Friday, June 30, 2017

End of Gloomy June Photos

Too much sun, as if there is such a thing!

Front Gate and Wisteria
A marsh pond on a sunny day

Cirrus, Halo, Sundog, and hints of a Parhelic Circle
The view from the Top of Trinidad Head looking north

A little earthquake shake-up on June 11th

A slightly bigger earthquake on June 24th
Yes, we live in earthquake country! These are small, but they definitely give us a jolt and a good shake-up call. The blue dot on the map shows where we live and how close we were to the epicenter.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Wordless Wednesday: Just The Little Things

Sometimes it's good to just concentrate on the little things and let the world be quiet for a moment or two.

Monday, June 26, 2017


well first i will spare you the boring story of painting two bathrooms. as i forgot to take before photos it would be anticlimactic to show after pictures.

i am sure that at least some of you have noticed that many bathroom paint jobs leave a small unreachable area behind the toilet tank unpainted. we first painted the spare bathroom and i decided to go whole hog and removed the tank so the bright yellow paint would cover the ugly brown entirely. (really! both bathrooms in brown. with white spots behind the toilet tanks). when the yellow was complete i put the tank back on the stool using the same bolts and washers.

so i was as finicky doing the larger bathroom. removing the toilet tank so i could paint that hidden spot. i put the tank back in place, just as i had in the other bathroom. but this time when i turned on the water one of the rubber washers that is supposed to make the tank waterproof failed. oops. small mopping ensued. small problem really. a trip in the am to the local hardware store would fix that with new washers.
the problem area. not the water connection on the left, the bolt on the right, which goes up through the tank. it has a large screw head which tightens on a large rubber washer, which was leaking.

as i fell asleep i remembered that i had a plumbing parts box that might have the exact washers i required.

et viola! the parts box has two bolts and 4 nuts and washers. i need only two washers. i have spares to spare!
 actually a toolbox with some parts.

oops again. wrote too soon. the spares are of course used and no better looking than the original. back to square one. one more try with the old washer.

well ok then. the proper amount of tightening results in no leak! bathroom is operational with bright yellow walls in place of drab brown.

and i really had to show the "raincoat yellow."

PS (from Robin)-- You know how gray it is here on the north coast, so we went with bright bright yellow. Turn the light on in the bathroom and it's like a burst of beautiful sunlight in there.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Photos And Words On A Wednesday

Roger looked out the sliding door to the yard and said, "There are so many feathers falling from the sky, you've got to see this." We walked outside and the yard had feathers everywhere. There were other doves on the wires behind the house and none seemed alarmed. We have no idea how or why feathers tumbled from the sky to us. These came to rest at the top of our summer peas.
 The swallows decided on Tuesday that they should start building a nest right next to our front door. We told them "no," and deterred them by hanging things that we knew they wouldn't like. This is the look we got. We said, "Sorry, we understand it's a great spot, but no nest here by the door, thank you."
The house next door to us has been vacant for five (or more) years. The rainy winter and spring brought forth a new burgeoning ecosystem that the birds, butterflies, and critters all seem to enjoy. I have dreams of the blackberry vines going up over the roof. It really could happen!

Monday, June 19, 2017

A Minus Tide On A Sunny Day

It has been a rather dreary time here on the north coast. Many many days of relentless fog, or what the weather service calls "overcast." It casts a gray dismal shroud over everything, blocking the sun for days at a time. Sometimes I wonder just how powerful that almighty sun really is. I think, "C'mon, it's just a bunch of watery bleak droplets between me and you, how can you not shine through this stuff?" But that's the way it goes here. So when the sun does shine its unbelievably bright rays of warmth and light, we are ready to head out for a walk. There was a nice little minus tide that coincided with a sunny morning the other day, so we said, yippeee let's go to Trinidad. We've walked the minus tide beach there many times, and it's always wonderful. When we arrived this time, it was WINDY. A serious wind blowing in, so we decided to hike up Trinidad Head to see how the view was from up there. Here's a photo of Trinidad Head I took last January from a beach about a mile or so south.
Here's what it looks like while hiking up the trail on Trinidad, looking north.You can see the beach where we would have been walking if it had been a calm day.
When we got to the top we had a wonderful expansive view. It wasn't windy, and it was beautiful in every way. Roger heard sea lions barking, and there was a halo around the sun. A truly splendid moment.
Then, we headed down around the other side toward the harbor. The light was perfect on the water that day.
We decided to walk down to the harbor and out on the wharf to see if there were any river otters hanging around. We saw them there a few years ago and were hoping to see them again. But they weren't around. We did get to see the wonderful pattern left in the sand by the retreating tide.
We love being reminded just how awesomely beautiful our planet is. Here is just one small spot on earth on one blue-sky day.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Do Doves Exercise?

It was early in the morning, and I was waiting for the kettle to boil for tea. I looked out the window and saw this dove. Photos through a window are never the best...but placed together they answer the question.

Yes they do, and then they take a little nap!

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Eighth Day

When I first moved out of my parent's house and hit the road in the early 1970s, I called them every Saturday morning from wherever I was. Back then I had to find a phone booth and gather a whole lot of coins to make that happen, or I would call them collect. There was no way a Saturday passed without a conversation. My dad always answered the telephone on those Saturday calls. Then, I would talk to my mother. It became a ritual, and I made those Saturday morning calls for more than 20 years. Then, when my father was diagnosed with primary liver cancer, I started calling them everyday. After he passed away in 1992, I continued to call my mother daily. That lasted until she sold her home in 2012 and moved to her first assisted living facility. Then, I started calling her twice a day, once at 9:00 am and once at 4:00 pm. It was our ritual that we adhered for the past five years, until the vascular dementia and Alzheimer's. As I type this I have not spoken to my mother in eight days. I have left messages for her everyday on her answering machine, which I know she won't listen to. When she tries to get her messages, she almost always inadvertently turns the machine off.

It's the longest I have ever gone in my life without talking to her.

Eight days.

My sister visits with my mom regularly and reports to us how she is doing, but it's just not the same. I would like to hear her voice, even if it makes no sense when we talk. In fact if I remember correctly one of the last times we talked she wanted to talk to the "other Robin." Oh right, the other Robin, the one without gray hair who used to call on Saturdays as she traveled across the country and Canada. Yeah, as my mother also says, "the fake Robin."
My mom went to a memorial for her sister-in-law last weekend. She got to see her brother and niece and nephew. It was lovely for her to reconnect with them. Yeah, she didn't make perfect sense when she talked, but the love was there.
So, while I wait to hear her voice, I've been out walking, photographing clouds, and trying to forget the world, and embrace our beautiful planet instead.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Do I See A Frog?

Why yes, yes I do!

Monday, June 05, 2017

These Times We're Living In

We've been out taking walks to divert our attention from the unfolding nightmare that is our country at the moment. There are simply no words to describe our utter shock and dismay about the times we are living in.

So, here's what we've been looking at. Ah, we always say thank you to the earth for providing us with this awesome beauty.

This is Arcata Bay at a low-ish tide. Not even the lowest tide of the day. The algae is definitely in full bloom here. The colors are so vivid against that blue blue sky.
The tidal channel flowing back out to the ocean.
A wonderful illusion of a bay in the distance. This reminded us so much of Monterey Bay, but it is all only sky and cloud beyond the green pastures.

When I think about the times we are living in, I am always reminded of this song by Kate Wolf. She sings, "We've only got these times we're living in..." At the moment, that's a bit of a bummer.