Diversions while we wait for the days to get Long Enough

Santa Fe, NM

You are really having a hard time with the weather this year, Paja. I was in Herbs Etc. today and they are already talking about the advent of juniper season! I'm kind of liking winter more when I think about that. If it stays cold it slows down the juniper pollen. If things work out the way I would like them to, I'll be gone from the last week of March in to mid-April. Get back in time to prune some roses. I'm not feeling as interested in gardening this year! I expect I'll change my mind by May.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Okay, finally had time to actually read the last stream of posts....... Goodness, Mulch, sorry you have been feeling under it again..... hope a real upswing for you soon!

Roybird, I also look forward to seeing your gorgeously imperfect paintings whenever any are ready to share!

Dave, don't you sometimes think plants that are supposedly the same but some languish and some thrive under exact same conditions, that maybe it has to do with, like plant karma or character or something? Some beings weaker some stronger, the way it goes nobody knows.........

balance, yes, one does lose it I sure do, used to be able to clamber over anything on tippy toe and never ever stumble. Now? HA! sometimes can barely walk down the hall without finding myself on an asteroid with a differing axis (or that's what it feels like, zooooom -- and no, refreshing beverages do not account for this as they are not part of the current reality around here.)

Paj, sorry your zone is not congenial to enjoyment! hope yu have a nice fireplace for gazing into...... it can sometimes almost substitute for gazing off into the garden, almost. No, I don't have one either but was just missing one today, outside is very gray and brown thank goodness for the birds and the one squirrel.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Here is that squirrel who has been dubbed Space Monkey:

Thumbnail by Kylaluaz
Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

and here are some of the more interesting birds:

Thumbnail by Kylaluaz
Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

and another of the same ones, I cannot id, black masks, spot of bright color either yellow or apricot at tip of tail and also near end of wings...... they drink a huge amount of water! And they move *very* fast!

This message was edited Jan 4, 2010 8:01 PM

Thumbnail by Kylaluaz
Santa Fe, NM

Nice birds, Kyla! They look finchish to me. I couldn't really tell but their beaks seem thick and seed-eater type.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

It is a tad colder than CA here Pajarito. I still don't consider Albuquerque to be very cold. Cold enough but not to the point where you seriously consider buying a house somewhere else. Cold enough to grow certain fruit trees. (-:

Yep, differences in Lithops. I do think it may be due to differences in species. None of the species I got were identified so I don't have specifics to go on. I got 4 different colors. I think I put them in appropriate soil - half sand, half "cactus mix" - and don't water them unless they are shriveled. I think the flowering is just luck past that.

Tonasket, WA(Zone 5a)

Snowed all day yesterday, around 5 inches of wet heavy snow. Haven't gotten all 200 feet of my paths all shoveled clean yet. This is what I see looking out my window from computer location. Obviously we haven't had any wind with the snow. I didn't go anywhere yesterday, roads too slick and snow not plowed. Don't plan to go anywhere today either.

Donna

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

Umm, Donna, you see nothing??? No pic...

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Flowering, in my experience, indicates that they are happy, or that they are ready to die. When mine got truly overwatered by moving to New Orleans, they flowered then died. All my cacti did the same. I just didn't have enough sunny space indoors to keep them inside so nature overwatered them for me. Many plants will do a major effort at flowering just before dying. I had a cherry tree do that to me once -- the guy at the nursery told me that was not unusual and he wasn't just an hourly worker hired for muscles. He was an former county agent or some other retired agricultural worker. Hopefully yours is happy. Not over watering is good.
I once read of a woman who kept cacti indoors in New York. She subscribed ( this was pre-internet) to the Arizona Gazette and watered them whenever it rained in Arizona.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Ah, Donna, I envy you your snow even with all its inconvenience. We have had snow this winter but not enough.

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Now that's devotion, following the precip in Arizona.

I'm not sure I've ever seen this before: our forecast gives 100% chance of snow. It is indeed coming down.
But tonight's low is supposed to be 0 F and tomorrow's high 1 degree. You know what that means... plunging to -15 tomorrow night.

