Saturday, August 29, 2009

Living with the Famous

The joke in our house is that hubby is famous...but the phrase is supposed to be "RICH and famous". Owning an Archery Shop, he has customers from all over our state, plus surrounding states. When his military clientele get reassigned, they still call him for their archery needs, thus making his customers literally everywhere. The farthest we've ever shipped a package was to the North Pole. I kid you not. I mailed the package myself while the guy at the Post Office wanted to know if we were taking over Santa's territory.

Hubby is the kind of guy who can talk to anyone and make you instantly feel at home. Which is probably why we're constantly stopped in the grocery store or while shopping with guys yelling, "Hey! Can I ask you a quick question?" It's like being a doctor, only the paycheck is smaller. The questions never have short answers and there's always a follow up question...or two or three. I've learned to smile and stand still. You shift your weight from one foot to the next and you suddenly become the-woman-with-no-patience-for-those-who-own-a-bow. Hey, it's the price you pay for living with the famous.

Because of the kind of guy he is and the type of work he does, Hubby has been in the newspaper more than once. On those days I kid him that his P.R. person needs to work more on "rich" and less on "famous". He'll then remind me it's all my fault. After all, he's pointed out, you're the one who mentioned my job to a friend who works at the newspaper. They've done a couple of stories on him, his shop and the alligator he got last year. He's also their "go-to" person for certain types of outdoor stories. And even I have to admit that he can really spin a good yarn with a crowd present.

Friday, as I drove out the driveway dreading going to a job I no longer love, I stopped to retrieve the newspaper. As I sat there, mood somewhere between disgusted and semi-depressed at the realization that having a brain and using it is considered bad form at work, I opened the paper. Turning to a section for our part of the County I found a headline which read, "Area Resident Gaining Legendary Status." Here's a picture of the legend.



This is Smokey....
our eldest child.
He thinks he's a person.
Evidently so does the newspaper.

Talk about feeling like a 2 legged failure. Even the dog has become famous.

Sitting in the driveway, I read of how Smokey, trusted hunting companion of Hubby, has become well known throughout the county for his ability to find deer. There are lots of hunters in our area...and evidently plenty of them aren't so good at finding what they thought they'd hunted. I should know because during deer season, which runs August to Jan. 1st around here, there are lots of pitiful phone calls in the evening from guys who believe they've got a trophy, deer but have um...misplaced it. They use to call Hubby. Now the calls start with, "Um, is Smokey home? I need some help."

It's partly my fault, I guess. Bored with the monotony of taking these calls I created a tongue-in-cheek business card for Smokey, complete with really bad puns. It ends with, "Have your people call my people." His picture is even on it.


Now before you ask, no I'm not one of those people who dresses dogs up for fun. No, I'm the idiot who thought it would be fun one year to create a calendar for Hubby's shop for Christmas which featured Smokey as the monthly pinup. Now it's become a tradition and the calendar is so popular people actually take it off the wall to page through the entire thing. One guy claimed he just couldn't wait until the next month to see what Smokey was doing. Can't imagine why Smokey grimaces when he sees me and a camera.


Then again, it's my way of getting even with him.
I mean after all,
I just got up off the couch to use the restroom one cold winter night and .....


I digress.

The article wasn't the best I've ever read and Hubby was somewhat disappointed. He also wasn't thrilled because he's never had to live through the joy of being misquoted or had his words taken out of context...which was made worse by a reporter not from this area trying to add his own "local flavor" and failing miserably. Although they used the wrong photo, Smokey's son Boudreaux even managed to be included in the story, which featured him as striving to be "just like Dad".

Sigh.

Oh well, it could be worse. I may not love my job right now, but at least I didn't pick up the paper and read that my kids had robbed a bank or murdered someone during an argument over nothing. In fact, they actually save me money at times. Look Kim, you don't need Photoshop when you have a nosy kid like Bou who tries to look into the camera from the wrong side.




No, we have raised "Legendary"
and "Working on becoming Legendary".
At least I have less grey hair than anyone in the house,
especially since Bou is currently working on a grey goatee.

And so, I go on.
Outnumbered by the testosterone of two species
and unwitting P.R. agent for all three of the "guys" at home.



Hey kid, you'd better not be laughing AT me.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Flash

It's that time again! If you write one of these 55 word challenges, [yes a story this short is a challenge, at least for me!] make sure you let the G-Man know.




