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Showing posts with the label looking back

13 Memorable Jobs

1. Apricot cutter.  My first job. I was ten and I lasted three whole days before I got sick. When I got well, Mama and Daddy said I didn't have to go back. So, I didn't.

2. Babysitter. Once, I couldn't find a kid when we played hide-and-seek because he shimmied up a tree. That seven-year-old taught me to look up.

3. Newspaper columnist. I was paid 10 cents an inch to write a weekly high school column for the hometown newspaper. Even got a byline. A friend and I started the Baling Wire in our sophomore year,  and I went solo from the last half of my junior year to high school graduation.

4. Tutor. I took both paid and volunteer positions, mostly the latter.


5. Hand Pollinator. Every summer, Mama hired teenagers to hand pollinate cabbage, zucchini, cucumbers, pumpkins, corn, and other vegetables for her seed company. She finally hired me the year I graduated from high school. I actually liked the work.

6. Office Clerk.  I had several part-time jobs while going through col…

The Day I Was Born

1. In December is when I was born. "The doctor said you will be born on this day. And you were." The Mama told me, now and then, not necessarily on my birthday.

2. I was born on the Roman Catholic Church's feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, also known as Our Lady of Guadalupe.  The mother of Jesus was said to appear to a peasant named Juan Diego four times at Tepeyac, Mexico in the 16th century.

3. The same day Catholics were honoring Mary, Major Charles Yeager flew the fastest speed ever back then—about 1,650 miles per hour, a mere Mach 2.44. Shazam!


4. I was born nearly three years after Older Sister died on the same day that she was born. 

5. Mama was 32 years old when she gave birth to me. Daddy was 48 years old, and Older Brother was five years old.

6. On the day I was born, Frank Sinatra and Edward G. Robinson celebrated their birthday. So did Bob Barker, Connie Francis, and Dionne Warwick. Bill Nighy turned four on the day I came out of the womb.


7. I'm…

Musing x 13

1. Next month the U.S. Post Office will be selling forever stamps that celebrate Hip Hop. According to the USPS website, the sheet of stamps features rapping, break dancing, DJing, and graffiti art. I don't know what floors me more -- Hip Hop commemorative stamps or that the first kids into hip hop are now in their 40s and 50s?

2. Our local library has been closed since early March due to the coronavirus pandemic. This month, the librarians decided that we, patrons, can check out books online for pick up. The pick-up process today was easy-peasy, even though I forgot to bring my library card. Nine new books to entertain me. Yippieeee!


3. A few weeks ago, the Husband painted this headboard, full of delight and whimsy, perfect for the Banana Room, once known as the Shady Room. The banana plants look to be coming back, and the bamboo, gardenia, and wongo-wongo plants seem to relish their move there. I also replanted a camelia shrub by the headboard. Does that all sound subtr…

Imagining I'm There

"I want to be there," said the Husband.

Me, too.

The other day I was missing the sight of granite, miles and miles of exposed surface of batholith mountains. In particular, the Sierra Nevada mountain range. More specifically, Desolation Wilderness in the El Dorado National Forest, west of Lake Tahoe.


Every year, for nine years, the Late Great First Husband and I backpacked the Sierras. At least one trip was to our favorite spot, Pyramid Lake in Desolation Wilderness, above Horsetail Falls, off of Highway 50.

These photos are from my first backpacking trip up Horsetail Falls. The original prints were overexposed. Thankfully, I kept the pictures and was able to "clean" them up a bit in Photoshop.



Talk about following the First Husband with complete trust while carrying 25 pounds, more or less, of food, gear, and reading material on my back. I don't know what it's like today, but back then, once you got to the base of the falls, the way up and down the m…

A Tippy-Tapping 13

1.  Sweet Pea Song, my iMac, is 10 years old, more or less. Unfortunately for Sweet Pea Song and me there are few, if any, updates available for her system, as well as for the applications I use.

2.  She fooled her developers with their planned obsolescence. She continues to be a song of a sweet pea.

3.  Lately I've been tippy tapping on typewriters at garage sales and thrift shops. Will I buy one?

4.  Smith-Corona Coronet. That's the kind of portable blue electric typewriter on which I tippy-tapped during my 20s when I was into writing short stories. It gave out a comforting buzz that complimented the tip tip tip tap tap tip tip tap tap of the keys.


5.  I miss inserting paper into a typewriter, rolling up the paper, pushing the carriage back, hitting the space bar three times, and pressing the keys. Voila. Magic words on paper.

