Friday, April 11, 2008

Dog Day Afternoon - Friday 4/11/2008

So I was sitting on my front porch finishing up a telephone conversation with my sister, when two thirsty dogs wandered into the yard. They looked pretty happy to see someone at home.

This one not only had a long long drink out of the tub of water I brought out, she put her front legs in it and splashed it up onto her belly. I really like this shot a lot.

This one was just the sweetest. She was ready to come in the house.

"You're very nice people. There must be a dog dish in there that needs licking clean."

I called the number on the brown one's collar and Hydra brought rope and we tied them to the apple tree. We were petting them--the brown one was actually sitting on my foot pressing her back into my shin by this point--when their owner called.

She was grateful and friendly and sent her son down from up the road with leashes to retrieve them.

It's been a very doggy week. [grin]

Teaching - Week 6 - Thursday 4/10/2008

Iron cowboy silhouettes. We see these up our way every so often. This one's at the entrance to the stable.

Kind of impressive huh?

My kind of traffic jam!

My little class pretty much finished up rewriting Cinderella and making little books out of the rewrite. Half of them didn’t have time to read theirs yet.

Because most of the girls have a heck of a time writing sentences, I made up a story with lots of spaces for filling in names and details and sometimes full sentences. Two of the Cinderellas that we heard yesterday went clubbing, one went to a carnival (her details were great!)

The only big problem with the fill-in-in the blanks story was that it was a little long for reading aloud, especially since the basic story is exactly the same. So… I don’t know. (If anyone wants to see it/use it, email me and I’ll send you a copy.)

The little breakthrough was very cool. A—who typically just says “no” when she is asked to do just about anything, actually wanted to read second! Her hand went right up.

Last time, she said no she wasn’t going to read and was acting all embarrassed, and I pointed out in a friendly way that she was really just drawing more attention to herself by taking up time pretending she wasn’t going to read. “I want to hear what you wrote and I know you’re going to, so why not just go ahead?”

Hmmm. Maybe that made sense to her! (Or maybe it was just a fluke!)

Cow & Pig - Tuesday 4/8/2008

This is Cow and Pig.

Or... Pig and Cow.

We really didn't get to know each other well enough for me to say which is which. They were coming out of CVS pharmacy at 5:15 in the morning as I was on my way in.

They look really cute with their big untrimmed ears up, but as soon as I dropped to my knee to take their picture they completely lost focus. First they stormed me with tongues and wild tails, then they dissolved into general excitement.

Their guy said, "Yeah, they're not too good at that."

It was a nice little encounter. I went on in and bought a battery for my watch. I have about 4 watches, none of which works because the little jewelry shop down the street from my office closed about three years ago and I hadn't found a new place. I kind of knew I could have gotten a battery and replaced it myself, but I liked supporting the elderly guy who owned the shop. I think he charged $10 or $15 for the battery and replacement. I usually had to leave it with him for the afternoon.

The night manager at CVS actually changed it for me after I assured him it was old and not valuable and I wouldn't give him a hard time if he nicked it with the little screwdriver. I don't think he does this for everyone, but I go in early in the a.m. every so often and I think the cashier kind of took me under her wing. She went and got him to do it when I asked where the watch batteries were.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Squeak! - Tuesday 4/8/2008

Even the cats have it good at Bravehart's house. Cute kitty pillow, huh?

Dogs and Beer - Monday 4/7/2008

The writing group's usual talking, reading and writing coupled with some expert belly-scratching put la belle Lulu right at ease. (This is The Documentarian's lovely dog...the one who came out to herd sheep near my house.)

Synchronicity! I'd just finished this silly goal on 43things of trying 43 different beers, which I've done over the course of more than twenty years, mind you.

This one might sound odd, but it has a light hint of orange and it's not too sweet. Interestingly, it's made by Indian Wells Brewing Company, which we pass on our way to the Owens Valley. Maybe we'll have to stop in some time!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Reality Check - Sunday 4/6/2008

Yeah, it's not all just flowers and sunshine around here all the time. We have to work for it every now and again. We have planted a lot since we moved in here. As things fill in, it is actually easier.

Hydra trimmed the grass and cut down the weeds at the top of the slope. I trimmed shrubs and moved all the plants out of the house onto the front porch.
We call this "California Gothic."

We both cleaned up all the cuttings. A total of six bags like this plus our 45 gallon trash bin!

Then we turned on the irrigation system and sat down on the front porch to drink Gatorade and watch the grass grow. (This is at the end of the porch.)

This quote, on a pair of gloves Braveheart gave me, pretty much sums it up. Three and a half hours today, but all those flowers I've been reveling in are a pretty good payoff.

Plus, I don't have to do an exercise DVD today.

Expanding Joy - Saturday 4/5/2008

I know, I know! More flowers?

But consider this gorgeous little miracle: in a few months these will be apples!

"There are those who give joy, and that joy is their reward." Kahill Gibran (1883-1931)

Was a Sunny Day - Friday 4/4/2008

Hydra pointed out that there are even more gazanias popping up amidst the ice plant.

African daisies.

California poppies growing through more African daisies. Wow.

We left all this gloriousness to drive down to Santa Monica to meet friends for dinner and then see Susan Werner at McCabe's.

Every time she’s played at McCabe’s since we first saw her in 1998 or so, we’ve been there. Except that one time when Tom Paxton was playing at Royce Hall the same night.

Wow! Last night was one of the most amazing evenings I’ve ever had at a concert. She had Natalia Zuckerman there opening for her, and Trina Hamlin joined her to play percussion and harmonica. Zuckerman was interesting in her own right--very cool vocal style, and funny between songs--but the three of them up there together was amazing.

I have never seen anyone play the harmonica the way Trina Hamlin does. It was seriously awe inspiring. I realized I was sitting there with my mouth hanging open.

The passion, intelligence and wit on that stage was thrilling. Susan Werner is a terrific performer and songwriter. She's dynamite in person. I’m so happy to see that her musical career continues to evolve.

Seriously, if Susan Werner’s playing anywhere near you, check her out. Here’s her website, with tour dates.

Trina Hamlin’s worth a trip too.