I have not been blogging with any consistency this past year-so along with my other 2015 goals/etc I think a weekly sign-in would be good-a nicely detailed dairy of our lives, to be re-read in my 100s. :)

#1) My best friend, Kathy, still lives in Austin TX. She has been chatting online with a guy from -wait for it-Queensland, Australia, for many months now-and he is right this minute visiting her for a three week vacation!  This past week Gary ( Gazza) helped her move her dad to a final living space at a rehab hospital. There really won't be any re-habbing; at 90, with Parkinson's, Norman's days are, sadly, few.  I'm glad she had help-I would have gone had Gary not been there; I have done this crap with both my parents already and I know how bone-tiring it can be.

It also brings up some weird feelings for me-I know that crazy Aussie humor, the sharp wit, the total honesty-and the whole mateship thing.  The US would do well to emulate more Aussie ways, IMHO.
We are at least getting Flat Whites at Starbucks soon! LOL Basically it's coffee that's like a latte, but bolder, and like a cappuccino, but with less foam. It was Daz's fave coffee drink of all time.

But when K tells me about how some Texans don't understand Gary with his accent,or how he's amazed at the sheer size of the highway system here, or....well,, anything Oz related, I have something-nostalgia? Wistfulness? that surfaces. It's all fine, I'm happy for them both and am thrilled it's all working out for them, but I can't deny the sightly jealous feelings that are there. Life. It's always interesting.

#2) Job shopping has begun. If I don't teach until the 2015-2016 session, that's fine-but my goal is to work for two years, bank as much as possible, then take a year-long vacation sabbatical. Hubs and I need to travel while we are still on this side of 65, IMO.

I've been reading blogs about people who have done such a thing, and I/we want to do it as well.
Mark is a little freaked out by it, but intrigued as well. Since we rent, we can just put all our stuff in storage, and we can travel as long as the $$$ works.

With careful planning, I believe it will work well. My goal is to pick twelve places to live in for a month at a time; places we've always wanted to travel and explore in. Living in rental homes is cheaper than hotels/etc. I'm excited to start planning this next grand adventure!

#3) Getting the garage under control may just make me totally crazy, LOL.  I want to get rid of
EVERY> THING> but husband has other needs/wants/anxieties about keeping things.
He's come a long way, so I can wait a bit longer. Eventually, he'll let some more things go.

#4) I still love the idea of January and its cliched blank page.  I'm more committed to ME this year-my meditation, my yoga, my bootcamp workouts, my teaching-I've taken care of everyone else this past year pretty well, getting us settled in SD and all that jazz-now I get to be first. Woohoo!

#5) Moving was the best thing we've done as a couple. We belong here for sure. I have tomatoes in the garden RIGHT NOW (!), and lettuce coming up. Many things are flowering, and the weather has been rainy ( a great thing) but warmer than usual ( I am NOT complaining!).

We've started volunteering with JIT/Foster Youth, and I am going to mentor this upcoming year-should be awesome. It's a program for kids that have aged out of the foster care system; they have a dismal track record for college/success and this program seeks to change that through relationships that stand in for what families usually do. I am stoked to do this, and hope I can really make a difference.

Happy Monday, Jan 12, 2015.


Je Suis Charlie

Both my kids are artists-one a dancer with drawing and painting abilities the other a musician 
and a painter-and censorship has NEVER been in our vocabulary. 

Art should start conversations-good or bad-that's its JOB!

The things happening in Paris are just sickening.

Je suis Charlie!

San Diego Vigil


Happy Woofday Boomer

Our Boomer boy turns eight today!

Boomer's first picture

He has gone from a skinny, ADHD addled, anxiety-ridden six month old street-living stray to a loving, only slightly anxious goofball.

He found me late one afternoon in 2007. My (late) husband Daz had passed away a few months earlier, and my BFF Kathy had come up from Austin to spend some time with me during what would have been my wedding anniversary. It was good to have her around during that difficult time. She and I went out for a walk, and the weather that June was crazy-so when a storm started rolling through, we turned to go back home-and this skinny, mangy puppy dashed out of nowhere to begin following us.

We ignorned him; he didn't care-and kept following us. We turned around and started knocking on doors-no dice. No one knew him or where he belonged. The rain began-and still he followed us.

I felt awful for him-he was too thin, and with the weather going crazy, I figured I'd give him a meal and let him sleep in the garage overnight.

 My fifteen year old beagle/jack russell mix, Ranger, was NOT amused.

I wasn't either, to be honest. It was all I could do in those early days of grief to just remember to breaths, let alone take care of another pet. I did NOT need another dog. I did NOT have the ability to care for anything at that point. I just didn't.

Boomer knew better, though didn't he?

The kids were home from college at this time. Of course, when they saw him they started making room for him in the house, finding old toys of Ranger's for him to chew on, picking names, etc.
It didn't matter to them that in a few weeks they'd be back at school and all the care the dog would need would fall to moi.

We put up flyers in the neighborhood.
My son's friend's girlfriend took him home for a full day/night and promptly brought him back. 
He terrorized Rangie, who threw him such major shade that it became comical.

