They are redoing pipes and water meters in my neighborhood, a construction company contracted by L.A. County. My first morning back from Texas, strange men in neon vests were digging in MY garden by the WINDOWS, very adrenaline-stoking in an in-your-turf way. It took 8 hours of loud drilling and shouting, but they soddered new pipes and re-patched the landscaping by 4.
My next-door neighbors (also avid gardeners who felt ‘invaded’ by the plant/soil destruction) have already had them working on it 3 days: the men shot their torpedo through to the backyard to flush the pipes, and it got stuck. Our land is always shifting because of earthquakes, so it hit concrete. They dug 2 big holes adjacent to the house and couldn’t find it, so they had to drill concrete.

To be continued

nola stats flood 2016
It makes no sense to fund re-building below sea level, or for hurricane-prone vacation homes on beaches.  I empathize, but it’s like building on the flanks of an active volcano: the soil is rich, but it’s a big gamble.
My sister’s house flooded 3x in the South Austin Onion Creek watershed, and the City of Austin finally bought her out, agreeing the houses should never have been built. I love the people of Louisiana, & a lot need to relocate and start over for survival.
New home subdivisions abutting 50-years-since-a-burn chaparral habitats are foolish, too. They are full of oil and adapted to fire.

Closer to home, new homes built on La Rotonda with ‘man-made’ ‘marine terraces’ are not worth the view (bull-dozed atop slanting folded layers toward the sea). Southern Palos Verdes Peninsula has had major landslides at Pt. Fermin/Sunken City, Paseo del Mar, Ocean Trails/Trump Golf Course, and Portuguese Bend. The geology and wave forces are the same where they’re building: it’s foolish.

In many marriages, one spouse is a risk-taker and the other worries. It is not worth buying a beautiful, risky ocean view for your loved one if she or he never feels safe sleeping.
RRaskoff's ultralite photo, South side of Palos Verdes Peninsula, Ocean Trails and Portuguese Bend

I still have hundreds of beautiful photos from London, hiking in Scotland, Jerusalem, Thailand, flying, airports, gardening, and even the Orange County Fair. I’ve been super-busy.  Does anyone have a free extra copy of Microsoft Word (Office)?  Mine that came with my laptop expired; and often when you buy it, it’s good for 5 P.C.’s.  Let me know at 

Thavorn Garden 1, Kamala Phuket, Thailand, MP Renfrew 7-16

I’ve written before how drive-by car stereos make my house shake.
When I tried on Bose headphones once at a Sharper Image, I could still hear everything in the store.
Yesterday on the plane, with full wax earplugs pushed all the way in, I could still hear every word of the Berenstein Bears read to loud children by a loud Sarah-Palin-clone mom 2 rows up; and could empathize with her frustration, but wished she could notice all the people trying to nap around them.

I have an XL skull (some hats are XXL for air flow), so headphones give me a headache.

I did research newer noise-cancellation headphones and reviews, but read that even with ears fully blocked, subwoofer wavelengths penetrate the body and can be heard in the eardrum.

This is my church.

‘Seize the day;’ do whatever God is calling you to do.

My older sister didn’t take care of her health, had several strokes, and is now in a rehab center/nursing home, with only partial responsiveness in 3 limbs.

of summer before school starts: enjoy it!

Paranoia poster
paranoia poster 2

(Bomb blasts in tourist areas: they have already suffered so much from the tsunami & general poverty.)
Thailand blasts map, 8-12-16
I was just in Phuket 5 days a month ago.

Thavorn beach elephant, Kamala Phuket, MP Renfrew 7-16
Kamala large squash, Phuket, MP Renfrew 7-16
Grandma & baby Kamala beach, MP Renfrew 7-16
Thai Airlines route Map

Cracked 1 Grand Canyon 1-8-15 MP Renfrew
Cracked 2 Grand Canyon 1-8-15 MP Renfrew
Texture 5, GC MP Renfrew 1-8-15Desert view, GC 1-8-15 MP Renfrew
Grand Canyon 'texture 1' 1-8-15, MP Renfrew
Grand Canyon 'texture 2' 1-8-15, MP Renfrew
Grand Canyon 'texture 3' 1-8-15, MP Renfrew
Grand Canyon 'texture 4' 1-8-15, MP Renfrew

El Capitan, Half Dome, Yosemite MMPRenfrew, 4-6-15
El Capitan Yosemite MMPRenfrew, 4-6-15
Maples opening Yosemite MMPRenfrew, 4-6-15
Half Dome Yosemite MMPRenfrew, 4-6-15
Pacific dogwood Yosemite MMPRenfrew, 4-6-15
Lilacs Yosemite MMPRenfrew, 4-6-15
Flowering trees Yosemite MMPRenfrew, 4-6-15
Yosemite Falls MMPRenfrew, 4-6-15
Poplar spring growth Yosemite MMPRenfrew, 4-6-15
Red bud Yosemite MMPRenfrew, 4-6-15
buck in meadow under Half Dome, Yosemite MMPRenfrew, 4-6-15
Mistletoe Yosemite MMPRenfrew, 4-6-15
Manzanita Yosemite MMPRenfrew, 4-6-15
Manzanita blossoms Yosemite MMPRenfrew, 4-6-15
Scree slope Yosemite MMPRenfrew, 4-6-15
Little waterfall Yosemite Falls MMPRenfrew, 4-6-15

All those jubilant faces!

