Grandpa and Grandma

Attalla, Alabama.

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When you come from a small town, ya gotta watch out, especially when it comes to finding a beau. You never know what you might get. 

Case in point.

I was born in Alabama, but grew up in California. I first moved back to Alabama as an adult in 2005.  Oh, I’d visited on occasion and dad would introduce me to folks here and there but mostly I didn’t remember most of them. When I visited he’d take me and my girls around and introduce me to folks and say “that’s your cousin” and I’d never see them again. I didn’t know most of them, but one time I was sitting in a store waiting on my dad and some lady comes up to me and says “You’re a Brothers, aren’t you?”, I looked around and dad was nowhere in sight, so that wasn’t her clue. I said, “Yes”. She introduced herself as another cousin, who’s name I recognized but had never met. The thing is everyone counts as a “kissin’ cousin” in the south because somewhere down the line, we ARE related. True fact.

When Grandma married grandpa it was frowned upon by her family who were, not so much upper class, as they were from a better batch and considered “refined”. Grandma is the one with hat. My sister Diana reminds me a lot of her sister, Nell.

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She had just the one sister. Nell.  To this day, the Freeman’s will not acknowledge the Brothers side of the family.  Aunt Nell would go on to live considerably longer.

Grandpa, on the other hand was born on the wrong side of the tracks, rough around the edges and a bit crass. He came from a family of like 12 kids, but I believe only 8 survived to adulthood. gp3

He was from the south side of the social spectrum, and like daddy, he could be meaner’n a snake and ya never knew when they’d strike. He was also a womanizing cad.

I’d sure like to know who the woman was next to him. Hmm

Daddy told my sister and I about the time grandma learned about one of his liaisons. It just so happens it was with a lady down the road. Far be it for grandma to take that from anybody (except grandpa). So, she grabbed one of the boy’s baseball bat and hightailed herself down the road and threatened that gal within an inch of her life! I’m sure grandpa just laughed. Heck! We told Daddy, she shoulda taken that bat to grandpa!

Grandma was a stay at home mom. She tended the chickens, milked the cow, churned their own butter and was pretty much in charge of the food. When I was a kid, I remember her cultivating about 1/2 acre of produce that would later be “put up” or canned.    Grandpa would till the soil and she did the rest. Daddy said, they were poor,  but the depression never affected them because of it.

When I was little, she’d send us kids’ out to pick okra, green beans, tomato and corn.  She always made us wear these huge bonnets to keep us from getting too tan.  Ladies weren’t supposed to get a lot of color in those days. There was nothing like grandma’s cooking either. My could she make the best biscuits, slathered in home churned butter and honey or sorghum and her fried okra and sweet corn with a side of fresh, sliced tomatoes with a dollop of mayo were to die for. Chicken was reserved for Sunday dinners. 

When my sister and I moved back there to care for mom and dad, we learned that the house on the right was one grandma bought with her own money.  Grandpa hadn’t bought it, but she had, if you can believe that.  That would have been in the early 50’s. I remember Diana saying “Go grandma!”  Grandma was also one of the first  young women who made the paper when they got a drivers license!  Pretty amazing lady, I’d say.

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Both of them were born in the late 1800’s. 1892 & 95, I believe.  They had four sons, the first one died at the age of two or three.  Prior to them getting married, grandpa, in his twenties served in the Army in France during WWI.  One time while in the attic, we kids found a box of letters from his “fan” club of girls he’d met there. Who knows, we may have “cousins” in France as well.

Grandpa’s native American heritage really shows in the above picture.

I remember once, daddy told me that when grandpa was “Sheriff”, daddy got in trouble with him, so grandpa put him in jail. Jail was very similar to the one Andy Taylor ran, only probably a bit smaller. It was a small town and that jail still exists, though it sits empty now. I mentioned this to daddy before he passed and he tells me he doesn’t remember ever telling us that story.  Did Grandpa take us by there one day and tell us that maybe? Daddy is the kid that looks like he’s full of the dickens, so it’s wouldn’t have been impossible he was in trouble all the time.  I told him, I could imagine him giving his momma a considerable amount of grief.  He didn’t deny it. So, even though the story’s veracity came into question, we still tell it.  The little cutie in the middle there would grow up to be like grandpa, liking the ladies.

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From what I’d heard, Grandpa was known to have jumped around from job to job and was constantly chasing the pie in the sky dreams while doing his womanizing.  One day, when daddy was doing a T.V. repair house call, some guy tells daddy, he was his illegitimate brother.  Daddy did not know him, but at the same time he was not terribly surprised. 

One of grandpa’s later job’s was running oil with my uncle to homes in big tanker trucks.gpoil

Before that he ran coal.  He even had a jack of all trade business card that though inappropriate and offensive to us today, was a sign of the time then.

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Ironically, grandpa, from what daddy said, was fair minded to all his workers black or white and as far as we kids ever saw, this was true.  Grandpa was a hard worker and expected the same of anyone who worked under him, including his kids.

I believe he ran the Woodyard the longest and there’s a good chance the coal business was run simultaneously.  I say this because the sawmill is where daddy, lost part of his foot at the age of 16, it’s also the backdrop of the picture with the three towheads and he was still running it when I was born, some 10 years later. 

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Grandma dodging the camera.

Because the train ran right up to the Woodyard and because that was where I was born and lived the first couple of years of my life, I would always find comfort in the sound of trains going by.

Even though grandpa tended to play around, he wasn’t totally without honor.  When grandma got sick with cancer, the cost of her care was more than he could handle.  He talked to the then sheriff and asked his permission to run a still for the time being and requested said sheriff to look the other way while he raised what he could for her expenses.  The sheriff agreed.  So, grandpa set up a still, tucked away in the woods on the farm a few miles away.  He did this with a partner friend.  Said Sheriff would later come around and ask him if he’d raised what he needed.  Grandpa replied honestly that he had, so the sheriff told him to tear it down then.  Grandpa agreed, but his partner didn’t want to.  Grandpa walked away from it, but his partner would later get arrested.  That’s how things were in those days.

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After grandma died, he married her friend Minnie and when Minnie died, he married, Ada.  Minnie was sweet and everyone liked her.  Ada on the other hand would be the death of grandpa.

I didn’t know grandpa when he was young, so what I remember of him was kind and funny.  I remember him popping his false teeth for us.  He told me once to keep my arm back in the truck, because a passing car could pull it right off.  He proceeded to tell me of how he was driving by and having some fellas arm on the hood of his truck, so I pulled my arm in immediately.  I don’t think I believed him, but I wasn’t gonna take any chances.  I remember he liked to whittle.  He was skinny and looked like a witch in his later years. 

My two girls did get to have some good times with their great grandpa and that’s pretty cool, though they never knew grandma.  She died when I was 13.  

