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Praise Be To the Universe!

It is amazing how absolutely elated I am because I just spied a free parking spot in the parking lot before my building--the lot was all filled when I got home and every time I checked the window since I got home. So I raced (or kind of hobbled speedily because my knee is hurting) down the stairs to my car down the block, looking over my shoulder constantly lest the spot be taken before I reach my chariot, got in, drove safely but quickly, and parked in the miraculous spot before any one else got to it. Score!!!

OK, I do have good reason for my demented joy this time: I have to take Moo to the vet for her yearly checkup first thing in the morning, and I was not looking forward to boxing her, leaving her, going down to get the car and parking with blinkers in front of the building and running back up to bring her down on a very cold morning and the extra 10 minutes that could involve--sucky for both of us. So my life just became soooooo much BETTER! I have brought down a mastodon and now my tribe will not go hungry! I am an awesome slayer of parking spots!!!

But it is really amazing the amount of stress and relief there is in my life over finding the rare specimen of a close parking spot after 4pm. Days are sometimes planned around this quest, especially before an early morning with things to carry out, and most especially before trips and vet appointments. Some days I get home in the evening expecting the worst (OMG!!!) and I will have to park across the main street, or I'm coming home with groceries and will have to put on my blinkers and park the car in front of the building, get the groceries all upstairs in a couple of trips, and then move my car to that Distant Land of Utter Dejection--oh the agony! And then sometimes I come home late, with no expectations, no glimmer of hope, and I have to pull all the way into the parking lot because there is no way to see if all spots are taken without driving all the way in, and then dulcet voices sing forth and THERE IS A SPOT OPEN BEYOND ALL HOPE!!!! And all of a sudden I am sooo happy!

This is my eternal quest. Not unlike my fervent prayers that the coin washer and dryer in the basement will be free when I need it. Life is so strange and filled with unexpected struggles, torments, and joys. Just thought I'd share.

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Music vids--SCOTS!

[personal profile] baranduin asked us to post music vids we like, so I looked up my favorite local band from my Chapel Hill, NC days in the 80s and 90's who are still playing now--Southern Culture on the Skids (SCOTS). They put on one hell of a concert and I don't think the vids can capture the dancing energy. They do very fun, campy rockabilly, or swampabilly as they name it--hilarious, though sometimes the offensiveness outdoes the campiness, the playing is always top notch and food is a favorite subject for them.

Daddy Was a Preacher, Momma was a Go-Go Girl:

Put Your Teeth Up on the Window Sill:

Come On and Get It:

Life has been solo busy--I will update soon.

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Happy Birthday, Cali!

Happy Birthday to ancalime8301!!! I hope you get some good cuddle time with your sweet kitties to celebrate.

Here's a sunset by Greenbelt Lake from last December to relax by:

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The storm is winding down here and we didn't lose power around here--I am grateful. It started here around 1 pm yesterday and should be ending in an hour or two. After I dug out my car this afternoon, I slogged around fording a path around my building and measured the snow in a few spots--it ranged form 13 to 18 inches. We should have a few more inches since then. We got off a little lighter int he NE corner of the Beltway than folks to the west of us. Here's out my living room window:

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I got an email from President Obama in response to a petition I signed a number of weeks ago about accepting Syrian refugees, and it's a really great statement, so I'm posting it here:

Exposition and assurance of vetting processCollapse )

This is a crisis we cannot ignore and it will worsen over time. If we do nothing, we risk letting an entire disaffected generation grow up in refugee camps or grow up displaced and threatened by terrorists. That is why part of keeping this country safe requires forcefully affirming to the rest of the world that we will not close our hearts or our borders to those in need. Helping those who have been pushed to the margins of our world makes us safer, and turning our backs on them would be a betrayal of our values.

We, as Americans, have always been a people who ask what we can do to help. We will continue to protect ourselves while welcoming those desperately seeking the protection we can provide. That is why the United States of America has stepped up as the largest donor of humanitarian assistance and has committed to the resettlement of at least 100,000 refugees this year—including 10,000 Syrians.

As long as I’'m President, I will do everything in my power to keep the American people safe and to ensure our country remains what it has always been—a beacon of hope to all who seek it.


Barack Obama

Visit WhiteHouse.gov

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Happy Birthday, Synecdochic!

