Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Take a wee trip with me...

Yesterday was a glorious day at the park. I met a wonderful woman who stopped to chat and give me a big hug. I'll explain that later. For now I'll share some photos I took for you a few days ago on the way to the park. Discovery Park is in Natomas, CA and is located where the American River and Sacramento River converge. It's near downtown Sacramento, the Marina and Historic Old Town Sacramento. I didn't realize it was so close to downtown until I drove to Robyn's house for her birthday (remember that!!!???) and took the 5 from 80. What a little shocker!!! If I wanted, I could walk to Old Sac from the Park. Who knew?! Apparently not me because I'm so busy I never take time to look around and see the forest through the trees. That's going to change.

I wasn't able to take many photos because I was trying to drive, etc., but the above was taken on Truxel. If I don't take the freeway to the park, I get off in town and take main street (Truxel) and always enjoy myself. The speed limit is 40 and trust me, imposed (!!!), so I slow down and exhale. (Dr. P would be proud!) The above is a photo of Natomas' lovely library and community center. I was unable to capture the campus in all it's glory, but plan to in the next month or so (I'm going to stop, get out and walk around) because the architecture is very impressive and the landscape inviting and eco-friendly. It really is beautiful and a good use of urban space. This photo doesn't do it justice because the light changed and I had to boogie.
Going through Natomas to the park. The park is just up ahead. All the trees you see at the end of Truxel Road belong to the park. The large evergreens along the street are CA Redwoods. They're always planted in the wrong place and end up having to be cut down because they get really HUGE! These are just babies!
Things were so crazy at the park I didn't have time to take photos driving in and while there, but stopped on the bridge when leaving to show you a very small portion of the American River. Yes, I was lazy. I didn't get out of the car. Just pointed and clicked. Please excuse the rail. And as I've said so many times before, I love how Mother Nature landscapes. This is looking, that west? Hummmmmmm. Yes, I think that's west. No, whoops, Lake Tahoe is East. Okay, that's east, so
this is west. I know!!! Too funny! What a lovely concrete pour and steel to boot. Oh, but off in the distance you can see a wee bit of river. Hey, I'm 5'2", cut me some slack. And this of course was taken...
from the same vantage point on the bridge. The cross street is Garden Parkway and signals the end of the park on the north side. I'll continue with this tour over the next few months.
And now for something completely different!!! Yes, of course I'm a Monty Python fan!
The day the BMW was towed away and the Mercedes arrived. For those of you who wanted to know, that's what she looks like. Oh, and those of you who follow me know that's the old roof. It's now black (will post those photos eventually!!!) with new gutters. The garage is a mess because we're trying to rehab the interior and for some reason everything ends up in the garage. Our cars have always had a garage until this remodel. Go figure. And for those of you who follow me (yes, I know I'm repeating myself) you will see a pile of chairs. Yes, it's true!!! Remember???! I actually have a very impressive collection...too many infact. I'm thinking of selling some on eBay!!! I'll paint them all cottage white and use shabby chic fabric. Think they'll sell? Please say yes because I have about 50! What??? And the pile of limbs and leaves. Yes, ready for the compost bins.
Now about my new friend at the park. Her name is Mrs. E. Well that's not her real name, I'm using it to protect her because you know how I protect everyone on my blog (hey Ali, hey Cher, hey Renee, hey Rob)!!! She stopped, beautiful and elegant, with a huge smile and said,
"You feed the ferals?"
She was running so was all hot and dripping with sweat, but looked gorgeous, fit, tan, and adorable in a little navy tennis skirt (so I knew she played tennis too). She asked about the cats. All of them. How many? Where I fed them? What I fed them? Where they spay and neutered? Etc. We had a glorious conversation. She informed me she lived on the river about 7 miles up (which of course didn't surprise me because I knew she was wealthy and only wealthy people can afford to live on the river! It's like living on the ocean.) and fed ferals near her home so was always seeking guidance. We stood in the parking lot and talked about so many things and had such a beautiful morning while Wee-Piggy looked on and seemed very interested. I asked how many miles she runs. She replied "10-12, Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday and 5-7 Monday and Thursday and walk between 4-6 miles Tuesday and Friday."
I started to laugh and she said "WHAT???" I replied "You put me to shame, and you play tennis too!" She said "How do you know that?" I said "because you're wear a tennis skirt." She looked down almost in disbelief and said, "Wow, I forgot to change." I said "You played tennis before this?" She replied "Yes." We couldn't stop laughing. She belongs to a running club and they participate in all sorts of events, so her running schedule is intense, but she plays tennis for pure joy!!! She's gorgeous, inside and out and probably 10 years older than I am and looks 10 years younger. I told her "I'm going to take the next few weeks and reevaluate my life." She said "DO IT!" Then she said "Can I hug you?" I said "Of course!" And we hugged a good long time. She said "I'll see you next Saturday, and thank you for all you do." I said "You bet." And off she went.
I have been graced with some of the most amazing people at Discovery Park: from visitors, to employees, to Rangers, to Directors, to members of the Army Corp of Engineers, to homeless. I am blessed. When I'm old and look back on my life, this will be a period I never forget. Never. And no Mrs. E., I will never forget you. Thank you for such a gorgeous morning.
~ Cece, thanks for the call and for your concern. I'll be okay. Thanks too for making me laugh. You always do. I love you with all my heart.
~ Renee, thanks for the email. I'll be okay. Just a bit of a rough patch!!! You know me well enough to know I'll navigate this like everything else. Hard? You bet. But good times are ahead. I just have to wade through the muck to get there!!! Yuck! Thank you so much for your love and concern. I'm sorry I worried you, but so glad you enjoyed the DMV post. That was hoot! I love you baby. Hope all is well with you and yours. I'll email when I come up for air. And we'll call one another in a few days.
~ Leah, I'll be fine. So much going on and only one of me. I feel like one of those little, out of control, bouncing rubber balls that everyone tries to catch but can't get near. I'll explain in an email. Thanks for your concern and the email. I'll get back to you in the next few days, but really, think I should take three or four weeks because you can't actually respond, can you? With Rush Hashanah and then Yum Kippur, legally, you can't blog. Can you? Love you baby!
XO to all who have helped me through this very difficult time in my life. I adore all of you, but of course can't write to every single one because this post would be insanely long!. We'll get through this together. Trust me. I'm moving on and hope you all join me.

