Cactus, windmills, and Happy Winter Solstice

Oh blogsie, how I’ve missed you.
my friend Cris and I took a road trip the other day out to the windmills near Palm Springs. We did some photography and had some date shakes at Hadleys, and did some catching up. My favorite spot for photos was this little cluster of cacti. I thought it had been through a fire, but on closer inspection it didn’t appear that anything else around it had ever been burned. I guess it’s just from drought, but I’ve never seen any plant life get so dead and then come back to life. It must only stay alive way, way down in its roots. It’s a very humanoid looking gathering of Cholla. About 3 minutes into photographing it, I suddenly felt that old sense of being responsible for looking out for my friend, in case she’d never been around Cholla before. You don’t just look down when you hike around that kind of cactus, you have to keep looking down. You have to make sure one of those harmless looking chunks of the plant doesn’t cling to your foot. Sure enough, Cris had already found a cluster clinging to her foot, and then had it stick to her hand when she tried to get it off. And I had gotten a piece in my boot while on my way over to her. We both should have been supervised.








Advertisements

OC Fair with the siblings

The fair is in town!
My siblings and I all met up at the fair in OC for Lisa and Ian’s birthdays. We stayed there an incredible 8 hours -probably 9 for Lisa, Chad and Sam. We just kept finding more stuff to do. We only left because the sun had gone down and we were chilly. It seemed like we checked out everything. I was a little intimidated by the food thing, since I’ve been eating so good. I thought I’d end up eating Fair food and puking it all back up. We found plenty of fruits and vegetables, though, and I ate to my heart’s content. I fell in love with a baby goat, and was letting her chew on my hand until I realized I was bleeding. Apparently cuteness blocks pain.
We also watched the pig races, since Lisa’s pet pig is so awful and mean and we all wanted to remember what he looked like back when he was cute. I had completely forgotten. We also made it to the hypnotist show, and it was worth the wait. That guy is so good. He had all of his participants in a trance and was making them do the wierdest things. One of the women up there had a lot of trouble snapping out of it, and I was on standby with my zoom lens to take it all in. I didn’t post her pics though, since I try not to use this blog to humiliate people other than myself.
It was a wonderfully hot day in OC.
IMG_3089

IMG_3114

IMG_3118

IMG_3119

IMG_3126

IMG_3129

IMG_3133

IMG_3143

IMG_3145

IMG_3156

IMG_3163

IMG_3167

IMG_3174

IMG_3176

IMG_3179

IMG_3211

IMG_3251

Laguna Beach, July 4th

I spent the 4th in Laguna Beach, as I often do. I looked forward to it all week, knowing that I’d be spending the day with some of my favorite people. We grilled and cooked all day and hung out at my sister’s house, and I made a vegan dish for grilling (on the stove) and also a vegan dessert. My niece is vegan, and I’ve been loving vegan food lately. We had a bunch of other delicious food as well. At sundown, Tim and I hiked up to the top of the nearest hill and watched the show from up there. There was a wonderful view of all of Laguna coast, from top to bottom. We could also see up towards Long Beach, where the fireworks show was just little sparks from up there. We could see the fireworks inland (Aliso Viejo?) and the glow over the horizon of a very exuberant show in Dana Point. The brightest fireworks lit up the water and the coastal homes. We had little kids sitting by us, oohing and ahhing, too.
_MG_5167

_MG_5173

_MG_5197

_MG_5210

_MG_5222

_MG_5237

Camping pics

Here are the pics from our camping weekend, where we celebrated my mom’s retirement and enjoyed Tim’s excellent cooking. The entire family made it out there.
I got up early on Saturday morning and got a little time to myself, which I used to photograph the Joshua Tree next to our tent with the moon, and the sun hitting the rocks beyond our campsite. We were guests of Caryn’s and got to enjoy the ranger campsite. I am now spoiled for camping up there. We also saw a desert tortoise, which I put in a previous post, and a baby rattlesnake. Tim saw a coyote while I only heard them, at 3 a.m. on Sunday.
We had several friends up there as well, and we gave mom a cake and sang a round of “For She’s A Jolly Good Fellow”. We had tried to make it at least a little bit of a surprise for her, but she had grown suspicious early on. She is, after all, a mother of four.
We all had a great time.
_MG_5038

_MG_5052

_MG_5053

_MG_5055

_MG_5073

JUNE09 039a

JUNE09 049

JUNE09 057

_MG_5080

_MG_5105

_MG_5141

_MG_5072

JUNE09 060

_MG_5145

_MG_5155

_MG_5158

_MG_5159

_MG_5131

Petcam at BBQ

We celebrated my mom’s retirement over the weekend in the Joshua Tree National Park, camping both nights and celebrating with BBQ and cake on Saturday. The whole family and many of her friends were there, and we all had a wonderful time. I’m editing/ retouching the pics right now. I also brought my petcam, and clipped it to the dog for a while. After I realized that the dog was probably going to be laying by the picnic table for a long time, I clipped it to my shirt and continued with my evening. The little camera took pics every 3.5 min until I went ahead and put it away because it was getting dark.

MARS0001

MARS0002

MARS0004

MARS0011

MARS0014

MARS0015

MARS0016

MARS0017

MARS0022

MARS0025

Kicking off the summer with Paella

My boyfriend Tim lives across the street from an Elk’s Lodge, so he and all of his friends in the area all joined together. It started out as a small group, when I met him in ’05, but now it’s a pretty large group of them. They have a great bar there, and a huge kitchen. Tonight, to kick off the beginning of the summer and to break in the huge Paella pan that Tim bought his friend Billy for his birthday, Billy made us all a great big Paella. He used fresh, delicious seafood, chicken, and a whole mess of other delicious ingredients and cooked up enough for about 20 people. Tim was stirring it with what was pretty much a small oar.
We definitely plan to do this again.

P6071593

P6071594

P6071597

P6071599

P6071604

P6071608

P6071609

P6071614

Junior, the 26 toed-cat

My friend Emely has a cat with quite a few extra toes. His name is Junior, and he has 26 toes, which is one toe less than the cat in the Guiness Book of World Records. They’re called Hemingway Cats, or Polydactyl Cats. We had at least one or two when I was a kid. Junior is an extra large cat, and acts like a dog. A dog that fetches lollipops and only when they’re in the wrapper. When he is standing up and facing you, it looks like he is wearing oven mitts. He is actually kinda hard to photograph in all his glory, but I still tried last month when we were having girls’ night at Emely’s house.
Junior 1

P5021314

Emely got the best view of his feet, though, when he was using his paws as hands and helping himself to her ice cream: