Thursday, October 29, 2009

San Francisco!

I'm here in town for the 2nd annual California Open Scrabble tournament. The field of 132 is awesomely strong -- you have to go down to seed #31 to get a rating below 1700! Elizabeth and I took the ferry to Sausalito for dinner tonight at a fantastic little Italian restaurant called Angelino where I had a parsnip soup. La zuppa era molto deliciosa! Passing Alcatraz whilst en route to Sausalito --

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

How old is this dog?

Inventing a birthday for Daisy made me wonder how old she feels. She seems much more dignified that she did a few years ago, if that makes any sense. I hate it that dogs have so much shorter life spans that we do! Keep on keeping on for a long time, Daisy.
You go, gal!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Inventing a Birthday for Daisy

Today I registered Daisy to compete in NADAC Agility Trials. So, the question was, what should I say for her birthday?? On January 5th in 2005, Daisy showed up on our doorstep. Dr. Seals guessed her age at 12-18 months. Okay, she was born on the Fourth of July! July 4, 2003, it shall be.And by the way, the best white dog ever was a 3-month-old puppy then...
You're still pretty cute, Tundra!

Too much wet!

I'm getting tired of high humidity mornings! The front porch is one massive puddle. Juno, however, thinks that sitting on the seawall in the morning is just a fine place to be.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Morning

Daisy, Juno, and I took a walk up at Scripps Institution of Oceanography this morning. SIO is a great place to walk, with lots of nice paths overlooking the ocean.
There haven't been a lot of great waves this fall so far, but this morning was nice.
Close up of those three lads out there, plus mucking around with the image.
I love the plants up there!

Juno wanted photographic evidence that she doesn't bark at EVERY statue!

Dirt, schmirt! If it came from the frisbee, it must be good!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Arriving in Utah

I've been looking forward to getting out of San Diego for quite a while now. It was a real feeling of almost homecoming to arrive in Salt Lake City, with four days of R&R ahead of me. Best of all Soldier Hollow with a new camera!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Verda's Memorial

Here is the slide show, part 1. And here is part 2. These pictures are an attempt to represent different aspects of Verda's life.

Putting together the slide show was an interesting challenge. Verda’s hard to find in pictures. She wasn’t often captured by photographic film. There seemed to be years where her presence lay just beyond or behind the lens. Yet...she is present in the pictures.

Often you’ll see something made by her – here’s me going off to a dance, in a dress she made, one-of-a-kind. Or to a senior prom, to my wedding. Thank goodness there were no pictures of the bright green bikini she crocheted for me. And not because the bikini wasn’t incredibly cute and creative!

You’ll see an experience unfolding that was created by her.

Granddaughters fascinated by sheep shearing. And her love of making observations would show up even there. Of course there were cute pictures of the kids and their sweet expressions. But as well, there were careful “Before” and “After” pictures of the ewe.

Coloring easter eggs. She seemed to have just as much fun coloring eggs with little Erin as she had with me well over forty years earlier, and all the kids in between. Always fascinated with the way those colors would overlap or blend on the smooth white curve of the eggshell.

Indeed, Verda had a special affinity for the natural world. She noticed and appreciated colors and forms in nature, especially unusual or non-classical ones.

When driving us kids around Farmington to yet another activity, we would pass by a tall, elegant vase-shaped elm tree, bearing a beautifully scripted sign: “The Perfect Tree.” A bit further down the road some wag had tagged up on a huge, gnarly and extremely unsymmetrical old oak tree an unevenly letter sign: “More Interestinger Tree.” This always made her smile, and I knew her heart was with the oak.

Most of all, her art. Her weaving gave her a venue for that eye she’d been developing all her life. And fellowship and adventures galore.

Verda appreciated the way organisms grow and develop.

I have an especially vivid memory of her tadpole collecting expeditions in the spring. Back home in the aquarium, it was fascinating to watch those tadpoles lose their tails, sprout hind legs, and then front legs, and become little frogs.

She liked to garden, and she’d take the initiative to create a bit more unusual environment. When we moved out to the suburbs, all the yards surrounding our new houses were bare dirt. That part of Michigan was a glacial moraine, and there were stones and rocks everywhere. Verda didn’t see them as a nuisance, as most did. She encouraged us to search for fossils, and in fact helped me find an almost complete little brachiopod amongst the rubble. Then one day she flagged down a worker driving a back hoe. She had him push all the big rocks into a heap in our backyard. Years later, that rock garden sported tiger lilies and a tree shading trilliums she’d saved from the bulldozer’s blade. Everywhere you’d find interesting and unusual plants in that yard. In addition to the forsythia and pussywillows, we had a huge nutmeg bush. And our rhubarb patch was like the creature from the deep. No one could kill it! She loved to watch things grow.

Most of all, her children, and then her grandchildren. She was an incredibly nurturing grandparent, and since now there are other camera-wielding adults on the scene, you’ll see more pictures of her in action.

These pictures show a woman who was engaged with the world in many ways – family, friends, and craft.

Pied Beauty

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Glory be to God for dappled things –

For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;

For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;

Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;

Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;

And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;

Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)

With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;

He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.