Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Life in My Hood

Just another old schizophrenic spring here in Michigan. One day it's sunny (not warm, but sunny). The next gray and gloomy. Then it snows. Then it melts. Then it snows some more. I look at old photos of the lake, flowers, summer, just to remind me it does exist. Then it snows again. Just enough to be annoying.

 The birds are hungry, socking down food in their feeders like they're expecting a lockdown of undetermined length. I had to move one of Lizzie's main feeders because Bushy the Squirrel (the big one) chows it down at an abnormal pace. (So does his little, smaller squirrel buddy with the cute white belly but he's a lot lighter!) So, Lizzie has had to switch to a slightly different viewing space, made all the more complicated by bringing the outdoor flowers inside!

But she's most attentive.

Last week I had a bit of a snit with the Board of Water and Light's tree trimming service, Wrights. Their motto should be "Wrights: It's All So Wrong." They're trimming (read that cutting down) trees all over the neighborhood that might go down on power lines in an ice storm. (Yes, we can get those in April, but you'd think they would have done it a little sooner). A few days ago they were taking down trees in my neighbor's yard. I happened to notice this when I noticed their workers in MY yard, throwing all the branches that fell from their trees.

Did they knock? Ask if they could be there? No.

Did they tell me when -- wait for it -- one of the big limbs that came down took down a four-and-a-half foot hydrangea bush I'd been nurturing for two years?

Nope. The neighbor's yard went from this (with the tall trees on the other side of the fence)... this.

Well, I can't help what they do to the neighbor. The trees were near the power lines and if they'd cut them down to clearance and left the tall trunks, that would be ugly too. But I did have issues with the hydrangea and called, really expecting to get not response. I sat back and waited!

I have to say I was pleased. The same day I called, the site supervisor and his boss came out, looked at the hydrangea and said they would replace and plant it. I asked them not to replace till they dealt with the trees coming out of my yard and I wanted to be present while they were working. We'll see. But I felt the response was more than appropriate.

I have been painting a bit -- trying to get a friend's dog just right.

Not there yet! But close. And hitting the theatre and one of my favorite small towns, Chelsea, last seen HERE. The occasion was seeing "The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes and the Elusive Ear" at Purple Rose Theatre with a group from MSU Friends of Theatre. This professional theatre company was started by Chelsea resident and actor Jeff Daniels. They're known for doing wonderful productions and this one did not disappoint. A special highlight was a talk-back with director Guy Sanville and the excellent cast of this premiere comedy.

Our field trip included a the bus and lunch at the wonderful Common Grill, and MSU prof Dan Smith provided context for the play en route and a lively discussion on the bus ride home.

Now onward to a new adventures!

Sharing this week with:  Let's Add Sprinkles    /   Share Your Cup  


  1. Amazing that you got a decent response -- I hope they really follow up! We had a small Japanese maple destroyed by tree trimmers working for the city recently; no response at all.

    best... mae at

  2. Lizzie sure makes me miss Oreo! I can’t believe you got quick response from the tree trimmers. They come out in the country where we live and wreak havoc and never clean up anything they do. It is left for the homeowners to clean and remove. I love the theater and this sounds like a wonderful event to attend with your friends. Your painting of the dog is excellent! Hopefully spring will come soon, Jeanie!

  3. They say that more birds starve to death this time of the year than all winter long because people stop putting seed out when the snow is gone but Mother Nature isn't providing food yet. I can't wait until our weather evens out!

    I feel badly for you having to look at the wack job the utility company did! It changes a neighborhood.

    What medium are you using for your paintings? Love them both. Want to come over to my house and do some eyes for me? I can't seem to get a pair right and yours are perfect!

  4. How frustrating! I hope you have your new plant soon. I am always sad to see trees be cut down, but sometimes it has to happen. Oh Lizzy! How fun for her to watch those pesky squirrels! I have been chasing squirrels myself just this morning. How they figure out those squirrel proof feeders is amazing. I do love live theater. What fun for you to be able to attend this one. Continue on and enjoy!

  5. That’s such a cute bird. Lizzie looks pretty with her green ribbon. I’m glad your hydrangea was replaced.

  6. Oh Jeanie... I'm so glad that they are going to replace your hydrangea plant. You really capture Lizzy's personality in your photos. Love your slippers. Have a wonderful week.

  7. It makes you feel better when someone responds. I hate seeing trees cut down or severely trimmed but they do that here in Florida for sure! Hugs!

  8. Understandable that you'd be displeased!

    What a cute kitty cat.