Athletes of Djibouti, Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony, Photo: Esteban Biba

Athletes of Djibouti, Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony, Photo: Esteban Biba

Succulent arrangements on driftwood (I just made these 2).
Dr. Renfrew's driftwood arrangmts. 7-30-16

I don’t like it when candidates say ugly things about opponents. It’s part of the sparring game of campaigning, but the real test of someone’s faith or integrity is ‘Is he or she loving (or at least ‘respectful’)?’

U.K. Flag man, MP Renfrew photoSince I was in UK up to the Brexit vote, I’ve been more interested to watch European news; and for the 1st time, enjoyed CSPAN’s showing of Prime Minister Theresa May answering questions in Parliament: they were all heckling each other, but there was a certain loving respect and humor in their eloquence about it, an elevated sparring with great English & Scottish accents.

American flag in West windNow that we have 2 candidates, I realized I couldn’t just rely on my ‘gut,’ but should find more facts to back it up. I looked up their ages (H.C. 68, D.T. 70), and found this website comparing their views, that I thought to be helpful (even though I can’t vouch for its complete accuracy, of course):

In the 1992 presidential election (before some of my students were born), my biological family of 6 ‘canceled each other out’: 2 voted for Republican George Bush Sr., 2 voted for Democrat Bill Clinton (who won), and 2 voted for Independent candidate Ross Perot.

The beauty of our system is we have a choice; and at least enough freedom of the press that we can joke about it to ease the pain and angst of the awfulness in “the world.”

Kite-surfing Imperial Beach MPRenfrew, Aug. 2014
(Imperial Beach south of San Diego)

I think about this all the time, as ocean air comes in. (I often pray for more W wind.) My friend lives on the shore of Lake Superior, so wanted to explore rocks and tide pools. There was a lot of kelp and red flags by the sand so we didn’t go in, but it’s cooler air.
We were in San Bernardino yesterday and smog was thick from particulates, desert dust and fire smoke.

Near beaches are better for cleaner air, but not for sea level rise or tsunamis.
Negambp beach school field trip, July 2013 MP Renfrew
Negambo Beach in Sri Lanka, north of Colombo, 2013.

York Minster gardens, MP Renfrew 6-16
Daisies London, MP Renfrew
Duck Island Cottage, London, MP Renfrew
June blooms London, MP Renfrew
June Blooms London, MP Renfrew 2
June Blooms London, MP Renfrew 3
June Blooms London, MP Renfrew 4
Hydrangea London Marriott, MP Renfrew 6-16

York Minster gardens 2, MP Renfrew 6-16
Scottish woods blooms MP Renfrew 6-16
Wild rose Newtonmore Scotland, MPR 6--16
Rhododendrum in Glentruim, MP Renfrew 6-16
Scottish broom, Laggan MP Renfrew 6-16
Inverness garden, MP Renfrew 6-16
Inverness garden 2, MP Renfrew 6-16
Inverness garden 3, MP Renfrew 6-16
Yellow rose Inverness garden, MP Renfrew 6-16
Yellow lupine Inverness MP Renfrew 6-16
Yellow sea shrub Inverness MP Renfrew 6-16
Jo Cumming's geraniums, Glentruim
Flower gifts Queen's 90th Westminster - pink, MPR
Flower gifts Queen's 90th Westminster - blue & yellow, MPRAnthurium gift for Queen's 90th Westminster - pink, MPR
Budapest lamppost flower baskets, MP Renfrew 6-16
Budapest garden, MP Renfrew 6-16

My luggage for a month RTW, MP Renfrew 2016(not the fan)

You have to be able to carry everything up & down many flights of stairs at train stations + hotels without elevators.
Little packets of baking soda you can get along the way (near flour & sugar in little markets) work well as shoe powder (light) & unscented detergent: otherwise laundry-soap perfumes can permeate the rest of your clothes + diminish oxygen intake,
not so good for carrying luggage up & down stairs.

If you’re in another country with another language, try asking for ‘BEE-carbonate soda,’ and it rings a bell.

Budapest central market embroidery 1, MP Renfrew 6-16
Budapest central market embroidery 2, MP Renfrew 6-16
Budapest central market embroidery 3, MP Renfrew 6-16
Budapest Central Market, MP Renfrew 6-16
Hungarian ethnic dress, Budapest Central Market, MP Renfrew 6-16Hungarian dress embroidery, Budapest MP Renfrew 6-16
Hungarian dolls, Budapest, MP Renfrew 6-16
Hungarian embroidery window, Mp Renfrew 6-16

Tea in York, MP Renfrew, 6-16
Newtonmore window teapots, June 2016, MPR
York teapots in window, MPR 6-16
Tea Changes the World map
British museum tea, MPR 6-16
Yorkshire tea cart train, MP Renfrew 6-16
My kind of train, York-Inverness, MP RenfrewMY KIND OF TRAIN

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Always an adventure…