Thursday, August 9, 2012

Missing the summertime of old.

I am pondering the things I no longer take the time to enjoy. As I get older, there are new things to do or try. I recently tried a zip line. That was an experience. Speeding down the line nearly the length of a football field. I pitied the fellows at the end of my ride. They had a lot to handle, with me whipping all over the place. But it was an awesome experience. The things I miss from childhood summers, are a little less daring. The smell of a new mown lawn. Walking barefoot in the water filled irrigation ditch. The trips to the lake, water skiing, picnic on the beach. Sun suits, peeling skin, apple cider vinegar, skinned knees, calamine lotion, rubber thongs (sandals, not underwear). Dilly bars and lemonade. Watching for Sputnik and other satellites, watching for comets in the evening. Rocketry and the carbide can. New shoes, back to school, permanent wave, new books and a new school schedule. I asked my brother what he missed. He immediately replied: Climbing to the tree fort and listening to the crystal radio he made. Listening to KTKT radio station, which at the time was rock 'n roll. Frank Kalil, the DJ who owned a camel. What do you miss?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Another shark story...

Again, the scene takes place in the Gulf of California. My brother, Bill was with us, too. We had been fishing for some time, and Bill, Mom and I were bored. Dad still trying to catch a grouper. Bill water skis, and if fairly decent at the sport, so we had the 75 foot ski rope and skis with us. My Mom barely swam; the best she did most of the time was the dog paddle. We took the time off from fishing, Because of the tides in the Gulf, a swimmer could quickly become separated from the boat and could not swim fast enough to swim back to the boat. As a precaution, we threw out the ski rope. The idea was that it would be better to swim next to the rope, and be close enough to grab the rope and then be attached to the boat. Mom and Bill took to the water. I stood lookout to watch for shark. Sharks usually swim alone. Dolphin swim in groups called pods. Several fins is a good thing. A single fin is a bad thing. I observed my Mom at the end of the ski rope and Bill was swimming about half way between the boat and our Mom. Then I saw it. A single fin. I yelled "SHARK" then turned to get the ladder out and in place on the transom of the boat. Bill, a college aged, somewhat athletic person, was nearly to the boat, as would be expected with Mom's limited ability to swim. Then as he set his hands on either side of the ladder, a hand reached up, over his shoulder and grabbed him off of the ladder. I helped Mom us and into the boat, then helped Bill in. I then turned to Mom and told her: "You aren't supposed to panic." She was aghast that she did what she did. I wish I would have seen it. I bet I would have seen her walk on water. And Mom always liked Bill best.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Cat Named Fresca

I had a cat named Fresca that would not talk to be let out. If I were asleep, he would stare at me. Quite disconcerting to awaken and look up on the bookcase headboard, and here would be this white cat, looking down and staring at me. One morning I thought to test him and see how far he would go. I just rolled over onto my side and ignored his silent request. He jumped down and proceeded to stare at me, face to face. I rolled over on the other side. He jumped over me and again stared at me. I continued to ignore him. He then reached out with his paw and gently touched my cheek. I continued to ignore him. He then gently unsheathed his claws. I'M UP, I'M UP. I could almost hear him say, "About time."

Fresca was white. He would go out and he found "girlfriends." He had two different girls which he brought home to meet the parents, as it were. Both of these girlfriends were pure white, like him. He would come to the door to be let in, and the girls would tentatively come in and he would show them around the house. Then they laid down on the edge of the living room carpet and watch TV. Each girlfriend was always slightly nervous, and after watching for a few minutes would jump up, and they wanted out. He never brought other girls to the house, to meet the folks.

Then there was shadow. She was a stray, wild Russian Blue. Very pretty, medium gray without ticking or tabby marks. One color and no white marks. If cats could fall in love, then the relationship they had was love. Wherever they went, they were side by side. You could almost see them holding hands. That was how she was named Shadow. It was like she were the shadow of his white body.

