Month: May 2003

Ladies Tea Party

We had a Mother and Daughter Tea at our Pastor’s house today. Victoria and I attended. It was her first-time to a “tea party”. The little girls all had Raspberry Tea, and the “older girls” had a choice of at least four. I drank Irish Breakfast. I can’t recall the other names … so if anyone reading this was there and knows, please feel free to fill in these missing details via “comments” below!

It was a very nice time, good fellowship, and excellent delicacies to eat. πŸ™‚

Clint Eastwood

We’ve been watching more Clint Eastwood movies lately. I’ve liked them all along, but Frank wasn’t too keen on “buying” any DVD’s of them. He loves John Wayned movies, so that’s what we’ve been building a collection of for some time.

At church a few weeks back we were discussing movies with some other folks, and Clint Eastwood movies came up as a topic. πŸ™‚ One family then lent us “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” on DVD. It’s been years since I’ve actually seen any bits or pieces of that flick. It’s a movie you have to see the whole of as a whole. It’s great stuff.

We just watched “Hang ‘Em High!” last night. Rented. It’s a classic from 1968. I’ve seen it frequently enough on commercial TV. It’s much better as a straight run movie. [as all movies really are!]

So, we don’t outright own either of the ones I just mentioned. They are on my “want to get” list. We have a few others already. Mr. Eastwood makes a great western. He’s Mr. Man of Few Words, and often Man With No Name. He looks great in a hat and coat of the 1800’s western wear genre. He looks great with a Marshall star badge on his shirt.

He’s not a “Christian” man in any of his character portrayals. He’s a man. With morals, but not particular “Christian” morals. If that makes any sense. So why watch him? Why not? Why watch any other movie? Most movies don’t have “Christian Moral Characters” in them. Should they, now that’s another topic altogether.

John Wayne is another one to consider. He has good flicks too, some characters more moral than others. His westerns are a different genre than Eastwoods. Eastwood’s are reality-like, while Wayne’s are High-Character-like. Big difference in how it plays out on screen and in ones head. I like Eastwood, he’s subtle. Intense. Thinking. Action. A Good Guy. Wayne is louder, talks more, and is the other things that I listed about Eastwood, besides “subtle”.

Let’s put it another way. Wayne is American. In today’s Americanizational way of thinking. That’s why I like him some.

But why do I like Eastwood more? … he lacks that “Americanization” thing. It’s like this: He’s a guy living in his time, the time in the movie, be it 18– whatever. There’s no big flag waving kind of thing. That, I like. Lack there of, in other words.

Ok, the other thing: Eastwood and guns. I love the way he shoots.

Panoramic House Desktop

I changed my desktop again, since I decided to have some fun with my cheap digital camera this morning.

I went out back to one spot and took overlapping pictures to come up with a panoramic shot.

It’s a cheap camera, and the exposure for each wasn’t very alike [I have no control over it, and it’s hard to fix each photo to match afterwards also, cheap!], so guess how difficult it was to piece these together and fix the “sky”. Ugh. Anyhow, this is what it looks like as my desktop. I think it’s pretty cool, and I’ll work on a better version of it with my film camera sometime.

I’ll create a page with this picture on it some day soon. The house closest, the one in the middle that’s bigger looking, is ours, the blue roof is the top of the “Jungle”[a Cedar Works of Maine climbing/swinging structure]. You can’t see a whole lot in this version of the photo, since it’s the “desktop” copy. In a bigger photo you might be able to better make out the fence line. Our grass is long and short in different places. You see the weeds right where I was standing, the tall stuff –dying Thistle, can you say “Roundup”? And the white are natural wild daisies that come up in the back of the yard every Spring.

And yes, Frank, you have this same desktop, at a smaller resolution. It looks nicer on mine though, as I have an LCD 16.1″ view-able large screen, and you only have a 15″ CRT monitor from 1995. Sad, but true.

What’s my Desktop like today?

