December into January

I want to thank all of you for your support during 2020 and for all of your kind remarks. Sharing with you helped make the hard times more tolerable. I feel like we faced a grim and unsettled year together. I wonder how you celebrated Christmas. I daresay that those of you who were able to […]

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Reunited

After four weeks of being separated, Sadie and Teddy were on their hind legs, pawing the air and each other. After a quick ritual sniff, they then raced around the yard, thru their tunnel, and under the ramp over and over again. All this was accompanied by joyful yips until finally, they swanned by the water bowl, […]

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The Orchid

Yesterday, I was wrapping gifts on our desk. On a corner, out of harm’s way, a blooming orchid glowed in filtered sunshine. The beauty and serenity of the plant accompanied me as I cut, taped, and labeled.  A dear neighbor had given us this orchid when our grandson James passed away early in the year. […]

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Thinking of gifts . . .

I was given a rare gift today: the gift of solitude. I was completely alone for an hour as Sadie and John slept in. I made myself a cup of tea, snuggled into a chair, and looked out at the winter landscape. The chapparal continues to be dark green, but the surrounding hills are dotted […]

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In the Company of the Chamberlin Women: Part One

The four of us stood on the San Luis Pier and looked out at the glistening sea. Not a cloud was in the sky. The sun warmed our faces, but a brisk wind encouraged us to pull our jackets closer and huddle together. This was the first stop of the Chamberlin women’s weekend getaway.  It […]

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A Letter to You

Dear Readers, Last Saturday morning, November 21, we discovered that seven-month-old Sadie was in heat. As I mentioned before, the new thinking on spaying female dogs is to wait after the first heat. This event has upended our household, and writing has become almost impossible. Teddy, who is fully mature at seven months, is off […]

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Giving Thanks in 2020

After a very warm October and November, fall seems to have truly arrived in Southern California. Today there is a crisp wind, bright trees in autumn shades, and clear blue skies. Soon Thanksgiving will be here, and like everything else in 2020, it will be different. Looking out on our serene valley, it is easy […]

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Searching For Distraction

I’ll be honest here: I’m ready to leave the planet—at least until after the election—so I am purposefully searching for distraction.  Last evening, our neighbor Dave asked John if he was scared. It seems that Dave turns on the news when arising and goes to bed with it. John suggested accompanying this diet with wine. […]

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Life Seemed Almost Normal

On Saturday I made a coffee cake. An “honest to God” coffee cake that filled the house with the fragrance of cinnamon and sweet spices. But baking was just as tedious as I remembered. For me, it has always been a means to an end: you bake so you can eat whatever wonderfully fattening thing […]

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Seven Steps to a Dog-free Vacation

The puppies are almost six months old, and we really felt we needed a break. The big question was, could we leave these creatures that take up so much of our time? And yes, that is one reason we wanted to go on vacation—but don’t tell them.  This would be the first time we left […]

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