We kids are what remain.

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My Aunt Mildred, Uncle Kenneth, mom and grandma (she probably hated this pic) in back.

My siblings Diana, me, David and Sandra.

 

Miss Brennenstuhl- 6th Grade – A Peek Into my Life.

Miss Brennenstuhl.  My forever favorite teacher.  How I even remember how to spell her name is a miracle in of itself.  Up until junior high, my teachers would be female.

Miss Brennenstuhl was my 6th grade teacher.  She had blonde hair and wore glasses.  She was quite angular and thin with long legs.  She wore shirt waist dresses with flowing skirts. Her full lips covered a slight overbite and she kept them painted with bright red lipstick and  I remember she smiled easily. Oh, and she smelled nice.  Was she pretty?  I don’t know, but to me she was old, but she had to have been at least 40 and I think I was more fixated on the noticeable amount of makeup and the stylish clothes she wore. To put it simply she was put together quite admirably. Why that impressed me, I have no clue. I was a tomboy.  When she wore her hair down, it was slightly longer and fuller on the bottom than Marilyn’s here but same style.  Her makeup almost exactly the same. When her hair was up, she was classy.

She was what one would have called, in those days, a spinster. An unmarried “older” woman over 30, yet looking not unlike the above pictures. She wore yellow often.

At times, she could be quite stern and because I was the child that was generally on any teachers bad side, I wasn’t on hers.  For some reason, she took to me.  Perhaps I was her challenge for the year.  The one she made it her goal to impact positively and she did.

School had not been easy for me.  In kindergarten, I remember having a teacher,  who did not accept that when I asked to go potty, I meant it.  I think she thought I was fooling around in the john.  Perhaps there were some kids who might have, but I really had to go. Often.

One day, just as we were getting ready to sit on the floor to have our lunch,  I asked to be excused,  she said, “No”.  A few minutes later, she was having to buy lunches for the kids who were unfortunate enough to be sitting near me.  From then on, she never said “No”.   But she also penalized me for it by holding me back and making me go to pre-first, because I guess lacked the maturity and discipline to move on with the rest of my class. That was such a disappointment to me, but after awhile I made new friends, but I never got over feeling as though I wasn’t good enough.

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First grade – I’m second from the right, my two best friends on either side. Josie and Evangeline.

Then in second grade.  I was always getting yelled at and I was always crying and  I remember how this teacher could barely look at me and I’d start crying and because she always made me cry, I then got tagged with the moniker “Howling Coyote”.  She must have been pretty intimidating and scary to me for whatever reason. But, I was always in trouble in that class and I can’t remember why.  On the playground, a young roundish Mexican boy name Bobby Gonzalez would be my worst tormentor and others would then follow suit.

Mrs. McConnell, third grade was of Japanese descent married to an American. I remember her name because it didn’t fit her looks.  Behind her back, I recall kids making racial slurs and comments. In retrospect, she was probably as American as I am as well. There was definitely no accent.  She was stern, but I remember learning, the alphabet and how to form my letters properly with her.  In her class is when I would learn to read  so she was okay.  I loved reading and penmanship and because of her and the teacher that followed, I had  beautifully formed letters.  Of course, I know I wasn’t the only one with good penmanship because it was stressed to us in those days. Sadly, this would not continue because as the years have past,  young people today can hardly write cursive at all. I noticed too that girls were generally better than boys at cursive and boys tended to print better.  I knew a few boys who could do both equally well, but that wasn’t the norm. 

I remember my 4th grade teachers vaguely. That year I started out the year in Alabama and finished it in California. My 4th grade teacher had also been my fathers. I think her name was Mrs. Foote. and then I had Mrs. Newman in California. Nothing terribly exciting there except again, Bobby Gonzalez.  He quit calling me “howling coyote” but would tease me about my newly acquired southern drawl, exaggerating it by just calling out “y’all”.  Why he hadn’t noticed my accent before I don’t know other than perhaps it got stronger that year I was away.

School districts were divided and Bobby would be no more until junior high.  These next years were when I remember learning about and growing fond of the library.

My 5th grade teacher was also strict but I’m not sure fair, perhaps she was but I couldn’t tell. I  know I wasn’t a favorite.  Sometimes I thought she liked me fine but at other times not so much.  However, she was the one who discovered I could draw when she asked all the kids to draw a picture for Veterans Day, in addition to writing an essay to go along with it.  She would then enter it in a competition.  I painted a field of poppies on a hill.  Myself and Alex Rapach, a new boy in school, won top honors for our art and essays.  He was a great artist and always knew he would grow up to be an architect. Knowing what I know now about architects, it was no wonder, he was a natural.  During recess, he would make me hanky mice, while I played jacks.  He then taught me how to make them myself, a skill I have long since forgotten, but he was my first crush and because of that I was always trying to keep up.  Until that year I never realized I could be good at drawing or painting. I enjoy them both, but the truth of it is, I’m just okay at it.  I accidentally finish something worthwhile, but it’s rare and those all belong to other people now. Mostly because they loved them, so they were gifted. Whaaat?  Isn’t that what it’s all about?

By 6th grade, our love had faded and then came Miss Brennenstuhl, who would further cultivate my artistic nature. I’m not sure I was liked that well at first because I am a talker, a fault that aggravated all my teachers actually, but we connected through my art, which she encouraged and through music and stories.  She loved reading to us and she did so so well, that I was able to see those stories play out in my mind like I was there with the characters.  Between those two teachers my love for books and reading grew exponentially.  If anything could shut me up, it would be a book. That year I would become lost and feral in Alaska with Buck and I would learn about the trials of Anne Frank for the first time.

What connected us and made Miss Brennenstuhl stand out was dance.  I think I may have really wanted to impress her because one day, I mentioned I had an Arthur Murray Way record on dancing. It came complete with diagrams for foot placement. She asked if I could bring it and I supposed I could and did. I think my mom bought it in hopes dad would learn to dance and maybe take her dancing,  but I believe I was the one who got the most use out of it.

With me as her guinea pig, I say that because the one thing I don’t have is rhythm,  but she was patient with me and she and I would demonstrate to the rest of the class,  the steps to the Samba, the Foxtrot, box step and the Tango.  I was a klutz, but I always got to be the first one to try a new routine with her.  Boy did she light up when she danced and it was thrilling to see.  I was quite tickled and pleased.

Another time, for art class, I drew a huge Bird of Paradise that turned out magnificently. It’s pose was similar to the second photo below but it’s tail spread like the first, it was beautiful if I may say so.  She loved it and hung it up in her classroom for the remainder of the year.  At the end of the school year, she asked if I would mind if she kept it.  I gladly gave it to her and when I went to visit her several years later, it was still up in her room. I don’t know if anyone can relate to this, but she built me up in so many ways.  Most importantly, she proved to me that she hadn’t lied when she said she liked it.  Do you know how that would make a kid who got beat up and knocked around at home feel?  She made me feel valued and that meant the world to me.

