Monday, April 30, 2001

Where to sleep if you're a cat

If you're Elvis, I guess the window sill behind the blinds is a good place to sleep. Marco's mom gave us the gold and green thing on the left. It's a "money tree," a tradition in the Philippines, which is where she and Marco are from. I don't think it ever brought us money, but maybe it did. I remember one time ringing the bells and an order came in on a slow day. But that was only once. The box in the upper left is something I made to hold floppy disks. I like making simple things that solve organizational issues. I'm not a great woodworker, so they have to be simple, but they do usually work. I or we also built the shelf under the blue box.

Sunday, April 29, 2001

Pix to remember the garden by, and first boxes

I loved and hated this yard. I mean I really did love it because of the scenic mountains we could see from here, and it was so large it was great for the pets and it buffered the neighbors, so we could feel that we had our own space. But the weeds were terrible and it needed a lot of water. I might try xeriscaping if I were to do it again. I understand now why so many people here landscape by putting down black plastic with rocks over the top and not having plants at all, or having a few peeking through, but I don't like that, and I wouldn't do it. We tore out all of the old black plastic but then the weeds had a field day. Once I found out that kitchen sage grew well, needed little water, survived winter, had purple flowers, and kept down the weeds, I began planting it everywhere. Unfortunately, I had to leave before most of the plants got big enough to do what they were supposed to do. The ones in the planter here are getting a good start, but they're still having to cope with the weeds, and the weeds were too much for me.

Here Elvis, Leila, and Pterelas are all enjoying being outside. Whenever I came out to work, I had lots of helpers.

The catnip has sprouted way up since last photo. I can't say Elvis pays any attention, but I like looking at it.

The plants in the front are sage. I even put one in the empty spot in the box with the rose bushes.

Happily-growing sage plants.

Here's another view of the garden facing west. Mt. Garfield is just behind that house. The grass had become a big problem. The gound got hard, as it will eventually since the soil is mostly clay. The weeds grow and the grass doesn't. It looked good when we moved in. It seems we needed to learn about lawns. I don't remember that lawns were such a science in California. You watered them and mowed them. This seemed to be a different set of rules.

Here are the first four moving boxes. I love bankers' boxes. They're so easy to stack and store. They're big enough to be useful and small enough not to be cumbersome. I got the bright idea to order a whole lot of them for everything that would fit in that size box, label them carefully, and place them on two-by-fours so they wouldn't get wet. It worked extremely well. I didn't realize it yet, but I was investing in furniture for my future apartment, too.

Tuesday, April 24, 2001

Elvis and tapir skulls

I love this picture - she's so relaxed! Remember, this is the cat that likes to stretch out in the fax machine. It looks like Leila's all curled up behind her.

Writing from the future, I don't remember why I chose this day to photograph the hybrid tapir skull unless someone wanted a photo. I was taking them with me, of course. Here they are in my Picasa Web Album of mixed, generic, and hybrid tapir natural history. I've written about them in the captions in the album.

Saturday, April 21, 2001

On the couch

Elvis and Leila. My two little sweeties are quite happy on the couch together. I'm going to miss them terribly. When I move, they're staying here. I don't know where my future is, and most likely I'll end up in a no-pet apartment. Marco is good to them, loves them as much as I do, and they have plenty of room to run around here off the street. It's hard, but I don't know what else to do except take a few photos for the memory book.

Friday, April 20, 2001

Elvis on the photo stand

This is my set-up for taking photos for the gift shop. I guess Elvis thought it was suitable for her. What a soft, gentle cat. She's a good one. We got lucky with both dogs and Elvis. Except for sleeping in some very odd places and the occasional playful bite, Elvis is a very easy-going and non-destructive cat. I love how she plays with the dogs, too. I'm not sure they love it, but they tolerate it. Sometimes they instigate, so I guess they don't mind having their faces bitten all that much.

Monday, April 16, 2001

Fried mini blinds

I'm just taking odd shots here of things to remember. These mini blinds on a south-facing window got so hot during the summers that they warped and twisted. I don't know how old they were, because they came with the house. I replaced them with white mini-blinds that should last for awhile, anyway.

