Hummers making love in Ripon

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Sunday February 28, 2010

We were treated to a first here At Paula’s Place in Ripon! We just watched mating behavior between two hummingbirds that went on for 5-10 minutes. The little female sat at a top branch while the male would fly straight UP from here, very high, then come flying straight toward her, at the last minute, curve tightly enough, a calling sound was made…. occasionally, he would absolutely come and sit right by here. Occasionally, they would flitter ’round a bit very close…. then he’d begin the whole thing over. Those were dramatic and beautiful flights. Sorry I can’t even identify the specie….it WAS fun….. THESE are the signs of spring!!!!

Dead of Winter has a bit of beauty?

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Thursday February 18, 2010

A quick little tip-o-the-hat to the end, the dead-end of winter.

Today, (in the valley, yes, MORE daffy’s are just beginning to bloom, but up here………) our first little tiny Japanese mini Daffodil began blooming (IN FEBRUARY!)…………..

Today, (in preparation for our week out of town), I had to mow the lawn because of grass LENGTH……….. ***IN FEBRUARY*** . THAT is a first. Pal and neighbor Karen ALSO was mowing HER lawn….. (LAST earliest record of mowing the lawn in our 15 years here was: March 6). I was astounded. It was 60, breezy, sunny, and dry.

But, still, as I am saying goodbye to the dead of winter, I pay tribute to a hearty plant class, I love to appreciate in that dead of winter. A bit of mossy growth that seems to thrive on dark and gray… A bit of moss that pales when the bright sun shines on it’s thick winter growth.

A couple of pics from today’s DOG WALK into Forest Park shows, I hope, the beauty I SEE in that simple little old plant, MOSS:


**ALL THESE just hanging from SMALL tree branches…….thickly coated……………………….

On Quiet mornings, nothing like this tiny pale green plant burying the tree branch that shows nature is SO rich and complex:

ON a rotting thick branch laying flat on the ground, a different moss grows exactly like a thick carpet:

AND it is true, when the moss gets THIS rich and heavy, it’s ALWAYS also true, the spring is knocking on the door of: Winter…….

AND NOW, we’re off air for a bit, into the wilds of California Country for a week……………. (is it too late for me to win American Idol in Hollywood?)

TODAY: YARD work

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Monday February 15, 2010

TODAY was THE day! I wait for it each late winter, until one certain week appears to be the “right” one. I have had the materials on hand for about 3 weeks……………..waiting.

Yesterday was sunny, it hit 52. Today began sunny and would be 52 just as clouds slowly began to move in……with RAIN tonight and in the morning….followed by 4 days of NO rain, mixed sun, temps around 50.

So what does that mean for the LAWN and flower beds here in February?

1) Get the hand carried spreader out. For the first round, load up the big bags of Lime pellets and spread that at EVERY spot in the yard with a lot of moss…..that should burn it some, and about the time it’s dying, MORE sun and other lawn food should replace it.

2) Load up the spreader with the big 50 lb bags of Iron Pellets (I forget the formal name)….THIS will get your lawn into dark green lovely color within 5-6 weeks. (Nitrogen, the standard commerically pushed product does that too, but then pushes growth so hard it burns itself out in 2-3 months. Iron will keep things nice almost all summer). Spread THIS stuff everywhere including flower / garden beds….can only help this clay soil.

3) Then, load up the spreader with some Bug deterrent……I’ve given up on the mole damage….I’m going to try to kill the bugs in the lawn BEFORE the birds get here.

4) Load up the Ammonium Sulphate and sprinkle it around the roots of all the hydrangeas…….WE WILL have solid BLUE blooms in a few months.

5) Load up the Epsom Salts and spread thin layers of it on EVERY big of garden space, and especially heavier on acid loving shrubs: Rhodies, etc. **Do this throughout the summer, and ON YOUR tomatoes ev couple weeks…….thin layers. **Hey ! A NICE inexpensive soil help, eh?

Whew! That was great to have it done, and tonight, the rain is coming in at the perfect level. YEAH!

