Blogging California Crestline Death dogs Family Food Photography Weather/Nature

A Snowy Day

The months have been dry, even to the extent that a severe water shortage had been declared, and we were admonished to use restraint in our usage, especially when irrigating our lawns and flower beds. The drought has continued through the winter, and here we were into February, little rain, and our snowfall of less than an inch had been disappointing. A couple of weeks ago it started raining. And raining, and then again, until I threatened to gather gopher wood, and I thought I glimpsed a thin line of animals trekking down our lane. Last night came heavy snow, mounding on our deck tables, ledging on our window frames, and spreading over the new daffodil shoots that bravely this morning are still pointing skyward. Snow is forecast to last throughout the day. Yes! We need it, and I love it.

Winston hates the rain. When he must go out, I give him a little shove down the back steps, he does his business and shivers his way back up the steps. But snow? He loves snow! Trots rapidly, pushes it around with his nose, and when we were almost home after our walk this morning, he turned in to Ken and Nancy’s across the street and barked for Shelby, their golden retriever. “Come out and play,” but Shelby didn’t like the snow too much and when Ken opened the door to let her out, she held back on the deck while Winston loudly barked at her.

“What shall we have for breakfast?” I asked Jerry after Winston and I were back inside, and he suggested waffles and bacon and that was deliciously fine with me.

Do you know about our waffle iron? I suspect not, for I have been dilatory about posting faithfully on this blog, and have a hunch I have not told you. Since I’m positive you want to know, I’ll tell you now!

During the Memorial Day holiday here in our mountain communities we have mountain-wide garage sales. Hundreds of people organize (or sometimes not!) their things, set them out on tables or blankets on the driveway, or . . .you know the routine. and we shoppers cruise by and if someone’s offerings appeal to us, we park our cars (often with great difficulty here) and browse through the items. It was three or four years ago now when Andrew and his crew were up for the event, and we were involved in said activities, when by the side of the road we spied a mound of boxes and bags and a sign that snagged us: FREE. There among the stuff set this beautiful, red waffle iron. Now I have never owned a waffle iron, and I said, “Look at that!”

“Want me to get it, Granny?” said dear little Brady.

“The rest,” as they say, “is history.” The perfectly operating red iron has now waffled out scores of crispy treats, its count increased this morning when Jerry and I chomped down on a couple of our own.

Those daffodils? They’re vulnerable. Because it is in their DNA, they have pushed through the cold earth . . .but they are fragile, and before their blooms burst into their intended glory, death and destruction will try to snag them. Disease. Rodents. The stomp of a hard-soled shoe, the wayward strike of a hoe.

I care about those plants on my front bank, and will see to them. See to their safety and to their progression.

We’re all daffodils. We lean on each other.

Art/Architecture Blogging Culture Death Flowers/Gardening Life Marriage/anniversaries My Home Photography Shirley Buxton Photography The World

Of Roses and Potting Sheds. Of Death?


The glass had aged, its frame of flaking paint angled in deviation from straight, for who would anticipate ordinary here–a cavern of musk and chemical, of fertilizer and rakes, of rust and twisted wire. Bulbs and seed, trowels and mud shoes and kneeling cushions. The glass, though marred of dirt and of defect, set truthfully its calling, and gave way to the buds, to the roses. Here they are. See them now.

I had placed them there. I knew their story.

They were fresh when given, dewy, tied with ribbon. Of tucked card, they were of occasion, for a delivery person had come and handed them to me.  Winston barked, and I shushed him.

One day they were finished, and I took away the vase and poured out the water, for no longer could they take nourishment. I recall that I laid them for awhile atop a book shelf, stretched out, a funeral of sorts.

Strong south winds rush across the room where lay the roses, and then began stray dried-up petals to be scattered about, and one day I took them up, retied their ribbon and carried them down the stairs off the back deck to the “potting shed” below. With little thought to exhibit, I stuffed them onto a shelf, a vague thought of using them again sometime . . . for something.

