Wickedness. Profligate past times. Randy ronyons of the worst type.  If there is any of this around me I am not aware or at least not invited. The resort we are staying is having a turning of the guard today as the weekend holiday guests are packing up to flyaway home to make room for the next set of savants.

The cold and damp weekend curtailed any outdoor escapades. As mentioned if there were any indoor sports I didn’t get my ticket.  It was all for the best for Urs Truly was a bit temulant yesterday and in no shape to do so. Yesterday Larry made lovely cosmos. I signed my own death warrant drinking such before noon and sure enough I was cold as a mackerel by nine. Oh the embarrassment.

Last night while everyone else was no doubt calling out for food and the men who deliver such things, I was calling for a plumber. The loo backed up. Our fabulous resort room is chock-full of amenities but has no plunger.  I wondered the premises in search of help. The hot tub was full of fellows discussing philosophy or something. They saw my vexation and asked what was the matter. I explained my predicament. They advised in chorus for me to “Call 69”. This was a puzzlement; such calls in Palm Springs normally don’t produce plumbing products*. Sure enough: the after-hour emergency instructions said to dial 69. I sheepishly picked up the phone and did just that. I immediately got a nice sounding man who didn’t first ask for my credit card number but inquired into my problem. I explained the situation; I needed to get plunged, real bad. The man seemed puzzled by this request as if he had never heard of such or this was not the type of emergency he was prepared to hear. He instructed me to go back to my room, leave the door open, and he would be there right away.  Normally such instructions elicit palpitations of anticipation but not this time. I worried some other fellow would see the open door as an invitation to enter for a game of Uno. How does one explain to said gentleman-caller I am waiting for the plumber or somebody like him and he can’t come in?  These sort of etiquette problem was generally skipped over in the Emily Post books. Happily this awkward what-if did not materialize. The man showed up with a large plunger, the type I wanted at the moment. He came in and we plunged and plunged (he gave; I received) and hey presto! we were done quick as a quarter-note! He was soon out the door and on to his next job. It was over so fast but I was satisfied.

This morning I realized my hero had left his tool behind, either from worry I may need it again or in his euphoria he had forgotten it. Since I didn’t catch his name I am not sure how to return it. I suppose I could go around the resort and knock on doors and ask were you the man who plunged me last night? Or perhaps not. I hope not I don’t have to call 69 any time soon.  At least not for this reason.


*Well, not the type I was interested in having at the moment.

Greetings from Palm Springs.

It’s a cold morning what with gray skies and temperatures in the 50s. Would I had packed better. I sit at the breakfast tables, which are out of doors, where I am shivering a bit in my sweatshirt. The tea pot is a comfort and I am tempting to crawl into it.
In my chilled state I look out onto the pool area on a fascinating vision. There are two gentleman during their matutinal exercises. One fellow wears only a small bathing suit and the other wears nothing at all.  The former is standing in the middle of the lawn doing the most extraordinary yoga poses. His bare chest is well muscled and his thighs are chisled. His moves are like ballet. The latter has the a less stellar physique. However he is swimming in a regular rhythm back and forth back and forth which is mesmerizing.

The two men, absorbed in their activities, make a satisfying portrait.

Neither one however is making me feel any warmer. I am not certain which one makes me feel colder, the one on the lawn or the man in the water. I had to call it quits and move my morning tea cup back into the room (#44) and try to warm myself up.

I don’t know when I became such a baby when it comes to the cold. Perhaps ten years of living with temps above 90 does that to a person; it thins the blood. Maybe it is age. Tots seem impervious to cold but elders loose heat at their extremities at an alarming clip. I keep thinking to retire to Canada but if a cool day is enough to evoke such shivers then I should think again.

It promises warmer weather this week and sunshine too. Until then I am in a layers and hot beverages. Perhaps I will do some indoor yoga, provided I can bend over in all my clothing.

Walking the dog

Harper, sensing trouble, has kept to her kennel. I daresay she knows we are leaving on a trip and she is going to doggie-day care. Perhaps it is the weather that has made her morose. After a week of continuous sunshine we woke this morning to pouring-down rain. She hates the rain.

