2020/09/01

Not My Dogs

Da Goddess @ 09:06

Since the new tenants in the main house moved in, I’ve benefited from the fact that they have dogs. I get to pet, play with, and just sit quietly with the dogs almost any time I want.

Big boy Bandit and I became fast friends while his sister went to work with their mom. Bandit and Fletch have even developed a nice little friendship since he visits so frequently. It’s pretty adorable. While they don’t cuddle or anything, there’s an easy vibe of chill between them I love to see. Bandit is a mellow boy and has no interest in chasing the cat or doing more than sniffing him or occasionally giving him a lick. Fletch will allows this and rarely does more than give a short, soft meow and has only once attempted a pathetic hiss. He wasn’t perturbed at all; it was, for the most part, a demonstration that he could, if need be, become riled. Even the one time raising of his paw was done sans claw. More like “I’ll bop you one, Mr. D.O.G., if I feel you deserve it.” Yeah, even his displays of catitude are mild. He really seems to enjoy his new interspecies friendship.

Bandit’s also a big old fuzzy love muffin around me. He checks on me throughout the day, lies at my feet, and does his best to be my protector. It’s the sweetest thing. Because it’s often just me (and Fletch, of course) on the property all day, he watches over me (us) and does his best to bring joy to my doorstep. He succeeds. With flying colors. Whenever he’s not around, I miss his solid and affectionate presence. He’s really a lovely, kind, gentle soul.

Now, Bristol, she’s a different story. Yes, she’s rather laid back for a herding dog, but she does have an energy about her that’s undeniable. And while she’s always gentle and calm around Fletch, she simply prefers…me. I’m not sure what it is, but she has decided I’m cool and am her favorite non-family person.

I’ve only ever had one other dog get so excited to see me: The Smash Family dog (God rest her beautiful soul). Back in the day, Tori would turn herself inside out and upside down while absolutely losing her head whenever she saw me. One time, the (former) Mrs. Smash needed to borrow some scrubs and a stethoscope for a play and she reported back to me that Tori went crazy when the items were brought in the house, all because she could smell me on them. I was just as taken with her and this behavior always tickled me. On the penultimate day of Tori’s life, I was able to spend time with her, photographing her and just loving on her. She was very weak and unsteady, but she was happy to see me like she always had been, just unable to wriggle and be silly with her affection. I was honored to have been a part of her life, but even more honored to have been loved by her.

And now Bristol reminds me of Tori, what with her enthusiastic greetings and her inability to show even the slightest bit of moderation in her efforts to let me know she’s glad I’m around. Last night, after being away from the old homestead for less than 48 hours, she spotted me and sped over to me to say hello. Her mom kept trying to calm her and apologized repeatedly for Bristol’s excessive behavior. “I don’t know why she’s like this with you. She never does this with anyone else! I’m so sorry!” I told her not to worry and that I was pleased that the dog likes me so much. And then I told her about the only other sweet girl who acted the same way when she’d see me. We decided Tori must have chosen Bristol to be the conduit for her to keep loving me.

This morning, she approached me with the same wild, unbridled joy as she had last night. She settled down as I pet her and talked with her — Bandit patiently waiting for his turn for pets and scritches — and then she ran off after hearing the baby goats because she simply MUST check on them every time they bleat. Once she ascertained they were okay, she bounded up the stairs and gave me another ebullient hello, though slightly toned down. I ruffled her fur and gave her a lot of pets and scritches. Forty minutes later, she and Bandit have both picked their spots to lie down and conduct their sentry duties up here on my porch.

There’s just something so wonderful about knowing you’re loved by not-my-dog dogs. You know they don’t have to love you. However, when they do, it’s incredibly heartwarming and you can’t help but feel special.

To all the not-my-dogs out there, I love you!

P.S. Bristol might be preggers. I know I can’t afford to have a puppy, but I have a feeling I’m going to be in big trouble when/if there are pups.

2020/08/07

Waiting for Doggo

Da Goddess @ 12:59

Mark B. Mills wrote the most perfect story. I laughed, I cried, I wanted so much more. I’m Waiting for Doggo to make another appearance because it is simply so captivating.

I have to say I hated that it was such a quick read, but I loved it, too, for the same reason.

