Halo, My Golden Shadow

Searching for Mirrors

I was looking through a Facebook group looking for mirrors, table top ones for craft shows, and I came across the photo above. It stated that the owner couldn’t keep her any more and was looking for a free home.

๐Ÿ˜ก People should know better than to offer up their dogs (or pets) for free to strangers. I messaged the gal and gave her my references and let her know I used to work at a veterinary hospital and gave her this as a reference too. I don’t know if she called my references or not, but she did call me to let me know I could come and get “Zoey.”

Drive to Hayward

My friend, C (who’s also a veterinarian,) came with me to pick Zoey up. The drive was very long and oh my gawd, I had to drive across a bridge! This is one long a55 bridge, and I have a serious fear of bridges. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

We finally made it to Hayward and met the woman and her daughter at a park. Zoey wanted nothing to do with us. The lady told us Zoey’s heart wrenching story.

Her original owner had died, and then she went to live with the lady’s sister who had two boys. These boys tortured Zoey. They would pick her up and drop her, lock her in a drawer or closet, and who knows what else may have happened.

So, the lady was Zoey’s third home in less than two months… and my house became her fourth home.

Zoey was very attached to the lady’s daughter. I had bought a big crate which C and I had to put on the ground and lure Zoey in, but she wasn’t having any of that.

So, we had to gently drag her into the crate and leave her leash on because she was a land shark.

This is actually an image of her in mid-bark, but you get the idea of what she looked like with us.

Home in SC Mountains

I had set Zoey up in a smaller crate within a pen with pee pads, water, and food in my living room. It took a lot of coaxing and a few days later, I was finally able to remove the leash from her collar. Removing her collar took about 1 1/2 weeks.

Zoey to Halo

I didn’t really like the name Zoey. Too many people name their pets this, and I didn’t think it really suited her. Plus, if she has any bad memories associated with that name, I wanted to quell those right away.

Since this little blonde dog followed me everywhere, I thought of her as my golden shadow, and then was thinking of a name that summed that up. Halo stuck.

The Facebook ad had said she was spayed, but she wasn’t. So, I brought her and my cat, Felipe in to be spayed and neutered, respectively. Spayed usually refers to ovarian-hysterectomy, but she ended up only having a hysterectomy.

The photo above is after she had her surgery and was licking at her incision. Tsk tsk.

Miscellaneous Photos

Here’s Halo sitting in a chair beside me. For a long time, she wouldn’t let me out of her sight. She had severe separation anxiety.

When I first picked her up from Hayward, she came with her bed, brush, food, and shampoo, but not a toy.

This little duck is the first toy that she received from me, and she immediately started chewing on it and playing with it.

Here she is in her parka. It gets super cold in the mountains.

You cannot really tell, but she has an underbite.

Living in Pumpkin Center

After the fire consumed our home, we moved to Pumpkin Center, a small town outside of Bakersfield. She, my dogs Lance and Gwenyth, and my three cats: Blur, No Mar, and Abygayle were my companions.

Here’s sweet Halo resting on my bed. She is sleeping on her pillow.

Halo in her bunny ๐Ÿฐ coat that I picked up at Ross.


IMHA is abbreviated for Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia, which is also known as AIHA or Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia.

IMHA is a disorder where the body doesn’t recognize its own red blood cells and starts destroying them. Without red blood cells, the dog becomes listless and can die.

When Halo first started vomiting, I gave her an antiemetic, famotidine, also known as Pepcid. I didn’t take her into the hospital right away because she has been known to eat strange things in the yard and then get a tummy ache from it.

But her urine was bright yellow, and her gums were pale. I brought her into the emergency clinic, and the doctor said she had a heart murmur and also did some radiographs on her. Her intestines were full of gas. But the doctor also thought it’d be best to run a PCV (packed cell volume) on her to check her red blood cell percentage because her gums were so pale.

Her PCV was 20%. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ It should be about 45%! Then he ran a full blood panel on her – liver enzymes were high, and although her red blood cells were low, her reticulocyte count was high, which means she didn’t have non-regenerative anemia. Her body was making red blood cells as fast as her body was destroying them.

Prognosis and Treatment

Her prognosis was very guarded, and the doctor suggested hospitalizing her and starting a blood transfusion. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

From working in the veterinary field for over 20 years as an ICU/emergency vet tech (animal nurse) and running many cross matches, I knew that you cannot check to see if the blood donated would be a good match for the recipient.

Why? Because to run a cross match, you need to check to make sure the donor blood doesn’t agglutinate with the recipient blood. If the blood does agglutinate, then the animal will have a reaction to the blood. Plus, it’s not always recommended to give a dog with IMHA a blood transfusion because the body will go into hyperactive mode trying to destroy all of the red blood cells.

