Monday, April 25, 2011

Progress report

Spring is taking its sweet time this year. Everything is lagging behind thanks to our cooler than normal rainy weather. The trees are just afraid to leaf out! Some progress is being made however.

The daffodils were pretty as usual but are fading a bit now.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

The forsythia is really lovely this year. You may remember that last year we had our large front hedge of forsythia taken out. I miss it, but Rick says he doesn’t. Now we just have three pretty bushes scattered throughout the yards.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

I cut some branches and brought them inside to light up my day. Sam likes them too!

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

I wish the lilac would hurry up and bloom! It’s looked like this for two weeks now. If it waits until we are gone on our trip late next week I’ll be really disappointed! This shot was taken with the forsythia bush behind.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

The periwinkle is blooming nicely in the front yard.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

A row of hostas have broken ground and are growing daily.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

We’ve had plenty of birds visiting the feeder. Normally we don’t have purple finches but right now we have several pairs. I think they are prettier than the house finch. You can tell the difference by their coloring which is more a rosy pink than the red of the house finch, the streaking and their slightly different body shape and size.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lots of these cute little chipping sparrows too. Doesn’t he look like he’s wearing a toupee on his head?

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Of course we have lots of bright yellow gold finches. I love these little birds!

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

The white-throated sparrows don’t come to the feeder but they do come to the front where I spread seed on the ground for the squirrels and chippies. They have a distinctive yellow streak by their eye, and a lovely easy to identify song.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

At times there are so many different bird songs riding on the air that it’s hard to hear yourself think! I am not complaining though! I love them all.

And here is Alex just because I think he’s so darned cute. He was laying on the front porch while Rick washed Mia yesterday and found this tiny little stick that he’s holding between his paws.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

More rain expected today but at least this week we’re supposed to have temperatures in the 70’s. That just might lure the trees into really popping those leaves!

Bird Addendum added late afternoon: My first rose-breasted grosbeak arrived this morning! I hope to get a better photo of him if he sticks around long enough. They usually just pass through. I think it looks like it has a bleeding heart on its chest. Beautiful birds, but then again, grosbeaks are one of my all-time favorite bird families.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

And a house finch for comparison to Mr. Purple Finch.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Monday, March 07, 2011

Rainy Sunday

How do you spend a rainy Sunday?

Try sticking your feet out (similar to putting your feet up) and taking a snooze like Sam.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Make a delicious Salad Lyonnaise for lunch. (Made with fresh croutons from bread baked on Saturday.)

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Simmer a tomato sauce that will be used in your dinner.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Play Alan Wake on the Xbox 360 and finish it.

Enjoy a fireside (and much needed) massage. Sorry, no photo of that ...

Sit down to a dinner of braised lamb shanks with parmesan polenta, just right for a rainy day! Yum, yum, yum!

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Mother Nature is a fickle sort. She’s been toying with us. Saturday was a pretty nice day for a change and I was able to get out and do a few things in the yard that needed to be done.

Yesterday and overnight we had 2.6 inches of snow-melting-get-rid-of-that-damned-old-snow rain. The weather was warm-ish yesterday, topping the chart at around 58 degrees F, but still we had a fire going to keep the dampness away. Sometimes it was just a gentle rain, but at others it was a downpour. The dogs did not want to go out. Every time they went to the door and I opened it, they just turned around and looked up at me as if to say I am NOT going out in that and turned around and walked away. This morning I awoke to a covering of snow and it was still lightly snowing at 29 degrees F. Just when we were looking at bare ground! Our new little white cover won’t last, but still, forward progress was temporarily thwarted.

March can never seem to make up its mind.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey
Fresh covering of snow on my deck this morning with morning shadows and dog prints. Yesterday was the first day it was completely clear of all snow and ice.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Another cruel joke? and Christmas photos

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Huh? From “this storm is going to pass us by” to BLIZZARD? I’ll believe it when I see it with my own eyes! Just in case I guess I’d better charge up the battery on my camera, don’t you think?

But while we wait for the the “blizzard” to begin I am going to share some photos of the kids and their Christmas. I hope Rick will put together a video of them like he did last year.

First, here’s a photo of our living room.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

On Christmas eve we brought out the new dog bed we really bought solely for Bella so she would not sleep stretched out between us at night. Bella did not get in it but it was a busy bed nonetheless. Alex was the first one to claim it.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Then eBay.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Then Sam joined eBay and it became a cat bed instead of a dog bed. (Sorry for the bad photo.)

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Alex grew tired of waiting up for Santa to arrive.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

He was glad when morning came and he could take over his job of being “chief package opener.” Bella did a pretty good job this year too. I frankly thinks she just likes ripping the paper off.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Here is Bella with her snowman that plays “We wish you a Merry Christmas.” Gee thanks Auntie Linda and Uncle Phil. With this toy began a new Christmas tradition with “Auntie Linda and Uncle Phil” of who can find the most obnoxious dog toy.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Alex opened his buffalo bone that we bought the dogs when we were in Laramie. Yummy!

