Thursday, July 19, 2018

Bunny Clover

Nancy had some hours to kill while her car was serviced so I picked her up a little after noon and we took off.  First we stopped off at Hobby Lobby.  It's not open on Sunday's when I'm usually in town.  Fun to look around but we didn't find much we needed.  That book 'The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning' kept coming to mind.  Then it was off to a brand new store.  Nancy said she thought it had garden gnomes.  I opened the door and heard a loud expletive.  Immediately stepped back closing the door in the same process.  The proprietress quickly came out after us and explained she had been right next to the door when I opened it and it surprised her.  She did have garden gnomes.  Lots of garden gnomes.   Nancy and I each bought a garden gnome (yes, the book's admonishment to declutter our lives was quickly forgotten.)  We'll go back to that same place later and paint them.  Off to a farmer's market.  Fresh sweet corn, tomatoes, bread, and bib lettuce gave me an idea for supper.  Nancy got the call that her car was ready and I dropped her back where I'd picked her up.  I fun afternoon for me and Brent enjoyed the BLT's and corn on the cob tonight.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Ghost Pipe (formerly known as Indian Pipe)

I was gone most of the day.  When I got home tonight Brent had mowed the lawn.  He'd taken out the garbage (that means he filled up the garbage can and rolled it down to the end of my very long driveway).  He's made a new trail for me and taken the chainsaw to buckthorn trees that had gotten too big for my loppers. He'd given the cats their nightly treat (which I didn't realize so the little buggers double dipped tonight).  Indy pulled a muscle in her back leg (sprinting after a deer) so he babied her all day.  As he put it, he'd 'earned his keep'.   I'm thinking I should take off more often and leave him in charge.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Another cute picture of cats doing what cats do

Brent went to the Big City for the weekend to see a baseball game w/ friends.  He and I had been watching the World Cup Soccer matches for the last week or so.  The games turned out to be interesting even though neither Brent nor I knew the rules and were often surprised/confounded on the action.   I was interested also because at night I listen to the BBC on  the radio and there was a lot of coverage on the FIFA scandal.  Officials were taking bribes when voting on the country that would host the next world cup series.  The unlikely choice of Qatar managed to keep hold of hosting rights through the scandal.   They did  have to move the games out to a Nov-Dec time frame because of Qatar's hot summer temperatures (May thru Sep the average high temp is above 100).  Also  interesting that a nation, smaller than Switzerland, is hosting the World Cup in 2022 but the next host will be a continent (Canada, U.S., Mexico) in 2026.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Buck in velvet

This morning Nancy cringed into the corner of the restaurant booth as a moth suddenly fluttered near her.  A waitress came over and grabbed it.  I teased Nancy a little but, in truth, seeing something unexpected is initially disconcerting.  Awhile ago I walked too close to a ruffed grouse nest and the little bird ran out onto the path fluttering it's wings around my legs.  There was nothing to fear but it startled me.  I yelled for Indy and she chased it away.  Maybe it's because of all of that background, that I stayed calm when, as I drove back through the hills after church, I felt a light plop on my leg, looked down, and saw a Gray Treefrog resting on my shin.  I pulled the car over so I could safely grab the little guy but by then he was gone - somewhere in the depths of the car.  I pulled out onto the road again.   I'd left the car's sun roof open slightly last night.  These little frogs love to climb and he either fell through the opening or purposely jumped in.  I had had the cool air blasting on the way home and he probably started looking around for a warmer location.  As I drove I turned off the A/C and  opened up all of the car windows. Just as I was slowing down to turn into my driveway, he jumped up on the window sill nearest me and w/ a wave of one stubby little green arm, 'leapfrogged' away.  OK, he didn't wave.  I've been reading too many children's books at the library.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Pin Cherries

I'm coming to the library to get Internet access.  Was told it wouldn't be until Monday or Wednesday when a tech could get to my place.  I wanted to ask if I had to pay for those days I'm out of service but know that isn't going to happen.   A movie I'd ordered from the library came in yesterday.  The volunteer at first thought there was a mistake and that this item couldn't be for me.  When I assured him I had requested it he checked it out to me saying , "This is  whole new side I didn't know you had."  This morning Brent and I watched it - "Sherlock Gnomes" - an animated tale of how the great detective solved the vanishing garden gnome mystery.  It is the sequel to "Gnomeo and Juliet."  Brent rose from the couch afterwards and said, "That's two hours of my life I'll never get back."  Me...  I'm thinking what I need is a couple of garden gnomes for the meadow.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Contrail shadow on cloud bank

Brent and I went to a new restaurant last night - the Buckhorn.  We both had tenderloin w/ baked potato.  Think I've found a supper club to replace the Blue Hills Inn. (Blue Hills Inn closed when it's owner's retired.)  It was raining when we left but the storm really hit hard just as we got back home.   The wind was strong enough to knock over the flower pots in the niche by the front of the house, uproot a hanging solar light, and tip over a bench at Ragnarok that hadn't moved since my brothers had tethered it place last year.  My satellite Internet connection went out and I'm waiting for a tech to come out and realign the dish.  (I'm at the library right now.)  It's still raining this morning - off and on - so Brent is doing inside projects.  This morning he replaced the transition piece between the living room's wood floor and the tile on the kitchen floor.  All I can say is it's a good thing Brent isn't a swearing man.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Baltimore Oriole fledgling

