Friday, September 07, 2012

Eating ice cream

Thank you for the post, Joanna.

Make visible what, without you, might perhaps have never been seen.  
- Robert Bresson, Notes on the Cinematographer
~ ~ ~ ~

In my (blogging) absence, I've been

up and around. 

Doing the summer things that I/we normally do (and then some).


All the while battling oldandslow computeritis, which is my excuse for not having cleaned up and loaded pictures to Flickr in quite a long time (sigh). 

It's not like I've just been sitting around, 

 eating ice cream.

Although that's a mighty tempting thought ...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Okay! I'm back!

I know that I said not to expect that we'd go off on any big adventure. We sure weren't expecting to, but as it turns out, we did get away for some camping and scrambling. After talking about it for years, we finally visited Joshua Tree National Park. Since the park is easily the closest to us (2 hours), you'd think we'd have gone eons ago. The best J had been able to describe it is that there are 'piles of rocks that you can climb'. I don't know what exactly I was imagining, but by 'climbing', I was expecting, you know, technical climbing. There was this place, he says, called Jumble Rocks, and even that, in my very visual imagination, did not sound all so impressive. It might as well be MishMash Rocks, jagged rocks strewn randomly here and there. Never mind that I never did research on the internet to get a better description. Silly me.

Still, we had a few days off at the same time, so we figured, what the heck.

Hey! There are Joshua Tree forests! Hence the name of the park! (y'think?) After seeing so many scrawny joshua trees all across the U.S. Southwest, how amazing is it to see them, all so healthy; trees in fields all the way to the mountains? Joshua Tree forests! Don't they look happy?!


We got into the park and got our map and guide. I searched the map for the campground we were headed to and discovered that the name is JUMBO Rocks, not Jumble.

Oooooooh. JUMBO.


That's where we want to be, J says. Yes, I can see why. The rock formations are much more orderly than 'jumbled'. And there's lots of scrambling to be done. And look at how round they all are!

We later overheard that that weekend was the busiest for the park, but we managed to secure a campsite. We survived the crazy strong gusts that threatened to blown down our canopy and buffeted our tent all the first night, survived the hot days (90F), and cold high-desert mornings (down to about 34F). We were there for the full moon. We'd hoped to hear coyotes, but as it turned out, not even the neighbors were howling at the moon. We drove through 29 Palms, Morongo and Yucca Valleys and scrambled across lots and lots of rock formations.

Lots of fun. What an important reminder to always get an accurate understanding of a destination you've been avoiding. Or to take better care to enunciate. Or to do your own research.
Sometimes you really should just go.

Can't see the slide show? Click here to see it over at Flickr.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Remembering Norm

It's hard to imagine it's been two years since we lost Norm.
The evidence of the passage of time is plain enough though; the card from his memorial lies under layers of 5K training plans, postcards and daily quotes.

I've found that, much like what you experience when running, and we've all found, through just living and putting one foot in front of the other, that the tears and the sweat are all still salty, all still stinging and fresh.
But our hearts beat stronger and even more true.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Gone Running

I'm going to take a break from posting.
I don't have secret plans that I'm working on (I know how you think), exotic travels (you would have reason to think that, okay, yes), not even an intent for my non-blogging break, or anything like that.
It's not even a break, really.
It's not that I don't want to write.
I just don't want you to be holding your breath, waiting and waiting.

The end of our spring term is the middle of April. I'll check back in towards the end of April.
If you don't already, you might want to subscribe via a RSS feed reader, so you don't have to keep stopping by to see if there's anything new .. 

I *have* been running, and will continue to post ~weekly mileages and running-related thoughts over at Run Wendee Run.

See you in a few.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

More of the orchids

Garden from outside

The orchids, hanging out with the other plants.

Which looks like this:

20120111 Rest Day

from the inside. A rest (no running or walking) day.

And speaking of running, I'm posting weekly running updates at RunWendeeRun. I'm up to 40.9 miles for the year. 600 in 2012!

Monday, January 09, 2012


Remember the plants I got from one of my students? The money tree which met such a terrible end? (I'll give you some time to click back to the links and get in a good guffaw).

Did I really only mention just the money tree? I guess so. I mean, heck, it was quite the story, huh? Well, I received two other plants at the same time, and they're still doing well.

Knock on wood.

One of the plants had long arching leaves and I picked it because it seemed like it would fit in well with other plants. David said it was an orchid, that was blooming when they bought it, but it hadn't blossomed since. We've watered it and weeded, fussed over it, wondering if it was happy, and if it was, in fact, an orchid. The plant sent up buds for blooms in December (or maybe November). The flower buds survived the windstorm that hit but stayed tight for such a long time that I'd worried that maybe the flowers wrapped inside had died and just wouldn't show.

When we got home from Hawaii, we discovered, just in time for the new year, these pretty blooms just starting to open:

Orchid bloom

Orchid plant

Worth the wait! :)

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Who doesn't love a good parade?!

Every year, after the end of The Rose Parade, the floats are parked on Sierra Madre and Washington Blvds at the end of the route for viewing for another day or two. This is something we do, every year, if we can (if we're in town). What I love about this is that you can get up close to the floats to see the details –  what flowers the builders selected and all the intricate work involved. You can meander past the floats at a much slower pace as well, compared to the floats driving by you if you were there, live, at the parade. What I always forget about the float viewing is that you can actually smell all the flowers, as well –  –  always a lovely surprise for me.

Here are some photos from this year:


Not a cloud in the sky on January 3rd, sunny and almost 90 degrees F. This is exactly why I love living in Southern California. Tank top, shorts and plenty of sunscreen lotion.

Aren't all the flowers just gorgeous?

More detail of the ladybug, below. What care the float-builders took in laying out patterns of seeds, like in the ladybug's spots. Whew!


The pink line = the Rose Parade float driver navigation line.


The drivers hidden deep inside the finished floats can't really look out to navigate their way. This pink line is painted along the parade route (yes, down the middle of the road), as I understand, so the drivers and their floats will stay on course.

This is part of the line at the end of the route, where the floats are parked for public viewing.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Hawaii, up and around

You know how they call them 'red-eye' flights? Yeah, well, so much for just the 'red-eye' part. It took us a good 36 hours to recover from the sleep-deprived fog that followed our red-eye flight from Honolulu to LAX.

20111230 at the Airport
Kicking back, waiting for our 11pm flight.

We've finished doing laundry, restocked our fridge, reacquainting ourselves with English/European soccer (football) standings, are getting in a huge fix of football (U.S. variety) bowl games, and are checking, editing and uploading photos. Here are some of the 'up and around' snapshots:

Lots of opportunities for great photos at my parents' place.


And orchids, from my aunt/uncle's place, next door.



I joined the 'From Where I Stand' group on Flickr a few months back, in case you're wondering about all the photos with me and my hiking sandals/feet.

At the North Shore, checking out what I think are really small opihi
20111226 Opihi
and cooling off our toes. Like my hiking tan lines?

20111226 North Shore

After driving further north around the island, chips and margaritas at Cholos in Haleiwa, Oahu. Nom!

Lunch at Cholos
During our stay, I managed to get in a couple good runs, plus a few walks, for about 17 miles total. Since we normally walk – but NEVER run – I consider this to be quite the accomplishment. I went for runs right out the front door, which pretty much left my parents speechless. Seriously. They were thinking, “Who knew?!”.

Kahalu'u fishpond, from my last run there.

Kahalu'u fishpond