Tag Archives: Snow-in-Summer

Spring Continues (while I lose my mind)

May has been a crazy month. (I don’t even have my May Box out yet!)  Saver of Bugs graduated from college last weekend (and all that entails).  In addition, for the past three years she has been taking stuff to school without bringing anything back (she spent the summers at school doing research).  Weekend before last, I went up and brought a van load back (turns out it was cheaper for me to make multiple trips rather than rent a truck).  And after graduation, we loaded our van AND my mother’s smallish van/SUV/sport vehicle(?).  Now it’s time for sort, sort, sort, pack, pack, pack.  She’ll be moving to Philly the first week of June (pretty sure).  And she’s disappearing for 5 days to meet up with schoolmates for a last group LARP (small GRRRR).  Someone just shoot me, K?

My poor garden is now a garden of knee-high weeds.  But there were some survivors of the harsh winter.  So I’m taking my pleasure where I can get it.

I had my son cut down the Butterfly Bushes to 18 inches.  Knowing my passion for Preying Mantis's, he collected all the egg cases he found.  I put them in various pots in the driveway near the garden so they wouldn't get crushed underfoot during my weed raids on the garden.

I had my son cut down the Butterfly Bushes to 18 inches. Knowing my passion for Preying Mantis’s, he collected all the egg cases he found. I put them in various pots in the driveway near the garden so they wouldn’t get crushed underfoot during my weed raids on the garden.

My Snow-in-Summer survived the winter and apparently some of the Mantis's have hatched.  There is a wee exoskeleton on one of the flowers.  The flowers are roughly the size of a dime.

My Snow-in-Summer survived the winter and apparently some of the Mantis’s have hatched. There is a wee exoskeleton on one of the flowers. The flowers are roughly the size of a dime.

Pink Catchfly!  This will be a new addition to my garden.  Wilted and partially dead on the clearance rack, I paid $1 for it.  It has bounced back quite nicely!

Pink Catchfly! This will be a new addition to my garden. Wilted and partially dead on the clearance rack, I paid $1 for it. It has bounced back quite nicely!

Star-of-Bethlehem.  You never stop learning with plants. This tough little bulb came with the house and self sows itself around the yard from time to time.  In all the years we have lived here, I never knew it closed up at night.  I'm digging beds for tomatoes on the side of the house and as the sun set behind the trees, the little flowers closed right up!

Star-of-Bethlehem. You never stop learning with plants. This tough little bulb came with the house and self sows itself around the yard from time to time. In all the years we have lived here, I never knew it closed up at night. I’m digging beds for tomatoes on the side of the house, and as the sun set behind the trees, the little flowers closed right up!

Like my Snow-in-Summer, this beautiful Columbine was a bird poop volunteer.  It has self-sowed itself all over my garden in gorgeous clumps of blue.  I look forward to this flower every year and I'm soo glad it survived the winter!

Like my Snow-in-Summer, this beautiful Columbine was a bird poop volunteer. It has self-sowed itself all over my garden in gorgeous clumps of blue. I look forward to this flower every year and I’m soo glad it survived the winter!

My first Iris of the season!  It was difficult to take this guy's photo with the wind blowing it every which way!  I was thrilled to see how well these survived the winter. They were a gift from my next door neighbor.  She was diagnosed with Alzheimers and after the death of her husband, her health declined rapidly and she is now in a facility rarely recognizing anyone and spending most of her days in bed.  It's heart breaking.  But she loved her flowers and I'll always remember her sitting in the grass pulling weeds and snipping spent flowers.

My first Iris of the season! It was difficult to take this guy’s photo with the wind blowing it every which way! I was thrilled to see how well these survived the winter. They were a gift from my next door neighbor. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and after the death of her husband, her health declined rapidly. She is now in a facility, rarely recognizing anyone and spending most of her days in bed. It’s heart breaking. But she loved her flowers and I’ll always remember her sitting in the grass pulling weeds and snipping spent flowers.

Another Iris from my neighbor.  This poor thing got bent down to the ground somehow and was curling up to the sun to bloom.  Both this stem and the previous one are now in a vase in my kitchen perfuming my air with their lovely scent.