Brent and I took off this morning for a long walk through the swamps.  He wondered as we started if it might not be too long a walk for Indy.  The gravel pit was busy so we took an old overgrown shortcut to the mail trail.  I backtracked into the sphagnum moss swamp to see if the lady slipper orchids had bloomed this year.  Even though I missed seeing it flower, found the leaves.  The mosquitoes were incredibly thick so we needed to apply and reapply our bug juice.  Then we veered along the old railroad right-of-way.  Had to work our way over and around some trees that had fallen over and blocked the path. Finally got back to the trail and picked our way home through waist high ferns.  Brent and I slumped down into shaded deck chairs to rest.  Indy was still busily chasing smells through the tall grass.  It wasn't Indy Brent should have been concerned about.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Water Hemlock

Nice day in the Northwoods. Brent went out to work on a new trail while I went in to volunteer at the library. When I came home he told me my shovel broke while he was trying to lever out a rock in the trail. I can't remember the last time I used that particular shovel. I usually opt for a smaller square nosed shovel when planting. I assured him it was no big deal but he wants us to go shovel shopping soon for a replacement. I suppose I should research what to look for when buying one but I am having trouble working up interest in the subject. Think I'll buy it the same way I buy power tools. I'll look for one w/ a teal handle so the garage will be color coordinated.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Kite Flying

Took the cats in to the vet for their one year check-up. I'll probably not take them in again unless they get sick or injured. Think I just wanted a second opinion that they were progressing normally. The vet asked if I had any concerns and I said they throw up occasionally. He told me the story of attending a conference where a feline gastro-internist lectured that it's normal for cats to toss their cookies at least once a month. Today was the vet's birthday. In celebration at the checkout counter there was a basket of treats for cats and dogs and another w/ candy. The assistant took my check and reminded me to take a treat for my cats and one for me. After the weekend I didn't need any more sweets but did take a small bag of kitty treats. On the way home I noticed the treat bag had already been opened. It's quite possible what the aide meant was for me to open the packet, take out a single piece for each animal, and return the packet back to the vet's basket on the counter. Oh well, while I don't begrudge them their money, I think I spent enough at their office that day to warrant a partial pack of kitty treats. Once back home, both cats threw up. Their way of telling me everything is just fine.

Sunday, July 08, 2018


It was a great weekend for guests in the Northwoods.  Brother Phil and his wife Sheila, Bill and Sharon who are friends of Brent, cousin Rick and his wife Dawn came on Saturday.   Was able to get all of my kites airborne in the field.  My neighbor Anita and brother Russell came up for the fireworks show that night.  Today, my cousin Paul and his daughter Molly joined our group.  They did some practice shooting off the deck.   A fun weekend but I told Brent tonight before he retired that he could sleep in tomorrow.  (Mainly because I plan on sleeping late myself.)

Saturday, July 07, 2018


 Brent asked if I would take out a fireworks permit this year from the town.  The permit is easy to obtain and to fill out.

It  asks the date(s) you'll be shooting off fireworks, where they will be shot off, the number of fireworks, and the type of fireworks.

I put down June 30th to July 8th (to cover his practicing a few shots and some wiggle days in case of inclement weather).   The fireworks are Class C type (any bigger and you need a licence I think). 

Tonight the weather conditions were perfect for shooting fireworks off and the deck was a great spot to 'ooh and ahh'.   It was his best show todate.  Only issue I thought of was the '200'  I marked on the permit as the number of fireworks we would be sending up was a tad on the low side.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Turkey Vulture

Phil & Sheila arrived in the morning and went biking.  Meanwhile I did some errands and then contacted the neighbors to (1) warn them that there would be a lot of noise Saturday night and (2) invite them over to watch the fireworks.  Phil & Sheila are staying at the B&B.  Brent and I met them at a restaurant, had supper, and then sat out on the deck of the B&B before driving home.  Brent went to work on fusing together fireworks while, as usual,  Indy and I sat on the deck to watch sunset. Suddenly Indy gave a low growl, there was a flurry of activity behind my chair, and Indy walked off into the grass to gulp down the field mouse from which she had just saved me.  Decided it was time to go inside.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Subaru "Badge of Ownership"

When I bought the car last year, the dealership informed me of their free "badge of ownership" program. It begins w/ the number of Subaru cars have you owned - this is my second. Then go out to their website and pick from a myriad of icons the kind of things you enjoy doing. I picked hiking, taking pictures, pets, environment, gardening (OK, that one is a bit of a stretch), bird watching, and astronomy. I received them in the mail last winter but had to wait until the ambient temp was above 70 degrees to apply them. By then, my brothers had arrived for a visit. I'm not good at even hanging pictures straight so asked (more begged) Phil to stick these little interlocking tabs on the car for me. Now if there is ever a row of bronze colored Foresters, I'll know which one to get in.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Brent is preparing to put on a fireworks show this weekend - probably Saturday night.   We didn't plan anything special for today.   However, I didn't want to do nothing so made a red-white-blue pie out of jello and Cool-whip.  Russell and Donna came over in the afternoon and we roasted wieners over Ragnarok.   Later  I sat out on the windy side of the deck to do a crossword puzzle and watch night fall. After the sun set the air started cooling and I could see the fog forming in the protected coves of the forest.  A lone bird called from somewhere in the meadow, he'd stop, listen to his echo, and then call again.  I heard the staccato yips of coyotes as they grouped together on the other side of the woods.  Indy heard them too and would raise her head to give a soft 'woof.'  Eventually, w/o the sun's heat roiling the air the winds died down.  Time to go inside before the mosquitoes realized it too.