Wednesday, December 21, 2022

The Earth Gave Us Something To Write About

It's never what we expect to have happen even though we know it is inevitable and will happen. We live in earthquake country. There are so many fault lines that run through Humboldt County it would be crazy to not simply expect it. And yet when it happens it always comes as a shock. 

 We were jolted awake at 2:34 am on December 20th, in the dark of night. The house started to shake and shake, rumble and rattle. We heard things falling. We didn't move until it stopped. It was a very big earthquake. The power went out. We were completely in the dark, but because we plan ahead for this chaos, we both have flashlights on our night-tables. So we could look around and see what needed attention. We never really went back to sleep after that. We tossed and turned waiting for the aftershocks. Around 5:00 am Roger went and turned on the generator, brought in all the extension cords and hooked up our refrigerator so that our food would be okay during the outage. He ran the cords so we had electricity in the bedroom and office. For a short time our internet connection was still running. We read online that it was a 6.4 earthquake with the epicenter about 35 miles south of us. Then the internet service provider lost power.  

 With our generator running we were able to make our tea and toast and have a quiet breakfast. It was going to be a very long cold gray day without power. We cleaned up the broken teapot from my grandmother's collection that had fallen to the floor in the kitchen. It was the only thing that broke. We picked up all the stuff that had fallen off the fireplace mantle. We picked up the stuff all over the floor in the living room that had fallen off the top of the bookcase. The house was a bit of an earthquake mess. 

We were without power until after 8:00 pm. It was such a relief to see our blinking clocks and hear our beeping phones. It had been such a  long day of worry. 

Wednesday morning all was well. We felt calm and relieved. And then this happened.

We were sitting at the table enjoying breakfast when the earth gave us a little aftershock. The little rumble didn't last long, but it reminded us that we live in earthquake county here. There was a very interesting article in the San Francisco Chronicle about all the fault lines here. I'm hoping you'll be able to read it.

One last funny thing about this earthquake. After all of the earthquake preparedness we've done, the practice for when that quake is happening... we didn't do a single thing. We didn't get to the foot of the bed and cover our heads with pillows. We didn't hide under a table. We didn't stand in a doorway. We didn't do a thing but hold each other.

As I type this all is well. We hope it stays that way, and that this will really be our last post until the new year. Wish us luck.

Happy Holidays, friends!

Monday, November 28, 2022

Taking A Break

We've been walking past this pumpkin since Halloween. Whenever we walk by I think, this is our future, pumpkins just do it much faster than we do. It's an interesting view. 

Roger and I have been blogging here for 18 years. We love sharing our views of the world. For now we're going to take a break. Unless something truly stunning, amazing, spectacular, unusual, profound, or utterly mind-boggingly unique happens... we'll see you in 2023.  We'll keep reading your blogs and commenting. So we hope you'll keep at it, friends.

Have a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year! Thank you for stopping by.


Monday, November 21, 2022

Something We Never Thought We'd Ever Buy

Roger just placed an order online to have delivered to our house... a container of Fox Urine. Seriously. We ordered some fox pee. LOL! It's true. Here's why. 

Remember these cute furry critters that were living under our tool shed? Well they decided to move into a larger more spacious habitat...under our house. We are willing to put up with a lot of stuff to accommodate wildlife, but skunks living under our house does not fall into that category at all. I was talking with my twin brother about the skunks, and he told me that he had heard that people use Fox Urine to deter skunks.

Is that a real thing, we wondered? Why yes it is. Hardware stores carry it and even Amazon has it. So, our order of Fox Urine is on its way. 

We hope it will work and the skunks will move on to a fox-pee-free environment. We'll keep you posted.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Prepping For The Holidays

For now prepping for the holidays means, "Should I get the latest Covid vaccine booster shot?" I've been thinking about it and thinking about it. Should I? Roger got his last week and was fine. But he was fine after all of his shots and boosters. I, on the other hand, get side effects that are a bummer. So, I wait, wonder, and worry. I just saw a headline in the San Francisco Chronicle that said Covid, Flu, and RSV spikes are straining hospitals, and it's hitting youngest children. It's holiday season and lots families are going to gather with children. We're expecting some young ones here in a few days. So, I'm wondering and worrying. Are you all fully boosted with the latest shots for the latest variants? How did you do?


