Tuesday, May 29, 2012



These turtles were given to us after one of our many trips to Chuuk in Micronesia.  Over the past 28 years we, (mainly my husband, though I have been several times) have visited a number of islands in FSM where we have been invited by the islanders to conduct classes for the pastors of the many small churches on these islands and atolls.  These are true pacific, coral islands where the amenities are minimal, the islands are small and opportunities to improve living conditions are few and far between.  Electricity and water are unreliable and heat and humidity are unrelenting.  BUT the people are wonderful!...happy, kind and generous.  For centuries they have survived on subsistence living, eating only what grows on the islands and from the fish  in the ocean that surrounds them.

The object of the classes was to help the island pastors, who have limited education, learn more about the Bible, how to preach and how to be a good pastor to their people.  My part was to conduct seminars for the school teachers on how to be effective teachers.

So among the many other keepsakes that we have that are hand made on the islands, we have this Trio of Turtles, to remind us of our happy times on Chuuk, Fefen and Pohnpei.  

Our work there is not over yet as Barry still has another trip planned in August.

As I was thinking through this blog last night I have to say that if I had been given two lives, I would gladly have spent one of them among these people  living, working and teaching, in spite of the humidity and inconveniences.




You probably remember these:

Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers.

Round the Rugged Rock the Ragged Rascal Ran

She Sells Sea Shells on the Sea Shore

Now here's one I created for the Cockneys of London who have trouble getting their 'H's in the right places...

Horrible Harold ate his other orange hurriedly outside his happy Aunt Annas's home.

See you next week on ABC Wednesday with the letter 'U'
Click here to see more T's for this week. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012


So this week the topic for our Twinchies  is 'numbers'.  Since my sister and niece are staying with us for a couple of days, I have had this ready for more than a week and since I am going to see my son next weekend I even have next week's  ready!  Now isn't that being prepared?

So my number for this week is the 'unknown number'   )(  the algebraic form of  x , or X

I didn't intend this, but it looks a bit like a Maori mask, I think.

A piece of good news is that I just had another eye appointment and they tell me I can have that cataract removed!  Yay!!  It will happen about mid July and I can't wait.

Now I'm going to have a couple of fun days sight-seeing around town with family.  See you on ABC Wednesday.

If you would like to see more Twinchies or Inchies please click HERE

Saturday, May 26, 2012


I just received an e mail from someone who lives in Flamborough.  First, he lives in Anerley Cottage, which is named after the book I re-wrote, first written by R.D. Blackmore. (See my side-bar for details). Then he asked  if he could use my sketch of Flamborough Lighthouse.

I did this a couple of years ago and I guess it is a pretty good likeness.

Apparently there is a plan unfolding to build a wind turbine to generate wind power on Flamborough Head. Now I realize there is a great need for power in our world today, but to build a monstrosity like this in a place so unique, pristine  and as beautiful as Flamborough Head is unthinkable!  It would be like building a power plant by Yosemite Falls.  

Thankfully there are people who are spear-heading opposition to prevent this from happening.  The wind turbine to be built is almost 30 feet higher than the lighthouse. Apparently those opposed would like to use my sketch in a brochure to show by comparison just how much bigger than the lighthouse the turbine will be.

I am honored that I have been asked.  I don't do anything commercially with my art, so this will be a first for me.  Anything I can do to keep Flamborough Head in its beautiful, unspoiled condition is a number one priority for me and very close to my heart.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

S IS FOR....


You can see him here in the outline of the mountains on Kauai.  Let's just let him sleep shall we?  He often gets wet with all the rain that falls up there and some people hike right up to him, but not me.  I like my giants left in peace.

S is also for SISTER

She will go with us when next we visit the Sleeping Giant, but that's quite few months away yet.  Some people think we look very much alike, but I'm not sure.This is the best picture of me in a side view with which to compare.

S is also for SCRUFFY
Of course it is, you didn't think I would let an opportunity like this pass without posting him on here, did you?

