Sunday, June 28, 2015

Ahh My Little Chickadee

Sometimes I get a little carried away with my camera.  A couple of days ago, between the raindrops, I heard the chickadees, they have a very distinctive chirp, so I slowly, slowly walked out to the backyard with camera in hand.  Spotted him first on the neighbors sad dead tree.....

I have a couple of bird-feeders in the back yard but the chickadees sometimes are skitish to come to the feeder when there are so many others flocking around.  He sat there observing the possibilities of how to partake in those yummy sunflower seeds.  I can see his little mind thinking...."oh what the heck, I'll just go down and check it out. "

OK, now I am here, but it looks like most of the seeds have fallen on the hosta leaves....

Ahh, here they are....thank goodness these leaves are big enough to hold me while I forage for food.

Suppose there are more over there?

Are you watching me?  And by the way, your siding really needs a good power wash.

After a few more bites he was back to the tree, looking rather stuffed and sleepy. Probably nap time. I totally agree that after lunch is a good time for a nap.

Saturday was gorgeous, blue skies, pleasant temps so I took advantage of the nice day and worked in the garden, transplanted a hosta from back to front, planted 3 ferns....I really love ferns but I haven't had very good luck with them.  The new variety I bought is called a Christmas Fern and it is supposed to thrive in dry shade which is exactly what I have in the front yard.  Keeping fingers crossed, if they survive I will have them on my nursery list for next year.  My front yard garden is surrounded by a maple, a honey locust, and a silver maple and between those 3 they drink suck up all the water leaving my poor garden so dry.  This year has been a different story with all the rain. Right now, it is raining again...what can I say.

Stopped at TJ's after church to stock up since I am hosting Bunco tomorrow evening.  Had to buy some fresh flowers, don't you always buy flowers when you go to TJ's?  Found these beautiful red gerbera daisies and thought I would share them with you.  They look mighty purty on the back porch!!

Must go, watching Poldark and the Crimson Field on PBS, I enjoyed them both last week so anticipating good things tonight.  Happy Sunday!!  Hope you have a joy field-week, 13 days until Paris but whose counting.

Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.  ~ Maya Angelou

Until next time.....

Saturday, June 27, 2015

A Little More Sun, Please

I like that quote, and what is giving me joy today is that touch of blue.  Blue means clear skies and sun, a couple of things that we have missed much of this summer.  Yesterday was in the 60's with rain, the day before, rain, the day before that, rain. etc etc.  But....because of all that rain, the garden is flourishing, growing literally by leaps and bounds, except for a couple of tender small plants that the bunnies have decided they can't do without.  ARGHH!!  And it has contributed also to the abundant weed count.  My exercise consists of bending and pulling, bending and pulling.

I bought a morning glory vine at Ace Hardware in the Spring and she is doing marvelous. Love those heart shaped leaves and the light that illuminates from the center of the flowers has always fascinated me.

The Day Lilies are beginning to bloom.  There are a myriad of colors scattered throughout the garden, always a pleasure to see each one bloom.

And the Monarda (Bee Balm) is about ready to burst.  I love it in bloom, it attracts bees and butterflies, which is a photographer's delight!!

The hydrangea that never bloomed last year is blooming with more blooms coming. Oh that makes my heart sing.

Honestly I am surprised by the growth considering the lack of sun, but I guess it is making up for less sun with more rain.  Mother Nature continually amazes and baffles me.  Here we are drenched in the Midwest and the West is so dry.  A little balance is definitely in order, please.

I hope you have had a great week, and a good one to come.  I leave for Paris in exactly 2 weeks from today.  Excited, you bet, even a little nervous over the prospect of seeing so many beautiful sites and wanting to capture the moments. Everyday is planned and scheduled except for one, and I think I will venture on a walk on my own thru some off-the-beaten paths. I have a plan, I just hope the weather cooperates since there is only that one day to venture by myself.

Until next time.....

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Be Careful

Relaxing, eh better rephrase that, napping on the backporch on Sunday afternoon, I woke to sirens. Now sirens are a rather common disquieting sound in my neighborhood since I don't live far from one of the busiest north/south byways in our town.  A spot where there are accidents and speeders aplenty, thus the sirens.  But these sirens were loud and close and they kept coming.  After I finally decided the need to investigate all the noise, I opened the front door and this is what awaited me.

What the heck is going on.  Ofcourse I grabbed my camera and out the front door I went, like all curious neighbors when firetrucks and ambulances are surrounding your neighborhood.