So, instead, I opted to take her home and start her on the prednisone, a corticosteroid. The doctor also gave her an injection of dexamethasone.

On the next recheck, her red count was up. I did a lot of research on her condition and asked the doctor if we could start her on an antibiotic and liver support medication.

He said that we could start her on this, but he didn’t think this would help at all because usually AIHA caused by infection is from ticks, and there aren’t a lot of ticks in this area. However, where we used to live, ticks are very prevalent.

Halo is Recovering

Here she is, telling me what she thinks of her bad haircut.

And this was just last week. She chose the smallest blanket in the house to cuddle up on.

Last Recheck

Halo’s PCV went up to 56%, and she’s off of her prednisone! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ™‚ But because her ALT (liver enzyme) is still high, she went back on her Denamarin (a liver support medicine.)

Rising from the Ashes

In hopes to find a place before Thanksgiving of 2017, (that’s when my pets wouldn’t be able to stay at the boarding facility any more) I had offered a deposit of $300/pet. That may not seem like a lot of money to some folks, but for me, after losing my previous home to a fire and having six pets, it’s a lot of dough.

I had sought out the above property prior to my home in Boulder Creek being destroyed, by some crazy guy taking revenge on someone else’s house via arson.

This blue and white house is in a very small town called Pumpkin Center, located just outside Bakersfield, a five hour drive south of where I was currently staying. The property management company agreed to me living there as long as I paid $3000 deposit plus six months rent at $1200/month in advance. $10,600 is a lot of money to put down on a rental!

I drove down there, without looking at the property, and signed the lease for my new home. (Don’t ever do this, no matter what your situation is. Always, always, ALWAYS look at the place you’ll be moving into first.)

My only regrets is I think I could have found something less expensive, and if I had looked at the property first, I would have noticed the shared lot with a taqueria truck (that would steal my electricity and water for eight months before I’d be able to convince either the property management company about my plight or the taqueria people to not steal what doesn’t belong to them.)

After I signed the lease, I went to my new house. The inside was mostly clean, but there were rodent droppings in the drawers (eww), the cupboards were extremely sticky with grease and god knows what (another eww), and the oven – eww again. The inside of the cupboards and drawers were filthy. I’m not talking about a little bit of dirt, I’m talking about built up grime as in black and yellow. Disgusting! The backyard was a mess too. Beer cans, some half full, all over the yard.

I was so tired that first night and slept on the hard carpeted floor with a sleeping bag. The next day, I bought an air mattress from Walmart. Sleeping was much better.


Weren’t expected to be arriving for another week. I knew I needed a refrigerator because eating out of an ice chest is a bit tedious. (Buying ice and arranging everything so it’ll fit.) I also bought a folding table and a couple of chairs.

After the movers arrived and left, I sat in my living room – full of boxes. Emotional I was. I had just lost everything. There are no words to describe the pain I felt at that very moment. Yes, I lost everything in my house, but I also lost my home (the longest place I’d ever lived.) I lost my cat, Felipe, I lost my family and friends as I had to move away. And my boyfriend had chosen to stay in the Santa Cruz mountains to be closer to his daughter.


So, I bought the fridge (the cheapest one I could find), a bed frame and mattress, sheets, and blankets, towels, toiletries, a futon, another table and chair for the living room, an antique sewing table as my bedside table, and then a washer and dryer.

I also had to purchase a microwave, silverware, rice cooker, blender, serving utensils, a couple of throw pillows, vacuum cleaner, cleaning supplies, and the list goes on.

People who lose everything in a dire need a lot more than just clothes. I got a boatload of clothes, but no jacket, no shoes/boots, no bathrobe. And of course, nothing to replace the furniture and daily things.

Replacing everything in a house gets very expensive. I bought the sales and deals, I went to Goodwill (but there isn’t a whole lot in Bakersfield to choose from.)

Nine Months Later

My boyfriend decided to move down south to help me with expenses and ease my loneliness. He didn’t see his daughter much, and he missed me too.

And then in the fall, I was asked to move…


As there was a taqueria truck that shared the property with my home, they were stealing my electricity and water. They weren’t supposed to use the electricity from my house. They knew this, but they did it anyway. And then the water… they have their own water, but washed their truck three times per week using my water.

I had asked my neighbor across the street how much she spent on electricity, gas, and water… she has five adults living in her house. And she spends 1/3 of what I was paying. Hmm ๐Ÿค”

So, I told the property management this, and I had to constantly ask them. I emailed them, and got no response back. I called and kept calling. They never returned my calls or emails. So, I wrote a review about them.

