Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge (CMMC): April Color

Not just any Green! Cee Neuner wants



For today’s BRIGHT SQUARES (See more about this photo challenge, hosted by Becky on her blog, The Life of B), self went to her local library and took pictures of the murals painted on the kiosk next to the main entrance (where there are/were vending machines). They’re giving out lettuce and basil seeds — you pick!. There’s a reflection of me on the glass, taking pictures, LOL!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Poetry Friday: Melanie Almeder

Self likes to quote this poem every now and then. She used to think Almeder was Irish (because she first encountered this poem at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig), but she isn’t. She’s American.


Everything on the tongue goes stunned bird.
Long past the hissy-fit thralls of April,
rashes of phlox, purple-thistle snowing a little.
And then, like too much love,
there was altogether too much gardenia
in the huddled yards. The heat in a flick of wind
picked itself up and dragged off,
old dog, into the damp cane fields, bee drone,
sighing, sighing of highway, hawks’ cries.


Every day in April, self will post a pair of squares. She usually looks for something “squar-ish” within the photograph, as well as bright colors.

The host of The Squares Challenge is The Life of B. See her gallery here.

Today, self chose these two photos:

  • a living wall at the Apple Store in Union Square, downtown San Francisco
  • a tulip bed in the Gamble Garden, Palo Alto. If you live anywhere within driving distance of Gamble Garden, this is a great time to visit: the tulips and daffodils are simply spectacular! If you happen to miss them at peak bloom, a lot of the roses looked ready to burst!

Spring has definitely sprung!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

ELEMENTAL: Challenge Your Camera # 12

The host for this challenge is Buddha Walks Into a Wine Bar:

Today, another guest theme from Marie at Hops Skips and Jumps, a challenge with some choices. Marie’s theme Elemental is based on the 4 classical elements from Ancient Greece in which it was believed that the universe was made up of Earth, Air, Fire and Water.

So, make your choice, choose one element and post any number of photos, or decide on all elements and post one photo of each. Try to be creative with your camera, close up or distant, creative with the image the element alone or combined with other elements.

Self’s gallery is made up of pictures taken in: her backyard; one in Filoli Garden in Woodside; one in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland; and one in New Mexico. They contain all the four elements, even fire. The picture of a murky sun was taken on the day the San Mateo Complex Fires came close, close enough for smoky ash to fill the air, and for self to smell burning. The firefighters saved us, again, as they do every year.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

A Photo a Week Challenge: TAKE A NEW PHOTO

Today was cold. So cold that self actually had to turn on a space heater, for the first time since . . . forever.

Today’s Photo a Week Challenge, from Nancy Merrill, is TAKE A NEW PHOTO. There is a backstory to this challenge.

  • Today was a bit of a banner day. My husband and I got our first dose of the Covid vaccine. Wahoo. Now I just have to get over the sore arm (and the possible symptoms in three weeks when we get our second dose). To celebrate, we hit one of our favorite burger places, Crown Burger. If you haven’t been to Utah and experienced crown burger, I highly suggest a visit just for the pastrami burger.

Read the rest of the story here.

In the meantime, over here in the San Francisco Bay Area, the sun finally came out mid-afternoon. And self threw open her French doors. Here’s her picture:

Oh, that sun feels good!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Grimdark: Thoughts on Joe Abercrombie’s A LITTLE HATRED (with Digressions)

Self has no idea why it’s taken her to p. 222 to quote from her current read, A Little Hatred: Book One of the Age of Madness (which is great; her first introduction to the work of Joe Abercrombie) It’s a little unsettling, how fast the days unspool. Can you believe it’s already the end of February? Anyhoo, the weather’s been very fine, it’s not like she has to dig herself out of a snowdrift, and it’s not even like taxes are due (not for another month, anyway), and it’s not like she’s attending AWP. But now that her county’s been bumped down to the red tier, everything feels busy, the sidewalks are full of people, the traffic’s bad, there’s no parking, and she has suddenly remembered things like doctor’s visits.

