Category Archives: Family

Butterflies and Caterpillars — Oh, My!

Giant Swallowtail Butterfly on Purple Statice Postcards
Giant Swallowtail Butterfly on Purple Statice

This year in my garden, I added more host and nectar plants to the caterpillar and butterfly menu, but I haven’t seen many butterflies.  Maybe I should get outside more — and weed!  I know they visit, because I’ve found plenty of caterpillars on my plants, particularly the bronze fennel.  Sometimes there are dozens of Black Swallowtail (BST) caterpillars on my many fennel plants.

If you click on the photo you can see a tiny black swallowtail caterpillar on the far fennel stem in the front pot. It kind of looks like bird shit. That’s what the two large caterpillars looked like a week earlier when I gave the potted fennel to J and V. The baby was just an egg. My brother emailed me this photo to show me how voracious these critters are. Hopefully, they can supplement the menu with parsley.

I gave several potted bronze fennel plants to my brother “J” and his wife “V”.  The fennel plants I gave them were hosting some tiny BST caterpillars.  But BST caterpillars don’t stay tiny for long.   My brother emailed me a week later, saying they had “caterpillar overload” and wanted to know what else to feed the ravenous, voracious caterpillars.  He and V were afraid the caterpillars would starve.  The caterpillars had almost eaten the potted fennel to the dirt.  I suggested they buy parsley at the store, put it in water and hope the caterpillars don’t mind the change in menu.  V, a special education teacher for preschoolers, said her students are enthralled every year when they raise Monarch caterpillars, which require milkweed to eat.

A Monarch Butterfly caterpillar eats a swamp milkweed leaf in my garden.

BST caterpillars must eat members of the dill family, such as dill, parsley and fennel. (It’s amazing that’s all they need to eat.  Imagine just living and thriving on garnish!)  This fall, I’ll pot more fennel to give to friends to plant to attract more BST butterflies.  As development spreads,  there are fewer wild areas for butterflies and caterpillars to flourish, so we need to help them along by providing food and habitat.  Bronze fennel will seed itself and is a perennial, so it’s a great caterpillar host plant.  It does get tall and wide, though, so you need a large sunny spot for it in the back of your flower bed.

This summer, I saw many butterflies at Pendleton’s Country Market, which I visited with my daughter and her fiance to choose flowers for their September wedding.  The top photograph is from our visit to the fields.   The Pendletons grow plants for butterflies and their caterpillars in addition to flowers for cutting.  They also have a butterfly house you can visit.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly on Coneflower Postcard

From Jim Lovett of Monarch Watch: Greetings Monarch Watchers!

Here’s brief update to kick off the 2010 Monarch Migration/Tagging Season…

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Status of the Population
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The 2009-2010 overwintering monarch population in Mexico covered a forest area of only 1.92 hectares. This figure represents an all time low for overwintering monarchs and is well below the long-term average of 7.44 hectares (1994-2010). We worried about these low numbers because of the possibility that a devastating storm could drive the population even lower. And then it happened — a storm of the worst possible dimensions hit the overwintering area starting on February 2. Accounts of the flooding and landslides can be found on the Monarch Watch Blog at

http://monarchwatch.org/blog/category/mexico/

Attempts to find out how the monarchs fared following these winter storms were unsatisfactory. We estimated that at least 50% of the monarchs died during the winter months, recognizing that this value could have been low.

Fortunately, the conditions encountered by the monarchs that reached Texas were favorable. The result, in spite of the low number of returning monarchs, was a substantial first generation. These butterflies colonized much of the northern breeding area from late April to mid-June.

It appears thmonarchs are making a modest recovery and we expect the overwintering population will measure close to 3 hectares.

