Daddy Day Lineup

Surf lineup, that is!

Happy Bio/Step/Deadbeat Daddy Day, whichever one applies.

Full House, Full Heart

“GRAMMYGRANDMAGRANDMAAAPRINCESSROSEBUD!!!!”

THUMP like a dinosaur as he jumps from the top step.

Crawling in bed with me at 5:30 a.m. to chat about dreams and breakfast and plans for the day,

“Grandma, did you make more cookies?”
“Grandma, did the coyotes come last night? Can we check the camera?”
“Grandma, can we do the slip and slide now?”
“Grandma, are there a lot of kids at the park now?”
“Grandma, Char is still sleeping, so is mommy and daddy.”
“Grandma, when Daddy was a little boy and went to Kelly, did he play outside too?”
“Did he have a slip and slide like mine?”
“I’m going to kindergarten in September but not at Kelly.”
“Grandma, can I have this rock? Can I bring the giant transformer home? Can I bring the red ball home?”
“Grandma, we are staying here for a really long time, right Grandma?”
“How many more days?”
“Can we go to the lagoon today? It’s not as salty as the beach.”
“I counted all the steps up to my bedroom. I can jump from almost all the way up. Want to watch me, Grandma?”
“Where’s Dad going? WHERE ARE YOU GOING, DADDY?”
(Early morning surf sesh, that’s where.)

“Get up, Grandma!

And so it goes…

Sliced fruit, oatmeal, buckwheat pancakes, breakfast burritos, bagels, and toast–all before 7:00 a.m.

Second feeding after park or beach at about 10 a.m. Lunch at 11:45 a.m. Char down for a nap at noonish. More play, crafts while I get ready for after nap snacks to include my famous smoothies, cut up veggies and hummus, and probably a tofu hot dog or leftover dinner from the night before.

The beach, south of the jetty. There’s a dolphin out there but it’s impossible to see.

Slip and slide, two kiddie pools, running around. And around. And around. AND AROUND.

Indoors for a little inside play while I start dinner; maybe another trip to the park or a walk around the neighborhood. Here they are fascinated by the kindergarten kids.

Early first dinner at 4:30, more play, bath at 6ish, nighttime snack of sliced apples and almond butter, books and bed at 7pm.

For me? Exhaustion and joy equally by 7:30.

And then there’s almost two-year-old Charlotte…

“Grammy, come HERE! Help Charlotte take off shirt.”
“Cookie for Charlotte!” NO! Not that one, other one!”
“NO, I can do it!”
“NO. STOP IT!”
“Cuppa tea for Charlotte!”
“Super cute baby at the park.”
“Stop it, Theo! Don’t say that!”
“Grandma, find mermaid!”
“Grandma, water, please.”
“Not that hat! Where’s Peppa hat?”
“Go to park now.”
“I see bunny. Theo, come see!”
“Charlotte touch lizard?”
“Bagel with cream cheese and jelly.”
“Where’s Daddy and Mommy?” (Surfing, of course.)

Like I said, joy and exhaustion, but JOY wins every time. This is their first visit since Covid, the first time they left their house to fly anywhere in more than a year.

We had excellent weather except for one odd drizzly day. We spent hours and hours outside exploring the garden and backyard; watching the bunnies and lizards (Char had never seen one) and monarch butterflies and all the hummingbirds and other birds that live in the trees. One morning we checked the wildlife camera and saw a bobcat. That’s only happened one other time! Sharing my love for animals is high on the list of what I want my grandma legacy to be.

At the airport, “I miss you already, Grandma. Can we come back in two days, Mommy?”
“Miss you, Grandma”, from Char.

Hugs and kisses all around.

Now it’s SO quiet. No children laughing, screaming, no one yelling at the top of his lungs from the highest point in the garden, “GRANDMA, CAN YOU SEE ME?”

Yup. I miss them already for sure, but they’ll be back in a few weeks so I need to REST up.

The aftermath.




Surf City

We’re in the middle of a high surf advisory with sets up to ten feet. Although the bigger waves are south of me, I didn’t feel like driving to La Jolla or Sunset Cliffs; instead I took some pics at my local beach. The air temperature is in the low 70s and it’s simply sparkly and beautiful.

