Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Writing Retreat-Fort Bragg

I'm taking a break. I've been writing since 6:30 this morning. Actually, I've been writing for 3 days from 6:30am to 10pm. My back and shoulders will tell you this is a bad idea. My brain and imagination will say it is glorious.

Here are some pictures of my little retreat site:
The table with my laptop where I am working;
The window I peer out when I can't think of the right word (though sometimes I look up and truly can't remember where I am because I've been so lost in the lives of the inventors I'm writing about);
The garden at the center of the motel complex where I stroll when my back and shoulders scream so loudly my brain can't get a word in edgewise.

Tonight my writing group arrives for the conference which starts tomorrow, so I'll be switching gears in a few hours. But for now I'll take a loop around the garden then go back to writing.

(The date setting is wrong on the camera. These were taken today:)

Monday, July 27, 2009


Friday, I went to Moaning Caverns with Cody and August. Cody rode the zipline and both boys did the climbing wall. Then we made our way down the sprial staircase deep into the cave.

Saturday was Athan's birthday. We went to Brentwood Lake with his family and the Harrelons. He enjoyed swimming with Leon, Aliou, and Kyle, but it seemed like his favorite thing was getting all wet and rolling in the sand.

I sure do love my gransons!!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Few More Photos

From Connie's retirement party:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Friday, July 17, 2009


Cindy sent her computer in for a tune up while we were in Southern California, so we haven't downloaded the photos nor do I have access to the great photos from the first week of July, so this evening's blog will have no pictures but a lot of kudos.

Kudos to Cindy for arranging such a thrifty vacation to Southern California. She used coupons and points and terrific Internet research skills to get us the best deals possible, like $100 in free gas at Arco, a beautiful 2 bedroom suite for free at the Sheraton in Ventura right beside the harbor, and low, low rates on a hotel in Anaheim and tickets to Knotts Berry Farm. She baked chocolate chip cookies and filled ice chests with delicious sandwich fixings and lots of bottled water and Vitamin water. We had wonderful picnics at rest stops and on the beach. The girls had fruit and pop tarts for breakfast in our room. She talked the bike rental guy into a cheaper rate because it was so late in the day when we rented the bikes.

I doubt if there are very many travelers who could have the quality vacation we had for so little money; AND we came home to find some job offers on voice and email, so the downturn that our finances took last month may be taking a little turn for the better and even if that doesn't happen, I can count on Cindy to make sure we don't miss out on good times just because we are poor.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Fun Parks

Allow me to weigh in on Fun Parks, for example Great America and Knotts Berry Farm. I've been to both in less than a week--Great America with Anna Mae and Kiki and Knotts with Sabrina, Brittany, and Cindy. I don't get it!!!

What's the fun of being turned upside down, whipped around, flown through the air, or spun until your legs are wobbly and your stomach is churning? There are all kinds of people standing in line to do such things. I don't get it!!!

My feet hurt and it was hot!! I sat on the ground waiting for young people on rides because there aren't enough benches for everyone who wants to sit and I kept squeezing myself into any inch of shade I could find. I went on rides that soaked me through and through and walked in wet clothes until my legs were chafed like a baby's with a wet diaper.

Tell me when it starts being fun??

When those kids say, "Thank you! That was so much fun!"

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Huntington Beach

I'll blog about the cram packed first week of July when I get back from Southern California (i.e. Clare's 1st birthday, Great America, jamming freelancing), but just a note about the beach for now.

You can't take the northern California girl out of me, but a Southern California beach is definitely the most redeeming quality of the lower half of my native state. There is nothing like napping on the beach with the sand carved out for every curve of one's body and a lovely breeze blowing gently across the skin. AHHH~

Then there is body surfing, of which I did not partake. but Sabrina and Brittany could not wait to take the plunge, gingerly followed by Cindy who once she was baptized by one good cold wave, hung in there for a good half hour of surfing with only 2 major wipe outs. (I waded into the surf and took pictures.)

Best of all of was bicycling along miles of paved road fronting the beach and dedicated to walkers, runners, and bicyclists. We rented those cool old fashioned bikes with upright handles and foot brakes. The coolest compliment this 61 year old woman could get came from the elderly Asian who handed us our bikes: "You look like you're pretty athletic," he said as I mounted my bicycle. Those words sent me joyfully pedaling forth on the best ride in recent memory.

As we left the beach, we stopped to watch three street performers doing break dancing. Oh my could those guys dance. Makes you wonder how such talent gets relegated to the street.

Today we go to Knotts Berry Farm . . . certain to be a different experience from the sun, sand, and surf at Huntington Beach!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Morning Routine

One of the best things about the two vacations we went on in May and June was my morning routine. I got up early every morning and sipped a cup of tea while I read the Dharma. Then I meditated, followed by yoga and/or a walk. Because there was no ready computer access, I didn't feel the technology tug to which I've become addicted. This routine was deeply satisfying and I was determined to maintain the practice when I got home.

So far so good but the fallout is that I'm not blogging. I used to get up, brew the tea, and then check my email and post a blog while I sipped my tea. SIGH . . . I really miss blogging. There were so many June events that slipped by without a post: birthday trips with Taylor, Kyle, Leon & Aliou, Rex's graduation from high school, a great work day with Taylor and Cody, a wonderful Dharma week and Dokusan with Nancy, Father's Day weekend, the first time Clare was left in my care, Cindy's broken toe, the Pride Picnic, big changes in my writing group . . . and on and on.

So I really want to get back to blogging so I've decided to blog before I go to bed. The downside to this plan might be incoherence as I usually push the envelope, extending my day until I'm almost delirious and generally smashing into the wall.

But I want it all: a morning routine, a dizzily busy life, AND blogging, so if you'll excuse the typos and some possible non sequiters, this is the launch of night time blogging.