I spied a few neighbors across the street, naturally I joined them and started in with the questions....what's happening.  Apparently a house on the cul-de-sac, only about 4 houses from me, caught on fire.  I did not know the neighbor, but the story goes that she had just remodeled the house from top to bottom.  Oh my heart sank when I heard that, seeing the firemen with their hoses and axes doing their job, putting out the fire, but in-turn destroying the home and all the work you have just completed.  The fire was under control by the time I joined the neighbors, more smoke than fire, but....the pet dog was still inside.  The hero of the day appeared with dog in hand handing her gently over to her owner.

No one else was in the home and it was such a joy to see the owner and her sweet pup re-united. They gave her oxygen and very shortly thereafter she was walking and seemed perfectly fine.

I am not sure what caused the fire, nor where exactly it started. But I do realize how quickly your home can be destroyed.

About a month ago my clothes dryer which is on the 2nd floor, stopped putting out heat to dry.  The dryer itself seemed to be in working order, just no heat.  Calling the repairman I dreaded the worst, but what he found instead was a backed-up hose that leads from the outside to the back of the dryer. Stuffed and totally filled with sticks, feathers, cotton, snips of fabric, and a nest with 5 eggs in tack. The birds were using the hose as a heated place to build their nests. This is what was causing the "no heat".  And then he warned me that this could have easily caused a massive fire with my gas dryer's open flame and all these dried sticks and twigs, a disaster waiting to happen.  Oh boy, huge prayer of thanksgiving that I escaped this could-be disaster. So yes, fires can happen without us even knowing the cause.  But I learned a valuable lesson and will now check and keep that hose clear.  Be careful, be safe.

The door to safety swings on the hinges of common sense.  ~Author Unknown

Until next time.....

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Mom, I'm Hungry!!

So yesterday after spending time in the garden, pulling a few weeds, planting a few more flowers, I poured myself a glass of wine and settled into my sweet spot on the screen porch. I heard a chirp, then another one, and another. Not recognizing the tweet I slowly opened the door of the porch holding back the kids knowing that if they both bounded out the door it would surely scare the tweeter and no chance for an up close look. I spied the sound of the tweet coming from atop my neighbor's falling-apart birdhouse. Hmm, looks like a robin, but doesn't sound like a robin. Grabbed my camera and zoom lens and yes, it was a robin, but a baby robin whose chirp obviously hadn't matured into the familiar adult sound.

Slowly, ever so slowly I walked toward the robin clicking away.....

Obviously he was looking for Mom and food, probably food more than Mom....

Mom, where are you?

Are you over there?

Maybe over this way?

Have you seen my Mom? (notice where the right leg is, probably trying to balance his young legs)

Maybe she didn't hear me, I'll chirp really loud this time....

Could you be up there?

Finally he took off and flew right smack into the house, falling and landing on the electric box below. Is he blind??  I mean the house is pretty large not to see it looming in front of you.  As I walked up to the electric box perch, he flew off again, this time landing on the roof of the porch and hopped up to it's peak, so I guessed he was OK, probably just dazed and confused and hungry.  The chirping continued but I do think Mom finally heard the message. An adult robin flew into the garden, pecking away, foraging for food and shortly thereafter the chirping stopped.  He was satisfied and so was my palate after drinking the wine. 

And just because, another peony shot....

And on a final note....Friday night was my daughter's (who owns a dance studio) dance recital. This year it was Mary cute, loved it.  Just one of many shots I took Friday night....Mary & Bert, are they not perfect!!  

"Be happy while you're living, for you're a long time dead."  ~  Scottish Proverb

Until next time....

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A Day in My Life

Yesterday and today were picture postcard gorgeous, both days sunny and in the 70's with low humidity.  That is darn near perfect weather.  Worked in the garden most all of yesterday afternoon planting flowers and transplanting a huge hosta.  Now that transplanting is a big deal, digging and lifting and then digging and lifting some more.  I really had serious doubts that I would be able to step one foot in front the other this morning, but no problems.  Gardening must be good for your body and soul. And since I don't do yard maintenance any more (best decision I ever made to hire a landscaping company to handle the weekly yard chores, mowing, trimming, cleaning up) I now have more time to spend in the gardens, which is my true love.

Today was B&N coffee time with my gal pals, but 3 of them are leaving for their summer places and won't be around much if any this summer.  Insert sad face here....!!  And then off to the final 1st Wednesday Book Club luncheon and book review for the summer.  We don't gather again until September, another group I will miss seeing this summer.  We enjoy a nice lunch and after lunch one of the members presents a book review.  During the winter after a pleasant lunch when we are all bundled up in cozy sweaters and jackets, many have a tendency to dose off during the presentations, which unfortunately I have been guilty of in the past.  I have volunteered to be a presenter next year during the winter-time, I wonder how I am going to feel when I look out on my audience and see heads bobbing...hmmm.  My choice for lunch today was a summer salad made with grains, (quinoa, never knew how to pronounce that word until recently, I wanted to pronounce it quin o aa but I think it's pronounced keen wa...who comes up with these names?) fava beans (reminds me of Silence of the Lambs) chickpeas, and kale. Since I don't eat well at times I thought this would be the healthiest choice.  It was very tasty but with all those beans I have been having frequent reminders of them ever since. Decided not to go to summer Bible study this evening for just that reason. (snort!) And yes, I was wide awake the entire time, in case you wondered.

