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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Music to My Ears

Song Sparrow from pamela on Vimeo.

Carmi's theme this week is anything musical. Could I resist posting a bird song!

I couldn't.

Last week this little Song Sparrow sat in my garden and sang his heart out over and over and over. And over.

I don't have a video-cam, but my Canon PowerShot allows for some short action capture. If you dare to click on the above short, you may want to grab your motion sickness patch. There was wind in the trees, and some shaky puddin' in the videographer.

Carmi says, "Your turn: For the next week, we'll be sharing musically-themed photos. Since music touches our lives in so many different ways, I'm looking forward to seeing how you all choose to interpret the theme through your lenses."

Hope to hear you there.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Matriarch Passes

Great Aunt Naomi was buried today.

For the past year I have promised myself that I would get up one morning and drive to see her. I heard she had wonderful stories. Everyone said that her long term memory was intact.

I’d spoken to her over the 33 years I’ve been married into the family, but our conversations had always been superficial.

I learned some interesting things about her today at the celebration of life.

*Her close family pronounce her name, Nay- O- muh.

*She knew the name of every wild flower that grew in the arid hills and ravines, and where to find them.

*If you wanted to know what animal left its tracks or scat, Nay-O-muh was your gal.

*Nay-O-muh never yelled or was cross to anyone. Ever. In fact, one of her nephews who spent summers on the ranch said that he practiced his swear words out by the harvest equipment. Nay-O-muh never chastised or corrected him.

*Although she was a petite woman, her hands were as strong as a man’s … the hands of a wheat rancher.

*Nay-O-muh wrote a memoir, parts of which were read to the many people who came to honor her today.

That last one prompted me to make a new plan. Next week I am going to call her daughter and ask for a copy of Naomi’s memoirs, and get permission to publish some of her history on this blog.

Naomi was a physically beautiful woman. The daughter, at 86, is also still attractive.

It appears that all the granddaughters are carrying on the fair maiden tradition. (It isn’t fair, I tell ya!)

And, it was very apparent that they all thought that their mother, grandmother, great, and great- great grandmother was even more beautiful on the inside.

That is a legacy.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Loose Teeth and Roosters

This evening I dialed our daughter's phone number and 5-year old Buttercup answered.

Buttercup: Hello?
Grandma: Hi Buttercup, is your mama home?
Buttercup: She's at cub scouts with Jammin'. Hey Grandma, my tooth came out today!

Grandpa walks in, hears the tooth conversation in process, and picks up the extension.

Did it hurt.
Buttercup: No. It just took a quick yank.
Grandpa: Who pulled it?
Buttercup: My mama. Now I can stick my tongue through it.
Grandpa: Did you cry?
Buttercup: Only when I saw the blood.

....later in the conversation
Grandma: How is (chicken) Henrietta Cluck?
Buttercup: She might be a rooster.
Grandma: Then we'll have to call him Henry Cluck.
Buttercup: No, - - - - then we'll have to eat her. I love you. Goodbye.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Round Two: A Rotund Sparrow

This chubby round White-crowned Sparrow was taking a little bath in our pretend creek this afternoon. I am sure he was preparing to dazzle a little female that was chowing down under the bird feeder. I counted at least 50 of this species in my yard this afternoon.

I decided to post him as another perspective of Round, Carmi's photo meme mentioned in the previous post.

This photo was taken through my dining room window with my Canon Power Shot. It just so happens that I scrubbed a few windows last weekend so we could see out.

The water feature, designed and constructed by my husband, flows beneath the window, under a walking bridge, and into the small pond. The fish pond is about three feet deep. But, the creek is very shallow and attractive to the little songbirds.

Add the feeders and our feather friendly landscape and you have a regular Birdie Bed & Breakfast.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Smile makes the Rounds

Week 46 at Thematic Photograph is up at Carmi's Written Inc. He's into round things this week. I thought about posing for a portrait, but my roundness is not something I appreciate.

Instead, I chose these two photos taken at the beach in March. Buttercup was sharing her happiness by building smiling sandcastles. We were interrupted by a heavy rain shower so her construction efforts were cut short.

Grandpa could not resist her happy ROUND faces in the sand buckets - so, to him I give the credit for my entry this week.

Visit or participate -- either one. Carmi will be glad to have you stop by and comment.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hand Picked

There is a stretch on Interstate 5, near Salem, Oregon, where Daffodils bloom in gay profusion each spring. I don’t know who planted them in the center strip of the highway. I do know that I love the lavish display of yellow blossoms and the sweet sachet that permeates the interior of my car as I pass.

I was lucky this year to drive through when the flowers were in full array. I was even luckier to pass by when a huge burly man wearing a leather vest and a scraggly beard tip toed through them. His hand at the end of a muscled and tattooed arm carried a gorgeous bouquet.

A rusty old pickup truck parked beside the southbound lanes with emergency flashers slowed traffic in both directions.

