Thursday, March 29, 2007


Just home from subbing for a teacher at the Davis Adult school. There were 26 students from around the world. I had a blast.
Now I have to finish packing to leave for San Francisco after work. I will leave from work. Work is going to be play and eating. The last day before vacations are parties. The students bring very, very good food. this time I am going to teach a cha cha lesson for fun. My private lesson teacher helped me make a lesson plan. I'm looking forward to it and it seems my students are too. Just in case the Cha Cha doesn't work. I'm taking some salsa music--some of them already know salsa.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Six things about me

1. I love my post-retirement career. I teach English as a Second Language (ESL) to an adult class in Dixon, CA. fifteen out of eighteen students are from Mexico, one from Ecuador and one from Russia (Well two but one has a new job and comes only occasionally) They are wonderful. I tell them they must become bilingual so they can teach me Spanish when all residents of California are required to speak a second language. I am often embarrassed that in this country we do not require a second language. Well maybe that's not all about me.

2. I love to write fiction and non fiction and dream, only dream, of publishing something. I have a new idea every day for a new story.

3. I have two file drawers devoted to B&W negatives and color slides, everything I need to start painting in watercolor, and enough art ideas to keep me busy for thirty years.

4. I relearned something about myself yesterday: I like baginning things and the most difficult part of any project is finishing it. It became clear during the last mile of the five-mile hike. I wanted to sit down and blink my eyes and be back at the car. It wasn't going to happen. Part of my group was in front and part behind me--there were five of us--and I walked alone on the trail. I felt the downhill stress on my thighs (Hoping it would make them smaller but knowing it was only going to make them sore.) My mind played with stories I want to write, art i dream of making and the next hike I'm going to take. Step by step I made it back to the car and felt great. Now I want to translate that to the dozens of projects I have started. "I will be like the postage stamp and stick to one thing until I get there." Josh Billings from the inside of a bottle cap on ice tea.

5. I love the WNBA in general and the Sacramento Monarchs (2005 world champions) in particular.

6. I am known in my circle of friends here in California for my road trips.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Stebbins Cold Canyon

First hike since October. It was harder than I would have chosen for renewing my hiking but it was great. Yes I can say that now that I am home, showered and drinking tea.

We started with a breakfast at the Putah Creek Cafe in Winters. Must have big breakfast to hike. This was a new hike for me my friend Jeannette had been on the hike a few weeks ago. It's five miles she said. Goes up the mountain to the ridgeline and along the ridge and back down. Sinsce it's not the Rocky Mountains but the Coastal Range that didn't sound hard.

Weather perfect at the trailhead we didn't need more than a sweatshirt and shed it after about an hour. Nice walking along the trail wildflowers, butterflies and birdsongs. Then we came to the steps (4x4s pushed into the earth) that have been installed to assist goiing up. Nice. The steps went on and on and on and on. Then we followed the trail to the top. Well it wasn't really the top see that little peak over there. Great adn it's still early and off we went. It turns out that there is yet another peak along the ridgline and now we have to cllimb over rocks and boulders. What am I doing here? the other option is turning back and taking all those steps back.
More rocks and boulders and it is becoming a fun challenge. Then there is another peak to climb before descending on a smooth, switchback trail. We eat lunch overlooking Lake Berryessa. Vultures with brown wings and red heads are playing on the wind currents while we sit on boulders eating. We joke about not sitting too still.

We have one and a half miles to go and it is all downhill. Oh yeah downhill and some steep place. My legs will be sore tomorrow.

Worth it? Oh Yes! Standing on each of those little peaks looking out over the lake or the valley is great.