elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, May 12th, 2016 06:43 am
The drama about the plumbing took a different turn on Tuesday. The plumber had left the bathroom tidy and we set off into the hills to visit various vistas, Los Trancos and Russian Ridge in particular. Periodically my phone would beep with some received message but it wasn't until we pulled into the parking lot at San Gregorino State Beach that we were in signal when someone tried to call.

Dad asked, what is this about Laura finding vandalism at the house?! Our adrenaline surged and i promptly got off to call my sister -- but as i did, i realized i had texted her about the bathroom drama. It turns out she asked Mom, who didn't know about the black water and plumbing snake during the closing. Laura was exasperated: she had repeatedly explained to Mom that nothing was wrong at the new hose. I called my Dad back and let him know it was the known issue with the apartment.

What a game of telephone!

My mother's confusion -- and her certainty of incorrect information -- is part of why i am glad we are moving closer to them, and is going to be one of the challenges. I've found her to be an unreliable narrator for many years, previously predicated on the extrapolations and interpolations she would make and then treat as fact. I certainly extrapolate and interpolate, myself, but i try very hard to keep my speculations clear from the facts. Mom would impute some psychological drama to a family member and reason from there, coming to various conclusions and then treating those as fact.

Now it seems that the leaps are getting a little more wild and correction even harder. I think Mom knows this to some extent. The amount of deference to my father is novel, she is more cautious in the face of new things.

Shifting from exasperation -- from years when it seemed she almost willfully misheard or misrepresented or selectively forgot details -- to a recognition that Mom's capability is diminished is important now. My first challenge, i think, once settled, will be to get her a baseline cognitive screening.

--== ∞ ==-- Meanwhile --== ∞ ==--

I placed most of my plants out for people to take last night. My heart was heavy as i did so. All the plants look so scraggly when pulled out of context, and so many of them are volunteers or survivors -- not carefully groomed specimens.

And i need to leave my Meyer lemon tree. I read the USDA recommendations and NC plant importation rules. While i wouldn't be moving citrus from a quarantine zone, the last thing i want to do is bring something harmful to our new paradise (because it appears i will have plenty of weeds and established invasives to deal with). In particular "phytophagous snails" seem to be a concern for NC, with California a source, and i know i've got slugs in the garden and there are plenty of snails around here.

Phytophagous was a new word for me: Greek for herbivore, i guess? Hmm, "Plant" is from Latin, but "eater" seems like its good Old English.

Anyhow, my heart aches and, as i smell a lemon picked from the "tree" (very very dwarf shrub), i tear up. Christine has cried on my behalf: i feel my stoic wall go up against the feelings, i know i have little signs in my mind: "Do not enter, distressing feelings here."

I've been avoiding the deck garden for months, knowing this time would come.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Sunday, May 8th, 2016 11:15 am
I am feeling an odd grief. I just repacked some boxes that had all sorts of mementos from my childhood into graduate school. Random rocks, a tub of shells, letters from friends long dropped (the depression of graduate school created a rift in time). Diaries and diaries and gardening and weather journals.

I'm not sure why there's grief. Guilt is washing through, too, i suspect: i have all this STUFF. What am i going to do, reconstruct my life?

--== ∞ ==--

Reading letters to me, i recognize something similar yet different from the LJ community. There's a subtle quality of receiving something written to yourself, and i know i have not engaged that way for ages. Something blocks me from replies, a stress of sorts, should i reply to this or that or the long long list....

I wonder if i can change that with this move.

--== ∞ ==--

Worship is over at the Meeting house. I'm heading over to attend Meeting for Business.

Christine is very frustrated with the house buying process: i'm so glad it's almost over. We've not yet seen what we need to sign by proxy on Tuesday. I do expect our lawyer to get us the papers, but Christine doesn't think that's going to happen.

[I then spent time reading up on the closing process in NC. Maybe we have everything we need already, except titles and deeds?]
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Tuesday, January 5th, 2016 07:15 am
I dreamed office HQ was eight hours of driving away. Did the basin and range and the rockies disappear? At least dream geography got I-80 correct.

My new year is in the spring, the beginning of March with my birthday. I've tried to use January and February as a dreaming time, a time to evaluate and set course. I'm not sure i want to change course this year, though.