This morning we managed to get in a walk before the incessant rain began. Dog walks are usually a peripatetic stop-and-sniff affair, but when it began to sprinkle she picked up the pace and made a bee-line for home. At least we got in a trot prior to going to the pound. Harper went right back to bed which roused Someone from his slumber. Wet dogs do that.

I will miss our daily dog walks when I am in California. I like the evening walks best for they settle my digestion. Harper senses this and becomes excited when we clear the table. Evening strolls are shorter than the the morning ones.  It doesn’t seem to matter; Harper likes walks of any length.  Most of the time I sense she only wants a walk so she can get to the end: a treat.  Harper likes her treats; like the walks, they come in two types. We have beefy-sticks and ersatz bacon strips. Both are eaten with relish.

I think by now Harper has the lay of the neighborhood that if she should become lost she could make it home from memory. Or so I hope. As the days grow longer the walks do as well; I hope to expand our territory this year.

The veterinarian says Harper could stand to loose some weight so longer walks more frequently should help – as would cutting out the treats. I don’t think she will like this but diets are hard.

Anyway it is off to Petsmart for her and Palm Springs for us.  I hope to catch up on blog reads this weekend.

This blog entry is inspired by the death of Roger, at 3rd and long.

“And I, brother John Clyn, a monk from Kilkenny, have written in this book the notable events which happened in my time, for I saw for myself, or have learned them from men who deserve to be believed.  So that these notable events should not be lost from the memory of future generations, I, seeing these bad things, and die whole world surrounded by evil, wrote down what I heard and investigated; and I leave parchment for my work to be continued, in case any man can escape this pestilence and continue the work I began.”

This quotation is from the time of The Great Mortality, commonly called “The Black Plague” of 1347-352.  This monk saw the world he knew literally dying.  Whole villages were dropping dead and civilization was coming to its end.  He writes with the resignation death would soon come for him. At the end of his entry, he leaves room on the page. I like he is thoughtful so about his readers. I also like the sand-grain-size hope perhaps someone will live to carry on the journal.  This grim bit of history has always fascinated me; perhaps I am haunted by him. How responsible is it for the living to carry on the work of the dead? 

In the decade-plus years of blogging I have seen the end of countless blogs. Most times the authors seem to simply lose interest and stop writing. They do this without word of warning or explanation. I drop by from time to time in hope but I usually stop after six months when I recognize they are not coming back.  Once in a while I know the reason is the author has died. Someone (usually a relative) comes on to write a note to tell the readers the author has died.

Most of the time when I realize a blog is kaput I stop going and these are forgotten. Sometimes while editing my old entries I see a comment that makes me recall an old blogger. I press on the link and I am back to a place I haven’t visited or remembered in years.  There it is, sitting there like a souvenir of a holiday long ago forgotten.

However there are some defunct blogs I have bookmarked for me to revisit from time to time.  These are more like virtual gravestones. I can drop by and read an old entry.  They remind me of saved old letters written by deceased aunts and grandmothers. 

I wonder what would become of Spo-reflections if I were to suddenly die. I fret Spo-fans would be in a lurch as to what happened. I plan to prepare for such an event, for I don’t want people wondering where did I go all of a sudden. The late Roger and his quick demise prompts me to finish my editing. I want my blog published on paper lest I croak or WordPress suddenly pulls up stakes etc.

I don’t plan on dying anytime soon; I hope for years if not decades of scribblings to come. But you never can tell.


The week before the winter holiday is notorious for being jam-packed and fun-filled with excessive work demands and at-home tasks. Paperwork normally put off until weekend must be concluded by Friday evening, prior to my departure.  At home the place is in desperate need of tidying before the out-of-town guests arrive. And then there is the packing. It’s rawther exhausting, this sort of week, but I am used to them.  All the same, they make for long days and no time to do fun things like read and write blogs.*

We pick up Larry and Tim (fine fellows both well over four feet) on Saturday; there will be four of us for the drive to Palm Springs. Someone points out trunk-space will be limited so please pack accordingly. Fat chance of that.  I like to show off my fashion-ware on these week-long callithumps. Imagine showing up and wearing the same shirts? It’s unthinkable. “Oh, I love that shirt, I never tire of seeing it.” Oh the pain!

