Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Like A Song

A Rose

You know what's coming up, don't you? The day everyone dreads - or looks forward to. Or forgets. Or feels as though only THEY remembered. Or maybe you don't worry about it because you celebrate your love for life every day ~~ that's YOU, isn't it?

I am so lucky, I have been asked to sing a sweet song for Valentine's this year. There are so many wonderful songs, it is obviously difficult to decide. I would love suggestions.

In fact, tell your favourite sweet song. Maybe you have more than one - give us a list!

What is it about these songs that make them your favourite(s)?

Oh yes, one more thing: I promise I won't ruin your song. :~)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Weather matters

We're having another "ice storm". That's where it drizzles or rains, and the temperatures are low enough that it comes down as ice or freezes right away. Ice coats everything.

The worst part of it is that the streets are impossible to use. Tuesday evening, from the back of the house I could hear a loud noise: the wheels of a big SUV in the street, attempting to move up the slight incline on which we are situated. As I watched from the front door, the driver was at last able to back into a driveway and turn around to head downhill. Immediately, no more spinning; they just rolled peacefully away, nicely avoiding my son's car parked in the street.

Just as the streets are impassable, so the schools are closed. Tuesday, Wednesday, and now Thursday! The melting began today (Wednesday), but the freezing temperatures on Thursday will continue through the morning. What's that? Ice on the streets. And I don't just mean the ice we have had from people who continue to run their lawn sprinklers through the winter months. You know, those sprinklers which inevitably spread more water on the pavement than on the poor grass fighting for dormancy. Don't get me started!

Oh, I just said the worst part was the ice on the streets--Nope, the worst part is being sick in bed when the kids are home! Oh, the agony, not being able to put them to work properly. My agent, their oldest brother, did get them moving after awhile, but the pull of the video game was upon them. They did get their homework done Wednesday, however, and actually ventured outside in the sunshine.

Having to languish in my little corner of home left me without resources to take photos of what can be a magical time. You see the sparkling ice on the branches of trees and plantlife, the layer of white covering everything else, making daytime ghosts of ordinary objects. I do, however, have some photos from the "ice storm" a year ago. Well, okay, December 2007 but close enough. Things were a little more dire that time. This winter the power company actually made their way through the neighborhoods and trimmed tree branches away from power lines. Seemed an improvement, as we didn't have thousands of homes without power in this city.

Here you are, your reward for reading this far:

Hidden treasure

We found this beautiful slice of tree trunk along the walk, on our way to a Red Dirt Rangers children's concert. It perhaps demonstrates why so many trees did fall simply from ice.

Although, it does not explain why the tree in our backyard snapped the way it did. Can you tell which piece used to go where?

Tree down

Oh alright, a little more dramatic, and you can see more of what happened:

Another view of tree down

It was amazing to see in person, such a large limb changed like that. And it so considerately missed the wretched garage. Why do you think it snapped?

This was a bit of bad luck.

A bit of bad luck

The branch wasn't that big - but fell at just the right angle, I suppose. The car hasn't been the same since. Ho-hum.

Stay tuned for more winter magic from this corner of the world. I have to survive the end of this ailment and possibly a major dental appointment, so be patient, won't you? :~)

{All photos available for closer examination on my Flickr page}

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Oh, look!

Why, it's true ~ a new day HAS dawned!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I Wonder Who's Kissing You Now

Now that recent holidays are over, how are you? Are you taking care of yourself?
I think of you often; of the holiday parties…that little sprig suspended over the doorway…

  I wonder who's kissing you now,
   I wonder who's teaching you how,

It seemed as though every archway, or entry to each greatroom held a stem heavy with the delicate leaves, bowing an invitation. Those green petals whose essence compels the sweet gesture…

  I wonder who's looking into your eyes
   Breathing sighs, telling lies;

It was a coincidence, I’m sure, that I always found your arms encircling, your eyes reflecting the festive holiday lights, twinkling as you hinted to me of my contract with tradition…

  I wonder who's buying the wine,
   For lips that I used to call mine…

Ah, the wine. Is it possible to have an evening more pleasurable—a fire, mistletoe, the wine, your lips…

Hello Dear One,

  I’ve missed you so.

Behold, the "delicate" mistletoe, so sought-after, so... so...

...so attached to its host, as many a partygoer, mmm?

Song lyrics adapted from: “I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now”, (1 Feb 1909)
Words by Will M. Hough, 1882-1962
& Frank R. Adams, 1883-1963
Music by Joseph E. Howard, 1878-1961[and Harold Orlob, 1885-1982]
from the Musical Comedy"The Prince of To-Night" [8 Feb 1909]

Friday, January 18, 2008

Group Effort

Let’s see, we’ve got a murder of crows, a flock of sheep, a school of porpoises.