Later on, I would look back at the teachers I had and the ones I liked the most were not necessarily the easy going ones, but the ones that had structure.  I remember a teacher that goofed off all the time in class and I nearly failed her class. There were no guidelines, I never felt like I knew what was expected of me.  I remember my boyfriend getting straight A’s in her class, but not me.  He was one of those that never studied either and boy was I surprised when he graduated with honors.

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I’m in almost center just above the words “junior”, my best friends to my right. Bobby Gonzalez, thinned out by then and is third boy, upper right. He only rarely teased me by then.

Since then I have figured out, judging by my son that I may have had ADD. I wasn’t stupid, just needing that structure. I remember when we moved to a different area, the school he would have been assigned to would be open concept, a no walls classroom.  So we drove him elsewhere, we knew he would never be able to focus in that environment.  Even to this day, I’m a tell me what you want and don’t beat around the bush kind of girl, because if you don’t make it clear, you can bet, I won’t get it. I’m also the gaze out the window kinda girl, easily distracted. I’ve gotten better, but it wasn’t easy growing up.

If you were to watch me clean house, you’d see that in action. If you remember the diagram of Billy in Family Circus, taking the long way to get from point A to point B?  That’s me. I’m sure I’d make the average person dizzy watching me work.  But… I get the job done and I can be OCD … I like a place for everything and everything its place.

Have a good “Lockdown Day”!  Be kind to someone and give them a call or just say “Hi”

I caught my neighbor outside yesterday and we yakked for awhile.  He lives alone, so imagined he’d be lonely,  so from 40 feet, we talked, keeping our social distance. I think he appreciated it.

 

 

Hoping for a Musical

This is gonna be a short one and you can yell at me if you don’t like it. Just don’t be overly mean.  <smile>

I perused HBO, STARZ, Netlix and HULU thinking I might like something musical and the only thing I found was Hello Dolly!  I love the tunes, but the movie itself was chaotic.  The young men were idiots, Mr. Vandergelder the epitome of everything disgusting of the male specie of the time and Dolly conniving and manipulative. But, it was a musical.

Normally, I have a wide assortment of CD’s but since I started streaming, I found I wasn’t using them, so I got rid of all but a few of my amazing collection.  Hopefully, I didn’t donate them to Goodwill and I haven’t yet torn through the garage to see if they might happen to be in a box for a future yard sale, so keep your fingers crossed.  I did find French Kiss though and that’s upbeat and I do have the Firefly series, which I’m a fan of, so there’s that.  I did find, Flower Drum Song though and I bet you’ve not even heard of it.  It takes place in San Francisco Chinatown. Very obscure. (I’ve included clips)

I have found a couple of cool new series that have shown up like X Company and A Letter For the King.  I started The Protector and though the story is okay, the protagonist is so irritating, I gave up on it.  I bore through the first season and it never got better.  I don’t like stupidity, so shows like Dodgeball or Wedding Crashers do nothing for me. Movies or shows with idiot characters are unbearable, whether male or female.  I am also tired of Vampire themed stories, perhaps because I’ve seen almost all of them and I now find them tedious and boring. Witches are okay if they don’t get too dark.  I did like Apocalyptic shows are depressing. We have always been fans of TWD, but now it feels too real.  I liked the mystery of who dunnit shows, but now their stories are so obsessed with covering all their social statements that the stories get lost.

For example,  the new 9-1-1 Lonestar show with Rob Lowe.  I love Rob Lowe, but… for pete’s sake, his team consists of a homosexual (his son) plus another, a vegan, a transgender, a Muslim girl and one of my favorite characters,  an Hispanic and a red neck seeming guy who was rejected because he was white but when the captain finds out he happens to be married to a black girl, he was in.  (They are a great couple btw.)  let’s see…  well never mind, you get it.  Supposedly, when the captain transferred from New York, his goal was to be as diverse as possible, I get it, but… it is a bit much. Oh, and on just about every emergency they respond to, on this first episode, it too hits on racist or bigoted issues.  I’ve lived in the south and those exist but not to the extent this first episode had to get in.  This one was over the top and I almost turned it off after the first episode, but it leveled out some.

My point, is so many shows have to get it all in.  I’m sorry, they don’t need to drown us in all that.  My step brother, who is gay hates it as well.   The majority of his friends are none of those things. That’s not real life. That’s not the real world, except maybe in San Francisco.  Okay, it’s T.V. and that’s not real life either.

My feeling is diversity comes from the heart and you can’t force feed it to the average person or they will turn off.  Period.

I’m off track. I know it.  What I wanted to share is I want shows that make me feel happy.  Right now our situation is dire or so it feels like.  Right now we don’t have the ability to party and have a good time, especially if we’re alone.  I have my hubby, but we can only do so much to entertain ourselves.  So some nice old happy movies would sure be nice.  Hmmm, I wonder if I can stream some YouTube clips?  I haven’t tried…

Today has been a day for hubby, putting out one fire after another, “at work”.  I’m waiting for him to get up and make a clean sweep of all the equipment.  His boss posted to all that she had to walk away from hers before she blew everything up.  When you work from home, you can’t just get up and go to the warehouse to yell at shipping to quit %#$@ing up!  The system’s not great, but they’re still working… for that we’re thankful.

Well, the lawn got mowed.

Outdoors May Be Out Next

Yeah,  So many people loving the great weather thought it a good idea to go to the beach, the parks and other places to get away from home.  Problems is…

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Just like we did and yes there were more people out than we expected or were comfortable with when we went out but guess what?  The next day there were so many more that the police had to close off parking lots to those places in hopes of discouraging the crowds and masses that were tired of being cooped up.

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There were so many people on the boardwalks and sand, that practicing social distancing became nearly impossible.  But… no one turned away.  So, closing off sections became necessary.  They have now announced that there will be an $1,000 fine for those who don’t heed the crowd abatement rule!

It’s interesting, but people react in several ways. Those that thumb there nose and say, “by golly, no one tells me what to do”, there’s those who feel too much is being made of this and feel everyone is overreacting.  There will be those frightened half to death and are trembling in their shoes and those who will draw inspiration from all this and vow  to be more creative or more faithful. We will see those who believe it’s the end of the world and in some ways it just may be the end of the world as we know it. That it will have an impact on each individual, there’s no doubt.

One of the things noted on this mornings newscast is how many people are eliminating electronics and finding ways to engage with their families and children. They admit to major adjustments being made. Yes, they’re noticing some dissension  and discovering how little they’ve been interacting with one another because of their busy schedules. Husbands, wives, children will find new ways to get along… I hope.  So, yes we may start looking at things differently or… we may just go back to how things were.

