Posts Tagged ‘walking’

I got up early today, 8 a.m. I know YOU don’t think that’s early, but I do. So there.

I got up early because the temperature is supposed to reach 102 degrees and the dogs needed walking. I will get up for them. I will not get up for anything else–not coffee, not bacon, not even waffles. I am NOT a morning person. I never have been. Ask my mother.

So we walked TO coffee. Coffee that was perhaps 1/2 a mile away, but felt like 5, because the dogs had to stop. And sniff. And pee. On every. Single. Solitary. Tree. Lawn. Bush. Stick. It was agony. I carried Trooper part way just to put some lead on it.

Zephyr was stauled on a particulary intriguing tree when this ratchety old woman resting her bunions on a porch railing, whaled, “HEY! Don’t let your dog pee on my tree!!” This confuses me, greatly. Her tree was probably a hundred year old oak, and Zephyr peeing on it wasn’t going to DO anything to it. It’s a gnat on an elephant. A spritz on a whale. Seriously, lady, go tend to your bunions. They’re gross.

Onward, we spotted matching Siamese cats lounging in a driveway. I’m not a fan, either is Zephyr, who walked way around them. Trooper rarely notices such oddities.

A man went whizzing past on a bike, wearing an iRAPTURE shirt. All I could imagine was a techie born-again Christian, and I wondered if Jesus would be texting before his arrival?

Finally, I got my coffee and a croissant, but someone, somewhere, sometime, had PEED on the bakery patio, and I quickly lost my appetite, ditched the croissant & we walked back. Dog pee I noted, does not smell NEARLY as bad as human pee. In case you were wondering.

The temperature was rising, my coffee was soothing. the dogs seemed to walk faster, or me slower. The return trip is always better–the pooping is out of the way–bagging dog poop does not lend well to the aroma of sipping coffee, FYI.

And the grande finale? I stopped to ask the postman a question, and he didn’t speak English…so much for my illusions of  the postal service as the all-American grand gesture of the wild west. *Sigh*

This neighborhood is just strange.

d, xo

Read Full Post »

I am an avid people watcher. Always mesmerized, surprised, moved, shocked by what people say and do; I can not help it. Nothing beats real life for crazy, touching, frightening, tear provoking.


Today, Zephyr and I walked in McKinley Park. It swarmed with serious runners, huffing, panting, plugged in, tuned out, racing around the park in the metaphorical fast lane. There was soccer practice, tennis matches, a few strollers (most mommies and nannies walk on week days), but everyone moved with purpose, looking ahead, talking on phones, distracted, missing, what I thought, was a beautiful day. Zephyr stopped to smell every tree and bush. I sipped my coffee. It was all good.

We wandered through East Sacramento–capital E,  the trendiest neighborhood to live in, populated with the next generation of preppy:  upper class, mobile (imports from the Bay Area) and fashion forward. It’s like watching reality tv.

These are my two favorite moments overheard today:

At a yard sale, a Latina woman, who didn’t speak much English was asking about a pair of shorts.

The woman selling: “Those are $8.”

The buyer, shocked went to set them down.

Seller: “Well, I bought those at Abercrombie & Finch. They’re not USED. See the tags are still on them, and well, I gained a bit of weight…but they’re still NEW!”

The woman walked away.  New or not, it’s a yard sale, lady. Ugly yellow shorts after Labor Day go for a dollar, maybe two. That’s why they’re for sale in September in your YARD.

* * *

Back in the park, Zephyr stopped to attend to some business. Two women were sitting on a park bench near us and this is what one said, rather loudly:

“Oh! THAT’S  why I don’t have a dog. The POOP. It’s disgusting.”

I turned around and looked straight at her. “Well, YOU poop TOO. I hope THAT hasn’t stopped someone from loving you.”

She looked aghast. A little poop is hardly worth mentioning for all the companionship Zephyr brings. 😉

As for yard sales, I picked up a genuine Louis Vuitton handbag for a dollar. I’d call that a successful morning.

d, xo

P.S. After much research, the Louis Vuitton bag is a really good fake. Still, it was interesting research and I did only pay a dollar for it. The excitement in learning never ends in. 😉

Read Full Post »

Today was windy and cool, a California autumn on the heels of a hot Indian summer. Zephyr and I  hadn’t been to the river in weeks. It was time.

Starting out in the park. Bright eyed and ready to walk.

By 5:30 the sun was heading west, cooling down so Zephyr could make the first half of the hot dry trek to the river. I love the dusty dirt road, but Zephyr heats up fast these days. I have to be careful.

If Zephyr were any other animal. He would be an otter.

The water is still amazingly high, higher than I’ve ever seen it this late in the season. Gates at Folsom must be wide open, because you can see the rise marks along the sand.

The sun was still hot on the upper dirt road, so we took the forest path along the river, which stays hidden in trees and vines. The path is very narrow in places. Fallen trees block passages. Despite, the dreadful “beaver fence” all along the rocky ledge, the beaver have been busy. (The dreadful fence keeps deer out, dogs out, people too, but the beaver, not a chance.)

