Friday, September 30, 2011


Poor thing.  It was apparently slithering across the driveway when Barry came home and accidentally ran over it.  Of course we didn't exactly think "Poor thing" at first because we do get rattle snakes occasionally.  Baby rattle snakes are not always easy to identify, and can be highly venomous and don't always have rattles.  But after careful, closer scrutiny and discussion with the neighbors we decided it was a King Snake. By that time it had died.  Now you may be able to identify snakes much faster than us, but we are not experts and have had a number of encounters with rattle snakes in our yard over the years, so we were super cautious.  By the end I was feeling quite sorry for its suffering. In the past we caught a baby rattler, put it in an opaque container and took it down to the fire-station which is just down the street, for them to identify.  Where there is one baby rattler there are likely more -- and a Momma!  But our big, brave firemen wouldn't even let us take the top off the container for them to see it. (Well, I guess since they are paramedics too they do often get to see the nasty results of a snake bite so maybe we should excuse their reluctance!)

While we are talking about things in the yard I should mention that my plumeria did finally bloom this year.  We had four or five small branches with clumps of flowers on them like the one above.  Last year our summer was so cool and had such little sunshine the plumeria didn't bloom at all.  This is the beautifully perfumed flower that the Hawaians  use to make their leis.

I think this is one of the prettiest plants we have in our yard.  I believe it is called euonymous.  The red leaves are so attractive and the plant spreads very easily.  Since we have quite a lot of space in our back yard I don't mind it spreading.

Our weather today is finally like it should be for late summer.  Temps in the eighties.  But all the tourists who like to visit the beaches have gone home.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

K is FOR...

K is for ...
Yes, it is a real word.  I came it across a couple of days ago in my favorite news magazine WORLD , (WORLDmag   [add the usual ending if you want to access their website] ). I looked at it several times  thinking, Is that a real word?  It wasn't in my regular dictionary but I found it on Wikkipedia. Here's how to use it:

"There was such a kerfuffle in our house when we had to change our word processor from Microsoft Word 2003 to Microsoft Word10."  

Definition:  commotion, disorder or agitation

Those who have read some of my previous blogs will know how much I  hate changes on my computer.  Just when I think I know how to use something properly, along comes the latest version!

K is also for KIN
I don't have a lot of kinfolk.  My sister and I have 5 cousins.  She is over in the UK visiting them right now.

This was taken at my father's funeral in 1983, when someone realized that all the cousins except one were present and so a photograph of us all was appropriate.  I'm so glad this photo was taken. It's the nearest thing to a family photo that we have.

Our five cousins starting from the back row, are Peter, Alan, skip to the next male in the row: Graham and then my brother Michael. The row in front of them shows the three female cousins, Patricia, me, (skip one, Pete's wife I think) and Elizabeth.  All the others are wives and children of the cousins.

There are eight cousins, all on my mother's side. My father was an only child.
 ....And just so it is appropriate for our letter 'K' day',  it was my sister, Kay who
was missing.    She was unable to come over to the UK from Canada for the funeral.

Sadly none of us knew then that my brother at  age 48 would die from pancreatic cancer just six months later.

From the sublime to the ridiculous -- it's CATS again (Sorry, I will abstain from cats on my blog for a couple of months, I promise). So....

K is for Kauai 'Kat'
I couldn't miss this because it is really unique.  We usually spend Thanksgiving on Kauai and we have dinner at a very fine establishment called GAYLORDS. They have a cat there and of course I always take a photo. You will have to take my word for it that these pictures were indeed taken in the very same place, at almost the same hour, for three years in a row.   


We didn't go to Kauai last year, 2010, so we missed this photo op.  However, we are going again this year and if the cat is still there, another photo will be taken!


For more fine and interesting entries to ABC WEDNESDAY please click on this link.  Our sincere thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt and her hardworking team for keeping this page going for now our ninth round and fifth year.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


I've been told these photos have been going around for a while.  Since I have never seen them before, and they are both charming and funny, I thought I'd post them for all  for  you other cat lovers out there.  I tried to find out if I should attribute them to some one, but the people who forwarded them to me didn't know their source. So hopefully I am not stepping on some one's toes.  If so, apologies and removal will follow immediately.