I wouldn't mind splashing about in a few tide pools ... in Mexico. The seed catalogs are arriving, and I'm trying hard to think about other things. But I keep seeing Bougainvilleas in my mind, which must be a sign that I am due to go to Mexico, no?

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Si! Andale pues! ( don't know how to do upside-down punctuation on the computer.)

I am pondering something that may change my entire life. A friend is trying to talk me into running for the county council. That is a job that pays almost nothing and requires endless amounts of work and boring meetings. Why am I even considering this? Well, I was asked to and I have to admit we haven't had very good candidates to choose from in the last few years. I sort of think it is the responsibility of those who complain about government to get involved, but I think this is going a bit far. But then, if not me, who? We do have a number of nitwits on the council now. But, of course, some people may think I am a nitwit.

I haven't made a decision, but have been tossing this around in my mind. A friend who is on the council is really encouraging me. If I ran, I would probably hope to lose. Even just campaigning would mean fast meals for both DH and me, and little gardening. Yetch! Why am I even thinking about this? But the though won't go away.

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Go for it PJ your county needs you. Your skin isn't too thin. You get to see your efforts go to fruition.
Donna you are not posting pictures so I think I will lots of snow last night. Now I have to shovel.

Thumbnail by Soferdig
Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Well, Sof, my friend who is on the council says it is the most rewarding thing he has ever done. He will be out in a year because you can only serve two terms in a row. The county facilities have really improved in the last few years thanks to his efforts and those of others on the council. I am thinking about it with great trepidation. One does have to have thick skin because a fair number of people are already angry by the time to the council and feel free to rage about things that they think the council has messed up. Sometimes correctly, but other times not.
Another serious factor to consider is that I will have to give up making smart-alec and/or disparaging remarks myself. My poor tongue might get bitten in two.
On the other hand, it would force me to grow a lot which is not a bad thing.

Carson City, NV(Zone 6b)

Woohoo Sofer, you finally got some snow! Have fun shoveling.

Kyla, I think your birds are cedar waxwings. The black mask, yellow tail, and white edges of the wings are a pretty distinctive combination.

Tonasket, WA(Zone 5a)

Sorry about not posting the picture. I even forgot to check to see that I had done so.

paj, if you find that you can afford the time I think you should try for the council position . I'm sure you would be good at the job.

Well here is the snow picture.

Thumbnail by rutholive
Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

I think you should run for office too Pajarito. A person who is actually motivated by the good of the community has to be a help. At worst, your running for the office will allow you to bring up issues that you think are important and will require your opponent to think about them.

Upside down characters (and many others) can be found in the "Character Map" application in Windows. Its under on the programs menu under Accessories/System Tools.
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Centennial, CO(Zone 5b)

Here is the downside on public office, and Pajarito knows whereof I speak--

*you will lose most of your privacy, and by virtue of your being a public official, anyone in your family will be opened to unwelcome scrutiny of every moment of their lives

*you will want to check and see what kind of liability insurance your local council members are provided, and what is the extent of your liability above and beyond that insurance coverage. There are a surprising number of people who will attempt to create legal entanglements for you simply because they haven't got anything more exciting to do

*how will your participation in local govt effect your participation in other local activities? If it is a non-partisan position, then you may find that your activities in a local political party are constrained

not trying to be a downer, but no good deed ever goes unpunished!

Santa Fe, NM

Lovely snow pictures, Sofer and Donna! It is sunny and not too cold here today. DH. and I went out to get an estimate on having the hood of my car re-painted. Our original estimate was about $150 more than the price range quoted to us on the phone. I got irritated and went to another body shop down the street which appeared to be on the verge of collapse and will cost about $100 less. If I had the tools I could easily do this job myself, it's a real no brainer. So, I'm crabby today. It is the post holiday reality check time. I would Never want to have any sort of political office although my mother was a "councilperson" in Illinois at one time. She had fun with it. Lots of talking and going to meetings. Good luck with that!

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

'why am I even considering this?" she asks...... Paja, my first thought was, oh please do not do that to yourself! yes they may be in dire need of good sense, but honestly it sounds like a rough go to try to provide it.

I agree with all voices encouraging you to say "yes" on the point that you are surely and most definitely up to it and would be an excellent contributor to whatever situations arise.

