Saturday, May 30, 2020

Just Another Day with Lizzie

Lizzie has been awfully sweet of late. I don't think she likes the rain storms -- I often find her huddling at my feet or even (shock and awe) jump up on the couch, curl up and sleep. I'm not complaining!

I think back to the time eight years ago this month.

My sweetest boy, The Marmelade Gypsy, had lived a long, loving life and when he moved on, I didn't think I would ever smile again.

It took a few months of coming home to a quiet house, of so many tears that came and went with remarkable unpredictability. But when a friend was fostering an abandoned mom-cat and her kittens and the kittens had found their forever-homes, the mom-cat was still at liberty. I went over and "met her" and I laughed for what seemed like the first time in ages.

She may have been a mom-cat, but she was still a kitten herself when she came my way. My vet bet she was about 10 months old when they "met" in October.

I have to say, the first months were not easy. Lizzie is nothing like Gypsy. He never met a lap he didn't like, especially mine. And it didn't matter if that lap was filled with a newspaper, book or craft project. I was his. Lizzie, on the other hand, didn't "do" lap. She didn't like to be picked up, sit close. She was her own girl.

It took more than seven years for her to fully settle. We would practice lap, thirty seconds at a time. And it's still not her favorite place. But she has turned into a loving close-sitter, a yappy girl with a tone that rivals Ethel Merman, and an animal that seems to have vocabulary comprehension of three phrases -- "Birds!", "Good Girl Treat!" and "Food!" I'm not sure she even knows her name.

She's been a good companion in these days of quarantine. The secret keeper for when my anxiety gets too high, the creature that needs me if for nothing more than two squares a day and maybe a snack before bed.

I think I'll keep her!

For the most part I have ordered groceries online through Instacart. It's a little more expensive but for now I feel more comfortable doing that. But I did my first grocery pick-up. There is a small "general store" in Lansing's Old Town that had wine and locally sourced meat. I want to see them continue to thrive when all this is over.

Easy peasy! I loved that I could pop the trunk and hands-free all the way!

I didn't order scallions because I am learning how to grow them on the window sill, thanks to an article in the New York Times. If you save the root and a bit of the onion part of the scallion, put it in water and change the water daily, new scallions will grow! So far, so good!

Meanwhile, groceries and mail still stay in quarantine, I worry about every rain storm (and kicking myself I didn't replace my basement windows in the fall instead of waiting till the spring and then Covid-19 came along.) There's a problem not with my sump pump but in its "trough" that will require repair and I'm not looking forward to welcoming a repair person to the house. He'd better be wearing a mask. (I couldn't get an appointment till June 16!)

But the lawn is green and growing...

...and the neighbor's crab apple tree was beautiful. Alas, the petals are gone now but it was good while it lasted!

No complaints.

And, if I have them, I know who to tell.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Defending Our Families, Defending Our Turf

Long ago I was talking with a friend about teenagers (especially those of the challenging kind!) and he sagely said, "You don't mess with Mama Bear." So true.

I remember being a kid and while my parents tried to teach me to fight my own battles, I can remember one time when my Mom had to step in. I felt safe and secure, knowing she had my back. I always knew they both had my back and that meant a great deal.

The other day I was at the Ditch, shortly after I'd been seeing a number of new babies, both ducks and goslings. I think some were still on the nest. All of a sudden there was a great commotion.

Two geese were flying and fighting with each other, chasing in mid-air, amidst a racket that would wake the dead.

There was great flapping of wings and honking. The birds would glide what seemed like many feet along the smooth water, turn around and go after each other again.

I'm not sure what might have happened but my guess is Goose A got a little too close to Goose B's nest and Papa Goose decided to take him on.  It was fascinating to watch them. And eventually, Goose A backed off. Another crisis averted.

Lately I've been wondering, who has our backs? Certainly not those telling us to go back to "normal" when there is still great danger in doing so.

I believe it's the docs and nurses, healthcare workers in all fields, the scientists, the grocery people, the postal workers, the teachers, the sanitation folk, and so many more who have been there for us during this mess. And will be.

It's the parents who are doing double duty, working from home while teaching or tending their children. It's those food bank workers who are making sure those who need the services have access. It is the people who help keep us fed, healthy and safe.

Governments come and go and I hope this one goes soon. But the people who have your back -- they're golden. It's up to us to protect them, as they protect us.

Please wear your mask and keep your distance, no matter what people say about things lightening up. There is a reason that it may be (and I emphasize the "may") -- and that is because people in large part have been doing their part -- taking care.

They help us be safe.

Please don't stop.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Slices of Life

I have no complaints. Isn't that nice? I might tomorrow. Or the day after. Who knows? But right now, no complaints. The rain has dried up, the basement is fine. I have plants. I had a practically normal day.

No complaints.

We got to see Greg, our artist! Rick's first born, uncle to the Toddlers and my favorite artist. He has been living up north since late fall. He had to work over Christmas so we didn't see him then and by the time his birthday rolled around we were in lockdown. He was returning to Michigan from painting a mural in a home in Charlotte. This is what family reunions look like during a time of Covid-19!

Such a good day. We also spotted in Rick's yard a very impressive hawk.

Might this be her nest?

Flowers are beginning to pop and the purple allium are some of my favorites.

This duck family is growing but still oh, so sweet.

 On Friday, Rick and another neighbor thrashed through the back yard of my next door neighbor, who has just sold her home after renting it out for four or five years. I'll miss knowing she's not returning.

Saturday was my first really "normal" day since lockdown. Rick had picked up my car, in for brake work (No charge! See why I have no complaints?). So I went to the greenhouse to get geraniums for planting at the cemetery. When I got home my friend Kate came over for a very socially distanced bring-your-own lunch. Twelve feet apart outside but it felt like old times!

I love doing this every year. Rick and I go to my parents' graves (and those of my aunts, uncles and grandparents, all tucked in together).

Then we went to another cemetery where there is a memorial to those, like his grandparents, who donated their bodies to science at MSU.

While we were out, we took a drive. This Frank Lloyd Wright home has just gone up for sale. We didn't tour (it wasn't open) but it was quite lovely from the outside. (Although that roof looks like a big problem waiting to happen with the Michigan snow!)

A stop to pick up some wine (I stayed in the car; Rick wore his mask) and the credit union, then home for a wonderful cookout! In one of the smarter things I've seen this weekend, someone has put up One Way arrows at the Ditch.

This is great, because with all the walkers coming at each other head on, most (today, all) without masks, this is a very good protective measure.

The babies are getting swimming lessons...

The screens are on, the windows open. Tiny plants are moving into their next level of pots. We've both been doing garden work. Rick has had been riding.

Life is good.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Frog's Legs for Dinner

My boy Harry has been dining out at some fine establishments of late, not eating the tasty things that have come from my kitchen recently! He's not only frequented the large pond at the Ditch but has found he likes the cuisine at what I call the fourth pond (four ponds up from the nearby main street). 

On this particular day I found him checking out the menu -- slowly perusing the underwater creatures, not unlike going to a fine seafood restaurant and choosing your own lobster.

Back and forth. And then, yes, this one will do!

Ah, fish!

Well, that was good for an appetizer.  Let's get on to the main course. Let's have Frog's legs! Oh my! What a succulent morsel!

But a tad wiggly. I'll give him one chance to go, because that's just the generous patron I am!

Too bad, so sad...down you go!

But I'm still hungry. One more like that would be just fine!

And I've got it!

Oh, what a fine fellow you are! I don't even need dipping sauce!

In fact, I think we'll have this little one as take out!

Gotta fly!

Maybe I'll bring my date back here. Or, maybe I won't!

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