Category Archives: My Life

Stop Looking At Closed Doors

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”-Helen Keller

This has been true in my life and maybe in yours too. We can get stuck looking at that closed door.  Better to seek out the open ones that are still waiting for us.


One Liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Featured image of Door by Tama66 on Pixabay.com

The Flat

“In life, a person will come and go from many homes. We may leave a house, a town, a room, but that does not mean those places leave us. Once entered, we never entirely depart the homes we make for ourselves in the world. They follow us, like shadows, until we come upon them again, waiting for us in the mist.”
Ari Berk

The last flat¹ we lived in in San Francisco had a little room off the kitchen where there was a sink with a window over it, and there were counters and shelves on each side of the sink. I thought of it as a pantry but it was probably more like a scullery, “since the scullery was the room with running water, it had a sink…”². Scullery³ sounds like a place to store sculls, catacombs. There were no skulls in our pantry.

800px-DJJ_1_Catacombes_de_Paris by djtox on Wikipedia.

Catacombs of Paris by Djtox

The kitchen had a built in breakfast nook with a vinyl covered U-shaped banquette, like a booth in a diner. My mother loved the nook. Flats are like large apartments. Ours had a kitchen, den, two bedrooms, living room, 1¼ bath. I say ¼ bath because there was a small room in the hall with a second toilet. The rooms of the flat were bigger than a typical modern apartment in the US. Our flat was on the top floor. You had to walk up a flight of stairs to get to the front door and another flight once you got inside. My mother did not lock the front door. You were not afraid living in The City in those days. Flats seem more like homes than apartments.

10754345204_a0846b68e7_zThe Mission District by Ken Lund on Flickr

Mission District by Ken Lund

This (above) looks something like the flat we lived in, only nicer. Below image is not too far from my old neighborhood.

800px-CastroAnd20thStreetInSanFranciscosCastroDistrict via wikimedia

2oth and Castro Street


footnotes:

1.flat: A set of rooms forming an individual residence, typically on one floor and within a larger building containing a number of such residences.-Oxford Living Dictionaries

2.Pantry-Wikipedia.

3. Etymololgy of scullery: Middle English squilerie, sculerie department of household in charge of dishes, from Anglo-French esquilerie, from escuele, eskel bowl, from Latin scutella drinking bowl-Merriam-Webster Dictionary online.

One Liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Featured image The Scullery Maid  painting by Giuseppe Maria Crespi via Wikimedia

 

High Low

I was feeling very high when I found out I won the WEP June Challenge for my fiction piece “The Final Transition.” A wonderful surprise and the fantastic high you get from receiving recognition for something you wrote. I was not expecting to win first place. It is hard for me to judge my own writing. Many times I have written something and thought it mediocre and then gotten positive feedback. This has encouraged me to take the risk and put my ideas out there. Other times my writing is not given much notice. But you never know if someone is reading and enjoying a post. I have had a few people tell me how they have liked my writing and I did not know it. So as in life, with writing, we have to expect to experience the highs and the lows. Just don’t let the lows get you down.

Here is a great cartoon from one of favorites, Introvert Doodles by Marzi. It was originally posted on Facebook by Quiet Revolution on Thursday, August 3, 2017

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I think I could check off several things on that list and add a few more. A good way to survive the lows is to realize we are not alone, other people feel the same way.  🙂


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt for today is “high/low.” Featured image of City Coaster by Henry Burrows on Flickr.

 

Who Spit On My Rosemary Bush?

I have written a few blogs about my garden. I have been learning about some of the succulents, plants, and trees in my yard. My Pyracantha appears to be doing fine. I had noticed a few woolly aphids and spider mites on it in the Spring but now they are gone. The sage bushes are thriving and attracting hummingbirds and bees. I haven’t gotten out into my small backyard garden as regularly until the past few days. I was looking at the garden through my kitchen window and noticed a cute little bird in my rosemary bush. It looked like it was eating something off the branches. I wondered if birds like eating rosemary and then thought maybe there was some kind of bug on the bush. I went out to look but did not see anything and then recently I noticed a little white ball on one of the branches. At first I though it could be some kind of cocoon or a bit of fluff. Today I decided to investigate and saw several more little white balls on that bush. On closer inspection, they looked like white foam or spit. Either the plant was producing this foam, which I thought can’t be a good sign, or some wild animal was spitting or slobbering on my rosemary. I thought of skunks, coyotes, and my brother in law’s dog. Well, of course I had to google it. Turns out it is Spittlebugs! They are the nymphs of the Froghopper bug. They produce the foam as camouflage or for insulation in hot weather. We have had hot weather here in Southern California. They really don’t spit out the foam, it comes out the other end. I thought I saw one of the adult (froghopper) bugs on the bush but it was too small, and camera shy, for me to get a photo of it. I had never heard of Spittlebugs or Froghoppers. Hopefully they will not infect any other plants. Although, from what I have read, plants usually survive them. I don’t think I want to use any of this rosemary for cooking right now however.  😉

