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Friday, September 29, 2006

White-lined Sphinx Moth

Yesterday I poked my nose across the fence and asked my neighbor, Lois, if she had seen any hummingbird moths this year. She responded in the negative and asked if I knew the reason. I didn't.

Across the street lives Bill. He in his eighties and sees and knows everything. So I mosied on over there and asked his opinion.

"By Golly," he quipped, when he finally understood what I was asking. (He is nearly deaf), "You know I haven't seen any of those critters, either."

Today was a long day -- Friday is a love-hate day for me. I work until 6, and then I come home and usually get to have dinner somewhere with our friends Bud, Vee, and little K. Tonight we ordered pizza. Before they and the pizza showed up, I scampered out to the back fence to empty my small counter top composter into the big black bin.

AND GUESS WHAT I ENCOUNTERED. You betcha - the first White-Lined Sphinx Moth of the season. The camera was sitting beside the computer where the hubby had downloaded eleventy jillion pictures of the pond he'd taken this afternoon from every angle possible. (Seriously, he took 53 shots. I counted them.)

Once the camera was in hand I rushed back out there and got ONE PICTURE before it zoomed away across the fence. I'm totally amazed that I didn't jiggle the camera and get it blurry.

These moths are so pretty that you just can't imagine how truly ugly they are in the caterpillar stage. I've seen them many times on my tomato plants, eating them right down to the stem.

I went out to the internet and picked up this picture, so you would believe it.

I've seen them up to four inches long. They splat like rotton fruit when you drop them on the sidewalk. I have not seen any caterpillars this season and had decided that there had been some failure of the larvae to survive last winter.

Well, we know one did. Beautiful, too!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Grandma's often brag.

Karmyns budding artists.
Two years ago, when my Ben'jammin was 3 1/2 and my Buttercup was just barely 1, both of them drew a picture for grandma's calendar.

'Jammin drew a bluebird.
I thought it would fly!

Buttercup gave me a flock of bluebirds. I'm sure I see a beak in there! Don't you?

Goodness, Gracious....

The "falling sun" looked like a Great Ball O' Fire!

Definitely fall has arrived. The day is warm and golden, the night is playing biting games with the fairest flowers and shrubs. The hubbys work schedule has tightened and Dancing With The Stars is on Monday and Tuesday evenings. It is time to get out the dusting mitten. But. . . . . . . it will wait.

Late comment: At the end of harvest and the wheat fields are dry and some are burned, plus the additional huge wild fire that smoked us for days - we have a thick layer of dust and grime on everything that needs to be addressed. I'd like to address it to someone else..............

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Contessa is a Royal Pain

(Tessy in the flower bed Saturday following me around as I deadheaded.)

Friday night Tessy (The Contessa) slipped out an opening door sometime near bedtime and could not be coaxed back inside. Several times this has happened in the past and I've been able to trick her or scare her into returning to the house. Other times I have fretted into the wee hours of the morning. It just isn't safe to let a cat outside at night that has been declawed. (She came to us declawed and spade.)

This time I was so tired that I said, "tsk, tsk!" (or something near that) and formulated a new plan. I pressed the electric gargage door so that it stopped at about 4 inches off the ground. She would be able to get back into the garage, and then into the family room through her special cat door. I hoped for her safe return.

About 4 a.m. I woke with some of my usual aches and pains. After grabbing my "blankie" and walking down the hall to the family room, I snuggled up in my favorite plush leather recliner. I fell back into the land of nod.


I sat up S.C.R.E.A.M.I.N.G. thinking I was in some sort of a cat fight dream, only to realize it was real and under the coffee table next to my chair.

My shriek and the sudden movement from my chair halted the fight and a slinky grey striped cat went streaking through the cat door, with me on its fluffed-out angry tail. Then the hubby appeared in a flash (two descriptions in one!) to join me in the milieu. He didn't need me to tell him what happened as he'd heard the cats and the fat lady singing.

