Saturday, June 05, 2010

Flotilla Choir presents: We Con the World

Oh yeah...because when reality is horrible, the only thing left to do is laugh.

By the way: who was on that blockage challenging ship?

The flotilla was organized in large part by a radical Turkish Islamist organization named IHH (Islan Haklary Ve Hurriyetleri Vakfi). The IHH, in turn, is part of a Saudi-based umbrella group called the Union of Good, which was created by Hamas. The U.S. Treasury Department designated the Union of Good a terrorist organization in 2008. Of course, Hamas itself was designated a terrorist organization many years ago.

Read more about these facts HERE. With aid coming from "friends" like that, who needs enemies?

Woodman (don't) Spare That Tree!

My view from the deck yesterday. I've only been glaring at that leggy pine hogging visual space for the past six months.

As B. and I sat sipping a cool drink as evening fell, I commented one more time how much I was looking forward to that tree being GONE.

No time like the present right?
The scent of pine sap mingled with the scent of fresh rushing melted snow water...
...and fragrant blossoms in the humid air.
He is cutting the tree up high because he wants to have the stump tall enough for hammock post usage.
The bow saw was up to the task; B. had talked to our neighbor about borrowing a chain saw, but somehow it just seemed more rugged to do it with manly muscle power.
Which isn't to say it wasn't hard work: that tree was full of sap that stuck hard to the saw blade with each stroke. At one point he switched to a small ax, and "beat the heck" out of the tree!

The mighty woodman had felled the tree!

I did catch the fall on video; for some reason I can't get Picasa to upload the new HD format though. Otherwise, I'd let you see the big "TIMBER!" moment.

"I can not tell a lie...I did it with my little hatchet..."
The hand ax belonged to Bernie's grandfather.
Grandpa's initials are on the leather ax sheath.
Notice the sheath has slashes that would allow the ax to be carried on a belt if desired.
Pretty handy, huh?


As we retired back to the deck the air thickened and a few raindrops fell. With the tree gone, we could clearly see a rainbow against the mountainside. God's note of approval?

(I think that would be going a bit too far...but fun to suggest to each other anyway.)

By the's the robin's nest with one of the babies.
No wonder the poor robins have been gathering worms frantically the last few days.
Those babies are almost as big as their parents!
Also: Thursday evening there was no water running at the end of our property. Bernie went to lock the doors at bedtime and came to tell me that the snow melt was starting. It had been a day that flirted with the 80 degree mark; and our neighbor had mentioned that the water always began to run the first week in June.
Boy was he ever right!
The rushing water is so loud we keep thinking someone has left the bath tub water running or something. We find the sound actually unsettling and a bit disruptive.
Eventually we will get used to the sound...but by then the seasonal runoff will come to an end.
Meanwhile it is great to be able to just chuck weeds and small clippings over the fence and have it be rushed away by the water.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Chirp, chirp, tweet....

It is going to be hitting the 80+ degree mark this weekend. To celebrate, I got my hair cut to just below chin length, the shortest I have had my hair in like ten years.

I'm thinking of asking the neighbors over for some sangria on the deck, if it can be worked in around B's deck upkeep painting intentions.

A nice thick Elizabeth Goudge novel is at the ready for me, the camera battery topped off, and aside from a trip to the grocery store to get the usual things, I am ready for the weekend to begin.

In would already be started, except I took a long lunch break for the hair cut and so I'm staying a longer to make up the time. (Killing time by writing this post, which I wouldn't be doing if there was anything else to be done....)

Back home I know the birds are awaiting me.

The Lazuli Buntings are getting to be regular visitors now.

The bunting's song is wonderful. You can listen to it HERE....and envy me!

For those of you who are going to be stubborn and not click on the link and listen: some fun factoids from Cornell University about Lazuli Buntings:

Male Lazuli Buntings two years of age and older sing only one song, composed of a series of different syllables, and unique to that individual.

A group of buntings are collectively known as a "decoration", "mural", and "sacrifice" of buntings. Personally, I'd be happier if they would make up their minds about the bird's collective noun. I definitely think "sacrifice" should be out. What noun do you think should be used for this lovely little bird? )

The cute little chickadee: Factoid: they add more "dee dee dees" to their calls when danger is near, and other birds pay attention to their call as well.
The tiny bird can lay up to 13 eggs at a time!
Collective noun: banditry of
Chickadees, a dissimulation of Chickadees.
(I'm liking banditry myself....)
You can hear the chickadee's song HERE.
There are a couple of robin teams in the back yard. They act like they own the place. Twice now I have seen them chase Larry the Cable Squirrel off the telephone wire, and when he leaped for his life into the Russian Olive tree, the robins FOLLOWED him! It was a pretty spectacular scene: two robins and one small squirrel ricocheting through the tree branches and canopy.

Had I thought about it, it would have been interesting to keep count of the number of worms they have snatched from the garden.

One sunset I was outside and kept hearing the robins peeping a single note back and forth. I spied where the robins were; each of them had a huge worm dangling from their beaks. I could see their tail and chest lift with each peep, so I know they were making the sound.

This kept up for about a half hour. I was getting concerned that perhaps something had happened to their babies. then I got annoyed at the constant peep peep-ing and went inside.

Later I looked out and saw Hart on the deck. I hadn't known he was outside. As soon as he was in, the birds rushed to their nest and all was well again.
I wonder where Hart had been hiding?

The robin's nest is a good 15 ft high up in our Redwood tree, hard to see, and definitely out of cat range.

Oh is 3:30 now. I'm outta here!'s the weekend again!!!