There hadn’t been a plan. No, it was a random moment. One born of ignorance and innocence. Yet permanently life changing.


The choice would one day evolve into a family joke: keep the brand new, baby blue Chevy convertible….or the baby on the way?


At times I wonder if they wished they’d kept the car.




Okay Susan....does that sound like the opening to a memoir? :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What's on your Shelf?

Susan has shared an interesting meme. I decided to play because she's always nice to me and besides, I wanted to see what other people have on their bookshelves. No, it's curiosity, not being nosy.

This one is simple. Collect the book that you have most handy, turn to page 161, find the 5th complete sentence, and cite the sentence on your blog. Next (of course) is to pass it on to 5 others.

I took this one literally and picked the first book on my Shelfari shelf below, "In the Hot Zone." The place is Grozny, Chechnya, Russian Federation in 2006. The man is explaining how it feels to lose your home during a bombing, only to end up in an apartment of friends who are fleeing the city.

"I even had to learn a new vocabulary for a life comprised of doing things to survive."

Sadly, there are too many places in the world today where that rings true.

So now, to share with five. As always, I pass this on in fun and if you don't care to partake, that's okay too.

The first one is easy....because he expressed interest in this little experience. So off you go Old Fart, whom I have an easier time referring to as Bill.

Next up, the poets: Shug and Titus. I'm interested in seeing what they have lying around their homes in the way of literature.

One of the new blogs I've been reading belongs to Steven. It's such a peaceful place to visit that I can't wait to see what his bookshelves hold.

And because she's been making me laugh {I can't even think of pretzels now without giggling!} here's to Peggy.

Yes Susan, I too fear that McDanger has passed on....even if Radge claims to have seen him recently. I'm sure the cows are dying of starvation at this point.

So, what's on that page?


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Clueless

Ever since reading Steven’s meme on TransformingMoments, I’ve wondered if I’ve ever had one. I mean one which actually was more than a normal moment of growth or a bump in the road. Only one thing came to mind and to tell you the truth, I still don’t get it.

Because the origin is still a mystery.

As the first born, my baby book looks more like an FBI dossier than a list of first accomplishments. I don’t just know my first word or when I walked, I can review actual report cards from first to 6th grade. I know that at an early age I either had [a] a way with words [b] quite an imagination [c] trouble with concepts based in reality or [d] the ability to cut out the middle man. You decide. At the advanced age of 3, Mom sent me next door to my Grandma’s house to borrow a cookie sheet. I returned a few minutes later with a bed sheet, a bag of chocolate chip cookies [my favorite] and Grandma trailing behind. Said book documents my “flair” with words too. When learning about money, I confused who was on the dollar [George Washington] with who was on the penny [Abraham Lincoln]. When asked who was on the penny, I proudly declared, “Georgeaham Lincoln”. Evidently this is a genetic flaw. My brother, the youngest, referred to boiled eggs as “Bald headed eggs” and orange sherbet as “Orange Herbert”. Then again, we do share the same sense of humor.

My baby book documents moments when I sprang to action publicly, choosing to claim the spotlight. At the age of three, Mom proudly wrote that I stood up, unprompted evidently, and did a rendition of “Jesus Loves Me” for my Sunday School class.

As if the baby book isn’t enough, I was blessed [cursed?] with a great memory. Childhood is a snap to recall. In vivid detail. The little boy across the street was named Gary and his Dad was in the Air Force. His Mom was English and her parents lived with them. Funny, I remember both the grandparents, in fact I loved the grandfather, Mr. Groves, but Gary’s Mother is a mere shadow in the corner. Perhaps that’s because Gary’s Dad always wanted a little girl. He’d come home, pick me up with an enthusiastic, “How’s my girl?” and hug the daylights out of me until a ghost like presence with a proper English accent would say softly, “Glen, put the child down and let her go play.” He’d squeeze me again, kiss my cheek, then put me down with a laugh. I endured the adoring greeting because it made him happy.

Gary, with his flaming red hair and freckled face, was my age. We played together every day. We learned how to ride a bike on his bike. Sure, the crossbar was an extra challenge for me but we still learned. Worst spanking I ever got was when Gary “dared” me to cross a water filled ditch into the woods, a place forbidden by our parents. Gary waited until I was in the middle of the ditch to mention the word “snake”. Rather than panic, I crawled out, which took three attempts thanks to the tall, muddy banks which kept sending me back into chest deep water. No, panic described our mothers, who were combing the neighborhood and screaming our names. Although they were relieved to find us, my butt had a less enthusiastic take on our homecoming.