The Elephant in the Room has been an overwhelming aspect of the past few years. We're in a phase where Christine is slowly assembling a vessel from shattered pieces of the past. I can see the progress, remember when all there were were shattered pieces. I know she's making progress, but it's still a difficult task.

I note that, because i feel aware of how the antidepressants i use cut me off from a treasured part of myself. Maybe i will see about reducing the medications, replacing with caffeine as necessary. Still, i make significant effort to keep an even keel with the Elephant in the Room shifting its weight unpredictably. I trust that the antidepressants keep my resources available to me and provide a type of predictability.

The focus on building habits, finishing projects, releasing the things we've accumulated that marked last year still seem valuable. I can't help but start new creative efforts, but the scope seems more focussed.

One lesson of the past year is that i am incredibly challenged when it comes to developing habits of doing things. I think it was a year ago i tried starting some basic intentional habits of the sort that most people have had since they were small children. I must still make a conscious effort.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, December 31st, 2015 07:42 am
Oh, fiddle. I still have packages to pack up and send.

Oh well.

--== ∞ ==--

I'm reading M Train by Patti Smith, terribly jealous that she's written something so beautiful. I could write like this, i think, and wish i took more time writing. There's a class in memoir writing at the public library that i've just discussed taking with Christine. (Turns out she has purchased "The Art of Memoir" by Mary Karr.

Maybe i should just write.

I'm thinking about writing through the apartment, just seeing where objects take me.

--== ∞ ==--

It is NOT the last chance to help all the worthy causes in the world. We try to make our contributions monthly and ARGH, i am sick of end of year pleas.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Saturday, December 26th, 2015 07:07 am
Thank you all for sharing your lives and friendship with me. It enriches me.

--== ∞ ==--

Yesterday I participated in small ways in the hosting of folks without homes at our Meetinghouse. Visiting with early risers on Christmas morning has been a pleasure these past few years. This year it was a bit of a monologue, and i find myself a little judgmental that the person who was speaking was a bit more judgmental about "them" -- other homeless folks who aren't like him -- than I would expect. Reflecting on it, staying proud and "normal" under rough circumstances probably takes more than a little mind games. I really can't imagine. I did feel a little for the other early riser who had been under a roof for only a few nights.

And as i wrote a Swedish cousin in the early hours before i left, i felt shame for my country and how we do not meet the basic needs of folks.

--== ∞ ==--

I made a desert for the Christmas dinner, an attempt at "no bake bars." They're sticky and gooey: i hope folks' dental work survived. The flavors, though, seemed delightful: i used honey instead of molasses (which i ran out of making mulled cider). The salt, toasted coconut, "craisins," cinnamon, ginger, and cardamon came together in a wonderful flavor that kept the sweetness in balance.

The mulled cider is again filling the house with scent. Lesson learned yesterday: the slow cooker will not bring the cider up to heat from room temperature cider. It never got warm the hour i spent at the Meeting house.

The green beans from frozen that i "made" yesterday were quickly zapped up: onions in butter until transparent, the water for microwave cooking with a dash of liquid smoke and Worcestershire sauce. Christine's hint to use the liquid smoke was a good one.

--== ∞ ==--

It's pretty crisp here. Yesterday the car was well frosted over. The Mt Hamilton "HamCam" shows snow still at the four thousand plus foot elevation.

There's a negative tide today: i think instead of walking up at the crest of the Santa Cruz mountains (lower elevation than Mt Hamilton, but still) we should go to the coast and visit some tide pools.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Wednesday, December 16th, 2015 06:25 am
More rain is coming, and it's churlish to complain. Although it's made picking out something to do next Monday a challenge. Art museums are closed - that was the top of the list - and it doesn't look like pleasant weather to visit Yosemite.

[personal profile] a_muse_d: it looks like you really have rain headed your way. Thinking of you.

I have been incommunicado. I have revised my assessment and now think this is 60% depression and not just the cold. My resistance to communication (replying to comments, email) is one significant symptom. Yes, thank you for the well wishes! I'm receiving, just not sending. This morning journaling is an attempt to break that habit. (It's not that big a break.)

Yesterday i ran the bright, bright light, and that helped immensely. With the rain coming i will need to be extra intentional about getting light.