  9. I love small professional theatres - and a real bonus to have a question and answer session! I love the photo of the little bird, too. It was unbelievable behaviour from the tree guys, but I am glad you had a good response when you contacted the company. I hope your snow melts soon Jeanie!

  10. I'm glad they will replace your hydrangea. I've been noticing chop crews around here, too. I think they are paid by individuals though.
    You outing sounds fun!
    Hang in there. Spring is coming.

  11. Sorry to hear your hydrangea bush was destroyed. This reminds me of the time they came out and trimmed the trees in my neighborhood and even cut down the ones that were not doing well. One huge tree branch fell onto my son's truck scratching it, and he was so good about it saying, "that's what trucks are for." I guess it's hard to please everyone in the neighborhood, and the person felt really bad about it. I reassured her it was ok. And they did let us know about the work being done beforehand.

    Your paintings are always so delightful, Jeanie.


  12. Your spring is the same as ours. Isn't it awful? Sorry about your hydrangea. I think the electric company hires tree cutting fanatics and they just go crazy cutting things. I get they need to keep trees of the lines, but then we get an ice storm and a line still goes down as does the power. I do love your puppy painting, and I can relate to the squirrels also. I put out one of those suet squares and it was gone in 1 day. Guess they are hungry too. Hugs-Erika

  13. I wouldn't have been happy about the hydrangea bush either. I'm happy to hear they are making it right. Yeah, the tree trimming does seem a bit after the fact.
    Love those house slippers:)

  14. haha...Love the slippers. too cute. Great job on your paintings. We actually had spitting snow flurries Sat. Hoping that is it. Rule of thumb in TN is that you can plant and put things in the ground April 16....I am ready and so ready for Mother Nature to stop cooling off every time she has a hot flash.

  15. we have the same tree and ice problem here in SW Missouri. Older areas in town are covered in trees, and most people just don't get them trimmed. Then when the city comes through they butcher everything. I hope you can get your Hydrangea situation taken care of properly. Same type of thing happened to me when our roof was reshingled. they ruined loads of mature shrubs. Your kitty is adorable, they DO love their views of the birdies. love your adorable kitty slippers!

  16. Trees gone sure made a difference . . .
    Impressed by the immediate response about your hydrangea . . .
    Sometimes people make things work out in a positive light . . .

    Nice painting . . . brave you are to tackle some difficult subjects . . .
    I wish I had your talent . . .

    Lizzy has her squirrel watching “up front and central!”
    I hope the squirrels stay around to keep her entertained!

    Do you hear, 60’s this weekend . . . things are about to change!
    Happy “springing” Jeanie!

  17. Jeanie,
    These slippers are so adorable! I love them and they sure look cozy too.
    I am sorry about the Trees and oh that gorgeous hydrangea too. You know I have 4 hydrangeas that I nurse along and when Summer hits here in Texas I make a little "tent," for them to protect them from the Texas sun. So, what I am trying to say is I am thankful you reached out and received a satisfactory reply!
    Love Lizzy, she's a doll!

  18. I love trees and it's so hard when they have to be cut though I do realize it is sometimes very necessary. I'm glad you a great response from the company that destroyed your plant.

  19. I had planned to be here sooner, but my keyboard had other plans. Aren't you the lucky one. The people who cut MY trees out back (the trees weren't even on my property) left the branches and I had to pick them up myself. I had to cut some of them because they were too large. I was angry, but I called the electric company and all I got was a voice message and no one ever got back to me. All I wanted was for them to remove the branches from my yard. Instead, I ended up doing it myself.

    What is Lizzie wearing around her neck?

    I love your cute slippers. I hope your next adventure is fun and enjoyable.

  20. Your story about the trees is downright scary, and I'm glad they are at least going to replace your bush. If they needed to be in your yard they should have asked! Your painting is coming along nicely. Glad you were able to have a theatre trip with some friends and that you had a fun time. Hugs, Valerie

  21. Lovely response:)

    Always a shocker when trees get cut:( Always.
    Looks like fun everything else:)
    Sometimes getting the right face..intent..on an art piece is so very hard:)
    I know;););)

  22. Hope your yard is fixed to your satisfaction. I have to say, one small light in my current travel travails is that I'm missing the crappy Michigan weather.

  23. Oh h*!! no! I would've gone ballistic on those workers! And I don't think I'd let them plant my replacement either, but rather send them a bill for my own choice plant (and I'd do it myself, but I can understand hire someone too and having Wright Wrong pay). That makes me so hot under the collar, Jeanie.

