Selena’s Peonies

These were Selena Jacques Lahue (my Great- Grandmother)’s peonies.  My Grandpa dug them up and brought them to his front garden when she passed away, and my mother brought them to her backyard when Grandpa left us. Peonies also happen to be my sister Susan’s  favorite flower.  I went over to my Mom’s this morning and together we managed to get these photographs. Mom held up the blooms with a stick since they are so darn top- heavy.  It was great to share this time with her, and listen to a couple of the family stories while I snapped away.  I’m normally not a fan of white flowers per se, but these have a spattering of red to boost the visual interest; kind of like an artist lined the center whorls with crimson.  Nature, gotta love her  -even when she’s off her HRT. 😉IMG_8551 watermarked IMG_8566 watermarked IMG_8570 watermarked IMG_8558 watermarkedI hope you enjoy these!  Thanks for stopping by.

 

…And Whiskers on Kittens….

IMG_8391 watermarkedIMG_8383 watermarkedIMG_8403 watermarkedThese are a few of my Favorite Things….

I got absolutely drenched getting these shots, but what FUN!  I hope you all like the photographs as much as I liked the process of taking them.

And the Rain Rain Rain Came Down Down Down

Finally. It’s been ages since Mother Nature’s had a drink around here. Not that the lawns are turning brown already or anything – but the brush fire danger is high. In fact, we had some IDIOT flick a cig out his or her window between exits 4 and 3 westbound on the Pike and voila – brush fire extraordinaire!  The day started off overcast, then cleared up with sunny skies. Late this afternoon it got that dark charcoal look. Downpour imminent.  No thunderboomer though. Just a cataclysmic waterfall from the sky – and right when I was leaving work for the day. I had to crank up the defogger to the max, as well as peg out the windshield wipers.

Didja ever notice that the road gets kind of greasy during the first rain after a long dry spell?  Believe me, I could see miniature rainbows in the runoff on the pavement. Not that it slowed me down any on the Mass Pike.  😉  Speed Demon – that’s me.  AKA Masshole Driver.  Muahahahaha!  Despite the flood I drove faster than I probably needed to. Strangely I don’t usually listen to music on the way to and from work. I’m too busy inside my head figuring out my day, and on the way back – my evening.

Anyhoo-I decided to be a good wife and pick up The Viking at work. Normally he rides his mountain bike back and forth every day (its a 2 mile trip one way). We’ve downsized to one car for the two of us and so far its working out OK. Those days where its bad weather I always try to make sure I offer to bring him to work or pick him up. 9/10 times he’s already got a ride – but I always offer.  I have the (much) longer commute so kind of got the vehicle privileges by default.  I had texted him as I left work, but he was unable to respond, nor did he pick up when  I called so I just figured to swing by on the way home. Good thing I did. The downpour followed me from Chicopee. And The Viking was glad to see me!   I made sure to park right next to the bike.

He got the bike loaded and we  took off towards home. Traffic wasn’t too bad – considering.  Clay Hill was awash with runoff and there was minor flooding at the bottom at the corner of Notre Dame by Mestek. The rain lasted till about an hour after we got home, and has subsided for the moment. Its still overcast, but” pink and grey” -ly so. The light is ethereal right now, and the grass has a neon green glow to it.  The mockingbird is kicking up a fuss down the street and the air smells of petrichor.  That wonderful, strangely melancholic, fresh after the rain smell that means green; and growing.

I’m thinking Mayhem will have a  date with the lawnmower this weekend, as she wants to earn some spending money for Anime Boston at the end of the month. Chaos’ cat – Guy Walworth aka Sir aka Sir Guy  – is hanging out with me in the porch window. So far, I have no allergic or asthmatic complaints – and I fully own up to the fact that I am a complete SAP and can’t say no when an animal needs rescuing. (Long story – but suffice to say that I do not recommend getting a pet with one’s boyfriend – pets are for long term, live together, stable relationships)  Anyway,  I’m hoping we get some more of the wet stuff tonight. The sound of rain on my roof will be lovely as I drift off to la-la land. But, I hope it clears up in time for the weekend.  I want to get out and about with my camera.

