Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Today is the last day for some of our trees. I hate to do it, but it should be done. Some are dead already, such as those behind the bead cottage. With the winds we had this spring and some seemingly healthy trees coming down I have grown more nervous about the pines that surround the house, especially the dead ones. So the tree people are coming tomorrow to do their business. Here are some last pictures of the ones that are fated for removal:

This tree is huge and I worry about it coming down onto my bedroom in every storm

Here are the dead ones behind the bead cottage.

These four that line the driveway probably have very shallow roots.

More dead trees behind the bead cottage.

Three of these trees are going.

In order to get to the trees behind the bead cottage, this double oak has to go.

A panorama of the yard.

Monday, June 28, 2010

This past weekend we took the dogs and went to visit Bob's Mom at Newfound Lake. The weather wasn't so great, but it wasn't bad. We had a nice time. We went to the Bristol Farmers' Market which was fun. I got some handmade wooden pinch bowls for my kitchen and Mrs. Gaimari got some maple syrup bread and some maple sausages, both of which were delicious.

We bring the dogs on walks while we're there. It's fun and good for us too.

Java wanted to ride instead of walk.

Mrs. Gaimari's garden is beautiful this time of year:

Bobby is ready to go! So is the dog. LOL

Bobby (the dog) loved his new water toy, but didn't go in the water. There was a chipmunk hanging out at the dock that held his interest way more than the toys did, so no swimming.

Java is loving her sunbeam and her ballie.

Just hanging out:

Amy came up with a new knob shape that I just love. I have now officially finished the knobs in my kitchen. These last 6 knobs replaced the first batch that I made with glass that was slightly incompatible and had cracks deep inside. They probably would be fine, but I wasn't willing to take the chance. Here's the square disk knob. I think they look spiffy on the doors in a diamond shape.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I'm not sure my heart can take it. The robins are building another nest on the house. It wasn't there yesterday, but all of a sudden today they are both busy building. They've got a good start going here. They must like the spot, because I had Robert remove the old nest after the first babies had fledged. He said it was a very sturdy structure. It came out in one piece and held its shape. I think the birds use mud or saliva or something to glue it all together.

Here, one of the robins just brought some twigs in, placed them, and then sat down inside in order to help the nest conform to her body.

I saw one of the first batch of babies today. It looked just like a robin with a fading white spotted chest. It was foraging for itself, with a little help from a parent from time to time. It was cool seeing it again all grown up. The baby is on the fence in the background and the parent is in the foreground.

The baby:

Here's Mr. Toad, looking for flies.

Monday, June 21, 2010

This weekend we went to New York City. We started our adventure in Groton, Massachusetts at the Gibbet Hill Grill, where they keep their own Black Angus cattle. They are very picturesque at a nice distance.

After arriving in New York, I promptly put my camera in the safe and didn't take it out until we were on the way home. Here are a couple shots of the city as we were making our way to 12th Avenue and the route home:

Today I went to pick up Java at the vet's. We were observed by some cows on our way home.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The baby robins have flown the coop. I think it happened shortly after I took that movie of them yesterday and wrote my blog post. I was upstairs and scared away a huge raven again. I don't think it had stolen the older babies that were about to fly, because I scared it away just after I saw it land. I haven't seen the babies or the parents for that matter since then, so I assume they fledged and are being taken care of somewhere in the neighborhood.

I have to say that those little window feeders I bought are pretty good. I've had goldfinches, chickadees, cardinals, titmice, and rose-breasted grosbeaks at them. It's pretty cool to see them so close. You do have to be very still and quiet or they'll fly away.

Here's my favorite four-year-old in the world. She fixed her hair herself that day. I gave her the glow-in-the-dark fairy yesterday and she liked it.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Here's my new toaster oven. Since we've started eating breakfast at home these days - Didn't I mention that? Yes, we no longer eat breakfast out every day. It saves money, as well as calories, and we have a delicious breakfast in our pajamas. I love not having to get dressed! Anyway, I make these vegetarian sausage patties to go with our Egg Beater omelettes. They're delicious and they're great when you cook them in the oven. So I've been heating up my great big oven in the morning to cook 2 tiny sausage patties for 10 minutes. It seems like a waste of electricity. So I got this amazing toaster oven at - guess where? - QVC! and it came last night. It's pretty great; and has lots of settings as well as convection if you want.

