The Return of Woody the Cat

Hi everyone. Woody the Cat is back.

A few days ago guess who appeared at my doorstep? Janet! Yes, she walked through the front door, I wonder where she came from. Do any of you know? It is hard to understand people. They come, they go, and then they return again. Mandy, my top person does that frequently. And…she takes Rocky (he’s a dog) with her. Then just like that, she is back again.

Sometimes I get to stay at my house when Mandy disappears. I can sleep on my comfy bed, look out the window, watch the birds, and sleep as much as possible. Oh, I also love to eat. Other times, with much difficulty, Scott and Meghan, Mandy’s family, take me to their house. Once I am there I am fine but trying to catch me and put me in a small case and drive me there, well let me just say it does not bring out my finer side.

When Janet shows up I get to stay home. Ooh, I like that. It has taken me a few days to get used to her being here again. After a few days, I have adjusted. After Mandy left I went in and out of Janet’s room. I sometimes slept on Mandy’s, Rocky’s, and my bed. Then I would slip into Janet’s room for part of the night. Today I decided to just move into her room and stay. The other day I forgot to get up. I slept in until sometime in the afternoon.

I love people. I love people who pet me and feed me and well, just love me. Janet does that very well. She comes in when I am sleeping and picks me up, throws me over her shoulder, and walks me around the house. I like that. I just can’t seem to get enough of snuggling and loving.

I have Janet trained. When she goes into the kitchen I follow her and meow with the sweetest meow I know. She gives me treats. I really really like treats. She sometimes says she is not going to be fooled by me but that sweet meow works every time.

I am excited to have Janet here. She brightens up my life. It is good to have the unexpected happen. When the unexpected comes to visit it shakes up everyone’s life. It is good to have my life shaken up a bit from time to time. It is good for most beings to have their lives shaken up once in a while.

Well, it is time for a nap. Did you know that kitties need at least sixteen hours of sleep a day? Our beauty rest is important. That is why I look so good all the time. That is why I have the finest tail of any kitty I know.

Continue to expect the unexpected. It makes life exciting.

Lessons of Nature

I left San Diego at the end of April. I am thankful for slow and easy journeys in my Roadtrek. As I moved north I had time to stop and explore. I love the coast of California. Actually, the whole west coast is pretty magnificent. It has got to do with water and rugged nature. Much of the Pacific Coast in the United States is a cold and rough ocean.

Carpenteria State Beach

I arrived at Carpenteria State Beach, near Santa Barbara, for a four-night stay. I have learned to speak up if I don’t find a campsite to my liking. I was originally in a parking site between two rigs. There was no picnic table and I felt like I was in a parking lot. When I spoke to the ranger, he gave me three sites to look at. I found the perfect site. Although the park was busy my site was quiet. I remained there for four nights.

There are moments in time that are special in my life. One of them occurred while camping at Carpenteria. This is spring and the Snowy Plovers were sitting on eggs or managing their young. They are protected, so the area where they are nesting was closed off to the public.

I spent a morning sitting outside the roped-off area watching the babies and adult Plovers. I have seen signs for the Snowy Plovers before, yet this is the first time I have actually had the opportunity to see the adults and babies.

Here are some facts about these sweet little birds.

  • Snowy Plovers are pale brown shorebirds, that forage for invertebrates on ocean beaches and in desolate salt flats and alkaline lakes. Snowy Plovers make nearly invisible nests on beaches, where they are easily disturbed by humans, dogs, and beach vehicles.
Adult Snowy Plover
  • They are endangered. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 31,000, of which an estimated 24,000 breed in the U.S. Presently, fewer than 2,000 breeding plovers remain in the Pacific coast population.
  • Their camouflage is perfect for their environment. If I took my eyes off the young ones it took a bit to find them again.
  • Young Snowy Plovers leave the nest within 3 hours of hatching and are able to forage unassisted almost immediately (though the parents still brood them periodically to keep them warm). If a predator approaches, the parent gives a signal and the chicks flatten themselves against the ground.
  • Snowy Plovers often raise 2 broods of chicks a year. Females occasionally desert their mates when the chicks hatch to begin a new nest with a different male.
  • The oldest recorded Snowy Plover was 15 years and 9 months old when it was spotted in Oregon and identified by its band.

