From: Barbara Taylor
Date: May 30, 2010 4:05:46 AM PST
Subject: HAPPY BIRFDAY!
We just decided to go to Cape Coral today to photograph the little baby Burrowing Owls again before they fledge. I AM SO EXCITED! I was so worried that Larry did not want to go because he says we have enough Baby Owl peetures..!! I don't think you can have enough Baby Owl peetures, do you?
We will bring our laptop with us so we can email.
From: Larry Taylor
Date: May 30, 2010 8:19:08 PM PDT
Subject: Baby Burrowing Owls
To: Linda, Tom
We had Mexican food twice today!!
Here are some baby owls.
photos by Laurence Taylor
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Thanks for telling me, everyone!
These are my favorite paintings, and I'm the last to know!
A set of TEN DIFFERENT abstract expressionist stamps was issued back in MARCH. It is almost JUNE. They will probably all be GONE by the time I get to the P.O. on Tuesday.
Forget e-mail; I'm going to start writing letters if I can get my hands on these stamps.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
From: Larry Taylor
Subject: Woody or Woodn't he
Date: May 25, 2010 11:49:41 AM PDT
I'm very happy you liked the woodpeckers, it was a lot of fun. We are going to this preserve with an estate house and quite of bit of land, orange grove, etc. on it, called Genius Preserve--It was owned by a family named Genius. It's closed to the public and operated as sort of a study area by Rollins College here in the middle of Winter Park, but we were invited to take part in a survey every week or once a month of the birds in there. Sometimes we're among only four or six people with the leader, Bruce, and often I'm the only one with a camera, so that's where we got the Peacock tail shots the other day. This weekend, Bruce said they saw a Pileated Woodpecker pair feeding young at the nest hole, and he showed us where it was. He said it would show up and the babies were inside waiting. As soon as they heard the adult bird land on the tree, they stuck their heads out and began cheeping (or squawking) for food and I snapped them. We saw three feedings, with about 10-15 minutes between visits by the adults, both male and female. The Pileated Woodpecker is a great big one, the real Woody Woodpecker (I used to love that cartoon----aaa-aa-aa-AAAK-AK). When it flies, you can see white against the black on its wings and it makes a loud thonking sound when it hammers on a tree. Barbara says I've been trying for years to get photos of one in focus. I certainly haven't had any chicks and never so good a look at them.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
But for now–not right now, but starting the 2nd week in June–we'll be taking a one-week vacation in San Francisco!
Have you ever been to the bay area? Do you have any suggestions for what we should do or see or eat?
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Saturday, May 15, 2010
I feel really strange, in a good way. I haven't been at my computer all day. Today we went on a home tour of 5 "green" homes in Marin. It was more than fun. Across the street from one of the homes this kid had set up–not a lemonade stand–but a CHAMPAGNE STAND and was selling glasses of champagne for $3.00. Yep, that's Marin for you.
The tour was terrific. My favorite home was the one by Daniel Liebermann, who apprenticed with Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesen West. It had the best feeling, and it's only 1,000 sq. ft.–a little smaller than the house we live in. Daniel Liebermann is now 80, and was sitting out on the front steps leading down to the house, surrounded by kids asking him questions.
And that's not all we did today. After the last house we got tired of waiting on the shuttle, so we walked down some steep steps. We found ourselves in Mill Valley near Title Nine. I marched right in and bought a flip skirt. Then we found our car and headed to Joe's Taco Lounge where we had tostadas and sangria.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Because I did such a poor job of writing yesterday, I made sure to look at today's prompt before I went to bed last night. "A dream." So before I went to sleep, I made a point to remember a dream to write about today. But the dream I had was boring, about joining the American Girl Club (which is weird because I can't stand American Girl, even though Kristin loves it), and then after joining up, boarding a tour bus in front of our house with a little suitcase.
So I'm going to write about dream vacations instead. Yesterday Tom and I were walking and talking about the staycation we've planned to take in the middle of June.
