Sunday, April 30, 2017

So Long April and Cold Weather!

I hope I'm not dooming us to more cold, but... it looks as though winter is finally past! I have lovely warm weather for outdoor reading, and for walking my Finn in shorts and a t-shirt, rather than a hooded parka! Life is good.

And my excellent Uncle Dave visited early this last week! Katie is still pouting because he stopped by while she was at school and she missed him, but Ed and I enjoyed his company, anyway.

And my irises are blooming wonderfully this year! The peonies weren't out when I took these pictures, but they're starting now, and they are looking good this year too.

And here's my dear pup, all grass-stained and a bit muddy.

 See the mud stains on the head and nose? But now that it's getting warm I'll be able to bathe him and make him smell like strawberries! Well, strawberries mixed with wet dog, but that's an improvement over unwashed dog.

And Livy! A bit cross-eyed, but the sweetest cat Ever. And smart, or so Ed insists (she's So "his" girl!)!

 Finn's mine. When I come home, even from the mailbox, he's just thrilled to see me. He's got me wrapped around his paw.

Here's a video of Finn and his mechanical hedgepig. If you turn the sound on you'll see why Finn is so attracted to the thing! Before I figured out how to work the movie feature on my phone he was Really going to town, tossing the hedgepig all around the room. (We normally hide it from him, because, left unsupervised, he'd crunch it to bits and eat it, but this time Livy found it and tossed it down to him. Which is one of the things she does, and the reason we never have pencils and all the gloves are missing a finger. She is naughty, but Ed says she just gets bored because she's so Smart.)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Twenty Years!!!

No, not since my last blog post, sillies!
Twenty years married to my amazing sweetie-pie, Ed!

Let's have big hand for Ed, who signed on the dotted line after two weeks acquaintance, and who's been delightfully good humored ever since. A good sense of humor is So helpful, isn't it?

Here we are on our wedding day! I'd meant to have Katie take a picture of us to post, as we are today (she's home on Spring Break), but it's only 12:30 in the afternoon, so, of course, she's still in bed. Oh well. You know what we look like. And I like the picture with Ed's parents and brother. Well, and the bottom one too, with Floyd the notary, of course.

But I Do have pictures of this year's Anniversary tree and shrubberies!
A dogwood and two azaleas. They look nice, don't they?

Okay, so. What happened to March? Not much, actually. Ed and Katie had their birthdays, and those were just fine. Otherwise, there seemed to be a lot of people being unwell. All of us, my parents included, participated, each in his or her own special way. But we mostly got better, or got used to things, and here we are, in April!

Here are some pictures of March birthdays and unbirthdays.

(Travis got Katie a really neat little bluetooth speaker that has lights to match the music!)

 Ed, soul of moderation that he is, requested a Small cake. So, here is his six inch cake. It looks like an "Easy Bake" cake, but it was, I'm told, very good.

My dad helping Katie get her electronics going, with Mom looking on.

Livy helped by anchoring the instructions.

And here's Finn, greeting me after I've been away for SO long! Probably all the way down the driveway to the mailbox.

We still haven't got the hang of the "selfie" thing, but someday...!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

First Outdoor Reading Day of the Year!!!!!

Today was my dad's day to work in the green house at Reynolda Gardens in the big city, a weekly volunteer job he's taken up (he's been growing orchids since before I was born, and the Reynolda orchids are benefiting from his expertise, and he's enjoying having a day out), and it was our day to enjoy my mom's company. She and Ed watched "Emma," and then she and I sat out on the deck and read/listened to an audio book. And Harry took advantage of my mom's good nature and enjoyed the longest patting session he's had... since Katie started at school! He can hardly wait for her to come back and spend some more quality time with him, so we'll hope for warm, lovely weather again next Wednesday.

And Finny found his hedgehog! This is a hedgehog that Katie bought him a while back, which had to be confiscated because he insisted on tearing its stuffing out and we were afraid he'd swallow it and require another visit to the animal hospital. Anyway, somehow he got hold of it again.

