My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Friday, April 25, 2014

Happy Arbor Day News & Happy SkyWatch Skies! :-)

I've wanted to share this news for the past week, but what better day than Arbor Day to share the happy status update about Al and Jackie's critically wounded maple tree?

Many of you may remember my post about "Atlas," the devastating snowstorm that hit us in early October. It wreaked destructive havoc on the still-leafy trees with 10 inches of heavy, wet snow and high winds. In my second post about the storm, I shared a photo of the fatal-looking damage it had done to the beautiful maple tree beside the patio of our friends Al and Jackie.

Well, Jackie didn't spend a long career as a nurse for nothing, and despite some teasing and possibly some evil snickering from cynical naysayers, she convinced Al to perform emergency triage on the tree with rebar, twine and duct tape. A lot of you shared your hopes that it would work, and I promised to give you an update in the spring.

The trees here started budding recently, so I emailed Jackie last week (with some trepidation) to ask her if the maple had shown any signs of life. But here is the photo she took with her iPad to share with me the happy news!

She said that she and Al are concerned about the branch on the right, which started to bud and then seemed to stop, but that even if that branch doesn't make it they're optimistic that the tree will. So three cheers for Al and Jackie's ingenuity and hopefulness, and for their brave maple tree's tenacity! :-)

And since today is also SkyWatch Friday, I can't pass up the chance to share a photo of today's lovely sunrise. As soon as I saw it through our kitchen windows I snatched BW's iPad off the counter to capture it, knowing that by the time I fetched my camera, changed out the lens, and returned to the back patio, the colors would have faded - which they did. So I give you a little less photo quality in exchange for a lot more color!...

Have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Teddy Bear Toast

Please bear with me. I stayed up way too late last night so my brain is toast this morning, which may explain why I went bananas playing with my food at breakfast. :-)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mocha!

Our Mocha turned 26 today!!

to sweet Mocha, who will forever be our "little man!"

You can see some of his baby pictures on this post. They grow up so fast! Or do they?… Mocha has always been playfully, mischievously coltish. In fact, on his latest boarding bill that arrived in our mail today, his caretaker wrote, "He's a big goof ball." She doesn't know the half of it! Despite its horrible lighting and composition (being a scanned 35mm photo doesn't do it any favors), this is one of my favorite Mocha pictures, taken one day in the winter of '91 when he decided to pretend he was a unicorn:

Those are big cockleburs tangled in his forelock! (I guess if you don't have access to dreadlocks wax, you make do!*) :-) He did that all by himself, and was so proud. There was no getting them out, either - they were there till spring, when we could work on them for hours with mineral oil, comb and scissors! But that's okay, he was a handsome unicorn. Maybe I should post this greeting for him instead! :-)

*I looked all through that article, and it didn't suggest the cockleburs option once! :-)

Update: After I'd posted this, Mocha requested I pass along this tip and assure you that in his experience, it's excellent advice…


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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