And here's a picture of my Keurig. It's the bomb.

I can't stop watching the baby birds. They are so ready to leave the nest. The larger one today was standing up and stretching its wings, so it is really imminent. I hope I get to see it happen.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The babies are huge and are getting bigger and more bird-like every day. They no longer look like little half-plucked chickens. I am assuming that they will be fledging this weekend, so I have to keep an eye out for them when I let the dogs out, especially Bobby.

They stand up so high - even taller than Dad - to try to get their dinner.

I went to Home Depot today and had some fun. I bought some copper tubing for beads and a mountain laurel to plant in my empty planter box. I hope it takes. It looks like a nice one.

Martha said that I hadn't shown a picture of the light-up Buddha at night, so here it is. It's kind of blurry, but you can get the idea.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The other day my mother said I never mention her in my blog. I'm not sure that's true but if it is, this post will correct that. I just wanted to say how proud of her I am. When my father died it was the worst thing to happen in our lives. I didn't think that any of us would get over it, but we did. Well, I don't think you're ever "over it" but I think that all of us have grown and have survived well despite our profound loss. My mother is amazing. She had never paid the bills before because my father always did it. Now she pays bills online. Yesterday she moved to a beautiful new home near the beach. She's going to love it there. It was almost perfect when she bought it and she had a few things done so now it is perfect.

I went to see her last night - she had just moved so I thought she might like to go out to dinner. We went into Hampton to a place called Ron's Landing. It was yummy and nice to spend some time with my mom.

On a lighter note, my newest solar yard statue came yesterday. Unfortunately today is dark and rainy, so I'll wait until tomorrow to put it outside. I also bought one for four-year-old Elizabeth. She loves fairies and builds gardens for them. The globe part lights up at night. I told you to stop me.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Last night I spied a crow in the trees looking at the robin nest. I jumped up and scared it away. The babies are pretty good at laying low these days. No more hanging their little heads over the edge. Most of the time the nest looks like this:

But every once in a while, I see something like this:

To get these photographs, I had to stand there for many minutes while the parents "chucked" at me from the surrounding trees.

Finally I went inside and hid myself behind a post on the porch, with just my camera sticking out the door. With me gone, within seconds both parents showed up to feed:

Mom flew away to get more food, leaving Dad to watch over them:

The babies sure are growing. They have little feathers now and I think they'll be fledging sometime this coming weekend.

Help! I confess that I'm addicted to QVC.com. Yesterday I ordered suitcases that I don't even really need. Of course I can use them, but I don't need them. If I do happen to need something I check QVC first so that I can get a package in the mail. I love their clothes; it's where I got my coffeemaker; and I get my bodywash and perfume there. It makes me happy and I definitely have a problem. They have solar yard stuff, too! Somebody stop me.

Monday, June 07, 2010

This morning the air is completely changed; it's fresh and dry and feels "drinkable". OK that's a weird description for "dry" air - drinkable. You would think that humid air is the drinkable kind. I guess it's so dry you just want to breathe it in over and over. The air in Oakland was like that too. Drinkable.

My newest obsession are solar devices for the yard. I have a light-up Buddha that I've showed already and here are the rest.

A mermaid birdbath/fountain. When the sun shines on it, it burbles and splashes. I love it.

I don't know what these are called. I call them glowieballs. They are garden stakes that collect sun all day and then at night light up in changing colors: red, blue or green. I love watching them. I tried to take a movie but it didn't work so well, so here's a still picture.

Oh here's another new thing that I haven't blogged about yet: Robert finished my house numbers. They came out great. I love the swirl in the middle of the 9. They hang on the garage between the two windows and can be read from the street. I'm so happy with them. He did a great job.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

There are two babies left in the nest! I didn't see the two until this morning. I'm feeling a lot better about it.

