Category: Jamie

At Last

Am tired so here’s a quick list of LT updates…leaving in the morning… 1st stop Great Uncle Norman…then the Sierras!


  • Business Cards to give folks on the road
  • Folding Rake …. Many campgrounds have stickers….  Not good for the dogs
  • Camp Shovel
  • Camp Ax
  • Grill
  • Fire Starter blocks
  • Skewer thingy for marshmallows …maybe roasted bananas?
  • Tablecloth holders… they keep the tablecloth from blowing away
  • Camp lantern
  • Outdoor mat Outdoor clean your feet rug for RV door
  • Mosquito netting for doors
  • Outdoor attachable table
  • Outdoor folding table
  • Lots of shorts and cool tops
  • Extra towels
  • ….  See a theme here! Last year outdoor living was severely limited
  • New campground memberships
  • Sewer fixed
  • City water fixed
  • TV cable fixed
  • Toolkit!!!  Thank you Frans!
  • Solar insulation…floors, windows, windshield and cabinets … double as blackouts for obnoxious Campground lights.
  • The rear view Clover camera and monitor
  • A GoPro video camera
  • Cassette adapter for my cell phone to play out the car radio…  my old cell phone
  • A mount for my Garmin GPS… also the old one… should probably update it.
  • An atlas
  • Folders for maps and stuff
  • Better cook pots
  • New floor rugs
  • New color scheme…  blue, pink and brown
  • Waterbed for Olympia….in her crate
  • Better leashes for the dogs… they can be easily hooked to objects
  • Beautiful collars with names and address on buckle …no dangling tags
  • Reflective collars for night-time
  • Padded interiors for doggy comfort
  • Additional mirror so I can see entire inside of van while facing forward
  • ……  okay I’m taking a nap                                      Jamie Rosenthal

I did manage to get my haircut. It was a strange expensive $45 experience. Five dollars off because she didn’t wash it or use any product; she straightened it with a hot iron then sniped off the ends. She didn’t cut off nearly as much as I’d hoped but now that it’s straight and silky it reminds me of Jamie Sommers.

I’d picked the name Jamie when I was 12. Jamie was a boy’s name and I knew it except there was a girl on my street who changed her name to Stormy…her name had been Jamie! She was the only person I knew with that name and I was disgusted with my birth name. There were at least 3 girls with the same name in my homeroom and more in my grade at school; at home my name had been shorted to a screeching…IT with a hard dragged out T at the end, you see I was a Janet. These days I like the name Janet, Janet Beth but I’m not her anymore. No, I’m a rebellious Jamie. Who changes their name at 12? It’s been a fight with years of struggle to get my new name to stick. I finally had to “officially” change it in my late 30s due to tightened security with the feds and banks not going for “two” first names at all.

I liked having an ambiguous name, when I was growing up mostly only boys were permitted the fun stuff. I wanted to be a boy but still be a girl, that’s why I traded skirts and garters for boy’s button down the front 501 Levi’s. I wanted the freedom and approval to be the one on the white horse, the hero, the one do to the saving….I had no interest in being the damsel in distress, Cinderella or Little Red Hiding Hood; no I wanted to be Mighty Mouse, the Lone Ranger or Bat Man! But I couldn’t even be Bullwinkle. So being “Jamie” suited me, no more just one more in a crowd, I was unique, a girl named Jamie; different things were expected of me. People looked at me weird and lectured me that I shouldn’t be going around with a boys name…I liked it. Everything was fine until the Bionic Woman!

She stole my name! As it says in the post:

The name “Jaime(and I spelled it that way until I got tired of being called Hi-Me) was predominantly a male name (a derivative of “James”) before the television series began. It is probably not a coincidence that in 1976 the name Jaime became one of the 100 most popular names of the year in every one of the 50 US states. The female name Jamie (a variant spelling) also gained enormous popularity at the same time.


Oh, how I’d loved my friends saying to me, “Let’s go James, Take me home James,” Then all of a sudden I was a superstar. I was supposed to be larger than life. There were different expectations; I was supposed to be able to do anything now!!!! Oh Bionic Woman…what did I ever do to make you steal my name! Did I run into your creator down at Hollywood and Vine or maybe on Melrose at the Bodhi Tree, or in North Hollywood running around the streets and backlots of the studios and you thought, wow what a great name for a girl, I think I’ll steal that for my new show! You thief spoiled my life! See it on TV and everyone has to do it, now there are a million females named Jamie. So I have to compete, I don’t like it. Since the late 80s I’ve wanted to change my name again. How do I know it’s me if there are so many others that come running when the name is called? How do I know it’s me when people have images of a blond dynamo who can do everything just a little better and faster and smarter than I can!

