Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Leavin' on a Jet Plane

I'm still here in Boulder, but my mind is already across the great wide ocean. I wouldn't normally quote John Denver, but the song is rolling around in my head like a soundtrack for this week. Work has been tedious these past few days, and so it is that much harder to concentrate on getting anything done. We leave Friday morning, and I'm mostly ready (except for packing and arranging transport to the airport).

I thought I'd tell you about Fern and little Jake. Fern is the little old lady that lives across the way from us (I could say "street", but there is no paved road anywhere near my house, so we like to pretend that it's just wide open space). We met her one day last week while we were out walking Ruby. I wish I had a picture of her, she has such a wonderful, weathered old face. Her wrinkles and creases are deeply defined, and I like to think of how many smiles and laughs it must have taken to carve them like that.

Fern lost her dog of 15 years earlier this year. I think she's a widow, she mentioned grandchildren but not her husband. I can't imagine how hard it must have been to lose her longtime canine companion, especially if he was the only companion she had left. The area where we live is very remote, and I can already tell how easy it is to isolate and become lonely.

A couple of months ago, Fern went down to the humane society and adopted a six-year-old beagle, named Jake. He's a fierce little thing, with a full gray muzzle. He's a barker, very protective of Fern and of his "yard" (couple of acres of land bordering on our road). As soon as Jake spotted Alex, Ruby and I walking on the road, he cranked up the volume on the barking, straining at his leash to get to us. Ruby is, of course, deaf as a post, so she didn't react to the barking at all, just the appearance of another dog (look! friend! playmate!). She walked right up to Jake, who was barking so hard he looked like he might fall over with the effort. It wasn't until Ruby was about a foot away that she realized something was wrong, it was either the vibration of his barking or the blasts of air to her face that caught her attention. She cocked her head at him, then leaned down a little further toward him......and he stopped. The tail started wagging, there was much sniffing of behinds, and no more barking. I felt comfortable kneeling down and offering him my hand, and he came over and let me pet him.

Fern says it was a good sign that Jake liked us, that he knows things about people. It's the first step in becoming part of our 'hood.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

One of the Good Guys

Former Texas Governor Ann Richards Dies

It's a sad day. The world needs more women who are smart, funny, gracious, and unfraid to say what they think, and mean what they say.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The View From Up There

This is my boy, admiring our view.

I've been trying to keep a list of stuff to post, but it gets away from me. There is really too much going on as I prepare for our LONG VACATION(!). That's right, Alex and I are leaving on holiday next week, so blogging will be light for about three weeks (unless I feel the urge to post from some lovely little village in Italy, which I sincerely doubt).

In the meantime, here's a short list of stuff I might eventually tell you about:

    trash on the sidewalk at work
    coyotes in my driveway
    Fern and little Jake

I'm out.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The "Vacation"

So, where to start? It's such a long and sad tale of woe.

My grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last month. They're wonderful, lovely people, and I love them dearly. I spent every summer with them for the first 15 or so years of my life, and in the years since, I've visited them in Florida about once a year. For the past three years, they've come to Boulder in the summers and spent about 6 weeks with us.

This year, we wanted to do something special for their big anniversary. After much discussion between my mom, my sister and myself, we decided that renting a houseboat on Lake Powell for a few days was a good plan. It's pretty expensive, and a long drive from Boulder, but we agreed to split the costs and decided each kid could bring a friend so they a) wouldn't be bored and b) wouldn't pester us all day long.

My sister flew out from California, and we left for Lake Powell the next morning. We got to the marina at about 6pm, at which point the leasing office was closed - but they'd left us a note with our boat number and told us to have a good night and to check in for paperwork in the morning.

To make this already long story short, the boat had fucking mice. Aggressive, taunting mice that would sit on the counters at night and casually help themselves to our food. The leasing office told us there wasn't anything they could do - they're not allowed to kill them (it's a national park), and "mice are a fact of life in the desert." We decided to give it a try and set out for parts unknown in the big lake.

The second night with mice was even worse, and I got no sleep again. The next morning, I told my family that we needed to head back, because one more night without sleep was going to turn me into a complete raving lunatic. That's a bad thing. Plus, it's really not much of a vacation. Everyone agreed, we headed back, drove home that same day. One thing I will say for the leasing company, they refunded our entire rental fee. Pretty cool of them.

P.S. I didn't even go into the typhoon-like weather that hit the afternoon of our one-and-only day on the boat.

Worth Watching

Even Stevphen - Islam vs. Christianity

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Overheard at Work

"I'm sorry, I can't make it that day. I have roller derby try-outs."

Friday, September 01, 2006

I'm Still Here

Exhausted, but still here.

I have blog fodder for days with stories of foiled vacations, aggressive mice, endless trips up and down a winding mountain road. As soon as I catch my breath and get more than 5 hours of sleep, I'll work on more posts. For now, here's a picture of my dog on her new deck.