I lived the early years of my life in east Texas. It snowed when I was a toddler, probably about 21 months of age. Of course I don’t remember. I only know that because of this picture.
It did not snow again in the area where we lived until I was 11 years old. It was two inches of wet, slushy stuff and I was just a wee bit disappointed but at least I had finally experienced snow.
The summer I was 13 we moved to northwest Arkansas. That fall, the Sunday night before Thanksgiving, it began to snow. I don’t remember whether it was my mother or I who first noticed it. For a minute we didn’t believe it. We had to be wrong. Snow in November? Impossible! But then we realized it really was snowing and we both were positively giddy. Mom was as delighted as any kid.
The next morning I walked to school (several blocks) in six inches of light, powdery snow. This was the real deal, the snow of Christmas cards and ski vacation ads. We would later learn that snow in November is a little unusual for the northwest Arkansas/northeast Oklahoma area but we would enjoy many more snows, even, one year, a White Christmas. We were even delighted by the ice storm we had one year – the sparkling beauty of trees covered in a layer of ice – and we fearlessly went out walking around taking pictures.
Now? I am less thrilled by snow. Yes, it’s still pretty but people have to go out and drive on it and walk on it and sometimes people get hurt. And it’s cold. I don’t like to be cold. And it’s messy, especially when it starts to melt. It’s just a big inconvenience. But I remember when snow was delightful. There are still moments. There was a moment this morning when the sky was a wonderful golden peachy color, casting that light all over everything, and the world was just beautiful. But I don’t wish for snow anymore and when it comes I always hope it will go away soon. You may say, if I really want to still find snow delightful I can. I just have to adjust my attitude. But no, I can’t. Not completely.
(The picture was taken near my grandmother’s house. The little house in the picture was a neighbor’s house. It was red. My mom said I loved the shoes I was wearing in this picture. I still think they’re they’re pretty cute.)
What is it with cats and cardboard boxes? Even big cats are attracted to them.
It’s like magic. Cats become the best behaved creatures on cool rainy days.
Actually, Three (on the right) is always well-behaved. Dax (named after a character on Star Trek:DS9) usually can’t be still in the house. All she wants to do is either eat or sit on my lap and if she can’t do either she walks around the house, occasionally making a bone-chilling yowling noise. But on cold and/or rainy days she becomes a normal cat.
‘Tis a dark and stormy morning. So here are a few storm pictures from Flickr. Other people’s, not mine.
Oops. I sort of dropped the ball on this silly little series. Anyway, here’s another one.
My mother-in-law gave me this little refrigerator magnet. It measures about three inches across. When I first saw it I didn’t like it. Pink sheep?* So not my style and the little weather thermometer is too small to read. (And I have mixed feelings about refrigerator magnets anyway. I often see them that I like, and I have several on my refrigerator, but I would really prefer a completely uncluttered refrigerator door.) But I put it on the refrigerator just to be nice, thinking I wouldn’t have to be stuck with it for very long. In a year or two it could “get lost”.
But it stayed. I can’t say when I started to like it. I got used to seeing it every day, and now, more than 20 years later, I can’t imagine my kitchen without it.
*UPDATE: Well, this is embarrassing. I guess it really is supposed to be a dog. I don’t know how I thought it was a sheep all these years. Because I’m not a dog person I guess. But I’m not a sheep person either so… I don’t know. I want my sheep back.
In every home there are many insignificant things that are not really so insignificant.
I was in the Hancock Fabrics store in Tulsa… oh, it must have been over ten years ago now. The woman in front of me at the checkout had this little pin cushion box which she had picked up from a sale bin but the store clerk told her it had been put there by mistake and was not on sale. The customer immediately decided she didn’t want it. She was nice about it; she didn’t even seem disappointed. She had only picked it up because it was on sale.
The store employee set it aside while she finished checking her out and I had a couple of minutes to stand there and look at the unwanted item and when it was my turn I picked it up and put it with the rest of my stuff. I sort of needed a new pin cushion. The one I had was shaped like an apple and the stem pulled out to reveal an attached three-foot tape measure, which of course was totally useless, and the whole thing was top-heavy and wouldn’t sit upright.
