Saturday, July 30, 2011


The first time I saw these flowers was on the Island of Catalina off the coast of Los Angeles.  I was so disappointed when I discovered their name -- the Potato Vine.  Such a beautiful flower with such a common name. Over the years we have planted three of these bushes in our back yard. I love this picture of a spray from this vine taken this week.

When I finally get back to painting, this is one picture  I want to paint. The one below would also make a good painting subject.  I think I once decided I wanted to rename this flower Midnight Star.  The purple is the midnight and it has a yellow star in the center.

Last year we had so little sun that my plumeria didn't bloom at all.  This is the beautiful, sweet smelling flower from Hawaii that is often used for the leis with which the islanders honor their guests.  In past years my plant has produced many blooms considering its size, so I have been watching it very anxiously.  It looks like we're certainly going to get some flowers this year.  It usually blooms  in August.  This branch is the furthest ahead so far and I do see some more buds beginning to form. 

About a month ago I complained on this blog about the  ground squirrels  that had completely denuded one of my hibiscus bushes.  Well we got rid of the squirrels ( please don't ask how!) and now the bushes are a mass of buds and quite a few flowers. The color is called Chinese pink, I think.


In the mean time we had to take down a very large Yucca tree.  The stump still has to be removed.  It is four or five feet high and while we have been debating who will do it and how, the Yucca decided to have a say in the matter......
There must be at least eight new shoots springing up.  Haven't decided what to do with them yet.

Below is the latest addition to our yard.  It is called the Fire Bush, at least that's what they said at the nursery, but the young man who served us didn't seem too sure.  But it is supposed to be drought resistant so we put it on the north side of the house which gets the most sun. We don't have sprinklers on that side of the house and it isn't really finished off too well.  We...well I... forget to water over there. There are no windows on that side of the house, so it's easy to forget.  I'm in charge of the watering when MOTH is away of course, and the last time he was away I forgot about the new bouganvillea he had planted there.  So the Fire Bush   has replaced the bouganvillea.  MOTH has just returned from another trip and I'm happy to say the Fire Bush is thriving.

The Lily below is actually not in our back yard.  It was the sole flower in a strip mall that is suffering somewhat from the economy.  There are many empty stores and the the flowers and plants that should be thriving to make the area attractive are looking uncared for.  But in the middle of a row of dreary looking plants and bushes I saw this beautiful Lily.  The color has reproduced quite well.  I often find that reds don't come up with the true color on my computer.  This one might still need a shade more brown to tinge it, but  I think it is near enough.

The green back of the fly helps the contrast !

Have a great weekend !
 Remember God is good, all the time and all the time God is good that's why we  can trust Him.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Shows you how good my memory is!  I never did see BB on TV and my vague memories of him during the late 40's early 50's have him pegged as a loveable rascal.  Rather like a jolly Santa Claus school boy who always came out OK in the end.  Think I may have got him mixed up with Just William another British schoolboy character.

I checked some more and this is what I found out:


Billy Bunter fans tuck in to the exploits of comic schoolboy 100 years on


"Enthusiasts devoted to the most prolific author in the world will be celebrating this weekend when Billy Bunter, his most famous creation, turns 100. But few outside of the Bunter fan club will have heard of Charles Hamilton.... He created Bunter, the archetypal “Fat Owl of the Remove” forMagnet magazine under the name Frank Richards. Today Billy Bunter would probably be classed as clinically obese rather than fat and his classmates would find themselves in trouble for mocking him. Despite his large bottom, self-centred behaviour, undisguised greed and the postal order that never arrives, Bunter has become such a favourite that he has his own fan club known as the Friars, after Greyfriars School.... The bespectacled William George Bunter, aged about 15, was the bane of generations of overweight schoolboys who were inevitably nicknamed Bunter....
Mr Peter McCall said: “Of the seven deadly sins he is the living embodiment of pride, envy, avarice, greed, sloth, wrath and gluttony. His name has endured and is used to describe obesity by people who might have no idea about who he was. Bunter’s selfish, self-centeredness is a prominent feature throughout the Greyfriars saga. His needs are paramount and any chap not concerned with them alone is a selfish rotter.
“He is deluded and has a firm belief in his own superiority, which is reinforced when he speaks with foreigners.”
Bunter was also a racist, using taunts that are unsuitable for a family newspaper. Mr McCall said: “Bunter is a lazy coward who thieves, blackmails, has an aversion to washing, is poor at games and will do anything for his own ends. Bizarrely the only thing he is really good at is ventriloquism."

