Sunday, September 10, 2023

Taking A Break


The mountains are calling me, I must go.

~ John Muir


I need to take a break from blogging so that I can try to fix whatever it is that's gone awry with the formatting of my blog.

In years past, this would probably have been a fairly easy thing for me to do, but these days I'm not at all sure I can even figure out what's wrong. Much less fix it. 

I'm not complaining, I just need to take a break. 

Friday, September 1, 2023



There's a quality of elegance and mystery about orchids. 

Some people become obsessed with these beautiful flowers. 

I read The Orchid Thief, by Susan Orlean, which is about people in Florida who become totally obsessed with orchids. I found it fascinating. 

For me, an orchid represents the thought that we can overcome adversity and emerge stronger. They are so fragile looking, yet  very resilient. They grow and thrive in the shade, they mostly grow on trees, one orchid species grows in the water, and yet another can be found growing on rocks.  

Last year, I bought some orchids in the grocery store, where they have many. 

They were very special and I enjoyed having their beauty in my home. None of them bloom any longer, so I've cut back their stems and water them once a week. New leaves have come to life on some of them. 

I plan to buy a couple of orchids soon, but not until I've read more about them and perhaps watch YouTube videos to learn more about how to care for them.

If you know how to care for an orchid, it may bloom again. And if I could make that happen, it would be magical. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Dear Refrigerator Please Stay Strong


The other morning at Joyce's house, her kitchen counters were full of food packages of all kinds and she was busy stuffing them into her refrigerator. 

It was pretty obvious her fridge was reaching its max capacity. 

As it turned out her tenant had bought a lot of extra food for herself and her daughter to have during and after our recent tropical storm. 

Then her refrigerator broke!

Since Joyce's fridge was getting stuffed, I got some of the food too. A lot actually.

My fridge is at least 20 years old. It's a Kenmore, a brand that I've found to be very reliable, but still, old is old. 

It has a huge bottom freezer drawer, which was rather empty, so I stuffed most of the food in there.

I ate all the yogurts, of course I did, I live on yogurt. And I even tried some pork sausages that were in an opened packet. They were really, really good, but I don't think I would buy some, as I still don't like to eat a lot of meat. But maybe I will, they were that good, from Walmart, where my neighbor works.

I hope she will get her refrigerator situation resolved, so I can return the frozen items to her. 

In the meantime, please, dear old fridge, stay strong, don't collapse under the weight and responsibility of keeping and preserving so much food. 

I know you're not used to it...

But you can do it!


Sunday, August 27, 2023

Sunday Morning Reflections

Gratitude ~ I have so much to be grateful for. My cancer year is over; even though I tire easily, my health is good now; I'm working on being able to tolerate my medicine and feel sort of proud to have persevered.

My neighbors are wonderful. Yesterday, Joyce graded my roads. I went to see her just to say hello, and before I knew it, she attached the grader to the rhino and took off. 

She did such a good job and looked like she had a lot of fun. 

And I went on Amazon and entered - Bed & Body Works and ordered their Signature Collection Cucumber Melon Gift Set.

I hope Joyce will enjoy it. 

I'm grateful for my friends of so many years, around the world and here in the canyon. 

And all of you, my friends on the blogs. 

And I'm forever grateful for Faith, all 67 pounds of her. Yes, she went to the vet and got weighed. 

Faith: Mommy, please don't discuss my weight on the blog!

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Neighbors & Firemen Make A Wonderful Day

Firemen from our town came out yesterday morning to help put our road back together.

As you can see in the above picture, there's not much left of the road. Last  I saw, there was some heavy scooping equipment down in the creek bed moving dirt and debris.

And there certainly was a lot of debris down there.

I woke up to a foggy morning and took some pictures, of which I found this one to be special.

I spent the day with my neighbor, Joyce, who spent some of her time baking carrot cakes for the firemen. We drove down to the road and gave them the cakes, which they appreciated a lot, it was clear to see. 

Since they've already brought in their heavy equipment, I feel confident that the road will soon be fully repaired. 

As for me, well, the gate you see is my gate. My road that went from my house to the gate, is pretty much intact closer to the house, but downhill, by the gate, it looks like this. Just one huge mud puddle. 

Joyce told me that Mark, who helps me with my outdoor work, is good with roads. I was happy to hear that and, once the mud has dried up, I hope he can bring my road back. 

This was an all together lovely day!

I'm grateful for wonderful neighbors and firemen.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Tropical Storm Hilary Hits The Canyon


She brought more rain with her than I've ever seen in my life. It began with a lot of rain on Saturday, before the "real" storm hit on Sunday. 

