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…


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.


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.


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.


The Why of Makeup

I know a while back when I had intruders, I’d gotten a bit flustered and overly rattled. In an earlier blog I mentioned all that transpired and not wanting to leave the house without makeup despite how frightened I was.  Let me elaborate.  (For you guys that follow my blog, bear with me – Intruder update at the end.)

Despite my fear, it disturbed me more that in a time sensitive situation, I actually debated whether or not to go to my husbands place of work without makeup. You laugh, but I did spend a few seconds pacing while pondering if I should dab a little something on or by golly, just go.  I’d just gotten out of the shower and was fortunately dressed, though my hair was still damp.  So I did look a bit frayed. I had to laugh about it later of course at how ridiculous that line of thought was in the first place.  For Pete’s sake, what if they’d been at the door or in the house, would I have held my finger up, begging a moment to put my face on before they kill me?  Self: “Come on now” and yes, that was my momentary line of thought.

Yes,  I admit leaving the house without makeup may not be a big deal for most but it’s a big no-no for me. I do make exceptions however because I don’t wear makeup when I go to the gym and work out.  No, No, No. I can’t risk having makeup seep into my now open pores from a lengthy workout.

Years ago, I remember one of my friends stating and she had a way of stating things as fact,  that when you leave your home, you are a reflection of your relationship with your spouse. It didn’t necessarily have to include make up but it was an integral part.  My best friend at the time was very looks conscious, so we were always dressed well and in those days I was married to someone with money, which made it easy to do. So, I got into the habit.

It wasn’t always like that and I don’t think I ever wore much in school either. I know I didn’t wear lipstick. I think my senior picture was touched up by the photographer, even adding a mole I don’t have. JO 033

But after that, keep in mind, all my jobs required that I wear makeup all the time.  This was the late 60’s and image was everything. In those days, I even wore hairpieces despite the fact that I had a ton of hair and I often wore fake eyelashes. Granted, I was a flight attendant and hairpieces were crucial to throwing yourself together on a quick turnaround, fog in or any major event when you didn’t even have time to get to a hotel to freshen up, yet still had to look amazing.

My husband? He could care less. When we first started dating, he said I was the foo-fooiest “girl” he’d ever dated.  He thinks I’m gorgeous no matter what I do and says so all the time, so he’s never been a part of my decision.

I tell you why I do it now.  It makes me feel good and it protects my skin which is even more important now that I’m older.

I wear makeup regardless of what I do. Even when I went rock climbing or skiing and yeah, I’m posed but not intentionally, it just came out that way, I wore makeup.

Years ago, when I started climbing with my hubby, I’d take my little kit with me and slather on sunscreen and foundation and some lip stuff. Well, all of Russ’ lady friends (I came later), all part of our mountain group, would go without. They were barefaced ladies.  It was some time, before Russ said something to me about it. It was never because I held up the show putting the stuff on and I didn’t, but only because I had makeup on and no one else did. I told him it protected my skin, but if he’d like I’d just do the bare thing. I gave it a try and went out with only sunscreen protection. The weather and sun intensity on a 14,000 foot mountain can be quite harsh.

Well, it only took a few trips before I started splotching, which is an olive skin thing anyway.  Brown patches comes with age, but the more sun exposure you get then the worse it gets. After awhile you can also get white splotches, I get both.  Add to that wrinkles.  Let’s face it, sun is good for you but bad for your skin. After awhile, I was getting as wrinkled as the rest of the “girls” in the group.  Nope!  Back it came on.  As it was I was at least ten years younger than them but some looked as old if not older than me because they were so neglectful. My husband couldn’t deny that.

I tell you, I know what I’m doing and I’ve been doing it for years.  I have a skin program for night and day.  My sweet grand daughter put me on a strict face regimen and surprisingly enough it works. I’ve been on it for about four months now and I see a difference.  It’s more than I care to do, but it’s now becoming a habit and I feel naked without it.

So here goes.

First of all.  NEVER GO TO SLEEP WITH YOUR MAKEUP ON, no matter how drunk or tired you may be.  ALWAYS WASH YOUR FACE.

