Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday Morning Beach Report

Looking to the right

Looking to the left

Looking straight out to the islands

Where have all the birds gone?

Do you see the sailboat?
I'm just now coming out of today's fog. I spent the day preparing for next week's estate planning session and reviewing my file on tomorrow's alimony mediation.

Yesterday I contemplated whether or not there was some way to reduce my property taxes or pay off my special taxes (a California phenomenon known as Mello-Roos) early and save billions. Hahahaha.

The day before that I looked into a re-fi for my mortgage. Nope.

I haven't hit the jackpot yet. Well. In many ways, I have. I'm not so lost in the fog that I can't see that.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Divorce Report



I took this photo  a few years ago in Greece

I've been working my way through a stack of old New Yorkers. THIS pretty much killed me. The ending particularly.

And there's a short interview with the AUTHOR if you'd like to dig even deeper.

I had a visit from a friend yesterday and the day before. She's getting divorced. We talked about the end of our marriages. How inch by inch things fell apart over the years. Without meaning to you arrive at that place you can't get back from. And there you are, dead in the water, regretting everything and nothing.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday Morning Beach Report



Two tall ships beneath two stripes of cloud.
Pelicans fishing the waves and a fisherman, sitting in his beach chair not fishing.
An adolescent boy throwing sticks into the water. 
Plenty of sticks to be had.



Lots of debris on the sand. Mostly mother nature's own detritus. Bark, sticks, stumps, large branches and a couple of tree trunks.

A day like this almost always yields treasure.



Mother Nature's rendition of Degas.


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Yesterday's Beach Report/What the Yoga Teacher Said (yesterday)/and Stuff I'm Avoiding

Beach Report: 

After two days of Santa Ana winds (they blow from the east) all the sand is back where it belongs. I missed my beach walk on Tuesday and when I arrived there yesterday, there was no dune to scale in the parking lot and the beach bathrooms were on level ground. The beach itself looked like a movie set. A smattering of driftwood, some rocks, and some beach glass amidst the pebbles. Like nothing  dramatic had ever happened. It seems that's the way some things in this life are. You spend years detesting someone while turmoil swirls and then you just can't work up the interest anymore. In fact, you don't even think of them, or IT, or anything much to do with the giant mess that once was.


What the Yoga Teacher Said: 

Find love in the pose, the yoga teacher is fond of saying. It's a job sometimes, finding love. It's there but you have to look for it, work at it. And during the struggle, it's the looking for love that makes the struggle easier. Just the other day as I logged on to check my mom's bank balance online, I discovered it was time to change her password. Without thinking I changed it to il0veyoumom! 

Stuff I'm Avoiding: 

I have three stacks of things on my kitchen island. The never-ending pile of paperwork for my mom. It took me months to get her on Medicaid (hooray!--she's on it!) and now there's a barrage of mail that I can't seem to comprehend on the first read through, so I stack it up. Stack #3 is the re-fi offers and my notes on how to negotiate a re-fi. I will have to gin up a certain mood to make those phone calls. Stack #3 is the alimony mediation stuff--those ducks are pretty much in a row.

And here's how I avoid the piles of stuff:


Rearranged Patio Stuff

It was warm and not windy today so I pulled up a couple of dead plants. I moved unhappy plants to places I think will make them happier. I swept. I weeded. And I decided to bring my big glass jar of beach glass inside and find a place for it since it's always misty with condensation and no one can see the beach glass.

My Entire Collection of Beach Glass--except for what we used to tile the fireplace

So I dumped all the beach glass out and washed it and laid it out on a towel to dry. Then I took the big glass jar into the laundry room to wash it. But I broke it. I had this beach ball sized jar for 20 years, and I've moved it to three different houses. It's funny how I always go into denial first when the bad thing happens. That just a bubble of dish soap, I said. I didn't break a big round piece out of that beautiful jar. But I did. Not salvageable. 


So the beach glass is now in a bowl that my mom gave me years ago. And it's very cool because the mirror let's you see the glass in the bottom of the bowl. So there you have it. The mess cleaned up. And the next time I move, I won't have to transport that huge jar. I'm finding love in that thought.

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Beach Report



Two of the  Channel Islands, Annacapa and Santa Cruz, have blown onto the sand at Hollywood Beach. Currently, the two wind tossed islands are now buried in the sand near the beach bathrooms which completely disappeared from view around sunset Saturday evening. The bathrooms are now able to be accessed, thanks to the quick work of Harbor Patrol, by a ladder that descends through the roof. Beachgoers are advised to use caution.

