Pacific Grove, Monterrey, CA

There are very few spots left on this earth like Monterrey. The seals are guarded, the otters are protected, deer munch while traipsing through the streets and whales are watched.

All the while, the walking trails and town center are walkable, picturesque and clean. Basically it’s a peninsula surrounded by a bay and the Pacific Ocean. So every where you look, there’s blue water and the air is pristine and refreshing.

Lots of quaint shops and boutiques, fancy custom homes and well-tended gardens. It’s spring and the flowers just burst with abandon up in colder climes at the first hint of warm sunshine.

Road Trip 2023

Orange Poppies scattered throughout California freeways with green backgrounds and blue skies.

Central California Coast – Lupines brilliantly and naturally popping with color after our deluge of rains.

And deer just munching on front lawns and people’s perennial flowers in Pacific Grove, Monterrey Bay. One of the best beach cities I have ever visited because of its abounding nature and serene energy.

Y6 – Day 5 – Back in 2018 at the cabin – A big bear flying squirrel encounter I will call Rocky

I’m sipping hot chocolate enjoying the fresh air on a May early evening up on our treehouse balcony. I am delighted it’s neither warm nor cool, it’s just Goldilocks right. There’s no kids or noise across the street. There’s no cars driving by our busy road. There’s no neighbors on either side.

I recognize the white bright light of Venus in the sky. It’s low between the sugar pine branches to the southeast of where I am lounging.

And just like that, in a snap of a second, in an instant and flash of time, something flies from behind the east side of the house and whizzes past me and smacks into the bird feeding tree trunk. It’s another flying squirrel and this time I see it glide in full flight and I think to myself this one has to be the male because this guy slams, thank you ma’am, scrabbles up and down and causes havoc.

The other beady eyed glider is still, steady, methodical in her bird feeder attack approach and technique and watches the male with I swear, a roll of her beady eyes. So I just assume inside my own judgmental brain, she’s the female.

Y5 – Day 228 – MFK Fisher

Read MFK Fisher’s memoir, A Year in Dijon. A foodie memoirist before the word was invented. She recounts her youthful 20’s during the in between world war years of peace in France, specifically the quaint town of Dijon. Her precise observations of people and settings are laced with interesting word combinations making the descriptions even more alive. There’s just enough dialogue and inner monologue to keep the narrative flowing and just enough funny incidents to keep it light.

Highly recommend if you are a history or food aficionado. Better, if you are both.

Y5 – Day 196 – Retreat Time

Off to a retreat in Rancho Palos Verdes today on 8 acres of gardens overlooking LA after four days of rain. Constant washing of leaves brings glitter and glam to the whole scenario. Dormant clay dirt comes alive and an emerald green sprouts. Days ago the hills were brown and tan, now, they seem otherworldly.

Y5 – Day 180 – Jan. 2, 2019

No title needed. This is the time of year when we all have good intentions but I am still reviewing the past. It went so fast.

I got my wish this year and was able to spend New Year’s here in the glorious mountain hideaway I call my tree house. To be more accurate, this cabin, in its entirety, feels more like a sanctuary. Surrounded by chirping squirrels with fluffy tails, cold weather feathered friends and glistening pine needles swaying right outside my wall of windows, I am inspired to find my spiritual self.

Y5 – Day 171 – Full of Love

George Sand so succinctly stated, “There is only one happiness in life … to love and be loved.”  

Many thanks to my chickadees, one and all, who are now full-fledged songbirds. My time with them and their partners enlarge my vision, grows my heart and fills me with hope. Space and awareness lead to learning. Needed words spill into longing arms.

Our moments together this week inspired me into action. Even more important, our connections rang true and our bonds deepened.

Oakland, October 23, 2018

Y5 – Day 168 – Ocean vs. Mountain

Both the crashing, splashing of waves or waterfalls and forests (especially pine trees) emit negative ions. Negative ions deter depression or the blues. Therefore, negative ions actually uplift your mood. That’s why even if you are grieving, sitting on a beach or hiking in the woods soothes your soul.

Personally, I need the stillness I find by a mountain lake surrounded by trees. The beach is alive with noisy commotion and sometimes stirs me up, albeit positively. But a forest full of conifers alive with birds, squirrels and chipmunks dining on nuts and seeds, instills an innocent serenity I treasure.