It was an honor to see these little birds and photograph them. Their curiosity was infectious. They made me laugh and feel joy. They remind me of the fragility and strength of life in all forms. It is important to support all life that is left in this world, even these little shorebirds. Every time another species disappears, I feel that a little of you and me disappears as well.

I am so grateful to be given these opportunities in nature. Nature gives me the opportunity to grow and strengthen, to experience joy and delight.

Today I am thankful for the Snowy Plovers. Today I am thankful for nature. Today I am Thankful.

Where I Have Been-Where I am Going

After my last post, I received questions from a few people asking where I am. I am not being a very good blogger because I have not let people know of my continued journey since I left the desert.

By April the desert is warming up. It in fact is getting pretty hot. As much as I love the desert, I am not a lover of extreme heat. I was there later than usual this year. I arrived late so left late. I got to visit good friends, do a little kayaking, and get my desert fix once more.

Mary, Shay & Rocky

I left the desert at the end of March and climbed into the mountains to visit a good friend, Mary from Idylwild, CA. The temperatures cooled off and signs of earlier spring began to show themselves. The daffodils were blooming and a few tulips were popping out as well. I spent a lovely week with Mary and her two dogs, whom I have pet sat for. Shay and Rocky were glad to see me. It was fun to be out walking with them and catching up on Mary’s life. I even had a bed companion, it is fun that Mary is willing to share Shay the dog.

Since then I have been in San Diego. I am camped on Mission Bay. It has been spectacular weather. The days have been sunny and cool and just perfect. I had my follow-up dental visit. I am on course for good healing from surgery. I get a two-month reprieve before I have to return for a dental cleaning. It won’t be in San Diego as I am going to be heading north.

It is not unusual for friends and strangers to ask me what is next. I don’t know, is frequently my answer. I have never been a good planner. It would drive Jim, my husband, nuts. He had a job that required us to plan vacation time. I did not. I know he found it hard to pin me down and it would be a point of frustration. I would breathe and sit down and within a few days, we would have a plan.

I still have a hard time making decisions. I mean, what if something better comes up? Plans do not have to be set in stone and they can change. I remind myself of this when I am struggling to see what is next. It does cause me some anxiety. It helps to breathe through anxiety. The world is not going to fall apart because I don’t have a plan.

On Sunday, April twenty fourth I am leaving San Diego for the summer. First I am going to Santa Barbara, CA for a week. I will be camping on the beach for a few days. Dan Neeley, who works on my rig is just outside of Santa Barbara, to the east. He is all things Roadtrek. Many of us on the west coast head to him for annual maintenance and help with any other issues. After four days on the beach, I will be going to an Airbnb for a few nights just in case my RV has to spend a night at the hospital.

Upon leaving Santa Barbara, I return to Salinas and Woody the Cat. He and I will be hanging out for most of May. I am getting a second cat fix. I am looking forward to seeing Mandy and Woody again. It also means I get back out on the Elkhorn Slough in my Kayak. That is a very good thing.

I will continue to head to the Northwest, visiting friends and seeing magical things along the way. I have been asked to house sit for the same owners on Whidbey Island, Washington. I am looking forward to another summer in the Northwest. Hopefully, I will see my little Birdy Boy. I will be back in the land of the magical sunsets over Puget Sound.

Sunset over Puget Sound

And there is my summer. A lot of this came together in a few days. It seems that one moment I had no idea what I was doing after my dental appointments were complete and then it took shape and then I had a plan. That plan goes into action tomorrow when I leave San Diego for the next several months. I will meet up with wonderful friends along the way and I am sure I will meet new ones as well.

