Thursday, May 31, 2012

~SPLASHES, QUACKS, & LIGHTNING BUGS





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This past weekend, it started raining, and Taric, my sweet nephew, and I decided to take a walk in it.  Though we both had umbrellas, I'm the only one who actually ended up using one.  After we made it to a little gazebo in the neighborhood, he ditched his for good and went bobbing around like a Mexican jumping bean while I had a nice swing.
 



I suppose it was an ideal rain for playing in, as it was not lightening, and the drops were coming down hard, ricocheting off the pavement in a wild way.  Taric excitedly pointed out the steam which was rising off the street as the rain cooled it off.  He proceeded to ask me (and I quote): "What's wrong with you Auntie?  Why aren't you getting wet?"  I suppose a walk in the rain with an umbrella was enough excitement for me for one day, plus, I had felt like I had been coming down with a cold the day before, and I didn't want to catch a chill.  *Btw, I took an Emergen-C and felt tip-top the next day, just in time for my play-date with Taric.  Try the Triple Berry flavor--it tastes like Sweettarts ☺.


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After we returned home, Taric decided he would like to doff his sopping wet clothes and take a warm bubble bath.  Well, while he was scrubba-dub-dubbing, I realized two ducks had decided to waddle up on the front patio toward the front door.  There's a lake behind the subdivision where I live, and heretofore, I had only seen ducks in and around the lake.  But for the past couple of weeks I had spotted a mamma and a daddy napping on the front lawn.  And now it seems like they had decided to come up to the house and ring the bell.  Perhaps they saw Taric and I splashing in the rain, thought we were part duck, and decided to see where we had disappeared to.









I couldn't help but go upstairs and let Taric know that we had a couple of  web-footed visitors and that they were now happily taking a ducky dip in the fountain at the front of the neighborhood.  He put on some clean, dry clothes (and a pair of my flip-flops, as his sneakers were a soppy mess), and out we headed once again (but not before I made him roll up the legs of his sweatpants and forbade him to get mussed up--again.) 










Watching our ducky duo enjoying their puddly playground really quacked us up.  We gave them just a few pieces of bread (as mamma duck seemed hungry) and caught a few lightning bugs to boot, then we waddled, I mean walked, back inside for the night.

I feel like such a lucky duck for getting to spend time with family this Memorial Day weekend.  I hope happy times rained down on you too! ☺


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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

~BAGELS & BLOSSOMS



This Sunday, my mom and I swung by my sister's apartment so we could pick up my sweet nephew, as he was going to visit with us.  We decided to stop in at Bruegger's for some lunch since a branch is located right by the apartment building.  I haven't bought our local Sunday paper in quite a while, partly due to the fact that, because of the recession, it has gone up from $1.50 to $2 (I'm such a cheapie).  But, Bruegger's had a newspaper stand right inside the door, and I couldn't resist picking up one of the yummy fat stacks to buy. 

I told my nephew that he could read the comics, and I pulled out that section for him.  I must admit I was being generous in handing it over, as I myself am an avid comics-reader ☺.  I immediately scanned the front page in order to see what the "Mutts" were up to this week.  It's one of the comic strips that tickles my funnybone the most, along with Peanuts, Cathy, and Rhymes with Orange, and it's the only one of the bunch that's still being run in The News & Observer (boo).

Anyway, I was delighted to find that on this lovely day in May, the Mutts found themselves surrounded by something robust and red...



Though I'm not a HUGE fan of Bruegger's (sometimes their bagels are a bit tough and dry, and they are a little bit stingy with how much cream cheese they put on them), I do enjoy eating there once in a while.  On this day, my plain bagel with Olive Pimiento cream cheese and my cup of Fire Roasted Tomato soup hit the spot.  This cream cheese flavor is fairly new and is quite tasty.  It came out at an opportune time because Panera's Sundried Tomato cream cheese had just been discontinued, which was a bummer.  In addition, it acts as a good substitute when I'm hungry for some of my or my mom's homemade cream cheese and olive sandwich spread, but we don't have any made up.  Perhaps I'll share that recipe in another post ☺.

