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Maybe Next Time...

This morning's walk at the dog park had me wishing over and over that I'd brought along the camera.

Wildflowers & weeds bloomed all over the place. White blooms, yellow blooms, purple blooms. Dragonflies and damsel flies and butterflies darted and dashed and flitted round and about and up and down. A nearly-neon blue dragonfly perched on a green blade of grass bending across a spectacular red frisbee on the ground. Slowly working its stellar yellow and black wings, a butterfly (?swallowtail?) clung to the spikey purple petals of a large thistle bloom. . .

And the bright blue sky was patched with the white puffs of sunlit clouds.

*Sigh* Such a lovely morning!

And if we manage to get back out there early tomorrow before I have to drop MyJeff off at the Red Cross for his donation, I'm afraid I won't find the same multitudes of flitting and fluttering to try to photograph.

But . . . I will try.

Happy Birthday, Hawk_Soaring!

Thinking of you, Hawk_Soaring, and wishing you a relaxing and Happy Birthday! Have fun. Have cake. Have a great day.

Ruminating on Anniversaries and Such

First off: This is my FOURTH DAY IN A ROW AT POSTING! For me, that's pretty WOW! I know several of you have hit the every day for a year or more point, but I'm not that good and am trying to be happy with my little successes.

(Am I sounding a tad defensive? *snicker* No, I'm not! *hee*)

Tomorrow, June 26th, is the 20th anniversary of the first British publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (...Sorcerer's Stone in the US). US publication came on September 1, 1998. MyJeff and I were encouraged to read the book by our then-neighbor Kate (an elementary school teacher) and her young granddaughter Layla. We read it together as a read-aloud and--like so many other fans--waited impatiently for each of the sequels. In fact, I can raise my eyes from this screen, look to the bookcase against the far wall, and see the lineup of hardcover Harry Potter books. We loved the stories, although some more than others. We felt some of the later ones might have benefited from a tougher editor. But then ... I've never managed to even get one short story published and J.K. Rowling is the richest woman in England because of her books. *Snort on my opinion.*

How about you? Did you read and enjoy the exploits of Harry and the rest of the denizens of JKR's world?

Moving on:

Speaking of anniversaries: 10 years ago, on June 29, 2007, the first iPhone EVER hit the sales floors. And they've been taking over and re-shaping the world ever since. The iPhone and all of its "copycats". Neither MyJeff nor I have a smart phone. We're stuck at the little flip-phone level. And that's okay with us.

This morning I learned that 2017 is Canada's 150th anniversary! HAPPY HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, CANADA! Good going. Sorry I've been such a bad neighbor as to let half the year go past before noticing. I MUST send my Canadian resident brother and his wife an e-card! I wonder if Jacquie Lawson's site has one featuring beer...

Did I ever point out that MyJeff and I have been living together for almost 31 years without bothering to get married? Now that we've gone through the scare of my quintuple heart bypass and the realization of the limitations of a convivant's rights (as in: basically none), we've pretty much decided that we really want to make all possible futures more secure for each other. Although we don't know exactly when (especially since we are scrabbling to save money just to pay for the basics), we will be getting married sometime in the foreseeable future.

In fact, MyJeff surprised me with a set of rings back at the end of January, when we were both employed.

Another Sweet Surprise Morning

This morning, Ma Nature was kind to me again. Sitting on the back deck for my early morning cup of coffee and moments of morning tranquility with my sweet Vinnie, I watched a grey egret fly overhead, east to west. S/He flew low, barely clearing the neighbor's roof, which put her 30 to 40 feet away. I clearly saw the soft gray of her feathers as she leisurely glided by. So elegant and lovely.

Shortly afterward, I heard a surprisingly familiar call that startled me to hear in my inner city back yard. Sounding like warbling, harsh laughter--often described as "haunting", the call yanked my attention to the southwest. Again I heard it. Then, a large bird flapped across the sky, laughing in derision as s/he went. I can barely believe I saw a single Common Loon flying and calling her way across south Minneapolis this morning. I'm guessing she may have been heading toward Powderhorn Park Lake for a break in her travels; but she may have just started and is now winging north over Coon Rapids. Whichever ... I wish her WellSped on her long flight to our northern Minnesota lakes. Of course, to her perception she's probably almost there.

A few days ago I shot some early morning cloud photos. Here are a few that I rather like:

I watched a jet race on past the cloud formations as though a gold and sapphire trophy awaited the winner.

The pilot must have had a terrific view.

Hey Look, Mom! Two Days in a Row!

I'm trying to be more mindful of things. But my mind is trying to be more of a handful...



