Wednesday, June 30, 2010

More Pics from the Archives

As you are aware, painfully aware by now I'm sure, I have recently been perusing pictures taken in past Junes. I am finding ones that I like, either because I simply like them or because they evoke a memory. I like this one ↓↓ : probably because of the texture and colour of the stonework. It's just a building in Almonte, but I sent Cuppa over there for scale purposes and as an point of interest.

One summer evening, possibly in the same year, but I already forget, I strolled around town experimenting with night photos. This ↓↓ was one of the shots. You can see Christmas lights in the tree; the town keeps them up all year, and they look awful purdy.

Next ↓↓ and last, for today anyway, is a rather noisy (as in poor quality) picture of a hummer at the cottage feeder that I took quite some time ago. Hummers haven't been as conspicuously present there in more recent years. Perhaps, it's because the place isn't as occupied as much and the feeder is too often dry. Naw, that couldn't be the reason.

Is that it for June Pics from the Archives? We'll see.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ironical Me

"Irony: The use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning; a statement or situation where the meaning is contradicted by the appearance or presentation of the idea.

Situational irony involves an incongruity between what is expected or intended and what actually occurs." (About Grammar)

More than once in this space have I bemoaned my sleeping problems. Just over a week ago after endless nights of perhaps four to five hours of sleep, accompanied by long intervals of lying abed awake in vain hope, I decided to keep a Sleep Journal. I reasoned that I could at some point hold it in front of my doctor's eyes and that perhaps she would decided that I required (a) knockout drops; (b) a session at the sleep clinic. I mean to say that I was getting frustrated about it all.

Little did I know that I would soon be able to write here about irony with reference to that very same Sleep Journal.

You see, I haven't had a bad night of sleep since. My worst night saw me totalling about 6.5 hours, which ain't bad at all, and I have been able to claim almost 8 hours on several occasions. I've nodded off without difficulty and my intervals of wakefulness have been brief to barely existent on some nights.

Now that's irony: situational irony if you please.

But wait, there's more ...

You see, now that I am sleeping longer and deeper, I am finding myself more tired than I was previously. I am at pains to explain this but rather hope that my mind and body are trying valiantly to make up the sleep deficit that I must have accumulated and that I am not doomed to be tired all day until I begin to sleep less.

You catch the irony, didn't you? AC starts sleeping more but feels more tired.

What I'm really afraid of, however, is a third possible ironical twist, for wouldn't it be ironical that after posting about sleeping better if I were to revert as quickly as I verted? It wouldn't be at all funny, but it would be ironical.

Our River

I'm still on the kick of finding pictures from past Junes, preferrably ones that I haven't shown before. This one is from June 2006, the summer after we moved here. The year previously, when we were thinking or purchasing our present place, we took a little walk around the neighbourhood and soon came to a little park and this view of our Mississippi River (not the mighty one in the USA).

I'm pretty sure that we would have ended up where we are regardless, but finding this view on this walk about five minutes from our place was a nice bonus, even if I did take this picture a year later.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Reflections Upon A Milestone

Yes, this blogging turtle has reached a milestone — 100 000 visits after 1500 posts. Although 90 000 may come from AC himself checking things out (kidding), it seems like a good time to reflect just a little on this thing called blogging.

Just over six years ago, I read something about being able to set up a blog very easily on this site. I'd heard the word, blog, and barely knew what it meant, but I signed up. Now, six years later, I have hit the 100 000 visit mark. I know such a record does not exactly set the world on fire because most of you would hit that mark a lot sooner. Not that it matters; we blog for our own reasons, and one of mine is just to put something out there and have some people stop by to take a gander and vice-versa (which after sixty years on the planet I still want to write as visa versa, so being a slow learner I have to re-check almost every time).

I like to write, hit publish and see my thoughts and words go online, but although I like getting my words down on paper, I had trouble doing it consistently prior to blogging. In the early days of the internet I had a number of penpals — in Japan, Singapore, Australia and America — so that got me writing more, but penpalling quickly gave way to blogging once I was introduced to this forum.