A couple of days ago as I was watering the now dying peonies, I glanced through that window and saw those ancient, dried flowers. I had not arranged them so, or at least consciously I had not. I lifted my hose and sprayed away the dust from the sagging window through which they showed. I stared at them. . .

In a few days I will be 80.


Blogging Books/Library Photography Writing

Interview with Chila Woychik

Hey, here we are. I’m excited that Chila Woychik has agreed to spend an hour or so here on my site with all of us who are hunkered around our screens across the United States and maybe even into other parts of the world. We’re an eager, inquisitive bunch–we writers and publishers–and that shifting in the air outside my windows here in Crestline, CA. just may be anticipation and enthusiasm filtering in from you. A few words on the format/procedure. I will ask Chila Woychik for beginning comments, and she will respond. After her initial words, please join in with any questions you have. I have a long list of questions and I’m sure you do also. It would be great to hear from all of you–at least to know you’re there, and to know where you live. I’m certain we’ll all be polite and respectful of everyone’s opinions, even when they may differ from our own.

untitled (1 of 1)Chila M. Bradshaw-Woychik is the owner of what has been referred to as an “exceptional midwest small press.” Port Yonder Press publishes both mainstream and religious books in a number of genres. Though small and young, PYP has already been the recipient of several literary awards, among them the Spur Awards, Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards, Westerners international Fred Olds Poetry Award, Grace Award, and Selah Book of the Year Award.

Chila has written many articles and short stories, has been widely published, and has released at least one book. ON BEING A RAT resides on my Kindle and is beautifully written–a touch sassy, a touch brilliant. She refers to those particular writings as lyric essays and vignettes. I bring you one line from the introduction: “I’d lay my pen on the tiny porch outside my door and let the sun renew it with words.” Exquisite writing.

Welcome Chila. Before I turn you loose, though, I have one question: Did you bring Dudley? If not, why not?

I suspect there may be several with us today who are not familiar with you and your work. Please tell us as much–or as little–as you wish about yourself. A smattering of background, how you happen to be a publisher, a little about your heart–your vision.

Blogging Blogging Awards Books/Library Internet Uncategorized Writing

Announcement: Blog Interview with Chila M. Woychik

You’re here. This is the right place for the interactive interview with Chila M. Bradshaw-Woychik of Port Yonder Press. Monday, February 18th–that’s today! She  is the owner of what has been referred to as an “exceptional midwest small press.” untitled (1 of 1)Port Yonder Press publishes both mainstream and religious books in a number of genres.

The time is 8:00 pm central, which of course is 6:00 here on the west coast. We’ll be talking for an hour or so–open “mic”–and I’m hoping you’ll all join in. Know established writers or beginning writers or “wanna-be writers”? Let them know of this event, please

Please pass the word: Coming up in a few hours here at Have your questions ready.

4:30 PST  Monday  The blog interview will start precisely at 6:00–not in this post, but in the one following. Thank you for standing by–eager to jump in.

Apple Computers Blogging computers Culture Internet Macs Photography Social Uncategorized Writing

The Computer and I

They called me a bookworm–always have your head in a book–when I was a child, and I suppose I was, for I adored the library over on Central Street, and I recall many days as I walked home from school that I read as I walked down the sidewalk. I walked carefully, slowly, lifting an eye occasionally to avoid stepping off a curb unexpectedly or stumbling over a crack in the sidewalk. At other times, I read in the car, on the school bus, on the city bus, and at night after my dad made us go to bed, by beams from a flashlight, under the cover.

My parents taught me to read the Bible, and at youth group sessions, when we had “sword drills,” I was the fastest to find the called-out reference, because I was a reader. My sister and I were fascinated by tales we read in fairy books, and as we washed and dried the dishes from our evening meal, untitled (8 of 8)we acted them out, and then we made up our own stories. I don’t think I wrote any of them down, but if I could read them now I would probably see they strongly resemble something I had previously read. Every year from the school library, I checked out The Boxcar Children, and all the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, and that biographical series of Great Americans–orange and green colored, they were. One of our neighbors had every one of the Hardy Boys and the Nancy Drew books and she let me read all of them.

