Make yourself at home. Put your feet up. Grab your favorite beverage and prepare to enjoy the reads.



Photo Friday - Halloween


My grand doggie, Martin, an Alaskan Husky dresses up for Halloween.
He doesn't look too happy about it, now, does he?

My daughter and my great grand doggie, Spike, in his Halloween pumpkin costume. Spike just loves to dress up! He's all about style!

My great granddaughter in her ghostly make up and outfit.
It sure makes her look much more scary with those front teeth missing. Little Miss Dracula, shall we say?

My Granddaughter, and great grand daughter in a quiet moment.

Just one more look at Halloween!
This is my old room mate and her cat.
Can you guess why she's not my room mate anymore?


Addenda to Trader Joe's Request

It looks like it is a good thing to make contact and ask for what you want, even if you are addressed as Resident on your snail mail ads. View my posting of October 23, 2009 to see what I am referring to.

I received a personal email back from Trader Joe's today:

We appreciate your request. We will add you to our remove list today.
Please understand that you may receive one last mailing to your address.
We appreciate your patience while we process your request.

XXX (I've blocked out the name)
Trader Joe's



This was put on Youtube October 19 and already has over 334,000 views and 1774 comments. Who says science and spirituality do not mix? This is so inspiring.

I just keep watching this over and over again! I hope your friends will see it to. This is phenomenal

In case you missed it in the introduction the scientists who are "speaking" are the following:

Carl Sagan (I met him once)

Richard Feynman

Neil deGrasse Tyson (I used to have a crush on him)

Bill Nye


Santa's Footprint

Halloween isn't here yet, but of course, everywhere you look you see Christmas for sale.

To the tune of Oh Tannenbaum:

Oh, Christmas lights, Oh Christmas lights
How brightly shine your kilowatts!

I bet the electric company smiles
when they see those miles and miles

Of Christmas lights, those Christmas lights
I wonder what it cost to light you.

This song was created when my son and I were driving through a particularly well lit and gaudy neighborhood. It was just mind boggling to think of what the electric bill would be for each home.

Now I know some folks just GOT to decorate! So, here's a way to do it without being judged by everyone for "wasting energy", a way to do it that will save you a ton of money. You like money, don't you?

Let the Holidays Shine with LED Lights! from Terri Bennett on Vimeo.


Green Footprint

Today I decided to be more conscientious about how I can decrease waste in our lives. I get too many catalogs, magazines, flyers and such in the mail. Then, I have piles of them sitting around because I think I have to at least give them a look before I toss them. But life gets in the way, you know? So today, I started. The first thing I picked from the pile is a 23 page flyer from Trader Joe's, a fine place to shop.

Not seeing an 800 number to call, I went to their website. I found no place to opt out of the flyer. But, found a contact us location where I could fill in a form, which I did so. My heart dropped when I realized that I was not receiving these as addressed to me personally... by name. It was addressed to resident. So my chances of having my request fulfilled are close to nil.

This makes me want to rise up, get everyone together and mail them back all their junk mail. Because that is what it is when it is addressed to "Resident"

On the good side: You can keep up with information from Trader Joes by going to their website. Interestingly, they give the viewer the opportunity to choose between seeing a slower side of their site in case you don't have a fast computer or internet service. There is a faster part of their site that you can choose from if you have a faster computer and internet service.

I got an automated email back saying they got my message. Will let you know if I hear back from them in person.

Just called the 800 number for a catalog I get for some fantastic clothes, but I never buy from them. It's called Territory Ahead. They were really nice when I asked to be removed from the mailing list. I was told I will probably still receive one more mailing after this as they print up their mailing addresses and catalogs ahead of time.


Now, I am thinking. Do I take these magazines and catalogs to the doctor's office? Or shall I just dump them in my own paper recycling bin?


I have called Brylane Home and asked to be take off their mailing list. I have purchased a lot of stuff from them. But, why plug up the environment with catalogs. I can go online anytime. There were so many numbers that were offered first to push, but I didn't push any of them because they were for returns and so on, and I knew I would probably just getting a recording. So I waited. Finally one choice was "all other calls", then were a lot more number choices to choose from. Finally, "to speak with a customer service representative press#" and I'm not telling what that number is, because I don't want to confuse the issue. You have to listen and go through all the choices before you get there. It won't work to jump ahead. Once I spoke to a representative it took only a few seconds, and I was warned to wait through a few more mailings before they would be able to stop. In the meantime, while I was sitting there, I decided that all catalogs, no matter how useful they might be to someone else, I will put directly into the recycle bin and let them go off into whatever world they go to. I wonder where that is?