I got very tired from listening to so much rain. 

The power stayed on for a surprisingly long time, until it finally gave up yesterday. But it came back this morning, so it wasn't bad. 

In the middle of the tropical storm, we got an earthquake alarm. Lots of loud beeps on the phone, then: Duck, Cover and Hold On! 

Something no one in Southern California needed to hear just then. It turns out there was a 5.1 quake in Ojai, a town closer to the coast than to us here.  

My neighbor Joyce's and my road, which leads to the main road in the canyon and goes over a creek has been severely damaged and is impassable. 

The creek flooded, the culvert is damaged and the road also. We are looking into some disaster relief from the county or FEMA or wherever we can find some. It will cost a lot to get this fixed. 

And, of course, it needs to be fixed right away. 

In our broader community, the 60th Anniversary of the Mountain Festival was taking place this weekend, with thousands of people coming from all over to our town. They had to cancel the rodeo on Saturday night, and all events on Sunday. A lot of effort goes into this annual event and I feel bad that the storm happened the weekend of the festival. 

Neighbors in the canyon were evacuated or they were not. I've heard both. 

There was a mud flow on highway 58 near here, with a truck and a car stuck in the mud. 

The official rain amount was 4.58"; Jeanne's count for the part of the canyon where she lives was 7" and that was before the rain stopped. 

So we got a really ginormous amount of rain. 

Our normal rain amount for August is 0.08", how many drops of rain would that be, I couldn't help but wonder. Not very many...

The paper said that the water infrastructure worked well, the power outages, including ours, were taken care of promptly, and everything worked well. 

And I'm glad I bought food and water before this event. I didn't really believe I would be stuck here, but I've always felt that it never hurts to be prepared. 

Faith is also happy to have had ALL her canned dog food arrive in time at the post office. Being stuck here without good dog food, she said, is not an option.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Sunday Morning Reflections


Reflections of the setting sun on the hill outside my bedroom window.

I have been reading Mary Oliver's poems recently and I'm glad to have discovered this American poet I didn't know about earlier.  

Nature walks sustained her. Her nature poems sustain me and remind me it's time to get up and take my morning walk with Faith. 

The Summer Day may be one of her most read poems, with one of the best endings ever: 

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life."

~ Mary Oliver

Wednesday, August 16, 2023


I never had any problems with doing household chores, except vacuuming. I used the one above when I had Samson, my Samoyed, it was perfect for picking up his piles of fur. Then I bought an upright one, which is not all that great.  

Errol and I never had a discussion or a disagreement about who was doing what. Things just got done. (I must confess to sometimes reading advice columns where married folks  squabble about who's supposed to do what.) 

Now that I'm 83 and live alone, I find I must approach household chores in a new way in order to get them done. 

Mark, who helps me with outside chores, will wash and polish my floors, which makes a big difference. 

The rest I do myself and I have my good days and days where I look around and see that I must have forgotten to dust for a very long time.

To get things done, I have a system where I do a little, then sit and rest for a while. Then go back, do a little more, then repeat until the chore is done. 

I'm not surprised to learn that others use the same method to clean their homes. When I read an article about this way of approaching chores, I learned that it has a name: Pacing.

So, now I know. I'm pacing through my chores and somehow or other, most of them get done. 

I'm just a little bit proud of this...

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

A Treasure Trove of Photos

My photos, from January 1 until yesterday, have sat on my phone while I've been unable to upload them to my computer. 

Granted, I've had a foggy brain for some of this time, but I suspect laziness may have had more to do with me never even trying to fix this. 

Now that I want to blog again, I will of course need my photos. So I asked Google (we're becoming quite friendly, Google and I, after not getting along for many years). And I learned that I needed to press something, probably the photo pinwheel. I've forgotten what I pressed.

Anyhow, magically, eight months of pictures began to show up on my computer. 

Here is one from each month, January to present:




Taking a picture of the great shawl that Jeanne crocheted for me to wear after my surgery.


My great-niece, Jasmine, at the ruins in Sand Canyon. 


Joyce's donkey and its mini me. 


Red Rock State Park


My shed, after Mark put up siding and painted it. The colors match those of my house. The half French door was a left over from Errol's business. There's nothing behind it but dirt, but at least it's a door. I think that part of the shed was a chicken coop.


Of course I had to include Faith, so focused on me here.

