Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Delicate Lacy Sparkles

Isn't it beautiful? Pogonip is one of my favorite treats. If you've every wondered where my blog got its name, you're in the right place...

It's an amazingly beautiful and incredibly infrequent phenomenon. I've lived in Nevada since '88 and we've only had pogonip four times! Pogonip is the Indian word for frozen fog and pogonip may be unknown outside the Great Basin.

Fog almost never occurs here; our humidity level is so low that there is no real point in measuring it. Fortunately, January is the magical (and extremely cold) month that occasionally produces an overnight fog.

The fog precipitates out just on the tips of pine trees and the edges of remnant leaves clinging to their trees and around skinny dormant branches. Then our pre-dawn temps plunge from almost freezing to mid-20s and the pogonip crystals begin growing. We awaken to find ourselves inside a fairy tale. Delicate white lace decorates our entire world. Even common chainlink fences take on an ethereal appearance.

Two years ago, the pogonip was incredible. It stayed around for three days and the crystals grew larger each night. A huge snowpack contributed moisture and a chilly overcast prevented it from melting during the day. As I walked to my car at lunchtime, the sun peeked out and a breeze appeared from nowhere and suddenly I felt like I was inside a snow globe with sparkles swirling all around me. Some moments are just unforgettable!

Pogonip was an irresistable title for a blog--I have a January birthday so I have a certain connection to this event. If you google it, you'll find out that there is a book called Pogonip Magic and there is a park and trail in California (for some reason that I have yet to understand) and there is a Pogonip geological formation. But that's it. It's a very fun word and basically unknown outside the Great Basin. My newly arrived (and elderly) neighbors raved about having pogonip to a friend in California and she wanted to know what kind of sex they were talking about. We all got a good grin out of that one.

Since I love Nevada and everything about it, I just had to put in the NV. And if you say the whole blog title it sounds like Pogonip Envy. That was the original title but I couldn't make my banner show it as "eNVy" so I just took the easy route.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A "C" Note and Other Delights

There are few things I enjoy more than a "C" note, nice and crisp, the ultimate gift certificate. Yes, the hundred dollars is fun to play with or even to hoard until that moment that I've found the perfect item to spend it on.

When I was younger, the fifty cent piece was my favorite coin. I loved the large size and the Liberty Bell on the reverse.

The common connection between these two is the portrait of Ben Franklin on the front. I admire Ben. Totally. He has always fascinated and amazed me. He was pretty much an Early American blogger with Poor Richard's Almanac. He helped popularize many pithy sayings that are a part of our culture. Healthy, wealthy and wise. The early bird. A penny saved. He contributed one of our three legends of Americans--Washington and the Cherry Tree, Lincoln and the Log Cabin and Franklin and the Kite. Where would we be without bifocals? I know I wouldn't be reading this computer screen without my specs. I'm not crazy about the cost of a stamp, but I'm still grateful that the Post Office regularly delivers my mail correctly and on time. And what would the Declaration of Independence have been like without his participation?!

He was a Renaissance Man, inquisitive, thoughful, a philosopher and an activist. The dude rocked. So...Happy Birthday, Ben!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Vacation and Recess

Okay, vacation's over. I survived two weeks of unscheduled bliss.

Now, I get to see how big my kindergartners can get in 16 days--it's a surprise every year to see their growth in that short time. I'm eager to see them all, but I'm gonna miss those late sleepy mornings. And entire days with the puppy. And lunch anytime I get hungry. And blogging late at night.

But I'll get recess twice a day and lots of hugs and some adult conversation. And maybe I'll still find some blog-time.

Unfortunately, all the have-to-do's crept up on me about 4:30 a.m. and at 6 I gave up and got up. So, I've made lists so that all the things that were bugging me all night can go away and maybe, just maybe, I'll get some sleep tonight. I'd better or else the little ones will think they have a red-eyed sleepy witch instead of a blue-eyed enthusiastic teacher! Thank heavens for Diet Mountain Dew (should go well with oatmeal for breakfast).

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Pioneer Confessions

Try visiting The Pioneer Woman (in Links) sometime. I am dying to try her recipe for Cinnamon Rolls. They look gooey, warm, spicy, tasty and altogether yummy. I'm gonna wait until I either have a large hungry group of visitors around or until I have had a full week of strenuous exercise and deserve the 1500 calories per bite they undoubtedly have. Because I have NO WILLPOWER. If I've cooked it, then I've tasted it. If I've baked it, then I will go to any lengths to make sure the entire batch is slurped up as soon as possible.

I'm not as young (chronologically) as the "Mommy Bloggers" that I love to read. Some of them weren't even born when I met my sweetie. They are in the process of stressing about turning thirty-eight. Ha!

They truly don't need to worry about aging. Why? 'Cause the Baby Boomers are changing the landscape of aging. We've changed everything else throughout our lives, so why not aging? The Boomers don't feel old or elderly or over-the-hill or anything else, but young and eager.

I know I'm in better shape now than I was when I was in my Thirties. I'm stronger and more fit. I'm more adventurous. I'm smarter about my choices. I'm loving every bit of life. After a summer of walking hills for fun and exercise, I even love my buns. That alone is an accomplishment.

Part of feeling young is being around kindergarten moms year after year. I feel like they are my contemporaries, when in fact I may be closer in age to their mothers. They and their children truly keep me young. I'm occasionally shocked when I realize how many years separate us. (I know now what my mom meant when she said she was surprised to realize she wasn't seventeen anymore.) Then I'm shocked when I meet a kindergarten parent who is actually older than I am! I may feel young, but I'm not crazy enough to think I deserve a five-year-old in the house.

I freely admit that I lie about my age. I think that age-ism is alive and well, unfortunately. I don't want anyone to stereotype me because of my chronological age. I want every opportunity that any young adult has available. I like the kindergarten guesses about how many birthday candles are on my cake. I don't think anyone has guessed more than twenty-odd candles yet in seven years.

Or maybe it's my age that lies about me. I don't think that we match at all. Yes, I need reading glasses and my hair color may be slightly different than Mother Nature's currently choosing, but I feel like I'm evolving in some way that doesn't involve age. Does that make sense? Maybe it's something spiritual horizons that I'm heading towards. Maybe I've always been something of an old soul and now I'm caught up and exploring other dimensions. Whatever. It works for me.

Let's just forget age and judge each other by our aspirations.

Friday, January 05, 2007

A Woman's Place...

...Is in the House. With a gavel in her hand, a glowing smile on her face, surrounded by grandchildren galore, and two heartbeats away from the Presidency.

I love it that Nancy Pelosi is unabashedly liberal. The "L" word as many smug conservatives have been calling it in print and on TV for way too long. I happen to think it's a compliment. Liberals change things. Like extending Civil Rights and championing underdog farm workers in the 60s. I think we could use a few changes.

Liberal and from California, haven for bleeding heart tree-huggers. Except for the gavel, the grandchildren and the heartbeats--I could be her.

Watching the change of power in DC gave me a thrill. The hopeful kind. Yes, I'm a Democrat, but I've voted for plenty of Republicans over the years if I thought they were the better choice. Which is another way of saying I have nothing against Republicans per se. However, for too many years, I have watched two branches of our government collaborating so closely that honest disagreement was branded unpatriotic.

Disagreement is our national right. Heck, it's our national duty. One commentator yesterday said that peaceful handoff of power is a hallmark of our democracy. I agree, but I think that the right to disagree, gripe, bitch, swear, and heckle (or more importantly, acknowledging that as our right) is also a hallmark.

So let's hope for some disagreement. The conservative bobble-head majority in Congress is gone. Let's stir the pot. We have some messy situations that need some creative solutions and the previous group of problem-solvers turned out to be a bunch of brown-nosers.

Let's hear it for controversy. Let's open up options. Let's see what we can do together after we listen to the other side. I want to be proud of the U.S. again. I want us to be the guys who do the right thing, the moral thing, the stand up thing.

I'm hopeful.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Rain is wet. Rain splashes. Rain creates mud. Snow is dry, light, fluffy. Snow is pretty. (Yeah, I know... same ol', same ol', you've heard it all before...I'm just saying.)

In either instance, the house is warm and dry and very homelike with the recuperating puppy lounging in her basket. I don't know how long she'd been holding things in but she was very relieved to see grass when we brought her home again this morning.