The person who took my call at Land's End was the first to ask my why I wanted to discontinue receiving my catalogs. I told him I wanted to reduce my carbon footprint, and he proceeded to tell me that Land's End supports that considerably. In fact, so much that they have made major changes in the way they do things right there. For example. In the past workers had copies of the catalogs at their desks to refer to. Now, they only use their computers. Also they changed the set up of the office space and were able to divide it in half, thus using less electricity to light the place. What really thrilled me was when he told me they have a vegetable garden outside!!!

Photo Friday

I was raised in Niagara Falls, New York... the honeymoon city. A definite change of the seasons can be observed, and autumn was my favorite. We used to collect the best specimens close them into a book to flatten and dry them, and slip them into a pot of paraffin wax to preserve them. That way we could have autumn all winter. But, they did make a splendid display when thrown into the fireplace on a cold winter evening. One at a time, of course.

Now I live 3,000 miles away on the coast of California, near the Monterey Bay. Autumn here is a plethora of seasonal incongruities.The lemon tree in my back yard is dripping with fruit. Lemonade anyone?

Due to the lack of sugar maples, oaks and other kinds of deciduous trees that require very low temperatures this time of year, the bright flaming colors of autumn change from a verdant green to brown overnight, sometimes remaining on the bows through winter. Then other trees, like the California Oak and the Red Madrone keep their leaves all year round. the only brightly colored leaves I can observe, are on display in stores. Buy now, before winter gets here! Only 25% off!!!

Palm trees are much more abundant in Southern California, but they still manage to survive further north. They get a little ragged this time of year, but they do not drop their leaves... er, fronds? As the years go by the lowest level of fronds will dry out and lay down upon the trunk. If they are not trimmed. They can get many layers of dead fronds which harbor hosts of birds and their ecosystems. This picture shows a close up of a palm tree with it's fruit, or I should say nuts, as they fall on the ground like acorns and have the same nutty hard appearance as acorns. In the springtime, the tree flowers heavily, but are not noticed unless you look "between the lines".

It doesn't rain all summer long, so things can get pretty dry, fields and hillsides all appear to be a gold velvet if observed from a distance, if you are further inland. However since I am coastal, there is usually sufficient moisture in the fog to keep things a bit greener locally. Still, compared to some coastal areas, we cannot keep our yards or gardens green without watering through the summer unless we have native plants growing. At this time of year I am able to have autumn Japanese chrysanthemums as well as spring bulbs beginning to pop up. Definitely not autumn in New York.

We just had our very first, and early, rain of the season. The fall of 1980 I moved here and was surprised when I went down to the beach the day after a storm.

All the branches and logs that had dried, broken or burned from up in the mountains the summer before had washed down the creeks and rivers ending up out in the ocean and then were washed back to shore.

I expected to see driftwood, but not mountains of it! And I never expected to see the primeval drive of the human need to create something out of it all.

I've seen drawings of the Native Americans who once lived in this region. Their wickiups (homes) strongly resemble the "art" that today's local California natives create.



It's 58 degrees outside and 68 inside. I'm lying on the bed burning up. Before, I was snuggled under the covers, 2 furry blankets, one sheet under, one sheet over and the electric lap blanket in between in case I need it. Actually it's more for the cats than for me. But, then, suddenly it hits me like a menopausal hot flash, and I strip off the old puffy sweater and throw off the sheets and blankets to allow some air to circulate over my fired up skin.


Yes, I have the flu. I think. I was so sick when I started to take the Tamiflu, and so much better now. But the fever keeps returning. Or is it just metabolistic misfiring? Fever, it would seem would remain at one level for a while before making subtle changes dipping down or climbing up the degrees. One time I felt so feverish, I found the thermometer and took my temperature. I was surprised it was 95.6 degrees. How can that be? Yesterday and day before at different times it was 101. That was a bit low. Isn't normal body temperature supposed to be 98.6?

Today I felt better. Coughing takes the energy out of me. Lays me low. Not only because it is from a cold or flu, but it aggravates the asthma too. Today there is not so much trying to hold it back, feeling it in my chest waiting to bust out. No more need to hold the chest tight to keep the coughing from starting. Once it starts it just encourages more.