Tuxie was at a formal gathering of fellow tuxedo kitties, and heard from Ginny and Noah that it was [personal profile] synecdochic's birthday, so he made sure that we wish you a very happy birthday.

Happy Birthday, [personal profile] synecdochic!!!

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Happy Birthday, Ny!

A very happy birthday to [personal profile] browngirl!!!

I hope it's the beginning of a wonderful year for you of lower stress, lots of creative time, and the lots of love you deserve. *squooshes*

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The Force Awakens Review

I saw TFA yesterday.  Mixed review. I was a teenage Star Wars fan, the same time I was falling in love with LotR. Loved the first movie, was mixed on the next 2--did not like the prequels--I think I saw the 2nd prequel but not the third. I just wasn't interested in the making of a psychokiller.

So, I liked much of TFA, but I didn't love it. I had problems with some of the story and depictions of violence.


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Happy Birthday, Baranduin!

A very happy birthday to [personal profile] baranduin from Moo and Tuxie and me!!!! Moo and Tuxie ask Scout, Teddy, and Harry to give their Fooder 1 lots of love and purrs today, and no surprises to step on.

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Happy Chanukah!!!

A happy time of lasting light to you all, if you celebrate Chanukah or not.

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Saki Chanuka pics belowCollapse )

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Owning Your Mouse

Today is 2 months since I lost Saki. I'm doing a much better job this month of focusing on being grateful for the 16 years I had in the company of that magnificent cat-being than on the sadness of her ending. There are days, and times, but it's not as raw as last month. I am so grateful for the support from my flist friends who held me up during the worst of it. I couldn't get through without you. Thank you. (((((((FLIST)))))

Below is another favorite pic, this of Herself with a wool catnip-filled mouse an old friend made and sent for her. She tended to love her newest toy and her newest bed most, but her fondness for this mouse lasted many years and it stayed in her latest beds.

It's also 9 years today since my dad died--tomorrow would have been his 88th birthday. The 15th will be 5 months since Mom died. He and Mom have 4 siameses tucked around them, but maybe Saki is visiting with them tonight, too.

Is that a smiling kitten cat, or is that a smiling kitten cat? So fluffy sweet and soft, but look at the strength in that possessive paw. THIS MOUSE. IS MINE. GO ME! LOVE U.

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OK, let's see if this works:


Here is one of my favorite pics--Saki rolling and mugging on her new blankie made by [personal profile] claudia603

Saki loving her gift from Claudia 12-17-09

Just in time for the Thanksgiving Day holiday: I discovered today something I forgot. I filmed Saki in June. I'm afraid it's a bit dark, so you don't get the best view of her face, but her innate fluffiness is clear to view. Only watch with sound if you can stomach the voice of a fond human making inane chatter to her beloved cat. But if you don't turn up the sound you will miss the 3 absolutely adorable meows Saki makes in the the first half minute or so--the very best part of this 5 minute long vid of Saki cavorting on top of her cat tree and licking my hand while I pet her. The first meow is right after I first call her name, so listen for it, and the third meow is just a slight burble she makes after I imitate her second yeow, so you'll have to listen closely for it. (-:

NOTE: If the vid doesn't load right when you click on the below link, and gives you a message saying you can't watch it, click on the second (bottom) vid pic on the vid folder under it.

And now, for your holiday viewing pleasure:

Saki: The Movie!

ADDENDUM: Go here to see Saki: The Movie!

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Mini-Moot in the Pine Barrens

Last Sunday I drove up to New Jersey to meet my friend lbilover at the Franklin Preserve State Park in the Pine Barrens. It was a long drive and totally worth it for her warm and comfortable company, along with the company of her sweet deerhound Gandy, the adventuresome Pippin, who I was very glad to get to see again, and the silky Clementine who joyed to show us the meaning of haste, and for the beauty of the pines. I sure miss living in an area well covered in evergreens, like there was in Carrboro, NC. Our hobbit dolls were also happy to see each other again. It was a gorgeous cool, sunny day, perfect for a 3 hour hike.

I tried to get a pic of lbilover with her whole pup family, but , being very busy pups, they were impatient with the whole process. Gandy here is blocking Clem and giggling about it, too.

