" The well of nature is full today..
Time to go outside and take a drink."

Diane Ackerman

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


For sometime now,
 I have been saying, 
loudly and clearly,
 that I am through wishing away
 precious time.

 I have chosen
 to embrace each season,
 hard or otherwise as it comes,
 and to enjoy all
 that it has to offer.

why do you ask,
are the fall cubbies front and center
 when there is still 
about four weeks of summer left? 

 The plain truth of the matter is: 
 In life, as in nature, 
there are warning signs 
that a new period is about to emerge
 and while the north pole
 turns further away from the light,
 and  slight breezes
 begin to start the leaves 
from the trees 
on their downward journeys, 
our minds and emotions 
take note
 and we can't help
 but feel the effects.

"There are times when we stop,
we sit still.
We listen and breezes
from a whole other world
begin to whisper."

James Carroll

A few new touches 
of the coming season each week
 will help 
to keep me grounded
 in the here and now and,
 as nature intended,
 look forward to what
 is to come.



I will say it flat out!
 Kai is so freaking cute 
that I could bore you forever
 with his antics.

 In order for me
 to use some discretion and not do that,
 I will run a feature spot
 every once in awhile,
 known as Kai's Korner,
 where I will share with you
 some of what we get to 
experience every day.

Kai got a new halter
 and he wanted to show you
 his penguin impression.

 (Sorry the pic is so blurry - but this is Kai's usual look
as he can't wait to be off
 on another adventure).


In past summers 
this part of the fence was covered
 with morning glories
 but this season 
they didn't come back.

 I thought they had finally worn themselves out but...

...on this morning,
 one weary and drought ridden bloom
just trying to experience
 what little bit
 of summer
 is left.


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Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Have you heard the rumor
 that Charlie Chaplin
 is alive and well
 and living at
 Gold Country Cottage?

Just imagine 
that little black suit,
 the dapper bowler,
 that confident swagger
 while swinging that little cane
 and old Charlie
 will materialize
 right before your eyes.

We are having 
so much fun
 with Kai.

 He is just delightful
 and keeps us laughing
 all day long.

The vet
 thinks that he was born
 with some deformity 
of his back and legs.

 You can see 
how his left front leg 
is turned at the ankle
 and this makes his foot
 actually turn almost
 completely around.

When he sits, 
his back legs go
 out to the sides
 and when he is standing, 
from the back view,
 the Captain says
 you could roll a bowling ball
 through his legs!

 Just like old Charlie!

This makes him appear
 like a ballerina
 getting ready to 
spring into action.

  It certainly 
doesn't slow him down any 
as his mode of transportation 
is running
 rather than

He breezes through life
 as if he has an appointment to keep
 and I call him our
 Little Businessman, 
dressed in his black suit,
 roaming around 
looking for his
 misplaced briefcase.

Cowboy Kai 
resting after a walk 
through the fair grounds.


Have you seen the ads on TV 
for dinner in a box?

 We have been seeing them for awhile now
 and decided to order one
 to see how they are.

We ordered from
 and was pleasantly surprised.

 On their website
 you can choose your preferences 
such as beef, pork, vegetarian,
 fish, poultry, etc.

 Based on those choices,
 a full meal is planned for you
 and delivered to your front door.

 The box is packed with freezer bags
 so that it stays fresh in transport.
 The ingredients are the freshest,
 some more so than what I would find
 in our local supermarket.

Spices, herbs, vegetables 
and usually salad fixings,
 and a laminated recipe card
 with detailed illustrations
 and instructions,are included 
so that even a cooking novice
 would find it easy to prepare.

 Usually the only thing left 
for you to contribute
 is olive oil, salt and pepper 
and a good glass of wine.
 Plated also recommends
 the perfect wine
 to go with each dish.

You order as many meals
 as you need
 and the ingredients are measured out
 so that there is no waste whatsoever.

 The portions are large enough
 that the Captain and I 
usually can't eat it all in one sitting
 so ours can be stretched 
for an extra dinner.

 It is running
 $12 per plate per person 
and you are set on a weekly delivery schedule
 but it is very simple
 to delay a week or two 
if you wish
 and you can stop delivery at anytime.

We have just ordered 
our second go-round 
but we skipped last week.

  I can go to the market 
and by the time I pick up extras
 that are not on my list 
(and that seems to happen often),
 I can easily spend
 between 40-50 dollars
 for one meal.

Our tummies are nicely filled 
after each meal 
and I really do feel 
like I have eaten a
 very healthy and tasty dinner.


Progress Report:


It is a beautiful day today 
and a wonderful touch 
of fall
 is in the air.

Happy Tuesday


This is fast becoming 
Kai's most favorite 
napping spot.


  The only compensation
 we have received
 for any of the above information
 is an abundance 
of sloppy,

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015



Who knows how a dog 
really ends up in a shelter? 
 There are many reasons,
 some are excuses,
 some are a necessity
 and some are strays.

 In the case of Kai,
 he was owner surrendered. 
 The owner was moving
 and couldn't have pets in his new place.

  I think it would be very hard
 to leave a pet after seven years,
 but who am I to judge,
 never having been in a similar situation.
 that's how Kai came to be
 at the shelter in Santa Cruz
 where we met him.

Our daughter, Tami, 
volunteers at that shelter
 and since we lost our sweet Buddy 
last year, 
she has kept us informed 
of many of the wonderful dogs 
up for adoption.

 We didn't feel ready 
to welcome 
another dog into our life just yet
 and it took awhile for
 her to wear us down! 

 But the minute we saw Kai's picture
 it was a done deal.

 Thank you, Tami, 
for your perseverance. 
 You are the true meaning of the old adage:
  If at first you don't succeed,
 try, try again.

We drove to Santa Cruz last week
 and met Kai.

 The name that he came into the shelter with 
was Kanai. 
 It is Hawaiian in origin 
and means content or champion
 but we kept forgetting
 how to pronounce it
 so we settled on Kai.
 He is starting
 to respond to it already.

 It was love at first sight 
all the way round.

  He is a
 small miniature black poodle mix,
 very sweet
 and gets along well with humans
  and other dogs
 but wants to chase cats.

He bonded with us,
 especially the Captain,
 right from the beginning.

  If we are not all together in one place,
 he will start searching
 for the missing.

When I first went to my office car
 this morning 
and the Captain was walking the dogs,
 he had a little melt down 
of separation anxiety at first
 but, as you can see,
 he finally got over it.

On the way home
 after picking him up,
 I noticed a similarity between us...

...it was meant to be!

He had a beauty treatment
 at the salon
 and he looks less like a ragamuffin
 and more like the refined little gentleman
 that we hoped
 he would be.

He looks very black
 in real life 
but more silver in most photos.

Kai and friend at Pet Smart

Kai goes to the vet tomorrow
 for his wellness check-up 
and then we will decide
 if he needs obedience training or not.

  Although he is seven years old,
 Kai doesn't know
 the meaning of the word 'sit'
 and we are working toward that goal 
for the time being...

...until then, 
little guy,
 you are learning to dance
 and we love you.
  Welcome home.


I would say
 the "content" meaning in his name 
fits him well.

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