April 02, 2009

Flower Photos After All

I took these with my iPhone, so the quality's not so good...plus it was a dark afternoon...but still...

Some maroon hellebore, splendiforous yellow crocuses, and an unidentified, little, pink, flowering tree. Anyone? I had such luck with a reader identifying the hellebore - can you do this one, too, Julie? :-)

MaroonhelleboreYellowCrocuses UnidentifiedPinkTreeBlossoms

Then there's our lovely neighbourhood kitty, whom we call Cub: CubCloseFace

April 2, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 14, 2009

Emily's 11 and Cub's Back

We now have a 14-year-old and an 11-year-old.

Emily enjoyed a pottery painting birthday party today with a dozen girls from school, church, and community drama class. It's fun to see how gregarious she is. The girls painted little pieces of pottery: a teddy bear, a toucan, an owl, a cat, a turtle, a lion, a duck, a butterfly, dogs, and masks. They seemed to enjoy it.

God's kind gift to Emily for her birthday was sending back our friendly neighbourhood cat whom we had not seen for a few weeks. I was really concerned about our little "Cub" - she had been visiting every day and letting us pet her, with full purring appreciation, and then she suddenly disappeared and we had no idea what had happened. Then yesterday we caught sight of her again, in the street, so we finally knew she was okay and still living in the area. Then today she actually showed up at our house again, and we got to pet her - and figure out what had happened - she apparently had surgery and was recovering from it, as we could discern from her shaven belly and purple stitches! I think she probably got fixed so she can't have kittens. We were careful to avoid her abdomen while caressing her today. I was so happy she's back and okay. I had felt like we might never see her again. What a relief and blessing to touch her extremely soft fur again, and see her sweet face.

It's March 14th and we still have a little snow in the back yard, which is rapidly melting in the 13 degree C (55F) pre-spring warmth. There are a few mounds left where Emily and her sleepover friend had built forts from which to assail each other with snowballs.

Jason's having a weekend full of play rehearsals. It's only about two weeks until MacBeth opens at his high school, and so the drama teacher is having the full ensemble practicing all day Saturday AND Sunday... that's a new one on me. They were let out earlier than advertised today, however, so that's nice. Jason is playing a minor part, Lennox, so he brings plenty to occupy himself during the rest of the 5 acts when he's not needed. It's just as well, since he's been busy working on his 10th Grade "Personal Project" in which he is writing a computer program in Python - a Battleship game. It's coming along nicely. I beat the computer today for the first time. I keep asking if he can make the colors adjustable, with a little color palette for me to pick what color I want the background to be, but he thinks I'm the only person in the world who would have any interest in that, so it's not high on his list. I suppose water should be blue, after all.

March 14, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 14, 2009

God Knew What to give me for Valentine's Day

More snow.

An oh-so-friendly and soft kitty cat who hangs out with us but we don't have to take care of or let in the house.

A back yard.


JECubSnow Mix together and you get: playtime with kitty in the snow. Seriously, she likes it. She's very social and her owners appear to be away for the week. So she's full-time at our place. Napping in the winter garden, being patted, eating, drinking, playing in the snow with us. She's ever so well-behaved.

Where is My Actual Human Valentine during all this, you might ask? Baking me his traditional, multi-step, complicated (but worth it, indeedy) cookies in between battling the flu with naps and Tylenol. Aw. We'll see if the flu lets him get to the last step of a final product today or not. I brought him up some freshly blended banana-strawberry-blueberry-vanilla yogurt smoothie this morning; hopefully pumping him full of vitamins to fight with.

DrSeussSnowTower Happy Valentine's Day to you - may you know that you are loved with an enormous love today, by the one who fashioned you in the womb before anyone else knew you. Hopefully by some other people too, but that's a good start anyway. :-)

Some favorite music today, from the Windham Hill Windows album:

In Flight - by Michael Allen Harrison
Children's Song - by Øystein Sevåg
A Morning with the Roses - by Richard Dworsky
If you Believe - by Jim Brickman

I shoveled the driveway for the third day running today - and it's been lightly snowing all day. Have I mentioned that I love snow? I love shoveling it, looking at it, playing in in, sledding and skiing on it, touching it, noticing it, living where it can occur... yesterday I measured the snow in the back yard with a firm ruler and found 18cm / 7" !

