Friday, November 30, 2007

Sweet, sweet darkness at the end of the tunnel

Starting at 11:00, I confined them to their choice of either sitting on the couch watching the video or lying in the beds talking.

It took a few refresher courses in what "sitting on" and "lying in" really denote, but they're all in compliance now.

In fact, the partiers are now all in the beds, with just Julia left on the couch. She's even still awake, bless her little morning-person heart.

Presents at 10:00

And Julia's reliably unconscious by 8:00. How is she not in a puddle on the floor at this point?


This was like an hour ago.


Phase One: A Retrospective

(Phase Two, it seems, consists of makeup and fashion shows. Who knew?)

Phase One: Complete.

Guests: Arrived.
Pink backpacks: Everywhere.
Pizzas: Made and consumed.
Hands: Washed. Or so they claim.
Pajamas: Donned
Video started: 6:45 p.m.
Video abandoned: 7:00 p.m.
Tears: None yet.
Cat and bird: Cowering upstairs in my office.
Children running headlong into the closed glass door: Only just the one.

Who says you can't please all of the people all of the time?

Cake: Decorated. Cookies: THEY'RE NOT COOKIES!

They're ornaments. For painting. See the paint over there on the counter? That's what it's for.

Yes, I'm sure they're not cookies.

No, you can't try one.

Okay. The cake. A puppy and a kitty.

A puppy and a kitty.


Googles "puppy kitten." Gets lots of photographs.

Photographs are hard to copy.

Googles "puppy kitten coloring sheets."

That's more like it.

It's 20 minutes into the party and three of the five girls are here. That's entirely par for the course. The other two will probably show up in another 15 or 20 minutes.

Turns out, even at 60%, there are clearly some loathsome habits that I need to be thankful my children don't have.

Foot-stomping, for one.

Shrieking, for another. Joyful, top-of-their-preadolescent lungs, MAKE IT STOP shrieking.

Progress Report

Food shopping: Done.
Videos: Rented.
Popcorn: Purchased.
Balloons: Purchased. Kids to inflate.
Party favors: Bags & candy purchased, favors assembled.
Presents: Alex's responsibility. Cross your fingers.
Cake for school: Baked, iced, sent.
Cake for party: Baked, iced, not yet decorated. (Design request: "A puppy and a kitty.")
Activity: Salt dough ornaments a-baking. Alex to buy paint, brushes.
Beds: Probably sufficient.
Pillows: We're not thinking about that right now.
Children: Due in two hours.
Lunch: Coffee and finger-fulls of frosting. Hey, it's got cream cheese in it.

Preventive measures

Or is that "Preventative"? I'm never sure.

Robin's birthday is Sunday, and her party is tonight: a sleepover. I let her invite five girls, figuring that one or two wouldn't be able to make it.

Silly Mommy.

You can look for late-night blogging as to the tirelessness of nine year old girls, but I'll also post this quickie just in case.

No last-day-of-NaBloPoMo flaking out for me, no sirree Bob. (Not you, Bob. Some other Bob.)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Didn't feel "pretty good" at the time

Found this geography quiz over at The Proof is in the Pudding.

My results:

Pretty good!
Someone paid attention during geography class.

Final score: 139,753
Final level: 5
Traveler IQ: 88
I'm certain a good many of you can do better , if only by avoiding my crowning glory: hasty-clicking that placed South Africa at the southern tip of, you know, South America.

*Hangs head in shame*

Updated to add:
Now that's some good clickin'

Final score: 219,883
Final level: 7
Traveler IQ: 97
*Makes peace with geographical failings, turns to matters closer at hand*

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Change is in the air

I've been playing around with Gmail.

I think I like it.

I have a couple of virtual E-mail addresses associated with our business websites ( and, but since they're both hosted through Yahoo, all the mail actually gets funneled into one place - the same E-mail address I've had for almost ever.

Gmail is looking like a much more effective way of managing these multiple addresses - for instance, when someone sends me an E-mail with information about a quilt retreat, but also includes a recipe and a photo of their kid.

Where do you file that?

Gmail doesn't file things in folders at all. Instead, I assign a label - or several - to any given E-mail, so if I'm looking for retreat info, it'll come up when I pull the "Quilt Retreats" label. And if I'm looking for a photo, it'll come up under "Photos" or whatever.

