July 31, 2011

Sundays In My City

This is the current library.

The new library will be one block from where we live. Since we are regulars at the library, this is really cool. The top picture shows the sign on the corner letting everyone know this is the site for the new library. The day after I took the picture this week there were lots of men working and trucks and people on cell phones. The work has truly begun. The second picture is the architects rendering of what the new library will look like after it is built. Supposedly the library will be completed the end of December. Since we live so close, I will be taking photos regularly for a collage later.

Unknown Mami

Have you seen Unknown Mami's blog yet? Sundays In My City is great fun. Link to her blog and put up your pictures of your area. And then check out all the bloggers who link to hers for Sundays In My City.

July 28, 2011

A Little Walk Down Memory Lane

When I lived in the Riverside area growing up in southern California, it was a handy area to the things I liked. There is something about growing up amidst thousands of acres of orange groves that stays with you forever. Picking fresh navel oranges taught me to instinctively know the perfect orange. Which ones to pick and eat and which ones to leave for another week.

Jump on the freeway and in a half hour I was rubbing baby oil on my body and soaking up the sun at the beach. Running on the sand isn't really racing; it is moving at a speedy walk that is great exercise. Moving quickly in sand that provides resistance to moving at a fast rate.

Drive from Riverside toward the mountains and in a half hour the aesthetic senses are electrocuted. The variety of impressive features of the San Bernardino mountain communities are enough to please everyone.

Of course my memory banks are full of the way it was back then. Less traffic, very little smog, and today there are houses where the orange trees stood in their glory. By the time the numbers of people heading to the beach caused the trip to take over an hour, I was on my way out of California, not to return for many years.

Each person has their own ideal place to live. I am settling in to a wonderful little town and finding it fulfills each item on my wish list for today. Some people would say we found this town by accident. I would say this move has been a continuation of the fulfilling of destiny for my hubby and me. Just like our meeting was.

July 26, 2011

Eating Like The Angels

One of our special treats is Angel Food Cake with fresh fruit on it. My favorite is strawberries but we will put other fruit on it and be happy. No whipped cream or sauces on top. Just cake and fruit.

We have been buying a loaf Angel Food Cake at our little store. One day a box Angel Food Cake found its way into our grocery cart. After looking through about fifty different recipes to make Angel Food Cake from scratch, I decided I didn't have a strong desire for homemade cake. A box mix sounds totally acceptable.

Having never made an Angel Food Cake, I learned to make do with the equipment I had on hand. The instructions were Do Not use plastic bowl (that is all we have here; we are both clumsy and tend to break things more than the average person), so I used our larger pan. It almost was not large enough.

Following the directions to the letter, something new for me, when the mix was ready to bake I realized I did not have a pan large enough so I used the bottom broiler pan. Even at that, the large broiler pan was just barely large enough for all the mix.

When it looked done, ten minutes longer than what the directions called for, I removed the pan from the oven and turned it upside down as per instructions.

The Angel Food Cake was just as good as the one we have been buying at the store. Hubby thinks I am a wonder and I will let him think that. He is giving the thumbs-up to the cake just out of the oven.

July 24, 2011

Sundays In My City

I chose to take photos of our town pool early in the morning before the pool opened. Plenty of people enjoy the pool each day; however, some parents may not appreciate their children's photos in my blog.

The last photo is the toddler pool. The water tapers to one foot deep.

Unknown Mami
This post is linked to Unknown Mami's Sundays In My City post. Enjoy my contribution and click the link to visit Unknown Mami.

July 22, 2011


This is a picture of my brother-in-law, Kevin. Isn't he cute? Oh, that's right, you can't see his face.

He is planking at four corners. He recently retired from teaching little rug rats for 28 years in the Phoenix area. He gets to play with adults now, so see what he is doing?

Good to see you enjoying your retirement, Kev. Thanks for the pictures. You can get up now.

July 19, 2011

NO! We Are Not Having A Yard Party At Our House

When we moved into this little hippie house in October, our landlord walked us around the property and showed us the property line and the location where the previous tenants had a huge garden. He pointed out an area at the back property where wild Marijuana would grow in the spring. At the back of the property are huge trees in a horseshoe shape surrounding the yard. Behind these large trees is a wide walkway to the side street. The walkway is used by utility and emergency vehicles and must be maintained and mowed by the tenants (us).

When spring arrived in lala land, my friends, warmer weather coaxed us to mow some of the large back lawn and start planning what to do with the back yard. While walking around the back part of the property, Hubby spied some plants that looked familiar to him. Hundreds of plants.

We each carried large trash bags and hand picked every Marijuana plant, pulling the roots. Hubby has been clean and sober for almost eleven years now, but prior to that his drug of choice for over thirty years was this very plant.

Hubby explained that he has an addict mind and a recovery mind. While we picked plants, his addict mind piped up with weird ideas. He said it was the first time he had been in the vicinity of weed for almost eleven years. "As soon as the plants were trashed, the recovery mind laughed at the addict mind and the addict mind shut up."

