Life Lessons


"Figuring out our gifts in life is part of our journey to becoming enlightened human beings.” – Allison DuBois

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Hope and Faith

Song - Always on My Mind by Willie Nelson



First it was a pitiful little nest....






Then mama began sitting on it.....





After several weeks mama, seemed to have abandoned the nest....

and my heart was broken.



Two days ago I saw a little head pop up from the seemingly empty nest. 

So yesterday I grabbed my camera and there was mama proud as can be.

Every time I checked the nest, I guess mom & dad were out on a date.

I think there may be two babies - if you can see the dark brown wing-feathers in the lower left of the nest - I am thinking it may be another baby under mama.

I have named them Hope and Faith. 

Happy Easter Weekend.


"I won't say my memory's bad, but it's to the point now that I can hide my OWN Easter eggs!" --Maxine




Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Boats, Planes and Bats

Song - Take Me Out to the Ball Game by Crazy Uke



On Monday morning, Mr. B and I drove over to the city and the first boat I noticed was "Little Toot".  I just love tug boats but I really don't know why. Just look at that massive ship it is guiding under the Bay Bridge.





And then we parked next to this little ship that I couldn't even fit on my camera from across the street. We met our good friends, Jodi and Chris at a restaurant near there.




And this is one of the last boats that I noticed.....quite the deal.  Hot tub, BBQ and cooler all while floating in McCovey's Cove.  And you probably guessed why we were in San Francisco.....it was the Giant's home opener!!!



The jets for the "fly over" circled while the cast of Hamilton sang the National Anthem.





A humongous flag was unfurled and you could feel the vibrations of the planes coming closer as the song ended.








And once they are over head and pass you by, the sound is deafening, exciting and fun!  Go Giants!





Let's Play Ball!






The usual cast of colorful characters were there.




Fans....





Hunter Pence without all of his hair.....




Buster Posey......




And.....see that bald head in a suit?


It's Barry Bonds back on the team as a special advisor to the CEO.
You just have to trust me on this one because I forgot to take his photo when he had a standing ovation so I looked through all of my fan photo's and this was all I could find....

Willie Mays and Willie McCovey, Kruk and Kype were there as well.





The Giant's won the opener 4-1 against the Arizona Diamondbacks!!!
Hooray!!!

Beautiful day with Mr. B and friends.  I even got a sunburn!



"Little League baseball is a good thing because it keeps the parents off of the streets."  -- Yogi Berra

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Who Was Mr. McGregor Anyway?

Peter Rabbit Soundtrack






While planning for our upcoming trip to England and Scotland, Mr. B and I came across information about Beatrix Potter's home in England's Lake District. She was the author and illustrator of several children's books including The Tale of Peter Rabbit and she purchased several farmlands to save them from being developed. They are now in the care of The National Trust.








Since one of our lodgings is in Ambleside on Lake Windermere, we decided........(well I decided.....and Mr. B is gracious enough to come along) to visit Hilltop farm & museum nearby!

Now the funny part is that I was cleaning out my office the other day and came across this newspaper article from 1956.






Yes!  Mr. B was Mr. McGregor in his kindergarten operetta!!! 





Even though he doesn't look anything like the "real" Mr. McGregor, I am sure he did an amazing job! 

"We cannot stay home all of our lives, we must present ourselves to the world and we must look upon it as an adventure."  
--Beatrix Potter

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Garden Colors

Song - Iris by The Goo Goo Dolls (Kina Grannis Cover)



The first round of roses are blooming and the very first one was this beauty above.  I don't even know the name because it was one of the few plants that we kept when we bought our home 20 years ago. In honor of the woman who built and lived in this house for about 45 years, I have nicknamed it "Nancy's Rose". 


The main plants that are blooming right now are the bearded Iris.....






And the Wisteria.....oh my.....






If you walk anywhere near this Wisteria you will hear the hum of big ol' fat black bees and get knocked over by the aroma from the flowers.




The Dogwood trees are loaded with blossoms.....




....as are my three white Lilac bushes.


And if you look closer.....



The Lady apple trees are making me and the honey bees happy.







 The little Japanese Iris in the woodland garden loved all of our winter rain!



 

Even the Foxgloves are preparing to bloom.



Our side garden has once again become my meditation place after we brought back 
our lawn for our son and sweet daughter-in-law's wedding last Fall.



Mama Dove and Papa Dove are enjoying the new nesting box under our eves.