For a more detailed status and updates throughout the season please visit the Monarch Watch Blog at http://monarchwatch.org/blog/ at the

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Monarch Tagging Kits
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We have begun shipping out tagging kits for the 2010 monarch butterfly tagging season – all of those ordered from January-June this year are on their way and those ordered last month should go out this week. New orders should be turned around within a week so if you haven’t ordered tags yet there is still time. 🙂

You can find all of the information about ordering tags, downloading additional data sheets, and our tagging program in general at

http://monarchwatch.org/tagging

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Chip in For Monarch Watch
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Last year was our first “Chip in for Monarch Watch” fundraising campaign – a chance for Monarch Watchers, colleagues, friends, and family across the planet to show their support of Monarch Watch and its director Chip Taylor who brought the program to life nearly two decades ago.

By the end of the campaign, more than $23,000 was contributed by nearly 500 donors – wow! These funds put us in the best financial position we have ever been in heading into the winter season.

Many of you asked if we would be making this an annual fundraising campaign and we think that is a great idea! Although we accept donations at any time (http://monarchwatch.org/donate/), this formal effort will be a yearly reminder to renew your support and give you the opportunity to share your monarch stories or other comments with us. If you haven’t viewed the comments and photos submitted last year, we encourage you to do so – the connections facilitated by monarchs and Monarch Watch are truly extraordinary.

The 2010 “Chip in for Monarch Watch” campaign will run through the entire month of August – if you enjoy and/or appreciate all that Monarch Watch offers throughout the year, please consider making a donation today…it’s quick, easy, secure, and fully tax-deductible. As you may know, we rely on these contributions to allow us to continue to offer educational, conservation, and research programs and resources.

Donations to Monarch Watch are managed via the KU Endowment Association (KUEA) here at the University of Kansas and 100% of your donation will go to Monarch Watch – none of it will be used for KUEA operating expenses. Donations may be made by phone, online, or by mail and you can easily set up a monthly or annual gift. Also, many employers offer matching programs, effectively doubling your gift.

Please take some time to visit our “Chip in for Monarch Watch” page and pledge your support before the end of the month. If you have any questions about this campaign please feel free to drop us a line anytime!

Chip in for Monarch Watch 2010: http://monarchwatch.org/chip

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Filed under Butterflies, Education, Entomology, Environment, Family, Gardening, Insects, Kansas, Life, Natural History, Nature, Photography, University of Kansas

Dude, Your Bus is Rad!

California Surfer License Plate postcard

The ’68 VW bus has arrived in Kansas City.  How will this surfer-mobile fare in the Midwest, far from any toasty waves? 

The saga is detailed on The Thing About Life Is.

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Filed under Automobiles, Cars, Family, Kansas City, Life, Travel, Writing

It’s a Diabolical Plot!

Loki realizes that golf balls don't taste as good as they look.

I woke up on Sunday with a bed full of golf balls.  How did this happen?  A pile of rawhide chews I can understand, because Loki the dog hides them everywhere, but how did Loki get these golf balls?  Then I saw Bones the cat slink by.  Aha! 

Bones was briefly top pet -- until Loki joined the household. Bones is plotting ways to return to the top by taking advantage of Loki's love of chewing.

The golf balls are strays from the nearby golf course (some of the balls got pretty darned close to the house!) and sit in a corner on the counter, awaiting use as practice balls.  Bones sits on the counter, pushing the balls over the edge, one by one.  Bones thinks he has finally found a way to get rid of this usurper animal, who is staying with us for a while.  Bones knows we may forgive Loki for chewing up toothbrushes, wood trim and even priceless family photographs, but golf balls?  Never! (Sorry, Bones!  Loki is forgiven again…But, Bones,  I promise you extra head rubs. )

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Filed under Animals, Cats, Dogs, Family, Humor, Life, Personal, Pets

Sinizen

SINIZEN Live @ the Galaxy 1/29/10 Stay Away Satan

I’m following the tour of Sinizen as they travel the country and into Canada this year. My daughter is as she describes herself “tour manager/roadie/merch salesperson/whatever a band needser.” Her fiance is the bass player, Ryan Harvey. They are both music business graduates from the Berklee College of Music in Boston and now are using their business education to hopefully make some money doing what they love.

