Category Archives: Five on Friday

What Went On This Week

Realized I missed posting a What’s Going On Wednesday. So I decided to tackle a look back at the week in the form of a Five on Friday instead.

And I also realized I forgot to share my front porch/flower garden in progress pictures on Monday. So I’ll share those as I talk about all the places I went this week. My pictures won’t match my subjects at all. Welcome to my crazy mixed up world.

Yes! Places. Plural. I got out of the house every.single.day this week. It felt glorious to have places to go. That said, we’re still not back to normal. And I am dearly missing normal. I don’t want a “new normal.” I want regular normal.

Anyway, let’s start with the usual yucky Covid-19 numbers.

Backyard peonies finally bloomed

 One: Numbers and COVID-19 Info for Our Area

Cases statewide:  11,558

Total deaths:   671

Total tested:  172,946

In the Kansas City Area:  967 and 24 deaths

Our local county:  485 and 15 deaths

And the number of cases within our zip code:   47

Worth noting, there are still counties within our state with zero cases. The two biggest cities, KC and Saint Louis have the highest numbers. And the Saint Louis area still has considerably bigger numbers than our area. A link to the map for anyone interested.

Two: End of the School Year and Supply Drop Off/Pick Up

Still need to plant my marigolds in the vegetable garden

My first outing of the week on Monday (unless we count Sunday’s parade viewing, then it’s the second outing) involved going to drop off J’s school books and band tux. Yearbooks were late so I had to return for that today.

And it didn’t involve going into any buildings. I made a paper sign with his name, held it up and drove to each station where I opened my trunk so they could take things out or put thing in it as needed. It worked very efficiently. And I did appreciate that as I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Three: A Little Bit of Normal And a Zoom Meet

I was so happy to finally find one of my favorite summer annual flowers

Purslane graces my garden every summer but the store where I usually buy it went out of business (pre-Covid 19) and I didn’t even remember the name of it until recently. I was so happy to find it last weekend. A little bit of normal when things are not. Another bit of normal was J’s baritone lesson on Monday night. His instructor just gets him and is a happy, enthusiastic person. It was nice to sit and read my book while listening to the lesson again.

Instead of normal bunco on Tuesday night, we had another Zoom meet up. There were only 4 of us this time. And it was an odd mix. I think fewer wanted to bother now that we can “go” and “see” people again? Not sure. Anyway, it was quite odd and I found myself rather down after it. Not anyone’s fault. Just me missing normal stuff.

Four: Haircut Therapy

I read somewhere lemon grass repels mosquitoes so I always try to put some near the front porch

My hair appointment was different. I’ve known my stylist for years following her from shop to shop to the salon she now co-owns. Lots of rules for her to follow with regards to giving haircuts again. I had to text her when I arrived to get the okay to enter, have my temp taken prior to entry, wash my hands upon entry, and wear a mask the whole time (so did she). Not the most relaxing experience but we both did what was necessary.

Still a nice chat while she cut my hair. And I smiled at how she referred to not wanting give me “The Covid.” I felt better after as always.

Five: Target time, Traffic, and a Return to the High School

Pink petunias on the front porch.

Yesterday for the first time since early March, I braved Target. And I was a bit let down to find them out of several things on my list (still?!), full of confusing signs…one way aisles but no arrows? And with only one cashier, very long line. I refuse to wait in line for self-check out. Don’t get me started. Not the experience I anticipated.

My main goal to get G’s birthday cake decor and cards still happened so not a total waste. We celebrated his birthday last night with take-out Chinese food and birthday cake Kit Kat candy bars. His aunt and my nephew plan to come over tomorrow for dinner and official chocolate cake with white icing.

Then, I had to take some tools to my husband at his job and found myself in a bit of traffic. Been awhile. Things may still be weird on the inside but the outside of our city is veering closer to normal every day.

This morning, I returned to the high school and picked up J’s yearbook as well as popped into a local farm supply store to get my starving birds a bit more food.

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So as you can see, I spent this week going all the places! And while it wasn’t quite normal, it did feel good to get out and about again. How did you spend your week?

 

 

 

 

Five On Friday: Bird Photo Outtakes

Had a hard time deciding what to share for a Five on Friday today. My friend, Rebecca shared birds today for her Five on Friday and it gave me an idea.

