Monday, December 29, 2008

We Have Some Answers

Here is another sunrise photo. I took this pic Sunday morning. I'm posting it because some of our commenters have asked how it is that we live on the west coast and can watch the sun rise over the Pacific. It's a good question. We live on a bend of the Monterey Bay that lets us look south and east, although considerably more east than south. Because there is such an expanse of sky out the window, we do get to see the colors of both the rising and setting sun. We don't see the sunset, per se, but the entire sky is typically colorful from one end to the other.

The above photo was taken from the upstairs window. The window is not clean (my bad, Roger's too! Hah!). Who has time between rain, fog, and wind to climb out on the slanty roof and wash these ancient pieces of wavy glass? Not me. Still, it is a pleasure to look out on any day, at any time. But sunrises and sunsets turn the world into art of a million colors. Hard to look away, ever.
This sunset photo was taken Sunday evening looking almost due south from the same upstairs window. A subdued event, but still gives you an idea of what we can see. I was leaning as far as I could and framed the shot with the window frame in it, so you could have a sense of our perspective.

Some of our lovely commenters have also asked how my mom is doing. My mom is doing incredibly well. She spent the holidays at my sister's. It's been a year since she was there last when her health began to decline. She's really back to her old self, and truly she's better than EVER. Quite a wonderful thing to know that an 83 year old body can recover and heal. Woohoo!!

Other than that, my sister just learned that her health insurance premiums are being raised beyond what she can afford to pay. Almost as much as her mortgage. I am starting to consider some matchmaking so she can marry someone with health insurance. That's what it has come to in our country. Appalling is not even the right word, but it will suffice.

And on a final political note, given the weekend's nightmare events in the middle east, I wrote the following haiku.

nothing reminds more
than flames of ardent worship
that there is no god

Will the New Year return us to some sanity, please.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holiday Round Rocks

What better gift is there than this: Our earth, a swirling blue planet in a limitless space. With its millions of life forms and more. Imagine here the colors of fish and flowers. The smell of forest and herbs. The sound of water and thunder. The taste of berries and walnuts. The feel of wind and snow falling. What better gift is there than this? The sight of ourselves rising from a moonscape.
We found this round rock on the beach last month. At first we thought it was a tennis ball covered with sand, simply deposited in the surf. We almost dismissed it, but couldn't dismiss our curiosity so went over to inspect it. Ah, a round rock and not one found by Pablo. Imagine that. So we took it home.

The day before Christmas, we placed the rock on a black sweater and photographed it. We wanted to see if it would look like a planet in space. What do you think? I think we made a handmade moon for you for Christmas.

Happy holidays to our fellow earth travelers.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Watching Winter Begin

I wasn't sure I should go downstairs.

Roger's youngest and her partner were sleeping on the futon in the living room. I didn't want to run the risk of inadvertently waking them. To get outside I would have to slip past them and open the door, which is not more than ten feet from their closed eyes and even deep-dreaming breaths. I also felt I should suppress a natural inclination to just run excitedly down the steps and yell to them, "Wake Up Wake Up, come watch this sunrise with me." So, I tried to let that solstice sun rise outside the window and not let it pull me from my own comfy heated mattress and down pillows.

Then, the sun, sky, and clouds did this.
I looked at Roger and said, "I'm going down."
I threw on jeans and put a thermal vest over my long, Wildlife Land Trust tee shirt and tiptoed past the kids. I walked out, stood on the deck in the morning light and watched winter begin.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Another Year

If you were still here
Today you would be ninety
I can't stop counting

I used this photo once before on the post: My Father Rode a Pony Once

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Fossils and Toes

Roger broke his toe the other day. It had absolutely nothing to do with this incredible fossil we saw on a recent minus-tide walk. He didn't stumble over it or anything like that. I just think the fossil and toe pics belong together because they're both bones. I must have a very simple mind. Did you ever wonder what you will leave behind? What part of you will persist long, long, long after you've drawn your last breath. I suspect Roger's toe will not end up fused and hardened to rock. Pity. It's such a nice toe. But here is some critter's ribs that made it through a lot of years. We are always struck by the utter randomness of leaving these ancient remnants. It's like they possessed a fortitude without effort. Nothing can will itself to such longevity. It's a luck of the elemental draw. Perfect conditions to die in.

Still Roger broke his toe the other day. He had a few things to say about it:

robin and i moved some furniture thursday. a small, heavy couch/foldout bed and a recliner chair had to go down a steep, narrow stairway with a tight bend at the top. i, foolishly, worked barefoot. hey, we were in the house and i don't wear shoes inside. no, nothing fell on my foot. the couch and chair were safely down, and i had only a few very minor skin scrapes to show. success. but wait. had i closed the exterior door at the bottom of the stairs? the cat could go out there and be at large. i was on the other side of the house so i darted in the through the open doorway here to go check on the other door. a small stumble as i darted through the door way caused my left foot to hit the jamb, exactly on that toe. OUCH!!!OW!OW!OW!

No way that toe is ever going to be fossilized. I just don't think it's going to have the luck of the draw. It would be cool though, wouldn't it? Some people have had their heads frozen (Walt Disney?), in a wishful effort to wake up after death in the future, but I think if I had a choice I would love to end up a fossil. Wouldn't you? Hey, now there's a new industry just waiting to be discovered: Fossilize Me, Inc.


without an x-ray picture or a seriously and obviously out-of-kilter toe, hanging sideways or pointing straight up, solid diagnosis of a broken foot digit is guesswork. we relied on pictures from the intertubes clearly labeled "broken toe." also on descriptions of severe pain. i could relate to the pain part and one of the pictures could have been of my toe. the universally suggested treatment seemed to be ice at first and taping the broken toe to a neighboring toe. if one support is good, i reasoned, two are better. after two days of splinting three toes together, relieved by an hour of freedom in the morning, the redness, which extended well up onto the foot, has mostly gone away, as has constant low-level pain. so i have freed the injured member from bondage. the second joint from the tip is still very sensitive to touch and walking is a bit uncomfy. thanks for the good wishes. i am on the mend, tho i will never play the piano again.

Saturday, December 06, 2008


...just before the sun goes down, it surprises you. It paints fire in the distant windows. It catches a light hazy fog and photoshops it like a master. It pulls you from dinner that's sizzling in the frying pan to run for the camera. It just won't happen again, not like this. Perfect angle of light on a December night. (Embiggen photo to get a better look.)

We've been in southern California visiting with my mom. Driving 420 miles home on Sunday. All is well. Mom is actually able to take steps with a walker. Bones knit. Healing happens. Slowly but surely.

Monday, December 01, 2008

low tide

embiggen at will

here is some homemade lorem ipsum.

this is a view of our local low tide walk, heading back west toward capitola. we haven't yet found a home. we're hoping to find something before the ongoing looting of the treasury bailout causes hyperinflation. we had a very nice, very low-key thanksgiving with friends. a dinner for 5. we did buy tofu on black friday, but we don't consider that "shopping."

ps: Robin Andrea says hi.