This time of year, when the rains give way to sunny days, in my mind I  always hear e.e. cumming’s poem  in just spring. Those of you who’ve studied poetry remember cummings. He never capitalized his name or the titles of his poems which I could never get away with in English class! Here he is reading the poem:

In California a break in the rain this time of year brings this urgency to all gardeners: Quick: Pull the weeds while they’re young and tender and the ground is mudluscious!!!  

weedsSure they’re cute in their infancy.  So many brilliant shades of green particularly after four years of drought, it seems a shame to try to uproot them but if you don’t, they will grow like – well – weeds.  And once the ground starts to dry your best chance to get rid of weeds is with a jack hammer.

Which brings me back to mud.  I don’t view mud as icky. Especially when my mud is rife with worms.



Isn’t this a lovely shot of mud?

It will dry out quickly if the California sun continues to shine.

And then my battle will be hard. But today was a mudluscious day.
i wore my garden hat.
i listened
to the birds

and the boy practicing basketball
thump… thump… thump


and the creek, dry for years roaring to life.

and i said oh what the heck and started my day
in the lower case.
with the worms and the mud.

oh please wordpress – don’t ruin my mudlicious day by insisting i capitalize everything!

(although clearly I’m no e.e. cummings)

Now, the theory of proper blogging etiquette dictates that I end this blog with a question, thus encouraging comments, but the question “what do you think about mud?” really seems a bit daft, don’t you think?

I might change my mind!

Generally I don’t read much into a blood moon.  I’ve seen a few and, while spectacular and often magical, nothing earth shaking happened.  Life went on as before.  Time did not stop. But the sight I saw from my back deck this afternoon got me thinking maybe I was wrong.  Just to be safe, I’m not going to squash the next ant that comes crawling across the table.


I almost blinded myself getting this shot.  I’m sure it’s just a halo caused by the overcast sky and not an omen of impending doom but the air outside is muggy and even though it’s a Sunday afternoon the sound of children playing is oddly missing.  I came back inside and watched the Pope.

By the way, I believe the small blue object to the left and below the sun was caused by the camera and not a space ship coming to take us away but who knows.

IMG_0778As you can see from the above, it’s getting closer! Hopefully we’ll all be here tomorrow but if not, well, it’s been swell knowing you!

Carol in Oz, Episode 1


Carol in the creek for some reason: “Hot damn, that water’s cold!”

Nothing my friend Carol does surprises me though often I’m left scratching my head and vowing to never again get involved in any of her shitteries (being stranded at three in the morning outside a hospital after a horse kicked her in not one but both legs comes to mind!). I’m sure she’s felt the same about me from time to time. But long ago I realized: friends are like condiments. You need a combination of the spicy and the sweet. Sometimes you need a jolt of tabasco and a wild ride through the mix-master to make a memorable meal. Besides, she’s a clever and amusing writer, generous and loving towards her friends and quite a hoot to hang out with (unless she’s getting you into trouble).

(shitterie – a Carol-made-up term generally meaning a misunderstanding that ends up tussles and tantrums!)


“What’s taking you so dang long Jan?” (Carol on the ridge prancing around while I’m huffing and puffing to get caught up!)

Anyway, her latest adventure is a ten day trek through the Australian outback with a couple of elderly horse women. Since these jaunts generally result in some amusing tales I’ve asked her if I can share them with my blog readers and she said yes.  So everyone – welcome the first episode of Carol in Oz  (via her friend Griselda’s iPad, thus the shortcuts):

Good morning,
We r packed except for final items and will leave around 10 after breakfast, run and showers. Taking loads of food and big containers of water. 
We r headed into a huge reserve called the great western woodlands. G. has a book on it which I’ve been reading. Natural areas w all sorts geology plants animal life but also gold mines and grazing. 
It’s cold this morning!  The neighbour is bringing me all sorts of large mens clothing to borrow bc he is worried I will freeze. 
Still waiting for unlock code to use my phone. Will keep msgs  minimal while using G,s iPad, she has data limits and pics or calls can eat that up fast.  
We r taking iPad and my phone in case the code comes and I can make it work on my own. Connections available only when we r near towns I think. Will b gone roughly 10 days. 
Will use a roo (kangaroo) as there r no alligators in my vicinity.  So far anyhow…
Wish me luck. My dear old bod is likely to b challenged

According to the Nature Conservatory, the Great Western Woodlands in southwestern Australia is “a blossoming bullseye of biodiversity.”   I’m not sure what Carol plans to do with the roo – I guess we’ll have to wait until the ladies are near civilization to find out.


The Great Western Woodland, picture from the Nature Conservatory

Lazy Blogger’s Day: The Face of Hope



The last few days I’ve been watching this flower grow out of a pile of decaying leaves in an empty flower pot.  Because my husband insists of feeding the birds, we find flowers struggling to survive in the oddest places, their existence a testimony to hope. This little one – a long-legged teen – peers out at the rest of the yard perhaps dreaming of having her feet planted in real dirt.  Maybe she hopes for a friend, a partner, or a drop of rain on her face.


We did get a few drops of rain this afternoon, enough to clear the air of the dust and smoke.  Not enough to wash the grime from the cars, not enough to make a dent in the drought.  Not enough, but like a pile of decaying leaves, giving hope.

(this post is supposed to be for #WordlessWednesday but alas a few words trickled onto to the page and I didn’t have the heart to deny them!)

I Grok the Rain!

If you haven't read this sci-fi classic, the main character was raised on Mars where there is no water.

This morning I awoke to the soft patter of rain. At first I listened in disbelief. The weathermen had been waffling for days about even the scantiest possibility, leaving us with visions of catastrophic water wars and Stranger in a Strange Land scenarios. If you’ve never read this sci-fi classic, the main character was raised on Mars where there is little water and thus, water is sacred and the wasting of water unthinkable.

But it was rain and, as the sky lightened, the joyous ruckus from the jays, chickadees, and spotted towhees as they gave thanks was a sound unlike I’d ever heard before.  There would be no fighting over the birdbath on this day!


Kitty grooving on the heavenly aromas brought in by the wind!



Water pools on grateful leaves.

Photo by

It’s hard to imagine feeling happier! Photo by the amazing Christy A. Gudel


Rose reaching to kiss the sky.

Note to readers:  I will be up in Reno Nevada with limited access to the internet for who knows how long.  So apologies for not keeping up with your blog postings, etc. When I return, I’d get to know you a little bit better.  Let me know if you’d like to guest post!  Thanks, Jan