This is me with a clean, washed face and the second photo after my nightly regimen.

Becca has me doing a wash-three-times routine. Once with a cleansing oil (to break up the makeup), the second a foaming wash (rinse after both and pat dry) and the third a dry scrub (to exfoliate dead skin), which doesn’t have to be done each time, then rinse. Then I apply at night Retin-A for the brown spots and a Vitamin C oil followed by a moisturizer. (I’m currently using a toner because I still had some left, but it’s not required) I use a combination of olive oil, coconut and argan.  I generally make my own using a store bought generic (organic) base and just add those aforementioned ingredients.  I play around with all kinds of stuff and I change things out. I mix product all the time, so it keeps my face guessing.

Well, I didn’t intend to do a beauty spot, but as you can see me already made up, I don’t really look that different, but I know I’m protected and if you notice, for my age (72) I don’t have a lot of chicken skin.

In the morning, I just freshen with toner and Vitamin C oil, a small dot of eye creme, moisturizer and a light coat of foundation and a dot of blush.  I may add eyeliner on special occasions, but I don’t usually have to because I had my eyeliner/brows tattooed years ago even though it has faded some. I don’t wear mascara or eyelashes. Too much trouble. So really all the make up does is just even out the skin tone some.

Both photos are un-retouched and the one on the right is before I started her prescribed workout. As you can see my skin appears brighter.  My hair was darker on the right as well but I started highlighting to camouflage the grey.  I know I should embrace it but when you’re married to a much younger guy, it’s hard to give way to that yet.

FYI, The reason I chose highlights over dark color is because there are carcinogenic ingredients in dark color and none in the lighteners.  After my lumpectomy and the high incidences of cancer in our family, I opted for the light.  I noticed recently that my grey is taking over and in a few years I’ll let it. I’m not ashamed of being old.  Heck!  I wouldn’t have given away my age if it was a big deal.


Update on the “homeless” intruders.  We had another a week later.  My husband was home and yelled at him to not trespass. The young man said there were others after him. If these are outlaws as the police surmised then who knows what is transpiring there. We got a better look at them through binoculars and they are not your typical “homeless”.  These guys are not only wanted by the law but the police say their camps are booby trapped and it is common knowledge that it could be a drug outlet.  Because these guys are well groomed, I’m inclined to believe that they may actually live elsewhere but do their “business” down there. Purely speculation though. The police do nothing but roust them from time to time and have been ordered not to go there at night.

The police told us that we have the second highest number of homeless in the county because of the many hand outs and outreach programs available to them here.  He also stated that many are coming in from other states because of that.  Again, those at the bottom of my hill, in the canyon are different, so I’m not talking about what you imagine homeless are.

I have no problem helping those who have hit on hard times.  In the old days that’s what close knit churches and communities did.  Today, it’s rare that people even know one another that well. Sad but true.

In any case, this blog was a departure of my norm, so I hope you enjoyed it.


Fear – Working Through It

This is my home:IMG_2710


Two Men

Earlier today I had two unknown men run across my backyard and out our side gate. As I saw them run past my french doors, I kept my eye on them following them around to my other french doors in the dining room,  I noticed those doors were locked.  About that time Ferguson jumped up and started barking as the fumbled with the gate catch. I quickly jumped up and flipped the lock on the first set of doors.

I ran for my phone but I’d couldn’t get it back up quick enough.  I’d just shut it down and was rebooting it when this started.

These two guys didn’t look like vagrants.  What they did look like were two men running from the law.


Our home overlooks a canyon, which of late has been housing some homeless.  I’ve never fussed about it as some of you may have noticed in previous posts, my feeling has been one of compassion.  However, we have a new batch and they have littered and destroyed the terrain below us.  They say you can tell a lot about a person by how they keep their home, perhaps that’s what contributed to my discomfort, I don’t know. Nonetheless, as my hubby and I looked out our backyard the other day we were grateful for the thick growth of thick trees and bushes below us which appear to be impenetrable. It has always made me feel safe.  If I can’t get through them then who can?