I love watching the birds. And I take quite a few photos (really an obnoxious amount). Recently, I revived my Saturday bird watching posts.

Just for fun, I thought I’d share some of my bird photo outtakes with you. Sometimes I have fun photos that I haven’t shared simply because it’s a repeat bird from the previous week. Or the bird didn’t really cooperate. Hope you enjoy these 5 fun photos.

This pair resides by the pond at the end of our street.

ONE: Geese Portrait

TWO: House Finch

I’m guilty of ignoring these fun birds a lot in my blog. I have a whole bunch who spend lots of time at my feeders. And I do enjoy watching them. They’ll wait for me on days I need to fill the feeders and aren’t even put off by the little gray cat. This little fellow posed for me.

THREE: Brown Thrasher

I noticed this bird sitting on a branch when I was outside soaking up some sunlight one day. Couldn’t resist snapping photo.

FOUR: Robin

I can’t seem to get a decent photo of one of our most common backyard birds! However, I like how this photo somehow came out looking a bit like a painting. 

FIVE: Baby Sparrows

I fuss a lot about the house sparrows. They eat at my suet feeder and chase the downy woodpecker away. He’s been fighting back lately. Hooray. However, even I can admit the little baby sparrows are cute. Saw this fun sight today.

No idea why these sparrows were all in the fence but I thought it was interesting. So did our cat. Don’t worry, she behaved.

It’s so fluffy!

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Are you a bird watcher, too? Be sure and check out my post tomorrow for more birds.

Five On Friday: Planning For Flowers

Are you as tired of sitting inside as me? Want to come with me as I dream about my garden areas?  Flowers filling them soon, I hope. 

Let’s go see how those areas (dreadfully neglected since early last fall) look.

ONE: My Main Flower Garden Area Beside The Front Porch

Time to play my “favorite” game: Is it a weed or a returning perennial flower? 

Some of that pictured above hides poison ivy so I was glad I wore my gardening gloves while working! A bit of progress made:

TWO: The Front Of The Porch

Yikes! Let’s not dwell here. Although I didn’t take after photos, I did rake out some leaves and my blazing star can breathe a bit better now. I also have a lily working its way toward blooming. Only one this year.

THREE: My Butterfly Garden at the End of the Driveway

I didn’t even take a full picture of this one. It’s such a mess. However, a small sign of hope exists there. Returning milkweed or butterfly bush or something here.

FOUR: The Actual Garden Where Vegetables Grow

Well, sometimes they grow. Not yet tilled as it’s been so rainy. Hopefully, this week. We do have some strawberries at least.

Not sure what to say about the mess pictured above. Hard to believe last year it held beans, tomato plants, and peppers. By the way, the lone strawberry plant is blocked by the spinner. We have four green strawberries on it.

How about a diversion? No idea what kind of little flower I have growing pretty much in the middle of the yard. It’s pretty though. I’m guessing a bird or squirrel “planted” it.

FIVE: Wildflower Garden Area That Wasn’t

My regular readers probably remember my well-meaning neighbor who weed-whacked my attempt at a wildflower garden before it had a chance to bloom. The space was likely too shady anyway. I’m still deciding what to plant back in this far reaching corner or our backyard.

Whatever I decide, you can see the fencing in the corner there. It’s going to be well marked.

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Clearly, I’ve lots of work to keep me busy outside. I’m ready to plant flowers. However, I’m also at a loss as my favorite place to buy them went out of business earlier this year. I don’t even know what many of the plants I bought there were named. I just knew which ones I liked.

What are your spring and summer outdoor plans?

 

Five On Friday: Chit Chat

I’m having a bit of trouble maintaining focus this morning. So I’ve simply given into it and decided to share some rather random and not really important tidbits today.

ONE: Real Food And Junk Food

Yesterday, G and I discussed how awful we we’ve done limiting our grocery store trips. Despite the best of intentions, I’ve still gone once a week. My goal is to not go this week at all. Especially since last week, I gave into several junk food temptations. I call it pandemic brain shopping. “If the world ends completely, I’ll be very sad I didn’t have that one last taste of m&m’s” SIGH.

However, I also still buy real food. J’s breakfast this morning consisted of the last of the apple cinnamon bread as well as an apple. I stuck to my very boring coffee and yogurt routine. However, yesterday we did have bacon and biscuits. 