Yesterday, I actually worked on crafts all day, cooked dinner, worried about the pup and still had enough energy left to give my sweetie some kisses and a backrub. Vacation is wonderful! No stress, no alarm clocks, no schedule. I loved it when I had kids at home and I love it now. I've been rolling out of bed around ten a.m. (!) and enjoying every second of getting up late.

I don't get the newspaper, instead I spend my mornings reading through my daily blog list. Just a few of them:

  • Breed'em and Weep--I think I've been reading about Jenn's lovely family the longest and did my best to help vote her into Best Parenting Blog stardom. Her writing is inspired!
  • The Mater--the writing talent is apparently hereditary, and she plays accordian too.
  • Bunny Burrow--thank God for SOMEONE who reads my blog and comments.
  • {crazyjen}--this girl lives for her camera, and she has the cutest nephew on the planet.
  • Rocks in My Dryer--discovered recently as another Best Parenting Blog finalist.

I think five are enough for today.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Fingers Crossed

I'm in dog withdrawal. Every little sound, I look over to see what the pooch is up to and no puppy! And I have to wait till tomorrow morning to see her.

I'm also being a worry wart. Kharma is at the vet's and while I know that spaying is common and safe, in my mind it's major surgery and I feel like I should be there waiting for the vet to come in and tell me she came through fine. I know I'm going to break down soon and give them a call and ask how she's doing.

Hey, Kharma is family. I'll be there first thing in the morning to pick her up (knock wood) and bring her home to coddle with yummy treats and cuddle up quietly with her on the rug and fuss over her little shaved tummy and stitches.

Thank heavens that dogs seem to pass lightly over the events we find so traumatic. Eleven puppies? Give me a quiet spot and thirty minutes and I'll crank them right out and clean them up and give them supper. One of them isn't breathing? I'll just push it into this corner and deal with it later; the others need an extra lick or two right now. Hysterectomy? No problem, glad to be home, sorry I can't jump on you right now, could you possibly wait till tomorrow and then we can go on a five-hour hike.

I'm know it'll go smoothly, but...I'm just being a dog mommy/worry-wart/supertitious hope-er.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Now and Then

The New Year started with a bang. Actually 20 minutes of firework booms and pops that we watched and heard from our window upstairs. And our neighbor with the annoying backyard light that shines directly into our house called this morning to say she is replacing it with a regular, non-flood, simple outdoor light. Hurray! Perhaps 2007 is gonna be a good one.

I'm hoping so. I don't feel any safer with Saddam departed. I've had two friends lose sons to the Iraq war in 2006 and I don't know what to say to them. If our own country can't clean up after Katrina within a year, then I don't think Bagdad has a prayer. TSI and Homeland Security have still not figured out how to see bombs and weapons through the giftwrap and ribbons. Election badmouthing hit a new slimy belly-dragging low. Save Darfur is a private campaign because why?

Still...I know the new Majority Whip is a good guy. I'm encouraged that electorate recognized that absolute power was corrupting absolutely and acted accordingly. Even W had to pay attention. More animals got adopted due to online sites like Farmers' Markets are proliferating. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is setting the standard for altruism and bringing hope to orphan causes. Neighbors are looking out for each other and five-year-olds are still innocent and sweet and learning to use their words to solve problems on the playground.

I've always loved new beginnings. Fresh clean notebooks at the start of the semester. Pressed clothes awaiting the first day of school. An unread novel. A new friend. A trip. The first flower of Spring and the first rose of Summer.

2007 is giving us a clean slate. It's up to us to decide what is written in the coming 365 days. What is important? What is right? What is kind? In my world, in my country, in my community, in my home. It's good that we have a New Year. We need one or we'd just plug along in our regular routines and never stop to look around critically to see what changes need making.

And if the past year was frustrating and scary at times, that's nothing new, especially during times of unresolved wars. Maybe sometimes we need that turbulence to fire us up. It certainly got my attention. I don't know what changes I'll make, but something feels different already. I feel hopeful. If kindergartners can learn to use words to solve problems, then maybe the adults can figure it out too. I can hope. I can help. Welcome, 2007.