I also strangely feel the need to find our old VHS copy of “Winnie the Pooh and The Blustery Day”  The kids used to love watching that.  Mayhem’s favorite toy when she was very little was “Heppa”.  It was a Puff-a-Lump that she renamed after the song  “Heffalumps and Woozles”  I’m very confu-zzled…. ;).   Anyway, it still smells awesome outside, and I am so grateful to be able  to smell it. (normally I have no sense of smell due to chronic sinus problems). I’m enjoying my second glass of moscato white wine, and trying to decide what to have for dinner.  Here’s hoping for a pleasantly relaxing evening – listening to the rain on the roof.   Hugs to all.

Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day

Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree

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Heres the song reference, a little before my time but good music NEVER goes out of style,  does it?

The air smells divine this evening.  Yes, I can actually smell the apple blossoms this year – albeit faintly.  Its FINALLY May in New England.  Wedding Season.   I should head up to Stanley Park soon as things should be in  full flower up there by now.  But my side yard beckoned this afternoon.  I like the play of light and shadow on the leaves and blossoms.  There was quite a breeze but the blossoms held on strong.  Its sure been a lovely day today.  We could use some rain – which I understand is finally in the forecast this week thankfully.  Not much else to say.  I’m gonna let the pictures do the talking.  I hope you all  like them!  HUGS!

Everest and The Kentucky Derby: Running for The Roses – and Out of Oxygen.

Ok so I’m now a bit cranky. I had a firmly tongue in cheek post ready to rock and roll, and somehow deleted the damn thing. Sigh…. So. Starting Over. As my daughter’s cat lingers in the porch window and hisses at me while I type…. its an auspicious restart?

Its Everest Season. That slim window of time wherein certifiably crazy people attempt to climb to the world’s highest point and perhaps kill themselves in the process. I find it morbidly fascinating. Oh, I neither need nor want to see corpses. I just can’t understand why anyone would want to do such a thing. If you want to die, there’s much easier and less painful ways to do so, friend. “Certainty of Death, Small chance of success? What are we waiting for?” ~ Gimli LOTR.  Of course,  this is coming from me, safely ensconced at my keyboard. Me, who can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. Me, who has a full blown asthma attack when I laugh too hard. I doubt I could walk  to Base Camp without incident. Speaking of Incidents: apparently there was a doozy of an EPIC ice ax fight between Climbers and Sherpas last week.  YIKES!  And perhaps long, long overdue?  I’ve been rereading my copies of Into Thin Air and Dark Summit and I guess I’m totally #TeamSherpa. Not that I agree with violence – BUT They do most – if not all, of the heavy lifting on the mountain – including schlepping incapacitated climbers to the summit and back (Sandy Hill Pittman, anyone?) for very little international recognition or financial compensation. All guts, no glory – as the climbers end up with the cred. Bound to be frustrating – hence the boilover.  But yeah – alas, you won’t see me up there this year. Unless transporter technology suddenly leapfrogs and I can get there without having to “get there.” I kind of like this breathing thing – which is apparently quite difficult to do 29,035 feet above sea level. And which I just realized is the height at which airplanes fly and now I’m woozy….

Mount Everest (topgold)

Mount Everest (topgold) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Woozy or not I am, however, attending a Kentucky Derby Party this afternoon. Complete with frock, fascinator, and mint julep in hand. Much more up my alley, as it were.  No fatal missteps into a crevasse or off a ledge at 27,000 feet.  Fatal conversational missteps may occur  if I over-imbibe on those mint juleps though. (wink wink – woozy indeed) But breathing should not be a problem unless the pollen count suddenly skyrockets on me.  I further confess I know nothing about “slop”, “exotics” “exacta wheels” or what “boxing” things does.  Here’s how Derby Day works for me:  I pick a horse. It has to have a nice name and be a pretty horse.  I scream and yell for it from the starting gate to the finish line.  I haven’t picked a winner since Seattle Slew and Secretariat – who ran the fastest Kentucky Derby EVER in 1973 – under two minutes!   So, if there’s an “S” name in the bunch this year that’s what I’m going with. Hahaha! Pictures will be posted on Facebook and Twitter later.