And how about when people reply to your E-mail but don't include the text of your message to them? Digging through the "Sent Mail" box is very seriously for the birds. How have we all put up with that for so long?? Gmail keeps the back & forth messages all together. I wholeheartedly approve.

So. We'll see. It's not entirely bug-free, and I will certainly not be giving up the old address, but I think I'm going to shift the bulk of my attention over to the wave of the future. At the moment, the Gmail account is set up to check the Yahoo one automatically so I still get everything that's sent there, although it only checks a few times a day, as opposed to, you know, obsessively. (Don't worry. I'm still obsessing. Just on the new account, you see.) And I still have to go into Yahoo and shovel out the spam every day or two. Maybe one of these days I'll unleash that unholy storm onto Gmail and see how well it gets filtered.

Anyway. The name's richly. Coastingrichly. And you can find me at

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

European me

My Inner European is, it seems, French.

Smart and sophisticated.
You have the best of everything - at least, *you* think so.

Who's Your Inner European?

I don't know about the whole French thing (although whatever it is, Phydeaux's in there with me), but I am apparently exuding European...ness today.

Even Alex noticed, and commented on it, as soon as he got home.

How do you exude Europeanity, you ask? Simple.

Be cold. Wear a scarf.

December winds

I've been talking about the seasons changing for weeks now, partly because it's that time of year and partly because I really want them to.

October wasn't as obnoxiously non-stop rainy as it sometimes is, but it hung on and on and on into November, with me all perky and reassuring, making non-conversation with strangers about how "we're just about there," and "not long now."

And it eventually did change, but slowly. There's been less and less rain, and more and more wind. And last night we had our first real December night, where the wind blows with such determination and such fierce gusts that you lie there in bed wondering if something is, in fact, wrong out there.

The wind has kept up all morning too, so even though the sun hasn't so much as peeked out, the low-lying haze or mist has been all reconfigured, making mountains in the distance look more intensely blue, almost purple.

Driving home from the gym today, I turned east and suddenly saw the Irazu volcano ahead of me, thrown into startling relief by the clouds hanging in unaccustomed folds on its slopes.

It was so moody and intense, so rugged and brooding and smoldering that I swear I almost gave it my number.

Monday, November 26, 2007

For the record

Robitussin totally works.

You can set your clock by it, in fact. You take a dose at 10:30, bottle says four hours, you're gonna sleep like a baby till 2:31.

(Aside to anyone who may want to try this at home: If you drop the bottle in the sink at 2:31 a.m., it will splash eye-high on three walls, two doors and the floor.)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Quote of the Day

The cat is about to throw up. Again.

For once, I'm close enough to grab her off the couch and toss her onto the tile floor. Even manage to center her in a single square, avoiding the cement channel between tiles. The cat finishes her business, jumps back onto the couch.

I approach the scene and hunker down, paper towels in hand.

Julia: "Being a mommy seems like a lot of work."

Saturday, November 24, 2007

See? The "J" really is pronounced like an "H"

Robin's handiwork:

Friday, November 23, 2007

Herd mentality

Based on nothing but my own browsing habits, I have determined that this is "share an embarrassing childhood picture" day. Or week. Or something.

And since I was well on my way to forgetting to post anything at all today, I think I'll go with that.

I call this one "The Well-Placed Foot"

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I keep getting tagged for the "Seven things" meme

Quite a while back by Konagod and more recently by Adena, a member of the quilting bloggers' group I started at the NaBlo site.

I had already done Five things you didn't know about me, and I think Kona was willing to let it go at that, but since it's come up again, here are five more to round it out.

  1. I have the ability to sit still, although it's not my default mode.

  2. If it meant I didn't have to think about or particularly cook anything, I could be pretty content eating the same foods day in and day out for a long, long time. (I already do that with breakfast: Granola mixed with corn flakes, topped with extra raisins and a chopped banana. Coffee.)

  3. I frequent a progressive blog and most decidedly have progressive political and social beliefs. I always have. In terms of actual analysis of specific current issues, however, I am for the most part a rank beginner just barely getting my feet wet. That's why I almost never talk politics here.

