Reading List 2021

Monday, 21 June 2021

Mundane Monday! All about Phones - June 21, 2021

 Happy belated Father's Day to any dads who actually read my blog! Today's "Mundane Monday" topic is inspired by Spo who was without his cell phone for a couple of days and the effect that had on him.

I have a cell phone but I don't think I'm particularly dependent on it, although I am more now that I do supply teaching, as this is the method by which I am reached. My husband agreed to a cell phone, but rarely uses it and usually leaves the house without it! We still have a "land line" at the house and most people who have known us for a long time reach us that way if they need to.

I prefer texting to phone calls. I don't love talking on the phone. This might be down to being a little bit of an introvert. I might also be because of growing up in the country with a party line. We shared a phone line with three (?) other families. You knew if it was your phone number that somebody had called by the ring. Our ring was one long and two shorts. Kind of morse codish in a way. Sometimes Mrs. Baer down the road would pick up the phone and listen in on our conversations. My father put a very tight rein on how long we were allowed to speak on the phone. What if someone else wanted to use it?!?! 

We still get phone solicitations and scam phone calls. Microsoft has been known to call us, we've almost been incarcerated due to not paying our income taxes quickly enough, and there is usually a $350 charge on our credit card that requires our attention. (These, of course, are all fake). 

A phone memory of mine was the phone over at the farm. It was attached to the wall. This is where my grandmother and uncle lived. They actually wrote people's names and phone numbers on the wall around the phone! I guess that was a convenient and quick reference for future phone calls. 

So, chime in. Do you still have a land line? Are you a cell phone person, always checking your phone, playing games, listening to pod casts, texting and receiving texts, or do you shun the "new fangled" technology altogether? Did you have a party line (sounds a lot more fun than it actually was) when you were growing up? Do you enjoy talking on the phone, or would you rather not?

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Breath Deeply and Enjoy

 I believe it is nearly impossible to have an unattractive garden in June. One of my favourite perennials is the peony. Imagine the exquisite scent and the silky petals.

This peony, a gift from my daughter after a tragedy at my school three years ago, is now starting to come into its own. It's so delicate.

Similar light pink peonies that I've had forever. I believe they may have come from my mother's garden.

This peony starts with light pink buds, but then opens up as creamy white blossoms.

I may have also started these with plants from my mother's garden. 

I don't have many roses at all, but this is my first, a Hansa. It also has a beautiful scent.

This variegated weigela is not much for scent, but it's so very pretty. It has responded well to a severe cutting back last fall.

I must have this low pink cranesbill in every bed on my property. It makes great ground cover under our big old spruce tree.

A deep fuschia weigela is also blooming now. I am not sure if this is Red Prince or not. Again, not heavily scented, but gorgeous.

Some people manage to have swaths of Oriental poppies and I can barely keep a small bunch alive. These were blowing in the breeze as I was trying to take a picture.

I am a very bad clematis owner, planting them in places where they must compete with grasses and wild grapevine, but thankfully this one prevailed. I love seeing great masses of these blossoms on proper trellises. 

My lilac tree is fading fast, but there are just enough blossoms left to keep enticing the bumblebees. I apologize for the very blurry image. They really don't stop moving.

It was very hot today. I don't mind at all. I am supply teaching (online) tomorrow, so I wanted to get lots of tasks done today when I could. The chicken coop is as cleaned out as it's going to be and I've vacuumed and dusted parts of the house that have been neglected for a while. It was lovely going around and taking pictures of these flowers after supper, even though it was still 29 degrees at the time. 

What is your favourite scent of flowers? I would have to declare a tie between peonies and lilacs.

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Raindrop Walk About - June 3rd, 2021

 We had a lovely rain last night, and things were still very wet when I walked around with my phone late this morning. (Does anyone use a proper camera anymore?)

Our "lilac tree" (don't actually know the name of this, but we've had it for years and years) is coming into bloom and it smells heavenly. The bumble bees and butterflies enjoy it, and I've already seen a hummingbird moth hovering around it, too.

This purple bearded iris can be found here and there on the property in various beds. I've had it forever, dug it out, thrown it away, transplanted it, sold it at yard sales... it just keeps being dependable.

One of my favourite flowers is the Siberian iris. It was part of my wedding  bouquet many years ago. I appreciate perennials that behave themselves and on which you can depend, year after year. This is one of them.