Here’s what my desktop looks like today:

Win XP 1280x1024resolution. Taskbar auto-hide [that is why you might see a tiny blue line at the bottom of the picture if you look close enough]

This is one of the Peony pictures from my Photo Log.

When they should leave the box …

Judging from my previous posts about the Bluebirds this season, these new babies will be fledging sometime after June 6. I’ve picked that day as –day 13– after their hatching, so then I can expect fledging at *about* 17 days, but from day 13 on out monitor from further away so they don’t exit the box too early.

Northern Cardinals

I was, just a little bit ago, looking out the front windows of the house and heard a lot of bird noise, high very squeeky stuff. So I went out on the porch, and a female Northern Cardinal flew out of the October Glory Maple, over to the Dogwood trees. The sound continued emmitting from the Maple though. I walked closer and closer, and finally spotted in the branches two fledged baby Cardinals. At that point the male Cardinal flew by and went to the rooftop of the house, so the babies followed him, then they flew out of sight.

Baby birds are so sweet, and some of them grow up to be the next generation of beautiful wild birds. Spring is a hopeful time!

We have babies!

I checked the Bluebird box today. My Mom and Els and Joel were here, so I wanted to show them the box and it’s contents. I thought I heard little squeeky sounds before I opened the door, and sure enough, there was a little fuzzy head with a wide open yellow beak!

All four eggs hatched, which is an excellent thing! Frank and the children were there too, and there may be a photo or two of the nest … Frank snapped the picture, so I can’t vouch for what to expect πŸ˜‰

New Photos online

I’ve added several pictures to my photolog. Here’s a sampling:

Gerber Daisy

Flowers … and …

Mrs. Bluebird

Mrs. Bluebird, and some other birds, all from this month of May 2003.

Check it out here. Scroll down to the bottom for the most recent pictures. Feel more than free to leave a comment here, or there by any or all photos!

Our Maple is hosting again

Our October Glory Maple tree, the one I’ve written about below, propagation, was new last Spring 2002. Installed as a large tree, it immediately was subject to hosting a Northern Mockingbird couple and their nest and youngun’s.

That nest lasted all summer and into autumn and winter, and now in mid-spring is being overhauled by a pair of American Robins just since yesterday. Frank saw them active yesterday, and I witnessed it myself this morning as I surveyed the front yard with my cup of coffee in hand.

Very fortunate tree, that is, hosting new birds two years in a row. It’s first two years in our landscape at that. It’s a beautiful full tree, and will only get bigger. It’s a nice site for a nest, and the birds obviously agree!

Tornado Watch, again

We are under a Tornado Watch until 8pm. We’ve had rain and cloudy skies mostly the last few days, but not that much rain, as we had the other week. This is Spring weather though, Tornado’s are ripe to form in these weather conditions.

Trees again

I wrote about trees the other day, and must add something. I found two more young editions of the Maple, in the bern. Further along than the ones “I” have sprouted. I also have two other plants, in a similar stage of development, which I cannot place as to what they are, but they don’t appear to be weeds, so far, and I’ll give them time to prove who they are before culling them, if need be.

Growing trees

I have two, actually now three, little October Glory Maple tree seeds germinating. I, on a whim, sometime in the last couple of weeks, put some that I’d found on the ground, where the tree lives in the front yard bern, into a little dish and filled it with water.

My methodology was based only on knowing that some seeds need to “soak first” in order to germinate, and that every other kind of seed needs time to germinate after it’s planted. The thing in unison about these two facts is: water. So, if I got the seeds soaking, eventually something would begin to sprout, right? Most likely. So I had five seeds in that dish.

Several days later, after changing out the water quite a few times, I notices a change on one seed. Indeed, it was beginning to sprout! So the other day, there were two in that state, time to do more.

I planted them into some soil/compost mix in a planter on the front porch. Every day, at some point, I go into that and find the seeds to check on their progress. They are growing. In fact, the first seed to sprout has cast off the seed covering entirely, and looks like a leaf pair with a tail. It’s green and pretty, and hopefully will be a tree someday. Seed number 2, which was a few days behind the first one in beginning to sprout, has come to have a long tail and the seed covering is splitting wide open, and should soon fall by the wayside.

