Sunday, May 28, 2006

All that strutting around worked!

A few weeks back, I posted photos of "our" wild turkeys when the males were strutting around trying to impress the ladies. Well, apparently at least one lady was impressed!

When Steve was outside this morning working on the yard, he startled Mama Turkey away from her nest - so we crept in to take some pictures. Now that we know where the nest is, we will watch carefully to try and get more photos as the babies hatch. I figure the mama is pretty cool with us since she made the nest so close to our house, and in an area where Colby likes to "do his business." Anyone know how long it takes turkey eggs to hatch?

We're Gonna Win, Twins!

On Friday, the boys' band played outside the Metrodome before the Twins Game. They mastered "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" and the Twins' song, as well as a few other summertime favorites. We took the light rail train downtown so we didn't have to fuss with parking, and they set up outside Gate D to play. We could have gone to the game afterwards, but we instead chose to come home and go to our neighborhood pool party! It was the final concert of the year and really fun to watch.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Finished it. Loved it.

I just finished my first Jane Austen novel and it won't be my last. It took a long time to be able to read the words fluently and not be struck by the length of sentences and plethora of punctuation. But eventually the tale pulled me in and I became part of the Wentworth, Elliott and Musgrove family.

Thanks, Calandria, for introducing me!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Last night, before bed, I read the first two chapters of Persuasion, and I quickly noted that, unlike many authors, at least the majority of authors I have read, either as a child or as an adult, and especially not like other British female authors similar to her, though my expertise in this area is limited at best, Austen likes to use commas, in many places and ways, extending the length of her sentences, sometimes even into paragraphs, which may expound on the original topic or may be a delightful aside, such as a fashion or culinary note, which make reading her work challenging, but enjoyable at the same time.

I found myself visualizing a descent down a set of stairs, dark and somehow damp, fulfilling my stereotypes of a dank English manor, getting deeper and deeper into the thought or idea being presented, until Austen begins to bring the reader back up, as if on stairs opposite the descending set, until emersion into the sunlight of understanding occurs, once the reader has successfully navigated the way through the many levels of topics included in any one, however long and convoluted it may be, sentence.

I've begun to notice that at a subconscious level I am counting the commas!

Oh, and I am enjoying the book, too!

Monday, May 22, 2006

A Reading Challenge

A friend of mine, Calandria, is an English major, preferring British authors above most others. She & I recently read the same book and had totally opposite reactions to the book. I liked it, she didn't. In the discussion that followed, I ended up promising to read a book she loves to see if we continue to have opposing viewpoints.

So tonight I will start Jane Austen's Persuasion. I have never read an Austen novel (I don't think) though I have read The Jane Austen Book Club - or some such title, about a book club which only read Austen. Does that count for anything? I have wanted to and planned to read Austen for many years, it's actually kind of odd for me to realize I never have. So I am looking forward to it, and to discussing it with Calandria.

New Landscaping Coming Soon!

This is the front entrance to our house. Not too fancy! We added on to the house last year, so this summer we hope to finish up by getting a real walkway and a real step to the entry (although the plywood ramp certainly has had its moments!)

I wanted to post a "before" photo here so that as progress is made I can document what we are doing and share the results. We have a meeting with our landscape company on Thursday for (what I hope is) the final meeting before the project can begin. Of course they are scheduling projects about 6 weeks out so our work most likely won't begin until July 1, but it shouldn't take too long once it starts.

We are looking at a cobblestone-looking paver for the walkway, a small area for some chairs and small table, and a variety of shade-loving plants to dress it all up. A year ago we had a pro give us recommendations of what would work in that area since it is so sheltered and gets such little direct sunlight. I will be doing the planting myself (which ought to be fun, I'm really not much of a gardener) and hopefully it will all be beautiful when we are done! No matter what it will be better than what we have now.

Check back for updates!!

I love our house

Every time I do the dishes I find myself thinking about how much I love the house we live in now. I look out the window and see trees, birds, squirrels, sometimes deer, chipmunks, ravens, eagles, hawks ... and nary a sign of human life.

I remember my view from our last kitchen. The street and the neighbor across it. You could never forget you were in a suburban neighborhood. Where we are now, you can easily imagine you are in the mountains somewhere, far from your nearest neighbor, alone in the wild beauty of the earth.

It's like being on a retreat all the time. I love this house.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Here is my lovely niece

Here she is both as a wee baby girl, and now as a graduating senior! We're so proud of her. She is planning on studying biology and psychology with intentions of being pre-med. The family's first doctor!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Well, I know it has been a while since I posted here ... honestly there really just isn't that much happening in my life right now. I decided I would post a photo of my niece who is graduating from high school in a couple of weeks and wax poetic about how quickly the time has gone, how I remember pacing the hospital waiting area with my parents (trying to give my brother and his wife some privacy but not wanting to be too far away), how Steve - who was a fairly recent boyfriend at the time - brought us all pizza to celebrate (except Mary couldn't eat after her C-Section) ...

But when I went to look for the photo I meant to post, I found this compilation first, and just had to post it instead.

Two of the photos in it are not of men I particularly admire, two are ... but I just decided to post this regardless - because it makes me smile!

Life needs more things that just make you smile.