I was hoping to see whales or dolphins, but I wasn’t lucky today. The only animal life out in the water were of the surfer species.

(Some) Creatures Great and Small

With a nod to All Creatures Great and Small by veterinarian James Herriot, this is what my Sunday looked like.

We started off the day at the beach and I’m beyond sad that I didn’t have my good camera with me so I couldn’t capture the magic of a school of dolphin jumping and splashing in the water. I’m sure this paddleboarder was happy because they seemed to follow him wherever he went. Trust me, there are about six dolphin in this photo.

On the way home, we saw a bit of an odd sight…check out these seagulls that shouldn’t have been this far away from the beach. They usually only fly inland when there’s a storm, so I have no idea why they were flying around in circles and then perched on the telephone lines.

Today was a work project day in the garden, cleaning up around the rosemary and lavender. I sat down for a minute for a wheatgrass break and this little alligator lizard stopped by to say hi. I scratched his back with a stick and he allowed me to take these pics.

All in all, a great Sunday for creatures great and small.

Wind, Whales, and Linda Ronstadt

You probably heard on the news how windy it was here in SoCal. In the local mountains, one gust was clocked at 95 miles an hour!

Even at the coast, wind gusts were almost fifty miles an hour. A shared neighbor fence is just about completely down; it was well on its way before the wind event ‘cos their giant Bird of Paradise was relentlessly pushing it over, so I guess that might be something that will need to be addressed. One day.

Eucalyptus branches are everywhere, wires are down, smoke from a few local fires dot the sky, but the bigger and more dangerous fires are a bit to the north of me in Orange County.

I had to pick up my new glasses (huge and I love them) and make another trip to the dentist to confirm that yes, I do need a root canal, so next week should be a real treat. What a not very fun way to celebrate Hannukah, but I’m grateful the dentist saw it before it got really bad.

I drove home along the beach route and made a quick stop to look for whales. I wasn’t lucky enough to see any this time, but I took some pics. You can see forever, all the way to the ends of the earth.

Look at the sparkles!

No whales in sight, but I’m sure they’re out there in that vast ocean. It made me think of that iconic Linda Ronstadt song, Somewhere Out There. Seems about right for 2020, too.

The first few notes get me teary every single time. I never saw the film, An American Tail, but I might have to now.

And a windchime filled video of our windy morning.

Vitamin Sea

Today was the perfect day to soak up the positive energy of the ocean.

“The ocean has the ability to trigger a psychological state of calm and contentment. It can literally wash away the pain.”

I didn’t see any whales and this beach isn’t abundant with shells, but the sand was warm and welcoming.

Hearts in the sand.
A pretty little shorebird. This looks like a painting.

And a couple short videos:

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!

Walk With Me

Sights around my little town.

I saw an abundance of crows; not sure why, but quite a few of them joined me today.

Hello, friend!

This sign was posted a few blocks away; not a very nice person! I hope she’s caught and the dog is found unharmed.

Poor grammar; incorrect use of “they’re”…should have been “their”, but I’ll allow it this time.

When I got to the beach, I was astonished to observe how many people were walking so close to each other in public and absolutely defied the “Wear a Mask” order.

I encountered no one during my walk but I wore a mask when I crossed the street to stop at the restroom. I observed many non-compliant people huddled together on the seawall and sidewalk, pretty much 90% were NOT wearing masks, so I turned right around and went home. My own mask didn’t seem like enough protection and I didn’t feel like yelling at them.

They are not being good neighbors or visitors to our city.

The County of San Diego requires face coverings to be worn anywhere in public where you could come within 6 feet of someone you don’t live with. Face coverings should be worn in addition to, not instead of, all of the other health precautions.

At last, a couple photos of early morning surf before I walked back.

How was your Sunday?

Hot summer day in the garden

Really hot for the beach…

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And probably super crowded, too difficult to maintain proper social distancing, so I’m here:

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with a couple friends …

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and some mulberries that aren’t quite ready…IMG_6688

along with some pretty pretty flowers…fullsizeoutput_df1fullsizeoutput_df2I’m enjoying all the lush and colorful garden because pretty soon no matter what I do, the grass will turn brown ‘cos we probably won’t have more rain until next winter and the dry hot SoCal Santana winds make watering a futile effort.