This is a video from their performance January 29, at the Galaxy in Santa Ana, California.
“Stop being better the us” Mark McGrath of the headliner band “Sugar Ray” told Sinizen after the show last night, Ryan reports.
To see their schedule, go to Myspace.com/sinizen. You don’t want to miss them if they’re in your area!

All great bands have merchandise:  To get yours go to rharvey1 or Sinizen Merchandise at It’s a Beautiful World!

Here’s how they describes themselves, according to their website:
While the reggae rock scene continues to grow by the second, SINIZEN stands out with their own mix of reggae-dub-rock-hiphop-latin, allowing anyone to recognize their sound as the SINIZEN sound, with the ever-so-smooth sax tone from Jorge Guzman, The thumping reggae bass from Ryan Harvey, the eclectic jazz drumming of Mike Manning and the six string slinger/Singer K9. These boys aren’t just band mates, but brothers. They have been through thick and thin and never once quit. Just pushed through the difficult roads and became a touring machine, touring the united states and soon to be touring Europe and japan. Opening for such acts as Eek-a-mouse, Don Carlos, The Wailers, The Dirty Heads, The Aggrolites, Sugar Ray, Shwayze, Kottonmouth Kings, Unwritten Law, and HEDpe. Their newest Record “Grass.Roots.Culture” (March2010) is a solid reggae masterpiece produced by Lewis Richards. The band has taken action to do non-stop touring and promotion. so we are coming to your town and we’d love to meet you!

Sinizen was featured on the cover of "Rock n Tattoo" magazine in April 2010.

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Filed under Entertainment, Family, Music, Personal, Travel

Malcolm is a Norwegian Forest Cat — Cat of the Vikings!

Malcolm on the Stairs
Malcolm stands here showing many of the traits of a Norwegian Forest Cat — a mane, a bushy raccoon-like tail, tufted ears and toes, very thick fur. His belly fur would drag on the ground if we didn’t trim him. He’s probably really a Maine Coon cat, but that breed likely is descended from the Norwegian Forest Cat that traveled with the Vikings to North America in the 11th century.

Malcolm doesn’t have a pedigree.  Almost eighteen years ago, he was just a fluffy stray kitten with ear mites and fleas when we chose him at Wayside Waifs, an animal shelter in Kansas City, Missouri.  Through the years, as he grew larger and fluffier, people would tell us he might be partly if not all Maine Coon Cat.  We didn’t care about breeds, though.  To us, Malcolm was one of a kind, special,  unique, in a class by himself.  We barely remember life before he joined our family.

Malcolm loves the sunshine and follows it as it moves across the floor.

Lately, though, we’ve been watching shows about the different breeds of cat. I had no idea there were so many, although still not even close to the number of dog breeds. Our daughter has a Turkish Angora (now living with us), and I knew about a few others.  

There are 80 breeds of cats recognized by one cat registry or another.  The IPCBA (International Progressive Cat Breeders Alliance) recognizes 73 feline breeds, while the more conservative CFA (Cat Fanciers’ Association) acknowleges only 41, according to WikiAnswers.

Wikipedia says: The Maine Coon is one of the oldest natural domestic cat breeds in North America, specifically native to the state of Maine, where it is the official State Cat.  The breed was popular in cat shows in the late 1800s, but its existence became threatened when long-haired breeds from overseas were introduced in the early 20th century. The Maine Coon made a comeback and is now the second most popular cat breed in North America, according to the Cat Fanciers’ Association. The Maine Coon is noted for its large bone structure, its rectangular body shape, and a long, flowing coat. The breed can be seen in a variety of colors and are known for their intelligence and gentle personalities.

One theory of the origin of the Maine Coon Cat is that it evolved from the Norwegian Forest Cats that traveled to North America with the Vikings in the 11th century.  We decided that Malcolm must be a Viking cat.  My children have one set of Norwegian great-grandparents, so this seemed the perfect origin for Malcolm. We should have named him Erik the Red!

