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Chaucer's Nephew
Traveling in the 21st Century

May 25, 2024

What a week it has been. Construction taking place on the ground floor, deep cleaning on the second, and the yard needed attention. Wow, have I been busy.

Just the way I like it, sometimes.

The racket in the house has been a challenge to work with, but I have. It's amazing how loud some machinery is.

When I could, I went for walks. Getting away from the din was calming, as was sitting in Dolores Park on a sunny afternoon, before returning for work.

Take time for yourself. Take care of yourself.

That's what I kept hearing in my head. It sounded like good advice so I took it.

And here I am today, relaxed and ready for my workday.

The best defense against this crazy world is a good, positive self esteem.

Love, on and on.

 

May 17, 2024

Hello Dombivli, India! I went online to look at photographs of your town. Wow, lots of new construction, and the train station looks amazing, so atmospheric. I've been as close as Mumbai, and truly appreciate your part of our world. Thanks for looking in, and all the best to you and yours!

Woke up to drizzle and fog swirling overhead. As the sun rose, the fog retreated, and the sun filled the garden with light, waking up some of the birds, and a couple of squirrels. Another day begins.

Lady Grey is taking full advantage of her surgery status and has been getting her wet meals served near where she sleeps. Smart cat. There's a part of me that enjoys taking care of folks when they are ill, as it happens to all of us. When it happens to me, I take very good care of myself and focus on me. So I get her stance, as it were, and will continue to pamper.

Love heals.

The weather is nice and a weekend beckons 

There's so much to do.

I enjoy living in a larger city, as it provides more opportunities to get out and about, and see life being lived. Here in San Francisco we have a mélange of cultures that co-exist well with each other, and the mix leads to some amazing food. My current favorite is any thing with oyster mushrooms. 

Wherever you are in this world, I wish you and yours a wonderful weekend, in good health and cheer.

Love, on.

 

May 14, 2024

The sun rose in San Francisco exactly at 6AM.

I was up for it, so to speak.

Having been born in the early hours of the day myself, I have always had a predilection for early mornings, and this one was no exception. The sky had been getting brighter since right after 5AM, and as I sat in bed, Lady Grey slumbering beside me, I used an app on my phone to track the rising sun and planets. What a cosmic dance.

Awhile after sunrise, I rose. Time for coffee and wet cat food. And a stretch or two, and at least one yawn. The furnace kicked on and the house warmed to 68F from a low of 64F overnight. That's one of the nice things about technology, it can automate some functions perfectly, like a Ring thermostat or a Cuisinart coffeemaker. 

Sitting at my desk now, writing this entry, the house is warmer, I'm dressed and ready for the day, and Lady Grey has crawled under the comforter. Oh, the temptation...

Here's hoping you're having a good day, as well.

Love on! 

 

May 11, 2024

Last night, as I was watching the local news, mention was made of the aurora borealis being visible in Northern California between 11PM and 4AM.

To bed early 'cause I'm getting up early. And fast to sleep.

Shortly after 3AM I woke up, thanks to Joe getting ready for work. As he left for his bakery, I got out of bed and went into the back yard. I didn't see anything, but my camera did. 

Wow. The sky had a dark purple sheen in places. It was amazing to see.

All thanks to our sun! 

Right before 5AM I went back to bed after checking in on Lady Grey, sleeping peacefully on the entry settee.

This morning I've been looking at all the photos posted on social media from across the globe. Quite the event, it turns out.

What a wonderful morning, the sky lit up like I've never seen.

Love on!

 

May 10, 2024

Hello Omaha! Golly, it's been a long time since I've visited, and I have such great memories of my many trips there. For the middle of supposed nowhere, you folks sure are somewhere. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for looking in.

It's been more than a week, and my new practice of starting my day with laughter is still teaching me.

There was one morning that it took a few minutes to find something to make me laugh.

Sweet Lady Grey had her second surgery to remove her left side mammaries, and has refused all medications like never before. There I was, with a small syringe partly filled with some pain killer, trying to spray it in her mouth, and she closed her jaw at the second I pushed the plunger, and the liquid splashed off of her teeth onto my face and glasses. Thank goodness I was wearing glasses. I ran and washed my face, and she ran under our bed. A while later I tried again, and she retreated to the bed. She comes out from time to time, but she wants nothing to do with me. I get it.

So, laughter came slow that next day, but it did. Of course it was a cartoon about cats...

Eurovision is happening tomorrow, starting at noon locally. Such a funny program, yet it gave birth to Abba. Like a trip around Europe in song and costume, should be lots of fun.

Laughter, my new medicine.

Sometimes there are tears mixed in among the laughs, and that's okay by me.

Love, on.

 

May 2, 2024

I started a new practice yesterday morning. It was time for a change.

What better day than Beltane, in honor of my Irish ancestors, to start something new.

Starting my day with a laugh. 

It had come to me a couple of days earlier, this thought, and I pondered it for a bit, and jumped in yesterday morning. Sitting up in my bed, I took my IPhone and looked for something to make me laugh. There were a couple of images on Facebook that made me smile, but I needed a laugh.

There it was, on TikTok. A funny video of baby goats that brought laughter to my body and the room. Lady Grey looked on nonplused. 

That feeling of laughing stayed with me for quite a while, and felt really good.

So I did it again this morning. Lady Grey, still looking on, didn't have long to wait for my laughter. She stood and stretched. I was still laughing. This time it was Instagram.

Sitting here now, at my desktop computer, I can still see the image that made me laugh this morning. I still chuckle.

For years, I've thought of the word 'may', and how it is used in the English language. 

Possible is one definition, another is permission.

So this month of May finds me maying my way into a new practice, and so far, so very good.

Love on!

 

April 30, 2024

After a few days of medicating our sweet kitty, I began to reduce dosages and brought them to an end this weekend. Sunday evening, she was back to herself, jumping into our bed and curling up in my forearm, purring. Brave, tough little girl. Love her endlessly.

Sometimes it all boils down to love.

This past weekend, out and about, running into folks and catching up on their lives, and enjoying the sunshine.

Walking into the shade, the temperature drops.

Ah, San Francisco. Surrounded on three sides by water, and just hilly enough to keep fog offshore somedays, and only 49 square miles. It's the tip of a peninsula. The Golden Gate Bridge connects it to the north and the Bay Bridge connects it to the east. 

Sometimes it feels like an island. 

Walking around, there is a lot of new construction, lots of new buildings and businesses are popping up all over town, and there are  tourists everywhere. The babble of voices can be heard on the streets of San Francisco, and it makes me smile.

I really love sharing my city with folks, and help when I can. 

The end of April is upon us, and the merry month of May awaits.

Here's to more opportunities to love.

Love, on.

 

April 25, 2024

We are living with a grumpy cat. She didn't like having both paws partly shaved, nor more of her belly. The incision does not please her. She refuses to be confined and has resumed ownership of the premises. Lady Grey is in the house.

She goes from burgundy chair to food bowls to cat stand to cat box to red chair. The order varies but the destinations don't.

So much for the tent.

Turns out there will be another surgery on May 7th to remove her left mammaries and glands. Our cut up kitty. She is a strong gal.

And it turns out our first vet was wrong and she had never been spayed. This has been the source of lots and lots of displacement, which is continuing. Such a maelstrom of emotions therein.

Moving forward, we are vigilant in her health, and our own. 

Taking a couple of weeks away from work has helped us both to return to our jobs and make some changes. Less stress at work is a good thing, so far. 

For me, I'm hoping for more time in the yard. And putting up the hammock, There is nothing better than reclining in it and reading on a nice day. 

Today, Mercury is going direct, and travel and communication will improve. For some, this has manifested as computer issues. It starts getting better today and will going forward.

Perfect for enjoying Spring.

Love on.

 

April 22, 2024

Happy Earth Day!

There are times when being psychic sucks. Like before we left on our trip. My sense told me something was amiss with Lady Grey, and a visit to a couple of vets confirmed it: breast cancer.

Today is surgery day for our sweet littel girl. We are hopeful for a full recovery. A small tent has been purchased, to serve as her 'Recovery Unit' as her sutures heal.

Rolling with the changes. 

Her diagnosis confirmed what I felt, and where we are today feels right.

Surrendering to what feels right, all the while flooded with conflicting, turbulent emotions, is a struggle.

It's a bit like swimming hard in the time stream of life, and then floating when one can.

Lady Grey is probably the last cat we will ever have, and for that reason we are doing all we can. Life, and the love therein, are best served by support and trust.

Here's hoping for the best, this Earth Day and every day.

With love, on.

 

April 19, 2024

It's so nice to be home and back to work. I love my house and job. I love my life.

Some folks might think I've got my rose colored glasses on, yet again, but I don't. I am just focusing on the most positive aspects of my life. Having this as a basis for intention serves me up to the best outcome, and my trust has grown to encourage me forward. It's not easy, sometimes, and don't let that stop you. Rise to the challenge, become your best you. Give yourself permission to have a good life, at the least. And better if you choose and work at it.

The red Horse Chestnut tree in front of our house is in full bloom, and it is stunning. 30 feet tall and covered in reddish foot long flower spikes, each holding 30 or more one-inch flowers. It is quite a treat.

That what I was thinking 30 years ago, when with the folk of the Urban Forest group I choose this type of tree. I wanted the beauty of this plant to shine for all to see, and to draw joy from. Mission, accomplished.

Daffodils are still coming up in our yard, here and there. So many different varieties, some white, some yellow, some pink. The colors of Spring are on display. Even the two camellias are putting on a show, pink and white.

Having beauty around me fills me with hope. 

It's just the antidote to the headlines and news that blathers around me. My goodness, too much information. Time for me to tune a little less in to out there and a little more to the here, in.

Love on.

 

April 14, 2024

Hello again!

I've been away, giving myself the gift of a birthday in a city I love that I don't live in. London, England.

Good ol' British Airways did a lovely job on their great, big 380. What a place that place was. Food, sleep, water, sleep, food, water.

And then Heathrow and the buzz that that place has, and zoom into Paddington and a short tube ride and our hotel looms.

So much to see, friends to visit, and the energy of a city that has some rough edges but is much more edgy and exciting. The sights are still worth seeing, and we had some wonderful meals.

What I saw most of all were the gardens, all the plants blooming, the profusion of bulbs bursting from the earth bringing beauty and a reason for living. I looked for beauty, in the buildings, the people, the fashion, the memories of memories from 50 years ago.

I had a good, good time.

At the ripe old age of 73, I've seen enough to know what is important, and it is this:

Love.

Love as much as you can, as often as you can, to as many as you can. 

Let love infuse your being.

Let that love shine into you and lift you to your highest.

This can be just the most miserable place, this earth, but it's ours and we are here and let's just make the best of it.

We can't change the past, and what we encounter along life's journey is the culmination of all that we have allowed to reflect us.

Happiest Birthday to me!  Every moment counts in the heart.

Love, endlessly and on.

 

March 28, 2024

Hello Skopje, Macedonia! Years ago, in Greece, I met a family from your town. They told me that we had much in common, as we both lived in places that have earthquakes. Hope things are shaking well for you and yours, and thanks for reading.

Zoom went those days! Just like that!

Spring kept springing, and I tried to keep up, and almost have. So much to do, and every day some thing new is added to my list of things to do. 

This morning, I slowed my roll, and took a few minutes as the sun rose, to watch it paint our garden.

First light washed the pine tree in gold, and then the cherry tree. It was then I saw the cherry blossom, high up on a lofty branch. The sunlight revealed a soft, very pale pink flower. The camellia came next, the buds glowing in the light,

Just then a bird landed near my hand, looked around a bit, and then looked up at me.

My next chore. Coming right up!

Bird food delivered. Sun greeted. Love alive.

And away we go. 

Tomorrow the sun will rise afore 7AM for the first time this year. 

Around here, the early bird is more likely to get some ground nuts and seeds, no worms. We need them in the soil.

Love on.

 

March 19, 2024

Happy Last Day of Winter!

Spring starts today, for San Francisco it will be at 8:06PM, which makes tomorrow the first day of Spring.

Dicey weather time, and there's a chance for rain this Thursday. 

Ah, Spring.

Being born in Spring, I've had a fondness for flower bulbs since childhood.

As a toddler growing up in Big Pine, CA, there were tulips just about everywhere. Sometimes there was snow, but that didn't stop them from being a spot of color, and often they were joined by daffodils and hyacinths and crocus and narcissus, so many beautful flowers erupted out of what had been hard, cold, and often snow covered dirt.

Even today, as I've watched the bulbs I've planted emerge into these chilly mornings, the play of sunlight on the flowers that have bloomed brings joy to my heart. 

The continuation of life, despite all the elements against it. 

Coming out of the grip of winter is an effort in many parts this year, and we should all just take as much time as we need to go forward into Spring.

It's even a verb, ain't that something?

Love on.

 

March 15, 2024

The Ides of March. Famous for the warning to Julius Caesar by a psychic and he didn't listen and was murdered. The Ides were the midpoint in the 30 day Roman calender, a day considered to be a turning point in the month and a time for caution. Such a message.

So, in honor of the day, I am moving slowly, and not rushing. It feels very different to be approaching the day like this, but my intuition tells me it's the right thing to do.

Ghosts have been coming around, a couple of departed clients have been especially present. I suspect it is the quickening that is happening on Earth right now, the advent of Spring/Autumn. Transition time. When I sense them, I acknowledge their presence and thank them for coming. The only angry ghosts I've ever met were ones that were ignored.

When I first moved to San Francisco, my flat had a small pantry near the kitchen. It had storage and glass cabinets and a sink. The tile and all the woodwork were original, dating to 1908. It was a small space, but something about it intrigued me. Then one Saturday morning, I found out why. Moving in the kitchen, I saw the shadow of a man in the pantry. I watched the shadow move. I could feel someone was in that room.

Later that day, a friend came by, and was looking around. At one point he walked into the pantry to get a glass, and as he opened the cabinet, a glass flew out and smashed against the wall and then floor. My friend freaked and ran out of the pantry. In that moment, I could sense why.

The spirit belonged to a man who had crafted that beautiful, litle jewel like pantry, and he was protective of it. My friend turned out to be a enemy and hated my new home. He was seen by the spirit for his truth, and the spirit acted out. He came to me a few times in dreams, and I learned of his caring as a craftsman. All the research I did never unearthed his name, but he was there as I bid him goodbye when I moved out in the following year.

We live surrounded by those who have gone before us. We can draw on their goodness, truth, and wisdom to make our way forward. On the Ides of March and every day.

Love, on.

 

March 11, 2024

Life is so funny.

I told one of my cousins about my discoveries of our shared ancestry. She was amazed. Her sister was nonplused, and said she didn't care and wasn't interested as they were all dead.

Okay, then.

Moving on, I've discovered many new relatives and it's been amazing. It appears that the main branch of the family has not been able to trace back beyond Virginia in 1770. Oh, boy, I will get to use the skills that I've acquired over the decades from mentoring genealogists. So much to discover.

Learning about my ancestry took me from being someone who had no connections to life other than my immediate surroundings to a world that has opened my eyes about how I came to be here. I feel incredibly fortunate.

The rain last night, shortly after 1 in the morning, woke me briefly. This happened again around 4AM, and I rolled over imagining the city being washed down, being made ready for a sunny day.

And it is!

Love on and on,

 

March 9, 2024

Hello Chennai! What a wonderful city you are, so alive, so filled with kind people, amazing sights, and excellent food! Ah, such sweet memories. Thank you for looking in, all the best to you and yours!

My intuition has, yet again, been proven correct. I'm still a little in shock.

My genealogy research into my family has taken more than 20 years. Most of it was kind of easy at first, parents and grandparents. Then it began to get murky. Finding my father's people took almost 15 years, to track it back to Scotland and Ireland. Then through DNA research back to Bavaria in Germany. That has been amazing, to discover more than 150 people I'm related to, all over Germany. Such fun.

Then it was time for mom's side, and that proved difficult. Getting DNA from my Uncle Ed, my mom's brother, didn't come up with any information. Not a shred. Dead end. At least for her dad. Her mom was easier to trace, and that was enjoyable to discover.

On Wednesday, I got an email from a guy about my family tree. He had some information for me. One of them was a copy of a marriage certificate between my Great great Grandmother and a fellow I had never heard of. Then more documents.

My jaw dropped. He knew what had happened all those years ago in Phoenix, Arizona. How Sarah and her 3 children lost their husband and father to TB, and how later along came this fellow and she remarried and soon became pregnant. A month before she was to give birth, her husband deserted her. She tried to get him to shoulder his responsibilities but he never did, so she moved to Los Angeles with her 4 children, and gave her youngest son the surname of the other children.

Wow...

The next day, my new cousin provided DNA, and that proved it.

My intuition had told me for years that there was more to my story than I knew. I asked it yesterday if there was more to learn, and this morning I woke up feeling that the ground beneath my proverbial feet is much more solid and grounded in truth.

I have a whole new branch on my family tree. Amazing what one can learn along the way. Just keep trusting your intuition.

What a wonderful early birthday gift. Decades in the making.

Woo hoo!

Love, on.

 

March 4, 2024

May this 4th be with you. This day sounds like clear direction to me, explicit in its direction. March forth!

Get up and shake a leg, or whatever.

Being a Monday, one of my non-working days, I slept in almost to 6AM. Having a small grey cat pressed up against the back of my legs is a big inducement to not moving, and I didn't for quite a while. When she did, I did. And the morning starts.

One of the best things about having a day off from work is being able to schedule appointments and what have you, and that's on my docket today, a visit to my dentist.

Then home and lunch and chores and then free time. 

I've got a stack of books and magazines I've been saving for this day.

As much as I appreciate useful technology, and I do like my Kindle, it's my second one, there is nothing like the feel of a book in one's hands. I was conditioned at an early age and have enjoyed reading all of my life. At one point learned about speed reading techniques and learned a bit and sped up my reading rate, but in no way did this dim my love for books.

It's been rainy and I'm not hopeful of sun, but I'll sit near the windows, at least.

Leisure time.

Even the words are evocative. Here's hoping.

All the bestest to you and yours,

love on.

 

March 1, 2024

Happy March!

As a joke one year, I dated things February 30 and most folks didn't notice...

A leap year! One of my clients just turned 9 leap years old. In some parts, the day is known as 'Sadie Hawkin's Day', a day when women can do anything they like. How patriarchial. I hope women do whatever they want every day, but that's just me. Such a funny thing, trying to make sense of the universe and squeeze it somehow into our calenders. Inventive, aren't we?

Isn't it helpful that the very name of this month gives us direction. Don't just stand there, march. 

There have been years, on this date, when I have leapt from my bed and jumped into my day.

Today is not one of those days.

And that's okay with me.

One of the things I've learned along my circuitous route in life is to take care of myself, first. One cannot pour from an empty cup.

Which is why today is starting a bit slower. Up and moving, but not in a hurry. My morning routine, bless it, albeit a bit slower.

As befits how I feel.

Laying in my bed as I awoke, I kept my eyes closed and listened.

No rain. No sound.

Slightly moving, my arms come from under my covers and I feel the cool of the air. Looking out a window, there is a lightening sky.

Moving, I feel the relaxation in my body, and the stretch of muscles as I move my arms. Sitting up, swinging my legs out, the chill in the air is too much and I grab coverings. That took lots of stretching, which is good. As I walk into the kitchen I'm greeted by Lady Grey and the routine continues. I'm ready for the day, I feel good in my body, and without it, I'm not here, as it were.

So, for me, a slower roll, not quite a march, but gathering tempo.

Here's to a good month, with love.

Love, on.

 

February 26, 2024

The Chinese New Year's Parade was wonderful. Thousands of people lining the streets, so many fireworks and red and gold lanterns and Dragon Dancers, a few of them. So beautiful, so exciting. Folks came from all over the world to be here, the largest Asian parade outside of Asia. 

And the food! There were folks selling food out of containers, and the few I tried were amazing.

With this, Spring has begun in San Francisco. 

Somehow, the trees already knew it, and those that bloom are doing it now. It seems like every street has at least one blooming tree on it, and many have many. Since the rains won't be back until Thursday, getting out and about is at the top of my list of things to do. That is, right after exercising for an hour or so. This will be followed by a nice long walk, and probably public transportation back home. Walking down Market Street is always revealing, so much to see as the City comes back from the Covid pandemic.

This morning, looking out of a window, I saw a robin in the cherry tree. As I watched, it was joined by its mate. After a few moments, one then the other flew down to the deck railing to eat some chopped nuts. They were so beautiful in the bright sunlight.

Nature restores.

Hopefully, in the coming days, I will have some time to do just that, be in nature. As Spring springs along, the tempo of life will quicken. Knowing that peace and calm are out there in the world sustains me.

Love, on.

 

February 21, 2024

About half an hour after my last entry, my intuition kicked in. Sometimes I hate it when it does that. This was one of those times.

Going to the first floor of our house, a model home from 1880, I pull the furniture away from the eastern room edge. I clean the drain outside the bathroom, and the one in the back yard. Upstairs, I clean the sun porch, sweeping it clear of any leaves and such.

Shortly after 1pm, the drizzle that had been falling turns to rain. It rains for half an hour or so, and then it pours. Upstairs, rain is gushing off the roof into the sun porch, bringing with it all sorts of leaves and muck. I clean the drain and get soaked. Downstairs, the drain outside the bathroom is under a foot or so of water, and I can't see the drain so I open the window and lean out, reaching to clean the drain. There's a mess of pine needles and leaves that I pullout. Now I'm really soaked. I grab a towel, and watch as water enters the room, along a ten-foot stretch or so. I get the mop and bucket. 

An hour later, most of the water is gone, and it has stopped raining. I take a breath and get some water. 

My mobile phone rings, and it's my contractor, Stanley, calling. I tell him about the flooding, and he says he'll be over in 20 minutes. And he was, and being the terrific guy he is, he gets a long ladder from his storage and goes up onto one side of the roof, on the east side, and removes all sorts of junk that had created a small dam that caused the flooding on the first floor. It's a mess and takes into darkness before he is satisfied, telling me he will come back soon and check out the west side of the house. What a hero to me!

By now, it's 7:30PM and the house is getting ready for bed. Me, I feel like I've had a very long afternoon and am starving. Joe has made a lovely Greek salad, and I sit and eat. I'm exhausted. Lady Grey lends support.

The weather reveals that a big red spot of rain went over San Francisco, and there was flooding all over town. Good to know we're not alone. Thankfully the forecast says nothing like it is coming tonight, and I head off to bed relieved, and sore.

Thank goodness for my intuition. It could have been much worse.

There's no way to avoid misfortune, only love and effort to make it through.

Love, on and on.

 

February 20, 2024

Rain is sweeping across California. The brunt of this storm system is in southern California and the flooding is terrible. 

We've been lucky here in our little bit of scatter and have had no flooding on our first floor, thank the heavens. I do have to comment that San Francisco looks good in the rain, the streets glossy, lots of umbrellas. The winds that came with the storms ruined many a bumbershoot, as umbrellas are called, and led to many new purchases.

Change is a constant, and the sooner we learn to accept it, the better, and smoother, and easier.

With this in mind, I've been clearing out lots of stuff that no longer serves me. Like old magazines. I kept them because I enjoyed reading them, but never went back and reread any of them, and just kept piling them up.

Until...change. 

I went through them, took the ones I wanted to read again, and tossed the whole lot out. 

Oh my, I thought, and shortened that thought to 'om'.

Moving in a good direction.

So, this theme continues, and the house is looking better for the efforts. Being surrounded by stuff isn't nearly as rewarding as being surrounded by useful beauty. That does mean I use 'the good stuff' on a regular basis. Having things is the business of museums, and I don't want to live in one.

Useful beauty. Yep, that's the ticket.

Love, on.

 

February 15, 2024

The party is on in San Francisco. Chinese New Year's is underway, and the festivities are wonderful. The crack of fireworks, the blaze of red paper lanterns being carried in the sunshine, the smell of deliciousness being cooked, it's all wonderful.

Take in as much of the good as you can hold, that's me advice. Sure enough, life will come along and kick a lot of it out of you. Remember to replenish yourself.

That's what I've been up to. That, and work. And housekeeping. A bit busy, but nothing I can't handle.

Learning to trust my intuition still happens, and when it does, I am usually surprised.

This happened the other day.

A client I've seen for years came again, and we had one of our best chats. So much got resolved for him, and I watched his aura brighten as we spoke. When he left, he said to me that he hadn't been happier in years, and we both laughed.

Minutes later, as I was cleaning after seeing him, I had an odd mixture of emotions flow through me, but then the phone rang and I was back to work with another client.

At the end of my day, watching local news, and there's mention of a fatal single car crash in Novato, and my intuition sounds the alarm. I know who it is.

Shock and sadness wash over me, and I learn what I can from the news. A  couple of days later, his widow called and we had a good conversation. He had slowed down and suddenly took a hard left turn and crossed 3 lanes of opposing traffic before flipping over into a hillside. In that moment I could sense that Tom had had a massive heart attack and died while driving. His good karma led to no one else being injured. We both exclaimed how good he was, all the way to the end.

Later that evening, I lit a candle for them both, knowing that the mystery of life is in the living of it.

Love and loving, on.

 

February 9, 2024

Hello Tehran, Iran!

To my memory, you are the first visitor from Iran, and I welcome you most heartily! All the best to you and yours!

For years, I have longed to visit Iran. When I would travel in Central Asia, and see the sights, folks would tell me of the wonders they had seen in Iran. On one trip to Bukhara, a woman guide told me about her trip to Esfahan, and showed me some photos. Oh, how wonderful to see. Maybe one of these days.

Happy Chinese New Year's Eve!

Starting tomorrow and running for the next two weeks, it is New Year's in our Chinatown here in San Francisco, and since one third of our fair city is of Asian extraction, it's New Year's everywhere. 

Besides the banners of red and gold and dragons in honor of the new year, there are parades and celebrations and music on street corners and kids with red envelops, lai see, containing money from relatives. 

Happy times.

When I moved to the City in 1983 it was in support of a relationship that died withing a month. I stayed anyway, ready for the new. I got it and more, in buckets.

The mélange of cultures here made me smile, Just the other day I was at the Post Office and overheard a woman asking questions in Spanish. There was a misunderstanding, and the Filipina postal clerk said something funny in Chinese, and folks laughed. When it was my turn, I started speaking in Spanish, and the clerk who spoke Spanish laughed out loud, and thanked me in Chinese. Multiculturalism in action.

The rains have let up for the present, and that's going to make tonight wonderful. There will be fireworks to enjoy, most of them personal, all-over town. There are these small multicolored balls one can buy by the box. They have small traces of gunpowder, and when they are thrown against a hard surface, they explode with a crack. Tonight in Chinatown is going to be fun, and loud!

Gung Hay Fat Choi!

Happy New Year!

Love on!

 

February 5, 2024

The rains that have been lashing California have matched my face at times. It's been rough and good.

Life is like that, the contrasts that we, each of us, in our lives are confronted with. It's enough to try ones soul.

Just as it should do, it seems to me.

When I was starting college at 16, the only difference I noticed about the campuses was one had bathrooms that were labeled 'boys' or 'girls' versus 'men' and 'women'. The culture seemed the same. It took a while for me to recognize the increased drama the kids in college felt. Most kids in High School were not as dramatic.

Of course, in the course of time, I got swept up into drama. 

It took decades to free myself from it, and every day I am glad I did.

This is where displacement changed my life. I learned to off load all of the emotional energetics I felt through action.

It improved my life.

It also taught me the value of my emotions, and their authenticity.

Now, my emotions run through me unbridled and uncontained. I allow myself to fully and completely feel whatever it is I'm feeling, and let it wash over me, fully and completely. It can be exhausting, and can require some recovery time. But it sure it worth it.

It strips away any of the cladding that might build up with the passage of time and events, and helps me to live a life of love.

Love on.

 

February 2, 2024

Happy Groundhog Day!

Today marks a big transition in my practice serving people.

When I decided to 'hang out my shingle' and start seeing individuals, I did so with a fair amount of trepidation.

People can be difficult and worse.

My career had been more of a careen, and had led me down some curious paths, like teaching preschool and working with spies, At the time, I was Vice President of Sales and Marketing for a software company in Silicon Valley. I had brought the company multi-million dollar contracts and had been rewarded, but it just wasnt enough. I knew I needed to make a change. This process took 8 months. I had to unwind from the company and open myself to the new, whatever it was going to be.

I talked with many folks, all successful, some very famous, and woke up one morning knowing what to do.

Just me, no partners or consortium or what have you. 

So I told a few folks what I was moving to, and got support and bashed. Thanks for the input, going forward.

And then it happened. And I mean happened.

My car broke down as I was leaving the office in San Jose to drive home to San Francisco. 58 miles and one mile into it, my car jerks and I pull into a gas station. The mechanic says he can fix it and have it to me by midday tomorrow. Okay. I call a friend who works nearby to ask if she can give me a ride to Caltrain, but she's busy and a friend of hers can help me.

Her name is Janie.

When she comes, her smile is radiant. My guides say 'here you start', and I did. 

Getting in the car, I mention something and off we go, talking a blue streak. After a few minutes she offers to drive me home and I accept and we talk the entire way. My first client, she tells me at one point, she is, and I agree.

The next 35 years are sealed in loving memory.

Fly on, sweetest of souls, see you on the other side.

Love on without end.

 

January 29, 2024

Hello Costa Mesa! I've had some wonderful times in and around you, such a California state of mind there. Thanks for looking in, all the best to you and yours.

Well, there went that weekend.

Hereabouts it's been a bit hectic as a friend flew in for a memorial service for a friend of hers, and Lady Grey was warm/cold to her. Cats...

We had some time, so we went into Chinatown and walked around.

Most folks head to Grant Avenue and take in the area from there. I like to go up and down some side streets and walk along Stockton Street as it has a real community vibe, and the markets are amazing. We had a great time, looking for dragons to gift.

At one point, we came upon a troupe preparing a lion dance, with just a head from the costume. Such leaps and bounds. Nearby, a group of older men sat playing Chinese stringed instruments.

On a wall in an alley, a man was painting a dragon surrounded by oranges and moon cakes, all done with spray paint. Overhead, colorful umbrellas hung above the passageway, their colors bright in the sun.

Time well spent.

Now a Monday, and a week of work ahead.

That's the nice thing about having a good time, it leaves one with good memories.

And good.

Love on.

 

January 26, 2024

Such a big and beautiful full moon the other night. It soared into the sky and was captivating to behold. 

Another New Year dawns, and of course I'm thinking about my intentions going forward.

It's nice having multiple New Year celebrations throughout the years by learning about other cultures.

As I child growing up in East Los Angeles, I learned a fair amount about Mexican and Latin history, and picked up speaking Spanish along the way. Learning about the folks around me gave me such a richer, fuller world and world view.

Moving to Paris gave me a wonderful immersion in la vie Francaise, and all things French.

London did the same thing, and by then I was into looking into my ancestry and found out my ancestors.

Now here in San Francisco, and the New Year is popping up all over. Just about everywhere I look, I see flashes of red and gold, the big colors for the holiday, and I know it's not all about the playoff game with the SF 49ers football team, but they sure add excitement to this weekend.

Having had almost four weeks since setting my first set of intentions for the New Year on January 1, I am now refining them for this New Year coming up. Practice makes perfect, or darn near.

It is for certain that thrift stores will be getting stuff from me in the near future. Shedding stuff really feels liberating.

Happy Weekend!

Love and more, on.

 

January 22, 2024

It was raining gently as I fell asleep last night, the sound a calming background for my slumber. And slumber I did, me and Lady Grey, she snuggled up against the backs of my knees.

That's where she was this morning as I woke up. The sound of gentle rain continued. I didn't move, and she slumbered on. Some time later I felt her stir and stand, and I turned to see her stretch. Good idea, and I did, too.

The rain continued. 

Later, I noticed it has stopped raining, and went to feed the birds and squirrels.

Here in San Francisco, one third of the population is preparing for Chinese New Year, although it's called different things in different cultures, like Tet in Vietnam. 

Even the local Costco has gotten into it, and the foods on offer are amazing to sample, such variety. 

For my part, I've continued to clean an prepare for the new year. This morning I put into recycling a lot of magazines that had been laying around for far too long, and getting rid of all of them felt wonderful.

Time for the new.

And the new  is coming down in buckets at this minute, the sound of the rain on the skylights near my office is very loud. 

Looking at my Iphone, I can see on the weather radar a large swath of intense rain is coming in.

Time to go check the drains.

Here's wishing you and yours a good week,

and more.

Love on.

 

January 15, 2024

Our first Ides of the year. Half way through the first month of this new year.

Around these parts, we're cleaning the house after the Holidays. There's still time to get our tree out for recycling. San Francisco is a very green city with an excellent environmental outlook, and all holiday trees get mulched and used in city parks, and we have a lot of them. 

It's funny, looking around at all the leafless trees in our urban forest. Mostly evergreens are seen, and quite the variety. Down the street from us, the trees are covered in leaves and look beautiful. Our tree, leafless, stands guard.

Since it is early days in this new year, I'm taking some time and sorting out my stuff. It seems as if I wear some articles of clothing more than others, and those others are the ones I'm looking to move out. 

Less clutter, less mutter, as my Grandma Edith said.

These late sun rising days find me in the dark most mornings, and the early sunset shortens what is already a short day.

A minute or two of additional sunlight every day as we tilt toward Sping.

Here's to good days and nights ahread.

Love on.

 

January 12, 2024

Time for intentions for the new year as the first New Moon of the year appears, or doesn't, actually.

Some folks don't give much mind to what they're up to, they just go about their business and do whatever they do.

Some folks over think it, and tie themselves up in knots of nots and maybes.

Some folks take a pause, breathe and think/feel about the time ahead in the short term, prioritize things and get to moving.

For years, I was one of the first set. I'd wake up and get into whatever it was that I had to do. Didn't give it a lot of thought, just did what was before me. It wasn't a satisfying life.

That's when I started reorganizing my life.

I began by assessing how my body felt when I woke up. Then taking care of my body, cleaning and feeding and tending to it. Then clothes I like. Then assessing my workday and its requirements. Then making a mental list of what when where and how, and I get to moving.

Along the way, I added intention to each day. What did I want to give? What did I want to receive?

For the past 3+ decades, this routine has helped through some of the darkest days of my life, and has been a touchstone for my wellness.

Here's to a wonderful New Moon!

Love on!

 

January 11, 2024

With the start of the new year, many of the companies that I work with have been gearing up. Some for conventions, some for product release, some for next steps. 

That's the thing about technology: it's always coming.

Some of the interesting new things I've seen are devices that integrate audio and visual information into a wearable form. Like the cell phone that you can unroll from your wrist and flatten out. Or the small device that once attached to a wearer helps them to stand and sit. Not to mention stuff using radio frequencies. Wow. So much new is coming.

The funny thing is, it all builds on the old.

We all want comfort, safety, connection.

Technologists keep coming up with new ways to package basic human needs.

One day, I spent part of it with a headset on, attending virtual meetings with lots of people. The participants were drawn from a variety of disciplines from the world over. Each of us was represented by an avatar of our choosing, and most of us choose images that matched our physical description. Except for one guy, who showed up as a humanoid tiger-like being.

It was a trip, and yet it didn't involve moving from my chair.

As I wrapped up that day, I noticed my heightened desire for live time interaction. Being in a virtual world made me want the real world more.

Love, on.

 

January 5, 2024

Hello Kumanovo, Macedonia! You are my first visitor from your country, and I thank you for coming and welcome you! All the best and blessings to you and your relations.

First Friday. 

I was outside a bit earlier, standing on our deck looking toward the east. The sky was a pale yellow with shades of orange, the clouds farthest away were bright red with dark grey tops. It all moved very slowly north. Looking at my smartphone, I could see it was a band of rain clouds moving north towards the Sierra Nevada mountains. So beautiful, and a reminder of the power of nature.

It's getting just about time to defestoon the Yule Tree. What a mess this always is. So many pine needles escape and there are still needles in this house from years gone by. This involves going into our storage area and getting rid of things we no longer need or use. There's a lot of stuff that has been identified as surplus and is going away. Some will be set outside, on the driveway, with a note on it saying 'Free' and hopefully someone will take it away. Then there's the stuff for the Thrift Store we support, and then the rest for recycling or trash.

Getting ready for the next big New Year celebration that's coming next month: Chinese New Year.

Now is the time to clean up and get rid of stuff you don't want, and create space and energy for the new to come into your life.

There are 4 shirts in my closet that I didn't wear last year, and they are going away. One I'm giving to a friend, the others to Thrift. 

Just a bit more room, and less clutter. Win win!

The last of the Holiday parties is this Saturday, a gathering of a couple of hundred people at a home here in San Francisco. It's quite the gathering, with locals and politicians and Civic workers and more. And that will be the end of Yuletide for us.

What a Yule this has been, some sadness, some gladness, and always, some love.

Here's hoping you enjoy this First Friday and the days ahead.

Love, on!

 

January 2, 2024

Happiest Newest Year!

We made it, no small feat, that. What a year. Not one I hope to repeat, it was. Thank you and fare well.

2024.

Never been here before.

Terra cognita but still new. Time does that so well. Here and gone, and memory lives on.

Waking up on the first morning of the new year, I said 'thank you' outloud, as I have for years. And then I didn't move. I closed my eyes and let my ears do the watching. Sounds of birds, faintly. Stretching, I feel my body and its bones and muscles, all connecting to make me. My breathing is relaxed, as is my heart and mind.

Better. That's what I think, the word better.

It's my resolution for the new year, and every day to come.

That's what I've been up to, since the last time I was here. 

That, and changing calenders here and there, and updating records and contacts and whatnot. Preparing for the onslaught of paperwork ahead as Tax Day is coming. And getting ready for more rain, thankfully, and snow in the mountains.

Here's hoping your New Year is everything you work it to be.

Love on and on.

 

December 29, 2023

Welcome to the last Friday of the year! Huzzah!

For most of us, Friday is the end of the week.

When I lived in Pakistan, I discovered that Friday there is Saturday elsewhere. It took a bit of getting my head around it, but I did, and then moved back to California. 

The rain this morning has been gentle and soft. They say we need the rain, and we are going to be getting it for the next couple of days. Which also means more snow in the mountains. Winter is decidedly here.

The cherry tree now wears a golden tattered smattering of leaves, and from time to time one will break free and float to the ground. The winds that have come with this latest storm have ripped leaves off just about every plant in the yard, except for the primroses and spider plants. 25-foot-tall waves were reported north of here, and everyone has been told to not turn your back to the ocean if you are near it. 

Winter is roaring in. 

For those working today, I wish you a wonder filled day, and safe commutes.

For those not working today, I hope you enjoy your day.

Last Friday.

For me, I'm gonna spend it reading. There are Donna Leon books, and my Kindle is charged and ready. As much as I like the technology of my reading device, I still like the feel of a book in my hands. Very comforting. Tactile gestalt.

Have to good Friday!

Love on!

 

December 26, 2023

Happy Boxing Day!

Years ago, I moved to London. I'd been there before and needed new vistas, and London was it. So much to learn! So much to see!

Along the way, I learned about Boxing Day. It's the day after Christmas, one story says it's the day boxes from Christmas are removed, the other is that it's a day for gifting your staff, and those less fortunate than you. Lovely, oldy woldy traditions abound in England.

One of the shop staff I knew saw me, before Christmas, eyeing some stuff in the store where she worked, and told me to come back on Boxing Day when everything would be on sale. She was right, I got 80% off.

So, happy the day after Christmas shopping! Boxing Day is so much easier to say.

Christmas is a mixed bag, and I hope yours was a good one. 

This time of year can be very hard on some. I have a friend who falls into depression this time of year, and I do what I can to steady him. Some trauma takes a life time to heal. So many of us have bad memories of the past, and they can plague us. Through displacement, I've learned to conquor my emotional demons and rise above them. I hope you are well and rising, too.

It's an hour or so before dawn, the air is still and calm. From our living room windows I can see little lights shining in neighboring windows. 

Good morning!

Love, on. 

 

December 21, 2023

Happy Winter Solstice! Happy Summer Solstice!

The sun rose this morning in the City by the Bay at 7:21AM. Those numbers add up to 1, the visible beginning. Start. A good omen. And the sun really did shine as it rose, there were no clouds to obscure its rays, and the crystal in our dining room blazed, sending rainbows into other rooms on beams of light. Golly. 

For me, this is a day of setting intention. Ya gotta start someplace, and for me this is that place. 

On my walk later today, I'm going to think about all of the things that happened in my personal and professional lives, and what I have learned along the way. Turning toward home, I'll start to think about the new year coming, and any changes I'd like to make where I can. 

Next year will be a 1 year for me, so I expect lots of new. 

Time has taught me to embrace change, to roll with the punches, to rise to the occasion, and most of all, learn.

Each year will bring change, some wanted, some dreaded, some unforeseen.

Remember to breathe. 

Take a moment, center your hands slightly below your navel, breathe and relax. Ground yourself. And begin, again.

Here's to all the days and nights ahead, with

love on!

 

December 20, 2023

Waking up to the sound of rain is comforting. That's how my morning started shortly after 4AM. Falling back to sleep to that gentle sound was wonderful. Minutes after 6AM, I awaken to a downpour, and rush to make sure the drains are not mucked up with whatever. That got my heart racing. Up and at 'em!

Yesterday I took a trolly car downtown to see all the festivities. So many new buildings along Market Street. There was a short line for the Powell Street cable car, and the cars had been decorated beautifully. Stores were busy, lots of shoppers, and Union Square was almost crowded. The ice rink wasn't.

Grabbing a seat on a bench, I watch as the swirls of people walk by. A mix of locals and tourists. The babble of languages merge into a sound stream. The sun peeks out from clouds for a few minutes, and the air is calm

Happy. 

Later, I walk and buy a hot tea, and sit and watch some more. So many happy faces.

On the subway car back to my neighborhood, many passengers are toting bags from stores downtown. A little girt talks about the trees she saw, and those nearby smile.

Tomorrow, Winter arrives. There have been reports of very cold temperatures above many northern cities lately, and folks in the weather business tell me this means it's gonna get a lot colder soon.

Bundle up!

Love on!

 

December 16, 2023

Hello Austria! Visiting you is on my list of things to do in the days ahead, I've got family there and can't wait to visit. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading!

Timber!

Woke up to find the Yule Tree on its side, a couple of broken ornaments visible.

It's too big for me to lift by myself, so it will have to wait until Joe comes home at mid day from the bakery.

Hope not too much got broken.

Wonder what happened?

The last time a tree took a tumble was years ago thanks to dearly departed Emma, out 22-pound calico tub of love. She couldn't resist all of the stuff that moved so easily, especially with a curious paw. That was a good holiday and serves as a reminder and an omen of days to come.

Also woke up to a real cold out of doors. Every plant that's not deciduous is wearing Autumn.

Even the squirrels are sleeping in. Can't blame them, it's cold for these parts. 

Being surrounded on three sides by water gives us a bit of the island climate, warmer than the surrounding area. But it's no match for the winds and rain thunderstorms that blow in from the Pacific Ocean. Some of these storms have been travelling since Siberia and Hong Kong and they're ready for land, and sometimes it's us.

That's the forecast for the week ahead, starting tomorrow. 

Rain.

And on Thursday, Winter arrives. 

Happy Holly Daze! 

 

December 14, 2023

Festooning of the Yule Tree is well underway. This year, our dearly departed friend Barbara is joining us with many ornaments from her collection. Her presence is a sweet reminder of her being, and adds immeasurably to the joyfulness. And the tree looks amazing, since Barbara loved garage and Estate sales, and clearly bought many beautiful things.

This morning, as I raised the window blinds in our bedroom, I noticed that the wisteria on the deck had gone completely yellow. Not one green leaf to be seen. Opening the door, I instantly knew why and closed the door. As I turned away, Lady Grey sat at the bedroom entry and gave me a quizzical look, as in 'it's half an hour to dawn, what are you doing?'. She walked away. As did I.

For some folks, this is a terrible time of year. Too many bad memories and deeply embedded trauma swallow them. For my part, this time of year brings out my biggest heart, and I am especially kind to everyone I meet. Just yesterday, on my way to the Post Office, I crossed paths with a drunk woman, and helped her as she started to fall down. As she sat on the ground, I asked her if she needed help and she said she didn't. But she did, and I went and spoke to one of the Community workers and she called for assistance. We have Homeless Outreach workers here in San Francisco, and they work with folks, offering medical help, housing, what they can.

As I walked home through the center of the Castro District, I noticed all of the little lights in windows and buildings. So many decorations, and I noticed that a neighbor has gone all out and decorated his old Victorian house to the nines, it's so beautiful.

Here's hoping your days and nights are filled with the best life offers, especially love.

Love on!

 

December 8, 2023

Happy Bodhi Day!

In Buddhism, this is the day Gautama reached enlightenment, during the last eight hours of the day, called the Third Watch. 

For me, as I discovered Buddhism starting at 13 years old, I was delighted with what I learned. This led me to learn about other religions and practices, which led to a college minor in anthropology. Learning about us through the lens of religion has been very useful and helpful to me.

I learned along the way that there are lots of wonderful practices that we can incorporate into our daily lives that nurture and sustain us. For me, this is always the best part of any religion. 

Learning from the world has broadened my horizons.

Borrowing from tradition, on the 6th we went and bought our annual Yule Tree. This year, it came from my favorite garden store in San Francisco, Flowercraft (www.flowercraftgc.com) and it's very nice. We got it on that day because of Nicholas, a man who gave gifts who later was called Saint Nicholas, and his gift to us this year is our tree. It's stood unadorned until today. Lights will be going on first. There was one year, as we strung the tree with lights, that we found a tiny bird's nest. We set it outside and it disappeared. 

On a personal note, tonight is our 35th anniversary of the night we met in Boston, Massachusetts. Time flies, love endures.

Love on!

 

December 2, 2023

Hello Dublin! Just yesterday I was looking at videos of all the holiday decorations and it sure looks wonderful! All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

And here we are!

Last month of the year. No pressure.

Last afternoon, shortly before sunset, I went to light a candle for World Aids Day. So many people I knew were taken by that plague, some of my best friends from High School in Van Nuys, CA. And so many friends from the world over, lost to it. As I went to strike the wooden match, it broke. I saw that it was short but took a chance and struck it alight. Moving fast, I lit the candle and blew out the match. In that moment I heard in my head 'broken and still works' and knew this included me.

As we walked out last night to our favorite sushi restaurant, we remarked on all the lights in all the windows, and many candles. Starting last night, many buildings in downtown are being illuminated with moving colored imagery. I saw video of it after dinner and plan on going to see for myself.

Festooning is beginning. This is the time of year when I learn to live with glitter. It could be worse.

Love, on.

 

November 30, 2023

Well, that's about it for November, eh? Last day of the month, and tomorrow starts the last month of the year. Lots of lasts.

Just casting my reflections backward for a moment, it's been quite the month, let alone the year.

Time to push on. Can't change the past, only learn from it, and go forward. 

For this year end, I've decided to 'do it up', as it were, and decorate the place. Sometime in the days ahead, a Yule Tree will be selected and fetched back to Chez Nous, where it will stand for a day or two before it is decorated with lights and ornaments. I started hearing Holiday music on the radio the other day and was surprised last night to see how many of my neighbors already have a tree up. 

Perfect time to make a trip downtown and see the windows and decorations and what have you. Time to take a bit more in.

How about you? What have you got planned for the days ahead? 

Before we all know it, we will be in those days. 

My friend Jack has always said 'poor prior planning' when things go amiss. So, I'll continue to do my planning and move forward and roll with the changes as they come. 

One breath at a time, one step at a time, one day at a time, one life at a time.

With love, on.

 

November 27, 2023

The cold weather is settling in, and the temps are in the 30's in the Bay Area. No fog to speak of, no rain yet, but cold.

On the deck, the wisteria leaves are beginning to yellow. The squirrels run through them and leaves fall. Yep, it's fall, alright.

Having tied on the feedbag for Thanksgiving, we joined friends at the oldest Italian restaurant in San Francisco, Fior d'Italia, near the Embarcadero. This place has moved all over the City since its founding, and has had a few owners, but still turns out wonderful honest to goodness Italian food, big plates of it. All of this and turkey, too. It was a feast.

It was also the perfect set-up to a couple of days with our niece and nephew. Lots of food and fun with them. They've become excellent travelers and regaled us with their adventures.

And then a quiet, peaceful Sunday. Ah, relaxation. No chores, no things to do, just reading and internet surfing and a nap, to boot.

Which brings me to this morning. Ooo, it was so cold in this house. My phone said it was 48F outside. I believed it. Pulling on sweats I venture into the kitchen and Lady Grey, on her heating pad. She blinks, acknowledging me, as I start the coffee machine and get her some wet food. Where are my gloves...

as the furnace kicks on and the cat begins to eat. The smell of coffee fills the kitchen, and another day begins.

Time to start festooning the house, bringing out all the decorations we've collected over the decades. This year, our collection has been increased by the gifts of a dearly departed friend, and it will be joyous to share our holiday tree with her.

Holly Daze! Happy!

Love on!

 

November 20, 2023

Our red Horse Chestnut tree is leafing. There are fewer and fewer leaves every day, most have turned yellow, but some persist in green. Most are gone, and have been swept to the curb on street cleaning Mondays. There are lots of fallen leaves scattered about now, and the barrenness of some trees is stunning. Winter continues to approach.

A holiday week for Americans as Thanskgiving punctuates the week on Thursday. 

Thanksgiving.

I forgot all about it when I lived outside of the US of A. And yet found some of the foods associated with the holiday in these places, even Lahore, Pakistan.

Turkey. 

Growing up on a turkey farm, I had no problem eating them, and never have. What started out as a sweet, tender yellow ball of fluff quickly turned into a fast, sharp beaked and clawed flying monster. Even then, I knew these things were descended from dinosaurs.

Pumpkin.

As Clarissa Wright, an English cook, said: Never let an American near them. In the States, pumpkin is a sweet, not a savory. The first time I had pumpkin stew in London, I was convinced the US was being deprived. 

There are so many foods we think of when this holiday comes around. 

This year, I'm playing it spontaneously. If I come across some wonderful food, I'm buying it. Time to strap on the feedbag and have a bit of indulgence.

Love  on!

 

November 15, 2023

The Ides of November. Half way into November. Tempus fugit. Time flies.

Yesterday, as I sat at my desk, working on a message to a client company, an object fell from a bookcase. I heard it but didn't move to see what had happened. A few minutes later, another object fell from a different bookcase. Something was up. I turned and faced the bookcase and closed my eyes. Out loud I said, 'I am here for you.' Then I waited. I relaxed and kept my eyes closed. Seconds later, I felt someone touch my left cheek briefly and very lightly. The room felt warm suddenly, and then another object fell from another bookcase. This one told me who it was. I said her name out loud and felt a rush of a slight breeze move past me.

Death is the great illusion, as this incidence reminds me. 

We hadn't spoken in years, since she moved away, but from time to time she popped into my head and I always wished her well. 

I'm not sure when she passed over, but I'm sure she did. Over the decades, yes, decades, I've learned to trust my intuition and perception.

We live in a world filled with the spirits of those who have gone before us, and most of us are unaware of this.

Last night, I lit a candle for her, and another for all the dead.

The magic of life is the love that we feel. 

Love. On.

 

November 11, 2023

It's been one of those weeks.

They don't come along more than twice a year, usually, so when this one started I knew what to do.

It's good to remember what happened before, and in doing so I hope/think I did my best. The last time this happened, I was surprised that the truth had left the room. This time was much more subtle.

A woman called and made an appointment to see me. The morning of our meeting, my meditation showed me a man with her, and lots of ancestral spirits in the room. Forewarned is forearmed. Sure enough, she showed up alone, and as I greeted her, I asked where the man was. She looked surprised and said he was parking the car. A minute later he rang my doorbell. Once seated, she started asking questions and I could feel the room begin to fill with spirits. There was an old woman, from hundreds of years ago, and a man much, much older. During our session, she lied and gave partial truths, he was completely honest. The old woman smiled a toothless grin. The old man was silent. At the end of our session, she asked a question, and I told her the real question and gave its answer. She looked stricken. The man with her laughed, and told her in Chinese to stop playing games. I knew this because the spirits told me as he spoke. She then looked at me and said she would listen to her family. I felt the spirits in the room lighten. As they left, he turned to me and said 'I thought you were a fake, I'm sorry. Thank you.'

Why oh why would one come to see someone who 'claims' to be psychic and lie repeatedly?

When this happened the first time, I said nothing to the woman. She paid me and then told folks I was crap. At the time, it surprised me and I meditated a great deal on it. It became clear that my job required me to parse the truth from peoples words and use my ability to perceive their auras as an indication of what was really going on in them.

That's what I've done since. 

Just doing my job.

And glad for it, and glad to be of service. This work has taught me to start with myself and unvarnished truth. Honesty really is the best policy. It frees up more energy for love. That's where our magic lives.

Love, on!

 

November 4, 2023

Daylight Saving Time ends tomorrow, and an hour of sleep is lost for most in the US. Europe, your time change is coming soon. Waking up this morning shortly after 5:30AM, the house was quiet. Lady Grey was somewhere, and Joe had gone off at 4AM to his bakery. No need for me to rush. So, I didn't. I don't have many mornings like this one, so I took my time, and it was wonderful. All my chores got done, but there was no rush. Even the squirrels were still asleep as I put their food and water out. Distant glow in the East as the sun moves toward dawn. The air calm, the air still, all quiet. Peaceful.

Some time passed and I went and got my coffee. I was tempted to go back outside on the deck but refrained as I knew wildlife would be coming to eat shortly. Sitting in a chair in the dining room, I watch the sky lighten and the first bird to come eat. Then a couple more birds and then one and then another squirrel. The sky gets much brighter, and the glow in the east is beautiful. The wisps of cloud are streaked with pink and orange. Bird song fills the air.

Such contentment. I breathe it in, and give thanks.

Later, in my morning meditation, I receive messages that darken my spirit, and take me by surprise. Life is not always easy.

In minutes, my day will start. First with a phone call, then a video session, and then a live visitor and more phone sessions. This will be my workday. It feels doable and good. I'm ready.

Here's to life, and all of the opportunities it affords us to love.

Love, on and on.

 

November 1, 2023

Happy Samhain!

Happy All Saints!

Last night in the 'hood was fun, not too crowded and lots of laughs. So many witches and zombies, some with 'Thriller' by Michael Jackson playing. A flutter of butterflies, male and female, and lots of costumes. And it wasn't cold. 

Woke up this morning to find the front yard and stairs okay, just some litter. There was one year, two folks sprawled on the steps, and I left them to sleep. Much quieter this year. 

Woke to the cold of the morning, just after 5AM. So dark, even with a waning moon. And quiet.

For me, that was just the way to start today, the beginning of the end of the year. Shorter, darker days are coming. Enjoy the light.

There's a time change this weekend, those of us on USA time set our clocks back one hour. Daylight Savings Time is ending.

Seems kind of fitting, what with the weather changing to rain in the week ahead, and cold air masses sweeping across Siberia and south towards the West Coast.

Here comes Winter. 

A client in Scotland says that the rain this time of year has been fierce and the winds unkind.

Another in Canada says that it has been colder than usual, but not much snow.

Another in Lagos, Nigeria says the days are cloudy and hot, as usual.

Where ever we are, there is weather.

For my part, I'm going to be out and about more before the rains keep me in at a warm fire with a nice cup of tea.

Love, on.

 

October 30, 2023

Halloween started this past Saturday in the neighborhood. There were costumes and candy for everyone and lots and lots of children and pets and people from late morning until just now, with the lady walking by wearing wings and horns. It's a party.

It was fun Saturday night when the children had gone to sleep, and the adults gave themselves permission to dress up. There were some beautiful costumes, even a collection of jelly fish that lit up as it got dark. And lots of ghouls and a few zombies. The sidewalks were crowded with revelers.

And there's more to come tomorrow night, to be sure. Street closures are for certain. It will be hectic.

Walking around the area, it's been fun to see how inventive folks are in decorating their homes. Such clever stuff. Like the house that is completely wrapped in what looks like spider webbing, with a massive 12 foot wide spider at the roof. Truly amazing work. Pumpkins are on just about every stairway. And so many ghosts hanging about.

It's been wonderful to see people out and about, after the shut down that the pandemic brought. 

Folks are certainly ready to have a good time, those that seek it.

I'll be joining the festivities tomorrow after dark, just to revel in the spirits.

Love on!

 

October 24, 2023

The roller coaster that is the weather is in full effect. 

Yesterday and today, it's been raining.

The heat lasted until Friday and then temps returned to normal.

And then rain.

And tomorrow is supposed to be sunny.

El Nino, the science folks say. Prepare for a wet winter. Lots of snow at elevations. Maybe cold and windy.

My intuition is telling me they're right, and that we should prepare for the potential of flooding, as it has happened before. Time to get to work and finish installing the soaker hose in the backyard and cut back some bigger branches on a couple of bushes, so they don't break with the rain.

It gets light outside so late nowadays, and the time change isn't far away. Yep, it must be that time of year. 

Halloween is in full bloom in the neighborhood, and the City Administrators have decided to allow the celebration of Halloween in the Castro again. This means blocked streets and thousands of people swarming into the 'hood, most in costume. Over the years, it's usually been fun and good business, the Covid pandemic cancelled it until this year.

Another reminder that we are returning to a healthier community.

Here's to the good days ahead!

Love, on.

 

October 18, 2023

Summer has returned to San Francisco!

Today and especially tomorrow we're supposed to be in the 80's F today and maybe 90's tomorrow.

I don't know a soul in the City that has air conditioning. Not one. Why would one bother with the disruption and expense when the fog is a more frequent visitor?

Besides, isn't this what shopping malls were designed for? That's where I used to go as a kid in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, CA. This town isn't really a mall town, but we have one down on Market Street. I know it has air conditioning. 

It's comforting that our social infrastructure is looking after us. On every electronic device, the warning "Heat Advisory" pops up. 

So, the shades and blinds have been drawn and lowered in the rooms that get mid-day sun. All the doors and windows have been closed since dawn at 7:19 this morning. 

As ready as we can be. 

While it's still cool, and kind of dark, I'm heading out for my walk. 

In sandals, I think.

Love, on.

 

October 16, 2023

Hello! How are you? How have you been doing? It's been a while.

So much has been happening in my life and the world, it's been a race to catch up, and somedays I didn't.

Oh, well, it happens. Tomorrow is another day.

That's what the past two weeks have been for me. Dealing with issues that have been around for months, and slogging every day until I can't stand it anymore. Then a drink of water and a walk somewhere nearby. Just to blow the frustration off. There has been a fair amount of it lately, and it has taken a great deal of effort to keep going on. My box of things to break to displace energy has shrunken of late. This is a good thing. Better it than me.

There are still a couple of projects that I have to finish, hopefully this week. It would be nice to go into Halloween with these things done and gone. I'm ready for a party.

The festivities of Halloween are beginning to happen. There was a Zombie Meet-up the other day in the neighborhood. About 40 people dressed as the dead walked around the area to the delight of residents and tourists. Some of them were really creepy and scary. 

What fun. That's what I'm going to be looking for right after my chores are done. 

Isn't it wonderful to have incentive?

Here's hoping my efforts are successful and I can move forward  into the holiday!

Boo to you!

Love, on

 

October 2, 2023

Halloween is starting early, and I don't mean all the bags of candy in the markets.

Yesterday I noticed a neighbor putting up a huge artificial spider on the front of his house, and later walked by and noticed more ghouls and ghosts hanging from his building.

And pumpkins, they're everywhere.

Walking into my local supermarket, a Safeway, inside the front door are piles of pumpkins, and not all orange, Some greenish, some yellowish, some a bit blackish. And so many shapes. It was quite a display.

When I lived in Paris, I remember seeing a pumpkin or two. Same when I was living in London, although there were a few more. 

When I taught Elementary School in South Central Los Angeles, one of my students brought me a container of food. It was from his mom, he said, and I was delighted to discover an African pumpkin stew. Oh my gosh, was it good. 

Even at the bakery, people are starting to ask about pumpkin pies. They're coming, says Joe.

It must be that time of year.

The ads for pumpkin spiced drinks and foods are getting to me a bit much. Time to go look up pumpkin stew. Might as well roll with the season.

Love on.

 

September 30, 2023

Woke up to a wet world. It had rained a bit in the night, I guess, and the plants and deck were very wet. As I put out some fresh water and nuts for the squirrels a rain drop found me, and I laughed.

It was a greeting from Autumn.

Checking the news, there's snow in the Sierra's, a sure sign of winter approaching. Climatetologists say that we are in an El Nino cycle and should expect a wet winter. Considering how much snow there was last year, this year might turn our to be a doozy.

On my walk this morning there are not many folks out, it being Saturday and all. The rain  has stopped and the streets glisten, the sky a slowing moving mass of shapes in shades of grey.

Weather or whether, it really doesn't matter.

The magnolia tree blossoms are so white against the dark green leaves, and the air smells so fresh.

Let's here and hear it for weather!

Going up our front steps, another rain drop finds my cheek. A kiss from Autumn.

Love going on.

 

September 29, 2023

Ah, intuition.

It's like a physical muscle, the more you work with it, the better the results.

When I was little, thoughts would pop in my head. I learned to hear them, and try to understand what they were telling me.

My most vivid memory is one from a party my mom and stepdad went to at his boss's house. It was a four-level house perched on the side of the hill in Los Angeles, with decks on each level. It was very swanky, as were many of the invitees. Lots of music, lots of laughs, and lots of food and drink. I was one of three kids there. It was kinda fun, watching adults.

Then a thought popped into my head that said 'not all are adults'. As I pondered that, a young woman ran by me, followed closely by a young man, as they went out the front door. We could hear the shouting from inside. The adults tried to distract me, but the message had been received. 

Since that time, I've learned to pay close attention to my intuition, and to trust it.

Sometimes more than the people in front of me.

The other day, a man and woman who live nearby lied to my face. Both of them. And I knew it. The petty reason for the lie was a reminder to me of the work that the world does every day, evolution. 

Why she stole a neighbor's plant from their stairs resides in jealousy and isn't anything to be ashamed of. It's a normal human feeling. It's what one does with it that is important. 

As the old Polish saying goes: Not my circus, not my monkeys.

Trust your intuition, it's there for you.

with love on.

 

September 25, 2023

Those last few days of summer beckoned my mother in law to greener pastures, and she went peacefully. 90 years of living and loving and being oh so much to oh so many.

There are only feelings, no words fully express...

Life can throw curveballs. Sometimes you can catch them. Sometimes not. Just don't stand there.

So that's what we've been up to, a quick two-night trip into Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I'd never been there and now have a new pin to put in my world travels map. Biggest city around, and as we drove east into Iowa the towns became sparce, and all you see are houses and outbuildings. Some sheep, some cattle, some pigs. Lots of corn. And lots of land.

The sky as we arrived was painted in shades of yellow and orange, a breeze from the west cooling the air. As night fell, the stars appeared.

Family and friends and many townsfolk came to pay their respects, and afterwards we had a buffet lunch in the former school cafeteria. So many memories for Joe and his siblings.

Being welcomed as I have into his family has given me a deep appreciation for how inclusion feels. I'm blessed to have it.

And then the zoom of driving quite a while back to Sioux Falls and dropping off our rental car, then going through airport security and onto our first of two flights home.

Of course there was a bit of turbulance, just to remind me where I am, and then we arrived at Dallas/Fort Worth. 

From one terminal to another, and throngs of people. Flights to all points of the globe, and they all looked to be pretty full.As it was later in the day we ran into a delay, which gave me more time to enjoy travel. Such energy.

An hour plus late, we arrive at SFO. Tired but glad to be almost home.

Truly a bit of a whirlwind, and the love is ever abiding.

Love, on.

 

September 19, 2023

Ah, the waning days of summer...

the weather has been warm and nice, and folks have been out having a great time.

So many street fairs happening.

And now Oktoberfest has started this past Sunday, and I suspect the party will continue for the rest of the month.

But that's not going to stop Autumn from making it's appearance this Friday/Saturday.

As I child, Fall always came as a 'one-two' punch. First, I had to go back to school. And then Fall came and it would soon get darker earlier and my play time outside would be limited.

Thank goodness I grew up.

I still enjoy the long lazy days of summer, but I've learned to make peace with the other seasons, especially winter.

Not that we have that much of a winter in San Francisco.

But for now, I'm going to enjoy these last few days of summer and revel in the sunlight.

Make the best of what you have, and you'll be happier in the long run.

Love, on.

 

September 14, 2023

My intuition started tickling me the other day. Something was up. The next day was the same. 

Out of the blue.

I remember hearing this phrase as a child, and wondering what this blue looked like. I still do.

There are some curve balls in life that come at you, and it's up to you as to how to proceed.

With my tingling intuition, I decided to take care of the tasks at hand and proceed as normal. It helped when the waves of change swept my way,

Instead of sweeping me away, I was able to steady myself with my safe, comfortable and familiar surroundings, and let the waves of change wash over me. It took focus and effort, and there were times when I was a bit shaky, but I stayed the course and it all has worked out well thus far.

Change is a constant in this life, and the sooner we accept this fact, the easier it will be to focus on things we can control. We cannot stop change. The best we can do is accommodate it, and not lose ourselves to it.

It's tricky, I know, but it can be done. 

For me, it starts with remembering my focus in life, which is love. 

Love has sustained me in countless ways on countless occasions, and has shown itself to be an inspiration to and for me.

Right after love comes intention, as in what am I trying to accomplish?

Then focus, that's next. Concentrate on the task at hand. 

Lastly, effort. Give it what you got, give it your best, and your all if you must, but effort is imperative.

Surfing on the waves of change, riding with the tide, and trusting the flow.

Love, on.

 

September 5, 2023

And just like that, we're in September, the seventh month on the old Roman calendar. And Labor Day in the US, the unofficial end of summer for many. For others, it's the waning days of the season.

For me, it's been a time to move on. 

There are some things that I'll never correct, and that's the way it is. Thee are some where I can still effort, and I do and will.

And the rest is not my business.

My Dad's Mom was a busybody, she was always sticking her nose into other people's lives, and offering suggestions or comments. Few appreciated her for it, and some told her off in no short words.  Watching her was educational, and to this day she serves as an example of who never to be. There was so little good in her.

It's always amazed me how life helps us to grow and become. The fulcrum point rests on self esteem. 

How we treat ourselves is a clear indication of our self perception of worth. It also serves as a message to others.

I remember the day I started 5th grade at Garvanza Elementary in Los Angeles. Every year had been a new school, and I was ready for this new one, so big and fancy looking. walking past the chain link fencing, a boy stopped me and asked if he could borrow a dime. I didn't have one, but I gave him a nickel. He waked away and a girl came up to me and said that he did that to all the new kids and never repaid anyone.

Good to know.

That lesson has played itself out in front of me countless times since then, and it's always the same. 

Learning to listen to my intuition has spared me more encounters like that kid, and over time it's helped me to see my worth more clearly.

Such a gift, and easy to give and receive.

Love on.

 

August 31, 2023

Here we are at the tail end of August. How time flies.

This has been a month of summer here in San Francisco, by that I mean we've had fog in the mornings and then hot days. Lately its been so hot that the fog is off shore most of the time.

Having been out and about, I've noticed a swell of tourists this past month, and from what I hear, hotel rooms are pretty much booked by about 80% of capacity, and bars and restaurants are hopping. I saw a cable car go past that was packed to the rafters with people. Yep, it's that time of the year.

Our yards, such as they are, are filled with blooming flowers and lots of bees and hummingbirds. And squirrels, lots of them. So many that I had to buy another nest for them and bought a cedar box from a man in Michigan through Etsy. It should be here shortly. Room for more squirrels.

And less room for clothes I don't wear anymore. The other day I tried on a pair of pants, and they were so big and floppy. I remember that waistline, and like the one I have now. There will be a big bag for the Thrift store nearby. 

And less room for stuff I don't use, like a few glass vases that I've collected over the years. I found them the other day in a cabinet and put them all in a box to be set on the street. I'm sure someone can use them.

Last night, as I watched the Blue moon rise, I made a wish. 

For happiness, for all.

And more room for love.

Love on.

 

August 26, 2023

People will always tell you who they are. Believe them.

A few months back, at a friend's party, I chatted with a woman. It was pleasant. Later, she asked my host for an introduction. We chatted some more. It was clear from our conversation she needed help. I gave her a couple of referrals.

She saw them both, and in both cases accused each of them of bad intentions. Both stopped seeing her.

Then she called me. 

Unable to help due to a full schedule, she came to my door unannounced. I wasn't home and she was refused entry. When I returned, I listened to the messages she left on my office telephone.

So sad. Such invective and hatred.

I wish her well. I hope she comes to value herself more.

'There will always be someone who doesn't see your worth. Don't let it be you.'

Love, on.

 

August 21, 2023

Southern California has been inundated by Hurricane Hillary. 14 inches of rain in some places within one day. So much of the storm is going over desert lands, and the soil compaction leads to terrible run off streams. There is a lot of distruction.

As there is in Lahaina, Maui, with the terrible fires and horrific destruction.

And the fires in Washington State are awful to see.

In the midst of all of this, I see an elected American Senator say that climate change is 'bunk'. Off went the TV, and I was angry until I was sad and then resolved.

Objective science has been very clear on this issue.

On the other side is a wall of mis and dis information. When you look into the claims, they prove false.

Who knew evolution would be such a struggle?

To that end, I've been working in the yard and on the planter boxes, adding new seasonal color as summer slips away. Walking in the neighborhood his weekend, folks were dressed for the muggy weather that Hurricane Hillary has brought us. It was so good to see so many people out and about in the sunshine.

My plans now are to go and sit and perhaps lie down in the hammock and read magazines and relax.

Here's hoping your day encompasses some self care.

Biggest hugs and all the best!

Love, on.

 

August 17, 2023

That was quite the New Moon, the eighth this year.

I took some time and sat at the base of a tree. I listened inside.

It was a warmish for San Francisco day, Karl the Fog was lingering off shore, and the air was warming up. Mostly blue skies, although monsoonal moisture from Mexico is hitting the eastern part of California, and the clouds we get are big and white and puffy. The air is a bit humid. I sat at the tree, leaning up against it, and breathed.

Didn't notice how long I was there, but when I looked up and around, the air seemed clearer. Walking home, I felt lighter than before.

This recent hospitalization and it''s aftermath have been very helpful to me. I'm a big believer in believing that the right thing always happens, and my time spent ill was, this time, an eye opener.

When I hung out my shingle in 1988 to the world, I hoped for the best. This experience has topped my expectations and dreams.

Thank you.

It is an honor and prividelge to be of service.

With your kind and understanding consideration, I have decided to work one day less a week.

This feels cosmic, somehow.

Mayber it's the decades of working 5 days a week that became ingrained in me when I joined the work force at 16 years of age...

Whatever it is, in my New Moon mediation it became clear to me that it was time for me to work one day less. Always being up for change, I've given it a go with last week. Oh my goodness, 3 days off in 7 is quite the treat. Let's see how it goes.

Embracing change is so much better than getting whalloped by it, don't ya think?

I do, that's what I'm trying, on a daily basis. 

Finger's crossed, touch/knock wood, and all that.

And trust.

And love, on.

 

August 14, 2023

Hello Vancouver, BC! I've had so many wonderful times with you, such a wonderful city. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

It's been a classic San Francisco Summer in our part. Drizzle, fog / clouds, and then sunshine.

Perfect for me to sit in our garden and read. Or to lie down in the hammock and drift off to sleep.

Recuperation.

That's what I'm doing.

And knock wood, every day I'm feeling better and back to my former self.

Just in a week.

At the height of my medical emergency, I reviewed my Last Will in my head, it felt so calamitous. 

Then modern medicine stepped up and in, and I was showered with excellent diagnosis and medication.

Lots of changes to my intake, as in one ounce food=two ounces of water, just flat water.

That is the biggest one, and wow, do I feel the difference.

As the gut doctor I talked with said, 'older rusty pipes' and I laughed. Gotta flush them pipes better.

That is as long as I get to wake up, and give thanks, and go about my day and life.

And I sure do.

Self care. I highly recommend it.

With love.

 

August 11, 2023

There was a time last Friday night, as I waited to be seen by the medical staff, when the room wasn't filled with clamoring and gurneys and people in pain. I closed my weary eyes and relaxed. I remember seeing a blue sky above me, the clouds shredding apart in the winds aloft, the air calm. Suddenly the Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz was flying across the beautiful sky. With her broom she wrote 'surrender'.

Message received.

There are times in life when all you can do is surrender.

For me, this meant trusting that the right things were happening and solutions were at hand, which proved to be the case.

Our power ends at our skin, and after that it's either faith or fear. We've got choices.

There was a woman in a nearby bay in the ER who kept crying and saying the most dire and terrible things that were going to happen. The wailing was crazy at times, so much emotional displacement, the staff kept rying to comfort her. Someone came along at some point and the screams and wailed stopped.

The power of fear sure had her. Turns out her son was fine but needed to be in a car seat. 

The choices we make.

Loving on.

 

August 8, 2023

Well, it's been a minute, as some folks say.

Shortly after my last post, I began to notice that my guts were in a bit of an uproar. Having been like that before, I started a plan to ease my gut.

It didn't work.

So I increased my methods, hoping this would fix the problem.

Nope.

And then things went really south. 

By the middle of last week I knew I was in deep doo-doo. Everything that had worked prior wasn't working for me.

Time to call my health plan. The Advice Nurse was very helpful and got a doctor on the phone line. We discussed what I could do. I gave it a go.

No results.

By Friday morning the problem had me incapacitated and I was in a lot of pain. Called my health plan and they said 'Come on down", and there I went.

A couple of diagnostic tests and a CT scan, I was sent to the Emergency Room.

Three hours later they had a bay for me. Lots of blood draws later, they tell me I'm being admitted.

Surrender, my guides said. I did.

After admission, a doctor came and told me I had diverticulitis with complications and they were starting an antibiotic regimen. No food, no water. All liquids by IV drip. The pain lessened and I slept.

Saturday morning, the doctor on duty told me what was going on and gave me an examination. Things were starting to improve.

By that night my pain was gone for the most part, but still no food or water.

Sunday morning, shortly before dawn, a couple of doctors checked in on me. Making improvement, they said. I couldn't tell. They said I could have a liquid diet.

Can I tell you what a delight it was to have a sip of water? Later some chicken broth and juice. No problems. Fingers crossed.

By the afternoon my guts were beginning to operate correctly. What an incredible relief.

Early Sunday afternoon, my plumbing was back in working order. A technician came in and asked me for my dinner order. Salmon and squash bisque and vanilla pudding. I was beginning to feel like my prior self.

Later Sunday afternoon, another doctor came by and we talked about how I was doing. She asked me if I wanted to go home and of course I said yes. Sorry to miss the salmon and whatnot, but there's no place like home.

Walking up my house steps Sunday evening, I was flooded with relief. The welcome home was tremendous. I guess I was missed.

After two days of being home, I'm strong enough to resume most of my activities. No solid food, mind you, but now at least it's home cooking. 

Take it easy, they said, and I am.

There will be a follow-up visit with a gut doctor next month, and more testing. Although I am not completely out of the woods, as it were, I'm a long way from the darkness of last Friday.

Listen to your body, it's your time machine. Mine still is on the mend, and hopefully I'll return to my former strength and self.

Biggest hugs to you and yours. 

And very muchest love.

 

July 21, 2023

Sometimes I wonder who is really behind the words I write here.

After my last entry, I immersed myself in my life and had a good day. 

My dreams that night were ones of conflict and gullt and so much darkness. I woke up and found myself not in the best frame of mind. Off to routine I went, and then I read my emails and listened to my messages and my discontent grew and grew.

It was my dreams made real.

Not the way I wanted to start my day.

So off I went to our yard, and got vicious with the weeds. Ripping and tearing, tugging and cutting, and working up quite a sweat. In my head I'm thinking about the messages and calls and displacing my feelings about it all. The backyard got quite the workout. As did I.

Drying off after my shower, I felt lighter and brighter and ready for the next bit. 

My intuition has a good time with me, sometimes giving me the most subtle of warnings, and over time I've learned that I am the sum of my thoughts, feelings, and physical body, and need tending, just like any living thing.

Love, on, to you and to all.

 

July 18, 2023

Yesterday was one of those days for me when I just had to keep my focus and go forward.

It's amazing how many curve balls can be thrown at you. And the resourcefulness one must discover to continue. That's what it took for me to get through my Monday. 

It started slow enough, coffee machine and cat fed and squirrels and birds fed. All good so far.

Just as I was getting into reading a newspaper, my office phone started ringing. And ringing, and yet again. I got up to investigate and discovered a bunch of messages from employees at a client company telling me their news. And the messages kept coming. All because one of their coworkers had been a in a car crash and they were all concerned about him. Such an outpouring of care. I called a senior manager, and he told me the company was already involved and helping.

There are good people in the world.

By midday, all was under control and the situation was not very bad, thankfully.

Problems will arise, to be sure. It's what we do in response to them that determines what's next.

My advice is to assess the situation and do what you can to help.

And take care of yourself in the process. You cannot pour from an empty cup.

Love on.

 

July 14, 2023

Woke up this morning half an hour before dawn.

The house was quiet, Joe off to work and Lady Grey somewhere.

Just me.

Lying there, in my bed, I thought about the news of the past few days. Learning that someone I shared my life with had died came as a shock, and as I felt into it, there was a sense of rightness. And the fleetingness of time.

Suddenly, I was seized by the desire to open a bottle of champagne. The French kind. And I did.

I raised my glass and toasted all of those who have gone on, and to those to come.

The enduring quality of love, of struggle and challenge, the perils of life.

Here's to life, to liberty, to love, and to freedom.

Happy Bastille Day!

Happy Life!

Happy Love!

Love.

 

July 11, 2023

Doing yard work yesterday afternoon, I found a shriveled cherry from our tree. It had been pecked at, plenty of times, and had fed the birds. It's always fun to find out what happens to the plants in our yard, as most of the action happens when no one is around.

The other morning I saw three squirrels chasing each other up and down the Norfolk pine tree, a towering 70 feet of plant life. The top of the tree is a good roost for crows, and the occasional hawk. And lots of smaller birds. It's a bit like an apartment building.

Which is why I like setting food out for the neighbors, so to speak. Just this morning I was visited by a very loud California Scrub Jay, it's beautiful blue and grey feathers a sight to see. Another fan of pecans, I noticed.

This weekend brings Bastille Day, a French holiday I first celebrated in 1970 in Paris. What a party. The entire country was out for a good time. Strangers greeted strangers, my neighbors shared food and drink, and there was lots of singing in the streets. Here in San Francisco, Belden Place is the center for Bastille celebrations, and it's always fun. The street is lined with restaurants of all kinds.

Yep, summer has definitely arrived in these parts. We get fog in the morning that burns off in our part of town by 8AM, and by 10AM elsewhere. This weekend will see temperatures above 100F across the Bay. 

Me, I'm staying put.

Not need to travel grips me right now, and the home hearth beckons. 

Time for me to brush off all the culinary arts I learned while going to cooking school in Paris, and see what I can whip up.

Ah, voila, plus de faire. More to do.

With love, on.

 

July 7, 2023

Hello Singapore! What an amazing city state you are, a glimpse into the 22nd century. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

Oh, the rockets red glare. 

I've always loved fireworks, ever since I first saw them as a baby. As I've gotten older I've come to appreciate them even more. When I was little, fireworks always came with a loud boom and lots of smoke that always seemed to drift my way. The overall experience wasn't always great. 

That's when I discovered that one could watch fireworks on TV and enjoy the shapes and the colors, and not have to listen to the deafening sounds and breathe in smoke.

So this past Tuesday found me looking at the firework displays from all over America, and some of them were spectacular. Such beauty, such exhilaration.

Here, in San Francisco, we had our annual display down on the Embarcadero on the bay. The clouds of fog lit up in so many beautiful colors, but not all displays could be seen. Not even on TV.

Now the weekend looms and the weather is really nice and let's go have fun!

Biggest hugs and all the bestest!

Love, on.

 

June 29, 2023

Breathe.

And again.

Take all the time you need.

Breathe.

Nothing is permanent except change.

Breathe.

Start with love. Breathe in love. Fill your head and heart and body and being with love.

Breathe in love.

Each and every day will present the new to us. It's up to us to do as we choose.

It can be difficult to go beyond the reactive mind with all of its ego, and as one does the responsive mind comes into view. This is where breathing can really help.

Confronted by an unexpected new something?

Breathe.

Give yourself some time.

Time is the gift of the universe to us. 

Breathe.

It will be better, with love.

Love, on and on and on.

 

June 27, 2023

Wow! That was  one busy week!

Every day, starting right after my last post, there were things to do or take care of or see to or whatnot.

I was busy, very.

Mornings started as they usually do, with feeding Lady Grey and the squirrels and birds, a cup of coffee and a couple of newspapers. That's when things changed, and my phones started ringing and messages were left and suddenly the day was reordered. This became the routine until yesterday morning.

A gentle Monday morning. Time to sit out on the deck and enjoy the fog clouds as they breakup overhead. Oh, look, there are cherries in the tree, lots of them. Marigolds in vibrant bloom. Calm. Peace.

I'm glad that the last week was such a busy one and so much got done. Heavens know there's still a lot more to do, and there's time to fill. The streets probably won't be as crowded with cars, and the sidewalks may be a bit less crowded, but the hotels are filling up with visitors from the world over, as evidenced by the tourist who stopped me this morning as I got my newspapers and asked for directions to Mission Dolores.

And away we go!

Here's hoping your day and week are as you wish.

Love on!

 

June 20, 2023

Summer arrives tomorrow!

Here in San Francisco, that time will be 7:57AM. There will be a celebration in our house.

Times flies, literally. 

As a child, I came to really love the summertime. The main reason was the change in routine. For years I thought it because there was no school, but I went to Summer School one year and it wasn't terrible. And I've always loved to learn, and spend hours every week learning. No, there was something else about summer.

The longest daylight will happen tomorrow.

The shortest night of Summer will happen tomorrow.

That's it.

We're hitting 'TILT'.

The whole globe is slowing it's roll tomorrow and not continuing to shift degrees. That's a good thing or the planet could tip over...

and tomorrow is the attenuation of that vibration that is at the core of our planet. 

Starting tomorrow, we start rolling less and less each day, until Winter Solstice in December.

To and fro, that's how we go, and how life flows, and how we grow.

Love, on.

 

June 17, 2023

Happy Saturday!

Another week is slipping by, and it's been a week of taking care of things for me. Laundry, house and yard cleaning, and general maintenance, including yours truly. 

Checking my Health App on my smartphone, I notice that I am due for another shingles vaccine injection, and shortly thereafter I had an appointment with my new doctor for the next day. That's cool. 

Showing up on time, and a nice nurse takes my vitals and takes me to a room. Moments later my doctor comes in and introduces himself. We chat for a bit, all is good, and he says the nurse will be in with my vaccine shortly. And she was. A painless jab in my right arm and off I go.

As the day goes by, my arm starts to hurt. By bedtime my arm is painful to the touch near the injection site.

The next day is worse, and I try not to use my right arm.

Today is a bit better, so I guess I'm on the mend.

It's not always enjoyable but taking care of my body is taking care of my personal time machine. Without it, I am not here.

Such a simple equation. 

Oh, my right arm...

Love, on.

 

June 13, 2023

There are some times when my intuition is so fine that I can hear what people are thinking.

It first happened when I was 16, and would hitchhike around. I never felt unsafe until one afternoon, after school, and this woman stopped and offered me a ride. There was something about her that didn't feel right, and I hesitated before opening the car door. Looking in, I saw a pair of scissors beside her, and when I looked at her, in my head I heard: You've got this coming. Way, way too creepy and I said that I had forgotten something and was going back to my school. The look in her face was so odd, a mixture of rage and fear.

Intuition is like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it becomes.

Which is why, earlier this week, while listening to a conference call, I heard the voice of someone who was lying. Plain and simple. Looking at the faces before me, I identified the liar before he spoke again. As I listened to him lie some more, it came to me why he was lying and how to get to the truth. During the call, I sent a message to my contact, and he told his staff and they started digging. They discovered the truth, and later my contact told the liar that he had given bad information to the company. He denied it, but the proof was in front of him. Poor man.

Some folks lie so easily, and most times it is because of their ego. Selfish lies set the stage for heart opening truths.

Trust your intuition, I have for most of my life, and it has helped me more than words can express. I would not be alive today without it.

Love on.

 

June 9, 2023

Zoom went that week. Every day was filled to the brim with things to do, places to go, and whatnot. Lots and lots of whatnot.

At the end of the day I would think about the day to come and give myself permission to continue. Then sleep. With or without cat.

The next day dawns with a sense of what to do and up we go. 

Someone recently asked me if I was taking more time for myself these days. He told me how his wife had been nagging him to work less and relax more, and he was now giving it a go and enjoying his life more. I smiled and encouraged him to explore his schedule.

Years ago I worked 70 hours a week for a while. In all honesty, I did it for the money. And that I could help. It was grueling and I could only do it for a year or so, and then backed down to 50 hours or so a week. The intent was to pay off our mortgage. Mission accomplished.

So even though I work far fewer hours per week, the week still zooms by. Funny, that.

This weekend, I plan to be lounging in our hammock with my Kindle and some magazines. This pause should result in less zoominess, at least for the time being.

Funny thing, time. Very fluid. I used to think that it was fixed, but events came along and convinced me otherwise. 

Take your time, and enjoy life as much as you allow.

Love, on.

 

June 1, 2023

Happy June!

Since it's the first day of the month I've been looking at my calendar and filling in my days. Looks like it's going to be a busy month for yours truly. So much the better. I've never been very good with boredom, so the less of it, the better.

This morning, blue skies greeted me as I stepped out onto the deck. There were wisps of clouds floating by, and I could see the fog at the top of Twin Peaks. I sat down on the steps and enjoyed the calm and my coffee. 

Until a squirrel came to look at me and then run around on the ground and then back to me. Message received.

Putting out some nuts, I notice 3 squirrels hovering near the doorway where the nuts are. It's a mad scramble to go first, and nuts go flying. Animal antics. Always laugh inducing.

That's something I am hoping to increase this month, the amount of laughing I do. Lately, I've been watching old, animated cartoons from the 1930's to the late 1950's, and there are some wonderful laughs to be had.

Here's to the new month, and all of the possibilities.

Love, on!

 

May 27, 2023

It's a long weekend for many here in the US of A, Memorial Day, when we remember those who sacrificed for our freedom.

And a time for barbeques and swimming pools and travel.

Lots of travel. 

Bon Voyage, y'all.

I'm staying home, and enjoying the drizzle that fell this morning, and a sleepy cat and hungry squirrels, lots of them.

Grabbing my coffee, I headed off to a comfortable chair and read a book for a while. I've always been a reader, and usually have 2 or 3 books on my nightstand, along with lots of magazines. Ah, the pleasure of reading for pleasure.

A while later, time to move and get on with my day. Just then my phone buzzed and I noticed a message from a cousin, wishing me a happy holiday weekend. This triggered a reminder to myself to go work on his part of the family tree as there are lots of holes.

And just like that, something more to add to my day.

Or not. That' the power of choice operating. I get to choose how my time is spent today. Part of it is already committed to work, which I am looking forward to. The rest is up for grabs.

Now that's a holiday!

Biggest hugs and brightest wishes to you and yours.

Love, on!

 

May 23, 2023

Travel is roaring back in San Francisco!

We've exceeded the travel levels of 2019 in the past week, and it's expected to be even busier this coming weekend, a three day one thanks to Memorial Day on Monday. 

Every week I receive an update that lets me know of changes at San Francisco International Airport, and every week a new airline is starting service, or one is expanding service. 

Just walking around my neighborhood, I've heard accents from the world over. Tour busses are full, and there are lines at popular places. Here comes Summer!

Which in this town means if you're coming to visit please bring your jumper/sweater or warm long-sleeved tops, because we may have fog, very chilly fog, some mornings.

Many folks I know are taking off and traveling. 

Good for them.

Travel beckons me and I know I'll succumb one of these days, not sure to where or when.

In the meanwhile, there's a blooming yard that is beseeching me to come lend a hand or two, and a back and knees and on.

Here's hoping your travels bring you joy.

Love, on.

 

May 20, 2023

Happy International Bee Day!

This morning, as the sun rose, I went into our backyard and looked up at our deck. It is covered in blooming wisteria, thousands of blossoms, all with a light, sweet fragrance. The bees were still asleep, I guess, as there were none about. The English Primroses are blooming as well, such bright colors. So peaceful...

until a squirrel jumped onto the fence to my right. We looked at each other for a moment, then I went up the stairs to get some nuts.

As a child growing up in the Owens Valley of California, I saw the importance of agriculture, and especially the environment. My Grandmother lived for a time in a house that was surrounded by apple and cherry trees. In Spring, it was glorious, and that was where I learned about the importance of bees in our world. 

Now that the sun has risen and the air is warming, I know that the bees will be out today, in the backyard and in front of our house, where a 30 foot tall blooming Red Horse Chesnut tree is. 

Happy Bees!

Love on.

 

May 15, 2023

And that was the week that was. Zoom, and more zoom, and then a pause before resuming zooming.

The fact that it was the end of a Mercury Retrograde on Sunday made it all the more interesting and confusing. Travel and communication fell apart in so many ways and places and peoples, making for a challenging week for yours truly.

Thankfully the weather played a starring part and was wonderful every day. There was fog in the mornings and sunshine by 10AM, and the temperature was in the mid to high 60's. Perfect for a walk or time in the sun. This helped me to keep my feet on the ground, my heart in my hand, and my head up. All I can say is phewww.

Which brings me to this morning, which I let start late. For me, waking up after sunrise is a very rare event. Today was one of those days. My goodness, did I feel refreshed and ready for a cup of coffee, which I found waiting for me. Another rare event. 

Huzzah!

The days ahead are filled with this and that and a lot of more, with some changes to schedule that must be accommodated. The importance of flexibility reminds me that I am new to each moment.

Ain't life grand? I certainly hope that you and yours are hale and well, and enjoying the days and nights.

Love, on.

 

May 8, 2023

Woke up this morning to rain. Knew it was coming, so I wasn't surprised. 

Actually, I was kind of happy. Rain is a good omen, especially to a new week. Sunday had been bright, blue and beautiful, the weather kind. As I watched some of the news of TV last night, I saw a forecast for rain overnight and into the early morning hours. So before I went to bed, I made sure we were ready for the rain, all drains checked, all windows closed.

Coffee in hand, I stepped outside in the dawns early light. The air was cool, the rain had stopped.

All quiet, not a sound.

I took a nice deep breath and filled my self with the peace surrounding me.

And another breath.

The sky grew lighter and then a ray of sun lit up the top of the cherry tree, the new green leaves glowing so brightly.

Just then, a squirrel popped its head out of the nest I hung years ago in the cherry tree and looked down on me on the deck. Then it yawned. I could totally relate.

Leaving some nuts on the doorsill, I go inside and continue my morning routine.

No need to rush, no hurry. Just step by step, forward.

I know that other days this week won't be starting so calmly, which is why I am taking it slow and steady this morning, while I can.

Here's hoping your Monday started well, and that the days to come are kind to us all.

Love on.

 

May 2, 2023

Hooray! The sun set last night at 8PM! Summer is nigh!

By the way, or BTW as some write, Happy May 1st! Hope you had a good day, and found some joy and beauty around you. 

For my day, I kept asking the question "May One", a play on May 1. There were so many times in the day when I gave myself permission to do whatever the heck I wanted, and in my case it was sleep. I picked up a rhinovirus, also known as a cold, from Joe who got it from one of his co-workers who got it from a 5 year old child. The kid was sick for almost a week, Joe for nearly a week, and I'm on Day #3.

Just what I don't need, and sure don't want right this minute. I've got just a couple of days more to clean out a couple of storage units and the work has gotten the better of me. But I must persevere. And take care of myself.

Ah, the ever present duality of life.

We can only do what we can. 

So I woke up this morning to the sound of rain. As I lay in my bed, the rain became a backdrop for my thoughts. I drifted back to sleep.

Goodness knows, life will be waiting for me when I get there, I thought, as I drifted. And lo and behold, it was and is.

Second by second, with permisson, intention, focus and energy. 

And most of all, with love.

Love on.

 

April 28, 2023

Thank goodness for the nice weather these past few days, at least there's been something good about the day that I have been able to focus on, so that I keep moving and doing and taking care of the job before me.

Of course an old nemesis showed up to try to derail an already careening process and thwart my plans: worry.

There I was, standing in a line to buy something I needed and it hit me like a brick, and I started to worry about next steps. As I stood there, I could feel my resolve weaken, my energy lessen, my hope diminish. I started to spin in my thoughts. Spinning and spinning and then a woman yelled 'Next' and I came out of my worry fog and bought my stuff.

As I walked home, not to my surprise, I could feel the tendrils of worry start to rise up. As they began to form I took a deep breath and internally asked myself if I want to worry, or is that a lesser choice. Is this really worry? Or is it whirry?

For years, I would worry myself into paralysis. It sucked. 

It was only with mindful practice that I began to examine my worries. The vast majority of them were me harming myself. My power ends at my skin and that's how it should be. 

I began to engage with my worry and stopped whirrying.

There are some things in life to worry about, and my advice is to do what you can so you will worry less. 

But give up on whirry. That's self-inflicted pain, and you are in charge of it.

Love you better and worry less and whirry even less.

Love, on.

 

April 25, 2023

Wow, what a week that was. From the day I wrote my last entry until and including today, my life has been more hectic than it has been in quite some time.

It's kicking my butt.

Years ago, I agreed to take on a job when it occurred. Well, as they say in tales, 'it came to pass' and suddenly there I was, faced with a job that I've never done before and the scope of it totally blew my mind. It was and still is overwhelming.

The learning curve is incredibly steep, and every day brings a slew of new data, new people, new demands, and a high degree of 'now what'.

Thankfully, a good friend of mine has stepped in and is helping tremendously with this job. And friends and folks are pitching in as well in the kindest of ways. A good collaborative effort.

Each day, like today, will find me giving this job hours of my time and effort, because of love.

Along this way, I'm learning so much about an aspect of life that I didn't know, and am blessed that so many kind and caring people are part of this effort.

Time for me to dash, the day looms and there are so many chores to do today, I've hired a helper and hope it goes well.

One day at a time.

That's how life is given to us, that gift that life is, Day by day.

Love, on.

 

April 18, 2023

It started drizzling about 10PM last night. I stood at the glass door downstairs and watched as the drizzle turned into rain.

When I woke up this morning, shortly after 6AM, everything was still wet, even though the sky was mostly blue.

Walking out, the sidewalks and streets are still wet and shiny.

The air is so fresh, the clouds so white, the sky so blue. What a wonderful morning.

As I walked up our steps, I felt light and calm and ready for the day.

And all it took was a spin around a city block or two. 

Give yourself permission to start your day as you choose, not as is chosen for you, if you can.

Self-love is so important.

Taking care of ourselves allows us to take care of others.

Start with you, then share. That's what I do.

Love on!

 

April 14, 2023

The President signed a decree and the Covid emergency was over on April 11, according to the US government. 

Lots changed. Special funding was no longer available for services, testing, treatment. 

The number of infections is very low, and those who get Covid recognize the symptoms and test and then isolate.

According to many health experts, Covid is now an epidemic, and this is a good thing.

There is talk in some circles about folks over 50 years of age and those with health issues receiving a booster shot sometime this year. Science to the rescue.