Tomorrow, for instance, she has a doctor’s appointment at 1:30. She forgot all about the doctor’s appointment until she got a text. And the text said, Feb. 28. She didn’t even know it was possible to get a visual doctor’s appointment on a Sunday. Apparently, you can. It’s an “intake” appointment. Because she signed up for Kaiser.

The last rain of the supposedly “rainy season” happened a week ago, and she’s going to have to water water water the rest of the year, and that puts a serious dent on her time. She’s tried like heck not to buy anything (cause then she has to worry about keeping it alive during the summer and fall), but she went with a friend to a plant nursery, and bought a rose (her friend, whose idea it was to go in the first place, didn’t buy anything, and didn’t even seem all that interested in the plants once we got there). Then self had to buy a trellis because the rose is a climbing rose. Then she had to get someone to help her put in the trellis. And many many hours later, here she is. Meanwhile, her friend who isn’t really interested in gardening has signed up for — of all things, a gardening class! Because she wants to meet people! And people who like plants are good people! Can’t argue with that reasoning!

The rose self bought has a very cool name:

Let’s see, what was self going to post about? Oh yes. A Little Hatred.

There are almost a hundred characters in this book. And many warring factions. At first, self was constantly having to match character with faction by looking up the helpful index at the back of the book, but that was taking away from her enjoyment of the act of reading. The minute she started really getting into this world was when she stopped referring to the index. And, just like that, characters swam effortlessly to the front of her consciousness. Characters like Rikke, who has what is called The Long Eye (meaning, the gift of sight, though all she’s seen so far is a war between a wolf and a lion), and The Young Lion Leo van Brock (Ooh, Rikke’s prediction of a war! The wolf wins, but the Lion is the victor. Try making sense of that!), and a spoiled prince named Orso, and the prince’s (secret) lover Savine, who is the richest businesswoman in Angland, the Union, the Protectorate etc etc, and a traitorous character named Vick whose sidekick is a very gauche (but maybe not as gauche as Vick thinks) young man named Tallow.

Clearly there is no point in using that quote because it will not make sense now. So she will say just one thing she learned from p. 222: The lady with the sword is the one you want to follow.

The aforementioned has been cornered by two men in a dead-end alley, but she runs through one man with a sword (Her fencing teacher would approve!), and she runs through a second while he is in the act of running away. She doesn’t kill him outright, which is a problem, because she can’t pull her sword out of his back properly, the man keeps up such a damn wriggling.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Animals (Not Alive)

  • Cee Neuner Foto Challenge: This week’s CFFC topic is  Non Alive Animals – carvings, stuffed, lawn ornaments, plastic, toys, painting, etc.

So fun! Self went to her garden early, early to take the above pictures.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: WATER

It rained in the San Francisco Bay Area! Finally! Rain was expected in OCTOBER.

Anyhoo, it’s mid-morning, sun’s out, rain stopped. So self is documenting.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is, fittingly, Water. Woo hoo!

A few other water photos from around WordPress:

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Sentence of the Day: YOUR HOUSE WILL PAY, p. 23

Self is very slow in reading this book. Whether it’s because she’s decided to landscape her whole yard (single-handed) — The neighbors are liking the changes, leaving bags of persimmons and lemons, even two pots of young plants, on her porch as encouragement! — or because she’s shortly to begin teaching her on-line course, or because POTUS’s life hangs in the balance — she knows not. The fact remains: she’s only able to read a few pages a day.

Nevertheless! Here is the attention-grabbing sentence (Honestly, she’d have been outside again if she hadn’t just realized she was out of clean masks, and if the Century 20 were still showing first-run movies):

  • Miriam lived in Silver Lake, a hipster yuppie neighborhood, and ever since she moved there, she’d developed a biting scorn for the Valley — Granada Hills in particular.

Huh! Self actually knows a few people who live in Silver Lake. They are nice.

Oh! She also finished putting together a HUGE raised planter box in the backyard, right next to the magnolia tree. She’s emptied two bags of potting soil in it, which only filled it about a quarter of the way. About eight more bags, maybe? It’s for lettuce.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

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