Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Max from the Hague

is visiting. He's sick. So I fed him chicken soup and brownies, and he's in bed hacking his lungs up. We'll spend an elderly new year's eve making dal from an old friend's recipe, and channel surfing. Have invited some friends over, but doubt any of them will wanna go out either. He said I looked very Dutch with my new haircolor, Cinnaberry. As if. He wants to get a lemon zester when he is here. My friend from Ireland was taken with my potato peeler. Do these Euroguests have a thing for small kitchen gadgets? Do you think if I send Irish a potato peeler in the mail to Ireland that it would be confiscated because there is a blade in there? I love being retired, love being able to worry about such things.
Photo: Sunset in the yard a few days ago.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Global Melting


Real Winter Solstice Holiday Trees Better for the Environment Than Artificial Ones
Ronald Bailey
December 19, 2008, 10:46am
At least, that's according to a study reported by Terra Daily:

A Canadian sustainable energy company in Montreal says real Christmas trees have less of an environmental impact than reusable artificial trees.
The company, which uses no capitals in its name, ellipsos inc., said its analysis in a Life Cycle Assessment found real trees generate 6.8 pounds of greenhouse gases compared with 17.8 pounds for an artificial tree per year.
"The results are astonishing", ellipsos President Jean-Sebastien Trudel said in a release. "Considering that the artificial tree is reusable for many years, one would think that this choice is best since the natural tree requires annual trips to purchase it."
Research process factors ranged from the extraction of raw materials to travel to marketing and purchase to disposal, the company said.
The study found an artificial tree would need to be kept for at least 20 years to be equivalent to a real tree, although consumers keep an artificial tree for six years on average, the report said.

The foot of snow we had has nearly completely melted away. There's a huge winter house fly that has taken up residence. Sometimes the animals get them, sometimes not.

Photo of leaves from a shamrock type plant in my house. Maroon leaves, small pink flowers. Purple leaf oxalis.
Photo of the country angel on my solstice bush.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Kwanzaa/Boxing Day (Canada, UK, Australia)

Dec. 26. Turns out "Boxing Day" is really a labor holiday, meant to throw a crumb to the lower classes historically. I thought I would freak out having no specific plans for Thursday. But I slept late, went out for Chinese food, watched "House" reruns. Felt fine.
My big day was Thursday the 18th, and I think I am still filled up from that.

(The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa)

Umoja (Unity)
To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.
Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.
Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
To build and maintain our community together and make our brother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve them together.
Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.
Nia (Purpose)
To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
Kuumba (Creativity)
To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
Imani (Faith)
To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
­ Maulana Karenga

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Madonna and Child

Photo of my nieces by their dad.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Increasing Light

Remembering requires no longer being in the present.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter Solstice/Hanukkah

The day and night are of equal lengths. From now on, the daylight will increase in preparation for new growth in the Spring.

Hanukkah, "the Jews rededicated their holy temple. They did so by lighting the menorah with the oil that was just enough for one day but miraculously it burnt for eight consecutive days, until more pure oil could be brought."

Again, the idea of increasing light.

Photo is a decoration in my foyer. Angel graced the garden all summer. Holly from a local tree.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Winter Solstice Eve

These are my buddies who came to my birthday/retirement party on Dec. 18

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's My Birthday

These photos are from the day before yesterday on Route 17 and 68, coming home from my 1 1/2 hour

Had a great birthday/retirement party in Guilford last night. (It's 2.30am on the 19th already).

Monday, December 15, 2008

Yosemite in November


The Cathedral .

El Capitan - The Captain.

Niece and beau by the Merced river.

Nature dance.

Fancy lodge in the park. $450/night.

The forest.

El Capitan

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Change the Sheets

The view from Adrian's father's deck, Mariposa, CA.

My niece Risa with her partner Adrian,
Thanksgiving morning, 2008.

Oh, gay cabana boy, where ARE youuuuuuu? It's that time again to change the sheets on my bed, such a huge undertaking. But I bet he could do it in a flash, singing all the while.