It took me some digging to learn that Covid cases in San Francisco are very few, and there are just a few in hospitals.

That was a long 3-year cycle, and many folks I know are breaking out and starting to travel and see the world, again. Air fares are up and planes are filling. America is on the move, approaching 2019 numbers.

Not quite back to normal, and there are lots of changes to come as we move forward. Evolution is like rust, it never sleeps. We may not always see it, but it is always there. Evolution is like gravity, unavoidable. 

As my granma would have said, dance with them's that brung ya.

Let's all dance. There's always music playing. Find a tune you like and give it and you a whirl.

Love, on.

 

April 10, 2023

Another Holiday weekend has passed. There were festivities all over the Bay Area. One of my favorite sights was of children not yet in Kindergarden looking for eggs in a part of a city park. The kids were having a blast, as were the parents. So much laughter. Just a wonderful part of my day.

Part of my day also involved talking with a friend of many years. He's always been a bit of a complainer, but yesterday he was absolutely miserable and hating life. He wouldn't acknowledge any of the good in life, and just sank deeper in his bitterness. At the close of our conversation I wished him well and promised to call again. He said 'Why?' and I said 'Love.".

For me, it's that simple.

Love is the only defense I have against all the awful in life, and it has saved me time and again.

To be sure, life can kick the stuffing out of one, and it takes time to regroup and move forward. But move forward.

So here we are, the start of the second week of the fourth month of the year. Miles to go, and smiles to share.

Love, on and on.

 

April 7, 2023

Happy Beer Day!

That's what I read this morning via the internet. Sounds good to me.

In my salad days, decades ago, I would go out with friends and have a beer or two. Nothing fancy, just whatever. I drank some good beers, and a couple that were forgettable. Live and learn. 

Then I started discovering the world of beers available to me and it blew my mind. Beers from all over the world, and some of them were amazing. And expensive. No $1 beer, these. It opened my mind.

When DNA tests proved I was part German, I began to eat and drink more German products, foods and drinks. My goodness, there sure were a lot of wonderful German beers, so much variety, so many flavors. More mind opening.

My first visit to Oktoberfest in Munich was even more mind opening. These were my people. All over town, there were people selling the beer they had made at home, and it was such fun to walk down streets and sample some interesting and delicious brews. Who knew one could home brew in Munich? Or that beer could be flavored with pineapple? Mind laundered.

So today, at the end of my workday, I will go in search of a new beer to enjoy. There will be dozens of suggestions on social media as to where to go and what to drink. Help always helps. Chances are excellent that this will be a good beer day.

Here's wishing you a wonderful day, with or without beer.

Cheers!

Love, on.

 

April 4, 2023

For years it has been my practice to take a few minutes at the start of my day just to sit quietly. It's my me time.

Over the passage of time, lots of messages have come to me through this practice, some small, some big. Sometimes zilch.

A few weeks ago, a noticed a pimple of my forehead and thought that I'm too old for acne. The next morning in my me time, the words 'basal cell' were heard. I called my doctor shortly thereafter and got an appointment for a dermatologist examination. A few days later this nice young man takes a sample of my pimple and covers his work with a small round bandage. When the bandage falls off a couple of days later, there is a divot and a red spot. That afternoon I get a message with test results from my healthcare provider. I have basal cell carcinoma and am scheduled for surgery in a few days.

Lots to process, and I have been, all along. Now I have time to sit with this all.

Surgery went smoothly, with the nice young woman telling me that my lineless forehead is an amazing thing on someone my age.

Bless her.

A long incision takes a while to heal, and mine still is. One of my friends told me it was too soon for Halloween, and we all laughed. The wound was a bit awful, and shrank quickly. Almost gone, touch and knock wood.

It took me quite a while to figure out that some of the ideas that popped into my head were inspired, and my me time has given me such a better life.

Love on.

 

April 1, 2023

Happy April!

Happy April Fool's Day!

This is the month of my birth, so I have long considered myself an April fool. It's such a lovely month, what with all the flowers everywhere and the longer days and warmer temps. Welcome April.

Waking up shortly after 3:30AM, I notice a lump at my knee and know Lady Grey is warm and sleeping. The house is quiet. Old houses make sounds from time to time, and we live in an old house. It was built by a young man named Fernando Nelson, who came to San Francisco at age 16. After a couple of years of working with house builders, he built his own, a model home, in 1885.

This is our home. When we bought it, I was curious about some of the things I found, like a small pickax embedded in old concrete at the back of the house, and the concrete berms on the first floor. Those turned out to be the walls of his tool room where he stored the tools used to build the house. He built another house up the street and sold them both and build more than 100 more in the neighborhood.

As I lay in the dark, I heard the sound of a sigh. It wasn't me or the cat.

One of the house ghosts. We've learned to live with them, as they are benign. I've lived in places where that has not been the case, and steps had to be taken to improve things. 

As I drift back to sleep, I hear Joe getting ready to go to work. Another day starts. Such a blessing, just to be alive.

Love on.

 

March 30, 2023

Yesterday the sun rose in San Francisco at 7:00AM. Tomorrow is the last day of March.

What a Winter it was, and I for one am glad to see the start of Spring.

Our City received twice the amount of rain than usual, over 22 inches. No wonder the streets were flooded at times. This last storm brought another deluge, and more flooding here and there. Weather forecasters say that there may be another storm to come, there will be rain.

Oh  well...

This morning, the sky has clouds and lots of blue sky peeping out, and the sun is brightening the landscape. The birds were the first to come looking for food, a particular Townsend Warbler with beautiful yellow and black stripes has become such a regular that it comes quite close to my hand as I put ground nut meats on the deck railing. Then a flurry of Juncos and Wrens and so many more. That's when the first squirrel makes its appearance, only to be joined shortly by one or more.

Breakfast is served.

Sitting in a chair looking out into the backyard, I notice the travel of the sun, and how its light sweeps over the plants. Dark green bursts into bright green with sunlight, the color suffused with life.

That's what the sun does for all of us.

Whereever you are in the world, I wish you the blessings of the sun. May it illuminate our world in every way.

Love on.

 

March 25, 2023

Hello Bangladesh! Thanks for finding me on Facebook and coming to my website. All the best to you and yours!

Wow, woke up to the second sunny day in a row. That's how rainy and dark our skies have been this year. Thus far, 14 major storms have blown over us, and another is due on Monday. So much rain, so much flooding, and so much snowpack! On the plus side, the drought has been eradicated for most of the State, surely a good thing. It has also forced our leaders to think more about water, a very good thing, indeed.

Stepping out for my walk this morning my phone told me the temperature felt like 38F. Yowza! That is cold for me, and for this part of the world. As I walked along I noticed the blooming trees on each block, so many. White and pink petals in the chill air. Not many folks out, and those that are are bundled for the weather. It's cold. Just then I see a couple jogging, and they are both wearing shorts and t-shirts. Yikes, and I shiver, just a bit.

Weather or not...

Coming home half an hour later, Lady Grey greets me at the front door with a squeak and a rub. Welcome home. 

Later, I step outside to feed the birds and the squirrels, and marvel at the sunny blue sky. Glorious.

Glancing up, there are white flowers on a limb of our cherry tree, lots of them. I guess they have been waiting for the sunshine as well.

That's the thing about life, and living. We're not always sure when the sun will shine. It is good to remember the brightness and warmth of it, especially in its absence. The sun will come out. When it does, enjoy it as much as you allow yourself to. Life is love made manifest.

Love on.

 

March 21, 2023

Happy Spring! or Happy Autumn!

The first full day of this season started here in the City with yet more rain. Glorious.

I woke up shortly after 2AM to the sound of it falling. Gentle, even, peaceful. And then I rolled over and returned to sleep.

There was a flash of a dream, the view of some hillside dotted with small white flowers rolling down to a lake surrounded by snowcapped peaks. 

Waking to the continuing sound of rain, dawn is about an hour away. Time enough to clean up the kitchen, make the beds, and look after things. Up and at'em!

Reading my emails, I come across a note from a long-time client telling me about the news in her life and think back to who she was when we first met. 

Attitude is altitude.

She's living proof. When she came to see me, she had been beaten down emotionally by her family, the self-doubt she had for herself had crippled her. We worked together to discover her authenticity. She began to change. Instead of letting others run her life, she took charge with self-love and self-esteem. She gave herself permission to change to become. The struggle was real, as are the results.

Sitting here now,  in my office, the rain continues. When I was studying C.G. Jung, the imagery of water as change was expressed again and again, in his writings as well as those of his students, like S. Freud.

Change all around. What a great message from the heavens. We can change.

Love, on and on and on.

 

March 16, 2023

It's an anniversary, of sorts, here in San Francisco.

On this day, in 2020, Public Health authorities announced that the Corona Virus 19 was a pandemic and closed all schools, businesses, restaurants, gyms, clubs, bars, churches, and all retail.

Black Tuesday, some called it. It sent countless businesses out of business.

As the infections climbed, so did the deaths. Nearly a year later vaccines were becoming available, and life, as we knew it, got a tiny bit better.

The first year of lockdown was terrible. 

Year Two was better.

Here we are at Year Three, and Covid 19 deaths have fallen dramatically, and most folks are vaccinated.

So here's to all of us that have survived this newest plague, and continue with our lives.

Hooray for you!

Hooray for us!

Love, on.

 

March 13, 2023

The rain continues. In parts of California the weather is terrible, lives have been lost. So much rain, and so much snow.

A client who lives east of the Sierra Nevada mountains sent me a photo of her yard. 4 feet of snow, as far as the eye could see. It reminded me of my childhood there.

The other day I noticed an article that reported La Nina has ended and we are in another weather phase. In other words, we will see.

Sounds prudent to me. Even though I am not the most prudent of people, I suspect that the global weather patterns to come will be similar to those of the past few years.

Most of the flowering trees are still blooming, and in the rain they still look beautiful.

Taking my walks have become a fixture of each and every day and bring me such joy. Being out in the fresh air, walking in the mist as the sun peaks through the clouds, the sounds of dogs and cars and people blending into an urban symphony. Life being lived. How wonderful is that.

Returning home, my spirit is buoyed and all the chores that await me seem lighter as I give them my hand. Actually it takes both. I'm in all the way.

Life being lived.

Love, on.

 

March 8, 2023

Happy Women's Day!

The first time I learned of this holiday was in 1983 in Moscow. I was there on this date doing business for a hotel client, and met a woman I knew from a meeting the day before. We walked along and then I noticed a 'babushka', an older woman, with a bunch of carnations in a bucket. As we walked by, a young man bought a bunch of flowers and walked on. Later we passed a young man giving flowers to women who didn't have one or wanted one of his. My heart melted.

Looking at images on social media, I've seen recent videos of this same thing happening today, somewhere in Russia. It didn't look staged, and the babushka was very animated when she saw the camera.

For all that women do, a day seems the least we can offer.

From my observations of life, I have come to see evolution and estrogen as primary ingredients, and heavens know testosterone is not the sharpest knife in the drawer sometimes.

Time and time again, logic and emotion collide, and we all seek balance. The comfort of safe and familiar, the touch of home.

This is a day I celebrate those feelings and all women.

Love, on!

 

March 6, 2023

Did you march forth on March 4th? 

I did, into a rainy cold day, windy and blustery and wet wet wet. Saturday is a work day for me, so I get an early start to the day by having a walk to get me going. Stepping out onto my front porch sheltered from the rain, I see it falling on the street in front of me. Not too heavily. Down the steps I go, into the rain. That's when the wind made itself known to me, blowing my jacket hood off my head. Ah, let's keep it moving, I think, and walk along.

Having this time for me is always a good thing, and on Saturday it certainly was. It gave me a sense of calmness and onwardness. Just what I would need for my work day.

And every day.

Calmness takes some time to cultivate, and I make sure that I give myself that time, as many times in a day as I need to. The sense of moving forward isn't always present, but don't be fooled. Time is always moving forward, even when we are not. Take your time. It's for you.

Now that my new router is online and working, I've no excuse to put off the work that piled up. For a while it was a bit okay not having the world on my phone, but cellular service kicked in and kept me connected.

Such is life. 

Here's to the living of it. Biggest hugs and bestest wishes!

Love on.

 

March 1, 2023

Happy March!

Don't you just love it when a month comes with instructions? Although I am happy to march for a bit, but I prefer to walk. This is something I do every day, even when it rains, as it has. Or really cold, like it was this morning, at 38F I do walk faster when it's really cold. This morning the sky was cloud free and bright blue. Perfect walking weather.

For the past week and a half I've been dealing with internet problems. So many calls to technical support after a couple of weeks of trying to fix the problem myself. And after 5 calls it turns out the router is defective. What a pain in the patoot!

To finally convince tech support I had to move my computer into my dining room near where the internet cable comes in. So now my office and my dining room are a mess. 

So the old router goes back and a new one comes on Friday. I hope.

In the meanwhile, I've got a ton of work to do that doesn't require the internet, and I must get stuck in.

The time is just flying by, it seems.

Here's hoping all is well with you and yours. Biggest hugs from me.

Love, on.

 

February 20, 2023

Hello Sweden!

Being born under the Chinese astrology symbol of the rabbit, this is an auspicious year for me. It's also been a big kick in the rubber parts about me and mine. Like taking care of some nagging physical issues and getting back to more exercise. So, dentists and doctors and gym...trying to start a new routine. 

Consistency. Sticking with and to it, whatever it is. 

I'm just stubborn enough to talk myself into change when I know it's for my own good. It's quite the internal dialogue. Part of me wanting change and another part of me not wanting to do anything. That's when my stubbornness kicks in. I use reason, emotion, and encouragement to make the change. And that's just one day.

Despite the cold, and it's going to get colder, I've been walking out, taking in the budding Spring that is all around. Streets are busier, the rapid transit has more riders, and there are lots of folks out and about. 

Remote work changed so much of downtown San Francisco. So many businesses failed as so few people came in to work. Now the city government is having to rethink how to transform our purely business buildings into live/work spaces. It's a huge effort, and I've spoken with a couple of folks who tell me that many building owners are considering this change. 

Another big change here is Waymo, autonomous cars that can be summoned on a smart phone application. There's a human in the driver's seat, but they don't interfere unless there's a problem. It's kinda space age to summon a vehicle and watch it glide up. The company uses white Jaguar SUV's, and being electric they are so quiet. The cost is comparable to a taxi. 

So many folks I know are getting rid of their cars. One woman I know told me she didn't use her car for a year and one day looked at the costs and sold it that week. Now she uses a scooter to get around in town. Many new apartment buildings do not have parking for all residents. This is another change sweeping the City.

Nothing is permanent except change. 

My optimism tells me more change lies ahead, and to roll with the swell of the incoming wave.

Love,  on.

 

February 15, 2023

Half way into the month, and the weather has taken a turn for the colder. And will continue down for the next few days or so, and then a sprinkling of rain will come along. Whether or not, there's always weather.

Covid 19 reporting here has slowed to a weekly event, and the numbers are excellent. Zero deaths so far this month, and only 71 cases. 54 people are in hospitals for Covid. 

Hooray! 

San Francisco is a small bubble, really, in that we are a very progressive, liberal city. The response to this health crisis was amazing, with more than 80% of the population getting vaccinated. The older the person, the higher the vaccination rate. 

Thus, fewer folks are wearing masks, but most still carry them.

Yesterday I took myself to Dolores Park in the afternoon, just to have a look around. The sky was so blue, here and there big white clouds drifted by. The sun was warm, and as I took a seat on a bench there was a sprinkling of rain.

So peaceful.

Learning to take time for myself has provided me with a calmness that restores me.

It's a busy world that I walked back into after the park, and there was drama and tension and emotions to roll with. My work day.

As it ended, I took a moment to recall the view in the park, and felt the calmness.

Breathe and be, my mind said, and I did.

Love on.

 

February 12, 2023

In just 6 weeks Spring will arrive. 

From what I've seen walking around my neighborhood, it's well on its way.

So many trees in bloom. It seems like every block in San Francisco has a tree in bloom, I kid you not. I've been on a couple of streets where every tree is in bloom, and it was wonderful. 

There are parts of this city that I am still discovering, and I've lived here since 1983. 

Truly, they have packed a lot of stuff into the 49 square miles that comprise SF. 

Recently we took the underground to Chinatown, just to look around. The new subway has art that is so beautiful, and the stations are feats of engineering, to be sure. Coming up, from far underground to the surface, and there we were in an unfamiliar part of the City. Life was swirling around us in every direction, so we went for a walk down to Grant Avenue and then into North Beach. What a wonderful addition this new subway line is. Now we can dine in this part of town that used to require a car to get to and the hassle of parking. Hooray. Progress.

Being a tourist in my town is a wonderful adventure for the end of Winter. Give it a try where you are.

Love, on.

 

February 6, 2023

That sure is a beautiful full moon. I caught sight of it a day or so ago, rising in the east, big and shiny. Later I saw it again, in the west, looking like a light in the sky. 

Snow moon. And it has been across the globe, bringing weather and more.

The cold of winter is a reminder of the warmer days to come. Waking up this morning, there was a small grey cat up against my shin, snuggled in the comforter covering me. It was almost 5AM, and the next time I looked it was just before 6. Looking to see what Lady Grey is doing, I find her sitting up, blinking at me, and then yawning. Yep, time to rise and shine.

And there it was, again in the east, that beautiful moon, this morning.

I sat quietly with myself for a while and felt into my day. Slow to start, then gaining speed and altitude, then cruise for a while, then slower and lower until touchdown in my bed at the end of my day.

So far, things are going to plan. Taking time to feel into myself and my day ahead gives me the balance and the breathing room to go forward.

Next on my calendar will be the reading of newspapers, followed by doing last nights dishes and a load of laundry. By then it will have warmed up a bit, and I can go into the backyard and continue to prepare for the arrival of Spring.

Then a spot of lunch, I think, and then work with folks later. Full day.

At of this just because I took a couple of minutes and sat quietly, alone not lonely.

Our best self is within.

Love on.

 

February 2, 2023

Happy Groundhog Day!

The news on that front is that it's predicted by a member of that species, Phil of Punxsutawney to be exact, that North America will enjoy six more weeks of winter.

Sounds good to me.

California has moved out of extreme drought, thanks to the rains we've had so far. More rain will only help.

The past week or so has seen very cold temperatures here in San Francisco, yesterday morning it was 39F outside, with wind chill making it 37F. I don't own those clothes anymore. I did when I lived in Chicago, but all of that gear moved on as I did. No walk for me yesterday morning. This morning it was 40F. The artic north is arriving, and with it rain this weekend. Winter lingers.

Which is all good and well, as I see it. This will give me more time to winnow my wardrobe. I've noticed lately that my clothing likes have changed and I now have many shirts that I don't plan on wearing. I'll move them downstairs to a rack I have in the laundry room. This is where clothes I'm not ready to give away reside until they are removed. Some survive and come back upstairs. Most do not.

So here we are at the tipping point of spring, which yesterday was. It's called Imbloc in Ireland and represents the half way point between the start of winter and the start of spring.

6 more weeks of Winter. 

I guess my walks will happen later in the day, at least until it warms up.

Happy Winter!

Love, on.

 

January 31, 2023

Good Bye January!

Thanks for starting the year out. I've got a small sense that this is a year to focus on health. 

Having Taurus in my chart, I can be stubborn, and I can procrastinate very well. This is not the year to emphasize this attribute.

So yestermorn found me at Kaiser Mission Bay, seeing a dermatologist. I've been to this facility a couple of times with Joe, so I had an idea of where I was going. This time, it was to the ninth floor. As I was taken to an examination room we entered a hallway with windows overlooking the Bay. It was gorgeous. The staff were very cheery and warm. A small incision and a bandage and I'm back in the hallway, enjoying the blue sky. The water on the bay looks alive, but not choppy. Cargo ships come and go. After a couple of minutes, I left. That sure lifted my heart.

I've learned that I need to balance the forces in my life. Some are negative, some are positive. Going to see this doctor was something I put off the past couple of months. So getting the positive charge from the view from this office was just the balance I needed, to give me the reassurance that I'm moving in the right direction.

It's hard to know, sometimes.

Which is one of the reasons I thank January for the gifts that it brought. 31 days of living, loving, learning, and becoming.

Today, I'll buy some flowers in honor of this month, and to welcome the month to come.

Love, on.

 

January 25, 2023

Happy Burns Night!

Honoring the Scottish poet Robert Burns, who gave voice to a people and a time that resonate today. 

Picking up from where we parted, a new router was secured and installed by yours truly. Time and money, and problem fixed. This one I could do, but the dead phone line persists, requiring a technician from what we once called Ma Bell, the Phone Company. This is supposed to happen tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

Being a rabbit year, this is a good year to be 'quick as a bunny', as the saying goes. Don't procrastinate and everything will turn out for the best. Putting stuff off is not a good idea.

Which is why I was at an oral surgeon this morning, having a cracked tooth removed. It's taken me years to calm down from the dental trauma I experienced as a child.

It was when a tooth became loose in my left jaw. I mentioned it to my Mom, who look a look and told me I was growing up and loosing another one of my baby teeth. I guessed everything was going okay. That is until the tooth finally let go and I looked to see my new white tooth. It wasn't there. What was there looked yellow and it was hard. I didn't tell my Mom.

My jaw did one morning when she woke me for school. It was swollen. She looked in my mouth and saw it, and the next thing I knew I was getting dressed and we got in the car and drove to a building near my school. A dentist's office. In we went, and after a while we were taken to a dental room. I was asked to get in the weird big science fiction chair, and did. 

When the doctor examined me, he discovered I had a rare condition, the pulp of a tooth without enamel. After some prolonged, terribly painful probing, I remember bleeding and tasting my blood, he told my Mom to bring me back if there were more problems. He'd drained an abscess and I should heal just fine. Just fine. Those words echoed in my ears.

I swear my mouth bled for 2 days afterward.

Thankfully, dentistry and I have moved forward, and we have both matured, both in approach and practice.

Today's procedure will limit my intake of Irish Whisky, but I can have some oatmeal!

Love on.

 

January 24, 2023

That was a whirlwind this past weekend.

After quite some time, March 2019, I took to the air again.

The experience hasn't changed much. Still a bit hectic, still a bit crowded. Ticket prices are higher, airports are upgrading or have been, and it can still be a mess. 

Luckily for us it wasn't. A quick flight to Los Angeles Saturday afternoon, a rental car (so high tech), memories of Los Angeles freeways when I lived here 40 years ago. Rounding a turn, downtown came into view. The skyscrapers are higher and there are more of them, and some are quite beautiful.

Following directions on my phone, I find the parking ramp for the Biltmore Hotel. Up we go, nine floors. And then down those nine floors and into the carriage drive and into the Lobby.

Freeze. Oh, my gosh, I remember this place from days gone by, and yet somehow it looks even more beautiful. We stand and take it in. Then Reception, welcoming and off to our room. Whew, we take a while to settle in.

Then off to the Grand Central Market and so many places to eat and drink and have a great time. After a few walks around, we settle on some Mexican food. Oh so good. Such a busy place after 9PM on a Saturday night. Out we go a while later, walking back to the hotel and great beds and wonderful slumber.

The next day was breakfast nearby and then off in the car to see some sights. And then a couple of museums. Such relaxation.

Monday afternoon found us retracing our steps and returning to LAX and a full flight home. A cab ride later and a grey cat is at the door, sniffing and then squealing.

Home Sweet Home

That was fun, getting out of town for fun and relaxation.

Returning to my life in practice, I woke up this morning and jumped into life, only to find a wonky router and a dead phone line.

Ah, life. Thanks for the opportunities you provide me.

Love, on...

 

January 21, 2023

Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day!

This is a celebration at our house. Shortly after we moved in, we were visited in the backyard by a bushy tailed squirrel. Over the years this led to more visits, and when we had the deck built onto the back of the house, we began to see more of them. Now we have a scurry of eight, and they are delightful, funny, sweet, and so acrobatic.

Along the way, we've come to see raccoons and the occasional possum, lots of birds, a few blue jays, and crows. Oh those crows. They swoop over the yard alerting all of their presence. Then they come in and land on the deck railing, one and then the mate. The squirrels give them wide distance, and the little birds disappear altogether.

Nature in the city. Our urban oasis.

Today will find me checking on our scurry, and feeding them nuts. A couple of them are picky and only want a certain kind of nut, be it a pecan or an almond. I've tried other foods over the years, and have found that this crowd is into nuts, of all kinds. Just no salted ones. 

Here's to the joy of nature.

Love, on.

 

January 15, 2023

Awakened ths morning shortly after 4AM by an outburst of rain, part of me was glad that the second storm was arriving. I'd gone to bed knowing that this would happen. The reluctant part of me was the cold in the house. Looking at my phone, I saw it was 49F outside. I knew it was a colder rain.

Lady Grey was ready to help in checking the drains on both floors of the house. When this place was built sometime in 1884, it was built as a 'model home' and the builder was very successful and made millions iof dollars n time. He started here, and built a sturdy house, but looking inside our walls reveals no insulation on any surface in contact with the outdoors. It's a cold, wooden house sometimes, one that we are improving given time and money.

Right before 5AM there was another downpour, this one bigger than the last and of longer duration. Still too dark outside to see much.

As the heavy rain slowed, time to feed a hungry cat and start the coffee machine. And another layer of clothes, and resisting the urge to go back to bed.

Happy Ides of January.

This atmospheric river flowing above the west coast is bring the equivalent of 25 Mississippi rivers onshore. This is the 10th or 11th storm since the beginning of the year (I don't remember which), and there's another tomorrow. Along with all the rain there are winds, deadly this year here in California. 

Recently a climatologist said during an online chat that global warming has a hand to play in the global disruption of weather patterns. He said his research shows the planet is entering a new phase. All due to humans. We're creating a problem for us to solve.

I hope wherever you are on this lovely planet you are enjoying life, with love.

Love on.

 

January 12, 2023

The weather folks weren't kidding about those storms. 

The first one brought so much rain there was flooding all over the Bay Area.

The second one brought even more rain, much worse flooding, and hail twice in one day at our house.

The third one is coming tomorrow.

Hatches battened.

18 people have died due to these storms.

Countless folks have lost so much, some everything. 

Today we're having a break and the sun is out and folks are cleaning up. The current snowpack is above 150% of normal, and we're not halfway through winter. 

The almond growers are so happy with all the rain, since they produce 85% of all the almonds in the world. The grape growers are delighted with the rain and are filling holding ponds where they can. Reservoirs are even slowly beginning to fill.

And just to add a cherry to this swirl of change, tonight a comet not seen in our skies in 50,000 years will become visible at 8:18PM PST. Look for it in the northeast. It's got a pale green tail. 

I've got a telescope and if the sky is clear, you know I will be looking for it. If I don't find it, I've heard that one can see it on YouTube.

Imagine, our ancestors saw this. And our ancestors will, as well.

Life. Simply amazing.

Love. on.

 

January 6, 2023

Happy Three Kings Day!

One of my favorite parts of the Bible, the notification from three astrologers about the birth of Jesus. Happy Astrologers Day, too.

Wow has California been pounded by rain, so much rain, and in some places so much snow.

Imagine 100MPH winds at the top of mountain peaks blowing so much snow all one can see is a white wall flying past. Yikes.

And we're getting ready for 3 more storms in the coming week. Hopefully none will bring 5.96 inches of rain in 24 hours, like the last one did. Even a freeway was closed for 3 days due to flooding. Fingers and toes crossed.

Did you manage to get the two stones I suggested in my last post? 

If you did, you need to clean the energy from your stones, so put them in the freezer (unless opal) or where sunshine would be for a few hours or so.

You might have to do that from time to time to keep them and you psychically clean and balanced. I sure do, daily.

Here's to the first full weekend of our New Year. I hope you thoroughly enjoy it.

Love on and on.

 

January 3, 2023

Happiest New Year!

We made it! Huzzah! 

Another year begun, and so much living to do.

I've been thinking about this a fair bit, and wanted to start our year together with some basic and very important things I've learned in my decades here. Folks have asked me for the longest time 'How'd you know that?' and the answer has always been the same. 'I trust my intuition.' Over my lifetime, I've learned that all of us are intuitive, that it is part of our faculties for perceiving the world around us. It's a bit like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it becomes. There are two fundamental items that I've discovered help my intuition greatly.

My birthstone.

Fluorite.

Your birthstone, whatever it is, is a valuable physical manifestation of your energies. Having or wearing a piece of it helps to align your energies, and helps to balance you.

The second, fluorite, is what I use as a psychic buffer. As you can well imagine, there are people in the world that you do not want to sense their energy or thinking/feeling. Fluorite serves to lessen the connection, and helps maintain psychic balance.

I encourage you to have both of these items with you at all times.

One of my mentors, Paramahansa Yogananda, once wrote: It lies with you as to what you are going to be.

Happiest of New Years, with much love.

Love, on.

 

December 31, 2022

Awakened by the rain, I listen. The house is asleep. The rain falls, steadily, peacefully, gently. I think of it as a metaphor for the world at the moment, of the constant washing of the world by the waves of time.

Fixed as we are to the wheel of time, it is difficult to imagine timelessness, and yet it is all around. We don't see it because of where we are in time. However, don't let that stop you from embracing eternity in a nanosecond. That is the power of life and living, and it is inside you.

Giving thanks, I rise and dress. Lady Grey is just outside my door, waiting for my performance to begin. As it does, I feel into the world and know that more change has come as I slept, and the waves of change and time continue to bathe the planet and each of us. Change isn't easy, and we each must do as we do with it. The choice is always ours. For my part, I embrace change as it comes and feel/think my way forward. Day by day, breath by breath. Living alive.

For me, this has been the year of balance that is embodied in the number six. This year has brought me great sadness, great joy, great surrender, and most of all, most love. It is this love that has sustained me. Through the bad, dark times, I found life and love in the world, from family, friends, strangers. This love externally helped me to stay in touch with my internal spirit of love, which flagged at times.

The coming year, 2023, adds up to 7.

This is a curious number, and portends what the seeker seeks. In my life, I have come to learn that where 7's are involved, it is always best to give what you want, and to believe in and trust the power of change. This will be a good year for those who seek it.

The rain is still falling, now more a drizzle. The squirrels are venturing forth, seeking food. Life is calling me.

Here's wishing you and yours and everybody a bright, loving, kind and fulfilling New Year.

Love on.

 

December 27, 2022

Counting down the days. The end of the year is coming. As is the start of a new one.

In Ancient Egypt, the last 5 days of their year were a time of celebration, music, joy, food, and fun. When I read about this decades ago, I was intrigued. It turns out the Egyptian year of the time only had 360. The last five were not counted and therefore people were free to do as they pleased. Sounded good to me then, and still does to this day.

5 whole days to do what I want. That's something that this year can deliver. Yippy!

For me, this will involve looking into boxes that have been in the pantry since I moved into this house nearly 3 decades ago It will be a dive into history. Not sure what is in these 4 boxes.Buried treasure? Time will tell.

The other thing I plan on doing is getting out and seeing what's new. I suspect there is a lot of new. Just the other day I saw a group of buildings in the distance that weren't there a few weeks ago. Time to see what's up.

It's been raining and will continue to do so. At least it's warming up a bit. The weather can be treacherous. Stay safe.

Here's wishing you and yours the brightest of times.

Love on.

 

December 21, 2022

Happy Solstice!

We made it. That is quite the accomplishment for this year. 

The past almost 3 years have seen the world fighting a war against an invisible enemy: Corona Virus 19 and its varients. It has been and sadly continues to be a true and real struggle. Peer reviewed statistics show that more than 20 million people have died from CV-19 globally. This is a tragedy of mammoth proportions.

Science is waging the good fight, and more and more folks are receiving effective vaccines.

Some folks I know refuse to be vaccinated, and sadly I have seen that number decline due to Covid. Such sadness.

Health is our greatest wealth, and deserves our best intentions and efforts. 

There are some days that I just want to stay in bed, I'm warm and comfortable and life can wait. Other days, it's up and at'em. Get the lead out.

Which is why I'm sitting here at my computer shortly after dawn, writing to you. 

Hoping to encourage you to keep moving forward as you can, and taking care of yourself, first.

You can't pour from an empty cup.

Which is why you will find me lighting candles at dusk this evening. In honor of love, in welcoming the new season.

Happy Winter!

Happy Summer!

Happy Blessings!

Love, on and on.

 

December 19, 2022

Woke up to 38F outside shortly after 5AM.

Yikes!

Shortly before 6AM, I get out of bed and put on warm house clothes, thermal cotton. It's cold. The furnace kicks on and that means it's 64 F at the sensor. 

It's so dark outside nothing can be seen.

Slow and steady, that's how I'm rolling this morning. Just fast enough to get there, without any hurry.

Looking out our front windows, the street lights shine on no passersby. There are no cars for a few minutes.

Yep, slow it is.

That's one of the things I love about time, how elastic it can be, if one lets it. There have been times when I've wanted the clock to move quicker, and it never has. That's when I realized that my focus was on something far beyond my control. So instead, when confronted with wanting time to move faster, I gave the moments my full and complete attention. And this tactic began to work, and the more I employed it the more it worked. It still does.

So this morning is slow for me, and moves apace of time. 

What a wonderful gift for a Monday morning.

Here's hoping your day is all the best.

Love, on.

 

December 15, 2022

Welcome to the Ides of December. In 2 week or so, this year will end.

Most folks I know will be glad to see the end of what, for some, has been a hard year. I join them in support. Personally, I'm looking forward to the new year, and all of the good that I hope to bring and find in the days ahead.

Like every year I've been alive, this year has been a teacher. It has asked me to step up and in a whole lot more than I had the previous year. It also underscored the importance of taking care of myself and those around me. Health is so precious.

Going back to my gym this year has been an eye opener. Not having gone since March 2020 had taken a toll on me, and I was too plump, and not very durable. This has slowly been changing with effort. Oy, the effort. Somedays I just can't muster, and those are days that I love me more, and know I will muster when I'm ready. Knock/touch wood, all's well so far.

Going out in the early morning for a walk has made my cheeks quite red, and the chill has seen me pick up my pace. Who knew Mother Nature was a fitness coach?

There I was, this morning, walking along in the very chilled air, thinking how cold it was and how clear the sky. Few clouds, and brilliant sunshine. Yep, I thought, it's coming on Winter. 

The temporary tree lot near a supermarket has been doing a brisk business, and they were setting up for the day when I walked by. So many trees being unloaded and set up for sale. As I watched, a family walked up and started looking at the trees, the children running and laughing. Ah, the warmth of such joy. This feeling has stayed with me and is still present.

That is the gift, to be open to feeling love and joy, and letting it in. Being present with and to it.

Happy Holidays!

Love, on.

 

December 12, 2022

Well, that was a blur of a week. Zoom. And then it was Sunday and I was still very busy. It's that time of year.

The rains came, and they did their best to wash the streets of San Francisco clean. And wow was it cold at night. Still is.The rains have let up and are supposed to be back later this week. Wonderful news for most of us. The scary places are where the landscape was burned and is still recovering. These areas are watched for flooding and mud slides. Here in the City, our biggest problem appears to be flooding at intersections.

And people are still wearing masks for the most part. Better safe than sorry.

We got our Yule tree Sunday afternoon, and it stands proudly undecorated in our living room. Day by day, we will add strings of lights, and then ornaments until New Year's Eve. Everyday is now a celebration, as we await the solstice. 

Walking out the other day, I was surprised to see so many houses decorated for the holidays. One of my favorites was the house trimmed in garlands of blue and white and silver for Hanukkah. Ah, the holidays. 

The other things I've been seeing around town are sweaters and coats on dogs. There was one this morning all snug and dry wearing matching booties. Ah, the holidays.

These are also lonely times for some, and I encourage all to reach out to neighbors, relatives, friends and strangers and share the connection we all have here.

Let's make the most of it, shall we? 

Love on!

 

December 6, 2022

Rain!

Hooray!

California sure needs it, and we're getting it. The snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountain range is roughly 150% of normal. This is a wonderful thing. And hopefully there will be much more.

Water and energy. The two most important issues facing the State.

There are all manner of water conservation projects in the works, and it is hoped that they will help. The State is going to build another desalinization plant in Southern California, and this week the State is auctioning off the rights to build floating power stations 25 miles off the coastline. And more ideas are in the pipeline.

In the meantime, I've undertaken the responsibility of my local water drain, and have been cleaning it up after every rainy day so that it continues to funnel rainwater.

Doing my small part. If we all do, all will be wonderful.

My Aunt Leota passed away last Friday at the gracious age of 106. As a child, she taught me many things. Foremost among these lessons was to remember to do my part in any effort, like taking your meal dishes to the sink, or making your bed, or helping as you can. Her memory is a blessing.

Love, on and on and

 

December 2, 2022

It's quite the 2's day, 12-02-2022, and it's December!

In keeping with the month, the temperature plunged the last night of November, and it's been colder every morning, since. Today it was 39F. That's very cold in these parts, and most of us don't have thick enough jackets so we wear multiple layers. The other day, I saw a neighbor and we stopped to chat. She said she was wearing long johns around her house, it's so cold. These old Victorian houses were built without any insulation, and fixing this is expensive. 

More and more decorations are up on houses and in windows. It's getting festive.

Starting tonight, and for the next week or so, buildings around San Francisco will have artwork projected onto them in the evenings, and from what I've read, it sounds like a good reason to go around the City.

Despite the cold weather, I've been out in our yard, cleaning up from the change of seasons. The squirrels have become used to me in the area, and watch me from a distance. The cherry tree is almost leafless, the last few green ones being taken by squirrels for bedding. The wisteria turned yellow and then gold and then rained down. Piles of yellow leaves swept up and removed. More rain is on the way.

Winter is marching on. 

Stay warm, and enjoy!

Love, on    

 

November 26, 2022

Whelp, it happened here yesterday. The sun rose at 7AM on the dot. Today at 7:01AM. The shortest day of the year is coming up fast, in about 3+ weeks. Winter north, Summer south. Equinox.

Watching webcams where it's snowing, and glad the scenes are not outside my door. For the better part of a year, I lived near Chicago and went downtown often. It was so cold, and the wind just about did me in. Thankfully, I really enjoyed my job, so it was a mixed bag to be there. 

The folks at a charity are putting up a Christmas Tree lot, and like many years before, we will drive over, pick out a huge tree, secure it to the car roof, and then get help to lug it upstairs. 

This won't happen until December 6 or after, for tradition, so the rest of the house will be decorated for the holidays. 

Knowing that these touches will be up for a month or so, it makes it easier to do the labor. The finished result always makes me smile. 

And then there's the food of the season, and living in this culturally mixed city, the choices are amazing. Swedish cookies, French pastries, and so many wonderful Latin offerings. And that's just the beginning.

Today will find me out in the afternoon, shopping locally. Support your neighborhood.

Love, on.

 

November 21, 2022

Awakened by Lady Grey, the cat of the house, shortly after 5AM, I turned over and went back to sleep...which didn't come. Another roll over, and bupkis.

So I yawn, and sit up, my back against a thickly padded headboard. The cat sleeps on. 

Sliding my legs out of bed, I raise the blinds and get back in bed.

The sky is so dark, it's hard to see anything.

Time passes as my thoughts drift into my day, and then I notice that the gloom outside is lightening, and I can see clouds in the sky, a darker grey against a grey sky. It's still so early, before 6AM.

The sky grows lighter, and the shades of grey take on a purplish hue, faintly.

Lady Grey sleeps on, unaware of the show outside our windows.

The purple becomes more evident, and there are wisps of pale pink clouds far away.

 Pink expands into shades of gold, and then into steaks of red against a pale blue sky. What a show.

Getting out of bed, I go to the windows to see more of the colors of dawn, and I feel the peace of the moment seep into me. My breathing becomes calm and my heart is so open. Each passing moment feels complete.

Outside, the show in the sky is ablaze, the sky a symphony of beauty in the hands of nature.

This is one of those mornings when I've been reminded that what needs to happen, will.

Love, on.

 

November 14, 2022

Winter has been announced in California.

There is snow, and in some places, lots of it, in the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

Having grown up, part of my childhood, in the Owens Valley east of the Sierras, I well remember waking up to the first snow of the season. 

It was magical.

At least it was to 4 year old me. I loved it. I loved the feel of it on my bare hand. It was my first memory of winter, and still shines brightly.

That's been my secret all these years, to hold onto the good memories and expunge the bad ones. Displacement. It works.

I've been looking at web cams that some folks make available from along Highway 395, and I have been able to watch the progression from autumn to winter. It has been beautiful. And now, more snow!

We don't get much snow in these parts.

But the air does get cold now at night, and if there's wind then it's really cold. 

And yet, there's a child in me that would love to wake up to a world covered in snow in my backyard.

High hopes built on good memories.

Love, on.

 

November 10, 2022

For the past 6 weeks we've had houseguests, first a couple of our friends from England for a couple of weeks and then a dear friend from Washington DC for a week. How wonderful to see and be with friends.

The pandemic threw monkey wrenches into most folks lives, and now, 2 and 3/4's years later, life as we knew it is slowly coming back. Having visitors is a wonderful excuse to be a tourist in your own backyard, and having house guests made it all the easier.

All the hoopla surrounding the elections in all the States added to the recycling pile, and there was a lot of it.

I read my voters guide and read up on what was on the ballot. 

Best of all, I voted at home and dropped off my ballot on Election Day. How easy was that?

Civic duty done, I went and bought some of my favorite flowers for the house, peonies. 

Wow, flower shopping sure was fun. And such beauty. One place I shop at does large floral displays for hotels and restaurants, and looking at them is always amazing. Such beauty. For my part, I was glad to have my bunch of blooms. Over the next week, they will change color, from a bright magenta to a pale linen. It's gonna be a beautiful week on my kitchen table.

Waking up this morning, the house was a bit chilly, the thermostat set to 64F. A couple of minutes later it kicked up to 68F, and Lady Grey went to find a furnace vent to sit at. Clever cat, I've got my coffee.

And the quietude of just me in the house.

Love on.

 

November 4, 2022

Here in the US of A we're almost at the tipping point. This Sunday we fall back. 

All of this is because of the end of Daylight Savings Time. Like much of the world, we move our clocks forward one hour in the Spring and one hour back in the Fall.

This Sunday we all get an extra hour. Most of us will sleep through it.

For me, an early riser, getting up in the dark these past few weeks has been chilly and nightime-ist. Starting on Sunday, dawn will move back to before 6:30AM or so, but darkness will come an hour earlier.

There's been talk in our Congress of doing away with Daylight Savings Time, but no laws have been passed, California voted in favor of it in 2018, but nothing has happened on the Federal Level as of yet. Arizona and Hawai'i both do not observe DST, and haven't for years. 

In the meantime, remember to set your clocks back before going to bed Saturday night in most of the US.

Here's hoping we all enjoy the extra hour.

Love on.

 

November 1, 2022

Happy November!

Happy Tuesday!

Happy All Saints Day!

Happy Day of the Dead!

Happy Samhain!

Happy Beltane!

Are you happy yet?

For the past few days, our neighborhood has been quite festive. Many people out, in broad daylight, mind you, in costumes! 

And what a variety of guises on display. There were even a few multiple person costumes, like the octopus I saw yesterday afternoon. Nine people,the tallest person as the body, and the other 8 as arms. It was delightful and hilarious, and laughter greeted them everywhere they went. 

Last night, I took myself out for a stroll around the 'hood just as darkness fell. Not too crowded, but lots of costumes, some of them intricate and amazing. Such creativity on display.

Lovely night for it, a bit chilly and the air promising rain.

Which was fulfilled this morning, much to the chagrin of the squirrels and blue jays. I put food out for them anyway, knowing that they'll find it when the time is right.

So many reasons to celebrate. Let's!

Love on. 

 

October 26, 2022

One of the things that really struck me about the pandemic is how I missed people.

I'm a people person, even though I am shy. It took years for me to be comfortable in a room of strangers, and sometimes my shyness comes up and wraps around me. 

Suddenly the couple of dozen people I saw ever week were gone, some now on telephone, others on some computer media, and others just gone.

I got lonely, really quickly. 

Affinity has always been a safe harbor for me, so I threw myself into online classes and group chats, but it just wasn't enough.

Over time, I could feel my isolation creeping up more and more, and began to get depressed. 

I needed interaction. I was getting desperate.

That's when it happened. 

Mother Nature came to my rescue.

I started by feeding the squirrels up close, and began to recognize them as individuals. Some of them have become quite friendly and will take food from my hands. And over time, the population has grown. There are now 6 that I see on a daily basis.

And then I noticed the Blue Jays hanging around. So I put out some food where they could get to it, and come they did, and do. Such beautiful birds, and occasionally they bring a friend along.

This caught the attention of a couple of crows, and before too long there were a couple of very large crows on the deck railing, swallowing nuts and sharing. And not afraid of me after a while.

I had my new affinity group.

There is nothing better than belonging, and I'm glad I do. And on this note, I'm off to feed my crowd.

Love in practice and on!

 

October 25, 2022

This has been the week when Fall really fell. So many colorful trees everywhere one looks, and such colors. It's getting down in the lower 50's F in temperature, that's chilly for these parts. Being surrounded by water on three sides does have quite the effect.

Overnight, the wisteria on the deck was transformed into masses of bright yellow leaves among the green. Whoosh.

On my walk around the neighborhood this morning, I was delighted to see all the decorations that folks have put up for Halloween, such creativity on display. One house had been draped in a massive fabric spiderweb and it looks amazing. I suspect a spider will be showing up before too long. This year Halloween is on a Monday, which means that folks will be celebrating all weekend long and into Monday. 

Yesterday, while running errands locally, I was surprised and happy to see so many people out and about. Some still wear masks, I carry one myself, but gosh, how great to see folks out.

Covid 19 appears to be in the decline, as the case number slows. A very good thing.

The past couple of days, I've slept in late, at least for me, Yesterday, I woke up right before dawn, almost 7:30AM. Wow! That is the latest I've slept in years. This morning, I slept until 6:30AM. Another wow. This is new. Maybe it's just my hibernation gene kicking in at the season advances. 

Whatever it is, the time change on November 6th should fix it.

Here's to shorter days and fuller hearts.

Love, on.

 

October 17, 2022

Halloween is on display, more and more each day.

In San Francisco, thanks to our wonderful Hispanic Community, we also have Day of the Dead. Christianity adds All Souls and All Saints Days as well.

Lots of reasons to celebrate.

As we move into autumn, I think about the year I've lived so far, and think about what I would like to add to the year before it is over. Sitting for a while, I recall the high and low points thus far. So much to remember and learn. And so much joy and laughter and honest to goodness pleasure.

Still feeling that wonderful rhythm, I think about the days to come, the sights, the smells, the tastes, the joy. Rose colored glasses firmly affixed, I contemplate the future. This takes a fair amount of time to settle into me.

Coming back to the here, hear and now, the color recedes but doesn't fade.

Oh, I know, there will be bad days ahead, we all know that and some of us feel it.

Don't let that stop you.

Without the goodness that each of us can bring to this life, being alive becomes a burden, something it never hopes to be. If you need a pair of rose colored glasses, please feel free to share mine.

Love, on.

 

October 12, 2022

Golly, the weather sure has been nice of late. Even Karl the Fog has been making appearances quite a ways inland. Hooray!

Talking with a client the other day, we talked about how the day to day routine can get us down and after a while we become inert. We've all been there. It's a real challenge.

I asked her to try to vocalize what she was feeling and she took a moment and then started making a screeching sound, then a shout and then a roar. Then she cried.

Well done, I told her. Get in touch with it and let it speak through you. Give yourself permission. And she had.

The next day, I got a text message from her, telling me that she felt more empowered and had started to take care of her life better. My reply was 'Well Done'.

So often, we sit in our thoughts and feelings, as they swirl around inside of us. We can lose track of time as we drift in the spin.

Being able to displace this swirl is key to moving forward. 

Get it out of you. 

For some, it's making sounds, others, it's action. However you do it, displace that energy that is bottled up inside you. 

Embrace your authenticity.

With love, on.

 

October 7, 2022

The other night, in a dream, I saw a long dead friend. He was sitting on a log looking at a stream. He turned and looked at me and said 'Time keeps moving on.' He then gave one of his goofy grins and the scene faded. Good to see you, Michael, and much love, I thought, and slept on.

Waking that morning, the dream came back again, and I smiled.

Time does keep moving on. 

Sitting on the deck yesterday afternoon, I looked up and noticed a couple of bright yellow leaves in the cherry tree.

Fall is falling. Taking a brief walk later, I noticed that many trees were starting to change, and here and there a pumpkin. Yep. It's that time of year.

Some of our neighbors have made quite a display on their houses, one of them putting a 10 foot wide spider on his house front, complete with spider web.

Children in the nearby Elementary School are making costumes and wearing them already. Halloween is coming, soon.

Time moves on, and me with it.

Love, on!

 

October 3, 2022

Happy Mercury Direct!

These last few days have been especially scattered for most of us, myself included. 

This resulted  in me trying to do too many things at once and other times having nothing to do. Ah, Mercury, communication and travel. Ah, well, and moving forward...

into this beautiful morning, the air fresh, the sky blue, the air coolish. 

On my walks, I've been noticing the here and there creep of Halloween. A random pumpkin on a stoop, a bunch of dried plants on a door, just some little things. Even the markets are beginning to brim with pumpkins of every size, most of them orange. 

With this in mind, I dug out a couple of candles I have that smell of spice and autumn, Lightening them at dusk today feels like the right thing to do to usher in this new season.

Honestly, I've been waiting for Halloween since the last one, which was a bit of a bust due to Covid. I suspect that this year's celebrations will be much larger and better attended.

I did see a wonderful harbinger of the times to come this morning, a small dog wearing black fabric bat wings. 

Here's to the good times!

Love on.

 

September 27, 2022

Monday was the day of equinox in San Francisco. The sun rose at 7:01AM and set at 7:01PM, 

Falling into autumn, the leaves around town are beginning to change their wardrobes, opting for yellows, oranges, reds, and shades of brown. Falling fall scattered on sidewalks and streets, under foot and over head. 

Giving myself permission, I took some time yesterday and got a glass of water and sat on the deck steps, the dappled sunshine and clouds drifting high overhead. Just a while, to sit there and relax, and to breathe and to be.

Sitting there, I could feel my worries and concerns drift away, and peace came over me.

After a while, it was time to move on, and up I got and inside I went, to take care of some chores.

It was only a few minutes, but the peace and calm they gave me felt so much more.

Self care is self love.

Later in the day, as things were winding down and Joe was making dinner, I looked out the front window at the leaves in the streets and on the sidewalks. In the morning, I thought, after my walk, that's when I can sweep them up, when there's no wind.

There's always something to look forward to, with love, on.

 

September 22, 2022

6:03 PM PDT today in San Francisco. Autumn starts. The weeble wobble of Mother Earth continues, inviting us along. Let's!

This morning with the Arborial Wallendas, as I've taken to calling the squirrels, was like opening a canteen.

One, and then another, and then a while later another, and then another. And counting. Then the resident male who lives in the nest in the cherry tree came to eat and everyone scattered. He makes a grunting, clicking sound that gets others to leave. So he grabbed a couple of almonds and took off, and everyone came back to eat.

Lady Grey watches, but has learned not to interfere. After a while she pads off to sleep somewhere.

The canteen is still open.

I grab the newspapers and coffee and sit near the outside door, replenishing nuts as needed. 

After a while, it's just me and the coffee.

Last day of Summer. Time does indeed march on. 

Later today I'll be getting my Covid Omnicron booster, and enjoying as much of this day as I can.

Love, on and on and on!

 

September 17, 2022

Every morning, before I start my work day, I sit quietly and open myself up to who and what and what have you, and take in any information I receive.

Yesterday, this served as an early warning message. 

There was a flash of some male, and the feeling that he had woven lies about himself since adolescence and to listen and learn.

Fair warning.

And so it came to pass.

A woman I know, who I had not spoken with in a long time, had set up a video call for that day. My intuition told me that this guy was part of that conversation. My job was to listen and learn.

As I answered my computer for her call, my intuition told me to grab a big chunk of fluorite to keep any foreign energies at bay. There she was, and we chatted for a minute or two, catching up. Suddenly the camera swung around to a man with a fierce face, lips parted, teeth bared, very primal, meant to be intimidating.

Oh, hello, I thought, you're the bullshit artist guy. 

He was such a liar, and lied about his 'devotion' to my client, and whined about his terrible life of poverty in some foreign country. It was all lies. I felt such compassion for my client, as I could feel the gift of love she was giving him, taking in whatever he could manifest to portray love in return. So sad.

I helped them work on a sticking point in their communication, and praised the good that they did for each other.

When our time was up, I wished them both well and hung up, knowing way too much about what was coming next. I sent my client a message thanking her and reminding her of the importance of trusting oneself first, last, and all ways and always.

I trust that the right thing will happen, and will do all I can to help her. 

Somedays are like this, they end on an uneven note. When that happens I burn off all of the excess energy by doing something. In this case it was working my our backyard, weeding and trimming and cleaning up. I think of it as being 'Gardner', and enjoy it. By the time it was getting late, the yard looked great and the squirrels were bouncing around, waiting to be fed. I'd forgotten all about the earlier unpleasantness and was at peace.

We can only do what we can do. 

Love on.

 

September 14, 2022

Self esteem and intuition.

I've given it a lot of thought, and after much time pondering and thinking, it came down to these two words.

These are what has made the biggest difference in my life.

Learing to value myself, and to learn to work with my angry bits, or my snarky hurt turned inside out, or my staying stuck. To recognize and come to understand where these responses or reactions were coming from inside of me. 

It's taken years, and I am still working on it.

My intuition is always there, ready to inform me if I will just listen. Which over time I have learned to do, with no regrets.

Sometimes I learn unpleasant things and sometimes, most often actually, there is good news and better days coming.

What is important is being open to learning, to listening, to observing. 

Life is right in front of our eyes.

That's one of the reasons why I make sure my eyes see beauty everyday, as much as possible.

Love,  on.

 

September 9, 2022

Intuition is like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it becomes.

Having exercised mine for decades, I'm always surprised when real life sneaks in and catches me surprised.

That's what yesterday was. 

A couple of weeks ago, a client changed his session from that Thursday. Then a corporate client had to shift dates and I found myself with something very surprising: a free day.

Ooo, I thought, how wonderful to have an unexpected day of free time. So many thoughts ran through my head, all the things I could do with the time.

Clearly I didn't see it coming.

Until Wednesday morning.

I woke up and knew that the world was about to lose quite the soul. She's my tenth cousin on her mother's side, and also the Queen of England.

So I went through the day knowing that the inevitable was approaching, and tried not to get too down, as I knew that feeling was going to be all pervasive shortly.

And that's what yesterday became.

A day to feel the shock and sadness and in some gladness. The world emotionally rocked.

I spent the day with so much fluorite in my hands, trying to fend off the high emotional waves that circled the globe. And watching TV and reading and trying to stay cool.

It was a sad day. And more.

Death is an old friend, and when ones time is up, it is usually with a sense of relief that we leave this world.

G-d's speed, your Majesty.

Love on...

 

September 5, 2022

What would life be without curve balls?

I still don't know, as of now.

The shelving never arrived but an email did, late in the day, saying that they'll get back to me sometime about when these shelves might be delivered. So much for that plan, and I was so looking forward to it. Suddenly, time has been handed to me. What to do?

There are some chores around our scatter that are big and time consuming and take a great deal of elbow grease, as it were.

Shampooing carpets in one of them.

So, that's where I got stuck in. Dusting off the machine and then putting it together and then filling it with hot water and a cleaning solution. Steady on.

And then the real effort. And I do mean effort. So much energy, so much work, so much effort.

Years ago, I hired a company famous in these parts for carpet cleaning. Sad to say, I was not impressed with the job.

That's when a looked into a home machine and found a great one. 

At the end of the day, the carpets looked much better, and even though I was exhausted and tired, I was glad that I had made good use of the time. Because I took the rest of the day off and relaxed.

Which is what I'm doing this day, Labor Day, not laboring in the slightest. That will return tomorrow.

Here's to the dignity and honor that labor is.

Love, on.

 

August 29, 2022

Ah, the waning days of summer are here. Dawn's early light comes later every day by a minute or so, and the light breaks the horizon free from clouds. The very top tips of the Norfolk pine tree are washed with sunlight, the green of the branches blazing against the blue of the sky. Morning has broken.

A week from today is Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer, as most children are back in school by then. When I was a child, I thought of this week as Golden Week. This was the week that I did whatever it was I had been putting off. One year it was diving in the deep of end of the swimming pool at my dad's house. He was there, impatiently waiting for me to jump. And I did. Ah, Golden Week.

Today, metal shelving is being delivered so that I can finish setting up the pantry shelving. And edit some of the stuff in there. There's a box that I have seen for umpty ump years and always wondered what was in there. This week, golden as it is, I intend to find out. Making the best use of storage is important, and this effort has been 20+ years in the making. Very Golden Week.

So I've been sorting things out, and always have a laugh when I come across something I haven't seen in forever. Many times the rush of memory takes over and I recall some moments in time and feel the gentle wash of good memories go through me.

Being a Monday, there are chores to get accomplished, and I've learned to take them one at a time. Slow and steady wins this race.

Here's wishing you a Golden Week of your own. And always, all the bestest!

Love, on.

 

August 26, 2022

Hello Anchorage! I remember flying in the first time, and all the planes at the airport, so many 747's from the world over. And the city and the people and the rugged friendliness, quite the place. Thanks for reading along, all the best to you and yours and all your relations.

Golly, I miss travel. 

But my guides say 'not yet', and so I wait.

It's a challenge. I find myself looking into flights I will never take, just to see how many hours in transit and whatnot. It keeps me busy and scratches an itch.

In the Spring of 2019 I had my last trip, to Prague. It was wonderful. Photos of it pop up on my cellphone from time to time, and I smile and remember how wonderful it was.

And will be again.

From my connections in the travel industry, I've heard about staffing shortages and woes, and how so many people out sick threw major problems that spiraled out and out. And things still aren't right, most travel  businesses are struggling to keep it all going. Folks think it will improve as the year ends. Here's hoping.

So in the meantime, I am contenting myself with being a tourist in San Francisco.

So much has changed, The Financial District is a shell of its once bustling and busy streets and sidewalks,  now so many empty storefronts and closed restaurants. Other parts of downtown are humming right along, especially Chinatown. And the Mid Market area, along with anywhere near water.

And I'm not the only tourist, as there are hundreds of them in town right now.

Hurrah.

Slow and steady, going forward.

Love on.

 

August 22, 2022

Fogust is among us. Cool, foggy mornings, wisps of clouds swirl overhead, the sun peaks through here and there. Birds are out early, their songs filling the air. Not many cars or people, and it's quiet all around.

Time to sit on the deck with a second cup of coffee.

My musing is interupted by the clump of a squirrel in the lemon tree. I look up to see a furry face peeking out at me from behind a yellowing lemon. 

Time to open the cantina.

Going back inside, I grab a few almonds and pecans and set them on the threshhold and close the door.

In seconds, three squirrels have emerged from the shrubbery and are at the door. First customers of the morning.

Lady Grey comes and sits on the bed and watches the show. The running, the play, and the often opening door.

Overhead, the fog mists away into blue skies.

At my feet, four squirrels are now having something to eat and I am on my toes to see to their needs.

Love, shared.

Love, on.

 

August 16, 2022

40 years ago, I came to San Francisco around this time of year. It was the first time I'd been there in a few years, and remember liking the city, all the rapid public transit, the pleasant weather.

All of these things are still true.

As much as I love being in the countryside and enjoying the wild, it is not someplace I want to live again. 

In my childhood, I lived in some small towns. It was kinda boring. When the closest kid lives more than a mile away, one is living in a small town, and Newberry Springs CA was and is tiny.

As I grew older, I came to appreciate living in a big city. All of the places to see, things to do, people to watch. Los Angeles was a great introduction to big city living. The pluses and the minuses.

Which is what got me, eventually, to San Francisco.

And somehow, despite rising prices, turmoil, even a big earthquake, I've stuck around.

No regrets, either.

One of the best things about travelling is returning home, and coming home to the City by the Bay always makes me smile.

Home is where the heart is.

Love, on.

 

August 10, 2022

Having been born shortly before 4AM, I have been an early riser ever since. I tried being a night owl and staying up until dawn, but this never rang true as a practice. And waking up early always did. I even had a job that started at 5AM, and it was great. For years, I started my work day at 6AM. Even now, I have early morning phone clients. 

I've tried working into the evenings as well, and found out that my steam, as it were, had run out. For a while I had a job that started at 11PM, I hated it and got reassigned quickly. And staying out late, just to hang out, lost it's appeal when I was in my 20's. I'd rather be at home watching a great old movie or reading a book.

As we spin and tilt into the coming equinox, those of us in the northern hemisphere are adding a minute or two of darkness to the day. In the south, their daylight is minutes longer. Rock and roll, that's Mother Earth.

Which is why I've been making the most of my early morning hours of late, getting busy and getting things done.

There are some days it is a real challenge to stir.

On some days, it just doesn't feel possible.

On these days, I surround myself with the spirits of all those I have loved who have passed on, and I ask them to help me through the day.

Even if I wake up early.

Love, on.

 

August 5, 2022

No doubt about it, summer is here! And there!

For nearly a week, Death Valley in California ranked as the hottest place in the USA. It reached 122F. That part of the Owens valley used to be green and lush, until Los Angeles took the water away. Now Death Valley isn't the only place in that part of the State that bakes in the summer.

Thanks to Karl the Fog, as the fog around San Francisco is called, our mornings have been cool, and the other day it rained in the late morning. This surprise was brought to us by Tropical Storm Frank, churning up from Mexico, off shore in the Pacific Ocean. Right now, the sky is very dark to the west and the squirrels are very active, I suspect rain is coming. A storm like this hasn't come ashore in San Francisco since 1854, and the weather forecasters say it won't happen now, because the sea is too warm at 58F. Sure doesn't feel warm to me...

The streets of San Francisco are awash with tourists, again, thankfully. Most visitors are coming from Europe right now, and it's nice to hear a smattering of French or Italian or Portugese in the neighborhood.

We're a city that welcomes tourists, and having folks coming back is doing wonders for the local economy. A friend who works at a nice restaurant told me they are booked full every day now, and are hiring more servers and kitchen staff. Another good sign.

This weekend, the Outlands Music Festival is being held, and ten's of thousands of people are attending. Another good sign.

Things are looking up, as we go forward. 

Let's go, and enjoy the day, it'll be fun!

Love, on.

 

July 30, 2022

Clouds still start my mornings by being slightly overhead, their collective presence releasing droplets of rain. Dark and wet streets, quiet beginning.

This has been a week of intuitive awareness for me. 

Every afternoon meditation showed me something which came into being, every morning meditation showed me even more.

So I traveled through me week mindfully, and it all went well.

Taking the time to sit with things has made the most profound change in my life. 

From childhood, I reacted to events around me, as most people do. The level of emotional drama was overwhelming.

After my mom died, I started practicing meditation. I didn't call it that, I thought of it as sitting quietly in shaded sun with eyes closed.

It was easy.

Over time, I learned the value of separating reaction from response. I still have both, but seldom do I let me reactions dominate. 

Which is why I still sit quietly, as I do.

There's so much to learn when you let yourself be, with love.

And remember to breathe, so very important. And stay hydrated.

Easy to do, easy to be.

With love.

 

July 23, 2022

Gosh darn it!

We are back to a high Covid status in San Francisco.

More folks are wearing masks.

Wash hands, put on mask, grab hand sanitizer and out the door for a walk.

Taking my morning walk always helps me to start me day in a good manner. I take some time for myself and get in a bit of exercise. And by the time I return home I'm ready for breakfast and getting on with my day.

At least 20 minutes, sometimes longer.

This morning it was almost 40 minutes, there was such a peaceful feeling as I walked along. And the swirling fog overhead added to my enjoyment.

Being the weekend, there were a lot of folks out with their dogs, and there were many spontaneous greetings as dogs met each other.

As I walked home, I passed a restaurant serving breakfast, and there were a couple of free tables. Having eaten in this cafe a few times, I know the food is good. Tempted, I walked on.

Opening the door, Lady Grey greets me and escorts me into the kitchen and assumes her position waiting for a treat.

Needless to say, I'm well trained and a treat is provided. Now for my breakfast and the rest of my day.

Here's to a good day, all around.

Love,on.

 

July 20, 2022

Having stuck close to if not usually in home, venturing out these past few days has been encouraging.

Even with gasoline selling for $6.49 per gallon at my local station, I bought some and took a drive around San Francisco.

The Embarcadero is still the face of the City on water. I drove from the new Chase Stadium north, past all the new buildings in that area, up to Oracle Park, and then along the bay, under the Bay Bridge and past public art. The convertible top on my car was down.

Parking near the Ferry Building, I take a short walk around. So much activity on the bay, and those container ships are massive.

Seagulls overhead, seals splashing in the water.

With each passing minute, I felt restored.

Before my parking meter expired, I drove back home.

My personal meter just got a whole lot of time added to it.

Take some time for you. 

I did and can fully endorse it.

Love, on.

 

July 15, 2022

Summer has arrived in San Francisco.

Foggy in the morning, blue skies as the day moves forward.

Being surrounded on three sides by water creates an unusual weather phenomenon. 

There are mornings, as I watch a TV camera showing me the foggy Golden Gate Bridge, while I sit in sunshine beneath a cloudless sky. It's only 5 miles from my house to the bridge.

For the past few days, I've taken myself for walks around the area, and am beginning to think about venturing further afield. Drone photography I saw the other day of Market Street showed a very different place than the one I remember at the start of 2020.

Lately I've seen more trolley cars in front of our house as they go into service or come out. There are more riders, and most folks are wearing masks. With this latest surge, more folks I know are being exposed. My own personal protocols of health safety have thus far kept me well. 

My biggest rules have been not to touch my face with either hand before washing them. And not to get close to folks without a mask.

Knock/touch wood, all good, so far.

Our local farmers market was awash with summer fruits, so many varieties, and sampling was encouraged. There was music and children and neighbors and a bright blue sky above, wisps of fog shredding overhead.

Happy Summer!

Love on!

 

July 8, 2022

Happy Friday!

No fog this morning, so the birds and squirrels were up early and hungry. There are three siblings, 2 boys and a girl, that have started venturing out these past couple of months, and they are growing bigger daily. Could be all the pecans, almonds, cashews and walnuts they get from us, or the avocado and brocoli a neighbor gives them. There are 6 that visit regularly, and their antics are a source of joy.

I love starting my day with laughter.

As a child, I would wake up and put on my robe and go and watch cartoons, usually every morning. I had to be quiet so as not to wake whoever was around, so I would laugh in the crook of my elbow. Those cartoons were companions during the terrible times, and were there again for me, after my car crash.

And still are today.

Which is why I've got a very busy day ahead of me, housework and yardwork and clients as well.

Being busy is a blessing.

As I wrote the above, Lady Grey threw herself down on the carpet in my office and let the warm air from the furnace blow over her. Maybe that's busy for cats.

Love on!

 

July 2, 2022

The word on the street is that a new month has arrived, and San Francisco is continuing to wake up.

There are more bus lines being restarted, and the public transportation system is beginning to resemble the start of 2020. Slowly, steadily, we're coming back.

And so has our fog!

For the past couple of mornings, it's been very foggy before first light.

For me, it has been the perfect time to go for a nice, long walk.

The streets are quiet, not much traffic, few pedestrians. The stillness is wonderful.

As is the drizzle.

Walking along, I see new businesses going in, some new and open, and then people and dogs.

Someone told me recently that there are more cats and dogs in San Francisco than children.

Starting my days like this has been just what my spirit needed, and I didn't even know it.

That's the thing about life, it sneaks up on you, sometimes.

Love, on.

 

June 28, 2022

I took a trip in the wayback machine. Time is the most mysterious thing. One moment you're where you are, and the next you're someplace completely different. And this trip was completely unexpected.

My cousin Sandy, who lives in Oakland, called and invited me to brunch at a restaurant in San Francisco. We hadn't see each other in a couple of years, pandemic and all, and she said she had my mom's High School Yearbook to give to me. Wow! What a surprise. And so we met this past Sunday.

How wonderful to be slowly returning to a normalcy albeit with Covid-19 still around. 

Seeing them as I walked up to the restaurant, I waved. Sandy's husband Dave waved back. Sandy had asked a few days before if I wanted my Grandma's china. I said yes even though I didn't remember it. She opens the trunk of her car and there's a box covered in old newpaper. That's it, she says, and I pick it up and take it to my car and return to brunch.

We had a wonderful time, and seeing my mom's Year Book was amazing. When I got home that afternoon, I spent some time looking at it. 1933. Such memories.

Just before bed, I remembered the box of china downstairs and went to look at it and put it away.

Curiousity got the better of me, and I unwrapped a piece on top, From the shape it appeared to be an oval platter. Newspaper from 1995 held together and fell away. I gasped.

In my hand was something I had not seen in 60 years. The emotions that washed over me were strong and deep.

Grandma Edith had dishes for everyday meals, and a special set for company and occasions. I don't remember ever eating from her china plates, but I suddenly remembered them vividly, as I held the platter.

A swirl of flowers against a red background, the plates thin and delicate. National China, Wembley pattern.

Suddenly I was back in Bishop, California, and it was summer and hot and the apple orchard was full of growing fruit, and the berry bushes were a buzz with bees. Grandma was in her kitchen making chicken and dumplings. Life was good.

This memory was so strong that it unreeled with my eyes open, and washed over me so gently and lovingly. I knew in that moment I wasn't alone.

Love never dies. It lives inside each and everyone of us, and is the magic we make while we are here, in time.

Love on!

 

June 24, 2022

Someone asked me the other day about karma.

It plays a long game. Sometimes almost a lifetime.

Years ago, I was consulting for a high tech company in Long Beach, California. Part of my job was to meet local elected officials and talk up the company. Along the way, a high ranking guy took a real interest in the company.

Something felt off.

I wrapped up my work and went away.

Four years later, I read that the high-ranking guy has been indicted and is facing prison. Then I learn that the president of the company I'd worked for had been indicted for bribery.

Yesterday I met a fellow who thinks he's going to get away with his scheme. He's not, and will learn this fact shortly.

For my part, I play a fair and level hand, and don't use or abuse others. That's how I want my path, my dharma, to be.

Dharma is karma.

Here's hoping we all walk in beauty on the best path we can make.

Love, on!

 

June 21, 2022

Happy Solstice! Globally!

Summer on top, winter on bottom. Mother Earth.

A client of mine took the opportunity and flew from one extreme to the other, flying from Sydney, Australia to Los Angeles, California, arriving this morning shortly after sunrise. Talk about jumping into the future. I'm with her!

And the future is arriving, daily, and some of us don't recognize it and others do.

I want to be one of the others.

In the 1980's, AIDS came and almost all of my friends from High School were killed. It was a very sobering time.

In the past two years plus, more of my friends have died from Covid-19. Another sobering time.

Each and every day is a gift, and is ours to do with as we wish.

Talk about being powerful!

On this Solstice, as I have done for decades, I will light a candle at sunset for all those who have passed before me, and honor their memory. And I will celebrate with my loved ones the joy of living.

With and through love.

Happy Solstice!

Love, on.

 

June 16, 2022

Did you know you are psychic?

You are.

For so much of my life, my psychic has been such a good companion. We all can access this faculty. It's easy.

Here's an exercise to help you get in touch with one of your most wonderful senses.

Stand up.

Take a deep breath. And another, and more, until you feel yourself calming down. I always find it easier to close my eyes. I'm standing with my feet shoulder width apart.

I put my right hand, thumb up, flat against my stomach, 2 inches below my navel. And breathe.

Then my left hand, thumb up, on top of my left hand. And breathe.

Several minutes of this pose calm me completely, and restore my vitality.

Take some time, and harvest your potential. 

With love,

Love on.

 

June 11, 2022

I just visited the future yesterday. It was weird at first, and then I got into it.

A client had asked me to attend a meeting in virtual reality. Having a device, I agreed and got the coordinates for the meeting.

Turning the Meta device on, I go to the meeting. It was strange at first, assigning myself an avatar, and then moving into the conference room, recognizing the people there. We chatted for a while and then got down to business. Each of them looked and sounded like they do, but the setting was unreal. The work, that was real.

In my life, I have flown more than 5 million miles, most of them for work.

The fact that I can sit in my living room in San Francisco and attend a meeting with others, mostly in Singapore and a guy in Belgium, and be as productive as I can be, well, it was thrilling.

VR, as virtual reality is shortened to, presents a new frontier in our use of tools.

One of my favorite applications in VR is called Wander. It's the world, and you can walk its streets, visit the museums, see the sights, and never leave where you are.

Just the other day, I walked past the last place I lived in London, and the yellow roses were still there. Some of the houses had been painted and looked so much better. It was great to see it, since I hadn't been back since 1983.

Technology continues to bring the new, some of it useful, some of it a bit odd.

Like the robot lizard I saw the other day. Not for me, but that's the freedom we enjoy. We choose.

Love, on.

 

June 9, 2022

That fall I took a while back is still a bother. There are times when my lower back complains through pain and it sure does grab and hold oh so very tightly my attention.

Riveted I am. And I move gently and slowly after that, and try to remember to take it easier.

That last one is a bit challenging for me, being an Aries and all. And I'm learning. I can tell because I still make mistakes. That's what learning looks like.

So I will still be the gardener for here, but I will be less vigorous in my stretching. Message received.

With the soon to happen advent of Summer, the plants in our yard are growing so fast, especially the wisteria. Some mornings I go out on the deck only to confront a long skinny green tendril waving in the breeze. Hmm, I think, this wasn't here yesterday, as I get my clippers.

Any activity I do outside brings an audience of birds and squirrels, who really enjoy my sweeping with a broom. They will sit and watch me anytime I use it. I always wave to them when I put it away.

My back is telling me I've done enough yard work for now. Got it.

Listening to my body keeps me safe and healthy. My body is literally my time machine, and with it I move forward in time and space. Such is life. Ain't it grand?

Love, on.

 

June 6, 2022

First Monday of the month and life is rolling along.

There is so much new.

There is so much to do.

So, of course, I have been developing responses to the things that come my way, dealing with this and that and the other thing, all the while keeping an eye on my energy.

This is where napping has come into play.

After a particularly busy morning one day last week, I took a nap in the middle of my day. I knew I had 5 more hours to work, so a 20 minute nap would be just the thing.

It sure was.

The rest of that day sped away bringing on a nice drink with a friend in a nearby bar. And on into the night.

Best of all, I slept like a top, as they say.

So here starts another week in the middle of the year.

Do what you can with what you have and it will be fine,

with love, on.

 

May 31, 2022

The end of the month is here, and a new one starts tomorrow.

For me, the end of any month is when I try to finish projects or chores and this month end is like many others. 

After watching videos and reading sheaves of material, I found myself unable to fix my problems with my devices. 

Like I wrote earlier, you don't know unless you try.  Well, I tried, over several days, and came up short. Time for plan B. In this case, that means to hire someone to come fix my devices. I've been researching and found a guy who responded quickly and after a phone chat he agreed to come today to bail me out of tech hell.

Let's bring on the new.

Last night, there was a meteor shower overhead, and many cameras captured it. Flashes of light streaking through the sky and disappearing. A good omen for the days to come.

Sadly there's little any of us can do about the pollen count at the time, and it is off the scales. So many folks with red and ichy eyes, coughs, and whatnot. Needless to say, my mask and social distancing practices remain in place.

This evening, as sunset draws near, I'll light a candle and give thanks for all that is, and bid adieu to May.

Tomorrow, I will rise and greet June, hopefully.

The funny thing is the uncertainty of life. One can hope and that's as much as we can sometimes do.

It's good to live hopefully.

Love on.

 

May 28, 2022

It's been rough these past few days, so many terrible things happening in the world. My heart hurts.

And so I cry, sometimes just a tear or two, sometimes the floodgates open and it's a deluge.

And sometimes there is rage, incredible anger that consumes me. I shred paper and displace as much as I can.

And I look for good, and joy, and laughter.

There are terrible people and there are exceptional people.

Life is all this and more.

What I do to keep myself steady is to take excellent care of myself, my husband, my pet, my home, my family, my friends, and my neighborhood.

My power ends at my skin. 

It's up to me to lift myself out of the depression and funk that could envelop me in an instant.

I know that there will be more tears, and smiles as well. These are things I cannot change. LIfe will present some terrible moments, and it is important that I allow my feelings to be as they are.

This is love, on.

 

May 23, 2022

The warm days have stayed, and summer is coming into view.

Surrounded on three sides by water, San Francisco is a bit like an island. We've got a couple of big hills next to each other on the southwest side, and then seven other rises buried under buildings today. It is colder on the ocean side in the west, and warmer on the bay in the east. The north part of the city gets the greatest variety of weather, foggy to frying in an afternoon.

Weather like this makes me want to walk more, and I am trying to.

But I keep getting distracted by stuff. And that's been a problem of late. Over the years, I've come to appreciate my own pacing, and sometimes work with myself to change. Wrestling with myself. 

This resulted in me discovering why I was dragging my feet on a couple of things, and this helped me to get things in order and start making progress.

Now to get to a couple more projects that have been waiting their turn.

These will involve working in the yard and a lot of physical exertion. My backyard gym, as it were.

But before that, I've got to fix some of the software issues with my desktop computer, and have begun reading and watching videos online to try to fix them if I can.

You never know unless you try.

Sounds like life, don't it?

Love, on.

 

May 17, 2022

Warm days have come to the City, and the population is loving it.

People are out and about in numbers I haven't seen since February 2020.

This past weekend, our neighborhood was packed to the rafters, so many people in stores, restaurants, cafes, bars, and clubs. Most are still wearing masks, and some stores still require them.

Things are opening up, gradually.

Friends who have been travelling told me of full trains and planes, and lines here and there. Another who works at a luxury hotel here tells me they are fully booked through June. 

Bouncing back, cautiously.

This morning, on my walk, I saw a neighbor who was a flight attendant for years. We chatted about travel and all the changes to the industry that have come along since Covid-19, and agreed that we each plan on travelling later this year, her to Bali and me to Germany.

Take your time, my voices say, don't worry, don't hurry, and I listen.

One day at a time, one step at a time. There's just enought time, so use it well.

Love on.

 

May 8, 2022

Happy Mother's Day to all who mother. Blessed be.

I just knew yesterday was going to be special, the sun told me so. It rose at 6:08AM and set at 8:06PM. The numbers were so noticable, I just knew it was going to be great.

And it started like any other morning, cat and house care, check for messages, do the dishes, feed the squirrels.

And that's when I saw it. A tiny squirrel. On the deck railing. Eating chopped nuts. Less than half the size of the adutls around. All I could do was stare in delight and amazement.

I had suspected that there were babies around earlier this year, and finally saw a dray high in the Norfolk pine tree, about 40 feet above the ground. Here was proof.

This is a squirrel friendly house.

Tearing myself away, I went to work. Hours of it, about 10. At then end of my last hour, talking on the phone with a client in the antipodes, I look out from the dining room at the deck, and there are two small squirrels looking for food. I couldn't move fast enough and saw to their needs. Of course, they ran away, but came back a few minutes later.

Living in this deeply urban environment that is San Francisco, it warms my heart to know that wildlife is with us. The coyotes, possums, skunks, mountain lions, raccoons, and all those amazing birds, all welcome. And of course, squirrels.

Taking care, and caring.

Love on.

 

May 6, 2022

Since the pandemic started, my entire schedule was forced to change.

Ugh! 

The disruption was severe, throwing my entire routine into chaos.

What will I do without a gym to exercise in?

When will I see friends?

When will I see my clients?

When will this be over?

The first four questions were answered in quick order. Thanks to YouTube I found a whole new bunch of exercises I could do in my house, and slowly adapted. Friends and clients took a month or so to calm down, and did, and those connections were revived.

That last question still hangs out there.

Yesterday, in my chores, I went to a local store. As I walked in, wearing my mask, a woman coming out of the store called me a mask wearing idiot. Her face wasn't pleasant, nor was her tone of voice. I smiled and said 'Have a good day.' and went in the store.

Yep, it's gonna be like that for a while, I suppose. Personal choice. In most cases. 

Individual responsibility.

Mine starts with love.

Love on, masked.

 

May 5, 2022

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

And just like that, April ended and May began.

Such a whirlwind it has been the past few days.

Many of my corporate clients are trying to figure out how to entice people back in the office. One of them is mulling cutting the pay of those employees who don't return to the office. Such a bad idea.

There are a lot of them out there, these days.

Just the other day, I overheard a conversation in which terrible advice was offered and acted upon. The resulting conversation with someone didn't produce the desired result and the conversation ended with sharp words between the two. 

And breathe...

So many folks rush into decisions and actions. 

For my part, I try to take the slow road, as it were, not jumping to conclusions or decisions or actions.

Sometimes we just have to sit with what we have learned and let it mellow and intergrate into our thinking. Seldom do we have to act in haste, and when we do we ought to be ready.

And breathe...

Love, on.

 

April 25, 2022

What a difference a week makes.

The Covid-19 positivity rate shot up to 5% in San Francisco, and most folks kept wearing masks, distancing, and staying well. The weather has been wonderful and warmish and throngs of people have been gathering all over the City. I myself went to one of these events and kept my KN-95 mask and distance. So many didn't. A couple that I know let their guard down and caught Covid-19. Reminders abound. Stay safe and well.

Our yard is filled with blooming camellia bushes, along with jasmine and lots of English Primroses. Nature abides.

It has become my recharge station for the past 3 years, since Joe got ill.

The crash of events then found me sitting in the yard or on the steps leading to it, pondering what was happening and what I should do. This hasn't changed much since, what with the pandemic and the disruption to life as we knew it.

Find solace in nature.

Growing up, I read about John Muir, and was lucky enough to hike part of his trail in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. He wrote about the majesty and power of nature, and his words still resonate in my head, all these years later.

Here's hoping you and yours are hale and hearty, and have some time to enjoy the beauty around you.

Love, on.

 

April 18, 2022

Happy Monday!

116 years ago, San Francisco had a huge earthquake. The subsequent fires destroyed much of the city. Thousands died. It has taken time, but the truth of that terrible day has come to light over time. Greed kept the truth hidden for years.

Which brings me to today, and the data that has been released by the World Health Organization showing that more than 15 million people have died from Covid-19. This is more than double what some countries have officially released. It is clear that both China and India have been less than honest. Greed in action, yet again.

Lately, I've been checking in with family and friends in Europe to see how life goes on there. Many stories about the difficulty in getting vaccinated until success, and most folks have gotten one booster shot and some are waiting for #2.

Good for them.

In a city of more than 800,000 people, only about 100 per day are testing positive for Covid. 

Ah, San Francisco.

1906 taught the city to buld more fire stations and enact building codes to withstand the tremors we will forever have. We rode through 1989 is good shape, and that was quite the shaker.

First AIDS, and now Covid have shown us how to take care of ourselves and practice wellness.

Yesterday, thousands of folks gathered in a nearby park to celebrate Easter. There were many in masks, and many kept distance from others. Yet the party went on, and the celebration was raucus and fun. The sound of so many people laughing filled my heart with joy and hope.

Health is wealth.

Here's to yours and mine,

with love.

 

April 12, 2022

Nature has been putting on quite the show of late.

There was a glow in the sky to the north called the Aurora

It was sunny and warm.

Then it was windy.

Then it rained here and snowed in the mountains to the east.

Today it is cold. 43F at 6AM.

Weather or whether, those are the questions now.

The squirrels have made the best of it, and have darted out in the early morning light for food from me. The birds are about less, but their songs still fill the air.

This week will be busy, so many clients and so many things to do. For me, this portends a good week, as I don't enjoy being bored. Growing up, I had a friend who loved doing nothing. I would go to his house and we would sit in his room, doing nothing. He really enjoyed it, and I learned that I didn't. The world can be a mystery at 15 years of age.

Come to think of it, it can still be a mystery at any age, even the one I currently am. 

So, let's go live it, shall we?

Love on.

 

April 8, 2022

Well, my personal year ended on a low point. My legs were stiff, my back really hurt, and then I got stomach cramps.

Time to call in the year.

I went to bed. Early.

My plans of a nice dinner out with friends blew up, as did the idea of waking up and opening a champagne bottle.

Pepto-Bismol for me.

And so it starts, my 8 year. A year that promises everything and then some. 

Last year, being a 7 year, lived up to it's promise and had many magical moments, and lots of wonderful events. 

With each passing birthday, I think back to the 4th of July weekend I was conceived.

Both my parents were on their second marriage, and so wanted a child. The previous one had been lost at 20 weeks, and their efforts at another had been unsuccessful.

Until me.

Knowing that I was truly and definately wanted made some of the terrible moments in my life curiousities. Why was I here?

It took me half of my life to realize why.

Love.

Pure and simple. Without question or regard.

Starting a new decade in my life, I look forward.

With love, on.

 

April 4, 2022

Still on the mend. It's been two weeks now, and I continue to experience pain when I move at times.

Sleeping has become a problem. It's all because of my nurse.

Not that I'm not glad she is there, morning, noon, and night. It's just that she is there and unnoticed until she chooses her path. Like darting in front of me as I climb the stairs, or try to roll over in my sleep only to encounter her presence against me.

Dear Lady Grey.

Out of all the cats that I have known and housed, she stands out. Literally.

She was feral in our backyard for a few days, and then she ate some food I left out for her. One rainy night I scooped her up and brought her inside. So small.

When she met the other resident feral cat, she attacked. This led to permanent separation until Felicity passed on.

Then her personality really emerged.

What had been a quiet cat now spoke whenever she wanted to, even in the dead of night, sometimes loudly and next to one's ear.

Over the years, we've become good friends, which is why when I try to close a doorway she is in she will hiss at me and strike out.

And minutes later circle my legs wanting to be picked up.

Liking can be and is subjective, as we all know, and for me, loving is continuous.

Even when I almost trip because of her wanting to be near me now, when I am in pain.

Sweet girl.

Loving be loved, on.

 

April 1, 2022

Happy April! 

Today in many cultures is a day for making jokes and pranks. And for giving children and anyone you choose a gift of something sweet, like a candy.

April showers bring May flowers. A rhyme I learned as a child. I certainly hope that this is true this month here in North America. Drought has increased, sadly, as has flooding in the Southern Hemisphere. Wetter here, drier there, please.

San Francisco continues to be a beacon for wellness. With the authorization yesterday of a fourth Covid-19 shot available, most places offering the shot, like drug store pharmacies and vaccine installations had a line waiting. I will be joining that line shortly. 

The parks in the City are spectacular right now, so much beauty on display. Someone has planted daffodils in a park nearby and they have sprung up to the delight of passesby, as well as park staff. There appears to be effort on the part of residents all over the city to make things look better. I saw a man washing the sidewalk the other day on my walk. A moment later one of his neighbors came out to sweep her driveway and sidewalk. Both gave me such a good feeling.

So now that we are marching into April, as it were, now would be a good time to take in the beauty that is all around us. Any effort we make to make things better is for the betterment of all.

Love on.

 

March 28, 2022

Hasn't it just been a week?

So much unwellness on display. And so much being done to help it. 

Lately, I've seen things that I never imagined I would see. People acting in manners that display the worst of behavior, human and otherwise. It shocked me to the core. 

Bottom floor. All out.

That's what my guides have been saying these past few days. Preparing me to witness what I have thus far, and I suspect there is more to come, and not in the short term. 

All around me, this past week, was kindness and uncaring on display. Doing the best thing I could, I sat back and watched.

Observation is key to perspective.

Questions that had no answers suddendly did, and the truth of the situation was reavealed. Sometimes it's best just to let whatever it is work it's way out.

So that's what I did.

And it has and continues to. Sometimes, doing nothing is best. Most times, I find myself called to do something, but in a couple of circumstances this past week, due to my fall earlier, I was unable to.

I literally could not rise to the occasion.

Breathe and take it in, I told myself, it's going to be okay, just take a moment before you try, again.

And again.

With love, on.

 

March 24, 2022

I reminded myself of the struggles and reality of mortal life.

I fell. Hard. On hard wood.

The pain in my back was so terribly intense that I burst into tears. The sound of my fall woke up Joe and Lady Grey and both came to check on me, and helped my back into bed after using the toilet.

I woke up and the roar of pain leapt from my back into my butt and I gasped. That was a very bad fall.

Memories of my car crash swam in memory and I tried to recall how to deal with this tremendous pain. Can I move my legs? Yes. How are my arms? Good, undamaged. My head? Unhurt. My butt? Ouch. My lower back. Holy Ouch.

Nothing felt broken although my spirit had an enormous crack in it.

So the day was devoted to learning how to move with this painful body so as not to inflict more pain. It was a long day and I went to bed before sunset, after taking aspirin.

The next day was a bit better, a tad less pain but still terrible at times. I forced myself to walk, and then tried a staircase. Painful but doable. I had to cancel my clients as I couldn't hide the pain from my voice and my face.

The next day I had a telephone client and was able to accomplish the session with a minimum of pain. Walking was a little easier, and the aspirin continued to help.

Then, waking yesterday, I decided to attempt a shower. The memories of hospitals and wet floors kept me alert, and all went off without a hitch, except for the ones in my saddle, as it were.

Today the pain thankfully continues to subside. Slow moving at first, only bending from the knees, and carrying little weight in my hands has worked well, and today even better.

Looking back on this educational adventure I gave myself, I have come to learn the core lesson of this exercise: be fully awake before moving at all times.

Such a small lesson, and such a large impact, no pun intended.

Another lesson in learning to love myself better. 

Love, on.

 

March 19, 2022

After my last entry, off I went to get on with my day. Making beds, doing dishes, dusting, washing the cat's plate, and whatnot.

When all was done and I had some free time, I went out on the deck. The sun was rising and the sky was a beautiful blue, and it was warm in the sunshine. I pulled out a chair and had a seat.

Moments later, Lady Grey is up against the door window, signaling she'd like out as well. I open the door and out she comes.

The birds and squirrels had all been fed, so it was just she and I, enjoying the sun.

My peaceful soujourn is interrupted by a sound at the other end of the deck, and I open my eyes only to watch the cat dash inside. My intuition is ringing in my ears and I run after her.

She has caught a mouse.

She walks into the dining room with it, and I close all doors leading there.

She lets the mouse out of her mouth and it doesn't move.

She sniffs it, touches it with her right paw, and sits there, standing guard.

She yawns.

She yawns again. The mouse runs behind the china chest. This is what my intuition told me would happen.

I shoo her out of the dining room, open the doors to the yard, and close the kitchen door, locking it.

Thank goodness it was a warm day, and after 6 hours I went into the dining room and couldn't find the mouse. Yay!

But my intuition told me otherwise. 

What will be, will be, and I went on with life, dinner, some video, and bed.

This morning, Lady Grey is sitting in front of one of the bookcases in the dining room. I know where the mouse is. Once again, I shoo her out, protestingly, lock the door and open the back door, then the bookcase door. Out jumps this small, oh my goodness, how very, very small mouse. It runs along the room edge toward the back door and out.

My intuition relaxes.

And that was my love, on.

 

March 18, 2022

Just noticed the other day that the teeter had tottered.

More day time versus night time.

Just by one little minute.

It was that easy.

Spring sprang. Spring has sprung. At least here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The calendar says that Spring is official on Sunday, and that's the Global view.

All good and well.

Those of us in this area, and maybe where you live, know that the Vernal Equinox has come already. 

Jumping into Spring.

Ah, the left edge of North America. What a wonderful and wonder filled place.

Love on!

 

March 15, 2022

Hello Ides of March.

In the Roman days, this was a day for settling debts. Bad for Julius Caesar. Not so bad for most of us.

The Ides were the days in the middle of each month, when one would perform rituals for the coming 2 weeks, when one would perform more rituals for the end of the month and the start of the new. So much of their world is in our world today, why, even the horoscopes in most daily newspapers around the globe had their start in Roman times.

This is a different Ides for me. I am so glad to be healthy and alive. Nearly one million of my fellow citizens are not.

Here's to science and truth. 

It saved lives.

Love on.

 

March 14, 2022

Tomorrow marks 2 years in San Francisco since the start of the Covid 19 epidemic.

Wow, we have come a long way. 

This weekend, I was out and saw so many people on the streets, most maskless. Going into stores, most folks were masked. Few stores requested customers to mask.

Oh, how I hope this trend continues across the state, the country, and the world.

Let's all hang in there, well, safe, strong, and healthy.

Love, on!

 

March 8, 2022

Happy International Women's Day!

I vividly remember the very first time I heard of this holiday. It was in Moscow, Russia. I'd taken this trip, my first to the then Soviet Union, by myself. Mainly out of curiousity, partly out of circumstances. Waiting to meet a friend in a NYC hotel bar, the guy next to me struck up a conversation as he waited for his wife. She was the president of a travel company and was leaving for Moscow the next day. When she arrived, she was gracious and told me about her trips there. Right then I knew I had to go. A month later I did. It was amazing.

As I walked along the street near Red Square, I noticed on the four street corners ahead buckets of flowers. There were men handing flower bunches to women passing by. A woman noticed me noticing and told me 'Woman day'. I had to learn more.

In celebration of all woman, everywhere, thank you.

Love, on.

 

March 7, 2022

The mixture of a little rain and lots of sun has made the cold temperatures tolerable. Just. The winds haven't helped other than to lower the temps by 5 degrees or so. On the way to Brrr.

The state of the republic of San Francisco has seen some of the lowest Covid positive numbers in years. We had 5 cases the other day. Just 5. Amazing what listening to science can do.

Yesterday, out and about and enjoying the sunshine, I was a bit amazed and after a while quite delighted to see all the maskless faces smiling. 

And there were so many dogs, and so many of them were friendly. Watching a few play at a nearby dogpark during my walk was delightful. 

Out and about.

Several of my Corporate clients have indicated that they're welcoming staff back, at least part time, and many returning employees are finding that their space has changed, as has, in a couple of cases I know, the entire building's interior arrangement. It has been gratifying to watch as companies reorient themselves to a more welcoming manner, both in visual appeal and in physical expression. So many want to get back to work.

Out and about.

This past weekend, more than 100,000 free tulips were available in Union Square. It was a sea of color, and most amazingly, the bulbs were still attached so one could take them home and plant them and enjoy their beauty for longer. All thanks to a Dutch  trade association. 

Out and about.

So here's another week, this Monday. For me, it will be a day of chores and cleaning up inside and outside, and running errands and getting ready for my work week. Monday has been like Saturday for me for years, and over time I have come to enjoy it so. All the free time, and fewer people out and about. Although from what I saw yesterday, this is changing.

Out and about, with love.

 

March 2, 2022

Happy March! The one of two months that give us direction and what to do. March!

And we all are, into a new month and more opportunities to do what we can.

For my part, in celebration yesterday of St. David's Day, a Welsh holiday that my ancestors honored, I went out and bought a couple of bunches of daffodils, the flower of Wales. And it was Mardi Gras, so a wonderful dinner was prepared and shared. 

The idea of celebrating time has made the passage of time all that much more enjoyable. There is something to celebrate every day of the years, usually many per day.

Did you know that today is Old Stuff Day? 

See what I mean about there being something to celebrate every day?

I'm going to participate in today's theme and work in our pantry and try to make sense of it. It has been ignored for years and is loaded with lots of old stuff. Maybe I can bring some order and to it and tidy it up, as well.

Happy Old Stuff Day!

Marching forward,

with love.

 

February 28, 2022

Happy Fat Monday!

I had a neighbor when I lived in London who called this day Collop Monday. A collop is a slice of bacon, and this had been always served to her as a child and she carried the tradition forward. Bacon Monday. Kinda has a ring to it, no?

