Tuesday, August 28, 2007

We're off!

Well, we've just packed the kitchen sink so looks like we're about ready...I'll be back in a blogging frenzy by September 5th...Metaphor (that's my 'playa' name. Irene's is Gloria Euphoria)

Black Krim

The Black Krim tomato..."they" say it won't win any beauty contests but I happen to consider it stunning! Thanks to Buck and Lisa, across-the-streeters. Those of you in the "hood": We now know where the raid will take place. I hear they have a greenhouse full of these beauts!

Emma M. Nutt Day!

Mark your calendars for September 1st!

I won't be around, (Burning Man and all) BUT, there are several things going on.

It is my birthday, (65th)

It is also Lily Tomlin's birthday, (68th). She's seen here as Ernestine, the endearing phone operator.

"We don't care. We don't have to care. We're the phone company".

AND it is Emma M. Nutt Day! Miss Nutt was the very 1st female telephone operator, hired in Boston on September 1st, 1878. She is quoted as saying she was "very glad her 1st name was not Imma". Quite the cutup, that Emma. Just like Lily.

Happy Birthday, Lily and oh, just Happy Day, Emma!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Sam Francis and the ramshackle rancher

American Sam Francis (1923-1994) is widely regarded as one of the most important representatives of Abstract Expressionism.

When I was a teenager I babysat for close family friends who had 3 boys and lived in a ramshackle rancher in a suburb of LA. Typically out of cash they had to scrape together loose change to pay me. The house had a yard of broken toys and tall weeds, rooms of clutter and chaos and on every wall of the house a large original painting by their friend Sam Francis.

After the kids disappeared into adulthood, their parents became Hare Krishnas and disappeared into the backstreets of New Dehli. But what happened to the paintings? Are they stacked in an "All You Can Store"? Did they garage sale them for a chant? Just what?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Good in green

In 8th grade sewing class I made a green gathered skirt.
A classmate told me I looked good in green.
For the next 3 years it was the only color I wore...


Aaron's been a traveler all of his life..

Itching for a good deal

I'm off to the flea early this morning...

Saturday, August 25, 2007

State of euphoria and the ordinary

The weekend I retired my family rented the house in the upper left hand corner of this picture. My sons and their families flew and drove in from Canada and the Mojave Desert. We spent a few days here, (a couple of miles from my house) celebrating. I was stunned to find myself set free from a lifetime of work.

I stood on the rock sea wall staring out to sea . I watched the sun rise over the water and my disbelief turned to euphoria.

Now on a humdrum morning walking my dog along the sand I sometimes have to stop and remind myself of that sense of freedom and that euphoria..(and I have to remind myself how quickly joy can become ordinary)

Early Morning

Water reeds in Lake Bernard, Ontario, Canada...early morning kayak

Friday, August 24, 2007

Living it up

You just haven't lived until you've hosed down your house in a pair of heels...

Dog Days of Summer

When I was a kid during the dog days of summer we stayed out until 9 or 10 at night tearing around in the dark, unwashed and covered in mosquito bites. We played kick-the-can, hid out in forts we'd built in our unkempt backyards. We bounded between yards, spying on the adults drinking cocktails inside houses, and terrorized each other with wicked stories of creatures from lagoons. And all around us the deafening sound of crickets and the scrape of june bugs clinging to back door screens.

Now our neighborhoods are quiet. Kids are inside with computer screens or at little league games, or the mall.

What happened to the wildness? What happened to the crickets?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

In or out

Sometimes I don't know if I'm coming or going...

The Nature of Friendship

Christina cuts my hair. And she's been cutting it for at least 15 years. Ever since I showed up at The Ritz in the mall with a homecut straight out of a book I bought at the flea. Christina works downtown at Jillz Hair Design now with owner Jill.

I've never socialized with Christina, been to her house or she to mine and yet I consider her a friend. She's funny, creative and smart. She makes vintage clothing in a little studio behind her house, co-mothers two labs and used to be the cover "girl" on specialized greeting cards in Santa Cruz. And even though our contact is limited to the time it takes to cut my hair every 4 to 5 weeks we have a friendship.