My mantra was "I don't need another dog, I don't need another dog..."

The universe of course heard me and replied with a big, fat, " PFFFFFFFFFFTTTTTT!"

After a week I just shrugged and figured I was stuck with him.

We picked his name-Boomer-from the nickname for adult male kangaroos; the dog had/has an amazing jump ( still!) and since Daz was an Aussie, it seemed more than fitting.

We bought him food/water bowls, a collar, a leash, a bed. Treats. Toys. He liked them all.

He was, however, Marley's evil twin! His anxiety is legendary. And then some.

In his eight years, he has eaten/destroyed/shredded more than half a dozen accent pillows ( was he secretly mocking my tasteful choices?), a few pair of new shoes ( he just couldn't resist that new leather smell ) and his pièce de résistance-the destruction of my daughter's twin sized mattress on the first day I went back to work.


Thankfully, most of this happened in his first two years; I've worked hard to train him to be a reasonable dog ( thank you Barkbusters!) and he is extremely loyal, trustworthy around shoes/pillow/mattresses once again, and still quite playful. 

He loves the beach and the ocean here in San Diego-which surprised us immensely, since he HATES water/baths and is petrified of going anywhere near the bathroom. I could put a ten pound t-bone on the bathroom floor and it would get maggots before Boomie would dare tip-toe over the threshold. But swimming? Going after his chuck-it in the waves? 
That's just gnarly, dude, according to the Boomster.

He is at once the best and the worst dog I have ever had in my life. 
He's my supermodel, special-needs, super-anxious loverboy. 

He's very talkative, and sounds like a Wookie as he talks to you in the morning or whenever you wake up. He loves routine ( up, stretch, go outside, walk perimeter of backyard, back in for a chunk of  "fresh pet" food; on to front window for daily surveillance...) and knows that when Mark puts on the WHITE socks it means it's a weekend day and  a walk around the lake; black socks, sadly, mean a weekday/workday.  

I have said many times that Boomer rescued me as much as I rescued him.
He gave me some measure of rote focus at a time when I was emotionally numb. Ranger was older, and easy to manage-food and cuddles were all he needed. Boomer needed me to pay attention, to redirect his behaior-to open up my heart again so I could love him. Slowly, I did.

Now he has a dad ( Mark) and me to spoil him. 
He's learning to surf (!) and he still likes learning new tricks. He rocks hats and posing for pictures. Hes a nutjob and a half, and we love him like crazy.

Happy birthday #8 to my special needs supermodel doggy love. 
My Boomie-ooooooo. 

Ranger and Boomer 2007

Boomer in OR 2011



New Year's Eve!

It's been a year now since we've moved to San Diego. 
We have absolutely found home with a capital H.
Here's to a wonderful new year 
full of everything you want, need, wish for-and more- in the
 Year of the Ram, 


My "babies" turned 29 on December 26th! 
We did dinner out, cake in and played Cards against Humanity for hours. 
A very good time was had by all. 

Boomer say Happy Birthday you guys!

Mike and Ashley

Extinguishing the flames of youth lol

It's the first year since they were born that I only made ONE cake-since now we're all old enough to be on the health kick of lower carbs/fats/etc.

They both continue to hone their respective crafts, expand their knowledge base, and give of themselves to others. Best twins ever :)

Daughter and her beau also just moved into a great new apartment space and adopted a new fur-baby.

 Meet Apollo! ( I also call him "showtime")
Mr Apollo

Apollo and his fave blankie

Miss Zelda

He's just newly home, and like most newborns, he basically eats and sleeps all day.
 Like his older sister Zelda, Apollo is a Pug. So cute!

And now-on to 2015!


Trees and Flowers in December

We're in San Diego now for almost a full year-happy, happy, happy.
 Last year we had just moved in on December 23rd, so this is our first California Christmas with decorations. We've opted for solid blue lights outside ( which you can see through the window in the tree pix) and white on the tree, with a mash up of all kinds of ornaments.
Tree 2014

Boomer's learning to surf-found the PERFECT ornament to commemorate that!

This "putz house" is more than 60 years old-it was my Ma's

I have a heaps of handmade stuff-two of these are in memory of my Stanley and Anastasia

Trying my hand at a bokeh shot :)

Its been raining in San Diego-YEA! Poor Boomer's over it...no walkies in the rain

Hubby's ancient Christmas Cactus-it's never been happier, LOL

Right after three days of rain

Boomer trying on a gift for his "cousin"
The skating rink on the beach at the Hotel Del in Coronado



I have quite the affinity for Sydney-I honeymooned there with my late husband Daz back in 2002;       I've been there many other times as well-and I just wanted to send some peace and love and all good thoughts to my adopted home, Australia. Love the place, love its people, love the concept of mateship.

The horrendous acts of these past days test the racial boundaries for sure, but the "#illridewithyou" twitter campaign shows that love truly does conquer any and all dark evils. Goodonya Oz. ♥ youguys!