Thank You

Thank You

Through the past few weeks, several new people are checking out and have started watching my weblog. I won’t say it’s unexpected, but it is a bit of a surprise having people I’ve never met signing up. Thanks!
So, for everyone out there, here is your Certificate Of Appreciation. I’d suggest printing it and filling in the info for yourself, but the site I downloaded the image from says it may be subject to copyright.* Guess it’s Use The Ol’ Imagination time. Just pretend that I am sending each of you your very own certificate, with your name, dated, signed, the whole works!
Thank you very much, each of you, whether I’ve known you my whole life, for several years, or am just getting you know you via blogging!

*image downloaded from:

Modern Technology

Modern Technology

I enjoy reading. Heck, I even wrote a book. But sometimes enough is enough. So I’m on a movie binge. Being technologically, well, the truth is that I’m somewhat in self denial on that front, (yes, that’s a working rotary phone in the living room) and for movies, suffice to say that I don’t have net flix. Thank the Muses for the library! [I do support my local comic shop, which has a pretty decent video rental section.]

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to get to la Bibliotheca, select four films, check out, and escape the environs unscathed. [insert “Mission Impossible” theme.] You have twenty minutes . . . [Think Michelle Shocked, “Making The Run To Gladewater.”] . . . including transportation time. No, you may not use the transporter room or the neighbor’s blue phone booth.

I arrive with ten minutes to make selections: Oliver (research for the next possible theater adventure), Three-ten To Yuma [“Attention, the library will be closing in five minutes. . . .”], Top Gun, and [lights flashing] The Three Musketeers (1993). Tuskegee Airmen was a strong runner up, but since I own a copy I left it for the next guy. I need to get it on dvd; my VHS copy is wearing out. Did I mention technology?

So [insert musical selection], I have four movies, and avoiding the bored looking librarian at the desk, making my way, stealthfully I might add, to the modern self-checkout station. I choose the machine next to the dad with young daughter. With an act like that, who would give me a second look? Scan the magic library card, scan each film, print receipt (you never know when one might come in handy – usually I use them as book marks when borrowing books). Mission Accomplished!

Not so fast, Missy! Walking out through the airport type scanners, the alarm goes off! Not merely every day technology. Noooooo: Embarrassing technology! Sheesh. I step back inside as the lights dim, look around. The bored librarian is gone, vanished, MIA. Now what? He reappears shortly, and short of breath (??), and lets me go after checking the receipt (yes!) and cleverly demagnetizeing the dvd boxes.

“What?” you ask. Not a national security risk? What woman of a, ehem, moderately mature age would pick that particular combination of films? HA! Easy. The same one who owns Hunt for Red October and Princess Bride, and sadly missed auditions for Spamalot because she was doing Shakespeare, for heaven’s sake. Maybe I need to upgrade my phone.

Ultimate in Classic Techno-Geek

[Written in iambic pentameter:]


It has happened that two major bards, one

old and one of late, hath combined to write

the greatest and truest play of all time:

William Shakespeare’s Star Wars.

                                                           In book stores now.

Egret Flower

Egret Flower

Well, life has been happening, including losing the flowering quince that had been doing so well. It turns out several things went wrong, serially, almost as soon as I transplanted it: Hot weather, both night and day (sing it Cole!), windy spell, high nitrogen fertilizer – which the FQ doesn’t like, especially right after repotting. I had the light right. At least now I know what NOT to do.

I’ve also been in rehearsals for Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” playing “Corin” the shepherd. This is the “All the world’s a stage. . .” play, for those who are interested.

It’s still maple defoliation season here so they’ve been getting attention, and the junipers have been being selectively pruned. And of course watering. Mostly everybody in pots is happy (plus my land lady who I just gave two jade plants). Plus I had to plan and have Astrid’s birthday party (the cat). Some of you may not like this idea, but I got her a frozen feeder mouse which she thoroughly enjoyed. The next two mornings on our walk she was all over the place, up and down trees and support posts, jumping over ivy tendrils, chasing leaves and cockroaches. I guess it was a happy day for her.

The lacy white flowers picutured are egret flowers, which I am veeerrrrrry excited about. They are an orchid, Habenaria radiate. I think they usually bloom earlier in the season. The flower stocks are a little gangly, probably due to having lots of water (in well draining soil), but the flowers are still beautiful, and in my book it’s pretty cool getting an orchid to bloom. Any body else out there trying to grow both bonsai and orchids? Talk about a steep learning curve! :]

I hope everyone is having a good summer! Thanks for reading.

“As You Like It”

My bonsai won’t suffer while I engage in another love: acting.. I’ve been cast as Corin, the shepard, in “As You Like It,” by the Master Bard. We don’t have any photos yet, so I borrowed this one from the ‘net (link below). I’ve already been told that they’re doing the role as a woman, so no fake beard. Probably just as well, it would likely have been itchy – all that gum glue stuff to keep it on. Now I just need to get the Elizabethan English figured out.
(Photo Credit:

For the love of stones

For the love of stones

A few weeks ago, a neighbor boy, about 9, found my large piece of rose quartz during a game of hide-and-seek with some other neighborhood kids. He asked if I had any other rocks. I showed him a few. Now I am the local expert on rocks. He has been buying (well, thanks to Mom) pretty rocks at a local thrift store, and even a very nice lined box to keep them in. He brings every new rock for my inspection and asks good questions. I wish I knew more.

Monday he found me volunteering at the same thrift store, a few minutes before my shift was over. When I was done, we looked for rocks together at the main store and the new annex. Then he spotted the jewelry store across the street (small town).

“Maybe they have some diamonds there,” he said pointing. I warned him that the rocks in that store would be much more expensive, but we went to see.

I explained to the jeweler: “He has just discovered ‘rocks’ and thought you might have some nice ones.” We walked around and looked, saw some diamonds, I explained about birth stones. Then he spotted a pretty deep royal blue stone, smaller than half my pinky fingernail [I have small hands], and asked how much it cost. I must hand it to the jeweler. He treated my neighbor with the same respect as the older woman who had just been there and was obviously a regular customer.

The jeweler pulled the stone [in its personal little holder] out. “This is a blue sapphire,” he told us as he checked the price: four digets starting with a 2! Yikes. Surprised me! He let my friend hold the case and look closely.

My neighbor missed a beat hearing the number. It was one of those losses of innocence that life throws at us. [Fifteen dollars is his idea of a lot of money. Relativity, but different than Einstein’s theory.] My neighbor recovered quickly though, asking a couple of questions and learned the word “lapidary.” Then we looked at a few more “rocks” on our way out.

Spring Storm

Spring Storm

Last night’s thunder storm was beautiful – from my limited human perspective. Astrid would give you a different rendition of the story, no doubt.

It started early in the evening with high clouds carried in on tangy, salty drafts. It still surprises me to smell the sea this far inland. Thanks to the Delta Breezes!

Lightning and Thunder (to Astrid’s horror) lasted from about 11-Midnight. At work on the computer, I was cognizant of their approach, fearing the electrical surge that would wipe out years of electronic files, not to mention lights and the refrigerator motor. Imagine my surprise when the opposite happened: The brightest flash, the closest and loudest thunder, and suddenly the house lights were brighter! And stayed that way!

This photo is one of my eventual bonsai, a green waste recycling gutter rescue, dappled with remnants of rain.

News from home. . .

News from home. . .

Kori writes to say that she, Donny and Remy, had a good first class after their exams. Congratulations to the new Aikido Shodans! (Everyone who has ever worn a hakima understands the implications of this.) Their exams were beautiful and instructive to watch. R to L: Donny, Newens Sensei, Kori, and Remy.