I posted on my Facebook status today, just this one word: Frazzled.
My brain has had to be so ON the last 3 days – that I can feel the synapses burning from overuse. A football meeting directly after work on Monday followed by more work I had to complete from home that wasn’t done until 9:30pm. Yesterday was the first of 3 AP tests for 16. Of course all 3 are morning exams. So I went in to work for 3.5 hours in the morning after dropping him off, then picked him up, and we went home so that could work until his dentist appointment (didn’t want to drive back to work for just 2 hours). After the dentist I worked at home again until 6:30. Today was AP test #2. This time, I picked him up and brought him back to school and then came back to work. But of course the proctor for his exam messed things up and they didn’t get out until 12:35. They were supposed to be done before noon. When I got back to work, it was more mania until a little after 3:30. It’s just been a series of days with system problems, people making careless mistakes and things falling on my desk to cover gaps again.
None of this would be that difficult except for PEOPLE needing THINGS and with QUESTIONS and never having a moment of quiet to get anything DONE (dammit!). I can handle the tasks – I just need to be a Hermit for a day to get them all done properly. So it took 3 days and 2 evenings, but it’s done. And I’m frazzled.
So today I was happy that the rain had stopped, and I could take another walk. I mixed in a few photos from my house over the weekend when we had an amazing sunset. I loved the glow from the sky on the roses in the side yard.
Yes, that is a helipad in one of the photos. When I walk out of this building I head down the property to the helipad which is, of course, abandoned and not being used, but does make for a nice quiet place to walk around and take in the view across the freeway and listen to some birds. the towhee cousins were out and about quite a bit. Both brown and rufous sided. That blue roof building is some other business across a canyon from ours. No clue why it is such a bright blue, but there it is!
Anyway, here’s hoping that tonight is quiet without too many demands from the other occupants of the house and that I can just watch TV and stay offline. Thankfully there is a break in the AP schedule – the last one is next week so tomorrow is just a normal school day. No earlier than normal drop off or mid-day pick ups. Phew!
A task in my Happify track this week was the Walk of Inspiration:
Take a meditative walk in a place that always inspires your best ideas. It could be a busy street, a hiking trail, or even the mall. (Hey, great ideas can come from anywhere.) Walk slowly at first, with eyes on the ground. Notice the tactile sensations of walking: the feeling of your feet, the temperature, the way your body feels.
Once you can walk at a normal pace while paying attention to sensory experiences, start noticing sounds—but try not to think too much!
Once you can attend to tactile and auditory sensations, start looking around and noticing any activity around you.
I decided that I would set out with the photo app opened on my phone and walk the grounds around the “campus” here at work. We are surrounded by Torrey Pines and native sage brush so it’s perfect for losing yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of nature. A welcome respite from the desk! Today was a good day because I am wearing softer soled shoes so that my own footsteps didn’t interrupt the sounds. It was a little chilly – I was glad I had on a sweater and I needed to button it up due to the gray skies completely covering up the sun. Often though, I find that the gray days mean I can see the bird life more clearly. The lack of glare and deep shadows makes the movement and colors catch your eye a bit more.
Sure enough, not a minute into the walk I heard the soft call of a rufous sided towhee. Not the main trilling song – he wasn’t up on the top of a bush singing – he was just flitting on the ground and then low in the bushes making his more sedated wheezy call. He moved too much for a photo, but was still so beautiful with his black and orange feathers providing a striking contrast to the green of the grass.
After spending a little time watching him, I set about taking pictures and had some fun afterwards making this collage in Picasa. I was paying attention not only to color but also to shape and textures as I walked:
There was more bird song serenading me through the walk, and the scents were fairly strong too. Sage and pine dominated.
Not a bad way to spend 15 minutes, but something I probably would not have done without the reminder – thanks again Happify
Amber posing for her closeup. She's up on the midway point stair rail ledge.
Amber poses above the Crooked Acres Cat Calendar for 2011 feature the November pinup feline - Sugarbutt. We sure do love our Crooked Acres kitties!
- Mini Daffodils all confused and blooming in October
Plumbago adding some blue to the corner
Mini fuschia up close - check out the drop of water to the far right. I love this camera's close up setting!
Standard size single fuschia - as confused as the daffodils it is still covered in flowers in the fall!
Lobelia in it's last throes with daffodils & plumbago in the background
The full and pre-storm glowing moon from last week.
Does anyone know which planet is right there next to the moon in the sky? It was also super bright Wednesday night.
So those are my samples as I keep trying to learn how to use the new Canon EOS Rebel. So many auto settings that I am still only have partially figured out and don’t even get me started on the manual ones!
Now I get to start the “taking photos of holiday lights at night” experiment. Because yes, Renee & and I put up indoor lights at both our places this weekend. While Eve napped of course, she’s the Grinchy one We figured that Thanksgiving is so early and now it’s dark early, so why not get a head start on adding some sparkle to our lives? You sure don’t need to twist my arm!