So there I was last night, before turning in for the night, looking at the news on my phone. 

Wham!

Stunning news out of Switzerland, really quite shocking as the country has never, ever done anything like this.

It blocked Russian money. Froze it.

In the history of the country, Switzerland has always remained neutral, and has used this neutrality to avoid global conflicts in the past. Not any more.

Wow!

As a former senior political consultant said to me years ago, 'If Switzerland acts, it's always for the better.' I wonder what he would say today, were he alive.

Reading on, for the next hour or so, I read of the financial markets on the globe as they reacted, and saw an announcement saying the Russian Stock Exchange would not open on Monday.

Wow!

The global community is speaking one message, I pray that it is heard.

Love on.

 

February 24, 2022

Woke up to 39F outside. Brrrr!

Happy Fat Thursday!

Years ago, when I was about 12 or so, there was a Carnival at my school. It was fun. We were taught dances and got to sing some new songs and it made such an impression on me. Then I began to learn about this celebration and came to learn how it is celebrated all over the world, and the differing customs and foods and methods of celebrating. Most of us have heard about the party they have in Brazil and New Orleans.

Happy Mardi Gras!

A woman I know told me that in her culture, Syrian Christian, this day is called Drunkard's Day and is celebrated with a feast at sunset. In parts of Germany they cut men's ties in half on this day. In Greece this is Smoky Thursday because of all the grilled meat prepared. Fun and food. 

Another reason to celebrate, that's how I see it.

Another opportunity to have a good time, to laugh, to have fun.

Happy Thursday, however you call it.

Love on.

 

February 22, 2022

Happy 2's Day!

Woke up around 6:30AM, which is late for me. Part of the reason I slept in was a small two-toned grey cat snuggled next to my legs who shifted as I did in the night and never left, until shortly before 6:30AM. It was cold, and as I sat up in bed, giving thanks for being here another morning, the furnace kicked in. That means the temperature has hit 60F. Looking at my IPhone I note that it is 47F outside and I think of the squirrels, the 5 that I feed, in their drays and hope they are warm. One of the sweetest videos I've seen lately was of 2 squirrels sleeping in their nest. 

Another 2.

So off I go, into my start routine. When I ran computers at IBM and later at The Los Angeles Times newspaper there was always a start routine to get things going, and the efficiency of those operations has stayed with me. It's perfect because it usually requires little thinking in terms of doing something new, and is short and simple.

Cat fed, coffee drunk, newspapers read, time for a walk.

What rain? Sometimes the weather reports are wrong. Out I go, bundled and gloved. It's 50F

When I lived in Chicago, this temperature was a Spring day, half the year, which was also true in London and Paris. I do believe that the weather in California, at least the parts I've lived in as an adult, have spoiled me.

The sun has risen and the dog walkers are out in mass. So many dogs of all sizes, colors, and shapes.

The blooming trees dotted here and there are a delight, and as I walk to the top of Dolores Park, my view vastly improved. And as it does so does my head and heart and body and spirit.

Weird times require wonderful people, and that's who I'm going to be, at least for now.

Yesterday I went to a big box retailer, and was shocked to see maybe 5 people without masks. It took a bit of getting used to, I've become so accustomed to seeing everyone masked up in all retail outlets.

We're in transition, and the case load remains low. 

Walking home,the dog show continues, and it's delightful. Happy dogs, many happy dog parents, and me, on a hillside in a world that is filled with love. 

Now, off to share mine!

Love on!

 

February 21, 2022

According to one of our neighbors, tomorrow is a big deal. 2/22/2022. Auspicious, she says it is. So many 2's. Adding up to 3, which is a lucky number.

This was some of the data I gleaned this weekend, as the sun was out along with throngs of people.

So many folks out and about. It looked like old times. 

As I walked around yesterday in my neighborhood, I crossed paths with so many folks I know, and we caught up on the news and whatnot. After a while, I decided to head over to a pub that is slowly becoming one of my new hang outs. The old pub changed hands during the shut down, and I took this as a sign to mosey on, as it were, so I did.

Luckily, this part of San Francisco has a plethora to places to hang out, and so I went looking. Lots of bars, a few coffee shops, a couple of stores with drinks on offer, so many choices.

When I lived in London, one of my neighbors confided to me that I needed to find my 'local', as she called it, my place to hang out and relax. She advised that it should be close by and friendly, and sure enough, it was.

So I've used that same logic as I've moved about the planet, and it's been good advice.

With this is mind, I went to the second nearest place from me and lo and behold, so many folks from my former pub were there. It was old times come to life, and there was so much news, so of it very sad what with the passings and happenings to others, and so very glad, such good news and fortune for some

Me local has been located.

Having spent a couple of hours talking and laughing, I made my way home and caught Joe up on my news. He was glad for it.

Change is a challenge, and so is life.

Embrace them both and hold on for dear life.

Love on!

 

February 19, 2022

This weekend, San Francisco is celebrating the end of Chinese New Year. There will be a parade tomorrow along Market Street into Chinatown, and the streets will be lined with cheering and waving crowds. Last year, it was cancelled, so this year the folks behind it are going all out and plan on making it a spectacular celebration.

Also, this weekend, our Muni transportation system, which is busses, light rail cars, trolley cars and cable cars is free to everyone. I suspect the city will truly be on the move.

Our Governor, Gavin Newsom. has lifted the state-wide mask mandate, but most folks are still carrying them and wearing them when they go inside most stores.

We are going to have to learn to live with Covid 19, he said, and urged folks to get vaccinated.

Slowly, steadily, and with some trepidation, we are moving forward.

This morning on my walk, I passed a couple of folks I know and was rewarded with smiling mask free faces.

Love, on!

 

February 15, 2022

Happy Ides of February!

Happy Day after Valentines!

Happy start of Week 100 of Covid 19 restrictions!

Happy End of mask wearing in most places in California!

Happy 7AM on the dot wake up sunrise here in San Francisco!

and I'm just getting started. There is so much new to celebrate.

The Corona Virus 19 pandemic is far from over globally, and progress is being made daily to control and stop it. In my lifetime, I have never seen anything like it, and I remember how AIDS swept through my life, taking so many of my friends with it over decades. Today, those I know who are HIV+ have medications and are alive and well.

Let's hope it's like this with Covid 19.

Yesterday, in celebration of the end of Chinese New Year, Joe and I went out for dim sum, one of our favorite meals. So many small portions of such wonderful food, in steam trays and on dishes, going around and around the dining room. The place we went is old school, as they say, and caters to a large community of regulars. We watched as folks entered the room and went to greet friends before being seated. So many families sharing food and talk and laughter. It didn't matter that I don't understand much Cantonese, I could tell by the vocal tones that folks were having a good time.

Just what we needed to see, and as we left we were both smiling behind our masks.

Live life, and love life, and let's keep going.

Love, on.

 

February 10, 2022

The internet connection we have has been wonky of late, and let's hope this post actually posts.

Fingers crossed.

I've been doing that a lot, crossing my fingers in hope of a good result. Superstitious a bit, and really more hopeful than anything.

The weather has been really nice, sadly no rain. 

Since we are experiencing a drought, the folks at SF Water will be imposing a 5% surcharge starting with the next billing cycle. Joe and I had decided at the beginning of the pandemic that we would shower every other day and see how it went, and it has gone well. Our water bill fell by more than half. And using less water to clean the dishes has helped as well.

Hopefully there will be more rainy days ahead, but fingers crossed.

See how easy it is.

Give it a try, sometime, won't you?

Who knows, it might help.

Fingers crossed.

Love on.

 

February 2, 2022

Well, butter my biscuit! As my Great Aunt Maddie said. 

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow. Six more weeks of Winter this year.

I hadn't thought that would be the case, and am glad to be wrong.

Here in California, we can use more winter and rain and snow. Six more weeks sounds excellent.

A friend in Boston has been sending out photos from her neighborhood, and the snow is so deep and beautiful. 

As a child, I lived for a time in Big Pine, California, on the east side of the Sierra Nevada range, near Mt. Tom, the tallest mountain in the range. The winters brought cold temperatures, freezing winds, and lots and lots of snow. With the right clothes it was so much fun. Snowball wars with the other kids on the street, and such good times.

Over the years, I've learned to displace any negativity that pops up with memories, leaving just the good behind. It's not that I don't recall, I do, and I choose not to relive. That's what displacement gave me. Freedom from the negative energy in my past. And it works with the recent, as well.

Up ahead in time, there will be things that rub me the wrong way, and I will displace any negativity I feel by destroying something useless. I have a box of burned out lightbulbs waiting, as well as some ruined shirts that will shred nicely. 

What I do with my energy helps me to stride forward, lightened of any heaviness that life throws. It is a full time job and I am worth the effort. Living a better life starts with loving.

Love, on and on and on.

 

February 1, 2022

Happy New Year, again!

Woke up just before 4AM, Joe was just heading out the door to the bakery and early morning pastries. It was cold. The furnace clicked on and I knew it was either colder than 64F in the house or programmed to start up.

I fell back to sleep.

Later, a howl from Lady Grey roused me. Must be her breakfast time, so up I get. 'Thank you' I say outloud as I creak to standing. It's getting light outside and I can see my way to the fridge and a can of wet catfood and a white plate and a spoon.

As the coffee brews, I scan my IPhone for news. Then to Tiktok and images and short movies of squirrels and nature. Calmness pervades me as the smell of coffee fills the kitchen air. Lady Grey finishes her meal as I rise to pour myself some wakefulness.

Slow start to this New Year morning, and I think of all of the folks in China who have written to me, having found this blog or read my book. Such kind words, such thanks, and such warmth. Like the young man living near a town I couldn't find on Google Earth, and my book helping him to learn English. Or the woman with a lazy husband who found encouragement in my writings. Happy New Year to all!

Time for a small second cup of coffee.

The chickadee's are flying in and out, waiting to be fed. Squirrels will show up next. Time to shift into a higher gear.

Showered and dressed, picking up the house and doing the dishes from the night before.

The joy of routine fills me with purpose and hope.

Later, I'll be going out to our favorite dumpling restaurant to pick up our New Year meal. 

But first, to work.

Here's wishing you and yours all the best this New Year. 

Love on.

 

January 31, 2022

I know I'm a day early for the West Coast, but Gung Hay Fat Choy anyway! Happy New Year!

All over San Francisco, there are signs of the impending holiday. Even See's Candies has red and gold wrapping paper and special treats now. Year of the Tiger. And a Black Water one at that. Which means 'go big or go home', don't be afraid of extremes, and don't be surprised by them, either. And abundance, lots and lots of it. But you have to have tigerishness in you.

So today I'll be heading out to buy some holiday treats at some places in know and love. Dim sum is such a treat, and this city, being one third Asian, had lots and lots of great places to find them, and so much more.

Food and festivity. 

Yep, that's us, humans, we love to eat and associate.

Now is an excellent time to go out, alone, and be in the world. Take in the change of season that is around us all, and feel the pulse of life while enjoying a treat someplace out in the world. A coffee shop, a food stand, where ever you choose.

Life is so full of choices.

Here's to choosing the bestest ones.

With love, on.

 

January 28, 2022

The bubble that is San Francisco is making progress.

Starting February 1, masks will no longer be required at gyms, offices, and select spaces, with vaccination status checked for every person entering.

Slow but steady.

Omicron, the variant of Covid 19 currently invading our planet, is very easy to spread and very noticeable, especially if you're not vaccinated.

A client of mine said she woke up feeling like she had a cold, and arranged a PCR test for the next day. She tested at home and registered negative, and stayed at home that day. Two days later, her PCR test came back positive. She is still isolating and says it's like a cold. She is vaccinated and boosted.

Slow but steady.

Although I personally am not ready to rejoin my gym, I look forward to this in the not too distant future.

Life returning to normal. It will happen.

Slow and steady.

Washing one's hands remains very, very important, as does social distancing. We're not out of these woods just yet.

Slow and steady,

with love.

 

January 25, 2022

Hey, Bronx! Long time no visited. Hope all is well with you and yours, and thanx for looking in.

On my walk yesterday, I saw a neighbor that I hadn't seen in a while, and stopped to chat. She told me of her husband's health issues and her boredom, and then asked me why I was always walking around, as she had seen me several times, even in bad weather, she said, and what's up with that?

Ah, the joy of routine, I told her.

Each day of the week for me has something or things that I do on that day. Like laundry, or dusting and cleaning a certain room. The knowing that I have stuff to do has kept me on course, taking care of my life, and getting on with things, as it were.

When the Corona Virus 19 epidemic was announced here in San Francisco, my world took a serious hit.

Just about everything changed. There were weeks that flew by and problems mounted. It was awful.

Depression started stalking me. I recognized it, having spent decades wrapped in it.

Oh, hell no, I thought, and took hold of myself, specifically through action.

I created a routine. Parts of it were already there, but now there were gaps when I used to go places or do things and now I couldn't. Time to punt, and I did. I filled in those gaps with new things, and kept myself busy.

And I still am, and hope to be in the days to come.

With love, on.

 

January 21, 2022

Oh, how I wanted to stay in bed this morning. I was warm and comfortable and dozy, but I had made a promise to myself and wanted to keep it.

I got up. The house temperature was 64F. I got moving, dressed and out the door.

It's half an hour before dawn. The streets are quiet, there are few people out. 

In the east, the glow of the rising sun is nearing some distant horizon.

I start walking, and just keep going. Half an hour later, the sun is blasting into the sky, and the clouds are golden. 

Time to walk home.

This hour of being out and about, waking and walking, was a gift I had promised myself.

As difficult as it can be at times, I always keep my promises to myself.

That way, if I can do it for me, I can do it for others.

Whatever it is.

By the time I got home, lots of birds and a couple of squirrels greeted me. It's Squirrel Appreciation Day, and I set out several types of nuts in shells. The 3 I saw loved it.

Ah, doing what I can.

Later, I saw two crows on the deck railing, eating the chopped peanuts.

What a lovely reward!

Love on.

 

January 18, 2022

Covid 19 Omicron continues to explode here in San Francisco. Thousands infected daily, luckily most folks are triple vaccinated so there are very few hospitalizations, but our hospitals are pretty full these days, and the surge is a challenge.

With the increase of cases, many bars and restaurants have limited their hours and are rigorous on seeing one's proof of vaxx.

Year two.

What continues to amaze me is the resilience of some folks.

The other day, I stopped by one of the local stores and got to talking with a manager. He told me how the staff had had to adjust to distancing and wearing masks all day, and the grumbling and sighs that took place, and how everyone adjusted to the new rules. And how they had expanded their stock and had masks for every member of the family. Give 'em what they want, he said.

Medical folks I know talk about how this variant is running through the population and is decreasing in many places.

That's surely good news.

Although I now have a full complement of face masks for any occasion, almost, Ilook forward to retiring them in the not too distant future. Just like I did with bell bottomed trousers...

Times change. 

Stay well, strong, safe and engaged. 

There's lots of life up ahead.

Love, on.

 

January 10, 2022

So many wonderful memories have been flooding my eyes these past several days. It started on the first day of the year, remembering and reexperiencing some of the laughs that Betty White gave to me. And then Richard Leakey and the stimulation of my intellect. I met him and his Dad at UCLA in 1968, when I was deeply swept up in anthropology and mankind and our evolution. Then my client Russell, who found himself while discovering the world. A very good example to follow today. Today Bob Saget. Wonderful laughs and lots of insight.

Thank you, death.

You have helped refine my memories and my experiences here on Earth. 

Like a lens that brings things into focus, the pervasiveness of death, throughout my life, has helped me to grow.

When my Mom died at 49 when I was 14, I felt, thought, and believed that my life was ruined.

I grew so much from that paramount morning, waking up to hear she had died.

Years of chaos was like putting me to a grindstone. Physically, mentally, emotionally, ethically, financially, and spiritualily. 

Somehow, I emerged at 35 with my feet on the ground, especially during physical therapy after my car crash. As close to death as I have come, thus far. Quite the wake up call...

Thank you, death.

I cannot out run you, and it is because of you that I am here. Thank you for helping me to treasure my moments here, alive and breathing and feeling and most of all, being.

and that is why my love is on.

Love, most deeply, on.

 

January 5, 2022

Just have to give a mention to a man I never saw in the flesh but gave me so much when I was homeless at 17.

Parmahansa Yogananda.

I discovered his writings when I would hitch hike along Sunset Boulevard. As one nears the Pacific Ocean, off to the left is a bunch of buildings. Back then, I could walk in during daylight hours. It was and is a peaceful garden surrounding a lake. So calm. So peaceful. His words spoke of finding one's self in life with love. 

One evening I fell asleep there,

Awakened by the guy locking up for the night, for some reason I felt okay, and felt that my life was going to be okay.

As I left to hitch hike back to the San Fernando Valley and High School the next morning, I saw the OM symbol and the word  love.

I had everything I needed to make it to my 18th birthday and some legal freedoms.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Guru.

Your memory is a blessing.

Love, on.

 

January 2, 2022

1+2+2+2+2=9.

The number that signifies results, conclusions, decisions.

And the first Sunday of a new year.

The world is changing, in some subtle ways. And in some obvious ways. For all of us.

What I am taking into this new year is the importance of love, even in the face of hate.

I'll be doing a ritual today, setting my intentions for this coming year. A candle and words spoken aloud.

Health, food, water, shelter, calm, joy, love. Those are the themes I'll focus on. My hopes for all of us this world over.

Starting slowly, as this year rolls on, I hope to have these elements in my life. And to share them.

It's just the start. Let's make this year better, as we can.

Love, lots of it, on and on.

 

December 31, 2021

Well. it's come to this.

A Friday night to celebrate, or not. We each get to choose.

I'm opting for a small party, us and the cat. Sunset in the spa, without the cat. Bubbles warming us with the water and bubbles in our glasses, refreshing us.

Almost...

In just a few hours, a new year will start.

Running out for errands, getting last minute things for tonight, like flowers and milk. There is an old custom around Bordeaux in France where they toast with wine and milk, in the hope that the year to come is bountiful.

And some time for solitary reflection.

I give thanks to all that is and will be and has been.

And the countless souls that we welcome and that we bid adieu.

Thank you all. For what you gave us and for what you will bring.

Heaven and goodness know that we have 365 new opportunities to live and breathe and be and love, oh, yes, most of all. 

To those hard times ahead I say Thank you. You will be the times of growth ahead that will challenge me. I will rise to the task, the challenge of what will be, with love.

To all my readers, I wish you a year of good and growth, and your intentions. And my respect, admiration, and love, all ways and always.

Love on.

 

December 29, 2021

Last night, just before turning into bed, I glanced at my smartphone.

What I saw had me by surprise, to say the least.

It was a message from the State of California Health Services informing me that I had been in proximity to someone with Covid.

I sat right up.

Remember to breathe, I said out loud, and did.

There were questions about how I was feeling, questions about knowing if I had been exposed, and questions about what I woud do in certain events.

Remember to breathe, I kept saying.

Needless to say, I was rattled...deeply.

After a while, I had calmed down enough to talk with Joe. He never received the same message.

Now I start thinking about where I went without him and there are only 2 times in the day when we were apart. I credit the terrible cold that is with us now in the Bay area.One is a local business. The other is Costco.

Privacy laws prohibit more information, and thank goodness I allow locaton services to track me.

Isolating and wearing masks, in our home.

Fingers crossed and recrossed.

Stay well, safe and strong.

Love on.

 

December 27, 2021

Last Monday of the year, last week of the year, the end of this year.

Oy.

The word jumps in my head, first expressed by Harriet Gold, my best friend Mike's mom. 

Oy gevalt.

Such a year, quite the roller coaster. At times I shut my eyes, opened my heart and cleared my head. Those were some of the worse times. So many lives lost. Such despair. 

And such strength. And generosity, kindness, support, and most of all - love.

They say that tough times bring out the best in people. I've seen this this year.

This week will find me at home, not working, just cleaning up and solving problems. This is the wettest winter since 1983, the year I moved to San Francisco. 

Water means change in Jungian parlance. Go with the flow, let the current carry you. That's what Jung would say and do. It's good to have an example. 

Love, on.

 

December 24, 2021

There's something special about this time of year in our kitchen.

It becomes an extension of Joe's bakery.

Over the years, I've watched in amazement as he does this and that and before I know it, fruitcakes with pineapple and pistacios, hundreds of cookes, each and every one decorated, and so much more covers every available surface.

Bowls of colored icing, piles of chopped fruit, large bowls with powders in them. The cat and I watch from a distance.

The Yule Tree is fully festooned, and glows a lovely shade of purple. There are hundreds of ornaments on it, some dating back to the late 1890's. So many memories, and new ones to make.

Merry Christmas.

Love on and on and on...

 

December 21, 2021

Happy Solstice!

We made it, and we're almost at the end of the year, huzzah!

And what a year it has been, a full year of Covid 19 lockdowns, vaccines, restrictions, boosters, and more to come. From Delta to Omicron in less that a week in the States.

Yikes!

Thankfully milder, this current corona virus traded lethalness for spreadability. And it has and sure is.

Stay safe out there, mask and distance and wash hands, and get vaccinated and boosted.

Our Yule Tree is now being festooned with baubles and garlands and ribbons and ornaments.

Christmas is afoot. And occasionally, under.

The stores in the neighborhood were busy yesterday, so many shoppers. And smiling shopkeepers. One woman I know has a cute shop up our street, and she and her helper were so busy yesterday. Hopefully a good end to her year.

That's what I'm ordering for everyone: A good end to a challenging year.

Forward, with love.

On.

 

December 20, 2021

Solstice came to San Francisco last week, a bit early, according to the calendar. It seemed like the sun was frozen and unmoving. Sunset at 4:51PM for three days in a row. I noticed the sun rose earlier, by one minute, on day 3. And the next night there was a full moon.

Snow moon. Big and bright.

Another atmospheric river is coming sometime tomorrow.

More snow on the mountains.

Time to clean up the yard, get it ready for the rain.

And me, too!

Happy Solstice to you and yours!

Love on.

 

December 14, 2021

Last night was 'a perfect storm' for our kitchen.

It's been raining fairly steadily for most of the day, and Joe has several bowls of different colors of frosting for the cookies. Keeping on top of things, I am checking the various drains on the property and around the house. Lots to do.

Dinner appears from Joe and we sit to eat and watch television.

It keeps raining.

This morning, shortly after 3AM, I hear sounds from the kitchen. Lots of them.

I roll over.

Later, as he's leaving, Joe says something about ants. Un huh, I grunt.

A couple of hours later, I'm waking up. There's a little grey cat at my feet, time to move.

Turn on kitchen light, coffee pot, get wet cat food from fridge, feed cat, rinse spoon.

That is when I see them, alive and dead.

Dozens, hundreds maybe, as I start looking.

What a mess.

Driven out of the ground, the ants have gone walking about, and found Sugar House.

Party time!

Until...sorry for reclaiming our space, ants, and thanks for the reminder.

We share this planet.

Gotta keep my part cleaner.

Love on.

 

December 11, 2021

It's gotten colder, and another Atmospheric River is going over California starting tomorrow. Here in San Francisco we may see more than 4 inches of rain, the Sierra Nevada mountain range will see more than 70 inches of snow in some areas.

Winter is blowing in. Big time!

The family of squirrels are adding bedding to their drays. The rose bush has sent out two blooms, and the paperwhite narcissus are bursting into bloom as well.

And we have a Yule tree. It stood for a couple of nights without any decoration or lights. Just a part of the green forest in our living room.

A nod to tradition.

Later today, I'll bring out the boxes with the ornaments, we have hundreds.

Another nod. So many decades of memories in all that glass and glitter.

Christmas music will play, champagne will be opened, and Joe will be in our kitchen decorating hundreds of cookies for the bakery.

And I'll be nodding off in front of the fireplace.

Happiest of times to you and yours, with love, on!

 

December 9, 2021

Hello New York City! Thanks for stopping by. Such an amazing place you are, we're really looking forward to being there in the not too distant future, inshallah. All the best to you and yours!

It felt like 44F outside the house this morning, said my smartphone.

Looking further, I found it was 39F in Wine Country.

Yep, Winter is coming.

As I went to get the newspapers, I noticed that a couple of our Neighbors left their trees lite up overnight.

At that hour, all dark out, no cars, those lights were like a beacon.

Better times ahead. Smile more, love more, become more.

That was the message I got.

Just then a neighbor came down his steps and waved, and came over. Looking at the lights, he said 'Waste of money' and laughed. 

At least they got a laugh from him. Small steps forward.

Love on.

 

December 6, 2021

Ah, the Holly Daze!

Since the 1st of December, the sides of skyscrapers in downtown San Francisco have been illuminated with beautiful projections of light on several of them.

There's a skating ring in Union Square.

Lights and decorations on houses and businesses.

It's beginning to look a lot like...

Yesterday was Krampustag and Nacht here, and there was a costume challenge in a Club, who could dress as the scariest Krampus. The winner was really scary, horns and claws and fangs and lots of fur. Such fun!

This coming Sunday is the Santa's Skivvies Run. Hundreds of men and women stripped to their undies, most tastefully, going all over the City raising money for charities. It costs $40 to run. Not cheap skivvies.

Just the antidote for these troubled times: merriment!

I highly recommend getting out and seeing the world now. Shake off the darkness and find the lights.

Time for me to go buy a Yule Tree.Happiest Holidays!

Love, on.

 

December 3, 2021

Happy December! Woosh!

Time to bring out my Holiday masks! When I bought them last year, my intuition told me I'd wear them again. I grunted when this thought came to me. Now I smile.

Corona Virus 19 continues to juggernaut around the planet. Science versus politics.

For my part, I continue to listen to reputable sources and not talking heads. One of the loudest anti vaxxers has been silenced by CV-19. This disease is real. 

Here, in the Republic of San Francisco, 672 people have died from it. Most of us still wear masks, social distance, and some carry sanitizer and kleenex.

All of my shopping for cards and whatnot is being done within walking distance.

This has given me an opportunity to explore the City, yet again. Lots of changes!

Here's to you and yours, and the coming days.

Love on!

 

November 28, 2021

And there it goes, in the rear view mirror: Thanksgiving 2021!

This is always the busiest time of year for my husband, Joe, as his retail bakery cranks out hundreds of pies for Thanksgiving. Over the years he learned to make more than ordered as many people do things at the last minute.

This year wasn't a record setter, just 325 pies or so. It didn't help that most of the marionberry crop in Oregon was fried by high temperatures this past July. Many disappointed customers, but so many happy ones.

This morning, I surprised him by offering breakfast from a French cafe nearby, which we both enjoyed.

Now on to Hanukkah and Christmas!

Oh, the Holly Daze!

Love on.

 

November 24, 2021

Growing up on a turkey farm in the Southern California desert, this time of year our place was empty, not a turkey in sight, except for the little differently abled one, he was sweet. All of the hard work of raising thousands of turkeys was over until right before New Year's Eve, when the small baby turkeys arrived. My Grandfather had 80 acres, and we have about 40,000 turkeys, one large sow and piglets that we sold. I was allowed to look after and check on the turkeys as they grew, until they were half my height. Then, it wasn't safe for me to be near a bunch of them, they can be nasty and have very sharp claws. We seldom ate turkey.

Thanksgiving was going into Barstow for a steak dinner.

Happiest Thanksgiving!

Love on.

 

November 19, 2021

This morning, in the drizzle that came with the dawn, I went for a walk of thanks.

Bad news sells. That's what I learned in the 5 years I worked for a major metropolitan newspaper. Sadly, it's still true. There is a surfeit of it these days, coming at one from all angles and agendas. Which makes me even more aware of the importance of good news, even if I have to go find it. It's out there, and this morning, I celebrated some of it with a walk.

87% of all residents 5 years and older in San Francisco are vaccinated against CV-19.

So, having seen this on my smartphone, I applauded. Lady Grey looked up from her heating pad for a second, and returned to dozing. Me, I got up and threw some clothes on and went out the door.

Such joy was filling me, I wanted to dance.

Actually, I did, a little bit, getting ready.

Then out the door. It's chilly, 57F, and lightening dark. Dawn is about 20 minutes away. I walk west, feeling so proud of this city, of those responsible folks taking care of themselves and all of us. I am honored to share this lovely 49 square mile republic with all of you, even those avoiding the jabs.

Just before sunrise, I stopped and turned to face the east. From the rise on the slope of Twin Peaks, I saw the sun break above the horizon.

May we all rise.

Love, so on.

 

November 15, 2021

What weekend? It zoomed, thankfully not literally, past me.

Saturday was a work day and then chores and stuff. Watched some recorded programs on the telly and then to sleep.

Sunday was newspapers and chores and chores and a walk in the afternoon with a friend.

Which brings me to this morning. Hello Monday.

For me, this is my Sunday. Time for me.

So I started by sleeping in, all the way to 6:30AM. Wow, haven't done that in a while. Then the morning routine kicked in and coffee got made and the cat got fed. Scanned my smartphone for a while, then heard the fwap of the newspapers hitting the front steps and went to retrieve them. That's when I noticed the slightest bright glow in the east. Only half an hour to sunrise.

A nice, slow start to my Sunday.

Having routines in my life has helped me tremendously with the disruption that the pandemic has brought. 

Even the free form of today has reinforced the rhythm of my life.

Structure has helped me to stay on an even keel, as it were, and help me to make use of my time wisely. 

Such as feeding the squirrels, as I now must go do. I can hear them jumping around on the deck, there are probably 3 of them at this hour, and they're looking for breakfast.

Being needed sure adds immeasurably to my routine.

Love, on.

 

November 12, 2021

A prayer answered.

That's what I got yesterday.

As the pandemic was in the most awful phase in Spring 2020, my messages from clents were filled with desparation, despair, and defeat. It was nearly overwhelming for me to handle, and I had to start limiting myself as there was a tragic, growing need for my service.

In the midst of this whirlwind, I found myself at loggerheads with a long time client, and after mentioning my perceptions our conversations went poorly. Time to put it away, for now, my guides said, just give it a rest. I most reluctently did.

From time to time this client would pop into my head, and when that happened, I would think and feel positive and optimistic toward them.

The other morning, on my walk, I sensed that something good was coming my way.

Yesterday, it did. 

My former client called and left a message explaining what had been going on for them and how they had changed and hoped to see me again.

Absolutely. I'll be calling today.

I'm a big believer in the thought that the right thing always happens. Sometimes I like the result, sometimes not. What I have learned is that life is not about my ego or me being happy or any of that. 

Life asks me to take care of myself, and then others. I do it with a smile on my face. Everyday is a new opportunity to grow, change, and become a better version of myself.

How delighted am I to see that I am not alone in this effort. 

Love, always on.

 

November 9, 2021

When I was a young child, thoughts would pop into my head. Usually a word or two, sometimes a concept. I guessed it was okay, no one ever mentioned them to me, so I figured that everybody had them.

Then I encountered a phrase I hear to this day: What makes you say that? Or some variation on the theme. This led me to not sharing as many of my thoughts are I grew older.

Eventually it dawned on me that I could use this faculty for positive uses, and began to speak with friends from my intuitive voice and life began to go swimmingly.

As I got older I studied intuition, as it was then seen through the lens of psychology as a curious artifact. Wow, there was so much to learn. The most important thing I learned was to trust my intuition above all else.

Along the way, it's saved my life a few times and kept me safe in dangerous surroundings and situations.

I've come to realize that every one of us has intuition, and that it is like a muscle in the body, in that the more you use it, the stronger it grows.

Everyday brings some new insight for me, sometimes small and meaningful only to me, at other times events rock our world. My intuition doesn't protect me from life's woes and ills, but it does give me comfort. The dark of night isn't nearly as dark as it could be without it

Here's to you and yours and intuition!

Love, on.

 

November 4, 2021

It rained very early this morning, just after 2AM. I felt it before I heard it. As I listened, the rain grew more steady. All was calm.

Thank you for this moment, I said quietly.

Later, just before 6AM, I woke again. The rain had stopped.

Just in that moment I remembered the earlier moment and smiled. Having that little bit of peace, quiet, contentment: makes my day.

Over the years I've learned that life has unseen bumps, some enormous. 

That which does not break me makes me stronger.

At this point in my life, I acknowledge and thank me strength. And all that is, for helping me get to this place in my life. This all came about because of contrast.

Recently I've talked with a man who lives nearby as I've been walking. Sometimes we've talked for half an hours, sometimes just hello. I let him take the lead. There is buried pain in him that he's been brooding about for decades. He recently told me his 77th birthday was coming up at the end of the month, and from his face I could see that this didn't please him.

'Look on the bright side, you could be pushing daisies.'

And for the first time, I saw him smile.

Love, on.

 

November 2, 2021

Happy November! 

No longer the ninth month in our modern calendar, the days grow shorter as we race toward Winter Solstice. Ah, time, be my friend.

Lately I've been noticing that many of the folks I know are maintaining balanced lives. For the majority this means a daily routine. At the beginning of this pandemic in March 2020, my routine got blown away. My gym closed, stores and markets closed, and all of my out of the house work ended. I was thrown for quite a loop. It took me a few months to recover, and get my life, or at least a semblance of what it had been, back on track. A new track, to be sure, but day by day, it became familiar.

Today, 20 months after the start of Covid 19 living, most of us are coping fairly well, so it seems. The panic and terror of the early days has been replaced with the new set of precautions and efforts we can take to ensure our personal health and safety.

It hasn't been easy, and it's not over.

Here, in the bubble that is San Francisco, 83% of the population is vaccinated. Life on our streets is returning to normal, slowly. 

Yesterday was the first day for City employees to return to their offices, and they did in droves. Everybody, almost, masked and going into their respective buildings, presenting vaccination proof. So many smiles, lots of laughter, people seeing each other for the first time in many, many months. It was teary for some.

Slow and steady wins the race. 

Forward, together, we're all in this together.

Loving on.

 

October 31, 2021

Halloween started with the Irish, who call this day Samhain. The custom was to build bonfires to keep away the evil spirits that roam the earth on this one night, and to honor those who died in the past year and those we miss from prior years. As the gathering broke up, each family and individual would take home a bit of the coal from the fire in a carved turnip.

When the Irish came to America, the turnip became a pumpkin.

Who can blame them, pumpkins are so much easier to carve than a turnip, even a big one. 

Being part Irish, I have explored my ancestry and have visited the places they lived in Ireland. There was and is a connection there.

Just as there is, for me, to Halloween. 

Trick or Treating! Oh, how I looked forward to it as a kid, even as a teenager. And the fun of costumes! There were parties at school, and a prize for the best costume. I remember the year my friend Hilda won. She dressed up as a flamenco dancer and looked amazing. Ah, the sweet memories that I cling to.

Last year, due to the Covid 19 pandemic, there were no gatherings in San Francisco, and trick and treating was discouraged.

Not this year. Nope, not with 82% of all residents vaccinated. 

This year they are inviting those interested to come party in San Francisco, and have even moved to allow large outdoor gatherings to happen. And so they are, there were many last night, and from what I have seen in the neighborhood, they are expecting a lot of people. There are barricades and City work crews putting them up, and police officers re-directing traffic.

Ah, life. Welcome back!

Happy Halloween!

Love on.

 

October 25, 2021

Reports on the news warned of a 'Bomb Cyclone' that was coming to California.

They weren't kidding.

Heeding the warning, I cleaned up our yard and made sure that the three drains of our house were clean and open. One of them, the one in the yard, wasn't draining quickly, so I tried a technique I had learned years ago about putting a hose down the drain and flushing it through.

Partial success.

Finger's crossed, I went to sleep downstairs, just in case there was a problem. And there was.

Awakened minutes after 2AM, I get up and check outside. It's starting to rain and the rain is getting heavier by the minute. Going upstairs, I check the drain outside the kitchen and it's a little clogged with blown in leaves. Back downstairs, I listen as the intensity of the rain grows louder. 

For the next hour and a half, I'm awake on drain patrol. No point in trying to sleep, the rain is too loud.

And that was before all hell broke loose. Somewhat of a preview of coming attractions.

Yesterday it began to rain shortly after dawn and rained all day. Not having any need to leave the house, we stay home, read, rest, relax. All good.

Until about 4PM. That's when the skies opened up and it began to rain in earnest.

Checking the house out, all is well on the second floor, but there is a growing problem on the ground floor.

The drain in the back of the house, outside, is not draining quickly. I go out and pull some leaves from the drain, but the water is already almost an inch deep. 

And the rain came down in buckets.

Water began to come in the outside back door, and I grabbed towels, a bucket and a mop.

For the next 2+ hours I battled the rising waters outside, sometimes feeling hopeless as more and more water came in. Moving all the furniture away from the door, I rose to the challenge. All hands on deck, and we all were, even the cat.

When the rain began to let up, the inrush of water lessened. Another hour and the crisis had been averted. I was exhausted.

Checking the doppler radar, it was time to eat dinner and prepare for the night. No yellow or orange coming our way on the radar, a bit of relief.

Waking this morning, the news is all about the weather that is still, even as I write this, wreaking havoc.

San Francisco received 6.23 inches of rain.

Mt. Tamalpais, a few miles north, received more than 26 inches of rain.

And it's not over, not just yet. Although there is no standing water on the ground, that drain needs seeing to.

Hopefully, the wooden floor downstairs will dry out in time. 

Weather, whether, or not.

Love, on.

 

October 21, 2021

Wow, that was some Full Moon. The Hunter's Moon, it's called, and it brings good, forward moving energy.

And sure enough, it did.

I was awakened shortly after midnight by the sound of rain. Real rain. It went on for quite a while before lulling me back to sleep. Imagine my surprise to wake up shortly before 6AM and it was still raining. 

Yay!

And it's raining still.

California has a drought the likes of which were last seen about 100 years ago. The lakes and reservoirs around the State are emptying daily.

This rain, and the snow it becomes in the Sierra Nevada  mountain range are vital to the State.

Weatherfolk call this 'an atmospheric river'. I call it a Sky River. It's up there, doing it's job.

Yay!

Here's hoping where you and yours are is good. Regardless of the weather.

Love, on.

 

October 19, 2021

Time is a gift.

So much of life is waiting for time to fill, to have it slip, slide, or trudge away. 

This morning, at exactly 7:30AM, the first rays of sunlight reached into our yard, illuminating the top of the cherry tree, making the red of the bark stand out, it's color and texture vivid. As it swept on, sun beams painted the leaves of the tree, and then the top of the Meyer lemon tree burst into green tinged with golden yellow. Then, the tip top of the rose bush was brushed with gold.

Morning has spoken.

I probably spent 10 minutes taking in this show, from beginning to end, and during the performance I felt glad to be there.

Yay, it was chilly, it's gotten rainy all of a sudden, much to the delight of the folks around here, and even though there was no breeze to speak of, it was bracing.

When I left, after the wisteria on the deck got sun smacked, I was in such a good, calm, and peaceful mood. Mission accomplished.

That was surely not what I woke up to this morning, instead being awakened by the shouting of two men outside our house. It went on for quite some time. The jangle of it was overbearing. My mood began to sink, and I began to feel unpleasant emotions. When their shouting match ended, I went out the front door to collect the newspapers. Thankfully, nothing remained of them or their energy.

Except in me, I noticed, as I sat drinking my coffee, Lady Grey eating her dry food.

Damn!

Turbulent energy roamed inside me, and doing the dishes didn't dispell it. More cleaning.

Nope, still ruffled.

Bring on the dawn.

And that's what did it, brought me back to a sweeter, better frame of mind, heart and body.

What a gift is time.

 Love on!

 

October 15, 2021

It's a big day here in San Francisco.

We can stop wearing masks in many places.

Except where there is a sign asking one to mask.

In terms of vaccination rates, we are the third county in the State, with Marin and Santa Clara ahead of us in overall number of vaccinated residents. 75% of San Franciscans are vaccinated.

Wow

Masks will still be required on all Public Transit, as well as on airplanes.

Our infection rate has stayed very low, and the hospitalization rate is low as well.

Maybe, just maybe, we are rounding a corner in this Pandemic.

I don't want to get my or your hopes up, but today will be an indication of just how well we are doing with this crisis. All City employees must be vaccinated and I heard there are some holdouts. A friend who has a friend that works for United Airlines has been told to get the vaccine or be terminated. 

A friend of mine who is immuno compromised just got his shot. He was scared and had friends around for a couple of days just to make sure he is okay, and thankfully he is.

One day at a time, with hope. 

Love on.

 

October 11, 2021

The first place I can remember living at was in Big Pine, California.

My Mom and I lived in a house with a sun porch, and that was where they put my crib and soon after, bed. I was three years old.

Divorcing my Dad, my Mom had moved to be near her Mom, and that was in Big Pine. It was a very small, and still is, town, with Highway 395 cutting it in half. There were kids in the area and as I grew I got to know them. They were my first friends.

Later, my Mom remarried and we moved to a big house on the edge of town and my Step-Dad brought his two sons to visit us. By now I knew most of the kids in town, and they accepted my new Step-Brothers. 

Then one of my new Step-Brothers made what I later learned was a slur against one of my friends. I never saw that boy again.

Years later, around 10 years of age, I learned that my friends at that time were, for the most part, Piute Indian children. I had never thought to consider their ethnicity. 

As I grew older, I learned of the true discovery of America by Leif Erikson before 1200 A.D., and that America had more than 500 nations of indigenous peoples by the time Christopher Columbus arrived.

Here we are today, with an indigenous woman, Deb Haaland, from the Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico as the United States Secretary of the Interior. Progress. 

Happy Indigenous People's Day!

To all my relations.

Love, on.

 

October 8, 2021

Mercury retrograde continues in the heavens, and heavens, it's a mess.

So many mis-communications, so many mis-routings, so many errors.

This morning, as I was feeding the troop of squirrels that live nearby, a hawk flew over. All five of them scattered. I stepped back inside and with outstretched wings, the hawk landed on our deck railing.

Wow.

Truly deserved of the title 'bird of prey'. Those talons, that beak, those massive wings. 

We checked each other out for a couple of minutes. Then it flew to a branch on the cherry tree, and surveyed the surroundings.

A tree trimming crew a couple of houses away started up their equipment and the hawk flew away.

I stepped back out and went down the deck stairs to the backyard, and sat in a chair on the deck. The two man crew continued their work taking down a neighbors tree, and I looked in my Sibley Guide to Birds to find out about our visitor. An immature Red Tailed Hawk. 

That was one big kid.

A couple of minutes later one of the squirrels peeked out at me from the English ivy, and I knew that I was back on Kitchen Patrol, aka KP. Back up the stairs I went, to a curious cat and some hungry squirrels.

Now's the time to do as we can do, and do our best. Starting with ourselves. 

You can't pour from an empty cup.

Love, on.

 

October 6, 2021

Hello Amsterdam! It's been years since I've been back. Such a wonderful town, so much to see and do and eat, and such warm people. Hopefully I'll be returning on of these Keukenhof times to enjoy the friendly hospitality. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

Happy German-American Day!

Since having looked into my DNA connections, I found a big missing part of my history. My Dad had a Grandmother he never acknowledged, and she had been born in Nordlingen, Germany. She was close with her son, my Dad's Dad, and felt the absence of her grandchildren. When I discovered this connection, I was blown away. And there was more to come, when a man in Fussen, Germany reached out to me and said that we shared DNA. This was when I found my 135+ relatives, and what an adventure this has been. I've even learned to speak rudimentary German, and look forward to the next Boeckh family reunion, hopefully next year.

Discovering this hitherto hidden link in my ancestry helped me to paint a much larger, and more accurate understanding of how I came to be here, and all of the lives that got lived to get me here. 

I thank them all.

And the one's that I have met, such a lovely group of people, welcoming and warm, even with the gulf of language at times. I thank all of them as well.

It's been interesting to learn of my German roots, that stretch back to the 1500's, mostly in Bavaria. Talk about a great part of Germany. The home of Oktoberfest! Lederhosen! Beer! And so much more. Every time I've gone there, I've learned more about the country and the people, the history and struggles, and the resilience of spirit.

That's what got my Great Grandmother and her family to New York City, and beyond.

Spirit. And love.

Love on.

 

October 4, 2021

Happy Taco Day in the U.S.!

I have a calendar that has a name for every day of the year. It's a funny thing, and it's not all about food. For instance, the 7th of October is Bathtub Day. Certainly something to celebrate.

Living on the turkey farm in Newberry Springs, CA, we didn't have a bathtub, per say. We did have a large galvanized tub that could be used as a bathtub, but normally we took showers, less water wasted. I remember going to my Dad's house later and looking at all the showers and bathtubs he had. His bathroom had both, and his shower had 5 nozzles, one overhead and all individually controlled. Such a tiled palace, that room was, with beautiful dark blue and flecked white times, with small black and red tiles edging surfaces. Ah, let's hear it for bathtubs.

And  especially today, hooray for Tacos.

Here's hoping your week is off to a good start, and that you pace yourself and save the best for joy.

Love on!

 

October 1, 2021

Welcome to October! The month of Libra going into Scorpio, of opals and tourmalines. And calendula flowers blooming, their bright yellow face beaming optimism. 

Here we are 2,000 years on, and we still use a Roman name for this month. Such funny creatures are we.

Autumn came to visit our yard, a smattering of yellow leaves in the cherry tree now. The top leaves of the wisteria have been brushed with the palest of yellows, such a contrast against the bright green of the plant. 

Walking this morning, I noticed that the chill in the air had visited many of my neighbors, and was surprised to see a tree that just the other day was a pale green is suddenly a pale orange. There is something about watching the progression of autumn that makes me so happy.

Walking to Kindergarten on Chevy Chase Drive in Los Angeles was the first time I saw the leaves change. It made everyday life so different. Out of nowhere, trees that had looked like they looked no longer looked the same. How can this be? And I came to learn of sugar in leaves and chemical changes and temperature changes as I got older.

But that delight has never faded.

There are memories from childhood that we are well to remember, and these are the good ones.

Let the rest rest.

And move and love on. There is a world outside that beckons, that offers so very much, and we have the gift and power to choose.

Lucky us.

Choose with love, and you'll never go wrong.

Love on. 

 

September 28, 2021

Mercury went retrograde sooner in France than here. My client tried every which way to contact me, and nothing worked. He was frustrated and finally went to a friend's house to use the computer there to send me a message. He then went home where his computer was now working. 

Tant pis, he said. Oh, well, I said.

Later, I went and stood on the deck, and enjoyed the light show. The sky was a smattering of steaky grey clouds on a blue background. The air was calm, no bird song, no squirrels. The air smelled fresh and clean. Turning to the west, I could see the fog covering Twin Peaks, and watched as wisps of it spun away above me and disappeared. The hum of auto traffic in the distance was almost like white noise.

Yesterday it drizzled, in the morning, and a bit later, just enough to wet everything. The squirrels didn't care for it much, but the male that lives in the nest in the cherry tree was up late, taking nuts and burying then hither and yon, 

I wonder if squirrels are bothered by Mercury retrograde? Maybe they forget where they buried their nuts. They only remember 30% now, according to scientists. 

Guess I better get me some more nuts, there's a while to go.

Love on.

 

September 27, 2021

This was the teeter-tooter weekend for San Francisco and surrounding areas.

On Saturday, the daylight was one minute longer than the night.

On Sunday, the night has won, by a minute, and the gap will widen until the Winter Solstice.

Thus, I spent my Saturday being very busy, taking care of so much and so many. It was a wonderful, and full, day. At dusk, I toasted with water the end of Summer. 

Sunday started slowly, and included getting my third Covid-19 vaccine. We both did. I was surprised there was a short line but glad to wait. The pharmacist told me that they had been busy since the day before with booster shots, and that they had a full week of appointments already. He was cheery and good natured, which helps in his profession.

Walking home, restaurants were filling up with diners, and there was a string quartet on the corner, playing classical music, 

Make the best of it. That was what my Mom's Mom used to say. You can't change it, or make it go away. So make the best of it. And that was how my Sunday was spent. Not busy but not slothful. A nice balance.

Waking up this morning, I can feel the advance of Mercury Retrograde.

Double check all travel plans, ensure important communications.

And don't be surprised if you put your foot in your mouth. Mis-speaking and mis-communication are rife at this time.

Make the best of it, and Mercury is going direct on October 18th.

Hang in there, with grace and love.

Love, on.

 

September 23, 2021

Well, I fell into Fall. All of us in the northern hemisphere did. And a Full Moon, to boot!

From what I've learned, this week will see the balance of light and dark, with exactly 12 hours taken by each. Until the dark continues its expansion, culmination on December 21 or so...

Living in the bubble that is San Francisco, where nearly 75% of all residents are vaccinated, it is disheartening to read of the terrible and awful struggles elsewhere.

A client of mine in Paris had her mask snatched off her face by some young woman on a public street. She hit the young woman with her umbrella and started shouting, and the young woman fled. 

That's just wrong.

It is personal choice, for the most part, if one chooses to be vaccinated against Covid 19 or not.

I know a woman who, because of health issues, cannot receive it. She lives a very small life now, and ventures out only with an N95 mask on. She's hopeful that herd immunity will help her and many others.

This morning, on my walk, the fog was spilling down from the top of 17th street, evaporating as it did. The air was filled with bird song, people out, some with dogs, a few cars, and most folks in masks.

It's not forever, it is for the better.

Love, on.

 

September 20, 2021

Today adds up to the number 7, a number of magic, neither good nor bad and capable of both, best expressed in small, kind ways.

Sounds like the perfect way to start a new work week on a Monday after a lazy Sunday. 

The calendar says that the Autumnal Equinox is this week, and there are pumpkins in the markets and supermarkets. 

Reverie takes me back to one autumn when I lived in Paris, a poor part-time student and employee. It was rough. Anything I could do to cheer myself up (within reason, this was the late '60's) I would do. Part of that was bringing into my garret stuff that pleased me. And that Fall I was looking for a pumpkin. Rien. Nothing. As September turned to October, still no pumpkins. Until mid month, when a not small orange globe appeared at a market I frequented. I walked toward it, and recognized the seller's face, a pleasant woman. Excitedly she told me she had asked a farmer if he had pumpkins and he had a few and here was one and was it going to be soup or roasted or mashed?

All of that, I told her. It's big enough. She smiled, as did I.

Lugging it home, I set it near a window looking out over some of my neighbors. Seeing it in the morning light brought a smile to me daily for a while, until it snowed. The pumpkin became a few meals after that, warming me as the rain fell outside.

Lovely memory of rough times, looking up not down. That was what I did then and still to this day.

Looking up is easier than looking out.

Love on.

 

September 17, 2021

Hello Sobotka, Czech Republic! What a wonderful town you are as seen on Google Earth. I've been to Prague, and what a wonderful week that was, the food, the sights, the people, all so great. Thanks for reading, all the best to you and yours!

Lady Grey- 1, mouse-0.

That's what I woke up to, this morning. Poor little creature, cold and stiff on the fireplace tile. And so little. Thankfully the cat didn't parade around with her spoil, like another used to do. If you tried to stop her, she'd run away with spoil firmly gripped in her jaws. Ah, dear Maddy, she was something else.

And that's what I contended with upon rising. There's rain in the forecast and the sky is leaden. A bit of drizzle was falling as I set out bird food and got the newspapers.

Even the squirrels have stayed in their drays. Clever creatures, them.

Around here, the shift in season is in full swing. So many trees are starting to put on their autumnal colors, reds, yellows, purples, so beautiful on the streets. 

And rain! Wow! Nice and early this year. Let's hope we replenish our reservoirs statewide, we need to.

This coming Monday will be the full moon. Fall arrives two days later.

Time to get with the time, and make the best of every living moment.

It's far too easy to get into a negative mindset and spiral down. We all do this. What we need to remember is that we can change ourselves, with intention and effort, and heaps of self love.

Never underestimate the sacred relationship you have with yourself. 

Love, on.

 

September 16, 2021

Last night I had a strange dream.

It didn't scare me or make me anxious, but it did make me wonder. Wondering is good.

I found myself sitting on a small beach in a cove surrounded by dark, chunky hills. The air is calm and the gentle lapping of the waves makes me sleepy. As I lay down, a fly lands on my arm. I shake it off, but it comes back again. Once again, I shake my arm. This time the fly stays put. I start to fall asleep, looking at the fly. 

But sleep doesn't come, and the fly doesn't leave. It walks around on my arm. I start talking to it, telling it that I would like to go to sleep but can't, and maybe it can help me sleep. 

It flies away.

Suddenly, the beach is gone and I'm in a building made of stone. There are writings on the walls and I am correcting the errors in red paint with a brush. There are others in the space, and as I turn from the wall, I see them. They're wearing kilts, with shaved heads, and are carving the raw stone, making it flat so that it can be decorated. I am helping build a pharaoh's tomb.

Just then I wake up.

Well, that was weird, I think, as I sit gathering my thoughts and maybe even my wits.

Later, I'm doing research, trying to piece this dream together, as I am sure there is a message or more in it. It wasn't until I looked into ancient Egyptian beliefs that it came to me: for them, the fly was a symbol of perseverance, of enduring, of staying with it.

Message received.

Love, on.

 

September 13, 2021

San Francisco continues to adapt.

All public transit is now free for people 18 and younger.

Masks are required on all transit, inside stores and markets.

If one wishes to sit inside a bar or restaurant, one must present a vaccination card.

Needless to say, every place that can accommodate patrons, be it coffee shop, bakery, pop up stand, what have you, is packed to the gills. Walking down Valencia street the other afternoon was like being in another country, so many folks dining outside. It was really something to see.

Downtown in the Financial District, life is coming back. There are workers in the buildings again, and the services that are in this area are, for the most part, open again.

Slow and steady.

96% of our school teachers and staff are vaccinated. 80% of San Francisco residents are.

Our city leaders have been speaking with one voice during this pandemic, and this has been in favor of science.

The other day, talking with a neighbor, he mentioned that his employer has mandated that all employees must be vaccinated, and that one of his co-workers was trying to find a fake vaccination card on the internet. This person used a computer at work and soon everyone knew what was happening. My neighbor said it was civil and honest, and lots of data was shared. In the end the person agreed to get vaccinated, and did. Such a story of people pulling together to help.

There's a lot of nonsense about getting vaccinated, and there are a lot of lies being spread. Why, when there is incontrovertible evidence that these vaccines are all effective and that Covid-19 is horrificiallly deadly, would one hesitate? 

Better safe that sorry.

Five folks I've worked with have died because of this pandemic, all far too soon. None were vaccinated. My heart breaks.

Love living on.

 

September 9, 2021

Woke up this morning and noticed that something felt different. Lady Grey and I both noticed it, and she was reluctant to leave the bed. So was I, and I did, as coffee awaited.

Stepping out to get the newspapers on the front steps, I felt it even stronger. The sun hadn't risen yet and the sky was shades of grey.

Later, coffee consumed, papers read, cat fed, I got dressed and went out for a walk.

The rising sun revealed a golden glow in the east, and as it rose the sky sorted itself. Where there had been masses of grey clouds was now a layered bunch of cloud shapes, some of them bright and others dark. The air felt heavier as I walked home after half and hour of walking, and I could smell the rain in the air.

Returning home, the cat meets me at the door and leads me to the back of the house. There on the deck are three squirrels, all looking at me.

Breakfast time. Almonds, pecans and hazelnuts comin' right up.

The weather report tells of the collision of a tropical air mass from southern California meeting a colder air mass from the gulf of Alaska. Be on the lookout for dry lightening, as this could happen, they caution.

That explains what I felt when I woke up this morning, the subtle change to the electrical atmosphere that these weather systems have brought to the Bay Area. 

Good to know.

Learning makes living better. 

Love on.

 

September 7, 2021

A whole week into September and so far, so good. For the most part.

So many of my corporate clients are in a tizzy, as the vast majority of their workers do not want to return to the offices. So much real estate not being used, and unlikely to be.

Time to change it up and keep moving forward.

When I was a child, there were lots of rivers around where we lived in Big Pine, California, especially Big Pine creek. I would walk along it from time to time, and noticed that some fish always stayed in the same place. Others went upstream as they could, while others swam with the flow. 

I've been all those fish in this life, at varying times, and can highly recommend finding one's pace in the river of life.

When I was younger, I believed in maintaining 'balance' in life. It was damn near impossible.

As I grew older, life helped me to see that although balance is important, being able to adjust to new situations is better.

This past 18 months certainly has rung loud in the ears of all of us, the pandemic and the responses to it. We have had to adjust our selves countless times, not for balance but to avoid toppling over.

Hooray for us!

Love on!

 

August 31, 2021

End of the month morning. Up early and on the deck before sunrise with coffee in hand. I watch as the sun breaks the horizon and paints a pale orange stripe on the side of the Norfolk pine tree. Sitting there quietly, I watch as dawn brightens the skies and the wisps of fog breaking away from the fogbank at the top of 17th street and float far above my head, disappearing as they go.

Bird song, just a bit. More sunlight now. The world around me is waking. 

Just sitting there this morning was the perfect way to start my week. And what a week it has been.

For the first time since March 15, 2020, I went to my pub. It was amazing to walk up and see that the butterfly painted plywood had been removed and the front windows were open, with a big vase of flowers. 

Walking in, I saw faces I hadn't seen since the Coronavirus Pandemic began, and we bumped elbows and distanced and stayed masked, but it was so good to see neighborhood folks. And there are new owners, a young couple, very welcoming and talkative. And the jukebox is still there. Good times.

The next morning found me in a conference telephone call regarding staff returning to the offices and policies and new protocols. So much resistance from some, and compliance from most.

Here comes the seventh month of the Roman calendar, hence it's name Sept-ember. Here comes holidays and hope, I hope.

Seven is supposed to be the number representing the possibility of magic.

We can all use some.

That's what I found this morning, a little bit of magic. It was a blt like being backstage as the curtain rises, in the wings, watching what happens, feeling hopeful.

Love on.

 

August 27, 2021

I've been too busy to check my astrology lately, but something must be up. 

For some it is new beginnings, for others it is the end of something, others get stuck in deeper and might make progress, and yet others will just get stuck.

My sister Melodie was into astrology and I learned from her. She was a good student and taught me well. I was 14 years old when we started. Such interesting reading. People trying to figure people out. Did you know that many of the Sun sign symbols used today were started by the ancient Egyptians thousands of years ago?

Along the way I learned to use it as a tool and not as a prescription. Something to consider, not a blueprint.

This week has flown and blown by, and I know that it is this way for many of us.

Hang in there, better days are coming. Start by using your heart, then add your brain, then your body, and there you go.

Love, the best reason ever, on.

 

August 20, 2021

That cherry yesterday came as quite a surprise. I thought that all of them had been eaten long ago, by the birds and the squirrels. I remember seeing a woodpecker enjoying some one afternoon, and felt glad. It's a funny tree, actually a main root graph and then 5 different varieties of cherry trees grafted on top. This extends the blooming and fruiting season, and it is delightful to watch as the first blossoms open, the palest white, and a week or so later more flowers, these pink and bright, then more white and shades of pink. Such a pretty tree. So glad I planted it the year we bought the house.

So I used that cherry as an incentive to do something I had been putting off. Luckily, I have a small list of things, so no problem finding something to do. The only issue was time, and I have been very busy lately so time was in short supply, figuratively speaking/writing.

A flu shot. That's what I did. 

There had been an email from my pharmacy letting me know that  this years formula was in stock, and I had made a note to get this done when I could.

Yesterday, I could and did.

If I had had more time I might have done something else, like painting the columns in our double parlor, or touching up the finish in a  stairway, and other projects that take a great amount of time.

Another time. Maybe a few, and many.

Hopefully. 

It felt good getting something off my list, and the rest of the day flew by, no pun intended but that's kinda funny.

Life at it's best is funny, too...

Love on.

 

August 19, 2021

The other day I was working in our yard, cleaning up and weeding. There were a couple of birds in the trees and not a squirrel in sight. Suddenly I felt something hit my back and turned to find a cherry on the brick path. It had been bitten into, and was just beginning to shrivel. I left it on the ground.

A cherry in August. 

More folks are wearing masks as a precaution, and they are required to enter any store.

People looking out for each other.

That's the spirit we all need now, that sense of shared responsibility and mutual accord.

These have been, and will continue to be, challenging times. 

Take care of yourself, and those you love. Be kind. 

Day by day, we're moving forward. It's not easy.

Breathe.

Love, on.

 

August 11, 2021

Yesterday I got an email from a woman I have never met. She wrote me, thanking me for writing my book 'An Other Perspective'. She said that for all of her life she has struggled with self esteem issues, and that the exercises and advice in the book had given her fresh insight into herself and had helped her to begin reconstructing her self love and acceptance.

It brought a tear or two to my eyes.

Years ago I made the decision to have my book available on the internet free of charge. I am still glad of this.

Just the other day I was listening to a podcast from a guy who claimed he could solve any problem one had. All you had to do was attend his pricey seminar, buy his line of products, and hire him for a year as your 'coach'.

The funny thing is, I know this guy. He was a client of mine decades ago, a self serving scam artist who had run afoul of the law and was trying to beat the rap. I told him he couldn't and he didn't. All those months in jail apparently didn't serve him or his ethics well, as he is now selling information he has taken from a variety of sources, me included, rebranding it as his original thinking.

Oy.

Some folks don't learn, and life, sweet life, continues to teach them. 

That's one of the great things about life- every day is a new day, a fresh start, another opportunity.

Each of us has the chance to change our lives for the better, and I know from personal experience that this task is made oh so much easier if you love yourself more, and better.

Where we are is where we begin.

Love, on.

 

August 6, 2021

Hello Bad Honnef! Wow!

Amazingly, I drove through your town as a High School student visiting Europe to explore going to college somewhere. The group of us, 8 students and a teacher leading the group, had met with academic leaders in Bonn earlier in the day and were on our way to Basel, Switzerland for more meetings. What memories! Thank you for being the catalyst. All the bestest to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

It kinda rained here yesterday, nice and unexpected. 

Recently, I looked into research and saw that 60% of American office workers are willing to return to their offices no more than 3 days a week. That would surely change the face of business.

Most of my clients are happy working from home, for the most part. It is a challenge to be surrounded by ones life and not be distracted. Once used to it, most folks prefer it.

Those who own shops are thrilled to have foot traffic these days, and many have told me how much better their sales are now that businesses are no longer under quarantine rules.

Slowly and steadily, San Francisco is emerging.

The other day, I went downtown. As I got off the F line trolley and walked, I could hear the magic sound. The cable cars are running again. The hum of the cable as it moves along its buried pathway brought a big smile to my face. As did the short line of folks waiting to board a car. And it's free all this month. 

Welcome back! We got this!

Loving on.

 

August 2, 2021

Happy August!

Or as we call it in San Francisco: Fogust.

Normally this is one of the foggiest months of the year around here, however this year most of us woke up to a fog free environment. Except those living near the Golden Gate Bridge. Theirs was, as usual, a very foggy start.

Masks have not, as yet, been re-mandated, so only about half of folks on the street are wearing them. They are still required to enter any place of business. And people are out and about.

So many electric scooters and electric skate boards and electric bikes. Fewer cars. 

As our rapid transit system comes back to normal, passenger loads have declined. Partly as many folks are still working from home, and partly because many businesses are not back to normal and are still closed.

Slowly and surely. That's the way to move forward.

Many folks are disappointed by the restrictions that Covid-19 D is bringing with it, but since it is so much more easily transmissible, the limitations are a good idea, I think.

Let's stay healthy, safe, well and strong.

We can do this.

With lots of love.

 

July 30, 2021

Yesterday was the second anniversary of Joe's open heart surgery during which his doctors replaced his 2 valved aorta with a synthetic 3 valved one, and a bunch of other things during those 6 hours. Yay them and him!

So I took us out to one of his favorite places to eat and to some of his favored foods. The Codmother and fish and chips.

As I remember, we were in London on our first trip abroad, and he expressed a desire for 'traditional English food', and I thought of bubble and squeak, bangers and mash, bacon sandwiches, and he said 'fish and chips'. We were spoiled for choice, there were so many places to find this dish.

We are both very thankful that his birth defect was discovered and that there were competent doctors and nurses to help him during his 18 day hospitalization. 

Fish and chips, all around. 

Life, so precious and fragile, deserves celebration, however one chooses.

I had Baja shrimp tacos.

That's one of the major theme points that has been made clear to me over these past two years: simple pleasures are the best place to start.

Here's to live, love, and all that can be.

With love on and on.

 

July 26, 2021

Here we go, again. Climbing Covid 19 numbers, nationwide. Time to double down.

Back to wearing a mask all the time outside of the house. 

Avoiding groups of people, and there are certainly clumps of them here and about nowadays in San Francisco.

Word is out that The City has a high vaccination rate and is safe to visit. And thusly our hotels are filling up again, some at reduced rates. Eating outdoors is common now all over, even coffee shops got into it. So many choices.

The vaccination site at San Francisco International Airport is getting traffic every day, sometimes there's a wait.

That's a good sign.

At the bakery, we require anyone who enters to be wearing a mask. No exceptions.

The Spanish Flu of 1918 lasted for two years. Wearing masks helped end it. Estimates of 100 million deaths.

They didn't have our science.

Wearing a mask is a pain, I agree, but it is one hell of a lot easier than storming the beaches of Normandy.

Let's all do our part, and stop this pandemic from mutating and wreaking more havoc.

Love on.

 

July 21, 2021

It is official. The wellness bubble in San Francisco has burst. Positive cases are up 300% in the past month. Variant D is to blame.

It is, according to doctors, 10 times more virulent than previous Covid 19 variants. If one person in a household becomes infected, everyone in that house will become infected as well.

Only 6 people with vaccines have become ill with CV19-D, and none of them are hospitalized.

The symptoms are runny nose, headache, body ache, tiredness, and this is day 2 or 3 after exposure, faster than previously. Those not vaccinated are at the highest risk of dying from this variant.

This isn't about politics, it is about a very dangerous disease that has killed millions around the world.

83% of San Franciscans are vaccinated, and still more than half the folks on the streets are wearing masks, and all stores require them to enter.

Sorry to say, it ain't over yet, folks.

Hang in there, mask, vaxx, social distance, wash your hands, and stay well and strong.

With love. On.

 

July 16, 2021

Just after 7AM, I went outside to the stairs leading to our backyard. It was quiet, the small birds were busy eating at the top of the stairs where I had put out ground nuts, and they weren't making a fuss as they sometimes do. It was a bit chilly, but no drizzle.

I sat on the step with my eyes closed and relaxed into my body. Time passed. Peace and calm emerged. Time flowed.

Then a loud rustle of leaves nearby in the lemon tree, too loud to ignore.

Opening my eyes, I see a familiar squirrel looking at me from about 3 feet away. She sits up on her back legs and clutches her paws to her chest. I know the pose.

As I rise to leave to get her food, another squirrel hops onto the fence. It's breakfast time in our yard.

Later, I take a moment and return in my mind to those moments earlier on the steps, reaching out to the peace and calm.

Just a few minutes, time that I have given to myself for myself. 

Sustaining.

Here's hoping you have good moments of your own.

With love, on.

 

July 13, 2021

Woken up as the furnace starts to heat the house. It must be cold.

Sticking my left arm out from under my bed covers, I confirm this fact. It is cold.

The Nest Thermostat says it's 62F, 2 degrees below the minimum I set it for, and as I move about, the house warms. Lady Grey is fed, the coffee started, and as I step outside on the deck to feed the birds, I am walking into a cloud. 

Hello Fog!

The tops of trees are lost in the mist, and everything is wet.

So calm. So peaceful.

I'm awoken from my reverie by the chirp of a chickadee, and turn to see one waiting on the railing for the food I have in my hand.

Sorry to keep you waiting, I say, and go back inside, and get dressed. Grab my Iphone and ear buds and out the door.

And with this, as I walk down the steps, I enter a misty world. It's not quite dawn and the cloud cover is shades of grey, not a patch of blue to be seen. The streets are dark from the drizzle, and the sky in the east is very bright grey.

I walk eastward, not a soul on the sidewalks, just a car or two. It's early. It's wonderful. I keep walking.

Suddenly, it's dawn and the sky is sorting itself into place, the mist disappearing ahead of me as the cityscape emerges. With this, I turn towards home, and as I do I see the shades of grey as they warm as the sun strikes them. They evaporate as I walk and watch.

What a great way to start this morning, letting nature do it's job.

Now, me off to mine.

Love on.

 

July 12, 2021

Hello Sudan! What a history your country has, and all of those stunning monuments in the north. I wish you and yours and your country all the very best.

That's one of the things I enjoy with this website, the places in the world where someone looks in.

When I started this effort back in 2008, yes, I know, long time ago, I did it with the hope of sharing the things I have learned along the way in living my life, with the intent of helping people.

I am so glad that this effort is still useful.

Thank you.

Have a great day!

with love, on.

 

July 9, 2021

Yesterday was a tremendous challenge for me.

I hadn't planned it that way. All I was going to do was to drive to Palo Alto and meet with our supplier of Blenheim apricots at the farmers market there. I've made this trip a few times, even once by myself, and yesterday Joe came along, so everything should have been the proverbial piece of cake.

Nope. Not even.

We get in Joe's car as it holds more and we will have maybe a dozen or more boxes, and he asks me to drive, as he usually does when we travel in his car. And away we go, on surface streets toward the freeway. As I drive up the on-ramp, this weird, chilling feeling comes over me, and I feel uncomfortable and warm and notice I'm not breathing correctly.

Then it hits me: I haven't driven on a fast highway since February of last year. So many cars, all moving so very fast.

Me, I'm in the slow lane. Driving 55MPH. And breathing. I tell Joe what I'm feeling, and he reassures me and tells me I am doing fine. Breathe...

And people fly by us at well over 80MPH, so many fast drivers, and not all in the fast lane.

Breathe...

By the time we reach our exit on the freeway, I've grown more accustomed to highway driving, and the city streets are not a problem.

What a surprise. I found myself out on that oft mentioned limb, and had to cope.

And there's the return trip in rush hour traffic.

Oh boy!

After loading up our car with 14 boxes of fragrant apricots, off we go back home. Still in the slow lane, still amazed by how foolish some speeders are, and more relaxed than before.

Arriving at Joe's bakery, I unload the car, chuckling to myself about discovering a limitation I hadn't realized was in me. 

The world is still in the grip of the pandemic, and there is much to get used to. 

Encouragement and reassurance help tremendously.

Now to go for a nice drive on the freeway. Practice makes perfect.

Love on.

 

July 6, 2021

Hello Dublin! What a wonderful city, so much to see and do. And eat. Every time I've visited, I've discovered something or someplace new and wonderful. All the best to you and yours and the lovely deer in the park. 

The crazy, busy, and very loud weekend is over. 

Yesterday it was so quiet in The City, there were few people out and about, and it was a great morning to drive around and see what's new. And there's a whole lot of new.

So many buildings, big ones, some stunningly beautiful, have risen in the past 15 months, since I've been out in some of the neighborhoods. The South of Market (Street) area (SOMA) continues to transform, so many new places to live, some to rent, some to lease, and some to own. New stores, new businesses, new neighborhood born.

There's a labor shortage right now, and just about every store has a sign in the window. Except for Chinatown. As we emerge from the worst of the pandemic, more tourists are filling up The City and it's coffers, and this is true in North Beach, Chinatown, SOMA and the Castro. 

The other part of San Francisco that is very busy now are the Dog Parks. So many dogs, out and frolicking in the sun. Thankfully the cacophany of fireworks is, for the most part, behind us.

I have more adventuring to do in the days ahead, as life returns to normalish. 

Me and my mask, and a city to re-explore.

Living and loving, on.

 

July 2, 2021

And just like that...July! 

This is a holiday weekend, celebrating the 4th of July on Sunday. 

I've noticed over the past few days a swell of tourists here in San Francisco. Lots of hotels are opening up, and filling up, too. A friend of mine who works in hospitality told me that many hotels are booked to capacity this weekend, and that we've become a popular destination because of our very low Covid 19 infection rate. 

This morning, on my walk, I walked up to Castro Street. Not many people out, but some places were already open, coffee shops and a couple of restaurants. Stopping for a red light at a corner, I overhear a woman say that she is surprised it isn't warm and sunny. Those of us hearing this comment smile.

Don't worry, it will be sunny later, a young woman says to her. How true this is.

All around San Francisco the temperatures today will be in the high 70's F, someplaces into the 90's.

Not us, not here, not now.

For the next couple of months our mornings will start with a grey sky and fog here and there, and it will evaporate as the air warms as the sun rises. It's a bit like an unveiling in parts of town, and walking in fog is, for me, always delightful.

Since it's a bit more chilly in the morning, I've noticed that the squirrels stay warm in their drays later, and don't show up until after 7AM. Smart them, sleeping in when it's on the cooler side.

Here's hoping this weekend is a good one for you and yours.

Love, on.

 

June 28, 2021

This past week has been a grand experiment here in San Francisco.

Only 30% of people are wearing masks, 10% of people are ignoring social distancing, and it was Gay Pride Weekend, when thousands of folks visit. In years past it was 10's of thousands, but Covid 19 ended that mass. Now less, but still many.

Dolores Park looked like Woodstock, there was very little space between groups, and it was packed with folks.

The Castro district was awash with folks, lines at every bar and restaurant. The shops were open and busy.

As I walked around, I came across a group of French tourists. I slowed to shadow them, curious about their curiosity. I overheard a woman say in French how happy she was to be somewhere without all the pandemic restrictions. 

Walking on, I prayed that she is correct, that this new style we're living in will see the infection rate stay low. The only people testing positive for Covid 19 here are those unvaccinated. Let's hope it stays that way.

The other day I spoke with a client, who even though vaccinated had contracted Covid 19. He said the first couple of days he stayed home, and on day 3, waking up with muscle stiffness, sore throat and a really runny nose, he called his doctor. Three hours later he learned he had Covid 19. Now home and isolating for 10 days, he's glad it's not worse but he feels very tired and weak. Lucky man. He originally thought not to be vaccinated, but his sister convinced him otherwise. His thanks is boundless.

As is mine.

My deepest thanks to those in medicine science who developed these vaccines. And all those working in medicine.

And to those of us vaccinated and taking whatever precautions we choose to maintain our wellness and safety.

We've got a long way to go before this pandemic is completely behind us. Stay the course.

Love, on!

 

June 22, 2021

A perfect, at least for me, San Francisco morning. Waking up shortly before dawn, the house is quiet, Joe off to work and the cat sleeping somewhere. I pull on some clothes and slip out the door, but not before feeding said cat.

There's drizzle in the air!

The sky is slate grey.

It's chilly.

Perfect for a morning walk. Staying active really became important during the pandemic year, and I was surprised to find myself 'boredom eating' so much of the time. No gym meant no exercise, and that went on for a couple of weeks, until I started walking more. Then buying an abdominal exercise tool. Next thing I knew, the poundage that had joined me faded away, bit by bit. There's still a few hanging around, but I'm on it. And they know it, which is why I find myself dreaming about Rocky Road ice cream...

Walk on!

The sky is a swirling mixture of shades of grey, and far above them I can see the faintest blue of the sky. It's not busy on the streets at this hour, few pedestrians, fewer cars. I watch a crow land in the street ahead of me, and see it eating something. As I walk past, there's part of a hamburger that the crow is feasting on, and it doesn't budge as I walk on. The sky in the east is glowing pale yellow.

And then sun blast hits me on a street corner, and everything pops to attention. So bright, and the greys above me are scattering into wisps.

Good morning.

Here's wishing you and yours a good day, everyday.

Love on. 

 

June 18, 2021

Hello Ashburn, Virginia! Such a quiet part of the area, even though Dulles is right down the road. All the best to you and yours and thanks for reading.

Summer has come to California and is moving eastward, and temperatures are soaring.

Poor Arizona yesterday set new records all over the State, highest ever.

Water rationing is starting to happen in surrounding counties, and most folks are being considerate. And it isn't even summer, as of yet. Let's hope this one is better than last year with orange and brown skies some days...

Waking up this morning, I was glad I had left the screened windows open in the night. The house was cool, and the birds were still sleeping so all was quiet.

As I closed up the windows, keeping the chill in, a small grey cat ate her breakfast while the coffee maker did its job. Opening the front door to get the newspapers, the air is still, no traffic of any kind, no pedestrians, not even birds. Still.

Until the clang of a trolley bell somewhere near breaks the reverie. 

To avoid the heat that will come later, I do my errands early. The supermarket is almost empty, the staff friendly, and the shelves are full. The lady making the sushi is chatty and telling jokes, and the butcher near her is always cheery. Then a brief stop at the Post Office where there is no one waiting. Perfect. In and out in under a minute.

Walking home, the peonies at a florist stop me and a couple minutes later, I walk on with a bunch in hand.

Just inside our door, I check my smart phone and notice it's 70F. Putting stuff away, I glance at my phone and a message appears. 

'Remember to hydrate and seek sun. You are basically a houseplant with complicated emotions.'

Laughter always helps.

Love, on.

 

June 14, 2021

5 new positive CV19 cases.

No new deaths.

San Francisco is about to emerge from the pandemic, hopefully, with an announcement from our Governor, Mr. Newsom.

From those I know, I've heard that we will still have to wear masks on any public transportation, any medical facility, and anywhere it is asked of us.

This weekend, the streets of San Francisco were alive, alive-o! So many people, so many bikes and cars and whatnot. Busy bizzy.

Tomorrow will be the start of Week 65 of the Coronavirus 19 Pandemic. 

Let's hope it's also the end.

It will take quite a long time to control this disease on a global basis, and hopefully science will continue to keep up with any mutations that occur.

This is why it is important for all of us to vaccinate. One may be asymptomatic and not display any outward signs, but still be infected and pass it, perhaps mutated, onto someone else, where CV19 can mutate more. We have to stop its spread.

In talking with clients and friends the past few days, I've learned that most folks will continue to wear a mask while outdoors in proximity to others. I think I will, too. At least for a while.

Not that I'm travelling anywhere in the near or even distant future. All travel plans are on pause for the time being. Most of the places I'd like to visit won't allow me to enter without at least 10 days of quarantining, and the idea of having to add that amount of time to a vacation, at least for now, is out of the question.

Small, cautious steps forward, into a brighter tomorrow.

Loving on!

 

June 10, 2021

This morning, 2 squirrels, 3 chickadee's, 1 pine siskin and the tiniest mouse were waiting for me to unlock the door and put out food. I do believe that they have trained me well.

It's been clear to the east in the morning the past couple of days, and the colors have been glorious. All the oranges and yellows streaming up as the Sun nears the horizon, the air calm and a bit crisp. The fog is nowhere to be seen, and is probably lurking out in the Avenues to the west, somewhere over the ridge near Clayton street.

I've heard that the big Tech busses are running again on our streets, picking up employees at designated spots around town. A sure sign that life is returning to normal, slowly.

It seems as if I now have at least one in person visit per day, now, and I am so glad to see faces again without masks. To see people smile, such a small gift in an impossibly big world.

Last year, I worked to shed the negativity that I could not manage, and found myself making changes to some long standing relationships. Some folks became more distant in my circles, and some chose to leave altogether. What I noticed was how my attitude about my life improved, how in the absence of incessant gloom and doom, my spirit lightened.

And here we are, now, almost half way through the year. I've noticed a steady increase in road, rail, bus and air traffic the past couple of weeks, and have been reading about the expanding transportation services that are returning to service.

Let's hear it for a return to good routines!

Love,on.

 

June 7, 2021

This past weekend has convinced me that San Francisco is on the mend.

There were so many people out and about. Stores were open, restaurants and cafes were hopping, and some streets now look like somewhere in Europe, few parked cars, lots of outdoor covered seating and tables. 

And bicycles, motorized skateboards, powered unicycles, small scooters were everywhere. The rental transportation market is alive and rolling on the streets of San Francisco.

The fog still greets us in the morning, sometimes with a soupcon of drizzle, and the air smells so fresh.

Lately, I've taken to noticing a hummingbird that perches in the top of a neighbor's olive tree. It's there every morning, I've noticed, for the past few weeks. Must be nesting nearby. Glad my yard is full of flowering plants for it. At the break of dawn on its perch, it flies up about 15 feet and hovers for a few seconds, before zipping around a yard or two.

And there are so many birds in the yard, there must be more than a couple dozen.

This past year brought much more wildlife out into the open, and that seems to be the case, still. A neighbor swears he saw a coyote on his block which is nearby. Nature abounds.

As do people, from the sounds and sights I saw this past weekend. 

Here's to all of us as we return to a life more assured. 

Love on.

 

June 1, 2021

Happy June!

The unofficial start to summer. Warm days, sunshine, fun. Yay!

This past weekend, walking around my neighborhood, I came across so many friends out and about, some I haven't seen in over a year. Lots of catching up and stories about how we got through the worst of the Covid 19 pandemic, and thanks for vaccinations and lots of laughs. Wonderful and fun.

Which spurred me on into yesterday, when I ventured downtown aboard an F line trolley down Market Street. 

Wow!

So many changes along the way, new buildings going up, old ones being rehabbed or torn down, and there were people on the streets, most still wearing masks.

Union Square was slightly busy, lots of families out, children running around, and lots of sunshine.

It almost felt like the good ol' days, but the masks worn by most spoke otherwise.

Still, being out, walking along city streets, brought even more hope that we will emerge from this pandemic more resilient, smarter, stronger, and grateful.

That was what a friend had said when we spoke on the street, how grateful she was that she and all of her family here and in Europe had made it thus far, and most were vaccinated. She was so grateful for all the good people have done.

I whole heartedly agree.

Love, on.

 

May 25, 2021

In our local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, there has been at least weekly, two pages of puzzles at the back of one of the sections for the past 14 months, since the start of the Coronavirus 19 pandemic. Those two pages have been a delight.

Every Sunday, the first thing I look for are the comics. Those pages are the stuff of life for me.

As I child, when the world around me, read Adults, became too weird or whatever, I would escape in my Comics. I had so many books, and kept them all in good shape. I'd read them again and again, always delighting in the simple humor and the joy of laughter.

60+ years and I'm still there. 

There's nothing better than starting my day with a laugh, the more the merrier, pun fully intended.

On of my favorite walks has been to a nearby playground, where the bright ring of childhood laughter is in abundance. The walk does me good, there's a small rise in terrain to get there, and the sounds fill my head and heart with hope.

As we slowly begin to emerge here and elsewhere, it's of great importance that we greet life ready to live in it and with it. These have been dark times that we have survived, and as the saying goes, we're not out of the woods.

But there is hope, and light, and always laughter.

Whether you make it or have it given to you, laughter heals.

Love on.

 

May 21, 2021

Reaction versus response.

That's where I've been the past few days, balancing, as gracelessly as I am wont, to shift between my initial reaction to something and the response that comes as time passes and my thinking/feeling deepens.

Right after writing my last entry, I went to a local supermarket, just a few blocks away. As I walked up the street I saw two men without masks, then a woman, then 3 men. Walking along in my mask, I felt my heart race when I saw their naked faces. Too soon, too soon, wait just a little longer...

...and walking on, I saw more bare faced folks, most of them older, but still less than 10% of the crowd. I get it. Hearing that one agency says no masks sounds better than a different agency that says keep it on.

While shopping, I saw a buddy from my gym, and we stopped to chat. He has gone back since 2 weeks after his last Covid19 shot, and is glad that more people can do more things. He said his Mom had been scolding him for not sending her photos of him wearing the mask her Church group had made, and showed my a photo of it, and I could see why he's not wearing it. Shades of brown in unflattering shapes and bright blue straps. We chatted on.

By the time I got home, my reactions to naked faces had been replaced by my response. Everybody gets to choose, I thought, as I washed my hands. 

Love on.

 

May 18, 2021

California is still masking. Our viral levels are still far too high in some counties and the drive to get people vaccinated continues.

Such a simple thing to do, wearing a mask. 

Even though the Center for Disease Control had said people could stop wearing masks outside if vaccinated, the California Health Department, after looking at vaccination rates and percentage of population vaccinated, decided to keep us masking until June 15.

If it helps slow the spread of this pandemic, I am all for it. 

Even though I am vaccinated, I could still get it. I know a woman who did. She said it was like having the flu for a few days. 

And I will continue to wear a mask and socially distance. Got it.

Rapid transit opened here on the 15th, and it was so wonderful to see the old trollys on Market Street again. I recognized a couple of the drivers and waved hello to them, and got big waves back.

Slowly and steadily.

Sometimes it is the best approach. It's the one I'll be using for the next few weeks, although I will be venturing out more as more businesses open.

Slow and steady wins the race, they say. Here's hoping they're correct.

Love on.

 

May 14, 2021

60 weeks after it was announced, the Coronavirus Pandemic is making a major change.

If one is vaccinated, one no longer has to wear a mask out of doors. We still must on public transportation of any kind, and anywhere masks are required.

Since the start of last year, 540 people have died in San Francisco from Covid 19 from a total of 36,414 cases reported.

This morning, on my early morning walk, everyone I saw was wearing a mask, myself included.

The fog was swirling above my head, and the drizzle from it was a very fine mist. Hills that surround my neighborhood were, for the most part, hidden in the fog. 

As I walked along, I thought of all the sacrifice and effort that has been absorbed during this pandemic, and how much progress has been made. 

When it first started, there was a day when panic enveloped me and I felt doomed, the dread of the pandemic had me fully in it's grip. I felt trapped and terrified. It took a great deal of self coaching that day to wrestle the panic down, and I did. It was still there until I got my second vaccine injection. Over the next few days I felt it begin to wither away. 

Today my love and resilience is back, fully.

Oh, to be sure, I'll still be carrying a mask, and wearing it as the situation requires.

Tomorrow, many of our rapid transit lines will come back into operation. The one that I am most looking forward to are the historic trollies that make up the F line. It runs from near our house all the way to the heart of the wharf area. I am so looking forward to a ride.

Living love, on.

 

May 10, 2021

Wow! That week flew fast! It seemed as if things were going to go along at the usual pace, and then, last Tuesday, the Mayor of San Francisco, London Breed, announced that our CV19 positive cases had decreased to the point where more people can now go into businesses and more can attend outdoor events. And bars could reopen. More people out and about, and sure enough, by Thursday the traffic had returned to pre-pandemic levels, there were folks everywhere. 

The weekend saw so many out and about, most still wearing masks.

Mid week found me driving around San Francisco,something I haven't done in months.

So much construction has gone on, so many new buildings here and there, some of them stunningly beautiful. And there are more going up as I write this.

All over town, folks have been remodeling their houses, businesses have revamped themselves, and some of the City's major construction projects have been moving right along, even if most of us weren't.

This week, many of our high tech companies are opening their doors and inviting employees back into their offices. Some are excitied and some not so much. One of my clients has decided to let her employees decide what they want to do and can work from home if they choose. She told me most of her staff want to return to the office, which she will open next week. 

So much change.

Having clients back in my office has been wonderful. Seeing folks live and in front of my eyes in the same room is great. This pandemic taught me to take nothing for granted, and I continue to learn this lesson on a daily basis.  

The new week begins, the thrum and hum of life continues. 

Love on.

 

May 3, 2021

Happy May!

Irish tradition says that summer starts on May 1st, and it sure seemed to in these parts.

So many blooming trees, and I am not imitating the English. There are trees everywhere along the streets of San Francisco. There's an organization, Friends of the Urban Forest here, they helped us right after we bought this house and planted our Red Horse Chestnut tree in front. FOF, as they call themselves, certainly have been busy in town, because just about every house has a tree in front of it, and some have two. 

The weather has been wonderful, but lately, every afternoon brings strong winds. The squirrels seem to 'batten the hatches' when it gets windy, and venture out as the winds calm at sunset. All that fresh air.

Yesterday, I ventured out for a lunch meeting. It was the first time I had sat inside a restaurant since mid February 2020. It was weird. I kept my mask on all the time, except when I took a drink or ate a bite. Just as I would do if I were dining out of doors. Same protocol. same distancing from strangers. As time went by, I relaxed a bit, but my mask stayed in place. 

Having learned that a Covid 19 vaccination is not fool proof, I choose not to be the fool.

Life is picking up, more people are returning to their indoor offices, and life goes on.

Here's hoping we all stay well, safe, strong, and healthy.

Love on.

 

April 27, 2021

Hello Rostov! I've been close, kinda, in Suzdal, and loved that part of Russia, so many trees, and such beautiful old houses, churches, and buildings, all wood. Thank you for looking in, all the best to you and yours!

Got my new face mask in the post on Saturday, a view of San Francisco through the eyes of a Van Gogh, all swirly and beautiful. 

From what I hear from folks I know who have large social circles, and what I read in the newspapers, vaccination rates are dropping. That's not too surprising, but what was was the number of folks opting not to get the second shot when directed. Personal choice in action.

My response is to continue to wear a mask out of doors. I still social distance when I can, and never come into contact with strangers without gloves and/or hand sanitizer, always wearing a mask.

Better safe than sorry.

There's a woman I know who, after receiving her first vaccination, decided that she was protected against Covid 19, and went out and lived, large. Hugging friends, waiters, who ever she could. A week later she woke up sick and knew in that instant what it was. She called her doctor who directed her to testing, and her results came back positive. She's on the mend, but is still weak with a cough from time to time. She got her second shot yesterday.  Her advice: Don't be foolish, this is a dreadful disease.

Safe, not sorry.

Today, at sunrise here in San Francisco at 6:18AM, I said a prayer for all of us. For our wellbeing, our love, our faith.

Today marks the start of the 58th week living with this pandemic. We are all in this together, and we are resolute. Strong. 

Love on. 

 

April 25, 2021

Unintended consequences.

That's what happened after my last posting.

There I was, water glass in hand, reading through my email, and there it was.

A rant, five pages of vitriol. 

I was so happy.

She wrote about all of her anguish, pain, torment, and terror, how she had been betrayed too many times to ever trust again, and on and on. Her words spoke deeply to me, my compassion rose to embrace her terrible truths. I had a good cry, and hope she did.

Displacement.

That's what she had done. She had made physical and viewable her pain and suffering, and had used this repressed energy to write out her truths.

Later that day I lit a candle for her.

So many of us walk around with so much turmoil writhing inside of us, obscuring our authenticity and confusing our minds. The explusion of this repressed energy is critical to maintaining any semblance of balance.

Good for her, I thought, as the candle glowed.

Love, on, clearer.

 

April 22, 2021

Happy Earth Day!

I've been enjoying my little part of this planet for the past few days, gardening.

Since childhood, I have enjoyed working on the land. As a little kid, it was discovering, outside our house, a buried pond in a backyard my Mom and Stepdad and I lived in, in Glendale, California. I spent days digging it out, getting rid of all the dirt, and then filling it with water. Next I asked our neighbor if she had any plants I could have, and since her yard was overgrown, she gave me free rein to remove what I wanted. My first project turned out really well.

At one point in time I owned a plant store, at first enjoying it, and later feeling overwhelmed. The fun had been eclipsed by work.

Now, for the past several years, I have confined myself to our yard, and these days it is looking beautiful. The calla lillies are all abloom, and above them the climbing rose is budding. On the deck, the japanese wisteria is going into heavy bloom, the flower stems more than a foot long, laden with dozens of pea flower shaped blossoms, shades of pale purple and yellow and white, while the jasmine vine on the fence sweetens the air with hundreds of bright white flowers. 

Nature. 

How it restores.

My walks nowadays show me all the amazing yardwork others have done, and it sure is beautiful. Every block has some natural plant beauty, and some are almost showplaces.

Love, in each moment, on.

 

April 17, 2021

Darn.

It used to be a word used in place of a stronger curse or cuss word. That's what it meant for so many years.

This past year, what with the pandemic and all, has upended most of life for most people. 

For me, I tried to make good use of the time I had, since so much of what I used to do was not possible. I tried my hand at making butter, something I hadn't done since my childhood. It was just as labor intensive as I remembered it to be, but the sweetish taste of the product I made was more delicious than what I remember. Must be better cream, I thought.

Then one day, my next project presented itself to me, so evident to see, and feel.

There was a hole in one of my socks. I set that pair aside, only to discover 3 more pairs in need of fixing.

Memory snapped me back to watching Jack Paar on TV late at night with my Grandmother Edith, and her darning socks.

Wow, time travel is what it felt like, and the next thing I know I'm looking into darning needles and yarns. So much to learn and explore, and before too long I had everything I needed to mend my socks.

Or so I thought.

What seemed to be fairly simple turned out to be harder than I expected, and my darning jobs were not too good.

Darn! 

Now I understood. 

Darning proved not too successful for me, although I did manage to save one pair of socks. Darn! 

Ah life, thanks for keeping me informed and on my toes, hopefully not in holey socks.

Love, on.

 

April 13, 2021

Ramadan Kareem! Another wonderful holiday period to celebrate. The Gates of Heaven are open and the Gates to Hell are shut.

When I lived in Pakistan, I came to enjoy the calls from the mosques that I could hear, especially those from my room. His voice was so clear and strong, and the faith that he practiced came clearly with every word he sang. Such memories. Walking in the park that was nearby, watching the children run and play. Whenever a person, usually a man, came along selling icey treats, I would give them enough money to give a dozen children a free treat, anonymously. Watching the surprise on their faces as they were offered a free treat always made me smile. 

Small kindnesses.

Waiting on a layover in some airport, I overheard two women as they looked for cash in their belongings so they could buy something to eat. As I rose to leave, I walked over and handed them $20, and wished them pleasant travels.

So small.

Life has been good to me, and for this I am and will always be grateful.

The terrible times that I have lived through have shown me the inner strength that I have, even when I have not believed it. Life is a struggle, sometimes, and the choices before us are always ours to make.

Choose love. Choose forgiveness. Choose hope.

Ahead of me will be many opportunites to offer kindness and love. And patience. And faith. 

All made easier with love.

Love on.

 

April 9, 2021

And what a birthday it was! Cards and messages and flowers and gifts and best wishes galore! Such love, so grateful, so heartful.

And how it started was rather amazing as well.

I got a message from Ancestry.com, and went to check it out.

What I discovered was a DNA match to my Mother's Father's lineage. And names and dates, and stories, and so many new relatives. 

There had been a note that said my Great Grandfather was born in Sweden, but there was no proof.

Until someone took a DNA test and it was matched to mine. And a great big piece of my personal puzzle has been resolved.

They had loaded their family information into Ancestry.com, and in looking at their trees I saw the connection.

The patriarch of this family, Halland by name, brought his wife and  most of their children to America, and then returned to Sweden to fetch a young daughter.

Both perished, she during the voyage, and the ship, passengers and crew were lost off of the Island of Newfoundland.

So many lives, so many stories, such stuggle. 

All of this makes me even gladder to be here, now, writing these words. Those lives helped me to live my life, and each of them is dear to my heart. 

Love, forever, on.

 

April 7, 2021

One more day and then this decade is completed for me, and a 0 year begins.

Time is just so slippery, like fog, the way it comes and appears to stay and then moves on and you with it.

Hopefully, I will awaken tomorrow in time to celebrate the moment of my birth. 

The story of that event was retold to me many times, from many sources, and they all speak to me deeply. My mom had a mis-carriage about 20 months before I was born, and she had stopped, almost, smoking and drinking. She ate a good diet and took care of herself, with the help of her second husband, who was looking forward to the birth of his second child in his second marriage.

The story I like best is the one about my parents going to Mammoth Lake, and spending a long weekend in a friends cabin. They had told him of their troubles having a baby, and he told them that his cabin would make them lucky. In reply, they said if that happened they would include his name in mine.

Thank you so very much, Dean.

Never learned more about him, no notes could be found in my father's effects, but the memories linger, with me.

This morning, there, high in the cherry tree, was a burst of leaves, green with red edges, surrounded by hundreds of blossoms.

