Tag Archives: birds

Paradise Tossed…

As mentioned previously, I took Tuesday off from the bookstore to get my seedlings into the ground in the garden.  I wish I hadn’t been home that day!

The weather was glorious…sunny and warm…quite a change from the cloudy, wet days which had dominated most of April and May!  I put on a tank top and a pair of shorts, pulled my hair back in a ponytail and slapped a baseball cap on my head, slathered all exposed skin with sunscreen (I thought…more about that later!), and off I went!

I had been outside for a couple of hours (worked through lunchtime) when I heard heavy equipment in our driveway.  I knew the men must be coming to continue working on our septic bed.  The guy Jim had talked to about it a month ago had warned us that we would probably be losing our lilac bush, and that they would have to come into our back yard to do the work…we had come home to see a small hole at the edge of our yard Monday night, with a backhoe parked beside it on the other side of the fence.

I was putting my little peat pots of seedlings into the ground when the backhoe started tearing up the lilac bush…I watched with tears streaming down my face as most of the lilac bush (he left one small piece right next to the deck), and all of the alders behind it were destroyed in front of my eyes…bird habitat, shade and privacy all gone in a few short minutes!  The scoop of the machine caught in the wire fence, and broke it…the driver barely paused from his horrible work…

Later, the backhoe operator climbed down from his perch to view the destruction he had wrought.  He was a young, well-muscled man wearing sunglasses, a ball cap, a black tank top, and jeans.  He strolled into the yard and waved to me as I stood, staring, in the garden.  I felt like I should talk to him.

Slowly, I walked over.  I was so angry, I didn’t care that I wasn’t wearing makeup or hadn’t shaved my legs in recent memory, or that my face was sweaty and tear-streaked, or that dirt from the garden was stuck to my sunscreened ankles!  “You’re going to have to fix that fence!  It belongs to me!” I said, realizing that I was still crying.

The guy looked at me and probably wondered what he’d gotten himself into. “Um, yeah…I caught it by accident.”

“I don’t care what you do, even if you have to twist it back together with pliers…just make sure that it’s closed before you leave.  If the deer get into my garden, it’s not going to be pretty!”

He assured me that he would.

“I’m sorry…I know you’re just doing your job,” I said, wiping the tears angrily from my cheeks.  “But, do you see all those bird feeders?” I asked, pointing to the eight bird feeders on our deck (Jim hadn’t put out the three hummingbird feeders yet this year).  “That lilac bush was where our birds sat!  Please tell me that the apple tree is going to stay!”

“Oh yeah…I’m going to just do a track wide enough to drive through,” he assured me.

“Thank you,” I said.  “Well, I guess I should get back to my garden.  I’ve got a bunch more plants to get in.”

I finished up in the garden just after 4:00.  I was using the hose to rinse off my metal trays when the backhoe operator came up behind me…

“Excuse me…could we get you to unlock the basement door so we can see where the pipe comes into the house?” he asked.

“Okay…just let me finish up here, and I’ll run down and do that.”

I let them into the basement and warned them not to hit their heads on the low beam…I laughed as I told them how many times I’d “brained” myself on it.  They located the pipe and I closed and locked the basement door after them.

Later that night, I was getting ready for bed when I absentmindedly scratched my lower back…ouch!  Looking in the mirror, I realized that I’d been squatting in the garden for nearly six hours, and that the back of my tank top must have been riding up…I had a lovely red stripe of sunburn above the waist of my shorts.  Jim put some aloe vera on it for me.

*****

We were driving home from work on Wednesday when I mused, “I wonder what death and destruction waits for us at home!”  I was joking.

Arriving at the house, I ran to the back door to see what the workmen had been up to…the first thing I noticed was that the apple tree was GONE!  That little @#$%er had lied to me!  The fence was now open on two sides, allowing the deer full access to our back yard.  The backhoe had obviously been digging all day, and sat in the middle of the hole, surrounded by dirt.

