Wednesday, September 28, 2005

HOT in Buellton...

A bird I saw in a rest area (the ONLY rest area in California, but that's another story for another time)....

Well, I’m about 150 miles from home, but am stopping for several reasons, the least of which is I’m beat... I stopped in Sausalito this morning, just north of the San Franciso Bridge, and had breakfast at one of my favorite little places. Since then I’ve driven over 350 miles almost non stop. I used to be able to do at least 500 before I got ditzy.. um... make that ditzier . This is a very nice campground, but it’s on 101 BEFORE it makes that nice turn to the ocean, so it’s windy and hot.. at least it doesn’t smell like cows! I spent last night in Petaluma again, and they had fertilized the entire upper portion of the state... flies and cow poop... just my favorite... yuck...

So.... if I can’t post this, I’ll at least be home tomorrow..


I'm home... Now the trip won't stop here, as I will be discussing different places that I've been and have pictures! So, if you're still interested, keep hanging around! But give me a couple of days to get rested and un weird..


Monday, September 26, 2005

A Warm Sunday Day in Eureka

Picture wouldn't load...later...Battle Rock, port Orford. Captain Tichenor came here to settle this place under the Oregon Donation Land act, which allowed white settlers to file claims on Indian land in Western Oregon, although no Indian nation had signed a single treaty. There was a deadly conflict between the two cultures, and for two weeks nine men were besieged on this island. They escaped under darkness and returned to establish a settlement that is now called Port Orford. sigh...

I don’t know if I’m going to get to post this tomorrow.... I resisted, one more time, the ‘pay for WiFi’ lure in hopes of getting it free tomorrow morning... I checked the free wifi site and looked at some names in Eureka, but didn’t write anything down... of course. If I can’t post tomorrow morning, I KNOW I won’t be able to tomorrow night, as I know the city I’m going to be in does not have it. It probably DOES have cell phone, tho....

I drove into California today, stopping at several favorite places and seeing several favorite scenes. I should be home sometime on Wednesday, all things considered. I’m tireder than i should be at this junction, but that does happen when I ‘m heading home. It’s a combination of yearning and sorrow... interesting conundrum.

So... either you will see this tomorrow, or you will catch up when I get home!

Up to you and the WiFi gods... (I used only to sacrifice to the parking gods, but have opened up a new WiFi section).


Oh look! a Ferndale!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

a brief note

I'm not sure of my connections for the next two days, so it may take a bit before I'm on again.

A View Up River

A look up the river from the deck of 'my' house (see previous posts). This is a tidal river, and is brackish at times... it sometimes flows UP rather than down!

Not too much to say today. I’m back in my little campground, having spent the better part of the day with an old friend. The lunch we have every visit seems just too short... we need to talk about EVERYTHING and then do a little computer work and there just isn’t enough time. She is my mother’s age, and a little lame (sorry Lois ), and the day drags on both of us towards the end, there’s just so much to say.

What I need to do sometime is come up here after she moves out of our house and into Florence, where she will be in a more accommodating place to live. Just stay somewhere in a motel and then see her for several days in a row if she can stand it. I’d fly into Eugene and come over the mountains (one of the most beautiful drives I know, and I’ve been on a lot of highways and byways). This would be a byway... Then rent a car and just visit with her and help her with her computer and talk until our voices rust. Sounds like a plan.

She and her husband moved up here into the ‘big house’ around 1976, which is when Joe and I traveled around the United States, looking for somewhere we could get along... and that’s DEFINITELY another story for another time. The story sort of goes like this (and forgive me, Lois, if I get it wrong): Her husband, Don was a mover and a shaker, and a very busy and important man. He was also about 6’6” and adorable, but that’s getting away from the subject. They used to come up here to vacation in the little cottage beside the big house and planned to move here when he retired. He came to her one day (in his late 50’s) and said, “I won’t live to 65 at this rate” and they moved up here post haste. At his retirement party all the other movers and shakers came to Lois and said, ‘You can’t make Don do this, he’ll be bored to death!”... she said it wasn’t HER idea (she was a mover and a shaker in her own right). All the men at the retirement party, including my father, died a long time ago, except for one man who came to them and said , “Now WHAT is it you’re doing exactly?” and moved to Grant’s Pass.

