Friday, September 25, 2009

Buried

So... I've been kind of showered with gifts. lol I believe I've mentioned James has a knack for finding amazing deals? Yes? Okay.

So...

He brought me a new pearl necklace, more casual than the last one (I don't have photos yet, sorry) so I can wear it every day. And some nice gloves/arm warmers just for fun. And the food dehydrator he had asked a while back if I wanted... I do a lot of soup I the winter, so I dry mushrooms and vegetables and whatnot since they keep better that way. Now I can dry a lot more stuff since I'll have the oven freed up for actual cooking, so it's great!

And thanks to his insane ability to find deals (mind you, some of them are planned by us as gifts for others since I can't use them all): several agate rings, some magnetic hematite rings (definitely keeping some of those since they're supposed to be good for arthritis), woven bracelets...

I feel rich. lol

I will admit, I took on the "ooh shiny" reaction and played with the rings for a while. Especially the magnetic ones. Sticking them together, stacking them up... which is funny because my mother said my little cousin would love the magnetic ones for the same reasons. lol

Yes, I will admit to the occasional childlike indulgence. I think, though, it can be healthy in moderation. Sometimes we all need to just let go and have fun with something silly for a while.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The crazy animal lady strikes again.

Stopped into a shop on the way home.

The owner had her dog there (little yorkie). Which apparently pawed and pawed like it needed to go out to pee, but then instead of going to the door with said owner, she ran up to me, so I bent down to pet her, and she licked all over my face. The owner was in shock. Apparently the dog NEVER just goes right up to strangers like that.

I wasn't surprised. I get comments like that all the time with people's pets. Shy dogs from the avoidant to the fear-aggressive, cats who avoid and even scratch at unfamiliar people, pretty much any mammal that is untrusting of most people. I have no problems. Reptiles I'm okay with but don't have much experience. Birds don't like me unless they like *everybody*. I assume it's a body language thing, since none of my family ever had birds when I was growing up.

But mammals... any one I've ever met seems comfortable with me.

If I don't end up working with animals as a career, I need to find more time to put in volunteer hours.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Boardwalk

I went out for a bit today... no real reason, just felt the need to be somewhere besides the house for a change. On the way back I stopped by the boardwalk in Galena. Nice little spot at the edge of Hoover Reservoir in an area known as the mudflats, because during dry summers it's pretty much mud instead of lake.

Usually on a day like this the boardwalk is crowded with fishermen.

Not today.

Today it was empty, quiet. So as I walked along the wooden planks, I could hear everything around me. A bird bathing at the water's edge several yards away, heard just as easily as though it were next to me.

There were herons everywhere. It's the first time in a while I've just been able to sit out in nature uninterrupted by other sounds. The boardwalk dead-ends partway out into the lake, so I just sort of stood there for a while, watching.

And the sight of the sun sparkling on the water holds a kind of beauty that brings tears to my eyes. Even knowing the science of it, reflection, refraction, properties of light and how it bounces off a surface... it's still magic to me. A thousand points of light dancing on the water's surface. Nothing quite compares to that.

The park doesn't close until 11:00 at night. I think sometime I should go after dark, to watch it in the moonlight.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Meet Loki

The newest addition to my household:

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Unfortunately the photo doesn't show his full range of colors. The teal and red you can see, but in the right light he also shows purple and cobalt blue.

The shop also had a midnight blue halfmoon betta which was insanely tempting, especially given that it was only about $20 when they sell from breeders for over $50 as a general rule (and by his size he WAS of breedable age) but I forced myself to resist. I can't afford to spend that on a fish right now. Besides, if I get a halfmoon I want an opaque white. Which means I'd better have some cash to throw around first because those run a pretty high price tag... so like, not until I have the setup to actually breed them.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Franklin Park Conservatory

For the first time in years, I actually went to the conservatory for something other than the Asian Festival, meaning this was the first time I've been *inside* since I took my friend's senior portraits way back in my first year of college. Naturally, I had to bring the camera. Please pardon while I kill your bandwidth with a dozen or so photos.

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Right now they have a lot of Chihuly glass on display (see http://www.chihuly.com/ for more of his work). All hand-blown. This is the ceiling of a small section of the Himalayan Mountain exhibit.

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I am determined this is where they put the kids that misbehave. Talk about a time-out chair. Beat that, Supernanny!

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They were setting up to do a wedding in the palm room. These are some of the lanterns.

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Some glass on the Zen Terrace.

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I swear this looks like a scene out of Willy Wonka.

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Not quite what you usually think of when you hear the term "glass-bottom boat".

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The picture didn't turn out quite as pretty as the actual view. I have a strange fondness for ivy.

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They had some of the most bizarre orchids I've ever seen.

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I also have a fondness for carnivorous plants.

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Probably my favorite shot of the whole trip. One of these days I want to have a koi pond.

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More of the glass.

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One of the few good shots I got of the butterflies.

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If anyone is interested in buying prints, let me know and I can direct you to where you can buy them. Only those NOT featuring the Chihuly glass are for sale, as without having permission or finding a blanket permission statement on the artist's website, I don't want to cause trouble. I know as an artist myself I wouldn't want people making money off my work without my permission, so there's a respect issue there.