Friday, April 29, 2011

You Capture - Pink

The subject of Beth's You Capture this week was Pink. And when I say was, I mean was. I'm only three days late here but since I worked to capture these pinks, then I think I should publish these pinks.

For the first Pink picture, we gathered all the pink eggs and put them in this antique bread bowl. Isn't it incredible that there are only two eggs that really look pink!?

There's no doubt about the pinkness of this one and I especially liked it nestled up against the purplish peony shoots.

Then there was the magnolia. The hard part is choosing which Pink pictures to include:

But my favorite Pink of all is the pink in Noah's mustache. The kids put on a skit and, wouldn't you know it?, the mustache was pink. It looks very handsome doesn't it?

For more Pink, visit Beth at Ishouldbefoldinglaundry.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy Birthday, Sarah

Our baby girl is 33 years old today! Who knew that 33 years was such a short time span? Sarah was supposed to be born on her brothers' birthday but she had other ideas. After starting what seemed to be true labor every night for several nights, she was finally born on the 21st and the reason for the delay was apparent. Sarah was born sunny side up - looking at the world with wondrous eyes from the first moment of her life.

When she was little, we called her Sarah Smiles because that's all she did. What a sweet loving little girl she was.

She was always on the small side for her age and with five older siblings, she had to be smart and tough. They all love to talk about when they'd con her into riding her bike to the gas station down the street to fetch treats for them but Sarah knew what she was doing. She was happy to perform such an easy task in exchange for free treats for herself.

She's always had a quirky, fun personality. Here are some examples:

A prom picture:

A picture taken after her college graduation ceremony that had people thinking for years that she was valedictorian:

The birth of her sister's first baby when the room was so cold you could almost see your breath:

Her wedding shower where SHE was the entertainment:

Yep, this is her:

And the shows that she and Beth entertain us with every New Year's Eve:

She played volleyball in high school and college:

She was a starter on the state championship volleyball team. Here she is in the parade where her team was honored:

After attempting to have her first child without an epidural, she changed her thinking for subsequent babies and turned the birth experience into an art form. Here she is a few minutes before her second child was born.

And if you're ever planning an event and need a helper who's hard working and hardly dramatic at all, be sure to invite Sarah:

See what I mean? Could she be quirkier and funnier?!

Seriously though, she's a precious daughter, a loving wife and mother, and a much loved baby sister. In addition, she's a great cook, very crafty, and her forte has to be party planning. No one's better.

So, Sarah, I wish we were with you today to plan a party for you, but since that's not possible, we're wishing you the best birthday ever!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

You Capture - Spring

Beth's You Capture subject this week is Spring. Right now it could be called the Spring that breaks our hearts because it just keeps feeling like winter but you can't tell that from the pictures. So here's Spring at my house:

Sorry, I couldn't stop. I just love the Spring flowers that we've accumulated over the years. And, since it's not warm enough to wander around outside and enjoy them, I'll just enjoy them here on You Capture.

For visions of Spring all over the country, visit Beth at Ishouldbefoldinglaundry.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dan and Dave

They're 38 today and that doesn't seem possible. Just yesterday:

They were a couple of the cutest, sweetest boys you'd ever want to meet. They were adventuresome and funny. However, no one ever has or probably ever will make each one laugh like his brother can.

They were boy scouts and good citizens. And they were hard working. No one that hired them for anything was ever disappointed. In fact they were well known for how hard and fast they worked.

They were (and are) athletic and good sports. Someday some of their baseball pictures will surface and I'll include them in a post. Now I'll just include this photo indicating their current sport of choice.

Both have varied talents and interests. Dan is a gifted photographer and plays the violin and guitar. Dave plays the kidtar:

and rebuilt a jeep - top to bottom - a few years ago.

Their Army career so far has been stellar. They were both members of the cadre at the military college they attended.

Here they are after a water exercise at the Army advance camp at Ft. Lewis Washington:

Here they've just graduated from Airborne School and completed the required parachute jumps.

And here they are the first time they met up at the Baghdad International Airport after the drive to Baghdad where each led a company of engineers as their battalions fought their way there.

They're both on the promotion list and should become Lieutenant Colonels in about August.

And they're so much more than the sum totals of their military careers. They're devoted fathers and loving husbands. Nothing is more important to each of them than their families.

They've both extensively renovated their homes and their landscaping. And they even spend some of their very precious leave time helping us with our home. A couple of years ago they completely replaced the roof on our house.

Right now Dan is in Florida after spending a week at Disney World with his family. He just returned from his deployment to Iraq in March.

Dave is in Afghanistan and with things getting chaotic over there, please remember him in your prayers.

Their sisters claim that their father and I favor them but of course that's not true. I will say though that their sisters adore them and so do their nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles and a lot of their friends. But what's not to adore.

They are a couple of the cutest sweetest men you'd ever want to meet.