Find the beauty in life, and cherish it. Love more, breathe more, be more. That's the advice I'm giving myself for my birthday.

And buckets of love, loving on.

 

April 5, 2021

Ah, April, one of my favorite months. The weather is usually pretty nice, the days are getting longer, and there are so many flowers. 

In years past, I went to Holland in the Spring to see the bulb fields abloom, a glorious sight to behold as I drove along. At one point, there was a field of bright red tulips and I stopped my car to take a photograph. Just as I was getting ready to take the picture, a man with a small herd of sheep came by, and their bleating and sweet faces made the moment.

The cherry tree in our yard is in full bloom, the beautiful palest pink blossoms. The calla's are starting to show, here and there in the garden, and the white camellia bush is trying to keep up, the pink one just beginning to awake.

This morning, as I fed three rambunctious squirrels, there was a slight drizzle from the fog overhead, and in the distance I saw a break in the clouds and a soft blue sky.

Delight reigns in a garden. At least it did, this morning, in ours.

Jumping into my day, so many chores to accomplish, and things to take care of, so that I can spend a little time reading and practicing my French and German language skills. Living where I do, I can practice my Spanish any day of the week, and do. 

It is said that one must keep one's skills sharp, lest they fade away.  Over time, I have found this to be true. Any Finnish from my childhood has vanished in the mists of time, as has much of my Russian. The Urdu I spoke living in Lahore, Pakistan is a distant memory.

Use it or lose it.

It makes sense, why should your head be full of thoughts you don't use, there is so much new that is coming at us all daily. We do well to keep up with the stream each day brings. On those days we can.

Here's to a new week, more opportunities to be more as we choose.

With love, on.

 

March 29, 2021

Did you see it last night? If not, you've got another chance tonight!

Full moon!

Last night, as it rose, I gave thanks to all that is, will be, and has been, knowing that they are all linked together.

And this morning, the sun rose at 7AM on the dot here in San Francisco. Excellent omen. 

The weather has been warming, and the plants in the yard are making quite a display. The English Primrose, so many colors, are bursting along, as are some species tulips. Spring, springing.

Today, so many companies invited their employees back into the offices, and so many did just that. It was quite the sight to see a full busload of folks going down Market Street. Life is coming back.

Social media served up a reminder of my past yesterday when it showed my photos I had taken in Prague, Poland. That was only two years ago, but it represents the last travel I did prior to the pandemic.

Now I find myself reading up on the world, and imagining travelling to various places. Armchair travel for now. 

This morning on my walk I passed a couple of neighbors who were so thankful to be fully vaccinated, and we all shared our hopes for the rest of our fellow beings to be inoculated soon. 

Twice in the past two days I've gotten text messages from various Health Institutions advising me to get my Covid shot. How wonderful that we are being urged to be healthy.

Here's to global wellness, soonest!

Loving on.

 

March 26, 2021

Starting this past Wednesday, San Francisco continued to open up almost all businesses in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Yesterday afternoon, I went out to run some errands, like the Post Office and food shopping. There didn't seem to be many people out until I walked onto Market Street. 

Every street side stand that was open for business was packed. These are all restaurants, some in cooperation with near-by bars. 

The noticeable thing was the age of the patrons. The majority were seniors, people over 60 years of age. According to statistics published by the City, nearly 70 percent of those over 60 have received the CV19 vaccine. Almost 40% of our citizens have been inoculated thus far. Grey Power!

Suddenly, I hear my name being called, and turn to notice two of my pub pals sitting at an outside table at a wine bar I like. Stopping to talk, they're so happy to have gotten their shots and bubbling over with plans to go here and there and do this and that. Just then, another pub pal joins us, and he says he got his first shot on his 75th birthday and has been cautiously celebrating since then. How wonderful to see folks that I haven't seen in a year. 

As I walk on, my step is springier and there's a smile under my mask.

In the coming days, I am looking forward to seeing those clients who have gotten their CV19 shots in person in my home office. It's been a year and the room needs a thorough cleaning, something I am looking forward to.

Hang in there, those of you waiting for your vaccinations, it's coming in the not too distant future. Here in California, our Governor hopes to open CV19 shot to everyone over 16 years of age by mid April. Most other States are hoping for something similar.

Day by day, progress is being made.

Love on!

 

March 22, 2021

This morning, a few minutes before the sun rose, I went outside and stood on the deck. Fingers of sunlight were reaching out to the very top of the Norfolk Pine in a neighboring yard, and the birds began to chirp. The sky was powder soft blue, so pale and calm, wisps of misty clouds coming from the east, carried on the winds. Aloft, there were thicker clouds moving slowly, erratically, move then stop then move again, eastward. Shards of fog, lower down, disappeared above my head.

The avian chorus rose in voices and volume, and the sun swept down the pine onto the cherry tree in our yard, and I noticed the growing buds on the stems, so many this year. There are buds on the wisteria, too, and the Meyer lemon tree is in profuse bloom. 

Spring springing.

What with all the turmoil in this world of ours, I seek any time that I can to chill for just a while, and have found that this practice is portable. Just the other day, I paused on my walk to admire the planting of a house, and saw so many chickadees on the plants there. A real party, noisy as well.

This week will be a turning point here in San Francisco, as more businesses are allowed to open, and others can increase capacity. Covid 19 cases are under 2% now, such a relief.

Lady Grey just walked in meowing with purpose and vigor, and following her I see two mourning doves on the railing, eating.

Sometimes it's the little things in life that make us smile.

Love on.

 

March 20, 2021

Hello Islamabad! It's been years since I've been in your modern and beautiful city, and the memories are all good. Thanks for reading, and all the best to you and yours.

Happy Spring!

Happy Autumn! 

Here in San Francisco, Spring has been making it's presence all around town. The floral displays, especially in Golden Gate Park, are so beautiful. Ah, Spring!

The squirrels in our yard have been scampering about. The other day I saw a fluffy tail a couple of yards away, and saw that I am not the only one feeding them. Good to know, and I left a note at her door telling her we are united in squirreldom, and got an email minutes later thanking me. So many of my neighbors are nice people.

On my walk this morning, I walked to the top of Dolores Park. The sky was pink and blue and grey. Chilly, almost 50F. 

So few people were out, most with dogs. 

The sound of distant car traffic provided a thrumming background, the chatter of bird song wove in, joined by the occasional barks, Morning symphony.

So peaceful.

A while later, it was time for me to return home. Walking along, I passed a neighbor and we exchanged greetings. He was riding his scooter he had just bought and told me how he uses his car very seldom these days. We all are, I suspect.

Later today, I'll be buying some tulips to celebrate the start of Aries, the astrological sign which also starts today, and Spring!

Loving on.

 

March 16, 2021

Hello Dublin, Ireland! Top o' the morn'ng to ya! Such a wonderful city! And those gardens! And the park! And those deer! All the best to you and yours. Thanks!

Oh, the ache to travel! How strong it is right this moment. I've been vaccinated and am so ready to get out, really out just not the few city blocks that I allow myself.

The other day a trolley car rumbled by, a reminder of days gone past and hopefully on April 1st to begin again. Oh, the memories. 

I've been using Google Earth to see my city, and lots of other places as well.

Just the other day, I strolled down a street in Paris I know well, and noted the changes. So many closed shops. So few places to eat and drink.

Just like here in San Francisco.

This morning, as I meditated, I heard in my head 'Year Two, week one' and sure enough, this is true. We're starting this today, and as more and more vaccines find their way into the arms of those wanting them, all the better. Let's make this terrible virus go away, forever. We've learned so much, and continue to, about this coronavirus and how it operates and morphs, and we are keeping up in this deadly chase. 

Masking and social 6 foot distancing is a small price to pay for staying alive.

So for now, I'll contend myself with Google Earth to ease my escapist wants, and look forward to the day when we can all travel, easier, with peace of mind.

Love on!

 

March 9, 2021

It has been one year, today, that San Francisco began Sheltering In Place. That meant not going out unless necessary, retail closed, restaurants and bars, too. No parks open, even the beach was closed. We were at war with an unseen enemy.

And we learned how to survive, and grow, and change, and continue.

Today there are three vaccines available against Covid 19. 

34,400 people have tested positive. 436 have died.

At dusk I will light a candle for those passed on and those touched by this tragedy. 

This morning, the sun rose at 6:30AM, like clockwork. Another day of life to live and love to give.

As I fed the squirrels and the birds this morning, I gave thanks to all that is for the wonder that I have been allowed to witness, and resolved, again, to do my utmost to be the better me.

I was jarred from my reverie by the scurring sounds of a hungry squirrel, and went back inside. 

My routine certainly changed this past year, what with no gym to go to 3 times a week, and no pub to visit for my Martini Wednesday's, but a treadmill machine and a sit-up bar helped me develop a new workout methodology and there has been no solution for replacing my pub, other than to see folks on the streets and have a chat. 

We are stronger, together, and will grow from this pandemic.

Love, on.

 

March 6, 2021

It's been one week since my second Pfizer CV19 vaccine, and I feel good.

This morning, I heard that 26% of San Franciscan's have been vaccinated. Good for them, and all of us.

This coming Tuesday will mark one year since Shelter In Place became the order of the City. It's been a long year.

And now, we're slowly opening up. Reduced occupancy at every venue, like 10% at indoor dining places, or 25% at some classes. It's all very confusing and yet most folks are encouraged in the progress.

In addition to which, dawn is coming earlier every day, and soon it will be at 6:30AM. Finally. The darkness in the early hours many times was enough to keep me in my bed. Having an earlier sunrise has been wonderful. And it will end next weekend when we move our clocks forward one hour. Back to the early morning darkness for a while.

Out early this morning, the streets had been rained on during the early hours of the day, and everything was clean and fresh. There were a couple of dog walkers out, and here and there blooming trees and plants. The looks of Spring are everywhere. I even saw snowdrop plants in a couple of gardens. Ah, the beauty of Spring.

Returning home to Lady Grey, she was more interested in receiving a food treat than anything else to do with me. Such a funny cat. I went off to watch the birds and wait for the squirrels to arrive. 

Onward and upward, with thanks and joy.

And lots and lots of love.

On.

 

March 1, 2021

Woosh went February, and March truly roared in.

Went to get my second Pfizer CV19 vaccination this past Saturday after a whirlwind week, so busy every day.  A not too busy Saturday and then a drive to the Moscone Center. Easy to park, a short walk, show a man the scan symbol on my cellphone and in the door and another check in to confirm I am me (Driver's license) and follow the yellow arrows to a line of folks, all six feet or more apart, a short minute wait and the line keeps moving and I'm directed to a nurse and I give her my vaccination card and she congratulates me. And tells me I take Tylenol if I feel 'crummy' and hands me a sticker with 15 minutes later on it and wishes me well.

Wow. How easy. Driving home, all feels well, and continues to, although I do notice the injection site aches a bit. Off to bed early.

Woke up Sunday morning feeling like a truck had hit me in the night. Then I recalled how badly I slept, all achey and restless, and a slight headache starts in the back of my head. 

All I want is some 7-Up. And that's all I have, and go back to bed and sleep the day away.

Woosh!

Woke up this morning and knew I had slept better, and that I felt better. Not 100%, more like 90 something, but so much better.

As the day has gone on, I can feel my energy sag at times, and I slow myself down. 

My appetite has returned, and I'm almost out of 7-Up. And don't think I'll buy more just yet.

The sense of relief that I initially felt has been tempered as I know that I am very fortunate, and that billions globally await their vaccines. 

Reading that the State of California has begun vaccinating the farm workers brings a smile to my face. These people are critical to our food production cycle. 

There's a light up ahead, a reminder of our shared sacrifices during this pandemic. We'll get through this.

With love, on.

 

February 20, 2021

If you're free this afternoon there is a great concert with the San Francisco Symphony celebrating Chinese New Year. It will be broadcast on www.NBCBayArea.com this afternoon at 4PM.

A couple of years ago, a client told me about the concert as she and her husband were going. That's when I learned that it was also broadcast on TV and radio, and have listened in every year since.

San Francisco has the largest China Town of any city in America, and we have a thriving Asian community. The diversity, at least for me, is truly enjoyable.

Rains have come and gone and may be back, this is turning out to be a fairly dry Winter. 

From what I hear, about 17% of San Francisco have received a Covid-19 vaccination. Slowly and surely, we are coming back. 

This pandemic has been such a roller coaster, and I am still holding on. 

In the meantime, I am trying to find some happiness everyday, and so far I've had success.

Wishing you and yours all the best!

 

February 15, 2021

Did you have a nice Valentine's Day?

I sure hope so. It's not just a day for those in relationship, for me, it's also a day to spread love and happiness, and that's what I was up to. I started by taking care of myself.

One cannot pour from an empty cup, and this past week had been very draining, more so than I thought when I woke up yesterday morning. It was cold and I was still tired. Feeding Lady Grey and I nearly stepped on her tail. Then trying to keep quiet so that Joe could continue sleeping. After a couple of minutes, I gave up and went back to bed. Just what I needed.

It's little things like this that are evidence of love.

Many credit Chaucer for being the first to write of Valentine's Day back in 1380+ something. Little did he know what he was starting, and today Valentine's Day accounts for $27.9 billion spent in the USA alone. Yikes!

And of course today is a great day to buy Valentine candy as much of it is on sale for half price. Love at a discount.

It's rainy here this morning, but that didn't stop the avian chorus from breaking into song shortly before dawn, which came today at 6:59AM. Hooray, earlier every day, and now before 7AM. All the singing woke up the 2 squirrels living in the recycled car tire hanging in our cherry tree, and before too long first the male who I call Hopper came bounding down. A moment later Mrs. Hopper stuck her head out and then stretched and came out, then disappeared before reappearing on the deck, looking for her favorite nut, cashews.

Just as I turned to go back inside, a beautiful black and white striped woodpecker came down and landed near me. We regarded each other for a moment before it began to eat.

Back inside, Lady Grey and I sit on my bed, watching the fauna fly and cavort.

Peaceful kingdom.

Here's hoping your week is all that you want, with love.

Love on!

 

February 12, 2012

Gung Hay Fat Choi! Happy (Chinese) New Year!

All over San Francisco there are flashes of red and gold, the traditional colors of the new year. This being the year of the Ox, known for being steadfast, durable, and strong, the markets have been awash with the foods and fruits associated with the new year. So many citrus trees, and flowers, and such beauty.

For the first time in years, I haven't ventured into Chinatown yet, but will be sometime next month.

Last night, we celebrated with some great dumplings from our favorite local Chinese restaurant. So glad to give them the business.

On my walk this morning, the streets were darkened by early rain. Here and there I saw blooming trees, the blossoms so bright and beautiful against the dark bark. A dog dressed in a cute red coat sauntered by with his human, also wearing red. 

Walking on with a smile, the shafts of sun illuminated this and that, and the colors seemed to glow in the early light. There's something about sunshine at dawn that fills me with hope, joy, and love.

Especially today. Today my thoughts will be loving and kind, as it is the New Year.

Isn't it wonderful that we can have more than one start to a new year?

Here's wishing you and yours the best this year has to offer, with love.

On.

 

February 7, 2021

Wow.

Just wow.

That's my summary for the past week. What a week. It started with my Goddaughter getting CV19. She's doing fine but the head aches are awful. Then a client has a physical emergency and needed buckets of support. Then I heard about www.MyTurn.Gov.CA through a blurb on TV so I signed up, and then a friend gave me a link to a San Francisco website for those seeking the CV19 vaccine. Wednesday was up and at'em from 4+AM until 10PM, wrung out I was, into Thursday and a text message from the State of California offering me a choice of 40 different appointment times this past Friday and Saturday.

I chose mid afternoon on Saturday.

It was so easy, no line to stand in as I was a few mintues early, a check of my text message and a health scan with a video rig, then a few quick questions, present my ID, and follow the yellow arrors. I did, into the south side of Moscone Center, and had to wait a minute or two before being directed toward a woman with an orange pingpong paddle and a waiting technician.

I didn't feel a thing. What? That's it? Wow, you're good! Thanks so very much.

Then I cool my heels for 15 minutes in a scattering of white stacking chairs and then it's time to go.

Wow.

So easy, so fast, such a relief. Oh, I know, it's just the first of two injections, but just having the first one took some scared part of me off the ceiling, onto a wall. Not the floor, mind you. That feeling will begin to emerge on March 6 if my second shot is on time on the 27th of February. Two weeks after that I should be good to go, still masking and distancing, but breathing easier.

As much as I have grappled with the irrational fears that have been invading my mind of the past year, there is now a feeling of accomplishment. I didn't let me fear win. I have.

With love. And faith. And trust.

All that is, thank you.

With love, on and on and on...

PS: Joe signed up on myturn.gov.ca last Thursday and just booked an appointment for tomorrow at 8AM. Yay California!

and on!

 

January 31, 2021

Can you believe that the first month of the year is ending now? Doesn't it seem soon to you? It does to me, kinda.

10 months of sheltering in place. No leisure travel anywhere. No shopping unless for food and necessities. No prolonged periods out of doors. It has been quite a challenge, and I am so very glad to say that we are healthy and well. 

This time has opened up so many doors, some new, some not, and has given me a new routine. One that incorporates at least half an hour of exercise, a mix of easy and moderate. Daily. Oh, to be sure, I miss a day now and then, but for the most part, I am sticking with it. Having a house and yard to keep clean has become a regular activity, and my house is hella cleaner today. This spring the yard should be glorious. 

And I've read, so many books, so many magazines and newspapers. Having the world on-line has opened up so many wonderful things. Just the other day I was touring a French chateau virtually, and having such a great time.

Hopefully, in the not too distant future, we both will be vaccinated and breathe a bit easier, and as the year goes on, the CV19 pandemic will lessen it's awful grip.

In my reading, I learned that there are 21 possible vaccines in the last stage of human trials, and the majority of them are producing excellent results. Wow. Global effort against a global enemy. Such a wonderful example of unity.

Here comes Februa, that smiling goddess of purging. What clutter will be leaving my life this next month? And Valentines Day! Goodies galore! And Chinese New Year! Ho liang!

Everyday, the new arrives. Meeting up with it is the best way to proceed.

With love.

 

January 26, 2021

Woke up about an hour before dawn, around 6:25AM. That's a bit late for me. As I put my arm out from under the covers to get out of bed, the cold in the room woke me up. Wow. It's so cold in the house. Without leaving my bed, I use my IPhone to turn on the furnace. As I hear it roar to life I get out of bed and grab my warmest robe. It's cold. The thermostat says 58F. Inside. Outside it is 37F.

It's dark and cold and hot coffee is just what I need. The aroma alone helps to brush away the cobwebs of sleep.

Since it is too early for the newspapers, I turn to my phone and scan the headlines. The world, albeit dire, is on an  uptick, things are slowly getting better. Time, be my friend.

The other day, quite the opposite felt true to me for a while. It was scary and awful.

There I was, sitting at my desk in my home office, about to do something with the computer when it hit me.

This absolute wall and sense of doom.

So black, so vast, so compelling, these dark thoughts that flash through my mind, the next worse than the one before, a never ending swirl down into blackness and destruction. Time vanished. Fear and I were alone. 

A spark of light, and a breath, and fear began to shrink back into the dark recesses where it abides. With each breath, I felt the grip of my fear lessen, and in loosening the grip it had, I had a larger and stronger grip. 

I don't know how long I sat there, immobilized by my fears and surrendering to them, filling me with dread and dispair. Long enough.

Being reminded of the power of attitude reminds me of this: One cannot pour from an empty cup.

I am glad to see that I am not empty.

Loving and love, on.

 

January 22, 2021

Conflicting sources yesterday gave me a pause, but I was pretty sure it was what I call The Big Sunday.

It's the day that there is 10 hours of sunlight, a sure sign that longer days are coming.

Sure enough, it was, and this was confirmed by a client of mine who lives in Canada. She's Inuit and comes from a culture rich in story telling, and she told me a few stories about the sun and winter. Such wonderful stories.

The cold and dark of Winter is loosening it's grasp on the weather, and longer and warmer days are ahead.

But first, some rain.

Knowing that it was coming, I spent a couple of hours in our yard, trimming and cleaning. It seems as if my feeding of the birds has resulted in a couple of them being very friendly. One is a chickadee, so small and yet so brave. It landed near me as I was taking a break, and regarded me with turns of its head. The other is a Townsend's warbler, brilliant yellow against pitch black stripes and flashes of white. And also so small. This one is very friendly, and has eaten from my hand once. Yesterday, it was clear, at least to me, that my feathered friends were hungry, so feed them I did.

For my troubles, they put one quite the show, until the blue jay arrived and every bird scattered, as did I.

Here's hoping these longer days in the Northern Hemisphere bring much better days and nights.

Love on.

 

January 19, 2021

The howling winds last night kept waking me up. Or the cat. Or both of us. 

Behind our house is a 60+ foot tall Norfolk Pine tree, and it was so loud as the winds tore through it's branches. 

Falling back to sleep, I incorporated the sound into a dream of being near a shoreline, and heard it as crashing waves. Beautiful waves, and a deep green blue ocean.

Waking in the morning, the winds have died down a bit, but not completely. Remembering my dream, I smile.

Water is change in the dream body.

My dream of waves and an ocean tell me that change is coming, and I for one, believe this.

On my walk this morning, there were a few trees that had been damaged by the wind, and there were a couple that were completely uprooted. News reports say the wind was about 60MPH in parts of San Francisco, and in Napa they had winds approaching 100MPH. Powerful winds, all due to a big bubble of hot air from the south hitting the cold jet stream coming down from Alaska. 

And rain is in the forecast! Hooray!

Tomorrow American gets a new President and Vice President. 

More change ahead, me thinks, and I suspect that most of us will benefit in the days ahead from the changes to come.

The important thing is to hold onto hope, as tightly as you need to. 

We're all in this, together, stronger, with love.

Love. On.

 

January 14, 2021

Hello Paris! Thanks for looking in. All the best to you and yours in that wonderful City of Light. Merci mille fois!

Up early this morning, just a little after 5AM. The house was chilly and quiet. The cat and I entered the kitchen together, me to turn on the coffee machine, she to await breakfast.

Far too early for newspaper delivery, and up to date on current world events thanks to my smartphone, I practiced French and German for an hour or so. Alles sehr gute, et j'espere que je peux etudier plus tarde.

Time to make beds and clean up, wash some dishes, and get myself ready for the day.

Just as I leave my clothes closet, Lady Grey is yipping at the birds on the deck, and I replenish their food.

Then she and I watch the birds eat. What fun, so many of them, such aerobatics. 

There is a new sense of peace and calm now, post election, post riot, after all we have witnessed.

Returning home from my walk, I encounter a neighbor and we talk about current events for a few minutes. The sun rises in the sky and the air is so fresh.

Getting to the base of our steps, I notice that a Paperwhite daffodil is sending out blossoms, their stark whiteness againt the green a harbinger of Spring.

Here's hoping your days are good, and your nights sweet.

Love on.

 

January 10, 2021

When I wrote the words below it was shortly after 7AM. The world looked peaceful.

Then there was a rally in Washington, D.C., and everything changed.

There was an attempted insurrection of our government. It was incited by many in power. It was sad to witness. People died.

Since then, the world has reeled in shock, to see the images of people with weapons invading our nation's capital. Terrible things have come to light.  

It's not over yet.

Every day since then, I have taken time to reach out to people I know, to acquaintances and friends alike, as well as family members, just checking in and having pleasant time together.

Love is always my 'go to'.

In the days ahead, take care of yourself, of your life and those you love.

Better days will come. Believe. Breathe.

Love. On.

 

January 6, 2021

It's time to take our Yule Tree down, defestooning it, removing the strands of lights, and setting it out to be recycled. The problem is, is that I am not just yet ready to lose the wonderful smell of this season's tree.

Everytime I come home, the smell greets me. A reminder of the wonder of the wild, to woodlands and forests, of life living.

Last year the tree wasn't as nearly fragrant as this one. I remember sweeping up the last pile of needles, and there was no scent at all. That is not the case this year.

Time moves forward, and moving with it is my best course of action.

Which is where my new routine comes in. 

As much as I enjoy taking a walk when I can, these past several months have convinced me that I need to be more active. Getting going will be the hardest part, as Monday and Tuesday of this week have shown me. Today was easier, and I found myself feeling better sooner.

The time required isn't much, about 30 minutes or so, and if I have more time, as I do today, I can take longer. Almost an hour today.

Slow and steady. No need to sprint. Take my time, for me.

This year is already off to a good start. There are still chores that I plan on tackling, like sorting out my tool and paint room. Some of that room hasn't been touched since 1994. Yikes. It's such a small space, created when we added a furnace to the house shortly after buying it. That first winter without heat was so miserable, and we scrimped and saved to afford heating. So well worth it. And the space quickly filled with paint cans and tools and garden equipment and this and that and whatnot and a great deal of whathaveyou.

What a messy space it became. And soon it will be sorted and made better. 

Ah, the new year has begun.

Loving on.

 

January 4, 2021

As this year begins, I want to thank each and every one of you who has given me the gift of your time and read this blog. Having this platform to express my thoughts and feelings, and hopefully to help others, has given me a world I had never imagined. Thank you!

And Thanks for all the emails and messages about numerology, there's always more to discover.

Last year was unlike any we have ever been through, and we are not out of the woods, as it were, just yet.

We might be done with CV19 but it is most assuredly not done with us.

Maybe it's the bubble that I live in, this town of 49 square miles and a mind of it's own, but I do see very few people not wearing masks. And social distancing. It makes me glad to see the shared, social responsibility that most people are practicing. We are moving forward.

Last year, I found myself letting some things go. I had tried for so long to encourage a certain plant to grow in our yard, to no avail. Try as I might, and I really did, this plant was not going to perk up and start growing. It always was a bit sickly, and everything I did was to no avail. So I stopped looking after it.

It died.

Mourning it's passing, I left that spot bare and concerned myself elsewhere. The rest of the yard had a magnificent year, partly due to my availability and good fortune. I looked for a replacement plant, but nothing every popped out at me.

The other day, as I cleaned up a bit in the yard, I noticed green shoots rising from the bare spot. Looking closer, I saw that it was the original plant, sprouting. How odd for an evergreen plant to behave.

Today there are more shoots, and it's growing taller.

For my part, I'm gonna trust that the right thing is happening and leave well enough alone.

Sometimes that's the best we can do,

with love.

Love on.

 

January 1, 2021

Happy New Year!

In Numerology, 2021=5. Today is 1 and 1, 2. 5 + 2 = 7.

Seven is the number that represents the magicality that exists in the world. Five is the number for pioneers and innovators. 

Auspicious, no?

Last night, as I sat eating our house made chili and drinking California sparkling wine, I reflected on what a strange and difficult year 2020 has been. 

How it tested each and every one of us, and daily threw up terrible events and news. A global pandemic. Millions dead. The strain that living under these conditions exacted from us, and how we coped. And grieved. And began, again.

The old expression that hindsight is 2020 has become evident and true.

Now, starting with this magical day, is when we must turn our heads, hearts, and minds to a stronger, more resilient future.

As we approach our 42nd week of sheltering in place, limited travel out of the house, we have developed new routines that incorporate healthy exercise, a more balanced diet, much more laughter, so much wonderful reading, and over time a new lifestyle has emerged for us. 

Here's to you and yours, and the best intentions showered upon you all, with love.

Let's go start our best year, ever.

Love on.

 

December 26, 2020

Years ago, which right about now feels like centuries, one of my neighbors introduced me to her custom, and I discovered one I had never heard of.

It was on this day that she gave me a small jar of jam, from her kitchen she said. 'Happy Boxing Day' she called, walking away.

The second day of Christmastide is when one gave gifts to the poor, to servants, to those one wished to help. Ah, the things I learned, living in England. There are many stories about how the name became as it is, but suffice it to say the spirit of the day has remained with me all these many years.

This year, I've made sure to have on hand gifts I can give, on this day. And the squirrels and birds have benefitted, one with whole nuts in variety, the other with lots of ground nut meats.

And of course, Lady Grey must also receive something for her delight, and this year it is a small case of her favorite cat food in half of a dozen different flavors and types. 

A day for charity, for giving, for caring, and for sharing.

Here's wishing you and yours and all you know love and peace, contentment and joy.

Loving, on.

 

December 20, 2020

It is the last day of autumn. Winter arrives hereabouts at 2:02AM. I won't be up, but that won't make any difference. When I awake, it will be one of my favorite seasons. The one with cold and rain and in places nearby, snow. There's about 5 feet in parts of the Sierra Nevada mountain range running along the eastern edge of California, a major source of the State's water supply. Which I have recently learned is now traded on a financial exchange. 

This has been quite the year, hasn't it? So much turmoil, distress, sadness, death, and confusion.

On social media, I keep encountering people who have posted lies about the CV-19 vaccines available in the USA. How sad that there are people spreading lies, especially about something we all need.

The depth of humanity has been shown to me this year, and has reminded me of the importance of my work with people. In my work, and indeed, in my life, I reach for the light, the right, the good, and the authentic. It's not always easy, but having tried the alternative, and having experienced the horror that darkness of the soul can manifest, I will keep reaching.

Waking an hour before dawn, the house was quiet. After feeding Lady Grey and starting the coffee machine, I plug in the lights on the Yule Tree, the multicolored lights blazing in the rising dark. The furnace turns on, programmed as it is, and the house begins to warm. Out on the deck overlooking our yard, I spread some chopped nutmeats for the birds that will come, knowing how important this essential fat will be for them in the coming days and nights.

It was 45F as I stepped outside, and memories of snow filled my mind for a moment.

As much as I love snow, having lived it in, I now prefer to visit it.

That's the nice thing about life, we have choices. With fortitude and grace, and self love, we live our best life.

Here's wishing you and yours, and all you know, the best Winter/Summer, with love.

Love, on.

 

December 14, 2020

Even though the calendar says that the solstice is on the 21st, I think it was yesterday, at least here in San Francisco, California.

Solstice is the day that the tilt of the Earth reaches it's maximum, and starts to swing the other way. This results in the Winter and Summer solstices, and the longest and shortest days of the year.

That was yesterday where I am. The sun rose at the same time, and set one minute later than the previous day.

Just to be sure,I checked on line and yep, it was true.

Happy Solstice!

To mark the occasion, we had some rain, and it was glorious. It wasn't strong and a deluge, just a nice sprinkling of rain for a couple of hours. Then it stopped. I fell back to sleep, wondering why it always rains in the night so often.

Only to be awakened by the sound of a downpour, and then it turned to rain. Looking on my smartphone, my weather application showed that a rain cell had just passed over our part of the city and was moving down over the airport. Falling back to sleep, I made plans for the morning.

When I woke up to start my morning, I went into our pantry cum storage room and took out a medium sized cardboard box and carried it upstairs. Time to get the festivities rolling.

Our Yule Tree has been standing in the living room for a couple of weeks now, bare and unadorned, in supplication to old times. 

Yesterday, lights were hung and lit at dusk. Such cheeriness of multi colored lights, and a cold night.

Today we will start festooning the Yule Tree, covering it with ornaments that we have shared for 33 years. Some of them date back to the 1890's, and some were bought this year. The old and the new, together, as the year draws to a close.

Happy Holly Daze! 

Love, on.

 

December 10, 2020

Thanks to my Local Birds pocket guide, I can tell you that this morning Lady Grey and I watched as the birds came to feed. We saw a couple of white crowned sparrows, several bushtits, a few house sparrows, feisty dark eyed juncos, a pine siskin, and a Nutalls's woodpecker.

What a show!

The more birds that came to the deck railing, where there was bird food, the more that Lady Grey squeeked at them.

She had a great time, and so did I.

These cold mornings lately have brought many more birds to our yard, and watching their antics is fun, and funny, especially when the squirrels decide to see what is going on.

Then it becomes a free-for-all.

And sure enough, this morning, I see a tree limb moving and know a squirrel is coming for breakfast. Popping out of the lemon tree, jumping onto the railing, the squirrel hurries to eat some of the ground nuts the birds are eating. Just then, the piercing cry of a scrub jay, it's dark blue coloring bright in the morning light, and the squirrel runs for cover.

It's barely after 7AM and there's a party going on.

Returning to the kitchen, I leave a happy cat and the fauna to enjoy their morning. 

Here's hoping your day starts well, and ends well, too. Winter solstice approaches.

Love on.

 

December 5, 2020

Lady Grey met Rosie.

As a former feral cat, I am sure Grey has seen a thing or two, so I wasn't sure what she would make of the Roomba.

Meh.

That was her response. She looked at it as it went about zacuuming the dining room floor, one of the cat's favorite rooms. She sniffed it later, when it was recharging. She then looked at me and walked away.

I guess that is some level of acceptance. For me, I mean.

She's an odd creature, our Lady Grey. A botched steralization procedure left her with raging hormones a couple of times each year, during which she hisses at me if I get too close. Yet at night, she will lay next to my lower legs all night. As soon as I stir, she hops away, waiting to be fed.

Since childhood, I've been around cats, dozens of them, some better than others. My sister had a Siamese cat named China that didn't like me, and made her feelings clear. Other than that, more felines have been quite accepting of yours truly.

Not LG. When she's in a mood, I am persona non grata. Except at night and when I feed her.

Hopefully her body and mood will return to the sweet, two toned grey kitty I rescused from our backyard in the rain after a couple of days. That kitty is deeply loved, and currently missed.

Like any relationship, we take the good and the bad, and hope for the better.

Love, enduring, and on.

 

December 3, 2020

There is a new robot in our house. She is named Rosie, in honor of the robot maid on the cartoon 'The Jetsons' from the 1960's. Finally had a chance to watch one in operation, and was so impressed. That thing cleaned up spilled stuff all over the room. 

Which resulted in me going online this past Sunday and shopping. And reading. And learning. So much data.The comparisons were really helpful. and helped me narrow my choices to two different machines. both from the same manufacturer. Early Cyper Monday morning, off I went, seaching for the best deal.

I found joy. Success. Results. And I got a great machine at a great price. To be delivered by the end of the week.

But wait, there's more!

Waking up on Tuesday, I have a message from the seller that my machine will be delivered by 9AM. Wow, that's fast. At 8:36 the doorbell rang and I found the package on the doorstep a moment later, shouting my thanks to the delivery guy.

A robot vacumn. 

After setting it up with my smartphone, and connecting its charging base to electricity and the internet, it asked for a name.

Rosie.

And with that, it was done. All I had to do was press a button on my smartphone, and off she went.

Whirling about, then plunging forward, the sensors guide it, parts alert it to stairs, and it tells me when I need to empty the trash bin in it. It even returns to the docking base and recharges when it needs to.

And this is not the top of the line. There are fancier options on more expensive machines. 

Since his heart surgery, much of Joe's work has come home, and with it what we call a 'working kitchen'.

This is verbal shorthand for messy.

Rosie has he work cut out for her, and thus far Lady Grey, sage cat she, has left the room when she hears the machine scuttling about.

Welcome home Rosie!

 

November 27, 2020

Post Thanksgiving...

Woke up in a quiet house, and tried to keep it that way. The furnace turned on, and the house warmed. Perfect time to sit and have a think.

Not a deep one, mind you, just a slight effort to select another mask.

It's funny how accessories can make an outfit.

I have a paisley light blue one that I wear with blue jeans, and they compliment each other. And of course I have a couple of black ones, different fabrics. Recently got a grey one, as I wear grey often.

Now I am trying to decide which mask for the upcoming holidays.

There's one of a Santa, another of reindeers antlers, and so many others.

Recently, I splurged and spent $30, including shipping, for an LED mask. It has preprogrammed patterns, drawings, animations, and can duplicate what I put on my IPhone. High tech, indeed. It looks great in the dark.

Just yesterday afternoon, I went looking to see what was new in the mask market.

The creativity of my fellow humans is amazing. So many stunning masks, especially for women. Wow. Talk about high fashion.

In the meantime, there are the white and blue masks that so many of us are wearing these days. A common staple for most of us. 

And at this time of year, without fail in this house, there is Christmas Music. 

Joe has a 'thing' for it, and every year finds out what's new, and hauls out all of the CD's he has, a big drawer full, and plays them here at home and in the bakery. It wouldn't be the holidays without it.

Today seems to be the first day of Christmas, and the stores, brick and mortar and online, are humming with business. I was out earlier in the day, supporting local business, and was glad to see folks out and about, in the bright sunshine, masked and carrying shopping bags. 

Not quite normal, but on the way.

With cautious hope and love.

 

November 25, 2020

It's been chilly these past few mornings, the temperature hovering in the low 40's. 

This has awoken the fauna in the neighborhood, and each morning is filled with bird chatter, hopping squirrels, the occasional tiny tan mouse, and new visitors to our yard. Chopped nut meats are on the menu, daily now, and everyone loves them. I have never seen such a variety of birds in our yard, ever.

Even a woodpecker!

This morning, as I awoke, my eyes came to rest on a squirrel, sitting up on its hindlegs, looking at me. It wasn't even dawn.

Up and at'em. 

As I stepped out onto the deck, there was a rustle in a bush, and another in the lemon tree. Putting out some food, a squirrel bounds into view, and then another. Breakfast is served.

These moments bring me such peace and joy, take such little effort and costs pennies.

Not to mention how fun it is to watch life, living, and being part of it.

Love, on

 

November 19, 2020

Yesterday, I got to witness a miracle.

Years ago, I worked on Skid Row in Los Angeles, and came to have a small understanding of homelessness. It taught me the value of compassion in ways I had never imagined.

There's been a young man, homeless, in the area for a few months now. He has addiction problems, and refuses help from Community Outreach workers, but does take help from passersby. 

Yesterday, I was walking toward him when I saw a woman approach him. He looked up and saw her and they rushed together.

Mother and son.

Their tears brought tears to my eyes, and to those of us nearby.

One was a shop worker I am friendly with, and we stopped to talk about what a wonderous thing had just happened. As we watched, Mother and son went to buy coffee and sit outside, in the dodgy sun.

Walking home later, I passed them as they sat, deep in conversation, and I saw how see moved his hair from his eyes as he spoke, the gesture all at once deeply revealing and touching.

Miracles do exist.

With love.

 

November 17, 2020

Watching the sunrise this morning was like watching a painting being made, and remade, and remade yet again.

What a light show.

Speaking with a friend yesterday, he remarked how fortunate he felt he had been in his life, to still be alive and relatively happy.

I told him that, in consideration of his 90 years, he was indeed fortunate. 

He's a scholor of ancient Rome, and has regaled me for years about his discoveries. He says that there is always more to find.

I completely agree.

When I woke up this morning, it was due to the fierce wind outside, so loud that it woke me up. Since it was still dark, I couldn't see what was happening, all I could hear was the wind. It made me uneasy. Unable to sleep, I started reading. An hour or so later, I went to see, in the rising light, if all was okay. 

No problems, and the wind was calmer.

That's when I saw it, the first flash of sunlight, high up in our cherry tree. In that moment, all of my unease evaporated. I took a deep breath, and then a few more, as peace and calm flowed into me.

As I watched the light show, I gave thanks for the new discoveries that await me, and all of us. Such a beautiful place. We can always look to beauty to help restore us to our better frame of mind.

With love, on.

 

November 13, 2020

Woke up this morning about an hour before sunrise. Trusting my body, I got to moving.

Turn on coffee machine, feed cat, turn off night lights, and clean up the kitchen. Too early for newspapers, so shower routine. 

Now I am fully awake, and it's just getting light outside. Time for a walk, it's cold outside, in the high 40's F, but not too cold. Out the door I go, dressed for the weather.

The sky to the east is ablaze with orange and pink clouds scattered in the distance. Above me the sky is clear, and the palest of blues. I walk east, and watch the show...

what a show it is, better than any special effects department could create.

Few people out, fewer cars.

Waking up, I knew it is Friday the 13th.

In 2020.

Knowing this, I have put my best foot forward. Both of them, acutally.

Walking home, I notice clouds, wispy and nimble, to the west, and notice that they are all silver. As I walk and watch, the tops of them turn the palest gold. 

Gold clouds with silver linings.

My metaphor for this day, and all the days to come.

With love, on.

 

November 9, 2020

Hello Frankfurt Am Main! Are you in town, or at the airport? Such an airport, vast and so many shops! All the best to you and yours, thanks for reading. 

This weekend has been like a party, city wide.

Hope has been breaking out all over the place, this city, and many others, as well.

For some, this is not the case, and they are angry, confused, defiant, and disillusioned.

I completely understand those feelings, I had them 4 years ago. It was awful.

Give and take, that's what the future asks of all of us. That we learn to share the yoke of life, taking the good and the bad in stride.

Let's go forward, together, united against the issues that we face. 

And on that note, Pfiizer, the drug company, announced that the CV19 vaccine that they have is 90% effective. Wow!

The world is surging on this news, stock markets up all over the planet. A positive sign that we are going in the right direction. We will find many vaccines, and a cure as well. Our future depends on it.

Adaptation. That's the secret, I've come to discover.

Make the most of it, where and when, and do your best. You'll thrive.

With love, on!

 

November 7, 2020

Shortly after 3AM this morning, a voice spoke to me. It said 'Well, that's it."

It woke me up. I sat up in my bed and looked around, thinking someone was there.

There was no one.

As I laid back down, I heard another voice, clear as a bell, say 'OK then, let's go.'

That made me sit up, coming fully awake. I could feel something happening.

I was so tired, and sleep reclaimed me. 

It was later, around 8:30AM, as I went to feed the 3 squirrels that were looking for more for more food, that I heard it.

The shouting, someone banging a pot, and then another, and then cars horns, honking. So much noise.

My intuition has told me this for nearly four years, and now it is true.

America will have a new President and Vice President in January.

When the last election happened in 2016, my guides told me that the incumbant was the authentic president.

Today, my guides have reminded me that love and solidarity win. America and the world win.

Love wins, and healing begins.

Democracy wins.

We all do, with love.

The streets of San Francisco are alive with honking horns, people waving our flag, and jubalation 

Love lives, on.

 

November 2, 2020

The holidays kicked off on Saturday, with the coming of Halloween. 

When I was a child, we lived on a hill and next door lived a witch. She told me so, one day, as she and I were harvesting concord grapes in her yard. I was seven years old, and had never met a witch. She told me so many wonderful stories, especially about Halloween. 

She said it was a three day time when the dimensions that separate our world from the world of the past and the world of the future lined up and became more evident. She told me I might see ghosts, or dream of dead people or have vague glimpses into the days to come. Ever since then, this has become a special time in my life, one that I celebrate.

First comes laughing in the face of death, which is Halloween. October 31.

Next comes honoring all souls that have lived, are alive, and will live. November 1.

Then honoring the dead, especially those in your life. November 2.

So that's where I'm at, having lit a candle yesterday for life, honoring the magic of life, and what it holds, good and bad. There's no point in only holding onto half of life, we grow into our better selves when we embace the good and bad in ourselves, honestly and with clear cognition and emotional acceptance. 

This morning started with a fleeting memory of my sister Melodie, my closest and dearest relative. She was smiling, and turned to look at me. Gone since 1975. Love never dies.

Crazy times abound right now, and the best thing that each of us can do is to seek calm and peace, and breathe it and love in, deeply.

And then, just do our best, with love.

Love, on.

 

October 30, 2020

Almost Halloween! 

Here and there around our neighborhood, there are signs of the season: pumpkins, fake spiderwebbing, gourds, ghosts and creepy things abound.

And here and there are some trees changing colors, dressing themselves in an autumnal wardrobe. Even our cherry tree in the backyard has a touch of pale yellow. 

The air was cooler this morning on my walk, and there were fewer people out.

So calm, few cars, fewer people.

I stopped at a corner and looked around. No cars moving. This tiny intersection of San Francisco slumbers.

Walking home, there were more cars and more people, and more skate boarders, scooterists, and bicycleists around.

And the day rolls on.

Here's hoping you and yours enjoy this day, and the night, as well. 

With love, on.

 

October 22, 2020

Hello Helsinki, Finland! Sisu! Such a beautiful country, so much to see, the rawness of the land matches the kind warmth of the people. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

So, there I was, yesterday, having a socially distanced drink with a friend at his place, when I saw the murder.

It was shocking to witness, and lasted a couple of minutes.

I heard it before I saw it, coming from a distance, just a few calling out.

Then more, and more, and more, and suddenly there were about 50 crows flying outside his windows, and then more. So many crows, many of them calling out, proclaiming their dominance of the sky.

It was amazing to witness, as they flew due north, out of sight.

A murder of crows, what an spectacular gathering to witness.

Lately, there have been reports of all manner of wildlife showing up in back yards and on public streets. There have been dozens of calls about coyotes roaming around San Francisco, and just the other day I saw one trotting along the street near our house. There have been seals groups comimg ashore on public beaches, and from experience I know it's best to be up wind from them.

With less humans about, our unseen neighbors are coming out of hiding. 

There have been many mountain lion sightings this year, ever in San Francisco.

Nature endures, and reminds us all that we do our best when we endure, with love.

Love on.

 

October 14, 2020

Hello Oxford, England! One of my favorite towns in England, so rich in history, so modern in education, and the Isis. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

The frenzy of the US elections is reaching a fevered pitch.

Change in process.

There is nothing that I can do to bring the future faster, so I find other things to distract my mind. If I dwell too long on stuff, my fear starts to creep in, and gets stronger, and the next thing I know, I am spiraling down a hole of depression, anxiety, fear, dread, and more.

It is not a nice place.

When those feelings start to rise up in me, I vote with my feet.

I go for a walk.

The other day, while working on a project, this nagging dread kept nibbling at me, so on the 3rd or 4th nibble I got up and walked out my front door.

As I walked along, I looked into the dread and saw that it was baseless fear, and was dispelled with reason. 

Silly me.

Human me.

Me.

Learning to love myself enough to give myself permission to change has been the work of a lifetime. And still is. 

Everyday brings the new, the unknown, the unexpected, and sometimes the dreaded.

Start with love, and don't settle for less than what you want. Act in the face of wrong, love yourself enough to make your life better.

Love, on.

 

October 7, 2020

Waking shortly after 5:30AM, there was a chill in the room. Ah, it's been a long time since I've felt that, I thought.

At 6AM the thermostat kicked on and raised the temperature to 64F. The chill was gone from inside.

Outside I went, to the deck, coffee in hand.

Still a little dark, sunrise 30 minutes away, or so. 

It is so peaceful.

My coffee begins to chill.

So do I.

Just then, there's a rustle near the cherry tree, and then a raccoon pops into view. Walking along the fence at the rear of our yard, not rushing, just moving along. Then it stops, and looks at me. It sits up on it's back legs, and holds it's arms across it's chest.

I rise and go inside, sorry to have interrupted a raccoon's stroll. 

Lady Grey greets me, and looks out the bedroom patio door. The raccoon is now half way up the steps, and is sitting with arms crossed. 

Both the cat and I leave the bedroom.

Warming my coffee, and giving her some fresh kibble, the day resumes. Later, after newspapers and coffee, I go and check the deck. No sign of the 'trash panda', as some call them. Nothing has been disturbed in the yard. As I turn, a squirrel jumps onto the deck railing and runs toward me. Feeding time, for the next several minutes. And then she's gone and so am I.

A lovely autumnal morning.

Here's wishing you and yours all the best,

with love.

 

October 2, 2020

Happy October!

It's Halloween Month for me!

This year needs a kick in the rubber parts, so to speak, and anything I can do to make it more festive is my goal.

I've already shopped for Halloween face masks, and have seen some amazing examples.

One of them was like something out of the movies, and when I looked further, I saw that they had several face masks, all of them fantastic. Tusks and horns and projective bits, all so richly detailed. Ah, Etsy...

Remembering the joy of Halloween as a child, I recall my very first fancy costume that my mom ordered from a Sear's Catalog. It was a blue and white striped clown suit, with a big orange wig and a plastic nose that lit up, how I don't remember. That was a fun time, trick or treating where we lived, in Mojave, California. 

Such fun it was then, and knowing how different this year will be for all of us deepens my resolve to bring more joy, tinged with the holiday ahead, into my every day life.

Somewhere on social media recently, I saw a video of a guy making a costume out of what looked like a bunch of stuff, and in the end he had a very funny elephant costume made out of vinyl tarps, tape, and lots of foam.

And on TikTok there are so many fun and funny ideas.

My back had been tense lately, and yesterday I spent a couple of hours watching a funny movie. So much laughter, such funny stuff. Later, I noticed that my back felt much better. 

Here's to laughter, life, and love.

Especially love. Start today with you and keep expanding your ability to be your better you. I'll be right there, too.

Love, on!

 

September 28, 2020

The heat is back in California.

Yesterday was very hot here in San Francisco, and today is supposed to be a bit hotter.

Having lived in deserts as a child, I know to open all the windows an hour before dawn to let out the hot air in the house. After the house has cooled, close them up. Then draw blinds and drapes at any window in direct sunlight.

Not surprisingly, our house was cooler yesterday, and when I went for a walk after 4PM there was a slight breeze starting to flow eastward.

Natural air conditioning.

Life appears to have moved out into the streets. There are roads closed to vehicle traffic, and bars and restaurants have put tables and chairs in the street. Al fresco in a big way.

As I walked along, I was surprised to see so many people out and about, all of them masked and social distancing. I even got to see a couple of folks I know, who were also out walking around. This small social interaction was so unexpected and delightful. My smile lingered for quite a while, hidden beneath my mask.

By the time I got home, the wind was still blowing gently, cooling us all down.

Today started about 5:30AM.

The outside temperature was 75F.

That's typical for a day time high, hereabouts.

It's gonna be a hot one. This helps me to get my chores done early, so that I can relax the rest of the day. Lady Grey, being the sun lover she is, has positioned herself in a sunny window left for her to enjoy, and sleeps blissfully in her cat stand.

Was that a yawn, just now?

Here's hoping you and yours are well, safe, healthy, and strong.

Loving on.

 

September 22, 2020

Happy Autumn!

Happy Spring!

Every part of the globe is going through equinox today. Change. Time movng us all forward. The wobbly Earth rocks on.

The fires in California are being fought and extinguished. The air is better for many. There's still work to be done, and them that can are doing what they can. Bless them all.

On this first day, I took a walk to honor the more than 200,000 dead Americans due to CV19. It was a long, sad, tearfilled walk, as my heart has been too heavy of late. This walk was to honor them and to displace my emotions. A mask and dark glasses are wonderful covers for tears.

Starting toward home, I looked up to see the fog spilling down the hillsides and my heart grew lighter.

Walking on, the beauty of nature and the works of people made me smile, and smile again, all the way home.

This season will be many changes, and will be for the world unlike any other time.

Hold tight, hold fast, hold on. 

Now is the time to reach into your reserves of compassion, patience, love, and forgiveness. That's what I will be doing every moment going forward in time.

Love, and living, on.

 

September 16, 2020

Six months and one day ago...

Businesses here in San Francisco are continuing to open up, those that are still in business. Many are not.

The rate of conversion is low, and there is extensive contact tracing.

There is no fine, as of yet, for failing to wear a mask. I see one, maybe two people a day without them. Most of us, including the homeless, are wearing masks.

Around town, a whole new cottage industry has strung up, with many making masks.

Talking with a client a few months ago, I suggested she try her hand at mask making, since she loves to sew. And away she went!

A couple of weeks later, I get an envelope in the mail. From my client. It's a mask! It's beautiful!

Talking with her a couple of days later, I thank her for her gift. She tells me that since our conversation, she had made more than 400 masks, and was actively selling them. It has become a whole new income stream for her, and is a great break from her day job. 

Adapting to change is a sign of intelligence. Evolution favors intellect.

Rolling up my sleeves, proverbial and real, I'm going forward into a dimly lit future, and will remain optimistic and shoulder what comes, and make the best of it. Tough times. Stronger people.

Here's hoping you and yours are faring this time as best you can, and will continue to.

Durable love. On.

 

September 14, 2020

Just when you think you know someone, I mean, after all, I've known her for three years, and yet...

She was never very playful, not from the moment we met. Never saw much of a sense of humor from her, so after a while I came to think of her as without humor.

A bit odd, I thought, but who am I to judge. 

She had been feral, and now she was living with us. A sweet striped grey kitten, maybe 9 months old that had taken to living in our back yard. One rainy night I scooped her up and brought her in, without protest. 

This was soon to change.

Always serious, preferring her own company to those of us sharing the house with her, we left her to her own devices, and all has been well.

That is, until lately.

Some stuff for the bakery was delivered to the house, and the box that it all came in was left on the living room floor.

A while later, I hear claws ripping something, and discover Lady Grey sitting in the cardboard box. She's having a wonderful time, scratching and then rolling around, and then just sitting in it.

Then she runs from the room and runs around the house, into and out of all the rooms, and then with a leap is back in her box.

Who knew?

The suble changes in life, the expression of happiness, the fullness of time, with love.

Here's to joy! And newly discovered delight.

Love, on.

 

September 9, 2020

Woke up shortly after 5AM. Fed the cat, made my bed. Decided to go for a walk so changed into street clothes.

It was dark out as I went down our steps, the horse chestnut damp with dew. As I walk along I realize that the sky is lightening in the east as the sun rises, but it is like sunrise on another planet. The sky is tan. At the street corner, I stop and take it in.

There's no smell of smoke in the air, and my smart phone says the air is moderate at 69. But the light is so eerie.

More than 2 million acres of California have burned, and we are just entering the high fire season.

A friend of mine who lives in Bishop, California, near where I lived as a little boy in Big Pine, sends me a photo this morning of the beautiful blue skies stretching all the way to the far east, as I am walking to the north. The picture took me back to some of my earliest days. Such good memories.

As I walk back home, I pass a poster taped to a utility pole. It urges people to wear a face mask, stay 6 feet away from others, and to wash one's hands.

A sign of the times, like the color of this morning's sky.

Different times, more love is needed. And more joy, and happiness, and calm. We can do this.

Love, on

 

September 2, 2020

Happy September!

And Happy Corn Moon! 

The wildfires are slowly being contained, the air quality is improving slightly, and so many people are donating to fire fighting efforts. California strong.

After watching countless hours of videos, I decided to spend sometime online. That's when I found it. The perfect statement for these pandemic times, on a T shirt:

'I've seen all of Netflix'

Yep, that's true for so many of us now. 

Thankfully, there are many wonderful things to watch, and my favorites are old cartoons. The simple animation, the simple stories, the simple jokes. Just the thing for me.

That, and walks. Somedays I take two, one in the morning and the other before sunset. Adding the extra half hour to my routine has led to an increase in calmness, deeper sleep, and a smaller waistline.

This evening, given a rising moon, I plan on going for a nice, longer walk. 

And maybe a spot of corn for dinner.

Happy new month, Happy full moon, Happy life.

With love, on.

 

August 25, 2020

Hello Winfield, West Virginia! Thanks for looking in. What a beautiful setting for a town, and the locks on the Kanawha river are really amazing looking. All the best to you and yours!

Today marks six months that San Francisco has been in quarantine. Sadly, 77 people have died from CV19. We are still a couple of points shy of being released, and hopefully our positive cases will diminish. 

Mask and last.

All of this has led to restaurants applying to the city government for permission to take over parking spaces on the street in front of their business, and the city is happy to oblige. So many wooden structures are being built, all over town. It's becoming the way of life, as we all continue to adjust to the changes this pandemic is bringing.

Indoor shopping in small stores is still not happening, but in larger stores they are limiting foot traffic. Indoor dining is a no-no.

There are fewer bus routes in operation, and the underground trains are not running yet, nor are the trolly cars and the cable cars. It is a very different San Francisco.

Still, most people are friendly and helpful, and most of all courteous. 

The rental market has seen a softening of prices and increased units on offer. Home sales haven't changed much.

Most people are waiting for a vaccine to come along, and the press is filled daily with the news of advancements.

Patience is a virture, one that we all are learning to embrace, each of us as we choose.

For my part, I am glad those I love are in good spirits and well, and continue to look forward to better days.

Wishing you all the best,

Love on.

 

August 22, 2020

Sorry to have been absent, there are so many of my clients in need at this time that I have been exclusive of them.

I hope this finds you and yours well, safe, and sound.

Such a world of turmoil right now, for so many.

Here in California, there are 23 major wild fires burning. Lives and homes have been lost. Forests are being lost. 

Despite the whirlwind engulfing me at times, I have kept my resolve and optimism close to heart, hand, and mouth.

There will be better times, better nights, better days.

Hang in there, eight fingers and both thumbs. Heck, if you have to grab it with your feet, do it. 

Tough times toughen resolve. 

Every day I give thanks for the world that I have, and know how quickly it all can change. All the more reason to love life, unconditionally.

Here's to all the best in the days and nights ahead, 

with love.

 

August 14, 2020

Hello Belgrade, Serbia. Never having visited, I took some time this morning and explored your town. Wow, so much to see, so many classic buildings, and some stunning monuments. Thanks for reading, and all the best to you and yours.

Happy Creamsicle Day! 

Woke up before dawn, it was 72F. That's warm for San Francisco during the day time, but at night? Yikes!

Looking up at the sky, it reminds me of Bora-bora, and the time I spent working in Tahiti. Tropical. Blue sky and fluffy white clouds overhead, and the humidity completed the memory.

Tropical Storm Elida is breaking up as it moves up California. 

This means that in the east of here, the temperature will be above 100F. 

Stay cool, drink water, and move a bit slower, that's what we did when I lived in Mojave, California.

Lately, the power of 'yes' has been ringing in my ears. Hearing people say 'yes' to something one might have thought would have been rejected. How wonderful is that?

The essence of change lives in our willingness to try the new. 

It is important to remember that we are 'human beings', and not human has-beens.

Here's to the magic and power of becoming, with love.

Love, on.

 

August 11, 2020

Fogust has come to San Francisco.

For the past few mornings, there has been waves of fog spilling down the hills to the east, off of Twin Peaks.

Watching it as it cascades down the hillside, wisps of it pulling away and disappearing, as the larger part advances downward. Walking forward, the chill of the air is notiecable, and the smell of the sea is suddenly noticed and just as suddenly, gone.

Behind me, as I walk up hill, the sun is rising in the sky. Dawn was 45 minutes ago. The fog is thick enough that it plays with the sun beams, shielding the ground here and there. Stepping into sunlight, I stop and look up.

The fog is rippling above my head, maybe 30 feet or so. It's like looking at the underside of waves.

As the nature show above me dissipates, the hill side is flooded with bright, warming sunshine.

At the top of the hill, I look to see the fog pulling back, toward the ocean. Parts of the city are covered in this soft, grey mist.

There are some times when we just have to vote with our feet, and move.

This morning has been that for me. Now, back home, house chores finished and work day beginning, I am refreshed and ready.

Love, on.

 

August 3, 2020

First Monday of the new month. Happy August!

Up before dawn, the chirp of birds comes to my ears, pleasant sounds. Morning has broken.

Cat fed, coffee in hand, outside I go.

55 years and a couple of days ago, my mom passed away. I was a kid at the time. She's been coming around, lately. 

Sitting in the brightening, chilly air, a warm breeze passes by me. Just then a shaft of sunlight brightens the rose bush.

She loved roses. And Patsy Cline.

Using my smartphone, I find some of her music, and the memories wash over me.

Thanks, Mom!

Going inside, I transfer the music to our HomePod. Then I'm musically strolling into my childhood, and all the songs I ask for are played. The newspapers arrive and the music helps to soften the grim news.

Later, I touch my smartphone to the HomePod and the music and I go for a nice, long walk. By this time, the fog is wisping away, and the sun rises, warming all. Everyone I pass is wearing a face mask, even the homeless. Maybe we can flatten the curve this month.

We carry the dead with us, in the form of memory. Displacement has given me the gift of loving my parents through its ability to drain away all bad and negative energy in those memories, leaving the good more fully revealed. 

Living, and loving, on.

 

July 27, 2020

Fatigue.

Running out of steam, or whatever.

And sadness, and depression.

Common enemies for so many of us. 

Saturday afternoon found me out of energy, slinking around, sinking into a not so good place. I started to spin downward, and felt terrible, not sick, just sick of feeling bad.

Downstairs I went to a special bag I keep in storage. 

It's full of ruined clothes I've owned and worn.

Pulling it out, I reach in and grab the first thing my hand touches, an old, old flannel shirt I bought back in the mid 1980's, so beautiful then, and now destroyed by a bleach splash, caused by me. I loved this shirt. Now it is my tool of displacement.

I start ripping it up, a pocket, a cuff, then a sleeve, then just ripping and sweating and getting out my negativity. After a couple of minutes, my energy is diminishing, and my attitude is improving. Mission, accomplished.

At my feet are the remnants of my shirt, now ready for the trash. I feel so much better.

Thanks, shirt, for helping me to regain myself, and for all the joy you've brought to me.

Back to living and loving life.

and on.

 

July 22, 2020

Waking before dawn this morning, the room was dark and quiet. The air was still. Thank you, I thought, giving thanks for waking. Siting up, my legs are chilled as I pull on my pyjama trousers and slip my feet into my slippers. These sounds I make bring Lady Grey, sole housecat, into the room and up onto the bed. She meows and I stroke her back, and we both head into the kitchen.

After feeding her, I change into street clothes and go for a walk.

The fog above my head is so thick that it's drizzling. The streets are darkened, and drops of dew are everywhere. Street lights are still on, and the golden glow of them adds to the beauty. During my half hour or so, I pass less than a dozen people, all wearing masks.

Coming back home, the newspapers are in a plastic bag on the house steps, and Grey is glad to see me, as she returns to her heating pad in the kitchen. After washing my hands, turning on the coffee maker is next, then sitting and starting the papers. So much news. 

Now into my day, there are a couple of clients to work with, and then time to write here.

The pace of my days has continued to change as we continue to shelter in place. My 3 days a week in my gym, working out for an hour and a half are a distant memory. In the beginning, it was very chaotic at times, the disruption this pandemic fostered. After 4 months of contending with it, new schedules have emerged, and in most instances they are better than continuing to whinge about all the change.

This time has given me a new appreciation for time. 

Part of my task, now, is to make better use of it.

That's what I did with time this morning. I listened to my body and took myself out for a walk. Just me and my thoughts, and all of life around me. Relaxing, thinking, feeling, being.

Perfect. 

Add love, and enjoy.

Love, on. 

 

July18, 2020

Have you looked up into the night sky recently?

Wow! The universe is putting on quite the show.

It's named Neowise. It's a hyperbolic comet. We won't see it again for at least 4500 years,

There it is, this comet that is steaking past Earth, and its tail stretches for millions of miles, and is so bright as it is illuminated in the dark sky. 

I've seen photos.

That is thanks to the fog that we get this time of year, right on time for foggy August, or Fogust as some call it.

Nonetheless, I've been seeking out videos of this comet, and they are plentiful and some are spectacular.

Just a perfect diversion.

Celestial phenomenon. 

Here's to looking up.

Love, on.

 

July 14, 2020

Yesterday, just before mid-day, I had the most wonderful feeling wash over me.

It was as if some warm, tropical, full of life wind swept through my skin, infusing me with this wonderful feeliing, inside and out.

Just a few seconds, a couple of breaths, and it faded. But not completely.

I recognized this feeling, as I have felt it many times in the past.

Good news that will touch my life is coming.

That's what this feeling has always heralded.

Just knowing that something good was in the offing made my steps lighter, my heart more open, my outlook more optimistic.

Around 2PM, I read about it on my newsfeed on my IPhone.

CV19 vaccine trials are starting in August in San Francisco.

For weeks now, I've been reading about the vaccines that are in development around the world, and have learned that there are several human trials taking place in other countries. I've read about the trials Kaiser Health is doing, and hope for the best.

Sadly, nothing was happening in the Bay area.

Until now!

Progress, sometimes so slow, arrives. Stay hopeful, it's easiest.

Love on.

 

July 13, 2020

Last week was a challenge for me.

So many ill folk, some quite seriously. Offering support as best I can, to all that I can. It was a struggle. It seemed better.

Then a client died of CV19. His passing was a relief for his family, as he had declined terribly over the past two months. May he rest in peace. My grief was deep.

Later that week, I was accosted by a woman on the street, she waked toward me shouting at me to take off my mask. She came so close, grabbing at my mask, I ran away from her. She was later seen detained by the police.

These are strange times.

There are some folks around who may tell you that you don't need a mask when outside.

Do not believe them.

This is not an average influenza, untreated CV19 is 30x more deadly.

Today marks the beginning of our 18th week, sheltering in place, grappling with this disease.

Stay home, safe, strong and well.

Loving, on.

 

July 7, 2020

This past Friday and Saturday nights were weird. 

The sounds of fireworks exploding nearby. Often. 

Saturday night was a bit continuous for a while, around 9PM. I went outside and looked to see anything, but saw nothing.

I worried for animals and wildlife.

My walk Sunday revealed the remains of the fireworks that I had heard. There was litter in many places, and some of the boxes were rather large, like a small backpack. They must have been the one's that were almost non-stop.

City of San Francisco workers were out cleaning up the mess. Where we live, in the Castro District, there are Community Business District (CBD) workers who help keep trash picked up. As I walked along, I saw a CBD worker I've spoken with, and stopped, six feet away, to chat briefly. She told me how crazy it was where she lives and how glad she was to go to work and 'get busy'. 

By this time last year, we had had half a dozen street festivals, the Open Streets program was rolling along, getting people out and about. The City was throbbing with life.

Not this year.

The changing landscape of San Francisco, and of our world.

Stay home if you can, wear a mask, stay 6 feet away from strangers and wash your hands.

It's these little actions that will help us all as this year progresses.

Please take care of you and yours.

Loving, on.

 

July 3, 2020

Google Earth is just the best travel tool right now for me.

With it, I have been able to return to places that I have not seen since decades. 

What a wonderful piece of software. 

Just yesterday, I was back in Peru, retracing my steps around Lima, Puno, Cuzco and Machu Picchu. What wonders I reminded myself of, such thrilling moments, with me, again.

In addition, it has given me the opportunity to go along roads that some call the most beautiful in the world, and I agree with them some. Amazing vistas, and no danger of car collisions or driving off the road. 

With this holiday weekend upon us, many folks will be cooking outside and having back yard parties. No parades this year, no marching bands, little fanfare.

A subdued birthday for America.

This feels appropriate, given the circumstances.

Tomorrow I plan on visiting historic places in America, some of which I have visited in person in the past, some I have not and some I probably won't. 

That's the delight I am finding right now with the help of my computer: distraction. 

Filling my time and my mind with new places, some outstanding photographs, and letting the tides move as they may.

Love. On.

 

June 30, 2020

Hello Sofia, Bulgaria! I've been reading about the history of your country and it is fascinating, such a crossroads for so many cultures. Thanks for reading, all the best to you and yours.

And hello as well to the end of June. We're half way through this year. Oy.

Sadly, CV19 is exploding in the USA. So many places opened up too soon. So many people are irresponsible.

The other day, as I was walking, I heard an argument between a shop owner and a man. The shop owner wouldn't let him in the store without a mask, and had offered him a free paper one. The man had refused and tried to enter the store, but was stopped. That's when the shouting started. I kept on walking.

Maskholes.

That's what a wag I know calls folks that refuse to wear a mask in public.

The damage being done to our health care system, to those workers, and to all walks of life caused by this virus are growing increasingly clear.

Health starts with self.

I remember the invincibility that I felt as a young person, how whatever came my way just got dealt with, and my body took a lot of punishment in so many ways. 

Sometime in my 30's, while out backpacking near Ojai, California, I had a nasty stumble and really hurt myself. No broken bones, but a lot of tissue damage. Hiking out took 3 times longer than my entrance because of it. It was a horrible trip. 

That was when I came to realize that the skin I'm in is my time machine. Without it, I am nothing. At least corporeally, flesh and bone.

Here's to all of us staying as well, safe, strong and resolute as we enter the second half of this year.

With love, on.

 

June 26, 2020

Yep, sure feels like summer in the City. So many folks wearing shorts, and masks.

I've seen a couple of folks that have masks that match their shirt or blouse. The inventiveness of people is beginning to surface. Both told me that had made their own tops and masks. Fashion, forward. Masks are now mandated by our Governor. This seems to be increasing, folks being asked to mask when outside. Many folks protest and refuse, the majority comply.

Who would have thought that health would become so fractionalized? 

I've chosen the side I'm on. Mask and last.

All of this turmoil has made for a tough week, and it is still rolling on for me until Saturday afternoon. Time to chill.

Yesterday evening, I went and sat on the lower deck in our yard.

There was bird song and human chatter. A slight breeze. And the smell of meat being grilled, somewhere.

The light slowly faded. Quietude expanded as humans fell silent and birds moved on. 

Peaceful. 

After a while, a peal of laughter was heard, and the light faded away.

Time to go inside. The flowers in the yard looked beautiful, the hot tub very inviting. Time to go inside.

Just as my hand touched the door knob, there was a bird cry unlike any I have every heard. Just once, a loud 'whoop', somewhere nearby.

At that moment, I knew I was leaving the yard and the night in the right hands, so to speak.

Love, on.

 

June 20, 2020

Happy Solstice!

Happy New Moon!

Happy Saturday!

Waking up to a trifecta of a day, the first day of summer, a male moon hiding in the sky, and a Saturday.

And I just checked my calendar, and it's even better: today is 'Ice cream Float' day. 

The last time I had one of those was years ago, someplace in Brighton, England, on a hot and sunny day. It was made with vanilla ice cream and some fizzy lemon-lime soda, not at all like the floats of my childhood, but on that day, it was delicious.

Root beer floats, and sometimes Coca Cola, that's all that I remember having.

Nowadays, there are probably combinations that I have never dreamed of. How excellent is that?

Just now, looking into 'ice cream float' on Yelp, and there are a couple dozen places listed, all of them open later today.

I've just given myself something to do with my afternoon. A errand with a delicious, I hope, conclusion. That, and lots of walking there and back. 

Somedays, it just takes the smallest of things to get one moving, and moving is the best that we can do for ourselves. This errand will get combined with a few other things I have to take care of today, after my work day, and will fill up my day to the brim. Occasional days like this are good for me. Too many of them and I get cranky. I don't like being cranky. When it happens, and it does, I have to work to un-crank myself, either through meditation, exercise, or displacement. Cranky doesn't feel good.

And now, a quatrefoil of a day, what's not to like?

Here's hoping you and yours have the best day possible,

Love, on, and living!

 

June 16, 2020

Took myself for a nice, long walk.

Needed to get some exercise, and see new surroundings, and out the door I went.

Most folks are wearing masks. But not all.

So few cars on the streets, and few busses and no trolley cars at all. And not many pedestrians, either.

The sun is rising, gleaming off of the windows and painting everything with a touch of gold. The air is breezy.

Just what I needed, this walk.

Many places are still boarded up along Market Street, but not all, and more places are open.

Just about every restaurant is open, with tables and chairs on the sidewalks, no inside seating. How wonderful to see folks sitting, eating, talking, laughing, living life again.

After 3 months of living with CV19, coping strategies have presented themselves, and I have learned how to have as close to a normal life as possible. Many places I went are closed, like my gym, and hopefully will reopen in the coming days. Ah, my local pub, and all the smiling faces I miss, although there is a daily virtual 'happy hour' online. 

Shorter lines at food markets, and more vendors at our local 'farmers market'. 

Not bad for the last week of long days. Summer starts on Saturday, and the days will begin to grow shorter.

Here in San Francisco, yesterday was the longest day of the year for us, our own local solstice. 

Happy Summer from San Francisco!

Loving on!

 

June 11, 2020

When I did my first DNA test back in 2005 with FamilyTreeDNA.com, I was amazed at all of the connections I had. Bunches of cousins, all o'er the world, but no one close, 3rd cousin or closer. And no clues to my ancestry on my dad's side. Oh well...

In 2007, I got an email from a man who told me that we were related, his last name Boeckh and he lived in Fussen, Germany. Along with this came an invitation to a Family Reunion in Nordlingen, Germany, the home of my dad's mom. Mind blown.

He gave me some data about my unknown grandmother, and off I went, finding every bit of information I could. 

In 2008, off I went to Germany and 125+ new cousins, many who speak English, thankfully. They meet every 3 years, somewhere in Germany, and welcomed me kindly. Back I went in 2011, 2014, 2017, and had booked for this year.

Then CV19.

Being prudent, this year has been postponed to next year, in the same place, at the same hotel.

So many changes to our time and land scapes are taking place, it's hard, sometimes, to keep up.

Discovering my German family has been so much fun, they are a diverse and intelligent crowd, and learning a bit of the German language has helped me to understand the conversations around me, somewhat, although I have lacked the confidence to speak more than a few words. 

Decades learning French, Spanish, Italian, and a bit of Portuguese did not prepare me for German.

Luckily, looking on the bright side as I am wont to do, I have another year to continue learning one of my ancestral languages, and a link to my personal history. 

Loving on!

 

June 8, 2020

Hello, Paris, France. You are one of my favorite cities in the world. My time living there gave me a whole, new perspective. Merci mille fois! Thanks for reading, all the best to you and yours! 

The resiliency of San Francisco amazes me. So many young people protesting racism, and our police being respectful and engaged. Coming together. 

That's what we all need a whole lot more of.

This week will see more businesses and shops opening up. There is talk of restaurants being allowed to have dine in customers, and maybe even bars will reopen.

This is all happening very slowly and cautiously. 

In the mean time, the creativity of folks continues. I attended a cocktail party on a late afternoon last week, all of us on Zoom, each with our own drink of choice. Mine was a cherry Coke.

I know, what an odd choice, and it was, but it brought back so many memories of being in the 6th Grade in Highland Park, California, and how a local hot dog shop sold Cokes with cherry or vanilla flavoring added. The first time I tasted a cherry Coke, I was smitten. Years later, Coca Cola came out with a cherry Coke, and I was smitten all over again. The flavors, the fizz, the rush as you swallow it, such heady memories. And all good. So good.

Taste memories are some of the most powerful memories what we can invoke. 

That's one of the benefits of this Sheltering In Place that we've been doing now for 13 weeks, and that is in remembering all of the good in the past. Looking back can help us look forward.

There is so much to look forward to,

with love.

 

June 1, 2020

Last week, all of us in San Francisco were told that the wearing of masks out of doors was mandatory, and that the Shelter In Place public order would remain in effect indefinitely.

Wow.

And then race riots broke out across the country, and peaceful marches were compromised by looters. Innocent people have been harmed, and curfews are now in effect in many cities.

Wow.

This morning, after going to the food markets and running a errand, I sat on my deck and cried.

It was all I could do, and I did it. I think I did it well, because after a while, my tears stopped. The ache in my chest lessened, the tightness in my throat relaxed, and my breathing began to return to normal.

Still, I sat there.

A small California towhee bird alighted a few feet from me, cocked it's head, peering at me. I sat up. The bird came closer. Suddenly, it rose up on its legs and opened its wings widely, then relaxed them and looked at me again. Smiling, I didn't move. After a few more seconds, it flew away.

Didn't mean to disturb my neighbors.

Tough times call on kind hearts and clear minds.

I'm working on mine, and hope we all do.

We are all in this, together.

Together, with love, we will emerge stronger, more compassionate, kinder, and resolute.

With love, on.

 

May 26, 2020

Week 11 dawned this morning. Sheltering in place continues.

Many of the companies I work for are continuing to function fully, with all workers staying at home. 

Many folks I know are out of work and receiving unemployment payments.

This morning, I spoke with a woman who has told her employer she won't return to work until next month, which is next Monday. He boss told her not to bother, and then called back and asked her to come in on Monday.

This CV19 thing is wearing folks out.

The other day I was talking with my contractor. He had come to the house to replace a door that had needed replacement. This had been put on hold until last week. He was so glad to be back to work, and was smiling and happy, talking on his cell phone, arranging work with other clients. Back to work.

A neighbor of mine told me he's making more money from unemployemt than he did working, and hopes he doesn't have to return to work soon.

Everybody has a story.

For my part, I'm glad to have a job. 

I'm running out of chores that I've been putting off, and am now thinking about projects I can start to occupy my time.

Spring cleaning is still going on, and that should keep me busy for a couple more weeks. Shampooing carpet is always a big chore and takes a couple of days.

Here's to staying well and occupied,

with love.

 

May 22, 2020

Waking early this morning, shortly after 6AM, I begin my day by feeding Lady Grey, getting my coffee, and fetching the newspapers. It is such a lovely morning, my schedule is open until later, so out the door I go, dressed of course, for a walk in the sunshine.

90% of folks are wearing masks.

There are few cars or bikes, it's too early for most folks. There are plenty of dogs with their walkers out and about, and even a woman with a cat on a leash. 

It's a wonderful half hour walk, and then home. 

Taking a moment, I go to the deck overlooking our backyard, and scan the newspaper. 

A hummingbird buzzes me, and I look up at its glaring red throat and bright green body about a foot away from my face. It hovers for a few seconds, and then darts away. My eyes follow it and there, on the cherry tree, a cluster of brilliant white blossoms, and the hummingbird alights nearby. Such a beautiful sight. My heart swells.

Just as I was about to go inside, I notice a large long legged spider descending from the lemon tree. It lands on some violet leaves and tries to walk away, but is encumbered. 

After a minute or so, the spider slowly strides away.

There are some times that, no matter how much I care, I cannot help.

Good for you, spider. Good for you. Thanks for the reminder.

Loving on. 

 

May 18, 2020

Hello Vadodara, Gujarat, India. Those are some amazing temples, and that stepwell! Wow! Stunning, and lucky you, being there to enjoy it. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

Starting Week Ten of sheltering in place.

More businesses are opening up, allowing curb side pickup, some offices are reopening, about 95% of all businesses in San Francisco can operate, except gyms, theaters, dances, and bars.

Which is why exercise apps, video streaming, and alcohol sales will continue to increase.

The folks I know are hanging in there, some are going back to work, others will continue to work from home. 

Different times, different solutions.

And pluck, don't forget pluck. And moxie, as well. Yep. Absolutely needed.

A friend of mine posted recently on social media, remarking that 6 feet distance was better than 6 feet under.

That's pluck. Finding humor in grim times.

Which is something I have been doing every single day: finding something funny and laughing. 

It doesn't have to be belly laughs, nor go on and on. But it has to be real and it has to come from the heart. 

That's what these times ask of us, to find our heart, and not lose our head. Giving over to our worst fears is self sabotage. If allowed to continue, damage deepens the attack on self. Now is when we reach down inside, maybe deeper than ever, and find our resilience and authenticity of self. The best of us. 

Be that person, with love.

First you, then them's you love.

Love on.

 

May 12, 2020

Rain!

In May!

Wow!

Mother Nature has been busy in our backyard, and the plants have been growing very well, a bit too, in some cases. That's where I come in, I am the Gardener. I had a very busy morning, tending to things. So many tendrils of ivy had been making their ways into our yard, and they all needed removing. It was a lot of work, but worth it. When it was all cleaned up, I had a seat and admired my efforts. 

A few minutes later, I went and cleaned up from my labors, and did a small chore.

Returning outside to collect my broom, a drop of water hits my arm, then another, and then many more. I dash for the broom and get back inside. 

Rain? And the sun is shining?

As a child growing up around some pretty strange adults, I remember hearing that rain in sunshine is a lucky omen.

The rest of my day went well, Costco shopping was actually easier than before CV19, and we were home within the hour. The day ended well, and all 3 of us slept well.

This morning, dawn came at 6:01AM. Tomorrow it comes at 6AM. Another good omen I remember from my childhood.

Oh, I know, silly superstitions, meaningless in the grand scheme of things and all.

and yet...

Loving, on!

 

May 11, 2020

Stepping out onto the deck to feed a squirrel, the hum of highway traffic in the distance is louder than it has been recently, since CV19 came into being.

Folks are venturing out more, it seems.

Yesterday I saw video of dozens of folks crowded together on a beach somewhere, I didn't stay to listen as the image was so disturbing to me. 

We are not out of these dark, dangerous woods. 

Today starts Week Nine here in San Francisco. 34 people have died of CV19, there are about 900,000 of us in the county. Most of us wear masks out of doors, we all practice social distancing. 

Yes, it's boring sometimes, not having the routine that I used to enjoy. This change forced me to adopt a new routine, and not surprisingly, it works.

FaceTime and Skype and Zoom all help me to have a visual connection with friends and family. And there's always the telephone.

Yesterday afternoon, I called a friend whose name popped into my head earlier in the day. When he answered, he sounded cautious and faint. Hearing my voice, his voice returned to it's usual timbre, pace, volume and tone. After a while, he told me how sad he was not to see folks, and we discussed the use of technology to solve this problem. After a bit more, he gave it a try and FaceTimed me from his IPhone. Ta Da! Connection made, visual in sight.

Adaption is a life saver, and reminds me that we are all in this together. Evolution favors intellect, as Darwin surmised.

Here's to you and yours, as we navigate into this new reality. Health is truly our greatest wealth.

Love, on.

 

May 5, 2020

Hello Sudan! How I want to go to Khartoum, and Wadi Halfa, and up the Nile. The closest I have come is to be on Lake Nasser. Hopefully, one of these days... Thanks for looking in. The internet is global in reach. All the best to you and yours!

Starting our 8th week sheltering in place. The State of California is slowly opening up, the Bay Area is not.

That's why I took a visit to England this morning, to see the bluebells. And I did.

It took me back to memories of walking the grounds of some grand Estate and the hillsides covered in bluebells. Like a deeply textured carpet, dappled with sunlight, the beauty so clear. The video was 18 minutes long, and so peaceful. What a wonderful way to start this new day.

This time, these past weeks, has given me so many opportunities. 

For years I have had stacks of paper, books, things, so much stuff.

Like my tool room. It's got all the paint from 20 years ago when Joe painted the house. There are tarps from when I painted all the walls back in 1994. So much stuff, and most of it needs to be shifted to another locale. This has been one of the opportunities I have taken advantage of.

There are fewer stacks of paper, and they're shorter. The books are sorted, things have been kept and let go, and there is less stuff.

These are all things that never would have happened if San Francisco had remained open. Not to mention other, grimer, results.

So that's why, this morning, www.nationaltrust.org.uk got me. I have time to enjoy more, and that joy will help me shift the rest of what needs being shifted.

Love, on! 

 

May 2, 2020

Last night, a small grey cat decided shortly after midnight, new furniture was explored.

I was that furniture.

For who can imagine why, she leapt onto my hip as I slept, waking me instantly.

Laying awake, not moving, either of us. 

Not sure how long it lasted, but it was several minutes, and then it was over. I had not achieved furniture status.

Rolling over, I closed my eyes. Waiting...waiting...relax...breathe...waiting...waiting......re...

Sitting up, I grabbed by robe and went to another room. As I left, Lady Grey claimed her dominion: my bed.

Later, when I found myself falling asleep in front of the TV, I  stretched out on the daybed and fell asleep. 

Until, in my dream, there was this small human like lemur looking at me, it's long, striped tail waving in the air, in front of my face. It was a friendly creature, curious about me, and I about it. We regarded each other for quite some time, and relaxed in front of each other.

Boom! Right on my leg, a small lump has taken up space, and I know that she and I are both far too tired to do anything about it at all. This battle ends in a draw.

This morning, I woke up alone in the bed. As I stretched a bit, my muscles shouted their displeasure at being moved about, and the clicks of various joints was lost as the slippered feet when to start the day. 

Compromise is usually easiest, I've found, and encouragement always helps. 

A younger me might have tossed the cat off the first time, snarling curse words and being angry.

An older me slept as well as I could, glad that I had a bed at all. 

And a cat.

with love, on.

 

April 29, 2020

Happy Super Hero's Day!

When I saw this notation on my calendar early this morning, the first image was someone in hospital scrubs.

Over the past year, the medical community has made the biggest changes in my life, by attending to my better half. All the nurses, the doctors, so many people, they were so kind and professional and always fully present.

During the 18 days in hospital, every individual at the facility worked tirelessly.

This morning, I said a prayer to all those who are our super hero's.

We need them, and are better for having them in our lives.

Love on.

 

April 27, 2020

Just before dawn, this morning, opening a door into our yard, I quietly went.

The air was very still, even though there were wind gusts at sunset last evening of 33 miles per hour. Now, all is calm.

Sitting on the steps leading down to the garden, the smell of jasmine envelops me, the scent so sweet and light, drifting past me as I settle in. 

A small bird, a chickadee, lands in the Meyer lemon tree, and regards me, and I it.

Just then, the very top of our cherry tree is illuminated, and I notice that there are still blossoms. Such a funny tree, it being a graft of 5 different types of cherry, and they all bloom at different times, with varying shades of petals. These are brightest white. They gleam in the suns rays. 

The peace pervades me, and I feel my optimism surfacing, gently, from within, and without, as well.

All will be well, the thought pops in me head, unbidden. I breathe, and feel calmer.

All will be well, again, this thought, and I know that I am being supported by the unseen.

Surrendering my fears, confusion, doubt, panic, and malaise, I breathe and offer up a pray of healing.

Opening my eyes, a young female squirrel is sitting a few steps down the stairway, sitting up, hands clutched together, looking at me. I smile, and she blinks. Back to life, back to reality.

Getting up slowly so as not to frighten her, I go inside and grab a small handful of nuts, and place them on the railing, where she awaits me. Closing the door, a small grey striped cat calls out from the doorway, and her breakfast is next. And so it starts, the end of our sixth week sheltering in place, tomorrow week seven starts, and there may be more. We don't know yet, all we know is that we are flattening the CV19 curve, staying home as much as possible.

All will be well. I remember these words, and hold them, you, and all of us tightly, with love.

Loving on!

 

April 23, 2020

San Francisco has taken a new fashion trend to heart.

This is a quirky city, to say the least, and we have always been known as a bohemian wonderland of mists and redwoods and hidden delights, and personal style has been part of our tradition. We are the home of Levi's jeans, after all, and much more.

Lately, the new trend has been the sporting of face masks. 

Not the N95 type, as those are reserved for First Responders and front line medical folks.

And not just the scarf up over the nose and mouth. Oh, no, much more wonderful.

The other day I passed, at 6+ between us, a fellow wearing a face mask that looked like the smile of the Cheshire Cat from 'Alice in Wonderland', and his companion was wearing a Winnie the Pooh face mask.

Absolutely adorable, and made me smile.

Then came along, as a safe distance, Spiderman, followed by the most beautiful mask of lace, and then a bandana in bright orange, printed with paisley designs. 

Oh, the humanity! Oh, the creativity.

At the bakery, the crew are wearing masks provided by a client, with loving thanks.

While looking online this morning at masks available for purchase, I was amazed at the creativity and cleverness of so many folks, and the love and effort expended. Then I noticed a cousin with a photo of a mask she had made herself, her first sewing effort. Such a cute picture, and I knew there was a smile under the fabric.

That's what I'm seeing, through the lens of my heart/mind: smiles.

Stay well, with love.

Love, on.

 

April 20, 2020

Today would be a big celebration here in San Francisco. 4/20 is celebrated as the day marijuana was made legal. Since then, the benefits of CBD oil has become a therapeutic standard throughout California, as we move forward. But not this year. Golden Gate Park is closed at Hippy Hill, and gatherings are discouraged. Face masks are required when one is outside, and social distancing, i.e. six feet away from others, is required. No mask, no entry into any store.

San Francisco takes CV19 very seriously, which is why we have just under 1200 cases and 20 deaths. 

Today starts our sixth week sheltering in place. we have at least 2 weeks more, perhaps longer.

Here's how I am coping:

I have a routine, and I stick to it. Every day has a pattern.

I sleep when I am tired. Maybe just a 20 minute nap, maybe more. Sleep is most welcome.

I eat well.

I exercise, daily.

I maintain contact with the world.

That's it, my 5 simple steps to keeping me and mine in optimal health, heart, and head space.

Part of my routine is to seek laughter, and to give myself as much of it as I want. There are so many companies making entertainment free, and so much to laugh at. Laughter is cheap medicine.

Stay home, safe, healthy, well, and strong. We will get through this, with love.

Love.

 

April 14, 2020

Hello Glendale, California. I lived there as a child, and started Kindergarden there. Such great memories, and still a great part of town. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading!

Thinking back to those days, I remember my love of Easter, with all the games and treats and happy adults and children, for the most part. What bunnies and eggs had to do with Jesus was a complete mystery to me, as was so much, so I just took it in and moved on. Imagine my surprise, decades later, learning about Astarte and her nature totems, eggs and rabbits. Ah, the melting pot of history.

That's one of the things missing this past weekend, any chocolates from the See's Candy company. They shut down operations a couple of weeks ago, stopped online and retail sales, and gave their chocolate to hospitals instead. Such a good corporate citizen. 

This morning, at Costco, open at 8AM for 65+ and first responders, there was a line that snaked down ramps, everyone maintaining 6 feet of social distancing, and most folks wearing masks. The line moved quickly, and I was able to get what we need for the bakery. It wasn't crowded, and most folks were calm. And no hoarding permitted. It took less time than usual to get through Check Out, and the staff were upbeat and friendly. 

Here in San Francisco, 15 people have died thus far from CV-19. Less than 1,000 have tested positive.

Everyone is waiting for testing, and the authorities are now testing a reader that uses a small blood sample to determine if one has been exposed or not. From what I have learned, these tests are 100% accurate, and hopefully we can all get tested in the near future. Testing is key to returning to our jobs, our lives, our families and our friends.

As a friend said yesterday, we are getting through this, and she's right. 

Tough times make for stronger people. And highlights the importance of love in our lives.

Do what you can to cheer yourself and those around you, be active and positive, and don't underestimate the healing power of laughter, especially now.

Loving on.

 

April 10, 2020

Welcome to Friday!

This is always such a month for me, especially the first 10 days. There are holidays and birthdays and rememberance days and memorial days and they are all very busy days. 

Working 2 jobs, as I have been now since last May, has been quite an eye opener. And an eye closer, as well.

There were days when I was up nearly 20 hours, and other days when I could take some time and relax.

This is not that time.

The other day I found myself driving to buy yeast for the bakery, as we couldn't find it nearby. Did you know that yeast sales have risen, pun intended, 650%? Yikes!

Now I know what everyone is doing at home, they're baking.

Thankfully, folks are still buying our yeast products, and everyday we are busy from open to close.

It was weird, driving and there being very few cars on the road. I liked it, and didn't, at the same time. It's odd to see the changes the CV-19 pandemic has wrought. We will get through this, and we will be stronger for it.

Luckily, I have a posse of squirrels that keep me entertained, and the joy their antics bring me are my hearts delight.

Here's hoping you and yours are safe, well, healthy, home, and finding the love around you.

Love on!

 

April 6, 2020

Happy Tartan Day!

Here in San Francisco, we are half way through our 6 week quarantine. 

The lines for groceries are, at some stores some times, long, very long, like 45 minutes or so of waiting. Six foot social distancing makes for long lines. It's a good thing.

Across the globe, Corona virus 19 has brought life to a halt in many places. No work, no money. For others, they have found a way to work from home, and are doing so. One of my client companies has seen a 12% improvement in productivity, and they are now thinking about adopting different work from home rules. Adaptation is necessary at this time.

I've been filling my time by helping out at the bakery, and have made many things thus far. There's something about doing something good that lifts my spirit. This morning, as I was making bread pudding, a woman walked by the bakery. I looked up and saw her throw a kiss in our direction, and Joe said she's a regular. Golly, did that moment feel really good.

Of course, being around all that wonderful food has been a great temptation, and thus far I have successfully resisted my gourmandish desires. Oh, those cupcakes...

This Spring rain for the past couple of days has been wonderful, there's even more snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains! Truly a blessing as we approach a drought. The absence of many cars has had an atmospheric benefit, as they say our air has never been cleaner. 

The squirrels aren't too happy about the rain, and run up onto the deck when it's not raining. They run around, hopping to catch a eye and get some food. Frankly, I think we are quite well trained, but I do wish I could remember which squirrel likes which nut. It's funny to see them look up at you, small arms clutched to chest, rejecting the nut offered. Cashews are always a winner, I've learned.

This slowing down thing is working, and we are flattening the curve. Who would have thought that we could save lives by staying home?

Amazing times, with love.

 

April 2, 2020

Last night, just before 8PM, I went to our front door, opened it and stepped outside. No cars. No pedestrians. Silence.

Then I heard it: and another, and another, and then more. 

Hands, clapping.

Giving thanks to all the medical workers that are helping us all. To all those who support life, and continue to serve.

Tears ran down my cheeks, as I stood then, on my steps.

Shared humanity.

With love.

 

March 31, 2020

And so it does, the month of March, this being the last day of it for this year.

What a month this has been. The pandemic that we are all facing woke most of us up.

Not all, which is why there are still folks taking chances with their health, and the health of others. Social distancing works.

That's what I've been seeing, here in San Francisco. There's a benefit to being 49 square miles on a peninsula, this one being that our Public Health Department has been responding to CV-19 since mid February, from what I've learned. There are fewer than 400 cases of folks testing positive, and 6 deaths, unfortunately. We are flattening the curve, as the number of cases does not rise significantly from day to day. 

Yesterday, our mayor asked us all to stay at home until May 3.

This will mean that we have been working for 2 weeks already, and for another 4 weeks we will work, to slow and hopefully stop this virus here in the City. 

Imagine being told that staying home would stop a global health problem that could kills millions of people? That's our job.

All of us, together, will defeat this virus, and any other problems that rise to challenge us. 

Despite our differences, we can all celebrate our abilities to take care of ourselves, of our planet, and each other.

There's a lot of us-ness going around, and lately it's been very clear to me.

As I drive to the bakery, I see people waiting in line to enter a food store, all of them 6+ feet apart, the line a couple of hundred feet long, and it's only 7AM. Pulling up in front, there's a couple of folks on bikes coming out the door, and another couple waiting to enter. Social distancing. The bakery case is filled with so many choices, and a regular comes in and chats with the staff, telling us how happy that this small part of her routine is still intact.

All of us make a difference, daily,

with love.

 

March 28, 2020

The new moon showed up, barely, the other night, and the sky was clear and starry. 

San Francisco is doing everything it can to 'flatten the curve' of this CV-19 virus, so far less that 300 cases, only 3 deaths. We have another week plus of staying home from work ahead, and they are suspending all rapid transit except for busses. Big changes, to effect big change.

This time has provided me the opportunity to get into many chores and tasks that I've been putting off, some of them for years.

So there I was, having emptied the bathroom cabinet and cleaning it up, then putting everything, well, actually most of it, back. I've needed to do this for a few years. Along with changing the burnt out light bulb over the mirror, only 2 of 3 have worked for at least 3 years. Finishing up with the cabinet, I close it and for some reason, it slams shut. Just in that second, the burnt out light bulb illuminates. 'It's a miracle', I say, and laugh out loud.

That's all it took for me to jump into my next chore with a smile on my face.

Tough times make tougher people.

Thanks to all of you who have been sharing photos of your views of empty streets and deserted paths. Stay home, stay safe.

Tomorrow the sun will rise, and 12 hours later, it will set. The day of light and dark in balance has come to San Francisco. The days will grow longer, and with it, hopefully all of us will rise each day, easier and calmer.

Sleep well, and rise to the light, with love.

 

March 23, 2020

It's been a week now, here in San Francisco, that the majority of us have been 'sheltering in place', which means staying home. Those of us who can are working from home, many have lost their jobs. All non essential shops are closed, only food to go or delivery from some restaurants, food markets are open, basic transportation services continue to run, and there are very few cars on our usually busy streets. 

Yesterday, in support of the bakery, I went to Costco. What a different experience that was.

Parked, walked toward entrance and saw a cordon of yellow tape on orange cones, directing foot traffic. There's a short queue, maybe 15 people, and within a couple of minutes I'm inside. A worker with mask and gloves is wiping down a shopping cart with soap and water, and gives it to me. The store is nearly empty. There are limits on items, but everything I need is there, and I'm out the door in less than 20 minutes. Wow. And everyone was cooperating, many not wearing masks or gloves, about 50-50. 

