Friday, April 30, 2010

From My Son (120/365)

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“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.”

Thich Nhat Hanh (Vietnamese Monk, Activist and Writer. b.1926)

TIME:  6:39 PM
PLACE:  Kitchen
SUBJECT:  Homemade flower pen

MonkeyBoy made this flower pen at school for my birthday yesterday.  He took a ball point pen and attached an artificial daisy with florist tape.  Now when I write out the bills or the grocery list, I can use this pen and it will be so much more fun and festive to do.  Thanks MonkeyBoy, I love my new pen.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gosling (119/365)

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“When all the world is young, lad,
And all the trees are green;
And every goose a swan, lad,
And every lass a queen;”

Charles Kingsley (1819-1875), British poet. The Water Babies (l. 20-21). . . Oxford Book of Children's Verse, The. Iona Opie and Peter Opie, eds. (1973) Oxford University Press.

TIME:  1:59 PM
PLACE:  Bellevue Park
SUBJECT:  Gosling

Forty-three.  I am forty-three years old today.  When my mother was 43, I was graduating from high school.  When her mother was 43, she was pregnant with my mother.  How’s that for perspective?
Anyway, I had a relaxed day.  I renewed my driver’s license (how exciting!), had lunch with Handsome Husband and with HH’s encouragement, bought myself a new camera – A Canon EOS Rebel XS with a 75-300mm lens.  Spiffy, huh?  This photo is the 28th one I took with my new camera and lens.  I hope I can justify my purchase with better photos.  Good gravy, why oh why can’t I just enjoy my new toy and not put so much pressure on myself to perform?  Because I’m whacko that’s why.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I’m Doing It Mom! (118/365)

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“If you wait until you are sure you will never take off the training wheels.”


TIME:  6:47 PM
PLACE:  Front yard
SUBJECT:  StellaDella

HandsomeHusband took the training wheels off SD’s bicycle about 2 weeks ago.  She was able to ride almost immediately, although she was a little shaky and needed help with the initial take-off.  Tonight she was doing it all by herself.  Back and forth, back and forth, up and down the sidewalk she rode.  She wanted to ride in the street, but HH and I vetoed that idea.  She began to whine about that but when given the choice of riding on the sidewalk without whining or whining and putting the bike away, she chose the sidewalk and no whining.  Smart girl.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Maple Wing (117/365)

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“To see things in the seed, that is genius.”

Lao Tzu (Chinese taoist Philosopher, founder of Taoism, wrote "Tao Te Ching" (also "The Book of the Way"). 600 BC-531 BC)

TIME:  6:52 PM
PLACE:  Front porch
SUBJECT:  Maple helicopter seed

The maple tree has been shedding its seeds and the helicopters have been twirling and floating through the air.  I was examining one close up and thought that the veins in the wing predict the trees that the seed will eventually become.

Monday, April 26, 2010

April Tree (116/365)

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"April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks Go."

Christopher Morley, John Mistletoe

TIME:  4:12 PM
PLACE:  Front yard
SUBJECT:  Red Sunset Maple tree

What a difference a month makes.  The leaves have exploded since March.  (I expect we will be tired of the green by the time September rolls around.)   No blue sky today though.  Rain is in the forecast for this evening.  The kids are going with Grandpa to the Cardinals baseball game tonight - I hope that the rain holds out until the game is over.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ghost Vines (115/365)

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“Everything that ever walked or crawled on the face of the earth, swum the depths of the ocean or soared through the skies left its imprint here.”

Robert M. Fresco, and Jack Arnold. Dr. Matt Hastings (John Agar), Tarantula, Looking out at the desert. (1955).

TIME:  5:25 PM
PLACE:  High Street
SUBJECT:  Vine imprints on house

Ivy had been removed off the side of this brick building several years ago.  The impressions have remained.  It was raining when I took this photo through the front windshield of my car – if you ~click~ to make the picture larger, you can see a number of rain drops blurring parts of the photo.