Somewhere in the neighborhood of 5:30 this a. of m. I sat on our back deck, draped in a warm blankie with my feet in faux sheepskin-lined slip-on slippers and watched the day a-born. A lovely birthing it was, with brisk breezes coming and going, rays of sunshine working around and through buildings and trees, birds singing everyone and everything into vibrant and delightful LIFE!

And then ... a small flash of red light in a gap of branches on one hazelnut bush caught my eye. No. That was a flashing spot of yellow light. Or was it ... a glint of red? ... or of green? ... slide my head an inch to the right and ... a big blue spark morphing to red glowed at me as it continued gyrating from color to color.

It was amazing. It was puzzling. It was beautiful. It was a gift.

Through here please...Collapse )

Heavens to Betsy!

Remember that phrase? I haven't heard it in decades. But that's what popped into my head, when I looked at my LJ posting calendar a few seconds ago. My last post was almost a week ago. *Sigh* And I even had good things happening to tell you about. *Naughty Val! **wristslap** *

You may recall from 'way back then:

MyJeff and I started our garage sale at 2 p.m. one week ago today (Thursday). We closed around 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday ran from 8:30 a.m. to a bit past 5 p.m.

Throughout the sale, the weather was glorious. Oh, sure, we had a few showers and an occasional sprinkle on Thursday, but nothing worthy of complaint. Especially since we had two canopies up for protection, as well as the garage. About 3 or 4 people commented on the placement of signs and how well we led them to our sale. Frankly, I hadn't realized we were doing a bread crumb thing, but it certainly worked! The flow of customers was fairly constant with mostly short gaps. And, the most amazing, wonderful thing is that people were interested in buying! They were in the mood to spend their money; and to spend it on some of our stuff!!! These delightful people kept handing me $20 bills and hauling away THINGS. Sometimes things that I'd been displaying off and on for much longer than I'd like, sometimes items that we just picked up this past Spring.

Some of those items disappeared on their way to new homes with barely a wave or a "Thanks for all the fish"!

Neighbors continued to wander in and out, most of whom made purchases. One neighbor stopped to chat and ask how well my recovery from last year's surgery was going. She commented that she really needed mini-muffin pans. I said I was pretty sure I had one on the front porch that I never used. I found two and she was ecstatic, since she has to bake 100 mini-muffins and extra pans makes for faster project completion. Another neighboring couple kept coming back and finding one or two more things. The husband brought MyJeff a cold beer or two on his stops.

We sold FOUR walking sticks &/or canes! Half of those to neighbors. One man asked about the roll of green plastic fencing sitting atop our compost bin. MyJeff sold to him for $10. (No, we hadn't intended to sell it, but it was just a left-over so...) Several Hallowe'en decoratives sold. Small appliances sold. Paperbacks sold, including a Marguerite Henry book about the wild burro "Brighty of Grand Canyon". I mentioned to the young woman that this was the same author that wrote "Misty of Chincoteague" (also a Disney film) and she'd never heard of it! Gasp! Sputter! Another woman of nearer my age stood back with a surprised expression also and nodded as I explained and suggested. The young woman was rather excited, commenting that she was "a big Disney fan" and that she'd have to try to find "Misty". Ahhh, these young folks do not know what they've missed in the many years of Disney films and mid-century youth books. Lucky youngsters to get to discover.

The lovely people shopping at our sale were--almost without exception--friendly, chatty, and acquisitive. I really liked our clientele at this garage sale. Fun conversations, polite people, very little messing up of our set up . . . you couldn't ask for a nicer sale without being greedy and ungrateful.

As he walked home through the alley, a neighbor paused to take this photo with his cell phone so he could post it on one of the local group websites we don't belong to (nextdoor.com)--and he sent it to me as well.

Photos & More...Collapse )

Next up: We'll probably set up at a flea market down in Northfield, MN, (about 45 minutes or so south) for their Independence Day celebration. The market is scheduled for July 3 and 4, but we'll likely just set up on Monday the 3rd. Don't want to leave The Boys through the fireworks of the actual holiday. They would be very scared.

Bottom line: We broke our own sales record from any garage sale or flea market! In fact, we smashed that record to little bits and shards. We sold almost enough to pay our mortgage for the month just from the garage sale. Along with savings, we should be able to pay all bills this month. YIPPEE-DOO-DEE-RAH!

So Far . . .

The garage sale has been going surprisingly well. I use the term "surprisingly" because, although it felt as though sales and such were pretty good as we went through each of the last 2 days, when we added up the sales at the end of the day it came to more than we expected. GOOD surprise!

If tomorrow--the last day--is as good as either Thursday or today, we will break our record for total sales at any garage sale we've held!