And for my last comment: watch Kit Kittredge - it's a lovely movie for kids, with
- Julia Ormond (of the 1995 Sabrina with Harrison Ford)
- Abigail Breslin (from Nim's Island and The Ultimate Gift)
- Stanley Tucci (of The Terminal)
- Joan Cusack
- an actor from the Princess Bride whom you will recognize before you see him.

Some other fun surprises. Don't read too much about it.

CubByJCloseUpSnowECubSnow CubSnowBackYardTowers 
P.S. Photo credit of the close-up kitty shot goes to Jason. Thanks, J!

February 14, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

February 13, 2009

Snow, Heart and Cat

Shoveled the snow again today
Shoveled a path for a cat
The cat's not even a cat of mine
How tender a heart is that?

KHeartDSnowLangnauYesterday I trudged a heart in the snow
A heart with a 'K' and a 'D'
Today I find there are prints in the heart
Paws of a cat do I see

February 13, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 25, 2008

Horse Across the Street

Four horses and a donkey live across the street from our house, in a small green field in the middle of our residential area. In honor of my sister-in-law's birthday today (she loves horses and riding), here is one of them. It's really green here (because there isn't a dry season, like there is in California). Perhaps you can see in the first photo the laden apple tree on the left :-) Those belong to our neighbour and look delicious. I bet the horse wishes he could reach them.
HorseacrossstreetHorseacrossstreetcloseupHappy Birthday, N.

September 25, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 02, 2008

Cat on a Cool Stone Compass Rose

There's this neat compass rose in our driveway. It's good to know what direction we're heading in the morning...this very friendly neighbourhood cat likes to know, too.

August 2, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Swiss Sheep For You

These Swiss sheep graze on the side of a little hill that we pass whenever we leave our village. At the top of the hill is the village church, with a profusely flowered graveyard around it. The sheep dutifully keep the ivy trimmed off the walls around the graveyard.SwisssheepSwisssheep2

August 2, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

June 02, 2008

Too Bright PM & AM

It's that time of year close to the Summer Solstice for the Northern hemisphere, when it's light enough here in Northern Europe to read a book outside at 9pm (maybe later) and again already at 4:55am (or maybe earlier; that's the time I noticed it today). That's not a lot of darkness to sleep by! Only 19 more days of getting brighter and brighter before we start to slide back into more darkness. Funny to think of it getting darker all summer.

This morning David spotted a deer and her fawn in the field behind our house. The fawn was so small it was only visible when it was hopping around in the tall grass! Easy to hide. Fun to watch. At one point the mama turned her head and stared straight at us, far away in our upstairs window. She decided we were not a threat and continued grazing.

This weekend we recycled what seemed like 25 lbs of paper, and our shredder got some good use too. Now to see how I can stack that much in the street until they take it away tomorrow. The moving company guys will not realize how thankful they should be.

Off to a farewell lunch with some friends - the hostess is moving to Dubai (the German mother of one of Emily's classmates, whose father is Turkish).

June 2, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 09, 2008

Savill Garden, Surrey, UK


May 9, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 01, 2008

Twelve Cats in Nafplio, Greece

As I sat on our balcony overlooking a little cramped square in Nafplio, a cat jumped up and over a wall. Another strolled along the edge of the building. One lay in the sun, another in the shade. One climbed down the stairs. I started keeping track of their colors, to see how many different cats I was looking at. I counted:

1. All black
2. All ginger
3. Black and ginger mix (prettiest one of all)
4. Black with white legs and face
5. Black/gray/brown stripy
6. Brown and white (Siamese-type pattern, but not quite)
7. Brownish gray with white belly and very pink inside ears
8. White with gray spots
9. Light gray and white
10. Gray striped and white
11. Black, gray , & white with injured hind legs (which were pink)
12. Gray and white with pink collar (none of the others had collars)

At this point I stopped counting and had to go in. But I thought that was pretty amazing to see a dozen cats in the same little square in a small town within about a quarter of an hour. There may have been more gray-and-white ones that were too similar to distinguish.

April 1, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack