Sunday, February 28, 2010

Last day of February in Trowbridge

Birds migrating,

blooms giving way to leaves,

fallen petals making pictures frames in the ditch-water,

new lambs in the neighbor's field (although Justin said that in this area they're "coyote bait")

and, at the end of the day, a newborn calf arrived at Justin's place.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Alma: health update

Today Mom went back to the orthpedic surgeon for a follow-up on the surgery done on 13 January. She is recovering quite well and, last week, was able to walk 100 feet with 25% assistance.

We are now working toward getting the feeding tube out so she can return to El Camino Gardens. Her biggest problem right now is swallowing, therefore getting enough calories each day will be the challenge. Her progress here is slower.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Old barn in a field of wild mustard

West Catlett Road east of Pacific Ave:
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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Stacey, Doug & Kellen

Doug, Stacey & Kellen have moved to a 3-bedroom house in Rio Linda. Stacey is due with Emmett Gerald on April 6.
Kellen will be 3 in May. If you don't catch him off-guard like this, then you get a Sluggo-look in your photo,
like this one taken in May 09.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Birds on Pleasant Grove Rd

between Marcum and Howsley:

They won't be here much longer according to Justin.

Soon, there will be more of this:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mardi Gras

L-R: Leticia and Jaime, Justin, Juan.

Justin had his neighbors over for a little Mardi Gras party. Jaime, Leticia, and Juan live around the corner (which, out here, is about a mile away). Jaime and Justin run their cows together.

Conversation @ Starbuck's w William

As I waited in the drive-thru line of cars, I began deleting unwanted pictures from my camera. I was still doing this as my turn at the window came up. William was the epitome of friendliness as I paid for my drink.

William: Will you take my picture?

~A: I'd love to take your picture.

William stuck this pose and titled it "The Barista." But the pronunciation was more Italian, sort of like "the ba-REES-ta."

And I drove away with a smile on my face.

Sophia's latest achievements

Sophia can take out the lock on the sliding glass door.

She can walk behind one of her push-toys.

She goes for walks with Grandma,

swings and rocks at the playground,

and helps her mother practice multi-tasking skills.

Monday, February 15, 2010

February in E Nicolaus & Trowbridge

It's a 2.5-mile walk around the block leaving from Justin's house and I walk through parts of two communities. I think Justin technically lives in Trowbridge but his mail is delivered to Nicolaus, with East Nicolaus in between the two. All within about 4 miles.

Watts Ave:El Centro Blvd, East Nicolaus:

Nicolaus Ave:

Baseball practice at East Nicolaus High School,

located at this corner in Trowbridge:

Pacific Ave:
Justin thought our relatives in Saskatchewan might appreciate that the first blooms of spring happened here on February 14 and wondered how many weeks behind your spring would be.

Farm chores

Justin works hard around his place.

There are 14 cows to feed. Actually all of these cows belong to Jaime, a neighbor. Justin's six cows are over at Jaime's right now.
There's grass to be mowed beneath the 28 walnut trees that line his driveway.

After he was done:

Although the roses were already pruned, a final cleanup was needed. Eleven white Climbing Icebergs alternating with eleven red Climbing Don Juans will eventually make an 8 to 10-foot hedge.

A hot wire was broken somewhere along the fence line.

Testing to see if it's really fixed:

The cows were moved to the front pasture. Time for some natural weed control:

Keeping busy + a mystery

While visiting Mom at the hospital and now at ARCC, the skilled nursing facility, I've been making Christmas stockings. Here are the latest two:
On the left is my own idea based on a Christmas card Justin received. The mystery is on the right. One of this blog's readers should recognize where my inspiration came from. Send me an email or post a comment if you're the One.

Postscript added 21 Feb: Carol, my cousin from Bakersfield, is the One. This year she painted 12 different snowmen which she gave as Christmas gifts to family members. She also has postcards printed to mail and carefully makes sure that each family gets a rounded-out collection.

Aging eyes

Justin went to the dining room at ARRC with Mom one day last week.
At the end of the meal, Justin picked up this sugar packet, held it about 18" away from her, and asked, "Can you read that?"

Mom answered immediately, "Dixie Crystals."

"Can you read what it says above that?"

It took a few seconds, but she answered, "Pure sugar, since 1917."

She doesn't wear her glasses anymore, so Justin was rather impressed. 1917 is one year before Mom was born.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

While at Subway

I love it when this happens!! This is Diane F, I had her older sister, Maryjane F in my sixth grade class at Sierra View many years ago. I knew Maryjane would be successful and she's on her way. Although accepted to UC Santa Cruz, she's saving money by attending ARC, and plans to study medicine.
One of my favorite memories is Maryjane and Diane's grandmother who was a doctor in Russia before the family emigrated to America. Diane shared that her 5-foot grandmother was currently instructing her 6-foot brother and his friend exactly how to prepare her garden.

Thank you, Diane, for stopping by and chatting. You made my day!

Happy Valentine's Day

Justin with Jean, my mom's roommate at ARCC. She's so friendly and delightful, and helps my mom by pressing her own call button when Mom needs help.

Later, Jean told me Mom's face "glows" when Justin is visiting.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Breakfast with Adrienne

We met early in Roseville at the Original Pancake House. Great menu and delicious. Dick would love all the pancake choices, so when he comes back to town, I'll definitely bring him here.

It's been a few months so we had a lot of catching up to do.

Sweet Sophia

This week, I'm back to watching Sophia on Tuesday and Thursday for a few hours so Thais can work at home.

Tough old bird

Mom once said to Justin, "I'm a tough old bird," and she's doing it once again. After about a week at ARCC, her diet is advancing although she still has the feeding tube, and she can walk 50 feet with a walker and minimal assist.

Mom is on her way to occupational therapy with Blue (a nickname for Phong Panh). She has OT and PT 5 days/week.