Archive | August, 2010

I am a shlub . . .

31 Aug

But, I’m an unabashed shlub.

kindle stock photo

I have a degree in English Language and Literature. By rights, I should be staying up too late reading high literature.  My literary decisions should be between re-reading Moby Dick (not gonna happen, folks!) or some obscure poet translated from his or her original language (probably not going to happen either).

Instead, I read for fun.  I read to relax.  I read for pure pleasure.

One of the many, many reasons I’m glad I have a Kindle is that I can read for pure pleasure and no one has any idea what I’m actually reading.

I can read a hot, steamy romance novel that borders on the pornographic or I can read a quick, intense mystery where the evil doer is clear to all from page 3.  And, it looks just the same as if I am reading Sherlock Holmes (which I might also be doing, thank you very much).

I have friends who love to recommend books.  I was looking at my overloaded bookshelves the other day and realized that I have six books sitting there that were highly recommended, that I started, that I couldn’t bear to finish.

My bumper sticker should say, “Life is too short to read painful, dull, obtuse books.”

I like my books to be fun, well-written, with great characters and humor and if I feel something while I’m reading, all the better.  Make me laugh.  Make me cry.  Make me frown with anger.  Make me pant a little at your hot monkey sex.  I’m a fan!

I am also a devoted reader.  If your books work for me, I’ll read them all.  I’ll buy them and read them and often re-read them.

I just found an author who I love.  I’m working my way through her books right now.  Her name is Kristan Higgans.  Her books are light and frothy but also make me laugh, cry, and all of that other stuff.  She writes with a delicacy that is refreshing.  She’s definitely a niche writer . . . her books have a similar feel to them but wow do they work for me.

See, here’s the thing.  I love to read.  I want to be transported away to another place and live another life.  I want to cry with the heroine when things are bad but with Kristan Higgins, I also find myself laughing out loud as I read too.

This, of course, annoys the heck out of Greg as I tend to read in bed while he’s asleep.  Oh well.  If any of this appeals to you, check out Kristan Higgins’ books and give her a try.  If not, find something that does work for you but for goodness sake, read!

And, me, I’ll be the one a little bleary-eyed with my students today because I read a little too long in bed last night.  Yawn!


The beach and sand . . .

30 Aug

Paula Poundstone is a very funny woman and there are gems of truth in her funniness.  Like this . . . that she said on Twitter on Sunday: I love the beach. I just hate sand.

You know what, I agree.  Yup.  What she said.

Oregon's Beautiful Coast

Beaches are beautiful and relaxing and inspirational. Beaches soothe your soul and smooth your feet. Beaches are peaceful and contemplative. I love beaches.

Natural bridge

Beaches are awe-inspiring and small. Beaches are full of life and empty of distractions. Beaches are exciting and calming.

Oregon coast

But sand . . .

I hate sand. It’s gritty and sticky and itchy. It gets into and onto everything. It fills your shoes and blows in your eyes. Sand loves to find food. Sand finds its way into places its not meant to be. Sand is just plain annoying.  I hate sand.

It was windy at the beach

This beach is on the Oregon Coast . . . home of some really spectacular beaches that I love . . . except for all the sand.

Sandhill Cranes are amazingly cool

29 Aug

Sandhill Cranes, Yellowstone

I saw my first Sandhill Cranes in Utah but it was a 60 mph sighting.  Thankfully, in Yellowstone, my loving and indulgent husband spotted these beauties as we drove along the Western side of the park.  We stopped and I was able to get this shot.  They were quite far away but I was able to get these shots thanks to my fantastic camera.  Every time I look at this camera, I get excited about these beauties all over again.  How amazing are they?

First week of school . . . done

28 Aug

Brown Pelican, Brookings, OR

We’re flying off into a new year. I think it’s going to be a good one!


26 Aug

Have I mentioned that I love the color pink?

Wildflowers on Oregon Coast

Pink is a beautiful color.

Tiny pink flower

I do. I really, really do love the color pink.

Pink California Poppy

It makes me happy.

Hermit Thrush

So, when I was gearing up for the new school year, I decided to go for the pink . . .

My new 'do

Black-chinned Hummingbird?

24 Aug

I think this is a lifer for me . . .


But, even if it isn’t, it was so cool seeing all the amazing hummers hanging at Rita’s feeder in the Gold Country two weeks ago.  So cute!

Here are some more . . .


Rufous Male displaying . . .


Too cute — hummer tongue!  I think this one is a female Anna’s.

There were times when there were more than 15 hummers hovering and waiting their turn and bickering over whose turn it was.  So, cool!

My pictures are not as lovely as the ones on the Stokes birding blog (although I do have 3 types of hummers).  Go visit their blog and enjoy!

Looking at things through new eyes

23 Aug

Greg and skunk

Skunks are stinky and annoying.  They are mostly seen dead on the road or viewed with great alarm. You don’t want to hear them in our garbage or tangling with your dog in the middle of the night.  Skunks are not my favorite critters.

And, then I met this one.  The color is evidently a naturally occurring mutation that the petting zoo in Oregon (West Coast Wild Game Park) is admittedly breeding for in their skunk population.  And, of course, their skunks are de-scented.  The soft brown coloring and the gentle sweetness . . .  wow.  They are so cute.

No, I don’t want a sweet-smelling skunk as a pet.  I really don’t.  But, I don’t think I’ll be looking at them with quite so much loathing in the future as they stroll across my yard, sure in the knowledge that no one (except Ruby) wants to tangle with them.

Singing . . .

22 Aug

White-crowned Sparrow

There were about a million wonderful moments on our 5-week camping trip.  Cataloging each one would be nearly impossible, but I will try to share as many as I can.  This White-crowned Sparrow sang beautifully to us at the beach in Oregon.

Best Rest Stop Bathroom Evah

19 Aug

The rest stop at Dismal Nitch Oregon (that is seriously what it’s called, peeps!) is the nicest rest stop I’ve ever stopped at.  I’m not sure who stocks the flowers here but I do thank them!

Nice rest stop bathroom

Funniest Cuddler Evah . . .

18 Aug

We spend a remarkable hour or two at a fantastic petting zoo in Southern Oregon.  There are lots of things to share from there but this surprising cuddler sticks in my mind.

Baby possom

Ruth and Gage with baby possom

Gage with baby possom

What’s not to love about a baby possum who likes to snuggle into a knit hat?

Oh, if you are in Oregon and want to visit the home of the possum in a hat, go to Bandon and visit West Coast Game Safari.  We loved it!