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Friday, December 21, 2007

The Porongurup Farm Gate

My old friend Bill sent this image of his farm gate in Australia.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Bear Naked

Although we know he needed a grooming and the groomer found four dead ticks on Bear, he seems to feel humiliated by his haircut.

I confess, I laughed when I saw him ... he is small and skinny. Poor Bear needs cheering up. It is weird calling him Bear when he looks more like Weasel.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Tick Magnet

During the past four or five days we have pulled FORTY ticks off Bear. Some were swollen ... in fact, one was in his eyebrow, and we had not seen it. Bear has thick hair poor fellow, we sympathize, as we flush the ticks down the toilet, in groups of 5-10. EEEEK!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Editor's Desk

Sometimes Santa comes early ... I got this beautiful cherry editor's desk today, and I am thrilled with it!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


The other night I was talking with someone who said he felt he is an anarchist, since he distrusts governments of all kinds. I looked up the definition of anarchism, which said that an anarchist believes there should be no governments at all.

This brought me to thinking about socialism, communism, and capitalism, much more popular ISMs in our world today ... each of them is good in some ways and not so hot in others. Each one of these, and anarchism as well, would work just fine if the human beings involved were what we currently think of as "enlightened".

Socialism: Let those who are physically and mentally capable take care of those who are not. Of course!

Capitalism: Free trade without the underlying manipulation and greed? Why not?

Communism: From each according to his capabilities, to each according to his needs. Sure!

Anarchism: No need to govern those who are emotionally mature and capable of using their inner sense of ethics to govern themselves.

I think that there is some distance to go (laughs hideously). If each of us saw ourselves as part of One BEING, any system would work perfectly well. No need for politics or religion, because All =One, which means that the Mind of the Universe operates freely in all, and the compassion and strength of That Mind permeates all actions.

Monday, October 29, 2007

737 Swan

As the 737 took flight I had this image of it as a large swan. The pentagrams are my addition. I am not sure if this is a painting in the making, or just this digital sketch, period.

Friday, October 26, 2007


sOMETIMES HaViNG aN exAGGerated sTartLE resPoNSE iS a liAbiLIty. yES i spILleD my tEa ON mY bLAsTeD kEYbOArD aGAiN. , lUckILy I hAd tHIs cOOl ligHtEd spARe oN hAnD, tHAnkS to OsPReY wHo suGgeSTtEd it aS a qUIetT lighTEd oNE tHAt wOUlD nOt distUrB nOd tOO mUcH lATe aT nIGht. CRAP I HATE RUINING THINGS.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

TV Shows I Really Like!

For many years I have found most television shows boring, stupid, or just horrendous. There were years I did without a TV set because I felt more alive. Last year, the available fare changed a bit, and this year, things are even better!

My Name Is Earl: For those of you who do not know, the premise is, this trashy criminal finds out about the concept of karma, makes a list of all the terrible things he has done to people around him, and sets out to make amends.

Chuck: A computer consultant at Buy More, who drives a VW Beetle with a Nerd Herd logo on the side, opens an email from a fiend he does not realize is in the CIA, and the contents of the email dump a huge load of images into his brain, making him a national security computer when the man is killed. The CIA and NSA fight over him, and he is accidentally heroic.

Pushing Daisies: A boy finds out he has the power to bring the dead back to life. He does not realize at first that there is a limit. He touches a dead person, then he must touch them again within one minute (rendering them re-dead permanently), or someone nearby dies! He forms a business with a private eye to have the dead tell who killed them. Then his childhood sweetheart is found dead, and of course he has to bring her back to life, but he can never, never touch her.

Reaper: A young man working at the Work Bench, a do-it-yourself warehouse place, finds out his parents sold his soul to the devil before he was born. The consequence is that he must work for the devil, on earth, as a sort of bounty hunter. He receives "vessels", absurd objects (a toaster, a remote-control car, a sweater) that are then used to round up the escaped evil souls who are going around killing people.

