Wednesday, January 31, 2007

What do you put on your blog when you haven't taken any photos today?

Oh, I don't know...
You could take pictures of your favorite scrapbook pages....

scrapbook page 5

scrapbook page 4

scrapbook page 3

scrapbook page 2

scrapbook page 1
...or you could recycle some old photos that haven't ever been posted...
lorelei kissing tree

Groucho Lorelei

Groucho Isabelle

chocolate lover

trixie writing a letter
...or you could play with your camera's Macro function...
Playing with the macro function

my rock's like watching paint dry, isn't it.

And Lynne brought to my attention that I forgot to add the word of the day:
Word of the Day:

maunder \MON-duhr\, intransitive verb:

1. To talk incoherently; to speak in a rambling manner.
2. To wander aimlessly or confusedly
(I bet I could use that in a sentence...about myself.)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I love Flickr and Flickers

I was good today. No below-freezing treks through an unknown bit of forest. All I did was drop the girls off and go to a park and sit in my car, returning RAPTOR calls.
I was so goofy last night. If I left a nonsensical comment on your blog, I apologize. And hopefully I made you laugh.
Word of the Day:

conflate \kuhn-FLAYT\, transitive verb:
1. To bring together; to fuse together; to join or meld.
2. To combine (as two readings of a text) into one whole.

princess dirty face
Princess Dirty Face. She had snuck into the Cheetos while I was passed out on the couch this afternoon. This is one of her birthday presents. An Ariel (Little Mermaid for those of you without little girls in your life) wedding gown with a hoop skirt.
orange house finch
I have seen both yellow-tinged and orange-tinged male house finches at the feeders this winter. This one is leaning on the orange side. Red feathers are an expensive feather to grow if you are a bird, and the redness of the bird is in direct correlation to the fitness of the bird. I read an article today that suggests that orange and yellow house finches may be related to the occurance of avian pox in the population. Interesting.
looking through the bars
"Nobody knows...the trouble I've seen...nobody sorrow"
flicker eye
I had a bit of joy arrive with a female yellow-shafted Northern Flicker.
flicker 1
I have always seen them in the backyard, grabbing ants from the base of our trees, but today was the first time I saw one at the suet feeder. Interesting fact: They have barbed tongues, to help them lap up ants. Yummy. And for Laura, our Spanish guru: Their name in Spanish is
carpintero alirrojo.
fat flicker
Fat Flicker.
back of flicker
They are so utterly gorgeous. This was the first yellow-shafted I have seen, also.
yellow shafted

Those yellow feathers were mesmerizing.
flicker on the sidewalk
She got spooked by the ginormous flock of starlings that wanted a piece of the suet too. So she sat on our sidewalk and glared at them.
But flickers also make me sad.
October 19, 2004 was the first time I saw a flicker in our yard. It was also the first time my Dad had ever been admitted to a hospital. And that was the day he died.
So when I see a flicker, I go back to that day, talking on the phone with my cousin Mary Lou, telling her about Dad going to the hospital because he had a fever. I was looking out the kitchen window, all excited about seeing my first yard flicker. And about 8 hours later, Dad was gone.

a towhee says what
And just to end this post with a little brevity:
"A towhee says WHAT?"
I will be copying this post into my other blog to see how it goes.
What is keeping me from going back over there for good is the fact that some of you couldn't view the WordPress blog. If you still can't, let me know.

Monday, January 29, 2007

New Blogger, illness, funerals, Boomer, a street I want to live on, Word of the Day

Blogger finally let me switch over to the "new" version. It remains to be seen if it's any better than the old one.

I signed up for a Word of the Day thing, and I will be posting a new word every day,
so we all can learn something.

The Word of the Day:
gadabout \GAD-uh-bout\, noun:
Someone who roams about in search of amusement or social activity.
Use it in a sentence today!

boomer kisses

Sweet Boomer...there may be a home for him. I will be shouting it from the rooftops when it happens. Stay tuned.

