(click on any photo to see them larger)

Thursday, April 5, 2018

We started out the month with an overnighter with Jessi's kids while she and Ariel went to a retreat. We spent the time playing around here, pizza party in the living room, and going to see a movie.  We saw Peter Rabbit.
 Spring flowers are bursting out!
 I have been busy knitting through the winter.  
I have a little collection of rock hearts.  I love it when the kids leave and I see little things around that they have done.  Here Arianna had lined them up in a row.
 I forgot to post this last month.  It was just like this when I arrived home from Gabe's party in LA.  Cyndi left them for a Happy Spring Welcome Home from our trip.
A family of eagles have been practicing their flying skills.  There are 3 babies and the two parents soaring over the house and down through the canyon.
 We had a new flock of birds come through.  A first time for me to see the Evening Grosbeak.  There were about a dozen of them all taking turns at the feeder.
There seem to be a few more hawks this year too.
 The hillside is beginning to leaf out.  I love the pink tint.
 Bazzel has decided that my foot makes a good headrest.  He just sits there with his head on my foot.
 I don't know if you can see it very well, but way out there along the horizon is a rainbow in the fog.  It was pretty unusual.
 Larch Mountain showing off the snow.  I like the line where the snow level is, you always hear it on the news that we will have snow to the 'whatever' foot level...here you see it. Just like there is a line drawn.
Mt Hood still attracts me with my camera.  I don't think it will ever get old.   

 One of the eagles soaring at sunrise.

 Lindy turned 60 on the 6th.  We picked her up and took her to lunch and then topped it off with pedicures.
 Afterwards, we all had dinner and birthday cake at my house.
At the end of the month, we hit the road for LA again.  This time it was for Daniel's birthday.
 Road food isn't always fast food.  We found a really good Indian Restaurant.  For years we have seen it as we drove on past.  I am so glad we gave it a try!  Amazing Food!
 I don't know why we waited so long to take the detour to Burney Falls.  Such an amazing falls!!!  It is in the Shasta area.  I think I need to go back.
A little on down the road, suddenly John pulls off and heads down a side road.  He had spotted a Wildlife Refuge sign.  It was worth the detour!  Ibis nesting in tree tops and huge flocks of brown geese and snow geese and some kind of bird with a long curved bill.  Its another place I want to return to.

 I spotted a flock of wild turkeys out in a nut orchard.

 We made it to Dennis' place in time for the party.  Daniel had a couple of friends join him at the
trampoline place and then back to his house for a pizza party and cake.
 While John tore out the powder room, I entertained the boys all week while they were on spring break.  I really enjoyed my time with them!  Quality and Quantity time!  I love seeing them in everyday life and being a part of their lives.  We went to swim class, practiced Gabe's violin, saw Sherlock Gnomes at the theater, played in the park and in their pool, and every night we had our Never Ending Story time.  I start out the story and one by one we all take turns adding to it.  Every night it continues until we have to put it on pause until the next visit. 

 We spent a couple of nights with Uncle Jim again.  He is always so happy to see us and makes sure we are happy to be there.  
The citrus trees in Oxnard are overloaded this year!
I found this old dead vine on a wall on one of my walks.
And then it was time to get back home...
sights along the way...
 Off in the distance, we could see smoke, as we got closer, there was a sign that it was a controlled burn.  Kind of strange to see firefighters STARTING fires instead of putting them out!
We had plans to stay in Reno a few nights, expecting to have a spa day.  For some reason, it was packed with people there, must be spring break or Easter.  Anyway, the spa was fully booked and so we decided to come home a day early.  But it was a nice ending to our trip anyway. 

Monday, March 5, 2018

The shortest month, but packed with fun!  Packed with snow to be exact.  
We had such a mild winter.  Snow on Christmas Eve, but then just rain and not too cold.  The spring flowers were ready to make an early appearance.
At Christmas, with all the boxes arriving from internet orders, I tossed one in the middle of the floor to see what Bazzel would do with it.  Of course he did not disappoint, he climbed in and curled right up.  From then on he slept there in the middle of the room.  I moved it to the corner and that is where he stayed, day and night.  Except when the doorbell rang and he headed upstairs to hide under the bed.  I decided that he should have a REAL cat bed and went and bought him one.  He turned his nose up at it and refused to even climb into it.  I even tried to stuff him into it and that made him even more determined to ignore it.  So back to the store that bed went and I added his blanket to the box and he has been there ever since.
I have always wanted to take the train to LA.  I have heard that it goes along the coast and is a really nice trip.  So I talked my parents into going with us and off we went to Gabe's birthday party.  It was a 33 hour trip. Years ago, I had made an overnight train trip without a sleeper car, and I had sworn that I would never go overnight on a train without a sleeper car, so I made sure and had a sleeper.  I just knew it would be the perfect answer to making it a great trip.  Well, a week before we were to leave, I came down with the flu, John followed a couple of days later.  I felt like I was pretty much recovered.  John said on Monday that he was not going to go.  By Wed morning when we were to leave, he decided that he was probably well enough to travel.  Well, that was not such a great plan!  I just know it set him back a week to travel so soon.  It was a long trip when you don't feel well.  But I am really glad we did it.  Now I know that even if I had felt in perfect shape, it is just too long to be on a train.  The sleeper car is not the answer to getting a good night's sleep...not even a few hours of sleep.  It was nice riding along the coastline and seeing the ocean.  We had a couple of stops that were long enough that we were able to get out and walk around a bit.  We did have fun, but it is now off my list of things I need to do.  Now I know.
 Upper right is Dad in his tiny little sleeper bed.  The bed comes down from the ceiling and the two chairs below make into another bed.  There are tiny little stairs up the wall to climb into the top bed.  and there is zero floor space once the beds are made.  Actually, John ended up going back into our seats in coach and felt like he was able to sleep better there.  But with it being such a long trip, we were able to take plenty of naps the next day.  
The sunrise and sunsets were so pretty.  So many great sights along the way.
Our first day into LA, everyone there went about their usual day of work and school.  John went to bed and stayed and my parents and I headed for Oxnard to see Jimmy and the Ventura pier for lunch.
Dinner out with Abby and Dennis and Gabe and Daniel.
Gabe turned 8 years old!  
He had a party with some friends from school at the trampoline place and then over to his place to play. It was really nice to sit back and watch him be himself with friends when he didn't know he was being watched.  You could see how much he wanted to have the game controller to show them what he could do with the game, but he resisted and let his friends give the game a try. Not only that, you could see how much he enjoyed sharing his stuff with them.  I just am amazed to see how much he has grown up!!!  He is growing into such a nice, gentle, and smart young boy.
Once home, I got in gear for our neighborhood Valentine Dessert. A few new faces showed up, even though a few of the ones we had at the BBQ last summer were out of town and could not make it.  It has really been nice to meet these people and get to know them.
While they were here, we saw this from the window!
 And then a few days later...we woke up to this...

The humming bird feeder was full of snow and he was trying and trying to feed.  After I brushed it off, he spent the day there.
 As the days went along, the snow piled up on the balls, I liked how it looked as it melted off too.
 The weight of the snow, made a tree fall into the front yard.  It didn't break off, so I am hoping we can get it stood back up, but we will see how it goes, I am not sure how we can anchor it, since it is right on the edge of our property.  Bottom right is the fallen tree laying in the middle of the yard.  As the snow began to melt, we discovered something else had happened to the yard.  A mole had skimmed right along the grass, just below the surface leaving huge bumpy paths under the grass all over the whole front yard.  A few places, he almost surfaces and there are hungs of dirt, but not a real hill.  It is a disaster.  I am sure that we will have to get a roller to it once we get rid of the mole.

 Above was the first day and below is a few days later.
 Those lumps of snow are my bulbs that had come up and were about to bloom.

 Those early blooms just hung in there.
 A Daddy Long Legs didn't make it.
 The snow piled up on the posts and then fell off making it look like some kind of a snow caterpillar.

Below is a sunset on the hills. 
They didn't get as much snow as us and so Jessi drove the kids out.  Below is the life of their snowmen.

 Lina really loved her snowman.  
 The month ended with Jessi's birthday.  Ariel had dinner for her and invited us to join them.