So they moved and lived happily in my house for a long time.

I love that story... except for the dead people, of course...

and that’s my tale today...


The Cottage

The cottage beside my house...

Saturday, September 24, 2005

My House on the River... almost...

This is a picture of my house on the river... now before you all go and start packing to come and visit, it’s not mine anymore... in fact, it never was. Let me go back a few years.

The people who live in that house, or lived in that house, actually, were and are very good friends of mine. I have known them for years. They moved up into the cottage next to this house 30 years ago, and built this house next to the cottage. I love this house and the location, on the back side of the Siuslaw river, out of Florence, Oregon.

I was going to live in this house, but circumstances beyond all our control made it impossible, but I love this house to this day. Tomorrow I’m going to have lunch with the woman who lives in this house now, but who has sold it and will move sometime soon, to a place better suited to her age and... well... age. Living on the back side of a river is not always easy. She is an amazing woman, full of wit and humor, and I enjoy seeing her immensely.

That being said, I toured around Florence today, blogging at a little coffee shop and just doing touristy things. I went to the casino, which is buried tastefully off the sort of main drag on the way to Eugene, and left with more money than I came in with. Not an easy thing, but I have this plan, and i often stick to it. That doesn’t mean i’m not going back tomorrow .

I know this town like the back of my hand... um... what IS that growth on my left finger??! hmm... I’ve been coming up here for more than 38 years, and this is a favorite place to stop. It’s grown, but the growth has been... well... ORDERLY if not always pretty, and that alone separates it from some of the other towns on the coast. I’m thinking of Lincoln City in particular... not a pretty town... no fun to drive through or be in... but they let the casino build HUGELY on the waterfront.

and that’s another story for another day...

The Florence Bridge...

A fine old bridge in Florence.. "my" house is 10 miles up river..

Friday, September 23, 2005

Here at last... Here at last..

The rocky rocky coast of Oregon...

I'm in Florence Oregon, the home of my favorite campground. I was nervous about finding a spot in it to camp, but all my fears were groundless (they usually are, you know). So now I'm happy ensconced for the next few days with time to ramble around and stay out of trouble. I'm visiting my old old friend on Saturday. Until then, I get to play in Florence, which is a pretty neat little town.

Yesterday I wandered down the coast, having breakfast in Depoe Bay (the world's smallest harbor), and hitting the aquarium at Newport. This was the same aquarium that housed Keiko, the whale, wonderfully and happily until some TWITS decided that, after ... what... 30 years in captivity, she should be SET FREE in Iceland. Needless to say, she's dead now. I remember seeing that great gentle beast rushing over to the underwater viewing window when the aquarium first opened in the morning, waiting for the people to arrive. She would seem to pick one certain person... a child on someone's shoulders, a person in a wheel chair, a brightly colored shirt, and just watch them.

Then, several stops later, I'm here. Last night it was cold, and, because I was talking to ALUCARD on the phone until it got dark, I managed to flip the little lock in my passenger side door UP. Couldn't close it. I've had this happen in the old van, but in the dark in the cold I just couldn't get it back! So I bungee corded the door shut and drove into town today and Voila! got it fixed.

There's an old town in Florence, and I knew this little coffee shop would have WiFi and, as USUAL, I was right! So now you are up to date and I am off to roam...


Thursday, September 22, 2005

I once was lost... but now I’m fine....

I’m on my coast. MY coast. The Oregon coast I’ve been traveling on for somewhere in the neighborhood of 35 years or more. MY coast. It’s a kind of come home feeling. I know I’ve said i’m going to live in Joseph someday, but I may not be able to be away from this coast. I went through Cannon Beach today, and it’s a touristy hell (or blessing, depending on your point of view), but it’s so beautiful. I want one of those houses down by the ocean... the little ones with the mud porch to shed your permanently damp clothing and head into the warm kitchen or light a fire in the fireplace... Or I want one of the larger homes up in the pine trees just a bit away from the constantly busy town... I don’t know. All I do know is that I love it, every little bit of it.

