Escaping the Furnace

Poor Borrego Springs is suppose to hit 122 degrees today. As I write, it is 121 out. Oh the poor creatures that I love so much in Anza Borrego. How can they possibly survive? Our dear friend, Salvador keeps an eye on our house and plants while we are away, but what about him? How does he manage? Thank you Salvador for all your hard work and you do it with such grace and dignity. We appreciate you so much.

Here at Silver Lake at the series of lakes called: June Lake, it is 83 outside and Callie thinks it is way too warm and she can hardly open her eyes and move about. She is hanging out on the top loft but we have the air conditioning on and she is still being lazy. Thunder and lightening storms are expected on Thursday and it should be quite exciting hanging out in the RV. Callie isn’t afraid of thunder and lightening like our jack russel dog, Addy was. Thunder and lightening would send Addy into my closet and she would bury herself under any discarded clothing or pile of shoes she was fortunate enough to find. She would cower and shake and shiver until the storm would pass. Attacking a coyote was nothing for Addy, but thunder and lightening did her in.

We are having a fabulous time in the RV and it is another beautiful day. I suppose it is cooler for those that don’t wear fur coats!

From Dawn to Dusk

The morning started out bright and early with Callie once again expecting me to get up and serve breakfast so that she and Michael could go back to sleep for a couple of hours. It is rather funny and because I am a morning person, it is no big deal. As soon as I fed Callie, Michael was already sleeping and Callie tucked herself into the tent I created for her on the sofa. It is chilly at night but today it reached 85 and it felt warm to me. It is nothing compared to Anza Borrego though, which will hit a high of 121 on Tuesday. Those kinds of temperatures are a killer for birds and mammals and plants. It is so hot that when you take in a deep breath, your lungs feel scorched.

Michael and I went on a fabulous off road bike ride again this morning and because it was so difficult, I am considering packing a first aid kit. I wear a scarf around my neck in case I will ever need a tourniquet, but can see the use of bandages and wraps for all kinds of injuries. You can’t see the deep sand in the shadows when it is mixed with dappled light and the ruts in the trails trap you before stopping you in your tracks. I had air put in my tires this morning and I think the added pressure made for a much more difficult ride. We made it back to the RV in one piece though and felt the zen of having a strenuous workout roll over our shoulders all day today. 

Fred decided to head back home this morning so Michael, Callie and I have the rest of the vacation to ourselves. I will be able to celebrate Father’s Day and not worry about Fred anymore. He blew a tire heading home and is waiting for a tow service as I write. The same right back tire that we had a flat fire with! RV’s sit a lot and the tires are the first to show wear and tear. He has a long way to go yet to get home, I wish him the best.

Callie got a morning walk and was able to hang out on the picnic table most of the day while Michael worked on the bikes. She is getting more than her fair share of excitement and the strain is starting to show. When I find her up in the loft in between the rungs of the step up ladder to the loft bed, I know I have sufficiently worn her out from dawn to dusk. Wearing out a cat is always a good thing!

Plenty of Time to get into Trouble!

Callie has finally recovered from her viral pneumonia. She had one mild coughing spell yesterday, but none the day before and we are finished with the antibiotic. It has been a difficult illness for her, but the joy of feeling well again is obvious. She has a spring in her step and wanted to rip out all the bark of every pine tree she came across on her morning walk here at Mammoth. Tiny chipmunks kept running in front of her and birds of all kinds were singing and flying from tree to tree. The sky is a deep blue with just a few puffy clouds in the distance. Apparently it snowed just two days ago, but you would never believe it from the mild temperature today and it almost feels like summer.  