I tend not to pack light. I want my tech-gadgets, proper tea-things, and a bottle of two of good whisky (no rubbish, no hyphen). Thanks to Kindle, I don’t have as many books to bring. I could get by with two trousers, one long the other short. 

So – tonight after work I will do my preliminary packing to see if all I want to take fits into one carry-on suitcase. Would I had Mary Poppin’s carpet-bag or Dr. Who’s Tardis!  Perhaps I should pack a half-week’s worth of duds and use a laundromat or better yetL a laundry service.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful with a whippersnapper in white who is willing to wash my woolens? **


*This one is being written in piece-meal between appointments and during the no-shows.



St. Valentine ’s Day is not celebrated in the House of Spo other than Urs Truly buying sweeties for the candy dish.

Someday I should write an entry on “Cupid and Psyche” which is one of my favorite myths. It is a great story how Eros marries Mind (after many ordeals) to produce conscious state of being.


As a Valentine I offer Spo-fans this poem; it is one of my favorites:

Valentine by Carol Ann Duffy

Not a red rose or a satin heart. I give you an onion. It is a moon wrapped in brown paper. It promises light like the careful undressing of love. Here. It will blind you with tears like a lover. It will make your reflection a wobbling photo of grief. I am trying to be truthful. Not a cute card or a kissogram. I give you an onion. Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips, possessive and faithful as we are, for as long as we are. Take it. Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding-ring, if you like. Lethal. Its scent will cling to your fingers, cling to your knife.

Blobby! Erik! I did it! I remembered to do ’12 on 12′!  It only took eleven years but I did it!

Spo-fans unfamiliar with ’12 on 12′ it is simple: twelve photos are taken throughout the day on the twelfth of the month.  12 February falls on Sunday this year, which is tidy-up and stay-at-home day.

This makes the photographs rather unexciting.


It is warm enough to open the front door and let in some air. 



Sunday is laundry and iron the shirts. Oh the pain. 



If I sit on the ottoman in the walk-in closet, Harper comes a-running with pleasures anticipated and eyes that ask: are we going for a walk? 



Here we are on patrol. Walks fall into two categories: ‘movement’ walks and ‘stop and sniff the shrubberies’ walks.  Today’s stroll was definitely in the latter camp. 



Sunday is crockpot cooking day. I am making beef vindaloo. Eight hours to go!



Oh my goodness! Guests are coming this weekend and we don’t have enough booze! Here is my shopping endeavor.  Details upon request. 



Oh-oh. This is not good. Not good at all. The pool has turned an emerald green. Someone will drain it this week and replenish with new water. 



While tidying up the backyard I was amazed to find these lovelies hanging on the neglected vines. I thought they were dead.  Homegrown tomatoes in February?



The Vindaloo was OK. 


IMG_4809 (1).jpg

















Every Sunday night I pack The Most Difficult Case with the weekend’s homework papers, chart notes, and clean tea cups and things. 



When in doubt, get horizontal.



I plan the workday wardrobe the night before so I don’t have to think about it at 530AM. Shall I pick one from the upper or the lower rack? 



The annual winter holiday is only a week away and there is work to be done! The first task is always make a new shirt. Imagine showing up in Palm Springs with last year’s creations! Oh the scandal; there would be talk.*

I completed sewing on the buttons of this lovely, shirt #102 or something, which I christened ‘Turtle Shirt”.  It was suggested to me to create a camisa using warm colours, pastels, and subtle earth-tones. Ha. Fat chance of that. I go for color, bold, loud, and cool – like my men.  I think this is one of my ‘loudest’ shirts. I just hope it doesn’t cause too many headaches.

This year’s drama personae include DougT and Leon AKA the Wild One, with Larry H. and Tim C. They are all fine fellows, many of them ex-bloggers, and all well over four feet. Larry and Tim have never been to CA, so they should be dazzled by the chatoyance of Palm Springs.
Other fine fellows, also well over four feet but who are blogging still, will make cameo appearances: Ron T and his intrepid sidekick Pat, and (the dear!) Fearsome Beard will appear to provide dignity and gravitas to an otherwise party of depravity.

