Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I take my camera everywhere, even to work. Today I was at the rural home of one of my clients. This property has a wonderful spring fed pond, and many lovely Rhododendrons and Azaleas which are just covered in blooms.

Little legs paddling like crazy to keep up with Mama duck, are four of the twelve ducklings in this family. Mama duck was very nervous about my presence and kept her brood close by. This is the first family of ducklings so far, this season.

A large worker bee, nose down in a blossom, going about the business of collecting nectar and coming out all covered in bright yellow pollen.

This wasp appeared to be enjoying the warmth of the sun.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

One of the many pleasures of my days, is watching the birds which visit our feeders or the gardens. Just recently I changed from the generic birdseed I was using to fill the feeders, to black sunflower seed, and also hanging a suet feeder. I am delighted to see quite a number of different birds enjoying the new bounty, and coming back for more.

There are many of these Golden Crowned Sparrows stopping by every day for their seed, and there are also White Crowned Sparrows, we nicknamed "little bicycle helmet heads" You will understand why we named them so, when you see pictures of them, within the next week, when I do the next post on my feathered friends.

Chestnut Backed Chickadee

Chickadees are cheeky little guys, often hanging upside down to feed. You have to be on the ball to snap pictures of these little birds, as they are never still for very long.

Black Capped Chickadee

This little guy held his pose long enough for me to zoom right in on him.

Mom & Pop American Goldfinch

We are delighted to see many goldfinches at the feeder since changing to black sunflower seed.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Thought provoking

Whenever I'm disappointed with my spot in life, I stop and

About little Jamie Scott.

Jamie was trying out for a part in the school play.
His mother told me that he'd set his heart on being in it, though she feared he would not be chosen.

On the day the parts were awarded, I went with her to collect him after school. Jamie rushed up to her, eyes shining with pride and excitement. "Guess what, Mom," he shouted, and then said those words that will remain a lesson to me....."I've been chosen to clap and cheer."

Thank you Maria for this lovely story.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Never Lie To A Woman

A man called home to his wife and said.
“Honey, I have been asked to go fishing up in Canada with my boss & several of his Friends, We'll be gone for a week. This is a good opportunity for me to get that Promotion I've been wanting, so could you please pack enough Clothes for a week and set out my rod and fishing box, we're Leaving From the office & I will swing by the house to pick my things up. Oh! Please pack my new blue silk pajamas"

The wife thinks this sounds a bit fishy but being the good wife she is, did exactly what her husband asked.

The following Weekend he came home a little tired but otherwise looking good.

The wife welcomed him home and asked if he caught many fish.

He said, “Yes! Lots of Salmon, some Bluegill, and a few Swordfish. But why didn't you pack my new blue silk pajamas like I asked you to Do.

The wife replied, “I did. They're in your fishing box.

Thanks to Joyce

Sunday, April 20, 2008

This is too true to be very funny.

The next time you hear a politician use the word 'billion' in a casual manner, think about whether you want the 'politicians' spending YOUR tax money.

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of its releases.

A billion seconds ago it was 1959.
A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.
A billion hours ago our ancestors were Living in the Stone Age.
A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.
A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate our government is spending it.

While this thought is still fresh in our brain, let's take a look at New Orleans. It's amazing what you can learn with some simple division.

Louisiana Senator, Mary Landrieu, is presently asking the Congress for $250 BILLION to rebuild New Orleans. Interesting number, what does it mean?

Well, if you are one of 484,674 residents of New Orleans (every man, woman, child), you each get $516,528.
Or, if you have one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans, your home gets $1,329,787.
Or, if you are a family of four, your family gets $2,066,012.
Washington, D.C., Ottawa, Canada.... HELLO!!! ... Are all your calculators broken??

Tax his land,
Tax his wage,
Tax his bed in which he lays.

Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes is the rule.

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his ties,
Tax his shirts,

Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he tries to think.

Tax his booze,
Tax his beers,

If he cries,
Tax his tears.

Tax his bills,
Tax his gas,
Tax his notes,
Tax his cash.

Tax him good and let him know
That after taxes, he has no dough.

If he hollers, Tax him more,
Tax him until he's good and sore.

Tax his coffin, Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in which he lays.

