Saturday, June 30, 2012


This week's Illustration Friday prompt is "refresh".

I'm not really feeling the artplay vibe today, I will admit.  But I thought I'd go ahead and make myself do a quickie.

Maybe it's water.  Maybe it's a big old G and T.

Friday, June 29, 2012


Yesterday, the TV was on.  At the top of the hour, a daytime drama came on.  A softly lit, poorly acted, badly written "soap".

It was great.

No, I'm not a fan of soaps.  I'm not typically a fan of TV, but it's been a handy informative tool this week.  The reason the soap was such a welcome sight was that it marked the end, for the moment, of live 24-hour news feeds regarding fire conditions and evacuations.   The community is still raw and reeling, but the adrenaline drip has slowed and conditions have definitely improved.

The fire crews are still battling and we are all so very thankful for their efforts and for the fact that none of them has been seriously injured or worse.

Courtesy of Denver Comic Con... of course

This week's events have changed our local landscape and also changed the residents in ways that aren't readily seen.  I know that there are lasting changes within me that will no doubt spill over into the blog on occassion.  I'm not really ready to go there just yet though.

So let's blog about our still yet-to-be-named cat.

Recall that our cat of 12 years, Cookie, left us back in November.  He was an awesome cat and we still miss him terribly.  There was no rush to get another cat, but I think we all knew that we wouldn't remain catless for long.

Enter one of Magnum's co-workers who was feeding a stray that was camping out in her bushes.  She had enough cats of her own and was looking for a home for this one. We thought about it.  She sent pics.

Homeless but not starving
We didn't want to get a cat just before leaving on our roadtrip and decided that, if the cat was still there when we returned, we'd take her.

She was still there.  We took her.

We took her Tuesday evening in the middle of evacuations and smoke and fire and news streams and scanner chatter.  On one hand, it seemed a stupid thing to be doing, but on the other hand, the thought of leaving that cat outdoors didn't sit well either.

We got her home and I think having her here had a calming effect on us all.  We took her to a small room and let her get to know us as we sat disussing the events of the day and some of our feelings of helplessness and how we realized we didn't care about our "stuff" all that much.

Now, I'm not a superstitious type.  I've heard it's bad luck to be superstitious (kidding).  I will say that, black cats have historically been good luck for me.  The day after we got her, the weather turned cooler, humidity went up, we even got a little rain, the humans scored some points against the fire.

Just sayin'.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Thank you to everyone for the comments, concerns, kind thoughts and words.  They help, they really do.

We're still in our home, and things have been calmer today.  I think that there is now double the amount of fire fighters working the fire as there was two days ago.   I also think extra aircraft have arrived.  The containment has gone from 5% to 10% and all progress is good news.  

So things look to have definitely calmed down as far as threats to the city go.  Constant news channel streaming and police scanner chatter has died down.  The fire continues to move north however.  

As I type this, there are thunderclouds building.  Rain would be great!  Wind and lightning, not so much.  Fire behavior is so dependent on the weather, and we are all hypersensitive to the weather conditions after the "perfect storm" that happened on Tuesday.

We still have grab bags ready to go.  The kids don't think it's necessary anymore, but I tell them to just humor me, so the bags sit.

Prior to Tuesday, there were some people I came into contact with that I didn't think felt the full threat of the fire.  Their comments suggested that they didn't fully understand what the fire crews were up against.  One guy at the community college on Monday, as I was snapping the photo from the parking lot, commented, "Oh, I thought they'd put it out".  What??

Our neighbors and we saw the smoke plume begin on Saturday afternoon and became concerned right away because of how hot and dry it's been and how hot and dry it was forecast to remain.  I remember standing outside , some snapping pictures, some calling friends or relatives that live near the area.   The watching and waiting began.  

Now, after Tuesday, I don't think there are doubts around here about how small we can be.

And, amidst the tragic events, so many people have shown such kindness and care for each other, the evacuees, the fire crews...  YMCA's have made their facilities free for evacuees, our school district has opened the administration building (which is large because it also houses a middle school) for a sort of free day camp as well as offered family counseling, large sport and event centers have made way for sheltering evacuated pets, and the whole community has donated tons of food for the evacuees and fire crews and tons of pet supplies.

