Sunday, March 29, 2009

More thoughts about daffodils...

This is another Grandville print I own that shows what a daffodil should look like at this time of year...

Not like this...

Luckily the snow has been melting all day and has been falling from the trees in big loud chunks. Hopefully tomorrow, spring will be on track again and the last of the daffodils can get started with their blooming too. I'm going to have to remember to get some more late season daffodils like the one Grandville depicted in his narcissus illustration. Actaea Poeticus is one of my favorites (it's also known as "pheasant's eye"). 

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Spring break?

More like Spring has put on its brakes. 

Look at this. My backyard now has sno-cone crabapple buds...

...sno-cone kerria buds (and they were just about to open up!)...

...sno-cone tulips...

...which really do look like sno-cones when you look at them from above...

...sno-cone vinca...

...and Eli doing a pretty good job of escaping from being a sno-cone cat...but in a descriptive word borrowed from Peter M, not escaping from being a cat-sicle.

Nine pm and it's still going...

And yet, for some stubborn people, today was just another day in the season of Spring. When I was grocery shopping today, the supermarket had plenty of people in shorts and flip-flops. As my sister would say, "J.F.N."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce... sister Laurie and her acronym "J.F.N.," a useful expression in many situations, especially at weddings where this took place. 


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Portrait of a dandelion

Portrait of a dandelion with Stella approaching in the background...

And now a portrait that is equal parts Stella and dandelion...

Both of them are equally bad. Both of them. Don't be fooled by their sweet and innocent looks because they're both.......baaaaaaaaaaad.

You could never use the words gracious or polite to describe either one of them because they both come from bad seeds.

(I'm not sure if you can tell from the tone of this post but I'm a little miffed with Stella's behavior tonight. She's having a timeout right now because she was trying to overturn the vases that are holding the daffodils I picked two days ago. Errrrrrgh. Bad.).

Sunday, March 22, 2009


A lot of it...

A smidgen of it...

Barely there...

Proudly there...

Daffodils. I just love this time of year when they all seem to appear in one day and and need to be picked and brought indoors. They're sunshine you can touch. 

Saturday, March 21, 2009

If the door don't squeak...


...don't expect Stella to sing solo. A squeaky door plus Stella equals a duet that will go on forever, as long as one of them doesn't quit first.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Yellow daffodils...

...and yellow forsythia. I'm calling it spring since the landscape is sprinkled with yellow today. :-) And although Easter isn't until next month, it's still a spring event so I thought I'd pull out some of my Easter postcards.

Easter bunnies and Easter eggs have always been a confusing combination. I'm not quite sure what is being suggested here... <:-/

The neighbor kid that lived next door to us when we were growing up believed that bunnies hatched from eggs and never thought to question that concept until he reached the sixth grade. I guess I can understand the confusion... but sixth grade?

Well, this postcard is confusing too. It explains where the bunnies are getting their eggs but what is with that mother hen serving eggs to her visiting rabbit neighbor and her kids as well as serving eggs to her own kids? That's just wrong.

That baby rabbit is pretty darn cute though.

And it looks like human kids and rabbits are not as good at sharing as chickens are with their eggs. I don't know who stole the basket from who but those rabbits mean business. Watch it, kid.

It's probably easiest for absolutely everyone involved to just not bring up the confusing subject of Easter eggs and the rabbits that don't lay them. Just let Easter bunnies pick their own way of celebrating Easter and the arrival of spring (in a Santa suit with a carriage pulled by june bugs!). :-)

As always, click on the images if you want to see bigger views of them.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Thank you to one kind squirrel

I went outside today to check on the backyard and saw two perfect white crocuses in bloom, crocuses I had not planted. Somebody, I'm assuming squirrel (definitely not turtle), replanted a few bulbs from someone else's yard in this area and I have to say thank you because I needed to see something pure and beautiful and perfect today.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hello daffodils...

Hello daylilies...

Hello crabapple buds (and dried up crabapples)...

Hello tulips...


...oh, let's just leave it at that. Those turtles are more anxious for spring than the leaping, erupting, budding plants in the backyard. Poor plants. They don't have a chance once the turtles get out there and get things in order, their order. 

Unlike plants, turtles don't like being checked on or having their picture taken. Michael got so mad seeing that I was looking at him, he slammed his front door, forgetting that he still had a piece of tomato in his mouth. 

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Looking for spring, anywhere we can find it...

Yesterday when I went to get my hair cut I saw two star magnolias starting to bloom, one daffodil in bloom and several yellow and purple clumps of crocuses. Finally, real evidence that spring is on its way! 

In my own backyard, a few vinca flowers (muddy from last night's rain)...

Some buds on the crabapple...

The start of a tree peony flower...

And some small promises that I might have peony shrubs for one more year. But just for a short while because you know who will be taking them down a few months from now.

We're starting to see a little green in the landscape. Well, I'm seeing it, it's hard to tell what Violet looks at because she does everything possible to avoid the camera.

