icon flowers_month_april

The Friday Five

1) Has the weather where you are finally started acting like spring is here?
It's 1pm and 69 outside, although it rained a couple of nights ago so, spring-like, I'd say

2) Do you have any special spring activities or outings planned?
No we do not

3) Have you started wearing different clothing appropriate to spring?
No I have not.

4) What signs of spring are manifesting around you?
Where I live, only the amount of rain indicates a change of season, some in winter and spring, very very little in summer and autumn with no snow ever. Now and then, it gets foggy. Once in a while, it's windy. Flowers bloom and birds sing year-round, if only more so during spring, and many trees are evergreen, palms, Monterey junipers, furs so, only a few display flowers or spring green. For some reason, to me, autumn stands out more especially with the trees.

5) Are there special foods you enjoy preparing and/or eating in the spring?
Farmers from the valley bring local produce to our stores and farmer's markets year-round so, the only thing I can really only get in spring are those little tangerines that peel so easily. I could get them year-round but not organic so, limited to spring. Soups get lighter. No more stews. That's about it :)
icon personal_us

On his way home...

...whilst bike riding, Aaron decided to explore.He ventured down a path that skirts our Guadalupe Parkway, a river park that runs through San Jose that was designed by the US Army Corps of Engineers as a flood control project starting back in the 1960's.

It runs through downtown, by the Children's Museum and the Performing Arts Center, and is more city-like, wide and controlled like this first photo I snagged off the internet or the second I took a while back that's right next to the.

Out here, though, in the suburbs in runs a bit more wild like these three photos of Aaron's which are actually the whole point of this post :) He took many many and I asked for the three, one selfie and two more he liked best.

Pretty California :)
icon science_astronomy

Astronomy Picture of the Day_The Witch's Broom Nebula

It gratifies me that a number of my friend's list friends comment that they like these, generally, weekly doses of, mainly, Hubble amazingness. Encourages me to carry on posting them. Also, please note that NASA is link crazy, many of which, because they are so text-heavy, I remove leaving behind only those I believe to be the most informative or pretty or funny or cute :)

NGC 6960: The Witch's Broom Nebula_Image Credit & Copyright: Martin Pugh (Heaven's Mirror Observatory)
Explanation: Ten thousand years ago, before the dawn of recorded human history, a new light would have suddenly have appeared in the night sky and faded after a few weeks. Today we know this light was from a supernova, or exploding star, and record the expanding debris cloud as the Veil Nebula, a supernova remnant. This sharp telescopic view is centered on a western segment of the Veil Nebula cataloged as NGC 6960 but less formally known as the Witch's Broom Nebula. Blasted out in the cataclysmic explosion, the interstellar shock wave plows through space sweeping up and exciting interstellar material. Imaged with narrow band filters, the glowing filaments are like long ripples in a sheet seen almost edge on, remarkably well separated into atomic hydrogen (red) and oxygen (blue-green) gas. The complete supernova remnant lies about 1400 light-years away towards the constellation Cygnus. This Witch's Broom actually spans about 35 light-years. The bright star in the frame is 52 Cygni, visible with the unaided eye from a dark location but unrelated to the ancient supernova remnant.

icon mission101_2017

Updating the mission #9_March 2018

Update-wise, I've got nothing for March. I completed a single task, one about finding a mantra which I have. Memorizing it which I have. And using it which I have been sort of, kind of. Still and all, I'm counting #35 as done.

So mainly this is a photo post, a sad one for me, about the dying of a tree, my beautiful courtyard flowering plum. It's demise began with the dying of a branch a couple of years ago which led to the dying of several branches last year which lead in this sadness this year.

First photo is what it should have looked like a couple of weeks ago.
           Second is what it looked like the day we had it removed.

The third photo is what we should have, a lovely leafed-out plum.
          The fourth photo is what we do have, emptiness. BTW the plant in the first photo is now taller than me! It was the stress of the drought, that brought some kind of boring bug, which did it in. Problem is, the bug attacks all trees, except some citrus, so time was of the essence before the problem spread. I'll update this later when something new, and smaller, has been planted :)

On a happier note, Aaron delighted because we are cooking up his Grandma Lucy's fat little corn fritters which we eat with chili :)

icon science_astronomy

Astronomy Picture of the Day!

Astonishing to realize, sobering to remember, that each and every bright dot is a galaxy!

NGC 247 and Friends
Image Credit & Copyright: CHART32 Team, Processing_Johannes Schedler

Explanation: About 70,000 light-years across, NGC 247 is a spiral galaxy smaller than our Milky Way. Measured to be only 11 million light-years distant it is nearby though. Tilted nearly edge-on as seen from our perspective, it dominates this telescopic field of view toward the southern constellation Cetus. The pronounced void on one side of the galaxy's disk recalls for some its popular name, the Needle's Eye galaxy. Many background galaxies are visible in this sharp galaxy portrait, including the remarkable string of four galaxies just below and left of NGC 247 known as Burbidge's Chain. Burbidge's Chain galaxies are about 300 million light-years distant. The deep image even reveals that the two leftmost galaxies in the chain are apparently interacting, joined by a faint bridge of material. NGC 247 itself is part of the Sculptor Group of galaxies along with the shiny spiral NGC 253.

icon holiday_month_february_valentine's_

Friday Five

1. What is the most important lesson you have learned from your love life?
It's variable and, for me, has required a flexible approach, the balance between being the oak and standing my ground, and being the willow and giving in. Give in too much and I'll lose myself, stand my ground too much and I'll lose my relationship. The most important lesson for me has been realizing the need for middle ground, for compromise.

