Friday, June 30, 2006

captions roundup #4

What's he up to?
Sheesh! I forgot to do the roundup for the captions given to this picture. I was waiting for a few more captions to roll in, but they never did, and then my middle-aged brain forgot to follow up! Sorry 'bout that! If a caption occurs to you as you look at this, feel free to add yours and I'll just update this post.

The lovelier and lovelier Lynne ventriloquizes:
I've got the golden color, I've got the flowing mane, now all I have to do is work on the roar and word will spread quickly through rodentville, "Beware of the Lion!"
Barbara joins in the lion riff:
I am SIMBA! Hear me roar!
Paz projects illusions of grandeur:
I'm King of the worlddddd!
Margaret shifts from roar to yukkin' it up:
Ha, ha, ha, ha, did you see the look on that squirrel's face when he turned around and saw me? It was SOOOO funny!!!
And I just had to join the laugher:
Stop, stop, you guys are killing me! No, wait, let me tell you this one, did you hear the one about the chipmunk that slipped on the banana peel? Hoo, boy, gotta wipe my eyes a minute, haven't laughed so hard since the cat belly-flopped in the swimming pool! Har, har, har! ...

Not you, too, John!!

Got this forwarded to me today. Geesh, now who am I going to vote for??

Dear ________,

Your senator, John Sununu, was the deciding vote AGAINST Internet freedom during a key vote this week in the Senate Commerce Committee.

The committee voted 11 to 11 on the Snowe/Dorgan proposal to preserve Net Neutrality-one vote shy of passage. Your senator voted to let companies like AT&T put tollbooths on the Internet and gain more control over what you see and do online. The fight to preserve the free and open Internet now moves to the full Senate.

Please call Sen. Sununu today and say "shame on you" for opposing the Snowe-Dorgan Internet freedom proposal. Tell him to oppose any bill in the full Senate that doesn't protect Net Neutrality. Here is the number:

Senator John Sununu
Phone: 202-224-2841

After you call your senator's Washington, D.C. office, you can also call your local district office by clicking the above link. If you get voicemail, you can leave a message-they will get it.

Senator Sununu took $45,552 in contributions this election cycle from
big telecommunications companies, according to, and then sided with
them in yesterday's vote.

Senators who voted yesterday had a clear choice between siding with big money or siding with their constitutents. While 1 million everyday people petitioned Congress to save Net Neutrality, big
telecommunications companies like AT&T gave nearly 1 million dollars in campaign contributions to members of the Senate Commerce Committee this election cycle. Politicians need to be held accountable for making the wrong choice.

updated directions to big fatty's in hartford, vermont

I've been getting quite a few hits on this blog from people who evidently are searching for a website for Big Fatty's. The next time I'm in there, I'll have to see if we can work out a deal: I'll make them a website if they'll guarantee me a steady supply of ribs! In the meantime, here's what I recall about how to find them:
UPDATE! Sheesh, I've been giving wrong directions. Big Fatty's is on Maple Street in Hartford, which is also known as Route 14. Best to use the link Big Fatty supplied (below), as I am obviously ALL WET when it comes to directions! (But the Huz could've told you that!)
Big FattyHimself has left a link to a Mapquest map. Here's how to get there ... now do it!

And the lovely Ilsa commented that if you know how to find the Elk's Club, you've found Big Fatty's, because they're right next door.

There. I hope I've made up for all the misdirection! Sorry, folks!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

my performance at dance rehearsal today:

Still stinky, but a little less so ...
Only 7 more rehearsals till the first live performance! Aiyiyiyiyiiiiieeee!

train stuck in the station

So, we were steaming along nicely with the kitchen project. Contractors miraculously became available, the sink came right on time, I found the faucet on Ebay for an amazing price, the soap dispenser was here on time, I got an appointment with the templater for Wednesday, it all looked really good, full steam ahead! And then someone pulled the hydraulic brakes, and wham! It all jerked to a stop.

Did you notice the flaw in the previous paragraph?

