Red-Eared Slider

Hey – anyone got room in their So. California pond for a 6″ pond slider?  Needs a home please.

He/she’s tucked away in a back room at the shelter so really need someone to help out if you can.

This isn’t the actual him/her but looks just like him/her…

REd-Eared Slider

Photo Credit: Mary R. Vogt, courtesy of morgueFile

Thank you 🙂

Take the Weekend Off Why Don’t You

For the first time in quite a while, I really did nothing for a whole weekend.  I don’t think I exactly ran out of gas, but clearly needed to refuel somehow.  I’m still fostering little mighty-mite Romeo the little black Chihuahua, so maybe that’s the extra putting me over the top.  Maybe.  By the way, you’ll be pleased to hear he’s put on weight and is full of energy and personality.

This is a busy world we live in, and I’m one of the busy people in it – you probably are too. As I work to help my clients organize and balance their lives better, in the back of my mind a little voice keeps saying “You too, don’t forget you.  In fact, take the weekend off why don’t you?”

Don’t worry about me, my big sister’s coming soon and I can’t wait.  We’re planning all kinds of ways to have fun and relax!!

Just don’t forget you, ok.

P.S. The one thing I did do this weekend was see the last Harry Potter movie.  I needed to complete the journey which started with me reading the books to my son (who is now 18).  I’ve loved them all – the books and the movies.  Thanks JK!

P.P.S. I have been participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge this month – 31 days of July.  Didn’t win the badge this time, but I’m totally up for another one!

My Social Media Dilemma

So today I figured I’d actually take a step forward with my own Social Media status and sign up for Google+.

What caught my attention in particular was the comment that Google+ may well become the next Twitter, because it enables you to group and organize in a way that Twitter does not, and that’s big for me.  I really don’t know how anyone has time to keep track of all the tweets coming in when you have thousands of followers.  I only have a few followers and I still can’t keep up.  I appreciate that you can split your followers into “lists” on Twitter, but again, it sounds like Google+ has found a place somewhere between fb and Twitter, and I like the sound of that.

Anyway, I downloaded the fabulous free ebook courtesy of Traci Hayner Vanover via our very own Michelle (thanks again Michelle).  I haven’t read the whole document yet, but skimmed a few pages and tried to jump right in.  Well clearly more than a few million others out there thought these same thoughts and took similar action, with the result I couldn’t sign up because the “field trial is full.”

But no matter, I shall now read and digest at my leisure, and in the meantime I filled out my long-ignored Google profile, did a multi-email address link and a couple of other fun Googley-type things.

As for Google+, I’ll just have to wait to see for myself, and until then will try and keep track of those folks that are already on board.  It’s all good, I’m sure I’ll get on eventually – they/Google promises to “keep me posted” (pun intended Google??).

P.S. I am participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge this month – 31 days of July, a blog a day if I can.

What’s New In Your Neighborhood?

Have you looked around your neighborhood lately?  I’m pretty sure the commercial streets have things like empty car dealerships and shuttered stores.  But how about the block or two where you live?

Times like now, when we’re all counting our pennies, are great for looking closer to home and really exploring our neighborhoods.  Local stuff is usually cheap and often free and you’d be surprised how much is right in front of our noses.  I’m unbelievably spoiled in Southern California – I can look out at mountains in the distance and am barely more than a mile from the ocean.  But ask me how often I go to either?  Yes, that’s right, not so much.  I rarely go to the beach just to relax, except maybe for July 4th fireworks.

But what I’m really talking about here is discovering something new right there in your own neighborhood, maybe just a couple of blocks over from your house.  Here’s something new I found recently in mine – Seaside Heroes Park.

I did a double-take the other day driving past and that tiny glimpse made me want to go and investigate.  So it turns out the park is dedicated to three young men from the area, all of whom gave their lives serving their country.  It’s a great little park, with neat lamp posts, doggy bag drop, drought friendly plants, a little grassy area, a play area for kids, with benches dotted along the way just to sit and contemplate.  It’s kinda hard to tell from the photos, but it’s simply and beautifully done and has a really nice feel to it.

We have a lot of gas and oil pipeline easement in this area, so perhaps this was one where the oil company said it was OK for this park to be built – wouldn’t that be nice?

Anyway, just one good reason for me to have new eyes when I’m next out and about in the neighborhood.  Let me know if you find something new and beautiful in yours.

