Fence, etc.

The guys finally came by today to install the new fence in our back yard. I think it looks absolutely lovely. I can’t wait to start laying out the garden that will go behind it.

In the picture below, Scout was just finishing up her initial inspection of the workmanship.

Scout fence

While I was outside, I decided it was time for portraits of the kids. Here they are:

This is Scout. She is a rat terrier. Emphasis on the “rat” part. In addition to being a home security specialist, Scout is an experienced exterminator, demolition expert, and all-around holy terror. I wouldn’t wish her on my worst enemy, but I wouldn’t trade her for anything, either.

Evil One

This is Jason, our retired racing greyhound. Greyhounds are gentle, stately creatures, beautiful and sensitive and loving. They are capable of reaching speeds of 45 mph, but most of the time, they move at the same pace as your average three-toed sloth.

Jason

Songdog is our crazy collie mix. We wanted another dog. We were looking for a lap dog we could take along on road trips. Song wandered into the driveway and adopted us. So now we have a 50-pound lap dog. We think he’s mostly smooth-coated collie, but he appears to have a bit of heeler and maybe a dash of Belgian Malinois mixed in.

Song spent part of this evening doing his very best impression of those anti-drug commercials from the ’80s. You know:

This is your collie.

Song

This is your collie on drugs.

Song on acid

Any questions?

Coming up

I have some flowers coming up in the front bed. I didn’t get a picture of them today, because I was in a hurry and had to get to work, but I definitely see some kind of bulb plant peeking up through the dirt in one corner. I’m guessing they’re grape hyacinths. I planted a bunch of bulbs and seeds and things out there last year, but the grape hyacinths were about all that came up.

That’s OK. I love grape hyacinths.

I saw some kind of big bird of prey — probably a hawk, but it was moving a little too fast for me to see it clearly — fly across the road in front of me today. I wish I’d gotten a better look. It was pretty.

Not much else happening. I might work on my Gatorade bottle terrarium project tomorrow night. It’s almost February. Still a little early to start tomatoes, but not too bad. We’ll see how this goes.

Emily

Gorgeous weather

Today was absolutely beautiful. I spent most of it indoors, because I was working on some stuff for the Oklahoma Route 66 Association, but I did spend a few minutes outside, cleaning up the yard.

I saw a crow fly into a tree as I was standing in the parking lot, talking to a friend after church this morning. That’s the second crow I’ve seen in two days. I saw one yesterday at the Round Barn in Arcadia. I also saw a flock of cardinals and a junco in Arcadia. Juncos are so cute. I just love them.

I shot this picture on the way back from Edmond yesterday, when my friends and I stopped for dinner at the Rock Cafe. I have taken many pictures of that sign, but the lighting and the colors were so perfect last night that I just couldn’t resist getting one more, this time with that gorgeous Maxfield Parrish sky in the background:

Rock Cafe sign

In Edmond, we saw this striking sculpture, which depicts several of the steps in folding a paper crane:

Crane sculpture

I have a flock of paper cranes taped around the edges of my computer monitor, and another flock hanging from a string in my bedroom, so that sculpture just stopped me in my tracks. Absolutely lovely.

The sculpture is at the Fine Arts Institute in Edmond. You can learn to fold a paper crane — and find out what they represent — here.

Emily

“I will write peace on your wings
and you will fly all over the world.”
— Sadako Sasaki

Rain!

I got a wake-up call this morning from Suzanne, who told me to stay in bed, because it was raining this morning. Normally, we’d just jog in the rain and not worry about it, but Suzanne is getting over a cold and didn’t want to push her luck, so I just took her advice and slept in a little bit.

This is what I saw when I finally got up:

These tchotchkes are hanging in a south-facing window. See how gray the sky is?

Butterfly

Prism

This is what the sky looked like through the pergola:

Sky

Did these lichens grow on the woodpile overnight? I don’t remember seeing them before. They’re pretty. I wish I could cultivate lichens, but I read something somewhere that says there’s really no way to do it.

Lichens

The sparrows didn’t mind the rain:

Sparrows

I love the way the raindrops looked on my garlic plants. The leaves really capture the water.

Garlic in the rain

Garlic in the rain

BTW, I did not Photoshop the color on any of these images. I love how the rain just makes the colors more intense.

I hope you’re having a beautiful Saturday.

Emily

“You will keep me safe, and you will keep me warm, and rain will make the flowers grow.”
— Eponine

Ask the Hippie, Vol. 1, Issue 1

I’ve been looking at my page stats and noticing that people are surfing in here while searching for topics that may or may not actually be covered here. They’re Googling various search terms, and the search engines are sending them here based on combinations of random words scattered across this blog.