I'm not a big hosta gardener. I honestly only know the name of one of them, this being 'Barbara Ann'. Any other hostas I grow were part of a fundraiser "mixed bag" that I purchased years ago and have divided and placed here and there, and don't know the names of any of them. But this hosta, with its pretty raindrops, is gorgeous and HUGE. I really should divide it more and use it in other locations.

This soft yellow bearded iris used to be a lot more prolific in my gardens, but I tired of it and tore a lot of it out (again, selling it in plastic grocery bags at yard sales for $2.00 a bag), so now I don't have much left. I always thought it was a rather insipid colour, but other yellow irises are too "bright", almost a dark, Laurentian pencil crayon yellow that doesn't work with anything else. 

Here are two of my big cast iron urns, sitting on the rarely used "front porch". They don't get a lot of constant sun, so I often plant them out with some coleus, which is the lime green, taller plant you see. These are just freshly planted, so not much to look at, but they will fill in and the trailing vinca will increase and soften the look at bit.

Here is my vegetable garden, laid out with string and rebar stakes. The two little plastic footstools and the kneeling pad indicate where the paths are. Until the vegetables germinate and fill in, I'll leave the string (as my own personal tripping hazard!). I waited until just recently to put my more tender plants in because of our nasty late May cold spell. 

Rhubarb, anyone? I don't understand people who say they can't get rhubarb to grow well. We've already had three desserts made with rhubarb and I have SO many bags of frozen rhubarb in the freezer. Since we don't really visit anyone, or have people over (provincial lockdown is over as of yesterday, but everything is still closed until Ford thinks we've hit another moving target), I'm stuck with this rhubarb and refuse to feel guilty about not cutting up and freezing more of it. (Lord, that was an awkward run-on sentence!)

I got a shovel full of this plant, centaurea Montana I think, probably twenty years ago from my mother. Since then I've divided it, given it away, and ripped it out (see a theme here?). The thing I love about it, though, is how it is almost iridescent in the light of the fading sun in the evenings. 

I was lucky enough to time this just right. to capture a busy honey bee.

As I was literally walking about, through the wet grass, I thought I should take a picture of the girls for those of you who enjoy them. Four eggs so far this morning.

I wish I could remember where I first got this bearded iris. I used to have a lot of it, and now, just a bit. I absolutely love this deep wine colour. This is a big, beefy iris that is gorgeous until it tips over under its own weight.

I have two of these in the pool shrub border. They are Miss Kim dwarf shrub lilacs and they have just opened up. They are gorgeous, but not particularly "dwarf"! They require no special care, which is perfect for my style of gardening.

The dappled willow recovered nicely from its severe cutting back and is now providing Gerald with a lovely backdrop. Beside it, the Red Prince weigela is just about ready to bloom. 

June is such a perfect month for colour. My peonies are not blooming yet, they are always a bit later in the month. I have one more bag of potting soil to purchase so I can finish my container planting. Thank you for coming with me on my walkabout.

Monday, 31 May 2021

A Reintroduction

 Remember when I introduced you to our new kitten, Molly?

Let me reintroduce you.

This is now Murphy, formerly known as Molly.

Today I loaded up the kitten in the carrier cage and took it to the vet for its first round of shots. A vet tech came out to my vehicle, handed me a clipboard with a paper to fill out, and took the carrier cage inside. I was to wait until someone brought the kitten back out to me, then I could go to a side window where I would pay and set up an appointment for the next round of shots. 

The vet tech brought out the cage and said there was a little surprise. I thought maybe there was something wrong, fleas, perhaps, but no, she said we have a little boy kitten! She laughed and said it's quite common and it's hard to tell when they are very little. 

So, I brought the kitten back home and let the family know. They all laughed and we had to then decide what to call Molly. We settled on Murphy, which I think suits him. 

Friday, 28 May 2021

Friday, May 28, 2021

 It is almost the weekend, and I realize I haven't posted in a while. I spent a good portion of this last week getting my vegetable garden ready. I do not have raised beds or separate beds, but just one big open space with a compost "container" in one corner and a big rhubarb plant in another. I had previously dug out the many weeds and grasses that had come with the warmth of spring, and then it was rototilled, first in one direction, then the other. Raking smooth and picking up big-enough-to-bother-with rocks came next. 

