Sunday, July 31, 2022

Sunday Morning Reflections ~ Drought


I've been thinking about this drought, about all the animals that have disappeared. Today, I saw a single California quail in my front yard. In years past, this time of the year, there would be coveys of quail with their youngsters, anywhere from 25 to 50 birds. Today, there was one, bravely pecking away in my yard. 

D. H. Lawrence famously said: "I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself."

I believe he was right, but I cannot help feeling so terribly sorry for them all. 

And for a future when I no longer will be alive, a future that will be this, this drought, and so much more, so much worse. 

As you may have realized from my Memories posts, I've had a tendency to up and leave when a place no longer works for me. 

To fly away like this hawk. It has never hurt me to do this. When I came up against the great Pacific Ocean and could go no further, I found that I was happy and didn't want to. 

I'm still happy with what is inside of my soul and my mind. And I can deal with this, with living here. I have no choice, really, so I must.

But what I have been wondering lately is this: If I were, say 60 years old, alone, but with a dog, would I leave?

Yes, I would. 

I would find some rainy place, with mountains and lakes. 

And I would leave...

Friday, July 29, 2022

A Post To Make You Smile!


Are you smiling yet?

My friend Jane sent this picture. The dog's name is Buffy and she's currently being fostered by Jane's sister Nancy, who fosters dogs that were rescued by the Bichon Rescue Brigade in Orange County, California.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

A Butterfly Brings Get Well Wishes For Tammy J

who recently suffered a stroke.

Dear Tammy J, Faith and I are sending this butterfly to bring you good wishes for a speedy recovery. 

Sending tons of love to you.

You are  one of the most loving people I've ever met. Well, I haven't met you, of course, but I've known you for a long time now as a kind and loving woman, always the last to leave a comment on my posts. 

Always worth the wait, your comments are so -- well, so you. 

Please take good care, rest and get well. 

Love from Faith and me,


Monday, July 25, 2022

Memories ~ California Dreamin'

It was the winter of 1972, my girlfriend Selika had moved to San Diego the previous summer and urged me to come. Since my divorce, Princeton had become even smaller, and there were no career prospects, as far as I could tell. So I answered an ad for a rideshare, packed up my stuff and met my traveling companion John and his VW Bug. 


I had only good feelings about John and they proved to be true. I could think of many guys one would have had to fend off while sharing a motel room, but John was OK, and we became good friends. 

I fell in love with Route 66, so romantic, so classic, this road was later replaced by an Interstate highway. I'm a fan of Route 66 and happy to have traveled it all the way to California.  

John had lived in Sacramento too long to remember how to drive in snow, so when we were hit with a blizzard in Indiana, I was happy to take over. No snow in this picture, we were too busy surviving for blizzard photos. 

On the radio, only one song seemed to be playing during our entire trip: Bye, bye Miss American Pie, drove my Chevy to the levee and the levee was dry, them old boys drinking whiskey and rye, singing, "this will be the day that I die."

I actually came to like this very long song and I still have it on a CD somewhere here. 

I remember finding West Virginia beautiful, the road through the Ozarks longer than expected, the Mississippi river a thrill to see after reading about it in so many books. In St. Louis we stopped at the Gateway Arch and actually went up in the arch, moving in something like buckets on rails or so I remember it  now.

In Oklahoma City, we stopped at a friend's house, but she wasn't at home. This was unplanned and before cell phones, so I was sorry I missed her. 

In the Texas Panhandle, where I think this picture may have been taken, I had one of my best nature experiences ever. 

It was night as we drove across the prairie. I looked at the sky, John looked at the road. I asked him to stop and he did. We got out of the car and looked up at the Texas night sky.

Now, I've been many places where it's pitch black out at night and I have seen beautiful skies, but I have never, NEVER, seen a sky like the one in Texas. It took my breath away and to this day I often think of it. The sky was midnight blue~black, the stars so bright, so many stars, such a vast expanse of sky. I was overwhelmed and deeply touched by the beauty of that night sky over Texas. 

Here is John in Flagstaff, Arizona with a bottle of that cheap wine of the day, I forget its name, Boone something or other that we found sitting by this window.

On the Navajo reservation, I met a puppy who liked to give kisses.

I think we came into California through Needles, not sure, but it was desert country. At the gas station where we stopped, I was amazed at the fact that water actaully cost money! 25 cents a gallon, no less. 

John and I parted ways in Barstow. I took a bus to San Diego and he drove home to Sacramento. 

Our friendship lasted for many years and we took many trips together. I visited him and we spent time in Truckee and Lake Tahoe, we camped out in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and we even took a camping trip to the Grand Canyon. 

