Monday, March 26, 2007

Well, it turned out that our "little" 4.2 earthquake a while back did more damage than we at first realized. A couple of weeks ago a drawer in the kitchen refused to open - also the cabinet door below it. Otto finally pried them open with a crowbar, and we discovered that the wood had swollen because of an apparent leak in the kitchen plumbing in the wall behind them. Otto set heaters going to dry things out, but since the "leak" was not in the visible part of the plumbing, he called a plumber. The plumber found (and showed us) that a fitting had been completely severed. What's more, in a house as old as ours a replacement was difficult to find. The fitting has been replaced, but there is a great gaping hole where the drawer should be. It will gape until Otto has time to repair the drawer, which did not take kindly to the crowbar.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

TV recommendation

This morning I watched a wonderful documentary called Artic Dance: the Maddie Murie Story. If you ever get a chance to see it, do! It is several things: a lot of beautiful scenery of Alaska and the Tetons, an inspiring love story, one woman's commitment to wilderness preseservation and a philosophy of life worth your observation. Near the end of the hour program, I found tears running down my cheeks. Some of them were for the old age of Maddie, that energetic, capable woman who accompanied her biologist husband on months-long dog-sled expeditions though the frozen wilderness (her honeymoon was one of them), some for the death of John Denver, her friend and fellow wilderness-preservation enthusiast (he wrote a song about her and husband Olaf), and some for the things that are happening under this presidency to her beloved Alaska wilderness. Maybe some of the tears were for all of us who are growing older.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Comming Events

Dianne has bravely taken over the arrangements for the Smith reunion and celebration of Otto's 90th birthday celebration this coming August. It will be at Asilomar (one of my favorite places.) This is the only photo I could unearth from my old albums, taken many years ago when my young-adult grandchildren were still little children. Johnny is the boy on the trail; Anna is the little red dot much lower. I have a philosophy concerning photos from the web: I will occasionally lift one for limited printing ( a letter, small filler on my calendar etc.), but I will never use it on any of my web publications. So this picture at Point Lobos, near Asilomar, being my own, is the only one I feel that I can post. There are wonderful photos on the web if you want to see what it's really like!.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Almost a week since I've added to this! So that I could download Johnny's pictures from the orient, I signed up for Facebook where they are pasted and available only to his Facebook "friends." And after I received a Facebook file I got carried away, added my photo, my personal data (but not my age), asked for friends (mostly grandchildren) and joined the college-age group. On the grown-up side of my activities, I managed to download Otto's patents from the patent office and print them - not as easy as it might seem. I note in myself a desire to master any field that I enter. Having been given a web-site and domain name as a Christmas gift, I then had to try other types of web communication. Why else would I add a blog and sign up for Facebook, including all the bells and whistles?

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Meandering thoughts

The URL for my blogspot can be seen above, but the way I am automatically signed, if I comment on another blog, is as Granny Smith.. I like being Granny Smith, but Daria objects, saying it makes me seem old. She prefers the name she made up - Gigi (for Great-Grandmother to her children). Well I don't mind being considered old. How else could I have become such a canny granny? The image of old - ahem, elderly - people as deficient in mental abilities, knowledge of current technology, or out of style generally, is not the image I have of them. I belong to several elderly groups that meet regularly but at different homes, thus requiring notification of site (and usually subject matter). This year these groups have dropped snail mail (a.k.a..U.S.Postal Service) for these notifications and have converted entirely to e-mail. I don't mind being Gigi to Daria and her children. The name was given to me affectionately, and I appreciate it and accept it with love.. I do, however, as I approach my 86th birthday, feel more like a Granny Smith! However I still have a PC rather than an Apple product, which might be more appropriate for a Granny Smith. Do I know any MacIntoshes?

Monday, March 5, 2007

Speaking of earthquakes, this is a rondeau I wrote soon after the Loma Prieta 7.2 earthquake of 1989 - the big one that brought down freeways and the Bay Bridge:

From Deep Within
From deep within the earth, a sound -
a lurch, a rumble underground
then floors begin to heave, to shake
as masses shift and tensions break
and shatterings of glass resound.

Forces that continents impound
burst free in movement so profound
that age-entrenched foundations quake
from deep within.

Why do I stay? Coiled springs are wound
and fractures, undiscerned, surround
familiar ground (its dirt opaque
to science) which I can't forsake.
This is my fault, to which I'm bound
From deep within.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Tuesday I went to the Beehive Luncheon and silent auction given by and for the faculty wives' club as a fund-raiser, the funds going to financial aid for students. It's always beautifully done and lots of fun. I search the tables of donated goods for dragons. No luck this year, but I am still gloating over my find of last year, this slightly enlarged embroidery, so fine that one almost needs a magnifying glass to guarantee that it is embroidered and not painted. It is mouinted in a free-standing mahogany stand that enables one to look at both sides of it. The other side is equally finished and perfect. But what do I mean by the "other" side, when either could be the "right" side? It's worked on very fine gauze, translucent.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Earthquake again!

For the second time this week we experienced a "small" 4.2 earthquake - about 45 minutes ago. It was in Lafayette but it was felt all over the area as though it were much larger. The news anchors are having an earthquake orgy. We had one photo fall off a shelf; fortunately the glass didn't break. It is sobering, though to have 2 quakes inside of one week.