Showing posts from March, 2007


On a certain birthday, my sister Trish received a parakeet from her in-laws. As much as she and I enjoy watching birds, neither of us had owned one. Nor wanted to. There were so many questions? What kind of cage to buy? What to feed it? How to determine if it was male or female. Do birds require shots and visits to the Veterinarian? To answer these, she did what any former schoolteacher would do: studied. The first action following her research was to name the bird Bluebell and purchase a male to keep the little female company. Smitty made himself right at home in the little bedroom converted to office. They are not people friendly. They do venture out of the cage to fly around the room while the office door is closed. That, as well as Chirping along with their personal radio, eating, bathing, and grooming pretty much describes their lifestyle over the past years. Hence, Trish was surprised one morning to find a tiny egg sitting in the food dish.

The Right Keys

I was distracted from paperwork on my desk today by an irregular honking in the parking lot adjacent my work place. I'll admit that I am easily distracted from "work." A young male co-worker,TH, was also intrigued and walked with me toward the windows. There, in the parking lot, was a very elderly woman struggling to unlock a car door. She continued to push the keyless remote and pull unsuccessfully on the handles. We watched her attempt to open it manually with the key and then walk to the passenger side and repeat all of the above. TH decided to be a boy scout and do his good deed for the day. I remained inside, but started snickering when it became apparent that he, too, was fruitless in his efforts with the lock. A telephone call saved him from further investigation and he passed the keys off to me along with a baffled expression. "See what you can do, " he challenged. I walked out to the car and pressed the unlock button on the remote. I heard a click.

Todays Headlines

Mouse Absconds with Maine Man's Dentures "We moved the bed, moved the dressers and the night stand and tore the closet apart," he said. "I said, 'I knew that little stinker stole my teeth' I just knew it." It was the little fellow's smile that clued him. Panda Poop To Do Double Duty in China There's a new Chinese saying: When life hands you panda poop, make paper. Researchers at a giant panda reserve in southern China are looking for paper mills to process their surplus of fiber-rich panda excrement into high quality paper. "People won't find it gross at all," Liao said. "They probably won't even be able to tell it's from panda poop. After some of the stuff I've read, this is redundant. (I meant that as, I read alot of "crap".... so if you print it on this new paper it is "crap on crap".... ) Crocodile Smuggler Exposed A woman with three crocodiles strapped to her waist was stopped at

The Perfect Morning

The window above my bed is open just slightly and before my eyes are ever open I can hear the birds announcing the morning free for all at the backyard feeders. The breeze, with only enough vigor to tinkle the wind chimes, charms the perfumed blossoms of the Viburnum through the screen to tickle my nose. I roll over and feel the body heat of the man I love still on the sheet; he is up and headed for the kitchen. The neighbor’s maple trees have softened the sunrise, and I can see the shadows of the lofty boughs across the mirror on my dresser. As always, little jewels of dust sparkle on the sun fingers that touch the foot of my bed. With a fresh cup of coffee in his hands and a fresher smile on his face, the hubby returns to wake me. “Have I told you yet this morning that I Love you?” “Maybe,” I answer, “but I was asleep, so you should probably tell me again.” Yes, that is the perfect morning, and I am thankful that I often experience a lovely waking ti

It's Raining, It's Pouring

We are home in the rain. We can't complain The previous week the hubby put a bridge in next to the waterfall. It is a gift from Glenda and Steve. They could not find a place for it in their yard. I'm SO SORRY they were unsuccessful. (My nose is growing.) Did I mention it is raining? I feel sad for those who are suffering drought. February was a dry month here in the valley. The new growth on the lace leaf maple tree flaunted some spring jewels as I passed it on the way to fill the bird feeder. Bird songs filled the air and continued even as The Contessa (Tessy) ran circles around the yard in happiness. Bill, the neighbor, cared for The Contessa while we were gone. That meant she was confined to the house and her kitty box that she accesses through the cat entry on the garage door. All week I worried about her canned food. Bill, being nearly deaf, doesn't answer the phone so calling him would have been pointless. However, after he read the news about rat poison, he chec

A Little Vacation

I will be out of blog touch for the rest of the week. Our Star Magnolia has blossomed and from the distance appears as a bride in her pure white gown. However, just like everything in our life, nothing is as it seems. Take a closer look. Click on the flowers to your right and see all the colors that nature combined in a little white flower to please the senses. Pink? Yellow? Green? Do you see shades of mauve and lavender? Have a good week everyone, and.... give yourself a gift. Take a moment to enjoy the beauty in the world around you.

Willie and Waylan

We took the long way home today. This picture emphazises why we call it living in the valley. We are caught in a painters pallette between winter and spring. Dropping over the last hill, we found ourselves in the direct path of Willie and Waylan, two Percherons, that were being lead from the north pasture to the stable for a good scrubbing. Look at those huge feet. The owner said, " Sure you can take a picture. People are always asking if they can take pictures. But, you have to promise me that you'll check out our web site and let your readers know that these big boys are mighty purty when they are clean and dressed up. " Willie was very friendly and enjoyed the attention. He weighs in at 2000 pounds. I think that is why we hit it off so quickly. His buddy Waylan, is about 200 pounds trimmer. As promised, I linked to their home page plus grabbed their getting hitched photo. Well, hitched to a Carriage and taking part in someone's wedding ceremony. Imagine ri

Pet Peeves: Cell phones at Weddings

We attended a lovely wedding this afternoon. The bride was red-headed beautiful. The groom's smile carried enough wattage to light up the entire sanctuary. Everything was proceeding with perfection until a cell phone started vibrating under someone's behind. It was someone on our pew, and I thought at first that it was a woodpecker. He quickly leaned forward and attempted to turn it off. However, it started buzzing from beneath his butt once more. I noticed several others in our general area searching for their cell phones to turn them off. Less than thirty seconds later the music of a cell phone set on loud burst forth across the aisle and back two rows. About five women reached for their purses and one of them was the culprit. At that point there was a general movement through the entire congregation of women pawing through purses to check their cell phone status, and others checking pockets to do the same. I took a deep breath and tried to focus once more on the love

The Varied Thrush

UPDATE *** I caught him with my telephoto lens this morning. Isn't he a beauty? 3/17/07 I have lived in this valley for 35 years and this is the first winter I have seen a resident Varied Thrush. There have been two that I've spotted high in the towering old deciduous trees on our street. I watch them through my binoculars. Recently one has breakfasted amongst the numerous Junco's that hop around the base of my bird feeders. The hubby and I are unable to get a picture because it is so shy and detects any movement at the patio door. This morning I heard it's song. At first I thought someone was blowing on a damaged whistle. The sound was so breathy and mournful. I walked out into the early light and saw it sitting in a tree that hangs over our fence line. My hope was that he was calling to other Varied Thrush to come and join him. The most beautiful songs are likely part of the mating attraction, or warning off other suitors from a claimed territory. I prefe

I love Spring

We are not finished cleaning up the yard for the spring. Last years plants are left as winter forage for our bird friends, so it is always a surprise to see the Daffodil poke through and announce the season. The early tulips are smaller than the tall stately variety that we see in late April and May. If you ever smelled a hyacinth on a early March morning breeze, then you'll believe in heaven. The Star Magnolia will look like a snow flocked wonder in a few days. Never a green leaf in sight until its glory has passed. Welcome spring.

Todays Headlines

Naked Intruder Found Asleep on Couch "A Laguna Niguel man allegedly broke into a woman's home and fell asleep on her couch naked, according to police. The woman called authorities early Saturday morning after waking up to find Michael Bonnie, 36, on her couch covered by a blanket, Costa Mesa Police Sgt. Matt Grimmold said. The two did not appear to know each other, Grimmold said. Police arrested Bonnie on suspicion of residential burglary and indecent exposure. He is being held on $250,000 bail." What was he doing? Stealing a few winks? Break A Leg, Say Gamblers, as Mills enters Dance Contest Online gaming site — established by Canadian-born billionaire Calvin Ayre — has opened betting on several Dancing With the Stars topics, including whether Mills's prosthetic leg will fall off during a dance routine, alongside bets about reality hits American Idol and Survivor . Site operators specified that "Heather Mills' leg must fall off, not be pu

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The Hopyard Hobo - Part 4 (Written by my late father)

In Part 1 of my father's short journal he told about the depression and his experiences in California. Part 2 told of a satisfying 5 weeks living off the fat of the land on a self sufficient farm in Southern Oregon. In Part 3 , he was befriended by a Hop grower and hired , and then offered a job in the hop fields. Part 4 begins with their arrival in Portland, Oregon. Keep in mind that Prohibition had just been repealed. After listening to Mr. Putnam and Mr. Wiseman talk breweries, beer, and hops for 275 miles I had become fascinated with hop growing, I thought how lucky I was to fall in with my new employer , for it looked as if I had a job for the spring and summer. It as also a chance to gain some valuable experience. The next morning Mr. Putman again gave me a dollar for my breakfast and dinner and told me to do as I pleased until noon. At that time he would go to Independence, near his home. I don't suppose he knew or guessed how far a bubble chaser could stret

