Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Rachael Comes to Visit

and we drive up the mountain to the monastery to look for Christmas presents in the nuns' gift shop. 

This time, we make sure we know when it's open, it's after all the third try for me this year. Among many religious-themed books, jewelry, and other items, the nuns sell some wonderful homemade goods made from honey, lavender, roses, and berries that they grow themselves. 

While Rachael talks to the nun at the counter, I look at the shelves filled with sandalwood, lavender, vanilla, and rose scented soaps, and pretty jars and bottles of lotions, creams, and healing salves. This is heaven for me and I smile as I pick miniature soaps out of a jar.

Then I remember: my checkbook! It occurred to me, as I was getting ready in the morning, that the nuns probably don't take debit or credit cards. Feeling pleased with myself for thinking ahead, I made sure to take out my checkbook, put it on my desk, and.......

Sure enough, cash or checks only. I say a bad word in front of the nun. Rachael says, "shhh;" I say, "sorry, sister." She smiles, I'm sure she's heard it before. But all is not lost because I'm able to buy Rachael a small gift with the cash in my wallet. 

And I find out that she likes lavender. Now I just have to make it up the mountain again before it snows. 

We drive back down the hill and stop at the field where the nuns' goats are resting in the shade of large California oaks. We scratch a few chins and take a few pictures. 

After we get back to the canyon, we take Samson for a hike in the hills above our house. We are astonished at the numerous piles of black bear scat strewn all over our land. It's too hot for me to hike in the summer, so I haven't been out on the land since mama bear and her cub messed up our vegetable garden in August. Bears usually come down here in late summer to eat juniper berries, but I've never before seen so much scat and so many paw prints left behind. While I'm glad I didn't encounter them, I would have loved to see them from a safe distance.

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Samson Says: I don't know WHAT you're talking about, mommy! You wanna see that big critter? I can smell him, but I sure don't wanna run into him or her or the baby bear. To himself: HUMANS, they make no sense, most of the time...... With those big critters around, I'll just stay home on my couch where I'm safe. 

Me: What did you say, Samson?
Samson: Nothing, mommy, nothing at all. 


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