Wednesday, April 30, 2014


This is the ear worm of the day…

...appropriate with the weather we are having. April in Oregon has been more commonly wet and chilly but I woke this morning to balmy breezes. Our thermometer read 78 deg. F at 6:30AM! Now, at 10AM it has reached 82 and is still headed up.

I’ve said it recently and surprised myself by saying it: I want the cold and rain to return!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Shopping Bags

I promised to post my bags when I had them decorated and here they are. Obviously among things I am not is photographer!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Use It Up!

Being responsible for the mess we make of our environment has become critically important. Most people are aware that the landscape is both tough and fragile. The planet will outlive us but earth's richness and beauty is struggling to escape human carelessness.

To this aim the overuse of plastic shopping bags is ending here in the US. Grocery stores will sell you a bag for your items if you don’t bring one but those tend to be flimsy and short-lived. I have a few canvas bags but decided we needed a couple more. I located some nice roomy unprinted ones and I'm now in the process of adding my own decorations, just for fun.

The first one got felt-penned cartoon critters. I’m not terribly original at designing but the internet provided ideas and my hand managed reasonable facsimiles. I wanted something a bit less whimsical for the second bag and during the night remembered an appropriate rhyme learned from a lady who’d managed through the economic depression of the 1930’s:

Use it up
Wear it out
Make it do
Or do without

This was a re-wording of an earlier New England maxim. This second version has re-gained popularity as we try to consume less and is the perfect message for my shopping bag.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll post photos of my work?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Try a little art?

Doing that jump to a new blog thing this morning and I came across this one:

I like the paintings. The colors are great, the style just loose enough. Take a look…

Monday, April 21, 2014

Next Blog?

Every now and then I check out other blogs by clicking the “Next Blog” button on the top of my page. It is amazing to me how many blogs are started and eventually abandoned. This one may join that number at some future date. It is also amazing how many are still out there, un-updated, languishing for years or forever in internet purgatory. 

Things you put out here in the electronic La-La-land stay around. This should be a lesson to us all. Kids, watch what you say as it may come back to haunt you. Parents, watch what you say because your kids may find it someday when they are paying your bills at the rest home.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Wildlife Cam

Have you ever watched any of the many wildlife cams available on the web? Last summer Himself and I followed the hatching and growth of the Bald Eagles at Decorah, Iowa. I’ve just begun watching again this spring. Fascinating stuff.

Last season two eaglets were raised to adulthood. This year there are three(?) in the nest, and though the parents are very good providers having all three last to adulthood would be unusual. One chick is older and larger than the others and survival goes to bigger and stronger.

I will watch and see my heart-strings tugged by sibling rivalry and the death of those food critters eagles take. It is along-distance reminder of the wild world and my human reaction to it.

Take a look. It is better than any of the ‘reality’ TV shows proliferating on the tube.

Friday, April 18, 2014


Yes, it is the Sneezin' Season. From a long-ago carefree-sinuses childhood my life has progressed to various respiratory sensitivities. They bother me year-round but reach a peak in spring.

All of my world is blooming. The trees and grasses are shedding pollen at alarmin' rates. My body reacts in classic fashion: eyes are red-rimmed, teary, and swollen; nose drips; sneezles and wheezles occur at random; headaches proliferate.

Once again I am aware that it is little things that count. The pollen count.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Spring is flowers. Sunshine. Rain - at least in a good year.

And cat fur.

Like all cats our beloved Flickie sheds her coat all year long, but in Spring her shedding goes into overdrive. Tufts of fur let loose and bail out. Kitty becomes a walking cloud of yellow fuzz looking for a surface upon which to adhere. Flickie sleeps with me and so I sleep in a fur-encrusted nest with blankets, pillows, and sheets all wafting their most recent applications of cat.

I’d like to hurry the process along by brushing or combing Flickie but she is not a cat who tolerates anything beyond one hand applying gentle calming pets. Two hands are a no-no. Anything wielded in the hand is considered an implement of destruction requiring immediate evasive maneuvers and self-protection.  Such an attempt on my part would be like embracing a flailing chainsaw. So…

In Spring I wear cat fur, breathe cat fur, live with cat fur. Flickie bestows this bounty and I receive it. It is The Way for those of us owned by a cat.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lunar Eclipse?

Himself was rather excited at the prospect of seeing it. I’m more realistic. We live along a stretch of coast where fog likes to cuddle up and get cozy. Clear sky at night is possible - but demands a roll of the dice with snake eyes to win. Disappointment and night-time sky gazing go hand in hand here.

It was overcast yesterday and Himself prepared for the anticipated eclipse by researching alternate viewing options. We no longer get the NASA channel on TV so that wouldn’t work. Ah! An app! Everything has an app! He found and downloaded a NASA app for his iPad and settled down to view the exciting ‘Blood Moon”.

