Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Earth Day with Ducks and Daffs

It's hard to believe we are now in the midst of an early spring after all the moaning I've done about our unseasonably cold weather. The magnolia in our front yard has outdone itself once again (for about the twentieth time!) with a spectacular display of blooms. His Madness has been taking regular walks twice a day to get his new knee in shape for the important one we took this past Earth Day. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson's earth may laugh in flowers but my little backyard coughs them up. 

Like hairballs.

A little bit here . . .  a little bit there . . .

and then one big mess in the middle.

It's not their fault I can't remember where I plant them. They're tricky little buggers. When our son Andy was two years old I put six of these Elizabeth Barrett Browning daffodil bulbs on each side of our front steps. For quite a few years they bloomed but then they disappeared and I thought they had died. It was probably due to the arborvitae that had taken over the whole front of the house. Since we were forced to remove the overgrown shrubs they reappeared and have made quite a come back and increased in numbers. I have no clue how long this will continue but we're enjoying it while it lasts.   

We live in a migratory flyway so last Saturday when I was looking out of my kitchen window I wasn't surprised to see this pair of ducks determinedly marching down the driveway. Another sign of spring!

Later, His Madness and I met up with a couple hundred people and did some marching of our own.

It's hard to believe that in 2017 it would be necessary to march in support of science!

Not to mention facts!

There were lots of signs. Clear and precise, exactly what I expected from a group of scientists.

Unfortunately they were already sold out of these totally geeky t-shirts by the time we got there. We'll pick some up at the next march. I have a feeling we will be doing it a lot during the next four years.

As for those ducks, they're probably happily on their way to Canada by now.
They'll be much better off with Justin Trudeau.

So how was your weekend?

Thanks for stopping by for an Earth Day visit!

Sunday, April 16, 2017


According to the calendar it's time to break out the bunnies and chocolate.
(It's also time to pay the taxes but there's no reason to throw a party for that!)

It doesn't matter what season we're in or which holiday we're celebrating, 
it always ends up looking a little like Halloween at our house.

It's not like we're lacking in excessively sweet and way too pastel cookie jars.

Or snazzy headgear. 

There's always a good supply of essentials for those Easter baskets.

Even the ones that really don't hold enough! Honestly, what were they thinking?

It's just that something always looks a little bit off. Did you notice the look in the eye of the tall one?
I think these bunnies may be planning a raid on the tiny (Christmas repurposed for spring) village!

Then there's the eggs.


Out in the garden it's a completely different story.
Mother Nature always produces the perfect blooms for the occasion.

She never fails to deliver, even up here in the frozen north!
Ok, most of the time she delivers; if there's no snow and the ground isn't still frozen.

However, she does like to stick it to those gardeners who believe they planted only purple crocuses.

Now, how about some Easter caroling?

A Happy Easter to all of you who are celebrating today.

I hope everyone is enjoying a merry spring and indulging in a chocolate bunny extravaganza!

Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, March 30, 2017


Daffodils can really perk up a grey, rainy day especially when it seems like spring is never going to get here! I've complained too much about the school bus yellow lilies that relentlessly bloom in my garden (just in time to clash with my pink roses) but I do like daffodils, even the all yellow ones.

The daffodils in my garden are being very brave and making a real effort but it's 38 degrees so they are stuck in flower limbo. Maybe they should have stayed underground a little longer?

The tulips are also beginning to make an appearance along with the strawberries and lots of weeds! 

Then there's the standing water issue.
At this stage of the game it takes a fair amount of imagination to envision how it will eventually look.

In a month (or two) it should resemble it's previous self. Maybe. Fingers crossed.

When I was looking for a shot of last year's tulips I came across some photos I took this past summer of Spenser keeping track of an inch worm traversing the edge of a bath towel. He apparently didn't think this tiny thing was interesting enough to bother torturing or eating. I have to admit that I was surprised to see that he could exercise enough restraint to avoid squashing it for no good reason.      

That worm really took it's sweet time getting across the table but Spenser just kept watching.

Eventually it reached the edge of the towel and moved on down the leg of the table. 

After that extraordinary bit of self-discipline it was time for a nap, on the same towel.
If patience is a virtue, does that make Spenser a virtuous cat?

Speaking of being patient, His Madness is currently rocking both the noun and adjective forms. 
He got another new knee and now he has a matching pair.
He is not a patient patient.

Thanks for stopping by!
Are you impatient for spring to arrive or has it already shown up in your neighborhood? 

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Daze of Spring

Happy Vernal Equinox!
I hope your first day of spring is looking better than mine, not that I expected it to look any different than it does. Obviously there's not a lot of rebirth happening out there. That pink sky sort of brings to mind Easter eggs and spring flowers but unfortunately it's just the dawn of another winter. day.  Lately we have been working very hard to find interesting things to do while we anxiously wait for spring. It's made a nice change from pondering whether to use the yellow snow shovel or the red one.