I took a few extra peaks at him in my rear view mirror and noticed that I was smiling – not because I recommend stealing flowers or defying 70 mph traffic to filch them. Rather, it was just the incongruity of a hardened man with an armful of handpicked flowers in the middle of a busy interstate highway.

I remember when my friend Beth and I picked flowers along the quiet road where she lived. We were five or six, so our collection must have been a tangled mess of spring weeds.

Mrs. Jewel was the ideal candidate for our mission when we presented them at her back door. She waved her arms in excitement, admired the flowers with wonder, and thrilled our little hearts with her response.

"Oh,My Stars!” she gushed.

I wonder if the recipient of Mr. Rough Guy’s public display of affection was as appreciative as Mrs. Jewel.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Bloomin' Beautiful

Carmi's theme (Thematic Photograph) this week is Floral. Any and all are invited to participate.

These flowers photos were snapped today on the street where I live. One is taken in front of my house and two at neighbors. There is one thing we have in common - we enjoy our bloomin' front and back yards.

Welcome spring.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Wonder Twin Unites (soon)

I received an email from an old friend today – sharing with me photos of her grandchildren and all the current news from their retirement home in the southwest.

A huge grin stretched my face when I read her announcement that one of the twins is getting married.

In the early eighties when they moved onto our street, the twins were little boys. The daughter was the same age as our eldest.

I had only girls so I wasn’t prepared for the mischief and excitement that two mirror images could reflect on a quiet neighborhood.

They weren’t naughty. They just had unlimited curiosity and energy, no fear (before it became a slogan), and a healthy dose of twin competitiveness.

On their bicycles, the twins were identical Evil Knievels. I once witnessed (I don’t know which) one lose control of his handle bars at full speed and straddle the metal pole of a mailbox. It was as if a giant had thrown a horseshoe and scored a ringer.

Every July I’m reminded of that Independence Day celebration when one of the twins accidentally torched his brother’s windbreaker with a sparkler. My husband, the firefighter, grabbed him and took him to the ground, putting the fire out with a couple of efficient moves. The little guy popped up off the ground and was ready to fight; not understanding that his attacker was beating out flames climbing up his back. Only moments later, before his dad or mom could stop him, he picked up a recently spent roman candle and stared down the short barrel.

My friend and her kids took a weekend trip to Seattle with me and my girls where we spent the night at my brother’s home. He lives on a forested hillside. The twins enjoyed playing outside and my brother remarked that they had been perfect little guests. That thought prevailed until the following morning - when he discovered the rocks, that took many artistic hours to place, had been rolled down the hill.

They were little boys, they didn’t know it was a rock garden, and (we had to agree) they were certainly industrious. My brother and I still giggle about that one when we are reminiscing.

One of the most memorable events happened while their mom was styling my hair in their kitchen. We heard a hair-raising scream followed by gasping sobs as one of the boys hobbled up the stairs.

He’d zipped his very private part into his blue jeans! This was eons before that scene in “There’s something about Mary.”

His mom lectured him with a tick in her cheek: “Now you know why you are told to always wear your underwear!”

She stood him on the kitchen counter and gently worked to free him. It took patience and about 20 minutes of her subdued giggles. Fortunately, I was able to turn my face away and hide in the towel on my shoulders.

Not so long ago the twins came up in a discussion I had with Amanda. She has never forgotten (or forgiven them for - LOL) the traumatizing taunt, “Mandy-poopie-dough, Mandy-poopie-dough.” They were four when she was born, so I’m sure it stemmed from their interpretation of her diaper changes.

I shake my head with disbelief when I realize the twins are in their thirties.

Oh my! Now, one is getting married.

Congratulations Jimmy.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Conversations with Grandchildren

A moment with Curlymop.
:Gwamma! Quick! Run! It's a bee.
Gwamma: No, don't worry sweetie. It's just a flying insect.
Curlymop: Is 'flying insect' Spanish for bug?

A moment with Buttercup.

Buttercup: Grandma, will you brush my hair. You're more gentler than mommy.
Grandma: Sure, sit down here.
Grandma brushes "gentler" for awhile.
Grandma: Buttercup, your hair is just like mine, very fine.
Buttercup: No! It isn't. Your hair is old.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Holes in the Rocks Gang

Photo Credit - my daughter Amanda (My camera)
Jammin', Buttercup,
Grandpa, Curlymop

Ride the tide over to Wordless Wednesday headquarters to see more participants camera fodder.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Once a Princess - Always a Princess

100 Birthday Celebration for Auntie Fern.

What a day ---

Friday, April 03, 2009

elGee Napping in Her Favorite Spot


My brother's quadruple bypass surgery was a success. He's doing well. I was very impressed with the staff at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane. Even the volunteers that man the cardiac waiting area were kind and helpful.

This morning Great Auntie Fern informed me that she looked at the clock at 3 a.m., which prompted her to raise her arms and say, "I MADE IT." She's 100 years old today - and the party is tomorrow.

My husband is feeling much better. That cat enjoyed having him around as a nap prop this week. My throat is feeling a bit scratchy -- so I'm inhaling vitamin C and Zinc.