Monday, March 31, 2008

Happy Birthday, Cesar Chavez

During Cesar Chavez' first grape boycott my mother planted a grape vine in the back yard under the walnut tree by the clothesline. She forbade store bought grapes in her home. Her grapes, shaded by walnut leaves and drying clothes, never got enough sun and were the size of raisins. No one really ate them except the crows who swooped out of the brittle tree branches and scooped them up.
This was okay. My mother still felt she was doing her part.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Packing tips

Some years ago we took our first and only cruise. We were so excited. We bought new wardrobes. We spent money we didn't have. Packing was a problem. We had way too much stuff. So, we bought a bunch of those plastic bags where you vacuum the air out and can virtually take everything you own.
We felt so glamorous as we climbed on board. In our galley level cabin we unpacked and were horrified to find everything we owned completely obliterated with wrinkles. We spent the entire cruise looking disheveled and unkempt.
When it came time to re-pack at the end of the trip we could only fit 1/3 of our things back into our suitcases. We'd neglected to bring along our Hoover for the final leg home.

On the outside, looking in

Are these windows double paned?

I care

Really, this blog is NOT all about me. I really care about your jelly bean preferences for example.


You think you're all set and then these little space men show up.

The first line

They say that beginnings are the hardest. So I guess now it's all smooth sailing.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


It can lead to gin.

Nuns with guns

The military is finding it harder and harder to recruit new soldiers.
They should take heart.
After the nunneries there's always assisted living facilities.

The seeker

Today is the anniversary of my mother's birth. She was a painter, a writer, a crafter and a seeker. While most of her contemporaries found happiness in a good casserole dish, my mom needed more and spent her life trying to find it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New look

Fortunately my son Aaron doesn't own one of these shirts. He's responsible for my new title bar. Pretty spiffy, huh? Thanks, Aaron . Check him out at:

The Stella Awards

It's time for the annual Stella Awards. Named for an 81 year old woman from New Mexico who sued and won a settlement from McDonalds in 1992 because their hot coffee burned her leg.
This year's winners:
3rd Place: Amber Carson of Pennsylvania because a jury ordered a restaurant to pay her $113,500 after she slipped and fell on a spilled soft drink. Moments before the mishap she'd flung the soft drink at her boyfriend.
2nd Place: Kara Wilson of Delaware won $12,000 plus dental expenses after she fell into the bathroom window of a night club trying to avoid the $3.50 cover charge.
1st Place: Mrs. Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma who won $1,750,000 plus a new Winnebago after she totaled hers when she put her moving vehicle on cruise control, left the driver's seat and went into the back to make a sandwich.
Can hardly wait for next year's winners. (thanks, Janet)

Change in direction

When I was about 4 years old and a veteran of the open road, I wanted to be a cross-country big rig driver. By the time I was 9 I'd decided being a waitress at a truck stop was more realistic. I pictured me with gum, a starched dress and an attitude.

Some days exist only in your head

I've been thinking, maybe I should get my back tattooed.

The thought that counts

I've been thinking, maybe it's time to do a little Spring cleaning.
So far it's just a thought.

Wake up thoughts

Hmmm....who shall I be today?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Deck and taxes

Irene and a friend are building a very small deck at the rear of our house. Kind of a 3 board thing. The building and figuring a way not to have to pay the government the rest of our social security checks are really the only sure things around here.


When we go out of town and can't take Annie Bones she stays with friends. Here she's hitching a ride at the yacht harbor.

Sure fire protection

Today I am invincible. I've been blessed by a Tiki god that came from out of the blue.

Monday, March 24, 2008


Irene and I are scavengers. We pick things up from the side of the road and bring them home. It's a speculative thing.
You just never know.
Here for example, is a large metal can, riddled with bullet holes.
It's going to be something, one day, besides what it is now.

Lupine lessons

For such a disjointed family it seemed as if the six of us piled into our Hudson frequently and went for rides. The four kids were stuffed into the backseat, carsick and struggling not to let any sibling body part touch us. At every turn in the road my mother shouted, "Look at the Lupine!" We'd roll our eyes, look out at the dizzying blur of purple flowers and go back to our own private wars.
This weekend all over California the Lupine and poppies and wild mustard are in bloom. My mother was right. It really is beautiful.


The peace symbol is 50 years old this week. Designed by English artist Gerald Holtrom, a World War II conscientious objector. His friends said it would never "catch on". The symbol that is.

8 years later

March 21, 2000
March 21, 2008. My son, Sol and his two kids. Top photo the day Sierra was born and 5 year old Tyler. Today, CC's 8th birthday, (a little harder to hold with one arm) and 13 year old Tyler. Desert Rats through and through. (Sol, you haven't aged a bit!)

