Wednesday, March 27, 2019


 A wordless Wednesday for your enjoyment:

There are few things I love more than a meadow full of wildflowers. The poppies are out at the Lancaster preserve, but not yet at the foot of our mountains where Jeanne, Mary and I went yesterday. We saw mainly fiddlenecks, lupine, and many tiny flowers

And gorgeous green hills against bluish mountains in the distance. 

In another week or so the poppies should be in full bloom. 

And who's going down the mountain on April 5th? I have a doctor's appointment in Bakersfield and will look for poppies on my way. I will definitely stop and take some pictures to share with you.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Sunday Morning At The Ranch

Born yesterday, the tiny calf takes a rest in the sun while the herd eats breakfast. Bob and Joyce have begun horse training in the circular arena in the background.

While the cows eat, the ever protective llama comes over to check her out. He sniffed her all over, then stood there for a while, looking like he too was enjoying the sunshine.

Soon mommy cow comes over to make sure all is well, while papa continues with breakfast and Judah, the dog, keeps his distance. 

Not far enough for mommy cow, who takes off after him and chases him a considerable distance down the field.

Judah wonders what that was all about, while I get a chance to capture mountains in the morning mist.

After all that, I better take a rest, says he. 

I take a picture of the horses as we head up to Joyce's great veranda for a cup of coffee. A nice way to start the day.

My friend Carol, in the Central Valley, likes rocks too, so I packed some small and pretty ones in the smallest Priority Mail box and sent them to her last week. It was a surprise. She called today to thank me and let me know how much she liked them and how she would decorate with them. Made me smile.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Blue Skies

I have lived here for 13 years and I remember winters with a lot more snow, but not one with as much precipitation, an unofficial eight inches and more so far. I know that's not much, compared to the rest of the country, but for our desert mountains in Southern California, it's a lot. 

Much as I get tired of the constant sunshine during the summer months, much as I love rain and snow, I have my limits and was so happy to see blue skies and warm sunshine toward the end of last week. 

People who lived here before us, created this rock pile with a bathtub, filled with soil, in the middle. They planted flowers in it and for several years the annuals kept coming back. Then the dry years came and I gave up on all gardening. You had to. When your water comes from a well and you have no idea of its status, if it's going to run dry, you just can't garden any more. So there it sat, then Christina suggested filling it up with rocks. 

This is a work in progress. Joyce has permission to collect rocks from a friend's place and I have gone with her a couple of times. There is an astonishing collection of rocks just sitting there. Our friend passed away and I assume the house will be sold in the future. The larger rocks are here, the smaller all over my house. Remembering our friend who died and adding to my own modest collection: One rock from my great-grandfather's dry stone wall; one from the island of Sandhamn, where the Royal Yacht Club is located and the sailing regattas took off in the summers of my youth; and several that Errol collected for me when he remodeled a beach house for a client. 

Joyce and I went to an estate sale on Saturday. I didn't find anything there, but it was fun to look and we ran into Mary and another friend. Then we went and collected some more rocks. So much fun with the sun shining and the weather warming up. 

Then Bob and Mary came over on Sunday. Bob has several horses and years of knowledge and experience, so Joyce asked him to take a look at her horses. She needs someone to work with them so that she eventually will be able to ride them. 

It was decided that Bob will come and help training the horses. On Monday, I heard, panels were moved around to create a circular training ring, so things will happen soon. I'm looking forward to seeing how it's done. 

The skies turned blue, the sun came out, and I'm feeling so much better again.

Tammy: Did you get my age right? I was 73 in 2013, when I met the old men, so a lot older now. And not all that energetic. 

Monday, March 18, 2019

Archive Favorites ~ Post No. 3

Flirting With Old Men - August 2013

The old man bent over, put his hand on my arm, and whispered in my ear, "in one year and four months, I will be one hundred years old." He was beautiful, tall and straight, with a nice tan that made him look much younger. 

I was in the bread isle in the grocery store, my way blocked by an advertising display and two tall old men. They were busy squeezing a loaf of bread and I didn't want to disturb. When they were done, one thought out loud, "now what should we do?" I smiled and suggested they give me room to walk by. They smiled back, so when they passed me I asked if they were brothers. They were both tall and thin and could have been. 

"No," said the one who looked to be the oldest, "he's my father-in-law." An unexpected answer. Then he went on and said, "I'm 87 and he's 98," pointing to his father-in-law. I felt like I sort of put my foot in it, but they didn't seem to mind. And that's when the older man took me by the arm and told me when he would be 100. 

