Night noises

It’s very warm here in the Bogs. Warm enough that we slept with the windows wide open last night. Warm enough that at some point in the middle of the night I was considering closing the windows and turning on the air conditioning because I couldn’t sleep with all that warmth and humidity clinging to me.

Around 3:00am my body gave up in exhaustion. I finally fell into that deep sleep which had been eluding me. I drifted off to the sounds of the bullfrogs by the pond and a great horned owl hoo-hoo-hooting in the distance.

Unfortunately, it was a sleep not destined to last for long.

About an hour or so later M and I were awakened by a frightening screeching-screaming sound that seemed at first like it was coming from right outside our bedroom window. I thought this horrible sound might be a cat, but it was missing a certain feline quality. M suggested a bird. It must be a BIG bird, I thought, to produce that sound at that volume. I hoped it wasn’t human as I think it would require a lot of pain to bring out that sort of scream from a person. I can’t imagine anyone screaming like that. No one human. Perhaps a banshee.

There were no other noises outside. The bullfrogs, the owl, the peepers had all been silenced by the eerie screaming sounds.

We peered out the bedroom windows, trying to see what it was. No luck. M had pinpointed the sound as being near the shed next to the garden. There are bushes blocking our view from the bedroom.

We made our way out to the dining room to look out through the patio doors we had installed last week. M made a quick dash to the basement first to grab the big flashlight. He shined it towards the shed, the garden, the big tree next to the garden.

There! By the tree! Three pairs of gold eyes shined back at us.

Less than a minute later we saw movement. Something was running in our direction. M caught it with the flashlight, running towards the spruce trees. It was a red fox.

The noise stopped once M had shined the light outside. We went back to bed and the night went back to normal outside. The bullfrogs picked up where they had left off, as did the peepers. I didn’t hear the owl again. Eventually I went back to sleep and had a dream about strange noises in the night.

I wish I had my camera

It’s an incredibly beautiful day here in the Bogs. The sky is an amazing shade of blue and the sunlight is sparkling on the pond.

But that’s not the reason I wish I had my camera.

I made banana pudding today. It’s the first time ever that I’ve made pudding (from scratch) and meringue. The whole thing put together is a work of art. It tastes fantastic, too. I’d love to have taken a picture of it before we dig in.

Where is my camera, you ask?

It went to Colorado with M the Younger (MTY). He’s taking lots of pictures so M the Elder and I can see what it looks like out there. We’ve never been to Colorado (other than to change planes in Denver on our way to California). M the Younger picked it because he thought it might be a nice place to live. Plus his major was geology and he figures they have plenty of rocks in Colorado.

MTY and his fiance (ML) had a little bit of an adventure on their trip. MTY’s car broke down in Kansas, just before they hit that 400-mile stretch where there’s nothing. Lucky for them. The car needed a new clutch which meant ordering parts which in turn meant waiting three days. MTY and ML left his car to be repaired, rented a car, and continued on to Denver. The rental, I’m sure, was nice than MTY’s car. They probably felt like they were really living it up.

They’re on their way home today. They stopped in St. Louis again last night (to stay with friends of ours). MTY and my camera should be here before midnight tonight.

I’m not sure the banana pudding will still be here then. 😉

Friday thoughts

The weather has been chilly here in the Bogs. It’s finally going to warm up this weekend with highs in the 60’s today and 70’s throughout the rest of the weekend.

It’ll be nice to experience some warmer weather. Warmer, not hot. I’m not a fan of extremes in temperatures, especially when it comes to heat. I’m a woman of a certain age (as they say these days, and I’m not entirely sure what that’s supposed to mean other than OLD), and I can generate my own heat.

Our big Party By The Pond takes place next weekend. I’m afraid we weren’t able to give much notice this year. It was a last minute decision to have it and our original date (June 21st) wasn’t working out well so we decided it would be better to have it earlier rather than later. If we had waited to have it on a date after June 21st we would have been inviting the deer flies and mosquitoes to join us. If you’re not familiar with deer flies, say a prayer of thanks. They’re nasty creatures that hurt like the devil when they bite and leave huge welts (on me, at any rate). I’d rather deal with mosquitoes.

I was watching the Today Show this morning and they were prattling on about the millions of Americans who will be traveling this weekend and that got me to thinking…

We should start a “Tour Local” or “Vacation Local” movement.

Throughout our 30+ years of marriage, M and I have lived in a variety of different places. One of the things I’ve noticed is that local people often don’t visit their local attractions. They travel elsewhere to vacation or have fun. For instance, when we lived in Chicago I had a friend who lived her whole life in the Chicago area yet had never been up in the Sears Tower building.

A lot of us these days could be part of the James McMurtry song, I’m Not From Here. It would do us good to get to know the area in which we live, whether we’re local or new or have been there a few years. Think of the money we’d save by not traveling hundreds of miles to go explore another area.  We might even have a chance to get to know our neighbors!  (Ok, that might be taking it too far for some folks.)

Not that I have objections to travel. I think travel is a great thing. It allows us to learn about different people, different places, and broadens our minds and horizons. I’m not suggesting we never ever travel somewhere more than 50 miles away from home. What I’m thinking is that these holiday weekends always bring gas hikes. Rather than continue to contribute to the oil companies’ profits (which are pouring in like crazy these days), rather than sit in traffic because everyone else is traveling, why not spend one of these holiday weekends at home and find fun things to do within a 50-mile radius of where you live?

Since the “buy local” and “eat local” movements are gathering such momentum, I thought I’d throw out the idea of vacationing local.  (It wouldn’t surprise me if someone else has already thought of it and I missed it.)

There are millions of Americans who are forced to do that, anyhow.

