11 years in California

Today marks our 11th year since moving to California. We arrived on the auspicious date of 03/03/03.



We had driven over from Sanibel Island, Florida where we had been living.   Little Harold, our parrot does not like his travel cage so after days of being in the car, he was very happy to not have to hold on tight all the time, and be able to sit on top of his travel cage, instead of inside.  But sadly, his big cage wasn't there yet - as it had yet to arrive with all our furniture.


That first night, we planned on sleeping on the window seats.  However, as soon as we arrived, one of our neighbors called round and offered that we stay with them the night. They had never met us before, didn't know anything about us, yet still offered us their home. We knew right there and then that we were going to enjoy our home in Glen Ellen.  We actually ended up on the window seats as I'd had it in mind as part of our little adventure and it meant we would also be there with Harold!


11 years on and we still love the place.  It was just a few months later that we named it Birdland for all the birds that visit and live here with us.   The photos here are just a snapshot of our Birdland this morning - wonderful hooded mergansers in the pond.

……...and not forgetting Harold who is very chatty today.  Probably still happy to be out of his travel cage!!!



Yeah for Glen Ellen and Calfornia and all the birds at Birdland!

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Quentin Quail and his covey


We have a big covey of quail visiting us regularly at the moment. We enjoyed Quentin and Queenie earlier in the year and their little babes, but at this time of the year, they join up with other families and hang out together until spring next year.




While its a delight to just see Quentin, its wonderful to see 20 or more quails all running together.

When I made jewelry, Quentin was a big character in some of my designs and he became quite famous, with his little running shoes!  They do run so fast.

Little Quentin Quail necklace

Quentin says: "Play dead"!

Quentin eyed the odd egg with deep suspicion

Have you taken time to watch the birds this week?  If not, stop now and go to the window.  Take a short break and watch some birds.  It will calm and relax you - like a little meditation.
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Prescriptions for Fruits and Vegetables

A few weeks ago, New York City Deputy Major Linda Gibbs and Health Commissioner Thomas Farley announced a Fruit and Vegetable prescription program.  This allows doctors in and around New York City to prescribe fruit and vegetables to at-risk families.


More than 140 New York City farmers' markets are now accepting "health bucks" which have been prescribed to obese and overweight patients and their families.  The program provides patients $1 in health bucks for each day for each member of their family over a period of four months.  So for a family of four, they would get $120 in fruits and vegetables a month.


Each month patients check in with the doctor/hospital to have their prescriptions renewed and their weight and body mass index evaluated.  They also receive nutritional counseling.

The prescription program was started by Wholesome Wave, a nonprofit that connects low-income people with local, farm fresh foods.  The program started at test sites in Massachusetts, Maine, California and Rhode Island.  It has now expanded to seven states.


Let's hope doctors use this program to its fullest and it spreads across all states. Money to buy healthy fruits and vegetables and also education on why it is important and how to cook with it.  Sounds great.
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Everything is tickety-boo

Here is this week's list of things that made me feel like every is tickety-boo:

Our merlot grapes

  • lots of social time - from a friend staying the night, to a group of 18 British women here one night, to a picnic under the oak tree with a friend, to dinner out with other friends, to........
  • plenty of cooking time 
  • getting out behind recipe books and doing my own thing
  • cooler mornings reminding me that fall is nearly here
  • the smell of apples dehydrating 
  • my parrot Harold singing along to his favorite toy
  • tasting our grapes for ripeness - not there yet, but great flavors are developing
  • seeing both the great blue and the little green heron together on our pond
  • rearranging outdoor furniture and loving the change
  • enjoying new clients
  • doing some sorting and clearing out at home
  • good chat on the phone with my sister and my parents
Our Godello grapes
Hope your week has had plenty of tickety-boo times in it too.
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Everything is tickety-boo

There are lots of things I could put on my list for this week's blog post - the things that made me feel that life is tickety-boo - but one stands out to me.  And that is flowers.


Every day this week, I've been amazed by the beauty of the flowers around me. Those near our front door at just stunning ( I'll show photos of them later in the week).  It's incredible how nature makes all colors go well together!


But the sight that just took my breath away was the one shown in the photos here, of the Kunde vineyard in Glen Ellen, that has planted red and orange poppies between their vines this year. This is the first year they've done it and people were saying that highway patrol may ask them to mow it down soon, as so much traffic is stopping to take in the beauty!

We had heard about these poppies so took the time to go out and see them. A trip to visit the flowers. It was so worthwhile - and joyous.


I definitely felt tickety-boo every time I paused and just took in all the wonderful flowers around me this week.

I hope you found time - or will this week - to appreciate the colors and beauty of nature. It's such a great time of year for flowers.

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