Except for Lincoln City... bleech!

I stopped and poked around and went to the Tillamook cheese factory (which has the very best ice cream and TONS of gifty things), and I’m currently at Beverly Beach, which is right across from the ocean but sheltered by huge pine trees. Each campsight is a little enclave, cozy and fairly private. I HAD A SHOWER... sigh... I once was lost but now i’m saved. Funny what a little hot water can do for a gal. They could only give me one night’s stay here which is fine, but it makes me worry about Honeyman campground in Florence, where I wish to spend more time... I was all worried about it today, but I’ve made my peace with it now. There are lots of campgrounds around Florence, and I’ll be just fine.... no.... really... no... HONEST!

An aside... I’ve noticed with age that there is an increased dis-ability (un ability?) to be able to LET GO OF THINGS!! I’m just not as flexible as I once was... Now, there are people very close to me who will tell you that I really never WAS very flexible, and they’re probably correct, but when I start noticing the increased tension about what I HAVE to have, it’s not a happy thing. I have to watch that, I truly do.

i’m not sure just how far I’m going to go tomorrow. oooo.. wind gusts.... chilly!. I’m going to the aquarium in Newport, and other little gifty places that I love, but it doesn’t matter. If I’m not flexible anywhere else, I’m loose as a goose here!! I’m going to have lunch with my friend on the Siuslaw river (the one who sold MY house... sigh) on Saturday, so that is the only plan I have.

I’ve met some nice people here in the campground, but nobody fed me... sigh...

and on that note,

nite nite...


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Columbia River Bridge

4.5 miles long.... at least 70 miles on either side before the Bridge...

A view from the Columbia River

Today was a better day. Actually, things improved as I drove further north. I stopped in Salem, which is a pretty pretty city. I drove into town in hopes of finding both a decent breakfast place and some WiFi. I found both. The good breakfast place told me about KINKO’S! This is a good thing to know for the future. They have WiFi, but it was the T-Mobile kind (which is beginning to irk me no end)... interestingly enough, as I sat in my van in front of the Kinko’s, I tried to sign on and was allowed in to the inner sanctum of WiFi. I cut and pasted my blog, and was trying to put in a picture when it quit on me. That’s when I went inside and asked... so T-Mobile isn’t as sacrosanct as it thinks! neener neener! The Kinky guy couldn’t help me with the wireless, but they DID have an ethernet cable and *POOF* I was blogging to my little heart’s content. So excited that I forgot to check my mail.

I then drove up I-5 into Washington, and cut over on route 4 to the Long Beach peninsula. I’ve been here many times before, and the drive, which is about 70 miles, follows the Columbia almost all the way. It’s truly one of the most rewarding drives I’ve ever done... kind of like the Big Sur road, only friendlier and greener... OH so green.

I couldn’t decide what to do or where to stay on Long Beach. All of the restaurants seemed to be closed, and the campgrounds, of which there are many, just didn’t seem right. PLUS, the wind was blowing (as is it’s wont on that little strip of peninsula). I passed a ‘river’s end’ campground on the way in, that was still on the river, so I went back there, where the wind was less and there were TREES. No one else here, though, which is a bit lonely, but I made friends with the owners... OH.. i tried the State Park (Cape Disappointment) but again, too much wind, not enough ... well... NOT wind. I did manage to find a WiFi spot in town, just sitting at the curb....

