The holiday at home

We did not travel any farther than our backyard for the Memorial Day weekend. 


The weather was perfect. The birds were singing. A slight breeze made the windchimes sing. 

The shade was perfect for sitting and reading my current book. 


I could let my mind wander and stare up at the pear tree and all of its new leaves.  


I even splurged and had a Coca-Cola. 


The tree is back

Jjust wanted you all to know that the tree in our front yard has plenty of new growth to shade our yard. You may remember that it looked like this at sunset when Terry finished pruning it after Christmas.

This is how it looked at sunrise on Memorial Day

It is indeed a good shade tree.

Maybe summer is coming

Shutterfly emailed me that Leeya’s book has been shipped.

Today, Pentecost Sunday, Terry and I became Presbyterians after a lifetime of being Baptists.

Yesterday I made miniature peach & raspberry pies with fresh fruit.

This is my last week at Columbia for the school year. I found some veggie stickers to adhere to the certificates I have for each first grader. This will help them to remember how I bugged them to eat their veggies.

Although cloudy on Friday, the rest of the weekend has been sunny and warmer. Perhaps the storms are done for awhile. Yosemite was still getting snow at the end of the week. It certainly has been a strange May what with so much rain. We are now only five inches below the normal 11 inches of rainfall for the season. I know; some places got 11 inches in one day this past week. Weather is strange all over the country.

School will be out. The temperatures are rising. Maybe summer really will begin with Memorial Day.

The stars don’t always align

My goal for Tuesday was to get Leeya’s sixth year birthday picture book completed and ready for submission. To channel all of my yearbook layout skills, I wore my 2009 yearbook staff t-shirt.

Tuesday was the best day to do this work as Terry would be gone all day so I wouldn’t have to share bandwidth with him. Our Internet connection is pretty slow and will often drop so I need to align all the stars to get the best results. I had collected in a file on my computer all of the photos I wanted to use to tell the story for the past year. Shutterfly had sent me a discount code for the book. One would think it would be “all systems a ‘go’.”

It didn’t “go” that way, as you probably guessed. I worked for a couple of hours on the page layouts, the whole time keeping an eye on the upload of the 50 or so photos. As the photo meter counted down, I was pleased with the success of the upload. However, that glow of success ended around 11 o’clock when I realized it had been about a half hour for the one remaining photo to upload. I couldn’t save the file or order the book as long as that one photo was still attempting to upload.

Shutterfly offers an online help line so I put in my pleas for assistance as to how to get the file saved since I had the whole 22 pages laid out and photos captioned. There was a queue and I was number 11 with a wait time of 10 minutes. I again watched a countdown until I was up to submit my problem. The customer service rep found that one photo was hung up in the system. She suggested a way to copy the code for the book and send it to her in a Word document. However, when I did what she asked, it was determined that I was using a “simple path” book and her ‘fix’ would not work for me. I would have to shut down, losing all of my work. My head hurt. Noon was upon me. Terry would be home soon. Okay. I shut down and walked away for a moment.

Then I came back thinking I would just upload the photos and work on the actual book another day. The customer service rep had suggested that method so as to have the photos all on Shutterfly’s server before starting to work on the layout. When I logged back in, there were all my photos, except that one that got hung up in the system. With one click all of the photos flowed into a layout, not the layout I had designed, but a good one none the less. I had to type in the captions, but I knew what I wanted to say, having done it all earlier. After I proofread and changed around a few photos, I could click ‘ship.’

Leeya will have her Book 6 by June 1.

Still juicing

Although I’ve not mentioned it for awhile, I am still keeping my Breville juicer busy. Terry and I have juice a few times a week. 


Most of our juices have looked like this during the winter as we received a plethora of beets in our CSA boxes. 

I found that throwing a whole unpeeled mandarin into the juicer helped with the beet taste. Today I used a peeled Navalencia Orange as the mandarin season is over. Local basil is coming into the market so I used some of that, too, to tame the kale taste. 

The juices keep us healthy and get more greens into us than we would normally eat. I hate kale in any form other than juicing it with a variety of other produce. We get a lot of kale, along with those beets, during the winter months. 

The berries and apricots are in full production here now. I’m buying some small amounts at the store, but haven’t decided if I’m going to do any preserving this year. I still have peach and strawberry jam left from last year. 


Lazy lazy lazy

Maybe it’s because the end of the school year is near. Graduations have been occurring every weekend, making it obvious that the school year is over and summer is coming. You can sense the pace is changing. People are leaving on summer holiday. Maybe that’s the reason I’m using to be so lazy. There wasn’t a whole lot happening this weekend. No place, except church, that we had to be.

I ran errands on Friday. Did laundry. Orange-oiled the kitchen cabinets and the bedroom furniture. Terry vacuumed. Trimmed the hedges. Maybe that’s why we felt that Saturday and Sunday could be so relaxed.

We watched television. We read. After church on Sunday I even took a nap. Then I read some more. It was a lovely weekend. Hope I can shift from lazy to ambitious as the next week has commitments for which I must make ready.

Just feels like Saturday

Although it is Friday it feels like a Saturday to me. This is usually the case at the end of these busy weeks. I am surprised to see that it is the middle of May already. Since Good News Club is done for the school year, I filled this past Tuesday with three school tours at Kearney Mansion. I’ve not been able to give as many tours there as I would like due to my Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday commitments. Being so busy on those three days makes Friday feel like a Saturday. I can usually stay home and relax.

We have had one storm front after another pass through here. Last night’s storm actually dumped quite a bit of rain. There was flooding in parts of the city and cars got stuck in some underpasses. Each arrival and departure of these storms causes a change in the barometric pressure which causes a change in my sinuses. I have had headaches for a couple of weeks now. This morning’s headache is bad enough for Imitrex, my migraine medicine.

My plan for this morning had been to work on granddaughter Leeya’s birthday book. She turned six this week, and as with the past birthdays, I take the photos from the past year and turn them into a book for her. Most of my photos reside on my phone so I have to transfer them to my computer. Terry gave me a flash drive with photos he had taken this year. Those too must be uploaded to the company I use for the book, Shutterfly.

I spent awhile yesterday looking at their layouts and deciding which one to use. It was all so confusing, and at 4 o’clock I was too tired to make any decisions. I thought I could do it this morning when my brain would be working well. However, due to the headache, I’m not on top of my game so will postpone the work for another day.

I only have four more days with the first graders. This past week I gave them an assessment on what I had taught during the year about being resilient. The average for the five classes was 77.4. Not too shabby. This next week I will read one more story. The following week will be devoted to handing out certificates to all first graders. Those who got 100 percent on their assessment will get a special certificate from the Fresno Police Department. The others will also get a certificate from the police department but not quite as fancy. Then we will be done for this year. I have chatted with the principal of the school and she tells me they want me to return as chaplain next year.