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Friday, April 30, 2010

The Last Day of April - 2010

Last week the flowering shrubs and trees were at their zenith. 

Today I captured our neighbors two dogwoods in a moment of brilliant sunshine.  The beams stole my perfect focus, but sure felt nice on my back.

The blooms stubbornly hang on to their colors in spite of the wind and rain.
I’m too lazy to look up the names of these early spring bloomers. 

I wish the whole flower bed was covered with them.
(UPDATE:  Leopard Bane)
I thought this little wonder was called a Jerusalem Lily.  Apparently, when we tore up our lawn four years ago, some bulbs went with dirt across the street to Bill’s small orchard.  They have multiplied in the absence of care, and the little happy white faces smile everywhere under his walnut trees. IMG_1417a
IMG_1414b (UPDATE:  Star of Bethlehem above)

Shhhhh….a baby fern, tended gently by the older fronds.  

I wonder, is there is a lullaby to sing for such an occasion? 

Good-bye April….
Rock a bye-bye….

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Most Memorable Present.

One early spring day 1979 I was surprised to receive a small check in the mail from my paternal grandmother’s estate.  Not only had she never met me in person, but she had passed away 23 years earlier.

The check was enough to fill my car with a load of groceries. Or not.  I chose the latter.  I went shopping.

I don’t remember what I purchased for myself or for the two girls.  (Our third was still a twinkle in her daddy’s eye.)  But, I DO remember the gift I purchased for my husband.  It was a striped shirt of multiple blues in a very popular loose knit style.  It was the most I had every spent on a single item of clothing.

We had a little package opening party that evening when I arrived home from work. 

“Wow!” He exclaimed.  “This is really nice!”

He tried it on and it was a perfect fit.  I suggested he take it off and hang it in his closet.

“The directions say ‘dry clean only.’ “ I warned him.  “And, I would like you to save it for special occasions.”

“Okay,” he said, and wandered towards the bedroom closet.

A few minutes later I saw him… outside looking under the hood of our neighbors car.  Still wearing the shirt.

I opened the door and yelled -- “Take that shirt off!”

“Be right in – we’re just talking.” he promised.

A few minutes later I looked outside and I saw his feet sticking out from under the side of the automobile.  I pedaled myself out there with steam rolling out of my ears.

“Get that new shirt off right now!”  I screamed.  Too late.

He came out from under the car with a big smudge already adorning the costly material.  There were daggers piercing him from my eyes and he was acting sheepish and apologetic.

Later, I pulled the shirt out of the laundry hamper to assess the damage.  That’s when I noticed he had also pulled a thread from the loose weave.   I turned it inside out to determine if the thread could be salvaged by pulling it back the other direction on the inside.  That’s when he walked up beside me. 

“Oh!  That’s easy to fix!”  He pointed, and before I could object, pulled out his pocket knife and cut it.  SNIP.

I started crying.

My inheritance.  Gone in 60 seconds.  (I could have written that movie.)

I didn’t speak to him  that night or the next morning.  I was truly angry. 

That is why I was surprised the next afternoon by his attempt to make amends.

“Hey, hon.  I’m really sorry about the shirt.  I figured I’d do my best to get it fixed.  I took it down to the lady at the store that does the altering and she made it look pretty good.”

I was somewhat mollified. Then, I reminded him he would need to get it dry cleaned, too.

The oddest look crossed his face.

“What?” I rolled my eyes then closed them in dread.

“I washed it.” He whispered.

We walked into the utility closet, opened the wash machine,  and removed the shirt.  It was about half the size of the one I’d paid a fortune for the day before.

In a very nice gesture, he gave it to the little teenage girl that lived across the street.  It looked pretty nice on her, too.

* * * * *

East Coast Life is asking about gifts as the host of today’s Fun Monday topic.  Wrap your favorite photo or story and present it!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Blossoming Sonnet ?

The orchard wakes beneath the golden sun
And, apple blossoms open pink and white
Though efflorescence rests when day is done
Transparent they reflect in the moonlight

As soft pastel on petals slowly fades
The fivesome leaves will stretch out green and curl
Bright green above and silver under shades
While pollinators dive in for the pearl

The wind machine sits idle by the rows
To thwart a frosty mood if grows acute
So pleased at how the warm spring Zephyr blows
A tempting scent of autumn’s promised fruit

And much to soon is gone the beauty graced
but pleasing us,  this season it embraced 

by Pamela

 Robin of Pensieve has invited one and all to join in Pensieve's Poetic License.  (Yes, she had her license suspended there for awhile.  Glad she renewed it!)

Hope to read you there!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

My Friend, The Petrologist ~~ !

My friend Kim loves rocks. She also loves to share her love for rocks.  Even now that she has moved far away to Colorado Springs, Colorado, she continues to entertain us with her discoveries.

Last weekend she went for a hike and saw this brazen boulder along the path . She photographed it and promptly E-mailed it to me.

What do you think?  Proof positive that Rock Eaters really exist?   Or,  just the butt of one of Mother Nature's playful jokes? 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Rub a Dub Dub, Spinning my Tub.