Road trip

Horse corral, Zing Rd., Mojave Desert
Full moon, Hwy 138, heading west 6:00 AM
Joshua tree, Hwy 138
Pilot to co-pilot...
Sun is just coming over Shadow Mountain. Pre-dawn, cold, not a hint of wind. Pure bliss.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Birthday, CC and Sol!

My granddaughter, CC will be 8 years old tomorrow, March 21st! Here she is, swimming with the dolphins in Tahiti!
My son, Sol will be 40 something years old on Saturday, March 22nd. Here he is with his clipboard, brilliantly running the family business.
CC and Sol relaxing in some exotic locale. Happy Birthday, you guys! Watch for us, we're coming around the bend!

On break

Llpof is taking a break. Just long enough to get a little fresh air. Be back on Sunday.

It's Spring...

.Time for everyone to get out there and frolic.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Secret weapon

One of the worst jobs I ever had was as receptionist for a colonel at George Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert. I could barely type so I kept a large purse on the floor near the typewriter where I furtively dumped all my ruined forms. I took them home at night, to my ranch out in the desert where I had no electricity, running water or phone.
My boss gave me a list with pictures of all the different ranks of soldiers so when someone came in the front door I'd know how to greet them. I took the list home and studied it by Coleman lamplight every night but I just couldn't get it.
Finally the colonel said I was being transferred. Said it just wasn't a "good fit". Do you think?
They sent me to a Quonset hut on the outskirts of the base where I worked on a big machine imputing military secrets.
Ah, a much better fit!

Sound discriptions

We watched a DVD movie the other day with subtitles. Every time music played, the subtitle described the music being heard.
Ominous, pulsating, dramatic, dangerous, somber, lingering, bouncy, sad, haunting, suspenseful, joyous, luminous, springlike, thunderous, lively, halting, crisply, weeping, nostalgically and resounding were just some of the words used.
Finally, a guidebook on how to feel.

Five Years....

I used to have a poster hanging in my house that said, "War is not healthy for kids and other living things." This takes the idea one step further.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Every once in a while I get the opportunity to see myself as others see "me".

Manson manners

In the early 70s I was a "welfare worker" in the Mojave Desert. Charles Manson's family lived nearby at an isolated ranch. Many of them lingered after his arrest.

He was rumored to have many children with many women. At least once a month this straggly devoted group came into our office to take care of business. Many of them were my "clients".

"The Manson Family is here" my co-worker would say, happy they were "mine" and not "hers". The lobby would be filled with tattered blond toddlers and their hippy moms. I always scurried out.

It was never considered good etiquette to keep the Manson Family waiting.

Different planets

When I was a kid I thought adults were fairly insane. If I asked how to spell a word, they'd inevitably say, "Look it up". And I'd think, "if I knew how to spell it I would look it up and if I could look it up I wouldn't need to ask how to spell it". I spent a lot of my youth in standoffs.

Silent Spring

Remembering the vision of Rachel Carson.

Spring Break

Our neighbors and their friends, Josiah, Eric, Peter and Alex along with dog, Gus are headed south.
They've procured a 35 foot old school bus and they're headed to San Juanico, Mexico for Spring Break.
They are so excited as they load up they're practically dancing in our pre-dawn street.
Gus doesn't know it yet but he's only going as far as Watsonville.
They're off! San Juanico is 1000 miles below our border. The last 70 miles is dirt, rock, tidal flats and sheer cliffs, not recommended for autos. The guide book doesn't mention old school buses from Oregon or 20 year old university students with nothing but adventure on their minds.

Monday, March 17, 2008

All in the eye of the beholder

When I was a kid I visited back and forth between parents. My wardrobe was limited but I owned a white summer dress with a green border of zoo animals around the hem. I loved this dress and wore it on special occasions.
One day my father took me to the La Brea Tar Pits, a gooey LA landmark where trapped ice age animals became fossils. I was thrilled to be spending the day with him. Before we left I accidentally got a big smear of tar along the backbone of the giraffe.
When I got home, my mother was furious. "You've ruined your dress!" she said.
Secretly I was elated. In my mind the dress was finally made perfect.

Grab your dance partners

There's just something about the coming of Spring that makes me want to dance!

User guide

I have a new cell phone. Irene gives me the user guide.

"You should read this," she says.

A few days later,

Me: "What does it say?"

Jump start

The many faces of llpof before and just after her morning caffeine.

The smell of earth

In the Spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt - Margaret Atwood