When playing “war” with the other neighborhood kids, Gary and I were a team. He led the charge, but I was the General, constantly reminding him of what we needed. Like ammunition. And a better place to hide. We’d act out the westerns we watched on t.v.; Gary was the Sheriff, his little brother the outlaw being carted off to jail and yours truly in the role of Miss Kitty, bar owner. Ah, the innocence of youth. I had no idea what people did in bars or what Miss Kitty did for a living. No, I thought she was in charge of talking sense into the cowboys so they wouldn’t smash bottles, break up the furniture or throw people out the front window. When we played this game, I remember being constantly disgusted with Gary because he never knew “his lines”. Words and the natural flow of storytelling just came so easily to me that I couldn’t understand why he didn’t just KNOW what to say. So I provided the words for him. I now cringe at the notion of being so bossy, but he didn’t mind. I can still, to this day, remember standing on the table in his Dad’s workshop, which was Miss Kitty’s stage, to look down at him in disgust and say, “No! You say this and then I’ll say that. And then you’ll do this, I’ll do that and THEN you put your brother in jail.” Rather than be angry, he’d grin, nod and my play would proceed as dictated. No matter how many times I provided dialogue for our games, he never got angry. Even when his father was transferred to England, Gary promised he’d come back for me one day. Yes, I have it in writing. Ensconced in my baby book is a note declaring he’d return and marry me. I never saw him again. His love for me was soon transferred to soccer and letter writing became a thing of the past. He did, however, find me a pen pal for a Girl Scouts’ project.

For years I liked the spotlight. Sought it out and ran into it. I clearly remember playing an angel in our 3rd grade play, boldly offering to sing “Away in a Manager”. I did. All three verses. I LIKED doing oral book reports, sharing the stories I’d read with all eyes on me. I was striding through elementary school at the front of the pack, always with a plan.

And then one day, I stopped.

It’s as if I went to sleep and woke up… painfully shy. I shunned the spotlight, now fearing it. I was content to watch silently….from a distance. And the further the better. For all the recall I have of childhood, I can’t for the life of me piece together what might’ve turned me from extrovert to the shy person I remained for years. My brain still worked the same, but rather than raising my hand to answer a question, I wanted to crawl under my desk. If I could’ve had a super power, it would’ve been invisibility. There were a couple of less than stellar moments in 4th grade, but none that make me think, “A-ha! There it is…the moment I shut up and pulled back.”

My family will tell you I’m hardly shy because I do my share of talking at family gatherings. Yeah. Around them. In a group of strangers, I’m the one who does the listening. The older I get, the “painful” part of shy has eased up. But I still hate standing in front of a crowd to speak. At those moments, I’ve learned to instruct “shy me” to take a seat in the corner and let me muddle through. Quickly.

So, it remains a mystery, this turn from take charge to observer. Not even a clue in the baby book. Perhaps it’s merely a case of turnabout being fair play. Maybe my brain finally punished me for being so bossy to Gary. I wonder if he married a quiet woman…or a bossy one. Either way, I hope she at least listens.

As for Gary’s Dad, I do know he ended up with 4 sons…and no little girls. Funny, I always felt bad about that. Because even though I squirmed to get out of his arms to go play, I really didn’t mind those hugs. He made me feel safe and loved, like nothing would happen to me on his watch.

If I had the chance, I think I could push “shy” aside long enough to thank him.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Flash Time





The topic of discussion was Transforming Moments. Some were life and death situations with out-of-body experiences. Calm in the midst of chaos.


When it was her turn...


...she drew a blank.


Was she so busy taking care of those around her that she'd missed her moment?


Or had that moment not yet arrived?




If you write one of these 55 word stories, make sure and let the G-man know. As promised, here is the link to Steven's blog so you can read all about some of those very moving stories. You'll find some names you know, like Titus and Rachel.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Double Gift

There's an old saying that you can't have the rainbow without the rain. Well today was one of those days when it felt as if it were raining indoors....one step forward, two steps back.