It's interesting and heartening to understand all the ways there are to have friends in this life...and how much richer a life can be by just paying attention to these collective encounters.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


We went to our little local movie theatre yesterday to see Invasion...spur of the moment..we were bored, it was hot, we have no AC...

Three old guys were the only other people inside. As we sat down one of the men said to us: Hope a lot of things blow up.
Man #2: We like it when things blow up.
Man#3: How could a lot of things blow up? This is rated PG.
Man #1: Well, we really like it though when things do blow up.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Limited Engagement

I bought a set of bagpipes once just to learn to play "Amazing Grace". In those days women were not allowed to march in the local bagpipe group, (at least not in the High Desert) and since my repertoire was so singular my appeal would have been rather limited anyway.
I ended up selling the pipes to a teacher from the San Juan Islands who spent his days scavenging the local beaches with his kids looking for anything playable, like seaweed and shells...

Happy Birthday, Ellen and Helen!

Today Irene's mom and aunt celebrate their 87th birthday!
Happy Birthday to the twins...seen here at our house on Saturday blowing out candles.
(and no...there are not 87 candles on this cake!)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Around the house

We had a cat once named Flynn. She was a great cat, affectionate, got along with Annie Bones, independent. The problem with Flynn was she was a serial killer. Twice a day she brought dead and dying rodents and birds into the house. We found blood splotches in the hall, feathers in the bedroom. Now Flynn lives with a nice lady adjacent to Nisene Marks Forest and is a very happy cat!
Totem pole in the making..
Flea market face....
Two musicians and a hand..
Pot faced...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Neighborhood Quandry

4 or 5 days ago a skunk was hit by a car on our little street. Since then neighborhood has been standing around trying to figure out a solution to the poor dead skunk. We look a little like a road crew staring at a pothole.

Jeannette suggested "someone" call the SPCA to remove it. Lisa said maybe "we" should just put it in one of our trash barrels. I said maybe I could harvest the bones since I like to make sculptures using animal bones. "You'd do that?" Jeannette wanted to know. "Probably not", I said.

Meanwhile the little skunk, we decided it's a youngster, lies now by the side of the road in the shade of a big old cypress tree. Today someone suggested we dig a hole somewhere and bury the skunk. "Hmm", we all said. And so it goes...

It's just a good thing this is not a matter of life and death.

Blogger Brain Death?

Help! I'm stuck on an empty road...no blog thoughts on the horizon. I'll be back as soon as I find my brain.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Lo Siento

In 1955 when I was 13 years old a friend in a little village in Mexico, Pete Carreon, taught me to drive.

We went out in his old car at night on the back dirt roads outside of "town". I was an energetic learner, fast and fearless. Between the potholes and my enthusiasm the car was pretty demolished.

Since Pete didn't speak English my mother taught me a little apology speech to deliver to Pete whose only transportation had been severely compromised.

(excuse my in-exact and mis-spelled Spanish but this is the way I learned this speech) I said: Lo siento que yo quebre su automobile y cau-se ca-se poncho la llanta de su caro. Alguin dia yo voy a comprar para usted otro caro exactamente como este. (loosely translated: I'm sorry I broke your car and caused your tire to go flat. One day I will buy you another car just like this one.)

