Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The best walks


For me, the best walks are not when I'm surrounded by buildings and walking on concrete, although these are the walks I take during my weekly routine here in Downey. No, for me, it's when I'm surrounded by nature and walking on dirt or sand. Downey is surrounded by miles and miles of buildings and pavement in all directions. Unless you travel 20 minutes up the 605 freeway to the Whittier Hills.

Some significant portion of the hills have been set aside as Hellman Park so that the only buildings or pavement are the water towers. Other that that, you can walk for miles and see nothing but green grass, trees, and the city far off in the distance. This is the walk we took on our day off for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. There are multiple trails through the hills separated for different levels of hikers. We took the more level path called Peppergrass Trail rather than the steeper Hellman Trail.

For a small portion of our day we escaped to see in 360 degrees nothing but nature. What a great time.

Where do you like to walk?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017



My photo choices seem to reflect a certain amount of poor planning or bad timing these days. My last photo was the reflection that could have been a better picture had I been willing to either sacrifice my Uggs or go home and change my shoes. This picture would have been amazing, had I taken it a day earlier. The day before was an absolutely gorgeous clear day where you could see the significant amount of snow that has fallen in our local mountains against the backdrop of a brilliant, blue sky. But, did I take a picture that day? Unfortunately, no. I had to choose the overcast, murky day - although I did get a peek of blue sky through the clouds.

Here's to making better choices.

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Monday, January 16, 2017

If the shoe fits...

Rio San Gabriel riverbed

Just a couple hundred feet from yesterday's post, just past the inflatable dam that looks surprisingly like an oversized sea slug, the Rio San Gabriel River turns into the concrete Rio San Gabriel riverbed.

Rio San Gabriel riverbedThis is the usual state of our local riverbeds. Both this and the Rio Hondo riverbed to our west are lined with concrete for many miles. Water drains into the riverbed from the local storm drains, but after the initial rush, the water gathers in the small channel in the center of the riverbed and leaves the rest of the bed dry for bikes and skateboards. The dead branches are the only sign that water flowed from upstream during the storms.

The shoe? Who knows...

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Measuring up

Rio San Gabriel riverbed

We've written a lot lately about how much it's been raining. Typically, rainfall is measured in inches. But here in the riverbed, the measurement is in feet—almost 7 feet.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Reflection of rain


We have had an enormous amount of rain in the past couple of months and it seems there are puddles of all shapes and sizes around Downey. This is one of the alleys in Orange Estates. It would have been a better picture had I been willing to step into the puddle so I could have had the reflection of the palm trees on one side and the line of electrical poles on the other. However, I was wearing a pair of my favorite Uggs and opted for a less impressive reflection photo.

According to the forecast, we will have about 5 days until more rain is expected. I wonder how long until it starts making an impact on our drought.

Friday, January 13, 2017

I scream for ice cream

Coldstone Creamery Downey

It's been cold out lately. But it's never too cold for ice cream. Especially a "Love It" sized concoction from Coldstone Creamery at Downey Landing.

"My head says go to the gym, my heart says eat more ice cream."

Coldstone Creamery Downey

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Christmas season continues


Epiphany was six days ago and Christmas day was 19 days ago, but there are still houses decorated for the Christmas season. I like the houses that continue to display their Christmas decorations for some time after others have stored them away. It's like having lighted bookends around Christmas day. There's the Advent season and its lights where we remember Jesus coming as a baby and all the fulfilled prophesies surrounding his birth. And then there are the joyous lights that continue to remind us of the joy that Emmanuel, God with us, offers all mankind.


Merry Christmas everyone.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Humans of Downey - Sharlene


"I am passionate about the arts. Throughout my life I have been placed in all kinds of arts. I feel that I have been called to serve other people through the arts. One art that I entered and did for a very long time, in fact I still do, is dance. I first started dance as a freshman in high school. I had tried other artistic endeavors like cheer, soccer, or ice skating, but they only lasted for a year. But then I started in dance and I loved dance. I first joined because I wanted to have an extracurricular activity in high school, but I fell in love with it and I continued for all four years. I even continued and joined a collegiate group to compete against other groups.

"Then I felt led to bring dance to the community and so I started a ministry of dance at a local Downey church. I teach five different classes there. The church runs it sort of like a studio called Revolution Dance and Performing Arts. It is open to anyone in the community and my students range from 3 to 50 years old. I teach lyrical ballet, jazz, ballet, and hip-hop. In all these classes I incorporate teaching the students to worship God in their dance. They learn how to praise God and let God move through them as they use their gifts. I grew up with dance and it hit home when a friend asked me if she could teach me a dance move. Of course I said yes, and little by little I felt God changing my heart and the reason for my dancing."
~ Sharlene