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Sunday Morning Reflections

I've reflected on my junipers lately, as this drought marches on and I fear will kill off so much on my land. 

And how it has affected me emotionally.

I want to write some posts about how the drought has changed  my land and its inhabitants. Who lived here before, when it rained, and there was such a variety of animals and insects. 

Where they all went I don't know, but they are gone. 

Friday, July 22, 2022

At Home

Today, Thursday, July 21, is the last of my doctors' appointments for this round. 

While I'm hugely grateful for the good results of my medical tests, I'm also glad to be done for now. 

I'm so looking forward to a calendar full of blank squares for each day. 

And just staying home. Cleaning. Resting. Playing with my dog.

Who, as you can see, is at risk of becoming a couch potato. As am I. 

Our walks have suffered. I have much to work on. 

And strangely, in the middle of a heatwave, with no central air conditioning, I decided to start cleaning out my two book cases and purge a lot of their content. 

The one in my bedroom is done and it looks neat and clean now. 

As you can see, there's room for more books here. I will go through the larger one in my living room and then decide how to organize the books. 

Maybe my favorites can go in the bedroom. 

My donation pile is growing.

Then my wonderful outdoor rocking chair that I got from Joyce broke. It was one of hers and I loved it so much, she just gave it to me a few years ago. That's how Joyce is. One couldn't have a better neighbor.

I'm sure it's beyond repair and I will miss it so much.

So I went to the shed and dragged out my old lawnchair. It's large and comfortable, but doesn't rock and is difficult for old folks like me to get up and out of.

But I hosed it off and put in on my patio. 

It will have to do for now. 

Because, you see, I have placed a moratorium on my shopping. 

With an indefinite ending date.

Have a great day!

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Sunday Morning Reflections ~ Samson

Because it's so very hot here, I decided to look at my blog for July 2010 to see if I wrote about the weather then. I know it was hot, but not like this. The heat I'm experiencing now, I've not really encountered in California before. 

Instead I found a Samson post. 

I hope he will make you smile.  

Post from July 2010 ~ Samson was one, still a puppy.

Samson Says: "Kisses Anyone?"

Here are some kisses from Samson:

Soldier gets a puppy kiss.

Happy New Year! Princess gets New Year's kisses.

Soldier gets one on the mouth. Well, almost!

And here he's at it again last week.

No one comes close to Angel's mouth, so Samson has to settle for her ear.

What a fine dog he was and how I miss him still, so very much. 
My fluffmonster...

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Stopped By A Train

 at the Cement Plant, gave me a chance to get some more pictures of the plant and the dude, as I call him. 

I always ask people before I post a closeup photo, but this is quite a distance away.

I like pictures in my sideview mirror. Not a lot of traffic has backed up yet. 

And I'm probably the only one enjoying the wait. 

I've been on a tour of this plant. It was intersting and gave some insight into what the workers do and how the plant functions. 

I enjoyed my stop at the railroad crossing and the "industrial" pictures I was able to take. 

Monday, July 11, 2022

Conversations With Faith ~ Bathtime

 Faith has been suffering something terrible from the heatwave we had a week or two ago. 

Itching, itching and scratching, leaving big fur balls all over the house. 

The weather has been lovely and she is getting better. 

I haven't been home much. And these days I get so tired after a trip to town. Even on the next day. It now takes a day for me to recover. But I needed to take care of my best little friend and try to help her. 

So I finally managed to give her a bath with an itch-reducing shampoo. 

Faith: Let me out of here, I don't trust you no more. 

Faith does not like to get wet. Some Labrador mix you are, I tell her. 

Faith: What's my breed got to do with anything?

Me: Labrador retrievers fetch birds that fall into the water after being shot by the dog's master.

Faith: There's something wrong with that argument.

Me: What?

Faith: I don't see any guns. I don't see any birds. I certainly don't see any masters. And the only water I see came out of that bucket you just poured over me.

Me: Sorry.

Faith: That's all you have to say?

Me: No, I did give you a bath to try to help you get rid of that horrible itch you've been suffering from for the past week. 

Faith: So you did it to help me?

Me: Of course I did it to help you. 

Faith: Well, you sure took your time, I've been itching forever. And I've got news for you, it hasn't helped much. 

Me: So what should we do?

Faith: Maybe there's a pill, a very good tasting pill I could take. I think you should call that nice Dr. Vet who came to see me special. 

Me: OK, I will try to figure something out. Meanwhile, I will wipe you down with the wipes and spray a little itch spray on you. Would that be agreeable?

Faith: Yes, mommy, that sounds like a plan. 

A wet, miserable and annoyed Faith. 

