Hosp Grove Murder

UPDATE:
Police released the name of the murder victim. She was physical therapist Lisa Thornburg. After the death of her husband in 2017, she moved with her daughter to Carlsbad in May 2020.

I’m completely freaked out. In a weird twist of fate, we had met online and were planning to go hiking together. She had actually messaged me a couple days before her murder to go hiking but I had another doc appt that morning and had to decline. I had written her, “Next time for sure.”

Only there wouldn’t be a next time. How absolutely tragic for her family.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Divine intervention in action.

On Monday morning, I went to a much delayed (due to Covid) eye appointment for new glasses and contacts. It turned out the new doc and I not only had acquaintances in common, but his wife graduated the same year from my high school. While I was there, he called her and she immediately looked me up in the yearbook. What a small world! It was also the best eye exam I’ve ever had, and I know a LOT about eyes.

I drove home around the mall, taking the road that follows a weird little piece of open space called Hosp Grove with a 3.0 mile heavily trafficked loop trail. Originally, Hosp Grove was founded in 1908 by a group of investors. They planted 219 acres of eucalyptus hoping they could be harvested and sold to the Santa Fe Railroad as railroad ties. Unfortunately, eucalyptus is a brittle wood and cracks easily, therefore was unsuitable to use. I don’t know why they didn’t do any research about the best wood for railroad ties, but I guess that’s what happened pre-Google.

It’s not one of my favorite places to walk because it’s dusty, devoid of native plants, and too short of a walk to make me happy, but I debated with myself about stopping because it was a beautiful day.

I slowed down, but FOR SOME REASON, decided not to pull into the parking lot, and continued home. This was a little before 11:00 a.m.

No sooner did I get home that I read post after post on NextDoor and Facebook questioning the appearance of yellow tape and major police presence at Hosp Grove.

I called the police department and more and details emerged:

The body of 68-year-old woman was found. She had been stabbed to death.

The victim, whose name has not yet been made public, apparently was walking or jogging when she was killed at Hosp Grove Park. Passers-by found her body shortly before 11:30 a.m.

Though no suspects in the case have at yet been identified, a tipster reported seeing an unidentified man who may have been in the area where the woman’s body was found around the time of the fatal assault.

The possible suspect is described as a husky, tan-complected, dark-haired man who was walking slowly with a slight limp or shuffling gait.

However, at this time, no suspect has been arrested and we have been cautioned not to walk alone in that park or the other trails in Carlsbad.

HOLY SHIT!

If I had acted on my initial thought of walking that trail — at that time– it’s entirely possible that I would have either been a/the murder victim or would have been a witness to murder.

I am so very sorry that this happened and my heart goes out to the woman’s family. I hope the police make an arrest as soon as possible.

Divine intervention. I’ll definitely add that to my list of things to be thankful for.

(I’ll update this post as more information becomes available.)

Convo #926 With the Brilliant One

“Grandma, you should have seen this. Daddy catapulted himself from the cushion onto the sofa.”

“T, what was that big word?”

“Daddy CATAPULTED. You would not believe it.”

“I hope Daddy is OK! T, that is such a wonderful word, very descriptive, and I’m so proud of you for knowing it and for using it correctly in your sentence!”

“Now. Look. Feast your eyes on this, Grandma. It’s a new bench for the kitchen table. It’s nice, huh, Grandma?”

“Oh wait right here. I’m going to put you down and you can watch Mommy make dinner for a minute. I’m going into the Grandma room. I want to show you the present I have for you in our special drawer. It’s a surprise. It’s sparkly just like you like and it’s shiny.”

“Well, hold on. Let’s think about this. If it’s a surprise, do you want to wait until I’m there before you show me?”

“No, ‘cos you’ll forget by then.”

“But what if I don’t forget? What if I remember?”

“Oh, don’t worry little Grandma, you’ll forget.”

SEE?”

“Wow, it IS sparkly and shiny, you’re right about that!”

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

(It’s a Christmas tree decoration from last year, a shiny little silvery disco ball.)

“Don’t forget to put it back in the drawer so you can show me again.”

“And Grandma, don’t forget to bring me a surprise for the drawer too, OK? I’ll be at the airport to pick you up.”

“Do I EVER forget?”

(The answer is obvious. I never forget.)

As a side note, when he was out of the kitchen getting my present, I asked, “He seems to think my visit is imminent. What have you told him?”

“Don’t worry, imminent means something different to T. He doesn’t really have a good grasp of time.”

