Thursday, February 28, 2008

Cheating

I feel like that's what I'm doing.

There are so many things to write about. Endless topics, some serious, some fanciful, some outrageous, some offensive.

That is...if my brain were working, if someone else would cook dinner, if I didn't spend so much time reading other people's blogs and if I didn't type pogonip incorrectly at least once when I comment.

Alas, life just isn't like that. Especially the part about possessing a working brain.

So I cheat.

I'm guilty of posting about the weather. I know, it's lame and uninteresting. I can't help myself though. Maybe it's something about being a gardener. Yeah, that's it! Weather is important to us gardeners.

My favorite cheat has to be photos. Preferably one that speaks for itself. Hey, just label that Easy Button #1.

Today's cheat is the latest from kindergarten. Fortunately, kindergartners never go on strike, will work for graham crackers, tied shoelaces and hugs. Eat your heart out, Jay Leno and SNL! My writers are better than your writers. (Na, na, na, na, na.) You just can't go wrong with the cute and/or inscrutable wisdom of a six year old.

We interrrupt this blog for an official Empty Brain Moment. In the process of writing, your hostess has overused her somewhat limited brain capacity and forgotten what exactly the kindergarner said this morning. It was funny, and involved the word GREEN. If you have information regarding this tidbit, please contact Ms. Pogonip immediately. We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog.

Whoops, my bad. Maybe it'll come to me. Maybe it won't.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Eight Inches

That's how much snow we just had.
Which somehow turned magically into...

this...

and this...

and this!

Overnight!
Keep the faith, all ye snowbound souls. Spring is creeping closer and closer.

I can tell. Not just in my earliest bloomers who vie each year for the title of First Flower of the Year, but in the chorus of dawnsingers that woke me this morning, in the buds on the forsythia bush and cherry tree that are just a little fatter each day, in the heat of the sun as it peaked out at all those of us armed with snowshovels, and the eight inches that were essentially gone in twenty four hours.

Yep, Spring is just around the corner. Give us three weeks or so and our world is going to change, explode with color and noise.

So...I am going to enjoy the last bits of winter--the skiing and snowshoeing and sledding and snowball fights and neighbors helping neighbors shovel driveways--before Spring arrives in all her glory and I forget how peaceful I feel when snowflakes drift down lazily and silently.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Ahead or Behind

The times. I'm not sure which we are.

Were we the last two people on Earth to watch An Inconvenient Truth? Why didn't we watch it before? Is it required viewing for every high school senior in Government class yet? Is it required viewing for senators, congressmen, city councilpersons, mayors, or governors?

The movie underscored the importance of The Election This Year. I've always thought the framers of the Constitution were amazing and wise, partly because how much damage can one guy do in four years? (History may show it can be quite a lot.) I've perfected my ostrich imitation pretty well over the past eight years, but now I'm wondering if that was the right thing to do. Maybe I should have been working on an imitation of a typical relentless three-year-old who wants a toy and focusing that juju on my elected officials instead.

We are two well-educated people with a scientific background and we have been watching the evidence pile up on the dangers of global warming and climate change. We were stuck inlived in the LA area for thirteen long years. We became experts on estimating daily air quality. We simply looked across the street to see if we could see our neighbor's house or not. We also learned a Stage One alert doesn't just make things look foggy, but can drive you indoors with burning lungs after just fifteen minutes of working outside.

We love camping, hiking, rock-hounding, botany and wild animals in situ. Ecology and the environment have always been pretty important to us. Being a tree hugger is a good thing in our opinion. Even more so when we became parents and realized our children were going to inherit our mistakes or successes.

So we've always tried to buy cars with good gas mileage and were astonished when our second Subaru got the same gas mileage as the first one (17 years separated the buying trips). Even though gas was still relatively cheap in 2002, it seemed like there should have been some progress toward better mpg's, but apparently creating SUVs was more important.

We've never owned a gas-powered mower--nasty noisy things that make lawns a job instead of a pleasure and which emit more pollutants from a gallon of gas than a car does during an eight-hour drive. I liked our push mower until the drought-resistant tall fescue in our backyard became impossible to mow if I left it three days too long. We are on our second electric mower--easy to start, quiet, earth friendly.

