Finally! Two beautiful, ripe tomatoes from our garden. There’s nothing as good as just-picked tomatoes still warm from the sun. These were gobbled up moments after I took this photo. Yum!

Actually, these are tomatoes #3 & #4. The very first two tomatoes had blossom end rot, making them inedible for us, but the birds enjoyed them. After watering with a solution of Epsom salt and water, we haven’t had any more blossom end rot.

Here’s something fun: We’ve got bok choi and romaine lettuce growing in our kitchen garden window. I cut off the bases of several bunches of each, placed them in water, and now new bunches are growing. Aren’t they cute? Give it a try!

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I did the same thing with green onions and have had a continuous supply of them for several months now. Who knew?

green onions

5 zucchini plants sprouted!

I know having five zucchini plants sprout won’t sound very exciting to most folks, but I’ve been waiting TWO weeks for them to show their beautiful little leaves, patrolling the back yard at least six times almost every day.

zucchini sprout

The first zucchini sprout popped up three evenings ago. Man, oh man, it was so exciting to see those tiny little leaves peeking out. The next morning another one was waiting for me, and that afternoon number three made an appearance. This morning, number four was basking in the sun when I took my first walk around the yard, and at 3:15 this afternoon number five greeted me when I made my rounds for the fourth time. We should have at least one more in the next few days, and there are two others that I’ve given up hope on. I still have more seeds, but I’m thinking that those five (soon to be six… and maybe eight) zucchini plants might be enough to feed us, my brother and his family, some friends and maybe a large portion of our neighborhood.

In addition to all this (future) zucchini, I’ve got one HUGE tomato plant with dozens of tomatoes on it growing like crazy and 16 more tomato plants germinating, so I think I’ll be busy for a while.

tomato plant

Oh yeah, and six more packs of tomato seeds just arrived, along with four packs of pepper seeds, one pack of carrot seeds and a pack of scarlet runner bean seeds. Good times!


a sparrow comes to visit

Well, he didn’t quite come to visit – he flew into our sliding glass patio door (like so many birds have done) and was stunned for a short while. Isn’t he a pretty little bird?

baby sparrow

Mike put him in the garden room to recover and a minute later he was winging his way back to his family and friends. Surprised that we didn’t keep him? The thought DID cross my mind!

March 1st – 79 degrees

You have to love a place where it’s 79 degrees on March 1st.

I spent quite a while outside soaking up some vitamin D, watching the birds that inhabit our back yard flitting about (if you look very hard, you can see a few birds in the rose bushes below) and enjoying our whirlygig sprinkler as it sparkled and danced in the sun.

thermometer 3-1-13


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Kono got to go out, too, for some warm, fresh air and conversations with his friends.


We’ve got a few more days like this one ahead and we’ll be out there enjoying them all.

2012 out ~ 2013 in

We ushered 2012 out with a spontaneous trip to the beautiful Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena on December 30.

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When we arrived in Pasadena we were met with preparations for the Rose Parade.

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I hadn’t even thought about the bridge being so close to the parade route, so it was an exciting bonus to see the grandstands being erected.

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Media booths were ready for the big day.

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And old cars were arriving to tour the area.

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2012 was going out in style.

Then! 2013 began with a big shock for me. I was laid off from my job of 12 years! I didn’t see that one coming. Fortunately, I was planning on retiring in April anyway, so being unemployed isn’t a bad thing at all, just started a little sooner than I intended. I’m taking this opportunity to look for another job, though. I don’t mind starting to work on my Things To Do When I Retire list a few months earlier than planned, but new jobs can be fun – and our plan included at least three more months of income from work – so I’ll see what I can find.

The brightest spot in all this is that I got to have a great laid-off-in-lieu-of-retirement luncheon with my family (not that we need an excuse, but it makes it more special than just lunch):

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Happy 2013

our house 2012

from our house 2013

Hawaii 2012 – miscellaneous photos

More photos from our trip to Hawaii ~

fishing off the point

turtle beach - mike on rock in middle

intrepid photographer getting the photo

Hawaii 2012 - blog honolulu

Hawaii 2012 blog - party goers at the beach

Hawaii 2012 - blog mike on beach

Hawaii 2012 - blog  kathy on beach

Medal of Honor Recipient Herbert K. Pilila’au:

blog - misc - medal of honor recipient sign

Locals enjoying a picnic at the beach:

Hawaii 2012 - blog picnicing on the beach

blog - haleiwa - Hawaii 2012 haleiwa sign

strange plane in palmdale

While out and about doing errands after voting last Tuesday, Mike noticed what he thought were two planes flying extremely close to each other. But as they turned in what appeared to be perfect tandem, it became clear that it was just one plane… and a very strange looking one at that. It looked like someone had simply hooked two planes together. It was flying over Plant 42, and we were about two miles away, so we did the only thing we could do… we put the errands on hold and buzzed over to BJ’s Corner to see what this thing was. We only had to wait a few minutes before it came back around and flew over our heads. (The photos were taken with our small Canon, so they aren’t very large or detailed.)

The plane reminded us of the Voyager from years ago, so it’s possible it’s an experimental aircraft.

It kind of looks like two planes holding hands.

After the flyby, we buzzed home and got the big Canon with the wonderful new zoom lens and hurried back to BJ’s Corner. Mike kept a lookout with his binoculars for several minutes hoping the plane would make another round, but it never did. I guess we were lucky we saw it when we did and had our little camera with us to get these photos.




Something we should all know.

A World of Words

So there’s a proposition — Proposition 37 — on the ballot in California that would make the state the first in the nation to require the labeling of food products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). When you turn on the TV here in the Golden State, you’d think these extra few words on our instant coffee, granola, canned soup, or soy milk containers are going to bankrupt poor food producers and send millions of people into instant poverty.

All of a sudden, the airwaves are swamped with doctors, researchers, farmers, and fake university professors predicting the demise of civilization were the poor people of California to be subjected to this truly radical concept of knowing what’s in their food. Apparently, the cost of adding a few more words to the ingredient list on the packaging is going to be so astronomical that each of our grocery bills is going to…

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hawaii 2012 – scenery

This is one of multiple posts of our trip to Oahu, Hawaii October 20-22, 2012.

There aren’t many photos that I can post that haven’t been taken millions of times by millions of other folks, but these photos are special because they were taken by me and Mike (mostly Mike).

First of all, the view from our room at the Ala Moana Hotel:I was so happy to be back in Hawaii that I didn’t even notice the dark clouds until I saw the photos.

How about some palm trees swaying in the breeze? Here you go…

A rainbow greeted us on our first day there.

And then a little later (drum roll, please)…

A double rainbow!

Now, photos in no particular order.