Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Week in Words and Pictures 4-26/5-2

Sunday - First I must share a photo my daughter-in-law, Shalea, took last evening of my two youngest grandchildren all ready for Prom night:

Dominique is a senior and Devin is a junior - both such attractive young people. It was a rainy, chilly evening, but I trust they still had a good time with their respective dates and other friends.

Our new neighbors enjoy photography as a hobby. They've been taking pictures of the baby geese just as we have, but they have better cameras. (More expensive, too!) He came over to show us some pictures, not of the geese, but of the tree next door:

I didn't get quite the photo he did, but see that hole? He held his camera down into the hole and took a picture of mama and babies - raccoons! That is probably where the young one I live trapped last year came from. The tree is hollow and until now my biggest concern has been that during a windstorm it is going to fall on our house. Now I have another worry. Didn't we move from the farm to get away from fighting the raccoons?

Yesterday was the second anniversary of my stroke and I didn't even think about it until this morning; too much else on my mind, I guess.

Monday - A bright, beautiful morning. Warming up quickly. I've been watching a couple of nearby corners - curious to see what is going to take place.

There's been a lot of leveling going on in the area of that dying grove of pines. Various styles of trailers are on the side of the lot closest to the highway. The whole area may be just another 'trailers for sale' lot; I'm waiting to see.

Earlier this month I took this picture up by the railroad tracks - sort of the opposite corner from the trailers. I noted someone has cut all the trees. Was it the railroad right-of-way workers? The trees nearest the railroad seem to still be there.

I think it is more likely that the owner or the renter of this field is claiming a little more ground for crops. You can see a large tank and some other odds and ends that were moved from the same area where the trees were cut. That is a neat old tractor - it just isn't green! (Something my Dad would have said.)

Tuesday - Another gorgeous spring day. Cowbirds feeding on the deck:

As well as a mama robin who built her nest in an unusual place:

I wonder what the meter reader thinks when she/he shows up. Bud took this picture from across the street. Mama bird flies off the nest if you get any closer.

The gorgeous day ended with an equally beautiful sunset. "Red sky at night, sailor's delight."

Wednesday - The only photo I took today I had to take through the screen and it didn't turn out well enough to post. It was of two beautiful ringneck doves. They are so skittish it is hard to get a picture of them. I was so thrilled the first time I saw a pair of them on the farm - "George & Martha" I named them.
Got a permanent this afternoon. Let the stylist cut it into a 'reverse bob' (I think). It is different. I think I'm going to like it.

Thursday - Another brilliant day. As I wrote in the previous blog, perfect day for a road trip. It was interesting to see this monster spraying the field across the pond from us, especially since we were going to be touring an organic farm:

The day began for me with an auspicious record time solving my daily crossword puzzle: 6:06. Also a fast 6:49 putting together a daily jigsaw puzzle online. I have been lamenting how much longer the crossword is taking me than it used to - fearing a mental 'slipping' - but perhaps not?

This is the only photo I took at Bridgewater Farm. Dale said he raises these Khaki Campbells because of their egg production, not their meat. I don't think I've ever eaten duck eggs, but I'd be willing to try them if they were from his farm.
The other animals I didn't mention were the two which greeted us - the Great Pyrenees guard dogs. I think of them as guard dogs for sheep, but Dale said they keep everything away - not only coyotes but also raccoons, groundhogs, rats, etc. They were friendly toward us but more interested in sleeping. That is because they are on guard duty all night long.
It was a very good day. So happy to spend the day with my first born.

Friday - Slept until 6:30! Guess the fresh air and exercise yesterday was good for me. Glad we went to the farm yesterday as today it is cloudy and cool. I did get this photo of the geese on the pond yesterday:

One of the little ones stayed by mama while the other went with dad. They are growing fast.

Other birds of note: I've been hearing the wrens for several days, but saw my first one today. The sparrows, blackbirds, house finches and gold finches, cowbirds, etc., etc. make quick work of a feeder full of seed.

There is one sparrow I don't mind seeing and that is the cute little chipping sparrow. They are about the size of a wren with a distinctive russet cap.

Other than posting a photo of some of my flowers on Facebook and wishing all a 'Happy May Day', I did not celebrate Beltaine except to have a glass of 'May wine'. I do not care for the traditionally flavored 'May wines' so my choice this year was Edna Valley's Sauvignon Blanc. A nice crisp white wine with "orange zest, grapefruit and lime aromas complimented by fresh cut grass and mineral notes". Someone gets paid to come up with these descriptions. I can only say, "It is a very good California Central Coast Sauvignon Blanc". I still prefer the New Zealand and even Chilean SB's.

I had a much greater reason for celebrating after my son called with the results of his PET scan. It has been an emotional couple of weeks for his family beginning with a CT scan on Tuesday, the 21st which showed a spot on the base of his tongue and a swollen lymph gland. The radiologist said it was most likely cancer. A biopsy was taken on Friday then we had to wait until Monday for the results. "It is a carcinoma." Next, meeting with the doctor to plan the treatment options. First, the scheduled PET scan today which showed no spread of cancer to any other areas of the body. Such good news! Meetings again next week with the surgeons to discuss radiation, chemo and possibly laser treatment of the spot on the tongue. Much better prognosis than first feared. Reason to celebrate. (Note: At no time did this Mom have any really bad forebodings. I haven't even cried, so sure I am that all is going to be well.)

Saturday - Another cloudy, cool day. Actually chilly, but I'm resisting running the furnace! Some rain in the forecast. Woke up and got up at 5:30 a.m.; feeling good. Remembered that I forgot (remembered that I forgot????) to do an end of the month post about the books I read in April. A lot on my mind, I guess. On the computer early to learn that Will & Kate have a baby princess. I knew it was going to be a girl.

Finally! The male Rose-breasted Grosbeak is at our feeder! I've been seeing the female since the 22nd. Perhaps the male has been coming too and I just wasn't looking at the right time?

Speaking of princesses, my granddaughter-in-law April, mother of the happiest of babies, Ayden, is 21 years old today. It is also the 23rd anniversary of my youngest, Preston, and his wife Shalea.

Boy these kids looked so young 23 years ago! Pictured with them is Preston's grandmother, Clara Fleming. As parents of five and soon-to-be grandparents of two, these two are still as good looking as they were on that pretty May day. It would be interesting to know how much they spent on their wedding in light of the "average" wedding cost today of $30,000.

Well, the rain did arrive. Good thing I had Bud take a photo of me in my 'Kentucky Derby hat' when it was nice out.

I did this whole decorating a hat and dressing up thing as a fun exchange with my Michigan cousin. Thursday she posted on Facebook, "Kentucky Derby Day is Saturday!!!" To which I replied, "Got your hat ready?" Which is when I decided to decorate my big old garden straw hat. In reality any derby hat I wore would probably be more like this one....

.... taken with a couple friendly horses near Wichita Falls, TX half my life ago. (36 years) Much more like me than the previous photo.

Well, 'my' horse, Finnegan's Wake (had to go with the Iowa connection), won the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, now to see if Dortmund, Carpe Diem or Upstart can take the Derby.

And that is the week that was.......

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