lydamorehouse: (Default)
 I know many of you would counsel me to toss my Spell-a-Day book in the open river after the pipe incident, BUT y'all have to know that today's "spell" was really quite spectacular.  It was actually just a meditation that wanted me to go for a walk.

Winter view of como lake

Since I had to go out to Roseville DMV to collect my tabs for the car, anyway, I stopped on the way home to make a brisk walk around Como Lake. Right now, it's 17 F / -8 C, though I suspect the windchill makes it quite a bit colder. I hadn't intended to go the whole distance around the lake (1.6 miles / 2.6 km), but you know how it is once you start. I kept thinking, "Oh, I'm probably halfway around now..." 

The picture doesn't do justice to how sunny it got. The sun broke and was so bright that I wished that I'd thought to grab my sunglasses.  There are always people walking their dogs, jogging, or strolling around Lake Como, so I nodded a "good morning" to about a half dozen people and several puppers/doggos--including two Huskies that looked like they thought this was the BEST TEMPERATURE EVER, even as I was wondering if I would ever regain feeling in my thighs.

I spotted a couple funky little nests hanging like purses from the branches that I've asked my birding friends for help identifying.

purse like nest. Seemed to be made partly of moss?

Google gave me the option of red-eyed vireo, which is a kind of warbler that does seem to live around here at least part of the time.  But, I really don't know anything from birds, so I hope my friends will have a clue. My friend Sharon "Bird Chick" Stitler, says that's an oriole.  I didn't know we had those here, but that's awesome. 

After my walk, I stopped at Kowalski's because I work tonight, and the current plan my family has to deal with my absence is to "have something frozen" for dinner. But, they couldn't give me anything more specific than that to work with, so I picked up a variety of frozen options for them. 

Mason has work tonight, too, so he's going to have to make his way home via the light rail.  Shouldn't be a problem for him. He's gone on several walkabouts that have taken him far enough afield that he just hopped the light rail back home.  (Free range kids are the best!)  

Meanwhile, I can't remember the last time I had a library shift. I'm a little concerned because I think they changed the time sheet process during my absence, so that may require some poking around on the emails.  (This is why I stay home. It's too difficult out there in the real world!)  But, Shoreview is often fairly chill in the evenings, so I should have time to figure things out.

Hopefully, I didn't just jinx it, by suggesting that, however.

Right, well. I'd best hop up and get the rest of the around the house chores done before I have to pick people up and then turn around and head off to work. 
lydamorehouse: (Default)
 The lake weekend was wonderful. I spent a lot of time, unplugged, staring out at our friends' garden watching the hummingbirds.  I managed to get a good picture of one:

A hummingbird sitting still for a photo. NO. REALLY.

Now it's the regular week and I'm trying to get back into the groove of things.  Today I took Mason back to Washington; he had a robotics planning meeting.  They're starting to look forward to next year, and there is some talk of a demonstration and/or competition of some kind at the State Fair.  (I can only be as clear and detailed as my son was to me, so that means: not very.)

Tomorrow, we are headed to the DMV to see if Mason can pass the written test and get his learners' permit.  He just took an official practice test and got a 90%. So, fingers crossed he can repeat that under pressure.

Otherwise, I'm trying to decide if I want to catch any Fringe shows this year. Last year, I went to see my friend [personal profile] naomikritzer do her thing and so I am now on the Fringe's mailing list. A lot of the people I know in SF/F fandom are also theater geeks, so a number of people I know are involved one way or another in Fringe... and some of their shows seem pretty interesting. Plus, it was fun to hit a show last year and I'm wondering if I should pick one or two and do it again this year. Since my family isn't up for it, I've found it easiest to pick a late night show and go.  

One year, I'd love to invest in a VIP pass and go to as many as I can fit in, in the week.

Meanwhile, I've been catching up on correspondence and enjoying not having as crazy a work schedule as I did last month. Tonight, for instance, I was able to make pot stickers (a family favorite) and not have to dash out the door to go to Roseville or some other place.  I've been working a LOT of Monday nights this last month and it almost feels weird to be sitting at home.

