Monday, August 6, 2007


Scott and Marisol are expecting their first child. This will be Scott's second son, but this will be a first baby for Marisol. My daughter-in-law is Phillipino, her hometown is Manila. She, Scott and Andrew have made the trip to her home to visit her Mother and Father and four sisters a couple of times. I have been invited to also go, but chose to decline. That long of a plane trip would not work for me.

I drove to Texas the first of this month to visit, I took both kids along, although I knew in advance that Ana was going to have to return earlier than the rest of us. She not only had to be back to work, but she had a boyfriend here in Georgia waiting impatiently for her return, so on Friday I put her on a plane and she came back by herself. Her boyfriends parents met her at the airport. The wonderful part about Scott living in Texas, my home in Louisiana it is right in the line of travel between here and Texas. I shall no doubt see both my home and my son more often now.

We had a nice visit in Texas even with the opressive heat. We went out to dinner almost every night and got to eat many different kinds of food. One night we had barbecue, the next night we went to Mexican. The last night we went for Japanese, I think it was the best dinner we had. Marisol's baby is due the end of this month, and I will return when the baby is born to help out. My kids will be back in school, so they won't be able to go along, which mean I won't be able to stay as long as Marisol would like, but I will try and stay for a week. Her own Mother is planning to visit in September. Her parents will stay for several months and that will be a big help to her.


I finally made it home to my place in Louisiana. A place that is ageless, the lazy river never changing, yet nearly over flowing her banks during this year of heavy rain, with 9 inches this month. I pulled into the drive and stopped in front of the house, it was nearly 2am and the breeze that met me was balmy. A soft southern moist blanket of humidity. The Cicada's chirping a high pitched welcome. Wow I had really missed this piece of Louisana I call home.

The kids were with me, and they were both asleep in the car, it had been a long drive. I have much to do before we can even enter the house, so I just left them sleeping while I went around and turned on the water heater, water, and lights. I knew I was going to either find everything undisturbed or a total ruin.......between high winds, mice, bugs and power outages, things can be quite a mess. It had been almost two years since I had been home....I opened the door and was greeted by the very familiar smell of old wood and dampness. As I turned on the lights I knew I was going to be up most of the night cleaning.....the kids came in and went to bed, but I cleaned until the sun came up. And continued cleaning for most of the next three days. I used a gallon of clorox and six rolls of paper towels. Not to mention sprays and wipes and vacuum cleaner bags full of the stuff mice leave behind. They had made quite a mess in the kitchen. They had found the popcorn and decided it was a nice place to take up residence so they build some nice soft fluffy nests inside the kitchen drawers and moved in. So I couldn't stand it until it was all clean again.

I filled my bird feeders and pulled weeds from the flower beds, swept the back porch and the front porch and cut bad two years of growth from the Wisteria on the back patio. All in all considering the time it had to grow it really wasn't that bad, although I did have to cut before I could get in through the back door.

My neighbors came over and sat with me the next day and brought dinner. They are truly fine neighbors, keeping a constant vigil, over-seeing all who might come down my driveway. They know that I am not home, and they keep a very close eye on the house and yard. I have given them permission to use the large garage out back, so they keep some of their stuff there and because of this it is to their benefit to also watch and make sure nothing is disturbed. Of course this doesn't extend to the mice. haha

Sunday, August 5, 2007


This day was the way I like them, peaceful and quiet, resting on the back porch swing with something to drink. I was contemplative today, giving thought to why it is people never respond well to the truth. Most of the time the only things people want to hear are sugar and spice and everything nice, even if the truth is far away. We must go through our life bestowing praise where it isn't deserved, offering positive reinforcement to people who seem to have such low self esteem that they need constant reassurances that they are loved, they are pretty, that they are contributing something important to society. Is this constructive, I seriously doubt it, it basically gives people a false sense of value. But regardless it must be done. There seems to be way to many people in this world who do not have the ability to love themself unless they are loved by others. What if, you were all alone, if no one loved you. Does that make you worthless, does that make you insignificant? Cannot a person enjoy life just on its own merit. Reach out and touch the breeze, see the trees, write some poetry, watch things grow and enjoy life just as much as those who are surrounded by a constantly reassuring support system?

When a person gives to charity they say, "boy did that make ME feel good."Is it the giving they enjoy or that reciprocal feeling of smugness. When a person gives a present is it because they want to or because they feel obligated? Such is the same with love, do you love freely and without asking for anything in return, or is there an awkward silence waiting for the other person to offer in kind. Can you love quietly or must you shout to the rooftops your love so that the object of your affection must respond. I gave this much thought today. The unselfish kind of love.

Saturday, August 4, 2007


Friday, August 3, 2007


A metal scupture on the Embarcadero
Port of San Francisco on the Wharf, Pier 19
A quiet park in the middle of the city, SF.
Sailboat on the Bay, SF
The Falconer and his falcon at Medieval Times
The Oakland Bay Bridge
The beautiful Tiffany Glass doors at the Winchester Mystery House
At the Palace of Fine Art, the pillars are designed to make it look like a row of geisha girls


As the sunsets we pull back into the LA airport's Hotel row. This is where you can find a Hotel room that offers shuttle service back to the airport. For me it is best to turn in my car and just catch the shuttle to the airport, so we spent our last night at the Hacienda Hotel very close to the airport. Since we had all evening I called Trevor and Jennie and invited them to come to dinner. Scott was still on his business trip and staying again at Alisa Viejo, but he had already turned in his car and had no transportation. I had already made reservations for dinner, so he said it was okay, he would pass on dinner since it would be a good two hour drive for me to go and get him. But Trevor and Jennie and TJ came up and we went out to eat on our last night together. We were flying out the next morning and this was our last chance to visit, so we dragged dinner out for a couple of hours.......but I left the waiter a 20.00 tip to make up for his lost table rotation. I got a few nice pictures of the kids eating.


