The Storm


Shiloh’s spirit is now running free….he used to run like the wind….and now he’s able to do that again.  I think he’s met his friend and mine, Jo, at the Rainbow Bridge.  She was there waiting for him….still helping me with my pups.

I am beyond words, broken in pieces.  My heart is on the ground, and Joy is not Joyful.  My friend Laura was here with me when I let my dear sweet boy go free.  My friend “Karry” and her dog “Annabelle” are on their way here now from Oregon.

Sur Shiloh Sunshine…August 11, 2006, living a beautiful, gentle, peaceful life until May 18, 2018.

“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.  You make me happy when skies are gray.

You’ll never know dear, how much I love you.  Please don’t take my sunshine away.”


I will write more another time.  I just needed to let you know.


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The Calm Before The Storm

The storm we will be dealing with concerns Shiloh, who will be going in for some tests tomorrow.  I’m trying to hold it together, but I give myself about a ‘D’ for that right now.  I’ll tell you more in the next post.  For now I’ll show you some pictures covering the good parts of the last week or so.


In Pacific Grove, along the coast for a mile or two, there is a pink carpet of ice plants that bloom this time of year.  Not to be missed if you ever visit the area in May.


There are paths between the flowers and the ocean, with benches so you can sit and admire the beauty.



It just goes on and on, starting just past Lovers Point, heading south.


Close up of these small flowers.


I was here with Mandy and Jason.


We also walked at Asilomar Beach, where they got married….3 years ago today actually.

Another day we went down the coast into the Big Sur area.  We had a lovely lunch at Napenthe.  This is the view from there.


One of my favorite spots in the world.


With two of my favorite people in the world.



The weather was perfect on this particular day, and as you see, Mandy got to sit in the sun and Jason and I got to sit in she shade, just as we all wished.  We celebrated their anniversary, Jason’s birthday, and Mother’s Day.


The dramatic back drop here isn’t “just” the ocean, but it’s the mountains in combination with the ocean.  I know this picture doesn’t even look real but it is.


We also went down by the Big Sur River to relax for a little while.  There are chairs right in the river here, behind the River Inn.



Love birds surrounded by flowers. 💕

And then Joy, Shiloh and I keep going to their favorite beach.


We walk through the sand dunes to get there, and though that used to be just the first leg of this walk, now with Joys difficulty walking, it’s a major part, and we don’t go far on the beach.  No matter…it’s still one of their favorite places to be.


Joy rolling in the original place she learned to love to roll.  Sand and salt water and Golden retriever coat…a combo I learned to live with and love, a long time ago.


Looking out towards the Monterey Peninsula.  The peninsula comes to a point just after the far right of the picture, with Lovers Point.  The pink carpet pictures above were taken just beyond that.


Shiloh contemplates the Pacific Ocean.


Shilohs smile.

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My Friend Jo

Mary is now in Utah with friends traveling in her ‘Prius RV’.  I haven’t been feeling great…actually not very good at all much of the time, with just a good day here and there, otherwise having some serious aches and pains…until about 5 or 6 days ago or so, and since that time I’ve felt generally better.

15D7C5A2-8891-4260-A458-5764A7E1D9C7My almost 15 year old puppy.

Joy, Shiloh and I have been taking one day at a time, house sitting, light gardening, baking bread….




And visiting with my son Jason and his wife Mandy. (More about that in the next post).

Generally we’re just practicing living in one location…seeing how it feels.

And then…..

I read on FB last evening that a very dear friend of mine passed away….a week ago.

1A8481CB-FE2D-42CE-90C9-306A9BB4C0D5This picture of Jo was taken in my yard in May of 2009.

The news really crashed hard on me.  Lots of memories came flooding back.  Jo and I were next door neighbors from 1997 until 2004, and I could have never asked for a better neighbor and friend.  We’ve remained friends ever since.

