Monday, January 11, 2016

Around OakMeadows

Around OakMeadows

We had a lovely late lunch/early supper with DD and DSIL to celebrate JMM's 69th birthday.  For his birthday we bought him a really good rolling carry-on bag which he can take with him on the April trip to Amsterdam and Paris. Next we have to get his passport upgraded to Global Entry so passing through customs won't be so difficult. 

I've probably mentioned this in a previous post but we are overrun with goldfinches this year.  We usually have a flock of around 30 goldfinches arriving the end of December or the first of January but this year they arrived the middle of December and have just kept coming. We currently have a minimum of 60-75 goldfinches. The grove of oaks behind the house is just alive with goldfinches, sparrows, and cardinals. We are going through about 40 pounds of sunflower seeds each week and 1 pound of thistle each week.  I am delighted.  

You know you are reading a really good book when about half way through, you start slowing down because you don't want it to end.  Such are my thoughts about Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr. This is about his year in Rome as a Fellow at the American Academy of Arts.  He is awarded the Fellowship just after his wife has given birth to twin boys. They pack up when the boys are six months old and move to Rome. There are two aspects to the book that I just love. First, their new parent adventures with the two babies is both hilarious and heart-warming. Second, as he describes Rome and their explorations, I keep remembering our much shorter time in Rome, seeing the sights they are seeing and feeling the overwhelmingness of Rome.  I don't want it to end!

I finally got around to buying 8 new kitchen towels. My old towels were 10 years old, ratty, holey, and threadbare.  I looked online and either they were too expensive or weren't terry cloth, or they were in the wrong color.  So yesterday we had to stop at Walmart for some odds and ends and I took a minute to see what they had in the way of kitchen towels. Sure enough they had terry cloth dish towels 4 for under $5 so I bought 8.  They look so much better and brighten up the kitchen. 

I had quite a surprise at the pharmacy when I picked up a prescription for a topical cream for my rosacea, what had been a $15 co-pay was now $85. It's a good thing that one tube will last me a year or more.  Surely there has to be a more rational system of healthcare than we currently have. My mantra is "Don't get sick!"

Michelle, on her wonderful site, has suggested a year long tree watch. You pick out a tree and watch it for a year, learning all about when it leafs out, what birds and insects live or feed on it, etc.  I am going to follow our lovely Sugar Berry tree for a year.  It has finally stopped raining so I can take some photos of the beautiful bark and the lovely shape of the branches without the leaves.  To be continued!

Well, that's all the news from OakMeadows where the cats nap in the sunshine and the people prefer the blinds closed. 



Following a tree's progress throughout the year sounds fascinating. If I remember, I'll try it with our pecan tree. At least that one is NOT evergreen.

Oh my gosh....that is a HUGE hike in co-pay!! Wonder why?

And a trip to Europe...sounds like a winner.

That is an amazing number of goldfinches!!! Camera? Photos?!!!

eileeninmd said...

Hello, I am not seeing many Goldfinches. Maybe one or two at a time. Following the tree for a year sounds interesting. I will have to check out Michelle's blog. The co-pays for medicine are awful. The drug companies are making huge profits. Have a happy day!

Hattie said...

We have a lot of trees and I watch all of them.
That is awful about your co-pay on the meds! What's going on?

Hattie said...

We have a lot of trees and I watch all of them.
That is awful about your co-pay on the med! What's going on?

AlexaT said...

Lovely idea of following a tree for a year, indeed! All the best!

Rambling Woods said...

I am so happy you will be doing tree watching.... I just checked my skin cream for the same thing... Co-pay hasn't gone up. I waited all day today for the doc office to call back. They gave me biaxin for this crud I have had for almost a month and I can't keep it down. Yucky stuff. Hope I improve on my own. The sinus is the lingering issue and the cough..... Phooey ..... Michelle

barbara judge said...

Florence -- thanks for sharing the site Rambling Woods. Liked her suggestion to follow a tree for a year. I am going to follow one of the Big Leaf Maples by my place. I like the idea of really observing its changes as it progresses through its seasons. -- barbara

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Maybe you are in the same position my husband is re. Prescriptions. He's in what is called the donut hole for co-pays on Medicare Part B... When your presc costs have reached some certain amount you have to pay more ... Then if it goes up to some other amount, insurance will kick in more again. I can't remember the amounts, because what can you do but pay ... He needs the drugs. , and fortunately we can pay. But you are right ... It iis so wrong! When I'm standing in line, often I see people who have to tell the pharmacist to put their pickup back because they don't have the money.

EG CameraGirl said...

Goldfinches sure can eat a ton of seed! We have only a few and I agree they are a joy to see. I followed an apple tree for a year a few years ago and it's truly interesting to document the changes!

Florence said...

I am so glad that several others are participating in the tree watching project. Michelle does have the most interesting things on her blog!