Monday, August 02, 2021

Sidewalk Planets

On our way home from our afternoon walk we noticed this wonderful bit of sidewalk art on our street. 

What a lovely surprise it was. All of the planets in the right order from the sun and in the right colors. I wish I could have gotten a better photo, but it's pretty stretched out and hard to contain it in one shot. The sun at the top of the photo and then MercuryVenus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus and Neptune. The lovely artist even added Pluto. A nice man was bike riding by and stopped to take a look as well. He said, "Can you name them all?" We said, "No, can you?" He said, "No." We had a good laugh and then we had a chat trying to name all of the planets. None of us remembered Neptune, but we all remembered Pluto. 

It was a nice way to end our walk on our little planet earth, third planet from that beautiful sun that was shining down on us as we made our way home.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

A Raccoon Morning

I opened the shade in the kitchen before sunrise, getting ready to make our morning tea and toast. I startled this little cutie on our derelict neighbor's roof. It looked at me like it couldn't believe its eyes. I wondered if it was the first time it had ever come out from the attic, or the first time it had ever seen a light turned on and a human staring at it.

It stayed around long enough for me to go find the camera and click a few pics. Then I went to get Roger and have him come into the kitchen and look out the window at our new little furry friend

We waved and said hello. It stared and stared. I moved on with my morning routine, and the next time I looked it was gone. 

I was hoping to see it again Tuesday morning, but it wasn't there. I hope the furry family of raccoons are fine in our neighbor's attic. I told my brother the other day they really do make good neighbors. They don't bark, play loud music, or party late into the night. So we don't mind the little poops they leave on the fence as they make their way on their nightly journeys. 

So, meet our good morning neighbor!

Monday, July 26, 2021

Before and After

It's been a long two-weeks of house painting, and it's almost done. The painter worked alone, and that made for a longer time, and he was detailed and meticulous, which also added to the hours and hours of it. We so love the work he has done and are utterly grateful to have found him.

This is what the house looked like when we bought it.

This is what it looked like just a few weeks ago on a beautiful blue-sky day.  

I'm not even sure what the name of the color that house paint is, but we wanted to change it to something lighter and brighter. So we picked Lion Yellow. 

It does have a hint of yellow in the warm cream color. So I've renamed it Lyin' Yellow. The trim is Raspberry Red. 

We are so happy about how it looks. Our neighbors are too. Maybe when the sun comes out and the sky is blue I'll try for another photo to capture the warmth of it. 

Not much else going on these days. Our county is recommending masking up when in indoor public places. We've been doing that since the outbreak, so it's not a change for us. There has been a significant uptick of cases in our county, state, and country. It was predictable after the 4th of July celebrations and the summer gatherings. We're hoping things calm down and more people get vaccinated. 

And, because I am easily amused I am sharing what I saw when I was doing the dishes. It always surprises me what a bit of light on a bottle of dish soap can do. It's the prettiest rainbow I've seen in quite a while. I take my joys wherever I can find them.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

I Deleted A Phone Message


Now it says only 1 message

I had saved two messages on our landline answering machine for the past 3 1/2 years. They were from my mom when she was living in the assisted living facility and had Alzheimer's. I used to talk with my mother everyday, but when the Alzheimer's overwhelmed  her that just wasn't possible anymore. She never called me. I always called her. So it was a crazy surprise to come home one day to find a message from my mom. The first message began, "Hi Robin this is a call from your... cousin... Bea..."  A few days later we came home to find another message from her. The second one began, "Hi Robin this is a call from your... Aunt...Bea...." Both messages went on to say vague things about why she was calling. It broke my heart that I missed those calls, but I had saved both messages for all this time until Tuesday night. Then I did something stupid and I blame it utterly on the spam and robocalls we get a few times a day. The phone rang and we looked at who was calling. It was just a number, no name, from an area code we did not recognize. So we let it go to the answering machine. Mostly those robocalls just hang up, but sometimes some idiot leaves a recorded message about wanting to help us with something blah blah blah. Roger wondered what the message was, so I went in and listened. It was just robocall crap. So, I noticed we had several other messages on the machine, and I thought I would just delete them and leave my two cherished messages from my mom. Well, I made a mistake and hit delete instead of save when I got to the first message. I know you know how much that broke my heart. Now I have only one saved message. But....

...I had a feeling a while ago that I would do something stupid like this so I made a recording of the recording. I have an MP3 on my computer of my mom's messages. Now I want to call our landline from our cell phone and let it go to the answering machine. Then I want to hit play on my MP3 and record my mom's first message again. I know this is utterly crazy, and that's why I'm writing about it here. I'm asking for your thoughtful heartfelt advice. Would you do something like this? (Part of me is laughing as I type this, but part of me is utterly serious.)

We have always hated robocalls and now my contempt for their pathetic outrageous stupidity has reached a new high. It's so high it's higher than Richard Branson or Jeff Bezos could ever fly.

