Friday, January 04, 2008

The Weather Service: Big Fat Lying Liars - Friday 1/4/2008

Wind driven rain showers this morning with a steady, soaking rain during the afternoon hours. High 48F. Winds S at 25 to 35 mph. Chance of rain 70%. Rainfall around a quarter of an inch."

We're waiting. We're waiting...

Clouds blow in. Clouds blow out. I write, I clean, have lunch, take a walk, drop off the HOA fees, pick up the mail, and update my blog.

It's 3:46. Still no rain.

Bunny Alert!!

Dodger notified me (by tapping his beak against the glass rhythmically) that although there was still no precipitation, the bunny was on the deck again. What a watchbird.

Meanwhile, I am loving being home so much I can hardly believe it. I've cleaned, and donated things, and thrown things away. I've read. I've cooked.

But best of all, I have written between 2 and 5 hours a day for the past week at least!

I really don't understand how people get bored! There's so much to be interested in.

Roadside Memorial, Southbound Sierra Highway - Thursday1/3/2008

This memorial has been up for quite some time. I think it was there in some form before the fire that blackened the inside of this tree.

The arch is of some sort of masonry.

A favorite CD.

Messages from friends and family.

I was on my way down to It's A Grind coffee house in Canyon Country when I finally stopped to photograph this. Usually I pass it in the dark or going the other way.

Nick's IN! - Wednesday 1/2/2008

After posting notices in the area, running a Found ad in the local paper for three weeks and crossing our fingers, we've decided Nick's a part of the flock. We found a very good deal on a good sized cage and he seems really happy with us.

Here's the new line-up. Gus, Rocky and Nick.

Nick has integrated amazingly well. In fact, there seems to be less squabbling in general now that he's here. Rocky and Gus, to be honest, spent a lot of their time stepping on each other's tails before Nick arrived. (This is a no-no in budgiedom.)

Nick's a puzzle. We're still surprised someone didn't claim him, because he has obviously spent time with people and is finger tame. He's learning to accept being kissed on the belly (Rocky echoed my kiss noise this morning!), which is just one of the costs of living here.

He seems to really appreciate the fresh lettuce or parsley they get every night along with cooked grains, veggies and fruits. Keeps looking at the other birds and us like, "Oh, you don't know how good you've had it."

(Thanks for asking, Deb in FW!)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

I Am What I Am, and I Always Have Been - Tuesday 1/1/2008

I have been an animal lover since at least Christmas Day, 1962. This is me and Kitty Fritz. I turned two a few weeks later.

We were going through things yesterday looking for pictures of Hydra's family, and I found a packet of photographs my mom sent me years ago and which I thought I had accidentally thrown away. I mean, I tore apart every box in our garage and in my studio closet over the course of a couple of days a while back and couldn't find them.

Where were they? In a box in the pantry marked "Photos."

It always takes me by surprise when my sporadic attempts to become organized actually work.

Anyway, in looking through these photos, it struck me that there are all sorts of hints of the person I was to become...

I have enjoyed camping since I was 2 1/2. This is Daddy and me at Clifty Falls State Park in Madison, Indiana in 1963. That's our converted school bus/camper, "The Ramblin' Wreck" in the background. That was so cool!

Although I don't have any photos of myself writing or reading, the arts have always been a big part of my life. My sister Pegerty and I try out my new paint book on my 3rd birthday. She's almost 12.

I think this is one of those books that you just brush water over and the color pops up. I'm not saying I was a prodigy.

I have been a tree-hugger all my life. (This is when I was barely three years old. There's an even earlier photo expressing my affinity for the tree.)

I have always had a flare for the dramatic.

According to the notes on the back of this snapshot, I am showing off my missing teeth. But it looks like I am launching into the "To be or not to be" soliloquy from Hamlet.

"June 1967, 6 years, 5 months."

I've always had an appreciation for nature. Mom took some really fun shots when we went walking in the woods on a day in May. I had forgotten about my "pet worm" but I remember this day so well. Just me and Mom, and her telling me things and answering my questions.

I like to travel. I get a kick out of big cities. I like to hang out with stylish people.

This was taken in front of our hotel on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. I think our camper had broken down and so we went to the city for a few days. May 10th or 11th, 1969. Me (8), Mom, Brains (16) and Pegerty (17.)

I love Pegerty's sporty stance in this shot!! She subscribed to Ingenue magazine, don't you know!

