Thursday, May 24, 2007

In which our heroine and stress are justlikethis

First of all I want to say that I have deeply appreciated the comments and support y'all have offered. It has been great during a very difficult few days.

It is looking more and more likely that the job is a sure thing and a move is in our near future.
We are waiting for the word from the regional guy but so far it looks like it's full steam ahead. There are almost literally a million things to work out. Like finding funding for our move and new housing. Moving one dog and five cats across country. Deciding what to keep, sell, or toss. And some of the hardest of all, saying good bye to our family here.

We are concentrating our search for places to live in south eastern Dayton (around Kettering for those who are familiar) , Beavercreek, and Yellow Springs, so if you know anything about those areas I'd love to hear from you. It is a little daunting that the nearest Whole Paycheck is an hour away, there are no Wild Oats anywhere. At least they have Trader J*e's. I did find something that seemed kind of neat, New Life Food Club. Certainly sounds like something to check out. The Dayton version of craigslist is absolutely pitiful compared with SFBay area. Clearly it is not the major way one finds jobs, or at least my kind of jobs.

The last few days have been very intense. In classic karmic fashion we had set up an appointment with our therapist who we hadn't seen in over a year. Life stresses were getting to us so we figured a tune up was in order. Two days after booking the appointment all this hit the fan. Needless to say yesterday was a very hard day. We have both been very tense, going over all the options or the feeling of lack of options if this job doesn't come through and somehow therapy did not improve all that. Well that's not entirely true but it was a lot of work.

Things are feeling better today, even though or maybe because, this morning we had an very emotional conversation. We do need to this work to stay happy, and make the best out of this move. And we will.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Blinded by the light

....of a job offer. Okay maybe more like a potential job offer. Not for me but for TGF.
In Ohio. Yes, yes, the state I said I would not move to, ever. Okay one of the states I have said that about but this declaration was made repeatedly and emphatically.

TGF has a son, like I have a daughter, not by blood, not through official channels but still a young person in our lives who we have taken a parental role with over a long period. Well he works somewhere (a large chain) that has a store opening (that I guess is sort of in his region), has pull (he is a very charming boy), and spoke to TGF about it yesterday.

In theory the store is set to open in late July but has been pushed back a few times. The timing could not be much worse for me as that is right at the height of work for Dance New England for me, right after the end of a school semester - in other words a mess.

This is very much like deja vu for me. Six years ago, almost to the month my ex applied for a job in California when we were living in Massachusetts. Memorial Day weekend 2001 she and I came out here for her interview and to check things out a bit. C left Massachusetts with 98% of our belongings in mid July while I stayed behind to finish getting the house ready to sell, went to Dance New England, and then I drove west after it was over. I've never seen the movie, but this is feeling a bit like Groundhog Day to me.

Nothing is written in stone, it's only been 24 hours since she was sort of offered the job, there are a ton of questions our boy and the business would need to answer but what a ride already.

The town where the store is scares the hell out of me. It's 95% caucasian. I have never live anywhere like that. There are about 12,000 people, so it's smaller than anywhere I've been and I could not find a synagogue in the town. As of a recent census there is 0.10% lesbian population. Read that again folks, one tenth of one percent! I woke up this morning saying it "why couldn't it be somewhere like Yellow Springs if I have to move to frigging Ohio." Well, actually we could move there as it's a reasonable drive to the job.

TGF's friend, and mine really, Jeriann is totally excited about this potential move as she lives nearby in Centerville. Jeriann was recently here trying to relocate with her company but just yesterday morning got the offer which made it a no go deal for her. We both talked to her about options. Then TGF got the job phone call while I was out. It took her over two hours after I got home to tell, and that after trying to figure out with Jer how to tell me about all this.

Just how did she tell me you might wonder. I came home, we had some dinner and were watching television. Then she says I need to run out and get a Mountain Dew. I did think it odd as it was after 8pm that she would get a "pop" but I blew it off. We are back to sitting on the couch, laptops engaged, television crackling. I see an email come through from her at about 8:40pm. The subject line is "Fwd: home" with a real estate listing link saying she sent it to Jer. How odd I think, Jer has a condo. "Why would you send that to Jer?" There is a very awful pause and a funny look passes over her face. "I got a job offer Ohio." Blown away I think begins to describe my reaction. Realizing this morning that Yellow Springs is a reasonable option as made this a bit easier for me.

