Huh. This is a screen shot of a photograph. Weird.
Five seconds before we put our Chicagoland house on the market, we had a plumbing issue so dreadful that a crew of five had to dig a 7-foot pit in our front yard. After they filled in the pit, we were left with a huge mound of dirt and instructions to water it and stomp on it every day until it was level with the grass. The girls loved it, but what a nightmare.
I had completely forgotten about that until today. Also the tree that fell on the garage the very next week.
Screen Shot Sunday: I take lots of screen shots. Too many, really. Every few weeks, when my desktop is cluttered, I throw all my screen shots into a screen shot folder. On Screen Shot Sundays, I choose one at random and explain it.
It's funny because it's true. And don't even think about saying you're 110 percent sure about something.
*Credit SingleSassy.com http://singlesassy.com/2012/02/01/did-i-use-the-wrong-your-again/
Whistler Blackcomb is our closest big ski resort, but I had no idea which areas were nearest to the slopes.
Cue infinitely-organized trip planner. I love figuring out where to stay, how near the mountains are to each other, and where our girls will take lessons. (Already, 2008 has had two sets of lessons. Little 2010 had lessons in New Zealand! Of course, 2013 is still waiting her turn. She has no idea what's coming.)
Needless to say, now I know. And the trip is planned. (And Whistler Village is the answer.)
This picture represents the worst trick New Zealand played on me.
Sarah Quigley, who published TMI in 2009, is one of my closest friends. Imagine my delight when one of Christchurch's libraries sported a huge sign: "Writer Sarah Quigley, here tomorrow!"
Okay, it's really far-fetched that my Sarah Quigley would try to surprise me halfway around the world. . .but I wanted it to be true.
After a little sleuthing, I found this Sarah Quigley, the kiwi Sarah Quigley, who has written several books and is quite good. I sent this screen shot to 1977 to let him know that my Sarah Quigley hadn't come to surprise me. Also, two writers named Sarah Quigley! Fun coincidences!
If you don't know CPG Gray, go see him on YouTube. Now.
He explains complex things, like the difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain, and England. New Zealand is part of the Realm, so new citizens swear an oath to the Queen, and she's on their money. But kiwis are largely self-governing, which confused me for a while.
I watched the video eleventy-seven times before I took this screen shot as a reminder of how The Crown works..
For five seconds, it looked like we would be living in Chicago when we returned from New Zealand. During that brief moment, I researched Chicago's public schools and neighborhoods. There was a map.
I did the same thing when we decided to move to Seattle, and I don't mind the extra work. Having a plan--even one that will change before we enact it--settles my brain. Most of the Chicago details have spilled out of my brain already, but if you want to know about Seattle public (elementary) schools and neighborhoods from someone who's researched them to the Nth degree, I'm your girl.
Have I mentioned I'm a stickler for rules? The SSS rule is that I choose an image randomly. So this week our screen shot is actually a digital photo that wound up in the wrong desktop folder. But fair is fair.
In my house, we call this guy, "Michele's Turtle," because he and I shared a religious experience. Last October, while on holiday in Australia*, we spent a day on the Great Barrier Reef. I really wanted our girls to see it, and by the time we're back in the Southern Hemisphere, there may not be much of it left! Plus, who am I kidding, I love sea life.
While my family played on the beach, I snorkeled around the reef. Blue sea stars, dozens of sea cucumbers, lots and lots of fish. I even stumbled upon a blue-spotted stingray and terrified us both.
Nearly a year later, I still wish I'd snapped a photo of that guy.
At one point, before the ray incident, I turned to find this turtle hunting for his lunch. We swam together for the better part of an hour. His grace--diving for food and reaching upward for air--mesmerized me. Eventually he swam into water too shallow for me to follow. But wow, what a day!
*When you live in New Zealand, you have to go to Australia. Also, nothing else is remotely close to New Zealand. . .and 1977 and I hadn't visited for decades. It was a great trip.
I blog rarely, because I'm busy writing books. When I do blog, I focus on writing, friendship, family, and books. Because my family's best nicknames are private, I use their birth years for shorthand: