Another Birthday. Lots of good wishes, emotions and “70”

I’m probably not alone in being emotional when my birthday comes along. This year was an especially difficult one. Not sure if it was because it was the “Big 70”. When I think about my birthday the next day, it is just one more day! Did I have unrealistic expectations? I don’t think so. Or is it the fact that I feel I need to make some decisions, and I am not sure what I want. Do I want to travel? Really? And time marches on. Faster and faster.

Much can be attributed to the very real loss of my darling Libby. When it was apparent that Liberty would not be getting better the very tough decision was made. This has caused me so much sadness. My very first dog, and Libby was such a good girl. The sadness comes over me at different times of the day and night. We didn’t have enough time together. My wise granddaughter told me that Libby was there for me when I was going through the tough times over the past 9 years. And now the tough times will be followed by good times. Libby did her job! And she did it so well. But I do feel a big void coming into my house these days. It can’t be helped.

My sweet Liberty Love

June is an interesting month to have a birthday. With the start of warm (often hot) weather there is a need to adjust wardrobe, and see what still works after another year. When still in school I can remember having to take finals on my birthday. As a teacher/librarian there was all the rush to conclude the year. Papers to grade, report cards and paperwork to complete, book returns, inventory and budgets. June was a time to end things.

June is also a time to change up the daily schedule. As a mother when June comes around, summer plans all of a sudden must be made. How to keep kids busy. This transition from very busy to leisure time throws me off.

As an adult June can be just another month. Five months into the year so the year 2019 isn’t new any more. Almost halfway through the year.

I noticed more of my contemporaries are talking about “Bucket Lists”. I’m not sure if I ever had one. What do I want to accomplish? Do I need a goal? I know myself, and I am better when I am busy, but not too busy to feel stressed. I think that I will have a plan to do at least one thing daily. This way I won’t let my emotions get the better of me when I have quiet down time to think. Think positive!

I retired in 2005. Fourteen years ago. My husband of 49 years retired in 2009. Ten years ago. I can hardly believe it. With both of us at home it was the right time to add a dog to our home. Best decision for us! Libby was my happy place. Always ready to show us a wag.

Liberty Love

I know that I want to have a dog in my life. So I am already thinking about what puppy breed is in our future. I’m thinking of an English Lab (any color but black), Labradoodle, or Lagotto Romagnolo. If I can clarify this decision and find a reputable breeder I “may” be able to wait until spring.

Good bye my sweet Libby Love

Simple breakfast interrupted

Each morning I wake up to my dear husband bringing me fresh squeezed orange juice. Right now we are just picking the last of the oranges off of our tree.

This morning I awoke to the sound of my grass being mowed. Thought, since I’m not sleeping in I may as well make French toast for me and my husband. I haven’t made breakfast in forever. Usually French toast using rye bread is something I reserve for my grandchildren.

I have patiently taught all my grandchildren how to make French toast.

Eli making French Toast


But it hasn’t occurred to me to just make it for us grownups. But this time I just felt like starting the day off in grand style. Table set, coffee made, orange from our tree sliced, real maple syrup poured, and French toast cooked.

And just as I was ready to drink my coffee and read the paper I glanced down at my Libby Love and noticed a large red gash on her foot. OMG.

Libby Love

Called the vet, and had 15 minutes (for a 25 minute drive) to get her to the doctor. Once there, the doctor took one look and said, “This is bad!” The toe will need to be amputated. There is nothing left to stitch up. I did not expect this outcome.

We left her there, and waited at home to hear that she was out of surgery. In a few minutes we will be picking up my darling dog. Libby has been through so much since November. What we thought was a blown out knee turned into either a bone infection, or tumor. Now I suspect that it is a tumor that is increasingly pressing on her nerve. My guess is that she doesn’t understand why her foot feel wrong.

My dear little, very expensive cone head, Libby

I know what that means, because I am just 4 weeks from my spinal surgery. No such surgery available for my poor dog. Now we have recovery time and hope that she doesn’t do this again.

