musings, thoughts, and writings of Barbara W. Klaser

October 9, 2007

Yearning for fall

I’m in one of those quiet times when I think about things to write, and sometimes even write them, but I don’t post. So the blog is quiet. This is not an apology. I’ve decided that irregular blogging doesn’t require apology. It usually means we’re living more outside the blog or the Internet, and that is often for the best.

We’re getting our typical early fall weather, which isn’t really fall at all, but an evaporated extension of summer. A few cool, rainy days fooled us into thinking this autumn might turn out otherwise, but not so. Now we’re getting the really dry weather that saps the moisture out of every living thing, including me. My skin doesn’t like it, my hair doesn’t like it, and neither does the rest of me. Every contact with a metal object results in a little blue spark, making me cautious and twitchy. Maybe that caution extends to writing and is what keeps me from posting.

This is the time of year that I envy those who live where fall turns spectacular colors. Here we get drab yellowing, and maybe a little dull orange if the leaves don’t dry up and blow away in a Santa Ana wind before they have a chance to turn. I love fall colors, so I gravitate toward pictures of true autumn, and I’m grateful to all the bloggers in other places who share their photos of fall. Fall is my favorite season, and I crave as much as I can get.

— Barbara @ rudimentary 2:02 pm PST, 10/09/07

June 12, 2007

Jacaranda blooming season

Jacaranda 02

The jacarandas are blooming in my neighborhood. They’re not natives here, but enough are planted in coastal Southern California that they sometimes seem to be natives, filling the landscape with lavender blossoms every May and June. Even with none planted in our yard, every direction I look I can see a jacaranda blooming. (Click on images to view larger.)

This period of late spring and early summer is one of my favorite times, when we have gray overcast or fog in the mornings, and sometimes all day. These weather conditions are nicknamed May Gray and June Gloom, or more correctly called coastal eddies. The clouds linger for at least part of the day, with a cool ocean breeze, sometimes followed by clear blue skies all afternoon. I relish every minute of this until summer’s heat sets in. I want to stay outdoors for hours at a stretch, or do the heavier housework that is best done with all the windows open, until summer’s heat makes me want to sit near an air conditioner and do nothing.

Jacaranda 03 Jacaranda 04

Jacaranda 05 Jacaranda 01

— Barbara @ rudimentary 12:45 pm PST, 06/12/07

October 26, 2006

Yellow skies

Fire season in Southern California. The sky is yellow, smoke lingering like fog in the sky, the sun orange, and our windows closed. A wildfire burning in Cabazon, near Palm Springs, has killed three firefighters. Santa Ana winds have blown much of the smoke in our direction. This creates a surreal world in which we’re not sure from one minute to the next whether the fire is still far up in the neighboring county, or a new one has flared up in our own neighborhood. I try to keep my mind off it, but the smell has seeped into the house, and it’s difficult to ignore — a constant reminder to pray for the firefighters.

— Barbara @ rudimentary 1:03 pm PST, 10/26/06

July 29, 2006

After a gray morning with lonesome gusts of wind

The heatwave broke, yesterday, leaving me with a slightly higher tolerance for the summer’s warmth. I didn’t flinch when the temperature rose to 83 in the house today. It’s nothing to me now.

The sky today has been mostly gray, thick clouds parting to reveal a diaphanous, silvery powder blue in places. Finally the clouds shrink to gray puffs against that blue this afternoon. A gust of wind now and then sets everything in motion, tumbling through wind chimes.

I always feel better once the first heat wave of summer passes, with a new higher range of personal comfort, and the assurance that I can make it through to autumn. Autumn here begins late. We always used to spend the first weeks of school with sweaty palms and skin sticking to the varnished chairs and desks. Around Halloween, the air finally cools enough for sweaters at night, at the same time kids dress up to make their ghoulish rounds. Three months to go.

— Barbara @ rudimentary 3:43 pm PST, 07/29/06

July 11, 2006

Order and chaos

The cat’s litter box is clean. That mundane detail isn’t your favorite sentence I’ve ever written, I’m sure. Mine either. But my day often seems to revolve around whether that task has been accomplished, and what comes after it. I go through a list of chores, on the days I think to make one, eventually reaching the line that has to do with writing, after checking off a lot of other stuff. Today writing comes after important things like the cat’s box, which is of utmost importance to her, though slightly less to us except through our affection for her, since we don’t use it and it’s out in the garage, easy for us to forget. Vacuuming comes next, mostly pet hair this time of year. That task must be accomplished while the day is still cool enough to have windows open, or not at all. A late-in-the-day shower will be in order, after all the creepy stuff on the list is done. (Bear with me, I do have a point here, this isn’t merely a run-through of my chores.) (more…)

— Barbara @ rudimentary 10:57 am PST, 07/11/06

May 10, 2006

Gone Fishing

I’m internalizing a lot right now, I guess. I haven’t been blogging, and it’s not a reflection on my ideas, or my fellow bloggers, or commenters, but just that I’m internalizing and letting my thoughts gestate right now. Working on the novel, tweaking, tying loose ends, all that fun stuff.