Part of me is thinking how ironic that a person with Hubby's past would be renting a place that grows a plant that he was addicted to for so many years.

So we aren't having a yard party; we are pulling weed(s). Every time I walk out to the far end of the property I find a couple more plants to pull. Sheesh.

July 17, 2011

Sundays In My City

Unknown Mami
This is my first time to participate in Unknown Mami's Sundays In My City.

This veterans memorial is a small park in the middle of our town. I am showing some of it here in these pictures. I will be practicing with my camera and finding interesting photo opportunities in our little hippie town.

July 14, 2011

Poo Prints

Something is being done about the irresponsible dog owners in some areas. For example, New Hampshire. This post in CNN caught my eye.

Some apartments are implementing PooPrints, a program that matches dog waste to DNA collected through pets' mandatory mouth swabs.

"The tests bought through PooPrints, a subsidiary of BioPet Vet Lab in Knoxville, Tennessee, match the DNA already captured to a sample of each pet's waste. Poop that isn't scooped can then be analyzed."

I wonder who gets the outdoor in the fresh air job of doing the scooping. I wonder if that is a full time job or just part time. Sounds like something we senior citizens could do part time. I wonder if they pay under the table. I'll have to get the scoop on that. This could be another way to help the economy with more new jobs.

Stay tuned for updates on the DNA tests that provide the poop on bad dog owners.

July 12, 2011

God, This Is TechnoBabe Again

Glitter Graphics |

God, what is the lesson I am to learn?
Do you send the spiders to me
Or do they enjoy a freedom I don't?
When do I get to be in charge?

I admit that during my young years
spiders were my friends, my play mates
They moved and were alive and playful
We were a family of poverty and dysfunction

What happened to change my view of spiders
And when it happened is a mystery to me
At least I am consciously unaware
of slipping into the state of dread

God, for many years I held out hope
Hope that you are truth, Father, Allah
Even if faith is the glue to belief
Blind acceptance is not in my nature

You gave me a brain, a mind to use
to study and interpret and decide for myself
What am I to learn from the spiders
who want to be close to me, on me, with me

I sit down and a spider walks across my chest
I walk through a room, a spider scurries in my path
I feel something tickling my neck and brush it off
A spider is flung across the room, disappearing

This morning another spider was on my foot
The shock and dislike make me react swiftly
Another spider bites the dust because of me
Why wasn't it in the garden doing its job

Spider Medicine teaches that spider connects
knowledge of past with possibilities in future
The web center is small, which is me
Expanding web denotes life's possibilities

There is a life lesson relating to the spiders
It is time for me to bring all spider knowledge
to the conscious level, expanding my mind
So that my spirit can be at peace.

July 09, 2011

Ninety Years On This Earth

Glitter Graphics |

July 10th is my mother's 90th birthday. This is the girl who was ill with childhood diabetes but in a family of eleven children in the midwest, doctor visits were non-existent.

My brother and I were farmed out to families many times while our mother underwent surgeries for various problems. Back then children were not told facts so I only remember being an intruder with older couples with no children who insisted I sit still and eat whatever horrible thing was in front of me, or getting lost among the many children in a household and expected to be another hand with the early morning chores.

After the age of twelve I didn't live with my mother any longer but we were occasionally in touch by phone. She let me know when she was in the hospital with the first mastectomy and seven years later the other mastectomy. Then surgery for ovarian cancer. Then gall bladder surgery. The cataract surgeries were a couple years ago. She had a fairly major stroke about twenty years ago and mini strokes since then. And all the while she is an insulin dependent diabetic.

She started telling me when she was in her sixties that she would not live a long life. She was just too ill. In my mind ninety is a lot of years. So she has lived a long life, contrary to her predictions.

Hubby and I made a CD for her with us singing some songs she likes, and hubby playing guitar. She will get a kick out of it. One song will make her cry: You'll Never Walk Alone. It was the song I sang when I auditioned for the San Francisco Light Opera. That was during the three months I lived with her after living in foster homes several years. She has mentioned that song to me many times and told me how much it meant to her to go with me to that audition.

Of course the CD we made is just for fun. Just to make her happy. Other than hubby's singing and guitar playing there is nothing professional about it. But we had so much fun working on it together. Within an hour of finishing the CD we watched an episode of Frost on Netflix with a band and male singer doing a fun rendition of You'll Never Walk Alone. In all the years of watching shows I have never seen that song being performed. Twilight Zone moment.

My mother and I have gone through stages of getting to know each other over the sixty five years I have been here, to come to a place of contentment and acceptance. Ninety is a big number. Big enough to hold up the weight of mistakes and regrets.

Happy ninetieth birthday to my mother. From my heart. We may be making a 100th birthday CD in ten years.