So yes, we can be small against a wildfire, but we've got big hearts.  And  I know that that's not true for just my community.

And speaking of bright spots, our family has one rather dark bright spot.  Maybe it's strange timing.  Maybe it's just right.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

sad Tuesday

Okay, this is really starting to suck.

The fire took a turn for the worst yesterday afternoon and headed for the city.  The whole northwest section of Colorado Springs was evacuated and much has already burned or is in the line of fire.

It got pretty freaky in the afternoon when the smoke moved in like a thick orange fog.  Then all of the evacuation alerts started springing up.  We live in the north east quadrant, east and west being separated by the interstate.

It's hard, this feeling of helplessness.  All we can do is watch and wait, stay out of the way and hope for the best.  Large lumbering C-130's pass overhead, but they look like houseflies next to the fire.  There's the constant smell of smoke and pieces of falling ash in the air.

It really is surreal.  We walked to "my" crosswalk last night and could see various fires "right there", stretching for miles.  Favorite hiking spots, landmarks,  homes, and businesses are gone this morning.

We've packed duffle bags for everyone along with other provisions and have it all sitting by the door should things get even worse.  I'm just really thankful for the police and the firefighters.  Without them, the devastation would be so much worse.

Chaco did a time lapse of Sad Tuesday from the backyard looking west:


Sorry to be such a downer this morning.  My heart hurts for Colorado.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I woke up this morning, and it smelled like I'd slept with my head next to the campfire.  Oh, but wait, we aren't camping.

I snapped this picture from the community college as I was leaving tutoring last night.

Waldo Canyon fire
(AF Academy can be seen in the hills in the photo area above the Po-Po cruiser)

Then a little bit later, after I'd gotten home, Meego texted me from his friend's backyard.

"The fire is going down the mountain"

We went out to have a look, and it was a bit freaky to see flames in real time.  My neighbor shared this photo.

Fire fire go away

The good news is, firefighters have a predicted date of when they expect to have the fire out.  The bad news is, their prediction is for July 16.  That's a whole lotta burning still to be done.

So, it's a bit depressing around here.  Big fire taking out our pretty canyon(s) plus it's hot hot with no real rain in the forecast, and the air quality is on par with that of Beijing.

Naturally, I'm thinking "Let's Cook!"

Okay, remember that New Year's resolution about cooking more real food?  I've been doing pretty well with that BUT COULD BE BETTER.  After our road trip, I was looking forward to cooking more real food after all that continental breakfast and gas station cuisine.

The thought of turning on the oven or stove seems ridiculous.  Did I mention we don't have A/C?  Yes, it is certainly grill season, and while there has yet to be any official bans on grilling in our own yards, it's *ahem* "frowned upon" at the moment for obvious reasons.

I could use a little input here.  Last night, it was tuna salad on hard rolls with cheese.  Potato salad and watermelon accompanied nicely.  It was happily consumed, but the family is probably going to want to eat again sometime.

So, Good Lookin'(s), whachu got cookin;?

Update:  Chaco's been taking pics from our house.  If you're the praying kind or the rain dancing kind or the head hunter kind or whatever, we're not picky.  We'll take anything you've got to alleviate this b*tch of a fire.

Monday, June 25, 2012


Hoo Boy, I could sure use a horse trough right now.  We used to have a couple of horse troughs.  We only sort of had horses, but that's another story.  Anyways, it was nice having horse troughs in the summer.

Since we only sort of had horses, we could use the horse troughs for other things.  We used them as "cold tubs", which are kind of like hot tubs in reverse.  Fill them up with water from the hose and then just sit in them.

It's unseasonably hot here.  Add to that the fact that the state is on fire, and I'm thinking of horse troughs.  I'm glad that it's at least crossing guard off-season.

I'm crabby too because yesterday I had a laundry accident.  Seriously, who does that?  Other than total klutzes?

Frugal domestic goddess that I am, I was "hanging the wash" outside.  Might as well make use of all of this dry heat, right?  I was hanging the wash while walking along a railroad tie that separates our weed lot backyard from our unsightly unkept grassland ornately landscaped hill.

wounded shoe

I was walking along when that &%^$#*! railroad tie grabbed my toe while the rest of my body was still travelling.  That little *%>##.