P.S. I am participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge this month – 31 days of July, a blog a day if I can.

A Little LA Public Transportation and Stevie

And a little adventure to take my mind off the latest darkness of mankind.

Had a last minute invite to go up to the lovely Hollywood Bowl and having recently discovered there’s a Hollywood Bowl shuttle bus all way from down here in the beach cities, I gave it a whirl.  So for $8 ($5 if I’d known sooner) I got to ride up on the party bus, landing at the front entrance.  I took a mini cooler with egg salad sandwiches, some nuts, lemon snaps, a couple of apples and chocolate.  And got there lickety-split.

Had myself a nice cold one while waiting for my bff to arrive at will call (she came down on the metro rail). She brought a self-concocted alcoholic concoction – and very delicious it was too.

So we sat high up in the bowl, we could see Griffith Observatory and the Hollywood sign, and as the sun set we listened to a variety of cool artists do a couple of numbers each.

After intermission we got to hear Janelle Monet (absolutely fabulous), Sharon Jones (powerhouse singer) and then Stevie Wonder.  I was reminded by my friend that this time last year we were at a very small club in the Marina seeing Elements of Earth, Wind & Fire (the Larry Dunne version) and who should show up but Stevie.  Having never seen him perform live, I was in complete awe.  Anyway, tonight at the bowl he asked for a moment of silence for Norway.  Then he talked about some of the songs that first influenced him, he kind of rambled and tinkered and sang parts of them.  It was neat, kind of intimate, very cool.  When he switched keyboards and started Superstition I wanted to cry, for all kinds of reasons I’m sure, but I just love him and his music and to see him live is really, really special for me.  As I said, I am just plain in awe.  Then he did Higher Ground as well.  That was it, just a tiny set, but that’s OK, I’ll take whatever I can get.

And then I rode the bus back home with the same folks I’d ridden up with, sitting back, relaxed, enjoying downtown LA at night, looking at all the buildings and getting to note their names finally.

If you live somewhere with a thriving and integrated public transportation system (ie., pretty much anywhere else but L.A.), this likely won’t be significant, but in this town, both of us successfully using public transportation to meet up for some great entertainment, was pretty special.


P.S.  I’ll be doing it again at the end of Summer when my sister comes to visit – yay!

P.S. I am participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge this month – 31 days of July, a blog a day if I can.

Dammit Amy

So sorry to learn that you’ve checked out of this world.

I’ve had a kinda love-hate relationship with you.  I love your voice, the soul you put out, but you’ve been this one-off, hard-ass, skinny, tattooed, beehive-toting, hard-core partying artist woman and I’ve been scared for you.  You got hugely successful and I got even more scared for you.

But did you mean to go?  Did you say hey, things are just so screwed up and guess what, I’m 27, so now’s the time?

I know you didn’t wanna go to rehab, no matter how many times you went, cos until you REALLY want to stop, you won’t.  Did you decide to stop this way?  Or were you trying into the wee hours to reach that elusive high again? Impossible after the first one of the night, impossible when you’re super-saturated kiddo.  Maybe you reached it and it took you out.  Maybe your body just said, we’re at 27 and we’re done, let’s join the other 27s and leave that mark in history.

Seems like some stuff had been coming to a head anyways, so I guess all the struggles are over for you now… but dammit Amy.

So sorry for all those close to you that loved you.

P.S. I am participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge this month – 31 days of July, a blog a day if I can.

Dear Airwaves

Now that I walk three steps to my office instead of having to sit in traffic for sometimes an hour, twice a day, the one thing I miss is my one-on-one time with radio – mostly public radio, but any radio really.  I still catch up a little on the weekends, bringing my morning tea back to bed on occasion and only getting up when I’ve heard everything at least once.  But a month or so ago I turned off that bedside radio alarm to spare the early wake-up for an out-of-town family visitor, and forgot to turn it back on.

I never got into satellite radio, so don’t even know what they send out over the airwaves.  Kind of ironic too, as I used to work for a radio network. All in all it’s struck me that I’m kinda out of the news reporting loop. And funny, I don’t really feel like I’m missing anything there.  I mean I get my headline news on my computer and my blackberry, and I do get the local paper four days a week (although mostly I use that as litter layers for the rabbits and new guinea pig!). And podcasts, I don’t partake myself but I feel it’s not the same anyway.

