Song of Spring

Courting cardinals

It must be love

There are three things I look for every year that herald’s the coming of spring – a chorus of spring peepers, a singing cardinal, and the phoebe’s arrival. Sometimes they occur in that order, sometimes you have to wait a bit for the peepers.

It was a crisp and cold walk this morning from the car to the office, with blue sky and barely a breeze.  Right on cue, I heard my first song of spring – a male cardinal singing his heart out by McKamley Chapel.  It happens like that every spring.  Always on a brilliant blue morning, I hear my first cardinal of spring at the same spot, same tree.

I’ll have to wait awhile for the first phoebe.  Usually they wake me up on a sunny (weekend) morning in April declaring they have returned to raise another family.  In the meantime, I’ll just have to enjoy the cardinals song.


Going in Circles

This is the Logan Foamwerks Circle Cutter. If you have to cut, say 44 3-inch circles out of foam core board, this little beauty is worth EVERY PENNY you pay for it.

Of course, it’s even better if you can get it on sale.

"Now when the child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn, appeared, Julie
rose and dressed herself. She tied her shoes on to her comely feet,
girded her purse about her shoulder, and left her house looking like
an immortal goddess." - Homer, The Odyssey, Book II, sort of.
Dawn's Rosy Fingers

Dawn's Rosy Fingers

Well most of that is true – I confess my feet aren’t comely.

Every once-in-awhile the morning sky is particularly magnificant, like this picture of the sky on Nov 29 (thanks Margaret).

This is the kind of sky that always brings to mind Homer’s “rosy-fingered dawn”.  Watching the coming of the dawn is one of the nice things about November and December.  I love the color changes as the sun rises, particularly that narrow, short lived horizontal band of green  you can see on a clear, crisp morning.

Lately, however, my morning drive to campus contains a companion in the sky to the East.  Venus morning star.  It follows me to work and then sits over Kanley Chapel for a short while.

Star light; Star bright; First star I see ..

Venus and Jupiter

Sometimes Jupiter hangs around too, but not lately. Look for Jupiter by the moon.

(The picture is from NASA)



I hate saying goodbyes.  I try to avoid them, but I don’t seem to be very good at it.  Saying goodbye always seems to bring back some of those times when the goodbye has been difficult.  Sometimes it’s due to loss, sometime anger, sometimes sadness. Rarely have goodbyes made me happy, except for instance, when some jerk you have been working with gets fired or leaves. But that is really a good riddance, not a  goodbye.

So lately, I’ve been thinking about goodbyes.

I remember saying goodbye to my mother and my grandmother.  Well, not so much goodbye, but saying goodnight and going home, knowing full well that it would be the last time I would do so. The impending death is a hard goodbye to make, but at least one I have learned from. Some goodbyes are not worth avoiding.  This is one of them.

I remember the last day I worked at IRDC  (now named MPI in Mattawan, MI). I remember going through the security gate the last time, knowing I would never return.  It was a crappy place to work and yet it was the best place too.  I have yet to experience the same comradery that existed with the people I knew there – we were all of a certain age and education and definite cohorts in bondage. I cried a bit when I went through that gate. I said goodbye to part of my life so I could start on another part. The uncertainty goodbye  (am-I-doing-the-right-thing?) is a hard goodbye to make, too.

When I was five, my best friend moved away. Not very far, but far enough to make a big difference. Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like if she hadn’t moved. Perhaps this was the beginning of my distaste for goodbyes. The you-are-moving-and-disrupting-my-life-too-much goodbye is a hard goodbye on a five year old.

Now I’m finding this goodbye isn’t so easy on at fifty-seven year old either. There are times when strangers come into your life at the right time or the right place and make a surprising difference. This is true of Gillie, who I knew first by reading her blog and second as she joined my EGA chapter.  Now she is gone off across “the pond”, not even a year later.  I will miss her British idioms, her gentle accent, and her conspirational smile. So goodbye Gille.  We did hardly know you, but a goodbye isn’t painful unless you’re never going to say hello again.

What is your accent?

I was certain I was going to have a Midwest accent. Instead, I’m an Island North…and while I’m from MI and not WI, the description matches.

What American accent do you have?

Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak “Standard English straight out of the dictionary” but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like “Are you from Wisconsin?” or “Are you from Chicago?” Chances are you call carbonated drinks “pop.”

The Northeast
The South
The Midland
North Central
The West
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Rainforest Butterflies

Here is some progress on Chatelaine’s Rainforest Quilt. I’ve completed most of the two butterflies in blocks 4 and 5.Both butterflies need some backstitching.


Tree down just north of AB Avenue on 12 Street, Kalamazoo, MI

Tree down just north of AB Avenue on 12 Street, Kalamazoo, MI

Since I have a picture, I guess I should post it. Last week we had very very severe thunderstorms and a tremendous wind sheer that knocked down trees and powerlines all over. I was at Stitching Bits and Bobs for their Wednesday Sit-and-stitch when it came down. The ten minute trip home took me at least an hour – I had to make 7 detours to get home, there were so many trees in the road. Here is a picture of one of them…

And here is a picture of the limb that fell across my driveway.

Storm Damage

Storm Damage