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Syrian Refugee Resettlement in the US

I'm proud the US has a president who is encouraging compassion and taking in Syrian refugees. The governor of my little blue state is not doing Maryland proud.

Here's a petition from moveon.org for stating your support for Syrian Resettlement:


My favorite comment on the subject is by Oliver Willis, as reblogged by [personal profile] supergee:

“If only we had a seasonally appropriate story about Middle Eastern people seeking refuge being turned away by the heartless.”


Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/187550.html with comment count unavailablecomments

A birthday . . .

Happy Birthday, cali_se!!! May the evergreen magic of the natural world be with you today in full and always. Here's some pics of it I hope will brighten your day:

From a more brilliant autumn a couple of years ago, down by Greenbelt Lake.

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A birthday . . .

Happy Birthday to my dearest [personal profile] mererid!!! I hope you have a wonderful birthday weekend full of fun and relaxation to make up for having to work on your bday. *hugs*

And here's the Greenbelt Lake Blue Heron last week sending birthday wishes.

I'm not sure if it's the one who has been around for 20 years, or a new one. But apparently they're like Highlander--there can only be one.

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Puff Ball

Missing my little spark plug. Saki was less interested in toys her last few months. But when I got home from the Laramie Moot, I gave her one of the puff balls [personal profile] hanarobi gave me, and she played with it for a couple of minutes--the last new toy to wrest any attention from her.

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Maryland Moot 2016

Just a reminder that we have a Maryland Moot 2016 community you should join if you'd like to join us and have a say on when we're having it at


Also a bunch of the same usual suspects are participating in a Frodocentric fic or pic exchange at


modded by [personal profile] baranduin, [personal profile] hanarobi, and [personal profile] claudia603, so come and play.

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/186563.html with comment count unavailablecomments

A birthday . . .

Happy Birthday, [profile] zblaya!!! I hope you're having a great day! Here's some pics from our beloved lake:

This was autumn a couple of years ago--a brighter one than the last 2.

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A birthday . . .

Happy birthday, lovethosehobbit!!! May the move go smoothly and bring your best year yet!

Autumn leaves reflected in Greenbelt Lake 2 years ago.

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Saki Sunday

My beautiful girl with her little crossed paws, contemplative:

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Maryland Moot 2016

I have created a community for planning a moot for next year:


Please join, so we can get together next year in Maryland. (-:

I put up a planning post--please jump in.

One month without her

My Saki was just way too vital and vibrant and alert and clever and impish and beautiful and adorable and sparkling and just too plain crazy to be gone one month already from this world. Just look at that face all excited and inviting me to play with her in her watch tower in the sunroom:

A face impossible to resist. Bringer of perpetual kittenish antics, even when the equivalent of a human in her 80's.

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4 Weeks without My Saki

I came across this sweet song vid yesterday by Meghan Trainor, and I have to say I really did love my Saki like I was going to lose her and was often brought to tears by something sweet she would do. She came to me 4 years after I lost petite meezer Stormie terribly when she was only 9, and my world came crashing down. It did take a couple of years for me to stop comparing Saki with Stormie and fully love all her similar, but not quite the same ways, as well as her different ways. She got to live out the full lifespan Storm did not, and I was constantly aware of Saki's eventual loss, and fearing it. I thought in some ways it was a wounded way to love and a sign of my brokenness, but maybe it is just a way of maturely loving in full understanding of our mortality. I never took my Saki for granted, and am grateful for all the cherished moments, and I do not regret wasted time not loving her the best I could. But 4 weeks ago, I learned the real reason why Sunday nights are so sad.

My high spirited girl on her lookout tower, about to fling her toys about.

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Almost 4 weeks now without her. This morning while I was teleworking, Tuxie stared at me, looked over at one of Saki's beds, then back at me. I don't know if it was a question, a stating of fact, or an accusation about her absence. Poor baby. He and Moo have been cuddling with me on and off more today than in the past weeks when I teleworked.

These pics are from a couple of years ago. She looked so different from her earlier self the last few years, and I think her most beautiful. She'd get little dimples in those cheeks paralleling and a little below the flare of her nose when she was giving me her most loving looks--so adorable. She and I got closer after Milli died in 2007, the kitty who was here before her and became a big sister. After the initial disastrous introduction of Saki to Milli, and 5 weeks of very hard work, the 2 of them came to play very well together, though they never cuddled. And her hyperthyroidism and kidney disease and IBD, all the medicine treats and going to the vets I think made our bond even closer. She knew she was being taken care of and she returned that love tenfold.