After leaving San Jose we went to Burbank and spent the night there. While we were in the area we went over to the Warner Brothers Studios so that the kids could get a picture of the water tower, the one that they used in their "Animaniac's" commercials.


After leaving Sacramento we went to San Jose. I have been promising the kids for years that we would go to the Winchester Mystery House, and this trip we actually made it.....

While we were at Darrin's in Sacramento we went to the water park for the day. It was a great time, but not a place to take a camera, and when we got back home I just didn't get my camera out. We stayed there for two days, and I didn't get even one picture of my son, his wife, or the two grandkids. After we left I thought to myself, I can't believe that I forgot to take pictures. I guess I kept thinking I could do it later, and later never came. Some people aren't as easy to take pictures of as others, they hide from the camera, or they get upset when you haul it out. My Mom is one of those kinds of people, so you won't find very many photo's of my Mom. I am the same way, so I can understand. Over the course of my life, I would think there are fewer than 50 pictures of me in all. And there are even less of my Mom. But my kids don't mind having their picture taken so I sure do wish that I had a few. The grandkids grow up so fast and I have very few pictures of them.


My Mom lives in a little one bedroom house out in the country. She doesn't have city water or sewer. The house is about 100 years old, and it has no air conditioning. When we got there it was about 105 degrees and she was sitting in her chair with a sweater on, so I guess to ask her if she wants me to buy her air conditioning is a waste of time. She never gets hot anymore. But we got hot, so we went into town to my cousins to use the swimming pool and found that he was having water problems. It seems that after 20 years this beautiful black bottom olympic size pool is giving them problems. We have used this pool for years, every family get together was at my cousins house because they have a swimming pool and a billiards table, not to mention a house that goes on forever. Around the pool they have a barbecue and a whole outside kitchen and it was a little disheartening in this day of stiffling heat to not be able to use the pool safely. It isn't that we can't go in, it is just that we didn't want to. It looked like something that an army of very dirty well diggers had just taken a bath we went to the river........these pictures were taken at the Russian River, not far from my Mom's house.

Ana and Alex wouldn't go in and swim, they wanted to swim in a pool. Well to darn bad......the river is what I had to offer. So Nick had a good time, he wasn't afraid of the river.


Our trip took us from San Francisco on up the coast, through the Redwoods and along the Pacific Coast Highway. The kids wanted to visit glass beach, and see if they could find some blue glass, so we stopped in Fort Bragg and spent some time in the water. We watched the sunset as we were on our drive inland to where my Mom lives. This was one of those days on the beach that is fog, no clouds, and nice and warm. See how calm the waves wind either. Which is VERY rare on this particular beach.


Alex and Ana
Homes along the pond across from the Palace
Ana and Alex
the kids gazing and the architecture
Ana taking photo's
Ana and Alex


Palace of Fine Arts
Some metal art in front of our Hotel.
Golden Gate Bridge
At Fisherman's Wharf
Business District near the Embarcadero
We were originally going to spend a night at Pismo Beach, but I couldn't find a Hotel on Price line, they seemed to be all booked, so we stayed two nights in San Francisco instead. We stayed at a Hotel on the Embarcadero that was again a businessman's accommodation. It was very nice and had a Japanese Motif. Next door was a Japanese Restaurant, five star all the way, and the kids had their first true taste of fine dining.


In the oposite direction, looking away from the sign.

One of the things that the kids had on their to do list was going as close as we could get to the Hollywood sign. Often people think that you can drive right up to the sign, but that isn't the case, it is on private land, and it is locked up and gated so that you can't actually get that close. But if you know in advance a few places that are near, you can drive within photo shooting distance. Actually when you get up in that area of Hollywood, you are way out in the sticks, and their is actually a horse back riding stable/ranch on top of the hill. We drove up as far as we could go by car, and then we walked a few hundred yards to get these pictures.


Hyatt Regency Anaheim

We spent the first part of our trip here.

I know that I should be bubbling with enthusiam to recount the events of my trip, but now that it is behind me, it all seems much like a blur. So let me sit and think a bit, and look through my pictures so it will all come back to me.......I travelled so much distance in those two weeks, we really didn't spend much time in any one place. Day ONE.......We flew into Los Angeles, rented a car and then headed to the Hyatt in Anaheim, to find out that you can't check in early, well not at 3am, you have to wait until 8am. My son Scott was in Alisa Viejo on business and staying in a Motel so I called him and we headed down there to spend the first night with him. It was a little cramped because it was a business suite, with only one king sized bed, but it was so much better than sleeping in the car. I brought an air mattress and pump with us so that no matter where we stayed we would have at least one extra bed. So that came in handy, many times. We slept in late, and then got up and made our way up to our Hotel room at the Hyatt Regency near Disneyland. This was the first leg of our journey and we stayed there for three night and four days. During this time we met with Trevor, Jennie and TJ. Each day we did something, one day we went to Disneyland,
one day we went to Medieval Times
and the last day we just lazed around the pool. The kids came and stayed the day with us, went to dinner and then returned to their home at night. The reason we did not stay with them, they are living with Jennie's parents in a little room in the back, and they do not have room for four extra people. It was just much more convenient to stay in a Hotel. We used the pool each day, and we went out to dinner as a family at night, and it was very nice, I enjoyed it a lot, and the kids had a wonderful time investigating a large Hotel. They thought it very "cool."


