Tuesday, May 30, 2006


It is morning here in my little corner of the world, an almost June morning. For the last 50 years of my life that would have meant the excitement of school being almost over. Now it is just the excitement of being able to slowly take in the beauty of the day.
I missed the sunrise this morning. It was early, I was late. I am learning to sleep in a little later. I still wake up at 4, but now, instead of coming out here and rushing around to get some work done on the computer, well, I often just totter back to bed. I am learning to take another little morning nap. I never was able to do that before, the pressures of LIFE, the worry of school, or the responsibility of whomever I had to take care of kept me from napping. I am still up before 7, but seldom before 6 anymore. I feel lazy saying that! I have my cup of tea in front of the computer. Snuffy seldom gets up with me in the morning. He prefers dreaming in his window bed or watching the morning’s activities if the window is open. Snuffy gets in the window at the first sound of morning, the first insistent chirping as some little feathered creature says his morning prayers. Or are they shouting threats to the worms below? “Are you ready to die? I am hungry!” Whatever it is, Snuff removes himself from sleeping on my feet or next to my legs and hops over into the window to check things out.
Eventually I have read enough or have typed long enough to need a break. I get up from the computer and look out to see if the outside crew is around. Sometimes Pumpkin beats me to it and bangs on the back door. “Feed me!” he yowls. Or worse, he gives me that poor starving kitty look with the silent meow that says he is too weak from starvation to even manage a sound. If I don’t hurry up with the food, he will fall over dead and won’t I be sorry?
I look around for Spook. Usually he is asleep in the plastic lawn chair that no one ever gets to sit in anymore because he now owns it. I scoop up a cup of Chef’s Blend, try to remember what they had to eat the night before – god forbid I should ever give them the same thing twice! I grab what I hope is the appropriate can and quietly go out the back door.
Cats fed and ears rubbed (a quick tick check done) I stand and breathe in the morning air. This morning the air was a bit on the heavy side. It was already 70° at 6:30. The scent of honeysuckle lies on the air as I start my gratitude list. Well, actually this is my second gratitude list for the day. The first one was for being able to get out of bed and make it down the hall under my own power!
I think about how great it is to wake up out here in the boondocks where I can smell honeysuckle in the morning, not exhaust fumes. I hear a woodpecker off an acre or two away rat-a-tat-tapping on a tree. I think about how lucky I am to share the place where woodpeckers live and to have the ability to hear them. I listen to the morning bird songs. What a gift to hear those songs. I must remember to put some more peanuts out for the blue jays, sunflower seeds for my cardinal family.
I decided to take a stroll out on the eastern acre. I have all these little paths thru what used to be my pine woods before the pine bark beetle and then the guys with the BIG power saws reduced my acreage to weeds, stumps, and wood rubble. I had them shove all the debris into one big pile (more or less) so I could keep pathways clear with the mower and wander out here in the morning. The big pile is habitat to any number of critters. There is a tunnel under everything and pathways beside some of the big hardwood trees that were just shoved out of the way, their wood sadly having no value here. They carted away the 100+foot pine trees. There are places where I can see the deer have slept. Often I can see their hoof prints in the soft earth or mud. A few of the birds fly up as I quietly walk along smelling the honeysuckle, marveling at its color and form, amazed at how it seems to be able to grow just everywhere, turning bare, dead limbs, trimmings from the yard, and piled up deadfall branches into a small hill of flowers and fragrance. Many of the birds just look at me, used to my morning wanderings, but with a cautious eye just in case, just in case. You never know with humans, they are so unpredictable.

This morning brings bad news on the air. My first mosquito for 2006. Rats! So now I must decide whether to wear long sleeves or spray that yucky (but effective) stuff on my arms when I go out. I have been battling with ticks already for a couple of months – it was a warm winter. I even had to have my hair cut down to what feels like nakedness to me - I don’t like it much, but I got a bunch of tiny ticks in my hair last week and my hair was too thick to be able to get them all – so……………. Well, I feel bald.