Not much else going on here. It's been sunny warm blue sky days. We've been out doing our one-mile walk around the neighborhood saying hello to all the doggies, kitty cats, and humans we cross paths with.  There was a bit of a drizzly rain one evening at sunset and there was a sunset double rainbow. If you click on the pic and look at the lower left of the rainbow, you can see it as it reaches down through blue sky and white clouds. I loved that.

Oh one last thing I just remembered that I wanted to share here. I'm typing this post on my old MacBook Pro. My two-year old MacBook Air's battery decided that it didn't need to stay charged. The battery would drain down even though laptop was plugged in with the Power Adapter cord. This was quite annoying. So, I had a "chat" with an Apple Tech person who gave me some useful advice. I tried it. It worked for one day. The battery started to go down again. So, I chatted again with someone who said, "We'll send you a box for you to send the laptop back to us." So now I'm waiting for a box to arrive in a few days. In the mean time I am typing using a much older laptop that works just fine. Do you ever have problems with your computers? I'd love to know.

Hope all is well for you in your neck of the woods. Thank you for stopping by.

Friday, November 11, 2022

A Sweet Old Friendship

I heard from a dear sweet friend who I've known since our high school days more than 50 years ago. We don't get so see each other, and haven't for decades, but we keep in touch. She wrote to make sure Roger and I were okay because we hadn't posted on the blog in a while. She asked if I had been going out and looking at the sky.  Is there anything more loving and kind than having a friend of the heart from so long ago read our blog and worry when too much time goes between posts. I replied that we're okay and that life isn't very interesting and certainly not interesting enough to post about. I did send her two photos of recent sunrises here. 

So, with loving gratitude to Susanne a truly dear friend, here are the two sunrise photos I sent her. 

We're okay here, relieved by most, but not all of the election results and truly just glad that it's all over. We balance the times we are living in with the beauty of our planet, sweet friendships, the wonderful blogger world, and wine with dinner.

We hope all is well for you, dear friends. We thank you so much for stopping by.


Monday, October 31, 2022

All I Do These Days


 We haven't been out walking much, and when we do go for walks it is just our little neighborhood one-mile loop. So, not many opportunities for sights to photograph and share here. The morning sunrises and evening sunsets are what call me out almost everyday. I did a screen shot of the photos I have downloaded from the iPhone to my computer. I didn't even open each photo to take a look, to admire its beauty, to think about a little tweaking to bring out all that I saw. This is just what is downloaded on to my computer in Photos.

That's life these days. I am so grateful for the beauty of our skies. I'm not going to mention politics and the utter insanity going on in the United States and everywhere else. I'm going to just run outside and look at the sky and hope for the best.

Monday, October 24, 2022

Halloween Webs

Our neighbors are gearing up for the coming Halloween fun. There are so many skeletons, ghosts, and spider webs everywhere.


These are just a few views on our little street. There are lots of other sticky, webby looking things all over town. Are you seeing lots of webby decorations where you live, or is it more smiling pumpkins and wicked witches on broomsticks?

We leave our Halloween decorations up to the real spiders here.

We think they do a great job decorating the fence. I would have liked if they had filled in that one space with a web, but I know they're doing the best they can. They are so reliably creative this time of the year. I do find their webs interesting. Have you ever seen them shaped like this? We think they look pretty ghostly.

I just hope we don't see any "real" ghosts here. So far we've been lucky, but you never know... BOO!

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

At Long Last...

 ... a beautiful sunrise. But before I show you that, I want to show you what the sky has looked like here for weeks.