It was 5:30 and neither of us would be able to find our way back to sleep. So, t'was an early morning for the three of us.

Tessy snapped her tail around for a few minutes as though somewhat annoyed with the whole affair and then demanded breakfast.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


I dedicate my 100th post to the hubby.

He has been BEHIND me all the way.
He has never BUTTed into my bloggin time.
He's the best husBUNd anyone could ever pray for.
He works hard at his second caREAR and still has time to make our yard beautiful.

The END.

(kudo's to Ian for the link to the demotivational posters.)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Autumnal Equinox

Welcome Fall.
A water lily feeling a bit blue.

A surprise guest that a sneaky neighbor left by the pond.

Dueling Pinks.

Zucchini, cobblestones and sod.

Summer is officially over.

Shhhhhh.... it isn't quite apparent at our house yet.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

More Than You Wanted to Know Tag

I was tagged by both Julie and Amanda. Therefore I think it is only fair that my skinny alter-ego, Me2, be allowed to respond along with me. Some of you may have already met. She can be uncouth.

So, here we go.

Four Jobs I have had in my life.

1) ME. When I was just a kid I picked strawberries.
ME2. I ate them

2) ME. As a teenager (when teens were allowed to work) I was the window trim girl on a paint crew.
ME2. I flirted with the men.

3) ME. In my 20's and 30's I worked up the ladder in a brokerage firm to become a registered broker, but worked on a team.
ME2. Tried to get some rich old geezer to name me on his Last Will and Testament.

4) ME. In my 40's I worked in the investment division of a bank Trust Department.
ME2. Farted in the elevator when the auditor rode up.

Four Movies I could watch over and over.

1) ME. It's a Wonderful Life
ME2. E V E R Y Christmas. I survive by drinking egg nog.

2) Me. Princess Bride
ME2. I only acquiese so I can chant 'Humperdinck' until she fast forwards to the part where the dinck gets it by my darling Inigo.

3) ME. While You Were Sleeping
ME2. Peter, Jack, and Lucie? Really, how can one movie be so phallic?

4) ME. Chocolat
ME2. Rah Rah Roux!

Four Places I have lived.

1) ME. Auburn, Washington
ME2. Me, too.

2) ME. Corrales, New Mexico
ME2. Si, 1000 people, 2000 dogs, 3000 registered horses.

3) ME. College Place, Washington
ME2. She weighed 115 lbs, I was being starved- I tell ya.

4) ME. Walla Walla, Washington
ME2. She told you twice. She always takes my turn.

Four Things I like to do.

1) ME. Read
ME2. I turn the pages or play with the mouse.

2) ME. Watercolor
ME2. I'm her own worse critic.

3) ME. Socialize with friends.
ME2. I wonder if she put to much salt in the casserole. She did.

4) ME. Work outside in the yard and garden.
ME2. Leave her footprints in the flowerbed the hubby just groomed.

Four of my favorite foods.

1) ME. Blueberries.
ME2. More

2) ME. Pasta
ME2. At the Olive Garden, of course.

3) ME. Hasbrown, eggs, and toast.
ME2. Later, I'm sleepin' in.

4) ME. Hot Fudge anything.
ME2. With nuts.

Four Places I would like to be right now.

1) ME. I really like being here at home with the hubby.
ME2. She spooned him off his side of the bed last night.

2) ME. Maybe renting a cabin at the beach with an open fireplace.
ME2. It would be mine if that old geezer had put me in his will.

3) ME. North to see the Aurora Borealis during a giant solar storm.
ME2. The neighbors left their Christmas lights up. I'm happy.

4) ME. On a Tornado Chasing Tour.
ME2. Show me the Fraidy hole.

Four Websites I visit daily.

1) ME. The Bridge (My at the job home page)
ME2. Jump, Jump, Jump, Jump.........

2) ME. Drudge Report
ME2. Ryhmes with Fudge, served with nuts.