A couple of the pathways I keep reasonably weed free (mostly poison ivy free) are covered with moss. The holly, scrub trees and sweet gum, locust and maple keep some parts of the path shaded enough to let the moss grow nicely. The hardwoods really grew fast once the tall pines were out of the way. The pines are being very slow at growing back on the eastern acre. The western acres have pines up around 12 feet or more. Not bad for, oh, what has it been, 5 yrs? 6?
The path comes out to a fern garden, one of three I protect and love, but this one has a different variety of fern than the other two. I must look them up to see what they are called. I walk past the dogwood, weeks past blooming now, but my mind can still see the beautiful flowers it had this year. Past my studio, I see the yellow iris glowing with the morning sunlight with the darkness of the woods behind it. Robins hop about ears cocked to the ground listening, listening. The early bird gets the early worm. Hey, isn’t that life? I guess you just have to decide whether you are the early bird or the worm!
The magnolia is about to bloom. I see the promise of its great swelling buds and can hardly wait to smell them. There is something magical about these great flowers.
I have several mulberry trees. They are very busy places this time of year. The deer come by early in the morning or in the evening and snack on the lowest branches. Then during the day, the birds and squirrels sit and dine and chatter, sometimes fussing at each other over the ownership of a particular branch only to be chased away by the real landlord, the blue jay.

The earliest morning buses roll by, still empty, on their way to pick up their precious cargo. I am still shocked that I do not miss getting up and going off to the old brain factory after, what is it, almost 58 years on one side of the desk or the other? No, I was right to quit while I could still walk if only short distances and have a chance to enjoy my yard even if most of it is still a jungle. Whenever I meet other teachers in a restaurant or in a store, they tell me how much they envy me and my decision. They tell me how the new girl (my replacement) has had such a horrible time, how bad the kids are, the struggle to pass the exams, and how long until they, too, can retire. So instead of feeling sad as the buses roll by, I breathe a sigh of gratitude that I survived 38 years. So what if I couldn’t make it to 40! The physical pain had gotten just too great. I turn and slowly pick my way over the rough ground and head toward the house and my bottle of Starbucks.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Rascal, 5 Minutes Later

Here he is, 5 minutes after the last post, watching as His Story rolls out of the printer. I got up to get a bite of lunch, and that fast, he was in the chair watching the printer do its job... so I did mine! I abandoned the jar of peanut butter, grabbed the camera, and here he is, our Rascal computer geek - complete with this blog on screen.

Rascal - a Mess if ever there was one.

After much research, I found my profile has disappeared to the bottom of the blog. I have no idea why, and really do not care, but I have been printing copies of these pages for someone who does not have a computer and what ever has made the profile move has also sort of screwed up the printing of the pages. So... more work and experimentation.
Anyway, I promised pictures of our cat family - the true owners of this place. I realize I am but a humble servant, one with slightly better manual dexterity whose job description includes keeping the litter boxes clean, opening cans, washing their dishes, opening and closing the windows to suit their comfort, maintaining a clean comforter and baby blankets for them to sleep on, filling the bird feeders for their entertainment and playing mouse toss when desired. Lets see, there was also a clause about providing a lap, chin scratching, belly tickling, and one or two other things I can't think of right now.
Yesterday was a cloudy, rainy day. Rascal missed his morning sunbeam which hits the floor about 3 or 4 feet from the computer here. He usually spends his time rolling over in the sunbeam, getting up, tapping me on the arm or leg and making his little talking sounds until I interact with him, then rolling in the sunbeam again. When the sun moves up enough that it is no longer on the floor, he comes and taps and taps me as if to say, "Hey, where did it go? Turn it back on!" Or something like that. This morning, Anna was sitting in the computer chair watching out the front window for her sister to come to pick her up to take her to her grandson's horse show up in Maryland, so I was in the living room watching the Rascal from a much better place than in this chair. I asked Anna to pass the camera, and got off a series of shots while Rascal rolled and posed. WHAT A HAM! This shot is also on my weatherblog. Feel free to look it up there and give Rascal a 10!!!! Well, he said he was a perfect 10.
We have had Rascal for about 3 years. We found him one winter night sitting along the edge of the road to Wachepreague, yowling. He was pitiful. We are sure someone got him for a Christmas present and then tossed him out along the road when they discovered what a mess he was. That (mess) is an Eastern Shore term that almost defies description... bad? a pest? always into something? Maybe some of you Eastern Shoremen can help me out with this. Anyway, Rascal almost never sleeps. I am sure he "catnaps" when no one is looking, but he can usually be found within 5 feet of where ever I am, watching. He watches everything I do except bathe. I have banished him from the bathroom when I shower as he falls in the tub trying to catch the water as it come out of the spigot. Then I have to clean up the wet mess. Pun intended.
Rascal has many nicknames. Anna is good at nicknames. The first one he learned to recognize and answer to was "Bad, bad bad to the bone, bone, bone." Then came the names Bratty Rat Rascal, Ratty Brat Rascal (all from Anna) or my words, "Who made this mess?" He answers to them all. He also comes running at the mention of the word "mouse." Now you must learn to say that just right, proper intonation and all, because that signals the start of his favorite retrieving game. Yes, Rascal is a retriever. He will run and fetch a toy mouse and lay it near your feet, sit and wait for you to throw it again.
Sometimes he will just find a mouse and bring it to me, usually if I am cooking or doing dishes, make his little Rascal noise, tap me if I am ignoring him, roll over and talk about my duties as his entertainment provider and generally be a pest until I throw the damned mouse down the hall as far as it can go. He is off in a streak and back with the mouse in seconds. Explaining to him I am cooking, I am busy, I don't have time for this only encourages his creativity. Like I said, he is a mess.