I decided this year, don't know why, to lay things out differently. I've always been a row person, but I played around with "blocks" instead. My method of making straight rows involves using cut-offs of rebar from an old construction project with garden string tied to them, and a small hand sledge hammer to pound them in. I am TERRIBLE at straight, so I need guidance otherwise my rows would weave to and fro. 

I used a very precise way of measuring, which is pacing heel to toe in my Birkenstocks and counting my steps to figure out how I could divide up the garden into blocks with paths that would be big enough. Perhaps tomorrow I will take a picture so you can see the criss-cross pattern I made. I've already planted some things: onions, beets, lettuce, beans, potatoes, and peas. I am waiting to put in my tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini. Alas, I do not have room for my pumpkins. I'm not sure what to do, or what alternative I have because I started a couple off little pumpkin plants and it would feel like murder to not use them. 

Husband opened up the pool. Of course, something needed dealing with: the T-cell which has something to do with chlorinating, I don't really know, wasn't working. Instead of throwing several hundred dollars toward a new one (or more!), he managed to MacGyver a solution to the problem and it seems to be working - fingers crossed. It will be quite some time before the pool is ready to take a dip in, as the weather is C-C-C-C-Cold!!!! Yesterday after supper, daughter and I went for a usual walk, and we both wore gloves. We almost grabbed winter hats, too, but just couldn't bear the thought in late May. 

Something exciting, and humbling, happened. I did my second Supply Teaching job yesterday. My first one was at my old school and the teacher made things very easy for me (keep in mind this is all online, done from computer involving Zoom-like interactions, although our Board does not use Zoom). However, yesterday I went to a different school and did a job for a teacher who had a grade 1,2 split class. I thought I would take the job because how hard could a 1,2 split be online?? It can't be too "techy" if it is only a 1,2. Ha ha, old girl!! Think again! The teacher kindly emailed me his plans (VERY detailed and thought out) and informed me how he does things. Thank heavens for a 25 year old daughter in the house who gave me a crash course in screen sharing, accessing videos from Teams and sharing those, and accessing and using a virtual white board and sharing that. I still managed to mess up and of course a couple of the little darlings in the class informed me (kindly) that that's not how Mr. A. does it, they usually do this, and then this, and then that. It was a humbling experience for someone who has spent 31 years in the profession, only to be corrected by a seven year old. HOLY COW, was that ever a stressful day. But I proved that old dogs can learn new tricks, but would do well to practise those new tricks in order to really perfect them.

I've agreed to do two more days of supply work (and yes, all online unless the Ontario government finally lets kids come back into class region by region instead of painting the whole humungous province with the same Corona-coloured brush), but both of those jobs are at my old school for classes and teachers that I know, so I feel a bit more comfortable. 

If you recall, we got a kitten. Yup. She is very cute and cuddly...when she is almost ready to fall asleep. However, if you look at her in the eyes too long at other times, I'm pretty sure you can see the demon that lies inside!! She is a holy terror when trying to burn off her kitten energy - scaling furniture, grabbing ankles, arching her back and dancing sideways, playing with ANYTHING (I can no longer hang tea towels on my fridge handle, as they get pulled down immediately). I know this "adorable" stage will only last for the first few months and hopefully get replaced by a more subdued purring soft kitty, warm kitty. Our other cat, Scooter, is a good boy and only gives her a good low growl or hiss, and what I imagine to be an exasperated cat eye roll, and then retreats back outside. He's pretty much an outdoor cat anyway and we are NOT letting Molly out unsupervised, nor are we showing her the cat door. She's too little at this point, but later, like every other cat we've ever owned, she will be allowed to be an indoor / outdoor pet. This Monday she goes for her first set of shots. 

I got the book The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman from the library a while ago (again, curbside, like a drug pick up in a paper bag) and haven't really given it a good go yet. So far, it seems enjoyable, fun, nothing too deep or intellectual. Maybe with this unseasonable weather I can settle in for a longer read. Bye for now, all!

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Lovely Spring!

