Category Archives: My Life

Nothing Doing

“When I am constantly running there is no time for being. When there is no time for being there is no time for listening.”-Madeleine L’Engle

Does activity spell virtue or worth. Just because you are not doing anything does not mean you are doing nothing. Why is activity such a virtue? To be bustling around looking busy, saying to the world I have important work to do. One can be standing still and still doing a lot….of thinking.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted Linda G Hill. Word prompt for today, “spell.” Featured image ‘Texture’ by cocoparisienne on


Hope And Spring

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.”-Pablo Neruda

I have noticed that some of my rose bushes in the front yard are under aphid attack. I was busy pruning when I noticed a lady bug on one of the leaves. It was a bright red one with black polka dots. I stood there admiring it for several minutes and I said hello and thank you. I was thinking if a neighbor heard me talking to the lady bug they would think I was a bit crazy. I took the ladybug as a sign of hope.


Lady bug on a leaf by Alvesgaspar

One Liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda G Hill.

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Surviving The Storm

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”―Haruki Murakami

Featured image ‘Storm at Sea on a Monlit Night’ by Ivan Aivazovsky on Wikimedia

My Pyracantha Tree

We started doing some landscaping of our property last year. We had the help of a contractor which is good because neither my husband or myself are handy that way. There is a small section in the backyard, that once was lawn, where I wanted to have something low maintenance and drought tolerant. I did not want to have to hire a gardener again or mow and water a lawn. So for the small plot in the back, I picked out ground cover , and my husband and I chose plants, and some fruit trees to add to the succulents and trees that were already there. We put in more succulents, sage, and few other flowering plants. I planted the woolly thyme ground cover myself. On the whole, everything we planted seems to be doing well. Some of the trees and bushes in our backyard were already there when we bought the house many years ago, and I did not know anything about them. I decided I wanted learn and I started doing some research. My daughter recommended an App for my android that helps to identify plants and trees. So I started making observations and taking photos to see what I had growing in my yard. There is a tree, near one wall, that a gardener had said was a Manzanita. Every winter it has small red berries that the birds and squirrels like to eat. I noticed the tree was starting to flower again with small unopened buds. I took a photo of the tree and used my new App to see if I could get it identified. The App was not able to give me an answer so I had to take my research online. I looked at many websites, studying many descriptions and images of leaves and trees. I had noticed that there was this cotton-y like fluff scattered on a few branches. At first I thought it was part of the tree. I was excited when I finally identified my tree as a Pyracantha. One thing mentioned in the description of the tree was thorns which I hadn’t noticed initially. It does have sharp thorns. I found out what the cotton-y fluff was too. It was not part of the tree but something produced by a type of aphid called woolly apple aphid. Yikes, how was I going to get rid of these aphids? Further research led me to aphid predators. I found out there are wasps who lay their eggs in the aphids and turn them into aphid mummies. Other predators of the aphids are syrphid or hover flies, ladybugs, earwigs, and green lacewings. I found something else on a few of the leaves, a reddish dusty looking coating. Turned out that was spider mites. This was getting upsetting because I did not want aphids and spider mites to eat my tree. I did decide to prune a small branch that had more aphids and spider mites than some of the other branches. I wanted to control these little invaders without using pesticides. More research led me to Neem Oil, which is organic.  I have to be careful with it because it can hurt the ‘good’ insects and bees. I have decided to hold off on the Neem Oil a bit because I have observed natural predators on my tree. I have been so excited to see syrphid flies and a few green lacewings landing on the branches. I have gone from being a novice gardener to an amateur entomologist in just a few weeks.

My contribution to the My Stuff Writing Challenge on Almost Iowa Featured image ‘Juene femme lisant dans un jardin’ by Henri Lebasque via Wikimedia.



‘Ce que le bourgeois est convenu de nommer une petite distraction’ by Honoré Daumier (1846) via LACMA

Needing some distraction from stress. Like stress from negative stuff in the news or in my own life. For instance, I read today that the leader of North Korea might want to celebrate the anniversary of his nation by firing off a nuclear missile. And I have read before that he would like to be able to hit the US, and that his missiles may have the capability to hit the West Coast of the US. I live on the West Coast of the US. Besides the negative news, like many people, I have personal frustrations and worries. Some of my coping strategies, not necessarily in this order:

  • Reading online and books
  • Read comics in LA Times, like one of my faves, ‘Mutts’, or ‘Introvert Doodles’ on Facebook
  • Read horoscope
  • Binging on Netflix or Amazon videos
  • Watch DVDs from our home library or the public library
  • Go out in my small backyard garden, (except when I see woolly aphids, regular aphids, or spider mites on my plants)
  • Tate’s Gluten Free Ginger Zinger Cookies
  • Wine
  • Chocolate
  • Writing/blogging
  • Looking at nature, sky

How do you cope with stress? What would you add to my list?







“You need to live in a dome initially, but over time you could terraform Mars to look like Earth and eventually walk around outside without anything on… So it’s a fixer-upper of a planet.”
― Elon Musk

That would be the scary part, living in a dome with no air to breath outside. NASA has been funding studies on how humans would tolerate living on Mars by recreating a similar environment on Earth. Do you think we could really live on Mars?

It is argued that life on Earth may be destroyed by an asteroid impact and we need to find other planets to live on to ensure that man will survive. It would be a good idea to work on ways to prevent asteroids from hitting Earth. Maybe that should be the priority. There is the argument that this is about science and some say there is a wealth of resources on other planets, moons, and asteroids. The science part interests me most.

On a lighter note, will we have Mars Bars on Mars? This is making me hungry. Not sure about Deep Fried Mars Bars, though. I like frozen candy bars better.

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One Liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Featured image taken by Mars MRO Orbiter, NASA, of ‘Yardangs‘ or sand dune formations created by wind.

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Binging On Longmire

escapism- the avoidance of reality by absorption of the mind in entertainment or in an imaginative situation, activity, etc.  (

Dealing with stress and seeking some escapism has involved a lot of binge watching of Netflix. I started out with one of my standbys, Star Trek. I binge watched Janet King,an Australian show about a woman lawyer. Lately, I have been hooked on Longmire. I am a sucker for good Westerns. And this combines a Western kind of setting with a murder mystery and police, (sheriff), procedural. I have noticed these Netflix series episodes have a soap opera-y feel where the characters continue to get into all kinds of sticky situations and then you are left hanging at the end of each episode and have to wait for the resolution until the next or several more episodes. So you get drawn in and want to keep watching to find out what happens. Kind of like staying up all night reading a page turner. The next season of Bosch is starting soon, (on Amazon).

Featured image of ‘Cowboy’ by skeeze on