Plus, I did some online research and baby cowbirds do not push their fellow hatchlings out of their nests. They just blend in and get fed with the others. Usually cowbirds choose nests of smaller birds, so that when their baby opens its mouth to get fed, it has the largest mouth and gets fed the most.

So all is pretty good in robinland. It could have been worse.
Pileated Woodpecker on a dead tree

I'm feeling better about things now, even though it's raining today. It's pretty dark and dreary but it's a peaceful Sunday. I just hope I can convince the dogs that it's a peaceful day. Peaceful. Full of Peace, please. Not full of growling and barking. Thank you. I have a few errands to run - mostly to the grocery store and the farm stand - and then I can make beads and watch baseball at the same time this afternoon.

I used a new tool yesterday on a test bead. I have a $400 bead liner and used that for a while, but then I bought a $200 bead liner and the cheaper one makes the beads come out so much nicer! Go figure. Now I have to decide on whether I should sell the more expensive one or keep it for other things. Decisions, decisions. I'm really surprised at the difference between the results, but happy that I got the second tool. Mimi was the one who showed me the difference, so thanks Mimi!

I've confirmed that there is one chick left in the robin nest. I wonder if it is a cowbird chick that pushed the other two out and the crow picked them up off the ground. This chick seems a little different than the other two. In all the pictures I took, there would be two babies hanging out with their heads above the nest. See yesterday's picture. The other, the third, would not stick his neck out so to speak. It just didn't seem to "match" the other babies in that behavior. This chick is warier than the other two were. It hides at noises that didn't bother the other two. I wonder if it's just a matter of "survival of the fittest" or if in fact it's a different species. I'll be able to tell as it gets older.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Oh so much sadness around here. This morning as I was walking into the bathroom, I saw out the window a huge crow fly away from the corner of the house where the robins are with something in its beak. It stopped on a branch to eat. Feeling sick, I rushed downstairs to let the dogs out. The nest looked empty and the parents were flying around the tree where the crow had stopped. My motto is "I hate nature," and this has confirmed it. I think there might be just one baby left. I did see one baby, so I'm hopeful there's more, but I'm not optimistic. I don't know how the crow squeezed into the space where the nest is. It's only about 8 inches tall and the crow was huge. In fact it could have been a raven. Anyway, perhaps a baby fell out or was pushed? I don't think we have any cowbird babies in the robin nest, but it is possible. Whatever the case, I'm holding out hope (remember I'm a Red Sox fan, so my capability for holding out hope is pretty enormous) that all three babies are still there.

I also keep thinking about Sara and how I feel so upset that she has died. All that's left of her is her blog and her posts on the internet. Like Amy said in the comments from yesterday it's hard to read her blog and realize that she's gone. How can she be gone? Her mom just moved down to Atlanta to be near her. What happens now? I feel so awful for her mother and her father.

Not only that but also on the Woofboard there's a bunch of sick dogs, lost dogs, dying dogs. It seems to come in waves and it's a tsunami over there. I think I need to stay away.

On a lighter note, I bought myself a Keurig coffee maker and I have to say that I love it. It came with an assortment of K-cups as well as a fill-your-own K-cup, which I think we'll be using once the included K-cups run out. I hate all that waste and they're not recyclable! Who thought of that? Anyway, I press a button, and out comes the perfect cup of coffee. This will solve our make-12-cups-of-coffee-drink-only-6-cups-throw-away-the-rest problem.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Today I learned that one of my on-line friends passed away from an aneurysm. She wasn't really a close friend, more of an acquaintance. I did meet her in person once at the Gathering in Louisville. She was a beadmaker and I remember she was so happy when Jim Kervin bought one of her beads. She also had a blog and I spent some time this morning reading it. She wrote really well and it's so sad that she's gone. Here's the link to her blog.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

There are three baby robins. They still don't have their eyes open but they sure know how to open their mouths!