Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thoughts On February

February is one of the best months of the year, hands down. It is the shortest month of the year and that is always a cheerful thing. It is also unique in that it is the only month that gets an extra day every four years. And the very best part of February is that no matter how the ground hog calls it, spring is coming!!! I love how February is often full of the destruction of winter with a tempestuous March just around the corner. It makes spring seem that much more vibrant after the last ditch effort of snow, ice, and cold. Especially if the month starts with snow!
February is a month full of important birthdays. Well, besides the obvious ones we celebrate for Lincoln and Washington there are many more. For instance, there is Bill Mumy, Don Everly, Clark Gable, Me, Farrah Fawcett, Norman Rockwell, Rosa Parks, Charles Lindburgh, Jonathan, Red Buttons, Ronald Reagan, Sarah Palin, Sonny Bono, Jacit, JaLeen, Cyndi Calvert and Steve Irwin. I used to share my birthday with a little boy...well, since we are the same age, I guess that is not the right phrase! Anyway, we had a birthday or two together when we lived in Homer. I wonder where Jimmy is today?

This last week, I looked in the mirror and had to laugh. (Which really didn't seem to help much.) I noticed more wrinkles than I have ever seen before (someone once told me that EO was bad on your skin!)! I am not sure if they are wrinkles or impressions left by leather stamps or laugh lines. I think I'll go with laugh lines. I like the idea of the amusing parts of life being etched on my skin. OK, I don't LIKE it, but it is more bearable! I also saw a few more sparkly strands on my head. Growing up in Alaska, when you saw white on top of the mountains we called it termination dust and winter was on the way. OUCH! I am not going to try to dye them away, but it is a bit distressing. Not as distressing as the distinct touch of gravity I found about my person. No, it was not the solemn staid kind that ones gains over time to show maturity. It was more of the kind discovered by our hero, Sir Isaac Newton, that pulls, distends, and distorts. As I survey the ravages of this rather interesting law, I show profound skepticism on how exercise can put things back the way they were. Is exercise not more pulling, distorting, and distending only in other ways? Definitely needs more thought.

February also has great holidays in it. I mean, really, how awesome is a holiday that celebrates a day dedicated to a rodent weatherman??? I love Ground Hog's Day (the movie, too!). Then, we get the President's birthdays (2 of my favorite movie scenes from Bing Crosby's Holiday Inn!) and to top off the whole month there is Valentine's Day. I ADORE Valentine's Day! It is such a cheerful, fun, happy holiday. Even when you are sad, seeing silly overblown hearts can make you smile. Especially if they are sitting with overstuffed bears holding candy. When the boys were small, I used to make heart biscuits for dinner and stick Valentine's in their lunches. They grew out of that, but I still love hearts. I wear heart earrings every day I can in February and my favorite pairs are the ones that look like tiny conversation hearts.

Romance and relationships are the highlight in this month and because of this I have a certain bunch of books I like to read. This confuses many people because the author is not a typical romance author. In fact, she is a SF Fantasy writer. Mostly just SF, but if you devote a few days to her works you will soon realise how all of her books deal with strong relationships of some kind. Now, I have not read many of the books Todd has written, but Anne Mc Caffrey is a beautiful read for February. The Killashandra trio ties music and sound and light and memories into a very colorful saga that may make you cry. The brainship stories (and the ones others have written with her) describe relationships that exist beyond the known stars. Sassinak and Generation Warriors highlight relationships that change an entire solar system and more! Then, there are the books Anne is most famous for, Pern. The love the riders have for their dragons, the passion the people of Pern have to survive, and the intensity of their relationships that exist in these novels is incredible! Go ahead and try one! I do read another author in February. On the 14th I read The Blue Castle by LM Montgomery. A friend of mine and I used to borrow it from the library tag team. Then, I bought it in a used book sale and got a copy for her on Valentine's day. So, that is my Valentine's Day read.

Speaking of LM Montgomery she put a phrase in one of her Anne books that I loved. She said that 'amethysts looked like the souls of violets'.. Or something like that!!! This is one of the other super awesome things about February, the color purple (NOT the movie). My all time favorite gem is an amethyst, with opals coming in on a close second. When I was a teen I went to an amethyst mine with my grandma and mom. (I won't inflict any pix on you of that time as the teen in the photos was VERY late 70's!) However, the place was amazing!!! Granted, not all amethysts are purple, but the majority of them are.

So, on this eve of January, I welcome you all into February! As the days grow longer in this shortest of months may they glow with snow and sun and the promise of spring.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Something about Snow, Winter, and Camping

It was not a nice looking day around 10am on Saturday morning, but packs were packed and cars were loaded and off they went! It may not be a Great Adventure, but it would be interesting!

They found a site and proceeded to set up camp. Digging the firepit was the worst part of the whole campout. Well, that and having the wind blow the rainfly partially off the tent at 2am! (Jon suggested that the pit took more calories to make than they had in dinner.) All in all, the set up took them pretty much the entire day! Last year the snow was about 15 ft deep, this year it was a little more than 5. So, in that light, things were easier. However, it did snow on them and rain and blow. Maybe it was going to be an adventure!

Sunday they did lots of snow things. Jon learned how to snowshoe. He said it wasn't that hard, just a LOT of work. You had to be very deliberate about how you walked. Some of the guys went sledding, too. If we ever learn how to post videos, we'll share those. Someone had made a giant snowman and left it as a sentinal on the hill. Not sure what the Scout is discussing with him here, but it makes a good photo.

Jon also found this very wierd thing that no one could identify. So, of course, Jon had to photograph it! He took at least 500 pictures this weekend plus videos. I am sure if you visit, Jon would be glad to share them with you!
Monday morning they loaded back up and came home. Minutes from their sojourn in the snow, the landscape was bare and blue. It is good to have him home and after washing all his camping clothes the house is almost back to normal. And as Jon listened to the wind this evening, he remarked that he was very glad to have a roof over his head! His final thoughts are that it was more of learning experience than an adventure. Which in the long run, is the best thing anyway!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Blue Skies and Rainbows

Winter seems to be over. For the moment! We have had warmer weather this last week and even rainbows! I am pretty sure I heard birdsong this morning that sounded like robins and the bulbs are poking their wee little green heads up from the cold earth. However, it is still mid Jan and there is still the rest of this month and all of Feb before we finally reach March. Even if it is very windy outside and our grill blew over! We thought that was rather strange as it is next to the house and very heavy.
Read Julie/Julia and it was interesting. Finally got all the Inkheart books and am now reading those. The movie of the latter was great fun and I wanted to read the books over, especially as I never did read Inkdeath!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

The rest of the story

OK, here are two of Jon's jillion and one Christmas pictures. Gma and Gpa were bowling, then later Tony and Steve were trying to decide who was the best golfer.

We took Tony to the Pendleton Airport and Jon insisted on remaining camoflauged.

On the coast we stayed at an awesome place and entertained a great many friends. Three of the soldiers we love dearly are pictured here (Travis, Zach, & Christina). T just got back from deployment and Z leaves soon, while his wife, C, is off to finish boot! PHEW! I took a great many more pix of this time, but could not decide which ones were the 'best' ones to choose. Besides, it gives me a chance to do another blog!

In the airport we took pix with the Gov of Oregon. Of course, he was a bit stiff, but that is to be expected of a politician meeting so many kinds of people! I only hope he was not really that short.
Here is Tony's plane as it left PDX. We were sad, but thankfully Kym was there to help make things better. It always helps to have someone else there.
Waiting for Inkheart to show up at the Library and also Julie, Julia.