National Bugs Bunny Day 2023

Bugs Bunny celebrates his 85th Birthday.

National Bugs Bunny Day is celebrated every year on April 30. It commemorates the date this happy-go-lucky bunny made his first appearance in 1938. We are getting ready to enjoy the day in the most fun way possible — by binge-watching “Looney Tunes” throughout the day, eating carrots like Bugs Bunny, and spreading the fun all over social media!

Bugs Bunny, who is also called the ‘Wascally Wabbit,’ appeared for the first time on April 30, 1938, in a short theater cartoon called “Porky’s Hare Hunt.” Many people don’t actually credit that as his first appearance and the reason for this is he was then still called Happy Rabbit. However, he looked like Bugs Bunny, spoke like Bugs Bunny, and moved like Bugs Bunny.

Even though “Porky’s Hare Hunt” was the first cartoon to feature a Bugs Bunny-like rabbit, it was on July 27, 1940, that “A Wild Hare” officially introduced the character called Bugs Bunny to the world. The preliminary version of Bugs Bunny was created by Ben Hardaway, whereas the official version was created by Tex Avery. The preliminary version of Bugs Bunny’s character was designed by Cal Dalton and Charles Thorson (1939–1940). However, the official version was designed by Bob Givens (1940–1943) and then by Robert McKimson (1943 – to date).

The popularity of Bugs Bunny rose in leaps and bounds during World War II. His free and easy attitude became a symbol of hope for people and, soon enough, Bugs Bunny became quite the star. Post World War II, “Knighty Knight Bugs” (1958) won an Academy Award for the Best Cartoon Short Subject. It was the first Oscar for Bugs Bunny.


National Pool Opening Day 2023

Pool Cleaning Time

National Pool Opening Day is a popular holiday that Americans celebrate on the last Saturday in April. This year, it takes place on April 29. Because swimming makes summers memorable, pool owners must keep them clean and ensure they’re safe for pool parties with family, neighbors, and friends. Besides providing a place to socialize, swimming pools also encourage physical activity. By keeping your pool’s acidity and alkalinity levels in check, you ensure that it’s ready for you to enjoy a swim throughout the summer.


National Arbor Day 2023


“I love trees! They make me feel safe from other predators. And they provide a lot of shade in the warm Summers. Plant a tree, today. And my friends and I can enjoy it in the future. Happy National Arbor Day!”

Happy National Arbor Day 2023!


2023 · Connecticut · USA

National Historic Marker Day 2023

A little bit of Watertown’s history …

Historic markers all across the nation provide a glimpse into the past and preserve history for future generations. On the last Friday in April each year, National Historic Marker Day invites volunteers and communities to come together to maintain their markers. Unfortunately, weather and time take their toll on these small monuments to history. By working together, we not only ensure these markers tell the stories to future generations, but we also take the opportunity to celebrate the history and culture they preserve.

2023 · Beautiful Colors of Spring · Connecticut · In Our Garden

Our Garden/Neighborhood In Late April 2023


Spring Colors in our neighborhood
Spring Colors in our yard


2023 · Connecticut · Days of The Week · Texas · USA · Wildlife Wednesday

European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

First brought to North America by Shakespeare enthusiasts in the nineteenth century, European Starlings are now among the continent’s most numerous songbirds. They are stocky black birds with short tails, triangular wings, and long, pointed bills. Though they’re sometimes resented for their abundance and aggressiveness, they’re still dazzling birds when you get a good look. Covered in white spots during winter, they turn dark and glossy in summer. For much of the year, they wheel through the sky and mob lawns in big, noisy flocks.

2023 · Texas

World Penguin Day 2023 🐧

African Penguin in the Dallas Zoo

World Penguin Day on April 25 aims to raise awareness about these flightless birds to preserve their species so that future generations get to see these elegant and remarkable creatures. This day coincides with the annual northern migration of Adélie penguins, a pattern that is inherent and conserved across generations. There are eight species native to Antarctica. Most penguins are monogamous and have unique calls to assist them to find their mates in large groups. Most species lay up to two eggs in a season while the King and Emperor penguins lay only one. Alarmingly though, of the 18 known living species, 10 have been listed as endangered.