Samantha Who?: A young woman wakes up from an 8-day coma to find that she has retrograde amnesia. She slowly finds out that she was a thoroughly evil person, but she wants to rectify that, and begins trying to live differently in the same situations she was in before her car accident put her into the coma.

Life: A cop is framed and sent to prison for 12 years, and he becomes very very zen. He gets out and wins a huge settlement. He wants to find out who set him up and why, but in the meantime, he works as a cop again,and solves cases because his viewpoint is so different.

Home is the Shopper, Home from the Store

Today when I shopped for groceries I remembered to bring my cloth bags, which I frequently leave at home or in the car. The one on the left in the photo is a Vivian Kendall painting image silk-screened onto a cotton tote bag. The painting is one of the series she did of roadside shrines, and I admire it every time I use it. Thank you!


I had my indulgence morning. First a facial, and then a pedicure. Ah vanity, thy name is toenail!

In the process of the facial I learned that the woman doing it is, in her words, "very particular, and they all laugh at me. I think we should be clean, to protect the customers." Indeed, my friend! She asked me not to tell her employer, who is less fussy ... *gulp*

Yesterday a neighbor complained to me about a mutual neighbor whom we both see while walking our dogs. I had to agree that the woman is peculiar, and we swore one another to secrecy ... hmmm .... I wonder what she says about me?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Yesterday in yoga class the teacher said I was a trickster. I was joking, as I do frequently. My sun sign is Gemini, ruled by Mercury or Hermes. The other sign ruled by him is Virgo.

Hermes is the original trickster of Western European heritage. He is the Greek God of wanderers and thieves; he invented the lyre and the flute, and he is the "psychopomp", who aids souls in their journey from the world of the living to the world of the dead. He is the god of medicine, magic, communications, and a minor god of poetry.

I am reading a book by Liz Greene and Howard Sasportas, called The Luminaries. It explains that the astrological ruler of one's Sun sign is the god who engendered one. Therefore, this is my "godfather"!

So my solar myth is to be a communicator, to be intrigued by all things magical and medical and to be a trickster (who knew someone with a blog titled ElleCoyote would be a trickster?).

Sunday, October 21, 2007

My Little Friend!

Yesterday I went out to Fry's electronics store, and purchased my very own external hard drive, seen here atop the CPU. Say hello to Maxtor 500G OneTouch4. He has two wires, one for power and one to plug into the SBU port. Do you see his glowing eye at the bottom? He must be related to Gort, Klatu's robot in The Day The Earth Stood Still. I hope he does not decide that the dog is a danger to galactic peace!

I did a backup of my documents, pictures, music and video yesterday. Today it did the automatic backup that I have scheduled, and (HOORAY, success at last!) it backed up only the new files and the ones that had been modified.

For a fairly modest cost I have eliminated a big problem. If and when my hard drive crashes, I can recover all my data!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Man of Sorrows Painting

I do not know if I am finished with this painting or not. I will let it dry and see how I feel. It has a lot of the feeling of the digital sketch, so that makes me happy.

Friday, October 12, 2007

ElleCoyote Recycling Awards

I just received some filters from Gaiam, a company that sells yoga equipment, organic cotton items, filters, and sustainable products.

The packing was innovative (well, I have never seen this type before); cardboard that had been run through some sort of shredder which made it quite malleable.

Coming in at second place was Horizon Milk, which seems to be going back to paper cartons and taking off the plastic pour spout. I am not sure they are doing this ... I got one without a spout, then at the grocery store I got one with a spout. Are they just confused? I am hoping they are eliminating the plastic, so I am giving them this award to encourage that sort of behavior.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

On the Road Again!

I spent the day with Patrick, helping him to get On the Road ... he now has a Valid License, A Truck with Valid License Plates, Good Tires, Inspection Sticker, and a Tank Full of Gasoline.

If this was not a gift from God .... I dunno what is. Patrick has been struggling for 9 months to get his driver's license reinstated, and has gone five times to try to get it at the DMV (locally named the DPS or Department of Public Safety), to no avail.