When the broker saw my one star review, he called me and tried to bribe me with $50 to change my review. I told him that if his employees had gotten back to me in a timely fashion, I would not have left a poor review. I also asked him if he was going to take care of the water situation as the electricity problem was already taken care of by the owner’s contractor.

So, I think because I left a poor review, the property manager wanted me out and had first posted a notice on October 3rd telling me I had one month to move out. I had to call them and let them know that my lease wasn’t over until 11.20.2018.

Last Chance Lance

Lance was a Shiba Inu X that I got from a colleague of mine.

She had told me his heartbreaking story… he was dumped off near her sister’s house, who took him to the San Jose Animal Shelter. The shelter did a “behavioral test” on him and decided that he should be euthanized. Why? Because Lance failed their “pinch test.” This is where they grab his sides and see if the dog bites them. Well Lance didn’t bite them, but he did get mouthy with them.

When my colleague heard he had less than 24 hours to live, she got him out of the shelter, and asked me if I wanted him. (I had wanted a Chihuahua, but I took Lance in and named him, ‘Last Chance Lance.’

He was hesitant at first, but he was just dumped by his owner(s), and being at that shelter didn’t help either.

He was neutered at the animal hospital I used to work at – a state of the art veterinary hospital, open 24/7, every day of the year.

Lance took to my dog, Toby, more so than my dog, Gwenyth. He didn’t mind the cats either!

He was a great dog! (He passed last night hence I’m writing about him in the past tense.) ๐Ÿ˜ญ

Periodontal Disease

Lance has severe periodontal disease. The first veterinarian I took him to (to save $$$) said he didn’t need his teeth cleaned. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ What?! He had built up tartar on his teeth and he was missing some teeth too… and knowing his previous history, those roots may still be retained in his gums. The veterinarian said she may have heard a heart murmur too. Hmm ๐Ÿค” he either has one, or he doesn’t. She also said this about Gwenyth, whom I knew had a heart murmur.

So, I scheduled Lance to see the state of the art vet, Adobe. Sure enough, he had stage III periodontal disease. Another colleague of mine cleaned his teeth and did multiple extractions. And many of his teeth were retained in his gums. He had a heart murmur that would get worse.

Heart Murmur

A heart murmur is a swooshing sound heard between the beating of the heart. It is caused by turbulent blood flow within the heart. Some murmurs are harmless, and some are indicative of something wrong with the heart.

When a veterinarian auscults the heart and hears a murmur, they’ll want to do diagnostic tests to rule out any potential heart problems. Usually this is done by radiographing the heart and checking the size of it. In Lance’s case, his heart did appear to be enlarged.

The next diagnostic test is a cardiac ultrasound. The veterinarian will look at your pet’s heart, take measurements and also look at the blood flow.

Mitral Valve Regurgitation

The mitral valve is a valve on the left side of the heart between the left atrium and ventricle that keeps the blood from flowing backwards.

How the Heart Works

Blood that isn’t oxygenated returns back to the heart (from the body) and enters the right atrium, then the right ventricle. From there, it is pumped into the lungs to become oxygenated, and then flows into the left atrium and ventricle, respectively. Then the oxygen rich blood is pumped throughout the body via the aorta and arteries.

Mitral Valve Regurgitation is caused when the mitral valve wear out. And this is when a heart murmur is heard.

It can be secondary to periodontal disease… this is what happened to Lance. ๐Ÿ™ His teeth were so bad. But after he was diagnosed with this heart condition, it wasn’t advised for him to have any more dentals. Why? Because he could die under anesthesia.

Here’s Lance with his flying squirrel, but his favorite toy is the lamb chop. He adored that toy so much that I bought a ton of them.

Here’s his catchall of toys before the fire consumed them. Most of his toys are missing limbs.

Lance wearing some too large doggles. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Lance yawning

Lance eating Frosty Paws ice cream

Sudden Cardiac Arrest

When a dog has heart problems or an arrhythmia, he can suddenly die. And this is what happened with Lance.

Before I had left to go pick my boyfriend up from work, I had given Lance some milkbone cookies. He was acting normal. I would have never thought that he’d be dead when I arrived back home. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ญ


Lance not only had a murmur that continued to increase (started with stage I and ended up being a stage VI in only a few years,) but he also coughed a lot. This was from fluid in his lungs.

He was on medications for his heart: pimobendan, enalapril, and furosemide. The pimobendan was by far the most expensive of his meds.

Here he is with his Hartz orange squeaky bone that he loved to chase and squeak.

