Things that have made me smile this week…and MORE rain!

It might seem a little odd to some of you that I so frequently talk about the weather. That would probably mean that you live in a region that HAS weather.

In a typical year Los Angeles records 292 days of sunshine–a monotonous luxury. Not much to talk about.

But after five years of drought the skies opened up in December, and we’ve experienced a fairly steady train of storms, with the most powerful hovering over us right now.

We’ve been told to anticipate 3-5 inches of rain through tonight and into tomorrow, and with winds taking down trees and power lines, some local flooding and even airports delaying inbound and outbound flights, the first thing I think of is how much I miss my dad. He really enjoyed a good weather event!

He’d also have been my personal historian with this week’s  threat to the Oroville Dam.  My father worked for Southern California Edison, the primary electricity supply company for much of Southern California, and over his lifetime he’d followed many changes to California’s energy needs.

I definitely gained my interest in the California State Water Project (SWP) from listening to him from my earliest childhood.

The Oroville Dam, at 770 feet high, is the tallest dam in the United States and is responsible for hydroelectricity generation and the water supply for much of California. Severe damage to the spillway has resulted in major disruption to the households living in its path, including initial evacuation.

This video was captured early in the week. Subsequently, engineers have successfully averted disaster with impressive repair work, so for now all is satisfactory. I wonder what this little project will cost in repair and retrofitting?  Ka-CHING!

There is plenty in the news to keep me on the edge of my seat, but this week also brought some moments that made me smile.

Valentine’s Day was once again marked by a mysterious token! Oh how I wish I’d saved these little surprises over the years.


I wrote about my “secret admirer” HERE, but I’ll refresh the story. I am fairly sure I’ve been receiving these yearly unsigned valentines for more than a decade. It took me a couple of years to really catch on! One year it didn’t arrive and I found myself disappointed. It comes in a small envelope and I tend to think that one year it must have been lost in the mail. All I know is that at this point it puts a smile on my face!

And then an even bigger smile with a happy reunion!


Meet Haru, a part of our extended “family.” Our good friends at Pasadena Paws are Zena’s caregivers when we travel, and because she had such intense anxiety when she first came to us via rescue, we also send her out the door once a week for a strenuous pack walk. She gets so excited when either Megan or Jay arrive at the gate and take her out for a day of adventure with several of her close, furry friends.

On January 30th, Haru went missing when she escaped in fright following a traffic accident. A 20-pound female Shiba Inu, she is certainly distinctive! Yet she couldn’t be found! Knowing how much anyone would be frightened for their vulnerable, missing pet, I was so delighted–ecstatic really– when she was found hiding in someone’s garage not far from the original accident site, after eleven days!

If you love dogs you might really enjoy following Megan at Pasadena Paws Facebook  and Instagram, as well. You’ll love the photos! And if you pay close attention you might even find Miss Z with some of her friends!


Another thing that makes me smile…and thankful…

A good roof, a warm home and a fresh pile of library books!  That’s enough for me this weekend!

I’d better send this off–flickering lights are a sure sign we could lose power. A true weather event!





51 thoughts on “Things that have made me smile this week…and MORE rain!

    1. I suppose he must have been amazed at such warm winters! I guess we can be just as fascinated with little weather change as dramatic shifts! This is a little
      bit more rain than I’m completely comfortable with, though. I guess I just want a guarantee that it will stop! Lol!

  1. I was thinking of you today when I saw the your weather report … that’s a lot of rain – sure hope the dam survives! Interesting how your weather seems to embrace the extremes. Whew!!! Great pic of Haru!

    1. This was quite a storm, Frank. We were safe and sound, but the region sustained a fair amount of damage. And we have more rain coming! The weeds in the garden are growing quickly and a nice and green! 🙂

    1. You’ve had so much more rain than we’ve had, Andrew, but this last storm was larger than any in my memory! All my rain barrels have been filled, emptied, and re-filled so many times and currently they’re full and everything is so saturated I’m not sure I want to empty them too soon!

    1. It was quite the storm, wasn’t it Gerlinde? I was also very happy to be inside my warm home, but I kept looking at the trees and hoping they could withstand so much saturation! I hope we have a chance to dry out a bit before more comes through! 🙂

  2. Welcome home Haru ! We do live in a place that has ‘weather’. It’s never what it’s supposed to be and always changing.