He is driving his brother Steve's 1971 Ford F-100, flat black, no rear bumper, which has a Lot of Stickers on it. Several for Number Twenty (Tony Stewart, of Stock Car Fame), and some for Harley-Davidson (Patrick's), and The United States Marines (Steve).

Ride On!!!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Man of Sorrows

I did this digital sketch based upon Robyn's dream image ... her dream made me think of Steve, with his three heart surgeries transformed by the dream into the Three of Swords in the Rider deck.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Name Calling

One of the issues I have fought for a very long time is name-calling, especially adults calling children or adolescents names. This is a very potent method of destroying self-esteem. Equating a human being with a body part, you know the words, or excrement, or describing them as someone who is mentally deficient, damages the person, or at the very least is defamation.

I try very hard not to do this, although I have used these names myself and sometimes TO myself. People who are called names in childhood or adolescence internalize these labels and live them out, especially if the names are repeated frequently.

My two sons and daughter were told they were worthless, in many different ways, and many times, during their childhood.

I think that has a lot to do with their struggle for self-esteem. Steve recovered somewhat from this painful and destructive programming, but not before he acted in self- and other-destructive ways.

Please let us try to refrain from name-calling. There is no good that comes from it, and it can do a lot of damage.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Today is the first anniversary of Steve's death, and I want to mark this day with celebration of his life.

Here, if you can't see in the small photo, he is wearing goofy fake teeth, and pointing at his set of 7 Scrabble letters, one W and 6 O's. He is wearing his beloved Houston Astros jersey.

This is from the Christmas before last, so 2005, after he had a long, terrible fever with Strep Throat (July 2005), 6 weeks of self-administered IV antibiotics, the first open-heart surgery to replace his mitral valve (September 2005), and the second replacement of the same valve (October 2005) because the first one failed.

Steve and Pat

Pat and Steve will forever be linked in my memories, of course, because they were only about 18 months apart in age. We won't go into the whole "two in cloth diapers" scene, but you can imagine.

Now they are also linked because Steve died the day after Pat's 40th birthday. Today is Pat's 41st, and tomorrow is the first anniversary of Steve's death.

I had a dream of Steve, in which I was at a family get-together, where we had cupcakes mounded with frosting. Steve was there, singing (something I don't recall him doing). I said, "I might have known if we had cupcakes, you would come back!" We laughed with joy.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


I found a great video on YouTube, but I can't seem to post it ... I tried and tried. Anyhow, here is the link. You can also go to; it is a day of worldwide film sharing on May 10, 2008. That would have been my son Steve's 43rd birthday, so a special date for me. It is also very close to Mother's Day. I think the idea is spectacular ... potentially millions of us posting our view of the world, and seeing one another's films.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fall Surprise!

I have never seen these flowers before and suddenly there they are in the back garden ... I guess they must have been there each autumn. I must not be visiting the garden often enough.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

H.C. and Lucille Holling

I was given The Book of Indians (written by Holling C. Holling and illustrated by H.C. and Lucille Holling) when I was about 10 or 11 years old, and it transported me to a world that was already mostly gone. I loved this book, first of all because the children in it lived in the natural world and had adventures, but also because the illustrations were outstanding.

In the Foreword, Holling C. Holling states:
"Mrs. Holling and I have visited ... museums and libraries ... Besides that we have lived with the Indians. In the northern forests we paddled their birch-bark canoes, and slept in their wickiups. We rode our horses beside theirs across the great plains and camped in their teepees in the mountains. In the desert they made us feel at home in their pueblos. We have fished with them in the surf of the Pacific Ocean. This book is the result of some of that hunting, riding, camping and research."

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Aquarian Age Vision

The other day, someone said they could envision humanity living in small communities that are restricted. Unless you had something to offer the community you would not be allowed to live there.

I wondered at the time where the other people would live, and what happened to the children as the community grew.

