Getting My Joy Back

Literally.  You know how it is…when the kids are sick, mom doesn’t feel good either.  Or dad.  She’s much better.


I saw this picture recently, and when Joy was sick I was picturing her in my head being taken care of by the angels….all kinds of angels, including those at the vets office.  I’m still not sure why she got so sick but my friend Marian suggested in an email that it could be the Rimadyl, which is an inti-inflamitory that she takes.  It’s perscribed 75mg every 12 hours, but for ages I’ve only given it in the morning and it’s seemed to be enough.  Recently I’d often increased it to the prescribed dose.  I’ve got questions in to the vet about that but they haven’t called back yet.


Here they are as of a couple minutes ago in the back seat of JR.  Joy is on the left.  Thank you to all who have been sending prays, good thoughts, and best wishes.  Joy is a hard girl to keep down.  I haven’t had a chance to tell you but she was treated for a bladder infection in November, itchy allergy problems in December with her own vet in California, and now this in January.

None of this comes cheap, and I only mention that because it’s a big consideration when you decide to get a companion animal.  You would hope that they will remain healthy always, but if not it can be major.  I used to carry VPI insurance on both of them, but each year as they get older the price goes up.  I had only the emergency kind and it was $50a month for Joy when I stopped using it 3years ago.  Shilohs was not far behind, and I was retiring.  I had never used it except for spay and neutering purposes which it also covered.  Joy in her younger life was always healthy, and Shiloh has been so far.

Are they worth it?  OH MY GOSH YES!!!  The unconditional love and acceptance that they dish out are priceless.  They are everything to me.  And, though one person traveling with two large and aging dogs can be difficult, I don’t know that I would have ever started out with this lifestyle without them.  You just do what you gotta do.





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We’re OK…..

This will be short, but I wanted to let you know we are still on the planet…not doing great, but ok.  Shiloh and I are waiting for Joy…we are at an emergency vet clinic in Tucson.  Joy has a severe case of diarrhea, and we are trying to figure out why and also fix it.


This is Shiloh calmly and patiently waiting for Joy who is having blood work done and subcutaneous fluids given and various other procedures.

I have wanted to post for awhile now, but it just hasn’t worked out.  Instead, I’ve done things like drive all the way to town…forty miles….and when I got to the store, realized I’d forgotten my purse.  Then Joy got sick, and we really can’t drive anywhere because she is literally leaking poop, except to the vet today, and I have  NO internet connection at the ranch right now.


Joy at a happier moment, on a walk in a wash, a few days ago.

BTW, the vet just came in and told me her lab work is perfect….she would only hope that her four year old dog has such great blood work.  And there is no sign of pancreatitis, which is something I was concerned about.

So what is wrong?  I don’t know.  Could be many things.  Yes, I’m worried.


This was sunrise a couple of days ago.

My knee still hurts and I’m still limping, but not quite as bad as when this happened to it on January 1, and I have no idea what happened to it.  I’m hoping for continued improvement.  We are still going for walks…yes even Joy wants to go.

This is the first blog I’ve posted from a veterinary clinic, and the last I hope.  I’m sorry about not getting to comments as much as I’d like to.  NO internet can be frustrating.

Hopefully the next blog gets to you sooner.


Well sometimes…Life is Golden.  This is a picture of a shirt I have.

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….And we are on our way back to the ranch and Wandering Spirit.

Tonight we are in Blythe, CA, right on the boarder with AZ.  I’m binging on NCIS, since this afternoon and so far this evening, USA channel is playing it continually.  After tonight I won’t have TV for months so I’m glad I’m getting my Gibbs fix now! 😊


Once we get back to CLR, I’d like to stay put for a week, so I’ll be getting some groceries here at the Albertsons early tomorrow morning, then driving 300 plus miles, ending in the 8 miles of dusty, rocky road that leads to my door.  Neither Joy, nor Shiloh, nor I like these long drives.  I’m sure the furry ones will be happy when we get home and they can be leash-free on our hill.


