Book Finds

I thought I’d pull out some of these neat animal books I’ve been buying. They don’t seem to publish books like these any more, I guess they aren’t flashy enough.

This is the kind of book I learned to draw from when I was a kid. Someone else had already identified the important lines and put in the shadow, all I had to do was copy it to learn what was going on.

Today kids seem to be learning to draw by copying manga. I guess that’s fine, too.

I also found this other book. Can you even imagine this being published today?
title page

Nowadays it’s against the law to even pick up a wild creature, and more so to take it home and take care of it. This book does state it’s for caring for babies or injured, and releasing them back into the wild when it’s time. Nowadays you have to take creatures to a rescue center immediately, or face fines.


It’s a very useful book, though, covering terrariums for frogs, and places to keep insects, and a section on birds and of course the above mammals. This one has good pictures, too, very useful for learning rudimentary drawing from.

Cake stand revisited

This cake stand deserves to be on the counter full time! Can’t you picture it with donuts, or cupcakes? It’s great for everything perishable! Why did these things go out of vogue, anyway? Tiny kitchens?

And just as an aside, this little guy was visiting because a neighbor is bulldozing his lawn to make more driveway. Elle was saying, “Snail, snail,” and spotted it first. Then changed it to, “Worm.” It’s the first real snake she’s seen, so close enough.

giveaway, leave a comment

Here’s another little painting ready to be given away to someone who leaves a comment. I’ll figure out a way to randomly select someone–anyone can play along. The painting is 6″x6″ and even if you don’t like horses maybe you know someone who does and you can be one present ahead next Christmas!


I’ll do the selecting June 9, that’s next Monday. Be sure you leave a way for me to contact you!

What a day

Elle took off her diaper last night, so woke up soaking wet at 5:15. It was so bright out that she didn’t want to sleep, so we’ve been up a long time. You’d think I would have gotten more done!

Some gardening was done (but I guess that gets done every day) and I’m a little disappointed how slowly the garden is growing. Most everything is still just sproutly sprouts. I don’t think the spinach came up at all–and very few of my flower seeds came up. I’m wondering if I was optimistic about how warm the soil was, and planted too early. Aren’t those painted daisies up in the header pretty? I bought those at the nursery the other day. I put down two packages of seeds, but they didn’t come up. I don’t know if it’s too late for this year, but the stores have stopped stocking seeds.

Here’s some lavender from the shared “rock hole”–our neighbor shares a sink hole filled with gravel with us, and we both planted lavender all around the rim. HER lavender self-seeded, I can’t believe it! So hers is spreading nicely, and ours is larger than last year but not more numerous. I shouldn’t have been so aggressively cutting the flowers, I guess.

Even knowing as much, I cut two nice bouquets today and the kitchen smells nice. I’d have put the bouquets in the bathrooms except the dampness in there (AHEM) isn’t great for drying flowers.


The plumber said the pipe was improperly glued–at least that’s what he put in writing on the receipt, in person he said he didn’t think it was glued at all. Doesn’t surprise me, by this point I expected as much.

He did add that it was going to come apart from water pressure on its own eventually, so it was a blessing in disguise I bumped it and made it happen, instead of it happening when no one was home and the water just spilling out unchecked for hours. I kind of already figured out that blessing on my own, too. Sort of the hidden bright side.

Now the wall needs to dry out so it doesn’t mold (it’s already smelling like wet wood and carpet in here,sigh) and then new wallboard can repair the hole. Maybe in another week.

Big ole HMPH

Well we’re sitting around waiting for the plumber to come because I broke a pipe in the bathroom. That’ll teach ME to do any cleaning!

All I did was tap that little water handle at the bottom of the toilet at the wall. With a broom. At first I thought I had nudged the handle and turned it more on, but no, I could hear the water shooting up inside the wall, and eventually it was coming out into two rooms. Does homeowners insurance cover this? He’s going to have to open the wall the get to the pipe, that I can already tell.

So for anyone thinking about buying a new house, thinking, “It will be easier to maintain because everything is new!” forget about that. I can’t speak for all construction companies, but I can tell you at least one is slapping houses up so fast that they don’t care about the details. A piece here isn’t tightened, a piece there isn’t set in right. I’m pretty sure the plumber will be saying, “No, that shouldn’t have broke like that.” This isn’t the first big problem I’ve had due to poor construction. Next time I’ll be buying used, because then at least you know what you’re in for!

Plus, you never know how often you wash your hands until you turn the water off!

peonies & delphinium

Don’t these peonies pair nicely with the delphinium as a backdrop? The delphinium tower 3 feet above the peonies, and the strong contrast color is striking. Since the peonies bloom only once a year, they needed neighbors who were ever-bloomers. I’ve got a little square area of 9 peony plants in their first year, and I’ve been struggling to make seeds come up in the bare areas between them since it will take a couple years before the stars reach their full potential, but mostly everything is still bare. We went to the nursery yesterday to buy more delphinium, but they had only one left. Sigh. So four of those make a backdrop–and since they grow to two or feet wide by six feet high, they are definitely eye catchers. Four will be enough for now. Next year, or probably the year after that for sure, it all should be lovely as planned!