Solbit’s Second Thoughts about the Desert

Dear Nicalai,

“Do I have to go?”  That was my first thought.  I almost said it, too.  Nona and Papa had just said, “Solbit, early buttonholes tomorrow. We’re going to the Anza-Borrego Desert!”  Hey, I don’t wear clothes, so I don’t have to button anything, but who wants to get up early to see a big, hot, dusty, empty expanse of crunched up rocks?

Anza-Borrega Desert State Park is in the Colorado Desert, but it’s not in the State of Colorado. No, it’s in southern California.  That confused me.

Anza-Borrega Desert State Park is in the Colorado Desert, but it’s not in the State of Colorado. No, it’s in southern California.  That confused me.

Then, I remembered our short excursion in the desert gardens at Rancho Mirage.  Wow, I had so much to see, and it was tiny.  So, my second thought was, and I did say this, “Can’t we just leave now? I can’t wait to see the desert again.”  Nona said, “No, we have to get our sleep tonight.”  That’s a problem with humans, you know.  They need their sleep.  We plastic Jurassics don’t sleep.

Our morning drive from Palm Springs to Borrega Springs took about two hours.  I kept saying, “Step on it, Papa!” He’d just say, “Speed limit, Solbit.  Gotta obey the traffic law.”  “Well, what about all those cars and trucks zipping by you?” I asked.  Nona said, “Solbit, remember that you don’t do what everyone else does.  You do what you know is right. Understand?”  I replied, “I guess.”

Anza-Borrego State Park

The outside covering of the cactus plant is tough and waxy to hold in water, so it won’t dry up in the hot sun.

Pretty soon, Nona had me on this rock out in the desert staring a this amazing plant.  Someone said that I could call it a “Beavertail Cactus” because its sections are wide and flat like a beaver’s tail.  By the way, I didn’t see any real beavers here in the desert, I think they need more water and less heat.

Oh, darn, Nona and Papa are going on another of their walks.  I have to close this letter now.  My next letter will be a lot more about our walk in the Colorado Desert, but, remember, we were in California all the time, not in Colorado.  Isn’t that confusing?  Why isn’t it called the California Desert?  That’s question for me to ask Nona.  Bye.

I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

February 2015

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit’s Horn With A View

Dear Nicalai,

When we stopped in Rancho Mirage — on our way to Palm Springs — and saw this big guy, I asked Papa, “What’s that?” He shrugged and said, “Must be a big horned something or other.”

Nona, as usual, had done her research and knew the answer, “Solbit, that’s an imperiled species, called a Desert Bighorn Sheep. Do you know that by 1985, only about 280 of these sheep remained in southern California?”  I said,  “Quick, Nona, get a picture of  me with him, before he goes the way of my iguanodon ancestors!”

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Can you find me on the tip of the horn? Quite a view up here!

Don’t worry, this Desert Bighorn Sheep isn’t real, or, well, it’s real, but it’s a sculpture, not a living breathing mountain beast. (Hey, it’s sort of like me only bigger!) I hope we get to see the real one’s when we go hiking this month in the mountains.  Nona says that, thanks to conservation efforts, the Big Horn Sheep population here has grown in recent years, so we have a chance of seeing them this month.

Yeah, we’re here for a month, and wait until you see our AirBnB here in Palm Springs.

Walk through that palm gate to find a secluded pool and garden full of the fragrance of jasmine.

Walk through that palm gate to find a secluded pool and garden full of the fragrance of jasmine.

Nice, huh.  I plan to spend my afternoons poolside snoozing.  Nona and Papa’s friends and family back on the east coast are freezing and nearly shoulder deep in snow, but I’m in wonderful Jurassic-appropriate 80F temperatures and clear blue skies!

Why’s it so warm here?  Desert.  You might think desert means just hot sand, but the desert has a lot of life in it.  Look at these beautiful plants.  They’re called cactus plants.

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Watch out, these pretty little things have sharp stickers!

Don’t get too close to them though.  The spines on them are like needles and they can give a girl reason to yell, “OUCH!”

Anza-Borrego State Park

Girl, take my advice, don’t try this. Take my word for it. My word for it is “ouch.”

I overheard this mom tell her little one, “Now, sweetie, look but don’t touch the cactus.”

Mom's know best, but kids will test.

Mom’s know best, but kids will test.

As soon as she turned her back, the innocent little kid was running over to one of those cactus plants, hand stretched out to feel it.  The next thing that mom heard was …you guessed it…screaming.  “Ouch!”  That’s what I like to call “learning by doing.”  Fortunately, no permanent harm was done.

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These flower have eye popping color, don’t they. I wonder, is that why they’re called poppies?

Not all the plants in the desert are prickly.  These poppies and flowers are, as Nona told me, “…pleasing to the eye.”  Papa said that our world is full of beauty, and we just need to look for it wherever we are.  I said, “OK, Papa, but this desert is also full of rocks, gravel, snakes, and spiders, and I’m going to look out for them too.”

I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

February 2015

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit Meets Davy Crockett

Dear Nicalai,

They found the rescued dog at a shelter in Crockett, California.  So, of course, they named him “Davy.”  (For those readers not familiar with U.S. history, you need to know that Davy Crockett was a famous late-18th and early-19th Century pioneer, frontier scout, and U.S. Congressman in the earliest days of the United States.)

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Our Davy Crockett is this little guy—  not the famous frontier scout who famously wore a dead racoon on his head.

Right away, Nick knew that Davy just had to be in their family.  Luke agreed.  What could their mom and dad do but say, “OK”?

Well, it was a good choice, because Davy loves to do all the things that Luke and Nick like to do.  You need to know that, when Luke and Nick play, they can get exuberant (that means really wild).

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Fortunately, when they play hockey at home, Davy is quick so he avoids the swishing hockey sticks and the speeding puck.  He even thinks that’s fun.

Then there’s bike riding.  Davy loves to run after the bike.  Of course, Davy likes to eat, go for walks, sit on laps, and he pirouettes and barks happily when he greets us at the door.

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In the morning, Davey likes reading the NYT with Nona in bed.

Papa says that Davy has good “social intelligence,” like I have.  I can tell that’s true, because he has won over Nona.  As you know, Nona is not what you would call “pet-friendly,” but she lets Davy sit on her lap, and she even takes him for walks.

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If Davy had hands, then you might say that he has Nona in the palm of his hand. You could say that he’s comfortable around people.

What a good choice Luke and Nick made in picking a new member of their family, and the name “Davy” seems to fit, because their Davy is always up for an adventure, even though he doesn’t wear a dead raccoon on his head.

I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

December 2014

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Iguanodon History Is Made Today! 100 Posts of Tales of A Plastic Jurassic!

Dear Nicalai,

I’m sure the paleontologists thought nothing new could ever happen in iguanodon history, because iguanodon history is a done deal; it’s all wrapped up in the fossils now.

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Picture those good old dinosaur days locked in rock, until today.

Well, today, I add one new thing to iguanodon history.  This plastic iguanodon — yours truly, Ms Solbit — publishes my 100th WordPress post today!  Yeah! I sit down every week and write a blog post with photos.  Nona says that it’s a good “discipline,” whatever that is.  Sometimes I sit down twice a week to write.  So, that’s really good discipline.  Of course, I depend on others for support.

I want to thank my mentors, Nona and Papa — Papa for editing my work and helping me with vocabulary and and Nona for teaching me about photography.  Every writer, no matter how good she or he is, needs an editor, and every blogger needs a good photo editor.

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Nona edits my photos, and, occasionally, I’ll use one of her photos. Papa edits my writing, and occasionally, I’ll accept one his revisions too.

You may quibble (new word for me, I really like to use it) that iguanodons have long been extinct and haven’t done anything new lately.  OK, I see where you’re coming from.  Yes, I’m just a plastic iguanodon, but I’m still an iguanodon, and, if my ancestors were still around pounding the swamps and munching the plants, I think they would be proud of me.  Don’t you think so?

If you’ve followed me from the start, I think you’ll have to agree that I’ve improved from my first selfie at LAX, girl was that out of focus! …

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Hey, you gotta start somewhere, right? Practice makes perfect.

… to my courageous stand with the ants of Chania (Crete), a much better focused and interesting photo.

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These Crete ants just couldn’t get enough of me.

Nicalai, thank you so much for sticking with me all these months and encouraging me to continue sending you letters.  Also, did you know that other people — complete strangers to me — have read my letters to you.  Some have even hit the “like” button, and some have to my surprise hit the “follow” button.  Shivers go through my body and my scales rattle everytime I get a “like” or a “follow.”  Papa says that’s something called “positive reward.”  Whatever it is, it sure is positive.  Thank you all so much for reading me.

Last but not least, I have to thank Photojojo. To think that my 100th blog post might never have happened if Photojojo had not sent me to Nona and Papa as a free gift in their order for a charging card, well, that makes me shiver too.  In a scared way.  If Photojojo had not sent me to them, they wouldn’t have taken me on their around the world trip.  I probably would have ended up in some industrial dumpster.  So, THANK YOU, PHOTOJOJO!  Now I have to go get another kind of shivers.

