Friday, August 30, 2013



Jacaranda Trees to be found everywhere during May and June

Ice plant, simply vibrant with color, growing densely and compactly along side freeways, around Legoland and around homes

  Peacocks -- forty of them at the Leo Carrillo Ranch

This might be a lantana, but I've only been noticing it lately so have to find out its name, but it blooms most of the summer to the great joy of the bees.

Bougainvillea, blooms for many months and sometimes during the winter.

The photo I really should show you is the one of our beautiful flower fields, full of varieties and colors of Ranuculus, but I just can't find it among all my photos, yet I know it is there.  Just the result of my bad filing system, which has been a 'learn as you go' process from when I first started with computers.

This is my submission for week's My Town Shoot-outs.  To see more photos of towns all over the world please click HERE

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


(For ABC WEDNESDAY please scroll down one post). 

For CREATIVE TUESDAY our prompt is September.

Phew!!!  I almost missed the deadline.  I'm the furthest west I think and for some reason I couldn't settle on what to draw.  I wanted to draw leaves, but I always draw leaves.  Since all my other ideas were too demanding and the days and hours were continuing to tick on by,  -- guess what?  -- I drew leaves.

I used water color, pencil, pen and Prisma color pencils.
I don't think I've finished with this piece yet.  I may add something more, but not for a while, I just have a lot of things going on right now. 

To see more interpretations of our theme please click 

G IS FOR....

G  IS FOR...


This is the time of year that we get our beautiful sunsets.  Actually it is a month early, but everything else seems to be a month early.  I know everyone loves a sunset, so I couldn't miss the chance for submitting this one.

And here is another G,  just for Good measure:

G is for GIMLET
A very handy little tool used for boring holes, usually in wood.  This one belonged to my husband's great uncle who was a survivor of World War I.

This is my entry for ABC WEDNESDAY, ROUND 13. Please click HERE to see the other Great and Glorious entries from participants from all over the world.

Friday, August 23, 2013




Let's hear it for our firemen, who put their lives on the line time after time! This is especially appropriate right now because of all the fires burning all over the west.

When we first moved into our old house (we've just moved, so now it is old) which is everything on the left half of this photo, we were disappointed to find that the vacant lot at the end of our circle where our boys played baseball, would eventually have a fire house built on it.  That was 40 years ago and yes, the fire station was built.  It wasn't long before we realized that they were really good neighbors.  They never put their sirens on at night if they were called out and there was a degree of security in having an alert body of trained men, including paramedics, just down the street -- even a crime deterrent.

Once in a while  they would stop outside our house where there was a fireplug.  I think it had to do with training new fire-fighters.  One day I caught them with their shiny new engine gleaming in the sunshine, and took this shot -- after asking permission  first, of course.

This is my contribution to PHOTO SHOOT FRIDAY.  Please visit other participants for more photos on this topic. They can be found HERE.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


It is a sort of velvety brown ...looks more greeny here but it is actually brown with some green shoots or leaves growing out of the top.

It measures about 5 inches across...

and is growing on this rather young bush which we have been faithfully watering.  The bush stands about  5-6 feet tall so far.  Although it only has two of these 'blooms', I'm sure it has much more growing to do in years to come.

We have no idea what it is, so anyone who can shed some light on it, we would really appreciate your help.

For more entries in ABC WEDNESDAY, please click HERE and see what others have posted for the letter F .

Friday, August 16, 2013


This is one of my favorite front yards in our seniors' park.  I love the two large palms, (they have a proper name but I can't remember what it is just now. I did say it was a senior's park!) It's not just the palms but also the gabled roofs and the shades.  Along with the paned glass windows it makes this home look quite quaint.  Our front yards are pretty small in this park but must be kept impeccably.  Being small is not a problem because most of us don't want the major hassle of gardening.

I'm participating this week because I was visiting Scriptor and this looks like a project I might be able to keep up with.

If you would like to see more of My Town Shoot-out, please click  HERE

The name of that palm is SAGO PALM. 
It only took me 24 hours to remember and then I had to be prompted by my husband

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


E is for ...
There are literally hundreds of varieties of EUCALYPTUS trees and sometimes it feels like they are all located in San Diego County.

We probably all know that the leaves of this tree are the food of choice for Koala Bears but that's not why they can be found around here.  They are native to Australia, where they are sometimes called gum trees -- not to be confused with chewing gum, but were imported here to San Diego County because many varieties grow extremely tall and straight trunks.  Some bright people thought that they would be ideal for making railroad ties.  Unfortunately they were wrong. When they dry out, they split and crack too easily to be used for that purpose.  Unfortunately too, they are full of oil and in our fire season they are a real danger.  I have actually seen them explode into hundred foot flaming torches.  Scary!  Even so, the oil is used in soap and candles and even ointments.  It can have a pungent menthol smell.

However there is one variety that to me is both intriguing and beautiful. The Rainbow Eucalyptus looks like this:

I've looked at a number of these on the web and they can't all be photo shopped -- can they?  Anyway I have never seen one as bright as this but the ones in our park are definitely multi-colored, only the colors are rather more attractively, a pastel shade.

