Looking for answers to life's questions

Posts tagged ‘ducks’

In Search of Pink Snow?

Spring has sprung in our little corner of the world. Winter tried to keep its grasp teasing us while we tried to decide whether a coat or a light jacket were in order. Layers are the operative word of this month. Pile it on so you can take it off. Ok, get your minds out of the rain-soaked gutters.

I’ve been a busy girl on some days. Other days I have done next to nothing. The nothing days were for observation; my favorite kind of day. Last week was my second physical therapy appointment. Wet and gray the day was not lending itself to anything cheery. I kept my head down to keep my glasses dry except to cross the street. I found out I cannot do parking structures anymore with my vision difficulties. I’m nauseous before I’m parked so I get to walk a bit more. When I looked out across the sea of cars I noticed the ground look as though covered with snow. I walked faster. Hmmm. The closer I got the deeper it looked. Oh my word, did I miss something? When I finally got a good look, the snow was…pink Yes, lots and lots of pink…blossoms. They covered every inch of ground blown or rained off the trees above. Too bad I only get to therapy once a month. I missed them on the trees. Darn!

Spring popping out through the pink snow

Spring popping out through the pink snow

it was an awesome view for me.

it was an awesome view for me.

Spring may be short this year. So many places miss it almost entirely. I knew it was here because the ducks were ducking. Quacking all over the place. Did you know ducks will eat the cat food left in the dishes on porches? No wonder they like going from apartment to apartment. On my walk back from the market the other day, I spotted these baby ducks scampering around. Mom was trying desperately to take a nap but there was so much interference. I worried about the chicks so close to the road. They did seem content to stay within beaks reach of mom.

You know how it is when you need a nap and the kids won't leave you alone.

You know how it is when you need a nap and the kids won’t leave you alone.

They are just too cute!

They are just too cute!

Looking for a dry spot

Looking for a dry spot

Now getting to the days I did do something; well here you go. I finished this quilt top I bought 5 or 6 years ago before I got Bells and could still sew. It was a kit and hadn’t realized it was so expensive but was too embarrassed to admit it was over my budget. I’m not a pink and blue kind of girl but loved the tea cups. Peach and blue are more my style but now I’m happy to have this part done with only the back, batting and quilting together to complete before binding. That will take longer than the top. What do I do with it when it’s finished? Maybe put it up for sale.

Love the teacups and satiny fabric, just not the colors

Love the teacups and satiny fabric, just not the colors

The next project was just a test of my endurance with the embroidery machine. This little number took at least 8 hours to complete the stitching. I tend to run the machine a bit slower in case of, well all kinds of problems. Especially if it’s the first time I’ve stitched out the design. The second time will be easier because I’ll know where the hiccups are. I’m still trying to decide how I will use this. Pillow, apron top or will it be a wall hanging?

Hoping the second time looks better but I loved the design

Hoping the second time looks better but I loved the design

Anyone want to put in their two cents worth? I’m open to suggestions. Have you found pink snow in your neighborhood?

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of a Ray of Sunshine

The sun came for a visit but refused to unpack and stay awhile. The warmth felt good for the few days it stayed. Maybe father sun felt like just another guest. You know the kind that after three days starts to stink and you want it gone. I might feel that way in August, but not right now.

I had a good time while it made it’s grand teasing entrance. Walking everywhere I could, taking pictures of everything else that was enjoying the lovely spring weather. I stopped to watch the ducks for a few moments and being very quiet was given a genuine gift. I had mentioned the Nutria in an earlier post right after moving into this apartment complex but could never get a picture. This time I was rewarded as someone had spread seed on the ground for the ducks. Looks like several others were hungry too.

Nutria in the water, ducks resting in the middle and the mouse heading for seed at the bottom. Look hard.

Nutria in the water, ducks resting in the middle and the mouse heading for seed at the bottom. Look hard.

It’s a bit difficult to take a picture of anything while holding a cane but somehow I managed. If you’ve ever wondered how well a mouse can hear, each time the camera clicked, the mouse ran for cover. It’s a quiet camera. The only other mouse I saw was in an upstairs bedroom attached to the attic. Unfortunately, we had to trap the poor guy. He was too fast for my husband to catch. They can run up walls, by the way.

I see a vacancy there. Shall we check out the apartment?

I see a vacancy there. Shall we check out the apartment?

I am feeling better, most of the time, so what do I do with that extra energy? I signed up for a couple of writing classes that I’m truly enjoying. It’s a chance to meet new people and stretch myself. There are homework assignments so I’m getting behind on my blog reading and writing. Maybe by next week, I’ll have a better flow going.

I also managed to get my spring wall hanging made and hung outside the door. I texted a picture of it to my sister-in-law and she said it was going to fall in her suitcase when she comes for a visit in July. Looks like I’ll have to make myself another for next year. Now I need to work on one for Memorial Day and July 4th.

My sister-in-law loves humming birds. She'll hang it next spring.

My sister-in-law loves humming birds. She’ll hang it next spring.