Alison ~ my niece...

Hi Ali, I lifted this from a friend's blog. She was in England. Isn't it beautiful?! Let's go sit right over there pumpkin.

For those of you who aren't aware, Ali is my niece and this is sort of personal, but come an enjoy the ride. Ali, your mom called the other day and then the next day and the next. She talked to Uncle Rob on Sunday, and when I tried to call wasn't able to get in touch because, well...her number has changed. I can't call without her new number!!! I ended up talking to the woman who has her old number. No, not once, but about 5 times! On the 5th and last call to her I said, "I swear to God, this is my last call. How long have you had this number?" She replied, "About a month." I said, "Do you live in Saugerties or Woodstock?" She said, "No." I said, "Hummmmmmmmm, okay, do you know my sister or her new phone number!!?? Her reply after a good long laugh, "No." My reply, "Okay, have a nice life." She replied, "You too." I called you, no luck. I called Uncle W, no luck, but left a message, called Aunt V (believe it or not!) and of course no luck. Called Pappa, no luck. Obviously I didn't get to talk to your mom.

I know you read this blog, so this is my last resort! I can't email because my email is so backed up I can barely find a friend!!! Comcast sent a message telling me to delete some email. Uncle Rob saw my email and said "That's insane, I've never seen anything that full, would you like me to delete some stuff for you!?" I said "No." Ali, Aunt Suzy isn't as wacky as she seems, just a bit tired. Hey, it's almost 4 am!!! Whatdayawant?! Perfection? Honey, can you do me a favor and tell Mommy to call again and to please leave her new phone number. You might add, "How's Aunt Suzy supposed to call without it?" Love you baby. Hope all is well. Hugs and kisses to you and Stout.


