Thursday, March 29, 2018

In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

A Few Poems About Sheep

The Shepherd
by William Blake

How sweet is the Shepherd's sweet lot!

From the morn to the evening he strays;

He shall follow his sheep all the day,
And his tongue shall be filled with praise.

For he hears the lamb's innocent call,

And he hears the ewe's tender reply;

He is watchful, while they are in peace,

For they know when their Shepherd is nigh.

Baa Baa, Black Sheep (Anonymous)

Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes, sir, yes, sir,
Three bags full;

One for the master,
And one for the dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.

March Comes In Like a Lion

and Out Like a Lamb

The end.

Wishing you a Happy Easter Week

(A quick note to reader Carolyn who wanted to know where to get the carrots used in the basket project in the last post. I found a bunch of 3 for $2.99 (and then 40% off) at Hobby Lobby, but if that's not convenient, Michael's or JoAnn's probably have them. I saw them today at Pier One for $4.99 -- same thing -- minus 20%)

Monday, March 26, 2018

Quick, Easy Easter Project!

A few weeks ago, I was out on my rounds and saw this very cute and highly overpriced basket in a shop.

And I thought "I can do that."


  • Small basket or handled box
  • Faux carrots -- number based on size of  basket
  • Glue Gun and glue sticks

It's insulting to even write this down because we're all over five, so forgive me.

Instructions: Attach carrots to basket with glue gun. (See, I told you.)

And you're done.

A couple of things here -- first, unless you have oodles of carrots, your basket will be need to be quite small. I thought I had small baskets but even the smallest I tried called for more carrots than I had bought (15) and I didn't feel like going back. (And I confess, I liked all of the rejects better because they had a taller handle like the one in the shop and that made a difference for my second point below.

But I did have this little wooden box with a handle I'd bought with greens at Christmas a year or two ago and it was perfect. If you use a rounder or more contoured basket you will probably want to line up your carrots like the original sample and not straight up and down, but this was a flat-sided box.

Second, I do like the fluffy carrot tops on the store's version but I decided not to do that. Yet. Here's why. I wanted to put the bunny inside and it was a low handle. Anything too tall would run into the handle. If I fluffed the carrot tops, you couldn't see the bunny at all unless I trimmed them quite low. And I wasn't sure I wanted to do that. It's not like you can put back what you cut off. (I learned that at the ripe old age of six when I cut my doll's hair playing beauty parlor.)

I thought about trimming the carrot greens and I still might, but I kind of liked him peeking through.

If you want fluffier greens, you can trim and shred the carrot greens and fluff them up. I may try that, but so far, this is what I've got!

Total cost on this project: $8.50 for the carrots (five bundles of three at $2.99, minus 40 percent off). I had the glue, box and bunny. Cost of store basket: $35. Does not include bunny.

(A quick note to reader Carolyn who wanted to know where to get the carrots used in the basket project in the last post. I found a bunch of 3 for $2.99 (and then 40% off) at Hobby Lobby, but if that's not convenient, Michael's or JoAnn's probably have them. I saw them today at Pier One for $4.99 -- same thing -- minus 20%)

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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Shop Till You Drop

I've been trying to refrain from shopping too much this season. Well, actually, refraining from buying. Shopping in and of itself isn't the issue! But when my friend Jan and I hit an old favorite and one that is destined to be a new favorite, it was hard to resist!

The faux flowers are so beautiful now. Remember the old wax ones our mothers might buy? Not so anymore! I loved the cabbages too, but they were pretty expensive. Enough so that I figured I could buy real cabbages and keep them going long enough if I chose!

I bought a different bunny similar to this one. It was tough to choose!

And I resisted this guy. But it was hard!

And then we hit a new spot called "At Home." It was like a home goods warehouse only a little nicer than a warehouse -- but just as big! Aisles of pillows...

Aisles of outdoor furniture seat cushions...

Aisles of flower pots. They had the wonderful lighter weight pots in beautiful finishes that looked very real and the prices were so much less than the usual home and garden stores that Jan and I were both amazed.

Faux flowers and wreaths? They had them!

And rugs (this was their special -- a 5x7 and a runner for $30. We're probably not talking the greatest quality here, though they looked pretty good from the display. But at that price, you don't feel so bad about it wearing out. I came very close with that turquoise one. But for where?

You could find kitchen ware, clocks, four aisles of mirrors, furniture, BBQ accessories, gadgets and decorative items, vases...

Oh yes, we'll be going back! But I leave you with another burst of spring flowers.


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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Checking In with My Ditch Friends

It may be brisk here (read that cold!) but the other day it was nice enough for a walk down to the Ditch to check out what early spring might look like. As I got closer I heard a lot of squalking going on. It was these two.

I'm not sure what the back story was, but they were chatting up a storm -- and loudly. No aggression, just a good old fashioned Canada geese shouting match!

These two were much quieter. At first I thought the one on the left might be nesting.

But when I walked into a different position, I could see she was on a bit of a sand bar.

Rounding the corner, I had no anticipation of seeing the deer. After all, it was mid-afternoon. And then I got a glimpse of this.

At least four were grazing; there might have been another out of viewing range. This one never moved, apart from an alert head twitching now and then.

Perhaps she is just waiting to give birth. She certainly wasn't grazing with the others.

Whenever the deer show up, I feel like it's a special gift. A small group of them have found some sanctuary on this little island. When it gets leafier, the sightings will be much more difficult. Not so for these critters!

I was surprised that the usual herds of ducks (that's probably not the right term but that is what it feels like!) weren't making an appearance. It was cold enough they may have been seeking some shelter from the wind in the reeds. But this was a fine pair.

When I first "shot" them they were quite far and the zoom was pretty maxed out. But I think they thought I might be a soft touch for duck food and started heading toward me!

Alas, they were disappointed. To be honest, I'm not even sure what to feed the ducks. Do any of my birder friends have a recommendation? I have heard that the traditional bread and crackers we used to feed them when I was a child aren't so good for them, so I just usually watch. But when Baby Grand is a little older, I know we'll want to feed them! Suggestions are welcome!

I don't expect we'll be seeing warm days anytime soon -- or rather, warm days that will stay on for good. But I look forward to more Ditch walks and a wider array of wildlife soon!

(And I will eagerly await Harry the Heron's return!)

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Down the Rabbit Hole!

You may remember when I visited our Children's Garden and it was a little cold! (HERE) Make that super snowy. Well, things have turned a bit weatherwise (although I hesitate to say it -- it's still cold but warmer and the snow is gone -- today at least!) It was nice a couple weeks ago so I decided to return to the garden and go down the rabbit hole with Peter, and Alice's white rabbit and the Cheshire cat! (Cue the music -- "Cheshire Kitten.") And don't forget to dress for the occasion!

These bunnies are at the Peter Rabbit garden, which will eventually grow all things one might find appealing to Peter and his friends -- lettuce, carrots, spinach and much more!

We'll pass by the big, beautiful "Wonderful World." It's surrounded by a rainbow walkway -- a fine reminder that our wonderful world is indeed a rainbow of sights, sounds and most of all, people.

Step with me over Monet's Bridge. Modeled after the famed bridge in Giverny, it crosses a wee pond in which soon one will see the golden koi fish (and maybe a frog or two!).

I'm told to get the color just right, the designer discretely removed a small chip of paint from the real deal in Giverny long ago and had it matched!

Just beyond that we enter the world of...

...and the Alice in Wonderland Maze!

Children love dashing through the maze, only to find a dead end!

Along the way they are "greeted" by some of the characters from the story, like the white rabbit...

...the caterpillar...

...and my favorite, the Cheshire Cat!

When all is done and if you find you way out the maze, a small, sweet courtyard awaits you!

I leave you with a few tags from a long-ago swap.

It was so long ago, most of you probably haven't seen them!

And now, without further ado, I must...

...because I'm late!

Have a wonderful week!

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