Went for a massage with a new person yesterday. I looked on the Aetna sight, my health insurance company, and found this woman about a half hour from me who gives discounts to Aetna members. So instead of paying $65 or $70 or more, I paid $45 for an hour. I'm going back next week for an hour and a half. The drive out Route 68 to where she is in Durham in really lovely.

I HAVE to start using my CPAP machine, for sleep apnea. I have such a revulsion for it, but I've got to at least see if it makes me feel less tired. I'm tired all the time, except when I'm doing something that really motivates me. Could use some encouragement.

Yoga yesterday was strenuous. Not that we were doing anything so differently. Someone else complained about having a hard time too. Maybe it's the weather. Or maybe it was that I had just come from the massage. The yoga instructor wants to teach the class every day the week after next because the room will be available, and he's so into sharing his knowledge. I guess it's good that it feels strenuous -- building and stretching muscles and all that.

Had my second guitar lesson on Monday. That was hard, too. But I ordered the Strunal guitar yesterday, and hopefully it will be here by next lesson, so I can begin practicing. Twinkle twinkle little star . . .

Bought myself red, white, and peppermint striped mini carnations yesterday, and am mixing them in vases with fresh holly from a tree near here. Very pretty and seasonal.

Watched "Angels in America" a few nights ago. Very moving. A two disc dvd. When the play was on Broadway, I think it was six or eight hours long. It focuses on the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, but is wide ranging in its exploration or love, death, ethics, truth, the meaning of life, all that good stuff. The movie has Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson, James Cromwell, Mary-Louise Parker, Patrick Wilson, and others. Tony Kushner, the writer of the play, is also in it for a brief time.

Bindi's picking up my bad habits. When I let her out of her crate in the morning, you'd think she'd want to go outside and pee, but instead, she crawls under the covers in my bed, and stays there for another hour or two. Yesterday I had to call out, "Come on, Bindi, it's time to get up," a couple of times before she would come out. I guess she likes the comfort and the warmth.

Friday, December 05, 2008


Sunday, Dec. 7

This is my new niece Anara. The above photo is Dec. 4, and photo below Nov. 30, her birthday. She sure is good lookin'! And she's a Sagittarian, like me, ha ha!
A little snow today, Dec. 7. Took Bindi to get her nails cut, and the trainer's store was mobbed, and not a little chaotic. There was a HUGE bark and we all turned around to see it coming from this tiny dachshund. And people talk about Bindi having a big bark for a little dog.
Have had jet lag since getting back on Wednesday. Yesterday and today I had to put myself to bed at around 4 and got up around 7. I went to a couple of crafts fairs yesterday, I almost feel compelled to cause I never know what special thing I might find, and I indeed did find something unique: a new kind of wreath made out of dog biscuits, for five bucks. But I was feeling very panicky around 3pm, and knew I had to get home and into bed for a bit of unconsciousness.
K. came over for a quick breakfast today; forgot to ask her to get stuff out of the attic for me. She was in CA when I was, but our paths did not cross.
Had dinner with M. & S. on Friday night. Blazing fire in the fireplace, and we played again the game that S. loves, fold a paper in three, and each person makes either feet, torso, or head, and then we unfold to see what we have. No peeking at the drawing before you add your bit. S. made me a sweet glasses holder. She is just learning to sew.
Another guitar lesson tomorrow. Had a new client this week. She came in saying she was depressed and anxious, but did not know why. After several minutes of conversation, I had a list of about fifteen things, any one of which could make her depressed or anxious.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Grand Lake, Oakland

Rachel and Frances and I went to this glorious refurbished theatre to see the movie "Bolt," which we all liked very much. It made me cry when Bolt felt like his person didn't love him and didn't miss him. But she did love him and miss him and there was a happy ending. These photos are the outside and the inside of the theatre.

This is the staircase up to the 2nd floor of the theatre.

Rachel and Frances on the big sofa in the lobby.

A mosaic on the wall.