So, dear bionic woman  it’s time you acknowledged where you got your name. Here I am trying to do a million things at once and do them all perfectly. I am the original Jamie, except for Stormy who changed her name and her name hadn’t originally been Jamie anyway . . . it’s not Jamie Sommers and her dog Maximillian . . . it’s Jamie Rosenthal and her once upon time Gigi and Sambo the poodles, then Bisschen the boxer, and my beloved PWD Hero along with Taiko the lab/chow and now Mason and Olympia!

One has to be grateful for someone coming along and offering a tow up an otherwise impossible climb. . . . in this case it’s to a better life pummeled by my departed Aunt Hermione Greene on my father’s side and still alive 96-year-old Great Uncle Norman Levan on my mother’s side. Where I was had scanty future poking through. Being part way up the grade has its own deathly perils. My work on the B&B is at a standstill. I feel longing for all my intended guests, oh how I want to welcome you and your pets as your hostess. The plan was to settle in the Sierra Foothills near Yosemite with open arms for guests and traveling pets, appreciative of the arts, nature and cooperative living . Yes I have a business plan, everything’s in place except my main backer, Dr. Norman Levan, my beloved great uncle has closed the door to his response. I do not know why. I am left wondering what went wrong. Silence here is not golden. I have a long list of guesses but, in truth, it must be my path. It must be meant to be excruciating, as most of my life has been rift with half-ways, broken promises and lack of support. After all my father’s wife managed to wrest my father’s estate away; I received a gift from my Aunt Hermione at the very time the market crashed; my jobs/careers have been at the wrong place at the wrong time…victim to crumbling economy, corrupt bosses and petty jealousies. I’ve battled lifelong post traumatic stress for no choice of my own, a difficult body with a list of ailments that might have left me bound to a wheelchair or worse. . . in awhile you can read bits of my memoir as I prepare to post on my new blog. It’s not a particularly good piece of writing, in fact its terrible but after my father’s death I was compelled to voice the person here inside these ponderous and beatific days of life.

Meanwhile back to the climb. The K9 Nose Work instructor course is coming along, will soon begin another year-long certification in animal behavior, the dogs are doing fine, bored with my busy schedule but healthy so that part is making progress. My printmaking skills continue to improve, difficult but making progress. The LT is being pampered with its new camera and some insulation for the summer.  Where I’m mired is the B&B and the place to teach my classes. It’s the only area where I had to rely on outside support. Am trying to recoup and have decided to spend my backup funds on a home sans the B&B if I find one that will work in a way in which I can still make a suitable living…. i.e training/breeding/ boarding dogs and in time offering animal mediation services. (There will have to be room for art/printmaking studio as well!)  It will leave my pockets empty so everything else had better snap into place or I’ll be tumbling back down that hill awfully fast!

Yes, of course, one, can go sideways.

Wishing the rest of you on the slope safe and strong journey!

Top-10-Most-Beautiful-And Killer-Roads-Of-The-World/

You think there’s not much going on

Am so busy and my dogs are sleeping! Installed the thermoreflextive carpet padding in the LT, eager to discover how well it works. I decided against a swamp cooler… time to learn to use the rear AC, it’s what’s it’s for. The rear view camera will arrive in a few days. Still debating potential routes, a friend reminded me how I prefer quiet, pristine camping spots. I’ll be leaving when school gets out. . . the same time as everyone else so I need to think. . .what can I do to reduce impact from light, smoke, kids screaming and adults drinking and hooting. They’re entitled to have as much fun as they like, yet sharing their revere is not part of my goal.

The bulk of my time is printmaking. Am taking several classes, one is an official college course on steroids. The college has cut back lab hours and class hours but kept the work load. Wish for more time to explore the materials and techniques. I dislike being pushed to produce fast on the first try and calling that art. Love printmaking though!!! Acid etching, block printing, monotype, silk screen, woodcuts, collagraph, and more!  Then the dogs, and getting my dog training business off the ground, attending K9 Nose Work instructor training, therapy work with the dogs, agility & obedience, editing my memoir, working on a place to live–a home with room for the dog training and art, my mediation, which I want to take into animal mediation. . .you get the idea. Reinventing Daily Life ♥

Ah California – update

Welcome to California

I posted this for the irony. Shot it at the first rest stop on Hwy 5 entering CA. The large lush grassy areas were devoid of human (or canine) occupancy. It was hot, 100° or over. Where were all the people? There were lots of cars and RVs… The people were carefully avoiding the perfect grass–don’t step on the grass might get cooties! Oh the people were with their dogs! Some braved the stickery hot “dog area” others simply walked cautiously on the cement pathways. Was the most ridiculous sight. All for fear that someone might not clean up (and I know some people do not clean up for their pets – never mind that no scoopers were provided.)

….. here in Santa Barbara now, much more to tell and I will… tomorrow. Have been doing laundry and missing the Oregon and Washington coast!!!

The Dogs Are Okay The Woman Is Not

The reality of my life. I tired to post some nice cheerful things about Mason. Took some adorable shots of him guarding the van but Word Press chocked on it. WordPress is hard to use and I’m having a bad time anyway. I suffer extreme stress and disappointment. I live in disturbing conditions and suffer extreme isolation. I do not mean isolation as in there are not people and animals around; I mean life has led to emptiness and loss and I’m tried of trying to survive, tried of fighting for simple breathing space. I’m tired of being beaten by thoughtlessness and manipulation. Olympia has taken to sitting and staring at me, waiting for me to entertain her, but I don’t want to do that so much these days.


Bruce is working on the install for the converter. Hope it won’t be a fortune—starting to think the LT is not happy unless it’s ensconced at a garage…

Merrell Pandora Breeze

These are the shoes I bought

Tried my Merrell Pandora Breeze Dark Earth women’s hiking shoes while out with the dogs. Am an inch taller with them on. . . . stiffer than the running shoes I’ve been wearing for last two years. They fit with or without my orthotics. Size 7 ½.  Didn’t need wide. Actually since I’ve lost weight my feet are narrower. The weight gain accompanied my father’s death

Inebriation does not agree with me, drugs make me ill, sedatives shoot me through the ceiling and meditation makes me nervous….ah but food, like chocolate chip cookies, and tasty grilled vege sandwiches, pasta with pesto and crumbled vege burgers, melt in your mouth rich dark chocolate with bits of cherries or crushed orange rind, or even better flakes of hot chilies. Organic blue chips with guacamole or Trader Joe’s 3-layer dip. I can eat.

Sure I pick holistic natural food without additives… additives also shoot me though the ceiling into the clouds of the lost with vicious headaches and dizziness to boot. . . that reminds me of the time my mom treated me to a all natural salad / sandwich at a place on Sunset Blvd. The food was great. My mistake was to order the lemonade without asking what was in it. Lemonade is one of those strange drinks, you can make it when you’re a kid with just some water, ice, a little sugar and freshly picked lemons and sell it to thirsty adults that pass by. When restaurants do it they jazz it up, mixing in flavors, agave syrup, strawberries, papaya, grape juice, tea…all good except when it comes to syrups and powders, that’s where the problem lies. I can be allergic. Formula ingredients don’t need to be listed. Did you know that? I worked in the food industry when I lived in the Bay Area. And, if you want to be happy, you don’t want to know what goes into batch food bases and mixes used by restaurants and fast food…it would scare you. Oh, they’ll tell you it’s “all natural,” even if it’s prepared from packages made by a lab; I mean, how natural is it to take a lemon, dry it out, then add flavorings, a ton of sweetener, mix it up with water spun through some industrially sanitized machine (that probably hasn’t been cleaned in a long time anyway) and call it natural? If it doesn’t smell up to par, no problem they’ll add flavor and scent till it’s enticing.

I should have been suspicious as the “lemonade’ in question was jiggling about in one of those juice displays looking way too yummy on that hot day.

Mom and I ate and headed off to the Grove or wherever it was. First my tongue told me that sharp raindrops were hitting it, then it went numb, then the inside of my checks became bulbous and I couldn’t feel where they ended. I was trying to talk, trying to say, hey I don’t feel so good, my head was fuzzing and words were coming out sloppy and wrong. My throat constricted making swallowing an Olympic sport. I was short of breath, dizzy, sweating and wheezing. Didn’t want to worry mom but I was wondering where the nearest hospital was located. And I was mad; I’d been fooled by pretty looking fake lemony stuff. It wore off, I survived but that’s how it is with me, chemicals that others doff and chomp without comment are horrendous in my system.