Another Iris from my neighbor. This poor thing got bent down to the ground somehow and was curling up to the sun to bloom. Both this stem and the previous one are now in a vase in my kitchen perfuming my air with their lovely scent.

Another garden denizen going about her duties.

Another garden denizen going about her duties.

A gift from crow friends.  A message is winging its way here.

A gift from crow friends. A message is winging its way here.

A lucky shot of our crow friends all together.  We have had a pair making their home here for years.  Late last summer one of the adults went MIA leaving a lone parent to raise 4 young.  I'm not trained enough to be able to tell who's who, so I don't know if this is the parent with a new mate and one of her young from last summer, a parent and two young, or just three of last year's kids.  They are very interesting and intelligent birds.  They are also quite skittish this year so I've been having trouble getting a shot of them together.

A lucky shot of our crow friends all together. We have had a pair making their home here for years. Late last summer one of the adults went MIA leaving a lone parent to raise 4 young. I’m not trained enough to be able to tell who’s who, so I don’t know if this is the parent with a new mate and one of her young from last summer, a parent and two young, or just three of last year’s kids. They are very interesting and intelligent birds. I love watching them work together.  They are also quite skittish this year, so I’ve been having trouble getting a shot of them together.  I will be keeping an eye out to see if any young are brought to the yard this year.

Wish me luck on keeping my sanity over the next couple of weeks.  If life would just pause long enough for me to handle moving crap only!

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An Unwitting Good Purchase

Random Thoughts

Yay!  I have a computer in the evenings again!  My son had an assignment from heck (more later) and I only had the computer early in the day.  And I couldn’t skip the Giro d’Italia or my blog reading!  Which, by the way, forced me to learn a new skill!  The races are long, 4 to 7 hrs., and I don’t have the time to sit down and watch that many hours of racing every day for 21 days.  What I have usually done in the past is either play the races over the TV speaker while I work or I wait till afternoon/evening after the race is over and watch the replay Reader’s Digest style.  (In this house it means to fast forward through either parts you don’t want to watch or watch as it flies by on the screen stopping for anything that looks interesting or just to get updates.)  Of course, with Spider Bait needing the computer till late in the evening, that meant mornings/early afternoon was it.  And I still wanted to keep up with the blogs I read at breakfast/lunch.  I had seen my kids with 2 or three things visible on the screen so I had Spider Bait teach me how to do ‘split screens’!  Yeah, I messed it up the first few times, but now I can have the race running on one side of the screen and I can read my blogs on the other side of the screen!  I’m very proud of myself.

*****

I have to tell you about my recent purchase.  My husband needed some computer thingy and decided to go to the store.  There were a couple of things I wanted to look at so I went along.  After doing my thing and while waiting for him to make a decision, I started cruising the electronics section and came upon the clearance shelves.  As I was standing there trying to rationalize the purchase of a clearance but still expensive camera, I saw a pair of headphones.

Now you have to understand that I have very small ears.  I can barely get the head of a Q-tip in there.  No ear buds will fit and stay in my ears.  I also have freakishly sensitive ears.  Even lying on my side for too long on a pillow will make my ears hurt (it’s a good thing I’m a thrasher at night since I prefer to sleep on my side).  So wearing the ear thingys that hook over your ears are out as well.  They are excruciating.  So headphones are the only option I can wear for any length of time, if they are padded.  My favorite was a pair of headphones that had a soft sponge like material on them.  However, that disintegrated and I have been unable to find anything like them now.

So I’m looking at the headphones and squishing them through the plastic and they seem soft, but I hate buying these kinds of things without trying them ’cause my ears are so damn picky.  The name seemed familiar, but there was no price, someone may have just dumped them, so I put them back.   I wandered around and came back.  Sigh.  The headband was padded, too.   Wander again, come back.  Still, it wouldn’t hurt to check the price.  Well, $10.89.  That was only $1 more than I had spent on the crappy hooky ear ones I can’t use.  Hmmm.  I put them in the basket.  They couldn’t be any worse right?