But all that aside, this vision presupposed enormous earth changes that destroyed all our organizations. No gas, no electricity providers, no plastics, no air travel, and so on and so forth.

My vision of the future is very different from that, in the sense that I see all the earth changes bringing humanity together in larger and larger groups, in which we all realize that we are essentially alike in our needs and tendencies.

In the past, we had villages very much like the ones described above. They were tribal villages, and anyone not related to the tribe was an outsider, and was told to "move along", or in later times "get outa town, bub". I think this is an old way of living and that we are moving more and more to the realization that humanity is one very large being, and each of us is a cell of that being. As such, each of us has a responsibility to the larger being, and the larger being has a responsibility to each of us.

In an Aquarian view, all men and women are brothers and sisters, and no religion is the best or the only true religion. No ethnic group or gender is better than any other. No nation is better than any other, and in fact, I recall an Aquarian brother telling me that the borders are mental constructs, as they truly are, and they will become less and less meaningful as time moves on.

Right now, the remaining groups that still believe in the Piscean Age way of being are fighting one another for supremacy. Each group feels they "own" the resources and have the right to impose their vision of reality on those around them. Religion that consists of one person having a direct link to God and the membership having to go through that one person, or a select few people, is on its way out. It may never die out totally, but it is in the process of being overwhelmed by those who realize they are children of the living God, who lives inside them, and in Whom they live.

The organization of society for the good of its members is becoming more and more homogeneous. Some bemoan that, crying out for the old crafts, languages and philosophies. I believe that these old crafts, languages and philosophies are being woven into new areas of humanity. As we see all the beauty that was created by these isolated groups, we are inspired to incorporate these beauties into our modern ways. There is a synergistic effect happening, where electronic communications meet indigenous contributions, and the whole is enriched.

Earth changes are forcing us to take responsibility for the entire planet. If a problem appears locally, it has a worldwide effect, as we now know. The solutions may be global or local, depending upon the problem, but there is an absolute need to realize that what you and I do affects everyone on this planet.

All these realizations are showing us the Middle Way. The future will have its own problems ... as did the past ... but we are in the midst of one of the largest spiritual revolutions this planet has seen in many millenia.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Poem I Keep Hearing in my Mind

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.

The force that drives the water through the rocks
Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams
Turns mine to wax.
And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins
How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.

The hand that whirls the water in the pool
Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind
Hauls my shroud sail.
And I am dumb to tell the hanging man
How my clay is made the hangman's lime.

The lips of time leech to the fountain head;
Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood
Shall calm her sores.
And I am dumb to tell a weather's wind
How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.

And I am dumb to tell the lover's tomb
How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.

Dylan Thomas

Monday, August 27, 2007

I Shoulda Known ...

When I made the decision to get the new computer with Vista OS it was because hp assured me that the computer would be compatible with all my peripherals. What they did not realize was that my peripherals are old, man, like maybe even SEVEN YEARS OLD (gasps of horror from the geeks/nerds/techies in the audience).

The printer had to be replaced because it uses parallel (serial port) cables and the new computer requires USB port cables (nya nya from hp ... "we already have the money, honey").

Now I was crawling around under the desk looking at the cables for the scanner (11'x14" flatbed with slide/negative scanning adapter), and realized I had already hooked it up because it does use USB cable. Well, you would think that meant *YIPPEE* no new scanner to buy, but noooooo! I plugged in the power cord and Windows said put in the disc baby. I had no disc and said so. It searched for drivers then said "Windows Vista does not support this moldy old scanner you idiot, you will have to get a new one and that is gonna cost you."

Well, that is not an exact quote, but that is the subtext.

For a measly $300 I can get a new one, but I did not really plan on spending all this on top of buying the new computer. Yes, yes, I know. I SHOULDA KNOWN.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


When I was in an abstraction class, I did this painting titled, "Joy, Passion and Frustration", out of my frustration with not grasping the principles of abstraction. The assignment was to paint an emotional state.

