Monday, August 19, 2013

Excellent Day for FOSSILS on the Beach

Yesterday, instead of going to my regular Sunday morning Yoga class at Yoga Soup, I felt the pull to take a Fossil Walk on Hendry's beach. I was not disappointed. This rock is usually buried to the level of it's surface. Today, the entire rock was exposed, at least 20-24 inches of sand removed to expose all kinds of rocky gems and bony stories.

This pic was taken a few weeks ago. It is usually buried in the sand to a great extent and is identified by its circular  vertebrae in the rock.

This is my first viewing of this specimen but I have found similar fossils.

This wrangled bony mess is completely unidentifiable except for the tissue type. It bore the tell tale bony texture.

Here is a close up

Some smaller bones

My dolphin or whale skull that I can find almost every time.

Some interesting bones

I really wish I had a more solid foundation in comparative anatomy. 
I can't even begin to guess what part of the body these bones are from or from what kind of animal. The problem with fossils is that after the animal dies and becomes buried in the soil and sediment that becomes the rocky matrix that allow the bones to become fossilized (actually become minerals themselves), much movement can and does happen. Bones can become crushed and misshapen while they are still "bones" or can become distorted as fossils during plate tectonic uplifting, which is very obviously a possibility on Hendry's (AKA Arroyo Burro Beach). It becomes a three dimensional puzzle with many missing pieces.

I was  most excited about the following stone which was small enough for me to carry home for detailed analysis. It is laden with bony tissue and contains what looks like a tooth! I have been actively looking for teeth for six months now. I am very excited.

The "tooth" is a different color and texture than the bone which you would expect. Dental tissue is more dense than bone. There also seems to be a physical division of the cutting surface as opposed to the implanted surface.

More tissue in the tooth rock

another edge of the same rock. Possible another tooth where the rock is grey.
As an amateur paleontologist with a deep passion, I will continue to hone my vision for finding these amazing vertebrate fossils. As far as I know, there isn't any published literature on these fossils. I would love to someday work with a PhD student (or become one) and try to solve the mystery of what these animals were.

If you read this whole thing, you must be a total geek. Go ahead and admit it.

Monday, August 12, 2013

How to be an Amazing Mom

So, you want to be more than just a notable mom, more than just "good", you want to be great. You want to be AMAZING.  First of all, you have to be willing to play. You have to be willing to make messes, get dirty and say "yes". You have to say "yes" to yourself a lot. I recommend starting with a vision board and find a quote that says "you don't stop playing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop playing".
This is my vision board for the summer. Vision boards are VERY prowerful. Try it.

Be willing to say "yes" even when you are tired and would rather go to bed. Memories are made by DOING stuff. Memories are never made by watching TV or going to bed early.

Have your camera ready for moments like this.

Be willing to be one of the kids.

Say yes to as many kids as you think you can handle. 
When your house is swarming with pre-teen boys, it's perfectly OK to be firm and tell them that they may absolutely NOT play hide in seek in your closet and step on your cocktail dresses that somebody else dropped on the floor. But, say "yes" to a good squirt gun fight.

Have a movie afternoon and take out all the sleeping bags to make a nest. listen to their banter. Be a part of their crowd.

Say yes.

to the mess.

play the game "what's your favorite bird" and tell them why you love quails so much.

let them spread their wings then file those pics away for their future birthday card.

go on the train at the zoo with them. Scream in the tunnel.

Take them to the beach to look for fossils.

Endure sea sickness to take them whale watching. You all may become part of the Elite- less than 1% of people on the planet- who have seen a blue whale.

take a confetti egg to the head with grace. 

appreciate their gifts, like Kieran
 who can make herself look like this american camel being stalked by the saber-toothed cat.

remember that this lifetime is but a BLINK in the scheme of evolution and geologic time. 
Make it precious.

have passions, like mine for the Space Shuttle. 

share your passions with your kids. Even if they aren't as passionate as you are. 
They will have their own passions.

capture cool moments.

do stuff like going paintballing. You are that kind of mom. You say "yes" to almost anything awesome! Oh, and do it with your best friend and her husband.

Never be afraid to get dirty or look bad.

feed their passions

play with your nieces and nephews too.

play with as many kids as you can.

remember that as the adult, you have the courage, freedom (and car) to make things happen. DO THEM.

notice when they are content.

take pictures that inspire a feeling that the world is a magical place.

feed their souls with spiritualism that supports THEM, not religion.

try new stuff. 

don't ever be afraid to look silly. PLAY with your kids, your spouse, your friends and remain young and amazing forever.