2021/01/25

2021- Day 25

Da Goddess @ 20:12

It’s been raining most of the evening and we’ve also had thunder, lightning, and my porch is covered with hail. It’s wonderfully thick and crunchy. Yes, I had to go out to check on it. Inside, I knew it was hailing, but I had no idea what kind of hail it was, hence the checking on it portion of this story. Barley. About the size of barley. Maybe a little bigger.

It was windy, too. Most of the day was exceedingly windy. The branches left on trees after last week’s winds did their best to find their fallen friends today. Last week, our jacaranda lost a huge limb. I did my best to clean up the debris, used an electric saw to do the heavy lifting, so to speak. I had to give up when I got the largest and thickest part of the branch cut into three sections. My neck, back, and brain couldn’t take much more of the jiggle joggle beating that comes with sawing something that big and that dense. I’ll be back at it tomorrow now that there’s even more to tackle. I have no idea what to do about the broken limbs still stuck in the tree though. I mean, obviously, I’ll have to wait for them to come down on their own, but I’ll have to keep watch on them while I’m working to clear the debris on the ground. Not exactly the ideal situation, is it?

This is what jacaranda wood looks like when you cut into it.

It’s really lovely when a storm like this comes through. I like having an excuse to curl up and do nothing. Fletch likes it, too.

Earlier, in between the various waves of rain, I put out some catnip for the kittens. They were already feeling frisky, but I thought it would be fun to see what would transpire with nip thrown into the equation. Let me tell you: it was hysterical! They were having such a good time attacking each other and then rolling around on the porch. They’d get into little offensive strikes from a supine position, wriggle or roll their way closer, slap tails, bat paws, ears back and flat, a little grumble, and then someone would decide to leap up and launch themself at the other. It was so entertaining! I could’ve watched for hours.

I guess it’s time to think about getting out another blanket. At 20:00 hours, it’s 45° and only going to get colder. Because this is an old building with old windows, I have a slight breeze at all times. There’s only so much you can do to combat the chill. The individual heating/AC units in the bedroom and living room are fine, but I can’t take a lot of heat from them. I layer clothing and do fairly well with that, however, the added cold air means I need something more effective. So that’s where I’m off to now: blanket city*!

Stay safe out there, my friends!

* Now I want to watch Community and imagine myself in Troy and Abed’s blanket fort. Maybe also the pillow fort, but less so because of the whole war thing.

2021/01/19

2021 – Day 19

Da Goddess @ 13:38

I took a long walk this morning. I went a route I’ve never taken before and was rewarded for my effort. I was greeted by a funny little hummingbird, a roadrunner, a massive bluejay, and the largest hawk I’ve ever seen in my life!

I have no idea how far I walked. I only know I was lost-ish. Thought I could figure out how to get to my main road by going well around it from a different direction. Wrong. And I didn’t even care. I simply turned back and went the way I came.

Glad I got out early because the wind has picked up quite a bit. I’ve had to change into heavier pants and a long-sleeved t-shirt. And a sweater. Plus, I’m curled up with a blanket. I’ve also closed all the windows and I hope they remain closed with these blustery conditions. They have a habit of working their way open. Old buildings and old windows, amirite?

The updated forecast says we may get rain. I’ll believe it when I see it. It did, however, smell like rain this morning. But the skies were blue and full of wispy clouds. At least now there’s some gray overhead. Still, I don’t believe it’ll rain. It would only rain if I decided to head to the store and do my grocery shopping that’s two weeks behind. Ha! I’ll wait until tomorrow. Maybe.

I was hoping to include a picture of the trees being whipped around by the winds, but the moment I had that thought, the wind stopped playing nice. So all you get is the screencap of the updated forecast. Boo! BOOOOO! The trees were looking rather spectacular and utterly windswept. Especially against the darker sky. Oh well.

If I could think of a way to make a gif, I would include one of the caution tape that rings part of the yard where there’s an attempt to get the grass to grow in once more. The tape is doing a funny little dance and I’m amused.

Update @ 14:36 – there are actual raindrops. Most are coming in sideways as the wind blows hard from the east.