We don't get grackles at the feeders very often. And when they do show up, it's always in a huge flock. Today, one grackle gave me the eye from one of our feeders. Where are your peeps, dude?
goldfinch fluffies
It was COLD today, in the teens in the morning and warming up to a whole 22 degrees! This goldfinch melted my heart...look at his little fluffies sticking out.
white throated sparrow kicking
Ground feeding birds are interesting to watch. This white-throated sparrow was kicking to get to some seeds, throwing its legs forward and back, like two little shovels.
recycling sign
In our wanderings today, Lorelei and I saw some signs in a neighborhood that praise certain streets for their recycling efforts. Good idea. If people are proud of their accomplishments, and see this sign every day, it might help keep them recycling.
Huddled coots

Lorelei and I browsed the settling basin today, but most of the water was frozen. These coots were huddled in an open space about 20 feet across. Behind them, a Canada goose is sitting on the ice.
Lorelei Drive
I want to live on this street.

I broke down and went to the doctor today. This cold (my brother called it the "Creeping Death") and cough have been holding on for too long. Diagnosis: Ear infection, bronchitis and the beginning of pneumonia. Jeepers. No wonder I feel like Hell. And I was out in those temperatures today...I think I will be staying home tomorrow.
So I am on an antibiotic, an inhaler, and the most fun (I wanted to say "funnest" but Geoff would have a conniption) cough syrup in the world: Tussinex. It's an antihistamine mixed with liquid Vicodin. Hello!

More somber things: I will be attending two funerals this week. My parents have a huge circle of friends, some of them gals that my Mom worked with back in the 60's, and some of them are school buddies of my Dad's. The first funeral will be for my Aunt Kay's mom, Gladys. See this post for info on my Aunt Kay: She married my Dad's brother. Gladys had been in decline for years, and I only saw her once a year for the past 10 years. Funny story about Gladys: The "Girls" went on a camping trip with us kids (I was 8 at the time), without the men. When it was close to bedtime, Gladys went around to all of us kids with Dixie cups full of wine (Mogen-David, I think) to knock us out fast so the women could relax. Rock on, Gladys!
The second funeral will be for the mother of one of my Dad's lifelong friends. Charlie's mom, Laverne, was a red-headed fireball who was always smiling and always ready with a helping hand or a funny story. Gentle journey to two wonderful women.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Girly-girl birthday party

Three. My youngest is three. It seems like a few days ago that I went in to the hospital to have her. The midwife suggested induction, since Lorelei was a bit late. Thank you, midwife!
And she came into the world easily and quickly. I pushed through 3 contractions,
and out she came.
A beautiful baby with a beautiful soul.
Lorelei's birthday cake
I found the perfect cake for her...we always end up with pounds of leftover cake every birthday, so this small cake with the surrounding cupcakes was just right.

birthday grin
I also found some fun straws...with umbrellas attached. Too bad I didn't have the fixin's for pina coladas.
beautiful profile
Look at that gorgeous profile. We all think our kids are the most beautiful, but I think that her beauty is an empirical fact.
birthday girl and balloon
She changed clothes through the whole party. She received many different dress-up outfits...a rainbow fairy costume complete with wings...a lavender fairy outfit complete with curly-toed lavender slippers...fancy elbow gloves with a ring attached...a flapper purse with Pet Shop Ariel wedding gown complete with veil and HOOP SKIRT...OMG.
My frustrated inner girly-girl was thrilled.
rainbow fairy
Isabelle was too sweet today. She hugged Lorelei when she opened a particularly great gift...just because she was happy for her little sister. Love it.
Sister birthday hugs

Mom Nancy and Swamette

A few of our guests: My Mom, my cousin Nancy, and Swamette.
Cell phone
Lorelei loved her new, jeweled cell phone with matching cell phone purse.
fairy buttcheek
Nothing completes a fairy outfit better than a butt cheek hanging out of it.
Fairy eating cupcake
Happy Birthday to you...

fairy in Wellies
The only thing that goes better with a fairy costume than a butt cheek is a pair of pink Wellies.
She saw these at Target a few months ago, and was heartbroken when I said no. But she almost wet herself when she opened them.
I am taking the birthday girl to the settling basin tomorrow, with fresh batteries and my temp scope and see if I can snag me some more life ducks.
It's going to be COLD. Winter is here, y'all.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

If it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck...

This is a late post, because Geoff and I have been busy getting ready for Lorelei's birthday party tomorrow.
My BABY is turning THREE.
I plan on taking 3 million pictures, so be sure to check in tomorrow night.

This morning, I went to RAPTOR to play with some of the birds, and Marc has been kind enough to let me borrow his really nice scope to practice with and see if I would like one for myself someday.
Thanks, Marc! (You lurker!)
Jeff, one of our tireless volunteers, bander, treasurer, etc, gave me directions to a place I had heard had some nice duck action.
Thanks, Jeff! (You're a lurker, too! Cat's out of the bag, you two!)

two great blue herons
Winton Woods-West Fork Lake...this one's for you, Mare!
TWO stinkers in the same shot!
And yes, I was looking down at them. It's a very high dam.
But I wasn't looking for the dam...I was looking for the settling basin.
Ahh...there it is.

coots and gadwalls
A lifer for me...not the coots, but the gadwalls!
first digiscope pic
Here's my first (and only) digiscoped image today...before the batteries in the camera popped out. Please don't laugh.
digiscoped ring necked duck
Oh, yeah...that's a lot better.
It's a ring-necked duck. Which is a stupid name. How about Purple-Green-Black- Headed duck?
So that's one temporary scope and two lifers. I'll take it.

Friday, January 26, 2007


After writing last night's post, I thought it might be a good idea to take the girls to Big Bone Lick State Park. (Anyone else snicker at that name?)
Oh, I had lofty goals. Show the girls some nature, do some birding. I enticed the girls into getting excited about the trip (140 miles total) by telling them that there were buffalo there.

three deer
The first thing we saw coming into the park was a trio of deer.
big bone sign
The sign at the visitor's center: This site, full of bones and teeth from mastadons, etc, is heralded as the "beginning of vertabrate paleontology in North America". There's a quote from Benjamin Franklin on this sign. He called it "The great licking place".
Basically, the saline/sulfur springs attracted large mammals of the time and the boggy soil trapped them and they sunk to their deaths. Hence the multitude of bones. I was lucky that I have such a nasty cold and can't smell a thing...I remember quite a stench from past visits.
bison sign
There is also a bison breeding program. These big guys were once common in this area, but settlement and hunting destroyed them.
bison fuzz
After a long walk in the mud, we found them.

bison 1

young ones playing
These two young ones were play-fighting, which sent the girls into hysterics (after I explained what the bison were doing).
girls and herd

eye of the beholder
You can see the reflection of the girls' coats in this big, beautiful eye. I couldn't resist scratching their surprisingly soft noses.
The girls fell into a rather large puddle of mud coming back to the parking lot. This did not go well with Lorelei. (Isabelle isn't too picky about such things). I had to use my jacket to clean Lorelei's hands off. (She went down on all fours, and her hands sunk up to her wrists)
not a happy camper
She was not a happy camper. She had fallen asleep just as we were pulling into the park, and you DO NOT wake her from a nap, if you value your sanity. Add a runny nose from the cold, and you end up with a very messy kid.
stolen moments
Before coming back home, we wandered the Kentucky countryside. Did you know that there is a town there called Rabbit Hash???? And a place called...wait for it....
Beaver Lick
. I kid you not.
mary ingles ingalls sign
A sign about Mary Ingalls (or Ingles...I have seen it spelled both ways). What an awesome lady. She lived to be 83!
leaning house
Is it me, or is this house a bit lopsided?
fishing gas
Anyone want to hazard a guess as to what "fishing gas" is?
mary statue
On the Interstate home, we passed an exit that Mom had pointed out to me when I was younger. I had never been up this particular hill, but today, I decided to see it for myself.
When my Mom was 9 (1951), her father died. My grandmother was forced to work full time, and with 4 children still at home (the 2 oldest were out of the house by then), she had no choice but to send her youngest kids to an orphanage. They stayed there during the week, and if my memory serves me, they could come home some weekends. My youngest aunt, who I didn't even know existed until about 10 years ago, was adopted by the secretary of my grandfather. I have never met members have tried to bring her into the family, but she refused. God knows what she was told about all of this.
The other kids were eventually allowed to come home, but the damage was already done to an extent. There was always a strain between my Mom and grandmother. But my grandmother is not the villain here. The woman started out as a cleaning lady, and by the time she retired, was head of payroll in Covington, KY. She worked hard, temporarily gave away her children so they could be taken care of.
orphanage 1
I had never seen this orphanage except for speeding by it on the highway, until today. It's a clean, orderly-looking place, but it's sad. Very, very sad. Isabelle and Lorelei asked me what this place was, and I said it was an orphanage. They know what that means from the movie "The Rescuers". And they were properly awed and saddened by it.