Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Saturday, June 26, 2021



Every year since I've been alone here, I've watched Smiles of a Summer Night, a film by Ingmar Bergman, on my birthday. Since I was born on the solstice, this always seemed like a good way to celebrate. 

This year, I went grocery shopping instead. Then I was  exhausted, so no movie. 

And now it's Midsummer...

Traditionally, Swedes celebrate Midsummer with food, drink and dance into the light summer night. Decorating and then dancing around a Maypole is common. In the archipelago, where I spent my summers, we danced on a jetty to oldtime music played on an accordion. Such delightful memories.

In Sweden, and some other countries as well, custom says that when a young girl picks seven different kinds of wildflowers and places them under her pillow, she will dream of her future husband. 

This year, I was supposed to go on a drive to the beach with my greatnieces and their dad, but after remembering the traffic and crowds at the beach on a lovely summer weekend, I suggested we go in the fall instead. 

So now, here I am spending Midsummer's Eve with Faith and Samson. 

I can't think of a better time to watch Smiles of a Summer Night again.         

            Wild Strawberries

Wild Strawberries, another film by Ingmar Bergman. I wonder how long he and his contributions to film will be remembered.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Before Sunrise

The silhouette of the hills reminds me of a Swedish poem about the cliffs of the large South island in Stockholm. 

As cut out of sooty paper -- the poet wrote about the silhouette of the cliffs.

I love watching the sun rise over the hills and mountains this time of the year.

Today, Monday, June 21st, the sun rises here at 5:39 a.m. and sets at 8:11 p.m. I know it's been up for awhile where most of you live. 

Have a great day!

Friday, June 18, 2021

Conversations With Faith


Me: What are you doing?

Faith: Guarding what's mine.

Me: There are no thieves in this house.

Faith: You never know. 

Me: Samson doesn't chew on bones and he's never played with a ball in his life. I think you're being unfair and worried about nothing. 

Faith: He's not the only one who lives in this house.

Me: What? You're worried about me?

Faith: Someone who looks just like you ... been known to take balls and put them in the closet. 

Me: That's just to keep them from rolling under the couch.

Faith: Whatever...

Me: Sorry, I'll try to make sure you always have your ball.

Faith: Thank you, mommy. I know you mean well.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Sunday Morning Reflections

I have no words or quotes for this Sunday morning. So let me just wish for you all, my dear friends, a nice, peaceful and happy Sunday.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

The Roadrunner

and his wife.

 When I sat outside yesterday morning, suddenly a chorus of beeping noises broke out all over my yard. The sentinel ground squirrels were raising the alarm and I thought a coytote was on the way to drink some water from my leaky faucet, which I haven't yet shut off. 

No, it was the roadrunner and his wife. I didn't have my phone so this is an old picture. Of the wife. He's much flashier, of course, and I looked for his picture, but couldn't find it. 

Curious as to why the squirrels were concerned with two  birds, I asked Google. 

This is what I learned:

Greater Roadrunner Feeding Her Babies Newborn Groundsquirrels

You may not want to watch it, but everyone has to eat and nature can look cruel to us humans. 

But as D. H. Lawrence said: "I've never seen a wild thing sorry for itself." 

When we first moved here, we had a large cottonwood tree in our front yard and I actually saw a roadrunner couple raid a bird's nest. I believe I interfered with nature and chased them away. 

Closeup, they are intimidating birds with their very large and dangerous looking beaks. 

They have several roadrunner videos you can watch on youtube. I read one story, where a naturalist was talking about the fact that he had never seen a roadrunner, and really hoped to be able to encounter one some day. 

That made me feel so lucky to have my resident couple. 

 Yesterday was my best day for watching animals. 

I saw: One very skinny coyote, who did not look well; the road runner and his wife; many, many ground squirrels; ravens, and a variety of small birds; a covey (flock) of California quail; about five Jack rabbits (hares in Europe); a couple of cottontail rabbits; and one fence lizard. 

Some of these I saw because I was outside, several through my windows and then outside as I walked out to watch them. 

No luck with taking pictures.

I enjoyed my day and felt better after seeing so many critters that apparently found food, where I could see absolutely nothing worth eating. And I mean for wild animals to eat. 


Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

My Monday

I've moved into my spare bedroom/office, the one facing north, for the summer. Looking out my window, even while in bed, I see my steep hill with juniper trees climbing up the hillside. Outside my window, coyotes come to drink water a dusk, and rabbits, Jack rabbits, and ground squirrels live here also. House finches have a nest under the eaves. The first animals I saw after moving in were two deer sprinting up the hillside.

This morning, the sky was pink, even the ground was pink. Sleeping in this bedroom, feels like sleeping outside. Almost. I think I will move in here permanently. It's good for my soul.

Then I drove over to the hospital to have my mammogram done. The tech who did it was very cute and giggly, and made me giggle too. A lovely visit. Afterwards, I drove straight home, forgetting to stop at the post office, which is right next door to the hospital. Ack, old age, so much fun! 

Over the weekend, I fixed up a part of my living room. Since I cancelled my DirecTV and since I never liked the big TV in the living room, I managed to get it down from the chest it sat on with only a small part of it landing on my foot. 

I will see if Mark can take it to the dump for me. It's quite heavy. And since 2014, so not up-to-date and I doubt anyone would want it.