Walking to the Post Office yesterday, I was surprised to see that there were no homeless on the streets. Coming home, I learned that San Francisco has been moving them into housing and monitoring their health. It is not mandatory, but hundreds have taken advantage of what is being offered. The governor of California has called for all homeless to be provided with housing, and has started working with property owners to make this happen.

The news says this will be a big week in America, as we see just how prolific this virus has become. More and more cities and states are telling folks to stay home. 

Staying informed about the emerging facts about covid-19 has kept me calm and safe, and has given me the tools I need to battle any fear that tries to hijack me. This happened last night, right before bed. Suddenly, a spike of blinding fear went right through me, and I could feel the panic rising in me. Breathe, I gasped outloud, and started to. With each breath, I kept repeating outloud 'You're okay, it's okay, breathe and relax', and did so for a couple of minutes. As my fear subsided, my inner calm blossomed.

Day by day, night by night, moment by moment.

We will get through this, vaccine trials are happening the world over, and companies have developed test kits that can give results in as quickly as 45 minutes. We are all in this together, and the effort at control and eradication of this virus is paramount globally.

Remember to breathe, with love.

 

March 19, 2020

The day after my last entry, the mayor of San Francisco issued a 'shelter in place' order. Food stores are open, restaurants can only take to go orders, and we are all asked to stay home and not go out, until April 7.

Joe's bakery is open and humming along, all the staff wear gloves and masks, and wash everything with soap and water. There's a steady flow of customers. So many people are glad we're open. We are too!

My work has shifted to only telephone, Skype or FaceTime. Thank goodness for technology.

At the local wholesale food and produce market, I was heartened to see no shortages of any items, but there were limits on some items. Like 50 pound bags of rice, 1 bag per customer. That's a lot of rice. Same with sugars and flours. This is where restaurants and food providers to the public shop, and requires membership. The prices are lower than public markets, and the selection was packed to the rafters, literally. 

Yesterday afternoon was our local farmers market, and there were all the vendors we usually see, along with a couple of new ones. Folks were 'social distancing', which means keeping 6 feet away from others, and people were smiling, glad to be out in the sunshine.

These times. They are odd, that's for sure. Almost no cars on the streets, very few people.

The only way to stop contagion is to remove yourself from its path. That is what the entire Bay Area, all 7 million of us have done.

Friends of mine tell me how wonderful it is to have time to get all manner of things done. I know that to be a fact, and have started almost 6 new projects to keep me busy. Not to mention attacking my stack of books at my bedside. Reading two of them now.

Tempus fugit, time fly's, they say. Let's hope it brings more answers, solutions, vaccines and treatment.

As we say around here these days,

Stay well, stay safe, and stay strong.

With love, on.

 

March 15, 2020

It's taken time, but facts are finally emerging about corona virus 19.

Breathe.

Check yourself. Are you feeling ill, achy or sore throat, maybe a cough? Take your temperature. If close to or over 100F, call your health care provider or local medical help line.

So much panic buying, people emptying market shelves, stocking up on countless rolls of toilet paper. What are they gonna do with that? Can't eat it.

For my part, I've been limiting my out of door time, only necessary errands. 

And not buying into all the panic that this pandemic is spreading. 

What has been wonderful to read about are the efforts of the Chinese government, where CV19 started, helping Italians, as their health system is overwhelmed. Bravo. 

That's what these kind of problems require, cooperation.

I've been checking in with friends more lately, as well, as I know that these are good times to talk and unwind, and a good conversation is just the thing to help those at a distance. 

There was a small Saint Patrick's Day party at my pub yesterday, sparsely attended. Most folks are staying home and self isolating, social distancing, they're calling it.

Take care of yourself and those you love, remember to breathe and calm any fears, and keep loving.

On.

 

March 6, 2020

The sciurini that live around us have increased. There are now 5 grey squirrels that come to eat Chez Nous.

Their antics make us laugh, and even the cat has come to enjoy them. I watched yesterday as a squirrel came up to a window looking at her, and Grey stood up and looked back. It looked to me like curiosity and acknowledgement combined.

Such good antidotes to all the bad news making headlines. 

The manipulation of events by the media is chilling, and I refuse to go along.

Reviews are another thing that I avoid. I want to make up my own mind without prior input. After the experience, then I'll read reviews to see what I missed, if anything, and to contrast myself with the reviewer. Data. Always good.

Which takes me back to my favorite distraction: fluffy tails bouncing to greet me.

I refrain from naming them, who am I to presume? I'm sure they have their own names, which is as it should be. There's one, a female with a brownish coat, who is quite friendly and approaches me when I put down the food I'm offering. She's quite pretty, too. There are a couple that look like twins, one male, one female. He grabs food and runs off, she takes hers and sits nearby. 

There are blossoms on the cherry tree, and so many bulbs are blooming now. 

And it's not even Spring, yet.

Remember, those in the US, to set your clocks forward Sunday morning.

Here's to going forward, with hope and joy and love.

On.

 

March 3, 2020

A cloud free sky before dawn, thin clouds far to the East. 

There's just enough light to deduce shapes clearly.

Sitting up, on the edge of my bed, I feel the chill of the room, around 60F. I pull on a sweater and gym pants, and stand at the door, looking out onto the deck and the yard below. A sliver of light explodes in the sky, dawn has broken. 

As the minutes pass, the sky lightens, the top of the Norfolk pine, 60 feet above my head, is fully illuminated.

Bird song is moving through the yards, now 2 houses away from our house. With that, I take out the bird feeder and hang it outside, just in time, as juncos come flying in.

Sitting on the steps, the colors of the English primroses are bright and colorful, and still in shade.

Time to get a move on.

Later, having cleaned up, dressed, papers read, breakfast had, I go back out.

The sun is rising.

With it, my hopes and love of life rise as well.

With love, on.

 

February 26, 2020

Leap Day is on Saturday!

Once every four years, it rolls around, helping us all keep our calendars in line with the physical world. Good thing, that.

Years ago, I met a woman who was born on a Leap Day. She was celebrating her 5th birthday, she said, meaning she was turning 20 years old. Other years, she said, she celebrated starting at midnight on the 28th of February until early on March 1st. What a way to age, slowly. Thanks to a calendar.

The weather hereabouts has been moving our local calendar fast forward into Spring, and it's a glorious time. So many flowers, just about everywhere. The parks are wonderful, especially Golden Gate Park, one of my favorite places to walk. So much to see and do, and the variety of plants is stunning. Lately I've been seeing many blooming magnolia trees, some deep purple, others white, and some a blending of the two colors. Such beauty.

That's been my retreat lately, getting away from all the bad news and headlines. 

Filtering out what doesn't make me feel better. Being an editor in my life, for my benefit, of what I take in, what I believe, and most of all, what I know.

The other day, a friend of mine told me the most terrible story, one he had read online. It was awful. Later, I went online and researched what he had told me, and came to find out it was a hoax that was being promoted as disheartening disinformation. I sent a couple of links to my friend via email, and got a big thanks the next day.

It's all too easy to be conned.

My advice is always to check out what you hear, good and bad, regardless of the source. Being informed is our best defense.

That, and love.

Love, on.

 

February 18, 2020

Laughter.

Good medicine. So easy to obtain, and the benefits are deep and long lasting, with repeated applications.

That's what I've been up to, laughing. I've been watching funny TV, reading funny books, leafing through pictures of nature online, and just relaxing.

Taking care of myself when there is time. 

Lately, folks are back to work, the holidays a memory and the pace picking up for most of us.

I've noticed that public rapid transit has more riders any time of the day, and that the streets are just as busy, if not busier, since vehicle traffic has been removed from Market Street. Driver's tell me that cross town traffic has exploded and is jammed up much of the time, even weekends.

Transit tensions add to stress. For me, the antidote is any nature I can find, and here in San Francisco that's an easy thing to do.

Yesterday, during my walk, I stopped and looked at my IPhone. There was a message from a Facebook Friend recommending a cartoon, which I promptly watched. I laughed from start to finish, and felt recharged and ready for more.

Laughter. 

Growing up, I knew a girl named Lola. She confided to me that her Mom had told her that her name came from the words 'love' and 'laughter'. lo-la. 

As I've gotten older, I've come to realize how wise her parents were, naming her after two of the most wonderful parts of being alive.

Love and laughter.

Good medicine for what ails us all.

 

February 12, 2020

Technology continues to make life easier, and lately I've been so happy for the improvements I've encountered.

My most recent started with a letter from the State of California informing me that my drivers license will expire shortly, and further that I should think about getting a Real ID. This form of identification will be required of all citizens later this year, so I figured I'd go for it. Anticipating many hoops, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I could do most of the work on line. 

Wow! Wonderful news. And it was so very easy, using my cell phone. After taking photos of required documents like my Passport, Social Security card and a utility bill, I was given a page to show to the Department of Motor Vehicles staff. 

So off I went yesterday morning, the sun shining, the trees in bloom all along my drive to the DMV office here in San Francisco. Found parking in their lot, and walked in. Met by a woman who looked at my page from the DMV, and off we went to a nice lady and a signature and then a wait of 5 minutes before I was called to a window, asked to review my application, signed it, and went to get my photograph taken. And done.

30 minutes was all it took. 

Wow. The last time I applied for a new drivers license, the process took almost 2 hours.

Technology. Thank you. You gave me time. And I used it well.

Yesterday it was 73F in San Francisco. It was a lovely day. As I drove home, I lowered the convertible top of my car, and let the sun in. Stopping in Golden Gate Park, I marveled at the natural beauty all around me. Giving thanks for all that is,

with love.

 

February 8, 2020

Up early this morning, as was Lady Grey. Started coffee, fed her, got the newspapers. Another day begins.

Then a cat at my feet bumps against me, sweet grey girl. A treat for her, and on and on.

Later, feeding the squirrels on the deck, watching them bounce around, and I feel my spirits lift. Watching them makes me understand the meaning of squirreley.

Time for a walk. Out the door I go, having noted the drizzle of low fog, and it's chilly. 43F says my smartphone. The streets are fairly quiet, not many cars, fewer people walking, just a scooter or 2.

So many flowering trees! One of them, struck by sunbeams, glows white and ethereal green on a street corner. As I walk on, toward Dolores Park, there are dogs and their humans passing by, one of them wearing a cute British style raincoat.

The drizzle abates, and the sun breaks through the clouds and illuminates the park, the grass glowing green, the children at their playground dressed in bright primary colors, the wispy blue of the sky.

Fully grounded. I sit and breathe.

Walking back home to start my work day, the lightness and joy in my heart suffuses my being.

Amazing what just a few minutes can do.

Just start with where you find yourself, seize a good intention, and go for it.

With love! 

 

February 3, 2020

Whew!

Made it through the end of January, right into

St. Brigid's Day (2/1), then

Groundhog Day and Superbowl (2/2).

Not bad for starters, eh? Busy, bizzy, buzzy, and onward. What next?

It really doesn't matter, because whatever it is, I'll be right there. I always am. Funny, that.

When I was a child, I imagined that being an adult meant not having problems. The adults around me at this time soon convinced me otherwise, as they ranted and raved about their lives. As I got older, I came to realize that there were some issues in life that I could not fix or repair. More importantly, I came to understand that my power for change was inside of me, and that the first person that I wanted to change was myself. That took decades. And is still happening, daily.

Work in progress. That's what life is.

Yes, there's much to do. Get stuck in, get to it, and it will start to feel better. Change is gradual, much like most good things, and takes time to fully appreciate. Take the time. You're worth it.

And life is worth it. 

Even on the worst of days, hope is still alive. If you're not feeling it, reach out to someone who is. Love is alive and waiting.

With love.

On.

 

January 29, 2020

Have you ever noticed how negative the headlines of newspapers are?

Years ago, when I worked for The Los Angeles Times, I was fortunate to get to know a couple of the senior editors. They explained to me how the newspaper was put together, how there were staff meetings to decide on the cover of each section, and what was inside. Here and there would be positive stories, but very seldom on the front page. Why, I asked? The answer I received from everyone was the same: bad news sells better.

Which is why I've been glancing at the headlines lately, as there are only bad news words to be seen.

Not all news is good news, and I look for the positive around me. Somedays it is small and almost unnoticeable, and other days it's huge. 

No matter, I will always and all ways gravitate to the positive.

Especially toward the people who are positive, like my friend Florence. She just turned 89 the other day, and she always tries to stay positive, which has been quite the struggle since her husband passed away, nevertheless she is upbeat and always enjoys a laugh.

As I've gotten older, I have come to appreciate those older than myself who possess a lifeforce that radiates positivity. Glad to say, there are many of them. Likewise, I have also come to appreciate those younger than myself who are of the same mettle, and surround myself with both sets. 

It's always good to have good examples.

With love, on.

 

January 24, 2020

My intuition was spot on, and now everybody who cares, knows. What a relief.

Sometimes, I just have to wait for my intuition to be revealed in time, and sometimes it's years. At other times, it's in the moment and guides my words and actions. It's very comforting.

This isn't to say that I don't do and say the wrong thing, because I most assuredly do. Especially when I am not grounded.

The other thing to contend with is depression. My intuition doesn't work at all well when I am depressed. If I had known this as a teenager, when I was being physically beaten monthly and psychologically abused daily, I would have left my father's house even earlier than I did at 17 while still in High School.

Learning to recognize my depression, and the factors that engendered it, took me decades. Leaning to work through and with it has made all the difference in my life.

Yesterday, toward the end of my day, I noticed that I was feeling sad about an issue regarding a friend. Sitting with my thoughts, I came to see a similarity that she and I share, and felt my own depression about it. I got up, grabbed a piece of paper, and wrote out my depressing, unhappy thoughts and feelings. Then I folded the paper in half and set it in my office, and went on with my evening.

This morning, as I got going, I came across the paper and read it out loud. The feelings were lessened, and I could see the fear in my thoughts and words. I tore it up.

The energy that I felt when I wrote it had been displaced and no longer resonated in me. Displacement.

Grounded and ready for another wonderfilled and loving day.

Love, on.

 

January 22, 2020

Lately, my intuition has been working full time.

It started a couple of weeks ago, when I was watching TV. A man was talking and I knew that he was lying and would be exposed in a few days, but he pleaded that he was being 'completely honest' and I laughed out loud.

Since then, my 'rabbit ears', as I call my intuition, have been sending me messages daily, and I am heeding them. Whether it's something big and important, or small and minor, I pay attention.

So far, I have avoided two car crashes, one bicycle encounter, a defective pair of gym shoes, a bad salad, and a few conversations that would have gone poorly.

Not bad.

And it's just mid week. 

The fun thing about intuition is that it's private. Only I know what it is. Which is why I make use of it in my work with people.

Everyone is intuitive, it's like a muscle: the more you rely on it, the stronger it grows.

What's important in accessing your intuition is to make sure that you are feeling grounded and secure, balanced and calm. Displacement exercises can help to burn off any excess or negative energy.

Then just close your eyes, relax, get comfortable, and breathe.

Give it a try, you never know...

with love.

 

January 17, 2020

It's winter in San Francisco, and this year that means very cold (in the high 30's) with winds. Add to that torrential downpours and flooding streets and crazy traffic on the roads and highways. Now, for good measure, add in Uber and Lyft drivers who have no idea where they are, and are looking at their phones instead of driving, and it's not a pretty picture.

Which is why they are removing personal autos from Market Street at the end of this month.

Thanks to innovation, we now have thousands of bicycles available for rent, along with thousands of scooters, like a skateboard but with a control column on one end, and now I hear there are even more rental products coming, like the single wheeled device.

Yesterday, on my way back from my gym, I saw a woman in a wispy translucent raincoat over a bright yellow dress riding along on a scooter. She looked happy and focused. Ready for the rain, with a stylish helmet. A sign of the times.

Today we have puffy white clouds and the cold air is still with us. 55F our daytime high.

Winter in San Francisco.

Time to shop for cardoons and escarole, some wonderful cabbage, and some honeycrisp apples. Part of the bounty of the season. Just because it's cold doesn't mean one cannot eat well, and healthily, as well.

Here's to winter, with love.

 

January 7, 2020

Did you know that this is a Leap Year? 

An extra day is added at the end of February to account for the unevenness of solar time versus earth time. This year it makes the month of February very organized when you look at it on a calendar. And what a great Leap Year this is!

Valentine's Day is on a Friday. Great night to go out.

Cinco de Mayo is on a Tuesday. Perfect. Taco Tuesday will be festive.

The 4th of July is on a Saturday. Excellent party weekend.

Halloween is on a Saturday. My neighborhood will be packed to the gills with partygoers.

Christmas is on a Friday. 3 day weekend!

New Years will be another 3 day weekend!

Wow, not bad, and we have barely just begun.

Around here, we're are starting to pack the holiday decorations away. It's gonna take a while. I had better find out the date for the last tree pickups so we can have ours out the door in time. That's a big job, as there are more than 500 ornaments on our tree this year.

Our front garden is awash in paperwhite blooms, a couple of dozen, and the fragrance is so delicate and uplifting. I notice passersby stopping to admire and catch a whiff of them, and I smile. 

Beauty restores. 

The cold winds from Siberia are finding their way to here, and the days are very cool now, with rain in the forecast. Ah, Winter, you've only just begun, as well. Bring the snow, the rains, the cold weather. Spring is right behind you.

With love.

 

January 3, 2020

Happy New Year!

Here we go again, another trip around the sun. What a time to be had, to live, to love, to give, and to learn.

Hello Zebulon, North Carolina! What a beautiful part of our nation you have. Thanks for reading along, all the best to you and yours!

We made it through the Holly Daze, that's what I call them, those last couple of weeks of the year when it all just gets whatever it gets for us, and there we are, and time has to tick by...and then it's easier, and more fun, and better.

Our Yule Tree still commands our living room, and we light it first thing in the morning, and as it gets dark in the afternoon. It won't be here much longer, but while it's here, it's a wonderful reminder of the joy of the season.

The other morning, on a walk, I came across a woman I have known for 20+ years. She's owned a couple of businesses in the neighborhood, both successful, and when she got bored with them she sold them for a tidy profit. She told me she had remodeled her house and was so happy with her new life, being retired. From the sounds of her schedule, she didn't retire from life, just from work. A good role model to have.

As I've gotten older, I've learned from those older than me about their plans and how it worked out and what they learned and all of it has helped me to embrace ageing with anticipation.

Where's my discount? 

Much more fun than 'Get off my lawn', don't you think?

Going forward, goals and plans, hopes and aspirations, and most of all intention.

Happy New Year! Let's go get to it, 

with love, 

on.

 

December 30, 2019

The last Monday of the year.

And I've been working. Well, of course I have been. I am glad to work and love my job, and my clients.

There are times when more than 30+ messages will be waiting for me at any time of the day or night, and I am always glad to listen to them, and I do. Although I have learned to hold the phone away when the screaming starts. 

Today, at my gym, two different guys came up to have a 'wee chat', as one put it, and I was glad to help.

As the end of this decade comes to be, we are all in this together.

We have our differences, our quarrels, and hurts. And we have shared humanity, compassion, dignity, and truth.

There are so many new moments up ahead, some good, some not, and all real. It isn't what life does to us, it is what we do with life.

This has, for me, been the most challenging year in decades, and I for one will be glad to see it go. As difficult as this year has been, it has left profound and good changes in my life and in the life of my love. We are stronger for this year.

This year, as it draws to a close, reminds me that those I love live inside me always, and are never far or distant. 

The last Monday night of the year, a good time to light a fire, find some nice nibbles and some great quaff, and relax.

Happy last Monday, with love,

on.

 

December 23, 2019

Hello Santa Terezinha, Bahia, Brazil and Singapore! Brazil is on my travel list and I hope to visit soon, and Singapore: what a great city state you are, the amazing architecture, the blending of so many cultures, the food (yum) and the friendly people. Thanks to all for reading along, and here's wishing you and yours the best holiday season.

Can you believe it? It's almost the end of the year. Where'd it go?

I keep a calendar so I can answer that question going back to 1983. Looking back the other day as I was cleaning where they are, I took out a random year (1990) and there it was, everyday of my year in black and white, and many colors as well. Remembering clients from the time, I was surprised how many are still in my life.

I am blessed.

This year has been quite the year for me, and I for one am glad to see it go. Life and death featured prominently this year, and so far life is winning. We ae thankful, everyday.

Which  is why, when it came time to get the Yule Tree, Joe went all out and bought one a few inches taller than our 10 foot ceiling.

That sucker is huge.

We've been working on it since the 8th of the month, and we've almost done. A few more hours and it will be decorated. Some of our ornaments date for the late 1800's, and some from this year. There are hundreds, maybe more than a thousand...

As we hang each, the memores flood back, where or who it was from, other holidays, and we make new memories with this tree and this season. Winter has come, and the cold out of doors reflects it. Baby, it's cold outside.

So much to do, must go and do it.

Biggest holiday hugs!

with love,

loving on.

 

December 19, 2020

Not venturing out much, still not back to total wellness. 

Which has been great. I've gotten to read a stack of magazines that has been rising, and polished off a couple of books, as well.

In the midst of all of it, there was video. Endless hours of it.

And memories came flooding back.

I remembered going to the movies wherever we lived, every Saturday. It didn't matter which parent had me, there was a movie. On the rare occasions when there wasn't one, there was something better, like Disneyland.

All those hours, in the dark, being entertained. The laughs, the shivers, the whoops, so much and so alive, still.

And you'd be amazed at what is available. Wow, history for view.

Here's hoping your views are good, with love.

Love on.

 

December 17, 2019

The cherry tree is shedding yellow leaves, daily. The wisteria is almost completely leafless. And the rains keep coming.

Winter in arriving.

In the front yard, such as it is, the paperwhites are blooming. Their fragrance fills the calm air.

The tree in front is leafless.

This past weekend, illness found me. I wasn't looking for it, and thought I had taken all of the necessary precautions. And there it was, suddenly, just as I was walking to the post office on Saturday afternoon. With a step or two, I could feel my right lower sinus cavity fill up, and then, with another couple of steps, the left filled up. Then came the sneeze, and then another. 

As soon as I could, I got home, took a couple of remedies, hopped into bed and ate chicken soup while guzzling vitamin C. And sleep. Lots of it. There went that day, and the next.

Lots of Holiday movies on TV. Lots of good memories, but not all. And sleep.

This morning, when I woke up, I opened my eyes and didn't move. Then I ran a systems check.

Sinus: clear.

Throat: clear.

Lungs: clear.

Stomach: hungry.

Giving thanks, up and slowly forward I went.

Sometimes you just have to listen to your body, even when you have so many other things you want to do. It's better that way.

Here's hoping  you and yours are well and hale. Health is our greatest wealth.

Love, on.

 

December 11, 2019

The Cold Moon rises at 12:12AM tomorrow SF time. 12/12 at 12:12. 

And it is so clear out tonight, in patches, here and there in the skies above me, as I was walking earlier this evening. So crisp, the air, and so bundled the passersby

Here comes winter.

Locally, rain in excess of 1835% of normal as recorded.

Climate change is real.

Sadly. 

I look at images taken from the International Space Station, and see the destruction of our planet.

We must do more.

Consumers are the driving force on our planet, and each penny spent is an endorsement of practices. Buy with conscience.

Happy Last Full Moon on 2019.

Love as much as you can, all ways and always,

Love, on.

 

December 9, 2019

The 'Storm Door' is open, the weather folks say. An 'atmospheric river' was coming our way this past Saturday afternoon, they said.

The day dawned sunny and bright, the sky blue with big, puffy clouds overhead. Lovely day.

In the afternoon I headed downtown to get some office supplies. Grabbing an underground train, I emerged 50 feet from my destination and got what I needed.

Coming out, it was so sunny I was tempted to walk around, but chores called me home. Back underground I went.

Coming out of the station, I was met with a deluge of rain. After a couple of minutes, I knew the house was flooding. Joe's call as I rushed home confirmed it.

Even worse than before. I took my time and was very careful. Never seen so much flooding in our house.

Later on, after everything was cleaned up and sorted out, I went online and read on a social media website all of the complaints about people's houses flooding. We were far from alone.

Misery loves company. There were many good suggestions about how to mitigate flooding, and lots of links to data and services. After reading of some of the comments from my neighbors just a block away, how terrible it used to be, I was glad it wasn't worse.

So now I'm reading up on new techniques of water mitigation, and must talk with contractor Stanley soon.

Now, I'm paying more attention to the weather, as well.

Water represents change in one's life, and we have had quite enough for this year. Let's hope my prayers are heard.

Soggy, but still loving.

Love on.

 

December 3, 2019

Hello Mason, Michigan! Closest I've been is Lansing, in the dead of winter, and I'm sending you and yours California sunshine. Thanks for looking in, all the best to you!

After days, today no rain. Yay! Even though we need it, as we are below normal for the time of year, other parts of California are getting record feet of snow.  It's all good.

This morning, the squirrel that lives in the squirrel house I bought, in our cherry tree, was sleeping in. I suspect it knew where best to be, as it was chilly early after dawn.

Grabbed my coffee and did some research.

All over San Francisco, these days, there are rental bikes. Some are electric, some not. There are also scooters, like a skate board but with an upright handle. There are hundreds of these on the streets now, and more are coming.

So I looked into what is currently available on the market for consumers and my mind was blown.

There are dozens of variations available, depending on how many wheels you want. Just one? You've got your choice in color, size, configuration, price, tire, and more. Two wheels offer even more choices, some of them revolutionary. Add another and now the engineers really get creative. And the price can be very high. Like a small car. 

The future keeps rolling along. 

On my walk today, since the sun is out and won't be for the rest of the week, I'm gonna make note of all the different vehicles I see, and hope to see some of the futuristic one's I've seen online. 

Hang on, Buck Rodgers, the future arrives now.

Love, on!

 

November 29, 2019

When I wrote the last entry, it had started to rain. It wasn't heavy.

I'd been invited to a small pre Thanksgiving party nearby, and walked over. As we were celebrating the holidays ahead, we all heard the sound for gushing water. Looking out the front windows, we could see the water rushing down the street, almost up to the top of the curb. And it kept rising. 

Then the street flooded the sidewalls, and the most of us left.

By the time I got home, just a couple of minutes later, there was flooding on our first floor. Water was filling a drain and there was water leaking from the ceiling of the laundry room. It took me a couple of hours to mop up all the water, clean all the drains, and move a lot of furniture. I was exhausted.

Grabbing the handle of the rolling mop bucket, I start to put it away when I lose me footing and fall onto the tile floor. I freeze.

Taking stock, I note a cut on my left forearm, a painful right hand, and stiffness. Nothing broken, thank heavens.

I took to my bed.

The next day was a full day working at the bakery, making hundreds of pies. It was fun and exhausting.

Then Thanksgiving dinner with two dear friends, and a lazy day.

Just now, it's starting to rain.

I'm off, checking gutters and drains and whatnot.

Love, dry and on!

 

November 26, 2019

Today was the day. 7:00AM on the dot.

The sun rose.

It had been creeping, minute by minute, daily, since the time change in October, but here it was. Absolute proof of shortening days.

Dark at 7AM, then dark again before 5PM.

Winter is on the way.

The New Moon is today, as well. Change is all around.

And just to complete the weather forecast, today it is raining. Just a bit right now, but it supposed to rain for the next couple of days around here. I brought in the hammock from the yard this morning, after one last stretch and a few smiles. The cherry tree is joining in, as I saw a cluster of yellowing leave high up in the tree. Winter comes.

Even the wisteria is getting into the season, and dozens of yellow leaves now peek here and there on the vines, and the ground is beginning to show the scatter of leaves as they fall. Just to keep up, I guess.

Through this all, the squirrels in the back yard appear each morning, looking for food. Of course I oblige, it wouldn't be neighborly not to, being as how cute they are, and one of them is so brave, he walks up to me and stands on his back legs. How could I refuse him a nut, or 6...

Thanksgiving is around the corner, and Joe and his crew at his bakery are working long hours, cranking out a couple hundred pies. Even I was asked to contribute this year, and have done so gladly. So glad he's coming back to health. His bakery is humming and filled with happy people, Joe included.

As the dark comes earlier each day, I'm making an effort to fill the house with nutritious food so that we don't have to struggle after long work days. Well fed, soft bed, and sweet dreams.

Here's wishing you and yours a most wonderful Thanksgiving! 

Love, on.

 

November 21, 2019

Finally! On the horizon, at least according to the weather lady. It was there in her long range forecast, for next week. Rain.

There's been the morning of drizzle, when the streets are darkened by the wetness, and umbrellas aren't needed. Then zilch.

Until this morning, just after 6AM, when a hungry cat jumped onto the bed and walked up to my face. That's when I got up, fed the cat, started the coffee, and returned to my bed. Turning the TV on, there's news of local happening, car crashes in the early hours, a traffic report for the tangled snakes that are our freeways, and then the weather lady. A shot of a long term calendar, and the symbol for rain at the end of it.

Yay!

Not that I am tired of the sunshine, oh heck no, but we need the rain. 

Just saw that it snowed in the Sierras last night, and that more snow is expected all weekend. Another yay!

This noon, on a walk, I helped a couple from England get their bearings. The woman remarked about the lovely sun, and she didn't 'half mind being lost' and we all laughed. Yep, that sunshine is wonderful stuff.

When I lived in London, I came to long for the sun. I completely understand what she meant. Having a grey sky overhead day in, day out, is depressing in the long run. Over time, this became a factor in my leaving. I needed  a sunnier climate.

San Francisco has provided me the opportunity to enjoy a wider range of weather than I found in southern California, and is drier than farther north. Mid state, as it were.

Most trees that do have lost their leaves, and here and there one sees a magnolia blossom in a tree, the bright white gleaming in the sunshine. End of autumn. Winter and year end are fast approaching.

Time for another dose of sunshine!

All the best, sun or rain or what have you,

with love.

 

November 17, 2019

Hello Beauharnois, Canada! What a beautiful marina on the lake, a nice looking town. Thanks for looking in, all the best to you and yours. Je vous remercie!

Golly! Ain't this some Mercury Retrograde and Full Moon! Yoozah! Yowzah! So much change.

Communication has gotten wild in the past few days, as I've watched two people hear the same thing and interprete it completely differently. Amazing.

And this has happened not just in front of me while I was working with a client company, but a day later on national TV broadcast over many different channels. Same messed up communication error.

Golly!

OK, then, time for me to go to my go to place, and that is love and compassion.

There are times when we watch emotion overcome reason to exclusion, and the results can be terrible.

Don't run away. Stand your ground, with love. Listen, contribute, and learn. 

People will always show you their truth, and it doesn't always match with what they say. See the difference, learn, and grow.

All my life, countless people have shown me some of the most disgusting and awful ways to be in life, and I have learned from them all, and thank them for the lesson. It is only by contrast do we learn. We have choices, at all times. Which do we choose, for ourselves?

This is where it can get tricky, because we aren't alone, there are others along for our ride, and many of us choose to make others happy at personal sacrifice.

Not a good move.

And luckily, instantly solved by loving oneself first, and well, and kindly. Don't put it on with a trowel, just enough to feel good.

This coming Wednesday marks the climax of this Retrograde. 

Hang on. Remember to breathe,

and love. Always and allways.

Love on!

 

November 12, 2019

Did you see it last night? So big and full and glowing, quite a full moon. It's still a very full moon today, and certainly is lovely to gaze upon. That's what was on the menu here last evening, and will be again this evening as well.

There's something about moon glow.

As a child I was delighted when the moon was full because it was brighter outside and I could see the wild animals that lived near us. Seeing tule elk as a little kid made an impression to this day, these massive, majestic animals with the most stunning racks of horn.

Last evening, there were no elk, but there was a very, very small mouse that ran across the lower deck, a small brown circle.

Winter is unleashing some of the power it has, and the effects are global.

A client sending me a video from Venice, Italy of the 'high waters' flooding parts of the city. Another sends me a photo of her yard, and it is a white canvas to the street. 

Here comes winter, in the north.

In the south, terrible fires are ravaging Australia, and are now near Sydney. Many prayers for all.

We're all under the same moon, and my hope is that we all receive what we need in life, to be happier and healthier.

And with that, Lady Grey enters the room, full voice, letting me know that something somewhere needs my attention. The last time she was this vocal, a large blue heron was in the yard. We'll see.

All the best to you and yours. Happy Mooning,

with love.

Love, on!

 

November 5, 2019

Hello Canegrate, Milan, Italy! I love Milan, and have been there many times. Such beauty! Such sights! Such food! Such nice folks! Thanks for reading, and all the best to you and yours!

The fires still blaze, and thousands are working to fight them. Bless them all. 97% of our forest’s are controlled by the Federal Government. How sad our situation. Which makes me remember...

Today is Election Day in the USA, many local elections countrywide. Vote! Your voice matters, as do you, with each breath.

And breathe 

Life is getting better around our scatter, fewer pills and more energy for Joe, fall planting and decorating for the season for me. Lady Grey sits and watches all the hubbub, stretches and yawns, turns and falls asleep. Lucky her. Lucky us.

Leaves are falling all over, and my neighbors and I have recycling to do. I've noticed that the organic material bins are full on collection day, ours included. This is going to be the norm for the next few weeks as the year advances, and all of the deciduous plants are still leafy and green. Until they aren't. Seasonal change.

Just another reminder of what we can do to make our lives better. Change.

That's why I embrace the physical changes around me, and embrace the positive power of the new.

Like all the wonderful fruits and vegetables that are available now at our local farmers market, a neighborhood affair every Wednesday afternoon until the end of this month, and then again starting in March. The local supermarkets will take up the slack, gladly. More change for all.

Here's hoping change is good with you and yours, with love.

Love on.

 

October 29, 2019

Hello Zebulon, North Carolina! What a beautiful Parks and Recreation Building your city has. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

The winds in California have spawned dozens of fires all over the State. Many homes lost. No reported deaths.

Power outages have left more than a million in the dark.

The images, the burning hillsides at night, the huge airplanes dropping red fire retardant, the scorched earth left after.

So sad.

The firefighter's are hero's.

Love, on.

 

October 21, 2019

Hello France! Hello Houston, Texas! Hello World!

There went that time.

Gone!

It seems like I had just written the entry below and yet more than a week has gone by. 

The routine that was mine is a relic of itself now. My schedules have all most completely changed, and I must note, that it has been for the better. 

Except I'm still trying to find time to fit in all the things I want to do. 

Like blogging!

Knowing that there are people the world over who check this site makes me so happy. 

Knowing that maybe some of the helpful ideas I've put on this website will help folks makes me smile, often.

There's a lot of turmoil in and on our world, and the emotional climate is brutal at times.

Breathe.

And again.

Change is a struggle, and sometimes awful. And necessary.

Hang in there, keep focused on your goals and muster your focus and effort, and go forward.

That's what I'm doing these days. That, and feeding the squirrels that come to my backyard. There are 3 maybe 4 of them, and they are curious and friendly, at least when I have food for them. Otherwise, they sit in the trees and watch me, unless the crows are around, and then they scatter.

Time for me to scatter, as well. I sincerely hope that you're feeling better and moving forward.

With love! On!

 

October 13, 2019

Happy Sunday!

Happy Full Moon!

Happy Anything!

Waking up an hour before dawn, lying in my bed, warm and comfortable, and at peace.

Any troubling thoughts that try to intrude are rebuffed. Between my ears, all is calm.

The soft foot fall of the cat lets me know where she is, and I turn to watch her walk to the bedroom doors leading to the deck. She sits and doesn't move. All of her catness is focused thither.

And then a squirrel jumps from a pot to the railing, and the still is broken.

Just those few minutes gave me what I needed to get a move on, and on I did. Coffee and newspapers and fed cat and laundry started and Swiffer body suit thinking and soon the gardens and the yard and the falling leaves on the street.

For some, this is a Hunter's Moon tonight. For others, it's the Falling Leaf Moon.

Since the only thing I hunt for around our scatter is dust bunnies, tonight's moon is the leafy one, and the Horse Chestnut tree out front is doing it's very best to honor this moon, with about one third of its leaves gone already, while there are still a couple of conkers, as the nuts are called, and lots of leaves on top. Balding from the bottom, novel.

And on and on, so much to do, and so glad to do it, and be able to, and want to, and am glad with the results.

Love, in action.

Here's hoping your day is filled what you seek and enjoy, and more.

Loving, on!

 

October 9, 2019

We had a small earthquake the other morning. I was walking into the hallway when I saw Lady Grey stop and look down at the floor. 2+ seconds later the quake struck and that sweet cat jumped into the air. The look of confusion on her face was touching, and I went to comfort her. She walked all over the house after that, sniffing and poking around. There were no perceptible after shocks and she quieted down as the day went on. Actually, we all did.

Now she's a true Californian.

Turns out this small quake was located near the 1906 quake that helped destroy much of San Francisco. Shallow, not too strong, and a gentle reminder from the world of plate tectonics. 

Growing up in this State, earthquakes have been a regular feature of life in the Golden State. Little quakes were more scary and funny than anything else, and then there was a big earthquake in Alaska and I saw photos of terrible destruction. It gave me an appreciation that came in handy when a big 6.5+ quake struck the San Fernando Valley, where I lived at the time. 

Reminders of where we live and how best to live. 

Bolt tall furniture to the wall, or any heavy objects. No glass framed art, use only plastic. Have an emergency kit. Have a land line telephone. And more.

Most of all: have a plan.

Always good advice in life.

With love.

 

October 4, 2019

Snow in the Sierras! Rain north! Cold in Napa, 39F!

Here comes winter. So I rushed out to my local bookstore and bought The Old Farmer's Almanac for 2020. Time to get a peek at what they write and show the weather will be in the coming year, along with loads of additional data on astronomy and cooking and plant care and so much more. And of course, my favorite, Folklore.

When I was 3 years old, we lived near a woman who made such an impression on me. She had grey hair in a bun, and always wore shawls. She looked after me a couple of times, and I remember her telling me stories that fascinated me. They were folklore, I learned years later. Hers were folklore and parable, and I smile as I remember her and her gift to me.

We don't always know the impression that we make on others. 

I doubt she knew how lasting she would be in my memory. 

Bearing that in mind, I have been working with a new group of people at a tech company. They are working on NFC, near field communication, which is what wireless charging is.

My efforts with them are to help them to reduce the negative thoughts that they have. First has been to identify them, then rank them, then develop counter thoughts to neutralize them. Mind control, someone called it. The youngest of them is 16 years old. The oldest is 27. They are bright, curious, eager, and self limiting. That's where I come in.

Cue Mr. Wizard.

Here's hoping your days and nights are filled with the magic of love, and self encouragement.

Love, on!

 

September 27, 2019

According to the sun and the clock, yesterday was the equinox here in San Francisco.

The sun rose at 7:01AM and set at 7:01PM.

That makes today the first day of Fall. 

Waking up this morning, there was rain. Not drizzle, but real rain. Looking out into our yard, I could see the rain puddling here and there, coating all the plants with water and making them glissen. As the sky lightened, the rain softened but continued. 

As the sun rose above the horizon, the rain turned to drizzle and then a light mist. 

Standing on the deck, the air is sweet and calm, I hear the call of a seagull overhead as it wheels away toward the bay. There's a rustle in a bush, and a small bird flies away. All is at peace. I breathe it in. With each breath, I feel love infuse me, and give thanks for all that is.

Opening my eyes, I see a rustle up in the Norfolk pine that towers over our yard, and know that a squirrel is waiting for me. Off I go to get a couple of raw shell nuts for it, and on with my day.

Doing this every now and then keeps me grounded and helps me go forward, sometimes slowly, sometimes hurriedly, but forward. There's a lot of stuff going on in the world daily, some good, some bad. Having my feet on the ground, sometimes literally, is where I start best.

Day by day.

Here comes the weekend, and the end of September is fast approaching. There are street festivals all over the bay this weekend, and thousands of folks will be out in the streets celebrating something or other.

Me, I'll be celebrating life.

With love.

 

September 24, 2019

Falling.

Springing.

Wherever in the world you are, the equinox has come and a new season arrives. Fall or Spring. Change, globally.

That's what I keep seeing as I read the newspapers or watch TV. Lots and lots of change. 

As this tempo makes its presence in my life louder, what with the new squirrel in the backyard, the loud new neighbor who plays jazz, or the new rental bikes that appeared overnight nearby. Change, in the air, on the ground, and coming soon to a location near you.

So with that, I've started my own change regime, and am getting ready to refurbish my home office.

For those of you that have been there, you can appreciate the scale and scope of this undertaking.

The past 25 years have seen only additions to this room, very few subtractions. And now it all must be boxed up, put in storage, and await the changes that my contractor and I are discussing. New ceiling, new floor, lots of new.

I'm exhausted already.

The most important part of all this hubbub is in the planning, and then the scheduling. This effort may takes months to complete, so be it. What matters is that the room will be made better, and my enjoyment, and hopefully that of my visiting clients, will be increased.

Change. Slow, steady, onward, upward.

With love, on.

 

September 20, 2019

What funny weather this week. There was rain one morning, a fine mist at first, just darkening the wood on the deck and the asphalt on the street. Then a bit heavier. Then rain, real raindrops falling outside the kitchen sliding glass door. Lady Grey, being the cat she is, sat and watched from the comfort of her heating pad.

Two hours later, bright blue skies. Not a cloud to be seen over San Francisco.

A couple of hours later, I'm called by a client for a scheduled session. The first thing he says is 'It's snowing here.'.

Wow. He lives near Lake Tahoe, just a couple of hours east.

During our talk, he sends me a photo of his hillside, and it is covered with snow, the ground buried under a field of white.

Right now, there are 7 tropical storms girdling our Earth. 

Clearly, something is up with the climate.

Today, worldwide, children are marching in their local streets, calling attention to climate change.

I've been watching online, young people and many older folks as well, in Berlin, Paris, London, Rio, and ever here in San Francisco.

Maybe near where you are.

One world, and us.

Here's hoping the courage of youth prevails, and fossil fuels disappear from use over a short time. Coal is a terrible evil. And yet it's continuing to be used, and its use is increasing. 

One world, and us, and our abilities, and our love.

Love. On.

 

September 16, 2019

Zoom goes the clock, and the calendar, and life for me, right now.

Joe is getting stronger, by the day, thankfully, and a routine has developed around us.

No more time to waste with things that don't satisfy.

That has brought a whole lot of change into my life these past few days. 

No more Book Club that chose boring reading material, and goodbye to the fellow who keeps trying to be my friend and sell my house. Adios to invitations that aren't really meant, and Ciao to a bunch of tired plants in our yards, compost awaits.

Wow, I'm feeling better, already.

There are so many things that I would love to change, and cannot. 

Let me then change what I can, for the better.

This opportunity happened yesterday. There's a shirt that I've had since the 1990's, don't wear it much as I wanted to preserve it. I did my best, but cloth is cloth, and it ripped as I put it on, and not because I've gained weight. I'm 20 pounds lighter today then when I bought the shirt. It was something I gave myself, and it got many compliments. Now unwearable. May not be salvageable. Tailor later today. If this is goodbye, it's been grand. If not, yay. The right thing will happen.

The past 5 months have found me in situations and moments I had never dreamed about, and with faith, prayer, love, intention, focus and effort, here I am.

Still loving, on.

 

September 9, 2019

This past Saturday there was a celebration at Joe's bakery, Destination Baking Company, marking 19 years in business. Dozens of folks turned out to greet Joe and celebrate his continuing recovery, and a citation from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors recognizing the bakery's excellence was awarded by our local Supervisor, Rafael Mandelman. There were free cookies and slices of pie, and it was such fun.

Coming home that afternoon, Joe said how delighted he was, and that times like that cheer him to his core.

Finding pleasure in doing a job for money can be a tricky situation, as most of us know.

All jobs have those terrible moments, and those great moments, as well. 

Displace the bad ones, and cherish the good ones.

This process will result in more satisfaction, and ensure endurance. 

Then all we have to do is add the love that we feel, and everything will turn out as well as it can. 

So, here comes another week, and we have choices to make. How's it going to go?

With love, and patience, and endurance, it will go well.

Love, on and on and on and

 

September 3, 2019

Since my last entry, Joe has continued to improve, daily. 

Thanks be!

His skin tone, his attitude, his appetite, and his sense of humor have all returned to normal, and better than. He's cracking wise all the time now, and his ability to generate laughs has come roaring back.

The gratitude he expresses comes from a deep source inside him, and shines on his face and in his eyes.

He says a brush with death changes a fellow.

I believe him.

Wonderfully, and thankfully, so many family, friends, clients and acquaintances have been supportive in countless ways. Daily, there have been telephone calls, emails, cards and letters, expressing love, care and concern.

All wonderfully healing.

Lady Grey, being the house cat, has returned to her usual self, and patrols the house as she used to, sticking her nose and whiskers into every dark recess, making the long legged spiders scramble away for safety. The squirrels are back around, scampering up and down the trees and making me laugh, daily.

Life, returning to a new normal.

With love, always on.

 

August 23, 2019

As difficult as it may be, hear the truth. Truth is here to help us all reckon, to grow, to become.

The right thing always happens.

Love, all ways and always.

And remember, effort and intention equal results.

Daily, Joe is growing stronger. Learning to be in a changed body is taking some, ha, we have both come to say, is quite an adjustment.. It's day by day, sometimes just this moment, and the next. All the time, focused on improvement. Meeting with cardiologist and nurse equals more food and water. 

Yay! Big yay!.

For more than 40 of his years, Joe has cared about food, and taste, and presentation. What we eat is us.And he is eating again. Tonight, a bacon and cheese beef burger, brioche bun, so yummy.

We are as we chose, the best choice is health.

My body is my time machine, it carries me to the future. Without it, I am not here. 

I love my body, just as it is. 

Now.

Always.

My body is my friend, and will help me, if I listen.

I listen because I love,

Love, endlessly, on.

 

August 16, 2019

A Red Letter Day! Huzzah!

Joe took his first excursion out of the house today, to the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero, to Mijita. Wonderful Mexican food, inside or outside seating, and a blue sky with a light breeze, just him and his sister, Jenny. Then walking around, a book store, and then home. Tired and happy.

Growing stronger daily, and getting involved in what interests him and just being chatty. 

How wonderful is this?

My days are zooming by, and at the end of the day, I am tired, and happy, and glad.

It's a lot of work, and requires my focus, which I have to give it. And I can, and do, easily, thus far.

As Joe grows stronger, returning to better health and vitality, he's making plans for his bakery for this fall, when he will celebrate his 19th year in business. Listening to him mull over recipes, and all of his thinking about baking and what he wants to do is so satisfying. He's back, he's enthused, and he's happy.

Focusing on what is working is helping me to find solutions to that which isn't working, and has given me the tool that I need to get on with what is before me, and us. Rehab.

Lots of it.

Change is constant, resistance is futile, and life requires it. Change with what works.

Love, on.

 

August 13, 2019

After 18 days in hospital, Joe is home.

This past Saturday afternoon he was released, and on the drive home, he kept talking about how wonderful the folks at Kaiser had been with him, how they had listened to him and engaged with him, had looked after him, had moved him to better rooms, had looked the other way when a fish sandwich came in with a visitor, and most of all, the excellent professionalism of all of the staff that he met.

One happy fella!

As I pulled his car into our driveway, he let out a big sigh of relief. As we approached the 17 steps leading to our front door, he said outloud to his sister Jenny and I 'I've been practicing for this' and up he went. Slowly, steadily. And a pause. Then more steps. Looking up, he sees a cluster of bright balloons at the top of the railing, and laughs. At the door he sees the flowers and card for him, and laughs again. 'I'm happily home.' he says, and his happiness spreads.

Now, day 4 of being home, and his appetite is growing, while the excess fluid in him is drained away by his medicines, making him smaller. His smallest belt is too large, as are all of his trousers. He has lost 42 pounds of mainly liquid weight. He's skinny, and pink, and his smile is even brighter, now.

Countless folks are to thank for this miracle. Our love and gratitude are boundless.

Endlessly, loving on.

 

August 6, 2019

Whirlwind! Daily! Multiple times each day!

Finally found a few minutes for myself the other morning, right after dawn. The cat had been fed, the newspapers collected, the nurses station said Joe was sleeping comfortably.

Time for a walk. Up a hill. Let's go watch dawn, dawn. And so I did.

It was glorious, the sky a shifting swirl of blues and greys and whites and then palest yellow and then blush pink and then gold and deep pink and it held my attention for quite a while.

I sat there on the grass of Dolores Park, watching the sky, and the people, and their dogs. All there under a beautiful sky.

After a while, it was time for me to jump into my day and get moving, so home I went. The fog was spilling over the hill, down 17th Street, making the crest of the hill fuzzy and dream like.

Just a few minutes, and the calm enveloped me for the rest of my day, 15 hours later.

As I slid into my bed, Lady Grey jumped up to her bed atop the tall chest. Gazing down at me, she blinks, contentedly.

Me, too, with love.

And the love slept well in the night, ready for the new day, a new dawn, and another opportunity to love.

Love, on.

 

August 1, 2019

Happy Lugnasa! An old gaelic festival day, the cutting of the first corn, lots of partying, dancing, singing, feasting and drinking. Just about half way between solstices, and a good time to celebrate.

Joe continues to improve, he's up walking and talking, and last night I took him his favorite war won ton soup from his favorite place, and he loved it. No food restrictions, they want him happy, fed, and out of the Intensive Care Unit and on to wellness. 

Jenny brought 3 pairs of shorts and has discovered the truth about summer in San Francisco. 

Every morning starts with drizzle and low fog, and as the day progresses, in parts of town the sun appears. Joe has an interior view at the hospital, and still enjoys the sun when it breaks through. Sunshine always helps wellness.

For my part, I am trying to stay on top of my business, and look after Joe's. The former is made easier by my wonderful clients, who have been compassionate and understanding about last minute cancellations and rescheduling, the latter by the wonderful staff at the bakery who hare just doing all that they can to support the business.

Hard times need good people.

Time is flying by, and there is so much to do.

Here's hoping you and  yours are fit, fine, and well.

All the best, with love!

Love on!

 

July 29, 2019

Medicine is amazing.

What I have witnessed these past few days has given me a deep respect for those that care for us.

Amazing doctors. Amazing nurses. Amazing staff.

After a long week of testing and conferences, the decision was made this past Sunday to perform open heart surgery at 8AM Monday, yesterday. 

5.5 hours later, he was done. They had replaced his aortic valve.

Yesterday morning, he had been a pale grey, cool to the touch. His face at surrender.

Yesterday afternoon, he was a pale, blush pink, warmer. His face at peace.

The outpouring of love that we have received has been deeply moving for both of us, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts, one on the mend.

The path forward has yet to emerge, as there are two other issues with his heart that need addressing. 

His sister Jenny flew in and has been supporting us. She's a nurse and interprets the world of medicine for me, in addition to being a rock of a woman. God love her.

We will learn more today about where we are on Joe's journey, and next steps.

The right thing always happens. Joe is in charge here, I trust him.

With love. Undying.

Loving, on!

 

July 23, 2019

So, there we were, Joe and I, this morning, going to Kaiser Health for his pre-op interview. It was scheduled for 9AM, and he needed to have a blood draw first, so we were there at 8:30AM. We were both tired, it's been a struggle at times.

Next is X-ray, then the cardiac unit.

A bit of a wait, and we're taken to a room to await a nurse, and moments later an RN (Register Nurse) comes in. She's charming, and so informative, and goes over what to expect and what to anticipate, times and programs, a whole lot of information, all of it given to us in writing. Next an anesthesiologist comes in. Things take a turn. He's concerned about Joe's condition, and recommends he be hospitalized now to build up his energy for the coming surgery. Joe agrees.

Didn't see this coming.

Another anesthesiologist comes in, and confirms the recommended direction. For a day or more. 

Within an hour, we are transported to Kaiser Hospital across the street and Joe is admitted. Up we go to the Cardiac Care Unit, where one of his nurses greets us and takes us to his shared room. Hospital gown, comfortable socks, and he's ready for bed. They want to feed him, take some more tests, and fuss over him. Time for me to go home.

The right thing always happens, sometimes we have to surrender and roll with the waves.

Thank heavens I can swim. We both can.

Love on!

 

July 12, 2018

Funny story:

There we were, Joe and I, the other afternoon, when his cell phone rings. He goes to answer it and the call is gone. A couple of minutes later, he notices a message. It's from Kaiser about his upcoming open heart surgery. He calls back.

After a moment or two, he says 'July 30' and that is the date for his surgery. Okay...except it's not sitting right in me. I sit with it, and sense that the ball is still rolling.

Minutes later, Kaiser calls back and says sorry but July 30 is not available, it will be August 6. As I listen to Joe's conversation, I know that this is the date. Joe looks at me and says 'gee, that feels better.'

Sometimes, the most difficult thing before us is to surrender. To surrender to what is, to what was, to how we feel, to what is before us. Intuition is like that.

Stuff/feelings will pop into your head. Sit with it. Maybe it's insight. Maybe it's gas. Whichever it is, time will tell.

The other day, talking with 2 friends at my gym, one mentioned she was going somewhere, and the other said he had a funny feeling about that place. I drifted on into my workout. Found out as I was leaving that the guy knew the owner of the place the woman wanted to go to, and knew that he would try to cheat her, as he had done this to another of his friends. They'd spent half an hour figuring out the connection and why the guy had misapprehensions. Issue sorted, problem avoided.

Trust your guts, with love. It will sort itself out.

Love, on!

 

July 8, 2019

The 4th of July was a washout in San Francisco, most folks just saw the fog light up with colors. Karl the Fog won this year.

Being surrounded by water on three sides can lend change to the weather. And smack dab just about in the center of the peninsula there is a huge chunk of rock called Twin Peaks, it's that big. It's the highest point in the City and on a clear day, even Barbra Streisand said it was wonderful.

Our mornings, for those of us not living near the water, start with overcast skies. It's fun to watch videos of the fog filling into the bay, and enveloping the city. This morning, as we are more inland, there was a faint drizzle just before dawn. For folks near the ocean, they probably had a heavier drizzle, and most folks saw mist or less. All the hills of San Francisco contribute to the local weather. And there are 7 of them, just like Rome.

Most folks are back to work after a long weekend. Such a lovely thing, those long weekends.

When I lived in Pakistan, I had to adjust to their workweek, which ran Sunday to Thursday. The company I worked for gave employees the option of choosing which 5 days they would work consecutively. Most of the staff I worked with were Muslims, so I worked their schedule. The first Sunday I showed up to work took them all by surprise. After explaining my reasoning, they broke out the food they had all brought to share, as they did every Sunday. Sunday became my favorite work day, until I left Lahore and returned to the USA. 

Even in Lahore long weekends were great. I suspect they are globally.

Mercury has gone retrograde, so double check travel plans and think before you speak. Travel and communication are dicey now until August 2. Hang in there.

Love, on.

 

July 3, 2019

Early this morning, just after 5AM, I woke up hearing something unusual. Turning my head to the right, I see something on the deck, and watch as it moves toward the dual patio doors. It stands, and I see a squirrel standing to look in the door glass. Then it moves toward the other door, and disappears for a second, and then looks in the glass and then toward me. In that second, I get its thought. I get out of bed and get the raw nuts in a nearby bag. Opening the door, I throw a couple raw almonds out, and a big brazil nut. Closing the door, I sit on my bed. Quickly the squirrel moves to the nuts, sniffs them all, then chooses the brazil nut, takes it in its mouth, and runs away.

And my morning has started.

One of the better starts.

Years ago, I had a job that required me to be at work at 6AM on the dot, thrice late and one was dismissed. Some days went fine, but there were some when I dressed in my car. This regimen disrupted my weekends, as well. It was a crazy couple of years. When it stopped, I felt like I had aged a decade. It took me some time to recover.

Over the years, I've learned to take time and pay attention to how I wake up, what I see, how well I've slept. 

This approach has totally changed my life.

Now, going to bed is a wonderful event, nightly. Having everything I want nearby and being happy with my physical surroundings makes slumber on my comfortable bed easy and restful.

Waking up is usually good, if not wonderful. Starting my morning peacefully is a gift I give myself to start my day as well as I can.

It's a small thing, and yet not.

There's always squirrels in the mix. Have nuts at the ready.

And love on!

 

July 2, 2019

Did you notice how quietly July crept in? Unless you are Canadian. 

Karl the Fog has been a fixture these past few days, especially this Pride full weekend. More than one million people in the streets, celebrating diversity and inclusion. Love is love.

And for this neighborhood, that means groups of tourists, some actually following guides down city streets, something I haven't seen in a long time. The group was from Taiwan, and so happy to be in SF. They stopped at a local restaurant and had the best time, as did so many others.

Being in such a touristed part of the world, I've learned to stop and help those I see, standing on the sidewalk, looking at a map or a book, or maybe just confused. The other day, a couple stopped me and asked for a recommendation for someplace to eat. We had a great chat, in English and in French, the boyfriend was Chech, and they went off for some lovely Mexican chow. How cosmoplitian is that?

The New Moon is over head tonight, it's dark power there for all of us to contrast and compare.

And tomorrow brings mid week. Hump day, they call if in America, half way through an American work week.

Whoever thought that knowledge about camels would take us towards time off?

Love, on!

 

June 27, 2019

Summer really showed up and someone must have told the fog...

The other morning, having read the newspapers and cleaned up a bit, I opened a door to our yard. As I stepped out, I felt the fine mist that was coming down, almost floating. So fine. Looking up, the top of the Norfolk pine in our neighbor's yard was shrouded in mist. Low fog, but not touching the ground.

Just then, a shaft of sunlight illuminated the yard, the rose bush lit up with the golden beam. Behind it, near a fence, the hydrangea was bathed in light, the rich quilted look of it's leaves glowing in shades of deep green.

Just this now, I thought.

Twenty minutes plus later, I went back inside.

That now has lasted several days, and I continue to savor it. Nature nurtures.

Which is probably why all the parks are abounding with visitors. Walking by one yesterday, I was delighted to see all the folks out enjoying a late afternoon, and there were so many kids, it was delightful hearing the squeals of laughter.

Just this now, I thought.

And kept on walking, that sound snug in my ears.

Love, on.

 

June 19, 2019

It seems as if the equinox came early to San Francisco, the sun rising one minute later, setting at the same time as the day previous. And the full moon certainly was a sight to see.

Sorry to have been silent, but my days and nights are so hectic. Running my business, and sadly not seeing clients, and having to help out at Joe's bakery have cramped my time.

This week has started well, with the nice doctor at Kaiser draining more than a liter from Joe's lungs. And within hours his breathing improved dramatically. He was no longer gasping for breath. This morning, 24+ hours after the procedure, and his breathing is silent, and steady. Hooray! Results.

Now we wait for the open heart surgery to be scheduled.

Waiting for time to fill. Years ago, I read a book where one of the characters said that he was 'waiting for time to fill' in, and have the present merge into the coming future. That's where we are.

The staff at the bakery are just the best, and everyone has stepped up and in to help us at this time. We had to adjust the hours somewhat, but hopefully just for the summer. What has been so touching has been the outpouring of kindness toward us all, especially Joe. He's been in business for 18 years, and has become beloved by the neighborhood. It makes his eyes misty.

Not mine. I cry. Never want to suppress my feelings if I can help it. And sometimes I bite my lip, not too hard.

Happy Almost Summer! and Happy Almost Winter! Such a great planet, such choices.

With love, loving on!

 

June 10, 2019

Summer struck San Francisco today, smack dab in the kisser, Karl was no where to be found.

Usually, temperatures are in the mid 50's F, but this morning it was 67F at 5AM. 

My childhood in the California desert kicked in, and I opened doors and windows and cooled the house down. Until about 7:30, when I closed all the windows and doors and lowered all the blinds facing sun.

The ambiant temperature outside today was 93F. Inside out house it was 72F on the second floor and 62F on the first.

Desert training. The Owens Valley gets hot in the summer, so does the Mojave desert, 2 places of my childhood. An hour after the darkest of night is the coolest. 

The weather worldwide has been amazing, seeing hail the size of tennis balls around Munich, and flooding in the desert in Morocco. Clearly, something is happening.

For my part, I read the science of climate change, and try to understand the data that I'm reading. It ain't easy, sometimes. In my current analysis, it appears that humans are accelerating global warming, a bad thing

It's continuing to cool, thankfully, now after 9PM. 

Lady Grey stretches, yawns, and walks to a window. The breeze blowing by catches her, she stops a few inches away. Yawn. Repeat.

Love, on.

 

June 8, 2019

Taking delight in the little things has kept me on an even keel, like the other morning.

I went out to get the newspapers off the stairs, and as I started down the steps, a hummingbird flew toward my face. I stopped, and so did it, me on mid step, it in mid air. A couple of seconds went by, the glimmer of the green feathers shining in the rising sun delighting me. And then it was over. 

I stood on the stairs for a few more seconds, smiling at what had just happened. 

Little things mean a lot. I heard that years ago, and it was true then, and still true now.

Going through this past month has been quite a struggle for us, and we are making the best of it, waiting for Joe's open heart surgery. 

We keep busy, there are so many doctor visits as we prepare. He's had to adjust tremendously, as for him work has been a steadying influence, and now an hour of work leaves him exhausted. His bakery will be adjusting as well, and for this summer it will be closed two days a week. Having been open 7 days a week for 18 years, this is a big change.

Like his health.

Our bodies are our time machines, and we are beholden to them. Taking good care of ourselves is so important.

Now my daily walks have more meaning, my visits to my gym more meaningful, and our diet is improving, even though it was pretty good to begin with.

Health is wealth. Joe jokingly says that good health comes in a bottle, and for him at this time, that is certainly true.

It's the little things, those sudden moments, when life reflects it's best, joyfully.

Here's to all the best,

with love!

Love, on.

 

June 1, 2019

May passed in a blur, so much change, so many doctor appointments, so many kind people, so much time and effort.

My life has suddenly become so incredibly busy, as Joe isn't capable of working in his bakery. So I have become his stand-in. Going to vendors, working in the bakery, and all the while trying to maintain my work schedule and the rest of life.

It hasn't been easy.

No surprise there, the surprise has been in the grace that I find myself in from time to time. 

There is peaceful calmness in the eye of this storm.

The upshot of all of this doctoring is the discovery that Joe will need open heart surgery.

He's met with his surgeon, and felt very much at ease with him. 

All of the folks that we've worked with have been so helpful, so caring, so kind.

My fears still gallop by from time to time, and I let them go on without me. There's no good to be served in letting my fears get the best of me, and when they pop up I start moving. Do something, I think, and I do, and the grip of my fear loosens.

Moment by moment, day by day, and all the while I have a life that demands attention, and a hopefulness for the days to come.

Make the best of it, my inner voice says, and I do my best,

with love.

Love on,

 

May 19, 2019

Did you see it last night? A wonderful full moon, called the flower moon, and also a blue moon, the second full moon in one month. And this is the third blue moon this season. The next time we will have 3 blue moons in a single season is in August 2021. Hope you got to see it, here in San Francisco, despite the rainy storm clouds above us, the moon came out a couple of times while I was watching, and I said my prayers.

From Joe's heart catheterization this past Monday, we learned that the arteries to his heart are in good shape but blocked, and we are meeting with a cardiologist Thursday morning, and a cardiac surgeon on Thursday afternoon. Valve replacement is up ahead. He's nervous, scared, tired, and most of all, frustrated. He wants to feel better and get back to running his bakery and life.

For my part, I'm all those feelings, too, and still glad that things have worked out so well. Fingers remain crossed.

The rain this morning was so loud that it woke me up. Joe stirred and fell back asleep. The cat left the bed and went to her heating pad in the kitchen. The rain came in waves, some of them tropical in nature, the sound of a torrent of water falling, the splashing sound it made on the deck outside our bedroom.

Later, I got up and checked the house, just to make sure. We've had flooding in the past, and looking made me relax. Joe slept on.

Lady Grey, hearing me stir, rose from her pad and went to stand next to her food bowl. I grabbed a can of cat food, opened it and put some on a plate. She meowed her thanks, I think, and drove in. On goes the coffee pot, out to get our two newspapers I go. Sunday editions are always so big, and this mornings New York Times is a whopper.

With coffee and papers, I'm set for the morning. Joe sleeps on.

Peaceful, calm, collected, and moving forward, a breath at a time, a page at a time, a day at a time.

Suspended as we are by the events swirling around us, Joe and I have come together on the issues facing us. We go forward knowing that the right thing will happen, and surrendering our fears. 

Love, on.

 

May 11, 2019

Just a few more hours and my workday and week will be done. 

Not the week I had planned. Had hoped to see my Goddaughter graduate with her MSW from USC, but with Joe's health being so fragile right now, I cancelled it, so as to be here to look after him. 

In sickness and health.

Living on the see-saw that is life right this now, I do what I can to stabilize myself, in all ways possible.

Having the distraction of work today was just what I've needed, listening to other people and not the dark voices in my head.

Slow but steady.

It's so easy to take our health for granted, and to go blithely forward in life, not considering the miracle that life is. Many of us that struggle with health issues are all too aware of what it is we need to do for ourselves. Our health maintenance becomes second hand.

This has been a real wake-up call for Joe. And for me.

Monday's procedure will answer so many questions, and hopefully provide relief.

Now, while I've got a few minutes left before returning to work, I'm going for a walk. Fresh air, some exercise, and mindfulness.

Loving, on!

 

May 6, 2019 

A sign of my panic in hearing about Joe's health is that I didn't understand all of what he said.

I walked away from that brief conversation right into a panic, heart racing, shallow breathing, light headedness.

He's not having a stent put in next Monday, he's having a cardiac catherization procedure done to determine next steps in his recovery. 

It appears that a valve in damaged and needs replacement. They'll know more on Monday, as will we all.

The galloping fear that courses through me is a steady reminder to me of the work I have to do to be able to function, and most importantly, look after my husband.

Tough times make us better, if we remember to take care of ourselves along the way.

Which is why I'm making this brief, so I can go sit with Joe and 

love, on.

 

May 5, 2019

This part is called 'Practicing what I preach'.

These are hard times.

That's why I've been absent.

After months of cajoling, nagging, nudging, asking, reminding and more, Joe called his doctor. After a few minutes of conversation, they asked him to come in that afternoon, which he did.

Chest X-rays and blood work, and before we had a chance to find a bathroom, there were results.

Walking pneumonia.

Two powerful antibiotics prescribed, and home we come. 

I wake up the next morning with pinkeye in my left eye.

It's not a fun week, but life goes on and we adjust. 

In a week, my pinkeye is gone. Joe talks with his doctor and discovers he has diabetes Type 2. More testing is ordered, an EKG this time. He goes, and during the examination is told one of the arteries to his heart is severely blocked and a stent will be installed in two weeks.

Since then, it's like a bomb went off. 

The only thing holding us both together are our routines, which I fully carry out, and Joe to a more limited extent. Today, his bakery is closed, as he has not had the energy or strength to work much.

Lady Grey, ever the wise cat, has sized up the situation perfectly, and slept with Joe for the first time last night.

The right thing always happens. As awful as all this is, having him drop dead would be much worse. Now we can do what we can to restore his health and energy. This of course will necessitate many changes in our life as Joe recovers. One of those is that for the 3rd time in our relationship, I have cooked. Joe has always been so much more accomplished in the kitchen, and from the get go of our living together, he has always provided the most delicious meals, and has enjoyed doing so. The fare will not be as fine as it was, and there will be a disappearance of sugar completely, for starters.

Day by day, breath by breath, remembering to breathe and to rein in my fears. Those suckers can gallop.

Love, on, steady.

 

April 26, 2019

The highest and lowest temperatures in America were in California yesterday. 109F in Death Valley. Evocative name, isn't it? The lowest was 13F, in Bodie State Park. Bodie is an abandoned mining town in the Sierra Nevada hills. It's very picturesque. The funny thing is, these places are only 207 miles apart.

There are miles and miles of bloom wildflowers all over the State right now. Especially California poppies.

Yesterday I spent some time watching videos on my computer. So many wonderful things to see. And so many of them done with flying drones and small cameras. 

What a beautiful planet we live on. 

Here's hoping that your part of the planet is beautiful right now.

Love, on!

 

April 22, 2019

Happy Earth Day!

For part of this morning, I went onto the internet and looked for beautiful and interesting photos of the Earth. NASA sure has them. So on Facebook, I posted one of them. Stunning video of our planet as seen from space.

4.5 billion years old, and still rocking, literally. That's what gives us Summer and Winter.

Spring is all around us now, here in San Francisco. Karl the Fog, as he is affectionately known, has been almost absent, and the weather this week should keep him at a minimum. Everywhere I look, there are blooming trees and plants. Of course, this also results in high pollen counts, so I am carrying tissues all the time, as are many.

This morning on my walk, I saw a woman coming down the street. She has a plastic bag and one of those grabber devices, and was walking along, stopping to pick up whatever trash she encountered. My new local hero. She's given me an idea, and I'm following up on it. Grabbers, here I come.

What a wonderful world we all share, some of us are trying to make it better.

Flowers are strikingly beautiful right now at our local florist, and a bunch of stunning orange and green long stemmed tulips now grace the kitchen table.

Spring.

And there's one in my step, with love.

Loving, on!

 

April 16, 2019

I was correct. I cried. Watching Notre Dame burn, the spire collapsing, was overwhelmingly sad. After a couple of minutes I turned away from the TV news. The evening became night and sleep claimed me.

Lady Grey woke me up shortly after 5AM this morning, there was movement in the yard and she was waking me, hoping I'd let her go investigate. After saying 'Thank you' as is my custom each time I wake, I grabbed my Ipad and looked into it. 

The news from Paris was wonderful, how the bravery of the firefighters, more than 400 of them, were assisted by citizens. Inside, priests heard the fire alarm and moved to secure the historical treasures in the building, and how a human chain was formed to take things outside to safety. The towers of the building were not heavily damaged, and shortly before 6AM came a report that the structure as sound.

14th century wood burned like paper, witnesses said. Most of the roof was destroyed.

Over $300 million has been pledged, thus far, for rebuilding. Some of the richest citizens of France are coming to the aid of the nation, and the world.

Reading the newspapers this morning, and feeling calmer.

There will be tragedy, this is life.

What we do with it is always our choice.

For me, crying and anguishing over this terrible fire has been the release that I needed, so as not to hold onto the pain.

Let our hearts and minds rise, along with our hopes. 

Looking up is better than looking out.

With love,

loving on.

 

April 15, 2019

Can't watch TV. Notre Dame in Paris is burning.

This is sad for France, and for those of us who care. When I lived in Paris, it was someplace I would go, especially when it wasn't heaving with tourists. Such history, such beauty.

Such sadness.

Later today, when I watch the evening news, there will be images and I know I will cry.

When I lived in Paris, I was in my early 20's and didn't have a clue but I was smart and got a job with a US company. They paid half of what they paid someone in the States, but I was glad for the work permit and residency card it afforded me. My sightseeing of Paris was confined to what was free, and Notre Dame was. Spending hours there, throughout the years, I've come to know so much about it, and hope that the rebuilding is as wonderful as we can make it.

Blessings to all, with love.

 

April 8, 2019

Happy Monday!

Thanks to the continuing wonders of technology, I am sitting on the deck, overlooking our back yard. Overhead, the cherry tree is blossoming, delicate white 5 petaled stars that occasionally float to earth. The callas stand tall, their white funnel flowers gleaming in the sunrise. The camelia bushes, one white, one shades of pink, are heavy with flowers. Spanish bluebells in a pot with a prolific red begonia, and English primroses here and there, along with many varieties of oxalis, all in bloom. The view is lovely, calming, peaceful. Out front, cars are whizzing up and down the street, but back here, little intrudes.

A hummingbird just buzzed by, stopped for a couple of seconds, came closer, then buzzed away.

You can't pour from an empty cup.

Giving myself these moments, here and now, are filling my cup.

Each day, I find time to give myself a dose of peacefulness and calm, sometimes more than once a day. Nature, in just about any form, can restore tranquility, peace of mind, calm, and awaken joy.

In each of us, love lives. 

Love you first, then share you and your love. It's the best we can ever do.

Love, on!

 

April 3, 2019

Hello Lubbeek, Belgium! I've been nearby, in Leuven, and that part of your country is so very country, such diverse agriculture, industry and more. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

The right thing always happens.

If the door doesn't open for you, it's not your door.

The wrong person always says no.

And on and on, there are so many aphorisms, and they're all true.

For some folks, they think just the opposite, that they've done something that made things turn out the way they did. Self blame.

I did that for decades, beating myself when things went against me, picking myself apart, finding fault and castigating myself.

If beating made me better, I'd have been perfect.

I wasn't.

It was love that turned me around. How can you change something for the better if the only emotion you feel about it is bad?

You can't, none of us can.

Loving myself, forgiving myself, encouraging myself, and more, and my life began to improve. No longer was I to blame for whatever happened around me. I was taking care of myself. The more I did this, the better my life became.

It's hard being a gerund, a being, and yet this small fact, occurring daily, is part of our path to betterment. 

Just for today, give yourself permission to love you more fully and deeply. 

The right thing always happens, especially with love.

Love on!

 

April 2, 2019

Plunged back into work, both feet, 8 fingers, both thumbs...

Helping people makes me happy. I love my work, now. This wasn't always the case.

For a couple of decades, I was an employee, doing what I could for them that needed it. It wasn't always satisfying, and there were some truly awful times, bone achingly terrible. Time and time again, I found myself facing a situation where my actions were dictated by my management, and they were incorrect, despite my trying to steer the issue in the proper manner. I learned first hand about the Peter Principle, 'rising to one's level of incompetence'. All of it taught me so much, especially since I was working on my MBA. Reflection has taught me to learn from what happened, and to grow.

That's where my job skills have been honed, all my life. Learning to understand, to learn and grow, and to reflect.

Now I get to give it back, to any and all. Hooray!

So there I was, last week, every day, from sun up past sunset, helping. And it wasn't just about me helping others, it was also about me helping me, doing what I enjoy, and still growing as a person.

Give to get, I heard years ago in a meditation. It still works.

Love, on.

 

March 28, 2019

Ah, jetlag. There's a nine hour difference between San Francisco and Prague. I've been accommodating that difference for a few days now. Wake up tired, then get moving, and feel better, and run along well until some degree of tiredness makes itself present. Then sleep, somewhat fitful sometimes. 

Some say going eastward is harder, some say west. The farther I travel, the worse the jet lag. That's all I know. 

Yesterday, in the afternoon, it was sunny. A bit cool, but I took a while and sat on the deck overlooking our yard. English Primroses in glorious bloom, a riot of beautiful colors, pastels and brights. The sun felt so good. 

A while later I awoke. The sun still shown brightly, the air was warmer. The peacefulness was complete.

I'll be jumping back into work with both feet starting tomorrow.

Being away was just what I needed, and the need to be of service is now restored to full operating condition.

There may be dark clouds on the horizon, maybe even overhead.

Never losen your grip on love, starting with yourself. Being the best you that you can be for yourself is a reaffirmation of your self esteem. Our power always resides in our abilities to change.

Here's wishing each and every one all the best, 

with love.

On.

 

March 25, 2019

Taking a cue and a clue from this month's name, I did. Well, actually, I was driven, flown, flown, and driven. Then driven home.

My intuition has been very good to and for me, and told me back in early January that I would need to take a week away, and I started looking. Lo and behold, inexpensive (under $1000) to Prague. Bells rung. My favorite kind of traveling: strange language and never been. Booked on hold, as I like to sleep on plans.

Woke up the next morning and knew I needed to travel 4 weeks later than I'd planned, so went online and found the same flights on the same airline for half as much money.

Thank you, intuition.

So, away I have been, and it was wonderful. 

They call Prague the City of Spires, and it is very true. All over, in just about every part of the city, there are buildings with spires. The one that made my gasp was this tall, white collection of tubes, reaching into the sky, a transmission tower. The castle on the hill was much more appealing to me.

My hotel was on the central square in Old Town, a gathering place from about 9:30AM until just after 10PM. Buskers, tourists, locals, hustlers,artists, and performers came throughout the day, one guy changing costumes mid day. It was fun and funny.

Giving myself permission to get away helps me to reset my internal beingness.

Now that I'm back and so well rested, and fed, I'm ready to jump back in and give my bestest.

With love, loving on.

 

March 9, 2019

Finally, it happened, Someone I know, who has always been resistant to change, has changed. Can I get  shout out, here?

It doesn't take much, and yet, paradoxically, it takes all of us.

For years, this person had listened to the most negative of influences, and had been badly advised by many people. Yet, something, some voice inside my head, after many difficult conversations, had said: listen, understand, choose, wait.

And so I did, and have.

So, for years, this person I know deliberated, and pondered, and considered, and thought  about it, and stalled.

Until one night, a dream came along.

When recounting the dream, a look of peace came over the face, and the voice opened up, the breathing became less forced.

We talked about it at length, and probably will continue to do so for some time.

In this dream, one found oneself waking to a party in ones bedroom, all of these happy, smiling people, so many familiar faces. They are all congratulating the former dreamer, and welcoming home the returned traveler. 

The only odd thing was all of the folks in the dream, except the dreamer, are dead.

When asked what message came through, the answer was 'keep going, you're doing better than you know.'

Giving up the negativity of one's past, the feeling of failure, of rejection, of being less than. That takes effort. I know, I wake up every morning, aware of what awfullness I've lived through, and yet found myself, with love.

Spring, that glorious season, is coming in this week. What better time is there than this to celebrate the eternity of life and love. All around me, there are blooming trees, so many, on every street, no matter where I walk. They all speak of renewal.

We, those of us in America, lose an hour in time tonight.

That we all may sleep restfully and fullly, is my prayer.

Forgiveness is love, give yourself more. It's gonna get better. With love, and effort, and intention. You're worth it.

Love and live on.

 

March 5, 2019

Happy Mardi Gras! Lessez les bon temps...

February left in a raincloud, and invited more to come. The sun peeks out from time to time, but the rain just keeps coming.

In the midst of all this weather, the hummingbirds that frequent our yard have been bringing their friends along, and the flowers are pooped. So many hummers, green and purple and varieties of those colors. Amazing. Lady Grey, the cat of the house, watches them, and they watch her back.

Drought has officially left California, and still the rains are coming. They say there is an atmospheric river flowing from near Hawai'i toward the West Coast, and right now it's drenching the area around Santa Barbara. Burned hillsides means the potential for mud slides is great, and folks are watching.

Let's hope for the best.

Weather or not, not whether or not.

Weather folks say this year we're having a mild El Nino, when the water in the equitorial Pacifc warms, and lots of rain results. If this is a mild one, we're lucky. There's 158 inches of snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and more to come. The old adage about March coming in like a lion has certainly been accurate. Let's see if it goes out like a lamb.

Oh, the rain's stopped. Time for me to dash out while I can.

Happy Mardi Gras!

With love, and all the best!

 

February 25, 2019

The rains quit, for just a couple of days, but long enough to dry the plants in the yard and give me a chance to clean it up. Working with my hands has always been something I enjoy. So, there I was, airpods in, music on, just going to town and having a wonderful morning. It was cold for these parts, in the high 40's, so keeping moving was a good thing, indeed. The sun was shining down, birds were flitting by, and all was well with my little part of the world.

Then, out of a blue sky, a rain drop fell on my hand. It was water, cold, and from where?

Nevermind, get stuck back in and get the yard finished, and so I did.

The Meyer lemon tree is budding wildly, and there are ripening lemons already. It seems as if this tree is always ready to provide.

The English primroses, about a dozen of so colors, and a few dozen of them, brighten the yard so very much. The colors are so pure and strong, clear and open to the eye.

Satisfied with my efforts, back inside I go. The house is warm, another load of laundry is ready for the dryer, and what's in there is ready to be put away. Work, work, work...

Then, time for a walk, and the temp has dropped a bit more, and it's getting colder by the minute and my walk is shorter for it.

Back home, on TV, the Oscars.

Growing up in Los Angeles, like many folks there, I went one year. There was a line of limosines waiting to deliver their precious cargo, and when they did the bleachers set up for fans would erupt. The beauty, the daring, the Stars.

My, how things have changed. Now it's a spectacle that runs 6 or more hours on television. Too much for me, and still the dresses, the costumes, the clothes, the Stars...

Plus que change, the more things change...

Up early this morning, beating dawn by a good half hour, and rain is forecast for most of the week. Ah, well, take it as it comes, rain and life and what have you. Make the most of your time and yourself, and things will turn out well.

With love.

 

February 19, 2019

The rains came, and stayed. And stayed. There was flooding here and there, and still it kept raining.

In San Francisco, each drain has a caretaker, and for the drain across the street, in front of our house, I'm its minder.

Wow, have I been busy, there has been so much junk in the grates, and keeping that drain open prevents flooding at the next intersection. One of my neighbors saw me cleaning it one morning and came to talk. She's been living in her house since 1957. She was delighted to learn of the online drain map, and we had a nice chat, even in the drizzle.

The snow pack on the Sierra Nevada mountain range is a thing of beauty right now. White on white, so many trillions of gallons of water, and as it melts our water tables are replenished after years of drought. 

All over town, there are blooming trees, and in Golden Gate park the magnolias are in bloom. So spectacular. Clearly Spring is coiled up and ready to burst forth.

Lady Grey sat daily, watching her yard, as the rains fell. Fewer birds meant more nap time for her. Smart cat.

Now it's me in the yard, raking and sweeping and cleaning it up, all the while held in her gaze. It's cold outside and moving keeps me warmer, and the chore is gone quickly.

Back inside, a warm mug of tea and a book, and the day continues. And there's a full moon tonight!

Love, on!

 

February 12, 2019

So, there I was, sitting at my desk, the computer on, the screen dark thanks to an energy saving program. I'm busy reading a book I had found, and was lost in turning pages. After a few minutes, I've read enough and turn to the computer, hit the mouse a couple of times and the screen lights up. I have mail.

Lots of it, it turns out, and so I start plowing through it, one by one. And then, with a click, my mind is blown.

It's an email from Ancestry.com, forwarding to me an 'enquiry'. Going to the website, I find the woman's message and that's when my head flew away. 

She turns out to be a fifth cousin living in Dublin, Ireland. She had found me through Ancestry.com, and had followed up with the DNA testing they provide. With those results proving our connection, she reached out to me.

When I started looking into my ancestry before the turn of the millenium, there wasn't much to go on. Since then, progress has galloped right along, and now so many records of all types are available online. I'm still fascinated by my research.

So many questions, and so many answers to find.

Ain't that life?

Love on.

 

February 7, 2019

Hello Beijing! What an amazing city you are. The first night there, I walked out from my hotel into the warm Spring evening. Such a pulsing, living city surrounded me. Every day there was amazing. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

We had a dusting of snow!

In San Francisco! On Twin Peaks!

It was just a trace, but TV cameras were there before dawn to record it. It has been very cold here.

Walking out yesterday morning, the air stung my cheeks and I reconsidered my decision to go for a walk. Pressing on, away I went, passing very few people, and those that I did were layered in clothing. As the sun rose, more people came out, but the temps didn't rise much, and more and more folks with hats passed by. 

Most Californians don't know how to dress for cold weather, as it doesn't snow in most of the populated areas.

San Franciscans try. But on that day, the weather won. I retreated inside after half an hour.

Lady Grey met me at the door and scampered to her food bowl. Giving her a treat, I brewed a cup of tea.

Later, sitting at our fireplace, its warmth filling the room, the cat rolls at my feet, basking in the flames heat.

Winter.

Love on.

 

February 4, 2019

The groundhog saw his shadow this past Saturday, so we'll all enjoy an early Spring.

It is just another omen from days gone past, this one a fanciful one involving a very tame groundhog. Men in top hats gather round his cage, and it's uncovered, allowing light to shine on the groundhog. He looked toward his shadow, and with that he was picked up and held up for all to see. 

In the sea off of the coast of Japan, oarfish have been seen, as this is an omen of earthquakes to come. I asked a client in Japan if this had made the news there, which it had, but she said most people there, like most in California, know that earthquakes come with the territory.

Folk tales. There are so many.

Recently, I went to the local library and listened to a speaker talk about myths of Native Americans, and was delighted to learn so many interesting things. The woman was Sioux, and had such lovely stories. All of us were transfixed, and afterward many of us encouraged her to write a book. I hope she does.

Chinese New Year starts today, and San Francisco is awash in red and gold. In Chinatown many of the restaurants have special foods on offer, available only for the next month or so. This is a great time to visit, and to eat very well. There are street performers, costumed dancers, lion dancers, jugglers and so much more.

And it's raining, which in many cultures is a great omen for a new year.

Gung Hay Fat Choi! Happy New Year!

Again, and again, and again.

Love, on.

 

January 29, 2019

This morning, while talking with my Goddaughter Maleka, memory flooded over me as I recalled a moment from my past.

After I hung up the telephone, I went and sat near a window as it's drizzling outside. I sat and let memory wash over me, taking me back in time to when I was 17, homeless, confused, afraid. The despair of those times is only a memory now.

Now, from a vantage point decades older, I can recall my desire to complete High School, my fear of more fist fights with my Dad and his hateful, awful mother, and how much being homeless was challenging. I'd learned early on not to sit in public parks during the day as my youthfulness would attract authority and predators alike. Hard times, only a few weeks but the effects lasted years.

Now, it's just a memory. No pain, no sting.

Time heals all wounds, and wounds all heels. Heard that when I was a kid from a neighbor of my Dads, an actress known for her eloquence and verbal delivery. Listening to her do accents was amazing.

Looking back this morning, on what was, has brought amazement into today for me.

Letting go, as was the well meaning advice I repeatedly received, never worked. I tried it for years. Then, one day, it came to me through action. Displacement was the best device I had for defeating the demons of memory, and I have spent decades doing it, and still do.

Just the other day, I read a horrible story of what someone had done, and it made me so angry that I set the newspaper down, got up and went into my garage. I took a piece of scrap lumber and hit it repeatedly with a hammer, for about 30 seconds. Destroyed that piece of wood, did I, and threw it in recycling. Walking back, I felt so much better. No rage, no anger. Back to being me. I don't want to carry the burden of the awfulness that happens. Taking it out works so much better than holding it in. Displacing my emotions in a safe method has helped me beyond measure.

Give it a try. Let me know how it goes.

Love on.

 

January 25, 2019

Hello Delft, Holland! What a wonderful village you are, and your name is everywhere in blue and white! All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

Yikes! This week has flown by!

Just when I thought that I had the water situation under control around here, a bathroom faucet sprung a leak. Thankfully, I discovered it within an hour or so, the damage wasn't much, just a couple of cardboard boxes. 

Turning from that mess, I took myself for a lovely walk. Jumping on a subway car to the bay, coming up into the sunlight, the towering buildings all around, the flash of green water in the distance.

As I walked along the Embarcadero, gulls whirling overhead, I let the tension of the morning dissipate. I'd done what I could and would return home to these next steps, and in the now I was on the edge of the bay, with sunshine and warmth and smiling people. I sat and let it all sink in.

Sometimes we just have to do this, to be in the moment, no where else.

A while later, I got up and walked to a trolley car stop. Along came a car painted for El Paso, Texas. My ride home.

As we clattered up Market Street, the pavements were heaving with folks, out and about. There were a few buskers, one guy set up per his usual at a corner, with his buckets and bells and drumsticks. I listened as traffic flowed. And then we were off again, now up the slope toward upper Market Street, past the United States Mint. Such a grand building there on its rise. Money house.

And then my stop, and a brief walk home. Shortly later, my contractor showed up, took a look and went off to buy a new faucet. An hour later, the water was again flowing well.

So was I.

Love, on!

 

January 20, 2019

The rains came in a torrent this past week around our area. There was lots of flooding in many places, and the tides are higher because of the full moon. 

Thursday morning found me sitting in our kitchen, Lady Grey the cat happily asleep on her heating pad next to me. Then the sound of water falling, a loud shower, and I turn to see the sun porch through heavy rain. So much water and it's tearing leaves from the plants and the drain is partly covered in a flash with debris. Opening the glass door, I clean the drain and close the door and watch the water spiral away. 

Then I ran downstairs and made sure any flooding down there was managed, which it was.

Poof! Just like that, an hour disappeared as the rain fell in showers. As the sky lightened I breathed a sigh of relief. I was exhausted.

Reports say that the Sierra Nevada mountain range has snow from one end to the other, and many feet deep in places. Growing up in the far eastern edge of California gave me an appreciation for the terrain there. The Sierra's tower on one edge and Death Valley is on the other side. Seeing pictures of Big Pine and Bishop on the internet, both towns frosted with snow, made me smile.

It also made me glad it doesn't snow in San Francisco.

Can you imagine our hills with ice on them? The accidents would be terrible. It has snowed a couple of times in recorded history in the area, and an inch or two was novel and melted away by the second day. Rain will do just fine, thank you.

As it is, today. Light rain. Lady Grey is sleeping on her down comforter downstairs as I write, the house is quiet and the rain cannot be heard. So peaceful, so calm. 

Here's to a good Sunday for us all. 

Love, on.

 

January 11, 2019

Hello Hunters Hill, NSW, Australia! Such a lovely bay you're on, and Sydney so close by! All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

Just been getting the house back in order after the removal of the yule tree. We started defestooning it on Sunday last, and it took a few days but eventually we carried the now very light 10 foot tree out our front door, scattering needles that I know I will be finding for the next year, maybe more.

Rains came along just as our nephew Zach did, and it was good to have them both. Smart young people are always such a delight to be around, and being caught out in downpours was surprising and laughable.

Turmoil is still roiling around the globe, and we all feel the effects.

For me, the important thing is to have a good foundation on which to start my day.  This is where goals come in.

When I was in High School, I had a conversation with a guidance counselor and walked out of there thinking I would have my Ph.D. by 23. Dreamer, lovely and lofty ideas, but not quite enough focus or effort to get there. Over time, I became much more realistic about what I could accomplish, and set my goals accordingly.

Since the year has just started, I am in the process of enumerating the goals I have for this year. So far it's a short list: Take care of me, take care of those I love, take care of those I can.

That's the easy part. Now on to the rest.

Love on!

 

January 6, 2019

Happy New Year!

Here's hoping this is a good one. 

The rush of the year end was a whirl, and the cold weather kept me in the first day of the new year, watching the Rose Parade, a mess at the end this year with a float catching fire. No injuries, just a flower covered traffic obstacle for the remainder of the event. 

Lazy couple of days, just taking care of things I'd been putting off for however long. Got them all taken care of, I am glad to report. There's still a long list of chores, but it's a bit shorter, thanks to the time away from work.

The swirl of parties continued, and there were lots of smiles all around.

A new year, and change, hopefully for the best and the betterment of all of us and our world.

The sunny days kept pulling me outside, and the sunshine was so warming. I noticed that sunny places, especially offering drink and or food, were always full of folks. The parks were full of folks, as well. Out and about.

Then last night, the rain came. And kept coming all day today. There would be a few minutes break, but down it would come. The dark skies kept me inside, watching videos I've been saving for a day like this one. 

Happy New Year! 

The first full week started today. Here we go!

Love on.

 

December 31, 2018

Yep, it's that time of year, yet and thankfully, again.

Happy New Year!

From time to time today, I've been looking online to see what the next fireworks display is, from which city, how beautiful, how bright. Started the day in Auckland, then on to Sydney, then Tokyo, Pyongyang, Taiwan and then I had to break away.

It's coming my way, in about 7 hours or so, and I'm getting ready. Food and champagne and kitty treats and a warm bed and that's where I'll be, come the tail end of this rather difficult year, at least for meself, as it were.

My Irish ancestry has become clearer this year, as has my Welsh, Scots and English lineages. Who knows what I'll discover in the new year, something interesting, I hope.

Starting a new year, another spin round old Sol. A new day everyday.

Intention is where life starts, and then along comes focus. Apply effort and result is the next stage. Adjust, improve, repeat.

Day by day, night by night, as we go along, to get it right. That was a phrase I heard years ago, when I was teaching pre-school. It was spoken by a young woman named Harvest, my fellow teacher. The lilt of her voice as she said the words rose and fell, and her Irish accent imprinted itself in my mind. Discovering that 15% of my DNA comes from Ireland bodes another visit. Maybe that's why that simple phrase springs to mind nearly 40 years later.

Happy New Year to you and to yours. All blessings, all love to you.

Love, on and on and on and

 

December 27, 2018

Happy Fruitcake Day!

Years ago, a friend of mine gave me a fruitcake, wrapped in foil, and told me not to open or eat it, as it was more than 7 years old. His gift came with the advice to pass it on, which I did the following Christmas.

Now, it's one of the foods I will always want to try when I see it, if it's well made with lots of candied fruit. 

Hello Carnation, Washington. What a lovely name for a town, and I hope it's for all the right reasons. One of my favorite flowers, carnation, so fragrant and beautiful. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

The end of this year is coming quickly, and many of us will be glad to see it go With all the turmoil in the world, I get asked a lot how I can stay positive and have a good outlook on life. The answer is simple. I love.

That is as much as I can do in this world to exemplify my core belief, and I find that the more I practice it, the more that I learn to love, that I am shown a better way to live. 

After my Mom died, when I was 14, I moved in with my bachelor Dad in a new part of Los Angeles. Totally different clothing styles, totally different social behaviors, I was completely lost. The first day of school, I got up and showered and got dressed, and my Dad had the housekeeper take me to my new Junior High School. Getting out of the car, I could feel eyes upon me, and looked up to see others look away, most of them, a couple of girls smiled, and I closed the car door and started to walk toward the Office. Just then, a kid came walking toward me, swinging his arms side to side, and shouted 'What a fruitcake' before laughing at me as I walked away. No one had ever called me that before, and I didn't know what he meant. I quickly learned that it was intended as an insult.

Right then and there I decided that I would come to love fruitcake, and myself. 

Here's to love, and all the best along with the rest.

Love, on!

 

December 23, 2018

Happy Festivus!

Happy Radish Day!

Winter has come to the northern hemisphere and the temperatures reflect this change. It's been cold and rainy, and with the full moon the tides, high and low, have been awesome. The moon the other night was brilliant, so big and glowing, so bright and dodging clouds high up in the sky. And later, it was so cold, almost 39F. That's cold in these parts. Time to break out the cold weather long underwear and thick sweaters, and scarves. 

The mood of most folks is not good, politics are roiling America and the world.

Hang in there, don't for a second believe that darkness will prevail. It will not.

Terrible things happen. Hang in there. Hold on to your love. Tightly.

And share your love, as much as you can, as often as you can. 

And hope, and pray, and think good thoughts. 

Love, on!

 

December 17, 2018

There was a memorial service for my cousin this past Saturday. She had died, unexpectedly, at 48 years of age. If she had been there, and I suspect she was, she'd have loved it. Her parents performed a flute and piano duet, so touching, and spoke of what a gift she had been, countlessly, and then friends spoke and we all laughed and watched a video montage of photos of her and her life, and we cried. And laughed, and smiled, and awwwd. It was very touching.

Her passing came as quite a shock and is still being felt by many. 

My memories of her will be of a young and vibrant woman, attractive and outgoing, upbeat and happy. 

Death is always there, in the corner, patiently waiting us all. What we do before is our legacy. This is what people will speak about, share, and remember. 

After leaving her service, I walked into the adjoining cemetery and strolled among the tombstones. So beautiful, so peaceful, the tributes to those buried speaking of love and life. The sun suddenly broke through the grey sky, a shaft of sunlight flooding me and the area I stood in. The leaves of a pine tree glistened, the swirl of fallen leaves stopped, and I took a deep breath.

Thanks, V, for being you and leaving so much good behind. Here's to you.

