Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Lopezian Considerations

"What do you say we go on a final "pre-baby getaway," Di? We could drive over to Lopez, hunker down in the yurt, drive home through the glorious North Cascades, stay in a cute little inn in Mazama -- all for a romantic escape before our lives change forever..." -- Shannon Barnes

And so we did...

And wonderful it was!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Considering the GRAND POOBAH BELLY

Can you even believe this?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Considering Lessons from Ants

This week's considerations are of a somewhat distinct nature...ANTS.

For those who have visited our new home, you may have heard tales of my late night obsessions with killing the ginormous, black ants who seem to invite themselves into our kitchen through our lower cabinetry and dishwasher. Now, we are not talking little, innocent ants which blithely traverse the floor en route to the cat or dog food...we are talking "mega ants" with heads and thoraxes to rival any WWF champion! These nightly intruders come thievishly into the house with not a care for the deabolt on the front door! In short, they disgust me.

For several weeks, Shannon has frustratedly observed my growing intolerance for our intruders. I have tried (well, sort of) to muster a Buddhist acceptance of the devils, but between sheer disgust at the sight of them and my own raging pregnancy horomones, I have been nearing my threshhold...then, the tipping point...

This weekend I was hosing off the deck and also washed off much of the shingling where wasps nests were beginning to appear. In doing so, I noted a few of my dark-side rivals close to the front door. I wasted no time in taking out my week of frustrations on them, doucing them with water to flood their big heads. I was in "extermination mode;" not something to be proud of, but real nonetheless. Soon, on the steps, I saw a HUGE ant with wings! I actually thought it was a termite and promptly stepped on it, feeling a satisfying crunch underfoot. Feeling triumphant and more relaxed (oddly!) that I had accomplished my mission to clean the deck, I went inside.

Well, the next morning all hell broke loose! Gigantic black ants swarmed the front porch! They were everywhere -- crawling up the front door, just begging to get inside...I freaked! I went off to work with crazed fantasies of horror films in my mind -- Shannon and I coming home to a house filled with swarms of Formicidae eating away at the house's foundation, crawling in our bed, overtaking the get the picture. My paranoia led me to call Northern States Pest Control who said we may have a "colony" under the house or in the crawl space..."A colony?" I asked... "Yes, ants build colonies guided by their queen. If the large winged ant you killed was the queen, you have probably angered the workers quite a bit," replied the receptionist. Holy crap...who knew?

Long story short, Bill came yesterday to assess the situation, bravely crawling on his belly (and I think I hate my job sometimes...) underneath our crawl space to indeed verify we had a large colony living downunder. I'll spare you the execution details, but suffice to say, Bill took care to spray profusely, ridding 106 Lost Horse of the ants. Hurrah!

Yet, here is the clincher...all morning I have been a bit obsessed with learning more about ants...Google "ants" and amazing things appear! Since ancient times, scientists, philosophers, architects and mathematicians have studied ants, their behavior and their social interactions. There is a growing field of study called "Ant Colony Optimization" where interested parties are looking at ants' complex social behavior through the lens of mathmatical algorithms and their theoretical applications...again, who knew?

If you are interested, you can also Google "Myrmecology" which is the branch of entomology dealing with ants. Fascinating!

So, just when I thought Northern Idaho was an intellectual wasteland...look who needs to rethink her very intelligent and highly sophisticated surroundings...

Monday, May 15, 2006

Girth Considerations

Growing belly shots -- an evening of self-portraiture...

Spring into Summer Considerations

The heat is on! Or so it seems in Sandpoint, Idaho... We are due to have recordbreaking highs today in the 90's!!! And based on our weekend events -- barbeques, outdoor gatherings, garden planting, hiking in the Cabinet Mountains...I'd say, summer has arrived!

Some choice photos of a workmate bbq at our house and an evening of fun at our dear friend Pam's house...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Courtyard Marriott Considerations

Having just eaten the most gargantuan burrito I have ever seen (and eaten all of it!), I am settling in for the night at the Hilsboro, Oregon Courtyard Marriott motel. The room is nothing to write home about (or even comment on here for that matter...), but the space does offer just the right lack of compelling distractions (Shannon, Java, good TV dramas, dinner with friends) to get some reflections onto the blog. I took out Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg, again and was reading it on the plane. She reminded me that writing is a practice, and as such, must be considered daily in order to improve. She also reminded me that less is more and that I need not seek perfection but must "write to be sane." I found this intriguing and beg your forgiveness as I, thus, write here in pursuit of my own sanity...

Shannon and I spent the weekend in Seattle prior to my departure to Oregon for work. We had the pleasure of time with friends and time once again in the big city. We re-discovered some treasured spots like the Panama Hotel in the International District, where we played backgammon and dominoes with Lara and Melissa, as well as Beechers cheese shop in Pike Place Market where they stir curds of cheese in huge, smelly vats. The arboretum was in full bloom and we chanced upon the Japanese Garden on "free to visitors" day, so after 7 years of running past the bamboo gates, I finally got to see the interior. There are huge coi (coy?) fish, swimming like ancient submarine ghosts and many playful looking turtles who stretch their necks long as if to reach the sun itself. The flowers are abundant now all over the arboretum -- azalea way is filled with coppers, pinks, purples and gold. It is amazing! Sandpoint is nearly a month behind in the bloom cycle, yet with hope, we too will have such color in our landscape.

Here in Hilsboro, I am doing an observation-analysis of the new Management Training program I wrote for Coldwater Creek. I am spending time in one of the Training Stores and will also visit another local store and one of our new spas. My mission at the spa will be "walk-in pregnant lady who wants back to back treatments" and see how they accommodate me. I find the role of secret shopper enjoyable as it is somehow theaterical in concept as I am supposed to be me, but not really be me...I am still debating what "attitude" my personae will take on --whether to be the hormonal "of course you are going to give me what I want" customer, or simply play it cool and see what I am offered. The goal is to measure the service standards being delivered...stay tuned.

On a completely separate note...I was listening to the BBC report on the immigrant rights marches and this brilliant chap was asking another reporter how many immigrants she saw "in LA" and when she gave him a specific number he chuckled, and then replied, "Oh, I thought there were many more people than that living in LA..." implying of course that everyone in the US was/is/has been an immigrant at some point in time...driving home the ridiculousness of "illegal" status and many of the attitudes floating around the Bush regime these days...I feel pretty far outside the loop of the effect the rallies are having on current legislation -- but is was heartening to see the many faces in Seattle walking downtown to join in protest on Monday.

Ah, that's all for the call the love of my life!