Put these words upon his tomb,
'Taxes drove me to my doom!'

And when he's gone, We won't relax,
We'll still be after the inheritance TAX!!


No taxes existed 100 years ago.

We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world,
and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

What happened? Can you spell 'politicians!'

And I still have to 'press
1' for English.

What the hell happened???

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Colorado Tidbits

Here are some curious things you might not know about Colorado.

Highest Climb. The highest vertical climb is not on a mountain but up the north side of the Black Canyon. Rising 1,700 feet, this sheer rock face is even higher than the famous Diamond on Longs Peak and was not conquered until 1969.

Deepest Snow. In 1899 Crested Butte recorded 254 inches of snow near the top of Kebler Pass. That year, snow buried a train near Leadville and left only stove pipes showing above cabins at many mountain towns. Usually, Wolf Creek Pass near Pagosa Springs gets the most snow in Colorado.

Oldest Hotel. The Peck House in the little town of Empire, near Berthoud Pass, is Colorado's oldest hotel. It was built in 1859 by James Peck. Early guests included President Ulysses S. Grant and other famous people.

Highest Town. Leadville is the highest (10,200 feet) incorporated town in Colorado and the entire U.S. It has also had the highest rate of premature babies in the U.S. Researchers concluded that the altitude causes smaller babies.

Largest Nuggets. The biggest gold nugget in Colorado weighed 135 ounces and was found near Breckenridge in 1887 by miner Tom Broves. The biggest silver nugget weighed 1,840 pounds and was found at an Aspen mine in 1894.

Largest Elk Antlers. Measuring 52 inches at the widest point, the antlers of an elk: killed in 1899 near Crested Butte are still on display at that town's visitor center. In 1961, Boone and Crockett researchers declared it to be the largest elk: rack in history.

Toughest Climate. No crops are grown around the town of Silverton, north of Durango. At 9,318 feet elevation, Silverton's growing season between frosts is only two weeks. San Juan County here is reportedly the only county in the U.S. without a single acre of agricultural land.

Worst Drought. About every 40 years, Colorado experiences a drought, according to tree-ring researchers. The worst was in the 1200s. It lasted 25 years and may have driven the Indians from Mesa Verde. During the Dust Bowl on the eastern plains, one cloud of dust on April 4, 1935, gathered itself to 1,000 feet high and 200 miles wide. It traveled at 60 miles an hour, suffocated hundreds of animals and damaged many people's health.

Driest Town. Delta, south of Grand Junction, gets less rain per year than Tucson, Arizona.

Musical Dunes. Winds blowing around the Great Sand Dunes near Alamosa create sounds resembling music. That's how Music Pass above the dunes got its name.

Women's Rights. Colorado was the second state in the U.S. to give women the right to vote. Wyoming was the first. You would think the eastern states would have been more progressive, but it took the frontier adventure to make men realize how strong and intelligent women were.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Join the circus...I don't think so.

Goodness, it is almost a week since I have posted anything on Keewee's Corner. Sometimes I wonder how I have filled in my week. This past week, I have done a couple of posts on Keewee's Garden, worked either a full or half a day at my job, then on the days which were not too cold or wet, done some more on getting the vegetable garden built.

My honey, MrC is sooooo good about helping do all the heavy work, also getting the garden site square and level. Next we have to make a run up to Oak Harbor to Home Depot, to purchase fence posts and wire for the perimeter fence, as we have deer and rabbits who would love to have fresh greens for their meal every day. There are also the raised beds to be constructed out of the wood we have already.

Yesterday, MrC and I drove up to the range at Coupeville for the first steel hanging plate match of the season, then after we had finished shooting, we drove back to the house to grab a couple of things before driving to Clinton to catch the ferry to Mukilteo. We drove for about another hour and a half to Gig Harbor to shoot in another match. This event was something I had never shot before. There were clay pigeons, used in trap shooting, attached to a wire frame, four orange on either side of a black, which was the stop plate, or in this case a stop clay pigeon.
The idea was for you and your opponent to shoot the four orange clay pigeons then shoot the black one last. We were allowed only five rounds of ammo and all the orange HAD to be shot before the black, other wise your opponent was awarded a point. Anyhow, I was very pleased to have found my focus again. The last few shoots of last season I was not doing well at all, but this time, at both matches I was able to get back in the so called ZONE. It is a little difficult to explain what this is all about, except to say it is all about mindset, concentration, controlling the Adrenalin rush, and telling yourself YOU CAN DO THIS, and by golly I did, by ending up NOT down in the final standings.
So I will continue with my hobby of target shooting with more confidence.