I could have said he didn't look it, but instead I said, "what a great achievement, you look like you've had a wonderful life." He smiled, a handsome smile that touched my heart and made me feel like a young woman. As they began to walk away, I blurted out, "I just made 73!" They both turned around and said they hoped they had made me feel young. "Yes," I said, "in more ways than one."


Saturday, March 16, 2019

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Memories, Horses, And More

Thank you all for listening to my travails and for your comments on my previous post. A while ago, I saw the author Barbara Ehrenreich on the PBS Newshour discussing a new book. Something she said stuck with me. She told the interviewer, "I'm old enough to die." When he asked what she meant, she told him that she now eats as much butter and other goodies as she wants to and should she be diagnosed with cancer, she will not go through extreme treatments just to be kept alive for a few more months. 

I liked that idea. I don't feel like I'm there yet, but I hope to understand that I am when I reach that point. Right now, I'm willing to try the medicines the doctors recommend, but not if they will ruin my present day life. Particularly since diabetes is the only negative I have. My heart and all the rest are just fine. 

After witnessing what Errol went through in the liver transplant ICU, I made sure to include specific instructions to just let me go in my Living Trust. This is something I think everyone needs to do. He had not, so there I was, making life or death decisions for him. 

On to more fun things. My friend in Denmark and I have been looking back on our younger years in Princeton. It's almost scary how easy it is to find old friends and lovers online. She found me online and now she found several people we knew back then. I was happy to see that they have lived good lives. Particularly a few that I had been concerned about. 

This inspired me to organize and begin to read the letters I sent back home. My mother saved most of them and I brought them back with me after she died. I never read them, they were stuck in a box all these years. This week, I went through and read about my first year in Princeton, 1963. 

Most things were as I remembered them, but many were not: 

All these years, I thought that after my Jewish boyfriend split up with me for a reason I understood, but didn't approve of, I never spent any time with him again. I guess I assumed I got mad and that was it. But I learned that we continued a very excellent friendship for a couple of years after that, had season tickets to the Shakespeare festival at the local theater even. I have no memory of that whatsoever. Alec Gallup, of the Gallup polls, was a friend of mine. I know I worked for him for a while, but I was so certain that was in 1970, after my divorce, not 1963. And that was a reoccurring problem - the timing of things. 

Back to the present. Yesterday, I was so upset with my diabetes control that I decided to reprogram my insulin pump myself. I knew I needed to make some drastic changes and had wanted to do this in the company of my diabetes nurse/educator. But I couldn't wait. My changes worked well overnight and for most of the day.

These are Joyce's horses. Sometimes, they get out and come galloping down her road. To see and also to hear them thunder down the hill is thrilling. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Backyard Photos And An Update

I haven't felt well for a while and not inspired to take photos or post something here. Part of my feeling unwell may have had to do with a reaction to yet another medicine to lower my LDL cholesterol. My LDL is just fine, as is my HDL and all the rest. It's only because I have diabetes that the doctors insist I take something. They want the LDL to be half of what is OK for a healthy person. I looked it up online and the consensus among doctors is that all people with diabetes should be on a statin drug. That's how huge the risk of heart disease and strokes are among our population. 

Since I can't take statins, Medicare approved something called Repatha. One day, a commercial for Repatha came on my TV. My ears perked up when they began to talk about the side effects. They were exactly the way I felt. Plus, they said this drug may raise your blood sugar. So now I think maybe that's why I suffered with high sugars for a couple of months. A very scary situation for me, since I have always been able to control them. So I stopped taking this drug and will discuss with my diabetes team when I see them next week.

Other than that, I have a bit of a hard time breathing, so I will make an appointment with my pulmonary doctor. I haven't seen him for a long time and I haven't taken any medicine and felt fine until now. 

I went outside and took some pictures the other day. After all the rain and snow, the land is getting green. This makes it look a lot better, but since my tractor guy has retired and left the canyon, I worry about fire abatement when the weeds get going later in the spring. My neighbor, Joyce, tells me we will figure it out, and to not worry. She's so calm about everything and is becoming such a good friend. We also need to fix our road, which is washed out in several spots. Hopefully, there will be wildflowers though, to make up for my worries. 

The dogs are fine. Samson is now running around loose outside and is so happy. I feel bad I didn't dare to do this earlier. He comes when called, smiling his happy Samoyed smile (a few treats in my pocket helps). 

This is an old picture of him and my favorite. He was young here, this summer he will be ten. And Faith will be five next month. 


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