Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Early Morning Moon Magnificence

Since I don't have the lens needed for a good moon shot, I went out to watch the eclipse this morning without my camera. It was great to watch and sort of made up for the solar one I missed last summer. I know, not the same, but still -- is there anything better than being outside in the early morning, watching the sky?

After a while, I decided to give a picture a chance and ran in the house, got my camera and took a few. Not the best, I know. The first shows the eclipse better, but I like the second one because of the unexpected effect of the bright red tail lights on the Jeep. I had no idea that would happen. Photo surprises like this happen frequently to me, and I just love them.

This has nothing to do with the moon, but I received an Amaryllis bulb for Christmas. I never had one before and wasn't sure what would happen. But it took off at an amazing speed, and grew, and grew, and just the other day the first flower burst out. There are about three more to come, I think. I never knew it could be so much fun to watch a plant grow, waiting for a flower to bloom. 

And now I hear the coyote pack has arrived again, so I better go and let the dogs in the house, because there will be barking. Lots of it!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Rust ~ Post No. 16

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
~ MLK,Jr.-I have a Dream, 1963

While driving through Utah, my photographer friend of rusty things, Jane, and her husband took a sidetrip and drove the Cathedral Loop in Capitol Reef National Park where they came upon this old truck surrounded by cattle. 

I'd never heard of this park. Now that I have, I wish I could have been there too. But so glad Jane came upon this glorious (her words) rusty old truck. Jane sent this in an email:

"We drove the 70-mile +/- Cathedral Loop in "remote backcountry with no paved roads, featuring stark landscapes and a high degree of solitude.  Here the north flanks of the Waterpocket Fold give way to broad deserts, towering monoliths, and volcanic dikes and crags," according to the road guide published by the Capitol Reef Natural History Association.  

At mile 18, we came upon " artificial oasis where ranchers drilled a well to provide water for their cattle.  The active well, its trough, and an old drilling truck mark the site."  What do you think of that old truck1?"

Thank you, Jane, I love it!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Being An Immigrant

from a country next to Norway, I feel sick and confused. What am I supposed to think about a president who wishes all immigrants looked like me? Back in the day, I felt Sweden was pretty boring with everyone looking like me, thinking like me, and so on. I mean, what's so interesting about that? And how great it was to come to America, to live in Los Angeles with all its wonderful mix of people and cultures. 

Then the people from El Salvador, legally in the United States for some twenty plus years, albeit on temporary visas, will have to leave next year. And now the Department of Justice is seeking to overturn the ruling that the government cannot dismantle DACA by going to the Supreme Court if necessary. Wow!

All I want is to live out my life in peace, but I guess that's not likely to happen as long as I feel this:


the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; 
also the capacity for this
~ Merriam-Webster

Several highly skilled construction workers from El Salvador worked for my husband's company over the years. I became very fond of them and I know Errol deeply respected the quality of their work, their honesty, and integrity. A few of them came to Errol's funeral and their kindness touched my heart.

When I read they would have to return to El Salvador in 2019, I felt sick, really sick. Some of these people are in their late 60s, early 70s, now. How would I feel if I had to go back to Sweden? That's what you wonder when you feel empathy. You live in these United States, as the Salvadorans have done for over 20 years; you get a mortgage, buy a house, have your American citizen grandchildren over on the weekends, and so on. You create a life, in other words. There should be a way to citizenship for people who have come here, not on permanent visas, but who have lived here for many years, created good lives for themselves and contributed to our country, realizing, perhaps, even the American Dream. Then grown old, and now being told to GET OUT!

And there must be a way for the young dreamers, the DACA people, to get to stay and eventually become citizens. Are we supposed to just sit back and take all this cruelty? I guess that's why I'm writing this because I just can't hit the streets any longer to protest what is so wrong.

These are just recent happenings, then there's the environment, the racism, the lies, Native American war heroes placed under a portrait of Andrew Jackson, drilling on the Alaskan Wild Life Preserve, the Canadian Lynx, the offshore drilling, our one and only Jaguar vs. the Wall, and on and on. 

But, Monday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and hearing some wonderful quotes by him on TV, I felt much more at peace. Rachael and I had a really good talk about it all too, and decided we couldn't let the warrior woman within go to pieces. 

So instead of a huge rant, I will share some quotes I dug up and I will post a relevant quote at the top of my future blog posts. 


Democracy Dies in Darkness
~ The Washington Post

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Racism is man's gravest threat to man - the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason. 
~ Abraham Joshua Heschel

And to those in our government, those we have elected to serve us, not themselves, who stand up on TV and lie and then lie some more, I say: Shame on you...............

It felt good to see that so many of you wanted me to rant a bit.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Notes From The Canyon

Last week, the mornings were lovely with mist wrapped around the rocky hillsides on the other side of the canyon. 

As temperatures approached 70F, bees gathered every day around my water faucet. Lots more than these, because the ones on top of the pile got worried as I approached and were buzzing around me. 