I walk or bike to work as much as possible. I became a Bag Lady after learning to sew fabulously cute grocery totes several years ago. We recycle everything that WM allows. We buy organic when possible, grow our own fruit and veggies, and frequent the farmers' market before our crops mature. We look for Energy Star appliances, turn out lights and avoid doing laundry during the peak energy periods. As homeowners we've tried to enrich our little plots of earth by improving our soil, gardening without harmful chemicals, and planting wisely and well .

We try. It's not hard to do because it's important to us.

The message seems to be filtering down into our national consciousness. We talk about being Green or if a product is eco-friendly. I think we're on the right track.

The next president we choose can make all the difference in the world. Literally. Why are we one of only two nations who've not signed the Kyoto Protocols? Why have our leaders been afraid to lead? Why haven't they been protecting our future instead of looking in a rear view mirror? Why haven't they been honest in evaluating the scientific evidence instead of coddling the truth-twisters? Shame on them.

Shame on us if we let them continue. Demand to know a candidate's views. Let's have a president with some moral fortitude rather than one who dishes up moral platitudes.

It's just a suggestion but I think we should add a constitutional amendment requiring an IQ test for presidential candidates as well as a lie detector printout during presidential speeches.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Typing School

Confessions:

History major with emphasis on Ancient and Eastern European. (So I probably knew where Latvia and Lithuania were before you did.)

I couldn't touch type in college. (Do you know how many term papers a history major has to churn out? No? Well, you don't really want to know, trust me.)

I learned to type afterwards. (Nothing like doing things bassackwards.)

On a manual typewriter. (Bang! J Bang! E Bang!T)

I built up speed on IBM Selectrics. (If it's an extremely long geological word I can type it at 80wpm.)

But...

I am apparently incapable of typing pogonip corrrectly on the first try. I like to leave comments. I'd like my comments to link to more than just my blog profile so I include the whole URL when I drop by my blogging friends.

poogonip

pogonoip

pooponip

Maybe I should just change my blogging name to something I can spell.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Kinder Speak (or why I have the best job in the world)

Me: Good work, Raymond! Now read me your list of words that begin with an "L".

Raymond: Pointing to each picture as he names them off:
  • yamp
  • yadder

(he's starting to get my attention...)

  • yady bug
  • yight bulb
  • yam

(okay, now I'm just plain grinning ear-to-ear. ROTFL would be my preference, but squashing this adorable budding scholar's enthusiasm would not be nice or professional...)

Henceforth I shall think of lambs not as wooly white critters, but as fluffy Tuscan-gold animals cavorting on luscious hillsides. Kindergartners enrich my life so much.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Now I Can See My Dirty Laundry (almost)

We finally picked a new fixture to replace the Hollywood-style vanity light. It's ordered and should be here in a few weeks. It has the same curves as the new faucet, still matches the polished brass inherent and unavoidable in a home built in the 80's, but definitely provides an undated look. Perfect compromise.





I learned something interesting during this process. I surfed the Net for weeks checking out lights and narrowing my choices as I figured out what I did and didn't like. I checked out eBay and found a wonderful fixure, but someone bought it while I was making my mind up. Craigslist had another perfect bath light (for FREE!) that I jumped on, but someone else jumped faster than I.

I eventually found this light on-line at one of those big websites that pop up when you Google "bath vanity light". It was a great site. Very easy to navigate: do you want a kitchen or a bath lights? do you want 3-light or 4-light fixtures? do you want polished brass or oil-rubbed bronze or brushed nickel? do you want to spend $10 or $200? do you want to order a sink or towel rack too?

Having finally found a light and received my sweetie's reassurance that I indeed had impeccible taste, I was ready to order. Cautious comsumer that I am, I read the customer feedback before placing my order. Not. Very. Reassuring.

I tried some other internet sites and they ALL had some very poor feedback. I know they serve a lot of people and you can't please everyone. Lots of folks thought they were wonderful. If an order didn't run smoothly however, they seemed...(how to word this nicely) less than helpful.

So I checked manufacturer Seagull Lighting's site for a local retailer, who turned out to be a whopping two miles from our house. We took the model number and internet price over to them hoping they would meet it. To my astonishement, they not only met the price, they beat it soundly! I enjoy shopping online, but I'll never again assume that a good online price is the best price.


I will also sleep sweetly knowing that there will be no issues with this order. If there is a problem, Statewide Lighting will provide customer service with a smile. If there is a glitch, I will have a real person to talk to, face-to-face. Sometimes old-fashioned ways are the best ways.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Puppysitter

C'est moi!