I had trouble finding any more of the seeds, the ones that weren’t doing anything when I “planted” them. Then suddenly, there was a newly sprouting seed. It’s exciting!

I looked for more seeds under that tree last night, and found one. I have it soaking right now. I also looked under the Japanese Maple, and didn’t find anything. I’ve seen them there this Spring, but they are all gone, probably birds. There are still some growing the the tree though, and hopefully I’ll get at least one to try and germinate.

I’m really interested in how this will all turn out. I used to love propagating plants, when I was younger. Tropical and Sub-Tropical plants do well at that. So now, I’m trying it again, in a different manner, in a totally different place. I should do it “right”, correct? Well, anything that I have on-hand, with instinctive methods, if they work, they work. If they don’t work, they don’t work. That’s how I’m approaching this.

I would love to take parts of my trees, and plant them somewhere else someday. This is one step in that direction. Seeds. Sprout. Grow. Plant and grow huge! That’s what I’m aiming for, at least.

New Hen Photos

New photos of the hens. We have four new hens.

Click photo to go to the category page for the Henny-pennies.

I add the pictures today, May 12, 2003. They were taken [today] with our cheap digital camera, so aren’t particularly wonderful, but they are utilitarian enough to be useful to look at.

Our new hens are Wyandottes, very pretty. Take a peak.

Today’s Weather is Lovely!

It’s been muggy and hot lately. Yesterday afternoon it actually got a bit cooler, and the humidity wasn’t as bad. Today, it so much better, and breezy and sunny and blue skies with a few clouds. It’s a nice Spring day.

Humidity and me don’t get along. Stuffy nose, frizzy hair, melted energy … add higher heat, all those symptoms just increase. I thank God for the invention of de-humidifyers and air conditioners! Humidity in moderation is great. Just as all things go in this world.

Mrs. Bluebird Sits

There were four eggs in the Bluebird nest the last time I was able to look at it without the Mama bird in it.

She, Mrs. Bluebird, began her sitting season a few days ago. So it’s four or five eggs in the clutch. I went that day to take a picture of the eggs, and when I opened the box, the bluebird hen was in there sitting, so I got a few photos of her, don’t know how well they’ll turn out, it was dark in there.

I saw activity this morning around the box, so I took the chance that it was she who might have left the box. But no, when I got there for a peak, she’s in there. It’ll take some major watching of the box to get a look at those eggs again anytime soon.

Well, I’ll be keeping an eye out on them in any case, as other birds fooling with them is not good, and if I can defend the nest, I sure will. I can’t always be around to help, so it is ultimately, which it is anyway, up to God to preserve the nest and bring those chicks to hatch and fledge.

Storms and stuff

We’ve had bad storms all week, which is also the reason this site has been down since Monday night, if y’all have been checking.

It’s good to be back, updating pages again!

We had Tornado Watches and Warnings off and on, and Flood Watches, Warnings, Flash Flood Warnings, Severe Thunderstorm, etc … all of it, Watches and Warnings over and over again.

We had heavy rain, some gusty winds, lots of lightening. That’s all. Other areas didn’t fare as well, I suppose. We were glad for the rain, and the instant fertilizer the lightening brought. Everything is very green today! We’ve had some sun too, and since it’s warm, it’s been very muggy. Yuck. Otherwise, things are looking up.

The garden has the new Wax Beans popping up as seedlings. Some heads of them are sadly missing, I found a few of them elsewhere. Must have been that Rabbit. I saw it the other day, running a few circles in the garden, as a couple of birds dove and flew low over the garden. It, the rabbit, ran off into taller grass, and I went to find it, but didn’t see it. I did see the grass move, fastly, in a line straight towards the fence though, a bit away from me. That dratted rabbit is somewhere … eating little nibbles now, and I fear that’ll turn into more than I can stand later!