Yes, I said sun RISE. Rare for me! I tagged along on Sunday with some of the training team to cheer them on in a triathlon on the Silver Strand end of Coronado Island. Now I know what to expect when SB does his event in May. The forecast had originally been for some light rain, but instead it was it a really gorgeous morning and our timing was perfect as we made our way to the San Diego bay side for the start of the swim. Enjoy!
Tuesday morning I opened my garage door and saw this:
My drive in to work then unfolded like this as that ominous dark cloud started spitting out the water it held:
It kinda looked like we were going to head right for the base of the rainbow, right?
It was a few days past St Paddy’s, but I was ready to meet that Leprechaun!
Here we go! (The guy in the car in front was also holding up his phone and snapping pics at this red light!)
Rain was really starting to come down. Getting harder to snap shots in between wiper blades
I love how bright it is to the right of the inside leg of the double rainbow. Such a contrast. And really, what an awesome show of nature eh? A little sunshine, a little water and voila! A gorgeous display of shape & color. Science!
Oooh – hey, that darn thing is *moving*! Why isn’t it in front of us any more? Why does it seem to be moving off into the distance with us?
Now it’s fading as the clouds behind me engulf the sun….and just like that, visions of leprechauns and pots o’ gold vanish away with it.
As the saying goes: So close and yet so far.
(I apologize in advance for the ear worm I may have just created)
Today is my first day of winter break – my company generously closes from today through 1/3 – so I am catching up on, well, everything! Two days to get ready for Christmas – no problemo right?! Meanwhile the last 5 days were dominated here in So Cal by an enormous (for us) amount of water falling from the sky. The ground here is just not designed for absorbing up to 20 inches of rain over that time span! Luckily, in my area it was “only” 5 inches but even that fills up every creek bed, river, lagoon or low lying area pretty darn fast. I grabbed my camera for the drive in to work yesterday to record the coastal impact. I was lucky – roads leading in to work are in excellent shape and far enough away from any overflowing water sources.
A little standing water in the backyard. Not TOO bad. I've seen the whole yard under 1/2 and inch before
Penasquitos lagoon along Carmel Valley rd. Rarely this much water on the east end
Water goes right up to the base of the train tracks. Train service was flooded out, but not here.
Looking south from Torrey Pines Rd at the stormy skies
Now viewing the lagoon from the west end - looking back at CV Rd. Again, rarely looking this full
On the way home at the end of the day - a post storm sunset splashed cloud
There are SO MANY mommy bloggers out there, and it’s fabulous. Really. Heck, it’s a darn *industry*! And yes, having met a daddy-blogger last week I know they are starting to come out of the closet more and more. Still, there is just something extra special about a dad writing about moments with his kids. Like this one from my Dkos friend DWreck:
The Majesty of Spring – just beautiful!
And now, thanks to the release of a necessary item (or perhaps, locating it behind the reading chair in my room. wtf?) I can finally reveal the creature that drives my cat MAD:
I had no idea we had chipmunks in the suburbs! I’ve seen rabbits & squirrels when out walking through the greenbelts & school/park areas, but never this little guy. He’s bold too. Did not care that Amber & were just on the other side of the door. He came back yesterday and spent time hanging out in the peach tree, scrambling from branch to branch, occasionally dropping down to the ground to grab some overflow from the bird feeder (this particular mix has some nuts which is probably what brought him here). Of course with his super fast darting movements and then his bold nature coming right up near the door, Amber thinks he’s the PERFECT toy/snack! Oh does she huff! Have you heard a cat huff before? It’s even funnier than what I call chittering. It’s like she’s thinking “I’ll huff & I’ll puff & I’ll blow this door down so I can get the pretty chipmunk!!”
Meanwhile another side effect of the bird feeder are the sunflower plants. They start to sprout just below the feeder of course. I move them once they drop the outer shell. I probably have a dozen spread around the back yard at this point. One is already 2 feet tall and has a bud. We’ll see how that goes. It would be loads cheaper to provide the birds with a naturally growing source of food! Plus, they are quite pretty.
Last official workday of vacation
Sunbeams through storm clouds to the east
The wind was gusting all over as I parked at the beach to take pictures. It had rained earlier, but the bigger part of today’s storm is the wind. Gusting at 30mph this morning, building up to 45mph this afternoon. I had my back to the wind as I took the photo above & I had no idea how it came out because my hair was being blown totally over my head so I couldn’t even see the camera screen!
Wind whipped waves
I had to lean against my car to take the ocean photos because the gusts would blow me right off balance otherwise.
Whitecaps, whitecaps as far as the eye can see! North to The OC..
..South to Mexico...(that seagull was being held in place by the wind)
..and West to...Hawaii?