Chance meeting & greeting of Baci,
Jane's new puppi, soon to be a certified assistance dog
at Counter Culture in Santa Fe.

Sumo looking at me holding high hopes for treats
having waited patiently and politely outside Whole Foods
while I was shopping inside.
As so often, Sumo is focused on me, 
while Isabella is focused on the environment.

Miss my Buddy, my scooter,
so I finally, stopped by the repair place 
and came to an agreement to patch up the cosmetic damage
to bring the price down to about half.
So, my chances are good for getting over my fear
and riding my Buddy once again starting next month.
I celebrated this long overdue decision with 
a stop at Counter Culture, a favorite local restaurant, 
where I had the good fortune to meet Baci for my very first time. 

Soviet Spy

It's been a tough year - decade, in some respects, while of course it always could have been a whole lot worse. I have been meaning to express some of what follows for a while, wondering how not to come across as whiny or complaining. I might sound like it anyway, so here it comes anyhow.

August of last year I walked out of a job my once best friend and client, with whom I had a falling out twice, had offered me repeatedly. My friend had become a lawyer after a decision at the ripe age of 48 that followed having gotten pissed off at not receiving a bonus she believed she richly deserved from her boss, a lawyer she had worked for. My friend needed to complete required college courses first then had to apply to law school twice and graduated as a senior to opened her own law office soon afterward. Eventually, I was no longer in a position to refuse her offer to help her out. I managed to play secretary for her for a full three years.

Those years reminded me strongly of my teens when I worked for an important lawyer in Zürich, Switzerland. Our office was involved in the creation of a third pillar to the Swiss national retirement program. I was in training then, a common work/study practice in Switzerland. After a false start of working in the fashion industry (beauty had been up and foremost in my early teen mind) and after I had taken a sabbatical (as an au-pair in the French-speaking part of Switzerland) I had emerged as a more serious teenager, eager for more meaningful work, such as I imagined happened in law offices. 

Never would I have imagined that after only three semesters I would have become a Soviet spy suspect! My conventional Swiss boss, the highfalutin lawyer, could not fathom why else I would wear my handmade, bright red, cotton cap to and from, but never at work. (I was in the process of becoming a Swiss-style hippie, it was the early seventies. World-travelers, hippies would stop over in Zürich, their mystique was infectious!) The reason for having become the object of suspicion was that the new secretary had figured out that I no longer lived with my parents and tattled on me. True, at age 18, I had the audacity to embrace an opportunity to move in with my dear friend, not lover, Joe, an exquisite artist and dear soul under the roof of a patrician house. My hometown gave me a stipend, unasked for as I recall, but on the urging of a social worker, with which I managed to live on my own, prematurely, according to the working class conventions of those times.

I had worked hard, and I thought good, at playing secretary at that office. I had kept records on petty cash, put out mass mailings, wrote letters by dictaphone according to standard procedures clearly outlined. I typed pages over and over until they were perfect and took notes in shorthand. I was a good secretary-in-training (Lehrling) especially during the absence of our real secretary due to illness. But when her replacement took over, my troubles started. My budding career as one of so many 'Büro Gummies" or pencil-pushers in Switzerland came to an abrupt halt, I was fired. No doubt this experience contributed significantly to my flight from my country of origin, Switzerland, and to my eventual immigration to the United States of America.

So here I was back at a law office four decades later, but this time with barely any formal education in the English language, much less familiarity with the customs,  not to speak of those at a law office. I worked for a woman that once had been my best friend and my client but I had more than one falling out with, who had become my boss. I worked for a woman whose approach to life was in many ways opposite to my own (astrologically thinking Leo versus Cancer, fire versus water.) Amazing that we lasted 3 years, the experiment should have come to its natural conclusion after 3 months, not 3 years. One day, I walked away, never ever to miss the work at that office, ever. What I do miss since is income!

Part 1 of more to come

Lost & Found

Found eleven pennies last week -  the good omen made my day
found a twenty dollar bill today - I am worried!

For real, I found a twenty dollar bill on my walk with dogs with no one near. Only one lovely appearance in a white flowing gown, long tresses down her back, little white dog on lead walking down alongside the train tracks. Maybe the bill fell out of her pocket when she was fishing for a poop bag as I so often do? Raised to be an honest and a good girl, I followed that lovely woman and learned that no, she lost no bills, that she is from Burundi, from where the best drumming with the best of drummers come from, and that her dog's name has the same name as my dog, Isabella. This most lovely lady with her copper-toned skin and copper-toned tresses suggested I simply accept the find as a gift from the universe.

What may be viewed as a gift by one, may be experienced as a misfortune by another. I feel no guilt picking up pennies, which I find fairly frequently and which tend to make my day when I bring them home and place them in my Tibetan singing bowl. Same goes for dollar bills, but with 5 bucks I start to worry that someone may really miss that bill. I found a twenty dollar bill a while back in the park, my dogs led me straight up to it. I assumed a drunken guy may have slept off his buzz in those bushes. Long gone, his scent may still have lingered when we approached. No one was in sight then too and I was worried that those 20 bucks may have meant a whole lot more to my imaginary guy that lost them than to an average person. 