The Columbia is an incredible river. I will cross the bridge into Oregon tomorrow, at Astoria. The bridge, a REMARKABLE feat, is 4.5 miles long, and I have NO idea how they managed it on the Columbia, which is a nasty river at it’s end (hence the Cape Disappointment). So many ships have been lost at the mouth of this river, and up and down the coast on either side. You can drive on the beach on the Long Beach peninsula, but best be careful. I remember when Joe and I camped at the end one time. The campground also has a little motel, and there is a sign posted that says, “If you lose your car to the Ocean, you have one free night’s stay at the motel”. It happened while we were there. A couple came in to the motel area, wet and sandy, begging for help. They had driven on the beach, become mired in the sand, and rather than rush for help, they stayed and tried to start the car until the surf came in over the floor. They asked the clerk what they could do... she said, “Nothing... it’s gone by now” and it was. The waves are tricky and are shallow and VERY long, and if you get stuck, you’d better get help quickly, or it’s all over. Same with boats.
Well... this is a long blog, at last. I’m off to the Oregon coast tomorrow, to stop at my favorite little laundromat and then wander around the coast.

Take care of each other, and remember... no fighting!


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

A short blog from the middle of Oregon.

Part of the Rogue River... I think. A quiet spot in a very rough river.Hell,

The only problem with Oregon, beautiful as it is, is that I can only stand a small portion of it. I’d rather live here, but not HERE, if you know what I mean... you don’t?

OK. I came up I-5. I’ve decided not to go over to Joseph, my little town in the eastern part in the mountains because it’s a drive over and a drive back that I just don’t want to make this trip. I probably should have only done a short trip, but the need to get farther away than Big Sur was overwhelming. It’s a good thing I couldn’t go out east, because physically I’m not quite ready.

So, my plans have changed yet again. This put me on I-5, which, like any other interstate, is boring and here, hot. I don’t like hot. I don’t even like mildly hot. Hell, I’m not even very fond of warm. And I’m driving like a bat out of hell to get out of hot, which makes me cranky... and you’ve all seen me cranky, it’s not a pretty sight.

So. I will write more when I have nicer things to say!

I also couldn’t find a place to post tonight. I asked in Corvallis, but even the ‘youngsters’ had no idea what I was asking for... and they pick on Californians up here! I’m better. I had linner. I was hungry. It’’s cooler. I’m still heading for the coast!


Tuesday Morning... Oh LOOK! a Kinko's!!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Oh Look! A Choo Choo!!

OMG! Is that a train headlight???

Sit down my children and let me regale you with a tale of camping. You see (by way of setting this up correctly) MANY campgrounds have had to take the slim pickings of property. They need a lot of space and sometimes... just sometimes... that property just happens to be RIGHT NEXT TO THE RAILROAD TRACKS! Do you see where this is going? Oh wait... before we continue (and I know I have everyone's attention except for DonL) we have to go back many many years.

My family lived in L.A. My grandparents lived in Oakland. We were either going up to see them, or going to Yosemite to camp. Oddly enough, in those days, this was not a one day trip . We stopped at a 'reasonable' motel, and settled down to sleep. Then the first train came through. I swear to this day that we could have reached out the back window and TOUCHED that sucker. Well, you're not going to uproot three kids and pack them in the car at 10 or 11 at night, so we stayed.. it was NOT pretty..

That being said...

I don't remember how many times the train went through last night, but I do know that it had to toot that whistle EVERY SINGLE TIME (punctuated with a stomp of a foot, rather like My Cousin Vinny). Oh ... Boy... Now normally I love the sound of a train. It's as evocative as music, and since it's been removed from most suburban settings, it's a joy. HOWEVER, it's not nearly as joyous at 4 AM when it's running close enough to my van to actually MOVE it...

However, on the good side, this WIFI place in which I had a GREAT wrap 'sandwich' last night, was open early today, so I'm here for real coffee and a tidy breakfast.

Then I'm on the road again...

to follow the train...


Sunday, September 18, 2005

Tired old bones...

I'm at Mt Shasta. This was my first real driving day and I'm hot and tired. I stopped to get a sandwich and, lo and behold, WIFI! I'm becoming amazed at how many places have this, especially places that have NO CELL PHONE SERVICE. hmm... you'd think they could tie that in together somehow.