View from the corner of our yard on Wednesday...there were solid trees and bushes between the house and the backhoe before...photo by Anna

What the yard looked like when we moved there in the fall of 2008 (we later planted our garden between the fence and the row of trees)...Hope is beside the fence...photo by Jim

*****

The guys were back yesterday and spent the day bringing in truckloads of dirt and dumping them in our yard.  I was home from the store again because I had a migraine…I successfully resisted the urge to throttle a certain young backhoe operator, and stayed in the house all day.  Jake barked his head off.

View from my deck this morning...there used to be an apple tree where all that dirt is...you can see the few pieces of the lilac tree at the right...

It’s a good thing for him that my landlord is out of town right now…otherwise, he’d be getting an earfull from me…I am not a happy camper!

To be continued…

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Easter, Elmo and Elise Come to Hammond River…

After another busy holiday weekend, I’m happy to say that we survived to go back to work this morning…

One of the things I wanted to do on Friday morning when I woke up was get my indoor seeds started…it was sunny and warm on our back deck, so it was perfect for it.  I also made an executive decision that it would be a “jammie day”, which for me consists of a T-shirt and yoga pants (I don’t do yoga…I just like the pants!).  I set my 130 small peat pots out on some metal trays that I bought at Value Village…13 to a tray.  One at a time, I brought the trays outside to fill the pots from the industrial sized-bag of dirt, and put the seeds in.  As I worked, the birds flew past me on their way to the 392 bird feeders on our deck, some brushing close enough to me that I could feel the wind from their wings (I was glad they were birds and not bats!).  I was leaning over the table poking holes with my finger in the soil to deposit the seeds into, when I felt something on my back.  Reflected in the glass of the deck door, I saw that a chickadee had landed on me.  I have no idea what he thought I was, since I didn’t resemble any local tree in my bright orange T-shirt!  I hollered for Jim, who was immersed in a computer game in the living room on the other side of the glass…by the time I got Jim’s attention, my new feathered friend had abandoned his perch.

After I’d finished planting, I carried the trays carefully into our back kitchen, where I set them on a table I hope is high enough to prevent a repeat of Jake’s destroying my plants like he did last year!

Trays of planted seedlings...

Saturday afternoon after picking a few groceries for our Easter family dinner, I decided to try out a new recipe for the rolls…Clover Leaf Rolls.  I spent all afternoon making them…three rises…they looked amazing!

Rolls before putting them in the oven...photo by Anna...

I put them in the oven, being careful to reduce the temperature by 25 degrees, as our oven is quite hot.  Fifteen minutes later, they came out looking like this:

Finished clover leaf rolls...

Unfortunately, I baked them a little longer than I should have, and I decided they weren’t good enough for company…I had Jim pick me up some more rolls that afternoon.

While I was baking, Jim had conned the kids into helping him raise the giant birdhouse from last summer into one of the apple trees…it ended up one platform down from its intended resting place, but at least it was finally off the ground!

Remember this from last year? (photo by Anna)

I dragged myself out of bed Sunday morning at 8:30…I had a 12-lb. turkey to make stuffing for and have in the oven for noon, 7 loads of laundry to fold, and mega cleaning to do for our company (Jim and the kids helped after they got up)!  I was still working on all that when Kaylee, Scott, and Elise arrived at 2:30 (dinner was at 6).  Hope had organized a small Easter egg hunt for Elise in the living room (Hope hid them in plain sight).  Elise fed Hope and Jake some of her Fruit Loops (much to Jake’s delight).  Later, Hope took the opportunity to improve on Elise’s hairdo:

Elise...hair by Auntie Hope, photo by Auntie Anna...the theme of Elise's bedroom is Dr. Seuss...surprised?

Jim presented Elise with a fun children’s CD by one of the singers from the Presidents of the United States of America (they did the theme song for the Drew Carey Show), Chris Ballew, aka Caspar Babypants.  We also gave her an Elmo building toy, which led to a rather hilarious slip of the tongue from Hope:  “Look Elise…it’s Elmo Kotex!”

Maybe "Kotex" is his horse's name?