It Is Always An Adventure

Easter, Breathing, The Power of Prayer

I am not a religious person. I go to church once in a great while when it calls to me. I have faith but usually not religion. Does that make sense?

St Pauls cathedral

Right after Jim died I attended Easter services at St Paul Episcopal Cathedral in San Diego. It was an event. The music resounded through this church. The procession in was awe inspiring. It was a welcoming and holy place. The message I recieved there was of value to me and personal. It was something I could hold dear when I was grieving so intently.

I have attended First Presbyterian Church in Granville, Ohio to hear my niece’s husband preach. He is good.

Because I am an infrequent attendee of any church , these moments sitting in a holy place brings extra value into my life. Churches are quiet and holy and supports my spiritualness.

This morning I was listening to NPR Weekend Edition with Scott Simon. I wanted to share with you, readers, some of what he said at the end of the program.

“This is a weekend that includes Passover, Easter Sunday, and the continuation of Ramadan. Holidays about rescue, renewal, and reflection. Stories about the parting of seas, for a people to escape slavery; a great soul rising; and fasting and long nights of prayer to remind ourselves of the preciousness of life.

Sarah Sager, a Cantor in Beachwood, Ohio, told us this confluence of holy days, “represents the right of every human being to be free. For three-thousand years we have been observing this holiday with the same vision. We will continue to do so until the dream is realized. Somehow, it shouldn’t be so hard and rare.”

Imam Makram Nu’man El-Amin in Minneapolis told us, “I choose not to see this as a coincidence, but a sign that all these faiths overlap. We bring multitudes around the globe together in acts of prayers this weekend for the common good of all peoples. This is especially important in a time of conflicts and social justice concerns.”

This description helps me to more fully understand the meaning of this time. Easter is celebrated around the world. It is celebrated in many different ways. Imagine the power of all those prayers It truly is a holy and powerful time. It is about people of faith and those of us who flounder. It is about all of us.

Continuuing with Weekend Edtition Scott Simon ended with this poem.

And Sister Margaret Guider of the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, sent us a poem that reads in part:

“The convergence of these sacred days
should serve as a collective reminder, 
that the prophetic heritage
of our respective faith traditions, whether adhered to or not
in the ways of our ancestors, continues to permeate the air
which the human family breathes, 
of freedom, love and peace,
the life-giving breath of the Holy One. 

Yet, many of us, throughout the year, 
breathe through our mouths, 
while holding our noses. 

In doing so, we defend ourselves from the suffocating air of 
bondage, hatred and violence 
that surrounds us. 

However, in doing so, 
we also close ourselves off 
from any opportunity of
smelling the scents of 
justice, hope and compassion 
that also arouse conscience, 
giving rise to courage, and resiliency. 
Perhaps these holy days
will provide us with an opportunity to open ourselves to be moved
Christians, East and West, 
Muslims, Shia and Sunni, 
and Jews, Orthodox and Reformed, 
to breathe in 
the scents of the sacred – of freedom, love and peace,
that we are called to breathe out –
Not only on special days,
But every day.”

Breath and Breathing have been a large focus of my life in the past two years. If I examine it, breathing has been an important part of my life since I was born. I have practiced yoga for over thirty years. Breath is so much a part of the practice. It is a very important part of yoga. Conscious breathing is a part of my life for some moments of every day. When I heard this poem read this morning I thought, “ah another reminder of breath and breathing and its many facets of importance in my life. We all breathe together, every moment of our existence on this earth. Breathing reminds me of the sacred and the power of all those prayers to transform and change.

Sunday I am going to church. I am attending my friends’ church. I was invited and I decided to go. I love the music and who knows. maybe I will once again receive a message for myself to carry me forward in growth and breath for another year.

I have already received one message from Weekend Edition this morning. Going to church on Easter Sunday is one more way of reminding me of the sacred and holiness in myself and all human-kind.

Remember to celebrate this holy day however you choose and truly remember to breathe in as well as out. This is a day where we are all one people.