Just to let you know how smart and conniving this fellow is, when we brought him home (never mind my protest that I already had 4 cats to care for - 3 too many for my money) he got along immediately with the 2 outside guys, Pumpkin and Spook that I just wrote about. But it was a cold winter, and, even tho I have several heated cat "nests," outside, Rascal (who hadn't been named yet) did not sleep in any of them. I have later wondered if it was because Spook stood guard over what he considered his personal apartments and would not let Rascal in to any of them or if he was just too damned dumb to figure out where he would be warm. I don't know. Anyway, we ended up bringing him inside with the older cats, also boys, expecting a serious cat fight as jealousy raised its ugly head. Instead, he rolled over, made cute, and became a member of the inside crew almost immediately. Well, Hadji was glad to have someone to play with as Snuffy had been so sick for so long.
Snuff basically ignored the brat most of the time until he got on his nerves, then he would jump on him, give him a good scare, or smack him upside the head. Rascal always seemed to know he'd better make himself scarce for a while and not get on Grampy's (Snuff) nerves. The old man was the boss, no matter what.
Rascal and I had a number of Alpha Cat discussions. Fortunately (and amusingly) I can growl real good! If Rascal is about to do something he is not supposed to do, I growl and he runs. I have never had to do more than growl. Now, that is a lie. sigh. We have a good investment in squirt guns. And I had to turn the shower on him once to get him out of the bathroom window. But, he learns fast.
Rascal loves to stand at the back door and talk to the outside crew. He chatters away. Pumpkin sometimes answers him. I think Punky is mostly just asking about the quality and quantity of the food in the house versus outside. Eating is Punk's favorite past time. Did I mention Rascal is a computer geek? He loves to get in one's lap while we are on the computer and hit the keys and mess up whatever we are working on. But his favorite- the printer! He comes from where ever he is the second he hears the printer start up. He watches that little light inside going back and forth like it was the most entertaining thing in the universe. When he does nap, it is often in the computer chair.
Did I mention he chases rainbows? Several years ago, I got a solar powered crystal window thingie that makes rainbows go all around the room. Have you ever seen one? They are so cool! Anyway, it goes in a sunny window and when the sun hits the tiny solar panel, the crystal starts to turn casting mini rainbows all over the walls, floors, furniture, ceiling - just everywhere. It is real pretty. Rascal chases the elusive rainbows. He pounces on them, jumps up to catch them, runs across the room to get them. It is a lot of fun to watch him. He never seems to tire of this activity.
Rascal is a busy, busy boy. At this moment, he is in the bathtub pushing his big water dish around. It sounds like a huge fart, the plastic scraping on the bottom of the tub. It is real embarrassing when I have company and they hear this loud fart sound coming from the other room. It is a real conversation stopper. I mean, no matter how polite you were brought up to be, it is so loud it cannot be ignored. I know Rascal is sitting in the tub grinning waiting for me to explain the noise to my embarrassed guests.
Well, next time I have a moment, I will tell you more about the critters in my little corner of the world, but none will be as entertaining as this guy. OK, let me upload another picture or two. I will save my favorite for Christmas, though.