Yep. The faucet never arrived. The templater came and went without templating, because the faucet never arrived. I've been in repeated, sometimes heated discussions with my Ebay seller about the fact that there's a $100 penalty for rescheduling the templater, and since it's two weeks after the sale and the item hasn't even shipped yet, shouldn't s/he perhaps think about doing something for me on the price of the faucet? But even that discussion was premature, because as far as I can tell, despite what I believe are his/her good intentions, the faucet still hasn't shipped!

So why did I not notice this and cancel the templater before the penalty period, you might ask? It's all a big mixup. I got notified that something was arriving here by FedEx on Saturday, but it didn't come till Tuesday night. I thought it was going to be the faucet, but it turned out the package contained the custom grids for the sink. Nice to have, but not needed for the templater!

I'm going to name names here. The seller's nom de seller is COMKARAASLAN. I don't care what his/her feedback score is --- 100% before I came along! --- do not buy from this person!

I've finally purchased the faucet from another wonderful seller,, who answers his phone and has done his darnedest to get that faucet shipped out tonight via FedEx expedited service. I could have it tomorrow. If not, because of the holidays, I won't have it till Wednesday. And the templater won't even set another appointment with me till I tell him it's in hand.

So, bottom line ... about two more weeks without a workable kitchen. And even then, it will be only a slapped-together temporary kitchen, waiting three more weeks until the countertops can be installed and the kitchen goes back to normal!

I guess I should have known it was all too good to be true. Dreams die hard, though.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

wordless wednesday

Sunday night, we can expect to see lots more canine hijinks over at Weekend Dog Blogging at Sweetnick's place. Head on over for head shots, tummy shots, jump shots and what nots!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

hello? hello? anybody there?

You know, I don't have big ambitions for this blog. I don't think of myself as a writer, and I don't expect it will ever become one of the blogs that are read by thousands of people every day, like Farm Girl's and Sweetnicks'. I write it as a way to keep my far-flung family and friends apprised of some of the things going on in my life, and sometimes to just keep track of my life for myself. (I can't believe I've been blogging for a year now! Those garden entries last year really helped me this year!)

Sitemeter says about 20 people a day look at the blog, not the same people every day, and I think that's really neat! Some of you even leave comments, so here's a big "Thanks!" to Barbara, Lynne, Eva, Ilsa, Margaret, Brian, and Paz. You guys are my regular encouragers, and it is an encouragement, indeed, to get the occasional comment that says, "I'm paying attention!"

I'm really curious about the rest of you ... I wonder who you are. I see France, Henniker, Massachusetts, Virginia, Texas, California, Winnipeg, Singapore, Delhi, North Carolina, and more. Some of those are from folks who just followed a search link to one of my posts, and I expect many of them won't hang around to read more than that. But ... if you're someone who checks in regularly or now & again, won't you leave me a short comment to "scratch" my curiosity "itch"?

Friday, June 23, 2006

smiles from simba

No, I didn't photoshop this to make him look smiley, he did it all himself!
Sunday night, we can expect to see lots more canine hijinks over at Weekend Dog Blogging at Sweetnick's place. Head on over for head shots, tummy shots, jump shots and what nots!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

progress masquerades as chaos

The theatuh
Oh, vey! Rehearsal was 3 hours on my feet last night, some of it in heels, which my Dansko-pampered feet aren't at all used to. After a night's sleep, they still don't feel right! But the good news is I'm beginning to have the teensiest glimmer of hope that I might just be able to get through all this tap dancing without being a noticeable disgrace. Woo hoo!

Contractor wrap-up
The contractor finished up yesterday, hanging and mudding the drywall (it's green because it's a special moisture-resistant type) and helping me think about a variety of decisions yet to be made. Rich showed me what's left to be done with mudding, caulking and painting, and advised me where to buy the paint and whose advice to take about the best mold and moisture resistant products for a kitchen wall. The electrical subcontractor came in and put in the wiring for the undercabinet lights. And then off they went, after first tearing down the plastic "wall" they'd hung to keep the mess out of the rest of the house, sweeping up, and removing the paper taped to the wooden floor leading outdoors. These Peachtree Builders guys are great, and I told them I would say so on my blog, so this one's for you, Rich!