That ball of light in the gray sky is the sun even though it looks like the moon. That was at 8:30 in the morning on October 13. That's what Humboldt County coastal fog looks like. Bleak hardly describes it. 

Then I opened the shades Tuesday morning at 7:30 and saw this. The sun had not yet risen above the coastal range, but there were those beautiful crepuscular rays and that wonderful color of sunlit orange clouds. I ran for the camera and shouted my gratitude to the universe.

A short while later the sky was a bit darker but still looked like it was lit by fire. There was even a gull flying by high in the sky in the morning light.  

We had blue skies all day on Tuesday. That may not seem like anything to write a whole post about, but after weeks of that gray, this was the best way to start the day. 


Monday, October 17, 2022

Our Anniversary Post


It was thirty years ago today
These two decided it was time to say
That they’d been in love for a while
And now they were going to say “I do” and smile
So may I introduce to you
The bloggers you’ve known for all these years…
Robin and Roger of the New Dharma Bums
Celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary.

 I hope you're singing Sgt Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club band when you read this post.  Here we were 30 years ago standing in the back yard in Capitola in our wedding clothes. We were such bare-footed goofballs. This can't really be called a wedding. It was a marriage ceremony tying two souls together who had fallen in love and helped mend each other's broken hearts. We're still goofballs and we're still in love.

If you'd like to read the longer story of our October 17th earthquake of love, here's a link to the post I wrote on the blog in 2005. If you haven't read it before, I hope you'll go and take a look. 

Friday, October 07, 2022

Random Photos For Friday

 Blogger wouldn't let me post this late yesterday for this morning's Friday post. So here it is, a little bit late, but still Friday!

Just when I was thinking that I had absolutely nothing to post here because of the days and days of bleak, gray, relentlessly boring weather... like this sky on Thursday morning...

 .... a few hours later the sky showed me this, and it made me so happy. 

Not just a heart, but an iridescent heart. I shouted out my gratitude to the universe. 

We went for a walk and had a good laugh too.

Oh yes, peace, brother, peace!

There were some creepy things too.

That hand looks so real. I hope no one in our neighborhood is missing one.

Monday, October 03, 2022

Spider Season

I looked at the tree behind our house and saw that it was covered in spider webs. I was so surprised to see this many. I thought I should check if there is such a thing as spider season in California. Interestingly, I found that September is truly the time for a lot of spider activity.

We went for our little neighborhood walk and saw this.

 Those spiders are definitely busy these days. We have noticed a lot of webs everywhere. 


In fact, I happened to walk into one when I went out to photograph these mushrooms popping up in our yard. I did not like all the sticky webby stuff on me, but I was really relieved that there wasn't a spider crawling on me... at least I didn't find one.

So, when I went out to check on the webs in the big tree on Sunday morning I found that they were gone, all of them. Not a single web was left in that tree. I have to believe that the spiders checked the calendar, saw that it was October and said, "We're out of here." And just like that, spider season was over.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

When A Tree Looks Back

My twin brother was waiting in a parking lot the other day. He took a look around and noticed that this tree was looking back at him. It's the bark of a Eucalyptus tree.

I hope you'll click on the pic to get a look at that eye. You see it, don't you? It sees you too!

Monday, September 26, 2022

Just Waving Hello

 It's been pretty quiet here lately. So we thought we'd just wave hello and say how much we appreciate  you stopping by.

We noticed this charming skeletal chap when we were out on one of our walks. He waved at us like all of our neighbors do. Yes, we waved back. Wouldn't you? Such a nice friendly neighborhood. Now you know why we love it here.

Hope all is well for you, we're waving hello!

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Two Days of Sky

I don't think I've ever seen so many different kinds of clouds or atmospheric optics all over the sky as I have these past two days. It's been a whirlwind of beauty in every direction. So I thought I'd share a bit of that here. 

Crepuscular rays just before sunset looking west

Anti-crepuscular rays looking east

A hint of iridescence
So many different kinds of clouds in one moment

Sky full of Undulatus in the morning


And then the sky did this Tuesday evening!

