Thursday, July 9, 2020

Busy Working From Home





Do any of you work from home?  I find it so exciting that we are able to send documents and complete business transactions  remotely these days.  No having to drive to an office  saves you so much money on gas, clothing, food, time and energy.  If you are disciplined, you can get a tremendous amount of work done from your living space.  I like being able to have my meals simmering on the stove  and a load of laundry tossing  in the washing machine as I'm typing or editing. 

For me, it helps to get a cardio workout done early in the day.  During the summer, Lula thrives on a routine of walking or running alongside my bicycle while it's still cool outside.  Yesterday we hiked the Pacific Crest Trail.  Halfway through our route, we ran into a loose dog that we used to see regularly on a trail that we hiked a few months ago.  I had switched my ritual, trying to avoid an exuberant Australian shepherd and the difficult couple that own him.  They refuse to put their dog on a leash, and I was getting tired of the stress of our conflicting attitudes.  Tempers had escalated.  I thought it was kind of funny that we met up with them again.  I just veered off the path with Lula and made a half circle.  Their  dog is still charging around, completely out of their control, but at least he is happy and fairly friendly.  If you ask them to get him so that you can pass, they yell at you.  Since I hike to relax and connect with nature, I now just avoid the conflict.

How is your summer going? 

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Monday, July 6, 2020

Holding Your Focus





Yesterday I received a  message from a kind  and special friend that I've known for decades.  He lives in New York. He told me that he had an idea, and  wanted to run it by me.  Knowing that he is extremely  creative and talented, I eagerly called him right back and left a message.  He had asked me to phone him when I had time to discuss it.  We talked this morning, and I am thrilled.  I can't wait  to get started on this new writing project!  I will be telling his story.  I love writing about people that I admire;  it's so rewarding. 

One thing that's exciting  is that we can include video, photos, painting, and interviews online.  I can work in California send my drafts and outlines to him in New York.  The digital age is truly amazing.  I get to live in the Jeffrey pines of Wrightwood, yet still  co-mingle with some of the greatest creative minds that I know.

During this virus it's so important to stay focused on using you creative gifts, rather than being depressed by the negative stories and reports.  Keeping in touch with people who are disciplined, positive, and uplifting makes all of the difference.  Their energy feeds us.  We need to take careful care of our bodies, minds and souls.

I even arranged for text messaging with my phone service, something I had been dragging my feet about for many years.  It was set up in a matter of minutes.  Now I just need to figure out how to work it.  It shouldn't be too hard.     

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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Another Big Fire Here

mature trees at the Wrightwood Country Club
 
This afternoon I heard fire trucks go screaming down Sierra Highway.  I sensed  both urgency and doom in the way they were speeding.  There were two fires in this area today.  The first one was only five acres of land, up by the 5 freeway.

The fire near my cottage was the one that worried me.  It was burning 400 acres, last time I  checked.  This is becoming all too common.  It's in the history books, so many homes burned to the ground when this area was first settled.  They didn't have fire departments in those days.  It gives me a sick sense of dread when I see the smoke and hear the sirens.  Part of the reason that I started looking for a cabin in the mountains was because of the repeated summer burnings in this area.  It makes me nervous.

Fortunately, it's not too windy today, and our firefighters are very experienced.  Thank goodness there isn't a lot of protesting going on at this time.  Recently things were so out of control.  We really need our civil servants in times like these; it's so dangerous without them.  I am very thankful for their dedication and training.

On a more positive note, the sunflowers are in bloom, and the garden is doing extremely well.  We have had very pleasant temperatures for this time of year.  Today it was eighty degrees.  Normally it's much hotter.  I picked the first few ripe, red tomatoes from the garden for salads.  I also tasted the first green chili pepper that I have ever grown.  I sauteed it with onions and put them both on my chicken enchilada, garnished with fresh cilantro.  Yum! 

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Monday, June 29, 2020

Being Honest With Money

Today I stopped at a local fruit stand that I frequent this time of year.  It's located between my cabin and the cottage.  There is one woman who is always working there, by herself.  I bought two baskets of pluots, and one large one filled with sweet, white nectarines.  The quality of their fruit is always superb, and they don't use any sprays.

The total came to $16.25.  I gave her $21.25, so that she wouldn't have to use up her singles.  She handed me back a ten dollar bill, looking slightly confused.  I gave it back to her, and explained that she only owed me five dollars.  She looked extremely relieved and a bit panicked and gasped, "God bless you."

I could tell that she was surprised that I didn't just keep the money.  I would never do that; I know better.  A lot of people these days get confused when making change.  We learned and practiced it in school.  I was trying to help her, but it kind of threw her off for a minute.  I smiled at her and nodded. "God bless you, too," I answered.  She is a hard working lady running a needed and wonderful small business.

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Thursday, June 25, 2020

Reading About Catalina Island



This morning I received two lovely photos of Catalina in my email box  from my friend Anita.  She comments here regularly.  It turns out she and her husband stayed at Mt. Ada Bed and Breakfast in 2013.  It's under new ownership now.  These pictures show the breathtaking view from their balcony.  She gave me permission to use them on my blog.  What an enchanting place!   It seems to have such an old Hollywood feel. 



