Tag: April 2011

Hello World
fri 1 apr 2011

Entry #1 on this page (tagged: april)

Heya! I am rift vegan, welcome to my website!

It's been so long since I've typed here, I thought a re-introduction would be in order! :) This blog post is about some of the things I enjoy and love doing... and thusly, what this blog is all about!

First and Most Important! I am vegan and I love being vegan! YAY VEGAN!

This will never be a blog about food, tho. I hate to cook.

Next: I love to read! I do occasionally type about the books I am reading. And my horrifying "To Be Read" pile.

For Instance. During the apparently quite month of March, I spent much time reading a huge biography of Rachel Carson. Oh, what a sad and heart-breaking life, cut so short by cancer. But, now I am re-reading Silent Spring, and have also bought a couple of her other books. eBook format: so they won't contribute to the clutter in the tiny townhouse.

I also enjoy photography. Just point and click, nothing fancy. I am a serious homebody, but photography is the one thing that gets me out of the house. Because I would rather take pictures of the wild!

Thrush in a tree

Okay. More later. I am thinking about doing a daily blog posting month... But I've not committed to it yet.

Sat Morning, 02 Apr 2011 Book Piles Update
The Original Pile of TBR: 50 Books
     Bought this Year: 6 Books
Books read this year: 12
     Books read from the Pile: 10
     ReRead books: 2

sun 3 apr 2011

Entry #2 on this page (tagged: april, )


SO and I visited the community garden plot for the first time this year...

Let me tell you something...

As a vegan, and an environmentalist, and an anarchist, and everything else that I am... I deeply believe that Personal Organic/Veganic Gardens are a major part of saving the world.

But, me being me; I don't actually want to do it myself.

But, me being the responsible vegan I am; I am going to do it anyway.


So, here's the deal. This will be our third year at the community garden. We are very lucky to have a plot! The past two years of gardening, we have not been "serious" and we are always on the verge of getting kicked out, because I think "weeds" are wildflowers.

This year, I have decided to Pretend to be a "real" gardener.

What that actually means? Yeah, not sure yet! :)

mon 4 apr 2011

Entry #3 on this page (tagged: april)

Monday is usually my "computer free" day. I read instead.

But learning the piano is my interest de jour. I had printed out some lessons over the weekend. And this evening I sat down with my keyboard.

I took piano lessons when I was a kid. I was 8 or 9 years old when I quit tho. I just couldn't read music.

And now look at me... my second day of playing, not a sheet of music in sight, and I'm already figuring out how chords work! Ha!

Eagle Nest Cam
tues 5 apr 2011

Entry #4 on this page (tagged: april)

All day at work, we watched the Decorah Eagle Cam! Very cool: two babies, one egg, probably to hatch in a few days, mom and dad eagle come and go and feed babies. It's a 24 hour cam, here they are right now, in the dark... it's impossible to tell with this b/w still picture, but both babies heads are sticking out from under mom (or dad?):

Decorah Eagle Cam at night

All kinds of dead animals on the near side of the nest, off to the left. You can see the crow feathers in the screen shot I just took. Also there's a fish and something brownish and maybe furry. Whoever's sitting on the nest picked at these through the day, and fed bits to the babies.

At one point, early afternoon, the older baby was mad about something? or maybe just being goofy? He was pecking at mom's head. And then he bit her, and she shook her head, and baby goes tumbling out the main part of the nest!

Eagle's nests are huge, maybe for this reason, and he was just a few inches away, but he was outside the built up, warm part where mom was sitting. And mom was all "OH MY GOSH!" and she stepped over and tried to get the kid back in the proper nest, "grab my head again!" she was saying, but baby was not going for it.

In a minute, mom rolled her eyes and sat back down in the proper nest and told the kid on the outside, "you got yourself into this situation... you'll have to climb back in on your own!"

poor kid, all he wants is to get back in... but he's just three days old, so the muscle coordination isn't quite there. He decided to act nonchalant, and peck at the dead animals for a bit! laughs, I don't think he was fooling anybody tho!

I had to go back to work, but the next time I looked, the little one was gone! ack! What happened?

Not to worry, he got back into the nest! Took over an hour for mom to move over so we could see and confirm: two babies and an egg, still in the nest!

Yay, happy ending!

Wed Evening, 06 Apr 2011
Still with the nest cam at the day job. :) The third baby started cracking out of her shell about 3pm!

booking thru thursday
thurs 7 apr 2011

Entry #5 on this page (tagged: april)

Booking Through Thursday meme

  • So... the books that you own (however many there may be) - do you display them proudly right there in plain sight for all the world to see? (At least the world that comes into your living room.) Or do you keep them tucked away in your office or bedroom or library or closet or someplace less "public?"

There are hundreds of dead tree books... but they are all hidden away. Our townhouse is so tiny, most of my books are still in boxes.

I have two overflowing sets of bookshelves in my walk-in closet. And a few stacks of books here and there through my bedroom. It's pretty disgraceful, actually!

On the other hand, "all the world" is not going to be coming through our front door. In fact, I prefer to have zero visitors at the house! That way, it doesn't matter how disgraceful it may be.


Fri Evening, 08 Apr 2011
oof. this week has kinda worn me out!
no worries! the weekend will be happy and reviving!

Saturday Art Project
sat 9 apr 2011

Entry #6 on this page (tagged: april, )

The other day, Significant Other and I watched an Oregon Public Broadcast show that featured artist Ginberry. The show made me happy, the art by Ginberry delighted me... and most incredible of all, she gives her art away for free to anyone who gives her their address!

  Ginberry Artitude "Over the years Jen has sent out at least fifteen hundred peices of art and brightened countless lives."

I have not joined her site. I do want to, but I'm sure she's inundated with art requests now that she's a famous artist and all. *grin* Well. Maybe I'll join later.

Anyway. On the show, she is making this card that looks like a net, cutting out a stencil and putting coloured papers behind it. I'm all: huh. that looks kinda fun!

So, yep. That's today's art project...

paper cutting dragonfly

I picked out the stencil from a Dover book... I went for something simple. Printed it up on cardstock then cut out the design with an X-acto knife.

I did not stay perfectly within the "lines" when I was cutting, leaving quite a bit of printer ink on my stencil. (hey: it's hard, okay?!) I covered it up by colouring the whole page with my black Copic marker. Looking at it now, I think it would have been much more interesting if I had coloured it a dark blue or a dark green.

eh, live and learn!

I took a separate sheet of cardstock and scribbled with some of my lighter coloured copics. Then I "painted" the back of my black stencil with elmers white glue (it's vegan!) and stuck them together.

A few minutes to set under the books I'm currently reading, and it's _Real_Live_Art_ in thirty minutes or less!


Paging through my Dover book -- Nature Stencil Designs -- there are several, more complicated stencils I'd love to do. Also, some skinny and long stencils that would make wonderful bookmarks! And it's so fun and easy...

art project cont
sun 10 apr 2011

Entry #7 on this page (tagged: april, )

sea turtle bookmark

I really like a project that I can finish in one sitting! This was more complicated than my first one, and took about 1.5hrs.

I accidently "X-actoed" through a couple of my support bridges... most disappointingly on the turtle's head! But I was able to repair the damage when I glued the two pieces together! Yay!

The top colour is BG78 Bronze... the BG70's are my favorite group of Copic colours. The background colours are primarily BV13 Hydrangea Blue, BG13 Mint Green and new colour BG53 Ice Mint.

If this keeps up, I will have to go looking for another book of stencils!

Mon Night, 11 Apr 2011
I am reading this evening. My ongoing goal is to read at least 200 pages every week. And I didn't read much at all over the weekend, so I'm not sure if I'll meet my goal this week. bah!

tues 12 apr 2011

Entry #8 on this page (tagged: april)

You know how the alarm goes off every morning? and you hit the snooze a few times, but then it's time to get up and go to work?

And no matter how well you slept, it always feels like a couple more hours of sleep would be the best thing ever!

I am one of those people who must have more than nine hours of sleep every night. Ten is better. The occasional twelve is really nice.

Yes, it's a horrible "waste of time"! But I don't feel good when I don't get my sleep... and I don't want to live my life, constantly feeling blah when I know there is a simple solution.

So I sleep. And I love my sleep!

But I do also wish I could get more done in the evenings.

Note To Self: Just put the book down! Don't worry about your stupid reading goal! Go To Bed!

Wed Evening, 13 Apr 2011
Rain off and on all day today. I love the rain. I especially like to walk in the rain, as long as the wind isn't blowing... usually there are few other walkers, and even the cars seem to bow out of your way!

the red car
thurs 14 apr 2011

Entry #9 on this page (tagged: april)

Had to drive to the day job today, since I had errands after work...

The car has not been thru a car wash in several years, and in Oregon with the rain, it's kinda necessary; lichen grows! and then moss!

my co-worker J, always offers me a free car wash every time he sees my car. This time he was begging to take my car! *laughs*

Vegan Friday
fri 15 apr 2011

Entry #10 on this page (tagged: april, )

Major problems at the day job today. The cuss words were flowing. Flowing like a river. Like, have you ever seen the southern end of the Mississippi River? It wasn't quite that bad, because after all, we are at our job and probably, we shouldn't cuss that much. but still.