This is the sad plight of grandparent’s new reality…not to be able to hug and play with our angel boys and girls, and to miss the excitement of Daddy catapulting himself around the house.

Still, there’s always always something to be grateful for, right?

To Pee or Not to Pee

That’s the question (with apologies to William Shakespeare).

Quick post:

There’s a lively discussion on NextDoor about a woman who was walking on a local trail with her nine-year-old son when he needed to relieve himself and did so a few feet off the trail in the bushes.

This is not a remote trail, it’s pretty much in the city, paved and well-traveled.

Apparently a woman stopped to stare and made the boy feel uncomfortable. There were quite a few negative comments directed toward the woman who (allegedly) was looking, comments like “mind your own business”…

Mine seems to be the ONLY comment that talked about the possibility that it might be inappropriate for a boy that age to urinate in public.

In my opinion, I think this would be a different story if it was a toddler in the middle of toilet training, but a nine-year-old is too old for that behavior.

Normally I don’t respond to NextDoor because it’s a dark hole like Facebook, but I felt compelled to share my thoughts.

What if it was a nine-year-old girl? Does that change anything?

Obviously, they were in plain sight. I wouldn’t want my son or my grandkids to see someone else’s body parts or something that should be private.

What if there was a predator around?

I’ve hiked a lot in many different wild places and had to find a secret spot myself, but this location isn’t a forest or a remote mountain trail. It’s a mile-long walkway paralleling the railroad tracks with houses and windows all around.

Your opinion?

“What are you doing?”

“What are you doing, my beautiful boy?”

I asked that question because T had pretty much glued his face onto the phone’s screen and all I could see was one gigantic green eyeball.

Laughing, he said, “I’m trying to climb in the phone to get to you”.

“Oh T, wouldn’t that be a great invention if we could actually do that?”

“I’d climb in and come to you, too, if I could.”

“Grandma, don’t go anywhere, I want to show you something.”

“I’ll stay right here, I promise not to move.”

“SEE?” I flipped you. It’s dark outside already. What’s it like at YOUR house?”

“Look. It’s exactly the same color. Getting dark.”

“DAD, GRANDMA HAS A DARK SKY TOO. WE ARE THE SAME!”

“Look at Char! She is trying to grab the phone from me. No! It’s my turn, Char!”

“Can I please say hi to her, T?”

“Char, this is Grandma, remember?”

“That’s enough, I need to talk to Grandma again.”

“Mommy says it’s time for my bath now. I have to go.”

“I love you, T.”

He paused.

“I love you, Grandma.”

“Grandma?”

“Yes?”

“I can’t wait to see you. I miss you so much.”

“Me too, my beautiful boy. Me too.”

And he was gone.

2020 totally sucks.

I am so distraught and depressed. Like so many of us, I’ve missed out on spending time with T and baby sister, valuable time we’ll never be able to get back.

Tomorrow the eyes of the world will be on us.

If I don’t hear that President Biden will be at the helm, healing our country and repairing the damage of the last four years, I don’t know what I’ll do.

I really don’t.

[pah-tay-toe] Confessions

“GRANDMA ATE ALL OF THE POTATOES!”

I don’t care how you pronounce it, but I need to share my secret love for potatoes and there’s a recipe at the end.

Specifically, the much maligned WHITE potato: simple, sturdy, earthy.

On the last day of my most recent visit to the Angels, sadly, a very long time ago, DIL thoughtfully made a special going home dinner for me, all from scratch by the way, which made it even more wonderful.

There was vegan lasagna with a side of roasted potatoes and apple crumble. The lasagna was made with chard and kale from the garden and was SO VERY YUMMY and healthy.

Apparently (and rightly so) she thought I didn’t eat white potatoes because for the longest time, I would scowl at anything white: white rice, white flour, white sugar, white potatoes–as the source of empty calories, zero nutrition, and a great friend of diabetes. Not too healthy.

From the oven there emanated a most delicious perfume. I asked DIL what I was smelling and she said, “It’s roasted potatoes but you don’t have to eat them. I know you don’t like white potatoes.”

Not so fast, DIL.

I want to not like them, but I’m addicted to French fries (has anyone ever seen me hoard them? It’s not a pretty sight.) I actually dearly love white potatoes, but I try NOT to eat them and have some semblance of self control, like I say I don’t eat chocolate, only because I have no off switch. Once I start eating chocolate, I can’t stop. I don’t ever have any around because of my lack of restraint, which is also the reason why I buy Halloween candy like Skittles and other stuff I don’t like so I won’t be tempted.

