Saturday, March 31, 2012

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TRICKLING, trickling...here's news from a week ago, Dear Reader. Exactly a week ago. There we were, my yard man and I, in Richmond, Virginia, with the Small Actor and his whole entourage. And the sun had come out if you will recall (well, it had come out even if you no longer have any memory of the tale, it's true).

So we went to that part of the city called the Fan. And then we went to the park. And the park--now that is SOME park. And the pig we saw there. That is SOME pig!!
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At this park there were only a few penned animals, but in terms of gracefulness and beauty (which is, of course, in the eye of the beholder [it was in my eye]) I'd say they covered a broad spectrum.
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There's a lot to be said, Dear Reader, for the gracefulness and beauty of the plant world as it existed (and likely still does) in this park, as well.





Far and away, however, above these stunning natural phenomenon (to my way of thinking, Reader Dear) will always be..........
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the beauty (though not always the gracefulness) of the human family as it existed in this park!
(As well as its existence in its broad spectrum
around the globe!)


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Thursday, March 29, 2012


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IN THE DARK of an ungodly early hour, my yard man and I headed once again for the southern home of my Small Actor. After weeks of warm sunny days, the weather was rainy and cool. But we made it safely to Richmond, and most of the day on Saturday we enjoyed "a whirlwind of couch-sitting." (Our relaxing hours of music-making, game-playing and being charmed by the tiny actor,as described by the auntie from Asheville [aka my daughter I seldom see].

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But then, about the time we bestirred ourselves to seek some entertainment away from the house, much to our good fortune the sun shone forth!
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We went to the Fan, and saw another strumming man (whose name, I think, is Dan).
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

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THIS BLOG IS TRICKLING toward the edge of a cliff...




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Friday, March 23, 2012

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FRIDAY--Headed to the FAN! Headed south to see my Small Actor and others that I love! (Includes the daughter I seldom see.Yipee!)
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(I recorded the thought here quickly, just before The Yard Man yelled, "Let's go." He chauffeured me out the driveway and down the road toward Richmond, Virginia). Ah...but then.

The day was so hot in the waning sun. The traffic was so heavy. The afternoon was so late in the rush hour traffic. "Let's turn around," I begged. "We can leave really early in the morning."
We were thirty miles from home and waiting through three cycles of one traffic light. I could see The Yard Man was mulling my suggestion.

"Well," he said. "If we go back home, I could cut the grass." (Dear Reader, that's how he talks about mowing, yard man that he is [You'd think he was taking a pair of scissors to those blades!] Well, anyway, I was happy to hear about any kind of shearing of the grass. It was sorely needed.)

That Yard Man turned the car around. And then he veered off in a slightly different direction instead of heading directly home. Turns out he wanted to stop at a nearby farmers' market.

He bought a shoo-fly pie.

When we went to bed, that shaggy lawn shorn, I set the alarm for four in the eensy-teensy morn.


(Aargh. Turns out I'm not such a big FAN of early rising.)
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

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I CONSIDERED IT VERY LIKELY to be an exercise in futility, this stopping off at the bank today. And I didn't really have the time to throw away. And yet, Dear Reader, neither could I muster the resolve to simply throw away cold, hard cash. (Well, it was actually neither cold nor hard, as it was paper money, the kind one can fold up and stash away in a drawer full of the odds and ends of everyday life, and never think of again for ever so long, until such a time as one gets a sudden inspiration to clean out said drawer!) You're scratching your head right now, are you not, Reader Dear, wondering why ever I wouldn't just stow that money in my wallet and off to the store!

Well, here's the thing: It was foreign money! One bill that had languished in a drawer ever since I cleaned off my father's desktop many months ago. For sure, I surmised, there will be some kind of fee for exchanging of currency, the minimum of which will exceed the value of the bill. It'll all be for naught! But I pulled into the bank parking lot anyway, and entered the bank. I was pleasantly surprised to be called directly to the service counter.

"Ahem. I have...is it possible...I mean, I have a foreign bill here and I'm wondering about the possibility of converting it to U.S. money."
"What do you have?" asked the teller, and, after I proffered the bill, "Hmm, what is this?"
"It's Guatemalan," I replied. "At least that's what's printed on it."
"Ah, yes," she said, "I'll have to make a phone call."


She assured me there was no fee to exchange, and several minutes later she was giving someone on the other end of the phone line a detailed description of the bill:
"There's a guy with long sideburns and a curl on his forehead. And.. a pot with something in it."
She studied the bill. "There's also a bird flying across the top." Flipping it over, she added, "And on the other side it looks...well, it just looks like a room full of men." She giggled.

There was a pause. "What is it called?" She was obviously reiterating the question she'd just been asked. She scrutinized the paper money, and then replied, "Uh, just a twenty bill." (Dear Reader, it was clear this was no Spanish-speaking lass.)
While she waited with the phone to her ear, she commenced filling out a Foreign Exchange Receipt form. Upon hanging up, she informed me triumphantly, "It's called a 'quetzale'!" (She did her best) Onto the form she had written the Spanish word and the monetary value. She now wrote down the date; the bank name; the particular branch of the bank; her full name; my name, address and account number. On the 'Rate Quoted By' line, she wrote 'Alicia.'

"You just need to sign this," she said, and pushed it across the counter for my John Henry. She then duplicated the form and gave me the copy. And finally, she counted out for me my U.S. money.

Two dollars and thirty-three cents.



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(Hmm. As I went on my way I contemplated the hourly wage of that bank teller, and of Alicia, too, [wherever she may be]. I thought of the gas to get my car into the bank parking lot. I pondered the paper and ink to print the receipts. I thought of my time, as well. And....you know, Reader Dear...I believe that quetzale bill would have made an interesting bookmark!)
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

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EARLY THIS MORNING I woke during the winter season. By the time I drifted back to sleep, it was spring!

After my spring awakening, my celebration of the new time of year included six loops at the park in lieu of the usual four.








My step had a certain spring to it, and all the tiny spring flowers were springing forth in (silent but melodious) song!





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Monday, March 19, 2012

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I'VE GOT MY TWO DIMINUTIVE ACTORS today!
(The small one visiting from out of town, the little one just returned from traveling out of town!)
Time to roll into production mode!

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The Little Actor does well at acting fascinated by the small one: What kind of creature is this, who seems to enjoy the same general kind of activity, but clearly isn't as accomplished?! Oddly, he can't walk, talk, or climb up on the furniture!

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The Small Actor, on the other hand,
excels at acting as though he is about to partake of his breakfast, belatedly.

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(There's no doubt, Dear Viewer, as a movie-maker I feel
I hit the jackpot with these two tiny actors!)
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Sunday, March 18, 2012

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YESTERDAY I WAS SEEING green like everyone else.
But my kind of green was of the Small Actor sort! This little celeb happened to be in town celebrating not only St. Patrick's Day, but his very first birthday!
His Irish-descended McGrandmother hosted a party for him and her other grandson (can you believe it? Also celebrating one year!) My yard man and I were invited to this gala where the two little green-shirt-wearing laddies were stars of the show!
Believe me, Dear Reader, I've got movies galore!

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Besides the wearin' o' the green,
there was the openin' o' the presents,
the eatin' o' the spread o' food,
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the blowin' o' the candles
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singin' o' happy birthday
and eatin' o' cake!

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All the way to the scrubbin' in the tub!


















(Strictly limited, Dear Reader, to
those lucky little cake-eatin'
birthday boys!)
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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

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I GOT THE SCOOP TODAY--some late-breaking local news--ahead of the crowd!
Didn't I tell you only yesterday, Dear Reader, I never know what I'll find (or find out)
at my four-loop park?!

It was high noon when I procured my walking shoes from the trunk of the car and set out on Loop One. (Yes, of course I put the shoes on! I just assumed, Reader Dear, that would go without saying!) Now my first decision is always which way around--clockwise or counter to it? I glanced at the counter route and saw a man setting out with his dog, so I headed clockwise.

And then!

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I can't tell you how tickled I was, Reader Dear, when I realized that man with the could-have-been canine was not walking a dog but a measuring device! I was downright ecstatic! All these years I've been pondering the length of the loop!

As we met, I could see that Rick (he was labeled) was a township official. Measuring the loop was his official job! "Ohh," I enthused, "I've been waiting ever so long for someone like you to come along!"

"Well," he said, "I'm going to measure the distance around, and then it will be posted." He showed me the penciled jottings in his little notebook. "I just finished measuring the park across the road." (Can you believe it, Dear Reader, another park so close by?! It's got a playground and a macadamized path and real-to-goodness restrooms, and various other furnishings, but...oh, it's not nearly as nice as my...uh...this park!)

But now Rick was showing me the figures, and I was ruing my inability to make note of them, or to get the final count when he had looped the loop at this park. "Tell you what I'll do," he said. "I'll write the numbers down for you and put it on your car when I leave."

Wow. Having that inside information
? I thought I might have to call a press conference and blow the story wide open!

From the far end of the park, as I progressed through Loop Two, I could see Rick walk over to my car. Then he climbed into his orange truck and drove away. I tried my level best not to go directly to my car before starting Loop Three; but Loop Three, Reader Dear, was the very first time that I knew there were 2,828 feet to go before starting Loop Four!

And now you've got the scoop, as well! Every time around the park is 2,828/5,280-th of a mile! Just think, Reader Dear, how long before the rest of society will be privy to the information! (Between you and me, I've decided to keep it to myself).

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

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THE WEATHER IN THESE parts has been one big exclamation point lately! And you know how I love those exclamation points, Reader Dear! Especially when it's nice warm sunny weather that's the cause! Every single day the sun's been shining, the temperature's been soaring, and there's simply no excuse for not walking my four loops! And besides! Though it's mostly dog-walkers, and Amish buggies with their high-stepping horses trotting by, I never know what the day's entertainment might be.