It's exciting to find getaways near you  that are such jewels.  Long Beach is just an hour's drive from my house.  From there, it's a twenty mile trip on the Catalina Express to the island.  I read a lovely book about living there today called, Living In Avalon:What It's Like to Live on Catalina Island.  It's by Tiffanie Edwards.  I ordered the Kindle version on Amazon.  It instantly appeared on the Kindle that I inherited from my mom.  As my dad said, "She used that thing every day."  (especially at the end of her life.)  It was a quick and enjoyable read, and put me in the best mood!  I think planning a vacation and looking forward to it is half the fun.  How about you?

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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Tempted To Travel

moon flowers are in bloom


Today I spent some time on tripadvisor reading reviews about  Catalina Island, California.  I have always wanted to go there.  I decided to make arrangements to take a short trip for my birthday.  That way prices will be low.  Right now, they are at their peak.

baby pomegranates

I researched Mt. Ada, which is the Wrigley mansion.  It looks stupendous!  I would rather stay one night in a charming, historic,  high end hotel than spend several days in a motel.  All year I cook my meals at home. I so  look forward to eating out  a few times in quality restaurants.  I adore fine dining.  The view from the balcony looks unforgettable.  I can't wait!

The town of Avilon seems so quaint.  It reminds me of the Mediterranean.  I had hoped to travel to Spain again this year, but will explore California, instead.  I am so fortunate to live here.  I plan to watch some movies that were filmed in Catalina.  The Youtube videos really get me exited about going.

Do you have any travel plans?  Will you stay local, too?

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Saturday, June 20, 2020

I Stained the New Back Door



Today I pushed myself to do something new  and stained the unfinished replacement back door.  It was pretty easy, and I actually enjoyed doing it.  I am not that confident with painting.  In the past I have not been happy with my work.  It looked amateurish and there were some drips.  I think the key is to not put too much material on the brush.  You  can always go back over it.  I also dabbed the heavier spots with a rag.  That worked well.

I completed one coat on the front and the back.  This door is a reproduction of the original one.  I really love it.  It goes with the house.  I have some sealer that I will apply after it dries thoroughly.  I may apply another coat of stain first, since there is plenty left in the container. 

It is a huge relief to have this done.  I had been procrastinating on it, and that made me feel guilty and upset.  Doing what needs to be done is so healthy for our minds and spirits.

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The Earthing Movie: The Remarkable Science of Grounding (full documentary)

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Less Stuff

another lovely front garden and cabin in Wrightwood


After bagging things up for the termite tenting, I realized that I had accumulated some clutter.  I am conscientious  about using leftovers, yet still found some small, smelly jars of unrecognizable liquid pushed to  the back of the fridge. What a relief it was to get it all cleaned out and organized. 


The workers finished replacing a board on the chicken coop, and they artfully hung the new back door.  It looks just like the original, without the termite damage.  (which was severe.)   I had the gas man come to relight all of the appliances.  I had to hire a plumber replace the original gas line, because it contained a small leak.


baby persimmon in the backyard orchard

Everything is now working again, and I heaved a huge sigh of relief over  having the termites gone.  Next, I need to stain the door and replace the front fence, which is sagging.   The cottage feels much happier and brighter.   Home improvement is so rewarding.

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Monday, June 15, 2020

Floating On A Raft At The Lake

the office, snack bar and gym are little cabins
 
The country club membership has been such a gift this year.  I am so thankful that my name was pulled as a new member.  It's  the perfect location to hang out in the summer.  I love spending a few hours a day there.  The kids seem so relaxed and happy.



As I was walking down the shady street, I noticed that some of the homes have a cherry tree or two planted in the front garden.  They are really spectacular looking.  Something about the colors with the pine trees and mountain backdrop really go well together. 


This majestic old home has a gorgeous stone wall built in front; I always admire it.  I have uncovered pieces of this same rose quartz on my property.  The color is so unusual and pale.  I love how it looks as a wall.



As you approach the country club, the tennis courts come into view.  The mountains and trees provide heavenly surroundings for the tennis players.  

I tried using my bicycle pump to blow up my raft at the lake, but was unsuccessful.  A few kind people attempted to help me, but it didn't work.  I decided to just inflate it  the old fashioned way, blowing it up with my mouth and lungs.  It didn't take long, and sunbathing on the float was very enjoyable.  The weather was perfect.  I took a short swim, too.  Once home, I warmed up with a hot bath and a cup of freshly brewed Italian Roast coffee.  The views out on the deck were pristine.  Mountain life suits me.  Where are you happiest?

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Friday, June 12, 2020

Baby Chili Peppers and Other Garden Treasures

feverfew, a fairy plant


This morning I cut back some of the plants in my garden that had gotten a bit wild.  I trimmed the red rose geraniums, pruned the locust tree and snipped off the dead feverfew flowers. 


the sunflowers are getting strong and tall

All of that is now piled on the compost heap.  I dug a hole in the middle of it and dropped in my melon rinds, coffee grounds, carrots peels and other produce discards that I had collected in a tupperware container.  I really think that compost and mulch makes a huge difference in the garden.  Everything is so green!



I went searching for a small chili pepper plant that I put in the ground last month.  At first I thought that the rabbits had chewed it to the ground.  But then, hiding behind the four o'clocks, I found it!  I was amazed to see that some tiny fruits had formed.  They are so special.  I love their shape.  I am thrilled. 

There is something magical about growing a variety of food that you have never grown.  It brings out the child in us.

How is your garden doing?  (if you have one.)

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