The Party Line

I have a fancy schmancy cell phone but not one of those that can walk the dog and use a pooper scoop. I’ll be the first to admit I don’t have the tecknohow of those that use one. (Is tecknohow a word or did I just make it up.) Diving into the pool of memories ( yes, Robin, like a pensieve ) I am amused and somewhat nostalgic about how simple phones used to be. My childhood introduction to telephones was on a party line. There were anywhere from two-party to ten-party lines. Ours was four-party: Our family, Our Uncle and Aunt, The Eldridges, and a woman who lived across the small valley. There was a certain protocol involved when you picked up the receiver. First, you listened before you started dialing. Yes. You could pick up the phone right in the middle of your neighbors conversation. Second, the interrupted party would often say something to make sure you would hang up. Like “Hang up!” Third, it was polite to say excuse me and discreetly replace the receive

Grams story, Part 2

(Part 1 of Grams Story can be read here.) Ten year old Jennie‘s life had changed. Living on a wheat ranch in 1912 was arduous – but much more so with the loss of a parent. Her older sisters married and started families of their own, leaving Jennie in charge of caring for her dad and remaining four siblings. Each day when school released she raced down the road towards home to the washing and ironing. She felt that she could never do anything right for her dad. She had no memories of hugs or kisses. She thought Fern, her younger sister, was the apple of his eye. In spite of this, she still loved Fern with all her heart. The newspaper reported a story about some other racing after school. Placing bets on whose horse was faster, they competed down the main street of town. The perpetrators were fined. Talk in town included the bounty on coyote pelts, the new bridge being planned over the Touchet River , and growing Alfalfa as an experimental seed crop In 19

Fun Monday - The Worst Opening Sentence

The sun poked through the slatted window like the tines of a fork, because a spoon is too rounded, skewing her eyeballs, her head a wedge of muenster squeezed between two saltines, which have more crumbs than club crackers, that were continually scratching her throat, and the bottom of a canary cage taste in her mouth, not assuming otherwise about parakeets, with the resulting feathers pressuring her to sneeze and all the symptoms twisting her like a Rubik’s cube, rather than Twister that requires other players, throughout the night making her feel as though she’d been hit by a truck; a thought confirmed when she looked up to see Ken Worth standing in the hallway. This weeks Fun Monday challenge is "To compose an exceptionally bad opening sentence for any piece of writing (not limited to novels...but not including blog posts) and to include a photograph or brief description of some aspect of that sentence." If you appreciated (or didn't) the one I wrote then you'

Birds, Bees, Blooms, and Bugs.

I thought I would make it through to spring without catching the current bug. I guess not. All week I have been miserable --- sore throat, cough, headache, chills, crankies. I wasn't so sick that I didn't get out of bed and drag myself to work. It was one of those weeks that I couldn't give myself that choice, anyway. So, this morning I lounged in my pajama's and watched the birds. The goldfinch (still in their winter garb of course) were feeding on the Niger and Sunflower seeds. I enjoyed the flitting Junco's, the Magpie, a Varied Thrush, and several other varieties of sparrows. I thought they were eating an enormous quantity the last few days; then I saw Mr. Squirrel. I thought I'd enticed him away with the peanuts I left on the ground. Maybe I should just give the peanuts to the hubby. I put on my shoes and went out to fill the feeder again when I heard something buzz past my ear. Looking around I discovered the heather was blossoming and there were sev

Speaking of Birthdays

Melissa , I remember my thirtieth birthday. I woke up that morning with a mission. There would be no tears – I would accept that I was no longer 20 something. I planned to be gracious and mature. There are some days that just don’t follow the rules The celebration began early with kisses and hugs and lovely presents wrapped so beautifully. The hubby is one of those guys (of whom there are a few) that can go shopping and purchase presents that a girl really likes. In addition he buys cards and wrapping paper and ribbons. He measures, cuts, folds, and tapes as nicely as if a professional had prepared it. After breakfast the festive boxes were set before me and I felt like a princess. (Albeit, a thirty year-old one.) I’m sure he cringed when I tore the ribbon and papers to bits - just like I always did. What I’m sure he didn’t expect was to see my face fall after opening the first gift. It was a silk blouse with long sleeves and button down collar