Resting in bed now, with the window wide open. The sky is gray, overcast and a slight cool breeze comes through my window.

An altogether lovely day. 

Monday, June 7, 2021

Last Week: 5/30 - 6/5/2021


For a while now, I've wanted to keep a weekly journal on my blog.  

I'm trying it out here:

Sunday, May 30th

I probably did some things around the house and rested in the afternoon. I hadn't decided to try this journal, so I didn't keep a record or take any pictures.

Monday, May 31 - Memorial Day

I had a close encounter with a Northern Pacific rattlesnake.

Tuesday, June 1st 

Went to an appointment with Jim, the dermatology PA who comes up here from Palmdale. They rent offices in town. Their new office had a small and badly ventilated waiting room. And the wait was over an hour, they said. I found myself with not enough patience to deal with that, so I rescheduled for an early morning appointment at the end of July. And left.

Turning into the road that I share with Joyce, I was greeted by these sweet guys. And felt immediately much better. 

Wednesday, June 2nd

I took my trash to the dump.

The guy next to me threw these bowls away. I thought they may work to provide water for the animals when I turn off my leaky  outdoor water system. You can't see it here, but they are really huge.

My container garden is doing well, except some critter ate the jalapeno plant. I suspect a Fence lizard I saw earlier. 

Thursday, June 3rd

I stopped at the railroad crossing on my way to Quest labs for a blood test for an upcoming doctor's appoinment. Again, the wait at Quest was over an hour. I've never experienced this before and will, from now on, be sure to make an appointment.

Is someone trying to ensure I work on my patience here? 

Friday, June 4th

Mark came over and we started working on going through and cleaning out the shed. That is, Mark worked while I sat in chair in the shade and decided what to keep and what to toss. Mark wanted to buy a few things that we agreed were worth $10.00. 

 Saturday, June 5th

Joyce texted she had something I had to come to her house and see. On my way up the hill, I took another picture of this lovely quartet. 

And this is who Joyce wanted me to meet. 

There were two of them, both female. 

I only got pictures of this one. Joyce has had some bad luck with kittens before. They would get out, never to be seen again. It's too wild and dangerous for small critters around here, one reason I don't have a cat. 

Joyce has an older cat, named Einstein. He's learned about his environment and knows how to stay safe. 

The new kittens were adorable. I hope they will grow up and be safe here. 


Sunday, June 6, 2021

Sunday Morning Reflections


Today is the National Day of Sweden, celebrating the coronation of King Gustav Vasa in 1523 and the date of a new constitution in 1809. 

Gustav Vasa was instrumental in freeing Sweden from Danish rule in the early 16th century. From what I remember from school, he was quite a guy. 

June is such a lovely month in Sweden and a time that I'm quite homesick. Not to go back and live for good, but in a perfect world though, how wonderful it would be to go back every year for just the month of June. 

The last time I was there was in June 2005. My friends Inga and Christina were wonderful, as always, and made sure I had an unforgettable time. 

So many good memories, the best birthday ever, and those lovely light nights. 

I'm so grateful for these two good friends. If you read this, thank you for always being there for me. 

Friday, June 4, 2021

Conversations With Faith ~ Rattlesnake Wrangling


Faith: We're so glad you're safe, mommy. We watched you wrangle that rattlesnake the other day.

Me: Yes, I think I did a pretty good job; after I made a pretty stupid mistake. 

Faith: Yes, first you pulled those big boxes out of the Jeep and left them overnight.

Me: I know, I meant to take them to the dump recycle, but then I had to go and pick up our food and stuff from Walmart. I really meant to put the boxes back in the Jeep after I was done. 

Faith and Samson: But then you got so very tired, like you always do, and it didn't get done.

Me: Right, and leaving them overnight was my first mistake.

Faith: What was your second?

Me: Picking the box up without thinking.

Faith: And out fell the snake?

Me: Yes, and it was a lively one too. It got really scared, poor thing. It was rattling like crazy, almost looked like it was jumping up and down. Then it went under the Jeep, so I had to quickly jump in and move the Jeep away. I didn't want the snake to slither into the engine.

Faith: They never stay long in the engine though.

Me: No they don't like engines very much. But I wanted to keep an eye on the snake to protect you guys. 

Faith: I'm vaccinated! I got my shot!

Me: Yes, but you'd be surprised how much it could still hurt you. And then Samson can't be vaccinated, so I always try to keep you both safe. 

Faith and Samson: We know you do, mommy.

Me: When I was younger, around 70 or so, I would pick up the snakes with the flat shovel and carry them way out on the land and leave them there, never to be seen again. 

Faith: But now that you're 80, almost 81, you can barely lift that big shovel, can you?

Me: Yes, I can, but I'm not sure how far I can walk with it, carrying a snake. Then snakes tend to fall off, so you have to pick them back up again, and that could get difficult.

Faith: So you used the waterhose.

Me: Yes, water always works well on snakes. Spray some on them first, so they know what it is, then just spray behind them and they will move.

So I moved it down to the shade of the cottonwood tree and left it there. I don't think we'll see that snake again.

Faith: Thank you, mommy.

Samson: Yeah, thanks mommy. You always take good care of us.

Me: I love you, guys!

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Wordless Wednesday (Almost)


Hanging out with the big guys!


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