With love.

 

December 13, 2018

Hello Detroit! How you doing, such an amazing city you are, old and new, empty and alive. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

Happy Yuletide!

It started yesterday, 13 days to Christmas and then 13 days afterwards. 

In Scandinavian countries, and especially Iceland, there's a folktale about the Yule Lads, each of them having some characteristic that defines them, and how each day of Yuletide features a specific fellow, as they come and as they go. So last night was more yule tree festooning, there are hundreds to go, and some lovely mulled wine I made up. Being near the wine region certainly makes for inexpensive wines, like the one I used last night. $1.99 and with some muddled orange and lemon slices, along with star anise, cloves, cinnamon and rosemary, and there you have it. Some could add rum or other liquors should they choose.

Yuletime! 

So much to do, and in the midst of all of it comes our house repair guy, Stanley, and a couple of his workers to add insulation to our attic and replace old wiring and install data cables. Noises in the attic. Lady Grey, being the curious cat she is, climbs up the ladder only to be seen by one of the workmen and is seen dashing under my bed moments later.

Adding new to the old. What better time of year is there than now for that spirit?

Later this week, I'll be making sack lunches for the homeless in the area. 

Generosity of love, of compassion, of understanding, these are the gifts I want to share with the world.

Here's hoping your little corner of the world is warm, loving, and holds you safely and well.

With love!

 

December 7, 2018

On Sunday night we went and found our Yule tree. 

Carrying it up the stairs, its fragrance was powerful, the sharp tang of cedar.

Once installed, we left it unadorned, until last night, Saint Nicholas Night. On go the lights.

Now starts the daily festooning, as I call it. We have hundreds of ornaments, and each of them finds a place on the tree. Each branch holds many, especially the largest ones at the bottom. Just about every material is to be found, and on our travels we always find an ornament, regardless of the time of year.

Hungary has given me a new found appreciation for cinnamon treats and mulled wines. Having a baker in the family takes care of part one, leaving me to discover part two. There's a lot of data, some going back centuries, about heated wine and concoctions. Fun reading and soon, experimentation. 

Hooray for the holidays, and the best of us, and our love.

 

December 5, 2018

Krampusnacht! In Austria and parts of Germany today and tonight are when the demons of the winter come out of hiding. They're hideous and scary and hairy, banging pots and pans making a loud racket. Crowds gather to watch them and celebrate them. It's fun and silly and a bit scary, too.

Holly Daze! 

This past weekend found me out in San Francisco, taking in all the lights and colors and things going on. Like the skating rink in Union Square, and all the pop up vendors selling goods and foods. Macy's had their annual kitten and puppy windows, where the public can adopt animals on display, and do.

The trees that have been changing color are now mostly brown and shedding leaves, keeping street cleaners busy. The recent rains thinned the crowds a bit, but not for long. Throngs of shoppers everywhere, all carrying bags as they go to the next store.

Our Yule tree stands bare in the living room, unadorned. The smell of cedar is such a delight, and this years tree is very fragrant and green. Tonight we will start decorating it, and this will continue for a few days. Some of our Christmas ornaments date back to the 1890's and some we bought this year. There are hundreds, which is why we always get a 10 foot or taller tree.

So much to do. 

Happy Holidays!

 

November 28, 2018

Looking back, I realize I had a wish that came true. 

Sometimes we come to understand life by looking in the rear view mirror, as it were. To look back and reflect on times gone past. That's what I did the other evening. I was looking at a photo album that a software program has assembled for me, and was suddenly struck by the photos I had taken. There, in front of me, were scenes I had hoped to see, and at the time was so caught up in taking a photo of it that the impact of the scene before my eyes was muted in feeling. Until just then.

There it was, the Christmas Fair that I had wanted to see ever since I was a small child.

All the colors, the lights, the shapes, the smiles, there they all were, on the screen in front of me.

Suddenly it all came rushing back into focus, the music, the choirs walking about, the buskers, and all the twinkling lights everywhere to delight the eye. No big corporate sponsorship signs anywhere, very people powered and oriented. The foods, so many varieties, and the drink, such wonderful hot chocolate with a touch of brandy, and all the smells and mouth watering opportunities.

I know, I brought back a few pounds, and I don't mean the money.

This fact came to roost this past Monday at the end of my gym workout. After my shower I weighed myself and found 4 extra pounds had been picked up, and I knew in an instant where to blame: Budapest, Hungary. 

In one day I walked 10 miles, and at least 5 each day. All the street stands selling some delicious foods instantly come to mind, like the nearest one to my hotel that sold this interesting funnel shaped baked dough rolled in sugars and spices. Warm and yeasty and just sweet enough. Oh, and the stand with the onion and bacon jam flatbread. They were popular too, I had to try it, so filling. And the guy with the roasting chestnuts, just a small bag.

Ah, memories, and I can take them to the gym with me, right about now.

Love on!

 

November 26, 2018

Cyber Monday! Millions shopping, billions spent. Consumerism rampant.

Not for me, thanks, not this year. Last year it was fun, got some great deals on stuff I use today, and the deliveries were exciting. This year I'll take a pass, and shop at my local grocer and that'll be all.

The excitement of buying, the anticipation of receiving and having, the future imagined. Hopeful and wishful. Good attributes to have in life. 

The stores are bringing out their Christmas decorations. There are skating rinks in a couple of places, and rumor has it that there is a tree lot in the area. It's beginning to look a lot like...rain.

That's the forecast. Wet. Yay! Goodness knows we need the water here in parched California.

The leaves on the wisteria have all turned to gold, and are beginning to fall into the yard. The birds are seldom seen, except for the always present crows. The tree in front of our house is nearly leafless, going into slumber mode until later, some time next year, early.

Just a few more weeks until my holiday break between Christmas and New Year's. Think I'll stay around this year, not feeling the need to travel. Being home has become more homely as I've given myself permission to enjoy my snug reading chair in the dining room, and the warmth of the fire in the living rooms. 

Last week of November we're in, let's make the most of it with the most of us.

Love, on!

 

November 22, 2018

Hello, how are you? How've you been? I've been away, and took some time to recharge, refresh and renew me, for you, and for me and for the better I certainly hope.

Being away, someplace I have never been and don't speak the language is the biggest challenge fo me. It places me in situations where my ability to learn from the signs around me doesn't work, nor does language. Pantomime works, as I've learned, time and again.

Travel always brings out the real in folks, and this trip certainly did that. 

The man waiting for the man in front of him to stow his carry on baggage and sit down. His face was a study in moods, and when he caught my eye, I smiled and gave him my 'hang in there' face. He smiled and moments later continued down the aisle.

Small acts of encouragement, daily. That's what I've been practicing. 

Check out my Facebook page Heikkie Dean to get a photographic taste of my time on the road.

Now, I'm back and back to it, the daily grind, as it were, being as my days usually start with coffee.

It's Thanksgiving Day here in America, when we celebrate our good fortune. At least I am. Thank full.

Here's wishing you and yours and theirs all the best, and reasons to be thankful, with love.

 

November 7, 2018

Well, it's finally over.

The flood of paper started a couple of months ago, daily, several pieces of paper telling me how to vote. Some of them were informative, some not so much.

And so it continued for the next many days, and then it started to infect television, radio, and especially social media.

Midterms 2018 in America.

Yikes!

And it got crazy, and crazier, and at times I just had to turn away, it was just too much.

Last night, it all came to a head. The best thing I could think to do was to go out to dinner at a new restaurant and distract myself. It worked.

Democracy sometimes becomes a contact sport, and this election cycle has been very aggressive, all around. For my part, I learn about the candidates and the propositions and issues, from both sides and hopefully independent analysis. This helps me make up my mind and exercise my constitutional right.

Waking up this morning, a grey striped cat at my feet stretches and hops onto the floor and walks toward the kitchen. After giving thanks for all that has been, is and will be, I get moving. On with the coffee machine, feed and water the cat, fetch newspapers and sit and read and read. Much good news, some bad news, and scads of information.

My day has started. Now to focus on what's ahead and hope for the best, for all of us.

Love, on.

 

November 2, 2018

Hello, Milan, Italy! What a wonderful town you are, I love sitting near one of your hidden canals having an espresso on an afternoon. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

Here in San Francisco today is the 2nd Day of the Dead, a Mexican/pre-Hispanic tradition of parading with photos of loved ones who one is mourning, and decorating gravesites with flowers, especially marigolds, and candies and candles. There was a small group that walked through the Mission District last evening, and tonight's crowd will probably be a few hundred people.

For some this is All Soul's Day for Christians when they remember and honor and pray for their dead. Several folks I know are attending church services today, and honoring their dead.

It must be that time of year. These traditions that have come down to us through time, from differing parts of the world, expressing different spiritual beliefs and yet sharing the same intention: to honor the dead.

The collective that is humanity. Aren't we something wonderful!

For my part, this evening I will light a single candle and place it in my living room window, a small light of hope.

Here's to a lovely weekend, big hugs and all the best!

Love on!

 

October 29, 2018

Halloween is upon us.

Cliff's, a local hardware store, started having a costume party in the late 1940's for the kids in the neighborhood. The Castro District had been predominately Irish-American, and there were scads of children. To this day the store always has 3 aisles devoted to the holiday, and is packed with lookers and buyers. I am the latter.

When I was in Dublin years ago, I learned that the Irish used to carve a turnip and make a face on it, to scare away the bad spirits during Samhain, an ancient holiday when the veils separating the living from the dead are briefly lifted, from sunset on October 31 until sunrise November 1. When the Irish came to America they discovered pumpkins, and off went a tradition that survives to this day.

There are pumpkins and images of ghosts and black cats and bats and spiders and all manner of ghoulish, scary images at some of the houses that I've been walking by this past week, including ours.

This past Saturday night the neighborhood was jumping with hundreds if not thousands of folks out and about, celebrating and having a good time. There were a couple of children that came to our door, and I was ready for them with treats from See's Candies. 

A client of mine, born in Nigeria, loves this time of year as there are pumpkins galore and they are very inexpensive. She makes pot after pot of this delicious pumpkin soup that she says was taught to her by her great grandmother. She says that the soup binds body and soul together during the cold months. For my part, I just know it as a wonderful gift spanning the globe and time.

Another reason to celebrate looms, and the end of the year with all of the festivities that will occur is just a ways away.

Happy Halloween! Love!

 

October 22, 2018

Walking out yesterday morning, just after dawn, around 7:30AM, the air was crisp, the sky clear, the street devoid of people. I sat for a couple of minutes on the stairs to our door, and took in my surroundings.

Neighbors with small children have put up their Halloween decorations, with lots of fake spider webbing going up their respective stairs, and there are pumpkins at some doors, and a stalk of corn at another. 

Since childhood, I've enjoyed this holiday. For years I thought it was celebrated all over the world, until I was in Paris one year. There were no decorations anywhere, and a few years later, while in London, I noticed the same thing. 

Recently, in Porto, Portugal, we walked past a toy store and the windows were filled with representations of Halloween. There, in another store, cupcake and cake decorations for Halloween. Hooray! As we waked on, we passed a store selling costumes for children and adults, and it was awash with people of all sizes, trying on this and that, so much laughter.

That's the part that gets me. Laughter.

That's why this holiday is such fun, all the laughing and frivolity and good times. We all need more of this, more often.

Here's to more smiles and laughs and good times, 

with love.

 

October 16, 2018

Braking and breaking routine are good for me.

It makes me change. Change is good.

How we accept change is up to us.

The most jarring thing I encountered lately was different coffee in the morning. I had no idea that this simple beverage could cause such turmoil. It floored me.

There I was, getting a cup of coffee from the carafe on the table. Poured it into the cup and noticed it was a bit pale, not as dark as I've seen. Taking a sip, I realize something is wrong and set the cup down. Walking away, a server went to collect my cup and then took the carafe as well. Seconds later a woman brought out a fresh coffee pot. Off I went, and poured a cup right then and there. Still pale. I ask her if this is correct and she says yes. Not my brew, I guess.

Shortly thereafter I found an espresso machine and made myself a strong, long shot. Black. Hot. 

But the balance wasn't restored. The next morning I found a better cup of coffee, closer to what I drink at home. Shortly after this I started drinking tea.

Waking up the first morning home, I went and ground my coffee bean blend and made a nice, hot, fresh pot of coffee. Balance.

Funny thing, that. Coffee. And change.

Loving on.

 

October 13, 2018

Hello! Hi! How are you?

Hope you've been well, I sure have been.

This time it was Portugal. Never been there. 2 5-6 hour long flights and I was in Lisbon around 9AM on a Monday morning. Busy place that, so I did the best thing and sought out a coffee place and refreshed a bit. Just what I needed to navigate the metro system and find our hotel. The next few days were spent exploring a very old and hilly town, eating wonderful food and enjoying wonderful beverages. Then up by train to Porto, another hilly town and more amazing food and drink. The weather was summery, high 70's to mid 80's, and I discovered my new favorite warm weather drink: white port wine, tonic water and crushed mint. Delightful!

The last few days we went to London to see our many friends and enjoy an amazing night of theatre (see what I did there?) seeing 'Company' with Rosalie Craig and Patti Lupone. The best night of theatre (there, I did it again) I've enjoyed in London in many years. Still humming it as I write this.

My DNA says that I have markers that trace back to the Iberian peninsula, both Spain and Portugal, and some part of me has known this since 1967, the first time I went to Europe. I was just a kid, but I had been through a great deal of emotional and physical turmoil so I had my feet under me, so to speak. This trip to Portugal resonated in me, not as deeply as Spain, surprisingly, but nonetheless there was something kinesthetic about the experience.

Having worked on my genealogy for so many years now, I have come to appreciate the struggles and lives that have led to me being born where I was in Los Angeles. The various strands that have come together over the past thousands of years, starting in Africa. 

Most of my DNA comes from 2 islands in the Atlantic Ocean, one we call Ireland and the other Great Britain. These two places resonate very deeply in me, and I never cease to be amazed that I can accomplish in a little over 10 hours what took threads of my family hundreds and thousands of years to do. 

Right before I left on this trip, I sat down in a peaceful place and relaxed. Sometime during this period, I heard the word 'patience'. A couple of days later, I was looking at my horoscope and read in an ephemeris that the counsel for me until October 10 was 'patience'. Message received.

And surely this was excellent advice, as there were snags in the flow, time and time again. Instead of joining in the many frays, I sat back and waited my turn, and was rewarded for my patience. It wasn't always easy, like when the tube line to Paddington Station had a failure and we had to resort to cabs and terrible traffic, but found a very resourceful black cab driver. Thanks again, Patty! 

Back home to a very affectionate grey tabby cat, it seems as if summer followed us home, as the weather right now in San Francisco is warm and delightful.

This morning, around 5AM, I went and sat in the dark on my door step. The air was cool, the street devoid of cars and people. Overhead a couple of stars shown, and then the blinking lights of a plane leaving for parts unknown. 'Have a great flight!' I said outloud, and smiled.

Love, on.

 

September 26, 2018

Hello Kansanshi, Zambia! Wow! What an amazing part of the world you are in, astounding photos on Google Earth. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

Isn't that something? All the way away in Zambia, and yet not that far at all, thanks to technology.

Having consulted in technology since the late 1970's, I have seen a multitude of changes. Computers that were building sized now fit in the palm of your hand. Your car probably has more tech than the first space vehicle on our moon. 

Recently, at a client's place, a bunch of workers got together and talked about the oldest tech they had used, and the winner was someone who grew up with a party telephone line, where there are many subscribers and each has a unique ring tone. The woman who said it then got to lead the group forward into what she would like to see in the future, and then everyone joined in. The scribes in the group were furiously typing or writing, as the ideas flew around the room.

As the new comes into view, we each get to choose how much of it we want in our lives. 

There are some days when I barely touch my cell phone, and other days when it never leaves my hands.

The onward rush of progress is happening daily, and it is easy to get teched out quickly.

Lately, I learned of a school that requires students to surrender their cellphones upon entering the classroom. They get them back at lunchtime. At first there was upset and tears, in a couple of cases it was the parent, but eventually the school succeeded. Already this year, teachers are commenting on how attentive and engaged many children are. 

Now that my phone can tell me what I've been doing and for how long, I am using this data to not waste time. It's too early to tell if there's any good that will come of this, but it's worth the effort just to look.

Choice. Such a good thing.

Here's hoping we all choose what is best and right for us, with love.

 

September 24, 2018

There it was, on my early morning walk, lying on the sidewalk. A harbinger.

It was a beautiful golden leaf, there in a pool of sunlight. Glowing as I walked toward it, it spoke of the changing season.

Autumn.

This morning I noticed that the leaves on the wisteria are beginning to change, from solid green to tinged with pale green and some pale yellow.

Walking out into the neighborhood I noticed all the changing trees on the streets, and then noticed the people passing by. All of them were dressed for a warm day here, in the mid 70's F. Summer like, and fall like, too.

This is the time of year when we have a small return of summer weather, and for a few days it's warm in San Francisco and hot everywhere else, and 20 miles from where I sit it's in the 90's F. 

Harvest in under way in the vineyards all over California. Let's hope it's a good year, maybe even great. In the markets all of the produce is the end of summer and start of fall, and overflowing right now. 

Tomorrow is a fun day here in San Francisco, the sun will rise at 7AM and set at 7PM. A very balanced day. Solstice comes to the City by the Bay.

Love, on!

 

September 19, 2018

This was one of those mornings.

Ugh!

Awakened by the sound of something largish outside my bedroom, and then the thud of something on the deck.

Turning on the outdoor light reveals a couple of raccoons running down the stairs into the yard and over a fence. A daylily has been dug from its pot and dirt is scattered everywhere. It's 3:45AM. Damn it all. Back to sleep.

Waking up 2 hours later, I find myself in a very foul mood. The mess on the deck, all the dirt, the poor plants, what a mood I am in.

Going about my business, I can't shake my anger. Raccoons are cute and all, but they are destructive as well. There have been so many run-ins with them, starting with a fish pond I put in myself right after we moved here. I spent a couple of days working my butt off to make a really cool pond, stocked it with fish and plants and it was lovely. Until the raccoons found it one night and trashed it. They came back the next night and finished destroying the liner with their sharp claws. End of pond.

And now I'm angry again, and the residual anger from previous encounters surfaces and I've got to do something or my day will continue to go badly.

Sitting at my computer, I write an angry letter to the raccoon family that visits me. I rant and rave, threaten and write terrible, mean words and feelings. It takes about 5 minutes. I print it out, delete the computer file, fold the letter in half and set it down and walk away.

Right before I started this, I took myself and the letter outside. I read the letter aloud and laughed at my anger and mean words.

Displacement. I feel better, lighter, not distracted by my darker feelings.

And here I am and here we are,

with love.

 

September 15, 2018

Hello Oxford, England! What a delightful town, so much to see and do, great places to eat and drink and laugh. Dreaming spires, and such nice folks. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

We've had some amazingly beautiful skies hereabouts lately, morning and evening. The sky washed in shades of gold, blue, grey, red, pink, purple and swirling shapes, some fluffy and others streaks in the sky. I've been taking myself out onto the deck in back to take in the show. The air is chilly and damp, as fog rests behind the hill rising to Twin Peaks. A mourning dove alights on a branch, eyeing me as I eye the sky. The light continues to brighten.

Having these few minutes for myself gives me a grounded, solid place from which to start my day.

Then I can jump into my day, all the phone calls and messages and emails and letters and packages and more demand my attention. The whirl and swirl of the day takes me away and there I go.

Ten hours later, I emerge. My work day is done. Time to get into comfortable clothes and relax.

And a little grey cat comes and finds me, and nudges for attention.

Our days are comprised of us and what we want and allow. Learning to give myself permission to make my days as I want them to be is an ongoing struggle, and well worth it.

Start with you, add love and calm, then intention. Away we go!

With love!

 

September 10, 2018

Sorry to have been away, there was fog and August and my nerines went into bloom and there were sunny afternoons and warm evenings and then Labor Day and schedule changes and here I am.

How are you? Well, I hope. And enjoying the days and nights and mornings and evenings and all of it.

School has started again, and as much as I thought I might take a class somewhere about something, but alack and alas, nothing caught me enough.

Thank goodness for www.futurelean.com.

There are so many courses, of an amazingly wide range of topics, and it's free.

Last year I took a course about ancient Rome that was so informative and interesting. The next time I go to Rome I will know so much more about how it was and why what's left represents. After that I took a course in medieval foods that gave me so many ideas about food over time and how diet changes over time. It helped me change my eating habits in that I eat less white sugar.

The days moving on, and I have a list of chores to get to, so I'd best be getting on.

Big hugs and all the best,

Love, on.

 

August 27, 2018

Time flies! How are you? Well, and swell, I hope.

The wildfires in California have made the air awful. For all of us, there is ash in the air, and the winds blow it everywhere.

Yesterday, as I was working in the yard, I noticed to the east a drifting long pale grey cloud, and looked online to see that it was a plume of smoke from 70 miles away.

This has been the worst year for wildfires in the history of California.

We clearly need better management of the forests, and I'm looking into what I can do to assist in this effort. I remember as a child the men in our area chopping down dead trees every autumn, and the free fire wood this provided.

Maybe there's something like that I can join.

Sitting on the sidelines is not for me, as I am not one to see a problem and do nothing. See a problem and fix it. Then I feel better and hopefully my small act has helped the world.

The air is okay today, and I plan on finishing my yard work. That is if the squirrels and birds don't distract me. As if...

Love on!

 

August 16, 2018

Hello Madrid, Spain! Such a wonderful city, so much to see and do and eat and drink and enjoy! All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

This morning, as I sat in my hammock, remembering all of the wonderful music Aretha Franklin gave us during her lifetime, bird song wove itself into my revery. As I listened my heart opened and I smiled. Just then a cherry fell from the tree in our yard, small and dark red. Looking at it, I could see that it had just been pecked at by a bird, the dark juice staining my finger.

I set the cherry down and went inside. 

Later, returning to the hammock, I noticed that the cherry had been eaten, as I sat down a small chickadee dropped onto the cherry and pecked at it. Nothing wasted. A couple more chickadees came to dine, and I returned to my quietude.

The joy of Aretha's voice lives on, with love.

With respect.

 

August 6, 2018

163 miles.

That's the distance separating the hottest and coldest places in the continental United States of America.

119F all the way down to 25F. That is some temperature gradient.

Most folks, when they come to California, spend their time in the big, beautiful cities, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco. For many, this is the reality they imagine. Yet there is a whole different side to the State.

As a child growing up, I spent a lot of time in eastern California, near the Nevada border. There are amazing sights and things there. The oldest plants on the planet are nearby, bristlecone pines they're named. And the hottest place on earth is nearby, too. Death Valley, an amazing place, so diverse and yet so empty. 

Up Highway 395 you'll find the ghost town of Bodie, abandoned when the mines dried up. The aged wooden building stand to this day, reminders of lives lived long ago.

Just for fun, years ago, I drove from Death Valley to Bodie. It was a nice drive, the eastern Sierra Nevada mountain range is stark and powerful. As I drove along the scenery was so spectacular that I had to stop several times, just to enjoy the beauty.

Sometimes change is dramatic and close by.

Always good to remember, especially these days. Let's all hang in and keep doing our best for the best, with love.

Love on!

 

July 31, 2018

Hello! How are you? How've you been? Well, I hope, and enjoying life. It's been hectic and boring around here.

Stepping out of my routine for the past several days has been very interesting. I've been toying with making changes in my life, insofar as how my time is spent, and for the past little while have been shaking things up. Instead of going to the gym at certain times I've been more flexible and have gone at times that I'd never been before. So many people I hadn't seen in years, especially this one woman who now works out with her granddaughter. Delightful change to the ordinary.

So I kept going. Why get up before dawn? What happens if you sleep in? So I did, all the way to 7:30AM, and it was wonderful. Why read that article? The bold type is depressing, so I skip it. There's a plant that has mold on it, out it comes. This shirt has a stain I can't remove- out it goes. And on and on.

That's what I've been doing, making and living and hopefully growing with and through change.

Practicing what I preach, as it were. 

There are so many ways to be. Find the one that suits you and see how it fares. For me, not all of my changes went well, and I learned from that experience. That's what we're supposed to be doing here, learning along the way.

With love.

So if you ever feel stuck and in need of change, start with you, and love and patience, and you'll do your best.

End of July, August tomorrow. 

Love on!

 

July 18, 2018

17 weeks to Winter.

That's what greeted me this morning when I started reading my messages.

It was sent from a client in the mid West who has been complaining about all the hot weather she's been experiencing, and has now started a countdown to cooler weather.

Here in San Francisco we don't get many high temperature days, usually once in Spring and then again in the Fall. Most of the time it's in the 60's F, and just perfect for me. Growing up in the desert taught me many ways to stay cool, but moving here has been the best I've found.

Yesterday it was 123F in Death Valley, California. Living nearby in Big Pine, we wouldn't see quite so high temps, but it got well over 100F many Summer days.

Ah, the fog is just spilling down the hill, time to go for a walk.

Love on!

 

July 13, 2018

Have you ever noticed that sometimes an idea won't leave your mind?

That this thread unravels in my mind all the time is annoying and vexing and bothering. And yet there it is.

and as I go about my day, this thought keeps popping up. I am going to have to sort this thing out.

Later, at the end of my day, I have time to delve into the feelings and thoughts that have been in the back of my head all day. As I sit with them, I can feel my frustrations and disappointments about the issue. As these emotions sweep over me, I can feel my body responding, my heart rate increasing, my jaw tightening, my legs cramping.

Time to displace.

Later, drained and tired, I rejoin my life, already in progress. A cat to feed, and load of laundry to do, and food to rustle up.

That loose thread that was bugging me has been dealt with. Another example of me taking care of me. Another opportunity to do for me the best I can, and to restore the calm that I choose to live in.

Love on!

 

July 7, 2018

This morning, before dawn, I stepped out onto the deck. The air was cool and still. A few birds were awake and talking. In the east the sky continued to lighten.

Peace. Calm. 

As the sky brightened more birds added their voices to the morning, and a couple of them flew down to the bird feeders that hang in the yard. 

Still. 

Just then the first ray of sunlight washed into the yard, illuminating the cherry tree. The bright green leaves contrasting against the dark red wood, and there near the top a single cherry.

Breathe. Relax.

Closing my eyes, the peace and stillness of the morning envelop me.

Reset.

A while later I'm up and off and into my day. Coffee, newspapers, cell phone, and shower. The day has begun.

With love.

Love on!

 

July 3, 2018

This morning I made a slice of toast using a machine made in 1961.

In my closet hang clothes from 1981, there are Earth shoes from 1974, and jewelry from the 1850's.

On my Yule Tree I hang ornaments made in the 1880's.

There is something that makes me smile when I think about some of the stuff that I have, remembering the people and places of the object. My sisters toaster, the jeans I bought in Boston on a layover, the shoes I bought when teaching in Watts Los Angeles at 122nd Street School, and an intaglio ring given me by a long dead friend. 

Memories all around, and the only parts that I remember are the good ones.

For all the rest I've done countless hours of displacement, of letting my raw emotions loose and getting that energy out of my body.

Just the other day I opened a cabinet in the pantry and was confronted by a bowl given to me by a woman years ago. Suddenly my mind was flooded with memories of our relationship and how it went south went she stole from me and then lied about it. She had not been honest and after that she stopped calling, as did I. Right then and there I grabbed a cardboard box and ripped it up. Out and gone.

After a nice half hour walk I went back and finished my chore, and smiled when I saw the bowl and wished the woman well.

Learning to live comfortably with the past has made my present so much easier.

Love on!

 

June 27, 2018

Hello Barron, Wisconsin! Just a couple hours from Minneapolis, and all that open space you've got around you. Thanks for reading, all the best to you and yours! 

Happy Summer! Happy Winter! Happy Happy!

Technology around these parts is continuing at a fast pace. Just the other day I had my first robot made espresso at a place on Market Street, here in San Francisco. Interesting. No faster than a human, more expensive, and a good espresso. Pundits say the greatest threat to people is automation. Judging by this robot, we're not in imminent danger. 

That being as it is, the newest tech to grace my life comes in the form of microwave internet. Lightening fast. Cheaper than what it replaced. I'd heard about it a couple of years ago, and looked around from time to time to see who and what was happening. In the past few months there has been a surge of availability, and as soon as a provider I like came to the neighborhood, I was in.

Two techies came, a man and a woman, and she was training him how to set it up. It was interesting to watch them determine where the microwave dish had to go, but that was easy compared to running cable into our house. Once that was done and the line was connected to my router, wizz zipp ka-bloowie! The fastest internet I've ever used. Amazing!

There's always something new, and some of it is really cool. Those are the things I go toward.

The other day at our local nursery there was a variety of snapdragon flower I had never seen, and I bought a dozen plants for the yard. The interesting shape of the flowers, the colors, and the way they glow in the sunlight delight my eyes. The new is good.

Veer toward it, that's my advice. The new and the good, together, will make life better.

With love, love on!

 

June 20, 2018

'Reading the news and it sure looks bad...' words from the song California by Joni Mitchell.

There are some days when I just can't take in any more bad and distressing news. That's when I seek relief in nature.

At this time of year, so many plants are blooming and growing all over town. Just a walk down any street takes one past some wonderful example of Mother Nature.

Relief from releaf.

The new leaves on our camilla bushes are bright green, and so tiny. The relationship to the plant we get tea from is so evident. But the results are vastly different. Our neighbors fuchsia is a mass of blooms, all of them looking like colorful ballet dancers on toe.  And just the other day I saw this wonderful blooming vine spilling over a wall, it's bright orange blossoms delightful to my eye.

Take some time for yourself and get out in nature. Even a city park can do wonders.

Lift your heart up, with love.

Love on!

 

June 16, 2018

So there I was, part of a telephone call with a corporate client. The boss was talking and he was being rude, sarcastic, demeaning. The questions he asked were belittling, and he kept looking at me. He knew I had been brought in by a large investor to observe, and now I was observing him. Our roles and actions had been discussed when we met, and I told him I would not speak and did not want to be addressed during the meeting. He agreed.

Now all he did was glare. 

No one else at that telephone call knew I was there. 

At the end of the call, he hung up and turned to me. 'I hate my job' he said. 'It shows.' I said.

After that, we had a long talk. His marriage is falling apart, his daughter avoids him and he's lonely and angry. He talked how his emotions kept spilling out, messing things up. Now employees avoided him. What could he do?

We went outside to his car, which he got in. Rolling down the drivers window, I told him to get in touch with his feelings and let them out vocally. He rolled up the window and sat there for a while. Then a tear coursed down his cheek, then another. A sob shook him, and then a bellowing rage escaped his throat, long and deep. Then more tears.

Growing through change, with support and love.

 

June 15, 2018

Happy Ides of June! Summer weather is sweeping across America, and in some places it's too darn hot.

That's what a client of mine says. She's a Texan, and refers to herself as a 'Texan Gal from Dal'. Her accent is distinct and so many words that she says sound so different to the ear. Accents are funny, and very regional. One of my Language professors in college was a bit like the character Henry Higgins in 'My Fair Lady', he had an ear for accents and could place where people were from. He turned to me one day after class as I was leaving the classroom and handed me some paper without word or expression. I took them home and studied them. They were tonality charts, and gave examples of how to sound out vowels and how to stress consonants to effect speech. I practiced all the time after that, and began to hear my own Californian accent and intonation.

All of this resulted in me changing my affect and the way I sounded. I learned to speak slower. All of this helped me to listen more.

Years ago I heard Maya Angelou speak and it was amazing. The cool, reflective cadence of her speech was nearly hypnotic. I noted that the crowd was rapturous in its attention to her. 

All of this resulted in my becoming a better school teacher, and then a trainer, later a manager then an executive in corporate life. It stays with me, so when I hear a bit of Kentucky, where my Dad's Mom came from, or a bit of Missouri where my Mom's Mom came from, I remember how I used to sound, and sometimes I affect that tonality pattern. It's fun.

Over time, I've come to realize that the more I change, the more I become. A better representation of my authenticity, my truth. It's interesting to look back to the earliest days of my childhood and remember the changes that got me here. Learning to release and displace the negativity of those earlier days took much effort and time, and freed me from those patterns of behavior and thought. As time has shown me, the right thing always happens. Life is not about living in bliss, it's knowing bliss and being able to handle the exact opposite of bliss. That which we hold on to shapes us.

We choose, with each second and breath. The power to become, to change, to obtain bliss is ours, with love.

Happy Mid June! Love on!

 

June 11, 2018

Recently I had a dream in which I found myself in a house I didn't recognize. I was at a party. There were dozens of people that I could see from where I was, next to a beautiful fountain. Several people passed by, and I acknowledged each of them with a nod and a smile without teeth. As I started to leave, a man handed me my coat and walked toward a door. As he opened it, a draft of cold wind blew into the room, and suddenly the vision before my eyes changed, and the room appeared dirty and shabby, the floor a mess, the man in torn and dirty clothes. I stepped out into the wind, amid swirling leaves and sheets of newsprint...

and woke up.

Sounds like my real, day to day life. 

There's a world of stuff going on, and the flood of information can deluge us. 

I've made it a practice to not be checking my cell phone all the time, and have noticed that I'm calmer. Funny, that.

Dreams are there to help us, to show us what we need to know. There is meaning in our dreams. 

For a long time, when I was in my 20's, I kept a dream journal and wrote them all down. Finding this book 30 years later still makes me smile as I remember how inquisitive my dreams showed me to be, how afraid of old men unfairly punishing me I was, and how I never gave up. I hadn't seen this at the time I wrote my journal.

Sometimes we see things more clearly from a distance.

I try to remember that as the leaves and newsprint swirl about me and us all. It takes love and effort, focus and intention. It's not always easy but any effort is well worth it, and the results are excellent.

A friend of mine avidly devours the stream of political news that sweeps in daily, at the least. It fuels and occupies his time and energy, and causes him no harm. He has learned to practice emotional detachment from the data stream and has learned to edit out his reactions and responses to what he learns. He's writing a book about the times we live in, a good output of energy.

He's learned how to work with himself and has learned how to channel his reactive energy into positive displacement. He says that he's finally happy after years of misery. All it took was time and perspective.

Here's to a good, new week for us all, with love.

 

June 4, 2018

How do you do it? 

I get asked this question many times, and the answer is always the same: with love.

Yesterday afternoon, the sun glorious and bright, the air balmy, so many people out and about. Walking along the street, I saw a woman I know and waved, she waved back and just then a neighbor approached me. Small talk for a minute or two, and then the question: How come you're always cheerful?

I'm not always, I replied, but any darkness is just a passing storm, and I can weather it, pun intended.

Things, events, circumstances in this world can be distressing and depressing. That is part of life.

The trick, so to speak/write, is not to reflect the bad but to stay with and reflect the good.

When someone tries to pull you down with words or actions, don't join them. Stand your ground and be true to yourself.

Recently, on Facebook, I made a comment about something. Instantly there were comments to my comments, and some of them were quite ugly and brute. One fellow posted something that was untrue and a dialogue ensued. He was debasing and rude, I was civil and polite. He got angrier and angrier, while I did not. He was apparently reported by someone as his comments and account were deleted shortly thereafter.

There's a lot of craziness and chaos in our world. Find your center, find your love, and ground yourself.

And remember: the sun is always shining somewhere.

Love, on.

 

June 3, 2018

And there went May! Zip and away it went, taking with it all that was and bringing all to the edge of June and beyond.

Everyday, I make note of something that I need to do in the future, and it seems like everyday I find that there is yet another something that I need to attend to.

Job security. 

Knowing that everyday has something for me to do has become comforting over the years. For the longest time, things that needed my attention and time hung over my head, taunting me with the never ending flow of things to do. It really bothered me when I wasn't able to get all that I had wanted to do. One day my perspective changed.

A woman I worked with was replaced by a machine. I went by her office and there was a young woman and a computer terminal. Later I learned that she had been told on her last afternoon that her job was being eliminated. This was a woman who had complained to any and all about how overburdened her job was, and how badly she was paid, and how stupid her boss and his boss and on and on. Management had made a decision and she was not included.

Suddenly all of my complaints about work issues were reviewed by me, and I quickly realized that the things that bothered me were a bother to all of my co-workers as well, and that complaining portrayed me as an unhappy worker and we had all just learned a lesson. After that, I was more communicative with my boss about my problems at work and she in turn was helpful often. Things got better.

Life isn't perfect. This is true for all of us.

Our best self is best served when we make the best of any situation, and do what we can to be useful and helpful.

Job and life security, with love.

Love on!

 

May 26, 2018

Time away from work and the daily pace of life has been a time for reflection.

For the past several days, I have found myself just stopping in my track and taking a breath. And maybe another. Sometimes as many as I need.

Taking time for myself is something I do as needs be, but these past few days I've woken to an empty schedule. Nothing to do.

The first day it occurred, I spent the day doing this and that, taking care of stuff long neglected and overlooked. It was exhausting, messy, and exhilarating!

A couple of days later, and there I was with a totally free day to do as I pleased. I did.

Home now, the morning fog covers the hills and wisps float overhead. Sitting on the deck, looking at the garden, noting the blooming begonias and calla lilies, how the rose vine has grown larger and buds are forming.

Don't rush through life, even though what you do is rewarding and fulfilling. Take some time to enjoy this singular journey.

It's great to be here, with love.

 

May 18, 2018

How time flies! Hello! How are you? Well and swell, I hope, and enjoying all there is to enjoy.

Someone asked me the other day how I stay so upbeat and positive, so I showed him.

We went down to the first floor of our home and to my garage. The back wall is covered with sheet metal.

I told him how after decades of trying to 'let it go' and 'move past it', I had never been able to resolve my anger. It would rise up from time to time and try to swamp me, and of all the psychological techniques I had tried over the years to mitigate the problem.

Then, one day, while walking on a beach, fuming about something or other, I started picking up stones and hurling them into the water, all the while imagining that my problem was being transferred into the stone in my hand. I tossed a lot of rocks.

As the years passed, I experimented with displacement and varying methods, and found that direct release of the emotions is best.

I walked over to a stack of chipped china plates I have in the garage and handed him one, telling him to think about the issue that he would like to reduce in scope and intensity. He thought for a second, said a word, closed his eyes, took a breath, opened his eyes and flung the plate at the wall. It shattered and he gasped. The look on his face was one of amazement. 'Gosh, that felt great.' he said, and I smiled.

There are a zillion feelings that will surge and swirl through us on any given day. What we do with and about this energy is our choice. I encourage and recommend safe and sane displacement. It's worked for me for years.

Here's hoping that we all get a grip on love and let the lesser slip, with love.

Love on!

 

May 8, 2018

Wow, such a week it has been, so many folks the world over have been calling and writing and emailing and so many other ways getting in touch with me, it's been a whirlwind, by this I explain my absence these past few days.

As I read and listened to the messages for me, the same theme kept presenting itself: we are all human.

It's hard to be human, and I suspect it was hard to be pre-human as well. Our ancient ancestors probably didn't have a easy life, either, what with all the scary animals around, not to mention shelter, fire, food and whatnot. For years science has believed that our ancestors stayed in Africa until 50,000 years ago, and then migrated all over the world. Recently, in the Philippines, the remains of a butchered rhino were discovered, and dated back 700,000 years. Whoops! We must have been out of Africa longer than that.

New information changes the way we look at the world.

My job, as a change agent, is to help people see their life in a different perspective. Most of us get stuck in our lives and just plod on. Folks like me disrupt that status quo, and seek to help those we work with.

It doesn't have to be life shaking, change can come in the smallest of ways.

Just the other day, on my way to a store I frequent, I took a different route. It wasn't the shortest, but it was new. I had never walked on these streets before, and this part of town was very interesting. Who knew there were welding shops and fancy smancy restaurants cheek and jowl here? I didn't. Or how many residents make lovely tableaus of their windows on the street? So many beautiful sights.

Every day is new. You are too.

Love on!

 

April 30, 2018

Goodbye April! Thanks for the weird weather across the globe, so many delayed flights, too much water just about everywhere but where needs it. It's been quite a month, thank you.

Last week I saw a guy who came to see me because he thought I was crazy. That's what he said when we made the appointment.

He came to see me. We had a great chat. He was surprised by our conversation, and delighted with my insights.

Some part of me always smiles inside when someone like him has a session with me. There are lots of charlatans out there that claim they are intuitive, but I'm the real deal, as it were.

When I was younger I hid my ability, and covered it up with random comments that always surprised people. 'Why did you say that?' was a phrase I heard many times as a child. Usually my answer was that it had popped into my head. This sometimes bought me sideways glances from then on.

Everyone is intuitive, it's a faculty that can be developed like a muscle. Use it, learn it, trust it.

Here comes a new month, one that in its very word is permission. We have permission, now all we need is love.

Let's be our love and watch the love that responds around us. Life is about learning, and with love it's so much easier.

Let's love on.

 

April 25, 2018

When I wrote those words last Friday morning, the tears I shed lightened my heart. They still are.

That night, last Friday, Felicity came to me in a dream, hopping up onto my bed, something she never did in life. She sat a few feet from me and blinked, twice, very decidedly. I woke up feeling very much alive, and glad for what had happened.

The messages, cards, and thoughts that she and I have received are most touching and most appreciated. 

Yesterday, while working in the yard, I had a flash of white, black and orange fur in the corner of my eye, but when I looked she was no longer there. It was just where she had slept in our yard for nearly six years, always remaining distant but accepting food. Feeling her near was such a wonderful experience.

Life is so much more than just having a body, although for many of us having a body is too much work to begin with. As I get older, I remind myself to get up and move from time to time, and to get to the gym at least once a week and three times if I really want to feel better. 

Ah, the maintenance that life requires.

How we go about it is up to each of us, we get to choose.

For my part, I will start with love. If I make love the bedrock of all my intentions and efforts, I am certain that good will come from it.

So here I am, plunging back into life, both feet and all heart.

Loving on!

 

April 20, 2018

Everything was going great, the week was wrapping up, just one more work day and then Vacation! Hooray!

That night I got a travel alert from our airline advising us of 'difficulties' we may encounter during our travels. What?

The next day, about midday, came the second travel alert: Weather and air space restrictions may make our arrival 24 hours late. What?

Much discussion ensued between us, as we looked into what the weather was. There they were, 3 huge storms that we would have to fly through. After looking at reports from pilots that had just flown the route, it was clear we were in for a bumpy ride at least.

That night, while I fitfully slept, a third travel alert was issued. We might be later than previously advised. Waking up to this message on our day of travel left us both dismayed and disheartened. We had been looking forward to returning to Hong Kong, it had been years since our last visit, and it is such a great city. To have our short vacation threatened into being shorter made up our minds.

After contacting the airline, our plans were cancelled. With a free week, Joe decided to go to Iowa and visit his mom.

For the first time in my life, I had a Staycation.

Monday was fun for both of us, enjoying the time and the leisure together, and Tuesday morning flew by as Joe flew bye bye. I returned to two cats and spent the day doing so many chores that had been waiting to be done. Tuesday evening, after checking on both Felicity and Grey, I treated myself to $1 oysters nearby.

Wednesday started as most days do, walking into the kitchen, turning on the coffee maker, preparing two cat food plates. As I took Felicity her plate I noticed that she was sitting next to her cat box, an odd place to be. She turned her head and looked at me and whimpered. I went cold. Walking toward her, she didn't move, which she normally would. I saw why.

Her left paw was caught by one of her claws, and it was clear that she had broken her leg. As I moved closer she suddenly stood up and tried to flee, and luckily her claw came free, but her leg was clearly  damaged. I knew.

After calling our vet when his office opened, I tried to coax her to eat but she wanted nothing. She met my gaze a few times, and we both knew.

When she and I met years ago, it was her slow two eyed blink that let me know she trusted me. It had been a gesture we had shared for years. I looked at her, and blinked. She blinked back and closed her eyes. I knew.

There was little resistance when I picked her frail and light body up and placed her in her cat carrier. She cried out a couple of times and then fell silent.

As we drove across town tears burned my cheeks and fell onto my shirt. I didn't care. She was quiet.

At the vet we were shown into a room, and I opened the box to check on her. She had her face in a corner resting on her good foreleg. She never stirred, even when we put a towel over her upper body to restrain her as the first injection was administered. For the first time ever, I could finally stroke her back. She made a sound I knew meant pleasure for a few seconds and then fell silent. After a couple of minutes she was deep asleep. The second shot released her.

Sitting here now, tears once again burn my cheeks. My love flows freely.

Love on...

 

April 11, 2018

'and the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again.'

That was, and may still be, a childhood rhyme I learned long ago, and after all the rain that we had, it feels appropriate here.

Wow, did it rain! For nearly 36 hours, almost nonstop, rain. Always a drizzle, sometimes steady, and occasionally tropical downbursts. Flooded corners and intersections and so much water. The streets were nearly empty, as were the roads. Folks stayed in and let the rains wash the city.

The cats sat and stared out the windows. So did I.

Having a couple of days off, the rain was just the excuse that I needed to get some work done about this place. Our house was built in 1885 as a Model House by a young man named Fernando Nelson. He had the workers build a room on the ground floor that he used to store the tools used to build this house. Today that room is our laundry room. The house, being so old, needs tending, and the time inside gave me the opportunity to tackle a couple of projects.

Half way through, I had an attack of diverticulitis and had to quit. Teas, herbs, no food and bed rest and I can now report back to active duty.

The rains have moved east, batten your hatches out there. The sun is coming out and life awaits. I'm game, how about you?

Love on.

 

April 6, 2018

2 trillion gallons. Can you imagine?

If you're currently in northern California, imagination is not required. That's what is coming down on us, starting last night and continuing until sometime tomorrow.

That's a lot of water.

At our house, the rain started late last night, and continues now. There have been bursts of rain, like a shower before it returns to a steady drizzle.

The weather folk call this a 'Pineapple Express', when storms near Hawai'i trail eastward and meet up with colder air from Siberia, and down comes the rain.

The cats sit looking out their respective doors onto the deck and into the back yard. Both seem wistful. Sleep comes next. Although I am sorely tempted to join them, I press on. Clients and chores and paperwork await. 

Sitting at my desk now, I can hear the thrum of the raindrops as they fall on a nearby skylight. Almost syncopated, the sound.

C.G. Jung wrote of his perspective of viewing water when it appears in our dreams as being a sign of change. He advised that we were best served if we accept change and grow with it.

Now I look at rain as a sign of change as it falls to earth, to us all, to make the most of that which we can with that which we have and are.

Here's to a steady downpour. We've got at least a trillion to go.

With love.

 

April 3, 2018

And just like that, April came to visit. What a way to start this month, Easter and April Fools Day, together. The weather was glorious, the sky blue as the morning fog burned away, and by afternoon the sun was out along with just about everyone in San Francisco.

Starting my morning with a nice 3 mile walk down Market Street to the Ferry Building, the streets were quiet, not much car traffic. A brisk wind came by from time to time but kept moving on, as did I. By the time I reached the water of the bay the wind had ceased and there were clumps of tourists here and there, all of them smiling and eating and laughing. Happy April.

Taking a spin around Union Square, I noticed lots of children dressed in their finest clothes, with doting parents at the ready. Smile. Look this way. Put that down. Smile.

Moving on, as I walked down Powell Street, the cable cars went clanging past, and I could see a growing line down at the car turnaround for those waiting to ride one. Wish they hadn't torn so many of them out of the ground over the years, but the lines we have are busy and fun to experience.

All of this got me to thinking, about this and that and now and then and when.

It came down to this: I'm not afraid of tomorrow because I remember yesterday and I love today.

Happy April! Here's to better weather, more flowers, and buckets of laughs.

Loving on!

 

March 26, 2018

Hello Watanobbi, Australia. The Central Coast is so lush, and just a skip from Sydney. G'day to you and yours, and thanks for looking in. All the best!

Lately my personal genetics have been kicking me to the curb, or kerb if you prefer. No matter how much genetic testing I do, the fact of the matter is that some issues are part of our DNA. I've got one of those.

So for the past few days I've been semi-invalid, sleeping a lot, not eating much, drinking lots of fluid. That's all I can do for what ails me.

Which has been interesting, to say the least. There are so very many programs on television, and most of those are now streaming to computers. The glut of information, of entertainment, of news, of babble, is simply amazing.

And very sleep inducing, some of it.

Having it rain also helped a great deal, as I couldn't do any yard work so I had more time to goof off. I'd missed National Goof Off Day (March 22) so I added a few days to that. What the heck, I thought. Who's gonna miss me?

Waking up this morning, beginning to feel better, I checked my smart phone.

Yikes!

Several text messages, a couple dozen phone messages, and more than 100 emails.

Life is all about perspective, and for me I saw this as a good sign and have jumped right in, answering this and that and getting on with it all. That's the thing about life: it will wait for us. Sometimes not so patiently, but waiting nonetheless. 

So here we are, this late morning Monday, all of it waiting for us. Let's go get'em! Here's hoping your day and week are well and swell!

Love on!

 

March 19, 2018

Happy St. Joseph's Day! In Italy on this day bakers sell the most delightful filled donuts, and the people snap them up. We were on our way to Herculaneum, a town destroyed in the eruption of Pompei in 69 AD today partly buried under the town of Ercolano, near Naples. Passing a bakery we saw a line, and had to stop. They were amazing, so light and fluffy and fragrant of vanilla. Good memories.

Also on the calendar for today is 'Let's Laugh Day'. Sounds good to me, I'll give it a go. There's always something to get me to laugh. The other day I watched a squirrel run up and down a birch tree in a neighbors yard, and from the looks of it the squirrel was having a good time, as he got a couple of others to play with him. Such antics.

Everyday there is something to celebrate, even if it's just waking up. Yay, back again, another day, another chance to be, to become, and another opportunity to share our time.

Yesterday, when I woke up, I was stiff and awkward and stumbly and aching. None of that stopped me from saying 'Thank you' just for being able to say those words. Where we are is where we begin.

And for me that means getting ready for Spring, which arrives tomorrow. I've been cleaning the house and have oh so much more to do, but keeping my nest clean, for me, is essential. Washing windows is on my list, as is shampooing the carpets and scrubbing the bathrooms. Spring cleaning. 

Flower shopping is also on the list. There are a few florists nearby and each has their specialty, one carries really exotic blooms while another does amazing arrangements and another has a simple but well stocked corner stand. Lots of walking, so exercise is on the menu as well.

Golly, the day is filling up. Time to get moving. Here's to you and I and Spring, with love.

Love on!

 

March 14, 2018

Hello Genoa, Italy! What an amazing city you are, the treasures that hide behind some doors, the wonderful people. All the best to you and yours and thanks for reading.

What a busy place this planet has been lately. So much news, so much sometimes too much. Then I unplug.

That's what I've been up to these days, scanning headlines and whatnot, then paying attention to weather and then moving on.

Years ago, I didn't move on, and I stayed with the headlines and got caught up in a negative spiral, the pessimism was all too engulfing and it swallowed me. I was miserable. My life was awful. The irony is that I worked for the Los Angeles Times newspaper.

I'll never forget the day one of the editors told me that good news doesn't sell, and that bad news does. I felt a flame inside me extinguish. 

To this day I dip my beak, as it were, into media. Some, not too much, and certainly not always.

This gives me time to live my life, to smell the flowers, to be with friends and loved ones. To be a human being and not a human gonna be or has been. Now. This moment. And the next.

My superpowers extend to the limits of my beliefs and efforts. There is so much I cannot change in life, so much evil and greed, so much self hate. For my part I'll do what I can to help folks, making sure I'm taking care of me first. Life has taught me that any love that we possess can only be seen when we make it manifest, by loving ourselves first. We cannot give that which we do not possess.

Happy Learn About Butterflies Day. Tomorrow is the Ides of March, if your name is Caesar watch your back!

Love on!

 

March 7, 2018

Here we are, two weeks from Spring, and I just saw the first flower on our cherry tree!

Yay!

The birds have been out in numbers, lately, and the avian chorus can be quite loud at times, like sunny afternoons between rain and clouds. Yesterday I noticed that a few of the chickadees were having a confab of sorts, hopping about among the primroses and columbine, pecking at the ground. There were 8 of them, and then a mourning dove swooped in and they scattered. It's mate came in and they were soon joined by nuthatches and some starlings. Bird party.

Another sign of Spring.

The flower stands about town, especially now, are overflowing with beautiful flowers, so many varieties. As I walked by one stand the other day, a woman was asking to buy a single flower, which she did for $1. She took the flower and put it in a button hole on her coat, the bright orange of the tulip contrasting nicely against her pale turquoise jacket. As I walked behind her, I noticed the smiles she drew from passersby. 

More Spring.

This coming Sunday, the US of A will be waking up to the Spring Time Change. Spring forward, Fall back. Remember to set your clocks one hour forward Sunday morning.

I remember as a child being told that the exact time of change was at 2AM. One year I stayed up just so that I could be there when the time changed. I was 15 at the time and thought 'what the heck'. No big deal, I decided, and have not attended another time change, either forward or backward. 

Definitely Spring.

Here's to Spring showers and flowers, to longer and warmer days, to all the best that life can deliver, 

with love.

Spring love.

 

March 5, 2018

I had thought about writing yesterday, it being March fourth and all, love the commanding sound of the date, but too many things got in my way. Isn't that the way it is, sometimes, when you think you'll do such and such and yet never get to it? 'I doddle as I waddle' a friend says, and he's got something there.

He's also someone who gets rid of things if he doesn't want to keep them. Several times I've seen him give something in perfect condition to folks, once a stranger who admired his scarf. Right then and there he gave it to her. He says that having stuff around that bothers him keeps him awake at night, so he does what he does.

It's a wonder I can sleep...

My house is orderly, but there are so many things that don't work well, or not at all. The broken are easy to let go of, but the still useful, not so much.

Which I why I have held onto a television I bought in 1983. It's worked all these years, until recently. I noticed that the register of color was askew and that every image now had a small yellow outline. Not too bad, I thought. Then I blue line joined the yellow one, and that really began to bug me.

The day a red line joined the party I knew this television was going away. 35 years of faultless service, now very faulted. 

For so many years, others had expressed surprise at my TV, as old as it was. But the picture and sound were great, and it was a big screen, after all.

If it any broke, don't replace it. That was and is my thinking.

There's a new flat screen TV on the wall, now. It cost a quarter of what my old TV cost. Things change, and sometimes they get better with time.

Good to know, better to remember.

Love on.

 

March 1, 2018

Happy St. David's Day, patron saint of Wales. His symbol is the daffodil and there are about a dozen basking in my kitchen on the table, bring their bright yellow cheerfulness to a grey and wet day.

The rain started in just after midnight here, and continued until dawnlight. Not heavy, just steady.

Just before 10AM, as I was seeing a client out my door, I noticed the black clouds converging over my neighborhood. Moments later the rain fell, and then it just poured from the sky, just a minute or two, but what a display of rain power. Weather reports say there may be 8 feet on new snow in the Sierra Nevada mountain range to our east. Let's hope so, droughts are terrible for California.

So here we are, in the one month that tells us what to do: march. Go toward that which fills our spirit, our heart, our life.

Before I sat down to write this, I had taken a brief walk just to 'blow off the cob webs', as they say. The sun had come out as I walked, the blue of the sky studded with white clouds scurrying above.

As I stood waiting for the traffic light to change, I heard a voice say 'It will all be well' in such a reassuring tone, and I turned to see who had spoken. There was no one near me.

Love on.

 

February 27, 2018

So, there I was, walking to my gym, it was a little after 8 in the morning, the sun was out and rising in the east, but the west had some dark clouds coming on shore, and the next thing I knew, I was graupelled.

Isn't that a lovely word, and it's new to my lexicon. Graupel is soft hail or snow pellets, and it fell yesterday in San Francisco, along with hail and lots of intense, brief rain.

When I got home I went and looked up this weather phenomenon and learned that it was snowing in Vatican City, in Paris, and even London. Winter ain't letting go so easily. That was the prediction of a certain creature in Pennsylvania a while back, and it looks like he was correct. 

Today the weather reports speak of snow and rain coming our way later this week, and if the air temperature is any indication, I'd say bring out your woolies because it's going to get wetter and colder soon.

The end of February is bringing what we need here in California, rain and snow.

Let's hope the coming month brings with it more of what we need.

I wonder what new word March will teach me?

Whatever it is, I'm ready. Life is about learning, and goodness knows that I have been a better student as I have continued to attend this school. Some say it's all hard knocks, for myself I've found it a mixed bag. Anything that I can do to soften the blow I will do, within reason and love.

Here's to today, with love.

 

February 23, 2018

Hello Bangkok! What a vibrant, modern and old city you are, the food, the people, the shopping, the beauty, so good. All the best to you and yours!

'You have 125 new DNA connections.'

That was the headline of an email I received this morning. It's from 23andme.com, a DNA testing site. I had signed up just to see if there were any connections, and there were none. Months went by and 23and me sent me an offer of their health screening for a reduced price. Why not, I reckoned, and upgraded my account. It was comforting to know that I don't have genetic markers for Alzheimers or cardiac issues, nor macular degeneration.

Then this message this morning.

Could this be the data that I need to have in order to trace my Mom's Father's Father? The mystery man who contributed Spanish and Italian leaves on my otherwise Northern European tree? 

C'mon Great Grandpa! 

Ancestry.com sure started something all those years ago, back when I was curious to find my ancestry. They led to many connections scattered across America back to England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Then came FamilyTreeDNA.com and the adventure continued. This was how I became aware of my Bavarian roots back to 1330 in Nordlingen, Germany. And a host of living, breathing relatives that I'm delighted to know.

125 new DNA relatives. Time to click and see.

Life is like a garden. Let's see what blooms!

Love on!

 

February 20, 2018

Happy Love Your Pet Day!

There are two previously feral currently spoiled cats living under our roof. One by one, first calico Felicity (she of the cancerous ear now removed) and then beautifully striped Lady Grey appeared at the bedroom door to the deck, both bedraggled and wet. Love changes life, always for the better.

Waking this morning to 37F outside, I choose to forgo my walk until later in the day. Yikes, it is very seldom this cold.

Yesterday was cold as well, but the afternoon sunshine begged me to go out, so I did. And found myself, no pun intended, in the Haight. As in Haight Ashbury, the epicenter of Hippyness back in the late 1960's. All the coolness of them is still there, along with lots of new coolness as well.

The sidewalks were covered with chalked messages and people, most of them walking but here and there someone sitting or lying on the sidewalk. So many people out, and so many of them tourists. The babble of languages passes my ear, making me smile. I recognize Italian, German, Russian, Thai, Castilian Spanish, and French. The world is in town.

When I first moved to San Francisco, back in 1983, I had lived in this part of town. Just a couple of minutes from rapid transit, a few more to Haight Street. The City was new to me and I was avid to discover it. As I only had from late Friday night to Sunday night I dove right in, spending most of my time learning my new town. I'm still learning it, as there is always something new under the sun.

Sometimes we all need to get out and breathe in more life. Get a dose of good, or three. 

Love on.

 

February 15, 2018

Happy Februa! A Roman day of purification, cleansing, and renewal. Now we ready ourselves for the warmer days to come, taking care of our bodies and garments, our homes, our possessions. I think of it as equivalent to Spring Cleaning, a ritual of sorts in my family.

Mardi Gras came! What a party in parts of San Francisco.

Ash Wednesday came! Many folks with smudges on their foreheads about town.

Valentines Day came! Love is in the air and all around.

Februa came. A day of care for self.

But wait, there's more: Chinese New Year starts tomorrow! Brown Earth Dog starts. Justice and fairness will prevail.

On the 17th it is Random Acts of Kindness Day, one of my personal favorites. 

And there's more and more.

All of these wonderful reasons to get out and about, to take your best you out and share the planet.

Recently I helped a man leave his house for the first time in 3 years. He had become housebound, as he had no need to leave his home for any reason. Then he began to have bad dreams of danger and reached out for help and found me. Lots of conversations and then he announced that he was ready to leave and I asked if I could be there on his doorstep, to which he agreed. When he opened the door, there I stood, big smile firmly on my face. He smiled big and started crying, and so did I. As he stepped over his threshold he said 'I'm back world.'.

With love.

 

February 12, 2018

Life has been reminding me lately how precious it is.

There have been births, deaths, marriages, divorces and more in just this past week, all around me, so many changes.

Yesterday morning found me in Dolores Park, gathering with others to remember a man who had died. His family came from all over, as did his friends. It was a lovely tribute. 

A couple of days earlier found me listening to the joy upon the birth of a clients daughter. Such joy, such happiness. 

Life requires that we live it, however we choose. 

This past week has put me in touch with people who are frozen in their emotions, people who repress their feelings and thereby mute all of their emotions. Strange and sad to see.

Before I leave my house I always check in with myself and see if I'm feeling okay. If not, I displace whatever is bothering me. Yesterday, before leaving, I had a good cry over my dead friend, and remembered his kind and eager face. It was very striking to have him appear in a dream shortly after he died, and from the look of contentment on his face I could see he was truly at peace. Finally.

In our lives we will meet so many people, and sometimes the smallest encounter will stick with you the rest of your days. That's why I advocate emotional wellness through displacement. Getting the angry, the hostile, the negative out of ones body through energetic action is a linchpin of wellness and authentic happiness.

In our honest authenticity is our truth, with love.

Here's to life!

 

February 5, 2018 

Another month comes and so does our present.

Lately I've been taking myself offline, and it is wonderful. For at least 2 hours each day I do not use my computer or cell phone or house phone or look at TV or listen to radio. Just silence. No one talking at me, nothing that demands my attention. Peace.

Which brings to mind this date in history, when the Dutch tulip market collapsed. Fortunes were lost, lives were ruined, all because the Dutch had decided to make cash investments in the humble tulip. This lovely small flower had been found in Turkey by explorers, and the Dutch were known for their bulbs and flowers. The race was on. Shortly thereafter it was discovered that a small bulb taken from a larger one would not always be a duplicate of its parent. The race went wild. The colors, shapes, timing, and so on became a national obsession. Keukenhof outside of Amsterdam is a spring time riot of tulips and other plants to this day. Speculation is folly. Good to remember. And a nice reason to go buy some tulips from the nearby flower stand.

Tulips don't do so well in California, but that doesn't stop us from buying bags of them and planting them all over town. Just the other morning on my walk I passed a woman planting tulip bulbs in her yard. She has a wonderful yard with such variety and color, one of my neighborhood favorites.

Which brings me to another of my favorites, my nearby pub. I went there with a friend yesterday to honor the memory of a man we called friend, Sam, and toasted him with Manhattans. He was a lovely guy, and as word of his passing spread folks came over and we spoke of Sam, his kind smile, his easy laugh. Later on, I read of tributes to him on a Facebook page that was created in honor. So many stories about him, and as I have reflected on his sudden passing at 55 years old I am reminded of how well his life had become, how happy he was, we spoke of his upcoming trip to London and his staying at The Connaught Hotel (very luxe) and he reflected such joy and anticipation. Going out on top of his game. Well done, Sam, much love onward.

And for all of us, much love, and fortitude, and patience, and more. The times, they are a-changing, and we are best served by going forward, balanced with intention. Here's to it!

With love.

 

January 31, 2018

The moon put on quite a show this morning with the help of the sun and the earth. It was pretty amazing.

30% larger in appearance, and colored red by the earths atmosphere, the moon was a wonderful sight.

I'm an early riser, usually up sometime after 5AM, but this morning I set an alarm and got up shortly after 4AM. It was dark and cold outside, but I had to see this moon. The last one was in 1866, and that was a good reason to get up early.

There are so many things that happen, some of them 'one time only', some not so rare. This one was very rare.

And there it was, the moon, red as could be, a bit shadowed. Amazing to see.

As it continued on its orbit the color didn't change.

I got chilled and went inside where newspapers and coffee and cats awaited.

Later, I went to see how it looked, and the red cast had been replaced by the familiar white glow of a full moon, this one eclipsed on one side. Still beautiful.

Here we are, the last day on the first month of a new year, and we've already been treated worldwide to a spectacular spectacle. 

Keep looking up, life is, with love.

 

January 29, 2018

The last leaf on our cherry tree came down this morning. It had held on while all of the others turned golden and then brown and fell off, on to the ground or swirling in the air. The tree now stands bare, its thick trunk supporting two main branches that reach upward, with 3 smaller branches also reaching up, but not as high. There are 5 different varieties of cherry on this one tree, and the flowers are all slightly different in shapes and colors. Such a wonderful tree, we planted it the year we moved in. Each year there is a crop of cherries, we get some, the birds and the squirrels get the rest. Share and share alike.

The past few mornings have been cold, and today was no exception.

As I swept up the fallen leaves, a shaft of sunlight beamed into the yard. The English primroses that I planted burst into colors from the muted grey/green of earlier. The stalks of the calla lilies that edge a walkway became a symphony of greens, each hue blending harmoniously with the others.

At the birdfeeder a pair of chickadees flew in for a meal, and then other birds flew around but none landed to disturb the little chickadees, who contentedly ate their fill and then flew away.

Birdsong erupted, and I retreated to a quiet corner and sat down to listen and watch. 

So peaceful.

Love and live on.

 

January 26, 2018

This has been one of those mornings. Yuck. Out on my walk just after the newspapers are read and I'm thinking about all of the stuff I learned of. Some of it bad, some of it good. A mixture.

The air is clean and fresh, the overnight rain has left the gleam of mirrors everywhere. Lots of flowers in bloom in yards as I walk on.

Right into a man squatting, doing his business as they say, with a syringe in his forearm. I pivot 360 and keep walking.

After a couple of blocks I slow down and look at my phone. On an app for the neighborhood is a comment from someone about the man I saw and the mess he made. The owner of the property had replied, angrily, and the man was now on camera by another neighbor and City Services had been alerted. He would be found and counseled. 

I love the fact that technology can be used to alert us to the world around us we may not see but want to know of.

It is sad that this man is in the situation that he is. Drug abuse is a rising problem. Much is said on a Federal level but nothing has been done. Here in San Francisco we are trying to address this issue. There are many voices contributing to the conversation. Hopefully there will be more done to help addicts withdraw.

When I remember some of the folks that I have known, from all walks of life, and how their life ended due to drug abuse, it saddens me and I wish each of them peace. 

My walk home was lighter, like the sky over my head. Heaven above.

Love on.

 

January 22, 2018

For my very first ride in a jet plane my Dad bought me my first sport coat and tie. I was 13 years old. Flying was expensive.

On this date in 1970 the first Boeing 747 flew passengers on Pan Am from New York to London. Flying became cheaper.

Since then, air travel has changed extensively and last year was the safest year in air travel ever. And prices have dropped.

According to Flightradar24.com there are 660,000 people in the air at any given moment. 

Of all the things I have done for myself, the top two are education and travel.

The other day I was at a supermarket picking up some items. A woman and man came up to me and smiled, and then the woman asked in broken English for help. Glad to be a good guy, we launched in as they wanted to buy certain items and were overwhelmed by the store. We found what they wanted and I helped them check out, my new friends from Ethiopia. 

That's what travel does, it brings the world to you and takes you to the world. Jet travel is nice, but any travel is good.

Travel has rounded off my rough edges and has shown me so many different lives in so many different places. The variety on our little planet is amazing, and yet we all share so many of the same attributes. 

My new friends wanted to share with their family and friends back home some of the uniqueness that is America and a supermarket helped them do that. I can imagine the delight of opening their tin of abalone and sharing it. The world delivered.

They're aren't so many 747 zooming anymore as it has been superseded by more advanced aircraft. We humans love progress.

Thank you 'Queen of the Skies' for the countless miles you've given us all. You've helped me to love more, and globally.

 

January 18, 2018

Hello Dublin, Ireland! Top of my morning to ya! Thanks for reading, all the best to you and yours.

Out the door for my morning walk, the streets dark with fallen mist. There's a person here and there, most are on their way to work, many looking at their mobile phones or listening to something. All these little bubbles of sound walking past, some folks tapping their fingers in time to the tune in their head.

The deciduous trees stand stark and bare, their branches like upraised arms, beseeching heaven.

Pidgeons whirl over, the flock of them silently gliding above all of our heads, bestowing their color and sight to those that look up.

As I walk along the sound of traffic rises as I near a major intersection. There's a Google bus making its way down the street, followed by a bunch of cars, some with Lyft or Uber signs displayed. A public bus makes the traffic light and adds to the mix, and pedestrians have to walk around it. 

For a moment I imagine what this area looked like 100 years ago, there would have been a cable car up the hill, and few cars and some horse drawn wagons and maybe even some on horseback. 200 years earlier the area was undeveloped and mainly grassland anchoring the sand down. 1000 years ago the Native American tribes in the area had encampments doting the area. 10,000 years ago there were people here as well.

Back in the here and now, the jarring sound of a car horn interrupts my reverie, and I smile at the layer cake that time is.

Here and now, with love.

 

January 16, 2018

There is a camilla blooming in our back yard. Spring cannot be far. All of the paperwhites are blooming, in both yards, their sweet fragrance adding so much. The rains have come, a series of storms is coming our way, the first one came in the night, like Amal, and left the streets dark and glistening. All of the primroses I've planted were wet this morning, the air so fresh.

'We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.'~ Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan.

There are so many things that pass before my eyes on any given day. Some are treasures, other's are trash. Discernment. 

This contrast was evident yesterday as I waited in line. There were a couple of kids running around, playing together. They were, as children do, making noise. The woman in front of me took exception to them and began to make her own noises as she shifted from foot to foot. Finally she couldn't take another moment and shouted at the children 'Stop' and they both did, swiveling their heads in her direction. They walked up to the counter and joined their dad. The woman began to weep. I touched her shoulder and offered words of comfort and support. She smiled and thanked me. 

When I worked in the fashion industry, one of my co-workers would make snide comments about the clothing worn by others. She had a good eye for color, shape and design, and her suggestions for improvement were always correct, but she never shared them. I encouraged her to speak up, she did, and today is famous for her work. 

Sharing the good is good, and I encourage each and every one of us to do so.

As for the other, go displace it. Rip up paper, scream into a pillow, beat your bed with your fists. Get that energy out of you.

And remember to look up, with love.

Lovingly onward!

 

January 13, 2018

Sorry to have been gone, there was a snag with my internet connection. One of the workmen next door moved the microwave transmitter that is our internet and it got wonky. A technician had to come out and set things right, but not before the flu that's been going around paid us a visit and made us both ill.

Ah, the stuff of life.

We've been getting the rain that we need here and snow in the mountains, so maybe it won't be so dry this year. More stuff.

Now that I'm back to work, it's amazing that so much piled up. So many telephone calls, emails, letters via snail mail, and more. I'm plowing my way through it all as quick as I can.

Thankfully I got a flu shot this year so the effects were lessened, but still, what a drag that was. Sleeping 18 hours one day. Rip Van Me.

They say the flu shot is only 30% effective, but I can't imagine how terrible it could have gotten. Thank you 30%.

For those of you who may not have gotten this years shot, there's still time as flu season will last another 60-90 days.

Wellness requires effort, and it is worth every living minute.

And on that healthy note, I'm on my way. Here's hoping your weekend is healthy and swell, with love.

 

January 4, 2018

2:39AM PST, Gaia shrugged. 4.4 on the Richter Scale, a moderate earthquake.

It started with a bang, a sudden shaking of the land above the point of release, somewhere on the Hayward Fault beneath Berkeley. Then the rolling set it, it lasted seconds.

Little to no damage for most, those closest to the epicenter reported fallen and broken stuff, but no structural damage.

The part of California that is on the coast is made up of rocks that started their life down in Patagonia. The Pacific Plate has been doing a slow spin for millions of years, and will continue to do so. One of these days coastal California will be a series of islands off of the coast of Alaska.

Plate tectonics. We have a long way to go to understand them and to predict them, but we're clever mammals and we'll figure it out, eventually. In the meantime, for those of us subject to earthquakes, be mindful.

 

January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

Thank you for reading. And for being. And for loving. 

The year end saw me flying off to Chicago and -19F. It was crazy cold. And fun! And cold! And more fun!

Back home in San Francisco, I hit the streets and bought some goodies for New Years Eve, as staying home this year, the house warm and the fireplace glowing, was irresistible.

As I reflected on last year this morning, I thought about all the moments that came to mind. The good ones were blessed by me, the bad ones were blessed as well.

Someone asked me what my plans were for 2018, and I realized that I really only have one: to be better, to me and for me. If I can learn to do this, I will then be able to share my newness with and for others. Full circle, as it were.

So many of us try to give to others that which we have not given ourselves. How can you help someone if you are in need as well? 

Selflessness doesn't always end well, as I have witnessed countless times. Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating being selfish and self possessed, but rather that each of us, and society at large, is best served when we do for ourselves what we can. Self effort builds self esteem. Until we try to discover what we can do for ourselves, we are victims of our need.

In learning to take care of myself, I have learned how to take care of others. 

My life is not perfect, everyday is filled with turmoil and tears, and I know my limits. There are some times when I just have to sit down and have a good cry. Or maybe rip weeds from the yard, or throw stones into the ocean. Doing what I need to, to take care of me.

Then sharing.

A new year beckons, like a blank book waiting to be used. 365 new days to live as we choose.

Here's my hope and wish that we choose love. 

Love on!

Happy New Year!

 

December 23, 2017

   Happy Festivus!

Here we are, as in olden days...

The streets of San Francisco are abuzz with holiday cheer. So many touches of the season in the clothing folks are wearing, yesterday I saw this wonderful hat on a woman, the hat reminded me of Dr. Seuss and the drawings in his books, fanciful but recognizable. Not a bad attitude to cop, as the kids say.

What I've been finding this year has been the special foods that are on offer, most just now. Being the blend of cultures that we are, this city can show you the world in 49 square miles. Cambodian, Latvian, Irish, you name it, we've got a slice of just about everywhere here somehow. Maybe it's a store selling goods, maybe a restaurant, or a school. So many ways to enjoy the cultural enrichment that San Francisco provides. Not to mention the food. Yummy!

The writhing and tumult that is happening around us all, everywhere, is a reminder of the struggle of birth, the work that is needed to make this place someplace we can not just survive but thrive. 

For me, that means holiday garb, sweaters and scarves and hats. I saw some gloves on the street near the intersection of France and China, also known as Bush Street at Grant Avenue, that had fingertips that lit up...

Here's hoping your day and night are filled with good.

Love on!

 

December 20, 2017

We're almost there: solstice.

Recently I watched an animated time lapse sequence of what our planet looks like as it goes through space. It wobbles.

I don't know about you, but I take comfort in that fact.

It helps me to understand my own personal wobbles.

Most importantly, it encourages me to do something when and where I can. This morning it will be to go for a brisk 30+ minute walk. The light rain overnight has washed the streets and the sun isn't up just yet, so out I go.

Love your wobbles, they are part of nature. Do what you can to fortify your love, and live best.

Love on!

 

December 18, 2017

Have you noticed that time seems to be speeding up?

Maybe it's just me, but the days suddenly have been flying past, and each day seems shorter than the next.

No, it's not just the amount of daylight, although that is decreasing by at least a minute each day as we spin toward Winter Solstice. There seems to be another element in play right now. Astrology says it's because of Mercury Retrograde, when Mercury as viewed from Earth appears to stop in its rotation and then start to go backward, a illusion based on perspective. No, there feels like that there is more going on.

Year end.

The close out of 2017, which has been quite the year globally. We are living in unique times, no matter where on the globe we are.

Everything around us might change, in the blink of an eye. What is important is that we hold onto our core values.

Mine starts with love.

It may not be much, given my powerlessness at large, but where it has effect it is the best that I can do.

Lately life has been buffeting me quite a bit, and with each tumble I have gripped my ability to love as tightly as I can. The crazy man who runs toward me screaming, and runs past me as I continue walking forward without change of expression or gait. As he passes he stops screaming and smiles at me. The girl on the bicycle that cuts in front of my car, as I slam on my brakes and break objects on the passenger seat, never looking in my direction for a second. Felicity's cancer being back and inoperable. The passing of my cousin Carole. 

Love. With each breath, with each heartbeat, with each moment.

Love on.

 

December 8, 2017

Hello Berlin, Germany; Washington, D.C.; Bari, Italy; Tokyo, Japan, and so many other points on our lovely planet.

When I was a grade school student, we were each given a pen pal. Mine was in Dallas, Texas, and I wrote him back a letter telling him I was his pen pal. He never wrote back.

I asked my mom about it, and told her I was going to write him another letter. I did, and showed it to her. She read it slowly, sometimes saying the words outloud. She asked me if I really wanted to send such an angry letter to someone I was trying to reach out to.

Decades later, that same technique is serving me very well.

Recently I had a run-in with a member of a Religious Order. He was arrogant from the start, belittled the efforts of others, made a crude remark about a volunteer, and was just really unpleasant. Seizing an opportunity, I spoke with him privately and voiced my concerns about his presentation and messaging.

He looked me square in the eye and told me to 'Piss off''.

Message received.

Since then I've written a couple of scathing letters to him, the first one nearly burst into flame as I composed it on my computer. Both letters have been destroyed, and my anger toward this man has lessened. He presents an opportunity for me to grow, to deal with someone who is less than I would hope he would be, just as a person, let alone as a Religious. Funny timing, no, what with the Holidays looming, one of which is central to his belief.

Practice makes perfect.

Today is Rohatsu, as it is called in Japan. The day that Buddha became enlightened, and became a buddha. Perfect day to start, again, with love.

Love on!

 

December 4, 2017

There was a full moon last night, called a Super moon due to its proximity to the Earth causing it to appear larger.

It did. I hope you saw it, it's still with us albeit waning. Do take a look.

In the distance, coming up from behind the hills of the East Bay, the glow of the moon was bright silver. As it crested the hills and sprang into view, the whiteness of it shown so beautifully brightly, the moon beams touching all with light. I stood transfixed for a while, just breathing in the chilling night air and the calm around me.

Just then I remembered a story told to me by our next door neighbor when I was 12 years old. A story of the Maid in the Moon, and how she waits for the Sun to set before revealing herself in all her glory. In that instant I saw her white blouse with the small touches of embroidery that she always wore, clothes she said that helped her remember her birth country of Guatemala and its beauty. I said a little prayer.

Here's hoping we are all illuminated by this lovely moon!

Love on!

 

November 30, 2017

Here it is, the end of November, already. The last month, #10 to the Romans, beckons.

All over town, there are holiday decorations. Some of the churches have made displays as well. Xmas & Christmas, co-existing.

Getting along seems to be in very short supply lately.

As the days grow shorter and dusk falls so early, most folks go home in the dark. The family living next door leave for school shortly after dawn, and the kids are really groggy and whiny most days now. Their parents probably are as well. Where did all the daylight go?

Blame the wobble of the Earth, that swing from side to side that gives us our seasons. Yay wobble. I probably will join you at some point, what with all the rush rushing by me as I go about. Yesterday at a supermarket the cashier spoke so quickly I had to ask him to repeat himself. The unkind look in his eye didn't help, but it did inform. More wobble. 

Teetering onward, I passed a flower stand and stopped to admire the tulips. A young woman, looking at her phone, didn't see me and crashed into my back quite hard. Luckily my height meant that she, short, came up a few inches above my waist. This difference kept me from falling into the flower stand. As we faced each other she said 'Shit' and ran on. Indeed, I thought, letting all of the energy that I was feeling move through and beyond me.

The swirl of leaves followed me home, so many leaves being blown about by the winds. Our tree on the street has lost all of its leaves and stands bare in the chilly wind as it comes over the hill, having come from Siberia or Alaska or maybe Japan. All the streams of air and water moving across the Pacific Ocean, all of these different creeks of air merging into this vast river that has a twin in the southern hemisphere. The winds of the world, getting along.

Would that we can all join in that spirit in the days and nights to come. Peaceful, loving, kind and gentle. First with self, then with others.

Getting along.

Love on!

 

November 25, 2017

Hello! How are you? How've you been? Well and swell, I hope!

The zoom of the holidays has been yapping at my heels for the past couple of weeks. Too busy, every day.

From get up to lay down, each and every day has been jam packed (lovely image) with way too many things to do in a day, in addition to my work schedule, which has grown busier these past few months.

Sarcasm has never been something I'm comfortable with so I almost never use it. This lack has led me to not hear sarcasm in the words of others at all times. Recently this led to a funny situation.

There I was, working with a woman who sought help with communication. The sarcasm coming out of her was thick and constant, with almost a sneer in her voice at times. Studies have shown that folks like her are very angry, and from where I sat I could see the negativity roiling out of her. I brought up the subject of anger and asked her about hers. She grew very quiet and disavowed any anger, and as I asked questions she became more and more upset until she exploded in a torrent of angry words and dissolved into tears.

A good beginning.

Holding onto the negativity that we feel just makes us negative. This energy needs to be transformed.

The next day the woman called me and told me that the displacement she had done made her feel 'a thousand times better.' She had gone home and shredded all of the junk paper that had been sitting around her house for years, old bills, newspapers, advertisements, all sorts of junk. As she got rid of it, she said she was cursing and complaining, about people, about things, about anything negative. At the end of her story we both had a great laugh as she expressed her amazement of this change in her. Yes!

Displacement works.

As the Holly Daze approach and a New Year approaches, here's to getting rid of the negative in all of our lives.

Love, and live on!

 

November 11, 2017

18F / 7C

That's cold. That's what Chicagoland woke up to this morning. Overnight record low temperatures blew in from the northwest and the water in the air chilled and fell as snow. Waking up in a blanketed world. I remember living there for a year, that was some winter that year. Frozen cars, frozen locks, frozen planes. 

This morning, waking up in 58F San Francisco, the images on TV of the weather worldwide is interesting. There is such variety on this planet, such diversity.

When I was a child I remember going with my mom to a paint store. They had a rack of little pieces of paper in every color of paint they had. I had never seen anything like it and told my mom how wonderful it was. When we got home to the ranch we lived at, she took one of her perfume bottles and held the stopper in the window of her bedroom. The wall behind it was suddenly dazzling, all the colors of the rainbow painting it vividly.

Growing up in the desert, the sparseness of vegetation was normal to me. Cactus, sagebrush, alfalfa, and saltpine trees. Going to Hawai'i with my dad when I was 13 blew my mind. Never had I seen such a variety of plants, the lushness of the textures and the amazing variety of leaf shapes.

Nature keeps displaying diversity to me, and sometimes I see it in the moving tableau of my life.

Vive la difference, as the French say.

Love on!

 

November 10, 2017

Rain! Yay!

It's been teasing us, it has, the rain, showing up while most of us are sleeping, washing the roofs and trees and streets clean, leaving wetness behind in the morning. Or the drizzle that we've had a time or two, just enough to darken pavement but not enough to become rain.

Until now, this very minute, when it is really and finally raining.

The cats sit in their respective bedrooms looking out windows and doors at the changing outside for awhile, and then do the very best a cat can do when confronted with rain: sleep.

Lucky cats.

Not me, I've got a calendar full of people and things and as much as I too would like to release my inner cat, I cannot.

And the rain is still falling, work is calling, and I'm off!

Big Friday hugs all around, enjoy your day!

Love on!

 

November 6, 2017

Halloween, always a big holiday here in San Francisco, was its usual city wide affair, folks started dressing in costume on Friday night, and here and there one could see sailors and Bo-peeps and all sorts of funny and sometimes scary display. The frivolities continued through the weekend, and Tuesday saw a parade of folks walking to work dressed, some quite elaborately. One of my favorites were the twin girls, about 25 or so, both dressed as French maids, but one of them a zombie. The way they interacted with passersby was delightful. Always a good time Halloween is. Boo!

Out walking the other day, I passed a neighbor who stopped me to chat. Since learning that I have an interest in Egypt, both she and her husband have become a clipping service for me, and every time I see one or both of them they have stuff for me. Much of it I have already seen, and it is recycled as soon as I'm home, but the rest I look at, and thank them again in my head for being kind.

It's so easy to be kind, sometimes, and yet it is all too easy to get caught up in the daily to and fro and pass by an opportunity to do something kind, if only for ourselves.

The other day, while out and about, I came across a pair of slippers on sale for $10. I stopped and looked at them, the dark grey color very nice, and the synthetic plush lining was really cool. In my head I thought 'I already have a pair of slippers.' and so I set them down and started to turn away. 'You should buy them.' this woman said to me, walking away. I laughed at the idea. No, no, I thought, I have a pair now, and they're fine. As I started to walk away, this voice in my head said 'OK', and I turned back, picked up my size, and bought them. 

Such a small act. So inexpensive. In all of my life I have never owned two usable pairs of slippers. This fact stunned me. I still does, every time I look at my extravagant collection of slippers.

Small steps forward, with love.

Love on!

 

October 29, 2017

Hello Conway, Arkansas. Sadly, I've never been to your part of the world, but looking at it just now thanks to Google Earth, I can see what beautiful country you have around you, the Arkansas river look wonderful. Thanks for reading, all the best to you and yours!

It's Halloween! Yay! My inner child gets to come out and play, and this year there are several events taking place, starting last night and continuing through Tuesday night, the 31st. Oh boy!

For me, it's not about the candy or the treats, it's about costume and makeup and laughing and maybe even a little scary.

Such an old holiday, which traces back centuries before the Anno Domini, to a time when the short days and chilling temperatures brought to life the spectre of death and ruin. Halloween was originally a festival when we could laugh at death and make merry. My how it has changed over the years.

Now it's princesses and super folk and all manner of display.

And fun! 

That's what I'll be on the lookout for in the next few days, opportunities to laugh and make merry and share the good of life, living, and most importantly, loving.

Love on!

 

October 24, 2017

My parents divorced when I was 3 years old. She hated his controlling mother (who hated her as white trash) and he hated that he was stuck between the two. Mom and I went to live with her mom in Big Pine, California. We were poor. 

Those times are still alive in me. I remember the feeling of wanting and dismissing it just as quickly. Time and time again, if I found myself really wanting something I knew that it was never, ever going to happen. I remember.

In memory is where it lives, and not in my life today. It took me decades to figure out money.

'The sorted topic of coin' is a line from the movie Death Becomes Her, one that always brings a smile to my face, now.

This hasn't always been the case. Since childhood, money became the controlling factor in my life. Poverty drove this message home countless times a day. Commercials on television were seared into my mind. I was one of the have nots. As I grew older, life changed and mom died and dad became home for a couple more years and then I went out on my own. Being used to being poor made life bearable. 

Decades later, due to a car crash that changed my life, I was forced to examine my relationship with money. 

It was schizophrenic. I both loved and hated money.

The core of my problem, this was, and I needed to reconcile this imbalance if I were to have peace and stability in my life.

Through a great deal of reading, conversation, listening and thinking/feeling, I had a breakthrough.

Money was only good, always. Money represents human effort and labor, nothing more. It is not self worth. It is not self love.

My dichotomy of thinking that all things were good and bad had trapped me in a way of thinking that was self destructive. As long as I equated money and me, I would forever lose.

Further, that money is a positive thing in the world for what it represents. Work. Contribution. Self effort.

Money can be badly used. This was the model that I grew up with. I remember my mom and dad fighting about the $50 he gave her each month for 'child support'. Money was bad. Or at least it is if that's what you believe. And I believed. 

Living a life of desperation and lack. No, thank you. Money is an object and I have as much money as is good for me. As I learn to trust life and surrender my pain to change, my life has as much as I am content with.

Love on.

 

October 19, 2017

Hello Clifton, New Jersey! What an amazing part of the world you are, rural and urban, mixed. And what a State! All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

This morning started for me with the sound of Lady Grey swiping her paws on the glass door leading to the yard. 5:15AM, and I'm groggy and awake and after giving thanks, I get out of bed. Water closet to kitchen, coffee and newspapers are collected. 

Dear Felicity, who yesterday lost the rest of her left ear and part of her nose to sarcoma, sits quietly, waiting for a plate of food. She's been fussing with her bandaged forearm and her paw looks swollen. Lady Grey eats with haste.

Newspapers and coffee...

What a world!

Thank you coffee and the human chain that brought it to me.

OK, now to pick up the house (what an idiom) and do some dishes and a load of laundry, and take out the recycling.

Time for breakfast, some hot oatmeal...

and as I start to eat it I think of the tiny oat, growing on a plant in the dirt somewhere, becoming larger and fuller, and then one day harvested and processed and packaged and now, after a hot bath, restored to fullness and being of ultimate service in nourishing me.

Ah, the humble oat.

Here's hoping I can do the same. The utility of usefulness. A common bond for us all.

Love on!

 

October 16, 2017

The wildfires in Wine Country in California continue, 40 people dead, 100's missing, 7500 homes and businesses lost, and the fires are slowly being fought down and contained and extinguished. Tragic.

A freak hurricane has swept onshore in Ireland, causing widespread damage and fatalities. Sad.

Life is uncertain, and it seems as if these days that is the daily message.

That's where love comes in. Take the time to love, to love yourself, and to love others. Do good deeds, say kind words, be supportive and helpful. Bring positive energy to your life and to the lives of those you interact with. Little things do mean a lot, sometimes.

One of the little things I do is to wish my Facebook friends 'Happy Birthday' on their day, even though in some cases I have never met (in person) some of these folks and know them only through social media. So what, they're friends of a fashion and I can be cheery. What makes me smile is when I get some sweet and funny reply, like from a woman in Egypt who shares an interest in ancient Egypt. Her reply was in Arabic which Facebook tried to translate, and made a mess of but made me laugh. 'Kind words, nice, far away.'

We're all of us in this life together. 

We can lift each other up, and bring our smile and our heart to share.

Love on!

 

October 10, 2017

Felicity has, yet again, reminded me that she is the boss of her. No vet visit for her yesterday. Damn!

The past couple of days have been challenging. Felicity. Fires in Wine Country, and the smell of smoke and ashes falling in our yard, so saddening. So tragic. And then there's politics...

...so I've been doing what I can to make my life better, my home better, my family and friends better, and my world better.

Something about lighting a candle in a dark space, an old Chinese saying 'It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.'

Goodness knows there's enough darkness around. Almost seems like it's everywhere. The important thing is to recognize it and act as you choose.

Just the other afternoon, after a working Saturday, I went for a walk. As a walked along, I could feel my enthusiasm for life and living rise in me, and felt lighter and happier. That's when a stranger spoke to me, asking a question about direction. After giving him an answer he looked at me and said 'You're going straight to hell.'. Surprised, I stepped back and then walked on. For the next 5 or so minutes I blasted him in my head, thinking up all of these withering replies I could have said, giving him my anger, at least in thought. Some displacement, as it were. I felt my lightness return.

Such a funny thing, life, and how each of us are allowed to live it as we choose. 

A woman I know just packed up her life after selling most of her possessions and is moving to Arequipa Peru. She's been there many times, discovering her ancestry, and has now decided to take a new direction in her life and live a small dream of opening a school for young children. 

A man I know woke up one day, went into his work at Google and quit. Went and got himself a job in the fishing industry in Washington and loves his new life.

We all get to choose. Hopefully we will choose the best for ourselves, with love.

Love on!

 

October 7, 2017

Hello Finland! Looks like you live somewhere near Kuopio, in the green that is that part of a beautiful country I've visited several times. All the best to you and yours and thanks for reading.

How's October so far? 

In these parts it's been warmer than usual and so sunny. Feels like home. The weather page of the SF Chronicle newspaper is big and in color, with data about places globally. It always makes me smile when I see that the highest temperature is usually Death Valley and that the lowest is somewhere near Lake Tahoe, a drive of about 6 hours. Such contrast California holds.

Right now San Francisco is holding Fleet Week, a time when Navy ships of all sizes grace our waters, and planes of all sort fly through our skies. Most of it is quite nice and interesting to observe, and more than 100,000 people come to the City this week for all the displays. The only part of all of this hoopla that sits poorly with some folks are the fighter jets that zoom through the air, singly and in groups. The roar of these planes makes everything shake in their wake. Some dogs and cats are upset, like our dear Felicity, who slinks under furniture when she hears the roar outside.

This Monday will see me sedating her, once again, for a visit to the Vet. Her ear, the one that had the sarcoma removed, has been looking weird lately and after photos were sent to Dr. Morris he advised she be brought in.

Wish me luck. Last time didn't go well, I'm still regaining the use of my right index finger. 

Sometimes, we must do what we must do. Carry through, as it were. 

Here's to the weekend and the joy of life. Get out there and live!

Just remember to breathe and lighten the burden, with love.

Love on!

 

September 30, 2017

Yep, that's a wrap, as they say in various types of production. It's over.

September, that is.

Here come Oct. & Nov. & Dec...8, 9, 10. 

For half of the globe, winter approaches. For half of the globe, summer is coming.

All because of a wobble of our planet caused by rotation and a very heavy core. Not to neglect the slight bulge at the middle.

Kinda sounds like me, now that I think about it. Maybe all of us?

Whatever. For my part I am glad to see the advance of time and the changing seasons. I'm looking forward to seeing more fall around, more brightly colored leaves in trees and swirling around in the wind from the west.

Each day is a gift. Be present, with love.

 

September 28, 2017

Hello Houston! I sure hope y'all are drying out and returning to normal. Your beautiful Rothko Chapel sure rocks my socks, so powerful. All the best to you and yours and thanks for reading.

Yesterday was World Tourism Day! Travel rounds off our rough edges. Travel is good for the mind, heart, body and soul.

In the news yesterday came a  momentous announcement: base gene editing has been successfully accomplished.

What that means in plain English is that we have now been able to take embryos and edit their DNA to cure a disease.

Imagine what that means. That we have, with the aid of science, discovered that it is possible to eradicate potentially all diseases that plague the human body. The end of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, Parkinsons, MS, CF and maybe all diseases.

Maybe we can give Methuselah a run for his money and live more than 969 years. 

All that time and all those choices. Heaven knows we may not get everything that we want in life, but we do get what we get and do our best when we make the best of it. Imagine living a long time with loving intent. That's a goal worth living for.

Love on!

 

September 26, 2017

Hello Montreal Canada! Such a beautiful and historic city, and such lovely timing. All the best to you and yours, thanks for reading.

I've just returned from a whirlwind trip and am less than 12 hours off of a plane. Gads, jet lag. At least this time I got a heads-up from my intuition and am taking time to return from a nine hour time difference. 

But that's the only difference this trip showed me, that we are all the same, no matter where you go. Some good, some bad. All alive, to some degree, and portraying ourselves as we choose.

The reason for my trip was the once every three years of the Boeckh  Family. These are the descendants of my Great Grandmother Annabelle, born in Nordlingen  Germany in 1869. One of them contacted me in 2007, after I had done DNA testing with www.familytreedna.com and invited me to the next years gathering, in Nordlingen, of all places. Of course I went. Walking into that room, there were about 100 folks looking at me as I opened the door. A man with a microphone looked at me and starting gesturing toward me and speaking German, a language then completely foreign to me. Then he said my name and I waved. 

Some folks chuckled. Ah, yes, my time to choose. React or respond. I took a breath and waved again, smiling as big as I could.

Since then, I've gotten to know a little bit about most of those that I have met. Some folks are just about overwhelming in their love for me, while others insult me in public. Luckily there is only one man who has done this. For my part, I am always civil toward him. He is who is he for whatever reason he chooses. Not my circus, not my monkey. No disrespect in that comment, it's an old Polish saying and this man is far from anyone's monkey. He's actually quite charming and smart. As are some many of these folks.

At this gathering there was a man from Montreal whose family connection had not been verified by any written records, and I've offered to see what my genealogical research can provide. If not, then DNA testing. Charming chap, we have similar backgrounds in many ways. So, Allo Montreal!

Someone asked my why I came to the gathering, and in my awful German I said 'We are family.' She smiled and leaned forward to kiss both my cheeks. I began to tear up, and laughed.

