Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I am quite a Xanthippe* of Late...

And this is why.

Below is pictured the very bane of my existence:
And I don't even know what they are.

They have to be the "flower" of some tree in our yard, and I'm leaning toward hickory as that's the predominate kind of tree we have. I've blown them, in great quantities, off our driveway, walkways, patio, deck I can't tell you how many times this spring. (My hubs, GB tries to tell me it's for no other reason than that I'm obsessed with my leaf blower. And while I admit I have a most likely unhealthy attachment to said leaf blower, that's not the case this time.) See those little round bud-looking thingys? They come off, and if they're not flying through the air making it hard to breath, they're clinging to shoes, paws and such and getting all over the house. A mess I tell you, a mess!

So today I also blew off our totally covered roofs and collected two wheel barrows full of the damn things! When I was done and had put away my trusty leaf blower, a good wind kicked up as a summer storm approached. Above is the photo of more of very bane of my existence that flittered and fluttered down from whatever tree I'm really thinking of chopping down onto my just cleaned patio. When will it stop??

~

*Xanthippe was the wife of Socrates...and because of ~certain events~ that occured in their marriage, her name has become synonymous with "shrew" and more popularly (to whom I do not know) with "ill-tempered woman". (Personally, I think she was unfairly maligned.)

Very much a xanthippe - ill-tempered woman - is what I've become of late while dealing with the above unknown bane of my existence. So watch out!

~~~

xoabb
who expects an allergy headache at times...
(from those thingys!)

~


P.S. - Second time I've used this word, but it just fit so very well, I had to! And last time the word wasn't directed at me - so there! Different!

Monday, June 29, 2009

CG, Steroids & Stir-Fry. Yup, My World!

Stopped by our CG plot today and am pleased to report there's noticeable growth going on! Well, everything but the peppers are obviously happy with their home - guess we got the right amount of (organic) fertilizer to go with the amount of rain we've had. The tomatoes, which just last week were decidedly yellow are now green and growing like weeds. There's many flowers on the squash and cucumbers, and we're gonna have to build a higher trellis for the beans! The pea plants thought it best to grow along the ground, so we had to redirect them to grow UP their trellis. And the strawberries, which daughter Rem insisted we had to have seem to like their home as well. See that sparse area in the middle? The peppers...I am not happy with the peppers. And they are not happy with me. Hmmm....wonder what they need...

Of course, I thought our squash plants were doing well until I saw this monster. I do believe this gardener is cheating and giving that squash steroids! What the heck?!?! That sucker is 10 times the size of our squash plants!

I love to see what other folks are doing with their garden plots. This is a plot near ours and these gardeners have all their sections very neatly defined with string. That single plant you see there is a watermelon. Someone walking by on the outside of our fence asked them (rather incredulously) "Won't that take over your entire garden plot?" I listened to the plotters reply: "Oh no, we were sure to get miniature watermelon seeds!" The walker said a quick "Oh" and quickly turned away. I think there was laughter trying to be covered up. There are also corn plants here, and in a lot of plots, both down below with all us newbies and in the upper garden with all the "Martha Stewart Wannabe's" as I heard a newbie say the other day (possibly a little jealousy is involved?). We're not supposed to plant corn or sunflowers because they block out too much sun. Obviously the message is being rather poorly delivered.

Here's a garden plot that has just been planted in the last week. I get a kick out of seeing the vastly different ways folks go about laying out their plants. These folks are very creatively is using shims to divide their various plants. What the purpose is I really can't decide. Maybe the cedar keeps slugs and other such gross bugs at bay. Whatever, their plants look good - wait a minute! Their squash plants are bigger than mine, too! What is going on??

Sometime I'll have to show you the plot that has a bowling ball and baseball guarding the veggies. Then there's the plot with at least 10 whirley-gigs madly whirling away, I suppose to ward off marauding birds and such.

Many of the lower garden plots are still under water. Since we were all supposed to have our plots planted by June 15th, some of the underwater plotters have attempted to plant anyway. It's not pretty, and I really feel bad for those folks. Hope the federal grant Fodor Farms received will help them do something to make those plots viable.

Enough already!
~

Dinner tonight:
It seems I'm in a new cooking phase of late. More often than not, I stir-fry some mix of veggies - always in an iron skillst - to accompany whatever meat we're having. I do believe tonight's mix was our favorite so far. We loved it! Of course, it involved Vidalia onions and, in my humble opinion, anything with Vidalia onions is good! Yum! Here's the throw 'n go recipe:

1 med. Vidalia onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 med. yellow zucchini (not summer squash), sliced into 1/4" thick rounds
1 med. green zucchini, sliced as above
handful fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded (fancy way to say, cut into thin strips)
handful fresh parsley, minced
fresh ground pepper & (Trader Joe's) lemon pepper w/grinder
salt to taste (optional)
olive oil
iron skillet

Put enough olive oil into skillet to coat evenly and heat to medium high. Slice Vidalia in half down to bulb end. Cut onion in thin slices. Add to skillet and gently cook, stirring often, about 5 - 6 minutes until onion begins to carmelize. Add garlic. After a minute more, add the squash and sprinkle it with the pepper(s) and salt (add more oil if you think you need it). Let bottom layer of squash begin to brown around the edges, about 4-5 minutes, and then flip with spatula. Keep flipping until squash is cooked, about 10-12 minutes in all. Just before all is done, add the basil and parsley and give a final good stir. Taste,correct seasonings if needed, and serve! Delish! (As Rachel Ray would say.)

~

There! A little glimpse into my world.

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!


Done In...

Mom calls this :
~Pie in the Sky~
They're too far up to get a basket-full...
Photo taken by MumBum this spring'09 in MO


~Pie in the Basket~
Sour cherries for Dad's and my Birthday ~cakes~
photo courtesy of MumBum, taken last spring '08 in MO


Saturday morning at 11:30, my internet connection and phone stopped working. Should have known something was up as the internet was getting slower and slower, but nope, I didn't figure it out until all was kaput. Didn't have time to call lovely Cablevision until yesterday morning. After an interminable amount of time punching keys and doing what I was told to do by that awful robotic voice, it was determined that a human being would have to come to our home to fix the problem. And that human couldn't come until between 3pm and 5pm Tuesday. I am not happy.
So, if I'm not around for another day or two, that's why.
Glad we cleared that up!
~
(The photos are ones mom emailed me at work - glad I saved them!)


