I walked outside the other day to discover that our dill plants had become home to several black swallowtail caterpillars. I probably should have pulled them off and fed them to the chickens, as they can be extremely destructive to an herb garden, but knowing how beautiful they’ll be when they grow up, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

A few weeks ago, our garden had another young visitor:

Our little friend didn’t think too highly of Ron.

I think this youngster is a mockingbird from the nest in the front yard. With the babies out on the nest, I can finally take out the ice-storm-damaged evergreen shrub where they’d been nesting. As soon as I get that done, we can try to rent a stump grinder and get rid of the stumps from it and the other two bushes we lost in the ice storm last winter. I’m hoping to replace the shrubs with either fruit trees or ornamentals. 



Sorry for the hiatus … didn’t mean to skip out on you for so long, but I’ve had my hands full. I’ll have some cool garden photos to share as soon as I get a hand free. If you need something to do in the meantime, go see the new Batman movie. Heath Ledger’s Joker is dazzlingly creepy, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine are wonderful, and the plot has all sorts of metaphysical implications to think about — which is not something you normally expect from a popcorn flick based on a comic-book hero.

At a much more personal level, when Eye Candy cut my reporters’ throats for no good reason in March, I thought I would never again be able to bear the sight of a gorgeous man in an Armani suit tearing around in an exotic Italian sportscar. I was wrong, as Christian Bale so graciously showed me this evening. 😉


Wax on, wax off

I just finished reading a series of little books called We Knew Mary Baker Eddy, which contain articles by people who had direct dealings with Mrs. Eddy in one way or another. The last article in the series was written by Martha W. Wilcox, who worked as a housekeeper in Mrs. Eddy’s home.

Reading Wilcox’s article, I was surprised to learn that the woman who taught that “there is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter” could be downright finicky about matters of housekeeping. The top sheet on her bed was to be turned down exactly two and a half inches every morning. She insisted that meals be served at exactly the same time every day — never a minute early or late. Even the pins in her pincushion were organized by length.

At first glance, this seemed incongruous. If matter isn’t real, then who cares what time supper is on the table?

But Mrs. Eddy never did anything without a good spiritual reason, and this was no exception. Wilcox explains: “She showed me that unless I were faithful and orderly with the objects of sense that made up my present mode of consciousness, there could never be revealed to me the truer riches or the progressive higher revealments of substance and things.”

In other words: Wax on, wax off.

Looking around my own house, where all the carpets are covered in a sort of dog-hair permafrost, the bed hasn’t been made in three weeks, and breakfast — if it happens at all — involves swilling a can of Slim-Fast in the car on the way to work, I have to wonder what Mrs. Eddy would say if she could see it.

Probably nothing. She’d probably just smile, hand me a bucket and a sponge, and set me to work practicing “wax on, wax off.”


Folk Thursday challenge

Thanks to the magic of iMovie … here’s the Slaid Cleaves cover of the Fred Eaglesmith song I was talking about earlier:

Special challenge: I’ll send an El Vado Motel bumper sticker to the first Route 66 enthusiast (other than Ron) who can correctly identify the location of every gas station in this video. If nobody gets it before midnight next Thursday, I’ll post the answers.


Bumbling around

I was shooting some video of the hens playing in the garden tonight when I noticed bumblebees working the sunflowers. I was using the Fuji rather than the Canon, so the image quality is a little off, but the bees were cute enough and the interplay of color and texture was nice enough that I thought I’d post a few shots anyway. 


If I’m feeling adventuresome, I’ll take the Rebel out tomorrow night and see if I can get something a little clearer.

I’ll have to get a little closer for that, because I don’t have a zoom lens for the Rebel, but as long as I stay out of the bees’ way and don’t interfere with their work, they should tolerate my presence for a few minutes. I think I’ll wear a hat to prevent anybody from getting tangled up in my hair while I work, though….

On an unrelated note, I had a visitor in the garden recently: A little turtle was hanging out under the tomato vines the other day while I was weeding the cucumbers. It was very cute.


Purse project

I’ve been promising myself for a long time that I would sit down and figure out how to make a sling-type purse. I finally rummaged through my fabric stash tonight and came up with this:

It’s reversible. And Scout apparently thinks there’s a cookie inside it:

Action shot (please overlook my disheveled appearance — we spent an hour and a half weeding the garden this evening):

It’s not perfect, but I think it turned out pretty well, especially considering I just made up the pattern as I went along. I love that bee fabric….