Sorry, the only other pictures I have are of Big Sur.

All 3 of us are having a lot of joint aches and pains, with limping and such, involved. The fur babies are taking their Rimadyl, and for me it’s extra strength Tylenol for my knees now.  If it’s not one thing, it’s another, it seems.


That’s Point Sur and the lighthouse, with clouds of fog behind, and beach afore.

I’ve been having knee issues for a long time now, but very recently it’s gotten worse.  I’m hoping it’s an arthritic flare up which will calm down very soon.


Some hills in the foreground, cloud covered ocean, and then the sun behind a cloudy sky.

I’m going to try to lose some weight, to take some of the pressure off my joints…it can’t hurt.

And so the year begins…..

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Pieces Of Heaven

47FC060A-D3D5-4747-81A7-D3D45A78080D…Is a candy store that has been at the Barnyard for as long as I can remember.  And the Barnyard I’m referring to is a rustic and beautiful shopping center in Carmel-by-the-Sea, known for its beautiful gardens and this time of year it’s fairy-land Christmas decor.


Above and below, some of those “pieces of heaven”.


Yes, I bought a few!


But that phrase…pieces of heaven….is so much more than a candy store.  Pieces of heaven …are…is….every glimps of the beautiful Pacific Ocean, crashing against the shore and the sight of the sea gulls above, riding the wind.

It’s  visiting with friends and family in their homes, or over coffee  (or…umm…a margarita 😀) in some of my favorite haunts.


Deetjens serves brown sugar chunks with coffee, and always has soy milk on hand.

It’s the towering redwoods, the dramatic coastal views, and the magical quality of Big Sur.


It’s  the Big Sur Lighthouse, Point Lobos, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and long, lonely stretches of beach with no one on them, amazingly.  It’s the white sand, dog friendly Carmel Beach, and the walking trails along the ocean in Pacific Grove.  It’s comparably easy access to vegan food.



Part of the menu at Abha Indian Cuisine, a newer restaurant at the Barnyard.

It’s the foot trails down to the ocean throughout Garrapata State Park, with unexpected bench’s placed for spectacular views along the way.

And I could go on.  And on.  And on.  You get my drift…I love it here, and I feel so SO blessed and fortunate to be able to partake of this extraordinary place.  Through trouble and strife I found my way to this magnificence some 30 years ago, but it’s when I leave it that I discover it really is my home place.  Even the weather suits me to a T….the fog and generally cool temperatures that happen here are perfect.  For Joy and Shiloh and I.

So I am thankful and full of gratitude that I can Be Here Now….and the plan is to come back soon.

In a few days we will be heading back to Caballo Loco Ranch…and yes, happily!  I’m looking forward to being there for the rest of the winter!  When it gets too hot at the ranch…and I’m not sure when that will be but sometime in March or April I expect….we will come back to California’s central coast for the summer.  Mary is retired now and itching to travel, but not anxious to leave her house empty and then there is the cat that adopted her, who needs care.  The dogs and I are needing a travel break.  So….I’ll stay at her house and she can travel and come and go as she pleases.  We’ll see how it works out….

For now,  I pray that your New Year…2018 (how can that be??), will find you full of peace and love and joy, and yeah, that this beautiful planet gift that we have been given will survive the atrocities we continue to shower upon it and it’s flora and fauna.  May humanity wake up!

May the power of love overcome the love of power!  Thinking positive for 2018!




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Merry Christmas From Big Sur

Or whatever holiday you may be celebrating.


“Mysticism of stone, Which failure cannot cast down, Nor success make proud.”

From Robinson Jeffers poem “Rock And Hawk”.


Just a few pictures of the stunning beauty that calls me….


From the patio at Ventana.




Mary and I in front of the fireplace at Deetjens.



And then there is the fireplace at Ventana, where Laura, Joel, and I shared some time and some memories.


A little bit of Christmas…


And coffee at Deetjens.  Served with brown sugar chunks and soy milk.  More yum.


Way off in the distance you can see Point Sur.  That’s where the lighthouse is.