I get home and dump the bags in the livingroom which starts the bag inspection process.  First the dog, then the son.  I am in the kitchen when Spider Bait comes in and says, “-You- bought headphones?” in an accusatory tone.  I looked at him, “Uh, yeah.  I need a pair, remember?  And besides, they were on the clearance shelf.”  SB: (Puzzled) “Why?  How much did you pay for them?”  Me:  “They were $10.89.”  SB: (Stunned)  “You paid $10 for these?” (Waves them at me)  Me:  “So?”  SB’s expression went from ‘stunned’ to ‘my mother is an idiot’ in the blink of an eye.  “-Mommmm-  These-are-Skull-Candy.”  I stare blankly at him.  “Okay.  And that’s important becaaause…”  SB:  “-MOM-  these are normally $40 to $50.  These are -good- headphones.” (Waves them at me again)  I blinked at him.  “So I got a good deal then?”  SB:  (Groans and says very patiently)  “Yes, mom, you got a -very- good deal.”  Two seconds later he rummages through the junk drawer and comes up with a pair of scissors and heads for the livingroom.  He has to pass me to get there.  He pauses with scissors and headphones in hand.  “Umm, is it okay if I open these up?”  I glare at him with pursed lips for a moment but say tersely, “Sure.  Fine.  Open them up.”  He flees to the livingroom and shortly after has them plugged into his Ipod.  Picture me standing there just shaking my head.

I will admit, while still not as good, comfort wise, as my old ones, they are rather nice headphones.  And they fold up, too.  🙂

***** 

Also, I got a so-so picture of the super moon.  I couldn’t get it when it was on the horizon because of rain clouds.  But they cleared out later.  I don’t know if it was me or the atmosphere, but the moon looks kidney-shaped.  It was still very beautiful, though.

Life At Our House

So Spider Bait had this assignment from heck in German class.  Lack of sleep inspired me into a rant about it for “WTF? Wednesdays” over at Reinventing Fabulous (http://reinventingfabulous.com/?p=2287)  The short version is he and another student needed to put together a script (in German) covering 7 days of weather forecasting in at least 4 parts of Germany, show highs and lows and different weather types, include a commercial in the middle and also highlight x number of landmarks.  This alone was a major time sink, as they had to look up and use correctly any words they did not know plus doing geography.  Then they had to make a video of it of no less than 10 min. and showing x number of indoor and outdoor shots.  Learning to use someone else’s video camera (we don’t have one) and the software in order to join all the different shots together, etc.. was another time sink.  The actual shooting of scenes was apparently easy, but took time because of ‘sets’.  The amount of time given for this was ridiculously short.  The class tried asking for more time, but the teacher yelled at them and said no projects would be accepted late.  Now, Spider Bait works and so does his partner, plus regular school.  It has been a nightmare getting this done.  I figure they spent roughly 50 hrs on this in the last week.  Last night he left at 4 pm and came home insane at 3:30 am.  He worked on video while I fixed typos in the script and bedtime was 5 am.  It was ridiculous.

When the kids were handing in their videos with much grumbling, the teacher says, “What? Did you guys need more time on this?  Why didn’t you ask me for a later due date?”  My son says he now knows how lynch mobs are formed.  If there had been a rope, she’d have hanged.  This teacher is normally ‘sane’ and a good teacher, but she must have been ‘having a spell’ last week.  To top it off, I told him he should get an ‘A’ out of this and he said he’ll be happy to get a ‘C’.  I was indignant but he said he has seen others much better than his.   Grrrrr.

*****

Now, since I can’t sleep when I know my babies are out and about, and especially when they are unhappy, -and- I figured I’d be getting drafted to either do food or help, I decided to do a project to keep me sane and get something done.  I decided to paper a box to hold my new headphones.  My cats will leave a surprising amount of stuff alone, but ear buds and headphones are not among them.  Please excuse my camera’s apparent lighting issues.

First a pattern that works

Start at the bottom

Done

“Out” sides next

Then the “in” sides

Grab the top

‘In’ sides and ‘out’ sides

Put them safely inside

Ta-Da!

Fur Babies and Other Friends

I had some company

And some help

Out in the Yard

I declined to work in the rain.  Our header today is “Snow in Summer”.

Mug of the Day

I love Marjolein Bastin.

Late night addition:  A moth drowned itself in my tea (new cup needed!).  Actually, I think the tea cooked it.  Eeeeeew.