Unicorn of the sea

Did you know that a heroic man fought off the London Bridge knife attacker with a narwhal tusk taken from the wall?

I’ve loved narwhals since before they were catapulted into the spotlight by a resourceful Brit.

I like narwhals because they are elusive creatures, rarely seen and studied since they live in the most remote and coldest parts of the ocean.

They have the most unique characteristics.

Who knew a 2,500 pound, spiral tusked, ocean dwelling mammal could be so loveable?

A narwhal tusk can be up to 10 feet long and weigh up to 22 pounds.

About 50% of a narwhal composition is fat and their surrounding fat is 3-4 inches thick to protect them from the cold waters of Greenland, Canada and Norway.

The current quilt I’m working on has narwhals in it and I love them.

Every time I come across one in the fabric, I get happy.

Narwhals are cool creatures!

Unicorns of the sea.

You can’t buy happiness

I currently live without any pets.

My dog Wendy died in 2018 and my cat Princess passed away a little over a year ago.

As much as I want to share my life with animals, I recognize that now isn’t the right time on account of my blind father and mother in heart failure.

The last thing they need is a small creature underfoot.

But more than anything I really want to adopt some pets.

A dog and a cat, for starters.

There’s nothing quite like the love and loyalty of a pooch.

And the right cat can be cool and fun.

I’m here to remind you, now that so many people are working from home and have the time to invest in a 4-legged companion, that there are many pets filling the shelters in desperate need of homes.

All my animals have been rescues adopted out of the shelter.

Both my white german shepherds were rescues and they were STELLAR dogs.

Oh sure, there was some separation anxiety and a little leash aggressiveness that I had to work at to overcome but in the end, I got the most loyal and loving companion animals you could imagine.

And my cats have all been great as well, from Princess on down to Riff Raff.

Yes, I named my cat Riff Raff and boy did he live up to his name.

In any case, it’s worth it to point out that although you can’t BUY happiness, you sure can rescue it.

Adopt, don’t shop!

I kid you not

I don’t think I’ve ever told the story of Douglas and Mac, my son and my dog.

Douglas died from cancer on September 22, 1998.

My then-husband, seeing my grief, adopted a dog for me to care for during my recovery.

We named him MacLeod after the Highlander and called him “Mac” and before long, Mac and I were inseperable.

That’s a love story in itself, Mac and I.

We camped together.

When I fell in love with a man, so did Mac.

We trusted the same people.

Loved the same children.

Then one day, while returning from a camping trip at the Yuba River, Mac fell out of the cab of my truck on the freeway and was struck and killed before we could get him off the road.

The date was September 22, 2008.

The 10 year anniversary of my son Douglas’ death.

I’m not making this up.

Furthermore, when I checked the pictures I’d taken of us playing in the river a mere HOURS before the accident that took his life, THIS is the last one I took of Mac:

At the time, I was devastated by his loss.

Now in hindsight, I’ve found some comfort in the circularity of my time with Mac.

He will always be my first amazing dog and an extension of the child I lost.

TikTok

Thank goodness TikTok didn’t exist when I was growing up.

I think I would have been one of those girls who posts every romantic moment online for an audience to watch.

Welcome to the love story of my life.

I made my first TikTok today.

In case you were wondering, it was a little difficult.

I’m not used to video editing because it’s not something I routinely do for work.

Nevertheless, here it is:

 

micro burn

This past weekend I had a socially distant burn at a nudist resort in the Santa Cruz Mountains and I had a blast!

The better part of the weekend was spent laying out by the pool in the sun watching naked people frolic in the water.

Of particular interest to me was a beautiful African American woman who brought her pet snakes with her and was often seen with a large albino boa wrapped around her body.

Things you just don’t see in the default world.

That’s why I love Burning Man.

Mentally, I’m always having to check myself and see if I’m in reality or a dream.

The wildlife was out and about during my stay and I saw (among other things) wild turkeys, deer, raptors, jay birds, finches and raccoons.

Of course, at the real burn there would be no wildlife, other than the burners who attend.

Burning Man is held on a dry, flat, alkaline lake bed and as such is really incompatible with life.

No, it wasn’t the same as the 80,000 person burn in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, but it still held the mysticism of the Burn for me.

Because Burning Man is more than just an event in the desert.

It’s more than the Ten Principles used to guide it.

Burning Man lives in the hearts of the people it has touched and whenever two or more burners get together, there’s magic that happens.

Hugs are abundant as is authenticity and connection.

And I’d say my Micro Burn had that in spades.

Nostalgia

As you all know, I’ve been slowly cleaning my room and going through things I haven’t touched since I got divorced in 2005.

I basically threw things in boxes, stacked the boxes on bookshelves and called it a day.

I’ve come across some lovely old photos in the process, two of which I’ll share here:

Me and friends in 7th grade (circa 1986) – believe it or not, I’m still in touch with seven of them!

One even became my sister-in-law!

Me with friends from my first year of college (circa 1992):

I’ll say this, it was a fun year in the dorms at UCSB.

But the one thing I came across which I was not expecting was a book of photos which I put together for my then-boyfriend Jay.

All the pictures were taken in August of 2008 and capture us at what I think was our happiest together.

What a trip down memory lane.

Camping trips with the kids, beach dates with my dog Mac.

You name it, it’s in there.

Especially PDAs.

However, I was especially touched by how much Mac featured in the album.

Page after page chronicling my affection for my sweet, loving, loyal dog Mac.

And just because I still love that dog more than some people I know, I’m gonna post some wonderful photos which make me smile:

The ravens are watching me

The ravens are watching me.

I know this because right after I restock the food at Michelle’s Critter Café, the ravens show up and snatch the peanuts from the pile of food I’ve laid out for them.

I find this very entertaining so I’ve started stacking the peanuts on top of the rest of the seeds and grains so that the ravens can grab them easily.

Most people are less than enamored with ravens, sometimes mistakenly referred to as crows.

But I like them.

Why, you ask?

Because I have a friend who rehabilitated a raven with a broken wing and watching their relationship unfold over social media totally changed my perspective on these intelligent and graceful birds.

Right now in fact, my friend is raising a baby raven who got kicked out of its nest.

Once again, I’m touched by the love that she shows the fledgling and the relationship that’s developing between the baby raven and her family, including a beautiful rescued blue bird.

I’ve never much thought of myself as a bird person.

I left that for my kid who takes care of three parakeets.

But I’m changing my tune.

All because of the Critter Café.

And my friend.