Sunday, November 30, 2008

Something's going around

I got sick. I don't feel good. My friend called and left a message on my phone it said " I'm calling from Crank-a-holics Anonymous, you missed your meeting". Well I might be just a teensy bit cranky. I don't feel good.
Here's a photo for you since words hurt my head, I picked a random one off my computer that I thought you might enjoy. It's of my daughter standing next to a 30 metre high waterfall, in New Zealand. I hope you like it and I really hope you don't get sick. Like me.
I'll be back soon, with those meme's and more...
xxx Lori

Saturday, November 22, 2008

On the Island

We made it to Anacapa Island, at last! The wind finally cooperated, letting the boat out of the harbor, and although there was a swell, it was smooth sailing all the way there and back.
Close to the California mainland, yet worlds apart, Channel Islands National Park encompasses five remarkable islands (Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara) and their ocean environment, preserving and protecting a wealth of natural and cultural resources. Isolation over thousands of years has created unique animals, plants, and archaeological resources found nowhere else on Earth and helped preserve a place where visitors can experience coastal southern California as it once was ~ courtesy of
It took the captain of the boat 4 attempts to unload all the kayaks and passengers, he had to keep driving back out to sea, wait for the surge to subside and then go back to the ladder.
The Chumash Indians traveled to Anacapa in canoes called tomols, you can see evidence of their visits right beneath your feet. The tiny pieces of broken shell glittering in the soil are part of a midden, an archaeological site containing remnants of their culture. Twenty-seven archaeological sites mark the Chumash presence on Anacapa.
A cool,salty mist fills the air at Inspiration Point. Graceful gulls and pelicans soar above the foaming waves that surge across the narrow, rocky strait separating East and Middle Anacapa. Seven different species of marine birds nest on Anacapa, including western gulls, California brown pelicans, double-crested cormorants, Brandt's cormorants, pelagic cormorants, pigeon guillemots, and Xantus' murrelets. Twenty-two different species of land birds breed on the island and many other birds stop over during migration.
The Ranger station
The first lighthouse put on the island was in 1912, but it wasn't until 1932 that the Bureau of Lighthouses built this one in the Spanish Revival style containing a Fresnel lens.
Arch Rock
The Common Bottle Nose Dolphin escorted us home.

It was a spectacular day, we were sunburned and tired and hungry but we got the g.p.s. info that was so necessary (deadline is looming) and I got all these photos. Mother Nature treated us to a gorgeous sunset and my husband treated me to a big bowl of Albondigas soup at our favorite Mexican restaurant when we got back to town. I hope you had a beautiful weekend too...with or without dolphins chasing you home...

xxx Lori

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Aisle seats

I guess I've pootled around long enough and now I see I've been tagged a fourth time so I'd better get on it! The first three tags were from the lovelies Angela , Vanilla , and Karen. This Meme is about revealing 7 Random & Weird facts about yourself. I know the rules are out there somewhere, and I really do hope you will forgive me because I am about to break them (again)((the blog police never showed up last time)). Well, not really break break, just a little tweak, if that's alright with you ? OK. so. the first part. First, this might sound really lame since this is MY Blog after all...but I don't really like to write about me. Oh, I like to write about me with others and ALL about other and places and things...but I am...winceing...sweating...handwringing...

so I thought about asking my family and friends if they could name some Random and Weird facts about me. And then I thought better. What if they said something that would cause more wincing... I am just going to have to man-up and play this game like a big here goes...

7 Random & Weird Facts about Me:

1. I HAVE to have an aisle seat. I could take the inside or window, but only if my husband is on the aisle. This goes for planes, trains, buses, pretty much anything with an aisle. I didn't realize how bad it was until one time I was booked on a flight overseas. My husband said "Did you remember your aisle seat?" yes, i did, I said. But, the airlines didn't and the very inhospitable ticket agent said "sorry, flights full, you'll take this seat and you'll like it" well, she didn't say exactly that, but she meant it. I thought, Lori, stop behaving like a baby. Travel means being adaptable and most important, no whining. So, I boarded the plane, thinking good thoughts and then I saw my seat. Not only was it not an aisle, it was right in the middle of a 5 seat row. Here I was like this: X X x X X . I am the tiny x. Now, I am not tiny, I only felt it. I sat there and did my yoga breath , but I realized my pulse was racing, my heart was pounding and besides the fact that I suddenly had to pee really bad, I was crying. Yes, right there, like a little crying baby. I knew I was screwed, I could not sit here for 12 more hours or the whole aisle would have been crying. So, I got up, grabbed all my stuff, said goodbye to my ex-seat mates, sorry for everything and all. And I went and found the most sympathetic flight attendant I could. I said to her please may I have an aisle seat?, I don't care where, you see, I requested one and I need it. She said to wait and she'd be back. In the meantime I was told to take my seat a few times. I can't, I don't have one yet. I really did feel like the biggest idiot and all. Standing there looking lost on an airplane. And then my sweet sympathetic attendant came back to me and said I have a seat for you and she led me to the last row of the plane where I was shown my new seat. Excellent! My new seat mate was not happy to see me as she now had to hold her 1 year old on her lap. And as my punishment for usurping this seat at the last minute, i was kicked, slapped, drooled and crackered on for the next several hours, by the baby darlings, not the mother...and I couldn't have been happier!

