Saturday, March 31, 2012

As Holy Week begins....

the scene is evening mass; the recently turned-3-year-old twins, Molly and Micah, are with their parents. It's just after Communion when Molly pipes up "Can I get a 'chip from the guy, too?"  (this from their Dad's fb just a few minutes ago). Molly's Christmas message last year was also timely and spot-on. She's a BlogStar!

Outside the Office Window...

...the male American Goldfinches turn (as they do each spring) to bright, gleaming Yellow!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Happy Birthday, Blonde-Kid....

The Birthday Boy, a few months past on the pier at Manhattan Beach, CA; years ago on our backyard deck enjoying his Breyer's Yogurt. (1986?)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

WarPaint! and the "Madonna of the Driveway"

World'sMostSerious Baby and her sister, Alice (who's still in Wonderland) came to visit their G'Parents to help celebrate their Mommy's birthday last week. WMS-Baby was a little under the weather, and thus subdued.  But Alice chalked up the driveway and herself then ran herself silly, up and down the drive, making "wet footprints". Later, I had a chance to speak candidly with her about the relative merits of Culvers Restaurant vs. Steak & Shake (local mid-west US higher quality fast-food). Alice is "fee-and-half" now, likes to have her dinner and "usually a few fwies" and part of a shake. At Culvers, there is "ice-cweam" instead. She told me how "our Culvers (at home) closed, then opened again and looked all diffewent on the inside and the outside!"  "Re-modelled?" I asked. And explained. She registered that, and agreed: that's what they did!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Here and Now...And By Request

 Our wonderful neighbor to our north side--house on the left in photo below-- was nice enough to suggest I
put photos of the (Suddenly!) Spring color on the Blog. So, that's our house, too.

 So, People, I'm not complaining. Most of the World's had horrible weather, cold, tornados, etc. But never in all my life have I seen a Spring this hot, this long, this early. Normally, there is a progression of the early Spring blooms; this year they are blooming altogether, all at once. It's been in mid-80's for days now; tho it may cool down soon. Mid-March in Chicagoland? Sometimes you have to "shovel it".

I "Heart" Yellow!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Survivor... (Nostalgic Family Stuff)

My intrepid Aunt Betty is now high in her 80's; this photo was taken in 2005. She was on track for a career as a concert pianist, perhaps, in the 1940's. As so often happens, a handsome young man came along---and she was smokin' hot (as they did NOT say then). As it was, she raised two kids, had a great career as an elementary school teacher, held an elected public office in CO.    The china hutch on the left and the treasured platform rocker are part of a vast collection of Victorian era furniture that graced and cursed the family (ever try to move a houseful of Victorian furnture? dust it? keep it polished?). I'll find a "younger" photo of her, eventually.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Blonde-Kid said: More Family Nostalgia Photos, Please...

....Here's one. It's a photo of painting. My Mother, the lady in the previous post, had twin younger sisters. This aunt I hardly remember, since she passed away in the early 1950's. I have one or two vague images of in my head. The painting was done to help her three young children (age 5, about 2 and 6 months at the time) remember her.   The other sister, fortunately, is still with us! And she, in former days, was the loveliest of the three, imo. I'll have to find a photo of her.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Long Ago and Far Away....

...while reviewing some old slides my parents had, we found this one, taken at the Munich Octoberfest in the fall of 1959. That's my mother--probably just prior to her 40th birthday. Fashionable for the late 1950's and also for the retro-tastes of today. In those days, she made all her own clothes and did a great job of it! She was pretty, as the man on the left seems to notice.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Progress of the Season....

 ...OK, the snowdrops are present and accounted for: not just "up" but flowering in full glory...

 Crocus, flowering brilliantly in the yard next door.

 My new plant obsession, the various types of Coral Bells are showing distinct signs of life in the front yard. The plan is to intermingle them with various Hosta plants for color without a lot of flowers in the shady areas out front....
Hubs' garden beds are ready to receive the seedlings he's got started, just as soon as weather permits. The greenery halfway up Bed 3 on the right are garlic plants I planted last fall. At the back of Bed 2, in the middle is claytonia, which is no substitute for lettuce but still a tasty salad. We still have some carrots in there as well.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Back to the Present...

...just outside my office window, Hubsy hung a thistle-feeder to attract the American Goldfinches; it's fun to watch their feeding and courting antics. In very early spring, the males begin to change their coloring from winter-drab to summer's brilliant yellow. You can see the transition before your eyes from this close up: Old Lady Fun!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Regrettably Remiss....Omission!

How could I neglect to include Shorpy's in a list of my favorite photo-blogs? Most everybody who has found my little blog probably already knows this cool site. Tho it is commercial, it's not too blatant about it; featuring countless antique photos from old newspaper inventories.   The site is dedicated to the memory of a young child industrial worker at the turn of the last century, a small, spindly boy of perhaps 12 or so, dirty and bent from heavy toil, yet his impish little face still speaks to you after all these years.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What Blogs Does a Blogsy Read...?

Indeed!  Besides news like the on-line Wall Street Journal and various political and culture blogs that I wouldn't bother about: you have your favorites too; here are a few blogs I really enjoy for entertainment:

My Pink Life Aimee Weaver does a wonderful, warm-hearted crafter life-style blog. A busy young mom, she finds time to consistently turn out beautifully executed furniture-craft and art projects, interlaced with antics of the kids, photographs--and oh, she had a talent for finding fun clothing in thrift shops.

Yankee in Belgrade My favorite photoblog! A long-time American ex-pat who lives in Belgrade has a wonderful talent for catching a moment, swiping a soul, showing the rough beauty of the land. Poignant, too. The lady was widowed suddenly, just a few years ago: I have a feeling the making of the blog and gathering of material may be a method of coping with the loss. Some gorgeous and inspiring photos!

New Vintage Lady My favorite sewing blog. She's wild, wacky, creative, making vintage-style clothing for larger ladies, lives in LA., is banned from the Queen Mary Hotel for snooping around "off-limits"--I did that once, but didn't get caught.

PS family and friends, I'm also not mentioning some of your wonderful blogs for privacy concerns!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Book to Read, Finally....

...for months, I've read this and that, but nothing that I could get lost in; but I found a novel by Penelope Lively called The Photograph (ironically enough that such a title would appeal to a photoblogger). A  widower, professor of landscape history (a British thing, I guess), accidentally finds a photo of his late wife while he is rummaging among his own papers for needed material. The photograph would suggest that she, at some point, had an affair with her sister's husband many years before. Inquiring scientist that he is, he feels compelled to learn the details. The writing of the complex story is simple and sublime; no car chases or shoot-outs, but intense emotion and even some humor.   Oh, and there is gardening, too. One of the main characters is a Martha Stewart-like figure. That's why the garden gnome is pictured.   Further thought: the absence of faith, belief in a higher calling, Creator or God. Not a failing of the author--but the characters are people either focused on career/accomplishment/goals or else people adrift and searching. I plan to read more of her work.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

It's like this....

...the photo is from last year, about this time.  Recently, I had a photo-download-fail, just as I formatted the camera; obliterating about 47 mediocre photos. But at least they were current.   I'm freakin' still in the tank doing several family members taxes--the clouds are clearing. I'll work some more this evening.  Today I went outside, stuck my hands in the dirt, figuratively, began the work on Garden 2012. And somewhere, I see pale blue sky beyond the confusion in the foreground. I hope.

The Butterfly Hotel is open for business--and packed!

We started, several years ago, to assist the butterfly population by nurturing the young specimens indoors. It was slow going. But this...