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Sat 14 Jan 2006

california dreamin'

or something along those lines. it's been said that dealing with very elderly people is like working with elementary school children. it's also been said that as you grow older, you often revert to the personality you had as a young person; so if you were a jealous youth, you'll be a jealous elder. if you were an angry youth, you'll be an angry elder. it's a fine line, and it's hard to walk.

so, all that said, we're trying to convince our elderly relatives that they need to have help one way or another. my aunt doesn't like any strangers to come in the house, so it's hard to have a nurse or cleaning person come in to help.... well, not hard, impossible rather. the independence we have in this society is great, but it's hard to give up some of that independence when you get older and accept the fact that you need a helping hand. i know i can't move near as fast as i could twenty years ago, but in another forty years it may be even harder to accept. but okay, enough about that. suffice it to say that my life may soon change drastically. i'll update the blog as needed.

and now on to a different topic: floods in california. we drove down the coast highway and were very glad that the mud slides north of the highway one junction were cleared before we left arcata in the morning yesterday. it was quite interesting driving down the coast and seeing all the beautiful redwoods and great geology again. it was also interesting to see where the rivers had been only a week and a half ago! the russian river rose to over 40 feet (well above flood stage). the link here is a collection of flood photos from a couple towns along the russian river.

the trees along the riverbanks are stripped and many of them are lying down because of the strength of the water. it looks like the river was flowing REALLY fast, and there were floods all throughout mendocino and sonoma counties (and probably in other areas, but those are the ones that i've seen). even at the solar living institute there were ten feet of water in the parking lot. we stopped there, and there is a lot of reconstruction going on, and the main river banks aren't even visible from the site! it was the worst flood since 1964 when the pacific coast was inundated.

don't fight with nature--you'll always lose. i'm always amazed at all the new houses built on flood plains, and i hope one day to live far enough from the flood-prone areas and on a gentle enough slope so as to be free from land slides. is that too much to ask?

i'm still looking for work, so feel free to check my english or spanish resume in microsoft word format. wish me luck!

posted by: mock turtle on 14 Jan, 06 | 23:36

Mon 09 Jan 2006

receding waters

so the water in the creek has gone down almost to normal levels. it dropped quite quickly after the day i took that picture, but the topography of the creek bed has changed significantly. i used to be able to walk down to the water's edge without stepping down any steep drops, but now there's a significant abrupt edge. i'm looking forward to checking it out in depth, maybe literally now, once it stops raining for a bit.

for now i've been working on making some healthy food since i've been living like a bachelor since i got back from spain. it's not that it's hard to make healthy food, but it just takes more time than boiling spaghetti and throwing some sauce on it, doesn't it? mabybe i'll be able to do the new year's resolution thing and get fit again.

mum and i are also going to california for a few days over the weekend to visit her older sister and her brother-in-law. they're much older than mum, and age is beginning to catch up to them. we need to visit them before they aren't around any more to visit. there's some arranging to do to make sure they're able to take care of themselves--i think they're going to have a home care nurse which is an excellent alternative to assisted living facilities.

in light of this road trip, i've configured an old laptop a friend gave me a while back when my computer was starting to give me serious problems so we'll have contact with the outside world while we're gone. i have local phone numbers for my dial-up connection (yeah, i know, i'm still living in the slow old dial-up world because i can't afford dsl yet) and i've got a list of free wi-fi hotspots in the area. so, aside from all the knitting projects i'll have with me, i've got just over 800 photos from barcelona and surrounding area to prepare for the web photo album.

i figure i'll work with one part at a time, and since i'm still waiting for the package i sent to myself from madrid with a major part of my madrid memories. i haven't quite given up on it yet, even though i sent it on the 26th of september from the chamartin train station. i'm rather upset about it still because according to the postal employee i was sending it letter rate rather than package rate so i didn't need to fill out the package paperwork. i sent a good book (america en el espejo), a cool magazine (historia de iberia vieja), an official spanish flag, about ten sew-on patches from various towns around madrid, and a bunch of expired metro passes and other various memorabilia. i just wish i still had it all. since the postal employee i spoke with didn't give me the correct options, i have no recourse to get anything back. it's quite disappointing, to say the least.

oh well, no use crying over spilt milk, right? so now back to preparing the huge photos i have for the web. i'll try to post again from california.

posted by: mock turtle on 09 Jan, 06 | 20:11

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