Friday, December 31, 2021

Friday Music and an Anniversary Story

I haven't posted a Friday Music song in quite some time. I was inspired to post this song because it is New Year's Eve and the 33rd anniversary of when Roger and I first met. 

Imagine us sitting at the dining table looking out over the Monterey Bay, our hands clasped while we told each other our stories, shared our heartbreaks, our love of the Beat writers, our love of music. Roger was listening to this artist, Ray Lynch, whom I'd never heard of. This song became part of our story. 

Here is our story as we wrote it on New Year's Eve in 2004/5 for the blog. We've posted it here a few times over the years and thought it was time to tell it again. 

Our New Year's Story

Roger Remembers:

on new year's eve 1988 i went to a party of friends. sometime early in the evening i met the twin sister of a man i knew in santa cruz. i knew of her existence, but little else. someone introduced us. we shook hands, mumbled a few words, and went our separate ways. i was happily dateless that night, having just decided that i needed to be alone for a while, so i had a great time dancing among a crowd of friends.

at midnight, or close to it, lovers kissed, partners danced with each other, and my newest acquaintance and i, both being dateless, saw each other and danced together briefly but intensely. i don't recall speaking.

two weeks later a friend told me that she knew someone who would like to go out with me, and gave me the phone number of my midnight dancer. i had been divorced for 3 years and dated several women, but all were mismatches of one sort or another and i was tired of trying. so i decided that i would call this woman and talk to her and maybe go out to dinner, but that i would be my rasty self and let the chips fall where they may, so to speak. it worked out well. better than i expected. she too had a bit of an edge.

we had a nice dinner. we found each other interesting. we talked up a storm. we never stopped. we're still at it. well, we do enjoy silence together too. we have never stopped being together since new year's eve 1988.
One of our very first dates. He was beardless, I had short hair.
A month after we met, we decided to drive to Muleje. Here we are camped somewhere in Baja.
We were dressed up for a party. Summer 1989.
Robin Remembers:
Seventeen years ago, at a New Year's Eve party, I danced at midnight with a man I had just met. When the clock struck twelve we found each other and just for a short while danced a crazy New Year's Eve dance together.

I was newly separated from my husband, had just gotten to California, and was not really looking to start a romance. My twin brother and his wife had been invited to a New Year's Eve party, but they are as reclusive as I, so were not planning on attending. They suggested I go rather than stay home and mope with my broken heart. I was a bit wary because as kind as their friends are, it was a new-age spiritual group, and I am not exactly new age or spiritual (in that "everything happens for a reason" kind of spirituality). I decided to go anyway and wound up dancing with Roger at midnight. There was definitely something about dancing with him that made me want to see him again. I told a mutual friend that I wouldn't mind if Roger would call me. I didn't really know how to go about dating. It made me feel like I was back in high school. Robin likes Roger. Okay, now what? The friend gave Roger my number, and he called. Two weeks after New Year's we had dinner. Interestingly, we both had a bit of an acerbic edge, having decided that we would just plainly be ourselves. If the other didn't like it, well no big deal. So neither one of us was on our best behavior. It was great fun, and we've been inseparably together ever since. We know it's an understatement to say it, but we're so glad that we broke with our personal traditions, went out to celebrate, and stayed awake until midnight on New Year's Eve in 1988.

In Muleje with a guy we had met. He was bicycling from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego.
We loved each other's company and took up boogie boarding together.
So, we decided to grow old together.
The first sunset photograph we ever shot together. This was in Muleje.

Still goofy after all these years!

Happy New Year to you!

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

A Sunset Moment

I posted this on Facebook the other day, and I really wanted to post it here on the blog as well. I should have posted it here first. Blogger is my favorite site for communicating with online friends. I don't know why I didn't, perhaps distracted by life itself. 

I was trying to photograph the sunset drops of rain on the pine needles in the tree out back. They were glimmering with a beautiful glow. I clicked a few pics and then ran out front to see if there was a rainbow in the eastern sky at sunset. Yes there was. Clicked a few more pics. 

When I downloaded the photos this is what I saw. 

I hope you'll click on the photos. I didn't get the little drops of rain on the pine needles at all, I got the actual rain streaking down in sunset colors. I've never seen anything like it. And then there was a double bow out there facing east. It was such a lovely colorful moment.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention, this is what our Christmas Day looked like. It was the very best gift.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Everyone's A Critic

I'm sure you remember the Chicken Library post. Well... we discovered that not only do they read these free library books, they have found a way to give us their reviews.