Even in his old age, Malcolm managed to find ways to groom some of the more difficult to reach areas by propping himself against furniture.

Like the Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest Cats have a thick fluffy double-layered coat, long tufts of fur in ears and between toes, and a long bushy tail to protect them against the cold. They have a lion-like ruff or mane.  Their coat is fairly waterproof  because of its coarse outer layer and dense undercoat. They are very large cats with adult males weighing 13 to 22 pounds (6 to 10 kg),  while females are about half that size. Their hind legs are longer than their front legs.  Malcolm fits this description perfectly.  At his largest, he weighed 16 pounds.

Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest cats are described as very intelligent, playful cats that enjoy human company but can get upset if left alone for a long period of time.  Malcolm would always meow very bitterly when we left him for a couple of days.  He had plenty to eat and drink, but he missed us. And we missed him.

Malcolm followed me around the house and always wanted to sit with or near me. In his later years, he slept next to me. He was my faithful companion, and when I called to him, he always answered.  Malcolm is very sick now, and has all but his tail in Valhalla. Who would have thought a little cat (ok, not so little) could steal your heart so completely? I can barely write any more about him, I’m so sad. There are tears on my keyboard.  Below is a link to a post (Good-bye, Mr. B) about another person’s tears on his keyboard over his beloved cat. (Written from the dog’s perspective.) Hold your pet close today.  I had no idea when we were recording his vacuum grooming just a few weeks ago that Malcolm would decline so quickly. (The video is on this blog.) One day he was jumping on the sofa to sit next to me, the next day he retreated to the closet and refused to eat.  Tests showed an inoperable tumor. 

Malcolm getting vacuumed.

When I took Malcolm to the vet last week, a man who had come in to ask for directions, took a look at Malcolm and said:

“Now that is a cat!”   Well said, sir!

Maine Coon Cat.

Norwegian Forest Cat.

Good-bye, Mr. B

Malcolm looks regal as he sits in one of his many favorite chairs.

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Filed under Animals, Cats, Family, History, Life, Personal, Pets, Relationships

Surf’s Up

Surfer in Huntington Beach, California Postcard zazzle_postcard

This surfer rides a wave near the pier in Huntington Beach, California. On the horizon is Catalina Island. Huntington Beach (Surf City USA) is known for its long 8.5-mile (13.7 km) beach, mild climate, and excellent surfing. The waves are a unique natural effect caused by edge-diffraction of ocean swells by the island of Catalina and the waves from distant hurricanes.

I love road trips, especially when I only do twenty percent of the driving.  In mid-September, my husband and I loaded up my minivan with some of the left-behind belongings of my daughter and her boyfriend and headed west to Huntington Beach, California.  Laura and Ryan had moved there in mid-August, making the drive in their two small cars jammed to the ceiling with their stuff.

Dozens of windmills in western Kansas produce electricity. They stand in the flyway of migratory birds, such as the endangered whooping crane.

Dozens of windmills in western Kansas produce electricity. They stand in the flyway of migratory birds, such as the endangered whooping crane.

I got the idea to make this odyssey when the Spiritual Rez band stayed at our house and talked about how much they loved traveling the country.  I hadn’t made a driving trip to the West Coast in a long while.  Our home state of Kansas is very familiar, but this time I tried to look at it with new eyes instead of wishing it away until that first exciting moment when we see the Rocky Mountains rise up from the horizon.  So eager are we to make progress that sometimes we make a mountain out of a cloudbank. I love the gradual change in landscape.

Morning in Dillon, Colorado, in September 2009.

Morning in Dillon, Colorado, in September 2009.

Mid-way through Kansas we saw Monarch butterflies fluttering across Interstate 70 as they made their annual migration to Mexico for the winter.  We saw scores of tall modern windmills slowly turning their blades, some overshadowing the old-fashioned farm windmills first erected in the 1880s.

