Monday, March 30, 2009

Roaming the Desert

Roamed about the Mohave desert on Sunday. The wind was so high that it was nearly impossible to stand up straight. A friend who now lives in the Central Valley but grew up in the desert told me that people who live in the desert can't leave their windows open at night. The wind blows desert dust in and one wakens with a mouth full of fine sand.

It is amazing that life finds a way in that arid place. The Spring wears a bit of the edge off the razor thin existence of survival that hangs between freezing winters and blistering summers. Numerous small grasses and flowers lay low to the ground. These are green, gold and red splashes of color growing next to the spinney Yucca, prickly sage brush and tumble weed. Hardy tiny flowers that add grace and color to the desert floor.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Floral Sunrise!

It's Friday. The day is just beginning and we (that's the royal we) can do anything because the weekend is standing in the doorway and strengthens us!

The office is a mess and not even Friday can make that go away. It is such a mess that will probably take eight hours of a Saturday to clean it up. That is sad and painful capitol to spend but not the end of the everything. I'll cling to Sunday for salvation of the mental health sort. The weather promises to be warm and sunny that day as well. Sunday will kiss the hurt better and carry my photo friend and I into the desert for an explore. We could not go last week end. Her domestic issues and a snow storm over the mountains conspired to put me in the car by myself. As it turned out, the brand of aloneness is familiar and also felt fine. It prompted me to take a peak at Porterville....cows, lake and agriculture. Always a sweet escape. The ablility to be comfortably alone was a gift bestowed by Wildwoods Retreat East. She is my muse and I shall be eternally gratefull to her.

Sunday is going to be hot ~ in the 80s, we will have to leave early. The anticipation of looking at the desert in the morning is its own delight. Hopefully we'll have an opportunity to photograph some windmill arrays while going over the mountains.

The 'possibilities' are the best part of the week end. So much of the work week is preordained sequence of events ~ a work place drama that swings between the pageant of life and death (the biological imperative), tempered by the mundane of administrative nonsense. Season all that with the interplay of family and staff dynamic / dysfunction (the human element) and it makes the draw of the week end an irresistible addiction.

One last thought for this lovely morning: March Maddnes continues. UNC is still in play. Tonight they face down Gonzaga. UNC all the way!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

rounding the corner...

Orange is definitely a theme developing the last few days. Orange groves, orange trees, oranges and now orange flowers. Spotted this one with its brethren out side on the walk way of a Black Angus Steakhouse. Met up with friends for dinner there (it was very tasty) and a discussion of books. The 'get-together' was the maiden voyage of a book club. Four women from completely different backgrounds with a common love of reading. A peaceful evening filled with laughter and conversation. Our ages span several decades: 30's through 60's (the later would be me). It was the stuff of my dreams while at Wildwoods Retreat. Not a bad way to end March!

Monday, March 23, 2009

The joy of Spring

Found this yesterday. I have no idea what kind of plant. It must be at least 12 feet tall. A tree? Perhaps a flowering shrub gone wild. Magnificent no matter what it is. Spring is a joy. It offers us so many spectacular gifts. With the passing of each day, I wonder how many more Springs are mine to savor? It was easier to be 30 and 40...I could not so acutely hear the air-stream of time. Most days I want to simply roam the earth and photograph the moments, paint them, write about each second. That man-made contraptions called time has a loud ticking sound. Do you hear it?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Taking the veil

Drove north today and found an orchard shrouded in a veil of netting. The morning was gray and rainy ~ the effect of the gauzy white over green and brown was dramatic. Stirred old boarding school memories of Dominican nuns at early morning prayers. I wonder if any of those nuns are still alive? Poet, add that about aging. Let me add, that wondering that does not feel grim. "It is what it is".


Saturday, March 21, 2009


I read a poet's blog today. He lists the signs of his aging. What a surprise to find this man is in his 40's. I thought surely...late 60s.

From my place on the planet, it seems to me that aging is a biological function rather that the reinforcement of habit in a vain attempt to control the chaos that is life. There is a comfort in predictable routine. Routine is our familiar that we don't even recognize as a familiar.. A poet may need that list of signs. A poet thinks about words and attaches them to experience with verbal musicality. Categorizing the signs of aging...perhaps a poem in the (the list making) may help free up mental space for more creative pursuits.

Aging does not have to be rigid, sometimes it is filled with routines, sometimes not. Routines help fend off the warriors that come to roost in our anxiety closets. The old Old have much to teach us about real aging. Those who learn to live to with laughter learn to better survive the perils of real aging.

