Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Return of the Frog Eating Bird!

We saw our frog eating egret friend again on our evening walk! I was able to get much closer this time, although because of the light this time of day he's still a bit blurry.

I was very excited to see him. There's something about him that seems very special. I've really been noticing birds a lot lately. I'll have to read up on them, I'm dying to know more.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Today I am thankful for-

Scrabble- We've been playing a lot of Scrabble lately (open dictionary), and I've really been enjoying it. I'm not great at it, but I'm getting better. And I'm increasing my vocabulary. We've actually been learning so many words with our open dictionary style that we're going to start a list.

Charlie- I'm married to a truly wonderful young man. I can't fully express how happy he makes me. He's so sweet, and so kind, and he works so hard to make our lives happy and secure. I don't know what I would do without him.

My job- I really love what I do. I like working at the yarn store, I like teaching knitting and crochet classes, I like making art. Being able to not only do what I love, but to get paid for it, makes life very pleasant and fulfilling.

The pecan bar from Buster's Coffee Shop- It's like pecan pie, but in cookie form! I love it so very much.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A recommendation tonight, for The Human Face, a BBC production available on dvd. It's presented by John Cleese, and covers not only the physiology of the human face, but also the importance of human interaction. We just watched the first episode tonight, and we loved it. Thanks to Orchid for recommending it to me.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

link day!

Today I direct you towards Book By Its Cover. It's really lovely for peeking at the inside of other peoples sketchbooks, which I adore. The different paths the creative process can take are really fascinating.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

We saw this guy at Caltech yesterday, eating frogs out of one of the lily ponds! I sent this picture to my bird expert/friend Jean, and she believes he is a greater egret.

I'm just thrilled I happened to bring the camera when walking the dog.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


He wants to keep going! Why have we stopped moving?! Must pull!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

It is so overcast that when I walked the dog this morning, I could not see the mountains. I can pretty much always see the mountains. I'm giddy. All of these clouds, all of this rain, it feels like some sort of magical present.

Friday, January 23, 2009

First of all, and most importantly, the vet called me on his lunch hour, and the dog is just fine. The little lump on his leg is indeed a histiocytoma, and it will go away by itself in a few months. He said they could remove it, but since it isn't chafing on anything, I'm just going to make sure it doesn't get infected again, and let it do it's own thing in reabsorbing into the body. If it was in his armpit or something, I'd consider the surgery, but it's on the outside of his front leg, just below his elbow. It isn't hurting him. The vet seemed to think this was a perfectly good way to go, so good. No unnecessary surgery for my baby.

In other news, it's raining. It's just lovely. Seriously. I should probably live in the Pacific Northwest; I really, really like rain. Unfortunately, I live in Southern California, land of constant drought. On the other hand, that makes days like today, when it does rain, seem that much more special. Plus it's supposed to rain for a few more days after this, so I'm pleased.

And lastly, I got my copy of Keri Smith's How to Be an Explorer of the World in the mail yesterday. It rocks. It rocks hard. It works very much with how I generally approach the world, so I think it will serve as a nice, gentle reminder when I get stuck in my work. I suspect there will be more on this awesome book once I've played with it more.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

No news on the dog yet. They're pretty sure they'll have his results tomorrow. I'm almost positive that the results will be good, but I'm still nervous. So much so that mainly what I got done today were repairs (a throw pillow and a baseball hat, both ripped up by the same dog I'm now worried about) because that's all I could really concentrate on. I have students tomorrow, so I'll call the vet after I teach. Teaching is the sort of thing I can handle when I'm anxious, so that will keep me pleasantly busy.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Expensive Pup

It was back to the vet today for Smee and me. We were there Saturday to have his tick bite checked, to have another possible tick bite (from the same day as the first one) that looked a little angry checked, and to get some Frontline to prevent future tick bites. Today we were back because a certain little someone's possible tick bite was bleeding, possibly because he was fussing at it, and because due to how it was healing I was becoming increasingly sure it was probably not a tick bite.

Today's vet agreed with me. He thinks it's a histiocytoma, but to be sure it was fact benign, he aspirated it. The results will be back tomorrow or Friday. I'm not terribly worried, because he's so healthy otherwise, and the vet didn't seem deeply concerned.

But either way, since someone was not inclined to leave the owie on his leg alone, he gets the Elizabethan collar and bandage. Although if you look closely, you can actually see his owie in the picture, right above the bandage, as I took the photo before I realized his bandage had scootched down. I've since hiked it back up.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I am-
-Still feeling giddy, hours later, about the inauguration.
-Also feeling fairly giddy about realizing that I do have the makings of a fast, easy dinner after all.
-kind of sleepy.
-wondering what smells like poop. Is it the cat box? I sure hope it's the cat box.
-finally feeling a good deal better, after feeling pretty cruddy all last week.
-kind of hungry.
-excited to get back into printmaking.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Haircut day!

Today was haircut day for Charlie. Nothing fancy, just a buzz cut I gave him in the bathroom. I'm a little jealous. I enjoy having a buzz cut, but I'm trying to grow my hair out at the moment. We'll see how long that lasts. I love having longer hair, and for me that starts a chin length. At the moment it's a lot shorter than that, but much longer than a buzz cut, and extremely awkward looking. On the other hand, it has a messy little boy quality I love. So we'll see. But Charlie! He looks great with a buzz cut. It's one of my favorite looks for him.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Tonight I direct you towards a show I saw earlier today at the Hammer Museum- Gouge: The Modern Woodcut. Check out the page even if you aren't in the Los Angeles area or aren't going to make it there (the show runs through February 8). There are lots of images, and a little video walk-through.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Still sick, but getting better.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


A diagram for a plan that has yet to be enacted, because I am too busy coughing and sneezing.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

In progress, although not tonight. Tonight will be spent curled on the sofa in a blanket, because I seem to have caught an awful cold. Despite this, I did some vigorous yoga this morning, followed by dim sum (with the friend who I suspect gave me the cold). That ended up being about the extent of what I had energy for today. Well, I also accompanied Charlie to Trader Joes, but no matter how sick I am, I like having a say in what food is in our house.

I suspect, however, that with tea and a little rest, I will be feeling fine again soon. Which is good, because there's a lot I want to do this week.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Someone loves his washcloth.

An old photo, but the sentiment remains the same.

Friday, January 09, 2009

I drove to work today, which is unusual for me. Usually I take the bus and then the train to work, and the train and then a long walk on the way home. I use public transportation for the usual sorts of reasons- environment, cost, parking difficulties, not really wanting to deal with driving. There is parking available to me at work, but it's a little tight, and my car is boat like and somewhat difficult to maneuver. So I take public transportation, and I feel a little smug, and I get a little exercise in on the way home.

But today I had a lesson to teach at noon, and I missed the 11:15 bus. I probably could have caught the 11:30, but they aren't terribly consistent, and it would be cutting it close. So I decided to go for it, and got in my car, and drove. I found a three hour street spot (huzzah!) and got in in time to get a cup of coffee before I started.

And man, I can entirely understand why people drive places. Instead of taking minimum thirty minutes to get to work, it took maybe seven. And when I got there, I wasn't jostled or jangled. And likewise, I was able to get home quickly, and wasn't exhausted when I got in. My feet weren't sore, and my shoulders weren't aching from carrying my work backs long distances. It was really nice.

I don't think I'll make a regular habit of driving to work. For one thing, I really do believe in public transportation, both in the environmental sense, and also in the sense that it keeps you from getting isolated in your own little bubble. Also, at high traffic times driving is very stressful. But I did learn something today. Driving, for this short distance, is easier on me in a lot of ways. And in the future, on days when I have a ton to carry or am just feeling really run down, I'm just going to suck it up and drive. And it will be okay!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

New shirt!

I love this t-shirt my husband got me for Christmas. Actually, I've been loving it on the Buy Olympia website for a long while now, but my hints finally got loud enough. Anyhow, it came in the mail yesterday, so of course I have to wear it today.

I love this whole outfit, actually, and may end up wearing it again when I go out this weekend.

I also love how in this picture, it looks like I have a hair style. I do not have a hair style. I have hair that is slowly growing out of a buzz cut. Although it looks generally cute today, it is overall just sort of there.

Ooo! I am also very pleased that as I fell asleep last night, I thought of a good way to put bones in my armatures with out using JB Weld. A way that will result in bonus hands and feet. A way that, frankly, once I thought of I felt kind of stupid that it hadn't occurred to me sooner. I will share this way once I actually try it out, which should be next week.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

tick tick tick

So, a quick post, because we're having guest to a dinner I haven't prepared yet. I got behind, you see, because we found a tick sticking out of the dog, and had to take him to the night vet to have it removed. Luckily, they got the whole thing out (and for free!), but it definitely put me behind schedule. And scared the shit out of me at first, although they said we have essentially nothing to worry about living where we do.

Fortunately for our dinner plans, I'd already finished the above cake when we found the tick. It's a cranberry upside down cake, and very tasty. It's not to sweet, and the color is gorgeous. The recipe calls for an 8" round, and while I can't find my one of those, I do have a lovely heart shaped pan that holds the same volume. Thus, a beautiful red heart. And yes, I do plan on making another one of these for Valentines Day.

