A Winter Drive Along the Coast

Winter has arrived in California with a vengeance, not a good time for a drive along the coast.  Lashing rains, heavy winds, and floods make this an unlikely time to undertake a road trip.  The arrival of a dear cousin, weeks earlier than anticipated, changed everything.  My cousin Laurene, despite having lived in Switzerland all of her adult life, is the closest relative I have to being a sister.  We are long-term correspondents, friends from childhood on, and my good fortune to spend a week with her was due to her recent grievous loss of her…

Pandemic Puppies and Other Pets
Napoleon, Lilah, Cassidy and Roxie

Pandemic Puppies and Other Pets

Relief from stress is never far away when aided by the recent rise of pandemic puppies and other pets.  A few chewed shoes or slippers, a few accidents on the new carpet become nothing as these puppies become part of the family.  Until a few years ago, Napoleon, a shaggy, sandy little ball of fluff, was the only dog on the block.  True to his name, he ruled his small cul-de-sac, roaming from house to house, yard to yard, smelling the flowers and the scents left behind by other dogs, and occasionally, skunks or raccoons.  But…

The Ants Go Marching One by One
Autumn and Percy enjoy ant-free dinner. Photo by Murray Schneider

The Ants Go Marching One by One

This spring, the ants go marching across our kitchen floor, one by one. They are pesky, smart little guys that appear seemingly out of nowhere. The little scouts wander around, looking for something tasty. So far, the main target for these loners has been the cat food dishes. These ants leave no trace of where they come from. There is never a line or trail of marching ants to follow, just one or two scattered here and there. Ant traps placed around the perimeter of the house have had no effect on their presence. In past…

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