Erkie was in Vegas at a soccer tournament so I was entrusted with the Princess. I liked her before. What's not to like? She's a puppy, therefore cute and funny and sweet. After three days and nights of looking after her (and getting nothing else done), I love her. She gets endlessly cuddled and sweet-talked and coochy-cooed. Yeah, I turned into a big melted puddle of smitten-ness.

I like dogs. I even like some beagles. But, like Erkie-pie, I have a thing for Golden Retrievers. They are so wonderfully mellow and sweet as well as intelligent not to mention just plain beautiful. They make me wonder why everyone doesn't just get a Golden since they are pretty much the perfect dog.

Zelda is carrying on the tradition.

Like any doting grand-mere, I thought she was incredibly smart, not to mention awkwardly adorable, when she sat on cue at the tender age of seven weeks. Now at nine weeks, she also knows "down." Definitely intelligent.

Zelda has typical puppy shark teeth: very white, very sharp and way too many of them. One of Erkie's priorities was to encourage gentle play. He was rather hoping her too-boisterous ways would push Kharma into teaching her a lesson to remember. Instead, Kharma turned out to be tolerant of her rough-housing niece. That was only two weeks ago, now the Princess has a delicate mouth. I think Kharma is the world's best dog, but I have to admit that when she was this age I was sporting myriad healing slashes all over my hands and arms. Three days with Zelda and not one teensy little drop of blood was spilt. Amazing!

Both dogs spent lots of time in the backyard: chewing sticks, digging in nice soft Spring dirt, playing chase. Zelda would race after the speeding Kharma with amazing coordination for such a young pup. There were times when I could catch a glimpse of the graceful adult Zelda will someday become. I'll enjoy her "little bear" stage for now as her hind end swings from side to side as she walks along.

The unexpected break in winter's grasp resulted in sunshine, warm sixty-degree temps, melting snow and lots of mud for eight paws to track into the house. Kharma flows with our familiar paw-wiping routine, but I wasn't sure how the puppy would react. We first wiped Zelda's paws, then tried hosing them down in the kitchen sink, and eventually I just set her in some warm water as a one-woman way of handling the dirt. Let me just say that Kharma had many, many puppy baths and it still takes the two of us to get her clean. Miss Mellow just calmly sat down in the warm water and looked at me as if to say, "I like baths." I had to dry more than just her feet but I didn't mind at all.

Also, zero accidents. She really truly knows how to ask to go outside and has since she was five weeks old. I have no idea how the breeder achieved this and am in awe.

Okay, enough gushing about the pup. Here's your reward: 20 seconds of Zelda as she experiences the doggie joys of chewing a stick.




p.s. I lied about liking beagles. I am cringing over the beagle with the horrendous manners (which is completely repetitious and I could just as well have said, "The beagle-y beagle)taking Westminster Best of Show. Beagles are cute in comic strips. Only in comic strips.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

2nd and 9

Two gorgeous girls!
Kharma at the beginning of her second year. And Zelda at nine weeks.

We puppysat over the weekend. When you puppysit, you don't get to blog but you get to take lots of pictures. Zelda is growing fast, but it's hard to see how big she is without someone like Kharma there to add scale.

Monday, February 04, 2008

It's Tuesday, Just Super

Vote. It matters.

Vote for idealism and change or experience and organization. It's actually hard to make a decision between them. What fun to have a choice of candidates, either of whom would be 1.) a good leader and 2.) a welcome change of pace!

Or vote for the lesser of two evils (and you know who I'm talking about). Heck, if I was One Of You, I'd be considering Ron Paul as the voice of reason right about now instead of Mr. Brown Nose or Mr. Negative. Fortunately, I'm not.

Besides, we've already had our say here in Nevada.

But you, all you super-Tuesday states, can still affect the final outcome. We're counting on you. Don't let us down.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Bone Chiller

How can it be so cold, clear to the innermost marrow, when it's been over 40 degrees. Can you say, "Wind chill?" (Pardon my whining about the dampness making it worse. Nevadans don't do humidity well.)

I love winter. I adore snow. Cold doesn't bother me. When the wind stops, I've been unzipping my jacket and stripping off my gloves.

When the winds swirl around, I've been wearing my jacket indoors. Even warm cocoa and baths hot enough to boil lobsters are temporary fixes.

This is where I want to be. Right now. (stomps her foot)

Gardens at the Del Coronado


I'm off to bed and sweet dreams of Shelter Island, sailboats, and not a breath of wind.