They tore this book up pretty well. I would say they did not like it. What do you think? I trust their opinions. I just wish I knew what book this was. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

And Then This Happened

 We've been having beautiful sunrises here. Certainly not what we expected with the weather report predicting rain rain and more rain. But Sunday morning looked like this...

...and Monday morning looked like this...

... and then I ran out a short while later to see this...

... and our lovely neighbor across the street posted this on Facebook... that's me photographing the rainbow...

...and still no rain at all, so we decided to go for a walk and then this happened...

We didn't really feel much of it at all. I felt a little rumble, but not anything that would suggest a quake of this size. We started getting texts from California Earthquake site keeping us informed of the shaking. It was wild, even though when we got home there wasn't a single thing tipped over or knocked down. We're hoping that the little aftershocks stop and that's the end of that for a while. 

So, that's what we've been up to.

Happy Winter Solstice!

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Sparkling Blue


I just needed to be reminded of this beauty. The sparkling blue Monterey Bay. I think I probably photographed this the last time we were in Capitola in 2019, before the family beach house was sold. This sparkling blue water is the balance to the bleak gray skies here, balance to the chaotic madness of the times we're living in, balance to headlines that scream about Trump's anti-semitism (scaring me all the way down to my Ashkenazi bones), balance to a raging pandemic, balance to this day that would have been my father's 103rd birthday. He's been gone almost 30 years, but he is remembered with a love as high as the sky, as blue as the sea, as sparkling as the reflected light of the sun. 

PS-- We haven't gotten any test results from Roger's Zio patch yet. He mailed it last Tuesday, so we're just waiting and wondering. We will update as soon as we know anything. Beauty is the balance to this wait as well.

Monday, December 13, 2021

A Mirror Image


Probably not what you expected for a mirror image. I would have imagined a beautiful blue lake with a blue sky, perhaps some billowy clouds and a mountain range. That perfect reflection. But instead it's this. The windows of a lovely second-hand store. We drive by it whenever we make that journey into town or to the marsh. I always look out the car window and notice us reflected in the mirror as we go by. I always think, "Wow, I should photograph us as we drive past." So I finally did it on our way to the marsh the other day. There we are, the old Dharma Bums. We exist in a storefront window. Click!

On Sunday we drove past the store and the mirror was gone. It had been there for years. Now gone. I'm so glad I clicked the pic, silly as it is.

Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Almost Wordless Wednesday: The Chicken Library


We've all seen these little free mini libraries. They're all over town and we're pretty sure they're everywhere these days. This was the first time we saw the chickens waiting for something to read. What do you think? Is there a book out there called "Which Came First..." If not, there should be. These chickens want answers, and they want them now. LOL.

PS-- Roger is still wearing his Zio patch. The doc is waiting to get those results. So no answers yet. We thank you all for your kind, thoughtful and supportive comments. 

Friday, December 03, 2021

A Fib

  ...but what I am writing here is the truth and not a fib at all. 

Roger was diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation (often referred to as A-fib).  Mayo Clinic, our go-to website for all matters related to health had this about it:

Atrial fibrillation (A-fib) is an irregular and often very rapid heart rhythm (arrhythmia) that can lead to blood clots in the heart. A-fib increases the risk of stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.

During atrial fibrillation, the heart's upper chambers (the atria) beat chaotically and irregularly — out of sync with the lower chambers (the ventricles) of the heart. For many people, A-fib may have no symptoms. However, A-fib may cause a fast, pounding heartbeat (palpitations), shortness of breath or weakness.

Episodes of atrial fibrillation may come and go, or they may be persistent. Although A-fib itself usually isn't life-threatening, it's a serious medical condition that requires proper treatment to prevent stroke.

 He has an appointment with his doctor on Monday and still many more days of wearing his Zio patch. That patch will provide lots of information, and then we will know how to proceed. He is still experiencing all of the symptoms, which will be recorded on this device. In fact, he is experiencing quite a bout of it as I type this. 

That's life these days. 

Hope all is well for you, dear friends out there in internet blogland. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Goodbye November


We bid farewell to November, a month of doctor appointments, EKGs, ultrasounds of the heart, bleak and endless gray sky weather, and booster shots. Goodbye November.

Today Roger is having a Zio patch put on his chest to monitor his heartbeats. It supposed to stay attached for two weeks and then get shipped someplace for some skilled reader to analyze the data of his heartbeats. It has not been an easy month. No results of the EKG although it's been more than two weeks since the test. No results of the Ultrasound. Small town medical care isn't always the best. Most test data get sent out of town for a doctor to analyze and then the analysis is sent to the clinic, then the clinic emails us the results. It all takes way too much time for a very impatient person that I am. Roger is much more relaxed about it. That's okay I'll worry and shout expletives enough for the two of us. 

