Weekend in review: Meeting a blogging friend and taking care of Darwin, a very cold tortoise.

I know I go on a bit about the weather. But this weekend the temperatures were freezing. Literally.  Los Angeles had a record low and although I don’t know how records are established when we have so many individual microclimates, I do know cold when I feel it. So before we took off for a Sunday in Santa Barbara, once again we rolled out the frost cloth.

I also had some concerns for Darwin. It may seem a little odd, but I worry about that guy! When it’s this cold, an African Sulcata Tortoise doesn’t come out to play. Sulcata’s don’t hibernate, so when he gets very still, how do I know if he’s in distress?  He isn’t eating, he doesn’t move about, and his shell feels cold, despite a belly pad and overhead heat lamp.  So I persuaded my bemused husband that it was best if we brought him into the house!

Darwin in kitchen

I promised it was temporary. I still wanted to give him a confined space to allow the spotlight to provide maximum exposure and to hold in the heat.

For the first 24 hours he still didn’t do much. I poked at him just a little bit. I gently knocked on his shell. But into the second day, this is what we found.

Darwin tipping box Darwin spilled box

Seems he is fine after all. He must have warmed up. If he was active enough to move about the box, it was time to go back outdoors and catch a quick meal.

Darwin coming out of box

Darwin eating broccoli

Back to the comforts of his heat lamp. I will try to resist the need to go out and poke him just to see if he moves. A tortoise is very good at hiding his feelings!

Darwin with heat lamp

Garden plants and Darwin all taken care of, we were off the curb!  In December I read about a concert series in three of the missions, and since Santa Barbara is less than two hours from home, we said “all aboard.”

We had plenty on our agenda, but meeting a friend for breakfast was the first order of the day.

Debra and Lori 1

What fun for me to find myself in Santa Barbara with my blogging friend, Lori! Lori is host to Slow Happy Runner. I have enjoyed reading Lori’s blog for more than a year and was delighted to learn that she was going to briefly leave her Pacific Northwest home for a quick visit to Santa Barbara. How about that?

Click the link I’ve provided and you’ll go directly to Lori’s “about” page. I couldn’t begin to introduce her to you nearly as well as she does in telling about her interests and life experiences. She is a tremendously well-rounded and balanced person with such a positive outlook on living and experiencing the fullness of everyday experiences.

Lori has a second blog as well, Slow Happy Living. Slow Happy Living stems from  the first blog with some new additions resulting from more recent and very nice changes in Lori’s life. I hope you’ll pop over and get to know Lori, and I am sure you’ll find a reason to stay and get to know her better.

There is something very special about a personal encounter with a long-distance friend. Jay and I were so pleased to have met Lori for breakfast. And after a couple of hours of good conversation, sharing about ourselves and looking forward to keeping in touch, it was time to go our separate ways.

There were so many things still on our agenda. Santa Barbara is a beautiful city, but I will need to tell you more about that later. I have dozens of photographs yet to organize.

Now it’s time to take on the rest of the week with the same enthusiasm I hold for weekend activity. A little cold, but enthusiastic. That’s me!