You Can’t Take It With You

You Can't Take It With You

Well, friends, my apologies for the hiatus.

In December, I got a part time job. Whew! The sedentary nature of graduate studies left behind for “load that barge, tote that bale” frenetic activity. There has been a bit of an adjustment period complicated by the holidays, low-grade illness lasting awhile, being props manager for a local community theater, and a brand new second illness that, considering how tired I already was, knocked me on. . . well, took a lot out of me. Last year at this time, I had been repotting bonsai and traveling through Australia, kayaking and hiking, going to weekend bonsai shows. What a difference a year can make.

I love my job. It keeps me fairly busy, and is different every day. The group of young people I work with are, overall, friendly and nice, supportive and encouraging, and a lot of fun. They’re nice to their resident “old lady.”

I ate my share of Girl Scout cookies but, having purchased in two communities, was surprised to discover that there was $1 difference in box prices. Wonder what’s up with that?

My next planned adventure is an Aikido seminar at the end of May. Not sure if I’ll be back in shape, but I’m going! A good friend is testing for san dan (third black belt).

My super-ultra-megawatt-totally awesome news is that of my four friends who last year battled cancer, all four are cancer free!!

The year has been an unusual so far. I wonder what the other three quarters will bring . . . . I hope all of you are having a fantastic year!

“We are not alone.”

. . . And I’m not just talking about Frodo and Sam getting through Emyn Muil!
Snorkeling the Basin of Rottnest Island there were lots of fish. These sun fish would have any fisher drooling. The bigger ones, like the bugger in the lower right, were about 16 inches [40 cm]. The best news: It was nothing like the Dead Marshes.

Rocky Reef

Rocky Reef

Rottnest Island has rough rocky shores. The harbour [Aussie spelling] has so much submerged rock that pilots [captains] have special training to bring in boats in safely. If you want to dock in the harbour and don’t have the special license, you radio ahead and a qualified pilot will be motored out to pilot you in.

The beaches have the same rocky floors. I snorkeled in “The Basin,” a popular swimming spot for families, snorkelers, and divers. There was a class the morning I was there, and this is where I saw the mermaids! [see post on March 26, 2013.] The rock bed in this photo is in layers starting above water and dropping. You can see sandy floor, no doubt with more rock below the sand. The rock in this pic is about seven feet below the surface, and the sand another 4-5 feet deeper. Sometimes the rock has a hole in it. There were a couple places, swimming across the three-to-four foot deep rock, that I came across ten and fifteen foot diameter hole dropping another fifteen feet. It was a little dizzying. There was a draw to go down into them, like a song calling you to enter. It was a little like the seduction of fire. Everybody likes a nice camp fire or hearth fire, it’s so friendly and warming, you can roast your marshmallows or cook dinner. I say seduction because we all know what can happen if you get too close or it gets out of control. These holes spooked me like that. I really would love to explore in them. . . . For me, I’ll get a lot more hours under my, er, suit? before attempting stuff like that. I definately see the lure of scuba.

While We’re Down Under. . . .

While We're Down Under. . . .

My last stop in Australia was in Melbourne. It’s a beautiful city with lots of great art, great public transportation [with both trams and buses – that is, the motor coach], a harbor and ocean shore, a renowned . . . the list goes on.
Anyway, shortly after I got back to the States, I came across a bonsai blog “” Adam is in Melbourne, all his blog photos of himself are in shorts, and there were a few comments about consuming alcohol while working on trees. Sounds Aussie to me! I made a comment on his weblog about the cow tree in his fair city and that I wished I’d known about his bonsai club while I’d been there. It would have been fun to meet some Aussie bonsai folk! Guess again. . . . Yup, Melbourne, Florida, USA.
So, Adam, here’s a pic of “your” fair city’s cow in a tree art.
Oh, and the photo is not mine. I picked it up off the internet. Photo credit goes to

Revisiting Australia

Revisiting Australia

Well, I put it off long enough but am finally getting around to posting some more pics from Australia earlier this year. The series over the next few days are focusing [even though most of the photos are out of focus – or just plain grainy] on my snorkel adventure at Rottnest Island.

I hope you like them! Thanks for watching.