A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Sunday, September 25, 2016



I joke about Mercury in Retrograde, but figure that if the interaction between the Sun and the Moon with the Earth caught between can move oceans, then the energy interactions between planets should not be discounted.  Right now I can testify that the day Mercury went station, I woke up in my "All is Well" mode and the momentum of good things kickstarted back into forward.

I downloaded my pictures from the full moon and noticed a benefit to Benign Essential Tremor (Familial).  Sometimes I feel so happy there must be sparks coming out my pores.  Sorta like this.

I tried to catch my view on the last night through the trees at the end of my street.  Only marginally successful, but it was a beautiful evening and I enjoyed the attempts.

Finally, a sunset!  Pretty mild this summer, but I managed to catch this one. 

There are so many things in the sky that make my heart smile.  Clouds.  Sunrises and sunsets.  Birds and butterflies.  Hot air balloons.  I read somewhere that just smiling (even if you're not sure you mean it) or looking up will raise serotonin levels.  I believe it.

On the ground at school Friday was something that made me smile, too.  Our PE department had taught every kid in the school - 1100 of them - to do four line dances and then had taught the staff on Tuesday as a surprise for the kids.  The principal called us all out and we all danced our week to an end.  After my experience on Tuesday with the lessons aggravating my injured knee, I remembered to bring my brace so was able to avoid too much residual swelling and aching.  WHAT FUN that was.  On my bucket list is to participate in a flashmob.  Since we flashed the kids (they didn't know why they were being called to the blacktop) I think I can cross that one off.

Afterward I headed to Mom's for our usual dinner out, then home knowing I'd be returning the next afternoon.

The work at work had been a little taxing, so I welcomed the morning in the garden.  It's been months since I added rescue fish to the pond.  Dodger finally noticed them (there are about twenty).  I could hear his dopey doggy mind whispering, "WTF?"

Then it was time to feed the tortoises.  We had someone out to permit them last year and donated our dozen babies to the California Turtle and Tortoise Club for adoption.  Now we're down to eight adults, which is a nice manageable number.  I clipped some ruellia and was standing at the enclosure clipping it into the pen when I looked down and...

They're a little less than two inches, nose to tail.

There is something so hopeful about baby tortoises, and had I known a tortoise song I might have burst out with it.  I had to settle for smiles and giggles and maybe a happy little tear might have slipped out.  Maybe.  I got their enclosure set up and left them to stay safely in the house for a few years.  I really missed the little guys this year as it passed, so was thrilled to find a couple.

Dealing with the babies ate up my morning errand time (ogeedarn), but I pullled it all together to head back to where my Mom lives for a birthday party for a friend's baby's first birthday.  My friend is a server at our favorite restaurant (one of several I've formed an attachment to) and - hungry for grandchild type activities - I asked her to invite me to a baby shower when she was expecting, which earned me an invite to this party.

I've learned a lot about myself the past few years.  I am enough.  I don't have to bend to fit in.  I don't have to be where I don't want to be.  And I've learned to listen to my gut.  When I got to the party (which I couldn't find right away) all I could think was, "I don't want to be here."  It was a big party where everyone knew everyone else and I only knew the hostess.  It was outside, in the heat and wind.  I felt everything inside calm down when, as I crossed the grass to the picnic tables where the guest of honor was being entertained by three sets of grandparents, I decided to simply give and get a hug, deliver the present, wish everyone well and get out of Dodge.  (Apropos analogy since the park is near the old movie ranch were a lot of old Westerns were made.)  I went to my favorite restaurant, saw some of my favorite people and enjoyed my favorite salad in air-conditioned comfort.

I ran my errands and visited with my Mom while we waited for our appointed dinner date with my brother, sister-in-law and sister at El Toritos.  The food was a disappointment (the hot spice chef must have been in charge)  and a drunk woman was yelling her conversation so loudly that we couldn't hear.  Once she got her food, though, she was distracted enough to shut up and we enjoyed each other's company as we haven't for months.  After dinner we settled in for a round of Tripoly.  I play board games so seldom that I need a cheat card for the poker round and have to be reminded of the procedures and rules, but I ended up the big winner after all.   Most important, though, is that it proved to be a healing evening for a family going through a super stressful time.  I'm glad I joined that group.

It took me until 2:00 am to wind down last night, then Dodger wanted up and out at his usual time of 5:30.  Fortunately, once fed and toileted he was content to come back in and go back to bed, so I did , too, and woke up a couple of hours later.  Still feel draggy and not too motivated to get much done. but I did go out back to feed the tortoises again.

And then there were three.

All is well with me.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

I danced.

Paying the price, but I danced.

So, I'm going through a down time.  I joke and say it's because Mercury is in retrograde (which I don't discount) but really it's emotional overload.  Don't really want to keep the momentum of it all going by mucking around in too many details.  But I try to be somewhat honest with myself and I'm going through a lonely stretch.  Deep.  And sad.

