Mass Extinction and Climate Change – according to Woody

What do the above mentioned things have in common…?  Well…Woody knows a lot about both and he and one of his post doc’s, SF, had a paper published yesterday and there has been some press about the paper.

You can read about it here, or here.  Also, here…and again, here, and lastly…if you haven’t gotten your fill…you can read about it again here.

This work is a result of Woody’s research from Anticosti Island in northern Quebec two summers ago.

What a good Friday!


Today is great because…

A.  I walked to work and it was sunny and beautiful.

B.  I get to eat leftover pot roast for lunch (note to self: potroast is not really a weeknight cooking project)

C.  It’s Friday…always a good thing.  (even though I have to work tomorrow…at 6:30 am!!!!!!)

D.  The house is clean…(not that I don’t keep a clean house…but it’s always nice to have an excuse (like houseguests) to really get things looking good.

E.  I’m looking forward to cooking yummy things this weekend.

F.  This is funny!

Happy Friday!

A rough week, a goal and some new thoughts…

Dear 2011,

I had high hopes…but you tricked me by starting on a weekend.  Work first thing on Monday morning was bad enough…but did you have to make it worse by ruining Sunday evening too?  A broken oven when you already have everything out to make a great pizza – not cool!  A sick dog who puked up her breakfast and then had no interest in eating (translation: really sick for Cleo) – not cool!  A co-worker out sick during our application deadline week – not cool! (not the co-worker – the sickness!)  Finding out we need a new roof over half our house – not cool!

So…I blinked and it is a full two weeks into January 2011.  Composing the ‘rough week(s) mentioned above:  a broken oven, a leaky roof, a sick dog who refused to eat, a work week that could rival all other work weeks with a sick co-worker, 72 or so 4-year-old kinder applicants visiting, 3 events, and an application deadline.  Add to this that…at some point…hopefully before we hit mid-July, Christmas needed to be put away, bags unpacked from our holiday travels (don’t pretend like you’ve never waited a week…or two to unpack your bag), laundry, house guests, and trying to get back into a routine at home…and the last two weeks have been CRAZY.  And of course, yesterday, being my first free Saturday, I woke up to an awful cold.  I’ve been fighting it with airborne, sleep, water, more sleep, and a few video games…but it is not gone yet.

Despite all this, I want to post more often in 2011.  Every day is too lofty a goal for right now…so I’ll start with posting every week.  I’m pretty sure that this won’t be easy, but it might be fun and inspiring.  Many others have also taken this pledge…and some weeks I’ll be using ideas and prompts from The DailyPost, and the community of bloggers to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.  If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way.

SO…to begin…

Things I’m Looking Forward To This Year…

  • Blogging more…no really, spending time improving my posts, taking more photos, broadening the topics I write about…yep…I’m looking forward to it.
  • Planning a vacation with Woody…just the two of us…probably involving fishing…mainly because it hasn’t happened since our honeymoon.
  • Getting in shape…I know this is a standard, typical, early January goal…but the 9 to 5 desk job that I’ve had for the last two years has done some serious damage to my waistline and I’m serious this time!
  • Learning about where we live…and really taking advantage of living in LA.  It’s time to act like I’ve got a week to see all the sites in Los Angeles.  Olvera street, The Getty, the Hollywood sign, Santa Monica Pier, ethnic cuisines all over the county, hiking in Griffith Park, aquariums, art museums, the zoo, rodeo drive, the list goes on.
  • Learning to really use my sewing machine, and maybe even making some things.

What are you looking forward to for 2011?

Alright 2011…it’d better be good!

We rang in the new year last night with friends, delicious soup, games and an early to bed night.  I know…New Year’s Eve is not usually an early night…but travel wears you out.  Which brings me to the end of 2010.  We celebrated the holidays with both our families after some last-minute travel plans.  We flew to Minnesota on Christmas Eve and got in just in time for a roast ham and many a Fischer.  There were grandparents, sisters, brothers, a nephew, a brother-in-law, a sister-in-law and of course a mom and dad…and snow.  A lot of snow.  We had a wonderful time in Minnesota and then it was on to Utah…nearly didn’t make it after a snag (delayed flight) in our travel…but got in just in time for dinner.  Again…there was a lot of family, and a snowstorm, and this time…two nieces.  Lots of fun and laughter and catching up in MN and UT…and then it was time to head back to Pasadena.  We arrived yesterday, picked up our tuckered out dog…and relaxed a bit before the evening plans.