My cat-like reflexes didn't save me.  I'm so mad at that *$&^#+> railroad tie because of (a) what it did to my rib cage, (b) making me feel like a total klutz, and (c) what it did to the toe of my shoe.  &^$%(/!

%^#<*& Culprit

I don't normally cuss (*COUGH*), but come ON!

It's hot.  The state is on fire.  I had a laundry accident.  We have no horse trough.  I think these are signs of imbalance in my life.

The good news is, a remedy might be on the near horizon.

We may be getting a new cat.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Silver Liningness Sunday

I'm thankful that our road trip across Nebraska was a goodie!  

I know that when one thinks "fun destination point", The Cornhusker State doesn't immediately pop into mind, but we learned that there is a lot to be said for Nebraska!  About a year ago, a friend of mine touted its attributes, so this year we decided to check it out.

One drawback road trip-wise, however, as my friend put it, "There is nothing between here and Omaha".  I think Magnum took that as a personal challenge, and he found stuff!  He does things like that, that's why he was appointed "Official Road Trip Planner".

Our first stop was actually in Northeastern Colorado - the Wild Animal Sanctuary.  It's over 700 acres of sanctuary for lions, tigers, bears, (do NOT say "Oh my!", don't say it, DON'T!), wolves, and other wild animals that have been abused or otherwise can't survive on their own.

Fat lion down there

It was really a great facility.  Visitors follow a raised platform and get amazing views of the animals.  Apparently, being on ground level with them makes the animals agitated and defensive, but they don't feel threatened by humans walking overhead.  We were advised that, should we drop something from the walkway, we would not get it back.  Hats, cameras, etc. would just become "enrichment toys".

Cars, cars, cars

Eventually we made it into Nebraska and miles and miles (and miles and miles and...) of corn fields.  This was a sight for us mountain folk.  I will admit, however, that it didn't take long for the novelty to wear off.  Magnum came through again in finding the Harold Warp Pioneer Village.  It's "The largest private collection of Americana anywhere",   and I believe it!

RCA pooch

<----Any guesses as to what these things are?  The answer is at the end of the post, for those who make it that far.

Female Orangutan looking for an Alpha male

In time, we traversed the state and made it to Omaha, which incidentally became the home of the College World Series in 1950.  So happens, it was College World Series time while we were there, and luckily our Official Road Trip Planner had made advanced reservations.  

We spent all day at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and still feel like we didn't see everything.  Anyone who enjoys a good zoo needs to go to this place!  Even our teenaged boys sung its praises.

In addition to the expertly maintained displays and habitats, there is a skytram and zoo train driven by an actual steam locomotive (neither of which we rode).
Sloth (x 2)

The hotel clerk in Lincoln told me it was the best zoo she's ever been to and I would echo that.  The only "drawback" is that it's just so HUGE and complete, that it's difficult to take in in one visit.

The Jungle exhibit alone is the largest indoor rainforest in THE WORLD.

So a great trip all around!  And did I mention the SAC and Space museum?

Throw in more corn fields, lots of hotel pool swims, endless rounds of 20 Questions, more educational stuff, and this was another road trip to remember.

If you need somewhere to "get away", I say NEBRASKA.  Who knew??

OH, and about the mystery question... those are "Calf Weaners", yes they are!  Here's one in action...

Now you too have seen a genuine calf weaner.


I managed to get in a quick drawing for this week's Illustration Friday where the prompt is "Space".

Even astronauts need some down time, right?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

hello! remember me?

We're back from road trip 2012.  Much fun was had, and I've cleaned out the 90 + e-mails.  Now for some quality blog time and a rehash!
War Machine!!!!

First up:  Denver Comic Con.  What a blast!

Really, I had no idea what to expect and was just sort of tagging along to watch, but it was So.  Much.  Fun.  Everyone has already jumped on the bandwagon to go again if Denver hosts another.

Magnum and some new friends

I'm NOT going to say, "Who you gonna call?" in this caption!

I think what made it fun was that there was instant camaraderie among all of the attendees just from the mere fact that we were all at Comic Con together.

There were some really fun costumes and displays.  And the art people were really friendly!

Meego less than impressed with a talking car
he's never heard of

More like it!

He seems a lot bigger in the movies
Okay, this one's big

We have no idea who/what this character is.

