Tuesday, March 27, 2007

a few days

I sit here bright and early, the a narrow stream of sun rushes in through the window and hitting only my hands as I type. I've got my coffee next to me; its liquid energy not quite seeping into the brain yet but overall, it's a good morning.

Last Thursday I took the day off of "work." I refused to do anything school related. Instead, I went down to Ventura. The drive down there is one of my favorites...a narrow strip of road between the ocean and hills.

I headed to Target (tarjay) and got a few things for the house, like this shelf I'm using as a spice rack, as well as a shiny new toy.

Friday was back to work...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

today's adventure

After a brilliant weekend of sun, the overcast, cold gray is back. I huddle in my apartment like some refugee hiding from those that would kill. My feet are cold.

Friday, March 09, 2007

good morning

I woke this morning to a thick gray mist lingering outside, making it difficult to tell what time it was. I decided to head out for a walk, bundling myself with a jacket and hat against the dampness. Near my house, there is a saltwater marsh and bird sanctuary. I head across the street, a little dirt path runs along the elementary school fence and the canal, up to the railroad bridge.

This always makes me nervous because I can't help but wonder what would happen if the train came while I happen to be on the bridge. I know I'd probably hear it ahead of time and make a mad run to get out of its way and away from the booming noise and vibration it creates, but still, this thought lingers every time I cross the bridge.

After the bridge, the trail runs along the canal for a bit more before opening up to a wide dirt path. At this point, the canal deepens. Of course, this morning I didn't bring my camera (all these pictures are from other days) and a great blue heron happened to be hanging out, watching me with one eye, watching for something yummy in the brine with the other eye. Figures. Every time I've brought my camera, it always flies away if I'm closer than 50 yards!

Opposite the canal are houses, mobile homes. Some have cute yards, flowers abounding now that it's spring. One of the houses set up a little bench along the walkway with a little path leading to their yard. I imagine that they probably like to come out and sit, especially at sunset-it's a perfect view with no obstructions.

Eventually, there is a turnoff for the bird sanctuary. It's a small gravelled road surrounded by all sorts of plants, most of which I have no clue what they are, but some are wonderfully fragrant. Along this path is where I usually spot the ruby throated hummingbird.

The little guy's a show off, and with good reason-he's a gorgeous little bird. He usually announces his presence by buzzing by and alighting on the top of some bushes ahead. Then he sits there and lets the folks admire him. When he turns his head, the brilliant red feathers flash as if lit from within. It always awes me. This morning he wasn't in the mood for games; he just sat there in the bushes, fluffed into a huddle against the cold and damp.

Walking along, other birds make their presence known through their song. I usually hear the song first and then try to spy where it's coming from. Sometimes it's a lone bird at the top of a tree; sometimes it's a group of them chattering away. These are the only sounds except for the crunch of the gravel underfoot. Many times, I also see Thumper and occasionally the hawk that would probably like to have Thumper for dinner.

Eventually, the path ends at the beach.This morning I decided to continue my walk, low tide allowing me to walk along a packed shore. Here, shore birds wade, looking for food, gulls occasionally fly by. On one side, ocean; on the other side, a rocky seawall. Eventually, the rocks extend into the ocean, effectively blocking the path. As I got closer to it, I saw some figures out in the extremely shallow water-they turned out to be a group of pelicans just hanging out. It made me smile. I haven't seen very many pelicans since being here; I hadn't realized I'd missed them. At the end, I turned back and headed back.

Now, I've just finished breakfast and coffee. I feel good.

Monday, March 05, 2007

to shower or not to shower?

Being able to take a hot shower is one of the simplest, yet glorious, pleasures in life, don't you think? No matter what, it will make you feel better. If you've been sick, or are sick, take a hot shower. It'll make you feel better. Tired from a long day? Take a hot shower. Sore from working out? Take a hot shower. You just chopped a finger off while cooking? Take a ...OK, maybe not. But really, for many things, a hot shower is bound to make you feel better.

I know most of the time, I just tend to take it for granted. But after spending most of the weekend sleeping and ill, taking a nice hot shower this morning sent me into fits of happiness! Ooh. It felt good. Being able to shower is definitely a luxury!

When I graduated high school, I headed off to the Old Country to catch up with the family as well as visit some new places. In Rome, I stayed with my aunt. She had this great little condo off one of the major roads in NE Rome. It was tight as my cousins and my grandmother also lived there but it was great.

One day, I went off to visit my uncle who lived outside of Rome. Taking the bus, then the metro, then another bus, it took a while to get up there. I spent the afternoon there visiting at the ice cream store he owned at the time. Of course, family being family, I had to stay for the night. At his place, he had a guest bedroom and bathroom downstairs. I needed to wash all the grime of the day off of me so I went to take a shower. I turned on the hot water, and got cold water. I turned on the cold water and got icy cold water. I waited for the hot water to heat up. It never did. I gave up. I figured that I'd shower as soon as I got back to my aunt's house the next day.

Well, as it turns out, the city of Rome had other plans. Once I got back to the city, my aunt killed my shower anticipation by telling me that the city had shut off the water supply to the whole section of the city for a week. That meant: no shower, no bath ,no flushing toilets-for a whole week. My grandmother had filled up a few buckets with water so we could at least use a washcloth and try to clean up as well as for manually flushing when called for (I think back on it now and thank God I didn't have my period!! hahaha!!) I couldn't even go over to my other aunt and uncle's house because they lived in the same section of the city! Oh, the tragedy!

I can actually go with using a wet washcloth to get most of the grime off of me, but I cannot go a week without washing my hair. UGH!

As it turns out, my birthday happened to be that week. For some reason, I woke before everyone else that day and headed to the bathroom to take care of business. Out of habit, I pulled the flusher. And it worked! Then, I tried to turn on the water in the sink...and hallelujah, there was water!! I didn't even hesitate! I grabbed my towel and into the shower I went!! It was fabulous. I revelled in my surprise birthday present. I thanked God! I beamed with happiness!

As I got out, my aunt had gotten up and she was shocked!

"Claudia! What are you doing?"

"Oh, it's great! The water was on and I took a shower!"

"Are you crazy? What if they shut the water again while you were washing your hair?"

"They didn't though..."

"But they could have. Then what would you have done? You shouldn't have done it!!"

She couldn't convince me I had done wrong though. I was a clean, happy girl! Amazingly enough, no one else risked showering for fear that the water would be abruptly cut off as they were mid-lather. My aunt grumbled about what a risk I'd taken, etc, etc. It didn't faze me one bit. I had gotten to shower!

As for the water? It was shut off again that afternoon for the rest of the week.