Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Pictures from the Box

Whaddya think of the new look? I was getting a little tired of all the pink, myself. One of these days (not anytime soon) I may try to figure out how to design blog and make my own template. Don't be holding your breath, now. That's a vague whim. Until then, I think I can live with the lighthouse.

I visited my parents this past weekend. We spent a lot of time on the porch watching nature's floor show. There is a family of woodpeckers that walks up and down the trees calling to each other while they hammer away at tree trunks, and a gorgeous, too-fast-for-my-camera scarlet tanger (bright red with black wings) that visits once in a while. There are some juncos living in a nest under the porch (the porch is actually very high off the ground, so I'm not surprised there are birds using the underside of it), and the babies are just learning how to fly.

The real attraction though is a bunch of flying squirrels living in the eaves of the red tin roof. Mom's named them The Flying Wollendas. They leave the nest about dusk, go to the very edge of the roof and one by one they fling themselves out into the air, swooping down to land on the tree nearest the house. Then they climb to the top of that tree and fling themselves at the next one. They're about the size of chipmunks. I assumed flying squirrels were bigger, for some reason. Mom and Dad say that when it's finally time to weatherproof the house, they're going to have to seal off the roof in the evening, after the squirrels have left for the night. They don't want to hurt them, just make them move their nest to another location.

I stayed through to Monday, because it was Mom's birthday. I took her out to lunch at a 50's-style diner called Fezz's, after a morning spent going through this h-u-g-e box of photographs. She was looking for baby pictures for a family picnic my aunt is having this weekend. She wants everyone to send her baby pictures and she's going to make some sort of poster with them. I'm not going to this shin-dig. Not only is it farther away than I can manage without a longish bus trip (she lives in New Jersey), I already had other plans. And if I hadn't had any I'd have made some. My father's side of the family is large, loud, and rather...contentious? I guess that's the word. Last time we all got together (which was for my Grandma's funeral a little over a year ago), my dad and one of his brothers argued for at least 1/2 an hour about whether sugar or baking soda should be used to cut the acid in tomato sauce. I mean, really. They both work. Let's move on, okay?

So anyway as we were sorting through the pictures, I found a bunch I wanted copies of. I took twelve of them with me, but there were dozens and dozens more that I wanted. When I go back up next month, I'm going to spend a bit more time digging around in that box. There are some great ones in there. I scanned the twelve I brought back with me, and have uploaded all but three into Flickr. I'll get the other three done tonight. My connection is dial-up, so it takes a while to do.

Here's the one I used to make the new picture for my profile. It's me, at about 1 1/2.


G said...

OK - sugar, baking powder, whatever - but a hyphen in shindig, V? Do we know anyone else who would think of that?

OK - me, possibly. But I looked it up and it comes from Scottish Gaelic sinteag, apparently.

It's a pity, because I rather liked the idea of digging shins. Or digging for shins. Or digging with shins. You dig?

--V said...

I dig. And I'm keeping the hyphen. Partly 'cause otherwise your comment won't make sense any more, and partly 'cause I like it. And also partly because with my family you do have to watch out for your shins, someone just might give 'em a dig.

Figures that it would be derived from Scots Gaelic. It's a word from the Southern U.S. A lot of the mountain folk in Virginia and the Carolinas immigrated from Scotland.

There's an obsolete version of the word, hyphenated, in the OED. It does mean a blow to the shins--or it did at one time.

G said...

Meant to say - I used to have a suit like a flying squirrel. The trousers were webbed. I could have glided long distances in them.

--V said...

The trousers were webbed? I'm trying to picture that, and I'm coming up with something rather odd. Was this a regular suit? Aside from the webbed bit, I mean. Was it for everyday use, or did it have a specific purpose?

G said...

I bought it in a department store. Men's suits were quite a new line for them then. Being young and foolish, or more to the point single, I only tried on the jacket before paying for it and taking it home, where I found the legs of the trousers started around knee-level, though the waist occurred in the usual place. It was ok if you only took small steps.