There are some benefits to this, number one being she would have a job that could definitely pay our bills and we could start paying down the debt we have accumulated in the last two years. She is promising me that we would not stay there more than two years (think it would be longer but hopefully not more than four). We would still work on moving to the south, somewhere that will hopefully be our "forever" home. TGF is regularly homesick being here and has not fallen in love with California. We would be able to really get to know our niece, T'Mane which is really appealing. It would be lovely to be near Jer, but I would miss my friends here so much it's hard to breath if I think about it. I would be closer to the east coast so in theory between it costing less to fly and having money I might actually be able to see family and friends more.

Stay tuned. Follow the bouncing ball. Buckle up for the roller coaster. Start an office pool. Remind me to breathe.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Because I copy Jennie, a lot.

It's true, I copy Jennie often because, well she is one of my dearest friends on this earth and besides this is about a simple subject that does not cause me (much) agita. Unlike, you know, school, work, bills, BirthWays, Dance New England. Or in other words responsibilities. Yes, yes, I signed up for all of them (well not really having a job, that's just something I apparently have to do) and I love being involved with school, BirthWays, and DNE it's just that lately it all feels suffocating. I am sure some of you can relate.

There has been absolutely no progress on the secret project, alas. However there is much movement on T'Mane's swing top which is making me very happy. I don't think it will be done before TGF's brother leaves town. Oh, yes he's in town for work just for a few days, which is making TGF do proverbial cartwheels at the prospect of hanging with her bro.

Silly Knitting Meme thingy
Bold for stuff you’ve done, italics for stuff you plan to do one day, and normal for stuff you’re not planning on doing.

Afghan/Blanket (baby)
Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns

Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Graffiti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental Knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cozies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars
Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
Knitting with DPNs
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Knitting art
Knitting with wool

Textured knitting
Kitchener BO
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self-patterning/self-striping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm warmers

Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public

Knit on people!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Hello darkness, my old friend

Well I thought about writing when it still light out. I want to thank everyone for their supportive comments. It was striking to me how many of you found something that resonated in my last post. On one hand I am happy that I was able to articulate something that was deeply felt, but on the other I am sad that so many of us know that place so well.

I also thought I was going to write that there has been a lightening going on here. There has been, really. I haven't been feeling quite so gloomy, a bit more patient. For those astute readers you may note that is being posted at an ungodly hour. I have not yet gone to sleep. I tried, I really did. But my old friend anxiety and I werelikethis in the television lit bedroom. Yes, I tried shutting it off and the voices in my head only got louder. Even when I was finally about to quiet the deafening sounds of eviction fears, calculating what I would sell for quick cash and rearranging things to rent out my office for income, my brain and body would not shut down.

Since I had read recently that if you can't fall asleep, it is better to go into another room until you get sleepy enough to attempt sleep. Well, it's just shy of 5am and I have to be at work at 9am. Yeah, sleep? Not happening anytime soon. I know from past experience of cramming for school and birth work that a two hour nap is worse at this point. I suspect that scanning craigslist and not finding anything to apply does not help with relaxation. Mind numbing data entry is going to be a bitch in a few hours. I predict my productivity level will be down.The up side to being up at this hour is that I was able to respond to some Dance New England emails that came through.

Anyway, now I'm sleepy!

Friday, May 11, 2007

I am She, She is Me

It has been a process for me to realize that I am not as open as I had thought, presumed, and presented myself. It is true that I was raised to tell lies about my family, as many of us were. It is also true mine were convoluted and were not about physical abuse or running from the law. The lies were about identity, relationships, and to hide. I did tell one friend, Christine Domino who lived on Sackett Street, the truth. In retrospect I figure it was a fair trade since I watched her family crumble during our friendship. Hers was the first up close view I had of a real divorce.

When things crumbled in my family the binds where untied and my father told me I could tell anyone anything I wanted. I assume, again in retrospect that he meant about the mechanics of things not my feelings and upon further reflection I suppose it was part of his way of getting even now that his world had fallen. I did tell people, the shock value was excellent, the surprised looks were priceless as the saying goes.

Perhaps in part because of my family history I felt a desire to be an open book. In many ways I have been. If asked a question I generally answer, quite honestly I might add. A number of years ago I realized though when I answered those questions or told stories on myself that had serious content I had developed interesting walls through which truth seeped out. I rarely spoke with any emotion, it was like reading a script. I usually did not even report my emotional reaction to something, again I was a like a news correspondent offering the background story only with even less emphasis on the drama or grief than is given the most innoucous of crimes on most television stations.

It became apparent that as much I craved input, an emotional response to my sadness, that if I never expressed that or any other need I would not get it, which recreates my childhood over and over. Part of this realization is due to the internet. On the list I have been part of my posts would rarely garner a response. Even when I asked for one it was clear I that I wrote in a such a way that did not invite one. After being hit on the head with a two by four I have shifted my postings, at least a little. After being told by one after another of close, intimate friends that they don't know me, that I have these thick walls I am trying to install some windows.

For the past few months I have been battling, with growing failure, depression. Depression has been a familiar companion for decades now, since childhood really. There are times when I serenely accept the descending veil on my world, though that is more rare as I age. More times than not I rage at it, yelling at it as if I can command it back to it's figurative dog house in my psyche. I rarely can allow myself to wallow in it, to sink into it's cobweb arms as one lowers oneself into a warm bath. There are times that I think that would help and I indulge in an hour or two of such revelry to find comfort in the shadows.

Clearly TGF knew what was going on but when I finally called my BFF (ew I can't believe I just wrote that) Greg, in an absolute state of distress he said, "Gosh you have been hiding it well." There it is in a nutshell, I hadn't been really talking to even him. We email and/or call each other about weekly, he even reads this blog (though refuses to comment here!) but he was able to dismiss signs and I clearly hadn't reached out to even him. TGF says that our friend Ruth had mentioned that I seemed off. I see her 2-3 times a week when walking our dogs so my lack of upbeat dialogue was obvious I'm sure. It is also true that I might bitch to her about some stuff but I don't really talk to her about my inner world. Or much of anyone except once I'm totally passed the point of coping.

Yes, I know the tags say CSI and Lady Heather. I'm getting there, but now that I started writing the pen, as it were, took me down a slightly different road that I had in my head when I opened this page. Last night we watched CSI, the original and clearly the best, thank you very much. Because television likes to bait you, we knew that the recurring character of Lady Heather would be back much to our mutual delight. We were discussing the characters and I posited that Lady Heather would not be involved with Grissom or anyone else. I was having a hard time putting into words why but I said something like, "She's too much of a loner, and she has all these walls to keep people out." The reply I got was "That's like saying you can't be in a relationship." TGF went on to explain that Lady Heather reminds her of me. Given that she needs towels any time that actress is on screen anywhere, I said I would take that as a compliment. Beyond that, I was changing the subject, which I did.

Yeah I have some work to do. Gotta order me some windows, maybe even a door.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Suckered into the fad

I saw it first on Jennie's blog, and piffled over it. But this morning I saw it on Heather's as well and felt compelled upon seeing it again to investigate. It's an interesting concept as this quiz allows one's friends to comment and thereby adjusts the results.

Here's mine for y'all to comment upon:

I will say that I wasn't 100% in agreement with my daemon's description but hey, this is a good time waster! You have 12 days to comment on this quiz. Have fun!

Try, try, try again

Here is what T'Mane's swing top looked like about two weeks ago when I cast on.

It looks about the same but not because I haven't been working on it. At first my swatch indicated that my gauge was about 20% less than it should be so I did all sorts of complicated math to make adjustment since based on my arguably brilliant calculations even the largest size on the pattern wouldn't give me the size I needed for my beloved niece.

So I cast on about 300 stitches and proceeded to knit for quite some time - the garter border, some stockinette, and even did two of the decrease rows. It was looking magnificent but I worried about the sizing. Finally after I did 3-4 inches of knitting I decided to measure things because it really looked huge. The circumference at the bottom is supposed to be about 48" but mine was 60"! So frogging ensued, that ball winder is a godsend.

