Tiny Pineapple

ananas comosus (L.) minimus

Ice Venture Nurse

by Lydia Balmain (1983)
Ice Venture Nurse

Sarah Barford gets the job as nurse on board the Arctic-bound exploration trawler Ice Venture much against the wishes of the expedition leader Dr. Kurt Rothwell who wanted a male nurse. She assures him that she is well used to dealing with men in hospital. But these men are neither ill nor in bed…And the sarcastic and difficult Dr. Rothwell seems intent on making Sarah see that he was right all along!

It’s odd that they don’t mention anything about her falling for the dwarf werewolf fisherman depicted on the cover…

Nurse Bryony

by Rhona Trezise (1984)
Nurse Bryony

“I’ve heard the doctor in charge is a tyrant…” Nurse Bryony Sellers remarks to a handsome stranger who gives her a lift from the station to her new home. But soon after starting work at the Highfields Nursing Home in Cornwall she finds herself wishing she had never been so indiscreet. For the handsome stranger turns out to be none other than her new boss, Dr. Ellis Crosland, and he is not amused!

Family Photos 2008: The Quilt

The Last of the Hot Chocolate
The Last of the Hot Chocolate

It was cold.
It was very cold.
We knew it would be cold.
We didn’t know it would be that cold.

The girls were dressed in nice school clothes to start with, but I brought along multiple changes of clothes and shoes, as well as a big, warm blanket in case the girls got chilly while they were standing around. Unfortunately, when we got to our first stop, I didn’t think we’d be gone very long, so I left everything in the car as we set off on foot and started climbing.

Big mistake…because when we got to the top, the location was so nice we ended up staying for quite a while and froze our tookuses (or should that be “tooki”?) off in the process. With their practical winter clothes packed snugly in the car, the girls gamely navigated the snow field in their school shoes, occasionally breaking through the frozen top layer and disappearing up to their thigh in the snow.

Fortunately, Wynona‘s husband had come along as our Sherpa guide and had packed a quilt and a Thermos full of hot chocolate up the mountain. So, after a while, more out of necessity than anything else, she wrapped the girls up in the quilt and gave them some hot chocolate to try to warm them up.

(The photo above is Emma finishing off the last of the hot chocolate and looking quite pleased with herself…and Zoë looking a little less pleased.)

Apparently, the quilt was almost an afterthought, but it saved the day. And just as we were heading back to the car, the sun broke through the clouds and Wynona asked the girls to stop one last time so she could take a few final pictures…and I am so glad she did.

The Quilt (B/W)
The Quilt (B/W)

We were near the top of Emigration Canyon, where Brigham Young famously looked out over the Salt Lake Valley and proclaimed, “This is the right place,” but I’ll bet you even he didn’t have lighting that dramatic.

The Quilt (Color)
The Quilt (Color)

Just look at those faces. Hypothermia has never looked so cute!

Family Photos 2008

Wynona Robison Photography

We’re having some official “family photos” taken tomorrow. At least, that’s what I’m telling the girls.

In reality, I’m taking the girls up to Little Dell reservoir where they will have their picture taken by Wynona Robison, an outrageously gifted photographer, while I stand to the side and worry about whether, years from now, they will look at the photos and say, “Dad, I can’t believe you used to dress us like that! What were you thinking? We look like feral children just back from a successful raid on a thrift store dumpster!”

To appease the girls, I’ve agreed to sit in on a couple of the shots, but future generations will look at those photos and wonder why two beautiful young girls would want to have their picture taken while standing on either side of a giant boiled parsnip.

Family Photos: The Boiled Parsnip

Seriously, I’ve got two highly photogenic daughters, but me? Not so much. The girls always ask why I’m not smiling in the pictures on my drivers license or employee ID badge, and they don’t seem to understand when I explain to them that if I attempt even the most simple of smiles when I have my picture taken, it always comes back looking like I’m wearing a partially-melted latex clown mask.

The weather is going to be dicey tomorrow, so we may all end up looking like drowned cats. But, even then, they would end up on Cute Overload with an adorable caption like “Soggy Kittehs!”, whereas I would only show up in Google searches for “waterlogged stray with mange.”