He Loves his hedgehog.

Mmmm. Hedgehog. (This one brings to mind the "Love to eat them mousies" cartoon, doesn't it?)

Fortunately for the hedgehog, Finny has the attention span of ... well, an almost two year old golden retriever.

It has again been put away, but I'm not sure where, so I suppose it will show up again and provide more "ferocious hunter" delight for my sweet pup.

Here is our effort at a "selfie." Every dingbat kid on the internet can take pictures of themselves, but Finny and I can't figure out where to look. Oh well. Finny is cute anyway!

And he IS cute, isn't he? He's been So much better behaved lately. Sometimes I almost imagine that he's a good dog, but then he does something to remind me that he still has plenty of puppy left to go.

Here he is, helping me with Richard III. I'm sure Richard would have been a nicer person if he'd had a golden retriever puppy to snuggle. Well, and if Tudor propagandists hadn't found it expedient to blacken his name he'd have come down to us looking better too (We just discussed "Daughter of Time" in our library book group. And, as has been the case with previous meetings, we had One person come in addition to my parents and me. But this time the other person Loved the book -- actually, it's a long-time favorite of hers -- which was absolutely unprecedented. It was a very nice change of pace.)

Sweet, sweet puppy.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Mabel, mabel, sweet and able...

Meet Mabel! Is she a lovely little thing or what?

Our dear old van, having very recently had its transmission replaced, and, actually, numerous other things as well, continued despite our most affectionate and extravagant care to behave with increasing eccentricity. Declining to change gears, stopping dead in its tracks, that sort of thing. We (well, Ed) tried various remedies, but… 

So, we’ve been looking for a “new” vehicle to trade the poor old van in on. We thought something more fuel efficient would be an awfully good thing, given the amount of driving involved with Travis driving to the community college in a town one direction and Katie being driven to the high school in a town the other direction. Actually, anything this side of a Sherman tank would be more fuel efficient that our van (a Sherman tank, in case you are curious, gets, optimally, approximately .91 mpg cross country, 1.72 mpg on the highway), but we set our sights on a Nissan Altima when we read that they are supposed to be safe, reliable, and get twice the mileage of the Windstar (which, in fairness, was about 16 mpg, so, substantially better than the Sherman tank). It took a while to find one that met our needs and our budget, but we think we found Perfection on Friday last!

And isn’t she a pretty color? When I explained to Ed and the kids Why her name had to be Mabel they rolled their eyes, pityingly. But, just look at her! She’s the color of…. Wait for it…. Mabel syrup! (And, yeah. All three of them, Ed, Travis, and Katie, have kindly, quietly said to me, “You Know it’s Maple syrup, right? M-a-p-l-e?” Well, yes, I do. But it’s close enough,and she Looks like a Mabel – all sweet and helpful. And she drives beautifully, and her radio works, and she even has one of those clever back up cameras, which I just love. She smelled rather dreadful when we brought her home – the salesman said it was the cleaning stuff or something – but it's dissipating already, and her windows roll down just fine, so that’s not a huge thing. And she goes along just like a dream!

 And it's starting to look spring-ish!

Finn has continued to show improvement in his behavior, though he's still not remotely trustworthy left unsupervised with the run of the house, but confined to the back room he is generally pretty good!

This is how he likes to keep me company while we read. The mess and box were Katie's, but she's since cleaned up and at the moment that space looks fairly respectable. Of course, you'll have to take my word for that.

Doesn't he look like a quiet old thing?

This is where he likes to be when I sit at my computer. It makes typing challenging.

Short cut off the couch in pursuit of Livy (you can just see the tip of her raccoon tail!).

That's it. We're all still ticking along, and I need to go finish "Daughter of Time" for the discussion at the library on Monday, just on the off chance that someone aside from Dad shows up to talk about it with me!