People who came to "help" me clean a room at work left it looking like a disaster area rather than the neat workspace I'd fixed last week. They left with a cheery, "Call us when you're ready to finish up!" Let's just say it's a good thing they left before I inspected their handiwork. It'll take me another day to put things in working order. And to think all they were going to do was clean windows and a counter!

The roof in the kitchen leaked so bad last week, when I came to work, water was running OUT of the building onto the back porch. I've called three times about having it fixed. You know nothing in government goes quickly.

But this afternoon a nice man named Paco came and inspected the roof, which he'll fix first thing in the morning. When I got home a horrible storm broke out but about 30 minutes into it, hubby came in asking, "Where's your camera? You've got to see this."

You get cool looking rainbows in the country. So standing in the still misting rain, I took a few shots mostly because of one unusual aspect. No, not the double rainbow, which I've seen before. {Actually if you'd been there you could see there were 3 arcs, but they don't show well in the photo}.No the unusual thing is that if you look closely at the picture, you can see what we saw: the rainbow ending, not behind the tree line but in FRONT of the tree. The tree looked as if it was glowing! It was so clear I was convinced that I could reach out and touch it.
So excuse me while I go see if that pot o' gold is out in the field. Meanwhile, I'm thinking perhaps my new Irish nephew might be a lucky charm. :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Scarlet O'Hara Syndrome

You know what that is. It's shorthand for those things we put off because, as Scarlett famously put it, "tomorrow is another day."

Well tomorrow has arrived. And with it, wild eyed archers who are stunned at what happened in their closets during the winter.

Women are planners. Men are doers. Women understand the concept of "everything in its place" while men often go with the "everything all over the place" system. I joke that the reason men get married is so that someone in the house knows where everything is...even with 30 seconds notice.

That, you see, is the drawback to the "doer" system. It sounds so spontaneous. Fun. Adventuresome. And it might be a workable system if those in the XY gene pool didn't decide to "do" a few hours before the actual event. This is the height of archery season for hubby. Bow Season begins Aug. 15th.

Yes, just days prior to the season's start, archers everywhere are just now venturing into their closets to hunt for their bows. What they find is often not pretty.

The other cliche "out of sight, out of mind" must pertain to this phenomenon as well. I'm sure some of these guys were no doubt surprised to discover their bow was not put away as gently as they'd imagined. No, they approach the closet recalling their hard working hunting or target shooting companion of five months, all shiny and ready for action. In reality, what they often find is something that looks as if it belongs to the Peanuts cartoon character Pigpen. The shine has often been replaced with a light coat of grime from sweaty palms and any number of outdoor matter they encountered. There might actually be a leaf or two in the bow case. Some will be horrified to discover that the dozen arrows they had at the beginning of the season has mysteriously dwindled to three, obviously having gone AWOL while tucked away in the closet. You can't really blame them, you know. Considering the um...aroma that bow cases can emit when Hunter Man forgets to put the lid back snugly on a bottle of lure is well, ghastly at best and at worst, has amnesia producing capabilities. Overwhelmed by what is suppose to be nature's perfume, these archers forget that most of those missing arrows are lying somewhere in the woods, deserted and abandoned because someone didn't take time for target practice. Between the aroma and amnesia, archers are often shocked speechless at how frayed their bow string has become.

That's when the wild excuses....I mean stories, begin on how a mouse on steroids invaded the air tight bow case to chew strings and dine on arrow feathers.

Hubby is a really laid back, helpful kind of guy. This week, the archers arrived en masse, bows thrust forward like alien creatures they don't recognize, their expressions portraits of shock. In some cases, they are close to tears. They want to go outside and play but their toy is broken. It is at this point that Hubby brings them back to reality with a dose of tough love. He doesn't have time to be laid back and he probably offers advice which sounds a lot like parental lecturing concerning taking care of your toys. His days get longer, a fact his back and knees like to point out isn't to their liking. I usually just stay out of the way and handle the books.

But now that they've begun calling the house at all hours of the day and night, [just how do they get that number as it's unlisted?!] I feel really bad for him. I had today off, so I turned that sympathy into something more substantial and spent the morning in the shop with him, prior to opening. I fear I am too quick a study for my own good and may be invited back for more lessons. I'm thinking what will save me is that I can't keep a straight face. You see, most of these product names fall between gruesome [if you're female] and so testosterone laced that well, if you're a female it makes you laugh hysterically. It is hard to fathom how many companies can add the word "BEST" to their product titles with a straight face. And the adjectives used to describe tough run the gamut from "monster" to "intimidator" to ones I won't even bother you with. My teeth grinding favorite in fact is that these companies are now aiming [pardon the pun] for a female market. Their new bow for ladies? "Passion".