One note of caution, though...one day I ordered a bagel with Olive Pimiento cream cheese, and unbeknownst to me, the Bruegger's employee thought I said I wanted Jalapeno cream cheese.  It was the first time I had ordered the new flavor, and after I had driven off and begun to eat my bagel, I was disappointed to find that it was hot and spicy, as I do not like spicy foods!  Boy, was my mouth burning!  Then I started to think, hmmm, I don't taste olives in this at all!  That's when I realized what must have happened.  I dropped back in Bruegger's, as I was still in the area, and they switched out my bagel for me--sweet relief (and tasty too).

Though I think Bruegger's food is a bit pricey, they do have a friendly atmosphere, Sunday papers for sale, and some tasty tid-bits to eat.  Their Chicken Spaetzle soup is yummy (I had to look that one up in order to find out how to spell it--alas, I'm not schooled in German), and their Blondie Bars are to die for, especially if you zap them in the microwave for about 10 seconds before eating them.  They have nice big chunks of crunchy toffee in them, along with the requisite chocolate.  I suppose I need to make up a batch of something similar myself, as it would be more economical; I could then eat 20 of them in one sitting without spending 50 bucks! 

My favorite thing to get at Bruegger's though is a bacon, egg, and cheese bagel.  The BLT's are tasty as well.  Their bacon isn't crispy, it's a bit fatty, and they don't give ya' nearly enough, but it's flavored with the BEST seasoning!  Stop in and try it sometime!  You might even discover a comic strip that makes your heart smile while you're there ☺.  

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

~HIPPITY-HOP



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This morning I went for a short walk, and lo and behold, I caught sight of a domestic, lop-eared, white-and-tan rabbit by the side of the road.  He was quite adorable and cuddly-looking, and he appeared to be enjoying himself while grazing in the grass, as the day was mild and sunny.  However, recalling what I've learned about domesticated animals being on their own outside--how they can suffer horribly--I decided to try and pick the little booger up and see if I could assist him in some way. 

Each time I walked up to him, he would skitter off, but on my third or fourth try, I managed to grab ahold of him.  After scooping him up under his front legs (I picked him up by his "arm-pits"), up came his hind legs in a robust KICK, KICK, KICK, giving me several scratches on my right wrist and hand with his sharp claws.  I then grabbed his little ankles and held them together snugly with my right hand, while holding him with my left hand (so he would be comfy yet unable to inflict any more ouchies upon me). 

I rang the doorbell of the nearest house twice, but to no avail.  So, not knowing what to do, especially since enthusiastic wiggling seemed to be on the little guy's agenda, I set off for home, bunny in tow.  After what seemed like quite a long trek, I arrived.  I happened to have several empty cardboard boxes in the garage, including one with high enough sides to prevent him from jumping out.

I loaded said furry friend into my car, cranked up the AC, and headed back to the place where I discovered him.  I asked several people in the neighborhood if they were missing a bunny or if they knew of anyone nearby who had a pet bunny, but no luck.  I returned home and put a carrot down in the box with dear bunny. 

Not having a rabbit cage or any other supplies, I knew I needed to start calling around in order to find someone who might be able to take him in.  I got online and called the vet's office where we used to take our pet dove.  They couldn't take him, but they did give me the name of a website I could check out.  Not only was this organization not local, they had a notice on their home page saying that they were not accepting orphan bunnies.  I did come across some affecting information on the site which made me feel like I had done the right thing by not leaving Peter Rabbit where he was.  I went on to find more chilling info. here and here.

I ended up finding some info. online which directed me to a local shelter--and it was open!  I called right away, and a very nice lady said I was welcome to drop off my hunny-bun and that he would be put up for adoption.  Not only was the shelter open today and will be over the next few days, despite the fact that it's a holiday weekend, they are running a Memorial Day special with reduced adoption fees through the end of the month ☺.

I loaded bunny-in-a-box into my car again, noticing that he had nibbled on his carrot, though he refused water.  Needless to say, when I pulled into the shelter parking lot, I was relieved to see it looked like a friendly place, and possibly due to the adoption special, the joint was jumping. 