My son's Maltese, Ziggy

We finally returned home on Tuesday. It always seems that I return just in time for a Dr.'s appointment. I think if I didn't have Dr.'s appointments, I would do a lot more travelling. It was a very nice vacation, saw a lot and did a lot, but it is good to be back home. I went out in the yard after I got back from the Dr.'s and worked in the garden. My plants seemed pleased to see me. My cat on the other hand took off into the woods and I haven't seen him again since we got home. He doesn't seem to like travelling all that much. He did fine for most of the trip, but on the way back he seemed to know that he was coming home, and about a hour away from the house he began to meow and he didn't stop until we pulled up in the driveway. He crawls up right under the front windshield and then paces back and forth. If he would lay down it wouldn't be so bad, but it is hard to see out over a pacing cat. I got in bed just as the sun was coming up, and then had to be to the Dr.'s at 3 in the afternoon, so I only got a few hours sleep, and right now it is almost 4am so I am not going to get that much sleep tonight either. I need a few days of rest and recuperation from my vacation. haha

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I am not home yet, I am in Texas right now, on my son's computer. We spent some time in Louisiana, and I am going back on our way back from Texas. I enjoyed my time there, and got much done. The Wisteria had completely blocked off the back door, and I spent the better part of one day reclaiming the use of that door. I scrubbed and scraped, and dragged bags of garbage to the street for pickup. Three garbage cans and eight bags. I cleaned out all the cupboards, the mice had found the popcorn, and a few other things that mice will eat. I caught two mice in traps and they ended up on the curb with the the garbage. I hate killing anything, even mice, but you gotta do what you gotta do. They make a terrible mess in a kitchen. I scrubbed with clorox for three straight days.
The house is old, and needs much work, maybe this year I will actually get some done. The neighbors keep a close eye on the place, and they make sure no ones snoops around, but I suppose they didn't see those mice.....haha. I told them they need to send their cats over, every so often to "visit." I brought my own cat with me on this trip, and he had fun running around chasing the mice till I caught them in traps. I guess when I return I will see if we missed a few.......they always leave their "calling cards."

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I am down to my last week before my trip and I have a million things to do. Organization is at the top of the list. I have decided that the best thing to do right now is try and stay off the computer for awhile. I really do not get much done when I sit here all day. We got some rain so that will help the watering situation, but I have to work on putting together a watering system so that it will be an easier task than what I have been used to. My husband is not likely to water if I don't. I have bought 30 bags of mulch and I must put it down in the next few days.
We have done some shopping for our trip, I have the suitcase in the middle of the room, and I have lists made of things we need, things we have, and things yet to get. I have made copies of maps and directions to the site we are going to see, made reservations for all the Hotels we will need and made a list of phone numbers and addresses. Plus I put together an itinery for my husband so we will know when we will be, where. It all takes time.
Usually I cook food ahead, but this time I have not done that, I figure a full grown man can either cook for himself or starve. In this case I am pretty sure he will be seeing the inside of Longhorn's on a fairly regular basis.
This might be my last post for awhile, and I might get around to anyone's blogs either, I am sorry, I will miss you all, but I just need to concentrate my energies right now. Will see you when we return.

Pacific Ocean, here we come!!!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


This picture was taken just before I moved from Northern California to Southern California. Trevor was about six, Scott was 10 and Darrin was 18. Karrie was his girlfriend then, but they are now married with two sons of their own. I guess this picture was taken in about 1987 or 1988. Ana and Nick were not born yet. This shot was taken in Grandma's house. We will be there in another week or so.

Monday, June 18, 2007


Sunday, June 17, 2007


I've been thinking about Dr.'s. I guess this thought came to me because of Catch's Mom breaking her wrist, so I got to thinking about all of the terrible Dr.'s I have had in my life. The close calls, and misdiagnosis, and utter incompetence. Granted a few have been good, a few have made the correct diagnosis, and one was even "a God." (To hear him tell it.) He was a very renowned eye surgeon and he operated on my eldest son and saved his eye. But my son will never see out of his right eye for the rest of his life because the original General Dr. who gave him his preschool exam didn't notice that he couldn't seem to read the eye chart out of his right eye. And didn't bother to look in his eye with a light. When Dr. Cleasby showed me what a detached retina looks like, even a novice can spot it. But once the cones and rods of the eyes are dead, which only takes a few weeks from the time the retina slips, you will never again see out of that eye. So although he saved the eye, there is no sight.

And then there was the time at sixteen I had a kidney ones fault, it just died due to a chronic problem. But the Dr. asked me if I wanted to wait till the Holidays for the surgery.....I didn't like the idea of walking around with a dead kidney, besides the pain was pretty unbearable, so I opted for immediate surgery. Seems it was a good thing, according to the Dr. the thing was about, "ready to blow." I would have no doubt died, it gets pretty messy when you have an organ full of decay, explode.

Then at about twenty-three I was having "female trouble." The Dr. decided that it was nothing, and just sent me home with a pat on the hand, and a, "you worry to much"....Approximately 20 days later I was in surgery with a ruptured Ectopic pregnancy. It was a life or death situation, but after four hours of surgery, I lived.

And then there was the ringworm that the Dr. decided was a skin rash and sent me home with eczema cream, in four days I had ring worm everywhere......

And then there was the time when Nick was five and after throwing up for three days the Dr. decided that he just had the flu, sent us home with medicine to keep him from tossing his cookies. (He threw it up) After four more trips down to Kaiser, and numerous non effective ministration, I bypassed the Dr. and headed straight for Children's Hospital. Nick had a complete stomach blockage, called Intacaception. They had to remove six inches of gangrene intestines. If I hadn't ignored that stupid Dr., Nick would have died.