I will have to ponder this a bit. It is a process that I have born witness to for decades. I have no photos of the aged. I can not take them from work ~ it would be a terrible violation of privacy. Thank-you Poet, you've given me something to sift through ~ a personal challenge to my own assumptions

Monday, March 16, 2009

Reality by spell checker:

My son in the far east has come up with a new definition of reality. The conversation came up while emailing each other about, of all things, "The Jetsons". He lamented the fact that life had not turned out the way it should have as evidenced by the fact that he still had to dress and feed himself. The animation, "The Jetsons", had promised us that we would have robots for all the tedium of being human. I told him Jetsons does not spell check so it can not be real. This was his reply: "Well if the spell check does not recognize Jetsons could it be that they are not real. You know I like this idea of spell check determining what is real or not. So Obama is not real also. Because to simply blame it on television is unfair because television never lies. I will prove it, on television I see stuff about America everyday, do I know America is real. Also I can see Star Wars everyday because I have it on DVD( DVDs are not real because mighty spell check says so but it says Star Wars is real so that is all that matters). Can you tell I am just being a bit nutty hehe well if you are reading this on the internet (Thank you for inventing it Al Gore) then it also must be real. So in summary to be real Television, Internet and Spell Check must all agree. "

So there you have it folks ~ a new test for reality ~ brought to you from Thailand via internet so it might be real (to verify spell check and watch the news for Thailand)....

Internet does not spell day is ruined.

PS: S.F.T.E ~ Obama spell checks on my computer....

Sunday, March 15, 2009

a new blog

Started a new blog tonight. "Nomad in California" ~ primarily for photographs rather than all the things I rant about while I process life...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Waiting ~

WAITING can be wonderful (sort of like sex but different)!

Okay, I know I've said this many times but in fact, it is almost Friday! My all time favorite day of the week! Celebrate! A joy that not even being on-call 24/7 is able to diminish. Where to on Sunday? Desert or mountains? Decisions, decisions?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

more from the moutains

Wonder if these are working roads or a pleasure roads? Not a soul around. Perhaps forest service...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday ~ let the battle begin

It's always an amazement to me that small delicate things survive a harsh environment. The little plant above lives it's life on the slope of a mountain where it must contend with freezing cold and snow as well blistering heat when the seasons change. It weathers on. So this bit of green is my inspiration for getting into work today. The market is horrid. The company I work for is struggling against the tide of falling prices and employees are worried about having a job. In some areas around us unemployment is at 25 and 35%. The worst it has been since the Depression. Still elders must be taken care of and so we will do just that. Another day....

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What a fabulous day! Perfect weather and a great visit to Maricopa and beyond to the south end of the Los Padres National Forest the small resort town of Pine Mountain Club. Had the pleasure of traveling with a friend who also likes to take photos. The entire trip was a joy. From one end of the day to the other, it has been lovely scenery and cheerful conversation. Of such simple pleasures happiness is made!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Failed Hard Drive :(

Tonight I found that all my old photos transferred to an external hard drive are gone. I am heart sick about this. Thank goodness a few of them are on this blog. So many photographic memories of New England ~ vanished.

After the winter rain...back yard is green. Who knew it was possible. It was completely barren. Ya, am on my way to get something to trim the stuff down a bit. Stop nagging.
The last post in the blog is very good:

Friday, March 6, 2009


Friday, glorius Friday. No matter what happens today it is the end of the work week and we all know we can begin to exhale.

It continues to rain here in the Central Valley. There is a small jungle growing in what was a barren back yard. I believe I am going to have to buy something to trim it down a bit ! how amazing to even be considering that possiblity.

This blogger's Mother is coming for a visit. This is a FIRST in many decades. Sign of the times. Wonder how many households will merge in the coming next few years? The Mother person is very conservative, and like my sister, quotes Republican pundits to me with some regularity. I am sitting somewhere else politically ~ probably more aptly described as some kind of a Libertarian. Am rather unhappy with big sloppy government no matter who is running the show. I think the country is in the grip of a suffocating myopia driven by the "entitled" (described as such by those who have not as much) and segment of supporters of the have nots. Will this odd group of opponents will be the demise of the middle class as we have known it? Ah well, keep your seat belts on while we search for a driver who has a well marked road map that may steers us away for financial disaster. From my shot gun position (that is one, who comments from the side lines is and is engaged in back seat driving) it appears that all roads currently lead to cliffs. Anyone out there who is not a lemming may want to re-listen to the options being put forward. Wonder if there is a driver with a loud voice (to be heard over the partisan noise) who cares less about regulation and more about allowing a free market economy to work. It will be painful no matter what. But we will come out of this with fewer impossible regulations. Okay a little more coffee and off to work.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Frettful Thursday