The campground is Ok... it's cooler here than in that horrible Sacramento Valley . This was my only 'push' day that I know of.. just trying to get out of the state. I ran over from Petaluma to visit SFF, and had a wonderful short visit! She's such a treat, and I even met the kidlets. All three of them were really great kids. I read the comics to the younger daughter, and picked on the youngest about his not getting a haircut. The older one was on the computer (surprise) so I saw the least of her... That's Wandering Forth, Meandering Forth and Sashsaying Forth, in proper order. OH.. I met a very nice MR. SFF too... they were all off to get soccer pictures taken.

I guess I'm going to miss the awards tonight. No TV, and I can't even call the east coast and find out what happened! eep! Oh well, I suppose it will be tomorrow's news somewhere..


I'm off to eat and go back to the campground and wait for dark. Nothin' much else to do...


Why does she write like that?

A sign on the Big Sur Road... HAD to take a picture! Click on it to see why....

I expect the question has come up a number of times... “ She’s a teacher, don’t she know how to write good?” The answer to that question is hydra headed. The long answer has to do with wit and age; the short answer is- I write the way I talk. All the dots and pauses and grammatical failings are born of personality, rather than slack... ask anyone who has ever talked to me in person... I write the way I talk. I do lay no small blame to the diet doctors of the 60’s and 70’s, who prescribed ‘bennies’ to lose weight. When I was in my 20’s, I developed a full fledged stutter while on them, which shows up when i am very tired or when I used to drink to excess. Now, it’s only a tic... a hiccup in my speech that is exacerbated by stress or nervousness... It’s probably the reason I’ve never written a book (not counting the laziness and A.D.D..). If I did start the great american novel, SOMEONE would want to clean it up, and then it wouldn’t be mine... So, when you are inclined to criticize, remember that it’s the way I talk... and that I’m OLD and it’s not NICE to pick on old people...

Oh yeah... and that IS my picture with my profile... It’s just not NEW .

Sally FF Saved the Day!

You want HOW much???

No blog today. I was going to go to Starbucks, as bonho suggested, but they want MONEY... the cheapest was $6 for 60 minutes, and it didn’t look as if you could carry them over to the next visit (cuz I can type FAST!). I may give in tomorrow if I can’t find a source. I need to check out this Verizon thing. I DID go through a large city today (SAN FRANCISCO), but was disinclined to acquiesce o the demands of looking anywhere but AT THE STOOPID TRAFFIC! Where ARE all these people going? Don’t they know I have places to be and people to see? You would think that San Fran, a city of some note, they say, would have no need to DRAGGGG traffic through the city in a vain attempt to get some business... I mean REALLY!

I stopped at Petalluma, the arm wrestling capital of the known world (thank you Don Logan for that bit of trivia). I came to see DWO! We had ‘lunch’ so to speak...l we shared a bit of food and then had desserts! Boy, can she lead you astray!! Dang.... and I’m such a good girl... We talked until I got tired and she brought me back to the campground... YES I LET HER DRIVE.. .. no.. she was very good and I am alive after all. and intact...

The drive up the coast from Big Sur was unusually taxing. Maybe it was the big surf (looked pretty normal to me) or something else, but I’ve never had this much aggravation driving that pretty drive. Maybe it’s cuz I didn’t sleep last night, and on top of that, had some horrible dreams/visions? Well, the one involving Gary Sinese and a much younger me wasn’t all that bad.

Tomorrow.. Sally F Forth..,.

addendum: Sally has WiFi! I met her and the kids and the dog and had a great visit.. I'm on the road again!


Friday, September 16, 2005


Well, the known world has come to an end...

Big Sur has WiFi. sigh.... I'm sitting at the River Inn, which is one of the loveliest places ever, in one of the STILL 'hasn't entered the 20th Century" settings and here I am... on my laptop. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I might do a little of both. Now I need to remember to upload some pictures so I can put them on some of these blogs. I could have posted in the Library, but I wrote yesterday's blog and put it in a word file, and i would have had to re type it... no fun. I'm having lunch here, which is what they ask in return for use of their network, but it's a small price to pay for immortality... (and that IS what I'm after in this blogging stuff isn't it??)