We all blog for different reasons, I suppose. I do it mostly to write my stuff down. Without something to motivate me to pound out the words, it's unlikely that I would get around to it. I certainly never did it consistently BI — Before Internet. Although I write to some degree with readers in mind, I confess that I do it mostly for myself.

Perhaps I blog to leave some sort of record that I have been here on this planet. I think I hope that my musings will someday be of some insight, interest or comfort for my scions. I am not holding my breath that Smudge or Zach or anybody will really care, but what I do know is that I wish I could read thoughts from my antecedents. Sadly, however, there are none available to me.

What has surprised me in the last year or two is to come to the realization of just how much of a social networking tool blogging is for an awful lot of folk. As I have begun to select "Send Me Follow Up Comments By Email" more often after I comment on someone's post, I find myself greatly surprised by how much back and forth chitting and chatting goes on in the comment sections of other bloggers. For many, this social aspect seems to be a bigger draw than the opportunity to write: kind of a Facebook that is a lot more cumbersome and takes a lot more time. Which is okay; I'm just saying the extent of it has surprised me.

I don't know if the social aspect wears thin over time because bloggers sure come and go at a rapid pace. As I scroll down my roll in Reader, I can easily identify more than a dozen good folk who have quit or who at least post very infrequently, and I'm just referring to those who are still on my roll not to those who departed a long time ago. In this regard , just for interest, I clicked on one of my posts from June 2006 at random. Of the dozen who left comments on that post of long ago, it appears to me that six have left blogging completely, four have become infrequent bloggers, and two I can't even remember.

Although scores come and go or at least barely hang on, I imagine that I will persist for some time. While I do go through brief periods where I take a bit of break, I can't see that I would quit writing for a long time, never mind forever. No, I imagine that I will go publishing my ploddingly pedestrian posts into the indefinite future and turtle on and on as blogging friends come and go.

I blog what I'm up to and what's on my mind. For that reason, I must confess that weekly memes such as Sky Watch or Ruby Tuesday or whatever, don't hold much appeal for me. I see them as somebody's homework assignment, which I don't much care to do. I'd simply rather not have to scrabble around to find something to post for a theme that somebody else has chosen. To each his or her own, however, and if that's what keeps you motivated, I say, "More power to you."

Finally, I think, although I don't chit and chat in the comment sections as much as most, I do appreciate your visits and your own thoughts on your own blogs. I hope, whether it's for a short or long duration for you, blogging fills some sort of need for you as it does for me.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

In Yet Another June ...

... two years ago in June, it was time for AC to do one of his very favourite things and buy some new clothes. The A Team wedding was coming up, and suitable attire had to be chosen. The wedding colours were to be green and pink, so I tried this suit with a green tie.

Trying my best to look dapper

It was okay, but it didn't seem to fit with an outdoor, cottage wedding, especially one that would be unique in several respects.

Ah ... much better. I ended up wearing the bowtie. But my goodness, that turned out to be a hot (as in very warm and not sexy — much to my regret) item of clothing.

Meanwhile, Cuppa was putting the finishing touches on the ketubah, in effect the wedding contract in Jewish marriages.

It was to be quite an unusual but absolutely wonderful wedding. Newer folk might want to take a quick peek at the photo album that I put together from everybody's pictures. The girls didn't hire a professional photographer, so I gathered up all of the amateur attempts and did what I could. Thank goodness for digital photography.

Click here to view the larger and better version

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Of Campfires and Reunions

For those of us with decaying brains and fading memory, computers can be a blessing. With a few easy mouse clicks we are able to peek back into the past. I had cause to peruse some old blogs today; it was a nice trip which I should think to make more often. So, when I was looking for a photo for today's post, I also slipped into the past: not long past, just last June, with the proviso that the grandkids would not be the subject for a change.

