Tuesday, October 31, 2023

My Suburban Views

I am tired of fighting with blogging software, so here is my simplistic post. Best wishes to all; I hope you enjoy. ONE






Can you see the tiny insect on my hand?


Sunday, October 29, 2023

Scents, Sounds, and an Update

I’m on my back patio while typing this after local rain stopped. The expected steady drum would be nice, but the audio sounding like a really bad drummer amuses and autumn fragrances are pleasant.

I burned this grass patch trying to kill invasive plants. Funny enough, this was after my snake encounter. So I hope the reptile, which I’m pretty sure was far away during this ‘controlled’ fire, didn’t perish and maybe this destroyed patch of lawn will help keep the creature away.

On another note, our friend Phoenix seeing my video thinks it was a harmless snake. I don’t know. But he is at a rehabilitation facility of his choosing now. Yay!

Do you ever enjoy the sound of rain dripping on a roof? Have you seen any version of the Tennessee Williams play “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”?


Saturday, October 28, 2023

Resilience in the Face of Misfortune

Our friend Phoenix has once again landed in hospital. Another surgery meant to repair circulation in his right leg failed. Alas, doctors saw no option other than amputation.

On our way to visit him yesterday my husband and I followed a young man and little boy through the corridors for a bit. We joked about being lost. When we two finally found the correct room tucked in a corner, the others were already inside. They happen to be our friend’s nephew and great nephew. It was a joy meeting them.

Even better, the entire family seems to share our rather dark sense of humor. After a discussion over his health insurance and prosthetic limb options, it was decided that he would end up with a peg leg. So, his nephew stopped at a Halloween shop and bought pirate costume accessories.

His nephew is supporting Polly parrot...
The unfortunate man is suffering phantom limb syndrome. Whenever walking, he feels the old pain in his right foot. The worst is when he wants to cross his legs, he said. But his main complaint was that the missing knee had been replaced. A nurse is actually lobbying for the metal joint returned to him but I can’t imagine that one can be used on his left leg. My Internet search didn’t turn up any answers.

Have you heard of mirror therapy for his syndrome? Can you think of a reason other than money that this non-invasive, drug-free treatment is a last resort?


Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Another Gorgeous Autumn Afternoon

Awaiting my husband for an outing, I saw the last standing stem of my amorphophallus konjac and found the shadow stunning. Feel free to say what you wish about the botanical name, Andrew. ~snicker~ It seems we are kindred souls. I took this photo during the AM but this afternoon has been equally brilliant – cool and sunny.

A last holdout...

Can you believe several square feet of spreading konjac began with a single tiny pot? Do you know its corms are edible and considered medicinal in the plant’s Chinese homeland?


Monday, October 23, 2023

Good News – & – Pretty in Pink

Returning to the local YMCA for another round of resistance training, I carried in all the required financial assistance forms. The gal who encouraged me (S) was busy while another nice woman who usually works in the daycare center said she’d give it to S for review and would probably call early next week.

Imagine my surprise; I presumed the application would sit in limbo until some faceless committee declined it. Better still, S called to my sweaty, exiting self. She had done the math already and my membership for the next year will be almost half the current monthly rate.

On another financial note, I tend to overspend at auctions benefitting a good cause. It’s a recurring theme. ~rolls eyes~ For Winnie’s Wish List (discovered thanks to the Eastside Cats blog), an adorable, unicorn print pet tent was too cute to pass up. Terra and Polly never gave it more than a sniff. I almost offered the tent to some other animal lover, then we adopted Dandelion this summer and one day Dani did this...

I really do want her body fur shaved again;
besides being adorably pink that way,
her fur is close to matting.

Alas, she only stayed settled until
I got up from the sofa...

Can you believe my good fortune? Would you have expected such quick resolution, even from a not-for-profit organization?


Sunday, October 22, 2023

My Very Strange, Wonderfully Uplifting Day

I recently, once again, considered cancelling my YMCA membership. One month’s fee would almost pay to have kitty Dandelion groomed again, which she kind of needs. Silly me, while telling my husband I thought my eyes were watering but it turns out they were leaking tears.

Lifting weights and swimming year round really do boost my mood. Since he, bless him, said he wouldn’t urge me either way, I decided to go work out. At the front desk I found the sweet woman who’s worked there since I joined years ago.

She asked how I was, I said, “Great!” Then I told her my consideration, adding, “But I’m going to swallow my pride and ask if you have financial assistance paperwork.”

“No!” she blurted, “I mean yes! But don’t feel bad about it. We want you here. So don’t feel anything about asking for assistance.”