Regarding the other 40%, i've some strategies. My lungs are clear, and i am not in an asthma flare. The doctor suspects a sinus infection and suggests using the "rescue" inhaler as a prophylactic. I need to get out and walk, and taking the inhaler in advance seems a good plan. Similarly, before meetings. Since the medication has a non-negligible co-pay, I am happy to get some use out of it beyond carrying it everywhere with me until it expires.

I think Christine and i have been reinforcing a negative spiral with each other: with both of us trying to pull back on the stick, maybe we can both be in a cheery place by Monday (which is our 24th anniversary).

Hmm - and then there's exercise with the rain coming. Maybe i should strategize a bit on the deck with the bike stand. The "go to a big box store and do laps" is utterly unappealing at this time of year.
Or maybe this is the time to get serious about a yoga routine.

Luigi, the cat we adopted from our neighbor this summer, is settling in. He visits me at my desk, reaches out to stop me from walking past him without a scritch. He is a large-ish cat, and hasn't really grocked how to use a lap. He stands and sits upright. Yesterday, for the first time, he settled down for a moment. He's a very sweet cat, although he has a vacuum cleaner appetite. Smooches mooches is a nickname, given how he goes around to the other cats' bowls to finish up for them. Given Greyie Loo's name, he's also being called Wigi Loo (and Ouija Board) at times.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Saturday, December 12th, 2015 10:59 am
I've been back again in the unwell camp, these past few days. Wednesday and Thursday were busy and wore me down a bit, and by Friday my manager told me to take the rest of the day off after our meeting around 2 pm. Not that i'd done much, so far, that day.

I'm back scanning in old documents: going through my health care records this morning. It's rather easy to tell that drug interaction information goes online as i stop filing the information that comes with drugs, and then that digital record keeping overtakes paper.

Aaaannnnnddddd.... that's it.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Monday, December 7th, 2015 07:01 am
I am feeling better, hurrah! My mind is going in a million directions and i am cautioning myself that i am better than i have been, not that i've become some sort of super woman. To often there's the post recovery blues when i think "better" means "can do the to-do list by just thinking about it."

As far as my father's fall, the university hospital can not find anything wrong. I understand he's moving to a rehab unit today. The worry is that the pain means the doctors have missed something.

Waiting: what would be a visual symbol of waiting? The first thing that comes to mind is a bus stop -- that could be easily stylized into something that can be recognized at a glance. Flower buds and little sprouts can be read with other meanings like hope -- but i think i can accept that as part of waiting. Tea kettle - watched pot never boils.... Christine suggests clocks -- maybe hour or minute glass?


Poll #17161 What does waiting look like?
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 6


What does waiting look like?

View Answers

bus stop
4 (66.7%)

sprouts and buds
0 (0.0%)

tea kettle
1 (16.7%)

candle in the window
0 (0.0%)

clock with hands
1 (16.7%)

digital clock
0 (0.0%)

hour glass/minute glass
2 (33.3%)

other in comments
1 (16.7%)

elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Saturday, December 5th, 2015 09:11 am
Under the weather-ness continues.

My dad has been in the hospital for the past few days from a fall. Nothing is broken but he has some mysterious hip pain when he sets his foot on the floor. I hadn't been worried before, but going on 48 hours... I think the plan is to release him in to a rehab unit. He broke one ankle summer 2014 (the same summer i sprained two of mine). I'm not sure it is reassuring to know how being a klutz runs in my genes.

I read Phoenix in Shadow yesterday as a relaxing entertainment. In the evening, Christine wanted a "feel good movie." I don't tend to want feel good movies that make you feel too distressed before the feel good happens -- i'm sorry, but watching someone wrestle with whether their children are going to die is not entertaining even if i know the crochety doctor will find the solution in the end (per trailer for Extraordinary Measures). We watched RED 2 with Helen Mirren instead. (And she does her shooting barefoot in one scene, and her toes curl as she pulls the trigger.)
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Friday, December 4th, 2015 08:05 am
So, i've been under the weather and sleeping a good deal. Christine has been blue (anniversary of her mother's death, sibling relationships). We've had rain (yay), and i've realized how critical it is to have the bright light going.

