Oh God, where are the tears?

I’m in a strange way today.  My stepmother passed away, almost the same time as Doris Day whom she resembled when they were both a lot younger.  You’ll have to believe me as I have no photos of her.  She hated having her picture taken as she aged and grew plump and would threaten anyone who pointed a camera in her direction.
I’m not weepy.  In a way, it’s a relief.  For the last few years, she’s lived in diapers, bedridden and often incoherent … too heavy and brittle of bone  to be transported for family dinners or holidays.  With the exception of my brother, anyone who cared about her either died or moved too far away for regular visits. So there are no tears but I am not okay.
I was living in Europe when, without warning, I got the news that my father had remarried. The announcement was hidden in a rambling letter filled with weather and ski conditions and other of life’s mundanities, a somewhat innocuous little sentence between “your brother bought a motorcycle” and “the dog has fleas” and there it was:   “By the way, Mrs. Hindley and I got married the other day.”  I broke down with a resounding NO that probably wasn’t heard on the other side of the world but blew my uncle off his perch at the bar and into the arms of his boss’s buxom, boozy secretary.
At that time, I didn’t knew my stepmother well, but I knew her children.   Her poor broken children. The eldest, a girl, spent  her teen years in and out of the psyche ward until she dropped out of school and ran off with her boyfriend.  The two boys also dropped out, married and ended up in the Navy.  Did I mention that my stepmother was a kindergarten teacher?
I suppose I should say kind words as the woman did me no real harm.  She was in general, generous.  I have many trinkets from her numerous trips.  Until recently she remembered everyone’s birthday and she adored my father.  Okay, she pulled him farther to the right politically than was sane, judged people by their pedigrees and thought African Americans were out to get her because her ancestors owned slaves.  But she adored my father; almost worshipped him.  Even when he accidentally shot Beauregard  (her beloved basset hound) to death while on a hunting trip.  She forgave him.
I don’t know what’s going to happen now. My stepmother died in Reno, Nevada.  One of my step brothers lives in Denver, the other in Houston and the only granddaughter who cares lives in Alaska.  Reportedly they all need money which she supposedly had.
Oh God, where are the tears?

Homicidal thoughts on a lovely Spring day

Ah spring.  Warm temperatures, gardens in bloom, nests filled with robin’s eggs . . .

Every day the chance to glory in the return of foliage to bare trees, seedlings popping through the moist soil, apple blossoms in the orchards and …

… poison ivy

Woe to those who do not see
your evil coven in the tree

Such a wicked curse
made by itching even worse.
cured not by the ablest nurse
Or any amount of purse
woe to who’er conjured thee
from my wrath you shall not flee.

My salvation, hopefully …

I wish I could say my homicidal instincts ended with poison ivy extermination but

Who invited these dudes to my yard?  And who gave them permission to pig out on my cyclamen?  I have asked them nicely to party elsewhere.  I have threatened to fatten them up and sell them to the French restaurant but no.  And so regretfully, slimy dudes, eat shit and die! 

But this spring, winter has arrived. Bloodsuckers have breached the walls of Castle Kitty and forced King Kitty into the crypt. He thinks he can escape the final, prolonged agony of itching but Bloodsuckers, well they can smell warm blood.  Duh. (apologies to Game of Thrones – which has become a soap opera don’t you think?)

Can you see him?  We couldn’t as the doors to the cabinet were almost shut.

 

Those of you who are pet owners have probably guessed who is after the cat.

Mister Flea who bears a stunning resemblance to Beetlejuice in both character and elusiveness.

And so this year, Die Mr. Flea!

It’s really not fair because the cat never goes outside and probably picked up the infestation during his last stay at the Kitty Motel.  It will be his last stay there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#ThursdayDoors — Good Intentions

My gal Joey on Good Intentions…. so true

joeyfullystated

If I only had a door…

Okay, I have a lot of doors. I may even have hordes of doors, as I have been hoarding them, because

If I only had the time…

Well I just don’t. I mean, we all get the same amount of time in each day, but I’ve been working over a lot, some because work is crazed and some because I have been out for appointments, and if you can imagine, while I’m off seeing doctors or hauling kids to doctors, no one does my work.

