Archive for March, 2009

Doggie Door

March 31st, 2009 Comments off


When Ralphie unexpectedly came to live with me  I tried at first  to keep him outside during the day.  At night he stayed in the kitchen with ‘baby gates’ keeping him restricted to that room.  

One of our first major confrontations came over the kitchen’s screened door .  It had a small hole in it when he arrived.  Before long he had enlarged the hole until a paw could go through.img155

Upset, I warned him with an uncertain future if he tore that screen any more.  He ignored that warning as the gibberish it was,  and proceeded to trash the screen.

 Here he is as he forces all 15 lbs of puppy fur through that small opening.  Threats aside, I got the camera.

I don’t like to think of it as being destructive and disobedient, no, I  like to think of it as his creative way to make a doggie door.

I know . . . I’m a fool over that dawg.



March 30th, 2009 Comments off

Have you been to Wisconsin?  What a beautiful  state.  The glacial action left it and Minnesota with fifteen to twenty thousand lakes each.  Fabulous scenery.  

Several years ago I visited a friend in Milwaukee, a true outdoors woman with a heart for nature and wildlife.  She volunteered as a rehabilitator of injured animals and helped release them back into the wild.img2191

She generously showed me Wisconsin, and we traveled many miles, across the state and up north to Lake Superior.

Through her eyes and narrative, I learned a new appreciation for animals, tame and wild.  She understood the land and was dedicated to its conservation. I’m sure she is still a strong advocate for both animals and saving the last of the truly great places on earth.    

I will always remember that unique opportunity I had to learn of the natural world and the wild side of Wisconsin.  I wish I knew as much about my home state of Arkansas, or my adopted state of California.  

How about where you live?  Would you need a guide, or could you lead the way?



Dr. Peter Marshall

March 28th, 2009 Comments off



                                           “God has designed us for happiness.

                                            He has created us for peace and joy.”


                          Former Chaplain of the United States Senate, Dr. Peter Marshall





Aunt Willie’s ‘Rich Dirt’

March 27th, 2009 Comments off

Memories of long ago came back today when I found a yellowed piece of paper dated 6/1/1961.  It reminded me of what happened the day one of my favorite aunts asked a favor of me.  I redrew the cartoon because it was faded and torn.   Aunt Willie asked me to drive her to a place where we could get some “rich dirt.”   What was rich dirt, I wondered?  I soon found out . . . in a pasture full of it.  It was rich all right.  Very rich. Having had no experience on a farm, and being a squeamish sort of teenage girl, my first thought was to shovel it, and get out of there fast.  In the meantime, Aunt Willie kept talking about how pretty the fertilizer was going to make her flowers. I did some serious eye rolling but kept my sense of humor.  When I got home I wrote about it and drew a cartoon to express my opinion of the experience   Aunt Willie laughed the loudest when she saw it.                          img2912

Tea Bag Wisdom

March 27th, 2009 Comments off


While making a cuppa tea I read this bit of wisdom on the tea bag, attributed  to “A Wise Saying from the Orient.”


                                                                           First think and

                                                                           then act.


                                            Oh no all these years I’ve had that backwards!




Law of Gravity

March 27th, 2009 Comments off

A good friend of mine, Suzanne, was bemoaning the fact that her figure was far from what it used to be. “Look Mary, even my neck is not the same.”  I looked and had to agree that her chin was less prominent and the skin on her neck was beginning to sag a bit.

I innocently said, “I don’t think I’m having that problem yet.”

Suzanne looked at me over her glasses, laughed, and said, “Well . . .”

“Hey!” I retorted, insulted at the suggestion.

Later I saw a profile picture of myself.  Oh man, was Suzanne right.

While I wasn’t looking gravity had done a number on me too!

Ballona Wetlands, Playa del Rey, CA

March 26th, 2009 Comments off

 Only 5% of  California wetlands have escaped development. Wow,  95% gone forever? Is is possible that we could lose them all? It is a terrible thought.  One of the last places in California is near me, Ballona Wetlands, at Playa del Rey.   


It is home to over 215 species of birds,  a spawning ground for fish, and a vital source of nutrients for the entire coastal marine environment. Ballona offers resting and feeding grounds for migratory birds and other wildlife. According to the experts, the wetland acts as a flood plain and cleanses pollutants from storm water run off before it reaches the Santa Monica Bay. 

When I look at all the massive buildings standing where Great Blue Herons and Egrets used to stand, I can’t help but wonder how great a price we will pay some day for this intrusion into the ecosystem.

The piper may just be waiting, with his hand out.



Babe Ruth Quote

March 26th, 2009 Comments off


                                       I have only one superstition.  I touch all the bases

                                        when I hit a home run.


                                         Good thinking, Babe!



                                          Babe Ruth 1895-1948


March 24th, 2009 Comments off


Delaware was the first of the thirteen colonies.  I didn’t know that.  It  has more scientists and engineers than any other state.   I   didn’t know that either!

I have a good friend who lives in Delaware.  

A few years ago when she talked with me about possibly returning to her home state after living in California for years.  I encouraged her to go.  Not because I wanted her to leave, no I miss her, but because I knew that her family lived there.

 I know from experience how painful it can be for all concerned when you live across the country from the people who love you the most.  Especially when you start having children, as she and her husband are doing.  

Although the young couple loved the California lifestyle, they have found many things to love about beautiful Delaware.   They are happy, and I am happy for them.          

Congratulations Delaware, on being the first of the fifty states!  Flag of Delaware




March 23rd, 2009 2 comments


I have lived in the same house in Los Angeles for 36 years.  It is home to me. But I will always have another place that I think of as ‘home’.  It is shown here.  The house on Burrow Street, in Pocahontas, Arkansas.  

Mama and Daddy moved from that house almost twenty years ago but it was never replaced in my heart. It was where I grew up.

It was the first place I wanted to go to when I visited. “Will you drive by the old house?”  I asked as we arrived in town.

It became part of my daily walking schedule . I often sat on the steps of the rock church and stared at the house from a distance.  Over the years it became more and more neglected, and no longer looked like the place I knew, but something kept drawing me back.   

Strange as it may seem, many of my dreams have been set in the Burrow Street house.  I still remember some of my celebrity dreams, famous folks who showed up in my Mama’s kitchen.

A few years ago I got the news that the house had burned to the ground.  It was very disturbing.  I hated the pictures of it reduced to rubble.

Now when I visit there it is as if it never existed.  There are no visible signs of the house.  None.   Yet something draws me there still.  It is the land, the earth, the rocks, the trees.  All of it went together to make it home.

Last week I had another dream located on Burrow Street.  It wasn’t in the house, as usual, but outside.  It seems my unconscious mind won’t let go of that place, but it is adjusting, just as I have to when I think of it now.  


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