Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween circa 1947

My family and I lived in a trailer court in Southern California. All 4 of us, (the kids) slept in one bed and we used the toilet in the wash house down the lane. Everyone we knew lived like this. We didn't know we were poor and nothing could put a damper on Halloween.
(Front: family friend, Jackie, my little brother, Mike; Back: me, my big brother, Vaughn and Jackie's brother Billie. Missing is our little sister, Beki who hadn't yet caught the fever.)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Something in the air

A storm is coming, the first of the season. The quality of light is different. The energy is different. I can feel it walking through town, standing on my front deck. I feel it all around us.

I haven't watered my lawn for weeks. I've been waiting for this fresh breath. It is coming. In just a few days the blades of grass will be changed.
We will be changed. The world will be changed.


You can take the girl out of the desert but you can't take the desert out of the girl.

(didn't Hop-a-long Cassidy say something like that?)
(a look at the setting sun through the back gate at my son's Mojave Desert home.)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I don't get it

You know that $700 billion dollar bailout? I just heard that although the banks now have the money, they are reluctant to lend it to anyone because they consider most of us to be poor risks. Of course people are poor risks. The banks have all of our money already.
(I also heard bank CEO's have so far received $70 billion of that money in bonus, etc.)

Under construction

Dear readers, please excuse some of the ridiculous changes I'm trying to make in my blog right now. I have very little command of the computer language so some of my attempts are clumsy and silly.
Sometimes I make a change and then try to reverse it only to realize I don't have a clue. Sometimes my bevy of computer experts are otherwise occupied.
Sometimes though you should check back.
Sometime it will get better.

Family truths

The other day we were at a local eatery sitting near a couple of women and a young boy. All of a sudden, over his bowl of noodles the boy screamed, "Grandma, Grandma, there's a fly in your wig!"
And sure enough, there was.

Monday, October 27, 2008


In an attempt to spiff up my blog site I thought it would be neat to include a literary quote of the day in the right hand column. Today, the 2nd day of this little change I see a quote by D. Parker which is pretty insulting to men and women. For this I apologize and if Widget doesn't change its ways I'll go back to my traditional look until I find some other spiffer.

The beginning of the end

I went to the mall today to buy an "outfit". It's been a long time since I've been to the mall and even longer since I did any clothes shopping.
I was trundling along feeling pretty comfortable, eyeing the store windows, fingering the cloth when I happened to look down and discovered I was wearing my slippers! Not fashionable slippers but the kind old geezers wear all day because they're easy to shuffle in.
The kind of slippers with toothpaste droppings.
Slinking out to my truck took forever. I'm never going clothes shopping again. At least not without my caregiver.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mrs. F.W. Parsneau has the 'prescription'

I'm looking for some of this stuff. I'm tired of falling 'all to pieces at the least excitement'. I want to 'gain in weight and feel just fine'. I want to be beautiful. (click on picture for all the benefits.)

Near the edge

If this campaign goes on much longer I'm going to jump.

After the 1st of the year

This coming year I want to learn to weld. I want to build house sized metal sculptures. I want to see sparks and adjust valves and spread these things around our neighborhood while everyone else is sleeping. I want to take this place by storm.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


See previous post.

Insanity defense

For a couple of weeks now Irene and I have been trying to eat healthy. That means no bins of cookies and bags of chips stacked on top of the refrigerator. Today though, Irene left for an overnight trip. I foraged futilely around the kitchen looking for something edible.

I just got back from Trader's. For dinner tonight I'm having tempura shrimp with dipping sauce, Asian vegies with Beijing style soy sauce, chocolate cheese cake and apple turnovers. What can I say. I had a blackout?

Monday, October 20, 2008


adj., 1. Intoxicating or stupefying; tending to upset the mind or balance of senses; serving to exhilarate; impetuous and rash; showing intelligence and good judgment; suffering from a headache.

(this pretty much sums up my life at the moment.)


Annie Bones and I heard an owl this morning before dawn while we stood on our front deck. We both looked in the direction of the cypress tree across the street. We peered into the darkness, into the tree's heavy branches. We could hear the soft dove-like hoot but we never saw the owl. I'm sure the owl though knew exactly where we were.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Free at last

Annie Bones is a runner. As long as she can maintain visual contact, (however distant) with us she happily goes her way. The only prize she ever won in puppy kindergarten was for speed. She is a blur when running full-out.
For this reason she is almost always on a leash. In Sedona though, we found the most fantastic dog park we've ever come across. It is wild and hilly and RED. Annie B. ran and explored and leaped and barked. We took her there every day we were in Sedona.
Now when I look at these pictures of her gleefully being all she can be, I am happy.
I am sad too because she has so few times when she can truly be the wild thing she is.