Once again I started by casting on 272 stitches for the largest size (6 years) thinking it would be good for the 2 year old size. I proceeded happily along for about 1.5 inches of things until I realized I had twisted it when I joined the piece (it's on circular needles). Riiip. Try again but again based on measurements decided that I could do the 4 year old size and cast on 256 stitches. This time I only knit about 8 or 9 rows before I realized I twisted it again. Before I ripped again, I measured. I had swatched on a pair of straight needles, clearly a mistake. So tonight after ripped I cast on 240 stitches, knit one row without joining in order to try to avoid twisting. I think I finally succeeded. I cannot believe how much work this is taking. This project should have been almost done by now. If it had failed again I would have put it down for a bit and started something else.

Yes, yes I know I need to finish the secret project. I have done about 400 yards and need to do about 200 more, then blocking will follow. But I really want to knock this out as well. Plus I am dreaming of all sorts of other project. Part of the dreaming involves actually making something for me. I have promised a few folks that I would work on my inability to knit something for me.

Knitting things for others gives me a way to be nice to them, I consider it a loving act, the ability to do something that makes them happy (at least I hope so). This explanation of why I knit was the one I had with TGF recently which was sparked by a thread on my knitting list about why we knit. It also is a way to make something unique and personalized, that isn't about buying the latest and greatest or from a conglomerate. Of course when I got to the part about it being a loving act I realized what I was saying and changed the topic, mumbling something about how I suppose I should work on that one day.

While at Jennie's the other day she told me the socks she has been working on forever don't fit her and she offered to pass them to me when finished. I was floored and stumped. They are beautiful, not colours I would have picked but really gorgeous. I was hard pressed to know how to answer. Not because they aren't lovely but because I couldn't imagine being gifted with something that someone had spent so much time and effort on. Problems with feeling worthy? Moi? Whatever do you mean? Yeah, I have some work to do.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Climbing little hills

The financial woes continue here at Casa de Cedar but there are some positives. Stars 'r Us called me in for extra hours on Friday which was a nice surprise. The work is boring as all get out. Seriously boring and on Friday I was at a computer with no speaker so no Pandora {pout}. Still need to determine if I can listen Brenda's Cast-on and focus on my work.

Over the weekend I heard from my February client who was looking for postpartum help while her partner was out of town. While I was a bit daunted by prospect of working doing data entry all day then dashing over to Montclair Village for a few hours but damn if the money wasn't motivating.

On Sunday I finally got to hang out with my dear friend Jennie. We compared ideas for knitting projects, showed off our UFOs and just talk endlessly for the first time in forever.

Also during the weekend TGF heard from the guy who sent her the best, most positive rejection letter just two weeks ago. He wrote about two part time tech jobs! Cautiously optimistic is the watch word around here on the job front around here.

For the first time since Piccolo came to stay while her human, our friend Ruth, was on vacation I was grateful for her early morning barking since I had forgotten to set the alarm. Since we have both been stressed, and frankly my depression (and hence terrible mood swings) has been really bad for several months we haven't always been getting along and this weekend was not good. Hence sleeping and emotional exhaustion have been fighting each other. So, thank you Piccolo. In a manner most uncharacteristic for me I just could not clear the brain fog and was grateful for the free coffee at work. While still in the fog my cell phone rang with my client at the other end, canceling the hours we had set up. On one hand I was glad to have the evening to spend with TGF, hopefully in a relaxed state, but damn the money would have sure come in handy.

So to help with the utter boredom of my work I decided to jot down some of the more, um, interesting names. I have a favorite humour site, Baby's Named a Bad, Bad Thing that can always make me laugh and groan. So in homage to the original I give you some of the best from today's work:
Heaven Leigh - like the first name on it's own isn't a lot to live up to
Tijhan - there are a lot of ways this could be pronounced...
Chynna and her sister Queen-India - seriously
Roxxanne - I love this name, have a dear, dear friend with the name and I realize one "x" is worth 8 points in Scrabble, but you can't use proper names people
Jennica - the tabloids coming up with these name combos is bad enough but to be burdened with it as your actual name?
Unique - really, that is the kid's name. Don't just encourage your kid to be their own person but let the world know that are different because you told them so
Latonjinea - huh?
Dillion - is the second "i" silent? Is it supposed to rhyme with million?
Maczine - is there a syllable missing here?

