Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mr. Boz

He's not much of a talker. He can't read. He slobbers when he eats, he snores and oh god, does he have gas. But he comes when I call, he loves me more than he loves any other woman and when I gaze into his big, brown eyes I love him right back.

Here's one of the first pictures we took of Boz, when he first came from Boxer Rescue to live with us. Look at that lean, mean, fightin' machine! But of course Boz is no fighter. He's a lover to his core.

Boz was shy at first, just trying to figure out where he fit in the pack. But gradually he came out of his shell. He's a great communicator with a distinctive personality and a vast array of emotions. I had no idea how much I was going to love him. It amazes me how deeply we've bonded with him and how naturally his presence transformed a couple into a family.

I'm posting photos of Boz today to encourage you to read Giving Thanks for Animal Rescue by Karin Bugge at Altadena Patch, where bloggers local and worldwide pitched in words and photos of their adopted darlings. I also hope you'll adopt a pet if you're looking; as was mentioned in the discussion at Patch, you can find any kind of dog at local rescue shelters--purebred, mix, adult or puppy. Start at There's no need to perpetuate puppy mills when these wonderful animals are already available.

It's been seven and a half years since Boz came to us from the shelter. The neighborhood kids know him; sometimes they ring our doorbell to ask if he can come out and play. He's a fun guy with a great personality, still learning new tricks, the dog of my dreams.

He's growing old now and I treasure every moment with him because I know he won't always be here. I often tell him, "I love you." He knows what it means. It means he's a good boy.

Friday, November 26, 2010

PDP/PPM Books Contest, week 6: Helen!

On a recent airline trip to see the in-laws, John and I were honored to be seated next to a past president of the Tournament of Roses Association. He was on a public relations/scouting trip to visit universities--their football teams and especially their marching bands. Until I met this gentleman, I had no idea that a Tournament of Roses president first serves for years in other capacities before becoming president. Example: Lance M. Tibbet, a Tournament volunteer for the past thirty years, was recently elected to the Executive Committee. It's preordained that he will be president in 2018.

The dedication of these folks is unprecedented. That's why nobody else gets to wear a ring like this one, from 2004.

So which past president of the Tournament of Roses Association did John and I have the pleasure of meeting?

That's today's contest question. It's a fitting one because it's time to kick off the holiday season and because in Pasadena the holidays culminate with the Tournament of Roses. It's also fitting because of today's prize.

Contest rules:

1. Email the answer to the contest question to me. (This one's a little tougher than in weeks past, but I've given you all the information you need to Google it.) There's a link to my email in my profile at the upper left. You have until midnight tonight, Pasadena (Pacific) time. Answers in the comments section will be rudely ignored but probably not deleted.

2. That's all you have to do.

3. I'll put all the correct answers into a hat and tomorrow I'll find a willing stranger to draw the winning name. I'll announce the winner in Sunday's post.

Oh baby! I know some of you have been waiting for today. I'm giving away my one and only, brand new copy of Prospect Park Media's Helen of Pasadena by local Satellite Sister, Lian Dolan. Whet your Helen appetite--and find out why today's contest question fits today's prize--by reading chapter one here.

And come back next Friday because I'll be giving away a copy of At Home Pasadena, the lovely, hardcover coffee table book about beautiful living in our beautiful town.

Big thanks to Colleen Dunn Bates and everyone at Prospect Park Media!

PS. Several bloggers have contributed to Karin Bugge's piece about pet adoption today on Altadena Patch. I have a little blurb in there about Boz, which will be continued here tomorrow.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Under southern California circumstances, a photo of chocolate turkeys in the rain is appropriate for Thanksgiving. Chocolate, turkeys and rain are just three of the many things I'm thankful for.

I could go on, but let it suffice to say that the list of things for which I'm grateful is far longer than the list of those for which I'm not.

I started writing this long, preachy thing about looking on the bright side on a rainy day, blah blah. But you know whether to be thankful or not. You know what's working for you and what isn't.

So let me just wish you a happy Thanksgiving. Today and every day, may you find your equivalent of chocolate, turkeys and rain.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Just Breathe

Today I have to make one more run to the grocery store. Tomorrow I'll be hiding out. If I leave the house Friday, you can bet I won't be going anywhere near where commerce takes place.

I can't remember the last time I went shopping on a "black Friday," but it was before they called it that. Something traumatic must have happened because I haven't ventured out again. Whatever it was, I've blacked it out. It's easy enough to reconstruct: traffic, overloaded parking lots, crowds, artificial bargains, fatigue. It must have gotten to me.

I'm better now, more relaxed. I'm just practicing my own, age-old holiday tradition of not shopping on the Friday after Thanksgiving. I'll see you out there next week and don't worry, I can handle it. I'll be the one screaming "ohm" at the top of my lungs.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Friendly Skies

I liked this view when I got out of my car at the grocery store yesterday. I don't photograph clouds often, but that's because we don't often have them. These looked like they decided to squat right down on the roof.

I expected frenzy inside the store, but I guess that doesn't happen until Wednesday. Is it cocky of me to think we have everything we need for the week? (As I knock softly on my wooden desk.) I don't mind going back to the store if I need to, it's not the worst thing. (The worst thing is shopping for gifts the day before Christmas.) I only have one rule for the day before Thanksgiving: "don't travel."

If I were looking for Mr. Right, though, I'd make an exception this year. Boy howdy! Who knows? You might find Mr. Right at the airport. I hear the TSA's a solid job. So if you have to travel, make the best of it. When life gives you lemons, they say, make lemonade.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Zen Monday: #121

It's Zen Monday, the day you experience the photo and give us your thoughts rather than me telling you what I think the photo's about.

I look for a photo worth contemplating or, failing that, something odd or silly. And unless I absolutely must say something, I stay out of the comments box until the end of the day to avoid influencing the discussion.

There's no right or wrong, we're here to have fun.

Why do Pasadenish chain chairs to trees? Am I missing something?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cold Up There

Hey, guess who won this week's contest: it was Betsy Coles! Congratulations, Betsy! Like everyone else who entered this week, Betsy answered Friday's question correctly. "What famous San Marino institution just received a $100 million gift?" Why, the Huntington, of course.

Betsy's name was pulled out of a (clean) poo bag by my neighbor's delightful mother/mother-in-law/grandmother when I sidelined her while she was trying to get from her car to her family. I'll be mailing out Betsy's copy of Hometown Pasadena 2009-2010 this week. It's my last one, so this Friday I'll be giving away my one and only copy of Helen of Pasadena by Lian Dolan! That's going to bed the day after Thanksgiving, and we're kicking off the holiday season with Helen. Be sure and check in to win.

Despite yesterday's rain, the Farmers' Market did a brisk business. More than one merchant mentioned, however, that the Saturday before Thanksgiving should be BIG, much bigger than a rainy day crowd. I admit I didn't really want to go but I was out of Sconeage granola and that is not to be borne.

When I finished shopping I came home and stayed cozy indoors. I love that on a rainy day. I felt so domestic I made corn bread. Okay, it was from a mix, but it filled the house with a nice smell. I didn't feel domestic enough to do laundry, but it was a pleasant afternoon.

I thought I'd do a comparison of our weather with that of Chicago and New York but it's not bad out east. It was 45 degrees and cloudy in Chicago yesterday, and 54 degrees and sunny in New York. (They say it got to 63 degrees here but I'm not buyin' it.) You know where it was really cold yesterday? Right here in California, in the mountains at Mammoth. 38 degrees and snow. And it got down below 20 overnight.

It's beautiful there, though. Check out what the Chieftess has been finding with her camera at Mammoth Lakes Daily Photo.