I had forgotten for the time being that the A Team had come home for a brief visit and that after spending some time here, we had also met for a brief visit at the cottage. We sat by the campfire that night, chatted and experimented with a few night photos.

This one, two blended photos really, is of my daughter, Althegal and the campfire.

By the Campfire

The A Team will be coming home again near the end of August, and we will again convene at the cottage with as many family members as possible. I think we're all looking forward to it. I know I am.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Receiving the Message

Zach is one strange child. Well, maybe he isn't; maybe it's just that other toddlers I have known have been strange and he is normal. I speak of naps. He likes them. He is beginning to let us know when he is ready.

More than once this week, he has crawled into my lap. I received the message but figured I should at least give him a fresh diaper before putting him to bed. On both occasions, when I walked past the sleeping room to the changing station, he became quite anxious and commenced to whimper piteously.

On another occasion he took Cuppa by the hand and required that she fetch his soother which had ended up underneath his crib. Since he only uses a soother to sleep, once again the message was received loud and clear.

And when he comes to my lap with puppy and blanket, even thick-headed Buppa understands that he's saying, "It's time for my nap, Buppa." ↓↓

In my experience, this is not normal behaviour. Sister, however, is quite normal — at least in this regard. ↓↓

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Missed it!

Doggone it! We experienced an earthquake yesterday, and I missed it.

It was a fiver on the Richter scale, so it's not major in world terms, but it's pretty major for our region — the Ottawa Valley. It was felt pretty far away too: there are even reports from Michigan, Ohio and Chicago — a long way, indeed.

Our town lies about a hundred kilometres from the epicentre near Val-des-Bois, Quebec, which is a tiny settlement, not even shown on the map below.

Being so near the epicentre Val-des-Bois did suffer some damage such as the collapse of this small bridge over the Gatineau River. ↓↓

All in all, however, not much damage was done in the region, and there are no reports of anyone being injured. For the most part, the effects were limited to shaking and rattling of dishes etc, and some items were knocked off shelves in grocery stores.

I am a little miffed about missing it because we don't get many quakes that can actually be felt. We do get dozens per year, but most are imperceptible. I was outside mowing the grass and stumbling about with a vibrating machine, so I failed to perceive the quake. In the hazy periphery of my brain, I think I felt a glitch of some sort but didn't attribute it to a quake: perhaps a stumble on my part or heavy piece of machinery rumbling by. Although I am sorry to have missed this one, I can't say that I am anxiously looking forward to another because the next may not be as benign.

Note: Local tremors are the result of intraplate as opposed to interplate quakes. There are old fault lines in this region where movement can occur. Oddly enough, the effects of our more mild quakes, as opposed to the more powerful ones near plate boundaries such as the West Coast, can extend quite far because there are fewer barriers and faultlines to disrupt the waves.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fathers Day Diligence

Fathers Day weekend found me with rocks in my head as usual hands. ↑↑ I was laying them along the side of the driveway for part 2 of our garden makeover, the idea being that those rocks will form one border of what's going to be our garden border in an area that resist growing grass and even clover.

Rock is in abundance here, very close to the surface as a matter of fact. Therefore, around these parts, most people bring in soil and raise the garden beds in an effort to give the pants a little soil to grow in. I've chosen the abundant rock resource to act as a bit of a retaining wall for the soil that will eventually be dumped here. You see how I've tried to leave the rocks at driveway level on one side (so I'm not running into them when shovelling snow in winter) but tilted them upward on what will be the garden side (to help retain the soil in place). ↓↓

It sounds and seems pretty easy, but it was a little harder than what one might think. This was especially true as I was trying to make the edges to more or less fit one one side, even though I wasn't actually abutting the rocks. ↑↑

Not that I'm trying to make myself sound like either a hero or a martyr (well, maybe just a little bit), but I am prone to head rushes whenever I stand up from a bent position, and there was much bending and standing involved with each and every rock. Let me confess that I was very glad of having Harriet the Chariot to lean on whilst the dizziness subsided. ↓↓

