Tag Archives: backyard

Rabbits In the Rain

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Rational me knows that the appearance in my backyard of crows and magpies and jackrabbits and squirrels and cats and ducks (yes, there have been ducks!) is completely random and entirely insignificant.  There is no sane reason for me to be counting these creatures and keeping track of their arrivals and departures.  But I do.

Weird superstitious me believes in omens and portents and prophecies of doom and assigns grave importance to…well….pretty much everything.  Because you never know, right?  If the cosmos is sending me messages I would like to be receptive, not oblivious.

Let me tell you about the crows.  It’s been a crow summer here.  These big black shiny creatures swoop down four and five at a time onto the grass and squawk at each other like mad things. Magpie conversations seem almost polite in comparison.  They are devious and mean looking.  One in particular, perched somewhere in the big pine tree in a neighbors yard,  eventually lost his voice I guess, or moved on.  For weeks he just would not shut up.  But now he has.

So What Does That Mean???  One for sorrow?

Maybe somebody shot the bastard.

Anyway.  There are no crows today.  Today is W’s birthday.  If you’ve been paying attention you will notice my last post was on MY birthday three months ago.  I am fine.  Just finally doing things worth writing about and not having time to write about them because I’m too busy doing things.  I feel like I sat on my derrière for the first year or so of my retirement and now I’m not doing that so much.

My kitchen and living room are cleaned up, painted, decluttered and tastefully decorated. Ha!  Notice there’s no pictures of that so you can’t dispute the tasteful part.  Instead I have shared jackrabbits and white spray paint on our pitted driveway through the kitchen window.  That probably means something too.  Like I should stop gazing out rain streaked windows and get on with the rest of the house.  I’ve taken a few ‘before, during and after’ shots. And then some after-after ones after I changed my mind again.  We had a garage sale the end of July and got rid of a lot of stuff.  The garage has now become home for what remains until my daughter picks it up and it gets donated to some poor unsuspecting charity.

It’s been lovely to have lots of time and no deadline getting the painting done.  The house is old and there are always new challenges and surprises.  I am now an expert at concealing gaps on wooden window and door frames and baseboards, imperfections which showed up when we painted them white, with sealant.  House glue!  Awesome stuff.  Hallway, three bedrooms and main bath to go!  All in various stages of work in progress.

The crows have been worrisome, but now I think maybe they were not trying to give me bad news.  Because after all my doctor visits and tests  and consultations, I finally have a medical diagnosis.  I will save that for another post, and don’t worry, it won’t have to wait for some random relatives birthday.

Unless the crows freak me out again simply by being their normal bird brained annoying selves.  It’s their fault this post wanders around all over the place.   At least I got it done.  Longest break ever.  But I think I’m back.

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Before and After

A few hot days ago I took pictures in my backyard of bushes sadly in need of a trim.  I’m here to tell you my crazy slash-and-burn mad trimmer-from-hell of a husband would be very proud of me for making this valiant attempt at tree taming if he were here.  Although of course if he were here this would have been done a month ago and the trees would still be trying to recover.  He once trimmed a tree at our front door into oblivion.  All that remains is a decorative stump.

But enough yard history.  Today the heat is pleasant and bearable, so I ventured out amongst the squabbling magpies and got it done.

Before:

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After:
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Note the top of the fence for reference.

Before:
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After:
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Note the bottom of the kitchen window. Please do not note the dead grass. I’m not watering it, it’s only grass and it’s in the backyard and the magpies don’t care and neither do I.

I was hoping these picture would be more indicative of what a difference all my hard work filling TWO green bins with branches made.  I guess you will just have to take my word for it because I’m not sharing pics of my scratched up arms.  Now I will be spending the rest of the day brushing imaginary twigs and bugs off my body.

Happy 4th of July to all my American friends! I imagine your day has been slightly more interesting than mine because fireworks.  Yea!  Don’t set the grass on fire.

Art du Jour 63

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Surprise! It’s another collage. This time the background is bees and magazine people.  Although most of the bees are lost in the ink.  But I know they’re there.

I believe this piece has depth and balance with an over all burst of chaos.  Feel free to use that at your next art show or wine tasting event.

Other things that made me happy this weekend:

1.  Daughter, granddaughter, shopping.

2.  Free hemp hearts.

3.  Finding the book(s) they’ve been looking for.

4.  Potato salad.

5.  Sunshine.  Rain.  Thunder.

6.  Seeing my daughters two beautiful collages made up of ticket stubs and mementos and memorabilia from various adventures in her life.  What a brilliant idea.