My teacher told me it was not a good painting, so I painted over it. I really like it, personally, and so did some of my classmates. It is gone forever now, and I wish I had it.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Dish Rag I Made this Afternoon

I whipped out the ole needles and whipped this up in a flash, but I had to take time out to work on the computers ....

So it goes out in the mail tomorrow morning.

The lovely solid color surprised me ... I usually get the flecked colors. For this pattern, it really shows off the stitches.

We are dead last ... poor tortoise knitters ...

Dish Rag Tag Box Arrived Today!

YAY! Deb of California sent me this great little box with my treat, that red knitted flower pin, two skeins of cotton yarn, and a knitted dish rag. She also included the lovely card saying I am IT.

I had better knit fast!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Goodbye Mr. Chips ...

Because Bear and Chip were not compatible and fought more and more as time went on, I have let Chip go to our trainer. I know he will be happy there, and we are back to being a one-dog household. It is amazingly quiet and peaceful!

I will see Chip every Saturday at the Dog Socialization Park, so this solution is a very happy one all the way around.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

New Front Garden

OK that is it for this year ... barring unforeseen emergency changes, we have upgraded our house enough for now.

This is our new front garden. You can't see it but there is a border of good-sized river rocks next to the house. You can see the planting and the cut rock edging on the walk.

All the plants are low maintenance, dought resistant, and will never get terribly tall. WHEW no more shrub trimming in the front!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai is the founder of the Green Belt Movement, an environmentalist, a civil society and women's rights activist, and a parliamentarian. You can read about her life and her organization through her two books, Unbowed: A Memoir and The Green Belt Movement. You can read condensed versions of her life and achievements, including being awarded the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize, at You can also read an interview with Ms. Maathai at Parabola Online, in the article titled Tree of Life.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Paradise - #1 of the Trilogy of the Earth, by Suzanne Duranceau. is devoted to environmental art and artists of all kinds. These amazing people have taken the next step of combining their love for our planet with communities and their conceptual and traditional art skills.

A Short Treatise on Visualization

Yes, I know you already know how to visualize ... but the main trick is, visualizing what you want, not what you do not want. I realized this once again after receiving an article about how bad things are in the United States government, and that they could even be headed in a worse direction. That may be the case, and if it is, we will all have to deal with the consequences of our apathy.

However, the point of this post is visualizing what we want! So, what do we want?

Here is my partial list of what I would like to see happen in the future:

peace between all nations
fair trading and ethical manufacturing practices
health care for everyone with a good living for doctors
good education for everyone
care for our mineral, plant and animal kingdoms
beautiful architecture and gardens for all areas
freedom to live as we wish without interference as long as we do no harm to others
religious freedom for all
political freedom for all

How would our world look? With healthy soil, water, air, land ... healthy people ... beauty ... true freedom (not simply your choice of brand names) ... reverence for our planet and all its inhabitants.

I visualize this future. This is our future ... now or later ... the choice is up to us.


This is an image from an old dream journal.

Ponderings on Osprey's Post on Karma

I read Osprey's post on Karma this morning, and it spawned a whole set of thoughts on that concept.

In particular, I also believe karma is based upon action, but some actions are very subtle ... thoughts can be actions, in my view. A stray thought or image about killing or having sex or how horrid someone is ... I don't believe those things have much impact outside ourselves. It is focusing on the thought, expanding it, imagining what it would be like, making it real and vivid in our minds. That generates karma, I think.

I guess to see a strong thought or image as having karmic repercussions, one must believe in telepathy, and I have experienced that function in animals, plants and humans too often to discount it.

Like everyone I have destructive thoughts. The trick is to move away from them and release them. The memories of what I felt was harm being done to me could generate fantasies of revenge, but I try to keep away from that and focus upon what will be positive for my future.

Obsession is the extreme result of persistent thought and imagery on a subject, but there are many degrees. Controlling our thoughts is one of the admonitions of The Wise. I try and fail, and try again. There is no other way to work with it but to keep trying.