My sweet boy, I love you and miss you! I have your lamb chop that now sleeps in bed with me because you’re not there. You were a great dog, and I’m so glad I was able to spoil you.


(Not my car in the driveway)

Oh the joys of moving!

When we first looked at this house, we liked the fact it had a garage and a big yard. It has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms… the extra bathroom is a plus. It had some problems though… the garage door wasn’t operational (and still isn’t) and the kitchen cupboards are hideous.

When we signed the lease on October 24, 2018, we were told it was “move-in ready.” Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case.

The garage door (like I mentioned above) was hanging down, 1/4 of it off the tracks, and extremely dirty. The walls have chunks missing from them.

There were lightbulbs and light covers missing, sliding glass door doesn’t slide on its track very well, ceiling fans hanging off the ceiling (one is still not fixed.)

Oh, but it has new carpets. Whoopee! No screens or blinds on any of the windows, and there was a broken pane in the kitchen. Windows are filthy, both inside and out.

Then there’s the problem with the back gate, leading out to the alley where the garbage bin is. We cannot open the latch because the gate is warped.

Once we viewed it, we told the property manager precisely why it wasn’t “move-in ready.” She said we could come and collect the cashier’s check. Hmm ๐Ÿค”, she can’t fix it so it’s ready to move-in?!

We talked to her about this, and we met with her beginning of November. Her handyman came to the house too. I pointed out 26 problems. She said he would fix them.

To date, he has fixed:

  1. Ceiling fan in master bedroom
  2. Dryer vent
  3. Broken glass pane
  4. Glass missing from outside door
  5. Front door locks
  6. Batteries in the carbon monoxide detector and smoke alarms
  7. Replaced some of the burnt out bulbs
  8. Fixed the garbage disposal
  9. New range as promised
  10. Added blinds to 4 windows (2 rooms still missing blinds.)
  • But there’s still the other problems…

    • Garage door
      Sliding glass door
      Window screens
      Back gate
      Not all outlets are GFI
      Plumbing (raw sewage trickling down driveway)
      Heater doesn’t heat house properly
      Evaporative cooler installed wrong (window unit in the wall + whoever installed it shoved newspaper into the crevices between swamp cooler and wall)
      Sink stopper broken; sewage smell coming up from drain
      Kitchen faucet leaks at base
      Ceiling fan in 2nd room is hanging loosely from ceiling
      and the list goes on and on
  • And the property manager will not return calls!

  • So, I’m now keeping track of all texts and phone calls to property manager, as well as photographing and taking videos of everything in case we need to take this to court.

  • Before Signing a Lease
    1. Always check the property (again)
      Do a walk-through with the property manager
      Inspect everything! Plumbing, heater, air conditioners, lights
      Read the lease carefully (take it home and read it)
      Ask open-ended questions and make sure you get answers that you like.
  • Before Moving into Rental

    1. Take pictures of everything and also do a video.
      Have property manager or landlord/lady walk through and inspect everything in question
      If things need to be repaired, get this in writing with dates of when it’ll be completed.
  • I wish I had known about this. This house is definitely a learning experience of the worst kind. In hindsight, I would have not signed the lease, and I also wouldn’t have moved in here right away if I had known that I couldn’t trust the property manager to do her job.
  • Moving

    Once again, I find myself looking for a house to call home. Moving is stressful when you’re renting, and even more so when you have pets.

    A lot of people cannot find rentals that will allow pets, and some people start looking for homes for their furry kids. I’m not one of these people.

    My pets are my fur babies. They go with me wherever I go. They are not “adoptable,” as they all have their problems. They are all rescues.

    So, while I look for a new house to call home, I have to keep them in mind. Is the rental going to allow pets? What is the pet deposit like? Do I need renters insurance? Is there a yard? Do I need to pay extra money/month for my pets? Is this one set fee? Or it it per animal per month?

    It is quite outlandish to me how in this day and age, property management companies and realtors can still discriminate against people with pets.

    If only I had bought a house way back in the day… then I probably wouldn’t have this problem. But then again, if I had bought a house and it burned to the ground like my home in Boulder Creek, would I still be in the same conundrum?

    Then while looking for rentals, and having a move out date looming over me just adds to the stress. I’ve been packing as much as I can every day, but I also run a jewelry business and a jewelry supplies business. I can’t exactly pack up my inventory yet. What if something that I packed is sold?

    I was hoping to not have to move until after the holidays. But that is out of the equation now.