P.S.  I like the one with the red collar best.  He looks so snuggly.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New Artwork - The Royal Robe Vine

I'm still plugging away at my art work, although 'plugging' is not quite the word.  I do enjoy doing them, but finding time and having my hands in condition to do the work sometimes holds me up.  I've been wanting to do this piece for quite a while. It is a spectacular flower.

Flowers of the Royal Robe -- each bloom grows to approx, 1 1/2" across.
( PrismaColors, size approx. 4x4" Copyright C.A. Jones)

This is the photo on which I based my drawing.

It is commonly known as the Potato Vine and as I have said several times before, it is such a beautiful flower it should have a more beautiful name.  I suggested Midnight Star. However, I have done  some more research in depth on this plant.  I discovered that It is a derivative of the Nightshade family and that there are a great many varieties that have now been developed.  I discovered also that my particular bushes are actually called ROYAL ROBE  or Blue Lycianthes Rantonnetii. I have also seen it named Solanum Rantonnetti. I imagine there are some botanical differences between the two but I am not experienced enough to know what they are. So....ROYAL ROBE it is. 

Here is one of my three bushes that has never ceased to bloom profusely all summer long and still is blooming. I took this photo only a few days ago.  It overshadows the fountain and the bird feeder. The birds love it because they can shelter in it to hide from the Cooper's Hawk that was visiting for a while. 


Tuesday, September 20, 2011


J is for Jesus

I debated with myself about doing this post because I don't want to offend anyone, but I have been through ABC Wednesday  at least three times and tried to stay away from being 'religious' or controversial. But I think it's time, this week.

I hope you won't write me off as a fanatic and I hope I don't turn you off. I don't want to lose the friendship and communication I have with so many of you, my blogging friends, some of you who do not believe as I do -- and that is your privilege. 

But here are three things about JESUS that are a part of me and that mean everything to me :

1.   Jesus said, "I am the way the TRUTH and the life, no man comes to the Father except through me. "  I love the fact that in this troubled and misguided world where we no longer know if what we read and hear is the TRUTH, Jesus says He is the TRUTH.  That is my rock of stability.  I may not know the truth but He does.

2.   Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life."  I have been a born again Christian for 55 years now and the closer I get to the end of my life, I find strength, comfort and joy in knowing that this life is not the end.  JESUS has spent my 73 years preparing me for the BEGINNING, -- the new life I will have in heaven.

3.  Jesus Christ is "the same yesterday, today and forever."  It is such a blessing to me to know that God does not change. I can rely on Him.  He doesn't have whims and fancies.  He is Who He is, to use a modern expression.  I can rely on Him to treat me righteously and fairly, to give me all that I need and more.  His love for me does not change.  He ALWAYS loves me even though He may not like some of the things that I do. What a joy to be loved unceasingly and unconditionally, forever.


To view other posts for ABC WEDNESDAY please click on the link and see more inspiring and intriguing entries on Mrs. Nesbitt and her team's page of participants.  You won't be sorry. They're always surprising.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


It's time for a Scruffy update.  

A Success Story

We've now had him 4 months and 1 week.  We rescued him from our County Animal Shelter.  They tell us he is eight years old. The only information we have on him is that his family had to move away and that he was at the shelter for  3 months before we adopted him. If you would really like to know more details about this little sweetheart who is absolutely nothing like his name, please scroll back to June 11th where I have much more information about his cute habits and personality.

The newest information is that we feel like we have had him for years!  He is the best cat we have ever had -- and we've had six others before we had him.  Excuse me if I now sound a little besotted with him, but I guess I am.  He has a beautiful, sweet nature and just fits our family, (Moth and me,) perfectly.

As an older cat he does sleep quite a lot so most of these photos are of his sleeping places.

This is the foot rest of my recliner in the living room, where he spends most of the evening snuggled up against my legs, but if I get up to do something, he takes over the whole thing! 