As I grew older I read newspapers and magazines and learned of such a fabulous thing as a thesaurus. And now, I read the computer. Oh, I still read books and magazines and newspapers, but there is nothing quite like a computer. I read the news, gossip, weather prognosticators, untitled (6 of 8)events taking place here in my mountains, church news, live streaming of church services, YouTube, concerts, hear from some of my kids and some of my friends, learn things, study how to write books, load my digital pictures from my camera, process them with Lightroom, study photography and understand how hard it is, write articles, write books, edit my novel The Soul of Abram Clark, learn about publishing and agents and fuss about in forums, and find recipes. I keep track of our personal banking. I “talk” to people around the world, post pictures for friends and am encouraged by sweet remarks from friends on Facebook, and hope to encourage them a bit. I make travel reservations, pull up our tax bill when I don’t receive a paper one, utilize Mapquest, and just yesterday I found the location of the nearest Subway to the Lighthouse Theatre in Redlands, then emailed the address to Holly and to Rebecca, for we will snack there on Saturday before we attend a performance of Miracle on 34th Street. And get this–right down at the bottom of my sweet Apple is a thesaurus. Amazing thing. I tweet. I blog. I learn of life . . . and I learn of death.

I suspect I am still a bookworm, and sometimes people say, “Shirley, I don’t know how you can stare at that screen so much.” Sometimes I hide, although it’s a bit harder with a computer than with a book and a flashlight.


How about you? Are you a bookworm? Your face always stuck in a screen or a book or in a Kindle? I’d like to hear from you.

Blogging Blogging Awards Writing

Kreativ Blogger and Ten Things I Love

kreative_blogger1I feel so honored that Renaissance Guy knighted me as a Kreativ Blogger.

I was supposed to list 7 things I love, but I got mixed up and listed 10, and since I went through all that thinking I’m leaving up the 10.


1. Music (a) the sound of a Hammond organ (2) large, excellent church choir (3) live performance of an orchestra

2. A Pentecostal worship service with an anointed preacher. (Nothing better!)

3. God and His Word

4. Having all my family at our home in Crestline

5. Shopping at thrift stores

6. Taking pictures with my digital camera and analyzing them.

7. Editing my serious writing; searching for the precise word in a sentence, the flawless construction of sentence and paragraph, vivid imagery.

8. Meandering about in a distinctive downtown area, with my camera, and with money to buy coffee and a sandwich at a street cafe.

9. Travel, both in and out of this country. Love flying. Love cruising.

10. Jerry

I’m tagging the following exceptional people, declaring them also Kreativ Bloggers:

Linda at Echoes From the Elms

Ronda at More For Your Life

Tena at In His Time

Jana at Jana’s Jive Talkin

Jayleigh at Jayleigh’s Grand Adventures

Scott Andrew at Scott Andrew’s Studio Blog

Jana at Notes of Joy

America Blogging Culture Economy Friends Humor

Helen, I Found Us a House for One Dollar!

It started here back in 2006 when I had been blogging only a few months. Helen and I had “met” on the internet, and somehow one day we joined forces and took up the real estate business, having lots of fun along the way and making many new friends. We focused on buying a 21 room Victorian house in New York State that was up for auction on EBay. To this moment that post gets hits every day; checked a minute ago, and it has had a total of 6,402 page views.They'll Do Anything For a Dollar House

Couple of days ago in the comment section of one of my posts, Helen (being bored, I suppose) wrote this:

Sometimes I think we get too serious, Shirley. Wanna buy another house? ;-)

This has been our exchange to this point:

Helen, I wish you would look and find us a good deal to work on. Was that not the greatest fun. I will never forget those days.

I haven’t found a house, Shirley. Will a purple grill do?

