Thursday, February 22, 2001

Expanding - a new shelf

As the gift shop grew, I needed a bigger place for storage. We were lucky, this house had a huge garage, so I designed the shelves I wanted and set to it with the radial saw. I love that thing!

Here's part of the new cabinet. I'd made the shelves the right size to store plastic bins for merchandise and three-ring binders for other projects. The plastic bin with the blue paper holds "T is for Tapir" t-shirts.

Here's the area inside, where I was moving some of the stuff out of. The tapestry on the wall is one of the Salasacan weavings I kept for myself after we sold the ones with tapirs and most of the non-tapir tapestries. I loved having these beautiful works of art to look at.

A few of the plastic bins ended up in the art room, at least temporarily.

Sunday, February 18, 2001

The cat in the fern

Here's Elvis, the little cutie, demonstrating why my fern doesn't flourish. It used to be lush and beautiful, then it started to die. Go figure. I'm still not sure how she got on top of the shelf (where I'd put the fern out of harm's way), but then she is a cat, after all.

Thursday, February 15, 2001

Snow in Palisade and a contortionist dog

The Palisade weather report today is about melting snow.

The view from my garden. I'm getting Spring Fever and am looking forward to turning the dead stalks into flowers again. That means most of them are probably going to have to be re-planted, but I look forward to it!

I liked this picture because the light on the snowy and wet branches glistens around the edges. Also, note the pale outline of the mountains wrapped in clouds. Nice.

Here's an unusual phantom cloud clinging to the Bookcliffs.

Indoors, Leila the Contortionist Dog is doing her thing - taking an upside-down nap.

Wednesday, February 14, 2001

Bright lizard, dark day

OMG! Remember the collection of toy animals I received yesterday for my first big foray into non-tapir retailing? Here's an early attempt to photograph one of the items, a big hollow plastic jungle runner lizard. It came out horribly here, very over-exposed, but I did get a better photo of it later for the gift shop.

Here's another marker of the day - Mount Garfield enshrouded in low clouds. I still believe you can blink your eyes and it's never the same twice.

Tuesday, February 13, 2001

Adventures in toyland

This is the first big shipment of items for the online gift shop. It was also my first serious foray into non-tapir items. Until today, the gift shop has been about tapirs. Then what happened is, some of our tapirs came in sets with 11 other animals, such as a rainforest tube of plastic animals. What was I going to do with the 11 other animals when my gift shop was about tapirs? I was starting to accumulate jaguars, monkeys, and other critters, so I decided maybe it was OK for the tapir to have some friends. I started a "Tapir's Friends" gift shop separate from the tapir store and once that started to work, I delved into a vendor's catalog and came up with even more friends. It was scary (and fun), and here they are. Now the work starts to get them all online and see what happens!

Sunday, February 11, 2001

Dogs, cats, and kitchen sage

Pterelas and Leila are wonderful dogs. Everyone thinks their dog is wonderful, I guess it's some kind of dog magic that happens. Both are some mixture of Labrador and chow, and Pterelas, the one whose nose is in the camera, probably has some shepherd or something on that order as well. More about them another time. It seems there are a lot of Lab-Chows in this part of Colorado for some reason, and that's fine with me. The camera didn't know how to handle the contrast here, but it's a nice picture of PT.

Here's Leila looking pensive - it's her usual look. She's built like a little bull and has especially soft fur and a very gentle manner.

I was really happy to finally discover kitchen sage for my yard. It looks droopy here in winter, but IT'S ALIVE. I won't have to re-plant it in spring, and it grows well but not out of control as many plants do here if they survive. Nothing really likes to grow under it, either, so it's a great discovery for weed control. I began planting sage all over the front and back yards, envisioning practically a sea of them when they matured. They seem to die after two or three years, but that's a heck of a lot better than planting annuals all the time. The purple flowers are beautiful, and you can cook with the leaves :)

The side yard of the house became a collection site for old wood and branches. Most of it ends up in our wood stove at some point. The chickens are gone now, having lived their happy lives, and we took out the fence so the side yard now connects to the back yard. There's Elvis checking up on things.

