Friday, March 31, 2006

The Mattress is Down
Veterinarians have a strange sense of humor. Here's a joke they tell over and over again with a perfectly serious face:

"Your dog will be feeling much better by tomorrow. Keep him/her quiet for two weeks."

Sunny, our little dog who loves to play violent fetch and tug games and jump on and off us and the furniture, hurt her back.

After Sunny had a cortisone type shot and was supplied with muscle relaxant and anti-inflammatory drugs, I heard the vet joke.

Then the kindly vet elaborated on the seriousness of the situation even giving me written instructions that say
"Restrict Activity for 14 days."

It was horrible to see Sunny in pain with her back seized up and so inflamed she had a temperature. I'm grateful that Sunny is well medicated and feeling better.

Now, where are the instructions on how to keep her quiet?

One thing we've done is to pull the mattress off the box spring and onto the floor. Creaky old Bob and I are having a difficult time getting in and out of bed, but it keeps Sunny from jumping on and off. We wouldn't have it any other way.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Something to Smile About

Sydney showing where her head isGranddaughter Sydney answers the question, "Where is your head?"

What a smart girl.

Only three more weeks and I'm flying across the country to give her a big kiss and ask her where her head is.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

F is for the Fifties
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The Fifties were my grade school years.

Picture of a painted turtleOne of my most memorable summers was the year a painted turtle (not the one in the colored picture) wandered into the yard and my parents gave me a large, old washtub so I could keep it for a pet. I arranged the tub interior into a mini habitat with "land" and "water". The turtle seemed to be content in it. But, how would you know with a turtle?

Marguerite, little sister Doris, and the turtle, Prince Albert Red RattlerDetermining the turtle's sex was beyond me and anyone else I knew. I decided it was male and named him Prince Albert Red Rattler just because I liked the sound of the name and thought it suited him.

Prince Albert ate worms. The worm needed to be in the water, where it would wiggle. Prince Albert would catch the motion out of the side of his eye and plod down to the pond area of the washtub. After watching the worm for a few seconds, he dipped down in the water and slurped it up like sucking down a piece of spaghetti.

The neighborhood kids and I spent the summer digging worms and feeding them to Prince Albert. He ate everything we gave him.

One afternoon we decided to see if he could eat 100 worms. It took the better part of the afternoon to dig, feed, and count. Yes, Prince Albert could and did eat 100 worms.

In the fall it was time to let him go at a creek in the country. (This was my parents idea, not mine.) Prince Albert was so fat he couldn't get his shell closed. I hope he buried himself quickly in the mud for his winter nap before some predator ate him. I'm sure he didn't starve during hibernation.

For the record: We did not live in a dump. Dad was adding two bedrooms onto the house and sister Doris and I managed to pose right in front of his construction trash pile.

Marguerite dressed up for her eighth grade graduation in 1959In the spring of 1959, when I was fourteen years old, I graduated from eighth grade complete with nylons, low heels, and a white graduation dress.

Under that skirt was what we called a 500 yard crinoline. It supposedly had 500 yards of nylon net sewn in gathered layers, each layer with more yards than the previous.

Picture of crinoline from the 50sWe washed, starched, and ironed our 500 yards of nylon net in an attempt to get the fullest skirt we could manage.

The crinoline was worn to school on days I wasn't wearing a "tight skirt". Girls were only allowed to wear slacks on Friday. They had to be dress slacks with an ironed crease. No jeans allowed.

Each time it was worn, the crinoline hung limper. I had to repeat the starch and iron routine often. Only someone young and silly would do that much work to wear something so ungainly and scratchy. And I was that in the 50s.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Spring One, Winter Zero
March snowfall on treesSpring and winter spent the day duking it out in SW Michigan.

Winter kept up a continuous snowfall.

Spring fought back by raising the temperature above freezing so the snow was unable to stick and accumulate.

This is a morning picture of the wet snow settled on the tree branches. It was beautiful, especially since it was so warm the snow melted off the roads and I didn't have to cancel a lunch date with a friend.

By this afternoon, more snow had melted than remained. Even though the snow kept falling, it was a losing battle for winter. Rah.

The only blizzard type snow we've had all season was the storm on the day before Thanksgiving when Mom and I were trying to fly to Virginia.

Most Michiganders are still expecting a heavy snowfall this year. March isn't too late and we can't believe we're going to get off so easy this winter.

If we do get a big snow, it will be short lived. The ground has started to warm, the days are longer, and spring is fighting hard to kick winter right out the door.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

E is for Emerging
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Backyard view on March 2 at 10 am10 am on March 2, I went out into the cold, dreary yard to see if I could find little hints of green, little harbingers of Emerging spring.

In this picture the small area of lawn that we have is on the left, in front of the creek. It is dormant and brown.

The unmowed acreage is on the far side of the creek. The trees are bare. The landscape is almost totally without any pretty colors.

We live on a wooded five acres. The oaks shed their leaves after it's too cold to rake so the leaves don't get cleaned up until spring.

I needed to push oak leaves aside in order to check for Emerging greenery.

Daffodils emergingThere are naturalized daffodils scattered here, there, and everywhere. They are the hardest and most dependable sign that spring is actually going to happen.

They don't let oak leaves stop them from their quest for sunlight. The daffodil leaves are strong enough to chop right through the dead leaves and keep on growing.

Daylilies emergingIn an almost sunny part of the yard, the daylilies are Emerging.

They are anemic looking from being hidden under the oak leaves. The next mild day we have, I'll get the rake out and uncover the shoots so they can get some sun.

There is snow forecast for this afternoon. For today, the daylilies are probably happiest buried out of the weather.

Sedum emergingI never would have thought to look for sedum in early March until Kim in the mountains of New Hamshire showed her sedum heads poking out of the earth.

Shoving a few oak leaves aside (do you see a pattern here?), there they are! Little sedum plants Emerging from the frozen ground. They don't bloom until August, so they're really getting a head start on the season.