Official Start to Summer

Today I got to reenact one of my favorite memories from my childhood–the annual trek to the local berry farm and strawberry picking with family.  I’ve gotten older, the berry farm has changed locations, and it’s my family-by-choice instead of my family-by-birth, but the feeling is the same.  Go early, ride the hayride, watch the younguns have a blast, and eat strawberries straight off the vine warmed by the sun.  Feed the rabbits, bounce in the bouncy house, play in the giant corn pit.

This year it was B and her boys (NoMH opted out), and C and her girls.  The girls thought it was a riot, and the boys–once they got the concept of ‘pick the red ones only’–loved it.  Little J-bug especially, at 2, who was my companion for most of the morning.  He’d make a beeline for a berry, grab it in his fist and yank it off the vine, drop it in my bucket.  Stare at it a minute, then pick it back up, pluck off the green tops, and shove it in his mouth whole.  B loved it too–got his own box, and picked about a dozen before he became more interested in ‘helping’ others and eating his own.  Well, that, and playing in the dirt.

I kept thinking of all the times I used to go to the Ashland Berry Farm with my Papa.  Always in May, no earlier than Mother’s Day weekend and no later than Memorial Day, and picking until my tongue was puckered and my fingers were stained bright red.  And what a lovely memory that was for us.  I just hope these boys and girls grow up remember the same.  That they don’t remember the very windy morning, the long ride, the crankiness, the eighty-leven trips to a latrine, but instead remember that they got to ride a tractor, went on a hayride, and enjoy the experience. Continue reading

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Spring Forgot To Arrive On Time This Year

The calendar may say it’s spring, but Mother Nature hasn’t gotten the memo.  My sinuses, however, seem to have looked at the calendar and now are waiting for Mother Nature to arrive to finish the job.  I’m going on two weeks of this sinus garbage and I’m not enjoying this continual pounding in my head.  So much so that I’ve spent every waking moment not at work on the couch practicing my mouth-breathing.  Ugh.

On the other hand, the arrival of spring also brings the Lenten season and Holy Week.  I was at rehearsal today for the Palm Sunday service at church, and the music is Ah. Maze. Ing.  So excited to hear the performance Sunday morning.

Sunday Social

1. What is your favorite thing about Spring?
All the new growth.  Flowers trying to make their way in the world after the chill of winter.  The riot of color before it gives in to the green of summer.

2. Favorite kind of flowers to grow or receive?
Does basil count as a flower to grow?  I love it.  It’s also the only thing I haven’t killed other than a jade plant on the kitchen windowsill.  As much as I love the aforementioned riot of color I am horribly allergic to just about all of it.  So favorites to receive?  Probably tulips and daffodils, as they don’t aggravate as much.  Plus they are oh so pretty.

3. What is your favorite nail polish color?
The ones I like never look that great on my fingers.  I love bold pastel pinks and deep burgundy or wine tones.  I just painted them a soft opal shimmer, actually, but I know it won’t last any longer than my shower tomorrow morning.  I just cannot get polish to stick to my fingernails longer than a few hours.  I’ve tried every base coat out there, and no luck.  Any recommendations on how to get the polish to stick??? 

4. What is your favorite outdoor activity?
See the above statements regarding my allergies.  I can’t spend but so long out there without breaking into hives.  But when it’s good, the favorites include spending a great spring day out on the kite flying field, a balmy summer day hammock sitting with a good book, and fall afternoons at college football games.

5. Do you have any fun Spring plans?
Right now, to get healthy!  My birthday is coming soon, as is the new niece, so plans are all involved around that big event!

I’m building an ark

Yep, it’s that time of  year again.  No matter what you do, the house smells like wet dog.  Appealing, isn’t it?

To top it off, I’m also dogsitting, so I’ve spent lots of time two doors down–with three more dogs.  And thus the reason for a small posting tonight.  I am just not inspired by this weather.

Oh, the joys of home ownership!

