Solbit’s on top of the U.S. – in Canada!

Dear Nicalai,

Hey, I’m with Nona and Papa in another country!  Did you know that there’s a whole country on top of the United States?  Well, there is.  Just look at a map of North America.  You’ll see that this little plastic Jurassic knows her geography. Have you got a map? Can you see Canada sitting right on top of the U.S.A?  That’s got to be heavy.

Nona says that summer is the time to be outside, and she found us a wonderful place to be outside this summer. Victoria! That’s a city in Canada. It’s on the great big Vancouver Island, and it isn’t on top of the U.S.A, so we’re not adding any weight to the load.

Living on this island in summer is so comfortable, not too hot, not too cold, but just right. We enjoy being outside a lot. We watch things.  When you have a lot of time on your hands, like Nona and Papa have, then you have time to watch things.  Since I’m their traveling companion, guess what I get to do: sit and watch, walk and watch, ride and watch, eat and watch.

When you become an experienced watcher like me, you start to notice things that the inexperienced watcher wouldn’t see.  For example, I notice the difference between moving things, like these Canada geese that we saw in Washington …

Now I know where that saying came from, “Do you have your ducks in a row?”  Except, these are geese, not ducks.

Now I know where that saying came from, “Do you have your ducks in a row?”  Except, these are geese, not ducks.

… and still things like this pretty yellow flower that we saw here in Victoria.

I wish our friend Joyce had been with us to tell us what this flower’s name is; Joyce knows all the plants and flowers.

I wish our friend Joyce had been with us to tell us what this flower’s name is; Joyce knows all the plants and flowers.

Everywhere we go we see moms and dads at rest and then reluctantly in motion, because their children get in motion toward possible danger, like falling off a rock or a big wave coming in.

I wonder what is it about rocks and water that attracts kids to them?

I wonder what is it about rocks and water that attracts kids to them?

I’ve done so much watching with Nona and Papa that even the most boring scenes give me pleasure to watch.  What could be more boring, less appealing, and tedious than this scene?

Why in the world would I be interested in taking a photo of this scene, and, yet, I actually like it.

Why in the world would I be interested in taking a photo of this scene, and, yet, I actually like it.

Rocks and water just doing nothing, and I’m confessing that the scene appeals to me.  Is that pathetic?  I hope not, but, if that’s what you think, I understand.

Sometimes we watch something that is always in the same place. It never moves, and, yet, it is in motion; we see change, and, yet, it never changes places.  We often take photos of those changes.  Guess what I’m talking about, please.  What never moves from its place but is always in motion?

Nona and Papa both say that sunset photos are way overdone in blogs, and they usually don't approve of my using them in my blog, but I insisted this time.

Nona and Papa both say that sunset photos are way overdone in blogs, and they usually don’t approve of my using them in my blog, but I insisted this time.

A sunset!  I think the best place to watch a sunset is outside, and here in Victoria, we get to see some lovely summer sunsets.

I’m your friend.

Love,

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Solbit

July 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 Seeks Peace and Quiet (and then discovers something more)

Dear Nicalai,

Wow! Nona found us a wonderful AirBnB. We’re living in a tree-lined neighborhood in downtown Portland. We walk only a few blocks to be in “The Pearl!” Believe me, this area is a pearl of a place to live. Everything is here.

That’s good and bad. Good because we walk to whatever we want or need: ice cream, coffee shop, foodie places, outfitter stores, post office, and more! Bad because sometimes I can be overwhelmed by all the excitement and stimulation. Hey, and I don’t even drink coffee or any other caffeinated drinks!

No worries, as our Aussie friends say. Why?  Because whenever I need some peace and quiet, we just walk to peace and quiet places nearby.  Here’s one.

At the Lan Su Chinese Garden Papa and I sit quietly and watch this sinking boat.

At the Lan Su Chinese Garden Papa and I sit quietly and watch this sinking boat.

You would think that a sinking boat would make me churn with stress, but something about it calms Papa and me. Every time we go back, the boat lies there. So, it never really sinks. We also like sitting by this place with lily pads.

Lily pads resting on calm water convey a restful feeling to me.  Why is that?

Lily pads resting on calm water convey a restful feeling to me.  Why is that?

Maybe the calm water that holds up the lily pads makes me feel serene, but, then, water isn’t necessary, because so does a dry rural scene like this one on Sauvie Island, another of our favorite places.

If you ever get to Portland, you want to visit Sauvie Island.

If you ever get to Portland, you want to visit Sauvie Island.

Funny thing, I get the impression that other animals like this place on Sauvie Island, too.  Doesn’t this bug look content?

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When I’m here the bugs don’t bug me.

When I told that to Nona and Papa, Nona said, “Solbit, you know that a lot of people think, ‘If I just got this one more thing, then I would be happy, content.’ Then they get that thing, happiness doesn’t come, and they think, ‘Now, if I just got this one more thing, then I’ll find happiness.’  Again and again this cycle repeats.  Guess what, Solbit?  You’ve already discovered the pathway to real happiness. Try to stay on that path.”

“OK, Nona, I think I can do that.  Where’s the path, again?” I replied. Nona said, “Solbit, think about it.” I’m still thinking on what she said.  Do you get it?  If you get it before I do, please let me know.  Thanks. Bye.

I’m your friend.

Love,

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Solbit

June 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 Kicks Back in Portlandia

Dear Nicalai,

Did you ever watch “Portlandia,” the TV series about Portland, OR?  That’s where we are now, in Portland, not in the TV show.   I have one word for that show, “Funny.”  Hey, I’m just a plastic jurassic, and even I get the humor.  What’s so great is that people in Portland enjoy the show, too.  They can laugh at the ridiculous, over-the-top stereotypes of themselves.  I like that about the wonderful people here.

