Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday's Post

On Memorial Day Roger started his prep for his first follow-up colonoscopy since surgery last June. Prep is creepy as you all well know. I feel guilty eating delicious things in front of him. He says he doesn't mind, while he sips his chicken broth. I think he probably minds the glass of wine I'm sipping more than the garlic mashed potatoes and teriyaki tofu I am dining on. I'll be taking him for the exam at 10:15 Tuesday morning, and it should be done by noon. Check-in takes fifteen minutes and then the administration of Demerol and that weird Versed takes some time. So, the exam will probably be an hour or less. Roger asked the doctor not to give him the Versed, but the doc said "No." We assume the drug is really administered for the doctor's benefit. They don't really want patients awake and aware. Too much hassle.
UPDATE: Colonoscopy was fine. All is well. The doctor put Roger on a three-year recall. We are absolutely thrilled and relieved.
Our weather has been interesting, to say the least. I've decided that winter is not a season determined by the angle of the sun, it is a weather pattern. The National Weather service has issued "winter storm warnings" over and over for our region. A surprising thing given that we are three weeks away from SUMMER SOLSTICE. Our poor garden is waiting for something very warm and sunny to happen. It's been promised to them. But so far our temperatures are a good twenty degrees below average. The furnace still turns on in the morning when the temp in the house is lower than 60. We had a fire in the woodstove on Sunday. Hello, climate change, is this the new pattern? We don't like it. Thank you very much.

Still, we have seen some wonderful birds in the yard lately. The colors of the Western Tanager are so vivid, like a hint of the tropics. And the young Cooper's Hawk has been hunting with a clumsy enthusiasm that chases the songbirds rather than surprising them. I'm sure he'll get the hang of it. We enjoyed watching him preen and hunt in a quiet moment. I love a bird that doesn't know it's being watched.

This is life on Tuesday.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday's Lizard

Tuesday morning I noticed something under the clear plastic of our bathroom scale. I thought it looked like a spider at first, but there was something about it that made me take a closer look. It was our elusive-hide-in-the-kitchen lizard's hand. I called Roger to come and take a confirming look. He said, "Go get a bag and we'll get this lizard outside." Turned out, we didn't need a bag at all. The tile in the bathroom was cold, and it was early in the morning. The lizard was too lethargic to put up much of a fight. Roger said, "I've watched my brother Gary pick up lizards, I can do this." And, he picked it right up. The lizard snarled, but that was it. We walked outside with it and put it on the ground. This is our lizard just before he took off for freedom. We think he has quite an abduction story to tell his friends.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Spring, We Hardly New Ye

A lizard wrecked my whole weekend. It's true. I left the slider open for the cat Saturday morning, and a lizard came in and found its way into the kitchen. There it stayed, hiding in the space between the dishwasher and the cabinets. A place in the kitchen where we walk, as it turns out, very often. Too often for a lizard to feel comfortable enough to move more than an inch or two before running for its life back into the dark space. It's mostly a waiting game, but I find that it unnerves me to have an animal in the house that does not want to be here and is living in fear of us. I suppose it will find its way out of here, but at this moment, I feel like taking that dishwasher, WHICH WE NEVER USE, and ripping it out of the space. No more hiding, lizard. JUST GO. Please.

In other news, we didn't have any more snow this week. Did I mention that for my 59th birthday, my twin brother and his wife came up from Santa Cruz? We celebrated our birthday together. The highlight was a surprise snow last Sunday morning (May 15th). They loved it, and were even inspired to build a little snowman. We, of course, had had enough of it, but were glad for them and their enthusiasm.
Then the weather warmed up and after another 1 1/2 inches of rain, we were able to plant some fine tomato, pepper, and basil in our freshly rototilled beds. Roger has a few new toys, I mean work tools, at his disposal: a tractor, a rototiller, and a cart that the tractor pulls. It's made our lives much easier. We're pretty sure that the snow and frosts are behind us now, but to be perfectly honest, we are a bit wary. We're planting slowly, knowing that the growing season will take us long past the autumn equinox. No hurry.
Still, all the springtime creatures have sprung up from their winter sleep. Everywhere, everywhere butterflies, dragonflies, damselflies, and a zillion different kinds of bees and wasps. The sun and warm temps put a joy in everyone's step. How can it be that we're only one month away from summer solstice? Spring, we hardly knew ye.
Post Script: And on the day of the Rapture, these two were completely enraptured.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Our Yellow Natives

The very cool thing about these yellow star tulips and rainbow irises is that they only occur in a handful of counties in California. They are Sierra foothill natives, and they are growing all around our yard. Check out the Calflora page for information on wild California plants for conservation, education, and appreciation.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Pushing 60

Today I am 59 years old. Now I can say with complete confidence, I am pushing 60. I so want to be here in this moment, on the cusp of my sixth decade. The world has never seemed more precarious or dangerous, nor the planet more on the edge of environmental collapse. Still, the spring is as beautiful as it has ever looked to me. Maybe it's just a matter of looking through eyes that saw an incredibly harsh winter, but the vibrant light green of spring this year makes the foothills look ecstatic. The wildlife seems to agree. Everyone is eating, mating, nesting, hunting, foraging like there is only now, this verdant moment.

