Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Bits and Pieces

This fuzzy photo is the best I could get in the circumstances under which I was working.  A young female Cardinal (if you look closely you can see her head/beak on the right and tail on the left) has taken up housekeeping in a small hanging basket left out in the freezing cold over the winter. In the carefully constructed nest just below the top of the container are three small eggs, the first cardinal eggs I have ever seen.

The circumstances I mentioned above are (1) that the basket is hanging within four feet of my back door, and (2) opening the door widely spooks her off the nest.  I just opened the door a crack, stuck out my cell phone/camera and snapped without really looking or trying to focus.

It makes my heart glad to see her there, and my heart needed a gladdening.  I discovered her nest this past Saturday morning, when my grandson and I went to the back yard to dig a grave for my sweet Missy cat, who went to play with her baby Sweetie Pie last Friday afternoon.

I now have four cats buried in my back yard: Bubble (the sweetest kitty I have ever had) died in July 2000; her brother Squeak died in May, 2012;  Sweetie Pie went to be with the kitty angels just over a year ago, and now, Sweetie Pie's mama, Missy.  They are all buried in their favorite sunning places.

I think that's the end of my having cats; it's just too hard to let them go, even when it's inevitable.

Tomorrow is also a day.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Lady Banks Rose

Lady Banks Rose
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Rosa
Cultivar: R. Banksiae

A pretty little thing, isn't it? This relatively new addition to my back garden was a gift of Gardening Daughter. It's been in the ground next to a side fence for a couple of years, but bore only one small cluster of blooms last year. It's not completely covered with blooms, as I hope it will be when mature (see Internet photo below -- Glorious! -- I should live so long!) However, I didn't have to search among the leaves for color this year. It's a right cheerful sight.

R. banksiae has likely been grown in the gardens of China for hundreds of years. The species was introduced to Europe by William Kerr, who had been sent on a plant-hunting expedition by Sir Joseph Banks. He bought the first Lady Banks' Rose, subsequently named the white Lady Banks (R. banksiae var. banksiae) from the famous Fa Tee nursery in 1807. A number of other forms were subsequently discovered growing in China, including R. banksiae var. normalis, and R. banksiae 'Lutea', the yellow Lady Banks' rose (brought to Europe in 1824 by J. D. Park). This cultivar has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit[4] - 
Wikipedia article

Tomorrow is also a day.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dainty Bess Comes Through, Again.

Cultivar: Dainty Bess
Hybridized by Archer; Year of Registration or Introduction: 1925

I took the above photo yesterday afternoon with my cell phone camera. Not too bad, considering.  This rose, Dainty Bess, has been a faithful bloomer in my yard for 24 years.  Its leaves look a bit worse for wear and black spot; I haven't given it the attention it deserves. 

Dainty Bess is always the first of my few roses to bloom, and it will soldier on through the heat of the summer, putting out a bloom or two from time to time until hard frost. 

I do have a new yellow rose, courtesy of Gardening Daughter, about which (the rose) I shall post later.  

Tomorrow is also a day.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Image: Internet

It's not about the bunny.

Wishing you a Blessed Resurrection Sunday and Eastertide.

Saturday, April 12, 2014


Once again, I berate myself for not starting the tax form preparation process as soon as I get all the necessary information from various entities.  Thanks to TurboTax(R) software, it took me just over an hour to complete, and print, both federal and state income tax returns this afternoon. 

As anticipated, I'm getting small refunds from both Uncle Sam and Uncle Arky.  These monies will be used to pay my real estate and personal property taxes which, although not due until mid-October, will be paid as soon as these refunds are in the bank -- a financial revolving door.

Now I can start reading, again.  This time, the book is Julia Spencer-Fleming's Through the Evil Days, the most recently published book in a series which I've been following for some years.

Tomorrow is also a day.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Eaglets and Other Stuff

I have granddaughter duty today while her parents are at work. She's always a pleasure to have around and, while she's here, I tend to get involved in activities that are not usually on my schedule.  I'd like to think that keeps me young but, alas, it just tends to wear me out.  I've heard it said that whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger.  I wish!

