Morning in a field

I had to snap some photos of an early morning gathering in a field. Yes, a field. Because this group was gathering to look at trees. Walnut, cherry, oak. You know. The things with the branches and the leaves. These trees, though, are baby trees. On their way to becoming something bigger. There’s an environmental thing going on here, hence the interest in the seemingly ordinary trees. I liked the trees, certainly, but I can never resist Queen Anne’s Lace. Especially when it’s glowing in the morning sun.

If I hadn’t been wearing sandals, which were getting wetter every step I took, I’d have hung out longer. I should spend more mornings out in a field. It’s a rather lovely way to start the day.

The sparkle is over


Just a smattering of photos from last night. We had a small family fireworks display on the sidewalk, then tried in vain to view the Reeds Lake fireworks from our traditional vantage point across the street. But a four-story retirement community has been erected since our last celebration, and it most definitely blocked our view. Next year I vote for riding our bikes to the park and watching them in person!

Smile for the camera, Juliette!

Juliette is kind of needy. In the emotional way. She can’t stand it when we’re outside and she’s not. My husband thinks I’m totally nuts, but I’ve started putting her out on the lead in the front yard when we play out there. Otherwise you can hear her whining and freaking out as she paces from the front window to the door and even up to our bedroom, where she has shredded a couple of pillowcases. She’s not thrilled to be out of reach of us ever, but at least this way she can watch the baseball action and enjoy the shade under the tree.

I couldn’t resist trying to snap a few photos of her. I love how she’s kind of looking at the camera here. Unheard of from my no-eye-contact pup. I love her so.

My favorite time

If I could extend a specific time of day, I would make spring and summer evenings longer. The time between 5:00 p.m. and bedtime. That’s when the lovely things seem to happen. Tonight it was playing baseball in the road with my husband and kid. With some encouragement and coaching, Devin actually hit quite a few of my pitches. Once he figured out he could make contact with the whiffle ball, he wanted to play all night long. Afterward I took a nice stroll with Juliette before doing a bit of work in the garden. And now, as I’m typing, I can hear the birds that have become squatters in our neglected window boxes twittering to each other.

I need an ergonomist

Three hours in a car. An hour or so of walking. Four hours of sitting in a chair. An hour standing in a bar, trying to avoid being in the way of the waitstaff. Two hours in a restaurant booth. Certainly not eight full hours of sleep, even in a comfy bed with massive pillows. Seven and a half more hours sitting in a chair. Twenty minutes sitting waiting for the valet to extricate my car from the lot. Two hours in the car driving followed by 20 minutes sitting in the same car and debating with my husband whether it was safe to drive. Eight hours of sleep in another hotel bed. Half an hour spent online trying to determine which auto repair shop was least likely to rip me off. Fifteen minutes in the car to the shop and driving around with the mechanic. One hour in the car to finally get home. Seven hours at my desk.

Is it any wonder my back is aching? Or my knee for that matter?

Conferences are good, but I vote for the format to change to walking-while-learning opportunities or some other non-sitting option.

Let me out!

Seriously. I think that’s what this chameleon wanted to say. His eyes followed us as we approached and were peering at him. Then Devin put his finger up against the glass and the critter lifted his front legs off of the branch and seemed to turn them beseechingly toward us. He kept grasping at the glass as we stood there. It was all done in such a slow and fragile manner. I’m always applying human feelings to creatures, where the don’t really belong. But this little fella really did seem to be imploring us to help him break out of his confinement. I felt a little bit sad as we walked away.

We blew bubbles today

And played with dandelions. Love the spring evenings, although I wish there were more hours at my disposal. Still, even a half hour outside goofing around is good for the soul. I need to do more goofing around. I need a remedy for some of the stress and tension that have whittled their way inside of me. Outdoor time with Devin is a great place to start. We just need to get Scott out there with us too!

Stumpy

So yeah. That’s all that’s left of the only tree in our backyard.

Half of it fell into our yard during a windstorm several years ago. Just minutes after Juliette and I came inside from goofing around right by said tree. I heard this creepy sound and looked out the window to see a huge branch stretching across the yard and onto our deck.

A few years later, the other half landed in our neighbors’ yard. During another windy, rainy event.

All shade was gone from our backyard. All that was left of the poor, sad tree was a jagged mess at the top.

The next year, some suckers started to grow on the tree. An awkward branch grew out of one of them and I gloried in a small patch of shade. The branch got big. Then it, too, fell off.

The other day Scott was mowing and noticed that the tree had a crack in it. So there ya go. All of the signs were there. The poor thing wanted to be put out of its pain. So now it’s part of the fence. And we’re back to a shadeless yard.

I told Scott tonight that I miss my tree. He laughed. But it’s true. I miss the sad ol’ thing.

Neighborly

After the cool spring morning warmed into a deliciously sunny afternoon, it felt wonderful to take off my shoes and kick back in our front yard when I got home from work. With the advent of the lovely weather, we’ve also been seeing more of our neighbors. A few weeks ago I met this little guy, who lives two houses down. His family moved into the neighborhood in December, but the snow and cold often keep people behind doors around here. The past several weeks, though, we’ve watched him toddling down the sidewalk — and heard him singing happily to his mom while they played in the yard. I love spring.

A great day for a photo walk

I have no complaints about the weather March has brought us. Today was supposed to be one of the cooler days and I thought it was actually pretty fantastic. Fantastic enough to grab the kid and the dog and go for a walk.

After we ditched Juliette, we walked even more. Blocks and blocks of walking and talking and picking up sticks. And snapping pics whenever appropriate. I felt terrible as we set out. The cold I procured from him last week has kept me on bed rest for much of the weekend. My ears and my throat were hurting. But he was so excited to go on a photo walk and the exercise and his company actually gave me a bit of energy by the time we returned home. Enough to join him in digging for worms to add to the compost pile.

Soon to be replaced by green stuff

There’s still snow on the ground, but it’s fading fast. The past few days have been delicious. Sunny and hopeful.

Yesterday we all went down to the river and hung out at the playground (where Scott was confronted by a gaggle of kids who forced him to play tag with them). Today I took Dev to the Meijer Gardens to see the butterflies and walk run around and check out the sculptures outside. We had a great time. The weather is supposed to be lovely for the next couple of days so we’ll be outside every chance we get.

Given lemons, we Michiganders make a very cold version of lemonade

Lemons being February in Michigan.

The lemonade being a kite festival on Reeds Lake.

We happened upon the event when we visited the library and took a trip out on the back deck to watch the crazy people walking around on the ice. (Crazy, yes, because it gives me the heebie jeebies to even think about walking on ice. I don’t care if it’s 12 inches thick. I’m not going to be the one dropping like a stone, clad in my winter layers, to the bottom of the lake.)

The sun and the blue skies certainly were a grand backdrop to the event. Although we lasted only a couple of minutes as spectators. T’was cold and the kiddo left his gloves in the car.