This is an important component in the diet of small caged birds. Birdseed now takes a prominent place on our shopping list. Our house is host to two small birds. Mine is the tiniest. Small things are just cute by definition. Pip is cute. She has taken up residence in a corner of our dining room. It has been eleven months since I added her to the family. She squawks & that tells me all is well. Pip does not care to be handled. We admire her on her own terms.

On the other hand, Lance & Yume have introduced a lovebird into the mix. Seven weeks old, friendly and quite active. This new pet is let out of its cage daily and it commands attention as it struts around various rooms in the house.

Two sweet birds. We have agreed that this is something strange as we have never been bird types. We are enjoying the distinct pleasures that Pip & Greentea provide.

Red & White

DSCN1228These colors represent the uniform, or more to the point, the role of candy striper in its recognized presentation.

My sophomore year in high school served as my introduction to the strange and wonderful world of hospitals. It was a small community hospital that served my ambitions. Garden Grove, CA. I was thinking about the field of nursing. How to enter it without studying all those dreaded classes. I fulfilled my required hours, and then some. I was so happy to be doing something unique, exciting (yes, even in Garden Grove, CA) and productive. I ate it up. I traveled with flowers from the nurses’ station to a patient’s room on a weekly basis. I re-filled the water pitchers on the tables alongside a patient’s bed. I was given a tour of the limited pediatric ward. And a very solemn, and quick, tour of the room in which post-mortem assembly took place. None of it frightened me. I was in awe of this magnificent place that housed the sick, the revived, the infant and the elderly. Medical ward held the sickest; surgical, well, the surgeries. It was said that the mom of a well-known TV star, Michael Parks (the cute guy from Then Came Bronson!), was taking a room on the surgical floor. I kept waiting for him to arrive on a visit to his mom. He never surfaced.

That single, defining moment as a candy striper in 1971, met all my expectations, and then some. I was grown-up. Or, so I thought. Entrusted with responsibilities that entitled me a peek into the lives of people in pain and distress.

I have my uniform to this day. Packaged away in my closet. I take it out to admire every now and then. It no longer fits. The memories, however, are indelible. Red & White.

I Do

DSC_5827East meets West. The wedding ceremony in our backyard speaks to this. My son, Lance, met his new wife while teaching English in Japan. Yumeko is my dream daughter-in-law. She loves to dance, she loves nail polish and she doesn’t follow sports. It doesn’t get better than that. She is serious about improving her English and she studies from a book while making entries in her iPad Mini. The wedding was held on a bright, cloudless, 82 degree October afternoon. We were regaled with not a stitch of a breeze. No small feat in Rio Vista, CA. The actual ceremony was just under ten minutes. My brother-in-law, Keith, officiated. Some time later, he opted to jump in the pool that provided the place where flowers, various shades of pink, were carefully placed. The flowers were the perfect touch. Keith’s jump was a wacky way to punctuate this very special day. Our cellist offered, Someday My Prince Will Come and my son and Yumeko danced beside the flower bedecked pool.

East meets West. Lovely.