Word Saturated Wednesday

Boo!  It’s another blustery snowy day!  Going to work, although staying at home has a lot more appeal.  My advice from the stars today is to avoid going out in public.  Ha, they could give me that advice every day and most days I would be very happy to take it.

“It could be a tough day for dealing with other people.  They will be contrary and hypercritical and you don’t have the patience for dealing with quirky, childish behaviour.  If you can avoid being in public or in large group situations, that might ease your feeling of tension.” 

Well, really, where’s the challenge in that?  Bring it on, all you childish quirky people.  I’m getting rather good at doing the deep breathing thing and letting things go.  It doesn’t always work the way I want it to though.  I had a bout of insomnia a couple of nights ago and took so many deep breaths I thought I might hyperventilate.  Obviously my technique needs a bit of work.

Our street was scraped and plowed and the snow carted away yesterday!  Snow removal is a lot like housework.  You can stop removing snow when spring arrives.  And you can stop doing housework…..when the house burns down.  The ruts were deep and frozen solid, and scraping the bottom of the car halfway down the street was probably not all that good for it.  The good news is, although my car looks like I drove it through some sort of wet dust storm, it’s too cold to wash it.  When it wasn’t too cold, it was too sloppy and dirty out to be bothered.  I don’t have to concern myself with the locks freezing if they don’t get wet until April.

birdhouse

Yesterday I spent most of the day reading The Bird House, by Kelly Simmons.  It skips around from present to past, but I’ll forgive it for that because reading  it that way made it easier to understand why Ann, as a grandma, did the things she did with her daughter-in-law, her son, her long ago departed daughter, her granddaughter and the great love of her life.  It’s a good story about family, and how everyone has their secrets and their flaws and their own interpretation of how and why things happened.  And keep on happening, for that matter.  And how the things we believe to be true influence everything we do.  Well – just read it for yourself I guess, and see if you can explain it any better than that.  It’s a good book.

What a perfect picture of an Adirondack chair and green grass and flowers and summer related things.  And now I’m off to battle the blizzard and deal with the freakish mob.

No wordless Wednesday for me.  Although I do promise to bite my tongue from here on in and if I can’t think of something nice to say I vow to say nothing at all.  There could be a lot of deep breathing involved in that.

Camera Shy Magpie

It’s amazing what two days of rain can do.  Get things really wet, turn things green, make the air smell breathtakingly fresh and clean.

First thing this morning, and I really do mean first thing, around six a.m. before anyone else in the neighborhood or their right minds had even considered getting out of bed, I looked out the bedroom window and saw a magpie strutting about on the back lawn.

It seemed like a brilliant idea at the time to get out there and get some pictures of him.  I don’t know for sure if it’s a “him” or not because male and female magpies look a lot alike, with the female having a more greyish white hood than the male.  Also if there are two of them, the female is the one that’s bossy and aggressive and the male is the one running away.  I’ve noticed that kind of behaviour in other species as well (not mentioning any by name.)

So, there I was, in the backyard sitting in a lawn chair with my coffee in one hand and my camera in the other and the magpie nowhere to be seen.   It’s a little chilly here at six o’clock in the morning.  The ground was still wet, there were little sparrows whipping about, traffic noises to remind me that I’m far from the wilderness, a light breeze and a silent wind chime.  It’s rather boring sitting around waiting for a magpie that refuses to materialize, so I put my inner detective to work to find out what’s up with the stupid wind chime.

And this is what I discovered on the ground beneath it.  With a little bit of rotted string attached.  They really should consider making these things with fishing line to withstand Canadian winters.

The bird feeder is almost empty.  The bird house (on the left up there and pretty much completely cut out of the picture by the side of the garage, is being used by some kind of little birds who are busily coming and going.  The patch of lawn that the meter movers destroyed has approximately four blades of green grass on it struggling to survive.

That magpie is always around when I don’t have my phone or camera handy – on the lawn, on the garage roof, in the bushes, hopping along the fence.  I swear I am not making this up.  But after about twenty minutes of impatient waiting around and with an empty cup and a cold butt I decided to come back inside where it’s warm.  Nope, I would never succeed as a bird watcher.  I’m also having serious second thoughts about this early rising thing.  For one thing, it eliminates the excuse of ‘not enough time’ when I don’t feel like going for a walk.  There’s still hours left in my morning for magpie stalking and other worthwhile pursuits.  Like windchime repair.  Or a nap.  Can my day get any more fascinating I wonder?

Stay tuned for more heart stopping developments.  That magpie could return at any moment.  And I might even be awake to see it and capture it on film.  Or not.  I hope the suspense doesn’t kill you.

My Inner Gardener


I was wandering around in my backyard in the rain yesterday because things are turning green and I thought it might be a good idea to see them up close and in more detail than I am able to discern from my kitchen window.  It was a sort of aimless and ultimately futile search for my inner gardener, which is buried so deep inside me that I fear it will never surface.  Due to lack of encouragement actually.  The above picture is not supposed to be of the dirty basement window or the stepping stone my sister-in-law made for me, but those lovely little white blossoms – or flowers – or whatever they are on my red leafed tree!  Or bush.  I guess it’s a bush.  They’re on only one branch so far.  More would be nice, but I never want to be too optimistic about such things.

This is my idea of a fun addition to the landscape.   It’s one of those creepy solar lights that never worked properly but is too hideous to throw away.  By that I mean that I’m hoping it will serve the purpose of making whatever is growing look awesome in comparrison.  Or something like that.  I haven’t got it all worked out in my mind yet.  But gruesome guy is not going anywhere.

I call this shot “Fake Owl and Strange Bird House Amidst Dead Branches”.  But the branches, on closer inspection, are actually covered in lots of little leafy buds so I trimmed way fewer of them than anticipated.  Plus trimming stuff is a lot like work and I soon got tired of doing it.  Less of them are overhanging onto the grass for now.  Mission accomplished.

I’m including this picture from the front yard because it illustrates how talented both W and I are at putting strange things in flowerbeds in a misguided attempt to draw your attention away from the fact that we can’t really grow anything worth looking at.  I can’t take credit for this amazing little floating head, although I am the one who originally purchased it when it was a cute and colorful ladybug with a body and wings which have since gone missing.  It should be in the garbage.  I have no idea why W felt it belonged here.  Perhaps he is mocking me.  I don’t know.

The fake sunflowers are faded but thriving amongst the empty yellow tomato cages.  And the snake-like garden hose.  We need a new dryer vent.

Ha!  Look at that – rhubarb growing, despite out best efforts to kill it.  I actually put some water on it, and on the place where the meter moving guys dug up our lawn and put down sod which is drying out and looking half dead already. I really don’t think that one is my fault.  And last night we got more rain, so I don’t know why I bother.

But before that, later in the afternoon, the Green Oasis weed control people came and sprayed and fertilized the lawn.  Proving that with a little help I can at least grow grass.