Jim’s parents and his sister, Tracy, came a little closer to dinner time.  Jim had made his Grammy Clark’s dressing and gravy…I did the turkey, mashed potatoes, squash (from the garden), cauliflower/broccoli mix, and corn.  Synchronising all that food takes a little talent.  I realized as I was serving myself corn that it was still frozen, and took it back to the kitchen for a couple more minutes in the microwave.  When it was done, I brought it back, and spooned some more on to my plate.  It was only after I finished loading up my plate with other things, that I discovered I’d made two piles of corn!  Other people had noticed, but were too polite to point it out! 

After dinner, most people were too full for dessert…Jim and I put the food away in lunch containers, and he put on the bones to boil for turkey soup.  We chatted for a while and then I served apple pie to those who wanted it.  By this time, Elise was so tired she could barely stand up!  Her parents took her home, and Jim’s family left soon afterwards. 

We watched Amazing Race before I went to bed…we were all sad to see Jet and Cord eliminated…the Goths have gotta go, especially that whiny Kent!

Happy Trails, boys...you were true gentlemen and awesome competitors! (photo from cbs.com)

Jim stayed up to finish making the soup broth and finish his game on the computer…
 
I hope all my readers had a Happy Easter…I’m going to spend tomorrow catching up on all the blog posts I haven’t read yet…

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A Birder’s Dozen…

I’ve mentioned Jim’s crazy “Bird Buffet” on our back deck many times in my blog…we currently have at least eight bird feeders in operation (in the summer, we also have three hummingbird feeders).  The kids are on March Break this week.  Yesterday, Anna called me at the bookstore and said excitedly, “I think we’ve got waxwings!” 

In my somewhat distracted state, my mind made a weird jump back to the times the kids had come home with lice…I thought, “Oh, no…how do we get rid of waxwings?!”  It took me a couple of minutes to realize Anna was talking about birds, not something contagious!  After I recovered my senses, Anna and I discussed what kind of waxwings we were afflicted with had hanging around.  She sent me a photo via e-mail, and we decided they were Bohemian Waxwings.

Huge Bohemian Waxwing in the lilac bush out front (photo by Anna)

Jim and Anna both have new Nikon cameras (Jim has a D-90, and Anna a D-3100), and have been using the birds as subjects…here are some of their best shots:

American Tree Sparrow sitting in lilac bush out back (photo by Anna)

 

American Tree Sparrow (I think) coming in for an icy landing (photo by Jim)

 

Black-capped Chickadee (photo by Jim)

 

Black-capped Chickadee coming in for a landing at one of the finch feeders (photo by Anna)

 

Blue Jay perched in the top of the lilac bush out back (photo by Anna)

 

Blue Jay at our large feeder (before the squirrels chewed it!)...(photo by Jim)

 

Cardinal in the lilac bush out back (photo by Jim)

 

Goldfinches and Pine Siskins in a feeding frenzy (photo by Anna)

 

Hairy Woodpecker cleaning up after the squirrels...(photo by Anna)

 

Purple Finch trying to decide where to start (photo by Jim)

 

White Breasted Nuthatch perched on the gate (photo by Jim)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip around our yard…watch out for waxwings!

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It’s Not My Style…

This past Saturday, my friend Amiable Amiable at Big Happy Nothing passed me The Stylish Blogger Award.  My friend, AA, is very sweet (be sure to check out her highly amusing blog!), but clearly delusional in bestowing this honour on a woman whose children have threatened kindly offered to suggest Style by Jury do a makeover on her (“They’d give you brand new pearly whites!” says Hope, hopefully).  Nevertheless, being the gracious sort (and not wanting to hurt AA’s feelings), I am proud to accept this award, and pass it along to other deserving bloggers.

Stylish Blogger Award

 

The requirements I must follow as an award recipient are as follows:

1. Write seven things about myself. 

I’ve decided (since I’m likely to repeat myself in my advanced age) to share with you seven little-known facts about me and my lack of style (Stacy and Clinton from What Not to Wear dream of getting their well-manicured hands on someone like me!). 

