Saturday, May 31, 2008

Festive Gathering!

Gorgeous. Just a beautiful woman. That's my marvelous friend Mel.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Portrait of My Father with a Pepper

That pepper is HOT!

Heh Heh Heh...

So many comments, so little bandwidth. This is my dad and my husband and our hand-me-down patio furniture. I guess a good caption would be, "How many men does it take to open an umbrella?" Heh heh heh...

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When The Ag Report and the DEA Meet, #1

Yep. Bert's in the nip again. This time it's the orange mouse. This is what she looks like in Real Time...

When The Ag Report and the DEA Meet, #2

...and this is what she looks like in slow motion. She'll be tearing up the house all night, bouncing off walls, picking fights with the other two cats, imagining *all* the things there are to chase; come tomorrow, she's gonna want prescription strength Tylenol. And we have it, too. But she doesn't know how to ask for it. She also doesn't know I won't give it to a cat.

When The Ag Report and the DEA Meet, #3

Truly, the face of a catnip habit. Addiction? Am I in denial? An enabler? Phooey. I just think you're funny when you do crap like this.

I hope this doesn't ever backfire on me with kids.

Monday, May 26, 2008


A Snail! A few days ago I kept finding these small, translucent, spiral shells, as I made way for new plants in the back yard. But THOSE were *empty*; that's how I could tell they were translucent. When Rick found this one, knowing I'd be interested, he very gingerly handed the delicate thing to me and walked away towards the front of the house, where he was still working. Suddenly, the shell moved, and what looked like mud on the edge sprouted antennae and wriggled!

I Can't BELIEVE He Got the Whole Thing

YOW! Mammoth hosta! It's got 2 others just like it on either side of the crater it created by its removal. It's headed to the front yard, in a spot in front of the porch, and a delphinium will replace it there next to the fence. And by the way, the wheelbarrow Rick is using (once Grandpa Kopsell's, but Daddy doesn't have a use for a big barrow anymore) is HUGE. I mean, it's like 3 1/2 - 4 feet long from stem to stern! So *that'll* give *some* scale!

Double Trouble at Rest

SubstelnyCats. Caught napping. These are two of three white minion-cats whose sole purposes in life are to assist Patti's nefarious world domination (and catering/menu consulting services!) plans. MUU-HUA-HA-HAHAHA!!!

Ahem. And snuggles. They facilitate family snuggle time. But only ON THEIR TERMS...

Pimp, or Pink Patti's Ride?

Patti wanted suggestions for her new scooter. Since it can go 9 mph, AND she (apparently) routinely DOES, (I mean, this crazy woman and her wheelchairs!!) we suggested a roll bar. Maybe even a cage. If not for *her* protection, then for the greater alert of those around her...
Sam enthusiastically recommends a light bar, mounted on said roll bar or cage. I think she needs a flame job and Neon Ground Glow. Inevitably, someone had to suggest hydraulics.

Of course, now that I've got my thinker going, with the kind of speeds she's clocking I wonder if a cow catcher might not be handy? Certainly a brush grill. (I'm not sure that's what it's called; it's that thing that makes a truck look like it's wearing orthodontics...) Or she could go old school and mount a pair of bull horns on it, to show for sure she means business!

Patti's so much fun. And generous! Notice the single malt bird seed on the worktable next to the scooter. Laphroaig; nice to be a bird in their 'hood!


Lisa's bike is HOT!

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Wow. Until today, I had never noticed the uncanny resemblance in gait between Danica Patrick in the pit and Robert Patrick in Terminator 2.

Partners in Crime. ALWAYS.

Beggars. Unabashed beggars! These are my inseparable snugglers, Bert the cat (a girl, despite the name) and Cleopatra the dog (a very feline breed, as it is, but she has adopted quite a few specific behaviors from our 3 cats). If I am at all still, they BOTH must be in contact with some part of my anatomy. If there's food involved, I get a small amount of space but they still need me to know that they are always willing to assist with product disposal. How selfless... (crazies...) Know what's extra funny about that picture? There's NO FOOD ON THE STOVE.

Halloween Loot For an Iconic Holey Ghost

Rocks. On our front steps. Each one was pulled out of the ground as Rick dug each flower bed. Today he was digging flower beds, so of course he found some more to add to the collection. But today, Rick was wearing his Charlie Brown shirt. You know the shirt, right? Golden yellow with a black line shallowly zigzagging up and down, across the width of the shirt, marking the bottom third of the shirt. Got it? So, each time I'm in the front with him and he finds a rock, Rick holds it up and says in his best Charlie Brown voice, "I got a rock." (He just tickles me so much!) But my Sweetest wouldn't agree to being in a picture because he wasn't wearing a sheet with too many eye holes cut into it...

