A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ugh. Wind.

My third blogoversary came and went without comment. That's OK. An anniversary should be an opportunity for eloquence which is way beyond me recently.

The Santa Anas are blowing. I don't really mind the wind sometimes. We had a number of cold, wet, windy days before winter break that were really kind of fun in weatherless SoCA. But Santa Ana winds are nasty, full of positive ions that make the hair stand on end and all sorts of bitchiness emerge. The "PoliceOPs" website (now, THERE is an interesting read) warns that "Hormonal reactions to increased positive ions in the air (Full Moon Effect) cause hyperactivity, depression, violent behavior, road rage, higher occurrences of migraines and asthma. Even bees are known to sting without provocation on higher postive ion ratios."

Yep. That about covers it.

It doesn't help that I seem to have come down with a cold. When I headed for my folks yesterday I thought it was some kind of reaction to all the garbage flying around in the wind because I never had the sore throat, just the stuffy nose. Same today. Spring has come - sort of - so it could be something sending out pollen already. My violets are blooming which is usually a sign that winter is on its way out. Nevertheless, I had a hard time sleeping and breathing at the same time last night so am feeling pretty draggy.

I had a nice day with my mom and sister yesterday for our monthly scrapbook crop. I'm closing in on finishing the Disneyland books. There are three (well, now four). I started with the Creative Memories retro Mickey album. I gathered up all the Disneyland pictures I could get my hands on to document our trips starting when the park opened

and going through the 50th anniversary "Happiest Homecoming" celebration.

During the 50th I bought the scrapbook they were selling at Disneyland and as I built the historical overview book, realized that I had a LOT of pictures of the fun things that Disney did during the 50th - enough to fill a scrapbook on their own - so divided the pictures up, using the Disneyland souvenir album just for the 50th stuff.

Once that year was over, though (and it was obvious that I was going to fill that first album to overflowing) I used another red album for the trips since the Happiest Homecoming ended (sometime in 2006; they kind of dragged it on past the July 17, 2006 end date because we were all enjoying it so much). That album filled up kind of quickly, so I just bought the new Disney album from Creative Memories to keep the fun going.

Yeah, I'm rambling.

So, yesterday I got it down to the last couple of trips worth of pictures. I have another project I'm anxious to get working on so am kind of pushing these along now. It's nice to watch those project boxes empty (although I really haven't figured out where to store these albums.)

I did a little bit of stitching last week, but not enough to take a picture of. SoCA people are kind of weird. Because it doesn't get REALLY cold here, we tend not to run our heaters. (Most of us really suffer when we travel to the east coast because they keep the buildings too warm for us). Anyway, here at my house most mornings we don't even turn the heat on in the mornings, and by the afternoon the sun has been shining on the house all day and it's tolerable in the evening. Our family room isn't heated at all (except by the fireplace when we care to build a fire) and most of the time we're comfortable with lap robes in the evenings.

But last week was so cold here that the house never warmed up during the day and the evenings were pretty cold in that unheated room. Cold enough that I couldn't really stitch much, my hands were so cold. Had to keep them under the blanket, then went to bed early.

Like most of the country, I'm watching the economy disintegrate before my eyes and worrying about the outcome. My husband's pension seems safe (at the moment) and my teaching job should be secure, although California teachers are anticipating the end of our class size reduction funding which, in my district, will mean the loss of 17-50 teaching positions and layoffs up into year-five tenured teachers. Our state Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jack O'Connell, threw out last week that the state is running out of cash and may have to pay teachers with IOUs at the end of February. Actually, what the governor suggested was paying state income tax refunds with IOUs, but the way things are going, we just can't predict what's coming. I'm most worried about my son and his wife. She has not been able to find a job in the three years they've been married and they are both living on his year-two teacher's salary in the Los Angeles Unified School District. LAUSD has just announced they might have to start laying off "probationary" teachers (which are year-one and -two teachers) if the governor's proposed budget goes into effect. Now, DS1 teaches in an inner city charter school, which may mean he has some protection, so I'm not panicking, but it doesn't stop the worries from sneaking in here and there.

I feel sorry for my mom and dad. I get the impression that their income is secure enough; last night Dad assured me that any of us who lose our income during these times are welcome to come live with them. I had to think a while about what this is like for them. Dad was born in 1925 and Mom in 1932. So, for both of them, their earliest memories are of living during the Great Depression. Now it looks like their last memories will be of another great depression. Doesn't seem fair, somehow.

Finally, I need to get a vent off my chest this morning. I just read this story about an ancient lobster that was "liberated" from a saltwater tank at a Massachusetts restaurant - after PETA raised a stink - and returned to the sea "to allow this noble old-timer to live out his days in freedom and peace."
Ten bucks George becomes a big dinner for a family of five that pulls him up, says, "Wow, that's a big one!" and throws him in a pot without another thought. I think PETA needs to 1) accept that animals do not perceive their "imprisonment" as humans might and 2) focus their energy on getting humans to stop neglecting and abusing their household pets.

1 comment:

Stitcher S said...

Belated Blogversary to you!

Love the wind picture--amazing.