Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A Day Out With Friends


and how I needed it after staying home with this stubborn cold for over two weeks. 


Rachael came up and I wanted her to meet my neighbor, Joyce. They are closer in age than I'm to either of them, they are also two of the kindest people I know. Both care for animals, large and small, and do so with a lot of patience and love. 

Rachael and Joyce in the nuns' garden.

We drove up the mountain to visit with sister Mary Magdalene in the nuns' giftshop. Rachael brought some of her homemade, delicious peanut brittle as a gift for the sisters.


And all three of us bought some of their home made soaps, preserves, and other things that make such great stocking stuffer gifts for friends. 


I had to take a picture of the nuns' goats before we left. 

Then we were off to town to have lunch and, after that, it was time for some thrift store therapy. 


Joyce knew of a store that Rachael and I had not yet discovered, so we visited it, then the one that benefits our local hospital, and finally, St. Vincent du Paul, which will close at the end of the month. I picked up this pitcher and some other things I don't need. I love the colors in the pitcher and also that I now love to be surrounded by colors. I didn't always like strong colors the way I do now. 



I took this picture just to document that my tree  only began to lose it's leaves in December. Very late, it seems to me. And also that it did so well this year. All that rain we had helped everything grow. This tree is actually dead, the things that grow are the suckers, I think they are called, which normally you would get rid of, but they are now making a tree of their own. Nature is pretty wonderful, don't you think?

The fires are still going on, of course. The city of Ojai appears to have been saved, with the surrounding foothills getting the brunt of the fire with homes lost. It seems unbelievable that the largest fire is headed toward Santa Barbara. That's quite a distance from where it started.

I appreciate your kind comments and thoughts. I've been getting emails from friends and family in Sweden, worried about where I am in relation to the fires. Not close, don't even smell any smoke, so we are good here. 

My only problem is my cold, which has taken a lot of strength from me. I'm better, but not yet well. But the last time I had one was in 2011, so I shouldn't complain. Will begin walking the dogs soon and that should help to build my energy up again. 










Thursday, December 7, 2017

Ojai Surrounded By Wildfires



Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.
Swedish Proverb

The fire started somewhere around here, close to the lovely town of Santa Paula. 

I read the Washington Post on my Kindle every morning, while having my breakfast in bed. For some reason, they have a reporter in Ojai covering the wildfires. This is what I read, and why I'm posting this. Don't know what I'm posting yet, but I do know that "shared sorrow is half a sorrow," so here I am, and here is what I read:

The largest of the wildfires - the Thomas fire, which spanned about 140 square miles in Ventura Country, roughly equal to the entire city of Philadelphia - surrounded Ojai on Thursday morning, officials said, endangering the popular winter retreat that is normally home to about 8,000 people. Most of the Ojai Valley was under a mandatory evacuation order. 

Between 1976 and 1985, I spent ten spring vacations in Ojai and, for me, the town is so much more than a winter retreat. It's a place where people come to seek spiritual growth and understanding; it's a place where artists gather, inspired by the beauty of the valley and the majesty of the mountains that surround it; it's a place of memories for me, of good friends, good food, hikes in the mountains, and so much more.


Rachael and I spent a day in Ojai last spring and I posted these three posts from there:

http://desertcanyonliving.blogspot.com/2017/05/meditation-mount-ojai-california-garden.html

http://desertcanyonliving.blogspot.com/2017/05/meditation-mount-ojai-california-path.html

http://desertcanyonliving.blogspot.com/2017/05/ojai-california-city.html


As I'm writing this, I'm calming down a bit and realizing that this is all equally horrific, from the poorest people losing their homes to Rupert Murdoch's vineyards buring down for all to see on TV. 

About 150,000 books here. And a wonderful tradition of trust, going back decades. I wrote about it in one of the posts above.

I don't watch TV in the mornings, so I don't know what else is going on. I just wanted to share my sorrow, the sorrow I feel for Ojai. 


But then, as I'm writing this, other sorrows come to mind. The sorrow I feel for the animals, the wild animals with nowhere to escape, so many horses that could not be saved, that will not be saved, other livestock, and pets. And the people suffering through all this.


The dogs and I are OK. We will be under Red Flag alert if the winds pick up, but so far it's calm here. I'm hoping that our cold nights will reduce the danger and so grateful to the tractor guy who cleared my land. 

Thanks for listening.











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