So the trip began with a bang.  We could all die happy, having attended at least one Comic Con.  We loaded up the souvenirs and headed out for the second leg of the trip:  Nebraska and CORN!

Excitement abounds!


Monday, June 18, 2012

beyond the con

In further blog break interruptions, our lives are complete after experiencing Denver Comic Con and we are now into "The Beyond".

I don't want to give many details about "The Beyond" because it is such a hot destination point already, that we're trying to keep crowds down by not mentioning anything by name.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Silver Liningness Sunday

Dad with some baby that isn't me

Despite my rebellion against Hallmark Holidays...

I do want to interrupt this blog break time to say Happy Father's day to all the good dads out there!

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Seven months.  Seven months ago, I got on the blog-every-day bandwagon.  I had no idea it would even last this long, but once I got rolling, I planned on doing it for (at least) a year.

But alas, I must break the chain.  It's time to get our geek on.  Here we are, can you tell which one is me??

Oh Get REAL!

That's not us!  These are some major geeks at Denver Comic Con!  (Our cosplay is way better NOT).

I actually have no idea what to expect.  I've never been to a geek convention before, and I am mainly excited for the people-watching opportunities that are sure to abound.

And okay, I confess that while the menfolk will be checking out the gamer stuff and transformer stuff and whatever, I might get lost over here:

These photos, by the way, are courtesy of my Denver Comic Con facebook feed  because what's not to "like"?

So I'll be internet-less for a few days.  I must say that I've appreciated everyone's loyal visits during the daily blog posting project.  I expect to return to daily ramblings.

As the blog gets back-burnered for a few days, I think it will enjoy the hiatus.  We've got a special friend watching over the homestead and the pets and such.

Say hello to housesitter / blogsitter Lumis.  He enjoyes pillaging, plundering and playing a few rounds of Mexican Train with friends.

Friday, June 15, 2012




Thursday, June 14, 2012


I managed to take care of business yesterday.  You'll be thrilled to know that Meego is now toilet trained.  I felt a little gypped because, to properly train him, I had to clean the Man Bathroom right alongside him, but I'm happy to let him attempt a solo flight next time.

He and I also cashed in on some more free bowling after I was finished with the tutoring grind.  I sucked.

Really, I had been making noticeable improvement, but I'm learning that this bowling thing can get quite moody.  You all realize I am much the novice here?  Right?  I set little goals for myself, then set a new one once the current one is reached.  Okay, I will admit here that my current goal is to consistently bowl a 150 or above.  Yes, that's right Terri and ShadowRun300.  I have a goal of 50% of perfect which in test score world is a high F.

But it's all just for fun, dammit.

But we got home and I had a sort of message from my long lost friend.  She'd received and accepted my connection request on Linkedin.  Yay, we're connected!  No other communication as of yet, however.  Now that we are "linked" we should be able to access each others' e-mail addresses.  So I'm thinking

(a) She has no idea who I am, just accepts every connection request she gets
(b) She remembers me, vaguely
(c) She's shocked to hear from me and is speechless
(d) She's using this time of silence to draft a long correspondence

So that was fun to get that teaser anyway.  Then I continued my sucky bowling therapy by finishing my play time with Johnny Depp, as suggested by CiCi,  while streaming boy band music.  I'd venture to say that everything gets better with Johnny Depp (boy band music not so much).

I quote here from a cartoon I saw recently...

"They handcuffed me and told me that anything I said can and would be held against me, so I said, 'Johnny Depp'".

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Magnum forwarded an e-mail to me yesterday.  It was from one of the many members of the extended family.  I started reading and soon came upon

"...Jackomo and I are splitting up."

That got my attention.  Yes, it's sad news that a couple is calling it quits, but the other thing that registered was the "Jackomo" (not the real name btw).  It's a rather large extended family when we include all of Magnum's step siblings and their families.  There are a lot of men with the name Jackomo, I realized.  So which one was splitting up?

I had to dig around a bit in the forwarded message to see who the original sender was... oh, okay. THAT Jackomo.

So it was sad news.  We haven't had much contact with this couple for several years.  They got married around the same time we did and then moved two time zones away.  But I'd always rather liked Mr. and Mrs. Jackomo.  They seemed a good match for each other.

