Saturday, July 19, 2014

Apples Worth Wanting

"Some people expect things to fall into their lap. Oh, they might work a bit for it. I'll just shake this tree, and if I shake it long enough that pretty red apple will plop right into my hand. Never occurs to them that they might have to climb the damn tree, fall out a couple times, get some scrapes and bruises before they get to that apple. Because if the apple's worth wanting, it's worth risking a broken neck."

~Nora Roberts, Face The Fire

The Bubblegum Wall on Bubblegum Alley
San Luis Obispo, California
October 2005

This picture is from my photo archives, the year 2005 to be exact! It was October, and I was on vacation in San Luis Obispo with Alan. We stopped in at our favorite restaurant and Inn, the Apple Farm. They have the most amazing food, and when we take our rides down to Santa Barbara, we always stop in for breakfast on the way! On this trip I was a little tender, life in 2005 had it's moments... sigh... we will just leave it at that!

Anyway, I was tired, and feeling quiet, but it seems as if the moment we hit the central coast, all the sad began to melt away! From the very first time I visited SLO, in the early 1990's, I have felt like instead of visiting a gorgeous city that I adored, I was actually returning home. I get a strange familiar feeling while visiting there, like maybe I had lived there in some past life. If one believes in that kind of thing! But not like Deja vu... no... more comfortable than that. So, whenever Alan feels I need a little TLC, he packs me up, puts me in the car, and he takes me to my favorite places!

Do you believe in past lives?

I am not sure if I do.

All I know is I never felt more at ease, or more at home, than when I am on the Central Coast of California. I hope to be able to take a long drive with Alan in October, while we are on our 5 week vacation. We'll see. It's been nine years since we visited there. I didn't have Fibromyalgia the last time I went, and I also didn't have an under-active thyroid either! Both of which tend to exhaust me, and might make that kind of drive too much for my body! Alan enjoys driving, but he shouldn't have to do all the work!

I don't know... we'll see... maybe I can sleep for 2 or three days before we go! LOL. I would hate to think I can't make the trip anymore, but it is about a 17 hour drive round trip if we take a leisurely pace. I will have to think it over, but right now, I say YES! LETS GO! The Central Coast, and all it's beauty and history, is definitely worth having!And besides...

An apple a day, keeps the doctor away! ;)

Mood: Hopeful

~Me :)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Big Days That Change Everything...

"A tragedy is a tragedy, and at the bottom, all tragedies are stupid. Give me a choice and I'll take A Midsummer Night's Dream over Hamlet every time. Any fool with steady hands and a working set of lungs can build up a house of cards and then blow it down, but it takes a genius to make people laugh."

~Stephen King

I have heard it said, many many times, that comedy and tragedy go together, hand in hand. You can't have one without the other. I believe that, for the most part, having lived through my own various tragedies, some as recent as a few months ago, when a friend committed suicide. At the time, there was nothing funny about it! 4 months later... there is nothing funny about it! But having fully transitioned the five stages of grief now, and having finally settled into acceptance, I understand that maybe one day some strange spark of humor will catch me off guard. Shrug. In some of my deepest grieving, I have found humor, and in truth that humor saved me. 

Yesterday I woke up to a strange Deja vu feeling, as I listened to CNN's coverage of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over the Ukraine. Initially there was reporting that the flight had gone missing, just like Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 did last March, but soon it was confirmed that indeed Flight MH17 had crashed, and then later it was confirmed that it had been blown out of the sky. There was nothing... nothing... that could be construed as humorous in the situation, and yet there I was making stupid jokes. Oh not about the crash per se, but rather the humor that was coming to me had to do with the fact that I have given up on the idea of ever flying commercial again! Or private jet for that matter! 

I joked on Twitter that I was done with flying, and when I do decide to finally see London, I will simply ride my bike there! Good plan! And when Alan and I finally do that trip to New York City, well my preferred mode of transportation will be the handy dandy Segway! Hey, it could work, right? I mean if someone could walk to New York, or ride their electric wheelchair, then why not a Segway? It would be a living HELL over the Rockies, but whatever, I am willing to give it a go! See, there's that humor, nervous humor to be exact, that comes out when I am anxious, or scared! Inappropriate? Perhaps, but essential to my staying sane.

Selfish much?

Maybe... maybe not. Shrug. I am giving myself a break here. I am trying to remember that different people handle tragedy differently, and I am no exception.

Actor Jason Biggs got himself into a bit of trouble on Twitter yesterday for a series of tweets with a humorous spin regarding the crash. I thought he was fine, I wasn't offended by what he said, but it bothered some folks and they were more than happy to let him know! I don't know... I don't think he was trying to harm anyone, or hurt anyone, but I think we, the human race at large, has been subjected to so much tragedy since 9/11, personally and collectively, that we are raw when it comes to times like this! We can't grieve for each other, that is a personal journey we all get to ourselves. We can be there for each other, we can relate, we can sympathize and empathize, but at the end of the day, we all must deal with the tragedy and absurdities in our own way. 

It's a lonely feeling isn't it?

Maybe we can just all try to remember to be patient with each other.

As a point of irony, I read about a young man, a passenger, who tweeted a bit of humor, just before boarding the doomed flight. He was referencing the missing Malaysian Flight 370. I can only imagine that he also used humor to help him through the anxious moments of life. Sigh. His name was Cor Pan and there is a Facebook Memorial page for him if you would like to leave your respects. Yeah, I think trying that idea about using a little patience with each other might be the way to go.

Patience... a good thing in times of war. Both our internal conflicts and those of the world.

Mood: Quiet

~Me :)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Thank God For Cats And Humor...

"Not living in fear is a gift, because certainly these days we do it so much. And do you know what I like about comedy? You can't laugh and be afraid at the same time... of anything. If you are laughing, I defy you to be afraid."

~Stephen Colbert

I try to find the humor in ever single day. It's not always easy, and often times I will experience some silly bit of drama... such is life... but at the end of the day I try my best to remember a moment of humor. My mind is filled with memories of something one of my cats has done to make me laugh. Hendrix is a bit bumbly. Dylan is so serious, but sometimes he will do something completely unexpected and it will make me double over with laughter. But Joey... he is my little goofball. He is warm, and loving, and sometimes I think he is more flying monkey, than actual kitten. But a kitty he is, and he loves to make me smile. He loves a good photo bomb! You can't see it, but right behind Joey, is Dylan, all posed and ready to have his picture taken! LOL. Joey loves the camera! And just after I snapped this photo, Dylan was so pissed that Joey had jumped in front of him that he HISSSSSED. And of course, it made me laugh!

Thank God For Humor And Thank God For Cats!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


"A home should be a distillation of your interests, of who you really are. If you're happy with your life, your space will reflect that."

~Rafael de Cardenas, Designer

I am feeling restless. I need for autumn to be here already! I miss football, and I am looking forward to the new crop of shows that appear each fall, and the return of old favorites as well! I woke up this morning with autumn recipes in my head, and the familiar feeling of autumn and the holidays being just around the corner. I know, it's two weeks away from the mid-point of summer, but God help me, it's here for me all the same. 

I wish I could explain it.

Mood: Anxious

~Me :) 

Afterthought... Maybe I should go to IKEA and let myself be inspired to do some redecorating!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Little Orange Flower From Summer's Past...

"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."

~L.P. Hartley, The Go-Between

If I let myself, I can sit for hours and dwell on all things negative which happened in the past. I think it's called ruminating! But fortunately I learned the fine art of thought stopping, which came by way of some intense therapy because of things that happened in the past. Had it not been for the need of the intense therapy in the first place, I would not have learned to deal with the pain of today. LOL. Go figure, there really is an upside to pain. You really do grow as a person through the experience of pain!

Go pain!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Geocaching? What's Geocaching?

"Duke" Found near a Geocache hidden in Hayward, California

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"Well, depends a good deal on where you want to get to."
"I don't much care where... "
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go."

~Lewis Carroll, Alice In Wonderland

A funny thing happened a few weeks ago, while watching the Real Housewives Of New York City... I learned something! I know, I know... a lot of folks, including me at times, find it difficult to come up with anything redeemable about the Real Housewives Of Anywhere, but sometimes, oddly enough, you learn something about yourself, that you didn't know. For instance, a few years back when the Real Housewives of New Jersey came through the Bay Area, on their way to a spa vacation in Napa, they spent some time nearby. During their time on the San Francisco Peninsula, they stayed a couple days in an RV park in Half Moon Bay, and found nothing to enjoy. Nothing! Not the town. Not the people. Not the local restaurants. Not the amazing Pacific Ocean, which was just steps away! Not Half Moon Bay Harbor. Not the fresh salt air. Not the... well, you get the idea. I learned, while watching that episode, just how much I really do love Half Moon Bay, and the Bay Area. Not that there was any doubt before, but when I saw their blatant disrespect for the area, I felt strangely protective. 

The Bay Area is my home. Leave if you don't understand and appreciate it's beauty. It's as simple as that!

I felt like giving up on the show completely, but fortunately, recently, while watching the New York franchise of the series, I had a different experience. I found out about the new hobby Alan and I are currently enjoying... Geocaching! Geocaching is basically a type of treasure hunt in a way, but in this case, you don't find diamonds or money, or anything of real value, what you find are tiny treasures and a log book that you sign with your Geocaching screen name that basically says... "I was here!" 