English: Kentucky Derby, unknown date Permissi...

Courtesy: Kentuckytourism.com. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Afternoon Meanderings

IMG_7940 copy2 watermarkedEarly Spring Water Meadow along Rte 23  Blandford, MA

IMG_7953 copywatermarkedView from the Blandford Country Club. North Street Blandford MA  Looking down into Springfield….

IMG_7983 watermarkedSpring Stream. Algerie Road, North Blandford MA

IMG_8093watermarked IMG_8098 copywatermarkedStone Walls along the Roadway near Long Pond Conservation Area.  Algerie Road North Blandford MA

IMG_8028 watermarkedIMG_8040 watermarkedCanadian Goose in its element, and Remnants of a Beaver Dam, Long Pond Conservation Area.  Algerie Road North Blandford, MA

And last but by no means least, my traveling companion and chauffeur for the afternoon – The Viking – patiently waiting pondside while I trekked in and got pictures. And no, I didn’t fall in, or get muddy!

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It was really wonderful to meander those back roads today. I grew up there and nostalgia waxed large as I noted how much had changed – and how much had stayed the same.  The afternoon light is becoming more and more spring-like even though there’s still plenty of snow on the ground up in the hills.  The sounds of water cascading over the rocky stream beds, the wind rushing through the pines and dry reed beds, the honking chatter of the geese and ducks – all made for a peaceful backdrop to my self-imposed photo assignment.  Hell, I’ll call it what it was -THERAPY.    I came home with numb fingers and ears, but quite contented. Best of all, I got to spend the afternoon with my guy!

 

Emerging

Spring has been slow in arriving to New England this year. It’s been a long, cold,and damp March. But the last few days have given me hope. Bluebird Skies, Birdsong, Brisk Breezes. Yesterday I really felt like we were starting to emerge from winter. We opened the windows and let the fresh air blow through the house. Outside, I noted my day lilies are starting to peek up above ground; and the daffodils have started sending their shoots up for their April debut.

We opened up all the windows again this morning; and The Viking and I (who are child-free today) took our canine kids on a long walk. The wind was cold, but the sunshine felt so good on our faces. We walked on the dike along the Westfield River. There have been a lot of changes over the winter. Smaller islands, new channels. We saw Canadian geese and Mallard ducks on the water for the first time. The Viking informs me that a Bald Eagle has been spotted on the river recently – but we didn’t see it this time out. Liberty the Red-Tailed Hawk is still hanging around, but we didn’t see her either. I must remember to bring my DSLR camera on these meanderings!

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Sophie and Chewy had a marvelous time exploring along the walkway. Lots of new scents to investigate, and we noted glimpses of fresh green popping up here and there beneath the dry browns and beiges of the winter that doesn’t want to relinquish its grip on us entirely. In addition to the waterfowl, we also saw some cardinals, a few chickadees and a finch (I think it was a finch, anyway). Off in the distance we heard a woodpecker; who was busily looking for his lunch. We also saw quite a few robins. Does anyone remember that song “when the red red robin comes bob-bob-bobbin along”? I can’t get it out of my head now – hahaha!

Now I’m not a big fan of March. Its brown, dreary, drab, muddy, dirty and cold. But I do love seeing all that give way to the green and glorious spring. Especially after the beating we took from Old Man Winter this year. But we are slowly and surely emerging into the warmth of April. I could see it on the faces of the folks we passed on our travels today. Smiling, heads up, and facing into the wind (not hunkered down against it). The Viking didn’t even bring a coat – which he regretted before too long -this is New England after all… 😉

The sun seems to linger in the sky today. The neighborhood kids are out on their bikes. Their happy voices carry on the breeze thats vigorously moving my curtains. The mockingbird in the pine tree is chattering away and sounding like a cat at the moment. Two tired puppies are sprawled, snoring, at my feet. It feels good to emerge today. “Live, Love, Laugh, and Be Happy”. Time for a glass of wine.