    I’ve never been asked to move before now. I pay my rent on time every month. So, if the owner of this house knew he was going to sell in a year, why rent to someone? Why not let me know before I spent $2500+ to move five hours south of my family and friends? ๐Ÿค”

    My 50th birthday is fast approaching, and last year with the fire, and this year with having to move, I’m really beginning to not like the month of October.

    What are your thoughts? Have you ever been under the gun to move ASAP? What did you do?

    Bear Fire

    This image shows where my house (red pointer) was in relation to the fire (white dot.)

    October 16, 2017 started out just like any other day…

    I had packed some items and had them in storage, but a lot weren’t in boxes. Instead of bringing the boxes to the storage facility, I brought the items home with me to pack: clothes, jewelry and supplies/tools, shoes/boots, and paintings – some by my brother.

    Fear of Fire ๐Ÿ”ฅ

    My worst fear, living here, in the Santa Cruz Mountains, was what happens if a fire breaks out. And I made an evacuation plan for this very reason (before my boyfriend moved in with me. He had only been living with me for the last few months.)

    There have been other fires near this area – always occurring during the day. Some were close, some farther away.

    Before picking up my boyfriend from work, I had been calling for my cat, Felipe, but he had caught a squirrel earlier on in the day. And I think he might have eaten it.

    I hate having my cats outdoors, and Felipe was the only cat allowed outside during the daylight hours because he’d annoy the other cats with his antics. You see, he was younger than my three other cats by several years.

    My boyfriend and I managed to get home at about 10:00 PM. I continued to call for Felipe, who normally comes to his name. There’s only been one time that he stayed out until after midnight before coming inside the house.

    So, my boyfriend and I, were on the deck, smoking our cigarettes, when I received a text from my neighbor up the road, stating there was a fire.

    Fire Below the Deck

    This isn’t the greatest picture, but that little spark in the darkness is the fire, about a mile away as the crow flies.

    We had about 30 minutes to evacuate. I gathered my three other cats: No Mar, Blur, and Aby, and then attended to my three dogs: Lance, Gwenyth, and Halo. I continued calling for Felipe. Crying and screaming his name.

    I grabbed my laptop, iphone, my CPAP equipment, pet food, and my pets’ and my medications. And then we left, literally with the clothes on our backs.

    We were just about to leave when my landlord drove up to tell us we had to go right now. (But he would end up staying at his house for 4 1/2 more hours to fight the fire.)

    As we were driving down the mountain, there were embers floating in the night sky.

    RV Living

    I drove all of us to my friends’ house. They set us up in their RV. It was cramped with all of the cat carriers, but it was somewhere to call home. And it’d be home for the next couple of weeks.

    (My boyfriend was actually going a separate way from me, and he moved into a room for rent in Brookdale within the week.)

    In the collage above: Lance and Halo are on the bed, No Mar is laying on top of a cushion that’s atop the two cat carriers underneath for Miss Blur and Abygayle, who are scaredy-cats by nature. Gwenyth, my 17 year old Miniature Pinscher is in the dog crate, also underneath the cushion.

    October 17, 2017

    This text message was from my neighbor who lived up the road from me.

    In the morning, we drove up Bear Creek Road to see if we could go back home and call for Felipe. There was a road block, actually there were several of them… but we couldn’t even make it through the first one.

    We had been waiting to hear if we could go back to our homes, but the fire was anything but contained.

    Every day, I drove up Bear Creek Road, in hopes to be able to look for my kitty, Felipe. And every day, I had to turn around and drive back.

    My boyfriend and I went to the Red Cross, as we had heard that the fire evacuees would get $100 vouchers, but they were out.

    I went to the SPCA looking for Felipe, and posted his pic to see if anyone knew of his whereabouts.

    October 18, 2017

    Still not able to look for my kitty.

    But I did receive a text from my landlord, Marvin, in response to my text:

    When I read these texts, I lost it, of course. My whole life was in that house. And if my home is gone, where is Felipe going to go?

    Kevin Foster is the leader of the Facebook group, Boulder Creek Neighbors, and I posted about my home being destroyed in the #BearFire. The residents (members) came together for me, and had me start a list of everything I may need for my new home.

    I’m still floored to this day for the abundance of love I received from my townsfolk. They rallied together and helped me out with clothes, kitchen items, dog and cat stuff, donations to name but a few.

    Summit Veterinary Hospital boarded and vaccinated my dogs and cats for free. (Bless their hearts too!)

    Capitola Groomingdales also boarded my pets for free when I moved into my Dad’s house for the next two weeks after living in the RV.


    After calling for Felipe and looking for him, I started sifting through the ashes, looking for beads and my rings (diamond/gold rings, ruby/white gold ring.)

    Every day I spent doing the same thing – looking for Felipe and sifting through the place I once called home. I found a porcelain piglet figurine that was in my jewelry box, but I didn’t find any of my rings. I also know that there were some people who never left the mountain, and went through people’s homes looking for anything of value, and also had metal detectors.

    Once the police found out about this situation, there were law enforcement that came out to protect people’s homes, but not those who lost their homes.

    Next up: Rising from the Ashes

    About JC Heart Designs

    Welcome to JC Heart Designs – wired gems in Christ.

    Wired (adj.)

    • Reinforced by wire for strength
    • Bound with wire
    • Connected (to a network)
    • Excited

    Gem (n.)

    • Jewel
    • Highly prized/loved person

    Each and every one of us is a precious gem in God’s eyes, and we’re connected through Him, with Him, and in Him.

    Passion for Wire

    Wire has no limits. Wire can be used to create jewelry findings, such as eye pins, head pins, links, chain, jump rings, connectors, beads, rivets, bezels, ear wires, clasps, and so much more!

    When I first started making rosaries, I ran out of eye pins. These little guys are what’s used to connect the beads together. It never dawned on me until that moment that eye pins are just wire with a loop on one end. Huh, what do you know?

    I began exploring other common jewelry findings, and looking at them a whole new way. How can I make these?

    Of course, some elements are easier to create than others. For instance, French hook ear wires are easier to create than kidney ear wires. Eye pins are definitely easier than head pins.

    Plus, wire comes in a variety of metals, gauges, shapes, and tempers.

    Self Taught

    Image above is a pair of herringbone weave hematite earrings, wrapped in 14K gold filled wire with French hooks.

    I’ve been working with wire for years now – making my own clasps, French hook ear wires, kidney ear wires, head pins, and eye pins, links, etc.

    And I’ve only begun to delve into wire weaving and braiding.

    I’m self taught through books, online tutorials, and lots of practice because as the saying goes, “practice makes perfect.”


    My designs are inspired by life. I have a few jewelry lines:

    • In the Garden
    • Feeling the Blues
    • Autumn Reveries
  • These will be added to my Etsy shop soon, under their title.
  • The In the Garden Series includes everything you can find in the garden: bugs, squirrels, bunnies, reptiles and amphibians, and plants.
  • These squirrels on 14KT rose gold filled French hooks with beige river stone beads.
  • Feeling the Blues is in memory of my Mom who passed away in February 2016.
  • Autumn Reveries is the line I was working on right before the Bear Fire consumed my home and business.
  • And coming up is Rising from the Ashes.
  • I also create Christian inspired jewelry, rosary bracelets, and rosaries.

  • The Calling
  • In 2008 I felt a calling to make rosaries. I had no idea how to make one. But like everything else, I researched how to do it, then bought some beads.
  • I remember walking on Pacific Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz, headed towards Lulu’s, my favorite coffee shop. And I felt a presence (Holy Spirit?) turn me around and head in the opposite direction into an antique shop that I’d never been in before. This presence led me directly to a case with crucifixes and a miraculous medal.
  • I was working at a veterinary hospital back then that had online access. So, after work, I perused a website that sells everything rosaries.
  • I’ve made rosaries for me, my family, friends, and the pro-life movement.
  • Rosaries aren’t difficult to make, but they are time consuming. And the motion is very repetitive, causing a great deal of pain to me. So, I take breaks in between creating these.

  • Read about The Rosary and its precious gifts.
  • About Me

    The introductory blog – what to write, what to write, right? It’s ironic because I’m seldom at a loss for words. You know that person – Toby Keith sings it best in his song, “I Wanna Talk About Me

    I keep thinking of Charlotte’s Web, especially the first encounter between Charlotte and Wilbur:

    “And then, just as Wilbur was settling down for his morning nap, he heard again the thin voice that had addressed him the night before.

    “Salutations!” said the voice. Wilbur jumped to his feet. “Salu-what?” he cried.

    “Salutations!” repeated the voice.

    “What are they, and where are you?” screamed Wilbur. “Please, please, tell me where you are. And what are salutations?”