Two days of sky full of beauty.

Monday, September 19, 2022

A Very Weird Sunday

Sunday is our usual shopping day. We head out to the co-op at 9:00 am to buy our groceries and most importantly (because I am a bread-a-holic) two very fine loaves of locally made bread, a sliced Whole Wheat Bread and a Levain with Walnuts (yum!). 

So, we arrived at the co-op, got the bread into the cart, and then pulled out the shopping list to get the rest of what we needed. Headed over to the dairy section and discovered it was almost empty. There were very few containers of the milk we usually get and the ones that were there were one day away from their "Best Buy" date. That's never happened before. Then we went to get tahini so I could make some yummy homemade hummus. Uh-oh there was no tahini. Not a single jar. That's crazy. So, we did the rest of our shopping there and headed over to the local Safeway to see if they had milk and tahini. NOPE! No organic milk, no tahini at all. How is that possible? So, we went to the other little fine food market in town. Whew, they had two jars of tahini. Yes! I bought one. They had a few quarts of organic milk. Not nearly as many as usual there. It seems like our food supply chain has gotten very disrupted, and we have no idea why. It is quite unsettling because you know... we literally live on food. LOL. Are you noticing anything like this where you live?

In other news on Sunday we got some much-needed rain here. Not a lot, but enough to water the garden a bit and dampen the forests to lower the fire dangers of the season. It's unusual for us to have rain in September, but it was quite welcomed and with gratitude for no accompanying lightning. 

We haven't seen the skunks since that first night we saw them two weeks ago. We're sure  they must still be around, but not coming out at the times we might see them. We did see a very adorable young opossum in our compost bin. It was quite cute, and we were glad it had found some food. We're just hoping that it doesn't cross paths with the skunks in our yard. We've had those kinds of stinky encounters and really would prefer not to have another one. 

Oh I just remembered that I wanted to mention that a link to a blog that we have on our Blogs We Love To Read list disappeared on Sunday. Steve Reed's Shadows & Light no longer shows up in our list. The blog is still up and it is still listed in our settings, but on our blog links it's gone. How is that possible?

See what I mean? It was a very weird Sunday.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Almost Wordless Wednesday: You Can't Beet This

 We were out in the garden  cleaning up some of the grow beds and getting them ready for some new fall plantings. Roger was pulling the beets out, which we hardly ate any of this year. He pulled out one that was the biggest we'd ever seen.

Is that the biggest beet you've ever seen? We were so surprised. It's in the compost bin now, and it's going to make a lot of bugs very happy.

Monday, September 12, 2022

Recent Sky Views

It had been so long since I wanted to run outside with the camera to click a photo of the sky. For most of the summer it was foggy and then for a while it was just clear blue sky and sunshine. But lately, as the season of light changes, there have been views that called me out.

A sunrise on the morning of September 7th. Just happy to see that light and hint of crepuscular rays.
 And this sunrise on September 10 in a wildfire smoky sky. The sun looked like the moon.

This was an hour before sunset on the 10th, the sky had hints of crepuscular rays and the sun lit a few clouds with color.


Sunrise on the morning of September 11th. Still a bit of haze and smoke on the 21st anniversary of that tragic day. 

And then... an hour before sunset on the 11th, the sky filled with crepuscular rays again. Made me think of these lyrics from The Lost Words Blessings, "Look to the sky with care my love, And speak the things you see..."

Wednesday, September 07, 2022

On The Wall

I wanted to post this photo of the painting that Roger's daughter Indigo painted for him for his birthday. She has so many talents. She is a teacher, a farmer, a rider of horses, a dedicated mom, and a wonderful artist. 



Roger was going to make a frame for it, but realized that he didn't have the right type of wood for it. So, I found an old poster that we had never hung, but stashed away in a closet. I thought it was time to put Indigo's beautiful birthday painting on the wall, and luckily it fit right in. So, Roger put it over the old poster, and now it hangs out with our other favorite art and photos.

