Beach Creatures


Some creatures remain calm.


Some creatures expertly photobomb. (Actually, I think this was a happy accident.)


Some day-camp with gusto.


Worn out from photobombing, this one flat out enjoys the sky.


Some give their kid a big sandy belly.


Others race the waves.


The wisest beach creatures follow up with ice cream. McConnell’s is amazing!

It was breezy and the ice cream was fresh.  We took our cones outside and they started dripping like crazy.  We sat at an outside table and Kitty’s ice cream just flowed over her hand onto the concrete below us.  She’d managed to avoid getting it too much on herself, when she decided to pour the last little bit out of the cone into her spoon.

The little ice cream dam inside broke and fluid ice cream splooshed out of the cone, bounced off the spoon and splattered all over her new purse and pants.  We laughed so hard!  I’d be about ready to stop laughing and then the image replayed itself in my mind and I’d start up again.

A couple who were also enjoying McConnell’s stopped to ask us what was so funny.  We just gasped, trying to tell them.  They had their sweet cocker spaniels lick up the ice cream for us.

Thank goodness McConnell’s has a nice, clean restroom!  (P.S., I see that they are expanding to Studio City soon. )

Shots are all from the lovely Saturday Kitty and I spent exploring the Seaward Village/ San Buenaventura State Beach area of Ventura, CA and beyond.


You Say Pea-Roo, I Say Pie-Roo


Looking down the valley over a Thoroughbred horse ranch. Lots of agriculture up here.


Old homestead along the road to Lake Piru.


Southern Californians tend to get a little overexcited about patches of green like this.


The lake itself. Water levels are still low.


Roadside memorial.


With faulting like this, it’s no wonder this area has seen some earthquake activity! Wouldn’t like to live below the Santa Felicia dam.

According to Wikipedia, the Piru in Piru Canyon, used to be pronounced differently than it is today.  Now it’s the rather awkward, American-ized “Pie-Roo.”

Whatever you call it, this rich agricultural valley off the 126 in Ventura County is beautiful.  Especially on a day like Saturday when it was all greened up from recent rains.

Waiting for El Niño


Click on the images for individual captions.

You can see signs of preparation for El Niño all around Southern California.  They’ve put new K rails along the sides of the freeways where rocks are likely to fall from cutaway hills. You can pick up empty sandbags at fire stations, and our HOA bought a pile of sand for us to fill them with.  Local cities are providing sand for their residents, too.

Our HOA also re-graded the fire road around our neighborhood so that it angles water away from our homes, and added fill dirt to places that were starting to erode. Unfortunately, it looks like the first couple of rains washed away a lot of the fill dirt.  There are some little channels out there that look like they could spell trouble.


Our personal effort to avoid complications involved having this wall built to stall further erosion of the slope between our house and our upslope neighbor.  Fingers crossed that it does the trick!


Wild Things


Celebrated  Treacy’s and my birthdays at the writing group on the 11th.  Have been having too much fun (and work) to post about it. This is my fabulous writing group, plus Kitty (Joan/Mom) on the left. Time to stop using the nicknames, maybe?  Proud of my writing pals, Carla Tomaso, Treacy Colbert, Shari Hearn and Sheila Traviss.

Meetings are always full of writing, reading, and a little food and drink. I’m so lucky to share the ride with this talented, inspiring bunch!


So I said, “Everybody do something silly!”  Some of us got the memo. :)


Pretty Porto’s


The big day isn’t until tomorrow, but we were in the vicinity of Porto’s Burbank to pic up the car from the shop today and, well… The celebration started at lunch.  We thought nothing could be better than the Pina Colada cake  on the right, but the Mango Mousse cake’s tart/sweet combo won us over.  Perfection!


Kitty and me, enjoying the metropolitan feel of the bustling Porto’s lunch crowd.  Feels like a little bit of Manhattan somehow.  It’s amazing how they handle so many people coming for pick up and dine-in, sandwiches, salads, amazing baked goods.

Brought home dulce de leche and raspberry kisses and a guava strudel.  Mmmmm.

Oh, David.


David Bowie started changing the world with his Ziggy Stardust persona before my life was in the double digits. His impact was vast. His work and our embracing of it gave artists permission they had never had before.

His influence went beyond music. From my p.o.v., he ushered in the androgynous movement that made it fun and edgy–not a secret, not a crime–for anyone to dress up glam and be a little outrageous. He helped make a place for a lot of dear people who didn’t have a place before. I saw some of his influence in Austin Young’s TBD The Musical this past weekend at MOAH.

He was one of the artists I followed, buying his albums as they were released when I was in my teens and twenties. I listened to them over and over  back when that meant being in my room with my record player. Young Americans. Station to Station.

He created with fierceness and exquisite vulnerability. He celebrated the paradox of personality…so much exists in us, un-mined.  He dug for it all.

If you need proof, brace yourself for this video.   Lazarus by David Bowie

The lyrics on their own seem almost hopeful. The images admit how damned hard it is to go, what a demon cancer is.

Thanks, David.