I have often wondered if Rascal's brain is in his tail. It is never still, not even when he is asleep. I remember reading somewhere that a cat's tail signals what it is thinking. Well, it is obvious he is thinking all the time then because his tail twitches all the time.

Picture information - 1) His Innocence in his Bow Tie - last winter
2) Spread out in his sunbeam, this morning - very modest pose, eh?
3) The new arrival, Jan 3rd, 2004, shortly before he became a house kitty.
4) One of those quuick naps, kitchen window, a modest moment.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about and seeing Beastie Rascal. He is hoping for more fan mail.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Coonie Bears!!!!!

What? You have never heard of Coonie Bears? Well, long, long ago, and probably far away, I learned that raccoons were members of the bear family. Well, sorta... cousins, like. Anyway, in order to remember this, my juvenile brain changed their name to coonie bear so I could keep all this zoological information straight. Anyway, I mention this since we have been having regular visits from several misc. coonie bears, probably because the picky eaters out on the car port (Pumpkin and Spook) sometimes do not eat all their dinner. And maybe because we have a compost pile out back... ya think? Perhaps even the bird feeders might contribute to the problem, tho I have started taking the feeders down and locking them in the furnace room at night. I do that only because the coonie bears are so distructive. Most of my feeders are now made out of metal or have metal wire cages around them so chewing is not very effective. However, they dump the contents and that gets expensive. Then they go after the non-metal feeders. More expensive.

I keep bungee cords on the garbage cans and stash the metal cans with bird seed under a picnic table AND bungee them to boot, so that keeps me from having to clean up the trash on the carport every morning, but the little buggers get into everything anyway. A few minutes ago there was a loud crash and I looked and looked, but could find no evidence of their misdeeds.

Two nights ago they destroyed a big begonia I wintered over in the house and had just taken out with most of the rest of the house plants. There is a mama coonie bear and two little ones who have to investigate everything. They got into the greenhouse (since the door has been removed for the summer) and pulled the Christmas cactus out of their pots, knocked over a few other things, and totally wrecked the begonis. Their stems are so fragile, ya know?

Anyway, there was this crash, and I guess I will find out what they broke tomorrow as I sure didn't see it tonight. What I did see, however, and wish I could have recorded was a big pink cloud in the eastern sky (the sun had set) and there was lightning inside the cloud. It was not coming down to earth nor was it coming up from earth. It was completely confined to the cloud. It was having its own internal storm! I have never seen that before. But I believe I have felt that way once or twice. Maybe it is common and I just have managed all these years without seeing it. Maybe not. I heard no thunder. I came in and checked the radar and saw a storm cloud off shore - maybe 20 miles. I wish I could have gotten a pic of it. Anyway, I didn't, but here are a couple coonie bears...

and Punkie and Spook. I guess you can figure out which one is the Pumpkin. And Spook is Spook because he was so spooky - everything spooked him. His first month here he never even got within 20 feet of me. I won him over with some Turkey leftovers at Christmas, tossing him pieces, each one a little bit closer until after a couple of days of this, he got brave enough to take a piece from my hand. He is still shy of strangers, and runs at the least unusual noise. Punk, however, would roll over at the devil's feet and meow to have his belly rubbed. He follows me all around the yard. No, that is not quuite true. He runs ahead of where he thinks I am heading, throwing himself down in my path so I have to step over him - or give in and bend over and do the tummy rub routine. Did I mentiion Punk never shuts up? He yows and yows constantly or at least as soon as he has me in sight. sigh. Someday I will tell you his story... or at least what I believe is his story. But, for now, I am tired and it is past my bedtime. Till then......

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A Gardener's Work is Never Done!

It is supposed to get warmer... today started out in the 40s, a bit nippy to be standing out waiting for the school bus in shorts and t-shirt, but there they stand. We could always pick out the kids who got dressed all by themselves, had no parental supervision in the morning. They were almost always dressed inappropriately. Oh well, I want to keep this cheerful, so no more school talk.
Yesterday, I moved a bunch of things about in the garden, dug up and gave away over a thousand daffodil bulbs. If you are thinking, damn, she didn't offer me any, c'mon by, bring your spade, I have another thousand you can have!
When you go out the door, the fragrance of the honeysuckle is so powerful! I just love it! Here, we go from the perfume of the honey locust tree to the honeysuckle. It is a wonderful time for those of us who are not allergic to it, a miserable time for those who are. I must have torn out and mowed over at least 10 big garbage bags of honeysuckle. It just goes everywhere. Worse than that, poison ivy will sneak in to the middle of a big clump, and before you know it, you have poison ivy everywhere.
I heard my first mosquito of the year yesterday. I have so enjoyed working outside without any mosquitoes, but the ticks have been terrible.