I heard the news because Jo’s grand daughter wrote about it on Jo’s FB page.  On Google I found out that her Celebration Of Life had already passed and that crushed me even further.  I messaged her grand daughter ( whom I’ve never met) and poured my heart out.. I was relieved to learn then that there will be a Cremation Ceremony later this month, so I’ll be able to spend some time with others who loved her.

I was shocked to learn that she had a moderately long term illness because I spent a whole afternoon with her in December when we visited, shared a meal here and exchanged Christmas presents.  She must have known at that time what was going on but she kept it to herself.  She drove away that day with the knowledge that we would probably never see each other again in this world, and I was none the wiser.  It must have been hard for her to leave that day, not so much on my account, but because of the dogs.  She had a special bond with them, especially Joy.  She was Joy’s second mom.

B59699CB-3259-44EF-8F50-2ED598A42463Jo with Shiloh sitting beside her and Joy giving her paw.

Before Joy I had another Golden named Bonnie.  Back in the day Jo showed me the beach/dunes walk that the dogs and I go on, even now.  Back then we would take Bonnie and her dogs on that walk at the ocean, in the early morning fog,  time and time again.  We would walk and talk and walk and talk and share our secrets, as the dogs romped and ran like wild things in the sand and surf.

E5835260-C795-4C42-9FB5-8135AFC61650Even today, hardly anyone goes there so letting the dogs run isn’t a big deal.  And amazingly even after all these years there are no dog-on-leash-only, signs. We took that walk this morning, in memory of Jo. Actually a very short version of the walk.

Jo took care of Bonnie for me while I wandered around the country (and Europe too), following The Rolling Stones on tour.  I saw the Stones close to 40 times and close to 30 of those times it was because Jo was willing and able to babysit for me.  Fur baby, that is.

When it was time for Bonnie to cross the Rainbow Bridge, and I was distraught, it was Jo who orchestrated getting the vet to my house, so Bonnie could leave for the Rainbow Bridge from her own living room.

It wasn’t long after that, I wanted a puppy, but I worked the afternoon shift at the hospital and I felt it was impossible to care for a puppy in that situation.  Jo stepped up and promised she would help me out with puppy things on a daily basis as long as help was needed.

She was as good as her word.  At first she came over three times an evening while I was at work, and not just to let the puppy out and go back home.  I invited her to stay as long as she liked, watch tv, eat pop corn, etc.  That’s when Joy learned to love pop corn!  As Joy got older, Jo came over 2 times an evening, and later cut it down to once.

Part of the reason Joy is named Joy is because it has ‘Jo’ in it.



Today…Jo’s spirit walked with us.

Eventually Jo moved and so did I, but we always stayed in touch.  When I started traveling, each time I came back to the home place we would get together…..except this time.

This time I was trying to wait until I started feeling better to start contacting friends about getting together.  Since the last week or so I’ve started feeling better, I was thinking about contacting Jo, I just hadn’t done it yet.

9E7B4640-661B-4EF3-94DE-16150B37C144You can see the fishing boats were out on the bay this morning.

If I had, perhaps I could have seen her and said good-bye…but it very well may be that is not what she would have wanted.  She may have wanted to leave our memories together as they were in December.  I’ll never know.  But everything happens for a reason….

I have to tell myself that.

Jo was probably the strongest woman I know, and she generally loved dogs more than people.  She never ever took the easy path through life, but she was true to herself, and stood firmly for what she believed.


I was so privileged to know her and to be able to call her friend.

My comfort is the thought of her many dogs she loved over the years who were there to meet her at the Rainbow Bridge in a warm and wonderful reunion.  I know my Bonnie was there too.


Bye Jo.


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I Do Love It Here

After months in the desert, one feels….dusty.  So…..

Shiloh gets a bath….


And the next day Joy gets a bath.


Too hard on my achy joints to bathe them both on the same day.

Much as they love jumping into any body of wild water, baths are barely tolerated, but getting dried off is loads of fun.

Then a few days later, Wandering Spirit gets a bath too.



After the washing a couple days later she gets a wax job…except for the top.  Right now my knees aren’t letting me go up and down the ladder multiple times like waxing the top would require.