T'Mane's top has been driving me crazy. I got about a good 3-4 inches knit up when I realized it the gauge was waaaaay off. As in the circumference should be about 48 inches and I had about 60 inches. Frogging ensued. Then I cast on from scratch and twisted the damn thing when I joined it. Riiip. I think it's finally ready to go. Again.

Today I got home and had a call from an agency I sent an application to about 10 days ago and had written off. Jimbo and I played phone tag until about 8:30 tonight. It was so worth the frustration, he was too much fun. The actual job I had applied for has been filled but he wanted to see if there was a way to work with me. Wow. How often does that sort of thing happen? Like never. Jimbo is passing my information onto another supervisor for a 20 hours/wk position that would pay (nothing great but a higher hourly rate than Stars 'r Us), give me BBS hours, and even some benefits. Hello? Benefits? What the hell are those, you know what I'm saying? Downsides are my gig in August could put a damper on this option and the job is in Marin County, not exactly close by and means a toll bridge. But this Jimbo character, he's awesome. He said, "If you don't hear from Louisana in three business days, call me. I'm your point person through this." Again, wow! Cautious optimism. Which reminds me, I need to look at craiglist again because hey nothing is written in stone.

I'd rather knit. It's a toss up which activity will happen after I click "publish".

Friday, May 04, 2007

Fit to be, well fitted

On Tuesday I had a quick gig, a one time only kind of deal-io. A short stint trying on about 8 bras yielded $75, a new recommended bra size, and a validation of my love of Felina intimate wear.

It was really fun and I am acquainted with this company, Zafu because I've used them to dream about which jeans might actually fit me. I wear jeans infrequently for a number of reasons but key among that list is that I am very hard to fit. Short, small waist, a bubble butt is like one thinks of the bubble as being the size of a hot air balloon, thick thighs. Yeah, this is not my garment of choice. But their questions give me hope that I could find something that would be passable.

Turns out they are getting ready to launch a bra recommendation thingy. I filled out an online questionnaire that was very thorough, looking at a myriad of details that go far beyond what a tape measure can tell you. Definitely makes me wa
nt to give some of the jeans recommendations a try when I have some cash. Then I spent close to an hour and a half trying on eight bras and rating them a ga-zillion ways. Apparently I need to go down in band size and up in cup. Wow. I also learned why molded bra cups, which are all the rage, do not work for me and how the depth of the cup is very important for fitting my breasts to their best advantage.

The winning bra, as predicted by Lori - my fitter that day, was the Felina model. I tossed away the Wacoal, a few by Victoria, and maybe someone else. The runner up (bra number 8, although I think I was only supposed to try on 7 but Lori was being quite generous) was a bra by Jockey. The fit was not as good but as we both noted a much more economical choice than F

The Felina was also the sexiest bra, by far, that I tried on that day - it was a lot like the hand me down one I have at home. (When I got home and checked my Felina, sure enough it is the size Lori recommends. Go figure!) So now I love their bras and their underwear. Great. I need a job just to fund my lust for high-end intimate wear. (This model is the Harlow Demi, which I think is what I tried on and similar to the one I already own thanks to a dear friend. However all the model I had in common is dark brown hair, so dream away but I so don't look like that in my Felina. Truth in advertising and all that.)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Just horrifying!

I am being a totally irresponsible blogger by not researching more but I trust my source here, Juno, to do the research and not do as I do.

There is a move to allow manufacturers of chocolate to not use cocoa butter in the making of chocolate and to substitute vegetable oil. This is horrible, even more it is heresy with a capital H! Check her post here, where she agrees this is just terrible news.

This is just so ridiculous I mean isn't one of the quintessential ingredient of chocolate - cocoa butter?

Excuse me but I must take leave now, as I cannot speak of this any further.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

In which our heroine actually works in an office

I do realize that much of the world works an eight hour day (give or take) in an office much of the week, year round for years, however I am clearly not like the rest of the world. It has been over 10 years, or around a quarter of my life span since I worked a 40-hour week on a regular basis and the longest stint I did of such a schedule, continuously was five years and that was split between two employers. I am so not "a company man" kind of woman.

Another interesting tidbit about this place, besides it's role as a potential star
making factory for kids, is there is an actual time clock to punch. This amuses me no end. I think I had one other job where I "punched the clock" and that was a zillion years ago in Manhattan at an upscale real estate firm. It was not one my longer stints for many reasons which we need not go into. Suffice it to say that pompous yuppies (hm, is that redundant?) are not my cup of tea.

