"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe." ~ John Muir

31 December 2007

December 31, 2007

Well, I might not have technically taken a photo a day, but I think I did succeed at documenting a full year in photos, including one for today, the last day of 2007. I have decided, however, I shall not continue in 2008.  Right now, I don't have the discipline nor the inclination to be held to a schedule even if it is (or maybe especially if it is) self-imposed. I'd rather write because I feel like it, not because I have to.


'Clem sleeping on his new blankie. Because there is no work today, Steve and I had our ritual of coffee in bed and 'Clem hung out with us.

30 December 2007

December 30, 2007

I love home-made gifts. Not only do I end up with something cool but I get the thought and energy that is transferred directly into the making of something for ME.

My Mom made the sunflower pillows. I love sunflowers and kind of have a "theme" going in our bedroom. I think these are beautiful. Mom also made a miniature patchwork quilt for 'Clem.

Dad made this totally cool clock out of a saw blade. We really needed a clock in the living room because we recently swapped out our VCR and the new unit does not have a clock - at least not one that you can see when the unit is ON. My Dad's clock works beautifully right over the arch.

Amy made us a big jar of cookies! Amy will tell you (and I won't disagree), that she makes the best chocolate chip cookies! And I got some! The cookies were delivered in the large jar with the black lid which now does duty as 'Clem's cat food storage unit.

December 29, 2007

No photo from yesterday - Steve and I did make it all the way home to Phoenix. Thirteen hours and then some. Made for a very long day.

Today is Michael's birthday. Happy Birthday, Michael! And many more!

December 27, 2007

Today is a day of rest. Tomorrow, Steve and I will head back to Phoenix. Tonight we will watch home movies and get about three inches of snow. I'm packing the car and getting ready so we can leave early - we're going to try and make it all the way home which is about 13 hours.

This photo is taken from my parents' back porch.

December 26, 2007

The semi-annual family photo. Jerry, Amy, Steve, Me, Mom and Dad. Jerry and Amy are getting ready to head down the mountain back to Sacramento and Steve and I won't be far behind as we are going to visit my grandparents. Mom and Dad will have the whole day to themselves (huzzah!).

December 25, 2007

The Little Mother outdid herself with a traditional Christmas dinner including turkey and all the trimmings. Mom loves to cook and we love to eat so it all works out for everyone!

Christmas day was filled with family, phone calls (Steve's parents and my Grandma), and visits with the neighbors. We were toasty, gifted, and well fed. The best present was being with my family.

Dad making real honest-to-goodness whipped cream. It was fantastic on Mom's homemade pumpkin pie.

December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve...

...We're gathered 'round the table playing poker. It's loads of fun. On the Night of Our Dear Savior's Birth I am trying to remember if four of a kind beats a flush. I know that sounds wrong. On the other hand, happy times with family is so right. (I cannot believe my sister was bluffing her ass off with a pair of tens!)

Is it Wise Men or Wise Guys?

My Dad has the best laugh - when he laughs you can't help but laugh, too.

December 23, 2007

Up bright and early in Lone Pine, California - the portal to Mount Whitney. Perhaps someday I'll climb to the top. Today, I am content to continue our journey towards Truckee.

Steve snapped this pic at sunrise. It was cold and still and beautiful. The morning sun greeting the snowy peaks to the west of Lone Pine - it is a sight we've seen hundreds of times and never before. Time freezes and I could stand and gaze forever but all too soon the cold creeps up the sleeves of my coat and I start to shiver and it's time to move on.

Birds perched on the power lines keeping their little feet toasty warm and waiting for the warm kiss of the Sun's first rays.

On the other side of day I watch the moon rise from my parents' back porch. It's cold here, too. Before we leave the temperature will have dropped to 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

December 22, 1007

Today, Steve and I were up early so we could head to California. We had spent the night at his parents' house and we ended up having a pleasant time, all sadness aside. So, on the road and heading northwest - destination: Lone Pine.

This is a fantastic example of a fault exposed in a road cut on Interstate 40 at Kingman, Arizona. We've both driven by this numerous times but this time I flirted with the po-po and stopped on the side of the road so Steve could snap a pic.

December 21, 2007

Today was a bit strange. Tonight we celebrate Christmas early with Steve's family, as we will be leaving in the morning to drive to visit my family in Lake Tahoe - but our festivities are on an off note as Uncle Robert - Steve's Father's brother - died early this morning.

I met Uncle Robert many years ago when I visited Arlington, Tennessee with Steve and his parents. Uncle Robert was a big jovial man. He loved to can produce and make pickles and honeys. One night we all gathered at his house for a good old fashioned cat-fish fry. Another night it was dinner out at Bozo's barbecue. He sent us a Christmas card every year. Uncle Robert will be very much missed.

The picture below is of Steve's parents' Christmas Tree - up close and personal.

December 20, 2007

Today is my Dad's birthday! Happy Birthday, Dad! This is a photo my Mom took of Dad at Lassen Park in California. Lassen is an active volcanic area with boiling mud pots and fumaroles. Quite a cool place!

December 19, 2007

Christmas is quickly approaching and I don't feel ready! (And surely, I'm not the only one!) This year I tried a few new creative endeavors one of which included working with gourds. Below is a "birdhouse" gourd that we grew from seedlings my mother started. The gourd has been washed , sanded, waxed and decorated. I thought it turned out quite nice. It is to be a gift for my massage therapist, Daniel. I've been seeing Daniel for over twelve years. His totem is the bear - hence the bear fetish on the gourd.

December 18, 2007

Our dear friend, Bob, sent us these photos of his stepdaughter's bat mitzvah and subsequent party. I can't believe how quickly time passes. These photos were taken by Bob's brother, Richard, who is a professional photographer currently living in England. You can see more of Richard's work here.

17 December 2007

December 17, 2007

When good filing goes bad: Yes, that is indeed a moldy banana. Steve found it carefully filed with an email document he had printed. I'm thinking we might have to revise our system - no more fruit in the project files.

December 16, 2007

Today is just social commentary.

December 15, 2007

Well, the rain and cooler temps have certainly made one of our plants very happy. This is our freakishly large artichoke. I half expected the thing to talk to me like that plant in "Little Shop of Horrors." So far it's kept quiet but I'm still keeping my distance.

December 14, 2007

Yup, drove back to Phoenix, today. Turning out of the Arco after running the rental car through the wash, I nearly got nailed as a little red car crossing traffic hit a small pick-up traveling (illegally) in the turn lane. The small truck was shoved into MY lane - I swerved and it missed me narrowly but kept right on going behind me. I pulled around the corner and called 911. Some days I really hate Phoenix.

December 13, 2007

Went in to Hurley this morning to ship some samples and noticed this lovely new sign. The Hurley Pride Committee has been really busy and all their hard work shows in so many nice ways (painted garbage cans throughout town, parades, holiday decorations, etc.). I'm proud to have played a small part in the revitalization of this tiny community.

12 December 2007

December 12, 2007

It's been a good couple of weeks here in NM. And it's always nice to come home to the Holiday Inn Express at the end of a long day out in the cold. This is the staircase that leads up to my room on the second floor. It's all very festive and cozy. There is a fireplace at the top of the stairs, too, and a Christmas tree in the lobby.

This is a star hanging from a giant mobile in the lobby. I think it is a totally cool mobile and am thinking I might take a stab at making one for myself sometime.

December 11, 2007

This morning I woke up to a car covered with snow (brrr...). Got 'er scraped off and then headed out to run another pump test. During the test it started snowing in earnest. Long, cold day. Check out my regular blog for details on staying warm in muddy, rainy, conditions.

My pump crew's rig in the snow. They're running a Smeal, which is almost exactly like the Pulstar. We spent a lot of time sitting in our vehicles.