This little box is poorly made. As you can see in the picture the lid doesn’t fit right. It has little wooden feet that all came off one at a time. I glued them back on and they have stayed ever since. But it makes me happy. I like the cheerful yellow paisley fabric and I like that it’s a box to put little things in. I suppose I don’t have a great emotional attachment to it. If I found a much better one I might give this one up. Maybe. A thing doesn’t have to be very good or very special to make one happy.
Well, you know what day it is. I’m just going to post this photo again. I took it in 1982 when we were in New York. I like the way the towers are barely visible in the haze. Like ghost towers. Or like a memory.
I took this picture Sunday afternoon.
Yesterday she went for the big, important vet visit. She didn’t seem especially bothered by the whole ordeal.
After we have had a few weeks of rainy weather we always experience a wild mushroom population explosion and I can’t stop taking pictures of them. I don’t know the name of any of these.
These are the largest. The one on the right is about the size of a dinner plate.
Here’s a cluster of small ones, near golf ball size.
I like these hairy ones, also fairly small.
This one with the interesting, subtle pattern is about grapefruit sized.
And this beauty is about six inches across.
These are all from my phone. I didn’t take my real camera, which is very strange, I know, but I thought about it and decided that I didn’t want to have to take a bigger purse and I probably wouldn’t see all that much that I wanted to take pictures of anyway. And, of course, I have my phone so…
This is the amusement park. We didn’t even walk through it. I think this was taken from the 3rd level.
One of the more interesting things in the MoA is the Lego Store. It’s situated in the middle of the walkway, like a giant kiosk, on the lower level and it has it has all these giant Lego sculptures above it, that are best seen from the levels above the store.
Here are some more Lego sculptures.
Elsewhere on our trip – Iowa has the nicest rest stops of any of the dozen or so states we’ve visited. Not only are they spacious, light, and clean, they have also gone to some effort to make them attractive and interesting. Here’s the one we stopped at on the way up.
And here’s the one we stopped at on the way back. This one has some very nice tile murals of rural Iowa scenes inside.
I think the area of Iowa and Missouri that we drove through would be a good route for an old-fashioned road trip – the kind where you just drive without much of a schedule to get in the way and you just stop at whatever looks interesting. In Iowa we saw a sign for the “Covered Bridges of Madison County”. There is quite a bit of touristy stuff in Missouri – mostly just “tourist trap” kind of things but a lot of it that I would like to stop and look at. There were a couple of quilt shops. There was a really cute sign for one that said, “Scream until your husband turns the car around.” There were lots of antique shops and a large “Pecans and Gifts” store that I was sort of interested in. None of them are the kind of destination things that you plan on going to but if you weren’t in a big hurry to get somewhere you could make a pleasant trip of just stopping and looking at those places.
I went walking around my yard with my camera yesterday. I took several pics of this butterfly. This was my lucky shot. I like that the head and body shows really well. You can, of course, click on the image to go to Flickr and see the full size version.
Just some weeds and a rusty barrel.
I took this picture of Kiki this morning.
And this is what she was looking at.
Full disclosure: The cat was actually looking the other way, away from the dog, at the moment I took the picture but with a little imagination and artistic license it makes a cute little photo story.
My irises are doing well this year, after two very poor years. A couple of my favorites are still missing but this year I’m really liking these pure white ones. It’s one of the few that I remember the name of: Immortality.
Sometimes irises do not stay true from year to year. Generally that’s not a good thing but sometimes I like the surprises. This one is completely different from anything I’ve planted. (It’s not the same as the other burgundy ones in the background.)
I’m pretty sure that this “new” iris was originally this: (photo taken in 2010)
Well… I really liked that one too but I think the new one is very pretty and interesting.
… but sometimes you just can’t get out of a thing. This is our new friend Kiki. She is a border collie.
She is very unhappy in this picture because I’m staying just out of her reach so I can get the picture. Most of the pictures of her came out blurry because of her frantic efforts to get to me. She’s on a long leash that runs along a 50 foot line stretched between the back porch and a tree. Lots of room to run around but she would rather be in here sitting under my chair.
Here’s an action shot:
A puppy is way more work than a human baby. You can put a human baby in a crib and he or she will stay there and probably sleep for several hours. And you can put a diaper on a human baby. You know what I’m talking about. A puppy is there with you ALL THE TIME. It does take naps once in a while but as soon as you move it wakes up and follows you.
My idyllic life is over. And the cats are REALLY unhappy about the situation.
Two very close views of one of my favorite spring wildflowers.