Michael, Fred, Callie and I left Anza Borrego yesterday morning at 7am and made the heroic effort to get to Mammoth Lakes before sundown. Preparing for an RV trip is work. You have to be organized in your thoughts and have the energy and strength to load up everything you will need. You must grocery shop, get gas or diesel fuel, make sure the oil levels are good and the water tank has some fresh water in it.  You don’t want to drive around with too much water because of the added weight. We don’t have the luxery of leaving a lot of stuff in the RV in between our trips, because everything would melt. The temperature in Borrego Springs is expected to reach 117 this week. Thank goodness we made it to Mammoth and as I write about this blog this fine morning, it is a beautiful 75 degrees out with a low of 41 at night. 

We arrived in plenty of time to set up camp but unfortunatly the lakes are closed to camping because of massive amounts of snow still on the sides of the mountains. We were turned around at Lake George and Mary and finally at Twin Lakes we had to drive back into town and are staying at a local RV park called New Shady Rest which is at a lower elevation. It is beautiful here and we are parked under pine trees with Fred camped right across from us. *

Callie loved the drive yesterday and sat on the dash most of the way. She loves to look out the window and feel the sun on her face with the air conditioning blasting right below her. She really is jostled around quit a bit, and it is funny to watch her with her eyes closed and a content look on her face while appearing to be tossed up and down at a rapid pace. It looks like she is a baby taking a nap and her mommy is jiggling her to sleep. Her head bobs up and down and lulls her into a deep sleep.

We plan on staying here for a couple of nights and may attempt to go to Convict Lake next. It is at a lower elevation and may be open to camping. I have called but no one at the campground has returned my call as of yet. Sitting here in the RV with Callie napping after a long walk this morning is such a treat. People always comment on what an unusual sight she is, and I always tell them she is a D.O.G.- spelling it out for them slowly until they get it. It usually produces a hearty laugh and a response that you don’t see a cat being walked very often. She is really improving on her walking skills and we are going further and further and she respects my wishes to go one way when she would rather go another! We also went on a long bike ride with her sitting primly in the basket. Mammoth is very biker friendly and there are paved bike paths all over the town. 

 It is so wonderful to be here and I can’t wait to share all of the adventures that Callie and I will discover and experience.  We hope to travel for about 2 weeks; plenty of time to get into loads of trouble!

* The reason that the campgrounds around the lakes are closed is because of record breaking amounts of snow and the generator has broken. There is a concern of raw sewage seeping into the lakes.

Farewell- Beautiful Morro Bay!

Today will be our last day in Morro Bay at the Cypress RV Park off of Main and Beach St. It is ideally located and we were able to walk and bike to most of our destinations. I give the RV Park 5 stars. It is clean and quiet and we have met some really interesting people. One couple from Oceanside, California told me that they once had a cat the spitting image of Callie and we shared cat stories. Her cat was also a stray that showed up one day and became a loving member of her family. Her husband was diagnosed with a blocked, aorta artery, almost died, had surgery, came home, and the cat didn’t leave his side until he had sufficiently recovered. She had to drag the cat away to go potty and get a bite to eat. When she would finish eating, the cat would race back to settle down by her husband’s side once again. This lasted for 2 weeks. Their hearts are still broken after the cat passed away from kidney failure 3 years ago. Our stories had a lot of similar themes and I think it made the grieving process just a little bit better for having stopped by to talk and share.

We once again biked over to Morro Strand State Beach this morning and this time we didn’t have to battle the wind. It was a beautiful day and we biked much further north this time. The wildflowers are still blooming along the coastline and the scenery and view are breathtaking. We did some more off roading and I am so appreciative of the hybrid bicycle Michael bought me recently. We are really enjoying biking on hiking trails. You get to experience a more wild side to biking than with the road bikes.

Farewell, beautiful Morro Bay. We shall return…. Our next adventure will be to Carmel and Monterey where we plan on taking our daughter after she finishes her PhD program. She will need a celebration of some sort that requires little thinking on her part. Her brain is fried and she is exhausted but will benefit from visitng nature and being taken care of by her two loving parents and our cat, Callie. Now that will be an exciting trip. Maybe our friend, Fred will join us and make it a foursome. Keeping our fingers crossed.

