28 September 2015

My First Video Story (Vlog?): The Hike that Went Above & Beyond Expectations

I'm taking a Coursera class on Digital Storytelling, for which I had to create a short video. Here it is — Photos, graphics, and narration about an August hike to Lake Isabelle, Colorado.


Hope you like it! I plan to do more of these now that I have the basic skills.

28 May 2015

The Hope Cactus and Dragonfly Wars

Hope Cactus photo by keagiles
I took this picture at the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena, California, USA. It was labeled "Mammillari mystax Esperanza, so I'm calling it the "hope cactus." In its contrasts, you can truly see the nature of hope: Beautiful, geometric spines dotted by improbable, delicate flowers. What a contrast it is, just like the theme of this blog, namely that it "relates to the conflicts inside a person, between fear and beauty, ignorance and acceptance."

The point is: The more I know, the less I am afraid. At least that's what I came to understand when I learned more about dragonflies: They may have long tails, but they don't sting. They have unbelievably delicate-looking wings by which they fly even to relatively great heights across large open spaces. They inspire us by their beauty, but indeed, they are predators, born to kill (other bugs, yay!). That's why I chose them as the theme for this blog. This cactus would be another great theme choice.

And then there's this:

23 March 2015

Welcoming a New Friend: Jessie the 12-year-old golden retriever

Jessie, golden retriever, Golden Retriever Freedom Rescue
On Wednesday, 11 March, my husband and I welcomed a new golden retriever into the household. Her name is Jessie, and she traveled all the way to Boulder from Oklahoma via Golden Retriever Freedom Rescue (GRFR) of Colorado. What a long drive to find her "forever" home!

Apparently, Jessie's owner had died, and the family felt that the best way to find her a good home was to give her to GRFR.

At first we were selected as an emergency foster because GRFR had a lot of dogs coming in at once and not enough homes. But once we had Jessie for a few days, we knew we wanted to keep her — that indeed, no potential adopter would ever be good enough for me because I already loved Jessie so much. We officially adopted Jessie on 19 March 2015.

There are a couple of problems that keep Jessie from really having the energy to match her personality: She weighs 115 pounds (should be 65 pounds), and she has a large lipoma (benign fatty mass) underneath her front right shoulder that is keeping her from walking normally (she kind of sways side to side). She'll be having surgery to on 1 April to have that removed.

I don't like the idea of surgery because she is so old and because I'm already bonded to her, but it needs to be done, and I'm sure the vet will do his or her very best to ensure she comes out of surgery alright.

Jessie's positives — well, they're so positive! She is a sweetheart! She has that golden retriever heart face (see photo). She loves to play with stuffed animals and will pretend to "kill" them by shaking them back and forth, and she'll play fetch with me for a couple of fetches before she thumps down onto the floor, already tired.

She loves going for walks. She trots along as quickly as she can, her bubbly personality evident to everyone who walks by. Right now, these are short walks several times a day. Pretty soon we'll work up to longer (Jasper-sized) walks.

She and Jasper (our husky) are getting along quite well. In fact, because Lucy cannot climb the stairs to our bedroom and has to sleep downstairs in the living room, Jasper has been staying with her, on his own accord.

We are so blessed to have this new sweetie in our home.