Sunday, February 24, 2019


The sun’s out here ...... roadways up to various mountain snow recreation areas are clogged with traffic ..... more of my various colored California poppies that self-seeded are blossoming.

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The past couple weeks have been unusual.  I suspect a deep conspiracy is rampant among inanimate objects in my house.    Conspiracies are everywhere according to some people, so why not this?     I found it very troubling that various devices I use every day or so have simultaneously begun malfunctioning.   How to account for that?  

Yes, the plumber ultimately resolved one issue so I have a flushable commode, but then there was the appliance problem requiring a service person. 

Days, then a week became more than two without laundry capability as I insisted what I observed happening to my machine didn’t jibe with the diagnosis – especially when the service man’s first treatment failed to solve the problem.   More water all over the utility room floor when I opened the front-loading door.   

My continued emphasis that this was not a second problem but the same issue I had first reported, ultimately caused him to explore what actually resulted in a much simpler solution than he had considered.   This resolved the problem -- didn’t even require he install the new replacement part that had delayed service -- plus saved me the expense of a second service call.   Conspiracy or not, the commode sewer line reamed out, then the hose from the clothes washer drain adjusted,  I finally have clean clothes again. 

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Preservation of journalism in the news industry continues to be a major concern.   Given the importance of journalism to a democracy, being supportive of responsible journalists and organizations is vital.   There has been a decline in the traditional news sources on which we’ve relied for information though actual media sources have increased significantly.   

The quality of reporting and viability of the facts has been threatened, compromised in some instances,  challenging each of us to be discriminating.  Certainly differentiating between opinion and fact is imperative.   

This Guardian article I read recently by  Hossein Derakhshan poses some interesting thoughts and questions “If news is dying, who will save democracy?”   He differentiates between news and journalism, noting entertainment’s  predominance along with propaganda.

... if buffeted by the twin forces of entertainment and propaganda, news is dying, how can journalism – and thereby democracy – survive?”

He suggests thoughtful sources beyond the sound bites, short blurbs we mostly receive now becoming increasingly  prevalent.    He says:

“I see hope in three narrative formats: audio (including documentary podcasting), video and non-fiction “literature”.

I haven’t devoted much time to audio podcasts, do view videos, but my non-fiction reading remains mostly with books, television and multiple but selective traditional print web sites, also my city weekly paper, the Claremont Courier for local news.      

I don’t attend to social media sites when I want to know what’s going on, as they have been so polluted, including the one used and abused by our nation’s leader.   With the run-up to our Primary elections and the national election in the coming year we have been cautioned to expect more of the same.

What do you see as the source(s) of journalism and/or news, especially specifically about your city or community?

Sunday, February 17, 2019


Life is whizzing along here even though my personal speed would better be described as a mite slower than a whiz.   We’re having one rain storm after another at my elevation -- but snow continues covering the surrounding mountains creating a picturesque scene.    Storm damage has blocked access to Mt. Baldy, a recreation area above my city. 

The L. A. Times provides some revealing photos and links of other ski and snowboarding areas popular with So Cal residents.

I do regret what residents are experiencing who live further away from me that you may have seen featured in news stories.  Many are reported to be having “evacuation fatigue,” at home between storms, then being told personal safety requires they leave their home one storm after another.      

Those communities  are being subjected to flash floods washing out roads, sweeping away soil and buildings, destructive mud slides where the fires devoured hillside vegetation, beaches and structures eroded  – all threatening homes and lives.   Even in some otherwise unaffected areas the soil has become so saturated that long-standing trees are unexpectedly uprooted, falling onto cars and houses even after storms, resulting in lives lost.    Mostly,  none of this destruction is occurring in the general area where I live.   

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Family living in the Midwest Great Lakes area and on the East Coast are reaping the consequences of stormy weather we send their way, plus they report experiencing what sweeps down from the north to be Antarctic-like. 

One family group reports the understatement of the year, that their weather had been a bit “brisk”, but my young grandson delights in having snow days with no school.    Further east, that family group relishes being in a bit of a pocket protecting them from the worst of the weather seen further north in D.C. and Boston, but still unusually icily freezing.  

Unfortunately, my granddaughter, working and needing to study for professional certifications, was incapacitated for the second time this season by some “bug” thriving in that weather  --despite her having had the flu shot.  Why are such “bugs” so hardy and we humans aren’t?

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Super Bloom is the Spring promise all this rain brings us.    A very few of my various Poppies are beginning to flower in the parkway.   Wild flowers blooming en masse after these winter rains on what has appeared to be barren desert through our dry years is a spectacular sight to behold.   I unexpectedly enjoyed such a colorful vision one spring, years ago in Arizona.  We can expect such blooms this year in our  Southern California landscape.  

This Death Valley Super Bloom from 2016 from a YouTuber provides a view of what we might see.

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Cautionary alert for the politically sensitive.....

More and more candidates are declaring an intent to run for President in 2020.   Clearly no one person will meet the criteria desired by everyone.   Judging by our last national election’s results we may be lucky if the candidate receiving the majority of votes doesn’t get thwarted again by the Electoral College putting in office the person receiving the least votes.  

Perhaps to effectively compete all political parties should field a similar type unqualified candidate,  much like the one we have in office now, unless enough voters have concluded a change is needed.

A friend has sarcastically suggested voters should seek a Used Car Salesperson to be their candidate.   That profession is too frequently scapegoated and maligned in my view.    Many of their practitioners are of much higher ethical and moral quality than the person occupying the WH presently appears to demonstrate.    I tend to think we should give consideration to a showy “flim flam” person, perhaps a mesmerizing evangelical-like cult-type leader who asks only that we trust him or her and believe everything they say -- made-up statistics, blatant lies and all. 