Throughout the week I will slowly gather items vital for a proper and successful winter holiday.  The bricolage of ragtags include:

Books and Kindle

Shirts for days

Bottles of proper gin and scotch (no rubbish)

Cryptic Crossword puzzles and a sharpened pencil
Whatever my angst about preparing for the debacle, I need not worry about the wardrobe. The last time I looked I have approximately fifty Spo-shirts from which to choose. I need only bring these and a bathing suit. Come to think of it I don’t really need the bathing suit.  That’s one less thing to bring and makes room for another bottle of bourbon.


*Actually there is always talk. Lots of it. A week in Palm Springs with chums is quite the chinwag.


My cousins (the dears!) sent me this bowl from their late mother’s estate. It was our grandfather’s. I have not seen it since the 70s. I had forgotten all about it but when it came out of the box I instantly remembered it. A flood of memories came out of the bowl like a genie from its lamp.

I can still see Grandfather’s den with its wooden panels and artifacts. These could have been from anywhere, but I imagined them from someplace magical like Oz or Narnia or Middle-Earth. As you sat in Grandfather’s large red leather chair to your right on the light stand stood this shiny bowl. It is of the Art Deco style, made of stainless steel perhaps. I never knew the story where he got it. I was more intrigued to know its contents, for in it was candy.



There was nothing exquisite about the sweets. Grandfather went for the ‘old lady’ types of candy, such as jelly beans, spice drops, and little chocolate dots with white spots which cracked when you bit down on them. As I never saw anyone buy or put candy into the bowl, there was a belief the sweets just appeared by magic. It was from this mysterious bowl I first encountered candy corn. I thought candy corn strictly a Halloween thing but finding some in the bowl in May seemed a sort of miracle, like finding a snowdrift in the heat of August.

Back then the sweets were oh so delicious. Did they make better tasting candy then I wonder or is it a false memory, coloured by time?

My cousins tactually packed the bowl with a bag of gumdrops.



It is quite a delight to hold it again, extract a sweet, and remember…..


Note: The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections complained about this entry. They thought it would be misconstrued; certainly they didn’t find it funny. Spo-fans have been warned.

Any complaints about the contents should be sent to TBDHSR c/of the comment section. 

My eleventh year of blogging ought to start with something good and special but I thought I would complain rather. I want to complain about all the complaining on social media. I plan to post my complaints on FB or Twitter but they are certain to conjure complaints.

Before we could instantly complain about everything to everyone with only a few clicks on a keyboard complaining was a local matter that didn’t last long. We might write an angry letter to the editor of the local newspaper but it never went very far. The audience we had for our soapbox was often our nearest and dearest. As recipients of our remonstrances they readily told us to shut the F up and that was that.  We vomited black bile but it didn’t project too far.

Now we have Facebook and Twitter to expand each others’ rancor with copy and paste and link and forward so millions of commiserates can simultaneously bitch and expand on our rants. Perhaps we should pull the plug on this internet thing as a nobel idea gone bad, like New Coke. Did the inventors not know a world wide web is more likely to spread woes than facts?

FB hasn’t been much fun as of late and I blame politics. I used to read about cousin’s birthdays and bad weather in Michigan or see zany photos but nowadays the posts are full of tirades resembling an orchestra of scorched cats.

I don’t follow O3 (the Orangutan in the Oval Office) but apparently he is the king of the complaining Twitter posts.* Huff Post and CNN (no strangers to complaining) regularly post Hair Furor’s tweets which are so bilious they make my eyes cross. I am curious to see if O3 pops a gusset given all his complaining. If he does I shan’t complain about it.

So what’s to be done?  Avoid social media. Don’t read the comments on news websites. Abjure tweets from the oval office. Don’t volunteer to usher Sunday matinees.  Abstain from insurance company so-called help-lines. Stay away from Laura the cash register woman in Aisle 5 at Albertsons.

And above all no complaining.



*I don’t know the proper word for statements placed on twitter. Tweets? I suggest we use ‘Gripes”.  Ex: “I gripped on Twitter about …..”

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