July #TreeSquare Challenge #9: Two Views of the Plum Tree

One view is in March, the other is in April.

Thank you to Becky of The Life of B for hosting the #TreeSquare Challenge!

July #TreeSquare Challenge # 5: A Corner of the Backyard

For today’s post, a corner of self’s backyard gets its moment.

Check out host Becky’s The Life of B for a gallery of beautiful trees!

A Photo-a-Week Challenge: BACKLIT

Self loves backlit photos!

The host for the Photo-a-Week Challenge is Nancy Merrill.

Self took the photo below in September 2020.

Watching birds at her feeder is a source of constant delight. She rarely manages to capture birds in flight as her camera is a plain Nikon CoolPix and, moreover, she has very shaky fingers. So the fact that she was able to capture this is nothing short of miraculous.

Where Self Dreams

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week: WINDOWS AND DOORS


  • The house in California. Oh, her garden is wild.
  • Skylight, Oxford, UK: She wakes beneath this every morning that she is in Oxford. In November, the skies were astonishingly clear.
  • Cottage # 1, Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Ireland: She does all her writing at this table.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.


I adore this week’s Tuesday Photo Challenge.

  • Common… Whether it is the every day, common object or the things that you have in common, or crossing the town common…

There is such beauty in everyday things.

Discoveries, First Saturday of September (2014)

Yesterday, while standing at the check-out line in Whole Foods on Jefferson, self saw a CD by Ed Sheeran. She was curious, as apparently he is a great favorite of the writers on fanfiction.net  So she bought his CD and listened to it at home and, you know, it reminds her of old rock. But it’s pleasant. Something new to listen to while driving!

Today was peaceful. She mostly watered.

She’s very much enjoying Dark Star, by Alan Furst. He writes ridiculously well, for someone who writes spy thrillers.


On p. 52, the hero of the story, Szara, lands in Berlin (after a particularly nasty encounter with some hired assassins — he escapes by the skin of hist teeth). This is what he sees of the city from his hotel room:

Szara stared out a high window, watching umbrellas moving down the street like phantoms. It seemed to him the city’s very own, private weather, for Berliners lived deep inside themselves — it could be felt — where they nourished old insults and humiliated ambitions of every sort, all of it locked up within a courtesy like forged metal and an acid wit that never seemed meant to hurt — it just, apparently by accident, left a little bruise.

Lovely writing, isn’t it?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Dialogue 3: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

The WordPress Photo Challenge this week is DIALOGUE. The prompt says, “make pictures talk to each other.”

Here are two photographs of a couple of chairs in self’s backyard, some on the deck, one on the grass.

Do these pictures engage in dialogue?

2 Chairs, Backyard

2 Chairs, Backyard


Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Packed Weekend: So Many Things Self Could Have Done

Self could have attended her Stanford Alumni Homecoming.  Sabina is there with her baby son, Milo.  But self, as always, cannot seem to get organized enough to get going.

Right in her own backyard, in Redwood City, a Zoppé Italian Family Circus has opened, next to the Downtown Library.

There is also an Oktoberfest going on at Courthouse Square.

But here are the things self actually got around to doing:

  • She went to the Redwood City Farmers Market, just half an hour before they closed.  She got many vegetables, including something that looked like kangkong.
  • As a nod to Matt Damon’s character in “Hereafter” (Damon’s psychic idolizes Dickens, a fact which turns out to be pivotal to the plot), self borrowed Bleak House from the library.  This is such a hefty book that it is sure to put a crick in her neck.  Alas, self saw only hardcover copies on the library shelves.  On the plus side, self adores Dickens, and she hasn’t read Bleak House since the birth of son, eons ago:  self toted the copy with her to Stanford Hospital — !
  • Self went to Peet’s and picked up a free copy of The Stanford Daily.  Since it is the Homecoming Weekend issue, it is packed with reviews of exhibits, movies, Stanford Lively Arts events, and so forth and so on.  Currently at the Cantor Art Museum:  “Vodoun/Vodounon:  Portraits of Initiates” (Hubby declares he has no interest in seeing this, so self will go by herself:  she really loves anything creepy and supernatural).  There are also reviews (rather insipidly written) of “It’s Kind of a Funny Story,” latest Zach Galfinakis showcase (a 7 out of 10) and “Life As We Know It,” featuring Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel trying to make cute (a 6 out of 10).  There is also a review of a new pizza place in Palo Alto (as if Palo Alto needed any more pizza places), Howie’s Artisan Pizza.  The review of this pizza joint does the job with a minimum of flourish, which is commendable.  For instance, the review begins:  Pizza can mean very different things to different people. Which is so laudably straightforward.  Almost Fitzgerald-like in its directness.

Let’s not forget:  there is still the Giants/Phillies game in a couple of hours!!!  Self is all on pins and needles for that one!  She made sure there was lots of Orville Redenbacher popcorn in the house, as well as lots of organic butter (Is organic butter less fattening?  Who knows?  It certainly sounds as if it should be less fattening)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Sooo Hawwtt Today in Redwood City!