I haven't been feeling like writing ANYTHING lately, but I suspect that will pass. I think my brain is just doing a little 'reset' post-class. I got my evaluations from the Loft. Most are glowing or non-descriptive, but I had one comment that's been haunting me. Someone wrote on the "things you wish there were more of in class" section. "There was no freedom." I have no idea what that means in this context.  I, of course, have been spending many waking hours trying to puzzle it out. The best I can figure is that I very much teach in lecture-style. It's possible that this student was hoping to get up and move more.  Or perhaps my structure was too repetitive?  I did have people write via prompts, but I always said that you could use any writing time as free writing, so....?

This will now be the mystery that occupies my life.

Baby Owls!

May. 13th, 2011 05:16 pm
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Today, Mason and I went out birding again with the Audbon folks. This time we went to Roberts Bird Sanctuary in Minneapolis (not far, actually, from where I used to live in Uptown.) Of course, this was the one time I decided to leave our camera at home.

We saw two baby great horned owls. Apparently, all the local birders already knew about the owl nest that was just off the dirt trail, because as soon as we arrived there was talk of "do you think we'll see the owlets?" We did. They'd even ventured out of the nest to blink warily at the world. They were SUPER cute.

In fact, they looked A LOT like this:

Mama owl was watching (actually, we caught her "cat napping" -- though I suppose it was owl napping) in a nearby tree.

We also saw a bunch of warblers and another redstart (which is probably one of my new favorites.)

The rest of the day was spent frantically trying to rescue my laptop from a VERY intrusive spyware invasion. I was able to do it, thanks, in part, to the fact that I had another computer (with dial-up connection) from which to read the instructions on how to delete various registry bits. Evil spyware! Anyway, I downloaded Stopzilla to help keep this crap at bay, and I think I'm fairly clean finally. Sigh.

Some days I wish I were Mouse.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
In an effort to get Mason to do something other than rot his brains playing video games over his spring vacation, he and I went birding with a group this morning as part of the 2011 Birding Festival. The ironic part of this is that no matter how much "enrichment" stuff I do with him during vacation, he'll end up telling his teacher that he spent his vacation watching TV and playing games.


Anyway, if you're reading this Ms. H., at 8:00 am, we showed up at the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary with other stalwart folks and our grandfatherly guide, Julian. I'm not a big birder, as it were, but I do love hanging out with people who know what they're doing. Julian was one of those people who could identify various bird songs and tell us what we were looking for (or looking at.) We saw cormorants, Caspian turns, Balitmore orioles, American goldfinch, green herons, spotted sandpipers, Tennessee warblers, common yellow-throated warblers, and a bunch of stuff I can't remember any more, alas. There was one bird, in particular, I wish I could remember the name of -- it had a gorgous red/orange and black tail that it liked to spread out. It was a relatively small bird, but Mason and I just happened to be right underneath it and got a good look at the tail.

There were also a bunch of swallows of one kind or another darting about, along with red wing black birds, as this area was a bit marshy and wet. Even though Mason got a bit bored whenever the birders stopped to stare at the trees (which, of course, was the point of the whole excursion), I think I talked him into trying another outing tomorrow. There are two that seem promising -- one at Como at 8:00 am again and another over in Minneapolis at 10:00 at the Roberts Bird Sanctuary. Mason said he wanted to try the later one, since there was a lot of yawning associated with this one. The weather this morning wasn't that great either, though we missed the drizzle by about 20 minutes.

I actually really enjoy wet hikes as long as I have my head covered. I had both a hoodie and a ball cap, so I was nice and snug for the walk. So equiped, I find I really kind of enjoy cold, wet meanders. Of course, I bought coffee, too, so I was well caffinated, which improves the mood considerably.

With any luck, we'll have a little sunshine for tomorrow's hike.

Also, for those keeping track of the various mentions of Resurrection Code, Cheryl Morgan let me know that she mentioned my book briefly (and very positively) at the very end of her post at Salon Futura.

Tonight is kuk sool wan for Mason and I. I'm looking forward to it. Jo Kyo Nim tells me that I will get to pick up *MY* testing form tonight, so that means Mason's reign as ruling yellow belt of the house may soon be over. Bwah ha ha ha HA!

Oh, yes, let's see if the picture feature is working better today. Here's the testing. You can just see Mason's head in the front row. That's Sa Bum Nim leading the exercises:

Here's Mason receiving his new belt:

At home showing off the new belt in dragon stance:

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