Thursday, May 6, 2010

Peeps, the baby hummingbird

In honor of the title of my blog, I share this little video for your watching pleasure. It's a friend of a friend, so I know, somehow, we're kindred spirits. Enjoy!
PS. - if you can't see the whole picture, click on the picture and it will take you to a bigger pic.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


My cat, Sylvester, is having...issues.

Sylvester, in calmer days...

You may recall that we adopted him from a shelter at the advanced age of  11 1/2, separated from his brother, (his lifelong friend), his family and well, a piece of his sanity, apparently.  Yes, it seemed pretty cute at first that he was hiding under his little blankie, sucking his thumb. I love him more than my luggage.

So cute, right? But as the years go by, well, Sylvester just becomes more, um, neurotic.

He's always been a crier. [read: yowler.] At night, maybe it's because he was declawed by his previous owners and can't jump up high to find our other [normal] cat, Maisy, he yowls for her. "Halllloooo??  Hallllllooooooo??"

Luckily, we have a beautiful, finished garage/gym/office area where he and Maisy, sleep at night. Because if they didn't, we wouldn't sleep a wink. Maisy, who is a perfect little lady, feels this is totally unfair, since she wants nothing more than to curl up behind my knees at night and blissfully sleep tight. But, because her love, Sylvester, can't do without her, Maisy is deprived of that coziness.  
Oh, the guilt.

Lately, he's started meowing compulsively during the day. From the minute he comes in until we hold him and let him suck his little paw. Which is fine, but we can't just sit there all day and hold him. Eventually, things like dishes,  showering and going to work intervene.

Anyway, we've been searching around for ways to deal with his "issues" which only became more profound after I went back to work. We've tried leaving the tv on for him. Aside from hiking our power bill higher, it didn't help.  Now, he meows at us constantly. Simply walking past his 'spot' on the couch brings on a session of  meowing that sounds suspiciously like "Mommy?mommy?mommy?mom?mom?mom?mom?"

Nothing deters him. Nothing. Sigh. (Note: Except when I pointed a camera at him to try to catch this disturbing behavior, he  politely turned away and stopped. Hmmmm. I may be on to something here.)

So the other day, we bought this stuff that you spray on the place where he sleeps or hangs out, called Feliway Spray. Cat pheromones. And I must say, it's helped a little. I mean, every now and then, he'll settle down and relax. Look content, even.

Then...."Mommy?mommy? mom? mom? mom?"

Ideas out there? Ever had a cat like this? 
It's not us, so much, you understand, but Maisy's delicate nerves are frayed.

"Mommy? Mommy? Mom? Mom? Make him stop."

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Spring has Sprung and Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

For me, Easter has always been about flowers, spring, the birth of new possibilities. This year, with all of our rain, our flower season has been pretty nice so far. All the trees are in bloom, the azaleas are screamingly gorgeous and all is right with the world.

This photo is a little flowering plum or cherry tree at Descanso Gardens, here in La Canada. A very wealthy publisher who had a passion for gardening and particularly for camelias, purchased this huge track of land in the early 1900s and ultimately planted the entire estate with every imaginable variety of camelia. But that's not all.

There are ponds filled with fat coy, swimming under the clouds.

And this little sweetie hoping for a handout. This goose was so cute. Such a handsome fellow. Very intent on the little girl standing a few feet above him with promises of a few more kernals of corn.

There are hiking trails and strolling trails that you can almost imagine some knight riding through. (If you squint and forget you live in L.A.)

Fern grottos....
And walking spirals...

Oh, and Camelias...
This one's for you.

Have a wonderful holiday, my friends. I hope this season brings with it all kinds of new possibilities in your life.

xoxo Barbara

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mea Culpa. (Translation: Doh!)

See, this is what I'm talking about. Have you ever had one of those months where not only your sleep, but your short term memory starts to go? When you go on overload and start tilting like a spinning-- well, you know.

First it's little things. Like: "Now, where did I put that open bottle of wine we started last night? Oh, on the washing machine next to the Shout, tucked beside the Bounce dryer sheets.Yeah. That makes sense."

