One of my fellow elementary school students from decades ago posted a quote on Facebook, the topic of which is STUFF. The gist of this is that STUFF rarely makes your life better, usually costs money, fails to contribute to wonderful memories, and provides little in the way of happiness. The timeliness of this post really hit me. Where have I been lately? Certainly not doing much blogging. In addition to working full time, my recent endeavors focus on getting rid of STUFF as in took 35 pounds of paper documents to the shredder and there is more to come, hauled one load of clothes I no longer wear to the shop for Downtown Women’s Center and another load is stacked up on a desk, gave 20 books to the school library and some to the local bookstore, lined up glassware from flower bouquets sent to me to take to the florist on Tuesday on way home from work, and I just got started. More boxes remain to attack.
How did I acquire all this STUFF, and more importantly why did I keep some of it for decades? Perhaps easier to haul it around than to address the problem. Some of it was so old, it even shocked me why I still had it. Now that I am done for today getting rid of more STUFF, I am going to take a walk in the sunshine and admire the yellow wildflower carpet beautifying my land.
It has not reached a temperature above freezing for six days. One night it broke the low recored set in 1895. It dropped to minus 11. The old recored was minus 6. While a lot of the rest of Texas had no power, where I lived had only rotating short blackouts occasionally. At my house, there has been no outage. Not only has it been cold but also snowing. The last two says shout out winter beauty. The first few photos I took yesterday. Then it snowed another 3-4 inches and I took more photos this morning.
I live where weather extremes prevail. Yesterday it was nearly 70, today 60, and in a few days it will drop to 9, yes, 9, with a windchill way below zero. In the meantime, I dream of spring flowers, renewal, transformation. I scrolled through old flower photos and decided to share a few. Drink a glass of wine, dream spring dreams, dance.
My family and I took a quick road trip to California and back over the Thanksgiving break. Why now in the time of Covid? Grandson is applying to colleges in CA and needed to see what he could. We did stay in hotels, picked them carefully, did not use any services–most are currently not available anyway. You put used towels, etc. in the hall, go to the main desk to pick up more yourself, etc. It was fine. For meals we did takeout and ate at the hotel. Twice we did eat at a restaurant outside where there was no one near. It was possible because it was not cold. I took a few photos which follow.
Near the UPS store in San Luis Obispo.
At the University of San Francisco, one of the few places where we were able to get out of the car and walk around.
This and the following several photos were taken among the redwoods at Muir Woods. This is how we spent Thanksgiving Day.
On the way out or in, depending on which way you go, you can see the Painted Desert. Guess I caught my own shadow in this one.
It is an hour or so boat ride from Sorrento to Capri. Although not very crowded in November, apparently it is tourist heaven in the summer. The lower town contains many of the world’s major high end stores. This time of year most remained closed. Even though I am not a big fan of touristy destinations, I thoroughly enjoyed our day on Capri. I doubt I would like it so much in high season.
I took all the above photos while strolling along the walkway shown in the third photo. Beauty lay everywhere I looked.
For several weeks I noticed big bright white blossoms on tall stalks as I looked across the canyon in the evenings just before dusk. While it was still hot even at 8 during this latest heat wave, I hiked across the canyon for a look, taking various photos as I strolled along.
When it rains, water drains into this arroyo and crashes over the cliff near my bedroom.
Never bulldozed or cleared, this land allows ancient junipers to continue to thrive.
No water dropping off the cliff on these hot, dry days.
The flowers I could see from my house across the canyon. My wildflower book tells me these are a type of Stickleaf. To take a photo of the other flower, I had to climb up an incline covered with gypsum.
My dog, Athena, and I continued our hike along the canyon edge.
It was beginning to get dark as we headed back to the house.
I can also see this bush from across the canyon. I see no others like it and do not know what it is.
One hundred years ago, a racist US General, Amos Fries, transformed tear gas from a wartime chemical into use against protestors. He loved war gases and saw them as the ultimate in US technology. He advocated the use of tear gas against any form of civil disorder. As head of US Chemical Warfare Services, he pedaled his favorite gas to private security firms, police departments, and the National Guard. According to him, tear gas in the hands of the “White man can quell any uprising.” He went on to talk about how White men are set apart from the Negro, Gurkha, and the Moroccan. In his effects were letters from the women of the Ku Klux Klan praising his efforts.
Today the tear gas he loved is used all over the world by tyrannical governments to control their people.