Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mendocino County Mini Maker Faire

 I usually like to just take a good picture and then crop it, but lots of things I saw this weekend seemed to call for heavy filter use. Dawn and Dad were making hula hoops at the Willits Mini Maker Faire, and they brought me along to teach jewelry making with bike tubes, and it was fun and not too hot or busy. The focal point of the Faire was the gypsy caravan of a performer named Doctor Sol, whose magic show encourages children not to pollute. He does it as an 1800s carnival barker and even though  I heard it twice I didn't mind it.
The Faire was in the Roots of Power exhibit which is full of trains and lumber equipment. I wold have liked to make some drawings of the machines but I was too busy. After Willits we drove up to Lake County to gather Dawn's son. The lake county house is such a treat- it is in a vineyard and Clear Lake is just across the road. 

It was sunny but not hot so I couldn't bring myself to swim, but laying on the dock was almost as good. 
 One of Dawn's old friends spotted this tiny opposum, and Dad caught it so we could move it a few yards from the cabin, just to let it know it's not welcome to eat the recycling.
 Lake County is wonderful for plants, as is Santa Rosa. This is one of a stand of 5-7' tall fried-egg poppies.

I'm lucky I was spared nearly all the ills of working a fair-- overheating, sunburn, hoarse voice, sore feet-- I just got a backache from leaning over all day. Also my fingertips wore off but it wasn't visible.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


My lifeguarding class is nearly all teens, including teens who have reached the age of majority, and I thought I had identified myself as an adult woman but I guess a lot of the teens didn't notice. So having them discover it was a bit of an embarrassing episode. No one has ever in my life thought I was my own age or older; I should have a medical alert bracelet made. They immeiately asked me about SAT scores, alcohol, and college, and I think I was a fairly good example on all counts. Since then I have been thinking about how much my life sounds like youthful imaginings. There's the whole trope of a camp boyfriend/Canadian girlfriend. I have an alive boyfriend, and we lived together for six months after he graduated college, but he lives in Boston. Now I just mail him sauerkraut and he mails me sweaters.

When I first left highschool for college I had a horror of being put back in high school or elementary school. I would have nightmares about it and everything. But now in my lifeguarding course I have a former juvenile hall teacher yelling things at me about responsibility and whatever, and it feels okay.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Lifeguard Cert Class

Usually everything interesting in my life is art-related, but not the Lifeguard Certification course I've just joined. The instructor asked us all to write down why we wanted to be a lifeguard, so I wrote about the drownings in Louisiana that made me decide I had a responsibility to be able to save swimmers. A large family was picnicking on a riverbank. None of the children or adults could swim, so when one teen fell off an underwater drop-off, several more followed to try to save him, and drowned too. I looked into it, and learned that it is unsafe to save a drowning person because in their desperation they will drown you if they are able, and that is when I knew I would have to be formally trained. The five allotted minutes passed faster than expected so I finished with, "I don't want to be helpless."

Almost all of the teens wrote that they want to be lifeguards because they love to swim and want to help people, and want a summer job. Oh. I honestly did not think of that. Swimming is my favorite exercise, but lifeguarding is sitting in a chair in the sun.

These teens have been in school all day, and now they are taking a 3 hour swimming + lecture class for 50 hours in two weeks. We get out at 9:30, and we got homework for tomorrow (but it's just reading). When will they do the homework? Teenagers are amazing! I was amazing in that indefatigable way as well. Get up at 7am to go to high school, bike to second high school for special class, bike back to first high school, then after school were committees to help the school, fitness club, or special-interest community college class. "peaking in high school" is for athletes, not students who spend all of their time reading and inventing weird little projects, but that was my peak to date for spending my waking hours progressing toward external, measurable goals.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Massachusetts Wishlist

These are the neatest things I know of in Massachusetts:

The Mapparium- A three-story stained glass globe visitors can walk through. It's a whisper gallery and since it was built in 1935 it's a time capsule of political borders and country names. 


The Glass Flowers at Harvard- these have been on my wishlist for years and years, so long that contemplating them doesn't fill me with wonder anymore, but I'm sure in person it will.

 The Edward Gorey House (a museum) plus topical letterboxes.

Click for Clue
Travel In The TARDIS- a 20 box Doctor Who letterboxing series carved by several different people (not linking because the box is restricted). I would get to find 20 stamps on just a 4 mile hike! In the New England woods! Fairy tale woods!  I slightly hate the boxer who commented "Amazing series!!! Interesting characters, I think I may need to check this show out!!!" on this series. 
Casey- a 23 year old research assistant who is always up for adventures (shown here at Yellowstone, WY) provided they're safe and well-researched. He is lovely, but he's not 3,000 glass flowers; he can travel to California perfectly well.