Posts Tagged With: love


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Old friends from Fremont visited me two days ago. They were camped nearby and called. With a little background, Sandy and David Barron were the youngest members of our square dancing group, the Kuntry Kuzzins back in the early 1970’s. Square Dancing is one of those activities that you have to drag your husband too in the beginning, then once he realizes how much fun it is, he’ll go without you if you’re sick. So we enjoyed them, often teasing Sandy that she was the “baby” of the club even though she was a mother of two. We were excited when they bought a house.  Sandy was always a bit shy. David, out going, from a large extended family. A nice young couple, building  the American Dream.

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We talked for several hours and I realized what an amazing couple they are.  They look the same.  Neither has aged much. David has less hair.  I didn’t know David was a disabled Marine from Viet Nam. It never came up.

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We checked through their pictures on the phone and I got to see the grandson David helped raise. Their son Mathew’s two beautiful daughters. A great-grandson. Neither Sandy nor Dave have a college education, but their daughter, Jennifer, has several degrees and a fantastic job. She worked during college days beside her mother as a motel maid, making beds and cleaning rooms.  Sandy worked outside the home for 22 years. But, even more revealing to me, Sandy and Dave took in nine foster children. I had two foster children and love them and have contact to this day.  But I was stunned at nine. What a commitment over all of those years.

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What a pleasure to sink back into a friendship, after a long gap. I guess you can tell I’m impressed. I enjoyed getting caught up with mutual friends from our club.  His sisters, brothers, step-father and some amazing tales. I didn’t know Sandy’s siblings.

They brought me flowers and I took pictures of the bouquet. This new computer is driving me nuts.  I could not get those pictures out of my camera. So, you’ll have to settle for a poem by David J. Irvine, called Ownership.

Man’s pet, the kitten, lives nine lives.

Man one: three score and ten.

Man claims the ownership of earth,

Of every glebe and glen.

What modest claim do kittens make?

The ownership of men.

It speaks to the bonds of love… for Sandy and David, those loving bonds are kids and grandkids and other people’s children.


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DSC07746 (Copy)Women treasure their friendships and plant deep roots with each other. Lizz Emerson is one of the strongest women I know. Out of a job? No problem, I’ll have one tomorrow. From a non-opportunistic background, with no education, she raised her children, on her own, since they were little. One daughter has been a city supervisor and is now running for congress. Another has her own catering business in Sacramento. Both success oriented like mom.  Lizz, called me and said, I couldn’t make your birthday party, so its belated birthday party time. I’ll bring the food, what do you like? I told her I like vegetarian food and, voila. Let it be done.

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DSC07739 (Copy)Hor’s de ouevres.

DSC07743 (Copy)A Mexican casserole with fresh corn, and olives rolled in lasagna noodles.

DSC07744 (Copy)A Greek spinach and cheese casserole. She brought the food cooked, and placed cheese on top before we put it in the oven to warm-up.

DSC07741 (Copy)She brought all the condiments, a Greek salad and dessert, too. I didn’t get pictures of everything. Plus, her instructions were that she wanted every guest to go home with food.

DSC07745 (Copy)First to arrive was Jan Stewart, who also couldn’t attend my 75th. I like to describe Jan as an expert at pushing all the negatives away, forgetting them and making haste to see sunshine in everything and everyone. She practices esoteric healing and she practices love. Love thy neighbor, love thy neighbor’s dog, love all children, help everyone you can. I’m grateful to be in her sphere and have felt her love and helpfulness.

IMG_4853 (Copy)Karen Phillips is my housemate. She’s been with me for 10 years. Loyal, conscientious, she literally keeps the home fires burning.  I could not have chosen a rambling lifestyle without her. Gathering my mail, watering my plants, keeping my place looked after and occupied. You name it, she does it. An excellent cook, she feeds me when I’m busy. This picture was taken in 2010.

DSC07747 (Copy)Margo and Pam were the last to arrive. Pam Quyle, raised a son on her own with no support.  Pam is a potter and drives a big truck delivering clay all over the Bay Area, besides making pots. She has one day a week off and arrived straight from work. Harried and tired and said, POUR THE WINE.

Margo Osborn has a son, a grandchild, divorced and in her late 60’s and continues to work. I love talking to Margo because she has such a diverse background and speaks with ease on any subject. Both she and Pam are associated with the wine industry. Margo’s winery was sold and she is the only employee retained from the former staff. Lucky for them, she is the most popular wine advocate in the county, as in “everybody knows Margo.” She speaks several languages and has a magic way with people. She was in Italy during my birthday party.