  4. It really bothers me when people insult themselves. Especially when they do it frequently or seem to really mean it.

  5. I'm pretty up-front about things, and more so as time goes by. If I don't understand something, I ask for clarification. If I want something, I'll ask for it. (Ahem.) If I don't know something, I'll say so. If someone asks my opinion on a touchy subject, I'll tell them honestly, even if I know it's not what they're hoping to hear. Fortunately, the times it has happened, I've been able to do it without making the asker feel criticized.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Chocolate. Covered. Potato Chips.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Dear Kraft Foods,

Putting ranch dressing in a squeeze bottle is a great idea. Kudos on that.

Putting ranch dressing in a squeeze bottle, the flow-regulating portion of which comes off with the screw-top, is a lousy idea.

Don't do it again.

Kind regards,

Thou art not so big as a round little worm

Go. Click. Have some fun.

The Shakespearean Insulter or, alternately, The Anagram Maker.

You can even combine the two:

Thy lips rot off! / Lo stiff trophy! / Fop thy florist!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Julia to the rescue

I'm sitting here waiting for inspiration because I don't have anything to say.

Fortunately, Julia has a class trip to the beach this weekend - the graduating kindergarteners go on an overnight at the end of the year - so she's got that on her mind.

She drew a picture and here it is:

I love, love, love the purple sun.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Delivery is everything. Or not.

You may have noticed that I like to write all fancy-like for my blog sometimes.

It amuses me to use, correctly, what Pidomon calls five-dollar words when I'm talking about something prosaic like my cat's litter box. That's probably why my blog, like Phydeaux's, is rated at a "Genius" reading level by...well, by someone who in fact lists no credentials whatsoever, but who does know how to set up a website that ostensibly evaluates the reading level of a blog.

Oh! And while we're on the subject, I don't think I've mentioned It's a straight-up vocabulary game. See the word, pick the meaning. Get it right and you (again, ostensibly) have just donated ten grains of rice to the hungry through the United Nations World Food Program. (Advertising pays for the rice.) Get it wrong and it drops your level by one and gives you a new word. Get three right in a row and go up a level. According to the FAQ "There are 50 levels in all, but it is rare for people to get above level 48."


But I'm not here to talk about big words. I'm here to say something else entirely, and it is this:

When function is more important than form, I in fact pride myself on being able to write in a simple, straightforward manner, getting straight to the point and paring down the nonessentials to avoid confusion. Like this:

I consider myself an effective communicator.

It has, however, come to my attention that my communication skills are necessarily limited by the reading comprehension of my interlocutors; indeed, by their very willingness to read each of my words, preferably in order.

It's surprising how many people don't seem to do that, even when it is their own time or money that is at stake.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thank you, Phydeaux

Oh, good. As indescribably implausible as it may sound, I was actually planning to leave the computer off, once I finally got home today. I never ever do that.

But then I remembered the NaBlo business, so I had to turn it on after all.

Fortunately, I decided to check in on a couple of friends before posting, and Phydeaux had an idea with which I immediately absconded, having no alternate fodder in mind.

Ladies and gentlemen, I bring home.

There. Aren't you glad you stopped by?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Today, we talk about nothing

Holy carp I'm tired. (Did you see what I did there? It's like "holy mackerel," only different. Yeah. Tired.)

The retreat ladies couldn't have been more enjoyable, but the retreat itself had a number of hitches that had to be worked through (that is to say, around), and a couple of late nights toward the end.

So I obviously did the smart thing and came home and rested up and; well, actually I had to take buses all over town because my car was in the shop again (one of the aforementioned hitches), and then walk all over town in the course of things as well.

But I got the car and got a bunch of groceries and got home at a decent hour. Got the girls fed and into bed at a decent hour, and then went to bed myself at a decent hour.

Well, most of that. All except that last part, on the end there.

Starved for my usual Internet companionship, I went and hung out with my friends, and it was even better than usual and I ended up staying up a little past "a decent hour."

I'm paying the price today, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Just, probably not tonight.

Oh, wait.

I'm sitting here talking just to talk to keep up with NaBloPoMo, when instead I could just show you a picture.

Yes, that would be much better. Here you go. Four holes in a row:

Thursday, November 15, 2007

(Not actually) A Rhetorical Question

Why is it that, any time I wear my (not actually) Crocs with socks - any pair - the left one ends up upside down within 15 minutes?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

One last time

Just checking in to keep the preblogging company. Last day of the retreat, so normalcy resumes tomorrow.

Hello, NaBloPoMo. I'm here. I'm always here.

Good night.

