Sunday, May 29, 2011


"Insanity is hereditary - you get it from your kids." ~ Sam Levenson

lincoln messy face
Even when freshly washed and relieved of all obvious confections, children tend to be sticky. ~ Fran Lebowitz
This little cutie is my youngest neighbour L, and he's working on those eating skills at a back yard barbecue.

tyler fence2
Boy, n.: a noise with dirt on it. ~ Not Your Average Dictionary
L's older brother T is quite the young acrobat. He was busy burning off energy while L and the rest of us were still feeding our faces.

wanna cookie
Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing. ~ Phyllis Diller
This is Winston. His parents were hosting the barbecue and he decided to be in charge of dessert.

lily surprise
If your kids are giving you a headache, follow the directions on the aspirin bottle, especially the part that says "keep away from children." ~ Susan Savannah
Winston's adorable baby sister, Lily who probably has the most expressive face on the planet.

colourful group
When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he'd learned in seven years. ~ Mark Twain.
This group of young teens caught my eye simply because of the way they seem to remain in shadow, mostly, despite how the late day sun was illuminating the willow behind them.

No matter how calmly you try to referee, parenting will eventually produce bizarre behavior, and I'm not talking about the kids. ~ Bill Cosby
This adorable trio was bopping their way along the path one sunny Saturday evening. The little guy on the right was snapping his fingers. His untucked brother got a big kick of of that, while their older sister looked suitably disinterested and dignified.

girl log2
The quickest way for a parent to get a child's attention is to sit down and look comfortable. ~ Lane Olinghouse
This little sweetie was busy climbing on logs and poking in the dirt. The colours of her clothing looked particularly bright in the saturated sunlight but nothing was brighter than her little face.

girl bike
I take my children everywhere, but they always find their way back home. ~ Robert Orben
When she was done playing, she hopped up on her colour-coordinated bike and escorted her grandfather home.

A child enters your home and for the next twenty years makes so much noise you can hardly stand it. The child departs, leaving the house so silent you think you are going mad. ~John Andrew Holmes

This is a scheduled post. I'll be away from my own computer for a few days but I'll still have occasional access. In other words, my visits will be even more sparse than they've become recently. But I'll be enjoying my days, camera in hand. And hopefully you'll be enjoying the resulting photos, somewhere down the road.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Around the Pond

It's time for another one of our walks around the pond. I've got a fresh pot of coffee brewing and there's some tea steeping over there. Grab a cup of your preference and let's head out the door.

through the fence
This neighbour's garden always catches my eye just before we enter the park. I like the brilliant contrast of red and yellow spring colours.

curious squirrel
This sweet, little squirrel is watching us from a lichen-covered tree branch. He knows I sometimes bring him peanuts. I don't have any on me today - sorry, buddy.

fav view
I photograph this scene in every season and in all kinds of weather. It's one of my favourite views in the park. Blossoms are in full bloom. Enjoy them - they won't last too long.

blossom through fence
As we move along the walkway, more blossoms are peeking out between the crisscross of the chain-link fence.

old burr
On the other side of the path, I happen to notice a burr just dangling from a twig. I thought it merited a photo.

Doesn't this Canada Goose look so beautiful in the golden sunlight. Such a regal bird.

Though the ducks caught my eye first, I was taken with how the three different tree parts and their respective reflections made interesting angles in the water.

willow dock
Heading back home, we get a full view of the dock and the budding willow behind it. Isn't spring a great season?

Thanks for joining me on this morning walk. Just leave your empty cup on the counter. I'll have it washed and ready for you for next time.

If you'd like to see a few more images from around this pond (and elsewhere), wander over to Frank's current blog post. He includes some photos of Benny...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Snail's Pace and Posts of the Week

I've still been in slow-mode when it comes to visiting your wonderful blogs. I get to most of them eventually but by the time I do, you've posted two, three or even more.

So I suppose it shouldn't have surprised me to find a number of snails slooooooowly making their way up a tree.


I don't know what they hoped to find there but whatever it was, it couldn't have been anywhere near as rewarding as climbing my way to the top of the blog pile occasionally. Thanks for your understanding about my fewer than usual blog visits.

And now, without further delay, here are the Posts of the week.

The icon below is yours for the taking if if your blog post is named as a Post of the Week - either as top post or as a runner up.

This week's top post goes to:

There Is No Sunrise This Morning
by DS
at Third-Storey Window

Other wonderful posts are categorized below (they may well fit into more than one category but I'm only selecting one for each):

Memory Class
by Joanna
at Joanna's Daily Musings

Afternoon Delight
by Sandra
at Absolute Narcissism

A Calming Memory
by Sandra
at Add Humor and Faith

Facing the Morning
by Brian
at WaystationOne

Listening to the Subtle Voices
by Tammie Lee
at Spirithelpers

by Barb
at One Good Thing

Thank you and Today's Photos
by Ruth
at Ruth's Photo Blog

Two in Tandem
by Elizabeth and Jinksy
at Alias Jinksy

The Boy
by Fiona
at On A Quirky Quest With Lady Fi

My Husband, the Feminist
by Unknownmami
at Unknown Mami

Please drop by their blogs for a visit and leave a kind comment if you have the time. Also, please feel free to add your own choices (for any blog except this one) for a specific blog post in the comments section below, where others can see them.