Monday, January 05, 2009


Today is an apathy day. I folded a lot of laundry. That was my big accomplishment. Other than that, not a lot happened. Tomorrow should be good though. I'm, um, returning some dvds we rented, and getting some groceries I forgot on my last trip to the store. Man, I really need to get some solid art in there tomorrow. I'm boring myself. Oh well, if nothing else, I'm throwing a miniature dinner party tomorrow (the dinner will be normal sized. It's just a small party. Not miniature guests, just a small amount of people.). That should be good, at least. Now I just have to decide what to serve.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Malibu Creek State Park

Pictures from yesterday's hike!

Also, today marks the first time I've been able to do a decent camel pose in yoga and hold it for more than a millisecond. I'm very pleased, especially because what difficulty I had with it today had more to do with tiredness from yesterday's hike, I think, than it did with my muscles being tight. So yay!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

We're off hiking today! I'm a little apprehensive, but probably just because the cloudy weather brings out the lazy homebody in me. But it will be good hiking weather, and I'll bring a picnic!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Resolutions/Goals 2009

I feel I should preface this by saying that I'm not traditionally a big New Years resolution person. So why this year? I don't really know. A lot of things are things that I want to start doing, and it being the beginning of the year is a coincidence. Others are things I want to give myself stronger motivation for. Plus, for some reason, I feel like this will be a big year.

The other thing I should say, going it this, is that I don't consider any of these things law for myself. I reserve the right to chance as circumstance changes. But these are things I'm working towards, as of now.

1. By the end of the year, I will be able to do at least one pull-up, and at least 3 chin-ups. When I was nine years old or so, I was the pull-up queen. When they did our fitness tests, I did seven pull-ups, and I would have done more but they told me to stop. I want to be strong like that again.

2. Yoga in some form, every day. It doesn't always have to be a long asana practice. Some days it will just be focused breathing. But yoga had such a positive influence on my life it the past year, and I want to bring want to bring it into my life more.

3. Write every day.

4. Draw every day.

5. Cut animal products further from the things I eat. I don't see myself ever becoming a vegetarian, but I always feel better when my meat consumption is very, very small.

6. Prepare physically, emotionally, financially, for having a child. We are not planning on having kids super immediately, but it is something coming up in the next few years, and I want to be as ready as I can be. I realize you can never be entirely prepared for something that big, but I can certainly be in a better place than I am now. Which isn't a bad place at all, but there is always room for improvement. And I am now rambling, because this is something personal enough that I feel a little unsure of putting it out there. But it brings me to my next resolution-

7. Be brave. Stop being paralyzed by fear, and stop shutting other people out. Sometimes the risk of being hurt is better.

8. Start publishing (self publishing or have published by others) knitting/crochet patterns. I work mainly from patterns I devise myself. I may as well share than with others, and perhaps make some money doing so.

9. Step up art on all fronts. Life got hard this year, and I let my art slip. I think it was necessary for my sanity, but things are going better now, and art needs to come back full force.

10. Apply for more art shows. Obviously this is part of stepping up the art, but it's important enough to get its own spot. If I want my art to be seen, I need to put it places other people can see it, not just hide it away in my office.

11. Make a quilt for the bed. This is entirely fluffy and without any introspection. I just want to make a big, basic quilt for my bed. It will be awesome.

12. Start a cooking blog/Self publish a cookbook. It might be either/or, or it may be both. I love to cook, and it's another thing I want to share with the world.

13. Help Charlie do whatever it takes for him to pursue his writing. He does so much to help me devote time to art, and I want to return the favor.

14. Make new friends, and deepen existing friendships. I'm still lonely a lot of the time. I'm never going to be a naturally social person, but I can still try to connect with people more.

So yay! I am working! Towards the future!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year! Charlie and I spent today in our pajamas, lazing around and watching first the Rose Parade, and then some movies. The Rose Parade, by the way, goes by about two and half blocks from our house, but we prefer to watch on tv, in the comfort of our living room. I'm not a big crowd person, and there's something very cozy about watching it with a cup of tea while wearing a bathrobe.

The movies we watched were fun. The first was Emperor of the North, a 70s movie about hobos during the Great Depression. It wasn't very good, but it starred Lee Marvin, and am currently fascinated by Lee Marvin.

The second movie was a Lon Chaney starring, Tod Browning directed silent film called The Unknown, which was about having arms and not having arms and circus folk. It was deeply, deeply awesome.

Now I am off to watch some Simpsons, still in my pajamas, before rejoining the world of productive adults tomorrow.