2023 · Texas · USA · Washington · Washington D.C.

International Sculpture Day 2023

Sculpture is a type of visual art that operates in three dimensions. The word sculpture comes from the Latin word sculpere, which means to carve. Sculptors use a variety of materials to create their sculptures. While many traditional materials include wood, stone, metal, and ceramics, other sculptors specialize in non-traditional materials. They use materials such as ice, toothpicks, and even LEGO. Sculptors also use materials, colors, texture, and size to evoke an emotion or response from the viewer. Their methods vary, too. Sculptors use one of four primary methods to make their sculptures. These methods include carving, molding, casting, and assembling.

2023 · Texas · USA

Celebrate Trail Day 2023


As the weather warms up, so does the trail season. While many people use them all year long, America’s trail system gets its real workout between April and October when the weather is ripe for outdoor activity. The number of established trails grows every year. Some take the form of well-defined foot or bike routes while others take us onto a beaten path. No matter what kind of path you choose to take, the day encourages you to appreciate the thousands of miles of trails and to bring a friend with you, too!


2023 · Beautiful Colors of Spring · In Our Garden

Our Garden/Yard In Late April 2023 (1)


1) Wild Violet; 2) Bugleweed; 3) Wild Violet; 4) Eastern Red Bud;
5) Song Sparrow; 6&7) Contrail; 8) Lilac; 9) Bluets; 10) Garlic Mustard;
11) Dandelion; 12) Wild Violet


2023 · Days of The Week · Texas · Throwback Thursday · USA

John Bunker Sands Wetland Center In April 2013

In late March/early April 2013, I browsed around on Facebook. And while I worked on my page, scrolled, and clicked, I saw a few photos of Bald Eagles nesting in the Dalles/Fort Worth area. I did some research about the birds and found out that their nest is at John Bunker Sands Wetland Center in Seagoville, Texas. Just southeast of Dallas. After a bit more reading, it said the center is open to the public every first Saturday of the month. “Perfect”, I said to Kevin. “The weather is supposed to be beautiful this weekend. I’m going to take Katelynn to see Bald Eagles in Seagoville this Saturday.” He replied he can take care of Sara. She’s still too little for walking around for a long time.

The following Saturday, Katelynn and I packed a couple of snacks and water before we hit the road. It was about an hour’s drive to get to the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center. Katelynn was really excited to get to see these beautiful birds. We both have never seen Bald Eagles in the wild.

The entrance area of the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center in Seagoville, Texas

When we arrived at the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center, I paid our entry fee. The ladies at the desk had a few questions. One was how we heard about the center. I replied: “Facebook.” The ladies were surprised. I explained to them how I found their page … “and now we are here to see some wildlife.” Before we got on our self-guided hike, Ron wanted to show us a few animals inside the center. “Katelynn, are you ready to see a two-and-a-half-foot ‘gator? We’ve got a couple of snakes, too.” Katelynn cheered “YEEAAHH! I’m ready for that!” Ron got Ally, the alligator, out of a fountain. He had to be quick. Ally and her brother wanted to go after his hand. But at the end, he was holding Ally tight in his hand. Ron explained to us the anatomy of a ‘gator, how they swim, hunt, and even chill at the banks of a river. He also told us that Ally’s momma is a big alligator, which lives in the marshy swamps of the center. “So, don’t get too close to the waters”, Ron warned us.

Next, we moved on to see a Western Hognose and a Corn snake. As a child, I was always terrified of snakes, since I had no knowledge of snakes. Over the years, I’ve learned so much more about these animals. And now, I have no problem touching and holding them. The Western Hognose was the first snake I’ve ever put in my hands. It was very interesting, how these reptiles contract their muscles to slide forward. This little guy had a good grip on my hand and fingers. It was very fascinating. After the hognose, Ron pulled out the corn snake out of the terrarium. I almost jumped back. Looking at the snake, I said: “Yeah, this one is a bit too big for me. I’ll pass and watch Katelynn holding it. The corn snake really liked Katelynn. She immediately had to check out Katelynn’s soft hair. Katelynn enjoyed having the snake around her neck and learn the difference between venomous and non-venous snakes. And we found out, how to tell between a boy snake and a girl snake.