We managed to discuss all subjects important to women with no men around, as in breasts, bras, sex, men, food, life, shoes, healing our wounded souls and bodies as we age. Not necessarily in that order.

DSC07750 (Copy)Pam took a picture of all of us.

DSC07755 (Copy)And, someone took a picture of she and I. We share so many experiences. Lizz making me go out on New Years the year my husband died. Pam’s 25 year old son taking his first steps on my deck. Karen and I learning together how to deal with her adversarial boss. Jan performing reiki and meditative healing when my spirits were low. From Margo flows hiking club, zumba, health, sharing and “yes, let’s do it.” Our roots are deep. Girlfriends. Sisters all. Happy Valentines day.

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We have Christians in the United States that terrorize people who believe differently than they do.

The Koran says-kill the infidel.

Is there any difference?

Check it out:


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About 9:30 Sunday morning, Jim and I walked my rural road. Overcast- the air moist and heavy, pregnant with the portent of rain. The wind sang and danced the oak leaves in races across the driveway and roads. Change hung in the air. The seasons change. Our relationship changed.

Over tears and hugs we’ve talked and made hard decisions-diverted paths. For the foreseeable future, I am taking on long neglected projects, keeping promises made, that belong to a property owner with a lifetime of accumulated “stuff” and responsibilities.

My first task will be to join a genealogy class and finish a promise made to my mother who worked hard before she died to get five generations with proofs to register and publish in the Latter Day Saints Genealogical Library in Utah. A task entrusted to me that I must do.

My house in Oregon, a book I started to write, other promises to myself, my family and just realizing that in every life, nothing is more constant than change. I’m looking forward to changing the way I live more toward Jim’s philosophy. He says he only knows one way to live, and that is “one day at a time.”

We care about each other and hope to travel together in the future. We will maintain a loving friendship and I will do my part to accomplish my long put off tasks. And he will embrace his favored lifestyle without me for an unknown period of time. He estimates 5 years, I estimate 2 years. But, we shall see.

I was married for 40 years before my husband died. Then I had a wonderful companion for 4-1/2 years that also ended in death.

And, now, the future seems uncertain and deciding on separate paths has been one of the hardest things I have ever done. This transition was not a decision made lightly, but with respect, consideration and heartache, too. And we wanted everyone to know that we aren’t throwing rocks at each other.

I also want you to know that Jimmy the rat kicked me off our blog!! Dang!

Well, not exactly. He has long felt that my rants don’t belong on a travel blog. So, for those of you who are inclined to follow my blogs you can reach me on When I travel I will blog on all three sites, blog spot, SF. Chronicle and Jim and Mary. The Chronicle automatically puts my blog on FB where it reaches my back East relatives.

Jim threatened to post all the pictures he has taken of me over the years. I have plenty of his photos, too, but not all of them are in one file. But I did go through a bunch of favorites.

007 (Copy)My first bouquet of flowers from Jim. 016 (Copy).

IMG_2075 (Copy)What a ham.

IMG_1145 (Copy) (Copy)The Planner. Always charting our way with precision.

IMG_2080 (Copy)Biking the canals in Yuma.

IMG_2358 (Copy)The not so subtle message that it is too cold in my house.

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IMG_2452 (Copy)He took care of me during my shoulder surgery, helping me get dressed everyday and tending to my every need.

KITE MUSEUM-25 (Copy)Opening up fresh oysters on the barbeque.  (Notice the hammar)

IMG_8630 (Copy)Always the ham. We had so much fun.


The first picture I took of Jim the day we met.

Bye-for now.


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My mother is gone, but when I think of her, I remember how strong and resilient she was. She was at her mother’s bedside through the birth of her 11 siblings. She comforted her at the death of two of those children, one at age 4, another at age 8. She lived through many tragedies but remained her grand children’s darling gramma. And, great-grandchildren, too. She was religious, faithful, polite, patient,  always helping others but able to build her own dreams. She had a catering business late in life and made it a whopping success. She did it all with civility and grace. What an example she was to me.

I have many mother’s in my life to celebrate, my daughters, my daughter-in-law. And each of them is a wonderful mother with dedication and the values we believe in and share. They too, raise their children and pursue their dreams. They are each unique with varying abilities. Women, as mothers, contribute so much to our culture, our comfort, our love, our greatness as a country, we  stop to salute them today and not forget them tomorrow.