I understand the value of friendship. Diver and I had been friends for almost 2 1/2 years by the time this photo was taken at my house in December of 1968. We met in kindergarten and we are still in touch today, even though we started going to different schools in 4th grade, and we live on opposite coasts now.

It was terrific to have a best friend from another school all through middle school and high school, especially. Kept us from feeling like our individual schools were the whole universe. And we had some life-building experiences together.

I have always liked spending time alone. Well, but animals are always welcome. (I'm ten in this one.)

There are lots of photos of me with my dog Ginger. If you know what it's like to grow up with a dog as a best friend, you'll know how much I still miss her.

I have always liked rocks. I carried this one home from the gravel pit at least a half a mile away just because I liked it. It was pinkish. I used it as a doorstop. I think it might still be somewhere in my mom's house. (She still lives where I grew up.)

Mom said that I could keep it if I brought it home myself but that she wouldn't help me carry it. I think there was a good lesson nestled in that afternoon, about working for something that you really desire. I am almost 11 in this shot.

I have always had impeccable fashion sense.

Hey. Kaftan's were very cool in 1972. (My 11th birthday.)

Is it my imagination, or does Ginger look embarrassed for me?

I have had a distorted body image since high school, probably since I heard Bob Mackie say on some talk show that Cher had perfect armpits.

I thought I was fat in this photo taken when I was 20, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

(My body-type role model. Yeah, the one on the left.)

[Photo by Ulvis Alberts.]

I love my family. This is us in 1971 and 1981. In the first one, Joe had just come back from Vietnam. I was completely happy and completely oblivious.

Oh, and as you can see from these shots, I'm willing to make a fool of myself.

But you probably already knew that from reading this blog.

This is, coincidentally, my 1,000th blog post, and a satisfying way to spend New Year's Day (for me, anyway.)

Thanks Mom, for sending me the photos in the first place and for your wonderful captions on the back of them!

Getting Our Priorities Straight - Monday 12/31/2007

Okay, right after you call 911, call the Media.

I noticed this handy guide at Walmart and thought we all might do well to memorize the color codes. Jeez!

Back at the homestead we don't need any signs posted to tell us how to proceed. We had our friends History and Cowgirl up for a New Year's Eve dinner and over-night. I think we've been doing this for five or six years.

This year I got smart and opened the champagne at the beginning of dinner. After a glass of wine with dinner, we're usually not up for opening the champagne, in spite of the festive occasion.

We had a nice Veuve Clicquot that had been loitering around the back of our fridge for a while.

I enjoyed putting together a veggie feast to end the year with: portobello mushroom caps stuffed with goat cheese, pine nuts and basil served on a bed of homemade tomato/olive sauce, caprese salad, TJ's garlic eggplant spread on filo dough, and bread dipped in the fabulous olive oil that Tomasina gave me for Christmas. Finished up with another apple pie, topped with ice cream.

No pictures. We were kind of into eating it all.

Didn't quite make it to Zero Hour, but that's okay. Good company and good conversation made for a good ushering out of 2007.

Photoshopped and Ready to Roll - Sunday 12/30/2007

Realizing that she needs to take a photograph every day, she snaps a shot of herself leaving for a hike around the fireroad at dusk. It takes a lot of bundling to face sub-fifty-degree weather in Southern California!

Scarf was a gift from Peaches for Christmas this year. Jacket was a gift from me to Hydra a couple of years ago. Turns out I wear it more. I'm such a lumberjack.

Tamale Day 2007 - Saturday 12/29/2007

If this cow shows up on our Christmas card next year, will you remember that it was on the outskirts of Palmdale? I think not.

We have not had a tamale day since February 2006! But yay, we were invited to help Cuz-P, her mom and Cuz-V make pork and turkey tamales. Due to a bit of misunderstanding and a bit of an inability to do simple math, we arrived pretty late and I only helped assemble the sweet tamales. (So easy!)

Gracie kept watch over Hydra, who was worn out just thinking about making tamales. He missed the tamale feast.

Beautiful sunset along Highway 138 between Mormon Rocks and Palmdale.

Live from Downtown Acton - Friday 12/28/2007

I like this lady's bumper stickers. I also like the three dogs in the cab.

This truck was parked outside the Acton Post Office when we went down to mail a package to Truman in Michigan. No, not a late Christmas present, or even a late birthday present. I think these gifts have been riding around in the truck of my car since early 2007!