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News Around The Island

La Quinta, California: Such sorry news to report on the two bird nests built on our property. The hummingbird nest was abandoned just days after laying two eggs. Since this nest was built in the exact same odd spot as last year (where both hatchlings survived), I can only think something happened to momma? It is a cruel world, and we had such a cold spring. Lisa did suggest I could prepare the world's smallest omelet.

The dove nest built in a very clever and safe spot in our courtyard was also found empty and on the ground. No egg shells. No nothing. The mess of dove feathers discovered on our front lawn one morning is probably the reason for this? Falcons and hawks are often present. As I said, it's a cruel world.

But one clever bird is taking advantage of our hummingbird feeder - and it is not a hummingbird.

Downy Woodpecker + hummingbird - taken through kitchen window

This greedy woodpecker has been showing up at least once each morning to have a free snack. I googled this and since this bird has such a long tongue, they can reach the nectar in a hummingbird feeder. Who knew! We saw this woodpecker often on our rural property in Oregon. The hummingbirds are not much frightened by the interloper. They buzz around, then settle down on another part of the feeder - we have two feeders close to each other. Nature!

Farm Report: Cherry tomatoes are bustin' out all over and are getting ripe:

Just a few more days!

So... we were supposed to be in Los Angeles last weekend to watch Leo and Lucy while their parents attended a gala (that Lisa organized/planned/chaired) for the non-profit where she works. Last minute phone call, proclaiming Leo had COVID (again) and we were banished. Leo was banished to their casita (aka guest house). Lenny stayed home with Lucy, and Lisa had to attend alone. Ah, parenthood! DT and I had planned to stop at the outlet mall on our return trip from Los Angeles. It is one of the largest outlet malls in the US, and we drive past it every time we travel to see the kids, but we have not been there since we bought Carter's onesies for Leo. Ten-plus years ago? With a suddenly-free weekend (and no tee time booked), we made an executive decision to visit the mall, then stop for lunch in Palm Springs on the way home. The mall - 35 minutes from our house - was a bust. Back in the day, the outlet shops sold merchandise from their old/own inventory. Now it seems they make crappy versions of their good stuff. Is this true? We couldn't find a thing, but we did have a nice lunch at Blue Coyote in Palm Springs.

Then we cruised home, all the way down Highway 111, like tourists.

Speaking of food, have you see the videos of Puff Pastry Tomato Tarts that are all over social media? I tried it - making only two tarts for our appetizer one night. Pretty easy. The tarts are formed and baked upside down. For the sauce, I used Boursin (garlic & herb) cheese. Baked the tarts in the little toaster oven.

Tomato Tart - no relation to Jaime Tartt
Tomato Tart

Something new. Like I have said 500,000,001 times: I love cooking, but it is just getting so difficult to think of something to cook. Meal planning is really a drag. Anyone else? Am I the only one?

While I'm on the subject of food, I found a rose-flavored yogurt at the grocer and had to try it - especially since I had perfect strawberries from the farmers market. Made by lafermiere, ridiculously expensive, but a very different flavor and paired well with the strawberries (same Fragaria family).

Family news: Leo finally tested negative today. He had a fever and headache for a day, but feels fine now. I think maybe he was feeling a bit cooped-up, as he was bored enough to Facetime his Bubbe and play songs for her on his guitar (Fender Stratocaster). Lucile (Lenny and Lisa) continues to test negative and participated in her school's Pom Squad competition. Her team took first place. Not only can she dance and do the splits, Lucy scored two runs, had one single and two doubles in her Little League game. Lisa's gala was a success (of course), and Lenny is still on strike.

RV news: I've had loads of emails, comments, etc., about our next RV. We have not ordered one yet, but have something in mind and right now we are considering a C-Class. (With our big summer travel plans, there is no reason to buy a new RV now, only to have it sit in storage until September.) We are liking all the things built on the Sprinter chassis. My brother Rick, and Kathy & Woody, have C-Class RVs on Sprinter chassis and just love the drive. Any suggestions?

Golf: Our course has been closed for several days due to "punching" and "sanding" of the greens. It was a slog going out today. DT broke 80. I did not. The greens are so sandy! After we returned, the golf pro told us the men's group were scoring only 2-putts today, due to the conditions. I need to re-add my score card?

4th hole - sandy greens

Anyone reading anything good? I just finished (listening to) Hello Beautiful, by Ann Napoliatano. Interesting story, and is meant to be an homage to Little Women. If you think your family is dysfunctional, wait until you read this. Next on my list is My Name is Selma: The Remarkable Memoir of a Jewish Resistance Fighter and Ravensbrück Survivor, written by a 98-year-old woman. True story. (I listen to Audible books while I needlepoint because I can't stitch if I am reading and I can't read if I am stitching. Books - that I actually read - are downloaded to my iPad's Kindle app.)

That's all the news around the island. What's happening on your island? Until my next up I date, I remain, your sandy correspondent.

5 thoughts

  1. My islands are raised garden beds. I spend so much time now in my garden. I can just be with my own thoughts as I prune, weed, pollinate and enjoy the fruits of my labor. I usually have the radio on playing oldies. I started my seeds in November of last year and have eight beds full of yummy foods. My island is healthy and green and producing food. It makes me happy.

  2. Oh yes, the dreaded what’s for dinner question–ugh! Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver and I’m assuming you’ve read Demon Copperhead for which Kingsolver won a Pulitzer. I follow a blogger/reading personality Anne Bogel at ModernMrsDarcy.com. Every day an email comes listing books that are on sale–I get a ton of suggestions from this website.

    1. The Road Towards Home by Corine Dumas. This was an Amazon Prime selection for April and will be released for sale in June. For any of us who are in our retirement and golden years, this is a very poignant look at where any one of us could be. Plus I found the writing to be superb. I was a bit non-plussed with the ending, but that didn’t diminish my fervor for the book overall.

      1. Try the dinner thing when it’s just one. Eat a lot of Avacoda toast easy and healthy???
        Anything I can cook in my small air fryer oven.

  3. We previously owned a Sprinter based C Class built by Leisure Travel Vans in Winkler, Manitoba, Canada. We had the Murphy Bed model. Check them out online.
    On a 2nd note, sorry my OSU girls softball sent the Lady Ducks back to Eugene winless last night.

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