After I walked in, I was told I could sit down on a bench in the waiting area.  A lady who was at the shelter with her husband came over to have a look into my box in order to see what I had brought in.  It appeared the couple had just adopted a dog.  She oohed and aahed over my wascally wabbit and told me that she had some pet bunnies herself.  She asked me if the rabbit was mine and if I was surrendering him.  I said no and explained that I had found him outside.  She then turned to her husband, and with pleading in her voice, said, "Honey, pleeeeease?"  His response was a resounding, "NO!"  Darn.

Within a few minutes I sat down to speak with a kind lady who worked at the shelter, and I asked her with trepidation if they had much success with adopting out rabbits.  She said that they absolutely did and that there had been a demand for them fairly recently but that the shelter hadn't even had any for the taking at that time.  She also said that someone else had come in earlier that day in order to drop off a domesctic rabbit that they too had found hopping around outdoors.  She mused that perhaps the owners of these two cuties had gone out of town for the holiday and had simply let their pets loose.

After I finished getting cottontail checked in, I decided to have a look around the shelter.  I went into the bunny (and hamster) room, and the two rabbit inhabitants which were already there seemed to be very content in their cages.  Each had a little towel, some sort of grass or hay, a bowl of food, and a water bottle.  There was a solid white one with pink eyes and a solid black one.  According to the shelter's website, they also have one other rabbit, though she wasn't on the premises, as she is being fostered until a permanent home can be found for her.  As I look at the website again, I see that a little 9-month-old white bun was brought in sometime after I left.

The shelter has already added my bunny buddy's photo to their adoption website.  They've named him--and yes, it turns out it is indeed a "he"--"Big Ole Boy," and he is around 3 years old.  I plan to put up a poster or two in the neighborhood where I found him, create a profile for him on a missing pet site, and keep an eye on the adoption website to gauge his progress in finding a forever family who will give him a good home and lots of love.

Shelters are such a blessing; animals suffer too, and these havens help to alleviate some of that.  I guess it's a miracle that I was able to leave the premises without one of the three irresistable black-and-white kittens that were in a cage together, meowing and chasing each other's tails.  Or the tiny grey one named Buster, whose fur shot out as if he had just stuck his paw in an electric socket, and whose little eyes looked like they were way too small for his face.  It's going to take plenty of self-control not to drive across town again, pick them all up (including Big Ole Boy) and bring them back home with me ☺.

*Here is an article by the House Rabbit Society which details how to rescue a rabbit which is running loose.

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Bunny Update:
After dropping off fluffernutter at the shelter, I did indeed post a couple of found pet ads, and I received a response to one of them.  In very broken English, someone emailed me that the rabbit was hers; that she was out of town and would be gone for quite a while; and that she no longer had time to care for her pet anyway.  The people at the shelter discovered that Big Ole Boy was very docile, would make a great pet, and was even litter-box trained!  He was adopted after having been in the shelter for only a couple of weeks.  This good news made me hop, skip, and jump for joy! ☺.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

~FALLING FRUIT FIASCO



Let's see...this produce-inspired parody began when I came across the following video on youtube...



This song, which features falling fruit, brought to mind something from a LONG time ago.  It was SO long ago, it might have been before fruit was even INVENTED.  Okay, well, it was in the 80's.
That thing that this song reminded me of is Bonkers commercials.  Yes, it's strange but true...I watched those old ads today, and they made me belly laugh so hard, I almost choked on my cherries.  Here they are, fresh-picked just for you...











But WAIT!  This is the part that's REALLY going to "bonk you out"--sometime this year, this classic candy is going to be REISSUED!!!  My mouth is watering already.  But I must make sure to remember to put on my protective headgear before eating any ☺.







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Sunday, May 20, 2012

~FAITH FOR THE DAY


 

*Image reblogged

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

~ART INSPIRATION FOR THE DAY




Artists/collaborators Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla are known for their conceptual artworks which are a combination of performance and sculpture.  Here is a New York Times article about the duo.  Make sure to watch the video of the 2008 performance, "Stop, Repair, Prepare: Variations on 'Ode to Joy' for a Prepared Piano."  In it, a musician stands in the center of a piano which has a hole cut through the center and plays the last movement of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, upside-down, whilst perambulating, piano in tow. 