Sunday, August 13, 2023

You Touched My Heart My Dear Blogger Friends


You know, there are moments in your life when you need a hug from your friends and yesterday was such a day for me. What happened is this: 

Since early this year, I've become good friends with another Swedish woman here in our town. Her name is Helena, she's about 30 years younger than I, has a big heart and I feel that she really cares about me and will do anything she can to help me, should I need it. 

She has two big dogs, American Staffordshire terriers that are just adorable. She also makes dogfood that I buy from her every now and then. Faith loves this food so much.  

Anyhow, I learned on Saturday that she's in the process of moving to Palmdale a town about 55 miles from here. An easier drive down the mountain and in the opposite direction from Bakersfield. 

I've so enjoyed getting together for "fika" which is Swedish for having coffee together, speaking Swedish, following the World Cup in soccer, where Sweden is doing well, and so on. So, as I drove home, I felt really, really sad. I even teared up. 

Then after lunch, I opened my computer to see if anyone noticed that I had posted something on my blog. 

And there you were, my dear friends, welcoming me back, leaving your kind comments, letting me know you've thought of me and wondered how I'm doing. 

Thank you. You reminded me that we don't need to sit opposite each other in order to be loving and caring friends. 

Your comments assured me that returning to blogging will be good for my soul, my heart, may even improve my writing skills, and will definitely make me be a part again of this community, where we care deeply about each other, even though we've never met, never hugged, and never sat down opposite each other with a cup of coffee and a good conversation. 

This is pretty wonderful and really amazing, isn't it? 

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Back To Blogging


Good morning, it's been a while. I hope you all are doing well this hot summer.  

I'm feeling much better and would love to get back to blogging. 

In January I encountered a problem with uploading photos from my phone to my Chromebook, where I blog. I've made no effort to find out what's wrong or how to fix it. 

I blame this on the aftereffects of cancer, surgery, and the medicines I'm taking. I will try to resolve it now. 

I've also felt unable to write. It's something my friend Annette in Copenhagen disputes, as we write emails back and forth all the time. But I feel our emails are different from writing on my blog. Not sure why.

Annette and I both love the English language though. 

Faith is doing well and wants to voice her canine opinions here every now and then. She says she loves English too and is very proud of how many English words she understands. 

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Sunday Morning Reflections


Make yourself familiar with the angels, and behold them frequently in spirit; for without being seen, they are present with you. 
St. Francis de Sales

Thinking of my friends Elisa and Dee with much love.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Sunday Morning Reflections

 Photo by Vince or Jane

As I write this post, I'm reflecting on why I'm not blogging on a regular basis right now. 

A lot of it has to do with the fact that I can't get photos from my phone camera to my Chromebook. 

This happened at the first of the year and I have no idea why. I also haven't taken an interest in finding out why and how I can get it fixed. 

Posting photos that I just took to my blog was such a big part of my blogging experience and of course I know I should have fixed it, but things happen, things get delayed and so on. 

And maybe a lot of my energy went to healing and feeling better. Not something you think about when it happens, but looking back I think that also was a big part of it. 

Now I hope to slowly come back to blogging. 

I would also like to have another blog, even though I've been warned it may be too much. 

Right now I see another blog as a place where I can post stories, memories, essays, just anything I may want to write about. 

We'll see...

Friday, April 28, 2023

Someone Has A Birthday!


Happy 9th Birthday Faith

My best friend, you are







And I love you the mostest and bestest

in the whole wide world!


Now let's go and have some ice cream!

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Earth Day

"All my life through,
the new sights of
Nature made me
     rejoice like a child."
~ Marie Curie

    Happy Earth Day!

Sunday, April 9, 2023



Happy Easter

Just a note to let you know I'm doing well. I'm slowly getting used to the new anti-cancer medicine. This has not been easy, but is by now getting better. 

I'm taking a break from blogging to rethink what I should do with my blog, with my interest in blogging in general, and so on.

I will write more about this later. Today, I just want to wish you all a happy Easter Sunday. 

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Sunday Morning Reflections


A California winter's day, by Vince and Jane B. with a little help from Mother Nature and an old oil derrick pump, which Jane wanted to include because of its significance in Southern California history. 

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Sunday Morning Reflections

An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.

~ Henry David Thoreau

Friday, March 3, 2023

Memories ~ The Firestone Library, Princeton, N. J.


                                                     Firestone Library, Princeton University

When I first came to the U.S. sixty years ago, I worked for a family in Princeton, N.J., looking after their children and helping with household chores. The family sponsored me for my Green card. After I finished my job with them, I decided I wanted to stay in the U.S. and in Princeton. 

