Everything’s coming up violet this week at the House of the Lifted Lorax. A few examples:

A few of the many grape hyacinth blossoms coming up along our fence and in the front flowerbed. I wish I could take credit for these, but they were here when we moved in. Aren’t they gorgeous?

Native violets growing next to the pond. These come up wild every year.

The wisteria isn’t putting out many leaves, but it started blooming this week. It’s not wild, but it’s a perennial that requires virtually zero maintenance.

Purple deadnettle grows wild all over the yard.

We’re also blessed with the somewhat showier henbit. The henbit and the deadnettle will both be gone when it gets hot out, but they make a lovely temporary carpet of green and purple.

Last year’s chives are back — and just about to bloom.

Hope your spring is full of effortless beauty, wherever you are.


Chooks and smoothies

First, the chooks:



And a smoothie (with a tiny gnome in the background, courtesy of Kathryn):


Here’s the recipe, if anybody is interested:

About a cup and a half of crushed ice
About a cup of orange juice
Two organic bananas
About half a cup of frozen organic cranberries
About a cup of frozen homegrown blackberries

Blend until smooth. The blackberries give it that gorgeous dark purple color. Bonus: This recipe is completely vegan.


Birds and more birds

Our hens are aging rapidly, so in the interest of making sure we continue to have a steady supply of eggs, we decided to replace Honey (executed last year for war crimes) and Maud (heat-stroke casualty) with a couple of youngsters.

Because my friend Terriann was interested in backyard chickens but didn’t want to fool with raising them from babies, I bought four extras, bringing my flock of fledglings to six. We got sex-linked goldens this time. They’re a cross between Rhode Island reds and Rhode Island whites. I wanted either barred Rocks or buff Orpingtons, but they didn’t have any buff Orpingtons at the feed store, and the barred Rocks were straight run, meaning we could have ended up with a mess of roosters. I don’t have anything against roosters, but they’re awfully noisy for an urban setting, and they don’t lay eggs (which is the whole point of owning chickens).

Anyway, these little boogers should be ready to go outside by the end of April. If they’re like the last bunch, I’ll be ready for them to go outside by the end of March, but fresh eggs are well worth the annoyance of living with young chickens for a few weeks.

If you’re playing along at home, this brings our current fauna count to three dogs, one hamster, one finch, 10 chickens, and God alone knows how many bees.

I need a farm….


No restraint.

We stopped at Airway Variety Store on Admiral Place (an old alignment of 66) today. Airway is a mom-and-pop store that reminds me of nothing so much as the Ben Franklin store we had downtown when I was a kid. You can buy craft supplies at Airway. You can buy fake flowers at Airway. You can buy random odds and ends at Airway. And you can buy birds at Airway.

I think we have long since established that when it comes to pets, any restraint exercised in this household is purely the result of Ron threatening to divorce me if I bring in a cat or a fourth dog.

Airway had some extremely cute juvenile zebra finches for $12.99.

Welcome to the family, Hedwig….


Road trip

I spent most of today on Route 66, shooting photos for a freelance assignment. My primary mission was to take the Rebel to the Coleman Theatre Beautiful and get some shots of the interior, but while I was on the road, I did some advance work on a project that involves coaxing the best possible shots out of the worst possible cameras. I’d done a little work on that yesterday between Chandler and Tulsa, and I’ll be doing more between Warwick and Texola in a couple of weeks.

I must have been a sight. In an effort to show how a truly awful camera can get a pretty decent shot, I used my cell phone camera (1.3 megapixels); a disposable Fuji film camera; the Holga; the Diana; and a 35mm screaming pink plastic “Disney Princess” camera to take pictures of random things along 66. Imagine me standing by the side of the road, juggling umpteen cameras, each one more ridiculous than the last, while people drive past and give me funny looks. I am such a dork.

I came home to a rather auspicious sight: Ron had picked up my most recent batch of Holga shots from Apertures, and lo and behold, every shot on the roll was usable. I have never pulled that off before with any camera. Here’s one of the images:


That’s my friend Greg. One bright Sunday morning last fall, I found him in our church parking lot, rockin’ the Elvis shades and looking like a refugee from 1978. Fortunately, Greg is an artist, so he understood why I needed to take his picture with the worst camera ever manufactured. You can see one of the Holga’s infamous light leaks in the upper right-hand corner, but I think it only adds to the retro-snapshot-from-somebody’s-vacation-album effect.

Greg is a cool guy. He will probably be extremely famous some day. When he is, I will let him use this picture for publicity purposes. 🙂

I had some more fab shots on that roll, but I am too lazy to scan them right now. I’m excited to see what I got with the Diana today. I’ll have to finish the roll and get it processed next week.


Not so groovy, Mom

So I got a bead curtain yesterday and hung it above my office door. Riggy did not approve. There’s about a foot of clearance between the bottom of the curtain and the floor, so when I called him, instead of running in like he normally would, he got down and army-crawled under the beads. It was hilarious.

I think he more or less got over it after a few passes through/under it, but he still ducks and hurries as fast as he can if he needs to get in or out of my office.

I shouldn’t laugh at him for being scared, but it really was funny to see him sneaking along. I don’t know what he thought the beads were going to do to him, but he didn’t trust them AT ALL.


Shots from the road

A few quick shots from the road before I head into the kitchen to fix dinner before church:

Riggy on his first visit to the Blue Swallow.

The Swallow’s carpet gets Rig-rolled:



Riggy visits the Texola Jail:


I’ll have more later.

And lest you think Scout’s final days were completely devoid of joy: These images are the last ones I shot of her. In the dark, quiet world where she spent her last few weeks, her sense of taste — and her enthusiasm for treats — never dimmed:




I wish I’d had a cup of Ted Drewes’ Frozen Custard to share with her. ‘Twould have been a fitting farewell for a little dog who loved Southern Delight concretes like no one else I know. I guess Ben and Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk was a suitable alternative. She seemed pleased with it, at any rate.



We just got in a couple of hours ago. I’ll post details later; I’m up against several project deadlines at the moment and probably won’t have a hand free for several days. Riggy traveled very well. A few aspects of the trip scared him, but once he figured out the concept of pit stops and understood that we were not going to ditch him somewhere, he got more comfortable with it. I think he’ll be more excited about it next time we go somewhere.