– I went for a walk on a bright, sunny day –

– I strolled down the street in my usual way –

– The birds were all singing, the clouds seemed at play –

– I connected with the earth in an unusual way –

– Roots shot out of the soles of my feet –

– I thought to myself “Whoa, this is really neat!”  –

– My fingers and toes started to blossom and sprout –

– I WAS one with nature there could be no doubt –

– By the time I reached home it was SO easy to see –

– That I was a tree, and a tree was in ME!

(I wrote the above while still an undergrad. A PG (pretty groovy) rated drawing of moi as a tree accompanied this poem. But obviously this could NOT have occurred in January,  at least not this past month, man.)

January offered few bright, sunny days for walks or other fun activities outdoors.  California endured years of damaging drought and Mother Nature began to unleash all the rain and snow she must have been storing somewhere.  But Mom Nature got a wee bit carried away with all that wet stuff, however. She became like a Mother Nature on steroids or something because the rain kept a coming.  Swollen streams & rivers overflowed, while massive umbrella collisions became regular reports on the local evening news.  (Be careful where you point those puppies, people.)

It was if ducks were taking over the neighborhoods there were so many of the feathered flocks. They LOVED the rain! There was a whole lotta quackin’ going on, and some of it even came from the newly empowered duck community. There were several rubber duckies floating around town. (Um, perhaps hot tubs overflowed?)  Not to mention gaggles of geese swimming by. It looked as though everyone wanted in on the party.

It was quite chilly as well. The ducks were sporting heavy raincoats, man.  Even the dog was demanding we preheat her blankets. Brrrrrrrr…most of the local weather people were threatening to move to the Mojave dessert. Don’t know what sort of TV reception there is with all that hot, blowing sand, however. I’ll gladly wave bye-bye to them; they hardly ever get the weather right!

I wanted to create a whimsical poem that reflects the wacky Northern California weather scene. I needed a “January FantaSEA”:

– I stepped into a boat on a wet, windy day –

– I paddled down the street (flooded) toward the San Francisco Bay –

– The birds were in hiding, the sky was dark gray –

– Like far-out, like OMG!, Cal’s rowing team rowed –up SO close to me! –

– Our boats gently touched, and it was right then that I knew-

– That I could both canoe and canoodle too! –

– As I paddled back home (bummer) it was SO easy to see/sea –

– Why those bad boys from Cal were now following ME!

We did get a brief spell of warm weather in January.  Rosie blissfully laid flat on her furry back to soak-up some sun in the backyard. I think she forgot what the sun was. I actually saw some clouds that obviously were at play: Dragons one day, puppies the next, and yeah, I realize I probably have too much time on my hands.  I also knew the local citizenry may have been confused about what month we were in: An ice cream truck drove slowly thru the hood, its musical jingle slightly out ‘o tune. Look out, Mister!  Toss me a chocolate float over that there boat in the moat.  (It’s going to be a loooonnnggg winter, man.)

This is the Chinese New Year of the Rooster, folks. Now, since I already decorate my humble home with roosters and chickens –NOT REAL ONES – I was SO ready to celebrate.  I have a couple of photos the hubby took for you to enjoy. There is also a FAB picture of my precious Rosie Coleen, all glammed-up in pink, but dog-tired after she participated in our local Doggie Diva March for female pup protection.  Rosie wanted to be in solidarity with her sister dogs, man.  There was a whole lotta sniffin’ going on amongst the “giirrllls” that day. You had to be there.



I’m extending the time for the name the gnomie in my homie an extra month…or more. Who knows?  My friend in England is anxiously awaiting the winner of “Name That Gnome.”
I have had several folks suggest a name. However, somebody – you know who you are – confused the elf next to the purple hat gnome seated next to the larger holiday elf. Whew. (And about that elf: I ‘m pretty darn sure that her pointed-toe shoes are growing longer and even pointier every year!) So read about the gnome naming in my previous posts, and PULEEZE Name That Gnome!  Email your suggestions to moi at Hbender1961@aol.com


Peace, love, joy, laughter & warm, dry days, man,