Friday, December 17, 2010

Keeping That Christmas Spirit

What's a person to do when someone drives a car through the brick wall surrounding their yard

I've got to admire their Christmas spirit - and their sense of humor.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Last of the Tomatoes

Picked the last of the tomatoes Saturday in the rain

Here's why.

Awoke to a chill vista this morning. Brrr...

Here are the tomatoes:

Way cool MutantMater - front and rear views.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Floral Interlude

Sunflowers from my back yard.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Serious Question

The fancy-dancy Italian hotel I'm staying in has no Kleenex. I've asked convention attendees who are staying in other places if their hotels have Kleenex.


Went to a pharmacy, asked for Kleenex. They had a few of those little plastic travel packets, but no boxes of facial tissues.

What do Italians do when they have a cold?

(Do I really want the answer to this question?)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lost in Siene

This week I have been wandering witlessly in Italy; some days more witlessly than others.

Yesterday I went on a group tour of Siene and was looking the wrong way when my tour group moseyed on down the pike. I turned around and they were nowhere to be seen. Ah well, no biggie; I knew where and when we were to have lunch.

I wandered around on my own for a while then, a bit before the group was supposed to dine, I turned up at the trattoria.

"Scuzi," I asked the lady who seemed to be on duty, "has my group arrived yet?"

"Group? No group. How big?"

"About fifty people."

She looked appalled. "No! No room! No group!"

Darn! I must have gone to the wrong restaurant. "Gratzi," I said, and headed out to find the right place.

Up and down the street, nothing looked right. Maybe I was on the wrong street. They all looked pretty similar to me. I went down a connecting street to the parellel street. Up and down the street, still no restaurant or sight of my group.

I turned into another alley and, down at the far end of it, saw the tour leader hustling by with the big guy in the white and blue striped shirt. Unfortunately, by the time I popped out on the right end of the alley, they were gone.

I followed in the direction they'd been heading, but never saw hide nor hair nor raised red umbrella (our tour guide's "follow me" flag.) I started going around each block, around and around and around, until I was so dizzy I didn't know in which direction I was pointing. I went into a bookstore and bought a map to try to figure out where the heck I was.

Yup. Should have done that sooner. I was way the far end of the town from where I was supposed to be. I walked to the place I thought the bus should be. No bus. It must have gone to some remote parking spot to wait out the day.

Since I had no way of contacting the tour group, I sent a text to the Engineer: "Lost tour group. Will wait where we met tour leader near public toilets. If I miss them will take public bus back to Florence."

So I hauled my sorry, footsore self back to the spot I knew the tour would pass on their way to the bus pick up and hoped like heck I wasn't already too late.

About 20 minutes later, I saw a red umbrella bobbing above the sea of tourist heads. The tour leader ran up to me, shouting, "Where were you? The man said you were at the restaurant and then you left! Where did you go? I called everyone!"

Guess I should have gone back to the same restaurant again.

I sent the Engineer a one word text message: "Found."

When we got back to Florence, everyone knew I had been lost. The tour company had given a message to the head of staff who had relayed it to the Engineer, whose response had been to say, "Okay," before continuing with his business.

"Didn't you get my texts?" I asked.

He pulled his phone out of his hip holster and looked at it. "Oh."

Shows how worried he was.

P.S. No photos until I get home; BabyDell doesn't have the brains or the memory to handle them.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010


He's got it!
And cute blue spots too.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Tomatoes Are Finally Ripening

Black tomatoes, an heirloom variety, either Krim or Black From Tula.

Better Boys, my insurance tomato.

Sun Sugar, best cherry tomato ever.

Backyard Grapes

Not ripe yet, but soon... soon...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Who Needs a Pot of Gold?

It's just a little glimpse of a rainbow,

but somehow it makes everything seem better and brighter.

The world needs more rainbows.

Friday, August 20, 2010

How to Make Friends With the Neighbors

It rained big time yesterday. About eight-tenths of an inch in 15 minutes. Not at all typical for Utah. It was windy too. One of the big quakies couldn't stand all the excitement and dropped over -- right on the next door neighbor's house.

She's a lovely, seventy something widow. I really did not want to drop a tree on her house. She didn't answer her phone, and when I called her workplace she'd just left. Darn!

So I called my tree guy, who, because Murphy rules, had just been out the day before working on the trees.

"Rick! Tree emergency! One of my big quakies just fell on my neighbor's garage."

He was right in the middle of cutting a tree off of a poor squashed car, but when he was done, he sent his guys on over with the cherry picker.

Then my neighbor called me and said she'd gotten home a little bit ago. Her garage door was only partially blocked, so she'd driven on in and parked. She hadn't called until her work had called her cell phone and let her know I was looking for her because, "I wasn't worried, I knew you'd take care of it." She's a good (and trusting) neighbor.

While the guys were waiting for Rick, who had the chainsaws in his truck, they roped up the tree so it wouldn't do any damage while it was coming down and cut off as many branches as their loppers could handle.

They waited...


Then Macho Time!

I don't think this technique would be approved in chainsaw safety class.

Don't chainsaws bring out the testosterone in a guy?

Fortunately, the tree had toppled over slowly and there was no damage whatsoever to the neighbor's house.

The same can't be said for my tree. Here's all that's left of it.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Men and Towels

These are my kitchen towels. The Engineer is forbidden to touch the white one. I bought the black one for him so that I could pretend I don't know the truth. Every time he comes into the house, he walks straight to the kitchen sink and washes his hands. Such a cleanly fellow. Then he goes to the kitchen towel and dries them. Before I got the black towels, he turned all the white ones gray and brown and black.

I think what men do is only wash as far as the wrist bone. They get wet farther up their arms, though, and go ahead and dry the whole area, thereby placing all of the dirt above the soap line onto the towel.


What I haven't figured out is how he does it to his bath mat. The only time he puts his bath mat on the floor is when he's taking a shower. As soon as he's dried off the towel goes on one rack and the bath mat on another.

So why does it have these big orange splotches on it? And, yes, I have tried bleaching it.

The more I wonder about it, the more I don't want to know.

There is a solution. I've already put it into effect: brown bath mats.

And don't think about it.

Soft Blue Lupine

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Silly Human

I was surfing the web and my computer got a little slow. Then I realized my hard drive was making that dreaded thrashing sound.

Evil Language! Had I picked up a virus or something?

So I shut down all of my processes and turned off the DamnMachine (that's my computer's name.)

The on light went off.

The noise continued.

What the heck?!?!?

So I synced my ears and my brain and actually listened.

It was crickets.

Guess I'm living up to my blog's name...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Making Friends

I was all alone in the cabin one afternoon when I heard noises. Though I got up and walked around, looking for the source, I couldn't figure out what it was. I returned to the dining table and my book, but after a while had a creeping feeling of being watched. Turning my head I saw a chipmunk on top of the drop front desk a few feet from me.

He looked back at me and said, "Tail twitch, whisker wiggle, scamper," and scooted away.

Less that a minute later, he was back, staring at me with bright beady eyes and flicking his tail.

I got up from the table, retrieved my camera and a couple of blueberries, then returned to my seat. I leaned over, put a blueberry on the desk and chirped.

A few seconds later, the chipmunk appeared again and pounced on the blueberry. He nibbled on it a bit before running off to stash it.

I put out another berry and chirped. He came to get it.

By the fourth berry, he came running as soon as he heard me chirp.

I suspect I wasn't the first person to bribe the little guy.

He had a nice grooming, a little nap, then a big stretch and rib scratch before two of the other women staying at the cabin showed up.

He seemed to find that quite exciting and started darting around the cabin floor. I was afraid he was going to run up my leg, so I lifted my feet from the floor and he zoomed off in another direction.

Unfortunately the other two humans did not like him and chased him out with a broom.

Sigh. I know chipmunks chew stuff, but he sure was cute.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Over the Creek

past the pump shed and through the woods

to Grandmother's cabin we went.