3) ME. Blogger
ME2. She leaves "calling cards." I'm sad there are no elevators.

4) ME. The Dust Will Wait. (just checking and hoping for visitors)
ME2. I got there first once...and left her some Spamela.

Four Places I have been on vacation.

1)ME. The Oregon Coast, so many wonderful trips.
ME2. I remember the time she nearly puked on a whale watching adventure.

2)ME. Maui
ME2. She screamed through the snorkel when I came face to face with an eel.

3)ME. Washington, DC
ME2. Okay, Okay Okay...the hubby got to me when his tears fell by the wall.

4)ME. Vancouver, BC.
ME2. It wasn't T-H-A-T long ago

Four Friends I think might respond ?

1) ME. All of them!
ME2. I lost track, what was the question? (She actually pushed the darn publish post button when I was reaching for the save draft.)
2)ME. Did not!
ME2. I saw your pudgy finger...
3) ME. I should never have invited her along for this ride.
ME2. Well, then I'm going to bed.
4) ME. Me, too.

Another blast from the past

(Or can I buy this mirror on E-Bay?)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Whats in a Milky Way

If you really want to recognize how small we are in this universe, you may want to check out Supernova 2006X.

I had a long drive today that gave me ample opportunity to use my CD player and the radio.

During one of my 'push the seek' button on the radio moments I came across a discussion on the "Cosmically Terrifying Read of the Day."

The topic was a Supernova that was detected on February 18, 2006 by Swift, a satellite launched to look for gamma-ray bursts. This particular one was coded (named?) GRB060218. The experts say the detonation began with a 33 minute gamma-ray burst. That didn't mean much to me until the speaker explained that all previous gamma-ray bursts from space have lasted only a few seconds. (I giggled at first because it sounded like some kind of male bonding ritual.....well, anyway.... back to the cosmos...)

After being identified by the orbiter, it was observed by amateurs all over the world.

"This explosion released so much energy that it happened 470 million years ago yet the light could travel for that protracted period, plus pass through the gas and dust of roughly a hundred galaxies along the way, and still illuminate mirrors of backyard telescopes on earth."

After arriving home (after 12 hours on the road) I had to google this information. Of all places it took me to ESPN Sports and the acclaimed sports columnist Greg Easterbrook. (Explains the earlier testosterone burst I detected. If you're interested - scroll down until you see Cosmic Thoughts - Bummer Edition.)

A team of astronomers, however, have eased my mind by calculating that we probably don't have that kind of menace hiding in the Milky Way.

And what if we do?

This report is much easier to chew and swallow.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The All American Doll

K was born on September 17, 1999.

She had rosy checks, fat little fingers, and the biggest smile you could fit on a cherubs face. You might have mistaken her for the blue-eyed strawberry blonde doll in the All American Girl series.

This kid was always little miss bright and happy.

There was one problem in K’s life, however. Her mother had a substance abuse problem.

It happened one morning when K was just past three. She woke up to a very quiet house, and she tip toed out of her bedroom and called out, “mommy, mommy, where are you?”

There was no answer.

K walked in to another room where she discovered her mother once more in a stupor. This time she could not wake her. There was a reason. Her mother had died during the night.


There was a young woman named Vee Smith and her older husband Bud who had prayed for a child. They had experienced 14 years of hope and heartbreaking miscarriages. Bud was bitter, and Vee's spirit was splintered. She’d grown up in rural Oklahoma in a large family, a modest home, with doting grandparents down the lane. There was so much love in her heart that at times she felt it would burst.

The spring of 2004 arrived along with an unsolicited call to Bud and Vee. There was a little girl in need of a home. No, she wasn’t a newborn, but the caller was hoping that they would consider an older child.

K came to visit with them for the first time that May and was so frightened that she spent the weekend throwing up. Nevertheless, the Smiths wanted her to come visit them again, and told her so.

The next visit went a little smoother. K was able to meet some of the Smith's friends at a barbecue, and play with some children. She thought it might be fun to come back.

