Thursday, February 19, 2015


     If these were lips they would perfect for announcing a few changes on the blog site!

     Take a look!  Here are the changes in the works.  

     *  Now you can follow every new post just by inserting your e-mail in the subscribe box at the top of the site.  You'll get an alert when something new is posted.   Follow me! 

     *Blog and I has two links:

           1)  About Me.  I'll be adding to this link over the next few weeks.  So much has happened since I began this blog, that it needs a serious update!

           2)  Blog Archives.  Have a favorite topic?  Travel?  Photos?  Musings on Life?  Now you will be able to find those posts under topic links.  I have 143 posts, so setting this up will take me a few days.  You can try in out with the one or two links currently available.  

     *Favorites  This link will list a few of the blogs that are similar or just dear to my heart.

    Enjoy!  Thanks for reading my blog.

(A huge thanks to Nanqi You at Walla Walla Webweavers.)


Monday, February 9, 2015

I Sit.

     Pup is adapting.  She sits on the couch looking out through the filmy lace curtains, signaling to me that she is ready to observe.  I pull the curtains aside and she is working.  We live on a busy avenue, so there is at least fairly constant motion and the occasional dog-sighting.  She is four.  This is a new habit.  After traveling most of last year, she may have grown accustomed to an ever-changing scene from her seat on the console in the car.  She is a good dog and smart.  She knows that I am under the command of "Sit." and am working.  Not playing.  So she works.

     Across from her I sit in the big red leather chair, my office.  As I read about writer's and their habits and their writing rooms, I find mine.  I write most mornings now, eager to begin with breakfast behind me.  I am writing a memoir of last year's travels and of the years of grief that preceded the trip.

       I wake slowly.  Do you?  I love lying in bed and pondering the night-formed thoughts, the coming day and the rather unassuming question of what to wear.  The high windows of my bedroom reveal the hour by the light and then the flight of the birds.  The first thought on the day is that the only time that is really important is whether it is dawn or not.  With the sun up, I lie and watch the crossings of the birds.  Geese angle to the south heading to the fields, crows leave their roost laughing raucously and then, as the little birds come to the feeder, a hawk might circle or sit on the top of my
tallest tree.  Time to get up.  The clouds, the motion of the willow branches, or lack thereof, help me decide what to wear.  My morning begins.

      I try not get distracted before sitting to write, but the perfect angle of light making my bathroom seem like an outhouse in the reflection of a glass-framed print of mountains is the kind of thing that will sidetrack me to the camera.

    Tut, my big tomcat and Chives the little cat are fed and then often beg to come back in, perhaps to type a few brackets or apostrophes on the keyboard or see if they can yowl for just a little more of that canned cat food.  And yet, eventually the animals respect my sitting and I can write.

     Sometimes, I have returned to my chair to work late in the day.  This is after I have had lunch, a nap and a good walk with pup.  The sun's last rays highlight the window across from the red chair and once again, I stop writing and go find the camera.  Pup checks to see if I am up for another walk or game of ball.  Or maybe another trip.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

10,000 Clicks on the Blog

In the Beginning
     Thanks, dear friends, for the 10,000 clicks on the blog site!  I am grateful for your traveling with me, following me home and continuing to see if I am still posting.  This past year and a half of writing on the blog has brought an appreciation of the rule of the ten thousandth's time of doing anything will bring the likelihood of success.  I have come to realize that twenty-eight years of writing in children's memory books and taking almost daily photos for most of those years likely developed the skills that now feed my soul on into retirement writing one word at a time.

Judith and I
        A huge thanks goes to my sister, Judith.  Her encouragement, laughter, and road directions kept me moving in the right direction.  Oh, and her editor's eye has caught more than one of my errors!

Montreal Atwood Park Sculptures
    I'll never know all of your names.  I came across these sculptured faces inadvertently and you too may have come across my blog by mistake.  Or maybe not.  A thank you to whomever in Ukraine began spreading the site to others.

Pup Letting Me Have It in Canyonland
      Pup has asked to put in a word for her.  She endured lots of miles and surely wrote the best post of all.

     Now back home, I've begun writing a memoir.  My high school friend, Bob Felton, a quite well-loved journalism professor at the University of Nevada, encouraged me by reading every post and hinting that I should begin this endeavor.  Thanks immensely, Bob.  Your frequent e-mails have even made me begin rereading grammar books!  Our high school English teacher would have been proud of you.

