Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ladies Only

I love the weekend...for so many reasons.

One of them being, it's time for Camera Critters!!

And since my mom has been helping out with the blog this week, guest posting,
I thought I use some of her photos for today.

It's all about the Ladies...

Ladybugs, I mean.

She took these photos in Monterrey, California.

Did you see my mom's post on whales earlier this week?
Awesome photos.

Ladybugs are good luck.
I'm not sure why.

If I saw this many in one day, I'd go buy a lottery ticket!

What do you consider Good Luck?

You know the drill.
Grab a camera, find a critter and join Camera Critters!

Camera Critters

Friday, February 27, 2009

Flower Fetish

This is another guest post by my mother, Katherine.
She's been wonderful helping out with the blog this week.
She really helps out when I need her.


So, I have a flower fetish.

Wikipedia tells me that a fetish can be, among other things, an attribution of mystical qualities given to inanimate objects.

Are flowers inanimate?

Apparently "inanimate" means not endowed with life or spirit.
Surely flowers have life ... if not spirit.
They certainly stir up my life and spirit.

This first photo is of a Protea.
Proteas were first seen (or noted) at the Cape of Good Hope in the 1600s.
They came to Europe in the 1700s.
They are also known as "sugarbushes."

What a great word: SUGARBUSH.

This is a pink mink protea, below.
Doesn't it look animate?
The petals look like fur.

The flowers were first called Proteas because they were named after the Greek god Proteus who could change his form at will.
This is because Proteas can appear so different from one another.

A close up of another Protea.

Here's a really large Protea with a bee.

The bee has large, orange pollen sacs on its legs.
Pretty neat way to carry pollen.

I'm assuming this is sort of a bee's eye view.

This next flower is some sort of Anthurium (also called "boy flower").
These are really strange looking boy flowers.

And, they are guarded by a group of carved Tiki gods.
I think the middle one looks like an alien.
Perhaps this is Rhea's proof of Aliens seen by the ancients.

If you want to know more about Hawaiin Tiki gods, click here:
Click here: hawaiian tiki gods history

If you want to know more about Protea and Aliens, you're on your own.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cloud Groupies

Did you know there are people out there who are really into clouds?

I mean, clouds are cool...
and who doesn't like them.

I've taken some amazing photos of clouds.

There were the ones that looked like an alien invasion...
and the other ones that looked like alien penguins fell from the sky.

You don't see it?
You have to admit they're amazing though.

Anyway, these super-cloud groupies...they formed a group.

They're called the Cloud Appreciation Society.

As you can see, they sell books...and clothes and calendars.

Here's their manifesto:

The following is the Cloud Appreciation Society's declaration of principles:

  • We believe that clouds are unjustly maligned and that life would be immeasurably poorer without them.
  • We think that they are Nature’s poetry, and the most egalitarian of her displays, since everyone can have a fantastic view of them.
  • We pledge to fight ‘blue-sky thinking’ wherever we find it. Life would be dull if we had to look up at cloudless monotony day after day.
  • We seek to remind people that clouds are expressions of the atmosphere’s moods, and can be read like those of a person’s countenance.
  • Clouds are so commonplace that their beauty is often overlooked. They are for dreamers and their contemplation benefits the soul. Indeed, all who consider the shapes they see in them will save on psychoanalysis bills.
  • And so we say to all who’ll listen: Look up, marvel at the ephemeral beauty, and live life with your head in the clouds!

They sound a little cloud-nutty, but ultimately, their message is nice.
They say, stop and look at the clouds and appreciate them.

A more atmospheric version of "stop and smell the roses."

Nature's tea leaves to read the atmosphere's moods? I don't know...

Go outside RIGHT NOW and look up.
Do you see clouds?
What do they look like to you?
Use your imagination, what shapes do you see?

Are you any kind of groupie?

My mom started writing this post, but I hijacked it and make it into my own.

I'm crooked like that.

And, if you're really into weather, supernatural and romance,
boy have I got a fun book series for you to read.

The Weather Warden books.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Whale of a Tale

Hi Rhea's blog world! I'm Rhea's Mom, Katherine.
In a weak moment, I agreed to be a guest blogger this week.
I'm new at this, so be patient with me.
As Rhea mentioned, my husband and I just returned from Maui.
It's whale season there right now.

The endangered, Northern Pacific Humpback whales trek 3,000 miles from Alaska to have their babies
or breed in the safe, warmer waters of Maui. Why Maui? Who knows?
But, it's a pretty fabulous place for humans, too!

The Humpbacks eat plankton, krill and small fish found in northern Pacific water. These food sources aren't present in Maui. So, the humpbacks fast, and live off their fat reserves while in Hawaii.

It's like a weight loss, spa trip into warmer waters ... except for the ones having babies.

The moms weigh about 40 tons, and are about 42-45 feet long.
The sound of a 40 ton whale breaching the water and plopping back down is incredible!
No one knows if they breach to play ... or to knock off parasites. Maybe both.
Or maybe they're trying to run off those pesky males that want to breed.

They also release "spouts" which you can see from far away. I love how the spouts glisten in the sunlight. The spouts are actually whales exhaling.

We went out on a whale watching expedition. Actually, we were in awe of these creatures, and went out three times. I got so close to one whale that I got sprayed by her spout! This whale was a juvenille, and probably weighed about 20 tons.

She held our boat hostage for about an hour as she played with us ... and swam under and around our boat, over and over again. Several times, she came up to look at us.

Baby humpbacks are born weighing about 3,000 pounds (that's about what my car weighs), and they drink 100 gallons of milk a day. They gain several pounds a day. Whale milk is about 50% fat.
There are many amazing facts about the world's largest mammal.

