Almost Heaven, West Ventura


Some of us get to live like this for a few days at a time, a few times a year. Great weekend with Songmakers playing music and sharing laughs.


Looking up from where I sat in the song circle on Sunday morning. Bliss!


Our friend EMill and Hydra listening to DGill play and sing “The Great Mandella.”

Sally Apple

Yours truly, earilier in the weekend, showing off my snack apple. Doing my wagonmaster duties.  Fun times!

Thanks for taking this photo, Christine Rock Weber!!

Going Up? Vintage Otis Birdcage Elevator.


Encountered this lovely old elevator on the grounds of an antiques shop in Littlerock. If our yard and budget were big enough, this would be mine. It would make a great little gazebo.

No, that’s not a creative frame, that’s the lens cover on my damaged Lumix not opening all the way. And since it was so very bright out, I couldn’t see the LED screen well enough to know. (Note to self: always carry the DSLR!)P1020335

Standing inside. Magical. Imagine all the rides people took in this. Feels like a hotel elevator for some reason.  The carpet looked motel-ish.


Back when you needed the elevator operator to allign the cage with the floor!  Patented in 1897!

Here’s a video that shows a similar type of bird cage style elevator in action.  Hydra and I used one like this in a hotel in San Francisco years ago. The hotel is, sadly, no more.

There is also a nice shot of the elevator in the Bradbury Building in downtown Los Angeles, CA in action, starting aroudn 1:20 in this video.


Detail of the Greek key design on the outside.

Drastic Park


Not to be out done by cousins Michael and Pat–who recently returned from an AMAZING photo-safari in Africa with amazing shots–Hydra and I had our own little adventure in Littlerock, CA.

We saw giraffes!

P1020358And crocodiles!


Like them, we had a lion encounter.


And saw something like a water buffalo.


And something like… Something like an elephant.


And a distant relative of Dodger’s…Uncle T!

Things were going great!


Until suddenly they weren’t!

Sky Sights – Sun Halo and ZigZag Contrail


Hydra called me out to see the sun halo above our back yard in Acton, CA today. Always impressive.  Very large.

My DSLR wouldn’t take the shot and I wasn’t sure how to adjust it to make it happen, so this was taken with my crippled Lumix. No viewfinder, natch. Squint, point and shoot!


It reminded me that I took this shot from the 14 freeway on our way home from Bakersfield last Wednesday (April 1.) Pretty wild contrail or chemtrail, huh?

Can you see the slightly smaller one to the right of the frame?


A slightly earlier view.  There’s probably a very good explanation for this. It’s very near Edward Airforce Base and China Lake, and the experimental airial stuff that’s going on in Palmdale and Mojave.

I have no conspiracy theories to offer, I just like these things.

How Lent Went


I made a vow on Facebook not to log onto the Internet before I start work on weekdays. I said I’d do it for a week.

Then a friend said “Why not do it for lent?” because it happened to be the day before it was supposed to start.

I’ve never observed lent before, but it sounded like a good challenge. The time frame seemed long enough to form a habit.

It was an amazingly successful experiment!

Since I started working from home full time last year, I almost always checked my work email first thing in the morning to get a feel for how busy the day ahead would be. Too often, I decided to start work early and my writing time slipped away.

It was a little hard the first few days, but my mindset shifted pretty rapidly to being excited to get up and write again. I usually wake at 6 a.m., but I don’t start work until 8 o’clock.

I even began to feel a sense of anticipation about finally getting to check my work email. EH?

Structure is important to my creative life, I guess. Some mornings I used the time to draw, and occasionally to critique my sister’s novel-in-progress. (We exchange writing. She’s a wonderful critiquer.) I did get online briefly to use a thesaurus once, but that seems like fair use. No dawdling or goofing around, though!

I think this habit is going to stick!

Colors of Mexico


Feast your eyes on these gorgeous napkins my mother/Kitty/Joan imported from Mexico for me!

Wowsa, they are going to look amazing on the tablecloth I bought in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca a couple of years ago.

I love them!

Thanks for packing them from airport to airport all the way to Indiana, then mailing them to me in Southern California!