OK, enough of the sidebar; back to the story of the roast potatoes.

Dinner was ready and we were setting the table. I was actually STARVING and had most likely once again forgotten to eat for the entire day.

DIL handed me a bowl of roasted potatoes and before they even reached the dining room table, I had eaten EVERY SINGLE ONE.

I brought the empty bowl into the kitchen and asked DIL where I could get seconds. She took one look at me and the empty bowl and started laughing.

“That was a sharing bowl! Did you eat all of them?”

“Well, yes, oops, sorry! I didn’t know they were for sharing!”

“T, Grandma ate ALL the potatoes!”

“YOU DID? HEY DAD, GRANDMA ATE ALL THE POTATOES IN THE SHARING BOWL! SHE REALLY DID!”

I hadn’t tasted anything so delicious in FOREVER; OMG they were so good, I’ve been thinking about them ever since I came home.

And by the way, I had never heard of the term “sharing bowl” before that day. It must be a British thing, as DIL is from the UK.

I finally broke down and bought two WHITE IDAHO potatoes and since it’s a bit rainy today and not devil hot, I’ll attempt a recreation of DILs heavenly dish. I’m even going to add salt and that’s also something I rarely do.

They tasted pretty yummy, but to be honest, not quite as good as DILs, but maybe that’s because it’s such a treat for me to have someone else cook, ‘cos I usually have that job.

I’m not sharing these, either!

…to an infinite degree

Did you think I was referring to love? I could have been, but nope, not this time.

While this isn’t my photo, it’s worth sharing. In a cool social media twistyturny kind of way, I was chatting with a fractal artist on Twitter and shared my previous fractal post with him, Fractals Freak Me Out.

Here’s a link to Dan’s site and a post about fractals:
https://www.redideostudio.com/what-in-the-heck-is-a-fractal-why-should-i-care/

His book of fractal art is soon to be published and he kindly shared a photo with me, so here it is for a very wordy #WordlessWednesday. I am sooo jelly of creative people.

I wish you every success in your awesome endeavors!

Daniel Travers
Multimedia Producer & Artist
www.redideostudio.com

Vote!

Because somebody set fire to several ballot drop off boxes in California and because there are rumors of fake and tampered ballot boxes, I decided that it was worth the one-hour roundtrip drive to the Registrar of Voters office to have the peace of mind that my vote would be counted in this most important election year.

They had created a drive-through drop off at the Registrar’s location. It was so easy and there was no line, just a steady stream of cars. The nice lady confirmed that my signature was correct and that I had dated it, said thank you to me, and sent me on my way with the “I Voted” sticker.

Now I can check online to make sure that the barcode was read, and I’ve done our most important civic duty.

I believe this is the most important election of our lifetime. I’m beyond shocked at the racism and misogyny and targeted hatred that’s been uncovered these last four years.

In my opinion, it will take a lifetime to scour their systemic toxicity and re-educate certain sectors of our country about things I thought we all learned decades ago.

Here’s just a couple of the major things that piss me off.

  • Black lives matter. We can’t continue to allow this systematic murder of people simply based upon the color of their skin. It’s INSANE.
  • NEVER EVER strip babies and children from their parents and put them in cages because they were looking to escape violence. This is beyond disgusting. Those poor children.
  • Women have the RIGHT to choose what happens to our bodies. No one else. NO ONE.
  • Trust Dr. Fauci.
  • Stop killing animals to profit from their habitats.
  • Climate change is real.

There are many more issues, but for me, these are intrinsically the basis of what I fight for. Also, NEVER EVER again allow a failed reality TV show narcissist to run for office and cheat the system. EVER.

We all know Hillary won the popular vote. That’s why an overwhelming turnout this year is the antidote we need.

VOTE!

#BidenHarris2020

Walk with me again

Join me on yet another Odysseus-like journey through my town. I’m not sure what I’m searching for, but maybe like Odysseus, I’m trying to find my way home, facing challenges along the way.

This was an interesting morning.

When I began my pilgrimage, there was so much fog! It was coming down from the heavens like rain. Super cool for walking, not so good for curly hair, but I like to look on the bright side so I braided my curls and wore a hat.

Check out the Halloweeny spider webs on this pine tree, brought to life by the heavy fog.

