Thursday, April 30, 2009

Not my camera, not your computer

These were taken the other day when we ran over to Arthur, Illinois. It never rained really hard at any time, but misted. And if it wasn't misting, you just felt the humidity around you. There was always this slight fog or mist close to the ground in the distance. It was not my camera not in focus, nor is it your computer needing adjusting.
Today has been a different story as far as the has rained A LOT today...and about the time I think it is done, it comes around again. Just a little bit ago, I actually had the thought that it might be over with for today, but instead in about ten minutes, the rain moved back in and it just poured for about 20-30 minutes. Now, it acts like the sun might want to come out, but I am not going to let it fool me for a minute.
Doesn't it look lonely? And flat. I never can get over how flat it is. I would love to know how far one can actually see. And it is certainly a different kind of seeing than growing up in Tennessee.

When I first came to Indiana from Tennessee, I sure missed my mountains. I was just always so lonesome for them...and I guess to this day even though I have come to love some of the things of Indiana, my heart still belongs to Tennessee. Every now and then we come to an area and it will remind us of this or that place in Tennessee...and just for a minute we can pretend to be home.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

She's adorable...

We went to Sarah's this morn and visited with our granddaughter, Lorelei. See that smile above--that is her getting ready to have her diaper changed! And see the picture below, that is right of in front of her changing table....those giraffes on the wall are ones Sarah painted for her room. And she seems to love them! She jabbers and coos and talks to them any time you put her on the table. If she is unhappy, take her in there and her mood usually changes.
And today her Grandpa seemed to really entertain her. She tried her best to talk to him. It isn't going to be long till she is running us all ragged keeping up with her.
Now, to the previous post...I don't know why I said I had seen grouse out at the strip pits...I meant to say I saw two male pheasants. I have almost typed grouse before. So I hope everyone that seen that post at least sees this one. I have never seen a grouse in Indiana, and only one or two in Tennessee. I don't think they are native to Indiana, but not sure.

Below is the other new sighting for us...what do you think? Is it a Great Egret?
I wish these were better pictures, but am lucky they were this good.
I really have trouble focusing this is a cheap thing. I don't have near the trouble with the other lens.
Anyway, if you think you know for sure if this is or isn't a Great Egret tell me. I really do not know what birds at all.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hi, I'm Blondie!!

It was a rainy, dreary day...we got up and fooled around a little bit. Roger finished up something in the garage and I was doing some laundry. He got done, and he knew that I had been needing some fabric...don't laugh! I really don't have very many purples or oranges in my fabric and I needed them for my new quilt for Lorelei.
Anyway, we headed to Illinois, and a quick run through the strip pit area was in order, as well as one on the way home. It is more or less a little detour to go through it. On the way there, we saw two male pheasant--(not grouse), a couple pair of blue winged teal, mallards, a painted turtle, and the usual red-winged blackbird. The normal sights.
On the way home, we saw a couple new things, this skunk among them. We did see one one other time, and it was white for the most part. And though it was an off-white, it wasn't as off white as this one. And it was too far away to get a good picture. This one, however was close enough. At first I thought he was going to come and investigate me, but he had second thoughts and turned and took off through the field.
So that is my one new thing from out there...and I will show you the other in the next day or two.
We had planned to go mushroom hunting tomorrow, but instead are going to go see Lorelei. It has been at least a week since Roger has seen her and even though it was last Thursday for me, it seems an age and I can't wait to see her.
I found this mushroom right outside our fence, where my husband parks his trailer. I found it yesterday, but a day or two before when Roger was mowing the yard, he found a whole mess of morels. He done had them inside and in water when I came home. We had to have breakfast the next morning...emmm-mmm-good!

From my front yard

I just had to show a couple things from my front yard....first the toadshade...then my dogwood tree. It is not the color pink that I wanted, but I still love it. I wanted one the color Betsy shows on her blog here. Be sure and scroll all the way to the bottom of the post to see a picture of a single bloom. I meant to ask her did she know what color it was called, so I bet she will tell me now if she remembers.
I know I post dogwood blossoms every year, but aren't they wonderful. The tree is just loaded with bloom.
ETA: I forgot to mention that my quest for tomato plants is least I plan for it to be over. I talked to the local greenhouse owner yesterday and they should have some Super Fantastic tomato plants this weekend. They are an improved version of the Supersonic. Needless to say, I am very happy.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A blue heron

I actually got this shot the other night on the way to the strip pits...I think it is my best so far of a blue heron. Actually I very seldom get a chance to even try to capture them. Most of the time, they are very shy, but every now and then one isn't and I wonder what the reason is. Do some actually become accustomed to cars and some not. Usually the ones out at the strip pit take flight if they are anywhere near the road.

