Saturday, June 28, 2008

We Have a Website!

Ozarklake has its very own website! How exciting! Please take a peek and tell us what you think.

Terrie spent a good part of the past two days doing all the little things that put the outside of the house almost back to normal. The front porch needed to be painted before the storm, but that's one of those jobs you just keep putting off - until the contractor uses a power-washer to clean up the roofing mess. So the porch is freshly painted, all the things that blow in the wind are back up, the hummingbird and oriole feeders are back on the porch, the little decorations in the rock garden in front are back. Three windchimes were damaged beyond repair, but there is no shortage of hummingbird "things" in this house - including replacement windchimes that moved from inside to outside. So with just a few minor things yet to be done by the contractor, the outside appearance is almost pre-storm damage. It sure looks nekkid without those big old trees! The ceiling replacement inside will be done when we're not home. We figure that's easier on our nerves and certainly easier for the contractor. Terrie is packing up everything that would get in his way and trying to find some place to store the boxes.

The devastation at the Omaha Arts Festival is unbelievable. Our hearts go out to those artists who lost so much of themselves with the destruction of their works.

Hummingbird fact for today: Hummers like several baths a day and will fly in and out of sprinklers or splash in shallow pools and then sit and preen with bill and claws. Regular birdbaths are usually too deep for the tiny hummers.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I Admit It - I'm Addicted

I did not really recognize how addicted I have become until I had no internet connection last week. Living out in the boonies, we have been totally ignored by AT&T so we have no DSL. I'm not even sure who the latest purchaser of the cable service in this area is, but there is no cable internet either. The big company on the other side of the Lake can't come in here because somehow this area was "deeded" to this little outfit that sold to a bigger outfit that sold to a bigger outfit, etc., etc. So we depend on Wildblue for satellite service. Unfortunately, the dish was on the roof. In the normal course of putting on an entire new roof, the dish was moved. It took four days to get a repairman out here and we were like babies who have lost their pacifiers. I felt totally cut off from civilization without my email and internet news. It was terrible!

Hummingbird fact for today: Changes in the climate and the numbers of hummer-friendly gardens in the US have helped to extend the range and duration of hummingbirds.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Midwestern Storms and Art Shows

We were at the Town Art Show this past weekend in Leawood, KS. This is a benefit for the Parkinson Foundation of the Heartland. Town Center Plaza was surrounded with quality art of all types and shoppers found unique treasures Friday evening and Saturday. Unfortunately, yet another Midwestern storm rolled in on Sunday and closed down the show. Many of our artist friends have suffered losses of their work this year because of storms. The organizer of this show, Sue Hunter, was extremely cognizant of the danger to the artists and their works and gave us plenty of warning about the impending storm and encouraged the artists to protect themselves and their art even if that meant tearing down the booths. The volunteers were wonderful, the patrons were appreciative, and with concern like Sue exhibited, this is one of THE BEST shows to attend, both as an artist and a patron. We look forward to attending this show again next year.

We returned home to find a roofing crew hard at work on our house. This is a good thing as storms had hit our area again as well. Large pieces of trees, lumber and shingles from the roof, a fallen fence, a cracked sidewalk - our place is still a mess. But it is fixable. Our hearts go out to those who have suffered the ravages of flood waters. Sometimes it is easy to fall into the "why me?" state of mind, but all you have to do is look around you to realize how fortunate you really are. Fallen trees can be dealt with quickly and cleanly. The same cannot be said for fires and floods and many other catastrophes.

Hummingbird fact for today: A hummer may visit 1000 flowers in single day.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Where Has All the Singing Gone?

You don't really appreciate something until you don't have it anymore. The two large trees that fell on the house gave a home to a lot of birds. Early morning around here used to be filled with their singing. Now the bird songs are gone. Our two cats were fascinated by the bird activity in those trees. They would sit for hours, Ozzie at the back bedroom window and George on the bed looking out the front bedroom window. Now they look but nothing is there.

I was finally able to bring myself to look at the pictures the contractor took up on the roof. It's really frightening to see them. Yes, there is damage to the house, but it could have been so much worse. When I see pictures of all the homes that are filled with water now from flooding, I realize how fortunate we are.

We were at Art in the Park in Columbia, Missouri, this past weekend. The director of the Columbia Art League is an absolutely lovely person who puts her heart and soul into this show. And the people of Columbia turn out in droves. Unfortunately, our sales were down from last year, as were a lot of other artists, but others had record sales. There didn't seem to be a pattern that anyone could figure out. Economy? Gas prices? Who knows for sure? We were just glad that an Arkansas jeweler we encouraged to apply for the show was very pleased with the outcome. I always worry about telling an artist about a show because I don't want them to be disappointed in my recommendation.

Hummingbird fact for today: A hummingbird will add up to one-half its weight in body fat in preparation for migration, a phase called hyperphagia.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

View from the Window

Last week, we could look out the bedroom window and see the patio below. We could see our neighbor to the north. We could see across the street and down the hill. And if you craned your neck, you could see the Lake down the hill.

It's just a little bit disconcerting to look out the window and see nothing but BIG TREE.

We have tree across the house, across the deck, across the deck stairs, up against the downstairs door, and across the entrance to the front porch. Leaving the house involves a carefully manipulated jungle trek! And the "good news" is ----- more storms are headed our way!

Hummingbird fact for today: A hummer nest has an outside diameter of about 1 ½ inches and the inside is about the size of a penny. It is made of moss and lichens to be very well camouflaged and may be secured with spider web. The nest takes about a week to construct.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Tree in the Closet

I'm always telling people that leaving your feeder out late in the fall will not keep the hummers hanging around. Mother Nature is a force greater than anything we can imagine, and she tells them when to head back south. I got an up-close lesson in the forces of Mother Nature last night.

We live in a quiet, small, mature subdivision - only about 60 houses and lots of wonderful old trees. About 1 a.m. two of those trees came crashing down on our house. Apparently two storm systems collided. In the aftermath, officials are saying it was a tornado. There are at least 8 huge old trees completely uprooted in our quiet little neighborhood. Unfortunately, ours was the only one with a house under it! My wife sleeps quite soundly and has always told me that she wouldn't know if a tree fell on the house through the night. By gosh she's right! I was awake and heard it, but had to wake her up to tell her about it.

The first picture is the back of the house. The second picture is the front of the house. The third picture is the inside of the closet, complete with The Tree in the Closet.

Now we are in the unenviable position of dealing with the insurance company and contractors. Luckily, the largest tree fell just right and sent a branch through the roof, through the attic, and through our closet and NOT through us sleeping in our bed.

The storm traveled through a small part of the Lake of the Ozarks. While ours was the only house in our subdivision to be under fallen trees, there were others in other neighborhoods. Related news stories: and

Hummingbird fact for today: The Hummingbird Clearwing moth is often mistaken for a hummingbird or baby hummingbird.