Once the rocks were laid, it was time to fill the cracks with soil ↑↑ and then to spread mulch over the edges. ↓↓

It doesn't look so bad, especially when you consider that part of the reason for making this garden is to get rid of the patch along the driveway where neither grass nor clover want to grow properly. Although the grass doesn't seem too bad right now, as soon as it gets hot and dry, it turns colour along that patch even when the rest of the lawn looks lush and green. And when the garden at the opt of the photo where I am standing ↓↓ is extended, I think it will be a very big improvement.

So, that's the story of my ridiculously enterprising and toilsome Fathers Day weekend. Now, I will wait for the nurseries to cut their spring prices , so I can purchase soil at a semi reasonable cost. I'm not sure if I will even get around to planting this year, but if not it will be ready to go come next spring. I'm not in a big hurry; I just want to make progress.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Photos Before Photo Day

Nothing's easy in this world. For example: we (as in she as in Cuppa) put a cutesy dress on Nikki Dee for picture day at Daycare. Of course, we wanted to take our own picture because we didn't know if they'd actually get to her class that day.

But Zach wanted to be in the frame too. And they both wanted to see the picture before we had snapped it. They kept coming after us, and nothing could stem the tide until my lateral thinking, problem solving kinda gal came up with the solution: plant them on chairs.

I know I'm supposed to be doing a picture per day, or something to that effect, but I do find it difficult to stop at one. So, forgive me for these next two if you will, for I am a fairly proud grampa. I've been hiding it well, but I thought it was time to announce that fact. Ha ha.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Return of the Hanky

Actually, the hanky has never left me. Okay, in a sense it has left me often, which is good in a way because it gives rise to this post.

You see, I'll take it out, dab my eyes, put it down and meander off. In my meanderings, I will frequently require the hanky again, but of course, I won't know where it is. I do this several times a day, and I weary with continually retracing my steps.

However, my mate is a lateral thinking, problem solving kinda gal, and she came to the rescue on Fathers Day (which I still refuse to apostrophize). Yup, she gifted me with more hankies and if that wasn't sublime enough, a hook to attach the hanky to my shorts ... or longs as the case may be. ↓↓

Isn't AC one heckuva lucky guy?

But wait ... there's more. ↓↓

Did you see it? Of course not: a little sleight of hand and it's in my pocket but still attached to the hook. Perfect, as the youth say, even for the most mundane things, such as ordering a cheeseburger.

But wait ... there's still more. ↓↓

Tricky, eh? Although it's difficult to see in this photo, it's also attached to a retractable thingamabobbie. Let the hanky go, and it snaps back to my side ... and goes with me evry lovin step that I take.

With that hanky dangling at my side, I feel fearless. Surely, I have the fastest hanky in the ... er ... east.

(For the back story, which I'm sure newcomers would hate to miss, click to see The Crying Game. And be sure not to miss AC playing the fool in Found: The Sequel.)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

There It Is!

Shortly after I hit Publish for yesterday's post, I turned around and saw this box on my bookshelf.

A light went on inside my foggy brain.

Sure enough the slide adapter was in the box: the box which was in plain view all the while that I was searching high and low for the holder. But, you see, I was looking for something black, which is what the slide holder is. In my locked-down state of mind, I wasn't looking for a hunk of cardboard.

I do this all the time. I will look for something with a picture in my mind, and if the object does not look like that mental picture, I will likely not see it. It could be as simple as looking for a plastic container, of a food item, say. If I am looking for red but it happens to be green, I will likely pass ineptly over it.

Is it because men are biologically disposed to be hunters? I've never hunted and never wish to, but I would imagine that one would be quite honed in on the quarry and not be stopping to check out the local plant life. I mean to say, if the hunter wasn't focussed, he would likely starve.