On another note, Callie seems to be feeling better and coughed less last night. Her desire to play has returned, and her appetite has improved. Last night we had some rough and tumble playtime again and it felt so good to see her enjoying herself without coughing so much. We will know for sure that she is on the road to recovery if she doesn’t cough tonight.

The Morning After

Yesterday we had a windstorm in the desert and I wrote about Callie finding a way to follow her bliss by climbing her favorite olive tree. The wind blew hard and dusty all night long but the morning dawned with a radiant golden hue and the foothills appeared molten. The sand settled down and calm once again has returned to the desert. I pondered on how the coyotes fair during storms and got an answer piled on my back patio this morning. A coyote decided to leave a calling card and had the brazen gaul to scale my wall and tour the backyard during the night. He was looking for Callie. I am always watchful when Callie is out in the back yard and don’t let her out of my sight. She is not allowed outside without an escort which can sometimes be a drag and Callie doesn’t always like it. There are times she wants to frolick and be free to explore the desert. She is actually a very obedient cat most of the time and rarely causes much trouble, and keeping an eye on her is the only way to keep her safe! The coyotes are extra hungry after a couple of days of not being able to hunt and are probably forced to be more resourceful after a big storm. But with the light of morning, the sunrise was breathtaking and a visual treat for anyone up early enough to witness it. The clouds blushed a lovely pink in the east and that is why the foothills were so golden. Callie had been house bound for most of yesterday, so this morning she climbed the tree closest to the back wall. The wind was still blowing but not as hard, and she climbed higher than ever before. She loves looking out over the desert and maybe she is hoping for a glimpse of those rascally roadrunners. The temperature has dropped considerably and it was a brisk and colorful morning. Autumn has returned to the desert and the relief of the desert dwellers is palatable. The birds I identified as possibly being Townsend’s Solitaire’s were in fact, Blue Mountain Birds. They returned to the bird bath for another quick splash in the water this morning and the males flashed a lovely sky blue when they took flight. It is a flock of maybe 15 birds and they look like they are having such a fabulous time. They come down from the mountains when the weather changes and are like little snowbirds following the sun. When Callie was ready for her breakfast and came back inside the house, she needed a nice warm and cozy place to sleep the day away. She chose the front guest room and squeezed her way under the covers. The morning sun filters through the window and it is the warmest room in the house. Such is the life of one very spoiled and adorable cat!

Where’s Callie?

Callie My Muse

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t take multiple photos of Callie. It gets to the point that when I aim the camera at her she frowns at me. She would much rather I play with her then  take photographs. She doesn’t know exactly what I am doing, but I stop chasing her and pulling her tail and grabbing and tickling her. She loves to be handled and touched, and takes great satisfaction in a little rough and tumble playtime. For her part, she poses and plays with such abandon, that I get numerous quality images of her to work into paintings. She is also able to play outdoors and I can take photos of her while she plays. She can’t be outside without my protection because of all the coyotes in the area, and so I take photos of her and get some work done at the same time.  It is a simbiatic relationship that we both benefit from. I am grateful for her playful personality and for the companionship she provides. Some may very well say what a spoiled cat she is, but it is “I” that have been spoiled. She  is the most adorable, sweet, fun loving , brave, curious and big hearted cat I have ever had the good fortune of having a relationship with. And to think that all I wanted was another dog….

Parting is such Sorrow

I am going to have to leave Callie with Michael for several days and I get to visit my daughter, Lara. We are attending a wedding of my sister’s son in Fallbrook, California. I have six sisters and one brother and all but one sister will be attending from Canada, South Carolina, Maui, Morro Bay, Perris, Riverside and Santa Barbara, California. We are a very close knit family and it will be so much fun seeing everyone. I am an artist and photographer and I named my business- sevensistersproductions many years ago. My web site was designed by Lara while she was still attending high school and she is now finishing up a PhD and is a grownup herself. You may visit my web site at:  I am not painting as much these days, but I still love to do photography and have recently started this blog on my travels with Callie. I am proud to be one of seven sisters. Our name is featured all over the world. So, tomorrow I leave for Fallbrook, California, and parting  from Callie is always a stress for both Callie and me. At least she gets to stay home with my husband and he takes excellent care of her. One of the things that I do to keep Callie happy, is to leave her with a teddy bear. She loves this bear and frequently takes naps with him. This bear use to be my daughters and it certainly has had its fair share of cuddles. So, off I go for a grand adventure, and I will check back in when I return.*

