Writing, Memories and More…

I AM UP TO MY EYEBALLS IN EDITING, have a book signing in a week with a list of all the things that need to be done breathing down my neck, today is the 25th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake which devastated Santa Cruz, San Francisco and our own local areas…and I just finished a three-plus mile walk after a three week hiatus. Quite a hodge-podge of things in my life (the story of my life—teehee)–always and forever.

But for now, this is plenty. So much to do. I needed a break.

I needed a break from my editing, from my planning…from the craziness I manage to create, so I decided on a walk. A mini-escape. It’s an excellent way to refresh the mind—clean out the cobwebs, so to speak. If I haven’t mentioned it before, Point Lobos State Park is my favorite place to meander. All those trees—and the lovely coastline. To die for. I may have overdone it slightly, since I am ready for a nap now that it’s done. So much for feeling refreshed. (grin)

I dusted off my good camera and found a few things worthy of capturing. I alternated between the iPhone and my good camera as I walked through the woods.

As I walked, I thought about the earthquake that struck our area twenty-five years ago and wondered when the next one would hit. Not if, but when. The science of predicting earthquakes is pretty lame, so after the earthquake, they announced another would come within the next thirty years. The reporters today are saying that scientists are saying another of similar devastation (6.9 or greater) in the next thirty years. What? Thirty years from now?? I thought we had five more years on the first warning. Can you tell I don’t hold much trust in their predictions. I wondered, while I walked what I’d do if one happened while I was on my walk. I decided I’d deal with it when it happened. No need to worry about it till then, so I turned my attention back to my walk.

The sun was playing hide and seek with the clouds, fading in and out, but was never strong. There was a high cloud ‘film’ apparently defusing the brightness. I was looking for rays of light streaming into the forest through the canopy of green to photograph. It did not oblige me. But, the lichen was lovely. Gently waving in the breeze, it was beautiful when the sunlight hit the lacy green sheets of lichen.

Once I get the photos off the cameras, I’ll add them to this post (that’s the plan, anyway…)—when I’m feeling more alert.

Ideas for my book signing at Open Ground Studios (on Saturday, 25th of October) bounced around in my mind as I walked—hope I can remember them later, and my characters sat on my shoulders, whispering in my ears, telling me what they want me to do in book four—I’m excited to see where that book is headed. Then, my ongoing edit tapped me on my shoulder, reminding me that I’ve had enough of a walkabout and it was time to hunker down in front of the computer and get back to business. Such a party crasher. I shrugged off the reminder.

Like I said, I walked a little too far (over three miles) for my first time after three weeks ‘off’, so my edit will have to wait till tomorrow. Tonight, I rest and recover from my wonderful day on the Peninsula. Tomorrow, I’m back to plugging away at the corrections so I can have book three published before the end of the year.

Until next time, folks. Have a blessed week—enjoy the changing weather. Check back later (over the weekend) and I’ll have a few photos of Point Lobos posted in this blog.


My Furry Friend

THIS BEING “NURSEMAID” HAS DEFINITELY brought Kaeli and I closer. My sweet ‘little’ golden retriever/lab mix had surgery for foxtails (nasty pointy little seeds with barbs that keep pushing their way into fur and then skin…and beyond) and has not been able to roam freely on the property until she is healed. She’s been stuck on a leash, even to walk around on her property. She had to wear the Cone of Shame for almost a week to keep her from chewing on or otherwise irritate the wounds. The Cone of Shame is finally put away and her spirits lifted somewhat (she looked so forlorn with it on). I’m spending heaps of time with her and I’m getting more love and respect in return—I like both. Anytime we head out in the direction of the car, she prances up to it—since I’ve taken her literally everywhere I’ve gone, which limits me to places that will allow pets inside or where the weather (at this point only cool night air) allows me to leave her in the confines of the car.  Most of the time I have to say No (just out to ‘air’ her in the yard), but when it’s a Yes, she eagerly jumps into the back and when it’s time to come back out, she’s unusually polite…waits for me to grab the leash, then waits patiently for the command to exit.  Nice—a very nice change of pace.  Historically, though she knows all of the commands, she minds only when serves her purpose. Usually, she darts out the second the door is wide enough for her to escape. (Yes, I know I should be the one in charge, not the dog…but we have an understanding…) So, this minding is a very nice change, indeed.

I’m having fun bringing her with me. I love how she creates art on the window with her nose prints. And how she is so attentive to her surroundings. Always observant. Having her travel with me in my truck is something I thought of doing long ago (…but somehow never got around to it)—that way, even on hot days, she could still be with me. But, I would need to have some way for her to escape the sun…or rain and I am so afraid someone will steal her out of the truck bed because she is such a beautiful, loving girl. Hmm…maybe that’s why it never happened.

Right now she’s lying on top of my foot, keeping it nice and warm—it’s almost ten degrees cooler than yesterday…thank God. Soon, I’ll go run an errand, leaving her to pout in the house, since it’s to a store that won’t let non-working dogs venture into.

