Monthly Archives: June 2013

Creativity abounds

Wow! I’m now house sitting for an old friend. We go back to the late 60s. She lives in a 120 year old Victorian house in the Santa Cruz mountains. It is beautifully maintained. And while you can see the era of the house, the decor combines the old with the new, the bizarre  and unique.

The garden is, well, hard to explain. I’ll post some photos later. I can put it this way: The grounds looks like an open air museum. She has a way of taking some insignificant piece of just about anything and placing it in just the right place in the garden.

There is a bottle tree, a shoe tree, tiled pots and pieces of tile and pottery on some of those pieces just described. There are walkways, among the flowers and the ‘found’ objects and places that invite you to sit a spell. Everywhere you look, your eyes fall on something you didn’t see before.

Last night I, in the company of some other ladies, heard the Big Little Band play in the popular Bocci Cellar. Ron was the drummer, and when he got back to his house he just crashed. I can see the hard work of the drummer. It’s very physical. I was pleased to hear the other musicians tell me how appreciative they are of his musicality.

Moving along

My ankle is getting better everyday, and the knee is back to it’s regular pain, so I’m ready to get out and get moving.

Debby, my daughter-in-law has arranged a massage for me from someone everyone says is ‘great’. That is for this afternoon.

On Friday, I’ll meet up with some of my writer friends – all women – for a ‘ladies night out’. We’ll meet up at Bocci’s Cellar in Santa Cruz where my son, Ronnie plays drums in The Little Big Band. There will be dancing, and I’ll watch from a seat with my leg resting on another chair. It’s going to be FUN.

Then, I’m going to stay all night in Ronnie’s apartment, and the next day, I’ll begin ten days of house sitting in Felton. The house, and especially the gardens is a creative wonder. My long time friend, Marilyn – a poet, artist, photographer, story teller – is known for her creativity. I’m anxious to see what she has done in her Victorian house and the gardens. They are not the usual Victorian gardens, however, so I’m in store for some surprises.

Soledad and Gonzales in a box

My friend Madeline left a message on Saturday asking me to visit her. I didn’t get the message until yesterday (Sunday), and it was too late to call her, so I did so this morning.

“Yes, come on over,” she said. I knew she wasn’t feeling well so I purchased some flowers at the New Leaf and awkwardly got back into my car and drove to her house, trudged out of the car,  and rang the bell.

“Hi Laureen, come on in, Madeline is waiting for you upstairs.”

Now, this is when I can introduce Madeline and Paul’s house. It’s an uniquely designed house with thick glass steps that go to the upstairs quarters where Madeline has her office. I took off my shoes and made a joke that he would be able to see my toe prints on the steps. “We have seen some toe prints,” Paul laughed.

I could have opted to take the elevator, but the steps are too fun to pass up. When you look at the house from the outside, the large windows give you the idea that the house is made of glass.

Madeline was in her office surrounded by many beautiful papers where she excels in making cards, boxes, stationery,  etc., all out of paper. She makes cards that are retailed  in Half Moon Bay.

After we talked about our kids and grandkids, she announced, “I have something for you. Here it is.” She handed me a small box typical of those she makes for gifts. She is known for making a box for every person who comes to their annual Christmas party.

She gave me a mischievous smile and I soon saw the reason. This box was made out of a map, one type of paper she uses extensively with her projects, and there it was: Soledad and Gonzales  right there on the top of the box.

“I thought you’d think it funny that I’d find Soledad and Gonzales on the map, and couldn’t resist making this for you.” She then invited me to pick out three pieces of chocolate; the boxes are never finished until it gets loaded with chocolate.

For those who  may not know this: I worked for a total of nine years as a news reporter/photo journalist for newspapers in those two towns. Before I left Madeline’s creative work, we talked for a bit about my old job. While on the job, box I broke my arm and a rib, was bitten by a dog and had a brick thrown through the window with a note to me  from a gang.

So Soledad and Gonzales is in a box. (Gonzales is on the side)

The tie

IMG_0675Good morning! I made this tie while recuperating from my ankle sprain. Brad will wear it. It’s a prototype of what  may be his  business of  importing Batik ties from Indonesia. It was fun to make this.  My ankle is healing and I’m getting anxious to get on with things.

I have three power point/talks about my journey coming up in July. I’d do more of them if people want to see them.


Driving past memories

I drove the  Buick toward Pacifica to pick up my medicine at Walgreens. Driving on Highway 1 from Half Moon Bay takes me through my memories.

French Creek is the upscale area where Will, Brad, Debby, Michael, Brandon and I first rented a five bedroom house, with plans to stay there until we could purchase a condo together, with separate quarters. I had sold the Soledad house, packed our ‘stuff’, all alone when Will went into the hospital.

Later, I picked him up from the hospital and drove to Half Moon Bay where we would live. He never recovered. We were in the house for two weeks when he died. Not too long after that, I had to get a job, and then Juliane, from Germany came to visit, at the same time Debby’s mother was there from Indonesia.

Then, two other folks came from Germany, and our house was an International one, with some speaking Dutch, some Indonesian, some German, and some English.