July 05, 2011

Do Do Do Looking Out Our Front Door

I mentioned in a previous post that it is not unusual to see tractors around town on the city streets. I need to remind you that the town we live in has less than 1100 residents. Hubby took a short clip of some tractors going down our street and we laughed so hard putting this together I hope you hear it loud an clear. Enjoy.

July 04, 2011

Fourth Of July Parade

Glitter Graphics |
The high school marching band is playing
The clowns toss wrapped candy to the kids
Families and their pets walk along the side
Downtown has decorated its digs

Flags are flying and spirits are high
All ages celebrate together this way
In remembrance of a freedom won
Back on the first Independence Day.

July 01, 2011

Guest Post: Five Miles And A Miracle

(Hubby wrote this, and asked to post it here, so here goes... TB)

I want to wander into the emotional and metaphysical forest here, so bear with me.

Five, Miles, and Miracle are words.

Words are a code. This code lets you know many things, depending on the placement of words in another code called a sentence.

So far, so good?

Five is a number, another code which defines everything, as math (quantum physics) is the basis for the universe.

Mile is a unit of length, and here's where we start our path into the woods.

Yesterday I increased my daily riding length to five miles, thanks to an incredible find by TechnoBabe: a nature trail built around the high school's track. I say "the" high school because we only have one here, you know.

I'd been riding a little over four miles by going around the outer streets of town and adding a spectacular one-mile stretch northeast of town. It's a straight, flat (wait, that's redundant, it's all flat here) ride through farm country.

With the new route I can do three laps to the mile on a concrete path through a beautifully serene woodland, and I can ride flat out; no people, no traffic, no intersections, just me and the bike and nature. So I am doing six laps and then riding a half mile to the "long road," as I call it. Five miles.

So, you can understand my code (sentences) because I am using smaller codes (words) in a way that creates a common understanding between us.


Now we're really into it. This word is LOADED with meaning. Five and Miles not so much. Miracle is defined as:
• A surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.
• a highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences.
• an amazing product or achievement, or an outstanding example of something.
I will use all of these definitions going forward. Here is how the miracles happened to us.

When I met TechnoBabe for our marathon first meal and chat, she told me many mind-blowing things which happened to her, and as the afternoon wore on I could not believe she wasn't a raving crack addict serial killer. I was amazed at how she handled these catastrophic events and went on to raise a family essentially on her own. I could see an awesome human being hiding back there in the foliage putting out crumbs for me to follow into her soul. She did not know this. Her inner self knew who I was, and had decided to reveal herself.

Now I can see that her ability to transcend this horrible damage was a miracle, not explicable by natural or scientific laws, and thereby caused by a higher power's interaction with her soul.

After six months of dating, we moved in together.

Then the real work began. And I encountered her Protector. This was a psychic response to a dangerously abusive situation. She created this entity before she had words to describe what was happening to her, and it became fully developed after she had to fend for herself after her mother refused to stop her abuse. She learned to dissociate. Then she was sexually assaulted and almost murdered when she was twelve.

Hence, a highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences. This extraordinary skill borne of horror allowed her to deal with the pressures of married life with increasingly dysfunctional men, and the raising of three children. As time went by, her Protector kept her from harm by dropping the gauze of slippery personality change over her, but eventually the consequences became unwelcome.

Her Protector took over whenever the slightest threat was perceived. This part of her did NOT trust me, and became increasingly agitated when I did not abandon her or cheat on her.

After a while I realized I wasn't living with a single personality, but I was too busy falling into my own damage to make sense of it. All I knew was that from time to time, she would fall into a scripted, repetitive response to disagreement which sounded like someone I did not know, complete with warped facial features and violent responses.

In August of 2008, some of you know that I had a manic episode caused by thyroid dysfunction. TechnoBabe moved out. When I left the hospital ten days later, we began to pick up the pieces and she eventually moved back in. The miracle here was that she met and learned to trust a therapist who realized and reinforced the same thing I did: she dissociated into another personality. The therapist said she'd never seen anyone flip so fast and so seamlessly. Tell me about it.

Her Protector was rude, dismissive, taunting, mocking, verbally assaultive, and totally blamed me for her feelings and behavior. We learned a Kabuki theatre of arguing, going from a sweet loving couple to horribly damaging spats that seemed to have no beginning, and no end.

Even through all of this, she respected my commitment to my music and in early 2010 played a monumental support role in the creation of Bipolar Shaman, my first CD.

Then the last, or most recent, miracle happened.

Her primary personality took over. She realized that the Protector was keeping her from taking responsibility for her behavior, and that it was killing us. I could fight the Protector to a draw, but as time went by I realized that my part had to change as well. So TechnoBabe became her true self, and I became a new part of our new life.

The Miracle part has been ongoing since December, and it's consistent. If you think about it, two people with catastrophically damaged lives working through the worst shit you could imagine and coming out the other side nearly whole and loving each other more all the time...

We are an amazing product or achievement, or an outstanding example of something.

Something called Love.

(Note: She read this prior to me posting it and didn't blink. This is another miracle of her growth, believe me.)