2014/07/22

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Da Goddess @ 03:12

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Happy Birthday, Prince Cuddlecakes Snuggywuggums Squishycheeks

Da Goddess @ 02:37

Prince George is officially a year old today and I am absolutely taken with him. He’s exactly what the world needs in these times of celebrity babies with outrageous names and entitled parents. The darling prince’s parents are — yes, famous, clearly taking their roles as parents seriously and have managed to, despite being some of the most high-profile people in the world, keep his exposure to world at large (in other words, paparazzi and most prying eyes) at a minimum.

I have no doubt this cute tot will grow up to be well-adjusted and down-to-earth because his parents seem to want that for themselves and for him. I think they’re doing a great job of it so far.

Anyhow, because I love Prince George and because I love Queen Elizabeth (seriously, this woman seems like she’d be an absolute stitch to have tea with…like the perfect granny), I figured I’d link to one of my favorite slideshows comparing the two. All you have to do is slide the little widget on the right side of the photo to reveal Great Gran’s photo. Enjoy!

Happy birthday, you adorable boy! May all your princely wishes come true (especially the wish to be let down and run, and the wish to TOUCH EVERYTHING right this very second).

2014/07/15

Finally, the Hummingbirds

Da Goddess @ 02:44

Yes, I did promise long ago to post these photos after the birds had gone (thereby ensuring I wasn’t jinxing their ability to do so). As you know, one baby hummer didn’t make it. The other, though, did. The nest has been empty for a couple weeks. Mom is gone, too. I’m sure she’s around somewhere, it’s just not…here.

Anyhow, without further ado, the nest.

We’ll start with the first fuzzy shot because it’s mom and the babies and it’s feeding time. It sucks, but it serves a purpose.

The fuzzy one

Of course, we have to see where the nest is. It’s on the leg of the carport. It’s about 6 feet up, which is hard to see from the ground (and why I missed it the first time), but was at the perfect height for us to spy on from the den window.

Just an idea of where the nest is

And now we see (with some clarity) what all the fuss is about.

more baby hummingbirds in their nest

Birds in nest

yes this would be another shot of baby hummingbirds in their nest

baby hummingbirds in their comfy nest

Birds. Because that’s what this is all about. That and my not-so-excellent spy skills. Seriously, shooting through the blinds is hard, y’all.

doing my best to act like a spy and shoot through the blinds

Birdies in the nest

mom is protecting the nest

baby hummers with notes

baby hummingbirds with their mom

The babies are getting bigger

And here is the shot from just below the nest. I actually went outside to get this one and got yelled at by the neighbor. She was afraid I was going to disrupt the birds’ lives with my big ol’ camera, my big ol’ lens, and my big ol’ self. First, the birds didn’t see me, I don’t think. Second, mom wasn’t around. Third, it wasn’t like I was trying to touch them (I wasn’t; I wouldn’t). Fourth, the “glare” the neighbor was (supposedly) worried about was non-existent (from the lens, but in full stink-eye mode from BEHIND the camera). Fifth, she made more noise and was more intrusive with her yammering than I was with my camera and my quiet self. Some people just have to be in charge of everything, I guess. Too bad she wasn’t around to save the one bird from its “help, I’m being eaten by a stray cat” fate.

Hummingbird babies in nest

While I had intended to include a photo of the lone survivor, I decided against it. It makes me too sad to look at that shot and see just the one, all alone in the nest. Yes, I understand that nature has its own rules and part of letting nature take its course means sometimes bad things happen and I shouldn’t get all upset about it. BUT I CAN’T HELP IT! So, it turns out one of my own weird rules is to go with my gut and not post an image that makes me sad and blah blah blah.

Was it worth your wait? Probably not. But, really, it kind of was just to see a nest of baby hummingbirds, right?

2014/07/12

Caught in a Trap

Da Goddess @ 22:08

Every once in a while, I go into the spare bedroom to grab clothes or put clothes away. Fletch follows me in. Celia is not allowed in there. Fletch is pretty easy to extract. Celia is not. So I do everything possible to keep her out of that room.

While Mojo was here a few weeks ago, we had gone into the spare room and Fletch had followed us. As we were getting ready to leave, Fletch had basically set up camp in a corner where I couldn’t reach him, and from where he chose not to respond when I called him. So Mojo and I walked out of the room and closed the door on him, with me fully intending to go back in a few minutes to let him out. Well, we got to fixing lunch and talking and then began to play games and it wasn’t until probably two hours later that I remembered he was in there. No fuss or anything from him to remind me. Noooo, that would have been too easy! So I go in and expect to see him sitting by the door, giving me the look of disgust for leaving him in there, and I see him, instead, atop the tallest dresser, lounging as if this were the best damn thing he ever thought of. I pick him up and coo my most sincere apologies to him and he really just couldn’t care less. (Although, to be fair, he did give me a couple of little kisses.) Horrifying “locked in a bedroom for hours” ordeal over. You’d figure he’d be wary of the room. Ha!

This morning, just before King Arthur went out, he’d gone back into the room for something, not checking to see who was behind him and not closing the door as he walked into the room. (I know nothing of this at the time, just filling in the audience as a good narrator should.) King Arthur leaves for his lunch meeting with his investment counselor. I’m doing laundry. I get caught up in a show. I eat some lunch, awaiting King Arthur’s return from his lunch, and I wonder where my Fletch could be. I see Celia, but no Fletch. I call for him, look around to see where he might be hiding. Nothing. I hear no distress cry or scratching, so I figure he’s just napping and “vants to be alone” a la Garbo.

Couple hours later, King Arthur returns home and I’m still puttering around the house. No sign yet of the Fletch monster. Finally, after much discussion, it’s determined that he simply has to be in the back room (or perhaps, in the closet in our bedroom, which is another story for another time) and I head back there, open the door, and there he is! King Arthur’s insistent that he’s not been back there for anything. I know I haven’t. And we’re pretty certain Fletch hasn’t learned to open doors quite yet. Turns out, that, yes, King Arthur HAD been back there before he left the house. Ay yi yi! This is about the time I start planning signage for the door along the lines of: “Check for cat before entering room. Shut door before he enters.” “Check for cat before leaving room!” “Check for cat! Always check for cat!”

Once again, Fletch made it out of there sans trauma. In fact, I’m pretty sure he thought it was simply independent play time in the special Fletch playroom.

Silly cat.

Since then, we’ve been playing with bubbles, which he LOVES! He catches the between his paws. He bites at them. He stomps them with his furry little paws. And then he looks up at me, expectantly, awaiting more. Always more. More. More. More. Please, more bubbles! More. Please! I like bubbles!

Best damn 25 cents I even spent at a yard sale.

Maybe the next one will have signs for the bedroom door.

2014/07/03

Ah, Yes. The Detective

Da Goddess @ 17:24

I dunno about you, but I love detective shows. Always have, always will. The quirkier, the better. The only way detective shows can be even more awesome is if they star an older version of who we’d like ourselves to be. Or who could be someone we know. Like Quincy. Or Matlock. Or even better: Jessica Fletcher.

The best TV detectives are humble, have a sense of humor, are ethically sound (and still somehow occasionally struggle with those ethics when the evidence is at odds with their gut and/or their heart), smart, sometimes cranky, and loveable because they always want what’s best for us.

There are any number of shows I could point to, but Murder She Wrote occupies a special place in my heart because she was a woman and a great role model. Like Miss Marple before her (also once portrayed by Angela Lansbury), she was sharp and focused, but also deeply keen to understand the why behind the crime. She paid great attention to those around her, listening carefully, extracting information from the tiniest of clues because that was the only way to solve the mystery. In short, both gave weight to human nature and the study of their fellow man. They each proved there were advantages to being female: the greatest of which is people are often more willing to talk with you. There’s nothing wrong with appearing gentler, kinder, a bit softer. Those are the very traits that often unarm the ne’er-do-wells of the story. What more could a young girl want from a role model?

