Thursday, April 25, 2013

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

I have never seen a bird like this before.
I took pictures through the window, and they came out pretty good - no glare.

There's a birdfeeder outside the window right by the kitchen table.  It's so cool to be sitting at the table and watch all the birds.  I've seen blue jays, cardinals, black-capped chickadees, sparrows, finches, doves, crows, and hummingbirds (there's a hummingbird bush directly under the bird feeder), but this was the first time I'd ever seen a bird like this.  I got out my trusty bird guide and looked through the whole thing.  Lo and behold, I found the exact bird.
The interesting thing is that this bird's habitat is the northeast and the west.  I was really lucky to get such a good picture of him because no one would believe me.

Wonder what I'll see tomorrow...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Vegetable Garden

Swiss chard is growing in our vegetable garden.  Have you ever eaten this?  It's wonderful.  We just steam it and add a little butter, salt, and pepper.
We also planted Romaine lettuce.  It's so  interesting to see how it grows and forms a head all on its own without any assistnance.

Spinach is next to the chard and tomatoes.  How great is it when you can go out into your backyard, pick a plant out of your garden, cook it, and eat it ten minutes later.  I keep telling my husband we should get some chickens, no roosters, just hens, so we can have eggs.  He tells me the same thing he always does:  "No more animals, Debra!"  

He really freaked out when I put a picture of a mini-donkey in his birthday card and told him I'd bought him one for his birthday.  Then he realized I was joking, but he knows I'd really like to get a mini-donkey.  Every time I go to a festival and there's a petting zoo, I threaten to buy him a baby goat.  It's not really for him, of course.  It's for me, but I just tell him that I was going to buy him a baby goat, or a baby pig, or a miniature horse, so I can hear him say, "Debra, no more animals!"
New Vase

I bought this very unusually shaped vase at the City Park Botanical Spring Garden show.  The woman who made it said that she came up with the idea because her daughter was always bringing her flowers with little, short stems.  Look how pretty the sweet peas are arranged in this vase...

How Does He Breathe?

Harry loves to sleep on the back of the sofa on top of a blanket I keep there for him.  He puts his face down into the blanket.  I just don't know how he breathes...

Saturday, April 20, 2013


I had an epiphany today.

I've been having knee trouble for about the past two years.  They get better, they get worse, etc., etc.

Two days ago, I was dancing and got a little too rambunctious for my knees, and something "popped."  Then I felt something akin to ripping in my calf.  Oy vey.

And just the day before, I was marveling at how well I was walking - no pain, no limp - normal....

Here I was again, back at square one.

I was watching myself walk very guardedly with every step, not knowing whether my knee would "pop" again, sending pain sharp enough to make me utter curse words.

Epiphany:  it struck me that instead of looking at this latest development as a setback, I could view it as an exercise in mindfulness.  I'm usually rushing around thinking of the next thing I'm going to do.  I don't know whether that comes from being a New Yorker or a Type A or a first born, but it's been my pattern for a very long time.  This knee pain could be my signal to live in the moment.  That's something I've not cultivated all that much.

OK.  I will be mindful of what I am doing and feeling right here and now and not go racing forward, ignoring what's happening at present.

Let's see how long I can be mindful of this...

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Today I went to acupuncture, and when I saw my doctor's office, the windows on the left side were covered with boards.  My first thought was that maybe someone had thrown bricks through the windows.

The receptionist told me that she had just brought a patient from the waiting room to an exam room, and a car had crashed through the wall and into the waiting room.  No one was hurt, but the left side of the office was demolished.  A man had stepped on the gas instead of his brakes.

My doctor told me that the whole building had been filled with smoke.  He joked that now he had a drive-through clinic....

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Easter!

Walter loves riding in the car.  He always wants to go with us, whether it's walking around the block or driving to the park.

I like taking him with me in the car.  When I used to work, I would say, "Wouldn't it be nice it we could bring our pets to work?"  Now that I'm retired, I can bring Walter with me to lots of places.

Yesterday, I brought him with me when we picked up my sister-in-law to bring her to the airport.  She was visiting her daughter's family.  I didn't let them know ahead of time that I was bringing Walter.

I rang the doorbell, and this is a picture of what they saw when they looked outside:

I heard Ross say to his 2 1/2 year-old daughter, "Stella, come see the Easter Horse!"  Good one, Ross.  Walter really could be the Easter Horse.  I think that's a good new tradition.

Walter didn't keep his Easter Ears on very long - just long enough for me to take his picture.  He's pretty tolerant...