Picture of the Week

Well, it's been a couple dreary weeks.  I sure wish the rain would quit!  So most of my stuff is from my home base, not much mood to explore when it's miserable outside.  One day we probably had a cuppla inches!

Hence, here's the fav shot that I posted on my flickr group, one of my japanese iris that I have planted all over my yard.

Picture of the Week

OK folks, I know it's later than normal. I had a slight meltdown. All better now. So here's my picture of the week from last week. A rose-colored begonia, smoothed in Topaz Adjust. Love that program!!

Latest Junk

Well, I keep waiting for something blog worthy to happen and it aint. Little this, little that but nothing WOW!!!

So here's the lowdown:

Last weekend we had our first annual Williams family BBQ for Rick's family, done so I can attend a family event since all the other are planned around holidays. Nearly everyone showed up and had a good time. The younguns played ping pong, the weather was perfect, there was plenty food and Rick tried to blow himself up lighting a campfire that no one was interested in. Too much gas and arms not long enough to light it safely with a lighter, shoulda used a match. That's OK though, he just singed his arm hair, eyelashes and the front of his hair, no real harm done (dummy!)

This coming weekend Dane and Keith's cousins, Audrey and Casey, Casey's wife, Angie and their 2 kids are coming for a visit. So we get to have another BBQ. The weather doesn't promise to be great, but it looks like it should be OK. I'll have Denny light the fire!

The house across the street from Denny is kinda like 2 houses and has been vacant for months. It finally went to auction, sold and will be rented out. Kevin is renting the small side, it's perfect for him and he seems really pumped about being up here with alla us in ahis own place, just big enough for him and his boys. They have a nice, big, fully fenced back yard and a garage and other storage. He's working on the house preparing it for renting, earning his deposit I'd guess. Joe starts kindergarten in September and will get to go to this school in our neighborhood. Kevin wanted him to go to this school. The boys seem to be real happy and Kevin is doing real well, working and settling into his own single dad life.

The other side of the house is perfect for my brother's family that are moving from Utah. I hope they get it. Markie and Bekah will be able go to school with Joe. Celeste will be close by and able to babysit. We're taking over the neighborhood!

In a couple weekends we'll all be going to Ocean Shores for the kite festival. Turns out, though, that my special Assembly Day is that Saturday. So I'll be taking off at like 7 AM for a 2 hour drive to Puyallup. then 2 hours back afterward. But I can have fun Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday. Rick may ride his Harley. His daughter, Sarah, and prolly a friend will be joining us.

In preparation for the pending BBQs I spent a lot of time last week getting the yard all spruced up. Pots all planted, weeding done, a good edging and mowing (which must continue), the place looks great. I've been using Scott's turf builder with moss control and it's thickening the grass and killing the moss. I might be on to something!

That's about all for now, in a nutshell.

Stumpy - Epilogue

Friday I was having a wonderful day.  My yardwork in preparation for a family gathering on Saturday was nearly done and I had just gone on a nice 2+ mile walk with a couple friends.  The weather was perfect.  There was nothing to complain about.

Then I came in from my walk, sat down at my computer and found an email from my mom:

"a picture for you Stumpy"

That is the default subject when mom uses picasa to send a picture, except for the "Stumpy" part, she added that.  Stumpy was my mom's bird that I wrote about 2 years ago:

Years ago my mom saw a cat in her backyard, she was trying to chase it away and it dropped something from its mouth. She went to check what it was and it was a grey, featherless baby bird, probably fresh from the egg.

It was alive and undamaged so she decided she had to hand feed it, to keep it alive, or at least to give it the best chance she could. So she called me and told me her dilemma, knowing that I had the recipe for feeding baby birds (btw, canned dog food or meat baby food, spinach or baby vegs & peanut butter, pureed together & fed with a needleless syringe). She began caring for him and all was going well. She kept him in a kleenex box lined with soft fluff and fed him continually, even taking him to the kingdom hall with her and keeping him in the restroom. Then she had to go to California to take care of her dad and left the birdy in my care. I thought "Great - he can die while I'm taking care of him!" Well, he didn't, he just kept eating and growing.

He just kept on that way, tough little bird. But he began to have problems with his feet, they kept getting infections and bleeding. Mom was afraid to take him to the vet for fear that they'd tell her that he was a wild animal and needed something more than she could give him, hence removing him from her care and possibly "destroying" him "for his own good" ("he won't be able to care for himself in the wild"). So she treated him as best she could but he did lose one foot in the process and became at that point - "Stumpy".

So Stumpy became a real pet. The cat knew not to mess with the little birdy. And he loved Mom so much, she would stick her pinky in the cage and he would chirp and peck excitedly.

Well, they decided to move to Hawaii about 5 years ago. That meant he'd have to have clearance to be brought into the state. She found a sympathetic vet who called him a "canary" and did all the necessary processes to get the OK for the move. (after years of being unable to identify what he is I finally found a picture of the exact same bird - a house finch, I didn't know they sing so beautifully)

When mom finally took off for Hawaii she had packed up the house and stuck it all on a boat, as well as the car. Then she, the cat and Stumpy got clearance to get on the plane, the cat would ride in the assigned pet area in the cargo but Stumpy would be allowed in the cabin with Mom. Until she got to the gate, then they said the bird would have to go in the pet area as well. She did her usual insistent bit and got them to allow the bird in the cabin as she was promised when making the arrangements. Kinda sounds like Sylvester & Tweetie with their little old lady, huh?

So Stumpy made the big move to Hawaii. He has been living outside his cage, free in the house most of the time he's been here in the islands. There have been a few close calls, at least twice he got stuck in piles of junk for days and was found and rescued and survived, hungry, dehydrated, but OK. Then he had a bad eye infection that a vet had to repair, he got through that well also. At that time Mom was informed that he'd already far exceeded his life expectancy. Next month he'll be 9, another year past his expected time on this earth.

With him flying free in the house, they currently live in a "bird cage" but neither seem to mind too much, it's worth it for a one-in-a-million pet like Stumpy.

To add one more chapter to his saga, last year the folks attended the International Convention of Jehovah's Witnesses on Oahu.  Since all their friends were also going to Oahu to attend the convention, there was no one who could watch Stumpy.  So the little yellow birdy with white facial feathers got to go on another plane trip.  He went to Oahu, stayed in the hotel with the folks and while they were at the convention he stayed in his travel cage in the car (in the shade).  I'm sure he got plenty attention from the friends, I mean, who takes their birdy traveling with them?

It was a short email and managed to completely ruin my previously glorious day.  Stumpy was gone.  His affection for mom and insistence on always being close to her finally cost him his life.  He had run underneath her foot when it was too late for her to avert her step.

Mom seems to be handling it well, at least from my vantage point, which is very limited.  The few positive things about how his adorably feathery life ended:

  • he died at home, there was no disappearing act
  • he died fast, no long, drawn-out illness
  • he had a remarkably long happy life, nearly double the best-case-scenario life expectancy of a common yellow house finch
When you lose a loved one, even a pet, it hurts and this is certainly no exception.  Stumpy (this link is a bedtime ritual that went on for a while) will be missed by many, many people.

Picture of the Week

Hey look!  I'm getting this done on time!

I have 2 shots to choose from this week, I'll be sure to post the other one I really liked someday.  In the meantime. . . .

We went to Lake Meridian Wednesday.  I needed a shot and I thought this structure would look good in the waning light, and the wisteria would be blooming to boot.  Well, this is what I ended up with.  Everyone thinks it's a window.  Actually, the bottom of it is a bench and the opening is about 8' across!  But I really like the softness of the wisteria leaves and the brightness of the sunlit parts.

Picture of the Week

I took this on a sunny afternoon after a long rainy day.  Everything was wet and dripping, but being lit up by the bright afternoon sun.  This is my red maple just outside my bedroom door.

Another Cat That I Have Loved

I've said for a time that I had 2 and a half, or 3 and a half cats. How does one have a half of a cat? (sounds gross to me)

Max was a big black cat that actually belonged to my across-the-street neighbors. But he spent plenty time at my house, even sleeping many nights on my couch. Hence, the half of a cat, he was a half-time resident.

When my family moved into the house and got our own cat we started having cat visitors, namely the big black cat whom we called for at least a year "Black Kitty". He would show up in the back yard to eat Spicey's food. He would bully her away from it and clean out the bowl. After watching that for a time I decided to do something, so I collected a few small pebbles and waited. When he boldly started to eat Spicey's food (with me a mere 6' away) I tossed a pebble toward him. I meant to bounce it in front of him but it ended up smacking him right between the eyes!

As much as I regretted doing that it worked. He would come and if Spicey was eating he sat and waited for her to finish, then went in to clean up the leftovers. He had become a gentleman!

Soon we learned that he belonged to the people across the street and that his name was Max.

Max crept into our lives stealthily, even my animal-hater ex-husband learned to love Max.

Every morning after cleaning up some kibble he would go out into the woods and hunt. He was good at it, he nearly always came trotting back with a fairly large critter, bigger than a rat even. I don't know what they were but apparently they're plentiful. Once I was working in a garden and Max brought his catch near me and proceeded to devour it within my earshot. The crunching and ripping sounds were disturbing but when he was done and I went to clean up the leftovers I was relieved to find none, he cleaned up every bit of it! Another day he evidently took his catch home as a gift for mom. I heard her as she approached her front door with Max right there on the front porch, proudly holding up his thick, short tail, waiting for the door to open when she shrieked "Oh, Max!"

I like to have company during the nice weather. Max realized this and would always take advantage of the extra bodies parking themselves around my yard. He would show up and meander. He would test people out, rubbing and observing. Then he would make a choice and jump in their lap! When a 15 pound, solid muscle, all black, cat decides he wants to sit in your lap - YOU OBEY! Actually, he was so endearing no one could turn him down.

Most cats have their odd food craving and his was as odd as they get. Corn on the cob. He wouldn't eat it as niblets, it had to be attached to the cob!

Shortly after 9/11 he came to visit me. I was sitting at my computer and he got in my lap, faced me, put his paws on my shoulders and proceeded to rub his face against my neck and chin until I was itchy. He was just loving me up and I loved being the focus of his affection.

That was the last time I saw Max.

A couple weeks later I was out in my yard raking leaves and the man of the house that paid Max's vet bills, Dave, came over to ask if I'd seen Max. I relented that I was afraid Max was gone for good. He told me that his family had searched the woods and found nothing. We talked about pictures, did we all have enough, we'd share if needed, we were co-owners after all, or is that we were co-owned? Anyway, I told him I cried every night, missing the sweet guy.

He said, the man of the house in a house composed of big macho males (and one female):

"Tell me about it"

Max was one in a million and knew how to spread his love.

Stormy Day

It was a pretty neat windstorm. The wind blew constantly all day. The power flickered off a few times, then went off for 2 hours, then on for an hour, then off again til just about midnight. Totally screwed up my day. I ended up unable to complete pretty much anything I tried to start.
Rick got home and we decided to head to Covington to pick up beer and gas for his car. Auburn-Black Diamond road was closed due to a downed tree. We decided to investigate. Turns out a reporter/camera man from Fox news did too. We got some cool shots of the tree blocking the road, laying right over a power/communication line with a neighborhood man chainsawing enough to get his car into his driveway. The Fox news dude decided to interview me cuz I started spouting outage times. Thank goodness he didn't use that footage, I'm sure I looked awful.

We made it to Covington and got our chores done, came home, ate some chicken patty sammiches (cooked on the barbie). Rach, Heather, Hunter and Gage came up for a visit while we ate. As it got dark we pulled out a board game, I got mad cuz I kept getting sent back to start so I pouted and quit playing. Got out a different game, lost at that too but at least I got to play. I just wanna play and sitting in the "start" position, flipping cards and not moving any pieces around the board is not playing.

After Rick went to bed I pulled out the movie "Into the Wild" and Keith and I watched it on my laptop, then switched to Rick's little DVD player. It ended right around midnight and as I was walking out of the shop with a loaf of bread so Keith could have a sandwich since he couldn't nuke anything to eat - the lights came on!

So this morning Rick could continue with his everyday morning routine. Everything back to normal. Maybe I can go back to normal too, I became a bit of a grouch yesterday due to one of those "spinning yer wheels" kinda days where you try to get stuff done and get nowhere.

Picture of the Week

Well, this week I'm even later than normal.  But I have a good excuse, we had no power yesterday due to a wind storm that hit our local area pretty dern hard yesterday!  I mean that wind blew all day!

So I'll post this then do a quick blog about the big storm!

I think this week I'll go with the post on Flickr that got the most attention.  I went to one of my local greenhouses this week, got that spring fever!  Of all the shots I got this yellow begonia became the "creamy, dreamy" one (as commented by one of my Flickr friends)

About Me

My photo
After 2 unsuccessful marriages I spent 12 years as a divorcee, only to fall prey to another man's wiles. We had a fun 5 years together and then he decided he wanted more freedom so once again I'm single.

So I'm freshly divorced at 57 and have 5 great kids and now 7 grandkids. My kids are still a major part of my life but I'm busy helping my aging parents on Kauai.

I've lived in California, Hawaii and Oklahoma before finally settling here in Washington. I love Washington and come back to visit family, friends and take care of my garden often but will be temporarily a resident of Kauai.

I've moved 30 times in my life (no, my parents weren't in the service, at least not since I was about 2) and finally planted roots when I got my little house that I've owned since '91.

My family are Jehovah's Witnesses, I've been one since '72.