So, here's the new sink! It's an undermount, so the granite will cover everything that looks like a rim in the picture. We liked it because it's a heavy gauge stainless steel (less prone to denting), and I love the grill inserts, which will provide a strong, flat surface for pots to sit on. One of the stopper baskets is extra-deep so when I'm cooking away, cleaning lots of veggies and other more disgusting stuff, I won't have to stop often to dump it out of the basket. And we got the brushed finish so it won't need to be wiped out after every use and the inevitable scratches just don't matter as much as they would have if we'd gotten the mirror polish finish. And that's about all you can say about a sink, I think!

The faucet, on the other hand, is worth rhapsodizing about. We've never had a good quality faucet, and this one from Grohe (left) is just off the scale. The features that led us to choose it are the hands-free handle that can be operated easily with just a touch of the wrist (no more cleaning off chicken fat from the faucet handles!) and the pull-out sprayer. The salesperson demonstrated how some pull-out sprayers are positioned in such a way that you tend to pull them out from the top and then turn them toward the sink. The one at right might be an example of that. The one we purchased is just naturally grasped in the spraying position. And it has two settings, one for spray and one for stream. And, as you can see, it's really tall! I decided I wanted a shiny one, so we have a satin finish in the sink and all shiny hardware. I think it's going to look wonderful.

A dilemma
But here's a dilemma for you. We went to a local kitchen & bath place to investigate fixtures, and the salesperson was very helpful, convincing us that you skimp on other things, but not on your kitchen faucet. She had this exact model installed in her kitchen, and she demonstrated why. But the price they were selling it for was actually above MSRP! We saved, believe it or not, $420 by buying it in an Ebay auction. So, it feels a little like we used her ... but honestly, how can you justify buying anything at those prices? I don't feel great about it, but I don't know what else we could have done. It's easy to say, "They need to lower their prices," but they have this beautiful showroom that we could walk around in and try things, and they pay salespeople who are knowledgeable and take time to talk with you (unlike their competitors), so obviously they can't compete on price. But I don't have hundreds of dollars to toss around willy-nilly. It's an uncomfortable position to be in. What do you think?

With a kitchen like this, it's going to be a long while before I can participate in Sweetnicks' ARF Tuesday. Why don't you substitute for me? What is it, you say? Well, let's let Cate speak for herself:
"Simple. Just my little way of keeping healthier eating in check. Every Tuesday, food bloggers who made a recipe that includes an ARF (Antioxidant Rich Food), fruit, veggie or any combination of the three can be included in my ARF/5-A-Day Tuesday evening round-up. The recipe doesn't have to have been made that day. Just e-mail me your permalink by 8 pm EST on Tuesday to be included, and post a link to my site in your post on your site, so your readers can get a chance to check out the round-up as well. All designed to keep us eating healthy and inspire us with new recipes and ideas."

no looking back

No more eulogies for old tile! I think my housecleaners are excited as I am to get rid of that hard-to-clean counter with its crumbling grout.

The process we've chosen
You may notice we have those same tiles on the floor. Nope, we're not keepin' em! Those will be going, too, but we're taking things a step at a time on this little remodel. First the counters, backsplash, and undercabinet lighting. Live with that for a couple of weeks, then replace the floor. Live with that for a couple of weeks, and then ... do we need to lighten up those cabinets with a coat of paint or some pickling? I really hope not; what a big job that would be!

Yesterday was consumed with details of the kitchen. Our wonderful contractors, Peachtree Builders, came in the morning, talked over options, and went right to work removing the old countertops and tile. They were surprised to see that the original builder put the wall tiles on plywood. Usually it goes on drywall. The plywood was still in good shape, so we've decided to put 3/8" drywall over the plywood rather than ripping it out and framing for the drywall. There were a few places where some decisions had to be made because of this change, but overall it seems like the best approach. One bonus idea that came out of this brainstorming is the notion of painting the wood that surrounds the windowframe. Since I've been wanting to brighten up this cave of a kitchen, I am really liking that!