Thank you Mr. Bruxelles and the Sunday Times of the UK

I agree with all you who commented who do not like Billy Bunter, I would not have liked him either if I'd understood what he was all about. Yuck! I wonder what anybody liked about him.
See you next week at ABC WEDNESDAY

SKIP THIS next section if my health is not  exactly your favorite topic.

Since my memory isn't so good, this might be a good time to update you who visit me regularly on the results of all my testing.  Went to the neurologist last week, a month after my last testing, which was quite extensive but not too scary. Doctor had been on a month's vacation.

His first word were, "Well, you're abnormal!"  Didn't need him to tell me that!!!  It was a joke but it was true.
The good news is,

1.I don't have Alzheimers.
 2. I haven't had any mini-strokes.
3.  I don't have a brain tumor.
4.  And he doesn't think my vertigo problem has to do with the crystals in the vestibula canal.

     This last comment came as a surprise since I have been going for physical therapy twice a week for 6 weeks to be thrown around (not quite literally) in order to dislodge what the therapists and I assumed  were crystals that had somehow become stuck  in the canal.  These are the ones that are responsible for stablizing 'dizziness'.  The dizziness cleared up two weeks ago all by itself.
He assured me there is something happening but he doesn't quite know what because he thinks it is an inner ear problem and that is not his specialty.

So the bottom line is, if it comes back or it gets worse, I am to return to him. I return for a check up in 6 months anyway.  And if there is no improvement in December he is going to hand me over to an otoneurologist -- a specialist (which my insurance doesn't cover!) who deals with inner ear problems.  It's going to have to be really bad before I do that!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011



He was a hugely popular comic strip character in England during the thirties and forties.If you can remember him you are giving away your age.  The story lines were somewhat politically incorrect for our day, as I recall, (not too clearly I have to say.)  Lots of bullying and unkindness, but that was it in those days.  We used to read him in the comic KNOCKOUT.  We'd be waiting at the gate for the mailman  (postman) on Thursdays in the early fifties, to bring us our comics. Other comics were Beano and Dandy.  After them came Eagle and Girl -- a little more sedate, but highly prized by us.

This is what Wikipedia says :

"Charles Hamilton invented the character for an unpublished story in the late 1890s. He claimed Bunter was derived from three persons: a corpulent editor, a short-sighted relative, and another relative who was perpetually trying to raise a loan on the strength of the anticipated arrival of a cheque. The name Bunter was in common use at the time, due to the popularity of a patent medicine known as Bunter's Nervine Tonic. It also meant a low vulgar woman."   (Thanks Wikipedia!)

Later, Billy Bunter became a character in books, on stage and in movies.

Well I certainly learned something today, -- hope you did.  
I'm sure I'll learn more when I have visited the other ABC WEDNESDAY posts for the letter B
 This is one of the best memes in Blogdom!  Click on the Link above or the Logo in the side bar.

Thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt and her trusty team of co-workers.

APPENDIX added Wednesday.  Please see my next post to clarify just who BB was and what he was like -- enlightening.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Taking a Walk Carlsbad Style

I love visiting the blogs of some of my British friends who take us on walks around their neighborhoods.  Usually there are scenes of country cottages, fields, grassy tracks, cows, sheep and ponies, as well as verges of wild flowers all appropriately named. I thought this was something I would like to do for those who visit my blog, but our landscape is so different.  