Spring cleaning is always at the top of the "to do" list and Burt likes to do the vacuuming.

Apparently he thought it was time to get in touch with his feminine side and embrace his inner domestic goddess.  As always, he was happy to model his latest look. He even matches the sunset!

His Madness prefers a plain apron and it's also in a seasonal color.
He is preparing the preferred desert for the official holiday of Math Geeks.

March 14th is Pi Day, a truly delicious occasion and one I always look forward to. In honor of Isaac Newton he made an apple pie. This scholarly holiday was quickly followed by St. Patrick's Day!

Which is usually not known for being associated with anything vaguely intellectual.

Or exercising self-control. What is it with birds and Guinness?

What can you say about corned beef? Why is it so red? Why is Burt so green?

A couple weeks ago was International Women's Day. Ivy took some time that day to pressure our member of Congress not to repeal Obamacare. Our Republican Senator, Ron Johnson has dodged both of the Town Hall Meetings his constituents arranged. I guess the only people they REALLY listen to are the ones who give them lots of money, like the NRA. Why do these guys continue to ignore the fact that 92% of Americans want to expand background checks for purchasing guns?   

If we can't get our legislators attention at least we can always vent our frustration by mocking the Mango in Chief! Samantha Bee's goal was to sell 500 of the "Nasty Woman" t-shirts to help fund the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project in Los Angeles County. So far 97,690 have been sold! As for Burt's "Bad Dude" shirt, it helps the KARAM Foundation, a non-profit providing education and aid to Syrian refugee families. The Resistance continues, we refuse to accept Trump's hurtful policies!

Finally, getting back to the present, on the first day of Spring we're also celebrating Andy's Birthday!
And yes, there was a blizzard on the day he was born, too. Some things never change.

Happy Spring!
Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Spring Time

It's that time of year again.
Although it's great to have that extra hour of daylight in the evenings . . .

. . . setting the clocks ahead always takes some getting used to.

Unless you're a fluffy cat who can spend all day snoozing. Spenser doesn't feel the effects of losing an hour of sleep so he's appointed himself the supervisor of the time pieces. He's bossy but precise. When I was a child I thought Daylight Saving Time meant putting "time" in a safe deposit box and storing it in a bank vault. That's probably not something I should admit to, which is possibly due to sleep deprivation. I've also been calling them "safety" deposit boxes until I looked it up just now. 

The batteries in the smoke detectors get changed when the analog clocks get reset.  Remembering to do that is mostly thanks to the multitude of people harping about it in the news but also because I (probably) was awakened out of a deep sleep by them once when my house was on fire. Since the possessed kitchen has been acting up again lately, why take chances?

Several years ago, around 4:00 am, I had a dream about being with friends in a smoky club where Aerosmith was playing live. We were seated at a table located about half way between the stage and the bar. The band took a break and left the stage, heading for a drink. As the musicians were approaching us I announced to my friends that the smoke was really getting to me and I would have to leave. Just then, as Steven Tyler was passing by our table, he looked directly at me and said,
"Then you'd better go!" 

I woke up to discover I was sleeping on my stomach (which I never do), face down in my pillow and the house was full of smoke. I roused His Madness and my son, Andy and we ran downstairs and applied the extinguisher to the blaze just as the sunroom curtains turned into to a wall of fire. Unfortunately the house was so full of smoke we were forced to call the Fire Department. Soon half a dozen very excited, twenty somethings showed up led by a cranky old man. The firemen added to an already huge mess by clomping around in their muddy boots and breaking a few windows. The smoke was removed fairly quickly but they left without actually putting out the fire. Fortunately, we noticed their oversight right away and poured a bucket of water on the smoldering floor joists.

The scary part is that those ear splitting sounds emitted from your smoke detectors aren't always loud enough to wake up a person who is deeply asleep, at 4:00 am, with their face in their pillow. I don't recall hearing it actually going off even though it was blasting away just ten feet from my head. Now I'm wondering if we should to add a few more! On a lighter note, even though I'm more of a metal head, I really don't believe Aerosmith's music sounds at all similar to a smoke alarm. Though I should probably write to Steven Tyler to say thank you and avoid mentioning any connection between his band and loud noises made by household safety appliances.

Finally, Burt, Ivy, His Madness and I would like to wish Kristin,
the newest member of our family, a very Happy Birthday!

Thanks so much or stopping by. I'm not sure how this turned into a public safety announcement but just to be on the safe side, please don't forget to change the batteries in your smoke detectors!