Fresca also had another proclivity. I would catch gophers on the property. Gopher holes are bad for horses, and every now and then we would get them in the field. I would trap the gopher and give the dead rodent to Fresca. One day he came to the house. He meow'ed and trotted away. He stopped and look over his shoulder. (What's wrong Lassie. Timmy fell into the well?) It was clear he wanted me to follow him. I traipsed down into the field. He showed me fresh gopher digs. I went back to the house and got the traps and the shovel. I set the traps and left. He stayed. After some time, he came back up and did the "follow me" signal. I went down and there was a dead gopher in the trap. Now you may say this was a fluke, but he did this several times. I even got smart, and picked up the traps on the first "follow me."

One day, Dad came home and told me that Fresca was dead. He had found him in the middle of the street a quarter of a mile from our house. He had stopped and picked up the body and had the cat in the bed of his truck. I went out and opened the eyelid to look at the green eyes I knew so well. I told Dad that that cat was not Fresca. The iris of the eye was different. I felt sure that Fresca was just out catting, and even though he was missing a couple of days, he would be back soon. Dad said I was in denial, and he would bury the cat. He did not bury the cat deep enough, because dogs dug him up. I deepened the hole and reburied the cat. Two days after Dad had found Fresca dead in the street, here comes Fresca, thin and hungry. Was there any wonder there were so many white cats in the neighborhood?

Fresca came into our house with a lie, on a Friday. Dad was against bringing pets into the house. Mom came home from work, with a white kitten. She said the kitten was standing on the corner near our house, looking all confused. Mom stopped and picked up the kitten, who was quite warm despite the storm brewing. She drove him the few hundred feet to the house. She explained to Dad that here it was Friday night, Monday was a holiday (Christmas), so she would take him to the humane society on Tuesday. It only took until after dinner, that Fresca was seen, curled up in Dad's lap, with him gently petting him. He was home. The truth was that a woman at work had a Siamese cat and she had a litter of kittens. One was white. Since Siamese kittens are born white and get color as they get older, my mom took the white kitten. Of course he did not color up, because at weening, Siamese have most of their color.

Fresca, sadly, was hit by a car and killed. I think he was about nine years old. I was getting ready to go horseback riding and had called him (how many cats would come when called?) and apparently, he heard me, but did not hear the car. Who ever hit him, stopped and lifted his body to the curb, and out of traffic. I went riding and found him. I was so sad. I buried him.

Friday, June 8, 2012


My mom, dad and I went down to the Gulf of CA for some fishing and water skiing. We were in a 15 foot boat runabout. Just as a preamble, all three of us were a little on the substantial side.

All three of us dropped our lines on the reef. Boob, boom, boom, all three of us had caught sharks on each of our lines.

We tried to reel them in, and dad & I lost ours; hook, line and sinker. Mom was able to tickle hers up to the boat. Four foot sand shark. No great whites.

On previous excursions, we had observed the other fishermen take the shark out of the water, hit them in the head with a baseball bat, drop them back into the water and leave the area.

We didn't have a baseball bat, so my dad picked up a large, heavy pipe wrench. He was holding the shark out of the water, below the gunwale of the boat. Then he had the thought, if the shark jumps, I'm going to miss and put a hole in the side of the boat.

Aside - This was in the 70's and we were in Mexican waters. Animal cruelty was not an issue.

So he lifted the shark above the side of the boat. He aimed at the shark's head and the shark did jump -- off the hook and into the boat.

In unison, my mom, dad & I jumped on the narrow gunwales and balanced like gymnasts on a balance beam. We were all evicted from the boat, and could not go into the water because his injured cousins were there. The shark proceeded to flop around the bottom of the boat, like he were captain.

He was snapping his jaws at anything and everything until it jumped into the large bait box. My dad slammed the lid shut and sat on it.

