Monthly Archives: August 2013

Falling down

Well I did it again; don’t know what made me do it, but I fell down on a concrete sidewalk on my way back from the Buttery bakery on Soquel.

I was admiring the sidewalk and always stop to check the years it was installed, as Santa Cruz is full of history. Once I checked, and learned that sidewalk was built only in the 90s, I carried on and admired a long stemmed plant that I supposed was somewhat tropical. After that, I was on my knees and palms.

I got up and began walking away when a nice lady on a bicycle asked me if I had fallen, and just then a couple in a car stopped to ask if I was okay. I thanked them for stopping and told them I was fine.  I was and still am. Bruised knees and hands show the evidence, but I’m in great walking condition.

Tomorrow will be my last day and night in Santa Cruz. I will miss Frankie Ray and Tezzi. Tezzi watches me when I’m in the living room and nearly sits on my lap before I even sit down. Frankie Ray sleeps on the bed nearly all night. Last night I heard some running around and hoped it wasn’t one of them chasing a mouse that I’d have to face in the morning. Did I tell you that, not only is Frankie Ray a girl, her name is not Johnny Ray as I first thought. Guess she doesn’t really care one way or another.

Before turning in for the night last night, I sat on the front porch until a big fat skunk walked into the yard. It was then I decided it was time to stay inside.

The watering I have done here on the property was okay, I guess. However I think I didn’t water some trees – the orange tree to be exact – enough, and some plants I may have over watered.

Some plants,  like myself, may have drooped a bit, but nothing is seriously dead, and I am very much alive, as well.

Oh, by the way, someone will purchase one of my painted photographs. I’m thrilled!!!!!

Bright red/orange roses greet the day

What is that, that passes by occasionally?  It’s a bit of nostalgia, mixed in with a sweep of sadness that comes out of nowhere. I cannot explain it.

Anyway, it’s a new day. I’m smiling at everyone I see. And now I’m soaking all the fury cat love that’s offered for free.

I look out of the bedroom window and a view of welcoming bright red/orange roses still clinging to a bush, while others fade away and drop to the ground…finished.

The garden beckons for some water.  Later.



Presentation went well

The drive on the coast up from Santa Cruz to Half Moon Bay is always  beautiful  and ever changing.

When I left this morning the fog was low until out of Santa Cruz and the sun shown and the colors on the ocean were gorgeous: blue, turquoise, green and the sky was blue, lavender and white.

Wild flowers complimented the picture with green, yellow, pink and wheat colors.

When I got to Half Moon Bay, I saw my daughter-in-law, Aleida (Debby to us), working with children in the center next to the community building which is also the social hall of the Methodist church.

I found a place to put my painterly photos and then took a walk around the block. Soon Rotarians arrived and after announcements and lunch, Dr. Paul McReynolds introduced me to the club, as the guest speaker.

My power point looked good up on the screen, and the Rotarians were attentive and asked some great questions.

I left there and went on to see Madeline – Paul’s wife. She has been recuperating from a fall that wrecked havoc with her knee. She wanted to see my painterly photos so I took them to their glass house and showed them to her.

Back to Santa Cruz, and the ocean scene had changed; more white and blue close to the water. One thing I have missed over the past few years is the red, white and blue mailbox. Hmm, if you don’t know about that mailbox, guess you’ll have to ask me.

It used to be a secret until people got wind of it and guess made it necessary to take it down.


Counting blessings

Most of the paper work has been printed out, with just two more things to go and I think I can get that done tomorrow. I’m lost without a printer.

The gentleman who’s house, cats and garden I’m caring for will be here much sooner than expected. This will help me a lot.

Tomorrow I drive up to Half Moon Bay to keep a promise that I’d give a presentation to the Rotary Club. Can’t disappoint.

Then, the next day, hopefully, I ‘ll be able to sign the condo papers.

If not, then probably on the 3rd, I’ll be able to sign paper work. Then on the 4th it’s a orientation meeting with the Americorps folks and then there will be 5 days for me to get settled and ready for work on the 9th.

Meanwhile, there’s moving….

It’s been a trying month, I can’t even get it all down on black and white here, but as I told someone; my problems are minimal and there are billions of people in the world who’d gladly take my problems over theirs.

So, I pause and remember to thank God for my blessings.




Find life in a garden

The garden is alive.

Just sitting outside near or in a garden you can find peace, constant movement and comforting smells.

There are  squirrels acting squirrelly, their tails keeping rhythm with the joy in finding tidbits to stuff into their cheeks. Jumping on and off of the shed, around the oak tree trunk, sprinting on a wire and spying on you with sideways glances.

Spiders spin bridges from one plant to another in nearly invisible threads. I admire the strength for those bridges that become the beams to hold the web together.

Leaves fall from the trees, wooden chimes take me to a far away exotic place while the cats vie for a place on my lap.

Roses create a warmth and soft smell along with other plants and trees, that move gently in the breeze.

Chattering birds, swift butterflies, moths, bees, bugs, spiders, worms, probably snakes (although I haven’t seen any in this garden..yet) all prove there is life around me while I sit  and relish how, in the day-to-day life, there is quiet and peace continuing on and on in a garden.




New job/new roommate/new condo/cats/gardens….!

Now I have to admit that I’m a bit worried on how it’s all going to turn out. Can I keep up with what’s coming? Yes, in the back of my brain, I know it will all turn out okay, but then, why does it wake me up in the middle of the night?

