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Monday, March 29, 2010

The Party Animal...

I do so wish I had a photo to share today...I'm really not much of a party animal. You won't find me dancing on a tabletop or crushing beer cans on my head.

However, last night I did attend a combo birthday/house warming party for my friend Shondel. There was a Monty Python theme...I've never seen the movie, except for the bits I watched last night between party games. I took a couple of swings at the pinata...wore an emergency costume provided by my friends. I was a shrub...and I found the Black Monster of Arggggg - or something like that.

The potluck was good, even though everything was created from Spam. My friend Jonathan debated with me all the reasons my car might be hurt, and therefor refusing to run right no. He thinks I should talk gently to it and tell it I love it. I think I should kick it in the radiator and make it straighten up. All in all, it was a silly, rainy night and I still don't get most of the jokes.

It was fun...I might do it again someday.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spring is Here!

One of the kids who came into the office today tells us that he picked up a snake this morning! He was pretty pleased with himself.
I think that's one of the earliest signs of Spring...the return of the cold-blooded creatures. Back in Missouri, we had several poisonous varieties, but here in Western Washington the only snake I've seen is the harmless Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis). The one in the photo is from a couple of years ago, and is held by my friend Kate. While I don't scream or run, I find I don't enjoy holding reptiles much. Unlike the youngster we spoke to today, I'd rather not catch them.
My Mom is terrified of snakes, and 0ne of my earliest memories is of watching her juggle a basket of wet laundry while a garter snake - much like this one - ran between her feet. She never did make it to the clothes line in the back yard with that load of laundry! I felt like I'd accomplished something big the first time I touched one. And I have held one for a moment. I just prefer my pets to have fur and be warm-blooded.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


It's been a crazy couple of weeks in my life...we had a bad scare with my new little great niece who was very ill. She's better now and breathing on her own...should get to go home again soon.
It seems that someone I care about has been in danger ever since August...a nephew in his 2nd tour of Iraq, my brother who had a stroke in September, my sister's trip to Peru (which went very well - she got to assist a dentist on the mission trip), my niece, who had trouble with her pregnancy that resulted in the early arrival of little Aubrey...friends who had accidents or surgeries...Mom, who is always a concern because she doesn't always take good care of herself. Sometimes it seems too much to deal with. What can I do about any of it anyway except to pray and worry?
I'm really, really glad that I do remember to pay attention to the beauty around me. I heard this sparrow singing on my walk to work recently...a reminder that no matter what craziness is going on in my life all is well with the world. This little bird was announcing to everyone that Spring is here. It reminded me that even with all the challenges, life is good.
Never mind the fog that covered the valley that early morning - sing! Sing for all the good things that abound. Sing for joy! God's grace is sufficient for the day. How is it that little birds are smarter than we are? I'm here, I'm happy, and I will sing!

My Favorite Fiction Authors and Books

  • Suzanne Arruda- the Jade del Cameron mysteries: "The Mark of the Lion" "Stalking Ivory", "The Serpent's Daughter", "The Leopard's Prey" and "The Golden Cheetah"
  • Ken Goddard - "Balefire" and others
  • Stephen White - the Dr. Alan Gregory books are all great. "Kill Me" is my favorite.
  • Harlan Coben - anything he writes is great
  • Elizabeth Peters - Amelia Peabody mysteries

My Favorite Nonfiction Authors and Books

  • "Coyote's Guide to Connecting With Nature" by Jon Young, Ellen Haas and Evan McGown- 2nd edition coming soon!
  • Gavin De Becker - "The Gift of Fear"
  • "Deep Survival" by Laurence Gonzales- the best survival book I've ever read! Not a how-to, its more of a who does,and why.
  • Candice Millard - "The River of Doubt -Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey"
  • Anything that starts with "Peterson's Field Guide To..."
  • Tom Brown, Jr. - "The Tracker" and others
  • Mark Elbroch - "Mammal Tracks and Sign" and "Animal Skulls"