And then there is case of Tom's toe......he had a little soreness and red in the corner near the cuticle, that was beginning to get painful. Nothing very serious, but then, Tom is a big baby. So even though it was 7 at night we went down to Acute Care at Kaiser. The Dr. he saw put on his gloves, and then left the room, rummaged around outside awhile, and then came back in handling the doorknob on both sides of the door. He didn't change gloves. He took a tool and lanced the toe, squeezed out some pus, put on a bandage and sent us home. It was a long drive down there, by the time we got back home, the toe was covered in very red, sore blisters. The Dr. gave us no medicine of any kind, and we didn't know what to do, so we soaked the toe in hot water and Epsom salts. Then we bandaged it after putting on some neosporin...I didn't look at the toe again for a few days, by the time I did, what I saw was a raging infection. Again it was late at night, about 2am.......but with Tom's heart problems, having an infection is a bad thing. So we went to the hospital. They removed the toe nail, gave him antibiotics, and sent us home with a $3,000. bill. That was just the beginning, every time he would stop taking the antibiotics the infection would return. Come to find out, the antibiotics that he had been given were for spinal meningitis. Not very effective for the sore toe. After another 20 trips to the Dr., four different series of different antibiotics, (we actually had one Dr. ask US why the previous Dr. had prescribed the medicine that they had prescribed, because that particular medicine was for kidney infections) the toe was still itchy, red and swollen. But the blisters were gone. One night we were discussing a blister that Nick had gotten from an ant bite, and I told Tom how quickly it had dried up after Nick had gone in a spa that had a large amount of chlorine in the water, so; we decided to soak the toe in hot water, with a teaspoon of chlorine bleach. Amazingly the itching stopped, the toe was less red and he got his first night of sleep in over a month. We did this for about a week, and the toe completely healed up. Now I am not telling you to soak anything in chlorine bleach just because we did........but I am saying, it sure seems to kill infection and fungus.......and it worked for the toe. When I told the Dr. what we did he was horrified........well let him be, it wasn't his toe......and you can buy a lot of chlorine bleach with $3,000.

Friday, June 15, 2007


I have not barbecued for two this was nice. Right now I smell a bit like barbecued hot dogs and steak, but that isn't a bad thing, (I wonder if there is a perfume on the market.) Well I am not hungry anymore, so it doesn't smell as good as it did an hour ago.

I love barbecue, anything cooked on the grill to me is superior to any other way of cooking. Especially pork. Ribs,chops.......yummy. I am not the world's best barbecuer, but I gettr' done, hopefully not overdone. haha

So now I am full as a tick, and not really wanting to do much except waddle to my favorite chair, enjoy an after dinner cup of coffee, and watch something on TV. So I guess that is what I am going to do.

My days have been full of putting down mulch, I am trying to conserve on water and the only way to do that is put something around my plants that helps to control the temperature and water evaporation. Tomorrow I will be out in the yard all day putting down some more mulch. My trip is looming on the horizon, so I need to hurry with this mulching and that is hard when I am working in heat. I am also trying to work out an efficient watering system. It will be a bit complex, but efficient. It would have been best if I had installed a self timing watering system before planting. But then it would have been hard to landscape. Now it would be very difficult to install an automated system, but not impossible. I am thinking about it.....

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


click on the pictures if you want to stick your nose inside the blossoms

These are some of the most beautiful lily's in the world, however they have the shortest life span of any flower. Well there are some other flowers that only live for one day like Tigridia's, but I don't plant them because they are native to dry heat and would not do very well here.
Anyway I am posting some of the pictures that I took today. I am sorry, I do not remember the names of each, just to hard on my little ole brain. When I bought them I should have tagged them, but I didn't, so I just enjoy them and when someone asks "what is the name", I just say daylily. Although each of these has it's own special name....


This is my third son, Trevor and his wife and baby. These pictures were taken a full year ago. I have not seen them since these pictures were taken. When we go to California this month I will see Trevor's family first.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007



I often look back over my life and think about the changes that have come about, and compared to my 20's and 30's and even my 40's, the 50's have taken on an appearance that is quite reminiscent of my Mother and my Grandmother. I suppose there is much truth in the praise, "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree."

Each morning when I was small I remember Grandma would don her bonnet and take a stroll through her garden. My morning stroll doesn't seem much different except I always take my first cup of morning coffee with me. Grandma used to say, if you don't go each morning you are going to miss something. And with daylilys that is certainly true. Each bloom is glorious, but they only last one complete day. I have gone out in the night to check, and yes, they are in bloom right on through the night, but by the following morning the blossom is closing and wrinkling and ending. I have maybe 30 or 40 different kinds and colors of daylilys, and each morning new ones bloom.

So each day I don my bonnet, well; visor, (I have to keep the sun out of my eyes), and I grab my first cup of morning coffee, call the cat, and the two of us go for a stroll. I have five birdbaths scattered throughout the yard and near each is a couple of feeders. Finches eat a different mixture of food than do the Cardinals and Jays, and so I have different mixtures in several feeders. At the back of the property I have the squirrel feeders, but squirrels don't care, they like to dangle precariously from any way-to-small bird feeder.

I have several new projects in the works, I am building a small pier out over the creek, and I am terracing a few new flower beds. I have heard it said about me, that I enjoy the work, which is not exactly true, I enjoy the finished project. I could just as readily enjoy sitting back in a comfortable chair, with a tall cool drink, and something to point with, and direct someone else to do the work. But the last time I looked there was no one in line for work detail.

Monday, June 11, 2007


Just saw a nice sized King snake in my garden, he is very welcome. I don't worry about king snakes, they are good snakes and kill the poisoness snakes, as well as eat mice and voles. I pet his back, he arched his back like a cat and he barely moved. I guess he was eating some lunch. King snakes are restrictors and pose no threat to humans.....

Saturday, June 9, 2007


When you are away for a few days, it seems so easy to just stay away. I know I sure do get a lot more done around home when I am not on the computer all day.