Catch the Sun, Plant It in the Soil

Mm. Yellow. I CAN'T get enough of multi-colored poppies in my front yard.

After an Amazing Season's Performance...

...these tulips are now finally on their last legs, so I had to feature them once more. Truly, no flower in the garden has impressed me more than these spectacularly long-lasting tulips. (OK, there's one that ties, and it ties across several seasons: Rick mistakes the columbines for weeds, so they get pulled. And then each spring they COME BACK. That, too is persistence on a grand scale. This year they WILL get to bloom!) Today, though, is getting very windy, so I don't expect these precarious petals to cling for terribly much longer.

O'Keefe in My Cameraphone

Bright and cheerful. I love Icelandic Poppies.

Front Yard, East View from the Porch

One large corner of our private heaven. And look! Still, with the tulips! Are they persistent or what? They have been blooming for over one month, as of May 24, and featured on my blog now 3 times. Rick and I agree that one good rain'll do them in, but that same rain will probably be the end of the baby birds in the porch roof gutter. So it can stay dry a little while longer. Just til the birds don't need that nest.

Front Yard Work Zone

Always a work in progress... Today some plants are being moved, some new beds are being dug, and some new plants are being planted. Rick is amazing. Our yard is extra colorful already, this year!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Huh. Whaddayaknow.

Wow. Another. Is this a trend?

Pretty Cool!

I just found this while clearing away some wild strawberries in the backyard.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ouch. Ow! Oy...

Yikes. First time over $4. I guess we were warned...

And God Wept.

Isn't this the same state that insists that in all schools, Creationism be taught during science INSTEAD OF the Theory of Evolution, regardless of a family's beliefs at home? That's right! Religion in science class. (Forget about the separation of church and state.) Which may 'splain this glaring bit of wrong:

Gas or gun?
The Canadian Press

May 22, 2008 at 12:49 PM EDT

BUTLER, Missouri — Salesmen at a Missouri car dealership are not just kicking in a free CD player or air conditioner. They are offering a free handgun with every purchase.

Through the end of the month, car buyers at Max Motors in Butler will have a choice — $250 toward either a gun purchase or gasoline.

General manager Walter Moore says that so far, most buyers have chosen the gun, adding that he suggests they opt for a semiautomatic model “because it holds more rounds.”

In the fine print, the ad on the website explains, “Check written toward purchase price” and also mentions, “Approved Background Check REQUIRED!!”

Mr. Moore says he suspects his “Free Handgun” ad will draw protests in some places. But not in Butler, about 100 kilometres south of Kansas City.

Mr. Moore says, “Down here, we all believe in God, guts and guns.”

I find this hair-raisingly disturbing.


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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Face to Face with the Board

They had me at 'eye-popping'. THEN they threw in 'jaw-dropping'... Wow. Way to be totally in my face. (How's that for 'tongue in cheek'?)

Real Estate Sign, Downtown Cleveland

Profound. Wish I could go. (Also profound...)

Baker Building

This is part of the scene we saw as we walked to the Colectivo meeting tonight. It's so important to get out of those coffins of our imaginations we call cars. Otherwise we are robbed unwittingly of such interesting angles and the odd gem of a mural. And we do have some amazing, gawk-worthy sights!

Renaissance: The Euclid Corridor Project

Vista! This time, NOT by Microsoft, so it Just. Might. Work. (And, hoo, does Cleveland need it to...)

Mole's Eye View

This is what she looks like from the laundry room. And from the thumps and bumpings I just heard, she's pushed her way back into the dining room again. Dork. You'd think, with her fur coat and astronomical vanity, the last place a long-haired cat like her'd want to be is the dusty, cobwebby tangle of pipes between the utility room and the fruit cellar. I think she wants to be Indiana Jones in a coctail dress.

Are We Gonna Do This *Again*?

Jeez. Can you see her? I guess this is FUN!

Pop! Goes the...

... Morgan. No weasels in this household, just cats (and the dog, wisely absent from this exchange). They all pop out of the most surprising spaces. We are never bored.

I See You...

Silly Girl. Coming upstairs, or are you folding laundry?

Curiosity Does WHAT to Cats?

Bert inspects Morgan's shortcut. Hey! She's there!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Grandpa Stone and the Allium

The flower is one of Rick's favorites, for how ethereally symmetrical and oddly perfect it is. But they are toxic for dogs, being part of the onion family, so it must be in the front yard to keep the back yard safe for Cleo. She likes its grass-like foliage.

The Grandpa Stone once was one of several lining the driveway of my Grandpa Kopsell's farm. Each spring they were freshly painted bright white. You can see the remnants of the last painting, done in his own hand. I am allowing it to weather; I don't care, myself, for painted stones, and as this stone is not being used as a guideline for nighttime drivers or widely-spaced tractor tires, it no longer needs to be as bright. The effect is appropriate.