Last night Papa showed up one hour early to relieve Mama.  

True Love.


I find that my day is not complete without a morning & early evening walk around our garden to see what's blooming, growing, changing, hatching, in need of pruning, etc. each and every day!

"Nothing in nature blooms all year.  
Be patient with yourself." -- Unknown

 


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Paint Grinder

Song - Honshirable by Miyata Kohachiro



This is a "Portrait of Père Tanguy" by Vincent van Gogh and is hanging at Musée Rodin in Paris.  It was painted in 1887 and is one of three paintings of Julien Tanguy by van Gogh.  Tanguy was a paint grinder, he sold art supplies and was an art dealer.  Personally I think he became an art dealer by default because the artists who came to him for supplies, couldn't pay him so he accepted their artwork as a form of payment.  The Japanese prints in the background of this painting were also sold in Tanguy's shop and they greatly influenced Vincent van Gogh's painting style.





"I would rather die of passion than of boredom" 
- Vincent van Gogh

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Unfurling

Song - Primavera by Santana


Did you celebrate the Vernal Equinox on Monday? It is officially Spring!

Between the few rain showers, I have been enjoying watching my garden awaken as well as the animal life around our home.




The apple trees are full of blossoms





And the big tree ferns are all unfurling






My Freesia's have never had so many buds





 While walking around my garden the other morning, I noticed these dead bits hanging out of a Privet tree on the side yard and when I peeked inside there was a nest.



 Must have been from last year as it is on a bush that I prune back each spring and fall.




Not sure what kind of bird may have created it but I am hoping they will reuse it this Spring!




Meanwhile the Mourning Doves did not visit their nest for a week or so.  I figured that they must have found a better place but......in the last 3-4 days they have returned and mama is sitting on it daily now!



I caught Zipper with his hand in the "cookie jar" (draining the bird feeder) this morning looking very regretful.  I guess I will have to call him by a different name as he is a she.....and she is nursing her babies.  I guess I will have to stop throwing ice and lemons at her too.......sorry little mama......



 Peony's






 Bearded Iris






More ferns unfurling



"Springtime is the land awakening.  
March winds are the morning yawn." 
- Lewis Grizzard

Friday, March 17, 2017

Tea Time and Visas

Song - Tea For Two by Yehudi Menuhin & Stephane Grappelli



Yesterday Mr. B and myself went to an interview for obtaining our Visas for traveling to Britain this Spring.

Yes.....we know that you don't need a Visa.......yet.......but with all of the shenanigans that our current President is pulling, there has been talk!  So we didn't want to be trip-less if something should happen in the next few months!

I was both excited and nervous about this portion of the process. We spent hours online filling out our forms and then another few hours pulling together "qualifying documents" like our bank statement, new & old passports, house mortgage, travel plans, plane reservations, etc.





I anticipated that we would be shown into the UK Embassy and we would talk with a friendly person  of British decent and cute British accent and we might be served tea sandwiches or sweets......but surely some proper English tea!






We would pour over all of the paperwork we brought with us and discuss where we were staying and what sights we were seeing.  I thought this lovely person might have some input as to things that we might wish to change on our itinerary.

So in the morning I Googled the address of the place.

Mmmm....it was out near the Oakland Airport in an industrial area.  That didn't fit my vision for an Embassy....at all!

Then on the way there, Mr. B broke the news to me that he thought it would just be a USCIS place.  (I still had high hopes!)




We pulled up to this lovely building and.......



......even though we had a "timed" appointment, we went from one sitting area to another....along with many, many other people.  It felt like DMV or the Social Security offices. They finally called my number and it flashed on the big screen 2-7-6.

Yup that was me.  276.  I was photographed and fingerprinted and told to send all of the "supporting documents" to NYC within 5 days.  Mr. B number 277 was next....same thing.

NO tea, no cute accent, no interview, no lodging discussion, no, no, no....




Just signs....and people....and no food, no drinks, no cameras, no cell phones allowed.


Remember how at the beginning of this post I told you that I was kind of nervous?

Well, besides my fantasy of a sweet tea day, the other half of my brain was thinking.....

"Mmmm.....I wonder what happens if I answer a question wrong or different than Mr. B?"





The Dungeon for us both!!!!

Mr. B just laughed and knows what life with a Gemini is like.


"Kilt - it's what happened to the last person to call it a dress."






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