Her e-mail, understandably, didn't go into great detaill over their differences.  Just the usual "... been trying to work things out for a long time..." and "... really tough decision...", etc.

Later in the evening, when we were taking our old folk's walk, Magnum and I talked a little of our disappointment in the split up and about their reasons.

Magnum commented, "Unless somebody's cheating on or abusing the other, it seems they could work it out".

But, what do we know of others' tolerance thresholds?  I didn't want to second guess their situation.  

"Soooo... you won't mind me setting up a meth lab in the basement then?" I smart-assedly replied.

"Okay", he conceded, "maybe it's not just those two things".

Disclaimer:  I do not now or ever plan to set up a meth operation.  I'm also about 97.8% certain that that is not the reason for the divorce of Jackomo.

What counts as "irreconcilable differences" for you?  Your spouse?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

best laid plans

I had plans. Really I did.

I was finished with work by noon today, and the afternoon was wide open.  I was going to get caught up.  I had a list.  A list in my head. It said things like "iron", and "clean the blinds" and "toilet train Meego"...

None of that has happened.  I did at least cook a slab of corned beef for dinner.

I think slacker mode kicked in over the weekend.  I felt a little more breathing room in my schedule, so I celebrated by drawing this Blake Shelton portrait as suggested by Terri.  He seemed more appealing than the aforementioned housewifery

Then today, I even had a willing participant in Meego's toilet training.  See, he cut me a deal a few days ago.  He wanted something but was a little short on cash.  I agreed to give him the cash if he agrees to clean the "Man Bathroom" each week for the rest of the summer.

I refer to it as the Man Bathroom because I don't use it much, it's more of a King/Prince throne area.  Anyway, Meego agreed.  I forked over the cash, now he's got to hold up his end of the deal, but he's never been properly trained in Man Bathroom maintenance.  That was going to happen today.

But it hasn't yet.

Meego wisely went to play at a friend's house when I started playing with Johnny Depp.

Monday, June 11, 2012


I remember the day we first met.  I was six years old and nearing the end of my kindergarten year.  I only went to school in the mornings then, and when my mom picked me up she told me about a new family that had moved to the neighborhood.

"They have a daughter your age.  You should go over and see if she would like to play"

When you're in kindergarten, that means, "After lunch, you're going to that new girl's house and asking her to play".

So that's exactly what I did.  I still remember what I was wearing - my favorite knit dress (red, and not froo froo), knee socks, and white sneakers.

I remember climbing the tall stairs to her porch and feeling a little self-conscious because I was showing up solo.  I also remember being curious as to what she was like, so after a moment's pause, I pushed the doorbell button.

Denise and I became best friends from that day forward.  We played at each others' houses, we walked to and from school together.  We traded Barbie clothes.  We got go-go boots together.  She was the oldest of four.  Sometimes her younger sister would play with us too, but Denise and I were inseparable,

Until second grade.

We were walking to school one day, and Denise was uncharacteristically quiet.  Then she told me that her dad got a new job in another state.  They were moving.

I didn't know what to say.  Denise began to tear up.  I tried to act like I was okay with it, but I wasn't.  When we got to school, we hung up our coats in silence.  I walked into the classroom to find Denise sobbing in the arms of our teacher.

The day they left, the family stopped by our house to say last good-byes.  I stood out in my front yard with my parents and brother, a bit stoic and not saying much.  Then they drove off in their stuffed tank of a 70's American car.

There were a few letters in the years that followed, with enclosed school photos and such, but that really didn't last long.  Despite our sadness at first, we were able to move on.  After she left, I was the sole girl in the neighborhood and became the resident tomboy.   I would still think of her often though, and remember those good times.  Luckily, around 6th grade, my boundaries had grown and there were other girls to hang out with when I wasn't at school.  This came just in time for puberty, which was a good thing because it was starting to feel weird playing with the neighbor boys all the time.

Earlier today, I read a blog post about a woman who went looking for a long lost friend by simply googling her, and I got to thinking about Denise.  I googled and found her on Linkedin.

I saw her face after all of these years and knew instantly that it was her.  Those same smiling eyes.  I thought, "Should I contact her?". I know nothing about her anymore, other than the professional stuff on her Linkedin profile.

