Monday, March 29, 2021

A Week Goes By

Not much going on here. Still living in quiet times. We did get to see a few things while we've been out going to dentist appointments and taking our neighborhood walks or just taking a peek at the sun...

After the dentist appointment, a short drive to the scenic overlook to see the harbor seals
and a cormorant hanging out with them

Out on our neighborhood walk we had a lovely moment with a cow who acknowledged our presence
Spring blossoms on our little suburban street

A 22 degree halo in a brief moment of wispy clouds

Maybe we'll have something to post next week. So far... nada, but I am laughing as I type this, so that's something to appreciate.

Hope you're all doing well, staying safe and healthy.

Monday, March 22, 2021

The Season of Yellow

Spring is such a beautiful yellow time of the year. Everywhere we look yellow blossoms are blooming everywhere. Here in our yard we are letting our garden kale go to flower and then to seed, with the hopes of planting our own homegrown seeds this year. One surprise was this beautiful Rufous Hummingbird on its 4000 mile journey from Mexico to Alaska stopping in our yard for some kale flower nectar. Yes! So glad to nourish this little guy on its way north. (I posted this photo on Facebook, so some of you may have already seen it.)

Out in the front yard the succulent is blooming yellow as well. I don't know if you'll remember what the owl patch looked like before we planted the succulent. 

The above photo is from April 2017. Here's what it looks like now out there. 

We are so happy about that! And the weather has been good enough for nice long walks. While we were out on Sunday we noticed the wild mustard growing turning the meadows into beautiful sprawling fields of yellow. 

We were able to take a close up look at the mustard blooming on the side of the road on our walk home. It really surprised me how much the flowers and leaves looked like our blooming kale. In fact, for a moment I wondered if it might be wild kale. So of course when we got home I googled around to see if mustard and kale are related. Oh boy are they ever!

I found this excellent article in Vox about mustard. Not only is it the origins of kale, but of brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage as well. What a wonderful eye-opening surprise that was. We are so thankful for this beautiful season of yellow. A delicious time of the year in every way!

Thursday, March 18, 2021

When There Are No New Memories

 We can only look back in time now. The old photos tell all the stories. I've been looking at them and remembering my mother, gone for three years now. For some reason I keep coming back to these two. 

My mom with my twin brother and my sister on the deck at Roger's old family beach house in Capitola. She so loved visiting with us there. I hold these images in my heart. My mom and the view she loved. This is how we remember her, loving this view, watching the dolphins and whales. 

The yahrzeit candle is burning.

Monday, March 15, 2021

A $771 Water Bill

in late january and the beginning of february it rained heavily for quite a few days. a lot of water on the sidewalks and running down the gutters. in the afternoon feb 2, as the rain abated we noticed water pouring out of the concrete box holding the water meter and into the gutter. i looked in the little opening where the meter reader checks the monthly numbers. muddy water right up to the top of the box. i removed the larger cement cover. the box was overflowing with water. we called the city office and reported the leak. “is it running down the street?" i was asked. “oh yeah” i replied. in 15 minutes there came a city truck and two water guys. they removed the concrete cover and pumped out the water. the significant leak was from our side of the meter and to our house and therefore our responsibility. they turned off the water. we learned how precious water is. no washing anything. no water for cooking. no water for flushing! 

our nice neighbor across the street was outside so i asked if he knew a good plumber. he told us that there is one who is a bit pricey but will definitely get there today. i called. the plumber came in about an hour. it took him more than two hours to repair the leak. he turned the water back on.

the fix. that is not a lot of room to work in.

i noted the meter reading and compared it to our latest pre-leak bill. OMG as we say on the inter tubes. we would have a whopper of a bill. it came.

bad enough for water usage. the sewer charge is related to water usage

we called the city and asked if there was any way to get a bit of a break. the very nice person i talked to emailed me a form to fill out and return with a copy of the fixit bill to show that we had taken care of it immediately. we returned the form and the bill within the hour. she also said that pending a possible adjustment we should pay the usual amount of our bill. we rounded up to $100 and paid. a few days later a city tech came by to check the meter to see if there was any leak. alas, we were out walking and didn't get to see him, but he noted a hose connection leak. oh no! i had failed to turn off the hose after watering out front, completely unrelated to the leak, but bad timing. another call from the city to notify us and an appointment, to make sure would be home, to check the numbers again. the water tech came and saw no more leak. good.

on march 12 late in the afternoon we got call from the city. they had reset our bill to what we normally pay this time of the  year. and we now had a five dollar credit which would show up on our next bill! a credit!!! we love Arcata.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

29 Years

It has been 29 years since my dad died, March 14, 1992. He was only 73 years old, younger than Roger is now. A yahrzeit candle is burning for him on the fireplace mantel. A ritual my siblings and I have followed for the past 28 years. Here is a photo of one year's loving remembrance altar to him. 

This is all we have, these memories, these photos, this ongoing love. 

In four days it will be the third anniversary of my mom's death. 