The trinkets are usually anything small and silly. Stickers, buttons, badges, tiny rubber ducks, coins, erasers, marbles, matchbox cars. I have seen a lot of different small items, which for the most part is PG but sometimes, well, PG-13, like the time I found a condom, and of course someone left a antiseptic wipe to go with it! LOL. Social statement? Perhaps. Sense of humor? Maybe. But I prefer to find buttons thank you very much!

Anyway, how does this all tie in the the RHONYC? Well, it was one of the ladies who sparked the idea in me, Kristen Taekman. You see, Kristen planned an awesome getaway for the ladies to a gorgeous dude ranch in Montana. As you might guess, the whole concept was lost on most of the them, but a few of them got into it, but not to any appreciable degree. It was sad, I felt bad for Kristen, especially because she had made a real effort to show the ladies a good time with the outings she arranged. One of which was Geocaching!

As I watched how the game was played, I really began to like the idea. You get some exercise. You get to climb out of the usual, every day activities, and you get to prowl around bushes, trees, and fences late at night! Well, you don't have to Geocache at night, but it helps you avoid the muggles. Muggles are folks who don't know about Geocaching. It can feel silly at times, but it's a fun silly! Alan and I are having a HOOOOOOT! And I have Kristen Taekman and the RHONYC to thank for my new hobby!

Here are some of our recent Geocache finds...

What I like about Geocaching is the fact that the game can be completely customized to your individual lifestyle. You can meet new folks who share your hobby... or not... it's all good. Geocaching is done around the world and in most every town, so you don't have to go far to go on a hunt! It's not seasonal specific, and there are a lot of different ways to play. Maybe you don't want to go on a traditional hunt, okay, maybe try a puzzle solving cache. Or perhaps you just want to sightsee, cool, that is part of the game also. The point is, the game of Geocaching can be played every day, or once a month, its completely up to you.

I like that. And I also love that I had passed many different spots in my daily travels, and had NO idea that somewhere, just tucked into the corner of a store lot, or along a park-and-ride fence line, or hidden in a tree at my favorite gas station, there was a tiny treasure just waiting to be found.... or not! Sometimes I really have to think the clues that are provided just a little bit more! It's not as easy as it sounds, but it's fun! Having a GPS device helps. It is the easiest way to find the caches, but not completely necessary. You can just program the coordinates into Google maps and be on your way!

Sound like fun? Click here... Geocaching... to learn about the game and how to play!

Thank You Kristen Taekman! I know I would have enjoyed Geocaching with you!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Round Robin Challenge: Words & Pictures: I Try... And Santa Cruz... And Beauty In The World

"Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife."

~Khalil Gibran

RRC: Words And Pictures

Last Friday was a good day! NO! Last Friday was a perfect day! Alan and I took a midsummer week off to just shake off the stress of the last few months. There has been a lot of sadness, with our friend's suicide, and Alan has been working a lot of overtime. As for me, well, I dislocated my shoulder a few weeks back, right in the thick of things, and have been dealing with the pain ever since. But on Friday, Alan and I decided to ignore all of the stress, shake it all off, and go and enjoy the day in Santa Cruz! We did some Geocaching... more on that later... and then had a nice pizza on the Santa Cruz Wharf, and we parked so we could hear the first set of the Macy Gray concert as we ate. We we finished, we made our way down to the beach, blanket in hand, and found just the right spot to watch her second performance at 8:30 PM.

She was nothing short of amazing! Generous with audience attention and interaction, and uplifting in her words and music! She has been one of my favorite singers for years, and it was a little bit of heaven to be able to see her in concert on the beach in Santa Cruz! I did some photography, I did some dancing, I did some singing, and I had a lot of fun! It was just what the doctor ordered. However, in my urge to spend the day away from my problems, I forgot to post my original posting for the Round Robin Photo Challenge, like I promised Karen I would! MY BAD! It is the first time in about  decade that I didn't turn in a challenge post on time, so I hope Karen will forgive me! Karen, my absence was for a good cause, Alan needed the break from life as much as I did. 

Macy Gray... WE LOVE YOU! Thank you for coming to Santa Cruz, and providing a much needed break from all the pain! You are BEAUTY IN THE WORLD!

Santa Cruz, California
Friday, July 11th, 2014

And Now Macy Gray...


"Music... will help dissolve your perplexities and purify your character and sensibilities, and in time of care and sorrow, will keep a fountain of joy alive in you."

~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Now that you have seen my words and pictures, why don't you pay a visit to Karen and the official Round Robin blog, and join in! There is still time this weekend! Just click the link at the top of this post to be redirected to the where all the fun is!
Mood: Grateful
~Me :)