I have also traced out the pattern for the next set of Big Shirts I want to make but those take some serious time. Don’t expect pictures any time real soon. You’ll see why.

How can a person be this busy without a job? Most of the busy is about getting well. Yes, I’m still sticking with the routine!

It takes both rain and sunshine to make a rainbow. ~ Unknown

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of Spring

Is it really almost here? The calendar said it’s only eleven more days away. But we are being teased with signs of it everywhere. Hope of warm and green abound. Stepping out onto my finally dry deck, (it’s quite slick when wet) I was able to get a good look at the potted plants I put there when I moved in last October. The pansies have survived and the heather has thrived. New growth on the heather warms my heart.

New growth on the heather. Yay!

New growth on the heather. Yay!

My daughter sent a text while at work on Friday to see how I was feeling and if I was up for an adventure. Well, I’m always up for an adventure no matter how I feel. I met her at her apartment as she gets home at 12:30 on Fridays, then riding with her into downtown. We had a quick lunch at a Greek hole in the wall that was a block away from the Chinese Garden. The sun was shining but still a bit crisp. My toes didn’t warm up all day. I wasn’t expecting much since my sister said the Chinese Garden was low on her list of local attractions. What a pleasant surprise we had. Maybe it was our attitude of just enjoying what came our way that day.

Let's have a local adventure

Let’s have a local adventure

There were some very potent scents greeting us as we walked into the garden area. I asked about taking photos and the curator said it was a requirement and he would be checking for quality on our way out. Already a reason to giggle. There were plants I had never seen before and the fragrance of their flowers followed us every step of the way.

best smelling flowers ever

Yellow daphne. A new plant for me to experience

Yellow daphne. A new plant for me to experience

As we came to the end of a very small garden we found the tea house. The thought of tea makes my daughter’s essence vibrate. Her eyes light up and there is pleading in them. I said to her that we had already had lunch but maybe we could have tea and dessert here. What the heck would a few more calories hurt if it made her that happy to sip tea. There were so many to choose from, so we each had a different tea to share. I took my dessert home.
While sipping tea and looking over the garden, we were entertained by a mature Chinese gentleman playing traditional Chinese music on a violin like instrument. I did ask permission to take his picture. The fun part was when I heard “You are my sunshine” and “The Red River Valley” coming from that classic Chinese instrument I think was an Erhu. I looked over at him and smiled the “I hear what you are playing” smile. He shot a tiny one back at me. Most of the patrons weren’t really listening.

playing ehru

Back at home Friday evening, the neighborhood ducks were wandering all over. A lovely couple found a nice warm spot under the carport to take a break. The sun had left the asphalt quite warm as it made its descent. I don’t know about you, but spring and fall are my seasons. The extremes of winter and summer find me longing for more balance. I hear the birds chirping and saw the first robins here yesterday. Yes, I think spring is coming and I am ever so grateful. Are you seeing the signs?

does this look safe (2)ducks resting cropped

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”Margaret Atwood, Bluebeard’s Egg

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of Nature in the City

The apartment complex I chose, very carefully, to move into here in Oregon City, is located between several busy streets. So imagine my surprise at waking up to a rooster crowing each morning. What a wonderful sound. That rooster is getting lazy and sleeping in later each day though. I have no idea where he lives, but he needs to be advised that I still need my wake up calls a bit earlier in the day.

Last Monday, I walked down the street to take care of some business. I like not needing a car for every little thing. I discovered that there is an estuary running through the apartment complex. Apparently, others are aware of it as well.

Feeding the ducks seems to be a favorite pastime around here. I have also noticed that everyone stops for the ducks when they decide to cross the road to get to more of the estuary. No matter the hurry, everyone waits for the last little one to follow mama duck.

While the rest of you are bringing in your plants for the winter, I just put some out. My deck off the kitchen is my wealth area, according to Western Feng Shui. Many people, my son among them, thing Feng Shui is a crock. I’m not taking any chances, especially with the wealth area. So my daughter and I planted purple flowers in a purple pot. I’ll be looking for gold there real soon. Need to keep that flow coming in.

Hunting down another quilt store locally, we stumbled on a little plant shop and found some Heather plants. I’ve never seen any before but named my daughter for them. So I had to give a try at growing them. The backdrop to them in this city complex is just wonderfully peaceful.

I have some really peaceful views out of my kitchen window and off the back bedroom deck. Not bad for a city apartment.

On an early morning run to the grocery/everything store, I caught a bit of movement out of the corner of my eye at the opposite end of the estuary, but did not think to take a picture. Unfortunately, I have not seen them since. At first they looked like they might be cats, then maybe beavers. Asking around, I found out they were nutria. An aquatic rodent. I gather they are not particularly welcome, but what an interesting sight in the city. I found a picture and information at this site.

Nutria, Nutria Pictures, Nutria Facts – National Geographic.

Finding a way to connect with nature is essential to health and well-being. I am so grateful to have found so much of it here in my city dwelling. I swear I feel wellness zipping to me. How do people live without it? I just can’t imagine.

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. ~ Albert Einstein

From my heart to yours,
Marlene