It wasn’t long ago I wrote about my early childhood memories of Laundry Day.   Nor does it seem that much time has passed since I spent endless quality time with a top load two-speed wash machine and a quantity of diapers and kids clothes.

Mind you, I didn’t complain about the bottomless diaper pail and kids hamper. Stories from my mom about wash boards and heating water on a wood stove (or even over a camp fire) convinced me I was blessed with what I had.

Our house was built in the seventies – when architects and contractors decided that you could squeeze a hot water heater, a wash machine and a dryer into a closet and call it a utility room.  For years we listened to the daily wash cycle while we conversed around the table or watched Television.

We eventually turned the closet into my computer desk and cupboards and moved the laundry into the garage.  Then, two years ago we bought the front load washer and dryer, each sitting atop a storage drawer.
Here it is in the corner of our garage.  The hot water heater is hidden from view in this photo, behind the dryer.  If you look carefully you can see my car reflecting in the wash machine. 

Oh yeah.  There’s a sink and a bunch of other things sitting around as well.  I won’t win any awards for organization and neatness.

I had a few complaints about the washer.  Then, I got help from an unlikely source!  Our moved to Colorado friends, Mike & Kim, just happened to hear someone complaining about tub odor on a call in television show.   The caller was advised to towel dry the seal of the wash machine door after each use. Apparently that water just puddled in the space and putrefied.  I have a towel set aside for just that purpose, and it has made an amazing difference.

Janice @ Pritz Family chose the laundry theme for this weeks Fun Monday.  So spin yourself on over there and come clean!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

The More Things Change

Today I sifted through some memorabilia that we stored in boxes over the years, following the death of parents and grandparents.  I am working on a project and I’m looking for a particular old newspaper clipping.  I failed to find the object of my search because I was sidetracked by headlines from The Portland News: BANDIT BUSY AT NOON.

My husbands grandmother wasn’t concerned about a robbery on that October day in 1930.  Rather, she was the proud Mama of a little girl whose pose on a tricycle graced the spot under the headlines.

Thrift With a Smile.  That is my late Mother-in-law, Joan (When she grew older she insisted that it be pronounced Jo Ann.)  She was a very pretty child who grew up to be a a strikingly pretty woman.   She had a bronzed copy of this photo that sat in her living room for all to see.  I’m not sure what became of her cherished item.  Her daughter (my sister in law) may have claimed it – an unfortunate occurrence, as Alzheimer’s has caused her to discard other family heirlooms.


Here is a closer look at Joan.  If you open a $1 account, you get $.50 and a bronze bust of Colonel Charles Lindberg. 
This is an interesting bulletin:

Gloria Swanson, screen star, today filed suit for divorce against the Marquis Henri de la Falaise de la Coudre. 

She charged the French nobleman with desertion.

Miss Swanson’s complaint charged that the Marquis “wilfully and maliciously abandoned her.”

HowdyFolks 1930 Humor in the lower left hand column:

The Pabst Brewing co. has installed $1,000,000 worth of new equipment in the belief that the dry law will be modified.

Now is the time to corner the pretzel market.

*  *  *  *  *
”Are you Hungary?”
”Yes, Siam.”
”Denn Russia to the table and I’ll Fiji.”
”All right, Sweden my coffee and Denmark my bill.”

Just to the left of Joan is an article about the (University of ) Washington Huskies stealing the “siren” that the Oregon Webfoots used as a noisemaker during football rallies.   Who, besides me, didn’t know that “Webfooters” is the name Oregon Ducks called themselves seventy years ago?

As for the other headlines?  I could pick up a newspaper any day this week and see articles with similar headlines:  HUNT FOR GIRL, SIXTY DIE IN MINE, CRISIS COMING TO CITY, SCHUNDLER GOES “SCOTT FREE”, CHARGE BIG POWER “SLUSH” FUND USED.

Eerie, isn’t it?

Monday, April 05, 2010

A Collapsible Umbrella?

According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:  An umbrella or parasol (also called a brolly, rainshade, sunshade, gamp or bumbershoot) is a canopy designed to protect against rain or   sunlight.. The term parasol usually refers to an item designed to protect from the sun; umbrella refers to a device more suited to protect from rain.

But not wind.  That weather phenomenon has been blowing for days now, and this is what has happened to our patio umbrella.  At least it wasn't open, or it may have flown across town by now.  I hope it will still function properly.

We have at least three regular sized umbrellas that find places to hide in our cars or closets.  They are rarely where we remember putting them. One is black, one is brown, and one is red.  And -  because of their ability to conceal themselves in plain sight - rarely used. 

Gattina wants to know if you're all wet, ..or do you let your smile be your umbrella?  Join the Fun Monday participants  at Writers Cramps.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

April Snow

This is a snow squall over the Blues.  It left a trail of white behind it as it sprinted the edge of the valley.. 

I couldn't help myself.  I grabbed my camera and set it on the dashboard and clicked this photo yesterday while I was driving.  I played it safe... I just clicked and didn't look at the photos until I got home.