Have crew, will travel

I took this pic in San Cristobal, Ecuador, when we visited the Galapagos.


Missile toes, more from Bert's tour of Texas

So, during our trip to Texas, we were tooling around on the Gator, my esteemed guide (Bert, 9) displaying an impressive innate sense for what I would find photo-worthy and I asked, "What kind of nest is that?"

Noticing that I was pointing at a dark ball in an otherwise desiccated-looking tree, he said, with only the tiniest hint of geez-you-northerners-are-idiots in his tone, "That's mistletoe."

"I didn't know missiles had toes. Is that a Texas thing?"

Okay, I didn't say that because I didn't think of it until just now. Dang it.

Instead, I said something along the lines of, "Aw, how sweet."

"Well, it sucks the water out of trees and kills them," he replied.

What? I thought. What the hell kind of sweet holiday cheer kissing thing sucks the life out of trees and kills them?

Does Santa know about this?

Yeah, I didn't say any of that, either.

As it turns out, my knowledgeable guide was correct, though I'm guessing a lot of you knew that already.

Mistletoe is both:

beneficial and deadly to plants and animals

poisonous and a supposed remedy for poisoning

a killer, and a potential cure for cancer


And you thought kissing was complicated.

Happy Holidays!



Holidays at the Curious Distractions office

Cute curls face-off.
This is Zeus's baby boy, Henry. He got to spend the weekend with us, waiting for his new family to pick him up. Sweet dog. I hope he and his humans are happy together:

Here, Tesla (dog) makes sure all my honeys are smiling for their picture:

Assassin cockatiel awaits nefarious victim. Or, you know, any victim. Especially partridges:

And, at my sister's, we experienced a weird bird invasion:

Newest niece and I, playing with the camera. I wish we'd have played with some lipstick first, but whatever:

Really hope you're all having a wonderful holiday season.




I'm not sure which of these is more wrong

I looked out the front door and found that my gargoyle had finally achieved lift off:

And there was also this, which I'm guessing needs no explanation in regards to wrongness:




Let it snow

We had the bright idea to take a family photo outside this year. The contents of Lake Michigan begged to differ. I'm just happy my beloved camera survived the ordeal. My hair, well, not so much.

I am kind of digging the Lake Effect camouflage, though. Ha.


American Airlines now charging fees to non-passengers

The Onion.

A little too funny because it isn't as far-fetched as it should be.

/via fark



Hey, you have a tail growing out of your nose!

Most places, you might have stray dogs wander onto your property. Here in Texas, you also get stray donkeys. These found their way to my brother-in-law's house, and he procured them a home at the neighbor's.

Soon after, two donkeys became three. Cute baby!

Bert's Bees

The bees don't seem to mind winter in Texas too much:

Bert (9) was kind enough to drive me over on their Gator to see his discovery. How cool is that?

This guy keeps eating the fish out of Bert's little pond:

If it's going to eat all their fish, it could have at least had the decency to hang around long enough for me to get a closeup.

Still, I am thankful.

I hope you all are safe & happy.




Flying butt sniff

Here, Zeus demonstrates the rare and under-appreciated, flying butt sniff.


p.s. -- Tesla's tail is weird because she was attacked by an angry rosebush. I know this because I found a chunk of her tail hanging from a thorn.

Hint to our doggy friends: Don't mess with rosebushes.

You said there'd be dogs...

Yes, the doglets got to play, too. This is Tesla playing with her old friend, Zeus. I miss having him at our house!

This makes it all worth it...

Just in case I don't get time later, I wanted to show you my favorite pic of the weekend.

Life is good.


Another one of Spanky, just because he is so darn cute.

I'm Blue, but I'm not blue

Here's a pic of Blue sticking his tongue out at you. Yes, YOU!

Little horse, big heart

This would be Spanky. He wasn't afraid to lay a spank-down on the bigger horses if they messed with him. Don't let his foot-long legs fool you. He can kick a playa if he has to.


We had fun.


Girls, horses, dogs & Twilight

I took the troupe of teens to Ohio this weekend for horses, dogs & fun.

But first, we let the horses have fun.

(I think they think they're pigs. They always want to eat & they love to roll around in anything & everything!)

More later.




Virtual geography & stone-throwing

From the Department of Yes, I'm a Nerd I bring you the news that I got a new high score on the Free Poverty geography game. Yay. Badginess can be found to the right. And yes, poverty is, by definition, free, but website names should be short & memorable, so there you go. I don't think a woman whose blog addy is http://bellibean.blogspot.com/ should really throw stones. Ha.

