Monday, September 28, 2009

FlamboroughHead Lighthouse

Feeling a bit nostalgic so I thought I'd share this video with you.

This is where I grew up, literally on the cliffs of Flamborough Head, East Yorkshire, UK. The ruffling noise you can hear is the wind. It's always windy there. Our house was located right above the large patch of yellow gorse bushes you see on the cliff side in the video and about a hundred yards from the lighthouse. The house is no longer there now. If you listen hard you can hear the seagulls at the beginning, and at the end you can hear the skylark singing.

Hmmm.... I wonder if I'll ever get back there again. It's wild, windy and bleak, but oh so magnificent! And on a sunny day there is nothing like it.

Going to bed to dream of Flamborough!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

What Was It?

Just got the official word from the Wildlife Research Institute that our back yard killer hawk was a Red-Tailed Hawk. Nice photos though, Son #1.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Killer in My Son's Back Yard!

My son was able to get some really great shots of a hawk who visits round his house quite a bit. We think it is a red tailed hawk but I haven't had time to look it up and check details yet. Definitely not a Coopers Hawk.

What drew his attention to it was all the bits of fur and stuff blowing around his driveway.

The area around his house is quite rural and there are plenty of rabbits and squirrels. We think this was a rabbit that the hawk had caught.

You can clearly see he is banded. Son #1 thinks it is about 3 feet tall and has at least a five foot wing span.

Could it be a Golden Eagle I wonder? There are plenty of rocks and cliffs around where he lives.


Speaking of of rocks, maybe I do have rocks in my head!! Went to the physical therapist yesterday. She explained very carefully and clearly how little 'rocks' surrounding the nerve hairs in the vestibular canal (inner and middle ear) can get dislodged causing the nerve hairs which control balance from doing their job properly. In addition, there is fluid in this canal and if you are dehydrated the fluid thickens and the hairs cannot work properly. They are supposed to sway like reeds in a stream as you turn or bend down, and then return to their normal upright position. Thickened fluid or the 'rocks' can prevent them from returning upright. Hence dizziness ensues. She did a couple of movements with my head and then I had to refrain from bending down at all for 24 hours and I had to sleep sitting up for one night.

So much better today! Like someone switched a light on! Such a simple solution to a pesky problem I have had for several years! I have to go back for a couple more treatments and then I'll have a consultation with the neurologist about the other tests I have had.

More than you needed to know, right? But I'm happy.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Old North Landing, Flamborough, UK

I have become obsessed with painting for the last couple of days. This one is of the North Landing at Flamborough, my village in East Yorkshire.

It is based on an old painting (probably 1800's) I saw on the web. It took me just two days to do it. It is 7X12 inches and hasn't reproduced nearly as well as it looks in my original. I was so excited because it came out so well as I painted it, but then the reproductions don't show nearly enough detail clearly. I had to photograph it to see if it would come out any better. The first one is the photograph, the second is the scan. Disappointing to see here but my original I am quite pleased with. I think the one I photographed does a better job at reproduction.

It is so much fun to paint a picture, (this is in water colors) and see it finished when after thirty or forty years I thought I couldn't draw and paint and never tried. It makes me wish I had started many years before and maybe taken some lessons.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

This One's For You, Jose!


Joe Cool has been visiting my blog for about two years now. Today he is celebrating his 50th Birthday (I've got him beat by 20 years).

So everybody shout Happy Birthday to Jose at Joe's Cool Blog

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Old Fisherman and one more

This is "The Old Fisherman" we put in our back yard many years ago. We bought it because, (if you haven't already guessed!) I have a great affection for my little village of Flamborough on the East Coast of Yorkshire -- hence the name "Flamblogger" and also the banner photo of the scene at the North Landing. I posted this photo a few days ago. Now below is the painting I did based on the old man with a little flavor of Flamborough in the background. That is the morning sky, because the sun rises over the North Sea.