Meanwhile, female gatherers, would have been looking around for whatever the environment had to offer. They would have needed to be alert to all possibilities: for whatever food or useful material might be present.

That's my excuse for never being able to find anything. Does it get me off the hook (nod head), or am I simply not the sharpest knife in the drawer (shake head side to side please)?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Some Days Nothing is Easy

For me, with my plethora of photos, the regular posting of pictures should be easy. Right?

Some days, nothing is easy.

To wit: once again, I awoke at 4:00 AM after 4 hours sleep. (I'm getting tired of this trend, and I'm getting tired — period!) After trying my best to fall back asleep and losing the battle, I got up an hour later and began to putter: made myself some coffee; enjoyed two of Cuppa's baked-yesterday muffins; and, showered. Then, I decided to scan some slides that I had looked at yesterday morning (also at an unearthly hour) from days long past. It should be easy with my fairly new scanner, purchased for just such a task.



Do you think I could find the attachment for scanning slides? Not in your life! (I'll ask Cuppa to look for it when she gets up, and she'll doubtless find it within seconds and shake her head at me over my male ineptitude.)

Until such a time as the lost is found, I thought of this photo which I took a few months ago and knew that I hadn't posted anywhere: just a dead tree, viewable from the kids' backyard. It was March, so they all look a little dead in the photo, but the smaller ones are well-leaved now.

Durned if I couldn't get to it from Adobe Bridge: my picture folder was hiding from Bridge. Because of the format of the photo, I couldn't see it any other way, so I was flummoxed for quite awhile. Eventually, I was able to open it by hook and by crook, but it wasn't easy, and it wasn't the right way., and if I had had any hair remaining on the top of my scalp, I would have pulled it out in my vexation.

Anyway, it's just a dead tree, but it looks quite lovely as it stands there with its bare branches: lovelier than you would think from the photo.

There's beauty all around if we are ready to perceive it.

However, I'm sure I could see and enjoy the beauty of creation better if I could sleep for perhaps five hours instead of just four. Six would be really good, and so help me, I'll never complain about " just seven" again.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Picture a Day?

Is it time to start getting excited? It's been nine years since we drove Down East for three weeks. We toured quite a bit of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton (northern Nova Scotia). Despite the fact that it was a fairly long vacation, we still ran out of time and didn't really get to do mainland or southern Nova Scotia.

It was a great trip, and it's been in our minds that we would get back there someday. So, when our old friends from Sarnia moved to Yarmouth, we decided that we could kill two birds with one stone: visit our friends and return to the East Coast.

This won't be a long vacation, just a week, but we're looking forward to it. We'll see the Atlantic Ocean again and lots of fishing-related places like the one following picture, I expect. Or maybe not; we'll see where the road and our friends take us.

This is Neil's Harbour in the northern part of Cape Breton. We loved Cape Breton and the Cabot Trail. I don't know if we'll get back there again this time, but I'm sure we'll enjoy whatever we do wherever we go.

Note: today I decided that when all else fails, I would try to post a photo per day (or most days) along with a short commentary, and this is the first. I often don't know what to blog about anymore for two reasons: (i) with well over a thousand posts in the bank, I don't always know what to add; (ii) my brain is turning to mush since my most stimulating activity has become changing "poopies". But, I do have pictures and promise that they won't always be of Nikki Dee and Zach. I don't suppose that I will really post a picture every day, and I also suppose that I will still find other things to add from time to time, but the concept may help me to post more regularly (or not) as I seem to be going through fits and starts lately.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Changing Brain

It's not news that kids change a lot in a short period of time. Sometimes, however, they seem to hurtle forward between blinks.

Nikki Dee is changing ever so quickly lately. Today, she played on her own for hours: singing, chattering, making up stories. Happy as a clam she was. She would not have done this, at least not to the same extent, a short while ago.