I made a new friend while I was there.

Nibbled Gaillardia

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Goodbye For a While

I'm off ot the wilds of Idaho again. I shall return in a bit over a week. Hopefully with some good pictures and maybe a tale or two.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What Is It?

I found this growing in my garden. For the first couple of leaves, I thought it was a watermelon seedling. Then it armed itself with some pretty ferocious thorns. Click here for the big version.

It ain't no watermelon.

But what the heck is it?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Short Wander Up the Canyon

Sometimes it amazes me what beauty can be found in my own back yard.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Dangers of Flying Large

I just returned from a week in Michigan visiting relatives and attending my high school reunion. I won't tell you how many years, but I did wonder where the heck all those middle-aged goomers came from.

Both directions on this trip were plagued by "weather." I arrived about four hours later than expected because heavy thunderstorms and wind in Detroit kept the plane circling until it had to go to Cleveland to refuel. On the way back, the "weather" was at Continental's Houston hub where my insane travel agent (the Engineer) had scheduled an eight (8!) hour layover for me.

The storm started about an hour into the infernal, eternal layover and boogered up the whole airport. By the time my flight was supposed to be boarding, the storm was over, but a plane going to Ontario was offloading at the gate. My flight was two hours late taking off, which meant the plane would be landing in Salt Lake City around 2:00 a.m. - unless it flapped its wings extra hard.

To add icing to that cupcake, the Engineer, who graduated from the same high school, the same year, so it was his reunion too, had booked himself a direct flight from Detroit to Salt Lake, arriving home at 2:30 p.m. His flight was on time. The candy sprinkles on the icing - I was to take a cab home so my beloved could get his "beauty sleep." (Actually, I didn't have a problem with that, it was practical, but when already annoyed by the way the travel was progressing...)

Now any of you who have been flying with any regularity know that airplane seats have been getting smaller every year. And my butt has been getting bigger. It's a bad combination.

I had booked the exit row aisle seat on the theory (confirmed by the gate agent) that since it's a non-reclining seat it is less desirable and that, therefor, the center seat in that row would be the last to fill. At original takeoff minus seven hours it looked like a pretty safe bet, there were eleven empty seats showing.

Of course, by boarding time, the flight was overbooked.

Don't know what the story was, but a whole herd of Polynesians must have booked at the last minute. It looked like several families with children of assorted ages and about a half dozen single men. The guy who sat next to me was built on a grand scale.

The guy who got the center seat in the row behind me was mammoth; probably about 6'7" and BIG. The two middle-aged business men bracketing him took offense and called in the stewardess.

After a lot of arguing and arm waving and trying to persuade someone, anyone, to exchange seats, it ended badly with the stewardess leading the resigned looking giant off the plane.

The big Tongan sitting next to me and I looked at each other, then sat in our seats very, very quietly until takeoff.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sparkling Dalila

Summer fun, by sparkler light.

Okay, to be honest, long exposure with fill flash. Don't mind saying, I was tickled with the result.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Rose For Ansel

This is the only photograph I've ever actually developed myself. I took a two session community college course. Then digital came along and I got to play with Photoshop instead of chemicals, which, I'm sure, made the Engineer happy. He always claims my middle name is "Mess," don't yah know.

The inspiration for this image was Ansel Adams' "Rose and Driftwood." The Master's photograph is infinitely superior to mine, of course, but the homage is sincere (if totally backwards.)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cactus Flowers

Sometimes it's fun to get artsy-fartsy with the Photoshop filters.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Friday, July 9, 2010


KC's junior puppy, Rusty, the butt nipper.
And how do I know that, you ask?
(Actually Rusty and I are buddies, he just gets a little excited sometimes.)

Bynum General Store

Sadly the Bynum General Store is no longer in business.

Sometimes it seems as if the world has lost texture and color, too many places in my world are parts of merchandising chains instead of being unique to the place and time. Melancholy can overwhelm me when I see the changes time wreaks.