Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Almost Wordless Wednesday: An Active Imagination

I look at this creek and try to read the sky pools. It must be a letter from our earth written in Urdu, or Sanskrit, or one of the 3,866 writing systems in the world. Is it a love letter or a plea for help? What do you think? (Click on the photo to embiggen!)
Yes, this is the Urdu alphabet.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Stegosaurus Pi

I posted a photo on Facebook and here on the blog a while back when we were heading south to see my mom. The photos were of the stunningly green California mountains and valleys after the rainy rainy winter we've had. One of those photos had an interesting cloud formation in it. When I posted it on Facebook, I actually called it my "pi in the sky." It was this photo.
The interesting thing is that I did not see the cloud formation when we were zooming by at 75 mph. That doesn't mean that it wasn't there, but I'm pretty observant when it comes to clouds, especially if they are crazily pi shaped like this.

So, I began to wonder, where did this formation come from. I kept my eyes on the lookout for clues, and then I saw this reflection out the window when were at a stoplight.
This image is even better than the original pi in the sky. It has its little head and tail too. But where does this little shy stegosaurus come from that it shows up reflected in our skies? Right here on the dashboard of our car.
We have a little menagerie of plastic critters that live there on the dashboard. We take them with us on all  of travels. The one on the far left, the green/blue lizard we've had for more than a decade. It has been in all of our cars since the day I found it in a parking lot. We can't even remember the history of all them, but they are part of our journeys. And interestingly, the stegosaurus has cast its vast plastic reflection on to the skies all over California, sort of. LOL! We love our Stegosaurus Pi!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Story Of A Rose

We arrived home on Sunday afternoon after spending a long twelve days on the road, driving 1400 miles (2253 km) round trip. Most of that time was spent with my mother who is working to regain some of her lucidity. She did remember me some of the time, but not always. I could tell when she really did remember me by the way she said my name. It was spoken with such warmth and love, it was like a song from her lips. I never minded when she didn't remember me though, because I always remembered why we were there, and that was to give her as much love, support and care as we could.

On the first day when we were at my sister's I noticed all the rose bushes she had. There was one out in the front yard that was particularly lovely. It produced the most beautiful multi-colored  flowers. So, I decided I would clip an almost-opened bud to bring to my mother. She always grew roses in our yard when I was growing up. She is a huge fan of such beauty. So I put the bud into a small empty plastic water bottle my mom had in her room. There it stood on the edge of her dresser like a promise of springtime. Then it blossomed into something breathtaking. I looked at that rose and thought, I'm going to take that rose back with me to the beach house when we head back north, and I'm going to toss it into the bay where my dad's ashes were scattered so many years ago. Roger and I have tossed flowers into that water in my father's memory many, many times. But never a flower that had bloomed in his beloved wife's room.
So, I picked a new rosebud for my mom's bedroom and brought it to her. Then, I took the blossoming rose back to my sister's, packed it carefully and we drove it 350 miles north to Capitola, to the beach house and bay. Our car has this wonderful little space for holding containers, and we thought the rose looked grand there on the trip.
After we unpacked the car, we walked down to the wharf and tossed this little rose into the bay. We said our love out loud to my father and told him how much my mother still loves him, when she remembers. And then we watched the wind and waves carry that beautiful rose out to sea.
If you click on the photo, you might catch a glimpse of the tiny red rose in the deep blue sea of love.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Winter Spring and Summer

We left Arcata Wednesday morning. It was gray and chilly. The usual weather we'd been having all winter. As we made our way through the awesome redwoods and mountains, the skies cleared and the temps went up and up and up. By the time we arrived at our destination in the beautiful Sonoma wine country, we had entered full blown springtime.
Oh those rolling green hills and vineyards as far as the eyes can see. There were butterflies in the air and bird songs from every direction. The air was warm and beautiful. We took off our sweaters and never put them back on. Our dear friends made us an incredible feast, and we rested in the comforts of spring.
The weather cooperated even when we arrived in Capitola for two nights at the beach house. It was sunny, warm, and beautiful. We hadn't been there in a year, the longest time we'd ever been away for the past 28 years. We felt lucky because our mid-afternoon arrival coincided with a minus tide. You know how much we love walkng the minus tides beneath the cliffs of Capitola Beach. The tidepools and fossils wow us every time. My twin brother joined us for the afternoon walk, but when we got to the beach we discovered that the wet, wet winter had changed the sand levels. Not a single tidepool was visible. We had never seen it like that. We did get to see how the weather had changed the cliff and shoreline. My brother posed for the above photo for perspective. Erosion is a pretty wild thing.

Then we hit the road south Saturday morning for the 340 mile drive to see my mom. It was sunny and beautiful the whole way. The rains had brightened the hills to almost saturated Photoshop levels! I clicked a few photos through the car window as we zoomed by mile after mile. I was worried about seeing my mom for the first time since her stroke and Alzheimer's diagnosis, and the scenery helped to keep me somewhat sane.

When we arrived at my mom's the temps were in the 80s. We never have temperatures like that even in the midst of summertime on the north coast. We rang the doorbell at the 24/7 care facility and a lovely caregiver opened the door. We walked into my mom's spacious bedroom that has a door that looks out on a beautiful manicured backyard. Birds flitted  in the treetops and lizards ran along the retaining wall. My mom greeted us with a sweetheart smile. She said, "Hi Rog! Where's your wife?" I said, "Hey mom, I'm right here. It's me, Robin!" She said, "No, I mean the other Robin."

My mom has Alzheimer's.

Monday, March 06, 2017

The Weather Report...

... got it absolutely right. They said "hail" and hail it did. Lots of it at several different times during the day on Sunday. Windy, blustery, and pinging the windows. Hail, everywhere.
After the third or fourth bout of it, we wanted to go out and drive a few miles to Eureka to see the kids and grandkids before we head out of town on Wednesday to see my mom. Before we left I remember thinking about how difficult it might be to drive in hail. When we came to the bridge over Humboldt Bay, we saw this.
This photo was taken at 11:30 in the morning through the windshield. Very dark skies here.
We couldn't tell, but we're pretty sure a car went off the road there and down an embankment. There were several firetrucks, police cars and an ambulance or two. It really can be tricky to drive in a hail downpour. We were lucky, we only had a few hail drops bang on our car roof and windshield on the way to see the kids. On the way back, it was pretty calm, but also dramatic.
Taken with the iPhone through the car window
The coast range has snow, and the temps were in the 30s this close to the coast. More wild weather headed our way. And, in case you are wondering, yes we are absolutely tired of winter. Seriously tired.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Looking Out The Windows

A peek out the windows into the yard and sky.
Here Roger is putting up the lattice for the final touch on the new backyard fence. Imagine jasmine twining through there and you'll see our hopeful future.
 I opened the blinds early Sunday morning and saw this through the dining room window. Hello Rainbow!
On Monday, I opened the blinds by the kitchen sink and saw this White-crowned sparrow in the sunlit moment of grey skies.
Looking through the slider in the dining room out to the deck, this. Ah, now we know spring is really on its way. The Rufous Hummingbird only stops by on its way north. We're just outside of its summer range.
Enjoy the breakfast and have a safe journey!