There would be a leap of leopards, a bloat of hippopotamuses, a skein of ducks.
You could find a gaggle of geese, a flight of butterflies, a mob of kangaroos.

What do we have here?

A clowder of cats!

On a bundle of laundry.

We have a kyndyll of kittens and two adult female cats, Sox and Drea (pronounced “Dray-uh”). Yes, we know how it “happened.” The one night in six months I “happened” to be out to dinner with some girlfriends, Drea, the mama cat, “happened” to get out when it happened that our four-year-old could not close the door properly behind himself. We were waiting to have her neutralised until the two young kittens she had at the time were done nursing. Ahem.

“We” (that rhymes with “me” ) finally were able to get her back in the house 48 hours later. Approximately nine weeks later… well anyway, now we have eight cats in our house. The youngest four are five months old; the two older kittens are nine months old, and Drea is about a year and a half. We are guessing Sox could be the same age as Drea, but Sox is much bigger.

You could see a run of salmon, an exaltation of larks, or a parliament of rooks. Dodge a bike of hornets, an ambush of tigers, or a crash of rhinoceroses.

There is a feline relay race going on around me right now; the typical early morning exercises. Sometimes I have to put up a blockade to slow them down. On the wooden floors it sounds like a string of miniature ponies galloping through the house. You wouldn’t guess by looking at them that just about a month ago, several of them were at death’s door.

In December, after the effects of the “ice storm” had begun to subside, at least enough that folks could move around more freely on the roads, “we” took seven cats to the clinic to be neutralised. Two males, five females. About a week later, they started sneezing. No big deal, one would think, it’s just a little sneeze, maybe a little head cold or something. My bob, I thought a couple of their heads were going to pop off—seven, eight, nine sneezes in a row! One of the male kittens, Jerry, started hissing and growling at the sneezers every time they sneezed in his face, at first, and then each time he passed them by.

The females seemed to be affected more severely. One day a couple of them were a little slow, the next day they weren’t moving, just sitting there, miserable. I gathered up the two inanimate cats, mother and daughter calicos, and took them off to the vet. Came back with a diagnosis of bronchitis and enough antibiotics for everyone, for four days--renewed four days later, as everyone was still sneezing. The boys, T2 and T3 were great assistants. T2 even helped syringe feed the three girls, Drea and her daughters, Sparkles and Sweetheart, when they would not eat on their own. I made a large pot of chicken soup for them.

The first two nights I was up for a couple nighttime feeds. The three who were down were closed in the bathroom with the heater the second night, to keep them warm. Then next day, they actually walked out on their own. By the end of the day, they were beginning to eat on their own. I was so very worried. I have not had a cat ill to this degree before. I am guessing they picked up the germs at the clinic of neutralisation; the females were under anaesthetic longer, so they were more greatly affected. It’s a theory.

We still have a few sneezes going on, but I am counting on these creatures now being stronger and healthier generally, and that they will get over this soon. By the way, Jerry ended up catching the cold bug last, and soon stopped growling and hissing at everyone else. He was too busy sneezing.

Whether your home includes a charm of finches, a sute of bloodhounds, or a knob of toads, I think it’s important to keep the numbers within reason. Eight cats is clearly too many, nor had we ever intended to have this many. I have come to the conclusion that we will find homes for at least the four youngest kittens, with the caveat that they take the little darlings to a veterinarian and get them a check up. It is much more affordable to do this for one than it is for eight!

It has been a pleasure in so many ways to be entrusted with the care of these kitties. The boys have been very grateful to have them. I get a kick out of the fact that whatever room one passes through in our house, a cat can be picked up and stroked, cuddled. Very soothing. Even my hardworking spouse will stop to caress a kitty.

I had some fun finding the “collective names” I have included here. I saved these for last. They seem to be inspired somewhat by the human panorama:

A business of ferrets; a mess of iguanas; a party of jays; a congregation of magpies; a labour of moles; a plump of moorhen; a watch of nightingales; a pride of peacocks; a family of sardines; a pack of weasels.

Some of the more evocative terms I found:
A bouquet of pheasants; escargatoire of snails; flick of rabbits; army of ants; a caravan of camels; murmuration of starlings.

I was thinking along the lines of “a hangout of teenagers.” However, son #T1, who recently turned 18, let me know it would be “a gang of teenagers.”

So what would it be, a bevy of bloggers; a colony of chroniclers?


