I may chat about my books, what I'm writing or reading, or just general thoughts. You may read posts about my cats or just my crazy life in general. Comments are welcome, if anyone wants to interact with me. Maybe we can share war stories, whether it's writing related or just about life in general.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Too bad the lady’s dead

I’m actually quite upset over this, voicing this to my neighbor in language not fit to post here.  She laughed because sometimes I surprise her, but we can and do talk about all issues.  I’m going to miss that when I move.

Most of you reading this will probably say, “Big deal.  It’s only a plant.”  But to me it is a big deal because this is the oldest plant I had.  I’ll give you a brief history of this lady’s tragic life.

I rescued her from the garbage room right after I moved to California in 1979.  She was small then and I’d have to dig through a ton of old pictures to find a photo, so I borrowed one from the net for this shot.

Elephants Foot

Believe me the box of old photos I have is one of those large dish packs that’s about twenty by twenty and three feet high.  I don’t have time for digging in there right now.  This was all before they invented the digital camera.  One day when I have spare time on my hands, I want to scan most of those pics into my computer.  However, there are so many I don’t know if I’ll ever have that much free time.

We lived in a condominium complex back then.  Our neighbor had thrown the plant in the garbage room wanting it to go out with the trash because she was tired of taking care of it.  She laughed when she saw it sitting on our patio.  “I wondered who would rescue that plant,” she said.

As time went on, we bought a house, moved, and repotted the plant.  It grew, obviously happy with its placement in the yard under some trees.  The root ball (body) increased from about six inches in diameter to about twenty-four inches in diameter.  Eventually it grew too tall, so we had to move it out a tad because it was touching the tree branches.  We repotted the lady several times over the twenty-five years we lived there.

When it came time to leave and move to the desert location we now occupy, I couldn’t leave her behind.  She towered over my head by then, obviously in love with California as much as I was.  The lady was specimen quality.  Everyone commented on her beauty.  So I loaded her, and other plants I wouldn’t leave behind, onto a trailer and a friend drove them to our new home.

Well the first catastrophe happened when the wind snapped her off about halfway down.  This occurred on the drive when she was on the trailer.  Poor girl.  I still have this top portion and intend to use it in an art project someday.

 This is the lady to the right of the door (in happier times a few years ago).  This was after she broke off twice and before the top froze causing her to sprout in other places.

The first winter we were here, she was caught up in the wind again, snapping her green bladed fronds off, leaving her about three feet high.  I felt terrible, but she wanted to live and started to sprout in funny places then.  At this time, I realized she was a lady, but a headless one now.  See the picture below.

 Elephants Foot - See her arms?

I’ve done my best with protecting her over the years.  In the desert where the weather is harsh and brutal, I kept her in the shade of the patio and close to the house.  I watered her good in the warm months and I always wrapped her well every winter.  In the spring, I trimmed off the old, dry fronds and new ones always sprouted – until this year.

But I wanted her to live.  I continued to water, talk to her, and didn’t give up all summer.  However, now it’s the end of August and there’s not one little sprouted green blade anywhere on her body.  I’m going to have to announce defeat this time and resign myself to the fact that she’s gone and has lost the battle with the elements.  That’s what I was spouting off to my neighbor about.  We had such a horrible winter with record-breaking temperatures and snow.

This is the poor lady after last years winter

 As goofy as this sounds, I feel like giving her a burial and not just hurling her over the back wall into the desert, or putting her in the can at the curb.  She’s been with me too many years for that kind of disposal.

I don’t want to live in a place where I have to cover plants and worry about their welfare ever again.  I’m done with that and I can’t wait to get the heck out of here.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Snuggles and Me


If you haven’t guessed, I’m taking care of the neighbor’s cat again and watering her garden.  She’s off to hike the mountains of Wyoming before the weather gets too cold.  I have no idea who will step in after I move because Sherry’s gone a lot.  I feel sorry for the cat that is very sweet.

Storm clouds brewing over the desert

At least we got a good old-fashioned thunderstorm last night so watering the garden was done by Mother Nature.  It rained heavy about two hours and put on a lightning show over the desert.

 Snuggles and Raven

Tonight I took Raven with me because he loves to go over there for a play date.  I didn’t have to water so I could look after the situation, or so I thought.  However, tonight ants invaded her kitchen so I spent most of my time taking care of that situation.  The cats were fine while I went outside to spray Raid around the doors.

