Thursday, July 31, 2008

After the rain at Bridlington

I found this post card on e Bay recently. The town of Bridlington is right next to my village of Flamborough and it is where I went to high school. I have walked along this pier many, many times in my younger days. But what especially caught my eye was the look of the fisher girl behind the elegant lady. I decided to make an ATC out of just these two figures because the look on the fisher girl's face says it all!

Yorkshire people are proud of their independence and of being exactly what they are, not trying to put on any airs and graces. They don't have much time for people who pretend to be better than others. One of the lessons I learned while living at Flamborough was to be 'genuine'. A good Christian virtue is not to be hypocritical. Yorkshire people are realistic and often blunt to a fault, but you always know where you stand with them.

I wonder what the little fisher girl is thinking as she glances back at the fancy lady!

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Couple of Comments

Gillian, of The Fading Rose suggested I resurrect my old Prismacolor ATC BLOG and continue with my ATC's. So I thought I'd give it a try. I have now posted all my ATC's that I have posted only on this blog over the last few months and added them to my Prisma Color one, so that all my ATC's are now in one place. I will continue to post them individually as I finish them on this blog but then they will be added to my Prisma Color blog. Does that make sense? Maybe this will give me the incentive to do more ATC's. It was a lot of work trying to keep this blog going and my Prisma Color one ... and I still post weekly at the Flamborough Today page click on Blogspot in the column on the left hand side of the page).

Now for those of you who were concerned about the appearance of a rat in my back yard, eating the bird seed, I have done a little research and this is what I have found out. I think the rat we saw, (MOTH saw it too the next day), was probably a Stephen's Kangaroo Rat. The color, ears, size and tail match -- and the fact that he was sitting up on his haunches to eat the seeds. (He is a grainivore). This rat is not a bit like what I call sewer rats. It is more like a gerbil with a very long tail. He is apparently endangered but can be found quite easily in our area, particularly on Camp Pendleton which is only a couple of miles away from us. Anyway I will be keeping a watch out for this little gentleman to try to get a better identification.

Another post coming soon.


I named a stray hen, Henrietta,
She loved our back yard, nowhere better,
She ate all our bird seed --
and our plants, in her greed,
Now she's gone.... But I hope no-one ate her!

Saturday, July 26, 2008


I know that for most people and for many of my blogging friends, grandchildren are a major source of joy in their lives. Recently when MOTH was over in Micronesia at one of the island meetings everyone had to stand up and introduce themselves.

Inevitably everyone commented on how many grand children they had. So when Moth's turn came he said "Well I don't have any grandchildren but I have five grandcats!"
I guess it brought the house down!

Pets such as we have pets over here are hardly considered on the islands. It's hard enough to feed the mouths of one's own family, let alone pets. The islanders think it is outrageously funny the way we take our pets to the doctor and to the pet hospital as well as the way some dress up their pets in crazy clothes, (Bailey wouldn't be seen dead doing that!). Even so they could use a good vet on some of the islands just to spay or neuter the number of dogs there are running free!

We have two wonderful sons but no grand kids. I think they must have heard me commenting too often about how I wished people who had children would really spend more time rearing them properly! It takes more than just love and, as has been said, it takes more than "a village". My favorite TV program is "The Dog Whisperer" I think that should be required viewing for all parents and especially teachers, who have to become "pack leaders".

Don't take me too literally but sometimes we take more time training our dogs than we do our children.

That said, I LOVE seeing pictures of your grandchildren. But Wanda's Molly and Denise's Emma I could adopt!! (But MOTH wouldn't let me!)

So here are my grandcats and they are all "calm, submissive"!!! (Quote from "Dog Whisperer") which is more than I could say about Henrietta.








Thursday, July 24, 2008


I just finished talking to my neighbors.
I asked them "Did you catch the chicken?"
They laughed and said "Yes. No more chicken!"
I told them I hadn't seen her for a couple of weeks and I thought for sure a coyote had got her.
I didn't like to ask them what they did with her. I'm not sure they speak English too well, but they assured me she was gone. I'm hoping they took her out to the ranch which one of the children told me they owned.

So that is the end of the saga of Henrietta....However, yesterday I saw what I thought was a baby ground squirrel, but when I looked closer I saw that it was red/brown and sitting up on its haunches, nibbling some seed. It had large round ears almost like Mickey Mouse ears. and a long thin tail -- much longer than a normal rat's tail. Of course it was gone by the time I got my camera. I found a photo of something called a giant wood rat on the internet that looked close to what I saw, at least the ears do. But I thought rats only come out at night and this was the middle of the day. Who knows, maybe we will have another saga going on.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Plumerias and Birds

Two winters ago our plumeria which we had nurtured from a six inch stub to a four foot tree succumbed to the winter and we were quite sad.

However, we have some friends who are just great gardeners and he had several plumerias and gave us one last summer to replace the one we'd lost. Great friends to have!. It was in full bloom about three foot high with four branches each sporting beautiful blooms.

I carefully babied it throughout the winter, covering it with a light cloth any night the temperatures went below 40.

It survived and now we have our first bloom with a cluster ready to open on each of the four branches.

The first bloom -- so perfect!

Meanwhile, I woke the other morning to a clunk, clunk, clunking. It was too erratic to be made by a human.

It happened several times through the day. Bailey was quite excited about it. Then I discovered what it was. These two pictures are not the best -- first because I had to take them through the window and second because I need a new camera that can do zooms closer.

Barry had put a pot of flowers on an old plastic planter, shiny gold in color, to raise them up above some other pots to be more showy.