     Keep me in your sights.  I'm flying.  A slightly re-designed web page is in the works with much easier "follow" and "comment" tabs.  Thanks again for your gracious following.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Asinine Cellulars

(A conversation overheard between a tree and a rock in a chaparral canyon in Los Angeles.)

“Did you ever hear the short story by Ursula LeGuin, The Direction of the Road? It’s about looming, about how trees learn how to loom up when animals or humans or cars approach.  Then the tree has to reverse its direction, diminishing its size as the creatures or vehicles move away again.”

     “Maybe, I think that I’ve heard the end of that story.  An oak tree had to loom up quickly as a speeding car approached.  At the last moment the car swerved crashing into the tree leaving it to remain in a forever-loomed position in the eyes of the driver and the passengers.”

“No, that was the end of the story?  I never heard the end.  It’s so sad.  No one expects me to loom forever.  One look at my root system clinging to these unstable rocks and they’d know that my days of looming are numbered.”

“Hey, shush.  Here comes a hiker with a big dog.  Hope he doesn’t pee on my chin.  I hate it when they do that.  I’m beginning to smell like a French urinal.”

“Sorry, buddy, he caught you fair and square.  How do you know about French urinals?”

“ I have a distant Italian cousin, he’s Carrera marble.  Hoity-toity, but he’s in my family, so I have to be nice.  One chunk of him was made into a urinal on a street corner in Paris, way back.  It’s still in use.  He mentioned the smell, but downplayed it because of the great secrets he could hear in the urinal.  Guys talk, you know, at the urinals.” 

“You rocks, you know everything.  Being the most advanced intelligence on earth must be trying for rocks at times.  Humans, still thinking that they are the smartest, even though their role is just to move you rocks around, hardly appreciate you.  And now the last many years with people so preoccupied with their cell phones, good thing rocks have intelligence and patience.”

“I’ve been meaning to ask you about those cell phones.  They do occupy so many folks these days, even kids.  They’re cellular, so they’re like you.  Alive, like trees, right?”

“Cellular…  Yeah, I hadn’t thought about that connection.  Maybe humans are evolving.  Could they be storing their brain cells in their cell phones?”

“You have a solid idea there.  For a tree, you’re quite savvy.  Those scientists from that place down the canyon, Jet Propulsion Laboratories, maybe they came up with the idea.  They began carrying those phones first.  Brainy folks.  You were younger then, but do you remember when us rocks had those folks fly to the moon and bring back our relatives, the moon rocks, so that we could meet them?  Potentially the endeavor of designing those complex engines enlarged their brains so much, that they had to start storing their extra mental cells somewhere.”

“Shush again.  I can see some more hikers coming up the trail.  One of them is ahead of the other by about 40 feet.”

“Hello, Joe, I don’t know about you, but I’m getting winded.  We could keep going just a little ways.  We’re almost at that precariously balanced tree and the rock with the Jimmy Durante nose.  How about we go to the next bench. (A pause.)  O.K. Good.  You got water?  I forgot mine.  See you soon.”

“Hey tree, are thinking what I’m thinking?  Those passing guys were talking to each other on their cell phones even though they were within voice range.  I see this occasionally now and I am beginning to understand that this is evolution at work.  The humans are loosing the capacity to talk to each other or even think in their heads, so they have to talk to their brain in the phone and the brains talk to each other.”

“That explains the selfies, too.  Humans must be loosing their eyesight, so they are taking photos of themselves.  Then they won’t forget what they look like. Their images will be stored in their cellular brain.”

“Hmmm.  That teenager, who said, ‘Oh you, asinine cell phone,’ didn’t mean that his cell phone was stupid.  I think we misunderstood the meaning.  Cell phones are smart.  He must have meant that his cellular phone was the kind that fit in the back pocket.  An asinine cellular.”

“Asinine.  Right.”

Post Script:
The engineers, Douglas H. Ring and W. Rae Young at Bell Labs, selected the word cellular, as in cellular phone.  They had made a diagram of a network of wireless phone towers.  They chose the term cellular to describe its appearance when each tower’s coverage map took the shape of a biological cell.

Credit to Ursula Le Guin for her looming idea and to another anonymous author of a short story (whose name I can’t remember) about rocks being the most intelligent life on earth.