Thursday, July 4, 2024

Thursday 13: The Bonsai Tree Edition

This week’s Thursday 13 comes from running out of storage on my laptop.  We’ve set up a trail camera to see the groundhogs eat, and those videos are taking up a lot of space on the laptop.  (If you want to see the groundhog videos, here’s a link to see them.)

So, I started looking through the files on my computer.  I have so many pictures and videos!  I’ve been slowly uploading things to my Google Drive, and in the process, I’m coming across things I meant to post before. 

These are from a trip to the NC Arboretum in the spring of 2022.  Better late than never, right? 

We usually manage to go when it’s too cold for the bonsai trees to be outside, and we only get to see a limited display inside, but this time, we timed our visit better and got to see all of them outside.  So, here are thirteen pictures from our visit to the bonsai tree exhibit. 

This one was my overall favorite.  I love how it's covered in little pink flowers.

Here’s a closeup of the flowers.  I think they look like tiny azaleas.  

I liked how these two looked like tiny little forests. 

 I liked how these two leaned over.  It seems like, normally, only very large trees lean like that. 

The exposed roots on this one were interesting.

Here’s a closeup of them. 

 Here’s another one with pink flowers. 

Finally, four more that I thought were pretty since I’m showing you thirteen of them.

How do you store and organize your videos and photos?  Do you ever forget about them once you save them to your computer?  

Friday, June 28, 2024

Feline Friday: Charlie Snoozing

For Feline Friday, all you have to do is post a picture, drawing, cartoon, or video of a cat.

I certainly have plenty of cat pictures, so I thought I’d join in. 

Here’s Charlie snoozing.

Doesn’t he look so cute and comfortable?  

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Thursday 13: Around the Yard

There’s so much going on in the yard this time of year, so I thought another Thursday 13 featuring things around the yard was in order.

I apologize that the light isn’t the best in some of the photos.  It has been HOT here, and it was just too miserable to go around taking pictures until after the sun started going down.

1.     This week, we’ll start with the white hydrangea that’s just starting to bloom. 

Here’s a close-up. 

2.    Next up, we have the Shasta daisies, which aren’t looking good at all. 

The free-range chickens like to dig in the front flowerbed, so I thought I’d chicken-proof it with some decorative fencing.

3.    Clearly, the fence failed to keep them out.  I’m working on another solution.

4.    We’ve recently put a birdbath on a shepherd’s hook next to the front porch.  It’s in direct sun, so I’ve been trying to put ice cubes in it at least once a day.  The birds are definitely using it.  We’ve seen several, and we have to refill it every night. 

5.    The rose of Sharon trees are blooming. 

6.     We have full flowers.

7.    We have buds.

8.    And we have some that are right in the middle.

9.    We have a birdfeeder in the backyard now.  It’s solar and lights up when it gets a little darker than it was when I took the picture. 

10. Next, we have the flowers in the planter on the rain barrel next to the birdfeeder.  I can’t remember the name of these flowers.  I always think of them as mini petunias. 

Here’s a close-up.

11.  There are more flowers that look like mini petunias in the planter on the second rain barrel.

12.   There are also some regular petunias in that planter.  I think these look absolutely perfect.

13. Lastly, in answer to Live & Learn’s question about the groundhogs eating plants we don’t want them to eat, here’s what’s left of the basil.  They ate most of it two weeks ago, and it had started growing back some earlier this week, but they feasted on it again.  Apparently, they’re not planning to share the basil with us.  

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Groundhogs & Bananas

 Did you know that groundhogs like bananas?  I didn’t.

Last week, Nick and I checked the produce clearance section (buying produce for all of the groundhogs isn’t cheap!) at the grocery store.  The only produce on clearance was the bags of very ripe bananas.

I wasn’t sure how the groundhogs would feel about bananas.  I hate bananas, so I tend to think that everyone else does, too.

Nick loves bananas, so he tends to think that everyone else loves bananas.  As a banana lover, Nick advocated buying them and seeing if the groundhogs would like them.  He predicted that they’d like them. 

Nick was right.  The groundhogs love bananas! 

I took this plate out, with three bananas broken into chunks.

And this is what the plate looked like a few hours later.

Here’s a video of one of the groundhogs enjoying the bananas.

