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

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Universe...

... is always working for us.

There is no such thing as a coincidence.
You have to be paying attention.

But sometimes you just have to wonder about its sense of humor.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

John Denver - Japan 81 - Sweet Surrender

My life is worth the living
I don't need to see the end...

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Going to bed.

So, I'm having a little anxiety attack.  Nothing major.  Not going to pass out about it or anything.

Like I did last fall.


In front of my history class.  Of thirty-five, 13-year olds.  One of whom was a junior lifeguard who - according to the other students - FLEW over the desks to me when I went down.  They gave him full credit for keeping them calm.  I came to a couple of times - coherent enough to give him simple directions - but until the principal got there he kept things in order.

And told me later that he was crying the whole time.

When I finally came to for real it was in time to watch the crew from the firestation down the block come in.  This crew included an old friend from my boys' Pony baseball days, and we had a nice chat about the kids.

I then had my first ever trip to the emergency room and almost every test known to medicine to determine why I had passed out.  Since all tests declared me "fine," the ER doctor declared the cause vaso-vagal syncope (fainting) and sent me home.

I didn't have one of these..

 ... or one of these, which would have made the experience more comfortable than crumpling to the ground and hitting my head on the overhead projector stored on the floor in the corner.

Nor did I have one of these, which certainly would have made the experience more, um, interesting and enjoyable, I'm sure. 

Little known fact:  when you pass out and are taken to the ER, the ER is required by CA state law to report said incident to the Department of Motor Vehicles.  Which will, according to my internist, insist on neurological testing to make sure you aren't prone to seizures.  It seems that the hospital left one test out of the line-up that day.  The one that "proves" I did, actually, just faint.

Because I had extensive heart testing a few years ago (another over-reaction by my internist that cost me hours and hours of testing to receive just a three-word report: everything looks fine) the neurologist wants me to have this test in the cardiologist's office.  Just in case.

Anyway, it's called a "tilt-table" test.  I get to be strapped to a table with an IV, EKG and blood pressure monitor.  I get tilted, eventually standing for 45 minutes (which will send my knees, back and hips into a screaming fit).  If I faint, I get a positive and the DMV leaves me alone.

I have fainted like this - in fact, I recognized it coming on - one other time - 33 years ago.  I went to an idiot doctor who not only didn't tell me what had happened, he also didn't tell me what to do if it happened again.

At least I got that piece of advice from the ER physician.

Lay down flat.

Could have saved me a WHOLE lot of inconvenience, since I did feel this coming on for about five minutes.  The students would have been a lot less traumatized by me stretching out for a little break.

This is just one thing causing me stress right now.  Relationship issues of all kinds - positive and negative - rank up there pretty high.   Work issues.  I'm even stressing over the fun stuff I want to do but don't seem to be able to make myself put my hands on.

Anyway, what I really want to do to get past this is eat.  The house.  And there is a half-bag of chocolate chips calling my name.

First I decided to let the boys sing me through it.

"Fix You," Straight No Chaser.  Because I relate it to a relationship issue, though, it didn't really help.

So I tried my other boys.

I love this song so much.  "We Belong," Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles.

But music is air, not chocolate.  So I came here to write.  I do feel better.  But my willpower is at low ebb, so I guess I'll escape in dental floss.  I really hate dental floss and once I go through that torture I am less likely to sully the effort with food.

Even chocolate.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

All kinds of love today.

Some defy explanation.

Lots of room.
Lots of boundaries.
Or lack of boundaries.
Lots of courage.
And sometimes imagination.
And always forgiveness.
And moving forward.


And if you're short of love today, you're welcome to a piece of mine.  I have infinite amounts available to me to share.  Oh, but then, so do you.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Spring Grass.

My favorite color of green.

Phil wasn't kidding when he said early spring, at least for us in SoCA.
I've always loved the first spring grass covering the hillsides.  I saw it everywhere on my way home from my Mom's today and it brought back nice memories of my years in Canoga Park.
The year that the neighbor's plum tree attracted the Mourning Cloak butterflies and there was one magical day when they covered the tree and filled the sky around it.  Because it was just on the other side of the picket fence separating our front yards I got to see the whole thing.
The year my dad spent weeks building a "tool shed" in the back yard.  And painted it pink.  And put my grandmother's discarded rose-covered carpet in  it.  The good faeries gave Aurora beauty and song.  To me they gave a double dose of gullible.  I'm still such a sucker, but as a child I was completely oblivious.  And so shocked when the neighbors surprised me with a housewarming party  where I got gifts of (white elephant) household goods for my new playhouse.
I remember the year of the tomato hornworms EVERYwhere, and another year where my mom grew snapdragons by the bucketfull.  They're still one of my favorite flowers.
But a most favorite memory was the year that she called us from the backyard to "Come out here!"  When we did we were astounded to find hundreds of tiny toads crawling all over the lawn.  To this day my brother loves all things amphibian. I would love to have just a couple of handfulls to "plant" in my yard today.
The last week has been kind of quiet.  I did not have to do jury duty and so was able to enjoy my walks to school and back.

There's something special about working where I can enjoy displays like this on my way to and from the copy room.

I was pretty sick Monday, but made it through the day and crashed that night with orders to myself to "Sleep it off!"  Which I did.

Now, tomorrow I'll call in to see if I serve in LA for the rest of the week or not.  Either way, it will be a busy week as I'm determined to get back onto my diet/exercise schedule.  Had a dark few months through the fall and learned that I have NOT re-trained myself to deal with my emotional challenges without eating.  But things are looking lighter now, and as of today's New Moon I'm back on track.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Full to the Brim

Some days are just like that.
I'll take 'em.  As often as I can get 'em.

