Friday, August 31, 2018

A Clearing

Today I did a lot of things. One of the things I did was sit in the sun, feel the breeze and just do that. This is noteworthy in that it happens more rarely than it should. Perhaps this is true for you too. Let's get this situation sorted.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Inhale Deeply

You may not be here, looking at this, but inhale deeply anyway. You can close your eyes if you'd like. Maybe do that three times. Trust me on this.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

I Never Take the Five

When I moved away from home at seventeen, I moved from a beach town surrounded by forest to the glittery desert of Southern California. For the thirty or so years that my mom remained in Santa Cruz, I would drive every few months up the coast to visit. Leave on a Friday, return on a Sunday. Driving Highway Five is a shorter route, one I always describe as sensory deprivation road, dirt and fields and a terrible cattle yard. I have always avoided the five in favor of the meandering 101. It takes a little longer but it's the road to home.

Today I will leave on a solo drive to Pescadero, a small village on the coast, an hour south of San Francisco. I will drive the highway that rolls through seaside towns and inland hills. Six road trip hours of windy road and small town places to stop for coffee or a taco or something from the bakery case at the oddball, rococo Madonna Inn.


The place where central California cracks into Northern Cal, where looking up means seeing the point in the sky where the morning fog meets sky-scraping redwoods and if majestic could also be a way to describe a smell. It's all ocean spray and the sound of sand in the clothes dryer. It's a crumbling cement ship and a pier to nowhere.

When I see photos of green places, wild places, coastal Scotland and cliffs of Ireland, I always think yes this is gorgeous. Yes and have you driven the 101?

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

A Room With a View (My View)

The people and animals in the house know that the big chair in the living room is my chair. It's my base of operations. It's where I'm sitting now. From the big chair I can see easily see two-thirds of the house at a glance, living room, kitchen, dining room, front door and front window. The view out the front window is our yard, the sidewalk, the street and the neighborhood beyond. Lovely. Bucolic, in a severely suburban way. I am the monarch of all I survey. Obviously.

And, then the sign happened.

I sat down in the big chair with my coffee, early Sunday morning. I looked outside the front window and my gaze was instantly met with a hideous, yellow sign advertising "We Buy Houses" with an 800 number. The sign was on the telephone pole across the street, hung high to discourage removal. Destroying the view, my lovely view. No. This would not stand.

CUT TO: Mr. Rosenberg (tall - 6'4" Mr. Rosenberg) on a step stool attempting to pull down the sign but cant't quite reach it.

CUT TO: Mr. Rosenberg on a ladder he's dragged across the street, attempting to rip the (extremely sturdy) sign down with his bare hands.

CUT TO: An increasingly irritated Mr. Rosenberg attempting to pry the (awful, dreaded) sign off of the pole with a hammer. My coffee and I watched from the front window but pretended we didn't.

CUT TO: A now incensed Mr. Rosenberg (quietly incensed, it is Mr. Rosenberg after all) attempting to destroy the sign with a wrench and hammer combination.

The wrench/hammer/curse words combo did the trick. The sign was wrestled successfully into one of our garbage bins.  Victory was ours.

And forty minutes later, peace is restored to the kingdom. (The suburban kingdom.)

Monday, August 27, 2018

Friday, August 24, 2018

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Half Full

People are being handed some heavy life stuff right now. That's true always, but this moment seems especially heavy-ish. So now, it's time to celebrate. Not the heavy stuff, the other stuff. Let's celebrate anything we can find, big things and not at all big things. You don't have to throw a party, just stop and recognize a good thing when it happens. (Or throw a party, if you want. I'm not stopping you.) What I'm talking about is a celebration that looks like inhaling deeply and taking a mental picture to revisit later when you're in need. Stuff like:

A lizard on the front steps doing that weird pushups thing lizards do.

The view of the moon unobstructed by clouds.

You stop the gas pump on an exact, even number.

Watermelon is still in season.

You slept in your favorite pajamas.

A driver in the next car is singing along to Foghat's Slow Ride.

An Irish wolfhound mix watching you from his living room window.

The library book you have on hold comes in.

A bath towel, warm out of the dryer.

You get the idea.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018


Allan Murray Rosenberg, just chillin' - hanging out on top of his clubhouse like the casual fish he is.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Best Part of the Night

You know them, you love them, it's another Business Trip Weirdo FaceTime Call with Mr. Rosenberg. You're very welcome.

Monday, August 20, 2018

View From the Castle

If I were to say I missed Portugal I'm guessing you'd believe me. 

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Smacksy Saturday Photo: Aw, Ted

When your boy goes camping for the weekend, you get the whole bed to yourself. You're not excited about it.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Friday Night

The guys are camping and it looks like this.