December 10, 2007

It's so cold this morning that the water is steaming! It's still good to be me but I'd like to be a slightly warmer version.

December 9, 2007

More bailing, today. This is Jim, my crew for today. He's running the Pulstar Pump Rig. Because he's a solo act, I get to play helper, which involves getting pretty wet and muddy. All I need is a couple of pigs to chase around and my day would be complete.

December 8, 2007

Steve went home to Phoenix, yesterday, but I had to stay and work through the weekend. Tonight was Brian's annual Christmas Party. I'm bummed that I missed it! It's always the same group of folks and we've all been friends for ages. This pic is of the entire gang at the party.

Back row, left to right: Tom, Brian, Jay, Dale, Steve
Second row, left to right: Alan, Cheryl, Barb, Melissa, Andrea
Front row, left to right: Kim, Heather, Alan

December 7, 2007

Today was a lot of bailing (wells). At one of the sites I saw this beautiful agave. There really is a lot of nice scenery out here. It's been cloudy off and on and we got amazingly stuck in the mud not too long after I took this photo.

December 6, 2007

Today was another pump test. Pump tests involve a lot of sitting around waiting to take measurements. This is my crew trying to hunker down out of the wind. They are two fine fellows and a true pleasure to work with.

I saw this scrap of fabric on the ground while I was orbiting during the test. It made me think of my Mom who absolutely loves Mickey Mouse! (Hi Mom!)

05 December 2007

December 5, 2007

As I was getting ready to back up my car, I saw the sun shining through this message that Steve had written in the dirt on my window (Pony is my nickname). I thought it was so nice! I think I'll leave it there!

December 4, 2007

Today we ran a four-hour pump test. Essentially, we're pumping the well in the rear of the photo for four hours and then we let it recover for two. While we're doing this we're measuring the water level at pre-determined intervals. The object is to help determine the characteristics of the aquifer by measuring how the water level behaves while pumping and recovering. Samples are collected and analyzed using field parameters (pH, temperature, and conductivity). In addition, a suite of samples are collected and sent to a laboratory for more extensive analysis. Today, it is good to be me.

December 3, 2007

Yesterday I drove back to New Mexico from Arizona. It was a pretty good drive although I couldn't use my iPod because I had my heating pad plugged into the power outlet. I was sifting through my CD case, though, and found my "Mixed Ice" volumes one and two! Let me tell you I was so pumped to find those two CD's loaded with fantastic rock 'n roll!

Today I'm in training for well development. This is my crew: Steve, my very own Personal Geologist, is to the left, then Tracy and Brit. Swell fellas, really. It was a good day.

01 December 2007

December 1, 2007

Well, I'm heading into the "home stretch" on the ol' Photo Project. Yeah, I know I haven't managed a photo EVERY day, but there were many days when I included more than one, so I'm calling it good.

My rain gauge registered 1.5 inches of rain when I checked it this morning. That is amazing! (And very much needed.) Everything is so fresh outside, today. I went out to take a couple of photos and then thought it would be fun to do a "past" and "present" comparison. Steve and I will have been in our house ten years in February, so I have included the photos from the original appraisal to compare with the photos I took today. There is a lot more vegetation!

Then - February, 1998

Now (the pine tree is new)

Then - February, 1998

Now (it's a jungle!)

30 November 2007

November 30, 2007

Well, November is heading out with a whimper. It's a gray overcast day - spitting rain. Not a lot so far - just enough to spot up the car and make the "dust" into "mud." Looking out the back bedroom window, though, the tangerines look bright and smiley. In Arizona, Christmas and Citrus go together! Ha!

29 November 2007

November 29, 2007

Well, it's cooling down and tomorrow the forecast is for rain, so today I changed the bed and put on my soooo soft Laura Ashley flannel sheets! Ummmm...

Close up of their soft flowery goodness.

And THIS is the beautiful votive candle holder that Desert Songbird gave me for my birthday. Clean sheets and a scented candle - ummmm...