Hola everyone! Wow, how time flies. I must catch up -- someday... For now, the kitchen/dining room is more or less finished. The cabinets still need to be painted out, the backsplash removed and replaced with the porcelain marble look subway tiles I purchased last year, the cabinet hardware replaced, and new countertops purchased. And the woodwork needs to be painted - probably black.
Today is Earth Day, and also today all around the world are Marches for Science. Science and respect for Mother Earth go hand in hand. In my home state here in Wisconsin, fourteen (14!!!!) separate cities/towns are hosting Marches for Science and Earth Day combined. Thousands of people have turned out in Wisconsin alone. Wisconsin, I love you!
There is also a huge March for Science and Earth Day taking place today in Washington D.C. I am glad to see people standing up for what they believe in and exercising their Constitutional First Amendment to peaceably assemble and exercise their freedom of expression. No hate involved, only a love of our planet - and a deep love of knowledge along with the acknowledgement that without science, without the quest for knowledge and the application of what we call the
"scientific method" of reasoning things out and working out how to solve a problem, we would all still be living in caves, folks.
I DO put my money where my mouth is. Along with monetary contributions to various environmental organizations and hours doing postings elsewhere highlighting the dangers of the proposed Trump budget that would totally cut funding, for instance, for NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, that funds research into how to better predict weather patterns and such things as hurricanes and tornadoes, along with support development of new and improvements "weather" satellites, oceanography exploration, mapping and surveying, etc.) - and talking with people about the easy things we all can do to help make our world a cleaner, safer and more beautiful place for all of us and for our descendants (RE-USE, RECYCLE, REPURPOSE, RE-IMAGINE), later this month I'll be working with a volunteer group to plant flowers along a stretch of boulevard in my city (as well as taking pride in keeping my property pristine and pretty year round).
We can ALL do things to help our Mother Earth, and support continued research and scientific discovery, too. Many of the bloggers I read and fans out there have gardens, for instance. Every garden supports hundreds of thousands of little critters that we never even see, every single day of their existence. Each and every one of them serves a purpose on our Mother Earth. Of course, our lovely gardens also support all of the wildlife and birds that we do see and so enjoy. These are in addition to the bountiful harvests that our veggy gardens can give us, the shade our wonderful trees can provide for us (as well as homes for our wildlife friends), and the undeniable beauty and fragrances of flowers, blossoms and blooms throughout the season.
My favorite times of day are after going to bed at night, with the window cracked open just a hair, and listening to the hootie owl when he arrives well before spring, singing his subtle song; He either sits in the ornamental cherry outside my bedroom window, or perches up on the rain gutter. I fall asleep to his HOOT, hoot hoot hoot, hoot - HOOT. And in the very early mornings, especially this time of year, the birds begin their serenading in the pre-dawn, about 4 a.m. The robins seem to be especially melodious this year. I hear the through a half daze of sleep, revelling in the softness of my bed, the warmth of my coverings, the peace, the tranquility. The OH SO RIGHTNESS of it all.
I've been meaning to post an updated photo of current contributions to beauty in the world deposited by my loving crow families in my bird bath over the years, several new ones since I moved into this version of Maison Newton in July 2014. Geez, almost 3 years ago already, and I'm still unpacking boxes, LOL! Take a look:
Collected through the years in the bird bath from grateful crows, who believe in paying back a favor with a pretty shiny thing (I've fed families of crows for years, along with about half the squirrel population in Milwaukee County), the following: From the former Maison Newton of the big and much treed backyard, the "gold" bracelet with inset brown glass stones (one missing); the single die; the yellow doo-hickey, which I think is from an electrical something or other; and the rounded smooth white stone in the upper right hand corner. From the current and much smaller backyard Maison Newton - a new haul: The crystal bead - and where that came from I've no idea; two bottle caps (ahem) - crows like local brewery brands in Milwaukee (Miller Beer); the smaller quartz-flecked stone in the top row, center; and the piece de' resistance -- what I call the "Pyramid Quartz Crystal" stone, that has the shape of a deteriorated Egyptian pyramid from the Giza Plateau! The Pyramid Quartz Crystal showed up about 2 weeks ago or so. I figured it was a tribute from the crows for feeding them during the long bout of winter from December through the end of March. They like to surprise me :)
the Pyramid Quartz Crystal is hefty, so it must have been one of the big Alpha Male Crows who delivered it to my birdbath. I can hear them when they come, and I will always open up the patio door and throw out handfuls of peanuts in the shell (they LOVE peanuts!). And every year since I've been here, the crow offerings have appeared in due time -- usually in the spring. Like a Crow-Human ritual, perhaps. Hmmm...
Celebrate today! Enjoy our lovely Mother Planet and all of its glorious beauties offered to us so freely each and every day. And remember that in order to protect it, in order to continue to grow and prosper and live safer, healthier lives in the 21st century and beyond, we need to keep learning, need to keep researching, need to keep studying, and need to keep asking those questions and searching for those answers. We need - science.
April 6, 2019:
The income taxes are finished and were taken to the Post Office yesterday to send out via certified mail, which now costs nearly $16 for two 8 1/2 11 envelopes with return receipt. Yikes! But worth it because I have proof positive once I get the little green cards back that the returns were delivered and received. And just in case, there are tracking numbers that I can also tap the U.S. Post Office for to verify that delivery was made. In these times, it's better to be safe than sorry
I have been working in little bits and pieces outdoors whenever a window in our crappy weather has presented itself. Today, however, was the first day where I was able to spend an extended period of time outside. First, I cleaned up areas on the sidewalk and driveway along the edges where pine cones and branches tiny branches blown off during the seemingly wind storms we endured over fall and winter 2018-2019. After resting for a bit, and removing the winter hat, gloves and jacket, I moved to the back yard because I'm sick of feeling sick to my stomach every time I look at it through the patio doors in the dining room and window above the kitchen sink. This winter left it a true disaster zone. I worked steadily raking small areas and filled two trash can size black trash bags full of debris blown down from my arborvitaes and neighboring trees over the winter, in addition to about half a ton of nut shells. The nut shells are my fault because I feed all the neighborhood squirrels. They are so entertaining, and very smart! I also made a small dent in starting clean-up of the flower beds, where the "mild" (ahem) weather and thawed earth has encourages perennials to start popping through, whether I'm ready for them or not!
All in all, a somewhat decent start to making a larger dent in clean-up operations. I worked outdoors about 4 hours off and on. I didn't want to overdo it, and truth be told, I'm pooped! It's humbling to not be able to work as long or as hard as I used to. I can get it done, but I have to take lots of rest breaks so it takes quite a bit longer now. Good thing I'm retired