Monday, May 23, 2011

Yes, 'Tis I !!

There is truly a person behind the screen that writes this Abundant Picnic blog. Only problem being there are still difficulties that haven't been sorted out with my computer, camera and memory.

I'm away...I KNOW - AGAIN??!!
To this place ~

Not very able to complete the tasks at hand when I'm not home and close to my nearest Best Buy, or Fry's. I miss writing. Very much, surprisingly. Hope to be back to it soon!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Talk Too Much

Computer and camera problems. Going off to ask the local Geek Squad what I must do.....

UUUGGHHHH!!! I'm a bit worried.....

I've been told that I have no more space on my computer.....  hhhhhmmm ....  me thinks that's a nice way of saying -  I'm LONG WINDED!!

Back to blogging as soon as I can!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Selling Grass

Titled completely for shock value! HAAA!

Really, I do have a friend that sells grass.

She doesn't smoke it though.

It is pot (ted).

As in containers of bright green blades.

It looks so pretty, so I thought I'd try to grow some.

Not to smoke.

It can be eaten. It is good for you.

I bought wheat grass seeds.

Wheat grass is good for kitties.

Wonder if it's good for birds?

It started out like this :

I use egg cartons - (also for sunflowers)

Now the grass is ready to harvest.

Not to smoke.

Just to sit in pots and look pretty.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Playing Catch Up

Needing a vacation from my vacation. On second thought, not another vacation - more time in the day and more time at home to catch up on life around here. At this time of year work in the garden seems so crucial. Such strange weather though has aided me in my poor timing and inability to stay on task. I've hardly planted a veggie or herb... well, very few anyway. Without further ado, I've spent my waking hours since home,either walking, laundering, or gardening!

Removing 10+ year  fortnight lilies is not an easy task. My hands are sore; my thumbs barely able to work this keyboard. Still much on the to-do list! Some fun ideas that I'm hoping to accomplish in the coming months.

Our new, sweet addition has arrived! Our great nephew Charlie was brought into this world while we were away playing in LA. He has, in the last few days, brought many smiles and some happy tears too. That full head of inky-black hair is just wild! There's an impish turned up nose that'll just knock the girls dead when he's grown!

The other addition to the family is still nesting. Hasn't budged a smidgen. The flower hanging basket is blowing in the wind, and it's downright cold outside. I did, however witness a surprise. There was a changing of the dove-guard this evening. While cooking dinner I saw the mate to the sitter land in the basket too. Just as I wondered how they might possibly both fit, the #1 nester flew the coop. Guess they take turns?!

Good night for now. Have sleep to catch up on also!                                                                        

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Hummingbirds, Swallows & Love Birds

Morning.Coffee in hand. At the kitchen sink gazing out the window into my garden. I feel a stare. Little black seed-bead eyes staring my way. OH DEAR! The loveliness of it all - a mourning dove sitting atop her nest in the hanging basket of creeping charlie. The window was wide open to the breeze.... I could've touched her!

Delighted to survey the newest arrivals of spring. Ambling down the gravel paths in the garden, with my LOVE BIRD atop my shoulder. Greystoke, our parrot gazes upward with his head turned sideways... such a funny sight! He too is taking in all there is to see...

my alliums opened while we were away..

first peony of the season

As Stokie and I watered and gawked, we were met in the vegetable garden by the tiniest of birds. A hummingbird danced around the outer circle of sprinkles from the hose. Darting in and out wondering which droplet to choose; possibly looking to drink I thought. Sweetest moment of shock and wonder - the hummingbird sat upon a wire form in the bed and allowed me to shower it. I sprayed ever so lightly and tried not to move; not to breathe lest it be scared and flit away. We stood this way for an eternity of seconds. I so wished I had three hands and my camera around my neck!! If  only I could have captured this on film!! A second glorious birdly wonder for the day!

A pair of love birds also celebrated their 23rd year Anniversary today. Yep, me & hubby. And in what wonderful way did we choose to celebrate??  Why, by staying home, working in our yards and watching all of this abundant life unfold right before our eyes! Bird themes by the dozen regaled us today.