    Okay, calm now...the show looked like a fun outing, and your slippers certainly are fun while passing the time, waiting for spring. We may have it for good this weekend, fingers crossed!

  24. I don´t even know where to begin!
    I have one feeder and the tiny birds rather ignore it. And the one squirrel we have is rarely to be seen, so sad!
    Wishing you spring soon!!

    Love the pic of your cat! One day.... I´ll have a cat, too.
    I wanted one since I was 4 and got a German shepherd instead at age 5!

    The trees. OMG. But at least they will replace your bush - didn´t expect that!
    What a difference with teh trees gone!

    Cuuute shoes!
    I wear a deer with bow on my right and his lady with a pearl necklace on the left :-)
    Your dog-paintings came out very well, too!

    You´re really up to a lot, can´t wait for the next adventure.

  25. You got a response! Good for you. I always cringe when the tree choppers come around to clear the power lines. I know it is necessary -- Hurricane season is just around the corner, but the destruction can be more than trees. My kitties are on duty in the mornings when I feed the birds ... chirping and tails twitching. Have a great week!

  26. Lizzy is so pretty with her big green eyes and matching collar. I have to say, if I were your neighbor I would be crying. i love trees but I do love my electricity so I guess no getting around that! Glad you had a positive response to replace and plant your lost hydrangea. I’m sure the feild trip was fun sharing a lively conversation on the trip back. Jeanie, that snow will be gone before you know it and you’ll be at the lake. Hang in there just a little big longer........

  27. There should be a happy medium between taking down all the trees to make it completely bare and leaving them all up to interfere with the lines. Glad you pursued a resolution.

  28. Oh! I just h*a*t*e it when the city comes around to trim trees ... they always just completely botch up the job. You would think they could get people who have SOME idea of what shape a tree is supposed to be, wouldn't you?! Sorry to hear about your bush being destroyed - but how fortunate that they're willing to replace it. I feel if I called the New Haven officials, they'd laugh at me.

    The play sounds like great fun. A little background tidbit. I worked (many decades ago) at the Circle Repertory Company Theatre in NYC where Jeff Daniels had one of, if not THE, first of his big roles. He played Jed in the original production of "Fifth of July" before it moved uptown to Broadway. I can still remember all the girls (and some of the guys LOL) standing around to leer at him when he took off his shirt at the end of Act I and bared his all-so-well-toned chest. LOL.

    Thanks for such a nice friendly neighborly chatty post! As always, I smile when I see a message from you in my inbox! Enjoy the rest of the week!

  29. p.s. - love your dog painting - so sweet!

  30. Love your bird photo... I can’t wait for ours to come back ... but the sun is shining so I’m happy .. So sorry to hear about that tree episode ... the same thing happened to us at the back of our property... they just plowed down the trees to build a huge road... and they didn’t ask for permission either .. so we did the same as you and they had to reconstruct all the habitat for the animals.. >> I just don’t understand the disrespect or nature another peoples' property ... I’m so glad that you got the hydrangea taken care of ..Plants take alot of care and it is especially disappointing when they are destroyed...On a lighter note ..I so enjoyed your sweet doggie painting..BRAVO for getting inspired and into the paints ...It sounds like you had a great time on the bus too...SUCH a FUN TIME.... ENJOY your day my Friend...Hugs

  31. I LOVE the first photo.
    And the puppy picture is so cute....

  32. Jeanie, I hope Lizzie can find a clear spot to survey the birds! We have PG&E in our neck of the woods and though we don't have worries about ice storms the power lines do go right through the tree limbs. If they would hire a prominent tree company to trim maybe it would be OK but they hire these fly-by-night companies that haven't got a clue what they are doing and it just looks awful. We have a very tall and large Sequoia Redwood behind the house and they trimmed just where the lines went through and it looks like a huge giant beaver took a bite out of the tree and it looks so ugly..Happy Wednesday..Judy

  33. Such a beautiful kitty! Her eyes are so green, and I love that you bring out the color with the scarf. I hope she is learning to appreciate the flowers!!

  34. The tree-trimming idiots drive me crazy. I swear they send out the most brain-dead guys they have. God forbid they should use a little common sense, or have a little respect for homeowners whose taxes pay their salaries. Recently they took out a tree near us where a pair of Eastern Screech Owls have nested for years. The tree was in do danger of imminently coming down, but even if it had, it would have fallen far from the path in the neighbourhood park. Grrrr!

  35. I bet you are more than ready for spring. I love the photos of your sweet kitty.

    Now, those trees are another story! Wow. I would have been doing the exact same thing. Seeing those trees come down would have been upsetting enough, but when the trees started destroying a plant in my yard, I would be on the phone very quickly. Actually, I am quite stunned that those trees had to come down after being there for so long.