Across from Frenchman’s Creek is a horse rental business. I look at them and wonder why I don’t just go in and get on a horse. Just a few days ago, Ronnie told me about his date-on-a-horse gone bad a few years ago. He arranged to rent two horses with a lady friend. The horses wouldn’t move. Other people were trotting away. “It was a disaster.” Ronnie said.

Further on, I came to the Half Moon Bay Airport, with many small planes sitting on the tarmac. It reminds me of the good times renting a plane in Colorado. Stories about that time in my life could fill another book.

Then I pass little towns of Princeton, Moss Beach, Montara, Granada, and then Pacifica. Montara Lighthouse is a hostel.   A few times, when visiting Brad and Debby when they lived in Montara, I would spend the night therel. It’s an awesome place, with the sound of the ocean coming into the window as I slept.

On the drive to Pacifica, guess I was mesmerized by the ocean views, for I missed the turnoff to the shopping center where I’d find Walgreens. Winding around, trying not to get into Daly City, it took awhile to find the return entrance to the freeway.

I found Walgreens, got my medicine and then looked for a spot for lunch. I ended up at Rockaway Beach in a restaurant with an ocean view. Will and I spent a week vacation nearby the restaurant and while there, we met up with my cousin Barbie and her son, Max and Barbie’s stepmom Jan. That was a fun week.

So here I am, sitting on the couch watching daytime TV with my leg resting on top of a pillow. Daytime TV is another story.


It’s time for Elephant Man get out of the house

My ankle is so swollen it looks like Elephant Man. That’s reminiscent of a picture in a book from my childhood. It’s ugly. But spraining an ankle is ugly, but lying down all day with my foot up is tedious.

So, today, I and my cane, will head out to Pacifica to purchase my medicines at Walgreens and buy one of those stretching wraps for my ankle.

Walgreen’s is the chosen drugstore for my regular prescriptions. According to my new insurance, they should all be covered by Medicare and free.  Free! Good word.

I consider my fall a set back in my plans to move forward, but it can also be a time to reflect on my next steps. Yes, there will be more steps. I’ll get there.


Falling down

I fell yesterday morning but still drove to the Senior Center to give a book presentation. A nice young lady took my books and walked with me to the car.

This morning, while I haven’t attempted to walk yet, the leg seems a bit better. Brad brought me a cane and put the ice packs in the freezer for me. Debby is calling the masseuse for an appointment on Saturday. Maybe that will help.

Meanwhile, I have a positive feeling that the knee and ankle just needs some time to get better.

I cancelled the book presentation I had tonight at the Gonzales Amer. Legion. Sorry  for that, as I will miss seeing those nice folks.

Now, I have my favorite elephant cup full of coffee greeting me today.

Fell down

After one whole year traveling through 16 countries, countless vehicles of every kind, walking up stair cases by the hundreds, and never, ever fell, I broke that record today.

I was walking down the steps in the apartment, tripped and found myself at the bottom of the staircase, a bit before I was ready, and not on my feet.

I had an appointment to talk about my book, and to sign copies and went to the center in pain. I hobbled in, took a seat and three people showed up. Two purchased books. Well, guess that was worth it.

When I got home, Brandon fixed me up with two ice packs.



Walking with grandson

Yesterday during Father’s Day, Brad’s request of Debby and Brandon was to please let him stay at home. And that he did, except for a four minute drive. He works long hours everyday, and not to have to go someplace thrills him.

Doesn’t take much to make him a happy man. Debby purchased salmon for our dinner, and Brad cooked. He’s a gourmet cook and enjoys it.  Where did he learn that?

After dinner Brandon said he had someplace he wanted to show us, and it was just a 4 minute drive to the cliffs overlooking the bay. We all climbed into my tiny Ford Escort and in a flash we were there.

Just as he planned, the sun was setting as we walked through some giant trees and to the cliff edge.  The sun was orange, reflecting on the water, the cliffs and the trees. Some folks down below, in between the cliffs, were cooking. The smell of the wood fire and the natural surroundings; the trees, wild flowers and shrubs and the sunset made for a beautiful evening.

I remember taking walks like that  with Brad and his brothers on the lesser known paths to the beach in Aptos. It takes teenagers to know the secret paths and when the time is right, they share it with their parents.


Sewing and tying it up

I never get tired of the drive from Half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz along the Pacific Coast Highway. The ocean white curls along the shore, birds gliding lazily in the air, surfers vying to ‘get tubed’, wild flowers searching for the sun, relaxes my mind.

Of course, there’s the traffic in Santa Cruz, once I pass the tiny town of Davenport. When we moved to Aptos in 1972, there was barely any traffic to speak of, and now it’s bumper-to-bumper during peak hours. I was surprised to see the miles of traffic heading to highway 17 around noon.

Where is everyone going?

I picked up Ronnie for the drive down to Marina to get my sewing machine out of storage. Well, there was part of my life right there inside that space. It’s closed up tight, so it surprised me to see so much dust on my ‘stuff’.

Son Brad is the reason for the sewing machine. He has an idea to sell Indonesian Batik ties and bags. Daughter-in-law Debby has contacts for material and workmanship in Indonesia. Brad purchased material for a tie/prototype and I started to make it but realized Debby’s sewing machine needed some repairs.

So tomorrow, I’ll finish up the tie on my machine. It will be fun to get back to sewing – a hobby I enjoy but gave up for the necessity of work. Better do it now!