Once we were done looking and learning about these wonderful reptiles, Katelynn got equipped with binoculars. We were also advised to walk on the trail and stay away from the water’s edge. On the way to the transmission towers in the west of the center, we saw beautiful yellow Spring flowers and some waterfowl. The American Coots made quite some noise out on the water. And we’ve seen tons of ladybugs along the way.

At the end of that trail, we finally got a good glimpse of the adult eagles. The Bald Eagle couple arrives around October/November in Texas. The female lays eggs in January. Both parents take care of their offspring until early mid-May, before they all migrate back up north. In October/November it all repeats itself again. Due to the marshlands at the center, the Eagles have a lot of food resources. I guess, this is why they always choose to come back to the same place.

On the way back to the building of the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center, we’ve seen some footprints (I believe from a raccoon), more flowers, and birds. Once we left, there was a mare with her foal. So adorable! I parked on the side of the road for a moment, so Katelynn could look at the horses from the car.

On the road back home, I noticed that Katelynn had a long morning. She took a short nap in the car. I guess, the fresh air, the walk to the eagle’s nest, and learning about alligators and snakes knocked her out. It was a lot to take in for a 9-year-old. No doubt! 🙂

2023 · In Our Garden

National Garlic Day 2023 🧄

This stinking rose is a member of the lily family. This family also includes the flavorful onions, leeks, and shallots we use in some of our favorite dishes. Garlic originated in Asia over 7,000 years ago, so it’s no surprise that cuisines worldwide incorporate it into favored recipes. Garlic is quite versatile as illustrated by its many medicinal purposes. The mighty bulb is considered an herbal remedy for colds and may reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. Modern science has also proven garlic’s antibiotic properties.

2023 · Anniversary

Our 21-Year Anniversary


Every day, every month, and every year… I love you more than the last.


2023 · Beautiful Colors of Spring · Connecticut · In Our Garden · USA

Our Garden/Yard In Mid-April 2023


1) Garlic Mustard; 2) Norway Maple Blossoms; 3) Dandelion; 4) Cupped Daffodil; 5) Wild Violet; 6) Ground Ivy; 7) Bridal Wreath; 8) Chewbacca;
9 & 10) Forsythia; 11) Joshua; 12) Common Periwinkle;
13) Eastern Redbud Blossoms



Benjamin’s New Toy

Originally, the toy fishies were sent to us by a friend for Joshua. But, Joshua didn’t show any interest in these toys. On the other hand, Benny became very interested when the fish moved around in the water bowl. He always wanted to touch it. Several times, he shook his paw to rid it of the water: “WHY does it have to be WATER???!!!” The fish entertained Benny until he got tired of it.

2023 · Massachusetts · Places · USA

Travel Journal: Salem. Massachusetts 2023 (Part II)

After the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Kevin, Katelynn, and I walked to the House of the Seven Gables. On our way back to the Central Wharf, we ate lunch at Finz. Katelynn ate her first whole lobster in the restaurant. She really enjoyed the “sea cockroach”. It wasn’t cheap. But, it was fun to watch her breaking the lobster apart to get the meat out of the claws. Since she needed longer to eat it, I ran over to Coven and purchased a new purse. Once we were ready to walk around, we made our way to the Salem Witch Trail Museum. I found some gravestones dating back to 1692. Most of the stones were not readable. Three hundred thirty years of weathered rock can do that. Some gravestones were restored and newly engraved. And then it was time to go back to the car. Kevin and I definitely have to come back to Salem, Massachusetts.


The House of The Seven Gables

The House of the Seven Gables (also known as the Turner House or Turner-Ingersoll Mansion) is a 1668 colonial mansion in Salem, Massachusetts, named for its gables. It was made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1851 novel The House of the Seven Gables. The house is now a non-profit museum, with an admission fee charged for tours, as well as an active settlement house with programs for children. It was built for Captain John Turner by Samuel Wardwell and stayed with the family for three generations.