What a lunar disappointment. The app was total chaos, cutting from one eclipse broadcast to another in mid-sentence and freezing up at random on moon pictures backed by horrid punkish rock music with incomprehensible lyrics. Television coverage was accompanied by cackling inane chatter delivered by cackling inane ‘news anchors’. Trips outside yielded no sign of the moon beyond a somewhat lighter smudge in the dark clouds overhead. Late night anything is not my forte’ so I retreated to bed and left him to tough it out.

I woke later for the inevitable bathroom visit and found Lady Moon shining through the window above my head. A hole in the clouds allowed a peek as the last bit of shadow still lingered on her and I stumbled out to alert Hubbie to get a look before she was lost again in cloud.

I understand there are several more of these colorful lunar eclipses within the next year. Perhaps we’ll get a better view of the next one? Yeah. Right.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Tidying Up

I’ve been doing  quite a bit of tidying up over the past few days, delving into nooks and crannies in what I called my sewing room. As I began the excavation the room earned itself a new name: The Clutter Room. It is the place where things gravitate to instead of being put away where they belong.

Most people have a place like that, don’t they? It might be just a drawer in the kitchen where various small cooking implements get tossed. Or maybe it is a shelf in the closet where those extra clothes, not quite right for THIS season, get stuck.

I’ve been somewhat of a controller in my life (okay friends, quit the hysterical mocking laughter!) and I prefer my chaos kept to a minimum. I have a number of those drawers, shelves, folders, files, boxes, and bags. They slowly fill with old, or planned but not started, projects. They are crammed with ideas, designs, memorabilia, and too-good-to-throw-out-but-where-do-I-keep-it stuff. When those places are full, or Good Heavens! forgotten, I find new boxes, new folders, new bags. Sometimes things merely accumulate on any horizontal surface.

Until. Until the controller starts to shudder. The lack of clear space, the disorder, hangs over like a heavy weight dragging me down. Inertia sets in. I want to hide. Finally rebellion takes hold. Time to fight back!

I’ve been doing  quite a bit of tidying up over the past few days.

The Clutter Room is now less cluttered. The job will never be done. I inevitably lose focus and enthusiasm before completion. But, Oh! the change.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Little Things

Today looks to be shaping itself into a day of Little Things. You know the sort of day to which I refer. You run around, busy, busy, busy but at the end of the day the feeling is that nothing was accomplished. No big changes have been made.

For me this is a “List It” day.

I chose a spotless piece of paper and begin writing down everything I do, or have done during the day. Write that birthday card and get it into the mail. Wash a load of laundry. Pay the insurance bill. Put away the bottle of Whatsis and shelve the pile of Whatevers and decide what to do with those scraps and the box that have been sitting on the table for… Eek! Has it been a month already?

The list grows. The work mounts up. It is all stuff that needed to be done but really wasn’t big enough to think of as chores completed. The list helps me realize that progress was made and not the day was not wasted. It was spent on Little Things. And Little Things can add up to Big Things.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


We had a dead apple tree in our yard. It had only a few branches left and those were recently broken in the wind. Himself cut off the remaining bits but decided to leave the upright trunk section because he thought it could be useful to the local wildlife. I thought he was nuts.

This morning I appreciated his - was it concern for the critters or just hesitation at the job of chopping down the remaining tree? I glanced outside to see a Pileated Woodpecker working the 6 foot stump.

A Pileated Woodpecker is amazing, over 16” long. If you haven’t seen one of these birds I’m including a photo. And although I think the cartoon was inspired by the extinct(?) Ivory-billed Woodpecker I’m still wandering around today singing Mel Blanc’s song:

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Local news

Himself and I watch the nightly “local news” on television. I use the term local lightly since the city from which our local is broadcast is well over a three hour drive away and we seldom travel there. However, that is beside the point.

My message today is about the video snippets that accompany the news as read by the talking head du jour. It seems these teensy bits of film are created and/or assembled by either a middle-school intern or an adult with a very short attention span. The individual fragments seldom last more than 2 seconds. They are randomly pasted together and then arbitrarily repeated until the spoken story is over. I’ve seen segments where the same little tittle of video is shown four different times during a story that lasted less than 30 seconds. The other smidgeons of picture were also repeated several times. It is bad filming, bad editing, and overall sloppy production.

To Local TV news producers: It isn’t that hard folks. Tell your film guy to hold down the button just a little longer. Tell the editor to cut just a little less. Tell the director that a few more seconds of seeing the news anchor will not bore viewers to tears and send us rushing for the channel selector, or at least not any faster than the lurching, pointless particles of whatsis currently showing.