So when ever I got so frustrated at our problems that I couldn't even speak because all I could think of were cuss words... I would take a few seconds... breathe deep... and think about the very special vegan happiness I had planned for the afternoon!

*grins* Yay Vegan!

  Chocolate Decadence

This place has been selling vegan chocolates online for a good long while. A new guy bought the business about six months ago... and now we've got a new, beautiful website. And a new, local retail store.

Sadly, new guy is not vegan. But Happily, new store is just a few miles away!

For the "extended" Grand Opening, Significant Other and I got free chocolate bunnies, and entered the drawing for all kinds of awesome prizes.

Me, being excessively excited about the chocolate and the decadence... I had several specific orders for chocolates from my co-workers. :) So I put them in first.

Then I got a mixed bag of chocolates to share with the Copic Warehouse. Dark Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Expresso, and Raspberry buttons. The owner was "manning" the counter, and he was wonderful and generous: he gave me most of a pound and only charged me for half a pound.


And then I got some chocolates for me and SO. a pound of dark chocolate buttons. Some kind of chocolate bar that SO picked out. And I cleared out the chocolate covered caramel.

I have been buying Chocolate Decadence for years... as gifts to others. I rarely get it for myself.

But I know it's bliss. The best chocolate I've ever had.

And now look! At the store, I have so many choices!

I am so very happy at the vegan-ness.

Letter Writing
sat 16 apr 2011

Entry #11 on this page (tagged: april, , )

I had all kinds of plans to celebrate National Card and Letter Writing Month today, by writing some letters!

Unfortunately, I seem to have run out of steam after just one letter!

Letters are way more complicated than postcards, you know. *laughs*

I've decided to send out my first notecard to a company. I'm going to thank Chocolate Decadence for their generosity yesterday.

Not only am I happy to have brilliant vegan options... but it's thrilling to have an entire store, where I can buy Anything! *big eyes* And it's ALL vegan!

A handwritten note means so much these days. And, really: Vegan companies and Vegan People... I think we need a little verbal appreciation. The animals do thank us, in their own ways. But a "thank you", written or spoken, says a lot!

And You? Will you write a letter?

sun 17 apr 2011

Entry #12 on this page (tagged: april, )

Okay! This weekend I have written four letters! and I've got a couple of postcards going out as well.

Speaking of. The price of postcards is going up as of today...

0.28 polar bear

The old 28¢ Polar Bear. I loved him. But let's be honest. He was very lonely.

Before the Polar Bear, we had five different kinds of fruit. Very colourful.

And then the Polar Bear. All by himself.

But now!

0.29 herbs

Yes! Five different kinds of beautiful herb flowers!

That's nice. I do still wish the post office would get more serious about it's postcard stamps. And it's international stamps. Just the tiniest bit of variety would be soooo nice.

0.75 Canada Stamp

This was the old first class stamp to Canada. Great Smoky Mountains. It was 75¢.

0.80 Canada Stamp

The new Canada first class stamp (including postcards to Canada) is 80¢. Voyageurs National Park is in Minnesota (their _only_ national park!). The word "Voyageurs" is French for "Traveler", and refers to the French-Canadian fur traders.

ick. Not Vegan!

oh well. I'm glad Minnesota has one national park. That's something at least!

The other stamps will remain the same price...

First Class within the US is still 44¢

First Class International is still 98¢

Will you be writing?

Mon, 18 Apr 2011
My little friend Boo the guinea pig is starting to feel her age. Not moving around as much and doesn't want her favorite treat, carrots, any more. sighs.

tues 19 apr 2011

Entry #13 on this page (tagged: april, )

I got to play on a new artsy social network today. Sorry, I can't tell you about it because it's still in alpha testing.

Anyway. I uploaded the couple of cut out thingees that I did the other weekend... the dragonfly and the sea turtle.

And. What? Is that All? Don't I have more art to show? (Photos aren't included in this particular instance.)

Well, I did go through that phase in February where I was going to make 100 drawings. I got to #21.

I always want to do more drawings and artsy stuff and creative stuff. But I always fizzle out. Until I find the next thing! And than that fizzles out.

Kinda flaky, aren't I?

wed 20 apr 2011

Entry #14 on this page (tagged: april)

A good book to read is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I'm enjoying it.

I got it as an ebook. Of course I did. Except for art books, all the books I buy are ebooks.