For me, it was a lovely moment to realize that being a girl meant I could do more and be more than just serve as a secondary character in a story. Jessica Fletcher gave voice to my longing to be the hero, to be if not the smartest in the room to know when to rely on the input of others and save the day. Finding other people who worship at the altar of JB Fletcher? Icing on the cake.

2014/06/30

LD in Da House!

Da Goddess @ 13:43

Little Dude has arrived! He’s currently on the sofa with Celia in his lap. She picked him back at the shelter and I somehow think she’s only put up with me and with King Arthur in hopes that LD would soon return.

This week we have to finish up paperwork for his recruiter. Yep, you read that right: his recruiter. USMC. He’s doing an early enlistment deal with delayed entry so he can finish his last year in high school. I can’t even begin to wrap my head around this. At all. He’s my baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaby booooooy! I just…can’t…with this. Sigh.

Since he got here this morning, we’ve made three stops, had lunch, played with cats, and are watching movies because, well, that’s what we do.

Anyhow, that’s what’s going on here today.

2014/06/27

We All Thought the World of Him – Tony Gwynn

Da Goddess @ 03:00

When I heard the news the other morning that Tony Gwynn had died, it felt like a little piece of all the goodness in the world was lost. Tony was truly one of the Good Guys. He was a talented ball player, that much everyone knows. But what they may not know is his amazing attitude wasn’t just for show; the man was simply a good-hearted man on and off the field. Instead of ending up in the newspaper embroiled in some scandal or for bad behavior, stories about him usually involved his kindness and generosity within his community.

At one point in my life, I lived practically around the corner and down the street from him. His home wasn’t surrounded by ten-foot-tall privacy walls or guarded by beefy security guys. No, he and his family were just another family in the neighborhood. My mom’s best friend at the time actually was one of his neighbors and she often remarked what a nice guy he was. No pretense. No “please don’t come over here, I’m famous…and therefore too busy to deal with you.” He’d wave. He’d offer to help you take your trash cans up your drive.

While other teammates were getting all sorts of press for refusing autographs unless you paid them or for swearing up a storm or throwing a temper tantrum (on field, off field, at nightclubs, at stores) or getting arrested for domestic violence, disturbing the peace, drunk driving, or drugs, Tony was smiling and laughing and doing things that made the world a better place. He remembered names; always took time to acknowledge friends, neighbors, fans, strangers; spent time helping a kid throw a ball properly; leading by example to teach others about the rewards of hard work and loyalty.

One of the best pieces I’ve read about Tony Gwynn was over on Deadspin by David Johnson. If you need a feel-good story for your day, this is the one. It also serves as a great reminder to each and every single one of us that being a decent human being isn’t just a concept, it’s something we should all endeavor to achieve.

Rest in peace, Tony Gwynn. Hope you got a comfy seat in the dugout!

2014/06/26

I Still Miss You, Man

Da Goddess @ 00:07

Oh, Rob.

You’re still gone and I still miss you. Eight years has gone by and you continue to be in my thoughts, my heart, my dreams. You always will be. You were one of the most special people in my life and there are times when it feels you’re still among the living. At the very least, you’re here, watching over me.

Thank you for your friendship, love, laughter, and music. Thank you for being true to yourself and living your life on your own terms and teaching us how to do the same.

I know your kids miss you, too. I hope they get the same warm feeling I get when they realize you’re there beside them, guiding them to do their best and grab life by the balls. Your friends, I know they’re still missing you. I’m pretty sure Willie’s playing songs, thinking of you. I’m certain Rick & Georgia are sharing stories and shedding a tear or two.

