outdoors Photography Places

Tower Grove: Field of daffodils

I knew that after the sun and rain this week that the daffodils at Tower Grove would be in bloom. All throughout the park were pockets of golden blooms, providing a bit of color — an end to winter and a promise of spring.

Today we walked about the park and looked at the spring flowers, and exhanged smiles with stangers who, like ourselves, are thankful for the gentle weather. At the faux ruins, we watched a couple of ducks make love. I called my roommate a voyeur. He asked, then, what am I? Duck pervert?

We had brunch at the Palm house — savory salmon lasagna, tender ham, and fresh fruit and delicate madelines, with a bit of bread pudding to fill in the corners. We ate outside on the patio next to the lily pond, alternately warmed by the sun and cooled by the gentle breezes. An elderly woman walked by with her old, old dogs and we smiled and said cute dogs. She smiled back, laughingly called them her ‘attack dogs’, as the one nearest came up to me, wheezing, to get a soft pat on the head.

I have an overwhelming desire to wrap myself in beauty and wear it like armor. Whatever anger I felt earlier in the week is gone, burned out. Now all I feel is sadness: for a continuing legacy; for those who have lost their lives too soon; and for those who are afraid. The sadder I feel, the more desperate I am for beauty.


Just Shelley

Unemployment insurance—oh yeah

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

One bit of good news is that I was able to successfully file for unemployment insurance in California last week, and I’ll be able to pay for, among other things, my car. Being able to keep Golden Girl was rather important to me.

I’ve been an independent author/contractor for years, which means I don’t really have jobs that ‘end’, so filing for unemployment is not something I’ve ever done. However, technically, I wasn’t self-employed. I was working for my own corporation, and as part of the fees I paid yearly, I paid unemployment insurance. When I closed the corporation in California because of lack of work, technically, I laid myself off.

I used California’s terrific online unemployment system to file for unemployment last week, was determined to be eligible within a day, and have already turned in my first claim.

You might think me brain dead for not filing before now, but you have to remember that I’ve had my corporation for years, and while I had it I was technically employed. Filing required a change in mindset for me. And, to be honest, I thought I would find work by now.

A bit of humor entered into the process when I, as President of Burning Bird Enterprises, Inc. received a letter from EDD in California asking me to confirm that I, as employee, was laid off last year due to lack of work. I should have responded with a note saying I didn’t lay myself off; I fired myself for insubordination.

Or was it sexual harassment?


ANWR lives on

Got so caught up in events last week that I missed the Senate’s vote to remove the provision about drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from the budget package. Thankfully Allan caught the information and passed it on.

I know that many in Alaska aren’t happy about the decision. They must now try and get ANWR drilling passed through as part of an energy bill, and last time they tried this, it was killed with a Senate filibuster.

Alaska is one of the few states I’ve never visited, though I’ve wanted to for years. In particular, I’d like to visit ANWR, see it for myself. I thought about driving up to Alaska, along the Alaska-Canadian highway. I know it can be rough in places, but have been assured by those who have gone on it that Golden Girl could make it (in season, of course). Hopefully my US-based license plates wouldn’t cause too many problems in Canada.

Perhaps I need to start a fund raiser — send Burningbird to ANWR.

Regardless, it’s good to know that, at least momentarily, the ANWR will remain an untouched wilderness.