Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I'm going to be quite brazen about this, because mostly I have TESTS (medical) and THERAPY (physical) on my mind for the next two weeks.  So I'm giving my book "The TALE of Robin Lyth" a shameless plug.

This book…was originally written in the 1850’s, by R.D. Blackmore, (author of 
“Lorna Doone”) and was entitled “Mary Anerley”. However, for today’s reader “Mary Anerley" is a long and rambling account, full of microscopic details and encompassing more than a score of characters. Yet it is a historical and authentic description of life in the small fishing village of Flamborough in East Yorkshire, in the 1800's of which Blackmore was an eyewitness.

So that today’s readers may enjoy the adventures of Robin Lyth and Mary Anerley, I have updated much of the vocabulary of his book and removed the extraneous material that did not directly relate to the story of Robin and Mary. Even so I have endeavored to preserve the quaintness of the vocabulary, the wonderful descriptions and observations as well as the satirical style and wry humor of the writer. Now I hope you will agree that the book is a delight to read, as with tongue in cheek, Blackmore describes the escapades of Robin and Mary of Flamborough Village and Headland.


In the late 1700’s a very young child is found asleep under a fishing coble at the North Landing, Flamborough, (East Yorkshire).  The child is adopted by a local fisherman and his wife and grows up to become Robin Lyth, a gallant ‘free-trader’ with a charmed life.  Robin falls in love with Mary Anerley, a farmer’s daughter from Dane’s Dyke, Flamborough.  Mary’s family discourages the match because of Robin’s obscure origin and free-trading occupation.

Not long after rescuing Mary from certain death, Robin declares his love for her and promises to give up his life as a smuggler after he has completed one last contract of smuggled goods.  Unfortunately, this time Robin is trapped in a cave by the coast guard.  He makes a daring escape, but in the confusion, the captain of the coast guard is shot and killed.  Robin is declared the murderer and he flees to France, leaving Mary behind.
How he is exonerated, the mystery of his birth and his quest to live 'happily ever after' is "THE TALE OF ROBIN LYTH"
This is my entry for Mrs. Nesbitt's abc Wednesday.  For more interesting and intriguing submissions to this fascinating and educational challenge please click HERE

Friday, May 27, 2011


I have mixed feelings about tags.  Some I really don't want to participate in, but this one seems innocuous enough and since it's you AJ, how can I resist?  :-} I like your sense of humor  and your blogs, so here goes:

Q1. Do you think you're hot?
Answer:  I'm assuming that "hot" means as in beautiful, (I'm not really up on today's youth language) So my answer is "Never!".  I honestly have low self esteem and I wouldn't believe you even if you said I was. My first reaction was ,"What? At my age?"

Q2.  Upload a picture or wallpaper you're using.
Answer:  This requires a certain amount of computer ability and I'm using my laptop which I don't know very well.  But here goes--


WOW!  It worked!  This photo is the wallpaper on my (actually, my husband's) laptop which I am using this evening.  My husband took this photo, which I think is 'picture perfect'. It was the first photo I uploaded on to this laptop  It is a scene taken on the island of Fefan which is located in the Truk Lagoon in Micronesia. Truk is now known as Chuuk and is famous for its beautiful diving and sadly, for the number of Japanese ships submerged in the lagoon as a result of  WW2.  He, my husband, was on this very small island as an invited speaker at a Bible College for Micronesians, located there.

Q3.  When did you last eat chicken?
Answer:  Two nights ago, as leftovers, with french fries and cooked tomatoes, peas and some Bisto  --  yes Bisto gravy.  For some who may not be familiar with this custom, many Brits like gravy on french fries.  I usually get incredulous looks when I order this at a family style restaurant.  Try it, you'll like it.  My cooking is very unimaginative.

Q4.  A song you listened to recently.
Answer:  I was surfing the web and saw Barry Manilow being interviewed, so I stopped for a moment because I like some of his songs, but unfortunately not the one he sang on that show:  "Cocacabana".
If I'd had my choice it would have been one of Paul Simon's songs on his new CD, 'So Beautiful or So What', or, one of The King's Singers' pieces.

Q5.  What are you thinking as you do this?
Answer:  I'm watching the local news on the TV as well as typing. I can multi-task! I never sit and watch TV without doing something else at the same time.  Right now they are telling about a puppy who was tossed into the air by one of the recent tornadoes and managed to crawl home on his two broken front legs! UGH! So hard to watch. But he now has two casts on, is reunited with his owners and has his own facebook page..  Why do I feel worse when it is animals suffering rather than humans? It doesn't make sense.

Q6. Have you any nicknames?
Answer:  One which will never be mentioned. Otherwise it's mostly just Chris.  I have one friend who calls me CJ because she is called JJ.  So how about that AJ???

Now here is the difficult part.  Whom do I tag?  First I have to add a rider
If I choose you, you must not feel under any obligation to do it.  I know there are some people who will not participate in these things and I respect their right to do that.

My own reluctance is that low self esteem thing again.  I don't like writing about myself.  It is my insecurities that are the problem.  I think I'm probably too British to open up much....or whatever. I'm afraid of what people would think???  Hmm. Probably. 

So I choose 
1.  INCULTUS (Snafu) because I know he will come up with something funny. I love his humor.
2. JOE COOL who will have interesting answers, because he is an interesting person.
3. LIFE OF A FIFTY SOMETHING YORKSHIREMAN because I don't think he will be afraid to speak his mind.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Beauty and Suffering.

So many flowers in bloom and the sun is shining in Carlsbad.  The Coral Tree is everywhere in bloom right now. It is also known as the Flame Tree.

These three shots were taken just after a rain shower last week and the raindrops looked like diamonds.
Thought you might like to see this unusual tree.  The jacarandas are blooming too, but mine is not.  It is either late this year, (too cool a spring) or perhaps it will burst forth soon.  Doesn't look to have too many buds on it.  The plumeria is thriving.  Blooms for this come later in the year. 
Blessed be the Lord for the beautiful world we live in.
Prayer for all who suffered in the tornadoes.
So much beauty in the midst of so much suffering. One day it will only be beauty that surrounds us.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

S is FOR...

S is FOR...
                  well obviously, if you have read my previous blog you'll know S is for

We haven't had him for a week yet, so he does rather dominate our thinking.  He is fitting in beautifully and is very well mannered. By the way he is eight years old, which 
I neglected to tell you before.  Though his age may have been against him, it does have some advantages.  Older cats are seldom adopted and he has also had time to learn the basics of indoor cat-hood.  His fur is beautifully soft and he doesn't seem to shed much at all.

MOVING ON...                  S is also for SNOOZE

I don't know if I will be forgiven for posting this one.  We were in Boise and my son's  cat, CODY, and MOTH (man of the house) were both taking a nap.  I was really thinking ahead here because I knew ABC Wednesday letter 'S' was coming up. So how could I resist?

FINALLY,      there is the lowly SCARLET PIMPERNEL

which I chose because it was one of the first wild flowers I learned to identify and because, when I was a teenager I loved the books about the Scarlet Pimpernel (Sir Percy Blakeney) by Baroness Orczy.  

It is many years since I read one but when I saw this lonely Scarlet Pimpernel growing in our back yard a week or so ago it reminded me immediately of:

                                            "They seek him here, they seek him there,
                                            Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.
                                            Is he in heaven or is he in hell?
                                            That demned, elusive Pimpernel."

I need to get a copy from the library and enjoy them again. It must 50 years since I read one.
The Scarlet Pimpernel
(Courtesy Wikkipedia)

Visit ABC Wednesday for more inspirational letter 'S'

Friday, May 20, 2011


A couple of days ago I showed you the kittens at the shelter and promised to show you some of the cats.  So here are three of them -- but don't go away yet because the best news is yet to come.

CAT #1 -- Gingersnap
A tuxie male

Cat #2 Tabitha
(A chocolate Tortie)
(a little blurry because she wouldn't look at the camera. She knew the flash was coming)

Cat #3 -- Fluffy --  shakes hands and gives high fives.
(Looks like a snowshoe but doesn't have the blue eyes)

These three cats have been in the shelter in the community room together for more than two months.  It's a big room with climbing furniture and toys and lots of comfy beds.

I have been planning to adopt a cat pretty soon, but I wanted --
a) A female.
b) A black one because people don't adopt black cats (Silly superstition).
c) It would have to be about a year old.

However, you know what they say about the best laid plans...!
So I adopted one of the three above.  
GUESS WHICH ONE...???...and why?

I have been visiting these three cats (and others) twice a week for several months.  While doing this, one of them really impressed me, but I kept thinking , no, he doesn't fulfill my requirements, I'll just keep waiting.

So I waited, and waited and meanwhile, that cat kept working on me!
So on Wednesday I decided to take the plunge, not because I couldn't wait any longer but because this cat was so sweet-tempered and affectionate that I thought it would be foolish to pass him up when I might not find another one with just the right temperament.  Lots of cats come and go at the shelter and most of them would make excellent pets, but I was looking for something special.  It's hard to say what exactly. I was looking for some kind of connection and especially one that would look right in my eyes, showing that he was responsive to humans rather than just other cats. But I have only seen about five cats all year that have this sweet, compliant temperament and we have 50 or more cats there at any one time.



He really isn't scruffy but 'Fluffy' is such an unimaginative name and it was my husband with his typical British humor who suggested 'Scruffy'. He felt it suited the cat's masculinity better!
We have had 'Scruffy' three days now and he is the most affectionate -- without being demanding -- cat that I  have ever had.

More about Scruffy later, as some of you might be bored with cats.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

R IS FOR .....

When I was visiting my youngest son recently, everyone went out to the store and left me napping on the couch.  I had been dozing about 20 minutes when I heard, BEEP BEEP BEEP --  not too unusual in my high tech technological son's house.  Something is always beeping.  But then a fairly loud noise followed. It sounded like an engine or a dishwasher or something.  I decided to ignore it, -- for a while -- finally I decided I had better get up and take a look.  This is what I saw:

A bomb ??!!


It was Rumba the Robot doing her daily duties.  She chugs across the floor spinning, vacuuming and polishing as she goes until she bumps into something.  Then she just turns around and goes in another direction.  She did this for about an hour and when everyone came home, behold the floor was clean!
Ah, these modern times!

Of which we have several enjoying our back yard.

I can't get that old song out of my mind (must have been during the war years that it was popular):

Run rabbit, run rabbit, run, run.
Here comes the farmer with his gun, gun, gun.
He'll get by without his rabbit pie,
So...run rabbit, run rabbit, run, run, run.

If you remember this old song, you're at least as old as me!

Finally... R is for 'RIP'...
my beautiful dog who lived with me at Flamborough during the fifties and then with my parents until he died of old age.

What a fun dog he was!
If you would like to see more entries for the letter 'R' visit ABC WEDNESDAY
by clicking HERE

Monday, May 16, 2011

Fixing Things

I have decided that I am quite good at fixing things.  I recently did a small painting of a sea view through an open window.  The first one I didn't like because it showed too many pencil lines (#1). Then I tried to fix it with water color. I didn't like that either (#2).  Finally I took a wet Kleenex and carefully wiped off the water color.  It was still blue underneath, so I took another Prisma color pencil and very carefully went over the blue and then smoothed the pencil lines into one another with my finger (#3). What do you think?  Any improvement?




Still room for improvement in one or two spots, I think, but I think also I will leave well enough alone.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Yeah!  It's kitten season!  And boy were we busy yesterday.  We have about seven kittens altogether.  Three black, two tabby and white and two tiny grey ones.  The pink collar means it is a girl.  Jack, who looks exactly like her but is far more energetic, was adopted yesterday.  This one, (no name as yet) is sweet and cuddly, if a tiny bit shy.