The drive up from Morro Bay is always a mixed blessing. This is the most twisted of all highways I've ever seen.. well, except for one up in Oregon aptly named Rattlesnake. It's beautiful and nasty, all at the same time... and that combination has brought me no small amount of trouble in Men, much less driving...

I'm in my favorite campground, the "place they know your name"... it used to be my local bar, now it's a campground. I must be getting older.. sigh..

i had breakfast in Cayucus, in a little oceanside restaurant this morning. Apparently there are big waves. I didn't see any, but possibly I don't know what to look for.

I had no power last night, so I sat in my dark van watching a DVD on my laptop...MIRACLE! (I'm a person of small faith, it doesn't take much to impress me ).

And now, off to lunch... portabello mushroom/avocado sandwich... bonho, are you jealous?

take care of each other for me and remember,

no fighting while I'm gone!


Thursday, September 15, 2005

Why have I only traveled 200 miles?

Morro Rock... in certain light it shines like gold, upsetting the original locals when they discovered their mistake....

An odd first day. I started out later than I have ever done before on a trip, and traveled less., a little over 200 miles. I wasn’t certain just how my knee was gonna fare, but it seems to be doing well. I’m in Morro Bay, and don’t have a connection, so I’m doing this in word and will transfer it. I DID discover an SBC hookup I can buy for $7.95 for a 24 hour period, but it seems a bit pricey. Maybe, if I can’t find hookups every couple of days, I’ll try it out. I’m not quite that desperate yet .

It’s pretty here, as far as Southern California goes. Mostly tall trees (name to follow when I remember it).. the smelly ones.. smell like cat piss when they are ‘in bloom’. Butterflies love them... it’ll come to me... no .. really... Eucalyptus! (and don’t for a minute think that I didn’t have to spell check THAT)...it’s cool here, yet still sunny. I don’t have a hook up, which I prefer to have, as I can run my lights later at night and read. I just started Short History of a Small Place (delightful!) at linner (lunch and dinner... I could call it dunch, but that makes it sound sort of stoopid)...linner was a surprise... a small restaurant across from the campground in the teeny tiny marina. Called Bayside Cafe... it has a website, I’m told... GREAT food. Bonho would have loved the tomato herb soup....

So I made it the first day and I’m sitting here and writing to you. Since there is no great pay off in that, I’m going to go out and make friends!


I met a nice fellow named Rick. He’s a writer, and attending a writer’s conference in San Luis Obispo, right down the street, so to speak. He tells me there is a service with Verizon whereupon I can get on to wifi with my phone... now all I have to do is find a Verizon store. The places I plan on going, I figure I will find it when I get back to L.A.!... go figure...


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Dream a little dream with me...

Interesting.. when i typed the title of this blog today, the first word I typed was dread... go figure. Dread a little dread with me... hmm.. not nearly as catchy, but somewhat accurate.

This is a picture of the largest Monterey Pine in the world... it's just over the Oregon Border (Yeah, I know I"m not there yet, but OH WELL!)..

Whenever I travel, especially as I age, I tend to dread at least the first few days. It takes a awhile for everything to fall into place, and this makes all workings of the trip tiresome. My knees, even on a good day, complain for the first few days until they realize that, like it or not, they ARE going to be utilized in a manner inconsistent with their usual job requirements. Not happy knees... I'm always afraid that I will forget something important (this trip it's this laptop). I'm afraid I'll forget something NOT important, even though I'm going to be in reach of markets, stores and the like. I don't quite know why this happens, but it does... and then, once I'm .. oh... 500 miles away from home (hmm.. sounds like the title of a song!) it all starts to get better.

So... here's to the first 500 miles... may they be uneventful and easy, so that I might relax...

after all,

this IS a vacation...


