Category Archives: Dogs

Why I Skipped Last Night’s Blog

Hi all. Sorry I skipped last night. Here is why:

Little Luna (age 3) and Nico (who turned 6 months yesterday!) came for an overnight visit. All went well during the evening, particularly since Auntie Rachael and Ariel came to visit, which made everybody happy. Nico even fell asleep in Auntie’s arms and was as content as he could be.

Unfortunately, once Rachael and Ariel left and it was time to officially go night-night, Nico woke up and was not remotely interested in going back to sleep. I had expected to write my blog when both little angels hit the hay for the night, but alas…I was walking Nico around the bedroom, patting his bottom (his favorite soother) for the better part of an hour. When I finally managed to ease on the bed and lie down, my little grandson was only happy if he could lay with his little head right on my chest. Needless to say, this was so full of sweetness, I was happy to accommodate. In no time, he was sound asleep and I was able to settle him beside me. By this time, I was also very tired so I decided to skip my blog for the night. Of course, I would do it again in a heartbeat. Getting these precious moments with my grandchildren trumps pretty much anything else I am doing.

Ray and I are now in Williams, AZ on our way to Texas. We left this afternoon after dropping off Luna and Nico with their daddy in Sierra Madre. (Mama was still at work.) Normally, we would have driven further, but we decided that we’d rather just take it easy on this trip. Since we are not tied to a strict schedule on this trip, we have the luxury to go at whatever pace suits us. Ray is already snoring, and the dogs are sacked out as well. I am not far behind.

I hope you had a happy day wherever you may be and I wish you a good night’s sleep. I’ll be checking back in tomorrow.

Luna and Nico

The Results from My Fitness Trainer

I am sitting in my den and it is 9:02 pm. My goal is to go to bed as soon as I am done here. One thing my wrist UP2 (fitness tracker) is letting me know is that I am not getting enough sleep. This past week I often only got 5 – 6 hours of sleep a night. That is the reason I feel perpetually tired at the moment, I suppose. I am not aware I am getting that little sleep, but that is what is recorded on my fitness tracker. I go to bed late and get up early, night after night. Clearly I need to alter this situation. Tonight is the first night to start doing that.

I am also seeing that I take lots of steps when in Texas or in Ojai, but many fewer here at home in LA. Here I often see students or work online with my classes and I am not up and walking. In Texas, just navigating through that big house adds steps all day long. Here the kitchen is right next to the room where I teach and the bathroom is right down the hall. Even walking the dogs around two big city blocks will not get me near 10,000 steps. I would need to walk them at least 3 times to get up to where I need to be. I can now see that I’ve got to get up and out on a routine basis during the day.

On that note, I’m heading upstairs. I hope to be asleep by 10. I feel certain once I get into bed, I won’t have any trouble sleeping tonight.

I’ll check back in with your tomorrow.

Here’s to a good night’s sleep for all.


Motel 6, Holbrook, AZ and Guy Clark

I am sitting on the bed in a Motel 6 with Frankie; Ray is on the other bed with Cordelia. This is just for writing. Later, the dogs will be on one bed and we on the other, I hope. That is unless we all end up in one double bed, which might be slightly crowded given that Cordelia is a rather full-figured gal. We will see. Whatever the case, we are here in Holbrook, AZ where we are staying for the night. Motel 6 has a liberal pet policy, which makes it perfect for us and our furry friends.

We stopped slightly early – 100 miles – because it was raining and we are pulling a big trailer. I was driving, and with all the splashes from the big rigs as they passed us (yes, I was going a sensible 65 miles per hour because of the trailer) we concluded that 100 more miles was going to be pretty tough particularly since we left home at 6 this morning, CA time. No good comes from a tired driver…

So here we are in our cozy room with orange and blue bedspreads and orange curtains and the dogs seem happy to be out of the van. We’re happy too though we usually drive much later the first day of our two-day trek to Texas from California. Alas, we are making up for our early evening by starting at 5 rather than 6 am tomorrow. I don’t mind that. Fewer vehicles on the road, and hopefully no rain. I am a morning person, after all.

I am very sorry to hear of the death of Guy Clark today. He was only 74 and that’s far too young to die these days. I have loved his songs for a long time now and also his sense of humor. He can write a song about anything, as demonstrated by his song, Homegrown Tomatoes. “There are only two things that money can’t buy, true love and homegrown tomatoes.” So true. He was a master at writing songs about his own life that were so honest and open that they ended up having a universal appeal. That is no small accomplishment.

Here is a love song he wrote for his wife, Susanna, and it gives a clear picture of the true love they shared. Susanna died in 2012.

Rest in peace, Guy Clark. You will be missed.

Wednesday Evening Ramblings

I am sitting here at 7:35 pm. My last student left an hour ago; my first one arrived at 9 am and I have had back-to-back two-hour sessions all day. I am grateful for the work. There was a time during the recession when my student numbers went to half. That’s when I came to truly appreciate a full day of writing sessions. Still, I realize that I have not fully recovered from my event-filled trip to Texas for the Story Circle Network national writing conference. I am still buzzing with thoughts and excitement and I look forward to the slow processing of all that I have recently experienced and learned.

