Saturday, June 5, 2010

house guest

My daughter has a house guest this week.

The unusual facts about this particular guest: he is from Africa; he is a pastor; son in law met him on the internet; son in law and pastor are not from the same denomination; they never met before this week.

Son in law writes a column about the 12 step program that he is associated with, pastor is an avid follower, 2/3 of a world away.

This man walks two miles to pay for internet, which he does. He lives “off grid” not because is a greenie and is experimenting with alternative living, but because that is how it is where he lives. Services we take for granted just aren't available there.

All of daughters family and the pastor will have a richly rewarding experience I am sure, and I am a wee bit envious!

I remember the joy of having one of Miriam's cousins families (I had not met them before and have not seen them since) stay with us many years ago. They were going a good drive south of us to work and we were a good stopping spot.

We were blessed.

Unfortunately, in our age of faux prosperity, we would prefer to go a professional innkeeper, so we won't inconvenience some one else, yet we would be honored to have some one visit us.

Something is getting lost along the way, I fear.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Another addendum:

I went to the court house and met with my personal assessor. Boy that makes me feel special!

She got out the satellite pictures, and I made my points.

She went back to her computer and came back with a new evaluation at a fair price. The value of all real estate is down and that was reflected in this new assessment.

That does not necessarily mean that my taxes will be less.That won't be decided until later.

My assessor made notes to guide the next assessors, in case it is not her.

Thank you.

Happy Birthday Alan

Grandson Alan was 20 yesterday.
Of course, I had hoped to find a really cute picture of him when he was 4, but my ability to loose pictures shines again.
Alan is finishing his 2nd year of college. He is a good kid, I am very proud of him.
Even though he may not agree, his eduction is just beginning!

exotic wrecks

Wrecked an expensive car lately?

I subscribe to a site called: Wrecked Exotics. They send out a fistful of pictures each week.

These are fancy, expensive cars. Some as cheap as a new Corvette, but some are in the million dollar bracket.

And they are all wrecked. Sometimes lavishly so.

There is a very brief explanation with each photograph. More often than not the owner loaned the car to a young friend, who, while driving at high speed “lost control.” Speed is almost always mentioned.

Sometimes the borrower walks away and sometimes they don't.

Another common scenario is the one where someone “test drives” the car. Sometimes it is being delivered to the owner, and sometimes the owner purchased the car earlier, but not very much.

These are not regular cars, like the rest of us drive. Being spendy, for one thing, includes the ability to go extremely fast in extremely short periods of time. The temptation abounds. Why, logic goes, should you drive at 55 or 60 when this car can easily do 200?

I know it is sick humor and I know I am demented to find any of it entertaining, but I do on both counts!

In case I have not shamed your curiosity enough yet, here is the URL:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


My friend David is healing, but slowly. He is off pain medication and is able to get around a bit more.

His head is doing fine and he is frustrated that he cannot "do" more, which is a good sign.


I did hear back from my congressman. What I need to be "appointed" the "designated payee." Wow. I have to be appointed to look after my wife. Thought my marriage license had something to do with that.


It continues to rain. We live in the desert, we get less than 10 inches of rain a year, sometimes a lot less, but this spring we have had rain. We don't get the kind of rain that is really wet, but that light rain that keeps desert rats from doing anything outside!

My shrink (if I had one) would say I was acting out my laziness.


Not my studio, but the rather romantic idea I have of a near perfect setting!

the taxman

I got a letter from the taxman yesterday.

IT was the part of the man that tells me what my property is worth so they can tax it.

Sensibly they decided my house was worth less than the year before. They even lowered the value of the lot the house sits on, which reflects a bit of good sense as well.

But the computer looked at my garden and blew a bit or byte. I have .8 of an acre (after a few right of ways are deducted) and the computer said: “Ahh, not one but two building lots!”

So they quadrupled the value of that small plot, as they kept the value of my aging shop/studio the same.

This has happened before.

I will make a trip to the proper office and ask if they would issue a couple of building permits on this valuable piece of property. They will look grim and I will smile. “It is a little scrap of land between a canal and a ditch. There is no legal access. It cannot ever be a building lot. It will always be a garden, an unsaleable one.”

They will say they will check it out and in a week or three I'll get a letter saying that indeed the property is really worth even less than it was last year.

Someone has to keep the on their toes!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Sunday, May 30, 2010


Friday the mail person came by.

Miriam brought the mail to my studio across the bridge. There was a package addressed to me!

I was not expecting a package, so I checked the return address. It was from grandson #1 (my namesake) and his wife Mandy.

I grabbed a knife to open the long rectangular box. Slit. Cut. Then I rolled the little box on it's side. It said: “FRAGILE” “PERISHABLE.”

And I knew what was inside!

David and Mandy both know my weakness for cookies, and here was a box of indivicually wrapped cookies.

They were so nice I told Miriam to take them back in the house and hide them. (The neighbor kids were in the house and Miriam feeds them more cookies than she should).

i decided we would eat them on a speial occasion!

So, thank you Mandy and David, you know that the way to my heart is through my stomach!

I remember these days with great pleasure.
Young father, young children, beautiful wife.
I loved them all -- still do!

my friend

I visited with my friend Jason yesterday.

He is moving back to Seattle. His job here went very sour and he is returning to his roots.

I met him on a camping trip, they were neighbors at the campsite. We discovered we went to the same church. I never forgot his name.

But now he is leaving. He and his adorable wife and kids. I will miss them. We are not really close friends, I have never been to his house or he to mine, but he is one of those who come into your life and add color and flavor and richness.

He moves this week

"Did you have a house to sell?" I asked.

"Yes, and we have an offer."

"One you can live with?"

"Yes, but maybe not the bank. The offerer is for half of what we paid."

That is all I know. I did not ask more, he did not offer. I do know there is a long, complex story there.

I am sure that some of the chapters are breathlessly sad.

Hope I guessed wrong, though i will never know.