At the end of the day, he was actually delish.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Dreams come and go. Sometimes you remember dreams and most are lost between asleep and awake. You can have heart pounding, instantly awake dreams which are very disturbing. Some dreams work out your day to day problems. That conversation you wish you didn't have. The conversation you wish you had had. The brilliant statements you wish you had said. Some dreams make you wonder if you should monitor your eating habits before going to bed. Some dreams reoccur and are clearly frustrating because the are unsolvable problems which rear their ugliness night after night, leaving you spent and, well, frustrated. Some of the dreams I have include a little levity in that I tell myself a joke and I wake up laughing. Other dreams are like viewing a movie. That is cool, however, I sometimes do not know how the movie ends, and I have no popcorn. Some dreams are just that, dreams. Dreams of unlimited wealth, living on a yacht, beauty, being wanted, without a care in the world. Sweet. Last nights dream was of beads. Particularly learning a new stitch. I believe this dream of doing the herringbone stitch is my mind telling me I need to move beyond my procrastination and picking up the needle and just do it. Hurrah for dreams.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Red Stick Coral Necklace

I have made a new necklace, made with red stick coral and red branch coral. Lightweight and comfortable. Just in time for summer.

Talking in your sleep, or is it more?

When I was growing up, I had two brothers. I slept in one room and they shared the other bedroom. I would have bouts of not being able to sleep. I would end up passing the night reading or wandering around the house. One night, I was outside of the boy's bedroom and I could hear voices. I slowly opened the door. I mean really slowly. I didn't want any creaking to alert them to my presence in their bedroom. I slowly crept into their inner sanctum. The older brother was asking, in his sleep a question about electronics to the younger brother. The younger brother would take a few minutes and reply. Long pause, then the older brother would reply, if that was so, how about if I put a resistor in the circuit. The younger brother would again reply, in a slow manner. Back and forth. The older brother was so intrigued about electronics, and would drill the younger brother for information, so the older could work on his latest bread board project. The brothers would not acknowledge that I heard them talking in their sleep, until I asked the older brother: "Who is Rachelle?" He was so upset and beside himself. He asked where I heard that name. I told him, "You talk in your sleep." Rachelle was a girl in his class in high school. Someone he was really liked. Someone he had not shared his feelings about to anyone. But you cannot lie to yourself, in your sleep.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday, March 4, 2012

"Many people, especially ignorant people, want to punish you for speaking the truth, for being correct, for being you. Never apologize for being correct, or for being years ahead of your time. If your right and you know it, speak your mind. Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is still the truth." ~Gandhi

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Winter finds people snowed in and sitting at the kitchen table, fondly looking at the seed catalogs, dreaming of the coming spring and the future garden.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

New stuff

Received a delivery yesterday. New queen sized mattress. Check. New couch. Check. Removal of old, broken down mattress; done. A good nights sleep on new mattress. Priceless. I have been, throughout my life, dealing with second hand, hand me down furniture. Except for the waterbed in California (with a mirrored canopy) and the dining table I currently have, everything has been second hand. It was very satisfying to remove the labels which say "Not to be removed except by the consumer." That consumer would be me. So you may ask, how did I know I had a good nights sleep? Well, I usually sleep through the night, except for trying to keep the covers on. I usually toss and turn. Sometimes I wake up and wonder what kind of acrobatics I was doing during the night. I would be also tired during the day. This morning, a few flips of the sheets and blankets, and I was back to having a made bed. The jury is still out on whether this refreshed feeling will continue during the day.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Before today,

before tweeting, before texting, before facebook, before email, before internet, before telephones, before newspapers, before letters, before all the "instant" communication There was quiet and stillness, allowing communication between ourselves and nature. In that stillness is when there is a connection. Today is so filled with the noise which means nothing, that we cannot listen to the mountain, or the rock, or the cloud. Today I heard the word "18." In my stillness, I tried to get more, but the noise kept me from hearing more. Maybe "18" is for me to discover, and not for me to be handed.

Friday, January 20, 2012


The snow may be flying in January, but most are thinking about the green grass and gardens in May.