Sunday, January 30, 2011

No Frogs

I have recently come to the realization that there are no frogs in Benicia. We have lived here eight months and I don't think I've ever heard a frog croaking. Is it because we are so close to the water? Is the climate somehow not pleasing to frogs? Whatever the reason, I'm not going to fret. I have a library and the library has CDs and one of them is called "Frogs". This CD (Frogs) has two tracks, both with 24 minutes of frog noise. You have a lack of frog noises? Go pick some up at the library for free. That's my philosophy.
But it got me to wondering: why are there no frogs in Benicia? So I went to Google and typed in "why don't I have frogs." Believe it or not there were no answers. There were lots of entries about frogs, though. Including this little critter who is called a "horned frog" but I'm calling him a "leaf frog" on account of he looks like he is made of leaves. But no one answered my question "why don't I have frogs." I'm not disappointed. Because as I was typing, Google tried to anticipate my question. "Why don't I have friends," it typed.
So while I sit here without frogs, I can listen to my borrowed frog CD and revel in the knowledge that at least I have friends. I kind of wouldn't mind my own Leaf Frog, though.
Maybe frogs come to Benicia in March. I've never lived here in March. I'll keep you posted.
Update: There are indeed frogs in Benicia. You just have to know when and where to listen. I'm not sure when or where, but I have heard them recently. The daughter pointed them out.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

More Bungalows

Lately I've been very interested in the Arts & Crafts movement. I've been researching bungalows and Craftsman interiors. Today I ran across this bungalow that reminds me quite a bit of Wellington. I found it on this site: It's a bungalow in Berwin, Illinois.

The features that are similar to Wellington's are the off-set front porch and the centered upstairs windows.

Here's one I found on another site. It is only a one-story, but it has similar window placement and front door placement. You don't often see the sideways-facing front door, but I'm assuming this one has that since you can't see the door from the front. The small window on the porch is like our library window. Look at this little cutie pie! It has the offset porch also. And the off-center steps, like Wellington. I love this little white picket fence, which apparently I'm not going to get. I also like the trellis over the gate to the right. This one has the shingles too. The more I look at this one the more I think it's a lot like Wellington before the remodel. Because there used to be a fireplace in that exact spot. And Wellington used to be one-story.
Right now I'm sitting in the front room. The cat is curled up on the big, soft chair in here. She's doing everything she can to keep from being on the designated cat blanket. It's on the chair to protect it from cat hairs, etc. But she's curled into the tightest ball she can squeeze herself into, in the corner of the chair, on the one bit of upholstery that isn't covered by the blanket. She's exerting her independence. You just gotta love her for it.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fog Blog

On Tuesday we walked downtown in the fog after dinner. It was FOGGY. But really creepy. In a good way. We went all the way down to the pier. Out on the pier it was dark and thrilling. You could hear the fog horns and see flashing green warning lights. Very few people were out and about, except in the restaurants. On the way back I lagged behind and took a bunch of low-quality pictures. And here they are! On the pier.

The railroad station.
This is the Double Rainbow ice cream parlor. You can just see the rainbow on the sidewalk. (That's the husband.) Here's the old gym at the end of L Street. It used to be the Benicia High gym. People were playing basketball in there.

When we got home, Hugo was waiting for us on the porch. If you look closely, you can see her on the little wall to the left. She was happy to come inside for a snuggle. That was fun!

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Foggy Weekend at Wellington

view from Wellington towards water

It was foggy absolutely ALL WEEKEND here. Friday afternoon we had a little sun. Just enough to lead you on. Just enough to make you believe the weather reports - sunny and almost 70 degrees. That's my 3rd favorite temperature! But we were disappointed. Only partially. Because although it was, as previously stated, foggy absolutely ALL WEEKEND, that meant we got to relax and have fires and watch movies. Some of us ran right up the fig tree.Actually, the daughter spent Saturday night in San Francisco with some "friends" she apparently likes more than her "mother." But I suppose that's healthy. And anyway, it meant that the husband and I got to stay home and snuggle. Theoretically.

Speaking of theories, look how well this little vine is creeping towards one of the birdhouses. Is it too cute? And picturesque? Which apparently means something different than picaresque, but when all is said and done, does it really matter? No! Because look:

I found this book at the library. And it contains a picture of a house in South Pasadena that is sort of similar to Wellington. It is a Craftsman-style home, but with a full 2nd story, which some people would say keep it from being a true Craftsman. They're wrong, though. And also it has a slopey roof over the front porch, like Wellington. And a 2nd story terrace/balcony with the teeniest bit of the balcony wall showing from the front, just like Wellington. I wanted to include a picture of it in here, but I couldn't find it online and I'm too lazy to scan. So you'll just have to imagine what it looks like. Maybe this will help:

"With its swooping roofline descending to shelter its front porch, this full two-story Craftsman-style house was deliberately styled to resemble a smaller bungalow."

See? And because I used the picture from the front cover, as well as this quote, I better say the title and authors so I don't get in trouble for plagiarism. Here it is: Beyond the Bungalow by Paul Duchscherer and Linda Svendsen. It's a good one. I highly recommend it.

There. I did my duty. And don't you just love, love, love Downton Abbey on Masterpiece Theater?

Now for a cup of tea.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Table and Historic Preservation!

This is our new table. We are very happy with it because not only is it LARGE and since the daughter and I work from home we love to SPREAD OUT, but it is Mission Style and fits with Wellington's flavor oh, so deliciously.

In other news, the Frisbie Walsh house up the street (which is the oldest residence in Benicia) is finally being renovated after months and months of sitting idle with its weeds growing up and its steps disintegrating. I understand it has been a Bed and Breakfast in the past. I'm not sure what it is planning to be in the future, but I'm sure glad it's getting some Tender Loving Care because it deserves it!

Here are some views from the alley. It used to have a completely rotted back wall that fronted on the alley, but they have completely replaced that.

Here's that back structure on the alley. They were working on it yesterday in the rain, too! I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Can't Beat a Beet

Oh beets, why are you so blech? You are gorgeous. And apparently you're good for me. But you taste like beets.

Don't tell, but today the daughter and I bought some things at some after-Christmas sales. I bought a 4 foot peggly tree like the little 2 1/2 foot peggly tree I had near my front door this year. And I bought some garland to put on my stairs. Just the right amount for my little bit of downstairs railing. It's going to be SO cute next year around here!

Last week I bought a new house to go with the Mini Wellington glitter village I'm making. I figured next Christmas I can make the church to go with the Mini Wellington glitter village. But yesterday I found a church that was too good to pass up! So now the Mini Wellington village has three houses and one church. And I haven't even made the 2011 glitter house yet!

The daughter bought the same 4 foot peggly tree and a candle. We bought them here

Oh, Christmas 2011 is going to be SO FUN!