The world is a sadder place without you in it. The world is a better place because you were in it.

Thanks for giving us all such great gifts. We love you, Robbie!

2014/06/24

Sitting Pretty

Da Goddess @ 03:05

Oh, Fletch!

Fletch sitting pretty

Honestly, that cat is just weird.

2014/06/23

A Quote I Searched High & Low to Find

Da Goddess @ 08:01

From Whales on Stilts:

“Along the shore, the forest and the gorge turned red with sunset. For a long time, they stood by the railing and talked about things that mattered to them. There are times when friendship feels like running down a hill together as fast as you can, jumping over things, spinning around, and you don’t care where you’re going, and you don’t care where you’ve come from, because all that matters is speed, and the hands holding your hands. That’s how it felt to Katie, Jasper, and Lily: Though the night was falling, it was if they could still feel the sun on their faces, and they stood together talking until the sky turned to black, the party balloons sagged, and the androids came to take them home.”

I dreamed about that quote last night, if you can believe that. I knew I had it tucked away somewhere. Turned out it was in an email to San Diego Momma years ago. Thank goodness for gmail and saving emails!

2014/06/20

Crime Fighting, Cuteness, and Working Cats!

Da Goddess @ 23:01

Well, at least they try to fight crime. It’s a pretty hard job, you know.

One police station in Kyoto has a cat named lemon on the job.

In Seoul, South Korea, Mango and Mango Kobun handle various duties around the station, including keeping morale high.

At Kishi Station, Tama serves as the Super Station Master. Not exactly police work, but still an official job of authority! And her presence there helped save the station from closing. That’s pretty damn cool.

By now, the whole world has pretty much heard the story about the cat who saved a California child from a dog attack. Tara, the brave kitty, is now your basic international superstar!

Then there’s Quirky, the blind kitten. Super powers: a little echolocation used to get around; has a seeing eye dog, should super powers fail; and, finally, ULTRA CUTENESS! So, not necessarily a crime fighter or a working cat, but Quirky is a heartbreaker of the finest kind.

And if you’re tired of cats for a while, here’s a palatte cleanser: exceedingly amazing work made of paper.

2014/06/19

Two Little…er…One Little Birdie

Da Goddess @ 17:40

We lost one of the baby hummingbirds yesterday or thereabouts. The neighbor caught a cat (not one of ours!) skulking around the base of the carport leg (which is what I guess it’s called. I don’t know!) and then noticed one of the babies was no longer in the nest. Mama Hummingbird was a bit upset, it seemed, as she was hovering around the nest most of the day.

Now, it’s just one little fuzzball waiting for flight training.

Yes, I’m still taking pictures. Yes, I will post them. Eventually. Have you met me? I take the pictures. I just don’t always post them in a timely manner.

Arm & Hammer Got it Wrong! Simply Saline is Ruined

Da Goddess @ 04:24

Here’s the deal: the moment I discovered Simply Saline (under the Church & Dwight label), I became an ardent devotee. At the first sign of congestion, I’d grab my dispenser and get to clearing out my nasal passages. Considering how bad my sinuses have always been, this was a godsend! I could cut my infection time in half. I could function. Part of the beauty of Simply Saline was the fact that it was just what it said it was: simply…saline. No added ingredients. No preservatives. No funky taste/smell. Nothing to gunk up the body for those with ultra-sensitive mucous membranes. Perfect for babies. Perfect for adults. I told EVERYONE about it.

Before Simply Saline, I had tried just about everything else on the market. I tried making my own saline solution. None of it worked. The other stuff sold in stores contained ingredients that caused me further irritation and/or adverse reactions. Whatever I tried to make at home was never right; it didn’t matter if I followed the directions given to me by doctors because it was never right. Never.

And then came Simply Saline. The clouds parted. The sun shone brilliantly as if God Himself blessed our union. I was in love. I had relief. Simply Saline made it possible for me to stop taking one of my decongestants. It was a miracle.