But at this stage in my life, having shown up numerous times because I thought I was needed, even though I myself did not really feel heart enthusiasm for the task involved, have made a turn and realized, most of that experience was nothing much more than lessons in letting go of my own ego.

Not saying at all you are egoic or that this is true for you! and if indeed in your heart you feel an eagerness and enthusiasm -- especially if you do not know why the heck you feel that way!!!!!!-- then indeed, I hope you do go for it.

If that feeling is absent...... well, give it some more thought would be my advice.

though to be honest I don't know if you asked for advice, so feel free to ignore it. ;-)

Katlian, thanks! I hve only seen cedar waxwings once briefly and not too clearly -- I will look for pix of them and see if they match up.

Roybird, yup, post holiday reality check time it is indeed. Have to go check mine right now, matter of fact....... may have lost it somewheres.

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Pretty snow pictures! As for city council... my Dad was a councilman in the small town I grew up in for over 16 years, and my brother was Supervisor for many years. Both dedicated a LOT of time, and yes, there is no privacy. When I was a kid everyone knew who I was (which meant I had better not get in trouble!) I spent a lot of time volunteering for our local Association of Realtors several years ago... and for me it started to take over my life. I had to learn to start saying no. So, if you have something good to offer (which I'm sure you do!) and you can deal with the downside, then go for it. But it is good to consider the downside in advance. Good luck with whatever you choose!

My post holiday reality check is taking place today, we are nearly done taking down all of the lights and decorations... now to haul them up into the attic.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Just check your reality at the door with your coat and hat.

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Please note I encouraged you Paj BUT I would never do such a thing. The world is looking for leaders and needs them but it, in my life, is draining and takes away from my joy. I am also codependent and in the past didn't know when to say no which caused this. You are a stronger person and if you find this type of work fun go for it!

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Paj, you are brave indeed to consider it.
Besides thick skin and patience, you will need pretty fair health. I remember how multiple family stresses took such a toll on you. Have you recovered enough to run? Will it wear you down or build you up to make this kind of contribution?
Sorry to ask such difficult questions. It's what I would ask myself.

I learned recently that JFK was seriously exhausted when he took office.
http://www.doctorzebra.com/Prez/g35.htm
"When Kennedy ran for and won the presidency, he was essentially gambling that his health problems would not prevent him from handling the job. By hiding the extent of his ailments he denied voters the chance to decide whether they wanted to share this gamble. It is hard to believe that he could have been nominated, much less elected, if the public had known what we now know about his health."

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

He had Addison's disease. Having an adrenal gland that didn't work and had to take electrolytes, anabolic steroids, and corticosteroids. The only good thing about that is he did not "stress" any differently when stressed. The chemicals in him remained the same from what ever he took in the AM.

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Addison's was part of it. According to the link, he was never completely diagnosed while alive. Multiple endocrine glands were malfunctioning, and it was autoimmune. (I guess he was ahead of his time.)

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

He was put here for a short time regardless. We deal with complete endrocrine failure with veterinary medicine and they do poorly.

Santa Fe, NM

I'm glad he got elected, anyway! I remember as a very young girl having to write an essay for school about what famous woman I would want to emulate. I picked Jackie-O! My teachers were ever so disappointed.

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

I too had a LOT of respect for that woman. Especially after we heard the story of her life with the man we so have loved. I think that is why I liked to have had Hillary become President.

Santa Fe, NM

I would've rather had Jackie! Mainly because of her love for music and art. She was a beautiful and cultured person. I believe she became a photographer!