I guess our towhee or his mate find their own reflection fascinating and spend several minutes at a time pecking away at his image until you would think he had knocked himself silly!

Hope you can see him through these rather blurry and dark pictures.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Beautiful San Diego Bay

Still no sign of Henrietta. I think she has really gone this time. My main hope is that the neighbors reclaimed her and that she didn't come to a nasty end.

We went down to San Diego last week to Tom Hamm's Lighthouse for their famous lunch smorgasbord. We took our friends of many years who are retiring this month and are taking their RV around the country, as many retirees do. They have been planning for this for a long time, but of course they hadn't planned on the gas prices!! So they will do just half their trip for the first leg of their journey.

But then again, why do we need to leave San Diego? It was a gorgeous day. Summer in San Diego is 75 degrees most of the time and usually not too much humidity.

Beautiful San Diego skyline. The Coronado Bridge is mid-right almost lost in the skyline, behind the aircraft carrier.

Just enough breeze to practice 'going round the mark' for these little day-sailors.

See that bank of grey cloud above the horizon (which is actually Coronado Island)? That is what keeps our coastline so cool. It comes in most nights and the temps drop into the sixties. We don't bother with air conditioning. Have to wonder why any of we San Diegans go away for vacations!

By the way: I spell 'grey with an 'e', the English way, because I think it looks better. Sorry. No other English-isms for me, except I simply CAN'T use 'gotten'. My English teacher would turn over in her grave!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Demise of Henrietta????

At last I'm back!

But sadly, it seems that Henrietta is not. She has been missing for a week now. The last time I heard anything of her was about a week ago at around ten at night. I was at the computer and had the den door open. I suddenly heard a short squawk from Henrietta and then a loud clap/bang kind of noise. It sounded a bit like a wooden box slamming shut. I've stopped running outside to see what has happened since I can't do anything to help her so I just let it go. But I haven't seen or heard anything of her since. Moth assures me that he hasn't done anything to trap her-- and I believe him, because he honestly didn't know what to do to get rid of her (anything humane that is!). We've decided that perhaps an owl got her and what I heard was the clap of wings. We have a couple of big ones around.

The other possibility is this: In the past two weeks the grand parents of the children next door (to whom Henrietta really belonged) came up from Mexico. We have seen them cleaning up the yard and driveway, so perhaps they set a trap for her and have now reclaimed her -- which is certainly fine with us, especially Moth!

HOWEVER...we have found no sign of feathers anywhere, except in the two places she liked to hang out sometimes, but when Moth was cleaning up the yard today he found these.....

. an old wooden planter that had some plastic bags in it. So if she has gone, she has left us a legacy. No, we're not going to eat them! We have no idea how long they've been there and the weather has been hot!

But please note, there was not a single feather to be seen anywhere around. So maybe she will surprise us and come strutting out of the bushes one day soon. We shall see.
(Never let it be said, but the truth is, I miss her!!!)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

To All my Computer Friends...

I'm still here, and so's Moth, Bailey and Henrietta-- as well as the furry vacuum cleaners. I have had some major projects pending and they, and a few more, have all decided (out of my control) that they must be done this week. My Bible Study on Hosea starts this week. Much preparation needed for that; my quarterly article for my home town newspaper was requested ASAP; I was asked to do a fairly large proof reading job for the church; I'm substituting in the church office on Friday; our computer must have back up installed to a separate hard drive; I have already spent five hours working on Moth's lap top computer which has Windows Vista -- 'nuff said!!! -- and my note book has to have special hardware installed to enable a flash drive! Since I am not a computer whiz, nor do I have the money to farm out the computer stuff, these last three projects are enough to drown me without the others.So I promise I will be around to see you all very soon. I miss all the photos and fun.

Friday, July 4, 2008




These three marines attend our church along with a good many others , as well as those from all branches of the services. I took this opportunity to take this photo just for today!


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Henrietta -v- the Squirrel

Henrietta and Squeaky the Squirrel
We now have two or three squirrels visiting our yard because of the birds seed I throw out. They come along like furry vacuum cleaners and inhale everything in their path. Henrietta has taken great exception to this. She already bullies the Mourning Doves and once in a while gives the little birds a peck, just to keep them in their place. However, the other day I heard some squawking and there was Henrietta strutting determinedly down the path towards the squirrel. She attacked first but the squirrel stood his ground, and attacked back. For one split second there was a scurry of feathers and fur and then I could see that they were nose to beak and one was hanging on to the other. I don't know who had a hold of whom but it only lasted a moment and then Henrietta withdrew into the bushes and the squirrel kept on munching.

Squeaky the Squirrel -1 Henrietta - 0

On that particular day we had two squirrels, multitudes of sparrows and finches, one Bullock's Oriole, a Cassin's King bird, Henrietta the chicken, and a rabbit (quite a large one), but when he saw me on the patio he decided not to risk coming any closer.
The word is now out about free meals. I have had to move the seed up to the tray on the feeder so that the squirrels can't get at it.
The Cooper's Hawk came back to look for a tasty dinner, (not my seed I'm sorry to say). He dropped down behind the fence and I walked towards it to get a closer look. Suddenly he flew up to perch momentarily on the fence about ten feet away from me, then swooped off right over my head. I don't know who was more surprised me or the hawk! It is definitely a Cooper's Hawk. I showed my photos to the people at the bird shop, "Birds Unlimited" and they confirmed it. Too bad I didn't get a shot of him flying over my head.

Yes, Henrietta is still with us. Barry offered a bonus to our Mexican friend, Felippe, who comes to clean up the bushes once in a while, if he could catch her. But he couldn't! She runs too fast and flies too high.