Monday, July 19, 2021

We Saw The Sun and Moon

 It had been a month since we had even a glimpse of the sky, the sun or moon. Nothing but gray in every direction for as far as the eyes could see. It's been bleak, dark gray bleak. I spoke with some of the neighbors who had gathered in the street in front of our house (delighting in the new color), and we agreed that it's been a month-long bummer. They told me that this spell of foggy cloudy gray has gone on longer than any other time, and they have all lived here longer than we have. That gave me some relief. The bleakness was definitely unusual. Then later in the evening we looked out the window and saw the moon. WE SAW THE MOON. Not only that, there was a bit of cloudiness around it and there was a halo of faint colors. 

I ran for the camera. It's a lousy photo, but it's the MOON. And really the moon is never lousy. The moon never disappoints. We saw it. We pointed to the sky. We shouted out our joy to the universe. We suddenly had hope for sunlight the next day. 

And we were not disappointed. Clear skies for a nice long warm afternoon walk.

The future looks bright here, unless you read the political and environmental news. Don't read the news. Go for a walk. Look at the sky. Wave hello to the cows and butterflies. Breathe in the beautiful clear air. Enjoy the moment while you can. Sometimes that's all we've got.

Hope you are all doing well. Thank you for stopping by, friends.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

A Season of Change

  I photographed this poppy flower a month ago.

They bloom wild in our yard and we let them because we love them. 

Now most of them look like this.

Their seed pods have an interesting beauty about them as well. We're going to help scatter their seeds.

So in this season of change, we decided to have our house painted. We bought the house six years ago. It was painted a color we never liked. So now it's going to be a color we do like. The trim is going to be a deep dark red. It's going to look very much like the first house we bought together in Santa Cruz 1995. When I look out the window and see one wall painted already, I'm transported back in time.

It's a wonderful way to remember the past, bike riding everyday up to the university to work... being young... planning for the future that we're living now. Painting the house the color of our dreams again.

PS-- Hey, I got the photo to finally upload in the header. It's not perfect, but it is what it is.

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Quiet Times

It's been a quiet week since our last post. Still foggy and gray as ever. I'm not sure how the garden keeps growing, but it does. We made it through the 4th of July with very little banging chaos of fireworks. We were so grateful for that. There were a few late night firecrackers, but nothing like the last few years when neighbors went wild with bottle rockets. Glad that "holiday" is over. 

The Delta variant of the virus has found its way up here to Humboldt County. I think only half of the eligible people here have been vaccinated. I have been keeping track of the county statistics and even though there are more than 4500 cases in the county, our little city has only 715 of those cases. Considering that we are the 2nd most populated city in the county, we're doing very well. Interestingly most of the cases are of people between the ages of 20 and 60. Oh it is so good to be old! LOL.

I've been trying to upload that beautiful photo of the heron and lake reflections that I took at the marsh a few weeks ago for a new header of the blog. It won't let me do it. I've googled around trying to figure out why it won't change it, but haven't found a single explanation that helps. I'm going to keep trying, and you will know when I've succeeded!

The nasturtiums are happy and glad to climb the wooden sun. 

That's all the news from the foggy north coast. Hope you are all doing well, and thank you for stopping by to read the boring bums!

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

What Is This Bird Doing?

I looked out the window and saw this bird with what looked like a red bill... mmm... what bird has a red bill like this. So I grabbed the camera and zoomed in a little closer. Oh wow, it's a crow with its head in a weird pose and its mouth open. 

It kept its mouth open for quite some time. I of course was worried about it, but there's not much I can do for a crow on our derelict neighbor's roof.

So I wrote the bird maven guru Julie Zickefoose and asked her what she made of this behavior. She wrote: 

"I believe it's sunbathing, and trying to expose its neck and breast to max sun. If it was able to fly, able to take off and go, there was nothing wrong with it. Its wings are slightly out here, too, which is consistent with sunbathing. At the full-blown level, he'd have keeled over, head tipped to the side, bill agape, tail and wings spread, and you'd have been sure he was dying."

Ah, just a sunbather enjoying this sunny warm day respite from our week-long foggy gray weather. We understand!

Monday, June 28, 2021

Saved By The Fog

 We are literally surrounded by insanely hot temperatures here. The Pacific Northwest is being baked with a record-breaking heatwave. At Roger's sister's place in southern Oregon the temperature is expected to get up to 114 degrees. That's 46 degrees celsius. That's crazy hot. Here's how The Washington Post described it:

The strength of the heat dome, or sprawling zone of high pressure centered near the U.S.-Canada border, promoting these temperatures is simply off the charts. Its intensity is so statistically rare that it might be expected only once every several thousand years on average. But man-made climate change has made exceptional events like this many times more probable. 

Meteorologists are describing the situation as insane, bonkers, and incredible. 

So now I wake in the morning, run to open the blinds and hope to see the sky socked in with gray fog. Yes! Sunday morning it was gray gray gray. I did my happy dance. 