A few people (the guy looking for “hot hippie chicks,” for instance ;)) find exactly what they are looking for. But I’m afraid some of these folks are sorely disappointed when they surf in here, only to find that I have no “hippie trucker girl photos” or instructions on how to “get rid of red chicks” here. (Those are actual search terms people have used to find me, BTW.)

I do, however, find that some of these folks are looking for information about questions to which I can supply answers.

In the interest of serving those readers, I have decided to start a weekly feature here called “Ask the Hippie,” in which I will attempt to supply answers to those burning questions that drive people to Google in search of enlightenment. I make no guarantees as to the veracity of the answers, which are, like the wisdom of the late-night psychics on cable, “for entertainment purposes only.”

Let the entertainment begin.

Q. Where can I buy catbrier plants? (Inspired by the search term “buy catbrier plants.”)

A. I have never seen catbrier plants for sale. And based on my own experience with catbrier plants, I have no idea why anyone would want to buy them. But if you are within driving distance of Red Fork, Oklahoma, I can make you a good deal on all the catbriers you care to dig up….

Q. Where can I buy hippie bedding? (Search term: “Hippie bedding.”)

A. Try Tie-Dyes of Tulsa. The owner will dye anything you want to bring in, as long as it’s made of natural fibers. Bring your sheets. Bring your blankets. Bring your pillowcases. She’ll hippiefy all of ‘em for you. She can even tie-dye a big pink heart on your PJ’s for Valentine’s Day.

Q. Where can I buy tahini in Tulsa? (Search term: “tahini in tulsa.”)

A. Wild Oats.

Q. What do hippie chicks dig? (Search term: “what hippie chicks dig.”)

A. Organic gardening, Birkenstocks, broomstick skirts, Red Zinger tea, nature, animals (especially the cute and fuzzy variety), fuel-efficient cars, patchouli incense, old Volvos, and New Mexico skies. This particular hippie chick also digs Sean Connery and Sam Elliott (yowza!) … but I think that’s more of a chick thing than a hippie thing.

If you have a question for “Ask the Hippie,” e-mail it to sundayjohn66 at mac dot com. I may answer it in a future post.

Emily

Sparrows

I’m still waiting for the fence guys to finish up so I can start prepping the garden for this year’s planting season. I’ll be glad when they get done. I want to see how it’s going to look. I hope they make the gate look pretty. We’re having it custom-built, because the company that made the fencing itself doesn’t make gates. I don’t really understand the reasoning behind that, but I guess it made sense to somebody.

I fed the worms some cucumber and tomato scraps while I was making a tahini salad this evening. They should be happy with that. I poked around in the bin tonight and found them squirming around like crazy under all their bedding and food. They look pretty healthy.

We’ve got tons of sparrows around here right now. They were playing on the neighbor’s roof when I left for work this morning. A friend of mine told me she hates sparrows because they are mean — she said in her yard, they raid other birds’ nests and kill the babies for no apparent reason. My sparrows are either nicer than hers, or else they’re just sneakier. Or maybe I just haven’t seen any baby birds on the ground because the neighbors’ cats eat them before I see them.

In any case, the sparrows on Quimby’s roof this morning were awfully cute. Somehow I just can’t reconcile their cute little faces with my friend’s tales of vicious avian serial killers.

Emily

Route 66 information

As I’ve probably mentioned on here before, I do a LOT of Route 66 volunteer work. A big chunk of that work involves answering questions that are e-mailed to me by people planning vacations on Route 66. Because I am not very organized, I tend to forget to save the e-mails I send, which means that every time somebody asks me a question like, “Where are some good places to visit on Route 66?” — which is a simple question with a 2,448-mile-long answer — I waste a lot of time reinventing the wheel.

The offseason is a good time for me to pull together answers to some of the more popular questions and put them on one of my Web sites. That way, when vacation season gets closer, and the questions start coming in, I can say, “Here’s a link that should answer most of your questions” instead of wasting hours rewriting the same e-mail over and over because I was too stupid to save a copy.

I’m not finished, but I’ve made a dent in the project. I made changes and updates to these pages on my Route 66 Motels site:

Links

Places to see

Places to eat

Stay tuned; I’m planning to make more updates and improvements as I get time. Eventually, I’ll add a Route 66 FAQ page that puts this all in the form of questions, with links to the answers, and upload it to all my Web sites.

Emily