Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Phot-hography...aka Taking Pigtures

Our friends who gave us Bunny, have given us more than just their treasured friendship and a baby cottontail. They also share generously of their manure, and thankfully, gardening advice.

The kids are always so excited when I shout, "Okay, who wants to go get poo?" Well, nobody was complaining about carrying buckets on this particular day, when we were invited to help feed the pigs on the same farmstead where we get the manure for our garden.

These adolescent pigs were tame enough to eat right out of our hands.

Somewhere, I've got a picture of Tiggy in her pink shirt and little braids slopping the pigs. I'll post it when I find it.

Somewhere, there is a picture of me in my work clothes and ponytail, slopping the pigs. Though a cherished bit of family history, it will never see the light of day. (With appropriate bribery one of the children may show it to you in person, when you come visit.)

Next year, there will be more little piggies to visit. Sigh. It's very hard for vegetarian kids to become attached to farm animals.

Until the next adventure,
Noni Beth


Another Short-term Guest

No, Expensia isn't the short-term guest. She has long-term tenancy, and so considers herself a part of the welcoming committee for any of the refugees that find their way into our home. Especially the tasty-smelling refugees.

A friend of ours found a tiny little bunny under attack by the family cats, rescued it, and brought it to us, much to Expensia's delight. Not as much to my delight, since I tried to conceal Bunny's presence from the children by putting him/her/it in a cat carrier and artfully arranging laundry over it so it looked boring.

Boring to everyone but Expensia.

Naturally, Devon was the first to find it, his interest piqued by the cat's insistence on sitting atop the cat carrier, or staring fixedly through the air holes in the sides and meowing. Thus he got to help me feed Bunny his/her/its last meal. At least he was up-to-date on his rabies vaccinations...

The next morning, Bunny was gone, and I don't mean missing from the cat carrier. We put her out with Fezzy, Mourning Dovie, Robinny, and I forget who else. Thanks for visiting, Bunny.

Until the next adventure,
Noni Beth

A Year in the Life of a Tree


I am learning that digital cameras weren't meant to function in subzero temperatures. Not my digital camera, anyway. It took the picture, but complained bitterly.


Tina and I both thought the tree would surely be covered in snow, right up to the tippy-top. Though plenty has fallen, it keeps blowing away.

Yes, I'm serious!

A little later in the day I took this one. And wow, the tree is still there!

It's been foggy some, freezing fog of course, but this day was sure a doozy. Driving along, about all you could see was the road for a little ways ahead, since everything on the sides was white, and the snow blended seamlessly into the fog.

MARCH 2010

Does this photo look familiar? I'm having such an odd sense of deja vu all over again.


The only time I had ever seen anything like this was in It Could Happen Tomorrow about the ice storm. You can imagine what the poor power lines looked like! We had more outages than you could shake an icicle at.

APRIL 2010

What a difference a month makes! Almost everything has melted, and things are just beginning to grow. The red-winged blackbirds just returned, and if their songs could show up in the picture, there would be so many you couldn't even see the tree.

MAY 2010

It's yo-yo season. First the weather was so warm I got out my shorts, and then with very little warning it was snowing again. Sun, rain, more snow, more sun.

Everything is turning green - the grass, the leaves on bushes and trees, the roof of the abandoned house next door...

It's very windy, too. When you come to visit me, you won't have any trouble figuring out why this whole part of the country is a windmill-full energy mine.

Bring your Aquanet!

JUNE 2010

Once it decides to green up around here, it does it in a hurry! The lilacs are nearing full bloom, we've had to mow the lawn several times, and it's almost time to set out tomatoes.

Which could be why the ones I planted several weeks ago were not doing too well. Live and learn.

I built a portable greenhouse (of sorts) around them, so I think that story will have a happy ending.

JULY 2010

What a busy month, and fairly hot (for here). Tina was very cranky with the lentil farmers, who accelerate the drying of their crop by spraying Round-up and other herbicides to kill the plants.

No, it's not the use of chemicals on the plants that has her up in arms - live lentils are a lush green with a hint of yellow, that is her new favorite color. Dead lentils are brilliant wheat-yellow and orange. Not her favorite color.


After a string of thunderstorms, with two tornadoes causing a total of three deaths near us, August took a quick turn for the chilly. After a bit it warmed back up again, but there is no doubt that fall is on the way.

For one thing, the birds are just beginning their southward migration. For another, the kids are back in school. Oh, yeah!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Born to be Wild

Now that Diesel continues to have bladder control problems following his lengthy illness, we have been encouraging him to go outside for almost the first time in his life. Definitely the first time on purpose. Hey, it beats being shut in the laundry room all the time so he's never more than four steps away from his litterbox.

For the first time ever, he gets to run free outside, feel the grass under his little cat paws, watch the songbirds with no glass between, and best oh best of all, climb trees!

After this little foray into tree climbing, Diesel decided to be an indoor cat for almost a week. He hid in the laundry room, tucked away behind the washer and dryer, nose pressed into the corner, clicking his little heels together and whispering, "There's no place like home! There's no place like home!"

Until the next adventure,
Noni Beth


Yes, I really do realize how long it's been since I blogged. I am so ashamed. This is not the moment for updates - not quite yet - since there is breaking news to report!

Damon decided to give himself a haircut. I found out during a 2-hour phone/internet training session that I couldn't leave for anything, not to go to the bathroom, and certainly not to check on Amateur Night at the Barbershop.

By the time I finished, so had he, and though a few touch ups were in order, it wasn't as bad as I feared. It wasn't a flat-top like he dreamed of either, but who cares? He looked human.

"How does it look?" he asked.

"Not too awful," I said, not wanting to encourage future endeavors of the barberific sort.

"Yeah," Tina snickered, "except for the bald spots in the back." We all laughed together. We always do, at every short haircut that exposes the network of scars all over his scalp. He may not be as disastrous as Devon, but has certainly had his fair share of injuries.

A few minutes later he came back in, bald. He had tried to even it out with his scars, and very nearly succeeded.

Inspired, Devon decided he would cut his own hair, too. I actually didn't mind. Carefully fitting the trimmers with a medium guard, I showed him how to cut his own hair. "Call me when your arms get tired and I'll finish up," I told him.

A few minutes later he came back in, bald in spots.

"I told you not to take the guard off," was about all I could say.

"I didn't," he tried to excuse himself in a small voice. "It fell off, and I just didn't notice."

Oh well, it will match the LARGE bald spots in the back of his head, where a few days ago he disobeyed (shocking, I know!) and ended up squirting that expanding foam sealant stuff all over his hair. Instead of letting it dry and then having me take a look at it, he disobeyed again (No! Not Devon!). He could have been a sensible naughty boy and cut it off, but no, he had to pull it out bit by bit, leaving him looking very much like the baby robins I photographed a few weeks ago: pink, and baldly fuzzy in places.

So when they go to school in a week looking like they were CHEWED BY RATS, I want everyone to know right up front that it was not me!!!!!!!!!!

"Not to worry," I told Damon. "By the time school starts, your hair will be at least twice as long as it is now."

Until the next adventure,
Noni Beth