I am not camping and it looks like this.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Fall Ball

Summer ball ends and fall ball begins and thank goodness they overlap.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Saturday Holiday

Saturday was National Baseball Card Day and while not a religious holiday per se, it's definitely a spiritual holiday in our house. Bob made plans well in advance to attend the card day event at his favorite (place on earth) card store, Hall Of Fame Baseball Cards.  Bob routinely saves his allowance for trips to this dark and narrow store, with circa 90s carpeting and paneled walls filled with sports cards and memorabilia. On National Baseball Card Day, the place was packed.

There is one chair in the store, a peeling Pier One Papasan chair with a faded red cushion. I refer to it as The Mom Chair since only moms sit in the card store. Moms who drive their kids to the store and patiently accompany their loved ones while important transactions are made. When we got to the store on Saturday, there was of course another mom already in the chair. I stood by, knowing I could outlast her. Bob had plans to be in the store for the entire two hours before his baseball game warm-up at 2:00 PM.

Sometime between the baseball trivia game and the raffle, Chair Mom left and I took over the spot. From The Mom Chair vantage point, I could see the whole store and comfortably take in the quiet joy of fans and their cards. I breathed deeply and noticed a distinctly musty smell in the chair. It was the scent of a thousand mom perfumes. Emeraude and White Linen, Chantilly and Vanilla Fields mingled together and for an hour and twenty minutes, I held down the spot in the store that is at least as important as the signed Jackie Robinson ball in the glass case.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Castle Path

When I'm trying to fall asleep, I will walk along this path again in my mind.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Smacksy Sunday Links

Jewels in the dust. Oh, my heart.

Donny is coming to town in September and I will be there. Check out the tour schedule and go.

Making a list like this list is on my list.

I could look at the photos on this site all day. (Goals.)

Looking forward to listening to the Everything is Alive podcast. So clever.
(Thanks for the tip, Molly)

Some nice salads.

And why geese fly in a V.

Happy Sunday.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Make Yourself Comfortable, Ted

Nobody loves the sleepover-trundle-bed situation more than this guy.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Sunday, August 5, 2018

One of Those Places

Have you had that feeling when you find yourself in a place in the world you’ve never been before and you instantly know it? The feeling that maybe your bones recognize the land and the buildings? Your heart somehow remembers the faces of strangers as you pass them on the street? I’m having that feeling every time I turn a corner or inhale deeply or drink an espresso in a cafe on the square. (Well, the espresso and I are not strangers as we’ve met previously. On many occasions.) We leave here today but some part of me will always stay. I am astonished by Portugal.

Smacksy Sunday Links

Friday, August 3, 2018

Portugal Day 4

On Day 4 in Portugal, we left Lisbon, traveling 16 miles south to the town of Palmela. Our hotel shares a wall with the chapel belonging to the Castle of Palmela and integrates the cloisters of the old convent. The chapel is a relatively newer building at the site, dating back to just the 17th century. Just.

The castle dates back to the year 856, built by The Moors. It sits atop a hill with a view of the Setúbal Peninsula and the Costa Azul. Roughly translated by someone who doesn't speak the language, those words are Portugese for "Wow."

The monastery orchards.

When Mr. Rosenberg and Bob and I walked up to the castle for the first time, we heard singing. There was a bride and groom having their picture taken. A man in their small group of eight was singing to them. That moment has become my new definition for breathtaking.

You will want the sound on for the video.

Outside the hotel, plants and stairs and beauty.

Inside the hotel, chairs and stairs and beauty. 

View from the room.

View from the breakfast table. Bom Dia/Good Morning/Good Day. It is. 

Thursday, August 2, 2018

On Portugal Time

The sun was just setting in Lisbon as we walked into the busy square near our apartment. Josephine Bistro, the sidewalk cafe, was packed. Mr. Rosenberg asked a passing waiter how long the wait was for a table. The waiter answered, "I do not know. Maybe one beer? Maybe ten?"

We found his estimate to be accurate.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

I'm Like One of Those Dogs Who Work at the Airport

All of us have special skills. I have a few myself. Most of my skills center around organizational craziness involving silverware drawers and coat closets. I can also wiggle my ears. I have memorized an arsenal of old-school remedies ("Put a copper penny between your top lip and gums to stop a nose bleed...") I can fold a fitted sheet. I can name any Steve Miller Band song in three notes. Am I just showing off now? Yes, I am. Today at the Lisbon apartment we are staying in, I employed one of my very special skills.

I have not smoked pot since 1987 but being raised in Santa Cruz, California - a marijuana haven - I have a sixth sense (Sensimilla? Hello!) about where pot is hiding in a room. In California, it's legal and you don't have to hide it anymore so I haven't employed this skill for quite some time.

In a game I like to call I Know Where You're Hiding Your Weed, look at the photo below of the living room at our Airbnb and guess where the gram of plastic-bagged weed is hiding. (I did!)

If you guessed, inside the seemingly empty chest being used as a coffee table in the center of the room, you are correct! You are now allowed to add Weed Whisperer (or something) to your special skill list. Congratulations. I wiggle my ears to you.