A Tiffany style window in the lobby.

We saw the movie in the Egyptian themed screening room.
The ceiling was a dark blue with small lights simulating
the constellations. Starry starry night.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Bay Area

Photo of Rachel and Frances in front of the pet shop in the neighborhood in which they live.

I just spent two and a half days in Mariposa, and Yosemite National Park, photos to be posted at a later time. R and A and I drove up on Thanksgiving day, and as soon as we got out of the city, the landscape changed into rolling hills, with almond tree groves, slab rocks protruding out of the ground, and finally the beautiful acreage of A's dad with a view of the Yosemite mountains.

Friday we drove into the park, spectacular, good weather, unique and majestic rock forms. It was a real treat to be able to see it with three such fine persons.
Nov. 30, 2008
New niece in the family. Anara Ruth. Born today. Anara, the name, is a Star Trek character, Bajorin tribe. Also, a small town in Nigeria. Also, some tall buildings in Dubai.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Travel Poetry

Elegy to Bodily Functions

Phlegmy coughs on airplane flights
Shoot through my nerves like pain
Mucous globs that crave escape
Stay trapped in throats in vain.

Spit it out!
My silence screams
As yet another hacks
The snot and gunk
that wracks your bulk
Will surely rend yet your seams.

What do you think
your flightmates feel
Who hear your nasty rattle
You're old and frail
and don't much care
As if we were but cattle.

My aged self
now newly fears
The germs and 'crobes
of humans
The lavs are gross
with seats awash
in fluids fresh
from bare buns.

While I endure
the final leg
of this long flight
from Hartford
I pray you whip
that Kleenex out
Or risk my rath,
you turd!

-- L. L. Anderson
24 November 2008

Ok, so that's how the flight was. Good thing I travel with earplugs.

Yesterday, Tuesday, Rachel and I started the day before our showers with a soak in her hot tob. So luxurious and soothing, with a beautiful view of the hills out the back deck. The weather was overcast and in the 50s, but the tub was warm and made my knees feel great.

Frances was throwing up in the morning, so Rachel called in sick to her job, and we spent the morning taking care of the vomiting kid and wiping up hurl. Frances was feeling better by midday, so we went out to explore their favorite haunts in their neighborhood. We went to Peet's, a favorite roaster, and got coffee, then to Sexy Nails where I got my first ever manicure. Rachel and Frances go regularly, and since they wanted to go, I thought, what the heck. Somehow I thought it was going to hurt, but of course it didn't. I wasn't going to have any polish put on, but gave in and got some peachy brown neutral color. It was fun. The shop was playing some beautiful Vietnamese music videos on the flat screen monitor.

Then we went to Paws & Claws, a locally owned small pet shop and groomer. I bought some pet sympathy cards, which are often hard to find. One for a dog one for a cat. Lunch at a local Chinese restaurant, and a final stop at Farmer Joe's, a natural grocer, where we shopped for dinner last night: salmon, asparagus, rice pilaf, salad, wine, bread, cheese. Two of Rachel's friends came over, and my niece R., and we had a lovely time.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

California Here I Come!

Off to CA tomorrow. Dropped Camilla at the Cat Nap Inn today. Seems like a really good place. Each cat enclosure has five levels! It's only 10pm and I'm packed, a first I think. Misty will be all alone, except when the cat sitter comes by every two days. Bindi's going to be in dog play heaven with Peeve and Achilles. I miss them all already. My little critter family.

When I have internet access, I'll let you all know what's happening on my trip.

Bon Voyage!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Chiquita or DillBoy?