 Spring has finally sprung here in my part of Ontario. The birds are singing, the trees are blossoming, the blackflies are biting. We had a very busy day yesterday. Husband rented the "Beast 2000" and we spent the better part of yesterday chipping the previously cut down Manitoba maple regrowth saplings and some small walnuts and a dying tree from the neighbour's yard. The neighbour lives in a city a few hours away, but agreed to chip in (ha ha, "get it" as my daughter used to say when she was little and tried telling jokes) on the price of the machine if we could take care of those trees for him (we keep the firewood). 

This chipper is not a large as the one we rented a couple of years ago, but it did the job. I used the wood chips in a couple of beds, as the original chips were pretty much gone (where do they go?) It's not the best looking mulch, as there are also twigs mixed in, but it does the job. 

Underneath that pile of wood chips is a tarp. This is at the edge of the "field" that is right next to our property. Nothing is planted in it, it's just "scrub" land. It might not look like a big pile, but it really is. I have lots to use.

Here are the results of mulching one flower bed so far. From a distance it looks pretty good. My next bed is a BIG project. It is the shrub border that runs along the pool fence. It needs lots of weeding and there are hydrangeas popping up where they shouldn't be. I had originally used landscape fabric around the shrubs, but plenty of weeds have poked right through, and again, the original woodchips are pretty much gone. It's so hard weeding up against the concrete edge, under the fence. I'm hoping I can just choke everything to death with a thick enough covering of mulch. 

Last fall, I did some serious cutting back of the dappled willow behind Gerald. I should have listened when someone said it would get big. 

There is plenty of new growth, so I'm not worried about it. You can see the winter pool cover and tarp still on the pool. It will be a long while before the pool is opened up and ready to swim in!

This is a picture of Gerald from a couple of years back, so you can see the willow in its normal state. That is a wigilia beside it. The willow got to be about twice that size and was crowding out other shrubs, as well as poor Gerald!

Our old apple tree is blooming right now, and right on cue, I spotted an oriole in it this morning. There is no oriole in this picture. Try as I might, I've never been able to get a good picture (I don't have a fancy camera with special lenses - just my phone!) 

Here is a closer look. It literally makes a humming sound, with all the bees enjoying the blossoms.

On the kitten home front, things are going well. She has two states of being: perpetual motion, or sleep.

We have taken our time introducing Molly to our other cat, Scooter. There has been the odd hiss, and I'm not letting her get too close to him (she's the one who would likely exhibit poor behaviour), and I'm feeling a bit bad for Scooter in that he just comes in to eat and then leaves again, but I think in time, they'll come to an understanding. He is pretty passive and I don't think he'd hurt her, but I don't want him to think he has to keep running away. 

Tomorrow morning, son is moving back to the city where he attends college for his summer term. I imagine most of his classes will still be online, but he does have a lab for which he will have to be onsite. It's been so nice having both of our "kids" living with us, but time moves on. Hopefully our lockdown (which has been extended) will end in early June and he'll have a bit more freedom, as will we. 

The chickens, and I, are very happy for the nice weather. I have much weeding to do. Have a great rest of your weekend, everyone.

Thursday, 13 May 2021

Lockdown / Retirement Addition to the Family

 Along with asking, "Should I get bangs?", I also revealed, "I've kind of been thinking about getting a kitten.". This is as a result of Ontario's lockdown, and the fact that I am not busy every day from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Also, the weather has been cruddy and I haven't been gardening. So... a sweet family (who we knew) had posted some pictures of two little kittens that their mama cat had, and daughter and son showed them to me. We went to see the kittens (all masked up, and within our local area) and decided which one we wanted, but let them stay an extra two weeks to hang out with their mama and learn a few more things. 

Last night, we picked her up. Introducing Molly. Full name is Molly McShoes - long story.

Scooter has yet to meet her. We are trying to do things properly, introducing her smell first by rubbing her with a towel and letting his sniff that. She is quite adorable and has a good purr. Let's see how this decision all pans out, who knows, I might cut my own bangs as well!

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

May 5, 2021


This is the second lockdown birthday for my daughter. She turned twenty-five. Covid birthdays are sucky. 

Still, there were balloons and happy birthday signs, and a banner, because in this house, that's what happens, regardless of how old you are. There was the standard baked-by-mom chocolate layer cake. I always ask if they want something different, and they don't.

I think I would be less annoyed with the world if the weather would stop being less March / April and become a bit more May / June. It is so wet and icky and cold that I can't even spend time weeding and edging (because that could occupy my time every single day for weeks). 