My Why

Right now, I sit here overwhelmed with fear. I can’t stop crying afraid to open my doors.

The night before the police helicopters had been searching for someone and on their bull horn gave a description. Could this be them? Was there a them? I thought it was just one guy.

I did finally get through to the police and they were nice. The dispatch lady tried to calm me.  The dispatcher said, no, it wasn’t the man they’d been looking for, they caught the guy last night.  She asked for their description which I gave to her.  She wanted to be sure I was okay. I told her I would call my husband as he worked nearby.  She thought that a good idea.  So, as soon as I could somewhat calm myself I tried to him.  I couldn’t get a ring and it went to voicemail.  I’m thinking perhaps he’d forgotten to charge it.  So, I called his work. By now, I’m crying in a panic rush but I’m not getting anywhere there either.  It kept asking for me to punch an extension which I didn’t know, always relying on the cell.  So, I hit HR, but get nothing.  No one answers. I do this three times trying different extensions.  It’s like WTF!

I’m angry and in a dither.  Through all this I actually debated whether or not I could show up at his work with no makeup and my hair still wet.  How vain am I?  VERY!!!

Yes, I’d just moments before gotten out of the shower. At least I was dressed but I’d not yet blow dried my hair or put makeup on. I thought I’d just hang out for a change and yes, I put makeup on every. single. day.  But yes, I got in the car and started to back out of the driveway when the police showed up, so I stayed and showed them around.

I took them to the backyard, which I’d not been out to and there were 5-6 police cars and vans searching the brush.  I looked up at the cop and he said, that what happens is when they cruise the homeless camp areas, the ones with warrants will run off and that is probably what happened.  Even though that should have eased my mind, it didn’t.

We talked more about home security systems for our home and weapons, should I want to add that measure.  Yes, we talked about that. They actually recommended less harmful weaponry that can ward off a perp but have limited range and not hurt anyone else, should you fire it. I can’t remember what, but that’s not much good to me.

Knowing California law, I sold anything I had (nothing serious, just enough for the coyotes, possums and varmints on the farm), now I wish I had something for the varmints that might come up my slope.IMG_2718

I was grateful that my door wasn’t hanging open like it usually is.

I finally got through to Russ, he had checked his phone and called me back and of course, came and checked on me.  I put up a stiff upper lip and he went back to work.

I felt like such a whiny, cry-baby lady.

I don’t know why it left me so rattled.  They weren’t in the least bit interested in coming into my home, but some how I felt violated and less safe. I’m alone 10 hours a day.  I go to the gym a few hours a week and go shopping on occasion.  I have very few friends that live nearby. Since I moved from Alabama, the people I’ve met here are too busy with their own lives and families.  I’m not one of those that locks her doors, my husband is fanatical about it. Now, it looks like I will have to and it makes me so angry and sad.

We are not in a bad neighborhood or part of town. It’s just a regular suburban home and yet… I no longer feel safe.

Right now I’m yearning for the farm.

The Farm




Yesterday my brother in law came to visit. I hadn’t seen him in about 15 years. The biggest reason is because of the woman he’s married to. Rebecca is difficult and has created a chasm between mother and son, brother and brother because of her critical nature. I don’t include myself in that equation and am only affected by the fact that it hurts people I care about but not me personally. I could but won’t enumerate the many things she has done because that’s not the point of this story, BUT we or anyone else for that matter including her own family are not welcome in her home. Ever.

Sadly, it has been seven years since my husband and mother in law were visited by him. Every once in awhile, she (Rebecca) lets him out to come visit family, hence the visit. He said this would probably be the last time.


