Saturday, May 7, 2022

Walking In A Super Bloom

Thank you for your kind comments on my post about the loss of my friend Rosemary. I appreciate your kindness and I'm so grateful for your friendship.  


Faith and I went for a long walk the other day. This is one of my favorite junipers. It looks like it chose this place and got rid of the competition so it could just spread out. 


The flowers are still in bloom. These may be called blue mat if I described them correctly to Jeanne, who knows about such things.


The yellow flowers grow outside my house to the east. A friend  mentioned that the blue and yellow colors of the flowers are like the colors of the Ukranian flag. Blue and yellow are also the colors of the Swedish flag. 


When I studied European history as a teenager, I learned there was a strong connection between our two countries from the 9th to the 13th century. 


I may write about that connection when I come back from my break.

Faith found something of interest. She looks so tiny at a distance, so big when she stretches out on my bed, our bed.






The Swedish Flag



The cross flags of the Nordic countries represent Christianity and they all have a history of their own.


And now I'll continue on my blogger break.






Thursday, May 5, 2022

In Memory Of Rosemary


Yesterday, I learned that my friend Rosemary Smith has passed away. 

Recently, I've thought about sorrow. How sorrow visits you often when you are fortunate to live a long life. 

Now I think first of all of Rosemary's husband, Ed. He is so devastated, I hope he has someone to lean on. 

Our friend Judy is helping. 

Rosemary and I met at UCLA sometime in the 1970s, when we both worked with administrative budgets.

Many years later, she was instrumental in helping me get my job in Capital Programs, where I worked with talented, wonderful people for almost 20 years, until I retired.

Our friendship grew during the early days when we were both single. We often went for lunch in Westwood Village, the community where UCLA is located. 

We'd go out for dinner, we spent time in each other's homes. I met her parents. Rosemary's homes were always gorgeous, she was so good at creating a beautiful place in which to live. The last one I visited was in Lake Arrowhead, so many years ago now.

Living here, has isolated me physically from most of my friends. The distances are pretty vast, and navigating them doesn't get any easier as you age. 

But there are other ways to show you care. 

Rosemary's was totally unique and so loving in it's own charming way. A way I understood. A way I loved her for, a way that fulfilled her purpose. It made me smile.

This is what she did: 

After Errol died, Rosemary began sending purses and bags to me. Beautiful, expensive handbags. Wonderful totebags. Some made by Vera Bradley, whose designs she intruduced me to, and I've come to love. 

I so fully understood this was her way to show how much she cared. She knew how much I loved Errol, she was at our wedding, so many years ago. 

So I never reminded her that I live in a place where max only two handbags are needed. I now have one for winter, it's brown with a monkey dangling on a chain. I love it. 

And a black and white one for summer. 

I will make a point of using them all this summer. I will think of my friend with love as I take them out and put my stuff in them.

One should perhaps not talk about handbags and totes when remembering a friend. 

I'm only doing this because I know this was Rosemary's way to be kind to me, to show me that she was sad for my loss, to want to cheer me up with a lovely gift. 

Which then turned into many lovely gifts.

That was Rosemary, my friend.  So much kindness, so much care, so much love for well over 40 years. 

Sorrow has visited me again.

As a beautiful, smart, kind, and loving friend has left this earth. 








Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Taking A Break

 


I feel a need for a break.

It's spring and there are outdoor things that need to be done, but I have help with that. 

It's mainly the indoor stuff that's fallen behind. I really need to focus on those projects.

I also want to come back to blogging with some new inspiration, feeling fresh and ready to make my blog the best it can be

Photo by Jane B.


Enjoy the Merry Month of May!









Sunday, May 1, 2022

Sunday Morning Reflections

 


Mother Nature must have decided to give me a break for patiently living here through several barren earth years. 


So she filled my fields with blue and yellow wildflowers. 


All my fields are carpeted in flowers. It's been a very long time since there's been such an abundance of flowers everywhere.


While these photos in no way capture how gorgeous it is at my place right now, I hope they will give you an idea. 


Happy Sunday!










Friday, April 29, 2022

Someone Had A Birthday!







Happy Birthday Dear Faith

Happy Birthday To

You!

Yesterday was the birthday I estimated to be close to Faith's real one. No, I didn't forget it, I just forgot to post it here in time. 

I was tired from my corona virus booster, but made it out of bed to play with her and let her run around in the yard for awhile. 

We played catch with the orange ball in the house and I almost whacked my treasured Royal Copenhagen bowl. It was OK, but after that we celebrated with ice cream after dinner instead of catching balls inside thehouse. 

Happy Birthday, Dear Faith ~ You Are The Best Friend Ever!







Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Celebrating Azaleas, Belle Mead, N. J.

 


I recently told my friend Annette about the over 500 azalea bushes that grew more or less wild in our garden in the Sourland mountain, outside Princeton, N. J. 

Instead of attaching the photos to an email, I decided to share them on my blog. 