Every day, Moo tells me stories and Sassy spills the tea. Can’t miss that stuff.
I must affectionate my beloved, the children, and the animals.

Bitches gotta eat, and sometimes they gotta cook. If there’s enough goin on, a bitch may even have to do dishes. Sometimes a bitch does a random chore a day. Sometimes people come to…

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The Mighty Truckee’s Finer Ladies

Spring is really the best time to visit Reno Nevada.  The snow is just beginning to melt, meaning that the Truckee River is wild and dangerous and beautiful.

Above is the RiverWalk, a popular place on a sunny day.  As you can see off in the distance, there’s still plenty of snow to melt on the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

These two kayakers wisely chose to paddle to shore instead of attempting to run the set of engineered rapids downstream used for professional kayaking competitions.

Along the river some of Reno’s older and more interesting houses have managed to survive the ravages of the Mighty Truckee.


The building above was once an elementary school and now serves as a art center.

The Lear Theatre may not look like much but it has an interesting history.  It was designed by Paul Revere Williams who famously lamented that most of buildings he designed he could not enter. You see, he was the first African American to be honored by the Architectural Institute.

Before it was a theatre it was a church attended by the Moya Lear, the wife of William Powell Lear of Lear Jet fame. Besides being the wife of a brilliant man, she was also the daughter of vaudevillians and apparently thought the need for theatrics more important than the need for church and bought it. Unfortunately this building is not in the best part of town and they’ve had to surround it with a chain link fence to prevent vandalism.


Across the river and high on a hill sit decaying mansions once owned by the town’s prominent citizens. A few have been extensively remodeled but today people with money prefer to live far from Reno’s squalid old town with it’s pawn shops, casinos and bail bondsmen on every corner.

Above, for Norm Frampton’s ThursdayDoors extravaganza, is the one door I was able to get a clear shot of.

This rather gloomy building always brings bittersweet memories.  It is Saint Thomas Aquinas Cathedral where for years my best friend’s mother attended Mass every single morning and then wandered the streets ministering to the drunks sleeping it off in alleyways.  She spoke for God whose language she alone knew.

Here’s a better shot from Bing Images. It’s not Notre Dame, that’s for sure but then it’s not in Paris.  It’s two blocks from the El Dorado Casino and the heart of Sin City North (Reno’s nickname).

Snakelessness

tin hats

In the bridge beams the swallows tended to their nests full of chicks as he knelt down on the jut of a rock and dunked his head into the murk of the creek, half wondering if he’d see the rusted remains of his BB gun lying on the bottom, a relic of the day he reckoned with his darkness for the first time.

Having saved up enough paper route money, he bought himself a BB gun on the one year anniversary of a life-changing event, and right now I can’t tell you anything more about the nature of this event, other than to say that you will soon be following him into a forest, where he will spend the night beside a fire, and at that point, I will address the matter thoroughly. For the time being, however, we need to linger beneath the bridge, where he’s in the process…

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101 Ways to Tell the World to Kiss Your Ass: #ThursdayDoors

While visiting relatives we ran into this contraption parked on a main thoroughfare in the San Diego suburb of Carlsbad and at first thought it was some kind of a food truck.  We couldn’t read the sign on the back from across the street and were standing, squinting, and wondering aloud what the sign might say when a middle aged man walking his dog in front of us turned and said.

“You are about to pass the author of 101 Ways to Tell the World to Kiss your Ass.”

At first I thought he was a resident of that area who was miffed that a vehicle other than an Audi or  Porsche was parked in his well-manicured, HOA maintained, gated community.  He seemed the type: clean-cut and dressed as a southern Californian does for most of the year, in shorts.

But I was wrong.  It was David H. Scott, the author himself.  Here he is  standing next to his 1929 1.5 ton Chevy. Here’s a better shot of the front:

If you want to follow his adventures (he’s currently planning a kayaking trek across Mongolia) his website is at: http://www.1indsob.com.  Who knows, maybe at some point you’ll run into him and say:  I know you.  And it’s all because of Norm Frampton’s weekly #ThursdayDoors challenge.