Or: Your keys show up on top of the cat box. Why?

Or you call someone at work you've already called three times to check on the same freakin' detail. Just because you really cannot recall if you've done it.

Or, even more embarrassing, someone you absolutely adore leaves you an award on her blog and (okay, maybe you have been a little out of touch) but THEN she leaves a sweet follow up comment on your blog and mentions it. And YOU SEE IT, and for a moment your brain computes it, but in the next instant, you think: "Award...award...Now where was that bottle of wine again? And why won't that damn phone stop ringing??"

And then suddenly, in the middle of the night, or in the middle of a letter to an important client about a deposition date, you suddenly think, "Award. From Debra. On March what??"

Debra at She Who Seeks, one of the funniest bloggers out there, who is also one of the sweetest and, for the record, is quite well informed on everything Goddess, Arthurian and England-ian (is that a word? Uh, No.) is the lovely person in the above referenced brain fade, for it was She Who Seeks, who kindly left me an award for Beautiful Blogger on March-freaking-9th. (What's the date today? I rest my case.)

And I'm here to humbly say "Thank you, Debra!" and please forgive me.

I will address all that this award entails (Seven things about myself, etc...) as soon as possible. In the meantime, please go visit Debra and say "Hi!" for me.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

In The Moment

In case anyone wondered if I had fallen into some old well that was hidden in my path and was patiently awaiting rescue, without my computer, or means of communicating with you to explain why I haven't posted in weeks....

Well,  there was no well involved. At all.

I was, in fact, sick for the better part of  a month, with whatever horrid thing is going around, with only enough energy to drag myself to work, then fall into a puddle of fatigue at night. And frankly, facing my keyboard after a long day at work to post a blog here just wasn't happening. 

So, anyway, after a long gap, (I'm sorry!) I'm here to say "I survived!"

[I'm being dramatic. But that's just how I roll.]

But, no. Seriously. Yuk.

Have you had this mysterious kick-in-the-*ss this year? Was it H1N1? Was it the flu? Was it just some virus with ulterior motives?

Anyway, moving on.
I thought I should show you something that made me smile this month.

There was this.

This little boy always makes me smile.  He's looking out the window at the doggies, who fascinate him.  Oh, the concentration!

Then, there was this belly laugh...

Oh, dear...
And will someone please explain to me why those little creases in their arms are so delicious?

Some things just defy explanation.

Like this picture.


Give up? Okay, it's my cat, Maisy,  rolling in the hammock of our shade-cloth covered patio. She likes to run up there and show off when we're in the back yard with her. She's very excited to have company and likes for us to poke her and play with her through the cloth. She's a cutie.

Here's Maisy with a paw outstretched in invitation.

Wouldn't it be nice if all you had to worry about was a good play date on the patio cover?  What I love about pets is that they're just that simple. Like babies. In the moment.

That seems to be a concept that eludes me. But, as I roll through this thunderstorm of change in my life, I am working hard to keep it in mind.

Just put out a paw. And play a little.

Be kind to yourself,
xoxoxo  Barbara

Saturday, February 27, 2010


It's raining again.

Here in Southern California, we need the rain badly so there's no complaining about it, unless you live in La Canada, where the hillsides are sliding down because of the terrible fires we had here this year.  The rain washes the ash down from the hillsides and clogs up the streets below.

But here in the flatlands, clear rainwater feeds my thirsty trees and puddles in my uneven driveway, 

reflecting my giant Jacarunda tree on its glassy surface.

And then?  Just when you think it's never going to stop?  This:

I know...  Seriously.
Have a great weekend!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dear Renee

If you can, please ignore the storesfronts and the streetlamps and the pedantic clumbsiness of this photograph.
Instead, if you will, notice the beam of sunlight streaking between those two banks of clouds, like a pillar of energy. As if God had taken a magnifying glass and aimed it between the edges of two worlds. Guiding something powerful upward, toward Him.
This is for you, Sweet Renee. May God's guiding hand find you and give you peace. I will miss you.
xoxoxo Barbara