A special shout out to Dad, who suggested this photo! 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

World’s Largest Catsup Bottle (114/365)

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Mia Wallace:  Three tomatoes are walking down the street -- a poppa tomato, a momma tomato, and a little baby tomato. Baby tomato starts lagging behind. Poppa tomato gets angry, goes over to the baby tomato, and squishes him... and says,

Thurman, Uma, perf. Pulp Fiction. Writ. Quentin Tarantino. Miramax Films, 1994.

TIME:  12:55 PM
PLACE:  Collinsville, IL
SUBJECT:  World’s Largest Catsup Bottle
~*click*~ for best view

This water tower is located on Route 159 in Collinsville, Illinois.  It was built in 1949 by the W.E. Caldwell Co. for the G.S Suppiger bottling plant.  Can you guess what they made there…why Brooks old original rich and tangy catsup of course.  The water tower was going to be demolished in 1995, but a preservation group raised the funds to save and restore it to its original appearance.

As you can see, it was a gray and rainy day here.  In fact, our town’s tornado warning siren went off about 4:30 this afternoon.  A tornado was reported to have touched down in west St. Louis county but was not confirmed.  No tornados here, but we did have some heavy rain and gusty winds here in our area.  ‘Tis the season for tornados in the Midwest.  Confidentially, I love standing on the porch and watching a good storm roll in.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Marigold (113/365)

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Here's flowers for you:
Hot lavender, mints, savory, marjoram,
The marigold, that goes to bed wi'the sun,
And with him rises, weeping.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Perdita, in The Winter's Tale, act 4, sc. 4, l. 103-6.

TIME:  6:12 PM
PLACE:  Front porch
SUBJECT:  Medium Orange Marigold

When it gets close to 6pm and I haven’t taken a picture for the day, I start to panic.  Thank goodness for these warmer months when flowers are in abundance.  Sometimes, I feel like I’m cheating when I fall back on a flower as my photo of the day.  Then I think, what the heck, flowers are good things – they are beautiful, colorful and make an excellent subject.  My self-imposed photo goal is achieved and I can relax until tomorrow.  All is well with the world.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Green Paint (112/365)

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There was an old, old house renewed with paint,
And in it a piano loudly playing.”
Robert Frost (1874-1963), U.S. poet. "The Investment."

TIME:  8:00 PM
PLACE:  DramaQueen’s bedroom
SUBJECT:  “Sweet Midori” interior latex paint (& Tessa the cat in the background)

Before we moved into our house 10 years ago, I painted the kid’s bedrooms.  MonkeyBoy’s was painted a light blue color and DQ’s a dark pink.  Now she wants it painted a different color.  Pink is so passé – she’s almost a teenager you know and needs a less “babyish” color.  This lime green is what she chose.  The dark brown badly varnished woodwork is receiving a coat of creamy white paint.  Her room is shaped like a “L” so there are 6 walls to paint.  I have 2 more to do; the front wall which has a window and window seat to paint and will take a bit of time due to all that woodwork; and the long side wall, which after I do the cutting in, should be an easy roll.  I am very pleased with how well this paint is covering the pink, it’s only taking two coats.  It is amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do for a room.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New Haircut (111/365)

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“Many a man wishes he were strong enough to tear a telephone book in half-especially if he has a teenage daughter.”

Guy Lombardo (Canadian Violinist, 1902-1977)

TIME:  4:38 PM
PLACE:  Hairdresser
SUBJECT:  DramaQueen

DQ has been gunning for a new hairstyle for the past couple of months and today was the day.  Her hair used to be a shoulder length bob.  Now, it is graduated in the back and to the middle of her ears on the sides.  She kept her bangs long and went for a criss-cross part.  It makes her look older – which is exactly what she wanted.  Lord help us.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Faint Shadows (110/365)

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There are two kinds of light - the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.