2. Present the award to six bloggers.

There are few people on my Blogroll who I haven’t already picked on honoured with various awards, but I will offer up some of my latest additions for your perusal.  I may lack that “je ne sais quoi,” but I’ve got a whack of stylish writers on my Blogroll!

3. Contact those people. 

Will do (just as soon as the post is up!).

4. Create a link back to the person who honored me. 

Done!

Seven Fashion Tips/Facts About Me I Hope No One Chooses to Follow:

1. My first (and second pair) of glasses were cat’s eyes: the first pink, the second blue.  I was seven…I thought they were cool!

Me with my Aunt Nancy's ponies, ca. 1968...a fashion plate even then...not!

2. I made my own halter tops in junior high from a simple trapezoid shape with drawstrings strung through the top and bottom…I was a 34A until I was 16. 

3. My parents didn’t have much money when I was growing up, and I bought all my own clothing from the time I was fourteen.  One of the things I desparately wanted was a pair of Levis jeans.  One day, a local store advertised in the newspaper that they had Levis for $3.99.  When I got to the store, the “on sale” jeans were actually cords, and they were burnt orange in colour.  I bought them anyway. 

4. In Grade 10, I recut a pair of hand-me-down bell bottom jeans (remember the really big bell bottoms popular in the mid-70’s?) and sewed them into a long granny-style skirt…I spent the rest of the year tripping over it!

5. I was not a “girly-girl” in high school, and rarely wore regular-length skirts.  Girls had to wear skirts for band though.  I found out (from a photograph in the yearbook) that I had played my flute in a band concert sitting in the front row with my legs wide open (lucky that I wore granny panties then, just like now!).

6. Before I had kids, I used to have money to buy shoes.  Shoes in Canada were always more expensive than they were in the U.S., so I’d wait until we went to the States to visit relatives to make my purchases.  On one such trip, I was thrilled to find a pair of pointy-toed suede cowboy boots for only $38 (they would have sold for over $100 in Canada at the time).  Some unkind people referred to my prized boots as “pickle-stabbers”!

7. In college, I went through a brief period where I wore hats all the time (it was the early ’80’s).  I built up quite a collection before I came to my senses and realized I wasn’t a “hat person.”

My Six Stylish Blogger Nominees:

The proper words in the proper places are the true definition of style.

Jonathan Swift

I have chosen my victims winners with Jonathan’s quote in mind…please check them out if you don’t already know them:

1. Another Stir of the SpoonJeanne and her husband, Curt, write one of two wife-husband blogs I follow (and they’re just as crazy about birds as Jim is!).  It is an eclectic mix of food, art, gardening, books and nature.  Just today, I learned about “real” ramen (as they do it in Japan), and “shino” glaze on pottery!

2. EduClaytion. Clay is the history professor we all wish we had in college…he makes history and pop culture fun!  There’s a rumour that the look of the “Flynn Rider” character in Tangled was modelled after him…the real Clay is definitely cooler and smarter than his cartoon twin!

Flynn Rider from Tangled…

3. Jumping in Mud Puddles.  I discovered Vickie after she was Freshly Pressed in mid-December…I kept reading because she cracks me up!  Vickie’s a fourth grade teacher in West Virginia.  One of my favourite posts of hers involves a lost ring

4. Life From the TrenchesAmy used to write mostly about etiquette, but has expanded the scope of her blog in anticipation of her imminent return to the “away from home” workforce.  She recently took up a challenge presented by one of my commentators to do a post on flatulence etiquette (we may collaborate on a book, but don’t hold your breath…or maybe you should!).  Amy handles whatever she writes about with good sense sprinkled with a liberal dose of humour!  
5. Loose Leaf NotesColleen is a poet, photographer, journalist, and a grandmother in Floyd, Virginia.  She shares my love of music and tea.  You never know what you’ll find when you visit Colleen…one of my favourites of her features is Thirteen Thursdays.
6. Reinventing The Event HorizonKathy is an artist and creative writing teacher currently living in Haiti with her partner, Sara, who works with a NGO doing relief work.  Kathy accomplishes the seemingly-impossible task of finding beauty in the ruins of a country devastated by poverty and a series of natural disasters.  Her writing is always thought-provoking and honest (she will probably be honestly horrified to discover she’s “won” another award…she just got the Memetastic Award…more homework!).
I’m off to dust off a spot on the mantel…maybe we should get those fireplaces working again! 