So last week when Moth and I decided to go for a walk, I grabbed my camera and we hopped in the car-- yes, the car, to go for a walk.  Otherwise we tramp the sidewalks of our neighborhood, which I have to say is quite nice but a typical area of what we call tract homes.

Our walks usually take place at the beach front or at the harbor. If you are sweltering in triple digit heat or melting under pouring rain and/or humidity, I apologize in advance.  Our typical 'normal' San Diego weather is 76 at the beach, getting hotter by degrees as you travel inland.

Once we're down at the ocean front,  the next item is to find a parking spot. Cars and people are everywhere. Moth usually ends up dropping me off and parking a couple of blocks away.  His walk to find me is considered part of his exercise.

But once we're together again the views are worth the effort.  If you're a beach person, which we're not, you can start drooling now.

The beach is endless.  From where we start walking there is a good 25 miles of beautiful beach coast line. Double click on the photo above and way off in the distance you can see La Jolla which is just this side of San Diego. We don't walk on the beach.  Too hard on the knees and too many bodies.  

This is the first and most popular way down to Tamarack Beach.and here Moth and I part company once again. Moth goes down the hill and I stay up top.

The City of Carlsbad has worked very hard to make this area attractive.  In the picture below  you can see that there are two levels for walking.  The railings at the top are interspersed with benches as stopping places.  Ideal for me and I can hang on to the railings if I get dizzy. Down below they have built a special  walk way. This is a favorite for most people.  Both walks, top and bottom are at least a mile long.  But if you choose the bottom walk way, be warned, the only way out is up a lot of steps (set at intervals along the path) or turn around and go back the way you came. It didn't look very busy when these photos were taken, but by this far along the walkways people have begun to spread out.

I measure my progress by the numbers on the life guard stations.  I'm not getting very far yet -- two to three life guards and back again is definitely my limit.  20 minutes probably.  Meanwhile Moth walks about 45 minutes to an hour along with his CD's -- courses from "The Teaching Company".  I sit on a bench and wait at the place where we started and people watch -- or more aptly, dog-watch.  This area abounds with dog walkers (baggies and bins provided)  moms with kids in strollers, serious walkers and runners as well as health conscious couples. No skate boarders or in-line skating.

But at the end of all our exertions we visit the surf shop where we started and....

...Harbor Fish and Chips.  All that hard walking lost forever!

But that was last Monday.  We don't always end up with fish and chips --truly we don't!

Monday, July 18, 2011

A IS FOR......

A IS FOR......


We had visitors last week.  Actually, Scruffy had visitors last week.  My son and his family came to see this new member of our household.  Fortunately they are great cat lovers.  Scruffy was obligingly friendly, though being picked up is not his favorite occupation.  He loves to sit beside  his friends and on their laps.  Anyway he was given the Good  Cat-keeping Seal of APPROVAL

A is also for Agapanthus

All over our beautiful town of Carlsbad right now there are agapanthus  (or agapantha. No, I think agapanthus is still the plural-  how much Latin can I be expected to remember?) blooming on just about every street and street corner.  First come the Jacaranda trees in May and June and then come the Agapanthus

This is a great shot of one getting ready to bloom-- thanks to Wikipedia

I photographed these today and the truth is I almost missed the best ones because I got a late start on this post.  The blooms that are all over town are really almost past their best, but what a wonderful show they have put on.
They are also known as the African Lily or Lily of the Nile.

We are now just beginning the ninth round and fourth year of   ABC WEDNESDAY.  Why not join us?
Click on the link to find how many of us jumping in to this fun project.
Our sincere thanks to Denise Nesbitt and her trusty team
who host this weekly Activity.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I imagine these Z's have all been done before, but I'm not about to quit at this point. So here they are.

Z IS FOR ...
MOTH (the Man of the House) caught napping along with Cody, our son's cat when we were in Boise recently.

How did we ever live without them? -- but now they've almost been replaced with velcro!

