Thursday, June 30, 2011

Getting out of Dodge

Not me, not yet. I will be traveling to Oregon sometime before the end of July and perhaps to Mineral King for four days in the middle of July. We shall see. My friend Raphael, who you read about in the last post is now with his mother in Mexico. The family here in Calistoga is here indefinitely. Sylvia, Caesar, Monica and Jessica are living next door with no daddy to support them. I am making myself available for rides, groceries, etc. but right now they are taking matters “One day at a time”.

I went for a hike up to Sugarloaf Ridge yesterday with my friend, Don. The hike started at 1:30 PM and ended at 5:30 PM. It was an intense scaling hike that was uphill from the start. Luckily, the temperature was not unbearable and I found a way to stay cool and comfortable. We reached the summit or saddle of the mountain around 4PM. We ate a simple lunch and made are way down the hill after that. It was a first for me in this area, and I hope to visit it again in the future. The picture above is of the view looking west from the summit.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Everything is okay…

Today I got up early and heard some crying outside my window. My next door neighbor Rapahel was being deported for not showing up to court for a minor traffic infraction which was not even his fault. His two daughters, his wife and son were all sobbing as he was handcuffed and brought to a police vehicle parked out on Lake street. I immediately went to talk with Sylvia his wife. We held hands and prayed quietly to Our Lady of Guadalupe for guidance and direction. Sylvia explained the situation through her tears and it was clear she was very distraught but had faith that everything would be okay. The children were the ones took it hard.We called Father Manuel from our local Catholic church to see if anything could be done on the short term. He is a strong influence in the Spanish Community here in Calistoga.

Because I don’t speak Spanish very well, I was only capable of picking out certain words as the phone was passed onto Sylvia as she was consoled in her grief. It was Tuesday and I went to bag up groceries at our local Food Bank. Thankfully I was able to get a few bags for the Ayala family. When Wednesday arrived, I learned that Raphael was transported to a San Diego Immigration office where he awaited extradition.He spoke with the family and explained that he was being treated fairly, and that he was fed during his trip south. This was the month where Immigration sweeps usually take place in the Napa Valley, according to the secretary at the Catholic Church in St. Helena.

When the weekend came we learned that Raphael had made it safely to his mother’s house in Michoacan, Mexico. The family is now seeking legal help to get him back with his family here. If not, they may all return to Mexico.

Father Brinkle who is another pastor around here who has dedicated most of his life as an advocate for the Hispanic Community ever since the days of Ceasar Chavez. He is a good resource for these type of situations I have learned. Since this happened, I have been invited to attend a meeting with all the parties concerned to be held at the church on the 28th of this month.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Short Sleeves, Shorts and Sandals

The Sea Turtle painted on this blue Spirit Rock is something I saw on my friends t-shirt, and thought it would be a nice addition to my summer collection. I would like a shirt with a whole assortment of these turtles on it. I would like this idea on a aloha shirt, however.This would be part of my ensemble for the summer months. Here it is June 14th and the good weather is now coming in. My neighbor Raphael is barbecuing the carne asada which is always delicious.

Today I bought some Chia seeds to add to my Quinoa. When I eat, I like to mix it up. One day healthy, the next day the emphasis is on comfort. I still feel driven to find some gainful employment. I applied for work at the St. Helena Chamber of Commerce for a Concierge position. It turns out that they want someone with more “Web” experience. This is fine. I felt compelled to apply for this position based on my experience alone, which is vast. It is not a surprise that I knew two members who are on the board of trustees. One of which was my former boss for whom a lot of unfinished business still exists between us. Be that as it is, I am still glad that I applied for the position. It tells me that I haven’t given up.

The above is the latest design motif I have for my Spirit Rocks. You like? You buy? Twenty Dolla .

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Wild and Wacky Weekend

Last Saturday I was up early and over to my sister’s house in S.F. to see if she was going to be attending Cliff’s Variety 75th Anniversary Celebration. She was, only she would be showing up later. We had a cup of coffee and talked for while and around 9:15 am I got into my car and drove over the hill to Castro Street. I parked in a lot close by that was to be used for vendors who were unloading their goods to be sold, etc. The rain was coming down so I had to unload my display promptly.Then I drove to the top of the hill to my sister Martha’s house to park my little car in her garage so that I would not be ticketed during the day. She then drove me down the hill to the store where I gathered up my display and began setting it up out in front of the store. It was a good thing that my niece Terry was so organized because the entertainment that was to be outside could have been a total wash if it were to continue to go as planned. The Castro Theater was commemorating the days event by showing “The Love Bug”, a Disney movie for 75cents. A lot of adults and children began to gather outside the theater as noon approached.

The rain finally ceased and slowly but surely, I had a few customers stop to purchase some of my Spirit Rocks. Inside the store, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence put on a great show and presented my niece Terry with a certificate of CANONIZATION ! Now she is officially a Saint in the eyes of the all the nuns that roller skate and collect donations for AIDS relief throughout the Castro district.You really can’t beat having a Saint in your own family. The day ended when most of the present and past employees of Cliffs showed up at my sister Martha’s house for food, drink and camaraderie. A special cake was made that was passed around as each person talked about their adventures working at the greatest family owned store in San Francisco.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Winter in June

This is the view from my bedroom window.

I told my friend Reid that I was going outside to get some exercise. I lied. I went outside to check my mail and went right back inside and made lunch. If you are reading this and want to motivate me to go for a hike, PLEASE… give me a call. I will take you up on it. Left to my own devices, I am would not get out of bed on a day like today. Luckily, I have things to do. Namely, rock painting and pendant making. The weather is around fifty degrees and it is supposed to rain the next couple of days. Great. I am planning on going down to S.F. for the 75th Anniversary of Cliff’s Variety Store. Outside their should be music and dancing, come rain or shine. Keep your fingers crossed for some decent weather this weekend.