Our New Normal

Even if you don’t live here, you might know about the wildfires we’re experiencing in California this year. And last year. And the year before. Unfortunately, it’s our new normal. And that sucks. Some of my friends had to evacuate from their homes in hills where fire overtook hundreds of acres. Thankfully, nobody I know lost their home or their life.

Nature is unpredictable, especially these days. Not knowing when or if another fire will break out is stressful. Which direction will it travel? How many acres will it burn? How many homes will be destroyed? How many lives lost? Who knows. But one thing is certain: it will happen again.

I used to think people were crazy who feared living in California because of earthquakes. Seriously, how many earthquakes do we have (very few) compared to the devastation eastern and southern coastal states endure from yearly hurricanes and tornadoes? But with fires being an annual thing now, there may be reason to fear living here, especially near hills and mountains.

Continue reading

The Sweetest Gift

Here is my annual tribute to my mom, my best friend and the greatest lady I’ve ever known. How lucky was I? Happy Mother’s Day!

My mom, Loretta Rose, with Bailey

She gave me love as well as life; so whatever goodness I may bring to Earth began with the gift of my mother’s heart……Robert Sexton

At some point in our relationship, my mom transitioned from being my parent to also being a great friend. I’d say it happened in 1985, when she was diagnosed with incurable, inoperable lung cancer.

Continue reading

Down Memory Lane

Last week I had occasion to visit the neighborhood where I grew up in Santa Venetia, also derogatorily known as Scabo. I’m not sure what that stands for but since it’s an ugly word, I’m guessing it wasn’t known as the most desirable place to live. But I beg to differ.

Santa Venetia

Kids don’t know they don’t live in a mansion. I certainly didn’t. We had 4 bedrooms that weren’t much bigger than some large walk-in closets and closets not much wider than a refrigerator. Now don’t get me wrong; I didn’t care one bit. I had what I needed and that was enough.

our house

Our little house

To me, our Doughboy Pool was the bomb (better known as groovy back then). Other neighborhood dads helped my dad install it. That’s how it was; neighbors helping neighbors. On summer afternoons, being in that pool or playing ping pong on the patio were my favorite places to be.

me in pool

Even as a teen, still in the pool

Continue reading

What Was I Thinking?

I ask you…what the hell was I thinking

Life was rolling along nice and easy. Well, easy is not the correct adjective. Let’s just say life was rolling along. The thing is, I have 8 animals, run a nonprofit, trap feral cats throughout the week, relocate those that need new homes, help care for my disabled sister, play team tennis and am nursing a pesky sciatica which, like a jilted lover, is having trouble letting go.

just let go

Dear sciatica…

So I don’t know what I was thinking deciding to have my hardwood floors refinished last week. Had I forgotten it was a pain in the keister 13 years ago when it was last done? Apparently so, otherwise I wouldn’t be blogging about it today.

Now don’t get me wrong; it’s not like my floors were embarrassingly scratched and faded, causing me to refuse entry to family and friends. No doubt theirs, too, are scratched and faded. Whose aren’t? Especially those of us with pets that refuse to let us clip their nails without being in a straight jacket or heavily sedated. Continue reading

An Evening at Home

Let’s set the scene…cue the music, dim the lights, pour the wine…

It’s a crisp but clear evening. Temperatures are falling into the low 40s and it’s only 9:00 p.m. Inside it’s toasty warm from the family room fireplace and the Christmas tree lights are aglow because that’s what they say at Christmas. Not, the lights on the tree are glowing. They are aglow. Don’t ask me why.

tree-aglow

Anyway, I’m watching Love Actually, the perfect holiday movie and, I hear, a chick flick. If you happen to be a guy, check it out anyway. It’s funny yet surprisingly touching with different stories happening simultaneously. I particularly like the end, right before the credits, when they show people (not actors) greeting each other in an airport. The expression on their faces is a true picture of love, actually. Pun intended.

Continue reading