Saturday, November 03, 2007

San Francisquito Canyon - Friday 11/2/2007

This is Power Plant No. 2 in San Francisquito Canyon. Those pipes are 6-8 feet in diameter each! I wish I could have gotten better pictures of the amazing architecture of this remote building, but in this post-9/11 era everything to do with utilities is hard to get to.

Mom and I took a drive today. Headed out Lake Elisabeth Road from Palmdale and ended up on San Francisquito Canyon Road, heading south.

I've had a long fascination with the Saint Francis Dam disaster of March 12, 1928, probably because the dam was built to contain water brought here via the Los Angeles Aqueduct from the Owens Valley. I dunno, I find big public works very moving... While they are impressive, they usually occasion great loss for a few people while creating something intended to provide a greater good to a large population (usually by investors and public officials who get to put their names on plaques.)

Anyway, it's called the greatest civil engineering disaster of the 20th century. More than 400 people died in the flood after the dam broke. Waters raged toward the ocean from this spot about 15 miles north of Saugus, through what's now Valencia, Fillmore, Santa Paula, all the way to Ventura.

Well, you can read about it yourself through the links above.

The thing that astonished me was that San Francisquito Road itself has been rerouted since I was there last! Has it been that long!?

I was driving along looking for this live oak tree and fence. That's where we used to park and walk back to the left of this shot to get to the fallen "tombstone" remains of the center of the dam. I really liked knowing how to find it by that tree. It's a wonderful canopy with a lot of space underneath...feels like it would be a great place to camp, if you could camp there.

We were there some time after the Copper Fire in 2002 and saw more of the dam exposed than we'd realized was still extant. Here are the old directions to the site.

Here are new directions to the site. This map and other information are posted at the fire station just south of Power Plant No. 2.

It was interesting to be out and about for the day. Pretty tiring. I guess the stamina is building bit by bit. I think returning to work next week is going to hit a little hard! Ah, but it's life!

Sand Castle - Thursday 11/1/2007

My cousin, Bells, sent this cute sand castle from the Florida Keys, along with a get well card! What a nice surprise.

Thanks, Bells! It's been so wonderful e-mailing back and forth. We must keep this up!

The photo is a little puzzling. I was experimenting with some black velvet I bought to create a backdrop with.

Felt good enough to venture into Palmdale for some errands, building up energy again and all that, and got a great deal on the velvet. The only thing we could find on the racks at the fabric store was $19.99 a yard. I was about to give up and buy some faux suede when I saw this velvet on the cutting table. It was only $4.00 a yard. More like it!

But now I wonder if I should have sprung for the more expensive cloth...this has a sheen on it in direct sunlight. I got this tip from Malc by way of FrannieGirl on 43Things, as a way to photograph flowers in natural light. But the cloth is a bit reflective.

Maybe not such a good deal after all??

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Body Count - Wednesday 10/31/2007

I managed to get up a few decorations in time for trick or treating... just a couple of strings of ghosts lights and this inviting fellow.

We had 110 pirates, princesses, fairies and Spidermen between 6:30 and 8:40. They were impressed that I gave them a handful of candies. We still had some left over at the end of the night.

The most puzzling costume was a stout little boy in a shirt and tie, with lots of gel in his hair and a couple of pieces of green card stock in his shirt pockets.

"What are you? An executive?"

"I'm Drew Carey."

"Oh! Good! The hair gel really makes it work."

What I don't get is the moms dressed as pirate-hos, princess-hos and...just hos.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Whoo Hoo! - Wednesday 10/31/2007

When I checked my e-mail this morning, I found a small honorarium waiting for me from the online journal Raving Dove. They bought a photograph I took some years ago of barracks being moved back into the Manzanar National Historical Site! (Although I also placed photographs in the Acton/Agua Dulce Country Journal and Houston Literary Review this year, this is my first paid photography publication.)

I'm proud of this one... Raving Dove is all about promoting peace and humanitarian actions. And they advertise in the classified pages of Poets & Writers magazine which for some reason adds a little cache in my mind.

I'm really pleased to have found a home for this lucky photograph. It was taken a few years ago with my first digital camera, a Nikon Coolpix with something like 3.1 megapixel capacity. It probably couldn't have gone anywhere but to a website like this because the resolution is low. The light was amazing on that mid-November day.

Thanks to all of you who read and especially those of you who comment. I started this blog a little over two years ago to see if I had the discipline and interest I thought I needed in order to warrant buying myself my beautiful Nikon D80. (You can hum "Give Me That Old Time Religion" while you read this because, yes, that's got something to do with a Midewest version of the Puritan work ethic.)

It's turned out to be a much more interesting and rewarding journey than I ever could have imagined.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

This Is What You Get - Tuesday 10/30/2007

I asked Hydra to pick up a few hard candies the other day.


Being somewhat of an over-achiever, he brought home four huge bags of lollipops, mints and cinnamon drops. They won't all fit in my biggest bowl.

So tomorrow night, the kids get hard candy. Ever since we moved here and I was soooo thrilled with all the trick or treaters, we've given miniature chocolate bars. We've had as many as 154 little beggers in one year.

Maybe this--and the fact that I'm not up to putting up the usual amount of decorations--will knock back our numbers a little.

I'm usually very very thrilled about Hallowe'en now that we give away candy. This year's events have taken a bit of the edge off. But it'll be fun. I love the kids who are about 5-10 years old.

Salt Shaker - Monday 10/29/2007

This is an unmatched salt shaker I bought at a yard sale years ago because I liked the old fashioned style of glaze.

Behind it is a teapot Braveheart gave me, which I am growing donkeytail succulents in. Those are alder cones from my stay at Hedgebrook, an amazing writer's retreat for women.

I guess these wee tableau around my house are like little shrines that make me feel good when I contemplate them.

Walked around the neighborhood a little today. Gaining strength and energy.

Can't believe how little I am eating/wanting to eat! 100 calories worth of juice and crackers was about it on the day of surgery, 300 or so the next day. Worked my way up to about 1200 today. If I could just move more...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Bath Day! - Sunday 10/28/2007

The approach. Beak into the water. Then one foot will go in. For some reason he won't bathe in the wide horse-feed tub we bought, but will use a mug full of water in the center. (Makes for some interesting moments when we get water out to drink every now and then...)

Foot dip!

Winged Victory keeps clean.

The open-winged dip.

Can you see the water flying in front of him?

Yeah, that's what it's like around my house lately. The big excitement is watching Dodger take a bath! He gets water all over the place. Then when the level drops below about two inches he says, "Water?" until it's refilled.

Cool thing for me is, I have these holes in my stomach, so no one asks me to bend over and wipe up the floor when Dodger's done.

As an update...getting more energy, feeling less pain. Running out of Vicodin, but that's okay. The incisions cause little creepy pulls in my tummy when I stand up--which I am doing more and more--and I even took a short walk outside today.

Tribute from the North - Saturday 10/27/2007

One of my all-time favorite Canadian-Americans took time out of his busy schedule to send me a message of good will!

I was dozing on the couch yesterday--big change from the bed!--when the Fedex man came a-knockin'.

Mom got up and answered, and what!? A box from my friends and long-distance co-workers The American (mother of the adorable lad above) and Bella.

They also sent a charming pillow and cards. I put the pillow to immediate use!