Just one week ago, this was the backyard...

And next week it is supposed to snow again. Looks like spring is coming in on a pogo stick this year (like always, but at least there's finally proof that it's touching down in parts).

Friday, March 6, 2009

Stella, the musician

When Rane was here last week, we attended a short concert at the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum and heard a flautist "flaut." In between her breathy flute playing she would stop to grunt, count, or have some sort of other outburst. Not my kind of thing. But if a bird does it.....well, that's different.

Stella was compelled to try out a new pot to explore tonight, a rather large and empty pasta pot sitting on the stove. Lots of exploration to do but the exploration was almost like soft percussion and when she contributed a couple squeaks and sounds, I thought of the flautist from the previous week. I was captivated for a long time but I will subject you guys to just a minute of Stella and her new musical skills. :-)


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Santa Rosa, CA 1979

When Rane was visiting last week, he brought along some old photos from our past. There was one picture taken in a photobooth of Rane and his grandmother and when I saw it, I realized that I too had a photobooth picture and it was probably taken on the very same day. It was a picture of Rane's brother Tom and me. The four of us must have been at the mall together that day. I remember I was not too enthusiastic about getting my picture taken because I had an enormous zit on my chin (but thanks to Photoshop, that 30 year old photographed blemish is now gone!). I showed this photo to Rane and he was horrified by the hair and mustache but then realized it wasn't him, it was his twin brother Tom. Ha ha ha.

And this is Tom and Rane's grandmother Moey. Tom dropped out of college to take care of her because she could no longer be trusted to take care of herself. 

She was quite the creative dresser. Those outfits she wore would constantly be rearranged and added to throughout the day. She might start out with a blue print dress...

...but later might feel the need to add a blouse over the dress.

...and maybe a skirt too. And those shoes match but um, the socks don't anymore. 

Moey would also constantly rearrange her clothes until sometimes she had managed to tie her arms behind her. Then she'd laugh because she had no idea how her clothes managed to do that. And they did that a lot. Old people repeat themselves a lot, usually when talking but with Moey, it was with her clothes. 

That woman and her clothes were constantly on the move. I helped take care of her just one time when Tom flew back for a high school reunion and good grief, that was something trying to keep track of her. 

Back in the day when Moey used to drive, she knew the fastest way to get someplace was by freeway. If she was missing for five minutes and you couldn't see her walking in the distance (she liked to collect leaves in her purse), there was a possibility that she was on her way to find an on-ramp to the freeway. Luckily 911 knew all about this and knew where to look for the on-ramp seeking runaway grandmother.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Vince's Penguins

Vince drew this little sketch ages ago. When I saw that blue penguin on the right babystepping across the 3x5, I had to have it. Vince was nice and let me keep it. Why post this? Because I'm freezing. Freezing. It is so darn cold out there. I can easily imagine penguins skittering across the backyard, hitting a fence and then skittering in the opposite direction. Brrrr.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Santa Rosa, CA 1978

Rane and I briefly lived in the upper flat of a large Victorian in Santa Rosa, CA. Downstairs from us lived these two guys, Jason and Njama. Njama's real name was David but one day he came home from school and announced to his family that his name from now on was going to be Njama and from then on, that's what he was called.  He was a very sweet kid. He liked to save part of his lunch every day and bring it home to his little brother Jason.

There was a big veranda that went around three sides of the house and that was just the best place to hang out and drink coffee. Njama used to come upstairs and I would make coffee for the two of us. I think his was mostly milk but still, there was some coffee in it so I guess you could call it coffee. He took his coffee drinking seriously. :-) That's what we did. Sat on the veranda and drank our coffee seriously and talked about things.

Njama was fascinated with a battery operated drill I had (a very weak one). There was nothing more fun than to run that thing and try to stop it with your fingers. Fun for an entire morning.

And this is Kelly. She and her little sister Lacey lived next door and they would come over too... sometimes climbing in through the windows in the morning to wake me up if I didn't respond to their knocking. Gawd. Kelly was something else.

There were also a lot of dogs that liked to come up and hang out on the veranda too. I have no idea how but I think they were there by my cat Jack's invitation. And in the middle of the night, since there was a private cat door in the pantry, sometimes the kitchen would be filled with the cats of the neighborhood taste testing Jack's cat food. When I turned the light on, I'd see a lot of happy cats, all with their tails straight up. 

I don't think we lived in that house very long-maybe just the summer. I think we had to move because the house was sold. It's a good thing we moved when we did too because in the backyard was an enormous fennel bush. I told Kelly it was a licorice bush and that by the end of summer, there would be licorice growing all over it. It was not very nice of me to say that but she was such a in your face know-it-all, it was kind of fun to make her believe such a big fat lie. Good thing I moved before that licorice "ripened" on the fennel bush. I would not like to face the wrath of Kelly when she found out I was pulling her leg. >:-)