    Isn’t it amazing how much we need water, and yet how much it can terrify us?

    1. This was the biggest storm I’ve experienced in many years–since long before the drought! It was actually a little frightening, but we were fine! And it was indeed very exciting to know that Haru had been found. There are so many coyotes in our neighborhoods I was very, very concerned. It was a highly suspenseful and exciting week overall! 🙂

  3. Love the dog pics. (I’m a sucker to all animals!) Sounds like Zena has gotten over some of her separation anxiety. A healthy walk once a week is great (especially if you don’t have to do it).

    1. Yes, Kate, we make sure that Zena has her weekly packwalk so that she maintains some confidence with her social network! LOL! We walk her every day and provide exercise, but she is very bothered when we leave her, so we bolster those ties and she sees Megan and the other dogs as her “other” family! I think as she’s getting older her anxiety seems a little less as well. She’s a sweet and very sensitive dog!

    1. I thought of you, Jim. You have spent enough time in Southern California to recognize how rare this kind of storm is! I hope the rest of your time in San Diego isn’t quite as wet! We’ve had enough now that we could stand to dry out a bit. 🙂

  4. We’re at that point here in Sacramento where I wonder if it will ever stop raining. Good luck riding it out where you are. Family near San Luis Obispo has been without power since yesterday.

    1. I hope your family wasn’t without power too long! I was a little uncomfortable with so much wind, only because I kept thinking about those power lines! But we were fine. You have surely experienced more rain than I can even imagine. I have family in the Bay Area and Sacramento so I monitor the rainfall and weather reports and I can’t imagine! If you get much more you’ll probably be considering a boat! I hope this week we get a little respite and dry out enough to better absorb any future rainfall.

  5. I do hope those storms soon abate, Debra. When I saw all that water gushing over the dam I thought ‘what a waste’! But I suspect you will have more than enough after all the snow that has fallen in the mountains too. Enjoy the weekend with your library books – have you got an oil lamp or some candles, just in case….? 😉

    1. I have a similar response when I see that water being released, Cathy! But we’re so full there isn’t any option at this point. The snowpack is way above normal, too, so at least for this coming year we’re going to be in good shape. We do have extremes! 🙂 It’s been a very nice weekend, and we rode the storm well. Thank you!

  6. So your secret admirer hasn’t spilled the beans yet? So you can rule out any friends who can’t keep a secret . . .

    Glad that the weather is continuing to provide much needed rain for your region. And I LOVE that Haru got found!

    1. Isn’t it wonderful about Haru, Nancy! We have so many coyotes in our neighborhoods that I was very concerned for her safety. She’s back out on the trail with her other furry companions! I think my “secret admirer” is playing a little joke on Jay! My first name isn’t ever included. I think one of his work friends (who never knew my first name) has a great sense of humor!

  7. Weather we are experiencing!! Loved your closing line about a good roof, warm surroundings (wine included) and books.
    I, too, am thinking of my dad as I listen to cassette tapes (yes!) he gave me on which he recorded his favorite music; most all religious. All choral arrangements done by talented people in that genre and still used by contemporary groups (e.g. APU). Wish I had asked him more questions. Hugs, E

    1. So much rain, Amy! But we were safe and sound, and it would be nice if we could dry out just a little bit before another storm comes through! We don’t personally know Haru’s family, but we were very worried about her and felt so badly for them as the days wore on. After eleven days it was beginning to feel a reunion unlikely!

  8. Listening to the news today, I’m hoping you don’t have too MUCH of a good thing. I, too, am so happy that Haru was located, apparently none the worse for wear. Thanks for keeping us posted. Enjoy your books and stay dry.

    1. You’re right, Karen! We have had such wonderful rain but at this point we’re saturated! We could use a break! 🙂 I saw that you’d been following Haru’s story on FB and shared in the excitement when she was found. I wasn’t too hopeful after so much time, so I think that simply increased the joy when she was found!

  9. My dad enjoyed weather events as well. Your words reminded me of that. We are breaking records of a different sort here in Chicagoland; 60+ days without snow and 60+ temperatures in February. 🙂 I’m hoping your weekend has been with a little less rain and sustained electricity, Debra.
    So good that Haru was rescued and here’s to good weather when Andra arrives.

