Tuesday, December 6, 2011


F. made this lovely drawing of the girls in like twenty minutes. Talented girl, what?

The girls hangin' out:

Linden looking very cute:

Autumn chillin':

Imagine how startling it was for me to step out to put something on the porch and find this mamamoose right off the porch! Her calf was right behind her, and as I jumped three feet into the air and screamed, they looked up from their willow repast, blinked, and went right back to eating.

A friend of mine just got back from China. Yaaaay!

I'm really glad that temperatures are dropping again! Mid-winter warmth is not only dangerous (as it makes the roads slippery), but it really unnerves me! Where I grew up, we called it 'earthquake weather', and in Southern California, the Santa Ana winds are an ill portent.

Raymond Chandler described them in "Red Wind" as "those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen..."

Joan Didion wrote of them:

There is something uneasy in the Los Angeles air this afternoon, some unnatural stillness, some tension. What it means is that tonight a Santa Ana will begin to blow, a hot wind from the northeast whining down through the Cajon and San Gorgonio Passes, blowing up sand storms out along Route 66, drying the hills and the nerves to flash point... I have neither heard nor read that a Santa Ana is due, but I know it, and almost everyone I have seen today knows it too. We know it because we feel it. The baby frets. The maid sulks. I rekindle a waning argument with the telephone company, then cut my losses and lie down, given over to whatever it is in the air...


I recall being told, when I first moved to Los Angeles and was living on an isolated beach, that the Indians would throw themselves into the sea when the bad wind blew. I could see why. The Pacific turned ominously glossy during a Santa Ana period, and one woke in the night troubled not only by the peacocks screaming in the olive trees but by the eerie absence of surf. The heat was surreal. The sky had a yellow cast, the kind of light sometimes called "earthquake weather." My only neighbor would not come out of her house for days, and there were no lights at night, and her husband roamed the place with a machete. One day he would tell me that he had heard a trespasser, the next a rattlesnake.

So I'm very happy that it's cold again! Brrrrr! Yay!

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