Friday, February 29, 2008

Mount Hope Cemetery, Pescadero, CA

An old rural cemetery where you can build benches, design gravestones, make art. Some graves are over 100 years old, some as recent as last week. Some are decorated with empty beer bottles, 25 cent coins, jewlery and plastic airplanes. My kind of place.


"The Old Rock Guy" in Pescadero is open every day until he goes to sleep. You can't ask for much more than that.

Come and see

This was once my favorite book.
(click on pictures to fully appreciate text.)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A chair of one's own

"A house that does not have one comfy chair in it is souless." May Sarton

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Fair-weather vegetarianism

I gave up eating meat about 17 years ago while sitting in a stuffed chair in a rented cabin near Lake Tahoe in the middle of a July snowstorm. I'd spent the afternoon reading John Robbin's Diet for a New America and declared myself meat free somewhere in the middle of the Animal Agriculture chapter. I don't think I could go back to my rib smacking, chicken crunching days even if my doctor said my life depended on it.
BUT, my noble resolve shifted a little when Annie Bones came into our house 2 1/2 years ago. I began cooking and cutting up chicken and turkey for my dog. Today I marched gamely into the kitchen to cook a beef liver for Annie B. for the first time because I read it was vital to her health. I got as far as handling the sticky little package before calling for reinforcements. Apparently I still have a line to draw and this was it.
I recognize hypocrisy. I don't pretend to be perfect. I don't want to anger the goddesses.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Jack and Juan

I'm having a pale day.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Off course

Beware of those side trips.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

What's wrong with this picture?

I'm cooking a pot of organic carrots for Annie Bones while.....
I munch on a chocolate truffle I found on top of the refrigerator.


The next person I hear say, "we need the rain", I'm going to bop in the head.

Split- personality

Ever wake up feeling tentative and fierce at the same time?


How much do we really need, anyway?


Mrs. Belnap, my kindergarten teacher wrote on my report card: Christy very much enjoys musical activities, especially sing-a-longs.
I haven't changed much at all.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

It's official!

.... after a 3 month hiatus the Santa Cruz Flea Market will re-open on March 7th! (at least temporarily) We've got our car keys in our hands.

County Chronicles III

There was a particularly volatile time during my LA County employment in the 60s when our work was interrupted by a bomb threat about once a month. We'd abandon our desks in a flurry of paper and hike in an orderly fashion 4 flights down the back stairwell to the street below where we mingled with the protest of the day while the sheriffs department scoured the building for the bomb.
As time went on these phoned-in threats became more frequent. At least once a week we'd parade out and stand in the sun amid the picket placards and streams of people drinking Tokay and smoking joints.
Eventually the county higher-ups got tired of our loss of productivity. When the threats began arriving daily, they'd had it. A memo was issued. From now on we were to look for our own bombs. There in the heat of the day we were confined to our desks prodding through our drawers with pencils, lifting edges of paper, peering into trash cans. Soon after, the threats stopped completely.
Some theorized the threats might have been an "inside caper".

County Chronicles II

One particularly tedious day on the 4th floor of our LA County building in the heart of ELA a friend of mine, in a last ditch effort to keep herself from going insane with boredom decided to conduct an experiment. She stuck a red foam clown nose onto her face and spent the next 4 hours wandering from floor to floor carrying a pencil and a clipboard. She was going to stop her experiment as soon as someone noticed her. No one ever did notice and my friend, figuring she must be pretty invisible took the rest of the day off. No one noticed.

County Chronicles

During the 60s I worked for Los Angeles County. We worked in a crowded 4 story brick building on Whittier Blvd. in the heart of ELA. Down the road Watts had just burned, people rioted and protested in the streets and we lived our little pompous lives on the 4th floor.

Every two "workers" shared a phone. Two men, social workers, highly educated in human behavior just could not share a phone. They argued about phone use every day. One particularly humid day with a crowd of picketers downstairs their phone rang and they fought over whose turn it was to answer it. Their animosity turned physical. They rose up, overturned desks and with all of us watching they came to blows and the blood flew. It was a welcome break in our endless typing.

The police came. Both social workers were handcuffed and led to the elevator. Their phone continued to ring, now from the floor. Our boss, a big guy in a shiny blue suit kept sputtering, "Somebody answer the G*#@ D+^*#! phone.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Get out the vote?

On last night's news I heard there are still 500,000 uncounted absentee ballots in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties. According to Shawn Bagely, democratic party chair, "It doesn't really matter. These votes won't change the outcomes at all."
Well, this certainly inspires confidence and makes one want to get out there and participate, doesn't it?

Dona Maria

When we were kids we knew a very old woman named, Dona Maria. She lived in a little Mexican village where we had a small adobe house. She spent her days, every day, all day, clamoring around inside the rusted hulk of an abandoned threshing machine in the middle of a huge field of sagebrush raiding the chicken nests and sucking the bejeebers out of the just laid eggs.
Everyone knew where she was.
She was safe, she was happy and it beat the heck out of assisted living.