Mondays are a slow day at Stars r Us because they do heavy recruiting on the weekends, hence the need for data entry of these babes in the woods at the start of the week. Apparently it was a slow day so around 3 o'clock I got trained in scanning photos from the files we were all madly entering. Maggie (not here real name either) thought I had picked up everything - data entry and scanning really quickly which I guess is why she asked me about three times if I was really only there on Mondays. Maybe she'll pass the word to Iris, who hired me, that I should get more hours.

At one point we were down in reception and I flashed on how if this was a television series my role would be that of the plucky and uniquely gifted temp who would quickly became a beloved employee working my way up through the ranks in no time, scouting stars right and left. From there my mind went to the idea of some simple little job being tempting. No more papers to write, no Board of Behavioral Sciences to worry about, nada. Just go to work, do my board stuff, DNE, and knit. Read anything I want! The daydreams are piling up over here.

The snag, of course, is once I am not in school the clock starts ticking on paying back student loans - a daunting prospect I tell you. I have borrowed more than double I made in my best year working full-time, which I grant you wasn't much but given my standards...well let's just say staying in school with readings and papers breathing down my neck is tied as a stress producer with the agony of facing loan repayment. Either way I figure the stress monsters keeping me awake, producing vicious dreams and keeping my belly in knots 24/7 are here to stay. In a way I would be happy to make better friends with these monsters if they kept me away from food because than at least I'd be skinny. Looking like a strung out mess with circles under my eyes the size of sewer covers, but skinny! Yeah that's the ticket. NOT!

Alright, back to craigslist with my bad self!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Leaving home for nearby vistas

Saturday was a positively gorgeous day here, warm and sunny, gentle breezes blowing. Spirit, our friend from the northeast (yes that's his given name), had come back that morning from Harbin Springs. We tried to tempt him our way but he went off to San Francisco. It was pretty late by the time we got in gear and as we live in an area where there is so much to do, so many places to go it can become paralyzing to make a decision. Like a scenic tarot we consulted the deck of Bay Area Backroads cards to find an adventure that wasn't too far away.

Off to Mount Diablo State Park we went. A few times, as we drove towards the visitor center, we pulled off into the turn outs to let cars pass, though I cannot see any reason for rushing u
p or down these roads. First the road is very narrow and the total absence of guardrails demands a respect of the road and speed limits. Second, and the point of the travel, the vistas are beautiful. We parked in the lower parking lot and took the tiny trail up to the very top, both of use noting how out of shape we felt. I continue to marvel at the flora that is beyond my identification skills out here. There was a small layer of haze on the horizon making it hard to make out any of the bay area bridges (there are about seven in the area). I will only bore you with a few photos:

No idea what this cutaway is, why it's there. Anyone?

The observation tower is really cool, love the stone construction. Plus the gift store sells ice cream pops and ice cream sandwiches, which given the easily over 80 degree temperatures was a nice unexpected bonus.

The drive back down was so much faster, it surprised us. We decided to drive into Walnut Creek, where we happened on a sidewalk art show. This happened to me once before, I must have some odd psychic connection to this thing. I guess I'm a bit of a snob or something but none of the paintings did a thing for me. There were two photographers who's work we both really like but unfortunately I only remember the name of one of the artists - Keith Liang. Very evocative stuff. The painters however all paled in comparison to Greg and Janet's work. Okay, true they are my dear, dear friends but objectively (well as objective as one can be about art) they are amazing artists, as well as human beings anyone would be honoured to know.

It was really lovely to get out of the house and it not be about walking Wyatt. Adventures have been far and few between in part because, well have seen the gas prices around here? OMG! Seriously it's crazy. I realize here in the US we have some of the cheapest gas and many argue that it should be higher to deter driving for environmental reasons and such. I really agree except there are not enough infrastructures in many places, including here, for adequate public transportation to accommodate the shift from independent drivers to mass transit. Wait, was I talking about oil? No, I remember, leaving the house more often. It was really a good thing for us, the couple, to do something different, not ordinary and everyday. We are going to try to do some more things like this. Hopefully between the joint efforts of human residents of Casa de Cedar, there will soon be more cash with which to fund more trips.