And the normal view. These are each about half an inch across.
I have mentioned before that, for me, St. Patrick’s Day heralds the beginning of spring but yesterday it felt more like the return of winter. The cats hate cold fronts. Cats like to be where it’s warm. They also like to be outdoors. When the outdoors is suddenly not warm, after it’s been warm for a while, it drives them crazy.
Yesterday was an exceptionally lazy day. I did dig around in the flower beds for about an hour but it doesn’t feel like I did anything yesterday. I guess it was the weather but I just didn’t feel like moving at all yesterday. Of course, today I feel all stiff from just sitting all day yesterday. Or maybe that’s the weather too. It’s still cold this morning. I need to get some flowers soon. It’s still too early for anything but pansies.
It’s funny… even in things we do for fun we sometimes end up having things we “need to do”. I need to finish a quilt that I’ve been working on for over a year and I need to start a baby quilt. But what I feel like doing is sewing clothes. So I’ve been working on the quilts just a little bit so I won’t feel like I’m completely neglecting those projects. I’m working on the Baggy Pants Replacement Project which is something else I need to do. I made a pair of dark brown pants. Purple pants are next. Then there’s green, gray and dark blue, not necessarily in that order. I will likely get bored with sewing pants and do something else after just one or two more pair though.
Saturday I saw a red headed woodpecker in our front yard pecking at a stump. That’s a little bit unusual. We mostly have red bellied woodpeckers and downy woodpeckers. I didn’t get a picture so here’s one I found on Flickr. What a great shot, caught in flight.
As cat owners know, cats shed the outer layers of their claws when they sharpen them on your furniture. This is one of those shed pieces.
I thought about doing a guessing game but you could just roll over the photos to see what this is.
It’s Back to Normal Day. That’s not an official Day of course and that’s exactly the point – it’s nothing. It’s the first ordinary, routine day of the year and I am so ready for it. I do love the holidays. I enjoy the shopping and seeing people and the food, but a couple of days after Christmas I suddenly get tired of it all, especially the food. I really just get tired of eating. Next Christmas everyone who gave me candy for Christmas is getting candy from me. I have to get even. Besides the candy, I did get some lovely gifts. And honestly I did enjoy the candy and while I’m glad it’s gone I also sort of miss it and wish there was just a little bit more. It gets to be a habit you know.
Anyway, back to normal. It’s odd… it’s nice but it’s kind of hard to get started at first. I have this feeling of “now what?” I guess that would be one reason it’s good to make resolutions. It gives you a direction, something to get started on even if you don’t go very far with it. I need to go straighten up the sewing room/guest room/play room because right now it looks sort of like this:
It’s never really much of a sewing room. You can see my gate leg cutting table folded up in the upper right corner of the photo and on the left in front of the grandson there’s a plastic, three drawer container full of mostly scraps of fabric. My real stash is elsewhere. But my sewing machine is in the living room. So I don’t really have a sewing room. My sewing is sort of all over the house.
I haven’t decided what I will do next – cut out something or work on quilting. Today, maybe I will just do the cleaning and straightening and then be lazy for a while. Or maybe I will do the being lazy part first. I already have a good start on that.
This is a piece of Corn Chex cereal at 60X magnification.
And this is my new toy. It’s rather cheaply made and megapixel-poor but as you can see it’s working pretty good so far. Expect to see more closeups of junk around my house.
This is my brother’s cat. He has had him for a few months but he always hides under the bed when I’m there. (the cat, not my brother) I saw the gorgeous little guy (the cat, not my brother) for the first time yesterday. I took this picture with my phone.
This idea was fairly successful last week. Eight comments and fewer than half of them were mine! So I’ve decided to try to make it a weekly feature. Of course that means I will have the challenge of taking or finding an interesting enough picture every week.
I took this one early this morning and cropped it so the moon would be big enough to be noticeable. (This tree lost its leaves during the summer.) A full moon on Halloween seems so appropriate. The actual full moon was two days ago.
Suggested topics of conversation: the moon, Halloween and related stuff, and maybe even dead trees.
This is what folks call a weed. Each of these little daisy-like flowers is no more than half an inch in diameter. You probably wouldn’t even notice it, but if you look closely it’s a delicate and beautiful flower.
It’s been sort of lonely around here lately. So talk to me. It doesn’t even have to be about the flowers. Just say something. But be nice.