Zephyr ahead of me on the trail. He trots on then turns and makes certain I’m coming. At 12 1/2 years old, he can still trek ahead. This makes me SO happy.

A little trouble on the big rocks at the end. Agility is best kept to the flat trail.

Coming back on the high road. Having fun in the setting sun.

We made it! Zephyr gets the rock ‘n’ roll dog award for this trek. Our celebratory photo.  Every single time we can still make this trek I feel blessed.

d, xo

Read Full Post »

Sacramento has been stuck beneath its famous winter fog for weeks. So, when the sun came out for the whole weekend, we ran outside to meet it.

I have two enormous lavender bushes. They smell wonderful. The bees love them, yet all I want is to be able to see the bird bath from my office window. Last week I picked up some old fashion hedge trimmers at an estate sale. Lavender #1 got a serious hair cut.

 Saturday, I did my annual post-Christmas trip to SMUD (Sacramento Municiple Utility District) where they offer free wood chips to the public. Yard smells of pine trees. 🙂

Weeding around the compost boxes I pulled up a rogue red potato. Yummy.

Refilled the bird bath, a popular watering hole for the local blue jays and chickadees. And now I can watch them from my window. 🙂

I hesitantly trimmed back the Chinese Lanterns. Saved these few flowers for the window sill.


Out at the river, Zephyr couldn’t be happier. At nearly 12 years old, he is still a spry & handsome dude.

Trying to capture the both of us on our own, a tricky photo-op, but we’re both happy to be out in the sun.


Thank you sunshine, d xo

Read Full Post »

Sometimes the smallest events are the biggest productions. Zephyr and I went to the river tonight and this is what happened:

1. It’s helpful when going walking to REMEMBER YOUR WALKING SHOES.

2. Flip flops are not walking shoes, but you make the best of it.

3. We saw the COYOTE! It was good to see her. I miss her. I decided to grab Zephyr although he whined and barked to get to her. Reasons: A) Zephyr is older now and I don’t know how she will react as they haven’t “seen” each other in nearly a year. B) Although it is the same place we have always seen her and it looks like her, I don’t absolutely know it is her. Z doesn’t need another coyote chomping. We watched, whimpered and smiled from 10 yards. She was hunting lizards, completely unfazed.

This isn’t her, but she looks like this, more browns, skinnier, long snout.

4. The riparian forest has grown so high you can barely see the river from the dirt road now. Maybe, come winter when the leaves fall.

5. My feet are so going to hurt after walking the rocks.

6. I went to the fig tree and it was swollen with fruit! I did remember by tote, so I picked as many as I could carry, ate a few more, then all sticky fingered started back.  (Back home I called my dad, “We have more figs.” Tomorrow, food swap.)

7. We walked back along the river. Zephyr swam, I soaked my feet and dragged my toes through the cold mud. Quieting.

8. Walking back, Zephyr ate something I don’t even want to say, it was that gross. I was so pissed.  Damn, dog!

9. Back in the jeep all harnessed up Zephyr threw-up  all over the back. Jeep smells gross. Good news: it was on a blanket. Good news two: better there than on the carpet at home, which is where he usually pukes.

10. Pass on trip to Trader Joes for goat cheese and eggs, as suddenly those things don’t sound appetizing anymore.

11. Home: washing figs, running washer, cooking pasta. Zephyr put himself to bed. He’s kicking his feet against the hardwood floor. Maybe, he’s dreaming of the coyote. It was good to see her.


Read Full Post »

Out walking in the park, I was trying to get a photo of Zephyr and myself. It just wasn’t working. A kind man offered to help. He got this nice shot on the first try. Thank you!

Look at that handsome man. And me in my new green wool cap. It’s an Oliver Twist look for certain. What a pair. 😉

d. xxoo

Read Full Post »

I’ve been spending a lot of my weekends visiting family. We do all those things my mother tried to get us to do as children but hated: family picnics, hikes, leisurely togetherness. It took me many, many years to appreciate these things. Now I do.

The foothills have put on a spectacular show of autumn. This trail is one of my favorites. It curves, winds, climbs, then descends into the darkest woods that make me expectant of a roguish Aragorn on horseback–a girl can dream.

I assumed my mother hauled the family out here, so close to their home, often, but she doesn’t. I was shocked. Maybe,  it’s my turn to round the troops for family outings. No one would have guessed me for this job. Irony can be so illuminating.

I managed to snap a few photos. The family ladies didn’t want to be blogged. So private we tend to be, each in our different ways. Mom shot Zephyr and I next to the foot bridge.  Look at all the leaves. Can you smell them?

The ladies across the bridge. Their sentry, Zephyr prepared to stave of the enemy.

The leaves, water, moss, fallen trees, bark, mulch, rocks, all absorbed any noise. So very quiet. Heavenly.