Joy next to WS as if we were still camping.  This was taken while everyone was still dusty.

And then I bought this great big tarp and Mary helped me cover WS to protect her from sun damage.

74317E78-2D52-4C48-A99A-FB6CACC95A04😕. Not all that attractive  is it?  By releasing a bungee cord or two I have easy access to the inside so I can clean and whatnot.

C16324F3-5B2D-4899-B038-8101662CF8D2After and between the bathing and waxing, I’m working on a little garden in Mary’s front yard, and some potted herbs in her back yard.  This is a work in progress, something I’ll be playing with throughout the summer.

California is in bloom right now…..

E650A985-9E7D-4887-A8BA-1586D870507EA field of wild mustard.


Gardens everywhere.


This is called Breath Of Heaven.  A favorite of mine. I planted one in Mary’s garden.

8CA0C699-C77D-4D08-B342-A15F42C36A2CHeading towards ocean and sky…a view from Imjin Road in Marina.


A view of a small bit of Monterey Bay driving on Hwy 101 through Sand City.

Yes, I do love it here!



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Now Living In Sticks & Bricks

After our visit with Kerry and Annabelle, we continue our journey ‘home’.

Back in California at last, and we take a last desert walk…


Well, maybe that’s a desert run!


And in Bakersfield, between the raindrops, we gather some oranges at Orange Grove RV Park.


Lots of blossoms on the trees now, but still some juicy ripe oranges to be had.


We continue on through the vibrantly green hills of California….


And through the rain….


As we near Gonzales, CA we are suddenly in the worst deluge of rain pounding down upon us that I’ve ever driven, much less towed in.  It’s as though the windshield wipers are nonexistent.  The only reason I can see in front of me is because a big yellow truck is in the lane right ahead of us.  I can’t pull over because I can’t see what might be there on the side of the road, and I obviously can’t stop, so I continue on almost blinded by water.

Though it seems to go forever, it probably lasts less than 5 minutes.

We continue on through more rain and finally arrive at Mary’s house.  YAY!  It’s good to see her again and Joy and Shiloh are excited to be here!

Within our first few days of being here friends Laura and Joel come for a visit, and a neighbor backs Wandering Spirit into Mary’s back yard for me.


Wow, looks like WS has her own rainbow in the lower left there.

A couple of weeks ago friends Shirlee and Doug, two of the first people we met on the road and continued a friendship with, text to say they will be in my old stomping grounds on their way home to Canada.  As it turns out we all arrive here in the area on the same day.  We get a couple of visits in before they have to leave.


Doug and Shirlee on our ocean drive in Pacific Grove.


Ocean and rocks.


Doug gets a kiss from Joy!


We walk the trail near Mary’s house.  Mary is taking the picture.


We make vegan pizza!


And find some California poppies…(closed up because it’s near sunset.)  We must really be home!

Now we will try to settle a bit.  This will be the first time we live in a sticks and bricks for an extended period (a number of months) in close to 4 years.

We’ll see how this goes….





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A Brief Interlude

A Few Days In Prescott

On the way back to the ‘home place’ we stop for a visit with Kerry and her dog Annabelle. (Not their real names).  They are good friends now, whom we first met in the dog park in Quartzsite 2 1/2 years ago.  They wintered in Prescott but will be leaving the area soon.

We are near Watson Lake Park and the area around the lake is called Granite Dells.


Yikes, look out below!


Kerry calls this the bear claws!

Not only are Kerry and I good friends, but so are the dogs, and we spend our days giving them a good time together.


Annabelle goes to class and Joy and Shiloh cheer….er…woof her on!



We take lots of walks.  Here Shiloh and I take in the view.


Joy and Shiloh haven’t enjoyed grass in a long time, being at the ranch.  There is lots of green grass in Watson Lake Park and there was lots of rolling going on.  Here’s a Joy Roll.


Once Kerry was on the ground she was fair game….


Shiloh the lap dog.

I’m so glad that Kerry and I met and became friends, and our fur kids too.  She and Annabelle are two precious souls.