I was at my yoga class, doing a standing posture with my eyes closed. You know how sometimes when you close your eyes you can see shapes of dark and light sort of behind your eyelids, that sometimes look like something and sometimes look just kind of abstract, but the contrast is definitely there? Well, I was standing there with my eyes closed, breathing, when clearly as can be, I saw the definite facial contast of my cat Chiquita or DillBoy. I could see the dark outlines of the upper body, and the white markings on the face, including the white flame that extended up to the forehead in both of them. The cat was at my feet. It shocked me, and my eyes filled with tears, but I kept it together. I'm gonna say one of them appeared to me as an angel, to say hello. Yes, it could have just been a trick of the mind, but isn't everything? Or maybe it was just having watched the roomba cat. But I choose the angel visit, because of my emotional reaction. But the PTSD is very active these few days, too. The smallest thing wants to topple me.

Went to see a pre-release screening of "Milk," at Jale last night, with C & D. Ate Indian food first, and laughed about how none of us knows how the internet works. I said, "I don't even know how radio works!" We needed the Grand Lunar with us to explain it all. The movie was ok, Sean Penn and Josh Brolin were very good in it, but I found the movie deeply sexist. The complete lack of women or even an explanation about why there were no women around in the movie was blatant, given that this was a significant story of the history of the gay rights movement in the U.S.

Sleeping a lot. Really hating this cold weather. Scraped the bumper/fender of my car last night trying to parallel park. I hate these plastic bumpers. What happened to those ugly but completely protective and functional black rubber things that never showed a scratch? These new cheap bumpers have a thin layer of paint that peels off with the slightest pressure. Ratz.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Puppy Won't Stand Still!

Foot doctor. He doesn't know what the bump on the inside of my right foot is, but xrays show moderate arthritis in that foot. Great.

Novice Theory. The performance name of a student I knew while he was at Jale, graduated two years ago. Saw him perform last Wednesday in the living room of one of the residential colleges and was blown away. His talent, poetry, passion, originality made me cry. One of the best performances I have ever seen. http://www.novicetheory.com/

Old friend. Connected with another old friend from the early 1970s. Had tea with her last week. She's a writer, as is her husband. It was a very nice visit. She has had cancer twice, and now doesn't drive at all. Her house was lovely. Odd to catch up with someone after 30 years.

Nov. 13, 8pm--Bregamos Community Theater: Trans Plantations, one-woman show by playwright and screenwriter Janis Astor del Valle; directed by Carolyn Kirsch. Bregamostheater@aol.com. The actor performed an autobiographical work on being a Bronx born Latina, who moved to rural CT; the culture shock, the racism. Too dark to be considered white, too light skinned to be considered fully Latina. Alienation. Was held in the auditorium of a K-8 school, in a predominantly Latino part of town. Besides the director, I think I was the only white person in the audience. The Q & A after the show was intriguing.

Should get my first retirement check at the end of this month. I am retired. Re-tired. Tired, again. Re-tred. Ire. Red. Attire. Re-tried. Try again. Has not yet sunk in. I feel this pressure to fill my days with meaningful activity, whereas when I was working there was little choice involved, I just had to do what had to be done. All the doors are wide open now. Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose. Loss. Loosed. Let loose. Lost. Found. Find. Find the loose ends. Weave them.

Rosie. Looked out my window on Friday morning and she was in her front yard, loose, milling around the front door of her house. No one was home. Bindi and I went over. She had managed to pull her head out of her collar that was on a tie out lead. I put the collar back on, and brought her over to my house, where she and Bindi played for a while. Bindi is less comfortable with bigger dogs now, likes smaller dogs like Elvy and Momo. I called C & B and told them what happened, suggested they get a harness instead of a collar, as Rosie cannot get out of a harness.

K. came over for dinner Saturday night. Salmon, rice pilaf, salad, broccoli, carrots from the garden. She brought home made pumpkin pie with a nut crust. Yum. We watched "To Kill a Mockingbird," her favorite movie. I hadn't seen it in decades. There is a LOT going on in that film.

I had watched "Michael Clayton" myself, with George Clooney. Definitely worth a view.

Went to five church holiday bazaars on Saturday morning, and a found a few really wonderful things, including a working Olympus digital camera, a D-560 I think, for one buck. These photos of Rosie and Bindi were taken with that.