Saturday, April 07, 2001

Feng Shui plants and Elvis

Did I say the grass was growing out of control? It was VERY out of control. Spring came before I knew it. I'm writing this at a later date, and I don't remember when Marco left, but it could have been by this time. Counseling didn't work. We were splitting up. I was going to move, and I didn't know where. We were getting a friendly divorce, and we had to follow through with that, then I'd move in a couple of months and he'd come back and reclaim the house. If I were going to get a divorce, I wanted to move someplace where I could be outdoors more of the year. I loved Palisade and Colorado, but I couldn't take the heat of summer, which lasted from early May all the way into October. Then due to the cold, it was hard to get out and do a lot in winter. I wanted someplace I could be outside and enjoy it. So I was giving it some thought.

I'd been reading some books on Feng Shui, and I realized that the right rear corner of our house was missing. That corner is designated the "love and marriage" corner. We weren't the only couple that had come to grief in this house, but the people who lived here before us had split up as well. Enhancing the corner wouldn't help us at this point, but maybe just for the sake of completion, or maybe I wanted to leave something for Marco, I wanted to fix the problem. I didn't have a lot of money to make a nice garden or gazebo or fountain out here in the empty spot, so I bought a plant I liked - a moonlight scotch broom - and I measured the coordinates carefully and then stuck it in the ground hoping he'd at least water it after I was gone. I chose the scotch broom because it was big and imposing and I thought it would "anchor" the corner. Little did I realize that it was also symbolically a part of my new life. The Oregon coast abounds in scotch broom.

Elvis liked the new plant.

One by one, all of our plants were turning green and growing like weeds. Here's the catnip, and you can see the dandylions getting a good start, too. I had worked and worked on them, but had refused to use herbicide. They were - totally - out of control.

Friday, April 06, 2001

A blog is a blog - Leila, Pterelas, and hail on the worn out deck

I keep struggling with the fact that some of these pictures are simply self-indulgent and have no redeeming artistic or social value. If it's going on the Web, it should be meaningful, right? Probably not. What is a blog? It's a web log, and it's mine. I like my pets. I want to remember them. I like the way Leila commandeers the chair by the washer and dryer, and Elvis likes to sit with her on the back of the chair.

Here's Pterelas, looking goofy and happy, as usual.

Leila and Elvis, no flash.

How fast the seasons change here! It's April and the grass has not only turned green, but has started growing out of control. A bit of hail reminds us of the season. It could still snow, as we often get our deepest (but not coldest) snow in April. Old-timers say the Grand Valley used to have a long Spring and Fall, but no more. There's basically only winter and summer now, with a very short Fall and Spring. At least it seems that way.

Thursday, April 05, 2001

April 5: From Prescott to Phoenix and home; high desert flowers

I'm sorry that my photos of this gorgeous high desert landscape aren't better. The day was overcast but the sky was fairly bright, and I was still learning how to make that work with a digital camera. Kathy, Gary, and I were driving from Prescott back to the Phoenix airport, and this is most likely on Highway 69.

Here's another shot of the gorgeous desert in Spring.

This exposure is better, you can see the flowers, but not the panorama.

Phoenix airport.

It doesn't take a very big plane to get back to Colorado.

Boarding on the concrete in Phoenix. Next stop, home.

Wednesday, April 04, 2001

April 4, Part 1: Views from the deck, Prescott, Arizona

Needless to say, the weather was nice and it was a good place to relax and enjoy the view. The deck runs across the width of the back of the house. I don't think I'd want to live in Prescott, but it's a change of pace - climate, ecology, everything. And as I've said in other posts about this trip, it was all about the people. Getting to enjoy this nice scene was a plus.

More views from the deck. The first and second are looking approximately northwest.

This one is probably approximately northwest also.

Here's looking south.

And north.

And maybe southwest through the dining room window.