My housemate stocks the kitchen table with bags of candy—mini musketeer bars, chocolate mints, peanut butter cups, I can eat those. He announces, “There’s chicken” It’s supposed to be for the dogs but I can have some, he says, and mashed potatoes, mac ‘n cheese and pieces of cake from Ralph’s, comfort food, and boxes and boxes of cookies and chips, loaves of sourdough bread, deluxe super rich “natural premium” ice cream… I can eat all those although I’d never choose them for myself since I lean toward vegan when left to my own devices. But I eat what’s in front of me, I can eat nonstop, all night if need be. It’s stupid. But there are times when if I stop eating I’m in real trouble. And that’s how it was during my father’s death. I couldn’t do anything to help so I helped myself.

A few days ago I fell. I was cleaning the van and there was a small patch of mud on the sidewalk. My old shoes where worn smooth and I slid, like I was skating, down I went. I strained my lower back and my knee. My old shoes were hard to buy… nothing fit…  my feet have high arches and I needed wide which was almost impossible to find, nothing could soothe me.  I have some odd ailment that makes it feel as if I’m held together with wooden clothespins that easily come loose. Any of my joints can ratchet out of place. This includes all the little bones and muscles of my feet, knees, hips and back as well as my shoulders, neck and things in my jaw and around my eyes. And of course my nerves scream bloody hell when anything’s amiss. Then I lost 30 pounds during that time when my heart hurt as if a knife had been imbedded and twisted in my rib cage. I’ve gained some of it back wresting stress two-handed like holding a mad cow by her horns…

I’ll be slow with my new shoes, take time to adjust so my knees and back don’t scream at me!

Yeah!!!  I have new hikers!!!!  I’m doing okay.  Now, for that pesky van…


I sorta felt like sludge today, the wastage of a perfectly good human brought down by garbage. You get the idea—mind garbage. My mind. It keeps telling me things. . .like. . . ha ha, see the LT sitting with it’s rear empty (I had to remove my cuddly bedding and all the dog stuff under the rear seat in case Bruce has to lift it out to install the controller), the dogs accusing look–they’re bored with all this waiting, my route and scheduled friends hissing and humming, politely, of course, why oh why can’t she get her act together!!! And my self-berating over the summer I took off from dog classes, mediation, training, to do what? Gather dust? And things like that…things are not as they should be. What to do? I took a nap, woke up crinkled and sour. So I downloaded some new (free) apps from the Marketplace on my Droid.

Found some great ones:  1-Tap Clean Cache (too bad they don’t make a human version,) Dog Mobile, iRV2 Forum, My Car Locator (the LT may be a little harder to lose because of its size, we’ll see,) Nearcamping. . . all great for RV info, camping and when needed, a nice friendly doggy hotel.

Maps on my Droid, now pops with campgrounds, reviews of campgrounds, phone numbers for campgrounds, pictures and turn-by-turn driving directions.

Also found c:geo and Locus Free for geocachng. These last two kinda make me feel like I’m cheating. They load the geocashes, the hints, directions and provide lat & long, with radar, compass and map. I grabbed Frans, who for a change was not out dancing, and we tried a few caches near the house. Took us to homeless encampments…whoops. Couldn’t find the caches, only spiders, beer bottles and X-rated DVDs and other assorted weirdness ….  but it revved me from sludge state to something a bit less goopy.

Strange Despondency

A tree turned to shadow

It whispers my name

Yesterday was my 58th birthday and it’s no longer a horse that I wish for when I blow out the candles, it’s a home. I yearn to come home and settle into a good book, cook dinner—maybe have a friend over, grow a garden, nurse a fallen bird, fix the garbage disposal, paint the walls, maintain the plumbing, fix a chip in the floor, install a new garage door—bring it on.
I worked at the Four Seasons Biltmore banquets where for 8 or 11 hours straight we’d clean, polish, set-up the dining room, unroll the cables, wire up the equipment, bring in the tables, the chairs, the decorations, plants, flowers, silver, crystal, fold the napkins, align the place settings with precision detail, you get the idea, then serve, then take everything down, clean up and put everything away; I mention this because people have told me having a home of one’s own is too much work; having a dog friendly B&B, which has become my dream, especially,  is too much work. Well, I’m not suggesting it for them, it’s for me! I long for a place to unwind, to create, to breathe. A place of my own. I don’t want neighbors within shouting distance, don’t want to share walls, don’t want cars zooming by. I want land. Space, stars, water, wind, trees, critters. How long have I wanted this? Forever. In my childhood it was a ranch with horses—a place where I could teach people the love of animals and how to live harmoniously with the land.