James Thurber (American Writer, 1894-1961)

TIME:  6:17 PM
PLACE:  R--- School
SUBJECT:  Bench & shadow

StellaDella had T-ball practice this evening.  The early evening sun was bright and we parents were facing it while watching the girls.  I am glad I had my sunglasses on to cut the glare.  These are not the strongest shadows that I have photographed, but I do like the diamond pattern and how the weathered wood seems to glow.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dessert (109/365)

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One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (German Playwright, Poet, Novelist and Dramatist. 1749-1832)

TIME:  6:07 PM
PLACE:  Kitchen table
SUBJECT:  Strawberry shortcake

My favorite thing about spring?  Fresh strawberries.  StellaDella’s favorite thing about strawberries?  Whipped cream - Or more specifically - Cool Whip non-dairy topping.  In fact, you can just forget about the strawberries.  Just some sponge cake and a ginormous heaping of Cool Whip will do her just fine.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

StellaDella At Bat (108/365)

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“Don't tell me about the world.  Not today.  It's springtime and they're knocking baseball around fields where the grass is damp and green in the morning and the kids are trying to hit the curve ball.” 

Pete Hamill (American, journalist, columnist, novelist, and short story writer. b. 1935)

TIME:  2:40 PM
PLACE:  Little League Fields
SUBJECT:  StellaDella

SD had her first T-ball game of the season this afternoon.  This year, a pitching machine is utilized; the girls have 5 chances to hit the ball pitched by the machine.  If they don’t, then the tee is brought out for them.  SD made contact both times she was up to bat!  I think she surprised herself.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hooky (107/365)

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Mr. Krabs: Fine, but don't say I didn't warn ya.
SpongeBob: Warn 'em about what, Mr. Krabs?
Mr. Krabs: The hooks, me bucko. They're back. Beware the hooks. SpongeBob: The hooks?
Mr. Krabs: Aye. (shapes his arm like a hook) The hooks. They dangle down and draw you close with their pleasing shapes and their pink island colors. And just when you think you found the island of milk and honey they grab you by the britches... (grabs Scooter's pants and lifts high like he is giving him a wedgy) ...and haul you way up high. Then higher, and higher, and higher until you're hauled up to the surface flopping and gasping for air. And then they cook ya, and then they eat ya, or worse...
SpongeBob: (gasps) What could be worse than that?
Mr. Krabs: Gift shops

Hooky. Dir. Joe McFadden. Perf. Clancy Brown and Tom Kenny. Season 1, Episode 20a, April 8, 2000.

TIME:  7:43 PM
PLACE:  Old Navy dressing room
SUBJECT:  Clothing hooks

HandsomeHusband and MonkeyBoy are at a Cub Scout camp-out this evening so that left me, DramaQueen and StellaDella on our own.  We had a little “girls night out”.  We went to dinner at their favorite Italian fast food dining establishment, Fazoli’s, and then headed to Old Navy to check out the new summer fashions.  They both need new clothes, SD especially, she is growing like a weed these days.  Hooray for sales and an additional 20% off coupon!.  The store has been revamped since the last time we were in and I was completely discombobulated.  I used to know where everything was and now they have switched things all around on me.  The dressing rooms have been re-done as well.  I liked these hooks that resembled arrows under “Love It!” or “Not For Me” signs.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tired (106/365)

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“Woman's Rule of Thumb:  If it has tires or testicles, you're going to have trouble with it.” 

Author Unknown

TIME:  8:28 AM
PLACE:  B--- Tire Mart

The low tire light appeared on the Jeep’s dashboard last week, so HandsomeHusband checked the tire pressure and found the rear driver’s side was low.  He filled it up using our air compressor.  Two days ago, it came on again.  So this morning I stopped by the tire place before work to have them look at it.  Yep, we had issues, specifically, a screw AND a nail embedded in the rubber.  About 15 minutes and exactly 17 dollars later, the tire was repaired and I was on my way to work.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sands Of Time (105/365)

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“The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.”

 Niccolo Machiavelli (Italian writer and statesman, Florentine patriot, author of 'The Prince', 1469-1527)

TIME:  6:47 PM
PLACE:  Back yard
SUBJECT:  Sand toy

StellaDella loves to play in our sandbox.  What I can’t figure out is how the sand seems to evaporate from it like water over time.  We had to purchase 8 bags of sand to refill it this spring.  I also had to throw away many sand toys that had become brittle and broken due to exposure to the elements.  Of course, they needed to be replaced.  What’s a sandbox without shovels, pails, trucks, sand molds, sifters, plastic animals, a watering can and a funnel/wheel combo?  Not as fun I say.  Gotta love that we can purchase all those things inexpensively from the dollar store!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wabbit Twouble (104/365)

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Elmer Fudd: Zillions and twillions of wabbits! Where are they all coming from?
Bugs Bunny: [at an adding machine] From me, Doc. I'm multiplying, see? I'm multiplying!”

The Big Snooze. Prod. Edward Selzer. Dir. Robert Calmpett. Perf. Arthur Q. Bryan and Mel Blanc. Warner Bros. Pictures, 1946.

TIME:  6:33 PM
PLACE:  Back yard
SUBJECT:  Rabbits

These two guys were in our yard this evening.  They were hanging out near the location where we found the baby bunnies last year.  How much you want to bet that these guys will be multiplying like – well, rabbits.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Roy G. Biv Error (103/365)

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“Nothing is more intolerable than to have to admit to yourself your own errors.

Ludwig van Beethoven (German Composer the predominant musical figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic era. 1770-1827)

TIME:  7:26 PM
PLACE:  Back porch
SUBJECT:  Sidewalk chalk

Well, heck, now that I’ve uploaded the photo, StellaDella pointed out, that I did not arrange the chalk in the correct ”Roy G. Biv” order (Red, orange, yellow, Green, Blue, indigo & violet).  First off, she informs me, my orange and my yellow are not in the correct spot AND I do not have an indigo piece of chalk.  That’s what happens when you send them to school - they get the idea that they know more than you do and then have to show you up.  Little Miss Smarty Pants…I am so proud of her.  *wipes tear*

Monday, April 12, 2010

Get On Your Bike And Ride (102/365)

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“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.”

John F. Kennedy (American.
35th President of the United States, 1917–1963)

TIME:  6:51 PM
PLACE:  Bike trail
SUBJECT:  MonkeyBoy and Grandpa

Tonight, MB came with me on the bike ride.  During certain parts of the trial, his comments were almost the exact same as his sister’s: “Wow!” “Cool!” and “This is awesome!”  He did have one comment that he repeated over and over during the evening: “I wish this ride would never end.”  I do believe that he enjoyed himself.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dandelions (101/365)

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“It gives one a sudden start in going down a barren, stony street, to see upon a narrow strip of grass, just within the iron fence, the radiant dandelion, shining in the grass, like a spark dropped from the sun.”

Henry Ward Beecher (American, Congregationalist clergyman, social reformer, abolitionist, and speaker in the mid to late 19th century. 1813–1887)

TIME:  5:59 PM
PLACE:  Bike trail
SUBJECT:  Dandelions

DramaQueen rode the bike trail with me and Grandpa tonight.  I must say, she was a trooper and rode the entire 9 miles without complaining, even when I made everyone stop so I could take a photo of the dandelions that have gone to seed.  MonkeyBoy wants to come riding with us next.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Orange Symphony (100/365)

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“Buttercups and daisies,
Oh, the pretty flowers;
Coming ere the Springtime, 
To tell of sunny hours.”