And not to leave out a spectacular Sur sunset.


May you be blessed with love, peace, Joy, and the beauty of nature this holiday season.  Hugs to all.

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Life On The Central Coast Of CA

These days have been mostly about catching up with friends and family, Christmas shopping ( I love it…even in the Christmas rush), working on some Christmas gifts I’m making, and I’ve even had a chance to do a little baking.


Have a ‘peace’ of apple pie?


A lovely loaf of bread, right out of the oven!

It has been busy but fun.


Oh, and just in case you come over…! 😊

Also Mary and I borrowed the five movies that comprise the Twilight Saga from Jason and Mandy ( my son and daughter-in-law).


We’ve been binging on these in the evenings, including the many extra discs that have the special effects, interviews with the cast, and deleted scenes.

I know.  It’s supposed to appeal to teenagers.  Just call us young at heart!  Remember, I’m the one who spent a week in Forks, WA, and a week at the RV Park at First Beach in LaPush, on the Quileute Indian Reservation, where the wolves hang out!


Remember this? Jacob in human form…and me. I seem to do ok with men as long as they are made of cardboard.

I’m so team Jacob!  I think Mary is too.

The author of the saga, Stephanie Myers, a mom with three boys, who majored in English in college, but had never written a book before in her life, had a weird dream about Bella and Edward in the meadow.  Three weeks later she had written the book called ‘Twilight’, and the meadow scene was in chapter 13.  Just some trivia for ya. 😊


I went to a Christmas retirement party with some of the nurses I used to work with.  Marsha and I did a selfie between the Mimosas.  (Ok, this is the day before I got a much needed hair styling from Deb, who’s been doing my hair for the last almost 20 years, when I’m here.) Marsha lived in Spangle, WA for awhile after retirement.  I visited her there a couple of times and blogged about it.  Now she has moved back to the Central Coast area.


Mary and I had lunch at Tillie Gort’s Cafe, an old hippie hang out where you can find vegan fare.


Joel (the Joel Pole man), makes the best cup of java in existence. Joel the Java Man!


While visiting with Laura and Joel we drove up to a hill top at a Palo Alto park, and got a view of San Francisco and San Francisco Bay.


Jason and Mandy and I had lunch out in Big Sur at Napenthe…a tradition for us.


It was hard to get good costal pictures this day because of the smoke from the Southern California fires.


But I kept trying.


I get to go shopping at my very own Whole Foods market.  Well, not exactly mine, but…you know what I mean?  Hey, did you know I saw Clint Eastwood shopping there once?  Made my day! 😘 And he was NOT cardboard.


Sharon (Mandy’s mom), with Joy and Shiloh.  We went to lunch and then back to their property for a walk.

You know how in our travels to The Ranch, we followed autumn….that was awhile ago.  Thought autumn was past, didja?  Nope.  It’s just now come to the central coast.


These changing leaves pictures were taken near Mary’s house today.



Yeah….I’m loving being home right now.

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Home (And Getting Here)

Yes, home is where I park it.  But it can also be a certain place, and for me, that place is the central coast of California.



Joy and Shiloh on DelMonte Beach.

The more I travel, the more I know it.  Wow.  It feels good to be here.


What makes a place “home”?

It must be different for everyone, and I think it can change over time, too.  Relationships, familiarity, feelings, memories, the right vibes.  I certainly didn’t

start out here, and I’ve seen a lot of beautiful places in my travels….but this place is not only beautiful, but it just feels right.  I resonate with the area on many levels.


That’s part of the Monterey Peninsula in the background.

Mary, Joy, Shiloh and I went to DelMonte Beach on this beautiful day. (Yesterday).  This is Joy and Shilohs favorite beach ever.  They were practically raised on it.


I used to let them run free here, but now with some wild waves this time of year, and Joys decreasing strength, I’m not letting her run out into the water.  Last time we were here (last year), she did that and her back legs collapsed under the strength of the water.  I had to go in and get her out and it wasn’t easy.

