Monday, August 27, 2007

Armchair Travel

Here's a site that features 360 degree panoramic views of some of the great wonders of the world. You can swivel about and see all the angles. Way cool.
Once you click on of the wonders panoramas, you'll see a drop menu up on the right. There are gobs of panoramas available there! Enjoy.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Solar Panels Made Easy

Here's a neat little video showing panels integrated into standard metal roofing. Very nice!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Off to Camp

Off to Camp
Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

India is up in Oregon at Not Back To School Camp. She caught a ride up with another family from Calistoga. On the way up to drop her off we ran into traffic at both the high school and an elementary school. I told India to roll the window down and shout "ha ha, you have to go to school and I'm off to camp, suckers!". She didn't think that was a very good idea.
This is her fourth year and she was confident and happy to be going. I think she'll have the best time ever, which is saying a lot.
Krista and I have come to realize how much she helps out with Eden. She helps out a bunch!
Eden and I are driving up September 3rd, first to Ashland to visit friends, then on to Nancy's house in Eugene. We may get to stop off at Meka's cob cottage on the way. And we get to have dinner with my sister on the drive back with India.
Another road trip. Ye Gods.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Jerry Report

I've decided to refer interested parties to Krista's incredible blog Undercurrents for further updates on Jerry's recovery. Krista is a wonderful writer and has been turning the blow by blow details into near poetry.
Even if you don't care to hear the latest report on Jerry, check out her other entries and enjoy!

Watercone - An Ingenious Way To Turn Salt Water Into Fresh Water


This device has the potential to really do a lot of good for a lot of people. So many people live in areas where the ground water has been polluted by salt incursion due to over pumping, or in areas that simply don’t have large fresh water sources (south pacific islands, sub-Saharan Africa, south-east Asia). The Watercone is made from UV resistant plastic and they claim that it will last up to five years, after which it can be used to collect rainwater and funnel it into bottles.

I found this info at The Sietch Blog. Worth a visit.

PS: at this time individual units are not for sale. They are looking for investors to do large scale manufacturing, to get lots of these things to lots of folks who really need them. Check out the Watercone website for more info.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Jerry Update

Grandpa and Zephyr
Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

Great news! Yesterday they took Jerry off the respirator and we actually got to talk with him! Joyce called us in the afternoon with the good news and we danced for joy. When we passed on the news to Jon he started yelling!
So we dropped everything and tore over to the hospital and India came for the first time.
Jerry looked great (relatively). I felt so happy I just beamed at him. He probably wondered why we all looked so happy when he feels like shit, but there you have it.
I was really glad India came. Eden and Zephyr are too young to come in the ICU, but somehow grandchildren seem to pack an extra emotional wallop.
We're hoping he'll get kicked out of the ICU tomorrow maybe. His surgeon told us he's recovering remarkably fast, though he may not be home for a week or two.
Yesterday we cleaned house and went grocery shopping. I made salsa with four or five different tomato varieties and some smoked chipotle peppers I got at the market. It feels like we are re-entering our lives again.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Jerry Update

The surgery went very well!
The infection was localized to the valve and hadn't spread into the heart (which apparently was the big fear).
Jerry is still knocked out, but we got to go in and see him. By we, I mean 11 of us! Jon and Joyce, Krista and I, two of his brothers, his step-dad and brother's wife, and Joyce's sisters Laurie and Phyllis and Rod.
More folks showed up during the wait, but had to leave. It was a long wait. Krista, Joyce and Jon got there at 6am and he was finally out of surgery around 12:45.
So, Jerry will have to stay on the ventilator for another two or three days while his lungs are drying out a bit. He'll still be in the ICU I guess. But it feels like a whole new game.
Thanks for all the prayers and well wishes!

Friday, August 03, 2007


Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

Last week we traveled up to Redding to see our newest relative, Jordan. He's the son of my sister's daughter. My sister told me that makes me a "great uncle". I think that means I can become even more eccentric! Cool.
Jordan was about three weeks old and being a very good baby. Cara and Scott really don't know how lucky they are, and we barely resisted the temptation to tell them so.
Notice how India is focused only on Jordan. She has her moon in Cancer conjunct Jupiter--a mile wide maternal streak.
I'm very proud of Cara (and Scott). They insisted on a natural birth and were the hospital's first in six months! Way to go!


Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

My sister is nearly done with her MFT hours, after years of hard work--basically having two full time jobs. A few more months and she'll be a licensed therapist and can, hopefully, slow way down.
She's also the minister of Redding's Religious Science church. I love her dearly.