I had no thoughts about a career or about studying for a degree. I had studied philosophy and 19th century English literature in London, pretty useless for getting a job here. Actually I didn't have any plans that I can remember, except that I wanted to stay in the U. S. 

In order to do that, I needed a job. 

One sunny morning, I went for a job interview with a professor of economics at the University. He was an older gentleman, originally from Vienna, I believe, and he was very charming. I have forgotten my brief interview, but never the extended conversation about everything that followed. At the end of which, he offered me the job and I accepted. 

The job location was in the building at the top of this post, the Firestone Library on the Princeton University campus. 

My immediate supervisor was a woman who was on vacation when I was hired. I learned I needed to be a very good typist. Which I was not. I told the professor this and that I would stay late and practice on my own time to get better. This was fine with him. 

However, typing on those old fashioned typewriters was not what I was meant to do, at least not in this department, where, as it turned out, one needed to be an extremely fast and accurate typist. 

The main part of the job was typing papers for the graduate students on those horrible green sheets with tons of copies behind the front page. You just couldn't make mistakes on those things. 

The job was just not for me. So when the female supervisor came back and found out that I would not be able to do the job, she fired me. 

I was OK with that, because I too knew I couldn't do it. 

However, I've never forgotten her parting words, which really stung: "You only got the job because of your looks!"  

This made me absolutely furious because the old professor and I really liked each other. I was way taller than he and he was way older than me. Yes, I know some women, particularly back then, probably got hired because of their looks, but the time I spent with the professor was not about that. We were both immigrants, he had fled the Nazis, I had fled boredom and anxiety, and we were able to connect and have a conversation about EVERYTHING. 

Looking back, I realize that I was too young to know how to deal with a comment like that. I was actually so hurt that I never forgot what she said and how unfair I thought it was. 

I was also too young to know how to deal with unfair stuff.

Many years later, with more life experience, I would not have been so hurt, but at the time I was. 

And I never forgot her exact words.

But now I think back on what a great experience it was to meet a world famous economist, have an inspiring conversation with him, and to get to spend some time working in a building like the Firestone Library on the Princeton University campus. 


The Princeton University Library with holdings of more than 7 million books, 6 million microforms, and 48,000 linear feet of manuscripts is among the largest libraries in the world by number of volumes. ~ Wikipedia

Monday, February 27, 2023

More Snow

I can't believe all this snow we are getting. Hopefully it will help with the drought, at least some.

I'm like a kid at Christmas when it comes to snow. I love to see the snow fall and I love to see the mountains to the east covered in snow. It gives them an alpine look which suits them well. 

We got a lot of snow, so much that without a 4-wheel drive, I'm pretty much snowed in. The power has held up well. It went out sometime between 3 and 4 Sunday morning, when most people were asleep. But it didn't take long for it to come back on. 

I had charged all my devices and had a cup of coffee prepared, in case. Fortunately, I didn't have to drink it cold.

Of course, snow is at its best when you have nowhere to go.

Snow is still predicted for Wednesday morning, when I'm supposed to have surgery on my leg. The dermatology doctor removed a mole and the pathology report was not good, so more tissue needs to be removed. 

I believe the medical staff comes up here from about 50 miles away, but I'm not sure. If so, they may not make it. 

I will call them today to find out if there's a backup plan. 

I really, really want to get this surgery done.

But I'm a little worried because of the predicted snowfall. 

Good thing though, we don't have to go to Bakersfield, this doctor comes to us, which is so great. 

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Sunday Morning Reflections


"It does not matter how slowly you go

as long as you do not stop."
~ Confucius 

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Snow, More Snow, And Rain, What -- Rain?

It snowed a lot and I was so happy! . 

A lot more than what's on this old photo from my blog archives. 

I will try to figure out what's wrong with uploading my current photos soon. 

Faith and I went for a walk in the snow on Thursday, up the hill on my road, now covered in snow. Then along the short flat part, flanked by juniper trees. 

After that, I walked down the hill, while Faith was busy examining the news she found with her nose along the way. Who was visiting us during the night, did anything happen worth noting? 

Once she found a round cotton ball, all that remained of a cottontail rabbit, its cute little tail. It was round and fluffy, Faith sniffed it and politely left it where she found it. 

Princess, one of our angel dogs, found a deer antler. 

I found a coyote's paw. Just a short part of a leg and a paw. A very gruesome find, for sure. And the worst thing I've found so far.

Sorry, I digress...

I'm enjoying myself here with Faith, as the wind is now picking up outside. When I checked the weather earlier, it said snow and rain! Sorry, weather, but rain atop snow, we really don't need that. 

And now it's raining. 

So disappointing. 


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