And feeling hopeless.  I mean, the most appealing man in this town right now is a guy at WeightWatchers.  With Down Syndrome.

(Not joking.  This is a seriously lovely human being who is a joy to be around.)

He's too young for me.


One of the PE teachers asked me if I thought the teachers would mind if they pulled the kids out of classes early Friday to dance.  Turns out they spent all last week and part of this teaching every kid in this school (1100 students) four line dances, and she thought it would be cool to bring them all out to the blacktop to dance together.

That little dormant dancer inside assumed first position.  I told her the other teachers would probably whine, but I would LOVE it!  And I wanted to learn the dances, too.  So, she worked it out with the principal (who is married to a professional dancer) to not only bring the kids out (they don't know it but they're going to be a flashmob) but also to take our staff meeting time yesterday to teach the faculty the dances.

Some of my happiest times have been on a dance floor.  I did Country Western line dancing for a year or so, until I found a clogging teacher.  Closest thing to flying I've ever known.  Not even my college dance years live up to moving across the floor to blue grass or rock or reggae with a good clogging cuer.  It was so much fun.

Until I got "hugged" by a 110 pound Labrador Retriever.   According to the MRI there are six things wrong with my left knee, one of which will need surgery.  I avoid stairs; curbs are a bitch.

And I don't dance.

Until yesterday.  Just simple stuff, stuff you can teach 1100 middle schoolers.  The hardest was the Electric Slide, which is the rankest beginner, let's-see-if-you-have-any-sense-of-rhythm-at-all, dance.  I took it easy.  REALLY easy.  Not my way at all.

And am still hobbling around like I spent the day doing Swan Lake rather than a half hour of baby-stepping on the gymnasium floor.


Just a piss poor start to the school year.  Barely started the fourth week but spent three days last week in a criminal jury watching a video of a city police officer try not to get killed by a whack-o in the park.  Fall is here and the rodents have moved on property (which means in the garden and garage).  I HATE killing things - won't even let my students kill the little spiders in the classroom - but every morning I have to go collect the bodies and reset the traps. And the students I was told all last year I was going to LOVE because they are so much better than the previous year are the worst!  I've started more discipline plans already this year than in the previous decade combined.  More, more, more.

And I can't dance.  Maybe not ever.  And since getting back to dance was the main inspiration to losing weight in the first place, all I want to do right now is buy every piece of chocolate in town, stretch out in the recliner and IV the stuff.

I won't stay here long.  I never do.  It's not who I am.  But for now, I'm thinking of sneaking in to re-attach myself in the Matrix.  Or enlist in a space voyage like the Earthlings in Wall-E.

"Forever Country": Legends Gather for All-Star Music Video

I have all of John Denver's early stuff and his Muppets Christmas album is one of my favorites for the holidays.  I saw Willie in concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl, and was at Dolly's first ever stage performance.  I don't recognize any of those new kids and have only a passing recognition of Reba and Tim McGraw (he mostly from Tomorrowland).  But this is SO GORGEOUS I'm in tears.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Stupid Blogger.


Delete my page, stupid program?  There.  They're back.

For Pete's Sake.

When the only thing that got you through your POS day was knowing  that you didn't have to cook because you bought an extra quesadilla at your favorite Mexican place the day before for your dinner tonight.  Only to find that your holier-than-thou-I-don't-eat-that-shit-anymore son has eaten not only your dinner but also the two tiny pieces of pizza you hadn't eaten the night before that.

And they were on MY SHELF!

And the restaurant is closed Monday and Tuesday, so I can't even tell him to get me a replacement.

Because love.

Sunday, September 18, 2016



When I first saw the Disney movie Tangled, this song became my Favorite Disney Romantic Song.  This daughter/daddy perspective is gorgeous, and a real spirit healer.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

So Far...


I bought this album yesterday.  I re-posted "Sanctuary," the song that led me to make the purchase.  This has kicked it out of sole favorite status.

There's a stirring
There's a sweetness
At the edge of inbetween
I feel it nearly trembling.

The restlessness
The quickening
The almost but not yet.

The song pretends to be about the coming of spring, but to me it feels like falling in love.

One of my favorite descriptions comes from Nora Roberts' Dance Upon the Air (which I've read or listened to a dozen times over the last couple of decades).  "the shimmering edge before the breathless tumble"


It's a tie.


I bought this album yesterday after falling in love with this song.

Will you be my refuge,
My haven in the storm?
Will you keep the embers warm
When my fire's all but gone?
Will you remember,
And send sprigs of rosemary?
Be my sanctuary
'Till I can carry on?
Carry on.
Carry on.

So lovely.  And no doubt resonating because it is so wished for.

Friday, September 16, 2016


I was hoping I could get home from my Mom's in time to catch the moon.

I made it.