All too soon, she will be healed and allowed out to romp in the yard without me. I wonder if she’ll miss our walks together. I guess I don’t need to stop doing them—and I shouldn’t stop doing them. I need to make the time to go on walks around the property together (at the very least)—and take trips out and about in the car together. Trips that don’t have an end-destination like the vet or groomer. Fun trips. I think we just might start driving to then walking around the park on the south edge of town. I did a quick solo walk there recently (pre-Kaeli surgery) and enjoyed it—I know she will also. Lots of new smells and squirrels to hunt (on leash, of course).

Since I work on writing this blog over the course of the week (started it on Monday), that “soon” has come already. Today (Thursday) is the first day in two weeks that I have not had Kaeli by my side, driving around in the car running errands and at Open Ground Studios as I write or create art. It was a bit of an experiment—even if forced by her surgery, to see how well we would ‘work’ together outside of home life. Now, it feels very strange to not have her with me. Though I’m certain she is having fun romping around—having regained the freedoms she lost for two weeks, I think I miss her at my side. No, I know I miss her. And that is something I didn’t expect.

I think it’s time to make some changes. Now, if I can only figure out how to include my cat…

May your week be filled with thoughts of the lazy days of autumn, as the hours of the day grow shorter. And colder, with leaves crunching beneath your feet.

Blessings to you all.

It’s Not Been My Day…

IT’S NOT BEEN MY DAY—ALL. WEEK. long. No walks, no work accomplished, no shopping doen…I think the last straw was when I tried to save my blog and it vanished. I’ve taken a short break, and now I’m starting over. Things like this have been the norm…all week. Ninety to one hundred degree weather also seems to be the norm—this is not normal for our area…and it has me wilting.

I can’t focus when it gets this hot. My little sweeties aren’t exactly helping, either. Sebastian is great at instigating situations, then looking innocent. “Who, me?” I find myself laughing…usually.

Sebastian, the Instigator

Sebastian, the Instigator

Kaeli (11 year old Golden Retriever/Lab mix) and Sebastian were alone last Thursday night and when I came home, Kaeli was favoring her right front foot. I just figured she and Sebastian were chasing each other down the stairs and she took a wrong step. She’s done it before. Sometimes she can be a real klutz. The next day she wasn’t walking on it at all. I figured a visit to the vet was in order if it wasn’t better. Also, Kaeli has 3/4 acres to romp in, right? Poison oak, manzanita, oak trees…and lots of weeds. The poison oak I can deal with (just wipe Kaeli down when she comes in…and wash my hands after handling her), but I can’t keep up with the weeds. The grass weeds just happen to be the ‘foxtail’ variety. Needle-like seed carrier that works it’s way into fur, then into and through the skin. It was really meant to work it’s way into the ground…to burrow down to ‘plant’ itself. But it doesn’t know the difference between dirt or animal.

Kaeli is usually pretty good about plucking them out. Plus, I brush her, so I get the rest. Except, with our wacky weather (first hot, then almost winter-like, then hot again), her poor coat just doesn’t know what to do, so she has developed a massive undercoat that I can’t keep up with and the result is, those blasted foxtails make their way under her skin. I think they ganged up on her and attacked her or she decided to wallow in the weeds…or something, because she had three or four areas that were bad. Bad enough to need to visit the vet—the second reason to see the vet on Friday. The decision was the foot was another foxtail…not a strain. So, surgery was scheduled for Monday (the foot was the one place the vet did not find a foxtail).

She came home Monday with the Cone of Shame, four shaved bits of body, plus the incision on her foot…and my concentration took a nose-

Miss Kaeli with Cone of Shame

Miss Kaeli with Cone of Shame

dive. The looming deadlines are screaming at me: documents waiting to be signed and returned, my manuscript—freshly back from the editor, is hovering over my head waiting for review and correction from the first round of edits, copy from my publisher’s marketing department awaiting review and corrections—and this blog…but Kaeli requires almost constant ‘surveillance’. My smart little sweetie quickly managed to figure out how to get to the incision on her foot, even with the cone. Simply stand, place the paw out, lean the cone up against the leg and rest it on the top of the foot…and lick. Which means I have to keep her close at hand, lying down, or she will sneak in a lick.

Very frustrating. To say the least.

Not much accomplished in a week. Everything remains in limbo, waiting for my sweet puppy to heal up. I have managed to sign the documents and get them off, plus get this blog post done (thankfully). I was able to take her with me the two times I went to Open Ground Studios to do some work…and make a visit to my chiropractor—bless him…he let me bring her in to the room for the adjustment. Oh, and yesterday we went to the grocery store once it was dark and cool—I could leave her in the car to sneak in to buy two things before she figured out how to get in her licks.

Now to go run an errand without Kaeli and see if she’ll be a good girl in my absence (I finally gave up and put a bandage on her foot earlier today, covering the incision). I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the bandage will still be there when I get back. Maybe I’ll be able to go to church on Sunday. Maybe…

I love her so much. I want her well—for her sake as much as mine…she looks depressed…all mopey, not being able to roam freely around her property. I miss my freedom, too, of being able to go to the store…or walks (she can’t come with me because the incision on her foot hurts too much) without thinking about whether she’ll get into trouble in my absence…

Heal fast my little sweetie so we can both play…