Healing Time

I watched my Dad pass away. Arthur Rubinstein died on Tuesday September 13, 2016 at 5:25 a.m. The days that followed either seemed to fly by in a blur or stand still. I can’t decide. The funeral took place two days later as part of Jewish tradition. The family gathered and a few friends of mine from the Second Generation community joined me. My Dad wanted, and received a Jewish burial in  Home of Peace Cemetery  in Sacramento. Rabbi Taff performed a meaningful service and my brothers Edward and Alan, son Joshua and I spoke.

Cards of condolence, emails, and hugs come to me. If I haven’t said this personally, thank you for keeping me in your thoughts.

My friend Anne organized a nice meal of condolence. By the next day family departed for home. That part was hard.

I need to help my Mom adapt to life without her husband of 69 years. Now my focus is on my Mom. She is 91 years old, and her memory and grasp of the present changes. I visit with Mom each day.

My emotions are on hold for now. Each morning before I get out of bed my Dad is with me. So many good memories to think about. But then I get out of bed, and start planning the day with my Mom. The next few weeks will be hard. The High Holidays are upon us. And then feeling lost on what would have been his 98th birthday on October 9th.

My dog Libby is put to work. Each day we head over to FountainWood. Libby is the perfect happy therapy dog. She loves the attention. Perfect behavior around the residents, and  the staff welcome her. Best of all Libby provides needed distraction for me and my mother.

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My Libby Love

I have so much to say, and yet it is hard to put anything meaningful online. I have photographs I plan to put together in my story board, but it is still too soon. I look at the pictures, and my mind freezes. So I will close and mull over my thoughts some more.

My Dad shared his love of photography with me. So I leave this post with a photograph of my Dad with his camera. I love you Dad.

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Grass Valley Street Scenes

I do not photograph a lot of architecture, but when in Grass Valley the subject presents itself. At first I wanted to capture the building itself. Flag flying, columns, an official seal. But without specialized lenses the buildings are leaning in all kinds of directions. I don’t know what is happening with the building on the right!

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Nevada County Bank

The only information I could find about this building is that in 2015 this building was up for sale. The architecture’s classic style really shows through in this second photo.

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I love the dome!

This Grass Valley Public Library has a classic look. At first I took a photograph eliminating parked cars, but with the cars the library feels used. After leaving Rough and Ready I didn’t want a ghost town feel for this library.

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Grass Valley Public Library

This Art Deco theatre continues to serve as a theatre since 1940. Not sure which photo does it justice. Cars or traffic? In this case I may have opted for no traffic. What do you think?

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This is another view of the theatre. Now imagine the scene with cars from the 1940’s?

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Couldn’t resist taking a picture of the very mellow dog.

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Bernese Mountain Dog

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Some eye candy I found in a little shop on Mill Street

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Cute onesie in a shop window. Note the CAPITAL letters!

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A perfect bench fit for some ice cream

Less than 5 minutes away is the North Star Mining Museum. Visiting at the end of the day does not do this museum justice. This is a small museum packed with history about gold mining. I taught 4th grade for many years and in the spring the main focus was the California Gold Rush. I’m sorry that I did not know about this place. The friendly volunteers are very knowledgeable. And there is so much to take in that I know I will be back, and stop here earlier in the day.

Wolf Creek runs along the museum, and I took some time to photograph the running water with a slow shutter speed.  I like the way the sun plays upon the water, creating colors. I see a face peeking out on the right. Do you?

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Wolf Creek

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Wonder about this stone sculpture in Wolf Creek. Looks like a whale on top to me.

This is just a tiny sample of this museum. This assay office and its importance to gold mining was explained in detail.

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Assay Office

30 foot Pelton Wheel is an original working machine. This museum was built around this wheel. It is amazing to see in person. All types of mining equipment is found at the museum, along with the effect of mining on the environment, economy and the people of the region.

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30 foot Pelton Wheel

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Humble beginnings.

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Just liked the patterns

I will be back to see more of this little North Star Mining Museum. Yes siree!!!