Two awful low res pics of one of the palms being blown about. First pic is a little wind. Second is a bit more wind. And screw what the forecast page said, cuz it’s been off all day. My landlord’s uncle is wrapped up in a down jacket and is wearing a wool cap and gloves! I can tell you from the wind pushing itself in between all the gaps in the windows that it’s nowhere near the “current temp of 62°”. I’m guessing we’re more like 56-58° with the wind chill, if even that. Winds between 35-60mph, with gusts to 80mph.

Update 2 15:01 – Fuck! Someone better talk me out of bringing the kittens inside. They’re miserable! Rightfully so. It’s beastly out there. But, they’ve yet to be vaccinated or wormed and I can’t take the chance with Fletch. I can’t. But my heart is breaking in a thousand ways knowing how miserable they are outside. I just gave Lily a cuddle when I went out to secure a couple things on the patio/porch. She whimpered in my arms. I almost broke down right then and there. This is torture! I convinced her to snuggle close to Bandit though as he’s decided to camp out up here for some reason. I love that dog, love that he loves me and Fletch, but he is lacking some old fashioned common sense, he is. And now he’s curled up with two kittens upstairs when they all should be tucked away inside their home. I may call their owner before I end up with the three of them in here with the two of us.

Update 3 15:38 – it’s stupid cold out there without a coat or hat. But I went out to try to talk the dog and the kittens into staying in the laundry room. The kitties have fresh water and food, there are clothes from their owners on the dryer for them to burrow into, and there are two rugs for Bandito to lie on. It’s sheltered. It’s a lot warmer than being outside. And I got the door propped “just so” in case they need to go out for a potty break. But noooo! They want to hang out with me. With us. And I can’t risk it with my fuzznugget. I wish I could. I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t. I just can’t. That’s why I tried to show them how lovely it would be for them in the laundry room! Gah! They’re killing me. God grant me the strength to do the right thing for my furry little monster. I won’t look outside again. I won’t. I won’t even glance at the door when I hear them scratching and meowing and snuffling about. I won’t. I’ll be strong. I’ll be strong I’ll be strong I’ll be strong I’ll be strong I’ll be strong. I will. I may need to medicate my way through it, but I’ll be strong.

P.S. This would be one of those nights when Pooh should NOT let the strange noise in. Guarantee it won’t be Tigger.

2021/01/15

2021 – Day 15A TJH: Inspire

Da Goddess @ 01:48

There may or may not be a 15B. Only a good night’s sleep will tell. Until then, here’s the awful sky I have to look at night after night.

Just another sunset

Just another sunset

2020/12/04

Morning

Da Goddess @ 14:33

The other morning I set about on my walk, dressed as warmly as I dared against the chill. Yes, the chill. My jacket zipped up tight and scarf wrapped close around my throat.

The kittens greeted me with pitiful pleas for food and water, which I set up in the shelter of the laundry room. As they tucked into their breakfast, I made my way out the gate and down the lane. The breeze was light, but carried with it the promise of a bone deep cold. It happens.

Stepping out on the main road, out of the protection of the trees that line our quaint country lane, I was made aware of that promised chill. I took a deep breath and moved briskly on my chosen route. All was quiet. Temporarily. Within a minute, the sky filled with a giant flock of crows and their calls soon drown out everything else.

I continued my walk, crossed the busier, more hectic, and more essential road that leads my neighbors to and from work and errands. Around the corner and up the hill I walked, grateful for the morning, the breath in my lungs, the sureness of my feet, and even the sounds of the glorious birds on their way to wherever it is they go for the day. They soon passed and I heard a surprised yip. Looking to my right, there was a startled coyote. Loping a small circle in a neighbor’s yard, he seemed to be weighing his options. In a moment of resolution, he sprinted across the street in front of me and into the fallow fields. When he’d made it to the end of the first field, he turned to look at me, slowed to a sassy trot, and made his way to the next farm.

I had to smile. We two alone had shared that encounter, both satisfied with walking away none the worse for it.

Up ahead I could hear the early chorus of frogs in the creek bed. They never fail to cheer me. No matter how close I get, they keep up their song, knowing they’re safely hidden from view.

At this point, my book is open so I can read as I walk. A collection of short stories by authors known and unknown. I’m getting perilously close to the end and find myself speeding along in spite of the fact that I don’t wish to ever run out of stories. They’re all heartbreaking in their own right and I consider tracking down other volumes in this series.