Still Reviewing Sketchbooks

This sketch of the coast of Washington State was done in May of 1978, according to my notation at the bottom. I recall a misty pale green day driving down the coast through the rain forest to this open stretch of coast in a reservation.

I took this trip just before I moved to Brooklyn. I moved because wanted to experience the big city, and believe me, I did! If I went back to this place now, it would be a different place ... in time, and in my understanding of the world and people.

I am culling sketches that I still find appealing and destroying the rest, as I am also doing with paintings. I think this is part of preparing for death. We never know when it may arrive, so it is best to be prepared.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Sketchbook Faces

In 1978 or 1979, I sat at a gallery in Brooklyn, as I recall, and sketched people as they walked past ... clearly everyone was facing approximately the same way. I was very shy and would not show the drawings to anyone.

I like the sketches very much now.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Accused

This man was accused of killing his estranged wife's lover. I did the sketch from a newspaper photo. The sorrow in his face!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Old Painting

I did this small (8" x 8") oil painting while I lived in the Coburg Hills near Eugene, Oregon, in the 1970s. I called myself Sundown at that time, in true hippie fashion, and lived in a commune. There is (or was) a companion painting of a waterfall inside a cave, also with a lot of greys, the only color being the waterfall. The word "Sundown" is my signature, not the image.

I loved living there, but I did not have the means to commute to work, and finally moved into Eugene and went to Lane Community College while working as a dishwasher and fill-in waitress at Snappy Service Cafe #3, near the old railroad station.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Blondie ... Good, Bad or Ugly?

I have begun referring to Bear as Blondie. You will understand why as you see this latest photo of him.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My Views on Reincarnation

It is my considered and long-held belief that this particular lifetime is one of many I have experienced, and that many more are ahead of me.

I was thinking about astrology and the individual ... it is my view that in each lifetime we come into this physical world to experience people and events, but also to experience the world from a new perspective. As the life goes on, we learn and grow in a certain way. Once we have nothing more to learn from this set of energies and the place and time, we move on. We refer to that as death, and it is the death of this personality and body. We hate and fear death because we hate and fear change.

Stephen, my son, went through all the tests of his life and in my view, he did very well. He had a hard set of experiences to deal with, and was forced to see things I am sure he would not have seen if his situation had been easy and comfortable.

Now that his personality and body have dropped off of his soul, he is digesting all the lessons and on a higher level, of Soul, Higher Self, Guardian Angel, or however one labels it, he is planning what he needs next, to progress to enlightenment.

One lifetime is simply not long enough to learn everything we need to know, and to change from animal humanity to spiritual humanity, unless we are prepared and already nearly there. As we move from lifetime to lifetime, we move around the spectrum of human experience, poverty, wealth, slavery, freedom, intelligence, lack of same, practicality and spirituality, to name a few of the polarities we need to resolve and rise above.

I realize that reincarnation can neither be proved nor disproved. I don't care about proof. It does not matter, actually, if it is true or not! I, as this personality, really have only one lifetime to do with what I will, and I have no memories of the past to bind me, thank goodness. So it all comes down to doing my best in all areas of my life, no matter if there is another lifetime ahead or not.

Reincarnation, some say, is a false comfort. I say it is not comforting in the least. Knowing I will have to work through my problems now or later, actually, forces me to face them. No time like the present! I am here to master the physical plane, to work with this very slow moving substance, and to work with this body. Here and now is the only place and time I have to do that.

Long Ago But Not So Far Away

This photo was taken in the late 80s. From the top left, Patrick, Laura, Steve and his wife Panda, in some apartment pool (mine, probably).

Friday, July 27, 2007

Another Way to Skin a Cat

Yesterday this blue mountain lion was brand new. Yes, brand new, folks. He was doomed from the moment he entered the Dog Den we call Home.

Bear eviscerated him, depositing his guts all over the living room, and he finally sucked out the brains and liver, then dropped the empty skin, inside out, back on the floor.