Left my cane at Agway today, and had to go back and get it. It was still sitting in the shopping cart. Good thing I now have backups.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Playful Project

Last spring I found this long length of turquoise polyester fabric in someone's bulk trash. Being attacted to all things the color of tropical water, I dragged it home and washed it, an put it aside. After some consideration, I decided that the full expanse of blue was too garish, and decided to soften it by squirting full strength bleach onto it with a plastic bottle.

This is the result of the random bleaching. Sort of looked like floating clouds in a clear blue sky.

A close-up of a bleached area. I really had no idea how it would turn out.

It has now become an informal swag valance on my living room window. I didn't want to close out the light, since my big tropical hibiscus tree lives in front of that window, and needs all the light it can get when indoors for the winter. What do you think of my playful project? It certainly brings a splash of bright color to that end of the living room.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


This is my friend Kalichi who visited me last weekend. He encouraged me to try the guitar, which I had been considering for some time, and today I had my first lesson, with a Russian teacher named Yuri, who came to my house. It wasn't as awful as I was anticipating, and I think the classical guitar is a good choice to begin with.

Now I have to buy a guitar, but Yuri told me what to get.

This is Techung, a Tibetan musician whom I saw perform on Friday evening at a small intimate venue with a small audience. Also, Roop Verma (below) performed on the sitar, and I can only attribute my good sleep that night to hearing both of these amazing musicians share their talent. Or maybe I've just been raking too many leaves, and I was exhausted. I met my friend Geeta there and it was great to see her.

This is Bindi with Peeve, at Robi's house. Peeve is a Boston terrier. I think Bindi will get along well with them both.

Bindi at rest.

Achilles, the doberman who lives with Peeve and Robi, where Bindi will stay when I am in California.

Today I went out to R & R's and made them lunch while they were working on the house. Endlessly.

Yesterday I took Camilla back to the vet to get blood drawn in order to check her thyroid levels, since she has been on the new medication. $275! I finally asked the tech why they were so expensive, and she said that they do not give the labs as much work as vets who do both cats and dogs and other animals (this vet only does cats) so they don't get the volume discounts that other vets get.

M & S came for dinner on Thursday night, and S. brought her rubber stamps, and I got out some of mine, and she made some nice drawings using both sets. I'd forgetten I have so many rubber stamps.

If anyone has a copy of the 5 November 2008 issue of The New York Times, it is now worth a great deal of money. Go to ebay.com and check it out. Historic value.
Went to three church holiday fairs yesterday. Ate a sandwich called "Thanksgiving on a Bun," turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce on a roll. Quite tasty. Found a couple of interesting crafts for gifts.
Talked with my neighbor about Rosie's crying. He said Rosie is a "whiner," but said it was fine for me to let myself into the house and play with her, so I felt much better about that.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Here Chicken, Chicken, Chicken

Measure to provide better treatment of farm animals passes

Proposition 2 will outlaw confining cages for egg-laying hens and restrictive pens for veal calves and pregnant sows, but not until 2015.
By Carla Hall November 5, 2008

Voters passed Proposition 2 as California became the first state in the nation to outlaw confining cages for egg-laying hens. It also will ban restrictive pens for veal calves and pregnant sows. Because there are few veal producers in the state and the largest pork producer here voluntarily plans to eliminate small crates, the law will mostly affect the state's 20 million egg-laying hens. It does not go into effect until 2015.

The measure, which was championed by the Humane Society of the U.S. and the California Veterinary Medical Assn., is seen by supporters as a move away from cruel treatment of animals raised for food. Opponents, including large egg farmers in the state and across the country, and the American College of Poultry Veterinarians, decried the measure as economically disastrous for California egg producers. Each side of the issue raised about $8.5 million for its campaign.
-- Los Angeles Times