The other thing I like about them is that they shed large strips of bark.  I probably wouldn't like that factor if they were in my yard because they do make quite a mess.  Even so the bark looks like it would be an interesting media to draw or paint on.  I haven't tried that yet.  Maybe you know someone who has.

When they have shed all their bark the trunks are a very pretty, smooth, pale yellowish pink.

Even since I was a child, I have had a very keen interest in trees, shrubs, flowers, birds and animals -- sorry not too much in reptiles and insects -- and now in my retirement and new home, I have the opportunity to spend more time following this interest. English literature is my field, but my English teachers always scorned Enid Blyton, (a very popular British children's writer) yet it was she who sparked my interest in nature through her book "Enid Blyton's Nature Lover's Diary". So since this is E week I guess I can include Enid Blyton as one of my E's.

Incidentally, I have written a full length children's adventure story, based on my beautiful village of Flamborough, and written in a style quite similar to Enid Blyton's. A major publisher held it for a full year before returning it to me personally, by of one of their editors. Their top man said it was too British, too much like Enid Blyton! I should have resubmitted it but by that time I was snowed under with teaching full time and two teenage boys. Now I figure the only thing that sells for children today is science fiction or fantasy, so there it languishes in one of my manuscript drawers. Sad!

This is my submission for ABC WEDNESDAY round 13, letter E.  ENTHUSIASTIC support for Mrs. Nesbitt and Roger Owen Green for their ENDURING work on this EXCELLENT and EDUCATIONAL project.  Please go visit the ABC Wednesday HERE to see all the other contributions.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Creative Tuesday -- Forest

Our theme this week , for which we have been actually given three weeks is FOREST.  I like having a couple of weeks to think about my interpretation before I actually come up with a picture.

So this is my Creative Tuesday submission for  FOREST.  Quite traditional of course, because that is how I am I guess.  The ant at the front was going to be the main figure in a forest of grass, but as you can see the picture evolved quite differently.

To see other participants' rendering of this topic please click HERE

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

D IS FOR ....


It would be bad enough to go to the dentist, but since we don't have dental insurance it is double the pain !

Just got back from a four hour stint at the dentists.  This is the second four hour appointment in the last month.  Today it was two root canals and prep for two crowns.  Prior to this it was prep and placement of two bridges.  My last long appointment included a quick visit from a dental surgeon because apparently I am a bleeder.  Now, before we can proceed any further I have to visit a specialist.  After that there will be a couple more visits.

It's a good thing we have almost sold the house or I would be without any teeth!  Did you know British people are known for their poor teeth, poor dental work and small mouths and jaws? Well we are.  The good news is that I have now found a good dentist in whom I have great confidence -- even if he can go for another trip to Hawaii on my dime.

Yes, the house is back in escrow for the third time but it is looking quite secure for us this time.

Here's another good "D" word:  DISCOMBOBULATE.  Don't know how I could have illustrated that one.  It means confusion and uncertainty.  It seems to have no definite origin, but evolved just from the sound of its confusion.  There is no combobulate to go with discombobulate.  But it seems to me that it is a very satisfying word that conveys exactly what is intended.

Well, it's been quite a summer of doctor's and hospital visits, but believe me I am still thriving and rejoicing.  I have my beautiful, cozy home to recuperate in, with tea and scones on the deck overlooking the creek.  (I feel like Mrs Bouquet with her candlelight dinners and finger foods  on the patio).

The Lord is good all the time.  All the time the Lord is good!

Please visit our ABC Wednesday participants who work so hard to present something worth reading.  You can find them HERE

Sunday, August 4, 2013


It's now been almost 5 months since we made the big move from our home of 40 years to our new, smaller but somehow roomier and airier home by the creek.  We just about have everything the way we want it now-- all the pictures are up, all the rooms set the way we want them and we know pretty well where everything is.   We managed to rescue several trees and shrubs that were dying from lack of care during the weeks in which the previous family moved out and the following weeks we were moving in.

Now look at this:

My plumeria, not only survived the move and a couple of shifts of position once we got it here, but is just beginning to flower -- lots of buds -- so I'm very happy about that.

Scruffy loves the access he has to the windows and has established his beds for the different times of day.  He loves nothing better than to play with his string and also to run the full length of the house, because it is a straight run through the living room, down the hall and across our bedroom to the patio doors on the deck. Definitely the 'galloping major'.  The lizards and the humming birds keep him occupied when he isn't sleeping.  Actually he seems almost rejuvenated.  
Just look at this handsome young man of ten years of age:

Another creature that inhabits our yard, back and front, is this one who did manage to do away with a couple of small plants which never grew large enough for us to find out what they were.
Haven't managed to get a photo of the skunks yet. In fact the mothballs seem to have worked very well.
Anyway, definitely no regrets over the move.  I'm still loving our new location.  My sister is visiting this week and we are making full use of the deck looking out over the creek and taking walks around the park and homes.