Thursday, May 31, 2012

Happiness is Swallows. Barn Swallows, that is.

They're back. I had two little swallow friends flitting around me while I was mowing the back yard this morning. They are my absolute favorite birds. Not only are they the most graceful, beautiful things in the world, but they also eat the bugs that just drive me crazy while mowing. Not a bad combination.

Well, we saw another fabulous western today. Starring, guess who?! Dan Duryea. Boy, is he a great actor. That's a statement --- not a question. ;) The film was Silver Lode, and it's a fictional, western version of "McCarthyism justice" to go with the McCarthy Communist scandals. Dan Duryea is a Federal Marshal (named "McCarty") out to kill a wanted man before proving him guilty of the alleged crime. This is one that we'll have to have Buddy and Kay over to watch. More later.

Monday, May 28, 2012

A Little 'Sugarpuss' for Memorial Day

Memorial Day. Dad went out early to do the trim work in the yard. It's been SO hot all weekend that you really don't want to be killing yourself after the morning. Mr. and Mrs. Keultjes came over for dinner last night and stayed a few hours. That was really fun. We got pizza and had pesto. They are always fun, and we don't see them often enough.

This morning, Elizabeth and I each thought we heard a little baby bird in the pin-oak tree outside. The noise went away though, so we figured it was the first day out of the nest for a little bloke. Nope. Wrong. A few hours went by and the noise came back. Apparently, someone dropped off a tiny black and white kitten in the early morning and it was hiding in a bush by the deck. It was so little that its eyes haven't finished changing from blue yet, and it doesn't even know how to eat. It took a couple hours of Elizabeth coaxing it out of the bush while Mom drove around to the neighbors to see if it belonged to anyone. Nope. Finally, Elizabeth got a hold of the kitten, and we taught it how to drink milk out of a saucer. Cutie.

There is a lady down the road who runs a private cat shelter, and she came just now to take the baby puss. I wish that we could have kept her, but our kitties would not have appreciated a little intruder --- no matter how cute she was. Too bad. Even the garden gnome thought she was cute.

Well, I filled in the online application for the State Fair this morning! It's official. Two dolls are going, but I haven't exactly decided which ones, yet. I'm working on a new one, and it's finally getting along. I was really stuck with the feet and legs on this one (thirty-five hours in them alone!!), but it looks like it's been worth the trouble. More later.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Finding a Bunch of Garage Sales

Boy, did we find a lot of garage sales last week! On Friday, we went up to a big rummage sale and a community garage sale. We found quite a few nice things. Elizabeth got some Agatha Christie books, and we even got another hardback copy of Gone With the Wind. We also got some nice kitchen towels and a couple bags of cards and stationary, but --- the find of the day (in my opinion, that is) was a "rinky dink" piano musical jewelry box. I mean, it's not everyday that you run across something like this.

The piano box is painted with little pictures and icons of the "23 Skidoo" variety and has some '50s-era girls listening to records on the sides. The top of the piano and the keyboard area open to reveal space for little jewels and rings, and that's when the music box plays Around the World. The area underneath the keyboard is a drawer the pulls out to supply even more space. Cool, huh!?

The county fairgrounds (and Lion's Club) hosted "Ohio's Largest Garage Sale" or something along those lines on Saturday, so we all piled into the car for that. Boy, did we make out! We got a really cool lamp that is a ceramic rooster, fabric, 11 more Christie mysteries, some knick-knacks, a hand-painted mini egg made of stone, and more. I found three new statues to add to my French-style, Japanese-made figurine collection. That was really cool, as one of the figures is actually Occupied Japan, and I got all three for only $6.00! Another really cool thing that I got was a triple locket. It's an oval-ball-shaped type of locket that spins around and has three mini lockets on it. Hard to describe. Definitely cool. The picture shows it a little darker than it actually is, as in real life it is very gold.

What made the day really fun, was a little rocking Kangaroo figurine made by Josef Originals. Elizabeth and Mom found it in a $0.10 box, and Elizabeth just fell in love with it. So, we brought it home and the two of them decided to look it up on eBay, as it had a little pouch on the front that was empty. No problem. Several examples popped up, and sure enough, it was supposed to have a baby Joey in there. A shame, too, because no one was selling just the Joey, but if the Joey was with the mother, then the set was worth (supposedly) $100.