So, now, the legs are cold and the blankets go back on. In a little while the sweater will rejoin them. Then the whole process will start all over again. There is no happy medium. I've tried changing the number of blankets, the type of nightgown, the sweater to a night jacket. Doesn't seem to make a difference. It's always the same, or I should say.... always changing.


Photo Friday

I live in Watsonville California. Though there may be others, it is called the strawberry capitol of the world. I can understand why. Even though it is a city, it is surrounded by strawberry fields right up to the city limits, and in some cases right into the city. The population is about 50,000.

Because Watsonville was basically agrarian, the town grew up inside the fields. In order to get into or out of town, one must drive past the fields. There's no getting around it. Well, unless you want to go through the forested areas.

As you exit beautiful Highway 1 to come into town, the first view you see is the fields on the right (and left). In the picture, the field is fallow. If you look in the background you can see how the fields abut to the homes and apartments.

Strawberries are planted nearly year round, so you are likely to see one field ripe with fruit and the one next to it just begining to grow. The picture below is a fully planted Strawberry field waiting to fruit. This little dirt road will take you somewhere into the middle of the strawberry fields (on the left). That is the Mount Diablo range in the background, but known to locals as Mount Madonna.

There are two other exits from Highway 1, but the rest of the roads that leave town are more pleasant to ride along, and I often take a detour on one of those old roads. This road will take you up into the mountains and forest.

Since Watsonville is a city in the midst of rurality, some other surrounding areas include forested lands. Every year the dangers of forest fires often threaten our existence. The picture below is of Casserly Road. The trees are no longer there, as they burned a year ago in a fire that went right up to the edge of town, next to the hospital.

This lovely Monterey tree lined road takes you out to the beach.

I had to show the railroad tracks because all those strawberries have to get out of town on their own special transportation. Watsonville strawberries are shipped all over the world. That's the overpass of Highway 1 in the central background.



Many of the sites you visit every day use ad networks that sneak cookies on your computer that attempt to track your every move around the Internet. It's called "Behavioral Targeting".

Besides being creepy and invasive, these ad networks are your competition! They are selling your attention without your permission.

Throw these ad networks off your trail by deleting cookies via your web browser preferences.

Now for the good kind of cookies you wont want to delete:

A Cape Cod-style house was built in 1709, where road-weary travelers stopped halfway between Boston and New Bedford, Massachusetts. In order to travel further on people paid a toll, changed horses and ate much-welcomed home-cooked meals.

A little after two hundred years later Kenneth and Ruth Wakefield purchased that house and decided to open a lodge, calling it the Toll House Inn.

In keeping with the tradition of creating delicious homemade meals, Ruth baked for guests who stayed at the there. As she improved upon traditional Colonial recipes, Ruth's incredible desserts began attracting people from all over New England.

To learn more about this story you can visit the Nestle Toll House site, plus you will find a lot of delicious cookie recipes you wont want to delete, except, maybe, by eating them!


Photo Friday

He posed very nicely for me compared to his friends who flew away not wanting their picture taken!



I have been crocheting hats for chemo patients for about a year now. I've decided to make as many pink ones as I can for this month. That way, I will have an opportunity for introducing the subject of breast cancer awareness to anyone who might see me crocheting.

Typical question: "Oh. What's that you're making?"

"I'm making hats to donate to chemo patients."

"Oh, wow! That's so cool!"

"Thank you. I'm doing them all in pink this month."

"Do you make a different color for each month?"

"No. But this month is special."

"Why is that?"

"October is breast cancer awareness month."

Maybe I'm a little late on this. Perhaps I should have done them last month so I could donate them to my oncologist's office this month! Next year, I will start early.

Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix



We've all had a blue day. But, have you ever had a Pink Day? How about a Pink Month?

Every year in October, for breast cancer awareness, funding is raised by individuals organizing activities such as theme parties or have a "pink day" on the job where work mates might wear pink clothing, or accessories at work. This brings home the importance of breast cancer awareness and the need for research. (and CURE!) Taking it out of the closet, putting it in the open... right on the table, so to speak, helps those affected by breast cancer. Breast cancer affects everyone, whether the realize it or not. (more on that later) The money raised is donated to the organizers' choice of breast cancer care or research programs. There are so many to from which to choose.