Did I mention my pride and joy, my Mountain Laurel is in bloom? See it? I get so excited that it has survived here. I guess that is silly of me since in less than a month I will be surrounded by it. I will drive thru long tunnels of it in Hickory Run State Park which is just 7 miles from our house in the Poconos. Some years I have just spent the day driving and driving thru the back roads in the park and on the mountain soaking in the beauty of the park, the beauty of the flowers. We are going up a week earlier than usual this year because I have to be back here for a special event on the 25th, so I hope the bushes are in bloom. But, it has been warmer than usual, so... just maybe.

The digitalis opened last week. I used to have hundreds of them, but that was years and years ago - back in the pre-redbud days. Now it dominates the front yard. So the few digitalis I have seem so extra special.
Guess I need to replant.

The work calls. Have some people coming by to get some plants... so I guess I'd better get a few housy things done.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

More Iris - III

Today I hope to move some of the iris that have not bloomed in the last year or two. The redbud has gotten so big, the poor things get almost no sunlight at all once the tree leafs out. I have really enjoyed having the time to actually look at my flowers this year - not just whiz by them on the way in or out of the driveway. I have also enjoyed my new camera - obviously - and playing with it, recording the flowers and sharing them with you.

It has also been great to have the time to actually weed and mulch and rest a bit so I can weed and mulch a bit more.

I have been moving some of the plants to better places - something I have not had time for ever before! It is exciting! Many of the things were planted in good places years ago, but other things grew - and grew bigger than expected, and things ended up in the shade. People have said the appeal of my yard is it looks naturalized. That is a polite way of saying disorganized, right? But often, I got plants and had no time to actually work in the garden so I stuck them in the closest or easiest place, just to keep them alive, always thinking next week-end I will move it to a better place. Well, that week-end just never got here - until now.

I hope you have enjoyed the pictures of the beauty in my yard. I know I have enjoyed sharing with you. And thanks for your emails and encouragement.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Iris Garden - Part II

These are rather nice, but cannot compare with the iris on the previous page. But, here goes...

They are pretty, but sort of ordinary, if one can ever call an iris ordinary. Perhaps I should say these are more subtle. If you did not see the previous page of iris pictures, be sure to take a look. Scroll down....

It has been a long day out in the yard, I am so grateful the mosquitos are not out yet, but I sure wish there weren't so many ticks! SO let me throw these dirty duds in the wash and my body in the shower - time to drown the ticks! I hope you have enjoyed my pictures. I will show you the rest tomorrow. I hope.

The Iris Garden

Hey! That title sounds impressive. Truth is, the iris are scattered all over the place. However, i hope by this time next year I will have many of them moved to a single area. Some of them have not bloomed yet and might not even bloom. They no longer get any sun, or certainly not enuf to make them bloom. So, one by one, I will try to relocate them. Meanwhile, here are a few of my favorites.

What do you think of the colors in that beauty!? Amazing, isn't it?

I have some pics of the blue ones, but I have run out of time.... chores call, and all that.

Monday, May 15, 2006

From the gardens at Possum Lane...

I really haven't much time today, but I do want to say thanks to all of you who have encouraged me to keep working on this site. And I want to share some of the pictures some of you have asked about. I will start with Jackie - and the magnolia. You can see the old dead magnolia and the new one right beside it. The fringe tree is in the background. Those are ferns growing around the base. So you can see the one fern is almost as big as the magnolia. I haven't had the heart to pull out the ferns.

Next, for cousin Susan, especially, the miniature rose I mentioned. That is a quarter in my hand. Are they cute or what? I was afraid I would kill the plant moving it this time of year, but so far so good. That teeny bit of purple bottom left is a Sweet William. It is bigger than the rose! I hoe it does better in the morning sun than hidden under the other stuff on the other side of the yard.

Last but not least is one of the blueberry plants. See the berries? I am not sure how this is going to be formatted...

And I have to go......... more later............

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Greetings from Possum Lane. Happy Mother's Day, if applicable. Happy Whatever Day if not! I am easy to please. Truth is, I am too tired to care, one way or the other. It has been another day in the garden. Weeds just tremble at the sound of my name! They blow each other a quick good-bye kiss and pretend to be grass or azaleas, willing their little weedy hearts to be still. Oh god, she's been out in the sun too long............. sigh.

Actually, I have been outside most of the day except for a brief run to the grocery store. It's like a private contest I have with myself seeing how long it takes to spend $100 and still not have anything for supper. Know what I mean? Geeeeeeez! Well, the cats get to eat, what can I say? And then there was that brief run to the garden center to pay for the 25 bags of mulch he delivered last week... and to get 5 more bags... and there they were, blueberry plants! Well, I started to drool all over myself and knew I would not sleep until I owned my own blueberry plants. Soooooo, now, 3 blueberry plants, 4 more tomato plants, and 8 begonias later, I can barely walk! I also moved the hydrangea I planted yesterday, and put some calla lilies in its place. Truth is, I could use about another 20 bags of mulch. sigh.

It tried to rain a couple of times, but not hard enuf to have to come in the house. Finally I had the most important things in the ground and mulched. I limped inside, threw my clothes in the washer and myself in the tub. Tick drowning over, I fell into a chair and the phone started to ring, and ring, and ring.

Now I am not complaining about all the phone calls - please don't get me wrong! And one of them was from a dear friend who moved from the area about 4 years ago. She wanted to tell me how much she enjoyed my blog as well as my newsletter. Jackie was thrilled to hear that the magnolia tree she gave me several years ago has recovered after appearing to be dead last year. I really wanted to go out back and take a picture of the little tree, but I swear my legs just would not let me. I was lucky to be able to make myself a bite of dinner. I am on here while waiting for the dryer to stop - something to do since I don't seem to be able to just do nothing! Pitiful, isn't it?

Several of you have asked about my old house - or I should say the house where I used to live, as I did not own it - or I would still be there. When I lived there, I had 52 camellias, some of them were as tall as 15 feet when Elizabeth died. I had planted about 30 azaleas. Daffodil population was well over 1,000 bulbs, followed by gladiolias in the fall. There were many other misc. plantings, some rare, some common, all more than beautiful. She had a gardener a minimum of 20 hours a week, year round. The first owners her nephew sold the house to sold the one car garage and tore out 8 camellias, 5 azaleas and the wisteria to dump several tons of gravel in the back yard and have easier access to the 3 car garage where I kept my car. Gee, how did I manage to keep my big cars in that garage and navigate thru the plants without hitting anything? The big garage is where they kept the Packard. The garage they sold was right in front of the car showing on the left hand side of the picture. It had electricity and water in it, a cement floor with a drain channel in case you wanted to wash your car. There is now a pile of gravel. They spent more than the sale of the garage to have the cement floor smashed up and hauled out. Go figure.

The people were from Michigan. They had never seen camellias, so they cut them down and left the weed bushes. The cut down the blue spruce and more than half the crape myrtle. There are only 3 azaleas left. The rose garden is gone, the fig trees (don't they grow in Michigan?) the iris bed (18 varieties) and the 7 foot gardenia bush. Did I mention the double forsythia? All gone. I had planted several rare varieties of dog wood, a red (much darker than pink) a giant (flowers larger than the palm of your hand, 3 doubles, and 2 pinks. There are only 2 dogwood left in the front yard. Some of the daffodils still bloom, the glads have all been mowed down because they did not know what they were. There were camellias and azaleas all across the front of the house. As you can see they are gone.

Drew mentioned the house to me today at the garden center. He said he almost cried each day when he drove by and saw them cutting something else down. Wanna know the bad part? The people never actually lived there. They would come down from Mich. for a week or 2 at a time, cut and hack away, do as much damage as possible and head back to Mich. They moved here, finally, after a couple years of this stuff. Then the boyfriend decided he hated VA and he left after staying here a month. She put the house back up for sale and left a couple months after that. The new owners don't seem to live there either. They show up every so often, stay a few days and then are gone.

