Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The longest day of the year..., about a week ago, I got the image of the sunlight, near setting, streaming thru the west windows at this extreme angle on the steps. Just because I go around noticing things like this...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Skywatch Friday....

...after a thunder storm, we had a tangarine sky with orange atmosphere for sunset. Good example of some mammatus clouds.

For example...

...Hubsy keeps track of the progress of the harvest by weighing and measuring some of the results. We are not sure where the white beet came from. Our growing season seems a bit advanced, considering the weather was unseasonably warm early in the spring.

A devoted gardener...

...Hubsy shows that diligence pays off: the garden plot is not very large, but provides enough lettuce, greens, snow peas, shelling peas, beets for us. We can even share some with our neighbors. Soon there should be tomatoes and some broccoli.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Cruising among the coreopsis on a summer day...

...that's what bees and butterflies do. It's always fun to catch one in flight. In addition, the gold finches like the seeds of these bright, cheerful flowers. As soon as the seed pods form, the goldies begin to pick away at the pods, seeds not dry yet; gorging themselves on fresh seeds and scattering lots around the beds. So this year, I'm dead-heading the coreopsis.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Holly-mania, continued.

New for 2010

...years ago, I bought a package of hollyhock seeds labelled "old-fashion" colors: soft pastels and some dark red. The seeds grew, the plants flowered, produced seeds of their own---and by now I've lost all the originals. But each year the descendants flower. The bees and bugs come along and pollinate the flowers and re-mix the DNA. Two years later, you see the results--nothing quite like the originals and always pretty. I'm nuts about hollylocks.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hover fly...

...what a curious little bug: so after some googling, I found out it's one of a zillion types of hover flies, which pollinate flowers. The larvae go after some pesky bugs' larvae, so they seem to do no harm. They sure appreciate all the coreopsis flowers (which I have allowed to take over this summer).

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Star Sighting...

...for red-neck fun, we're (I'm) keeping track of celebrities the kids see in CA. After nearly seeing
Jessica Alba a couple of months ago, they--in fact--happened upon Ed Helms (Andy on The Office) in a cafe near where l'il pearl works in Silver Lake. We all like that show.

Recently Turned 21....

...well into college years now, another Great nephew enjoys the party responsibly--not driving at all. He sipped his way thru a visit to Chicago-land, includings Cubs game... enough to drive you to the bottle, come to think of it.

Miss L and her lovely young "Pink" friend my old lady opinion, that girl knows the secret of wearing a unique hair color: first, be adorable, then select a soft flattering shade of the non-traditional color. Lastly, have your hair cut in a style that looks right anyway; wear in a cute, trendy dress.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The lovely Miss L. caught her clowning around a bit like the neat kid she is. A talented musician, active in school and church. She's our niece's daughter, so I guess that makes her a GREAT niece. The night before her party, she arrived home from a missionary trip in Mexico: they must have worked hard, since she didn't seem to get much sun.

Graduation Celebration 2010

...two events this past weekend. Bloggy forgot to bring Trusty Camera to the first one; arrived early on Sunday for Miss L's; couldn't resist the shimmering decorations amid the green of summer and the crisp white table & chairs. More later...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Some assembly required...

...a new attraction for 2010 at The Big Garden Nextdoor! The resourceful gardener received this as a gift from her brother; she put it together, filled it with soil and interesting sun-loving plants. It provides a novel approach to outdoor ornamentation with plants. Part of me wants to get Hubsy to help me copy it; the dominant part of me will likely just enjoy looking at her floral displays.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My two-cents....our legal system:

A friend was selected to sit on a jury in 1st-degree murder trail this week. It was a complicated case, likely gang-related, with little or no solid physical evidence. But there were witness testimonies. After lengthy jury deliberations, the defendant suddenly pleaded quilty to a reduced charge with a shorter prison sentence. Well, OK...our justice system is certainly meant to give the innocent every chance to avoid unjust punishment; who could disagree with that? The system also affords the career criminal ample opportunity to escape just correction. My friend, who has never been near a criminal courtroom, was shocked by how comfortable so many of the people involved in the proceedings (not the lawyers or judge), the surroundings, the stakes; these were young people. Where could our society be headed? Troubling...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

OK, Hubsy, I cropped an image...

...she was adorable, if a bit sleepy. She spent most of the first set asleep on her mom's shoulder,

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Baby's First Petting Zoo....

...something that is pretty safe and supposed to be fun--like clowns--can be frightening for kids. Baby was not in danger: the woolly sheep tried to nuzzle up to the little boy to be petted. After all, it's their job. The l'il dude was not happy about it, so scared he did not even cry out!!! Mom was busy chatting and didn't notice. One quick click of the camera, then I was going to tell. Older siblings rescued him.