On our way back to our far less unique, red Prius, we passed these monstrous and prolific daisies who practically screamed “Happy Spring!”

They towered over us!

I regret that we are traveling and I may not be able to check out everyone’s contributions to the party.  But I’m thinking of you.

 

Buried in Section C

Many people believe that newspapers are obsolete.  You can, after all, get your news on the internet for free so why pay? Aside from the fact that online you have to put up with numerous pop-up ads just to read the headlines, sometimes it’s nice just to unplug.  To sit with a cup of coffee and read articles researched and written by local reporters who have a vested interest in what is going on in your neck of the woods, who write with wit and passion and deserve to be read and not buried five clicks down and behind an ad for Depends.

Here are some of the local stories that caught my eye in the San Francisco Chronicle last Saturday, March 9th.

Osprey watchers can see clearly now
by Steve Rubenstein, staff writer

First, this article has a catchy headline that infers osprey watchers have been having vision problems.  Oh dear,  Was there some kind of eye infection that affected only people who liked to watch ospreys?  Why? And last, what was the cure that has them seeing clearly now?

It was a … drumroll please … a three thousand dollar remote control windshield washer.

According the SF Audubon Society, over 70,000 people are addicted to watching the mating habits of an osprey couple via a webcam installed downwind of their nest. But when a bird’s gotta take a crap, he doesn’t much care where the wind takes his treasure, no matter how many followers he has. And so Richmond Osprey has made quit a mess and osprey viewers are suffering. There hasn’t been too large a public outcry because Rosie Osprey has been off clubbing in Mexico, as is her habit every winter. But soon she’s returning and no doubt expecting Richmond to give up his bachelor ways to service her at least eight times a day “live and in color” for all to see. Some poor member of the Audubon Society will probably be on call twenty-four seven to activate the windshield wiper when necessary but I’m sure it will be a sacrifice made happily.  If you also like to watch ospreys mate, here’s the link.  I can’t guarantee you an x-rated experience but you may get lucky:

http://sfbayospreys.org

There is, however, a darkly ironic side to this story. 

Point Molate, Richmond California

For at least a decade a friend of mine has waged a frustrating battle to save the shoreline that provides eelgrass for the osprey and other wildlife  from developers hellbent on building subdivisions and casinos. She and others in the Pt. Molate Alliance have provided plans to the city for an eco-friendly nature center, picnic areas and hiking and bike trails which would provide Richmond residents with a million dollar view of the San Francisco Bay.  They’ve also documented the perils of overdeveloping that area from increased traffic congestion to the environmental impact.  But they’re up against big money in a community famous for poverty and high crime.

While she is happy that people enjoy watching these incredible birds, she wishes that money had been spent fighting the greed that will put them at risk once again.  I agree.

Another headline concerning wildlife also caught my eye:

When monkeying around was a job creator and kid favorite
by Gary Kamiya, the author “Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco”

Now I think of monkeying around as cheating on one’s partner. That’s just where my mind goes, folks.  So how could that be a job creator and kid favorite?

Rats! I was fooled again by a clever title.  Building monkey houses for local zoos was one of the projects that got people back to work after the Depression. The one at the San Francisco Zoo was particularly popular however it was not rebuilt after 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake damaged it beyond repair.  The reason why?  The residents, spider monkeys, expressed their displeasure at being held captive by dangling their butts over the mesh tunnel leading to their island and defecating on the zookeepers.  These monkeys also ran in gangs and followed leaders who were often described as “gang bosses.” It was a regular West Side Story on Monkey Island.  I’m sure the zookeepers probably said “It’s either them or us!”

It’s a sad commentary on the times, but I bet Life and Death on Monkey Island would get more views on a streaming webcam than Rosie and Richmond’s last tango mid-air.

Alas, t’is the season for sweeping away spend camellia blossoms.  Perhaps spring will eventually arrive!