Yes, of course I'll delete this in 24 hours.
Okay, Aunt Kylie has convinced me to extend my deadline. You Now have 48 hours. Chop-chop.
Okay, Aunt Kylie has convinced me to keep it. And honey, do you still read my blog?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Thank you one and all for your amazing comments on the previous post. Your love and support means the world to me. I wanted to delete, delete, delete, but your beautiful words helped me realize it's okay to be in pain and confused. And most importantly, it's important to share both good times and bad. I love you guys/gals.
I'll respond to the last three comments when I finish this. Right now I just need to sit and not think too hard because my brain feels very tired and heavy. I didn't sleep well as you're all aware and today has been insane (there's your answer Leah!), but I swear to God I have the funniest story. I'll get to that, but first, the drawing. I did it a few years ago while working on a project for a client. It just flowed from my pencil and when I was done I realized I'd drawn myself. And yes, in my black dress and sling backs (way before the Wild Onion)!!! It was a doodle, so I didn't consider paper quality (it's done on printer paper!) or commercial value, etc., but when it was done, I liked it and decided to have high end limited edition prints made on watercolor paper that I would then hand color/paint. The drawing sits, along with many others, waiting to go the the printer. I was paging through hundreds of photos for this post and for some reason stopped at this one. I was in a difference space 2-3 years ago. I felt lighter, less burdened, so perhaps that's why I selected it. The photo is horrible because it was never meant to be published, it was simply taken to keep a record of my work, so forgive the poor quality. I think I also selected it because it represents what I've failed to do over the past few years. And that has to change. I asked myself, "Self, are you a Blogger or are you an artist?" The answer is obvious. I have to make some changes because there are only 24 hours in a day and I can't fit everything in. I'm an artist. I also want to stop drinking wine because it feels like a crutch. It isn't a problem, but it's getting in my way. I'm not sure how to stop, but if any of you have a suggestion, please feel free to enlighten me.
Now some of you might have noticed all the shopping bags in the drawing and you know I'm not a shopper. HATE shopping! The client I was working for wanted a shopping theme for her illustrations, so somehow it worked it's way into my personal doodle. And RC, did you notice my pearl earrings and braclet!!?? Oh, and you guys aren't aware I love topiary and also classical urns. It's obviously a very personal drawing. And of course I'm reaching for a rose. I might add, I'm not that tall, my legs not that long and honestly, I don't think my waist is that small.
Now for the funny story. I got a call from Rob last night (he's staying at his Mom's (that's another story)) informing me the Mercedes had to stay at the shop and I would needed to rent a car in the morning. WTF!!!! He said, the rental agency would pick me up at the house, I simply had to call in the morning. WTF!!! He knows what my mornings are like. THEY'RE INSANE. I said "Robert, how in the hell am I supposed to fit that in?" He replied, "You'll just have to." I couldn't laugh, I couldn't cry, I simply felt numb. Sat down at the computer and wrote the previous post, then went to the sofa and passed out from absolute exhaustion. Woke up a few hours later, fed everyone (late), emptied the diswasher, did the rest of the laundry, cleaned up, etc.. Then I remembered the post and the car rental. I wondered if I'd dreamed them? I realized I hadn't and started to cry about the car, then rushed to the computer to delete my post before anyone saw it!!! What I discovered of course was beyond beautiful, so I spent the wee hours of the morn responding to all of you. Obviously I didn't sleep again. Rushed around this morning as usual, got everything done on time and if I'd had the Mercedes would have been at the park on time. But I didn't, so called the rental car agency and they sent a driver. She was a sweetie and off we flew to rent a car. I left the front yard sprinklers on because I thought I'd be back within 30 minutes to pick up my supplies for the park. Nope! Was in the process of renting the car and asked for my license. Wow, guess what? My license expired on my birthday! Who knew? Who looks at a license? I said "But I can still rent the car, right?" Reply, "No." I could see my ferals waiting for me. I was now 30 minutes late. I said "I have to feed ferals at Discovery Park, they're waiting for me. I NEED this car. Can't you just overlook this?" The reply, "No." I felt a panic you can not imagine and then she said "I'll take you to the DMV." I said "ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!??? THAT COULD TAKE A LONG TIME!!!" The budget didn't pass in CA until a few days ago and the DMV has been one of the most insane places to hang out, but she was game, so off we went. Honestly, I couldn't believe it. Here's what happened.
Get to DMV ~ place was a freakin' mad house, but the first line very, very short. Talk to the clerk and told her:
"I'm trying to rent a car. My license expired. Didn't know. The rental agency brought me here. Any way to expedite this? She looked at me and gave me a big smile. Then gave me a number, form and pen and said "just go over there and fill it out." I did what I was told. Got done then said "Now what?" She replied "Go over there and wait to be called." I looked at the sea of people and almost started to cry. I had to wade through all of them?!!??!!!??? NO, NO, NO. I asked before we parted, "Do I have to have a photo taken?" Reply, "Yes." My worst nightmare. I stood and waited and with all the numbers and letters being called realized my R4001 was right behind R4000 and that number had been called upon my arrival at the people pool. I was next!!! Wow, should take about 5 minutes. Okay, it took about 15-20 for R4000 to get his or her ass out of my space at check point 11, but when my number was called I let out an audible "HEY...THAT'S ME!!!" And then met my clerk. She wasn't very nice at first, but you know me. I have a way with people. Told her my story and she laughed. Asked her if I had to get a photo. She replied "Yes, of course." I said "LOOK AT ME!!! I've been blogging all night, cried, am going through menopause, I'm puffy, I'm exhausted and I didn't shower. Can I leave my hat on?" She replied "We don't allow pink." We both started to laugh and she said "NO, OF COURSE YOU CAN'T KEEP THE HAT ON!!!" I asked "Can I return to have the photo retaken?" She said "Yup, but for a fee." I asked "What's the fee?" She replied "$22.00." I said "Okay, I'll do it!" She said "You didn't give the color of your hair." I replied "Oh, that's because I'm in denial." She replied "Remove your baseball cap." I said "I don't have to, I'm grey." She replied "Remove your baseball cap...yup, you're grey." Bitch. "Okay, that $28.00. How would you like to pay?" I replied "Credit." She replied, "We don't accept credit cards, just debit or cash." I said, "Are you nuts, everyone accepts credit!!! I left the house without my debit card and don't carry cash, what am I supposed to do, I need this license!!!!" She replied "Isn't this credit card also a debit card?" "NO, it's not!" And then I saw some money sticking out of my wallet, "Wait, I think I have something!!!" $40.00!!! My luckest freakin' day on this planet!!! I paid the bill and she said "You're being issued a temporary license and you don't have to have your photo taken today. When would you like to return to have it taken?" I replied "Friday, Monday, I don't care, any day but today." She said "Well let's make an appointment, and I don't have one till October 11th." "Thank you God!!!" She started to laugh. I said "You know what you are, don't you?" She just laughed harder. I left, but couldn't find my ride. Looked every where. Went outside for the 3rd time and stood by the bike racks and some young 20 something handsome guy said "Can't find your car?" I said "No, can't find my date." And then out she walked (she's gorgeous) and I could see his eyes just light up. Yup, thought we were a couple!!! Guys. It was sorta like an IV/Just Bob/Walker moment!!! I laughed and gave him the thumbs up. Why waste a man's dream.