    You do fill your days with great hobbies: painting and theater.

  36. Dear, dear Jeanie! We have the same crazy weather thing happening here; we had a nice melt yesterday with temps in the 40s. HOWEVER....and brace yourself, because we usually send you our weather: we are expected to get hit again on Saturday with a "BIG STORM" according to the weather bureau. When oh when is our spring coming? LOVE YOUR DOGGY!

  37. At least you got a response! Now here's hoping that they follow through. I know that you're looking forward to enjoying your garden, and hydrangeas are so pretty in the summer. I hope they give you a pretty variety that you like!

  38. Oh, my!! Lizzie's color is green. It's perfect with her eyes.
    Love the pup picture. So cute.
    I would be madder than a hornet if they crushed my hydrangea bush. Wow!

  39. I'm amazed that your complaint got dealt with and even so fast. Hopefully the neigbour will plant something along the fence. The winter has been so long for you. I wish I could make a copy of our weather and send it to you, Jeanie.
    Hahaha, your slippers are such fun and the doggies face turned out very cute! Enjoy watching the birds, sweet Lizzie!
    xo Julia

  40. How infuriating about the trees! And your poor shrub. I'm glad they said they will replace it for you. I hope they have the courtesy to knock when they come back!

    The theater bus trip, on the other hand, sounds like an excellent time. :-)

  41. Schizpphrenic spring... haha! Love that! We have those too, as you know. ;) Thankfully though, we are in melt-down now, and no more snow for a few weeks now--hooray! Sorry you've had more snow! :/ Snow in April... it just shouldn't happen, should it?! I admire Lizzie's persistence. You can't keep a cat from a windwo for long... no matter what's in front of it! haha... Lizzie's petal ruff is so cute too! Our Luna won't do ornaments. She lets us know that her naked, beauteous maximus self is enough as is! So sorry about our lovely hydrangea--glad you will get something of compensation. WOW tree removal in an ice storm... You'd think they'd have got the job done before the ice came?! ;/ Your cat slippers are FABULOUS!! How cute your dog painting. Painting animals is hard. And how fun your field trip!! :) Happy Days, my friend ((HUGS))

  42. Jeanie, you are sooo funny! Funny with subtlety, too. Like the photo following "I sat back and waited." That situation is one of my pet peeves, has happened too many times for me to have much of a sense of humor about it.

  43. Sorry about the bush, but glad they responded well to your complaint, and are doing something about it. Hope they do make sure you'll be around for the tree trimming in your yard too.

    Your field trip sounds like it as fun.

  44. Sorry to hear they were inconsiderate, but glad that they responded to your call. You continue to have so muich fun, no matter what season, even in this Inbetween season...I recently saw a live play, there is nothing like it!!

  45. Aw! Lizzie is a beauty and don't you just love when they sit in the window? It makes you want to sit there, too. You are so nice to feed the birds and the fat little squirrels - I'm sure that they appreciate it in this crazy spring weather. Here in WA state, our spring has stalled and we are barely keeping warm. The tree trimmers have been out our way in the streets, too - I always cringe at the haphazard way they leave the poor trees all broken and sad. So glad that they are replacing your hydrangea - that was rude. Your slippers are adorable and your trip to see the play sounds wonderful. Hope that your weekend is lovely. xx Karen

  46. It's the same in Poland in April. Weather is mixed, sometimes snow, and few days later 25 Celsius degrees! And after few days snow again. It's crazy :D But it's every year the same, so I think I got used to this :D

    I'm so sorry about your situation with the Wrights :( They seem to be totally unproffesional.

  47. That is depressing. I'm glad the call went well and that you might get your hydrangea replaced. Our power lines are under ground but I see extensive tree trimming all the time.

  48. Oh my gosh, you have had the worst luck with trees being taken down and taking away your privacy! This situation is easier to swallow since it was due to power lines but still. I am glad that they responded well to your complaint, though. How sad to lose a beautiful plant!

    The weather is confused here, too. With this past weekends snow storm, we broke records for snowiest April and the biggest April snow storm ever. And now this winter is the 10th snowiest winter ever and 1/3 of our snowfall came in the last 2 weeks. Sooo depressing! I'm just so over winter. I'm itching to get out for daily stroller walks now that I've been cleared to exercise but mother nature is making me stay put. I am going for a stroller walk at the mall later this week with another friend on maternity leave. But I'd rather be outdoors!!!


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