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The “There Should Be an Award For That” Awards…

1. The “Miss Malaprop” Award.  Winner: Hope.  Last week, we were having supper, and Jim mentioned that he was having trouble with his sinuses again.  Hope offered to let him use her “nozzle spray” (Jim finally saw the specialist today – he needs surgery to scoop the stuff out of his sinuses and fix his deviated septum).

Hope's "Nozzle Spray"...

2. The “Sadistic Parents” Award.  Winners: Mr. and Mrs. Dull.   This week, I evaluated a book called A Battle History of The Imperial Japanese Navy (1941-1945).  It was written by a guy named Paul S. Dull.  Unless his middle name is something like “Sigmund,” I would probably be using that one rather than “Paul” (especially since he’s an academic!).

Book by Paul S. Dull...

3. The “Blonde Moment” Award.  Winner: Mia Michaels, So You Think You Can Dance judge.  Last night, Adichiké did a big jump during a duet with Kent.  Mia said he looked like a “giselle.”  Both Nigel and Adam quickly corrected her.

It's "gazelle!"

4. The “Most Moving Choreography Ever” Award.  Winner: Travis Wall, choreographer on So You Think You Can Dance.  Last night, Robert and Allison danced a piece to Coldplay‘s “Fix You” depicting Travis and his mother, Denise, who was facing major surgery.  My mom was chronically ill for the last 23 years of her life…I was bawling so hard, I was literally wailing.

Robert and Allison making everybody cry...

5. The “Most Birds on a Feeder” Award.  Winner: The goldfinches in our back yard.  We have had as many as seven at once on the finch feeder.  Second place: The blue jays.  Their record is four (but they don’t play very well together).

Five yellow birds on the finch feeder (taken by Jim)...

6. The “Worst Title for a Kids Book” Award.  Winner: Felicity Hayle.  This British author titled her 1958 children’s story “Our Brother Nick and the Tattooed Gardener.”

Another book in the "Our Brother Nick" series...

7. The “Yummiest Veggies” Award.  Winner: the first green/yellow/purple beans of the season from our garden.  We had them tonight with BBQ chicken and veggie burgers…yummy!

These purple beans turn green when cooked...

8. The “Shortest Career” Award.  Winner: Hope.  She announced on Tuesday that she was going to be the “Mommy” that day.  She did laundry (minor glitch with putting laundry detergent in the fabric softener dispenser, but we figured it out – not easy over the phone) and cooked supper (macaroni and cheese, peas).  When asked after supper if she still wanted to be the “Mommy,” Hope said, “Meh.”

Mommy for a day...

9. The “Multiplying Sock” Award.  Winner: Our family.  With seven people, we have enough socks to fill a small room.  None of them are ever together with their mates.  I hate matching them, and the girls seem incapable of wearing socks the same colour at the same time.

My sock pile is considerably larger than this one...

10. The “Mind-Reading” Award.  Winner: Jim’s mom.  Hope asked at supper last night if Grammy was having a birthday party for Jim and I.  Less than two minutes later, the phone rang – the party is Wednesday night.

Jim's mom on New Year's Eve...

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Deck-reation…

This afternoon, I took some time to relax on our back deck with a glass of iced tea…

It had been a busy day:  I made luscious homemade rolls for a double graduation potluck tomorrow.

My Perfect (I hope) Homemade Rolls...

There were going to be 32 of them, but I accidentally dropped one on the floor while I was knotting it…I grabbed it before the dog could scoop it up…

I did three loads of laundry (not folded yet – that might happen tomorrow morning).

