Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I have been a wee bit obsessed watching this killdeer nest, which is located about ten feet from the front door of our office. Today all three eggs hatched!

Can you believe how well they blend in?? I wonder if tomorrow they will already be up and running.

**Edited to add: when I left work, one of the babies (I assume the "big" one on the right in the photo) was indeed up and running, right across the road!

Which reminds me that when I was in Boise for the Hillbilly party a month ago, my sister Linda and I saw two of these teeny little fluff-balls running in the road. There was traffic going by in both directions and by some miracle, they didn't get hit. But they were too small to get up on the curb! We stopped the car and we each chased one around until we could give them a hand up onto the sidewalk and to the safety of the tall grass. They are so small (and not real bright); it's a miracle that the killdeer population continues to grow! Will try to get a picture of the baby tomorrow; he wouldn't let me close enough tonight...

Friday, June 25, 2010


When my ex and I first got together, we went on an epic road-trip from our college in northern Idaho, down through Montana, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, California and ended in Oregon. It involved more powdered black-bean paste than I care to remember and pretty much camping for the entire three months. It was an incredible adventure that I will never forget; we saw amazing places, met interesting people, and learned a lot about each other and ourselves. We learned, for example, that camping was Eric's idea of "vacation". We learned that my idea of vacation is NOT camping.

There is nothing easy about camping. First you have to go through the garage and various storage closets to gather all your equipment and supplies, taking inventory of what you have and what you need ("I found the flashlight but the batteries are dead. We have spoons but no forks. Where are the damn forks?? I know we bought bug-spray last summer. Have you seen the tent stakes??") sorting and arranging it all, stuffing it all in the car and then you drive to your destination. You find a camp-sight that is somewhat close (but not too close!!) to the foul-smelling toilets and far enough away from the neighboring camp-site that you won't be kept awake by the house-sized RV's generator. Find a spot for the tent that is flat and not too rocky, dig out aaaall the supplies, set up your tent and sleeping bags, light the citronella candle in a lame attempt to keep the bugs at bay. Cook dinner in several stages over an open flame, scrub pots and pans with sand to remove gunk. Next you must put everything back in the car so as not to attract wildlife. Then and only then do you get to collapse into your sleeping bag, feeling every stick and rock under your back and wishing like hell that you'd remembered your pillow. Sleep, thrash, repeat. Then you pack it all up, stuff it in the car, drive home and then spend another hour or two putting it AAAALLL away! Wheeee!!! I always come home from camping exhausted and in need of a vacation.

The truth is, camping is only relaxing for a few hours between your arrival and departure. I'd much rather spend my time actually hiking, biking, swimming, kayaking, reading....or oh! I know: relaxing.

Ok, ok, there are SOME things I still enjoy about camping (or would, if I actually went, you know, camping). Falling asleep to the sounds of night-hawks and crickets. Waking to the sounds of the birds as the sun comes up. Taking a nap in the shade after a day playing in the lake or hiking. And....um...yeah, that's about it.

I have to admit that at this point in my life, my idea of "camping" involves a log cabin within walking distance to a lodge that serves bacon, fresh-squeezed orange juice and huckleberry crepes.

My husband David and my daughter, however, still like the idea of actual CAMPING. In fact, there is talk of a possible camping trip this summer in Glacier National Park. You may have heard of Glacier while reading the latest report of grizzly mauling.

Grizzlies consider a tent to be the dry, uninteresting tortilla that must be endured to get to the soft, pink meat-flavored filling.

In fact just a couple of days ago, some poor sap camping somewhere in Montana awoke to the unmistakable sensation that the side of his head was being eaten. Because IT WAS. An otherwise "harmless" black bear bit through his tent and made a snack of the guy's ear. Fun!

Call me crazy, but I just can't sleep when I'm afraid for my life.

And so, it seems to me that this is the perfect "camping compromise:

See, one of these little beauties would provide bear-proof shelter, a somewhat comfortable mattress and a place to keep your stuff. That's all you need. These babies are so light that they can be pulled behind a Volkswagen!

And think of how spontaneous you could be, which is the other thing that drives me crazy about camping: it is IMPOSSIBLE to say on a Friday afternoon "Hey, let's go up to Priest Lake for the weekend!" Even car-camping involves the above-mentioned excavation of the dark corners of the garage to find all the bits and pieces and supplies and equipment. This process literally takes hours. You can not spontaneously tent camp. Period.

With one of these little trailers, however, it's all in there: the plates, forks, coffee-maker, matches, flashlights, sleeping bags, bug repellent, stove! You simply grab your clothes, hook your little trailer to the car and you GO!! To Priest Lake! To the Oregon coast! To Canada! To Glacier!!

The fact that this is one orange has nothing to do with it. Swoon.

Of course, if we ever win the lottery, one of the first things I'd buy would be a sweet vintage Airstream.

Maybe a little something like this. A 1948 Airstream "Wee Wind". Have you ever seen anything so adorable?? It's even for sale, but they don't say how much which means "If you have to ask, you can't afford it."

A girl can dream, right?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

my body is betraying me

I haven't had much to say around here lately because I have pneumonia that won't go away and basically it's all I can do to haul my carcass to work every day. But I just thought that I would share two things that are occupying my mind right now because, you know, I have no pride and it's my job to help you feel better about yourself.

*I guess this has to do with my hormones going all wonky on me due to peri-menopause, but I have the most foul body-odor lately. And the really freaky thing? It's only one arm-pit. Righty is perfectly normal and lovely, but Lefty smells like a small rodent moved in and died. WTF body??

*Also? The really cool thing about being a middle-aged woman and having pneumonia? Every time I cough I pee a little. I know, fun right??

So, carry on with your day knowing that you are infinitely more normal and well-adjusted than I am.

You're welcome.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Thursday, June 3, 2010

mind blowing

I just saw this (via a local blog, Dwell Well) and I am speechless. Go HERE to get a visual of how big the oil "spill" in the Gulf really is.

The other day I was listening to one of my favorite pod-casts, The Story, and heard Riki Ott interviewed. She has a PhD in marine toxicology and she just happened to be a commercial fisherman in Prince William Sound 21 years ago when the Exxon Valdeze spilled its (relatively small comparitively) contents into the pristine waters of Alaska. She has spent the years since then involved first-hand with the cleanup and aftermath and says that 21 years later, you can stick your hand a couple inches down in the soil and come up with oil. Oil doesn't evaporate and it isn't going anywhere.

I can't even begin to imagine how this monstrous amount of oil is going to effect the fish, the birds, the marine mammals and the people who's livelihood depends on the Gulf.

It's not a partisan problem; you can't blame current or past presidents for this. But the fact that the oil companies were allowed to drill into the bottom of the ocean, reap billions of dollars worth of benefits without having a rock-solid disaster plan? That is just unforgiveable, and we must end the free-reign that the corporations have on our natural resources. If anything good comes of this disaster, let it be that we finally begin to stand up to the corportations and demand accountability.