What’s missing and what I like so much about terrestrial radio is the intimacy.

Interacting on fb like we are now definitely gives me hope that all will not be lost forever in our more and more isolationist society, but it seems that on that personal, one-to-one level it may just become quieter and quieter; friendly, funny, soothing, even jarring voices on the airwaves being replaced by the muted clicking and clacking of keyboard keys.

When I go to bed tonight I’m going to make sure my radio alarm button is re-set.  And I do still have one radio-listening ace up my sleeve: I always, always tune in to the radio when I’m soaking in the tub!

Sure hope you’ll hang around a while longer dear Airwaves.

P.S. I am participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge this month – 31 days of July, a blog a day if I can.

Knowing and Seeing

I am fascinated by animal behavior and love observing their actions.  It makes me pay better attention to my world.

How different their world is to ours.  Yesterday I took my two dogs out for a walk.  It was around 5pm, so still light.  We went to my bank on the corner to deposit a check and then proceeded to walk our usual route, just in reverse.  The girls are now 6 yrs old and we’ve been walking this route for almost as many years, so you’d think they’d be their normal semi-confident selves.  Nope, they were very tentative, ears about as far forward as they can get but tails low instead of high, walking behind my knee line instead of wanting to be a step ahead. Not until the very last minute, when we reached our front yard, did they seem to say “Oh, OK, this place I know!”

I’ve learned that what they see is all the details, no panoramic stuff at all.  Although we’ve walked the exact same circuit clockwise many, many times, they don’t know that and even if they did, today we’re going anti-clockwise, so brand new ballgame right.  And as their vocabulary doesn’t stretch as far as ‘remember, reverse or perspective, let alone clockwise and anti-clockwise’ I can’t tell them either.

But see, even as erect homo sapiens, if you look West from one end of your street, then walk to the other end, turn around and look East, yes, of course it’s completely different.  But yet it’s the same street.  Why?  Because we’ve been up and down it, this way and that way, yes, but we also remember it, we took a snapshot of the big picture.  Simply we know.

Perspective, then, is really about the knowing, not the seeing?

P.S. I am participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge this month – 31 days of July, a blog a day if I can.

Saying S**t

Photo Credit:

Do you care what people are saying about you? OK, everybody cares a little bit, but does it get to you to the extent it takes your focus away from everything else, from the  productive stuff in your life, and starts gnawing away at your insides?

If so why?  Is it because you feel the need to defend yourself and can’t? Because I’m pretty sure you’re not bothered when people say nice things about you.

I’m probably stating the obvious here, but I was speaking to a close friend of mine the other night who’s struggling with some stuff right now, and she mentioned “everybody’s always saying s**t about me when I’m not there.”  I said forget about “them.”  Who cares what they’re saying.  Ah, she said, but you don’t understand how it is here.

And maybe I don’t, but what I do believe is you can choose to give it energy, or you can choose to ignore it.

You know that the back-stabbing nonsense is not really about you, right?  You know it’s about “them.”  So let them have it, all of it.  And if you ever find it creeping inside your head, inside your gut, just picture Thumper saying “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all!” then take a breath, exhale deeply and get on with your day.

P.S. I am participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge this month – 31 days of July, a blog a day if I can.

A Day in the Life of Romeo

Today started with noise, fear, death smell, noise, chaos, monsters, and then suddenly someone Warm and Soft.  More noise but different, still moving with Warm and Soft.  Then a different Warm and Soft and peace and quiet.

My name is Romeo, but she keeps calling me Boney-o.

Warm and Soft #1 and #2 took me out in the grass, I ran after the big cat and checked out the other two big dogs.  Warm and Soft #1 left and Warm and Soft #2 put me in a cage, but not like this morning.  I had some real food and water and took a nap.  Warm and Soft #2 came back, took me out and gave me a bath and some more food. Then I ran around the house, smelled all the smells, pee-d on a big dog bed, pee-d on a nice carpet… whoops.  Warm and Soft #2 took me outside again and I did what I was supposed to outside.  Then I ran around some more…wheeeeee!

In a few days, when I’ve eaten a lot more food, Warm and Soft #2 says she’s gonna start calling me Romeo again.  And then I’ll be ready to go to Warm and Soft #3, who’s been waiting all this time.

P.S. I am participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge this month – 31 days of July, a blog a day if I can.