Word is the house is haunted. Well, I know that... so? On the other hand, if ERM was mad at me, I would not want to tangle with her ghost. She was a force to reckon with when she was alive. Her husband used to call her Queen Bess. Small wonder. Pardon the pun. Elizabeth was 4' 9". No, I would not want to argue with her ghost.

Rats, it is thundering. Time to unplug. See ya later.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

I have given up.

I tried 7 times to get this picture on the profile section. I had to reduce the picture 3 times to get it below 50k, and yet the URL numbers were too large - or at least larger than the example in the how to do it section. I can not see any way to change that - so, I guess I will just have to give up.

I found a neat picture of a full grown fringetree, mine is still a baby, not yet 6' tall. Unfortunately I can't remember where I found it other than on google. duh.

While I am at it, here is the newest member of My Little Corner - a double pink azalea. It is out where Buddha can see it. Give it a few years.

Let me know what you think of my efforts. It has been fun but a lot of work, too.

Maybe I need to think about a different picture for my profile... but I really had my heart set on this one. I wonder what would happen if I put it on the weatherblog first and used that URL. I have no faith in it working out. Wish me luck!

Possum and Flowers

This blog is such a learning experience! I wanted to use this picture in the "about me" section, but it would not accept the url, so I had to copy it to a new folder, now put it on here, and hopefully take it from here to there! I wonder why I can't just go to my pictures and open it?????????????????????????????????????????

Mrs White Ears

I hope this picture comes out - or maybe I should say these pictures... If you are a regular reader of my Sunday letter, you have heard of White Ears. We have had a squirrel (perhaps more than one but only one at a time) with white ears. I have no idea why I always called it a boy, but I have now seen its belly - she is a momma!

As you can see, she is also a thief! I realize this is not a good shot, but it was a telephoto and thru the kitchen window and storm window. What can I say? If I had opened the back door, she would have been history, so the window was the only choice. The feeder is about 50 feet from the house.

OK, that seemed to work, sort of. Let me try a better picture.

This is definitely a better shot tho not as amusing. I know, I fuss about the squirrels getting into the bird feeders, but the truth is, I dearly love squirrels. When I was a little kid, Grandpop taught me to sit real still and coax the squirrels to come up and eat peanuts out of my hand. Sometimes he would put a big glob of peanut butter on a little piece of bread, set it on his shoulder and the squirrels would run up his arm, snatch the peanut butter bread and run. Eventually they became so tame they would sit and eat the peanut butter off the bread while sitting on his shoulder. It took me a long time to be able to sit still long enough for the squirrels to learn to trust me as they did Grandpop.

Another truth, the feeder in the first picture is primarily for the large birds, but I usually put it where the squirrels can jump onto it. I bought them a feeder of their own that I put up on one of the trees, but when they had eaten all the food out of it, they then began to chew the feeder apart. Eventually it was beyond repair.

The first baby squirrel I ever took care of at the Wildlife Center I named Whiskers. Baby squirrels are born naked except for these adorable long whiskers. Yes, even their tails are naked. Their skin is so transparent, when you feed them, you can see when they are full. They have little white bellies showing thru their skin. They are so precious. I used to carry Whiskers around in my shirt pocket while I fed the other critters. I have since read that frequent touching type stimulation makes the little animals smarter, it activates more brain cells. Well, Whiskers must have been one smart squirrel, 'cause she got plenty of touching from me! I was so excited when she finally opened her eyes. I was the first thing she saw! I cried when she was released and worried myself silly. But she did all right.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Fringe tree and azaleas

We had a real good rain last night, a few boomers, but not too bad. .82 inches of much needed rain. Fortunately I've dumped about 10 bags of mulch in their needed places, so it was good to get that stuff soaked.
The fringe tree is in bloom. Never seen one? I hadn't either till Anna brought one home a couple of years ago. Strange little thing. Well, it is about 5 feet tall now, and that is little for a tree.
Have you looked at my pics on the weather site? I posted one of my favorite irises on it, another view of Buddha and an azalea, and a shot of a reflection in the birdbath of St Francis and some floating pansies. I thought the shots came out pretty good. I wish I didn't worry about people voting on them, though. Guess that is the teacher in me, still worrying about grades! Geees!