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Day After

I am very proud that our country has elected Barack Obama, and his beautiful family. Even many moderate conservative Republicans voted for him, because the situation in the U.S. right now is so dire on so many fronts and it's time for someone else to get a chance to govern. McCain's concession speech was extremely dignified and gracious. I wonder if there wasn't a part of him that was almost glad that Obama won. I cannot imagine at age 72 running this kind of campaign, and then being faced with the huge number of challenges ahead should he win. And I appreciated Obama, in his acceptance speech, acknowledging that problems are not going to be quickly fixed in one year, or necessarily in one term. And that he told his kids they could now have the puppy they wanted, they had earned it! Now I can't wait to see who the first dog will be! The Jon Stewart show tonight did a funny bit about the campaign for the first pooch, with John Oliver at a shelter showing off a pomeranian and a Chihuahua puppy as the two contenders, then a cat whom he introduced as the maverick. Cute.
Today I went to a new knee surgeon, and liked him, and will have him do the knee replacement in March, the first opening he has anyway. I even let him shoot up my knees with cortisone, and it didn't hurt as much as when I had my first shot by another doctor. And his staff apologized for the 45 minute wait I had (they had an emergency), and offered me coffee! When I asked for a big glass of water, they brought me two smaller glasses. Very thoughtful.
Tomorrow I go talk with Jale human resources about my retirement package, then yoga, then M & S for dinner. Did more leaf raking today, cleaning up the yard. Still a couple of flowers in bloom in the garden, a deep red snap dragon and some of the fall mums. Was in the 60s today and yesterday. Got yet another walking cane off Freecycle, so now I have three, which makes me feel more secure. Will put my phone number on all of them. My lost one had my email address on it, but no one has contacted me. Odd. Maybe they needed it.
Was worried about the new puppy across the street, where RJ used to live. Rosie, the new airedale, had been left in the garage alone, like RJ, and she was wailing and crying. No one was home, so Bindi and I went over there to see if we could comfort her, she's only 4 months old, but the doors to the garage were locked. I called one of her owners later to report the crying. I offered to go over during the day if I hear her crying again, and take her for a walk or something. She said she would ask her husband. How could she not immediately take me up on the offer? Animal control is right down the street, and I don't want to report them, but it was breaking my heart. Even Bindi knew something was wrong, cause we could hear it clear across the street. Poor Rosie.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Listening to election results on CNN. Will turn on John Stewart and Stephen Colbert at 10pm. Too nervous to go to bed. Took a bath with some lovely herbal bath salts that Dr. Artemis makes. Felt good. Another busy day. Stayed on the computer for a while going back and forth with messages to my niece Em. That was fun. Raked leaves for a while. Dug up the canna corms. Went out to Robi's, who will be hosting Bindi while I'm in California. She's a dog trainer, and man, are her dogs well behaved. She has Peeve, a smash-faced Boston terrier, and Achilles, a gorgeous doberman, who's a big mush. Bindi got along well with both of them. Then I went to Agway and bought dog food (Solid Gold Wee-Bits for small dogs), then to Page Hardware. The first 100 people who came in with an "I Voted Today" sticker and their coupon got a $25 gift card. There was a looooooooooong line, and I didn't make the 100 cut. Oh well. Went to Hole in the Wall thrift shop and found a metal adjustable walking cane, and a picture frame for a print I've been wanting to frame forever. Then I went to pick up another cane from someone who read my ad for one on Freecycle; now I have two. That makes me feel better. One for home and one for the car. If I lose one of them, I'll have a backup. Tomorrow, a visit to a new knee surgeon.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Busy Week

If I don't blog, I can't remember what I do.
Then, when people ask, my mind goes blank
short term memory being what it is.

Monday with the oncologist
who said PET/CT scans are fine
Then a client.

I was approved for social security benefits
which will be deducted from the
long term disability benefits.
Now I can retire in December with
full pension and health care.
Good news, just more paperwork
to take care of.

Tuesday the yoga class
direct no frills friendly
stretching. My knees protest.

Wednesday, two clients.

Thursday, to the vet with Misty and Bindi,
both are fine, Misty will need to have her
teeth cleaned in six months. She was behind
on her vaccinations so had three in three
different places which she was not fond of.

