Thursday, November 10, 2016

Lovely Benicia

There are no two ways about it, Benicia is lovely in the autumn.  As usual, we took a walk downtown.  Today, as a treat, we walked to the pier.  It was in the mid 70s with no breeze.  The light on the water was just so gorgeous because of the combination of blue skies and still air.  
I've taken this picture many times, of the old ship wreck at the end of West C Street.  Some people think it looks like junk and should be removed, but I think it's interesting and an important part of downtown.
This shot is right along the pier as the seagulls were flying east.  This weekend one of my favorite friends is coming to see me just so we can go downtown and enjoy the shops in their holiday splendor.  It's a tourist attraction right at my doorstep!  Who could ask for more?

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Ahhhhh-Tum!

What's your favorite time of year?  Answer:  autumn.  There's nothing like it for reviving the spirits!  Not that they need reviving.  But IF they did, just hang on until autumn and everything will be fine.  As usual.

Here at Wellington autumn is first in evidence by the changing leaves of the Boston Ivy. Even before there's a nip in the air.  Next sign:  Andy's Nut.  And if you don't know what I'm talking about you're not a regular Blog reader.

Today when the old Hubster and I were coming back from a walk I noticed that one of the little "berries" from the Arbutus Marina had landed on this sweet little bench.  I love how this bench looks and send pictures of it to The Dot all the time.  She doesn't generally respond, but I know she must enjoy them because look!  It's especially lovely in autumn when the Boston Ivy that grows around it starts to change color.  And when the Arbutus Marina, as previously stated, drops its fruit right on there.

Autumn also marks the time you can start doing all these projects.  Here is a list of projects I'm planning to start:  organize my pantry; pick up embroidery (I'm going to do a whole post about this later, because it's very exciting); sew something; bake something orange; organize Family Gatherings; ride a horse; eat lots of extra food (an extra layer of fat is necessary if one wants to make it through winter).  So far I've done the horse one and the eating one.  And started the Family one.

I've also done a little match-making, much to The Dot's mortification.  But I think it might be going pretty well!  It isn't THE DOT!  SHE JUST GOT MARRIED!  I didn't write about the wedding on The Blog on account of that's someone else's personal business.  But I will just say this:  The Dot and Mr. Dot's wedding was one of the most fabulous days of my life.

Speaking of fabulous, isn't autumn fabulous?  Today I baked this raisin cinnamon-swirl bread:

It wasn't as hard as it looks.  I used the method where you just mix up a bunch of flour, yeast, salt, etc and then put it in the fridge.  When you want to bake you just pull a hunk out, shape it and let it sit for 40 minutes before baking.  No kneading necessary.  With this one I added raisins and then put some cinnamon inside.  Haven't tasted it yet, but I will in the morning.  I'll keep you posted.  Baking bread puts a little bounce in your step first thing in the morning, as soon as you wake up and remember you baked something the day before.

I plan on having a fantastic autumn and I hope you all have a great autumn too.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Seventh Benicia Peddlers' Fair

Today was the Seventh Annual Benicia Peddlers' Fair.  It's actually been going since 1963, but this is our seventh year in Wellington, so I'm calling it the Seventh Annual.

In true Hubby Fashion, Hubby abstained from the Fair yet again.  But that didn't stop me.  I had a date to meet my neighbor at the booth she was running at 10 a.m., and by jove I made it there at 10 a.m.  Almost exactly.


She was running the booth that sold coffee in the early morning, but by the time I arrived they were selling (and consuming) beer.  The margarita dispensers were not operable yet, but they were being prepared.  

We walked down about a block, then my neighbor had to turn back and get to her booth.  So I proceeded alone.  There was a huge crowd and the street was barely navigable.  But I navigated to a lot of booths with antiques.  Many with jewelry.  And tons of food and clothing booths.  Here is a partial list of things I didn't buy:  silver necklace; cowboy hat; succulents; various Donald Ducks; antique hinged box; "designer" sunglasses; beaded coin purse.  Here is a complete list of things I bought:  book.

Here is a view looking towards the water from D Street.

This booth had a lot of characters from Nightmare Before Christmas.  This is where I didn't buy the Donald Ducks.


I thought this picture, taken right before I headed home, was interesting.  There were a couple of banks of port-a-potties.  These two little dogs were very unhappy to be left outside, but the owner seemed to have a grip on their leashes from inside the potty.  Incidentally the margarita machine was up and running by this time - just past 11.  It seemed to be fairly popular.

I was just congratulating myself on all the things I didn't buy, but then I passed the library and had to zoom in just to see.  I headed right for the "special" section and bought something I can't write about since it's a present for someone else.  But it was quite a gem and only cost $2.50.  So I count that as a complete success!

Then I came home and got my yogurt and latte.  I was just starting to enjoy my lunch when there was a ding-dong at my door.  It turned out to be two ding-dongs.  Heehee.  Not really.  It was the mayor and an assistant who were campaigning.  I took the opportunity to complain about a couple of things, in the most good-nature way possible.  I won't write about them here since that's not the type of thing that goes on The Blog.  But I'll keep an eyeball peeled and if the things get fixed I will let you all know so you can reelect the mayor.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Happy Birthday Wellington - 6!

We've had our ups and downs.  Mostly all ups, thank goodness!  Wellington has made it through neglect, a new family, drought and now look!  Blooming and glowing like the Wellington he was meant to be!  And now he is six years old.  Pampered and well loved

Last month an anonymous admirer sent Wellington a bunch of balloons.  I think they got the dates mixed up.  He was awfully proud, standing in the cloudy morning holding his mylar bouquet.


Unfortunately they were too close to the electrical wires so we had to cut them down.  He is only six, after all, and doesn't know about these things.  That's why we're here to take care of him.

This next bit of information is not generally something that goes onto the blog because of its sadness.  But in the second picture of Wellington you can sort of see Fester, the Forest Pansy Redbud tree that we planted a few years ago.  He died.  We had to hack him down on Thursday.  He was a beautiful tree.  You can see him here and here.   And this one makes me sad . This was him being planted.  :(  Poor Fester.  he has been there almost since Wellington was Wellington!

Around that same time I bought a baby gingko biloba tree.  It was about seven inches tall, in a four inch pot.  I got him at the Morningsun Herb Farm.  He has been in a larger pot for quite some time but still is fairly small, by tree standards.  But he has done much of his growing at Wellington so it is fitting that he should be Wellington's new tree.  Besides, gingkos are the oldest tree on the planet.  Gingko has been found in fossils dating back 270 million years.  That's what I read and I'm sticking with it.  But this little guy is only five and a half.  And he's about 18 inches high.  I was hoping we would plant him today in honor of Wellington's birthday, but some people feel like we need to let Fester's stump fester a while longer.

Have a Happy Wellington Day!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Why Are Baby Hummingbirds So Cute?

 Day One - February 19, 2016
Don't worry, they get progressively less blurry as they grow.
 Day Two
Whenever I go to take a picture I'm in danger of having my left ear pierced by a protective Mama Bird with a long beak.
 Day Three
What is up with all that hair?
 Day Four
 Notice the lichen  on that gorgeous nest.
 Day Seven
 Day Nine
I'm hungry Mama!
 Day Ten
 Day Twelve
 Day Sixteen
Their eyes are open!
Day Seventeen - morning.
Look at the two little bundle clumps all shoved in that little nest.  I read somewhere that the nest is built to expand as the birds grow.
Day Seventeen - evening.
Is it my imagination, or have they grown more just since this morning?
Day Eighteen
Day Nineteen
One day soon I'm going to go out there and the nest will be empty.  These birds look like their mama already.  Compare this picture to Day Sixteen - just three days ago.  Amazing!
Day Twenty
Look at the little dickens perched on the side of the nest!  He'll be flying any day now.  I predict Sunday (today is Friday).  That's when they'll be three weeks old.  Their backs are now iridescent green.
Day Twenty-One
Every day now I expect to find an empty nest.  I think they will fly either today or tomorrow.  I put this picture on my desktop on my new laptop.  Enlarged you can notice strands of what appear to be my hair intertwined in this nest!  That's where it went.
Day Twenty-Two
It's hard to see the difference between today's picture and yesterday's.  But if you notice the size compared to the nest you can see that they have really grown.  In my opinion they are way too big for this nest.  Yesterday we saw the mama feed the babies.

It has really been raining lately and I think they just feel like sitting tight.  I can totally relate.  I've barely left my nest in two days.  But I think that one on the right is thinking about it.  Hold on.  Nope.  Still both there.  I'll keep you posted.

UPDATE
I saw them flapping like crazy so I ran and got my camera.  I waited patiently.  They didn't flap anymore at that time, but the Mama came over and fed them.  I have to film from inside my back door, so I'm too far away to get a great shot, but I uploaded the video onto YouTube.  If you pull it up large, you can see the mama feeding each of the birds, then flying away.  They're in the center of THIS VIDEO.

Of course I'm keeping an eye on the nest today, expecting the babies to fly away any minute.  I went into another room and shot this next video of the MAMA FEEDING THE BABIES.

Then I got a shot of the babies flapping and preening,  SO SWEET.

As predicted, this was indeed FLIGHT DAY.  I was watching as the first bird flapped and flapped and was soon aloft!  She flitted to the next branch down where she sat for a bit.  A few minutes later I came back and she was gone.  Her brother sits alone in the nest.  It's dark now and possibly the brother is gone.  But I did see the mama come back one last time to give him a meal.

Here is the final video. (It's better than the last three.  Go ahead and click on it.)

On the off chance that I wake up tomorrow and that little brother is still sitting in the nest, I will update this blog posting.  But I have a feeling he will be gone by light of day.  And this posting has been waiting for days to be posted.   Weeks!  But it was so much fun watching these little birds grow day by day.

I think my favorite is day seventeen, the morning picture.  I remember when I used to raise rats, it was right after they opened their eyes they were so cute that you just felt like popping them in your mouth,  .Day seventeen was the day I had to restrain myself.  

Friday, March 11, 2016

Another Rainy Day in Benicia

It's been a long time since we could say "another rainy day . . . " and it feels so great.  I ran home from the gym in the rain today.  When I got home I hopped in the shower then put on some cozy clothes.  There's not a better feeling in the world than just coming off a good workout and being warm and cozy.

On the way to the gym we stopped by the metal lot to get rid of some metal.  There's a guy downtown who collects metal and donates money to the schools or something.  I'm not really sure what he does with all the metal to be exact, but it's a great place to put metal you don't need anymore.

Right next to his yard is the cove with the old boats.  It's hard to resist taking a picture every time I go by because it's always so beautiful.  Picturesque is a word that would not be inappropriate at this juncture.  Here, see for yourself:

See?  If I knew how to use my new computer I just got today right after putting on my cozy clothes (delivered by UPS at 11 a.m.), I would have cropped it a bit.  But there it is!  In all its natural beauty!  I love this town.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Cats and Birds and Leaving the Nest

Today Cinii spent about 15 minutes in the backyard with minimal supervision.  We know when it's time to come in because she starts making like she's going to climb the fence:  gets close to it, shifts her weight to her haunches and looks up.  We aren't ready for her to climb the fence yet.  And frankly she isn't ready either, but she doesn't know that.  She is terrified of cars (good!).  But who knows what she will do once she discovers that she is in the front yard?  Or in the next door neighbor's yard?  I don't want to find out.  At least not yet

Here is a picture of her traipsing up the Arbor Walk.  And then one of her sitting quietly.  Although once she sees me ready to take a picture her face gets all screwed up with alertness.  She's much prettier when her face is relaxed.  Aren't we all?



But she's still lovely.

Speaking of lovely, how dumb are these birds, Thumb and Tack?


Bluebell (formerly Mindy and before that Midas) is rarely seen near the babies these days.  But I'm sure she is feeding them because they are growing like weeds and will soon leave the nest, literally.

And my babiest chick will soon be leaving the nest figuratively.  The little boy moves out in three more days, never to return to the family home.  No more will I hear the lovely words, "Mom!  My coffee is not going to make itself!"  Maybe I can get him to come home occasionally and eat my food.  It's just possible he will allow me to do his laundry once in a while.