More Bluebird news

Yesterday, Wednesday, I checked the Bluebird box, and in the nest were 3 beautiful blue eggs. I haven’t checked again today yet. I probably will later this evening, after watching the box for the parents a while.

Good news in the nest!

Our Eastern Bluebird pair have finally laid a beautiful blue egg! It’s gorgeous!

I just checked them, since they’ve been hanging around their box more today. They both left and went to sit on an adjacent fence. So out I trotted and found the nest NOT empty. What a joy that was. I’m pulling for them to successfully fledge the youngster that is developing, hopefully, in that egg. I also hope they’ll lay some more eggs. Last year they had three eggs at the most, but only hatched/fledged two from one clutch. The first clutch went bad due to other pesky interfering non-native birds.

Along those lines, European Starlings have been seen flying close by with nesting material. They appear to be nesting somewhere on the roof of the house next door. These birds are the most bothersome, and I’d love to be able to shoot them.

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

I just saw a female Rose-Breasted Grosbeak in our backyard and in the feeder.

It’s a first for me to see one of these birds, and therefore to see one at this property.

For birders, life-lists sitings are exciting. So, I’m excited, for me needless to say, but to let y’all know, it’s a very exciting thing for me!

She was beautiful, all decked out in her “breeding style”.

Here’s a link to enature’s topic about the bird It’s a photo of the male, nothing I can do about that. But here is a photo of a female. I searched Yahoo! and it’s just one link that came up, but a very beautiful photo!

Carpet, going, going …

We’ve moved stuff around in the house. I ripped out most of the carpet in the ‘livingroom’, the only remaining is what’s under the entertainment armoire. It’s just too big and heavy to do anything with by myself, and not worth enlisting Frank to do anything about it, unless we would be moving it all to another spot, which isn’t really do-able just yet.

This was on Saturday, by the way. We had knocked around all kinds of ideas, and my one old idea [that’s been in my head, and repeated aloud quite often for a few years] came to the forefront, and was implemented.

Our livingroom no longer exists, that’s now the “dining room” and the “eat-in side of the kitchen” is now my “office/education space”. We have many things we need to do, to get it all into shape. But the overall move is done, I’m sitting with my laptop right where we used to eat all our meals. It’s rather nice. The kitchen isn’t so cramped, and the dining room is so “spacious”. Eating at the table in there is a blessing.

The main thing that remains to do, besides massive organization of stuff, is ripping out molding, painting, installing wood floor, ceramic tile, etc., then new moldings.

That’s all off in the distant future. For now, we are living on the sub-floor in many rooms. We have carpet to remove from bedrooms next. It’s not bad at all, we are doing all the work, and I love demolition work. That’s a bonus. I love install work too, and painting. This whole “project” is one that is crazy, and I love it!

A side project to this is finishing the basement. It was never finished, so we aren’t ripping it up, just need to get it fully wired and the floors, walls, ceilings covered. Frank has his office down there now. It’s a temporary setup, with the ethernet cable to hook his computer up to the router put through a hole in the wall. From my office table in the kitchen, through the wall, into that basement room to Frank’s computer. It’s a fast way to wire πŸ˜‰ just temporary though.

Frank’s happy, he has his computer to work with, while on the phone — alone. I have mine here, in a better spot in the kitchen. And the passage-ways won’t be so clogged up now. If you’ve never been here, you can’t imagine it all. But if you have been here, perhaps you can.

It’s a tri-level house … left to right it’s garage on a slab, kitchen/livingroom on a crawl space, then the next section is two levels — down to the basement rooms and up to the bedrooms. It makes for a major space that’s mostly meant to be a passageway, and not much space to do things with, in the way of permanently stationed furniture. Eventually, the downstairs will house our “family room” and that’s the best this house will do. I’d much rather have a dining room than a living room, if it meant having to eat in a funny kitchen, and if you have guests over for a meal, that’s where it all happens too.

No more!

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