Thursday, August 31, 2006

ciao for now

it's time for me to take a blogging break....i'm actually enjoying not turning the computer on for days at a time. the weather has broken just a bit and it feels like it's time to be more active outdoors. i'll still be here, just not as frequently.

i'll leave you with a pic that shows what progress is being made in the Inter-Species Compatibility Study occurring here in Tucson!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

photo sunday

well, here they all are!

angus is such a ham

the name 'simba' is going to have to go, though....i can never remember it and just call him 'kitty kitty'!

i'm open to suggestions--'buster' is a historic cat name from a good friend, but i'm not convinced this kitty is a 'buster' either. so, let me know what you think!

Friday, August 25, 2006

USA Today editorial 8/17/06

"President Bush has unilaterally declared what parts of new laws he wishes to enforce. He has created military tribunals unauthorized by Congress. And, perhaps most ominously, he has authorized eavesdropping on phone calls to and from the USA without court orders... Bush has done these things by simply asserting that the powers of the presidency enumerated in Article II of the Constitution — particularly the clause making him the "Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy" — are much more sweeping than previously imagined. In short, he has acted like a king." (August 17, 2006)

Read more here.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

we're still settling in

you'd think i'd have lots of photos to post, but the truth is we are all just getting used to one another. i don't see how Bad Patty and Loner do it, with all the mouths they are feeding! i feel quite challenged just by adding one itty bitty kitty to my household...THEY'VE got goats and ducks and chickens and dogs and cats and gosh knows what else!

every day is easier, and angus thinks simba is the very bestest dog toy ever invented. in between wishing he could just get his teeth into the little guy (in a friendly, playful way, mind you), he really wishes he could BE a kitty. angus is fascinated by the anti-gravity moves that simba displays.

and simba is getting used to being licked in the face by a loving, obstreperous puppydog.

if all goes according to my Master Plan, angus and simba will keep each other happily occupied for hours at a time, while sun bear and i enjoy some good quality time together in her sunset years.

yeah, right!

all is good....

Friday, August 18, 2006

meet simba!

simba was found by my girlfriend's daughter (the Sweet Sixteen-er from a few posts back) the other day on her way home from school. yeah, school started here on the 15th....anyway, he is here for a trial period over the weekend.

angus is transfixed, sun bear is a bit anxious, and simba is holding his own.

exploring the furniture

this looks promising

yup, definitely a kitty hidey hole here!

lap trance

Thursday, August 17, 2006


You Are an Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

On the surface, you're a little plain - but you have many subtle dimensions to your personality.
Sometimes you're down to earth and crunchy. Other times, you're sweet and a little gooey.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

today's inbox offering

and pretty darn funny too, unless you're a republican....

If you haven't seen this, you'll love it. A unique view of our president, but one that many feel isn't far off the mark!


here's a few photos of omani and angus from the other day. gotta say, i'm lovin' the digicam!

you can see that omani really is huge in comparison

a temporary respite

Sunday, August 13, 2006

photo sunday

i got a call late last night from Omani the dog's human, who asked me to dog-sit today. there goes yoga class! right now there seems to be a lull in the action, but for the last 2 hours it has been non-stop puppy play. (it's quiet because i left angus outside to have a treat that the other 2 dogs gobbled up in seconds....angus tends to get so distracted that he won't eat, and then the others circle him waiting for their chance to snatch it away.)

i'm happy to have a chance to post some more Minnesota pictures. here's a few from our riverboat ride.

here is the Harriet Bishop

this is a marina, with all the boats in their boat garages!

a riverside gas station

bridge 15 swings open for us to pass through

Lonnie the bridge tender gives us a smile

happy us, tourists for an afternoon!

Friday, August 11, 2006

back in the saddle in tucson

i've been crazy busy since i got back and it's not letting up for the weekend. i'm going to a Sweet Sixteen party tonight up in Oracle, and tomorrow night some other friends are hosting their 21st annual Corn Roast....they buy about 10 bushels of corn and roast them in a pit fire in their yard along with green chilis. it's awesome!

here are some pix from my trip, there will be more later. right now i am baking oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for tonight, so my posting will be a little spotty as i have to tend to the oven.

here's sweetie and cooterang and ava out fronta cootie's house in Iowa City

and here's GUS THE POOG with his human in the background

this is blogger mary and her daughter kiran in front of the Golden Fig/River Chocolate Company on Grand Avenue in Saint Paul (they are closed on Mondays, or i'd have taken a picture of their handmade truffle assortment as well!)