I call this photo "On The Wall" -- get it? LOL! (Please click on the pic so you can see the whole thing.)

Monday, September 05, 2022

They're Back!

 It had been a while since we'd seen our furry neighbors. We even forgot about them. Then they showed up in our yard Saturday evening about a half hour before sunset.

 There are two skunks in this photo. They were digging around and rolling around and playing with each other out there. They are really very cute as long as you stay out of their way. We hadn't heard them or seen them at all, so it surprised us to see a third one come out from under our shed. Wow. They're still shacking up under there. Well they have been very quiet and polite. No stinky stench from them at all. I thought  that the third one might have been an offspring and that these two were mom and dad, but my sister-in-law thought that these two are probably siblings and that the third one that came out was probably their mom. No surprise that they ignored her. 

I did a little online research about skunks and was so surprised to see how long these critters have been here on earth. Encyclopedia Britannica had this information on their website about them.

The oldest fossil identified as a skunk dates to 11–12 million years ago and was discovered in Germany. Genetic data indicate the family originated about 30–40 million years ago, with mammals that displayed skunk-like dentition dating back to the Late Cretaceous Epoch (some 100.5 million to 66 million years ago).

And here they are millions of years later digging up bugs to eat in our backyard. We're always glad to see them as long as they don't spray. They can be very stinky little things. The other downside to them as they are the biggest carriers of rabies these days. We definitely stay out of their way.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

We Love Good News

The post-colonoscopy report was excellent! We are so relieved and happy. The doctor was happy as well and told Roger that he won't need any future colonoscopies. Good news for an 80 year old geezer!

We'll be happy dancing and shouting our gratitude out to the universe for the peace this news brings. Now we can concentrate on the beauty of our little world.

The succulents in our garden are natural mandalas of peace. 

And the color of this rose just makes us happy for having enough free attention to see its beauty. 

And, of course, the piece de resistance, a wee bit of Coirvoisier. Ah tres bien, tres bien. 

Monday, August 29, 2022

It's Prepping Day

  Today is the day that Roger begins his prep for a colonoscopy on Tuesday. 

For those of you who have never had a colonoscopy, let's just say that this is not a fun day at all. It's a crappy day to say the least. But he's done it before, and knows what to expect. Back in 2010 Roger's doc suggested to him that he have a colonoscopy. He'd never had one before so he complied. The bad news was colon cancer followed by the good news of a successful surgery. Roger wrote about it here two years ago on the 10th anniversary. 

So it's been five years since the last colonoscopy and he figured it was time. So today is the prep day. First thing he has to do is go to the hospital at 8:30 am for a pre-colonoscopy Covid test. We are so appreciative of their  diligence about that. After that nose swab he will come home to this. In the above photo you will see the Prep Kit. That's for Monday. The Ensure and BioK extra is for after the colonoscopy on Tuesday  to help restore nutrition and rebuild the flora of the colon. 

The Courvoisier is for a bit later in the day to help him smile and forget the whole experience. 

We'll keep you posted. And thank you for all the good wishes we know you'll be sending his way.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Fall Is Coming...

 .....and we are cleaning up the garden.

these are red runner bean plants on a trellis. they were on trial. which means that when i shopped for string bean seeds i saw those bright red flowers and was sold. well. the vines grew prolifically and flowered vigorously and stopped for a couple of weeks. then erupted into full on bean growing. 

but the string beans were kinda flat and got tough very quickly. also not at all amenable to harvesting ala lima beans. so we didn't eat very many beans but we did appreciate the bright red flowers. 

we feel the approach of fall so we cut the the beautiful flowers and not so tasty pods from the trellis.

we eat a lot of kale. this is one of 3 beds. we have 3 varieties. would you believe that kale is harder to give away than zucchini?
basil. flowering
we are getting to the last of the carrots.
potatoes grew here