Showing posts from July, 2009

hooray for monterey

As much as I'd love to spend half the day writing in my trailer, leaving the beach and my family to fend for themselves, I'm going to just do a quick catch-up here, mostly in pictures. There will be time for words later. Trust me when I tell you we're having a fabulous time, and I never want to leave the coast of California again... until I get tired of it and feel the tug back to the desert, or the mountains, or any number of other places that might whisper an invitation to me. For now, this is perfection.

Backing up a few days, back in Reno, I had a lovely visit with my Aunt Donna. I don't get to see her often, and this was the first time I ever having her to myself for a whole afternoon. I enjoyed every minute of it. We got silly with iPhoto, but here's a nice picture Rick took for us.

The drive from Reno to Monterey was longer than expected, and pretty cramped. Kelsey and Chelsea had Heidi in their laps, which is not a big deal, but she does expect a fair amount…

hope for lucy

We went down to my old stomping grounds in Gardnerville to see my pal Susan and her family. Susan and I have been friends since junior high school... a long time. We don't see each other often now. My fault. I keep moving around. But when we do get together, it's always like always. Fun. We had a great visit, catching up with Susan and Chuck, and their two gorgeous grown-up kids, Nick (my godson), and Kayla.

Susan and Chuck

Nick and me - isn't he the cutest thing?

Nick and Kayla - I think they should both be models.

While we all chattered like monkeys, the dogs - ours and theirs, all five of them - sniffed and scuffled and with a little coaxing from the humans, formed something of a congenial pack. Little Heidi was a bit overwhelmed by all the big dogs, but she did fine. Lucy, of course, was the real concern, but after she and Guinness (the boxer) came to an understanding it all went pretty well.

Lucy and Woody make friends easily. I think she has a little crush on him.

The dog…

lunch with aunt camy

We had the wonderful pleasure of having lunch with my dear Aunt Camy yesterday - and her new boyfriend! She and Don met recently, and according to Camy, it was fireworks from the start. I'm so happy for her. For them. To find someone new to make your heart sing so late in the game seems to make it worth sticking around to play as long as possible. I love seeing my auntie act like a giddy love-struck teenager. There's a lovely lilt in her voice now, a twinkle in her eyes, and a ready giggle that burbles over quite often. It makes my heart sing to see her so happy. Don is a sweetie. Calm and gentle, intelligent, funny, easy to talk with. He's blind, but jokes about taking his turn driving when we all go to Monterey next week. And he assumes that we're all beautiful, which works for us!

I asked Camy and Don's permission to post this here. Wouldn't want to embarrass them in any way. I find them most inspiring, and very brave, to stand up to any possible opposition f…

dog days

It's too hot here in Reno to do very much. I've spent all week making beads, and now I need a little rest time. Even the dogs are feeling it. Little Ohso was so funny in her swimming pool. I think she even has a smile on her face here...

Lucy continues to be a challenge. I'm not sure what we're going to do about her. She's great with us, but she doesn't trust other people, even when she's known them for a while. As a result, we can't trust her not to snap at people, so we have to keep a close eye on her, and keep her away from everyone else as much as we can. It's pretty stressful. I wish, wish, wish that Cesar Milan would call me up and ask if he can take her into his pack. I think she'd be a tough case even for him. What to do, what to do... Keep wishing and keep working with our Lucy. There aren't a lot of other good options.

gas station angel

On the way up to Tahoe yesterday, we stopped for diesel at the Chevron station in the very nice neighborhood of Thomas Creek, on the Mount Rose Highway. There was a bronze statue of Mark Twain sitting on the bench outside the front door, and soothing piano music drifted through both indoor and outdoor speakers. I went inside to buy some bottled water, and found myself absolutely charmed by this gas station. I've never seen one like it, so clean and welcoming and filled with lovely things to buy for one's trip to the lake. I nearly bought a hat, but restrained myself and set my water bottles on the counter. The man at the register was friendly and sweet, and maybe just a little bit odd. He stood there in his clean white polo shirt, commenting on the lovely coolness of my water, and as I took my change and thanked him, he said, "We're always here for you". I think he was an angel. Really. Glimpses of the Divine come through in the strangest ways sometimes.

I'd h…

fly nevada

There are nice parts of Nevada. We're in one now. My sister and her family live in the Washoe Valley, between Carson City and Reno, with a beautiful view from the back yard of the Sierras and Washoe Lake. Quail and rabbits run through the yard, and the dogs are happy to have a back yard and lawn to romp on. If you remember back a couple of Christmases, when a bunch of my family joined us in Taos, Cooper and Ohso were the giant black Newfoundland and the little Manchester Terrier who kept Lucy and Heidi entertained. The four dogs are back together, but on Cooper's turf, Lucy is struggling for dominance, and ole Coop won't hear of it. We had a few dog-scuffles last night, and will try again today to ease them in to getting along together. Lucy's a tough one. I keep threatening to give her to the gypsies, but then I remember we are the gypsies, so I guess we just have to keep working with her.

Anyway, if the Nevada Bureau of Tourism has successfully done its job, and you&#…


Saturday, July 18 - Tonopah, NV

After a final sticky, sleepless night in Zion, I was awakened before sunrise by the sound of a puking dog. Heidi is a delicate creature, and I think the heat and excitement got to her. I took her outside to finish her little doggy cleansing, and magically, unexpectedly, there it was, the most beautiful morning I think I've ever seen. The sliver-moon was just coming up over the rock cliffs, tailed by a super bright star - or planet - maybe Venus. The sky was turning that impossible Maxfield Parrish blue, and the sun, still not visible, but following the moon in its path, was beginning to light up the opposite rock wall, 1,000 feet high. I looked around me, and said to myself, this is the best part of this day.

We spent most of the day driving through Nevada, and as much as I want to show you the beauty of this country as we travel through it, I have to be honest. It isn't always pretty, folks. In contrast to the areas we've just been in, much o…