Preblogging for Wednesday


Last preblog to write, since I'll be home in plenty of time to post a

real entry on Thursday. Rita's computer might even be fixed in time for

me to post something real today myself, but why take chances?

So I'm sitting here at home last Friday, writing this. The ladies I've

just spent the past week with (as you read this) are currently (as I

write it) flying over the Caribbean Sea. They're scheduled to arrive

right on time, which means I should wrap up this preblogging business,

give the housesitter some final instructions, bundle the kids, the bags

and the parrot into the car, and head on out.

I'm freezing (sweatshirt's in the dryer), hungry (had two muffins so

far, got my eye on yogurt & coffee before I leave) and glad to be done.

Everybody thank my Dad in comments for E-mailing these posts in on their

appointed days!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tuesday pictures

Preblogging for Tuesday

Today we're taking the ladies to the hot springs, with the obligatory

stop on the way to see the topiary park at Zarcero.

Hmm. Don't really have a lot to say about that, do I? It's a great time,

but you go and sit in hot water. Not much to tell. I don't even have

pictures to show you because a lot of times they don't come out well,

and the ones that did, have all been posted before.


Happy Tuesday everybody!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Post-Preblogging for Monday. Now with photos!!

Open letter to Dad:

Well. That didn't work out too well, did it?

Okay. Here (below) is the entry as it was meant to stand.

I think, while we're on the subject, that what's happening is that your E-mail client (Outlook or whatever you use) is sending the messages in HTML or Rich Text format. That is normally desireable, so that if you format your E-mail with fonts or bold or whatever, or if you use the "less than" and "greater than" symbols, the person who receives your message will see it the way you wrote it.

Whether or not you understand what I just said, I think that if you look in your Message Options (or equivalent) and disable "Send as HTML" or enable "Send as plain text" (depending on how it's set up), that has a good chance of removing the extraneous formatting from the messages so that Blogger can interpret the code the way it's supposed to.

Anyway, here's how the entry was supposed to look:

Today the quilters and I are staying in and sewing. Since there's not much to say about that, let's go to Athens instead!



(PS - Tell Pidomon that Phydeaux's right about that third frog.)

Preblogging for Monday

Today the quilters and I are staying in and sewing. Since there's not

much to say about that, let's go to Athens instead!

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Photos from today

The last three are for pidomon. Find the froggies!

Preblogging for Sunday

Now that everyone's rested up, we'll go out and do some sightseeing. Today we take them up to the Poas Volcano, hopefully arriving before the clouds roll in and block the view.

It's about an hour away, and when the clouds aren't covering it, you can walk right up to the crater's edge and look down into it. There's a lake in the crater that's normally turquoise blue or algae green, but it's probably pretty much white right now, since all the recent rain will have stirred up the mud.

It's a stunning sight, but doesn't take long to see, so after that we'll go on back down the mountain and visit the La Paz Waterfall Garden. This is a private park that is very well run, offering an enormous butterfly observatory, a brand new aviary, monkeys, a hummingbird garden, small snake and frog houses (I'll be thinking of <B>you</B>, Pidomon!), an old-fashioned homestead, and a trail to a series of waterfalls.

We'll see all of those things, or as many as each of the ladies would like to see (some forgo the hike, and many are happy to give the snakes a wide berth!). We'll also have lunch there, then return to Rita's place for a chicken dinner.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Thanks are due all around. Well, most of the way around.

Thanks to Dad for following my instructions and for taking the initiative to further analyze the situation and plan compensating measures for tomorrow.

Thanks to everyone for helping Dad obsess about the font. I know it's appreciated.

Thanks to Delta flight 247 for arriving, not on time, but six minutes early last night.

No thanks to me for leaving three dozen homemade carrot/zucchini/raisin muffins in the taxi. Along with two of my best tupperware (well, Ziploc. You know) containers. Hope the taxi driver enjoyed them.

Thanks to Rita's guest Sharyl for knocking on the door, laptop in hand, and thrusting it at me 15 minutes ago. May that become a daily occurrance.

No thanks to the Costa Rican power company, which decided to do line work from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. today, without sending the usual advance notification. It's extra challenging to teach a new sewing technique when there's no electricity for the sewing machines.

Thanks to the four ladies who have joined us, who have handled the surprises with equanimity and seem to be enjoying themselves very much, despite the lack of utilities. (Did I mention that Rita's water is from a well, powered by an electric pump?)