This morning, I literally woke to the sounds of the fighter jet fly-by signaling the start of the Rose Parade…it was THAT loud…because…it was THAT close!  So we watched us a little parade…and we made a little morning chai…and we nibbled on holiday goodies still lingering around the house.  The sun was shining and Cleo needed to become a solar dog.  Our street was completely parked up…and we’ve done basically nothing today…which is fabulous!

We did watch the Rose Bowl and cheered for TCU…luckily they held out and beat Wisconsin.  We enjoyed some classic snacks…queso and tortilla chips as well as onion dip and some potato chips.

Enjoy a quick look at our holidays, our travels and our families!


How Woody and Cleo like to relax during the holidays.

Our stockings…hung by the fire, watched over by the buffalo skull!

Our set up for our holiday party.

This pheasant ornament plagued Cleo the entire month of December…first it smelled like pheasant…real pheasant…and then to top it off…I hung it from the chandelier in the dining room by some fishing line…so it looked like it was floating in mid-air…and here’s the kicker – we lit some candles on the table just before the party and the heat from the flames created just enough air disturbance that all of a sudden…out of nowhere, the floating pheasant began to move and swing all on its own – this was too much for Cleo.  She was on point in the dining room, in full hunting mode, trying to alert us that there was a PHEASANT IN THE HOUSE…HELLO!!!

Christmas Eve in Pasadena – fallen leaves, bright green grass, sunshine and 60 degrees!


In contrast with Christmas Eve in Minnesota – 2 feet of snow, icy roads, frozen lakes and single digit temperatures.

Grandin, Laura and Will

Grandin loves stories and books and being read to by Grandpa – who doesn’t…?!

And of course, the boxes are almost always more fun to play with than the toys that came in them.

Woody written in Marathi – a gift from Sarah, freshly returned from study abroad in Pune, India.

Another fabulous present for Kitren – an interesting coat made solely of Argentine fox…everyone had fun trying it on.

Grandin loves to point out teeth, and makes a funny face himself while doing it.

Someone suggested I put everything on…all at once.  I believe there are 17 different wraps or scarves, 1 hat, 1 fur coat, 1 pair earrings, Christmas PJ’s, and bangles from India…I got hot…very quickly.

The answer is yes…it is what you think it is…a hand-built bird house styled, leather shingled, iPod speaker!  Basically, Mark outdid himself again this year…setting the standard high for Fischer homemade/repurposed/recycled Christmas!  Amazing!  (the perch is the volume control knob!)

Sarah and boyfriend Chris

I previously mentioned ham – which was delicious on Christmas Eve…and continued to be delicious over the next few days.  Croque Madames and Croque Monsieurs, and Woody’s favorite, ground ham salad with pickles.

The little monkey received some orange crocs and ran around in them over the top of his footy pajamas all day – ridiculously cute.


The blondes – from left, Molly, Sam (in the back looking wise), and Pippa.

A dinner of orecchiette with mushrooms, kielbasa, chopped tomatoes, spinach and mascarpone.

Avery learned to make biscuits with Mimi.

Note the matching aprons!  🙂

We finally met Eloise…and she occasionally smiled!


The elusive family photo – this was one of almost a hundred!

Then it was time to play in the snow with Aunt Wynne and Dad…it was so much fun, she threw a fit when she had to come inside because her hands were icy cold.

Grand-père snoozed – he was fighting a cold that one of his lovely sons gave him for Christmas.

How can you resist this!?!  Look at those eyes!

And now we’re home.  Home!  It’s good. Now comes the challenge of unpacking, getting back into the swing of things, facing Monday morning (ughhhh!) and a brand new year!

Happy New Year!