Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Where It All Happens

A big hug and thanks to everyone who sent me a photo of your Blogitat! I had a great time receiving them and planning this post. Every day, we share our thoughts and our personalities here and unfortunately most of us will never meet face to face. Now, whenever I read one of your posts, I’ll have a mental picture of you tapping away in your creative space. I hope you enjoy the views. Here we are...



Laura at Somewhere in NJ - During the nice weather I like to spend computer time on my screened patio - from this spot I can see and hear the pond straight ahead. Just out of view to the left are my birdfeeders - full at the moment with bright goldfinches, house finches, chickadees and tufted titmice. The outside of the patio has a small garden with iris, peonies, and the biggest bleeding heart bush in the world! The patio also houses my houseplants which are outdoors for their summer vacation, and also at the moment a few of our tropical plants that were over wintered in the basement. They're not ready for full sun yet, so they hang with me in the shade.



Pam at Nature Woman - This is my laptop where I do all of my blogging, flickr-ing, etc. The photo of me on the right was taken by Tom (Mon@rch) on May 26, 2007 in front of a 200 year old sugar maple located at Allegany State Park. At the moment I'm working on uploading my Allegany State Park photos taken on May 26, 2007 to Flickr which I leave private until I label them and blog about them. Then I make them viewable by my friends and/or family. And on the left is the start of my blog posting about the awesome day I spent with Tom (Mon@rch) at Allegany State Park. The little desk that you see my laptop sitting on can move around - it was built special for me to use on the sofa in my living room and it only has legs on one side so I can lounge with my legs spread out on the sofa and work with the laptop right in front of me. In case you're wondering, I cloned out the piles of photo albums, etc. that I'm working on scanning in a little at a time! My room usually is neat, but you know when you inherit some stuff, you have to somehow absorb it into your home space. Before I do that, they're getting scanned in for my family. Hence the big mess that I didn't want everyone to see!


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Tom at Monarch Nature Blog - This means that I am stuck behind the computer all day at work and not allowed to get out of the office to do nature things! I’m from Western New York and spend most of my time here in Allegany State Park.


Lynne at Hasty Brook

Lynne at Hasty Brook - Welcome to my corner! Really- it's a corner that's my spot for just me. My corner is in our bedroom, upstairs, overlooking the backyard. Starting on the right you can see my camera case and my Handheld Birds. These two pieces of electronics are nearly always with me. On the window ledge are some of the rocks I brought back from Phoenix- you can't have too many rocks. No desk for me, I do my blogging in that old stripey chair with my feet up and my lap-top on my lap(top). My binoculars are always at the ready. I keep my favorite field guides in that white basket on the shelf. Right beneath my lap-top is my Bose. I really love my Bose- there is music on most of the time.


Cathy's Place

Cathy at Looking Up - It's the couch. That's were it all happens. I sit here in the evenings with my hubby ensconced beside me. Between his clicking the dual remotes and my tapping away at the keyboard - we get our money's worth out of our cable connection. I don't know what I was doing with my time before this blogging thing took over. Hmmm. Better not think about that too much;0)
(Yikes! Looking at the pix - I see my part needs some color. Well I just don't have time - gotta keep blogging:0)


Susan GN

Susan at Susan Gets Native - What is there to say about my little blogging corner? I have Cheetos, Euro the dove, my rats and hardly any decoration. Ho and hum. :)



Trixie at Trixie’s View - Here is a picture of my area. There is the Our Lady of Perpetual Help. She hangs around, because I need all the help I can get. Then there is my jumble of knitting needles and neglected watercolor brushes. You may see a bowl of yarn and a picture of my girls. The window faces west/northwest. There are times I cannot sit here because the sun is streaming in. And yes, there is chaos in the background. The ugly pink ceramic box is what a co-worker gave me for Christmas. It was such a sweet gesture. And, the bobbing head turtles at the very top…see them? I do have to police kid mess here, too. YIKES!



Donna at KGMom Mumblings - I have a laptop computer that has its docking station in our family room. That is where the photo is taken. BUT, I also use the laptop on our sun porch, with ceiling to floor windows and pet beds. Frequently, I sit there, looking out the windows at my flower pots (remember--the ones I planted like a crazy person recently) and with my dog Tipper and two cats--Cassidy and Allie. It makes blogging fun.

The real THINKING for my blog occurs many places and times--while I am falling asleep, while I shower (instead of singing), while I walk the dog. I have a blank page note book that I called Musings where I do some of my first writing. I jot down ideas, phrases, sequence of content, etc. Then when I write the blog itself. I first sit down at the computer, compose the blog in a Word document, spell and grammar check it (it wouldn't do for an English prof to make a mistake, now, would it?) then copy it into Blogger. Of course, then I add photos, and hit PUBLISH!