Then I thought, "What the h", and hit the "connect" button.

I feel like that girl in the red dress, ringing that doorbell.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Silver Lining Sunday

I mentioned those crazy storms we had earlier in the week.  Of course, when bad stuff like that happens, there are always the silver lining stories that come about.  One such story that impressed me was the one about this woman who went above and beyond.

Save a baby from a Volkswagen - add it to my bucket list

From her home, she saw the rising waters and hail that were swallowing the traffic, and, realizing that rescue crews wouldn't get there in time, she went out in the middle of it all and started saving people.  When the news did the story on her the next day, she didn't want any special recognition, didn't want her name published or her face shown.  She just wanted people to know that they could do the same.  So she gets silver liningness highlight this week.

It's just nice to see stories like that.  We need breaks from  hearing about face-eating zombies/druggies, shallow political promises, world conflicts, etc.

I also like that she had the presence of mind to strap on that (whiz-bang) flaming bicycle helmet before going out into the hail.

My life was certainly less dramatic this week.  Still, it was another busy one.  I finished up with one tutor student, but then took on another to fill his slot, thereby swapping out a hockey player for a dirt bike racer.  Gotta keep the adrenaline pumping.  I'm not taking ANY more students!  Really!  That said, though, I do like my students and appreciate their business.

So we're settling into summer.  Magnum's got our upcoming road trip planned out pretty well.   It looks good on paper anyway.  We'll see what happens in the "lab".

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Happy draw-something-on-Saturday-for Illustration Friday!  This week's prompt is "shiny", so I went with the Knight in Shining Armor.  What girl hasn't fantasized? 

Whatchyou wearin'?


Friday, June 8, 2012

Pitt stop

I was reading over at Jenn's yesterday.  She reminded us that people end up on our blogs via searches, so I thought I'd dig around and see what keyword searches had brought people here recently - usually a fun activity.

The latest traffic sources include:

bulls spain drawing - Hola!
how should I do my hair today? - Good question, let me know when you find out.
lead holder - Aren't those the bomb?
teen ballerina naked - Okay.  Out.  I mean it.  GedOuttaHere! CREEP.
viking woman -   Hmm...  I think you can stay.

I've mentioned that I have that other blog.  Well, it's not even really a blog.  It's just a wordpress site where I put my artwork.  I sometimes peek at the search terms over there too.  There's the expected stuff like "colo(u)red pencil scenes", "watercolor buddha", "banana split painting" (really?)...  But it never fails.  By far, the most popular traffic-bringing search has to do with this portrait drawing I did about a year ago.

Traffic Cow
For today alone, so far, that site has had 20 hits off of the following image searches:

tyler durden
fight club sketch
brad pitt portrait
brad pitt fight club
brad pitt tyler
brad pitt tyler durden
fight club

*(inhale)* And I don't really get much traffic over there, no other search barely even comes close to the Brad Pitt zone. 

I don't remember what inspired me to draw him.  It wasn't a request.  What about the other celebrities?  Curious, I checked the stats for "all time". 

Poor Anakin Skywalker.  NO searches for him.  Happy Buddha has a pretty nice following as does Optimus Prime.  If I had a dime for every time someone found me by looking for Rafael Nadal's house, I'd have... well... a dime.

Have you checked your stats lately? 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

what the...


So I've mentioned that we want to get a new roof.  It's not that ours is greatly damaged, but our shingles are obsolete, and so we are locked in with our current home insurance until we get new shingles.  I've had a couple roofers look at it, and there is some damage here and there, but it's borderline as to whether or not insurance will cover it.

Our insurance has been kind of dragging their feet, so nothing's decided one way or the other.  Yesterday evening, some storms rolled in, so we were all about generating some hail. 

Despite Wolfgang's... uh... "moves", our efforts were a bit of a fail, with the hail never getting much larger than small garbanzo beans throughout several waves of aggressive storming.

But THEN we turned on the local news!  DANG, I've never seen hail as ridiculous as this.  It wasn't so much the size of the hail, but the amount.  With the help from all of the flooding, the hail piled up like large snow drifts, stranding several motorists a few miles south of us. 

This photo is from the local news this morning, several hours after the stormage:

Snow plow crews are trying to clear all of it out as major roads are blocked. 

So, I'm not sure what to think of this.  While this major hail missed our neighborhood, it was reported to the north of us too.  Could it be that we really DO have the power to generate hail?

Back to the drawing board.  We really need to fix our aim. 

And for those to our north and south... uhm, sorry.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

athletic support

I went to the physical therapist yesterday.  I've got that foot thing, remember?

This was my first ever time with a physical therapist.  I got the idea in my head a couple of weeks ago when I was talking to a fellow runner who was also whining about suffering from an injury that was putting a dent in his running.  He said he was going to go see his physical therapist for it.

He's got a physical therapist?  I don't have one of those.  I have a general practitioner.  I have a chiropractor.  Heck, I have a freaking life coach.  Maybe I could have a phyiscal therapist too.

Afterwards, I thought I should've asked the fellow whiner for a physical therapist referral, but by then it was after the fact, so I just googled instead.  My search landed me at the physical therapy place yesterday afternoon.  It seemed like the kind of place I was looking for.  The "Free Consultation" didn't hurt either.

Based on first impressions alone, I could add this physical therapist and her "team" to my support crew.  She messed around with my foot, had me demo some moves, then gave me homework. 

I won't bore with the details -  she had some pretty pictures to explain for me - but my issue stems from weakness in the middle of my foot.  My homework is a list of exercises to do each day.  I've yet to do them today, I'm already slacking.  I need to heed my own advice about scheduling time each day for homework.

And the foot is improving.   Maybe it was feeling neglected and now it's been appeased.   I'm confident I'll be able to dust of my shoes and wake up my running parts relatively soon.  I hope they don't complain too much. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Amelia Earhart.  Is the mystery almost solved?  Based mainly on a found jar of freckle cream, it's suspected that she spent her last days as a castaway on a deserted island. 

This reminds me of a writing prompt a student of mine had not long ago.  He was to write a short essay on this:

"If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island and could take only 2 people with you, which of these would you choose:
  • construction worker
  • minister/priest/rabbi
  • doctor
  • musician
  • soldier
  • police officer
  • firefighter

He chose a soldier and a doctor, which I thought were good choices based on that list alone.  I also thought the list was kinda slim pickings! 

Nothing against any of these professions, but really, how useful are they in a survival situation like being stranded on a deserted island?  At least the soldier would have some survival training, the doctor could diagnose stuff...

But let's see, if we could come up with a want ad.  Who would apply?

Dynamic Executive Assistant needed to organize, manage and oversee  procedures for stranded adventurers.

Eligible candidates must know how kill wild animals and prepare them for human consumption, be able to identify, with 100 percent accuracy, edible plant life, and be familiar with antidotes to counteract the ingestion of non-edible plant life.  Fire building and maintenance is required along with the generation of non-intestinal parasitic water and the construction of shelter against typhoons and stuff. 

Knowledge of Excel, Microsoft Word, Power Point, and Photoshop is pretty worthless for this position.  Experience in dealing with wimpy people in the throes of freaking out is desired as is the ability to work long unpredictable hours on little or no sleep or caffeine. 

Salary is comensurate with how many edibles you can kill. 

If you know of anyone, have them give me a ring.

Monday, June 4, 2012


At first, it was difficult, and I would end up just giving in.  I'd talk myself into it.  "Well, it's just for a couple of weeks"; "Well, they sound nice"; "Well, since they live closeby..."; "Well, they sound so desperate".

But now, I've gotten better at saying "no".  It seems I've settled into summer break mode too.

People are looking for summer tutors, and that's a good thing, for us tutors anyway.  Honestly, I don't mean to sound all altruistic, but really, I'm not a tutor (mainly) for the money.  Fortunately, Magnum provides enough so that I don't need to work.   I just need something to do, and this is something I enjoy that also has some nice flexibility to it.  If I wasn't an independent tutor, I would be a volunteer tutor. 

So when I see these inquiries:

"My daughter will be a junior in high school..."

"I'm interested in tutoring for..."

"I need to brush up on..."

"I would like to begin..."

"My son struggles with..."

I'm tempted to answer them.  Or I was.  Now that I've practiced saying "no", it's coming easier to me, especially now with the kids all on summer break.  Once school starts up again, I'll most likely be jumping back into the tutoring match fray. 

