Thursday, April 30, 2009

In the words of Anne Lamott

I've been struggling lately, working on a huge desert writing project. At times it's been overwhelming.
I say to Irene: I just can't do it. It's too much...
Irene, paraphrasing the writer Annie Lamott says: Thorn by thorn my dear, take it thorn by thorn.

Garden talk

We get started on our major gardening project early. The sun has just seeped through the cypress blind across the street, the birds are chattering in our neighbor's apple tree, a yellow butterfly lingers on a pink bloom. I'm standing on a ladder, pulling weeds from a planter tower in our wall.
Me: If I fell from this ladder, suffered a hematoma on the saltillo tile and died, would you move?
Irene: Move? No way!
Me: Why, because you'd be too bereft?
Irene: No, because this place would be just perfect for one person.

Our shy neighbor

Our neighbor's VW thinks we can't see it. Like if it stays real still it'll go undetected. It's a shy car.

Early today...

This butterfly paused long enough for this picture. Actually it was quite accommodating. Like a real photo shoot. Like I was an agent and the butterfly had grand plans.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lost in the 1970s Mojave Desert

Sorry, but it's not easy out here. Hopefully I'll find my way back soon.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Different realities

For the last 8 hours I've been sitting in a chair, working non-stop on a book re-write while Irene has been cleaning out the garage. On a stretch break I bring the mail in and leaf through a community activity catalogue. My knees have locked up and my back is stiff. Irene comes in for some water, sweating, her hair hanging down around her red face.
Me: Hey look. Do you think we should take a fitness class?
Irene: What are you, insane?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Couch potato badge

When I was in the 6th grade I was a girl scout. I hated being a girl scout. When it was my turn to host a meeting I was mortified because the couch in my living room had a huge hole with springs and stuffing visible.
I wanted to move, quit, change my name, die, but there wasn't time.
My best friend, Stephanie stepped up. She promised to sit on the hole throughout the meeting, promised to not move an inch. She came through. No one found out about the hole. Stephanie deserved a badge.
If I still knew her today, I'd give her one.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Garage sale

This past Saturday we had a garage sale to get rid of boxes of junk accumulated in our garage, bundles of DVDs, pillows, train sets, camping gear. The stuff that didn't sell is still sitting on our patio and today I found these two photos. The top one of my son, Aaron and the bottom of our friend, Katie, taken when they were both living in Santa Cruz, CA in the '80s. To see them today, check out their blogs: Aaron at and Katie at

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sure thing

I spent the afternoon sprawled on my front deck with Annie Bones. Best way to forget your troubles.

Middle man

For some months now I have had trouble reading. I buy crappy novels every week at the flea market, flip through them at home and say, "I'm not going to read this." Then I promptly cart them to my neighbor. It's kind of like being an illiterate personal shopper.

Heat wave

If it's 93 in Santa Cruz, it must be 150 at my son's house in the Mojave Desert.

Urban guerrilla

I stalk our neighborhood for unoccupied, fenced property which almost always has a No Trespassing sign prominently displayed. Then I release Annie Bones so she can run free. I feel a little like an urban guerrilla.
Because I am what some would call 'an old lady,' with almost white hair and a few wrinkles, I'm let off with a, "really ma'am, you aren't allowed in here."
And I say, "Oh, I'm sorry, of course. How silly of me."
They smile and my dog and I go our way. She's had her run, I've had my fun and the warners feel like they've been kind to a grandmotherly type. (This is just one of the perks of getting older.)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

In violation of Scent-free Santa Cruz

The scent of neighborhood honeysuckle is so strong tonight, we've had to close our front door.

The cure

In the 5th grade I went steady with Jesus for one week. He gave me a huge metal ring attached to a sink chain that I wore around my neck. I suffered incredible neck pain but I didn't connect the pain with the ring. A week later I broke up with Jesus and just like that my health returned.

The key

Life is all about finding your niche.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


....scritch, scritch....scritchscritchscitch....scritch....

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Anything's possible...

" When I grow up I want to be an old woman."
- Michele Shocked

Monday, April 13, 2009


Sometimes all it takes to come out from behind a huge cloud is the proper allignment of stars, a royal flush, and a little change in perspective.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

In celebration

So, let us go forth and create!

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Revisionist

I am doggedly trying to add a little levity to the rewriting of this book but the book is having its way with me.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


To some this might be an indication that Easter is around the corner. To me it means, Be careful not to put all of your eggs into one basket.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Sorry for the blog delay. But I'm on the home-stretch of this so-called book of mine. Back soon.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Suspicious characters

We 'bumped' into our friends again in Arizona. They claim to be in the witness protection program but I'm wondering if that's all a scam. Maybe they are really stalkers and who knows what their real names are?! (See you guys in Seattle in July!)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Needful things

A pick-up by the side of the road with the tailgate open. An old man with a beat-up Coleman stove, a burrito and three 8 tracks for sale. Not exactly the flea market, but then, this is not exactly Santa Cruz.

Road talk

Today, driving from Casa Grande, AZ to Ehrenberg, AZ, Irene at the wheel:
Me: Can you do it?
Irene: Yes.
Are you sure?
Can I get you anything? A nutrition drink? A banana?
No, I'm good.
For reals?
How are you doing?
Are you awake?
Yes. A truck is passing.
Can you do it?
Do you need anything?
Are you awake?
How are you doing?
Really good?
Yes. A truck is passing.
Can you do it?
Are you awake?
It was a long 207 mile trip through the desert in the wind. Tomorrow we'll get up and do it again.