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What's Up With Me

Hello Dear Gentle Readers, I haven't been on vacation.  I wish, though. I'm not sick. Knock on wood. The mama and the husband are doing well. Thanks for wondering. I've been blogging less because I'm not very good anymore at writing for work and writing for fun at the same time. I'm working on revisions for some career books over the next two years. If only blogging could pay the bills. So, alas, I'm down to blogging at least once a week—on Thursdays. Take 25 to Hollister As some of you know, I also do a blog about my home town. Take 25 to Hollister , for those of you who haven't seen it. I've stopped writing posts for that blog, too. But, not photos. Not just yet. I've challenged myself to post a photo every day. I'm up to day 61. We'll see how long I can go. Another Book Reading Challenge Really? Yes. Call me nuts. Many already have and do. This one is the annual Cozy Mystery Challenge . This will be second year. I couldn't resist. Cozy

Winter's End

There have been years where I've missed spring completely. I often started writing projects in late autumn or early winter that would have summer deadlines. I left the house mostly to go grocery shopping, run errands, and attend engagements. Not until May would I realize that I did it again. No spring. Sigh. The month of March is one of my favorite months. To me, March is the essence of spring. Plants giggle "Hello" as they pop up through the ground. Trees sing with blossoms and new leaves. California poppies, blue larkspurs, and other crazily colorful wildflowers smile above expansive fields of grass. The yellow mustard laughs through the orchards. The hillsides shout green, green, green. It was easy for me to forget when I lived in city settings with miles of concrete and canyons of buildings. And, as my freelance career took off, the rides and walks into nature became far and few. It's much differently now since the husband and I have moved to the town where I grew

The Vow

Today's letter is V . For more V posts, please click here . "When I'm gone, you take care of your mother," the daddy suddenly said to me one evening. He did not wait for my response. He knew I would promise. I was in my late 20s. At the time, the mama and I still clashed, mostly about what my life should be. At the time, I really didn't think I could ever live with her again. Several days was about all I could handle being around her. Thirty years later, the husband and I have been living with the Mama for over seven years now.  It took at least the first four years for each of us to get the hang of starting to live together. That's life.  Nothing wrong with that. The almost 90-year old Mama has slowed down. But only some. When she gets it in her head that she wants something done, she wants it done pronto, and she wants to do it by herself. Usually, she comes up with these projects while we're away.  For instance, one morning she asked that we help

United We Stand

Today's letter is U . For more U posts, please click here . This message is strong in my head and heart today. So, I shall leave it to Aesop and the Brotherhood of Man to deliver it.  The Four Oxen and the Lion by Aesop translated by George Fyler Townsend ( Public Domain Translation of Aesop's Fables Selections) A Lion used to prowl about a field in which Four Oxen used to dwell. Many a time he tried to attack them; but whenever he came near they turned their tails to one another, so that whichever way he approached them he was met by the horns of one of them. At last, however, they fell a-quarrelling among themselves, and each went off to pasture alone in a separate corner of the field. Then the Lion attacked them one by one and soon made an end of all four. United we stand, divided we fall.  

29 Years Ago

The Daddy, mid-1970s. My favorite photo of him. Twenty-nine years ago on this day, the Daddy died from a heart attack. He was 76 years old. Maybe he didn't pick how or where he died, but I think he was happy it wasn't at home where the Mama would've come home to find him after a long, tiring day at work. He was always protective of her. That day the Daddy decided to go to lunch at the senior center with his good friend Danny, one of the godfathers of mine. The Daddy hadn't been there for quite a long while. He hadn't been feeling well, but those last three days, I was told, he'd been going strong, visiting, babysitting, doing so many of the things he liked to do. So, there he was sitting at the lunch table. He was bending down for a spoon on the floor, I was told. He was there longer than he should have been.  "Hey, 'Pare (short for compadre), what you doing down there?" called a friend. Then, a scramble to get help for the Daddy. That was it. Whil

T is for the 23rd

Today's letter is T . For more T posts, please click here . As some of you dear readers know, on the 23rd of each month, the husband and I run away from home and office to become tourists, adventurers, and slackers for the moment. For February's special date, we headed over to Point Lobos State Natural Reserve on the Monterey Peninsula, just south of Carmel by the Sea. Neither of us had ever been there. We saw quite a lot in the two short hikes that we did.  I took 90 photos, more or less. No, no. Don't groan or gasp. I'm not going to post them all. Only a few. Just to tease you. If you ever make it to Monterey, you'll have to go see Pt. Lobos for yourself. It's well worth it. Pt. Lobos was established to protect the Monterey Cypress trees. Pt. Lobos is one of the only two cypress tree reserves in the world. See how flat they get. The husband says it's because of the wind. This little fellow sat patiently for his photo to be taken. It wasn't till

The Irresistibly Sweet Award

Alice Audrey gave me that award up there. It was unexpected, and very sweet of her. Thank you, Alice! So, now it's my turn to play it forward. The Rules: List 4 Guilty Pleasures Reading the afternoon (or evening) away Buying a mocha latte from Vertigo Cafe Watching yet another movie made from a Jane Austen book Taking a nap  Reward other bloggers Carmen's Chronicles JDaniel4's Mom Quicky Pickings Widdershins World Irresistibly Sweethearts, check out sweet Alice's post , if you're not sure about how to handle these blog awards. It surely turned on a light for me.