(Bonus points: what is the collective noun for the robin? Hint: it is in the pictures!)

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

I Wanna Garden Pond...NOW!

Do you enjoy ponds?

Do you ever look closely at the plants that grow in water?
Check out how those floating leaves look like yellow-green cat tongues!

Have you ever wanted a pond with water plants growing in your own garden?
I sure did.
So I created a table top pond just big enough to entice a water sprite fairy or two...
The tiny-tiny green floating specks that you can see in the first photo are the size of a grain of corn meal.

I've been told their blossom is the smallest flower in the world.

That should interest fairies don't you think?

It is most enjoyable to be able to re-arrange my garden with my finger tip, and see it grow a bit each day.

This weekend I decided that the pond needed a boulder in the middle of it.

I didn't break a sweat bringing it to the pond.

I didn't even get wet putting it into the pond!

Best of all: I did it all by myself.
No husband cajoling was needed to build this pond.

No fairies have been seen quite yet.
I am willing to give it time. Who knows who else might also like visiting the pond? Perhaps birds, or if I am really lucky, maybe even a butterfly or a tiny frog.
With my camera at the ready, I'll be watching and waiting for them from my shady and comfortable deck couch.

(My table top pond was inspired by THIS article. I picked up the bowl at the local thrift shop for $2, then headed to the local water garden shop to select mini versions of popular pond plants. The girl helping me was an artist and was soon as fired up on the idea of a table top fairy pond as I was. I'm going to try more of the online magazine's ideas in the future, and maybe one day even have a full sized pond as well. For now...this little pond is good enough for me!)

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

June then...June now: The blog is now four years old

June 1st 2006, four years ago was my first day to post in blogdom.
Being my "blogaversary" I gave some thought as to what to post today.

I revisited/considered my first week of posting, and realized that within that week's postings there was a post that needed to be revisited and updated.

The post was titled "75% rich and earworms." (How's that an interesting for a title???)

A few things had changed since in my life then.Other things have not.

I decided to repost the post today below, and note the changes in red.

It is going to be clear and hot today. (it was always hot back then...we lived in Houston at the time!) The cherry tomatoes are now chin height, (here in SLC they are ankle high) the fruit abundant but still green, (we have a few buds at least here) and leaf miners have arrived. (none here yet...)

They've marred the pristine beauty of some the plant's leaves with squiggly pale paths, evidence of their culinary travels. Now I have a decision to make: Research how to fight them, decide if the fight should be organic, chemical, manual (pluck the marred leaves) or just let things be. Something to mull.

Having something to mull, or ponder, is important to me. Like my poor plant, I am subject to squiggly invaders called "ear worms". I hear a song, or jingle, and it plays over and over and over again in my head, squiggling through my mind, bubbling up in moments of mental repose. Last week it was "Some where (pause, pause) beyond the sea (pause pause) my love's (pause pause) waiting for me...."

This thanks to Carnival cruise line current ad campaigns. Before that is was "I'd love to be cowgirl, but I'm afraid of cows. Moo, moo, moo how they scare me. " (Thanks to Gayle for that one!)

Imagine the troubled looks I have gotten in public places when the ear worm takes full control of my passive mind, and I begin singing aloud. Moo, moo, moo.....

To fight this pesty invader, and to avoid being carted off to the funny farm, I work at gathering ponderable thoughts. A recently gathered ponderable came from our local Houston newspaper columnist Scott Burns. He shared this:

"You know you are rich when more money won't change where you live, what you eat, what you drive, or who you sleep with."

I like what I eat just fine. I'm up two pounds this morning as proof! (and a few more since then.)
And I love sleeping with B. and our three cats. (Our sweet calico girl Tidbit died suddenly a year later.) I'd make no changes there. So that locks me into 50% rich.

I also love my 4Runner, mainly because I can shove huge items in the back, and also because it is high enough to get me out of Houston's oh so frequent floods. (Now I love my all wheel drive Subaru Forester that can get me out of SLC's oh so frequent snows!) That fact puts me at 75% rich.

Then it gets complicated. I love where I am living, but I know that if suddenly got a huge amount of cash, I would want to add several zip codes to my residential identity. And I don't love that I don't live near my family, and many of my friends. (I now live near at least one family member and much closer to the rest. I love it here! I would still like a condo in New Orleans too though, just for fun.)

So I ponder: If I am only 75% rich, (make that 90% now..10% off because the rest of the family is not in town) then what is the ONE place that I would want to move to, and never leave, that would make me 100% rich.

Scott Burns published that observation last Friday. Where I would live and never leave was ponder fodder for me for almost five days. Today I finally figured it out.

It's north, far north, and actually it has no zip code. Doesn't have days or nights either. Time is different there. I have read that a thousand years is like one day there. And everyone has mansions.

Someday I WILL move there. I've already signed the real estate contract guaranteeing me a space. But in the meantime, I'm plenty happy being just 75% (90%) rich.

PS: By the way, ear worms can also be controlled by singing "The Hallelujah Chorus".


With vigor.
I've tried it and it work!

So here I am, four years later and I am still quite homesick at times. I love it here, I love everywhere I've lived or visited in my life.

Still, yet...even on the best days when all around me is so beautiful I still remember this is just a "for now" place. I think I will be here for many many year, yet when I wrote that post four years ago, I thought I would be there in Houston for many more years as well.

Things ultimate address remains the same.
How about you? Are you as rich as me? I hope so. I hope that one day we will meet outside of blogdom. In a place where we all will say that we are 100% rich and happy forever.