For a while, I was a few houses behind a woman who was walking her Rottweiler. I was actually across the street, but couldn’t help but notice that she was roughly pulling on the poor creature’s leash/collar. The collar was one of those mean ones that have little barbs in them. I was already upset that the dog had a cropped tail. I believe that sort of mutilation is outlawed in other–more humane–countries, as is that nasty hurtful collar.

OK, I said to myself. Don’t say it, I said to myself. You know what to do, girl, I said to myself, keep walking and don’t speak. Don’t say a word this time, I said to myself. Just DON’T, I said to myself. Look away, I said to myself. Take a deep breath, I said to myself. You can’t protect every animal in the world, I said to myself. This might not go well, I said to myself. Take another deep breath, I said to myself. Mind your own business, I said to myself. Slow down your pace so you’re out of hearing distance, I said to myself. I mean it, have some impulse control; this time just don’t say it, I said to myself.

And then the woman and her dog slowed down, so they were within the range of my voice.

What do you think I did?

Yup. I really did. I couldn’t help myself. I TRIED really hard to get my Zen on, but my one little inner voice was joined by yet another little inner voice and the words spilled out…

“Umm, excuse me, but I couldn’t help but notice how you’re jerking your poor animal’s neck that way with that awful chain around its neck. It looks really painful from my point of view.”

“She needs to learn to listen. It’s just a little pinch.”

I said…”Well, you might want to learn another more positive method of training that poor girl because as I’ve observed during the last two blocks, your way isn’t working out very well.”

I concluded by saying, “I’ve trained a lot of animals, and actually think those types of chains with the hooks on them are banned in other countries. It’s abusive. You might want to research using a harness which doesn’t choke your beautiful dog.”

Well, she didn’t say anything else to me because at that point she walked up a side street, in all likelihood to get as far away from me as she could.

To her credit, we didn’t get into a screaming match. Walking away was her best choice, as she would have lost.

I took a deep breath and felt good that I had spoken truth and possibly opened her brain to a nicer way of training. Or not. Maybe I just ruined her day. Either way, job well done, in my opinion.

I looked down and was rewarded by a treasure! This is the most beautiful hawk feather. I carefully picked it up and placed it in my backpack. I think this might be a tail feather, don’t you?

At the beach, there was the usual non-compliant non-mask wearers, but I wore mine, took my ocean photos, and turned back to walk home.

No wave too small if you’re on a SUP.
Still foggy, but beautiful.

The lights were out at the intersection of Carlsbad Blvd. and Tamarack. There was utter chaos with cars and pedestrians, near misses, and impatient drivers. I crossed the street, defying a white SUV who was inching slowly toward running us all down, and saw a few police cars show up to direct the shitshow, so I thanked them for saving our lives and continued on my way.

This was a new sign at the railroad tracks. I swear there’s a deeper, more profound meaning here, but I can’t figure it out. I don’t have a clue. What do you think?

I stopped at RiteAid and bought a couple of cute Halloween decorations to add to my display ‘cos they were on sale.

Six miles or so again. Except for a still sore left arm where I had the injections, I think I’ve fully recovered from the horrible side effects of these vaccinations. I’m no closer to answering life’s existential questions, but the song that came on as I was almost home was Sting’s If I Ever Lose My Faith in You, and I’m even more confused.

Happy Sunday!

Should You Leave WordPress.com For Blogger (Blogspot.com)?

As I’m sure a lot of us have been doing lately, I’ve been contemplating Blogger or some other blogging platform because in all seriousness, the Block Editor SUCKS. I’ve tried to surmount my initial criticism of it and learn how it operates (an old dog learning new tricks) but it’s still REALLY not user friendly. Anyway, here’s a very interesting and intelligent post regarding the pros and cons of Blogger.


Renard's World

Some of you probably know of bloggers who left their blog on WordPress to set up a new blog on Blogger.

And, some of you are also aware of the fact, that some of the bloggers on WordPress are thinking about going over to Blogger.

A lot of the older folks (and some of the younger people too) disliked WordPress’s decision to replace the Classic Editor with the Block Editor (That caused them to consider the option of blogging over on Blogger).

For the record, I am not going to discourage anyone from creating a blog over on Blogger because they are within their rights to do so.

However, they should do some research on Blogger (Especially if they have never been on that blogging platform before).

One of the greatest mistakes that any blogger can make is jumping blindly into something that they know nothing of; which in this…

View original post 1,423 more words

Fractals freak me out.