Posts Tagged With: cats


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It’s moving day. We will park for one night close to Ontario in reach of the airport. Jim’s reaction is expressed in the sign above.  He complains because we haven’t had much time together this year and it is getting shorter.

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I’m going home to become a  famous artist like this lady, well, hey…all I did yesterday is take pictures of more palm trees to paint. Well,  we know that isn’t going to happen, but I can dream a little and choose to play. The truth is, I did the laundry, a zumba workout and read. About 3:00, Jan and Larry came by to share some snacks and a drink and say goodbye.

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When I fly home, I pick up my car which is parked near the airport at my daughters. I’ve always wanted to paint a car in some artsy way. Maybe I’ll do that someday?

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But, this one was probably a bit hard to sell. Maybe I better leave well enough alone.

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This sign reminded me of my friend Guerry. He has a weird cat. More people I know have weird cats. Dogs seem more stable. I no longer have a cat but I had one that drank the leftover spiked eggnog after a new year party and stayed drunk under my couch for two weeks. He was terrified of my vacuum cleaner, but while he was drunk, he let me vacuum him of all of his loose hair. I can hear the pet lovers out there castigating me as I write. But, this was in the early sixties, the very first cat I ever had, and who knew that I probably almost killed him? He came out of it without a single symptom of any harm, still hated the vacuum cleaner, and lived a long life.



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In 1982, when I first met Paul Moeller, I gave him a cat my daughter hauled home from a goat show. He didn’t want to take the cat without his wife seeing it first, but he did. Then he kept me informed and sent pictures of the cat’s antics for the rest of its life. He lost his wife two years ago, and at lunch yesterday, he told me, “I reach for Martha’s hand each morning before I’m fully awake. But our cat likes to sleep where she slept and I touch fur instead. It comforts me.”

In 1983, he talked me into joining a Public Access group. Happiness for Paul is producing video of what goes on in the community. He loves to find raw talent, put a camera in someones hands and send them out to do video with minimal instruction. Learning comes later. I reluctantly at first, and then enthusiastically helped him produce around 80 videos. Paul has done thousands, so my part was very small.

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Paul has suffered a stroke, a car accident, a broken femur and he can no longer drive. He is still happiest when producing videos for the Public, so he hires a driver to take him to the shoot, and at 86 years old, he still produces video. His driver is my housemate, Karen.DSC01536 (Copy)

I learned a great deal from this man, and I treasure him as one of my best friends. It doesn’t take much to realize that life is a journey and keeping active, no matter how hard, is what we do to make it all worthwhile.

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Later in the evening, Karen and I drove to the Pizza Factory and joined my two brothers to celebrate my birthday. Theresa and Clark, me, Bill and Karen.

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The same photo with Jan.  Some friends are as much a part of the family as family.  I’m fortunate to have three brothers out of five still living. So, we count our blessings and say, life is good, and then we make it so. Stay as healthy as we can, do for others, overcome adversity, smile and be happy.

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Yesterday, I referred to a big black asteroid as a comet, and I stand corrected.  And, last night the moon and Jupiter were shining so brightly, my bedroom was completely navigable in the dark. I appreciate small treasures. Today I leave for Sacramento to attend to business and then look after  my two youngest grandsons over the next  four days. They too, are small treasures and I always learn something from them.

My photo file contains small treasures, a few of which I’ll post today. It never ceases to amaze me how different each builder chose to make a small, friendly edifice for our feathered friends.

In the fall, birds really appreciate  additional food a feeder supplies. It must be kept clean.

Bird feeders are fundamentally the same, yet individual as well.

I had my windows washed on the outside yesterday. Now, I must be careful that the birds do not batter themselves on a too clean window. I’ve learned how to stop it when it happens. I cover the window from the inside with cardboard for a week or so. The sun’s position changes and the birds no longer are fooled into thinking they are flying into the reflected woody area behind them.  Birds are another small treasure that inhabit my yard. I keep water for them and a bird bath. And, I’ve decided to never own another cat. Cats are plentiful and the birds take a beating.

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On June 23rd, leaving graduations and Las Vegas behind, I flew my youngest grandson to Sacramento with me.  With a seven year old’s sense of adventure, through his eyes, I enjoyed the planes landing at the airport; the monitors, the hustle and bustle.  I enjoyed him while he enjoyed the tube, the luggage loaders, the servers, then the fabulous terrain out the window from the air. Not an ounce of fear for his first flight in memory, just fascination with cars turned to toys,  tiny  buildings, etched roads and patchwork fields.  Once the terrain out the window became repetitious, he tried for a nap.

