31 May 2011

garden whimsey

purchased this weekend at a local garden club sale, this make-do creation was intended to be a hummingbird feeder. isn't it unusual? i've taken the blue scrubber out of the top bowl and filled it and the second bowl with water and am hoping for bathing birds outside my window. as yet i've not seen any. in the meantime, i am scrounging cabinets looking for goblets and bowls so i can make another such creation for a friend, who will love it!

30 May 2011

memorial day

my dad served in world war II before we were born. he never talked about the war when we were kids, despite our curiosity about it. the only instance i recall was when one of us innocently drew a swastika and he got angry. as he got older, though, and newer memories escaped him, only distant ones remained and he talked more freely to his adult children about them. 

my father was an air force navigator in a bomber and flew missions over europe. he told the story of a young serviceman from the south who was his friend and the bombardier on his plane. during one flight, my dad's plane was struck by another coming out of a cloud bank. the bombardier was ejected from the plane and my father watched in horror as he fell to earth and his death over france. they were both in their early 20s.

this is the only first-person account of war i know. i think of it when i see a veteran in uniform, when i read  of a soldier's death, when i pray for friends' sons and daughters serving in far-off places. i imagine how many other deaths there are like this one - and worse. and i am overcome with feelings of sorrow and disbelief. remembering what this day is about, bless those who keep us safe and free, those who have served us in the past, and those who have selflessly given their lives for our freedoms. 

29 May 2011

today's grand total

tolls - $2.00
gas - $34.53
tip - $5.00
breakfast with my brothers and sisters in my old home town - priceless!

28 May 2011


exciting news in sports this weekend (yay bruins! go red sox!) but this is my big score - a telescope purchased at a yard sale to benefit a town organization. it was priced high for a used telescope with no manual, and i passed on it at first. but as i meandered around looking at other things, someone announced that every thing was being discounted to 50%. i scuttled back and picked this up for $25. now, i just need to figure out how to use it! my summer project... look out, jupiter - here i come!

obviously NASA's, not mine!

27 May 2011


the latest in toothbrush technology for the baby-toothed set. the little girl chose this one herself. the handle is shaped like a crayola crayon and there's a suction cup to make it stand on end. when a switch is turned, light flashes from within the plastic cylinder, a timer to let the the tooth brusher know how long to scrub. it's funny to watch the little girl brush her teeth in the dark, in the blue light, in the mirror. 

25 May 2011


driving home late this afternoon, i open windows wide for the first time this season, drinking in the sunlight and breathing in the air. it's heaven! i pass house after house where grass has been mowed and the green smell hangs in the air. kids play outside, folks ride in motorcycles and in convertibles with the top down, cooking smells emanate from back yards. and there is green - lush, uniform, deep green - everywhere i look. for the first time this year, it feels like summer is coming. 

i love this time of year. when it looks and feels and smells and sounds like summer - and you smile to yourself knowingly, keenly aware that there are many more days and weeks with growing amounts of sunlight before we even reach the official solstice.

22 May 2011

perpetual birthday card

only buy birthday cards that make me laugh. and twenty-five years ago, this one made me laugh out loud! after reading the cover message You look younger every year! i opened the card and read,
Yours truly, 
i still think it's one of the funniest birthday cards i've ever read! 

back then, i bought this card and sent it to a good friend on the occasion of a landmark birthday. i thought the card so hysterical that i signed it with a post-it note so she could pass it on to someone else. she passed it on, all right - right back to me on my birthday a few months later! for almost eight years, we sent this card back and forth, adding messages about our respective ages and often a note hinting at a major life change. in 1995, i searched for the card and couldn't find it. but it turned up again nine years later and i gleefully sent it back. then my friend lost it for seven years. and now, i'm delighted to see it again, in my mailbox on my birthday weekend, with yet another post-it note sentiment. twenty-five years ago, we joked that we might keep this card traveling between us until one of us reaches 100. i think we may do just that!

21 May 2011


here's painted trillium i found in remote woods a few days ago. there were more of these plants in one place than i've ever seen before! i planted a dozen plants of this variety last spring, nursery stock purchased at a local garden club plant sale. if any have come up, i can't find them and i'm disappointed to not have these flowers this year as expected. for days now, i have been fighting the urge to go and dig some from that over-abundant spot. so isolated is this area that they'd hardly be missed. but the nature girl in me knows how wrong it is to transplant from the wild to a garden setting, even if it is on the edge of the woods. 

18 May 2011

another year

this is time, passing by. mostly, i don't even notice, so caught up am i in family and friends, work and the wonderment of days. then there are days like this one, when i am so keenly aware of its marching on, whether i want it to or not.  and today, it has brought me another year to look forward to.

16 May 2011


remember this posting of three weeks back? my surprise little yellow cactus flower? it continued to grow and change daily and here's what it looked like when i walked into work today! yikes!

