Special Teacher

Delaney’s class had their end of year party today, including a potluck lunch for students and parents. Her teacher gave out awards and positive words to every student. She and her husband, also a teacher, have three college age sons who regularly help out in the class, and one is studying to be a special education teacher. Mrs. Strauss wins the award for being caring and committed. 

Chopper and Friends

Delaney played basketball at the Special Olympics Spring Games, and Chopper the Biker Dog made an appearance. As you can imagine, he was a big hit. His owner is a realtor who brings him to events on request. Chopper has his own remote-controlled Harley, which he rode on very stoically, attired in a custom-made leather vest.

Not to be totally upstaged by the biker dog, Delaney’s team won silver medals after winning a game and losing a game. 

D taking it downtown.

Receiving her silver medal from kindly DEA agent.

The team and coaches.

On the Side

Random, but picturesque, piece of metal on side of trail.

JJ had the day off, so we went for a hike at a small mountain nearby. We had to drop the van off for some service, and a guy at the dealer mentioned there was a loop trail we should try, that continued on from the summit but would take us back to the start. So we hiked up to the top and ventured beyond and down the far side of the mountain.

We saw a bunny. Later, we saw a snake. JJ said, “get a picture!” I said, “no way!” Here was our view as we descended down the far side of the mountain:

Although it was cloudy, the visibility was great. The lake is Sweetwater Reservoir, and beyond you can see downtown, Pt. Loma and the ocean. Also, note the MH-60R helicopters overhead. I actually know helicopters now.

Perspective was wonky, and it was difficult to see where the trail might take us. After we had descended quite a distance, we began questioning whether we were on the right trail. We decided to backtrack and venture up to find a trail that would take us across the side of the hill. After about an hour, our view looked like this:

Not much different. We continued heading upwards. It was really steep.

We eventually got back up to the summit, and decided it was best to just go down the way we’d come. Here’s looking back at the hill after we descended the final time. It doesn’t look that big, but as I said, perspective is wonky. You may see a woman in a blue top and black capris coming down about 1/2 way down the lower most prominent trail, to give you an idea. Or you may not.

Our 2.5 mile, 1 1/2 hour hike turned into 6.5 miles and 3 hours. At least we earned our breakfast burritos today. And our naps.

At the summit.


This is a remarkable peach tree. In July, it will bear the most delicious white peaches I’ve ever tasted. We moved into this house two years ago, just as they became ripe. Last year, out landlords instructed us to cull the growing fruit, because it comes in too thickly, as you can see.

These guys would never stand a chance to develop fully, being so close together. As I was pulling a couple off and throwing them over the wall, a dove flew loudly out of the tree. I soon discovered why.

Ten minutes later, she’s still perched on the fence about 30 feet from the tree. I hope she returns to her babies and soon, because as the sun goes down, it’s getting cold. But maybe they will be all right, and only because they are so close together.