I did buy a scanner on impulse-ish on Monday, when i stumbled upon a very good offer. At the very least, it's been motivation to throw out a ton of paper. Sitting next to a big file box and looking at documents has been a pleasant thing to do while resting. My first test scans were on paper that was clearly asking to jam. I've trimmed the jam-triggering curls off the edge and will see if the rest of this document will scan easily. It's copies of papers from a seminar i attended in college my junior year, i think. The two day seminar was on climate change, and motivated me to really want to change fields and help. I asked a faculty member about changing fields, and he -- in retrospect, pessimistically -- discouraged me, saying that it wasn't the science but the politics that needed addressing.

He was very right about the politics, don't misunderstand me, but i don't think staying my academic course was the right advice to give young student me.

Anyhow, lots of memorabilia in boxes that could be made much more accessible and inexpensive to move.

Hopefully the lingering cold will get bored and move on.
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Thursday, November 19th, 2015 03:33 am
Re bewailing my hotel:

The quirky story is even better in the full form -- it will be a good story to tell. Despite the good laugh Christine got when i told her, i don't think i'm ready to spin this yarn until i find out who pays for the uncanceled, unused reservation. (It won't matter in telling the story later, i just have a little anxiety about how the new corporate card and then new expense system work, and feel miserable at the thought of sorting it out with our financial staff. The bill for the new corporate card goes to the company, not me.)

I have a reservation at the hotel next to this one. I'm at the one a number of other folks urged me to stay at, but i already had made the reservation at the other one, which had some odd cancellation policy. I didn't realize there were two on this side of the highway.

So folks have been saying, "I'm a the X, where are you?" And i reply i'm at the Y. But i'm really at the X.

I have apparently been just squeaking past seeing folks at breakfast.

Meanwhile, the hotel charge tangle sits on top of a software architecture tangle. I couldn't fall to sleep last night with my usual ease. I think i've teased apart some of the issues, but i'm altogether unhappy. At least i found the issue now.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Tuesday, November 17th, 2015 04:37 am
I am so happy to have found that Ghirardelli chocolate is environmentally and socially sustainably sourced. Yippee!

I am feeling a little guilty about eating in with microwaved frozen entrees and carrots and olives and a nice but unexpectedly garlicky cheese. But why go out to eat? It's dark here before 6 pm, as well, which removes my usual woodland walks as an evening outing.

I'm in a flare, with various bits of my dermis screaming, "Itch, itch, itch," or at least presenting small swollen lumps of discomfort. Is that an excuse? (Or is staying in introducing too much temptation that i will go scratch scratch scratch?)

I was called upon to make a presentation today, a bit unexpected. Poor voice: i was trying to project to the large room, and i felt i was straining it a good bit. That and public speaking nerves. I feel i did well, so i'll pat myself on the back for that. One particular colleague engaged in a bit of eye-rolling around a particular response. This particular person seems to have an issue with our team or our team's work or something. And unfortunately, he's pretty highly placed in the organization.

[Next morning]

Christine and i had a very enjoyable long conversation last night. The topic itself was not very enjoyable, starting from the violence of Friday night in Paris. Christine's favorite contemporary philosopher, Slavoj Žižek[1], had been part of a round table discussing the film Children of Men, and she had just finished marking up her transcription of the discussion for her blog. (I don't see it at http://ideaspeak.us/2015/11/ ... maybe it's going up in an undated section?) Ten years out and the discussion (and presumably the film) is remarkably pertinent, she notes. I never watched the film -- it looked depressing, and i don't need help in that direction -- but i might read the book.

[1] It took a number of attempts at a phonetic spelling before Bing figured out which "philosopher and social critic" my following jumble of letters was supposed to mean.
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Monday, November 9th, 2015 06:01 am
Once a very very long time ago Christine and i were in one of the early coffee stores in Raleigh, a place where you could buy flavored coffee. One was labeled as flavored with the exotic Southern Pecan.

Pecans are native plants to the south east -- perhaps more the Mississippi valley than the Atlantic coast, but they are far less exotic than say, English walnut. We giggle about that to this day.