Before I know it, I’ve reached the point where my path turns back on itself and I head for home. I’m beginning to feel a little too warm for my jacket (despite it still being in the mid-fifties) and shrug it off before tying it around my waist. I leave my scarf where it is because I know it’ll help wick away any sweat that may begin to form.

I pass the creek again and say a silent farewell to the frogs and look in the distance to see if the coyote might be lingering nearby. I’d like to see him once more before I’m out of range. Alas, he’s nowhere in sight. What can you do? I pray he’s found a good place to hunker down for a long nap.

I cross the big street in between sets of cars. From north, they have lights on, but from the south they don’t seem to bother. It’s one of those things you notice after a while. It’s been almost two years of this and I’m always surprised by new details that emerge while I’m out.

Before long, I’m back at my lane. I stop to check the mail, gather what’s there, grab one of our garbage bins, and make my way up the little hill that leads me home. At the gate, I punch in the code. The gate shudders briefly and then starts its journey along the track. I step over the track and the outside world fades away.

I’m home. Another walk completed. Another group of memories settling into my head and heart. The kittens thread themselves between my legs, the goats bleat for their morning meal, and my legs threaten to stage an all out revolt against the climb up the twelve steps up the stairs to my door.

Just think! Two years ago, I could barely make it up this staircase without holding on to the railing. Two years ago, I would practically cry out in pain after one trip up! I still have pain and there are days I don’t trust my legs to hold up this body on that simple task. The difference now is that I have fewer days like that than I did when first I moved in. My muscles have relearned some of their essential functions and I’m more willing to test them every chance I get.

Once inside, I hang up my jacket and scarf, say hello to my sweet ginger companion, wash my hands, and begin the process of checking my blood glucose level, setting out my medications, filling my water mug, and getting on with my day.

Again, two years ago, this would have seemed impossible. And again, there are days when it is. But I’ve managed to make it happen, slowly but surely. The magic of this place, this particular home, has made me believe it would…be. That I would be. That I could.

Mornings never used to be my favorite time of day unless I was just getting off work or just heading home after a night out with friends. I’ve come to treasure the quiet and the beauty of the just-waking world. Once I’ve borne witness to this magnificence, once I’ve fed my body and soul, once I’ve medicated myself toward better health, once I’ve completed my chores, I can nap with my head full of images for my dreams.

Morning has broken

Morning has broken

2020/11/22

TJH: Inspire – Sunrise

Da Goddess @ 07:12

Believe it or not, these are from two consecutive mornings. I was surprised by how very similar the clouds were. What are the odds? I went back and forth a number of times to verify these were taken on different days. Yep. Go figure.

Sunday sunrise

Sunday sunrise

Saturday sunrise

Saturday sunrise

2020/10/16

Message Received

Da Goddess @ 10:02

Just got a text that made my day.

This is a message from San Diego Registrar of Voters. The post office has received your ballot for the upcoming 2020 General Election and it will be delivered to us soon.

Yay!

P.S. just got a call with the same message. I’m so grateful for the tracking system of ballots.

2020/09/13

Balls. Big, Big Balls.

Da Goddess @ 10:45

The renters in the main house here on the property have the two dogs who live here full-time and then there’s the son’s dog. Since the young son isn’t here on a regular basis, neither is his very funny canine.

Part catahoula, part lab(?), part clown, this dog is constantly looking for things to do. That’s part and parcel of being a pup, but it also speaks of the way he’s being raised. Badger’s owner is training him to do pool/water rescues and to also be a good horseman’s dog. It’s a delight to watch.

Recently, Badger’s developed into more of a grown dog and has lost much of his puppiness. Gone are the too big feet and the comical poses. Now he has an enormous noggin (it’s planet-like in size) and a sureness of foot, which are lovely. He also has ginormous balls. His balls are so big they align themselves NOT side-by-side, but rather front to back. Big, big, huge balls befitting a stud bull or horse.

Said balls got Badger in trouble not long ago. Seems the female dog here was in heat and somehow got out. Badger boy did what nature told him must be done and the two dogs went at it like…well, animals. Thankfully, no pregnancy. But this led to the owners to FINALLY deciding to neuter and spay the two dogs. Why it wasn’t done sooner, I have no idea.