Sub - marine

Desperately seeking sunshine.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Gradually getting it

The older I get the more I understand the importance of balance.

What happened to howdy?

A week ago Irene and I were out in the middle of the desert exploring an abandoned ranch. We were, as far as we could see, the only people on the planet. Then way off in the distance I saw an old pick-up coming toward us. We watched until this grizzled grubby guy pulled up, peered from his window and asked if we knew where a local town was. I started explaining how he could cross the mountain, 13 miles on a dirt road, etc. etc. He just sat behind thin slitted eyes, silently sizing us up, until he put the truck in gear and headed up the dirt road.
Later, my desert son said, "Mom you have to get a gun. It's not safe out there anymore." Someone else suggested we carry potent pepper spray.
I wondered...what happened to the old days when I used to just say, "Howdy"?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Packing heat

I once worked as a waitress in an old cafe on a country road. I was no good. I spilled scalding coffee on people, mixed up orders and dropped silverware. My boss was a big man in a suit and slicked back hair and several diamond rings. All day long friends of his would drop by and they'd all go into the back kitchen. My boss always told me no matter what he was not to be disturbed back there.
One day I had some kind of mayday event and I threw caution to the wind and slipped back into those murky depths. There he was with his suited, bejeweled friends. On the counter were stacks of money and two hand guns. My boss looked up startled and screamed, "Didn't I tell you never to come in here?" I quickly retreated.
I guess that's what they mean when they say, "if you can't take the heat stay out of the kitchen". (that was my last day at the old cafe)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The formidable road crew

Beware. Somewhere out there is the rare road crew determined to stay on schedule.

The incredible attacking ball gown

My mom made me a lovely yellow net "gown" for my 8th grade graduation dance. The net was so robust within an hour of relative inactivity, ie: standing against the gymnasium wall by the punch bowl hoping no boy would ask me to (gasp) dance, my inner arms were shredded to a pulp. I spent three hours in pain and then the dance ended. All in all a successful evening. I mean I knew I'd never have to wear this dangerous dress again.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Annie Oakley

Irene and her eagle eye skeet shooting out near El Mirage. (everyone stand back!)

Big air

The very best thing about being in the desert is the enormity of the air. (here's the road leading away from my son's property).

Desert lodging

When we go to the desert my 13 year old grandson, Tyler gives up his bedroom and sleeps on the couch in the "great room". Problem is, he doesn't take his snake with him and all night long I can feel it slithering and watching me with it's glittering eyes.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Morning in the Mojave

Sun just beginning to rise behind the Shadow Mountains, Mojave Desert

Getting with the program

Three years post retirement and I'm finally going the speed limit.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Open road

We're finally hitting the open road. Be back by Tuesday...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Getting it together

If you're feeling undone, sometimes it helps to compartmentalize.

Hair-dos and cocktails

Nothing quite beats sitting around with girlfriends, pouring over the latest hair-do mags and sharing a coke and milk cocktail. It renews the spirit.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


When I was about 12, besides wanting to be Jewish, I wanted more than anything to be a famous actress. Here I am in one of my first roles as a court jester at the San Gabriel Children's Theatre. (as fate would have it, it was also one of my last roles.) (I didn't become Jewish either.)

The power of words

Yesterday morning Irene and I went to court in support of our neighbors whose granddaughter was killed last May by a drunk driver. Parking at the courthouse on Super Tuesday was practically impossible and we lucked out by squeezing into a one hour slot. Most of the family wasn't as lucky. There were only a few in attendance. Before the proceedings we sat quietly and watched the defendant who sat alone in the holding area in a red jumpsuit and handcuffs. This 50 something year old woman is an alcoholic with many "priors". Her court appointed attorney asked the judge for a plea bargain. The judge said no. We learned later the judge had been influenced by the many letters he received on behalf of the victim. One of them was ours. I sat watching this woman who has nothing going for her and thought this same scene was going on in courthouses all over the US at that very moment. And I thought about the power of words. But it was still hard to come away feeling good about any part of it.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Tuesday

When I was 18 I was involved in the "get-out-the-vote campaign for JFK. It was my first election and I was too young to vote. I went door to door asking people if they needed a ride to the polls or a baby sitter, etc. My route happened to be the appartment complexes near Los Angeles County Hospital that housed the nurses and doctors for the hospital. I woke up many of these night-shifters. Most were not happy. I've always wondered if it influenced their vote.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Bmups in the road

When I was in the 4th grade I got an A+ in spelling. My entire life I've rested on those laurels. I've just noticed lately either words have gotten harder or I've been living in a dream world.


Go Niners!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Almost zero degrees of effort

Sometimes you just put your best face forward and get on out there.

He's baaack...

I just learned this morning that Captain America is returning! Boy are we in trouble...

Bigger than borders

Sending a little sympathy to my friends and family north of the border...

Friday, February 1, 2008

Giving up the bottle

How many times in my life am I going to be asked to give up the bottle?