Recently we were looking at houses in region around our families in North Carolina. "A rare brick ranch" began one description. We looked at each other and completed the sentence: "With an exotic Souther Pecan." I swear, there is nothing rare about brick ranches in the area. Many date back to the 50s through 70s, as this one did. Rare! Pfft!

Apparently, i'm not going to be able to look at a listing for a brick ranch without rolling my eyes thinking about that listing, for a while. (Can't find it any more - must have been fixed.)

--== ∞ ==--

My 7 am meeting was cancelled, and i found out before dashing around to make it. Yay!

--== ∞ ==--

Posting a full work day after writing. Oops!


Thinking about subtle shifts in mood, energy, and health )
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Friday, November 6th, 2015 07:12 am
My energy for writing is better in the morning than in the evening: thus the doodles posted as entries. I'm feeling a touch overwhelmed by some meeting correspondence i need to do. As clerk for the next meeting for business, i posted our agenda in advance (first time for our meeting, a new practice), and i've gotten several responses that i feel need a thoughtful response. On the other hand, i feel the expectations of the internet day and age are immediate response. Thus, I balk.

Other parts of our Meeting's "Purpose and Vitality Tune-up" mean i have invest a great deal of energy in deeply listening to those in our meeting and am trying to assimilate all the input.

I guess this is similar to what i am doing at work: listening to the needs of the product teams and trying to assimilate all the input into a consistent implementation rather than the hodge-podge that is the actuality of the requests.

So, maybe it makes sense that my own life seems unattended to and that my head is very very full.

--== ∞ ==--

Just was speaking with Christine and couldn't remember the term for the in-system evernote message (Work Chat). "I've sent you a tweekle." Tweekle? Turns out both Tweekle.com and Tweakle.com are registered domain names.

--== ∞ ==--

Edward is refusing to go out this morning. Apparently, it's too cold. 47 °F
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Wednesday, October 28th, 2015 07:05 am
I've restrung and otherwise mended some necklaces that were in my beading box. Last night i tried making compositions for two new blue necklaces for myself. I think i've a focal pattern for one and the other will probably have a rhythm and not a focal point.

I've been fighting off the cold that brought Christine low last week. I felt pretty low energy on Sunday with a hint of sore throat. My chest hasn't felt completely clear. Today i feel the congestion in my head. None of these symptoms are particularly strong, just enough to suggest that i am fighting off something.

A conference is going on that i'm attending: meanwhile, work i have been engaged on for months is finally getting critical attention from borderline panicked people. I felt like a failure yesterday after the meeting: maybe it's the cold. Anyhow, i'll miss lunch at the conference today in order to return home and attend yet another meeting. Tomorrow i will be stepping out to attend two other work meetings.

I stumbled upon this macro and found it suited my mood after a Monday meeting. ("Huh, 'I can has cheezburger' is still a thing!")
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Sunday, October 18th, 2015 09:00 am
I flea'd the cats. Edward is glaring at me.

I will NOT will NOT bid on the gravy boat that is currently at $25 free shipping in our wedding china pattern that goes for $170 at Replacements. I will NOT. No more dishes expansion until we move, whenever that is.

Christine lands in two hours.

I probably can't get everything i planned to do over the past few days done in the next hours.
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Sunday, October 18th, 2015 07:06 am
Christine's flight home takes off in minutes. Meanwhile, those with an academic and postmodern bent may be interested in reading her talk: http://ideaspeak.us/you-are-here/ .

I spent yesterday threading beads on a double strand of monofilament. There's a clever technique where one does that, and then one can take a strand of yarn (or beading thread or what have you) through the loop of the monofilament and slide the beads off on to the yarn. I've been thinking about selling some of the beads and thought this would be helpful, but I feel an odd despair looking at the box of beads. So many ideas and hopes and projects....

[Rummaging at Firemountain Beads because i am irrepressible and have an idea.]

Hrmph. I am going to see if i can fix one of Christine's broken necklaces in the box. I don't need to buy a focal bead. I can just fix it with what is there.
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Saturday, October 3rd, 2015 08:14 am
Not that it matters, but i think Lost Girl's plots and writing went completely down hill after she met The Wanderer for the second time. The dialogue during the finale was awful. I was thinking, since that concludes the episodes available on Netflix, that perhaps they were canceled and their heart wasn't in it -- but no, there's a season five.

