Tuesday, November 29, 2011

T IS FOR....

T   is for.....
                    ......TUG BOAT

Isn't she beautiful?  Sturdy, strong, seaworthy, (whoops,  maybe I should have used this for 's' day).  On a previous blog I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up.  Well I answered  "a pilot" meaning a pilot of an airplane, but I also thought I would like to have been a TUG BOAT skipper.  This photo is actually of a pilot boat, which are sometimes used as a tug boat.  This was taken at one of our stops in Peru last year. Here are a couple of photos of tug boats in action.

I think it is fascinating to watch how these little workhorses maneuver massive ships through narrow passages into harbors and into their docking place. I could watch them at work for hours.  It seems to me that it takes great skill and excellent communication with the big ship to do all this without any calamities. The massive, giant ship is so dependent upon the skill of the little tug boats.  Whoever hears of these heroes of the harbor?

Now for a change of pace...here is a different kind of TUG.

T is also for a TUG at the heart strings.
Yesterday we drove up to the north of the island to see the Na Paali coast.  We parked  in front of a wide stretch of grass that bordered a scenic beach.  Of course there were chickens  pecking and scratching away at the grass and also begging food from the tourists parked there. (There are chickens running loose all over Kauai.  The reason why is a story for another day.)  But there in the midst of all these chickens was this:

...another Kauai Cat -- actually not much more than a kitten.  As I watched the chickens and the cat I thought how strange it was to see a cat among the chickens.  In fact the cat seemed to be playing with the chickens , or at least trying to play.  But they mostly ignored her.

She was following them around, batting at their tails and even rolling onto her back, exposing her tummy -- a sure sign of submission.  I called her over to me and she came running across the grass on her short stumpy legs.  She looked like a mixed munchkin breed.  She was meowing all her way over the grass coming to me and of course several chickens also came with her looking for a handout. She meowed and meowed but wouldn't come near enough to let me pet her.  She hung around close to me and the chickens, but I had no food.  Then one of the more persistent hens pecked at her to chase her away.


Then it dawned on me.  All the 'playfulness' between the chicken and the kitten was actually the kitten trying to persuade the chicken to let her have a share of the goodies coming from the tourists.  No wonder she never stopped meowing.  She was hungry -- and I didn't have anything for her!  Her plight tugged at my heart strings all the way home.  Poor little thing.  If I'd been on my own, I would have driven back to a store (about half an hour away) to buy some food and bring it back to her.  Not very practical I know, but that's me when it comes to cats!

For more takes on the letter T, visit ABC WEDNESDAY by clicking on the link to see what everyone else has chosen to highlight.

The letter 'T is brought to you by Mrs. Nesbitt and her TRUSTY TEAM  

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thought it was Time for a Change

Unfortunately what I wanted to do, Blogger doesn't let me do.  I have to create my header all in one piece   and then post it through the design page.  I don't have a program on this laptop to do this so I shall have to wait until I get home to our desk top computer.  So bear with me, please until I have a chance to fix it how I want it.  Mahalo.

In the mean time here are a few views of our island get away.

I'll be back :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011


No, no pictures of turkey and mounds of good food, although we certainly had our share.  We did what has become a tradition in our family.  We went to GAYLORDS on Kauai.  A wonderful restaurant in a plantation setting.  It was everything that we have come to expect -- over-the-top excellence.  

My first stop was to visit the sunny steps where every year we have seen what we call 'our Kauai Cat'.  I have photographs of her on the same sunny step every year on Thanksgiving Day since 2007.  Would she still be there again this year?



Then my husband called.."Here she is!"   And there she was curled up  on a comfy chair.  When I got closer I saw a notice on the chair...

 Can you read it?.... AWWW...!

(Taken on the way out.)

So we let her sleep.  Hope she's there next year!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


S  IS FOR...
                  ...SUN, SAND, SEA, SURF  and SORRY... Sorry, that is, for not having any up-to-date photos of our SHANGRILA  in Kauai, Hawaii.
We just arrived last night and today was not a SIGHT-SEEING or picture-taking day.  Too busy SETTLING in, SLEEPING in, (me, to recover from the long flight which doesn't agree with my fibromyalgia) and SHOPPING so we won't STARVE in the days to come.

