Friday, August 28, 2020


It starts with a walk along the water

My wild stab at sanity during these ongoing and often very trying times begins the day with a walk. These strolls generally take place along the shore somewhere here in Laguna. Just the sounds of water and shorebirds are almost enough in their own right. Then, to dip one's toes in the refreshing foam at water's edge.... What a great start to a day!


Home and before showering, the hours are spent in the garden. I have always claimed to have a brown thumb, but I guess if given enough time on our hands anyone (even I) can do this.

Card making

Many evenings are spent in art play, often producing an abundance of postcards to send to my grandson and to my friends and former students and clients.This can be such a relaxing time and sending postcards is my wild stab at helping USPS survive.

Sanity achieved? Not always sure, but at least feels like time well spent.
What are you doing to stay sane?

Sunday, August 23, 2020


The morning harvest
Remember that old rhyme from childhood?...How does your garden grow? With silver bells and cockle shells and pretty maids all in a row. Sounds a bit like someone's garden had some romantic fantasies.

My garden has no romantic fantasies, but I definitely had the fantasy of having a rich crop of black zucchini.

Surprise! Vines going every which way--so much so that I had to daily keep them from taking over tomato plants and other squash. Everything about this particular crop seemed odd to me,but I forged ahead. After all, the seed package said "black zucchini." I was even starting to think maybe my brown thumb had grown green after all.

BUT...I got a big surprise when the first fruit of the vine showed up. "Hmmmm," I thought to myself. "That looks oddly like a cucumber." And, sure enough, picked and cut open, the wonderful smell of cucumber reached my nose.

So no zucchini? I'm gonna try to find some starts somewhere and we shall see, though I pretty much will have to do container plants as garden space is cucumber laden now. Who knew? And, oddly, this is not the first strange outcome in the summer's garden. One of my calebecitas turned out to be a round globe squash. 

Still, since the summer's creativity has turned mostly away from art forms and into the garden, why not have surprise? After all, that is one of the greatest thrills of creativity for me. How about you?

No pretty maids all in a row, but cucumbers anyone?

Thursday, August 20, 2020


The view that saves each day
Moving past the five month mark on Covid-19 now, much of life as we knew it "before" is missing.

I miss seeing the smiles I at least hope are behind those masks.

I miss hugs.

I miss seeing friends and the long, leisurely conversations.

I miss ease.

I miss planning for this year's road trip with Jenna.

I miss teaching and the camaraderie of the wonderful students laughing and sharing and creating together.

I miss all this and more, yet...
There is much to appreciate as well. 

More time for longer walks with my plus one friend, Catharine, and the joy of those deep conversations.

Ever greater appreciation of time spent with family.

Good, caring neighbors

More time to explore books and good writing.

The joy of producing dinner from my own garden.

Thinking, not on the fly, but with a greater depth, about all things in this crazy world.

And more...and always, always, always cool breezes and birdsong to enjoy.

Saturday, August 15, 2020


One of the problems with observing social distancing, it seems to me, is that we get antsy. Wanting, wanting, see friends and family, to go out to dinner easily, to take a road trip and feel the freedom of the road, to not need to always have at the edge of things all the "worry."

So many of the days start to feel as if there is a sameness to them that we push against. Still, change does not need to be measured in big ways to still be change.  

If you want something different,
do something different.
"Same crap every day"
doesn't describe the day, 
it describes your attitude toward it.

Steve Marshall

For me, taking a different direction to a different place on a daily walk makes for a variety I like. Looking for new ways to cook things grown in the garden certainly calls for a change of attitude. I always thought my thumb was way too brown for this gardening stuff. Exploring to find new and often exciting authors to read has been a real pleasure. Reading back through old, old journals allows for seeing things in a new light. Trying my hand at new or even sometimes languishing art forms has been fun.

It just seems there is always some way to move away from that "same crap." And, while there is still a wanting, a longing for this pandemic to be past, there has to be for me an attitude adjustment of sorts. I try...and that's the step to doing it for me.

And too good not to share:
baby owls

Thursday, August 13, 2020


It occurred to me the other day out of nowhere (but perhaps the meandering mind just does that sometimes) that 2020 is pretty much a year of limbo for most of us who are being careful and trying to avoid exposure to the coronavirus that seems to be running amok. So the year just doesn't really count then, right? 

With a birthday coming up it seemed a good time to just forego it and have it happen in 2021 then. What a great plan! Save the year for use another time. Hmmmm. Just a thought from that fertile and meandering mind inside my head, but we could certainly try it. 

So no birthday for me this year folks. Check back in 2021 for an update.

Only problem is I wasn't quite quick enough on the draw with this thought and friend Catharine had already gotten this thoughtful and fun gift. Maybe we can just call it a pandemic gift instead of a birthday gift. What do you think?


Saturday, August 8, 2020


As the birds called out--the dove with "Who are you? Who are you?" the borrowed song of the mockingbird, and the raucous cawing of the crows,it occurred to me that we had been here before, needing patience beyond that which we could even imagine. Circumstances were different, but the idea that life is what happens when you are making other plans calls out the same.

Our calendars have more things crossed out than written. Birthday and graduation celebrations have been postponed or re-imagined. Weddings ditto. Funerals (and way too many of them for sure) put off, leaving folks with their grief process skewed. Even journal pages seem foreshortened due to the sameness of so many days. What will we find there when looking back over the years

Journal pages: Friend Catharine is writing a memoir and so is revisiting her journal for many of the thoughts she may have had "when." As we spoke of 2001 something called out for a revisiting of my own journal from that time. There are the "Where were you when they first stepped on the moon?", "Do you remember what you were doing when you heard John F. Kennedy was assassinated?", and from that year the simple mention of 9/11 brings back hard memories.

But each of those reminds me of human resilience. The desperation felt at the changes wrought does not last. We keep on.

In the early morning hours of 9/11/2001 the journal pages include a list of goals to accomplish in the coming week. Then, "the dust continues to drift over New York City, casting a pall over everything, even hearts and minds...and we all mill around, reaching out, touching, needing to be close, and isolating ourselves at the same time, wanting and not wanting at once...."

Today, five months into this pandemic of 2020, many of the same feelings are stirred up. In the days and months following that day in 2001 Americans came together in ways that were beyond heartwarming. Can we do that now? Is this Covid-19 so very different really that we cannot reach out to each other even from the very isolation that is imposed?

I don't have the answers, only the questions. Maybe that dove is only asking, "What to do? What to do?"  Can we be patient? Can we calmly accept?

Thursday, August 6, 2020


Watchful waiting
So much of time lately seems to be done in watchful waiting. Still, it behooves us to do live life even as changes roll over us.

So...haircuts on the street. Dining only outside (Question:What about when weather comes?Answer:Deal with it. We are resilient humans after all) Wear a mask. Keep social distancing. Give up a few things to gain even more. Gardening (Who knew so many had a green thumb?) Zoom webinars (There are so many interesting things out there with which to connect.) Long walks. Reading (Again, so many good books and finally the time.).......

What are you doing to live life as the changes come?