The Salem Witch Trails Memorial

Striking in its simplicity, the Memorial is surrounded on three sides by a handcrafted granite wall. Inscribed in the stone threshold entering the Memorial are the victims’ protests of innocence. These protests are interrupted mid-sentence by the wall, symbolizing society’s indifference to oppression. Six locust trees, the last to flower and the first to lose their leaves, represent the injustice of the trials. Benches within the Memorial perimeter bear the names and the execution dates of each of the 20 victims, creating a quiet, contemplative environment in which to evoke the spirit and strength of those people who chose to die rather than compromise their personal truths.



2023 · Texas

National Pecan Day 2023

A member of the Hickory family, the pecan is native to the central and southern United States. “Pecan” is an Algonquian word, meaning a nut requiring a stone to crack. They are an excellent source of copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, and vitamin E. Pecans can help reduce LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol levels in the blood. They are also rich in dietary fiber. Pecans make great snacks all on their own, but they also make terrific garnishes for other foods such as desserts, salads, or the main meal. Sweet or savory, pecans can add a little glamor to a dish or be the star of the show.

2023 · Texas

National Gardening Day 2023


Whether you want to grow vegetables, fruit, flowers, houseplants, or anything in between, National Gardening Day celebrates a satisfying pastime that you will enjoy for decades. Growing your own food also provides fresh and natural nourishment for your family and saves you time and money at the grocery store. As many gardeners know, the benefits of gardening come from more than the produce. Spending time in the garden also provides physical activity and an opportunity to join nature. The day is a call to action to get out and grow flower or vegetable gardens. No matter how you garden, plant in the ground, in containers, in straw bales, or in a square-foot gardening box. Just garden!


2023 · Massachusetts · Places · USA

Travel Journal: Salem, Massachusetts 2023 (Part I)

Kevin, Katelynn and I traveled to Salem, Massachusetts, today. We wanted to see the town and have a good time on this warm day. Today, we mainly hung out at the Derby Wharf area. Kevin and I were also discussing, visiting Salem in Autumn. We are aware, it will be crowded. But at least we know, some of the places where precisely they are located.


What is Salem, Massachusetts known for?

  • Salem is known for its rich maritime history.
  • Salem is the birthplace of the National Guard.
  • Salem is infamous for its Witchcraft Trails of 1692.

America’s First National Historic Site

Established on March 17, 1938, as the first National Historic Site in the United States, Salem Maritime National Historic Site consists of nine acres of land, twelve historic structures along the Salem waterfront, and a downtown visitor center. Located in the urban setting of Salem, the park preserves and interprets over 600 years of New England’s maritime history and global connections.

Salem, Massachusetts: Birthplace of the National Guard

In 1637, the first muster was held on Salem Common, where for the first time a regiment of militia was drilled for the common defense of a multi-community area, thus laying the foundation for what became the Army National Guard. In 1637, the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony ordered the organization of the Colony’s militia companies into the North, South, and East Regiments. The colonists adopted the English militia system, which obligated men between the ages of 16 and 60 to own arms and take part in the community’s defense.

Salem Witch Trails of 1692

To understand the events of the Salem Witch Trials, it is necessary to examine the times in which accusations of witchcraft occurred. There were the ordinary stresses of 17th-century life in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. A strong belief in the devil, factions among Salem Village families, and rivalry with nearby Salem Town combined with a recent smallpox epidemic and the threat of attack by warring tribes created a fertile ground for fear and suspicion. Soon, prisons were filled with more than 150 men and women from towns surrounding Salem; their names had been “cried out” by tormented young girls as the cause of their pain. All would await trial for a crime punishable by death in 17th-century New England – the practice of witchcraft.

In June of 1692, the special Court of Oyer (to hear) and Terminer (to decide) sat in Salem to hear the cases of witchcraft. Presided over by Chief Justice William Stoughton, the court was made up of magistrates and jurors. The first to be tried was Bridget Bishop of Salem who was found guilty and was hanged on June 10. Thirteen women and five men from all stations of life followed her to the gallows on three successive hanging days before the court was disbanded by Governor William Phipps in October of that year. The Superior Court of Judicature, formed to replace the “witchcraft” court, did not allow spectral evidence. This belief in the power of the accused to use their invisible shapes or specters to torture their victims had sealed the fates of those tried by the Court of Oyer and Terminer. The new court released those awaiting trial and pardoned those awaiting execution. In effect, the Salem Witch Trials were over.