Both Bear and Chip made "kill" motions with the toy, shaking it from side to side. I guess if they ever run across a young raccoon or possum, I will have a time keeping them from killing it.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Brothers Relaxing

We are forming a pack here, and I am using techniques from the two trainers we have hired at different times, as well as ones I learned on The Dog Whisperer (Cesar Milan, on the National Geographic Channel).

This technique is the "bench" exercise, from Cesar Milan's TV show. Both dogs are commanded up onto the bench and told to lie down and stay. This helps them see themselves as part of the same pack.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


The mailman gingerly left this package on the stoop and ran off, after ringing the doorbell three times. I opened it instantly and it fairly burst at me ... so many gifts, such naughty things ... you can't see them here, but the chopstick rests are very naughty. Ginseng soap, goddess pix, a gorgeous portrait of a woman who shall remain nameless, bookmarks reminiscent of a photo contest and some naughty postcards!!! Who could ask for more? Delightful birthday gift, thank you Osprey.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Baby Land Planarian

The gigantic rocks in this photo are the aggregate of a sidewalk in our neighborhood. This lil fella was about 3' long. He or she is a land planarian, a harmless half-moon-headed worm. I saw one like it last year, and had no clue what it was. They get to be about a foot long and remain harmless.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Dog Socialization

I know this does not look like much, but this dog socialization class is really helpful to dogs with issues. The rules are different from a regular dog park. Once everyone has arrived, the gate is shut and Jason (on the right, yellow shirt) plays music and we all let our dogs off their leashes at the same time. Then the humans all walk in a circle. The dogs romp and run and hang out, and learn to be with other dogs peacably. The theory is that when the people sit around the dogs take that to mean they are establishing territories, and they start to defend the humans' spaces.

Just in case, Jason carries a long carriage whip! He has to break up the occasional fight, but mostly it is easy to do this. Bear needs an hour walk in the morning anyway, so it works out well.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Amazing Trained Humans!

This is the poster for my new Vaudeville act, Madame Creme Caramel's Amazing Trained Humans!

In Second Life, I purchased the dog avatar outfit for Madame Creme Caramel. Then I made the red, blue and yellow avatars who are the trained humans. Osprey made their pedestals and helped me figure out how to make a tightrope illusion. I bought animations that were made by some wonderfully creative people in Second Life, and got some open source music (royalty-free), recorded my voice for the introduction, and voila! we have a new act!

I am still looking for someone to portray Red, but I think someone will be found.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Woman With One Red Sock

I have finally finished my very first sock! Now I have to do it all over again. Of course, it is imperfect. A SECOND! That is why it is less expensive than a store-bought sock ... until you put in my labor ha HAH!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Spider Bars the Road

No this is not MY hand, trust me! This is a banana spider, like the one I saw today ... it had built a web across an overgrown road (yes, I mean a road that cars drive upon), probably 15 feet across. Bear and I decided not to continue on that road, coincidentally.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Security, Thy Name is A Good Roof

They have finished the roof, and are cleaning up all the nails and old shingles now. I feel safe and dry (till the next hurricane, anyway).

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The House is A-Rockin' 'Cause the Roofers are Knockin'

OR "The Pounding! The Pounding!

These images show the progress of the roofers this morning. On the first one you see the Dumpster, someone pounding in the nails from the old roof on the garage, and the old roof on the side of the house.

In the second image, you see the tarpaper (probably not tar or paper these days) and the first rows of new shingles. The man on the roof is about 5'2" and does all the heavy lifting!

Orwell Man

I can't post these copyrighted cartoons, so please go look at them! I like all the AAN contest entry cartoons. I hope you enjoy them too.

Sound and Fury on the Roof

This morning at 6:45 a.m. a truck arrived with the new shingles and so forth for our new roof. Here you see the nude decking. The crew speaks very little English, but when I mentioned "cold water and ice" their faces lit up. I repeated it in Spanish in case some did not get it, and they were very happy with my offer of the use of our bathroom and icewater, which squirts out of our refrigerator door, thank goodness, so I don't have to make up a pitcher of icewater every half an hour.
I think the roof will look nice, but we shall see!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Hair I Am!