We are going to start preparing for our trip. I have to make a check list, and have begun collecting the items that we need to take with us. There are four of us going, so this will take a bit of time. We are going to cover Los Angeles, Garden Grove, Anaheim, Burbank, Sunset Blvd., Santa Barbara, Pismo Beach, Arroyo Grande, San Francisco, Ft. Bragg, Mendocino, Potter Valley, Sacramento and who knows where else along the way. I have already made flight reservations and some hotel reservations for a few of the first several nights, but the last week of the trip I am just going to "play by ear."

We are going to stay in the Hyatt Regency near Disneyland, just in case we choose to "pop" on over for a bit of fun. In the summer Disneyland really isn't all that much fun, unless you like to stand in lines for hours, which I really don't care to do anymore. So I have promised the kids that we will do something. Either Knott's Berry Farm, Medieval Times, or one of the other many things that the Southern part of California has to offer. When we get to Burbank we are going to the studio, and when we get to San Jose we are going to the Winchester Mystery House. But those jaunts are later in our trip.

I am feeling 90% better, my hip is not hurting as much and my leg and foot are also feeling better. I twisted my ankle the day after my fall, so I added a bit of insult to my injury. I am beginning to think I need walking lessons all over again. The truth of the matter is, I am just getting clumsy.

Thursday, June 7, 2007


This computer chair wasn't exactly made for comfort, so I won't be here at the computer for long. Just pay some bills, check the email, quick trip to my blog, and then back to either lying down, or finding a chair big eough to sit in a new fashion which allows for not using the right side of my body. In the process I am doing some really rude things to my poor back, so actually standing works best. But I can't do that all day, so I guess I will have to work on learning a new way to sit. But I really haven't figured one out yet.

Be back to blogging in a few days....

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


Have you ever heard your Mom tell you not to run? I had a vague sensation as I was riding the stairs to the bottom, that my Mom was watching and she was shaking her head at me. I wear these neat little socks, very soft and fuzzy, and I found out this morning, also slippery. The stairs have been used a lot from the upstairs to the downstairs because we have an office down there, and Ana's bedroom is also down there and she comes upstairs a dozen times an hour. Anyway the wood is very nice and smooth. This morning the phone rang and I wasn't exactly running, but I was hurrying to get to the basement to ask Ana what time she wanted her Dentist appointment moved to.......and I am not sure what happened, but the next thing I knew I was riding the stair, but without the is amazing how quickly you can go from the top stair to the bottom stair on only your butt cheeks. I think I heard a slap, slap, slap as I passed each stair, but I could be wrong. There are 13 stairs in all, and by the time I got to the bottom, my butt was sore. I just relaxed and rode it out, after all, there was no way I was going to stop until I got to the bottom. Just now I leaned back in my chair, and my right cheek seems to be a bit tender......

Actually I am very lucky, I started to put my wrist down to stop myself, and could have broken my wrist, but as I said, I just rode it out. I am glad the kids didn't see me, they would want to do it too. I am sure it looked like fun. Sorry folks, no pictures of this one.......

Monday, June 4, 2007


This is my current project, I am building a new path out into the woods. These take a bit of time, because I have to level and scrape the dirt flat. Then shape the path. In addition I have to go and find rocks to line the path. Next I have to set the rocks in the proper shape, and then I have to put down pea gravel. The final step is the most fun, I get to plant flowers among the rocks. This is not a quick or easy project. I usually find, place and set about two rocks a day........The rock in this picture, the first one is about a foot and a half across and weights about 70 pounds. It is a relatively flat rock, or I would not have been able to roll it to where I needed it. I found it close to the path, and I rolled it uphill a foot at a time. I felt like an ant moving bread crumbs.


Stokes Aster with Bee

Asiatic Lilies

Easter Lilies and a Clemantis

Day Lilies

Stokes Asters

Calla Lily

Sunday, June 3, 2007


Have you ever looked around your computer desk at the things that occupy your space? I was sitting here just now and looking at the assortment of different items that keep me company. It is an accumulation over the past 30 years. Some of these items have traveled from Northern California to Southern California, to Louisiana and on to I didn't manage to lose them is a wonder. I have a pink rabbit, a pink pig, a duck, a tall stein that hold pens and pencils, a paperclips holder that I made with my eldest son some 30 years ago. A Birthday Angel that my Dad gave me when I was about 8. A picture of a man rowing a Pirogue in the Bayou's of Louisiana, that David gave me, a picture of my Grandson Andrew, a toothpick holder made by Tiera Glass, a jar of Carmex, my latest water bill, a rocket mailer from Pieter Van Woerkom in the United Kingdom, (I am saving it because it has two Beatles Stamps that I am sure will someday be collectors items.) There is a plastic square made from brightly colored plastics melted together, that Scott made for me when he was in high school arts and was his "plastics" project. A package of 16 AAA batteries because my mouse is wireless, and needs new batteries every two weeks.

No that isn't everything, but you get the idea, my computer desk is a mess.......a cluttered mess.

Friday, June 1, 2007


I always love rain but today it is especially welcome. (I received our water bill today) And after spending $81.00 for one months water, everything still needed watering. Some plants can go for a week or so between watering, but the annuals that I recently planted need a bit of water every other day. I was thinking of how to use water from the bathtub. Out in the country many homes had sumps for gray water. Run off from the kitchen sink and bathtub ran to the sump which was a deep hole, lined with wood, filled with gravel. I actually built one for my laundry room gray water at my place in Louisiana, but in Louisiana you can do just about anything on your own land. Here it would be illegal.

So this rain is a very welcome rain, it smells wonderful, and the woods will have that soft velvety feel as you walk on the wet leaves and bark. I love the smell of the woods after rain. A kind of earthy, mushroomy, wood chips smell. Lou and I used to go for a walk in the dark out in the woods. Well I guess I will go alone, and pretend Lou is with me.