14 May 2011


spring around here is tick-time and this year is a banner one. since wednesday evening, ten of these minibeasts have made their way inside and quickly met their demise squashed between two lengths of scotch tape. however, one got away and was caught too late - this morning, embedded in my side. alas, tweezer removal was unsuccessful and a trip to the emergency room ensued. there the little sucker was surgically removed, still clinging to the small ellipse of skin in the blue plastic bowl. needless to say, tonight, hours later, my skin is still crawling. 

13 May 2011

may 12 of 12: by the numbers

for a very long time, i've had this odd fascination with numbers. i can't wait for dates like this one, i get a thrill when the phone number of the new pizza joint is the transposed number of an acquaintance's phone, or when i can add all the digits on a license plate and keep the total under 20. so i planned to make this 12 of 12 about some of the numbers i encountered on day 12 in may.

the average time in minutes it takes to do hair and makeup. today i was a little over that. there are some days when i wonder if it's even worth the time at all.
that's how many years i've had these birkenstocks. they're my favorite shoes in summer, my slippers (with socks) in winter. twice i've tried to replace them with what the salespeople insist is exactly the same shoe. i don't think so. 
this is a project i've been working on since last summer: assigning bar code numbers to all the books in my schools' collections. it's necessary but tedious work and i try to find some diversion by noting the unique numbers that are coming up. this is 1234 and, because it's such a familiar numerical sequence, i try to remember the book i've linked it to in the database. but there are so many numbers - and so many books - that i can't remember the pairings of number and book for more than a few minutes, which distresses me a bit. so many great numbers here. 

the going price for regular gas today. this is at one of two local stations across from each other that always show the same prices. i often wonder who changes their price first and how quickly the other follows suit. i'd love to catch that actually happening.
a few too many
these deposit slips make me crazy. why have so many boxes when most account numbers here are in the eight digit range? when i fill these out, i write my account numbers backwards, so the last digit is in the last box of the line. today the bank clerk tells me i don't have to do that and that there's no reason why these slips are printed the way they are. it's just what it is and will always be. 
my weight at my doctor's visit today. i take comfort only in the fact that i now know the bathroom scale is in fact accurate and i won't have to buy a new one like i was sure i'd have to.
my blood pressure at the aforementioned doctor's appointment. that's the lowest it's been in a long time. even though the assistant insisted it was okay, i still think these readings are skewed when taken through the long sleeve of the knit top you wore, totally forgetting that someone would be taking your BP.

at least 92
the age of the woman who welcomed  me as i walked into this store. dear God, i thought, don't ever make me have to go to work when i'm that old. a few minutes later i got my comeuppance when a tall blonde young woman approached me and said do you sell gas grills here?

the price of this old needlework that i did not buy in the antique shop, even though i really liked the lacework and particularly the sentiment. i'm not sure i agree with it - but i like it!

the number of people i saw driving and talking on their cell phones. c'mon people! i started counting a few minutes into my commute when i spotted the driver of a tractor trailer, while making two quick and consecutive right turns, talking on his cellphone. and yes, i did pull over here to answer mine.
the age kids have to be around here to play t-ball. i bought this set to practice in the yard with the little girl so she'll know the rules and procedures when she's old enough - maybe next season!

the number of pavers i purchased to replace the old brick border on the shade garden. it's about a dozen short of what i actually need. for all the bizarre interest i have in numbers, i'm really, really lousy at estimation.


09 May 2011

flowers overhead

in spring, so many trees flower first, then leaf out and produce seeds. click above to see.  amazing the colors and shapes of the diminutive little flowers so high overhead. 

08 May 2011

mother's day

it appears that mother's day without one's mother does not necessarily get easier with time. at least, not yet. maybe next year. 

07 May 2011

a budding writer

the little girl is at that wondrous stage where she's eager to indulge in any activity that involves letters or reading. so we find reasons to write whenever we can. after searching for the spot where she'd just minutes earlier relocated a sprouting acorn, i suggested she make a plant stick to mark the site, which she did. now she wants to make markers for anything that's green and growing!

06 May 2011


i love may. such an optimistic month of promise and rebirth. but it's busy as well, with pansies to plant, gardens to rake and hoe, wool and long-sleeves to retire until fall. job responsibilities increase in may as we march toward closure. may is the busiest month of the year. it's a good thing it's also one of the longest.

this week has been exceptionally involved and i have been remiss in my communications, save the ones that were flung over my shoulder as i bustled about. apologies to susan, who i spent a wonderful afternoon with and never even thanked. to nancy, who i owe an email and soon a phone call and miss terribly. to angela, who sent me the loveliest message to which i have yet to respond. to the girl, who i have seen more of lately and talked to less. and to you who read here, and you who write and photograph to share with me. i hope i can do better next week. 

01 May 2011


ephemerals are spring plants that quickly sprout up, bloom, produce seeds, then go dormant again for the rest of the year. they take advantage of the spring moisture and the sunlight that floods the woods before the trees leaf out. dog toothed violets, trout lily, this is bloodroot that i planted years and years ago. every spring i check it and can't find it. i must just miss it. because here it is, right where i placed it so many years ago.