I am trying to decide on whether or not to post an azalea pic. It is a new plant, maybe 2 years old, and blooms spring and fall. I have gotten several "everblooming" azaleas, and I really love them. I enjoy the flowers in the fall as much as in the spring - maybe more because not much else is blooming then. They start before the fall camellias.
This azalea is about 3 feet tall. I love the colors, soft, subtle. I bought a couple other azaleas that were supposed to be pinkish - white with deep red centers, and they bloomed differently this year - there were some bright reddish-purple blooms on the same plant. Surprise! It was pretty, but a bit too purple for me.
What do you think? It is pretty...

Well, the weeds are out there in the yard thumbing their noses at me, so I guess I'd better get outside. The ticks have been terrible the past week. Lord, I hate those things. And I have to get to work on my Sunday Stuff... I have been neglecting that to do this. Shame on me. There are just not enuf hours in the day!!!!! Have a good week-end!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A few flowers

I finally found some time, no, that’s wrong, I took the time to work out in the yard today. I did not work on the computer for my reading student. Won’t she be surprised tomorrow when she finds no new word list or practice sentences? Normally I sit right down at the computer and spend 4 or 5 hours preparing her next day’s work, but I attacked the weeds today instead. I transplanted 3 mini roses and dug up some Nandina. It is supposed to rain tomorrow. I hope so, we really need it.
The azaleas are fading, several of them are done. There are only a few camellia blooms to be found. The peonies opened today. I have a few iris open and buds on the rose bushes. So, I will attempt to show you the flowers in bloom. I will try to avoid duplicating the shots from the other blog, but, forgive me if I do. It’s my old age, ya know. I probably will try to put some more on the other blog if I have time, http://www.wunderground.com/blog/possum2k/show.html, but this is much faster.
The top picture is of PITA's grave. I always try to keep flowers on her grave. The next one I have tried to put on here is of one of the
camellias. The brown is frost bite. I wanted to
put some more shots on here, but it keeps dropping the flower down as I type and I don't seem to be able to work around it. Maybe some day I will be smart enuf to figure this out. Ya think?
Maybe I should look at some of the other blogs here to see what other people have been able to do. I really want to include Pink Perfection, one of my favorite camellias.

Well, I guess I am too tired to do any more. It is uploading rather slowly tonight, and I am totally out of patience. It has been a long day. Things that seemed like a good idea at the time have proven to be a pain in the butt. That's usually what happens when I get overly tired. And I still have to sit up and watch LOST!
I still think they all have died and the island is Purgatory.

OK, I am gone for now. Enjoy the posies, more later.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Rufus, the Bwontasawus

Ok, so you didn't see the brontasaurus... don't even know about it. OK, sorry. When we went to the mountains to see the kids (and the newest arrival, Briar, now 8 months old) Caleb just HAD to go out back to an old putt putt golf place behind the motel to see the bwontasawus. He said he just wuvved it more than any other dinosaur, and, let me tell you, he has a COLLECTION! Well, the place hasn't been open for a couple of years, so I found the guy that owns it (and the motel, conveniently) and we haggled a bit, but he agreed to sell it to me since it was Caleb's 5th birthday. "I'm a sucker for kids," he said. Mostly he was a sucker for the paper in my pocket, if you know what I mean, sooooooo... Eddie came over and we somehow got the thing in the truck and they somehow got it off the truck at home - did I mention it is solid concrete?

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Caleb and possum

Well, it looks like that one worked. Let me try a picture of Caleb with the little possum that used to ride around in my van. He asked for it, knew it was a baby possum (better than some grown-ups I know) and so what was I to do? So, it is his now. If you saw the pics of the grandkids on the back of the dinosaur they named Rufus, Caleb is the 5 year old. This picture shows what a cutie he really is!

Trying again

I wrote up a little bit of stuff, put on a picture, hit publish, and it disappeared. Now I don't seem to be able to find it. Oh well, I guess I will try again. This is definitely not for the technologically challenged, is it?

I wanted to be able to put all my pics that I wanted to share with you at one place, with comments, that might be easier for you to access instead of one picture at a time of wunderphotos. So, have patience, old girl. Trying again.....

OK, so now it looks like I have PITA on here. Lets see what it looks like.