Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Breezy afternoon

On campus for online registration training. No other faculty showed for that particular day’s session, so I did a one-on-one, in all of about 5 minutes. The mailer they sent seems like it’d be more than sufficient to explain how to use the new system, and yet there I was, wondering where the heck everyone else was. I had to be out in Pasadena to teach later at night anyway, but, gee, I wouldn’t have minded knowing that I didn’t really need to worry about going for training, all the same.

Anyway, the campus is quiet as the students are on break for a coupl'a weeks, and the cafeteria patio was more relaxing than normal, cool late afternoon breezes. I feel like I've drawn this tree before, wrapped up in strands of holiday lights ...

Arty note:
I need to start taking along my water-soluble graphite pencil(s) again...

Descanso Mulberry Pond

Another great late morning spent sketching at Descanso. The late spring flowers are thriving, the mini train was running, the sun was bright, and we got visited by a very confident goose! We got to watch the grounds keepers working to clear out the area around the Mulberry Pond, and were visited by a number of groups of school children on field trips and families out and about. So very cute, alert and curious.

I’ve found all my little travel paint sets and brushes, but my pencil sketches were working out best. I keep saying it, and I’ll say it again here: Someday, I’d really like to take a painting class to learn to use watercolors and acrylics and have the excuse to actually spend dedicated time working on it...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Look at all that red rock! Wow!

Click here for the Flickr set:

My first thought, at seeing the bright red rock, was, of course, the memory of my mom yelling, “You kids better wash your feet before coming in!”. There’s red dirt in Hawaii, too, very, very dusty. If you spent the afternoon running around in it, you were certain to track in little footprints of red dirt.
So once I got past that

The formations really are other-worldy (think: Mars) and the red is really, really red. The great thing is that you can drive through the valleys, hike to arches and scenic points, really get close and experience it. I’d gone to the Grand Canyon, which is spectacular, of course, but once you’re there, the only true way to experience it is to go hiking down into it. Not-quite-back-in-shape / Lazy Wendee says, “Feh!” There’s lots of hiking, biking, 4-wheeling you can do in and around Moab and along the Colorado and Green Rivers, and you can get very up-close and personal with all of it, fairly easily.

Sadly, our trip was too short, and the winds were biting cold. There was threat of heavy rain and/or snow for our long drive back. We didn’t do as much hiking as we’d hoped. And, the thought of having to do taxes and finish cleaning my old place and go back to teaching immediately after getting back weighed pretty heavy. We’d just finished up moving me, too, so we got there pretty pooped. Still, the sights were really beautiful and inspiring – the hand of God, the artist, very evident. It’d be a great place to plunk yourself down in for a few days and hike, photograph and paint. The town seems to understand and embrace the idea of dusty, dirty visitors, too. It's worth a visit to go kick up a bit of red dirt, yourself. Wide open spaces...

Monday, April 23, 2007

New adventures

one last sunrise ...

waiting ...

I’m trying to catch up with scanning sketches and getting thoughts down on paper.

I finally got what the Salvation Army wouldn’t take hauled away, cleared out the old place, turned in my last key. That’s it!

I’ll miss the quiet sunrises, listening to soccer games being played, the bunnies, the frog chorus at night, the coyotes yipping away, and long walks through the gentle rolling hills and along the beach in Malibu.

I won’t miss the lingering annoyance over a kitchen repair that took too long and a summer of barbequing that I’d missed. I won’t miss the neighbor’s cats coming into my planter to poop. I won’t miss the neighbor coming in unannounced through my front gate, dragging his ladder, to trim his trees. He so treasures his privacy, you see, so much so that he fenced off what would have been his access from his side yard to the back. Apparently he decided that gave him free access to come through my gate, past my front porch and bedroom windows, whenever he wanted to trim his trees. You know, like at 8 am. Lovely. Won’t be missing that.

I won’t miss having to hear how the day was every night … over the phone.

I’ve discovered that the new place seems to be patrolled by a bear that wanders through to steal chocolate-mint cookies. Don’t know how J managed to not mention this before. Hm!

New adventures…

Thursday, April 12, 2007


While on the freeway
Camry's axle disconnects:
Wendee's moving day!

You were perhaps wondering how the move went. This captures but just one small episode. Indeed. To summarize the long story, the move is done except for the part where the SalvationArmy comes and takes away a truckload of furniture and goods, where I cart off one last load of incidentals, turn off the DSL and turn in my keys.

Oh. And, yes, I'm ready to give my old mechanic a &@#*-'in piece of my mind about a ring they apparently overlooked that, oh, secures the axle to the rest of the transmission.

Camry: Good
Wendee: Good
Jan: Good
Wendee's stuff: Good
The new place: Good

My watercolor crayons and plein aire brushes managed to get stashed into storage. I'm on a mission to go fetch them and get back at it all. D'ja miss me?

More adventures, in a bit.