I brought the form home and my husband spent time filling out the financial details. He’s such a peach sometimes.

From there I passed a cute table sitting out for either salvage or garbage pickup. Driving half a block away, I turned around realizing it would free up my card table for a use other than supporting my haunted dollhouse. Huffing and puffing, I could not blow the house down get that table into my sedan. Meanwhile, a middle-aged man pulled over to ask directions.

I didn’t recognize the street name but, while searching on my smart phone map feature, told him my problem. He got out of his car, inspected the rather heavy item, suggested perhaps unscrewing the legs, then moved it back onto the lawn for me. In thanks, I drove him to where I thought he wanted to go. As it turned out, he’d taken a wrong turn. Solving his issue felt good.

And I drove home thinking I might ask my neighbor across the street for help. He owns a pickup truck and has utilized my husband’s computer skills more times than I can recall. The man kindly and cheerfully helped before heading to his workplace. I gave him a quick hug.

Have you ever shed a few tears without realizing it? Or is that just about the oddest thing to do?


Saturday, October 21, 2023


I’m so sorry. ~shakes head~ My husband made this exact remark after I told him I rescued a bee from drowning. Keeping my water feature going without pebbles or something for insects probably isn’t the best idea. Happily, I discovered the bee must have flown off upon my later return.


Isn’t the bedraggled insect quite cute, though? Do you think they can learn from their mistakes? -

Friday, October 20, 2023

A Gardening Venture for 2024

After seeing the gorgeous dusky blue pumpkins selling for $20 each I decided to look for seed sellers. And I found some available on Etsy for far less than one fourth the price!

I so want to grow these...

One buyer said they sprouted right away in her Aerogarden. Of course I had to look that up and now hydroponic gardening seems within reach. I’ll see if my husband is interested. If he is, maybe I can start them this fall.

This heirloom pumpkin called Jarrahdale was developed in New Zealand. I tried finding one from the Midwest known as Blue Lakota but had no luck. Fingers crossed, I’ll have such success as other gardeners. And these are said to be the tastiest for pies, which surprised me.

Did you know that so-called canned pumpkin is actually squash? And squash seeds can be roasted up just as tasty a treat?


Thursday, October 19, 2023

A Minor Misunderstanding

A decade or two ago (!) I met a fellow at our local grocery store that still works there. He’s a bit quirky (as am I) and we bonded over shared adoration of several rock ‘n roll bands. Funny enough, my husband privately referenced him as ‘Rock Boy’ until we learned his name.

Cars are another shared interest and several weeks ago he pointed out his new ride. I went over to look and he paused wrangling shopping carts to unlock the doors. So I opened the passenger door for a look. He reacted with shock, wondering why I did it. Well, presenting a vehicle’s interior is customary at car shows.

While teasing me about it the other day he said, “Would I lie about owning the car?”

“No,” I replied, “which is why I thought you wanted me to see the interior.”

Have you ever attended car shows? In this situation would you presume the person wanted you to see inside?


Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Pumpkin Carving Failure

While not buying the really expensive pumpkins at the garden center on Sunday I spent too much there on a regular one, grocery stores prices being cheaper. But it weighed twenty-five pounds, the prolific roasted seeds are a hit with my husband, and I like to think my purchase supported a local farmer.

But as the title states, my carving attempt failed. It started with a rough kitty outline I drew. Please ignore the additional scribbling and tea stain. lol Anyway, I thought the enigmatic profile looked intriguing.
I redrew ears in the main body, understandingly
confusing my husband...

The moment I tried carrying my creation outdoors, its outlining tail section fell off. ~shakes head~ Reattachment with a toothpick failed, too. Oh, well. My wise fellow stated that I shouldn’t feel bad, having carved few pumpkins in my life. I may try growing them next year instead of cucumbers.

Already broken...

Aren’t painted jack-o-lanterns almost as fun, anyway? Is it not obvious the break was inevitable?


Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Resisting Temptation

Like my mother did, I adore tiny things. I’ll go so far as to say I geek out over them. And while these ‘fairytale’ pumpkins are not small I really, really wanted some. Three would have been ideal surrounded by miniatures. ~sigh~ My resistance felt like a win and the garden center folks didn’t seem to mind me taking pictures.

If these were fake, I would own at least a few,
though not for $20 (USD) each...


Sunday, October 15, 2023

Fall Fun

I’ve learned to visit a certain garden center in October because they celebrate Halloween in a huge way. Today I found great decorations and a scarecrow contest.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

A Wild Time with Wildlife

I know many folks do not like snakes, at all, so if you are among them, skip this post. I am serious. Be well, those about to click off, and please stop by another day.