Sorry this is blurry, but I was trying to hold its brother, (or sister) back in the cage with one hand while I took this picture with the other hand.  Finally I had to close the cage door before I lost one of them.
They are both too young to be adopted, but are being taken home to be fostered until they are old enough to find a permanent home.  Very lively and playful.

 This one has a sister in the other half of the condo.  Both females .  They were sleeping alone when I took this photo and I missed a cute shot of them both sitting up perkily side by side like twins.

This one looks a bit scrawny in this photo, but she will soon fatten up.  Kittens have access to food at all times including luscious wet food of "stinky goodness", as I have seen described on other blogs! We also have to check the tightness of their collars because kittens grow and collars don't.

Now don't get carried away with the cuteness of kittens, because we have  a good number of fully grown cats, who are just as sweet and cuddly.  I'll show some of those tomorrow.


God created cats because He knew we needed something to purr at us once in a while.

Friday, May 13, 2011


This a painting based on one I saw in my doctor's office recently.  I really liked the original but almost messed up my copy.  Couldn't get the blue sky soft and smooth enough:

I suppose I ought to try again, but I'm not much on do overs.

Went yesterday for a yearly check-up with my neurologist who after a number of tests last year, diagnosed me with neuropathy.  I thought this would be a quick O. K. thing, but I was wrong!  Now he has diagnosed what I thought was vertigo as vestibular neuropathy -- has to do with the eyes and brain.  So now I have to go through more tests -- another MRI of the brain (Yes, I need that!) a BAER test and an ENG, all to do with hearing, I think, although I have exceptionally good hearing.  I suspect he's looking for evidence of a brain tumor and won't tell me.  This is the 2nd MRI I've had in 18 months.  My other neuropathy(in the legs and feet) seems to be progressing.  He stuck me with a pin from my feet to my knees, until I could feel it.  I couldn't feel it until it got to my knees.
All this happened after I have just had three pain free days from my fibromyalgia, (without any medication) and I was thinking I was getting to be normal again.  (Whatever normal is.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011



Well that is a pretty obvious choice, but I chose this as one of my "Q"s because she is dressed in yellow -- for the wedding of course.  I was quite surprised because I don't think I have ever seen her dressed in yellow before.
Queen Elizabeth Ii
(The Huffington Post  Dean Praetorius  First Posted: 04/29/11 08:47 AM ET Updated: 04/29/11 08:47 AM )

I could have saved this post for "y", but "y" is easier to do than "q".  She certainly added a splash of color to a very splashy affair.  I'm happy enough with the royal family, and I would not agree to do away with them.  They do add to the charm of England (except during those gossipy papparazzi affairs), so although I don't go overboard  I'm truly happy for William and Catherine ( I like to say her full name because it does make them sound so royal) and I pray for happy days ahead for all of 

Next is....                A   QUINQIREME

I had no idea what one of these was 'tho I have sung about them many, many times.  Do you UK friends remember when we used to have Singing Classes at least once a week in High School?  They don't do that over here. (May be they used to).  But that was where I first heard the word "quinquireme", and the picture above is the first one I ever saw. I looked it up on Google. So I have learned something new today.  The song we used to sing all the time, and we girls loved it, was the poem "Cargoes" by John Masefield:


by John Masefield

Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,

Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.

Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,

Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,

With a cargo of diamonds,

Emeralds, amythysts,
Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.

Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Road-rails, pig-lead,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.

How we loved to spit out the words of the last stanza - encouraged by the teacher, to show the contrast  to the other verses.  Maybe she should have also taught us what a quinquireme was.

And last but not least we have.....QUACKERS!!!

This photo was taken by my friend Brenda, a few weeks ago. It is rather strange because the nearest water is about a mile away, but Mom Quacker led her 12 little quackers across the deck and down the steps, each little duckling struggling down each riser, then waddling across the lawn and out through the fence to who knows where.  I read somewhere that ducks have so  many ducklings because so few of them survive.  Sad!  So glad Brenda had her camera ready for this  photo.

Monday, May 9, 2011


I expect for most of you this is no big deal.    But I have been married for almost 53 years and never in my whole life owned one.  
Well I've said many time on this blog that I am not domesticated and not a cook, so I've never seen the need for one.  But while we were up visiting my son in Boise, I watched him make a fruit drink for breakfast every day, from either fresh fruit or frozen fruit.  I tasted one of his and it was delicious.  So since I am required, for the sake of my insides, to up-grade my intake of fruit and vegetables, this seemed like a simple way to do it. 
So I bought a bag of frozen fresh fruit which had grapes, strawberries, pineapple, melon and peaches in it. I put less than two cups full in the blender, threw in a small container of mandarin oranges because I wanted a little sweetness, and hey presto!

My delicious fruit drink. 
 It doesn't look like much in the photo but I assure you it was great.  I am not  much of a fruit eater.  Usually it is too tart for me and often gives me indigestion. But this is perfect.  I have tried adding blueberries and will experiment with other fruit too.

Incidentallly, I have lost 10lbs since I had my meds allergy episode, ( March 11th), and I haven't been trying.  Probably mostly because I am doing my physical therapy exercises daily, since I can't handle any over-the-counter pain pills.  I have always said I hate exercise.  But let me tell you, pain is a great motivator!

Thursday, May 5, 2011


When we got home from our long weekend in Boise, we found that our amaryllis had produced two good-sized blooms.

This is always a nice bonus because the original bulb came from an indoor plant we received for Christmas a good number of years ago.  When it had bloomed indoors, we put it outdoors just in case it might bloom again, and it has, every spring for a good many years.  The blooms are 7 or 8 inches across.

We also found our orchid cactus had begun to bloom.  This first flower is not too large.  Usually they are as large as the amaryllis.

There will be quite a few more of these if the plant produces as well as it usually does.  But each bloom on this cactus lasts only one day.  Last year I think we had about 25 blooms.

Now to see if my plumeria will bloom this year.  It usually does very well and has a wonderful perfume, but last year we didn't have a single flower because our summer was so cool and overcast. It's looking pretty healthy so if we get our normal amount of sunshine and warmth it will probably do well.


I finally got around to doing a painting I have wanted to do for a while.  I found the photo on Codlins and Cream's blog and I just like its simplicity.

I just call it 
"The Gate"

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

P is For....

...P is for 

Here we are in Boise eating at The Red Feather.  I ordered trout.  Everyone knew I was on the lookout for a good 'P' photo, so when I asked the waiter what this was and he answered, "Purple Peruvian Potato", everyone shouted "Perfect!!"  And it was.  The trout was excellent, without a single bone.  I have no idea what the green stuff was, but it was good too.

My first choice was going to be PIRATE, but this was too good an opportunity to miss.   I have a nice photo of a Pirate, which Blogger just refuses to post vertically.  I've tried everything I know, (which I suppose isn't much), but  you'll have to bend sideways to see it...

HA!  I fooled Google!

I rotated the original picture  until it was wrong.. and it came out right!  So you can all sit up straight again and admire the Pirates Cove, which photo my son took when they were in the Bahamas.

Then I added a photo which you may have seen before if you visit my blog very often.  I am repeating it here because I think it is really unique.

A white peacock which maybe seen at the Leo Carrillo Ranch in Carlsbad.

Finally I have to mention THE PRESIDENT.

I have to admit in all honesty, I am not a great fan of Barak Obama, but after this past weekend I must give credit where credit is due.  I know there are others who also deserve the acclaim, but there were plenty of opportunities in this investigation and event for him to have got it wrong.  But he didn't, and for that I am thankful.

Incidentally, this is obviously a photo taken from the TV.  I am a great believer in taking photos of the TV  in monumental moments.  When I was a girl of 16 I took a photo of Queen Elizabeth at her moment of coronation in 1953. I took that photo with a Box Brownie and black and white film.

For more ABC Wednesday photos click on the highlighted name.