This year we've added something new to the altar, a Buddha statue. It'll be there for my mom too. Thanks to Tara for such a wonderful idea.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

When Virtual Paths Cross

I first wrote this blog post on February 28th. It was the post that I originally had planned for last Wednesday.  But that was when all the blogging issues had finally gotten the better of me. The timeline of blogging woes began on the day I learned about Lawrence Ferlinghetti's death. Ferlinghetti died in the night on February 22 and I read the news on the morning of the 23rd which sent me on an internet journey of nostalgia and shared grief. What I did not know was that that was also the day that Firefox, my web browser, updated their program. One of the new features was something called "Total Cookie Protection" which they describe this way: 

"Today we are pleased to announce Total Cookie Protection, a major privacy advance in Firefox built into ETP Strict Mode. Total Cookie Protection confines cookies to the site where they were created, which prevents tracking companies from using these cookies to track your browsing from site to site."

The impact that had my ability to stay logged in even on our own blog was crazy.  It showed some blogs I visit daily as not being safe. It showed some blogs that said that I had approved cookies at that site. It was chaos. I don't like my routines disrupted like this, not during a pandemic!! So, after two weeks of this craziness, I reloaded my entire hard-drive files from a backup dated February 13. And voila... everything was back to normal. It's likely I could have just reverted to the previous Firefox application without going fully nuclear, but I went nuclear instead. LOL! 

 Here's the blog post I had planned to post two weeks ago, in memory of Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

The best part of blogging is finding good, kindhearted, thoughtful people all around the world. We read the words of people on our beautiful blue planet. The ones who walk around in New Zealand or Australia. The ones who walk around Trafalgar Square or New York City. The ones who walk around in Florida or in Germany, Texas or North Carolina, Canada or Maine, California, Georgia, Washington, or Arizona. They tell us their stories. They enrich our lives. They remind us that we are all connected. 

On the day I read of Lawrence Ferlinghetti's passing I googled around trying to remember if I had taken my parents to hear him read at the University of Colorado in Boulder back in 1982. I remembered that I had taken them to hear someone, but I couldn't remember who (it was Gary Snyder). So I googled "Ferlinghetti Boulder." The second listing that came up was this blog post on a blog called The Daily Beat. I was blown away when I clicked the link. There was a photo of the poster of The Jack Kerouac Conference, the same poster that  we have had hanging in every living room for the past 39 years.  I read the post and was so delighted to find another fan of the Beat writers. I decided I had to email Rick Dale, the blogger. We have been corresponding ever since. It is truly the best part of this crazy interconnected world. Rick did a blog post about the first email I sent him. 

I was so grateful that our virtual paths had crossed. I hope you'll read his post. Thank you, Rick!


Monday, March 08, 2021


 I checked the skies early Sunday morning to see if there might be a nice sunrise. It was interesting out there, so I thought I'd go out with the camera and see if might even get better.

I liked the hints of crepuscular rays and the beginning of cloud shadows. Then the early morning quiet was interrupted by gun shots. Seriously. Bang bang bang. Someone was out by the slough behind our neighbors' houses across the street hunting. Bang bang. I was so surprised and so were the hundreds of geese back there.
They took off honking and honking, almost as loud as the bang bang from the guns. Quite a surprise at 6:30 am. 

But what was even more of a surprise was that I felt well enough to head out there. I got my first Covid vaccine shot on Friday, and on Saturday I felt a little bit crummy, headache, chills, exhausted. Sunday morning I felt a little bit better. It didn't last, but I did get to go out and get greeted by guns and geese.


Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Almost Wordless Wednesday

I had a blog post planned for today, but for some reason I can't get it to publish. It says it is published even when it is not. Mmm? I've been having some issues with blogger, and I'm not quite sure how to resolve them. Even when I'm logged into blogger, it doesn't show me logged here on Dharma Bums or any other blogger site. When I go to leave a comment on other blogs, it doesn't show me logged it, it just says Google Account, but when I hit publish it shows my name. This has been happening for several days now. I'm learning that it has something to do with Cross-site cookies, which I had never heard of before this. Are any of you having similar problems? 

So, instead of the post I had planned, I'm going to show you the beautiful corona we saw on Monday. The skies have been a deep blue with lovely cloud formations. And for a very short time it showed us this Corona. I was so happy about that. So, I'm sharing it with  you. And for some reason, this blog post published. Mmm?

Monday, March 01, 2021

Egret and Cows


The egret was hanging out with the cows, although the cows were not interested at all. The egret didn't mind. It stayed and hunted while the cows mooed and chewed their time away.

News on the vaccine here, Roger got his second shot on Saturday. We were so happy he was able to get that done. I, on the other hand, have not even gotten my first. Not sure when the county is going to start doing the 65+ population, but it should be soon. They are still in the 70+ tier, but 5000 doses are arriving this week, so maybe I'll be lucky to get jabbed in my arm and start to feel safe again. 

We hope you are all doing well and staying safe and healthy.