Humble dreams

When I was 4 years old all I wanted out of life was to drive a big rig from LA to Kansas and back again.

Strange breed

RVers actually find joy in driving 200 miles just to pull a lawn chair out into the dirt and sit there.


This season infuses me with so much scattered energy I can't make it across the room without coming up with 12 projects, like: write a book, build a sculpture, find a recipe for new potatoes, reseed the front lawn, join an improv group.
I end each day exhausted and wonder what exactly I've done.
Coming up with great ideas takes a toll.


Irene and I quit smoking 20 years ago this weekend. We picked a date well beforehand and prepared ourselves by smoking our brains out in the weeks leading up to that date. The day before the big day we flew back from Hawaii in the smoking section, (remember this was 20 years ago.) The smoke was so thick even we couldn't breathe.
Trying to avoid the noxious cloud, the "stewardesses" carried trays of food and drink in like the limbo dancers we'd just seen in Kauai. We made fun of them. We thought, "oh get a life."
Turns out, that's what they were trying to do.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

No waiting.. the Snow Cap Drive-In.

Peach Springs, Arizona

Indian Summer

The air is perfectly quiescent and all is stillness, as if Nature, after her exertions during the Summer, were now at rest. - John Bradbury 1817

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Found art sculpture by Utah artist "Quinn". (click for more detail)

Leaving the Mojave

Leaving the desert before dawn.


One thing about spending a few weeks in a 19' "rig"...
...coming home, our 900 sq. ft. house seems palatial.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Witness Protection

This is Stan and Janet. They are in the Witness Protection Program. So I can't tell you we had dinner with them in Casa Grande, Arizona this week.

(We met Stan and Janet more than a year ago in Morro Bay while we were camping in our RV. We met up with them again this week on our trip to Arizona. That's the best part of traveling around in an RV, the people you meet.)

It was great to see you guys again! Even if you're still on the lam maybe we'll see you again next year!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Only guests

Yesterday afternoon we decided to get a room near Tubac. We were dusty, and tired and needed more space than our 19' RV. This place has many rooms, wings, second floors. It turns out Irene and Annie B and I are the only guests. Literally. Even the staff went home. It's a little like being in a haunted house way out in the chaparal with nothing around but the coyotes eyeing our 15 pound dog.

Lost Ones

A place for everyone.

Greetings from Tubac

Really, how much more do you need?

From Nogales to the Carcel

So we're driving along near Nogales, me wanting to write a country song about it but without a guitar and without a real voice so I just hum to my dog who is sitting on my lap when we come suddenly to a border check point. Soldiers and German Shepards, nosing the front bumpers of big rigs and cars. We suddenly remember last year a neighbor gave us a little pot to take with us to Burning Man. We stored it in the aluminum roller up in our rig cupboard and forgot about it. We sat in the check point line, watching the dogs and the soldiers wondering if the dogs would know. They did nose around but let us pass through. We breathed a senior sigh or relief.
We left Annie Bones in day care, retraced our steps to explore Tubac back the way we'd come, past the check point when we remembered, again, the illicit drugs languishing in the Reynolds Wrap in our rig. We pulled over in the desert, ready to bury the baggie when we saw the cute little glass pipe our neighbors had included with the gift. It glinted, unused in the southern Arizona sun. We couldn't just leave this in a dusty hole. We drove back to a room we'd gotten for the night and hid the package in Annie's satchel. Now, in the early morning it's lying on the desk. We're beginning to feel just a little what the fleeing felon feels, out in the desert one step ahead of the law.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tom Hanson 1949-2008

Our good friend, Tom died suddenly on Monday. His wife called us on our cell while we were nestled in a pine forest in Eastern Arizona.
Tom was an artist and one of the most decent people we've known. Truly one of the good men. We saw him every day. Sometimes I'd say, "Hey, Tom, what are you going to do when you retire?" He'd say, "Get back to my art."
We decided this morning to continue our trip. Tom would have insisted. "Go, see art, live life," he would have said. We're cutting things short to be home with Cynthia and be at his services.
I saw Tom just before we left home. He gave Annie a treat and said, "You have fun, Annie. We'll miss you!" To me he said, "Drive carefully. Be safe."
You too, Tom, you too.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Grand Canyon

(words don't do it justice)

From the road

Our desert family greeting us in Phelan, Mojave Desert. Friendly, huh?
So much of our time is spent saying, "Go potty, Annie!" (we've walked miles into the desert)
This place has been closed for "a while". Wonder if they used to serve vegie burgers?
Quality sidekick...

This blog post is dedicated to all those who post from the road. It's taken me 8 days to figure it out. I actually still don't get it but Irene is hovering by my elbow so...Hopefully our internet connection will stay with us as we wander. Will post more soon. (p.s. in Sedona now, hunkered down with the rain on the roof...)