Would you have guessed that groundhogs like bananas?  And does your guess have anything to do with your opinion of bananas?  

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Thursday 13: A Chemo and Senior Angels Update

It looks like it has been over a year since I did any kind of Chemo and Senior Angels update, so it’s time for one.  The Thursday 13 format seems to work well.

If you’re not familiar with Chemo Angels and Senior Angels, you can read my long post about them here.  (Other updates are here and here if you’re interested.)  The short version is that they’re programs that match patients undergoing therapy and seniors (both known as buddies) with volunteers (known as card angels or chemo angels) who send them a card or letter at least once a week.  It’s strictly mail-based, and volunteers are matched with buddies based on interests.  I started volunteering with both programs as a card angel in 2019, and I absolutely love doing it.

As usual, with this kind of post, the photos are just a random assortment.

Now, on to the update.

1.     Unfortunately, this update includes sad news, so I’ll get that out of the way first.  The buddy I was matched with in April of last year (I called her Jane for blogging purposes) died in early December.  I certainly didn’t expect not to care, but I didn’t think the death of someone I hadn’t met would be so sad to me.  I cried when I got the email.  Cancer is just so unfair.  Jane was relatively young and seemed like she was full of life based on her hobbies and interests.  She also had three children, as well as other family. 

2.     I also learned that another former buddy passed away last year.  I started off as her substitute in the summer of 2021, and then became her regular card angel.  Her time with the program ended, but we stayed in touch with the occasional email and exchanged Christmas cards.  She passed away in the fall of last year.  Again, she was only in her 30s and seemed so full of life.  Cancer really sucks. 

3.    I knew when I first volunteered that this was likely to happen at some point.  I also know that I don’t want to stop volunteering as a card angel, so I immediately got back on the list for another buddy. 

4.    I was also able to do some substituting (volunteers can request that another volunteer fill in for them if they’re unable to keep up with writing every week for a short period of time) during the holidays. 

5.    I currently have four buddies instead of the usual three. 

6.    I was matched with another chemo buddy in February.  We’ll call her Deidre for blogging purposes.  She didn’t provide a ton of information on her application and doesn’t share much in her monthly check-ins, but overall, it seems like her treatments are going well.

7.    I’m still writing to the same senior buddy that I’ve had since November of 2019.  I’ll call her Agnes for blogging purposes.  She’s in her 90s and in assisted living but seems to be very active.  Her daughter manages her checkins and is great about sharing information about things she especially enjoys, so it has become easier and easier to write to her.  In December, she sent me a sweet card thanking me for writing to her and being her friend.  It came a few days after I learned that Jane had passed away, so the timing was perfect for me.  And it really does feel like she’s my friend, even though I’ve never met her in person.  Sometimes, I’ll see something and think, “Oh, I need to tell Agnes about this.” 

8.    Some volunteers prefer not to take on a senior buddy because the commitment is so much longer, but that’s actually one of the things I like about having a senior buddy.  It feels like you do establish a friendship, and I enjoy that.

9.    I was assigned to another teenage buddy for about six months last year.  She was 14 and turned 15 during her treatment.  Fortunately, she finished her treatment during the fall and is now cancer-free.  Those are very happy emails to get! 

10. Earlier this year, there was a shortage of volunteers for senior buddies, so I got on the list for one more.  I was matched in March to a senior lady I’ll call Callie for blogging purposes.  She enjoys reading and growing flowers, so I have plenty of things to write to her about.

11. I also got back on the list for another teenage buddy when there was a shortage of volunteers, particularly for male buddies.  I was recently assigned to a 15-year-old boy I’ll call Sam for blogging purposes.  Cats are his favorite animal, so I have plenty of pictures and cat stories to share with him.

12. Chemo Angels and Senior Angels are currently experiencing a shortage of volunteers for both programs, so if you’ve been thinking about giving it a try, this is a great time to volunteer.

13.  I’m still so glad that Bijoux and Betty shared their experiences with Chemo Angels on their blogs.  I really enjoy volunteering with them.  I truly believe that we all can and should, do something for others.  Sometimes, it’s hard to find the right volunteer fit, though, especially with a busy schedule, but Chemo/Senior Angels is a great fit for me.