And finally, no thanks to Rita's dog Randy, for coming into my room at 5:00 this morning and farting.

Preblogging for Saturday

So I'm writing this yesterday, but it will (hopefully) post today,

through the magic of technology and family connections. Does that count?

Let's hope so.

The ladies presumably arrived last night around 9:30 p.m. It'll likely

have been closer to 10:30 by the time they go through customs,

immigration and baggage claim. Not, of course, in that order. Hopefully

we will have gotten them to Rita's by 11:00 p.m. or so, which was (would

have been? will have been? Boy, preblogging is hell on conjugation)

midnight by their clocks.

Today, therefore, is a nice easy day. Breakfast whenever they're ready,

then I'll introduce them to the project, show them some examples, and

explain the technique. They'll work on their first blocks during the

morning, then after lunch Rita will take them, two by two, for a

pedicure at a nearby salon, while the remaining two continue putting

together their quilt blocks.

They may or may not finish the whole first block today, but they should

be pretty comfortable with the technique at least.

We take them out to dinner at a nearby restaurant for some typical Costa

Rican food and ambiance. They'll try chorreadas, which are a sweetened

corn pancake (and also, interestingly, one of the most frequent search

words that lead people to this blog. Everybody wants a recipe, but

unfortunately I don't have one), and handmade tortillas, rice, beans,

plantains, chicken, beef and pork.

I'm guessing we'll all head to bed pretty early tonight.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Oh good grief

See? This is what happens when I'm relatively on-time getting ready for the retreat.

I still have a lot to do, but I have time to do it, and I actually took a few minutes to read a blog or two and exchange a couple of E-mails with a new friend (Hi LM!).

Then I found out that Rita's computer has a virus and will be sent out for repair during the retreat.

So now I'm scurrying to preblog the next week in order not to miss a day for NaBloPoMo. I hope that still counts. If it even works. I have to say, I really think that if Blogger, the ugly stepsister of the blogging platforms, is sophisticated enough to let people post by E-mail, Yahoo could be expected to provide a "send on" feature for scheduling outgoing mail. But alas, it is not so. And the E-mail scheduler I used to preblog the Greece trip doesn't exist anymore, so that's out.

I think I'll just work up some drafts and then hope that Rita's guest will let me use her laptop for a couple of minutes at some point each day so I can log in and post them. She's pretty nice, and already knows me, so chances are good.

I did already let the retreat guests know that they could give my E-mail address to friends or family in case anyone needed to contact them, so I have a good excuse for needing to get online, if only for a couple of minutes, at some point each day.

Right? Right?

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Today has been a day of preparations.

For the most part, that has meant grocery shopping with Rita for the quilt retreat that starts tomorrow.

I also dropped off the patterns to be printed at the large-format copy shop. I'll pick them up tomorrow. Tonight I'll make up the schedule booklets and pattern cover sheets and E-mail them to myself so I can print them out tomorrow at an Internet cafe - my printer doesn't do colors at the moment.

After I was back home, the lights went out, so I sat here wondering if I was going to miss posting for the day (unlikely, since the power was sure to come back on eventually) and making plans to take the kids to the restaurant across the street for dinner (they have a generator there). I should have done the dinner thing sooner, since the power came back on after about an hour.

Within 30 seconds of the lights coming on - seriously, I hadn't even turned on a light yet - my dad was calling me on the phone. He had tried to Skype me, but obviously couldn't. I'm awfully glad he didn't call while the lights were out, because he was contacting me to say that Bank of America contacted him all freaked out because I used my credit card today.

I never do that, you see.

I normally use the debit card, but that's expired and I'm not getting the new one until tomorrow. In the meantime, I put the groceries for the retreat on the credit card. So BoA saw three grocery store charges in Central America in the course of two hours and put a hold on the card. I'm just glad they didn't pick up on it before we got everything bought.

Anyway. Got that straightened out.

Jumping back to the afternoon:

Once all the shopping was done I headed up to the girls' school. Thing is, it wasn't time to pick them up yet, but if I went home I'd just have to turn around and came back 20 minutes later.

So, obviously, I went to the thrift store.

Figured I'd look for warm clothes for our Christmas trip to North Carolina. Not that I don't have warm clothes already, but I am aware that when I'm whining about how freezing it is here, the actual temperature is something like 65 degrees.