While I don’t want to, I could easily devote an entire Five on Friday post to our junk food choices. Or our ongoing argument that Peanut Butter Captain Crunch tastes the same as Reese’s Puffs cereal. An insult to the captain! I’ve even caved and bought more soda than in quite some time. With the exception of my husband, we’re all big fans of this:

Two: Too Early For Gardening

The weather on Earth day didn’t really cooperate with a lot of outside activities. A pretty start soon turned cold and windy. We’ve still got a few weeks to go before our frost-free date and the ground remains a bit too wet to till the garden. However, I decided to try some kitchen scrap gardening.  Currently, I have a different kind of blooming onion and celery stalk. 

Not pictured, I planted some mushy strawberries in a pot outside. Once we cut our cantaloupe, I’ll start those seeds as well.

Three: Dreams of Shopping at Target

I dreamed I went to Target last night. Do they miss me as much as I miss them? Doubtful. They’re open but I’ve pretty much limited my outings to the grocery store and the tractor supply store for curbside birdseed pickup. Meanwhile, my shampoo stock is running short. Been using up the small hotel bottles brought home from various vacations. 

I’ve also run out of my beloved Bath and Body Works shower gels and my cheap alternatives. Debating remedying that situation.

Four: A Lazy Day

Please send my gold star soon as I’ve been up, showered, and ready by 9:00 most weekdays. The little gray cat and her incessant meowing offers some assistance in this department. However, yesterday, I had a lazy day. No shower and didn’t really do all that much. 

Unless you count laundry. And watching a subtitled two-hour Swedish movie (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo). The Amazon one is not the one starring Daniel Craig. Still enjoyable. And it looks as if there’s a Swedish movie corresponding to each book.

And late last night, I began reading the next book in the series, The Girl Who Played With Fire.

Five: Outside Time

I’ve still been wandering around the yard a bit each day (except yesterday) with my camera. Waiting impatiently for the spring and summer flowers to grown and bloom. Signs they’re on the way:

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Now, it’s time to end my idle Five on Friday chit chat and go get dinner going in the crock pot. Trying a new recipe tonight, slow cooker pineapple pork loin. Wish me luck!

What’s cooking at your house?

Five on Friday: The Trees

Recently, I read a book by Richard Preston titled The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring. While we have no redwoods to climb around here, the book inspired me. Suddenly, I found myself looking up at the trees all around us. 

One day, J and I even took off to a local nature center to walk the wooded trails. Forgot my camera! And in full disclosure, we only walked two quick paved paths.

Luckily, my own neighborhood boasts several mature trees. I’ve decided to share them for my Five on Friday post.

ONE: The backyard neighbor’s mighty oak tree

Currently, home to daily nest construction from a pair of bluejays. The tree is also enjoyed by several squirrels and a favorite landing spot of several of my backyard bird feeder birds.

TWO: Backyard soft maple tree #1

Not the kind of maple tree tapped for maple syrup. However, we also had these trees in my yard as a kid and definitely the kind of tree to create endless games from their “helicopter” seeds.

Three: Backyard maple tree #2

Another view of the maple. Small animals sometimes make homes and seek shelter in the holes.

This soft maple stands just a few feet from the first one pictured. We’ve battled, sometimes fiercely, over the rights for this beautiful tree to remain standing. Last spring, a severe storm knocked a rather large branch right against J’s window.

My husband thinks it’s days of a living tree are over. However, I hold a different opinion. For now, it remains as a guardian of our backyard. We also have a large (healthy) maple in our front yard. Somehow, I neglected to take a photo of it.

THREE: Neighbor’s fir tree.

What kind of tree is this? My answer is some type of evergreen. What I do know about the tree: I see several of my small backyard birds seeking shelter in its branches. We also used to sometimes catch our little gray cat napping in its branches on warm summer days.

FOUR: Neighbor’s dogwood tree (also, state tree of Missouri for those of you who like to collect random facts)

FIVE: A closer look at the trees, just for fun

I’ve been practicing my close-up photography a bit here and there so I played around with it on some tree barks, branches, and blooms.

dogwood bloom

evergreen branch

tree bark of a soft maple tree

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Bonus photo from 2019:

It’s still hard to believe just a year ago, we were in Washington, D.C. enjoying the beautiful blooms of the cherry blossom trees.

What’s your favorite type of tree?

 

 

 

 

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