I don't think of myself as being average. I once got really upset with a friend who picked up a $5 bill at the entrance of Trader Joe's grocery store to quickly and gleefully pocket it without even glancing around as to who may have lost the bill. There were a lot of people coming and going out of that popular grocery store. A twenty dollar bill in pocket or lost may make a huge difference for a street person. It may determine, I imagine, an ability to buy the kibble for their dog. Which reminds me that yesterday we received the unexpected gift of a bag of primo, organic dog kibble from a neighbor who only has one cat to feed. She had bought the wrong kind of kibble, a mistake I have made too. I was, and I still am grateful, even though I have been avoiding brown rice in kibble for the last 5 years. Since my furry friends have been on a grain-free diet.

Back to the idea that one man's gift may be another man's misfortune, or not. It does not hurt to try and double check one's assumptions and extend our compassion to others in times of plenty as well as during hard times. 


We took a break from the horrific news that assaulted us daily with seemingly not a moment to catch our breath. I looked matronly in my disguise of a green, patched together, cotton dress that made me act and look like a farmer's wife, except hard labor was never really my thing. A cool breeze had me still wear my winter shawl. Isabella looked ridiculously happy and fluffy having gotten her shower only recently. Sumo found the most comfortable spot to settle on, my lap. My neighbor had offered to take some pics of us, the first ones in years, so with Sumo's recent health crisis, I was glad to accept.

Sumo seems fine, while according to the vet his 3 months are up and he is supposed to be a goner by now. Instead, he again runs after the bunnies, but with a bit less enthusiasm, with a bit less stamina than he used to have. I guess that is o.k. considering both of them will be 12 years old this year. He still has a hard belly, I assume a fibrous mass inside, probably cancerous and he is still on his CBD oil, albeit less of it.

Since we just celebrated Father's Day, a pic of us about 60 years ago!

Rogue Hollyhock

Sadly this rogue hollyhock blooming out of the middle of a pretty blue pot of mini roses, collected over several years, got stolen in the early morning hours today. I woke because Pretty Kitty asked to come indoors. Wide awake, I sat at my computer when I noticed the sound of a truck with bright head lights on right outside our driveway. My dogs barked, which is rare for them during nights. Next, the truck drove off, I can still hear that sound in my ears. Later this morning, as I still wondered and got outside to check, our lovely pot of roses was gone, the hose dribbling water toward the concrete driveway. 

I reported this to the police, for the records, not because I harbor any hopes of recovery of that pot, but because my neighbor reported his loss of everything stolen out of the side pocket of his Harley Davidson motorcycle to me the week before. The cop told him that burglaries were on the rise in our neighborhood. We both were aware that there has been a lot of comings and goings of late with all kinds of constructions and people moving in and out. Correlations of burglaries with concurrent construction sites have been noted by both of us before. 

Oddly the very friendly, female cop asked me for my for proof of ID, my social security number and if I worked, was employed or retired, something outside the norm of sanctuary cities. Something that might prevent undocumented citizens from reporting crimes. Something I don't remember having been asked before. So, I reported this to our Mayor's office who confirmed that this was not usual and that they would look into it and get back to me. 

Meanwhile, I feel vulnerable and wonder why anyone would steal a pretty, but funky, blue terracotta pot of an assortment of colorful mini roses with one rogue hollyhock in the middle in full bloom?

Take Refuge

in beauty

in fluffy, furry friends

in good company

in good food

in reflection

and the knowledge that this too shall pass.

What Will It Take To Stop The Maddness?

Words fail me, we live in outrageous times. The Liar-in-Chief seems intent on dismantling our system in blatant disregard of existing laws and common decency. Tomorrow former FBI director James Comey will testify to the Senate Intelligence Committee, today he offered his prepared statement. Obstruction of justice in regard to Flynn seems obvious. Liar-in-Chief on tv denied having made such requests. Nope, there is no contest as far as statements go from our Liar-in-Chief or from our former FBI director. One I trust, at least in what he says, maybe not in what he may withhold, the other deserves no trust of any kind, none, his lies are so obvious and easily refuted. James Comey likes to present himself as non-partisan, yet, he withheld the ongoing investigations into the Trump campaign, but not into Clinton's. But Republicans think Comey obstructed justice when he claimed there was no criminal intent and let her off the hook, they are furious with the man. Democrats, of course, believe Comey cost Hillary Clinton the presidency. I believe Don-the-Con has no business occupying the White House. 

This privileged childish, immature, malignant narcissist believes the world should rotate around him. Until now he has gotten away with surfing the edge of legality, but as a public servant the rules have changed and the Con has been slow to catch on. Rachel Maddow has illuminated for us some of the shady finanical ties that criss-cross the globe and likely involve extensive money laundering schemes. Every day would be a good day for Don-the-Con to reveal his taxes like every other President has done before him, but no such luck.

Without his willingness to reveal potential conflicts of interest of his business interests around the globe to the interests of the United States, while having attempted interferences with investigations certainly in regard to Flynn, but likely in regard to Russian interference in the elections, this guy currently in charge of the nuclear button lacks legitimacy. What more will it take to stop this madness? I share Keith Olbermann's outrage:

El Museo Cultural

My 'hood

and across