Today it is a damp dreary day, a day I had planned on getting more work done on the garden, but instead,I will catch up on all the indoor chores so when the weather does improve, I will be able to play outside without feeling guilty about leaving things indoors in a mess.

I really have to be more diligent in posting every couple of days so you all, don't think I have" run away to join the circus"

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

If this doesn't light your fire...your wood is wet!

I try not to be biased, but I had my doubts about hiring Stevie. His placement counselor assured me that he would be a good, reliable busboy. But I had never had a mentally handicapped employee and wasn't sure I wanted one. I wasn't sure how my customers would react to Stevie.

He was short, a little dumpy with the smooth facial features and thick-tongued speech of Downs Syndrome. I wasn't worried about most of my trucker customers because truckers don't generally care who buses tables as long as the meatloaf platter is good and the pies are homemade.

The four-wheeler drivers were the ones who concerned me; the mouthy college kids traveling to school; the yuppie snobs who secretly polish their silverware with their napkins for fear of catching some dreaded "truck stop germ" the pairs of white-shirted business men on expense accounts who think every truck stop waitress wants to be flirted with. I knew those people would be uncomfortable around Stevie so I closely watched him for the first few weeks.

I shouldn't have worried. After the first week, Stevie had my staff wrapped around his stubby little finger, and within a month my truck regulars had adopted him as their official truck stop mascot.

After that, I really didn't care what the rest of the customers thought of him. He was like a 21-year-old in blue jeans and Nikes, eager to laugh and eager to please, but fierce in his attention to his duties. Every salt and pepper shaker was exactly in its place, not a bread crumb or coffee spill was visible when Stevie got done with the table. Our only problem was persuading him to wait to clean a table until after the customers were finished. He would hover in the background, shifting his weight from one foot to the other, scanning the dining room until a table was empty. Then he would scurry to the empty table and carefully bus dishes and glasses onto his cart and meticulously wipe the table up with a practiced flourish of his rag!

If he thought a customer was watching, his brow would pucker with added concentration. He took pride in doing his job exactly right, and you had to love how hard he tried to please each and every person he met.

Over time, we learned that he lived with his mother, a widow who was disabled after repeated surgeries for cancer. They lived on their Social Security benefits in public housing two miles from the truck stop. Their social worker, who stopped to check on him every so often, admitted they had fallen between the cracks. Money was tight, and what I paid him was probably the difference between them being able to live together and Stevie being sent to a group home. That's why the restaurant was a gloomy place that morning last August, the first morning in three years that Stevie missed work.

He was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester getting a new valve or something put in his heart. His social worker said that people with Downs Syndrome often have heart problems at an early age so this wasn't unexpected, and there was a good chance he would come through the surgery in good shape and be back at work in a few months.

A ripple of excitement ran through the staff later that morning when word came that he was out of surgery, in recovery, and doing fine.

Frannie, the head waitress, let out a war hoop and did a little dance in the aisle when she heard the good news.

Belle Ringer, one of our regular trucker customers, stared at the sight of this 50-year-old grandmother of four doing a victory shimmy beside his table.

Frannie blushed, smoothed her apron and shot Belle Ringer a withering look.

He grinned. "OK, Frannie, what was that all about?" he asked.

"We just got word that Stevie is out of surgery and going to be okay."

"I was wondering where he was. I had a new joke to tell him. What was the surgery about?"

Frannie quickly told Belle Ringer and the other two drivers sitting at his booth about Stevie's surgery, then sighed: "Yeah, I'm glad he is going to be OK," she said. "But I don't know how he and his Mom are going to handle all the bills. From what I hear, they're barely getting by as it is." Belle Ringer nodded thoughtfully, and Frannie hurried off to wait on the rest of her tables. Since I hadn't had time to round up a busboy to replace Stevie and really didn't want to replace him, the girls were busing their own tables that day until we decided what to do.