As years passed, apologies were offered and restitution was made to the victims’ families. Historians and sociologists have examined this most complex episode in our history so that we may understand the issues of that era and view subsequent events with heightened awareness. The parallels between the Salem Witch Trials and more modem examples of “witch hunting” like the McCarthy hearings of the 1950s are remarkable.


… to be continued …

2023 · Days of The Week · In Our Garden · Texas · Throwback Thursday

R.I.P. Mimosa Tree ~ 2013

Our Mimosa started to die and eventually needed to be cut down. One day in early April 2013 the tree service came over and chopped. We were actually glad, the tree was done. Mimosas make a big mess. They look pretty only for two to three weeks. But the rest of the time they drop sticky sap and their seeds make a mess. However, Ranger loved the tree. It provided a lot of shade for him.

2023 · Days of The Week · Texas · Wildlife Wednesday

Tawny Emperor Butterfly (Asterocampa clyton)

Tawny Emperor Butterfly (Asterocampa clyton)

The tawny emperor is a species of brush-footed butterfly. It is native to North America, especially the eastern half from Canada to northern Mexico. The tawny emperor should not be mistaken for a very similar Asterocampa butterfly, the hackberry emperor, which can be distinguished by the white spots near the tip of its forewing and the black eyespot lower along the edge of the forewing. The upper side is mostly dark brown. The forewing is an orange-brown color with pale orange-yellow spots. The underside is mainly gray-brown with the forewing having some black and pale yellowish markings. The wingspan measures 2 to 2.6 inches (51 to 66 mm). A dark morph of this species is regionally common with nearly uniformly dark hind wings. This butterfly may be seen flying near houses, gravel driveways, water, muddy places, gardens, and woodlands. Its only host plant is hackberry trees. The adult feeds on carrion, plant sap, and dung, and rarely lands on flowers.


2023 · Places · Rhode Island · USA

Travel Journal: Newport, Rhode Island ~ 2023

Kevin and I planned a trip to Newport because Katelynn hasn’t seen Rhode Island, yet. Today was the day. We walked around a little bit, ate lunch at O’Brian, and we showed her the Bannister’s Wharf. This time the Oliver Hazard Perry Flagship at the Bannister’s Wharf. There needed some minor restoration done on the ship. Kevin, Katelynn, and I didn’t stay too long, because it was much cooler on Aquidneck Island than in the surrounding area.

2023 · Connecticut · USA

National Submarine Day 2023

In early May 2021, Kevin and I visited Avery Point Lighthouse in Groton, Connecticut. Walking towards the Shennecossett Yacht Club, we heard quite a commotion on the Thames River. We wondered, what was going on. The U.S. Coast Guards made so much noise, we first thought someone is in deep trouble. Come to find out, the Coast Guards were guiding a Submarine out of the river and the bay to the sound into deeper waters. Later I discovered that there is a Naval Submarine Base and a museum, where the Nautilus is located upstream of the river. That was very interesting. I haven’t seen a submarine in 31 years. When I was 16, I had the chance to see the “Wilhelm Bauer” (U-2540) Submarine in Bremerhaven, Germany. Seeing the submarine entering the Long Island Sound was the highlight of this trip to New London/Groton.

Today is National Submarine Day. It celebrates the purchase of the USS Holland, the first modern commissioned submarine. This day is important to the submarine community as it honors the US Navy’s purchase of their first modern submarine, but life underwater isn’t all that glamorous. Often, crews are out at sea for months at a time and return when food supplies run low. Subs can be cramped with tedious tasks to complete daily, and some might not always be the best of friends with everybody on board. It’s not just enemies and the sea they have to contend with.