Love and laughter. Two of the most uniting elements of life that you and I share.

Love on.

 

September 15, 2017

Anger.

All around me, so many angry people. Voices shouting obscenities. Too many voices...

I had been invited to a professional gathering, some of us who work in support of people. The invitation had come through a business oriented website, and after reading about the woman organizing the event and the events purpose (meet and greet) I decided to go.

What a learning curve that hour was. 

So me meet in a coffee shop not too far from me that I couldn't walk there. As I entered I recognized the organizer and a couple of folks I knew. Hellos and how ya beens all around, and the vibe is warm and calm. A man enters and comes over to our group, intros and sat and chat and a couple more come in and join us. Nice group, no negative language or disjointed body language. The seven of us are chatting when a man and woman enter, talking loudly and excitedly and they see us and come over. After a couple of verbal exchanges between them it is clear to most of us that this couple are having an angry disagreement. The organizer starts to address the issue when the woman begins to shout at her, making strong gestures with both arms and hands. Suddenly many voices join in and the tone becomes angry and the mood very tense. There is no dialogue taking place, just angry people talking at each other. This goes on for a couple of minutes, and it is time for me to vote with my feet.

I stand and walk out.

The walk home is just the right time to reflect on what happened. 

By the time I got home there was a message from the organizer, apologizing for the meeting. We talk about it for a while, and end the call well. 

Will I go to the next meeting? Absolutely. I always give people another chance. Sadly the organizer had been one of the angriest voices and had upped the ante with her profane language. I had been honest with her about my impressions and she had accepted responsibility for her actions.

The funny thing is, the couple who came in fighting are a couple of 'big wig's in the Bay area, famous for being examples of evolved and enlightened souls. 

People can be our best teachers. We can learn so much from observation and reflection. Strive for your best you, with love.

Live and learn, and love on.

 

September 8, 2017

Ah, the irony...

all my prattle about technology and this morning I wake up to learn that my Equifax records have been compromised.

Well, at least I'm not alone, there are more than 146 million accounts involved in this hacking.

The way things cyber work is that once a weakness is discovered, a solution is discovered to repair the weakness. Trial and error.

Just like life, which is always made better with love.

Technology is not a cure all, but it is part of our evolutionary advancement. Fits and starts, as it were. It takes time, and from what science says we have more than enough time. The important issue is to make use of time, so that one can be use full, and useful.

Take a breath, straighten your shoulders and soul, and love on!

 

September 7, 2017

The maple trees in town are starting to leave, leaf by leaf. The scatter of maple leaves in the streets, on the sidewalks, here, there, everywhere. Falling leaves beckon Autumn, and Fall is afoot and under foot as well.

Children are back to school, and the conga line of cars at our local school is snaking down the street in the morning, and most drivers avoid the street during the week. This makes those on bicycles happy. 

Lately, commercial rental bicycles stands are popping up all over town, for about $30 per day one can bicycle all over town and return the bike to one of dozens of rental stands, all on a map at each location. What's been amazing has been to see how successful this venture is. One of these days I will give it a try. Best to shop for a helmet beforehand. 

Lately I've been working with a company that wants to use technology to enhance customer sales. Part of this project has been learning how pervasive technology is, and a plethora of other data. Did you know that Spanish is the third most used language on the internet? How about the survey that revealed that teenagers look at their phones more than 100 times per day? Now companies are looking for ways to exploit our use/abuse of technology. I've heard some awful stories, and thankfully none of the ventures made it.

Now a small grey striped cat, named Lady Grey, is demanding of my attention and is on my keyboard. Time to attend and love.

Love on!

 

September 1, 2017

Happy Seventh Month! A new season is on the horizon, no pun intended. The wobble of the Earth continues.

Isn't it interesting, if not more, how the past can continue to make itself present in the now?

The past plays a part in everyone's life every day. Who we are today is a result of the past that we have lived, the emotions, the pain, all of it. People, trying to help, will say things like 'Get over it' or 'Move on' or some such. Would that it were that easy, but just like life, it is not.

The pain of the past can cause us to live a life that does not satisfy. Some folks give up and just go along, and the love and lifeforce drains from them slowly, like a balloon deflating, the energy and zest for living being eclipsed by something far less joyful.

We all choose, countless times per day, and our choices are reflected in the life that we live.

So, here's my perspective: the past is an artifact of what occurred, and any negativity that resides in me is to be displaced through physical action. As I energetically release any negativity I am creating space for better and maybe even best. Making use of the past so that it helps me to live the life that I choose, based on me today, not me yesterday. 

The past can be useful in so many ways.

Here we are in the 21st century using terms from Roman times, such as September being the seventh month in their 10 month calendar. Old and still useful. Something all of us can be, with love.

Love on!

 

August 28, 2017

Hello Holland! Ah, the wonderful and very colorful memories I have of your beautiful country, especially the bulb fields on the west coast. All the best to you and yours and thanks for reading.

A couple of days ago, some time after my last entry, I committed a faux pas. I addressed half of a gay couple by their partners name. The offense was immediate and I was lectured about how insulting it is to not be properly addressed. He went on for a couple of minutes there on the street between our respective houses. I didn't interrupt him and when he had stopped speaking, I started to speak, saying 'Please accept my apology' when he raised his hand as if to slap me and I stepped back and stopped talking. He glared at me and turned and walked away.

Good to know. 

It was so odd, the feeling that if I had stood my ground, my neighbor would have struck me. I've been sitting with it ever since.

The right thing always happens. Even in this weird instance. 

Clearly my neighbor has anger issues. Having had this encounter with him I will now be civil but distant, and will no longer engage him should I see him. I wish him well, and I wish me wellest.

When I was a teenager there was a woman who lived across the street from my Dad and I, and if you walked on her property she would run out of her house and grab a garden hose and turn it on and aim your way. She was a bit odd. I never walked on her property but instead would step into the street when I walked past her house. One day she came out and talked to me. She invited me to walk on her property when I needed to, and she was very friendly and kind. She said that my respect of her property had led to her invitation. 

People. They teach us. We learn what we choose with and from them. Surround yourself with good and loving folks and your life will be the best you can make it. Good, better, best, with love.

Love on.

 

August 26, 2017

Recently I was attacked on social media. I had made a comment about the lack of civil discourse that occurs on social media, and the next thing I know, some guy starts posting comments on my page about me, using very ugly words in very ugly ways. It took a bit of work to remove his comments and block him, but it was worth it. Haters are going to hate. Do what you can and keep moving forward.

As angry as I can get, I work at safely displacing my anger so that it does not get the better of me. The other day I found myself angry about a situation, one that I can do nothing about, and since I had the time free, I started moving. My maternal Grandmother had told me that when she got angry she 'got to cleaning' and made use of the energy of her anger. 

My house keeps getting cleaner and cleaner these days.

Making something good out of something bad. 

If only it were that easy on a larger scale.

Love on!

 

August 22, 2017

True to my word, I've been moving.

Wasn't that quite the eclipse in North America, all the way from Oregon to South Carolina? Amazing to see. Thankfully for me, Karl the Fog, as we call the fog here in San Francisco (he's on Twitter), was kind enough to give me partial screening, so that I could clearly see the moon as it shadowed the Earth. The way the sky darkened, just for a minute or so, and then the sun came back and Karl was driven back to sea. Finally, something that almost all Americans were interested in and supported. It was a nice albeit brief, change.

Politics and religion, two subjects that each of us are entitled to think, feel, and believe as we choose.

Lately it seems as if the world is going a bit mad, what with all the hate and violence and ugly language. Sadly, we are seeing more of it because these issues sell more media and therefore are better vehicles for advertising. 

My Dad was in that business, and what I learned from watching him, meeting the people he worked with, and how ethics had a price tag were eye opening for a 14 year old boy. Quickly I learned of lying for profit, cynicism, BS artists, spinners, you name them. Those that would promote a lie for money.

They're still with us.

Choose wisely. All the time. Learn about what is in your favorite shampoo, find out about who said what really, discern.

Recently I was put in an awkward position when I learned that a client company was about to promote a falsehood. When I was told 'the news' I acted surprised, and then referenced a colleagues comment a couple of days earlier about the opposite being the truth. Thankfully the falsehood was abandoned. 

This morning, as I worked to clean my yard, the birds came to visit a feeder and I withdrew and watched for a while. There were no fights, no tussles, just a dozen or so birds feeding. All appearing in agreement. Me too!

Find common ground and work together. We're all in this together.

Here's hoping this finds you and your well and swell, and happy as all get out!

Love on!

 

August 15, 2017

The morning light was soft and dim, the house quiet, all souls sleeping. As quietly as I could I got out of bed and pulled on a robe. Stepping into my slippers I moved toward the door leading to the deck and slipped outside.

The air was cool and calm, the faint glow of sunrise far to the east, minutes to dawn. As I sat on the steps leading into the garden I heard the cry of a small child somewhere near, and then the bark of a small dog somewhere farther. Then silence. 

With each breath I invited calm, peace, and love to infuse my body and soul.

Later, I noticed that dawn was almost here, and then it was, the first shaft of sunlight lighting the maple tree, making it glow.

Time to get moving, and I did.

Good morning!

Love on!

 

August 11, 2017

Living history.

That's what's happening right now.

Each and every day brings new and sometimes shocking information. Good. Bad. Surprising. The works.

Even though I've lived decades, I am still surprised and angered and depressed by events around me and in the world.

Through it all, I remember that it is my choice to do what I can to make my immediate world better, and then to reach out and help others.

Each day is a gift, the gift of time. We each get to choose how we spend it.

All of this brings me to this morning. After picking up and having coffee and a read of the newspapers, I went out for a walk. The fog was spilling over the crest of 17th Street, the wisps of grey falling down over the houses and trees, so many shades of grey. As I walked along I noticed the clang of the street car as it turned a corner, the roar of a car engine as it flew past me on the street, the folks walking dogs. A nice morning.

Walking around Dolores Park, I saw a person I've seen other mornings, an older chap. As he approached me on the sidewalk, he greeted me, wishing me a good morning. I did the same. 

Suddenly the sun broke through the fog and illuminated the part of the park we were in. We both laughed and walked on.

Do what you can to make your world better. The world will thank you for it.

With love.

 

August 8, 2017

Happy International Cat Day!

Have you ever wondered, out of all the animals on our world, why cats are the only creature that naturally stays close to humans?

Food and food source says science. Love and affection says emotion. 

As there are now 2 formerly feral cats living with us, every day is cat day. Good and bad, mostly good and great, actually.

This past weekend I went to a public event here in the City (Thank you Herb Caen) and had a chance to interact with strangers, and what a time was had by yours truly. The occasion was food and drink, tickets had to be bought and nice clothing was encouraged. There must have been a couple thousand people there, it was made more enjoyable with entertainment provided by costumed performers strolling about. I drifted among the crowd...

overhearing bits of conversations, some funny, some sad, some curious. After a couple of hours I began to notice that the mood had grown more festive, there was lots more laughter.

Just what I needed. To laugh. To smile. To guffaw. And more.

As I returned home I saw a woman whom I had seen earlier that day. She saw me and waved, and we both smiled as we went on our paths. A smile lingered on my face.

There may not be many reasons to smile and laugh some days, but don't let that stop you. 

Our love lives in our laughter. Share yours and live better.

Love on!

 

July 30, 2017

We are all still looking out the back windows to see if Bootsy is there...

and the routines of 2 people and 2 cats are altered, the subtle change noted in the pain of remembering the joy of other times, when he would dance back and forth waiting for a plate of wet cat food to be brought to him, how he would dance away if one came too close...

Thanks to our interconnected world wide web, I've learned from neighbors who I didn't know previously about their interactions with this cat. He had many names and was fed at at least 4 different houses. He slept where he wanted and avoided people unless they fed him. He was not friendly, just present. Folks had seen him around for more than a decade.

So many stories, and some photos, and shared tears and laughter. A city block mourns...

...and life slowly goes on, and the love we felt endures.

Someone once asked me if I would like to live a couple of hundred years. I asked if I would not be the only one to live so long, and was told no, only me.

No, thanks, a long life alone, watching everyone and everything go away and change...oh heck no.

Life, at least for yours truly, is best shared, and thankfully I have many people with whom I enjoy sharing my life. The people in my life are points of connection for me, they are part of the landscape that I live in, and I am ever glad that they are there. No man is an island.

And why, oh why, would one cosset themselves away when today in San Francisco the weather is going to be glorious!

Out and about, wherever we are. Let's go live, and love, and laugh. Share your life and live better.

Love on!

 

July 25, 2017

Sadness has come to us, our neighborhood unaltered male cat, a tuxedo fellow, so dapper he, has been found dead in a neighbors yard. He had been seen this past week and alerts about his condition had been posted on a local website. When I saw him he was tired and slept on our deck in the sun for a while, then ate some food, had some water, and left. He looked skinny and very old. RIP Bootsy / Joey! 

True love never dies.

and then I sat with his death, performing my personal death ritual for him, his presence in my life, our times not always good but real, and most of all lovingly.

The images I received, in my meditation: the joy of birth, the struggle of youth, the comfort of old age, hard and fast and back to joy.

I came back to being in my body, with my feelings and my thoughts, and so much more, and I could feel the rightness of events.

Lordy, to paraphrase Mr. Comey, I am tested.

Do I love? 

How much?

Surrender...

yeah, I know, just a cat, just some animal that I fed from time to time. Yeah, right, and diminish... and I will and can not.

Love matters. Love is the best of me. Love on.

Thanks Boots, you remind me that we each live as we choose, we are only victims to ourselves.

Love on.

 

July 22, 2017

Hello Saint Paul, Minnesota! How's life in one of the Twin Cities? I've had such good times there, and the river! What a sight. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

Well, the stitches are out and I'm down to a much smaller bandage, but am not to bend my finger until it hurts. Hooray, my index digit is almost back to normal, and I can use it to type on my keyboard. Hip hip! 

Hopefully by the time the Boeckh Family Reunion happens in late September I will have full use of my right hand. Fingers crossed. This will be my fourth visit with my German relatives, there's about 125 of them, and getting to see them every 3 years has been an adventure every time. These trips have taken me to the ancestral family town, Nordlingen, a pretty town encircled by a round wall erected in 1330AD, and to Lahr in the Rhine valley, and to Fussen up in the German Alps. This next get together will be in Heidelburg, a town I first went to in 1967 when I was looking at going to college in Europe. Learning to speak German has been and still is a challenge, but I keep at it. It's my way of honoring my Great Great Grandmother Annabelle, who came to America with her family in 1882 to New York City. 

Lately I took another DNA test, this time from 23&Me. Getting the results this week has been so interesting. This time it involves around genetic predisposition to certain physical illnesses and problems. So much to learn, so very detailed. From the looks of it, there are no major problems ahead for me. Here's hoping they're correct.

Time for me to go for my daily walk. Next week I plan on going back to my gym and doing what I can without injuring my finger.

Hoping your weekend is all that you want it to be, and more, with love!

 

July 18, 2017

My weekly routine has been thrown out the window, what with my finger being on the mend.

Being left handed, I didn't think losing the use of my right index finger for awhile would be such a problem.

It's such a problem. I had no idea how much I use my right hand, daily, for so much. Have you ever tried to hold a razor in your lesser hand and shave? I have. Not pretty. Not pretty at all. Such a learning curve.

So there went my routine, and suddenly I am at sixes and sevens trying to make alternate arrangements. Walking, that's it. I'll walk more than usual and replace my gym time with walking time. Let's go.

And I went. And went. All over the place, just about every other day, just to keep in shape.

There have been so many wonderful moments, like the time I came around a corner and there was a young boy running to his mom's arms, she kneeling to receive him, his laughter so high pitched and melodic. Or the elderly woman admiring the new tattoo of her young friend, the girl to proud of her new ink. Or the couple walking arm in arm along the park path, both of them in their golden years yet their faces mirroring so much love and affection.

So, even though I cannot resume my usual activities, I've found a suitable replacement.

Later this week I will return to the doctor and learn if I'll be stitched up much longer. The right thing will happen.

It always does, with love.

Here's hoping your week is filled with all the right things, with love.

Love on!

 

July 15, 2017

Hello Amsterdam! How I love your city and country. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

Finally, the splint has been taken off. Two days after I wrote the below I had to return to a clinic and get a tetanus shot due to complications. Wow, sore arm for 3 days, and no pain meds for me as they want to know if anything is going amiss. Now the splint has been removed, the wound is healing well, and I can use both hands, sort of. Slow but steady.

Felicity is healing nicely, as well. After a day of being wary of me, she came around. Maybe it was because she was being fed pain medications or just the bond she and I have formed, but she's back to bumping into my legs and letting me stroke part of her back.

Happy now that a major 'family' concern has been dealt with, I can turn my attention to things that I've been putting aside these past few days.

Working in the yard, the sun dappling the ground, a robin flies past with something in its beak. It lands on a nearby branch, and dangling from its beak is a strand of noodle. Resourceful wildlife in these parts. Finishing the yard work, I sit in a chair on the deck and enjoy my efforts. Just then a flock of small birds, a couple of different types, flies into the lemon tree before some of them venture to the bird feeders hanging about. It's so peaceful...

and I dozed, for a few minutes at least. I woke up when my right hand slid to my side and the throbbing in my index finger woke me up. Not the most pleasant of alarm clocks, but very effective.

There was more that I wanted to accomplish, but that's for another day. We can only do what we can do.

And with that I got on with the rest of my day, and as it wound down I noticed that my finger felt much better. Maybe it was just time taking care of things that I wanted to do that helped. Taking care of myself, as well.

Wellness lives in each and everyone of us, with love.

Love on!

 

July 10, 2017

Today was the day, and last night, as I was falling asleep I tried to imagine how this morning would go.

Felicity had an appointment with the veterinary staff and was scheduled for surgery to remove a sarcoma from her ear.

Last week, a mobile vet had come to the house and checked her out, as much as he could since she cowered behind her bed in a corner. He gave me some sedative pills with instructions to learn what dosage was needed to make her manageable. After a couple of days, days apart, 15 mg. looked to be the proper amount.

This morning I got up at 4AM and fed her the sedative in some canned tuna. She ate it all and curled up to sleep.

At 7AM I checked on her, she was woozy but came over to bump against my legs as I sat in a chair. 30 minutes before we leave, so I get her cat carrier box, line it with a soft towel and go into the room she lives in. She's bumping against my leg and just as I reach down to pick her up this loud voice in my head says 'Start and carry through'.

As I begin to put my hands under her she becomes enraged and all 4 paws are slashing at my arms, her mouth finds my right index finger and she tears it open at the joint, blood flies and I am forcing her into the box. She's snarling and screaming. hissing and thrashing about as I close the box above her.

Fast bandages on my finger and both arms and hands, and off we go.

She's quiet all the way until we go in an examination room. There she emits a soft growl a couple of times. Our vet comes in and confirms what needs to happen and the costs and whatnot. When he sees my finger he had his staff prepare a baggy with an antibiotic rinse and I soak my finger. Go to an emergency room right now, and off I go yet again.

A couple of injections and stitches later, along with money, I am sent home with my finger in a splint. Sweet girl opened a flap of skin down to my bone.

This has been so hard to type because of this immobile digit, and it is beginning to hurt more.

Felicity lost part of her left ear and came home quietly. When the box was opened she sat up, looked around and jumped out. She's back to her sweet head butting self, no hard feelings on either of our parts. Just tenderness that will heal with time and love.

Start and carry through, I did, with love.

Love on!

 

July 6, 2017

Time has been zooming by of late, each day starts and is quickly filled with things to do and places to be and people to see. These past couple of weeks have been filled with stuff everyday, so much so that I have not had time to be here. Very glad to have this time now.

This time, on this fog free morning, found me feeding two indoor semi feral cats and one outdoor very feral cat. Three plates of cat food, fresh water all around, and top up the dry food bowls. Later cat boxes will complete cat care, except for the touching and petting that 2 of the 3 will seek out.

Right after that it was out the door for a nice half hour long walk, something I've been missing these past few days. New shops have opened nearby, and one that was struggling has closed. Work on a nearby house has moved along briskly, and now the exterior shell is all that remains. Someone painted their house shades of purple and it's quite a sight. And so many people out and about.

Coming home, the morning sun had risen high enough to illuminate the flowering jacaranda trees here and there, the lovely purple flowers brightly lit by the early light.

What a nice welcome home, two cats that are affectionate before turning to more catly interests. A house to pick up, beds to make, dishes to wash and put away. The hum drummery of life.

How I love it.

Sitting here now, in my office at my computer, the world is at my fingertips. What an amazing world we live in, these days.

Here's hoping your days are filled with good and light and laughter and love.

Love on!

 

June 26, 2017

Hello Seattle! How's that wonderful city of yours? So much to see and do, and I look forward to my next visit. All the best to you and yours, thanks for reading.

What a colorful and color filled weekend was had in San Francisco just yesterday. It was the annual Gay Pride Festival, and more than one million people were in the city for the weekend. The place was packed with locals and visitors from the world over. There were marching bands and floats and contingents supporting this and that. Very unpolitical, and very celebratory. Love is love.

Last week I was engaged by a new client, a man of means and influence. He wants to learn how to be happy.

All of his life, more than 60 years now, he has lived his life to the outward exclaim of family and friends, to business associates and members of the public. Inside he has felt hollow and empty and a fraud.

When he looks in the mirror, which he does daily to shave his face, he says he sees a tired, grumpy, old and useless man. Sometimes he cuts himself, always he says by accident.

The acid in him is rotting its container.

This is where I come in.

I know what he's feeling, I felt that way about myself for decades. There were no times when I felt good or attractive or useful, and my self esteem was in the basement buried under events and judgement, mine and others.

Not a day goes by that I do not have to take care of myself. The world is full of all manner of beings and events, and some of them would kill me if they could. My self esteem is based on self love, on the love of my authenticity, my pure connection to love and to being.

We all have this struggle, daily. Learning to love ourselves is hard work, and the results last a lifetime and maybe more.

Live and love on.

 

June 23, 2017

Modern medicine has come to the rescue for dear Felicity. A vet appointment is in her near future.

Small steps, slow and steady...

gads, there are times I just have to take myself outside, and go burn it off. I've been walking a lot these past few days. Miles every day. I had forgotten how terrible frustration feels, in the head, heart and especially body. Walking has helped to displace the negative energy and freed me from the stress of frustration.

Seems I picked a good week to walk around, as San Francisco is filled with folks from all over the world. Just walking in my neighborhood I overheard French, Italian, Russian, something that sounded like Swedish, and veddy British as well. The weather has been on the edge of hot with afternoon breezes and the town is jumping.

We have become a city dotted with outdoor seating, here and there little sitting areas have been made on many streets, places to sit and relax. Add to this a profusion of outdoor dining places that have opened in the past few months. They're everywhere, and I just have to look as far as a corner of my block where a new Asian fusion eating place has just opened, and wow is it delicious. We're moving into a much more edible SF.

This weekend is the last of June, almost, and the summer beckons.

As do my sneakers...

Love on!

 

June 19, 2017

Summer showed up in San Francisco this past weekend. The surrounding areas were over 100F. It was hot.

Everybody took out their warm weather clothes, and moved at a slower pace. Out walking one morning I passed two women discussing the merits of being hydrated. The same day I watched as a guy crossed the street so as to avoid being in the direct sun. For my part, I resorted to an age old technique: closing my window blinds that face the sun. It helped a bit.

Every once in a while, I get reminded that my superior intelligence does not always prevail. Like the past few days.

Felicity, the older of our two feral cats, has an ear edge that will not stop bleeding, and I've tried so many tactics, all to no avail.

She's a funny girl, lived in our backyard for 4 years until the rains drove her inside. She still insists on going outside, daily. She lets me stroke her back but no other touch. So wary, even after two years of living semi domesticated.

Today I had a great chat with a guy who provided me with a solution. He's coming over on Wednesday and we're going to try natural drugs to calm her. Maybe it will help. He says that he's helped many folks over the years as an Herbalist. Finger's crossed.

All day long she has been giving me a forlorn look, she knows something is up. She's right. It's for her betterment, even though that makes no difference to her.

Next steps, slow and steady. With love.

Love on! 

 

June 12, 2017

There are 4 window blinds in my bedroom, two larger two smaller. 3 of them work perfectly. One does not.

It's the small things in life that teach us, sometimes, and this small blind is one of my teachers. It's compatriots all glide smoothly at the touch of my hand, but it does not sometimes, and does not roll up like the others.

When I first discovered this, I was frustrated. Attempts to fix it just made me more frustrated. I was just on the verge of sending it all back when I stepped back from the problem and did nothing.

Then I began to work with my problem blind. I held it in many ways, trying this way and that way to get the roller mechanism to work properly. It took a few days, and some days there was one blind in my window, blocking out the light. But I began to get the feel of it.

Patience, this blind was teaching me. Go slower than you do with the others, be more aware of the roller moving with your hand upward, and stop and go back if you feel a change. Take your time. Be patient.

Yes, there have been mornings when after a couple of tries I'm done and leave it alone, until later. Some days start smoothly, some don't. Sound familiar? The lynchpin to all of this is patience. The more patient I am, the smoother the glide of the blind.

As a metaphor for life, patience is always a good thing to have.

The other day I watched a man get angry and upset about having to wait for his coffee and he yelled and stomped around and finally stormed out, shouting all the way. He kept yelling he didn't 'have time for this'. I beg to differ, he had the time, he just used it differently than the rest of us waiting in line.

How patient time is with all of us. What a gift.

Love on!

 

June 9, 2017

Hello Dublin Ireland! Thanks for dropping in. Hope this June is green in St. Stephen's, all the best to you and yours!

Golly, the telly has been just the thing to look at these past few days, the faces and the language and the questions. History being made, my inner wisdom says, and I sit amazed to see these times go by.

Nature has always been my refuge, the place that I turn to when I need calm and perspective.

There is a deeper wisdom in me, and in all of us, if we learn to listen.

Get beyond your judgement, your fault finding, your pettiness, dig deeper, find your love. It's this love that breaks your heart, it yearns to breathe free, to fill itself with new life and promise, if only you will let it. If only, with love.

My mornings start with my thankfulness that I'm still flesh and bone, soul and more, and alive to share my love. Even if I wake up unrested, unslept, cranky, whatever...I'm back, and I get to choose. Up or down or all around?

This is where my love comes in.

Breath by breath, I'm OK, ok, and breathe,,, yeah, I live and forgive, me first and then onward, upward, starward.

Watching history before my eyes reminds me that I, too, am an actor on the stage of life, and that I have a part to play.

With love, loving on.

 

June 3, 2017

Sorry to have been silent for the past while, there has been so much going on.

On top of all the changes in my world and the world in general, technology decided to give me a run for my money, all so true that, and suddenly I was plunged into the world of desktop computer problems. Day after day, phone call after phone call, and the upshot of all of it was that I needed to buy a new computer. And of course I would need a new monitor as the cables don't adapt...

In the midst of all of it I got a call from my Great Nephew informing me of the passing of his Grandmother, my former Sister-in-Law. She and I had reconnected a couple of years ago via Ancestry.com and had had wonderful conversations about the old times and the new. She was as funny and loving as I remembered her being half a century ago. Her passing came peacefully.

To bookend her passing came the arrival of my new cousin Sammy, and his parents Marla and Tony are over the moon and sleepless. Two wonderful people have become parents. Love and life keep keeping on.

Joni Mitchell wrote about life 'between the forceps and the stone', and those words echoed in my thoughts these past several days. How good and bad and confusing life is and can be. We each have one to live.

Now comes the weekend and a house full of chores to be done and a work day to get through. Helping people continues to be my highest calling, and is something that I truly enjoy.

Recently a new client told me that I don't 'sugarcoat' issues, and I laughed and told her that the honest truth is always best. The focus must be on honesty, and of course feelings will get hurt, understandably. Years ago I saw a woman at the urging of a friend, and spent almost an hour being told wonderful lies and phony stories, a waste of time and money. At the end, I got to pose for a photo with this woman as she directed, something to add to her 'scrap book' she said. I knew that my face and name would wind up in her sales material and sent her a letter forbidding this use. Later I heard she thought I was a terrible person. This made me smile. It still does.

Be terribly in love with life, and love you as best you can, look after yourself and your interests. Be as generous with your love of yourself as you can be, and the results will make your life better and better. Then the power of love is yours to be shared.

Here's to today, to tomorrow, to life and love and you and all of us.

Love on!

 

May 23, 2017

Hello Beaverton, Oregon! What a lovely part of our world you are, surrounded by trees and water. All the best to you and yours, thanks for reading.

Where does the time go?

Some days just zip past and before I know it, it is the end of the day. Again.

That's what it's been like for me the past few days, zoom and done, zoom and done.

Not that I mind, just so you know, but the elastic nature of time is once again, yet again?, making me rethink stuff.

When I was young, the days seemed to stretch on forever, and as I grew older I noticed a compression of my sense of time. One summer felt like it lasted forever, I got such a bad sunburn on my back at the local Public Swimming Pool that I freckled. Still have them, although they're faint today. And summers have changed, as well.

As has my relationship with time. Now I know that if I am putting something off, time around that issue will drag on, whereas if I look forward to something, that time will vanish quickly. Funny time, trying to help me sort the things in my life and the world.

One of my neighbors lives in her pyjamas until she has to go out, and some weeks that's maybe once. I saw her one morning, at the local corner store. She was wearing a flannel nightgown under a winter coat with flip-flops on her feet. In an instant I knew how she felt. 'Who gives a damn?'.

I still do. I care about the passage of time, about what happens in our world and in my life. I want to see the new things that come into being, I want to share in the tragedy that occurs to some of us, I want to give my heart and mind and body to doing good and making the world better. While I've got time.

Here's to us, timelessly, with love.

 

May 20, 2017

Alternative facts.

Post truth.

Changed narrative.

Golly, for a while there, I had begun to think and hope that I understood a bit of the English language. Linguists say that it is the second hardest language to learn, after Dine, or Navajo. But anyway, there I was in a meeting, and new data kept being interjected, and I made note of them, and then later went to learn what I could about the data, only to discover that none of it was true. I contacted the two sources and was told these were alternative facts.

oh...ok...got it...

lies from liars.

Mark Twain wrote that it was easier to remember just one version of events and lying was too much effort. I believed him then and now.

A few days later one of the sources at the meeting called me, and told me that she was just doing her job and that she had no skin in the game and didn't care what happened and it was just for money. I thanked her for calling, but did not engage.

I learned. There are still people among us who will lie, plain and simple. They may even lie about lying.

The next day the second source called me, and he told me that he was spinning the truth to help the company. Oh, okay, thanks. Bye.

When I was younger I would engage with these kinds of folks, and try to help them see the errors in their ways. Now, it's based on how much I love me. I don't have to live with liars and con artists and the like, I can vote with my feet and walk away.

Yesterday a neighbor stopped me and tried to get me interested in some health supplement/vitamin and I just smiled and said 'No thanks, not for me. Have a good day.' and walked on.

With love.

 

May 17, 2017

Aloha!

Yep, I was on the road again, to Honolulu and my goddaughter Maleka and the exuberance of youth and change.

My first trip to Hawai'i was when I was 13 years old. From my earliest memories I had always lived someplace that it snowed. One day I came across a National Geographic magazine and flipped through the photographs. There, for the first time, I saw the Islands. Wow.

It was hard to imagine someplace like the one I saw before me, and I started to learn about the Hawaiian Islands.

When my Dad told me a few years later he was taking me there I was almost beside myself. That trip and its memories make me smile still.

When Maleka's Mom Nahara told me that the University of Hawai'i Manoa was probably going to be college I was delighted. As a young person there is no more enriching life than that which involves a change in culture, and there's a big difference between California and Hawai'i.

Four slogging long years later, graduation and ceremonies and family and friends and so much energy a small city could be powered by it. There were minutes of being in the crush of thousands of people streaming into a stadium, and it was electric. The smiles everywhere, the beautiful and sometimes fragrant leis all around, so rich in culture. Much of the old days were on display, and the invocation chant in the Hawaiian language by a small group was very touching.

A real whirlwind, those 3 nights in Waikiki. Being back to someplace deep in my heart, the first thing I did after dropping my bag was to walk out onto Kalakaua Boulevard, the main drag. Wide sidewalks, shops and restaurants and a zillion people. Being half way between the USA and Japan has made for an even greater mélange of cultures, reflected in the saimen sold at McDonalds there.

So much has changed over the years, and yet the landscape remains. The soft lapping of the waves on the warm sand, the shades of red and gold and purple in the skies dawn and dusk, the flowers everywhere, so tropical and lush, the colors riotous.

Thank you, Maleka and Nahara and Rahim for giving me another reason to love the Islands. Mahalo! Thank you, all that is, for allowing me to be part of this.

Love on!

 

May 8, 2017

Hola!

Hello!

How are you? How've you been? Well and swell, I hope!

Vacation is the reason for my absence from these pages, even though there was Wi-Fi and the internet everywhere I turned. Years ago I had to search to find some place that had a computer so that I could connect to the electronic part of my life. Now it's everywhere, and probably going to start showing up even more.

Travelling, I have been. To Barcelona, Spain for some time, and then a rental car and Zaragoza, then on to Donostia/San Sebastian and one of the most beautiful beaches in our world, and finally Bilbao and art!

This trip was about culture via cuisine. The Basque Country. Rugged granite slabs of earth hundreds of feet thick turned on its side to expose the different layers from an old ocean bed. Some of these hills have stripes of grape vine plants that undulate across the landscape. And a language like no other on Earth, so interesting.

Being out of touch with these pages was an odd thing, as there were so many times that I though 'I must share this' and yet in reflection I see now that it would be much better if I exhort you to travel, even just a little bit. Travel opens ones eyes to a larger horizon, and a world of learning.

The surface of my trip can be seen on Facebook, it's all there, so many photos. A wonderful trip.

And everywhere I went, there were people looking at their cell phones. Everywhere. Global connectedness, which I see as a wondrous thing. Imagine. All of us, everywhere, capable of sharing ideas and dreams and fears and our lives. Freedom.

Walking late at night in Barcelona, a town that eats dinner at 10PM, we came across a small plaza with just two businesses, both restaurant/bars. Passing one of them, a waiter appeared with a menu card and we waved him off, having just eaten yet another spectacular meal elsewhere. Smiles on all our faces, and the cool night air swirled some leaves on the ground. Peaceful. Happy.

The simple pleasures in life.

Wishing you and yours the best in life, with love.

Love on!

 

April 20, 2017

Little things can make such a big difference.

Especially when it comes from the heart.

Lately, I've been going to meetings of some of my neighbors that are trying to address the issue of homelessness.

Sometimes, when we approach something as a problem, it just stays a problem. That's what had been happening regarding the homeless in our area. They were seen as drug addicts and thieves and bad people. Some of my neighbors were very unkind.

After a few meetings, when it became clear that only a couple of people were being very negative about the issue, I decided that it was time for me to speak up, and I did.

Recounting several of my interactions with our local homeless, I noted the need for compassion and kindness. In my walks I encounter many homeless, most of them average folks down on their luck. There have been times when I have helped as I can, and the thanks that I've received have been heartfelt and so kind

Others spoke as well, and suddenly they became us.

The perspective changed, and the problem as perceived became people to help.

Things won't change because we do not like them. Things will change when we act.

Love on!

 

April 15, 2017

Just before I go out for my walk this morning I wanted to just give one small piece of advice: displace.

All this week I've been seeing clients who have been holding in their true feelings so often that a couple of them are on the edge of getting ill. This is not a good thing. Self sacrifice saves no one.

Get the icky out of you! Displace the negative and regain the positive.

Write angry letters and tear them up. Smash burned out light bulbs. Pound sand.

Do whatever is safe to displace the anger and frustration and hurt and whatever else you're stuffing inside.

As we transform this repressed energy into expression, we remove it from our bodies. Home is where our heart is, literally.

It doesn't have to be big and spectacular, just small acts sometimes are enough to get some of the bad out.

Here's wishing and hoping your days and nights are good ones, filled with peace and love.

All the best, with love!

 

April 10, 2017

Hello Chicago, hello Montreal, hello Los Angeles! All the best to you and yours, thanks for reading.

When I first heard about the Internet way back in the early 1980's, it was used mainly by academics and scientists. Then the World Wide Web was invented, and away it and we went.

Today there are tribesmen in Africa with smart phones. Cell phone coverage is a growing problem in many parts of the world, even the US. Everybody is on-line.

The first time I saw a computer it was a two story building. Now I can have one on my wrist.

Yet for all of this new fangled technology, we the people are the same, we still do what we do and think what we think and act how we act. Now we just do it while staring at our cellphones.

The other morning, on my walk, I was run into by a man looking at his phone. He didn't see me and stepped right into my path causing us to collide. It didn't even register for him, he just kept walking on, like Narcissus looking at his reflection.

Working as I do with technology companies, I get to see some of the wonderful things that are coming our way, the wonderful use of technology to make our lives easier and hopefully better. The new offerings that can automate our houses are really cool, a bit like 'Star Trek', as you enter the room you call out 'Lights' and lamps turn on. 'Music' brings sound from speakers in the room. And on and on. Sadly calling out 'Food' doesn't bring a robot out with chow, at least not yet, but probably soon.

Imagine the future, remember the past and live in the now.

Love on!

 

April 7, 2017

Happy World Health Day! Happy USA Beer Day!

How's that for contrast?

As much as there is bad news daily, there is more good news. This is a fact.

When I worked in the newspaper industry, I quickly learned something about selling newspapers: bad news sells better.

So many people kept telling me this at the newspaper I worked for, and as I got to go to other cities and meet others folks in the trade I was shocked to find that this was commonly accepted thinking, and had been for centuries. Just to prove this, I did some research and found it to be true.

Misery loves company.

Picking up a newspaper with some happy headline when one is not happy and maybe even frustrated and angry seldom happens.

There have been countless studies and experiments globally on this subject, and they all point to the same conclusion. Bad sells.

Usually, if one is looking to find good news in a newspaper, one should look below the fold, the crease in the newsprint that manufacturing causes. There won't be much in most papers.

And yet the supply of good news outstrips the quantity of bad news. The contrast lies in marketing.

Here's hoping we all get the good news we want. It's out there, waiting for us to discover it and recover ourselves.

All the best, with love.

 

April 4, 2017

Happy Birthday Mom! 101! Love you always!

When she died, at 49, I was a crazed teenager, and had no idea that homelessness and drug addiction and self sabotage were coming shortly. And would stay for years, until karma rescued me.

We change when we are ready, and not one second earlier.

For me, life wasn't getting better and I knew it, and there was the smallest of knots at the end of my rope. I held as tight as I could. I had to shed most of my relationships, and to move to a new place.

Whatever it took, I loved me enough to make it happen. Family and false friends laughed at me, but I didn't care. I had to change.

I had to love and love on.

In recovering myself I learned who I truly and authentically am, and delight to this day in the journey of my life, ups and downs, twists and turns and onward.

Thanks, Mom, for all the memories of your encouragement and love and most of all patience. True love never dies.

Love on!

 

March 30, 2017

Well, it's almost gone, this month that comes with instructions. March is marching on, into April...

Have you ever noticed that some days just disappear right in front of your eyes, and that time seems to have sped up?

Or the times when it seems as if the clock is broken and time is slowing down?

Medical scientists report that time is a matter of perception, and that chemistry is to blame for our sense of the passage of time.

Someday, some one will synthesize the chemistry and it will be sold, first by prescription and then over the counter.

Maybe...

In the mean time, when times drags for me I make use of the playland between my ears, and make use of my mind. This normally results in some sort of physical activity. If I get busy, the time seems to melt away.

As I child, I remember my mom's mom busily cleaning her kitchen one evening after supper. She was scrubbing this and that, and then on to some other task, all the while moving.

'I'm waiting for my program to start' she would often say, indicating that there was a television or radio program that she was going to watch maybe but surely listen to.

The other day time was moving slowly, I thought, and so I got to cleaning. It was funny how fast the time disappeared.

Marching on, with love!

 

March 28, 2017

Religious people that lack conviction have always been around me. This has been true from my earliest childhood, and is true still.

What's the point of having a fireplace if you're not going to use it?

As a child growing up in a lower middle class family in southern California, many times rural, I was exposed to religion. Interesting stuff, and as I grew older I began to study religions, all of them. What I found was a singularity of belief, that there is good and bad in the world and that, for the most part in most religions, we choose.

Which is why those who tout religion but fail to practice it are such a conundrum to me. What's the point ?

Ultimately I am glad that these folks have found religion. Can you imagine what they'd be like without some boundaries?

Love on!

 

March 24, 2017

Ah, a cautionary example of karma has appeared before me, yet again.

Some folks think/feel/believe that they can 'get away with it', and do or say something wrong and cause harm. Life has lessons.

Years ago a man came to see me, to ask about his life in general and specifics. We met a few times, and it became clear that he was sorting himself through a relationship, trying to figure out how he felt. He eventually decided not to continue the relationship and ended it, not without some ugliness on the other persons part.

He went on with his life, met and married and has had a really nice life. Then he saw his ex on TV, wanted for murder. Later that same day he called me and we chatted for a few minutes. He wanted to know if he was responsible for what had happened, and I told him his only responsibility was for himself, alone.

People we love may make terrible choices. Our loving them won't make any difference in the choice of another. People will choose what they think/feel/believe is right for them, always. Our choices inform us about the world we live in and present us with information so that we can change, if we choose, and make other, perhaps better, choices.

Love you first, make your life better. Then share, and help others if you choose. Love lives in living a loving life.

Love on!

 

March 20, 2017

Happy Equinox! Spring for some, Fall for others. As we zoom through space, creating time, chasing the sun, living. Love on!

This may seem silly, but I woke up before the equinox here in San Francisco at 3:28AM. Some sources I checked said it was a minute later but I didn't want to take the chance and miss it. Spring is very special to me, not just because I was born then but also because of all the beauty that nature displays at this time of year.

One year I went to Holland just to see gardens and bulb fields.

One year I went to Istanbul and discovered their Tulip Festival.

And so many other years when I've driven out to see the wild flowers that bloom all over California, some just for a day, but wow! what a day.

There are so many places that sell flowers in my neighborhood, even the little local corner store has begun to carry bouquets.

There are still blossoms on trees just about everywhere I look.

On my short walk this morning I waited to cross a street and noticed the couple next to me, both wearing flowers. He had a lapel flower, a small yellow tulip, and she had a lovely garland of flowers in her hair. They were probably in their late 20's, and were on their way to work by the sounds of their conversation.

This year is the 50th Anniversary of 'The Summer of Love' here in San Francisco. T-shirts are already on sale in the Haight district of the City.

Seeing this young couple this morning was a lovely reminder of the joys that life holds. Not every day is going to be as nice as this one, perhaps, but some are, and I treasure them.

Happy Day. Happy love!

 

March 16, 2017

Hello Delaware and London and Cairo! Wonderful places, all. Thanks for looking in, all the best to you and yours.

A while back I loaned someone I know a scarf when they asked for it.

Yesterday it was returned, in an envelope with no note, very damaged. Surprised, I sent an e message asking what happened. 'Dog' was the reply, nothing more.

And I learned more about this person.

What happened to my scarf could be interpreted as how much this someone cares for me. This would be incorrect.

The truth is what happened to my scarf indicates how much this someone cares for themselves.

It's so easy to mistake someone's behavior as an indication of their sentiment toward us. Many of us make this error, and untold pain and hurt ensue, as well as confusion and a host of other feelings.

How people are is who they are.

Trust them, they're showing you the truth. It may not be what one would hope for, but take it as it is.

For my part, I won't be loaning anything more to this someone. I have learned by their example.

Love on!

 

March 12, 2017

'You can observe a lot just by watching.'~ Yogi Berra

We are all born with intuition, and as life and time go by some of us develop our intuition.

The other day a skeptic came to see me. He told me while arranging our appointment that he was curious and was willing to spend the money and time to see if he is correct. Psychics are bull***t, he said.

My morning meditaton had shown me a young man, hardened by experience and failure. Behind him loomed his father, clutching him by the wallet, his mother uninterested.

Upon opening my door to him, I told him of my vision and watched his shoulders tense up, his wane smile evaporate. He walked into my office and sat on the sofa, squarely in the center. Both feet on floor, and he hasn't said a word since he said hello.

We sit in silence.

Sensing, I handed him a stone. He took it, looked at it, and then at me.

In that instant I felt the cynicism in him lessen.

He started talking and was still talking as he left. We talked about his parents and the situation that is his life. We talked about his problems and things that he could do to make his life better.

About half way through our session, he looked at me and said he was sorry he had been so dismissive of intuition, and those of us who make a service of it. We shook hands then.

We'll see each other again soon, and on a regular basis for however long.

At the end of our time I told him how good it felt to feel him opening his heart without so much fear. Fear is learned.

Did I mention I love my job, and the folks I work with?

I most absolutely, positively, and thouroughly do!

Love on!

 

March 7, 2017

The saga of the two cat household has begun. With hissing, growling, running, fwapping and rolling on the floor fighting.

Domestic tranquillity, not.

And then there's the rain and wind and construction work on both sides of the house. So much hammering and jack hammers and saws and whatnot. So much sound, especially in the back. No peace outside. This weekend a four story scaffold broke loose and leaned scarily over our deck and yard, luckily I heard a strange sound as I was filling a bird feeder and looked up to watch the scaffold swing away from the building. Nothing like a little panic to get one moving, eh?

Newspapers and TV news are set to minimum intake, most of the news being awful and worse.

Times like these find me wanting calm, peace, relaxation, and relief.

So this morning I went for a walk. Rain isn't forecast and the sky was a big bowl of blue in most directions and why the heck not, I thought. And out I went.

7AM PST is busy here in San Francisco.

The sidewalks have many users, the road ways are filled with skateboarders and bikes and cars and busses. Everywhere I looked there was motion and commotion. Life being lived.

Walking along, I came upon one of the parklets that SF has built, usually near coffee shops and restaurants. They're a couple of parking spaces long, and most have seating and a bike rack. Going inside to buy some cocoa, I notice a woman who I worked with decades ago. She works in the shop, and was smiling and humming as she went about her duties. I got my cocoa and went outside to sit in the rising sun, even though it was 48F. Sun always warms me.

As I sat there, looking at my phone, the day began in earnest in me. My sense of inner balance was returning, along with my usual cheery disposition.

It's always such a pleasure returning to a better state of mind and heart, don't you think?

As I started to leave the woman in the shop came out and greeted me. We stumbled past names and times and got to current events. She left the technology field a couple of years ago and opened her coffee shop, something she had always wanted to do. It is long hours and hard work, and she's never been happier. This truth showed on her face, and especially in her smile. As we started to part she grabbed my hand and told me how uplifting I had been for her when we had worked together, and thanked me. We hugged and laughed, tears in both our eyes.

'If you're going through hell, keep going'. Wise words from Winston Churchill.

Keep on living and loving.

Love on!

 

March 4, 2017

One of my favorite days in the year. It comes with instructions:

March forth!

Now, I ask you, how many days in the year tell you what to do?

Today has a message for all of us. Get out there!

One of my clients is an elderly man who lives nearby. Our work together involves our going for a walk around his block, sometimes farther. We walk and talk, and he says it's brought him back to life. After just a few weeks, he has now joined a group that meets to play cards and board games. After his wife died he stopped going anywhere other than his necessities. This went on for a few years, until one of his neighbors began to interact with him. He was surprised at how shy and awkward he felt. Looking around on the internet, he found my website. After a few months he called me and we had a nice chat. A few weeks later I went to his house for our first meeting. From the moment he opened his door, I knew what we needed to do. We went for a walk.

Life is out there, waiting for all of us.

Love is out there, waiting for all of us.

The longer we wait, and don't act, the farther life drifts from us. We have to interact with life to have a better life.

March forth!

Love on!

 

February 26, 2017

'It is easy to go down into hell, night and day, the gates of death stand wide; but to climb back again, to retrace ones steps back to the upper air - there's the rub, the task.' ~ Virgil

In life, hell is pain and depression.

Waking up in pain and/or depression is so unspeakably awful. From the first moment of consciousness an intrusion is made into life, and never leaves. Hell.

I've been in both of those hells, together and apart. In my body I found release.

When I was recovering from my nearly fatal car crash, pain was my constant friend. No matter where I went, there it was. After months of enduring it, I decided that I would make my pain my friend, and would stop hating it and start working with it. My epithets became words of encouragement. When my body sent waves of pain through me, I would breath and think loving thoughts.

The doctors were right in one major aspect: I would never have another day in life when there would not be pain.

Over the years, since the crash, I have learned to work with my twin companions, depression and pain. Movement is where I always start. Just getting out of bed some mornings is a major accomplishment, but so far, so good. Depression comes to visit, and I love it out of my mind.

Retracing my steps back to the upper air. Quite the rub.

My self esteem saves me, my ability to love myself enough to change and become better as a person gives me a goal and a purpose.

Love on.

 

February 23, 2017

What a crazy wet winter we are having in California.

After years of drought, we have gotten enough rain Statewide to remove drought from most of the State. Reservoirs are overflowing, roads are being washed away, mudslides everywhere, and so much urban flooding. The series of storms that have blown over us have churned up the seabed, and our beaches are littered with trees and so much junk.

Yet again, we have been gifted by all this water: another stray cat has come to live with us.

I had seen her in the back yard one morning, a two toned grey tabby, maybe a year or so old, kinda skinny. It was raining and she darted under a chair for a bit. Setting out a plate of catfood and calling to her, she ran up the deck stairs and tucked right in. I stroked her head and she made a funny sound, so I left her alone.

Social media had no mention of a lost cat, and when I posted something about her there were no replys. I guess she was dumped.

This routine went on for almost a month, until I left for Berlin. Then she started showing up at the door early mornings and at twilight, and food was set out for her. She cleaned her plate everytime.

Coming home, there she was that first morning back, and I got her food and watched her. When she finished eating, she came over to me and sniffed my fingers and then ran her head under my palm. Affectionate little dear. The routine continued.

Untll the other morning, when it was pouring rain. I saw her huddled under a deck table, soaked to the skin she was. As the rain abated I set out a plate of food, which she gobbled up. At that moment I was seized by something and picked her up. She instantly relaxed in my arms and I set her down inside the house. She ran under the bed.

Rain cat #1, Felicity or Ethel (name undecided) wasn't too pleased about having another roommate. She's still not used to us, so a cat was not welcome, at first. There was hissing and fwapping and chasing for a couple of days, but that action is quieting down. Rain cat #2, Lady Grey or Grey girl, is curious and goes everywhere she can, and loves sleeping on the bed at night. During the day she wanders and naps here and there, all under the gaze of Rain cat #1. Pecking order rules.

Thanks, El Nino, for adding to the household. We love loving around here, and thank you for guiding this little lost soul our way.

Love rules! Love on!

 

February 18, 2017

Hello Namibia! I've seen photos of your beautiful country for years, and have relatives that have visited you and have told me of how wonderful you are. Thanks for reading, and all the best to you and yours!

Pink and white flowering plum, cherry, apple and more. Flowering trees on the streets of San Francisco.

When I was a child I would stay with my grandmother Edith. She lived in Bishop, California at the time in a house that was surrounded by apple trees. In the Spring the orchard was a mass of beautiful white and pink flowering trees. She and I would walk under the blossoms and delight in the beauty all around us. The feelings of joy and love resonate to this day with the memories.

The world is in turmoil and change is all around. It is easy to get swept up into the negative and fearful and have those feelings cloud our vision and our perspective.

That's why I am so thankful for the blooming trees.

Beauty, love, good, joy. That's what I feel when I see the scatter of color as I make my way around the city.

Along with the blossoms has come a great deal of rain, and California is doing its best to cope with too much water after years of too little. Things are a mess. And we keep moving forward, in spite of what ever would slow our roll. Progress.

Even though the times they are a changin', we can still hold on steadfast to the love that lives in us.

Love will make life better, all ways and always.

Love on!

 

February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day! Love! Love you! Love others! Love!

Recently I had a session with a man who has been told that his death is not too far away. He and I hadn't spoken in more than 20 years, but he called the phone number he had for me and heard my voice message. He said he had to call back a couple of times before he could leave a message, but he did and we arranged a time to meet.

That morning, in my daily meditation, I saw his face. Time and illness had taken their toll, and I knew that he was in distress. When he rang my doorbell a voice in my head whispered 'love', and with this thought in my head I opened my door.

So many tears, such rage, such sadness. It was a tough time he and I shared.

What can I do? he asked, and I told him the best thing he could do was to share his finest emotions with as many people as he could, and to keep doing that as long as he could.

What about the anger? he asked, and I gave him some spent lightbulbs and broken pens and told him to reek havoc on them and to get as much of the awful and ugly out as he can.

Funny thing about most people is they stuff so many positive and good emotions inside, and let the nasty ones out.

Ass backwards, if you ask me. Share the love, and get rid of your anger without hurting others.

Here's wishing all of us the benefit of love. I love you, and I hope you love you too!

Love on!

 

February 10, 2017

Family:

Very close DNA connections. And outward.

My childhood was a shuttling of going from this place to that place, from my mom's house to my dad's house, several times a year. Along the way, various people were introduced to me, cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents. All these people I saw, but didn't know.

As I grew older, I interacted with family members and was given a sense of how some individuals viewed me. Not so good with some, better with others.

We all choose, and I chose to be close to those family members who were kind to me.

DNA testing gave me connections to my genetic ancestry and provided me with a view of my being here that I never would have imagined. Suddenly I had names and contact points for people all over the planet that were proved blood kin. Amazing.

Meeting my English cousin Richard was such a great day and still lights my face with a smile when I recall it.

Walking into a huge room in Bavaria with more than 150 blood relatives I had no idea of. The memory still gives me goose-pimples.

Getting a  sense of those that I share genetic connection with has also provided an unexpected consequence. From meeting hundreds of people with whom I share DNA, I have come to value the stirling feelings that come when I am with someone who really likes me. After all this time, I have come to actually feel the connection that exists between people. It has helped me to realize that some of the people that I am deeply connected to do not share any DNA with me. Yet they are family.

Oh, love. You keep showing up in my life, in my time here, and reminding me what truly matters.

Love on!

 

February 8, 2017

Hello Montana! Hello Delaware! Hello Germany! Hello England! Hello California! Hello to everyone!

Golly, so many visitors, Thank you all for the gift of your time. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading

Cats and dogs. It's been raining cats and dogs, which means a good bit. Cats will brave a little bit of rain, while dogs seem more comfortable running about in rain. The folks I've talked to fall into those two camps, those that stay inside and those that venture out in the falling hydrogen. Ah, H2O! California is coming out of its drought. Thank heavens.

The cats and dogs theme has been on display since my return from Berlin. And not just the rain variety.

The contrast between these two species came to me another way yesterday. I realized another perspective, no plug intended, and that was the difference between 'can' and 'don't'.

There are so many times when we imagine that we can do this or that, and then we don't, and deride ourselves, adding to the warehouse of negative self esteem.

A woman told me how she had meant to return her friends telephone call but didn't, and now was grief stricken with the sudden death of this friend. Full of self hate and anger, she is doing her best to move forward.

A man telling me that he has been discovered by his employer of many negative actions and needs a solution, asking how he can get out of this situation. Honesty. Truth. Help. These are some of the words I give him, and hope that he acts well.

In life, some of the 'can' variety of moments may appear. Look inside yourself, to your love, and ask if you can. True love never lies.

If you can, be all means do. Those moments don't come along all that often, and sometimes it seems as if the 'don't' end of things predominates.

When we act from a sense of self love, we do better. Using our own self esteem as a compass will reflect in the world around us. This is how each of us is loved by life, in that we are shown the reality of life around us.

Start with love, let it rain cats and dogs in our soul. Nurture with light. Nuture with time.

Love on.

 

February 6, 2017

Hallo! Hello!

How are you? I've thought about you everyday, so many thoughts and feelings running through my mind. How are you, I hope you're well and moving forward, with love.

Solitude. Time alone, or almost. Stranger in a strange land, at least for a week.

This past week gave me so many gifts, so many moments of reflection and grace.

The flight from San Francisco was delayed by an hour due to the mass gathering of people, mostly young, who had come to the airport to demonstrate against a recent governmental action. This meant that I had to rush to catch my onward flight to Berlin, which I did with some time to spare. Then a quick flight and a taxi and a hotel I stayed at 8 years ago during my first visit to the city. After unpacking I took myselft out for a walk and took in the sights of the neighborhood. A small bite to eat and bed.

That night, I had such a dream.

This figure appeared in a mist, I wasn't sure if it was a man or a woman or how old, as sometimes it looked like an old man and at other moments appeared as a young girl. Quite a sight.

I suspect that there was a long conversation, as I can now recall moments of this dream, but no long segments.

Waking up the next morning, looking at a travel guide, my eyes come across a listing for a place called Gemaldegalerie and indicates it about 2 miles away. Perfect destination, I wanted to see art work. I was out the door in time to join many commuters as they went about their lives. Such a bustle and hustle there was, and as I walked it began to snow, lightly. This was a moment I had come hoping to have, and I stopped right there on the sidewalk and let the snow fall on me. The calm, the peace, the joy that suffused my body went right to my core. I felt. Deeply and surprisingly. I hadn't expected such feelings, and surrendered to them. Keep breathing, I thought.

Later that day it came to me that I was to be reflective on this trip, not just lost in the swirl that architecture, art, food, drink, people and sights can take one.

That's not to say that those things didn't happen, they most assuredly did. All of it, and more. Check out my Facebook page.

However, the reflective of what happened I have saved for here, for you.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart and soul for your time. It is the greatest gift you share with me.

Time. A gift of now and forever.

This past week, there I was, in the Gemaldegalerie, a museum housing more than 1500 works of art from 1300-1800 or so, quite a place. As I wandered about, trying to take it all in, I had to take a moment and sit down, so I did. Maybe it was the jet lag, or the art saturation or the currywurst, but a dozed for a second, and right in that second I had a memory spring to life.

I was recalling when I was homeless and still in High School, and was walking on the beach near to where I slept at night, under someones house. I was bending to pick up a shell when I heard a womans voice say 'That's pretty.'. Looking up I saw an older woman smiling at me. It was just a moment.

Just seconds earlier, I had approached a painting of Saint Sebastian by Rubens just as the same sound of voice said 'Sehr schon' which means 'how pretty' near me. Turning, I saw a wisp of greyish brown hair move away as the older woman continued her visit.

I needed to sit down, did, and I closed my eyes. At least two of them. Breathing really helped, as did letting the maelstrom of emotion move through me in deep and profound ways. Feelings replete with timelessness.

My eyes flew open with the memory and I was no longer on that Malibu beach but in Berlin, sitting on a bench. Wow, time travel.

What had so struck me was the genuine feeling of her smile as she looked at me in the moment, the kindness, the compassion, the feeling. It left me speechless as I contemplated that tiny moment a life time ago and the moment I was living.

There are moments when we don't realize how singular they are. Every moment is that moment, with love.

The old man in me, and that 17 year old boy came back from my trip with a deepened appreciation for life, and for love, and for time.

And for you, and these moments we share.

Love on!

 

January 29, 2017

I love it when travel days start as this day did. I got to sleep in, well, for me that means past 5AM. What a luxury!

This morning was spent putting my self together for a week away, making the house ready for my departure and subsequent return, cleaning this and that, and packing, this time for cold weather and rain.

A week in Berlin, Germany practicing my German. And seeing museums. And eating. And drinking. And walking.

Sounds like a perfect week to me.

For those of you who folow me on Facebook, I will be posting daily about my exploits and adventures.

If I can, I'll try to blog.

In the meantime, take care of yourselves and those you love.

Love on the road, and on!

 

January 27, 2017

Last October, about mid month, my intuition started zetzing me, poking me, dropping hints. Every few days or so there would be some moment when 'travel' was highlighted, and the not so subtle but seeminly ever present suggestion from my intuition was delivered.

So I gave it some thought, looked into travel in November but nothing worked, time or money or destination wise. Oh well. Then early December and still nothing worked. Then maybe January and it almost worked except for the money.

One morning I awoke and knew that I had to look into going to Berlin Germany at the end of January. I did. Amazing!

British Airways had a $100 dollar airfare roundtrip to Berlin. Taxes and fees raised the ticket price to a little over $500. Usually the fare is up around $1100 to about $1700. I'd found a bargain. Booked and bought.

Then hotels and that search. Having been to Berlin six years ago I knew where I wanted to stay, and amazingly the hotel had a room with breakfast for $500. Really? Booked.

This trip, this week away, by myself, for myself, is my gift to me.

Working with people is a joy that I cherish, having these amazing conversations and doing the work I do with the people who are doing their work. Such a great job.

And now it's time for me to take a break and go recharge my batteries, coping with a language I am trying to learn. I speak like an intelligent child, or so I think, and the practice will help. As will the beauty of Berlin and the fantastic museums there. And the food! And the sights!

So much to do, I'd best get to moving. All the best to you and yours. With much love.

Love on!

 

January 23, 2017

Hello Michigan! Hello Idaho! All the best to you and yours, thanks for reading.

The other night there was a small water leak in the house, nothing serious, just a drain that had gotten a bit clogged with swept in debris, once removed, all better.

I'd been awakened by a clap of thunder, and as I sat up in bed there was a bright flash outside and seconds later another boom.

Then the rain started, light at first. I know because I got out of bed to look out the glass door. As I returned to bed the rain began to increase, and suddenly there was a drumming outside as heavy rain fell. My mind instantly thought about two outside drains, and I rushed to the one outside the sliding glass door in the kitchen. Rain was coming down the two downspouts at a furious pace, so much water but the drain was clean and the water tumbled in. Off to the next drain I went.

As my bare foot hit the water on the tile I knew I was too late, now all I could do would be to fix whatever problem there was and mop up all the water on the floor. I got pretty soaked in the process.

Later on, in new night clothes, as I got up the last of the water, I thought about some of the changes I would like to effect in my life.

Like maybe painting a room that bugs me, or fixing up a wonky chair in the living room, or maybe...

...whatever I like. Just to make me happy.

I know I won't go 'hog wild' as they say. Just a little piggy, in some small, harmless way. Oft times I've heard it said that the best way to help yourself is to help some one else, and I do practice this adage. But there's a help coming my way from me.

I'm giving myself permission for more happiness, partly to offset the darkness around us all, but also to affirm my basic right to joy.

Join me, won't you?

With love, love on!

 

January 18, 2017

My goodness, America is sure going through some changes. Good ones, bad ones, weird ones.

Walking up to the Post Office yesterday, I passed a neighbor who was engaged in a spirited conversation about the recent Presidential Election and as I walked on the language got salty and I kept moving.

What's done is done. We cannot change the past. Live today and give it your best. That's my advice, and I'm taking it.

There is so much that I can do in my life to make it and the lives of others better. For me, these efforts will accomplish my goal, which is to make a positive impact where I can, when I can.

The winds of change are blowing, hold onto love.

Live lovingly!

 

January 15, 2017

Hello Germany! Hello Australia! Hello USA! Thanks for reading, all the best to you and yours, and Happy New Year!

How are you doing?

We're half way into the first month of this year, and for some it's been smooth, others have had it rocky.

How we live our lives is up to us, each of us. We choose.

For my part, these past several days have found me house bound due to all the crazy, heavy rains. So much rain, flooding at intersections and on highways, rivers cresting their banks and flowing into homes, cars nearly swept away in run off water. These are just some of the stories I've heard this past week. So much water, just about everywhere.

In Jungian analysis water represents change.

So I've been using this thinking to work on and in our house. There is always something that needs being done. This house was built around 1885 or so, no one knows because the records were destroyed in the fire of 1906. What I have discovered is that it was built as a show house by a builder named Fernando Nelson, and served as the example for many of the homes built later in the neighborhood. There are probably 40 houses in the area built by Nelson & Co before he went on to develop the West Portal part of San Francisco.

As I worked, I thought about the men that built this place, and as I worked I thought of the people who will live here after I'm gone. We all share this small plot of land throughout time and space. A point of connection.

This same thinking is true for the planet as a whole, and is helping to teach us to be better residents, one by one.

Change for the better, with love.

Love on!

 

January 7, 2017

Well, I sure got my hat handed to me the other day.

A neighbor asked a while back if I'd be interested in coming to neighborhood meetings she is part of, and I said yes.

Got an e-mail about a meeting, went only to be told it had been postponed to a date I could not make.

Get an e-mail noticing a meeting that I couldn't  attend.

Then nothing for a couple of weeks. One day I see my neighbor and ask her about meetings. She tells me that I have missed too many and have been dropped. I ask who dropped me and she says it was her. I say that I had no idea that there was any performance expectation in the group and that I thought her action unfair. She looks me in the eye and say 'oh well', turning on her heel.

Such a wave, a veritable maelstrom of emotions swept over me, shock, anger, confusion, sadness, wonder, and then clarity followed by joy and laughter. At this point she turned back toward me and said something I couldn't and really didn't want to hear and I laughed again, feeling the freedom that comes when I take care of myself.

The wrong person always says 'no'. Be glad for it, in the final analysis. They're doing you a favor. Accept it.

Love on!

 

January 3, 2017

Hello Michigan! From what I have seen, Winter has come to visit. Having spent a great deal of time all around the state, I have witnessed how fiercely this season can grip. Stay warm, and thanks for reading. All the best to you and yours!

Well, here we are, most of us, starting this new year. Off we go, into the _________________ yonder.

What's been on my mind the past couple of days is this thing called a 'learning curve', the time that one takes to acquire new information, routine, you name it. Some of us take a long, gentle and slow curve, some of us are sharp angles, we all have differing capacities.

How we perceive, approach, and work with our individual capacity is our choice.

As a child, I was aware that I knew stuff that others did not. It was almost a continual, daily surprise to witness or learn of the limitation someone had placed on themselves. Some times it was sad, some times it felt 'right' in my body, a feeling that would and does continue to grow in me. What I saw I came to call 'Natural Selection', along the lines of evolution. For my part, I wanted to take in as much information I could about people and the world about me.

Along the way, I came to understand that we all have a capacity to love. Our capacity as individuals is determined by our self love. If we can learn to love ourselves better, we are then able to share this love that we have discovered. We cannot give that which we do not possess and perceive. To think otherwise is co-dependence, and that's not so good, for anybody.

There's a great big beautiful, wonderful and awesome new year ahead. That is my perception.

It, as all years have, will have a learning curve. This is both personal and global.

Down on my little level of all of this around us, my plan is to start with love, add patience, more love, much self improvement, healthy eating, drinking, and exercise. Add copious opportunities to love, and stir, not too hard. Remember, as you stir the spoon life will make you lick it.

Love on!

 

January 1, 2017

Happy New Year! It's gone global. We are all in this new and as yet unknown new year. Huzzah! Cheers! Congratulations!

So many people have not made it with us into this year, and they are in my thoughts and prayers. Love never dies.

Here I sit, or I should type we as I have been writing this blog with someone at my side for years now. She, or maybe he, has been there solidly for the past many months, since the web was damaged by a falling pencil.

When it, if I may be gender neutral, first showed up, it was just a dark spot at the base of a wall behind my computer. A few days later I noticed what appeared to by a web. A few weeks later I noticed a larger web, and at the base of it this little dark spot, maybe a quarter of an inch wide. Over the years its web has become this lovely cone shaped affair, and the little dark spot has grown into a half inch wide spider with very sleek legs.

We've been getting along all these years because of something that happened in my childhood.

My Mom and I lived near her Mom in Big Pine, California when I was a kid. Very rugged, very beautiful, very in the heart of nature. One day when Gramma and I were walking we saw a big spider, and it scared me and I asked her to kill it. She refused, and I got real upset. She talked me down by explaining that everything in nature has a right to be there, and there if we can learn to get along with all of nature then we will be happier.

Back at her house, she took me into her kitchen, to a corner of it, and pointed out a small spider web with its occupant. Live and let live, she said.

And we are, all of us in this house, happy to be starting this new year, and have hopes and dreams alive in us. From all of us much love and light and goodness to you and yours.

Happy New Year!

 

December 30, 2016

Happy Gadsden Purchase!

On this date in 1853 Mexico sold part of the west of the North American continent to the USA. History. So much to learn, but if we learn from history we don't repeat mistakes so easily. At least that's the hope. Time will tell, it always does.

Watch and learn, my internal voice tells me, all the time. By observation comes information.

Nature has found its way to our yard. Cats, squirrels, mice, zillions of birds, 3 young raccoons, a huge hawk, crows and a dark purple salamander.

Life in our 25 foot by 100 foot kingdom. Not that much room, and yet, there you have it. All of this life, showing up now, such a delight. The rustle of small birds cowering in a bush, waiting for larger birds to leave. Through it all the two mourning doves feed or hang in the maple tree, devoid of leaves now, exposing them. The sharp eyes hawk sees them and comes in, but the doves take refuge under a camillia heavy with buds. Big bird, looking at me with some curiousity. After a while he flys away. The yard returns to normal, and a new cat appears. Ah life!

Living in California has been a delight. Having lived elsewhere, I have come to appreciate it, even with all its flaws. No place is perfect. Life is not about perfection but progress.

Happy Last Friday of the year. Enjoy your day.

With love.

 

December 29, 2016

Golly, what an end of what a year, and there are still 3 days to go...

...and we're still here. Blessed be.

With that in mind, my days on the wane in 2016 will find me with friends and family, enjoying the simple pleasures of life.

Like life itself.

The beauty that is in our world, the good, the love, the laughter, and all points south, as well. Life is made up of that quixotic mixture of good and bad, and it is our task to sort out which is which and above all, learn.

2016 has taught me so very much, besides the importance of being alive. It has shown me repeatedly that light does vanquish dark, that love is stronger than hate, and that the right thing always happens. It is this simple act of faith that sustains me.

When I believed otherwise my life was a mess. No money, erratic friends, so much drama, and such gloom and doom always present. No wonder I sought refuge in drugs and drink and lots of other behaviors. None of which helped, and in point of fact just made what was already an unhappy life all the more miserable.

My thoughts were taking me someplace bad, and I knew it.

The only person that could and would rescue me was me. 'Alone, again, nauturally' sang Gilbert O'Sullivan years ago, and I heard this refrain time and again as I made better choices for myself. Slowly, with much trepidation, I began to take better care of my thinking. The negative pratter that filled my head was reduced, and a trust began to form in me, of me.

Now, from time to time, when I catch my face in a mirror, I say 'I love you', most times outloud. I continue to build this relationship everyday, with patience, encouragement, and love. The best way for me to learn love is to give it to myself, so that I truly can begin to understand it. As I love me more, I can love more.

Love on!

 

December 23, 2016

ah, the holly daze...

on so many faces now, folks rushing from hither to yon and back again, so many pedestrians, so many bicycles, so many cars, not enought busses or trolley cars or trains.

And then, of course, there's the weather, awful as it is, no matter where you are.

And stuff to do, endless streams of things and tasks and chores and more en masse.

(take a breath (says a small voice in my head) and relax, do it again, close your eyes, and relax, breathe)

The world is not perfect, people are not perfect. It's okay. My only job is to tend to me and mines, regardless of the scurry and hurry and worry around me, or the weather, or the what not.

One step at a time, one breath at a time, one heart beat at a time.

When I slow my perception down to the heart beat pace I can clearly feel the majesty of life inside me, automating me, allowing me. Such a gift, it brings a smile to my face, and in it I find the where with all to keep going.

With love and gratitude.

Always and all ways.

Live and love on!

 

December 18, 2016

1-415-255-7428

In the morning, as I walk around our house, I'll notice my phone flashing. Calls are waiting to be heard.

I listen to each of them. Some days there are no calls, but most days there are. Some of them are displacement calls.

Every once in a while the call will start with a full throated scream. Someone just really letting it all out. All the pain, the hurt, the anger, the confusion, the hate, the awful. Displacement. Transforming that awful energy into something else. Getting rid of the negative.

This morning there were many calls, and I smiled and said a prayer for each of them, knowing that their displacement is a step forward.

'Dump it all here' this one caller said, and I smiled even more. Yes, please, help yourself, freely and fully.

In return I promise love and a prayer.

Being the holidays here in San Francisco, I've been out and about, taking in the sights and the hub-bub, bub.So many folks walking along, head down, furtive glances, some with frowns or looks of worry. I remember feeling like that, all the time. Stuffed to the gills with all of my malcontent and sometimes brimming over. My life was a mess. That's when I started looking into what was occuring to me.

What I discovered was that I was good with all of my emotions except for the dark and darker ones. All of that energy, memories that replayed themselves endlessly in my mind, awake and asleep. I had to find a way to get rid of this energy. That's where displacement came along.

I was walking along a beach, mulling over all the awfulness of my life, roiling inside with a dark wave of emotion. Suddenly it brimmed over and I wanted to scream outloud. I did.

My ears rang, and I was suddenly aware of the complete absence of sound. I could feel eyes on me and walked on.

Displacement changed and improved my life. It can do the same for yours.

Call me, 1-415-255-7428, leave a message, or many.

Love on!

 

December 14, 2016

Hello Cuenca, Spain! Such an amazing country, such wonderful people, such history, and the foods and wines...superb! All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

For the past several days I've had this prickling feeling and kept making note of it. As time went by, it turned into a sense that someone was going to lie to me about something important. Okay, good to know. Each time I felt this sense I accepted it as something I needed to be aware of. Time will tell, I told myself.

This past weekend my next door neighbor mentioned that he was going to repair his stairs on the back of his building and might need to fix the fence between us. The chill that went through me was awesome. I knew that this was the something I had been feeling.

Monday morning, about 8AM, a few guys showed up in his backyard with tools and stuff. A little while later I heard the buzz of an electric saw at work. About mid-day I went to see what was happening, and was gobsmacked to see that the stairs were being carved up and thrown away, all 4 floors. Wow!

My intuition had told me that something was up, and here it was. I slept on it.

Tuesday morning I went online and found out that my neighbor had lied to the City about the scope of the job. After meditating about it, I sent him a text message informing him of what I knew and asking him to be honest with me. Shortly thereafter he called and left a voice message about how we needed to talk and whatnot.

A couple of hours later, he knocked on my door. Inviting him in, we looked at the plans that he had drawn up. He told me how he wanted to widen the stairs for the ease of the tenants and just needed a 'skoosh' more room. We discussed how his plans would block out my view and create a bit of a tunnel of daylight for my house. He said he'd work on it.

His 'skoosh' turns out to be two feet beyond the original staircase. Thank you intuition!

He and I will go forward to a resolution, and for my part I have learned from the exchange.

I have learned to trust my love and my intuition. Yet again!

Love and live on!

 

December 12, 2016

Social media sure has had an impact on the planet.

'It must be true, I read it on the internet.' 'I looked into it by following links.' 'Everyone is talking about it, it's trending.'

Fake news, real news, soft news, spin news.

On social media I watch folks react to stuff and how cranked up some of them get, ready to march and protest and raise hell.

The other day I had a nice online chat with a woman in Ghana. We traded stories about the people we knew and how the young seem to have an endless capacity for nonsense. She told me that in her village she is the 8th oldest woman, and is part of a council that decides what needs to be done for the community. I told her about my neighborhood group and how we are meeting this week to discuss landscaping at the public library. She said she would introduce the idea of having a library.

Change, slow and steady and always with us.

Doing what we can, as individuals, is what freedom is all about. Doing good makes freedom sweeter.

Love on!

 

December 7, 2016

At the end of my work day yesterday, around 7PM or so, I sat down and cried.

Just for a couple of minutes, I let go and let all the pain and hurt that was welling up inside of me out. Tears ran down my cheeks, as I sat on my bed, the house quiet, no one around. Just me and my pain.

There are countless terrible events happening daily on our planet, the onslaught of bad news is endless. Relentless. Hence my tears.

It felt good to cry, to let out the pain, the anguish, the despair.

Splashing water on my face, I went about with my evening, and after a while found myself laughing at something the cat did.

Let go, Let G-d, Let good.

There will be times in life when our emotions overflow and overwhelm. Don't be afraid of your feelings, they add a richness to life that is the essence of life itself. Good and bad. Most of us know what to do with the good, but the bad? Not so much. We shove our feelings deep into the recesses of our mind and move forward. But we haven't let it go, despite our wanting to.

Emotion is energy, which is life.  Holding back our laughter makes us dull and forlorn. Holding back our tears makes us cynical and bitter.

This morning, as I looked into the yard, along came a squirrel. I'd fed her yesterday and she was back, looking for breakfast. As I opened the door to set out some nuts she jumped onto the deck startling me. Then she sat up on her back legs and looked at me and I let out a laugh.

Thank goodness for squirrels.

Love on!

 

December 5, 2016

Year end approaches. So many things I want to get done or started or make progress on.

The hurrier I go the behinder I get.

Recently I got involved in what I thought was going to be a small chore and it turned into so much more. It was kind of like a magicians handkerchief, the more I got stuck in, the more there was to do.  After a couple of hours I realized that the job before me was more than I had time for and I moved on with my day.

Having added another task to my endless list of things to do, I smiled about how life requires effort.

Recently I have been working with a new client, a person in their early 20's. From my clients perspective, life is just too much work and takes too much time away from what is important, like sleeping late and thinking about getting a job or maybe going to school or something, and out and about with friends having a good time.

Adulting is not easy, but being a perpetual child is such a waste of a life brimming with potential.

When I grew up, there were not many choices. No one else would pay my bills or feed me or provide me with shelter. My last year of High School was pretty grim, being homeless and looking for handouts, but I made it through. Getting a job at a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant gave me an income and money for rent so I could finish High School somewhat easily.

Over time it became easier to do whatever work was required of me, at a job or in college. Paying my dues, that's what I thought.

All these years later and I'm still paying my dues, doing whatever is required of me and finding time for the things that I want to do. It is learning to live with this balance that has provided me with so much of my life. Giving to get makes sense to me now. We have to prime the pump, so to speak, in order to receive anything in return.

Give and get. Love and be loved.

Got it! Love on!

 

November 30, 2016

Hello South Africa! Happy Spring to you and yours. Your country is on my 'Want to visit' list, so hopefully one of these days! All the best, and thanks for reading.

Hope.

That's what has been spinning and swirling and sustaining me lately.

After the US Presidential election I was quite spun, hadn't foreseen the shift in Electoral College votes, and have had to sit with the news since then.

The right thing always happens. Even this. I trust in truth and time.

How do I get there? Hope.

For my part, it is all too easy to look away at the news that disgusts me, the racist, the homophobic, the xenophobic. And I do. But I do not let these things go unnoticed. Nor do I sit on my hands with my mouth shut. Yestersdays blog entry is an example.

Even though some of the folks on the planet hate me on sight, I will go on and be my authentic self. Not because of them, because of me. This is my life, this singular time, and I will not let despair and hopelessness and baser emotions rule my world.

Hope. My candle in the wind.

Love on!

 

November 29, 2016

Happy Giving Tuesday!

I hadn't heard about it until the other day, when a charity I support sent me an e-mail informing me about it. Sounds like a good idea to me, perhaps those that can afford to be generous will be. It's a choice.

Such choices we have right now. Do we stick our heads in the sand and try to ignore the new USA administration, or do we pay close attention and make our voices heard? Or do we support the good that it brings? Or not? It's a choice.

What doesn't change is our individual responsibilty to be who we are.

For my part, the changes swirling around our planet only serve to make me more resolute about being who I am. Yesterday, while I was out and about, a young woman crashed into me as she was fixated by her phone. She made an ugly comment about me and walked away. To her back I said outloud 'Take care' and as I turned to continue on a woman said to me 'Nice man.' I thanked her and we parted. Golly, I thought, hadn't seen that coming, what a nice thing for her to say.

'We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.' ~ Oscar Wilde

Love on!

 

November 25, 2016

Black Friday! The day when it looks as if the world of retail is on sale, the world over.

For some sellers, it started a few days ago, putting stuff on sale to attract buyers.

It worked! At least on me it did. I found something on sale that I had been thinking about buying, but the price was a bit high for me. Even though it was on sale I resisted. Until 2 days ago. That's when I got an email telling me that the thing I wanted was on sale by 40% and a link to go check it out. Click bait, they call that, and I clicked.

One of the things I love about Winter is the cold and the snow. Not that I ever want to live year round with it, but it sure is fun to visit for a few days. Another thing I love is travel, and this sale on British Airways let me have those two things in one package for a wonderful low price. What's not to like?

Ah, Black Friday, you've played your siren song and I've danced.

So out I went this morning, the real Black Friday, taking a trolley car downtown to Powell Street and the crowds on the sidewalks, so many people, so many shopping bags. The Holidays Holly Days Holly Daze are upon us.

Just think, one month until Christmas...

I suspect consumer spending will exceed last year, and that the stores will be mobbed in the days ahead. Some folks I know wait all year to go shopping, and for them this is the best time of year. Out and about and having fun.

Chances are very good that I will be among them, out and about, taking in the sounds and colors and the swirl of year end. When I look around hopefully I will see smiles and hear laughter, two of the greatest gifts we can share.

Love on!

 

November 21, 2016

What fun I've had the past couple of days hearing from folks where it is really cold!

When I wrote my comment about being cold at 48F, the first response I got was from a man in far northern Canada who wrote saying that 48F was his day time high, with temperatures dropping at night to around 0F. !

Thanks for all the weather reports from the world over.

Most of all, thanks for reading, and for spending a few minutes taking time for yourself.

The reason I started this blog in 2008 was to spread a little sunshine around, and from what my wonderful web host Citymax provides by way of statistics tells me that folks like coming here.

Thank you!

I couldn't do it without you, and would not bother if not for you. Oh, I know, it sounds codependant, but it is really not.

It's about sharing the caring that I have with this world of ours, the environment, the people, the places, the whole megillah.

I love you!

Love on!

 

November 18, 2016

Golly, it was so cold this morning, 48F here in San Francisco, California. Winter is coming, and so is some rain this weekend. Yay!

One of the great joys in my life is learning, and I am always reading two books, several magazines and journals, and think of the internet as the answer machine, sometimes.

I went to public school in California because it was free for my parents.

College costs blew my mind and made me get jobs and live with roommates in less than nice housing, but I kept on.

In the 1980's I got involved working with companies and educational institutions looking into distant learning, sometimes called CBT (computer based training). It was very interesting to learn of the pros and cons, and the world of learning began to open up.

Today, thanks to the internet, we have countless opportunities to learn, some of it for free.

For the past few months I've been taking courses in England, from a couple of different colleges. The commute is a breeze, I just plonk my bottom down at my computer and sign in to www.FutureLearn.com and away I go.

There was an interesting course on communication I completed, and another on medieval Royal eating habits, and right now I'm just finishing one about an ancient port near Rome called Portus. All interesting stuff, for me.

Education changed my life. If not for schools and exposure to a vastly larger world, I might have lived my life as a farmer in the desert.

Learn on, love on!

 

November 15, 2016

Hello Atlanta, or should I write 'Hotlanta'? What a dynamic city you are, gracious and fast paced, and ever growing, so it appears. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

The US of A continues its election cycle gyrations, the winners triumphant, the losers in turmoil. It is always thus.

What doesn't change is who we are, how we are, how we act, speak, think and love.

There is so much fear swirling around the country and the world, what will happen next?

Reality TV is coming to the White House.

27% of America elected the new guy.

If you like what's happening, make your voice heard. If not, likewise.

This is how democracy really works, with each of us. It may be enshrined in marble all over the place, but in point of fact it comes down to each of us and how we behave and speak.

For my part, I've taken to writing letters and sending emails expressing my hopes and fears for the coming Administration. Dozens so far, and more to do, but this is my right as a citizen.

There are so many places where the citizens have no voice, no democracy.

America is not one of them. We're loud and brash and opinionated as all get out. If we don't like something, we'll say something. The marches that are occuring all over the country are just one sign of the turmoil facing us in the days ahead. Hang on tight to your heart and head, listen, breathe, think, breathe, feel, breathe, act, and keep breathing.

Love you, love yours, love on!

 

November 13, 2016

Nowness versus knowingness.

The delta that time creates.

We are all intuitive. It's like a muscle of the body: the more you work it the stronger it gets.

When we surrender to the forces of time and space, to all that is, we have an opportunity to become more. Clearly one is not in control of what happens in life. Surrender to karma, to balance, to the correct beingness.

Every morning I wake up in a body that hurts and aches and requires so much attention, at my peril. My power ends at my skin. Of my own thoughts, feelings, and actions do I learn and reveal my self.

Sheesh, if that weren't enough...

We, each of us, where we are right this and every moment, are a representation of our capacity to love.

Fill up! Live up!

Love on.

 

November 12, 2016

The right thing always happens.

Even if you don't like the results. There are things that occur in life that can throw us about, like this past Tuesday.

Regardless of what happens, do not abandon your principles and self, no matter what. Stay soft, reject bitterness, hold on to the love that beats in your heart.

So many of the folks worldwide are riding an emotional roller coaster, wondering what this American election means.

What it ultimately means is that you are still you.

There will be a new resident in the White House this coming January, this is something we all knew would happen. Most of us thought it was going to be the other candidate, but this appears not to be true.

Stay true to your love. Continue to be your loving self, and maybe even more so.

A lie will be believed when the truth is expected. The truth will be rejected when a lie is expected.

The days ahead will be unlike any we have seen before. Already the winning candidate is beginning to modify his statements about some of the issues.

Getting elected is easy when you say what people want to hear. Governing is a totally different matter.

For my part, I wish the new US administration all the best, as I do for the American people and all peoples the world over.

Staying true to our highest good ensures that the right thing will continue to happen, with love.

Love on.

 

November 9, 2016

I have awakened in 1980. America is running backwards. The loser is the winner. I didn't see this coming.

The limit to my intuition is my inclusion, and here I am, yet again. I've been here before, those times when things went the other way and I had to cope and punt and make do and carry on. This is just another of those times, and the engine of evolution is chugging along. That's what I have to do, as do all of us.

'Life is not a chair of bolies' my Dad said one day, and somedays he is still correct.

What will not change is my love.

Love on.

 

November 8, 2016

Election Day in the USA.

Finally. Heaven knows I've been waiting for this day to come. Never have I witnessed an election cycle like this one for the past year and a half. Amazing! Unseen before! Such rancor!

What was spectacular to watch was the media and how they made sure that this years Presidential election cycle was the stuff of cliff hangers and dropped microphones.

What was so sad to see was the turmoil in my clients as the waves of less than journalism swept the country and the ship of State began to list awfully.

Clients the world over expressed concern for the choices that Americans were making.

Take a breath, I'd say, and don't let the darkness find a home in you.

Then one day, there I was on Twitter, reading some of the stuff posted there, and I saw it. A wonderful phrase that resonated deeply in me and became my mantra for all these grueling months: Love trumps hate.

Even though the media has done it's very best to stir up the electorate like never before America will reject fear and hate and Donald Trump. We haven't seen the last of him or heard the last of his spin, but as he would say, he's a loser.

Love on!

 

November 3, 2016

What a bunch of holidays here in San Francisco!

Samhain, Halloween, All Saints, All Souls, Dia de Los Muertos, all of them chock-a-block and people in costumes and there were candles at shrines and churches and so much fun. Trick or treaters at the door, big and little.

For me, the best part was going to a local school and seeing all the kids in costumes, such fun, so much creativity, and the kids were loving it. There was a big box of stuff for those who needed to borrow a costume made on the spot, and adult helpers to help. My ears rang with the laughter for quite a while.

As the days grow shorter I find myself preparing for the winter weather to come, the rain and the cold and the limited sunlight. Making sure that I'm ready will hopefully lessen any impact unforeseen that may come along. It's not whether, it's weather!

Another part of my winter preparation is to avail myself to things that make me laugh. Laughter is cheap medicine, I've heard, and know this to be true. Laughter lightens the heart and soul.

Bring on the Holidays, I think, Thanksgiving and all the rest, each and every one. There's an ice rink that just opened in Union Square and maybe this is the year that I'll give that a try, it's been decades since my last trial. Learning to land well is the secret to my ice skating technique.

Maybe that applies to a lot of my approach to life: land well.

Love on!

 

October 28, 2016

Discontent. Anger. Disappointment. Hate.

When people ask me, and they do, how I stay positive in light of all the negativity in the world I tell them it is because I displace the bad.

I do not dwell on negative people or events or ideas. I refuse to let more of the dark in our world have more of me than it has already had, and I continue to reclaim myself from the negativity of my past.

Which is why I almost laughed outloud the other day when a woman sitting next to me on the trolley car burbled something about the current Presidential cycle and statements made by one of the candidates. Right in that moment I could feel the negativity in her, and heard it in her verbal tone and language. I turned to her and said 'Be well' and moved to another part of the car.

No thanks lady, I thought, keep it to yourself. Taking another seat I notice that she is glaring at me, and then starts talking out loud. She's far enough away that I cannot hear her, but I can tell that she is becoming agitated. Mind you, she's nicely dressed, from her appearance I suspect she is on her way to work. Poor dear, I think, and look away.

At the next trolley stop she is suddenly standing in front of me and says in a loud voice 'I hate you' at me and storms away. Wow is all I think.

A few moments later a young woman gets my attention. She asks me if I know that woman, to which I say no. She tells me that the woman is a partner at one of the big law firms in San Francisco. Wow is all I think.

Negativity is all around. Try to keep all parts of you away from it as it offers nothing good for any of us.

Love you, love those close to you, love those at a distance and always love on.

 

October 22, 2016

Hello Miami Florida! Thanks for reading, hope this finds you and yours hale and well, and enjoying your lovely city, such architecture, food and vibrancy. All the best!

The more you use a faculty of your being, the more adept you become.

This is true when we work to build up our muscles as our bodies reflect this effort over time.

The same is true with being intuitive. The more we learn to use this faculty, the more we have a larger sense of our reality.

Yesterday I saw a private client that I had seen a few weeks earlier. She had come to me to discuss the pros and cons of a business deal. During that session it dawned on me that this was not a good thing for her to do. She did it anyway. Now more than $40K has disappeared, along with the two guys she was dealing with. Yesterday we met to determine what, if anything, could be done. At one point she said that right after she signed the wire transfer she felt a shiver, a chill, that ran down her body from head to toe.

Some folks say that intuition is more a matter of coincidence and whatnot, but they're wrong. We are all intuitive.

The biggest issue in developing ones psychic sense is to surrender to the information, to surrender to being in any way responsible for anything more than your own thoughts, deeds, and feelings. To let go and to trust.

Some of the information I've received over the years has been awful, some has been fabulous, and all of it has been helpful, not just to me but to those that I work with. These are the folks that constantly remind me of the evolving forward progress that we all could make. For my part, I am so glad to be useful.

Utility not futility, with love and light and laughter and life.

Love on!

 

October 18, 2016

Life is full of amazing moments.

For some time now I've been working with a man who is working with grief since his father died. We've talked about the pain of physical loss, the longing, the sadness, the anger, just about every bit of death has been discussed.

Including life after death.

He was raised Catholic and has always had a hard time believing in heaven, he said the whole 'raised from the dead' thing and harps and angels just rang hollow for him.

From my experience I know that death is much more than most folks know. The body dies, the soul lives. And goes onward.

He listened and asked questions, but I could tell he was just not sure about what I said.

Until lately, when something happened to him that left him changed forever.

He had gone out early one day, running errands and whatnot, and finally ate food after noon. Still busy, a bite here and there, and to bed. The next day was a full one as well, and he met up with a friend to go to a street festival. The only thing he ate or drank consisted of a Polish dog hog. Out in the hot sun, walking around he was. Then it was time to catch a train back to his car, and as he stood at the train stop he began to fall, and he saw this dazzling bright white light and blackness around it. Looking at the light he felt uplifted and almost on the verge of laughing. That's when he heard his name being called by his friend, and he looked away from the light. Then the voice got louder and he could hear his friend telling him to stand up in an angry tone of voice. He turned back toward the light and again felt a deep peacefulness envelop him. Then he heard his friend's voice cussing at him, saying his name over and over, and then he began to see his friends face and it came into sharper focus and then he was aware of being on the ground and his friend telling him to stand up, which he did.

Back at his friends house he drank water and ate something, and began to feel better.

Yet the experience clung to him, and he knew what had almost happened. He couldn't wait to tell me about it.

His sadness has been replaced with a profound faith in life after death, and any fear of dying that he had has been wiped away.

Life is so much more than most of us know. Learn more, live more, love more.

Love on! And on!

 

October 17, 2016

Hello Idaho, Germany, San Mateo and all points!

Yesterday I sat down at my computer and wrote a short blog entry about the joy of rain returning to San Francisco after seven months. It was all about how difficult it is to cope with the first rains, how slick the highways become, the mess and danger of wet leaves on the pavement, that sort of stuff. I hit 'Save' and that was that...nothing got saved, some glitch prevented it.

So I wrote it all again, and guess what happened?

Now, a fresh new day and I'm giving it another try.

Life is like that. Try, and try again. Do not give up.

Persistance pays.

When I think back to the wave of frustration that swept over me yesterday when my first posting failed, and how much larger the second wave of failure felt. So frustrated and angry. Aaarrrrgggge! Kinda like that. The perfect time to step back, take a breath, take 5 or 10 or however long, and relax.

And here I am today, yet again, hoping that this posting will stick to the internet wall, as it were.

Hope lives in love, we just have to remember to get in touch with the love so that we can go forward.

Love on!

 

October 11, 2016

Have you ever been somewhere that is giving away free samples of food? It can get crazy!

That's what happened to me yesterday when I went shopping for a new computer printer. I'd gone around to a couple of stores, just your usual retailer with stereos and TV's and whatnot, and decided I'd go to Costco (www.costco.com) and check things out there. Little did I know that it was going to turn into, but ignorance can be blissful, as long as it lasts.

The parking lot was busier than most Mondays, and then I remembered that it was Columbus Day, a holiday for some. Around these parts we call it Indigenous Peoples Day, but the net effect is the same, lots of people out and about.

Walking up the stairs to the entrance I notice that there are almost no shopping carts. Oh oh, bad sign. I snag one and start toward the door. The crush of folks leaving makes it hard to get to the entrance door, but I manage. The place is packed. There are folks streaming in all directions, some of them with these large flat rolling beds for large buys. Oh, look, TV's are on sale, there are great big ones for so little money, oh look, warm sweaters for less than $10, oh look...

Finding the computer aisle I am shocked to find a great printer for more than half off list price. Wow! What a great deal. Since I'm here I might as well pick up a couple of other things I need, I tell myself, as I steer my cart toward the back of the store. That's when it started: the food lines.

Now don't get me wrong, this wasn't my first time at a Costco, why I've been to them in various States and I like to think I'm familiar with them. But for some reason, it seemed as if at just about every aisle there are one or 2 food sample stands, and most of them were busy. It was fun to see the crowd of people surge for some items, and that's when I began to notice what a sea of folks were at Costco along with me.

Beating a hasty retreat toward the front of the store, I found a short line and got in it. It wasn't the shortest line, but it has been my experience that whenever I choose the shortest line it moves slower than all the rest. No jinx for me, thank you.

What made me smile was the progression of the year I made on my journey to the cashiers, how it started with samples of Fall foods and goods to Halloween and Thanksgiving and finally Christmas and New Years. All the merchandise clumped by the holiday it represents, such a festive and colorful display. I almost bought a pumpkin...

Love on!

 

October 7, 2016

Happy World Smile Day!

Most days it's easy for me to find a smile on my face. Most days.

Not always, however. Not the other day.

I woke up feeling the cold, heavy blanket of depression trying to settle on my shoulders. It felt awful, and the more I felt into it the worse I began to feel.