Raven is so good, but so funny.  He can wake from a dead sleep and be up and at my feet as soon as he hears me get the keys for Sherry’s house.  I take him over in the carrier and he gets back in there by himself when it’s time to go back home.  I think he just likes going places and getting out of the house.



I’ll be taking care of Snuggles until September 5.  But I know Sherry starts another trip on the eighth.  She hasn’t asked me to take care of the cat and garden yet, but I figure it’s coming.  I saw the dates on her calendar.

 Tomatoes and Peppers from the garden

I do get to pick veggies as a side benefit, but she knows I have a lot to do in order to move.  I will miss her cat though.  I’m sure Raven will too.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Update on the new house construction

Construction vehicles

We’ve had lots of activity all over the street this week.  The garage doors arrived and are now on the house.  That happened yesterday.  After all the whistles and bells the rest of this house is getting, these doors are a disappointment.  I didn’t expect anything so plain.

 Garage doors installed on new house

 Cement truck in front of the house all day

Today cement trucks were waiting in line to do the pool job.  We had one sitting in front of the house all day, running with no one in it.  Those things are very loud and we had the windows open today.  Once confronted, the driver told us it was broken down and he was waiting for a repairman to arrive.  What a bunch of BS.  No technician ever showed up and he moved the truck when he got ready to.  It makes me wonder about people.


Pool - Jacuzzi on far end

It took all day to pour this pool.  We had a heavy thunderstorm last night and it poured for about two hours.  I’m sure they had to pump the hole first because water’s been standing in one end since they dug it out a couple of weeks ago.  I’m wondering what will happen to this pool down the road with the underground stream there, but I guess it’s none of my business.

I haven’t seen the owners yet, but I think this house is a month or so from being completed.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

This weather is incredible

I’m not sure who to thank but it’s been amazing for August in the desert this summer.  I’m almost afraid to shout too loudly about this.  The last couple of weeks we’ve actually had the windows OPEN!  Yes, you heard that right.  It’s been in the 80’s with a few low 90’s thrown in.  This is unheard of in the desert when temps are usually in the triple digits for most of July and August.

The critters love it too.  The birds can actually enjoy themselves without their little beaks hanging open and their wings held out to cool themselves off.

We’ve had a few thunderstorms so I’m sure that helped, even though little of the rain has reached us.  It did rain good one day and the humidity has been up all month so far.  We’ve still benefitted because of the clouds and got to watch the lightning shows.

I’m sure we’ll pay for all this niceness and be hit with triple digits again before fall gets here.  I love it while we have it.  We deserve it after the last winter we had.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Do you lose your daring spirit in your old age?

This is the front door - reached from a courtyard

I have to wonder about this, as I also wonder if maybe this is more of my rebellious nature coming out.  This all crossed my mind as I was downloading my newest pictures of the house construction two lots down from us.  It had been a couple of weeks since I’ve been down the street to check out the progress, so I decided to walk over there tonight.

“Wait, I’ll come with you,” my husband hollers from the couch.

 This will be the pool.  This water standing under it would bother me.  The water here eats up the concrete after a while.

It was still light enough to take pictures, but I wanted to go inside as we circled the premises and I took the pictures I could.  I hoped someone had left a door open.  As my hand reached for a knob, my husband says, “Don’t you dare touch that door knob.”


“Because I said so,” he informs me.  Well, I wasn’t going to be dissuaded that easily as he tried to distract me by calling me over to look into a window close by.

As we reached the pool area in the back, one of the windows to the master bedroom was wide open.  I looked at it longingly.

Master bedroom opens to patio and pool area in back

“Do what you want to do,” he relents, “but I’m going home and I’m not bailing you out.”

“I’m not getting into trouble,” I said.  “I only want to look and take pictures.”

He left and headed back down the street as I slipped into the window, glad I was agile enough to do so without a lot of extra trouble.

 This is the great room.  This house has a lot of built-in cabinets.

Looking from the great room, this is the left side of the kitchen.

Looking from the great room, this is the kitchen

Looking from the great room, this is the dining room to the right of the kitchen

I meandered through the house, not touching anything except my camera as I took shots throughout.

This is the casita looking to the street.
Casita - opposite side of the room with door to the courtyard

When I got to the casita, I saw the door to the courtyard was wide open, so I exited the house through the door instead of through the window in the back.

My husband had locked the door to the house, so when I got home I rang the bell.  When he answered the door he said, “Are you in handcuffs?”

“Of course not!”  I replied.  “Do you want to see my pictures?”

He promptly took my camera and looked at them.

Front of the house.  Casita is the stone covered section sticking out.  Courtyard entrance is on the other side with the three-car garage on the far end.

I see nothing wrong with going through this house as I’ve been charting the progress from the very beginning stages.  People always go through houses under construction and, besides that, the door was wide open as were a couple of windows.  All the doors would be locked and there would be signs if no one wanted you in there.

In my estimation, the house is coming along, but has a way to go before anyone moves in.  There's no carpet in yet, or appliances.

Monday, August 18, 2014

I’m a big boy now.


My little man is growing up.  Raven’s now big enough to jump on the counters and go exploring in a completely new space.  He delights in curling up in the sink.  I don’t know what it is about a sink that attracts a cat, but I have several pics of cats in the sink over the years.

Snuggles (my neighbor's cat)


I have one of Koki too that I'll post as soon as I can find it.

He knows the kitchen counter is off limits, but I let him up on the island counter.  As you can see, he loves this sink too.  If I throw a wadded up piece of paper in there, he’ll play for an hour.


He jumps up on the washer and dryer and looks behind them, as if he expects to see some great surprise back there.  I hope he doesn’t get any ideas about jumping down between them and the wall.  I’ll have to pull them out in order to rescue him, similar to the incident with Koki and the bookshelf a couple of years ago.  At least he hasn’t thought about walking the curtain rods yet.  I’m thankful for that.

He looks at me with a face that says he’s so proud of his accomplishments.  It brings to mind the commercials of the little boys wearing the big boy panties because they can go to the bathroom by themselves.

What would I do without these cats to entertain me?  I’m always making up stories about them.  I’ll have to post something sometime, as corny as it may be.

Something else to note, at least in my view, this was the last day of the first Woodstock music festival in 1969 when Jimi Hendrix took the stage to end the show with his rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and a number of other songs.  You can listen here.

What a great outfit!  I loved fringe and beads in those days.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Living by the Law of Attraction

One of my girlfriends and I were talking about this yesterday and then last night an article on this subject pops up on my news pages on the internet.

I know many of you have heard of this and others haven’t.  Briefly, it means, “like attracts like.”  In other words, if you are pessimistic and put out that kind of energy that’s what you’ll attract into your life and vice versa.  It’s kind of like, what you sow is what you’ll reap or seeing the glass half-full or half empty.  Even living by the golden rule can apply here.

I once write an eBook for a guy on this very subject a couple of years ago, so I did a lot of research into this at that time.  It will always behoove us to think with positive thoughts, even though in the bad times this may be hard to do.  But you have to train yourself to stay optimistic because bad times will pass.  We could never enjoy the good times as well as we do if we didn’t have the bad times.  Besides, life is a mix of joys and woes.

I’m probably an overly optimistic person because I always think I can achieve certain things up until the last second when I have to admit defeat.  It doesn’t mean I didn’t give it my best shot because I always do, but I’m only one person trying to accomplish what I set out for myself and sometimes my goals are unrealistic.

I’m still waiting for good things to come my way, not that my life is all that bad when you look at the big picture, but I have to wonder if in my subconscious mind I always knew all along I could never accomplish that feat, but yet I tried anyway.  I’m constantly doing this with everything.  Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail, but I’m still optimistic about the next thing that comes along.  I don’t know where I get this, but it’s in my genes.

Now this in one of those conversations I have with myself, as I lie awake at night with insomnia.  Maybe it has to do with the subconscious mind and not with your conscious mind at all.  Maybe that’s what attracts good or bad things to us.  Always these deep subjects boggle the mind and cause a lot of pondering that will keep me awake all night.

I want to share this short article if anyone cares to read it.  You can find it here.  6 Things Every Optimist Believes.  

I really believe the art of attraction does work if you practice it and make it a part of your everyday life.  This really makes perfect sense.

What do you think?