Running around
I bought a Whitehaus Dolphin undercounter soap dispenser ... what a nice luxury for not very much money! No more soap rings on my counter, and we plan to position it so any drips land in the sink. I must commend Blodgett's Sash & Door, of all the places I visited, they were the only ones who offered to order a dispenser and have it for me within 1 day. I should have my dispenser by tomorrow! And by the way, if you're looking for cabinet knobs, you have to stop by there. They have an immense selection, so I had some fun looking at all of them while waiting for a salesperson.

I also visited Illuminations, a small full-service lighting store in West Lebanon, NH. The salesperson was most helpful, and sent me home with a spec sheet (which I promptly lost) so I could talk with the electrician about the options. We're going with a low-profile xenon strip lighting, perhaps this one. Xenon lights are warm-colored like incandescents, but take much less electricity and throw less heat. We'll have it on a dimmer switch, and I think it will make the kitchen look really nice!

Respite with friends
The most normal part of my day was meeting some dear friends for lunch. We couldn't hang out and talk as much as we'd have liked to, but it was an oasis of pleasantry in the midst of my currently crazy life. Afterward, I joined friend R to look at a small office she wants to rent for her business. We had to wait for the realtor in front of a pet shop, so of course we went in and ogled the puppies. There was a sweet-spirited miniature poodle whose eyes and manner reminded me so much of Simba, I wanted to bring her home on the spot! It's a good thing we couldn't hang out in there indefinitely!

More running around
A quick trip to BJ's yielded some needed items and a chat with another acquaintance, Marie, who does dog rescue and currently has four big dogs in her huge home with large acreage (I just mention that so you don't envision a passle of labs in a tiny apartment). When I told her about the visit to the pet store, she told me that the dogs in there often have health problems because they buy them from puppy mills. She assured me that if I ever decide to have another dog, she will help me find a small sweet rescue dog. Wasn't it good that I ran into her just then!?

Tomorrow I'll post about the new sink & to-die-for faucet; now it's time for a little lunch and a little more running around before heading off to another 3-hour rehearsal tonight. It's a crazed-busy time, but it's all good stuff!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

rest in peace

Today, in addition to being the first day of the rest of my life, marks the ending of the lifetime of the ceramic tiles in my kitchen. Now, I've written before of my dislike of this tile and its accompanying brown grout, but now that it's going away, I feel I need to point out its virtues. For 14 years, this tile has uncomplainingly accepted scorching hot pots on its surface. It has helped disguise the crumbs that I failed to wipe up, and even tried to camouflage errant sticky spots. It has borne up under heavy things dropped on it. All in all, it's been a pretty good support, which is why I've been loyal to it thus far. But it's ugly, and the grout was breaking down, and now its time has come. The End.

wordless wednesday

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


I don't normally do journal-style posts; it's never been an interest of mine to record day-to-day activities. But I was reading Lynne's blog and her ending comment, "Ok, I'm off to read how your day went!" and I thought, my goodness, she surely doesn't get much of the day-to-day report from reading mine! So Lynne, this one's for you! And anyone else who has both time and interest ...

I hate to start by complaining, but doggone it, I woke up at 3:30 this morning and could not go back to sleep! The alarm was set for 6, which is already way earlier than I like to get up (waking up naturally -- no alarm, please -- between 7:30 and 8:30 suits me just fine), so it was especially daunting to find myself awake so early. After an hour of closing eyes and trying to stop the spinning thing in my head that passes for a brain at that hour of the morning, I gave up and got up. It's amazing, at this time of the year, the sky is already starting to brighten at 4:30!