I'm sorry they have faded with time. In real life, the flowers were brilliant.

The azaleas were there when my first husband, Mike, bought the place and they pretty much took care of themselves and thrived. Some plants were more than 6 feet tall. 

Every spring when the azaleas were in bloom, Mike and I threw a huge party. 

Friends came from far and wide, my Swedish girlfriends, my friends from work, Mike's Hungarian friends from all over the East Coast, his colleagues from the university, as well as visisting scientists from the Institute for Advanced Study, they all came to admire the flowers and have a good time. 

In those days, the mid to late 1960s, the scientists were all men who came with their wives. 

Since this was the era of cocktails and punchbowls, everyone had a smashing good time. 

I was fortunate to meet many interesting and brilliant people while being married to Mike.   

Better yet, I met some wonderful women, young women as we were while we lived in Princeton.  

A few of us have remained friends for all of our lives. Annette from Denmark is one of them, Christina in Sweden, another. 

Those lasting friendships are what I value most from the early days of my life in the United States.







Monday, April 25, 2022

Remembering Samson As A Young Dog

I will continue to publish a Samson post every now and then. I miss him so much, it will help me to share.
 

When Samson was young, he had quite the romance going on with a little cockapoo, named Gracie. Since this was a long distance romance, as Gracie lived, well still lives, in Virginia, I got him a toy dog that we named Gracie.

Samson loved his Gracie toy so very much.



All that lovin' took its toll and Gracie got chewed up pretty badly, so she didn't last that long. 

But Samson always made sure I left these comments from him on the real Gracie's mom's blog: 

Gracie:  XXXXXXXXXXXX, Yours, Samson











Friday, April 22, 2022

Remembering Errol. Earth Day, California Poppies & The Great Moose Migration Begins In Sweden

 

Today we celebrate Earth Day. 

I think of my late husband Errol. 

And note the arrival of the California poppies in our town, as well as the beginnning of the Great Migration of the Swedish Moose, as seen on Swedish TV @ svt.se.

I read in the Washington Post that Earth Day may bring some good and long overdue news about providing protection for America's oldest and biggest trees. Everyone was commenting anonymously, so I will leave it at that. Except to say I'm surprised this protection does not already exist. 


Driving through town, I saw poppies in the fields and decided to dedicate some pictures I took many years ago to the memory of my much loved husband, Errol, who passed away on this date, seven years ago.

 

Errol, who always brought me flowers for no special reason. I think he would love to be remembered this way.  
 

Or perhaps to be remembered with a beautiful mountain view. 



I miss you, Errol, but life goes on, as it must. 


So I'm posting this note on my blog and I will think of you with love today. 

I will think of the earth, as well. And the trees, those ancient ones, the ones who live here with me, old also. And all the rest of them. 

I'm becoming more and more interested in trees.


Joshua tree from the year of the poppy superbloom. The orange fields behind are all poppies. It was an amazing experince to see hillsides and fields, upon hillsides and fields, all covered in orange flowers. I will never forget it.




Happy Earth Day!

 






Thursday, April 21, 2022

Rust ~ Post No. 37




Three large diesel engines sit in one of my fields down below. Many years ago, a man came and said they belonged to him.  Which was not exactly true since they had been abandoned in our field. But I would have gladly let the man take them away.

However, Errol, who had a difficult time parting with things, said "No."

And now, many years later, the engines are still here, rusting away. This box of stuff is there too. 

The engines are super heavy, so they will still be in my field when I'm gone. 

Not being able to part with things is both sad and very annyoing to me. 

But then I always had enough, while Errol was one of nine children. I know they were not poor and had enough of food and essentials. 

But with that many kids, everything had to be shared and I'm sure there were many things the kids may have wanted but couldn't have. So maybe this need to keep stuff came from that. 

And I shouldn't judge. 


Ooophs, I posted this one yesterday by mistake. First time that ever happened. 





Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Happy Easter!



Happy Easter, says my Easter Bunny


I got lovely flower photos from

Annette in Copenhagen

And Jane here in California



Faith 


And I wish you all a 

Happy Easter!



Photo by Jane











Thursday, April 14, 2022

Industrial & City Scapes Photography



Lovely as it is to take nature pictures, I also like what I call industrial photos. And cityscapes, like 1940's movies. There are no cityscapes in our town, nor much industry, but there's the Lehigh Cement Plant, right by the road I take when I drive to town.


There's a railroad crossing by the plant. The other day, I was lucky to get stopped by a train. Lucky, so I could take some pictures. 

I think this was an interesting capture because I've never seen this type of railway car before. It looks really old to me. I don't know for sure, but I like that I got a chance to take its picture. 



A bit more of a modern version, but this one still looks old. I imagine most freight trains run until they can run no more. 


Not much graffiti on this train, but the entire side of this car made up for it.

This is what I would love to do more of.  A man in a yellow safety vest walking against the backdrop of the huge plant.

