Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday roundup

Ah, what a beautiful, sunny day!

Took care of some odds and ends this morning, including taking out the recycling, talking to the bank in North Dakota where I still have an IRA concerning rolling the IRA into a joint account, and talking to the delivery people about the dining room table we ordered, which will be here on Wednesday! Yay! Maybe we can get it put together this weekend. I can hardly wait to see how it looks.

I also started the July book for our book club, Ironweed by William Kennedy. I know I'm starting it a little late, but I think there are a few who haven't finished June's book. I also think this will be a fairly fast read. It's actually the third book in Kennedy's Albany series, and it won the Pulitzer prize in 1984. After reading the first couple of chapters, it's looking pretty good that I'll enjoy it. It tells the sad tale of Francis Phelan, a former baseball player who accidentally drops his infant son--who dies immediately of a broken neck. Francis left his family because he is so racked with guilt and is now busy living the life of a bum while he tries to drink himself to death. Will he find redemption? Will he find absolution? That seems to be the subject over the past couple of days, with Michael Corleone searching for it, too. The dialogue is very well written--reminds me a little of some of the dialogue in The Grapes of Wrath.

Oh, and while I was sitting outside reading, a male hummingbird hovered in front of me for several seconds, checking me out. I love it when that happens!

Oh my, what a nice surprise I just got! The phone rang, and it was our friends in Michigan, Bill and Mary Sue! Well, just Mary Sue, as Bill was at work. She wanted to invite us along to spend a week with their family in a little house near Lake Michigan and the town of Saugatuck. That would have been a lot of fun, but doggone it, if it isn't right when we're going to California! How nice of them to think of us, though, and we agreed that it's been way too long since we've gotten together. The last time was when Ken went up for their twins' high school graduation party--and I had to work. She suggested maybe even meeting for a weekend in Chicago or something. We got caught up on a few things, and I'm sure Ken will want to call back and talk to them soon, too.

When I went out to get the mail, I stopped and looked at our flowerbed. The daisies are just blooming like crazy! They look so pretty and cheery, and their stems are so sturdy. I was happy to see that some of the perennials I recently planted also seem to be doing well, and some have a bloom or two! Looks like I picked some that will survive the direct sun very nicely, but it remains to be seen if they'll survive the winter. It seems that some perennials are a little more sensitive to the cold. I had taken a picture last week and messed with it a bit, but hadn't had a chance to include it yet. I was thinking this was a bellflower, but I think it's actually a balloon flower. Here's before:

And here's after, with a water color effect:
I like it, but wish it had a softer effect. I'll keep experimenting.
I think it's neat how the "veins" in the petals look so sharp and defined, and I like how the little shadows and sunny spots alternate on the petals.
I also LOVE the color of these flowers. While I like having some brighter ones in the bed--reds, pinks, and oranges--I tend to love the cooler blues and purples, but then I've always loved the color purple.
There's a house on my way to the grocery store--oh my God, you guys should see their flowerbeds! They're just bursting with all kinds and colors of flowers, some tall like their coneflowers, and others that are mounding and low-to-the-ground. They have a few little fun things stuck in there, like an old tricycle, and I think an old hey, their flower garden has everything, including the kitchen sink! Ha! Everything seems so lush, too, very full and bushy, not spindly at all. It's just gorgeous, and I enjoy seeing it every time I drive by it. Even something as simple as planting flowers can bring a smile to someone's face!
Speaking of bringing a smile to one's face, I'm looking forward to dinner tonight! Ken picked up some big fat sea scallops over the weekend (they're so fat, I'll have to cut them in half horizontally), some lump-style crab cakes, and some fresh asparagus to roast. Nom nom nom.
Tonight we feast! Mangia, mangia! (Sorry, I'm still stuck in Godfatherland.)


buckoclown said...

Also picked up some Beringer Chardonnay, it is chilling as I type this :o)

frankandmary said...

Ok, tell Ken ;-), 1998  Kendall Jackson Vintner Reserve   they do a better Chard, & it is not expensive. ~Mary

blossomcat said...

I like Schwartz Katz which is a German Reising.  It is sweet but not too sweet, it is my favorite.  Here is PA it is about $8.00/ 750 ml.

I hadn't seen the New Yorker cover and I agree it is tasteless.  

What program are you using for your "water colors?"  I had two phot editing programs and neither of them were compataable with VISTA.   Guess I should visit Kens review.  LOL


chat2missie said...

I have some of those flowers too but I don't know the name of them.  Enjoy your night.

jimsulliv3 said...

Your flower pictures are always perfect. I don't know how you do it, but that's a great close up which I'm going to ste...borrow.


helmswondermom said...

A hummingbird hovered in front of Eler Beth's face a couple of days ago, and she was so enchanted!  She's never had that happen before.  I'm glad your flowers are doing well.  

queeniemart said...

i'm not much into seafood but i like asparagus..Rick would not those scallops and cakes....i have a friend who has a wildflower garden and once had a rusty antique kitchen sink in it too.....i like the pic of your flower.....i think the birds in your yard like you!

jmoqueen said...

Awww that's a shame your already booked so can't meet up with your friends :(  I hope you get to meet up with them some other time x  Love that picture of the flower and that book sounds good :)


tsalagiman1 said...

What a beautiful flower!  First photo is great, and your effects on the second are stunning!