It is so so haaawwtt today.

So much hotter than it was in New York.

Self is going crazy with the watering, for apparently hubby was so transfixed by football that he neglected to water, not even once.

Furthermore, Gracie is lame.

“What’s wrong with her leg?” self inquired as soon as she arrived.

“Nothing,” hubby said.  “She’s fine.”

The poor li’l crit doesn’t seem to be in pain, but she is definitely favoring her left front leg, and holding her right paw gingerly in the air.

Today, hubby is transfixed by Stanford vs. Notre Dame.  It’s the third quarter, and Stanford is leading by 10 points.  The Stanford quarterback, Andrew Luck, is so good.  Self inquires if hubby would be interested in catching a home game at Stanford.  Hubby then cries, “Nooo!!!  It’s too hoot!”  He’s probably right, they have been at other games at Stanford, and the un-shaded seats are sweltering.  But she’s always wanted to get a tan!  Self knows she looks better with a tan, as witness all those photographs of herself taken in Boracay, Bohol, etc etc etc

In a little while, Dearest Mum will arrive in her rented car (if she doesn’t hit anything first).  Self doesn’t think Dearest Mum should be permitted onto any freeway.  Niece G said that, Thursday night, when they were heading to Redwood City, cars were honking at Dearest Mum.  Anyhoo, the plan for this evening is that Dearest Mum has been invited by Dear Sister-in-Law to attend a dinner at the Fairmont in San Jose, in honor of the Philippine president Noynoy.  But she doesn’t trust herself to drive that distance, so she is stopping off at Redwood City first so that self can take over the driving.  But, once at the Fairmont, Dearest Mum emphasizes that self is not invited to the dinner.  The tickets were issued very far in advance.  Self texts her sister-in-law, and her sister-in-law confirms that, indeed, there are no more tickets to this fabulous dinner.

That’s OK.  Self is sure she’d fall asleep listening to Noynoy.  Thing is, she has to hang around there because Dearest Mum says she wants self to be ready to drive her home.  Self thought it would be so nice if hubby came too, then she would have company while waiting for Dearest Mum.

“We could have a drink at the Fairmont,” self suggests tentatively.

“Are you kidding?” hubby bursts forth.  “Drinks at the Fairmont are expensive!  At least $8 each!”

Self wonders how hubby has come by this information, as to her knowledge he has never taken her there.

Anyhoo, if self has to wait for Dearest Mum while she attends this fabulous dinner, she’ll be damned if she waits in the car.  She darn well will go and have a drink.  In fact, many drinks!  $8 apiece or no!  That way, when Dearest Mum finally emerges from the fabulous dinner, and is ready to be driven home, self will be in trés happy mood!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Such an Excellent Day!

For one thing, self spent five hours in the company of an excellent writer: Ms. Bonnie Melvin from Paris! Yes! This woman is so cool she makes self look like hot, melted butter! Self luuuved her pretty Parisian white eyelet blouse and leggings and straight black hair and deep green eyes and — Bonnie  looked spec-TA-cular!   It is always good for self to be in the company of the spectacular!

Next, Bonnie treated self to lunch. Which — self was an absolute pig and chose New Kapadokia in downtown Redwood City. And had eggplant stuffed with ground beef. And had rice pudding for dessert. And then had the temerity to suggest that Bonnie walk with her to Marble Slab Creamery which, self assured Bonnie, was just around the corner and had the best ice cream concoctions. Bonnie demurred because she was just too full.

And then self got to speak to an agent from L.A. She didn’t know who it was calling, and when she picked up the phone, she said: “Are you from the computer store?” And he replied, “No, I’m an agent from L.A.” Self thought she was being discovered, a la Lana Turner. Then he said self had called him a few days earlier. Oh. Self completely forgot! Yes, she did call him! Blush, blush.

Then, self heard from long-lost classmate in San Gabriel!  Her classmate didn’t know that today was self’s birthday, she just happened to call!

So it was a very, very good day. And, hey, what about that Sean Maher/Jewel Staite kiss on “Warehouse 13” last night? Self can almost forgive the producers putting Sean in purple spandex tights!

If self had any complaints at all about today, it would be that:

  1. Although self kept the TV on “General Hospital,” Bonnie and self still managed to miss the only scene where James Franco/aka character/serial killer “Franco” makes an appearance.  Darn it!
  2. Self did not get to fully explain to Bonnie why she loves science fiction and horror movies so much (Not that self didn’t make a valiant effort!  Still, one afternoon is definitely not enough time to delve adequately into the excellent of the Star Trek re-boot, Adrien Brody’s new geek career, Sean Maher, and so forth and so on.  Bonnie, it is imperative that you make a return visit to Redwood City, if only to gain a fuller comprehension of self’s late-flowering geek-dom!)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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