Saturday, 30 March 2013

School days

I came across some school pictures and it seems that the more recent photos seem less contrived than the older ones.

Starting with the most recent, our Paul looks very cheeky:

Billy opted for a cheesy smile:

Peter's photo is from the days of sitting at the desk:

As is my sister's, who's roughly the same age as Peter.

Finally, this lad was also photographed at the desk, but his smile tells me his thoughts were far less formal than his pose...

He looks strangely familiar... any guesses?

Friday, 29 March 2013

Going to bed

I'm a bit under the weather today, so here's a photo of a bed, where I'll be heading soon. Alas, my bed is not as spectacular as this one...

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Phyllis Diller

Mrsgunka sent us a bunch of quotes by Phyllis Diller. They're very funny! Thank you, MrsG.

Housework can't kill you, but why take a chance?


Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.


A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.


The reason women don't play football is because 11 of them would never wear the same outfit in public.


Best way to get rid of kitchen odours: Eat out.


A bachelor is a guy who never made the same mistake once.


Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight.


I want my children to have all the things I couldn't afford. Then I want to move in with them.


Aim high, and you won't shoot your foot off.


Any time three New Yorkers get into a cab without an argument, a bank has just been robbed.


We spend the first twelve months of our children's lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve telling them to sit down and shut up.


Burt Reynolds once asked me out. I was in his room.


If it weren't for baseball, many kids wouldn't know what a millionaire looked like.


You know you're old if your walker has an airbag.


I'm eighteen years behind in my ironing.


What I don't like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day.


The only time I ever enjoyed ironing was the day I accidentally got gin in the steam iron.


Whatever you may look like, marry a man your own age - as your beauty fades, so will his eyesight.


I buried a lot of my ironing in the back yard.


His finest hour lasted a minute and a half.


My photographs don't do me justice - they just look like me.


There's so little money in my bank account, my scenic checks show a ghetto.


I admit, I have a tremendous sex drive. My boyfriend lives forty miles away.


My cooking is so bad my kids thought Thanksgiving was to commemorate Pearl Harbor.


My mother-in-law had a pain beneath her left breast. Turned out to be a trick knee.


Tranquilizers work only if you follow the advice on the bottle - keep away from children.


I asked the waiter, 'Is this milk fresh?' He said, 'Lady, three hours ago it was grass.'


You know you're old if they have discontinued your blood type.


It's a good thing that beauty is only skin deep, or I'd be rotten to the core.


There's a new medical crisis. Doctors are reporting that many men are having allergic reactions to latex condoms. They say they cause severe swelling. So what's the problem?

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Busy day

We had a busy day today. Took all our recycling bits to the dump, bought (more) concrete blocks to build a barbecue and I've been slaving over a hot stove, making boeuf Bourguignon. It smells divine!

The place where we buy building materials is opposite the vet's surgery, so we waved wildly on behalf of a certain Kansan... [I've just found out that TW is having a sad day. Big hugs from us, TW.]

As I'm late posting, here's a picture of a peaceful garden, perfect on this sunny day (for a change). It's called "Mon Jardin," by Edouard Manet.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Have another apple

We had some apple carvings before, but I find these quite interesting...

Monday, 25 March 2013

Funny animals

Mrsgunka sent us a large collection of animal pictures. Here's a selection. Enjoy!

Thank you, MrsG.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Music and children

Camille Saint-Saëns's "Carnival of the Animals" is often used to introduce children to classical music. Our family was no exception and we enjoyed identifying each other as one of the animals. My sister was very thin and we used to say she was the bones (The Fossils). This particular piece is based on Saint-Saëns's own "Danse Macabre," a symphonic poem, with bits of traditional French nursery rhymes woven into it.

I was the kangaroo, possibly because I couldn't stay still...

Friday, 22 March 2013

Playing in the garden

We spent some time in the garden today, where Pirouette could explore and play and we could soak a bit of the sun to strengthen our old bones...

I noticed this thing growing near the steps and can't find out what it is. Any ideas?

Here it is, a bit closer:

Pirouette had a good time chasing some bees:

Pity the weather forecast promises rain for the next few days...

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The box

There's always room for one more...

Chez Tumbleweed?

Tuesday, 19 March 2013


A while ago I posted a picture taken from my kitchen window and somebody spotted a nest in the large cherry tree in our back garden. Nobody could work out what creature had built the nest.

Here it is again (click to enlarge):

In the past three of weeks or so, we have observed a couple of magpies very busy building a nest in another tree, which sits directly in front of our window:

Curiosity led me to google and I found out quite a bit about the nesting habits of magpies. The monogamous couples build large nests in tall trees and mate by the end of March. We'll keep watching them and perhaps we'll manage to witness the display that precedes the actual mating! Then we'll keep an eye on the large clutch (up to 8 eggs), and if lucky, we'll be able to see the fledglings leave the nest...

I also concluded that the nest in the cherry tree was definitely built by the same couple of magpies. The one they're building now will not be visible at all, as they chose an evergreen tree. Next year we'll probably miss their nest building efforts, as both the nearest tall trees have been used up.

We find bird watching quite fascinating and will invest in two pairs of binoculars. Our old eyes are not up to the job...

A couple of googled images:

There are superstitions attached to these birds. If you see one, it signals sorrow and you should greet them loudly: "Good morning, Mr Magpie!" Apparently it wards off the bad omen. Seeing two signals mirth, so we're OK!

Magpies are not terribly common in the US and only one of the subspecies, pica hudsonia, is found in some western states:

Monday, 18 March 2013

An apple a day...

We had a lively discussion about handling food the other day and apples were mentioned. They seem perfect for carving and the results can be quite impressive!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

We're all Irish today

Happy St Patrick's Day!

One nice way to celebrate is to present a mixed bag of Irish goodies.

We'll start with some rare footage of Mrsgunka's and Pallottine's early efforts:


View_From_Here sent me some jokes the other day. Here's one of them:

Paddy was driving down the street in a sweat because he had an important meeting and couldn't find a parking place. Looking up to heaven he said, "Lord take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to Mass every Sunday for the rest of me life and give up me Irish Whiskey!"

Miraculously, a parking place appeared.

Paddy looked up again and said, "Never mind, I found one."


Some fine Irish humour:


Fun music:


Finally, an item sent in by MrsG:

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Out of the mouths of children

A woman was driving with her three young children one warm summer evening when a woman in the convertible ahead stood up and waved. She was stark naked! As she was reeling from the shock, the woman heard her 4-year-old shout from the back seat, 'Mom, that lady isn't wearing a seat belt!'


A woman was trying hard to get the ketchup out of the jar. During her struggle the phone rang so she asked her 4-year-old daughter to answer the phone. 'Mommy can't come to the phone to talk to you right now. She's hitting the bottle.'


While working for an organization that delivers lunches to the elderly, a woman used to take her 5-year-old son on her afternoon rounds. He was unfailingly intrigued by the various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers and wheelchairs. One day the woman found the little boy staring at a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As she braced herself for the inevitable barrage of questions, the boy merely turned and whispered, 'The tooth fairy will never believe this!'


A little girl had just finished her first week of school. 'I'm just wasting my time,' she said to her mother. 'I can't read, I can't write, and they won't let me talk!'

Friday, 15 March 2013

A very quick post

I'm feeling a little bit delicate today. We had a very good time with friends yesterday: Great food and perhaps too many of the usual conversation lubricants on the side...