After the morning rush, Frannie walked into my office. She had a couple of paper napkins in her hand and a funny look on her face.

"What's up?" I asked.

"I didn't get that table where Belle Ringer and his friends were sitting cleared off after they left, and Pony Pete and Tony Tipper were sitting there when I got back to clean it off," she said. "This was folded and tucked under a coffee cup."

She handed the napkin to me, and three $20 bills fell onto my desk when I opened it. On the outside, in big, bold letters, was printed "Something for Stevie".

"Pony Pete asked me what that was all about," she said, "so I told him about Stevie and his Mom and everything, and Pete looked at Tony and Tony looked at Pete, and they ended up giving me this." She handed me another paper napkin that had "Something For Stevie" scrawled on its outside. Two $50 bills were tucked within its folds. Frannie looked at me with wet, shiny eyes, shook her head and said simply: "truckers."

That was three months ago. Today is Thanksgiving, the first day Stevie is supposed to be back to work.

His placement worker said he's been counting the days until the doctor said he could work, and it didn't matter at all that it was a holiday. He called 10 times in the past week, making sure we knew he was coming, fearful that we had forgotten him or that his job was in jeopardy. I arranged to have his mother brin g him to work. I then met them in the parking lot and invited them both to celebrate his day back.

Stevie was thinner and paler, but couldn't stop grinning as he pushed through the doors and headed for the back room where his apron and busing cart were waiting.

"Hold up there, Stevie, not so fast," I said. I took him and his mother by their arms. "Work can wait for a minute. To celebrate you coming back, breakfast for you and your mother is on me!" I led them toward a large corner booth at the rear of the room.

I could feel and hear the rest of the staff following behind as we marched through the dining room. Glancing over my shoulder, I saw booth after booth of grinning truckers empty and join the procession! We stopped in front of the big table. Its surface was covered with coffee cups, saucers and dinner plates, all sitting slightly crooked on dozens of folded paper napkins. "First thing you have to do, Stevie, is clean up this mess," I said. I tried to sound stern.

Stevie looked at me, and then at his mother, then pulled out one of the napkins. It had "Something for Stevie" printed on the outside. As he picked it up, two $10 bills fell onto the table.

Stevie stared at the money, then at all the napkins peeking from beneath the tableware, each with his name printed or scrawled on it. I turned to his mother. "There's more than $10,000 in cash and checks on that table, all from truckers and trucking companies that heard about your problems. "Happy Thanksgiving,"

Well, it got real noisy about that time, with everybody hollering and shouting, and there were a few tears, as well.

But you know what's funny? While everybody else was busy shaking hands and hugging each other, Stevie, with a big, big smile on his face, was busy clearing all the cups and dishes from the table.

Best worker I ever hired.

Friday, April 04, 2008


Many club members, their friends and family of The Fishin' Club on Whidbey Island WA have generously supplied us with their favorite recipes for "KEEPERS" a one of a kind cookbook featuring many delicious dishes from around the world. We flavored the recipe titles with nautical terms and Whidbey Island place names giving the cook book a distinctive flair.

Some of the recipes include, Saratoga Passage Crab Cake Bites, Poop Deck Pork Chili, Whidbey Seafood Pasta Salad, Indonesian Meatballs With Peanut sauce, Baja Californian Chicken, and many more mouthwatering dishes.
There are Appetizers, Soups & Salads, Vegetables & Side Dishes, Beef & Pork, Poultry, Fish & shellfish, Breads Rolls & muffins, Desserts, Cookies & Candy, and a This & That category.

The Fishin' Club is a non-profit, family oriented, non political, educational club which also serves the community. Our membership, and advertisers in our monthly newsletter support a yearly scholarship fund for our local high schools kids who are going on into fisheries, marine biology or related Fields.

Also of interest you will find a listing and pictures of local B&B's, helpful hints, a list of herbs & spices and their uses, hints on baking breads and other helpful information.

For all of you who would like to have one of our cook books for your collection and help support our scholarship fund, you may click HERE to order your copy. The books are $10 plus $2 for shipping and handling.