November is one of my favorite months.  The weather starts to finally change a bit,  it gets dark earlier, and it cools down at night even if the days are warm.  I tend to have more energy for projects, and usually pick up my knitting to make a couple beanies or a scarf.

The last few months have had their normal ups and downs.  Daisy had some health issues and finally had surgery a few weeks ago to remove a hemangiosarcoma and broken tooth.  Totally unrelated.  She has healed well, the got good margins on the tumor, but with this type of cancer metastasis is quite common.

Work has been the same ups and downs with the new boss, more downs than ups but I am trying to let them go and carry on.  Work becomes such a big part of our lives, its hard to just leave and not bring it all home with you.  At least right now he is picking on one of the other department heads instead of me, I have a feeling this may change.

The holidays will be here before you know it, and I want to be more ready an I have in the past. Also spend less money.

Kitchen in finally back to full use. I had a pipe leak that was repaired 6 months ago, part of the hardwood floors were removed because of damage.  Last week they finally finished the floors and put the cabinet back.  That is a relief.  It just all the bills pile up at once.  I also had to have my big oak tree that is slowing dying trimmed.  Another big bill.  Its ok. I am grateful that I have a kitchen to cook in and a tree to shade my house, and a house to live in.  So no complaints, just observations.

Old Bloggers


I realize I have been blogging a long time.  Many of us have, and many of us have let our blogs go, so to speak. Not posting frequently, or at all.  Many of us have turned to Social Media I think, instead.  But its not the same as actually writing a blog post.  Chronicling the day, the week, our life.

I used to read a blog called Old Grey Poet almost every day,  John Bailey wrote daily, his blog turned into Journal of a Writing Man and now I see he hasn’t updated for 2 years.  I am hoping he is still with us, he is still living in England.  I love the simplicity of his daily routine, his stories of Graham fixing up yet another house.  Does anyone know of him and if he is still with us?

Sometimes I look back on my blog to remember what happened, sort out details, hoping I can find them in my words.  Most times I can’t.

I am realizing I have not written a post since Taos, and that is pretty sad.  I went to a writing retreat to get energized to write, but I am finding no energy where I am here in my place in time.  Its work, and stress, and lack of motivation that stems from all of that.  I almost feel like in order to write I have to remove myself from the day-to-day and escape.

Today is hot, hoping the last day of what has been one of the hottest weeks this summer.  I melt in the heat, and have been hiding out in the air conditioning, lazy even inside.  It was a long week last week, a Council meeting that ended at 10:30 making for a 15+ hour day at work.  The weather is supposed to cool this week into the 80’s. Maybe this will be the end of the heat.

Daisy turned 10 on the 9th, and in a couple weeks another summer will have ended. I need to keep my story going.



Today would have been my grandmas 106th birthday.

My grandmother would bring me to the sewing factory with her in the afternoons when school was out, it smelled like fabric, and oil, and little like something was burning, that always brought up the anxiety in me. It was a safe place, yet a little scary at the same time; lots of machines, pressers, cutting tables, scary things; things that could hurt you if you didn’t know how to use them correctly.

The sewing machine next to my grandmothers was empty so that is where I set my bookbag and hung my red sweater; I always wondered why that space was empty. Lots of spaces were empty.

I would quietly walk around to visit each of the ladies at their machines, just stopping by to smile and maybe ask a curious question about what they were doing. Each one had a different job, one might be sewing the sleeves onto a dress, another putting the dress together, there was a process, it was methodical, I liked that.

They were all so nice to me, sometimes saving me a special cookie or piece of candy from their lunches. One always had a butterscotch for me, I liked that creamy buttery taste, it was something I had never experienced, but did not like the mint ones they were hot like a chili!!

I made the rounds, I was particularly interested in the woman who did the buttonholes, it was a special machine that was magic to me as a 7 year old. It sewed the thread all around then the opening was cut.

“How does it know how big to make the hole?”

“What if the cut is to long and it breaks the thread?”

“What if your finger gets caught?”

That horrified me!

It took several visits, and many questions to the lady with short curly white hair who was very tall, Josephine, to finally figure out that there was no magic to making a buttonhole. And I did find out what happened if your finger got caught one day when I spotted the band-aid.

Back then many of the woman in the factory were white and they all spoke some English. Even though grandma was from Mexico she spoke perfect English, she was proud of that and that she had become a citizen. The lady who set zippers, like my grandma did, wasn’t very friendly so I always skipped her, I realized later it was because she didn’t like my grandma trying to persuade her to register to vote.

One of the ladies in particular used to ask me if I was wearing lipstick because my lips looked like rosebuds. I would wipe my mouth with the back of my hand and show her that “no, no lipstick, see”! I was not allowed to wear lipstick! Even though my grandma was also an Avon lady and sometime would give us some of those little white sample tubes that would come by the dozen in the green plastic containers, we were only allowed the very light colors, and we only used those for dress up I explained.

The presser was always last, maybe because the big pressing machines terrified me, and my grandmother always said not to bother her, but Lupe was the youngest, probably 18, and she always would gesture, come over, say hello. I watched as she lowered the big pressing machine, ironing half a garment at once! I always wished I could bring my white blouses to be ironed here, they took me so long at home and I was so afraid of getting burned! Grandma had got Lupe the job there, she had not finished high school, I think grandma was afraid that I might distract her too much, she needed that job.