He is my pride and joy!  Such a sweet cat!

For more presentations of the letter  'S' visit ABC Wednesday by clicking on this LINK

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Wow!  Three posts in two days!  That's really breaking a record for me.  But this is just a short one.

The topic for TWINCHIES this week is LABYRINTH
And here is my contribution:

A Twinchie is a drawing or piece of handcraft done in two inches square.  In actual fact it is supposed to be an INCHIE done on one inch square, but I got a special dispensation to do mine on two inches :)

To see more INCHIES and TWINCHIES please visit this LINK


Sentor Senex asked in the comments from yesterday's blog, if I could post a close up of the FORTNIGHT LILY.  Having finally (after at least 6 months of trying other programs) found a simple way to download photos from my camera to my laptop, I am happy to oblige, if only to test my new method!
Here they are just growing randomly as they are throughout all the bare spots in our back yard.  For many patches, I just gathered the ripe seed pods and threw the seeds into the area, not knowing if they would take or not.  Well they did and we have some bright patches of 'white butterflies' all around the yard.

Basically white, with a center of three smaller petals (sepals? I don't think so)  of a very delicate purple, with a splash of yellow underneath.  These flowers are so easy to grow but I love their delicate color and the overall  abandonness  (blogger says that is not a word, but you know what I mean) with which they sprinkle our yard.  Our back yard is in the shape of a 'C' -- narrow and semi-circular.  That means we have quite a large area that has to have many shrubs and flowers to cover -- no room for a lawn, so we have a deck instead.

Incidentally, the Fortnight Lily derives its name from the fact that it blooms every fortnight (2 weeks) throughout the long summer.  They just have to be watered.

So there's your lesson on Fortnight Lilies for today and just for good measure take a look at our STAR JASMINE which also covers a fair amount of garden.  

This too is a white flower which could get lost among the Fortnight Lilies but it makes its presence thoroughly known as soon as you step on to the patio.  It has a very strong fragrance and can't be missed.  It blooms through May and June, depending on the weather.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


The patio is the focal point of our back yard.  We have several bird feeders and a fountain at one side and a small waterfall at the back.  We always have some pots of flowers blooming most of the year because of our mild climate. Most of them are geraniums, begonias and impatiens.  
These are a variant on the regular geraniums and bloomed profusely most of the winter.

These waxy looking begonias with dark red leaves also bloomed well and are still going strong.

There are two hibiscus bushes and a bunch of fortnight lilies that never seem to stop blooming.

This bougainvillea is one of two that have been heavy with blossoms for months.

But this royal robe potato vine has never stopped blooming for more than a year now.  It spreads out over the bird feeders and the fountain, and makes a fine shelter for the birds as they wait their turn at the feeder.  We have had two cool summers and a mild winter up until now and I guess that must have been what the flowers and shrubs like.

These two Amaryllis blooms have surprised us for  the past two summers.  It was an indoor plant that we were given for Christmas a few years ago and when it stopped blooming we just planted it rather haphazardly not far away from the waterfall.  Now for the last couple of years we've suddenly seen these large showy and very beautiful flowers suddenly pop open.

This one is 7 inches across and the one behind it is just about as big.  We don't profess to be great gardeners and usually do what is barely needed.  But Barry uses Miracle Grow to fertilize the plants and that's about it, other than keeping them watered.  So we are truly blessed to enjoy all the benefits.  It is only this week that the weather has been warm enough (in our opinion) to sit out there on the patio.  It has to be 72 degrees before I will sit outside, which may seem picky to some but we have become acclimatized to (and spoiled by) our semi-tropical climate.

Here's somebody else who has become spoiled. You may have to look twice at this photo before you see the female oriole perching on the plastic dish.  We have at least one family that visits us every year.  They come in the middle of April and leave again in the middle of August.  So far they have gone through half a squeeze bottle of grape jelly already!

