Happy Year of the Dog!

3604F700-4A5C-4B8B-9F05-DE04C6ADE151-25105-00000D5E840ECA20_tmpThat is a little dog named Stone. He’s semi-feral, but hangs out at M’s boyfriend’s mother’s studio in Qingdao. I think he’s lovely. They’ve made a little house for him because he won’t come inside the studio itself.

I’m exhausted.

We’re trying out a new catalog at work — that is very fun. The trainer has gone away, which means I’m trying to make up all the exercise classes I missed over xmas, new year’s, January and February. It’s going very well and I am exhausted.

We went for a wildflower hike on Saturday.

Here are a hound’s tongue and a fetid adder’s tongue for you.

Sunday, I was in charge of an event. We hung out at a local lake and a) had scopes for people to look at birds on a nearby island b) took them on a bird walk c)had post cards for them to sign in support of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

It was a good idea and a worthy cause and we did get 115 postcards signed, which is not nothing. But it was tiring, and I was worried before hand that some terrible unforeseen even would happen, etc.

M made the drawings for the postcards (for sale soon on her etsy site! MaddyTarrDonahue.etsy.com) . I think it went well. It was also complicated because there was a social component. But honestly, it was a success. I’m just tired.

I think I actually learned a lot and would do a few things differently — and we have enough postcards to do it again. I’ll check with my posse and see if they are willing.

Today, though — I have today off! I should clean the house — that could honestly occupy a month. I should call my mother. I should read my book for my book group (The Immortalists).

Honestly, I’m hoping a friend calls and wants to go to the garden store or on a hike.

Anyway, I am sure I will feel much more energized once I have finished my coffee. I do have the laundry underway.

Happy Presidents’ Day! (Present President excepted.)





lynch canyon 1

There is so much going on!

We are exploring a new catalog at work, which I think I like. And, surprisingly, just trying it out is interesting and fun.

I’ve been birding a lot. I went to a great new place called Lynch canyon on Saturday. It was windy and beautiful.

grinding holes lynch canyon

Those are Indian grinding holes — places where native Americans ground acorns into flour. It was a good spot for it — near a creek and a lot of oak trees.

oak lynch canyon

It was a lovely walk.

Sunday I drove over to the coast and met up with a birding group.

trees pescadero creek

We were looking for raptors, and found lots of kites, northern harriers, kestrels, red-shouldered and red-tailed hawks. It was amazing, actually.

coastal prairie pescadero creek

A further walk up the river didn’t yield much more, but it was beautiful.

riparian landscape pescadero creek

Oh! We saw lots of Allen’s hummingbirds, which are a glorious orange. (Sorry, no pictures!)

It was cold and windy. I came home and watched the Olympics and fell asleep — tired and cold.

And now I am still tired. It’s tiring being outside all day in the wind.

In further news, I finally got the Christmas tree out of the house. Shocking, I know, but I think I’ve been really busy.

I’m reading the new Philip Pullman book, La belle Sauvage, and enjoying it very much. I used to be a voracious reader, but in recent times not so much — in the first place, I’m more interested in non-fiction than fiction these day. Secondly, I’m busy, and there’s news to watch and be outraged by which takes an enormous amount of time. It takes a lot to get me wrapped up in a novel so that I’d rather read it than do anything else, but I’m feeling that way about la belle Sauvage. I also listed to it on audible on the drive to the coast and back, and the reader is very good. In any case, I’m going to go eat lunch, now, and read the last part of it.

flowering currant pescadero creek

Happy early spring!


Happy Saturday! I’m off to the post office with 30 postcards for an election in Pennsylvania. It’s warm here, so I’m wearing shorts. Don’t shoot me. It’s also windy. Then I guess I should come home and clean the house, because it really needs it and I’ll be out tomorrow. However, I’m not really feeling it.

Last weekend I was watching M packing up for China. She’s back there now — Alex’s company (he and a friend are starting a stop-motion animation company) is doing well, which means that the studio is expanding, and M and Alex, who have been living upstairs from the studio, will be moving into an apartment. The place they’re in is nice — it’s an actual house (they’re far enough from the center of Beijing that such a thing is possible) in a little neighborhood of houses. It’s got a yard, and it’s fairly big — the studio plus a kitchen, three bedrooms and a bathroom downstairs, and three bedrooms, two baths and a big living room upstairs. M has a nice studio upstairs, and they have a nice big bedroom with another room off of it.  It seems a little sad to me to be losing such a nice, big space, but the apartments they are looking at are in another nice neighborhood (they’re called gardens)  a 15 minute walk away. M says she will go back to the studio for lunch every day (it will be good for her to see people). And it will be exciting for them to have their own apartment and kitchen.

It’s also unbelievable cheap, apparently because they’re outside the 5th ring.

I can’t believe she’s been gone less than a week. We’d got used to having her around. I think we’re still adjusting to being just the two of us. In fact, I’m sure of it. Anyway, I may not get around to all the cleaning up I’m intending, and that’s probably ok. Possibly by next week I will have summoned the strength to face the basement, which is the key to all further cleaning.

There must be a way of balancing what you ought to do with what you would like to do. It doesn’t help that there are so  many things you ought to do — exercise, see friends, clean the house, read books. It’s overwhelming! It doesn’t help that we now have to spend 5 hours a day reading news/writing postcards/calling government officials/arranging resistance events.

But surely leaving the house is the first step, so I’m off to the post office.