6.  Older Brother gave me the used typewriter in exchange for babysitting two-month-old Eldest Niece so her mom could go back to work. I knew nothing…

E as in Europe

1. My last name starts with the letter E. When I spell it to someone, I sometimes say "E as in Europe". I'm not trying to trick the person. That's simply what pops into my head.

2. I figure customer service people can spell Europe. Am I wrong to think that?

3. Mama pronounced the letter E as "A". That's how she learned it as a kid in the Philippines, a U.S. territory (then), which had been a Spanish colony in Mama's grandparents' time. "The old-timers spoke Spanish. They tried to teach me," said Mama. I wonder what Mama was interested in instead.


4. The silliness it was when Mama asked 12-year-old Susie to spell a word that has one or more letter E's. Oh my gosh! Let's suppose, Mama asks, "How do you spell Elephant?"
    "E-," I start.
    "What kind of E?" she asks.
    "E." I say.
    "E as in A. or E as in E."
    "E!"

5. Before I understood that she pronounced

13 Years Ago -- I Wouldn't Have Thought

Thirteen years ago, I would've replied "Nooo. Really?" should future me had reached into the time spectrum to tease me about my today. Never ever would I have thought 13 years ago that I would actually do these things.

One. Taking 15 years for us to move the Husband's parents' belongings from a rented storage locker to our garage.

Two.  Buying artist's and crafter's paints.


Three. Tending to all sorts of flowers on what was once Mama's lawn. 

Four. Mulling over the possibilities for curtains I'll sew for the bedroom, L Studio, and living room windows. 

Five. Interrupting a task to play Scrabble with the Husband, and knowing that I'll finish the task when we're done with the game. 


Six. Painting a mural.

Seven. Being told by a specialist that he can't straighten my leg. Crooked? That was news to me.

Eight. Receiving my social security benefits!


Nine. Being loved by Molly the Cat.

Ten. Meeting many kindred spirits through blogging. You all…

All is Well

Caw. Caw. Caw. Caw.

A flock of crows have been hanging around the neighborhood lately. I've watched some of them fly through the backyard, coming to rest on the tall, leafy skinny tree (possibly a birch) next door.

Caw. Caw. Caw. Caw.

I never paid attention to these birds until one Sunday afternoon in 1994. The First Husband and I lived in an apartment building on the northwest flank of Mt. Sutro in San Francisco. That afternoon I was home working while the First Husband was attending a powwow. While I was looking out the window, a crow landed on our balcony. I moved closer to the window. It didn't faze the crow. That crow and I gazed at each other for a long while. I felt the crow was assuring me all would be well with the First Husband who was diagnosed with cancer.

Until a few weeks before he died, I saw and heard crows often. There were afternoons where I'd see a crow circling above the trees near our carport. Same crow? Maybe. Hearing or seeing a crow mellowed out my…

Pedal to the Metal

Sewing machines, bicycles, and vehicles are the things that I like to push pedal to the metal. Here are 13 of my favorite ones from today to long ago.

Kenmore portable sewing machine. About a decade ago, good friend BB gave me her 1970s portable sewing machine when I was having a sewing fix and she was in a down-sizing mood. After a thorough tune-up, the machine was good to go. Vrrrroom, vrrrooom.

I'm going through another spurt (and probably last) of sewing. This morning I started sewing curtains for the upstairs hallway. Yup, that's them in "draft mode" in the above photo.

Eliza Do-a-lot. Some of you know about dear 25-year old Eliza.  She's a no-nonsense old lady's white sedan with hardly any blind spots. Eliza was Mama's last car. When Mama broke her hip in 1997, I started driving Eliza back and forth from El Cerrito where the Husband and I lived. By the time Mama felt confident to drive again, she needed to renew her license. She couldn't pass the…

13 Delightful D's for Me

Day's End.  That was how it looked yesterday at sunset. 

Disaster Rose.  What do you think of that for a protagonist's nickname?

David.  I've always liked that name. Solid, cheerful, thoughtful. Dave. Davey.  The Husband's surname means son of David. 


Debonair.  Cary Grant. George Clooney. The Husband. Humor is part of my definition of debonair.

Dig it.  Can you dig it? Hands, please, who said this once upon a time, with a straight face. I do like to dig in the yard, and I do a decent job of digging, I like to think.

Meet John Doe.   Recently the Husband and I watched Meet John Doe, a 1941 Frank Capra film starring Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck with Walter Brennan. Good trembles into arms of Evil so it may survive, but eventually Good realizes it is not Evil and scrambles back onto the path of light.

The name John Doe doesn't make sense to me. I understand that it refers to a male with an unknown identity. Shouldn't it be John Buck then?


Daisy.  So heart…