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Some good news

My MRI results came back good with no suspicious findings.

So I'm lucky there is not another thing to add to this terrible month.

Thank you for all your good wishes--I wouldn't make it without my cheering section here.


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In other news

I have a breast MRI tomorrow to keep track of those pesky calcifications.

Please wish me luck.

That's me--bringing the fun, always.

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3 Weeks

Eternal Saki of the velvet nose, patch of flame, and the finest collection of thick whiskers.

So beloved. So missed.

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My Pillow Cat

It's almost 3 weeks since I lost my beautiful girl. The first 2 weeks were definitely the worst with all the second guessing and self berating and pity of her passing--this week has been up and down but a little higher up the spiral of being able to accept her passing and just grieving and missing her. I had the pleasure of phone conversations with [personal profile] grey_wonderer and [personal profile] zlabya the past week and that helped immensely--thank you my friends. And thank you so much for all the support in wonderful comments you have all been giving me. I am very grateful to have you helping me get through my new life without my pirate, princess, and steel-driving cat with me.

For the last couple of years, Saki would more often than not sleep at night in her little bed next to my pillow. Often times when I'd reach over my hand, she'd wrap her paw around it or my wrist, or lay her head in my hand, or both. There was a time she used to sleep on my pillow around my head purring in winter--that was definitely before my hot flashes and my acquiring a chillow. Wherever she was, she always loved for me to lower my head so she could snuffle the very top of my head for a few moments, like Galadriel kissing Frodo's head.

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High Spirits

Here's a set of pics of Saki having fun 2 years ago. Though she looked better the last several months having gained back a good 3 pounds and a much more enthusiastic appetite for treats, making her much more easy to medicate than the last couple of years, she lost a lot of her playfulness and enjoyment of toys. She did still enjoy jumping in her pirate ship, and being carried to her favorite lookout posts on her cat trees and being showered with fresh dried catnip, and would roll her head over purring, but she wasn't coming up with her own games as of yore. The hyperthyroidism itself, though, may have extended her youthful playfulness the last couple of years longer.

But new toys were always welcome, and some new catnip bags were just right.

Now this is good nip!

OMG--just taste this stuff!

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Eternal Saki

To comfort me, my talented friend of singing words jan_u_wine linked me to this verse from Omar Khayyam:

And fear not lest Existence closing your
Account, and mine, should lose, or know the like no more;
The Eternal Saki from the Bowl has pour'd
Millions of Bubbles like us, and will pour.

I did not take her name name from this verse naming Khayyim's cupbearer from The Rubiyat, and was not familiar with this verse. My Saki's name comes from the Japanese name Murasaki, the first name of the writer of The Tale of Genji. The name means "lavender" which is close to lilac, because I thought Saki was a lilac-point mix siamese, until [personal profile] delux_vivens convinced me Saki was a torti-point siamese, like her dear Nutmeg, a variety I was not aware of. I dream my friends Saki and Delux are finding comfort in each other--I hope Nutmeg doesn't mind.

jan_u_wine followed this verse with a poem it inspired from her pen/keyboard in honor of my Saki and to soothe my heart:


A Pouring by Januwine and more Saki . . .Collapse )

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A Tail of Fluffy Seduction

Saki owned me. Here's how:

Excuse me, I want your attention.

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My Saki Noodle

I'm going to be posting some Saki spam probably quite a bit for a while. I have a ton of pics I've never posted to choose from, and then there are old favorites. The first 2 pics are the very last 2 I took. They were taken the same session as the last pic I posted of her a few days back--taken about 2 weeks ago. Once we found the tumor and were planning surgery I didn't want to waste any of her time with a camera as I understood the danger, and feared our time was numbered. This first one is out of focus, but still catches a look of her I loved.

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Details on the woods we are in

Thank you for all the well wishes on my post form last night--I so appreciate it. <3

Saki got through the surgery well--it was a very large wide ranging thyroid mass he took out and everything seemed to be going perfectly when closed her up, but when he took out the breathing tube she started to turn blue, so they put it back in, and the same thing happened later--the arytenoid cartilage in her larynx was not opening, so he put temp sutures in to keep it open.

