Wednesday, August 24, 2016

MID-MORNING SNOOZE

Blackwell, half-awake in one of his favorite snoozing spots.

The recliner directly behind my office chair.


In case you hadn't figured it out he is "my" cat.

He follows me around the house and howls for awhile when I go outside or leave to run an errand.

He chose this chair because it's close to me and it's comfortable.

He reclines there unless I happen to be sitting in it.

Then he reclines on my lap.

He is one spoiled cat.

If you have pets do they behave in the same way?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

TUESDAY TRAVELS

When I first moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1972 it was still a growing city with a pretty much sleepy downtown.

It has grown immensely since then and now downtown is nearly a mystery to me with all of the new buildings and new construction.

I was reading Sharon's blog the other day and saw this picture of the contrast in downtown.

I thought of it again today and thought I had a somewhat similar picture.

Here's mine:


The twin spires of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Basilica used to be a landmark at the intersection of 3rd Street and Van Buren near the center of the city.

Now they are dwarfed by the North Building of the Phoenix Convention Center.

Both mine and Sharon's photos show the amazing differences in a growing modern city which is still hanging onto some of its past.

Monday, August 22, 2016

CLOUDS

We seem to be in the midst of our monsoon season.

Brief showers or (as yesterday afternoon) thunderstorms with loud, crashing thunder and semi-torrential rain.

One day I photographed some clouds in the sky before the rain arrived.








And on another day, SWMBO spotted and photographed this rather strange cloud which looked like one side had been sheared off.


Note: the last picture was taken through the windshield of a moving car which accounts for the extraneous light poles and road sign.

Clouds are always fascinating.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

HAPPY BIRD DAY

Curiously, today dawned overcast and has remained that way all morning so far though it appears as if it is beginning to clear up now.

Rains recently have flattened the Rocketman Sage in the back yard but once the skies stop falling it springs back up.


Apparently the fronds are full of pollen because the bees love it.

So, too, do a pair of neighborhood Goldfinches.



I know the birds are tiny but it still amazes me how they can perch on seemingly the smallest, most fragile stems without seeming to bend them at all.





Of course, once they have had their fill of pollen they stop off for a drink before going on their way.




There is a seemingly never-ending cycle of life taking place right outside my window.

I enjoy being the oddball observer.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

BLACKWELL INTERRUPTUS


What do you want?

Why do you interrupt me?

Can't you see I'm takin' a bath here?

Sheesh!!!!

Friday, August 19, 2016

FRIDAY FUNNIES

TGIF again.

Do Fridays seem to you to come around faster these days?

If so, you may be getting old.

We had rain and thunder and lightning here yesterday and I was thinking  "with all of that power how could we corral it to do some good?"

And then it came to me.


Moving right along . . .







All right, Gentle Readers, that should give you a good start to a happy, sappy weekend full of joy and laughter.

Once again, thanks to all of my contributors, I couldn't do it without you.


"Bye-Bye"

Here, kitty-kitty . . .


Thursday, August 18, 2016

THROWBACK THURSDAY


My lifelong pal Dr. Jim (r) and I swimming at Carlyle Lake in Canada.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

EATING WELL


Smoked Paprika Shrimp; accompanied by sauteed corn, peppers, bacon, onion, whatever else goes well with it; garlic toast; simple fruit salad; glass of red wine.

I know you're supposed to drink white wine with seafood but we didn't have any and I drink red with everything anyway.

So there.

Bon App├ętit!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

TUESDAY TRAVELS

We don't travel much these days but the BRD does.

She has just returned from a week-long visit to . . .


ROME!

It was her first visit to the Eternal City and she emailed that she was having a difficult time wrapping her head around all of the history on display.

From the Pope's balcony at the Vatican . . .


to the Coliseum . . .


And many other sites around the city and in Pompei.















There was a meal at the legendary Harry's American Bar & Restaurant.


And a memorable meal at another restaurant where no English was spoken.

The BRD said ordering involved a lot of pointing but it had a fine result.



An order of lobster and pasta so large that she split it with her dining partner.

She said the city was full of tourists.  Imagine that.






She said it was a once-in-a-lifetime tour but it will hold a lifetime of memories.

Especially of all that walking and those poor tired feet!

Monday, August 15, 2016

DEAD SKUNK

SWMBO came home from running an errand awhile ago and casually mentioned that she had seen a dead skunk on the road coming into our development.

Which, of course, brought back this earworm from 1972.





The writer and performer of that jaunty tune is Loudon Wainwright III.

He is the son of a Life Magazine columnist and editor who exposed him to the music of Tom Lehrer and Stan Freberg, who the younger Wainwright cited as influences on his style.

Loudon III was married for a time to the late folk singer Kate McGarrigle, which produced two children who both became singers and writers, Rufus and Martha Wainwright.

A relationship with singer Suzzy Roche resulted in another daughter, Lucy Wainwright Roche, also a singer.

Loudon III has written and recorded many songs, won a Grammy, and acted in movies and television shows.

But I'll always think of him as the guy who introduced me to the "Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road."

Sunday, August 14, 2016

WEEKEND BATH

I know you've seen this before but wothehell . . .


The Spotted Towhee was back at it again this morning, using our birdbath for his daily cleanup.


He splashes merrily in the water, then moves his upper wings at near-Hummingbird speed to shake the sloshing off.

In between dousings, he keeps his orange eye peeled on me watching him but it's a defiant glare as if to say "Yeah? Are you lookin' at me?"


Yes, I am.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

IS THIS AN OMEN?

While on my daily perambulation (to the mailbox and back) the other day, I spied an early indication of the changing of the seasons.


A tiny leaf fallen from the Red Maple in our front yard.

Now this is August and the mercury is still climbing to nearly 100 degrees on an almost daily basis.

So it seems a bit early for the leaves to be changing color from their summertime green to the autumnal red.

I am no arborist but I'm thinking if one leaf came loose in a gusty wind and blew free from its mooring, perhaps in it's death throes it may turn from nile to scarlet.

I don't know if that is correct or not but I picked up the leaf and brought it inside to photograph anyway.

I like the red leaves and, though I dread the icy days of winter, I must admit I look forward to the entire tree turning carmine.


Wouldn't you?