~~~

xoabb
expect irritating events at times!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Looking Up The Gigantic Hollow Old Tree

Photo courtesy of my brother, taken 6/21/09 down by the creek
below my parent's home in Columbia, MO.
Go here for his MO photostream of this & other '09 MO pics.

Magnificent tree!
Two years older, and still so
Beautifully intact!

What does Dodgie see?
Mysteries known only to him,
And, of course, Old Tree.

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

~

P. S. The happiest of birthdays to you, Miss Rosa.
And many more, my dear friend!

~

P. P. S. See all the light streaming in from that hole in the trunk just above Dodgie's head? If you look at Old Tree from two years ago that's in my header, above, (or here a year ago), you can see that large hole was just a slit two years ago. Ohhh...I know Old Tree will fall sooner than later, and I'm going to miss him so!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Deserted

As far as the eye can see,
Loneliness.
And summer is here.
There should be people...

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

~


Side note: For the very first time in the 30 years I've lived on the edge of my glorious pond (not pictured above) I am hearing a most glorious bull frog serenade (for the uninitiated, it kinda sounds like an elongated belch)! Simply wonderful! Hope those ole bullfrogs are here for many years to come!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Unexpected Carnage

Landing w/dinner in talon.


Yesterday around 5pm I was standing by Julie's kitchen window when I saw a rather large flapping of wings coming toward me that was headed just above the roof line. It also looked like there was something dangling below those wings...and more than just a pair of bird legs. I went out the front door, looked up at the roof, and there he was. A red-tail hawk. With his dinner. I really didn't need to see his dinner. I know, I know - it's natural, that old circle thing, but I really didn't need to see it and be reminded it was a living creature just minutes ago. (I'm a wimp.)

Though this is the best photo I was able to shoot, it's still rather poor as I was too far away from Mr. Red-Tail. (Do yourself a favor and visit Stacy's blogs to see beautiful photos of hawks and other birds of prey, among other things.)

What a magnificent creature Red-Tail is!

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Water...Waaaaaahhhhh!

Rain-water sheeting off our sun-room
(ha!, make that our cloud-room) window yesterday afternoon.

The never-ending water-works continues.
I understand we were in a water deficit earlier this year.
We are no longer in a deficit.

Our lawn is cut and the next day, there's so much growth
it looks like it needs cutting again.
And one of my tomato plants drowned. DROWNED!

However...
I can't remember a greener, prettier CT spring.

O joy, our weatherman just announced
"a flood advisory for our area".

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

ABC Wednesday - a W!
Do join us!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Course of True Love...

Sometimes a little rain happens...

But it certainly didn't ~dampen~ their special day!
And here's to years of happiness for the two of them!

5:25 pm yesterday
On the way to see the wedding...
(Miss LaLa called to tell me about it and said I had to go see for my self.)

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

~

To my most wonderful dad - a very happy day, not only on this day that honors you, but every day of the year. To my husband, I'm so very thankful you are the father of our kids. And my brother - thank you for my nephew/godson, my Dodgie. And to all the good dad's of the world - enjoy your day of honor!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Too Much of a Good Thing...


So, moisture (and LOTS of it) is a good thing?