2023 · Connecticut · Hiking In Connecticut · USA

Saville Dam Castle & Barkhamsted Reservoir, Litchfield County, Connecticut In April 2023

Kevin and I took Katelynn to the Saville Dam Castle, this afternoon. We still had to recover from yesterday’s hike. It was not a long hike, but the hills were exhausting. Katelynn liked the castle. Unfortunately, it is closed to the public. Kevin and I were at the Saville Dam Castle, a little over a year ago. The Reservoir was frozen and we had to walk in the leftover snow to get to it. We definitely have to come back here in Autumn, when the leaves are turning. The colors will make a very colorful background.

2023 · Connecticut · Hiking In Connecticut · USA

Jericho & Mattatuck Trail In April 2023

Kevin, Katelynn and I hiked on the Jericho & Muttatuck Trail for a little bit. We entered the trail on Echo Lake Road and made our way to the powerlines before we walked back. Not very many plants are green yet. But Spring is coming. Katelynn enjoyed walking in the woods and listening to the woodpeckers drumming on those trees. Hopefully, the small hike will help Katelynn to get rid of her jet lag.

2023 · Beautiful Colors of Spring

National Dandelion Day 2023


We celebrate National Dandelion Day on April 5. Dandelions belong to a large genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae. It is also an edible flower and was once native to Eurasia. Now dandelions are found all over the world. Travelers from Europe introduced the plants to North America. Dandelion is a perennial plant that is known to endure harsh conditions. The sight of dandelion seeds gliding with the wind to reach new lands to grow is inspiring and scenic. We are spending this day celebrating the unique qualities of the flower and the versatile traits that helped it thrive all over the world.


2023 · Days of The Week · Wildlife Wednesday

Widow Skimmer Dragonfly (Libellula luctuosa)

Widow Skimmers are large, beautiful dragonflies that are very common in certain areas and are usually found in wetlands and ponds. This dragonfly is easy to identify because no other dragonfly has a similar wing marking pattern in our area. Like most other dragonflies, the widow skimmer male is territorial and may patrol very large areas to search for females and to chase off other males. After mating, the female usually lays her eggs alone in shallow ponds or lakes. However, if there are many other males around, the original male may jealously guard her while she is laying to make sure some other male doesn’t interfere.

2023 · In Our Garden

World Rat Day 2023

Rats are so smart that some people keep them as pets. Besides being easy to care for, rats are easily tamed. Rats are also very curious, social, and full of personality. These characteristics make these rodents excellent pets. Rat owners should know that like most pets, these animals need their exercise. Owners should take them out of the cage at least once a day for about an hour.

Happy World Rat Day!

2023 · On Our Property

Our Indoor Garden In Early April 2023


It is still a little bit too cold for all the seeds to germinate. So far, dill, snap peas, tomatillos, and yellow pear tomatoes have sprouted. Tonight the temperatures are supposed to be 25℉/-3℃. So, we still won’t turn on the water for the garden hose. But the peas are big enough to be planted in the greenhouse beds. The rest has to wait until May.


2023 · In Our Garden · Texas · The Greenhouse

National Garden Month 2023


Spring is coming on strong and, according to the calendar, is technically already here by the time this month rolls around. And for those who have not already begun looking at planting this year’s garden–it’s time to get a move on right away! The changing weather promises good growing seasons very soon and National Garden Month encourages people in the northern hemisphere to get out and start preparing that soil. Those who haven’t been able to find the motivation should take a moment to let the smell and taste of freshly grown tomatoes tempt, or the sweet taste that can’t be seen from anything other than homegrown cucumbers, and strawberries. Depending on the particular location in the world, National Garden Month is the perfect chance to get out and start preparing the garden, tilling the soil, or planting seeds for everything that will be growing this year!



2023 · Beautiful Colors of Spring · Seasons

Welcome, April 2023!


A magical time as Mother Earth awakens from her
Winter slumbers and begins to come alive once again.


2022 · Live In Concert · New York · Places · Special Events · USA

Teddy Swims “Tough Love World Tour” @ Webster Hall, NYC ~ 04.29.2022

Last night, Kevin and I went to see Teddy Swims at Webster Hall in New York City. Teddy’s album Tough Love was released in January. And he is on a world tour right now. At this moment, Teddy is still in the beginning of his career. He plays at smaller venues or as a support act for much bigger bands. At an event with a smaller audience, we could stand much closer to the stage and get a better glimpse of Teddy Swims and his band •WildHeart•.

