Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Sunday Dinner

Organic turkey, roasted root vegetable salad, stuffing, and the crescent rolls I cannot eat turkey without. Desert not pictured: chocolate silk pie. Wine: Middle Sister moscato.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

O Tannenbaum

2014 version, better late than never.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Buzzwords for life:

"authentic humility and reckless generosity"

Timothy Shriver, the chairman of the Special Olympics, author of, “Fully Alive: Discovering What Matters Most."

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Philosphy Thursday: On Doubt

""The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt." ("The Triumph of Stupidity" "Mortals and Others: Bertrand Russell's American Essays, 1931-1935)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Summer Flowers

We have had a lot of recent rain, thanks to the disintegration of two tropical storms over the desert, and so suddenly all of our summer plants are having a second burst of flowers.

Friday, August 29, 2014

An Adventure!

Not much posting recently because of big news: Little Sister of Mossy is moving cross country and will soon be just half an hour away! Hooray! Between checking out houses for her and getting ready for the class I'm teaching this semester, plus weekly dog class, it's been super busy in the Nest. Plus, I'm making a shawl for that first-ever Ravelry swap, and it's been kicking my tuchus fierce. I can't wait for it to be done, so I'm spending all of the holiday on Monday working on it.

It's been lonely in the nest, so there is much excitement at having a sister and a nephew so close. Holidays and birthdays will be much more fun. In fact, the overwhelming desire to move somewhere new, which has been steadily building, may subside for a while.

So, these photos are for Little Sister.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men....

I brought a salmon salad to work yesterday. Baby lettuce, feta cheese, yellow tomatoes, wild caught Alaskan salmon (canned). My boss organized an impromptu ice cream party to celebrate a signed contract. I brought the other half of the salmon salad to work today. There were two birthdays here today; one brought brownies,  the other chocolate cake. Why oh why must the yumminess taunt me?

"Eat me!"

Monday, July 21, 2014

Gorgeous Shawl

I'm participating in my first swap over at Ravelry, and my partner, cheetah2011, knitted this amazing shawl for me. The pattern is Olive Garden by Tanya Gobruseva, made with Aunt Lydia's 100% Viscose from Bamboo, in a beautiful sage color (one of my favorite colors). I didn't want to implode Rav's bandwidth, so here are photos of the shawl, showing all its gorgeousness. I am simply gobsmacked by its beauty and her talent, and am completely in love with this shawl. It has beads! I cannot imagine the patience to knit with beads.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Dudley at the Library

Dudley subbed for the regular Read to a Dog canine at the public library last week, and had a grand old time. He was a little restless, but he didn't know what was expected of him (nor, really, did I), so I expect him to be better next week when he does his second guest appearance. A 9-month-old baby crawled all over him; he loved it. Yes, that is a tiny, child-sized chair he has precariously positioned himself on. No, I did not teach him that trick. that's the one trick he came with when I adopted him. It's a pretty good one.

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Brief Respite

We took a brief respite from blogging to deal with the death of our beloved Mikolaj, a.k.a. Mr. Big, who died on June 9 at the grand old age of 14.5 years. While not unexpected, the death of someone you love (whether that someone is a human animal or a canine animal) takes a lot out of you. Miko's death has been the easiest to process, in one sense, of the five pets I've lost the past 10 years, because he essentially died of old age, but that doesn't mean that the gaping maw in my heart didn't hurt and I didn't need some time.

Dudley and Zima have needed some time, or, at least, Dudley did. He wouldn't go near the towel I carried to clean up after Miko in my car, and he backed away from Miko's ashes twice. He clearly senses that they are something to do with Miko, and something that distresses him. Zima was not affected this way at all, but her bond to Miko was not as strong as Dudley's. Dudley was quiet for a couple of days, missing his buddy.

But life continues. And even though  bad storms blow nests out of branches and leave wee birds homeless, as with this hummingbird nest blown out of tree Saturday, it is all part of living. And we can always rebuild, and always will.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Beautiful Roses

Beautiful roses from the local urban memorial rose garden. I've been experimenting with the camera on my new smartphone, but these are all original, unaltered photos.

I love roses.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

It's Been a Long Time

But really, very little has happened in the Nest. Several bad things at work, but this is not a place for whining. A sudden, sharp descent into perimenopause that maybe should also not be detailed (so as not to scare anyone under 30 who might read this). The onset of hot weather abnormally early, which suggests we're in for a long, hot summer, which will just make me yearn for more temperate, greener clims with water even more than I am already.

Mr. Big celebrated his 14.5 month birthday two weeks ago. The sudden onset of heat is hard on him, and his acupuncture vet was out of town for 5 weeks, so he became very stiff and very weak in the rear end without his regular maintenance. Hopefully, we can get him back on track now that she's returned.

I undertook the 28 Day Challenge that Prevention magazine hosted, and lost about 1.5 lbs. My personal goal was to do the weekly exercises so as to get back on track with my hand weights and exercises, since that's where I've had trouble since Biggie got sick and the puppy came. I think it may have helped with that, so I'm repeating the challenge on my own in June to see if the exercising can become more routine.  Keeping track of my diet for three months with the food app on my new phone shows that I am remarkably consistent with my diet, although there's always room for improvement.

And speaking of diets, here's my holiday weekend surprise discovery: grilled pineapple. Delicious! I can't believe how incredibly sweet and juicy this pineapple was. T came over, with her dog, and took the pineapple crown back to grow. In her garden, it will. In mine, it would have just been burnt to a crisp.

And let's see if I can upload a photo from my phone to this blog. My new mini rosebush that is my current centerpiece.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Red-tailed Hawk

There's a red-tailed hawk in a eucalyptus tree near my office. This afternoon there was quite a ruckus coming from the nest as Mama and Papa Hawk brought take-out dinner home. Tomorrow I'm going bet with a slightly better camera and my binoculars. I love their cry; it sounds so wild in the middle of this urban blandness.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Dash Away, Dash Away, Dash Away Home

Our desert gets a lot of winter visitors, both human and animal, who tuck their tails under and head for cooler climes before the summer heat settles in. Snow birds, we call the humans. Here are some of the real birds who winter here, and will soon be departing for summer vacations in the cooler north.

A white-crowned sparrow.He's going to summer vacation in Alaska and northwestern Canada.

A sage thrasher. They're not terribly rare down here, but one in the city is pretty unusual, and this one turned up in the park near my office. I love urban birding.

 See his streaked breast? Or can you? It's a terrible photo, I know. This little guy spent one day playing hide-and-seek with me, so I had to settle for what I could get. He's going to summer in the Rockies, lucky bird.

Ah, but this beauty will not desert me. He'll stick with us here in the brown desert, through the hot, hot summer, and through the cold winter, with its occasional hard freezes and burst water pipes. 

I just can't help but smile when I see a vermilion flycatcher. The burst of color in the drab desert winter--a brief moment of joy, just joy, at Mother Nature's gifts.

Wait? What kind of bird is this? A Harris' antelope squirrel, practicing acrobatics.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Phone Photos

I've finally joined the 21st century, a decade and a half (nearly) into it, and have a smartphone. Yes, it may be smarter than me. But I'm trying to get comfortable using the camera, and so here are a few examples of photos taken on a recent walk along the river park with this newfangled thingamabob. Not bad.

Virga over the mountains to the west

Anna's hummingbird

Anna's hummingbird

Anna's hummingbird




Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Graduation from Class No. 7

...and she still pulls on leash.  Le sigh grande....

First year check up today, and everyone at the vet hospital mentioned how happy they were that she's survived last summer and how she was worth all that debt. She is, but that doesn't mean I don't get cranky that she still pulls on leash.