RAIN, & more & more RAIN!!

Whatever! When that's all you have...
Just make the best of it!

What if I just really want a drought???
Sorry - I know that's not acceptable!

~~~

xoabb
expect anything

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Unthinkable

A colleague I highly regard
Lost a 17 year old daughter yesterday.
I cannot imagine the grief.

~~~
xoabb
peace please be with you, my friend...
...eventually.


~

Tho this is a somber time, I
want to wish our most beloved son
a very happy 25th birthday.
May all your dreams come true!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Field Day

Saugatuck Field Day
Fun's had by ALL of us. It's
The day we wait for!

Water slide! Other
Stations of watery fun!
Then...it's tug-o-war!


The Thrill of...
VICTORY!


The Agony of...
DEFEAT!

And...

For your enjoyment of the above*...

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

*faces cropped & changed to protect the chillun'

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Verdant Old Vaccary Void of...

Deer & most other Varmints...
Photo taken today @ 3:10pm
Thankfully the deer are finding good thing to eat other than the plants in my yellowing (too much rain) Victory (or not) garden and those of my neighbors. Of course, that 12 foot fence certainly doesn't hurt keeping them on the ~right~ side of the fence - and is obviously most necessary! Notice at the bottom there's also 2 or so feet of chicken wire to keep the smaller vermin out as well. And yes, this community garden is in the middle of the lower pasture* of the old Fodor Farm. 
Quite verdant, as you can see, this old *vaccary, 
(i.e. ~cow pasture~ in Old English).  

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Give a Guy a Chainsaw...

Before...


After...
Hubby and son spent the good part of a recent weekend ~redesigning~ our front yard. What started with the removal of one bush that was ugly and in front of the bay window ended with the subsequent removal the crab tree and all the over-grown monster bushing lining our front steps. As soon as we get the stumps removed, we'll figure out what to plant next. That's a new female holly bush and the smaller one to the left is the male holly. (I want holly berries and you must have both a female and male for that to happen.)

Be careful what you wish for when 
you give your guy(s) a chain saw! 
Could get ugly...

~~~

xoabb
expect changed landscapes!

~


First photo:  4/23/09
Second photo: 6/15/09

Monday, June 15, 2009

Haricot Vert...

Have sprouted!
Isn't it just wonderful?

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Serenity Courage Wisdom

God grant me the serenity 
To accept the thing I cannot change...
Courage to change those things I can
And wisdom to know the difference.

~~~

xoabb
expect anything! 

A pure white iris 
Photo taken by my mom & dad
6/11/09

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Wild Blue Yonder

Sky Above the New York Boat Basin
5.23.09

~

Sky Watch Friday
Click here to Join Us!


~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The CG... It's Lookin' Better...

Despite all the rain and cool weather we've been having this spring, we Community Garden plotters have been really getting into the swing of things! More and more of the plots have been planted and there has actually been visible plant growth! Our plot is the second one to the right in this photo. It's just been watered. Hmmm...I don't think there should be standing water. Obviously we need to add more peat moss or some such and loosen the soil more. I tell you, this gardening thing is not easy! (Then there's all these smartypants people around us that know exactly what they're doing. I don't like them.)

This weeks growth.
Though there isn't a lot of difference, if you look along the fence on the left, you can see our haricort vert beans that have sprouted! So exciting. The trellis on the right will soon be full of the three pea plants that went in last Sunday.

See our fancy-schmancy neighbors there to the left? Not only do they have a watering system set up, their soil is rich and black and they made themselves an extra herb garden along the fence. Maybe we should do that too.

Our new pea plants. I wonder if they've drowned since they were planted Sunday. We've only had about an ark-worthy amount of rain.

TA-DA! Our haricort-vert beans sprouted from seed! A first for us, though routine for most every other gardener. I hope their climbing fence is high enough. Another aspect of being a first-time veggie gardener...it's all trial and error! We'll go with what works next year and discard what was an abysmal failure.

~Contemplation~
Photo by my sister, Care
June 7, 2009
~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

Except noted, all photos taken by moi
Sunday, June 7, 2009

Unbelievably Uppity!

It has been brought to my attention that anytime I take a photo with my trusty little Pentax (w/no view finder, you always look at the screen), my pinky is always sticking up. Sometimes the next two closest fingers join pinky. This has ruined more than one shot, as by the time I crop the photo, the composition is pretty much a goner. Above was taken at the community garden - three fingers uppity!

On this particular day, GB (hubby) and I were ~bonding~ over the unbelievably effective lint cleaning gizmo my dad sent me. (You put it on the end of your electric drill and "spin" it up and down the lint vent pipe thingy - canNOT think of it's name.) I was so embarrassed by the mound of lint that thing remove, I cropped almost all of it out. Let's just say we're lucky our house didn't burn down... Three fingers uppity again!
Just one little uppity finger this time. Guess the other two got tired out. (Another lint shot.)
Even when shooting the turtle's nest, there go those fingers up in the air! This one's about a one and a half uppity. And now, read on for the second part of this post.