I'm still tutoring somebody each weekday, but I have happily decreased my hours and I want to leave them about where they are.  And, thanks to Judy, I've signed up for free bowling all summer.

See ya later, time to go throw.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Silver Liningness Sunday

The first unofficial week of summer is complete.  It was pretty laid back as the kids all settle into the idea of not going to school (without much difficulty).  The tutoring schedule is in scaled back mode, and the crossing guard vest is in storage.

Sam Rockwell as Sam Bell(s)
For one slothful activity, we watched an interesting movieMoon is a sci-fi film about this guy, Sam, who has been stationed on the far side of the moon for nearly 3 years.  He oversees the mining of the earth's major source of energy - Helium 3.  His only companion is the onboard robot, Gerty.  Well, he does have some plants and he receives taped messages from his wife, but there is no real-time communication with anyone.

He's coming up on the end of his contract and is fully looking forward to going home at about the time he's injured in an accident.  He wakes up in the infirmary and then things get weird

I won't give away anything else as that would deprive anyone who reads this, and hasn't seen the movie, of the "fun". 

I liked the movie.  Unlike most sci-fi movies that I watch mainly because I'm the lone female in the house, this one left a good lasting impression.  It's not filled with a bunch of CG animations and violence, but is instead very thought provoking.  Perhaps what made it so absorbing for me is that it could actually happen - unlike say, an overwhelming love for a vampire?  An alien race of robots that transform into Chevy's and such? 

It also made me sad.  Just a warning there.  Even now, several days after watching the movie, the kids will point to the moon when I'm around and say, "Awwww...", just to remind me.  Yeah, thanks for that...

In the meantime, we're finalizing some plans for a road trip.  Magnum is the meticulous researcher, so I'm leaving most of the planning to him.  I've reminded him that I don't stand on the side of the road all school year in all kinds of weather and deal with bad drivers just so we can stay in some roach motel.  Plan accordingly.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


This week's Illustration Friday prompt is "hurry!" so I made some snails. 

YES, we're in enough of a hurry most of the time!  It's good to slow down once in a while.  Back in the old days before cell phones and digital cameras and instant everything, scientists actually drew nature observations in journals.

So I'm playing slow scientist today, sketching some snails (whose reference photos I uploaded from google images while listening to Pandora and had to hurry to finish and submit because of lightning in the area threatening to zap the computer...)

Friday, June 1, 2012


I had another running dream last night, and I was going FAST!   Then I woke up.   bummer.

Yesterday, I broke down and made an appointment for next week with a physical therapist to see what's going on with the foot.  I don't mind taking it easy while it heals, but I just want to know that the thing actually IS healing and to know what else I can do to help that along.

If I go to my doctor, she will most likely just tell me to not run (already doing that) and give me some happy pills to replace the endorphins.  Then charge me $80 or so. 

In the meantime, I dream.

NaBloPoMo June 2012Also in the meantime, it's a new month!  I not-so-smartly signed up for another month of daily blogging.  I say not-so-smartly because we've got some plans for this month that involve me being away from the blog for a few days.  If I don't pull the daily blogging off, don't be surprised. 

But, as the daily blogging has actually happened since I hopped on this bandwagon back in November, I felt compelled to sign up again.  This month's theme is the cruel "jump".  Cruel to a person who can't (presently) jump.

But enough whining already!  I'm enjoying the summer so far - a week into it.  I don't particularly miss being  out at the crosswalk.  That afternoon shift can be rather inconvenient for scheduling other things, that's why the job pays the big bucks *cough*. 

And yesterday, yet another mystery t-shirt arrived from deviantART.  No, I'm not on a mystery shirt spending spree, but through a series of events, I ended up with this one:

This was a winning entry in a "Monsters Do Exist" t-shirt design contest.  According to the artist:

"Monsters do, in fact, exist, and they're more scared of you than you are of them. It's a well-known fact that one of their greatest fears is being uncovered by a flashlight, second only to young people running up to confront them. Some monsters just want to stay hidden under your bed, eating the occasional sock or cheese poof that rolls their way. It's best to just let them be."

Anyway, even my kids like the shirt - is that a good thing?  Either way, I'm enjoying short-sleeve season. 

Happy June!