2. umm... that was a long one, the next 6 will be short, i promise!

I've written (and kept) journals since high school. As far as I know this is the first to be read.

3. I LOVE airports and bookstores...think of the possibilities!

4. My name to some of my daughters friends is Bonnie. Some time ago, one of my daughters friends said to her, when she saw me coming, "oh, here comes Bonnie". My daughter said "Who?" The friend said "You know Bonnie".My daughters other friends said "her names Lori" while shrieking with laughter. So from then on I have been known as BonnieLori or just plain Bonnie to the kids at the High School.

5. I like to look in other peoples windows. When I go for a walk around the neighborhood I just like to look.

6. I have a collection of stingrays. I probably have 30. One time I stepped on one and it went through my ankle, almost through to the other side, and I had surgery and now I have permanent damage, from the stingray. But I like them.

7. I am happiest when I am in the middle of my kids and they are all being noisy and joking and having fun with each other (and they kind of forget I'm there) and they are all loving one anothers company. It's pure joy. And my husband will see the look on my face and he'll come over and put his arm around me and say quietly " happy?" . Yes, oh yes.

And now I've done it Geli, Vanilla and Karen, it just took me awhile. And so here's where I change it up a bit. Everyone of you has been tagged with this Meme (and everyone else I read) so if its alright with you can I suggest something else?
Since Thanksgiving is right around the corner and it is one of my favorite times of the year, can we start a Meme that lists the 7 things we are Thankful for?

Do you like this Meme Idea? is this even a Meme? Well, I am tagging Fire Byrd, Letters From Usedom and Monkeys on the Roof, yep, only 3, so you only have to tag 3 too . If you like this idea. OK?

that's all ;-)
except for the new book tag from Karen.
I'm on it.

xxx lori

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Playing Hooky

One day this last week (before the fires) my husband had to head up north to Morrow Bay and Avila Beach, to take some photos for an assignment he had. I took the opportunity to tag along, it's a beautiful day, and a beautiful drive, want to come too? Here we go heading up the coast, this is just a little north of Santa Barbara...
here's a quick look at Shell Beach...
and acres and acres of vineyards, see how much they thrive in these conditions? theres a good grape, when you grow up you can be a lovely pinot noir and I can drink you. yum.
We are taking the 1, the coastal route. San Francisco will have to wait for another day...
Our first stop. We are at the Elfin Forest in Morrow Bay, we seem to be the only ones here, let's go have a look around...
These are the miniature ancient oaks we came to see if you would like to know more about this phenomenon you can find out here. I want to read more myself, right now we are on a mission for the photos!
Now we are at the IMPORTANT Bird Area, this is still part of the Nature Preserve in The Elfin Forest.
Do you see what I see here? What is this language that SLO birds speak? Their chortling crrronk?? ha ha hee hee! I think i used to have a car that used to make this sound...

Here is the lovely estuary of Morrow Bay, in the distance is the rock that Morrow Bay is famous for. One time we kayaked all around this place, you can even paddle in the area right in front of us here, at high tide.

Back on the road, we have to turn back south (i know, I'm sad too) I could keep going and going. Here is my knitting, I am working on these little soft bowls, see the white? it will turn into the bowl in the photo when I'm done with it!

Now we are at Avila Beach, here is the pier...

and here is the beach, one part of it...
and here is the welcoming committee. Hi there guys!

Isn't he the cutest?...they are so cute when their mad, more photos Mr. Pelican...

Here is a very large sea lion, its hard to tell so you'll just have to take my word for it. What I couldn't tell is if he was happy or not to meet us. I think though that he was not. Or maybe he was. Oh where is Dr. DooLittle when you need him...?

look at this healthy guy, I bet he's off to catch his lunch...

