The Birds and the Bees…and the Dogs

Posted by mrssmythe on July 22, 2014 in Critters, Garden, On the Home Front |


The birds have finally discovered our chipmunk feeder. This has made for some great wildlife viewing, and now, more than ever, Shadow and Manny are glued to the window, watching.

I don’t blame them. It can be very exciting. Last week, at dinner, a chipmunk raced up the trunk of the tree, grabbed a bird by the foot, and hauled him off to the driveway where twenty of the bird’s friends descended on said chipmunk and began beating him with their wings. Are you shocked? So were we!

CPT America finally had to go and break things up. Thankfully, the bird wasn’t harmed. But, who knew chipmunks could be so vicious?

Things can be just as cutthroat in the backyard. Today, a hawk strafed Kipper. Dove right at him! Manny was there too, and neither of the dogs noticed the bird, but they did notice the tail feather that fluttered down out of mid-air after the hawk flew off.


Kipper snapped at it and ran around the yard with it in his mouth for a bit before finally giving it to CPT America. Not realizing his danger, he thought the whole thing quite fun….

Unlike his recent adventure in the raspberry bush.

The other morning, Kipper and Manny decided raspberries for breakfast would be a good idea.

It wasn’t.

At first I didn’t know what had happened. I saw Kipper shoot out of the bush like a rocket, then begin rolling on the lawn, pawing at his face. He stopped for a second to lick his stomach, then raced around again, repeating the behavior. I thought maybe he’d gotten snagged by raspberry thorns.

Later, though, we found several welts on Manny and figured both dogs must have been stung by bees.


It was Kipper’s first bee stings of the season, but not Manny’s. DSCN3631

Manny loves the bees. He and and I both enjoy watching them on the patio in the morning.DSCN3632

The difference is, I don’t try to snap at the bees or nudge them with my nose.

Manny, though, can’t seem to help himself. He’s always poking things with his nose.




It just never works.

One of these days, he’ll learn.

From the dining room table, sitting next to Shadow and not poking her with my nose,

Mrs. Smythe

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Happy Birthday, Abby!

Posted by mrssmythe on July 21, 2014 in Celebrations, Family |

photo 2

This week, my super cool, super sporty niece, Abby, turns twelve.

When Abby was younger (and we lived closer), her mother and I would dress her and Pepper in matching outfits and take them to the mall to be photographed.


Once, I even knit matching sweaters for the girls.


You can see how thrilled they were. For some reason, this is the reaction I get when I knit children clothing. I now no longer knit children clothing. I make them toys instead.

Moving on.

As it turns out, Abby and I have a lot in common.

We both have had braces (Abby has hers now – I had mine in high school).

We both have very large feet.

And we both love tennis.  photo 3

Abby is, in fact, quite good at tennis. She’s probably much better than I am at this point. Even so, I hope to get a chance to play tennis with her the next time I head West.

When Abby isn’t on the tennis court, she’s on the basketball court or the soccer field. (I told you she was sporty).

But it isn’t just organized sports this girl loves. Abby also enjoys fishing and camping. Here she is with her sister, Kylie, first thing in the morning, catching breakfast for her family.

photo 4
Way to go, Abby!

I’ll add, too, that Abby is an excellent student.

Abby, we hope you have a wonderful, fun-filled birthday! Please know we will be sending fond thoughts and warm wishes your way.

Until our next visit,

Mrs. Smythe



Guess Who Got a Haircut!

Posted by mrssmythe on July 21, 2014 in Family, On the Home Front |


Ginger had finally had it with long, heavy hair in summer. She wanted a cut and she wanted it done right away.

So! Off came the curls – no small task, considering Ginger has very thick hair.


The pile of hair we clipped off her head was very large. Rather sobering to look at.


But, thankfully, Ginger was pleased with the result.

I imagine the whole shampooing/combing out process will be much easier, now. (Hooray!) Also, Ginger is very much looking forward to swimming in her new shorter ‘do. She thinks it will be nice not to get tangled up in hair when she dives.

From the dining room table, watching Manny watching squirrels,

Mrs. Smythe


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