Hubby sang for me. I've video taped it for your delight... (or not!).. HA! sorry Hubs..  Really this is the sweetest gift I could have received. I asked if he would once again remember the children's song that he learned just days ago while we listened on tape to the history of Mission San Juan Capistrano. I searched high and low for the Song of the Swallows that is performed by children for the annual celebration of St. Joseph's Day. To no avail. Thus Hubby said he'd do it for me. (turn up your volume it's a tad low)

We picnicked amongst the birds. Our first sighting of the season of a local guy as YELLOW as can be. He loves our yard. Apparently birds of a feather flock together - including us!

Friday, May 13, 2011


North to South, and back again. We've unfolded our legs, stretched our backsides and have begun the adjustments to being home... FINALLY!  A very long drive, with nothing but sitting, and yet... that's exactly what I'm doing again. Felt the need to visit my own blog. Posting has been sporadic. Guessing that means I was busy having fun.

I'll share some more pics. Hope I haven't posted these already. Wait.... I'll go check. Back again!... here we go ~

Cali beach

our bicycling afternoon

ship leaving Dana Point Harbor

a surfer-style memorial : A paddle-out

San Clemente surf

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Crystal Cove Revisited

A brief tour of Crystal Cove near Laguna Beach in Southern California....


Ahhhhhh - the powerful effects of ocean spray and sunshine!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Take Me Back....

Have often wondered if I was meant to have been born in a different era. One in the past, of course! And anytime that I go through a museum, or see sepia photos that say "those were the days".... well, then I swoon ~

Sand, sun, cottages from years long past.  The sun and sea have taken their toll. The paint colors are no longer vivid beachy tones. People no longer inhabit these shacks, only sea creatures. Luckily the state has saved this plot of cliffside land and dwellings. Crystal Cove began as a tent community on the sand of Irvine Ranch. As time went on the tents became shacks, became homes. Completely endearing!

more photos later - difficulties with wifi here....

We're vacationing at the beach in Southern Cal and staked a claim to a blanket and some chairs on the sand at Crystal Cove. We did not turn back time, but we did enjoy the past by our visit to this vintage place....

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ode to Mom

Facts about my Mother ~

My Mother was born and raised in California, the second of only two children. She's now the only member of her small family that is alive.
She is a fair skinned, light eyed English woman. She resembles her Mom remarkably.
She married at a very young age. She completed high school with a different last name.
She gave birth to four children. I am her only daughter. I AM HER GIRL. She calls me this whenever she phones.
She had two boys in quick succession. Another boy was born many years later.
She is a wife, a homemaker, a mother, a shopkeeper, a pet gatherer.

Funny to list plain and simple facts about her. She, as with most mothers have a resume the length of their arm. The duties they carry out and the love they share is all encompassing.

Even though she was raised in a unique family dynamic, and without much demonstrative affection - she showered us four with love. We lived in a clean, small home that was decorated and gardened. We had a miniature zoo grazing about during our entire childhood. Mom was a Den Mother, Little League cheerer and snickerdoodle baker all rolled into one. Even with financial challenges, she had a Christmas savings account so that she might gift us with packages galore. As teens we gave her (and Dad too) a run for their money. She survived this and our family remained whole and in tact. Once her baby was in school she went out into the world to become a modern day working woman. She learned some of the new technologies. She briefly went back to school.

My Mother is a very strong woman. She has had her share of health issues. These problems have been a part of her life for many years. She pushes through it. It makes me sad to even have to mention them in her lifeline. If I could reciprocate a small portion of her care, I would take away all of her aches, pains and woes. She deserves to stand straight, tall and solid - she lives a life to be proud of - with no stooping or teetering allowed.

I am in awe of all that you've done, Mom!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Doheny Beach in LA

Beach Boy songs humming round my head

we ferried over to Balboa Island..... cottage heaven!

Posting from the condo porch that's pointed due west

Due west is the Pacific Ocean

Down the hall is pure relaxation

Today we'll have an early Mother's Day dinner with family and all the craziness that includes.....