I'd set the alarm so early because I needed to prepare 7 lunches to take to a workshop that a colleague and I are giving (he's teaching it, I do the logistics), so I decided to get to work on those. It was a good choice of activity, not too stimulating, and it took long enough to do that I felt sleepy again when I was done. So I put on our overnight NPR news station at just the right sound level and let it lull me to sleep on the couch. Slept a little later than I'd have liked, till about 7:15, at which time I was in a merry rush trying to get everything together! Bake the scones, make the coffee, pack everything into a backpack and a rolling cooler, get it all into the car with a willing assist from The Huz, and off I went!

9 hours later, I'd learned a lot in the workshop, had a great time with the participants, talked with one about perhaps doing some consulting work for his company, served up snacks and lunch and gotten the remains into my car, and headed home to let Simba out and spend 30 minutes with him.

Then, off to rehearsal for two & a half hours. It was fun, and even though I still am not quite getting all these tap steps we have to know, I'm beginning to see that I'm not the only one ... although I still think I'm probably in the bottom 30%! The costume lady gave me a slinky dress to try on. Boy, I sure wish I didn't have that middle-aged spread! But the dress looked nice as long as I let go of the dream of being a size ten ... but I do ... but oh well. Welcome to the 50's. Anyway, I have nice long limbs that look good in jazzy poses, and I'm getting some very fun little vignettes as an extra, and I'm also making some new ... not friends, exactly, but recurring acquaintances to sort of gravitate toward when the entire chorus is told to "space yourselves out and walk across the stage in groups. Make up a story of who you are and why you're walking down the sidewalk and act it as you walk across the stage." So our little group becomes people who have conflicting destinations in mind but who want to stay together. Or minor Hollywood luminaries who are being interviewed and trying to upstage one another. Or whatever ... it's really fun!

Then off to pick up The Huz from work (would you believe two different trucks have died on him in the past month??), with a quick stop at MacDonald's ... I know, I know, I just complained about my middle, but hey, a gal's gotta eat, and I got the Happy Meal so it wasn't a lot of food! Picked up the Huz, went home, let Simba out & gave him about two minutes' attention, and then began unloading the contents of my lower kitchen cabinets in preparation for the arrival of big men with sledge hammers who are going to remove my countertops (see a picture of the current tiles about halfway down this post) in preparation for new granite ones! Which, by the way, I just found out Sunday night was going to happen this week, and I won't bother to list all the stuff that had to be arranged by Monday afternoon to make all of it fall into place. I think I must have had some supernatural help, it's been amazing how very many implausible things have happened to make this come together. Anyway, hold onto your hats, it's going to be a big mess and very noisy and then very inconvenient for a couple of weeks, but it's started and it's not going to stop and at the end will be ... smiles. Ooo's and Ahs. Lots of reasons to invite folks over. I love it!

So, that was my day. Tomorrow will be another one. And this reminds me why I usually don't do journal-type entries, because I do not have Lynne's knack for succinctness and somehow turning her short entries into something so meaningful. But I'm glad to have done it, anway, and now it's definitely bedtime. (I already read about all your days before starting this, that's how I read Lynne's comment that got me started ... and now stopped. G'night!)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

simba! want a treat?

Sunday night, we can expect to see lots more canine hijinks over at Weekend Dog Blogging at Sweetnick's place. Head on over for head shots, tummy shots, jump shots and what nots!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

the garden, again

Sorry if all these garden pics are a bit boring to you ... the changes from picture to picture aren't dramatic, I know. But the poppy season is brief, and I'm leaving town for a few days. They may be gone when I get home. This is the first year since I transplanted them a few years ago that they've given me more than one or two blooms, so I just had to capture it here so I can look back and enjoy them later, after they're gone.

