A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


...actually do come true sometimes.


I can't believe it's been a month since the last post here.  Not that I'm clockwork or anything about posting, just that the month went by so fast.  And it's just a busy time for some reason, so I won't linger too long here.

It's been a ton of fun month.

Rain, rain, rain.  39,000,000 Californians wishing for rain and wow, are we powerful!  So far, while we've had a lot of rain here, it's been manageable.  And for once it is an advantage to live on a sandy lot.  The water seems to soak in evenly.  Only a few bad days where it would puddle, but even those drained pretty quickly.

And such a boon.

I've been trying to preserve this little clump of Spanish Moss for five or six years now, and this is the fist time I've seen it GREEN.  And it's growing.  If the birds will leave it alone, I may end up with a nice big clump.

I have to take the dog out to toilet several times a day, past this begonia "Freddie" which is in full bloom.  It's hard to see in this picture, but the blossoms each have a sparkly little raindrop hanging on.  One of my favorite perks of the rain.

Maybe a little easier to see?

Found another little surprise when I took the dog out a couple of days ago.

 A newly emerged Gulf Fritillary.  This is the lacy-looking underside of the wing.  The upper wings are a metallic orange.  Last fall I noticed the passion vine  that was pretty well covering this end of the trellis had been decimated.  I plant passion vine to attract these butterflies, knowing they are the host plant for caterpillars.  So, I looked to see if I could spot one and counted SIXTEEN.  So, now that I noticed the butterfly, I took a closer look for a chrysalis and was able to spot three more just on this grapevine wreath.

I'm happy to see that this plant is putting on new growth and am hopeful the big old vine in the front is doing the same.  It, too, was decimated last fall.  I have three new plants (all shades of pink) to plant somewhere, and the two plants of purple on the sideyard trellis appear to have decided to grow this year, too. 

Promises to be a good year for butterflies.  I cut back all the milkweed hoping for tender leaves in the spring and found three caterpillars, two about ready to chrysalis up (no, I don't think that's a verb).  I actually caught one of them in the act so sat at the table and watched the magic happen.

The rain is really encouraging the violets to grow and bloom (also butterfly host plants).  And I was thrilled to see that the hardenbergia is recovering nicely from the cutting back I gave it last summer.  (I killed one in the front a few years ago by cutting back too hard so was not as brutal this year.

It has been a month of uncustomary extravagance for me.  Once the financial dust settled from the property sale and credit card pay-off, I decided to embrace the encouragement of friends and make some wishes come true for myself.  I already mentioned the Bill LaBrie prints.  They are all framed and ready to hang.  I also bought a new chair for the family room - a gorgeous dark turquoise - that I can't get a decent picture of because my little Coolpix messes with color so never mind.  "Anacapa Arch" was also delivered, but is not framed yet.  I splurged on quilt fabric from a shop and a couple of online shops.

But the most fun has been the addition of the Kewpie family.

I fell in love with Rose O'Neill and her Kewpies about forty years ago.  I have collected lots of replica paper, have made a few reproduction dolls and have collected a half dozen Enesco figurines.  But the Rose O'Neill antiques (came out in 1912 and mostly popular through the 1920s) were WAY too pricey for my budget.  My discretionary money was limited and the antique doll market at its peak.  But, apparently the recession has hit the doll resale market pretty badly, and I'm the happy beneficiary.

They make me smile every time I look at them.

The sale of the property has also made my retirement in June a done deal.  I submitted my paperwork a couple of weeks ago.  I see my tax accountant next week to see if my preliminary income numbers are correct, then the health insurance guy the next week.  But, I'm done.  I had hoped to go out on a high note, but have too many challenges that I'm dealing with so it looks like I'll not be dancing my way out, but just walking through the door.  I am hopeful of a wistful, grateful smile in the end.

My most important smiles, though, come from the way my mom has recovered from her scare in December.  She's on blood thinners and being more careful about her medications now, but seems in good spirits.

Disneyland Saturday.

"The dreams that you wish will come true."

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