Saturday, February 10, 2001

Wood stove, copier, and life in a hot/cold climate

This isn't one of those elegant scenic photos, but it certainly does depict what my life is about much of the time. I love the wood stove, and I love working in this room with Marco and the dogs and Elvis. It was supposed to be a family room, but it's our office. I suppose we use it as a family room, because working is what we do most of the time. I was really pleased when I got my own copier, because it made Club Tapir a lot easier to produce, saved a lot of trips to the copy shop, and gave me an alternative to making do with slow scans or (gulp) copying on the fax machine. I figure it will pay off eventually. Just above it you can see wiring that leads to one of my favorite things in the whole house - the air conditioner. It may sound trivial to people who live in certain areas where AC is standard, but we had a shock when we moved here. It was every bit as hot as California, but here in Colorado what the folks do is install swamp coolers. These can lower the temperature in a building 10 or 20 degrees in dry weather and if they work right, which ours did not. But they also don't work that well any more in the 21st Century. The humidity of the valley has been raised by the population influx and the planting and cultivation (irrigation) of all kinds of vegetation and crops, so they say. Any anyway, when it's a hundred and five out, eight-five to ninety-five is still freakin' hot inside. I had trouble convincing Marco of this. He's from the Philippines. Anyhoo, we got a good AC, and it's wonderful, especially after trying to sweat it out for a few years. My body doesn't deal that well with heat.

About the red bag, I'm still trying to remember (as I write this later) what was in it. I remember that red was symbolic for something-or-other. I'd bought a bunch of bags on eBay made with a variety of wonderful fabric, and then had more made up. I used them for everything. What in the heck would be hanging on the stand with the fire utensils? Oh, yeah! Matches! Red for fire. Good.

Friday, February 09, 2001

Views from the Bank, Palisade, Colorado

Every photo of the Bookcliffs in Palisade seems to have a different look.

From the parking lot of Palisades National Bank, you get a better idea of the openness of Palisade's location and the grandeur of the cliffs. Yes, let's be confusing. The town changed its name a few years back from Palisades to Palisade because someone thought it sounded hipper and more modern. This may be true, but it left a lot of businesses and organizations with a name that no longer matched the town's name, and a lot of confused visitors (and possibly residents). Town = Palisade. Bank name = Palisades.

This is looking west toward Mt. Garfield from the parking lot.

This is looking east toward Grand Mesa from the bank parking lot. The building beyond the white fence looks for all the world like a ranch house for a horse farm, but it's actually a pharmacy and doctors' offices. It's almost brand new, as is the bank.

Taking a photo of the bank itself must have been an afterthought, because I didn't bother to get out of the car. It was probably also an experiment with the camera.

Sunday, February 04, 2001

Moon over globe willow

This is one of my favorite photos. First you see the moon and the beautiful globe willow. The lighting is mysterious yet gentle. Only later do you notice the deep maroon glow of the hills with snow still defining their geology.

This is the Palisade sunset that cast the glow in the picture above. I love the white streaks. You can see them if you click on the image.

Saturday, February 03, 2001

Ska in Grand Junction - Bright lights, dark shadows

This night was memorable, but not for the music. We'd been planning to grab some Jonny Lang tickets when they went on sale. We didn't realize they'd sell out in about 15 minutes, and we got there an hour after the place opened. Then we thought we'd try out the venue anyway since we hadn't been to this theatre. I don't remember the name of the band or if I'd ever heard of them. They sounded very, very practiced and professional. They moved together, they hit every note together, and I thought they were boring. I was having some fun with my camera, though.

I've taken very few photos with this kind of lighting, so it was an adventure. I like the way some of the images solidify in the bright lights, and I love the colors.
But things happened that night that grabbed me in the gut and made me feel that our relationship had hit bottom. As it turned out, that was about right, although I tried to keep it going, or figure out how that might be possible. In some ways, that night marked a turning point.

Thursday, February 01, 2001

Mountain tapir fabric and other pretty things

This corner had a few of my favorite things in it. I'd had some bags made, and the woman I was working with found this amazing fabric somewhere and made up a few bags. You can see my an enlargement of the tapir and other things in my album of mountain tapir art and craft. The fabric also has a pangolin on it. How often do you see that? I think I found the box at Pier 1. My poor African violet was spotty, but it recovered after I moved it. The purple background is a tall bookshelf I made and was rather proud of.