My camera's already over at Rita's, along with my sewing machine and a bunch of other things, since I won't have the car tomorrow, but I discovered that scanning works really well on T-shirts. Who knew?

So this is the shirt I bought:

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

In praise of a dedicated Googler

Dear person in Shawnee, Kansas who found my blog via the following search query:

photo OR photos OR picture OR gallery "loose tooth" -lyrics -stock -nail -band -bands -music -concert -imeem -dental -dentistry -ice -earth -scrapbook -scrapbooking -layouts -ideas -poetry -poems -poem -book -books
I have been there, my friend, although on different topics. I admire your persistence.

You entered my blog at a picture of Julia with a fresh space in her smile, and you kept clicking through eleven more entries.

I hope you found what you were looking for.

A milestone of sorts

Robin: Mommy? Is it okay if I start calling you Mom?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Not quite a cop-out post because it has lots of pretty pictures

Why even go on a three-week Epic Journey if you can't exploit it for blogging purposes?

I have nothing to say today, and no time in which to say it, so here. Have some five-month-old Frankfurt:

For the casual visitor, as well as my newer friends: the trip was actually to Greece & Turkey (about which more the next time I'm at a loss). But we had a 12-hour layover in Frankfurt on the way there.

Also, any stunning photography you may encounter in posts such as this is most assuredly the work of my sister, Lisa. Pictures of the ground? Pretty much me.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Here's hoping brake fluid isn't caustic


I agree that the cars benefit the whole family. I agree that both routine and emergency maintenance should be handled by anyone who is available to do so.

I agree that keeping some tools and supplies in the cars is prudent and positive.

I do not, however, agree that one needs to keep three partially-used cans of brake fluid in a single car, and I furthermore do not agree that "lying in the bottom of the toolbox" constitutes an appropriate location for these no-longer-sealed products.

I additionally do not agree that whoever finds the resulting mess should go ahead and clean it up because the cars benefit the whole family.

There. I needed to say that.

I also hope brake fluid isn't caustic (turns out it's just like motor oil. Who knew?) because I sure got it all over my hands, and I further hope that some mechanically-savvy reader of this blog can let me know whether the following items can withstand prolonged submergence in brake fluid, or whether it's best to pitch them:

  • Fuses - You know, those little colored chip-like ones with two flat aluminum prongs.
  • Assorted spare light bulbs of the vehicular persuasion
  • Pliers - actually, the oil probably did them some good, in a way, but is there any way to clean the soaked-in oil from the metal so they'll be fit for actual use?
  • Spark plugs, one apparently new and one possibly used. It doesn't seem like a spark plug is made to withstand this kind of treatment. Can I just throw them out, or should a salvage attempt be made?
  • Battery-powered hair trimmer - which, what was it even doing in the toolbox in the first place? I threw out the batteries and stood it up on end so some of the oil can drain out of its innards, but I'm pretty sure this is more a symbolic gesture of futile optimism than anything.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Guilt by association

Alex and I were sitting on the couch together yesterday when the power was out. I had Loren (the red-lored Amazon parrot) on my lap--on my right knee, because Alex was on my left and she doesn't like him.

It's not just Alex, actually. She's as cuddly as can be with me, but doesn't like any one or any thing that's not me or (sometimes) Robin. She even turned against Yolanda when she (Loren) adopted me. She's narrow minded like that.

Anyway, I was petting Loren and talking to Alex, and every once in a while Alex would poke his hand toward her and pull it back when she lunged at it. I gave him a chance to pet her by scratching her neck the way she likes and blocking her view at the same time. Then I tried what I've done with other people on occasion - presenting my hand for her (gentle) nibbling pleasure and sneaking one of his fingers in between my own.

Well. That didn't fly at all. Not only did she take umbrage at the offending digit, she got mad--and stayed mad--at my entire left hand. I kept petting her with my right hand, and she kept lapping it up, lifting her feathers so I could reach the skin of her neck, but as soon as I lifted my left hand she started lunging at it like she does at Alex. Normally when she lunges at me, it's a form of communication more than a threat of personal violence, so I didn't pull back and she went ahead and bit the offending hand (although, granted, not as hard as she would bite Alex. Or a stranger.)

Today is a new day, however, and she has forgiven my left hand its transgressions.

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Added 6/12/06

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