Wednesday, July 30, 2008

An Olympian to root for

I just found out that the granddaughter of one of my arboretum fans will be competing in the Olympics. Fellow nature guide Jerry and a number of her family members will be making the trip to China next week to watch Hanna Thompson compete in foil fencing.

I wish her a safe journey and a wonderful experience (and it would be really cool if she won a medal!)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


No damage here, but we sure felt it. I had literally just stepped in my front door after coming in from outside. The shaking started the moment I closed the door behind me, and quickly intensified. I squatted down right there in the entryway. The dogs came running. This was the first time I can remember the dogs being scared in an earthquake. Marley, especially, was trembling. I held onto their collars and tried to get them to sit, but they were too nervous. Fortunately the earthquake didn't last too long, and as soon as it was over the dogs were fine.

Jerry called me before I had even picked myself up from the floor, after which the phones all stopped working. Brice was in bed (teenager on summer vacation, where else would he be at this hour?) but it got him up. Michael is with Jessi. I'm sure they're fine, they just can't call right now.

There are aftershocks, too. One that was pretty strong, a singular jolt. A few others that are subtle, kind of wavy feeling.

Here's a map that shows where the epicenter was, and who felt it. If you make an imaginary line from the "H" of Long Beach up to the red star, I'm located approximately halfway between them.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Think it'll survive?

I was too cheap to spend money on new cacti, besides being too lazy to wait in line in the heat to pay for them. But one of my favorite things is to return to the scene on the morning after, to see what little treasures I can find, fallen and forgotten on the ground.

There wasn't much this morning. This tiny (and it could sit happily upon a dime) purple chin cactus(?) was probably the best thing I found.

Then there were a couple of these leaves, that I think might take root, if I'm lucky.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cactus fruits and coincidences

I guess I shouldn't be surprised when I find my fellow bloggers posting pictures of things that I not only like, but have just recently taken pictures of the same thing myself. I already know we have interests in common. Still I think it's funny that Julie posted a red ripe cactus fruit, and I had just recently photographed these reddish-purple ones the other day.

The little white blobs are cochineal bugs, by the way.

One weird cloud

As seen from my back yard, just minutes ago.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Personality test

Found a link to this test on another blog. Here's what it said about me.

Your personality type:
Quiet, reflective and idealistic. Interested in serving humanity. Well-developed value system, which they strive to live in accordance with. Extremely loyal. Adaptable and laid-back unless a strongly-held value is threatened. Usually talented writers. Mentally quick and able to see possibilities. Interested in understanding and helping people.

Careers that could fit you includes:
Writers, artists, counselors, social workers, English teachers, fine arts teachers, child care workers, clergy, missionaries, psychologists, psychiatrists, scientists, political activists, editors, education consultants, journalists, religious educators, social scientists.

Pretty accurate, actually, considering. Also makes me think I'm not really living up to my potential.

I highlighted in red the carreers or "things" I've either already done in some capacity or other, or might like to do. Interesting, also, that it came up with clergy, missionary and religious educator, considering my ambiguous faith situation. (not an atheist, exactly, but not really anything else, either)

Friday, July 04, 2008

A short video of Boomer

I tried to upload this to my Flickr set of Boomer's amputation, but it wouldn't, for some reason I don't understand.

Pay no attention to the crappy sound quality and the poor housekeeping. Just enjoy the doggie.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A little experiment

So here I am, clean as a whistle inside and out, waiting for Jerry to come home and take me for my colonoscopy. I'm just a little leary of the anesthesia because I've never been "out" before. My doctor assured me I won't be all the way out; they will be able to rouse me if they need to. My dad, who has had several colonoscopies over the years, offered this scenario based on his experience:

"They'll give you something and tell you that you will be going to sleep soon. The next thing you know, it will be over. You'll wake up in another room, with no pants, laying in a bed. Jerry will be right there. The doctor will come in and tell you how everything went, and give instructions for Jerry how to take care of you. Then, Jerry will help you get dressed, help you into the car, drive you home, and help you to bed, where you will fall asleep for about three more hours. When you wake up, you will remember nothing of the procedure, and in fact nothing about waking up afterwords, getting dressed, coming home, etc.

Although I forget lots of things on a regular basis, the idea of "lost time" is still kind of scary for me. My friend Kathi, who has been under anesthesia for a number of different things, says the drugs give you amnesia, and that's why people don't remember stuff even though they were supposedly awake and responsive at the time.

I have decided I will try a little experiment: I will have Jerry think of an animal with an unusual attribute, like a gorilla with a top-hat, or a frog with wings. Something weird. On the ride home, he will engage me in a conversation about it. Just enough so that he can confirm that I heard and understand what the animal in question is. If I do pass out when we get home, he is to ask me about the strange animal when I wake up. We'll see if I get amnesia.... I am back from the doctor with a clean bill of colon health, and a mostly intact memory. I remember being semi-aware during the actual procedure, and I remember them telling me I was all done, but I think I was sleeping as they wheeled me back to the recovery area. I remember shifting around, trying to find the best position to release the air trapped in my guts. I shifted so much, I got my tubes tangled in my gown a little. The nurse came and straightened me out, and then Jerry was there. He murmered "pink fox" to me, but I don't think I was paying full attention. I didn't need help getting dressed. We had a leisurely walk back to the car, and he asked me if I remembered the animal. I told him I remembered he told me something, but I wasn't paying attention. He said "pink fox" again, and it did ring a bell. From then on, I remembered it all the way home.


Illustration Friday's theme this week has been "fierce". I still check Illustration Friday every week, even though I haven't participated in a long time. But I remembered this old college sketchbook drawing which I had even titled, "one of the Fiercer Animals," which was originally a line from Winnie the Pooh. I went through both a "lioness" phase and a "mythical creatures" phase while in college, and this creature seems to be a little of both.

In the spirit of the original intent of this blog, which was to have a place for my old artwork, I am posting this, but for some reason, I still don't feel ready to link it to the IF webpage. I guess it's just been too long.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Blue for breakfast

This morning I was on a "liquid diet" as I prepare for a colonoscopy tomorrow. I am allowed to eat Jello, but not red Jello. So I chose Berry Blue Jello, because it tastes sort of like red. Well, at least it tastes better than green or yellow, or any of the other colors. And it's so pretty, but not necessarily in an appetizing way.

I took it outside to take a picture of its sparkling brilliant blueness.

That's when I noticed it's exactly the same color as the Windex. Hmmm.....