It amuses me that at one time women were considered the weaker sex. I’m grateful my husband never considered me weak. He always recognized and acknowledged my own gifts and I have become the proud matriarch of my clan.  I’m proud to recognize their strengths and revel in my own.






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I visited a Holocaust Museum in Germany years back and it was an unforgettable experience.  The gates,  (I’m guessing) are about 1o feet high and scripted over and over again with these words:


And that IS the point of a Holocaust Museum.  In my mind, except for a small number of militant skinheads, the  deniers that the Holocaust ever happened have been swept away. I was in for a shock.

This denial in 1981 and in 1982, that the Turks obliterated  1.5 million Armenians is appalling and a warning of it’s own.  I didn’t remember this denial. I do remember the Russians changing their history books to obliterate their pogroms of Russian Jews. The Holocaust always seemed to me to be about Jews, and Germany and the Aryan beliefs of hate spread by Hiltler’s culture of fear.

Rwanda is too soon forgotten in that far away country. The obliteration of the Tutsis by the Hutus, people who spoke the same language and were similar in character to each other; who had lived as neighbors for many, many years.  Isn’t that true of the Germans and the Jews?  In Rwanda, it started when identity cards were issued, stating everyone’s ethnic background  The government leaders, ( denied by their president), and businesses,  favored  Tutsis over  Hutus and with the cards they knew who was who. Tusis got the better jobs, better education and better pay. Divisiveness began long before the actually killings took place. But,when the killing started, it was tolerated by the United Nations. The United States did nothing to interfere, nor did other Democratic countries.

Most of the battles were without guns. They didn’t have the money or wherewithal to buy sophisticated weapons. In 100 days, 800,000 Tutsis were hacked to death while the world benignly looked on. United States workers were shocked at the barbarity of the crime and the toleration of such evil. One thing that came out of the Rwanda genocide is the recognition that rape is a weapon.

My second shock was the full realization that all but the Armenian Genocide happened during my lifetime.

The Kurdish cleansing.  The atrocities in Darfur, Czechoslovakia…I can’t even remember them all.

Here, a German woman measures the skull of  a gypsy,  to see if she qualifies as a saveable human being.

It always starts with hate. Some ethnic group is chosen as the scapegoat for that hate. Weapons of internal warfare are about the same: Systematically burn down houses, rape the women; separate families.

Here a child tries to connect with his mother and brothers in a detainment camp.

Spread fear.  Keep them poor,  hungry and fearful. Cut education. Make them thankful they have any kind of job.

It can’t happen here you say?

I’ve been visiting the border towns with Mexico for a good portion of this year. I’ve watched as the Border Patrol goes hunting with their weapons, all terrain vehicles and dogs.  I’ve listened to the hatred perpetrated by our lawmakers against immigration. And, hate is palpable in the air all around us. War on minorities is on the rise.  Women don’t need the same pay for the same job as men. Religion is inserted into government in marriage, health, ethnicity. All muslims are evil. Don’t frequent that gas station. Protest the building of that temple. Build walls to keep Mexicans out. The politics of fear are pouring down upon us.

In some states there is a movement to require everyone to carry  identity cards.  Greyhound buses are allowing spontaneous searches and seizures on their buses. Only people with dark skin are questioned.   It can’t happen here. Or can it?

The Museum teaches that it is important to speak up when people use racial slurs and disrespect others because of their skin color, or ethnicity. They give classes and educate children to reject the strong forces of hate and divisiveness.  As adults, we mindlessly pass on jokes and patriotic speeches that reflect hate, or delete them without letting the sender know you object to them. Spewing hate is an epidemic in our country right now as we suffer economic hardships. Apply blame somewhere.

I thought  skinheads were a small minority. I had no idea how much of this type of activity goes on, or that there are numerical codes disguising the forces of evil working to save our country for WHITE people only. (Not all shaved heads are “skinheads” the pejorative for active, militant gangs of white supremacists.)

I see clearly  the need for constant rejection of any and all racial slurs and bias against another human. And, the necessity to guard your own language and thoughts against such bias clearly meant to get you to “take sides.”  We need a reminder like the Intolerance Museum to strengthen our resolve.

The Museum is all volunteer and survives on donations. They have a website:    The museum also covers the years of hate and laws in America  against African Americans,  Native Americans, and  Japanese Internments.  Then there was intolerance for Chinese, Irish Catholics, Poles, Unionizers, LBGY…the list seems to go on and on.

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