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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Big Fuzzy Girly Ones

Rum-kitty - my generally abscentee cat, came in tonight and made himself comfortable on the carpet, which made me distinctly un-comfortable. For several months now, Mr. Rum-Kitty has headed for the hills whenever I get out the flea treatment stuff. However, tonight, watching him snoozing contentedly as I imagined a 'leap' of fleas, dancing off of him and into the carpet, I realized I had to do something, you know; like grown a pair.

So, feeling up for the challenge, I snuck over & locked the patio door. Got out the Front Line flea treatment and faced my own personal cowardly ginger lion. The boy took one look at me with the Frontline and raced away from me, screaming like the little sissy girly neutered kitty he is.


Up and down the hallway he raced, head hunched down pathetically, me gallumphing behind him. We raced through the bedrooms.


We circled the kitchen & living room. I was in Olympic medalist shape! Ok, I wasn't but I'll be damned if that kitty was going to outrun me!


Finally I cornered Rum, locking him in the bathroom. To my surprise, instead of Rummy ditching behind the toilet, he crouched into a pitiful little lump of horrified kitty. I think he'd decided if , in fact, I was going to chop off his head, he might as well get it over with quickly. So throughly dejected, Rum held still as I gently applied the flea stuff to the back of his furry neck. I opened the bathroom and patio doors and I retreated to the couch.

In a couple of minutes, crawling like he'd been hit with a brick, Rum crept into the livingroom and struck a pose above below the television.

THIS is what a cheesed off kitty looks like. I flung kitty treats at him and begrudgingly he ate them.

Now, unlike Rummy, I have a big girly pair. Hear the fleas die, hear me roar!

Friday, October 19, 2007

The miracle of SWA/Flight 2491

Sonny Bono NWR at the Salton Sea

I’m just back from a three-day conference in San Diego. Monday was my day off so I flew down, then headed out to the Salton Sea; a sort of woebegone accidental super-saline lake, normally hot and oh-so-stinky. It being November I expected the weather at the sea to be cool with wafting winter winds of lavender scents. Nope. Still stinky.

Course, if there are birds to stare at, stinky is ok . Took the scenic route from San Diego passing Pine Valley & other places I loved as a teen. Those places now seem so thoroughly unfamiliar. A three hour drive got me to the Sonny Bono National Wildlife Refuge. Sort of sad that Bozo Bono wanted to be remembered for his efforts to save the but all I can think of when I see his name is him careening downhill over a snowy slope towards a pine tree.

Gambel's 'desert' Quail

Cooperative Gamble's Quail Hen

Desert Cottontail - is the bun-bun adorable or what?

So Monday was the wildlife refuge and the remainder of the week I squeezed in a couple of great visits with my buddy Joann and her family. I haven’t seen them since we visited Yosemite last year. Joann cooked the traditional Claire's visiting dinner for me, which is stuffed pork chops (I'll spare you the long story).

Joann and Gene, posing with Gene's pet Desert Tortoise


Later in the week Joann and I drove down to the new Tijuana Estuary National Wildlife Refuge. I turned the camera over to Joann and we shot the town up - photo wise.

Reflections at the Tijuanna NWR Visitor Center

Lawn Trotting San Diegan Marbled Godwit

So now I’ll tell you about the miracle of a sort. I boarded a jam-packed earlier flight home. Across from my aisle seat was not one but two fractious kids; a two year old and a baby. An air hostess walking down the aisle did a double take when she saw the second kid. She appologized and informed the adults that one of them would have to move to a seat in the back of the jet. The three adults looked politely at the air hostess and budged not an inch.

“But there are four of you,” insisted the air hostess, “but only three sources of air if there is an emergency and this plane is going down. The toddler boy, who was standing in front of his seated mother was pounding on the back of the seat in front of him chattering like the little monkey he was. The adults still smiled indulgently at the air hostess, still unmoved - literally.

Now two air hostesses stood over the three adults explaining how the plane wasn’t going anywhere until there were only three people in the row. It was a showdown and the adults were adamant – they weren’t moving.

I tapped the stewardess on the shoulder.

“No problem. He can have my seat.”

Claire’s motive: Get me the hell back to Sacramento with all due speed! The stewardesses, and less so the 3 adults were thrilled.

“Sir, you can sit right across from your wife, daughter and grandchildren!

I, the wonderful woman in question, moved.
Twenty minutes later, when asked, I asked for a sparkling water.

The air hostess winked. “You deserve a reward. Anything other beverage that might suit you?”

Things were looking up!

“Uh… maybe a dark beer?”

“Oh,” she said sadly, “we haven't any dark beer. Perhaps you would like a nice cup of coffee - with some Bailey’s Irish Cream?”

How's that for a miracle?

Joann's Best Shot

Friday, October 12, 2007

Bye Bye Old Friend

How very strange. I read a notice in the electronic bulletin board at my office; a woman co-worker asking if anyone had an old/unused backpack they were willing to part with. After much soul searching I decided I could live without my old backpack - not from REI, but a Sears Roebuck special. I couldn't afford the thing back then so I had to plead with my father and he was a great sport about it and bought the spanking new, buttercup yellow backpack for me.

That was ages ago, and lived out of it for an entire summer when on a internship in Cleveland National Forest in San Diego County. Those were the days - working like a field hand and feeling privileged to do so. Aside from that summer I used the pack on many a trip in Yosemite - the old Valley to Vernal and Nevada Falls hike - uphill through the mist trail.

Nowadays I just don't get that old thrill at the thought of loading up a few days supplies and trekking up, up, up to where the sky is blue, the air is clean and the scent of pines permeates the air. Nope. These days I don't even car camp, much less backpack. Last night I took the pack off the garage wall and marveled at the dust cobwebs that settled on it. And though I'm not about to go backpacking any more, this morning as my pack was carried off by a stranger, I took pleasure in knowing my old backpack is no longer hanging idle, its clevis pins getting increasingly rustier Nope, the bag is now off on adventures once again, only this time, without me. Bugger. I'm so bummed.

View of Nevada Falls from Yosemite Valley

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Dig Out the Quilt - Autumn is Here

Saturday morning of my 3-day weekend - woke up cold and stiff as an antarctic popsickle. I've hesitated to put the down quilt on my bed but I think it's time to get it out of mothballs. I climbed out of bed, stiff-legged it into the hallway and shivering, switched the thermostate from 'cool' to 'heat'. The heater turned on, I was thawed out and I think I'm going to live. Hurrah for Autumn! About time it got here. Of course had I looked out the window at my Hawthorn tree I would have seen it's Autumn. Love those scarlet berries. Going to be a bumper crop this year so the Cedar Waxwings will be eating like birdie royalty.

Got a call last night from buddy Don. He was passing through town today on his way to visit his friends in Auburn. Expecting company is always good for a nice kick in the arse towards house cleaning or, as in this particular case, decluttering. One shift of the Lazy-boy recliner and suddenly my living room was in Feng Shui shape, feeling open, airy and even brand new. If I had company every week I bet I'd be able to convince myself I'm living in a palace.

Don asked if I wanted to go off birding this afternoon but I'm totally in low gear - again. Opted to stay home this weekend and do some garden work. For the record, I'm taking bets if garden renovation will actually happen and the good money is not on me, it's on the weeds.