2. When it comes to love, are you an optimist or a cynic?
In the main, a cynic. In my heart of heart of hearts maybe I'm more optimistic but, real life has taught me that a cautious,more cynical approach keeps expectations more reasonable.

3. You see a long lost ex walking down the street. Are you more likely to approach him/her or just keep walking?
Depends on which ex but more likely than not, I'd approach

4. Do you believe in the idea of a soul mate?
I did when I was much younger but now, not so much. Too fatalistic. Too starry-eyed.

5. Care to share any relationship stories?
My now husband and I met in Art School, Painting 101, 48 years ago and for 15 years, we dated each other and we dated other people, both of us realizing that we needed time to grow, eventually also realizing that despite all the twists and turns, we always ended up coming back to each other. Then on that most happy day in 1987, David said the words I'd been longing to hear --yeah, I guess you're right, I guess we should get married-- and we did much to the surprise of our friends and family  And, unlike most of our friends, we haven't divorced, we remain together, and our life is full to brimming with not just our history but with our future. Despite the fact that now and then, we want to kill each other in disturbing literal ways, we continue to plan for tomorrow. He retires this year, what a freaking challenge that is going to be but we'll probably be just fine. Only time will tell.

icon words_2 for 1

I love these!!

Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth
          _Albert Einstein, physicist_Nobel laureate_1879-1955

AND naturally
NASA.jpg's Flying Over the Earth at Night II_1 min & 20 secs of such amazingness!
APOD Videos

Video Credit: NASA, Gateway to Astronaut Photography

icon mission101_2017

Updating the mission #9_February 2018

Journey to my original post where not much Uncompleted Black at all has turned Completed Blue but progress is made of a sort.

53_SET-UP 4 Drawings w/ paper
     I know what my next four drawings, my yearly goal, are going to be. I have a series I'd like to do and have the paper and media all ready to go and can clearly see the images in my mind, a combining of contrasting realities. The thing is to actually start, the hard part really.

         Instead, I've been working in my sketch journal, doing my version of fairly complete doodles, one per page, that are adding to my repertoire of how to draw. I finished one of these last year and hope to do the same this year.

65_Caught in the Light of His Eyes

66_Everyone Who Mattered to Them Was There
     These two are a part of my embracing of nostalgia, a longing for a simpler time, re-reading and re-editing some of my old stories. I miss, so much miss, writing but am uninclined at the moment to start anything new so, doing this will have to suffice. And so far it has :)

Otherwise, I fairly well stayed on track with my weekly and monthly Ongoing Red tasks so, February was okay. Not great but okay.

I do have a couple of random photos to offer up about cooking/ baking since that is a main task for this year, the task being to actually get myself to like cooking since doing so is something I pretty much consistently have to do and have never cared for.

Above was for Seafood Wednesday. The shrimp could have been a bit more golden but otherwise, this meal was very good and the only one I remembered to take a photo of all month :)
Below for the goal: Bake twice per month_my father's recipe for brownies which were a hit.

And finally, a photo Aaron asked me to take from, obviously, the TV which he claims, sadly and rightly so, is indicative of our American times.

Le sigh

icon words_meme

Belated Friday Five

Would you rather

shop // sunbathe
Shop any day assuming I have at least a little money. I never sunbath as I am one of those very blonde people who shouldn't even be out without a hat which, of course, I always am. Sunscreen though, I always wear sunscreen.

dance // sing
I am also tone-deaf and will only sing when forced which, since everyone knows I'm tone-deaf, I never am. But I LOVE LOVE LOVE to dance. Dancing is how I understand music.

watch college football // watch NFL
Neither but if forced, the NFL

write // read
Both. I refuse to choose. Although I admit to reading more than writing

chat online with friends // hang out with friends
Both. Each fulfills a different need. Chatting with online friends is less immediate but I am thoughtful in my responses. Chatting with RL friends is more immediate but can be exhausting energy-wise


If you want to do the meme, you can grab the original copy here.

  • Current Music
  • Tags
icon flowers_month_april

Astronomy Picture of the Day

And they just keep getting more amazing-er and more amazing-er

Dueling Bands in the Night
Image Credit & License: Ruslan Merzlyakov (RMS Photography)
Explanation: What are these two bands in the sky? The more commonly seen band is the one on the right and is the central band of our Milky Way galaxy. Our Sun orbits in the disk of this spiral galaxy, so that from inside, this disk appears as a band of comparable brightness all the way around the sky. The Milky Way band can also be seen all year -- if out away from city lights. The less commonly seem band, on the left, is zodiacal light -- sunlight reflected from dust orbiting the Sun in our Solar System. Zodiacal light is brightest near the Sun and so is best seen just before sunrise or just after sunset. On some evenings in the north, particularly during the months of March and April, this ribbon of zodiacal light can appear quite prominent after sunset. It has recently been determined that zodiacal dust was mostly expelled by comets that have passed near Jupiter. Only on certain times of the year will the two bands be seen side by side, in parts of the sky, like this. Here the two streaks of light appear like the continuation of the banks of the Liver River into the sky. The featured panorama of consecutive exposures was recorded about three weeks ago in North Jutland, Denmark.