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Ah, my favorite ice cream dessert is Taiwan Shaved Ice. Makes me shiver but is oh so good!

We’re going to get some ice cream to celebrate my 100th post.  Cold ice cream gives me the shivers, too.  Good shivers.  I think I’m going to get “green tea” ice cream or may some of that Taiwan Shaved Ice that we fell in love with in Shanghai.  Bye.

I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

February 2015

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Will Solbit’s Suggestion Imperil Healthy Eating?

Dear Nicalai,

The question was what should we do while we waited for Camden to get his hair cut.  I had an idea.  I knew Nona and Papa would say “No,” but I gave it a try anyway.  “Let’s all go to Sunny Donuts, OK!” I said cheerfully, as though they would immediately accept.  Ainsley was along for the ride, and she perked up, “Yeah, let’s get a donut!”  Well, I knew a tie vote wouldn’t get us there, and I figured that we were two votes for and two votes against.

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Ainsley got one with chocolate sprinkles. Sunny Donuts say their donuts have 0 grams of transfat. Is that why we got to go?

Surprise! I could hardly believe my ears when I heard both Nona and Papa reply, “OK, Solbit.”  What has happened to them?  They arrive in California and forget all about healthy eating?

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Papa complained, but you can see that he did eat his plain donut.

Ah, I know why Nona said “OK.”  She likes chocolate, and that’s what she ordered, a chocolate covered donut.  Why did Papa say “OK?” I guess he just wanted a cup of coffee. So, we walked a few doors down from Camden’s barber shop to Sunny Donuts.

Ainsley got sprinkles on hers.  Predictably, Papa got the boring kind, a plain donut.  He even complained that it wasn’t plain enough. It had a little sugar glaze on it.  He said, “I don’t like sugar. Why can’t they offer at least one donut without all that sugar?”  Nona told him, “Stop being a grump, Papa, and enjoy your donut like the rest of us.”

Ainsley shared hers with me.  She’s really generous, and I like to be with her.  OK, we gotta go to pick up Camden from his barbershop.

Yeah, he has this really cool barber’s chair, a race car!

Camden’s barber has cartoons for him to watch while he gets “his ears moved out,” as Papa says.

I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

December 2011

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit’s Surprise:  An Actor in the House

Dear Nicalai,

Holy mackerel, here I am in New Jersey — not Hollywood — and I’m the guest of a film actor, and I didn’t even know it!  Yeah, you might recognize him if you’ve seen the films “The Last Airbender,” “How Do You Know,” “Limitless,” “Safe,” “The Silver Linings Playbook,” “Dead Man Down,” and “Paranoia.”  Not just films either.  He’s been on TV! ” Do No Harm ” and ” Allegiance.”  Here’s my photo of him.

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Who knew he’s an actor. Yeah, Cousin Tom is an actor.

He’s so not Hollywood, though. He’s really very humble and friendly.

For example, he keeps saying, “Solbit, don’t get so excited about my being an actor in films.”  Then I say, “But Tom that’s a big deal; you’ve entertained millions my now!”  Then he says, “Solbit, I don’t think you understand that I’m just what they call ‘an extra.’ I don’t really act; I just fill up empty space around the real actors.”  Then I say, “Tom, that’s my point exactly, if it weren’t for you those so-called film stars would be surrounded by nothing.  Don’t you see, you give substance to those films. That’s so important.”

Speaking of empty spaces, not all empty spaces are without substance.  Cousin Tom and Susie have this lovely empty space outside their kitchen window, and I bet this is where Tom sits to prepare himself for his film roles.

Broad pond offers a wonderful place to ponder things or to prepare for your next film role.

Broad Pond offers a wonderful place to ponder things or to prepare for your next film role.

Then he tried to downplay his role some more.  He said, “Solbit, the truth is that the only reason I’m an extra — an actor — in films is the food.  They have a great spread of catered food for us extras.  I’m just in it for the food.”  Cousin Tom does like food, but, still, I know he’s an actor because I saw him show Nona and Papa his SAG card.  SAG stands for Screen Actors Guild; it’s a union for, what else, actors.  He’s an actor alright.

Cousin Tom can’t fool me.  When he puts on that act that he’s not an actor, I know he’s just acting humble.  I wonder what his next movie will be?

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I’m blowing his cover. Yeah, he gets all “incognito” and wears a hat from New Zealand, so no one recognizes him on the street.

Hey, we’re leaving New Jersey to come out to California to be with you guys for the December holidays.  See you soon!

I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

December 2014

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”