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Garden Memories

Glass of lemonade in hand, a fan buzzing nearby - it got pretty darn warm here today. Maybe Summer is nodding at Spring and saying the jig is up, you've fooled around acting like Winter for far too long! If I had my druthers the sunny, yet mild days would stick around for another month. Because in that short, sweet-spot the garden is perfection. I can conjure Monet sitting astride a tiny camp stool, paintbrush stroking purple and yellow swaths of iris spires. Majestic beauties, they!

And when I wander the garden and witness all that is new these fragrant, colorful bearded flowers give me pause to remember my long-passed Aunt. The beds beneath our plum trees are filled with iris straight from her garden. She was quite the quirky character; loved nonetheless. She tended her garden with devotion and long days of toil. I wish Monet could've painted her iris garden - better yet, I wish that I could have! Alas, I am not an artist of that ilk. So I have no permanent memento hanging upon a wall, but the annual bloom in Spring is one of life's best works of art!

I Remember, Aunt Lorraine!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Good Hearted

Gestures of love; I was the recipient of an abundance! Nothing is more true than thinking with your heart  or speaking from your heart. Did emotions run high and love reign center stage because of a wedding? NAH... Not to generalize, but my opinion is that women are innately love givers! The women in my life seem to be so.

Kind, generous beyond belief and thoughtful in the sharing of their love and friendship, my girlfriends express these emotions in many ways. How do I possibly thank each of them for the gifts they bestowed ?........

my royal crown jewels
A sparkling tiara was gifted me....

corks floating in the fountain
 Champagne flowed effortlessly...

A cake was ordered and baked specifically with our theme in mind..... IT WAS DELICIOUS!

A candlelit table was set for dinner.....  and that meal was handmade by a team of the best friends!

Handmade chocolates were set in gift bags at each place setting. A brimming box of assorted vintage hats was a part of the celebration - via a Grandmother gone for many years.

At the close of the evening we were asked to take a seat in order to play a game.  One of the sweetest gestures was about to come....

One of our mothers has been residing in an assisted living situation. Her beautifully collected belongings needed to be packed and stowed away - no longer to grace a china hutch in the home where she raised her children - MY FRIENDS. These good hearted women decided to honor each one of us party-goers by placing a piece of their Mother's Waterford Crystal in our homes instead. We drew numbers and picked a bag filled with a secret memento. This thought from their heart brought tears to my eyes. I chose a gift that contained two Irish Coffee mugs. I will be sure to find a place of importance for them.

Good old heartfelt joy was shared globally that day in an enormous Abbey miles from here. Good hearted intentions, words from the heart and love in many forms was also had right here at home.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Four Squares of Food & Friendship

In the form of continuous outdoor eating... many picnics were enjoyed this weekend! As one of my sweet hat-adorned-girlfriends said - "we enjoyed four square meals a day". Ain't it the truth! We just may have exceeded that number. These picnics were robust, right along with our laughter. The food was beautiful and made with love - just like our friendship!

royal servant?

Spending two nights away from my own cares and home - and for that matter for anyone to be allowed this luxury - is a blessing. We had waited to embrace the whole ROYAL WEDDING extravaganza for months. Everyone sure brought their A-game! The wedding hats were everything from funny, to beautiful, to outlandish. None quite so unfortunate.... OKAY - U - G - L -Y ! as the two worn by an unnamed pair of princesses. Playing dress up at fifty-something  is just as fun as it is when you're a child!

Unfortunately some hats were so intrusive that the faces of some of the gals are blocked... Dang it!
Here are some individual head shots!

These women donned finery - fit for a Queen! I, on the other hand, was the What Not to Wear version! An outcast akin to Eugenie & Beatrice (sorry gals!)  HA! Where's Stacy London when you need her??

There are stories and photos galore. Some of them not as irreverent and silly. Much kindness and love make the times I share with these women beyond special. THEY ARE SOME OF MY FOUND TREASURES!  I'll share more tomorrow.