And so the early summer months went by until one day the Smiths asked K to please stay forever. K decided that was exactly what she wanted to do.

The hubby and I watched Bud fall head over heels in love with his daughter. They tell each other silly jokes that nobody else understands and laugh. Bud built her a play structure that all the neighbor kids come to share.

Vee has all the normal emotions of any mother of a seven-year-old girl. When she doesn’t want to strangle her for something, she’s snuggling and reading books, baking cookies, or sewing matching dresses for K and her All American Doll.

There have been plenty of challenges. There should be and there will continue to be. They’ll work them out because they are a family.

To Bud, Vee and Little K Smith, Happy 2nd Anniversary.

(The All American Doll)

And to little K - Happy Birthday, we love you, too!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Several Dahlia's have been hanging on. An earlier post mentioned that we had lost the marjority of them to some fungus.

Today, on my hubbys birthday, one of them has decided to show it's face. It is a sign of hope and determination.

All three of our amazing daughters have taken their turn this year facing and enduring a painful trial. They have grown, reached for the sun, and bloomed. Courage and beauty has been their fruit.

I love them and every fiber of my being hurts when they hurt.

Our Jen will face this loss and draw on her faith in God, the Healer.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Malachai Paul 9/12/2006 - 9/12/2006

Today we are in a state of disbelief and tearful mourning; the premature death and birth of our grandson. There was a room prepared for him in our hearts; we already knew him in anticipation. I would have called him 'my little guy Kai.'

We now turn our prayers to our daughter, Jen, as there are complications.

Malachai is a Hebrew word that translates as "my angel."

Monday, September 11, 2006

Vacation album

Yesterday I thought about our trip in 1997 to New York.

The thoughts prompted me to pull out the photo album and look for a picture of us at the World Trade Center.

But this was the best one. Either the hubby or Amanda took this photo from the Empire State Building looking towards the twin towers. We visited the twin towers that day and I felt dizzy when I looked straight up from the plaza. I also recall all the vendors and their watches, t-shirts and what nots. One of the watch vendors followed for quite some time, not to sell us a watch, but to get a phone number for our lovely Amanda. She told him she lived in Washington, and that was a pretty long-distance call. He responded by saying it was just a short rail trip from New York. He was thinking of the other Washington.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

We went to a garden party

Here are some things we saw:

Yesterday was a gorgeous day. So we went to a Garden Party.

We have already been approached by the Hospice Fund Raising chairperson to consider having our back yard on the "Hospice Pond Tour" for next year.

We weren't sure what that involved, so we bought tickets and toured the parade of "ponds" in this years fund raising event.

We had the opportunity to see what strangers have done in their front and back yards; plus, the added benefit of spending the day together having fun. What better way to get some tips, or figure out what we like by seeing what others have done. These are pictures of some of our favorites.

Our landscaping in the backyard hasn't been finished - after having to have it all torn out this year. However, if it's looking good next year we will probably open our back yard to support the hospice program.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

9-11 Carnival of The Blogging Chicks

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Be sure to check it out ! You don't have to be a blogging chick to participate. And yes, my entry does prove that I'm an old chick.

I Remember

I remember the exact moment I heard that President Kennedy bad been shot. The teacher was crying at his desk when I walked into the classroom and I had never seen a man cry. The room, my standing in quiet awkwardness, the smell of a dusty chalkboard and my wet shoes remain like a photograph etched in my mind

I remember on that day in January 1986 when I received a quick call at work with word that the Space Shuttle Challenger had exploded after take off. In the office across from me sat my favorite co-worker, a World War II Veteran, B-17 Bomber Pilot. He listened to my news, but I recognized his tacit disbelief as he turned to find his radio. The audible squeak in his chair matched the physical shiver of apprehension in my spine as we sought confirmation. Neither of us spoke as we listened to the news bulletin. The smiling face of the first teacher in space, Christa McAuliffe, haunted the tears that flowed freely from my heart that day.