 “Buttercups and Daisies.” Mary Howitt (English poet, 1799–1888)

TIME:  11:34 AM
PLACE:  Front porch
SUBJECT:  Osteospermum hybrid “Orange Symphony”

I bought flowers on Thursday to plant in my large planter on the front porch for our wine party yesterday.  As promised, I went with oranges and pinks.  This is one of the orange flowers, a Cape Daisy hybrid.  You can see the petunia “Pink Madness” there on the right.  I also have some marigolds (Medium Orange), a zinnia (Magellan Mix), two geraniums (Maestro Lavender Parfait), and a Lamium maculatum in the planter.  I am loving the color combo
On a sadder note, Alex the squirrel passed away sometime early Saturday morning.  Poor little guy…I was so hoping he would make it.  Nevertheless, I am extremely proud of HH for trying his best to save him.  HH buried him in the backyard and SD had me write “Alex” on a large rock as a grave marker. RIP you cute little tree rat.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Wine Tasting (099/365)

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“Quickly, bring me a beaker of wine, so that I may wet my mind and say something clever.”

Aristophanes (The greatest representative of ancient Greek comedy, 450-385 BC)

TIME:  9:17 PM
PLACE:  Dining room
SUBJECT:  Stafford Lodge Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand

HandsomeHusband purchased a wine tasting party at a fundraiser a couple of months ago and we hosted it tonight.  It was sponsored by “Wines for Humanity” which raises money for the prevention of homelessness (in our area the St. Patrick’s Center) through these events.  $2.00 from every bottle selected at tastings goes directly to the Center.  We had 13 guests attend.  There were seven wines to sample, 3 whites, 3 reds and a sparkling wine.  It was very informative – we learned the seven S’s of wine tasting: See, Swirl, Smell, Sip, Swish, Swallow (or Spit) and Summarize.  I finally know what “legs” are on a wine - it is the way that wine swirled in a glass runs down the inside surface.  Of all the wines we sampled tonight, my favorite was the Gundersheimer Hollenbrand Spatlese Riesling.  In fact, I am finishing off the bottle as I am typing this.  I can only hope that my posting makes sense!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Orbon Stove Co. (098/365)

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“When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute.  But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute - and it's longer than any hour.  That's relativity.” 

Albert Einstein (
German born American Physicist, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921. 1879-1955)

TIME:  6:00 PM
PLACE:  Hometown
SUBJECT:  Building

This is a view from a portion of the bike trail.  I actually took this photo yesterday, before the squirrel situation and the squirrel picture took precedence as the photo of the day.  Our city was quite the stove producing mecca in the late 1800’s and the early 1900’s.  I’m not sure what occupies this building today.  I’ll have to do some research on the history of the company to find out more.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Squirrely (097/365)

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“If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.”

George Eliot [Mary Ann (or Marian) Evans] (1819-1880), British novelist. Middlemarch, bk. 2, ch. 20 (1872).

TIME:  6:51 PM
PLACE:  Kitchen
SUBJECT:  Squirrel

MonkeyBoy found a baby squirrel in our yard this afternoon.  We had a storm earlier this morning and the little guy probably fell out of the tree during the high winds we had.  He was pretty done for when MB found him.  I thought we should just leave him where he was, but I was outvoted.  The next thing I knew, a box and HandsomeHusband’s old undergarments were employed as a bed; the heating pad was taken out and HH was googling to find out what to feed the rodent.  I left the group to their devices and went on a bike ride (if I didn’t go tonight, I wouldn’t be able to go until Sunday).  While I was gone, HH fed him a sugar/salt/water mixture while MB snapped photos.  When I returned, I was sent out to purchase some puppy milk replacement.  They named him “Alex” (and it is a him – HH also has to press on the squirrel’s boy parts to get him to urinate).  *Sigh*  It doesn’t look like he has broken anything, but we don’t know if he has any internal injuries.  We’ll see if he makes it through the night, then take it from there.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spiky-Winged Eagle (096/365)

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“Sleep softly . . . eagle forgotten . . . under the stone.”

Vachel Lindsay (1879-1931), U.S. poet. The Eagle That Is Forgotten (l. 1). . . Oxford Book of American Verse, The. F. O. Matthiessen, ed. (1950) Oxford University Press.