I cropped this photo so that you can see the grape jelly in his beak, so it is a bit out of focus.  This is the male -- more brightly colored than his wife and the juvenile.  You can see the black patch under his chin.

Here he is feasting himself again. He doesn't stay around very long, but comes back frequently.  I have also seen the female taking a bath in the trickling water of the waterfall. They are hard to photograph because they don't stay still very long.  In actual fact, the house finches and sparrows also enjoy the grape jelly, so we can't blame all the greed on the orioles.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012



These beautiful flowers are the mainstay of our beautiful Carlsbad (California) Flower Fields. Every spring for a couple of months the flower fields are in full bloom.  In fact they have just ended their 2012 season.  

These flowers are part of the buttercup family.  Take a look to compare.  
Here is the buttercup, a common, but beautiful wild flower from which the ranunculus are derived.

The Flower Fields (registered trade mark) are situated on 50 acres on a hillside that stretches down to the Pacific Ocean. In the spring it is an ocean of color which brings people from miles away. Of course the fact that Legoland and beautiful beaches are only a couple of minutes away helps! But it's well worth the time to view from close-up. I really liked the fact that they incorporate an American flag in flowers in their display.

The Flower Fields had their roots in the 1920's and were developed over the years by a Mr. Gage who brought Ranunculus seeds to the area and began growing them. He started a business called “Luther Gage Giant Tecolote Ranunculus bulbs”. The name “Tecolote” came from the owls that nested on his property. Today it is a major attraction in our little town on the Southern California Coast -- a very special place.


R  is for Rug design

I haven't been posting much art recently even though I have been doing it.  Some I am saving for later posts  but I have also been giving my eyes a  bit of a rest -- that is, until last week when I finally just HAD to do some.  I came across this design in a catalog on a Rug.  I loved it and had to reproduce it.  Fortunately we are at the letter R, and 'Rug Design' fit the bill.  It is ATC size, that is 3 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches.

For more entries to ABC Wednesday please follow this LINK and enjoy all of those who participate every week in this our ninth round of the alphabet.  Thank you Mrs. Nesbitt!

Monday, May 14, 2012



Here he is, my beautiful Welsh dragon.   

Not a difficult subject for me this week since we have several Welsh flags in the house, although I have never tried to draw one before.  My husband  is of Welsh ancestry, and his parents lived in Llandudno for the last twenty years of their life.  So we have visited there many times and love North Wales especially.  Our sons have Welsh Christian names and are quite proud of their Welsh heritage, each displaying a large Welsh flag in their respective offices.

To see more Inchies or Twinchies click HERE

Thursday, May 10, 2012


For those of you who had problems with number 9.  Querulous has a note of complaint or peevishness to it, which quiver or quaver do not.
Sorry, can't shrug off the teacher mode.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Q is for....

 is for…..
Quiz !
Since we have all been racking our brains for ‘Q’ words this week, how about a quiz with answers that begin with Q?   Not too hard, but not too easy either.  How many can you get right?

          1.  If you are really hot and thirsty, you might take a good_________of lemonade.

          2.  “Jack be nimble, Jack be ________.”

          3.  A female breeding cat is called a _________
          4.  Those young men who attend university in British novels (and real life) might  take a quick turn around the __________. (Extra credit if you can give its full name).
          5.  Twenty-four sheets of paper is known as a

 _________. (This is a good scrabble word!)

          6.  An archer keeps his arrows in a ___________.

          7.  Whether to put the period before or after parentheses keeps me in a ________. (So I may do 

either, depending on my mood.  It is different in the
 UK from the US.)

          8.  Here’s a good British word for a lineup___________.

          9.  A frail, feeble or complaining person may speak in a ___________ voice.

          10.  Elvis Presley can be recognized by this 1950’s hairstyle.

1.Quaff    2.Quick    3.Queen    4.Quad or quadrangle    5.Quire    6.Quiver    7.Quandary    8.Queue    9.Querulous    10.Quiff

This is my entry for Mrs. Nesbitt's project ABC WEDNESDAY. She and her team have kept this alive for 9 rounds of the alphabet.  Join us for some fun. Click on the link in the line above to see more QUIRKY entries.             