My very first loop today, a special group of students arrived. Dylan described for me their job of emptying last year's nests from the bird houses.

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Loop Two brought news from one of the teachers-- they'd forgotten to bring the screw driver,
a critical piece of equipment needed to open the boxes.

Lo and behold, on Loop Three I noticed they were busy with the excavating. It looked as though a gentleman had come to the rescue with the necessary tool!
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A nest was headed for the creek.
Loop Four, well...actually I was on Loop Five ([gasp] I was so energized by the entertainment, I made six loops today!) when I discovered a surprising thing. That bird's nest had hung around the spot where it was tossed into the creek for a whole twenty minutes! Just as I approached the spot once again, and thought to investigate, the nest set sail into the current!

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I followed that nest as it was ever more swiftly carried away to the sea.
And, yes, Dear Viewer, I fear I got a little carried away myself!!

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(If you watched all that, Viewer Dear, aha; it's plain to see
you jumped right in and let yourself be carried away, as well!)
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Sunday, March 11, 2012

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I STOLE A TINY MORSEL of the toe-tappin', hand-clappin' ,
evening-cappin' music, Dear Reader. After the delightful dinner
out with friends last night, there was the concert, you see.
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Just like dessert (when one's got the time to order it and
isn't rushing off to the theater with friends),
the second serving of musical fare (occurring after
intermission, when the musicians we'd come to hear
arrived) was the real lip-smackin' stuff!

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My camera malfunctioned at second course,
thank heavens. Otherwise it would have been
so tempting to carry away a whole platter of the tuneful treats!
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Saturday, March 10, 2012

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THIS WAS THE entertainment du jour as I took my four loops at the park today.
"Do you think that kid driving the tractor is even twelve years old?!" asked the man with the dog who was looping as well, and stopped to watch the unfurling of the earth with me.

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"Well, I don't know," I said. "But I think he may have waved to me last week."

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Friday, March 9, 2012

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MAMA MIA! I've eaten at the Olive Garden Restaurant many times in my life (though not lately). In an obvious oversight, I have never, ever blogged about the experience! More's the pity , as I crave comments even more than warm bread sticks!!

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

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WISH I HAD EVEN THE SLIGHTEST bit of adoxography for you, Dear Reader! But, alas, other than the daffodils just breaking into bloom and the warm weather washing over the day like a tsunami of sudden celebration, there's little about which to blather.






(Though, goodness, those bright yellow flowers are
deserving of some large-font headlines, if you ask me,
[or even if you don't]!)
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Monday, March 5, 2012

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"LET THEM EAT ICE CREAM!" I said in my best Marie Antoinette-like voice. And with that, I dumped the half-gallon block of artificially pink "food" into the chicken yard. It was several weeks ago that my yard man came home from the grocery store with this box of ice cream. It was strawberry-flavored, really cheap stuff. "And it was on sale!" he crowed.
But he took only one bite of the fake-colored, fake-flavored delicacy before realizing the error of his ways. "Pfffttt! I can't eat this!" he declared. Seeing as how I'd already commenced tongue-clucking over the purchase, and vowing complete abstinence, it was obvious right away where this ice cream was headed.

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But it was raining outside at the time. That ice cream went back into the freezer. Not until today did the yard man's biddies get to show their disdain for it, sporadically ignoring, pecking, turning their backs.

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

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IT'S EXACTLY WHAT THE day calls for, and I planned to do it!
In the span of time between saying goodbye to my Little Actor,

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and saying a skyping hello to my Small Actor
down there in Old Dixie,

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I fully intended to march forth.
But now it is cold and dark and the only marching
I managed today was out to the kitchen to prepare
a one-minute March fourth dinner.

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"Use coconut oil," suggested the yard man.







(And I added seasoned salt.)
I chortled about this March meal so worth the march!

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Friday, March 2, 2012

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FOR THE FIRST TIME ever, my Little Actor has come to pay The Yard Man and me an extended visit, here for the weekend. He is such an unusual celebrity, Reader Dear! Rather than waiting to be waited on, as the typical superstar is wont to do, this little guy immediately wished to make himself useful!

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Just as soon as he'd finished mopping my kitchen floor,
he suggested we go to the supermarket!

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While there, he was quite intent on handling
every aspect of the grocery-gathering chore.

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(And when it came time to pay, he said, "I'm covering this! Just take it out of my acting fees.")
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Well, then, no sooner home from the grocery store, he commenced to rolling out pastry dough!

Now in case you suppose, Reader Dear, that we'd let
a luminary of his stature do nothing but work...
we did spend plenty of time at the grocery store playground.

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(This grocery store has a well-equipped area
for playing, Reader Dear. And this Little
Actor may have had an ulterior motive
for generously offering to get our
groceries and directing us to
this particular store! But
whatever the case, The Yard Man and I are gaga over the guy
anyway, and stumble over each other
to pamper him!
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