I found some information about Spittlebugs from SFGate and I like this quote from their post:

“A nice stroll through your garden can help reduce stress and calm your nerves — that is until you find unsightly spit-like foam covering your plants.”

That about says it all. 🙂  I hope that little bird comes back and eats some more Froghoppers.

 

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Limber

We are often told these days that we must exercise. I have tried to duck the questions about exercise I get anytime I have contact with a doctor’s office, ‘ Do you exercise? or How often do you exercise? or What type of exercise do you do? I do try to be creative in my answers but then my honesty gets in the way. I used to be able to say, ‘I do yoga.’ My warrior and cat poses were pretty good. But I quit doing that too. I’ve wasted a lot of money paying for gym and yoga studio memberships and then did not go to the classes after a while. I have decided to try some exercise classes at my local city recreation center in the Fall. They are closer to my house, are scheduled at a decent time, and are not overly expensive. And I don’t have to sign a contract. I am looking for gentle limbering up not high impact, weight-bearing, hot chakra yoga or some such thing. Not looking for a triathlon or Iditarod. Not even interested in Zumba Gold. Maybe a nice Qui Gong.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by the ever limber Linda G Hill. The prompt for today is ‘limb.’ Featured image of Contortionist via wikimedia.

Talk of Sealing Wax

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax….-Lewis Carroll

In the BBC film version of Pride and Prejudice (1995), Mr. Darcy stays up all night writing a letter to Elizabeth Bennet in an effort to clear himself of unjust charges by Mr. Wickham. He seals the envelope with sealing wax stamped with his signet ring. This letter writing scene was not in the original book by Jane Austen. In Pride and Prejudice, letters were the way of conveying information from a distance. Or in Darcy’s case, a way to speak from the heart without speaking face to face. The people in the story had to wait to find out what was happening with their friends and family. There was no texting, emails, or phone calls. I remember, not so long ago, this was the way we communicated. There was something special about receiving a handwritten letter. There was the anticipation built up of when the letter would come and the excitement of its arrival.  There was noting the choice of stationary and the handwriting of the sender. Sometimes it could be hard to read some of the words depending on the penmanship. There could be cross outs. You saved special letters in a box. I remember I liked my writing to be clear and hated to cross out words so I would end up throwing out cards or paper and starting over. You wanted your lines to be straight inside and on the envelope, and you might pick out special postage stamps. I remember my mother in law, my husband’s aunt, and I addressing my wedding invitations by hand. For my daughter-in-law’s rehearsal dinner I picked out special postage stamps with images of wedding bands. I have a Montblanc fountain pen that I have to fill with ink. Texting or emails just can’t compare. How romantic to receive a handwritten letter sealed with wax with impression of a signet ring. I miss letter writing and receiving handwritten letters.

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Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt words are sealing/ceiling. Featured image of illustration from Pride and Prejudice by C. E. Brock via wikimedia. Image of letter with wax seal by Charlotte Gilhooly via Flickr.

Terrifically Icky Hot

Record breaking heat is predicted for Southern California this weekend. Heat which causes you to feel pretty icky and sticky, weather that can make you sick.

Until 11:00 PM PST, Sat Jul 8
Source: U.S. National Weather Service

…EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 11 PM PDT SATURDAY… * TEMPERATURES…Daytime high temperatures will range from 102 to 112 degrees. Overnight low temperatures will be in the mid 60s to mid 70s, except to the mid 80s in the foothills. * IMPACTS…This is a dangerous situation with an increased threat of life-threatening heat related illness. Power outages are more likely.

Good that we have AC but I hate to think what our electric bill is going to be this summer if this type of weather lasts. Hope it cools off tonight.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt for today is ‘ick.’