Tuesday, December 16, 2008


When I opened my curtains this morning, I got a surprise. I yelled out "snow!!!!" Wait...snow? in Monterey? Am I dreaming? Am I drinking? (that one's for you Mom) Nope, I'm awake and sober. So snow? Not exactly....hail. After I opened my door and walked outside, I remembered what woke me up early this morning. It was pouring down rain then started to hail. Hard. I took the pictures below around 10am. The temp was about 40°F and it was still all over! It's 2pm now and I think it's hit about 45°F and the sun has come out, so it's all gone. But for those of you who don't live in Monterey...or even California...this is not normal. Sure it hails in Monterey on occasion. Even snows a bit maybe once every 10 years. But I have NEVER seen it stay on the ground that long! For us...it's COLD!

The neighbor's

My yard (the big white pieces are rocks...)

Ok, so maybe it doesn't look quite like Monica's house in Seattle:

Or Uncle Marvin's house in Holly, Michigan:

Or my cousin Kim's house in Harrison, Michigan (nice pix by the way Kim!):

But I was still excited, ok?!?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Today was a good day

I had a pretty good day today, so it got me thinking about other interesting things about this date. So here's what I found out:

Interesting things that have happened on November 12:
-1799 First meteor shower on record
-1889 Washington admitted as 42nd state
-1892 Pudge Heffelfinger receives $500, becomes 1st pro football player (Hefflefinger...really?)
-1910 1st Movie stunt: man jumps into Hudson river from a burning balloon
-1915 Theodore W. Richards of Harvard University became the first American to be awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry
-1933 1st known photo of Loch Ness monster (or whatever) is taken
-1936 Oakland Bay Bridge opens
-1945 Neil Young born
-1955 Date returned to in "Back to the Future" & "Back to the Future II"
-1969 - Jim Morrison arrested on an airplane by FBI for drunkeness
-1981 1st balloon crossing of Pacific is completed
-1991 "Full House" 100th episode

Today is:
-The first day of "National Shallow Person's Awareness Week"
-"National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day"
-Mellow yellow day
-National Sundae Day (How come no one told me?!)
-16 Days till Thanksgiving
- 42 Days till Christmas
-49 Days till 2009
-115 Days till my birthday (Don't forget!)

Anyhow, today I had a meeting in Big Sur for the erosion control projects I've been working on. I always love going down there because it's so beautiful and today was no exception. We had a little bit of extra time before lunch, so we drove down the coast a bit to look at the burned areas and stopped at two roadside pull outs to check out some CA Condors (federally endangered for those of you who don't know) that we saw circling above the cliffs. At the second stop, 4 of the birds were roosting on the cliff and in the trees not far from the road. It was so awesome! I've never seen them before and man are they UGLY! Right after Josh took the picture of me (below) they took off and flew out over the water, then circled back towards us. I was about to take a picture of Josh with them in the background when one flew right over my head! It was probably about 10 feet above, but they're BIG birds and it felt like he was much closer! And I of course looked away from the camera and lost the shot...

Later we drove to another project site on Old Coast Road, which has some spectacular views of the ocean and beautiful patches of redwood forest. At one of the highest peaks we watched a big fog bank blow in along the highway. We were up above it and inland, so it was amazing to watch the the clouds form and reach their fingers over the hills. And it was moving fast! It also started coming over one of the hills near us and looked a little creepy like the monsters from Stephen King's "Mist" were going to come out of it.

Then after a good day in the field, I met Merry at the Duck for dinner and drinks, which of course was good times as always. And now I'm going to climb in to my comfy bed and get some rest with thoughts of my retreat this weekend and the wonderful massage I will have! Enjoy the pictures!

Find the condors...It's like where's Waldo, but instead of a funny looking guy in stripes, you're looking for two big ugly birds.
Condors close up
When they took off over our heads
The first ones that were sighted
Fog bank from Old Coast Road

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I Love October in Monterey!

Um....yeah, I live here...

Before the sun went down...
Limpet and rock kelp

AnemoneI'm a bad botanist....not sure what kind of sunflower this is

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

You'll Have To See It To Believe It!

You'd be amazed at the look on people's faces when you tell them you're constructing a Rubix Cube out of Rice Crispy Treats. I mean, there's nothing abnormal about that, right? Of course not! haha! Anyhow, this was my latest challenge. My good friend Merry came to me with this about a month ago.

The story was that she wanted to make Rice Crispy Treats for her brother for his birthday because they are his favorite. But Merry doesn't bake. (although whether you can consider making Rice Crispy Treats "baking" is still up in the air....there's not really a category for melting and stirring, is there?) So she sent him a big box of store bought treats and they never got there! I'm thinking a lot of Post Office workers had a nice afternoon snack! Then, while talking to her brother on the phone she came up with the idea to take his favorite childhood toy and favorite snack and make it one. And that's where I came in! My expertise (haha!) in baking and making Rice Crispy Treats was needed!

So the adventure started Saturday when we made a total of 5.5 batches of rice crispy treats, coloring 5 half batches the different colors of the rubix cube. And as we went along, I keep thinking about the construction. There's this problem, there's that problem, how are we going to put it all together. After 2 hours of melting, mixing, and pondering, we decided to just make them all and then put them together the next day. Unfortunately Merry wasn't feeling well for the next 2 days, so we didn't get to start construction till tonight. (do you know how hard it is to have 8 pans of Rice Crispy Treats in your fridge and not be able to eat them!?) We got all of the kinks worked out and with very little sketching of what we were doing and more just winging it, we came up with an AWESOME product! So, here's the pictures of our construction and what will result from 4 hours of playing with and subsequently eating too much sugar! (yes, that's a total of 6 hours to make this)

3 full batches and 5 half batches with color.

Merry beginning construction.

Cutting the edges of the sides.

Making it fit.

What happens when you've already had desert and then eat rice crispy scraps as you go...
Colored fries!
Taste the rainbow!

Gluing it all together with frosting

The final product!!!!!

I may not have food in my fridge, but I have a Rice Crispy Treat Rubix Cube! Doesn't everybody?