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

When Bill Clinton was elected president, The Arkansas Gazette, said, "We have elected the wrong Clinton." They hated Bill, but loved Hilllary. I did support her for president big time. I am okay with Obama, but I really wanted Hillary. I admired Jackie as well, but was young at the time and was only just beginning to find my political feet. I grew up in the South and in my family there was no such thing as a good Democrat, but the mother of my best friend was a Democratic National Committeewoman whom I deeply admired. My best friend drove around with a bumper sticker on her ancient Peugeot that said Je T'Aime Jacque. I was very confused. The Kennedys actually came to visit my best friend's family on Avery Island which they owned. My parents told me how evil the Kennedy's were. It was lucky that I was too young to vote. I was very much caught between.
When Kennedy was shot, I was appalled but not surprised. He insisted on riding in his open convertible in New Orleans not long before his death when he had been warned to use the bullet proof top. There were minor incidents in NO when he drove around there waving to the crowds.
I have read all about Jack Kennedy having Addisons and being very sickly and also about his unfaithfulness to his lovely and elegant wife. Perhaps he just thought he had to get as much in as possible before his inevitable death.
All I can say is that I am "no Jack Kennedy" as some more famous person has said before me.
I really appreciate all the suggestions from all of you about my candidacy for county council. I have until sometime in March to make up my mind and believe me, I am grateful for all of your thoughts on the subject. I am definitely waffling. I love my minuscule amount of spare time and realize that if I run for office I will lose even that. I am not worried about how it will affect my DH. He handled it beautifully when I helped found the first union at Los Alamos National Laboratory. ( Hope you are all still speaking to me after that revelation.) I spent four years at the center of a very political organization as President and as steward. I made statements to the press and appeared on national TV during the Wen Ho Lee mess -- Wen Ho Lee was not a member of our union, but we supported his right to due process -- which isn't something necessarily afforded to people accused of espionage.
The council job would be far lower in visibility and controversy. It is political. One of the reasons I would run is because my party never can muster enough candidates to provide adequate representation of our views. The other party has always dominated local council activities.
But actually the work of the council is actually very non-partisan. It mostly has to do with whether we should have a skateboard park near the library. I can't think of any partisan position in this matter and most of the others the local council deals with.
The biggest drawback to running for the council, in my mind, is the amount of time it takes away from my personal life -- the garden, travel, etc. I am still thinking. But I am much influenced by a statement by Barack Obama, who was not my first choice for president and that is " We must be the change we hope to see". He wasn't my first choice for president, but I very much agree with that statement and that thought is what is making me consider running for a pretty thankless job.

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

I am glad you brought that Barack tenet. I being on the red side of the political flag DO appreciate the youth and energy Barack has supplanted in our nations character. Like Jack Kennedy he has been raised to exort our community to become more. So being my president I need to focus on such hope. You are built to lead and I pray that you find the energy and purpose to become such change.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I am working on that. I find the red side is far more committed to local government that the blue side. That is why I am being encouraged to run. Most of us blue types have been lazy and that is really unfortunate.

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Hah, I knew you were a hero, PJ. Union organizer for the quarkiest brains of the nation, no less. Excuse me for possibly exaggerating, but I love troublemakers.

Red folks and blue folks all look purplish to me. I'm on the lunatic fringe. (I think it's time to start revoking corporate charters, for example. Higher education for everyone who can pass an entrance exam. Break the fascist Big Pharma grip on medicine. Outlaw advertising.) Crazy ideas, n'est-ce-pas? Is there a country where I belong?

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Paja I am proud of you for having started that Union. I worked in that arena myself and know what it takes to succeed. Good for you and thank you for your service to us all.

Hey Picante, hear hear! Heck, let's just start our own. You can lead. lol

This message was edited Jan 5, 2010 9:02 PM

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Yes Picante. Utopia is Costa Rica. All who want an education beyond high school only needs to qualify. No Military only local police. And I am unaware of any politics in the country. That I shall research.
PJ I still like you due to your organization skills in Los Alamos. Though you would have to be multilingual, have no opinions on quantum theory, and never stand on a soap box near an particle accelerator. Were you intimidated by anti-union groups threatening to put a quark up your a..?

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Here are some pics from lonediver's place south of Maricopa AZ. This is Mount LoneDiver which he built. He is now building a stream bed from Mount LoneDiver to Lake LoneDiver which will take diverted runoff and recycle it from the lake back up to the top of Mount LoneDiver

Thumbnail by dahlianut
Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

This is the burrowing owl habitat that he built from 5 gallon buckets and plastic tubing. He has six owls and they have had owlets.

Thumbnail by dahlianut
Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

This is the best I could do with my little camera as we could not get too close and disturb them. There were 2 sitting together but one popped down into the nest. This one was quite brave though and stayed out the whole time we were viewing.

Thumbnail by dahlianut

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