I really thought my hair being its natural color would make me look like a sheet with two blue dots in it ... but nooooo! I was thoroughly surprised and pleased to find that even with not one scrap of makeup, as in this photo, I look like a human being!

The first step was removing all that ... red ... which took three hours! Then they used toners and crap to give my hair some tinge of platinum. Well, I liked my hair platinum so much I kept it for a few months. At first I wore makeup to make my features show up, but then I forgot that one day and I looked fine anyway.

Then came the time to let it grow out. I was tired of sitting there with goop on my hair waiting, so I let it grow out. At the end, it was really hard to tell where my natural color started and the platinum ended. The back was darker, but that looked really great.

I thought my hair was going to be white, but it is this lovely blonde-ish color. Redheads tend to have sandy looking white hair.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Patient Doing Well, Thank You for the Cards and Flowers

Chip is now neutered and has had his teeth cleaned at the same time ... no one wants a bad boy with horrible teeth and big balls! Seriously, he came through it just fine, so far. He is being kept quiet (HAHAHA ... as if!) at the vet for the next week and a half.

Then he goes right to the trainer, Jason, to be made into a polite little dog. Better you than me, Jason. Without testosterone to fuel his desires, he will be more easily trained to relate to other dogs as friends and less as S.O.'s*

* Sexual Objects

Monday, June 18, 2007

We Now Return To Our Regular Programming, In Progress

Bear is back to his regular form of entertainment, namely, US. Chip has gone into another world or something, and Bear must have his amusement! Note shredded rope chew toy and avid demand in eyes.

Breakin' In the Dishcloth

The cute factor here is way more than I expected ... and the dishcloth is barely visible draped over the edge of the sink. This is our guest bathroom with a rubber thingie for dish draining, a dish towel and ... Tah Dah! One of the dishcloths I have been knitting. Bear tore a hole in the middle of this one even before I had a chance to weave the ends in :((

I successfully repaired it, but it will forever be scarred.

Washing dishes with this cloth is very interesting. I am accustomed to using a sponge and a scrubbie. The dishcloth is heavier and softly scrubbing. I think I like it!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Flooding Indoors and Out

This afternoon, my pal Nod and I were peacefully watching TV and so on; then I rinsed some dishes in preparation for putting them into the dishwasher. You would think this was a fairly safe activity, but NOOOOOOOOOOO!
Water started flooding out of the cupboard under the sink. We evacuated all the duplicate sponges, scrubbies, dish liquid, rubber gloves, etc. and found that a pipe connection had corroded until ... the magic moment!
Then we said, OK since we can't fix it ourselves, let's wait and call the plumber tomorrow, and meanwhile, go out and get a new faucet. But ... NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Water started GUSHING out of the SKY!
You can see by the map that it is one of those Stevie Ray Vaughn days ("It's Floodin' Down in Texas"). Where we are the water runs off into Galveston Bay fairly well and quickly, but upstream ... (EEEEEEEEEEEEK!)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Woman Throws Up Small Dog

I put Chip back in the vet hospital yesterday, giving up the idea that I am capable of routing two active young dogs to keep them apart and keep one of them quiet for weeks. Chipster will be neutered on Wednesday, and kept there until the end of the month, at which time he should be fully healed from his various ills, and will be able to join our pack without restrictions like being tethered to me or shut in a crate/bathroom/bedroom.

I feel a little guilty about sentencing him to more time in the kennel of the animal hospital, but I could not take it any more. So there.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Not Pink at ALL!

My two skeins of Panda Cotton in Lacquer Red arrived in the mail today, and I see that the color is indeed, a deep red-orange (as in "lacquer red"!). I guess the other photos were done with a flash or something, and washed the color out.

Now all I need is the pattern, which should arrive some time soon, and I will begin to knit my very first pair of socks!