My dead computer quieted everything, but I did not miss the cacophony. I actually loved the silence and now find it hard to reintegrate into the whole online life. I think maybe this blogging/networking thing works best in winter. Who knows? Maybe if something amazing crosses our path, I'll be inspired to photograph and share it. I have a cool photo of some huge crane flies mating, but I haven't tried connecting the camera to the new computer yet. I also haven't tried "migrating" my Photoshop program from my backup drive. I'm hesitant about everything techie these days. Even our dsl connection has intermittently dropped out on us. I think I must be the static queen or something. Well, anyway, we've only been posting about once or twice a week. If we're lucky, we'll keep up with that pace. I can't help it… you know I'm pushing 60!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Wood Duck Babies!

I have a brand new computer and this momma wood duck brought her babies to the pond. There really are no words!

Monday, May 09, 2011

Disconnected From This; Connected To That (now with an update!)

My computer is having a life crisis. Since I last happily wrote that it had been returned to me, it had a heart attack two days later. I picked up its lifeless body, which was weirdly hot with its fan blowing madly, and tried to perform life support. It played dead. It had been home less than a week when its condition decidedly took a turn for the worse. I called Dr. Apple and reported the symptoms. I am beginning to dislike and mistrust them as much as I am skeptical of all know-it-all-agenda-driven professionals. Of course they said I should ship it back to them for repair, yet again. I dutifully did so. This time they replaced the hard-drive, which they did not replace the last time they had it which had only been only six days earlier. You see my discontent here?

So, I have my computer back. It's working, but as as I told the lovely voice of Dr. Apple, I am slowly losing my mind over this. If this machine breaks one more time, I WILL NOT SEND IT BACK. Dr. Apple said that if my computer breaks, he won't make me send it back, but that he might ask me to check some software stuff. Okay, whatever. I just said to him, "You will hear from me. You will remember this conversation, right?" He said, "Yes, Robin, I will remember." Sure. I believe him.

My warranty is good until some time in late August. They will have to send me a new computer if and when this when breaks. In some ways, this computer is pretty new: it's on its third logic board, third power cord, second connector, new battery, and a new hard-drive. How many more components can they replace? Oh don't answer that. I don't want to know. The latest repair required that I restore my files from my back-up. For some reason it backed up to March 28, 2011, even though I had an April 28th backup. So a month's worth of photos is somewhere on the backup disk, but I'm not even sure I want to start digging around to find anything. ENOUGH ALREADY.

So, I've been living a weirdly disconnected life. I've been sporadically using my mom's new PC. I have been slogging along on our five-year old PC. Luckily spring is happening here. My mom is still visiting (and we got to spend Mother's Day with her for the first time in years!). And Indigo came and cooked a fantastic delicious dinner for us. The geese are keeping us amused. The strawberries are blooming in their new bed. And the bluebirds, those magnificent birds of happiness, are keeping me company in this time of computer crisis.

Best News Update: My computer actually died one more time Monday morning. I called Dr. Apple. He asked me to try one more thing to see if it might in fact be a software problem. I did as directed, and the computer was still dead. Dr. Apple said, "Where would you like to pick up a new computer?" Tomorrow at the Apple store!

Friday, May 06, 2011

our best garlic ever!

we planted 2 varieties of softneck garlic and 2 of hardneck. the softneck stuff is what you get at the market. also in braids. (thus softneck!!!) slightly more info.
these hardy plants were frozen, snowed on, kinda smooshed by snow, flooded with rain, pelted with hail, and now bathed in sun.

bonus picture of geese on the driveway.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Suddenly Spring Feels Like Summer

My computer was delivered back to us on Thursday. It's working again, but who knows for how long. Now I am shutting it down and restarting it whenever I want to. I'm not going to protect it from itself any longer. Jeez, some relationships are just so touchy. Hah! I have to say Apple is pretty amazing about getting computers shipped back to them and then returned in with incredible speed. It ALMOST makes me forgive them for their snoopy little iPhones. NOT.
My mom is still here with us. It'll be three weeks on Tuesday. She keeps saying she wants to go home. (We're not keeping her a prisoner or anything like that!) She's just not sure how to proceed anymore as an 85 year old in the world. I tell her she's lucky because her health is good, but she's not so sure. It's true that her body is 85 years old; and human skin, bones, and organs probably weren't designed to last this long. But she's basically very healthy. She wants to be back near her doctors, especially because her knee, which she had replaced in February, hurts. She also misses her townhouse and all of her life-long collected belongings. And, to be perfectly honest, Roger and I are boring. We're very quiet. I take pictures of everything that moves. Roger digs holes and plants things. We're not very entertaining. Still, we cook delicious, nutritious good food, and we're kind-hearted and loving even though we don't say much. (She was not feeling well in the above photo, but she is feeling much better now.)

The weather has been so warm, it feels like we've leaped from a crazy long winter to a crazy early summer overnight. Temps are supposed to soar into the 80s by mid-week. We're tan already! On the downside, most of the very tender veggie and flower starts in our new little greenhouse have fried to a crisp. It wasn't supposed to get this hot so fast.

In other news, my birthday is coming. I'll be 59 on May 13th. Interestingly, I can't wait to turn 60. Not sure why, but it's a milestone I want to make. There's something about 60 that seems utterly mature, like I'll wake up and suddenly know what it means to be an adult. What do you think? Will I really grow up? I have a year and a few days to find out!