Up river from the bridge, the stream trickles down from a place only animals can go. No foot falls allowed.  Some places should remain secret, private, mythical. 🙂

It was a nice day, d.

Read Full Post »

The sun came out yesterday, but it was breezy, chilly and the most spectacular clouds joined in. It was the perfect weather day.
First, Zephyr & I walked to the cafe for coffee. We stopped to visit Shadow’s tree. It’s getting big; spring buds are showing. The cafe garden is showing signs of spring too. The yarrow & rosemary are  blossoming. Good time to make rosemary bread.  Reminds me of home.
top-of-shadows-tree-clouds1cafe-garden1coffee & paper 

Read Full Post »

I want to write a very long reflection on these days but I can’t. I need to stay off the computer, which is the hardest thing for me to do.

I haven’t had a migraine in two lethargic days. My pain went away, but my energy and emotional stamina is zapped. Still, I have come up for air and gotten a glimpse of the big picture again. It’s a start.

I went to the acupuncturist. What I wanted was something as simple as lying my body down on a comfortably warm table and getting plugged from head to toe in needles and sleep. What I did was fill out miles of overly personal biological info, get questioned for eons, then diagnosed into the gutter. Apparently, he tells me, with a frown, I am in bad shape. Well, no kidding. Anemia, hypoglycemia, hormones, thyroid, muscles carved in brick, etc, etc. He thinks I’m allergic to wheat, wants me to live on meat and vegetables ALONE for 3 WEEKS. No coffee, no bread, no nuts, raisins, cereal, yogurt, cheese. . . Can I re-mention the “no coffee” statement. I have little left, that I love, to give up. Finally, he got to the acupuncture and it helped, so much so, that I went out to the co-op, investigated things like “gluten-free” bread, wheat free cereal. I bought Omega-3 vitamins. I bought salmon, decaf, tofu, soy dogs. This isn’t brand new, it’s just brand new, again.

acupuncture by hradcanska, flickr

Life seems to be a series of endless starting-overs. Maybe, it’s just my life. My motivation, determination, memory, ebbs and flows. My only constant, that no one ever has to tell me to do, is walk the dog. I love to walk, really long, long walks, where no one can find me, where I can’t see or hear another soul. That’s hard to do in a city, but I make the effort for sanity.

My migraine is creeping back. I can feel it in the far splinters of my head, just a twitch. I took a long hot, submerged bath. wrapped my neck and head in Tiger Balm, took Advil, drank water, covered my eye, and yet, here I am typing! Writing is also about sanity. I don’t know what migraines are about.

Back to my pillow. I’m going back to the acupuncturist. I will let him talk about wheat, allergies, vitamins, diets, stress and hormones, while he sticks pins in my head, and I drift beneath it all, take a long walk in my mind with Zephyr down a long dirt road where it’s quiet and I can’t hear anything but the birds and the wind.

Read Full Post »

I’ve decided the  universe is just not on my side right now and the best thing I can do is just ride it out. My car broke down again today, in the rain, after paying a boat load to have it repaired last week. Grrr. . .

The good news is I was fairly close to home, the tow truck showed up fast and it stopped raining long enough for me to have a good long walk home from the mechanic. I needed that cold, long walk. Walking is what keeps me grounded. Yeah, knees! Yeah, feet! Thank you.

Walking is when I think, get ideas, ruminate about life. Walking the miles home made me think about being a kid, living in the mountains and having to walk when your car is stuck in the snow, the plow hasn’t come for days,  the roads are jammed, blocked, barricaded. We walked. We hitch hiked. We skied, to work, the store, school, wherever. And we usually froze our asses off doing it. Coffee shops were filled with thawing cold bodies drinking hot coffee, while coats and boots dripped onto the floor, steaming up the room, smelling like bacon, coffee and wet dog.

photo by TampenDigging out downtown by Tampen

Urban life in the flat lands offers–dare I say–to much at our finger tips. We don’ t have to physically trudge for too much. I’m thinking in particular about shoveling out the driveway to get the car–or finding the car in the first place, digging it out, using a crow bar to get the door open if you were smart enough NOT to lock it the night before. If you did, you’re screwed.

Cutting, hauling and stacking wood isn’t a necessity here, just trip the heater switch: insta’ heat. (I do like that by the way, but not a lot of gratification involved.) No deck to shovel–I don’ t miss that, but hot soup and sandwiches taste so much better when you’ve cleared mounds of icy snow.

When I was in my teens, a boy who liked me,  showed up at our house, climbed up on the roof (2 stories high) and shoveled for hours, until, apparently,  he fell off onto the hardpack. (I wasn’t even home to appreciate the gesture! Or haul him into the house.  My sister said he limped away down the road slowly, looking rather pained. You know he appreciated whatever he ate and drank that night. He certainly earned it.

I guess this ruminating is nostalgia. I don’ t know if I loved this harder life when I had it, even though I may have been stronger–better, for it. And would I take it back now? Not so sure. I’ll go stand on the insta’ heater and think about it.


Read Full Post »