Monday, August 07, 2006

thanks Justitia!

You Are A Fig Tree

You are very independent and strong minded.
A hard worker when you want to be, you play hard too.
You are honest and loyal. You hate contradiction or arguments.
You love life, and you live for your friends, children, and animals.
A great sense of humor, artistic talent, and intelligence are all gifts you possess.

end-of-vacation blues approaching

it seems like we are either very busy or very tired--but then again we've had a really active social life for the past several days! and sweetie and i both tend to be more reclusive than outgoing, but we've really enjoyed ourselves.

we had breakfast (the "North Woods Omelette"--wild rice, mushrooms, bacon, and hollandaise sauce!) this morning with one of his bridge-mates and her significant other, and then a late lunch with another blogger buddy (HEY Mary and Kiran!), and just enough time to walk back to the apartment and take a half-hour nap before it was time for sweetie to get up and go to work. we are simply STUFFED with all of this good food and company!

i have to say that it's been really fun to meet fellow bloggers on this trip!

yesterday while he was at work i did all the laundry and changed the bed and straightened up the apartment, so this time i think i'll call a friend that i know from "wayback" in tucson!

rich and i were in the same band for awhile (, but he moved back to his home town of Minneapolis a couple of years ago, and is happy to be back from the desert. he has already encouraged me to move here--which his girlfried from Boulder did this past spring.

of course i've already had the thought--and it makes perfect sense when i'm here. but i'll get back to my little desert house and my doggies and my clients and friends, and then it will make perfect sense to be THERE. we need to figure out a way to keep having the winters in tucson, and come here for the rest of the year.

i don't know why i used to disdain snowbirds; they've actually got a great thing going if they can afford to have 2 homes in 2 gorgeous places! i'd be happy with a storage locker vs. a home in Tucson, but would need to pare down a lot. a WHOLE lot....

anyway, we're saving tomorrow for US. i've loved the going and doing, but now just want a day to be with my sweetie before we are parted once again.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

whirlwind trip to....IOWA?

wow, we just got back (from the whirlwind trip to Iowa) in the nick of time for sweetie to get to work (4-midnight tonight & tomorrow). i need to catch y'all up on our last couple of days!

friday we got another late start (midnight-8 shift is a killer!) to drive up to Taylor's Falls so that we could get in a canoe and paddle down to Osceola along the St. Croix River. we got there at about 3:00 and had until 6:00 to make it down that 7-mile stretch, where a bus would take us back to the Interstate Park where we left the car.

the weather was sublime, the river was clean and clear, and the wind was right in our faces! it actually felt great to be in a canoe again--for the first time in about 30 years--and i'm happy to say i've still got great style with a canoe paddle even if i do have a pulled right trapezius now. ha. sweetie was smart enough to suggest that i bring my bicyling gloves, and they helped enormously!

we stopped a time or two to dip into the river. we thought we had to hurry to make that bus ride back to Taylor's Falls, but figured out before too long that we had plenty of time and no rushing was necessary. it was really a wonderful afternoon.

it stays light so long here--i thought arizona had a lot of daylight, and we do intensity-wise, but length-wise minnesota has us beat. we took a lesiurely drive back to Saint Paul and stopped at a local pizza bar for a slice and stromboli to go.

next day we slept in again, mostly out of habit, but really tried to get on the road by noon to drive down to Iowa City to see my friend Ava and to meet our blogger friend Cooter!

sweetie suggested that we drive south on 61, hugging the river south and east, which was quite beautiful but also quite time-consuming. there are a slew of little river towns along the way (read that: 30 mph) and it seemed as though most of them were having River Days Festivals, so the sidewalks were full of looky-lous and the highway was full of biker fleets and minivans. in between these little towns the roadway was curved and shady, with the wonderful smell of river filling the car. beautiful old houses and homesteads, mixed with newer construction, were fun to look at as we passed by, but it soon became apparent that we wouldn't make IC by 6:30.

turns out we were about an hour late, but thanks to cell phones we all met up at George's Tavern and quickly walked to Devotay's for an excellent meal of vegetarian paella, elk steak, lamb chops, and "house" paella. we left Ms. Cooter with the promise of a morning visit and then followed Ava back to her place for the night. it was wonderful to see her again and catch up on some of our exploits in the past few years, and her 2 granddaughters came over at 10:30 to share the dessert sweetie & i brought from the local bakery here.

we actually got up early so that we could enjoy a full breakfast and lots more talking with Ava, then all of us drove across town to see Cooter's new house which was so's an older home, small and cozy, on a wonderfully hilly street, and just right for her and GUS THE POOG (and the 2 cats). we sat and shared the last of the dessert ("lemon drop cake roll") and some coffee, and at 10:00 we were off.