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Yesterday she was allowed to get her feet wet.

Getting Here And Practical Things

i had a routine service appointment scheduled for JR (my truck, ‘Joy Ride’) the day before we were leaving the ranch.  I was talking to Fred about it and he asked me if I ever check my oil.

“Umm, no.  I have a gauge…” I answer sheepishly.  I knew that was the wrong answer.  So Fred and Colleen came over to show me how to check the oil and other things under the hood.  When it came to the battery, Fred told me there was a little peep hole in the top of it, and told me to look into it.  He asked me what I saw.

The color red.

Oops, another wrong answer.  It’s supposed to be green.  Don’t want to make a long trip on a dying  battery.  It’s over 5 years old, so actually it’s time for a new one, but at the last check up it was running at 12.7 though, so I thought it was fine.  I decide to have a new one out in at the appointment.

And then, the next day when I’m tooling around the ranch, the engine light comes on.  Yikes, this can’t be good!  I read the manual and it tells me that when the engine light comes on and does not flash it means the engine needs to be serviced soon.  What is wrong and how soon remains a mystery.  Can I drive it 50 plus miles into town to the servicing?  Most opinions around the ranch range in the yes category.  Fred and Colleen offer to follow me when I go but that’s a 100 plus mile round trip they may not need to make so I decline.  They tell me to call if I have any problems.


Will we make it to that beautiful ocean after all?  (Obviously we did. 😀)

So Thursday comes and anxiety blossoms as I Start down the bumpy dirt road.  I find it necessary to pop lots of antiacids.  The battery works and the engine light stays on and the trip to the Ford dealership is uneventful.  I tell them my story and then we wait.  The whole place is very welcoming to Joy and Shiloh and they behave like angels.  The polished marble floor is very cold and they enjoy lying on it.

Finally I get the news, yes there are dead cells in the battery and we have replaced it, but as for the engine light….we ran the codes and nothing is showing up.  We think it’s probably just………dust on the sensors.  We cleaned them off….

Well I can certainly understand that.  JR is covered with a thick coat of dust.  I’ve literally been sweeping it off with a small broom.  Well, if that’s true, what a relief!

California here we come!


The Monterey Bay, where we are in these pictures, stretches from The Monterey Peninsula on the south, to Santa Cruz on the north.  It goes for about 40 miles I believe.  There is rarely more than a couple people on this beach when I’ve come here over the years, and even still.


We leave the ranch Friday, December 1 and have a blissfully uneventful journey to Blythe, CA, where we spend the night.  On the 2nd we are up early and on our way to Barstow where we will be meeting up with our friends Shirlee and Doug from Canada.  We met them here near Barstow at Owl Canyon BLM about 3 years ago and camped together also at Sawtooth Canyon, in Quartzsite, and at Mittry Lake.  Today we drive directly to the RV park where they are staying near Barstow.


Shirlee and Joy.


Shiloh getting his guy time with Doug.


Joy chewing on Dougs socks.  Joy and Shiloh have good memories of being in Doug and Shirlee’s 5th wheel and all the love and treats they received there.

After a nice visit and a walk we go check into our hotel in Barstow. (I highly do NOT recommend the Worst…umm…Best Western Desert Villa Inn, in Barstow.).

A little later Shirlee and Doug arrive with dinner from Peggy Sues Diner, nearby.  Yup, they have a veggie burger there.  We have another nice visit and a walk.  So nice to see them again.

Sunday morning we are outta that yucky hotel early, and on our way to Mary’s house!  I’m happy to report that JR is running like a top and getting 20.5 to 24.5 miles to the gallon as we travel.  At Paso Robles we get on Hwy 101 north, and I know the home place is only a couple of hours away!  Emotion trickles down my cheeks now and again.

We reach Mary’s house and the dogs are ecstatic.  My gut is saying Yes! Yes! Yes!  Mary and I talk non stop as she makes pizza with a cauliflower crust and Daiya Cheese Shreds, and lots of veggies.

Phew.  We made it.     Home.


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