Thursday, February 15, 2007

Here, there, everywhere...

The house is spic and span, and the two Junes have a safely arrived for a visit. They're at home with Bernie while I work my shift at the library.

The weather is cold outside, so, of course, here at work it is hot.

I'm slipping in a blog from work for three reasons:

1. I was so busy making the house spotless that I didn't have a chance to post earlier.

2. I wanted everyone to see the library web page (Key to All College Knowledge.) If you play around on the "Research Helps" area, you can learn a lot about how to find information.

And here's the important stuff:

3. On the college library web page you will see links to synergy on your right hand side. (Or just click here.)
The campus is reading E. M. Forster's short-short story: The Machine Stops.
It's an interesting story because it was written in 1909, yet if you didn't know that, it would seem to have been written recently.
I think I would have enjoyed reading this story more if I had read it out loud to someone.
I don't enjoy science fiction very much.

But it is an interesting story in light of when it was written.

Our library is hosting a blog on the story, with questions for discussion about the story.

If you ever wondered what it would be like to be involved in a college campus discussion, here's your chance.
Anyone AND Everyone is welcome to read the story and comment.
Student, non-student, old, young, basically as long as you are human and can type, you can chime in...

There. Now I feel OK about posting from work. And let me tell you, it took awhile to write this.

Busy night in library land.

Well, this may be the most uninteresting post ever.

But it will give you idea of what my world is like when I'm at work.
It would be more fun if Tiggie could come to work with me.

(There are lots of libraries with cats on staff. Really. Check this out.)

Oh well. Can't have everything.

Back to it....

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Courting in the parlor.

Looking for a little romance?

The old fashioned, heart goes pitty-pat type romance?
Ahhhh. Sigh. Smile.

Back at the turn of the century (1890-1910) there was a popular invention called the stereoscope.

Pictures were taken in a manner that when viewed using a stereoscope, the pictures became 3 dimensional.

Picture of events and places were very popular, the original "arm chair traveler" concept.
One photographer, Ingersoll, took pictures of people in scenes, and then added a story to be read along with the picture as it was viewed.

Now here's where it gets romantic:
One person would look through the stereoscope at the image on the front of the card, while the other would read aloud the story printed on the back of the card.

A perfectly proper reason to get close together on the loveseat in the parlor.

And if the stories were a little romantic, well,


"Hey, ya wanna come over to my place? I got some new stereoptican slides! Uh huh... OK!
See you later then!"

And here they are for your romantic Valentine's Day viewing!
(Click on the pictures to enlarge the script if needed.)

From 1899: "The Bashful Lover" (my personal favorite!)
The slide:

No Date: "Caught in the Glen Ramble."
From 1898: "Love's Token, Freely Given."

The course of true love is rarely smooth. A disagreement or two along the way is to be expected. These two will need to do some soul searching, and a little making up as well.

Hopefully Cupid's arrow won't be misfired in your romance today. If it is, just go ahead and make up anyway. It could be very romantic!
Tulips from my darlin' Mr. B.

I hope you have a Happiest of Valentine's Days.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Going about life

It did rain a lot yesterday, and there was a tornado watch as well, but all in all, it was not too big of a deal. The predicted hail fell in a county northwest of us.

I spent the day cleaning, washing floors and dealing with the after effects of a burnt-popcorn-in-the-microwave episode. Is there anything more pervasive than that odor? The grout between the tiles behind the microwave captured a lot of the smoke stain.

I think we'll be getting a new microwave; there's just no way to eliminate the smokey residue within its internal mechanisms. Believe me, I've used everything on the market and tried old wives tale remedies to boot.

As typical, Tiggie and Hart were absolutely no help during all this domesticity. They figured they would just lay low, and try to stay out of my way.

Hart wishes he had found a place to lay low away from Tigs.

This morning all is sunny and bright.
Tiggie is well rested and went out for a walk in the garden.

I shot this through the window, hence a bit of my reflection is clouding an otherwise charming picture.

I've still got a lot of catch up house work to do.

My mom and her friend June are flying in on Thursday for a visit.

They are both named "June", two of the three Junes in their Bible study class.

I wonder why people don't name their June born babies "June" any more.

I don't know about other housewives, but for me, there's nothing like company a'coming to motive a burst of sparkling clean cleaning.

And while I am working, those cats had better not get in my way!

Monday, February 12, 2007

You've got to be quick to see these!

About once a year we have Cedar Waxwings arrive in our neighborhood, driven south by the cold fronts hitting up north.
I suppose these particular birds flew out of Minnesota around the same time I did, but they didn't pay Continental Airlines to tote them down to Houston IAH like I did.

So it took them a few days longer to get here. We are always thrilled to see them come.
They literally cover any bush that has berries, and strip the bush clean of berries in minutes.
They're really nervous birds, with a beautiful black mask, black beak, red tipped wings and yellow chest accents.
Their feathers look so sooth, almost like they were, well, waxed.

Their sound is pretty unique too. A high pitch jingle note, bzeee.

You might be able to play it on the link above. Multiply that sound by about 10, and you can get an idea of what our area sounded like.

Bernie was on a business conference call when the Cedar Waxwings arrived, and he said it was all he could do not to hang up on the call and run for his camera. As soon as he wrapped up the call he rushed to get me, and I ran outside (in my pink pajama's, :-0) in order to catch them having at our holly bush by the garage.

You can see one of the Waxwings in the lower right corner of the above picture with a berry in his beak.
They just gulp the berries down whole, and their digestive juices make short work of getting the fuel value out of the berry, and discarding the rest.

They usually show up with the Robin delegation. The robins are all over the place too, glaring at everyone as they run across lawns looking for worms. According to the link, these birds summer in Canada. Guess we should let Canada know their summer birds are down here now, and are doing fine.

"Hey Canada: Your Summer Birds arrived safely! They're doing fine! Send bird food!"

(There. Done and done. Got that little chore off my list...)

We're always glad to see our feathered friends from the North "snowbird" into our town.

They're going to be in for a thrill later today. Heavy storms are forecast, with large hail likely in the afternoon.

There's already been some lightening, and we're moving items into the garage that hail could damage. I love storms. High energy time for me, and that's sorely needed as we did pruning outside this weekend. The housework got behind.

Plus we went to see the movie "The Last Sin-eater." It is based on the book (same title), that we read a few years ago and absolutely loved. My mom had passed it along to us. Good movie, a Michael Landon Jr. production, and filmed in Utah, in areas near our son's house.

There were a grand total of six people in the whole theater. Seems like that is usually the case with good movies. If it comes to your area, drop everything and catch it. It will probably only be in theaters for a short time. Blink your eyes and you'll miss it.

Kind of like lightning flashes and Cedar Wax Wings.

If you want to see them, you've got to be quick.