Helen, I don’t know. I sort of hate to see us going from being established Real Estate Brokers to second-hand purple grill dealers. Not sure that is a good move, not only because of individual self-esteem issues, but in consideration of the global respect and admiration we have previously acquired. I’m really busy today (important person that I am,..and all that, you know…)so I can’t commit the time that is needed at the moment, but I don’t think I’m for the purple grill business, although I must confess I did not check out the link (important, time starved person that I am…and all that, you remember…). At the least we probably should stay in the housing market, maybe a mobile home, a high line RV, or…maybe even a trailer in a trailer park.

Now, I haven’t heard from Helen in several hours, but I’m not holding it against her, for she’s probably busy, (important person that she is, and all–you know) and in the meantime I’ve found us a house. A bargain of a house: Total charge? One dollar. Is Helen ever going to be surprised when she reads this.

“Finally, a mortgage I can afford.” That was more or less the thought of thousands of people around the country who read online about an old, sprawling two-story farmhouse in Leesburg on sale for a dollar.

There is a catch: The buyer must be able to afford to move the house. But after The Washington Post reported on the house last Sunday, linked to the article on its home page and suddenly, it seemed, the whole world wanted in.

The article received 1.47 million hits on that day.

“I have to get there first,” said one man, adding that he would have no problem towing the more than 2,500-square-foot structure to California.

Full details here. (Just don’t try to buy it out from under us, please.)

Hang on, everybody, for I’m sure we’ll throw a housewarming party and invite every one of you,  or on second thought, maybe you will want to throw the party for Helen and me. That’s probably the proper thing. If Helen doesn’t show up soon, we’ll get together–you and I–and plan one swinging party as a surprise for Helen and our new house. I’m sure she will want us to buy it. Has to be moved, though. Hope she has a big lot, for the house is in Leesburg, Va–much closer to her than to me. Besides I live in a motor home, remember…and at my house in Crestline, I just don’t believe there is room for that beautiful house you see pictured above.

Exciting, huh?

Stay tuned for all the action, and if anyone sees Helen, tell her to get over here. We have lots of work to do. For one thing, I need her 50 cents, then there will be closing costs, escrow fees, maybe even attorney charges…not sure.

America Blogging California Children My Family

Nathaniel Has a Blog

Last yesterday afternoon, Nathaniel called me. “Granny, I’ve got a blog now.”

And so he does; check it out.

You may recall Nathaniel from a piece I wrote concerning children’s music lessons, and whether or not they should be forced. If you missed that, you’d probably enjoy reading it–especially all the comments. It was during that exchange that I “met” Rob of Gallup, a wonderful young man. In that piece, Rob wrote a stunningly beautiful response concerning the joy of music and music study.

Anyway, here’s to a gallant blog writing career for my delightful grandson, Nathaniel.

America Blogging computers Internet Lake Havasu

Internet Connection Problems

For several weeks now, we have experienced serious internet connection problems here at DJs RV park; hence the paucity of blog posts.

Today, came by a stray signal: voila! Two posts within a 30 minute period.

Thanks for your loyalty–for coming by and reading an old column or two. I’m hoping that correction of our problem here is possible.

America Blogging Christianity/Religion Church Social

Announcing New Christ Alive Worship Center Site

I.have.been.a.failure…..but I’m now eagerly planning a major reformation in my life. Thanks to those who have been praying for my recovery. 🙂

We have had a poorly tended site for our church at Blogspot, and on this site, I have a poorly tended page named My Church Activities. As I said in my full confession a minute ago, I have failed miserably at maintaining these sites. I have quit cold-turkey. Quit ignoring these sites, that is.

Reformation 1       Established a new WordPress site named (what else?) Christ Alive Worship Center

Reformation 2       I have posted words and pictures there.

Reformation 3       On the old site, I have posted a notice of moving, along with a link to the new site.

Reformation 4       On the page called My Church Activities on this site, I have posted a link to new site.

Celebrate my recovery!    Go over, take a look, and leave a comment. CHRIST ALIVE WORSHIP CENTER


My devotional blog is here.