Beth at Look What Love Has Done - Alrighty, girl - here you go. However - I have to admit to some cheating. I just rearranged my room today, moved furniture around and set this stuff up. Truth be told, I have NEVER posted from this place...yet....

The truth of my blogging is found when I'm curled up on my bed or lying on the couch with the laptop balanced on my tummy. We have a pc downstairs, and occasionally I'll work from there…but it is the kids' domain (though the monitor is honking HUGE and much preferable to work on!) I work there at times, but get frustrated dodging the Cheeto crumbs and empty milk glasses.

As I type this email to you, I am in my new 'workspace', so I guess that counts for something. And that IS my yard out the (dirty) window....perhaps this neat desk is wishful thinking. Whatever. It IS in my bedroom...


LostRosesMay 005_resize

Mary at Lost Roses - First let me say I haven't dusted this area since Christmas, (editor’s note: all Marys hate to dust.) I may do it again sometime soon, but not today. This is probably the most cluttered room in my house and that's saying something! I call it the computer room, but it also holds old photo albums, loose pictures, CDs filled with who knows what, newspaper clippings, a filing cabinet, my bills, wrapping paper, a spotting scope on a tripod, bird books, and anything else that doesn't have a home elsewhere. This is my workspace but blogging isn't work, it's my R&R!


RuthieJhome workspace

Ruthie at Nature Knitter – Here’s a pic of my blogging habitat. Field guides on the first shelf to my right (within easy reach) and the ones I'm currently using are laying on the desk. This workstation is in my dining room and if I turn in my chair a little to the right, I can look out the big bay window to my yard. This is especially handy for taking pictures when I hear a new bird singing outside or hear something splashing around in the birdbath.



Alyssa at My Examined Life - Here is a picture of where I always do my blogging and everything else on the computer. It's very comfortable for me and the pugs think so, too. Thea lays on the back of the couch with her head on my shoulder and Garm snuggles up very close to me and snores! Our house is very small - one bedroom - so a laptop was my only alternative. I've got no room for a desk or work area. I don't mind at all 'cause I can be in the living room with Steve while he watches some goofy show, but I don't have to pay attention to it. You know what I mean? Obviously, I have a wireless system and my printer is set up in the basement on Steve's work bench. It works out very nicely. I just push the computer under the couch when I'm not on it.



Cuppa at Brown Betty Brew - Due to a back injury I suffered whilst roller blading a couple of years ago, I can't sit at a desk for more than ten minutes without having to jump up and run screaming for the nearest easy chair for some relief. I discovered that if I sit in a high back chair with my back and arms completely supported and my laptop on my laptop I am quite comfortable to write for hours. So I set up this writing nook in a corner of the master bedroom and it is where I spend many happy hours writing, blogging, emailing, reading, and... just plain wool-gathering. I have a view of the trees outside the bedroom window from this comfy spot and that really helps during the wool-gathering episodes.



Julie at Julie Zickefoose - Windows let in breeze and birdsong. The photos behind the computer are of an impossibly hot Bill w/ basketball, and me and my dad when I was 12 and he was 58. We're looking at Audubon prints.



Chet Baker at Julie Zickefoose - Are you sure you want people to see this, Mether? It is very messy.



Dorothy from Woods View – The room where I blog is just a small room, a combination art studio and computer room. But it is my little chapel. The flowers on my table were gifted to me from Laura, my daughter, for Mother's Day. She lives in California and I can't remember the last time we spent Mother's Day together.

In the summertime, this window overlooking my "woods view" will have flowers peeking in at me from a hayrack windowbox.



Chris at Notes from a Somerset Garden - Looking at my work area has made me rethink! I have had to put up the cafe style curtains as I usually blog in the evenings and now the sun later it sets right in my eyes :-) I can't see a thing! I have made up my mind to change direction and rooms! There is a corner of the dining room I could occupy without too much upheaval and in the summer I could have the french doors open onto the garden! It’s on my list of things to do :-)



Susie at Susie’s Space - Attached is a photo of where I do my bloggy thing. Remodeling of the office has been on the "to do" list since I posted this on Feb 27. Bill says it's going to happen by summer, but he doesn't say what summer ;)


SherryOne year 599

Sherry at Q’s Corner - When I look at my work space I like to see a beautiful area. I need a candle and a flower and I am working on living curtains so my ivy is slowly growing to be my office curtain. I am tidy by nature. I also like to see outside when I cannot be outside. I am thinking about going wireless so I can download photos and post while on the deck.

I lead a contemplative life in the busy atmosphere of the city. I like it, different. It is easier to be quiet in the quiet. It takes some awareness to be quiet in the noise. Also the UPS guy can bring my stuff without any trouble.

Thank you for asking for our photos. I think it is nice to see where the "muse" lives. For me, I am inspired by the subtle ways of Nature. I learn a bit more everyday about joy and beauty. Thank you for walking this journey with me.



Larry at The Brownstone Birding Blog - I decided not to clean up my area. It seems the whole point is to get an idea of what our area actually looks like.

The black case is a CD case at my disposal so that I can listen to music. The can is flavored seltzer, my favorite beverage. There is a discarded Butterfinger wrapper-(the Butterfinger is in my belly). There is a copy of Sibleys that is too big to carry around with me so I leave it here. There are two checklists from this weekend that I have not bothered to file yet. The whole desk is backed up against the living room stairs. There is a notebook and pen for doodling. A patriots mousepad (I'm a sports fan).


Sonia workplace

Sonia at Leaves of Grass - The place where I spend much of my time writing, reading and blogging!



Ruth at Body, Soul, and Spirit - I am a laptop and wireless person. I have attached a picture of my favourite office. When the weather is not as grand, my office may be on the sofa, recliner, or kitchen table. my toes in the picture. Our deck is sunny and warm, even on cooler days.

We went to wireless when we had 4 computers on the go all the time when my daughters were in university. The twins are gone, but I wouldn't go back to hardwire!



Jayne at Journey Through Grace - It's Saturday morning. This space is full of light and warmth for me and looks out over the front yard. We went iMac two years ago and will never go back! The index card on the computer stand is the "meta" prayer Susan at Visual-Voice has started. It says, "May you be safe... May you be happy... May you be healthy... May you live with ease" and I think of that as I read all my blog buddies and send loving-kindness their way. The chickadees are on my mousepad (of course) and I have Hem playing as I enjoy my second cup of Coffee Fool African Safari and contemplate getting in the shower (at some point). :c)



Me – I share a space with my husband. This is the den, located conveniently from everywhere in our ranch home and decorated in a golf theme which includes a lot of his memorabilia, plus a piano and a leather loveseat. But that’s OK because I own the spot 98% of the time. I just make sure his favorite pen is in its proper place. I keep it tidy but most of the time my blogging notes and field guides (including my new Sibley’s) are spread all over the place. When I look to my right, I have a view of the front of the house…



Chloe and Bella from Mary’s View -

Bella: “Chloe, is dat a b-b-bunny?”
Chloe: “It’s a cat, you moron.”


I just had to include some REALLY COOL DOGS!

I appreciate each one of you so much. I hope you enjoyed this as much I as enjoyed putting it together. Now, it’s time for a drink - of the wine variety.

Please shoot me an e-mail if I flubbed up or forgot someone? Sometimes I get carried away when I click "delete" on my incoming e-mail. I'll fix my error right away!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Short and Very Sweet


There’s a gazillion things to do around here lately.
I don’t have time to come out and play.
I’ll be back soon.

(This was first bluebird face I saw this morning. I melted.)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Love 'em all!

The weekend has been very busy! There’s not much time for words lately but I always find time to record what I see through photographs. I am making time to share a few things I saw over the weekend before I mix the potato salad.

All God’s Creatures,




and small.


I Love Them All...


They test my picture-taking ability and


challenge my patience (an Untufted titmouse). I try harder.


They think and cause me to wonder.


They think some more and


ignore my requests


until they have success. I’m the one who’s baffled!


Some trust me too much. I’m not always very nice!


During quiet times, I sit in the grass. The rays of a sunset mesmerize me and illuminate the smallest detail.


They light up the vulture’s face


and the Chickadee in the shadows.


I sit, watch, and listen for the hummmm… The sun exposes it from where I sit.


It’s a Good Earth. I hope you have found time to watch and to connect with our extended family :o)


And Remember. Have a Happy Memorial Day!

Friday, May 25, 2007

One Year Ago


Around this time last year my next door neighbor, Maureen, said, “Here Mary. This rose bush is for you. When it blooms, you’ll always remember your Mom.”

Today is the one year anniversary of my Mom’s passing and I find it so fitting that the first rose of the season has bloomed on this bush and also that it’s a pink rose – one of my Mom’s favorite flowers.

During her long, difficult stay in the hospital before her death, I told her some very important and meaningful things. Now there are other things I wish I had remembered to say to her.

Being the middle child of five, she always felt inadequate and often lonely. A few weeks before she died, she even commented to me and my brother that she wished she was a “better Mother”. Well, we took care of that comment quickly and brought it to her attention that she raised some pretty great kids that grew into wonderful adults. Always analytical, stubborn, philosophical, spiritual, and competitive, she was quick to prove others wrong, but this time, she raised one eyebrow very high and said, “Well, I can’t say you are wrong this time!”

I wish I had told her I regret rolling my eyes and being impatient with her endless stories of being raised on a farm in Finksburg, Maryland. Her parents were tenant farmers and struggled to feed their family. Now I appreciate the stories of her thirty-six cats, chickens, snakes, and the horse who nearly ate himself to death. Now I can laugh about her handling a shotgun so well! And the fact that her Mother made clothing for the children using potato sacks breaks my heart. Other than time spent in school, she worked the farm from sunrise to sunset and a hot bath was a luxury. I don’t think she tasted ice cream until she was ten years old. The conditions she lived in gave her a perspective on life that many people will never understand. Yes, we rolled our eyes and laughed many times. Perhaps because my brother and I were city dwellers as children, her stories seemed unreal and impossible for us to comprehend.

She encouraged me to be independent. She encouraged my brother to be spiritual. Although she and I weren’t close to each other on a daily basis and I saw her infrequently during the past twenty or so years, she knew me better than I know myself. I miss her voice. Mom loved her family intensely and I feel certain that she knows we are just fine. She was an avid reader and writer and told me to never ignore my artistic talent. Part of me thinks she might be enjoying my blog every day? She would have loved it.


"I needed the quiet so He drew me aside, into the shadows where we could confide.
Away from the bustle where all day long, I hurried and worried when active and strong. I needed the quiet, though at first I rebelled, but ever so gently, my cross He upheld and whispered so sweetly of spiritual things.
Weakened in body, my spirit took wings to heights never dreamed of when active and gay. He loved me so gently, He drew me away, I needed the quiet.
No prison my bed, but a beautiful valley of blessings instead. A place to grow richer in Jesus to hide. I needed the quiet, so He drew me aside."

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Walk with me? And a Birthday...

It’s been a week since I walked the campus. There’s always something new for me to see and admire lately. Robins walk along side of me and I even saw Blue Jays today. They aren’t very common here.


My camera was with me whenever I ran an errand to the next building. I haven’t photographed my Bluebirds lately. Isn’t he just lovely? He’s hanging too close to the building for my comfort, though.


I would have never imagined I’d see a Great Crested Flycatcher on campus! Its song made me stop, look, and listen and my instinctive stalking mode when into action. I was determined to find this bird and it wasn’t difficult at all because of its loud song. A lifer! CHECK.


Here’s another view. Look at its raised crest. It’s obviously unnerved in this photo and very curious of the goofy woman standing under its tree.


Every time I walk the campus, Spring offers more surprises and new growth. Wild flowers intrigue me, especially when they are smothered with insects. I just love the bugs.


These are growing wild? I want to take a spade to work next week and dig them up and bring them home!


Oh, what the heck. He draws attention to himself in color and sound. He’s worth it.


Another sound intrigued me. I’ve seen Male Towhees before but never heard their “Drink Your Tea” symphony. Awesome!

This evening, I heard some commotion behind me in the yard. About six small birds were chasing down a hawk.


Gaining composure: “Holy Moly! What happened?”


“Are they gone?” (Striking the Linda Blair pose)


"I think it's safe to get out of here!"

I spent too much time with my field guide and browsing Cornell to ID this bird. The dogs were jumping all over me and the phone was ringing while I flipped through the pages of my field guide. I finally yelled, “Shaaat aaap! I’m trying to ID a freaking bird here!!!!” I know it’s an accipiter. I only had two minutes to observe it. It’s immature, I think. A Northern Harrier? It’s a wild guess and I know I’m probably way off, as usual. SUSAN?????


I can’t end this post without reflecting on a special person. Billy is Gina’s boyfriend and they’ve been together for a few years. Today is his 26th Birthday.

Billy grew up in Austin, Texas, and other than an older step-sister who he refers to as his sister, he doesn’t have family there. He lost both of his parents during his pre-adolescent years. The circumstances were grim and Billy faced some terribly difficult and challenging times as a young child. He spent several years in foster homes before his step-sister took him in during his senior year of high school. His love of playing football and basketball fueled him to graduate.

After graduation from high school, Billy entered the U.S. Marine Corp. I believe his battery was the first to fire shots in Iraq back in the spring of 2003. He rarely talks about his time in Iraq, but I know he was willing and proud to serve.

He moved to Charlotte along with Gina last summer and he’s prospering. My husband is helping to guide him in the electrical construction industry and Billy is proving to be a highly skilled second-year electrician apprentice. His work ethics are commendable in comparison to many young men his age.

Billy’s an independent individual but I think perhaps this might be the first time in his life that he has real mentors, encouragement, and support from “family”, here in Charlotte. I think he likes it. We are his cheering section.


Happy Birthday, Big Tall Texan!