Everything about the improbable love story fell upon my heart wonderfully and it’s a book I’ll return to whenever I need a little pick-me-up.

2020/08/05

I Hold a Wolf by the Ears

Da Goddess @ 09:04

I just finished I Hold a Wolf by the Ears by Laura van den Berg. A collection of short stories, it’s absolutely delicious!

Each tale is perfect on its own, but as a set: magnificent. At turns intriguing and heartbreaking and as simple and complicated as humans are, the characters are given a chance to speak for themselves, to recount their own stories in their own way.

Every protagonist is someone recognizable and familiar as if made up of the parts of ourselves and our known world. They’re us, or a part of us, and this is the common thread tying the stories together (although a couple do happen within the same immediate vicinity).

I found myself returning to the beginning and starting over again, compelled to find new clues within and perhaps discover the secret to slipping into the stories myself, getting lost in the fog alongside my new friends, holding them when they need it the most.

Deftly crafted, I Hold a Wolf by the Ears is my newest and strongest recommendation to anyone who loves to read and appreciates finely told tales.

2020/07/04

Happy Independence Day!

Da Goddess @ 15:12

Happy Fourth of July

We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.
~ William Faulkner

May your 4th of July be safe and happy! And may you recall what this day is truly about.

Freedom is a hard-won reward. We can’t take it for granted or we may lose it. So, please, take a moment today and consider how special this great nation of ours is — we have fought for our right to disagree and speak our minds, as well as the right to take a day off and celebrate all manner of our liberties.

In this day and age, with quarantines and isolation, with loneliness and the loss of gathering together, especially on days like today, it’s good to remember the days of yore, times gone by, the times we thought were rough, but have turned out to be the good ol’ days, and be thankful we’re still here to celebrate and say God bless America!

Stay safe, friends. Stay safe.

2020/05/18

When I’m 54

Da Goddess @ 03:34

(it’d be better as Studio 54, but c’mon, I don’t have access to a glitterball & I’m not wasting my tinfoil hat making one!)

54.

I seriously never thought I’d be alone on my birthday because of a pandemic. I always assumed it would be due to my having pissed off everyone I know and love.

But, here we are: the world is trying to ease back into living like we did before we knew about this thing called covid19. I think it’s too soon to ease up, but what do I know? I’m sure the politicians of the world know what’s best for us. Not. If nothing else, the people throwing caution to the wind and gathering en masse sans masks in bars (I’m looking at you specifically, Wisconsin) and other such places will be our guinea pigs. I just don’t want to hear any of them crying about it after. Common sense dictates you proceed with caution and if you rush out to throw back some drinks in the local tavern with a bunch of other people who you can’t verify have been sticking to the isolation protocol, well, you get what you deserve. It’s like going into a brothel and having unprotected sex with a sweet painted lady. Chances are you ain’t goin’ home alone.

So, yeah. There’s nothing in my 54 years of experience (as a human or even as a nurse) that could have led me to envision THIS as the reason I’m spending my birthday alone.

Crazy times. Insane, batshit crazy times.

Yay. Actually “yay” in all lowercase letters. Good news is I made it this far. Bad news is I made it this far.

Cheers!

P.S. someone please bring me vanilla cake with vanilla frosting. Boring, I know, but I have a hankering. Small Walmart cake is perfect. Refrigerated section.

2020/05/07

Dad. Two Years On.

Da Goddess @ 13:49

Today is the second anniversary of Dad’s death. I miss him more today than ever. I miss his grumbling and his yelling and his laughter. But most of all, I just miss HIM.

He was one of a kind. He was belligerent and bombastic. He was loud and often angry. But he was also loving and kind in a hundred little ways. He was thoughtful and funny. He was creative and had a vision for junk that was incredible. He was upcycling long before upcycling was a thing. He bought junk, but he sold functional art.

Dad, I will miss you forever. I love you always.

2020/01/27

Mad for Plaid

Da Goddess @ 23:27

I have never seen a plant that looked like it was swathed in plaid before. But now, I can’t think of anything else.

Meet Euphorbia obesa.