Other than the german shepherd, Lady, we had when I was very young, every dog or cat we owned as a family, and the ones I’ve had on my own, have been fixed. I was taught it was responsible ownership and a kindness to our dear companions. I still believe that wholeheartedly. Aside from reducing pet overpopulation, spaying and neutering reduce the likelihood of diseases — cancer, in particular — of the reproductive sort. For me, this is paramount. If we can spare our beloved companions from illness, we should. So, that’s what I’ve always done and I tend to look at people who don’t do this for their pets with my head atilt like Bopper, the RCA dog. I just don’t get it. There are so many companion animals living life on the streets and/or sitting in shelters awaiting a death sentence.

So. Yes, I looked at the owners here in (with? Or just…) askance. How and why do you NOT spay or neuter your dogs? Especially when you have a male and female who spend a lot of time together. Especially when you don’t want puppies.

I guess the pregnancy scare was just the thing they needed because both dogs are going in for their surgeries today (or maybe tomorrow since nobody seems to be able to remember the days of the week anymore due to quarantine brain). I am breathing a big sigh of relief.

And so it goes here in the heart of my little world. No pregnancy scares in the future for the sweet dogs who live on this land with me. No tempting balls of fluff and utter cuteness in my path. No chances of cancer of the reproductive organs for two beautiful furry friends.

Oh, and those massive balls will no longer have to go through life in one-by-one, single-file formation.

2020/09/05

How to Deal with the Heat

Da Goddess @ 09:26

The dogs have decided to play before it’s too hot to play.

Extreme heat advisory is in effect for the weekend and beyond.

I may throw myself into the pool soon.

Playing before it gets too hot.

Too Damn Hot

Da Goddess @ 09:22

At 0900 hours, it’s 95°F and is expected to hit 114°F later.

That, according to my chart, is too damn hot.

Fletch and I shall sleep through the hottest part of the day because why not?

Update: 0945 hours and it’s already over 100°.

2020/08/13

TJH: Inspire – SoCal Poolside Sunset

Da Goddess @ 19:45

Don’t hate me because it’s beautiful here.

After a very hot and very busy day, I managed to crawl downstairs to stick my feet in the pool and listen to the landmate’s baby goats. While I was luxuriating in the cool water, this happened:

2020/06/25

TJH: Inspire — Winging It

Da Goddess @ 00:46

I find a lot of interesting things on my walks.

I’ve found:

1. A snakeskin, but no snake, which is weird out here in the country. That’s the only evidence I’ve seen of there being any snakes around at all in the year and a half I’ve lived here. I’ve seen more snakes in suburbia than I have here. I think that’s odd.

2. Coyotes. There’ve been singular sightings and sightings of several hanging out in one general area. But, the most frequent sightings are of the three coyotes who stick together. I love this group! I’m assuming they’re a mama, papa, and their pup. I could be completely wrong, but the size of each makes me believe I’m right.

3. Birds. I see so many, especially crows, but also lots of hawks, bluebirds, doves, woodpeckers, orioles, hummingbirds, mockingbirds, ONE raven, and others that I can only guess at the species. I’m trying to make notes so I can look up the descriptions and possibly identify them, but sometimes I forget. Okay, mostly I forget. I’m trying.

4. The occasional surprise. Gloves, always a single glove. Dead bunnies. Dice. CO2 cartridges from those homemade soda machines. There’s always always always a ton of them at the side of the road. And this little item below:

2019/07/15

Ugh #62518

Da Goddess @ 08:09

The pharmacy that sends my prescriptions was slow with my pain meds. Today was started on Tylenol, which is only slightly better than nothing. Still, I took it because I needed some sort of relief…anything. Tylenol was my only option. The delivery of my meds is supposed to happen today and I can’t wait.

Since I had no pain meds, my walk was abbreviated this morning. I’ve been gradually adding distance to my meanderings; however, without meds, I basically did just enough to shake some of the stiffness I’ve had. Yesterday, I completed most of my regular route. There were, unfortunately, too many days last week when I did NO walking due to my pain level.

Last week was also notable for serious ankle pain from an old injury exacerbated by a recent fall. I’ve fallen more times in the past six or seven months than I have in the past three or four years combined. Only a couple of the recent falls have had led to new injuries. Thankfully, none have been too TOO bad. Like all our recent earthquakes (I’ve only felt two aftershocks), it leaves me feeling something worse is just around the corner. Waiting for the other shoe to drop is a morbid past time for anyone, but doubly so for me since the insurance company has decided to play games when it comes to allowing me to see doctors with whom I’ve established therapeutic relationships. In other words: the insurance company is full of doodyheads and I’m fighting for every single thing I need.

So, um, that’s what’s happening in my life.

●○●○●○●○●

Oooh! Oooh! I forgot: this morning, as I was dumping my recycling in the bin, Tabby Cat came to see me. S/he is one of three strays who visit us sporadically. The other two are: Tux, a dusty gray tabby with white bib and feet. Lean and tall, too. And, Blackie. Blackie is, you guessed it, black. Blackie is the most frequent visitor and also the most skittish. Their visits almost make up for the lack of meds. ALMOST. I’m not an idiot…nothing makes up for no meds. But the cats are a wonderful distraction when I’m not feeling great.

Okay, enough of that. Time to get back to the dazzling magical content you’ve come to expect from me. I’m sorry to disappoint y’all on the regular.

2019/06/28

Jacaranda Lane

Da Goddess @ 03:14

It’s Jacaranda time in SoCal. It’s absolutely gorgeous when these trees are in bloom.

Everyone who’s followed me for more than two posts should know I love purple. Purple shirts. Purple pants. Purple people eaters. Purple plants. And, yes, even purple hair. There can never be too much purple in my world. Okay, maybe purple on every wall in a house…if it’s the wrong shade. Otherwise, I’m all about the purple. So, of course, the Jacaranda tree is a favorite.

I didn’t know when I moved in that I’d have a Jacaranda in the yard to admire every day. I didn’t know there’d be one at the end of our private drive (or rather, the beginning of the drive…but I consider it the end as it’s at the beginning, which is one of the last things I see as I leave…). The pictured tree above is that end of the road tree. Look how it shares its purpleness! It looks enchanting, doesn’t it?

If I were to create a fairy tale setting, it would have the trees what bloom purple. Yes, indeedy.

From Wikipedia:

The tree grows to a height of up to 20 m (66 ft).[6] Its bark is thin and grey-brown in colour, smooth when the tree is young though it eventually becomes finely scaly. The twigs are slender and slightly zigzag; they are a light reddish-brown in colour. The flowers are up to 5 cm (2.0 in) long, and are grouped in 30 cm (12 in) panicles. They appear in spring and early summer, and last for up to two months. They are followed by woody seed pods, about 5 cm (2.0 in) in diameter, which contain numerous flat, winged seeds. The Blue Jacaranda is cultivated even in areas where it rarely blooms, for the sake of its large compound leaves. These are up to 45 cm (18 in) long and bi-pinnately compound, with leaflets little more than 1 cm (0.39 in) long.

It also mentionsa white version, but I care not for such a boring color of flowering tree. Give me PURPLE!

Also interesting:

Water extracts using the dried powdered Jacaranda mimosifolia show higher antimicrobial action in vitro against Bacillus cereus and Escherichia coli than gentamicin sulfate does. The extract also acts against Staphylococcus aureus in vitro.

How fantastic it is to discover a possible alternative to fighting harmful bacteria, especially E. coli and Staph, two very stubborn bacteria. Now if only we could get Jacaranda mimosifolia off the vulnerable list!

See? It’s possible to be both beautiful AND helpful!

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Do you have a favorite tree? I want to hear all about it. Even if you don’t know what it’s called, I still want to hear. I love learning about…well, everything!

P.S. the house in the picture is the home of two lovely dogs. I have stories about them, which will be told in another post.

2018/02/20

35 ° F

Da Goddess @ 09:18

I live in Southern California. It should not be 35°F outside. I don’t do cold well.

That is all.

2017/12/07

The World is on Fire

Da Goddess @ 10:15

While it may not be the world world, it’s getting quite a bit more of my world involved.

Southern California is, once again, ablaze. Some keep referring to the fires as *brushfires*. These are most decidedly NOT mere brushfires. These are deadly wildfires.

Raging out of control, aided by strong Santa Ana winds, which are expected to kick up to gusts up 90mph in some areas.

We are safely away from the fires. All I can do, all any of us can do, is to pray for the safety of those in harm’s way.

May all y’all be sheltered in a safe location as your neighborhood is evacuated. May the firefighters and police and pilots be safe as they fight the fires and help evacuate communities go up in flames.

Praying this all ends quickly and with minimal loss of life.

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