In the meantime, communities are finding ways to stem the tide.sd2

Our community has opened up our convention center with cots for the homeless in our community, so they will not be wandering the streets spreading the disease around. What they didn’t say and I want to know is, is it even impacting the homeless?  I thought it was a travel related disease. We got it because someone traveled somewhere else and brought it here.  I really don’t know the answer to that.

My doctor explained that it is called a “novel” virus because so much of it is an unknown.  We don’t know what it will do next. We don’t know enough of it’s characteristics.  Even though the news focuses on certain ages, it is affecting all. So, don’t tempt fate!

Now if that isn’t motivating enough… Please read this:

Roseburg Health

Obviously, I am not out and about, so my information is coming to via the news and other sources. I too, must do without and staying in.  My husband makes a post office drop each day and if I need anything he stops at the grocery store to pick it up.  The crowds are not what they once were, he says.  Today, we took a short walk and only saw one person across the street.

Even my gardener is gone, grass is overgrown and we can’t mow because we have no lawnmower.  I’m still hoping he will show since he really doesn’t need to be in contact with us or anyone else other than his partner brother.  Of course, it has been raining.       A lot. He has a partially started project in our backyard and a wheel barrow collecting water and we, suffer a weedy, muddy backyard and overgrown succulents that have all but consumed our padre statue. I’m not Catholic, but I believe it is a Saint that guards critters.  We found it at a yard sale some years ago and thought it was cool.

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We, in the meantime must wait for this to be over with. Everyday, we learn something new about this virus or we hear of another fatality.  My hubby said he saw a stat that those numbers will start to grow exponentially.  So, we wait.

Another thought:

What I think too, is that no matter what steps anyone in power does, when all is said and over and done with, the criticisms will be, they didn’t do enough or everyone overreacted.  They will be damned if they do and damned if they don’t no matter what they do.  Be kind.

So in the end, let’s be fair and considerate and do the best we can to help make this go away as quickly as possible.

 

At Least We Still Have The Outdoors

I was going batty, cooped up in the house.  For the past few weeks, it’s done nothing but rain and when it wasn’t raining, it was gloomy.  I don’t mind rain, but there’s this psychological thing that goes on in my brain when suddenly I’m told I have to stay indoors and then when weather forces this issue on top of  it, it’s doggone depressing!

So last night I suggested to hubby that tomorrow, maybe we can go for a ride?

In the morning however, he announced that one of our favorite destinations, Julian, an historical community tucked in the mountains had asked tourists to stay away. Wow!

He said, they (the city) said, “We appreciate tourists and company, but asking people to stay away.  We are so isolated and medical services are so far away from us, should anyone get ill, it would be an extreme hardship to our community”  I hadn’t thought of that.  Understandable.  My quotes are actually a paraphrase.  OOOkay then, that’s out.

So hubby suggested we go up the coast to San Clemente and maybe go for a beach walk and maybe stop by this little cheese shop we like, if it were open.   It was. So, we did.

We had avocado toast and a Marconi almond and cheese sandwich slathered in honey.  It was a gooey mess but so worth it. Sorry, no photos.  We were relegated to eating on a bench outdoors because of indoor restaurant closures so taking a photo – not easy.  Just take my word for it. <Big Smile>

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Other than a pup bakery, everything else was closed. Normally these sidewalks would be full of people, especially on a beautiful weekend.

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It was a gorgeous day, sunny and bright and I guess everyone had the same idea.

 

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Lifeguards were on duty. People walking the beaches and trails.  Young surfers abounded… and I mean young.  A good many of them couldn’t have been more than about 10 years old!  Our beaches have old geezers, with a splattering of young men and women but not generally kids.  They were darn good too!

The trains were running and people everywhere walking their dogs. Even the ground squirrels were out.  I saw so many tempting dogs to pet, but refrained from doing so, thinking, just maybe several others ahead of me may have ruffled that doggies fur. Several others, who just could be “the one”.

The skies were pretty clear and knowing another storm is coming through in a couple of days, it was worth taking advantage of.

We even saw storm damage where the earth had been sucked out from under one of the precariously situated mansions on the hill overlooking the sea.  Scaaaary.

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If you haven’t been to San Clemente, it is quite lovely.  It’s clean and quaint.

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And picturesque.

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In San Clemente, we even stopped in at a garage sale, if you can believe that. We even bought some treasures. It was a good day.

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The downside, was on our way home,  these two jerks in their “muscle cars” came racing by us on either side just as I was commenting how nice it was to see so little traffic on the highway.  They scared us half to death and swerving around the cars ahead.  When they thought their path was blocked, they went wide in opposite directions, one even went on the shoulder then swerved right back in and collided with another car.  My heart was racing a mile a minute.

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See?  hardly any traffic, but up ahead, you can see a cluster of cars and soon those two idiots are going to infringe on someone’s right of way.  I don’t know why it is, but sometimes heavy traffic is better than no traffic, because when there’s no traffic some  idiot is bound to think it’s their own private raceway.  Fortunately, no one was killed or hurt, but the young man did have to pull over with the car he hit.  It could have been totally disastrous.

Anyway, we’re now safe at home and despite that, it was still a good day.

Like we don’t have enough to worry about these days.  Idiots!  Grrrrr!

Getting Connected CoVid-19 Style

My buddy at PhicklePhilly has a great post on his blog site right now and it’s worth reading.  The only reason I didn’t reblog, is I wanted to tie in my two cents worth. As some of you may know, my replies can, at times, be quite lengthy.  So this is kind of it. The tie in to his story, I mean.  All my favorite blog friends know my response can sometimes be a story of their own. What can I say?  I’ve lived a long time and lead a rather full, if not colorful life.  I like all my blogging friends because they almost always have something that triggers a memory for me into a response of some sort and I hope they don’t mind.

Today, though … This hit home, mostly because of last night. Or, errr, by now the night before or I should say Thursday night?

Excerpt from PP:

Monday I went to breakfast, wrote, talked with friends and loved ones, had dinner, and watched my shows. I, for once… had nowhere to be.

Tuesday, pretty much the same.

Wednesday, More of that just living and breathing thing. Daughter came home. I was happy to see her. She went to the supermarket and bought a bunch of food. She cooked dinner for the two of us and we actually sat and ate, and chatted like a real family.

What it triggered is, sure, being house bound sucks in a way, but on the flip side, what a time to get reconnected, to plan and do things you’ve put off doing because you’ve been to busy. Life as we’ve known it has changed and that could be a good thing.  Maybe getting back to basics was a long time coming.  Sure, for some it’s going to be economically hard, but we are survivors. Americans are survivors.