I would have to use my camera, of course. It's gathering dust in a drawer now. I only use my phone.

Capturing moments like this would be so much fun.





Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Memories ~ The Rocky Mountains

One more post about how I fell in love with the American West. I wrote more about this in the A - Z Challenge of 2013, posted in  Pages above. 

While in the Rocky Mountains, my friend Bill and I spent a day in Leadville. Situated at over 10,000 feet, Leadville is the highest incorporated city in the United States. 

I don't remember anything about Leadville, but was pleased to rediscover the city in Wallace Stegner's marvellous and Pulitzer Prize winning book, Angle of Repose. The best book I've read about the Western frontier. Actually, one of the best books, period, that I've ever read. 

My friend Bill was in his 60s, married to a friend of mine, Anne. His work frequently took him on business trips to New Mexico, so while there, he offered to take me on this journey across the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. 

We also stopped in Central City to see the city's famous Opera House. Bill and I were both opera fans, as was my soon to be ex who just happened to have an opera quality bass/baritone voice. With which he was always asked to delight fellow guests at the oh, so frequent Princeton dinner parties. 

I could write an entire post, if not a book, about the dinner parties of Princeton, N. J. back in the mid to late 1960s. 

As we approached Denver, we stopped at Red Rocks park, a stunning place, I actually still remember. 

In Denver, I caught a Greyhound Bus that would take me to Salt Lake City, where I would change to a bus headed to Idaho Falls. 

After seeing me off, Bill would take a plane back home to Princeton. 

And thus begun my real adventures in the American West and my life as a grownup woman, responsible for myself. 

Independence, indeed. 

Thanks to my friend Jane for noting the serendipitous connection between Indpendence Pass and my own independence, which may well have started anew right there. 







Sunday, April 10, 2022

Sunday Morning Reflections ~ War

 



War


I saw a child torn and bleeding

I weep for him 

it's so wrong to see a child in a war

suffering from what man has started


The child looked around

I could see fear, pain

and a questionmark on his face

He wants to know why

caught in-between a grownup's war


  B.Coates, USMC Vietnam ca.1969







Friday, April 8, 2022

Where Did All The $$$ Go And More

 

A while back, my toilet got unmentionably and horribly stopped up. After it cost me a couple of hundred dollars to get that fixed, I decided I'd had enough and bought a new fabulous toilet.

Then it cost me $230.00 to have a dude come from Home Depot to install it. 

But: 

I'm in love with my toilet! 

Best of all it has what's called "comfortable" height.

Since I updated my toilet, I decided it would be a good time to have my septic tank cleaned out. We last had that done in 2012, so ten years seemed perfect. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I've always been good with piles, getting rid of paperwork, and so on. 

No more.

I needed INSPIRATION!

I had an old two-drawer file cabinet, rusty on top, with inserts to hang files on, for some reason crooked. I think I got both them and the cabinet second hand years ago. 

Looking at the stuff, I decided a new 2-drawer file cabinet would be just the thing to inspire me. 

This is what I got:


I'm so glad I got a black one, it looks really good next to my computer table's black legs and frame. 

And now I'm in love with it too!

And please don't ask about the handcuff, in case you noticed it. I inherited the table from my father-in-law's office. And it came with the handcuff attached!

I'm also happy that I unpacked the cabinet, moved it into my second bedroom, and screwed in the handles all by myself. I've been relying on Mark so much, I was beginning to feel sort of helpless. And decided to put a stop to that. All Mark did was to take the old file cabinet to the dump. 


I put the files on the bed in my other bedroom/office and I'm now going through them. They will be emptied of a lot of papers I no longer want or need. And then put into my new file cabinet. 

I'm so happy I started this project and will be even more so once it's finished.  

In one file folder, I found two precious photos, one of Samson as a puppy, one of Errol unloading some Italian tile from his pickup truck. Errol was working hard and not happy to have his picture taken, but Samson was so cute, I had to frame him.


Wasn't he just the cutest puppy?

Now, there's only one more thing I want/need. A single shelf for plants to put next to my dining area window. Which is large and gets the morning sun.


I have these three plants sitting on my dining table, which is OK, since I'm not exactly known for my dinner parties.  But now that I'm learning about orchids, I want to buy at least one more and some other plants as well.


The spider plant sits in the living room on an antique stand with a deep drawer and shelf below. I decided the drawer would be perfect for my tools, and it has been. And the plant fits well above it. 

And after spending money on both fun and much needed stuff, a crown came loose in my mouth. 

So next week I will have a rootcanal done and a post inserted for the new crown. Fortunately, I don't have to pay for the crown. I believe because had they put the crown on a post to begin with, it would have stayed on. 

It makes me feel good that my dentist is not only a really cool guy, but also a fair one.

And I have dental insurance, so $300 for the rootcanal and post. 

Without insurance it would have been $600 or more. 

Thank you dear University of California for all your great benefits.







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