Sunday, September 2, 2018

Little by Little

Whether it was seeing the otters play in the lake, or the trip to the cemetery, or maybe it was the water aerobics class I took, in any case, I am mostly out of my funk. Plus college football started, so there's that.

Shall we begin with the otters? Here's what happened---standing along the shoreline, maybe two feet from me, I saw what looked like an animal, albeit only the top of the head. I wish I could better describe it, but alas, all I can say is that it looked like a hump with wet hair. Watching for a few moments, it also appeared that there were small air bubbles adjacent to the animal, causing me to think it was not my imagination working overtime. Immediately I ran to the back door, calling out to Bruce to come take a look. Please hurry honey! He watched too, and neither of us were quite sure what we were seeing. He tossed a small stick that way, and instantly the hair/head came to life, swimming off towards the middle of the lake. Well then! Although I'd been told a pair of otters lived in the lake, until then I'd not seen any proof of that claim. Woo hoo--now we had. Naturally I had to run back in for my camera, and those otters put on quite the show for me that day. At first I only saw the one, diving deep for his catch.
Keep in mind that humidity right now runs nearly 100% making it difficult to take a photograph immediately, like I had to in this case, because the camera lens fogs up big time. But, as I've told a few people before, when you see wildlife, take a photo right away because that might be your only opportunity, better to have documentation of a sighting rather than nothing. Actually, I suspect I will not be able to take any "good" photographs of the otters because they are active in the morning, or so I've been told, and that means shooting towards the sun. Never a good plan. Nonetheless, I tried.
In the meantime, I'd spotted a Limpkin along the shore, a very attractive shorebird, that flew off soon thereafter.
Writing my last blog post was made a little difficult due to watching the antics of the otters. Guess what? I've not seen them since!!! Boo hoo!

I'm also feeling pretty good about what's going to happen in our kitchen this week. Or, so I hope. After much deliberation, we decided to take the plunge and bought our new appliances which will be delivered and installed on Thursday. Why such deliberation, you ask? Well, we picked a brand new appliance finish that we think/hope will be warm and beautiful with our kitchen table. Called, Sunset Bronze. it is made by Whirlpool and the color is this:
However, to make the refrigerator fit the space, Bruce had to work a little magic, beginning with taking this cabinet down.
Aside from looking good, or so we hope, this new finish allows one to put magnets on their fridge, something that some might find tacky, but I love. That was one thing when we bought this place, because the fridge is so old, magnets worked beautifully. It may leak but it does hold magnets! Some folks bring souvenirs home from trips, I bring magnets. In our courtyard space, he set up camp, marked the cut line,
and put that jigsaw to work.
I can't really remember why that tape is important, but it is.
He cut the cabinet down, restored the bottom, and re-hung the doors on not just this cabinet, but the one adjacent, so that all of the hinges line up. Thursday cannot come fast enough.
As to the rest of the kitchen, little by little folks. Next up is seeing how things look with the new fridge/stove/dishwasher/microwave. Oh, and did I tell you they claim it is finger print adverse? Time will tell, but I do think it will look good with our kitchen table. Many folks add cabinets where our table is, but we kind of like things cozy, so as of this writing, the table is staying. Plus, I can put it to work like I did while rolling out a pie crust.
I wish it weren't so, but that pastry mat does not work well. In fact, I had to start over using plastic wrap instead! The table was good though.

I bought a temporary living room rug for $32! Temporary because it really should be larger, but it has no holes, so that's a good thing.
One morning, this happened. Oh my! Lasting for only a few minutes, the sun rays on the clouds...well, what is there to say?
It must have been that same day, because we were up so early, that I went over to the cemetery to see the owl tree and the eagle tree.
So many happy moments that MINI was parked there watching the owls and the eagle family. Anyway, I'd learned that the eagle tree was struck by lightening and sure enough..
the top parts were left strewn on the ground. During our absence, Hurricane Irma knocked the ten year old nest from the treetop, forcing the eagles to rebuild. Except, once they had, a pair of Great Horned Owls swooped in and claimed it as their own, raising owlets there this last Spring. Amazing, right? It will be quite interesting to see what happens this January which is usually the time for the eagles to get busy.

From there I drove over to Lake Davis, and didn't have to look long to find some birds. Lots of birds.
Mute swans, Ibis, Mallard Ducks, Moorhen, and the ever present Anhingas drying their wings on a Cypress tree knee.
Isn't it remarkable how limber the upper parts of a swan are?
Speaking of swans, this juvenile swan's coloring. Well, I just loved it.
Plus there were some cute Wood Ducks too.
Although I have seen them on our lake, I've been seeing Great Blue Herons on the big lake, Pineloch. That wingspan!
You might notice how high the lake is, and that holds true all over the city after this year's record rainfall.

While we are on the subject of water, here's what I did. Early last week, I rode my bike over to Wadeview to get the class schedule, perhaps I mentioned that already? Friday morning, after a trip to the bank, and other errands I'd been putting off, I put on my suit and told myself, "why not?" It had been a very long time since I stood on the side of this pool, the very one that Matt's school swim team used.
There were possibly twenty five women, mostly my age, already there when I arrived, and they welcomed me with open arms. Although I'd never tried water aerobics, I figured I could learn. Having been in a swimming pool for a good deal of my life, it seemed like a perfect fit for someone as exercise adverse as I am. Goodness it was fun. About halfway through the hour long class, one of the ladies remarked, "I know you," and indeed she did, although I'd not seen Sherry since I quit working at the hospital 13 years ago! Plus I chatted with a fine artist, and a former art teacher, and well, it was more than I could have hoped for.

So, little by little, we are making our way.  And it is September meaning that six weeks from now, or so we are imagining, the intense heat will be replaced by heat that is slightly more tolerable. And to think that were we still in Vancouver, where the temperature is 67, I might be looking for a sweater right about now.

your friend,

Gail

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Long Beach, CA