I remember where I was on 9-11-01 when I first saw the horrific scenes from The World Trade Center being televised. I had arrived around midnight on my flight from Washington DC into Portland, Oregon. Four hours late because I was bumped from my first flight. To top off the bad day, my luggage was traveling on its own for the second time this trip. The two weeks I had spent in Delaware with my daughter Jen and family were good, but I missed the hubby and was so happy to see him at the airport. He listened to me complain about my traveling woes as we drove to our eldest daughter's (Kar) house to finish out the night/morning before driving on home. We slept in and then loved on our five-month old grandson over breakfast. A phone call interrupted our visit; it was Jen in such hysterics that at first Kar could not understand her.

"The Towers have Fallen."

The rest of the day our eyes were riveted to the television news with revulsion and horror. We hugged. We cried.

So many images of unimaginable grief and terror. But I find myself thinking about our silent trip home. It was the sky, a blank blue slate, that drew me to its emptiness.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Stealing ideas from Robin's blog. But full of something from Ree's.

Your Brain's Pattern

You have a dreamy mind, full of fancy and fantasy.

You have the ability to stay forever entertained with your thoughts.

People may say you're hard to read, but that's because you're so internally focused.

But when you do share what you're thinking, people are impressed with your imagination.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Bugs on the windshield

Snapping pictures from the passenger seat at 70 mph.

This one was taken at a stop signal as we arrived in Portland on Thursday evening.

Straw Hat Girl

Here is a digital picture of one of my paintings that I just had matted. I need to pick out a frame. She is someone else's grandaughter and was a class project. I loved the way the sun speckled her face, ribbon, and dress through the shadow of the little straw hat.

Yes I made some boo-boo's. But please don't look for them this time.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Weary and Burdened.......

Don't you wish that life was like a straight road. You could view what lay in your path ahead, there would never be any curves, and you would never be suprised by any life events because you could always see so far in the distance that you would be perpetually prepared.

Our Curly Mops daddy made a nearly successful attempt to end his life in the wee hours last thursday morning. We are heart sick.

Depression is a disease that can be terminal. The symptoms often include denial of ill health and the refusal to seek treatment.

Without help and without hope they sail too close to the edge of the cliff. It only takes a small gust of wind to drive them into the rocks - shattered.

Matthew 11: 28,29, 30 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Friday, September 01, 2006

The End of The World

About 20 years ago I was driving a little yellow 70 VW Bug. I remember exactly which street I was puttin' along on when my youngest leaned forward from the back seat and asked,

"Mommy, is there an end to the world?"

My eldest daughter remembers this question and the moment in time as clearly as I do as she is ten years older and was sitting in the front seat. (She was born of my short first marriage. The two younger sister are spawn of the hubby.)

I can't forget the breath catching in my throat and my heart following a close second. This was a season of my life during which I was not believing - in much of anything. A quick brain storm whirled through my head. Then, even faster, I formulated a carefully worded response that I hoped wouldn't freak her little mind out.

The eyes of front seat daughter looked at me with brows up and just a quirk of a smile on one side of her mouth. She was hanging on this one like white on rice and would slice and dice me if she thought I was stalling or evading.

I double clutched that little bug and slowed down for the left turn about 3 blocks from our house. There was no other traffic, so I sat at the intersection and turned around to face the inquisitive one.

"Well," said I in the best wise mommy voice I had available, "there are some people that believe that the earth will end in fire. Others disagree and say that someday we will return to an ice-age and people will not be able to live in the cold. Grandma W believes in God and that Jesus will come and destroy the earth and take all His people to Heaven."

If only someone else had been along with a camera to snap that priceless expression on two faces: mine and the eldest daughter. Because the little one just shook her head and rolled those eyes and with a certain amount of disgust declared,

"Not that mommy............................... don't you ever just drive past the last house, and thats the end of the world?"