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

Saturday, March 10, 2018


I loved this when it first posted and love it just as much now.  Have to watch it every time it rolls around again.

This time I realized that the only one of the composers I didn't see live was John Denver.  I saw Dolly's first ever concert (to see if she was up to doing live shows;  sheesh) and saw Willie at the Santa Barbara Bowl when we still sat on the cement.

Fun times.  Long past.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Whale Waves.

Getting my mojo back.

Things are coming together for my surgery two weeks from today, so I decided I could take a day away to decompress.  There was a time when I would head to Disneyland for any much needed R&R, but while I still enjoy the place, it doesn't refill my spirit the way it used to.

For that, I head to the sea.

Not the beach.  Sticky sand has no appeal.  But to board my little yacht friend, the Azure Seas, at Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara causes an immediate reduction in my blood pressure and a spike in my happiness.

Today was especially gorgeous.  I could see the islands clearly the entire route along the coast.  I got a parking place right next to the ticket kiosk, bought a ticket for a whale watch, then strolled down to my favorite gift shop, The Devil in the Deep Blue Sea, to pick up odds and ends (lovely ones, of course) for my family room renovation.  The owners of this little shop are delightful conversationalists and I love to visit.

I've been on several whale watches with the crew of the Azure Seas, but have seen whales only once.  Pods of dolphins, herds of sea lions, sea gulls, cormorants and pelicans, but not usually whales.  I don't mind.  I just love being out there.  The little yacht holds only 42 passengers but today there were far fewer.  Santa Barbara businesses are still hurting from first the Thomas Fire and then the hideous mudslides that crashed through Montecito. so they were at fewer than half capacity today.

It was a relaxed, happy party rather than a crowd that left the wharf for a couple of hours - we thought - of scanning the horizon for spouts.

Actually, it took less than half an hour to spot our first, and then they came constantly for over an hour.

Gray whales.

The Azure Seas now has a naturalist on board, a young man who once worked for a whale research facility and shared just the right number of interesting facts.  Not so many as to destroy the blessed quiet of our little voyage but enough to enhance our understanding of the significance of our experience.  We learned...

There are about 26,000 gray whales currently making their way up the coast from Baja to Alaska.

They are shy and cautious, much more so than the hunchback who are more playful and acrobatic.

They usually travel alone, except for the mothers with their calves.

Which is why the rest of our trip was so magical.

We learned that what we were seeing was not one solitary gray whale, but one adult plus one mother/calf pair.  Traveling together.  Which is unusual.

Another thing that was unusual was that while our boat was traveling quietly at only slightly more than an idle and maintaining a parallel to the shoreline, the whales were getting closer and closer.

Finally, and much to the delight of the crew (especially the naturalist) and passengers, this trio "chose" to cruise along with us for a while.

The white "shadows" just under the surface are the whales.

Such a thrill.  They stayed with us for several minutes.  As soon as the captain announced that since the whales were being so cooperative we would stay with  them, they disappeared and didn't rejoin us.

But wow, we had such a moving hour of watching them.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


Can't shake this.

Having a rough time shaking this funk.  So unusual for me.  I don't think I can remember a time when I've been low for more than a day or two or maybe three, but I'm an optimist most of the time and have always managed to step into the sunshine pretty quickly.

Apparently this week I get to wallow in damage for a while.  Yesterday the damage I've done.  Today the damage done to me.

So exhausting.  What a waste of time.

All conditional.  And pointless to dwell on.  If I could apologize for childhood damages, I would.  Apologies for damage done to me are out of reach.

Fortunately, I do have a helpful Universe.

Ready,  Freddie.

And Coco was released today.

Jerrod Maruyama.  LOVE his stuff.  Have quite a lot, actually, including a couple of signed prints.  What a delightful guy!
And chocolate.  And if it warms up by this afternoon, the garden.

For now, it better be the gym and errands after a phone call.

Monday, February 19, 2018


...is all about the ouch.

I have a tall, slender friend who is, most of the time, vertical.  But then, there are times (often right around tax time, actually) when he assumes a more angular stance.  Like, 45 degrees or more from the waist.  He says stress always settles in his back.

For me, it's the TMJ.

My jaw locks up.

The last time I had issues with the joint it took a year before I could enjoy a good yawn.

Image result for woman yawn clip art

Last week I was feeling sorry for my single self come Valentine's Day (not that they were that great when I was married), and treated myself to a bag of Dove chocolate hearts.  I enjoyed some of them the day before Valentine's Day, planning to enjoy the rest on the actual day.  But on Valentine's morning I couldn't even brush my teeth without whimpering, much less chew down on a stiff piece of chocolate.

The fun just never stops.

I was supposed to get my teeth cleaned this week.  That can't happen.

I'm also in the midst of pre-op appointments for surgery scheduled March 20.  Total knee replacement.  And I live alone.  Haven't quite figured out how I'm going to "do" this, since by all reports, I may not be able to drive for six weeks but will have to have physical therapy two to three times a week for several weeks.

Hello, Uber?

Had my first bone density test and it found weak bones (not uncommon for my age, actually).  Blood tests for same, that Medicare did not pay for.  I had to buy supplements and am supposed to up the exercise.

Meanwhile, my younger son and his wife had their offer accepted on the house they wanted, which was good since their baby is due in just a very few months.  It was an older home, so they were having two inspections last weekend.  I haven't heard the results.

My older son posted pictures on facebook of him and his two boys in Japan, dressed in the colonial costumes I made for all of them to celebrate international culture day at their school.  It was gratifying to see how much they enjoyed wearing them and how adorable they all looked in them.  Of course, my spirits plummeted again as I dove into my pool of self-pity that I have to live a whole ocean away from them.

And then, as if, I didn't have enough on my plate, I got an email from my real estate agent in Utah.

In 2002 we bought a condo in northern Utah.  We fell in love with the place and three years later bought a lot upon which to build a retirement home.  By 2008 we were trying to sell the lot for the first time.  After a year we gave up, only to try again a couple of years later.  No luck then, either, mostly because my then husband refused to take a loss (even though the money we could get would have helped with some financial issues he was experiencing.).  After his death, I listed it again and although it took months, it did finally sell for about half of what we paid for it.

Last summer I spent three weeks in the condo, and started thinking about selling it on the drive home.  I can't see myself up there more often than once a year, and for what it costs me in one month of mortgage and upkeep payments, I could rent it for a month for that visit.  Which would leave eleven months worth for trips to Japan (and Tokyo Disney Resort) and actually anywhere else I want to go.  I was about 80% sure I wanted to sell when my real estate agent up there sent out an email to the owners of condos in my development.  Short on inventory, big on interest.  Selling high.  Anybody want to sell?

I took a couple of days to think about it, then wrote her a yes.  I'm supposed to get the listing documents sometime this week, but there is already interest in it.  Which means that sometime in the next couple of weeks, I have to drive two days (PLEASE no blizzard!) up to get the stuff I want to keep and bring it home.

I may never yawn again.

Friday, February 16, 2018


When words slice
Music may feel the pain
And move in to comfort
But only new words
can bind the wound.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018


I had lunch with a friend today who reminded me I'm not dead yet.

So encouraging.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

From my pillow...

...through the trees with a hand-held snapshot camera.

I'm pretty pleased.