Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Big 04

Isabella's 4th birthday started bright and early with the unveiling of her much anticipated present.

Steering is a little trickier than it looks.

Dad was there for a quick tutorial.

Anderson looked on longingly at Is' new ride.

The best part:

Friday, May 29, 2009

Perfect Day

Today was as close to a perfect day as I could hope to get.

I slept in until 7:00 and then I got up and ate a bowl of cereal while I watched the Early Show.  Then I went out and planted a bed of asparagus and a bed of strawberries.  I cleared out my third square foot bed and planted my cherry tomatoes.  When I did that, I discovered yet another renegade peony plant.  It's almost scary how many are coming up.

I watered everything that I planted last night from our second Ingrid/Rick run.  We had another complete load.  I haven't hardly spent anything at all at greenhouses this year!
I came inside and debated whether I wanted to take a shower or a nap.
The water closet won out.  After that, I took a long walk with Annie.
Tried to talk Pudge into going with me, but as soon as I mentioned exercise, she ran and hid.  Let's just say that Pudge is aptly named.   Of course, I don't have a lot of room to talk.  So I'll stop.

It's always interesting what you might find when you follow the well worn dog trails.

I found a thicket of currants.  Dad would be pleased.
His original plant that he gave me has spread and spread.

Our tree that blew over last September in that fierce wind storm liveth.
It lieth down, but it liveths.

Hmmm .... choices.  I think I'll take the path less traveled.

The cat tails are greening up nicely.
More Russian Olive trees have sprouted.
One of my colleagues actually paid money for one of these this year.
Can you believe that?!!

After my walk, we went to town and had lunch at Culver's.
If you haven't tried their Angus Philly Cheese Steak sandwich, you must!

I had one for supper last night and then again for lunch. 
They are that good.

After lunch, Mardell dropped me off at the ESU for my first class.
I am taking 6 hours of curriculum development.  Vicki is taking it as well.

After class Vicki dropped me off at the sewing studio 
(old store/warehouse/old Safe Harbor --- sewing studio sounds better).
We are taking the Eleanor Burns' Day and Night class at Prairie Pines.  
We pressed our material for tomorrow's 
quilt class and got our strips cut out.

  We had to pick two contrasting fabrics.  Mardell chose a gorgeous blue batik and dark brown for her two fabrics.  I am using a piece that I had originally purchased as the backing for my first quilt.  I ended up not using it --- I don't even remember now why I didn't use it.
  It's a swirl of orange shades, with a bit of red and some cream.  
My contrast fabric is cream colored.  

After that we endured the Evil Empire.  Last week we bought fresh blackberries for $1.50 and we keep hoping to run across such a good deal again.  No such luck today. 

We got our beastie food and then came home.

After we got home, I played pyromaniac and burned tumbleweeds.

Not that we need to or anything!

It's very wet so they burned slowly.

If I really worked at it I could get a decent flame going.

Tumbleweeds are very dense and cause an intense short-lived flame.

But I kept plugging away at it.

Doesn't look like much, but it took two hours to burn this strip.

I also have a few spots burned on the other side of the fence, but there is still lots left to do.

Can you imagine what would happen if somebody tossed a cigarette butt into this mass?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mousers in the Making

Some contents are a bit graphic.

Do not continue if you are eating --- 
especially if you are eating a cherry filled sweet roll .

And if you are eating a cherry filled sweet roll, you should send one to me because I'm very hungry and I'm sitting in a day-long data team meeting. Cherry filled sweet rolls don't seem to be on our eating plan at the present time.

Willowby has been an exceptional mother.

But look at the size of those fuzzy little critters!
She's getting very tired.

So she has been teaching the kittens the fine art of mousing.

She goes out and hunts a mouse (or vole or bird) and then brings it back to share.

The kittens are all eyes when she returns.

She proudly presents her gift and leaves them to figure it out.
There is a lot of interest from most of the litter.

But not from this character.  

She's a daydreamer and has better things to do than chew on a mouse.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch Little Fosnick is getting right down to business.
It almost makes you feel sorry for the mouse.


Fosnick has learned the fine art of playing with one's food.
But before long, she/he(?) gets down to business and begins chomping in earnest.

Finally, the dreamer has figured out this is a tasty little morsel and she is licking her lips.
Unfortunately, it's too late.  Fosnick growls and refuses to share.

Not to worry.  Mom brought more.

In fact, we decided to keep the kittens in the bathroom at night away from mom so that she could have a break.  She went out the pet door that first night so we were convinced we had made the right decision.  That is, until Mardell got up to go to the bathroom and discovered four dead mice lined up in front of the bathroom door.  Mama was trying to push them underneath to the babies so that they could eat.  We've given up trying to protect mom.  She's on her own now. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Stock Tip

Buy stock in plastic!
We seem to own a lot of plastic.
Today was moving day.  
This is my CR-V filled with plastic stuff.
I think I like it better filled with green plants!

Yesterday was supposed to be moving day, but the detention center crew had to take down flags from Memorial Day, so our move was postponed.

Seven men spent seven hours moving our room.
It took three trips with this U-Haul.
Vicki did a superb job of supervising.
We even enslaved her grandson.
He was good help and didn't complain a bit.

Now, Vicki and I are another story ....
we complained a lot!
This is our area in the Lake Minatare gym.

Somehow it didn't look so bad in our classroom.

Next week we begin painting and cleaning out all of the treasures left behind from teachers since 1970.

I sure hope Dani wants some more glitter!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sweet Scents of Spring

I love spring time.
I know this surprises you as I haven't stated this 4,569 times already.

I especially love spring when our trees and plants begin to bloom.

The plums are usually the first to bloom.
I love to stand on my back step and drink my morning cup
of Cowboy Coffee and take in the scent.

It's rather intoxicating.

But then a week later, everything else bursts into bloom.
The currants are especially laden this year.

This is from dad's plant.  I split it several years ago so we get hit from the north and the south with the sweet smell.
Our apple trees didn't bloom as prolifically as I would have liked.
In fact, we only had about a dozen blossoms.

That saddens me because as of yet I haven't
outwitted the local squirrel population.
I'm lucky to get one apple.

This year the sand cherry bushes bloomed.

These would be the same sand cherry
bushes that I planted ten years ago.

They died that same year.  No kidding.

Now they are like weeds .... on top of my septic tank. 
The other half is already lamenting about roots.

Unfortunately, this tree did not bloom ---
but I'm thrilled that it's leafing out.

It's my sweet cherry tree. 
Bing cherry trees won't thrive very well here,
but this particular type is intended for zone 4. 
We'll see. 

The jury is still out, but I'm encouraged.

We've had other surprises this year.

This peony appeared from out of the blue.
I believe it was planted about four years
ago and never amounted to anything.

I always figured the dogs laying on it had something to do with it.
At any rate, it was a pleasant surprise.

 About three weeks ago I ran into old friends,
Ingrid and Rick, at the Evil Empire.

Ingrid invited me over to get some perennials. 
I readily agreed, but then packing and moving took over my life.

But finally, the packing was over and
we were able to go see Rick and Ingrid.

When someone says to you, I have some perennials
that I'd like to share, you typically think you're
going to score maybe half a dozen to a dozen plants.

Not so with Ingrid.

We filled the back of the CR-V

and then we filled the back seat.
The best part is that we are going back for more on Thursday!