Heaven help me, I started another jigsaw puzzle. Puzzles were what I did when lockdowns first happened A YEAR AGO. I feel like I'm reverting rather than moving forward because of this puzzle. Well actually, it is a puzzle that I had started last year but it was so hard and my heart wasn't in it, so I packed it up (but I did keep all the outside pieces together in chunks and put them in a ziplock bag, and another chunk that I had put together as well). Now it's back out and I reassembled the outside pieces, and the chunk, and now I'm trying to put together about a million pieces that are green and yellow and form a bunch of flowers. I kind of hate it, but I'm committed to the task.

Supper. Everyday I think about what to make for supper. I had a frozen pie crust (not my own, a "cheater" one).

Quiche was in order. I fried up some onions and boiled a little bit of broccoli. 

Voila! Eggs, milk, cheese, broccoli, onions, salt and pepper. (Do you notice the little folded up piece of tin foil under the front of the pie tin? When you have an old house and your kitchen floor is not quite level, and you can't exactly level your stove because it will fit weird in the cut out space on your counter top, you have to rig up your pies so they don't flow more to one side).

At the moment, you can go to grocery stores, pharmacies, and some garden centres. Will the excitement never end? I went to the grocery store to buy milk and picked up a plant to be dropped off at M.I.L.'s nursing home for her mother's day present. She'll get it two days after we drop it off.

Some good news, however, husband and I both have booked times at the "hockey hub" in the nearby town later this month to receive our first vaccines - either Moderna or Pfizer. 

As well, I am now in the system to be available for supply teaching. Unfortunately, it will only be online supply teaching which actually makes me more nervous than face to face, in the classroom supply teaching. I know what I used when I was teaching online, but I'm a bit concerned that I might have to take over for someone super tech savy who is using much different programmes in their online classroom and I won't have a clue what to do. For comfort sake, I want my first experience to be in my "home school", the one I recently retired from.

So there you have it. I'm going a bit stir crazy and want to get out and do things. I am eagerly awaiting 
an end to our provincial lockdown. I have watched with daughter on Netflix, a trivia gameshow called "The Chase". I enjoy it and feel like a star when I'm able to answer one of the questions before the contestant (it doesn't happen often, as they go very fast!). I'm not reading anything right now, just not in the mood. And I now admit that I ate the rest of the "hint of jalapeno" tostitos while watching "The Masked Singer". I don't even know half of the people they guess on that show, but I get a kick out of the costumes and the reveal (again, sometimes I don't even know who they are without their masks!). We are down to one more episode of "The Curse of Oak Island" before they pack it in for the winter. I figure somebody's going to find the Templar treasure on that flipping island before heard immunity is reached! We are also watching the new season of "Island of Bryan". I do enjoy that show and think he's a hoot! They couldn't have picked a worse time to open a resort. But they just got chickens, so that's good! If you don't get any of those shows, just ignore this paragraph.

Keeping my fingers crossed for sunshine sometime this week. 

Monday, 26 April 2021

Mundane Monday, April 26, 2021- Lists

As I am sitting here, typing up this post on a chilly April morning, there are no less than four lists in close proximity. One of those lists is so long, it spans from one side of a folded 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper to the other, and then there is a separate list on the inside. One heading says, "To Do Tomorrow". Of course, I wrote that probably three weeks ago, so it's not really a tomorrow list. I have crossed those items off regardless. 

I make a list for grocery shopping - always. I start it a couple of days ahead, and leave it out so that other family members can add to it, if they have a request or if they've realized we are out of something. I categorize my grocery list with little headings: produce, bakery, deli, meat, can/box, dairy/frozen. 

I have always been a list maker, especially in my profession. If something didn't get written down, it likely got forgotten and with my work taking me in many different directions (subjects), I needed to be organized. I had class lists, parent e-mail lists, deadline lists, and lists of things I wanted to accomplish. 

Husband has lists. He has headings such as "Indoor", "Outdoor", "Personal" for his various tasks and things he needs to finish. 

Mother-in-law always kept a calendar sitting beside her chair in the livingroom on which she wrote EVERYTHING. It was her version of a list, but now I realize it was probably also a coping mechanism for her progressing dementia. 

I feel great satisfaction being able to cross items off lists. Sometimes I will write something down that I've already done, just so I can cross it off and feel that I've accomplished something.