Happy Birthday, Dan and Dave. We're so proud of you!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I Have A Heart

Yesterday I talked about those pesky, annoying squirrels that were taunting me and draining our bank account with their voracious, unstoppable appetites. Truly, I wouldn't mind feeding them if they EVER got full. But they don't. They eat and eat and eat and invite their friends in to do the same. Then they hang on and swing on the feeder evidently trying to get it to fall while reaching their nasty little paws in and swiping out every seed and nut they can get their hands on.

Maybe it's because I once heard them described as rats with fluffy tails that I started to turn against them. I know when we first moved here I felt kind of left out because we didn't have squirrels. And when I spotted this little guy ten years ago I thought he was one of the cutest little animals EVER.

So cute that this was one of my favorite pictures for a long time. But their over population and their rude, annoying habits have finally gotten the best of me. They caused me to get so irrational that when I had my shoulder surgery, I asked Mr. Right if, in lieu of flowers, he'd get me a live squirrel trap. He didn't.

His solution was to buy bird seed that the squirrels wouldn't be interested in and that worked kind of. But it turns out that some of my favorite birds weren't interested in it either.

So when I was well enough to shop and carry something in my unaffected hand, I bought one myself. It's a Hav-A-Hart live animal trap. What could be wrong with that? I do have a heart - really.

So we set the trap. A couple of days later there was a frantic little squirrel in it. Since Mr. Right was working a double that day, I took the little guy to what appeared to be a very squirrel-friendly environment with water and lots of trees and even other squirrels and set him loose. It felt good but bad. I was oh so glad that he was gone but I worried that he was nervous. (I swear he cried in the car on the way to his new home.) I worried that he wouldn't get along well with the other squirrels in the area and that he'd have a hard time acclimating to his new environment.

But at the first opportunity (the next evening), I asked Mr. Right to reset the trap. Sure enough we caught another one. And I felt better about taking him to the same habitat where hopefully he'd hook up with the old friend that I released there a couple of days prior.

We set the trap again. Before I went to Physical Therapy that morning I checked the trap and it was empty. I came home in mid afternoon and it looked like we'd caught another one - a really big one this time. So the minute Mr. Right got home, I told him we needed to release the large squirrel we'd caught. He agreed and we went out for a closer inspection and that big old trap was fur from front to back and top to bottom - solid fur.

I told Mr. Right that I didn't know what it was but it wasn't a squirrel and I thought it was dead. Then the raccoon's ear twitched and I knew that we'd caught a real koi pond enemy. A raccoon can decimate a koi pond in no time. They're clever and determined and can circumvent almost every protection a human can install. They tear up plants, knock over and break any decorations in their path and eat koi. Or, if they're not particularly hungry, they just bite their heads off and leave the parts scattered around the pond. No, you don't want raccoons anywhere near your koi pond.

So we took him for a ride too. We went farther this time, at least four miles 'as the crow flies', and found a wooded area with a large water feature in the middle of it. As soon as we opened the door the big fellow backed out. He was absolutely enormous. Mr. Right swore he was as big as a dog. I'd say knee high when he was standing tall. He immediately took off through the woods, splashing right through the middle of the large swampy pond ......... on a bee line toward our house. We found out later that you're supposed to take them at least ten miles to preclude their eventual return. Ugh! I'm just hoping that he has trouble finding his way across the interstate and has a fear of large bridges.

So maybe those doggone pesky squirrels saved our koi pond. I don't know. All I know is that we've relocated two more squirrels and I'm not ready to stop. These varmints are country animals after all and shouldn't be in the city. Mr. Right knows of two friends who were severely bitten by squirrels. So I'm thinking the country is the place for them to be - away from people, especially children.

And if I have anything to say about it, that's where every squirrel for miles around will end up. We're at four and counting....

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bird Feeding and Watching

We had such a difficult winter that I became concerned for our struggling feathered friends and finally bought a bird feeder. Within a couple of days we had a pretty respectable variety of visitors.

See how cute they are? And not only are they fun to look at, they're fun to listen to also.

Life was better despite the cold and snow but then as it began to warm up a little, we had more, less welcome visitors.

One day as I was exercising, I glanced out the window and the bird feeder was hanging sideways. I asked Mr. Right why it looked like that and he said, "oh, because there's a squirrel hanging on it". Sure enough, a squirrel had it tilted sideways so the seed could pour out more easily as he assisted it with his paw - reaching in and dragging out more and more seeds. He had his tail wrapped around the front of the feeder which for some reason added to the offensive sights.

Soon more and more squirrels came. I understand that they have to eat too and I'm really not adverse to feeding them .... except they never get full. It's unbelievable. And they're so bold. I finally started trying to scare them off. But they weren't scared of me. When I came out the door, they just looked at me while munching the birdseed that was filling their cheeks. No I had to go almost right up to them before they'd scamper off just far enough for me to leave and then they'd calmly come back.

You would think I'd have pictures of some of them but the truth is that when I saw them I spent my energies trying to get rid of them and didn't even consider photographing them.

Finally, they were so bold and so annoying that I decided it was time to take action. Tomorrow I'll write about what we decided to do and how that has worked out for us.