Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Found It!

I went to the library and found a volume of complete Peanuts comics. I found the panels where Snoop's dog house burns. Lucy kept saying that he was probably "smoking in bed." Maybe Cuban cigars?

Friday, December 18, 2009


When I was little my dad gave me a little paperback book of Peanuts comics. I loved reading about Snoopy. But no matter what Snoopy books I search now, I can't seem to find the set of panels where Snoopy's dog house burns down. Some people may think I'm making this up, but no! He holds onto Charlie Brown while his little red dog house is on fire and he says, "My pool table! My Van Gogh! ..." Wow.

I wish I could find this episode of Snoopy's life. I know he had more in that dog house than people realized.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Stream Surveying

In the summer of 1992, I worked as a stream surveyor for the Umpqua District of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Oregon. My job consisted of me and my partner, Russ England, walking up the tributaries of the south fork of the Umpqua River. Russ and I would drive the beat up Chevy truck to a main tributary, or "trib," and began quantifying different aspects of the trib. Length, type, width, depth, slope, heading- all recorded to analyze salmon habitats. We would run into black bear, deer, a spotted owl or two, and ton of banana slugs who would magically attach themselves to you when you sat down anywhere in the woods.

After a few feet walking up a trib, Russ and I disappeared from civilization for 8 hours. We heard no cars, no planes. We seldom got back to the truck for lunch, and frequently ate copious wild blackberries instead. We never felt that summer's 100+ temperatures, because the water was cold and clear. It would press against the waders like big cold hands on your legs. I was stung by several insects (nearly dying one time, in fact), constantly covered in stinging nettle and poison this-or-that, and nearly detonated a booby trap set by gun-toting marijuana farmers. Small prices to pay for a chance to walk in virgin forests.

The only drawback was a painful look at clearcut forests. I felt like an Ent in Lord of the Rings. Those trees were my friends!

I wonder what Russ is doing now?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Robin Hood

When I was a little girl, about 5 years old, I wanted to be Robin Hood. It's my first recollection of a career choice. I wanted a bow and arrow and I wanted to save the poor people of my town, which at the time was Clark AFB in the Philippines. Magically, one day, I had a little bow and arrow. I would stand in the back yard near the ginger and hybiscus and shoot arrows into a banana leaf. I was invincible.

I didn't want to be Maid Marion. She always had to be rescued. I wondered why the other girls wanted to be so helpless. It made no sense to me. Still doesn't.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I'm still a bit new to facebook, but have become addicted to the effortless way I can reconnect with the scattered groups I have left all over the country.

I recently added some friends from high school. These are not just some run-of-the-mill people. These are Saint Mary's Academy graduates.

St Mary's was an all-girl Catholic school in Alexandria Virginia. The school was established in 1869 and moved twice until it finally came to Russell Road in Alexandria, VA. In 1941, the school became a girl's prep school. The convent that graced the campus was built by a descendant of John Alexander, for whom Alexandria was named. Later after I graduated, St. Mary's merged with our brother school, Bishop Ireton.

I can't impress how lucky I feel to have gone to such a wonderful high school. Two of the best teachers I ever had, Connie Southard and Sr Elizabeth, set an eduacational bar so high it can only be surpassed by Ivy League instruction.

It is so wonderful to see that all of those amazing women I knew are still as amazing as ever.