Drea, Sparkles, and Sweetheart
Here are the girls, all quite healthy and obviously bored.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Solar Power - series

27 September 2007
~ seen from the futból fields

6:46 pm

6:55 pm

7:02 pm

7:06 pm

7:09 pm

7:10 pm

7:14 pm

7:15 pm

7:15 pm

(See set on Flickr)

I had promised the entire series of photos of this sunset. It was very intense to be surrounded by that light. It seemed as though the character of the light changed each minute, sometimes within half a minute.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Life is so...daily

Have you noticed? It’s there, every day. It’s what happens.

All your decisions; the things you said, to whom, and how you said them; what you did and why you think you did it—it’s all there, every day. How and what you say to yourself. The games you played, the songs you sang, the meals you cooked—every day. That’s what brought us to the here and now. I have been thinking about this lately. As I constructed the outline of events occurring in our circle since October 2007, I had plenty to think about.

Some of the happenings which began shortly after Sock Wars II went underway (Sock Wars update coming soon. Truly!):


~ Bank account was accessed, the money used to pay a huge utility bill in another state. This took up an inordinate amount of time, both psychic and physic. I was worthless after a week of that. Today we are dealing with repercussions of this yet affecting us.

The funny thing is, after mentioning my dismay over this to a few friends and acquaintances, I found that this occurs more frequently than one would think. Practically each person with whom I have spoken of this either has had someone access some sort of information of theirs, especially banking, or know of someone who has. After all, the BankGuy we dealt with said the bank wouldn’t likely pursue any criminal complaint because they get “so much of this” every year. Really? Really?!! I think I know which direction my career may be turning…

(as always, please click photo for larger picture)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Now, THIS is War!

That is, SOCK WARS II. And I am a veteran of last year's inaugeral war. So I should know better. But I needed to build up my strength after dealing with being a little green around the gills, ugh. So here I am. As my cohort admonished me, however, I must get back in the ranks and knit to kill.

Each sock warrior is assigned a target. Therefore, each has an assassin. Knit to kill, send the weapon of death. When the death strike has been received (socks in the mail), target has been assassinated. I have received my Top Secret Sock Wars II Assassination Dossier with my assignment. I must go.

Just wanted to let you know. 'Cos War is Hell. And this is War!

(click logo above for details of war games)

Solar Power III

I have not forgotten the sunset I started a week or so ago. Here are the next in the series:
(click on photos for larger view)~~okay, this should really work now

27 September 2007
6:49 pm

Actually, this should have been second, but it was such a different view, I was going to save it for another time. Then I took another look.

27 September 2007
7:02 pm

I admit to having cropped out the parked cars in some of these sunset photos. They interrupted my concentration on the incredible sky, so they had to go. Unfortunately, it made for a smaller photo here. So, click to have it fill your screen, and see what you think.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Naked Ladies

My son (T2) was overheard in preschool talking with his friends at great length about naked ladies. Yes, he was telling them, he really liked naked ladies. In fact, we had naked ladies at our house. They were in the backyard! And on and on he went. To her credit, the teacher listening in followed the conversation until she could make better sense of it, and finally realised the darling boy was referring to a type of flower! She was quite relieved.

It’s true, of course. We do have naked ladies dancing in our garden. Rather, we did until the plumbing team dug them up last spring. They have bloomed there since we first moved in. My husband was all for having naked ladies in the backyard. When I mentioned the possibility to our youngest (T3), who has never seen them, he was strongly against the idea. "I don't want naked ladies in our garden, no way!" "Why not?" He thought that was the silliest question anyone could ask him.

Naked ladies are so named because the flowers grow on a long stem without any foliage. Flowers appear at the end of the summer, around September. There is foliage, made up of long strappy, dark green leaves. But it comes up in the spring. In fact, we spend the first couple weeks the leaves show up scratching our heads wondering whether we will see a crowd of daffodils, or if half the leaves belong to the naked ladies.

Lycoris radiata (click the photo to ogle some naked ladies more closely)

This photo I stopped to snap on our way to futból practice, so it may not be in the best of focus, but you see the environment and their shape. I had been on the lookout for naked ladies, since ours were too shy to come out this September, and noticed some dancing 'round a tree the next block down from our house. The next day they were gone. Maybe that neighbor thought I was taking notes on the condition of his garden and decided to thin out the older blooms. I found some specific information about Lycoris radiata in Scott Ogden's book, "Garden Bulbs for the South". These have also been referred to as “spider lily” due to their spidery appearance. I think they look like dancers in their fancy red dresses, with arms reaching up to beckon the sky.

And here is a really fine photo of some naked ladies, along with some interesting information. The Lycoris radiata has perhaps a little deeper significance in Japan than those grown decoratively in the southern United States.

In the spring, if you see some long green leaves that lead you to believe you may be seeing tulips or daffodils soon, and yet no flowers follow, don't disturb them. Let the leaves stay. You never know if the naked ladies will come dancing in the autumn, in search of their lovely green dressing gowns.