Friday, February 22, 2008

celebrity breast cancer

I'm not really into celebs with breast cancer. They are too young (average age at diagnosis in the US is 62) and thin and rich. But I downloaded Sheryl's "Make it go away (the radiation song)". It was a week before I dared listen to it. And it brought the experience back so intensely I was shaken. Radiation doesn't hurt and doesn't make you sick. And I really lucked out with a one week course and a radiology staff that was wonderful. But it scared me, and Sheryl reminded me of that.

Last weekend I talked to Uncle Pat and Aunt Barbara. (I should have done this earlier.) I an totally incapable of pretense with any of my aunts and uncles, and they all know me too well. This was very helpful. I explained to Pat, "Now that it's over I can say it wasn't a big deal. And it is over, and unlikely to cause more trouble. But at the time I complained a lot and I was very upset!".

How nice to be able to say that! And to listen to someone else say it in song.

Monday, February 18, 2008

it got warm

I was awakened last night by a crash in the garden. It had gotten warm and the 6 foot ice phallus had collapsed.

It's early yet - might get cold again.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

damn redpolls

Did the math today - these birds are eating $10 of sunflower seeds a week.

Friday, February 15, 2008

try to think of it as ice art

A pipe drips water, and this phallus of ice is created in the garden. I think I kicked over a two foot version months ago.

This one is at least six feet.

Maybe I will kick it down before gravity takes its course.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

way too cold for little dogs

Too cold. Sookie, even with layers of coats and little booties, can't come to the dog park with us. The temperature has hovered around
-20 to +10 for weeks. I'm not complaining. It's been -50 to -70 in the Interior. And I used to live there, and I've experienced those temperatures. For seconds at a time, it's thrilling. You wonder, "Will I survive? Will I be able to get to work? Will the planes fly today? Can I breathe? Why does the sky look like that? Look, ravens can fly."

But for most of the day, cold like that is grueling. You wear so many layers of clothes that you can go outside and survive. But it takes so long and so much energy to get dressed that there is nothing left to DO anything. On Saturday afternoon you think "Should I go out to a movie? Is it worth the discomfort and the very real risk? Or should I just sit here and admire the chickadees at the feeder? Watch the moose graze along the path I shoveled?"

Anchorage isn't so bad. And we are up to more than 8 hours of daylight.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Goodbye to all that #2

too many redpolls

I started with two small feeders and a block of suet. I would fill the feeders and come home (after dark) to find them empty. The redpolls are back.

These birds form huge flocks. In a give year I will see none, dozens, or thousands. And I can't believe how much they eat. I added another feeder. Watching the feeding frenzy on Sunday afternoon,I started throwing the seed directly on the ground for them. That works.

The thing is, I don't like redpolls very much. They are curiously lacking in personality. When they mob the feeders the chickadees, nuthatches, and purple finches disappear. A flock of redpolls has none of the grace and excitement a flock of bohemian waxwings brings.

But it's ten below zero, so I'll keep feeding them. And I'll be relieved when they disappear.

Friday, February 1, 2008

one block wonder

Ever since I saw the stack'n'whack quilt Aunt Anne made for her grandson John, I have longed to make one. I bought the books and had three minor disasters. The nice little triangles I made can still be used, but not for this technique.

Stack'n'whack and one-block-wonders are particularly obsessive variations of the quilters' art. Start with a wonderful fabric. A lovely fabric. A perfectly lovely fabric. Then cut it up and sew it together again.

I know this makes no sense at all.

So I took a class last Sunday. I think I have it.


I love my reptile and amphibian friends because they don't bully me like the mammals and birds in my life.

My snake is easy to read. I feed her when she looks around for food, and leave her alone when her eyes are hooded and she is ready to shed.

The frog is harder. From time to time he estivates. Estivate means he hangs out in his hide box, buried in moss, for weeks. He sheds during this process, pulling his skin into his mouth with his little forelegs. But I can't tell when he is going to do this. Or when he is done.

Unlike my mild-mannered corn snake, the frog is an irritable character who bites whenever he can.

But of course, I am nuts about him anyway,