Funny how we go through times like this. Lots going on inside, not much coming out (in the blog).

I’m sure that as soon as I’m done with this little fallow blogging period you’ll be hearing a lot more from me. Meanwhile, when I am online (haven’t been much lately) I will try to get around and visit you all more and make sure I comment. Happy blogging!

Meanwhile the cat wants dinner, it feels like spring today instead of winter, and we have a new neighbor, called Phainopepla, who is really quite awe inspiring and graceful.

— Barbara @ rudimentary 4:11 pm PST, 05/10/06

March 19, 2006

Spring anyone?

Tomorrow is the vernal equinox, and that’s a little hard for me to believe right now. We’re used to getting May Gray and June Gloom here near the coast of Southern California, because of the coastal eddies. But this winter has hit us harder and later than usual. It doesn’t appear to want to leave yet. There was snow in the mountains just last week. Up the street, someone’s irises started to bloom a few days ago, but they shriveled over one cold night. Now they prepare to bloom again. Will they?

The cat still scrunches up against the wall heater each morning and evening, and she chases patches of sunlight coming in the windows during the day. A couple of days ago I watched her pat a bright spot on the carpet with a paw, then lie down on it, fur fluffed out. She’s an older cat, so perhaps she dramatizes the situation. Maybe I do, too. But this doesn’t feel like the day before spring to me. Not at all. We had a cold rain late in the day, with the clouds parting toward sunset. Maybe tomorrow will convince me. How’s the weather in your part of the world?

— Barbara @ rudimentary 11:06 am PST, 03/19/06

February 11, 2006

Fond memories, anxiety, and back to the book

Yesterday brought news of a death in the family, of a beloved aunt—actually my mom’s cousin. She lived in Oregon, and I hadn’t seen her much since I was a kid. But all my memories of her are fond ones, and I miss her, and I know her two daughters and son and grandchildren miss her an awful lot. I hope she, her husband, my mom, and all the other relatives who’ve gone on before are having a happy reunion on the other side. I can almost hear them, and I like that thought. It brings back memories of family get togethers when I was a kid and would sometimes sit and listen to all the grownups talk and tell stories.


After a quiet day yesterday, I woke early this morning (early for me, anyway), to sirens, thinking I’ve never lived in a place with so many sirens, even when we rented within a couple miles of Montgomery Field and one of the busiest intersections in San Diego. But here we’re right off the main road that runs through town. This morning the sirens were especially disconcerting, and I decided maybe I’d had too much coffee.

— Barbara @ rudimentary 2:02 pm PST, 02/11/06

February 5, 2006

While I wasn’t blogging

Linking the past days together— It’s Super Bowl Sunday, and I didn’t know. Isn’t that usually in January? I don’t pay attention to professional sports, and some years my only clue about when that event occurs is the date they tell you the winner of the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes will be announced, which doesn’t apply to me, since I don’t enter. If Ed McMahon shows up at my door it’s more likely to be about Neighborhood Watch, or because he just spoke to Johnny Carson and he’s heard I have an interest in contact with the other side. (more…)

— Barbara @ rudimentary 3:30 pm PST, 02/05/06

December 19, 2005

Merry Whatever and a Happy New Year

As someone who is neither pagan (though I have pagan leanings and wonder why no one capitalizes “pagan”), nor Christian (though I have Christian leanings), nor Jewish (though I have Jewish leanings), nor atheist (though I sometimes have atheist leanings, and I notice no one ever capitalizes that, either), I find the so-called “war on Christmas” disheartening. I’m not offended by Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Yule, or Merry Christmas. The “HAPPY” and “MERRY” parts are what count.

The days are too short, the nights are cold, the traffic is terrible. If you’ve ever walked through the toy department this time of year, after the crowds have picked it over, you have a special understanding of the term “Armageddon.”

— Barbara @ rudimentary 9:15 pm PST, 12/19/05

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