Eventually, I leaned over the couch a snapped this picture. She had a few humanoid figures, four little horses, and a barn, and she was amusing herself to no end. ↓↓

Even to have all of the folk and critters so lined up and organized was revealing to me. ↓↓

As I said, she was as happy as a calm. ↓↓

She has sruprised me a few times lately, such as on yet another occasion today when she wanted to do a jigsaw puzzle. It's a 20-piece, large format puzzle that takes a lot of floor space. The last time we did it together, she required almost total guidance. Today, she needed a bit of help sorting through the large number of pieces, but when I'd select one and hand it to her asking, "Do you know where this goes?" she did know. Every time. Wow!

A few nights ago, she was visiting, and I brought out a book that we often look at, but, again, it had been quite awhile. One page has musical instruments, and she has always insisted that the cello was a violin. I conceded this but added that it was a big violin, and sometimes even went as far as to state that it had another name: cello. She never repeated this to me, so I didn't assume that it was sinking in.

Anyway, on the weekend I asked her what it was: "It's a big violin."

Okay then: "Do you know it's other name?" I wasn't even sure that she'd understand the question and thought it would just give me another chance to say, "Cello." But I didn't have to because she said it first. Wow again!

The human brain is an amazing piece of equipment. Mind you, for some of us, it's deteriorating apace, but it's still a change: just not one that makes me altogether delirious with joy.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Our Supposed Day Off

Warning: another family-first post mostly about the grands. Read at your own risk.

We had not got around to attending Nikki Dee's Saturday morning Music Together class all year, and since the semester is rapidly winding down, we decided to surprise her this past weekend.

Using a very old email to find the starting time, we found ourselves in the parking lot 45 minutes early, so we headed over to Baker Bobs for coffee, biscuits and a paper. ↓↓

Some of the best pictures, at least by us amateurs, are mistakes as is this one out of Baker Bobs window. That's ghostly me in the reflection which Cuppa didn't even realize was there when she snapped the photo. ↓↓

When we did get to class, Nikki Dee was quite excited, so much so that, according to Daddy, she didn't quite get into the music part of it as much as she usually does. She hugged me. ↓↓

And slouched all over me in a quite weird and distracted sort of way. ↓↓

We all did get into the rhythm eventually, however. ↓↓

When it was over, she wasn't done with us and preferred to go home in Buppa Car. First, however, we all walked walked along the river walkway where the silk lilac trees were in fragrant bloom. ↓↓

Apparently, she thought the old Bupster couldn't make it back to the car and required a little push. ↓↓

No sooner had we got in the car than she started babbling about going to the restaurant. We found her request very difficult to ignore, and she was quite delighted to be at A&W with the old folk. ↓↓

The next request was to go to Buppa House, which we also did before taking her home for a few hours of relief before we babysat for the night. Yes, indeed, after babysitting all week, we ended up doing a lot of the same on the weekend. Saturday night was a special treat for Mom and Dad who went out to celebrate their anniversary. Although it was extra duty for us, we all seemed to have a good time. ↓↓

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

His Royal Darishness

Cute, isn't he? The problem with Zach, however, is that he has DAR — as in radar.

For example: he possesses DoorDAR. Leave his parents' bedroom door slightly ajar, and he senses it and is there, usually trying to jump on the bed. The same holds true for the side door; we keep it latched, but should we forget, he's instantly through it on his way to whatever paradise lies beyond in his imagination. Ditto for the bathroom door.

He knows when the dishwasher door is open, and he will make it there in record time from the farthest room in the house. Of course, the cupboard door under the sink where we keep the garbage is also a much favoured target. (Note: I am interspersing random pictures of His Royal Darishness that have nothing to do with his DAR but everything to do with his cuteness.)