The last time, I saw Dave was when we blew out our knees climbing Pyramid, a fourteen-er in Aspen, Colorado.  The pitch was such that it put a great deal of stress on all of our bodies, especially the knees. You might ask, how does one blow out their knees climbing a mountain?    It’s not the climbing up, but the coming down. When you have an extreme pitch such as the one Pyramid has, it’s best to take it slow.  Being guys the two brothers did the macho thing and practically ran down its slope. Imagine running down Chichen Itza  in Mexico and imagine dropping your weight down hard on your knees with each step…you get the picture.  Well, the truth is I didn’t blow mine out but they’ve been a bit more sensitive since. I, fortunately  became acutely aware, feeling the impact on my knees almost immediately and realized that if I didn’t make an adjustment I would pay for it later. Clever me, though feeling like a sissy, took preventive measures and descended mostly on my butt taking each step gently, easing myself down. Needless to say I took a long time to get down. Dave did not and paid for it,  never climb again after that.  Russ and I continued to scale other mountains in the years to come, but that was the last trip for Dave.

This week, when we arrived at my mother in laws, I could tell by the look on her face something was amiss and then he rounded the corner. I almost didn’t recognize him. It amazed me that he had aged so much in that time. There is only two years difference in the two brother’s ages, but he looked like an old man, tired and beaten down. Russ looked vibrant by comparison. I know my mother in law believes it’s “that woman” and it probably is, but it was sad to see.

BIRDING – Life’s little pleasures.

Dave is into birding or perhaps I should say bird watching.  While at my mother in law’s, he set up his tripod and telescope to see what new birds he might find in the area. When he came to our house, he only brought in a pair of binoculars. I was disappointed because I knew that with my neighbor’s bird sanctuary, he was bound to see even more birds, but he didn’t seem interested.  I guess he was too tired and besides he recounts to us about how he had already spotted a couple of eastern birds while at his mothers anyway, recorded them and broadcast it on his birding “channel” and I guess that was enough for him for now.

Instead he sat down to enjoy my “fine” cooking and only then went out into the backyard with only the binoculars to see what he could see.


GetAttachment (9)
Homeless camp center left

Our backyard overlooks a canyon where the Sprinter train takes tourists and locals to either the beach and/or to other connections, beyond that are industrial buildings. It was there, tucked in the midst of the trees by the tracks that Dave spotted the homeless shelter, just below our house. Since it was well camouflaged, we’d never noticed it, not that we were looking for it.

Call it timing but a few minutes later, we saw someone walking the tracks carrying a backpack and bag.  We figured, he’d been shopping and was bringing dinner home or maybe he actually works a job and was returning home.  I took the binoculars and watched him as he kept looking up at us. I wondered if he really could see us or if he knew we could see him.  Perhaps it was his typical precaution. We didn’t know for sure if he was the tenant but we followed him anyway waiting to see where he’d go as he walked along the track. As it was, he passed the trees where the logical access to the camp was before dropping down and circling back, so for a time we thought he’d continue on. He was guarded, being extra careful in case we or anyone else might see him.  I couldn’t make out his face, but I noticed he walked with a limp and wondered what his story was. I wondered what his “place” looked like. I thought of the tumbleweed forts I’d made as a child and knew they could get quite cozy.

Russ said, he didn’t care if he was there as long as he doesn’t inadvertently start a brush fire.  Understandably. California is known for it’s lack of water and dry conditions and living above a canyon made it difficult for us to get insurance on our home as it was, so fires are of great concern.

I was grateful of Russ’ compassionate response. I agreed, just leave the man be. Life is tough these days, he’s made a spot for himself there and as long as he’s not hurting anyone, let him be. I still want to know his story though.

I thought about going down there myself and check it out, but maybe that would be risky.  I suppose “we” (my granddaughter is coming out for a visit this week), but we could walk the track and leave a bag of groceries near the trail by the tracks, it’s not far from the depot…

I wondered too if any of my other neighbors have noticed? How do they feel about it? I dare not ask and call attention to it.


Sometimes coyotes get to running in the canyon, howling and yapping eerily, I wonder how it sounds from there in the camp?  Is there any danger in that?  Yet it’s been awhile since I’ve heard the coyotes; seen one down our street, but there’s not been the usual howling each night. Perhaps his being there has something to do with that? Hmmmm


I gave some bills to what appeared to be a homeless young man, for bus fare he said. He wasn’t limping but I was compelled because of ‘our” homeless guy at the bottom of the hill. I thought about mom but almost shouted after him to “pay it forward”.