Most of my siblings and kids are not working right now.  I’m not working either.  My hubby doesn’t put his foot down about most things, but he did this.  As an Uber/Lyft driver, he doesn’t want me out there exposed.  Especially since, many of my passengers are generally in the service industry or business people who travel a lot and have contact with a good number of other people; their chances of exposure are exponentially greater. Plus, I am in that at risk age group.

My hubby now works from home, so he’s okay for now, but that could change at any minute. My TX son’s new job got put on hold, so he’s home supervising his kid’s schooling. His wife, a teacher, is out distributing food. My SLC daughter is an RN, so she’s working.
Andrea !

My traveler GA daughter, just got home but even after self quarantining in SLC, won’t be going back to GA to work either.  And, possibly, in time, my SLC granddaughter or My SLC son, both in the hotel industry. They are senior enough, but even their work hours have been cut back. What’s worse, is my SLC RN daughter just closed on a home in December! All of which, she shares expenses with the SLC granddaughter and my SLC son, her brother.  So, the only one with a decent paycheck is her… for now.  Here’s the bunch of them having their last dinner out before the shut downs.Tina and the kids March 18 2020

Even so, we are all in good spirits.

I’ve been chatting BS with siblings, keeping up with nephews and my sister and having long chats with the kids.

Because of our normally hectic work schedules, we seldom get to visit all at once or for any length of time, but last night the kids and I had a great time chatting til late.  It went like this:

6:50 pm Group Text and try to keep up. lol

Me: The governor just announced a total lock down for the state as of tonight… unless seeing a doctor, needing medicine or groceries. I guess those workers are exempt. But… masks are being distributed.

GA (daughter): thanks for the update.

Me: lol he’s such an idiot… then he lists all the thing you can still do. get food, meds, play outside walk the dog, etc. basically what we’re doing now. He predicted 56% will get it with 20% hospitalized.  Ugh!  (my thoughts- How about scaring the shit out of us?)  He did say to be kind to one another.  I told GA, she got out in time.

RN (SLC daughter): Who’s he and where are you…FL or CA?

TX(son): Yikes! I had just landed a new job… now I’m a first grate teacher indefinitely.  All schools here are closed, probably for the rest of the year.

Me: CA and FL (nephew) said they’re next, expecting it soon.

RN: OMG TX!  That sucks!

TX:  I’m ok. Just wish everyone out there would be a little more considerate. I think we were a little too primed by all the apocalyptic entertainment. (laughy face)

RN: lol Hey but we kinda know what to expect in an Apocalypse now!

TX: Yeah… people are starting to buy guns here now because they think they’ll be the next shortage (sad face). I don’t think we’ll EVER have a shortage of guns in TX… or really anywhere in our country.

Me: Yeah, I heard that was happening.

RN: That’s funny, bc I saw a gun store the other day and based on all the shelves at the stores being empty, I actually had a split second thought of… “Hmmm. guns are probably next… should I get one?” But… the next day we had a 5.7 earthquake… so I b like… get the hell out!

Me: I thought that too…

TX: (laugh emoji here)  I have a pig with a hard head. I’ll bet he’d fight an intruder for a burrito and his head would probably stop a bullet. If not… bacon??

Me:  (laugh emoji) I would think your job secure – You still working RN?

RN: Yep

Me: Poor piglet  GA  mute your phone lol ( she just got off her flight from Amsterdan to LA to SLC, so I knew she was tired)

RN:  Hehe… when all you guys are confined to your houses I’ll be able to get in my car and drive straight into the heart of death.. 3 times a week!

TX: He’s not poor, he’s indestructible. (Laugh emoji) He ate a pound of glue and borax with giant pieces of sharp plastic glitter… didn’t even give him indigestion.

Be praying for you RN. Seriously

Me: Yes!

RN: OMG! Def eat the pig… all I have is a cat and I already warned the family  that I’ll eat him if necessary. (oopsy emogi)

Me: Well, when I worked at the health department, I was fitted with a CDC quality face mask specific to me. I’m so glad I kept it!

My cat is sickly and skinny.

TX: It’s all the same after it’s fried.  I’m sure that’s an old proverb of the south… probably

Me: And all my neighbors have lost their dogs in the last few month.  You’re on a roll TX. (You have to understand, this son is the least communicative of all the kids)

RN: I’ve had a fit test bc we have 4 TB rooms on our unit… meaning negative pressure rooms… so we were slated to have COVID pts… until the earthquake.

I’m fattening mine up.

TX:  That sounds pretty serious RN

Definitely need to fatten them up first. Pigs are great for that. Feed them almost anything. They get big fast and they taste great!

Me: No way! Utah has a low COVID rate, so far. Or at least it did.

Better not let the kids hear you!

TX: They can’t hear text (wink emoji) Hunter will pick up on sarcasm from a mile away though.

Me: Well the shelves were bare, so we’ll be eating lost of chili with beans.

RN: Or fried scrawny cat

and so it went.  later my other two and grand daughter would chime in with

GD:  OMG. I went shopping today again. I’ve spent more on this month then I have ever, honestly.  It’s nuts.

TX: Really?  Shockingly, there were a lot of frozen pizzas here. Plenty of chips and dip too. Good excuse to eat unhealthy I suppose.

Me: Our butcher meats were all gone.

RN: Right!? And I thought cereal would be all gone

Me: Nope!

RN: NO!

Me: Ice cream still there.

RN:  EAT HEALTHY BUY VIT A,D,AND C

TX: The Asian markets were the last hit here. Might be some stigma there.  Poor Asians. (Tearful emoji)

RN:  don’t drink… hey Ross (her ex) grab me another beer while you’re out there!  Ooops

LOL

ME:  You’re in GJ? (That’s where her ex lives)

GA: RN  you can always stop by Larry’s when you’re in GJ and grab one of mine.  For free. (She’s referring to her gun broker who was trying to sell some of her guns)

Gun that is … as long as you promise not to aim it at me.

RN:   (to TX) Don’t worry about them, they’re usually healthier than any of us. (to GA) A bit risky (to me) yes.

TX: I’m sure they are. Now I have a hankering for kimchi darn it

Me:  Love it!  Where’s SLC Son?

GA: Haven’t seen the stores yet. Just got to Utah. Not looking forward to tomorrow.

RN:  Ga, if you an J come near the house GD will shoot you before I get a chance! (kidding of course)  They’re quarantining you guys aren’t they?

SLC son: Like 49 cases, 0 deaths so far (referring to SLC)

Me: Wow! big change from last week.

SLC son: Yeah, well that’s exponential growth for you.

RN: UT quite good, but… really we are just behind the curve

SLC son: Exactly

Me: It seems areas impacted worse are those with large international airports and traffic

SLC son: And we tend to have a pretty compliant population with strong community focus.