A nice restaurant on the pier for the rest of us, with fish `n chips, ceviche, calamari...I don't know though, I feel a little bad about eating seafood when the rest of the family is swimming right underneath our table...

aren't these clever? i know my g~babies are gonna love this...

and this....

what a day...the sun was shining...finally some alone time with my darling...
we held hands, it felt like a date...

...when we left today, we made a deal, no talking about kids, money, work, kids... and especially the kids...
we would just enjoy this day...

unlike this pour soul who surely did not enjoy their day. This person was eaten by a great white shark right off that pier you see in the distance.
oh man.
...the sun is setting...we are tired...time to head home...but first we are hungry since we didn't eat in Avila's. We know of a great restaurant not too far from here in the town of Guadalupe. It's call the Far Western Tavern. The building it's in was built in the 1800's and it used to be a shhh...whore house... It's an old cowboy hangout with authentic wild west decor, the curtains are even made of cowhide, which would be a pretty big turn-off if you are a vegetarian. As would the big steaks they serve.
Anyway... my husband got the photos, we had fun and I hope you enjoyed a little part of our little trip as well... and i hope all these photos didn't take forever to load.

xxx lori

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Quantum of Awesome

Quantum of Solace received less than stellar reviews so our expectations were low when we went to the theater to see it on Saturday.

I was so happy to be disappointed... in the reviews! We loved it. The movie was fabulous , from the opening song `Another way to die` performed by Alicia Keys and Jack White, to the end, which left off with the possibility of another film. Sweet. I thought the newest Bond Girl, Olga Kurylenko did a smashing job...and I wonder what was the name of that lipstick she was wearing? yes...well... it was enough to let us forget, for the moment, about the horrific situation happening right here in our own backyard, another wildfire. It is such an awful feeling, this helplessness. We are told to stay indoors and out of the way so firefighters and rescue workers can move through the streets. I know some of you saw it on the news, and I want to thank you so much for your kind thoughts and hopeful wishes. Every time we have a fire here in California I think everyone holds their breath and prays it doesn't come close to any neighborhoods. This one started in one. No one knows how it began, only where, at Westmont College in Montecito. This campus was built in the 1940's and like alot of the buildings that have burned down so far, they have a little history. This fire, which is still burning, threatening over 1000 homes, is wind blasted, they are calling it sundowner winds, when the cool ocean air meets the hot canyon wind and somehow this creates havoc. And ferocious conditions. So far over 200 homes have been lost though no lives. Thank God for that. We have friends that have evacuated, it seems like everyone knows someone that has or that has lost their home. The trails that we love so much, many are burned beyond recognition.So we do as they ask, we keep the house closed up, windows shut tight. No running. No outside activity. Air quality is so poor. Use water sparingly, the reservoir is lowlowlow. Ash falls like snow covering everything casting a grey pall over all. So we went to the movies, it looked like a ghost town. Doors were closed to keep out the ash (and heat) the temperature is in the high 80's. Poor poor firefighters. Signs are everywhere...In store windows... Thank you Fire Department...We love you Santa Barbara...

Took ourselves for a drink after the movie. You know the one, The Vesper Martini. We lifted our glasses to the newly homeless people,that they can find their way, wish that I could take everyone in, that they may find some silver lining in all this, some catharsis, grateful for no people gone, only replaceable buildings, and please rain please come now, and please wind, calm down, calm calm calm, and to all the people that serve to protect all of us, we raise our glass and thank you, everysingleone.

xxx lori

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Lunch Break

photo by dubock

The first swell of the season has come and a flurry of activity has descended on our home (and town). Surfboards can be seen on every other vehicle, under arms of bike riders or skateboarders all looking for the perfect break. My house must have at least 10 boards scattered (carefully,scattered) all around. They are propped up in my husbands office, stacked up on a shed, laying on our picnic table, and when a new one comes home it can sometimes be found laying on a bed. These boards are treated with the most care, since they cost a small fortune, but more, they are the E ticket ride.

Surfing is addicting. When you catch your first wave you want another then another then another. When my kids were young I used to have to start walking away from the beach to get them to come out of the water. I understand how it is, since I grew up surfing myself. And even though I don't surf anymore, I haven't forgotten the thrill. Sometimes, I even suggest to my family to go jump in the ocean, have a surf, get's a great way to get some exercise, clear your head.