Sitting on the back porch this evening I spotted two Mourning Doves (Love Birds) landing on the dead tree branches in my neighbors back yard (another story) and grabbed my camera for what I hoped would be a "love" shot.  Not so much, they must have been in a disagreement because they turned their backs on each other and never spoke.  Obviously a lover's spat.

My roses are blooming.....yea!!!

And I still have peonies yet to bloom.... (and just because I have a little bit of fence in this shot, I am joining Theresa at The Run*A*Round Ranch Report for her Good Fences on Thursdays.

I love summer.

"Summer: Hair gets lighter. Skin gets darker. Water gets warmer. Drinks get colder. Music gets louder. Nights get longer. Life gets better."  ~  Author Unknown

Until next time.....

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Me, the Kids, and the Meter Reader....

Hmmm, since it's been so long since I have really written down my thoughts I seem to be a might lax in coming up with something blog worthy.  My world remains pretty much the are fine, sweetie is still with us and now almost 4 years August 1st in a care facility, thrilled that summer is here and I envision long afternoons and evenings enjoying the screen porch.  In fact the sun is shining brightly right now and the temps are warming up so I plan on making this post rather short, so I can enjoy the outdoors.

I have a couple of peony bushes on the side of the house where absolutely no one can enjoy them unless you happen to walk thru the front yard into the back yard which only me, the kids, and the electric meter reader possibly see.  And I doubt the kids or the meter reader have any idea just how beautiful pink peonies are.  It's almost impossible for me to choose between the multi layer petals of the ranunculous, the beauty of the rose, or the huge, gorgeous, perfumed scented petals of the peony as to which is my favorite.  Right now and because they are in bloom, it's the peonies.  And because they are positioned and growing where they are, I cut them to enjoy their short life and photograph the heck out of them, so you, the kids, and the meter reader can enjoy them.

And these scissors you see in the pic below, those were a "must have"....I saw them all over instagram and blogs and being just like a kid, I had to have them.  Last winter I ordered them from Etsy, along with another pair and to this date I have photographed these twice, and the other pair never.  How many times do we do this, think we have to have what everyone else has only to find out we really and truly didn't "need" it at all.  In my 70's and still have that child mentality, but they do add a nice addition to the image. (this is me convincing myself that the purchase was camera worthy)

"You're only here for a short visit. Don't hurry, don't worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along 
the way."  ~  Walter Hagen
Until next time....

Monday, June 1, 2015


I did it again, didn't I?  I am so neglectful of this sweet blog and I think I just missed my 4th year blogging anniversary.  Yep, just checked, I passed the 4 year mark on May 10th.  A lot has happened in these last 4 years. And no, I am not going to do a "what I have done in these last 4 years"....really, who cares.

- I could write about learning to live alone, but I'm not.
- I could write about changing my faith from Presbyterian to Catholic and back to Presbyterian, but      I'm not.
- I could write about my 2 "kids" (dogs) whom I adore and couldn't live without, but I'm not.
- I could write about finally making the decision to hire a landscaper to clean up my yard and gardens and to do weekly yard maintenance, but I'm not.
- I could write about how lazy and forgetful I have become, but I certainly am not writing about that.
- I could write about my family, youngest granddaughter just graduated from college and my "great-grandchild" is the absolutely cutest and brightest child in the history of ever, but I'm not.

Anyhoo, we did have a beautiful Spring, albeit a might cool at times, but plenty of rain (not as much as my friends in Texas, altho I think their forecast is finally back to sunny and hot).  And we are beginning June with quite a the high 40's this AM. and no, I have not turned my heat off yet. Thinking positive I did take the electric blanket off the bed last week, but the last couple of nights it would have felt mighty good.

OK, about a few pics to show you our Spring....

I never get tired of taking pictures of beautiful flowers and walks in the woods.  And it's like 6 weeks until I leave for Paris, so pardon my giddiness.  Hope all has been well in your corner of the world.

And PS, I haven't been a total slug when it comes to blogging.  I did post on our collaborative blog, Focusing On Life.  Click here to read my summer reading recommendations and click here to get some tips on zoo photography.

"The most memorable people in life will be the friends who loved you when you weren't very lovable."  Author Unknown

Until next time......