And Washington is the worst. I’m convinced it’s their lack of adequate sunlight.

RN: That’s one way to put cult followers ( a series of of emoticons with different expressions of laughing)

Me: (laugh emoji) did I bear comedians?  Love it!

Anyway, the ramblings became more nonsensical and crazy but with everyone still somehow knowing which line was directed at them.  It was like we were all together with giddy, silly bantering.

After a bit more and some in between, (I didn’t put it all in) we signed off.

While this was going on, my siblings and I were also enjoying some communications along with a separate one with my nephew in Florida.  We may be in different states but with technology we can still keep in touch and with COVID-19  it was like we were in a room all together, talking over each other as families tend to do and which hasn’t happened in a long time. It’s all good.

States represented last night were

(2) Texas, (1) Colorado, (3) Utah, (4) California, (1) Florida, (1) Georgia, (1)Arizona and (1)Oregon

Like PhicklePhilly says: It can be a good time.

Keep the faith. Be productive.

Stay positive, Stay safe and yes, Be Kind.  It’s a good time to reconnect with family and friends.

My TX son just said, National Guard is coming in. He’s thinking they’re getting ready for a lock down.  Interesting.  I hadn’t heard that anywhere else.  I mean about the National Guard.  Oh well, it is Texas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Sister and Thomas

As I mentioned some time ago, my sister was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  It was an unusual tumor that made itself known last year.

She finally had surgery three weeks ago.  When I first posted that information, we were all told it was a genetic, slow moving brain tumor, situated on her pituitary, causing her partial blindness and memory loss.  I was justifiably upset that the “team” of doctors kept delaying the surgery.  I could see she was getting worse. And, they were wrong. It grew way faster than they ever imagined it would.

When my step-brother and I visited in October, she was already quite forgetful, but she was managing.  She could feed herself and care for her basic needs.  To talk to her, she didn’t seem quite that bad.  We both left Florida relying on her boys to keep checking in on her and making sure she was okay, which they did, faithfully,  as did some of her neighbors, so she wasn’t entirely alone.

She and I kept in touch by phone and some of the time, when she could find her phone we would get to chat. Then, all of a sudden, I wasn’t getting through to her, at all.  I then had to rely on communications from her sons. Her sons started having to go by more frequently and then alternating days when they could. The niece in law would clean, do laundry and prep several meals for her, but one day they found the plate from the night before untouched. In fact, some had been wrapped up in paper towels and squirreled away.  She hadn’t been eating!

Her eldest son took his wife with him to pick her up and take her home with them as they had wanted to do before.  Up until then, my sis had not been compliant to go with them since she’d made it clear that she expected them to take all her furniture and “stuff” from her two floor flat and move it into the one bedroom. They explained, they could store these items, for when she was better, but she dug in her heels and did what we call, the “Brothers” thing. That’s our maiden name and our genetics are given to being notoriously obstinate.

Then there was Thomas.  The fact that there was a Thomas didn’t help and the kids knew how much he meant to her so they didn’t force her.

Thomas was her cat.  They are all allergic, so until they found him a home, taking him wasn’t going to happen.  No way, no how, that wasn’t going to happen if she had anything to say about it – period.  So, they were at a standoff.

Thomas O'Mally

He is pretty though.  As it turns out, she wasn’t paying much attention to him and Thomas was becoming quite feral in his own home.

The next day when they came to pick her up, she was lying on the floor in her own urine.  My niece in law showered her and my nephew packed up a few things to take her home.  They figured they could leave Thomas behind and check up on him daily to feed and change his litter box.

As they were headed downstairs, she collapsed.  She was taken to the ER and then admitted to ICU.  The surgery was scheduled but they had to strengthen her and get her vitals up so she could have surgery.  She was there a week before that would happen.  Her neighbor friend left me a message saying she had asked for me, so I flew out there two days later and a few days before surgery.  The evening I came in, she didn’t know who I was, but then the next day when the doc asked her if she knew me, she said, “Yes, that’s my sister Jo”.

Diana and I hosp

After a few days, she actually brightened up, as you can see.

During the few days before the surgery, I’d go and visit.  She really couldn’t carry on a conversation, but I noticed she wasn’t eating yet either, so I started to break down her food and feed her.

I really didn’t know what to do other than sit, so I started to read to her, give her a massage, wash her hair and do whatever I could to make her feel connected.  Her skin was very flaky and dry, so I made an olive and coconut oil concoction, simply because I reasoned, it could possibly give her nutrients to absorb from the outside. I figured, if she’d been half starved then she wasn’t getting the fats her body needed.  My niece in law had been using regular lotions, but they weren’t working.  I figured, if Sophia Loren swears by that stuff for her skin and she looks amazing, then it must work and it did.  In any case, it gave me something to do with her.  I wouldn’t stay long because she tired easily and after awhile I would summarily be dismissed.  Little sisters can be quite bossy.

At home I would take care of things. Clean up a bit, take care of Thomas and sight see.  In the meantime, the kids all asked if I’d seen Thomas and I say, “Not yet” or “Surprisingly, No”.  Thomas had lived with my husband and I up until 5 years ago, so it was kind of odd, he didn’t remember me.  It was almost four days later that I saw him run by.  If it hadn’t been for food disappearing and the litter box needing cleaning each day, you’d never know he was there even though I looked and called for him.

Later, one of the niece in laws make an effort, to talk me into taking him and I said, “No,  I’m not flying a cat all the way to California”, besides if I got another cat I’d want one that cuddles and Thomas doesn’t cuddle, besides Chloe’s health is failing and if he doesn’t remember me then those two won’t remember each other.

Surgery day came and her boys went in to see her first, then one came out and I went in and the delight on her face to see me made my trip all worthwhile.  Keep in mind, she wouldn’t remember day to day things we might have done. Her son admitted he thought I might have wasted my time coming, but when he saw her face light up, he was so glad I had.

My other brother from California and my sister from Alabama came as well.  After surgery it looked like everything would be fine.  Her eyes and expression were alert and welcoming, so we were relieved. By the next day, she was angry and stated quite clearly how she couldn’t breathe and was in pain and asked me to leave and to tell everyone else to stay away.  It was still promising in two ways, one she was able to articulate and express herself clearly, something we’d not seen and two, she was thinking clearly.  Since the surgery had been performed through her nasal passage, we weren’t terribly surprised she’d be upset about her breathing and she’s not a mouth breather.

The day after that, my brother went in to see her and we thought the pain would be better, but…  they were going to have to go back in.  She was having major clotting and some had blocked breathing.  We thought it had dropped into her lungs, as she was put on a respirator.  It turns out it was lodged in her throat and for two days they would remove clots the size of chicken livers.  I remained outside.  I didn’t see her for three days even though we would all meet daily in the waiting area. All hope had been dashed that I would get my sister back.

