Thursday, August 31, 2006

End of Summer Lament
It's a busy but boring week. My brain seems to be in shut down mode and only thinks about what needs to be done instead of thinking of stimulating blog topics.

In a few minutes, I need to jump in the shower, get in the car, drive to Kalamazoo, go through the Wendy's drivethru at noon, pick up Mom and take her for a shampoo after we eat chicken sandwichs and Frostys.

I owe Granddaughter Kimmy and friend a day at Full Blast before school starts. School starts next week, so tomorrow is the day. How's that for cutting it short?

So tomorrow I will be driving about 100 miles round trip and spending the day listening to the screams of happy/unhappy/thrilled children and paying outrageous prices for everything with a smile on my face. Just call me Grandma ATM.

Where did the summer go?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Monday Musings
Cloudy Saturday Sky from August 26, 2006Saturday Sky
This was the sky on Saturday, and Sunday. All weekend it looked like it was going to rain any minute. A couple of times it managed just enough drops to wet the surface and keep the humidity at a steamy level. Never enough to give the plants a good drink.

Today, Monday, it is finally raining a decent amount, coming down slow and steady.

Sydney and Son John share a loving momentSweet
Just because one can never have too many pictures of loved ones who live far away, here's a recent shot of Son John and Granddaughter Sydney Anne. They're loving each other just like I used to love John when he was a sweet baby.

Now I love him differently, but not any less. With the pride and respect I have for the man/father/husband he has become, I think I love him even more.

Mom Report
(Previous Mom posts here and here for anyone who needs to catch up on what happened.)

We're in the doldrums of broken arm limbo. Mom patiently ices her fingers, elevates her arm, takes painkillers, and occasionally has a bad night and complains.

I fetch food, do laundry, pay bills, chauffeur, and whatever else needs to be done to get through this time. Her apartment is a booby trap of containers with unsecured lids so she can get into them when I'm not there.

Eleven days until the cast comes off. We don't expect life to immediately return to normal, but we do expect a wonderful, long, hot shower for Mom and the beginning of the end of this experience.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Q is for Quatrefoil
ABC Along Button

From Wikipedia:

The word quatrefoil etymologically means "four leaves", and applies to general four-lobed shapes in various contexts.

Two four leaf cloversIn July, 2004, I looked down and found these two, almost perfect four-leaf clovers.

Although not usually superstitious, I took this as a good sign and almost immediately received some great news. Son John and daughter-in-law Anne were coming to visit the middle of August, 2004. They live across the country in Idaho and it would be their first visit to Michigan in six years.

The big day arrived.

After we greeted each other and settled in for a chat, John asked what good luck I got from the second clover. A rather strange question. I couldn't think of anything better than his and Anne's visit from Idaho, so I told him I didn't know.

That was the right answer! He told me the second clover worth of good luck was due to make me a grandmother around April 4, 2005 in Idaho.

Sydney with a washcloth on her headSo now, August 2006, two years later, I fondly remember that second four leaf clover. Here's a recent picture of the joy it brought.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Doggy News

Glory eating a berry from my handGlory, our big, black lab mix, loves the blackberries in the back field. She has been known to eat them right off the bush, but she likes it best when someone picks them for her.

Everytime we go for a walk I feed her a few. She's going to be disappointed when the season is over.

The little white spots on her are seeds. She's been banging around in the brush and weeds trying to find a rabbit.

Pappy with a new haircutYesterday the dogs went to the groomer and, for the last time this summer, Pappy had a haircut.

Last spring after Pappy's first haircut of the year, a woman at doggy school who takes breed standards way too serious (my opinion) took me to task. According to Miss Doggy Police, Papillons are NOT supposed to have their beautiful long hair cut and people who get haircuts for their Papillons shouldn't be allowed to own them.

She also informed me that Pappy was certainly embarrassed to be sheared like that.

I found her lecture so ridiculous that I couldn't even get mad. It was all I could do not to laugh in her face.

If anyone reading this is inclined to agree with her, let me defend Pappy's haircut.

Pappy is an eight year old rescue dog. He's not a show dog, he's a family dog. Several times a day he goes for walks in the weeds where he is likely to pick up ticks, sticky seeds, and burdocks. He delights in diving into brush piles in search of rabbits and other rodents.

He loves to go to the groomer and I've seen no sign that he's ashamed of losing his long fur for the summer. Short hair is more comfortable for Pappy and much easier for me.

Sunny eating her new, improved dinnerSunny has lost four pounds since April. Last night at doggy school, Gail the trainer checked Sunny over and declared her thin.

Tonight, for the first time, she got a maintenance serving of Canidae dog food - a third of a cup instead of her diet portion of a fourth of a cup.

We will continue measuring her food and watching her weight very carefully to make sure she doesn't gain the weight back.

Ten day old bluebird sleeping at the edge of the nestAll three bluebirds are thriving. Today is the last day I will open the nest box before they fledge.

Once they get to a certain size, there is a danger they will jump out if the box is open. This little guy might be ready to jump out now if he wasn't so tired.

Yesterday I saw their mom bring them a baby garter snake. Yum yum.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Sky and Pain
Sunny Saturday Sky on August 19, 2006It gently rained all last night. The morning was cloudy and misty, but by this afternoon when I took this picture the sun was shining and the sky was blue with fluffy white clouds.

That yellow tinged vegetation on the bottom of the shot is goldenrod just starting to bloom, a sure sign that autumn is not far away.

Last week was a painful week.

Sunny's spondylosis flared up so we visited the vet on Monday for pain meds. She's better now and we have an adequate supply of painkiller on hand for next time.

Mom's broken arm decided to swell and be painful. We spent Friday morning in the orthopedic doctor's office getting her cast cut off and a new one plastered on. Mom also received an adequate supply of painkiller.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

P is for Pileated Woodpecker
ABC Along Button

Pileated WoodpeckerToday, for the very first time in my entire life, I saw a Pileated Woodpecker.

Their usual habitat is tall trees in deep, mature woods. Since part of our yard is the extension of a deep woods, there was always the possibility one might fly into our trees.

They have an extremely loud, distinctive call. Not easy to miss. Therefore, I didn't think there was much hope of seeing one since I never heard one.

Coming back toward the house after our dog walk this morning, I heard it. That in itself was a thrill. I looked up thinking I would never see it in all the leaves, and there it was in a break in the leaves of a tall oak tree! Big. Impressive. Awesome.

Note: I did not take this picture. Even if my camera had been with me, I would have been too busy gawking to take a picture.

3 day old bluebird in nestMeanwhile, back in the field, the late season bluebird nest has three hatchlings.

Feed me! Feed me!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Time Out for a New Laptop
Yesterday DH Bob took some great pictures of a sweater I just finished knitting. When I went to upload them for posting, Internet Explorer wouldn't come up. Then many other funky things happened with my laptop that you really don't want to hear about.

Last October I got a new motherboard and a new harddrive. My laptop was acting like it had a bad motherboard again. I had a nervous fit and then spent two hours at Best Buy picking out a new laptop.

This morning I picked up my new 17" HP Pavilion. Now I need to load software, drivers, files, configure, and do all those little things that need to be done to a new computer that usually result in some kind of frustration and phone calls to a foreign help desk before they're over.

So, time out from everything that I thought was important to do yesterday and today while enjoy setting up my new toy.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Thank you so much for all the sympathy, kind wishes, and helpful comments on Mom's accident.

Her face looks better every day and we're hoping for a much lighter, shorter, maybe even waterproof cast when we visit the cute orthopedic doctor on Friday.

I've always considered 22 to be my special number, so I was surprised to see it when I entered my date into this Lifepath Number generator.

Your Life Path Number is 22

Your purpose in life is to use your power for good

Of all the life paths, yours has the most innate power.
Your power lies in your vision, and you must recruit others to help you in this vision.
You are able to be a great idealist, but you still have the practicality to get things done.

In love, you tend to be a big romantic - but you also tend to keep your distance.

You have a lot of potential, and it's sometimes hard to live up to.
Sometimes you just feel like slipping into obscurity and doing nothing.
You tend to be prone to dramatic emotions, until you step back and look at things honestly.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Changing Saturday Sky
Clear sky in the morning of August 5In Michigan we say if you don't like the weather, wait ten minutes. In actuality, sometimes it takes a few days for the weather to change. But there are many times the weather does change in a few hours or less.

No one who has lived here long puts great stock in the weather forecasts. Sometimes they're right, and sometimes they're not. Many of them say things like "40% chance of rain" or "thunderstorms possible". I could write those forecasts without any expensive equipment or satellite images and be just as accurate.

This morning the sky was clear and blue. The weather forecast was for a 90 degree hot day.

Cloudy sky in the afternoon of August 5By this afternoon, the clouds had moved in. The high was 83 degrees, and there is a 30% chance of thunderstorms this evening. Much nicer than the hot, humid days we had earlier in the week.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Where Have I Been?
Odysseuse in cast and black faceSunday the predictable routine of normal life was interrupted by a call from my mother in the emergency room. She tripped and fell onto the pavement outside her apartment.

Her arm is broken in three places. We haven't been able to figure out how she fell on the left side of her head while breaking her right arm. So far there have been no offers to reenact the fall, so we may never know.

The breaks are all in position to heal properly. No surgery needed unless something unexpected happens.

For those of you squinting at the tee shirt trying to read it, Maxine is saying:

I couldn't care less. . . But I'm working on it.

Close up of black face with yellow highlightsThe swelling has gone down in her face and she looks much better than she did a few days ago. Yes, really.

See that dreamy look in her eye? She's dreaming of a long shower and being able to drive again.

It's going to be a while.