Happy Easter!

Cricket the Dog Comes for a Visit

Hi, I am Cricket the dog. Guess what? I was Janet’s first overnight visitor in her Roadtrek. Yep, my people had to go somewhere and they were concerned about me because it was going to be hot. The next thing you know I went next door to Janet’s rig. Then my food bowl arrived, and my bed and most importantly, my treats.

I really like people. I really like people who pet me and put me at the center of their world. My peeps do this routinely. I expect no less. Janet did the same thing. I like that. She took me for long walks in the desert and around the Fountain of Youth Spa and RV Resort. I love walks. I love walking far. I don’t even mind being on a leash. I like sniffing and exploring and prancing along.

When Janet and I were in her RV I got to lay on the bed with her. I also got to thoroughly sniff her house on wheels. Crumbs on the floor are always of interest to me. They don’t remain there for very long. Hmm, I wonder where those food scraps go. 🐶

While Janet prepared dinner I got to sit on the front passenger seat and watch her chop and chop. There was a very interesting smell of meat. I stayed alert just in case she dropped something or offered me a tidbit. That tidbit was good. Lipsmacking good.

At night I slept curled up next to her on the bed. I like being next to humans. I am just a small dog and sometimes I get cold so I like sleeping close to humans. It keeps me warm. And I like being loved by peeps.

After a day, only one of my people returned. I am not sure where the other one went but Jim promised me I would see her again. To make sure I slept on her pillow when I returned to my own house on wheels. Jim is good, really good, but Rhonda is the best there is. She spoils me, a lot.

When you see this post I will be on my way east with Jim. We are going to meet up with Rhonda somewhere in Texas, whatever that means. It is just important to see Rhonda again.

Cricket & Rhonda

I am a little dog that goes on some very big adventures, really big. I love seeing so many new things and smelling new smells. Us dogs really have good sniffers.

I loved being a part of Janet’s life for twentyfour hours. I now find I am comfrotable to bound into her rig whenever I want. I have another home. How about that?

The Desert

“It’s strange how deserts turn us into believers. I believe in walking in a landscape of mirages because you learn humility. I believe in living in a land of little water because life is drawn together. And I believe in the gathering of bones as a testament to spirits that have moved on. If the desert is holy, it is because it is a forgotten place that allows us to remember the sacred. Perhaps that is why every pilgrimage to the desert is a pilgrimage to the self.”   

                  Terry Tempest Williams

A rare storm in the CA desert

The desert is hot and dry most of the year.  There are many things that can poke, scratch, and hurt quickly. Many of the creatures also have the ability to hurt. There is little water. When it does rain much of the water runs off into arroyos, ditches, and gulleys. The ground does not quickly absorb the moisture. Everything that lives in these places has figured out how to conserve water and find food. Desert Big Horn Sheep only need to drink every three days when the temperature is above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

In this southern California desert, it gets confusing. Here it is hot, it is dry, and yet thanks to the Colorado River and rich soil, Imperial County (in the California Desert) is a breadbasket for this country. The ranchers grow iceberg lettuce, leaf lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, cantaloupes, honeydews, dry bulb onions, processor onions, carrots, sweet corn, spinach, spring mix, and watermelons. During this trip, I have seen fields of hay and flowers.

All this growth makes it hard to comprehend this area is a desert. When you get away from the fields everything goes back to dry and hard land. There are still more surprises in this desert. I went for a hike yesterday and found an oasis. There were palm trees and other riparian plants growing in this one small area. As I got closer I found water and signs of deer, desert bighorn sheep, and other animals. Life is busy where there is water. Animals, amphibians, and birds know where this water is. It is their lifeblood.

Yes, the desert is hard. I discovered the desert when I moved west in 1976. The wide-open spaces, the silence, and the ruggedness drew me to the desert. The flat land is rugged and so are the mountains. I found I loved to explore this landscape and get to know it. I understood that I had to come to the desert on its terms. Its silence and beauty awakens me in a way that no other place can. I need to be aware of so much here. This awareness lets me relish being in the moment.

