Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Baltimore Orioles Sighted in Our Backyard

We saw two Baltimore orioles at this feeder this morning.  We were thrilled.  I took this picture of our new feeder a few weeks ago.  Since then, we filled the two cups that fit into the base with grape jelly and placed fresh oranges.

I got a good picture of one of the orioles before I left for work today.  This afternoon, I downloaded the photo from my camera to my computer.  Just now, I tried to upload the picture to this blog post, but I can't find it anywhere in my picture archives.   It's no longer in my camera's memory either.

Hopefully, we'll see the Baltimore orioles again, soon.  We'll be looking for them at 7:15 AM tomorrow morning, for sure.  That's when we noticed them today.

They were a bright, beautiful orange and black.  My favorite birds are colorful.  I love the vibrant red of cardinals and bright yellow of gold finches.

If anyone has seen my photo, please let me know!!   
(Please go to my next two blog posts for more bird info and awesome pictures of Baltimore orioles).

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Shoes or Tattoos?

Remember these?
Well, they've got company.

Three is a crowd.

Four pair is getting ridiculous.

Five is, well, I think it's a sign than I should stop buying shoes.

My young coworker and friend, Angela, is sporting a new tattoo.  She suggested I get one that says "Young At Heart."  I'm not against a very, very small tattoo in an inconspicuous place, but for now, I'm sporting bright and colorful shoes to express my youthful spirit.

Perhaps when I turn 70, I'll get the tattoo!!   

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Let's Make A Deal

We have tiny hooks between our kitchen and family room.  We like to hang seasonal doodads from them.  I found these cute metal, painted characters at a craft shop. 

This one's a grasshopper.

On the next hook hangs this multi-colored fish.

I call this one a frog.

On account of the beak, I suspect this is a bird.

Lastly, a parrot.

Hanging from springs, here's the lineup.

I thought Lon would love my animated pets.  He was speechless when I drew his attention to them.  So we made a deal. 

I found five of these lanterns at Menards.  They had red ones but we hang red ornaments during the winter months so we opted for the black.

I must admit they present a more dignified look, but I love my colorful pets.

We made a deal.  During spring and summer, each month we'll switch between my no-maintenance pets and Lon's preference, the lanterns.  I've marked the calendar so we won't forget.

Don't you just love a good deal!!?? 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Harry Potter Book Series

I'll be finishing book 5 in the Harry Potter series this evening. Picking up Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and reading its 870 pages is a challenge. On top of that, handling it is an upper body workout challenge.

I may not continue on with the sixth and seventh books, for fear that I might blow a gasket in my 64 year old brain.  Keeping track of all the characters is mind-boggling.  To mention a few:  Harry Potter, Dudley Dursley, Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Mrs. Figg, Mundungus Fletcher, Sirius, Mad-Eye Alastor Moody, Albus Dumbledore, Lord Voldemort, Fred Weasley, George, Weasley, Ginny Weasley, Percy Weasley, Molly Weasley, Arthur Weasley, James Potter, Lily Potter, Madam Bones, Lupin, Fudge, Lucius Malfoy, Kreacher, , Bill Weasley, Neville Longbottom, Tonks, Luna Lovegood, Cho Chang, Pansy Parkinson, Crabbe, Goyle, Hagrid, Draco Malfoy, Nearly Headless Nick, Parvati Patil, Professor Grubbly-Plank, Professor Sprout, Professor Umbridge, Professor McGonagall, Seamus Finnigan, Dean Thomas, Cedric Diggory, Professor Binns, Professor Snape, Professor Trelawney, Lavender Brown, Lee Jordan, Angelina, Professor Flitwick, Ernie Macmillan, Zacharias Smith, Katie Bell, Dobby, Colin Creevey, Buckbeak, Argus Filch, Fawkes, Mrs. Norris, Peeves, Montague, Firenze, Grawp, Madam Pomfrey and so on, and so on and...

Can anyone tell me if it will be worth my while to finish the series? 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

When It Rains, Get a Haircut!

A rainy afternoon isn't good for much.  So I got a hair cut.  I'm very happy with Emily and her Bellasazi Salon & Spa.  

Saturday, April 20, 2013

New Shoes

I'm loving color...

...and I'm wearing color.

Besides, I'm feeling great about it!!

(My shoes are actually more of a coral color than they appear in these photos).


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fun Diversions From the Boston Tragedies

Tomato seedlings,

sweet pepper seedlings,

and last, but not least, cucumber seedlings.  They're doing beautifully considering they were mere seeds three weeks ago.

Sassy nail polish...

...with blue mosaic topcoat.  I'm rather surprised that I did this voluntarily. :)  My young friend, Angela, assures me that it's very pretty and Spring-like.  She wants me to try yellow polish with blue mosaic topcoat next week.  Color is uplifting (I can't argue that), so I predict that I'll be sporting yellow and blue come Sunday. 