Monday, September 12, 2005


OMG!... I'm sitting in the South Bay Galleria and I'm on the internet! The world is a magical place, and I feel rather like a unicorn today... a combination of a mythical beast and the future... It's difficult for this old woman to comprehend that I can access y'all and sit at a table doing my SECOND favorite thing.. people watching! So far, no one has come over to check on me. That either means this is so commonplace that I really HAVE been out of the loop for a while, or it means that I don't look one bit interesting at all... in deference to my intelligence, I'm opting for the latter.

I hadn't had a chance to try out the wifi, and remembered that I saw a 'hot spot' notice up here the last time I went to the movies. At that time I never thought I would need this, because I had no intention of getting a laptop... and now I are one!
Yeaa!! Someone noticed me! I've arrived... sigh...

This solves one of my conundrums for the trip. I was wondering if I was going to need something else, or some involved configuring to do this, but, of course, this is a MAC! It was ready to go, with or without me...

OK. Now I get to go have lunch!

oboyoboyoboyoboy! .. dance...dance.. twirl... dance... spin..




Ok.. now people are REALLY beginning to notice me...




Well, we knew THAT was going to happen, didn't we!


Friday, September 09, 2005

But What Do I Know...?

If I had a mind, I could probably make it up...

hmm... that didn't quite accomplish it's intention. What I meant to say was, If I could decide things, I'd be somebody by now.

The trip changes again. There are many factors involved in this decision, not the least of which is my still healing knee. Katrina plays a part, with reports from friends that there are still places where gas is overly expensive, and it seems we are not yet done with hurricanes. It would be a shame, since it's 2,000 uninvolving miles for me to go to get to the FIRST person I wish to visit, for me to go all that way and not be able to see all the people I wish to see.

So, I will make the trip in April or so, and take this time to go up the coast to Washington/Oregon yet again. This , of course, is not a punishment, as I can never spend too much time in the places I love.

I will send e-mails to those I'm not going to see this trip. I am truly sorry, but am a firm believer in listening to my own consul. Many things are telling me that this is not the time... I yield to to them.

more later.. and maybe something more exciting to talk about next time?


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Travels with me...

I'm finally getting ready to take the trip. It's been in a state of flux because of the horrible events in the South. They seem so overwhelming that it's been hard to get my balance. I have made the decision to skip the part of my travels that would take me down around the deep south on this trip. If I was going to see you, I'm sorry. There are too many mitigating factors that, on the outside of it, would seem not to be a problem. The price of gas is certainly an issue, but the availability is critical. If I cut a thousand miles off this trip, it will make a difference... to my friends in the south- I'm sorry. I'm sorry for a lot more than not being able to see you on this trip, and I hope that recovery is as swift as it can be.

That being said, I still haven't figured out how to use the wireless on this laptop. I'm taking all my cables in case I get a hookup in a campground, which happens a great deal more than it used to, but I really want to conquer Wifi. I may have to go to a mall and see if I can get it to work in those places that advertise...

I've made labels for postcards... I know, it's not quite as intimate, but I've got over 30 people to whom I'm sending postcards this trip, and I'll do anything to help that process!

and that's about all I know for now. Boring, ain't I...

Charley would be mad at me for not being wittier

Sunday, September 04, 2005

and the beat goes on...

Music. Certainly the most influential force on my life has to be music. Nothing is as evocative. Scent comes close, with the whiff of cinnamon bringing back a dozen memories, from Christmas to apple pie. Music, however, has the ability to transport... to move... to change. Music can make you lost and find you again. Music can make you love some time.... some place... some one, and it can recreate those feelings again and again. I cannot listen to Tennessee Waltz without crying, as it was my father’s favorite song. I have it on one of my Cd’s. I listen. I cry.

I am in the process of putting together several compilations of music for my trip. I somehow acquired way to many CD’s that have one... maybe two songs that I love, and a dozen I cannot tolerate. This, of course, before I got a computer that has the capability of making Cd’s. So I am bunching music that has specific purpose. I have a CD that will wake me up and make me dance as I travel across country... if you see a little blue van that’s bouncing for no apparent reason... that’s me! Music has the ability, more than just about anything, to make me happy... or sad... or thoughtful... or mindless. All this for just pennies a day...