But now Arm & Hammer only sells Simply Saline with added ingredients.

Original recipe: Purified Water; 0.9% Sodium Chloride

New recipe: Purified Water; 0.9% Sodium Chloride; Sodium Bicarbonate

People with certain medical conditions can’t use products with sodium bicarb. It can cause increased blood pressure; it can decrease the effectiveness of aspirin; it can cause alkalosis; and it can cause edema, congestive heart failure, hyperosmolar syndrome, hypervolemic hypernatremia, and “in patients consuming a high-calcium or dairy-rich diet, calcium supplements, or calcium-containing antacids such as calcium carbonate (e.g., Tums), the use of sodium bicarbonate can cause milk-alkali syndrome, which can result in metastatic calcification, kidney stones, and kidney failure.”

So, really, why would a company that has a great product that can be used by everyone suddenly change the formula and reduce their consumer base? It’s bad business. At the very least, they really should have an additive-free version of their product in addition to the new formula. Loyal customers who loved the original version would be satisfied and they could still make money. As it stands now, I’m sick and I’m angry. Angry that I can’t find a product that has always served me well.

Arm & Hammer, this is just bad business practices. There was nothing wrong with the original Simply Saline. It was a great product that was very effective. Shame on you for not giving your customers a choice.

2014/06/17

Deadliest Catch – Season 10 – Opis & Josh Harris & the Cornelia Marie & the Kitchen Sink

Da Goddess @ 22:16

Yes, we’re a couple months into the Deadliest Catch season, but it’s not been until last week that we saw the Cornelia Marie back in the water. Thanks to Josh Harris, the CM is back where she belongs, doing what she was meant to do. Only one of the Harris boys is in the captain’s chair and that would be Josh. ‘

(Jake, keep up the good work! Stay sober, stay safe, stay focused! One day at a time. Even half a day at a time works. Just do the hard work so you can come back to the hard physical work that will help keep you on track. We’re rootin’ for ya!)

Josh has worked hard to get the boat back out on the water and he’s doing it the smart way: he’s bringing along another captain with more experience so he has someone he trusts with the boat, the crew, and he has someone who will teach him to run that boat the way Phil would have wanted it run.

It makes all of us proud, in a bittersweet way, to see the CM out there. We miss Phil, sure. But what we really miss is Phil with Jake and Josh. So for now, we feel the presence of one of our favorite Harris men through the eyes and actions of his eldest son, Josh. I think Papa Harris would be deeply proud of all that Josh is doing. Keep up the good work, guy!

The other boats are back, too. Northwestern is driving Sig nuts with mechanical/electrical problems that only Edgar can fix. It’s go time for the Hansen family! And Jake Anderson! He takes the wheel while the rest of the guys try to get shit done down in the engine room.

The Wizard has Capt Keith sitting up at the Russian border, hoping to drop pots on a big ol’ untouched biomass!

Andy’s at the helm on the Time Bandit since brother John is out trying to get healthy and avoid the sort of tragedy that took Phil from this world far too soon.

Wild Bill is out with his son and they’re crew on the Cape Caution.

Elliot Neese is out of rehab and back on his boat. Edgar’s stopped by to encourage him to get through each day and count every day as a success.

And Scott “Junior” Campbell remains on the injured list after his spinal surgery. Having been down that road myself, it’s not an easy recovery and I wish him all the best and a very speedy recovery!

This opi season looks to be a rough one, so pull on your big boy pants, gentlemen, and do the best you can. Oh, and Mandy? If you make it out onto the boat, eyes open, head up/down/up/down — up for safety, down for putting the nose to the ol’ grindstone. We’re cheering you on!

Here’s to Season 10 Opies being a great season for all!

2014/06/16

Behind the Scenes Look at Underwater Photo Shoot

Da Goddess @ 00:27

The results are stunning, but even better than that is seeing how it all came to be.

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