Monday, February 28, 2011

A Taste of Honey

Today I am alone, my thoughts and feelings streaming clear as rich, dark honey. Laptop before me, forearms pressed against the cool, sleek table in my sister's empty kitchen, I realize that taking a leave of absence from life as usual and inserting oneself elsewhere for a period of time is a good thing...a grounding, centering exercise. And a revealing one.

Taking in a view quite unfamiliar, sitting straighter in a textured chair, feeling the sun engage you from a new angle, letting go of everyday doings that lull you into placid unawareness––all these arouse the mind and wake the soul.

A careful search shows parts of my soul are sleeping. I intend to spend the last few, more solitary days of my vacation gently rousing them. And if that doesn't work, I'll shake 'em up a bit.

Yep, time to rise and shine!

a good getaway is worth its weight in gold

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Sorry my Saturday Centus didn't show up till Sunday, but the road to Palm Desert beckoned before I could get it done (at which time I accidentally clicked "publish" instead of "save" and had to delete the unfinished product yesterday morning.) At any rate, all systems are go now, and I have added slightly fewer than the usual 100 words to Jenny's intriguing prompt. As always, that prompt is in red.



A shadow passed across the moon at midnight.
The light turned green; no car was there to see.
One drive-through window whispered, “May I help you?”
The air rippled with hope and mystery.

A coke can whirred and fell, coin uninserted.
One jukebox sang to cheer a crowd that was.
The tollgate opened wide, no quarters offered.
Unbidden doors creaked welcomes, just because.

How oft I'd walked the night, restless and seeking.
I never even found a faucet leaking.
...The ATM machine started dispensing twenties...
Abed, sheet over head, I counted pennies.


PS. Happy birthday to my darling daughter, Karin, who made my dreams come true 33 years ago. Love you, Beebs!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Life is Good

After spending three nights with my mom and stepdad in Palm Desert, I headed south yesterday to spend a little more time with Matt, Heather, and my grandkids. Tomorrow morning, we'll climb back in the car and return to the desert, where three of my siblings will already have arrived. There, we will meet my brother's fiancee, laugh and talk until the wee hours of the morning, and generally enjoy each other's company. We will also eat all of the dangerously delicious food my mom has been cooking for the past week or so. (I've already had a preview of that coming attraction while I was there...) Her world-class baking wreaks havoc on my blood sugar, but what a way to go!

Last night, we stayed up with Todd and heard about his interview. He feels like it went well, and we thank all of you for your thoughts, prayers, and good wishes. Now we are just hoping that he was able to distinguish himself in some way from all of the other highly qualified candidates. What a blessing that would be! At any rate, he won't know anything for a month or more...

I feel sorry for Dave, who's missing all the fun while he slaves away back in Northern California. He is consistently generous in wanting me to have a good time (even when he has to work). Being home alone is not his favorite thing, but he has selflessly encouraged me to take a few more days next week with my sister in Ventura County. What a guy!

Life is good.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

To Todd

To Todd
on the occasion of your second-to-last med school interview

Today, take with you all the love and luck that you can carry.

Focus on what you want and just "look up" when things get scary.

Remind yourself that being there at all is quite a coup.

(You're interviewing them just like they're interviewing you.)

Enjoy the moment...Days like these are few and far between.

Relax and show them who you are; you'll be the best they've seen!

Mom and Dad

for more T posts, click below

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It's Enough to Drive Ya Crazy!

Those of you who've been reading this old blog for any amount of time know that my youngest son is trying to get into medical school. So far, he's had several interviews but hasn't landed anywhere. Needless to say he's on pins and needles waiting to find out if he will be accepted, wait-listed, or (yep, it happens) rejected in this cycle. The whole thing is incredibly stressful.

Tomorrow, he will have his second-to-last interview. It's one of his top choices, right here in California, and he's feeling the pressure. I don't think I have to tell you that he is hoping to knock the ball right out of the park on this one, and his family is hoping right along with him.

Becoming a doctor is a uniquely hard dream to fulfill. Usually, when a young adult works for a goal the way a hopeful med student must (putting every spare minute into studying and volunteering in labs and hospitals to become the kind of candidate a school will accept), a parent can sit comfortably in the background knowing that his or her child's dream will come true. Not so with medical school. In this waiting game, having a 3.96 science GPA and a 3.85 overall is just a drop in the bucket of what needs to happen to get where you're hoping to go. Multiple essays and letters of reference, MCATs, invitations, plane flights, campus tours, interviews, letters of interest and intent, thank-you notes (all while taking the hardest classes imaginable to graduate) are only part of the mountain you climb. Even worse, reaching the top is as much a matter of luck as anything else. I've never seen such stiff competition among so many over-qualified people in my life.

It is a major strain. And going through the whole thing all over again because you didn't get in anywhere is not an outcome you want to envision. What's even crazier is this: In the event you aren't accepted by the end of March, you need to begin the process once more so you can be an early applicant for the second go-round, with everything ready to go (application-wise) by June 1st. Of course, you could still be accepted during the spring or summer, before school starts, by coming off a wait-list. I guess, when that happens, you're so thrilled to be "in" that you don't mind having gone through all the work it takes to complete and submit that nightmarish application a second time, for no reason.

But I'm rambling. And venting.
thanks for "listening"

We still have lots of hope that Todd will get accepted somewhere, and we're praying that he really clicks with his interviewers tomorrow and stands out in their minds as the rare young man that he is. I hope you won't mind my requesting (not for the first time) your prayers and/or good wishes as he meets up with these people who hold his immediate future in their hands. Not surprisingly, he is nervous, so he can use all the good energy he can get!

Thanks to all of you. I can't tell you how much the support of friends means to all of us who love him.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Bro's

Isn't it great when brothers are buddies, too?

(that makes grandma happy)

for more happiness, click below

Monday, February 21, 2011

Best Beach House Ever!

What's your favorite place to visit in the whole world?

My two favorites are Yosemite and this place.

It's called St. Malo, and it's in Southern California.

Here's the view from across the street.

And here's the house itself, as seen from the shore.

There are about 40 beach cottages in St. Malo.

(I use the term "cottage" loosely.)

Some of these places are pretty big.

The private beach doubles as a side yard...

complete with lifeguard station

and (in the summer) a cute lifeguard.
not that I notice stuff like that

Oh, and don't forget the volleyball court!

This is the backyard fence as seen from the inside.

And this is the view from the patio.

Yep, that blue stuff is indeed the ocean.

This funny old tree really adds to the charm.

As does this seascape right outside the front window.

The back patio is not too shabby either.

I'm fond of the little brick pathways around the yard.

Ready to go in? Welcome to my friend's cool cottage.

(She'd be my friend without the cottage, too.)

But it's a really good perk.
this is the cabana

Look behind you after you walk in.

Or to the side and through this little window on the sea.

(I look ahead and thank my lucky stars to be here.)

How's about a warm fire on a cold, beachy day?

Check out all the windows. Waves on every side.

You can hear them crashing...

even with the windows closed.

But I like to open them best.

Isn't the tile work on this fireplace cool?

(Yet another window I love to cast my dreamy eyes upon.)

See what I mean?
the pictures don't do it justice

This is the best blogging table.

Don't you love the tiled hutch?

And yet another angle on the ocean?

I think I told you I see porpoises here every day.
you don't have to look for long

From this window.

Or this one.
there's plenty to go around

Getting hungry yet? The kitchen awaits you.

And the cook really knows what she's doing in there!

Hubby likes to read with the sunset behind him.

When he's not standing in front of it, that is.

I wish we never had to leave!
but we do, today

Thanks, guys. As always, we had the best time ever!