Sunday, February 27, 2005

A really easy salad to make.

Baby Showers

I am off this afternoon with my sweet little girl to her baby shower. None of my side of the family will be there since they live so far away...but that's OK as she has tons of friends...should be a good group of people.

I am bringing the crib quilt which I finished. (Her father and I got her a very nice glider rocker and ottaman already.) I also am supposed to bring "something for the Baby Wishing Well." I asked at work what the heck this was and no one in my generation seemed to have a clue. Is it money, savings bonds?? I have wrapped a small picture frame and a CD of lullabies.

I also made a nice little platter of pears and cheese for the luncheon.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Megapode Bird

(Link to a website is in the post title) This fellow weighs a little less than a pound and is not a beautiful bird to look at. He/she looks like a brown ugly chicken. He is VERY VERY shy and although we lived there for years I only caught shadowy glimpses of them. If I remember correctly, their sound is that of a very cautious chicken clucking a warning. I would try to follow that sound as I crossed one of the islands. Because they were so hard to observe, I was always fascinated with them.

They have heavy thick legs which they use to build nests on the ground. These nest are quite large and if you come on one, it looks like a pile of compost in the middle of the island. Thus the strong legs. The chicks don't have an 'egg-tooth' and use the strong legs to kick out of the shell. The heat from the next is what allows the eggs to incubate and then hatch. Thus, sometimes they are called the incubator bird.

Since their nests are at ground level, they are subject to all kinds of predation and exposure. Therefore, they are really endangered. When I lived there, which was decades ago, their habitat was under pressure. I hate to think what has happened over the years and now with this television show... Maybe when I retire I can do some kind of volunteer effort to help the cause of protecting them.

Conveniences of Modern Life

As commented, electricity and running water are 'givens' in this civilized world of ours. I remember coming back from living in Palau (as well as another overseas place) and facing the loss of electricity after a snowstorm or a hurricane or whatevaaa. My neighbor who lived in a lovely LARGE colonial house on the hill behind us would call within minutes of finding herself without one of the 'givens.'

"Do you have electricity?"
"How long have you been without electricity?"
"Did you call the utility company?"
"When do you think we will get it back?"

I can remember thinking that there are people who live without electricity for much longer than 30 minutes or three days or whatever crisis hits the U.S. I remember thinking what spoiled brats Americans are...what failures at coping. What a little princess I have living next door. She really needed to be in a condo in the city, but she and her children wanted to go to a certain school and she had to live in a large house surrounded by acres filled with such scary things as deer, fox, ground hogs, etc.

Since my hubby and I loved camping it took us no time to get the fireplace going for warmth or cooking and a lantern or candles for light or brushing our teeth on the back deck since our septic pump didn't work and then we went back to what we were doing.

I will admit that now that I have lived with the 'givens' for a couple of decades, the hurricane two years ago that left us without power for 5 days, WAS a challenge. But it was mostly the challenge of having to wait to get stuff. Long lines and traffic problems without lights.

For my owl friend I will blog next about megapode...not a a parrot but cool none-the-less.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

This came from the Palau Visitors to Kevin Daviso

Pacific Island Memories

My husband and I made a special point of watching the first edition of the new "Survivor" series on TV last week. We are not Survivor fans, (the show sometimes reminds me of all the pain I went through in Junior High School.)

But, this season we made a special point to watch because we had lived in Palau for about seven years back in the late 60's early 70's. The beach where they brought the new survivors was a beach that my daughter had run naked on for many an afternoon...of course she was only two at the time. It is a lovely long beach and we would dig for small clams for soup before we headed home. It was an easy beach to swim or snorkel from as well.

There are many beaches of all shapes and sizes on the islands and if we saw a boat at a beach that we were heading for (on a very rare day), we just turned and went somewhere else. As newlyweds my husband and I could camp overnight and spend most of the day naked on the island. Yep, it was idyllic. Of course, back at our apartment in the town of KOROR we could go for most of the day without electricity or running water. Just depended on generators working and the guy who turned on the water spicket not being drunk.

We lived there before the traffic lights, the television station, etc. So, the only entertainment was a Japanese drive-in movie which showed mostly kung-fu stuff, playing Stratego with other expatriots at the resort hotel or boating. We had a motor boat and a catamaran. Both got lots of use. Maybe, I'll get lucky and go back there some day.

Monday, February 21, 2005

This graveyard is probably really cool on Halloween. It was very Salem witch trial and had lots of captains buried here.


Ah, yes, the infamous bigdig in the foreground looking back to Boston from Little Italy.

Posting hiccups and Boston

This past Friday, I had tried to post comments on a number of the blogs I regularly read...talking electronically...but for some reason...either Blogger problems or Comcast issues, my posts (which were particularly intellectual and insightful, of course) never made it to the blogs!

Then as time passed, I had to leave for a trip. My hubby (with the help of my daughter, as he would have NEVER done this years ago) took me to Boston for the weekend as a surprise for Valentine's Day. Only we went this past weekend instead of Valentine's weekend. I had never been to Boston, but it certainly is a city that is easy to love. And I say this after braving the 20 to 30 degree weather and blasting winds each day! Very easy city to get around in and the food at Little Italy is the best food I have eaten in quite a while-excellent wines as well. One of the waiters introduced me to an Italian rose (not the cloying sweet type) and as soon as I find the notes on it, I will research for my wine blog.