Oh, please.

There is only one company in the shop that sends a momentary chill down my spine...followed by hysterical laughter. As I said, I'm the bookkeeper and have to send checks to our vendors. Hey, I dare you to keep a straight face while writing a check to "Grim Reaper".

I kid you not.

Hubby said when calling to place an order, they cheerfully answer, "Grim Reaper!" He asked how many people freak out. The lady on the line laughed and said plenty, especially near Halloween.

I wonder if the guy who named that company picked such a moniker because it sounded intimidating...or if that's who his wife threatened to call when he tracked in enough of the outdoors to make the house look like the insides of a neglected bow case?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Are You Too Computer Dependant?

I received this e-mail from my friend Claudette this morning. Are you guilty?

Subject: Are you male or female?

This just proves that we have become
too dependent on our computers.

Are you male or female?

To find out the answer, look down...

[Envision 15 lines of blank space here]

Look down, not scroll down you idiot! 

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Just the Way You Are

On Aug. 8, 1980, wearing my Mom's wedding dress,
(minus the hoop...yes, it had a hoop petticoat!)
I walked down the aisle and said, "I Do."
Check here for the hysterical version of the wedding day.
The hair styles have changed,
my 23" waist is history [sigh]
and after that day I never wore 4" heels again.
The dress now resides in the closet,
hoping when the nephew marries perhaps his Beloved
will be interested in it
as there are no other grandchildren on this side of the family.

My buddy from college sang the Billy Joel song of the title.
I picked it in hopes it would reflect that day, plus the future.

Don't go changing, to try and please me
You never let me down before
Don't imagine you're too familiar
And I don't see you anymore
I wouldn't leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times, I'll take the bad times
I'll take you just the way you are

Don't go trying some new fashion
Don't change the color of your hair
You always have my unspoken passion
Although I might not seem to care

I don't want clever conversation
I never want to work that hard
I just want someone that I can talk to
I want you just the way you are.

I need to know that you will always be
The same old someone that I knew
What will it take till you believe in me
The way that I believe in you.

I said I love you and that's forever
And this I promise from the heart
I could not love you any better
I love you just the way you are.


29 years later, the song still fits.
And "I still Do"

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Did You See That?

Have you ever had one of those double take, "what the heck?!" moments while driving? I was on my way, for the third time, to work in the stifling heat for the World Series Tournament when a large, white work van cut in front of me. I hate it when people don't signal, fully believing their mere size means they can go wherever they want, whenever they want. As I looked up to see if the van had one of those 1-800-How's-My-Driving? bumper stickers, I realized a number wasn't necessary. I'll probably not forget this van for a while. In almost two foot high letters the back of it read, "S&M Entertainment".

Yeah, I'm sure. I read it twice.

When they turned the corner, the side of the van had a satellite dish painted on it, with the words "Dish Installation" added below. I wondered which got them more attention: their horrible driving skills or that "S&M Entertainment" logo? Considering how they were driving, I'd be willing to bet it stood for Sam and Mike, but that's hardly noteworthy, huh?

After that I arrived safely to work the tournament's conclusion. One of our four local teams won their Division, defeating a previously undefeated team. I'm glad it was the older girls, who next year will be going off to college. This was their only chance to play in the brand new $3.5 million dollar ballpark complex. They'll certainly have unique bragging rights.

With the T-shirt Tent, as I came to think of my little space, right next to the gate we were able to watch a vast parade of humanity every day. Players from ages 8-18, their coaches, parents, grandparents...in some cases I think half one state walked past us daily. [Yes Tennessee, I mean you, but you're such a polite lot!] Town folks showed up in droves to cheer on the 57 teams from 11 states. I don't think the President could pull in the numbers we saw this past week.