April 4, Part 2: Playing pool in Dad's basement, Prescott

I have one sister and one brother. Here they are: Kathy and Gary playing pool in Dad's basement in Prescott, Arizona. It was a special weekend. We hadn't all been together in I-don't-know-how-many years. We all visited Dad this weekend and we had a great time being together. I'm only putting this one photo up tonight, but that weekend we also went to the zoo and just sat around their house with the beautiful panoramic view joking a lot and enjoying each other's company in a way that hadn't been possible for a long time. It was a bittersweet time - mellow and nice, but with a sense that it wasn't going to happen this way again, because Dad had Alzheimer's and was clearly getting worse. He was still well enough on this visit to play pool (without too much attention to the rules) and to laugh and have a good time with us. He always enjoyed good humor - gentle, funny, and not too much poking fun at anyone. Anyway, that weekend was special.

On the left is Dad in the foreground and Gary behind him. Kathy is on the right. This is their living room with the front door at ground level and the hillside sloping steeply away so the side of the room opposite the front door goes out onto a high deck overlooking the trees and the valley.

In the mirror you can see Lois's back in the pink robe and someone who had come in. I don't think that was Kathy. The yellow-trimmed quilt is one I bought for Dad in Palisade. It has trout on it, and he always enjoyed fishing. I thought it would be nice and cheerful during his illness.

I'll put up a few more pictures from this visit eventually, but I regret there aren't any really good ones of the PEOPLE. For some reason, it's so hard for me to take them. I'm going to work on that in the next phase of my life - more people pictures.

September 27, 2008

February 2009: I'm adding a couple more pix of the basement, where I felt comfortable. On some visits I slept on the floor on a mattress, and on other visits in the guest room down there. It was roomy and there was a small deck out back. I liked the pool table, which had come with the house because nobody could figure out how to remove it. Dad grew up with a pool table in Corona. They had a family of four kids, and there were usually cousins around.

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A visit to Prescott, April 4, 2001

See this post in Sheryl's personal blog.

April 4, Part 3: A trip to the Heritage Park Zoo near Prescott

We all went out to the Prescott (Heritage Park) Zoo for awhile. The weather was beautiful, and some of us will jump at any excuse to see animals. Right away I realized this wasn't one of your big city zoos. I do like their mailbox, and of course the setting is pleasant out in the open country.

And I like their gate. Nice animal art!

There was more animal art as we entered the zoo, which had a lot of open space. That's dad. It was nice to see him getting out and enjoying walking around. What was sad was how the Alzheimer's and Parkinson's was aging him beyond his years. Again, it made me know that this was a very special few days we were all spending together.

Approaching the animals. They're around here somewhere. I wonder if they have a TAPIR?

But wait! Time for a pit stop since the restrooms are en route. Umm. The restroom was brand new and clean, but it seems they ran out of money before they got to the partitions. I've been told that men's bathrooms are like this fairly often, but I haven't been in one. I've never seen a ladies' room without the partitions. OK, I'll wait outside, lemme know when you're done. I was never one of those girls who liked to go to the restroom in gaggles.

Gary wanted to let Kathy and me know that the men's room was special, too. Thanks, Gar.

This is called "Tarantula Grotto." Of course, there were spider exhibits inside.

"Please do not step on spiders, ever." I like that.

This is Coyote Freeway.

We didn't see Abbey the Mountain Lion, but she had a nice sign, and I liked it that there was glass to look through, and not just wire or bars. If she had been out, I might have gotten a nice picture.

Finally I was getting to see a javalina.

Up close, too, but the wire wasn't conducive to photos.

Here's a pronghorn. As you can see, there's a lot of space out here. It made the visit kind of surreal, or maybe it was just a lazy-feeling day and I'm not used to that. I find every excuse to work and be busy most of the time.

"Hi, Pronghorn."

Thematic painted signs. This is where the jaguar lived. It seems the cats were taking siestas.

The black bear was friendly, at least with fencing between us it was a nice encounter. The zoo also has a Bengal tiger and some ring-tailed lemurs and a few other things.

Gary and Dad. Don't ask me why I take pictures of people when they're not looking and then don't take any when they are looking. Maybe it's because I don't like my own picture taken, but I'm really going to work on this.

Gary meets a kindred spirit. "Where's the food, guy?" So, that was our day at the zoo.