Another thing I like about Portland. It’s motto is “Portland Works.”  They do work hard here.  Yet, unlike so many working places in this country, they also know how to kick back, relax, and have fun.  That makes them more productive and happy.  I can tell by the smiles on their faces as we walk around town and by how friendly and helpful everyone is to us.  No wonder Uncle Josh and Aunt Tanya decided to settle here.

Well, I’ve got some pictures of myself for you.  They show me doing what Portlanders know how to do so well:  Kick Back and Relax.

I chose this flower for my meditation time.  I assume my pose and let go of all my cares and try to be at one with this lovely flower.

I chose this flower for my meditation time.  I assume my pose and let go of all my cares and try to be at one with this lovely flower.

A favorite place of mine for relaxing is Portland’s International Rose Test Garden.  Anyone is welcome to come here to enjoy the roses.

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I start appreciating the rose flower as I approach it.

 

Once I’m at the flower — and because I’m so tiny — I’m allowed to actually climb on the delicate rose flower.  Now, you can’t do that.  You’re too big. So don’t do what I do.  OK?

Once I’m at the flower — and because I’m so tiny — I’m allowed to actually climb on the delicate rose flower.  Now, you can’t do that.  You’re too big. So don’t do what I do.  OK?

 

When I’m standing on a rose flower, I can get a perspective on the garden, and, if the wind blows, the rose lifts me up and down, up and down…I can get sea sick, but not always.

When I’m standing on a rose flower, I can get a perspective on the garden, and, if the wind blows, the rose lifts me up and down, up and down…I can get sea sick, but not always.

 

The soft caress of the rose petals promotes relaxation.

The soft caress of the rose petals promotes relaxation.

Another thing, when I go back to Uncle Josh and Aunt Tanya’s after sitting in these roses, they always say, “What’s that lovely scent I’m smelling now?”  Then I surprise them by saying, “That’s me! I just returned from relaxing in the roses!” Then one of them will put me on her or his shoulder, inhale deeply, and say, “I love the smell of roses in the morning!”  Me too.  Bye.

I’m your friend.

Love,

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Solbit

June 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 Tells How A Boring Town Changed Her Perspective

Dear Nicalai,

Oh, girl, when Nona said that we would spend two weeks in Eugene, Oregon, I just rolled my eyes and sighed.  Who wants to spend time in a place named “Eugene?”  Now, if it were named “Justin,” different story.  I wasn’t going to Eugene, “No way, Nona, Eugene sounds boring.”

Of course, being our planner, Nona had already booked our AirBnB, and Eugene is where we are.   Well, surprise, I’m not bored.  Eugene has me thinking.  Nona and Papa took me out to a place called Dorris Ranch.  That’s where I realized something new.  I’m not seeing things the same way as Nona and Papa.  Why?  No, not just because I’m younger than them — a lot younger — it’s because I’m so tiny compared to them.  I think my size makes a difference how I feel about what I see.

Papa said that my size — that would be “tiny,” several notches smaller than XS — gave me a different “perspective” on this hazelnut grove.

Papa said that my size — that would be “tiny,” several notches smaller than XS — gave me a different “perspective” on this hazelnut grove.

Nona and Papa said, “Solbit, isn’t this a lovely grove of hazelnut trees?” I said, “Oh, my! I’m overwhelmed. It’s like a huge natural cathedral! It’s beautiful and I like it, but it makes me feel small and insignificant, like I’m a piece of dust.”  Nona said, “Yeah, big cathedrals can make you feel that way too, but try, instead, to feel that you’re a part of it and that these tall trees are hugging you with their beauty.”  I tried that, and I have to admit, it did change my perspective, and I felt different, better.

I got over “better” real fast, though.  A few moments later, Papa nearly stepped on this guy.

Googled it and discovered this is a Pacific Gopher Snake.

Googled it and discovered this is a Pacific Gopher Snake.

“Don’t drop me, Nona!” I yelled, and the snake slithered away.  I guess my scream scared it. If I had been on the ground, girl, I’d have been down its alimentary canal as an appetizer.  Of course, Nona and Papa towered over the snake.  All they had to worry about was its venom, but we learned it’s non-poisonous – no venom. Harmless to them, they’re too big to eat, but not harmless to me.  That’s a difference between their perspective and mine.

The next part of our walk at Dorris Ranch was right out of Africa.  At least, I thought I was back in Tanzania walking in a savannah.  Look at this.

Memories of our great time in Tanzania with Betsy and Jack, Ellen and Craig, Jo, and our guides Chagamba and Mika came back to me as we walked here.

Memories of our great time in Tanzania with Betsy and Jack, Ellen and Craig, Jo, and our guides Chagamba and Mika came back to me as we walked here.

I would never have imagined that staying in Eugene Oregon would cause me to remember our time in Africa.  Papa said, “Solbit, sometimes a similar perspective in a different place reminds you of a place you’ve been to.”  Funny how memory works, isn’t it?

Hey, I gotta go now.  Nona and Papa want to go to some weird Eugene vegan place for lunch, but one last thing about our walk and my perspective. Sometimes it’s good to look at things from the other end.  If you do, you might see something interesting.

Who looks a a flower from underneath? Well, we did.

Who looks at a flower from underneath? Well, we did.

If you look at a thing in a different way, you may see new parts of it, and then life won’t be so boring.  That’s what I learned in  the town with a boring name, Eugene, but I’m glad we came here. Eugene changed my perspective, in a good way.  Bye.

I’m your friend.

Love,

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Solbit

May 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.”