Well, that was kind of irritating Mom and me, because chances were really good that the Joey had been in that same box and we'd just missed it. The thought was cinched by the fact that Elizabeth found some scotch tape residue on the front of the Mama Kangaroo. We were sure that Joey had been taped on there and just fallen off anyway. So, we're saying let's go back to the fairgrounds before they close to have a look. Elizabeth says, no --- it might not be there and in that case it would be a waste of gas. We said we would go anyway, even if she stayed home, so the three of us got in the car and made it back in time for the last forty-five minutes of the sale. Mom stopped to look at some fabric, so the two of us went to find that box. We dig around for a minute and, guess what!? There was the little Joey!! Wow! Not only that, but we found an old pair of cowboy boot-shaped salt and pepper shakers from the Roy Rogers Museum in Encino. You can't beat that with a stick, now, can you?

Well, it's already 2:00pm and I've been working on this entry for hours. Enough is enough, so more later.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Working Outside on the Weekend

Dad took Thursday and Friday off of work, making a nice long weekend. We had some really nice weather, and he had a lot of things to do around the yard, so it worked out great! I don't have pictures of everything yet, but they'll be filtering in throughout the next couple weeks. He cut down the three apple trees, the pear tree and two maples that were in the way back. None of them have done well, and we're going to try to replace them with some Pin Oaks.

I spent Saturday working in my Gnome Garden. This is a "before" picture. Dad was nice enough to put a new layer of mulch down for me, so I got the fun of decorating. We've also moved a couple of plants into the garden, so pics of those to come. All of the bushes seem to be doing really well. The little Box Hedge has just about doubled in size --- and it's supposed to be a "mini" variety. Hmmm.

I had left one "Mama" goose gourd out there with a few eggs. They all looked like they were going to rot, so I figured that they might as well look cute. In the end, they were mostly covered with leaves and subjected to all the weather of the Winter and Spring seasons. Doesn't seem to have hurt them, though. They actually dried! Wow!

The mourning doves have abandoned their nest in the little bird feeder. The mother was just too skittish, I guess. It did allow me to take a real picture of a bird's nest. The good news is that another pair has actually nested in the woodshed. This time, they built their nest on the row of wood farther back, and the Mama is patiently waiting for those eggs to hatch. What a year for doves, huh!?

Elizabeth got her permanent bridge put in on Friday. Boy howdy, it looks exactly like her real teeth. Better even, since they are all straight. Surprised me that they didn't use novocaine to put it in, but it was done in about half an hour. I'll have to get a smiling picture of her to post on here! That's not hard, either --- she is SO photogenic. My cute sis. :) More later.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Off to Cleveland for the Day

There's always something fun going on around here. On Wednesday, we headed up to Cleveland for the day --- for two reasons. The first was to get library cards from a Cleveland library. We had "Clevenet" cards from an affiliated branch, but those don't give you access to the Cleveland Library Online Research tools, so traded them for the real McCoy!

The second reason was to visit a couple more family cemeteries. These have been on the "list" of places to go for some time. We got loads of pictures, though the last cemetery we visited has a definite vandalism issue. Too bad. On the way, we had to pass, literally, in front of the place where Uncle J.D. is buried --- so we stopped to see him again! The cemetery had "reset" the stone since the last time that we'd been there, so Elizabeth and I had Mom take our picture by the marker.

Dad took yesterday off of work to get some yard work done. We are now minus six trees (a pear, three apples and two maples), which is a good thing. They've never done well, and I want to replace them with some of the baby Pin Oaks that I'm "cultivating". Yay! Dad did find another fun thing. There is another Mourning Dove nest in the woodshed! They didn't care to reuse the empty one in there, so now there is another nest on the row of logs farther inside. That makes three nests this year. There are now two eggs in the nest in the Gnome Garden, so it looks like babies are on the way. :) More later.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

News Flash: More Babies on the Way!