Roger has been experiencing irregular heartbeats, shakiness, unsteadiness on his feet, and light-headedness for a while We only do our one-mile neighborhood loop these days and only on days when he feels up to it. We haven't been to the marsh in quite some time. I'm thinking about mapping a one-mile loop there so we have something beautiful to see while we're out. It would be good for both of us to see some pelicans, a few gulls, maybe even a river otter. 

Until then it's just photos of sunrises here, iridescent clouds, and halos. It's a good thing the sky is still full of beauty right out our windows.

We'll keep you posted. 

Goodbye November.

PS-- Thank you for all your kind words and comments on the previous post about my booster side effects. I'm fine now and happy to be boosted!

Friday, November 26, 2021

One Good Thing

 I'm still not feeling very well after my Pfizer booster. Headachy, chills, exhaustion. Pretty much a bummer. It's a good thing we didn't plan anything for Thanksgiving, because I would have had to cancel. We're still avoiding indoor gatherings and playing it safe through the holiday season. There was one good thing on Thanksgiving day, an ever-changing sky showing me halos and sundogs. Even though I felt crappy I still grabbed the camera to take a look. 

One of the most beautiful sundogs I've ever seen in a lovely Thanksgiving sky.  Something to be truly thankful for.  

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Post Booster

 Well, I got my booster shot. I changed my mind about waiting and getting the Moderna shot December 10th at the health clinic and went to the local pharmacy Monday and got the Pfizer booster. It hurt. It still hurts. I felt crappy all day, and Tuesday as well. But as I type this I am starting to feel a bit better. I'm glad to have that done. I think I even feel a tiny teeny weeny bit safer. 

I wrote my siblings and told them about my booster adventure. I told them that I felt tired. That word "tired" started a very funny email conversation that went on most of the day. One of us remembered that my dad used to tell my mom that she was "born tired." Then someone remembered that she was also "born dizzy." It was very funny, and all in good humor as it was back in the day when my dad would say it. Then my sister emailed us the word battle-axe. Oh wow, we had forgotten and was reminded that our mom was a battle-axe. What is a battle-axe? 

Well one explanation found online was, "The prime example was the militant temperance activist Carrie Nation, who actually wielded a hatchet and made it her symbol, living in Hatchet Hall and publishing a magazine called The Hatchet. She became involved in the suffragette campaign for votes for women and this campaign further established the archetype." I think that describes the strength and power of my mom.  She was a force to be reckoned with.

So, a long post-booster shot day gave way to memories, humor and love. The perfect definition of family as we head into the Thanksgiving weekend. Happy Thanksgiving, friends. Stay safe and get boosted when you can. 


Sunday, November 21, 2021

Changing The Subject

 I just had to make the previous post stop being the most recent post on the blog. Ugh. I was as sick of it as I am of being a neighbor to that house. Ugh. 

So in the interest of just showing you something different, here is a photo my twin brother took the other day in his neck of the woods in Santa Cruz.

My siblings know the sights I love. This is such a beautiful display of crepuscular rays at Schwan Lake. It does my heart good to know that this beauty radiates everywhere. 

We heard some sad news the other day. A high school friend, my brother's first true girlfriend, someone we hung out with in the late 1960s, who spent lots of time with us after school, that person committed suicide in March. I was friends with her on Facebook. She didn't post much, and when she did it was almost always links to music. Just a few days ago Facebook told me it was her birthday. I didn't write on her wall to send her good birthday cheer. I wish I had, even though by then she was already gone eight months. Her suicide made me think of this song. So, here's a song in memory of Susan.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

We Went Inside

After seeing the raccoons on the neighbor's roof again, we realized that we should probably go take a look inside to see the damage. Roger had watched a video of the damage that raccoons can do to a roof and a house.  So, I called the owner and asked if it would be okay if we went in. She said, "Of course, that's why I gave you the key. Go in anytime and look around." Here is what I wrote the first time we went in in January of this year. 

It so surprised us when we walked in. We expected cobwebs and filth everywhere. We expected inches of dust and stinky mold. What we saw was beauty. It has not been touched in so many years, but the piano in the living room looked ready for someone to sit and play. There were lovely paintings on the walls, and family photos still attached by magnets to the refrigerator door. It looked like such a well-loved home, full of sweet history. It was such a stunning difference from what the exterior looks like. How is this possible? We have no idea. 

So, we went in. This is what we found.

