Tuesday, March 29, 2011

הפירות של צדקנות נזרעים בשלום

There is always room for improvement. We embrace it, we believe it, and then one day we discover it crashing toward us in monsoon quantities. It is at that moment we weigh the costs of recanting our professed precept, or we resolve to drink undiluted the remedy for our stagnant state.

We collide with ourselves. We shudder, we shake, and at last we emerge from the limited confines of our former self to discover that we are so much more than the shell we once inhabited. Newly open to possibilities and growth, we slowly settle into our new self. Once the cast is set, the atrophy begins, until one day we repeat the painful process anon.

Among an accretion of adversities, Job suffered from boils. Travail can be refreshing in some strange sense. It reminds you that you are alive, and when it subsides, everyday life feels rich and full. It's this hope of relief that becomes the well of patience from which the blistered soul drinks one day at a time, until our cup is filled with parched sands. Some linger at the dry well, while others notice the endless well that is always within reach.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


We recently returned from Moab, Utah where C participated in the Canyonlands 1/2 Marathon. He finished beautifully strong and pulled off yet another personal record. I keep telling him that he could do that same time in a marathon. He does have a marathon scheduled next month, but told me he will probably take it easy and just enjoy the run. You never know with that one.
We took in some arches during our visit, and just enjoyed hanging out together. We shared entrees every time we ate out. It probably had something to do with the warmer weather. It always makes me less hungry. Or maybe it's just being in love...
I decided to make my own arch while visiting the National Park. One of these two structures is still standing:
Can you guess which one it is?

Life is so full.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Living Color

First and foremost, Japan. I know that one of my Japanese friends is safe via Facebook. I am not sure about the others. I used Skype to call one of them, but only got voice mail. I don't know how long it will be before services are up and running. You never know. I hope they are okay.

The power goes out down the street and I get distressed. Despite my best preparations, I know it will never be enough to be well equipped for a catastrophe. Yes, I have a year's supply of food in my basement. Who wants to know? Plastic for shattered windows with staple gun? Check. Kerosene heater? Check. H20 and water purifers? Check. We Mormons, ya know. Still, if your house is rubble, how accessible is all of that going to be? Just sayin'.

Saturday was a small victory for me. I have been trying for a month to get my bird-lovin' man out to visit an aviary to feed some pelicans. The morning started like this:

Me: So, are we going to the aviary today?
C: Sure. I just need to get the lawnmower blades sharpened and get a run in, and then we can go.
Me: Great. I will run to the store and be back soon.

I hurried back from grocery shopping to find C just starting to tear into the lawnmower. I put the groceries away, did the dishes, and before I knew it, it was almost 11:00 AM. I peeked out the front door to find the lawn mower meticulously dismantled in the yard, the blades sitting next to the car.

Me: Are you DETAILING the lawnmower?
C: I just like getting things done.
Me: That's fine, but I don't want to hear you complain about how you never get to do anything fun.

Alas, soon we were on our way to the aviary with a quick stop by the saw sharpening shop. While waiting to feed the pelicans, C won the attentions of a Northern Flicker, whose tiny red tongue kept tasting the air while she blinked curiously at him. I noticed a Kookaburra near the front of the cage and took advantage of the photo op when a second Kookaburra arrived. Thinking this was even better, I positioned my camera and started to shoot when THIS happened:
A good old fashioned game of leapfrog. Hey, this IS a G-rated blog! PDA at it's best.

At first when the girl arrived with one small bucket and one large bucket of fish for the pelicans, I was confused that four of us would be sharing the small bucket.
Once I realized the fish had been sitting just long enough to smell really delicious, it all made sense. My mind kept drifting to the pair of rubber gloves I had in my car for emergencies.Photobucket
My dad used to use the line, "Show me that trick again. You know, the one where you open your mouth and your face disappears?" Suddenly this didn't seem so impossible after all...

While we scrubbed in vain at the fishy smell at our hands, we met a few more residents of the aviary, including this long-lashed beauty...