    “Salutations are greetings,” said the voice. “When I say ‘salutations,’ it’s just my fancy way of saying hello or good morning.”ย 

    – E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

    My name is Beth Malbon, and no Beth is not short for Elizabeth, it’s just Beth.ย I was named after the character in the book, Little Women. My last name, Malbon, is loosely translated to “bad good.” So, I guess that makes me: Just Beth Bad Good. ๐Ÿ˜‰ LOL

    I am a down to earth tomboy, with a compassionate heart for most living things. Most, because if I see a tick, I’m not going to think twice about sending it on its way into the fireplace or down the toilet – good riddance! ๐Ÿ˜‚


    • Reading – I think I read about one novel per week, and I absolutely love mystery thrillers!
    • Writing – I used to write in my journal daily, but now mostly blogs and poetry. Although I have written short stories too.
    • Listening to Music – I love many genres: country, rock, easy listening, and Christian. I would definitely not be able to survive, opposite of Arethra Franklin’s ‘I Will Survive,’ without my tunes! Music helps me to unwind. Lindsey Stirling is fabulous for this! ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™ƒ
    • My pets – two dogs and two cats
    • Jewelry – I love creating jewelry; it is an expressive outlet for me.

    Notice there is no TV mentioned? It’s because I don’t watch TV. The television is overrated in my book. It leaves nothing to the imagination! I thank my parents for instilling in me the value of books vs TV.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good movie from time to time! ๐Ÿ™‚ My all time favorite movie isย AVATAR!

    My Pets

    Miss Blur


    Blur, a Japanese Bobtail, came to me through my closest friend and veterinarian, Cristi. She got her from a cat rescue lady who had just a tad too many cats under her care.

    And I had just lost a few cats of my own and really wanted a kitten, so Blur came to live with me.

    After several failed attempts of blurry images in trying to take this kitten’s picture, I gave up. And so, Blur was named because of this. If Cristi was going to keep her, she would have named her Yamaka because of the black cap of fur that sits on Blur’s head.

    Last Chance Lance

    Lance is a Shiba Inu-X who had less than 24 hours to live in a shelter. My friend and co-worker, Melissa, was fostering him and knew I was looking for a Chihuahua. (Lance is anything but a Chihuahua.) But he needed a home…

    Lance is about 8-9 years old, and I adopted him in 2013-14. He suffers from a heart condition called Mitral Valve Regurgitation and is on several medications for this.

    Halo, My Golden Shadow

    Halo’s name used to be Zoey. She is a Pomeranian. I was looking for mirrors in one of the many Facebook groups, and saw someone had posted a picture of this little gal with the title, “Free to a Good Home.”

    Never, ever offer a pet for free on Facebook or anywhere… there are sick people out there who will use these animals for their awful pleasure.

    I messaged the gal with my references and then Cristi and I drove to Hayward to pick up this Pom.

    Halo had an owner that loved her, but then her owner died. And sweet Halo moved from home to home until she came to mine. In her second home, she was abused by two little boys. They rough-handled her, and also dropped her.

    Recently, she had radiographs done. The x-rays showed severe arthritis in her thoracic spine from an old injury. ๐Ÿ™


    Aby was a feral living in a cat colony along the wetlands of highway 101. The Audubon Society was euthanizing these cats in hopes to save the birds. Cat rescue groups began to save the cats. One cat rescue lady heard I needed a cat for my increasing rodent population.

    I ended up taking two cats in, siblings. But the boy cat escaped my enclosure. Aby was laying in a cuddle bed. She was so scared, and very small. So, I covered her and brought her inside, upstairs with my other two cats, A’more and Madeline.

    Santa Cruz Mountains

    I found this rental in a small town called Boulder Creek, in the Santa Cruz mountains.

    It was perfect – the one bedroom cabin sat atop the mountains at 1700 feet. The view, in the image above, is from the deck.

    This cabin was off-the-grid, well water, solar electricity, and three miles of dirt roads connecting to the main road. It was 30 minutes from town, one way.

    The majestic redwoods, oaks, and madrone trees provided shade and homes for an abundance of wildlife. There were deer, raccoons, skunks, bobcats, the occasional mountain lion, jack rabbits, squirrels, and other rodents, lizards, quail, finches, skinks, salamanders, snakes, scorpions, and of course, spiders.

    I moved from Santa Cruz with my three dogs: Beastie, Gwenyth, and Bradley Pitt, and my six cats: Snoball, Kit Kat, Caviar, Spritzer, Gris, and Sequin.

    The house itself had wooden floors, but the bedroom (located upstairs) was carpeted. There was a half bathroom upstairs at the end of the walkway/closet, and a full bathroom downstairs, off the living room.

    There were no doors inside of the house. No doors to either bathroom, and no door to the bedroom. The only two doors were the front door with no dead bolt, and the sliding glass door to the open deck. Open because there was no railing, and there was a large board connecting the deck to the ground. No stairs.

    And the yard was huge! It was about 6000 sq ft! Lots of land for the doggies to run around and play in.