* And I just found out that I haven’t paid for my web site and it has been temporarily disconnected. I will get it up and running ASAP. That is retirement for you!

I Have Met My Match!

As I have mentioned before, Callie came to me as a runaway, and it has been a give and take love affair ever since. She is the most engaging cat I have ever known, and her personality trait that stands out the most, is CHARM! She will charm her way into any given situation and disciplining her is a challenge because she’s so sweet. I really did make an effort in the beginning of our relationship, to be the alpha female and to keep her from sleeping in the bed with us. I have never allowed a pet to sleep with me before Callie. I sprayed her with water, I forcefully grabbed her and threw her out of the bedroom, shutting the door, and nothing has worked. She would press her cute little pink nose under the door jam and howl her disapproval, until you reluctantly let her back in. Then she would quietly sneak back up to the foot of the bed, where she felt she belonged, and try not to move. She could only hope I wouldn’t notice, until she would explode again into a loud purr of such bliss that it would make you smile at the innocence of it all. You can’t help but love her because she has learned the art of seduction and charm and it just seems to come natural to her. She charms her way into getting you to be her slave. I am now willingly getting up at night to feed her, and she will sleep right between my husband and me if the latest bed I bought doesn’t suit her, and there is nothing I can do about it, unless I want to feel guilty and mean hearted. She is family and families should sleep together.  At night when it is time for her to go to bed, she tries to herd me into the bedroom where I belong. She gets pouty if I stay up past my usual bedtime. When we head off to bed, you can just see the smile on her face and her happiness at going off to bed together.  She is so social and vocal, and thinks of herself as a high standing member of the family, that you can’t help but treat her as an equal. Every once in awhile she displays a wild and crazy side, and I have to play a game I call, “rough and tumble” playtime, to work off the pent up energy. It is important that I establish who is stronger and more dominant because torties, or calico cats, are known for being big cats in little bodies; just like Jack Russel Terriers are famous for. So, I rough her up within an inch or her life until she cries out for MERCY! You have to engage them in numerous activities, and keep them occupied and stimulated, and make sure they know that you are the boss, or you will be in big trouble. I have met my match with Callie, and have accepted the fact that she wins most of the small battles, but all I have to do is give in and try not to be so up tight about our relationship. She is just a little cat trying to make a big impression in her life. I haven’t figured out where to draw the line yet, but I am trying to hold onto some kind of dominance.  Ya, right…sure  I am. Dream on… She is a tiny little cat with a giant personality, and all she wants is to be loved, and of course, to get her way….  

Afternoon Delight- A drive around Anza Borrego State Park

Due to the fact that I can’t let Callie run loose in the back yard unattended because of coyotes, I have found it necessary to come up with adventures in the afternoon to entertain her. She loves riding with me in a backpack while I bike, hikes with me in a front loading pack when we go on walks, and her favorite adventure of all, are car rides in the afternoon, exploring Anza Borrego State Park and Borrego Springs. She loves riding in the car and looking out the window! If you don’t drive too fast, she can keep her eyes open and take in the sites, smell the creosote and sage and bliss out with the wind gently blowing through her fur. If you drive too fast, it makes her ears tickle and her eyes water, and she will sit back down in my lap. I make sure to hold on to her back leg or the strap when she has her harness on because there are times when she really wants to hang all the way out! It took several attempts to get her use to the car but once she relaxed, there was no going back.


Callie and me going for a bike ride!