"oh," says Cooter, "i can make it to saint paul in 4 hours if i go 80 to 35!" all we can say is, Cooter, you must leave tracks! we were on the highway proper by 10:30, stopped once for a pee call and once for gas--and barely got here at, not pointing any fingers here, but we averaged 75-80 mph....

i have pix but am not sure i can download them with sweetie's software, so will err on the side of caution and wait for him to help me. then y'all are in for it!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

another full day

sweetie's working graveyard tonight and last night, so time is very weird....add my 2-hour time difference to the mix and you'll understand why i'm still awake at this hour!

we hit the thrift store today for "domestication" purposes: to wit, sweetie still lives like a bachelor, and i'm here to help!...the thrift store was huge and full of those "only one" kinda deals....a nice well-matted photograph of a purple iris for 49 cents, cotton flannel sheets for 4 bucks, etc.

that took awhile, and when we were maxxed out on the shopping experience we drove out and picked up sweetie's older son, and then all of us continued out to sweetie's brother's house which is on a big lake.

this was my first "family meeting" and while i was initially a bit nervous, all went well! sweetie's bro, and bro's girlfriend, are easy-going likeable folks; and bro's 2 sons (7 and 9) are full of energy and life. we went out for a boat ride on the lake, and sweetie's son and the 2 boys rode on a giant inflatable raft towed behind the boat. can't really call it water-skiing but it looked like a ton of fun!

we parked the boat in the middle of the lake and sweetie and i jumped in for a swim. it is so much fun to be in and around fresh water! my last boating exeriences took place in the gulf of mexico, back in the days when my son was a wee one, and it's surely different to have fresh water vs. the salty stuff to play in.

since we got a late start on the day, we only had time to drop sweetie's son off and come back to saint paul before sweetie headed in to work. NOW i understand why the guy is a little fried by friday night; his schedule is hell on those circadian rhythms as he works such different shifts every day. makes me realize how lucky i am to have the work schedule i do....

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

blogging from minnesota!

my first full day in minnesota and i'm a happy girl....i arrived last night around rush hour and we pretty much just went back to sweetie's and had dinner and slept.

but today, sweetie and i did a tourist-y riverboat ride which we both really enjoyed. we had the added thrill of an emergency docking because a woman had been stung by a yellowjacket, and needed to get some medical care asap. there is a cement ramp on the river about halfway along the 2-hour tour course, where the riverboats can put down a gangway, and the emt's met the boat there. very exciting, and i'm sure she was ok as she was able to walk off the gangway to meet the med techs without any assistance.

then we drove to a nearby lake for a quick swim which was very refreshing. so much water, and how green it is here! it's such a contrast from the stark (but also beautiful) aridity of my desert clime.

after our swim we headed southeast to hastings to attend a traditional sweat lodge that sweetie has been to about 3 times. i had not been in a lodge like that for years, and it was sweet to recall the more traditional ways of sweating.

when i first came to arizona, i was invited to participate in a few traditional sweat lodges, so my first experiences with this ancient and beautiful ritual of prayer and purification were in a similar vein. crawling in on hands & knees, clockwise around the fire pit....firetender bringing the rocks in one at a time, seven per round, and then closing the door flap....the utter, pitch darkness and womb-like feeling of the lodge....the leader giving a little talk about why we are here, and how the sweat will be conducted....singing, drumming, shakers, and heat....opening the door flap for air and, after a time, the next bunch of hot rocks.

it was a spacious lodge compared to those i have been in before, so there was actually room to shift position a little bit. the leader was a dakota elder who has been leading that lodge for about 10 years. his words were sage, humorous, and humble. we did 3 rounds with new rocks each time, and the 4th was lots of water on the 21 rocks there. during the 3rd round we went around the circle and prayed aloud, individually. one man sang and drummed softly as we each spoke in turn. it was good.

afterwards a feast: corn on the cob, buffalo stew, hummus, olives, ice cream: emptying out to fill again. a wonderful time indeed!

pixs to come later on...