I went for a bike ride with Jim, Anna and Brianna…I guess I might be getting a new bike for my birthday after all…the one Jim’s dad gave me is too big for me, and there are issues with the mechanism.  I borrowed one of Jim’s today…his seat is more comfortable than Anna’s (gel-filled seat cover…nice).  However, I was having great difficulty getting it into gear (the bike, not my butt!).  My birthday is two weeks from today…

I returned from our ride with sore thighs and a dry throat…bring on the iced tea!  Our dog, Jake, joined me on the deck…our neighbourhood chipmunks had fun tormenting him.  He would stand at the edge of the fenced deck, and watch as one of his little buddies approached.  Jake would wag his tail in welcome: “Are you coming to play with me?”  Then he realized they were coming closer.  He would growl and bark, and the chipmunk would flee to safety around the corner of the house again.

Our presence on the deck deterred the birds who would have loved to visit the birdfeeders…goldfinches took turns doing reconnaissance runs past them to see if the coast was clear or not…spying us, they would sail back up into the trees.  One brave little chickadee lit once, but didn’t stay long enough to grab a bite.

Soon after I sat down, I saw a neat little ladybug – not the traditional colours, but dark brown with cream-coloured spots…it was something like this one (I thought Anna had taken a picture of it, but her camera batteries were dead):

My bug friend looked something like this...

As mentioned in previous posts, I like bugs that don’t bite me…I let this one crawl around on my arms and hands for a good half hour!  She seemed to prefer to crawl away from me, no matter which way I turned my hands or fingers.  Every so often, she would stop and perform some mysterious ritual with her front legs on her face (?).  Stuff like this fascinates me…

Soon, it was time to go back in and start the potato salad for supper (we also had ham, and Jim made salad from the garden and strawberry shortcake for dessert).  I left my new little friend on the patio table…when I went back out a few minutes later, she was gone (I hope she flew away, and wasn’t devoured by a bird!).

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Post #50…Random Observances…

I’ve been writing this blog for almost two months now, and as my title suggests, this is Post #50.  I feel like I should deliver some amazing wisdom to celebrate this momentous occasion (I have a fondness for statistics).  Since I’m not feeling particularly wise this morning, I think I’ll do something else…

1. A friend observed earlier this week that more people in Saint John were aware of the opening date for the long-awaited Costco than the fact that our city celebrated its 225th birthday on May 20th…I wonder how many people know that we are the oldest incorporated city in North America?  This is indeed a sad commentary…

Our current Saint John logo...

2. My father called himself a “numbnuts” yesterday…I didn’t have tape running…the man never admits when he’s wrong!

3. While watching the season finale of “The Middle” last night, the mother, Frankie, decided that she and Mike were “lazy parents” because their kids were having trouble at school…Mike countered with, “Maybe we’re not lazy parents…maybe we just got stuck with crappy kids!”  I’m with Mike on that one.  No offence to my “perfect” children (but when you forget your homework, it’s not my fault!).

Frankie and Mike's "Crappy Kids"

4. My peas and beans are up in the garden…hooray!  One of the squirrels has been digging in the big lettuce pot…bad squirrel!  Herbs are still hanging on…

5. My beloved Jim has become obsessed with birdfeeders…we have 2 regular ones, a suet feeder, and three hummingbird feeders on our back deck!  The squirrels and the starlings are having a field day!  Jim is also working on finishing a huge birdhouse that his dad started years ago…we may need heavy equipment to hoist it into the tree where he plans to put it!  He and Anna are getting some good photos though…

Anna took this one before the feeder got moved to the deck...

6. Our rhubarb is ready…wishing I knew how to can things…maybe I’ll make some pies (with pre-made pie crust, of course).  Anybody within driving distance is welcome to come and help themselves (to the rhubarb, not the pies!)…

How come my pie never looks like this?