I wonder if Pete is still waiting?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Medical Advances

Today I sat in the waiting room to see my doctor. The walls of the room were bare, all 4 of them except for one sign near the receptionist:

"No-scalpel Vasectomies. Ask for details". Directly underneath this sign a small photo of a little league team in their blue uniforms smiling for the camera. I wasn't there for a vasectomy so I didn't ask for details...but anything's got to be better than a scalpel.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Life in the Woods

In 1985 Irene and I quit our jobs for Santa Cruz County and bought a house in the Sierras, (in that order, go figure). We were new to the culture of course and we ordered wood from a guy who did not want his license plate photographed and his helper, (not seen) did not want his picture taken. We figured they were on the "lam" from something and in a sense so were we, so we understood.
When we moved into this house in the woods about 10 miles north of Sonora the neighbors on our left put their house up for sale and refused to allow their 12 year old son to come outside if we were home. We spent a lot of time inside learning new skills. Then our neighbors across the road sent a "death threat" letter to the realtor who sold us the house...we were beginning to feel a little uncomfortable and all the horn blowing in the world couldn't shake the feeling we might have made a mistake...
Our friend Gini owned a pottery shop downtown Sonora. Since we were unemployed and sick of the saxophone she gave us a job remodeling her store, doubling its size. It took us about 3 months and by then we were about ready to hit the road again. Our 'little adventure' lasted a total of six months before we packed up and moved on. (ah, dem were da days!)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

First Tour

A week or so ago on our way to Toronto a young, like 18 or 19, woman in military fatigues came into the airport with her family in tow. They watched nervously as she retrieved her electronic ticket from the new computers they have in place of an actual airline employee. Later she joined us in the international "wait room" sitting by herself in brand new boots, looking a little lonely and maybe a little scared.
Finally a man next to us asked: Where are you headed?
She said: Iraq
Man: Been there before?
Soldier: No, this is my first tour.

Then they both fell silent and the young woman soldier continued to stare into space. Finally she retrieved her digital camera from a pocket and started flipping through pictures. I saw a faint smile cross her face and I imagined her looking at pictures of her family, maybe last night's sendoff with smiling nieces and a grandfather and weeping mother and a big brother looking proud.

I watched her from the corner of my eye wondering what led her to this place, this 4:00 AM airport about to take off for a war zone. I wondered how people come to be in such circumstances.

Later, after we boarded she walked past us toward the rear of the plane. I noticed a young male soldier boarding right behind her. Five minutes later a flight attendant retrieved both soldiers, brought them up the aisle and upgraded them to first class. A final touch of luxury before reality set in.


Foam tiles? Who thought this one up? Maybe they should have used something a little more sturdy, more spaceworthy. I mean isn't foam for bubble baths and soft pillows and birth control? Isn't space a little less Posturepedic? A little less Sealy..?


Apparently with the retirement of Karl Rove, Bush is without a brain. What are we to do? I picture him in Crawford, Texas, the mighty wind blowing against the bleak landscape, scuttling through that empty head of his, leaving all of us in the lurch...while Rove spends more time with his family. What a sad kettle of fish...

Monday, August 13, 2007

A trip of his own...

Amado, beginning his adventure...


Downtown Toronto...through a window darkly..
Sun rising over the city.. Lake Bernard, through the trees

Setting sun.. Tonight it'll rain, hard, on the metal roof of our cottage and in the morning these skies will be clear..


The road leading up from the cottage...
Squash blossum.. Happy faces are common at this time of year...

As are sunflowers growing from pine trees..
Along the lake bank...we think this one's real..


Two brothers...in the same country, the same place, the same time...as rare as the Northern Lights, or a moose in August...or a bear in a kayak (?) Taking a walk through the northern Canadian woods...the whole kit and kaboodle...

Here we are...the original three...
The men folk on kitchen duty...
Booji showing CC a little Canadian hospitality...a sign of affection in these parts!

Getting There

We're always first in line. Here's Irene at San Jose International at 4:00 AM. (well, they told us to get there 2 hours before flight time. Wonder where everyone else is?) I'm not a flyer. I sit over the wing and watch the little bolts quiver in the metal at 36 thousand feet and wonder how many miles it'll take to work the bolt completely out of the wing...
I thought these were pretty cheery little snacks. They actually took my mind off reality for a few minutes. That and the Ativan...
Things are looking up. Here we are in the backseat of a Rolls Royce (circa 1982) on our way to the train station in Toronto!
This is more like it! Train station early in the morning...we're still first in line...