That week, she was not eating and they wouldn’t put a feeding tube in her because it could introduce bacteria into her system. So they said. I’d never heard of anything like this. I am as frustrated as hell at some of the decisions these docs have made, but then who am I?  I try to be patient, but I don’t understand.  My nephews too have been frustrated. My daughter, an RN, in SLC and my niece in law, a vet pathologist instructor, both do their best to explain things to us. Even though “S” isn’t a human pathologist, she does understand medical speak.

A few days later, she was a bit more responsive.  I told her I loved her and she said, “I love you too”  I explain to her that I will have to return home and for her to get better and she says ok. I leave.

Unfortunately, she doesn’t.  Days have passed and she’s gotten thinner.  They got her to walk one day, but she’s been off and on nourished through a nasal tube.  Finally they thought to move her into a regular wing, thinking she may have developed a type of hospital depression, so they did for like two day, if that.  They wanted to move her to rehab, so to do so, she had to be eating or on a feeding tube, so they put a direct line to her stomach.  I’m fuming because why in the hell, didn’t they do that in the first place?

They were giving her hormones to compensate for the pituitary but said, they hadn’t quite got the right combination yet.  I kept saying, feed her for Petes’ sake.  How can she respond to anything if she isn’t nourished?!!!

They were still wanting to move her,  but my nephew disapproval was apparent.  The nurse said to him, “You don’t think she should be moved?”  He looked her in the eye and said, “Do you think she looks like she’s in any shape to be moved!”  I think he’d had enough as well.  So, she told him she’d have the doctor call.  Well, they didn’t, but they immediately ordered a bunch of new tests.  Checking for the possibility of meningitis and/or a stroke.  One of the docs (they work in “teams”) finally called to say the nasal passage was clear so she didn’t get meningitis from that.  Tests came back but so far no bacteria was found and nothing fungal yet, which could still show, but probably not. The MRI did show vascular inflammation that could have stemmed from an infection or immune response.  They are giving her antibiotics and it’s still unclear what has happened since surgery, but she still has a vacant look. On Monday she will get another MRI and a full stroke study.  Again, why do they take so long to do thing?

With the COVID-19 a concern, they are limiting visitations.  My siblings and I wanted to go back there again, but until things clear up, we just wait and pray.

I wanted to share some pics of us her and us.

Diana

One of the art exhibits in Birmingham when we were still together.

Diana and Ferg

Di giving my little dog Ferguson a ride.

Diana and I night

She and I on my last visit before six months ago.Diana' news

Looking real good, a couple of years ago. She actually won a ribbon for one of her drawings that trip.

Then there’s the original four.  I’m the tall one, she’s the little one.  We would later acquire my four step siblings and a new little brother.

Us kids.

I want to thank my baby brother, who couldn’t be there,  for paying for my trip to see her and for all the support my step siblings have given me as well.  The rest of us got to be there for her for one week.  Now we wait and see.

As for Thomas, the word got out and there were several offers to take him. He ended up going home with one of the ER nurses, and yes, he’d become quite feral. So much so that when “S” and I tried to round him up, he hissed at us.  This gal and her husband would come two weeks later and corralled him to get a look at him first.  After a bit, they said yes.  The other day, we learned he was sitting on her lap while she watched T.V.  He is obviously happy, because he doesn’t do that for just anyone.

Yesterday, I got to thinking of all that has transpired in the world since she lost touch and so many monumental things no less, and a happy thought flittered by…

Wouldn’t it be great if down the road, when she gets better, we can tell her of all the stuff she “slept through?    My son, says, “Yeah,  “While You Were Sleeping...”

It made me chuckle to myself and then I laughed a little out loud. I told my nephew, I just bet she’d get a kick out of it.  He said and then she’ll have that curious look on her face…and added a laughing emoji.

I, WE can hardly wait!!

 

 

Phicklephilly: Special Report – What You Need To Know About Coronavirus

This has information on how widespread it is. Information is ever changing.

Phicklephilly

Special thank to my friends over at the Washington Post!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/02/28/what-you-need-know-about-coronavirus/?arc404=true

Latest Updates

  • The government announced 1.9 million high-speed coronavirus tests would start to be available this week in hardest hit states. Priority of testing would go to health care workers, first responders and people over 65 exhibiting cough, fever or other respiratory symptoms.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Sunday that for the next eight weeks there be no mass gatherings of more than 50 people to combat the spread of coronavirus. The guidelines define mass gatherings as “conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings.”
  • The U.S. Senate is expected to vote early this week on a bill passed by the House of Representatives Saturday to provide help to workers affected by the coronavirus outbreak, as well as to provide free testing and increase funding to programs that help feed older adults.
  • In an attempt to protect…

View original post 1,783 more words

CoVid-19 – New Baby Boom

My husband walked into the room the other day and announced quite frankly, “You know we’re gonna have a new baby boom?”

It took me a second to guess his meaning and then I remembered all those years, in Alabama, (which btw has no reported CoVid-19 cases yet) and all those times we had been forced to stay in because of power outages and other storm or tornado related disasters.

It never failed.  If folks are kept indoors with nothing to do, they find something to do and as predicted 9 months later, we found ourselves with an influx of new babies needing to be vaccinated or needing WIC product.

Being from California, I’d never been privy to such revelations. Working at the county health department provided me with an insurmountable education of what humans are capable of. I moved there shortly before Katrina hit.  I was not working at the health department then, so I never felt the impact of that disaster, but a year later, I would.  Living in that area, I would experience more such storms. It was after one of those that one of my coworkers proclaimed what to look for and/or expect down the road and sure enough, it never failed.  Alabama, being in the tropic zone and frequently succumbing to “disasters” found themselves in this boat on a regular cycle. It became a running joke and an “oh boy!” proclamation each year.

Street

street below

My home overlooks a normally busy street below and I’m amazed at how quiet it has become, a contrast from this past weekend when everyone was scrambling to buy up what they could and stock up, just in case.  We did the same, sans toilet paper.  Only because I was out of town for awhile the week before and my husband didn’t know where the extra TP was, so he went out and bought more, so we have plenty.

So, now that our lives have been disrupted by the CoVid-19, with concert cancellations and limited populated events, people are finding themselves housebound. I just had surgery, so I’m already housebound, but now the rest of the country and the world, some of which are unfamiliar with the process may find themselves with a similar dynamic, and the prospect of facing an historical baby populace in the future.  It only stands to reason …

In the meantime, my daughter is in Europe, enjoying her last months birthday present.  In ten days, to everyone’s surprise, so much changed where everything escalated.  She has no clue what she’ll be coming home to although, mom has kept her apprised of what she could the last two days.  My girl and her BFF visited Ireland and the UK and is headed to Edinburgh.  She wasn’t too worried of the recent announcement by the president that those two countries would be off limits starting today. . . of course Americans are still allowed to return home.