It got pretty hard to telework as the afternoon went on and they couldn't tell me anything, so I had to stop early and take PTO. A, my downstairs neighbor dropped by for a little while for morale support, which was very sweet and was there when I got the call with the bad news. The vet office told me I could come in at 5 and be with her, so I did. Her breathing was very labored while I stood with her in the hospital a few hours last night, but got better except when coughing up fluid, and her vitals were all good, so I was able to take her home last night, instead of taking her to the emergency clinic for the night.

She is coughing up less now. She had been frustratedly trying to drink and kicking her drinking cups around during the night, and can't drink, so it's affecting the complicated cat drinking mechanism. She started to do a little better when I syringed her water this morning, so I brought her in for subcutaneous fluids today and they took out her catheter, that they left in if she had a crisis last night, so at least we're past that. I'm giving her pain meds every 7-8 hours--that may be affecting her ability to swallow as well, I suspect. She licked a little food, but that's all, but the doc didn't expect her to want to eat this weekend if all had went well. I am continuing to syringe her when she is wakeful to keep her throat from drying.

Monday I take her in and the doc will try to remove her laryngeal sutures, and we find out if it is temp paralysis from the anesthesia or swelling, or if it's perm laryngeal paralysis from nerve damage from the surgery. With the sutures in she can breathe, but she can't drink. So if it's perm, then I'll need to put her down and not make her drag on miserably. The doc has never had this happen before from this surgery.

She meowed weakly on the way home again today from the vet, which was such a heartening surprise that made me blubber--I didn't think she would be able to, so maybe her throat is healing. She does seem to be able to move her tongue a little better when the pain meds--buprenorphine-- are wearing off. This is hopeful. I'm continuing giving her syringes of water when she is wakeful to help her dry throat. But we are so in the woods right now, and my worst nightmare about the surgery is happening and she may be going through all this suffering for nothing instead of dying peacefully while under anesthesia. But maybe we'll get that miracle and she'll pull through to better times.

I'm sleeping on the futon couch in the living room to be with her, since she hasn't been liking sleeping in bed for a few of months now despite pet steps, and she seems to appreciate the closeness--she's been staying close and following me when I have to get up. She is getting around fine and peed in her box when we got home from the vet today, so that was good to see. So we wait and see and stay close all weekend and hope on a miracle on Monday. Moo and Tuxie have so far been excellent and are giving Saki her space. I think they understand the gravity of what we're dealing with and I'm very appreciative.

Please keep those good wishes for us coming--they're very needed.

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Saki Update

There were complications. I brought her home about an hour ago, but she may not make it. Doc gives her a 60% chance of pulling through this.

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Saki Update

Saki's pre-op went well today. X-rays and ultrasounds showed no infiltrates in her lungs, so hopefully the thyroid tumor is an adenoma and not a carcinoma, and her heart looks strong, so we're going to go ahead with the surgery on Friday.

Without surgery, the tumor is likely to grow until it blocks her ability to eat and push on nerves, and perhaps become a carcinoma and metastasize, so it would be a crummy way to go. Anesthesia is never a sure thing especially for an old cat, so I might lose her Friday, or the tumor might come back again, or she might not recover from the surgery and go down, but my doc is good and experienced with this procedure, and he's gotten her this far beyond hope, and says her prognosis is good, that they recover quickly from this kind of surgery, so it's the best option. And if we are truly blessed, it might make her thyroid hormone levels come out normal for the first time in years and she'll get a new lease on life for a couple of years. If she makes it through the surgery, she may come home with a drain, that will come out at her post-op appointment on next Tuesday. I'm hoping I will be allowed to telework Friday through Tuesday so I can keep an eye on her while she has the drain.

I am feeling a little better to get through this first big worrisome hurdle, and I got to see all her inside doings, but Friday is going to be really scary. Please hold us in your thoughts and cross all your digits for us.

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Happy Birthday, Claudia!!!

Saki and Tuxie were going to ask Helo and Merlin, their [personal profile] claudia603 insider counterparts, what we should get you for your birthday, but they've been pretty busy . . .

But we all want to wish you the happiest of birthdays and hope it's been a good one! *hugs and purrs*

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Belated Baggins Birthday!