(according to WIKIPEDIA)
A zigzag is a pattern made up of small corners at variable angles, though constant within the zigzag, tracing a path between two parallel lines; it can be described as both jagged and fairly regular. Traditionally a "zig" points in the left direction (/) and a "zag" points right (\). 
{That's interesting. Didn't know that before}. 
Regular apeirogon zig-zag.png
Examples of zigzags

Lightning is often depicted with a zigzag design, with long downward strokes and short backward ones.
The trace of a triangle wave or a sawtooth wave is a zigzag.
Pinking shears are designed to cut cloth or paper with a zigzag edge, to lessen fraying.
Zigzags are a basic decorative pattern used on pottery, and are often seen in the cuts which separate pieces of ravioli pasta.
In sewing, a zigzag stitch is a machine stitch in a zigzag pattern.
Click HERE  for more 'Z's and then watch for next round NINE beginning soon!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Now that patio weather has arrived, Moth and I take our 3:00 p.m cup of tea outside and enjoy the pleasures of being retired.  Each afternoon a flock of 10 - 15 wrentits arrive to join us.  First stop for them is the waterfall where they all vie for a spot under the cool water or in a little water hollow.

Wrentits are quite tiny birds and have a relatively long tail.  They duck and splash and push one another out of the water. They soon look quite bedraggled!

Some times there are as many as five or six trying to find a spot in the water

The photos are not easy to take as the birds are so small and the dappled light and shade mixed with the birds' somewhat nondescript colors makes for good camouflage.

There are actually at least five of them in this shot.  Count tails and beaks. When they finish playing in the waterfall they move over to the Cape Honeysuckle and then on to the bouganvillia.
 After a few sips of nectar and maybe an insect or two, off they go to the next yard.
Birds are creatures of habit like most other animals and this little show is enacted for us every afternoon -- just as we re-enact out tea-sipping ceremony!

This is my latest art work.  It is of the Queen's Hotel in Prestwick, Scotland which was located on the sea front or Esplanade. My parents lived here in the 60's  by which time I was married and had moved to Canada. My father was the hotel manager . It has since been turned into a Nursing Home.  I have never been there, but to me it seemed a very bare and empty picture, so I added a couple of bushes and a sun umbrella to liven it up a little.

I'll be back!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Y is FOR...

Y is for Yucca Tree in full bloom -- being serenaded here by a house finch.  We have quite a number of Yucca trees in our back yard.  Although the bloom is large and a creamy white, it has no perfume except for what attracts flies. 

The white rose of YORKSHIRE
This is the emblem of the house of York which once vied with Lancashire whose emblem was the red rose, to gain the throne of England in the War of the Roses. I have a soft spot for Yorkshire,which was my home county for a good many years.


When our oldest son was still a toddler, he discovered that when he yawned he could make other people yawn.  It was a family joke for a few days.  A week or so later we had to make a bus trip in to the next town.  We climbed aboard and sat at the front of the bus.  He stood on the seat beside me looking back at the rest of the people on the bus enjoying the fun of a rare bus ride.  Every now and then I heard him chuckling, so I turned to him to see what was so funny.  He was amusing everyone on the bus by yawning at them -- and they were yawning back!

Visit ABC Wednesday to see more entertaining entries for the letter Y by clicking here.

Friday, July 1, 2011


I haven't lived here two months yet, but I sure know the way things work.

In the mornings I'm on patrol between the den and the kitchen.
Yes, I do have long legs and that means I can run pretty quickly even if I am eight years old.  We've got a lot of squirrels and rabbits I have to guard against.

I hide under one of the chairs  until I spot one.

There's one now!  He thinks I can't see him  behind that screen.

...well almost.

Now where'd he go?

Whew!  All that guarding wore me out.  Time for a nap in the cushions of the sofa.

Got to keep my strength up because every afternoon I have to go the office where I help my Dad 
work on his sermons.  

After all that hard work all day, I spend my evenings snuggled up with Mom while she reads or 
watches TV.

Maybe I'll bring you another update next month, so stay tuned.