Sunday, May 31, 2009

We're 'Empty Nesters'!

DOTH (Daughter of the House) and I nurtured them like they were our very own:
We were devastated when we found a smashed blue-freckled egg in the garden: But we rejoiced to see that three had survived (although we could never get a photo of all three heads bobbing at once!)

We crept in and out of the house, so's not to disturb them.

We cleaned up after them (lots of white splotches, and empty worm skins everywhere)

We kept an eye out for predators (those nasty but beautiful Blue Jays, and hawks circling overhead)

We resisted the temptation to sit out there on the patio, even during beautiful weather, so that mom would not hesitate to bring those juicy tid-bits at mealtimes:

And what happened? They left -- without even saying 'good-bye.'

Well, we were able to quickly say 'farewell' to this one -- who flew out of the nest when DOTH opened the patio door one morning:
We do hope he (or she) fared well, as when he lurched out of the nest, he didn't get very far in the air, landing in the grass. Then he toddled off through the fence into the neighbour's garden and that's the last we saw of him.

And then there were two:
We caught a quick glimpse of baby number 2, as he did virtually the same thing; flew to the grass and was gone. We never did see the third baby leave -- and all we have left to show for their visit (besides more white splotches everywhere to clean up) is this:
Well, it was fun while it lasted; our contribution to the maintenance of the ecological system, I guess.

And we got some great photos. This is my favourite:

Baby on left: "Mo-om, you're squishing me!"

Baby on right: "Mo-om, you're pinching my bum!"

Gotta go do some cleaning up.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Cat's Meow

Honestly, I'm not bragging. I am just amazed!

When I was in school, I hated art. All my teachers said I was hopeless at it, and on my report cards they made comments like " Needs to try much harder" "She is failing in art" "Unlikely that she will ever make the grade in art" etc, etc.

So for over 50 years (up until just a few months ago) I never attempted to draw anything -- knowing that it was hopeless.
Wow! The power of words, eh?

Then, recently, I saw the picture on this little greeting card, and I thought, "I am sure I can do this!"

And, by George -- I was right!

Honestly, I am not proud -- just amazed at the result, and at how easy it really was. I know it's not perfect. And it's not identical to the original, but it looks like a cat!

I'm grateful, really, as I am convinced that all gifts come from God and I am so thankful that I have discovered this one, even though late in life.

But just think, if I had been encouraged by my teachers all those years ago, I might have been another Rembrandt by now!

This quote by G.K. Chesterton sort of says how I am feeling:

Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling.

I just want to keep on practising -- trying all different types of drawings to see what else I can do. Ah well -- maybe in my retirement!

Just as an aside, I love this quote:

Surely nothing has to listen to so many stupid remarks as a painting in a museum. (Edmond & Jules de Goncourt)

Finally, click here for a page of "Cat-ch Phrases" -- cat-related idioms, their history and meanings. A fun page with a lovely cat at the bottom that I'd like to try and sketch.

My next project, perhaps?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


They've arrived!
Mom's doing fine...Dad's busy hunting down juicy worms...and the babies?"Mommy...I'm hungry!Mo-mmy....I am...HUNGR-Y-Y-I'm''s all the noise about in there?

Nope! Now you're not getting ANYTHING, you bad boy...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What Do You Think?

This is my second attempt at drawing (in my old age). I'm looking forward to my next attempt because since beginning this one I have been shopping for some art supplies and an instruction book -- with my lovely Mother's Day Chapters gift card, courtesy of my family.

I don't have to tell you which is the original! It was taken from a calendar mailed to me by Covenant House. There was no name on the drawing so I don't know who the artist is. I just know that all the pictures, from each month of the year, are just as cute as this one -- which is, of course, from April. I may try another one.

Faces are a real challenge for me -- but I love the face of the little girl under the umbrella! The book I bought has lots of help for drawing faces so hopefully I will get better. I do have trouble matching the colours also. I guess I must learn how to mix the coloured pencils to get the correct shade. Of course, the original of this was done with watercolours and I used Prismacolor pencils, so that makes a difference, too.

Anyway, I'm open for constructive criticism!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Everything is Satisfactual!

We were quite determined, my sister and I, to find the elusive bluebird we'd been told could be seen in San Dieguito Park.

But I didn't know just how in earnest my sister was to capture it on camera.

At first she was happy just to sit and scan the skies...

Then she thought, "Well, maybe if I get closer, into the hedgerow, I'll see one...." But no luck.

"Perhaps under this bush? Nope, that's a little lizard..."

"Maybe, if I stand perfectly still, they'll come..."

"Ok, well, I'll go deeper still...even though they told us there are snakes on the trail."

My sister is SO brave.

"Alright, already - come out, come out; wherever you are!"

Obviously nothing happening in this neck of the wood, so we moved to the lower part of the park --

where our patience was rewarded!

Zip a dee doo-dah, zip a dee ay

My, oh my, what a wonderful day!

Mister bluebird on my shoulder (well, not quite -- but overhead)

It's the truth, it's actual. (it is!)

Everything is satisfactual. (Oh, yes -- success!)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Home Sweet Home

I had a wonderful time visiting with my sister and her husband in California -- thank you so much, Chris!

I still have great photos to post from my vacation, but I couldn't wait to show you this.

It's always sweet to be home, no matter how great the vacation was. But when I arrived home, I found that we have visitors too.

DOTH (Daughter of The House) tells me they've been here for about a week, and are obviously very pleased with the welcome they've received, as they are sticking around.

Although I must say it wouldn't be my favourite location in which to settle for a while:

You see that round, yellowish thing in the top left-hand corner of the canopy overhanging our patio? It holds a retractable clothes line which I occasionally use for hanging out my laundry on a breezy sunny day.

It now also holds this:

And here's the occupant, who has found herself a home-sweet-home for the next few weeks:

She is definitely "big with child" !

While we are flattered that mom and dad have decided this is a safe location for their family to be born, it does create a bit of a dilemma for us, since we are going in and out to the back garden quite frequently now that the warmer weather is here. Our screen door makes a terrific noise as it closes behind us, and the first time we went out and saw Mrs Robin sitting on the nest, she looked quite terrified -- but didn't budge at all.

So now we are creeping in and out so as not to disturb her too much. But we do hear Mr Robin, each time we come out onto the patio "screech...screech...screeching" a warning to her.

Yesterday, we saw a huge hawk circling way up high overhead. How wise of the robins to build their nest in such a strategic location! It's doubtful the hawk will even see the nest, but if he does, he's unlikely to come that close to the house to rob it.

It seems that robins generally lay 4-5 eggs -- one each day, and then between them Mr and Mrs Robin will incubate them over a period of up to 14 days.

It's going to be a long two weeks -- but what fun, if we get to see the baby robins emerge!