Saturday, April 30, 2016

Friday, April 29, 2016


Had I been a wee bit stealthier or quicker yesterday I would have had a great photo to begin today's edition of the Friday Funnies.

My peripheral vision detected a large shape about ten feet from my window in the back yard.

I turned and saw a huge black raven on the ground advancing toward the bird bath.

He jumped up to the rim, bent over and took a sip, apparently spotted me as I reached for my camera and lumbered away.

Oh well.

Next time.

There's always this picture, which I DIDN'T shoot.

The one above is especially for Val the Victorian who has acquired an adorable new puppywhich is half Blue Heeler and half Dachshund.

Sometimes you never know what you'll get.

Well that's curious.

I hadn't intended to do an entire post on dogs and cats.

It just sort of evolved.


Have a fabulous weekend, Gentle Readers, stay warm and safe and always . . . ALWAYS . . . remember to keep laughing.

Here, kitty-kitty.

Thursday, April 28, 2016


The Western writer Zane Grey was actually a dentist from Ohio.

He came to Arizona to hunt in 1907 and became enamored of pioneer Western life.

He wrote several books which were rejected but finally broke through with Riders of the Purple Sage in 1912, which became his all-time best seller.

Grey built a cabin on the Mogollon Rim and spent several weeks a year there while on hunting trips.

He wrote in the cabin but preferred to sleep outside in a tent.

In 1929 he left Arizona, never to return, after a spat with the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

His cabin was deteriorating until a Phoenix businessman bought and restored it.

I visited it several times in the 1970's.

It was nestled among the pines in a relatively remote location.

It was always locked up when I was there but visitors could peek through the windows and view the inside as it was when Grey was there.

In 1990 a forest fire caught up with it and the cabin burned to the ground.

In the early 2000's a foundation was formed and a replica of the cabin built in Payson, where today it is a museum.

Zane Grey went on to become a millionaire writer with many books and movies made from them.

He traveled the world before dying of heart failure  at his home in Altadena, California in 1939.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


I know because of the many emails . . . well, one . . . I get asking about the owlets I photographed in the Home Depot about a year ago that you all want to know what's going on with our local bird life.

Well, I haven't been over to that Home Depot in awhile so I don't know if there is a new family this year or not.

But in keeping with this theme, I did photograph a house finch taking a wee sip at the bird bath this morning.

A much bigger bird, one of those Rufous Towhees also stopped by for a drink but your intrepid photographer was too slow/clumsy with the camera to get a picture of him.

I did catch a tiny Goldfinch a bit later taking a dip after his sip.

The goldfinches are very flighty (heh-heh) so it's hard to catch them with the camera and this one had his head and other yellow parts turned away from me and one wing flapping in the air so you might mistake him for some kind of weird sailboat.

You just have to take my word that he was a goldfinch until I can get lucky with the camera.

I put out the hummingbird feeder a few weeks ago and had visitors in less than a day.

It amazes me how they discover the feeder so quickly.

Are their memories really that good, do you think?

Meantime my old Mexican Macaw (that's a parrot to some people) patiently keeps an eye on everything.

In spite of his size the other birds don't seem concerned about him one little whit.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


In 1972, our nuclear family set off from Indianapolis to move to Phoenix.

We headed out with high hopes but knowing no one and having no commitments for jobs in the new city and state that none of us had ever seen.

It was going to be a new life.

We didn't travel very fast.

I was driving a new Chevrolet Corvan and trailing a 16 foot U-Haul trailer packed to the gunnels.

Judy's kids followed us in a 1950 Dodge school bus that had been converted into a camper.

We stopped for lunch at a picnic site somewhere in Missouri.

Eventually, after nearly a week of traveling we arrived in Phoenix.

In July.

I can remember watching a television newscast one night early after our arrival from the station where I later went to work.

The anchorman said "Good evening and good morning, it's midnight and 100 degrees in Phoenix."

We survived it and many travails ahead and spent 15 years there before moving on.

Once again.

Monday, April 25, 2016


Now that I have embarked on my 77th year as a resident of this planet I was thinking today of things I'm thankful for.

First and foremost for the many friends and family who sent Facebook and blog greetings and cards and phone calls yesterday, quite a few probably amazed to learn that I had reached my 76th birthday, still alive and not in prison.

Then I'm thankful for the state where I've made my home for 38 years, not entirely consecutively but longer than I've lived anywhere else.

I love the saguaros in our Great Sonoran Desert.

And I equally love the snow-capped San Francisco peaks near Flagstaff, seen here above the Red Rocks of the Sedona area.

And I'm thankful for Arizona wildflowers.

Of course I'm thankful for the love of my life, the Storied and Fabled Judy, aka SWMBO.

She's been my constant companion on this long, strange trip.

I'm thankful for our children and grand-children and GREAT-grand-children, too many to show you here.

And I'm thankful for some great friends who joined me a year ago to mark an even more important birthday.

And how about that? Everyone was smiling!

And, by the way, how could I NOT be thankful for the many great meals I've had courtesy of the mistress of the kitchen.

Oh, yeah, I've eaten well if not always gracefully.

And finally I'd like to say I'm thankful for my many blogger friends, like the some-times purple-haired Zhoen, who sent me this hilarious video yesterday.

Love it!

And thanks to you, my Gentle Readers.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

ANOTHER MILESTONE (not millstone)

As I have been reminded many times this morning, I am now marking the beginning of my 76th* year on this planet.


I shouldn't complain, though.

Some of my friends are aging, too, and these shots are from A YEAR AGO!

It's curious but the older one gets the more birthday greetings one seems to get.

Ah well, I'll just settle down and see what SWMBO cooks up for my special dinner.

So, Gentle Readers, as I say every Friday, you just have to keep on laughing.

Now, where's that darned cat?

* - After I posted this, my friend (?) DK emailed me to point out that I am actually beginning my 77th year. She reminded me that my first year was completed when I became one year old. I feel so much better now. :^(

Saturday, April 23, 2016


The calendar says it's Spring.

Warmer temperatures say it's Spring.

The singing birds say it's Spring.

The budding and then leafing out of the trees say it's Spring.

Torrential rainstorms and tornadoes and sudden snow storms in the "other parts of the country" say it's Spring.

But here's a sure sign it's Spring.

When the big box stores like Home Depot and Lowe's put out pots of flowering plants, tempting you to do some gardening.

We'll still get some cooler weather but as the waning days of April move past and May rapidly approaches, it may be safe to plant.

(SWMBO filled three pots on our patio with herb plants the other day.)

A couple of smaller and lower photinia plants are full of blossoms in the back yard.

Yes, I believe Spring has sprung.

Which always reminds me of a bit of roadside doggerel from Burma Shave signs of my youth.

Spring has sprung
The grass has riz
Where last year's
Careless Drivers is

--Burma Shave--

Friday, April 22, 2016


I read this morning that today is Jack Nicholson's 79th birthday.

Is that funny?

Oh, well then let's get on with the Friday Funnies.

On that yummy note, I'll wrap up this week's edition.

(Tip: Look for something special in Sunday's post.)

In the meantime thanks, Gentle Readers, for the contribitions, have a positively incredible weekend and always remember to keep laughing.

Here, kitty-kitty.