Thursday, August 28, 2008

She's back...

The other night I took Jake out to get some fresh air and as usual I glanced up to where the Bird family used to live. And they're back. I couldn't believe it. I ran right over and welcomed Ms Bird who cocked her head and looked curiously at me with one small pebbly brown eye.

Our little mourning dove has returned!

After they deserted their nest earlier this summer, they'd sit squished together on the five or six inch downspout at our next door neighbors house cooing. Who needs words?

Anyway, does anyone know if mourning doves (who do btw, mate for life) have more than one ?litter ?gaggle ?brew ?bunch? What do you call baby bird siblings? I don't know. And I'm sure it's something simple and when someone tells me I'm going to feel like an idiot.

I did have the "talk" with Ms Bird and asked her is she needed bird control, but she just blinked. Maybe they're Catholic. I have to say that I'm afraid she's going to be worn out.

And wouldn't you know it. The temperature has spiked since her arrival which is exactly what happened the last time she lived here. So I worry...

You don't suppose she's responsible for global warming do you?!

I'll keep you updated.

Monday, August 25, 2008

School Days, School Days, lalalala....

School is back in session. Not having kids at home anymore, it doesn't touch my world the way it used to. But I won't soon forget shopping until I thought I'd hide under a rounder (or have to rob a bank to pay for everything), blocking off hours and hours in my calendar and leaving work (after asking a crotchety boss) only stand in one snaking registration line after another to enroll my three kids.

And I don't care how much money you have, you actually can't ever have enough when it comes to registration. On registration day, you register for EVERYTHING -- would class pictures (way more expensive if you're "student" as the teachers call them, is a senior), class parties, uniforms, all sports activities, student body things, parking permits (if you're lucky enough to get one), charitable donations. I'm not sure,but I think there's a charge for breathing campus air. And those are only the things my foggy mind can recall.

Then, once they've emptied your checking and bank accounts, you're shamed into volunteering or making cupcakes which certainly you have time to bake in order to support something else the school needs, and to which you've probably already given a financial donation. The list was endless and from what I hear, it still is, only worse--which I can't imagine.

We always began school right after Labor Day. Labor Day was the end-of-summer demarcation, the line in the Cape Cod sand, if you will, that a new chapter of life was about to begin.

That said, Mother Nature routinely tricked us with fabulous Indian Summers which without fail began the first day of school when all of us kids arrived to school sporting our fall clothes. Heavy woolen fabrics, quilted material, winter pants and heavy jackets. Ugh!

We'd swelter and sweat and break out in heat rashes if we didn't fall flat over from scorching sun and enclosed classrooms without, yes, without air conditioning. "Offer it up," was Sister Mary Laura's best advice. She whose hands and red face were the visible part of her, the rest hidden the yards of fabric that made up her black and white habit.

Today, I still feel that After Labor Day is when I get serious about this next chapter of my life. Who can be serious about life when everyone's wearing shorts and tank tops? Or two piece bathing suits? Or swimming? (well, I don't wear those things because I'd scare people but I see them on others)

"Serious" comes with the cold weather, when you're forced to pull yourself inward and get crackin'! Or something like that. When a hint of fall rolls around, you can smell it in the air--crushed leaves, decay, the slight chill in the air, then I'll get serious. Fortunately here in California, that's a bit away yet...

Friday, August 22, 2008


When I first began writing, I didn't think too much about the font I used. A font is a font is a font. I've since come to my wingding senses and realized just how wrong I was!

When I started submitting stories I found instructions on margins, font size, and the font itself ~~ Times Roman, Garamond, Arial Narrow, one was supposed to use.

Take a look at the youtube abaout fonts.
After viewing it, you'll understand that each font has its own personality and you might think twice about submitting in plain old Arial Narrow! My personal favorite is Comic Sans who saves the day, er, fonts!


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Yogi in Brief Training....

Have you been watching the Olympics? We have. In fact, it's hard for me to do much else at night, except watch. I live vicariously through these amazing athletes. I imagine myself on the end of the diving board or butterflying through the water with lightening speed, just like Michael Phelps! Except he gains the Gold while I, Ms Couch Potato, gain the weight.

So my motivation to attend a new yoga class came from couch potato-ing it. I may have felt shamed into it. I mean, if those athletes can practice every day for years to keep their bodies firm and shape and win medals, the least I could do was resume a yoga class a couple of times a week right?

The instructor, new to me, (but who wouldn't be-I haven't been to a yoga class in about eight months) was just the best. Greg is tall and lean and gentle and funny and like most Yogis can probably twist himself with the agility of a rubber hose, but he didn't. Frankly, it was the best class I've attended, not because of the workout-although the workout was super--it was more about who he was in front of the room. Sort of like the athletes--it's how they show up--professional, doing their best, bringing the best out in themselves and others.

I left Greg's class last Thursday feeling refreshed, energized and happy that I'd done something good for my body. However, that didn't last too long. Once those taut muscles I stretched out like warm taffy started a chorus of "Tylenol, Tylenol, Tylenol" a little air went out of the "exercise" balloon to return to class this week.

And wouldn't you know? Conveniently enough, Tuesday and Thursday, right at noon, (the time class begins) filled up like a glass of milk! So, I'm going to go to miss my favorite class, but plan on attending an early evening one.

Who knows, maybe I'll be too tired to go.

Speaking of the Olympics, check out the balance beam on this youtube video (this was borrowed from my friend Eileen's blog: )

Monday, August 11, 2008

Home again...

Do you like my new colors? I got bored of the "blogger" drab gray and decided that my blog needed a sprucing up. And since I write with a purple pen all of the time, I just thought why not?

We recently returned to the Bay Area after a stint in Montana to visit my husband's family. Montana has breathtaking views of the Mission mountains, twitching white tailed deer, elk, brown bears (which I've yet to see), old brick homes, Indian reservations, rivers and Flathead Lake.

Flathead Lake is where we spent our vacation. Every time we leave it, I feel like I've left a little part of myself on the dock. I'd get up in the morning, sit on the deck and write overlooking the Lake. I never quite knew what to expect from the water -- smooth as glass, mini ripples, or angry swells (but not the sort of swells we East or West coasters have seen), nonetheless, swells. Most days the sun would shine, although we had a few chilly days, so I'd wrap up in a blanket and find my way to the deck with a notebook and tea.

As much as there are a pangs of sadness to leave the Lake, mountains, and wild life, I'm happy to be back in the Bay Area. My Dad was a bartender in Framingham MA. for years. When Tony Bennett would entertain where Dad worked, he'd dedicate I Left My Heart in San Francisco to my Dad who much later, moved to Walnut Creek with my mom. I know why.

The Bay Area has been my home for thirty-five years and although we pay a price to live here, I've yet to be someplace I'd rather live--we're so close to so much. Okay, maybe, just maybe, I'd live in Kauai (but then you worry about living on an island).

Kidding aside, It's good to be home. I'm hoping to get back into the swing of blogging, using it as I intended months ago, as a journal of the silly, the serious, and sappy things that happen in life.

Oh! Update: The bird family moved out before we left for vacation along with their two babies. Precious. Adorable. Sweet. One day the parents were gone, the next day one baby, the following day, the other. I keep looking up at the next when I walk outside to get the mail and sometimes, even when we take Jake for a walk. I miss them. New life is addictive!

I took pictures of the babies, and if I can ever figure out how to get the darn things on this blog -- you can see them.