Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday Foto Friends

     I can't believe it is Friday already. However, I am very pleased. I love nothing better than sharing my passion with you all. This week it is all about birds and bird feeding.

Mr. or  Mrs. Mourning dove
Not Woody, but another type of woodpecker. Not sure of it's kind.
An Indigo Bunting. Tiny and Elusive
Male Rose-Breasted Grossbeak
Mrs. Grosbeak

Male Oriole
Mommy Oriole. Even in the rain the other day she came to eat. Look just how soaked she is.  I wanted to put the umbrella up for her.
We have polite birds that wait their turn. Sometimes.
Just a peak down our driveway. The leaves aren't fully out yet. I will show another one when they are out.

I hope I didn't overdue it with the photos. I had a difficult time just choosing these few.

Next week I am in Minneapolis. A very different group of photos from there.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Hodgpodge #307 Wednesday

From this Side of the Pond

1. May 17th is National Pack Rat Day. Sidebar-should we be celebrating this? Hmmm...
As someone who lives with a pack rat/hoarder I don't think this day should be celebrated. However, if it is to be a day let us use it to bring attention to the problem of hoarding. It is a very real, very serious psychological problem. I am not, but my husband is. To get him to part with anything is akin to the parting of the Red Sea. You need bent rusted nails? No problem he has buckets full. Broken pipes (tobacco type), used up batteries, socks with holes in them, the little plastic things that might hang bags of socks. You get the idea.  It's never ending. And, don't even get me started on the garage. We have a 20 X 40 foot garage and I park outside,because there isn't any room in it for my car. I believe his hoarding stems from his mother...the devil incarnate. When he was a boy she should throw his toys away as form of punishment. That is after the beating he also received.
Are you a pack rat? Even if you're not a full fledged pack rat, most people have one thing or another they struggle to part with. Tell us what's yours.
I have a problem with clothes, shoes, and purses. I mean really how many pink shirts does one woman need? Yes, they are different styles and shades, but 17 is too many. Black purses...6. Yellow purses...3. I have 36 pairs of shoes, but only 2 feet. Plus, I hardly ever go anywhere. The list goes on. I have multiples of everything. Right now I am filling 30 gallon bags full of the too much stuff. I have the pink shirts down to 6. Everything is going to go to 2 thrift stores.

2. What are two things you know you should know how to do, but you don't?
I cannot drive a stick shift. There I said it. I have tried many times. I have had patient instructors and some that were not so patient.  I am dangerous driving a stick shift. Even in an empty parking lot. My brain can't/won't handle clutching, shifting, and steering. I think if I were in England I would have better luck. I am left-handed so shifting with my left hand just might be the answer. Seems like a good reason to plan a trip to England to prove my theory. What do you think?
The other thing I can't do is make a good turkey. I should be able to. I went to chef's school for cripes sake! My turkey is never completely done. Even after hours and hours in the oven it is still pink at the bone. It is always a pale shade of tan and kind of sickly looking. It is never crispy or golden brown. Now I make a turkey breast. Skinless and boneless.
3. Do you crave sugar? Do you add sugar to your coffee and/or tea? Do you use artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes? When dining out is dessert a given? Are you someone who has slain the sugar dragon, and if so tell us how you did it.
I do crave sugar. Maybe not so much crave as need it intravenously put into my body. Preferably chocolate of any kind. I use artificial sweetener in my tea hot or cold. I am not Southern, but I sure do love sweet tea. For that I use the real deal.  If I am out to dinner somewhere I know the desserts are wonderful I usually take something home for the next day.

4. What's a trend it took a while for you to come round to, but now you can't imagine living without?
Cell phones. I didn't know what could be so important that you couldn't wait til you got home to talk on the phone. I became a believer  in 2002. My son and I were on our back from Fargo, ND where we had been for his freshman orientation at NDSU. We were on a lonely stretch of Highway 10 when his car broke down. Doing 70 down the interstate and then nothing. Zero. Nada. Zip. He managed to get us to the shoulder, and there we sat. For almost 2 hours. Before highway patrol pulled up. He had a cell phone! He phoned a garage tow truck for us. He let me phone my aunt to let her know what had happened and could they please come pick us up. When we finally got home I had my first cell phone in just a number of days.