Speaking of the bathroom, he also has Buppa's-in-the-Bathroom-DAR that somehow alerts him almost before it even crossed Buppa's mind. I try to sneak to the commode while he's totally absorbed with something like his Elmo program, but his DAR alerts him in some mystical sort of fashion, and he's soon there, wailing his heart out at the gate before I can ... well ... blush.
I even leave the door open with the gate up so he can still see me and not feel abandoned, poor boy, but I guess his wailing informs me that he does feel exactly that — abandoned.

Oh, and he has GateDAR too although I suppose it's really a subset of DoorDAR if you're going to insist on being precise. We have a gate at the top of the stairs that descend to the basement. Should we, however, fail to latch it properly, he's there in a flash. The same holds true for the gate leading from the deck to the backyard. Sigh.

He has Back-is-Turned-DAR. Such a body position represents a chance to climb onto the nearest forbidden object such as the coffee table. Alternatively, he will seize the opportunity to sneak up behind the unsuspecting adult. Just yesterday, I had my back turned, just for a few seconds mind you, and lo and behold, when I turned around again to move myself, there he was, right there, directly in my path. In my attempt to not crush the life out of the lad, I had to launch my body sideways, only preventing a potentially damaging fall by lunging headlong to the back of the couch for support. I think he does this on purpose. I think he's trying to take me out. That's what I think.

His DARishness never stops. He has ThingDAR. Leave something where he can get it, and he will: the remote control, your can of coke, your cup of hot coffee, your book, your newspaper, your ... everything.

That's almost as bad as his ChairDAR: push your chair away from the table and forget to push it back, and he'll be climbing it forthwith in an attempt to dance on the tabletop.

As you can tell form these photos, he attempts to take you in with his cuteness, but his Darishness will likely be the end of me, so don't let the pictures fool you. And if I can no longer blog because I have a massively herniated body, or worse, you'll have a good idea how it happened.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Great Writer, Great Book

When I finished reading Barbara Kingsolver's, Animal Dreams last night, I turned to Cuppa and said something like, "Wow! What an amazing book!" Of course, I have said this before about Kingsolver; she tells a great story but she also writes it well. Her novels are multi-dinmensional with many layers or themes, particularly Animal Dreams, which includes the list below and probably others topics that I can't think of right now.
  • loss of family
  • teenage pregnancy
  • Alzheimers
  • community
  • ecology
  • foreign policy
  • native American culture

When I read Kingsolver, I learn, and, somehow, I come away feeling like I'm a better person.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?

For those of you who have been around for awhile, the answer (see title) is: not all that well, not in terms of blooms anyway. The spring flowers are gone, and the shastas, lilies and echinacea aren't blooming yet, so I can't show you much colour. The plants look fine, but the blooms (shastas and echinacea) will take another week or so to develop. To boot: the annuals still haven't taken off. They remain thin and close to the ground.

The only thing really in bloom is the campanula (bellflower) ↑↓and at that only one plant of the three that I put in last year. The next door dog destroyed one, and the other is there in shrunken form because I pruned it too hard. It should be fine eventually, but it will remain shrimpish this year, I'm afraid. I don't love the campanula plant, perhaps because it doubles as a weed in these parts, but it produces a fairly nice display of blue blooms.

The backyard is not our priority yet, but the bird feeder and geranium look alright together, don't you think? ↓↓

The birdbath, which is actually getting some use this year, is adjacent to the feeder and flower. It's a pity that the grackles sort of ruin the bathing and feeding party for all of the other birds. I know they have to eat too, but they behave like motherless teenage boys, I'm affeerd. ↓↓

The best bloomer right now is our Silk Lilac tree although it's fading fast too. ↓↓

There are some other rather untended plants in the backyard like the shrivelled and fallen peonies. Seriously, why do people bother with peonies? They fall over as soon as they bloom and only last for about twelve minutes before they fade. We also have some fairly wild dame's rockets, whatever their proper names might be. The plan is to really clean this stuff out at some point, but the front remains the priority for now. ↓↓

Perhaps, we'll have something better to post in another week or two, but it is a work in progress, the emphasis being on work and not progress, doncha know.