Thursday, March 08, 2007

Thursday 13

It's been a while since I've done a Thursday 13. Here's a mish-mash of happenings, in no order, except they make me happy (or animated) in one way or another.

1. Since when does a city have a separate department for WIRES?
2. And speaking of cities, one cold day in December 2006 a city snow plow drove abit too fast and the result was snow thrown with the speed of a rocket. The result of that was a blown out fence. Not just any fence, but a ##@&% new fence that jb and I had spent the entire summer staining and painting. Two weeks ago, after filing a claim with the city, appearing before their claims committee two times, and meeting with their attorney three times, our claim was DENIED. Don't ask me the defense for the denial, since everybody agrees the plow damaged the fence. We will now have to hire an attorney to handle this. @@##$$%**

3. I live in New England. This means cold winters and frozen ground. None-the-less, this hollyhock complete with flowers appeared in December, the only living perennial in the back yard. Here's why (I think): since my father died in 1996, odd appearances of plants and flowers in odd places and odd circumstances began cropping up. Once an abandoned flower box in my mother's yard surprisingly sprouted inpatients; another time one single flower greeted me where none had been planted. As soon as I began noticing this pattern, I started thinking this was my father's way of keeping in touch. Now 11 years later, I still believe this is true.

4. This is my daughter and my mother on Jess' wedding day. This is just about love.

5. And speaking of love, here's Ryan and his sister-beagle, Sadie.

6. OK, I've fallen in love again. He is a total doll. It's funny to think I will only know him about a third of his life. Here's hoping my influence is about wonder and wisdom and poetry and kindness and love and adventure. Oh I forgot: I'm pretty sure Mr. Ryan will get that from both his parents too. But he can definitely count on me to lend him money.... 7. I think I've posted this picture before but since it's a favorite, here's my mom and dad. My father was a gruff construction guy who cried when he talked about how much he loved my mother. She would roll her eyes and shake her head whenever he did this, but you could see the slightest smile break through on her face.

8. Two best friends and one dog in cold weather, just before a fabulous trip to the shoe store and just after a slow morning of catching up on everything and nothing.

9. This is the working cover design for my book called Good Work! Straight Up Advice on Choosing a Career and Building a Life. It may or may not end up anywhere in the book.

10. Oh Stella. In ten months you have healed before our eyes. Your eyes sparkle, your tail wags, you ask for cookies, you let us kiss you, you even kiss us back sometimes. You deserve every kindness , every walk, every scratch, and every cookie, Stella.

11. Here is a cauliflower. That's all it is, but isn't it beautiful? Western Mass. is farm country, so this is probably a special kind of cauliflower, but it just goes to show you that perfection can be found in suprising places...

12. No words needed:

13. And finally, jb's Magic Cottage one morning last week when the snow was fresh. I've never had a tree this size in my yard before. In the summer I lie in the back yard hammock, look up at it, and count my lucky stars.


  1. This blog is now officially my "happy" blog. What is there to complain about? Everything is beautiful and there is Ryan and Stella. That magic cottage and snow covered tree is magnificent. You are quite the photographer KJ. And oh the friends don't look bad either.

  2. That's a happy T-13, except for the fence ... in New England (shame on me but I had to look it up : top north east of the USA, so that 's where it is :-), best documented state Wikipedia says, very interesting to read about and so many forests and nature !!!!!!!!

  3. Oh kj! I loved your post! Everything but the fence -- that really is too bad -- good you're pursuing the claim.

    But the rest, OMG. I especially liked your story about the flowers and your dad. I believe in things like that. Ryan and Stella, Jess and your mom, and you and's just the perfect read to start the almost weekend. thanks lot for posting something so happy!

  4. Oh STOP. I'm already insanely jealous. :)

    PS Love the hollyhock. We have a weird tree -- a viburnum I think -- that blooms twice a year. The first time at the start of winter only after all the leaves have dropped and then again at the end of winter just before the leaves bud. After 9 years here I'm still amazed.

  5. geez, these comments make me happy.

    ces, these two friends look fabulous--very fashionable and sophisticated, don't you think?

    hildegarde, i love that you now know where new england is. where i live is a mixture of college life and farms. p. s. please come see me anytime! :)

    menchie, thank you so much. i was getting too serious so i'm glad to lighten things up today.

    oh andrea, ces and you and i need to find a way to hang out together......

  6. i love how so much of this post just oozed with love...i agree with ces, i think yours is now my official happy blog. have a wonderful weekend, kj.

  7. I don't know why, but I particularly liked that odd cauliflower. Art in vegetable form. Nice family photos, too. Although I can't believe you let the dog eat that baby.

  8. Great pictures, great thoughts...especially loved the pic and caption of your parents...

    And little Ryan, head bowed to the left, in someone's loving arms...

  9. :) #3....I beleive you are right!

    Aw, dear Stella, she's beautiful... as is that bundle of joy!

  10. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this:> I guess I don't know the backstory, but did you rescue Stella? She looks so sweet... I just want to kiss her. It breaks my heart when I hear about animals who have suffered, so I feel happy when I see an animal who's found a loving home. Baby Ryan is adorable. I can only imagine what it must be like to have a grandchild. I'm happy to wait a few more years, but I know I'll feel things I've never felt before. The hollyhock story reminded me of my father and the yellow roses... right after he died, the rose bush in front of my mother's house bloomed with one yellow rose, and it kept blooming abundantly after that, even out of season. The weird thing was that it hadn't bloomed before he died; my parents were thinking of just digging it up! Perhaps people do send us messages from beoynd. It's comforting to think so.... And the big tree hovering over the magic's HUGE! And beautiful!

  11. Thank you for the catch up - the great photos - my fav. (of course) is Ryan asleep - what a doll! You are lucky and blessed!

  12. you are truly blessed but luck like that only comes to those that deserve it :)

  13. What lovely photos, and they each tell a story. Love the one of your daughter and mother ... that's a treasure for sure.

  14. Hello KJ, what a wonderful selection of pictures. You are a very lucky person to have all this beauty around you!

  15. I love pictures! I love this post!

  16. Yes, I'd like the Stella story, too.

  17. Beautiful pics, KJ - especially the personal ones! They put a smile on my face :) Thanks for sharing!

    Good luck with the book.

  18. This was wonderful. a geniune slideshow of happiness! Loved it all but especially enjoyed your swearing and all the pix! #3 made me smile, #4 is sooooooo lovely! All the baby pix and dog are downright adorable and the one of your mom & dad is darling. You and Ces mirror the love!!! I think a houscape of jb's cottage is in order...

  19. that photo of you holding your grandson put a huge smile on my face. the one of your daughter and your mother took my breath away. the one of the frosted tree looks so magical! you and ces look like you've known each other your entire lives!

    these are great photos, kj. and it was so fun to see a peek into your life!

    sorry about the fence though. that just plain sucks.

  20. i love your blog! i was so sad to miss writing group last night and so happy to find your post today. perusing your blog is giving me insight into some of your previous writing too...i can't decide if i wish i still didn't know some of the truth from the fiction. :)