Euphorbia obesa

Doesn’t it look like something created from tartan and pure imagination? I feel like this is the most Celtic plant in the world, except it’s from nowhere even close to Ireland or Scotland. Maybe it just wants to be. Perhaps its DNA test proved there was no way it could be from either country, but in a fit of pique it wrapped itself in plaid, declared itself a Celt, and has decided it will die upon this hill, no matter how many tests say it’s wrong.

I totally get this plant. I have one DNA test that says I’m 0% English, Irish, or Scottish. I have another that says 2.5%. While I’m not sure I agree with the data from the 2nd 2.5% test, I’m hoping it’s true. My little sister took a 3rd test (as in a third company different from the two I dealt with) and got a smidge of British Isles. Maybe these two separate companies are more accurate? I dunno. But I understand that plant. I understand wanting to be a part of a culture…I’m a bit mad for plaid myself.

2020/01/07

89

Da Goddess @ 05:30

Dad would have been 89 today.

I miss him so very much. Every single day.

I’m so grateful I had a father who was so memorable and missable.

2019/12/20

Thy Shall Not Covet, Thy Shall Not Covet, Thy Shall Covet

Da Goddess @ 15:38

Oops! I may have accidentally coveted.

Never have I wanted something so unnecessary in all my life. (Kinda like a sewing machine I’ll use once every decade or so, but am convinced I’ll use more often if only I had one.)

2019/12/10

You Bug Me

Da Goddess @ 00:25

You bug me. But in a good way. What I’m trying to say is this: go have a look at this article on treehoppers. It and the bugs it discusses — absolutely fascinating.

2019/12/07

Remembering Pearl Harbor

Da Goddess @ 08:38

From 2017, with a minor update:

Today is the day America officially entered the war against Japan 78 years ago. At 07:55. A morning that sparked a battle that lasted years, caused neighbors to look upon neighbors with suspicion if they were of Asian descent. So many of the military families had Japanese or Filipinos working in the homes or yards. Suspicion grew as the day wore on. As the attacks continued, many of these Pacific Islanders were asked to either stay under the protection of their employers or were picked up and held as possible conspirators in attacks.

I still recall the story our friend Jodie told us, one of being a little girl out playing in the yard, awaiting her friend and her friend’s family so they could go to church. Jodie was outside, playing in the yard, full of joy and unconcerned about a single thing. That is, until a low flying jet flew low over the house. The plane was low enough for he to look into the pilot’s eyes. Jodie ran into the house, calling for her dad, waking him and her mom, telling them what she saw. It wasn’t until she mentioned the markings on the plane that her father leapt out of bed and started calling out orders: “stay indoors! Call all the other families, tell them to do the same, and have them ready to send their men down to the harbor!”

As much as Jodie knew, this was no longer a drill. This was what was necessary to be as safe as possible in the middle of a war on paradise.

The weeks that followed were fraught with real, true fear.

Can you imagine a life like this?

America was now fully entrenched in World War II.

Thankfully, Jodie and her family and friends supported their Navy brethren. Everyone had one goal in mind: to live! To not have to fight off Intruders in the home.

Thankfully, the majority of the people of Asian descent were just there, trying to make their own lives better. But for those who were engaged in espionage, they were rounded up and dealt with by the Navy.

There’s so much more to Jodie’s. So much I cannot recall at this time.

More than 2,400 Americans sailors, soldiers, and civilians died during the attack and another 1,000 were wounded.

For A Day That Will Live in Infamy, it has lived up to that moniker.

Remembering all who lost their lives and those whose lives were turned upside down because of the attack on Pearl Harbor. If you see a vet, thank them with the utmost respect and sincerity.

2019/10/05

Reminders

Da Goddess @ 15:02

Reminder of Dad

There are reminders of Dad everywhere I look, everywhere I go.

That succulent? In my sister’s backyard, from Dad’s memorial.

In my home, he’s everywhere even though he never set foot here. He’s responsible for the roof over my head, the food I eat, and sometimes even the clothes I wear were his. There are china cups and saucers, a tiny little teapot, artwork on my walls, shorts and shirts I’ve been wearing now for over a year, and the oddest thing: I feel him in the moving shadows as the winds push and pull the big tree outside.

Mostly, I hear him in the crows as they choose their squabble corner right in front of me. Or maybe they’re gossiping. Probably both, as I’ve seen just about everything with them from my windows or from the porch.