My father whistled. My father whistled all the time, and I have inherited that ability and joy. In a good mood one day in Von’s market, I had no idea that I was whistling New Orleans Jazz riffs until people started following me around... seriously. I can WHISTLE! I’’ve got some old lady wrinkles around my lips to prove it.

My mother had a Hammond Organ. She would sit in the living room and play song after song and my father would whistle. I learned to play the piano because of my mother. I don’t think I thanked her enough. I now play (or did): piano, hammered dulcimer, banjo (some), fiddle (a little), autoharp and, of course, my second musical love... guitar.

I can also sing. Or I could. I sang at school. I sang at Church (!). I sang on the Milton Berle TV show. I sang in college. I sang at the Hollywood Bowl. I wanted to be a folk singer. I went to College instead. I learned that i wasn’t driven enough. I ‘worked’ for a while for Randy Sparks, who had a club in Westwood. I saw some extremely talented people filter through that organization. I learned that I didn’t have the drive... the spark... whatever. I sang for free. I still sing for small children, who don’t care if I have the drive or not. My voice, once a dark alto, has segued into a whisky tenor, no... make that a baritone... a low baritone. My speaking voice is also low; so much so that I think that someday it will eventually rust... and stop.

Not the worst thing I can think of...

...as long as i can still whistle!


Friday, September 02, 2005

Do I look any younger?

I dyed my hair red yesterday. Well, not DYED... temporarily colored. Every once in a while I get tired of the old gray and slap on a 'lasts through 28 washings' kind of hair color. Of course, since no OTHER rules apply to me, the color lasts for about 4 months, fading slowly until my gray is a burnished gold... sort of. Then I live with the quickly whitening extremely fine mass of hair until I repeat the process again. I don't permanently dye my hair because, like the rest of my life, I don't want to commit to anything.

What prompted this last attack on my wrinkles and saggy bits was the realization that this has been an OLD WEEK. Monday I went to the lawyer's office to sign my living trust, a document that could not have a more oppositional name. I sign this in anticipation that I won't survive my next trip, so that there is nothing living or trusting about it... and then on Tuesday, I slipped into the Social Security office and applied for Social Security retirement benefits. You know what that means. It means I'm getting old.... er. Yeah, yeah... don't give me all that crap about 62 not being old and you're only as old as you feel because, in anticipation of these events, my body has gleefully decided that this is the year it falls APART!... sigh...

I blew my knee bowling in 1988. I probably tore the meniscus at that time, but it didn't seem that problematic. Over the years it has not been a good knee, but we've had a kind of truce. I didn't ask it to ski and it didn't collapse on me at any given moment. A good relationship. Unfortunately, while caring for my stroke ridden mother (another sign of aging) it was slammed against her bed while I attempted to lift her and move her. It finally had enough, and I had the surgery in June. It's ... well... it's Ok. I think it's going to be unhappy with the up and coming trip.

If this wasn't fun enough, one Friday evening (of course) I was sitting and reading and the light show went off in my right eye. The good news was it wasn't a detached retina, just a detached vitreous. This happy happy joy joy moment means that, whenever I look anywhere, I am never alone. The vitreous, a blobby bunch of blobby shit now floats in front of my vision, led by the bundle of collagen that USED to attach it to the retina. oh.... boy.... I took care of it and did all that I should do. I even let them dialate BOTH eyes so the left eye wouldn't get jealous of all the attention. It didn't work. One month later the left eye, feeling massively left out of the process, blew the vitreous just to make things equal. Now I have TWO blobs led by TWO bundles (and the right eye, ever the leader, has just torn some other connection, sending yet another I.U.D. shaped collagen bundle off into the breach). I'm just thrilled... no.... really... It's all I ever really wanted.


I blame these events on the Social Security qualification... I truly do...

So I dyed my hair red yesterday...

Do I look any younger?