SO? Are we keeping on our little diet this past week so we can “fool” family in CA next week about all the food we’ve been eating this winter? Well, NOT today! Ate at Sweet Tomatoes (Great salad BUFFET, YES, a buffet) at lunch……. overdid there, ONLY to find tonight after the once weekly swim aerobic night at the Smiths, we were dining on Pizza AND Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. Did I spurn the ice cream? Heck no, and had two pieces of pizza. What’s the remedy for all this? DO NOT weight yourself tomorrow, Mark! Will that solve my indulgence in gluttony today? Hah.

RAINY Friday. IRS says yes.

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Friday February 12, 2010

Looks like a VERY WET day here, the radar’s full of yellows and oranges passing through……… that means, in MY brain, I should get to continue reading the Line of Beauty (mentioned in an earlier post)….it is SO beautifully written, and a true commentary on British Society’s upper middle class system…. a period I remember here, once they found out about you, as: “It’s okay to be gay, dear, you KNOW you have gay cousins. But, we don’t want to KNOW about it and for God’s sake, don’t TALK about it.” …. the way to improve your social position in that society of course, involved lots of quiet manipulation, etc etc….it’s a delicious exploration into class and money.

My favorite view from the book so far is: “The more one’s morals decline for those in “our” society, the more we tell others how simply beautiful they are.” (Paraphrased) Delicious.

Now, onto big news! Thanks to Turbotax, we both have a federal return banked. NO MORE looking at the tax work until March when we have to dredge up this hideous OREGON return where we’ll owe money, but THAT isn’t the sore point.

The REAL sore point in filing an Oregon State Tax Return for “RDP’s” (Registered Domestic Partners)…. remember, we CANNOT marry…..so they tell us “RDP” is nearly the same thing? NO, it’s not for taxation. For Oregon, partners have to prepare and file a federal return singly. THEN, you must prepare dummy Federal “as if” married filing jointly AND one “AS IF” married filing singly. Compare those, then compare them to likely Oregon results, and PREPARE state returns for either filing jointly and singly. Finally, one can file the return. THAT will take at least a full day if not two. Hrrumph!

So, throwing you a biscuit called registered partners and telling you to say thank you and keep quiet is NOT enough. Legal Marriage would help us ease our state tax filing….gee, just like real people.

But, I’m not complaining………….remember, I’d rather do this than live in a RED state where it seems Fundamentalist Christians have taken complete control….. There, we’d be fighting tooth and nail those who vilify anyone different than their Bible thumping selves.

Happy Friday! Now, on to paying off some credit charges, or maybe even buying a new spring outfit, eh? Maybe we ARE wealthy….remember they are suffering too:

Ah! Skeeter & Brenda

Bloged in humor by mark Tuesday February 2, 2010

Do you ever become suddenly AWARE that inside of you there’s a song groaning along, and then once you actualize its presence, you’re stuck…..

I’d sure like to know what triggered the rising up of this old country song this morning. I had to hear it over and over when I was just a young boy on a Mormon mission in the hills of Kentucky & Tennessee. Now, for about 2 hours, Skeeter Davis has been calling to me.

You have NO idea how many times I had to hear this in the late 60’s while “serving my time” in those poor country places:

Why does the sun go on shining
Why does the sea rush to shore
Don’t they know it’s the end of the world
‘Cause you don’t love me any more

I wake up in the morning and I wonder
Why everything’s the same as it was
I can’t understand, no, I can’t understand
How life goes on the way it does

Why does my heart go on beating
Why do these eyes of mine cry
Don’t they know it’s the end of the world
It ended when you said goodbye

Now ain’t that just a purty little whistle on your tongue? Ah hope you’uns don’t get li’l Ms Skeeter’s words up and dancin’ in your head…you’ll be stuck like me…….

Ah! I feel a change comin’………….maybe this one will get my mind off of Tennesee…....………………

Poor little Brenda Lee. God was SO Cruel.

WELL! I feel better now……….and I hope I have transferred these sticky songs to YOUR head……. go ahead, start humming these little ditties along…… Hah! I’m FREE!

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