I have things I want to do today...going to actually call a couple more green houses. I am kind of wanting to go this one the Amish have, but won't go unless the other two I thought of don't have any tomatoes.

But first I have things to do here so I best get busy.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


I don't know why, but lately I find myself really liking sycamore trees. I don't know if their wood is actually good for anything, and I know they don't provide much shade. But somehow or other, I like the way their trunks stand out against the surrounding backgrounds.

I guess I also find myself drawn a lot more to the single trees left standing here and there...specially when they are in the middle of a big plowed field.

Speaking of plowing, I am so ready to plant a few tomato plants and our usual bell peppers. But there seems to be a hitch this year....I bet I drove over a hundred miles yesterday, went to three green houses and one home center looking for the supersonic tomato plants and did not find a one at any of them. Today, I checked our local Walmart and they had even less.

I love the flavor of the supersonics when grown in our garden; for some reason, a lot of the others don't have a lot of flavor. But this year we really need to perform some tests. We need to pick several varieties and keep track of where they are planted, and see which ones have the better flavor.

Right now though, I need to tidy up the house....I have a quilt that I made that hangs in the dining room. One of the cats has been jumping up and pulling it down, and then they all sleep on it. I need to devise a better way of hanging it. Yet right now, one is snuggled in it and I haven't the heart to make him move. I will wait till he goes back outside before I do anything with it. It is nothing fancy...I wouldn't let him do that to a 'good' quilt, but this is just one I experimented on. You can see it here...

So I best get this published and see what I can get done.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Today, Roger killed a turkey...the biggest he has ever killed! It weighed 25 lb....We didn't measure the beard. I know he had one turkey with a longer beard before.
I just have to show you some of the have to enlarge these to see what I am talking about. They have not been manipulated, other than I re-sized the pictures for this blog.
Aren't they gorgeous!
Look at that green on the above photo...that is really what it looked like.
And these! Can you believe the color?
And as an added treat, look at this red headed woodpecker! We took a short drive late this afternoon, and I spotted him on this post as we were going around this curve.
It is the first one I have seen in years and years. I only managed to get one shot before he took off.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

My own personal sky

Please, please enlarge these...they are so beautiful. Even with a dirty lens, the bottom one is still awesome.
I took these last night when I was thinking about leaving the strip pits. Actually, I was trying to make myself leave because it was too dark to capture anything else but the sky caught my attention and I had to make one final round and catch a few different views of it. These were two of my favorites.

I must say that I am still concerned about the Northern the three or four times I have been out there recently, I have only seen one, and it in the distance. I could tell it was one by the way it flew close to the ground and seeing its white patch. Since one male can have up to 5 or 6 females, maybe the females are all on nests.
I spent most of the day with the Little Bright Eyes...I had to be there by 7:30, though I got there a little earlier than that. She slept in till her up and we changed her diaper. You got to understand that she loves having her diaper changed. She kicks and talks and smiles and laughs the whole time. Even if she is fussy, if you go change her diaper it is almost guaranteed to change her mood.

Anyway, changed her diaper and then tried to give her a bottle. She has a bit of a stuffy nose, and I don't know if that was part of the problem or what, but she was not as enthused with the bottle as she was the other time I got to give her one. However, once we got it down, she was just a happy, cheerful little girl.

I didn't try to take pictures, though I should have. I did have Roger's point&shoot camera in my purse. She has decided she really likes her swing, and when her mommy got back and fed her, she wanted in the floor. She kicked and kicked and talked to us...had us totally entertained.

In other news, our other daughter should be heading home from Colorado in the wee hours...they plan on leaving 1:00 a.m. tomorrow. She has been out there for some training in crisis support. I know she is looking forward to sleeping in her own bed again.

Roger is turkey hunting...yesterday was opening day. Neither he nor his buddies got one yesterday. He didn't go out this morn, but went out before I got home. It is just amazing...when we were first married, there were no wild turkeys around. Now, we see them quite often, and sometimes big flocks of them. I think the National Wild Turkey Federation has had a lot to do with getting them re-introduced to our world again.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

New for me...

