctor. He told me that there is only one bite worse than a cat's bite and that's a human's bite.

So on to anti-biotics I must go. Oh no! Can I please have a shot instead? I'd rather have a shot than take antibiiotics which will just make me feel sick all week.

Sorry, no can do. A shot dissolves into your system too quickly and a cat's teeth are so sharp that any infection goes down deep into the wound and the infection would just emerge later, even if I did think I had cleaned it really, really well. Then they would have to cut it open to get out all the infection.

Ah well! Antibiotics it is. Yuck!

So hereby endeth the Tale of a Tail.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Quite Simply Flamborough...Spring and Summer

My home town newspaper that serves Flamborough, UK., the village in which I grew up, puts out this little magazine, quarterly. It is called Quite Simply... Flamborough. They were kind enough to ask me to write a small article for them last fall, because my other blog, "Homesick for Flamborough" is hosted by them. They had read some of my pieces and also asked me for information about the fires we had around here. They must have liked what I wrote because they asked me to contribute to each quarter from thereon. I have just received the spring and summer issues and thought I would post them here, so you can see a little of what my life was like all those years ago (sixty odd years ago). (They forgot to send me a copy of the spring issue, so you get both of them at once).

Another nice thing is that they also included a part of two of my Flamborough posts on the same page as each article, so I actually have two pieces in each issue.

To be able to read them properly you need to click twice on the photo and it will open up to a larger size. Hope it is not too blurry to read.

It is so nice to have these 'home' connections. I still know a number of people in the village. Unlike many places, it really hasn't changed much over the years. But I think it will be quite a few years before I visit there again. Maybe for my 75th???!!!

If you would like to visit my "Homesick for Flamborough" blog, click here then click on BLOGSPOT listed on the left hand side of that page.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Up Close and Personal

This bouganvillea was taken two weeks ago. Moth gave me strict instructions to keep watering it regularly because he had just planted it along with a couple of other baby shrubs, that are to brighten up a bare section on the north side of the house.

This was today!!! What do you think? Rabbits? Squirrels? Rats? My yard is a haven for all the hungry creatures around here! Moth will be none too pleased.

The plumeria still has a few tightly-spiraled, and coiled flower buds to open. It has flowered all summer long.

This geranium has been struggling to bloom all summer, mainly because we kept forgetting to water her, since she was away from the other flower pots. Well she finally made it and what a pretty, shy, pink flower she has!

Beautiful golden grasses blowing in the wind beside the waterfall. (Pelican behind, little cat beside).

Don't know the name of this but it is low growing and when we first brought it home it was covered with these purple blooms less than an inch across. They all died eventually and now we have a second flowering going on.

Jacaranda bloom last May

I have got to get out of the house more! All I have are photos of my yard. Moth filled up the gas tank of the car before he left. I haven't used a quarter of a tank yet!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Birds, Flowers and ATC's

I have been having problems trying to post for two days. I usually go through Mozilla Firefox, so today I decided I would try Internet Explorer. It looks like it is working so far, so now I will type up for the third time, my latest post.

This is #5 in my Doorways series. I took this from a photo posted by

His blog is called Stouffville Daily Photo and Stouffville, Ontario, Canada was our old stomping grounds from the '60's. We were attending Toronto Bible College back then, which today is called Tyndale University and Seminary. Thank you Ken, for allowing me to copy this photo.

These are a pair of Blue Scrub Jays which have been visiting my back yard feeder regularly. Here they are two days ago perched on the top of our 40 foot fir tree basking in the afternoon sun. So cute because....

 is their 'baby' who was at the top of a nearby Queen Palm while they were preening.

This is a shrub I have not posted before because it was not doing too well, but now it is blooming itslittle heart out. I believe it is called the Potato Vine. I have also heard it called the Pansy tree. Whatever it is called, we first saw this on Catalina Island a good many years ago. They had them lining the sea front walk from the Ferry Dock to the pier and they were pruned and shaped like trees from Alice in Wonderland -- apples on a stick. We liked them so much that we went looking for them to plant in our yard. We now have three. So far this one is doing the best, and I'm not sure why.