Here is a SAMPLE
Kauai is one of the less populated and less 'touristified' of the Hawaiian Islands.  It has been our place of destination for quite a few Thanksgiving Holidays.  It is known as the Garden Isle.  I think that a really good description of its beauty is to say that it has all the lush greenness and beauty of England with temperatures at a balmy 78- 80 degrees, and mild sea breezes. 
More photos to follow, I promise.
S is also for  Scottish girl -- one of my earlier paintings, which I don't think I've posted before.  I love her red hair and green eyes.  I can see things in this painting that I would change or add now, but then of course, I always can.  I think I never know when to stop with my paintings.

S is also for STEEPLES.  We are doing a bit of globe hopping on this post.
This magnificent cathedral is in Ecuador, which was one of the places we visited last year.  In fact I sat quietly for about half an hour here in the cool shade and away from the busy park square, while Moth was buzzing around taking photos. (I took this one.  He wouldn't have cut off the top of the SPIRE as I have done!) It was a great people watching spot.

S is also for Scruffy -- how could I not include him?  I have to stop myself from looking at his photos all the time, because I miss him -- yes, even with all this beauty around us.  
That look is just so typical of him (see similar photo in side bar).  It is a patient, expectant look.  He sits just this way with his paws so neat and looking up at you, saying, "I'm being a very good boy.  So please will you let me go outside?"

I am sure he is blissfully snoozing, even snoring and not missing me at all, (but I'd like to think he is missing me a little bit).


On Thursday we will be going to GAYLORDS and will see if that tortie cat is still asleep on that very same step as he has been every Thanksgiving for years. See my post for the letter K on September 27 this year for more details about this.

This post is for ABC WEDNESDAY, Mrs. Nesbitt's SOUNDLY, SUCCESSFUL SEGMENT.  To see more SIZZLING S's please click on the link above.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


This week we are to share a photograph a day  from the past week of things for which we are thankful.  Not too difficult to do because there are so many things for which I am thankful.  I really should have tried to be a little more creative but our vacation is coming up very soon and my days are crammed full of getting things together for it.

Nevertheless, here are my PHOTOS OF THANKFULNESS

SATURDAY: My family. (So obvious, but still true).  The three handsome men in my life who I love deeply and who have been a major support and encouragement to me throughout the ups and downs of my life.  I am so proud of them!
The Boss
                                           Son #1                                       Son #2

SUNDAY:  My Church which, after nearly 40 years, is my other family. What would I do without them and what would I do without the Lord?

MONDAY:  Scruffy, my sweet and beautiful cat who brings me so much fun and joy. There is another cute photo of him on my side-bar. He is a sweet, sweet charmer.

TUESDAY:  My home -- the outside, front and back, some of which I helped design. You can't see the patio on which I'm standing, but it has a waterfall and bird feeders. My favorite summer time spot.

WEDNESDAY:  My Ladies' Wednesday Afternoon Bible Study, when I learn as much, if not more than they do.  This group has been going for 3 years.  Before that I had another group for 10 years.  Such a blessing!

THURSDAY:  My home, the inside.  It's not that I am so proud of my home, but that it is just how I like it --  convenient and comfortable.  We've had many years in this house and lots of opportunities to make changes.  It's never perfect, but it reflects me.

                                Part of the Living Room                        Kitchen/dining area 

FRIDAY:  My hobby of painting and drawing, which I found later in my life but which gives me hours and hours of pleasure. ( Water colors and Prismacolor pencils).

Rooster in Hawaii

Thanks for this opportunity to share.  I may not be able to make it for the next couple of weeks -- but 

Meanwhile, visit Tapestry of Life to meet the other members of our group.  Click on the button below.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

R... IS FOR...

R ...IS FOR ....
...Christina ROSSETTI
Christina was a British poet with a famous father, Gabriele Rossetti, a poet and political exile, and a famous brother, Danti Gabriele Rossetti who was an artist and poet.
I chose Christina Rossetti for "R' day because she is actually the first poet I ever knew anything about.  Several of her poems were featured in my school Reader when I was in the equivalent of Grade 2 at about 6 years old. (British schools started at age 5 back then and perhaps still do.)  I was of course drawn to her because of her first name.  Mine was Christine so it was near enough to intrigue me. I read her poems with great interest.  I liked to read and would read almost anything I could get my hands on even at that young age. 
I have since discovered that she wrote quite a lot of children's poems, but these two posted here were in my school book.  They actually don't seem as much like children's poems to me as do some of her others written specifically for children.

Do you remember this one?

Who has seen the wind?

Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling
The wind is passing thro'.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads
The wind is passing by.
How about this one?
"Ferry me across the water,
Do, boatman, do."

"If you've a penny in your purse
I'll ferry you."

"I have a penny in my purse,

And my eyes are blue;
So ferry me across the water,
Do, boatman, do."

"Step into my ferry-boat,

Be they black or blue,
And for the penny in your purse
I'll ferry you."

Christina Rossetti is also the author of a famous Christmas Carol.  I'm sure you'll know this one, but I'm going to place it at the end of this post because it is long and Christmas will be a tiny bit closer (about one minute) than when you began reading this blog! ( I do dislike having Christmas stuff before Thanksgiving!)

R is also for RAINBOW...

...which is a pretty obvious choice for 'R' day, but this photo taken by my friend Charlene is so outstanding that I had to include it here: 

This is taken at Iguazu Falls, which are found in the middle of the jungle, on the border of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil.  I've been there and it was one of the most exciting days of my life. To be standing in the middle of a South American jungle, in one of the most exotic places in the world was a dream come true.  It was on my bucket list!  Thanks Charlene!

R is also for Reflection...
... I've been waiting for a chance to post this photograph:

It was taken by my sister in my back yard when she was visiting us a while ago.  I thought it was cool because she caught the reflection of the philodendron that was growing above this very cute planter that was full of rainwater.  I have a very talented sister!
Now here is the Christmas Carol written by Christina Rossetti:
In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.
Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.
Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.
Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.
What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.


For more entries in this intriguing and informative project please click on the link above.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011



“The power of man has grown in every sphere except over himself.”
                                                                        Winston S. Churchill  
I came across this QUOTATION a few weeks ago and the truth of these words struck me forcibly. Yet the QUOTATION raises the inevitable QUESTION….WHY?   Why hasn’t man gained power over himself? There must be thousands, if not millions who genuinely want be perfect – strive to be perfect, want others to be perfect so that we can live in a perfect world. But for as long as man has existed he has never attained perfection.
BUT WHY?  Why can’t we make ourselves perfect? We can do so many other things through the modern miracles of science.  We all want the kind of perfection that would remove hatred, war, anger, theft, greed, murder and all those horrible imperfections that ensnare our daily lives. Why can’t we make ourselves perfect?

Christians believe that we can’t make ourselves perfect because we have an innate sinful nature and only God can change that.

 Now here are some more  excellent quotations from that great, but not perfect, man 
Winston S. Churchill:
(Warning:  some need thinking about).
1.  (This one’s for me…) “A fanatic is one who won’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.”

2.  If you destroy a free market, you create a black market.

3.  One should be just before one is generous.

4.  Where there is a great deal of free speech, there is always a certain amount of foolish speech.

5.  War is horrible but slavery is worse.

6.  The price of greatness is responsibility.

7.  The last thing that represents democracy is mob law.

8.  I am going to give a long speech today.  I haven’t had time to prepare a short one. (Think about this one.)

9.  When the eagles are silent the parrots begin to jabber.

10.  Nourish your hopes but do not overlook realities.

AND….”A gentleman does not have a ham sandwich without mustard.” (Gray Poupon).

This is my contribtion to Mrs. Nesbitt's ABC Wednesday.  Why not click on this link and see what others have contributed for this week's letter Q.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


After the heavy rain Friday, the sun shone brightly and those who could, headed for the beach, especially because another storm is forecast for tomorrow.  The sky was blue and temps in the high fifties, or so they said, but it certainly seemed warmer.
Like everyone else we went down to Tamarack beach and the beautiful promenade. Barry was able to get his hour long walk and me my  slow 20 minute one. We saw a number of dolphins jumping.  At first we thought they were whales but decided they were too close in to shore.  This is whale watching season (the California Gray Whale)  There was much excitement a week or so ago when a number of blue whales were seen off the coast for a few days.  That is pretty rare for us.  They were probably after the krill which was quite abundant for a week or so.

The dog walkers were out in force.  These people very graciously, even happily, agreed to let me photograph them.  This is a dog walker's paradise.  Sorry I cut off the top of their heads.  I love my camera but it has one major fault.  It has no view finder and in bright sunshine you just can't see the picture at all in the LCD, so it really is a 'just point and shoot' camera. You have to shoot in faith!