Hope you're all having a wonderful day.




First snow pics

Winter isn't my favorite, but it's definitely wonderful to peek out the windows and find the trees laden with marshmallow fluff.


sunday funnies

Tee hee.

/via Cute Overload


HCl melted my spray bottle: too long for Twitter

There's a logic error here, of course, but isn't it kind of weird that we clean, scrub & disinfect our kitchens, then we chew our food & send it down into a vat of hydrochloric acid.

I mean, really, if hydrochloric acid isn't going to kill it, then what's dish soap going to do?




I may or may not be picking up alien signals



Coleus sunshine interception

More coleus interpreted sunshine.



Coleus in the window...

Okay, SOMEONE changed my camera settings. (Yes, I'm looking at you, Dad) & so I played around, trying to put things back to my "no thought required" settings...

My plants always suffer when I need to test my camera...


Pear in a pear tree

This would be more true if we trimmed the tops of these like we're supposed to, but it always strikes me how much pear trees look like, well, pears. Love them most in the spring, though.




A quick washing of my fruit basket (to rid it of fruit flies, thanks for asking) left it laden with aqua-diamonds.

I set a pomegranate vinegar trap for the fruit flies.

A trap at which the fruit flies soon flung their tiny fruit fly giggles between slurps of pomegranate vinegar.




Nano nature: extreme magnification pictures

Fruit fly eye.
More here.
Awesome stuff!
/via fark

Tee hee

funny dog pictures with captions
see more puppies


Special fx: Not bad, KC

Tesla, stalking trick-or-treaters, camouflaged by tall grass, not at all

In case you're wondering, KC went as an unlucky jogger...(hint: note tire print)

We set this scary lot loose upon the neighborhood

I got a little bored between goblin visits...

Halloween Highlights

I went shopping and the kids carved the pumpkins without me! I'm sure it's not because they were afraid of my plans to carve them with my Drummel. (edit: The pumpkins I mean, not the kids. Muahaha.)

Calling geography geeks!

New high score on the FreePoverty geography game. (See badge to the right.)

Any geography geeks out there ready to beat me?


Sky spit didn't wreck the lamps!

They work. Yay!

I frosted the glass, too. Thus is my attempt to fool you into thinking they're frosted instead of dirty.

It was either that or blindfold everyone who comes within fifty yards of the house. I thought the spray frost would be easier.




Considering traffic cone clothing line...

(note: slightly photoshopped due to the glaring lackluster properties of the original pic)

(note: ditto. see above note)

If you're following me on Twitter (I'll follow you back! Unless you sell baby-graters! Or something equally as distasteful...) you know that I'm visiting my dad and I fully expected to spend the weekend fixing his basement, due to rain and his basement's propensity to collect foul-smelling liquid when it shouldn't.

So, the good news and the bad news is -- no swim party due to rain flooding my dad's basement. And yes, we still plan to help him fix it, though Hubby says he's leaning toward hiring it out. Yay.

This happy surprise left Dad and I time to walk through the field behind his house.

Me: "Oh, what's this pretty stuff?"

Dad: "L planted it to attract deer."

Me: *Snappity, snappity with my handy camera.*

Then it hit me. "Where is L?"

Dad: "Hunting."

Me: *blink blink* "Here? Now?"

*looks down at bat garanimal clothing*

Me: "Why can't I ever dress like a traffic cone! We're going to get shot!"

Dad: "Relax, it's fine. He's hunting with a bow."

Me: *wiping sarcasm from chin* "Oh, well that's okay then."

Sometimes you just have to let go of the imagining of the worst.



Operation Lamp Landfill Avoidance

The finish had worn and faded on these lamps and we were ready to toss them. I decided I would try to save them with some Satin Nickel spray paint.

I'm actually finished with them now. I'll post an After pic soon!
In other news, I now want to spray paint everything.
Visitors be warned! (*hmm, wouldn't he look better purple?*)

The twist might be that I sprayed paint into the wrong places and none of them will work properly once reinstalled. Not to mention the fact that the sky promptly spit rain into the open places from whence we'd removed the lamps.

Hopefully, the ending will be a happy one.




Who knew cockatiels could be such good farmers?

So I had this idea.

Since it's poop and seeds that routinely fall to the bottom of my cockatiel's cage, I wondered what would happen if I added potting soil and water (and some grass seed because I thought that would be pretty).

It didn't take long to reveal that dirt, seeds, water and poop get along pretty well:

Yeah, I have no idea what Cheeky and I are growing, but I'm excited anyway:

Farmer Cheeky: