So, I don’t think we’ll forget Mercury retrograde Feb 2008.

I know…saying something like this makes me seem "out there," and
well, I probably am.  I usually enjoy reading my horoscope by Susan
Miller ( so I’m starting to pick up the lingo a little.

Anyway, the month started out with a one-night trip to our cabin at Chantry Flats above Sierra Madre.

Isn’t it really so quaint?

And I totally love how magically mossy the foundation gets in the winter.

But just so you’re not too impressed…here’s the side of the cabin we
haven’t finished painting yet…it’s only been this way for at least the last 4

Well, anyways, it accidentally turned into a 3 night stay.  The night we went up,
torrential rains made the river swell, and we couldn’t get
across to hike out.  I pulled the Bridge Out of Troubled Water, but it
wouldn’t be until the third morning that we could use it to "escape"
back into our busy lives consisting of 4 teenagers, 2 cell phones,
several email accounts and a puppy.

Our only way to communicate with the rest of the world was to break
into one of our neighbor’s cabins and use his old crank phone that
connects all the cabins in the canyon with the Pack Station at the
top.  It’s the same kind of system I remember my Mom using (and hating
for the lack of privacy) when I was a little girl growing up in

Anyways, we cranked a couple of times and got Sue on the
line.  She promised to email Grandma to tell her we were OK and to ask
her to look after the kids until we could make it out.  People worried
about us, wondering if we would have enough food to survive an extra
couple of days, but we made out like bandits raiding wine and Smirnoff
Ice from our neighbors.

We kept an eye on the river from the cabin, but once we realized there
was nothing else we could do, we settled into the deliciousness of
being stranded.

There’s nothing cozier than a nice wood-burning stove, candles and oil lamps.  The warm glow is unbeatable.

And we were protected by tree spirits floating above the shed all night long.

And really, all you need is Jiffy Pop, anyways.

Not that 2 unplanned days at the cabin was a bad thing, but it did
throw a bit of a wrench in our schedules, which was a little
disconcerting.  But not as disconcerting as the following week when the
electrical power at our house went postal, frying several appliances
and light bulbs with a powerful surge on a Friday night.  Edison, to
avoid paying a little overtime, let us sit over the weekend without
power, so we had to hook up our refrigerator to the neighbor’s house to
await Monday morning when we would be eligible for a little attention
from a monster monopoly that has no incentive to provide decent
customer service.  "So sue us," was their basic attitude.  I can’t wait
until I can get off the grid.

While I was fighting with Edison on the phone, I heard a rather
unpleasant sound.  I ran out to the front to observe our minivan, which
had been parked on the street in front of our house, looking very
scrunched up as it sat halfway up on the sidewalk.  A young man driving
his friend’s new sports car had come around the corner too fast and
basically totaled our car.  His car was totaled, too, but luckily, no
one was hurt.

But, you know… I was starting to think Lemony Snicket.

Anyhow, after today, Mercury retrograde will be over, so I’m breathing
a sigh of relief.  I’m really not a drama queen, usually, so try to
enjoy this while you can, OK?