a little something extra

a little something extra

Monday, January 31, 2011


I had a zen moment this morning, driving to work in the dark, just me, the crescent Moon, and Venus rising.   The radio on, rockin' out to Led Zepplin's "Kashmir".  Eight minutes and thirty-two seconds of perfection.

I am so happy to be alive today, my birthday.  Forty-eight years on Earth in this form and almost 14 billion years in existence for my elements.  And who knows what they've been in between...

I'm enjoying the journey.


Oh let the sun beat down upon my face
With stars to fill my dream.
I am a traveler of both time and space
To be where I have been.

To sit with elders of a gentle race
This world has seldom seen.
They talk of days for which they sit and wait
When all will be revealed.



Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Blast from the Past

The Happy Van

My Hubby painted this van in 1999, back when we lived in Illinois.

We're a couple of hippy dippy dudes, for sure!  We had a blast driving it around town, I've never had so many offers to go smoke a doob in my life from strangers.  Too bad I don't smoke...
You can't see the plate in this photo but it read FLSHBCK.  I'll hunt around for some more pics, this thing was a trip!
 We sold it when we moved to Vegas, on eBay.  Two guys from Eau Claire Wisconsin came down to pick it up--a good eight hour drive each way from our old house.  I guess they were hippy dippy dudes, too.

Have a great Sunday!



Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Secret Vice

Friends, I have a confession to make.

I love Ru Paul's "Drag Race"!

There.  I've admitted it.
And if you want some unbelievably campy fun, watch the show!



Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day Off

So I took a day off from work, only to be a total SLAVE at home!

My plan for the day:

sleep in--check
leisurely breakfast--check
read for a couple hours...

Here I deviated.

What I did today:

laundry, 3 loads
emptied, filled, and emptied dishwasher
changed sheets
cleaned up various kitty-related messes
alphabetized and filed apx 500 cassette tapes  for our business

How does this take up an entire day?

At least I had a couple of cups of excellent coffee for fuel and Hubby and I went out for dinner, wood-fired hamburger and home-made potato chips...YUM!

I'm off for the next three days, we'll see if I actually sit down and rest.



Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday, Monday

Although today is my Tuesday, I have to deal with folks and THEIR Monday today at work.  Buncha whiny crankypants!  Try getting up at 4:30 AM on Sunday...then we'll talk.

Da Bears lost their bid to play in the Superbowl.  I am so disappointed but not really surprised.  I'm a Chicago Cubs fan too so I'm used to being *this* close and then losing; the Cubbies haven't won a pennant in over 100 years.  Not that I've been alive that long.  Yet. 
I'm gonna root for the Steelers to win in two weeks.  Lousy Green Bay Packers, grumblegrumblegrumble.

The "new" Great room's feng shui is good!  All of Saturday's hard work paid off.  Felix is starting to accept the changes, he's a hard nut to crack.  May Ling and Sweet Pea have called a temporary truce until they can figure out the best ways to stalk and attack one another.  But the BEST part is this:  the remote that controls the TV's sound system Does Not Work from where Hubby sits--so I get to control the volume!!!  He claims he's not deaf but you would never know it...

My desk is against the green wall...and please note the Cat bed on the table!



Sunday, January 23, 2011


So, I had a wild idea yesterday and said, "What if we move the dining table..."


Hubby and I spent three hours rearranging our Great room.  We do all our "living" there, it's a combo kitchen, living room, and two offices.  We swapped our two desks, moved the dining table, shifted the sofa and chairs, and wore ourselves out after three hours.  Needless to say everything got dusted and mopped and vacuumed in the process; and we had ALL kinds of helpful Cats except during the vacuuming.

Felix and Johnny slept through the entire process out on the Catio (it was 70 here in the afternoon) and when they woke up to come in for supper there was much rubbernecking...obviously if the furniture had moved there were MONSTERS in the house.  They looked like a couple of feline cobras assessing if it was safe.
Oh, I forgot to mention the feeding station was moved too, much to Johnny's consternation!  Once he found that he was cool with the changes.  Felix, on the other hand, made several passes through the area that evening, flicking his tail in obvious displeasure.  Change equals Bad in his world.

Hubby and I however, like the new arrangement, and Felix spends most of his time on the Catio...so it's all good!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Reverend Spooner

One thing I love is wordplay.

I've always enjoyed reading and writing, but I never did a lot of verbal wordplay until I got together with my Hubby, who is a huge talker and punster and introduced me to the joys of Spoonerism.

On my other blog, there was a great comment on the cat's potty habits post;  the ever witty Old Kitty Spoonerized "sturdy tools" into "Turdy Stools" which is CLASSIC, on so many levels.
(I gotta admit, I love poop jokes.)

Hubby and I have a few favorites:

Slow Moving becomes Mo Slooving

Taking a shower...Shaking a tower...or just "shake"

That band The Black Crows?     Crack Blows!!

and the coup de grace--

Slacking off on the Job...Jacking off on the Slob...bwahahahaha!



Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ruby Throated Hummingbird

The female...

These are from the summer of 2007--boy has our yard changed since then!

I'm having fun taking pictures and combing the archives for y'all...



Monday, January 17, 2011


From our garden last April...




raison d'etre

Right after Thanksgiving our coffeemaker started it's final death throes.

My folks have a Keurig coffeemaker, you know the one that uses the non-recyclable and unjustifiably expensive K-cups?

I couldn't fly with adding to the planet's garbage (we recycle like fiends) but holy crap the coffee made in a Keurig was fan-effing-tastic!  So I had a problem.

Internet to the rescue--I did a little research, surfed a few consumer sites and discovered that you can use your OWN coffee with a reusable filter, which appealed to my miserly ways and my green leanings.  Plus our warehouse store had it on sale.

Houston, we have liftoff!

Behold, my reason for being.



Saturday, January 15, 2011

Taking the Long View

One of the things I love about living in the desert are the vistas.
Being able to see a long way unobstructed by trees or buildings calms my soul.

 Frenchman's Peak. 
 I see this all the time as I travel up and down Racetrack Road on errands or to the other treatment plant I work at.

It's about 15 miles away as the crow flies  from where I was shooting.
Looking North at Frenchman's Peak

See how the rocks are striated straight up and down?  The bedrock has been raised up on end from plates in the Earth's crust colliding.

The rock here is about three BILLION years old!  It's part of a geologic formation called the "Great Non-Conformity" and is part of the same rock formation that is at the base of the Grand Canyon. 
Kinda puts my day in perspective.



Thursday, January 13, 2011

You scream, I scream...

We all scream for Ice Cream!

At the end of my neighborhood is an industrial park, and in it is an Ice Cream Factory.

It doesn't do me a bit of good though, milk makes me ill...probably a good thing, or I'd be twice my size.

Madi's Mom, this post is for you!

trish  xx

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wildlife in Las Vegas

More accurately, wildlife in Boulder City.

There are Bighorn sheep all over in the mountains here.  I occasionally see them when I work out at the water treatment plant at the Lake.  The best place to sheep-see is Hemmingway Wash Park, they come in every day to graze.  Spring is great because of all the baby kids, they are incredibly cute.

When he was just a kid himself, my son Aaron spotted a sheep on a trip in Arizona.  Not knowing what they were called, he settled for a description:  
 "Bare-Ass Curlyhorn"!

Needless to say, this is what I still call them.
heh heh


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Across from My House

Sorry for the sharpness, or lack thereof, I snapped this quick with my phone on the way to work.
These peaks are part of the River Mountains range that are in the front of our house, across the highway.
They were shrouded in mist from the rain.


I'm working on another short story!

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy seeing little bits of my Nevada.


Sunday, January 9, 2011


So hubby and I were out the other day, scouring the thrift shops for cassette tapes for our eBay business.  

At the entrance of The Salvation Army I noticed a pile of neatly folded belongings, which I assumed was a donation that hadn't been taken into the store yet.  I was still browsing while Hubby was in line to pay, and I overheard the cashier telling a customer that he was going to have to choose between two shirts, he didn't have enough voucher money for both.  Then I heard hubby offer to pay for the second shirt--it was only 50 cents!

The man, who was probably homeless, thanked hubby with quiet dignity, and left the store.  Outside, he met a friend, gave him one of the two shirts, and picked up his tidy pile of stuff, which may have been all he had, and they walked off.

Giving is indeed the greatest gift.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Reason #672 why I love my job

The View.

Sunrise on the Spring Mountains.
The totally snow-covered one in the left half of the frame is Mount Charlston, almost 12,000 feet.  You can ski there until the end of May!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Flooding in the Desert

These are a few shots of one of the "dry" washes running in full spate from two inches rain we had the ten days before Christmas last month.    The desert soil is like concrete and water doesn't always soak in, a lot of it runs off, flowing down to Lake Mead, which rose TWO FEET within a week.  Incredible.

These photos were shot by one of my co-workers...thanks Kim!

Main wash from a distance; Lava Butte is on the left.  It's peak is about 2500 feet above the desert, an old cinder cone.  The mountains in the background are totally obscured by fog.

A little closer.
Do you see the striped earth in the back?  That's layers of sandstone and lava heaved up by plate techtonics.
We are very seismically active here in Las Vegas, with over fifty fault zones.

Rainwater pouring into the big wash that dumps into the Lake.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The start of something bigger?

I've always wanted to write.  And I have, although up 'til now it's always been scientific or factual in nature.  Never fiction.

So without further ado, here's a little story, that I may expand on...please enjoy!

Sweet Pea was nervous; an unusual emotion for a normally confident Lady Cat.  She hadn’t started out feeling that way, she’d simply been excited about Maui’s second Gotcha Day Party, planning the festivities.  Rupert and Felix would host, Johnny would be the bouncer, and of course Maui was the Cat of the Day.  Everything was all set.  Then, there was a comment on their blog from a friend: “please save a dance for Me”  That was when the nervousness started.