Thank you.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Colourful Days

Some lovely weather has hit my part of the world and my camera has been kept quite busy. I hope you'll enjoy the following photos.

mothers day cupcake
A couple of weeks ago, we celebrated Mother's Day. My son and his sweet girlfriend arrived bearing cupcakes, which they spent the morning baking and decorating. It was such a sweet treat in more ways than one. Thank you Alex and Veronica!

Kicked a bit too hard.
A lost golden soccer ball lays in the bottom of the inflow of the pond. The yellow booms are used to filter the water from potential grease spills. We've had a few of those in the past.

3 red tulips
Three redheaded beauties.
In my front garden, colourful tulips were in full bloom one day, and totally gone the next. It might have been squirrels or rabbits who did the munching. I'm glad I got a few photos out them first.

love at first sip
A few of the neighbours got together one evening and toasted the season with wine.

cold one
And with beer.

benny grass and bubbles
Benny is high on grass and on soap bubbles.
I hope you're enjoying the season and like Benny, are jumping for the sheer joy of it.. and for bubbles.

Back in a few days with more photos.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Spring Emerges

Plant life has grown considerably over the past couple of weeks. Just a short while back, branches were bare. Leaves and flowers are now in near-full bloom but during that magical time in between, I was out with my camera, snapping a few shots for emerging buds. I hope you enjoy them.

Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Every spring is the only spring - a perpetual astonishment. ~ Ellis Peters

If you've never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom. ~ Terri Guillemets

Spring is a true reconstructionist. ~ Henry Timrod

Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!" ~ Robin Williams

The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also. ~ Harriet Ann Jacobs

robin egg
"Robins, how can you tell the difference between your eggs and the sky?" ~ Joseph Pintauro

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Driveway Cat and Posts of the Week

One of my cats was sick this past weekend. Zephyr, is a really sweet, gentle cat who loves his people dearly but I have to be honest - we come in second, after his first passion - food. So when he forlornly turned his nose up at his typically much-anticipated meals, we knew something was wrong.

And there was also that other thing. Any cat person knows the "whooka, chucka, hucka, hucka huckahuckahucka.. SPLAT" sound of a feline emptying its stomach of food, fur ball or bile. You probably also know what it's like to try and locate it in the middle of the night, only to do so with your bare foot.

Anyway, he began to show signs of recovery shortly before bringing him to the veterinarian, and did continue to improve after emptying my wallet of a small fortune which led to his eventual diagnosis of pancreatitis. He's on meds now, and doing well.

Frank was sweet enough to stick around an extra day past his usual weekend visit so that we could bring Zephyr to the vet. After all was done, Frank left for home. It was a rainy day, and after he pulled out of my driveway, I happened to notice that the dry spot left behind, from underneath his car, appeared to be in the shape of a seated cat.

driveway cat
Can you see it? It's upside down from this viewpoint.

rotated cat
Here's a closer look, rotated to give you a better view. I think it was Zephyr's way of saying "Thanks!"

And now, without further delay, here are the Posts of the week.

As I've mentioned, I've been spending less time visiting and commenting on blogs lately, so it stands to reason that my POTW list might be shorter.. and it is. That's probably fine for those of you who also need to spend less time visiting blogs.

The icon below is yours for the taking if if your blog post is named as a Post of the Week - either as top post or as a runner up.

This week's top post goes to a most tender tale:

I Got the Moon
by Shrinky
at Shrink Wrapped Scream

Other wonderful posts are categorized below (they may well fit into more than one category but I'm only selecting one for each):

Oh, the Life of a Supermodel...
by TexWisGirl
at The Run*A*Round Ranch Report

Kids Say the Darndest Things
by Linda
at To Behold the Beauty

by Betty
at Bossy Betty

L is for...
by Ellen
at Stuff From Ellen's Head

by Adrian
at Adrian's Images

The Fog Come In On Little Cat Feet
by Kate
at Chronicles of a Country Girl

Bryce Canyon, Utah
by Moi
at Not By A Long Shot

Spunky Redux
by Daryl's Ray
at Out and About in New York City

Please drop by their blogs for a visit and leave a kind comment if you have the time. Also, please feel free to add your own choices (for any blog except this one) for a specific blog post in the comments section below, where others can see them.

Thank you.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Things That Spring Brings

I'm still in part time mode and I don't expect that to change in the near future. I'll visit blogs when I can, and continue with my regular posts and the Posts of the Week as time permits, but I won't be commenting with my usual degree of regularity throughout most of the upcoming warm spring and summer months. Thanks for understanding my sporadic visits.

