Saturday, January 09, 2010

Photo of the day: Grumpy Old Man

Meet the Jack Klugman of birds.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Photo of the day: Invasion of the Body Snatchers

No clue what kind of tree this pod grows on. Not sure if it's cool or creepy, but I'm voting for cool in that "nature is weird" kind of way.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Night of the Living Dead
Last night was seriously hellish. No sleep until about 9 am this morning, and a non-stop, horrid migraine that had me throwing up and actually moaning for most of the night. This morning Cipher (The World's Most Amazing Cat, Screw You if You Don't Agree tm) was unusually vocal and active. Turns out we had a 4.1 earthquake in the bay area. I wonder if it's true that animals can predict these things because she was most unusual this morning. Of course it was during the worst of the head pain when silence and peace is most needed -- and here's Cipher, running around, meowing, generally raising a ruckus.

During the night, before the worst of the pain, when I was already having a severe case of insomnia, I turned on the TV and turned to one of my favorite distractions, cozy British mysteries. Lord Peter Wimsey took me until about 2, but I do not blame my headache upon him. A gentleman of his calibre surely cannot bring such ill-fortune.

So, as a result, I've been slug-girl all day. I didn't do any of the things I'd planned to do and, sadly, didn't make it to cat duty. I've stayed in bed, trying not to move. I did get up for a few hours to finish a project that I'd promised to do for Husband, and I do have dinner in the oven, but other than that it's just been me, bed, drugs, and a wondering why some people get migraines and others do not.

Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I had dinner with my family last night?

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Photo of the day: Right Place, Right TIme

On my way home from the shelter today I spotted two Snowy Egrets and two Giant Egrets on the bayside. Luckily I had time to pull over and grab a camera before they flew away. I was fortunate enough to catch this one right at take-off. It was a great day for bird watching. I also saw a flock of Plovers, some Whimbrels, and several cute but unidentifiable Ducks.
It's been far too long since I've shared any eavesdropping with you. It's amazing what you overhear people say...

Overheard at the grocery store
Woman to man, looking at the fish counter: Will you be home for dinner tomorrow night?
Man: Not if that's what you're cooking.

Overheard at the shelter
Woman 1: Are you a cat person or a dog person?
Woman 2: I'm a Brad Pitt person.

Overheard at the shelter
Man on cell phone: All their dogs look like lesbians.
Photo of the day: Ghost of Christmas Past

Over a dozen years ago I was given this scarf as a Christmas present by a wonderful family whom I love. They gave me sanctuary at the holidays at a time when I really needed it. I have never worn this scarf, nor will I ever give it away as it will always remind me of the generosity and kindness that can magically appear when needed.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Photo of the day: Sitting by the Dock of the Bay

More friends from yesterday's bay walk.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Photo of the day: Bay Visitor

From this morning's bay walk.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Recent Reads
It's been far too long since I've shared with you what's been keeping me up past bedtime lately.

First off, a ripping good true yarn. The Bolter by Frances Osborne. It's the story of Lady Idina Sackville who led a scandalous life in England and Kenya in the 1920s and 30s. Full of affairs, drugs, marriages, divorces, and even murder, it's a total page-turner. A fascinating glimpse into the life of a rebel and the early days of the English occupation of Africa. Al though her life seems ultimately unhappy, the adventures she lives, the men in her life, and her controversial choices make for a great read. I'm a sucker for a book about tough, unconventional women so I devoured this one in a few days.

Our most recent book group selection was my choice, My Cousin Rachel by Gothic mistress, Daphne du Maurier. It's full of misdirection and unanswered questions, which usually bothers me. But in this case it was a fun mystery that leaves you wondering if Rachel was an innocent, misunderstood woman or a manipulative killer. Full of Cornish atmosphere and some interesting plot twists, it's a good stormy night book.

Being a Northern California native, I grew up visiting Lake Tahoe on a regular basis and hearing the tragic story of the Donner Party. Desperate Passage by Ethan Rarick does a good job of showing how the historic settlers were pretty much doomed from the start. By starting late in the season, taking an untried route, and making a variety of disastrous decisions, the group piled mistake upon mistake and ended up at the infamous pass which now bears their name. There are good guys and bad guys, there is heroism and selfishness, wisdom and stupidity. Though not the best-written history book I've ever picked up, it nevertheless lays out the story clearly and seems to be well-researched.

Because of Husband's wonderful generosity, I have several books waiting for me (he totally spoiled me at birthday and Christmas) so I'll have plenty of good reads in the weeks to come.

There is one problem, though. I finished The Bolter last night and now I find myself not interested in the next book in my to-be-read pile. I received a copy of Lady Jane Grey by Eric Ives (a book I requested) but now I just can't seem to pick it up. The Bolter was full of sex, drugs, scandal, more sex, intrigues, travel, and sex. A scholarly book on Tudor history just doesn't have that sense of fun.
Photo of the day: A Piece of My Heart

One of our Christmas ornaments. Alas, the tree has to come down today. It's always a bit sad taking down the tree.