Sunday, May 6, 2012


TWINCHIES --   this week our subject is GRANDFATHER. 

This was quite a challenge for me as I didn't spend much time with either of my grandfathers.  One was in the British Army most of the time.  The other died when I was 7 years old and my main memories of him are listening to the 9:00 p.m. news on the radio. We children had to be as quiet as a mouse while he listened. It was during World War II. Sadly he didn't live to see the end of the war.  So the main images of a grandfather for me are a beard, twirly mustaches, a pipe, and braces or suspenders.  This grandfather also did a little farming and he was a church warden in the local Church of England. This was a major part of his life and he never missed church on Sunday morning.

To see more (TW)inchies and their interpretation of 'Grandfather' please visit INCHIES ON MONDAY by clicking on this link.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

P IS FOR.....

Sorry about this, for those who have heard me rattle on about Flamborough, but blame Meanqueen who posted a whole host of fantastic photos of Flamborough on her blog this weekend and how could I resist?

There are 76 in the photo above.

There are 15 in the photo above.  All of them are dated from 1903 through 1910.

These four are oilettes, a kind of card done by artists that were popular in the twenties and thirties and maybe some before.  This kind of picture post card is still very collectible today.  Some of the more popular artists have dozens of scenes from all over the UK.  I really like this kind because of my interest in art.

But these are really the staple of my collections, the reality photographs.     Top left is actually one that my father took and marketed.  It can still be found on eBay today.  You can see the golf course on it and that's where we lived.  My father was the manager of the golf club in the fifties.  That was after he lost his business, the Yorkshire Photographic Company. I wonder how many golf balls were lost over the cliffs.       The card on the right is another view.  If you follow the edge of the cliff from right to left you should be able to see a faint reddish dot.  That's where our house was.  I absolutely LOVED living there!       The bottom left is a recent post card of a painting of the headland done by a local artist.  It is meticulously done.  I have  print #4  taken from the original painting and it is up on the wall in the den of my house. Yes, we have puffins there and two lighthouses --  one from the 16th century and one from the 19th.  The newer one is a working lighthouse.  To see more of this do visit meanqueen's blog.  She has some good shots of the inside.  

The cliffs are 400 foot high in places and although they are known to many as the Flamborough cliffs, they are actually Bempton Cliffs, named for a small village about a mile away from Flamborough.  If you walked directly away from the cliffs going south (or left in the picture), you would come to the house in Flamborough village where we also lived.  This whole area is a Heritage Coastline and is protected.  The cliffs are famous for the multitude of sea birds.         The top right card is actually taken in Bridlington in 1909 at a memorial march to the Sailor's Chapel for three Flamborough brothers lost in a tragic fishing boat accident in dangerous seas.       The bottom right photo is very old also, but it is one of my favorites because it is taken inside the enormous cave at the North Landing, known as Robin Lythe's Hole.  It is about 60 foot high and is entered from the beach area at low tide and comes out from under the cliffs on the seaward side of the bay.

If you look at my side bar you will see that I have written a book "The Tale of Robin Lythe."  It was actually first written by R.D. Blackmore of "Lorna Doone" fame.  His book is called "Mary Anerley" and is the tale of a swash buckling pirate who was  found washed up as a baby on the beach at North Landing.  I greatly condensed Blackmore's book and tried to update it without it losing its literary value. Blackmore was absolutely accurate in all of his lengthy descriptions of Flamborough  and life in the village in the 1800's.  My purpose was to retain the customs and culture of this wonderfully unique fishing village.

Well, got that off my chest for another year -- maybe!  This is my post for ABC Wednesday, the popular project started by Mrs. Nesbitt, who knows all about Flamborough and frequently says "hi" for me as she and her husband sail on by on their motorbike.  Please visit this page and see the amazing topics participants produce.