The style of boat or 'coble' is not exactly accurate but it's good enough for me. The real 'coble' as used today by the fishermen, is on the banner. The fishermen mostly do crab and lobster 'potting' now (no need for the net), or they take the visitors 'round the caves', of which there are many and some are very large. But about a hundred years ago more than 30 cobles were kept at the North Landing from where they fished mainly for herring, and mackerel. Tough work in the cold North Sea.


Our plumeria has finally bloomed. It has four good sturdy branches on it and a lot more buds to come out if the weather behaves.

What a beauty!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I called for the results of my brain MRI and was told "the results were normal for a woman of my age!" WHAT???!!! As I mulled this over, I thought what an innocuous statement! It doesn't mean a thing! What is normal for anyone at any age? My Ladies Bible Study thought it was a huge joke, because most of them are at least 10 or even 15 years older than I am. I guess that's the best answer I'm going to get because my doctor is on vacation this week. At least there's no tumor or other abnormality, but I'd sure like to know what they use as criteria for "normal"!

About two houses away from us there is an empty lot that leads on to a long strip of green area that follows the main road for about a mile. I know once in a while a coyote strays up here and has been seen in our circle. Last Friday was a new moon. My neighbor has a gorgeous new puppy and at about 1:00 A.M. I heard the coyotes howling very nearby. They were closer than I have ever heard them in the past thirty or so years -- like only a few houses away. Bailey is strictly an indoor cat, mainly because of the coyotes, but I was worried about the puppy. However my neighbor says the coyotes wouldn't get any where near him because his other dog, which is a BIG one, would get them first! I think he's right But something large got into our yard that night because it knocked the top piece of our fountain off the bowl, and that piece weighs about 30 pounds. Of course it could have been a large raccoon.

The rufous humming bird has left, so I guess it really was a rufous, because they migrate away from here in the fall. The other humming birds are enjoying a bit of peace at the feeder because Rufous was feisty and aggressive -- but still very pretty.

I will be posting my latest painting at the weekend. It is called The Old Fisherman and is based on that statuette I posted a few days ago.

That's it for now folks. I'll be back soon.

Monday, September 7, 2009


The beach was crowded. It has been a perfect summer's weekend. The water was 74 degrees and in the evening even more people came to see the sunset. In Carlsbad, like many other beach communities on the West Coast, every evening people make a special trip to the beach to watch the sunset.

You can see people were still out in the water swimming and surfing. For us, we still have another five or six weeks of summer weather, but for the kids it's back to school.

Behind us, the summer storm clouds over the mountains turned a beautiful pink. But the storms rarely get past the mountains at this time of the year.

Hope you had a happy Labor Day Weekend!

Friday, September 4, 2009

September Oddments

Fall is on its way, although you couldn't tell it by our weather. It has been hot and sticky. Some of our hottest weather comes in September.

Below is an ATC I drew of blackberries. We used to go blackberrying a lot when I was young.

I think our Plumeria is actually going to bloom. I don't remember it being as late as this before. This was taken about two weeks ago. The buds come tightly spiraled with small young leaves cupping them around. Today they are looking quite well developed and may even bloom by the end of next week.

I was wondering why the rabbits like our circle so much. They are out there playing most nights. Well. I think I have found the answer. I don't think these are the kind of dates you and I would eat, but they are a large cluster at the top of a Queen Palm planted on the sidewalk across the street, and I found the remains of some in the street where the rabbits play. Problem solved? Maybe.

This is what I call "The Old Fisherman". We bought him years ago because of my love for Flamborough. (See banner above.) This photo came out so well that I decided to paint him. I have almost finished him and will post the painting next week.

The MRI of my brain (to see if anything is there, so my husband says!) was no problem at all. It did sound like someone was drilling up the sidewalk beside me but they gave me earplugs and the whole thing took less than half an hour. I doubt if I'll hear anything about the results until after the holiday now. So I just have to be patient. One more test, the BAER, painless and relaxing so I'm told and then physical therapy to set up. After that back to the neurologist to hopefully get some sound information.