Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dirty Windows

I hauled out my scraggly plants which over-wintered in the garage....swept the deck.....adding mulch to pots and rearranged the patio furniture. The weather has been gorgeous and it's a rite of spring/summer to get the deck all decked out in lush plants and comfy sitting places.

I looked around and was pleased....except I noticed how my kitchen and family room windows wore winter grim. So...I headed down the stairs to find our ladder ...I figured I could convince one of the men folks to hold the ladder while I did a few quick wipes of the window....and then everything would be neat and tidy and ready for the change of season.

Under the deck....I looked up at the ladder and went "huh?".....a big nest rested on the top rung...a recent nest ..with an eco-friendly design since it included a couple of plastic bags weaved into the sticks.

So I backed quietly, climbed the stairs and peered at the ladder through an opening....there sat a big fat mama Bluebird....snuggled down into the ladder perch.

Okay....that's one interesting place to build a nest.

Obviously ....the windows are not going to get spiffed up....and the mortar near the chimney which needs a close look is going to have to wait....since our ladder has become part of a nursery.

Yesterday.....I got down on my hands and knees and peered through the deck slats to see how the family, who was going to keep my windows dirty, was doing.

Well...success....Mama had laid 5 pretty eggs....I was a little concerned she wasn't there....but thought....well heck it's warm and she needs a break. I hate to admit this ....but I thought to myself...."I hope they're alright."

As a woman with three children...I know a bit about nests....and a bit about worrying over your I assumed this was just some instinctive female to female worrying.

Guess I'll take a peek later check on things....just to reassure myself.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A request to the Vatican.

I sent a letter to this venerable institution in Italy today: The Ecclesiastical Academy in Rome which is part of the Vatican.

I have my fingers crossed but I don't know what to expect.

I'm respectfully requesting information about my great uncle, Reverend Father Paul who graduated from the Pope's diplomatic school in 1922.

I assume they have his records.....or some type of records.....and if they are very very kind....they will share them with me and thus I could possibly learn the name of my great grandparents in Lithuania.

I'm not sure they will be willing.....recently a rather negative edict was sent out via the Pope's formal channels to discourage Catholic organizations from sharing genealogical information. It appears the Catholic Church is not happy with the Mormons, the Church of the Latter Day Saints, for posthumously baptizing past parishioners and gathering church records to complete the task. I may have to prove I'm not a Mormon....I may have to prove my relationship with Father Paul or jump through some other unknown hoop.

Or they simply might ignore me or email a "Sorry" response.

I wonder how they will answer?

First spiders....and now.....

I can't help it.....every time I see a snake.....I instinctively belt out a healthy scream....especially when it's slithering on my property.

I opened my garden gate in the back yard...looked down....screamed....then stepped back to allow my rational mind to return.

A King snake. A good snake. A desirable snake if you're going to have one.

Welcome snake.

After my heart beat returned to normal, I decided to name him Sammy ( I sort of name all our snakes Sammy) and tried to take a pic of him but he had enough of screaming mammals and slithered into a leaf pile next to my fence.

King snakes are good...they eat Copperheads ( a venomous snake down here in the south)...they eat rodents. They're pretty, usually pleasant and don't look menacing.

I hate to sound prejudice but King snakes do look I'm wondering if this Sammy was the same Sammy that lived in my front yard last year and now has moved from front to back yard.

He's a long one...over two feet and looking a bit skinny. I've let all the men folks know about his existence so they don't go shoo-ing or surprising Sammy. Sammy probably has sex and food on his mind and may be a bit sluggish. It seems a little early for snakes to come out but hey if Wolf Spiders are crawling up my office wall ....I suppose the snakes are waking up too.

So welcome Sammy..... and I'll try not to scream too loud the next time we meet.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Bumpy Ride's back to Square One.

The trip I was planning on taking to Israel has been cancelled. Not enough people....too many missiles probably being lobed into the Israel from Iran.

I was stunned when I got the email....everything was moving along. Although my local travel agent is AWOL and totally useless....I had booked myself on a couple of walking tours in Rome (our first stop) and then was planning an extension onto my Israel trip into the Negev Desert and Petra and wherever else I could squeeze myself into in that part of the world.

So this morning I got up....and had to make a decision.....after Rome....head off into Europe? or go where? But the more I thought of it....the more I still wanted to go to Israel and Jordan...that was the whole point of this bucket go into the Middle East. I would add Egypt too but so many people have talked and talked about how unsafe it is.

But still...the whole point of the trip was to get into the Middle East. So I called the travel agent working on my Middle East plans and said...I know they are cancelled but can we do a custom trip? What if walked around Jerusalem for some time....went to the Dead Sea and Masada....and then had a guide to take us into the Negev....then Petra....then a bit of Jordan.

She said...."Sure."


"Sure....I think you'll be okay."

So I said....give me a quote....but quickly I still don't have my airfare booked for home...which is making me nervous since I'm trying to use some miles.

Now....I'm in wait mode....a bit excited.... a smaller more intimate go exactly where I want to go trip in Israel and Jordan sounds exciting....sounds like that's the way it should have been from the start.

Maybe was meant to be.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

No doubt......

Today.....birds and blooms.


Early spring.


How wonderful.