I asked him what his dream vacation would be if we could go anywhere in the world. He said with no hesitation: "First we fly to Boston to see Deb and Eric for a few days." (Deb just broke her leg in several places.) "Then we fly to Iceland for a week, then take a ship to the Faroe Islands where we stay for another week. From there we take a ship to Bergen and rent a car. We drive around Norway and end up in Davik for the summer solstice."
Then he asked me what my dream vacation would be. "Computer camp, where I learn HTML5 and Canvas." He said, "You can do that at home." I said, "Not while I'm working I can't. I would sleep late, spend 4 hours at computer camp, and then go for a walk somewhere where I could find lots of little things to collect." "What kind of little things?" "You know, glass and rocks and plastic. Then for dinner we would order in whatever we felt like." I felt elated all of a sudden. "I guess the place I'm describing is here, where we already are."
I was delighted but I'm not sure Tom was.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Sunday, May 09, 2010
Today's prompt for our Writing Salon's 12-minute piece of writing is "On the wall."
Today is Mother's Day, and so I'm going to write about my mom, who died 6 months ago.
I always liked to draw on walls. In my bedroom as a kid, I drew on the walls so much that my dad painted one whole wall of my bedroom with dark green chalkboard paint. That way I could use one whole wall to draw on all I wanted. When I was older and moved to a bedroom upstairs, I still couldn't help drawing on the wall by my bed. I drew on it so much that my parents bought a roll of adhesive backed plastic and adhered it to the wall to cover over what I had drawn. It was the same color aqua as the walls in my room, only it had little speckles all over it.
So I now I became obsessed with connecting the dots, or speckles, and making things out of the shapes.
Then when my dad died and we moved, I would draw on the wall when I was talking on the phone. I was 12 or 13, and when I got a phone call, I would go into the hallway to the basement where I felt I had some privacy and close the door. I'd sit on the stairs and talk on the phone and draw characters on the walls.
My mom was not pleased.
Then an amazing thing happened. She talked to a counselor about it. I don't know if she was seeing a counselor for herself, or for the problems she was having being a single parent of two troublesome daughters--I guess it's one and the same. But she came to me one day and said that her counselor had asked her to consider her rage about her elder daughter's drawing all over the walls. She said that her counselor had suggested that she might want to value the drawings. (Imagine that! I can't.)
When told me that, I have to admit it touched me. Even as a spiteful 13-year-old.
The drawing above is one I did on a napkin one evening when I was visiting my mom (much later). I threw it away and Mom got it back out of the trash.
Friday, May 07, 2010
Lucille is another friend who loves to walk. She has stenosis of the lower back, and did not want to have surgery. But after she tried everything else, it got to the point where she decided to try it. To be in the best condition possible for the surgery she was walking 4 hours a day, if you can imagine that. (Slowly, slowly, but walking still.)
Her surgery was Tuesday morning at 6:00 a.m. I passed along the lucky chicken saint to her that I won in Sally's "Name the Squab" contest. The chicken saint cured my camera soon as it arrived in the mail, and it's brought me all kinds of good luck.
Here's Lucille at the hospital with the lucky chicken saint waiting to be registered.
Apparently, the saint worked for Lucille! She was standing by her bed ready to go home Wednesday night. They made her wait until Thursday morning to spring her, and she walked Lauren's dog soon as she got home.
Thursday, May 06, 2010
A wonderful website just went up celebrating the 100th anniversary of Leo Lionni's birth. Janet Schulman wrote an essay about this man's incredible life that you'll want to read right now, before you get back to work. It will color your day in a good way.
Saturday, May 01, 2010
Hmmmm . . . I wonder who this is. The name sounds familiar. And we share two friends, so she must not be dangerous.
I'll go to her profile page and see what she looks like.
Who ever she is, she's adorable.
She speaks better English than I do. When we visited the town of Davik, Norway (before she was born), we stayed in her grandparents' summer house.