She and I have spent an enjoyable few minutes this morning watching the Decorah, Iowa eagle-nesting site on streaming live video.  I was first made aware of this wonderful site three years ago, and followed the hatching of that year's batch of eaglets. 

I missed that wonderful event this year. The three eaglets were hatched on April 2, 3 and 7, and are already peeking their down-covered heads out from under Mom (or Dad -- both parents tend the eggs and young).

Technology is wonderful.  Pay a visit to that site, if you have time. Just wait out (30 seconds or so) the inevitable commercial that precedes the live feed.  It's worth the wait.


Microsoft XP -- My desktop computer, which I've had for more than a few years, operates on XP, a system which as of April 8, Microsoft is no longer supporting.  Reading all the hoopla and security warnings about continuing to use XP made me uncomfortable about continuing an Internet connection to my desktop. To upgrade to Windows 7 is not a,  simple task and is more than I care to do.  Although I'm backed up through Carbonite, I'd still hate to have any of my files hacked, or to import some horrible virus that would corrupt my hard drive (that's happened -- not a pretty thing!) So, I disconnected it from the Internet on April 7.

Laptop to the rescue!  Two years ago, I purchased a laptop computer which operates on Windows 7, a system which will continue to be supported by Microsoft for several years -- probably until after I'm dead and gone, if the truth be told. I will continue to work on my desktop sans Internet connection, transferring information to my laptop via Flash Drive as needed, and use the laptop for my Internet activities.

That's all, for the nonce.  Tomorrow is also a day.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Edward Wilson Griffith
April 10, 1941 - May 11, 1969

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing

Ruby Throated Hummingbird
Image: Wikipedia

Yes,  I know I shouldn't fool around with things about which I know only a little bit and not near enough to do what I need to do. However, I recently completely ignored that understanding of myself and jumped feet first into a technological problem I should have left alone.

My cell phone had been "acting up," as I mentioned in my last post.  I occurred to me to access the phone's online user guide and find out how to fix the problem.  I read through pages of (mostly) non-understandable language until I found the section which referred to the problem I was having, and proceeded to follow the slightly-fuzzy directions for correcting the same.

I clicked here and there; deleted this and that, presuming that I was making progress.  I made progress, all right.  I progressed myself into a completely non-working phone with which I could do nada, zilch, bumpkis -- a piece of junk fit only for the trash-bin.

I took said junk to the dealer from which it came. "Uh, Lady. What in the world did you do to it?" 

After a prolonged visit, I came away with a new phone, which is working beautifully, thank you, and which has many more "bells and whistles" than my old one.  Thanks to Christmas gift cards from generous relatives, I didn't even have to shell out any of my hard-earned Social Security income.

I've made myself a promise that if this one should go wonky on me,  I won't try to fix it, but head straight to the dealer for, I would hope, a more educated approach to problem solving.


I've read four books this past week, all actual hold-in-your- hands, turn-the-pages books.  The first one, a referral from Arkansas Patti at her The New Sixty blog, was The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson, a Swedish author.   The title is a mouthful, but the story is absolutely delightful, and highly recommended!  Thank you, Patti! 

Due to budgetary constraints, I'm really tight-fisted -- about almost everything, including e-books for my Kindle. Although Jonasson's book was available in the Kindle edition, it came at a price, so I requested the paperback edition from my library. After a wait of a couple of weeks --the book seems to be very popular at present -- it arrived and was picked up. It took me several days to read it. I didn't rush; I savored it.
On April 4, while I was at the library to return it,  I browsed the Mystery section (my favorite) and selected an armful of books -- four "cozy" mysteries and one not quite so cozy, and have read three of them. 

Why the reading binge?  I'm sorry to say it's my one of my favorite avoidance tactics.  I need to be working on my taxes!

I did make myself pull together some of the more detailed information I need for my tax filing; I'm not completely ignoring the task, just dragging my feet.

What has the image of a hummingbird to do with this post, you ask?  Gardening Daughter called me last evening to report that hummingbirds are at her feeders. Too soon!  Too soon!  It's not even warm, yet!

Tomorrow is also a day.