It was so beautiful this evening that I made a quick run to the strip pit area. I think the above are Northern Shoveler. It could be a bit better, but this image still shows enough to identify.
I got this dove the first thing when I turned down the road. Doves are just so kind looking to me...I always think of them as a symbol of peace. You really need to click on both of these to get the full effect, but especially this dove.

I go early, or early for me, to Terre Haute to babysit Lorelei for a few hours in the morning, so I need to head to bed and try to get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

One more identification

I know this top photo is not in focus, but is this a blue-winged teal? I think it is from my book and also from googling it.
I am embarrassed to tell this, but it had not dawned on me that the bird below is the female version of the blackbird. It sort of made me wonder when they act so much alike, but I had never thought to look it up. But when googling red-winged blackbird, it appears several times.
I would hate to have to count the number of red-winged blackbirds out at the strip pit. I think it would be an impossible task. They are everywhere you look.
Two fellow bloggers, Tom and Leedra, identified the questionable bird in yesterday's post as the grebe, pied-billed grebe by Tom...Leedra just called it a grebe. Now if someone would just identify the one Sunday's post...I have also ran into pictures of sandpipers and sandpiper like birds that are similiar to it.

Today was a windy felt like the wind came direct off an iceberg. It was dark and dreary to begin with, the sun came out for a bit and then back to dark and dreary. If I had not had things to do, I would have went out to the strip pits just to watch the changing skies.

Coots - ??

I saw coots day before two or three fairly good pictures. When I was doing the slide show for Roger, we viewed the one above and I clicked to go forward and he says to go back.
I did not notice this other one with them till he said that. Is it a coot also? To me it seems totally different to the others...there was at least 12 or so of the others and only this single fellow. The shape of its head seems different, along with the coloring. It is interesting seeing all these water birds. Where I grew up, we didn't see many ducks or geese. We did not have the right habitat for them I suppose.

No identity on the bird yesterday...I did get out my Audubon Society field guide to birds and am more confused than ever concerning yesterdays bird as well as the above.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

New strip pit finds

Yesterday afternoon, I got to thinking about how it was supposed to start raining (it did rain and has rained and misted off and on this day), and I thought I might just go back to the strip pit to see what I could find. I saw several of the bird in the top it a rail of some kind or is it a Wilson's snipe. I am leaning towards snipe but really do not know, so if you know please feel free to comment. And I saw this little painted turtle in this marshy area. It is the first one I have seen out there that I remember.
I also saw a couple pheasant, but no pictures. And an owl--I got pictures but they are not in focus. I saw coots, and I think a grebe...I will post pictures sometime this week. And then some other waterfowl...I don't have a good picture of it but will post it because I think it is at least good enough till someone will be able to identify it.

It did start raining last night...a gentle rain. I think it rained a little all night long and has sprinkled off and on all day. I am not sure what the next few days are supposed to bring, but hopefully the sun will return sooner than later. I am sitting here staring out the window and seeing my lilac in smells so good. Though the smell is not as strong as normal so I am wondering am I losing part of my sense of smell.

I just got home from the library...I always come home with such a load...and I very seldom get many read these days. Used to I would bring home whole slew of books, and if they were good, they would be read. Before I went, I went to their website and made my list from least for actual books. For audio, I just go and browse the shelves. And I brought home a couple Inspector Morse videos and a couple Inspector Lynly dvds.

I always wonder how everyone else goes about making their selections....I used to go and just browse and I admit I found some really good books that way. Now I usually pick a subject, and look it up under their key word feature. Today, I used the word 'dust bowl' but they did not have then I switched to 'farm.' Today I seemed to come home with more fiction that not.

For a long while, I seemed to find most of my books in the non-fiction shelves, but my tastes/attention span are changing...and I very seldom get a book that I just can't wait to have a few minutes to read. I miss that feeling of anticipation of knowing I have a good book waiting for me. And I seem to be returning more to fiction, as I did when younger.

Then there are words...if a title has certain words in it and I see it, I will just automatically pick it up. A title with any of the four seasons mentioned will get my attention, as well as any month; if river is in the title, you can bet your life I will pick it up. Or rain...or Tennessee or Kentucky...harvest is another one that is apt to draw my attention. I know there are more words but can't think right now.

So, how do you choose your reading material and have you always liked to read? I know as soon as I learned to read, my mom had to make me turn out the lights most nights. I cannot imagine having a library to go to like I do now. It is one of the greatest pleasures of life.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Ugly or beautiful?

