what a year

January 1, 2012, was for sure the lowest day of my year. Because of a major life change, I closed my old blog and started this one. With a few notable exceptions, things have looked up ever since. Here’s the year in review.

Charlie @ 80

In mid January, I flew to Australia to celebrate my Dad’s 80th, along with every one of his children, grand children, and great grand children. Special? Yep.

View from my bed

When I got back, I moved into my Topanga treehouse. I have never loved a home more. I’d been saying for 15 years that I should live in Topanga; I don’t know what took me so long!

march 12

In March I cut my hair really short (as women do, after breakups). I also spent the entire month back in the conjugal home, caring for L, while her dad was working out of town. It was weird to go back so soon after leaving. A very odd month, it was. It culminated with an awesome adventure with L. in Lake Tahoe.


In April I went to New Orleans for the first time. I met a blog friend. I drank hurricanes. I held a (baby) alligator. I taught at a conference, and liked it.

Goofy Dave

May was friendship month. I joined Mensa, and met Annette. Louise came to visit. So did David. I joined a bunch of Meetups, and hiked a lot. And spent a night in the ER with L.

How to unwind

I spent a lot of time outdoors in June. I had a pre-melanoma cut out of my back. And I met a guy while giving blood, who asked me out. We had a few dates, and it was nice. Nothing came of it, but it made me realize that I might just be ready for a relationship.

Leaping off the Bridge to Nowhere

In July I finally visited the Bridge to Nowhere. I met a bunch of Topanga neighbours, and made three dresses. I smiled a lot.

Sunrise, Joshua Tree

In August I went to both San Antonio and Joshua Tree. Good times, good times.

boy and dog 1974

In September, I met a Malibu man. With a dog. I’m thinking he’s a keeper. And the dog? Well, she’s a keeper too.

full moon rise over Colorado River

In October I spent time in Ojai and Picacho. In between, Elizabeth came to visit. Happy times.


November saw me at my sewing machine, crafting Christmas gifts galore, which I mostly failed to photograph. In between, I enjoyed a lot of Malibu sunsets, and shared many delicious meals. Really, does it get much better than that?


December brought an unscheduled visit DownUnder to bury a kind-souled tragic-eyed brother. My heart aches for him. But the year ended on a sweet note, enjoying fine food and laughter with friends, and exploring the central coast with my guy and his dog (blog post on this subject to follow.)

Without a doubt, I’m ending the year in a much happier place than I started it. My one little word for 2012 was healthy, and by every indication (weight, strength, emotions — ok maybe not financial) I’m healthier now.

Here’s to a great 2013.

hint of more to come


It’s late. I am only part way through editing photos of my central coast getaway. This one will have to do, for now.

::: happy sigh :::

12 days of christmas

one little word


I’ve been thinking about my one little word for 2013.

Previous words have been:
2007: Learn
2009: Feed
2010: Move
2011: Listen
2012: Healthy

Watching this little girl at the pub the other night, asking a stranger to teach her how to play pool, inspired me. My next one little word might just be ‘open’.

right now

"Look! I have the key!"

Right now I am …

listening to the rain gurgling down the gutters
happy to be safely back in my treehouse near the end of a 40 hour day
delighted that I got to spend a few days with a five year old girl, whose exuberance and fascination with the world reminded me of how to live a life*
deeply glad that I made the trip downunder to be with family and honour Geoff’s passing
grateful that I had the means to do so
very very tired. good night.

*”Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” — Mary Oliver

sending him off

The guard of honour

The funeral was nearly over when the bikers arrived. When we heard the revving engines, my siblings and I looked at each other and grinned. We had NOT been enjoying the Mass (requested by a religious member of the family), so this raucous cacophony was most welcome.

Geoff’s mates headed the funeral procession to the crematorium, then joined us at the pub for his wake.

Troy & Adrian

Phil & Ken


Troy, Adrian, Duane, Phil, Ken, Millsy … thanks for helping us send him off. You made the day so much happier.

Dan, Annette, Hashi, Charlie

rollin’ rollin’ rollin’


Do you remember when, presented with a smooth grassy slope, all you could do was roll down it?

Do you?

I do.

and we will all become sand




We gather here in a beachside town on Australia’s west coast to console each other, to remember our brother/son/uncle, and to honour him. An oft-repeated refrain is how glad we are for that joyful weekend this past January when we celebrated Charlie’s 80th. It’s so important that a family gather in good times, not just sad.

Don’t let it be at a funeral that you next hug your siblings and tell them you love them. Do it soon.

heading downunder


Bags are packed. Ready for a long and lonely 15,000 km flight, to be with family in this sad time.