This guy was stretched out soaking up the sunshine but decided to sit up just as I took the photo.  The patch of grass he is lying on is an 'historic' part of Carlsbad. About 25 years ago  someone among the city fathers, decided that we needed a small park on this triangle of grass.  It was designed by an artist in New York and looked just like a big city park -- lots of cement pillars, a shallow reflecting pool, flat concrete benches and worst of all a railing with much larger bars than can be seen in the picture above, separating the road and the ocean.  

Oh what an outcry there was!  A great campaign began:  GET RID OF THE BARS!  Eventually, after months of uproar (almost unheard of in Carlsbad) the city council removed the park and the bars, but not before some settlement had to be made with the designer!  Now it is just a large triangle of open, flat, healthy, lawn-like grass where families sit, little kids play, joggers do stretching exercises and dogs play with their owners or each other. Drinking fountains for man and dog, and doggy poop bags, are available, and restrooms just down at the beach below.  The mile long Tamarack ocean front walk begins here.

This small home faces onto the ocean, with the historic Hwy 101 in front of it.  It is bounded on either side by well designed ocean front condos.  The bright, white picket fence was what caught my eye.

As always, meeting up with other sun and sea seekers happens effortlessly.  I shared a bench with this lady and guess where she was from -- DONCASTER! -- although she has been over here a long while, as have we. She now lives near Palm Springs.  We had a good 'natter' about how we got here and being Yorkshire lasses who both married a lad from Lancashire.

The clocks go back tonight so I thankfully get an extra hour of sleep before getting up to go to church at 10:15 a.m.  Even though another storm is coming in, -- to be followed by two or three more beautiful days -- Sunday will be an ideal day to give thanks for the special blessing of living here.  Even though we have lived here 38 years, we always feel so blessed.  We didn't seek to live here....but   that is another story.  Maybe one day I will tell how it all came about.




I so wanted to go to see this movie.  First, if you visit my blog much, you know I love cats. Second I do like Antonio Banderas especially in ZORRO.  He seems to be very fond of children.  What few movies of his I have seen, he always has a young child figuring in some of the scenes.  He often gives the child a pat on the head or does something that shows his love of children.

Since no grown-ups wanted to go with me, I settled on my 'grandaughter' Haley, even though it was a bit young for her.  She loves cats and school was out for a couple of days for parent/teacher conferences.

It was a great movie!  Soooo cute!  Imagine! Puss-in-Boots' girl friend was called 'Kitty-Soft-Paws'!   :)  And Puss in Boots was another Zorro. It is deliberately slanted towards younger children, but that didn't bother Haley or me.  We didn't go 3D -- too expensive, but I imagine for older children the 3D aspect would make the movie really exciting. 

We had such a great time and followed the movie with a visit to our favorite yogurt place, MENCHIES. I had pomegranite -raspberry (oh, that is SUCH a delicious flavor) with chocolate chips, a couple of cherries and butter finger crumbles.  Haley had vanilla with waffle crunchies and a couple of cherries also.  They actually have about 20 different toppings.

Now look at that sunshine! Yes it was November 1st and the temperature was about 75 degrees at 3.30 in the afternoon.  Today, 3 days later, it poured with rain which came down as snow in the near-by  mountains about an hour and a half away.  Temps in the 50's.  That's southern California for you!

Friday, November 4, 2011


Thank you for visiting us in Coffee Klatch Friday.  Our hostess is Vicki and the topic she has chosen for us to discuss this week is “Our Bucket List”.  I think most people understand that that is a list of things we’d like to do before we ”Kick the Bucket”, metaphorically speaking.  I think this idea originated from a movie of the same name.

An explanation is needed because I have had to adapt the topic for it to apply to me.  I wrote a blog a while ago about my bucket list while I think I was in my late 60’s.  I can’t recall what all was on it, but I do know that I managed to accomplish everything but two things. 
One was to learn to swim, and the other was to pet a tigerThe learning to swim I have had to abandon as I have developed a very stubborn kind of vertigo and just to go in the water now is not an option.

However I have still not had the chance to pet a tiger, although I have made a few enquiries about it.  Seems most animal places are very reluctant to let humans interact with their wild animals. But I am not giving up on that one.

So the first 5 items on my list today can be considered truly part of my bucket list:
1.  To pet a tiger – or a lion

2.  To finish revising my full length children’s mystery story which I wrote in the early 70’s “The Mystery of the Carved Seagull”.  It was once within a hair’s breadth of being published by a well-known publishing company.  They kept it for a full year and then their final reader/editor turned it down and actually returned the manuscript personally to my home with one of their editors who was full of apologies for keeping it so long only to to reject it!  I should have sent it out again immediately to another publisher but I was very new to writing and quite discouraged.  But there is still hope!