On the way back I ran out of gas.
My cell phone battery was dead. Had to
walk up the road and ask some utility
guy to use his phone, then had to
wait over an hour for the roadside assistance.
Was almost late for yoga, but did not.
I only considered blowing it off for a
second, but I WANTED TO GO.

Lost my walking cane. The second one that
has disappeared on me. I posted a need for another
on Freecycle, but no bites. Saw a woman in the
coffee shop with a sleek cane made by Leki, wonder
if something like that will work for me.

Friday morning a visit to the surgeon, who said
everything looked fine, but that the tightness and
places under my tongue where food now gets lodged
will remain. Small price to pay, I think, for her
saying I "had" cancer, but no longer do. The radiation
is far enough behind me now that I feel pretty well
physically. Raking leaves.

Friday afternoon my friend Kalichi arrived, I picked
him up at the train station and we went to
Edgewood Park. We had not seen one another
in 30 years, but the friendship was still intact.
A gold tree and a bright coral tree were neon
against the blue blue sky, we sat on a bench in the warm
autumn sun
as Bindi chased geese grazing near the small polluted pond.

Back to my house, I made dinner, we
yakked and yakked and read Rumi to one another
from a book he had brought me as a gift.

Saturday I took him back into town to meet
another friend and then went with Bindi to
the community garden where I cut back
plants for the winter, pulled the last
of the carrots, and let Bindi wander amidst
the browning foliage in all the plots.

Back at the house, my doorbell rang,
and the neighbors had come over
to introduce me to Rosie, their 3 1/2 month old
airedale puppy. "Oh no you di'nt!" I exclaimed,
and B. said, "Yes we did!" Beautiful creature, Bindi
took to her right away. She's not RJ, but she will
hopefully bring joy to a house that was feeling such
sorrow from RJ no longer being there. They are also
talking about getting another puppy in December.

Today K. and I took Elvy and Bindi to get
their nails cut, Elvy's first time, she
was so good. Then a quick stop at the vineyard
for K. to pick up wine for an upcoming dinner,
then back to her house for supper of free range roast chicken
winter squash and chard,
and some HD tv surfing. Very nice day.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Just put a banana bread in the oven. Can't even remember the last time I made one of those, but with four bananas stinking up the kitchen and Alton Brown's online recipe (which I kimodified by using brown instead of white sugar, and vanilla instead of almond extract), and motivation fueled by cleaning my foyer, in one hour I'll be in dessert heaven.

Power was out in Hamden all day yesterday, even the businesses. It was weird to see everything closed when it should have all been open. Woke up to no power, went out for breakfast in the next town which is on a different electricity delivery system, then to the movies, then came home, still no power, but a message from M. that I should come to dinner with her friends, so I did. Yum.

After dinner, I took the three kids and two adults in my car for ice cream, and found a chocolate ice cream stain on the passenger side seat when I got home, which I had to treat two times before it came out. Glad it wasn't worse than it was. I've got to spray that new car with Scotch guard right away. Funny thing is, it was an adult who sat in the front seat who left the stain! I mean, I hope it was chocolate. I'm pretty sure it was. Shout out to Max in the Hague with that one, ha ha.

Saw "The Secret Life of Bees" at the cinema one-too-many today with a group, then we ate in the food court of the mall where the theatre was. I liked the movie very much, very intense and compelling, and full of compassion and emotion. Haven't read the book. Can I just say I HATE MALLS! They feel like soul-less buildings to me, which is why I prefer to shop in smaller places, even if I have to pay more. I know in some places malls are the only option for shopping, which is a shame, but I HATE THEM!!

Bindi has an odd little bump on her ear, don't know what it is. When I take Misty for her shots, I'll take Bindi and have it checked out.

Went to see "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" again on Saturday with D. and her ten year old son N. I liked it just as much the second time. D. thought it was the first time I had seen it, I was laughing so much. Shout out to my brother: take the kids, it's fun! And one of the main characters looks like Bindi! There's very little about the Beverly Hills pampered pet syndrome (although the costumes are hysterical, and I mean the ones on the dogs) and much more about adventure and finding out what's really important. And with the voices of Andy Garcia, Cheech Marin, George Lopez, PLACIDO DOMINGO as Montezuma, Edward James Olmos, Paul Rodriguez, I mean Come On! It's worth the price just for that!

I watched "There Will Be Blood" on DVD last week, and thought it was excellent. I've always been a Daniel Day-Lewis fan, and he did not disappoint. I thought it was gonna be more bloody than it was, but it was not, although the main character was ruthless. I never know if these types of movies are in any way historically accurate, but if it did portray a realistic story of early American oil barons, that part was intriguing.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Animal Planet

Man, I must be more fragile than I think this morning. Was watching "Growing Up" gorilla, with two orphaned gorilla babies being raised by human women, and I was absolutely sure that's what I want to do when I retire. It' something that has been on my mind for a long time, and one of the women in the documentary, a previous volunteer at this refuge in Cameroon, flew in from Canada to help out. She was in her 50s, and said she had raised her own kids, but in working with baby gorillas she experienced a lifelong fulfillment, or something like that

5.30 pm. I got myself to go to a yoga class today! It's offered Tues/Thurs at the Hamden senior center, for free, by Ravindra Vashi. He worked as an engineer for Sikorsky for 23 years, then retired. After doing yoga on his on for a long time, he decided he wanted to share it/teach it "before I go to cremation," he said, so he went to India, got certified, and came back and has been teaching only since April. He's 65, in great shape, and wants to gear the class to us older folks with all the common older folk ailments. He even showed me some knee postures that he said should help a bit. He said one of his wife's allopathic doctors asked him if he would teach her yoga, he did, for no compensation save one: he said to the doctor, Don't give out drugs so quickly to your patients, until they have tried other means of dealing with their conditions. Then he proceded to tell many stories of people who thru yoga and diet have gotten off many of the prescription medications they were on. He was completely accommodating of my bad knees and the postures that I could not do. But I was reminded how good it feels to stretch parts of the body that have not been stretched in a very long time. Yeah me.


So, the baby gorillas. Doing something with wild animal rescues is definitely in the cards. I even have a contact in Tanzania, Patricia Moehlman, The Jackal Woman, who has been studying jackals forever, and said she could hook me up with a rescue preserve. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/jackals/woman.html

Then there was a segment about a large elephant that had gotten badly stuck in a mud hole, and the whole village came out to try to free the elephant who had been trapped for three days. It took them all day, much pushing and pulling and ingenuity, and finally she was freed. I almost burst into tears.

I had a PET and CT scan yesterday, a followup of the cancer diagnosis and treatment. That's a stressful thing. First they shoot you up with radioactive isotopes (aren't I glowing brightly enough ALREADY?), make you sit in a dim room doing nothing for an hour, then come and get you and make you lie still on the machine table while the table moves back and forth inside a four foot deep tube that makes all sorts of weird noises. I see the oncologist on Monday for results. I keep wondering what these tests do to one psychically, metabolically. Bleecchh.

Monday, October 20, 2008

First Frost

Good thing I brought in the houseplants from outside last night. Not an easy job. They're all still in the foyer right now, and I have to spray them with horticultural oil to kill any insects that might be on them, wash off the pots, and determine the best windows for the appropriate light for each. Glad I got the windows washed as that will allow more light in, better for the flora.
Love old barn doors. This one was in Cheshire over the weekend.

Beautiful Elvy wrapped in K's shawl at the winery on Friday afternoon. Notice the unusual and lovely pin.

Driving yesterday this car was in front of me. Couldn't help but notice the license plate. I'm not entirely sure, but I think the person/woman driving it was bald, so likely a cancer survivor.

K. and Elvy at the dog park. Elvy is a Parson Jack Russell terrier.

More beautiful dahlias from the community garden. This frost last night probably finished them off.