I’m such a bleeding heart

This isn’t going to be about what you think. No political ranting from me; I gave that up for Lent.

No, today I’m celebrating spring.

These grace my front yard and make me very happy every spring. I almost always make a lame joke, even if I’m the only one around to hear it. “Oh hello you darling bleeding hearts! From one liberal to another, I feel your pain!”

Nearby, is my son Christopher’s lambs ear, for which I can think of no politically related jokes. We all do enjoy petting it, though. As summer goes on, it develops flowers, much to my surprise. But now in spring, it’s just sedately ear-like.

St. Francis keeps watch over the ears o’ lamb, which I think is amusingly appropriate since he is the patron saint for animals. Also appropriate is the fact that Christopher chose him as his saint when he was Confirmed. The little animal.

Next we have this gorgeous tree, which graces the front entrance to Trassie’s elementary school. I believe it to be a flowering cherry, and every spring it is just stunning.

Just think how pleasant it would be to reign supreme as principal at this school, when you’ve got a view like this right outside your office window. Like so —

The photo really doesn’t capture how beautiful this tree is. And in case you’re wondering, yes I did ask before I barged into the principal’s office and started snapping away. I escaped without a paddling, though I don’t know how much longer that will be the case, now that I’ve plastered her office window all over the Internet. Good thing she’s such a nice lady. [/suck up]

Here’s another view. Savor the gorgeousness!

This last sign of spring, also pink, I spied one afternoon last weekend as I bopped down the street for a power walk at the park. It’s at my neighbor’s house, and the late-afternoon sunlight illuminated these tulips just perfectly.

No, I don’t know why there are Christmas lights around the base of this tree. But aren’t they pink and pretty? I think this picture came out fairly decent, considering it was captured via phone camera. (Thank you, Steve Jobs!)

OK, the power walk. Yes, I am walking again, and don’t it feel good? Last summer I surged around the walking park near my neighborhood as many nights a week after dinner as I could manage it — until the time change laid me low and I couldn’t get supper made, eaten and cleaned up in enough time to get myself in full workout regalia.

But I did make it several laps twice over the weekend, and I can feel those winter-hibernation pounds just  falling right off me.

Well, not really. More like reluctantly deciding that maybe they’ll leave, if Miss Wide Butt can just stick to the exercise plan and lay off the Little Debbies.

It’s a great workout, accompanied as I am by podcasts to keep my brain busy and occupied while I try to get into some semblance of shape, and drink in the scenery, which often include ducks, rabbits, groundhogs and, on one memorable occasion, an actual beaver swimming in the creek.

I don’t know what his plans were for damming up the wetland; he didn’t pause long enough for me to ask. Perhaps he was just reconnoitering the area for his fellow dammers, or maybe just off on a swim for exercise, or a pleasure cruise at night through eel-infested waters. (Name that movie!)

At any rate, it’s been a long winter and I’m sure glad spring is here.

Aren’t you?

Rainy days and Mondays

It’s been a soggy weekend. Louisville on Derby Day received two inches of rain. Derby hats, as you can see, were severely threatened.

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On Sunday, roads were closed all over the state. Dams washed away, menacing innocent towns. There are slim rivers running down my basement walls.

Yesterday morning at Mass, Father abandoned the sprinkling rite, whereby we all are doused/blessed with Holy Water, he said, “for the obvious reasons.” Apparently, when it comes to water, we’d been blessed enough. About the time he made this announcement, I noticed a rather fast-moving stream barreling down one of the enormous pillars inside the church.

This was at 9 am. By 8 o’clock that night, the rain still poured down. My children cheerfully (and I use that term loosely) performed their Sunday evening duties, taking out the trash and placing the cans at the curb for Monday-morning collection. They looked damp yet rather cute. The photo’s not much to speak of; I was standing on the porch trying to keep the camera dry and at such times I apparently lose focus.

Isn’t the grass a lovely shade of green, though? All verdant and growing, thanks to the nearly four inches of rain. Rain that, on a less cosmic scale, has prevented me from getting out there and getting dirty by grubbing in the garden.

Here you see the tense scene on my window sill.

These poor things have been languishing in an inch of soil in egg crates, waiting for their permanent home in the back yard. There, abundant weeds choke out the azaleas and sundry other plants. This despite the fact that I dumped an entire trailer-load of dirt back there last summer ON TOP of a bunch of cardboard to kill the weeds and,  more importantly, the mint. Short of a flame-thrower, though, there’s not much you can do with mint, except make a metric buttload of juleps.

Anyway, the heavens opened Saturday morning at around 6 am and apparently liked staying good and open. My deck is drenched and sad; no sunny annuals in porch boxes yet.

But I suppose it’s still early. There’s plenty of time for the world to dry out, the pollen to fill the air — and when that happens  I really, really know it’s springtime in Kentucky.