My house

Taken during the December 2009 snowstorm, where about 9-12 inches fell overnight

I own my own home.  Well, I guess to be technical, the bank owns my home and I routinely make payments to them in order to keep my possessions under the roof.  I bought it about six years ago; it’s not that big but it’s great for just me.  It’s about sixty years old, which I love because it has personality.  All the new houses that are built nowadays crack me up–the one tree, artfully placed three feet to the right of the front door and four feet from the curb, the same for every house on the street.  Blah. Boring.  Give me a house that has character, one that has settled into its foundation and is a comfy place to call home.   That’s what I love.

Well, most of the time. Continue reading

Please Pass the Painkillers

Don’t know what happened to the first version of this posting, so here is the rewrite!

Waiting for Community Cleanup Day....

Waiting for Community Cleanup Day....

So Saturday was it.  No more excuses, no more procrastinating, no more dilly dallying, it was time.  I raked leaves.

I recruited help in the form of B and NoMH.  Told them I’d be starting right at 8am, they said there was no way they’d be ble to get there that early (shocker!) but they’d be there no later than 9.  They got here at 10:15.  (Yes, I was irritated and annoyed, even though I knew better.)

From 8 to 4 I/we worked pretty much non-stop.  Rules were simple: get all leaves up, don’t fill the bags more than halfway because the county won’t take more than three a week and as they get water-laden they’ll break, and keep working.  B has an issue with these rules, seeing as how she can ‘fit even more’ in the bags, regardless of me begging her to stop because I didn’t want to have to redo them all in three weeks or three months or whenever that particular bag makes it into the supercan.  So B was reassigned to do the gutters.  Disagreed vehemently with the gutter rule (leaves must go in a bag, not just thrown on the grown to be dealt with later) but we had a bit better luck.  Didn’t have much success in getting her to stop fiddling with my siding or other things but that is just her way.  I love them both for helping, but I think that by the time the day was over, they both hated me. Continue reading

Pluto Rocks!

With full apologies to Jason Kotkke, as I found this on his website.  I thought it was a riot, and yes, he did the right thing!  I have copied in its entirety:

Bringing Pluto back to the solar system

Meg bought Ollie this ball a couple of weeks ago. It’s got all the planets of the solar system on it, plus the Sun. But no Pluto. That’s right, it’s barely been two years since Pluto was demoted to dwarf planet status and the toy manufacturers have already made the adjustment.

It saddens me that Ollie has to grow up in a world where Pluto isn’t considered a planet, although I take comfort that his textbooks probably won’t be updated by the time he’s in school. In the meantime, I’ve Sharpied Pluto onto his ball.

Pluto, back where it belongs

One ball at a time people, that’s how we win.

The one time I don’t have my camera with me . . . .

So today I was out running errands.  [Since I am unemployed, it’s become a task in efficiency for me–see how many places I can get to with the shortest amount of driving to accomplish the maximum amount of things on my list.  I even made it 3 1/2 weeks without filling my gas tank–a new record!] 85% of the time, I have my digital camera floating around in the bottom of my bag.  I try hard to take photos whenever I can, and when I’m out and about I love especially love taking photos in natural settings.  I’ve knocked on doors so people don’t freak out when I’m in the yard zooming in on a tree blossom or stopped to get the mother goose and seven goslings crossing a six lane thoroughfare, or what have you.  One of the views I love is the juxtaposition of having a tree cluster and a lone bare tree in the mix.  A result of lightning, it’s dead, it’s been stripped bare, whatever–in the right lighting or setting it can be a beautiful combination.

So today I’m driving down the road at 55mph, getting ready to take the exit to get on the interstate, and there is such a scene coming up on the other side of the road.  Beautiful green foliage with some wildflowers underneath at roadside, and this one tree that–while not completely bare–extended far above the canopy with it’s wispy, barren branches.  There was an odd growth on it, and I was trying to figure out what it was while at a stoplight.  When I was able to drive closer I realized it wasn’t a growth, it was a nest, or maybe even a bird.  It wasn’t until I was right up on it (and remember it’s about 30 feet higher than I and on the opposite side of a four lane divided road) that I realized it was a bird.

Not just any bird, but a big fat owl.

We don’t have owls around here.  Or not many of them anyway, and not big ones or ones that appear in the daytime. It was truly a spectacular sight.

And here I am without my camera.

::sigh::