Then on Friday, I started her on Benadryl and that has helped a lot. 

But we're in for another heatwave with temps in the high 80s to mid-90s. For us in the canyon, mid-90s often goes to 100 F. 

Summertime and the living is easy, as the song goes. 

I made a decision to not complain this summer, so I will try to stick to it. 

I may post about how I cope. 

But I had never expected Faith to suffer so. This is the first summer she's had any issues with the heat. 

She's a senior dog now, maybe that has something to do with it. Even though her general health is excellent. 

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Sunday Morning Reflections ~ Karma


I have a difficult time asking for help. In order for me to be more receptive to her help, my friend remarked that her good deeds will come back to help her in her time of need.

Karma -- action, deed, and more, with the intent behind the deed being of importance.

During my car problems, I can safely say that my own Karma affected me in a most positive way, as I found myself on the receiving end, so to speak. And got such great support from my friend Jeanne, most of all. And from Joyce too, always there to help. 

Then the guy at the body shop only charged me $185.00 of which $82.50 was for parts! For all that work! He had quoted me $300.00 and Jeanne, who knows about cars, thought it would be more. 

My Karma is good then, or so it seems.  

I spent a part of my 4th of July morning thinking about this.

And realized that:

At the end of my life, the cause and effect of how I've lived my life will be between me and myself.

My Karma...

Friday, July 8, 2022

Memories ~Mountain Climbing


Because of the long summer vacations the Swedes are fortunate to enjoy, my parents were able to take us kids all over Sweden to both show and teach us about our country. 

Here I am in the province of Harjedalen, which borders Norway. 

The mountain peak was marked with rocks.

I was only ten years old here. I grew very fast as a child.  I was tall early in life and reached my full height of a 1/4 inch short of six feet at the age of 12.  

A very tall and skinny girl, teased a lot, but it all worked out in the end. 

While on this vacation, I had many adventures. I met members of the Sami people for the first time. 

My dad and I climbed this mountain and had a scary encounter with a reindeer herd. The herd came thundering down the mountain right to where my dad and I were hiking. 

All went well with that encounter, but it left a lasting memory. 

Here I am, finding our location on a map. Concentrating. 

And here I'm playing in a minor glacier or most likely just a patch of snow that hadn't melted yet. 

I've posted about this before and found these pictures among my blog photos. 

Oh, I also had had my very first perm. One of the few perms of my entire life. I had one or two more during the big hair days of the 1980's. Oh, and one when I traveled alone to Germany at the age of 12, to spend the summer with a German family, who were friends of my dad's. 

That's an idea! Since I'm not the most active person these days, maybe it's OK to post about that long ago adventure too. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Not Just In The United Sates

In Copenhagen a 22-year old man killed three and injured seven. 

The man apparently is mentally unstable. Not a terrorist. Noted with some relief, perhaps? Still, there seems to be far too many mentally unstable young men and far too easy access to big guns. 

In a Swedish city of medium size, a teenager was shot and injured. I didn't read the article, so I don't know they age of the shooter, just another young man or boy, I imagine. 

It appears to me that shootings are no longer unusual in Sweden. Even though mass shootings may be. 

I'm old enough to remember when the police in Sweden didn't carry guns. 

Then back to the United States, where so many people get killed by guns it's unimaginable. This time a mass shooting with six people killed (at the time when this article was written, I don't know if there are more now) and 30 people injured. 

My grandmother used to say, circa 1956, "I don't know what the world has come to, so many changes."

Yes, she lived during the first and second world wars, even though she didn't experience them first hand, living in Sweden. 

But I'm sure she never imagined or feared being shot down while walking on a city street or shopping in a grocery store. 

Saturday, July 2, 2022

A Few Pictures


While I've been missing from blogging, I celebrated my 82nd birthday, tried to get my car repaired -- it takes forever to get  parts these days -- spent time with friends, went to Quest Labs for blood tests, routine ones for my primary care NP -- and worked on various deep cleaning project in my house. 

After Jeanne took me for a birthday lunch, we drove home past the world famous Tehachapi Loop, an engineering marvel from the 19th century, described in detail by me on earlier blog posts.

Then we had a fabulous thunderstorm, something that seldom occurs these days. This one reminded me of thunder and lighting in New Jersey so many years ago. It was quite something for the sunny and dry California of recent years.

For some reason, I got the idea that I wanted to capture lightning with my phone camera. It wasn't easy, I stood by the window holding the phone up until my arms were aching. 

I didn't give up and finally I caught this picture, which is not the best, considering what I could have captured with some better luck. OK, and skill. 

You can barely see the flash of lightning here, it's in the right hand corner. 

But it was fun trying while watching the storm. 


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