Could I still have a ranch... a forest... a river

Really I haven’t changed; instead of horses, it’s now dogs.

Searching for land and a home

I worked as a planner for both the City and the County. I have an inside knowledge of things that can go wrong with a parcel. Also the same inside knowledge of how to fix it. I helped a friend build his own home on Greenfield Ranch . . . it was off grid. Developing the power, water, septic, food, wildlife, I shared. We made cold boxes for food storage, filtered water from the hand constructed dam, installed deer fencing and below ground irrigation for the fruit trees, waded through thigh high mud in the winter and designed passive cooling in the summer. My friend taught me about solar and wind turbines, prolific compost gardening and cooking. We boiled water on the potbelly stove for our baths. We made our own bread, canned the veges we didn’t consume, there was time for art and appreciation of sweeping leaves. Boredom and burnout were never issues. The morning was full of beauty, the night full of wonder. I don’t understand people who prefer apartments and pink skies, who crave the security of strangers in their midst, who need the convenience of a 24-hr shop 5 min away.

A piece of land I loved

I named this Hero's pond but did not purchase it.

I studied animal science, agriculture, animal production, farm management, then ecology, biointensive organic gardening, environmental planning, biology, electronics, geography… then I lost it and instead of art; computers, multi-media, business, public administration, TESOL and mediation.


Could I create a garden like this and invite you to share?


I only have a little bit of money. No safety net, no backup funds. This journey with the dogs and the recalcitrant LT is to find a rural home, ideally with B&B potential, or perhaps a community. It is all I want.

How much does hair grow in a year?

I looked this up today and came up with around 6 inches a year but hair can grow more or less than that.

Yesterday I had a haircut; in an ordinary life this would be no big deal. Mine has not been ordinary and the haircut was significant. I wanted to do it since my hair had become so long I was sitting on the ends. I didn’t dare go outside without braiding it. It’s also gray and in places white. Even braided people would stop me to comment on how long my hair was. Actually most of these comments were in awe…as in wow, I couldn’t grow my hair that long when I was young and now that I too have gray hair (or colored hair) it won’t grow at all. I never knew for sure if was surprise that I would do this or some sort of youth envy. My generation worshiped long hair. My dad however always wanted me to cut my hair short. My hair looked terrible short, its naturally wavy and has cowlicks so when it’s short it goes in many directions at once. It looks silly unless a lot of time and product are applied both of which I’m opposed to. I have the kind of hair that hairdressers love, whatever they do to it (other than cutting it short) I can simply shake my head and it looks perfect. It doesn’t look perfect when I neglect it and that’s what I had done. I stopped cutting it the day my father died. I didn’t so this on purpose.

My long hair

Do my dogs wonder why my tail is on my head?

messy hair

My hair at its absolute worst - not even braided properly

I would have told you I stopped cutting it after my father’s death but I would never had said that it was a plan or that it meant anything. My hairdresser who was amazed by my story (and the length of my hair) asked me what my father had to do with it, that’s when I remembered how he’d tease  and cajole me about cutting my hair. He’d give me one of those, why aren’t you beautiful, looks that only a father can impart. My relationship with him was difficult, painful, scary but his death was annihilating. Part of me felt maybe he deserved so much pain and suffering and it was not my business to interfere but the bigger part of me would have done anything to make his agony stop. Who was in more pain, him or I? A friend told me I was enmeshed, which was expected since I had not gone through years of therapy to heal from my past. Whatever.

I remember (now) that his wife (not my Mom) kept having her hair done, short, of course, in beautiful styles and gorgeous color while my father wasted away in a care center that ought to have been condemned.  I’d look at her hair and want to scream.

Yesterday Britta cut it. Her arms couldn’t reach to the ends but she didn’t complain. Oh, it’s still long and still gray but I can wear it down now.