Anyhoo.

My brother's visit on Thursday afternoon went pleasantly, although i lost him in Target too many times. Got exercise doing laps around the store though while he collected Halloween candy, clothes for the kids, costumes, toys, and clothes for himself to take back to Singapore.

Did i mention that we bought new porcelain dishes? In my periodic "three things to make things better" i have been frustrated with the silverware marks on the stoneware. It's clear that scrubbing with something like Bon Ami is the answer, but it is a very annoying answer. I switched to our very nice flatware and that didn't make a difference. I've been pondering how we have plenty of fine porcelain plates (compared to how often we would use them), but they have a metallic rim. I saw a set of porcelain dishes marked down to roughly $10 a place setting (which is incredibly cheap) in a pattern that was agreeable and splurged. It is a whiter white than our fine porcelain pattern but the greys on both match. In general it doesn't look completely mismatched.

Meeting issues on my mind. Meeting a friend at the Sunnyvale Farmer's market before spending some hours in a clerking meeting discussing the state of the meeting.
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Sunday, September 27th, 2015 07:40 am
The week was pretty disjointed. Ill Tuesday and Wednesday, i fought to work through the day Tuesday, and read novels much of Wednesday. Early morning presentation by the executives at the company on Thursday left me dissatisfied after ninety minutes of platitudes and biz speak. Friday, another early meeting.

--== ∞ ==--

Yesterday was the Harvest Festival. I did some sales in the morning at our jewelry table (where the Swarovski rivoli earrings i made several years ago have still not sold). At "full price" from rummage i bought a dated Samsonite bag that will be perfect as a work tote ($1). (Aha, a quick image search turns up one from eBay; tweaked image search for SAMSONITE "SILHOUETTE 4" Pink Tweed".) I also acquired an apparently never opened small cuisinart-like device ($4). I don't know if it can chop herbs as finely as i would like, but i'd been thinking about trying to find something similar.

I returned at the end of the day to help with the jewelry booth, but the woman running it clearly did not want help. So i wandered the rummage during the period of everything that fits in a paper grocery sack for $3. Miracle of miracles the Calphalon 12" pan was left. Regrettably it's from the nonstick line, not the basic commercial grade simply hard-anodized surface. Also in the bag, yarn.

I tried very hard not to fill the bag, but, so it goes.

The evening effort of dissembling the tables, old doors and saw horses made of plywood, has left me stiff this morning. Of course, everything, including a few minutes Friday night going up and down stairs as minimal exercise, leaves me stiff.

--== ∞ ==--

$399,000 Mobile home in Half Moon Bay. There's a parcel number - so maybe the land is included? (It's also a 55+ community, so we'd have to wait... but it's not that far away.)

Now wondering if Pacific coast trailer parks, free of tornados, become tsunami magnets.....
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Monday, September 21st, 2015 05:32 am
This was a weekend of intense research into what plants i am likely to find in the Panoche Hills. I am now prepared to write for a collecting permit. I also polished some gold flatware and got a good photo of the full four place setting set of china. I've started the packing of the pieces, trying to make cardboard structures to cushion the china. I have done very little otherwise.

I was silly and thought i'd look at all rare plants in a large region, cutting out the ones that needed too much rain or were adapted to serpentine soils. After much sifting and review of observations, i think i excluded all the plants that weren't near by my place of interest. So.... i could have started with a limit just around my place of interest.

I do look forward to getting down to the hills again. The white hills fascinate me with the rhythmic repetitive curves and the wonderful interplays of light. This weekend was a bit of a heatwave. Today's high for the town near the hills is 101 °F. I think i need to get back into shape before i can manage that. Soon it will cool and we'll drive down after work some evening, stay in a hotel off I-5, and i'll wake at first light to go drive into the hills. I've picked a few exploration spots - areas where the soil types change. It seems like that will maximize the likelihood of finding interesting plants. There are a number of rare plants that are still in "bloom" at this time of year. The blooms are not very showy, but they're doing their part for the ecosystem. Indeed, the amaranth family may look "weedy" but the seeds are surely a food source for critters.

I blew off some responsibilities this weekend, and was terribly sedentary. Must get some movement in if field work is going to be pleasant!