Making a mad dash for my clothes, out I went for a walk. I walked along and just looked around and felt my mood begin to lift, slowly, so I kept on walking. When I felt much better I turned toward home.

On my walk I uncovered what had been at the base of my depression, it was the rejection by someone who I had hoped to get to know. My feelings were hurt, and I had just moved on without taking stock of myself.

Even though I know that the wrong person will always say 'No' that does not change my feeling of wanting better and more.

So on I go. I will continue to reach out to people as I find myself doing, and know that the right people always say 'Yes', always!

Here's to World Smile Day, I'm sharing mine, how about you?

Love on!

 

October 5, 2016

Just got back from a quick trip to Phoenix Arizona, seeing family and doing family research. It was wonderful to be there, the city has grown so much, so many housing developments stretching out into the desert. And the rocks that pop up here and there, towering red stones rising above everything, even the tallest buildings. Wow!

Travel continues to evolve, and more and more folks are flying. While I waited in line to board my flight from SFO there was a small boy with his mom in front of me, and it became clear that this was his first plane ride. He was so excited and couldn't wait to get on the plane. Overhearing this, the agent at boarding asked the 3 folks in front of him in line if the boy and his mom could board first, which all agreed to.

It was so fun to watch him walk into the jetway, his gaze swinging everywhere, taking in every surface. His mom was laughing.

As I boarded I heard his voice and there he was, in the cockpit with the pilots. Later, as he walked past me, his smile was infectious and everyone smiled back at him. Suddenly the crushing boredom that flying can be lifted for me, and I cheered.

There are new experiences everyday, and not all of them will make us smile. Do your best, that's my advice. Smile if you can. And keep moving forward.

'What will be, will be' as the song and saying goes, and it remains true. Our task is to live with what happens.

Love on!

 

October 1, 2016

Happy October! Eighth month in the Roman calendar, 8 of 12, three fourths the way into the year, we are here.

Time, as I have heard countless times, is elastic. It stretches and contracts as it is correct. For some reason, and I suspect it has more to do with time than space, I have come to remark on the paucity of notice some give to time. Just the other day, someone I know said that he was still in July, what with the weather being so warm and all, and I laughed, knowing how elastic and flexible time can be.

Some times, when I sit comfortably and quietly, I am back somewhere in time, when I was 16-17 or so, life was good and calm and sweet and I was at peace. Memory. Feeling in body.

Time has become my friend, even when it is running way too fast for me, when I am scrambling and rushing and out of breath and more and more, even then, I stop and breathe. Just for me. I'm worth it.

October is here, pumpkins and orange and turkeys and all the more. Flow with it, go with it, let time be your friend. Each moment, each minute presents another chance to change and grow and love and live, really and truly right deep down in your bones feel it...love.

We are always our best with love. Here's to our new month, and such history in these days to come. Come live love, love on.

 

September 27, 2016

Happy World Tourism Day!

1.2 billion people traveled internationally last year. Wow!

Not surprisingly, I was one of them, as I have been traveling outside the USA since I was 12 years old. Every year, if I can, I travel someplace away, a different culture, foods, customs, sights and most of all- people. These trips have given me an insight into our species, and from what I've seen, we are mostly similar in intent and motivation. It's the how of going about our business that is so interesting. Seeing the world close up forever changed my perspective of life, and the importance of love.

Going forward, we will continue to see an expansion of the travel sector of the global economy, and it's attendant services, like the food sector and lodgings.

'The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.' ~ St. Augustine

'Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.' ~ Mark Twain

I especially like the Twain quote, he is a distant cousin, and reading of his travels helped propel me on mine.

Growing up in southern California, I had plenty of opportunities to travel to Mexico, and learned so much about the people and culture, so rich and varied, much like the USA in its regionalism. I walked over the border at Tijuana so many times I've lost count. So easy, and once across off I would go shopping and looking around and eating, especially eating. Such great food, so many places.

Today in most of our cities you will find outposts of foreign cultures dotting the landscape. They are portals into another place, some of them reflecting in decor their national or regional identities.

Restaurants.

So go international today if you can, and share our world.

Love on.

 

September 26, 2016

Hello Deer Lake, Newfoundland, Canada! Wow, from the photos I can see on Google Earth you live in a beautiful part of the world, the colors blue, green and white being so visible. Thanks for reading, all the best to you and yours!

The other day I saw one of the most striking photographs I have seen in a long, long while.

It was just what I needed to see, since I had been on social media, part of a forum of folks posting on history, and there it was. This crude, ugly political statement about the US election. My stomach turned, I shut down my computer and went for a long walk.

People will be as they are. Trust what you see, hear, witness. Be true to yourself, and remember to love. That was the fruit of my walk.

Returning home, after a while I went back online, not without some trepidation, just a bit of hesitancy in my movements. And there it was, this great photograph, one I could never have imagined.

Politics can stir up the most intense emotions in us, and some of us take it and the discourse to vulgar ends. That is unfortunate.

This year, for what I am sure is a host of reasons, the political language has gotten really rough, the statements harsh, the truth slippery and sometimes absent. Never have I seen anything like it in this country. It can be very depressing. My intuition tells me that I am witnessing and part of the engine of evolution as it operates here on earth. The swings of social behavior, the release of good and bad energies, and the opportunity to learn from what occurs.

So there was my sweet morsel of good and decent and don't despair: a photo of Michelle Obama hugging George W. Bush, both of them smiling.

Take that, America! We are stronger together, with love.

Love on!

 

September 22, 2016

Happy Autumn! Happy Spring!

'Autumn is a second Spring, when every leaf is a flower.' ~ Albert Camus

Already, in our yard, the maple tree's newest leaves have begun to turn bright yellow and fall, curling to a pale tan on the ground. The wind is whipping the fog away in swirling masses of breakaway clouds and shreds of vapor. Pale dawn light illuminates all, the chill of the air cooling skin as I walk along the street. Here and there trees have begun to respond to the termperature as it begins to drop in anticipation of Winter.

Yellow and orange and just a hint of red, here and there.

The changing of the season. Welcome Autumn!

Love on!

 

September 18, 2016

Hello! Happy Sunday! Happy Everyday!

Whew! What a week this has been, so busy, every day, some nights, and finally today, a day of almost rest for me.

Have you noticed that somedays time just seems to evaporate, and at other times drag on? Funny, that.

One of the most interesting things that happened around me was the release of the new Apple mobile telephone. The tech crowd dutifully lined up, starting late Wednesday night, for the release on Friday morning. It was amazing and a little funny to see folks camped out on the sidewalk at Union Square. I spoke to a couple of them after they got their new phones, so excited they were. They were sitting having a coffee as I walked by, and I thought I knew one of them. As I walked past the one I kinda knew saw me and waved, so I stopped to say hello and wound up talking for a few minutes. Imagine, two 70+ year oldsters, jabbering about tech.

Funny though it was, I think that they are both onto something: the new keeps us interested.

The other morning I was talking with a young neighbor, about 6 years old she is. Her mom and I were talking about stuff and her mom said something about when she first saw a computer and her daughter looked at her and laughed. 'What did you have instead?' the little girl asked, and her mom replied 'Walkmans' and the daughter's face looked puzzled. Ah, youth! So much has transpired before you arrived.

The new keeps happening. So should we, with as much love as we can muster. It will make the future more inviting, love will.

Happy Day! Choose with love, and it will be better.

Love on.

 

September 12, 2016

The seventh month of the old Roman calendar is rolling along, here we are almost mid-way to the month. Ten more days until the autumnal equinox as we swing to Winter/Summer. Such a funny little wobble we do through space/time.

My walk early this morning was revealing. So many changes. Neighbors digging garages under their houses, others doing work of some sort. A sleeping man in a doorway. A woman walking a beautiful poodle, both she and the dog elegant in the foggy morning light. It is about the light for me on mornings like this one, and why the change of climate where ever I am interests me. Weather makes a big impression on me.

As a child I lived with the extremes of desert heat in the summer and snow in the winter.

As a teenager I lived with soggy Los Angeles and mild winters.

Today I live in the fog, some days.

Like this morning, the grey skies softening the colors, the sound of movement somehow sharper to the ear.

My walk revealed a city waking up, very urban in places, lots of big trucks and busses and so many cars. Along with an old Milan, Italy street car, painted bright orange as they are, clanging down the street.

Back home now, a full day of work awaits me. Business work and house work and life work. That should keep me going until 8PM or so. A full day. My choice this is. I could slack off and do less, business work less, messier house, messier life. I could, I have. The only problem with doing that is the net results are less than wonderful. So I'll bend my back and knees, and do what I please. If I can make me feel better about the life that I am living, I am on the correct path. Less than self love is less life.

Love on.

 

September 7, 2016

Hello, hello, how are you, how've you been? Living and loving, I hope. That's what I've been doing, or trying to do. Goodness knows, it can be a struggle and sometimes a pain in the parts...

and then there's the wild life, and I don't mean in the jungles, unless those are concrete jungles. From my experiences and what those around me have been saying, the emotional climate of the world seems to have kicked it up a notch or three. People are more short tempered, impatient, rude and from personal experience I cite hostile.

Never have I had someone pull back his arms and growl at me as he ignored the line and pushed ahead of me. How weird...

but I let it wash over me like a fine mist and kept my distance on the subway car. That's my advice these days: avoid conflict.

There is such a swirl of emotion surrounding us all, and it is all too easy to get caught up in that swirl. I know, it happens to me. The other day I overheard a conversation waiting in line, two men discussing a woman they know. The language was filthy, the words disgusting, their smiles mocking. Such low lifes, I thought. These two 20 something males reminded me that it's a big jungle and I am best served by choosing the course of action that is best for me. I kept my mouth shut and looked away from them. The woman at the cash register had overheard them as well and in a loud voice told them to stop using  ugly words. They shut up, paid for their purchase and left. As I walked forward a big smile appeared on her face as she said 'Hello there' to me. My role model for the rest of the day, she was.

Take a moment, close your eyes, breathe...and repeat. Let the good flow in, the bad flow out. We are human beings becoming.

Love on!

 

September 1, 2016

An update of my posting of August 27:

First client does nothing, her boss discovers problem, takes responsibility and fixes problem.

Second client visits son, discovers he's not enrolled in school breaking their financial agreement. Son in school now.

Third client catches woman friend in a lie, asks her to explain, and is told more lies. Distance now between them.

Trust your guts, I'm always telling people this. How to distinguish between your fears and intuition? Breathe. Fear fades, intuition becomes more solid feeling.

Remember to take time for yourself, to think kindly of yourself, to love yourself. When we practice self esteem we grow as individuals.

Love on!

 

August 30, 2016

I hated to do it, I kept sending them messages to knock it off, but that didn't work. Then I tried reasoning with them and that made it worse. Finally I sent them each a message telling them that we would no longer be Facebook friends if they continued to post the things that they did. Nothing changed on either end, and the guy actual sent me a physically threatening message.

I unfriended them both.

I hated to do it, but I could not stomach the vile, awful lies that each of them were spreading. And the comments from the people that agreed with them was mindbogling. Such hatred, such threats. It had to stop.

Never have a battle of wits with someone unarmed. That's always been my motto, but both of these folks are far from unarmed, one of them is a Ph.D in microbiology and award winning, but still, the beliefs they expoused were so awful, so mean spirited, so hateful.

That's what did it, when the hate just became more than I wanted to bear. Even though I could have just blocked myself from ever seeing anything they've posted, that for me was less than honest, if I block you then why are we friends?

Cyber connections are just like the ones we have in real life. Connections.

Being connected and exposed to the hateful spewing of someone doesn't improve any thing for any one. That's why I did it.

There may always be someone in the crowd who hates me for heaven knows why. My job is to take care of me.

21st Century problems, as old as mankind.

Love on.

 

August 27, 2016

Thank Heaven for my intuition! It's like a muscle, the more you use it and work with it and learn about it, the more you come to trust it. That keeps it flowing to and in you. What an ability that gives so much.

Returning from my last trip, I took one day off before returning to work as that was what I had intuited. Mainly I slept and tried to reconcile a 9 hour long time shift.

First client wants to write a message to her boss. No, I tell her, better do nothing and avoid a big problem.

Second client wants to stop giving money to his lazy son. No, I tell him, but go visit, unannounced and see for himself.

Third client being spun by a deceitful woman she knows. Continue to listen to her, I said, but do not act until a week from today.

Frankly, none of it makes sense to me, and there is where intuition lies. These are not my personal life, I have no connection with any of these people or situations, and that distance gives me insight. This ability has been with me since childhood, around 4 years old as I recall.

The school year had started in Big Pine, California, and the kids I knew on the street, a boy and 2 girls, all went off to school one day. I saw them from the porch as the big yellow car stopped and opened a door and my friends went inside. The next day I went to school with them. The bus driver wasn't sure about me, but the kids I knew said I was old enough, so I went to Kindergarden. That was what the sign on the door said, where the bus driver took me to.

Stepping into the room my head was agog at all the books and toys and things. The nice woman, Miss something or other, came over to me and I knew instantly that I would not be staying but had been given a tantalizing glimpse into my future. Went my Mom came I ran to the door and she laughed and so did I, and then the room laughed. I knew, to the marrow of my bones, that  my life to come would be unlike any one else in that room.

That's how it's turned out so far. I don't feel any less human, sometimes maybe more so. My compassion is right at the surface of my skin. I used to try to ignore it, but that never worked out, so instead I have learned to let it be, and to trust it, along with my intuition. I suspect they are related in some manner.

My work has continued to be a blessing, both to me and the folks I see. I feel so honored to be part of their lives, and trust and love the path forward.

Love on.

 

August 24, 2016

I took my own advice and went out and saw hay, and had a great time in Poland, Warsaw and Krakow to be exact. Amazing places.

This year for my vacation, holiday as some say, I looked into one of my library books and discovered Poland on a list recommended by astrology. A little research and away I went.

I'm not Polish, didn't know that much of its history, but was curious. Much reading later, off I went.

A week later I returned with more appreciation for the struggle that we as a species go through. We can be the best, we can be the worst. The range of human behavior swings from pillar to post and back again. We choose, each and every one of us, and what we must remember is the value of love, and forgiveness, and life. In whatever form it comes.

Time away, and alone, gave me such an appreciation for the diversity of life, how people choose to be and act and look.

And just how small our planet is. In just hours we can travel so far from what we are used to that what we encounter is foreign and exotic and overwhelming.

The choices we have today. Amazing.

On this trip I came to sense the connection that we all have on this spinning globe, the shared humanity. The need for compassion.

Just by chance and good fortune did I visit during a two week long Chopin festival, with pianos in so many places, like the one being played when I was leaving the airplane area. Or the one set up in the main market square in Krakow, and the talented young man who played with such skill. It was heavenly, beauty with a sound track.

Here's to more, with love.

 

August 12, 2016

Went out to the backyard this morning, to sit and meditate. So calm, so peaceful.

Bringing my thoughts into focus a while later, I open my eyes. The shafts of sunlight in the yard illuminate the hydranga bush and the leaves are shades of green, the light almost golden. It's the start of a lovely summer day. After a while longer it is time to get to chores and work, and up I get. It's then that I see it: the harbinger of autumn. A leaf cluster of wisteria is bright yellow, and stands out sharply against all of its green companions.

As I go forward with my morning, the thoughts about this coming season swirl in my head. So many of the previous year's memories flood my mind, and I am transported to other times and places, people, moments of life.

A friend of mine says that most efforts fail because they lack planning. He's right, usually, but sometimes spontaneity is what's needed.

Thinking of the Fall that's coming made me think of cinnamon and apples and the foods of years ago past. Then my mind jumps to an old cookbook my Dad's last wife bought me 40+ years ago, and I take it from the shelf in the kitchen and peruse its pages. So many traditional autumnal foods, and ways to make them.

To be sure, I plan on making the best of the summer while we still have it here in the Northern Hemisphere, but there is another season to look forward to.

But first: summer. All the flowers and weather changes, which in San Francisco means foggy mornings some days, and cool city temps surrounded by hot suburbs.

Make hay while the sun shines!

Love on!

 

August 9, 2016

Hello Boise, Idaho! How are those beautiful mountains, that huge sky? It's been years since my last visit, but those memories still bring a smile to my face. All the best to you and yours, thanks for reading!

This past week has been such a mad rush, yet then it usually is before I take a vacation, and that's just around the corner, so to speak, or type, as the case is.

My apologies to those who have contacted me and asked for an entry every day or so, it's just not possible at this time. I would love to have the freedom to write to my hearts content, there are a couple of books that I would finish.

So little time, so much to do.

The other day a chore I had been putting off came to my attention, demanding instant response on my part. Ugh, I felt and said as the feeling swept over me. Then I took a deep breath, and then many more, rolled up my sleeves (really) and got stuck in, as the English say. And wow, was I stuck for a few hours, the effort revealing the need for more effort, and on it and time went. Before I knew it hours had passed, and the chore was almost done. A couple more hours and it was completed. Results!

All of the other tasks that needed my hands were left to be done, but the satisfaction I felt in getting this one chore cleaned up was a sheer delight. Laughing at myself for letting it get to be such a huge amount of work, I realized that maybe that was what it was all about in the first place, that I needed these feelings of satisfaction and got what I sought.

God and good move in mysterious ways.

Here's to more good for all of us, in whatever ways we can achieve it. With as much love as we can muster.

Love on!

 

August 1, 2016

Happy Lammas Day! Half way between equinoxes, time marches on!

Yesterday was wonderful here in San Francisco, perfect weather, perfect temperature, and I had free time! Huzzah!

After picking up the house (what an image) and sorting out some stuff, I took myself out for a nice walk. There were lots of us out and about, as I walked down Market Street my mood began to soar.

Forget about all the political madness, let loose all the chaos and destruction, just be in the moment, breath by breath.

It worked.

By the time I got to It's Tops Coffee Shop (www.itstopscoffeeshop.com) I was ready for a break, so in I went. This place is an piece of the 1950's, the decor, the food, and sometimes the clientele.

Sitting at the counter, I notice a woman enter, look around, and then take a seat at the other end of the counter. She's dressed in stained, ripped clothing, her hair disheveled, her shoes duct taped. She orders coffee, and then sits looking at the menu. When asked if she wanted something more she politely says no, but keeps looking at the menu.

As I pay my bill I ask the waitress to take $15 and give the woman whatever she wants. She smiles and tells me that this woman comes in a couple of times a month, lives in a room nearby, and is known to local merchants. Neighborhood SF, yay!

After I leave I watch through the window as the waitress tells her to order breakfast. The tears on her cheeks are all the satisfaction I could ever want.

One good deed, one person helped.

As I walk along I pass newspaper racks with ugly words from a person seeking the Presidency of the USA. Wow, so ugly, these words.

It takes a village, it does not take a village idiot.

Love on!

 

July 28, 2016

Is it Friday yet?

What a week this is, so much going on. Every almost second brings some new news, good, bad, awful, better, and mixed.

Waking up shortly after 5AM, I roll onto my back and silently say 'Thank you'. Another day begins.

The birds that live in the backyard are quiet, dawn's early light is about an hour away. Opening the door, the cool, still air greets me as I move outside. Looking up I see a few stars in the cloudless sky. A fog free dawn, oh yay.

I sit on the edge of the deck and let the quietude envelop me. All is calm. Serenity.

Maybe I dozed a bit, but suddenly I hear a thump and turn my head to see a familiar cat. He looks at me and sits. We sit and enjoy the lightening sky together.

After a while he moves on, walking into the camellia bushes and disappearing from my view.

Knowing what a hectic, busy day awaits me gets me to moving and to coffee and newspapers I go.

Yet the peacefulness of the morning stays with me, reminding me that there is calm in the world.

With love.

Love on.

 

July 23, 2016

The importance of technique. That's what this past week has been all about. Not just the what, but the how.

This past week found me working with a corporate client, tagging along on sales calls with two of their employees. The woman sure knew her products, but the way she dressed (too casual), stood (she slouched) and spoke (F bombs!) ruined her sales presentation. The guy didn't know his products, but he was attentive, smiling and engaged, good posture and responsive. 

Then there was the employee who used the negative tactic, telling his customers that they needed his products otherwise they would lose to their competitors, that his products were the only ones that were any good. Not a successful technique, at all.

Finally I led a corporate exercise for about 40 people. We practiced walking, posture, facial configuration, tone and speed of voice, and lots more. One of the best exercises was when they had to pass an object from one to the next, each time getting the persons attention nicely, then making and maintaining eye contact, and then explaining what they wanted to do. So many folks made great improvements as the object went around and around.

Technique.

If someone is selling you something and they are red in the face, yelling, denigrating the competition, and not telling you factually why their product is better, and telling you that they are the only one that can help you, take a deep breath and step back. The technique this someone is employing is called a 'con', short for confidence.

Style never is better than substance. Fear is never better than reason.

Love on!

 

July 16, 2016

This was a morning when I just didn't want to wake up, just wanting to sleep...

...the news is just so awful. Everywhere.

Yet I did get up, get moving, coffee, newspapers but just glances, and then out the door.

Exercise. 30 minutes worth. Just to get my blood pumping.

As I walk along, I start noticing how the rising sun is illuminating the landscape, the light painting shades of gold everywhere. The beauty of the morning shakes off the dread that had started to cling to me as I glanced at the papers. I can feel my spirit rising in me as the sun rises in the sky.

Back home, cleaning up, making the bed, starting a load of laundry, you know, all those humdrum things we all do.

Some days are going to be full of bad news. Keep moving. That's my advice.

There may not be much that I can do to cure the ills of our world, but I can make that small little part that is mine better.

Starting with me, and my attitude toward life.

Love on. And on!

 

July 13, 2016

Just moments ago I received a text message informing me that my dear client had died. Rest in Peace! Rest in Love!

It's just coming up to dawn in Paris, where she lived and loved and laughed and all the rest. She and I had agreed that Bastille Day was worthy of celebrating.

And now I will celebrate her! Love on!

She had been born in a time when people ate their household pets rather than starve. She buried children, some of them hers. She was as tough as shoe leather and as tender as gossamer wings.

Jour de fete, Bastille!

There comes a time in some of our lives when the body and all that it entails is just too damn much.

Time to let go, let G-d, let good...

It's just dark now, here in San Francisco, so many miles and flight hours from Paris.

As the light fades, I will go into our garden with a white candle and love.

Each of us is that candle, and the match that lights it. It is with love that we banish darkness.

Love and live, on!

 

July 10, 2016

Hello Weatherford Oklahoma! Years ago I drove past and remember how cool and calm that morning was, having awoken before dawn in Amarillo. All the best to you and yours, and Thanks for reading.

What a busy, buzzy week it's been, everywhere I look.

So much turmoil, strife. I seek comfort in taking care of those around me, and things get better.

The other day I over heard a conversation between two women. They were complaining about a woman they knew, and were making rude comments and laughing. Then a woman was with them, and it was the woman they had just been laughing about. Suddenly it was all smiles and 'how nice to see you' and politeness. Then the woman left. The looks the two woman exchanged as they sat there, clearly stunned, was laughable.

That was funny to observe, as are so many incidents I've seen lately. Like the man who was talking on his cell phone at a urinal, and then drop his phone in the urinal. No, I don't know what he did, I turned away. Poor chap.

Recently, I have been working with a woman and her almost adult daughter. They have been having difficulties. We've had hours of conversation and exchange. They have both received homework instructions from me, and it's progressing. This past week they were to wear the clothes of the other, if only around the house. It was so good for them to have that exchange, to see each other as individuals. Both of them have told me how much laughter they've shared, along with many, many hugs.

Day by day, moment by moment, we progress in time. Any other progress we make is based on our efforts.

It does get better, but we have to work at it. We have to roll up our sleeves, bend our backs, hold our tongues, but it gets better. With copious doses of love, plain and simple. As we love ourselves, our lives get better. As more of us love ourselves, our world gets better.

Love on!

 

July 3, 2016

Hello Ashburn, Virginia! Looks like it's a cloudy day there. Many is the times I remember flying in or out of Dulles. Such a change of seasons you folks enjoy. Thanks for reading, and all the best to you and yours!

Lately my patience has been called upon, and tested. It hasn't been fun, or great.

Take the other afternoon. I had gone into a drugstore to buy some stuff, and was in line waiting to pay. Just as I approached the counter a young woman jumped in front of me. We reached the counter together and I turned to her and said 'I'm sorry, I believe I am next.' She looked at me and the stuff I had set on the counter and then pushed it to the ground. 'Go away.' was all she said. As I picked up my stuff a clerk came to help me and I paid and left. Grumbling in my head...

and then a guy comes up to me, clearly intoxicated on something, and starts following me, all the while talking nonsense in a loud voice. I ignore him and keep walking, and so does he for about 50 feet. Grumbling....

Closing my front door, I set my stuff down and grab some blank paper. First I write a scathing letter to the young woman at the drug store, pouring out my anger and resentment and turmoiling emotions. Then a letter to the high guy, ranting about his lack of self care and his choices. Venting. Getting all of the negative emotions out of me, and I went on to write a total of 3 letters before the fire in me had diminished.

There's quite a world out there, and some days it can be pretty awful. Don't stuff the negative, and don't repress the positive.

Repression results in depression.

The more we allow the negative out of us, the better.

Here's wishing each and every one of us the best life has to offer. And gobs of patience.

Love on!

 

June 30, 2016

Hello! Thanks for reading along, and all the best to you and yours!

Well, here we are, at the end of June, and the end of the first half of 2016.

Time certainly does fly, and as we get older it seems as if time speeds up. This can be problematic at times.

Yesterday, I got side tracked in a chore that I was doing, and before I knew it time had disappeared and I had to rush mightily to not be too late going forward. Poof! Just like that, gone, those minutes were.

Looking over the past six months, there are some things I still want to accomplish and have not as yet. These things will be moved to the front of my task list starting tomorrow. Tempus fugit. Time flys.

And what a gift time is, truly. We don't make it, it happens to and for us. Isn't that great?

This weekend marks the start of summer for most Americans, and there will be celebrations and food and fireworks and all manner of things happening across this country. Party on, Uncle Sam!

Here's hoping that all of us enjoy this time in our lives.

Love on!

 

June 26, 2016

Happy Summer! Happy Winter! Equinox has come and the season's change.

Recently I saw a computer animation of the Earth's movement through space, it was so cool! The sun was this huge shining ball and all the planets were smaller and chasing the sun through space, each planet rotating at it's speed along with moons. Amazing!

It gave me a small perspective on this week's happenings, all the turmoil and whatnot.

So much to and fro, so many emotions being stirred up, mainly by various media outlets and politicians.

It's all too much for me, and I limit my exposure to media, and avoid some of it altogether. I don't need or want the strife.

When I was a child, we had a neighbor who loved to go around the neighborhood and tell every one who would listen all about her woes and travails. My mom would invite her in for a cup of coffee and they'd sit in the kitchen, the visitor complaining and my mom listening.

Finally I asked my mom one day why she invited the woman in, and she said that she wanted to be a sympathetic ear, and that when she heard of this woman's troubles, she felt slightly better about her own life, which was approaching its unseen sudden end.

As I grew older, I came to realize that no matter how much I complained about things, nothing changed.

Time for change in tactic.

So I started to make changes in my life, in my behaviors, in my thinking, and especially in my self esteem.

Learning to give myself authentic, unconditional love was and still is some of the most difficult and fulfilling moments in my life. 'To err is human' is undoubtedly true, but what then?

Love, forgiveness, kindness, and perseverance keep me going.

Despite all the hullabaloo and turmoil and whatnot, love lives on.

Here's wishing you and yours all the love in the world!

Love on!

 

June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day! Happy Juneteenth!

This morning, dragging myself from my bed, it dawns on me that I am in a not so wonderful mood. Hmmm, wonder what's up with that, I think, and so I go for a 30 minute walk. Just threw on some clothes and out the door. Walking along, sorting, reflecting and then it surfaces: my feelings about my interaction with a woman a couple of days ago.

We were at a social function, both of us milling about, talking with others. I noticed her looking at me, and I could sense the curiousity about me that she had. The man with her moved them closer toward me, and I knew they were listening in to my conversation with the nice woman I was talking with. At one point I answered a question and felt a zing go through my body.

Turning toward the young couple, her eyes met mine and she looked away, but not before I saw the look of contempt on her face. He and I said a couple of words and they moved on. But the zing remained. I shook it off and kept moving, and forgot about it.

At least my head did. My heart and body did not.

People can teach us so much about who they are. Sometimes we might believe that how we are treated is a sign of our value. This is a very large mistake.

Whatever it was about me that she didn't like, oh well. We all choose.

For my part, I've got enough to deal with on a daily basis to try to make judgements on others. We all choose.

Having identified the source of my dis-ease, I displace it.

And I am back, back to feeling the love that lives in me, and ready to reach out again and again, even if those I reach toward pull away.

Love on!

 

June 16, 2016

Yesterday was my Aunt Leota's 100 birthday! Imagine that, a century of living. To celebrate the day I flew down to Los Angeles to join in the party held in her honor.

This is someone I have known my whole life. My earliest memories are of the house she and my Uncle Ed lived in in Big Pine, California, on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountains. So many wonderful memories of those days are with me today, which is why I wanted to be with her yesterday. Love in action.

There were many of her friends there, along with many family members, and it was a great party. As I had to leave to fly back home I went to her first to say my goodbyes, and we sat there and looked at each other, the love and kindness beaming from her eyes at me. I asked her what her secret to living was, and she said 'oh I don't know, maybe love, I guess.'

She is so very correct.

That's what she's given me all these years, love.

Never a harsh word or any rebuke, just love.

Just for those few moments all the years fell away, and I was a little toe headed boy in her backyard there in Big Pine, looking at the sweet, loving face of my dear Aunt.

We don't see each other much these days, but the love lives strong and fast, and always.

Love on.

 

June 14, 2016

The awfulness continues, this time in Florida. Sickening what hate can do. And uplifting, what love can do.

What has brought tears of joy to my eyes was witnessing the power of thousands of people doing something, giving money, giving blood, giving love and time.

The other night I took part in a rally here in San Francisco, a rally for the victims in Florida. As we marched to City Hall I thought about all of the parents, relatives, lovers and friends of those who were slaughtered this past Sunday morning. Senseless tragedy.

Life is going to throw curve balls, that's for damn sure. Catch'em or duck, what cha gonna do?

Sunday morning, after hearing the news, I walked to the bay, tears in my eyes.

I'm such a tiny part of the Universe, I thought, there's nothing I can do that will make a difference. What's the point if people can purchase guns that are capable of killing dozens of people in an instance? Even though California passed a bill years ago trying to make the reloading of some assault weapons slower, the gun manufacturers designed a way around it. The pursuit of money appears to triumph all.

Or does it?

We live, we love, and we choose.

Love on!

 

June 5, 2016

Hello Maryville, Tennessee! Looking at your part of the world on Google Earth is so cool, the banding of the crust of our planet, and the photos that I've seen are bucolic. Thanks for reading, all the best to you and yours!

These days...wow, bad news, everywhere. The newspaper headlines are provoking, the television even more so. What a crazy time.

Really, it's enough to just make one feel depressed and awful.

That's when it's really the time to choose. Are we going into the dark or are we going away from it? We have the freedom of choice.

The importance of this was made so clearly evident right in front of my eyes just the other day.

Even though my parents each had multiple marriages and a few kids, it turns out that the only direct blood ancestor of mine is a two year and counting little boy named Jesse. I met him for the first time and was smitten. What a cute kid, and what an intelligent look his face has, and look how he communicates with his eyes, and on and on.

Yep, I fell hard.

It's amazing to see the world through the eyes of youth. It is all too easy to feel ones age et. al. and the next thing you know you're starting to feel not so hot and cooling rapidly. Children are the elixir of youth.

Just the brief time I got to be with Jesse is imprinted in memory. In spite of the amazing invective and awful, dark thoughts coming from some people who have grabbed the attention of the media, there is hope for the future. I saw it in his eyes.

He was looking into a world that I will not live to see, one that will be better than the one he and I share today. Progress is slow, love must be steadfast and alive.

Love on!

 

June 1, 2016

Happy June!

Waking up this morning, I could hear the birds at the bird feeders I hung in our back yard. The chirps and trills told me that it was going to be a nice day, and it has been, thus far. Sitting on the deck, listening to the avian chorus that flutters by, I was delighted when a pair of robins came to eat, and didn't move for the longest time.

Peaceful.

The perfect start to a day, any day.

Yesterday, my morning had started in a similar fashion, but as the day progressed I began to encounter folks with negative attitudes and outlooks. The topper came when an employee of a corporate client told me during our telephone meeting that he didn't consider anyone older than 40 to be an important statistic for his company. Ah, 22 years old and so much room to grow. He's never met me and is in for a surprise when he does.

I remember years ago the slogan 'don't trust anybody over 30'. At least the bar gets moved around.

It's always a bit surprising for me thesedays when I encounter negative young people, and I always wonder what series of events tainted them so.

Then I remember my childhood and recall how negative I used to be, and how my negativity turned to self harm.

We all choose, all the time. Our choices will reflect our self esteem.

That's where self love and forgiveness come into the picture. We cannot change the past, we can learn from it, and change.

Love on!

 

May 25, 2016

Hello New Haven, Indiana! Closest I've been to your fair city was when I did some consulting work for a transportation company in Fort Wayne. It was Spring and the weather was perfect for that week, and I really enjoyed my time there. All the best to you and yours and thanks for reading.

Sometimes there is nothing better than seeing your town through the eyes of a visitor.

Or two, which is what we had for a couple of nights, lovely young people, a cousin and her husband.

San Francisco is an easy to show off kind of town. There's lots to see and do, and the architecture is interesting, as are the sights. For the day we spent  together I took them into downtown and we walked around, looking at this and that, domes and cupolas and stained glass ceilings, and towering sliding glass doors that open onto Union Square at the new Apple store. They were having a fine time.

Then we strolled into Chinatown.

Approximately one-third of SF is Asian, and the architecture, sights, sounds and smells of the largest Chinese population outside of China filled our senses. As we walked along, Marla mentioned how she loved Chinese dumplings, and right then and there I knew I had to take them to a dim sum restaurant nearby. After a few minutes we walked in. It's a big place filled with round tables that sit 10 people, and the room was packed with happy diners. No waiters, no menus, just food carts being wheeled around, the servers calling out their selection in Chinese. You see something you like, you stop server and a bamboo basket is set on the table, the lid whisked away. The smiles on their faces said it all.

Later we walked into North Beach and then through the financial district and a short train ride back to our house.

Visitors! What a delight! Getting to be a tour guide was just the break from my routine that I needed. I suspect it was good for Tony and Marla as well.

Seeing the everyday with such wonderful family visitors gave me a greater appreciation for the amazing connections and planet we share, and this lovely San Francisco.

Love on!

 

May 19, 2016

Hello Boonville, Missouri! How's life going along the banks of the Missouri river? Hope all is well with you and yours. Thanks for reading. All the best!

Lately I've taken to taking a walk almost everyday. Just to get some exercise and relax. Some days I've walked in the neighborhood, others days I've gone a distance away and walked from there. It doesn't really matter to me, it's all interesting.

Maybe one of these days I will take one of the bus lines I have never been on and see where that takes me.

I've seen amazing sights. Like the woman who was washing her very large rabbit in a tub on the sidewalk as I passed, she smiling and talking to the happy bunny in what sounded like Chinese. Or the fellow putting tile on the outside of his house, tile he and his wife bought years ago on vacation. Some of the architecture in this town is really beautiful, and the best way to appreciate it is to walk past.

Shank's mare, they call it. What a way to get around.

I've toyed with the idea of getting a bicycle, but the stories I hear from folks paints a dim picture of bike ownership, not a long relationship at all, sometimes.

Hoverboards seem to have come and gone, although I have seen one or two riders on sidewalks about town. The Segway certainly didn't catch on, there's only one guy I know of in San Francisco who uses one to commute.

Where's the next big whoop-de-doo invention for personal transportation? Isn't someone working on this? There must be...

at least I hope so.

Getting out and about shakes the cobwebs off, and lightens and brightens the spirit.

Here's hoping you and yours have a great day!

Love on!

 

May 13, 2016

Hello Mumbai! What a vibrant, lively and lovely city you are, and Chowpatty beach brings a smile to my face just now. All the best to you and yours, and Thanks for reading.

Friday the 13th! Superstitious? 13 is viewed by some as an 'unlucky' number, and by others as a 'lucky' number. Ah, people!

The other day at a corporate clients office I listened as some folks were talking. The conversation ranged from where to eat to where to vacation to which movie theater to attend. There was a great deal of information bandied about yet each topic resulted in a specific summarizing statement on the matter. The conversation was dominated by 3 women and they went back and forth to the disinterest of the 4 men with them. Then the women left the room.

Almost a breath later one of the men said something to the effect of 'what a bunch of wasted time' and then they sat and discussed sports and the same type of conversation took place: bandied topics, one result.

All the while I reflected on the differences between men and women, and the only true difference I have ever observed is skin and biological function.

We are all the same in so many ways. We are more similar than different.

It's so easy to forget this and suddenly everyone is defined by some subjective set of points and any cohesion is reduced. It only gets worse from this point.

Later that day I came home to a lovely note from a woman I didn't know until her letter. She wrote to tell me of her life and the impact my book has had on her, and how her life is better today because she no longer participates in the drama that swirls around her.

I love being an e-book! Worldwide! What an amazing time to be alive.

Here's wishing you and yours the best of days and nights.

Love on!

 

May 11, 2016

Hello! How are you? Well, I hope! Here's wishing you and yours the Best!

Woke up this morning and decided that a nice walk was in order, and so after coffee and newspapers and feeding the cat, out the door I went.

Drizzle and a brightening sky, the breeze cool against my cheek as I walk along the street. Not many people out and about and those that are appear to be on their way to work. The hum of traffic fills the air, along with the clang of the old streetcar as it rumbles past. The sun has risen into the sky and is blocked by the low clouds that crept in last evening and blanketed the bay area. I imagine being on an airplane as it breaks through the clouds into the blazing sunshine beaming down on the world. Nice memories...

and then a screech of brakes and my feet are back on terra firma.

Walking on I notice the under construction building going up on Market Street, the scaffolding swarming with workers as they bring the new into being. This land has seen so many changes over the years, from a vacant lot in a photo from 1882 to a low wooden building and then a larger wooden building. Next came a gasoline station that lasted the longest, until it was wiped away and the land became a Christmas tree lot each December for more than a decade. Last year the lot was fenced off and it was clear there would be no more Christmas trees sold there. Now a six flight buildng dominates the corner, and sometime this summer the unveiling will take place. Change in action.

It's like that everywhere, I've come to notice. The new keeps popping out, all over the place.

One of my friends decrys the changes that he notices, and he is always quick to complain how 'nothing stays the same.' You do, I tell him, with a smile, and he laughs.

Let go or be dragged. Nothing in permanent except change.

Living has taught me to cherish that which I love and to accept that change is constant. Learning to make the most of what is in the moment has served to make each moment all the more special, to know that the moment I am experiencing will never come again. How blessed am I to be in the moment, with love.

Back home now, cat sitting in kitchen, purring and grooming. As I type these words a trolley car lumbers down the street outside my door, clanging and squealing as the brakes are applied.

Breathing in contentment, I thank all that is.

Love on.

 

May 5, 2016

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Viva Mexico!

Many people think this is a made up holiday and has nothing to do with the Mexican revolution and they are wrong.

The facts of the matter, and this is where history comes in, are that if it weren't for the Mexican Army the United States would look vastly different today, as I daresay, would the world.

During the US Civil war the leaders of the Confederacy called on factions of the French government to send help. The Mexican Army defeated these French troops in the battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862. The French troops were on their way west to attack the Union Army in the far western territory and hopefully lead to a Southern victory.

Imagine if that had happened. What a totally different world this would be.

There are so many things that happen in life, some of them seemingly insignificant and others monumental. The dizzying speed at which the new comes at us can be overwhelming.

This is where self love comes in. If we look for truth and good we will find it. If we look for less we will find it. We choose.

One of the ways I take care of myself is to look into things that interest me. There's a whole world of knowledge waiting at my fingertips. The more I know, the more able I am.

Feliz Cinco de Mayo! For my part I give thanks to the Latino/Hispanic genetics that are part of me, and to all that grow through change, with love.

Love on!

 

May 1, 2016

Happy May Day!

One of the most enjoyable parts of travel for me is hearing about what the locals think of America and all the kit and kaboodle.

It's a bit like looking at yourself in a different light and seeing things you hadn't seen before.

'Does this make me look...?' kinda stuff.

As is the contrast, the looking into local issues and reading the newspapers. Or engaging with the locals, my own personal favorite thing. It sure gave me a great deal to think about, both for them and for me.

As I was transitting London's Heathrow Airport I saw the world on the move, and it was amazing. The clothes, the luggage, the people, it was so interesting. Reading the departure and arrival boards gave me a distinct appreciation for the short flight that was ahead for me to Dublin.

The next week gave me a deep appreciation for the resilience of the Irish spirit.

The land of Ireland is, for the most part, green and verdant, although the rockiness of the soil is a difficulty. Maybe that's what the locals saw, how greenery had to take a hard hold on and make the best of it. Oh, and do something useful, too.

Love on!

 

April 29, 2016

The last Friday in April: Arbor Day. Celebrate trees and tend to nature.

It can be so helpful having a calendar, and sometimes not.

I've been away on vacation/retreat and highly recommend all of us take some time to find ourselves and have a great time.

Heaven, and a good chunk of Ireland know this is true for me. Wow, what a lovely country filled with mostly lovely people, and the one's that are less than lovely give themselves away, which appears to be worldwide in nature.

At least to me. That was something I noticed this time, that my bullshit detector in my body was in fine fit and finish. There were times that I looked into the eye's of some people and could hear their thoughts spoken in my head with their voice. It was striking the first time it happened, in the cab from the Dublin airport. The driver, Kam, looked into my eyes and I heard him say 'they're tired' in his voice which I had not yet heard. When he opened his mouth and spoke my jaw just about dropped.

It happened a couple of days later at the Hertz Car Rental office on Haddington Road. The fellow behind the counter reminded me of a man I know and like. And what could have been a ordinary transaction turned into a delightful converation about Ireland and food and how different the world is from when we were children. That, and an upgrade to an automatic transmission and a nicer car model for free. As we shook hands I looked into his eyes and heard 'nice chaps' in his brough.

'Thank you' I almost said.

Thus it continued, and a couple of folks looked me in the eye and steered clear of me, like the dodgy woman in Dublin's Temple Bar area, filled with pubs overflowing with folks and many of them needing assistance to walk late at night, and some during the day. One look at me and she crossed the alley. I sensed her less than noble thoughts about finding her next target, poor fellow he.

Reports say that after the Bavarians the Irish drink more than all of rest of the countries. I've been to Oktoberfest, having witnessed how crazy drunk people got, amazingly so. Hundreds of them. Temple Bar was not so crazy and really quite beautiful, all the old bricks still working and new buildings few.

Cork was amazing, marsh land reclaimed from the sea, the wild Atlantic. McGillycuddy's Reeks on the way to Killarney were amazing looking, the ground brown and barren next to the almost tropical vegetation all around. Galway was perfect, the seafood the best, and the locals welcoming and helpful.

Maybe that I am a bit prejudiced being an eighth Irish...but Ireland was lovely and special.

Time away gave me a chance to reflect on how much we are all in this together. Even if some of us don't think or act so.

Life loves me, and I love life.

Love on!

 

April 13, 2016

The mornng started as most do for her, before dawn's early light. She stirs from her sleeping spot and moves silently around, she eyes clear and sharp, the air still, the rest of the house asleep.

Later, others wake up and she wanders into the kitchen looking for food and finds it. She sits alone and away from the others, glancing briefly at them from time to time, but more focused on the plate in front of her.

She sits now near the door, perhaps contemplating whether to go outside or not, or perhaps just content in the moment.

Life wasn't all this easy just a few months earlier. Then she had been homeless and had been forced to sleep outside. The noises of the night had scared her and she moved from place to place, always with one eye open.

Then she found shelter under some thick plants that screened her from open view and afforded her the opportunity to run away in many directions if she had to. Some one living nearby saw her one early morning, curled up on a dry patch of ground. A day or so later she awoke to find that this some one had left her food.

It took years for her to learn to trust this some one, and to leave the outside for an inside, one that she still feels the need to flee at times, and does. She knows she's welcome at any time, and that there will be food and shelter and caring.

Thanks to this some one who is thankful for the opportunity to share life and love.

Love on.

 

April 10, 2016

Well, I made it another year around the Sun, and boy are my arms tired...ba dum bum!

Seriously, though, it has given me another opportunity to see how different I am from so many people that I know, especially some of the one's that I call family.

In this modern age, what with all the new fangled ways to communicate, I reached out via the internet to family, and got some acknowledgement from some folks and nothing from others. How cool, thought I, now I can be in touch with these folks I share DNA with and we can have better relationships together.

Or not, as it has turned out in many cases. These are the people that I thank for helping me to realize how different I am from them. It is their choice to be who they want to be, and not bringing me into a closer relationship is their choice.

As a child I always wanted to have lots of family members around, but this never happened. When the opportunities to meet family arose, I would jump and make myself available. Sadly this happened less and less. Nonetheless I continue to reach out to my kith and kin, and share with them the life I'm living and celebrate their joys and comfort their sorrows.

Yay for me! My belief is that the right thing happens, and that I am best served by being true and loving, regardless of others.

Yay for them! They get the life they choose.

The right thing always happens. Our job is to figure it out, sometimes, and to marvel at life at all times.

Sarcasm? Not a drop.

More of a realization that life is going to unfold as it sees fit, and that the best thing that I can do is love, look, listen and learn.

Most of all, love and learn!

Love on!

 

April 4, 2016

Happy Square Root Day 4-4-2016!

The next one comes in 2025, so make the most of this one!

Speaking, metaphorically, about being busy, wow have I been busy!

There was the end of March and so many plants to get in the ground so that the color display in the gardens of our home continues. Then there was a brief visit by two of our nieces and that was so much fun and run, going here and there and eating seemingly all the time. Crab season opened while they were here so of course we had to go to Fisherman's Wharf and eat crab. Oh so good!

March marched away and April moved in, and the pace quickened. What is it about the sunshine that makes people just want to be out in it? I saw a video clip of lemurs basking in the sunshine and how they stretch out their arms for maximum exposure. Must try that next time...

but right now I am just too busy to laze in the sun, what with Spring springing all about. The weather has been the roller coaster that my intuition told me it was going to be, and this week will see 80F temperatures around the Bay area, followed by rain this weekend. Probably going to be my last chance to wash the outside of the house with a hose, washing away the street grime. This is something I do every year, and I expect someone passing by to make some comment, it always happens. Like the year the neighbor woman said she was afraid if she washed her house she'd have to paint it. She had to anyway, and did that year. Now she's out washing her house every year as well. Did I start something?

Well, there is that...

but never mind, just keep moving, that's what I tell myself. Positive self talk, self encouragement so to speak, is one of the major benefits I give myself. Waiting for others to give me this will only result in me waiting far too long, so I step in and up and give myself the encouragement I need to get on with whatever it is. And it's a growing list, to be sure.

Here's hoping your day and week and ever are all that you want and all that you need. Carry love in your heart and lighten the load.

Love on!

 

March 25, 2016

Hello Cork Ireland! I've plans to visit your fair city in the not too distant future, and look forward to walking the cobble stone streets and meeting your people. All the best to you and yours, and Thanks for reading.

The past few days have been a whirlwind for me, there has been so much change afoot. Afoot, my heritage is speaking. Anyways, such a bub and hubbub has been going on: promotions, demotions, revelations, excuses, acknowledgements, lies, shames, worries and fears. Lots of fears.

Some of us are living unhappy lives, quietly, unspokenly, and most of all sadly.

These are the folks that most deserve our love and understanding. I remember as a kid hearing the expression about not knowing someone until one had 'walked in their shoes.' I get that, I've walked in lots of different shoes.

The other day I was talking with a man, and I mentioned that I had been homeless. He looked at me dumbstruck. Later I asked him how it felt to hear my words and he said that he couldn't believe that 'someone like' me had be homeless. 'It's a big world.'I said and smiled.

I've come to believe that life is about progress and growth, and that change is constant. How I look at life will be reflected in my attitude and that will result in progress and change. The choice is always mine.

To that end I burn off the negative emotions that arise daily by displacement, sometimes several times in a day. Whatever it takes, I will release the bad and embrace the glad. It's not that everything goes the way I want it to, that wouldn't be reality. What does happen is that I make effort to not be influenced by the awfulness that life contains. I edit what I listen to, look at, read, and expose myself to. Some of the stuff in media is poison. Don't drink it in.

Never have I seen a rainbow in the gutter. Only by looking up.

Love on!

 

March 21, 2016

Happy Spring! Happy Autumn!

With all the rain that we've been having these past few days, I decided yesterday morning that I would go on a walk before the rains came.

Nice idea, and I did get a couple of miles done before there was a sudden downpour. Umbrella unfurled, walk continues to a street car and a dry ride home.

While out and about, I did get to see so many blooming trees, and at one corner I was swept up in a shower of fallen blossoms being carried down the street by a frisky and brisk wind.

Spring!

The beauty of yesterday's walk was still with me when I went out later in the day to the market. The sky was a swirling twirling mass of shapes in greys, being tossed about by invisible winds that occasionally squeezed a smattering of rain drops downward.

Spring!

Who knows how much more rain is headed our way. The weather folks say that we have 5 more weeks of El Nino and that there may be more showers and downpours. Sounds great to me! The snow pack in the Sierra Nevada mountains is quite substantial right now, and maybe there will be a few more inches added.

Spring!

Here's hoping your day is full of the bursting joy that this season brings. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

Love on!

 

March 16, 2016

What an adventure I had! Never had anything happen like it, it was singular and unique, not pleasant and the right thing happened.

At least it was unique for me, even though I suspect it was 'old hat' for the other guy.

So, here's the set-up: I've been hired to help this guy change what some called 'douche bag' words and behaviors into a less awful display, so that this guy can be more successful.

I tried and did my best. He put an end to our work. He certainly got a contrast and perhaps a bit of patina from our work, but as much as I encouraged and coached, he ultimately refused to accept his responsibilities and instead turned to blaming others.

In the 50+ years that I have been earning money, I have learned that my time has value. As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it tap dance.

Time to move on.

For my part, I wish this youngish man well. He has so much to offer, and so much to learn.

His rude and insulting words and behaviors I will ascribe to his fragile and immature ego. Admitting one's faults is not easy, and the sooner one learns to accept responsibility the better and easier life becomes. In my life there were many times when I tried to deflect my part in some failed venture, and it never did me any good. I am hopeful he will grow with time, as I did.

Finding our footing in life is a precarious thing, and knowing that there are resources that one can avail ones self to is a comfort.

Love on.

 

March 14, 2016

Are you ready for it? It's gonna be here tomorrow, and there's nothing we can do to stop it.

The Ides of March.

Luckily none of us are Julius Caesar, although lately on television I've seen someone who sounds like he'd like to be...

A client wrote to me recently and asked 'What is happening in America? Are you guys nuts?'. She was, of course, referring to the political comments made by some of the guys running for President.

Lately, there has been physical fist swinging violence at political rallies.

All of this carries me back to 1968 and how the Left was violent and the Right stood firm.

My how times have changed.

Alarming as the media would like to make it, and there's nothing like a worked up crowd to get the crazy rolling, and the next thing you know there is more to be alarmed about. Look away if it bothers you. But don't ignore it. None of us should. As ugly as this political year is shaping up to be, I remember that media is not always information. Sometimes media creates information, or spins it. Viewership is an almighty tool used by media to charge more money.

Tha't why I give it short shrift in my life. I don't want to be manipulated, not by media and not by anybody. Tell me, don't sell me.

The Ides of March, the tides of life.

Love on!

 

March 8, 2016

Happy International Women's Day!

If you are reading this, you can thank a woman! Or two, or more, actually.

Yesterday I was in the back yard cleaning up from the mess that the strong winds and rain had made. We're having 3 more storms by the coming weekend and I figured I had better get ahead of the mess to come. Just as I was nearly finished a small pinkish white cherry blossom floated down near my right foot. Looking up I saw that our cherry tree had burst into bloom and was beginning to disappear in it's springtime cloak.

In a moment I was transported back to my Grandma Edith's home in Bishop, California, and the spring that she and I walked among the cherry trees in her yard. There were about two dozen trees, and they were glorious. The fragrance, the buzz of the bees, the dappled sunshine illuminating the carpet of fallen blossoms.

Time travel. At least in my head.

Returning to the here and now, I thought about her family and the long line of Cunningham's that had arisen in Scotland and moved onto Ireland before coming to America in 1689. What lives they must have lived. How lucky am I to be the recipient of all that love and effort.

Love on!

 

March 5, 2016

Spent part of a day with a 7 year old child recently. Old wisdom in new container.

'There's never anything new.' she said, and I smiled. 'What about today? This is a new day, isn't it?' I asked. She smiled and agreed.

From my vantage point, everyday is filled to the brim with the new. Each and every day brings something new, often countless new and sometimes improved things.

Toyota has a new wooden car.

New age blimps are being floated, pardon the pun.

Medicine is making great leaps in curing diseases, like pancreatic cancer.

There's always something new. Sometimes the tidal wave of newness can start to overwhelm and we seek less of the new. I have a client who, by her own description, is computer phobic. Yet this same woman recently bought herself an IPad and has taken classes at the Apple store and made a host of changes. Why the change?

Because there was something the new could give her that she wanted.

She could talk with her son and see her new Granddaughter on her IPad. That's all it took.

Recently a mechanical pencil that I have had for more than 30 years broke, unrepairably. It was worn and discolored and a part or two were missing, but it had been with me for a long time. I remember the day I bought it and the woman who handed it to me. Oh well, I thought, time to embrace the new. And out I went shopping. Let it be noted that there have been many changes to the mechanical pencil in the intervening years. Oh my! Such great changes.

Here's to the new, and me and you.

Love living on!

 

March 1, 2016

Happy St. David's Day! My Welsh roots are showing a bit today, and I woke up thinking of the fun I had in Wales years ago, and the lovely people I met on that journey. At the time I didn't know of my ancestry nor the fact that my DNA could be traced to Machen, Wales. The things we learn along the way...

...which is a nice lead-in to what has been popping into my head with a steady drumbeat: the right thing always happens.

This past 2 weeks has brought a steady flow of this message, day in and day out. The wrong person says no. The wrong job says no. The wrong option says no. Instead of being bummed out and depressed with the turn of events, I saw it for what it was. Sure, I can walk right up to a door and knock, but that portends nothing in response. Rather than getting all anxious and worried and what not, I surrender and 'go with the flow', as it were. The right thing will happen.

What has been and continues to be important is what actions I take. Giving it my best, as it were.

The other day I had lunch with someone I know. I was surprised how all he wanted to talk about was him, and only to ask quesions of me in regards to him. The only part of me that was engaged was when he asked me how I was. After that, it was all about him, only him. For me this was easy, it was a bit like having a session with a client, and I fell into my work-think routine. As we parted he suddenly, with gravity, said 'Thank you for being such a good friend and hearing me out.'

The right thing happened. That's what I saw. He had needed my ears and counsel, and I had been that good friend he needed without even suspecting it. Oh my...

Let go and let good. My take away from that lunch.

Last night, in a dream state, my dear Grandma Edith showed up as a counter woman at a See's Candy store, and as she offered me a free sample she said 'Live and give.'

Got it, Gram.

Love living on!

 

February 28, 2016

Hello Wayne, Pennsylvania! Hello Dublin, Ireland! Hello Hong Kong, China!

Such a lovely planet we have, and some of us are taking steps to make it better. Recycling has become a large focus of late, and more and more folks are noticing that more can be done.

Slow but steady...

We are such a funny species, when one thinks about it. Science says that we have been human for about 1.2 million years.

Slow but steady...

The other night I sat in front of my television and listened to a political debate. The devisiveness on display was awful, and the language used was the most crude I have ever heard in a Presidential debate.

Comfortingly, I reminded myself that what was on display was the engine of evolution. A small step backward and a larger step foreward, in time. Sometimes what looks to be the most awful thing that could happen is actually change in process. The future that emerges in life is partly shaped by the events of the past and also by the new people that keep being born.

The other day I was talking with a young boy of 10 years, and he was surprised to learn how long some of the objects that make up his world had been around. The new keeps coming.

Which is why I am not dismayed by the current state of American politics. The new triumphs, always. The hate mongering, fearful future that some people say is coming is a manipulative device, and does not serve the common good.

Slow but steady, with love.

Love on!

 

February 23, 2016

How about that Full Moon! What a sight it was as it rose yesterday, and as night crept in the moon took on a golden hue.

The other day I got into a conversation about responsibility and how one can navigate the demands of others. The woman I was speaking with is a professor at a well know institution, and lately she has been feeling pressured to do more. Encouraging her to discuss her feelings with her boss, she right then and there called him and they had a short chat and as she hung up her cell phone looked at me and said 'It was as easy as that.'

Sometimes it can be, when we try to fix our problems, but not always. None the less, do what you can to make your life better. It doesn't have to come to blows and shouted words, but the chances of that happening are increased if we stiffle our voice.

Recently I led a class at a small company I work with. Everyone had to write down the things that angered them on a piece of paper. Then everyone grabbed a thick foam pillow and held it to their face and shouted or screamed into it. Some people went on quite a while, and one guy couldn't stop crying. Then we went for a walk to a park near their building and sat and talked about what had just happened.

Displacement.

Getting the stuck, endlessly repeating negativity out of us, even if just for a moment, is so very healing.

It is so much better, and easier, too, if we just let out some of the awful in us, just for a moment. Then we have the room for more of the goodness that is in life to touch us, to heal us, to lift our spirit.

Love on!

 

February 16, 2016

We made it! Huzzah!

Valentine's Day is receding and today marks the last 6 weeks of winter. It's all supposed to be better weather going forward in time. Only thing is, my intuition is telling me otherwise. Rain is still to come for these parts, and winter may make a big show before melting away. We'll see.

Living in a big city as I do, I encounter all sorts of things that sometimes make me shake my head and keep walking. Like yesterday. There I was, on Market Street, as it was a holiday (Presidents Day) the streets were heaving with folks. There were cars galore, and the sidewalks were reminders of crowd scenes in movies. The sun was shining, about 75F, just lovely. Just walking along...

suddenly a woman's voice shouts out 'C'mon baby' and she runs into the median and starts taking off her clothes. The crowd is transfixed. She strips naked and turns slowly around in circles, arms raised above her head. Then she gets dressed and melts into the crowd that has suddenly started moving again.

Yeah, it was one of those days.

I suppose things like that may happen in the country, out there in the great plains of America. But who knows?

Later I stopped for an iced coffee and overheard a conversation between a man and woman from North Dakota. They were talking about the cost of rent and how crazy expensive it must be to live in San Francisco. At that second an easy to recognize film actor walked past her, and she sat up and stared, her husband turning to look as well. 'Well, that proves it' she said. Not sure what proof she got from a man who lives in the neighborhood we were in, an actor of some stature, and a nice guy, too. They left smiling. So did the actor.

Love on!

 

February 10, 2016

Whew! That was exhausting, and fun! Superbowl 50 rolled through the Bay Area. The game was played about half way between San Francisco and San Jose, and there were more than one million visitors. It has been compared to having 2 New Year's Eve celebrations, back to back. The resources of the City were stretched a bit thin, but we made it. Interviewed passengers at all 3 airports said that this was the best Superbowl they had even been to, and some have been coming for all 50 years. Yay Bay peeps! Well done!

In other news, the era of scientific breakthroughs is not over. How broad is the actual invisible wavelength of vision? New tests reveal that there is a world that we do not see, that is omnipresent and as yet unexplained.

There is so much to learn about this world of ours, and ourselves in it.

The Chinese New Year started on the 8th, the year of the Red Fire Monkey. A good year to do new things, to tinker, and to act.

If that's not enough, here comes Valentine's Day. Sweet and treats and flowers, I always buy myself something each year, partly as a continuation of something I started 40+ years ago when I had no one special in my life and felt alone, and unhappy. Giving myself something, even if just a walk in beauty, was and is an act of self love, self esteem. Life is progress, not perfection. Live, love, learn.

Now, what else is there to celebrate this month? Let's all go out there and find something, or some one!

Love on!

 

February 5, 2016

Hello Atlanta Georgia! How's life in wonderful Hot'lanta, such a nice town, so much to see and do, and don't forget to have a Coke! All the best to you and yours, and Thanx for reading.

Rain, cold, wind, snow.

Flooded streets, falling trees, slick roads, black ice.

Let's have a Superbowl! Let's have a million or so folks come to the Bay area, let's shut down roads and erect barriers and really make it crazy for everyone.

Last evening I ventured down to the Embarcadero to see what all the hubbub was about. Swarms of folks lining up to go through metal detectors before proceedng. Music and mayhem and swirling masses of people going here, there and where?  Police everywhere, snipers on roof tops, so much security. And so many people, it seems as if every country has sent a delegation.

Standing in line, the fellow in front of us turns and asks a question. He's from Xian, China, and is having the time of his life. His buddy, who doesn't speak a word of English, keeps smiling and nodding and looking around. The man from outside of Sydney, Australia is snapping a photo of a scantily dressed faux cheer leader and says 'What a bloody good rip' as he wanders away. The young couple from South Carolina sit and watch the parade of folks go by, some dressed in funny clothes, many in team colors. Festivity fills the air.

Coming home on the underground, I overhear a woman complaining about all the little black ants that have been invading her house. The woman she's speaking with heartily agrees, and then a man nearby chimes in and the talk turns to remedies and whatnot.

One of the side effects of this El Nino wet winter has been these ants. They are seeking higher ground.

Another seeking drier ground is the calico cat that has been living in our backyard for nearly 3 years. This weather finally got the best of her and she stood at a back door during a downpour last month, wet and bedraggled and howling her head off. Once inside, she hid under a chair and dried off. I went and got some canned food and fed her. She let me stroke her back before batting at my hand. A truce was declared.

Since then Felicity, as Joe named her, has become a member of the household. She has a bed and a cat box, wet and dry foods, a water bowl and two attentive humans, one (me) who is allowed to touch her. She is wary and scared of loud noises and sudden movements, but always returns after being out in the yard and other yards nearby.

The El Nino gata. A calico companion. Welcome! All this and a Superbowl, too!

Love on!

 

February 2, 2016

Happy Groundhog Day! Neither the woodchuck in New Jersey or Pennsylvania saw their respective shadows, so winter is going to be shorter...as least for groundhogs, maybe...

In January of this year, San Francisco received more rainfall than in the prior 5 years in total. The deluge has come.

The other day a crack appeared on a house that had recently been purchased for more than two million dollars. The city inspectors looked into it and ordered the house pulled down to protect the houses below it.

Trees have been falling over, especially as the ground is becoming soaked and the winds have been very strong, sometimes topping 60 miles per hour.

El Nino.

Some say that it is weakening, others say it is not.

Either way, it has been rainy, very. Today and tomorrow, storms.

Then maybe a break for Superbowl Sunday.

Then more rain is forecast.

For my part, on the days when I can, a lovely cup of hot tea and a good book suffice.

I am not even going to look for my shadow!

Love on!

 

January 28, 2016

San Francisco is under siege! Superbowl 50 approaches! Traffic nightmares, crazy prices, global tourists, and more!

That's one of the up and down sides about being such a destination city. Everybody wants to do something here. Even though the Superbowl is taking place 50 miles to the south, SF is still pulling folks in. The other choice is San Jose and, well, it's a nice city but doesn't compare to SF in countless ways. Which is why there are now lines at most good places to eat here in the City (Thank you Herb Caen) and the bars and clubs are hopping.

Tourism! We are all tourists at some point in our lives. I've learned that by being a good host I become a better tourist.

For a big birthday up ahead, I've been thinking about giving myself a round-the-world trip, and actually fly around the world and stop along the way, there and there, so to speak. Even though I have flown more than 2 million air miles in my life, I have never traveled that small part of the world between Bangkok Thailand and Chennai India. From the looks of it, it doesn't appear to be far, and maybe there is some interesting place between those cities to visit. Oh boy, more chances to be a tourist.

However, in the here and nowness of this time, I get to play host to a worldwide tourism visitation, and am looking forward to it.

I used to pass them all the time, someone, maybe two or more, standing still, looking around, maybe at a map.

Now I slow my stroll and ask in a friendly voice if I can help. 90% of the time the answer is yes.

So here's the game I'm going to watch: Can that number go higher? Let's give it go!

Love on!

 

January 23, 2016

Happy Wolf Moon! That's if you can see it where you are! I don't know if many wolves will be out howling back east...

Looking at the images on my computer of a frozen East coast, the streets filled with snow, no cars to be seen. White out driving conditions. More than 5,000 flights cancelled. Tens of thousands of homes without power.

Snowzilla someone called it.

So stay safe and warm and take care of yourselves, regardless of where on this lovely planet you happen to be.

For my part, I am going to go celebrate a friends '0' birthday. The rain has stopped until sometime next week, the weather folks say, and the break will be most appreciated by me, as then I can clean up my back yard and make sure the wildlife that visits, the birds and raccoons and squirrels and so many cats, have dry places to sleep and seeds to eat.

Ah, Winter! You're here at last!

 

January 20, 2016

San Francisco has received 110% of the average rainfall for this time of year.

Did I mention it has been very rainy of late? It has, and then some.

None of the creeks or rivers in the area are in danger of flooding right now, but the computer models predict some very rain filled storms are to come in the weeks ahead.

The other night it rained so much that the storm drains near our house could not hold more water which sent the runoff down the street to the lowest point nearby, an intersection that never filled with water, thank SF City maintenance workers and bosses. The city powers have been kept informed and have thus far managed to avoid any flooding.

Somewhat surprisingly, most of the rain thus far has fallen in northern California, and those in the southland are waiting for the storms to sweep their way.

So I've been hauling out my raingear and came across a jacket I remember buying years ago. It was practical and rainproof, with slash pockets on the outside and 4 pockets on the inside. It was perfect, especially for travel. Or so I thought, until one very, very wet trip to London, England.

It was 'tipping' rain when I arrived, and the forecast was for periods of rain but mainly drizzle. So wrong.

I was doing research and was going here and there, but all of my travel was always a bit of a walk from the Tube stop I was using, and I got a chance to try out my coat. The hood untucked and fitted well, the longer cut of the coat kept more of my trousers dry, perfect, I thought.

And then it happened. I got caught in  downpour and the outer pockets both filled with water due to their angle on the coat. Being made of the shell fabric meant they held water very well. It was crazy making. I spent the rest of the trip trying to keep my coat pockets dry.

Returning home, I was reluctant to toss the coat away, so I stuck it in a closet where it has lived all these years.

Finding it yesterday while looking for something else, I took hold of it and brought it into the light, brushing off the dust. Still a good looking garment, still in fashion, well made and putting it on I remember how well it felt.

Round Two looms for coat and I. Let's give it another try, shall we, says a voice in my head. Put nothing of consequence in the outer pockets, says another. Duly noted. I sense that my flexibility in this matter will avail me of some gain, if only the inclusion of this coat into my everyday wardrobe. I've never been one to treat clothing like disposable skin, and if an article really pleases me, chances are it will be around for a long time. Like the Calvin Klein jeans I bought in Boston, MA in 1983. Still fit, still look great. So, here's hoping coat fares well.

Sometimes it's just right for a second chance, no?

Love on!

 

January 14, 2016

Happy Thursday!

huh? what?

I know, it's just another day in the world, this one a Thursday, and what's so special about that?

Well, from my perspective, waking up this morning is something that comes with anticipation and just a bit of expectation.

There's a life to be lived, and each of us has been assigned that task. How cool is that? Each of us gets to choose, to a great degree, how we are going to feel and think and act. Wow oh wow, what fun that can be, or not, depending on what we choose.

Yesterday brought a new client to my door. She had been referred by a friend of hers, a client of mine for many years. She had called out of curiousity and we had a nice conversation, at the end of which she made an appointment.

As I do everyday, I meditated a while before the start of my workday. I saw an unfamiliar face and heard the words 'my down-in-the-mouth little chipmunk'.

She sure was! 'What's the point of all this suffering?' she asked at one point, as she had been recounting the tale of woe and loss she believed her whole life had been. We talked about perspective and how our choices can influence our lives. She told me about her grandmother, who had been such a positive and loving presence in her life, and how she now felt alone and hopeless.

We taked at length about her life, and I offered up some ideas for problems she is facing. Her mood lightened at the session progressed, and toward the end she said she felt so much better for coming and how an object she had noticed on a shelf in my office had reminded her of her grandmother, the dream-catcher, she said. I asked her how she felt about those memories and she smiled broadly and replied 'Hopeful'.

Excellent, I said, nothing to be down in the mouth about. Her jaw dropped. Much was said.

The life we live is the love we give. Each and every day is worth living, and love always worth giving.

Live and love on!

 

January 9, 2016

The street was slick with the drizzle that had been falling before dawn. A car rolled past, the sound of it's passing louder than the electric motor powering it. Somewhere a crow cawed, and cawed again.

Morning walks like this are a wonderful part of some of my days, and this one had started well and was going along just fine. The sky was growing lighter, the drizzle ceased, and blue skies peeked out here and there among the clouds.

As I rounded a corner I saw someone ahead of me lose their balance and fall on the sidewalk about 40 feet in front of me. People walked past, not stopping. Walking up, I noticed that it was an older man, possibly homeless from the look of his clothes. A man helps him stand as I take an arm to help. He's OK and brushes off our help, and walks away.

The man who had gotten to him first looks at me and we both recognize each other. This is a man I used to sell travel to years ago when I first moved to San Francisco and got involved in the travel industry. Time has been kind to him, and we grab a cup of coffee and talk about old times back in the mid 1980's.

Parting, we exchange emails and phone numbers and hug.

There are people that will pass through our lives with barely a ripple. Others can makes waves, and more others may be steadying and solid. Let it all wash over you, and choose those that are genuine and true.

Everyday can hold a surprise, and sometimes delight. Try to greet it with as much clarity and charity as you can muster.

Walking back home I thought about what he had told me about his life these past 30 years and how he had fared. The one constant, he said, had been his resolute determination to have a better life, regardless of what happened. He has surely achieved his goal as he is the owner of a very successful business and involved in community outreach through many organizations and charities. He said that he had learned that he needed to be his best friend and rely on himself first.

Good advice, I told him, and it's what I practice as well. Loving me makes living better.

What a wonderful gift today gave me, a reconnection to someone good.

Love on!

 

January 4, 2016

Mercury Retrograde 5:06AM PST January 5, 2016

Careful!

There I was, going up a sidewalk I knew like the back of my hand, and then my foot caught on something and down I went, hard on my left knee and wrist. A bit breathless, a moment, and then up, and taking stock. Ouch says hand and knee, go on says head, oh crap says heart.

We are that three ply weave, actually four: head, heart, body, spirit. The Four Directions.

So here I sit, unable to freely move my left hand and knee, taking in all that those two joints mean to me, both physically and knowingly.

Let go and go on, this says to me. Left is past, wrist is 15 years or so, knee is 17 or so, so let's take it from as if we were 16 again.

Easy on the inside, not so on the outside. That is today's message. Breathe and relax. Start again.

It will not always go as we would wish it, we are here to learn and go. This process can be extremely or less painful. Hang in. Love.

So, between now and the 25th of this month, take your time. And breathe, And relax, and again...

Take life with love.

Love on!

 

January 2, 2016

Happy New Year!

Back to work for me, and glad to be of help to others am I.

One of my cousins told me recently how she admires the work I do helping people. Thanking her, I said how blessed I feel that I have been able to help myself through so many trials and tribulations, and that this effort has helped me to understand life better.

'We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars'~ Oscar Wilde

When I first read those words I gave a small start: he was giving me a way out.

All my life I had heard from so many people how broken we are as mortal humans, how damaged and beyond repair unless...and then some hook into whatever thinking was being expoused. So I gave it a go, and soon found out that those that would 'save my soul' would do so at my cost and sometimes peril. It took a while but I got the hang of it. And voted with my feet and moved away from them.

Life is going to kick the stuffing out of us, one way or another, of this I am certain. In all my life I have never met anyone who has not been mauled by life at some point, sometimes without recovery.

The mistake that most of us make is to internalize the awfulness of the world and some of the people in it, and begin to think that we are responsible for how others view and treat us. That is very destructive thinking and damages self esteem. This has consequences.

When I began to do self loving, healthy things for myself, I felt better. Like the morning when I got up early and went for a jog, for the first time. Coming home I was on cloud nine. Just the fact that I could do something good for me, as a choice, was liberation.

Learning to love ourselves is a lifelong work. Each and every day will bring something new, unexpected, for us. We choose, right then.

It is my most profound wish that we all learn to love ourselves enough to make the best of our lives. In doing this we are then able to help those around us, and make our world a better place.

Thank you, gentle reader, for your time and effort, not just in reading these words but in being you. May all your choices reflect the love that lives in you, and in each of us.

Happy New Year, with my love.

Love on! 

 

December 31, 2015

Thanks to the modern age, I started my New Year's celebration in Auckland, New Zealand before moving via television to Sydney, Australia and their wonderful firework display. What a way to start my day!

This blog is a gift to me, and I am so very thankful that it came my way. Knowing that I have this infinitesimally small part of the world to share what I hope is my best and seldom the rest of life and living and loving and being, most of all being, is a gift beyond measure.

There are days in life when my 'get up and go' has either gone on or failed to arrive. These days I am thankful for.

There are days in life when it feels like I am living a dream, the other-worldliness of the moment surreal and yet not. Thankful me.

My work has demonstrated time and time, lifetime and lifetime again, how important self esteem is. It has helped me to see the shared struggle that we all have, each day, in countless ways. So many folks have communicated with me over the year, offering up their conundrum of the moment and my suggestion of a different perspective.

This year I saw so many wonderful and terrible moments, and they all taught me the value of love.

The only small part of life that I have is mine. It's not much, but it's mine and it's honest. I am responsible for my body, emotions, thinking and action. My power starts and ends at my skin. I am content.

Thank you, gentle reader, for your time and whatever else came from your time here. Know that you are in my heart and prayers.

Live the love that lives in you.

Love on!

And on!

 

December 30, 2015

Hello Jambi, Indonesia! Thanks to many folks on the internet I was able to find photographs of your part of the world, there in Sumatra, and the beauty of the architecture of some of the buildings is stunning. All the best to you and yours, and Thanks for reading.

The end of the year is fast approaching, and for some it can't come quick enough. For some of us, well, we may find ourselves writing 2015 for a while as we adjust, such as we do.

So, here's to us! We made it this far, and the future awaits.

What will the coming year bring, to our planet, to us? Stay tuned!

One of my clients is this lovely man, 96 years young he'll tell you, and he's correct. He is young, in mind, heart and spirit. He loves to learn about new things everyday, and spends some time surfing the web, looking at this and that. He credits this roaming with getting him to travel to Greenland, as he was awed by the beauty he saw on the internet. He says his natural curiosity has kept him going all his years, and I suspect he'll roll into the new year just fine, probably watching something on his new Ipad.

He's a role model of sorts for me. So many times I've watched as people unplug from the circuit of life and age. Each of us chooses.

That's the great thing about life, the freedoms that we have, and the power of choice where it exists.

Looking at the jungle surrounding Jambi made me think about what life must be like there, hot and humid much of the year, and a long way from big cities and pulsing sidewalks. And yet very tranquil and pretty, with all the modern trappings of life anywhere on Earth. There are so many people in so many places.

Thanks to technology so much of the world can be seen from the comfort of your where ever. Such a world!

It's a sure bet that technology is going to continue to change the world around us in countless ways. Just the other day I watched a demonstration of a new high tech stethoscope and was amazed at the precision and clear superiority of its manufacture. It will make such an improvement in the health of so many.

Here's to tomorrow, and next year, and each and every one of us!

Love on!

 

December 21, 2015

Winter! or Summer, depending where one is on this globe. Solstice. Mid year or year end, something to celebrate!

Out and about, the skies have given San Francisco lashings of rain, not cold rain but a bit chilled, like many of the people it's falling on. The town is awash with parties and revelers on every block. This appears to be the year of the funny head covering and tacky sweater, from what I have passed on the streets.

Macy's windows are a crowd delight, with puppies and kittens up for adoption, and a steady stream of happy people and animals make it one of the happiest corners in town. The subway construction has made a bit of a disruption, but the throngs of people are not daunted and shoulder and march on.

A new 'Star Wars' movie has just opened, and folks dressed in costumes somewhat like the movie are adding to the colorfulness of the season, the flash of light sabers seen here and there, especially at night. It does add a 'je ne sais quoi' (today's WTF) to the City, and make it even more festive.

Such a funny little republic this town is, so full of the exotic and unusual and downright outrageous, like the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a group of folks who dress is outlandish costumes and make-up and raise money for charities. What a colorful group they are, and the good work they do benefits many. There was a moment, the other day, when a Salvation Army bell ringer was talking with one of the Sisters, a woman I know. They were both smiling and laughing, and hugged as they parted. Sigh...

That's what I am carrying into this time, the unity of usness.

As the Pope said, 'Who am I to judge?'

Old Man Winter marks the shortest daylight of the year, the longest night. Today I will be moving about, dressed in my tacky Xmas sweater, getting a laugh or two. My smile will be present and ready to erupt, and the laughter will be cued up as well. Tonight will find me near my fireplace, enjoying the smell of a pine tree festooned with baubles and a book or two. Meness. Taking care of me at the end of the day. In doing this, I give myself a foundation on which to express myself, selflessly. Once I take care of me, I'm ready to help those around me, each and every day. Regardless of who they are or where they're from or what religion or color or anything.

Usness, in action.

Love on!

 

December 17, 2015

Oh, so busy, so busy, so busy...very bizzy and buzzy and the rush of year end is a swirling maelstrom into which most if not all of us are whirled and world around and about. And in some cases, beyond.

Lately I've seen several cases of the latter. Folks who just lose it at some point and act out. This is a stressful time of year.

In this part of the whirled, the temperatures have been plunging at night, into the 30's F in some places. They say it's good for the grapes. That may well be, I have come to find that moderate use of grapes has been good for me, many times. As I've learned, there's a nasty kick in the wrath of the grape, when one over does. Moderation is the key word.

So when I go 'free range' and take myself out into the swirl, I take my patience, my time, and my effort, so that I can swim along with all of the others that are out there with me.

For some reason, maybe it's the coldness, but I've seen more men in shorts than is usual for this time of year. They may have on bulky jackets and thick socks sometimes to the knee, but then there are those shorts. At this time of year? What's with that?

El Nino continues to boil the waters of the Pacific Ocean and the change in the atmosphere draws the wetter and colder winds from the Artic Circle farther south, and it has been and will continue this weekend to rain. In the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the east the snow has been piling up in lovely carpeting, one night 19 inches fell in part of the mountains. This snow pack is vital to the ecological health of California and neighboring States. Let it snow!

Here's hoping that we can all make the best of these days ahead, with love.

Love on!

 

December 14, 2015

Hello Holland! I have seen some of the most beautiful sights in your lovely country. All the best to you and yours, and Thanks for reading.

Why are men shirtless and women topless?

The funny way words are used sometimes, sometimes makes me laugh out loud.

Such an amalgam of languages American English is, you can hear time and places speaking to you in every sentence. For a student of languages, as I am, I marvel at the words that I hear, and how differences among us are commonly spoken.

Take the word woman, for example. Man is an understood word, and wo is just an old Celtic word for half. So when you're counting people, each man represents 1 and each woman half. That's the food supply the group needs. Laboring men require more food.

But then, who's counting? Leaders, I hope.

Walking the other day, I passed two women on the sidewalk, and over heard this bit of conversation: 'She said he said that they said...' and my mind boggled. What a convoluted chain of communication, and one can be sure that it is a faulty chain at best. No leader there.

Another favorite word: seems/seams. When someone says to me 'such and such seems...' I hear the word seams, as I suspect that our intuition hides behind the word seems, expressed as language that is partly hidden, like much of intuition is.

As we have evolved as a species, we have learned how to adapt to the environment around us, and today we humans are the chief architect and builder of our global container, Earth. How we go forward is an indication of how we will continue to adapt as a species, and become even better at being.

It's all there, in print. The words that have been used to express the intent of the leaders of our world to improve the environment have been published. Now all we have to do is make those words mean something.

We're all in this together! But then together is just to get her. Earth.

Love on!

 

December 9, 2015

What a fun day I had yesterday. I got to work with a new corporate client. The head of the company is 22 years old. She is very bright.

What I enjoyed was watching those who came to the meeting, how a couple of them thought she was a staffer and brushed past her. It wasn't until the meeting started that some realized who she was. The woman next to me leaned over and rolled her eyes.

Afterwards the head and I met, and we discussed the reactions of all the attendees. She was unfazed by what she saw and said that countless times she has been overlooked, and that it doesn't bother her much.

I asked her to tell me the things she observed that made her angry or unhappy, and she did. I wrote them down, and then asked her to write them down. Her writing was more elaborate than what she had said, more detailed, more reactive energy. I then asked her to go to the chair where the person had sat and to read her writing about how she felt. The anger and sadness boiled forth, and as she went from chair to chair she became more in control, less fractured by other's behavior, and when she finished she laughed outloud.

Displacement.

It works.

Holding onto negative feelings does not help. By learning how to displace, in a safe manner, our negativity, we free ourselves from the baser emotions that plague most of us.

On my way home, waiting for a bus, I saw two men get into a shoving match, all over the last newspaper in a machine. It was sad.

The end of the year can manifest a lot of tensions that we all feel, from the past as well as the present. The best thing we can do for ourselves is to displace the bad, and cherish the glad.

Love on!

 

December 3, 2015

Up 2 hours before dawn, awakened by nothing that I know of, feeling rested. Turn on the coffee machine, go get newspapers. Coffee and papers. So much trouble in the world. 'Good news never sells.' to quote a former boss of mine at the Los Angeles Times newspaper.

Splash face with water, brush teeth, throw on some warm clothes, comb hair and out the door with the new Adele album in my ears. The coldness of the pre-dawn air stings my cheeks and makes me glad I grabbed gloves on the way out. Should have grabbed something for my head as I feel the chill embrace me.

38 minutes later I am back home, going up the steps to my door, invigorated and warm, almost perspiring. The impressions from my walk are very fresh and swirl through my brain: the little woman with the big dog, the dog clearly in charge. The man in a wheelchair who waved and smiled, and me back to him. The woman having a fight on the phone with her lover, anger then tears then silence. The children holding hands with their dad singing as they walked along. The beauty of the sun rise, the sky painted gold and dark blue at first, and then brushes of pink streaking across, their color serving to bring dawn into daylight.

A good morning, started.

Love on!

 

November 29, 2015

The tail end of November is wagging, and December, the tenth month in the Roman calendar of old, looms...

and the festivities of the year end are everywhere we look. What a world of choices we have, and many of them don't cost a cent.

The pealing laughter of a child fills the brisk, dry air as the sounds of the traffic swirl about, the whole of it pulsing with life.

This and more sounds are out there in the world, and this is a great time to get out and about. The shops are full and it doesn't cost anything to look. The colors and sounds of the holidays are here. Make the best of it, that's my advice.

For years I hid away from everyone at Christmas. I was not able to be out and would only go to work and then home, and I felt so awful, inside and out. So much turmoil, so much anger, so much fear. My world was small and dark.

Then I discovered displacement, totally by accident. I had been moving and was thinking about my awful father and how he laughed in my face when I asked him for money. I was so enraged and in that moment I dropped the table lamp, my only one. #%&@! and more awful thoughts erupted in my head and from my throat and then, seconds later, I was empty, not angry, just spent, depleted. And then...Oh so tired.  

When I woke up a while later, it felt as if some awful weight had been lifted. I have never acted like I had when I dropped the lamp, and yet I felt better for getting all of the rage out of me.

Today, almost every day, I do some act of displacement. It keeps me in good working order.

Which is what I need to be, especially today. I'm going shopping for a Holiday sweater, one that will make me and others laugh. Laughter lightens the heart, and brightens our lives.

Love on!

 

November 24, 2015

I had what I call a 'Mel Brooks Moment' yesterday...

the set up: expecting one result.

the gag: getting something completely different.

In the morning I had busied myself with all the chores I had to do, and unexpected things happened and I noticed the time getting later and later and I didn't want to be any later and so I grabbed this and that and flew out my door.

Getting to my destination I suddenly realize that stuff that I need is sitting on my kitchen counter...

cue laughter and applause.

Because that is what I did, right then and there. I laughted and clapped my hands and the guy helping me says 'Good attitude', making this moment worth every second it will take to retrace my travels and get my stuff together and return.

A small lesson to learn, one that reminds me to check before leaving to make sure that I have what I need. Easier to learn with love.

Love on!

 

November 21, 2015

Hello Goa, India! How I loved swimming along your beautiful palm tree covered beaches, and the market and the food and especially the people! All the best to you and yours, and Thanks for reading.

Something funny happened the other day that I just want to share:

About 3 years ago this man came to see me. He had been referred by a woman he was dating who was and is a client. He called, we chatted, we made an appointment and met at the agreed time and place.

To make a 50 minute story short, he was a shady fellow and was involved in an illegal financial transaction that he hinted about. My intuition gave me the missing parts of his story which I filled in for him. 'How do you know that?' he asked when I'd finished. I told him about my objective and subjective experiences with intuition. I suggested that he make some changes and that perhaps he might get himself out of the legal noose he was placing on himself.

Turns out, he didn't

He got caught, as did the others involved. He accepted a plea deal from the authorities and spilled his guts, as it were, divulging all he knew. He avoided jail time.

I saw him the other day. He called for an appointment the day he signed the legal documents putting his shady past behind him. He is a changed man, a better man, and a man who has (I hope) learned a great deal about life.

The funny thing he told me was how he kept hearing my voice in his head, saying 'Everyone is psychic.' He said he came to believe it. Time and time again, he said, he would get a premonition or a sense of something and avoid whatever trouble was ahead. He said he had come to realize that there is a good voice in him that directs him to betterment and the life he can live.

As he prepared to leave, he quickly hugged me, and then stepped back and I noticed a tear in his eye.

Love on!

 

November 18, 2015

Such troubled days lately, locally and globally.

Turning on the television to a news program brings distressing words and images, same with the newspaper. Less media for me.

No, I'm not sticking my head in the sand and pretending that there isn't carnage happening, it's more that I do not want to traumatize myself repeatedly with horror.

Instead I do something that is beneficial, like picking up trash on the street (wearing gloves of course) or helping people when I can, holding a door maybe. For my little part of this world, I can only do that which is possible. By doing useful acts for others I lift my spirit, and maybe anothers.

Although it doesn't always work out well. Like the other day when I held a door for a woman and she spat at my feet.

Oh well, I thought, as she walked away. Her actions have nothing to do with me, and I wished her well. Silently and from a distance.

There are unhappy, angry people just about everywhere, and although we cannot avoid them, we do not need to join them in some ugly emotional place. It can be far too easy to take on a negative emotional charge, especially when it is directed at you. Hate will only divide us.

Love on!

 

November 13, 2015

Did you see it? It's hidden right above this, an event that won't happen again for 1000 years!

11-13-15

Not every day has a number sequence as perfect as today, but every day is still unique. It's just that some days, like today, come along to remind us of the specialness of each day.

They're 'one-off's', each day is, just one like it, not to be exactly repeated for ever. Very special.

And yet some days they just don't feel that way, instead it's just another day to get through, with all the stuff and nonsense that any day can contain. Ho hum, here we go again...

or not.

For me, each day is another opportunity to improve on me and my world. To take physical, emotional and intellectual care of myself and those around me. To make my space as I like it. To be who I choose to be.

I'll tell ya, some day's are just exhausting and I fall into my bed early in the evening, too tired to do anything else but sleep. Not everyday is like that, but when they come along I rolll with it and still do my best as I can. Being tired can be a good thing and a good think. Recalling all that I've done in that exhausting day lulls me to sleep.

So here I am before dawns early light, having made my bed, washed my face, brushed my hair and teeth and pulled on some clothes. Now out the door for a good walk and on with the day.

I hope your day suits you to a T!

Love on!

 

November 10, 2015

Hello Ile de France, what a great part of the country you are, such sights, such delights. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

My intuition sure has been getting a work out lately, it must be that time of year, or maybe the new moon or whatev, as the kids say.

Lately, I have encountered folks who have shaded the truth in speaking with me, and it's a bit like a buzz in my head when it has happened. The last time was this morning in a meeting with a corporate client. The fellow giving a report made a couple of comments that rang false to me, and I checked out the facts. Turns out he was incorrect in his comments and later told me he had no idea how that happened. I heard a buzz that time too.

Good to know, that's what I say. Even if I do not like sensing that this chap is a shade dishonest, there have been comments from others about the veracity of his work.

Why folks choose to lie is always subjective, and usually poorly founded in reasoning and emotion.

Everyone gets to choose. That is one of the best things about life.

Yesterday I spoke with my just turned 91 year old Aunt Lois, a dear woman she. We talked about family and people we knew who have passed over and a multitude of things. Her mind, sharp as ever, and her loving heart as open as all get out, as she would say. Such a wonderful example of how to be a good person, and blessed in so many ways. As I shared with her some of the research I have done on her ancestry she was full of questions and laughed when I told her we were descended from a butcher in Tuckahoe, New York who's father was probably born in Scotland.

Not grand stock, she said, and I concurred and we both laughed. 'The plain truth is always best' she said, and my intuition purred like a cat.

Love on!

 

November 3, 2015

Someone asked me the other day how I appear so calm. Did I meditate? What about my diet? How do I manage?

My answer was that I love life. Just waking up is a reason to smile. And I refuse to allow emotional drama to run my life.

As a child, I was surrounded by emotional turmoil: my parents, their parents, family members. It seemed as if most of the adults I was around were having a hard time in life, what with addictions to various material substances (money, alcohol, religion, food) and matters of faith.

Faith is such a thing. Do we trust? Do we have a sense that will be alright?

Each of us gets to answer this question countless times in a lifetime.

Every day is new, and we greet that day as we choose. That to me is the essence of power. learning to manage me in all the ways that life presents.

One of the joys I employ is to take time each day to just be. Not moving, just looking. If I can manage it, I try to be in some place where the view is nice.

All around me in life there is chaos, wars, struggle, evil. The media sources are broadcasting awfulness 24 hours a day, and if you're looking for bad news, they've got it for you. So less media for me.

'My power ends at my skin.' That's a motto I refer to often. As much as I would love to help people I meet, not everyone seeks my help.

Most powerfully, I have learned to love myself, warts and all. I am not perfect and may never be, and that's just fine with me. The important thing is that I bring my best self to each day, and to do my best in each moment. And no judgement, for self or others. Just support and compassion.

Love on!

 

October 30, 2015

What fun today is going to be!

There will be people dressed up in costumes just about everywhere I will go.

Just this morning, looking out onto the street, I saw a zombie and a cowgirl and a fellow wrapped in a bloody looking sheet. And there was a princess, such a beautiful dress and sparkly headdress, and a glittery beard as well.

Aw, San Francisco.

This is a town that likes to have a good time. Maybe it's the geography, what with the hills and bay and ocean, or maybe it's the air that blows in from Alaska and Asia and even Hawai'i. And Halloween is made for this town. A chance to dress in funny clothes and make a spectacle of yourself-perfect for some, not for all.

Up at the local hardware store, Cliffs, there are aisles devoted to this holiday. There are zombie garden gnomes, witchey clothes and spiders and rats and skeletal dogs and cats. And fake blood in large bottles. Everything one needs to make this ghoulish holiday fun and scary.

Laughing in the face of death. Now that is a reason to celebrate. We all know how life ends, why not poke a little fun at the fact and make the most of life?

Must go now and work on my costume. Hair paint and black light makeup sticks and more...

and more to follow...

Love on!

 

October 27, 2015

The streets of San Francisco are taking on the colors of Fall. On every street there seems to be at least one tree that is yellow or orange or even red. The maple tree in our yard is dappled about with shades of pale yellow and lots of seed pods just waiting to helicopter down and around.

Tempus...time, if not flying, certainly is moving right along. The hard part for me is sometimes playing catch up.

This week end brings Halloween, and in our neighborhood that means tens of thousands of people, many dressed in costumes of varying degrees of artistry. This past Sunday was 'Zombie Day' and a few hundred folks gathered in Justin Herman Plaza to the delight of all those with cameras. Some of the zombies were really scary and awful looking. It was fun. I suspect that this week end will be a lot of fun as well. How many Donald Trumps will there be? How many Hillarys? Goblins and devils and oh so much more.

Which reminds me: I need to get a costume together myself.

Here's hoping inspiration strikes me!

Love on!

 

October 20, 2015

Hello Red Deer, Alberta, Canada! The wide open plains of the country surround you, and the Rockies to the west must be spectacular looking. All the best to you and yours, and thanks for reading.

Life sure can be amazing. This past week brought a man to my office who made me scratch my head. He was a bitter chap, probably had been most of his life. His parents didn't like him and the feeling was mutual. He left for college and never saw them again. He had come to see me as he had just learned that his mother had left him a great deal of money and he was schismed by guilt. How could someone who he had ignored for more than 30 years leave him money? Did she do it to make him feel guilty? If so, then he was enraged! If not, then he was dumb struck with an emotional overload.

Why people do what they do can make you scratch your head.

In this chaps case I suspect that he will discover why his mother did what she did after all those years apart. He has a house full of the possessions of both of his parents to sort out. Not to mention that he now owns this little house in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a house he has yet to visit. So much to unravel, has he.

We all do, I believe. There is so much of life to discover and understand.

One of the things I have learned along the way is that attitude is altitude. If you're looking someplace that's where you're going. Look up, look down, or look out. The choice is always ours to make.

Speaking for myself, I try to look up and out. There's a great big wonderfilled world all around me. Why, just this morning I took an African safari thanks to Google Earth. It was wonderful to see the herd, correctly called a bloat or a crash, of hippos. What a lovely way to start my morning.

Here's looking up, with love.

Love on!

 

October 13, 2015

What a morning I had! I got to go and listen to people brainstorm. They were all talking about how to best serve the technology and then how to tailor it to serve humans. Amazing conversation about how people might view certain aspects of the product and how the product might define the purchasers.

Perception. One of my favorite subjects.

So I sat and listened and learned about the people in the room and got to watch human dynamics at work. The smartest person spoke the most, the most diffident not at all. And yet the ideas kept coming. Even the shy guy spoke to a collegue who shared the guy's ideas. It was wonderful.

And so rare.

Countless times, I sat in meetings where the top ranking person runs the show and one is best served by not speaking unless spoken to. Those were always awful meetings, and accomplished little. The times where there was an open exchange of ideas and suggestions and questions welcome from everyone- the best.

Hopefully this morning's client will bring a useful and well made device to the marketplace. We need as many of those as we can get.

And then I hurried home, out of the heat. San Francisco is sizzling today, the sun a relentless ball of fire. The forecast is for weather like this for the next day or so, and then cooler. They're still talking about what an El Nino weather pattern is emerging, and how above average rain is coming to the state of California, more to the south than here in the north part of the state. C'mon rain!

Here's hoping your day and night are good and you are well.

Love on!

 

October 9, 2015

Waking in the dark of the morning, the house quiet. There's no one on the street as I retrieve the newspapers, and for a while the only sounds are the dripping of the coffee pot and the rustling of the newspaper pages in my hands.

Next comes going out onto the deck in the rising gloom. Sun rise is half an hour or more away.

The air is cool at 58F, and the smalles