The Chocolate Moutains

I came to the desert after Jim died so I could grieve and the desert understood. There were times that I became hard and brittle like this place. I had to confront all sides of myself and I walked out alive. That alone is an accomplishment.

I return to this environment each year to remember and explore and let myself be absorbed in this amazing place once again. Yesterday’s surprise was a small oasis, teeming with life. The next time it might be another slot canyon or a dry waterfall that demands me to climb it. I have learned to lift the rocks and stones away from me when I want to see what is under them. I have learned to walk carefully and be careful of the Catsclaw ( a very thorny shrub that has destroyed more than one pair of hiking pants and a tent). I am still learning about all the spikey, pokey things. I am careful of the animals and creepy crawlies. Respect is taught in a place such as this.

My time is quickly drawing to a close. It is getting too hot for me and I am beginning to feel parched. The dentist is also calling me back to San Diego. Hopefully, I am at the end of this dental event.

I will return to this rugged formidable land again and again. I love all the deserts that I have seen. The California desert is amazing. Yet, have you ever seen southern Utah and northern and southern Arizona? Each area is so different and so desert. I am grateful to have been introduced to this land, to this amazing landscape, and to the desert.

Today I am thankful for my time near the Salton Sea. It has been good to be reunited with friends. It has been good to reunite with this rugged, wonderful environment. The Desert.

Finally, Into the Desert

What to do between dental appointments. There are so many choices. I guess I could have stayed in San Diego yet I am a traveler and a nomad.

How can a desert lover resist the pull of the desert? I chose to go to Salinas and the Monterey area in February when I would usually be out in the desert for the winter. It was time to change it up. I swear I could hear the desert questioning why I wasn’t there. It lures you in and the hold is strong.

Last Friday early, I climbed into my rig and headed to eastern California to kayak in the desert. Yep, you heard me right, kayak in the desert. It is a strange thing to think of water in a desolate and dry land and yet there it is.

The Colorado River begins high in the Rocky Mountains. It meanders its way southwest, through Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and then rides along the border of California and Arizona before it would empty into the Sea of Cortez. It is the lifeblood of the west. Water is like gold. It is fought over and protected in a land that is often dry and forbidding.

Since it supplies water to such areas as Phoenix and Southern California the Colorado water is managed. Dams have created a playground in Southern California and Arizona right in the heart of the desert. Where one would not expect lakes, they are plentiful.

I met a friend of mine, Cori, at Squaw Lake, and on a perfectly sunny, not too warm day we took off to explore the lake and a small section of the Colorado River, where the currents can be surprisingly strong and sneaky. We kayaked for close to 4 hours in this unique land. Cori and I talked and weaved our way through “The Nile” and eventually made it to the river. It was a perfect day, perfect company, and a perfect kayak.

Swinging in the Salton Sea

We have both moved north to the Salton Sea, a dead accidental sea in the middle of the southern California desert. Not much lives in it as it is extremely salty. On the east side of the Salton Sea, there are hot springs. The Fountain of Youth RV Resort & Spa is a winter attraction for those who live in the northern United States and Canada. It is warm and pleasant in the winter. The days warm into the 80’s Fahrenheit and down to the ’40s at night.

I have friends from Michigan and New Mexico staying here for the winter. After a Covid year off it is good to meet up with everyone again. We all own Roadtreks. Owning one of these RVs has certainly added to my life in my ways. I have met and become friends with so many good people.

I have been walking and soaking in the pools and hot springs. This morning I went to Yoga. I spend much of my time alone so it is nice to visit with such good and dear friends. After almost two Covid years I have to practice being social again.

I am here for another week and a half before the dentist once again lures me back to San Diego. Sigh. The good news is I am almost done with the dentist.

What’s Next? I have no idea. Plans will take shape as spring emerges. Meanwhile, I am enjoying my brief time in the desert this year. I am enjoying my friends.