In the ten minutes since posting the last entry, we've discovered what's nesting in the Gnome Garden. It's another pair of Mourning Doves! Mom just walked out the back door and scared the mama bird away. Guess what?! There is one little egg in there. That means that there is, most likely, another egg to come. Take a look at that cute, little egg. Boy howdy, that's sweet.

Then there is the little bird house at the eave of the garage. Looks like something is nesting in there, and Mom caught this little sparrow sitting on the roof just above the house. I wonder if that's a sparrow nest in there? Never a dull moment.
More later.

New Nest, Old Nest and Thistle City

Okay, so Summer is just about here and so are the weeds. I mowed the lawn again a couple days ago. Well, actually, I mowed most of the lawn. We're having some trouble with a big wet spot in the yard, and the PTO belts seem to be stuck. That means that Dad needs to fix things up, so the back half of the yard is waiting. Not a bad thing. It gave me time yesterday to get a bit of weeding done in the perennial garden. Last year, I wasn't able to get at the weeds in the Spring, so I was never really able to get a hold of the situation. So, I decided to attack things sooner this year. Ever since the neighbors started feeding thistle seed to the birds (supposedly it's sterilized seed), we've been inundated with huge thistles. All over the garden! These are some "before" and "after" pictures of the weedy area that I worked on yesterday --- followed by a picture of the can and stack of weeds. It was so heavy that I couldn't even get it all the way to the garage. All I could do was drag it behind the house and let Dad use his muscles on it later. :) I ended up getting almost every thistle. Saw a few that I missed, but by then I was beat.



The baby doves have "flown the nest" and headed to greener pastures. Their little nest is sitting in the wood shed . . . empty. Not to feel badly, though, as it looks like something is nesting in the bird feeder in my Gnome Garden. Nestled amongst the old corn cobs (discarded by the chipmunks) is another nest. Mom thinks it might belong to a Robin, but we haven't seen a bird in it yet.

It rained all yesterday evening, last night and this morning. Needless to say, it's pretty wet around here. We were out at a doctor appointment this afternoon and running grocery errands. Not sure what tomorrow holds. More later.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Down with a Cold and Running Behind

I got a cold. Came down with it last Monday night and spent the next three days pretty much in bed and on the sofa. Ugh. At least it was a pretty quick one, so it wasn't too bad.

Last Sunday, we were able to go down to Buddy and Kay's for the afternoon. Mr. Clark came down with us, so he and Dad fished with Buddy. Then the two of them kayaked in the pond. We "girls" went out to a cemetery not far from the house. Lots of Kay's grandparents are out there and we were on the lookout for all of them. The little bugs were awful, though! Once we got back to the cabin, we sat around and talked. Buddy's written a new song --- watch out, YouTube! I'm going to be making a new music video. More on that coming soon.

Dad and Mr. Clark left around dinner time and went to Chipotle together. We all wanted to keep talking, so Kay had dinner made and we ate there. In the end, we weren't home until about nine o'clock. Not that that's anything out of the ordinary. :) Kay took our picture while we were there, so here it is. We look a little wind-blown, but it was late in the evening at that. ;)

The baby mourning doves are growing by leaps and bounds. There isn't even room for Mama Dove to sit in the nest anymore. The babies are just cuddled up in there --- and they stare at you with round, black eyes. They let me get pretty close the other day to take their picture. Aren't they the cutest?! The flowers are starting to bloom in the garden, too. I was out mowing the lawn yesterday, but the PTO belts are stuck, so the back half of the yard still needs mowing.

We got a bunch of Audie Murphy westerns in from the library the other day, so we're working through some of them in the evenings. We saw what is probably the best A-Western film that we've ever seen. It's called Ride Clear of Diablo, starring Audie Murphy and Dan Duryea. It is so great! The rest of the cast was pretty poor as far as being out of period and just plain bad acting, but it didn't matter, because the main two guys were so stupendous. Don't want to spoil anything by saying more, but it's definitely worth watching. If you like westerns, that is. We're having pizza for dinner, but unless I get the cheese grated --- there won't be any! Better get going. More later.