I watched his eyes widen at the sight of the luggage sculpture. “Grandma, those suitcases are gonna fall!!”

We paused at my daughter’s house to check on  the chickens, cats and garden, then immediately drove to Lake County, North of  Willits, to join them at  their cabin. Its located five miles off the highway in a breath-taking valley with a river running through it.  It’s also a dead zone for phone and internet. Peaceful, quiet, solitude for we adults; fascinating exploration for kids.  To introduce a new experience to a seven year old allows us to be kids again and share their sense of wonder.

I drove back to Murphys;  home for a family reunion.  These pages will be dead spots here and there for awhile as well as I get caught  up.

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I love e-mail for one very good reason. We’ve moved from one place to another and many of our friendships and relatives have been reduced to a Christmas card per year. They are the people we know and love, who have busy lives as we have. We rarely see them, never forget them, but time displaces the closeness you once had.
E-mail changes that. You can zap off a quick note once a month, or once a day, like neighbors over a fence. You can share a cute picture or send a joke and keep more personally in touch. I’ve cursed this machine, but I’m grateful for its ease of communication. I just relocated old square dancing buddies, Dave and Sandy Barron and we exchanged about 10 years of catching-up. 

The Post Office, once the only profitable government institution, has suffered because of e-mail. People don’t send as many cards as they used to because of e-mail. E-cards are animated, beautiful and enjoyable. But paper cards, especially Christmas cards, have their own appeal to me.
Over the years I’ve collected every greeting card and post card ever sent to me. And, those of my parents, friends and anybody who was willing to share theirs. I have a huge collection of greeting cards in scrapbooks, and I never get tired of them.

Many of them are themed, such as dog cards, or cat cards, or Santa cards. It started when I was a 2nd grader. My mother was writing out her Christmas cards. In the stack was a Santa card with a fuzzy red suit, both his front and back, with the famous poem, “T’was The Night Before Christmas,” on the inside. Oh, how I wanted that card to be my very own. Mom wouldn’t relent, no matter how much I begged. But happiness was assured when I found the card on the Christmas Tree Christmas morning addressed to me. I was hooked.

Now, I never let a card get away.

We are the rat-packers of the world. Without us, much of history would be lost. Some say we are insane. But, I care not. I love my old cards and letters, Christmas and otherwise. Merry, Merry!

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Since my gypsy lifestyle developed, I have been unable to properly serve as President of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Archive Association, a project that I care deeply about. Bill Rhodes was elected to replace me and what a breath of fresh air. Enthusiasm, a no non-sense, get-the-job-done, attitude. I was amazed at the wonderful changes in the facility he has accomplished in a few short months.

Bill, right with Al Iannarelli, discussing a project with Gary Lindsay and Rich Barlow.

Gary is our Media expert. Ianarelli, the author of three books, is invaluable for organizing career books. Bud Harlow, (not pictured) has undertaken to have our Old Santa Rita Jail Doors sandblasted and refurbished.
Rich was interested in knowing if the Archive contains any copies of  The Rap Sheet, a newsletter published by the Deputy Sheriff’s Association during the 1970’s. We have none that I’m aware of. So, another plea. If anyone knows where copies of The Rap Sheet are hiding, please consider donating them to the Archive.
We had an interesting story surface. A retired deputy with a bunch of interesting old clippings and artifacts from his career stored in his garage had a fire. He immediately realized how endangered those materials were and brought them to the archive. Another danger was cited by my cousin/friend Richard Cardoza.
A neighbor of his who built the Bay Bridge had photos, and memorabilia by the box full that was tossed out by his kids when he died. And pictures his Highway Patrolman neighbor accumulated over a lifetime, huge black and white photos of his early career in Contra Costa County, were likewise tossed. DON’T DO IT. Find a museum and donate before tossing. They are history.
Over the past years, when I attended archive meetings, I  stayed overnight with my cousin, Terri Cardoza from Danville.

She and Richard kindly provided me Bed and Breakfast and made my service to the archive possible. She feeds me and the neighbors rabbit, and a half dozen feral cats she has had fixed, plus four of her own. I am grateful for HER service, and donations to the Archive.

I will still attend meetings when I’m in town, and I intend to continue to do interviews for the archive.

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