Lon loves color too.  If I ask his opinion, he almost always goes for more color than I do.  I find myself agreeing with Angela and Lon lately...and loving it. 

Wait until you see the sport shoes I bought today with no one encouraging me. 

Everyday, ruby-throated hummingbirds are migrating closer to the Illinois/Wisconsin stateline.  I'll definitely be looking for them this weekend. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Luring Baltimore Orioles to Our Backyard

We're hoping to lure Baltimore Orioles to our backyard this year.  (Two small cups for jelly fit into the round holes in the base of our new feeder).

We've got a good supply of oranges...

...and grape jelly to attract them. 

Lon saw Baltimore Orioles last summer in a customer's yard just half a mile from here so we have a good chance of getting them too.

We're prepared.  All we can do now is keep an eye out for them.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

22 Adult Truths


1. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times; and still don't know what time it is.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind-of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blu-Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.

13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of a Word document and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.

14. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with "Miller Lite" than "Kay".

17. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

18 How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?

19. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

20. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Jeans? Jeans never get dirty; and you can wear them forever.

21. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket; finding their cell phone; and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey...but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time.

22. The first testicular guard, the "Cup," was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it took only 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Mosaic Effects Top Coat Nail Polish

My coworker and friend, Angela, gave me this "mosaic effects" top coat nail polish.  I applied it over my pink color and it crackled to give this look.  Although Angela is less than half my age, we have tons of fun on and off the job.  She coaches me on the latest fashions and makes me feel lots younger.

(I apologize for my week-old, self-manicure.  It needs redoing.  These are the only two nails with totally intact polish!) 

This weekend, I'll put the blue top coat over "Sassy" green, a soft lime green.  Little things like this make me feel good, so why not?!  I doubt I'll ever act my age, in fact, I guarantee I won't if I can help it.   

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

In My Neck of the Woods

I planted these sweet pepper seeds on March 24th and a couple of days ago they broke through the soil.  They are slower at germinating than the tomato and cucumber seeds I planted at the same time.  I was worried about them--better late than never. 
I explored our yard on Sunday.  I found this new growth.

I was excited to see our peony bushes had popped up too.

Pretty, huh?

This is a black-eyed Susan plant that's awakening.

Look at this whopper!  It took me by surprise when I came around to the south side of our house.  How could it get so big without me fussing over it!!
Back inside to my veggie plants, these are my tomato seedlings.  They look kind of spindly, don't they.  After I took this photo, I got out my bag of seeding and potting mix and added some to each of these cells. 
I added soil to these cucumber seedlings too.  I'm not sure why the instructions that came with the seeds indicated I should fill the cells halfway.

Back outside, I spotted this dry twig.  It appeared to be reaching out to me so I picked it up.  It resembles someone with a big mouth but I can't hear what he's yelling.  That's a good thing.      
This was our backyard on Sunday.
This is today, two days later.  Yesterday it rained and the sun shone a few hours.  It rained a ton today and it's been cloudy.  I noticed the grass had greened up since Sunday, but I was very impressed with the drastic change that's visible in these photos.  I'm glad Jared suggested I take a picture on Sunday so I can compare the changes that come about in the next few weeks. 
I love it when you talk back.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Tough Love and a Tender Touch

Like Honest Abe--oops, I mean George Washington (thank you Gully for whispering in my ear)--who chopped down a cherry tree, I cannot tell a lie.  Armed with scissors (similar to wielding an axe), I snipped off the sprouts of all but one tomato plant in each potting cell.  This will allow the single sprout in each cell to develop a strong root system.  Snipping (rather than pulling up) is advised so the survivor's root isn't disturbed.  

I did the same snipping process with the cucumber sprouts.  I'd label this part of my seed growing project as the "tough love" phase.  It wasn't fun.

I accidentally pulled up this cucumber sprout.  I was surprised that the root was already so long.  My clumsiness at least taught me that.   

The sweet pepper seeds are still sleeping so I covered them with a ClingWrap blanket.  Obviously, tenderness has a place in this project as well.   Covering these seeds to hold in the moisture should encourage their growth.

So far, so good.
(Comments are more than welcome.  I'd love to know who's stopping in here.  That would make my blogging experience SO much more exciting.  You can post anonymously if you don't have a google account).

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Seed Growth Progress Report

My sweet pepper seeds are taking their "sweet" time.  I'm being patient because my other veggies are up and at 'em. 
These cucumber sprouts have really been going to town.  I get a big kick out of observing their growth from day to day. 
I'm liking the looks of these tomato plants.  It's amazing how tiny they are now compared to what they'll become. 

I know I'm supposed to grow only one plant in each of these squares.  I don't enjoy snipping the weaker sprouts off but I will...when I feel up to it.