7. My daughter, Kaylee, wants to reclaim her elliptical machine, which she refused to come and get when we were moving…it has resided in our back kitchen for the last year-and-a-half…there are at least ten boxes which have to be relocated before it’s going anywhere…oh, joy…

8. We were folding another massive amount of laundry last night…Jim repeated his idea of making the kids do their own laundry (while he was matching the full garbage bag full of socks).  I’m starting to think maybe he has a point…with three teenaged girls, it’s impossible to keep track of whose stuff is whose!  Another observance – when folding a towel, I fold it vertically first, and then horizontally.  My dad seems to think the other way is right…it’s really not helpful if I have to fold it again.  Just another peri-menopausal moment of rage…you’re welcome!

I need this guy to fold my towels...

9. We have overnight company coming from Ontario in about a month…wondering how we’re going to have the house in a “presentable” state by then…where did I leave that magic wand?  Oh…it’s over there, under the big pile of crap!

10. I rediscovered pesto and feta cheese recently…really enjoy spreading it on a tortilla and popping it under the broiler for a couple of minutes…discovered that writing a blog and cooking at the same time can cause the smoke alarm to go off…

Pesto...food of the gods...

11. I bought the new cookies with blueberries and brown suger – you know, the ones they’ve been advertising on TV like crazy?  They were on sale at Shopper’s…they are as good as they say…and they even have flax in them!  Delicious, and healthy too (at least that’s what I keep telling myself as I shove them down my throat, six at a time – they are kinda thin!).

You have to try these...

12. I might be getting that bike I was wishing for (https://writerwoman61.wordpress.com/2010/04/27/fear-of-falling-terror-on-two-wheels/).  Jim’s dad says there’s one in their shed they’re not using…yay!  I have to work off those cookies…

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, and I hope you continue to enjoy it as much as I love writing it!

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Introducing Anna…Guest Photographer…

I’ve been really busy the last few days…I apologize for the silence…I hope to be back to normal within the next little while!

In the meantime, here are some photos my 15-year-old daughter took:

Yummy...

Bird Silhouette...

Blossoming Trees...

Blue Jay on the Barbie...

2010 NB Provincial Junior Cheerleading Champions...Harry Miller Middle School Bears...

Love at the Feeder...

Fat and Happy...

Hope in her new dress...

Spectacular Rainbow...

Mr. Innocent...

"I'm not doing anything..."

"Let me off this merry-go-round!"

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Introducing Jim…Guest Photographer…

Since this is a “cheerleading weekend” (competitions on Saturday and Sunday), I’m short on blogwriting time.  So, instead of not posting at all, I have chosen to feature some of my favourite photos taken by my sweetheart, Jim:

This paraplane was flying over our house yesterday…there were supposed to be two of them, but the other guy was apparently having trouble with his rig.  My personal opinion is that they’re nuts, but they sure are neat to watch!

Paraplane...

This is Hope standing on the ice washed up from the river this past January.  We were lucky in the valley that there was no significant flooding this winter.

"Hope Alone"

Here’s what happened after 90 mm of rain fell in one night last October:

Stranded Farm Animals...

Chickadees are probably my favourite birds…Jim took this photo a couple of weeks ago in our yard:

Chickadee...

Jim shot this one of Brianna and her best friend, Jessica, at the cheerleading competition earlier this spring:

Cheer Girls Jessica and Brianna...

We went to Open Farm Day last fall…this calf took a liking to Jim (believe it or not, Jim shot this photo himself!):

Jim, Up Close and Personal with His Bovine Friend...

Jim also has an affinity for birds…this little parakeet flew up on Jim’s shoulder while he was barbecuing on our deck last fall.  He brought it into the house…Hope recognized the bird from her friend’s place nearby, and we took him back home.  Lucky Jim was out there…the bird might have frozen to death!

Parakeet Perching On Top of My Bread Cutting Board...

This post wouldn’t be complete without putting in a picture of Jim’s buddy, Jake…here he is fetching an apple in the back yard last fall:

Jake...

This is one of my favourite pictures of me and Elise together (she was four days old in this one):

Elise and Gramma...

One day, when Elise was visiting, Auntie Hope decided she should learn where babies come from:

"Gimme a Break!"

Perhaps another day, I will feature some of Anna’s photos…

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