In 2019, I found Teddy on YouTube while I was searching for Mario’s “Let Me Love You”. I clicked on Teddy’s cover version and listened to it. Since he did a good cover, I wanted to see if he has more to offer and found more covers: “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton, “Mercy Mercy Me” by Marvin Gaye, “I Don’t Wanna Be You Anymore” by Billie Eilish, … just to name a few. I was hooked on his voice and style. When he released his own album, I had to see him live in concert.

2022 · In Our Garden · On Our Property

Our Garden/Yard In Late April 2022

Now, at the end of April our yard has changed quite a bit. More ground cover blossoms have emerged from the ground; the shrubs begin to bloom; and our maple trees start to turn green. Spring becomes more colorful. The last couple of days, I’ve seen an American Robin picking nesting material on our property. A Mourning Cloak butterfly flew across our yard as well.

While I captured photos of fresh Spring blooms I asked our neighbor, if it was okay to capture some photos of the Saucer Magnolia blossoms on his property. After I’ve got permission, I shot some images of these beautiful blooms. They always remind me of my childhood in Germany. We’ve got a lot of Saucer Magnolia trees in the Court Garden of the Residence and in the Royal Garden (Kaisergärtchen) close to the train station in Würzburg. As a little girl, my grandma dressed me up, when we took a walk through the Court Garden of the Residence. When grandma sat on a bench to take a break near the Saucer Magnolias, I was collecting the blossom leaves from the ground and counted them, how many I could hold in my hand. That kept me busy for quite some time.

2022 · Days of The Week · Throwback Thursday

Joshua, The Tabby Maine Coon

It was December, and for days I was following a post about a certain cat on the internet, which was stuck in our local shelter. The local Animal Advocates also posted on their page to let the neighborhood know that the shelter is overflown with pets. They also let us know when the dogs and cats were ready for adoption. When I saw this one cat in a photo, it was like “Love at first sight”. Now, my job was to persuade my husband that Finley needs another playmate other than two middle-aged dogs. “Hell! That cat even thinks he’s a dog! The only thing, what makes him not being a dog: He’s not barking!” I insisted. It took me two hours to get Kevin to ask: ”When are we going to the shelter and take a look at that cat?”

We drove to the shelter; with the hope the cat was still there. When we arrived there, the friendly staff at the shelter showed us the cat room (which brought back memories of when we were looking for Sammy, and adopted Finley years earlier). I looked at the cages and said to Katelynn: “That’s him! Just look at him. He is even more handsome and adorable than in the photo. After getting introduced and observing the cat, we realized he had sniffles. Katelynn and Sara were a little bit concerned about it. But I ensured, the cat probably has the ‘shelter-cold’, what is common in some pets, when they have to stay in a cage for days and wait for a family to adopt them. Katelynn was satisfied with my answer and said: “Mom, are we adopting him? I’ve already got a name for him.” “What would his name be, if we take him home?” I asked. She replied: “I’d name him Joshua!” A little bit later, Kevin and I agreed to adopt the cat. And Joshua came home with us.

At home the dogs sniffed the new family member. We called Finley (Remember Finley thinks, he’s a dog. Yep, he also listens like a dog. LOL) to introduce him to his new playmate. Finley came around the corner, looked at Joshua. And Joshua’s reaction was a big hiss. Finley walked away with the look in his face: “What the …?! Since when do we allow cats in our house?” Ranger’s and Lexi’s conversation must have been like this: “Are you going to tell him, or do you want me to tell him?” — “Naw, let him figure it out himself!”

It took about two days, until the cats were not hissing back and forth anymore. They started to tumble and play fight with one another. It took Joshua about a week to get rid of his cold. We wrapped him in a blanket, where he napped for most of the days. But at 3 a.m. the night was over. Because Mr. Joshua was meowing until the whole house was awake. Unfortunately, that went on until we got another cat. I’ll post about that member next week.

(April 2015)