Past the hub and onto Thursday. Thursday, an nearly impossible day ~ from a work point of view. My coordinator will be flat out attempting to staff the week-end. Health care, unlike many sectors of the the work-a-day world, must be staffed 24/7. At this point in time, when most people assume that they get every week-end off, arranging just the opposite schedule is something of a nightmare. My staffing coordinator will probably be canonized someday ~ patron saint of the tenacious! Bless her.

There are several job interviews set up - people anxious to be employed. Kern County unemployment is one of the highest in the nation. Dozens of applicants for part-time four-hour-a-day positions. And wanna know what ~ I seriously need to pick the best of the best because I need these new care givers to attend to fragile, aged elders. This nation's fragile elders ~ an almost unseen, unacknowledged population.

There is an "at risk" meeting in the afternoon. This list is the source of much fretting that feeds the warriors who knock around in my anxiety closet. People at risk of falling, people who have too many medications, people who are losing too much weight, people whose pain is difficult to control and numerous other categories that make life painful and difficult for the patient and complex and challenging for the health care team. We capture these concerns, put it on paper, map out new plans and push ahead in attempt to improve the quality of care and life for patients who are mostly over the age of 85 and have complex chronic and acute health care concerns. Life does not slow down for the ill, aged person. Life does not give an inch for the health care workers assigned to care for them. Regulations don't bend for those who live and work in this health care environment. Thursday brings the entire stewing brew into fretful focus. I've been doing this in some form or other for decades now ~ it hasn't gotten easier. So perhaps practice does not always make perfect...practice may make the terrain more familiar... More coffee ~ then off to work.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Getting to Wednesday

It promises to be a fair weather day. That helps to get me out of the house and off to another day at the "office".

Am pondering things I've been reading on the blogs of Conservatives. Rush Limbaugh is the talk there these days. I belong to neither party but I have opinions of both. Rush as spokes person for the Republican Party is the kind of thing that drives so many of us way. He's not wrong about much but he always goes too far. I'm a clinical kinda gal so I think it's his history of substance abuse - what was it pain killers? Can't even remember now. His life or comments rarely register deeply with me. I can't listen to bluster. Obama lacks bluster. It will draw in millions. The Conservatives need one voice out there that does not rely on bluster ~ someone who understand public speaking to calm the fears of the public. Rush ignites fear and it will erode confidence. Hope they find one before the democracy built on a free capitalist economy disappears forever. Hence the photo - grasses ~ blowing in the breeze!

On that note...time to go to work.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Granite Road Guardians

This looks like a family to me...of course it old, that they pre-dated divorce
A sturdy comfort these witnesses to time.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

signs of life

These folks undoubtedly consulted with my mother ~ just to make sure th all the dangerous territory was covered. No wait a second...they left out Phoenix! (a mother's warning - post of 2/25/09).

that would be the story of my life!

I forgot to shoot the No Tresspassing sign ~ who were they expecting to dig w/o permission? Does Pacific Bell still there cell phone service out there????

Wonder how long it takes the fire department or other emergency squad to get to this sign?
What ever else you do ~ follow the directions...
If you would like a good laugh and have a romp down creativity lane you should visit this blog: the title is irreverent but the blog is a bit weird and very funny ~ you will LOL!

Early Sunday Morning - waiting for the paper

6 AM. Time to bring the paper in and learn what has happened in the world and locally in the past 24 hours. Sipping coffee helps ease the task of sorting through all the information. Late last night I read an article about housing in Bakersfield for some 20 years hence. The population is expected to double in these parts. The focus was chatter about verdant trails that would encourage people to walk to work. The person being quoted also said people would have smaller houses and smaller order to be green and energy efficient. That would be New England...Californians ~ don't know if it will sell. But what nagged at me was the lack of discussion about water...where is that coming from for all those new households? The area is in a draught. Agriculture is suffering from the lack of water. The Central Valley is in for a tough summer. Wonder if people are ready to watch their lawns turn brown? In ten or twenty years from now how is this problem going to be remedied? How will people feel about the choking smog? The current citizens resist recycling. It makes me think of the animated movie "Wall-e" ~ What is the future of the Central Valley with little water, bad air and 350,000 more people who rarely, if ever, recycle. Time for more coffee...