And ... besides the badly-needed influx of money, we've had friendly shoppers, good conversations, neighbors stopping by to visit and to shop, and friends coming over to shop and visit and deliver goodies for snacking. (Thank you, cakmpls!) Watching STUFF you've been trying to sell get hauled away by new owners also provides a jolt of satisfaction.

My favorite story so far:

A couple-few years ago, we scavenged a tabletop loom from the 60s or 70s that came with balls of yarn and thread, pattern books, books of how-to, and other related bits and pieces and accessories. LOTS of other stuff! We finally went through, cleaned out and organized, etc. just a few weeks ago and sent photos and questions to carbonel for advice. She opined that everything vital was there and in reasonable shape and advised a likely price range.
Loom photosCollapse )

We set the whole kit and caboodle out in the driveway with a price tag of $100 for the lot. Today a nice lady in work coveralls and beautiful hair and earrings looked over the loom and accompaniments then conversed with MyJeff--who is always ready to chat with lovely ladies. He came to me and mentioned that the lady wanted the loom, but said she only had $50. So she and I talked a bit. She told me that she had found such a loom years ago and wanted it, but couldn't/didn't buy it then; and she'd regretted missing the chance ever since.

Apparently, 2 days ago she had a dream about the loom, and felt that she was meant to buy it. I certainly couldn't argue with that conclusion. So...she offered to pay us the $50 she had with her today, and would come back next week with the other $50 to pick up the loom. "Would you be willing to do that?" I told her she could pay me the $50 today, come back next week with $25 and pick up the loom. Thus, she'll get her loom next week, and we'll get a good price; but needn't make the nice lady pay full price.

The nice lady and I shook hands. Then, we hugged. We just met, but the hug felt Just Right.

I love those kind of moments. You know what I mean?

I Did NOT Realize it Had Been So Long...

WOW! This week slipped into a time warp for me for sure! We've been trying to get ready for our garage sale--AT LAST!--and the days flew by without so much as a "pardon me, can I get through here?".

The rest of this must be short, because I advertised to open the garage sale at 8:30 a.m. today and tomorrow; and I still have things to do like make lunch sandwiches, feed the dogs, etc.

Yesterday's sale from 2 p.m. until about 7:30 p.m. went surprisingly well. We had a fairly steady flow of shoppers and many of them made purchases. We hit my daily goal in sales, which is always a nice accomplishment. Y'all are welcome to come by today or tomorrow to visit and/or shop. I can make more coffee and we have plenty of seating available!

Here's the link to the craigslist ad with photos, times, address, etc.


Must get back to it! Enjoy your weekend.

Clouds, Crow, and Kestrel

Yesterday we had 93 F (~34 C) and rising humidity--although not as humid as we'd expected. Forecasters warned of severe thunderstorms and high winds for the night &/or morning. So, we battened down the proverbial hatches around the yard and house yesterday evening.

When I arose this morning, no rain greeted me, but brisk breezes, and cooler temps did. So I sat on the back deck reading and enjoying the pleasant weather. Naturally, I also spent minutes watching the dark patches of cloud sail across the pale, pale gray that imitates white above me. Then, a blink, and I realized that the flat matte pale gray was a smooth coating of cloud with no smidgeon of true sky showing. As though a HUGE trowel had smeared a generous dose of perfect plaster over the entire sky. Then, darker cloud clumps released to skate across that background. Rather cool.

Around 8:30 a.m. a steady rumbling of thunder began and--just about the exact moment the television weatherman had predicted--HIGH winds brought the lightning and downpour. A few minutes of pea-sized hail pattered through. More wind, more rain. Very scared and nervous dogs followed MyJeff and I everywhere we went. Especially MyJeff who had at least one dog velcroed to him through out the storm. Almost 3 hours later, we're still hearing bits of rumble and receiving light showers off and on. We heard that a few folks had trees downed or just damaged and some lost power.

Lately, we've been witness to several rounds of mutual flying harassment between Crow and Kestrel. The two are close in size, although Kestrel is solitary while Crow is often joined by flock siblings. The two contestants might fly over, shuffling position of harassor and harassee back and forth, Crow clicking or cawing and Kestrel screeching his threats. At other times, 2 or 3 heckling Crow chase a lone Kestrel protesting his annoyance from tree to tree. Every once in a while, Kestrel's protests are accompanied by physical attacks that send Crow diving away. Naturally, the aerial acrobatics and Nature's Drama provide more entertainment than my simple report can convey.

Feels like a tiny clip from the old television show "Wild Kingdom".
And because I love you guys:

This link has several smile-generating kitten clips. I bookmarked it so I can return and watch more of them later.


I hope you enjoy them, too.



SnowFace Cody

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