Today I am thankful, for the desert, for tried and true friends, and that I can take my kayak almost anywhere and find water to launch it.

Janet’s Inner Child Goes to the Dentist

I really dislike the dentist. Let me rephrase this statement, I really dislike going to the dentist. Since I was in fifth grade I have gotten bad news from almost every dentist I have ever had. Often when I visit the dentist I feel like a fifth grader again.

It is not unheard of, in my past, to break into tears as the dentist once again announces that more dental work needs to be done. Impacted teeth must come out. Oh look I need another root canal. Those crowns look old, time to be replaced. There is a cavity underneath that crown, off comes the crown a filling is placed, and on goes a new crown. About five years ago it was announced that two of my back teeth needed to come out, bone buildup needed to be done, and just like that, I had my first implant. Oh sigh.

At close to seventy years old “young Janet” often shows up when she goes to the dentist. If there is one place that my inner child finds free reign to come out and create havoc, just point me towards the dentist. I become a nervous wreck, not sleeping well the night before my appointment, and bracing myself for the “hard news” once again. I encourage myself to be strong and don’t cry. It isn’t that bad. The news feels like the end of the world and the tears come.

I will use several techniques to keep calm and in control. I wish they always worked but at least I have them in my arsenal and often I am amazed to find they do work.

  • Breath Work. I have practiced yoga for many years. I am able to bring forth breath work to help me through this stressful time. Sometimes it works, sometimes not so much.
  • I picture the whole event before it happens. I see myself as calm and in control.
  • I have had talks with my inner child from time to time, remembering to tell her that she is loved and this is a part of life. After the appointment is over I can have a treat. It helps. Really. Today a Donut. (I know, not a healthy choice but sometimes…)
  • I do a lot of research so that I can become my own best advocate. I know it is sometimes hard for the dentist to have to answer all the questions yet it makes me feel better to be a little more in control.
  • I arrive early so I have time to relax and breathe.
  • There was one dentist in my past that had a massage chair. I liked that a lot.
  • And if all else fails after my visit I have a good cry and get over it.

I am in San Diego, camped at Mission Bay and I have two more dental appointments this month. Sigh. It helps that this periodontist is professional and kind and treats me with respect. As I signed the treatment plans today I felt that I was becoming a part of the team. I think this helps me remain a little more the adult Janet.

I still went for that white cream-filled donut on my way back to my rig.

Woody the Cat, Checking In

Hi, this is Woody the cat here.

Sunday, the door opened and there was Mandy and Rocky the dog. Where did they come from? First, they leave, I get used to them being gone, and then just like there they are. Hmm.

Janet told me that she is leaving. What’s with that? Why does everyone keep coming and going? I don’t know. I don’t really care a lot as long as my needs as “King Cat” get met. What are my needs? Eating, yes I like doing that. Sleeping. Ooh, I like that too. Being petted is always a good idea.

It has been an interesting month with Janet. I moved from Mandy and my bedroom to the guest bedroom. At first, I would come in at night and sleep with Janet. I like to snuggle. Then I decided that I really liked that bed and after Janet was up I decided to stay. She seemed to be surprised at this but why go to another room when that bed is already warm. It is easier to just stay where everything is broken in.

Janet came and went. Most days she disappeared for a while and then she came back. She brought back interesting smells with her. A lot of it smelled like salt and outdoors. Once in a while, she came back smelling like food. She told me that she goes kayaking. I am not sure what that is but it involves water. I don’t think I would like that. Water is for drinking. Mandy sometimes squirts me with it. Water for drinking is good. Water for squirting me, not so much.

Janet bought me a red dot. I am fascinated by this red dot. It goes on the floor, it goes on the wall. It seems to go wherever it wants. It appears to come from a little object in Janet’s hand. Even if I can figure it out, well, I like it. The red dot is fun and I am glad it is here.