Monday, June 14, 2010

David Broza 1.2

Here's a better photo. Hubsy says I should crop and photo-shop my pictures, but my little life is so busy that if I did that, we'd never get anywhere. You can see the energy in this shot. The performer does not move about the stage, but radiates white hot energy from a static location, center stage. He sings in Hebrew, Spanish and English and probably other languages, but the performances are evocative and timeless even if you don't understand the words.

David Broza!

...I happened on to this electrifying performer a couple of years ago. His wonderful voice, melodic guitar and passionate energy cannot be ignored!! I happened to check his website a few days ago, to find that he was taking a break from playing his usual fascinating international venues so as to bless the people of Morton Grove, IL with a concert in the park (as part of the celebration of the Greater Chicago Jewish Festival). For us, that's just a short bike ride!! We were there; both sets!!! I has a few more pictures coming up.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Bees--My new mania

... on my Evening Primroses, another neat bee. I understand there are about 19,000 species of bees in the world; since I started growing perennial plants in my yard (inspired by the Big Garden Next Door and my garden growing heritage) I have noticed so many different varieties of insects and birds. If every home in pan-suburban America had a small corner of the yard for perennial plants, there would be so much more habitat for the many animals we could so easily nurture. From what I can see, this appears to be a common honey bee.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I tried to find them in a more dignified position...

...but these little bees wouldn't sit for their portrait unless they are occupied with something more important. (making baby bees on my kitchen window sill!) They are pretty, with reddish brown furry backs. The nearest I come to an ID is to say they look like Mining Bees--andrena nitida. Discovering this possibility taught me more about bees than I previously knew.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thus encouraged....

...this "sky" picture was taken from the same place, only 12 minutes after the previous frame.
Who could ever be bored?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Up at the Crack of Dawn...

...last Saturday morning, I did some sky-watching. In the Great Lakes Region, we do get some interesting skies, with lovely cloud formations.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mother, please, I'd rather do it myself....

...the perfect end to an estrogen-filled day. But, no....seriously, it was a great show and a wonderful day. Thank goodness, it was not excessively hot outside.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Tired and hungry....

...the former Dance Princess got out of her outfit and into something light and comfortable. Her mom removes the hairpins from her twist. The family has a major home renovation project underway, so no lunch will be coming from that kitchen. After we left to go home for my nap, I'm sure they took the little girl out to lunch.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Dance Princess and the BlogPrincess....

...Aunt Bloggy and Hubsy got up and had coffee at 4 AM Saturday morning so as to sit out on the deck, watch the sunrise and listen to the birds. But 2PM, I was smack in the middle of a Bad Old Lady Day--which means very low energy. Our Dancer graciously shows off her bouquets. Next time, I bet she blows kisses.

The Princess and her proud attendants... Each little girl was presented with a small bouquet.

The whole caboodle...

sits still for a second for their portrait. Our Princess is seated, 7th from the left in the bottom row. The fellow in the top hat is, naturally, The Wonderful Wizard--I didn't realize he was so young a man. Oh, the other surprise was Dorothy...turns out Dorothy is the 3 year old that the Wizard is holding; and she's had it, by now. She wanted her sippy cup and a nap.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Princess Ballet 1.0

My 5-1/2 year old niece had her first ballet recital today--her dance debut. Despite admitting to being nervous about it yesterday, she was fine. She did very well and paid good attention to the directions of her teacher and the older girls. She had fun and she was pleased with her effort, at the end of the day.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Evocative and colorful small town scene...

...taken on our after dinner walk in Noblesville, IN. They keep the old utility buildings mended and painted, so things don't look shabby or seedy.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

One last stop on the Muncie, In. bike trip...

...we had dinner one night in Noblesville, IN. Part Indianapolis suburb, part recreation/residential lake community and 100% charming old town! The old downtown square
oozes 19th Century charm, while business on the Square appears great. Abundant restaurants to chose from; we found The Asian Grill which was Asian-fusion. Lots of people about in the evening, taking the kids for ice cream, etc.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My newest hosta...

..."Captain Kirk". It is quite bright. I like to collect interesting varieties of hostas that feature gold, bluish tones, interesting texture, etc.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The photo doesn't do them justice...

...when we were in CA a few weeks ago, we had pizza slices for lunch at a little place on Main in Santa Monica (I can't find the name, but it's not Pizza Fusion). I had spinach, fontinella cheese and garlic. It was wonderful. At home, we have spinach ready to pick from the garden, so I made individual pita-pizzas for a quick supper one evening. I used kosher pitas; they are soft and fluffy. I topped each with a tsp or so of olive oil, a sprinkle of garlic powder ('cause I was in a hurry, you could use some garlic cloves). I added the spinach, previously cooked and drained well. Then I added the grated fontinella cheese and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese to the top and put the pan of pitas into a pre-heated, 350-degree oven for about 12 minutes--till they looked like this. My camera was handy so I took a picture. My pan is real old, from 1970--it still works.

The Last Butterfly of our Season was Freed Today...

He is a spunky male version of a Monarch--see those little black spots on the under wings--that means he's a Boy. He was anxious t...