Thanks for letting me indulge myself. Here's hoping your garden is enchanting you day-by-day too! And if you don't have one of your own, I hope there's one nearby.

wordless wednesday

Monday, June 12, 2006

The perennial garden today

click to see the garden larger, with labels
We haven't had a speck of sun in what seems like weeks, so excuse the muted coloration. Isn't it amazing what a garden can do with not much sun and lots of rain?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

caption not-contest #4

What's he up to?
There's obviously something going on in Simba's mind ... can you help him express himself? Please leave your suggestions in the comments, and I'll do a roundup next week.
Previous caption not-contests:
#3 roundup
#2 roundup
#1 roundup

counter Sunday night, we can expect to see lots more canine hijinks over at Weekend Dog Blogging at Sweetnick's place. Head on over for head shots, tummy shots, jump shots and what nots!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Monday, June 05, 2006

what's for breakfast?

The ever-amiable Paz over at The Cooking Adventures of Chef Paz asked me what I eat for breakfast. Seems she's looking for something quick and yummy to have for breakfast, to go along with the healthful meals she already eats for lunch and dinner. I have to say, she's one up on me with the healthful lunch & dinner meals, but I do have some favorite healthy breakfasts to share.

So, I turn to you, dear readers, for help! What sorts of healthful breakfasts do you eat and enjoy? We're not necessarily talking low cholesterol here, although those recommendations are welcome. Just nourishing, nutritious, not overly greasy breakfasts. What do you love? Paz will be checking back to hear what you have to say, so please leave a comment!

As for me, the quickest and easiest healthy breakfast is to have a big bowlful (oh, all right, sometimes two) of Shredded Spoonfuls from Barbara's Bakery, with Hood's Simply Smart 0% fat milk ... you can't call it skim milk, though, because they've waved a magic wand and made it taste like 1%. (They say on the label 2%, but IMNSHO it really tastes like 1%, which is good enough for me!) Shredded Spoonfuls are addicting. They're organic, crunchy, and sweetened with molasses. No need to add sugar. I picked them out because I saw someone else choose them from a long line of organic cereals at our local cooperative food store. I was always curious about organic cereals, but the ones I'd tried either had lousy texture or didn't taste all that good. These, I'm here to tell ya, taste GOOD!

Another favorite is plain yogurt sweetened with sugar or Splenda, topped with melon chunks and my favorite crunchy granola from our local diner, Lou's. I keep intending to try making granola myself; one of these days I'll do it!

And the third favorite is instant oatmeal topped with vanilla yogurt, toasted walnuts, and fruit topping, which I've blogged about here.

One final breakfast that is simple and quick, but does involve some actual cooking, is baked eggs. You grease a ramekin or two, drop a couple of tablespoons of cream or milk in, then an egg, and then some shredded cheese. Pop them into a 450 degree oven for ten minutes while you go get yourself ready for the day, come back, drop some toast in the toaster, and have a nice hot breakfast. The full recipe is here. Some people would say a breakfast that includes eggs, dairy, and cheese doesn't qualify as healthy, but I'm not one of them. If you're having salad for lunch and pasta for dinner, you need some protein and dairy items, in my opinion ... but there I go again with my NSHOs!

So, how about you? What's your favorite healthy breakfast?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

theater: the good & the bad (no ugly so far!)

So! Having auditioned and been accepted into the ensemble for a local community theatre group's presentation of Singin In The Rain was really, really exciting. I've sat in the theater since forever, wishing I were up there and not in my seat.

The ensemble means you're in all the crowd scenes (of which there are quite a few), you sing with the chorus, and you sing and (gulp) dance in the big finale. I've been going to music rehearsals and dance rehearsals and doing my best to impress everyone with my upbeat personality and hard work. I even shelled out for some pretty fabulous tap shoes so I can do my Gene Kelly best! And everyone has been very nice. Especially the lovely and talented Ilsa, who spent an hour with me in her garage tapping, and helped me pick out my fabulous shoes.

But even better, last night the stage manager, Jen, called to tell me that they've given me a line to speak! One line, four words, but hey! It's more than I expected!

But wait, there's more! There's also a scene where the Gene Kelly character is telling about his high-class upbringing and training for the theatre, while in the background the TRUE story is shown. One of the truths is that he and the Donald O'Connor character played burlesque shows doing a very slapstick clown routine. And I'm going to play one of the clowns! Rubber chickens, exploding cigars, etc ... what fun!

