One of Our Best Bloggers Needs You

Greta Christina is one of the writers I respect most in the world. She recently became a full-time freelance writer, and it seems the world has been out to get her ever since. Her father died just a few weeks ago – then she was diagnosed with endometrial cancer early this week. It’s not the worst kind of cancer a person can have, and hopefully was caught early enough so it can be cured with merely major surgery, but it’s going to sideline her for a bit. And this is at the beginning of her freelance career, which means no cushion built up. And this is freelancing we’re talking about – there is no paid sick leave.

So she could use a hand. Do you want to help out? You can donate to her directly, or buy her excellent book, or recommend easy entertainment to keep her from going mad during convalescence. I’m assuming things featuring cute kittehs are priority, but please try to grade things by humor: aww cute should be fine for the first two weeks, gentle giggles for weeks 2-3, ramping up gradually to chuckles and, eventually, when healing has progressed so far, gales of laughter.

And give her love. Lots and lots of love.

Greta Christina’s head, plus kittehs. I think her body is under that pile somewhere, but it’s hard to tell from the photo. Image credit Greta Christina, from 6 Things Cat Owners Dare Not Think About on Catster.

(A note to any religious readers: please respect the fact that Greta is an atheist. Please don’t tell her you’re praying for her, that God has a plan, etc. You’re welcome to believe those things, but we don’t, and don’t find them at all comforting. Thank you for understanding.)

One of Our Best Bloggers Needs You

Suzanne's Citrine

I’m going to be doing a post on a magnificent bit of citrine I’ve currently got joint custody of, but this is not that post. Instead, this is me thinking of citrine and realizing I’ve had a piece sitting in a box by my bed for years, waiting for the right home. It’s one of a pair I picked up at a little shop in downtown Seattle called Raven’s Nest Treasure.

It’s going to Suzanne, who is one of my favorite people in the entire universe, and who doesn’t (yet) have enough pretty rocks lying around. We had some lovely sunshine on Sunday, so I took photos of her new delight. I figured a few of you might enjoy them as well.

Continue reading “Suzanne's Citrine”

Suzanne's Citrine

Lilies for a Friend

2012 is not being kind to kith and kin. Suzanne’s fractured her poor leg and knee. Another friend just sent me rather distressing news. I won’t reveal anything about it until I have her leave, but I figured another installment of flowers was in order. She and Suzanne both could use a little beauty right now.

We’ll have some lovely lilies, accompanied by one of the most beautiful piano pieces I’ve heard lately, “Tip-Toe Dancer” by Karen Marie Garrett.

The lilies are from the North Creek area. This first one reminds me very much of my friend: its near-translucent purple looks delicate, but it’s tough as well as gorgeous.

Purple lily

This white lily is an early spring delight. I love how the little bits of green in its petals give it some pizazz.

White Lily

In the summer, orange lilies bloom nearly everywhere. Sometimes, it’s just a bloom or two on a single stalk; elsewhere, banks of them blaze out. They seem to pick up where the rhododendrons leave off, and leaven the endless green quite admirably.

Orange lilies

These scarlet lilies are from a park near the river. Not a common color, and all the more gorgeous for that.

Scarlet lilies

We’ll finish with flowers found in the blast zone at Mt. St. Helens. They’re a wonderful reminder that no matter how bad the damage, given a bit of time, beauty can return.

Beauty in the Blast Zone

And now, I’d like a word with 2012: stop fucking with my friends, or I will hurt you in the face. Well, I would, if you had a face, which you don’t. You’re not even a you. Bugger. Still, you’re on notice, 2012. Behave.

Lilies for a Friend

For Suzanne

My dearest Suzanne could use some beautiful things right now. So I shall give her (and also you, dearest readers) some flowers and a sunset from Oregon, 2010, when Lockwood took us round to investigate the glories of Oregon geology for the very first time.

Sunset Sprig

I have no idea what this is, but it can be found on the coast near Devils Churn, and makes for a fantastic bit of brilliance against all the green foliage and black rock. Perhaps a more flora-savvy reader can enlighten us.

Yellow Delight

This, I think, might be an orchid, but I can’t run down an identification, so I don’t know. But I love it. It was sitting close to the beach at Devils Churn, nestled in the rocks, lovely as anything. I love finding things like this in unexpected places.

Sunset, Sea and Seabirds

On our way up the coast, seeking dinner, the sun set the sea afire, and so we pulled over in a convenient spot and chanced upon some spectacular photo ops. It’s not a patch on some of Suzanne’s sunset photos, but it’ll do for a finale.

I’ve got quite a few more flower photos I’ve not done anything with. Who else is in need of some flora to sweeten life a bit?

For Suzanne

The Truth About Guys and Gals

Last night was completely fucked up in all the best ways. Well, most of them. And it’s led to semi-deep thoughts.

Mind you, I hadn’t had enough sleep. I’d had a shitty day at work, following the shittiest four-day weekend I’ve had in forever, and just that afternoon our call center director had asked me how things were, which led to me saying “not good” and then doing too much sniveling on the way home from lunch to feel capable of stopping by the gas station for a lighter. So this is the context.

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The Truth About Guys and Gals

Subterranean Homesick Blues, Here I Come!

I just got my package of books from Wayne Ranney.  (Actually, I probably got them a week ago, but I’ve only just now checked the mail.)  You know what this means, don’t you?

Pain, that’s what.

You see, Wayne’s a wonderful writer, and he’s got all of Arizona’s delicious geology to go play in, and these books will be filled with all of the places I used to ramble through for the first three decades of my life.  I shall love them.  But you can expect the occasional sentimental post arising from them, because they’ll remind me how much I miss ye olde home state (although not its government).  We’ll be taking some rambles through Arizona’s spectacular landforms, guided by Wayne and a few others, in the months to come.

While you’re waiting for me to get round to it, you can go visit Wayne’s blog, where he has a spectacular post up on the Esplanade Platform:

Far away from the main tourist areas in Grand Canyon lies a huge wilderness of stone and space. It is silent beyond belief and seldom visited. Within this huge expanse lies the Esplanade Platform, a stunning landscape feature that is found only in the central and western portions of the canyon. The Esplanade forms a broad terrace positioned about a fourth of the way down in the canyon, where the Hermit Formation overlies the Esplanade Sandstone. The Esplanade thus creates a canyon within a canyon. Geologists have long been intrigued by the presence of the Esplanade Platform in Grand Canyon and many theories have been proposed to explain its origin. Did the Colorado River carve it during a period of erosional quiescence, as some say? Or did it form in response to the canyon’s variable stratigraphy? I explored these questions on a recent trip to the Esplanade. From February 10 to 16 I was privileged to backpack with two other friends here. This is our story.

And it’s illustrated.  Lavishly.  So get thee to Wayne’s place and enjoy.

Subterranean Homesick Blues, Here I Come!