    There was exposed wiring that the landlord said he would fix. The floor boards didn’t meet up to the walls, and the windows didn’t have frames around them. The steep staircase inside of the house didn’t have a railing.

    And looking back, all of these are code violations, but I had no idea about this at the time.

    There was also no heat in the bedroom. (This would take about 8 years to be remedied.)

    The winters in Boulder Creek are downright close to freezing. The temperature in my bedroom would be about 40 degrees… I had fleece and flannel sheets, sleeping bag, electric blankets, and two down comforters on my bed, just to keep me warm enough.

    But despite all of the problems with this house, it was home. It was the longest place I had ever lived in, in my 48 years of living.

    Winter 2016-2017

    This winter was by far the worst – after nearly four years of being in a drought, the rains pummeled the earth, causing major landslides, sink holes, downed power lines and trees.

    The image above is Bear Creek Road, the main artery from my home… this part of the road took me to town. It was closed for weeks.

    And due to another major landslide on Bear Creek Road, heading the opposite way… I was unable to travel.

    This is Black Road… the road normally traveled when Bear Creek Road is closed. ๐Ÿ™


    My cat, Abygayle, had fallen ill and needed to be seen at the veterinary hospital, but I was unable to travel with her for a few weeks. She had gotten closed up in a drawer. I couldn’t find her for almost a week. (She’s not the kind of cat to meow loudly.)

    It was night time when I was finally able to drive to Adobe Animal Hospital in Los Gatos. It was very scary to drive. The rain was pouring down on us, the roads were partially covered in multiple landslides, and the fog made it almost impossible to see.

    This image is the road I had to drive to connect to Bear Creek Road. Part of the road was washed away, down the cliff. And of course, it was extremely muddy and slippery.

    The first time I drove it, I was white knuckling the steering wheel. On the drive back, I prayed the rosary and when I got past the scary part, I literally started crying. I was terrified. (Now, imagine I had to drive that at night to get my cat to the hospital.) ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    Looking to Move

    As the years went by, with no real work being done on the cabin, this rental became a hazard. And the rent was going up and up.

    My friend from many years ago came to live with me temporarily as he had just relocated from Florida. He got to see this home of mine in its worst state ever: ripped up floorboards, crumbling plaster, exposed wiring (still), sliding glass door could be opened from the outside, and the sewage smell…

    It was hell. The septic tank was overflowing into the backyard. I had already told the landlord about this, and his local “handyman” was to come out and dig a hole for the sewage company. The hole was full of sewage and the smell permeated the air 24/7. It was disgusting.

    It took months for the septic tank to be emptied, and even then, the hole that was dug continued to leak sewage into the yard.

    Summer 2017 – Solar Eclipse

    My landlord and his wife, who lived down the road from me, went on vacation. This same time, my truck’s clutch went out. The “handyman” (Rob) was actually an automotive technician. He was working on my truck when the generator to my rental blew.

    Temperatures soared into the 100s, like they did every summer, but this time, there was no electricity due to the downed generator.

    And without a vehicle, I was unable to escape the heat for both my pets and me. I was constantly dunking my head, and my pets in water to keep us cool.

    Usually when the generator dies, it takes less than 48 hours to fix it.

    Rob was working on fixing the generator without luck, and also trying to get my truck repaired. I was told it’d be less than two days to have my truck back, but because of the generator, it took much longer.

    My friend was still living with me, and was also working in town (30 minutes away.) I’d drive him to and from work, but without a vehicle, and no bus line, he had to rely on Rob, and Rob’s wife.

    The long hot hours strung into days, still no electricity, still no vehicle. The food in my leaky refrigerator/freezer went bad.

    I depend on electricity to sleep. I have severe sleep apnea, and need a machine (CPAP) to help me sleep. And what’s worse is that I also have bipolar disorder. Without the necessary sleep, my brain cannot shut off… and then I end up going into a hypomanic state.

    So, yeah, that week was when I decided I had had enough. I wrote another letter to the landlord regarding everything that still needed to be fixed, and also deducted off the amount of food in my refrigerator and freezer that had gone bad due to the week long power outage.

    My landlord wasn’t happy about my letter, and was extremely unhappy about the deduction for the food. I had just gone to Costco the week before and spent close to $400.00 on frozen and refrigerated food items, not to mention all of the other food that was in the freezer that had defrosted.

    He, and his wife came to the cabin, and told me that they weren’t going to accept this as my rent. They also told me my rent would be increasing another $400.00/month, as it was just increased $100.00 a month prior. And if my friend wanted to continue living with me, we would have to pay another $300.00 to have the septic tank pumped more regularly.


    Next up: BEAR FIRE

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