7.  Stocking up on breakfast blend extra large Tassimo coffee so there is none left on the shelf for the next person, who will then have to make do with bold midnight eclipse instead.  I know how this all goes down.

8.  Watching a tuxedo cat on the neighbours fence being mercilessly harassed by two cheeky magpies.  He could have jumped down and gone home at any point but he puffed up his tail and stuck in the game; one magpie squawking in his face while the other snuck up in the rear, both alternately flying off if he got too close and swooping back down to claim their place on the fence when he’d turned around to face the other.  It was a dramatic dance, a battle of wills, a territorial spat of epic proportions.  Or something to do on a fence for fun on a sunny afternoon.  A nature show with no voice-over commentary, so I just don’t know.

9.  Saying goodbye to another May.

10.  Finding a seasonal allergy med that works very well, so that all that green stuff floating around in the air and drifting through my window screens is merely an annoyance to dust, and not turning me in to a sneezing weeping mess. Because no one likes a sneezing weeping mess.

Okay, no animal documentaries going on in my backyard at the moment so I will turn my attention to catching up on blog reading.

Happy first day of June, and have a memorable Monday.

Sharing My World

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Some early mornings I share my backyard world with this big old jack rabbit. He mostly ignores me before disappearing under the fence but I still enjoy our time together.

The happiness project is complete (although Jazzy will probably continue to pop up sporadically being her brilliantly happy oblivious wine drinking little self) and it’s time to do some actual writing again.  For a start, I’m joining the world sharers at last, after thinking about it for 36 weeks.

Share Your World Week 37

List three pet peeves.

1.  Public washrooms.

2.  People who don’t wash their hands.

3.  Improperly installed toilet paper rolls.

What makes you unique?

My tendency to give up when someone resists being convinced of something by my brainless arguments.  What?  That’s not unique?  Well forget it then.

What would be your ideal birthday present, and why?

I would like to receive the gift of good health for the next sixty-five years.  Which would make me a hundred and thirty years old with a lot of dead friends and relatives. So forget that one too.  Just give me best wishes.  I already have too much stuff.

Which way does the toilet paper roll go? Over or under?

Well here’s the thing.  It always goes over and down.  If it went under and up it would be defying gravity.  Think of those gigantic toilet paper rolls in public washrooms that are mounted sideways on the wall.  They unwind on the left or on the right.  Depending on your perspective, you think they are unrolling from the top or the bottom, but clearly they are unwinding from the top either way.  Face the toilet paper roll in your own bathroom which you have installed the wrong way and which you believe to be unrolling from the bottom.  Imagine yourself on the other side of it, and you will see it is really unrolling from the top.  Trust me on this, I’ve spent a lot of time analyzing it.  You could argue that it’s always unrolling from the bottom too, but you’ll just piss people off because they don’t give a shit.  Hey, it’s toilet paper we’re talking about, I can use my bathroom words.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful to be de-cluttering at a time in my life when I am very likely to completely forget about the things I’ve packed away and never go looking for them again.  I’m grateful that my house is looking cleaner and brighter and less like a messed up museum.

This week I will survive four more work days and have just six left to live through before retiring to my messed up museum for good.  Or bad, depending on your perspective.

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Attic Salt

Tiger Lilly patch in the backyard.
Tiger Lilly patch in the backyard.

argle-bargle   – copious but meaningless talk or writing

attic salt  – refined, incisive wit

I was considering making new categories for each of the above, but I’m afraid one would be over loaded and the other one would be empty.

Hello.  Lilly Lady here again asking a question you may never have been asked before.  Ever had a camera shoved up your nose?  I have.  So I’m putting that experience on my bucket list and crossing it off promptly before the ink dries in anticipation of never having it done again.  They called it a throat scope, which is a very misleading description.

The doctors (not sure exactly who is responsible) moved my consultation appointment to this morning so that I could talk to the specialist before I leave for Ontario.  My G.P. thought they might do a lymph node biopsy procedure in-office today, but the specialist is opting for a much simpler needle biopsy instead until he is sure what this is.  The fact that he doesn’t want to say for sure what this is seems very reassuring to me.

Next on the agenda is a return trip to the Kaye Clinic on Thursday for the needle biopsy, results in 10 to 14 days.  Then we’re off to Ontario on Saturday.  Back to the specialists office on August 11th for the follow-up.

This would be a good spot for me to insert some refined incisive wit.  Hope you can live with disappointment because I am a tad witless at the moment.  Just happy to be living in this city with such easy access to incredible medical care.  A half hour drive away from one of the two top specialists in the WORLD in their field of expertise.  Amazing.