TIME:  6:28 PM
PLACE:  School district office
SUBJECT:  Architecture detail

Lucky me, I was chosen as the parent representative from our school and assigned the task of attending the school district PTA council meetings for the months of March, April & May.  These meetings cover the annual end of year school picnic information and planning.  The meetings are at our school district office, which is located in our town’s old post office building.  This eagle, along with his spiky wings (to keep the birds from alighting on it), is located above the front entrance to the building.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Trail (095/365)

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“Cycle tracks will abound in Utopia.”
H.G. (Herbert George) Wells (1866-1946), British author. repr. In The Works of H.G. Wells, vol. 9 (1925). A Modern Utopia, ch. 2, sct. 3 (1905).

TIME:  6:42 PM
PLACE:  By the college
SUBJECT:  Bike trail

The kids were off school (final day of spring break) and by this evening I needed a break.  So I took another ride on the bike trail again this evening.  Plus, I weighed myself this morning – that was ugly – yeah, I need the exercise.  Last night I rode with my dad, but tonight I rode by myself.  I stopped to take this picture by the college where the trail ends.  It’s a pretty spot on the trail, with natural grasses and woods.  Then I rode to the end, turned around and headed home – another 9 miles in total tonight.  I hope to ride this about 3 times a week.  We’ll have to see how it goes.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Van Gogh Rabbit (094/365)

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“The bunny, the bunny, oh, I ate the bunny
I didn't eat my soup or my bread, just the bunny
The bunny, the bunny, oh, I ate the bunny
And now I'm feelin' sick in the head from the bunny.”

Phil Vischer, *The Bunny Song (The New & Improved).* sung by Mr. Nezzer and the Asparagus Vocalists. Rack, Shack & Benny. Veggie Tales, Big Idea Productions, 1995

TIME:  8:43 PM
PLACE:  Kitchen
SUBJECT:  Chocolate rabbit

I held out all day.  I even took a 9-mile bike ride.  Then at 8:40pm, my willpower crumbled and I could resist no longer.  I ate the bunny’s ears.  They were good too.  Happy Easter.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Planter (093/365)

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Concrete is, essentially, the color of bad weather.”

William Hamilton (Scottish metaphysician. 1788-1856)

TIME:  7:10 PM
PLACE:  Front yard
SUBJECT:  Concrete planter

This concrete planter is one of a pair that flanks the bottom of our front porch steps.  In a few weeks, I shall fill it with annuals from our garden center.  I’ve been filling it with blue and purple flowers for the past couple of years, but this year I am feeling the need for some bold and bright colors, like a mixture of oranges and shocking pinks.  We’ll see what the garden center has to offer.

Friday, April 2, 2010

He’s Back! (092/365)

The clever men at Oxford
Know all that there is to be knower.
But they none of them know one half as much
As intelligent Mr. Toad!”
Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932), British essayist, writer of children's books. The Wind in the Willows, ch. 10 (1908).

TIME:  10:01 AM
PLACE:  Back yard

Our little, warty friend, Mr. Jeremy Fischer, has returned.  He greeted StellaDella this morning as she was searching under the landscaping pavers for worms and bugs.  SD insists that he is the same toad.  I’m not sure, all toads look alike to me.  If it is the same toad, I wonder where he spent the winter.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Red, Red, Rose (091/365)

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“The red rose whispers of passion,
And the white rose breathes of love;
O, the red rose is a falcon,
And the white rose is a dove.”

John Boyle O'Reilly (1844-1890), U.S.-Irish writer. A White Rose (l. 1-4). . . Oxford Book of English Verse, The, 1250-1918. Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. (New ed., rev. and enl., 1939) Oxford University Press.

TIME:  7:02 PM
PLACE:  Home
SUBJECT:  Anniversary rose

Today marks HandsomeHusband’s and my 15th wedding anniversary.  (See here and here for wedding photos of us)  We will not be going out to celebrate until either tomorrow or Saturday night.  MonkeyBoy had baseball practice otherwise we would have gone out this evening.  That’s the way things go when you have kids.  Oh well.  HH brought me a bouquet of three beautiful long stem roses, one yellow, one pink and one red.  I wasn’t expecting flowers so it was so very nice to receive them.