Even on my walks, I get the sense he’s not far away. The arguing neighbors, the orange trees pregnant with an endless bounty — or so it seems — and the grapevines that stretch from post to post along the wires between, with their pale green fruit slowly turning purple.

All of it reminds me of Dad. Not in a sad way, though I certainly feel sad sometimes. What I feel is more like…I’m not entirely certain…but, the closest I get to the right words is comfort and gratitude. Dad’s still here, watching over us, and sending reminders of how much he loved us, even if he didn’t say it often.

Isn’t that the best kind of love? The kind that needn’t be spoken because it just…is?

I miss him. I always will. I know this to be true. I also know he’s still close because he’s everywhere — in the little things, the big things, and even in the things we can’t see or hold.

Sometimes, when I’m out walking, I get the sense he’s not far and I always nod my head and say, “hi, Dad. Thanks for everything. I miss you.”

2019/10/04

Where Have All the Good Times Gone?

Da Goddess @ 00:15

Remember when the blogging community was thriving with great (or not) writing, fun & occasionally stupid memes, interaction with others, even bitter rivalries?

Much like television these days, with 500 channels and countless streaming options, blogging has become overwhelmed and drowned by other social media platforms. MySpace came and went (thank God). Google + or circle or whatever, also history. But Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and other sites seem to have drawn most bloggers away.

We’re scattered. Like large families who find themselves vast distances from each other, or maybe more like large herds of deer or other animals, the blogosphere bloomed and now has thinned.

I think one of the reasons so many people began to rely on other platforms is how commercialized or commoditized a lot of blogs became. It wasn’t so much ads on sidebars; it was more like people who had once told stories turned to writing paid reviews, or basically blogged solely for the purpose of income. It took a lot of the joy out of cruising blogs.

On Facebook, well, we could just connect on a realer level. Then Facebook started to “fix” what wasn’t broken, alienating users. You either loved the changes, hated the changes, or just rode them out because it was easier to keep track of family and friends on one site as opposed to going through dozens of websites. Twitter? You could build a variety of niche communities — or none — and cruise through for as long as you wanted. The brevity of tweets made for quick-ish reads and quick-ish replies.

Neither Facebook nor Twitter is perfect. Then again, neither was blogging when it was at its peak. But, at the very least, blogs were where so many people became friends, where people sometimes fell in love, where some found new careers, and/or where some discovered parts of themselves they’d lost or never even knew existed.

I suppose it’s inevitable that the blogosphere would collapse or implode implode or whatever you want to call it. Once bloggers abandoned realness for money, the blogosphere changed. It was as if someone plopped strip mall after strip mall between neighbors.

I’ve considered — more than once — just closing up shop. I mean, there are so few readers stopping by that it seems silly to keep going. However, while I’m not the most consistent blogger, I still find myself glad I have a place to write and post photos and interact with the few people who come by to check in with me. Y’all know who you are.

My domain name was up for renewal recently and I had to make a decision as to whether or not I should even bother. After some consideration, I decided to renew. Oddly enough, Go Daddy’s system decided I needed a two year renewal and I couldn’t get the system to let me renew for just one, so I’ll keep on for at least two more years. After that, who knows?

I’m sad so many of the people I met because of blogging have disappeared. I miss them. I miss what this community used to accomplish when called to action, whether in response to disaster or to raise money for military veterans and their families or raise money for breast cancer research. We were powerful once. As a community, we did some fantastic work and I miss that. But that’s over now and we all get to decide where we as individuals fit in or even if we want to fit in somewhere. Me? I’ll keep on keepin’ on until I run out of steam.

2019/07/04

Happy Independence Day!

Da Goddess @ 02:43

Flag Day 2009

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

~ The Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776

Be safe, have fun, and remember that Freedom is tentative and we must be vigilant, that we must defend it. We cannot take it for granted. Nor can we take for granted those who protect our freedoms.

God bless our troops and God bless America!

Wishing everyone a very safe day doing whatever it is you’re doing today. Please remember to have your pets safely restrained or contained once the fireworks start. Our sweet companions are oftentimes very afraid of the loud explosions and some are prone to bolt in panic. If possible, secure them indoors to reduce their level of stress.

And now I’m going to shut up and let you go have some fun!

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.

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