She also introduced me to a “mouse game” on one of her computers. These little mice come out of nowhere and then they disappear again. I like these mice. They are quick and I try to catch them. I wonder where they come from and where they go. I like this mouse game. I hope she shows this to Mandy so I can keep up with these mousies.

I am glad to see Mandy and Rocky. Even though I complain about Rocky the dog at time, I like to play with him. He chases me around and well sometimes I egg him on. It is fun to irritate the dog.

Last night I had a choice. Do I go to sleep with my always peeps or do I sleep with Janet? I did both. I didn’t want to leave anyone out.

Janet says she leaves tomorrow, Tuesday. I will be sad to see her go. Then my routine will get back to normal, whatever that is. That is what cats do, adjust to whatever is around. I think I may remember her as she is kind and boy did I have her wrapped around my paw. She carried me about. I got treats on demand. I got smart about the treats and eventually, Janet could not leave them on the counter anymore. Sleeping under the covers was a great chance to snuggle against this human. I liked having her around.

Well, I am out of here. I liked writing on here and introducing you to Elwood Blues Carter, otherwise known as Woody the Cat. Remember me as the cat with the glorious tail. Maybe you will hear from me again. I am very glad to have met everyone.

Today I am thankful for meeting all of you. Today I am thankful for Janet. Today I am thankful to have Mandy and Rocky home. Today it is good to be “The Cat”.

A Month in Salinas

Today I realized that my month in Salinas, CA is almost up. It feels like I just arrived when in truth I have been here for three weeks. Time has a way of slipping by.

What have I been doing with my time? What spectacular places have I discovered? How is the whole house-sitting thing going? What is next and next and next?

Here are some of the things I have been doing with my time in northern California.

  • I have discovered the Elkhorn Slough. The Slough is in the center of Monterey Bay and is managed by the Nature Conservancy. One can hike or kayak and bird watch in and around the Slough. I have taken full advantage of it’s close proximity to Salinas. I think I will kayak for an hour or so and then three hours later I am returning to my put in at Moss Landing, hungry and happy for a day on the water. And, oh the wildlife I have seen. It is definitely a place worth exploring.
  • The Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in Pacific Grove was alive with Butterflies. By the time I leave on March first the butterflies will also be migrating. I am glad I saw them. It is a special place.
  • Calla Lily Valley at the north end of the Big Sur Coast was in full bloom. After enjoying the lilies I made my way out to the beach and admired the beautiful Pacific Ocean.
  • Wineries abound in this area. I spent my first Saturday afternoon at the Folktale Winery, tasting wine and listening to good music.
  • I have done a lot of walking around Salinas. I have enjoyed looking at the well cared for and lovely homes in the neighborhoods.
  • I have explored the coastal communities. I have been in and out of several state parks and explores some of the local wildlife refuges. I love being outside and exploring the natural settings.
  • And then, there is Woody the Cat. He is a darling boy who I am glad to have met. This cat craves affection. He snuggles with me every night. I have found him sleeping next to my face, on my head and under the covers. He is a delightful boy, a charming personality.
  • My bicycle has two new tires and is tuned up for another season. It rides well. It is always good to find the good bike shops in town.
  • Although not submitted, my taxes are complete. This is the first year in many years that I have done my own taxes. Turbo Tax made it relatively easy. My “accountant” Cynthia (not offically my accountant) will review them with me before I submit them. It is good to have friends who understand accounting and are willing to help. I am thankful for Cynthia’s help.

I could go on but as you can see my time, even when I am in new places, is a mix of adventure, and getting things done. It is no different than yours. We go have fun and then we do taxes.

Where to next? I am returning to San Diego for most of March. My dentist and I have an ongoing relationship of many years. I am returning to San Diego to once again get involved with dental work. Oh joy. I once told Jim, my husband that he should have checked my mouth before he married me. With his usual roll of the eyes, he laughed and proceeded to love me, no matter what.

Today I am thankful for the opportunities that continue to gift my life. I am thankful for the dentist. I am thankful for Woody. Today I am thankful.