In the living room is where I usually watch TV or perhaps work on the lap top. If there is not enough room for both him and what I am doing, on the footrest of the recliner, he will sleep under the little wooden circular table next to my chair that is covered by a full length tablecloth.  Poor boy, he's still half asleep here.  I just lifted the cloth and snapped.

He also likes to sleep under things in the day time.  If I am in the den working on the computer or reading, he sleeps under the little table I have next to my arm chair where I keep some of my painting things.  So we put a donut there and of course he took to it right away. 

During the day, if he is awake he will be in whichever room we are in.  He follows us around like a little dog.

Sorry this is blurry, but it's hard to hold the camera and receive kisses at the same time!  Yes, he gives kisses -- not just on your hand for something to taste, but hands, arms and legs and yes, even on the lips, which I know is not very sanitary. Moth doesn't know yet, but one day I just gave him an air kiss at his nose and I got a kiss in return and it wasn't just an accident because I have tried it several times since! What a sweetheart!

And here's the man himself, trying to look away from what he thinks will be the flash, (but I used a reading light instead.)

If I can I will try to get some shots of how MOTH and Scruffy get along.  It won't be easy because neither of them like having their photo taken.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I don't think so.  
(Please see my last post for  introductory comments.)

No milk, no ice, water soon sold out. (Some communities lost their water.)
No ice cream or frozen dinners, entrees,  or vegetables.

Yogurts, packaged cheese, cottage cheese, packaged ham and other meats can't be used. The deli counter had to stop serving.


            You’re at work on the 23rd floor of your office building in down town San Diego. It is just after 3:30 pm with only a half hour to go before it will be time to leave.  You’ll be home in just an hour and a half, after picking up the kids from daycare.  Whoops --  mustn’t forget to get gas (petrol) for the car before hitting the freeway! Thank goodness for credit cards! You’re thinking, it’s pizza for dinner tonight while you all watch the opening game of the football season.

Suddenly the whirr and clicking of the computers stop, the air conditioning grinds to a halt, the lights go out and everyone’s exclaiming,  “What the…?”  Yes the power’s gone out!

Similar real life scenarios took place like this  last Thursday, not just in San Diego, America’s eighth largest city, but in every city, small town, small business, restaurant , cafĂ©, Starbucks, busy indoor shopping mall, Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonalds, Mom and Pop stores, gas station, hair salon, department store, school, grocery store, library, bank, -- you name it – no power anywhere in the whole of San Diego County from the coast on the west to Arizona in the east; from the edge of Los Angeles in the north, to the Mexican border in the south and in some places over the border.

It was almost an hour before most of the six million people affected knew how extensive the power outage was or how long it would last. In actual fact no one knew how long it would last.  Dire predictions were made ranging from several hours to several days.  For some it lasted 24 hours or more.  For us, we were lucky, it was 7 hours.

Offices and businesses in San Diego began to close. Thousands of people emptied out into parking lots and large parking garages) – but not before they had made the long trek down flights of stairs in double digit numbers (shades of 9/11 !) No elevators were working.

The outside temperature was in the low nineties in San Diego. Further inland it was at least 10 degrees more.  It was 109 in Palm Springs. Men dressed in suits and ties, ladies in slim skirts and high heels all made the trek to their cars.  The lucky ones had a full tank of gas, because as the cars began to move to the streets, gridlock began.  Once you were in the car there was no going back, in fact there was no going forward, for hours.  If you ran out of gas you were stuck.

But even if you had gas you were stuck. All the traffic lights were out, so by law every car had to come to a four way stop before proceeding in their turn; then there was the north/south railway tracks that many cars had to cross with no working train or  crossing signals. Buses, trolleys, taxis were all in the traffic mix.  No airline flights going out and very few coming in.

IMAGINE sitting in a plane on the runway for several hours...
IMAGINE…if you had to buy gas in order to get home…
…or you had to buy groceries for dinner...
…or you were in a grocery store with dozens of others  trying to check out…
…or you found a small store that was still open but you didn’t have enough money – no credit or debit card could be processed.
IMAGINE… if the ATM (cash) machine wouldn’t work .
IMAGINE ...if there were no computer or internet available
IMAGINE…if you had to pick up your children at a certain time and you couldn’t get in touch with them because you were stuck for hours in traffic.
IMAGINE… if your cell phone didn't work because they were all jammed by others calling, or if you were at home your land line phone didn't work.
IMAGINE…if  you had your car radio to hear what was happening but you had to choose between using up gas with your engine idling in the gridlock, or using up the car battery to listen to the radio -- or using the car air conditioning in the sweltering heat.
IMAGINE…if you had no candles or batteries or matches at home but you did have a freezer full of food beginning to spoil.
IMAGINE…if you were a tourist in one of the downtown luxury hotels and you had rooms with no air conditioning and sealed windows and little or no food in the dining room and all the restaurants were closed.
IMAGINE… if you were in the hair salon in the middle of getting your hair colored or you were under the drier.
IMAGINE… if you were stuck in an elevator with two small children (one lady was).

The possibilities are endless, some scarier than others. One hospital’s generator  wouldn’t work. And perhaps the scariest of them all:  Was it a terrorist attack?

Well if you have a good imagination, just look around you in the next day or so and see what wouldn’t be working for you if the power went out.

I asked the supervisor today at my local grocery store, a large and busy store in the center of Carlsbad, what was the worst thing about the power outage and he said it was throwing all the perishable food away – yes, ALL.  They had insurance, he assured me, but they had to undo every packet of food and throw away the contents, so that it couldn’t be used and so they could account to the insurance company for every item of perishable food.

On the front page of today’s local newspaper was a photograph of school workers heaping thousands of cartons of juice and milk in to a skip-jack, to be thrown away.

Honestly, it’s mind boggling!  What luxuries and privileges we have and it can all be gone in a minute! The needs of other people in the world who are desperate for food and other supplies doesn’t bear thinking about.

As for the reason all this happened?   They tell us (if you believe them) that it all came down to one man who didn’t follow the correct procedure in replacing some equipment in an Arizona power plant.

All this is true, but for more true, fanciful or original ideas for ABC WEDNESDAY please click on the link for a fun and educational look at other imaginative presentations sponsored by Mrs. Nesbitt and her hard working team.

Friday, September 9, 2011

MY 600th POST

This is a milestone for me since it is my 600th post. 

I was trying to find something relevant to the number 600 for today's  post and all I could come up with  was the poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred Lord Tennyson which you may remember from school days begins:
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward
All in the Valley of Death rode the six hundred.
It's about a true incident in the Crimean War which ended in the death of 600 soldiers who were given mistaken orders to march into a valley surrounded by enemy fire, which they gallantly proceeded to do and were ruthlessly massacred.

However in today's atmosphere, I think this poem may be misunderstood by some as glorifying war, (whereas, I believe it is actually glorifying, courage, following orders, duty and nobility -- all of which seem to have been down-graded today).  Anyway I continued to debate what to post.

Then current events took over our lives here in Southern California -- yes, it was.....

                    .....The Great Southern California Blackout!
We were one of the six million San Diego Gas and Electric customers who lost power last night. Upon reflection, for us personally it was a minor inconvenience.  We had tuna sandwiches for dinner in candlelight instead of chicken breasts, mashed potatoes and gravy. Yet believe me, there were plenty of people who were much more than inconvenienced as you've probably read about or seen on TV.  

We were fortunate for two reasons:  First, we were both at home, and I had done grocery shopping and laundry the day before.  (MOTH flew in from Portugal just 24 hours before the blackout!)  Second, we have been pretty conscientious about keeping earthquake provisions on hand.  (the big one is coming, they keep telling us!) So we had plenty of water, extra food, batteries, candles etc.   

All that gave us some confidence, but of course all the questions were there especially the thought of it being terrorism. We had no phones, (we were asked not to use cell phones so they would be available for emergencies) we had no TV, no computer, though we were allowed to use texting, facebook and twitter. But as I so boldly ranted the other day, I don't know how to do any of those things and my cell phone doesn't have the capabilities.  Time to eat humble pie! I think I will have to learn to do texting.