Then on Monday, the first really good rain since last spring arrived. It was a gentle rain, nothing like they had up the coast with such tragic results. It's difficult to even imagine such destruction.

And this morning, the landscape disappeard into a thick fog. I had planned to go to the store, but decided to stay home and take it easy instead. Joyce and I went to Bakersfield yesterday. She drove, but I'm still so tired. I want to say, "ever so tired," as one would in England. Or the UK, I guess I should say. 

But I digress, I'm ever so tired, putting clean sheets on my bed, first one, well both actually, then sitting down to write a little here, then the pillow cases. It will get done. One good thing about retirement is time, one usually doesn't have to rush, one can take one's time. A little gets done here, a little there. Believe me, I don't always have such a good attitude. Not much patience here.....

But enough about me and the weather. We are doing OK here. We have started to walk again, just a little to build up my strength after the really bad cold I had for over a month. Everything seems to be so extreme these days, from the weather, to colds, certainly the very dangerous flu, and, of course, politics. I have a lot to say about the latter, we'll see how much longer I can keep my mouth shut, or my writing here in check without yet another outburst!!! It's been a while though, I've been pretty good, I think.

Samson's health seems to be the same. But now one set of his eyedrops can't be found anywhere. Last fall, no one had the NeoPolyDex, now it's the other kind. I understand our vet is trying to figure something out and I still have enough for another week or so. Maybe it will all work out, but I just don't understand how these thing can happen. 

The roof over the patio is working well for the dogs. Faith, the lab mix, does NOT like water. When I tell her she has webbed feet to swim with, like a duck, she responds: Hah, I thought that stuff was there so I could dig bigger and better holes! You know, like little spades! 

I must get her DNA done. I know there must be a terrier in there somewhere. Either Jack Russell or pitbull. Our vet sees a pitbull, but then he hasn't seen her jump. Straight up, like a bouncing ball, or, well, a Jack Russell terrier.

Have a nice weekend.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Celebrating Friendships Across The World

I met Jean from All Points of the Compass  through Majsan, a Swedish blogger friend, who told me about this wonderful video on youtube, called Wild Sweden, that Jean had posted. Majsan has since stopped blogging, but Jean and I have become friends. 

Rachael with Orion, the Great Horned owl, some years ago.

I sometimes write posts about my friend Rachael and the good things she does for animals. She has volunteered at many, if not most, of the animal rescues in the Los Angeles area, working with lions, tigers, and other big cats; birds of prey, and many other animals. I met her when we both worked at the donkey rescue, some eleven years ago now.  

Since I have have known Rachael, she has done so many kind things for animals. And when I know about it, I usually write about it. One time, in the dark, she searched a large shopping mall parking area for an injured hawk, not giving up until she found it. A couple of years ago, Rachael and another woman rescued several horses from a wildfire; and last spring, she and her boss drove down a road, while a wildfire was burning on one side of it, to help move animals from one rescue center, threatened by the fire, to a safe place at another rescue. Writing this makes me smile, because there was this squirrel she rescued, I just remembered, large and small makes no difference. Knowing Rachael has empowered me to remove spiders from my bathtub and put them outside instead of flushing them down the drain.

Jean, another animal lover, read about Rachael on my blog. Rachael must have touched her heart because Jean told me she wanted to make a present for her. A quilted bag. Jean makes quilts, incredibly beautiful quilts. She posts them on her blog, so please look them and Jean up here. I was so thrilled to learn this. And when Jean asked about the material choice for the bag, I told her that, in addition to the owl Jean wanted to put on the front of the bag, it would be good if she had something that included cats. This she did, and, as you can see above, Rachael was thrilled with the bag and the thoughtfulness and love it represents.

Oh, this is becoming a long post, a bit out of order. This is what happened with the gift: We had an after Christmas party at my house with Mary, Rachael, Connie, Diana, and I. After we ate, I gave a little speech and handed Rachael the gift from Jean. 

I love that it came all the way from New Zealand to California because two Swedish bloggers connected with each other, and then with a kind and talented woman in New Zealand. Truly an all points of the compass moment, I thought. 

When the package from New Zealand arrived, I put it away. Then Jean said I had to open it at Christmas. This I did, and found a bag for me as well. I couldn't believe it. It's lovely, so Swedish looking, somehow. I have no idea how Jean could pick something so perfect for me. The inside has pockets for phone, tablet, and so on. 

The love and generosity didn't end there, I too got an owl. The one above, an owl that will hang on my wall. Watching over me, Jean said.

And the owls continued: After everyone left, Rachael and I exchanged Christmas gifts. I gave her a pair of owl socks and a little owl, just to have. And she gave me this gorgeous owl!

And now I must buy a cover for the light. Birds like to sleep on top of it in winter, feeling sheltered, no doubt, but leaving a mess behind. I think the owl will put a stop that. 

Finally, these are the colors I picked for my house: Sage, with gray trim and rust red accents. The little porch stands out, looking unfinished, but Glenn will fix it come spring.

Monday, January 1, 2018







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