Padding by the cheval mirror in the big bedroom, Sweet Pea scrutinized her plumey tail, assessing it’s floofiness.  She examined her chin in the bathroom mirror, hoping she wouldn’t break out in spots.  She spent countless hours grooming, bathing her snowy white coat to a glistening shine and washing her pink paw pads until they were spotless.

Clean, Sweet Pea was puzzled, she’d never felt this way before!  She’d had a wild child upbringing...she’d even raised a litter of kittens before her first birthday for goodness sake!  She was a Lady Cat of the world.  A Lady Cat who needed advice.  But who to ask?  Certainly not her brofurs, they would tease her mercilessly.  Even Felix, who was besotted with his crabby girlfriend Annie, would ruffle her fur about her tender feelings.  Maybe her sisfurs could help, thought Sweet Pea:  “Salem?  No, she’s too much of a flirt.  The Baby?  No, she’ll ignore me.  I can’t ask May Ling, she’ll swat me.  That leaves Grayce and KonaKitty--I’ll ask them!”

Grayce promised not to tell any cat about Sweet Pea’s dilemma, but she couldn’t offer much advice; she’d never had an admirer other than Spitty, and of course Spitty liked ALL the Ladies, so Grayce didn’t take that too seriously.  So Sweet Pea approached KonaKitty., who said that yes, she had been in love, once, a long time ago.  “I was in love with a handsome Grey Cat who used to live here, his name was Dusty.  He took me under his paw when I was a tiny kitten and it was love at first sight.  We cuddled together, napped together, and groomed each other all the time.  Then, one day Dusty didn’t feel well--his heart was failing.  Soon after that my Dusty left for The Bridge, and I was all alone.  I still miss him, but I wouldn’t trade a minute of the time we spent together.  Sweet Pea, love is wonderful.  I say, take a chance!”  And Sweet Pea decided she would.

Daringly, she left a comment on her suitor’s blog that she was saving a special dance for him.

After what seemed like ages, but actually was only 837 naps, the day of Maui’s Party arrived!  “Finally”, Sweet Pea thought, “I can dance with him!”  She gave her furs a final wash and dotted a little catnip behind her ears.  

The Party was a roaring success.  CC and Scouty were leading some of the partyers in a rousing game of hide-n-seek, and Sylvester’s specialty Kitty Kocktails were flying off the bar.  Wandering among all the guests, Sweet Pea realized that she couldn’t see the door.  She needed to go up, someplace where the view was unobstructed, somewhere she could see and, more importantly, be seen.  But where?  The skyways were crowded with revelers careening around like MadCats, Maui in the lead.  The Cat Trees were bristling with Cats, gossiping and telling tall tales.  But wait--there was an open spot right at the front of the Very Important Cat Sky Lounge!  Sweet Pea hurried up the ramp and across the Red Road to the VIC Lounge, gracefully winding her way to the front.  Settling in, she rewashed a paw and fluffed her sparkly coat.

Time passed.  The party wore on, but Sweet Pea was still alone, refusing to dance lest she missed her ManCat’s arrival.  Slowly, her whiskers began to droop with disappointment.   Wise KonaKitty, who had retired to a cubby in her favorite Cat Tree saw, and thought “There must be a reason for this!  I can’t imagine any cat standing up Sweet Pea!”  She got up, stretched, and began making inquiries of some of the other guests.  Curiosity satisfied, she made her way through the thinning crowd over to Sweet Pea, who by now was close to tears.  “Sweetie,”  Kona said, “there’s a blizzard happening in England...your beau simply might not be able to fly his magic carpet through the bad weather.  I’ll bet we see a message from him tonight.  In the meanwhile, there are plenty of good pals to dance with, and you’re all prettied up, you should have some fun.”  Sweet Pea was immensely cheered by the idea that the weather was the problem, (and nothing to do with her) and accepted the next invitation to dance.  It was from her brother Rupert, but  he was a good dancer.  They hit the floor.

Something was funny, though, tonight Rupert seemed to have four left feet.  He kept bumping into Sweet Pea, until she was almost up against the Cat Door.  She was about to scold Rupert, when she saw that he was grinning and looking over her shoulder.  Sweet Pea whirled around, and there he was!  Flynn had arrived!  Brushing snow off his handsome Ginger and White  shoulders he asked Rupert “Mind if I cut in?”  Rupert gave Sweet Pea a pat, and disappeared.  

At last, she and Flynn were alone.  Felix put a slow number on the record player, and Sweet Pea’s nervousness vanished as she and Flynn danced.  The other Lounge Kats looked on, pleased as Punch for their Little Miss Pea.  Turns out that Grayce couldn’t keep a secret after all!  They all had known!
But it didn’t matter to sweet Pea, or to Flynn, as they snuggled in a corner, sharing a warm milk toddy, and perhaps a small whisker kiss.  She was loved.