And, this is the whale's fluke! .... the tail's end! And, the end of my tale.

Thanks for letting me join the blogging world today, and be a guest on Rhea's blog.
She's such a fabulous, creative, and loving daughter.
More on that, another time.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Barbie's thoughts on a Star Wars gun ship

Working full time, parenting, and everything else I'm trying to do,
is kicking my butt,
so I've called in some guest bloggers this week to help out.

My first guest blogger: Barbie

When she stopped by my house to talk about possibly blogging, she saw my 12 yr old son, Donny's Lego Star Wars Republic Gun Ship...
and was horrified by the intergalactic transportation.

She immediately agreed to guest post, if I would let her talk about how she would change this gun ship into a more luxurious vehicle.

Donny received this Lego kit for his birthday a few weeks ago,
it was close to 1000 pieces, and it took him about two days to put together.

Here is one of the front compartments that opens, where there are some main controls.
Barbie thinks a full vanity with make-up, nail polish and beauty products needs to go there instead.

There are pilots on the wings of this gun ship.

Barbie thinks there do need to be extra drivers and mirrors on her vehicle,
but she would have them wear pink.
They would definitely help her cut back on accidents.

Another compartment that opens on the ship contains this bluish tube.
The tube is where they hold prisoners...or it can hold sick people and heals them.
Pretty handy double-purpose, huh?

Barbie thinks a tanning bed should fit in there.
So she can tan on the go.

This is the main part of the ship where passengers ride.

Barbie would love to have more passengers in her vehicle as well,
but she would install a full-service alcoholic bar and limo-style seating.

With surround sound stereo and flat screen TVs, of course.

Obi-Wan and the Storm Troopers think Barbie's nuts.

Barbie thinks flat irons and blow dryers are more helpful than light sabers.

Now, here's the rear of the ship, where a ramp opens and a speeder bike comes out.

Barbie sees no need for a speeder bike because it would totally mess up her hair.
So, she would put in a shopping cart.
a gold-plated, monogrammed one.

This is an opening on the top middle area of the ship where two recon droids are stored.

Barbie doesn't understand droids or recons.
But she thinks a moon roof would go perfectly here.

This is the top front of the ship. Where two pilots sit.

Once again, Barbie totally gets the need for several drivers.
You know, in case she needs a designated driver,
and so she can work on her make-up while she drives...

But, once again, she needs them to wear pink.
And be totally hot.

Barbie also thinks the ship needs new color, a more professional paint job, and plush interior.
Oh, and all those guns?
Like, strobe lights and stereo speakers would go there instead.

She also thinks Obi-Wan (the younger one) is totally hot.
I agree.

What modifications would you make to the gun ship?

My other guest bloggers this week will include
my mother and The Bug, my sister.

Any good questions or ideas for them?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Inflate your sac to show you love me.

Today's photos are from my mom,
who recently returned from a trip to Hawaii with her husband.

She's an amazing photographer, among other things.

I can't wait to share her whale shots with you next week.

But, for now,
Here are some pictures she took of a male African Grey-Crowned Crane
in Kula Botanical Garden in Maui.

This bird has a seriously awesome "do."

My hair frequently looks like this, actually.

These are the only cranes that can roost in trees,
because of a long hind toe that can grasp branches.

I want a long hind toe that can grasp things.
That's awesome.

The Grey Crowned Crane has a breeding display involving dancing, bowing, and jumping.
It also makes a honking sound quite different from the trumpeting of other crane species.
It has a booming call which involves inflation of the red gular sac.

I don't know about you, but nothing quite says "I love you" like the inflation of the red gular sac.

What are you waiting for?
Grab a camera & a critter!
Join the Camera Critters weekend meme!

Camera Critters

Friday, February 20, 2009

One title can say it all.

I love taking pictures of my boys' Lego creations...and the scenes that are playing out.
Apparently the boys have an on-going war...and battle stations...and home bases.

As I was going through my photos, I found this one...and it totally cracked me up.

Taking a page out of this blogger's book, I think this photo needs a caption.

And don't forget about the UpTake photo contest.
A chance to win $250!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'm not really talking about Pancakes

I love metaphors.
I love talking about things in code.
I love talking about things that I'm not really talking about.

Confused yet?
I've done this before.

I made my children pancakes this morning for breakfast.
They know it takes extra time to do this and view it as a special treat.

I used to make pancakes in a skillet, one at a time, and it took forever.
Time consuming and ineffective.
I didn't know what I was doing.
But I kept trying.

Then I wised up and asked for a griddle one Christmas.

Now I can mass produce those suckers.
They aren't perfectly shaped or gorgeous...but they taste good.

My pancake philosophy is much like my _______________ .

I try to be more effective, more efficient, and hit what counts...but I'm not perfect.

Fill in the blank.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Your Momma's so ugly her birth certificate's an apology from the condom company.

This week, I go into work later than usual, so I'm able to take both my boys to school. The downside is I'm getting home pretty late at night.

In the car this morning, my 12 yr old, Donny, was forcing upon me sweetly sharing a new app from his iPod Touch. (For you who don't speak ilanguage, an "app" is an application for entertainment or a game or something like that.)

This app is called "Your Momma." And yes, you guessed it, it spits out tons and tons of "your momma" jokes. Sweet Jesus.

The first twenty were funny...but after a while...I might make him walk to school tomorrow. That was pure torture.

Guess what?! I've been invited to my first puppy baby shower! Unique idea, yes? Any good gift ideas?

And, nope, I haven't slept in my car this week. Things are looking up!

And, no visits from the hormone brothers, thank goodness.

Now I've just jinxed myself, haven't I?

I'm behind visiting everyone and replying to comments, but I will get to you, I promise!