I can smell the cool night rain
I hear something in the woods under a dark sky
it is a night creature, a possum, or a cat.
I see the white ghost shape of a flower dancing
this is my time of night enjoying the dark and quiet.
I walk out through my garden of late spring flowers
no moon shining yet I can see their shapes
my night friends retreat from the sound of my footsteps
I know I have some company out here enjoying this night.
I love these times, peaceful moments of solitude
there are no voices, just the rain and deep shadows.
The forest at night is not asleep nor resting
it is full of night life, and I am one of them.


Back when things were so much easier....

Now my daughter is a teenager, and my son is twelve. Both have anxiety brought on by what others think of them. I have told them many times, do not worry about that, you are the only one that you need to face in the mirror.

Wishes forever like dominoes fall
gathering momentum toppling all
over and over and on an on
I wish, I wish, I wish, I long.

I long for the feeling
I will try to describe
'tis warmth of the soul
no part left exposed
no limbs hanging out
where the cold can impose,
no words can injure,
no touch can burn
no look can wither
no voice can scorn.

Bumps and jabs
worry me not,
future not fraught,
with worry nor sadness
or hatred nor sin
for our very worst fears
always come from within.



the cat...

he yawns,
then lunges
for my neck.
Could be
he wants
to murmur
sweet nothings
in my ear,
but then

the cat....

he purrrrs
so sweetly
one minute
the next
rips me
with a claw
and licks a paw
his stuff

the cat...

it's so
who totally
lost control
taken over
house, home,
giving in
to a 7 pound
ball of fluff.

the cat!

Thursday, May 31, 2007


Water, water, everywhere, but we are in a drought...............again.......
Summer has come with a vengeance, 88° today, we have had very little rain this spring. And I don't really know without looking when we drop into our first day of summer, I think it is in July, but believe me, summer is here. I have to water often, and that is not a good thing since they have raised water rates, and are charging a 25% surcharge to people who like me, have lots to water. If you use over a certain amount, and that is amount is rather small, you pay more. It is all in an effort to save water reserves, which because of the amount of growth in this area are probably very low. The City Council in an area such as ours, that normally has plenty of water, always sell off the water rights to areas that have little or no water, on a 99 year lease. Then in times of drought we cry that we have no water. We would have plenty of water, if we didn't open up the damn and send it all to Florida, Alabama and wherever else it goes. I used to live next to a large lake, one of the largest fresh water lakes in California, but the founding fathers of the city of Lucerne, sold the water rights to a big city on the edge of the desert, and after that we had to pay premium prices to use the water that was right outside our front door. And that is also what has happened here. So no matter how much water we might get, via of rain, we will always be in drought conditions, for the most part, because I doubt they can catch up to the growth without building more facilities to treat and hold the water.


It's a dance,
it's a song,
it's a double dip
instead of a slip...

It's a bareback ride
on the wild side
it's a smile on my face
inside a warm embrace.


Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Hoya Wax Plant

Last year when my hoya bloomed, I posted a picture, well, it is in bloom again. This year it has only one blossom. It had three but two dried up and dropped off. The blossom smells like chocolate covered cherries....yummy. The above picture is this year's bloom. If you click on the picture you can see the texture. The white in the background is furry, the inside cluster looks like frosting.

Monday, May 28, 2007


Often in my poetry, I will write about an observation of a personality. In this instance I was writing about the ability of a person that I know, to stay childlike long into adulthood. I am sure you know someone, who, although they are an adult, has continued to be carefree and childlike.

A wandering soul
no master to claim
as a carefree child
lost in a game
lightness of foot
quickness of mind
youth had its privilege
so age took its time.
~nea © 2006


I had forgotten how much I love a home cooked barbecue. The parent's of my daughter's boyfriend invited us over to have barbecue. His Dad, Billy is a musician and has a full studio in the basement, so we also got to listen to live music. Billy used to play with the Billie Joe Royal band, "Crackers." he has been in the music business for 40 years. He and his brother Randy have a band, and they play for bars, restaurants, and special occasions in this area. And on occasion, Ana's boyfriend plays drums for them. He is also a very fine musician. Ana plays keyboard, however, she has no interest in getting up in front of a crowd.

I took some baked beans, an oatmeal carmel cake, and a three bean salad. We had a wonderful meal, they had corn on the cob, coleslaw and barbecued ribs, in addition to what I brought. It was a very good dinner. Then everyone sat around and proceeded to get drunk, except for me, because all I drink is water. It is kind of hard to get drunk on water, but I did try. haha It was a nice evening.

Ana is not all that happy to have her parent's smoozing with her boyfriend's parents, especially when everyone gets drunk. And I found that she has good reason. Her boyfriends Mom asks very personal questions about them, when she is drunk, and I being sober, do not care to answer. I find it very difficult to have patience with people who are intoxicated. I was married for 14 years to a drunk, and I frankly don't care to have that in my life anymore. I do not think his parents and I will become overly intimate, but I do like them.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


We are a vessel of longing
love and light laughter,
we bend in the wind
and flow with the tide.

We dance on a cloud
high above the rest
and float on a song
as we close our eyes.

Love is all around us
we can feel the warmth
as if friendly strong arms
are holding us close.

And I shall remember this
in the face of loneliness
I will feel your presence
and thank you for your love.
~nea © 2006

Friday, May 25, 2007


Artistically this is not top notch photography. Just one of those quick photos we snap because we have a camera in our hand, and we are waiting for someone to get done with something so that we can leave. I took this picture just to pass the time. We were on our way to the Post Office, and Lou was waiting patiently for us to get ready. It was always one of his favorite trips, because we would walk him around the grounds and let him pee on every tree. This picture was taken about 4pm in the afternoon, and little did I know that on that same day around 3am, Lou would take his last breath.

He was in the best of health, didn't have a care in the world, he didn't even have any fleas. I look back on this picture, and remember at the time thinking what a sweet boy you are. I still look at this picture and think what a sweet boy he was. He was happy and healthy and full of vim and vigor right up until 1am, what happened after that, I doubt I will ever know, but at 3am he seemed paralyzed. Some speculate that he had a stroke; maybe. Some think he might have been poisoned; maybe. The neighbor figures he got hit by a car; rather unlikely, since he had not a mark on him. He might have been kicked while chasing cows, which he liked to do, he was a herding dog, or maybe the deer he loved to chase, turned on him and got him, another not very likely scenario. The last time I had him to the vet, they gave him seven shots.......he was sick for two days. He had no energy, and all he did was sleep, I have wondered if all that medication could have led to this. Probably not very likely. All I know is, he was seven years old, in the prime of his life, and died very suddenly. I can look at his pictures now without crying, but I will always love that sweet face and remember what a dear friend he was to me.


I have just ordered a pizza. This is not something that I do very often. The kids wish that I did, they get really tired of my food, almost as tired as I get of cooking. So tonight I am surprizing everyone by ordering pizza. I know that for most people this is a common occurance, and they are very accomplished at this process, but for me it was stressful. RRRing....."I would like to order a pizza," "Okay, what is your name." "My name is Neoma." "Huh?" "Norma?" "No, Neoma"........"how do you spell that," "Non," "No, N-e-o-m-a", "Huh," "Nom", "No, Just use Nea"........"What kind of crust do you want," "What do you have," "Thin, pan, hand tossed"....... "I don't know, I guess pan, I know that I want it in a pan"......"okay, do you have a coupon"........"do I need a coupon?" "Yes, if you want a good deal." "Okay, I will go and look for coupon," "I will call back when I find one."

I went to the internet, and found a coupon, so I called them back and ordered a couple of pizza's, I went through the same stuff, with just a bit of variation......I had to repeat the phone number twice, and then she asked how I was going to pay, and I told her cash. I guess you can also use credit cards. But I do NOT give my credit card numbers out over the phone to kids.

Pizza will be here in one hour......glad we aren't starving.....


icy edge of dark
line of birch trees in moonlight
soldiers without dress

Monday, May 21, 2007


School will be out on Friday. Our trip to California will begin the latter part of June, so I would say that for almost a month I can just rest. Well that is the plan, rest and garden and just kick back and not do that much. Getting ready for a trip, will be easy in a way, because I really just shoot from the hip. Once our tickets are purchased, and rooms secured, the rest is just go with the flow. I don't want to make a million plans, because I like spontaneity. If I have to be at a certain place at a certain time, it takes much of the fun out of vacationing for me. I want to just relax at the beach, spend the night if it pleases us, and if we want to drive on up the coast, to the next town, then that is what we will do. I usually work on the assumption that everything will fall into its proper place. And for the most part, it usually does.

Oh by the way, I had no problem being relieved from jury duty. I took a bit of paperwork from the Dr. with me, and showed it to the "main man", to which he responded that he would be happy to reduce my stress by excusing me from sitting on a jury. I thanked him and quickly headed back home. There was a time I would have been happy to serve, but that time is not now.


Wake me on the morrow,
when dew is on the ground
sing to me of loving,
when love can not be found
paint for me a picture
with every word you speak
but never call it loving
unless it's mine to keep.
~nea © 2004

Sunday, May 20, 2007


This hasn't been a very restful Sunday, but that is okay, now that I am retired I can rest another day, I suppose.
Ana had a sleepover last night, and not to be outdone, Nick had to have one also. Ana and her friends went out into the woods and gathered firewood and built a fire in the little fire pit outside and they toasted marshmallows and made smores. I could hear the chatter and smell the smoke and I knew what was happening. They had a good time until someone started telling ghost stories and the girls started screaming. I stuck my head out the window and informed them that the neighbors would be calling the police soon if they didn't stop the screaming, so they came inside and took their party to the basement.

Nick's new best friend is the brother of his sister's boyfriend. So now I have both boys here on a regular basis. Their Mother is soon going to think I am trying to steal her family. haha She works and is gone during the day, and the youngest boy is now home alone, since his brother has been spending all his time here with Ana. So I guess it is only fair, since his former babysitter is spending all his time here with my daughter that he come with him. Next weekend Nick is going over to their house for a sleepover. He is excited about that, because they have a trampoline.

I think trampolines for home use is something that is primarily here in the south. I do not remember ever seeing a trampoline in any one's yard in California. There is probably a law about having them in California, since there is a law about everything there. We can't have one here, we live on a hill, even if I levelled off the ground to put one up, one side would be about two inches from the top while the other side would be a foot from the ground. We just can't have one here. It has also kept me from getting a gazebo.

I baked a banana bread, made a coleslaw, a pot of red beans with ham hock, and a fruit salad. So what did the kids want for lunch, hot dogs......haha

Everyone have a nice Sunday......I have been called up for Jury Duty this next week, if I can't get out of it, I will be gone all week. And I probably will not feel much like blogging when I get home. I don't know if they let people off for medical problems, but since mine aren't obvious to the naked eye, people don't realize how hard it would be for me to sit on their chairs in just a few carefully chosen positions for 8 hours. By the time I get home, every joint in my body is going to hurt.

Friday, May 18, 2007


Tomorrow marks the end of finals, and then the kids have just one more week of school. It is party time, and wrapping up the end of Ana's Junior year and Nick's sixth grade year. This year has sure gone by quickly for me, maybe not so quickly for the kids but I am sure summer will go by fast.