While out and about on a grocery shopping trip this morning we saw someone in a very large rental RV. Those things are expensive to rent (about $200 a day). Imagine paying that much for an RV and then having to fill the gas tank on top of that. That’s got to be one costly vacation.

*stepping down from my soap box*

Time for me to get some laundry out to the clothesline. It’s a good day for drying things in the fresh air and sunshine. I’ll leave you with a few photos from the San Diego trip. (I’m determined to get the good ones posted even if it takes me years.)

(From a morning walk on the beach. Pacific Beach, CA. April 2008.)

(Sunday surfing. Pacific Beach, CA. April 2008.)

(Sunday sunset. Mission Beach, CA. April 2008.)

Next up in the San Diego photo show: A Monday with the TorreyPinesGoddess.

P.S.  A big HELLO to my niece Shelby.  I really will email you soon.  I promise.  😀


There’s so much going on in my house right now that I almost forgot about the Move 2008 update. We’re having new windows installed in what will be our library/guest room and a patio door installed in the dining room.

It sure is noisy work.

We had a lovely weekend with our sons, their significant others, and our granddaughter. On Saturday we took Emma and her parents to the playground for a little while and Emma got to play in the puddles. It rained off and on for most of the day so we were lucky to find a space of time when it wasn’t raining.

(Princess Emma playing in the puddles.)

M the Younger graduated from college (finally!) and we had a celebration brunch for him on Sunday at Piatto Novo. The food was yummy, and I’ve decided that M the Elder and I should make a monthly habit of having Sunday brunch there.

M the Younger and his fiance are in Colorado this week looking at apartments and job hunting. They decided this is their big chance to get out of the Bogs (that if they don’t do it now, they’ll probably end up here forever). I just spoke with M the Younger on the phone a little while ago and he sounded like he’s enjoying the trip now that they’ve made it to Colorado. They had car trouble in Kansas that resulted in them leaving his car in Kansas to be repaired and renting a car to continue their trip. I can’t help but think they’re better off in the rental.

Time for that Move 2008 Week 20 update:

  • Walking mileage for this week: 21.22 miles
  • Total for 2008: 424.67
  • Strength training: x 2
  • Yoga: x 5

Not a bad week, all in all.

I’m off to a slow start this week. I hope to pick up the pace as soon as the window and door project is finished.

Poor, neglected blog

That’s what Life in the Bogs has become over the past few months: My poor, neglected blog.

I kind of feel sorry for it. At the same time I’m wondering if I want to revive it as I’m not sure anyone is reading. Not that I necessarily keep the blog for the purpose of others. And therein lies the rub. I started the blog to keep track of our sabbatical adventures. Now that the sabbatical adventures are over, do I really need this blog?

Well, sometimes I think “yes.” It’s a good place to write about our various trips, hikes, and whatever happens to be going on in our lives. However, because I’m actually living my life, I don’t always have time to finish writing about our trips, hikes, and whatever happens to be going on in our lives.


While I give it some thought, I’m going to try to continue to post and that means more photos from our April trip to San Diego.  Perhaps in June I’ll give NaBloPoMo another try.  It depends on how busy life is and what the theme is for the month (not that I have to follow the theme, but sometimes a good theme helps).

(Kite store at Seaport Village. San Diego, CA. April 2008.)

The kite store is one of my favorite shops at Seaport Village. I don’t think I’ve ever bought anything, but I do enjoy looking around.

When I finished at Seaport Village and went back to Embarcadero Marina Park, there was a wedding going on.

(Wedding at the park. San Diego, CA. April 2008.)

After watching the wedding party for a bit, I walked back towards Seaport Village and the hotels to meet M. While waiting I heard some people shouting, “Hello, San Diego!” Looking up, I saw this group:

(Enjoying the view. San Diego, CA. April 2008.)

They were quite enthusiastic and stayed out there shouting for a good 10-15 minutes. Between the people way up high in the hotel and the ducks hanging out near the water, I was well entertained during my wait.

(Duck hanging out at the marina. San Diego, CA. April 2008.)

M and I had dinner that night at the Fish Market where we sat outside and watched the boats go by and the sunset.

(A really big boat. San Diego, CA. April 2008.)

Week 19

It’s time for another Move 2008 update. Week 19:

  • Mileage for the week: 26.19 miles
  • Total for 2008: 403.56 miles
  • Strength training: x 3
  • Yoga: x 5

Another great week!

I was hoping to go over 400 miles. I’m going to need to be close to 500 miles by the end of the month if I want to make my goal for the year. Or else do a lot more walking during the second half of the year.

I had a wonderful Mother’s Day. M the Younger has set up a website for me. There’s still plenty of work that needs doing on it so the unveiling will have to wait until everything is in place.

Read the rest of this entry »


I generally avoid politics on my blog. I never intended for it to be a political blog, and I don’t mean to change that any time soon.

But this McCain ad has been bugging me. You may not have seen it yet. This blurb on the Washington Post website indicates it was released in Ohio. Perhaps it isn’t getting television air time around the nation.

Watch the first two seconds. What do you see? What is imprinted on your mind after watching those first two seconds?

Here’s what makes an impression on me: President McCain. Not McCain For President. No. It clearly reads President McCain.

As far as I know the election hasn’t been held yet and McCain has not been elected President (unless Diebold has already determined the outcome of the election). John McCain may well be the president of something, but this ad implies he’s The President, as in President of the United States.

I haven’t been able to find any other commentary regarding this portion of the ad. Perhaps it’s unimportant in the long run. But to me it smacks of false advertising at the least, and almost-subliminal messaging at the worst.

I wouldn’t like it no matter which candidate was being advertised.