And yes, that's my life in a nutshell.

P.S. RC, Leah and IV, I answered your comments down below.

Monday, September 22, 2008


My dear friend told me to move on and post. So I am. I don't know how to link a video. So this must suffice. I adore Sarah. She feels like a sister. I stand in the park every day and hear her voice. It's hard as most of you know. But she inspires me to move on. And yes, often with a heaviness that is real. No, not every moment is sad. There are so many beautiful moments, but it's always a challenge. And when Sarah talks about being brought to her knees, I've know that moment. All you do is look to Heaven and hope. A dear blogging friend wrote that she couldn't cope with the negativety of my posts. That broke my heart. Truly, it did. Why? Because I never looked at my blog in that way. But guess it's offensive to some. I have too much on my plate and perhaps my frustration surfaces every so often.

I don't know the point of this blog. Maybe it's just to move forward and find my way. I often question why I blog and think about stopping. Perhaps I'm just writing to myself in a quest to find the answer. Yes, I'm considering ending this blog. I'm exhaused.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mom, dad, babe. If only there was one. I have about 10. They all survivied the fire. Hillary, Tom and the wee one.
Yes, of course I love him. Life goes on.

Mr. Shife

Yes, the post existed. Now it doesn't. Thank's for all your wonderful comments, but I had to delete because if my sister saw it she'd kill me!!! Yes, I'm afraid of my sisters! When I was home last I saw a friend from high school. He had a New Yorker poster in his home with Philippe front and center. We discussed the fact Philippe was a friend and neighbor, blah, blah, blah. No big deal, just a passing conversation. I returned to my sister's house and told her about my day and the discussion about Philippe. I got the cold stare and the words finally fell out of her mouth, "We NEVER tell anyone Philippe is our neighbor, please don't discuss our private life with your friends." What?!!! I felt as if I'd given the secret for a nuclear weapon away. Damn. So what do I do 3 years later? I blog about him!!! Not cool. But apparently she doesn't read my blog. The bitch.

Yes, Mr. Shife is the recipient of this fine book. It took nearly two months to get in the mail, but needless to say, it made it today. $2.50 later. Book rate. When the hell did book rate go up to $2.50? I was expecting to be told "50 cents my dear woman." Ha! That's all I had in spare change, so had to put the $2.50 on my credit card! So ultimately it'll cost me about $5.00. Hey! Mr. Shife, I know you'll pass the love around. RC, you're next!