The big Cooper's Hawk has been visiting regularly, in fact I think he has his eye on Bailey!!! He came yesterday and perched on the lattice privacy fence we have outside the den window. It is only about 10 feet away from
the window where Bailey usually sits. He stared intently into the den, long enough for Bailey to get up from the other side of the room and come over to investigate. Bailey was not afraid -- just curious. Then I began walking slowly over to the window where my camera was, but then he flew away. I don't think Bailey is in any danger because we have a decorative steel grill over the lower half of the screen, which we put there because outside cats would come and claw the screen. I know he could claw the screen, but I doubt he could get through the window opening and he certainly couldn't claw through.

Oh dear, I'm having such problems with the layout and posting. So this is going to have to go as is!!! Sorry for the big gap.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Three More Miniatures (or ATC's)

I've done these three in the past week and they are really quite different from one another. I'm still just doing what catches my imagination at the moment. The first two are out of my head. The third one is taken from a picture I found, I don't remember where. I just collect pictures that I think I might like to draw and then when I feel like drawing I go through my selections.



Mountain Glen

Keeping all my blogging friends who might be in the path of Ike and its flooding in my prayers.
Keep warm, dry and safe.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Day in the Life of....

This is where Bailey sits every night since MOTH has been gone. Front door straight ahead, garage door to the right. Bailey's ears pricked and listening for every sound. Do you think he is missing someone?

This is where he sits most of the afternoon. Some times he forgets himself and pounces and ends up with a squashed nose!

It is already a busy week and it's only Tuesday. Got hit with about 6 projects. Knew they were coming, but not all at the same time. The weather is still hot, (for us) and humid. The only way we know it's moving into fall is if you go down one or two streets that are lined with Maple or Plane trees and the leaves are shriveling and brown. We don't have too many streets like that, but there are some and it always comes as a surprise to me when I see them, that it is nearly fall.

The hawk has been back several times. In fact he was just here and perched on the top of the feeder. But he flew off too quickly to get a photo.

Whoops! He just came back, swooping past the fence outside the den window about ten feet from the house. He was chasing a little bird, but I don't think he got it, because this is the picture I took of him not two minutes later. I was ready for him this time.

So you put out the bird seed and first come the sparrows, then the mourning doves, then come the squirrels, then come the rats and then comes the hawk -- the circle of life. So what comes after the hawk??? Flying elephants???

Friday, September 5, 2008

Another Explanation

This is the link to the article written by Will Self about the East Coast of Yorkshire that prompted my response posted yesterday:

You will have to scroll back up over the other comments before you come to the article.

I really didn't mean to come over so strongly in a negative manner in my reply. So I apologize if I sounded hot under the collar. I guess my school-teacher persona comes out when it comes to something I feel passionate about. (I did say that I am opinionated in my profile!) All I felt was such disappointment that Mr. Self went the wrong way and missed the real beauty of the area, which for me is probably the most beautiful place on earth. He should have traveled north instead of south. Of course his purpose wasn't to write about beauty, it was to write about erosion so he had to go south. But what an opportunity he missed ! Flamborough is not a place to be simply passed by, but then I am most definitely biased.

With this bias in mind , below is a copy of my blog posted today on my Homesick For Flamborough blog written mainly for people who know Yorkshire and FlamboroughHead. I don't seem to be able to post a link to this blog, so if you would like to know more about this blog you may have to Google it until I find a way to link it.


I got this idea from another blogger who was asked to name ten little things in her home that meant a lot to her. I didn't have much trouble finding ten little things from Flamborough in my home, even though it is all the way in San


From the top, left to right:

1. Teapot table mat, showing puffins.
2. Blueware pottery sugar bowl with Flamborough Head written on it. I have four other pieces to this set but they don't qualify as 'little'.
3.Miniature drawing of a Flamborough coble with sail(!) fishing off Flamborough Head. Perhaps I'll post this separately next week.
4. Slate coaster showing the Lighthouse.
Second Row:
5. A whelk shell picked up at North Landing years ago.
6. Teabag saucer with primroses on it and imprinted with 'Flamborough'.
7. Tiny pebbles from the beach at South Landing -- now I find out from the Brid Free Press that I might have stolen them from Crown Property!!
8. Beautiful lifeboat fridge magnet bought at North LandingLife Boat house, before the new lifeboats moved to South Landing.
9. Another teabag saucer with puffins on.
10. A leather book mark gold stamped with 'Flamborough' and the white rose of Yorkshire.

I have dozens of paintings and books, including two copies of "Mary Anerley", Frank Brearley's book "A History of Flamborough", Ron Green's books,"A View From the Headland" volumes 1 and 2, one copy of "Flamborough Village and Headland" edited by Robert Fisher, not to mention my own book, "The Tale of Robin Lyth".

I have placed an order through Amazon for two copies of the new book "The Right Side of the Dyke" by Smith and Sellers, (one for my sister), but they're taking a long time in coming so I may have to look for another source.

Anyway, when all is said and done there is quite a bit of Flamborough out here in Southern California.

So there you have it! Sorry if I shocked some of you. I'm still the slightly eccentric cat lady, animal lover, sometime artist and pastor's wife. (My husband would say at this point, "Note where I come in that list!" He loves to say that that the cat gets more attention than he does. Not true -- but the cat doesn't answer back!)

Just Flamborough Memories

Response to William Self of the New York Times

You went the wrong way Mr. Self! Oh, I know you wanted to see houses falling into the sea but that’s just sensational. For the inspirational, walk the cliffs from Flamborough Lighthouse to Reighton Gap. That means, going north instead of south There isn’t anywhere in the world as spectacular, enthralling or just plain beautiful. I do know what I’m talking about because I lived just a stone’s throw from the lighthouse as a teenager. I tramped those cliffs where narrow footpaths snaked only a foot away from the edge of the cliff and a 300 foot drop to the rocks below. I’ve scrambled up and down to the beaches and explored the numerous and monstrous caves.
My home was the old Flamborough Head Golf Club, no longer there, (not because it fell into the sea, but because there were some who thought it might). My bedroom window was located about 12 feet from the cliff top path to North Landing with a wonderful view of Silex Bay’s rocky shores and punctuated at night by the constant blip of the lighthouse. And when the sea frets rolled in, the old fog horn blared out into the darkness with a determination that was nothing like the wim
py electronic wails of today’s warning sound. We were so used to the roar that we just rolled over and went to sleep again. Our home plot is still there 60 years later and not an inch closer to the ravenous North Sea.
Oh, you really missed something grand when you took the wrong road, and let me tell you, the road you missed made all the difference to me.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

An Explanation

The Explanation:

For those of you who are not familiar with our dry warm climate, I think I need to tell you that fleas are a fact of life down here. You can pretty well say that if you have a pet you WILL have fleas somewhere, sometime and much more often than anyone would like. The problem is that it doesn't get cold enough in the winter to kill them off and since we get no rain in the summer (actually for about five months) they don't drown either! I think most British readers would be shocked to admit they had fleas in their house. Fortunately Bailey is now just about flea-free. One dab of Advantage or Frontline to the back of the neck and they are taken care of for about a month. Bailey, an indoor only cat at that, is much happier and less antsy than he was two nights ago and so am I!! I will treat the window thresholds and we should be fine. I must say it was a rude awakening. We've always had indoor/outdoor cats before, and fleas were a fact of life. I didn't think of Bailey's attachment to the sliding glass doors being a problem. In addition to which we have barely had half our annual rainfall so it is drier than usual. And guess what!...I got the last packet of Advantage at the vets. I guess it is a bad year for fleas.

Another Art Miniature:

Celtic Variations.

STOP PRESS: No tree rats last night either. I changed the kind of seed.