Harold McCoy

Harold McCoy
Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

Krista and I took a one day workshop with Harold McCoy, a 'distance healer' from Arkansas, who does miracles, routinely. He spends his time traveling around teaching other folks how to do the same thing. Of course, Krista and I have been using his techniques on Jerry.
When he started talking, the sun was coming in through the window above and turning his white hair into a glowing halo!
Harold founded the Ozark Research Institute, to train others and to document the thousands of healings they do.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Update on Jerry

Jerry is scheduled for surgery Saturday morning. He's still in critical condition, but should make it until then. It turns out that he's got a bum valve on his heart. It was a bit defective and then some dental work he got a few months ago sent bacteria into his blood stream. He should have been on antibiotics to have that dental work. The bacteria has grown on his valve, basically destroying it, and that's why he got pneumonia. He's very very very sick. And that's the bad news.
The good news is that valve replacement surgery has become nearly routine and that his heart, and general health, is otherwise very good. And he's got so many wonderful folks sending him love and asking him to tough it out.
They've told us again and again that he won't remember any of this, because of the drugs they're using. It'll be a lovely surprise for him to learn of the outpouring of support from so many people.

card by Molly Fisher

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Send a Prayer for Jerry

Big Daddy Brown
Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

Jerry is in the hospital and having a rough go of it. He went in last night and seems to have a very bad case of pneumonia. He's was in critical condition and is currently on life support. They're keeping him mostly unconscious because of the respirator down his throat. The specialists are trying to figure out if his heart is in trouble too, and we're all feeling pretty freaked out.

That said, I don't think he's liable to die from all this. I think he'll pull through okay. I'm not a big fan of alopathic medicine in general, but they seem to do really good work with conditions like this. I'm extremely grateful to the folks taking care of him right now. They all seem highly trained and dedicated.

If you practice any sort of prayer or meditation, or even if you don't, please take a moment to send him some healing energy. I'll try to post an update here as soon as we know more.

Uncle Mike and Friends

Uncle Mike and Friends
Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

Af few days before we left for the Oregon Country Fair, I got to meet my Uncle Mike (after about 32 years). He lives in Tallahassee Florida and was out on a wine tasting adventure with his girl friend and her pal.

My mom's little brother (I think she was about 15 when he was born), he's my last link to that whole side of my family. Though he told me I have nine cousins back East.

So Uncle Mike took us out to a wonderful dinner at the Madronna Manor in Healdsbug. Possibly the fanciest place I've ever been to.
We had a great time catching up and I'm sure we'll see each other again before another 32 years goes by.

After the Fair

Our Farewell Photo
Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

For many years now we've stayed with our friend Nancy Bright, the famous artist. She has an enchanting home and lets us just crash and sleep and chat with her while she gets ready for Saturday Market the next weekend.
Her niece Georgina was also visiting and was a lot of fun. She's amazingly cheerful and upbeat and helped us climb back out of our exhaustion.
This goodbye photo has become a tradition and every year I have to cajole Nancy into it. I think she looks great.

Danny and Vicky

Danny and Vicky
Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

Danny and Vicky invited us over for a lovely Thai dinner and we ended up having a jam session into the wee hours, along with their friend Scotty from The Sugar Beets and Melissa Verbena. It was the most fun I've had in ages.
They'd been hamming it up for Melissa's cel phone camera and I caught them unawares in this shot.

Melissa Verbena

Melissa Verbena
Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

One of the great things about the fair this year was reconnecting with our old friend Melissa. We used to be fellow craftsfolk in our Eugene days. She and Bryon Allen do Mandala Arts
and moved to Maui some time after we moved back to California.
Melissa really got Krista going on the guitar way back when, and has become a real singer songwriter and is helping put on music festivals.
It was a treat to hang out with her.

Heading Up The Mountain

Heading Up The Mountain
Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

For my birthday (actually the day after, but who's counting) I wanted to take the kids up Mnt. Pisgah. I used to climb it several times a month back in college, but the kids had never been.
Somehow the trails have become much steeper!
It was the only sunny day in that week of rain. Here we are taking a break in the shade.


Riley on the Grass
Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

I think it was a tough climb for Riley. Her folks warned us she isn't the most energetic hiker. But she never complained even once and set a good example for my girls!


Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

To celebrate my birthday we had a cookout in Nancy's back yard and strawberry shortcake for dessert. Micah was quite unimpressed with our shortcake plans (we used a pound cake and I'll admit it looked pretty tiny).
So we were just about to serve up dessert and he disappeared. Nancy had a suspicion he'd gone out for a better cake and sure enough, he came back with this one. It was the "Happy Birthday Rob" that really got me. It was such a sweet thing to do.