As we drove through Colorado, Utah and Nevada, I recognized sights Laura had emailed me from her camera phone.  My husband and I have driven much of this route before, but it was still awe-inspiring.  I still gaped at every ridge and butte and mountain peak and begged for my husband to stop the car at every scenic turn-out during much of the drive.  When I was behind the wheel, we did stop at everything!  I wish there were scenic turnouts along the Flint Hills in Kansas, too.  Kansas Turnpike officials, are you there (wishful thinking)?

The first night we spent in Dillon, Colorado, which is ski country. There was a brew pub conveniently located right by our hotel.  The night air was crisp.  I’ve been to this area several times during ski season, but it’s so much more beautiful when you’re not freezing to death.  I won’t be visiting during ski season again.  My skiing days are over! I wasn’t much of a skiier to begin with. I’m so slow I should have an orange triangle fastened to my back, and I hate to be cold. And I don’t like snow, either!  Already in September, it was in the mid 30s when we headed back on the road.

Interstate 70 cuts through an ancient ridge north of Capitol Reef National Park in Utah.

Interstate 70 cuts through an ancient ridge north of Capitol Reef National Park in Utah. Doesn't this formation look like an ancient reef or the spiny backbone of a massive reptile?

Horses graze in a pasture at sunset in St. George, Utah.

Horses graze in a pasture at sunset in St. George, Utah.

The second day we drove through western Colorado and through Utah, spending the night in St. George, which we visited last November.  We toured our “old” neighborhood. We knew where the Walmart was, too.  Both visits to Wal-Mart we saw a few women with french-braided hair who were wearing long pioneer-style dresses with muttonchip sleeves. If you want to read my Utah posts, type in “Utah” in my search box. There are lots of great photographs!

We hurried through Nevada, stopping in Las Vegas only to get gas, and it seemed like forever to get through the desert of California to reach Huntington Beach.  Laura had said that seemed like the longest part of the trip, maybe because you’re so close to your destination but the desert never seems to end.

I've always loved Joshua Trees.  They look like sentries.  This one is near Interstate 15 in the Mojave Desert in California.

I've always loved Joshua Trees. They look like sentries. These trees, a member of the yucca family, are near Interstate 15 in the Mojave Desert in California.

Yeah, yeah, I know I just wrote that I never tire of it, that it was gorgeous and amazing.  Some parts do drag on a bit.  I thought about all of the immigrants who had plodded through these bleak, arid western lands in the 1800s on the California trail, which starts in our green part of the country of Kansas City.   I thought of “Death Valley Days,” “Wagon Train” and “Twenty-Mule Team Borax”  — two old television shows and a commercial that I barely remember beyond the titles.  I do remember Ronald Reagan was the host of “Death Valley Days” for a while. (Yes, this might be the spot for a political joke, but I won’t go there.)

I’m not going to recite a mile by mile account of this trip (although it seems like it so far), but I’ve got to have some words to hold the photos together in this post, like eggs beaten into a  cake.

Loki can't wait to go to the dog beach.  She has to wait until she's had all of her vaccinations. (Yes, Laura and Ryan got a dog the first month. We have their cat....)

Loki can't wait to go to the dog beach. She has to wait until she's had all of her vaccinations. (Yes, Laura and Ryan got a dog the first month they were in HB. We have their cat....)

Huntington Beach is a nice city, very laid-back it seems.  The city is located 40 miles south of Los Angeles.  Houses are packed very closely together because real estate there is very expensive, even now in this economy.  There are no buildings on the 8.5 mile-long-beach, so there’s an unobstructed view of the ocean and of Catalina Island.  It’s the longest open run of beach on the West Coast. It’s celebrating its 100th anniversary as an incorporated city this year.  It was called Shell Beach, later Pacific City and finally Huntington Beach in honor of H.E. Huntington who brought the Pacific electric Railway to the area.

Two surfers head out at sunset on Huntington Beach.  You can see an oil rig in the distance.

Two surfers head out at sunset on Huntington Beach. You can see an oil rig in the distance.

Here’s what the official Huntington Beach website has to say (yes, they like themselves very much!): “The dynamic coastal City of Huntington Beach, with its sunny Mediterranean climate and idyllic setting, is home to more than 202,250 residents. Internationally known as Surf City, Huntington Beach boasts eight miles of scenic, accessible beachfront, the largest stretch of uninterrupted beachfront on the West Coast. Tourism remains a vital part of the economy, as over 11 million visitors flock to the city during the summer, on weekends and for special events.

Wetsuits drying at a motel.

Wetsuits drying at a motel.

Our parks and recreation features one of the largest recreational piers in the world, public parks, riding stables and equestrian trails, a marina, and a wildlife preserve, and an eight-mile biking, inline skating, jogging, and walking trail along the ocean. The crown jewel of the recreation system is the wide expanse of beautiful and spacious beaches, where large crowds gather to watch professional sporting events as the U.S. Open of Surfing, AVP Pro Beach Volleyball and the Surf City USA Marathon.”

A surfer rides the waves of the "dog beach" in Huntington Beach. In the background is an offshore oil rig.

A surfer rides the waves of the "dog beach" in Huntington Beach, which is also popular with surfers. In the background is an offshore oil rig.

There are also oil rigs offshore, which surprised me.   There’s oil in this town!  I’m a little late in finding this out.  The oil boom began in the 1920s. A few “grasshoppers” oil wells pump away in a beach-view lot in town, walled off next to houses that must be worth millions. When the Spanish arrived, they established the area as a cattle ranch.  Beach Boulevard, the main thoroughfare of Huntington Beach, was originally a cattle route.

Pier Plaza in Huntington Beach.

Pier Plaza in Huntington Beach.

A hummingbird visits a flower near Laura and Ryan's courtyard.

A hummingbird visits a flower near Laura and Ryan's courtyard.

Much later, I read that an encylopedia company gave away free parcels of land, with the purchase of a whole set for $126.  I don’t know how true this is, but it makes a great story.  The encyclopedia company had obtained the land cheaply.  The company should have kept the land and forgotten about the books, because oil was discovered in the area the company had given away as a bonus with the purchase of encyclopedias. Now the price of land for housing has risen so high it has pushed many of the rigs off the landscape. Links to more history about the city are at the bottom of this post. The city has dozens of pristine parks, protected nature reserves and unspoiled wetland habitats, such as Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve and the Donald D. Shipley Nature Center,

Duke Kahanamoku, the father of modern surfing, is honored with a statue near the Surfing Walk of Fame at the pier plaza in Huntington Beach, California.

Duke Kahanamoku, the father of modern surfing, is honored with a statue near the Surfing Walk of Fame at the pier plaza in Huntington Beach, California.

Huntington Beach is officially Surf City USA, a title it wrangled over with Santa Cruz, California.

Hawaii’s Duke Kahanamoku first introduced modern surfing in the United States in Santa Cruz, so you can see why that city might want to claim the title.  Kahanamoku is credited with popularizing surfing world-wide during the 1920s, after achieving Olympic swimming fame in 1912 and 1920.  The Surfing Walk of Fame is in Huntington Beach, featuring a statue of Kahanamoku.  I loved watching the surfers, seeing how they’d pop up onto a wave and ride it so gracefully.  I wasn’t tempted, though. That’s COLD water!  The International Surfing Museum is in Huntington Beach.

Links to information about surfing, Huntington Beach and Duke Kahanamoku are at the bottom of this post.  Later (probably much later), I’ll post about the Spanish Missions system, Catalina Island, South Pasadena and the Grand Canyon.

Surfers watch the waves on Newport Beach on a very foggy morning.  The surf was great, but the conditions were probably dangerous. A lifeguard pickup soon showed up and told everyone to get out of the water.  I was standing far back, but a huge wave lashed the beach, and I got splashed and covered with sticky sand.