As I write this we have made our way to the great state of California. Yay!  We are in Needles (eww) tonight, then the plan is Barstow, Bakersfield, and HOME.

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On The Road

We take an early walk this morning.  I take all the bird feeders down.  What seed I have left, I scatter on the ground.  I’ve been getting things picked up and put away for the last few days.

Had to think about how to pack up and hook up!  It’s been awhile!  Fred and Colleen come  up to help and double check everything with me.  Then Joy,mShiloh and I pile into JR and leave at 8:30am.  I go s-l-o-w-l-y down the 8 mile dirt road…it takes me an hour!




Ocotillo blooming and leafing on our way down the dirt road.

I drive about 150 miles to the KOA in Gila Bend….and now I have ELECTRICITY!  Whoo-hoo!

But…to regress…over the past week….it was a good, if not unusual week.


Ruth comes up for a visit with her horses Major and Ronnie.


Another time she comes up and we had a campfire and a lot of girl talk.  She’s also reading The Clan Of The Cave Bear series.  Or, I should say, re-reading it. ( I’m on the last of the 6 books it on Kindle).

We have a wine tasting party at the club house.🍷


Oh  gosh, and a couple of Margarita parties at Fort Kelly.☺️

I attend a Qigong class.  We’ll try and get that going earlier next season.

I do laundry.  Sometimes I do my laundry right at my own site…with a couple of buckets and a plunger!  Hey, you should try it sometime and you will REALLY appreciate you washing machine!


I clean out the shed and try to mouse-proof it.  I use Steel wool, Irish Spring soap, dryer sheets…and even lights.  I put 2 strings of solar led lights inside, with the tiny solar panels outside.  I suppose they will use the dryer sheets for bedding, clean up with the soap, and use the lighting to find their way around easier? 😁

I try to take the views into my being…including the beautiful sky.


Each day is such a gift and I try not to take them for granted.


The older I get, the more I realize there is a limited supply of these gifts.


I don’t want to be complacent.


Then Wednesday, my last full day at CLR is….interesting.

I am busy inside WS when Shiloh began barking outside.  Not a typical playful bark, but more a warning…more a protecting bark.

I hurry out to see what’s wrong and find him barking menacingly at a young man, who is stopped in his tracks approaching our little home.  He carries a small backpack and his shoes are worn.  He is very thin, looks exhausted, and right now, frightened.  He has ‘illegal alien’ written all over him.  I call Shiloh off, and the young man sits down on the ground and begins to cry.  The only English he seems to know is “help me”, and he repeats it over and over.  I bring him water and tissues and eventually get him seated at my outside table with crackers and peanut butter.

While inside WS I also call Tim on my emergency Verizon phone and tell him what’s happening.   At the same time I’m calling Tim, Don, another neighbor, rides up on his 4 wheeler and tells me Boarder Patrol has already been called and he will stay here till they arrive.  I am relieved that he will be here.  He tells me that a few of the men here saw the guy coming up my hill, and were aware and watching.  A minute later I get a text from Fred who is in TOWN 50 miles away, to warn me as well.

Wow, talk about a Neighborhood Watch!  I am impressed!

A couple of minutes later Tim arrives on his 4 wheeler and he speaks some Spanish.  It turns out the young man is not Mexican.  He is from Venezuela, and basically starving.  Tim goes home and returns a few minutes later with burritos and some juice, and gives it to the young man. (Maybe 20ish.)  Then Tim leaves again to meet the Boarder Patrol when they arrive and guide them to us.

That happens shortly…two of the familiar Boarder Patrol trucks…white with a green diagonal stripe on the side…come up my hill.  The officers are polite and kind.  They talk with him and let him finish his meal.  He seems relieved to go with them.  It beats starving, freezing, and burning up while being lost in the desert.

This happens her occasionally…rarely.  This is the first time I’ve been involved.  I feel sorry for the young man, proud of Shiloh, and pleased that my neighbors were so aware of the situation.

Seems a strange way to end my time at Caballo Loco Ranch this season.


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