And I don't yet have a Kindle.

I was going to get one for myself at xmas time. I put it off because my finances were a mess.

I did some math the other day. And found out my finances are still a mess. *rolls eyes* Apparently it's to be a permanent condition.

So I'm going to get myself a Kindle for my birthday.

Finances be damned!

Booking Thru Thursday
thurs 21 apr 2011

Entry #15 on this page (tagged: april)

Booking Through Thursday meme

  • Up until recently, people could browse your bookshelves and learn a lot about you -- what your interests are, your range of topics, favorite authors, how much you read (or at least buy books).
    More and more, though, this is changing. People aren't buying books so much as borrowing them from the library. Or reading them on their e-readers or computers. There's nothing PHYSICAL on the shelves to tell strangers in your home, for better or worse, who you ARE.
    Do you think this is a good thing? Bad? Discuss!

ha. As I mentioned last time, I don't want people in my home, and I certainly don't want strangers in my home!

My social life is online. And strangers (and Friends!) are welcome to visit my GoodReads profile. I keep up with the books I've read there.

And, of course, I don't think this is good, bad or indifferent! It's just the way things are... More people are reading ebooks. More people are downsizing into smaller homes. More people have to go to the library to get their reading fix.

And more people are sharing their reading lists online! I still get book recommendations from people I know in real life. But many of the books I choose to read, I've discovered in my online wanderings.

The Internet is a good thing. :)

Happy Earth Day
fri 22 apr 2011

Entry #16 on this page (tagged: april)

Rift's Perfect Earth Day...

  All the humans are vegan today!

  No plastic is made or used!

  No pesticides or poisons made or used!

  Everything is recycled and there's no such thing as a dump!

  People not only think about the energy they are using, they also do something about it! ... And there's a easy way to contribute: the tread mills and stationary bikes are all hooked into the grid!

  We start giving back.

World Book Day
sat 23 apr 2011

Entry #17 on this page (tagged: april)

I just happened to run into this on wikipedia!
  World Book and Copyright Day

April 23rd is the day that Cervantes died. And also Shakespeare (by the Julian calendar, rather than the Gregorian calendar).

Interesting choices. The fact that Cervantes is usually listed first, is the interesting thing. (I guess this day started in Spain, but still: Cervantes over Shakespeare? *raises eyebrow*) Cervantes wrote Don Quixote... you can read it for free at Project Gutenberg.

  Don Quixote by Cervantes / audio files of Don Quixote

I've not read it yet, tho it's on my computer. I've also not read any Shakespeare, other than what I was forced to in school.

Also, this is St. George's Day. Yeah, the St. George that killed the dragon. The tradition in Catalonia: men gave women roses, and women gave men a book to celebrate the occasion -- "a rose for love and a book forever."

*rolls eyes* The cut rose dies quickly, as does the man's lusts, but the woman has to give her love forever. Kind of a crappy tradition, if you ask me!

laughs. anyway.

In my zeal to get through my bought book pile, I've not been reading any classics. And I kind of miss them.

And I'm thinking the zeal is entirely misplaced! Because I keep buying books! Granted, I've not bought as many books as I usually would. But I'm still buying. And I'm still obtaining free books as well. And I'm never going to get through the stack at this rate!!

Maybe I just need to accept: I am a book buying fiend! And it will not stop until I die!


The 2011 Unread Book Pile
Started with 50 Books + 8 Books Bought
Have Read 10 new books + 3 re-reads
= Unread book pile is at 48
(not including free ebooks from Project Gutenberg)

sun 24 apr 2011

Entry #18 on this page (tagged: april, )

*sighs* did not get much done this weekend. People should not have these lazy feelings in the spring time! There is so much to do!

Did get out to the community garden plot this morning. No pictures, tho: It's not a pretty sight! heh. The weeds are coming up between the boxes that SO laid down over the winter. And the boxes are starting to break down, which is a good thing, but we need to pick out all the packing tape.

Today, SO and I worked on the weeds on the evil neighbor side. They are evil because they are real gardeners, with raised beds and a pissy-ness about our "weeds". But, we've got a really invasive and annoying weed on that side of our plot... and even I want to get rid of it!

So, we turned over the plants with our forks. And then put some cardboard over them. The lack of sunshine... probably won't work on this particular batch of very tough weeds, so I'm planning to plant some Borage over there as well. I think (or hope) the borage will take over. Plus the bees will be really happy. They love borage!

Planted some peas and a salad mix that I got from my seed trade over at the Vegan Fox Swap. Peas and lettuce are both cold happy plants. But I need to look up the "last frost date" for our area... because most of the vegetables I want say to plant after that date.