I didn't forget the Baggins birthday, but I've been short of cope with my wozzle's health issues, but Ms. Saki herself thought better of that.

So here is Saki doing an interpretative dance in honor of the Baggins: Bilbo, Frodo, and of course Bingo.

This dance is called, "Being Baggins In Bag End".

And if you've forgotten your handkerchief, there are tissues if you need them.

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Birthdays . . .

A very happy birthday to two lovely ladies today:

Happy Birthday, romeny!!! I know you love passion flowers, and often think of you when I see them blooming at Greenbelt Lake.

Happy birthday, ladysnaps!!! Here's some more dramatic scenery for you from Vedauwoo. I haven't finished posting my WY pics yet--more are forthcoming. I can't wait to see you again next year!


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A birthday . . .

This little squirrel by Greenbelt Lake has come to wish you a happy birthday, [personal profile] lbilover!!!

I hope it's been a good one!

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A birthday and a hobbit . . .

I have not gotten a chance to post pics from AwesomeCon in DC last spring, so in honor of your birthday, [personal profile] ink_gypsy, here is the best pic I took of Sean Astin, from his panel with John Rhys-Davies about LotR--sorry Elijah wasn't there:

A very happy birthday to you!

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Maryland Moot June 2016?

So is anyone up for a Maryland Moot next year? Our last was in Dec of 2012 for the first Hobbit film.

The end of April, beginning of May is often beautiful here, but not so good for those of the hobbit posse on academic calendars.

So I was thinking, how about the first weekend in June (6/3-6/6)? Is everyone's semester done then?

The weather is often still temperate here the beginning of June and roses are out, and it's usually quite lovely--though sometimes it can be stinky hot. This would be the week after the Memorial Day weekend. I figured air fares and airport congestion would be worse on Memorial Day weekend, but would be just as happy to have it then, if it were better for people, but I suspect that would be cutting it close for those finishing out semesters.

Or would you not be available until autumn?

What say you? Who is up for it?

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It's Saki Day!

Sixteen years ago today, I brought home a little one year old siamese cat from the county animal shelter. When I met her, she was sniffly with a respiratory virus, and when I took her out of her cage, she curled up in my lap with her head in my hand. When I brought her home she slept in a little willow basket. Little did I know what a determined little hellion she could be when well, but still the same little woobie with head in my hand when tired to this day. Today Saki is 17 years old, or thereabouts. Happy Birthday, my Saki!

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Laramie Moot: Vedauwoo 1 and Update

Back in July, on our first full day, Saturday in Laramie, our gracious host [personal profile] hanarobi took some of us in the afternoon to a place east of Laramie called Vedauwoo, pronounced Vay'-de-voo, or rhymes with "Made a zoo." It was a picture perfect day, so it was easy to make lots of post-able pics.

This pic is actually from the end of the visit through the car window, just to give you the long vista.

And here we are--big impressive rocks surrounded by beautiful aspen and fur trees, and other flora.

We took a path part of the way around the cliffs.

Mallorns Aspens--oh how I love them!

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Pics still from the car on the way to Laramie:

Still in Colorado--here we're approaching the little church at Virginia Dale, CO . . .

. . . and the rocks there, which look a lot like Vedauwoo, for those in the know, and those in the not know, you will see Vedauwoo next post.

Almost across the border . . .Collapse )

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Here's some more pics from the scenic tour [personal profile] hanarobi wonderfully took [personal profile] shirebound, mirabile_dictu, and me on to Laramie. All of these pics are still on the Colorado side of the border. Eath and sky are large here.

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A birthday . . .

Happy Birthday, darling [personal profile] febobe!!!!

I should have taken a pic of the feast in [personal profile] hanarobi's backyard in Laramie for you, and my hobbit doll feast pics are not he old laptop, but since I don't have any good food pics, here's a peony at the National Arboretum in DC from a hike I did there this spring for you.

I hope you're having a fun, food, and love filled day! *squooshes*

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Something Beautiful

For the beautiful browngirl who asked for beautiful things to be posted today. Here are some hollyhocks in Laramie, WY, a town filled with beautiful gardens for its very short 3-4 month growing season. Enjoy!

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LGBTIQH, bingo&amp;sam, together, bingo, f/s
Lavender Took

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