It was even cool enough to go for a nice long neighborhood walk and enjoy the gray skies and see a Great Blue Heron hanging out with bales of hay.

It's supposed to stay cool, gray, and comfy for the next few days here. Who would have ever guessed that we would learn to love the fog, but we did. We are so grateful for the ocean in every way. 


Sunday, June 20, 2021

another garden report

 spring has been a bit cooler than usual. even so we have a lot of veggies growing.

 having one with dinner
zucchini flower
yellow squash baby
tomato flowers
roses, bicycle, yellow squash
one (1) poppy plant
kale, marigolds

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Rain Gauge

I know it seems crazy to run outside and photograph the little rain gauge we have on our fence, but I couldn't resist. I wanted to send the photo to my brother. We've been talking a lot about the California drought, how we're in pretty deep trouble facing a dry hot summer ahead. But then something crazy happened. We actually got 1 1/2 inches of rain here in Northern California on Sunday. There was even more  rain north of us in Crescent City where they got 2 inches. It never made it much further south than where we are. My brother (350 miles south of us) didn't get any at all. 

Here's a screen grab of a drought map that the San Francisco Chronicle had in their paper the other day. It does not look good at all. 

We're in the Moderate Drought Zone. My brother and sister are in the Extreme Drought Zone. Pretty scary stuff, considering the fires we had to deal with last summer. 

So I've been thinking about the rain we did get on Sunday. I wouldn't quite call it a rain. It was more of a long day of drizzle. It accumulated in our rain gauge at 1 1/2 inches, but would a day long sprinkling like that really soak the ground? I went out and dug around in the yard where nothing is planted and we don't water much. The ground was nice and moist an inch or two down. That made me happy. So a daylong drizzle did moisten things up a bit. Not sure how that drizzle will help the giant redwood forests and mountains to the east of us, but I'm hoping. 

When I was downloading the photo of the rain gauge I noticed a photo I had taken out at the marsh that I didn't post here the other day. I loved the view, so I thought I'd share it with you.

Hope you're all doing well. Thank you for stopping by.

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Reflections At The Marsh

We woke Tuesday morning to a beautiful blue sky day. We had our tea and toast and decided to head out to the marsh nice and early and take a good look around. When we arrived we were so delighted by the reflections of the clouds in all the marsh ponds.

The heron posed for us, looking like it was floating in the sky. 

And the Greater Yellowlegs quietly preened while looking for something yummy to eat.

It was such a warm and beautiful day even before 9:00 am. It felt so much like the old days before the pandemic that we actually forgot to bring our masks out with us on our walk. We laughed about that. It felt good to just feel normal. We did remember to put them on when we shopped at the co-op after the marsh. As of June 15th a sign outside the co-op said that there will be no more mask requirement. California is opening up. Not sure how feel about that. We may continue to wear them until the variant has stopped spreading here in our county. 

Lots to reflect on these days.

Friday, June 04, 2021

Friday Music: White Bird

It's been a while since we've posted a song on a Friday, but we couldn't resist. Looked out the window the other day and saw this White Dove on the pole down the street. I ran outside to get a photo. It was such a little beauty. 

When we saw this bird we both started to sing this song. It had been a long time since we heard it, and we found it as lovely as ever. So here is a flashback to 1969. White Bird by It's A Beautiful Day.

Monday, May 31, 2021

A Minus Tide Walk

It had been so long since we took a minus tide walk. The last photos I took were from 2019. Then Covid hit, and we didn't venture out much. So when we checked the tide charts and saw that there was a significant minus tide on Sunday we took our vaccinated selves out there for a nice walk. This beach is about 15 miles north of us. A lovely ride along the coast and then the walk.

The first thing we noticed were these huge mussels on one of the beach rocks.

Here's a closer view. We were impressed.

There were lots of people photographing this rock. It was really quite a sight. 

We walked as far as we could to the kelp beds. We love this view.

On. the way back we came across this rock that was teeming with life. 

I zoomed in a little to get a better look.

We were so happy to see the Sea Stars making such a good recovery here.

Another rock that caught our attention was this simple one. 

You'd hardly know just by looking at it that it's also covered with life. Here's a close-up.

Small sea anemones, lots and lots of sea anemones waiting for the tide to come back and cover them.

It was so good to be out there even on a gray cloudy day. Life felt normal. The sea called to us and we answered. We waved good bye and said thank you.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

What We've Been Doing

 It's been a while since we posted anything on our poor neglected blog. So here are a few things we've been up to.

Family time!

The grandkid cousins enjoying their cantaloupe moment of Zen

Youngest grandson with a look that says, Take my picture, grandma!

Roger getting to spend time with his daughter Indigo who we hadn't seen in more than  a year
The sign Indigo painted for us

And then raven, swallowtail, iridescent clouds, yellow rose, dead tree in a parking lot, and halo time too!

That sums up the past few days. Now we're back to cloudy foggy gray skies, but with hopes for a sunnier future!