Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

It was a very adult Christmas for Duncan and me.  We drove around town looking for somewhere to go out to dinner and discovered a fantastic new Thai restaurant, the Chedi Thai Bistro, where a shlumpy old school Thai restaurant had formerly been.  The dogs got two major off-leash walks, wearing their Christmas red and white jingle bell collars, of course.  Today they are tired pups!

Naturally we were very lazy, hanging around to watch TV and read.  We watched the Mythbusters Marathon on the Discovery Channel.  The Bull in the China Shop episode was the best!  We also watched the Keira Knightley version of Pride and Prejudice.  As a connoiseur of Jane Austen adaptations, I rate that one at least an 8 of 10.  I like the cast of this version a lot.  Keira is a very fine Elizabeth; Judy Dench is an absolutely terrifying Lady Catherine De Bourgh, the best ever; Donald Sutherland is perfect as the feckless father; Brenda Blethyn is an ideal Mrs. Bennet.  Matthew McFayden did grow on me as Mr. Darcy, but for me Mr. Darcy will always be Colin Firth.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Happy Holidays 2010!

Wishing everyone a happy and peaceful holiday season, rich in friends and family.  For us, 2010 had some very special highlights. In September, Vivian and Billy Sheffield were married.  The event took place at a gloriously beautiful site along the Colorado River in Moab, Utah. 
This is us!
Beautiful sisters!

Vivian, Nicki and Erin.  So nice to have a really good friend and a beloved niece helping out!

The Goldbar Campground couldn't have been more beautiful or perfect for the occasion.

Tundra was the ringbearer.

The bride and groom certainly knew how to create a really fun time for everyone.
Billy & Vivian  Sheffield
Viv and Billy are living in Brighton, Utah, where both work at the Brighton Ski Resort. During summer, Vivian works as a guide for river rafting trips down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

Viv and Billy working Thanksgiving Day.
Lillian completed her PhD and returned from Malawi to Chapel Hill for her thesis defense and where she is now involved in the clinical rotations of 3rd year medical school.
Lillian looking sharp at her PhD thesis defense:  HIV Partner Notification in Malawi
Duncan and I carried on as usual, much travel, summer in Astoria, Oregon, and lots of shenanigans with our border collies Daisy and Juno.
Couldn't beat the view from the back deck of our rental!
It got to be a joke to see how many different places we could get pictures of Duncan talking on his cellphone.
But we caught Erin a time or two as well!

Daisy and Juno couldn't care less though.  Oregon?  It's all good!
Nobody loves Oregon more than Juno and Daisy!

Of course, they are always in the game.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

What do you have to do to escape the beach crowds?

Start by driving to Oregon! Go to Fort Stevens State Park. Walk through a bit of woods. Hurry up!
Now, climb over some sand dunes.
Look, no crowds!
Hey wait a minute, where did this crowd come from!?
I love pelicans!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

New in our driveway...

It's not easy to talk Duncan into buying a new car. It's REALLY not easy! And when Lillian left her Subaru Outback with us while she was in Africa, there really wasn't space for a third car, so it was easy to avoid a purchase. But now she's driven her Outback back out to North Carolina, and sharing a car is not a graceful process for us. But unfortunately, we have fundamentally different car philosophies. Duncan has deeply mourned the departure of his former 1992 Previa, which, with 180,000 miles on its odometer, lives with Vivian. I, on the other hand, wanted a new minivan. I came home on Tuesday to discover this wonderful new Sienna in the driveway!
Juno and Daisy love it!
But wait. Look what was in the street:
A 1996 Previa with only 74,000 miles on it! All Previa afficionados will now be drooling with envy! The Previa was one of Toyota's most beloved vehicles. Score!!

Hmmm, now we need a new house with a bigger driveway....

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

...and new from Tennessee!

Mike (the one with the white and curly hair) will tell you that my friend Tom (with not so much!) is a true dog person....So when Tom heard that his friend's daughter had helped rescue a litter of puppies along with their mom, all abandoned roadside in Tennessee, somehow it seemed natural that a certain little gal might make her way up to Buffalo...
Becky's a sweet and small pup, as the rump of Rami, the golden retriever present for scale, demonstrates. She doesn't have an invisible tail, it just wags fast and furious, and just about all the time. She's quiet but enthusiastic!

Upon seeing her pictures, Duncan says, "She's a dog's dog!"
She knows how to chew a stick and make those wonderfully entertaining, face-curled-up chewy faces!
She is an excellent model for our next yoga book, here demonstrating "Downward Facing Dog."
Jessie and Mike have decided they are happy to have her join the family.
And Rami thinks she's so sweet, we'll have her for dinner, thank you!
Welcome home, Becky!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The sun will come out tomorrow...

After four days of heavy rain, we welcomed it! Daisy and I went to the beach for some sunset frisbee fun. Her game was catching the frisbee. My game was, using a small point-and-shoot camera, trying to capture a shot of her actually catching the frisbee. In low light, the delay between clicking and actual image capture feels like it is close to a full second. One has to have excellent pre-reflexes! The ratio is very low of pictures like this... pictures of a dog with a frisbee in her mouth or a frisbee in the sky above her like this...

But hey, who's this coming onto the beach?? A bride??!! Duncan will be very disappointed he missed a bride sighting. He is a dedicated connoisseur of bride and prom sightings.

A little Jack Russell terrier nipped at the bride's skirt and would have loved to jump up on her, had the gallant groom not defended her gown. I of course was there with a well-behaved dog, so I could look askance at this in a snooty, my dog is better than your dog kind of way. Juno was not with us, so I could do this safely!

I was finally getting good at it when we ran out of light.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I want to be an archeologist when I grow up...

I was in Connecticut for a day and a half after the Albany tournament. After spending a delightful afternoon with Penny Cattrell, I had a morning to work with. A few weeks earlier, I'd read in a New York Times article about an exhibit of artifacts from an ancient culture that lived in the Danube Valley starting before 5000 BC at NYU's Institute for the Study of the Ancient World. It was the kind of story that made me long for life in a big city with all it has to offer. So, here I was in Connecticut, an hour away. After going back and forth with myself a bit I decided, "Don't be a wimp!" So, snowfall or not, I drove into the city and was so glad I did. The Lost World of Old Europe was a truly memorable exhibit.

The exhibit comprised ceramics, copper tools and ornaments, and gold jewelry pieces. They were all striking, but especially the ceramics. The human and animal figurines were full of personality. The pots, sometimes very anthropomorphic, had more pizzazz than any I've seen, ancient or modern.

It's not possible to know a particular piece's intended use, or what the artisan was thinking, but it sure is fun to speculate about this pitcher!
One imagines this bowl might have been used for a wedding ceremony?

This little guy just says FOX! There was speculation that the piece on the lower right represented a bird, but I would bet it was a ram, since these people had sheep and cattle. It seems to me that it is woolly rather than feathery!

This last pot was very womanly!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Albany satisfied my craving for some snow and ice! And Scrabble, as I played 40 games in the wonderful tournament directed by the stalwart Annette Tedesco. When I returned to San Diego the familiar sun seemed so bland! But I remembered how much I liked it later that day when I swam outdoors under that same wonderful sun, breathing fresh air instead of the chlorine fumes of an indoor pool....