5. What's a song that reminds you of a specific incident in your life? Please elaborate.
There are many! I grew up when the best music was being played. However, this is the first one that came to mind. I was a senior in high school, and there was going to be a parade for something (I don't recall now for what...44 years is a long time). Myself, my boyfriend at the time, and my best friend were in his "souped"up GTO grumbling about the weather.  He had spent hours waxing the car the evening before. He was going to drive it in the parade. It had been raining off and on all day long. We were on our way to the staging area of the parade to get our place in line. When on the radio (which was turned up very loud) came the Beatles song, "Here Comes the Sun". The clouds parted, and yes the sun did come out! 

6. Insert your own random thought here.
Mother's Day is usually very low key. This year was no different. However, for the first time in our 27 years of marriage my husband had sent to me via email an e-card for Amazon.  He never acknowledged Mother's Day because in his words, "Why should I? You're not my mom." To say I was touched beyond belief and surprised is just not strong enough to tell how I felt. 
And of course I have a photo (or 2) to share.
 Our Spring birds are here.

Have a happy week everyone.

Friday, May 12, 2017


I am excited to be part of Foto-Friday-Friends brought to us by Debra at Breathing in Grace. I love sharing my photos and this is a great place to do it.

Trilliums at the start of their season

Same trillium, but the next day.

 For-Get-Me-Nots not quite there.
 The nuthatches love the bird feeder
 The season's first Red-breasted Grossbeak
Pilleated woodpeckers looking for bugs++


Wednesday, May 10, 2017


From this Side of the Pond
Can you believe it is that time of the week? Is it just me or do the weeks go by very quickly? But, I do enjoy Wednesdays and doing the Hodgepodge.

1. Share a favorite memory of your mother or share a favorite something from your own life as a mother. If you're a mother (or stepmom) tell us how your experience as a mom differs from your own mother's experience.
When I was little Saturday was cleaning day. My mom and I spent the morning cleaning the living and dining rooms. It was my job to dust the lower things (rungs on chairs, etc), and to dust the lower Venetian blinds. When all, and I mean all of our Saturday chores were finished mom would sit at the piano. I was beside her. She would bring out the song books. Stephen Foster and one of American favorites. She would play piano and we both would sing. It was such a fun time. Another thing we would do when I was little was to watch bowling on Saturday afternoons. My mom and I always had a special time together. Even when I became and adult.

2. In May we celebrate teachers (May 9) and nurses (May 6) both. Most every family has at least one in their midst, so tell us something (or a few things) you appreciate about the teacher or nurse on your family tree.
I do not believe there is a nurse or teacher in my family. Not as a chosen profession anyway. However, my uncle taught me teasing, my younger brother taught me how to be a protector, a nasty aunt taught me about harshness, a loving aunt taught me about a gentle spirit, and my mom taught me love.

3. Chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad...which would you go for if all three were on the menu? On bread or a bed of lettuce? If you answered bread, what kind of bread would make it the perfect sandwich?
If I have tomatoes I would have a scoop of egg and a scoop of tuna salad on lettuce. If I were out of tomatoes I would have a sandwich with a bit of both on a crusty whole grain bread.

4. Do you have a desk? Is it organized? If so, share your secret to keeping it that way. If you don't have a desk, where in your home do you take care of family paperwork and business? Where do you normally sit to blog?
I do not have a desk. On my wish list is an antique drop leaf desk. My husband's daughter takes care of most of our paperwork and business. I have a small filing thing next to my chair that I keep receipts in and  insurance information. I sit in my chair in the living room with my legs up on the ottoman with a cat or 2 on my lap.

5. When I was nine years old....
We took a train from Minneapolis to Colorado Springs. I remember it was such a great adventure. Imagine eating in the dining car while watching the world go by. We spent 2 weeks in Colorado Springs with an aunt. We did all the touristy things. From there we took another train up to Spirit Lake, Idaho. Two aunts lived there. We spent about 3 weeks with them. Then we went into Washington to a State Park. We met up with other relatives. It was my first time camping. I hated it then as I do now. From there (yes,this was a very full vacation) we drove with an uncle to his dairy farm. I think this was the highlight of the trip. We were there about a month. Then we went train to Colorado and spent a couple more weeks. And finally we took a train home. It was quite an exciting summer!

6. Insert your own random thought here.
My son is coming home Sunday to help me prepare garden space for 25 raspberry plants a friend is giving me. The plot is an old garden spot, but hasn't been used in 20 years. We have our work cut out for us.

And because I wouldn't be me if I didn't share a photo...
Two pileated woodpeckers looking for bugs in an old dead tree. At least it wasn't my house. It has been in the past.