On Thursday, I drive up to Half Moon Bay for a presentation of my year long journey. I’ve been back since April, so hopefully everything will come back to me. Right now, it’s the immediate future that’s getting to me.

My new roommate would like to move into the condo asap, but is willing to wait for me until the 3rd, when the magical social security check is automatically deposited. However, since the weekend falls on payday, I’ll be able to get the funds to move in by the 1st. But I’ve been told a check won’t do, it must be in a certified money order or cashier’s check. Okay, I think I can handle that, by  taking cash out of the ATM and take it to the post office to get a money order. That is solved! I thought of this in my sleep. I haven’t had to get a money order for so many years.

Meanwhile, I’m still house/cat sitting and need to stay in this house until the 17th when the owner comes back from hiking the John Muir trail. The garden needs to be watered everyday, and the cats (spoiled as they are) need fresh water dishes on various parts of the house, and one needs to be lifted up to the bathroom sink so she can drink from the stream of water. The other cat needs to be put into the bathtub so she can drink out of the stream of faucet water. Then they take turns sitting on my lap, or if I’m lying down, on top of me with the ability to stare in my face.

Garbage and recycling day today: did I get the right objects into the right container?

Also, the roommate doesn’t have furniture, and I have just a few accessories in storage, so how will we get the needed accessories to the condo? By the way, I haven’t even seen the condo yet. I’m told it’s nice.

I, not only need to be in the condo office on the 30th, to hand over a money order, I need to see what’s in storage that I can fit into my car. That means taking things out to get to what I need.

On Sept. 8th – my daughter-in-law has invited the family over to celebrate my birthday (Aug 22nd) and Ron’s (Sept 7th).  I’m going to see if I can recruit my sons to help me look into the storage and take some over to the condo after we’ve had a little celebration. That is about one hour away from where they live.

I cannot move into the condo until the gentleman comes back here, however, since the job begins on the 9th, (paper signing on the 4th), I will need to commute from Santa Cruz to Carmel every day until then. But, upon rising, I must water everything, and when I come back at night, make certain the cats are fed, and have an opportunity to sit on my lap and drink from the faucets.

Coming back from my yearlong adventure has been more challenging. Some of the time, I’ve been able to be lazy and read, but most of the time my head is filled with how to do what I’m needing to do, and get it all done. And in between times, I know in my heart that I’m so blessed with friends and relatives who encourage me, and know that I’m very blessed with a new job when jobs are at all time low.

So, I put my head back on my shoulders and get busy with what’s at hand.

Looking back on the year, I could take my time to think through the next adventure, and I really had no responsibilities as I do now and that’s why it seemed easier. Although, there’s no comparison to going through customs in a busy airport. If I can do that, I’ll take it a step at a time.

Wish me luck!

Falafel treat

My son Ronnie, had a big band job last night and today he’s treating me to dinner with the pay he received. He’s making falafel from scratch.

I’m always so impressed when my sons cook, and can only  know that they know how to cook from thriving on my neglect as a mom who’s a terrible cook.

Recently, however, I purchased some cookbooks with recipes that are reasonable in price to make. I followed one precisely and it turned out really good. The second time wasn’t as good and I don’t know why.



Getting back my memory and ignoring the pain

Well, if the ankle business didn’t slow me down some.

But now it’s better and my legs are back to the old ache that I almost conquered through the year of travel.

So, in order to get back in shape, I told myself to get out there and walk. So I marched down Branciforte to Soquel and walked all the way to Ocean; up ocean and then up back up Broadway to Branciforte again.

I observed a few landmarks from way back when by walking slow instead of taking a car down the street toward the main part of the city,

On Soquel I passed a building that once housed an office of  a man who had credentials in both medicine and law. He was an attorney who handled the case of a little girl who wanted to play in Little League. That was back in 1973 or 74 when I had a talk show called 27:40 (twenty seven minutes and 40 seconds).

I interviewed the gentleman, but because I wouldn’t have an opportunity to get the other side of the argument, he wasn’t allowed to say anything about the case.

But it did give him a forum to talk about how he became both a doctor and a lawyer. His name is probably in storage in my archives, otherwise, I’d name him.

He was already in his 60s during that time.

There were other buildings I remember, and one was a washer repair business. Inside the window was an old wringer washer. Anyone besides me remember those?

I walked through the pain only stopping twice to read posted notices on telephone poles.

Good birthday thanks to social media

I received around 60 “happy birthdays” from Facebook, more on email and phone calls from my sons and two grandsons. And thank you for sending me the same right here on my blog.

My son Ron and I hung out together, and we cooked dinner. He helped me water the garden and take care of the two spoiled cats.

Otherwise, it was a quiet day.

By the way, my friend, Sumi Haru and publisher Barbara Quinn  collaborated on straightening out the e-book of “Too Close to the Sun”.  I thank both of them.

Also, the bound book has been updated with some corrections that were minor, but necessary. I thank Barbara Quinn for that, as well. She is a lovely person and an excellent publisher.

Wish about a million people would buy that book.


Seventy six trombones led my parade

Seventy Six trombones. That’s one trombone for every year since I was born. Now that would make quite a parade.

I’m going to get my hair cut to honor my longevity.

I’m grateful for every single day.