    1. It’s amazing to hear how warm your temperatures are, Penny! Thinking back to those arctic freezes of a few years back this must be a delight. But it also is worrisome when when the climate is so very different from what we seasonal expect. I had several friends tell me their father’s were amateur meteorologists! I found that interesting. I wonder how much of the interest came from feeling a sense of responsibility for their families–safety, concern for circumstances that might interrupt livelihood, or perhaps just simple curiosity. 🙂 Our homeland property didn’t sustain any damage but others weren’t as fortunate. We need to dry out before the next storm, but we’ll have to see how it works out!

  10. I love a weather event – not that we get many in England. The storms of 1987 and 1988 are probably the worst that I have experienced – in the 1988 one I spent quite a lot of time helping to move aircraft to safer parking and adding additional tie-downs.

    We’re seeing lots of reports about your current ‘biblical’ event and I hope you and yours stay safe.
    ps – Good news re: the Doggies 🙂

    1. I think we’re experiencing just a little too much of a good thing with all the rain, Martin. But we didn’t have any particular problems on our own property, but I don’t know if you saw any footage of a fire engine being swallowed up by a sink hole! The storms you mention must have been incredibly powerful if it required moving aircraft to higher ground!

      1. Hi Debra, yes I saw the fire engine and half the freeway gone! Heard about the tragic deaths too 😦

        The winds were the problem with the aircraft so we were moving them into the shelter of the main hangars and positioning them tail to the wind. Some of the corrugated roof of one of the hangers relocated to an adjacent field during the height of the storm!

    1. Thank you for sharing in my amusement with the valentine mystery, Philip! I think it’s one of my husband’s friends playing more of a joke on him than me, but whoever it is, the consistency and regularity is impressive! We didn’t suffer any damage to our home or trees with this latest storm, but I don’t remember a time when I’ve ever seen rain harder. It’s fascinated to have so much rain after years of none at all! There’s more expected later this week. We’ll have to consider boat building soon. 🙂

  11. Hurray for your weather events as long as they are not too exciting and every body is safe and sound in the end! Those Valentine’s are so sweet…I may even start the idea to put a smile on somebody’s face. I wonder if your Valentine will ever reveal her/his self?

  12. While I am on the other side of the country (NY) we have our share of blizzards and snow storms – several years ago it was Storm Sandy that took away even the heaviest of my planters – but everyone was safe and cars and furniture can be replaced. Glad your dog was found…beautiful!

  13. barbbamberrealty

    There is a lot I connect to here.. my own father used to work for Calgary Power and knows tons about electricity and dams as well:) I love a good storm, we spend summers at my parents cabin and love sitting on their screened in porch because it feels almost like standing right in the rain storm:) So lovely to be here at long last.. glad your puppy was found safe and sound!! xx

  14. It seems that the old saying “when it rains, it pours” is certainly true for California lately. I know the rain is very welcomed but not so much at once. I’m glad you didn’t receive any damage.

  15. I’m so glad the dog was found. I lost one of mine for an hour one day and I still shudder when I think about it. On the plus side, I got three long blog posts from it 🙂

    On another topic, as someone who lives with ever-changing weather, your current obsession seems perfectly normal to me 🙂

  16. Although I lost my Dad in 2001, I often think of him when the moon is full, the stars are brighter and in circumstances of national concern. He would be following both rains and fires out west. The dam would be right up there with following, with his engineering education. (Although, your Dad’s expertise sounds more closely aligned! <3)
    I hope all gets balanced our and may your secret admirer let you know someday his or her identity! Does the postage mark indicate close or far distance identification, Debra? xo

  17. Very cool sources of smiles. The found dog, Haru, made me happy as there was a local one year old golden Lab lost for four days. People would spot her but being young, she would run away. My good coworker friend told me of a huge reward, which I mentioned to others. When someone caught Lolly, they refused the reward. This is a wonderful smile for me, too. 🙂

    1. I was so relieved when Haru was found because she was lost in an area close to the foothills and I was very worried about coyotes. We dog people worry about the lost animal and feel such anxiety for w

      1. Yes, we all worry about animals being lost for many reasons. They could starve, be hit by car or taken far away. . . I think coyotes are very scary, in your part of the country, Debra!

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