These are some guineas that Rachel and I passed when we went to Turkey Run antiques just a bit back. They did not want to pause for a photograph and I was on a road where I felt like I had to hurry.
So I quickly snapped a few and these were my choice to publish.
I really cannot decide if I think they are ugly or beautiful. When I look at the smaller sized picture, I lean to ugly, but when I enlarge it, I think NO, not so ugly. Kind of beautiful in fact. I just love their feathers.

When we were kids, we did not get to go places very much. Our mom's family all lived just a few miles away...I am sure less than 15, and probably less than 10. Yet we only went to visit about once a year. And when we were kids, a couple of our aunts and their kids maybe came to our house once a year.

One of those aunts always had guineas. I really do not know what the purpose of them were...I don't know if she ate the eggs or not. Do people even eat the eggs? I really do not know...but I do know that I wish I had paid more attention to them and wish I had asked more questions.

My brother, Neal just left, and we always talk about how we wish we had ask more questions. Our mom and dad just didn't talk about their childhood very much at all...they did not talk about what they did for fun, or what they did at holidays or anything. And I guess if truth be told, I don't talk to my girls about what I did as a child either.

One time, right before mom died I did think and ask her a question or two...She said they went to school from July till February. I don't think she said the reason for this. She walked about half a mile to school and came home for lunch. Her teacher taught about 30 kids from primer through 8th grade. They had visitors to the school every couple of Fridays just to see what the kids were doing...sometimes they had a spelling match (bee).

At the end of one year, the teacher held up mom's report card and said she wished everyone had a report card like it. Our mom only went through 8th grade; her teacher tried to get her to come to town and live with her and go to high school. But she loved her home so much she wouldn't leave it.

I ask her if they got a Christmas tree every year and she said no. I do not know if that was common to not have one or not in that area. She said her mom always baked a couple cakes and they would have apples and oranges and candy for their Christmas. That is one tradition she carried on...I can remember when I was a kid mom baking several cakes for Christmas. I really don't know if she did it every year, but I can remember the anticipation of it. So she must have did it more than once. And Mom and Dad always got a bushel of oranges and a bushel of apples for Christmas...

Mom did say that they would have a Christmas tree at school and sometimes there would be a present under it for each kid. She got one present that had two or three embroidery squares in it and that is how she learned to embroider.

I so wish I had started asking stuff sooner and just wish I had known what to ask. Now, Neal and I are always telling each other to remember to ask George this or that that we can't remember...not George, the Senior Hiker but George our brother. He can remember a lot more of the people from around home than we do. And can just remember some stuff better than we can.

I am always entranced when people start telling about their childhood, or their parents life. I think because I missed that part of mine. I guess I need to start talking about mine to my children.

Friday, April 17, 2009


We had not been out to the strip pits in while...I had a strong urge to go this evening and Roger was about as eager to get out there as I was.
We were not disappointed, though this owl is about the only thing I photographed.
I think the one above and below are probably my best so far...I think you will be happy if you click and enlarge them.
He didn't set there too long before he flew away. None of the ones I got him flying away are in focus, but you get a feel for him with this one.
He was the second owl we saw. Besides him, we saw pheasant. Half a dozen of them...two or three of which were females. I did get a head shot of one running away...they are so quick! I could not get a good capture of one no matter how I tried.

There were several pairs of geese out there, we saw herons flying over, and lots and lots of red-winged blackbirds, but I am kind of wondering. We did not see a single Northern Harrier...and the last time we were out there were only saw one or two.

The sky was beautiful, as you can see from the first picture. The sunset did not seem to last as long as usual though...but maybe that was cause I was so focused on seeing how many pheasants and owls I could spot.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Getting ready...

This is a building we encountered on our drive to Cataract Falls. I would love to know what that big thing on top fact, would you just love to dig around in this place. Look at that chair sitting there...and I would love to know what is behind the door of the little red addition. I think that looks like it has been added later than the original...but I could be wrong.
Tomorrow our youngest daughter turns 27...I cannot believe she is that old. She still looks like a kid. I think she is one of those women that just won't age. If she does it will be much more gracefully than I. To see her with Lorelei, she looks like a kid with a kid...and I honestly bet that is what lot of people think.

We had fun yesterday...Lorelei was so entertaining. She slept while we ate, but also was laughing in her sleep, which in turn had us cracking up. She does have the sweetest little toothless smile! It is enough to melt the heart.