3.  To bring myself up to the technological age by learning to text – or getting a phone on which I can do this.  When we had our major electricity blackout a couple of months ago, I, along with many others, realized that in a widespread emergency, cell phones are of no use because everyone is trying to use them and the access becomes clogged.  But texting still works.  Living in earthquake and wild fire country it’s really a necessity if you need to let your family know that you are OK .

4.  I have lost 30 pounds this year and I intend to keep it off.

5.  I will continue to blog for at least another year.  I am coming to the end of my fifth year. 

Now the amendment to my list:

6. I would have happily enjoyed teaching in the Christian school on the island of Chuuk in Micronesia for a good many years.  I have been there several times and once conducted a seminar for the teachers at the school. It would have been a wonderful and challenging life.

7. I would have LOVED to be a great opera singer or classical pianist.  Too bad, -- just isn’t my gift!

8.  I would have loved to go back to my village of Flamborough on the East Coast of Yorkshire and lived there in order to see village life through the eyes of an adult.

9.  I would have loved to be an animal trainer and behaviorist and maybe work with someone like Cesar Millan. 

10. I would love to have won a lottery so that I could give a million dollars to that school on Chuuk; a million dollars to Tyndale University in Toronto, Canada where I started my long road in Christian education when it was still Toronto Bible College; and a million dollars to Cliff College in Derbyshire, UK where through their evangelistic ministries I became a committed Christian believer, (and also met my husband). The money would be to help these institutions continue faithfully in their mission of training young people.  If I happened to have any money left over I would first use it to establish a way of taking care of the needs of my husband and I in case of need for long term terminal care.  THEN if I had at least a million dollars left over I would give all that was left to the US government to help pay off our national debt!!

My favorite candy is Cadbury's chocolate flakes often stuck in an ice cream cone.  I will see if I can find a photo, but I need to post this now as I am late (some nagging problems kept me from the computer).


Tuesday, November 1, 2011


...P is for...a Plethora of Photos
Although the first one is a picture...

PARROT ... a small story behind this. I have done a lot of Painting but I'm absolutely tied to reproducing every detail of every Picture. If you take a look at my other blog you will see what I mean. A very kind friend saw a Packet of art Paper at a sale, which was about the size of the pictures I usually paint (5" x 7"). However when she got it home she found it was for oil Painting which I have no idea how to do. She gave me the Paper anyway and I decided to try it out with my Prismacolor pencils. It came out with a kind of Pebbled effect which I kind of liked, so I decided to branch out - Wow for me - and try something in a more Primitive style of Picture. I was actually thinking of the Maori kind of Painting that is done with little dots. Well that didn't work out and this is what I ended up with. Very different from my usual style.

PONDERING... (or if it were 'M' day...Moth Meditating.)
(MOTH being the MAN OF THE HOUSE).

So many sweet kittens, so many homes needed.  There are now three of us at the church who have adopted cats from the local animal shelter.  We are all so Pleased and happy with our adoptees I think we will have to start a cat-lovers circle!  Nobody wants to sit with us because we all talk cats!

 I love this stuff I think it is so PRETTY.  The city Planted quite a bit of this in different Places around town.  This grouping is on the next block to the church.

A PAIR of doves...
I took this PAIR a couple of years ago on our balcony in Kauai as they were sheltering from a heavy downpour.  They did not look happy.  They are the first thing you hear as you come out of the airport.  Their very pretty, soft cooing is to me an absolutely typical Hawaiian sound.

PEEKING..."Where'd he go?"
Squirrell watching in Idaho.

One of the Prettiest Patterns I've seen.  I like it so much I've kept this Photo for about five years.  It was on the drapes of a place where we were staying  in England. Don't know what I'll do with it, but it is very Pleasing.

Prismacolor Pencils...
I know I have posted this before but I think it is one of my best Photos.  It happened by chance. It was when I was just starting to do some art work a couple of years ago.  I sat and sharpened about 40 pencils then just gathered them up and put them in this container and this is how they fell into place.  I couldn't have arranged them better if I'd tried!

So that's 'P' for ABC Wednesday. Now who's up for "Q"???
It's getting harder and harder but we still have about one hundred bloggers who Participate in this Project.  People come up with amazing contributions, even after nine rounds!  Please click on the link to investigate.