Ok, that's the good. Here's the bad: my dancing. Pee-yoo! I'm a stinker! I haven't a clue about this tap stuff! The rehearsals have been very discouraging. Everyone else seems to be picking it up but me. Of course, many of them have tapped before. I'm going to have to ask for individual help .. and/or stand in the back & remove the taps from my shoes so I don't make tap noises at the wrong times. I hope I don't have to do that!

But, never fear, I will persevere. There's still weeks left to practice, and there's nothing like a little fear to make you work hard. People talk about "muscle memory" like, it seems like a lot to learn, but with enough practice your muscles just start to "remember" what to do, and then it's just a matter of tuning up around the edges. I sure hope so!

Back step, ball change, back step, ball change, flap, flap, step, ball change. Back step, ball change, back step ... gotta go practice, see ya later!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

soft eyes

I love the soft expression on Simba's face in this picture. We were outside on a sunny day earlier this spring, before the bugs had gotten lively and while the garden was just greening up. You can see the daffodils in the front corner of the pic. I brought my camera out to record the state of various plants in the garden, but the little guy was so sweet-looking that I just couldn't resist taking dozens of shots till I got this one, and a few others that will show up for my Weekend Dog Blogging entries over the next weeks.

I'm afraid my posts have gotten long on pictures and short on words of late. There's so much going on, and I miss having time to sit down and think about what I'd like to share with you each day. There are two major events going on that are taking my time: preparing for the Ruby on Rails course friend Brian and I are arranging, and rehearsing for the play. The course will be over by the end of this month, and the play will be over mid-July. Till then, I'll have precious little time to blog properly. But I hope you'll keep stopping by to see the little mementoes of my days that I do manage to share, and I look forward to a fuller dialogue with you at some later date!

This is my submission for Sweetnick's Weekend Dog Blogging. If you love dogs, you will enjoy checking out her blog Sunday night to see the lineup of much-loved canines in all their doggie glory!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

wildlife report

turkey pictureWednesday morning I was surprised to see a small turkey in the high grass not ten feet off my back deck. Turkeys in the yard aren't uncommon, since we keep bird feeders, but they're usually under the bird feeders, vacuuming up sunflower seeds, shells & all.

So I was surprised to see it up the hill, pecking away at the tips of things. Of course I carefully backed away from the window and got my camera. When I returned, it spotted me and started making its way away, but it was moving slowly and I got quite a few good shots.

If you ignore the scrawny neck and head, turkeys are really beautiful birds. Their feathers sport a shiny iridescence that's surprising to people who may have only seen them in pictures, and there are striking patterns where their wings meet their back.

Later, after it had gotten out of sight, I let Simba out to chase a squirrel. Soon I heard an alarmed turkey sounding off up the hill a bit, but it didn't sound like Simba was chasing him (much loud flapping of very large wings would have signalled that) so I didn't immediately call him to come back. But then I heard some rustling in the grass. I had never heard that exact sound before, so I looked out the window and saw ... baby turkeys! Making their way to mama. She was sounding off to say, "Come to me! Danger!"

I immediately began calling Simba loudly to come in. He's never shown much interest in birds other than to flush them out of his way en route to more interesting four-legged prey, but these little guys couldn't fly away and I wasn't sure what he would do. Fortunately, he came running out of the woods from another direction, just happy to know that coming when called gets him a special treat. Whew!
Later, when I looked at the photos, I wondered if the little birds would show up in any of them. Sure enough! Here's the same picture from above, enlarged. They're a little hard to spot, but I found two little ones! Awwww! Click the photo to see it larger. There's a better picture of a baby turkey here.

(It'll be interesting to see what sorts of hits I get from search engines, with a title like "wildlife!")

directions to big fatty's in hartford, vermont

If you're looking for directions to Big Fatty's, please see my updated post here.

And then, not to do a bait & switch or anything, I invite you to come see what else I'm blogging about here!