Tomorrow I have students in the morning and then I have the joy of grandchildren in the afternoon. We will go out to Sierra Madre where Sarah and Gregorio have now moved (or are in the process of moving) so we can tend to Luna and Nico while Sarah is at work. Gregorio is off in San Diego for an archeology conference (I think he is there for that versus other kinds of work) and he won’t be returning until Friday. So, Grandma and Grandpa can be useful and also get a chance to see the grandbabies. Apparently Ray spent a lot of time with them while I was at the conference in Texas. It’s me who is feeling a bit baby-deprived. Alas, that will be remedied tomorrow.

As for now, I am officially finished with work for today and am thinking of taking the dogs for a second walk around the block. By the way, Frankie so far has not repeated her bed-wetting. We have been working hard to get her out for official walks and that may be all that was needed. We will see over time.

On that note, I’ll say good night. I am ready to close this computer and not look at it again until tomorrow morning when my student arrives at 8 am.

I’ll be checking back in with you tomorrow.

I hope you’re having a good evening.

dog resting

A Doggie Problem: Advice Appreciated

My dogs are here in the den with me. Frankie on the stool at my feet and Cordelia on the couch across the room. She was giving me a long look just a minute ago but now has tucked her head and gone to sleep. Tough life these two have.

We are having a disturbing problem with Frankie, however. She has a tendency, on rare occasions, to pee in our bed. She doesn’t seem to know this is a problem. This evening I heard a sound coming from upstairs and saw our bedding being dropped by Ray from the second floor. I knew, of course, what had happened. Ray said that Frankie was on the bed with him when she peed. No warning at all. She has done this twice at Ojai. Jumped up on the bed and “gone” right after being outside. This is the third time she has done this here in LA.

Clearly, we need to take her out for walks. She is busy marking her territory all around the block so she pees a lot when we walk. But we have the back door open all the time and almost all the time she and Cordie just go out in the back yard to do their business. They are in and out all day and all evening long. So, for the most part, Frankie has a normal “bathroom” habit.

Do any of you dog lovers know what to do about this? We could use some guidance. The answer is no to routine walks. I believe we’ll be changing our lazy ways as a result of this new behavior. Our logic has been – besides laziness – that the dogs have constant access to the outside. But this is a lively little dog with lots of energy. She may just be eager to get moving and is annoyed that we are heading up to bed instead.

Help. We could use it. Frankie is our little rescue and we know that she survived for a while on the streets. She gets scared on busy streets; is fine on non-busy ones. She is a great dog and we’re going to figure this out. That’s why a little help from our animal loving friends would be appreciated.

By the way, I took both dogs for a walk this evening and I don’t expect any more bed-wetting behavior tonight. Weeks go by without an incident. We thought the Ojai slip-ups were related to a long drive up in the car and then just not “going” on the walk over to the Airstream. But the door was open then too. I’m not sure Frankie connects open door with bathroom needs all the time. A bit of a break in the routine and she goes straight to, “Hmmm, let’s pee here in this nice soft spot.”

We’d appreciate any help so don’t hesitate to share.


I’ll be checking back in tomorrow.





Today & A Little Visitor Tonight

We were up early this morning to go cook breakfast for the homeless at the Breakfast Club at St. Thomas the Apostle, Hollywood. We also made 12 quiches to donate to the Easter brunch tomorrow for all of our parishioners. It’s amazing how 12 quiches seems like nothing when already cooking for 150 people. The quiches were ready and in the oven in no time.

Tonight, we have the pleasure of having granddaughter Luna for a sleepover. She’ll be attending the Easter egg hunt at church tomorrow followed by the mass. She is currently getting settled by watching Peppa Pig while snuggled up in our bed. The dogs and Grandpa are already asleep. I am happy to follow suit very soon. (Oh, I believe Luna has just joined Grandpa and the dogs in night-night time.)

Tomorrow, I look forward to spending time at church in the morning and with my family in the afternoon. The food is prepared so all should be fairly easy. That is the goal, after all.

Happy Easter to all who celebrate and happy Sunday to all the rest.

I’ll be checking back in tomorrow.


My Last 24 Hours: Sweet Fun

Thank you all so much for those sweet birthday wishes. What a treat to hear from so many people near and far, friends old and new. This is the best part of Facebook, the connection to others and I am grateful. So consider yourselves much appreciated.

We have been up in Ojai with Luna since yesterday evening. Just returned home after dropping her back at her house so she could reunite with Sarah, Gregorio and Nico. Here is our time together in pictures.  Let me just say we had a lot of fun with our beloved sweet peas.

Nico and Grandpa Having a Snuggle Yesterday


Luna Admiring her Tooth-brushing Technique at the Orange Grove


Grandpa, Luna and the Dogs Getting Settled for the NightIMG_1735

Orange Juice Time This Morning

Scaling the Big Gravel Mountain

Fun at Ventura Beach. IMG_1843

Water and Mud Fun


Sand Fun


Milk Drunk Nico with Mama This EveningIMG_1851

Hope you are having a good evening, folks.  I will be checking back in tomorrow.