Pedestrians in the beach and marina areas are now fashioning helmets out of the stem portion of downed palm fronds in a fight fire with fire mentality. A recently interviewed walker reported that he'd been struck by 17 falling fronds in the last 24 hours, but that his "helmet" had done a good job at protecting him.

Fish have also been seen to be flying through the air in the marina and at the beach. The herons in the area which have begun to speak a rudimentary English have expressed their appreciation at the bonus.

As for me, I'm tired of the wind. It's keeping me awake at night. I haven't slept much in 3 or 4 days and have reason to believe I may be suffering from hallucinations. I'm hoping that explains why I'm heading back to divorce mediation due to the reduced compensation of the Best Ex-Husband-In-the World. (Yes, that is how I have actually referred to him this past year. Really. I swear.)

Stay tuned. And just for the sake of idle speculation, do you think I'd make more money doing Air BnB or selling divorcée tee shirts on my blog, dispensing my wealth of divorce wisdom?

Stay out of the wind. I've heard it can cause temporary insanity.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Wednesday Morning Beach Report


Back to blue. The wind has settled.
You could make bigger waves in your bathtub.
All day I thought what a perfect day to be out on a boat.
Still no response to my application to be a volunteer docent for the Channel Islands National Park.



Once upon a time I had a husband and young children.
We took a vacation to Cornwall and there was a church buried in the sand.
In this time before my beach life, I wondered how this could happen. Who/What/How would a church become buried in the sand?
This is not a church. It's a bathroom.
I understand now.
How the wind moves the sand and we get tired of putting it back.

The tide was out when I walked on the beach today. I could walk/swim a little to the breakwater, I thought. I love my impulsive urges and I'm glad that I act on fewer of them.

When I got home, the marina looked like a bathtub that someone had pulled the plug on. How deep is it, I wondered. What if someday, I looked out my window and saw the boats sitting on the ground?


I still pick up heart-shaped rocks and beach glass. The hearts are so numerous now they are stacked two and three deep. There is a tower of hearts in the center. . And today I found an orange piece of beach glass. Not amber. Orange. Orange is my favorite color.


Beach glass. Heart rocks. I find them lying at my feet. How lucky is that?

Monday, February 1, 2016

Postcard from Pillville: A Rant

Chocolate. My current medication.

My mom's regimen of a dozen prescriptions was a bit more complicated. After she moved in with me in August of 2009, it took me at least a month to get acquainted with her routine. She filled her own pillboxes in those early days of living together, but confusion would ensue when the pharmacy re-filled a prescription with a different brand of drug than the one she was used to. When I cleaned her room, I often found pills on the floor or in her bed. More and more frequently she asked me questions that made me worry she didn't quite know what she was doing. Eventually, I became the dispenser of meds, filling three weeks worth of pillboxes at time from a giant plastic box of bottles divided into sections labelled A.M., P.M., and 2X PER DAY. 

Now that she's in a nursing home, I'm relieved of all that. But I've been left with a gallon zip-lock bag of meds. My mom moved out in October and I still have the bag of drugs. No class-one narcotics, mind you, just heart meds and blood pressure pills. Pills to help the sinuses, the digestion, drops for the eyes and the ears, and god only knows what else. Burping, farting, itching, swallowing--name your problem and there's a drug for it. I know drugs are not to be disposed of casually by flushing or in a landfill, but the pharmacy (Vons) that filled the prescriptions won't take them back. The DEA hotline had me on hold today for eleven minutes. The Internet has steered me wrong--Walgreens does not take back meds and they don't know who does. I called 211. Nope. They have nothing in their database. 

But I'm a late-night Google-er and I found a note I'd tucked into the bag that I'd forgotten about. It was the name of a pharmacy in the neighboring town. I called them, and they say they will take back the meds. I hope it turns out to be true.

Caregiving is hard enough. When it's over you want it to be over. Not that it is if you are still handling the mail and the banking, etc. I think all pharmacies should take back what they fill. And yes, I know I could have gone to the Sheriff's office. I did that after Dan died and dropped off the morphine and the Oxythis and the Oxythat into a secure bin, but I didn't especially want to retrace those steps. And by the way, I still have a tub of needles from Dan. The Sheriff's office does not take those, and they're not supposed to go in a landfill either, and I tried taking them to a toxic waste site. That was a no-go. I could, however, send away for a special mailer that costs 20-some dollars, and yes, I have the 20 bucks, but really, this is the shit that just wears you down. 

Thanks for listening. 

Any artists out their who make things out of pills? I have a bag full.