I thought of this post because there is surf, or it was here a couple of days ago, and because just this morning I had a phone call from a friend of mine. He has an agency, the kind that represents actors and models. He said to me that he needed an older woman who surfs. Would I be interested? I said I am neither of those! ok, well, I am older, but not one who surfs anymore. He tried to get me to say I would do it. I told him I couldn't . He said "Oh just try it, you are letting me down". Finally, I said ok, on this condition : I'll do it if it's in Honolulu, where the surf is gentle and the water is warm. And if my sons can come too (in fact my whole family) to help push me in the waves. Then i'll think about it. He grumbled " You are no help at all". Ha!

...the husband...,the older woman, attempting many moons ago..., the ancient art of surfing...

xxx lori

Monday, November 10, 2008

Borrowing Ideas

Borrowing the great idea from Absolute Vanilla , I thought you might like to come along with me for a walk on this beautiful Novemberly (thanks Angela!) day...

Here is my street, isn't this a pretty view? If you turn directly around you will be looking at the ocean, well, if we had a 2 story house you could see it, you have to get a little higher. Today is really windy, it's hard to tell from the photo but I am bringing a beanie. I think we'll walk towards the mountains, let's go!

Right up the street is a miniature horse farm. There are alot of farms in this part of town, in the foothills. There are also several nursery's with green houses here in the valley. The most important, or I ought to say the largest are owned by Dutch families. They grow flowers to ship out across the country. Many have homes here and in Holland. My g~babies are a bit confused by this, they think Holland is down the street from us.

Now we are on a foothill road. This road meanders through Carpinteria and continues on all the way to Santa Barbara, past Summerland and Montecito. It winds it's way past old oaks, meadows, horses, orchards, mansions, small cottages...

and a dried up creek. Sometimes, during the winter, this creek is filled with water and it sweeps up all kinds of random things as it surges toward the ocean, like snakes and turtles, that end up on the beach. One year we scooped up a few turtles and took them to a local animal rescue center. A volunteer there rehabilitates them ~ they get a little massage and a tiny martini before their taken back up into the mountains and deposited right where they started. Kidding about the rehab part, in case you believed me.

Passing by an avocado orchard, we ought to look on the ground for any fallen avocados. I think the rule is anything on the ground is fair game. If you pick any you might get shot or go to jail. I think.

Aren't these beautiful? hanging there all green and ripe (almost) tempting, pick me,pick me. There must be 1 million avocado trees in my town ,with 10 million avocados hanging from them. I see them when I walk or run. But unless friends donate any (and they sometimes do ~bless bless!) I have to buy them in the market at $2.00 apiece!

Ooops! this picture has nothing to do with our walk, its just my delicious grandbabies. Can i tell you a couple cute things about them while we're on our walk? ok, Sadie, on the right, just learned how to text. I know, what? why? I didn't teach her, but anyway, it's a changing world. So, Sunday morning she ran in to me, very excited, "Did you get my text?" I look at her not understanding. My daughter comes in and explains. I go find my phone and here's what I found: i love you lore . Yes. and then, the boy. Travis. He is so smart, reading everything and only in 2nd grade. He is a very good boy too. Careful and thoughtful. He had an eyelash fall on his cheek the other day. My daughter told him he could make a wish. He got his thoughtful look on and said " I wish for all my library books to always make it back on time" . See what I mean? And yes, my daughter and her ex have a new plan for those books.

Uh oh. Our walk is about to be interrupted. It happens all the time when i get right here, unless I am running in which case I am sweating and redfaced and don't stop. This is another wonderful nursery that I love.

Lets go inside. Just for a minute. This place is called Island View Nursery. Because just like the name says, you can see the Channel Islands in the distance. I forgot to take that photo. Oh well, that just means we'll have to come back!

Wouldn't you love to have this in your backyard? think of all the wildlife you could attract. Fun!

And how about one of these? You could put it right next to your watering hole and have a pretend safari. Drinking sundowners watching humming birds and um, well, raccoons. Or maybe a skunk.
Or, look! you could buy a giraffe. He's cute right?

Or how about a tyrannosaurus Rex? I know 2 people (see above) who would think this would be just great for the garden.

I think this is a giant yucca. I like it alot. I think It's very dignified the way it stands in the middle of this courtyard. Now to the right of this photo is the inside part of the nursery, let's go...

I wish you really were here so you could feel the gentle energy of this place. Its saying welcome welcome...

can you see the lovely Buddha just under the fern?

There you are. Hello Buddha. Namaste. We are happy to be here.

In the greenhouse, fountains gurgling and tinkling in every corner.Plants generously giving off their their chlorophyll and oxygen, the air warm and moist.

Fabulous hand carved doors from Bali. Like Narnia. They seem to beckon, walk through me... come discover whats beyond...

And don't you think one of these ought to come home with you? yes? :)

~to be continued...

xxx lori