Surfers watch the waves on Newport Beach on a very foggy morning. The surf was great, but the conditions were probably dangerous. A lifeguard pickup soon showed up and told everyone to get out of the water. I was standing far back, but a huge wave lashed the beach, and I got splashed and covered with sticky sand.

Part of the Surfing Walk of Fame in Pier Plaza in Huntington Beach, California.

Part of the Surfing Walk of Fame in Pier Plaza in Huntington Beach, California.

Wind surfers  sail along Huntington Beach at sunset.  In the distance is Catalina Island.

Kite surfers sail along Huntington Beach at sunset. In the distance is Catalina Island.

Surfers ride the waves along the "dog beach" in Huntington Beach.  This is a section of beach where dogs are allowed.

Surfers ride the waves along the "dog beach" in Huntington Beach. This is a section of beach where dogs are allowed.

Dogs enjoying the water on "dog beach" in Huntington Beach.

Dogs enjoying the water on "dog beach" in Huntington Beach.

Huntington Beach Pier at Sunset.

Huntington Beach Pier was originally built in 1904 and rebuilt most recently during the early 1990s. Stretching 1,856 feet into the Pacific Ocean, it is the longest concrete municipal pier in California and a great place to watch "million-dollar" sunsets.

A surfer leaves for the day.  His board is tethered to his ankle so he won't lose it.

A surfer leaves for the day. His board is tethered to his ankle so he won't lose it.

A woman serves a volleyball at the Huntington Beach Pier beach volleyball court.

A woman serves a volleyball at the Huntington Beach Pier beach volleyball court.

Surfing Walk of Fame.

Duke Kahanamoku.

Huntington Beach, California.

Surfing.

Huntington Beach Official Website.

International Surfing Museum.

Surf City USA.

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Filed under Family, Friendship, Humor, Life, Photography, Sports, Travel

Gone to California….

Paddington's MySpace.png-2

Paddington is an awesome cat, so of course he has a MySpace. Here is an early version, before he moved to San Francisco. I hope you can read this screen shot of Paddington’s profile. It’s cute and funny, written with a little help from Laura and Ryan.

It’s getting awful lonely around here.  Everyone is moving to California.  First Paddington, then Laura and Ryan. Paddington, an awesome cat with a big personality, spent one wonderful year with us before his owner Cynthia claimed him in June.  Now he’s living in San Francisco. Laura and Ryan have moved farther south to Huntington Beach, Surf City USA.

Some of you may already have read the tale of Paddington and Bones, a pair of Turkish Angora litter mates.  Five years ago in Lawrence, Kansas, my daughter’s friend Amber rescued their mother, who turned out to be pregnant (shocking, isn’t it?) Amber very cleverly and diabolically emailed a photo of the newborn pair of kittens to my daughter and her roommate Cynthia. It was love at first sight.  My husband and I were the lucky chumps who got to transport the little darlings by car to Boston.  They actually were quite good travelers. For more of this fascinating tale and cute photos, you can click on The Brothers Angora, Chapter One.

This is the last time I saw Paddington. He was on his way to the airport.

This is the last time I saw Paddington. He was on his way to the airport.

The brothers lived together for two years in Boston, but split up after their owners’ graduation.  The boys were reunited last year, so we were briefly a three-cat family, although Malcolm refused to have anything to do with them.  When Paddington left,  Bones called forlornly for him.   Separated again? He could hardly believe it.  Who would he sleep with? Who would he tussle with?  (Yes, there was some sibling rivalry.)

Paddington, left, and Bones, before Paddington moved to San Francisco.

Paddington, left, and Bones, before Paddington moved to San Francisco.

Last week, Laura and her boyfriend moved to California, too, leaving Bones behind for now.  Bones wanders around the house yowling for them. I feel like  yowling, too.

The many faces of Paddington.

The many faces of Paddington, who has one blue and one amber eye, which is a trait often found in Turkish Angora cats.

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Filed under Animals, Cats, Family, Humor, Kansas City, Life, Personal, Pets, Relationships