Of course, I’m worth it, right?  They made me feel like I am.

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In lieu of wit, here’s an argle-bargle photo.  Am I secretly a farm girl at heart?  Those farm roots manifest themselves in strange ways here in the big city.  These are two animals that hang around by the tiger lilies in the back yard.  I put them out in the spring and let them fend for themselves until the snow flies.  They reward my attentive care by looking insanely cute.

Lord Love a Duck

IMG_1500.JPG (2)Yes, this is a picture of a big ass chocolate bar.  It was the most exciting thing that happened to me yesterday.  I had adjusted and dispensed glasses to a little old lady (she was way older than me, by at least 10 years) and as she got up to leave she asked me if I liked chocolate.  I said yes.  Dark chocolate?  Yes.  She whipped this monstrous thing out of her bag and told me to enjoy it with the rest of the girls who helped her pick out her glasses and to have a nice day.  Just being called a ‘girl’ would have been enough to make the day nice.

But look at that thing.  It is for sure my kind of gratuity.  Normally we get nothing (which is what we expect even though we’re awesome) and sometimes we get coffee or a handful of change to put in our coffee fund.  This is the equivalent amount of chocolate found in about a dozen normal size bars.  I ate four squares of it and felt sick.

As interesting as all this is, hang on, because I’ve got something even better.

In my backyard this morning in the rain I spied a creature.  That’s about as specific as I could be without my glasses.  It looked like a bird, maybe a young Canada Goose.

008I really need to clean this window before I take any more pictures through it.  This is the last of our dirty snow pile still refusing to give up.  And with glasses on and the zoom on my phone, look at this!

005It’s a mallard duck with his very-hard-to-see mate just behind him.  Both of them mucking about in the rain, like this is the wetlands or something.  I was going to wake W up so he could get all excited about my remarkable avian identification skills involving a bird that wasn’t a blue jay or a cardinal, but then I remembered he used to be a migratory birds expert and seeing a duck might not be the highlight of his morning.  I imagined him being grumpy and unimpressed, or worse, spewing out a hundred duck related facts off the top of his head.  I let him sleep.

The ducks may have been attracted to all the spilled birdseed under our tree, or the gigantic puddle in our neighbor’s backyard caused from all the run off of the melting snow.  He’s been pumping it periodically to keep it from turning into a big mud hole, and now all the rain makes it look like he hasn’t done a thing.  I watched the ducks putter around for a bit, and then they waddled under the fence to the other side to play in the water.  It was such a simple thing, and yet so odd and unexpected that it felt amazing.  What an excellent way to start the day.

Just when you think it’s all about chocolate, life gives you ducks.

Early Morning Yesterday

It was an early morning yesterday, I was up before the dawn

(Supertramp, Goodbye Stranger)

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I wasn’t really up before the dawn and it wasn’t actually yesterday, I think it was the day before, but let’s pretend for the sake of my awesome quote that no one cares about the details.

Every morning when I get out of bed I pull the curtains aside and look out into the backyard to see what the day looks like.  And I guess to see if anything interesting is going on back there.  Nothing ever is, but you never know.  On this particular day the morning sky was absolutely gorgeous, so I grabbed my phone and took a picture through the bedroom window of….. the garage.  Then I woke up a bit more and decided to put a little more effort and some zoom into it and came up with these.

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A normal person might have put some clothes and shoes on and actually ventured outside to take clear pictures, but if I were one of those and had done that I think I might have missed it all.  In the second last shot which was over to the right, the colors were less intense and soon it all started to lighten like that. By the time I had coffee made the sky was back to its regular faded winter ice blue.

I’m so happy I didn’t miss this!  It was amazing.  If you’ve never heard of or seen the color called ‘sky blue pink’ before, there you go.  This is what it looks like.

Snow Mountain

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Our backyard mountain of snow is melting.  Sort of how a glacier melts or recedes, taking about 40 years.  Or so it seems.  But look at that lovely sunshine at the top of the mountain!  And those patches of blue sky!  And, ummm…. that’s maybe all the positive things I can think of to say about our February backyard.  Except that it’s no longer a January backyard.

The real purpose of these pictures is to prove that I actually left my house and ventured outside for five minutes longer than normal on my way to the car and work.  I didn’t want to tempt fate by breathing in that winter air any longer than that, just in case it’s toxic, like everything else about winter seems to be for me.  I like it just fine from the inside looking out where I’m much less likely to slip on the ice and break important bones.

The green grass of spring is coming – I can feel it in all my important unbroken bones.