*Photo credit

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Friday, May 18, 2012

~POESY FOR THE DAY









The inner half of every cloud
Is bright and shining;
I therefore turn my clouds about,
And always wear them inside out
To show the lining.


*Photion reblogged

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

~WORD OF THE DAY





 


I must say, I appreciate author Julia Glass' definition of the word, which she included in an essay she penned for the June, 2011, issue of Vogue magazine:

"The way you perceive yourself, literally, in space; your equilibrium."  She also refers to "emotional proprioception," which is an interesting appropriation of the word.

There also appears to be a medical definition of the word.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

~QUOTES FOR THE DAY





A rose petal-strewn scene in India...
what better way to honor this special photo than with a few quotes by Mother Teresa... 

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"Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies."

"I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love."

"Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls."

*Image reblogged

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~GLORIOUS YOU




*Image reblogged

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

~WEDDING INSPIRATION FOR THE DAY


Delightful bird-and-blossom-filled
wedding creativity!


*Image reblogged

• ~ • ~ •

~FAITH FOR THE DAY



 
*Image was found on pinterest
 
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Monday, May 14, 2012

~ART INSPIRATION FOR THE DAY




 
Upon reading an article in Vogue about artist Francis Alÿs (which was in the May 2011 issue--I'm just now getting around to it a full year later!), I decided to check out a few of his videos.

Alÿs' best-known work is, "When Faith Moves Mountains," which he discusses here.

In, "Painting/Retoque," Alÿs repaints a median strip in the former Panama Canal Zone.

In, "Paradox of Praxis 1 (Sometimes Making Something Leads to Nothing)," Alÿs pushes a large block of ice through the streets of Mexico City until it becomes a little puddle of water.  I can't help but wonder how many hours this took and if he took any breaks throughout.

In, "Zapatos Magnéticos," he walks through the city in magnetic shoes as bits of metal stick to them along the way.  I've noticed that shoes that light up and have wheels on the soles are all the rage.  Perhaps magnetic ones will be the next big thing.

Lastly, in a video entitled, "The Nightwatch,"  he lets a fox loose in London's National Portrait Gallery and films what ensues on the gallery's security cameras.  I have read that in making this film, Alÿs was "inspired partly by the proliferation of surveillance cameras around London, and by the number of urban foxes forced to lead a scavenger existence in the city."  Love that at minute 5:30, the inquisitive fox has had enough of exploring its art-world microcosm, jumps up on one of the displays, and curls up for a nap.  I suppose it stands to reason that Alÿs had permission from the gallery for this project.  In other words, it wasn't a surreptitious From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler-type situation ☺

Here is an excellent blog post about the artist which includes plenty of interesting information, including an explanation of the concept of "paseos" and the figure of the "flaneur."





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Sunday, May 13, 2012

~A POEM FOR MOTHER'S DAY




MY MOTHER'S GARDEN
by Alice E. Allen

Her heart is like her garden,
Old-fashioned, quaint and sweet,
With here a wealth of blossoms,
And there a still retreat.
Sweet violets are hiding,
We know as we pass by,
And lilies, pure as angel thoughts,
Are opening somewhere nigh.

Forget-me-nots there linger,
To full perfection brought,
And there bloom purple pansies
In many a tender thought.
There love's own roses blossom,
As from enchanted ground,
And lavish perfume exquisite
The whole glad year around.

And in that quiet garden--
The garden of her heart--
Songbirds are always singing
Their songs of cheer apart.

And from it floats forever,
O'ercoming sin and strife,
Sweet as the breath of roses blown,
The fragrance of her life.

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

~JUICY FRUIT



swallllllllllow:

yummie:)

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“Doubtless God could have made a better berry (than the strawberry), but doubtless God never did."

~ ~ ~

It's strawberry season here in North Carolina, and I think the sweet treat above looks particularly tasty.  Chocolate-covered strawberries are a very familiar sight, of course, but I have never seen them dipped in meringue and then torched or put under the broiler (I'm assuming that's how this effect was achieved).  I think the result is berry pretty indeed, and wouldn't they be lovely for Valentine's Day?




The cookie-and-whipped-cream-sandwiches above also look tasty, though I think ice cream would be even yummier ☺.

*First image reblogged
*Second image reblogged

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