Our Hometown Baseball Hero, Bobby Richardson, was the featured speaker. For those of you who know professional baseball, Richardson played 2nd Base for the New York Yankees in the late 50s-60s. He was in more World Series than I can properly recall, won a couple of awards and was the very straight laced family man to Mickey Mantle's man about town. To me, he was Robby and Ronnie's Dad...them being two of the five Richardson kids I grew up with at church. The thing is, Richardson didn't just speak at the Opening Ceremony, he signed autographs for kids until there weren't any left....plus he attended many of the games. He represented that part of America illustrated in the advertising slogan, "Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie [and Chevrolet....the auto dealer to whom the slogan belonged]. As I grew up, Richardson was my living Norman Rockwell poster boy for All American....as in America at her best. When I was in college, he ran for Senate and I campaigned for him. I was torn because deep down, I didn't want him to win...because I feared Washington, D.C. would ruin him. I guess I should've known that if hanging with Mantle couldn't do that, politicians would've been easy. He lost to a rather slimy lawyer/businessman type. My disappointment at Good not making it to D.C. was made up by the fact that during one of those campaign dinners, I got to meet Joe DiMaggio.

Yeah, he was a nice guy too.

As a kid who grew up in a place that Rockwell could've used for his paintings, there are things I took for granted. I believed adults told the truth. Always. That good triumphed over evil. That men held doors open for ladies and women, in turn, graciously thanked them. T.V. series slogans filtered into my subconscious. If I say "Space" and your mind echoes "the final frontier", you know what I mean. And although I was raised to respect both the American flag and the National Anthem, to this day, when those last few notes drift away, I hear the deep male voice who did Play-by-play for Richardson's games, yelling out, "Play ball!" Only being an adult keeps me from yelling it out loud. My heart, however, still sings it out, loud and proud.

Every series of games in this tournament has begun the same way: with an individual or group singing the National Anthem. Live. No canned musical version. One guy even sang it a capella. That's normal around here, although some of you have told me that stopping to place your hand over your heart during a national anthem is somewhere between snickered at and perhaps, deep down, envied. It's tradition. I simply never thought about it.

Until this week.

Literally thousands of people milled about the park prior to the games. Some helped players get ready, giggling little kids chased each other, coaches shared stats and parents swapped best-place-to-eat stories while everyone bought souvenirs to take home or freshly cooked donuts from the booth next to mine. And yet as soon as the first notes of the National Anthem filled the air, everyone stopped what they were doing and turned to the field. Men doffed their caps, hands were placed over hearts...and you could've heard a pin drop on the sidewalk.

I'll never forget how amazing it was to see the world literally come to a silent standstill to pay respect. You could feel a sense of pride in the air that is rarely witnessed in our busy world.

When the Anthem ended, the crowd burst into applause and suddenly the world was in motion again. Teams to cheer on, t-shirts to buy, girls to be proud of and yes, sometimes girls to console. But the spirit of camaraderie was undeniable. And it felt good.

And although no one said it at the Anthem's conclusion, my heart jumped up and down and screamed, "Play ball!"

And they did. With all their hearts.




Monday, August 3, 2009

The Yard is Alive with the Sound of....

BUZZZZING!

I initially walked out the back door this morning to gauge today's humidity. This is important for two reasons: [1] high humidity affects my breathing and [2] for the 3rd day I'll be appearing outdoors from 3-8 p.m. wearing a "Volunteer" shirt as I sell t-shirts for a multi-state Girl's Softball Tournament. No, I didn't "volunteer"....it's job related and mandatory. And if you could see the Volunteer shirts, you'd know we can't hide in the crowd.. Those shirts are day-glo yellow...think radioactive yellow tennis ball.

The humidity wasn't bad yet but the buzzing was awful! At first I thought it was my ears. Great, as if allergies and a mild case of newly discovered asthma isn't enough, now I'm getting tinnitus? Then something flew at my head. I instinctively ducked. Through the buzz my ears picked up the sound of something going "thunk!" against the house behind me. I looked at the fig tree. Yep, the June bugs are back with a vengeance. And this year, they've taken a liking to my sunflowers!

Here's a shot of the sunflowers nestled against the fig tree. The bird feeder is in a tub filled with Lantana.


















It's also known as "Butterfly Bush"

This is last week's first photo....the 7+ foot giant.
The flower has filled out....and now comes, not with just bees, but with June bugs as well.
June bugs are determined when they want to eat. They're all perched on a single fig. If you look at the right hand corner of this photo, you'll find a June bug coming in for a landing. .















I think I'll go back around to the front yard, which appears to be a June bug free zone. And besides, there's shade there...and less humidity.Hey Susan, the Old Gal sends greetings.