...and a tiny clever almost-escapee. "Who, me?"

At last it was time to visit the conures. Sure, we own one, but she is nowhere as noisy as these little fellas. She definitely loves apple as much as they do. The conure chow was much more kind to our olfactory systems than the finely aged minnows.

We even met some new friends from South America who were NOT birds:

After feeding the birds, we decided it was time to feed ourselves. We visited a delightful French Bakery where I almost bought one of everything. The object of my desire? A REAL butter croissant. I made the mistake of buying a croissant at a grocery store this week and while it had some butter in it, it was packed with shortening. Ever bite into a croissant that tasted like pie crust? Alas, after a long search, I achieved my goal. 

I loved every minute of spending time with my bestest buddy. I almost fell over when he later (sincerely) used the word "helped" in describing my encouragement to get out of the house. This week will be great. Three days of work, and then a little break. More on that later. Go hug a pelican!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Today Happy translated into:
* finishing the book Multipliers
* a voice mail from my niece
* a day alone at the office
* taking a break from conference recap work to translate some Yiddish that I started last year (pre-conference)
* the Post Office locating the gift card that fell out of my brother's birthday card
* lunch with C at a Mediterranean Cafe
* finding Rosewater for sale at said Cafe!
* having C ask me when I was going to drink my bottle of Rosewater
* assuring C that I am not insane enough to spend that much on a bottle of drinking water
* a long run outside after work wherein I get the delightful experience of reconnecting with myself
* leftover Pad Thai and steamed broccoli
* feeling as if I had a personal breakthrough while teetering on the edge of taking a leap into something new
* noticing how the snow melted and refroze like delicate white ornaments on fragile branches
* the thought of making more Kale Chips!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Flouted Fashion

Remember Junior High School, when people liked you based on your fashion decision for the day? Some things just never change. The other night, I could care less what I looked like. Sometimes you just want to fit in with the wall paper, you know? I selected a very comfy and brand new soft plaid shirt over the top of a t-shirt.

Penny decided that she didn't like what I was wearing, and pulled away from me when I attempted to put her on my shoulder. Kawi flew across the room. He wanted nothing to do with me. C then walked into the room.

"I thought I'd go comfy tonight." I said.

"Woodsy, eh?" He looked at me JUST like I am sure I have looked at him a million times. How did I get HERE, I thought.

Sadly, peer pressure won. I settled for a "still comfy" white sweater over my peach t-shirt.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


One day C told me we needed to learn Chinese. Of course, being ravenously hungry to consume a new language, I whole-heartedly agreed. I started texting him Chinese-word-of-the-day, like shi (yes), bushi (no), sheh sheh (thank you) and ching (please). Today was war chiao (my name is). See, now you know some Chinese, too!

I think I would be quite comfortable in an Asian culture. Certainly it would be devoid of some of the current pleasures I enjoy, the least of which would include a lice- and flea-free household. Of course, that depends on where you live, but even in good old California, I had the pleasure of learning (fortunately not first-hand) that keeping one's hair tightly bound on one's head is not as much about fashion as it is about keeping it pest-free.

I think I am coming back to myself after the conference, with the next one looming like one enormous lobster claw, waiting to snatch me up the moment I let down my guard. I even got excited about cooking again tonight. I bought some Sai Fun recently, and cooked it tonight with chicken, fish sauce, lime, shallots, and few other items to make a glass noodle salad. I also whipped up a sweet red curry sauce complete with bamboo shoots, red bell peppers, sweet onions, peas, and shrimp. I think next time I will have to turn up the heat a bit, since C let me know that he could handle it hotter. I almost got around to making a Pad Thai dish, but ran out of time since C had to get to a scouting meeting by 7:00 PM. I have the bean sprouts for that one, so I'll have to whip that up in the next few days.

Here it is Thursday, and the weekend is just around the corner! I am going to enjoy a lovely appointment with my treadmill while taking in a nice distracting TV show.

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