I am still in the creative mood...working with my Electric Quilt program to design another little quilt for Lorelei...I want it bigger than the other one but still not going for twin size yet. At least I don't think I will. What I want to do I have done is a simple pattern....and old, old pattern in fact. But it is a matter of color placement. I have to have a 'map' to follow, and sometimes I still have to rip out seams.

I have been interrupted with a phone call...I don't recall what else I was going to tell, if anything. So will close and get busy here. My brother is also coming down tomorrow...they want to see Lorelei and I thought it would be a good time.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Just a little something for your viewing pleasure..taken on a short drive on the 8th of this month.

I am wanting to start something in the sewing dept. and have a couple things in mind. Don't know how much I will get done though. Tomorrow we are heading to Tuscola to the outlet girls that is. If nothing happens. We were going to go Monday but it was too rainy and damp and is an outdoor mall we are going to.

I don't know if any of us are really going for anything particular...just a time to get out and do something together. Before Sarah goes back to work and while Rachel is on vacation. There is a Carter's store over there, so I bet we all want to go to it. Lorelei is going to be the best dressed kid in town....I keep thinking about making her an outfit.

I always had trouble choosing the correct size for the kids when they were so tiny. It was more fun when they were around 4 or 5. I don't know if either one of them remember things I made them or not but they each had favorite things they wore. I think with my oldest it was a pair of red plaid pajamas...with the younger, it was not so much one thing as this one pattern. A skirt pattern that had circle skirt...kind of. A lot like this one...if not the same one.

We won't say much about the poodle skirt she wanted...and she wanted it out of a specific material. Polkadots--black and white. I hunted and hunted till I found material acceptable to her, and made it...and she hated it once it was made. I honestly don't know if she wore it 2 times even. The other little skirts...I forget how many I made from the same pattern...she wore them all the time. I could honestly say I got my money's worth out of it.

So keep your fingers crossed that I settle on something to make...I feel the need to be creative!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Spring is springing....

Spring is all around us now...everywhere I look I see something bright and beautiful. Even though it is cold, dark, dreary and rainy here this day, I look out and see things blooming and the gloom isn't so all enveloping.

I cannot help but wish I had a fireplace when it rains...I love sitting by a fire almost as much as anything there is. Just something about it....when we moved to Tennessee, the little house had a fireplace. We did close it up and get a wood stove with a blower on it. But before we closed it, I sure enjoyed it. Sitting by a wood stove is very enjoyable also, just not quite the same.

I keep threatening to turn our old block garage into a room for me...with a wood burning stove in it. I know I would spend a lot of time in it if we did...I would want a stove and a comfortable chair or two...and a light to read by. But then I think about how much work would be involved and how damp it tends to get...the dampness is really the part that worries me. Roger says we could take care of it, but I am not as positive as he is.

Okay, change of subject...

Our dinner yesterday was filled with laughter from watching Lorelei. She sat and grinned and laughed and made faces almost the entire time. So much joy does she bring to our life. And she laughs in her sleep...honest to goodness. Sarah was the same way....she woke up laughing a lot of times when she was little. I honestly can't remember if she did it this young though...

Roger picked up this little rocker seat for her at Walmart Saturday...we put it together, all the while knowing that one of the cats would claim it. He first put this folded up towel in it. None of them noticed it till that night and then Puss Puss claimed it. We took the toys off cause she wanted to play with them, and we unfolded the towel and covered the entire thing with it. Puss Puss slept in it that first night, but she was back with us last night.Sarah says Otto licks Lorelei's feet every chance he gets...Keesha doesn't pay her much mind. She was a funny dog...she didn't always like kids when she was young, yet some kids could do anything to her. Otto will be all for anything that Lorelei can dish out...though Sarah will never let Lorelei be mean to an animal.

Otto and his type were at one time America's favorite dog for families...they have such a bad reputation now. Though after knowing him, it really makes me wonder how any of them is ever induced to fight. He is all about a good time...the closer he can be to you the better. He just has to sneak in as many kisses as he can...

I need to get busy and get some things done around here...I bought an extra ham and had it sliced so I need to get the slices bagged individually and frozen. I also need to put the dishes up...I tell you I am loving my dishwasher. So far, I am well pleased with it. I put a pan in it the other day that had sat for hours, it had had mac-n-cheese in it, and that had dried on it. It came clean as a whistle. It cleans much better than our old one...even when it was brand new I found quickly that it was no use to try to clean pans in it. But that was about 15-16 years ago. I guess things have improved since then.