I think I know why I couldn't find any violas for my garden this year.
As promised, here is the report of my visit to Disneyland with my mom last Saturday. 

First, though, just a couple of personal updates. 

I did not have to serve federal jury service this week, but because it's federal it's a two-week window so I have to call in again on Monday to see about next week. 

I almost forgot to call in yesterday.  Weirdest "illness" ever.  I felt fine when I left for work.  I was walking, and halfway there started feeling queasy.  By noon I was wearing my emergency sweatshirt and was wrapped in a blanket, keeping my distance from the students.  I almost called for a ride home, but my 2BX is getting ready to leave for a week in Utah and I didn't want to risk giving him whatever I was coming down with so I walked home.  I made it home, slogged my way into the Sanctuary and fell onto the bed, where I promptly fell asleep.  At 4:00 pm.  I awoke briefly at 5:00, then at 7:20 (when I called in to the jury service).  The thought of dinner made me ill so I passed.  I did manage to take my temperature (yep, fever explained the chills earlier).  I took a shower and tucked in for the night saying, "Now, to sleep this off."   Woke up this morning feeling A-OK.  No more fever, and after thirteen hours sleep ready to face students again.  Which was cool, 'cause I'd spent hours preparing a new unit on the War of 1812 that I really wanted to try out.  And it went very well.

So, to recap...

I was supposed to take Mom to Disneyland on Sunday, January 27 but scrapped the trip because 1) It was supposed to rain, which we've done before but not when  2) Mom was really sick.

She had a horrible cough that had me worried about pneumonia.

Fortunately, she was much, much better by Saturday and we were able to take the trip.  It was a gorgeous day, and absolutely everything went right.  Traffic on the way there was very light.  Got a table at the Carnation Cafe right away for our usual delicious breakfast.  Had time for a little shopping (a new "Storytellers" pin for me) before the morning Disneyland Band Concert at the front gate.

We always get there a little early, and I used to get Mom a space where she could see the show straight on, front row.  But two different times, once with Hatter and once with Bert, she has been "stolen" into the show, which embarrasses her so badly that now she doesn't want to be in the front.  So, this is our view of the concert from the back.  (And this was on telefoto.)  Fortunately, we can still hear beautifully.

Bert and Mary and fan at the DL Band concert.

After the band concert, we headed up the street for the morning ragtime piano player (something the park is doing.  There's a morning shift,  a shift through the afternoon where two players keep the music going for a few hours, then an evening shift.)  I tucked Mom in at the Coke Corner, then headed to Space Mountain.  The wait wasn't too long and the ride is always a thrill;  I never get tired of it.  When I was done I stopped by the Coke Corner again and Mom and I went to Town Square for the noon Band Concert.  It's always the same show in Saturdays - Disney movie music - but I never get tired of that, either.

After the band concert we were back to Coke Corner to a happy surprise.  Our favorite piano player was playing on Saturday.  We settled in for the Musical Chairs set, which is always sweet to watch, and I left Mom there for a couple more sets while I went to ride the Matterhorn for the first time since its refurbishment.  It had been one of my brother's and my favorite rides as we were growing up, but the last time we rode it "for old times' sake" we sadly concluded that we had reached "too old" for the ride.  The bobsleds flung us and banged us around so much that we both had back twinges when we got off.  But what I'd read about the new bobsleds had me thinking that I might be able to handle the ride again, and I was right!  The line wasn't too long, and the ride was still a blast.  I got back to Mom in time to enjoy some piano, and then it was time to head back to the Jamboree for the Billys.

Where we experienced two more happy surprises.

This was the first time I'd ever seen interpreters for the hearing impaired working a show at Disneyland.  I wasn't surprised to see that they offer that service, but it was something new, nevertheless.

Denise and Gilberto, interpreters and comics.  Hilarious.

This was another example of things going perfectly.  We NEVER sit over to the side like this, nor so close to the front.  But something told me to pull up close that night and I was so glad we did!

And as if the Billys with their new extended cast wasn't fun enough, as we left the Jamboree in the twilight, we were just in time for this (although I didn't have my camera ready and almost missed it.)

Night night, cutie pies.

We picked up our dinner at the Pizza Port, then barely beat the parade to the Coke Corner to enjoy our salads with ragtime piano in the background.  Once we'd finished we made a restroom trip for Mom, getting back in time for my favorite time of day.  Twilight at the Coke Corner, as the lights come on.  My favorite piano player, my favorite music.  A special, lovely time.

We've learned, though, that if we're going to get a good "seat" for the parade, we have to get there early so we headed to Town Square to wait for SOUNDSATIONAL.

I have finally - FINALLY - figured out how to get my camera to NOT compensate for nighttime photography.  I WANT the dark so that the spectacular lighting on Main Street (this is City Hall) and on the floats shows up.

I love this parade, and managed to capture most of it.  I did tell Mom, though, that next time we move about fifty feet to our left so I can get the "Steppin' Time" routine of my favorites dancers, the Mary Poppins Chimney Sweeps.

Anyway, here's the parade...

(Have fun, Emma!)

And then it was time to go home.  As if the day hadn't been perfect enough...

Yep, the rare but ever-so-delightful limotram ride back to the parking structure.  This is my fourth time to be the only party on the tram for the trip back.

We felt so special.

Sunday, February 03, 2013


It's Iceland Poppy season at Disneyland.  I wish I could grow them; they're one of my favorite flowers.

My mom is nearly over her virus and was well enough to enjoy a simply wonderful day at Disneyland yesterday.

Full of happy surprises.  I'm still smiling.

Working on a post for here, but it may take a while.  I'm supposed to call in for federal jury duty this week and may end up in the city if I get called.

In the meantime, thanks for visiting, and I look forward to sharing this happy day with you in the near future.