Nick has an ethnic appreciation day tomorrow at school, so he was asked to bring something to honor his Russian Ancestry. He chose Russian Tea Cakes. He came home from school on Monday and informed me that on Thursday I would be making three dozen Russian Tea Cakes for him to take to school. I told him that I am not Russian, his Russian heritage comes from his father's side of the family, so his father should be baking the cookies, don't you think?

Well it is 1:30 in the morning and I am just now finishing with the cookies. I am very tired, so as soon as they are cool enough to load into a tin, I am off to bed.....Sleep, Sleep, Sleep.......

Monday, May 14, 2007


I feel the need to dig in the yard, get my hands dirty, plant something......It is restful to me, it occupies my thoughts, it gives me an opportunity to be engrossed in something that takes me away from everyday life. It is hard to explain yard work to someone who doesn't have the same feelings. But there is something very rewarding about taking a bush, and pruning it into beauty. Or taking a bare patch of dirt and with a little back breaking bending and stooping, creating a living masterpiece. I don't really have a scheme, I let the land tell me what to plant, what to prune and shape. I move rocks here and there, and add plants that like to live near rocks, I plant shade plants where there is shade, and sun plants where there is sun, and don't worry overly much if the colors are going to match and blend. My garden books would be quite horrified if they were to see my bright red lilies, nestled up next to the cosmos. But I don't care, I love color, and my garden has so much green, it breaks up the intensity.
I have purple cone flowers to plant, a Wiegelia bush, Impatience, a little plant called Eggs and Butter, some Calla Lilies, Sweet William, a few Mums, oh, I am sure there are a couple of pots of things out there I have totally forgotten about. I buy them, and then I wait until I find the right place to plant them, and then I plant. By planting a little every week, I always have something in bloom. My yard is full now, so all the planting I do, is to replace things that are no longer thriving, or just to fill a bare spot. I don't want bare spots. When I water, I want the water to be hitting something.......

It is a very pleasant 77 outside today, with a gentle breeze blowing, a perfect day to be in the yard. So time to go.....I have rocks that need moving, and squirrels to feed. Have a great day, I know that I will.


Today was a special day, it was Mother's Day, and it was the day that I met my daughter's boyfriend's parents for the first time. Well, I had actually spoken very briefly with Alex's Mom the night of the concert, but tonight we were to have dinner with both of his parents and have time to actually talk.

My daughter was not looking forward to our meeting, she was afraid, of what, I am not sure, but I guess it is a scary idea to have your parents meet the parents of your boyfriend, and they all sit down to dinner and have time for conversation. Because just what are they going to talk about....??? Of course, the kids.

So I was given instructions.

I was very careful what I said, I didn't tell more than one of two really cute stories about Ana when she was two. I didn't tell them that she was in a diaper until almost three, I didn't mention to them about the time she climbed up the chain link fence and went into the neighbors yard, I didn't tell them about the time she crawled under the table and wouldn't come out at the buffet. There was so much I didn't say.

So when I got home, I was grilled by my daughter........" so Mom, what did you say about me, what did you talk about, did you tell them anything?" I answered to the best of my ability that I had been quite subdued, I had withheld any knowledge that might embarrass her, I was very, very respectful of her wishes..... I told her we talked about Alex and his love of drawing, and music, and trips, and many things, but we didn't discuss her that much.

My daughter became very quiet.......her eyes started to get red, and I could see tears forming, ....."What, What, what is wrong?" I said.

Well it seems that she felt left out, neglected, maybe even a bit unloved, she hadn't been included in the conversation. No one discussed her love of writing, her love of drawing, her love of, I decided, I just can't win.......

Saturday, May 12, 2007


I had my first little boy when I was nineteen, I had my last little boy when I was quite a bit older.......45. I have five children, spread over close to 30 years. I have a grandson who is a year older than my youngest child......this isn't to say that I am an expert on being a Mother, but I have had a lot of practice. I also raised two stepchildren along with my eldest child.

One of the perks of Motherhood is Mother's Day. I don't suppose that the origin of Mother's Day was anything more than a good time to sell Hallmark Cards, but for Mother's everywhere it is a time when someone is going to feel guilty if they don't remember their dear Momma. Not all Mother's are perfect, they don't all bake cookies for school functions, they don't all wipe the brow with a cool towel when someone is sick, they don't all meet your every need or answer your every whim. But they did all do one thing, they carried you for nine months and gave you life.

I myself have spent many hours contemplating what is a perfect Mother, and I have concluded there really is no such thing. People have different lives, different needs, and respond in different ways to different situations. To some people it would have been intolerable to have had my childhood....yet, I look back with fondness at my early years. So never judge someone else's life, just because it is not a cookie cutter copy of your own.

To Mother's everywhere, this is your day.....enjoy it, and if you have to cook, at least make someone else do the dishes.........


Thursday, May 10, 2007


Ana has a concert tonight at 7:30. Nick's was Tuesday. So we are getting the spring concerts out of the way all in the same week. I enjoy them, it is fun to watch your children perform. Nick's plays the clarinet, and he is doing quite well. I remember the first of the year when he was just beginning, and all he could play was "hot cross buns." For this concert he played the theme song from Star Wars......WOW what a rapid advancement in his abilities.

Ana sings and plays the piano. Her boyfriend is in the quartet, so I will see them both perform. Ana said that if she doesn't try out for Broadway next year, her Senior year, and make the cut, then she is going to just take piano all year long. Right now she alternates between music and chorus. Her boyfriend is in a band, his father's band, he is the drummer, but Ana is a bit to shy to perform in front of a paying crowd.

Well I must go and get ready, I only have about 20 mins. Of course it only takes me about 10, I just braid my hair, wash my face, toss on something that isn't stained, and I am out the door.