Project Athena Fundraiser


Gentle readers, I would love your help!

In the grand semi/sporadic tradition that I started back in 2002 when I walked in my first of three Breast Cancer 3-day events, I am back on the walking trail again in 2016.

(No, I will not and have not stopped running, but I did take a much needed rest from the longer runs after my 3rd 1/2 marathon in a 5 months time span earlier this year!)

First, here’s the fundraising page – I plan to raise $3,000 to participate as a Supportive Goddess in this event. It is *only* 50 miles over 2 days (hahahahaha…yeah…”only”…) and the route sounds just breathtaking Oceanside Harbor to San Diego Harbor so if you know that coastal trail, you know it is pretty stunning! The Athena who I am supporting is my friend Angela who has courageously bounced back from several back surgeries after being thrown from a horse a few years ago. She is a shining example of someone who is moving forward from surviving to thriving and I am honored to be able to walk with her 🙂



I’m talking about it


We interrupt the December theme of ornaments and recipes for this dark shot of reality.

It’s political, but it shouldn’t be, so I have to get my thoughts out here.

Friday’s tragedy in Newtown Connecticut was devastating. The nation has reacted in sadness and with empathy for the families who have suffered and unimaginable amount of pain. So it has been on everyone’s mind in some form.

Yesterday while driving past an elementary school on the way to our Sunday morning trail run, just the sight of the school gave me chills and brought tears to my eyes. I have no connection to that school, know no one there, but just seeing a place that is supposed to be filled with innocence and learning and knowing how one was shattered just a few days before shook me deeply.

This morning I received a message from the high school principal where 16 attends school. He was re-assuring the parents about all the precautionary steps they take to keep our kids safe.

It was a stark reminder that our children have never known a time when they didn’t have to go through lock down drills to guard against school shootings.

I never endured those. I had fire drills and earthquake drills, but I was blessed to go to school AFTER the nuclear drill scares and BEFORE the school shootings started.

For whatever reason the drills I did go through didn’t particularly frighten me. Mostly because there was a sense that the cause was “natural” (I put that in quotes since obviously fires can be started by humans but I think you get the gist of it, right?). What we were training for were things not under human control. It wasn’t that HUMANS were trying to harm us, it was the weather or nature or basically non-human related events.

In this child’s mind anyway. Those drills didn’t teach me to fear random humans. But those lock down drills sure do.

It’s domestic terrorism. Plain and simple. But there is no cause they are fighting for. No specific group we can target to guard against. Nope, it’s just random acts of terror simply because a violently inclined disturbed mind has easy access to weapons that can kill more and more people more accurately and faster than ever. It can be a mall, a church, a school, a workplace, a community gathering, a movie theater, a beauty salon, etc etc etc. Any place where people gather as they go about their regular day.

It’s infuriating and as the President said last night at the memorial service in Newtown – it has GOT to stop.

So, let’s talk about what everyone says we shouldn’t talk about yet, but that which if we do not talk about NOW, will never get talked about because there will be yet another shooting resetting the “you can’t talk about this yet!” clock.

(did ya get that? yeah, I didn’t either but that’s kind of the point)

Here’s my personal take on guns: They should not be easier to obtain than a driver’s license and a car.

I am not the first one to say this and I know there have already been people writing about how the desire to own a military style weapon is just like the desire to own a Ferrari. It’s just a high end gun/car! Why should that be banned?

Well, because cars are not guns, that’s why (apples..oranges…ya know)

Cars are not built TO KILL. Yes, when not operated properly, they DO kill…but…that is not their primary purpose. The car I drive has been on the road for over 10 years and 140,000 miles and hasn’t harmed a soul. Ok, perhaps a bug or two and that one lizard (ick) but you get the drift. Yes, I know many gun owners will say that the guns in their locked cabinets have not harmed anyone either. I know that. But WHY were they even built? What is their main purpose? To cause harm.

So why is it easier to get a gun than a car?

I have just helped my 16 year old through the process of obtaining his driver’s license. First an online training course that took many hours and a test before he could get behind the wheel. Then 6 hours of professional training and several dozens of hours practicing in between. Then another test. Now he has his license, but he is still not driving. Why? No car yet. He needs insurance which is expensive as any parent knows. And there is the matter of buying a car and having the money to put gas in it, etc etc.

Now, I fully support the right to bear arms. But a RIGHT does not translate to NO REGULATION. There are still some conditions that I believe should be met in order for my neighbors and I to possess weapons designed solely to cause harm. Conditions and training and yes, LIMITS to the types of weapons and ammunition you can own.

After all, there are vehicles that are not street legal. There are vehicles that are only driven by law enforcement or the military.

Look, I know many responsible gun owner’s. They love their guns. One person is a collector. It’s her primary issue that she be able to keep what she owns. But guess what? They don’t have military grade weapons and ammunition clips or enough ammunition to BE their own army. Guns are locked over THERE and bullets over HERE. Responsible. Exercising their right to bear arms as it should be.

I fully support being able to keep things that way.

But I do NOT support keeping things as they are now with little to no consistent regulation on who can purchase a gun, where and what kind. The same applies to ammunition.

We cannot watch yet another senseless tragedy go by without an honest conversation about what we can do to prevent these. And then we must translate the conversations to action.

I think, I HOPE, that the world just sent a message to the President and Congress about what this next term of theirs should be focusing on. And I hope they stay focused, and stop letting lobbyists rule their votes. They represent the people, the children, of this country. And it is time they show it.

Oct 11 – I do believe it is finally Fall!


(Pictures taken on the way into work on Wednesday morning)

I know, according to the calendar it has *been* Fall.

But, if you are a regular reader you know that there has been a lot of whining around here about the long, long, hot, humid summer temps we’ve had from June-now. Very unusual.

However, I went out for a run after work on Tuesday and dare I say it? I was actually a little bit cold at first! Damn that’s refreshing!

Then there’s the colors. No, not the leaves on the trees (though yes, we do have a few that change here)…no…it’s the ocean. When Fall finally arrives, it is a different color. So is the sky. There is just an extra SNAP or SPARKLE or crispness in the air.

And it’s beautiful.

Yes, there are ominous clouds, but those were gone by mid-day and it was rather warm again, but not oppressively hot. The sun was hot, but the air was still crisp.


A storm is supposed to arrive on Thursday night. Yes, actual rain! Oh, that will be fantastic!


Of course, it will soon be time to Fall Back with our clocks and then I will lose even the little bit of after work daylight I have to run right now. I’m sure I will whine about that.

Of course, it will soon be so cold that I will, by default, whine about THAT too 🙂

But for now, I will savor these last few days of waning summer length daylight and pleasantly cool fall temps.

And a commute that makes it REALLY hard to keep on driving UP that hill and into my basement level office.

Catnip party!


It’s been awhile since I did some classic cat blogging, therefore I shall pander to the feline loving masses with photos from last night’s catnip party. After a couple nights in a row of the very loud late night/early morning cat fights and gallops up and down the stairs and hissing and growling at the foot of my bed, I decided it was time to break out catnip and mellow out at least one of them. Amber has always been a ‘nip head and I knew she would roll around on the new scratcher and love it forever if I sprinkled some on there. Chip normally turns his nose up at it, but has recently been more tempted and I *really* need him to love the scratchers so he can keep his deformed claws under control (one became ingrown again last week – ugh!) So, I sprinkled some liberally around on both, grabbed the camera and stood back to watch the show.

PSA – I do not condone this kind of behavior in humans – most of the time anyway 🙂

Nose buried in the 'nip.

Staring off into the distance as the high takes over

Such a disgraceful mess!

What? I'm fine. I can get up anytime I want!

Or, maybe not.

oooog...this stuff was stronger than I thought!

I swear...ung...I can get up...grunt

Maybe I just don't care to get up

Side by side 'nip snorting his 'nip better than mine?

Rawr! That's MY 'nip! Go'way!

Did she leave? I can haz 'nip all to myself nao?

snorf snorf snorf

Thank you mommy, this is some very good 'nip!

Didn't I tell you to get your own?

Not that I care right now. I'm pretty wasted.

See? We can be nice and take turns!

And that is pretty much how it went for about 30 minutes. Needless to say, they slept SOUNDLY through the night – and so did I!


I haven’t forgotten my hiking and birding site. I just haven’t been in ages! Thankfully some friends came to visit forcing me to get out on the trails with my new camera – enjoy!

Torrey Pines Reflections

The slideshow below is from a rather late afternoon hike at the trails of Torrey Pines with friends of min who were visiting from Wisconsin. I’ve talked and blogged about this place so much that now out of town visitors request outings here 🙂 Of course I am happy to share especially since it got me out there for the first time in months AND with my new camera. The lighting variations depending on time of year and time of day up there are so wonderful. Some of these shots look more like paintings than photos. Enjoy!

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Forever and ever. (via Be gay about it.)


Because sometimes when I read a post by Erika, I just want to share it with the world. There have been many – but you’ve got to read this one for sure.

Forever and ever. The lobby lights ablaze behind me turned the night outside to graphite, cold, invisible, even as I pressed my forehead to the glass to see which car Jenn had hurried to in the parking lot. My heart thundered, one thousand butterflies beating wings for that first, ultimate moment of all of this to hurry up and be over. We had waited two hours in that lobby, twelve months through the torrent of paperwork and questions that precede a foster-to-adopt … Read More

via Be gay about it.