Love to all,

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Okay...It's Official...I've Won A Lot Of Awards...

But do you see them on my side bar? No. Why? Because there are only 24 hours in a day and I'm strapped! Hey! And this isn't even all of them. Somehow I can't find one from Random Chick. Oh, believe me, I got it, but my photo collection is so huge and paging though it, so tedious, after 15 tries I gave up. I'll find it eventually.

This is my beautiful Blottie Award. It's from Just Bob I'm unable to post all he wrote because Bob has his words blocked for copywrite protection. Apparently he thinks they're special. The post was June 17, 2008. Good luck with that. Basically I'm a blogging hottie and apparently the only one. Love this one! Why? Cuz it feels like I'm the go to girl on the mud flap of a 4x4 or a tractor trailer, but still sophisticated. And no, my boobs aren't that big, my waste not that small and my hips and thights not that big either. But it's nice to be idealized and romantisized. Thanks Bob!

This one's from my darling Robyn

"To my blogger family...I humbly thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thanks for making this one of the best experiences here on blogger!And the LOVE Keeps Coming!

7. Rose Cottage Studio - Last but certainly not least! This woman is beyond incredible. I have come to love my friendship with Suzanne. She is highly motivating and has a incredible heart of GOLD! Suze is selfless and loves everything...from animals to humans. I love her strength and her fire in her words. She is passion at its best! Promise you too will love her as much as I do!"

Robyn, thank you darling. I love you too.

Just thought I'd throw in something extra. The garden between our driveway and our neighbor's yard, last year.

I sign everything with a heart. Why? I don't know. It's just me. For decades every time I wrote to my family and friends I'd include a pinch of little confetti red hearts. My mom cherished them, but others detested them (cleaning up after opening an envelop!). I stopped a few years ago, but writing this has inspired me to buy a package of confetti hearts! Yippie!!!
That's why this award is special. It's a heart and warms mine. It's from my darling, darling friend from Poland, Maria. It is a "Gift of Heart," and I think amazingly beautiful. Thank you my dear friend.

Okay, this is extra for Jo. Jo, I know how much you love hydrangeas, and yes these are all from one Endless summer bush. Isn't the variety amazing?! And that's Newman! And that's the kitchen table. And yes, the cats can do what ever they want!

I didn't tell any of you, but I was featured at Cielo's Garden of the Month. It's was truly an honor. I also took part in her Show Me Your Garden and had an absolute blast. I met so many new friends and learned so much. Cielo is one of the most lovely ladies in all Blogger Land. Please visit if you have an opportunity. She's kind, lovely, smart, and oh, has gorgeous hair!!!
Another amazing award from my dear, dear friend Maria from Poland. She's over 80 years old and a retired teacher. She's smart, funny and wise and I just adore her. Thank you for this one my dear. I love you.
It's the Walk Together Award and she wrote "I believe that is not necessary to speak the same language to show our love. We may not be able to talk to one another, but our hearts are speaking the same language. It's a sisterhood the utopia that blogland strives for. Therefore, I'm giving this award to some of the nicest people I've meet through blogging. Most of them do not speak Polish /English/ or just speak few words, but their love and friendship surely shines through them."
Took part in Cielo's Dessert Carnival and had the time of my life. Made a raspberry swirl cheese cake and it was a huge hit. Met lots of new friends then got to eat the whole thing myself!!! Why? Because Rob doesn't like cheesecake! I was in Heaven.

One of the most beautiful awards of all time, from my dearest Mark, Jo and Helen. I put it on my side bar immediately but it was impossible to read the words. Now you can. I love you and also know you understand how much this meant to me and still means. Thanks for your continued support and love. And thank you for thinking of me. I love you guys. XO
"Dear Reader,This Award has been given with catitude to Auntie Suzanne for all her efforts with helping stray kitties. Without our friend Suzanne, coming 'round each day to check up on us, and care for us, our world would be a sadder place.Thank you Suzanne for looking after us :)"
Thank you. And the joy in going back to retrieve this was the "Men In Training" post. Too funny!!!
The end.
With love,

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Want to look at something special...

Hydrangeas this July 2008 (Endless Summer)

Hillary's first litter. Only one survived, but then we lost him just before the fire or in the fire (just can't figure it out). He was very, very special and always will be. Goodbye precious.