Spring is such an incredible season. It brings sights, sounds and sensations all its own. Please join me, and I'll be happy to share some of my recent spring moments.

Beautiful spring tulips - a gift from a friend who came to dinner one evening. I was leaving for Frank's the next day, so I brought them with me.

tulip pinky
They brightened up his front window on a rainy day. This one with its solitary stray petal reminds me of a lady's hand, holding a teacup - pinky raised, whilst sipping delicately.

dont leave me
From the outside looking in, they somehow made Benny's sad "don't leave me" face even more forlorn.

red-winged blackbird
When the rain ended, we took a walk through the field along the creek. There were plenty of red-winged blackbirds still singing for a mate.

Nature's finest architect was in the neighbouhood. The beaver is the official Canadian symbol and on this day, we saw many trees which had been gnawed down for dams or lodges. We never did see the critter despite the evidence of its presence.

After the walk, we settled on the back deck for drink. I had one of those girly drinks which goes down like a soda but has that mini-kick (more like a nudge) to it. This fly must have found it appealing too.

orange tulip2
At the end of the day, the setting sun cast a soft orange glow upon the tulips.

I hope you enjoyed checking out some of the spring sights with me.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I'd heard a lot about her before I'd ever laid eyes - or ears on her.

Meet Lucy. She's an eleven year-old African Gray Parrot and she belongs to Frank.

She is demanding inquisitive, stubborn persistent, a smart-ass clever and LOUD melodic. She connives cajoles, mimics belches and farts sounds like a human, has jaws which bite like a steel trap nibbles fingers and PEEPS peeps. Perhaps you need to understand the real meaning of "PEEP." defines peep as: "to utter the short, shrill little cry of a young bird, a mouse,etc.; cheep; squeak" or "to speak in a thin, weak voice."

They've got the short and shrill part just fine but there's nothing little, thin or weak about Lucy's voice. And there are a number of descriptive words which I would have added to the definition, such as "deafening, eardrum-piercing and unbelievably irritating."

Among her many talents, Lucy is a groomer. Frank's beard would be really unruly without her ministrations.

Imagine being on a different floor of a large house, behind closed doors, shower running, water pelting down on your head, and this incessant "PEEP," delivered every three to five seconds, still manages to bore itself into the core of your brain as if you're sharing space with a dying smoke detector. That's how to define Lucy's PEEP.

dental assistant
Lucy attended dental school where she learned how to be a hygienist.

Aside from that, she's a wonderful bird. She only PEEPS peeps like that when she's missing Frank. Sometimes he travels far distances (like upstairs, or out on the deck) and she just can't cope with his absence so she PEEPS until he's back in her sight. You can't blame a girl for missing her man from time to time.

If you offer her a bath, which consists of showering her with a watery mist from a spray bottle, she'll dance and bob around with anticipation. If she doesn't bite the offered finger, she'll often step up onto a loving hand for a bit of time away from her cage. She'll usually climb up onto a shoulder and hope that you'll feel sorry for her and perhaps produce a peanut from your pocket.

lucy and me2
In her spare time, Lucy enjoys mountain climbing. Photo credit goes to Frank.

Lucy is very intelligent, as most birds appear to be (we won't mention mourning doves). She has quite an extensive vocabulary of human words, sounds, other bird calls and the occasional inanimate object. I've heard Lucy call out Frank's #1 Son's name as dinner time draws near. She almost always calls out his #2 Son's name when the phone rings because the call is usually for him. Enter the kitchen, and she'll imitate the sound of the microwave beeps. Open the refrigerator door and Lucy will oblige you with the perfect, metallic sound of a soda pop can being opened.

lucy in the sink
As with other members of the family, Lucy takes her turn washing dishes.

If voices are raised excitedly, she adds some lively gibberish to the conversation. The most common phrases (among very many) I've heard her utter are "Wanna peanut?" or "Wanna chip?" which is her request for anything edible, preferably a peanut, pumpkin seed or a piece of fruit. After that, "Night-night" would have to rank up there. This is Lucy's cue that she's had enough of the world around her and would like to be covered up so she can go to sleep.

that sinking feeling
Do you ever get that sinking feeling?

At the end of the day, when Lucy calls for "Night-night," Frank goes to her cage, gives her head some rubs, offers up her last peanut and tucks her in for a peaceful slumber. Enjoy the quiet because when Lucy decides that you've had enough of it... PEEP!

lucy sink surfer

There's so much more to tell about Lucy, and Frank has written about her extensively before. If you ask him nicely, he might let you have a peanut read about his life with this bossy little bird.

Thank you to everyone who played along with the "Caption This" photo of Benny and friend in yesterday's post. All of your amusing remarks have now been released and appear in the comments section below yesterday's post. You folks are fun!