After I made the rounds I would sit at the empty machine, next to grandma and do my homework or read with the sounds of the factory in my ears.

Taos, New Mexico

Taos MDJ


I am sitting outside among the trees, with the wind blowing and the birds chirping, magpies! Its overcast, pleasant enough. Actually a bit cool, I have my wrap my journal and my laptop. All is good.

The Mable Dodge Lujan house is amazing. So peaceful, spiritual; the rooms are simple, but comfortable. I actually unpacked my clothes. I landed I settled in. Dinner the first night was an amazing chicken with avocado salsa, cauliflower with pesto, a black rice salad, and a green salad. I think I may have even tried a Dijon vinaigrette dressing (I hate mustard). I slept well.

I woke up and got out of bed around 6:45, found some coffee. Felt refreshed after a cup and washing my face so I thought I would try the dance awake, It was nice the last song she played “Hallelujah” brought me to tears. Emotions flowed.

Breakfast was turkey sausage, spinach frittata amazing custardy French toast, I indulged in; not usual for me but this is vacation!

But most spectacular of all I am at 7000 feet in the mountains. The MOUNTAINS! Coming home I call it, even though it is not Tahoe. The religion is the same just a different church.

What am I doing here, what do I want? Am I a writer, or do I even care. Do I just want to put words on paper, do I want to just remember. Forgetting scares me.

I am glad I am outside writing today, I think it may get to warm later in the week to take advantage of this mid day outside writing.


That was cool.

I guess in this case it would be taking fingers to keyboard.  I am having a difficult time with this, but in a short 15 days I will be flying to Taos, New Mexico for a writing retreat.  But, I haven’t been writing.  When I look back on my blogs, my main writing outlet there is nothing.  Not for a long time.

I don’t know why.  I am trying as hard as I may to figure it out.  Is my brain not as creative as it once was? Am I to busy, have I just neglected that focus I used to have.  I think Social Media has spoiled it a bit for us bloggers. I have 5 blogs, many of them not updated or active for years.  Now with Social media you don’t have to wait for someone to update their blog to know whats going on, you just look their Facebook or Instagram, or twitter feed. It used to be that our blogs were our social media.

Ok now that I have something to blame it on maybe I can get past it and blog more.

Its the 4th of July.  I am staying inside cool and going to BBQ later.  Its not one of the holidays I enjoy.  I appreciate the reason, but the fireworks are awful. The animals are frightened and the fire danger is high.  After 4 years of drought I think that they should have been banned throughout the state of California.

But where ever you are and however you celebrate be safe and remember to be kind to those who do not enjoy the BOOMS!

9 years ago


2006 was not a good year for me.  All kinds of bad things happened.  In the first week of January my husband left me for another woman.  Then Natalie was hospitalized in chronic rejection and infection of her new lungs.  She died on Feb 1.  It was a rough time at work, but to top it off on Labor day I broke up a scuffle with puppy Daisy, she was a bout a year old, and Sprocket. I was bit by Sprocket, accident.  The bone was nicked, and I ended up with a bone infection, in the hospital for 10 days then 3 months of intravenous antibiotics.  Needless to say I was glad when that year was over.

Fast forward to today.  Its Super Bowl Sunday,  I never watch. I had coffee with Dianne and then ran a few errands and paid bills.  I thought I needed to write, to just remember to be grateful today for what I think will be a good year. I have a retreat planned in July, and hope to do the leaf peeping tour of Vermont in October.  I have learned to let go of things I can’t control, sort of.

And last year which was a good year.  Work was ok, we took a nice trip to the San Juan Islands in Washington, I traveled to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains several times to visit an old friend.  I taught chair yoga to cancer patients, and continued my yoga and ayurveda studies.

But time goes by so fast. Daisy is getting older, she is 10 now, Roscoe is also showing his age at 13, and I too am getting older even though I really don’t feel older.

So I look forward to this year, I have learned that it can always be worse.


Coming Home

I have recently been teaching a chair yoga class at a cancer center.  I was wondering why I felt so at peace afterwards. You would think that I would be sad for these patients, their struggles, their fears, and their hopes.

Today I had someone new, she was having Chemo tomorrow, and clearly she was well into her treatment as she had a scarf wrapped around her head.  She had never been to my class. Never done yoga. She took to it, the breathing, the positive visualization.  I could see she was desperate for hope.

After the class she said, could I come Wednesday with my “Chemo”, as if it was her new friend. We discussed what that meant, her port would be accessed and she would have a bag (of poison) to deal with.  I said of course, we would make sure to adapt anything you need. It seemed reassuring to her. My mantra, if you can breath you can do yoga.

When I left I felt energized and hopeful. Why? After I came home I realized this was coming home to me, I spent years in the hospital, off and on, with Natalie. They are like a safe place to me sometimes.  How many days and nights did I spend, trying to find the best cafeteria food, and most comfortable niche to hang out in. Natalie didn’t die of cancer but that really doesn’t matter. they are not only a place of death, but a place of healing and hope. I am bringing hope.

I teach in the infusion room, the place where the poison happens, but we turn it into a place of hope and love, community and love.

Bring on the Chemo.


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