Here's a site...
  Frost Chart for USA
Click the "planting dates by zip code" link!

hmm. I see I am late already on many of my planned plantings. Typical.

Still. I am going to try to be a semi-real gardener this year. My main goal is to visit the garden plot more than just once a week. I do depend on SO to do waterings through the week (it gets terribly dry here in the summer), but I should stop by and do some weeding. and stuff!

*sighs again* I just don't have Gardening in my soul. Ya know? It's more like work to me. And I like to avoid work, when I can.

Stay tuned!

Mon, 25 Apr 2011
It rained all last night. Probably drowned those peas we planted in the garden, for the second time in a row! ha. Oh well!

Tue, 26 Apr 2011
Guinea pig Boo is refusing to eat her carrots again. She bounced back from her few days of blah-ness last week. But I worry that soon her bad days will outnumber her good days.

to do list
wed 27 apr 2011

Entry #19 on this page (tagged: april)

I have been so scattered lately. Well. "scattered" is kind of normal operating procedure for me anyway. a million little projects going on all over the place. heh. But sometimes I wish I were a bit more organized.

So I started a "to do" list. I decided I would only add small things, to be done in the coming week or so.

First my list had six little things. Then I remember a few more things. Then a few more. and a few more!

And now I've got enough small things that it will take several days of working straight through to get it all done!

That's crazy! How in the world did I get to this place? How in the world did I manage without a list?! No wonder I'm so Scattered!

Thu, 28 Apr 2011
I am very excited to tell you: I have one thing crossed off my list! *laughs* fifty million things to go!

odds and ends
fri 29 apr 2011

Entry #20 on this page (tagged: april)

I was vaguely planning a slightly sober weekend, so that I could really focus on my crazy, extensive "small things" To Do List. Unfortunately, it was really intense today at the day job (trying to get huge orders out the door for the end of the month). And I decided I needed to give my brain a rest, and start the weekend with a few drinks.

blitzed blogging

ha. where's that one graphic that I love? ah:


Anyway. Here are a few little things I've been meaning to tell you...

  oh my gosh! I was totally un-interested in the Royal Wedding stuff... but NPR Morning Edition actually made me smile happily with all the excited people! :)

  Vegetarian Journal from the Vegetarian Resource Group I have just recently re-subscribed to this small mag, and I really enjoy reading it. It's filled with interesting vegan recipes (don't care about: hate cooking!), and great Q&As, and I like reading the scientific notes and the book reviews.

  Speaking of magazines, there was an article about Copic markers in the may/june Cloth Paper Scissors mag. Can't link to the article, but can point you towards the author's blog post: magazine and marker magic Her art work is happy and colourful, and I hope you'll check out the rest of her blog!

  Also speaking of Copics... have I mentioned stuff 2 color?? whee! if you have a bunch of markers and need posters to colour, this is the web site to check out! Not too expensive, and decidedly beautiful. They have only just started selling Copic markers, but I think it's a wonderful fit between businesses. especially since we are local to each other!

the Last Unicorn graphic novel

  Signed and personalized copy of The Last Unicorn, graphic novel arrived this week! oh my! every time I open this book, I get sucked into the art and the story. The story is familiar, several times over: I've read the book and watched the animated movie over and over. The art that comes with this book is just delightful. *hearts*

Sat Morning, 30 Apr 2011 07:27:53 PDT
Small Things To Do List:
2½ things done out of 21
Email Inbox Currently at:
345 & 120

Sat Noonish, 30 Apr 2011 12:31:14 PDT
Small Things To Do List:
7½ things done out of 25

Sat Evening, 30 Apr 2011 16:55:25 PDT
Small Things To Do List:
11 things done out of 27

a good saturday
sat 30 apr 2011

Entry #21 on this page (tagged: april)

Yes! Did you see my "to do list" updates?! I am jammin'!

Also did a 6 mile-ish bike ride, which has kind of worn me out. It was the first time on my bike this year. Of course: Major thanks to the Significant Other for getting the bike tuned up the other day!

Surprisingly, the daily blogging in April did not wear me out. I really like the mini-entry idea, where I just write a few sentences! I did "cheat" a couple times... there are some days when I just don't feel like turning on the computer. And on those days, I did actually _write_ blog entries -- long hand on an index card! Then I typed them in the next day, along with my regular post.

And, in that spirit...

National Blog Posting Month

Yep, I'm going to sign up to do an "official" blog posting month. The theme for May was just too appropriate to pass up!!


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