We took in a comedy improve show, saw Blue Man Group, went to Harvard and the Fogg museum (which was my homage to Gilmore Girls-yes I am an addict)and even went to an IMAX show and stopped and shopped in Chinatown at a local store. We also walked and walked and walked to see as much of the Freedom trail as we could with the nasty weather. I'll post a few pics for those who have not been there.

Thursday, February 17, 2005


Comcast and/or blogger is having a h... of a time getting me to a post window.
Enough time has passed that I have to go upstairs and pack! I am off to Boston.
Will fill you in when I get back!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Coming of Age Stuff

Had a lengthy talk with my son this afternoon after I got home from work. He works for a large network and handles the evening audio work for some of their programs a lucky entry level job he got. He is starting to discover all the sneaky stuff, the insecurity of higher ups, etc in a high pressure industry. Seems that a little scandal with one of the program stars as well as another promotional event that went awry has given him the job jitters. His job is probably still pretty secure, but he has seen people get disciplined for a failure that was not due to their work and it bothers him that the executives don't want to move beyond placing blame...i.e. finding out what happened and trying to prevent it from happening again.

Some of the executive's friends complained about the sound of the promotional program and all the clues lead to the locale and the distributing network--not the original audio engineer who my son thinks is one of the best in the business.

Fortunately my guy is smart enough to realize all the crap that people put themselves through to make themselves feel safe and important. But it doesn't help the bottom line which is to produce an excellent product and to back up good talent. He would make an excellent head of the department---hope he lasts that long.

I have always worked for the public and while never being able to make bonuses or a large salary, I do have job security. That is the trade off. The office politics crap still exists though, if on a smaller and less tense scale. Welome to the real world.

My Bulb Mania

Actually the story on this Amaryllis plant is more interesting, since superMANA commented. I once would buy an amaryllis bulb every year. Then I would put them outside in the spring after blooming and kept them slightly watered and fertilized and then bring them in to go dormant in the fall. In a few years I had dozens of bulblets alongside the bigger bulbs and soon I had about 3 dozen plants blooming each January through March. They would be standing in front of my french doors like wooden soldiers. When I moved to this rental house I knew I had to get a grip. So I donated my babies to the library white elephant sale for $5.00 each. They were huge bulbs and did make some money for the library. Now I am down to five plants--three with potential to bloom. The fifth plant is a Scadoxus multiflorus from South Africa that I bought at the Phildelphia Flower show three years ago and which I have managed to keep going and blooming each spring by treating it the same way. It is an exciting flower and I will take a picture of it when it blooms. Right now it is sitting in the pot looking dead (and surrounded by three --count em---three new babies!).

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

This is my amaryllus which I have nurtured for 4 years and which brings me an early spring every February! The roses are from my lover.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

This is beautiful way that gifts are wrapped in Japan. Clearly the process has just as much importance as the product.

This little group of cats was given to me by a Japanese colleague. I have not idea what the little sign means.

Friday, February 11, 2005

It Just Keeps Getting Better Doesn't It?

Well, I guess it was the blog surfing that I did a few days ago. I kept coming upon entries where people were sick and snuffling and aching and coughing, etc. So, naturally, I caught it! This is the second day I have been home with a sore throat and some sneezing. Not really sick enough to stay home, but not well enough to really go to work since I don't sleep well at night.

On top of this my husband has received some bad health news. His neck ache which he has had on and off for years, is now diagnosed as stenosis of the spine. Which means he has to have spine surgery in March. Without the surgery he is probably going to get worse with an increased numbing of his lower body --- everything below his shoulders --- and eventual paralysis. He has been in excellent health his entire life, so he is not taking this well. He also fears hospitals about 400% more than the average male.

The good news is that the surgery is 97% successful in patients. These are the kinds of percentages that doctors do not throw around carelessly. So, I am comfortable with this news --- at least as comfortable as anyone can be with such serious news. Good thing that there is the Family Sick Leave Act. Between my husband and my daughters birth in April, I will be back in nursing mode in no time.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

"And if we can't go back, then what are memories for?"

Pure Land Mountain in a recent blog about going home again also quoted Heraclitus. Much more eloquent than I. A nice post to read.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

My Dad

Here is my Dad in front of the proverbial "woodshed" where he has quite a supply of cut wood for the winter. He is just clearing the space in front of the door.

Can this man really be almost 91? He is enjoying this snow!

Tabor, call home

I try to call twice a week to the parents' house. It is kind of strange, but everyone is doing just fine without me. The siblings have worked out a good schedule and Mom actually sounds better although still weak. (We all seem to be surprised (and disappointed?) that she is dying by millimeters and not inches.)

Had a good laugh with my sister during the last call. While talking to Mom (who rarely got stuff straight when she was younger) Mom said that my sister had bought her a vibrator over the Internet because her bottom was so sore and now she really felt good when she used it. (Oh, the images, I am sure you can imagine.) I choked back the laughter until my Sis got on the phone and then chastised her about getting carried away with shopping for mom. Of course, she explained that the 'vibrator' was a chair pad which the nurse had suggested would improve her circulation in the area where she sat for such long periods of time.

I am still putting in my vote for the 'other' vibrator when I get to be 84!


I am married to an intellectual scientist. He has few practical skills unless you consider the abilty to accurately jibe or to perfectly cast a lure a skill (and yes, some do consider these essential skills). Today he proceeded to pour windshield-washer fluid into the brake fluid port of his monster car. Fortunately, he realized it shortly after he did it! He is now spending a beautifully sunny Saturday at the Ford dealer and it is will cost us $100. UGH UGH UGH