When we grandkids were young, we would play balancing games on them, which was very challenging, given how widely spaced they were. We weren't supposed to do that; of course, we weren't supposed to play in the barnyard when the steer were out either...

(Simply amazing, isn't it, that any of us 'of a certain age', made it to maturity? Though there are those who make the argument that we've still got a ways to go.)

When he left the farm, the stones went with him. When he left this world, my mom asked for a stone for me and for my brother.

I treasure my Grandpa Stone and the still-vivid memories it helps me nurture alongside our plants in the garden.

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Impressive Feat

Tired now, but resilient, these tulips have been blooming for almost a month. Love that azalea, too!

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Our Front Yard

A good start on seasonal color! Amazingly, if you look closely enough, you can see a steadfast group of purple tulips. Yes, even this late in the season. (I think they just earned their own post.) Today's posts will be their second time featured; scroll down far enough and you'll see! Aim for April 24, or thereabouts.

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Daisies and buttercups, spilling out over the sidewalk.

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Revelations While Watching the Preakness

The U.S. Naval Academy has a Glee Club???!!?!?!???

It's true. It must be true because I saw it on T.V. They sang "Maryland, My Maryland", which is really just "Oh Tannenbaum" with different words, in English.

Am I dreaming some strange, cheese-induced dream?

A GLEE CLUB. Naval Academy.

That's as crazy as Bob Costas doing a radio show at 6am on Sundays for ESPN. (Which is also true. We know this because Rick heard an ad for it on the radio.)


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Friday, May 16, 2008

Just to Prove It 2 My Beloved

See? I told you.

(edit, next day: Yeah, I don't know what I was talking about, either. Probably for the best.)


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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Is it a neighbor or a thief?

Can you see the bunny?

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Sunday, May 11, 2008


...a forwarded picture from my friend Danielle. She always makes me laugh. Even when it's as disgusting a situation as this.


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Leonor Graduates

My sister-in-law, a gifted pianist and educator, graduated from Baldwin Wallace College and their prestigious Conservatory of Music today. We are all very proud of her.

Leonor, you are beautiful, graceful, intelligent, thoughtful, and a blast to be with. We are all so very proud of you.


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Guest-Starring on Dora the Explorer...

... Ricardo Montalban! Smiles, everyone, smiles! If he offers a magic margarita, I'll know I've fallen asleep on the couch.

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'PLANT! WATER! WATCH THEM GROW!' Seriously. We need that kind of cheerleaderish instruction to put bulbs in the ground?

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Bikini Wax at the Sampaguita Ball

Carlos-Mike is either drunk or bored, but playing with hot wax is never a good sign... Of course, neither is constant blogging...

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Another Blur at the Sampaguita Ball

Bob and Donna cut the parqetry AGAIN. On a dare. Donna sat down saying (according to Rick), "I thought he knew what he was doing!"

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More Folk Dancing at the Sampaguita Ball

Flamenco Dancers! Sort of. There are no flamingos in the Philippines. But plenty of willing dancers!

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Dance, Dance, Revelation

Filipinos doing a square dance as only Filipinos can: in over-the-top formalwear and with unspeakable politeness. Oh, and a complete ABSENSE of skipping.

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Paladins at the Sampaguita Ball

Lito and My Beloved find liquid refreshment. Paladins are EVERYWHERE!

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Monkeydoodles at the Sampaguita Ball

Bob! It's Bob! And Donna! Cutting lumber, and pulling faces (if someone else's flash hadn't distorted the evidence) on the ballroom floor!

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Dessert at the Sampaguita Ball

Strawberries and blueberries in a dark chocolate scallop shell. Very pretty! But strawberries make my mouth burn the way tomatoes do. So Rick got my reds and I got his blues. PERFECT!

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Ready for Deployment

LOTS of desserts!

It's not a Filipino event if somebody doesn't take pictures of food. (Ok, checking that imaginary box as 'done'...)


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Orchids at the Sampaguita Ball.

We're waiting impatiently to be fed at a fancy-dress fundraiser for medical missions to the Philippines. Ooh! Salads came! Nevermind. Now the orchids aren't so tempting...

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Friday, May 09, 2008

MY Fault, Really...

Morgan. Not only are you NOT SUPPOSED to be 7' in the air, you are REALLY NOT ALLOWED in my studio. But darn it, you are just sooooo cute! I can't 'bad kitty' you. I just hope you're not stuck. I'm sure you'll come down when you're hungry, I just hope you don't come down into wet paint or hot tea... (How the screaming heck DID you get up there, anyway?!?)

Congratulations, by the way. You gave the world its first glimpse into my studio. And true to your mischievous nature, my beloved and ridiculous Morgan, you had to show them the unloveliest part. AND knock down 2 boxes of Crayons when you came down, too. Thanks.


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