Ah, but we did have one thing old people often have available -- a battery powered AM - FM radio !  So we were able to tune into the Emergency Radio Network and find out what was happening. 

That's where the number 600 comes in. Our emergency radio station, "KOGO Radio is at 600 AM on your radio dial", as we were constantly reminded all night long.  The number 600 was by the end of the evening firmly fixed in my head.  

So there we were, two old fogeys smelling of tuna fish, sitting in the candlelight, breathlessly listening to KOGO AM 600 for seven or eight hours, hearing the same information over and over again, just as we would have been watching TV or reading any other night. Our power was out for seven hours. Others had to wait longer and had much more exciting and worrying stories to tell.

Our worst deprivation was that we had thrown out our small, rusty old barbecue and had no way to boil water  to make a cup of tea!   That will be rectified over the next few days.

So KOGO 600 it is, to celebrate my 600th post on Blogger -- and the Great Southern California Blackout.

I will add further details about the blackout another day for those who may wonder about what happened and why and what were some of the results.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011



Oceanside Harbor has been closed for the last couple of days because of the high surf. The photo above is of the south jetty submerged by waves of at least 10 feet.  The little black square above the wave is the beacon at end of the jetty.  The wave is coming from top left hand corner of the photo.  The other side of the jetty wall is where the harbor entrance is. I've been through that entrance many times in our sailboat -- but not in those conditions!  Believe me you don't want to try that. The entrance between the south and north jetty is about 40 feet and has a tendency to silt up which makes it dangerous at low tide.

Here comes another one! The grey speck above the wave this time is what we call Seal Buoy. It is about a mile off the harbor entrance.

This is disappointing for so many with sailboats.  The last weekend of the summer brings a lot of sailors out.  They come down from Dana Point or from Catalina Island, but don't come into Oceanside  in these seas, have to go on down to San Diego.  The weather is a gorgeous 74 degrees and the beaches are packed.  So why the heavy seas?  At this time of the year our big surf comes all the way from storms off New Zealand!

This is the north jetty with the waves breaking right over it.  The little man in the boat is the life guard or perhaps the harbor police, waiting to rescue any foolhardy souls who try to get through  the entrance. The entrance is just to the left of the other side of the jutting rocks. Most sailors don't even try but there are inexperienced small boaters and canoes playing around in the harbor who sometimes decide to see how close they can get.

 Although the beaches are crowded there are not many people in the water.  Serious rip currents in these waters. This surfer seems dangerously close to the south jetty but there are quite a few professional surfers who come out just for this kind of weather.  Just down the beach to the right there was a student surfing competition.  I don't think they even got in the water. There is another grey patch to the left of Seal Buoy and I think that is someone on a jet ski!  Could be another life guard on patrol.  I couldn't tell you how many boats have been lost in our harbor entrance since we have lived here -- including a harbor patrol boat.

It was a fun half hour or so.  Couldn't stay longer, too much traffic and no parking. So I went to the Jolly Roger for a cup of tea.


This post is my contribution for Mrs. Nesbitt's ABC Wednesday.  Click on the link and see all the  other intriguing contributions for this popular meme. It's fun -- and even educational.

Monday, September 5, 2011

What a Surprise!

I said the other day that I really don'r collect china but I do like to drink my tea from a china cup. Well there is one pattern of china of which I have collected a few pieces every year or so when we have visited England.  I have four cups and two beakers;  This is the beaker:

It is Duchess china and the pattern is called Greensleeves.  I love the colors o green and apricot together and this pattern is very delicate -- not even quite as bright as in the picture.

Well I was visiting over at Heart Shaped (click on the link) and she was telling on her blog about their village sale.  She showed some photos of what she was selling.

This is Heart Shaped's  photo which she kindly allowed me to use.  Now look in the center of the picture -- the little jug and cup and saucer -- "Greensleeves".  Sadly I was too late.  They've been sold.  They were only 50p each and I paid 12  pounds for my one mug!!  Oh well, maybe another day.