She did say kissing the Blarney Stone was off limits, so not to be daunted, her BFF kissed the castle… for real?

This started out as a tongue in cheek post, but it has taken a turn.  So sorry.

My husband just called and said there’s been an announcement that events have escalated and San Francisco will go into total lock down.

I’m now afraid for her. She lives in Georgia, her BF in Utah.

There’s been an update even to that within the last hour.  In San Diego area:

Bars

 

Annie’s Canyon Trail

I went off this past Sunday to do my first lone hike. I needed to expend some energy and do something good for myself, so I thought, why not a hike?  I mentioned this to hubby, who quickly got online, (he obviously thought it was a good idea too) and he found this place called Annie’s Canyon…

Before I get into that, this is what my life has been like the past few months.  As most of you who follow my blog know, my sister was diagnosed with a genetic brain tumor that has recently started acting up, but for some reason, her surgery keeps getting postponed which has been extremely frustrating to all of us. Right now, she displays all the signs of dementia which is disturbing to me.  No one likes having a conversation with someone they care about and moments after you finish your sentence, she retells it to you in the third person, as though she is talking to someone else, about you.  Yeah, it’s a lot to handle.

Then… I had the flu, starting after Thanksgiving and for what lasted forever, so Christmas was pretty much a wash. Even so, we spent it with my in laws, who happen to be atheist. Yeah, I know, you don’t have to say anything because that’s how I feel too.

My father in law is in his 90’s and refuses to die.  Not that he doesn’t want to, he just can’t seem to get there.  He’s miserable, incontinent and hating his life.  My mother in law, can’t do anything or go anywhere because he’s so clingy and she feels trapped.  No, she doesn’t complain. EVER. I only sense it.  It wasn’t until my brother in law’s heart attack  that she opened up at how miserable it has been. She was beside herself, and said she just “can’t do this anymore” and detailed some of what she’s had to do.

Last Monday week my father in law ended up in the hospital, again. BUT, what’s worse is my brother in law had a heart attack on the same day and my mother in law couldn’t go to him!  He ended up in ICU and on a respirator and they couldn’t operate until they stabilized him which took a week. He was operated on yesterday and so far, so good.

What’s unfortunate is, I’m a first born and first born’s want to take care of everything and everyone and when you can’t and or shouldn’t, you take a hike.

ANNIE’S CANYON TRAIL

Annie’s Canyon Trail is tucked away in the middle of suburbia, near the beach and near the Interstate 5 Freeway in San Diego County, California.  The online pictures looked like snapshots of one of the many canyon’s in Utah or Colorado, so of course, I wanted to go. Here’s my photo log.

Excited to be doing my first solo hike, I got off the freeway and to the trailhead to find this:

Annies Trail 18

That’s okay.  I’ll head to the Rios Ave trailhead which was another couple of miles away. Fortunately, that was open.  Not a lot of parking since it’s all residential and many homes have signs against it, but I found a spot.

Annies Trail1

And, it was cold.  I should have thought of that.  The trail starts out on the north side of this “mountain”.  (You’ll have to excuse the quotations, but after having lived in Colorado where there are real mountains, these seem small.) I was in workout leggings, short sleeve shirt with a light flannel over that.  I was grateful I, at least had that. lol

The hike was interesting.

Annies Trail 20Annies Trail 22Annies Trail 19

To the left of the trail is a preservation of salt water marsh and wildlife. You do see the birds right? Parts of the area where the little blue flags are seen were recently replanted with indigenous flora.  As I walked there were a number of memorial benches honoring a lost loved one.  This one especially caught my eye because it had a “no smoking” sticker on it and behind were the charred remains of a slope that had recently seen fire.

Annies Trail

Later there was was a fork in the road. One was for a difficult path, the other more moderate.  I went for the difficult.  People on the trail were all friendly greeting one another with a “good morning” or “beautiful day isn’t it?”, so I was by no means unaccompanied.

I have to chuckle though because on my way there I’d debated taking mace with me since so many of our California canyons are filled with homeless and unfortunate dangerous characters, but as I parked, I could see I had plenty of company from families with children and dog walkers, so no worries.

 

Annies Trail 10

Annies Trail 17Annies Trail 16

My new found friend Levi was right behind me and his mama in the background below. As you can see the climb up that gorge was quite narrow.  I mean he’s a little guy and there’s not a whole lot of room on either side of him.  It was a manual free climb up until the last little bit where a ladder presented itself.

Annies Trail 15

At one point in the narrow gorge there was this tall step up and the soil on it was sandy, so needless to say, I hesitated. Because it was narrow, there wasn’t a lot of room or handholds to place my hands in order to lift myself up.  Levi was patient however, and I ended up relying completely on thigh strength (and a prayer) to push forward and not slip back down onto my little friend.

 

You can see engraved graffiti here, but one gentleman informed me that the whole area had recently been closed down to clean up sections covered with graffiti both painted and carved. Sad, that people will do that, but they do.

Signs and there were signs everywhere, directional and cautionary signs. Signs to warn against trampling areas that could impact wildlife.Annies Trail 12Annies Trail 9

Annies Trail 14

At the top you can see the ocean and salt water marsh.  To the right is the freeway overpass and it’s expansion site although construction crews were not present.

Annies Trail 21

My hubby is always saying how marvelous it is to find these little hidden gems in our heavily congested city.  I couldn’t agree more.

Annie’s Canyon Trail was not a long hike but there were so many little side trails to take to make it a bit more so, that I took them.  The elevation gain was approximately 540 feet, so for the distance, it is quite steep.  For more information, the link will show you areas I did not get to go on because they were closed for construction, but I will go back.

On a humorous note, funny but not funny… you had to see it.

As I was walking out, I saw a little girl of about 5-6 years old pitching a fit, crying, “Daddy, I don’t like this! I don’t like it here!”  He told her they could go back, and her response was, “It’s far, we came a long way!”  I felt sorry for this father and his prima dona daughter. I wanted to give him words of encouragement but had no clue what to say. I hated to think what his future with her would be like.

Funny, I had just been marveling too, at how many families were out  having such a lovely, educational morning together with their children.  It was such  a beautiful day.  I guess the outdoors is not for everyone.

I liked it.

PS I just learned that my brother in law had a quadruple bi-pass and is doing okay for now.  Because their father died of a heart attack at age 34, both sons were checked early on so he has always known he had to be careful. He has been on medication,  watched his diet and all that. Still…  I hope he will be fine now.