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Hailey got one too, of course, but she doesn’t do opening.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

The cats got very drunk on their catnip pillows.

eBay becomes a nasty drunk and goes a bit crazy.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

While Sam just chills out and becomes very mellow. I think he pretty much slept all day.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Bella and Alex chew on their bones together. They are really good buddies.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

We hope you had a great day! I’ll keep you posted on the snow report.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

iPad for cats

The cats got an early Christmas gift the other day. Take a look at our newest iPad app:

The cat chooses which mode to play: laser beam or mouse. So far eBay has chosen the mouse hands down (or should I say paws down?) every time. Every time they hit the mouse he squeaks and adds up points. Such fun! I love that both cats have different approaches to playing with it. Frankly I am surprised at Sam. I didn’t think he was that smart!

What’s next? Surely not an iPad app for dogs! One slap of Bella’s huge feet and the iPad would be history. (That’s Bella’s nose that you can see in the video.)

And, no ... the cats do not have their own iPad ... yet.

Counting down to Christmas

Last night we woke ourselves at 3:00 a.m. to view the lunar eclipse. We felt we had to. After all, it rarely occurs with the winter solstice. The last time it did was 1638. It was eerie. I stood there in my bathrobe with my dog-walking-jacket over it and paid homage to its rare reddish color. I tried to take a photo, but of course—no tripod! It was cold and windy, but very clear with lots of stars twinkling. I didn’t stay out long. This is my best effort at trying to capture it.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

And, as predicted, the snow is gone from our Christmas forecast. They are saying it might snow the day after, but that’s still a pretty big “if.” It used to drive me crazy if it didn’t snow by Christmas so that there was at least some on the ground, but I think I am finally growing out of that childhood stage. It would sure be nice but it’s not going to happen. After all, Christmas is all about what’s in your heart and not on the ground!

We’ll be alone this Christmas. My sister and her husband are staying home and entertaining his side of the family, while our friend Carolyn is heading to the great Northwest to meet up with her family. I didn’t do a great deal of decorating this year, but enough. The Santa collection stayed in their boxes this year as did the little German village. I’ve been feeling the need to edit and simplify things. With our new landscaping out front we changed up our lighting strategy and used the net lights on the little trees that used to be stretched across the burning bush hedge (which has now moved) and they worked like a charm. I plug in the lighted garlands hung around the doorways inside the house every morning now. Have to get that Christmas spirit UP!

Our Sunday was spent by attending two different open houses on our street. The first was over at neighbor Kim’s and the second was all the way down the street with the folks who run our block party. And, darn it, I missed Fire Truck Santa again this year! We must have been over at Kim’s when he passed by. Why can’t I seem to catch him so I can photograph this silly event? Santa strapped to the bumper of a fire truck is a sight you don’t forget. I would gladly give them a donation for the chance to have my photo taken with him!

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey
Our Christmas tree reflected in my wine glass.

Yesterday marked the last day (finally!) of pottery class. I’ve been trying to get back and glaze my piece for several weeks now but it hadn’t been fired yet. So yesterday was glazing day. She was going to fire last night so I am thinking of going back this afternoon to pick it up. Again, I have kind of an idea what the glaze is going to look like (it’s called Cappuccino Mint) but I did something different on the button and not sure how that’s going to look. Kind of like I was not sure what the inside of the previous bowl would look like and look how well that turned out! If I hate it I’ll just stick it away in a closet somewhere where I don’t have to look at it.

Also yesterday the dogs went to the groomers. They always come home smelling so wonderful and feeling so soft and fluffy. I try to appreciate it fully because it doesn’t last long. Alex is just like Pig Pen in the Charlie Brown comics and dirt seems to follow him everywhere he goes. Hailey usually stays pretty clean because she’s kind of a prissy girl, taking right after her father who was a pretty prissy boy. Now Bella is not a girly-girl at all. Look what the groomer put in her hair! We don’t expect it to last long.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey
Mom! Get this thing off my head!

So far this morning it’s still on. Now if that bow was on Hailey’s head instead Bella surely would have chewed it off by now!

Today will find me mostly staying home. I need to make cookies and wrap Rick’s presents. Mine are already under the tree and Sam has even opened one! Cats cannot resist paper, at least Sam can’t.  He looks pretty angelic though, doesn’t he? He’s not! I’m sure I’ll have his help wrapping.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

We haven’t seen any bears for a long time. After the bear hunt I am sure they are all trying to lay low. We have plenty of birds: blue jays, titmice, white-breasted nuthatches, downy woodpeckers, chickadees, juncos (2 varieties), carolina wrens, cardinals and the red-bellied woodpeckers visits once in a while. I’ve seen quite a few deer crossing the road but they just don’t seem to like our yard. We have plenty of these little rodents though:

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Yes, they are cute but we have so many. And they are so very greedy! Bella gets lots of exercise chasing them off the deck and down into the yard.

Well, that’s about it for today. Tomorrow I will hopefully have a photo or two of the latest (and last) pottery piece to show you. Until then, I toast you with some Christmas cheer!

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey


Welcome, I'm Lynne. You know me better as a 'new' Jersey Girl. But now I've moved once again, this time to North Carolina. Here I write about my thoughts, good food, and of course, dogs.

© 2006-2022 Lynne Robinson All photography and text on this blog is copyright. For use or reproduction please ask me first.

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