The American West in the 1850s

These are drawings done in 1856 of Los Angeles and the Mission of San Diego, along with the great basin from the summit of Tejon Pass and a surveying party at the entrance of Livermore’s Pass.  These all appear in a volume of books commissioned by the War Department in the 1850s to determine the…

The Mental Benefits of Cooking

I felt discombobulated this morning – well, depressed is a better term – given all the ugly news over the past several days. I had a good talk with Ray, a little cry and then did what I always do when I feel disconnected and a bit unraveled.  I cooked. Cooking serves several purposes for…

Some Rambling, then Information on the “Third Age”

I am sitting here, listening to the fan whir.  Ray is upstairs.  Frankie is curled up in a chair nearby, asleep.  Cordelia must be in the other room.  It is quiet here save for the occasional car outside and the whir of that oscillating fan.  My rear-end is sore from sitting so much today.  I…

On Reflection: This Time of Trouble

This morning in church, I felt a particular need to be connected with my fellow parishioners after all the violence in Virginia yesterday. I felt a desire to be focused on our mutual need for divine guidance in these days of unrest, division and trouble. One man was there, a homeless man with tattoos on…

A Little Too Much Computer Time

I have been stuck in front of my computer for hours today.  First with eBay, which was fine since I always enjoy learning; then with my online class, which is also fine, since I love reading everyone’s writing; and finally writing a feature story for the Story Circle Network Journal, which again is fine because…

The Best Gift I’ve Ever Received

The best gift I have ever received was when I turned 60-years-old.  My children planned a trip for the entire family down to Ensenada, Mexico for five days. This had the dual purpose of a celebration of my “big” birthday as well as a chance for our family to meet our new son-in-law’s family, who…

The Wonders of YouTube for DYI Projects

I have joined the ranks of those who watch YouTube videos to learn how to do something new. In my case, I want to reupholster the cushions on our outdoor furniture at the orange grove. We already have the outdoor fabric.  It’s just a question of me getting a little guidance on the simplest method…

Tips Appreciated on How to Naturally Lower Cholesterol

Hi folks, Well, this is a shout-out to anyone who might have some down-to-earth tips on naturally lowering cholesterol.  These would include simple methods to help shed a few pounds too. Yesterday, I started taking psyllium husks in a glass of water (which is supposed to be excellent for lowering cholesterol), then repeated again today…

Blood Tests and Lessons Learned

I had to get blood work done a few weeks back since I was applying for a new life insurance policy.  I was nervous about it. My current life insurance was up and I want Ray to have some security if I die before he does.  He thinks he won’t need it, but if something…

Heading Home after a Camping Weekend

We have just had the loveliest weekend. We went up to Ojai on Friday night and spent the last two days just hanging out with our family at the orange grove. Ron's mom and a family friend came up today for breakfast with us. That was the biggest event of today. Yesterday the biggest event…