We could resurrect from the past the “snake oil” salesperson who travelled the rural areas with his cart of magic potions, rather than our choosing even an ordinary “con man” of today for which some might be willing to settle.  Of course, today the cart some use has been replaced by Twitter and Facebook. 

Almost daily I hear of another Prez candidate coming out of the woodwork -- hints of more expected to emerge.   There truly will be someone to appeal to every possible group in our nation.  I do hope the votes aren't so split that we end up with some incidental group the sum of all our other groups would never have elected.  Our current leader has made people realize that just any ol’ person could be elected, so those from all walks of life are going to make a run at the office.  

I have no comments to make about any of the candidates presently --  preferring to wait to see how this all shakes down – who’s left after the sifter is shaken.   But I’m not too keen on millionaires as they seem to be more focused on self-interest, if our current leader’s apparent operation is any indication.  My best thought presently is that we might consider selecting a homeless person who needs a job and place to live to occupy our White House.   Whadda you think?

Monday, February 11, 2019



I skipped a week writing here as some may have noticed.  I simply wasn’t in the mood to write though numerous topics crossed my mind to expound on during that time.  

     The government, our leader and political shenanigans are beyond commentary here, falling into an almost surreal dimension.   There do now seem to be a few courageous adult statespersons among those we pay to govern for the best interest of ordinary citizens who are actually attempting to do so.  Time will tell.      

     The Super Bowl I previously wrote about continued to have decreased television viewership  according to the Nielsen rating service -- signifying what -- I’m not sure -- if anything -- for the popularity of professional football.   

      Meanwhile, the white-capped mountains behind my home appear to have been dusted by a  celestial sifter covering them with snow to an extensive degree I’ve rarely seen here. At our lower elevation we’ve been receiving one rainstorm after another interrupted by an occasional cloud separation allowing the sun to burst through, sometimes even for a day or two. This pattern will continue through the coming week, more closely resembling our typical winter weather.   We’re delighted since this could mean the end of our drought conditions.   

     Unfortunately, further inland the Midwestern states. especially those around our Great Lakes, are being subjected to really cold temperatures, ice and snow, much like Antarctica as my family member informs me.   Also, one of our Michigan blogger buddies has had power outages from severe freezing temperatures, ice on power lines causing other adverse living conditions at her home affecting water lines, indoor appliances, as she was able to briefly describe – click on link above.    

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One recurring thought has formulated as a consequence of so many memories fluttering through my mind some nights/mornings before sleep arrives.   On those occasions I find suddenly it’s morning, causing me to arise later in the day in order to get adequate sleep hours, but this upsets my day’s routine.   Perhaps expressing thoughts here will put to rest some of those, generally, gentle pleasurable nighttime, but involuntary mental reminiscences.  They’re  partially brought on by numerous unanticipated losses in recent years narrowing the number of my close intimates remaining among the living. 

I’ve begun to realize there’s more meaning to my feelings of loss than just for the individual than I might have thought would occur.    Others  coping with losses, too, might prefer focusing on different topics, but this is my reality which I’ve been unable to ignore as my 2019 posts  may reflect --  perhaps by writing I can lessen some of my late-night thoughts. 

I’ve been prompted by various events or information I’ve received to engage in some checking on some friends from whom I’ve not had contact for some time.   Searching the Internet, also for various city newspapers can reveal some answers.   In one instance, ways in which to contact one friend have become unusually more complicated, since how we’ve always communicated is suddenly no longer viable.  So, I still await learning more about her status.  

Unfortunately, I sadly just learned another friend died -- last fall.   Perhaps her adult children didn’t have a password to her email account to know of our contact all these years, thus to let me know.    But, a holiday letter I wrote this year was not returned, so maybe it’s been forwarded to the adult children I’ve never met and they will yet contact me.    If not, at least finding her obituary on the Internet, I now know my friend’s status. 

I typically don’t leave comments on those Internet public obituary sites – writing those intimate, sometimes humorous private little personal notes I might want to share only with family.   I did write a blog tribute without naming my last life-long friend who died a couple years ago, but letting her family know.   Her younger sister was delightedly pleased to learn from my blog some of the activities in which we engaged when young – including that we were on a dance team foursome together.   

The loss I recognize feeling now, I’ve come to realize encompasses far more for me than the sense of just being associated with the increasing number of my intimates departing life in recent years.   These most recent friends are the last living individuals who were part of my community in that city where I had so many significant experiences both personally, and where I began my intended TV broadcasting career as a young single woman, then later my early married life.   

Each of several preceding years one friend or another died, culminating now with everyone gone from there except for the remaining uncertainty about one friend’s s status.   There’s no one left who remembers “when” ... with whom so much was shared that no one else would know .... a strange awareness there’s no one left with whom to exchange memories -- almost like losing part of my life! 

I’ve come to realize this also seems like a separation from this particular city and state – a place symbolizing so much significance in my life – that absent these friends presence, no longer would I have that sense of returning home there.   In fact, with no one left in that state of my birth, except a couple distant relatives with whom contact long ago ended,  I’m left feeling quite separated. 

These feelings aren’t  overwhelming by any means, or depressing – they just are – perhaps a melancholy -- an aspect of my life long taken for granted that is ceasing to exist.    Never had it occurred to me such a severance  would ever become true.  In a way we lose bits and pieces of ourselves little by little and ultimately our bodies follow.  

No doubt some of you may have had similar feelings attached to your own experiences with particular people, places and life – losses of one type or another resulting in your being the only one left to remember.