Lists at home always go on scrap paper. I have a large (but nice looking) container on top of the computer desk filled with old hand-outs that didn't get used at school. So I might have a grocery list that has animals of the rainforest on the other side of the paper. My mother used old envelopes for some of her lists. 

What do "the young people" do now? Do they make lists, or do they keep all of their thoughts on a file in the cloud somewhere? 

Since it's been a while since I've posted a Mundane Monday, I'm looking forward to reading your comments and contributions to the mundane topic of list making! 

Friday, 16 April 2021

Didn't Quite Catch That

 I finally dragged my body to the treadmill, armed with my knee support and my NEW (!!) phone, and started walking. Yes, we have a treadmill. No, I don't use it much. When I do, however, I have to have music to listen to. I was introduced to Spotify by my children and I pay nine dollars and change a month so I can make up playlists and listen to them without ads interrupting me every third song. 

I have one playlist called "Workout". It consists mostly of music of my high school and university days. So if you were born in the 1960's, perhaps you can relate to this. A song came on that took me right back to an old boyfriend and a tape we listened to a lot. It was "Burning Down the House" by Talking Heads. As the song proceeded and I imagined myself getting fitter and healthier with each step, I realized that I had no idea what half of the lyrics were saying. I never did. 


In fact, there are so many songs that I listened to over and over and didn't know what they were saying! I used to buy used albums at a used record place when I was in university. I was going through a Beatles phase. I loved it when some albums had the lyrics, so you could actually sing along correctly. Yes, some tape cassettes also had the little fold out insert with lyrics as well. But most of the time, we just sang the parts we knew and didn't sing when it came to the parts we didn't. Or we sang the wrong words.

Another song I never knew the words to was Bruce Springsteen's "Blinded by the Light" (yes, yes, I know, for the purists out there, it was Manford Mann originally). I think that one confused a lot of people.

I would tell you which contemporary songs I don't know the lyrics to, but I don't listen to any contemporary songs ha ha! 

What about you? Did you have a song that you never could figure out the words to, or did you realize years later you were singing the wrong words? 

Thursday, 15 April 2021

Chilly morning - Snippets of Life

 It was hot and sunny five days ago. This morning when I rose, it was 1 degree (celsius). Since then we have had a couple little snow showers. This is not unheard of in April. I was looking back at posts from this time last year, and it snowed on May 9th (adding insult to injury).

Locally, our cases of Covid have gone up a lot (for us, we've always had very low numbers and few worries). The medical officer of health (who has been in the news recently concerning his higher-than-any-other salary) chastised those who have gathered recently (with a particular shout out to highschool students) and aren't being truthful about how many contacts they have had. In order to take care of contact tracing, he has decided to take personnel from the vaccine clinics and have them call people about possible contact instead. Because of that, the vaccine clinic is cancelled. Other vaccine clinics in various parts of Ontario are also being cancelled, but that is due to lack of vaccine supplies. Hmmm. We (Ontario) are already so far behind in our vaccination roll out that this has caused quite a hullaballoo.

 Blogger is as "social media" as I get, but daughter (whose job involves local communications) informs me that the comments are extensive. Sigh. If there is one thing I've learned from the t.v. series, "House", (and from my own experiences), it's that most people lie. Of course many teenagers are going to lie about being at a party with a bunch of other people. I am not excusing it, I'm just not surprised in the least. However, to blame teenagers when there is a "local" company that employs more than 4000 people that never seems to be presented in a bad light, doesn't seem particularly fair.  I am also not surprised that our numbers have gone up. People are just plain tired of it all. Again, not excusing, just not surprised. As well, when a huge number of people still have not had access to vaccines, and variants are spreading, it's not suprising. Our Prime Minister may be known for his good looks and soft voice, but he hasn't impressed his citizens by being on the forefront of vaccine acquisition. So, locally we are being told to stay in our homes. 

One year and one month. Enough said.

On a different note, I planted some seeds.

They're coming along. I don't know if I'm too early, or too late, but that's what I have so far. I have a little "map" I made so I know what's what.

On a chilly, dreary day, here's where you can find Scooter-the-cat-with-no-tail.

This is the only chair he likes. It's son's chair.

And to round things off, here is a harbinger of good things to come, my bright yellow forsythia.