The last photo is of the house exterior falling apart as much as the house interior. The photo above that is of mushrooms growing on the carpet in the living room. The rest is damage from rain and raccoons. The house looks like the raccoons have found a way in and have been rummaging through stuff, there's old mail strewn across the floor everywhere. Supposedly a contractor is going to call me and set up a time when I will let him in the house. No call yet, so far. 

That house is quite a science project. We're in for more rain, and on it goes.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Our Furry Neighbors Are Back

  It had been a while since we'd seen any sign of our furry neighbors. We assumed they were still around, but couldn't really be sure. 

Saturday morning I opened the shade in the kitchen before sunrise and was greeted by this view of our derelict neighbor's roof.

It was still pretty dark out there, but I could see one of those raccoon looking in at me. I waved. I called for Roger to come and take a look. We said our hellos and wished them a good day. I went back to making the tea and toast for morning. When I looked again they were back inside the attic for the rest of the day. I'm hoping we'll see them again. I'm sure they're hoping for the same. We're their very friendly not-so-furry neighbors.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Booster Mania

 I have literally lost hours of sleep trying to figure out which booster shot I should get and when I should get it. I had a Pfizer shot scheduled for Thursday (tomorrow), but cancelled it because I wasn't sure if I really should switch from Moderna which was what my first two shots were. There is so much information out there, it's hard to tell exactly which way to go. My sister switched for her booster and felt fine about it, both physically and intellectually. My twin brother is planning on sticking with his original for his booster.  

Roger got his booster shot on Monday. He stayed with the original. He is absolutely fine and had very little side effects except for the pain in his arm where the person jabbed it so hard with the needle that he literally cried out in pain. I was sitting next to him when that happened and I wanted to jump up and scream. 

We went for a walk on Tuesday. I told Roger that my vacillations between wanting Pfizer and then wanting Moderna and then back again is such a spoiled brat first-world problem that I am utterly embarrassed by it. But I still can't decide. I did reschedule my appointment for December 10th. That gives me a lot of time to drive myself crazy (otherwise known as be as informed as possible).

Have you gotten your booster? Did you have a choice? What did you decide to do? 

Then, I looked out the window at the beautiful piece of sun art on our backyard fence.

I swear it was sticking its tongue out at me. I completely understood why. LOL! 

Monday, November 08, 2021

The First Week of November in Photos

 It's so interesting when I think that it's been another boring week, and I go and look at the photos of the week. Wow! I had forgotten I had so much fun. 

The week started with this beautiful iridescent cloud.

And then we had a sunrise that gave us this view.

We love seeing crepuscular rays so early in the morning.

Then the rains came. It poured. But every now and then the sun would peek through and give us this.

The two ends of the bow at sunset. Yes, it was still drizzling out there, but so worth the little bit of getting wet to see this. Sunset bows are always so beautiful.

Even the raindrops on the rain gutter put on a little light show for us as the sun was setting.

And just when we thought we couldn't be more surprised by the beauty of our planet. We saw this.

A Killdeer, typically a shorebird or grassy meadows bird, but on our derelict neighbor's roof? That was quite surprise. Hello Killdeer, what big and beautiful eyes you have!

And that was how the month of November began. 

Monday, November 01, 2021

The Goal Has Been Surpassed

Remember that post I wrote in September about wanting to do more than 67 posts this year, which was the fewest posts we had done since we started the blog in 2005. Well, I am writing to declare success. This amazing post I am writing right now will be number 70. SEVENTY! 

I had warned that our posts would likely be boring, and I am here to say that I have been true to my word. So, in the interest of maintaining the utter boringness of having nothing to say, here are a few photos from the month of October that haven't made it on the blog yet.

Thank you dear friends for hanging in there with us. Without you we'd just be more empty words in the insane world of the never-ending internet reality.

22 Degree Halo in a blue, blue sky

Iridescent clouds in a blue blue sky

Geese flying over at sunrise, if you click on the pic you'll see a bit of sunlight on their wings

We let our artichokes flower, and if you look carefully you can see the one-eyed boogie man face on the fence (to the left of the flower) BOO!

Hope you all had a lovely Halloween. Happy November 1st, dios de los muertos.     

Friday, October 29, 2021

The Spiders Are Prepping For Halloween

It is definitely spider season here and perfect for Halloween. Many of our neighbors have decorated their houses for the coming "knock-knock trick or treat" day, but we're leaving it up to the very reliable spiders to do the work for us. This is what our front-yard fence looks like.

We think this is spooky enough. What do you think?


Our favorite pumpkin in the neighborhood