For anyone sticking around, I learned that rattlesnakes apparently live here in Southwest Ohio. Rattlesnakes. Should there be rattlesnakes in Southwest Ohio? According to a little research, they live in the eastern part of the state.

Okay… And I thought they were only in the Southwest United States, not my home state.

Here is the story. When I saw a baby snake on my back patio earlier this week and decided to take photos and video, my ignorance could have gotten me killed. And I don’t say that lightly. Adult pit vipers know how to control their venom. Their offspring will just throw everything into a strike.

Below is my photo of what I idiotically assumed to be a harmless, literal garden variety reptile. If you want to see my idiotic video, keep scrolling. Only during a later viewing did I realize this little creature wasn’t just pretending to be tough. ~rolls eyes~ Now I ask myself, why would a non venomous snake fake a rattlle if there aren’t any living in the area to imitate?

Minding its own business...

~slaps forehead~

If the following clip isn’t proof that I have a guardian angel or several, I don’t know what would. My friend Scars suggested I not only be more careful but also check if local hospitals carry antivenin for the Eastern Timber Rattesnake. I think I’ll reach out to my doctor’s office. But honestly, I doubt we’ll cross paths again as they prefer avoiding people. It’s this dummy wanting to get closer that escalated the encounter. Furthermore, my identification could be wrong. This could, in turn, be an escaped pet. I am just so, so blessed not to have been bitten.

Do you know the Eastern Timber rattler is endangered? Would you, like Scars, have killed it regardless?


Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Random Joys in Troubled Times

Humans have forever been warlike but it’s hard to believe we haven’t moved beyond it. Meanwhile, my husband thinks bearing witness is a duty. He’s a good man, while weaker me sometimes wishes for blissful ignorance and that the twenty-four hour news cycle didn’t exist.

So I drown my sorrows in beautiful and often silly things. A few seemed worth sharing. The first is absolutely under the silly category.

My chalk kitty has an ear tipped in honor of
all you TNR heroes out there...

I have a Halloween decoration inside that shows partway through the glass, so that was my template. Reflected from the yard is my giant pumpkin a friend made for us probably two decades ago.

My $1 Walmart mum survived winter '22-'23 in our garage!

A neighboring tree left this upon my hellebores...

My two solar water features have been set up again since the weather is nice. While not a pretty display, I still enjoy it on these lingering warm days. As a bonus, it draws insects for me to observe.

Did you know butterflies and bees sip on mud for the minerals?


Monday, October 9, 2023

Fruits and Nuts

Yesterday I popped into my local grocer for a few items. Since fruit is such a big part of my breakfast these days I always look for sales, and seedless green grapes were quite the bargain. The pistachio sale was not worthwhile but by the end you will understand my reference to nuts.
Some of these grape sizes rival mandarin oranges!

Since I was right there the day after Halloween I had to swing by the seasonal section. Without a price marked, this wreath was expected to be beyond my budget. To my delight it was over half off (!) after I scanned my loyalty card.

It looks prettier than my image shows...

After showing my husband the wreath I laid it down on a sofa arm. And of course Terra, my nutty cat, found it immediately.

Aren’t housecats the silliest creatures? Have you seen how often the big (wild) cats act much the same?


Friday, October 6, 2023

One Silly Quandary & My Delicious Dessert

The other evening I felt like baking a pie. We have lots of cream cheese and several cans of pumpkin, so I looked up a recipe combining the two. My husband did not complain.

My biggest chore was grinding down cinnamon from sticks. Soaking some of the bark chips in water, then adding other pre-ground spices (ginger, nutmeg, etc.) in my mortar and pestle provided excellent results. I don’t know why cheesecake is a pie, like apple or cherry, but called cake.

Are you fascinated by terminology? And if you bake or cook, do you prefer whole herbs/spices or ground?


Thursday, October 5, 2023

Ah, Sweet Success

My Oregonian idol, cat rescuer Strayer, inquired what song played with the short OCD cat compilation, my previous post. I replied that I regretted not knowing. However, reverse engineering the quandary occurred to me.

Unlike with stolen technology, I merely typed in some lyrics for my answer. The video is fun, too. So thank you, my far distant friend, for asking.

Do you enjoy music videos? Is owning a music library (in my case, compact disks) more important to you than streaming?


Sunday, October 1, 2023

My Cutest Spider Yet

This happened just minutes ago and I am sorry but I just had to share. And I wish its itty bitty stripe pattern showed up in this clip.

Is this not an adorable start to a gorgeous October day? Are you enjoying nice weather today?