~

Unknown, Unidentifiable...at least to me:

I need some help. This bird (sorry for the bad quality - shooting through kitchen windows does that) was attacking my kitchen window and when he/she finally stopped to take a breather, I found I was looking at a bird I couldn't identify. Any idea anyone? I'd love to know.
Here's another angle. I never saw him/her again after that day. I was hoping there was a nest being built in the tree by the window, but no such luck.

I saw this lovely flowering plant in Riverside Park the day Lauren and I went in to see Daryl and Kate. None of the four of us had a clue what it was, but it was growing everywhere and, as you can see, quite beautiful. What about this, any idea what it is?
Here it is again from a different light and angle. That Riverside Park was one of the most lovely, peaceful parks I've seen. Well, except for the crazed in-line skaters coming down the steep (paved) pathway - I thought for sure one of us was going to get run over!

There you have it and as Kate writes each day
Until tomorrow, my friends...
(I'm borrowing that just for today because of the letter it begins with.)

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

That's MY World!

Another bug...
~dancing~

What is it with me??
I think I take a half-way decent artistic kinda photo...
And discover it contains a BUG...
of the real-life kind of variety.
Darn it anyhow!

And on the home-front?
Here's the snapper nest. Just ripe
with eggs soon to hatch!

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Le Chat says: I ALWAYS DO...

What I want,
Where I want,
When I want!
So, FEED ME!

~

Tho I love him, I'm not sure he's even a nice cat...
Most of the time, I feel I'm just a provider of his food...
But maybe, just maybe he has a heart and loves us too! 
That's what I'm thinkin'!
And I'm thinkin' I'm right...maybe...


~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

P. S.  Stella-dog adores him (and he adores her), so he really is a very good cat just based on Miss Stella-dog's judgment. It's a love-fest most every day between the two of them. Works for me! 

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Sunday Serenity

All Children are precious,
Eager eyes, willing ears,
Lovingly nestle to be near,
Waiting patiently, a tale to hear,
All Children are precious.
~Charles Garcia

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

The above is a painting by artist Gretchen Greene of her granddaughter.
It ~speaks~ to me. Those eyes are incredible!
(Gretchen happens to be my sis's mom-in-law. She's good, isn't she?)

Saturday, June 06, 2009

My Community Garden...disaster...

5/27/9
I don't know...maybe I'm not cut out to be a gardener.  BUT
try I will! It's been incredibly cold and rainy here in the 
northeast, but still...could the plants planted just grow???
6/1/9
I guess not.

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Thank you!

Thank you for all your birthday wishes, my most dear friends & family. It truly meant everything to me. I had a lovely birthday - took the day off and slept in. Had a great lunch with Julie and that Mental Mama...and then spent the rest of the day preparing a ginormous amount of food for tonight. Yup, tonight's the night Julie threatened me with dire things if I didn't help her asked me to help her prepare (from beginning to end) the dinner for her school's closing house. 150 adults and 150 kids. I've never done anything this big. And it's the first time in my life I've gone to Costco and totally filled 2 shopping carts plus a dolly! It was simply thrilling! We got done around midnight. I am tired. If you have a minute, send good karma our way for a successful evening. I'm more than a little nervous!
~
My SWF photo is courtesy of my mom and the beauty of Missouri last spring. I'm at work and it's the only sky photo I have.

~~~
xoabb
expect anything!

Sky Watch Friday
Do join us!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

It's My Birthday...

POOH!
(But MUCH better than the alternative. ;-)

~~~

xoabb
expect happy!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

NYC! To a T!


Toppled
West Side of 80th Street, 5/23/09

Tribute
Riverside Park, 5/23/09

Trail
Riverside Park, 5/23/09

Tell...
...me! What is this flower?
I've never seen it before...
Riverside Park, 5/23/09

Twisted & True
Twisted rail & a True friend
Riverside Park, 5/23/09

Squirrel
Ok, so that doesn't begin with a T, but it is just one letter off,
(plus I wanted to see if anyone was paying attention)!
NYC Boat Basin, 5/23/09

Touching
Apparently this is how one parks in NYC...
Makes leaving just a bit of a trial.
80th St. on the West Side, 5/23/09

Toes, such purty toes...
Anyone know who they belong to??
(Not giving it away by linking - ya gotta guess! You'll get it! Or not!)
Somewhere in NYC, 5/23/09

~~~
xoabb

expect anything!

ABC Wednesday - It's T!
Do join us!


6/3/9 NIGHTIME UPDATE - YUP, DARYL'S FANCY-SCHMANCY TOES ALL-THE-WAY! ;-)