In sixty weeks I will turn sixty years old.

That number-60!-used to freak me out a bit, but now-I'm in a place in my head now that's OK with it.

Maybe it's meditation, maybe it's California, maybe it's just accepting that what is, is-I'm not sure what has settled my brain into that "I'm fine with this" zone, but, so be it.

My focus at first was on a bucket-list type of muse that I could check off weekly, having gone/seen/done/made/whatever.

Then I read an article about how those sort of lists are very egocentric, and almost never include items like "make a difference in someone life..." and that sort of thing.

This idea forced me to really think harder about the impact  my life may have upon others-so in true Gemini fashion I figured a hybrid of those two lists would be apropos for my venture into my sixth decade.

I like using a list-I always have-so it may be harder to quantify some ideas via a list but still I'll write down whatever I've accomplished after the fact.

A weekly focus in six areas will work best for me-
  1. Helping others
  2. Healthy living
  3. Learning
  4. Creating  
  5. Writing
  6. Appreciating




In my head I'm 25ish, and I believe that that's what should count-not the number of times I've hurtled around the sun via the Earth. By focusing on my achievements instead of my looming age uptick, I am pretty sure that sixty will be a wondrous thing. Wish me luck!


March Madness

March is bringing a good kind of madness though-lots of places to go, things to do/see, and work schedules that are always different. 

Last week's sky after the rain

I've started subbing in the same district that Mark is working in ( he's their SysAdmin) and it's been crazy fun. Good to see all the schools so I know what's what in looking for a permanent position next year. My plan is to work two years, live frugally and then have us take a year off to travel! Who wants to wait until retirement? PFFFT. Not moi. More on that later.

This month we have tickets for the ballet ( Midsummernight's Dream ), the Padres on opening weekend ( against the Giants, BOOHISS), the JIT Gala ( our volunteering thingy)  a day at the Flower Fields 
( 20 plus acres of ranunculus) and-wait for it-a NASCAR race!

Hubs is a racing nutcase; notsomuch a fan of the redneck contingent that worships NASCAR drivers/etc., though. Since they have a race up near LA-only two hours away- we thought we'd check it out. 

The best part? We are staying overnight at the Mission Inn. It looks amazing and we'll do the docent tour and all that jazz. I figure that will balance out our chi that weekend, LOL. 

Ashley and Teo

March will also see daughter's BF moving up to Connecticut for his dream job! ( he's a computer geek type) She will stay here for a bit and they will do the LDR thing. UGH . It's hard to be away from those you love, but they have a nice solid relationship of almost three years and I really like her guy a lot.   We had a farewell for now dinner with them this past Sunday since he's leaving TOMORROW! 

Gardening wise, the weather has been spectacular. I have tomatoes ripening;  cukes, lettuce and more tomatoes are right behind. We'll be adding two more raised beds so we can put in watermelon and whatnot. My patio pots are all planted-it's a purple kind of year-with things like stock, petunias, moss rose, salvia, and lambs ears. So pretty. The grapevine-in-a-pot is goings nuts and I'd like to add some roses in the backyard ( potted so they can travel with us when we do eventually move). 

We also sliced up our first lemon from the little tree we got last year-so fab!
 I know my Ma would be proud-she had quite the green thumb.

Boomer ready to watch HOC and growl at President Frank U!

I took today off. Lots to be done; too bad Boomer couldn't be the grocery shopper/cook/banker/etc when Mark and I are out hustlin' for dollars, LOL. Boomie would be great-except I don;t think the dog treats would make it home in their box. He's just happy to have one of his humans home so he can watch a few episodes of House of Cards!

One last thing for today- I HAVE to acknowledge the passing of Leonard Nimoy-AKA Spock. 
Star Trek gave me hope that women would have a future in space exploration and showed everyone what I secretly knew as a pre-teen geek wannabe: that science is cool, logic is a good way to make decisions, and fully embracing one's uniqueness is what helps all of us in the end.  LLAP indeed.




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!