The desert is covered in wildflowers because of all the winter rain it received. It's one of the best ways to say thank you to Mother Nature that I can think of. What have we been doing? We went through I don't remember how many re-schedules for new shower doors in the main bathroom. When they were finally installed, we waited for the sealant to cure... and when the first shower was taken, Lake Kittling was born because the frame wasn't sealed completely. We've been so happy with this company in the past, but this experience makes us leery of ever dealing with them again. (Or perhaps we can say, "Don't send us [Name Withheld]"?)
Behind the roses and the shed is the sweet acacia. You might be able to see small yellow pom-poms covering the branches. Oil from the sweet acacia is used in many perfumes, so between the Tombstone roses and the sweet acacia, it smells wonderful here at Casa Kittling in the spring. The sweet acacia is near and dear to my heart because I bought the seeds for it when I took my grandmother to visit the Desert Botanical Garden many, many years ago. Yes, I grew that from seeds, and each spring I think of my grandmother and I sticking our heads in a blooming tree at the Garden and inhaling deeply. We wanted to make sure we wouldn't plant something either of us was allergic to! (As you can see, neither of us swelled up, turned red, or sneezed our heads off.)
By the time you read this, Denis and I hope to have made a trip to the Phoenix Zoo to see what's new there. There's been a lot of construction on new exhibits. We'll also donate money to the new meerkat exhibit because we both love those critters.
Speaking of critters, it's time to head on out to the corral. Head 'em up! Mooooove 'em out!
►Books & Other Interesting Tidbits◄
- Why does it matter who wrote Nancy Drew, anyway?
- How the New York Public Library fills its shelves (and why some books don't make the cut).
- For twenty years, Betty Webb and Lena Jones solved mysteries together. But was it time to let her go?
- The true identities of the kings in your pack of playing cards.
- The reason why dollars are referred to as "bucks" is surprisingly literal.
- Why older women will rule the world: The future is female says an MIT expert. ("Will" rule the world? We'd best get to work then!)
- What water means to the desert: An amazing timelapse of a completely dehydrated desert plant being resurrected with water.
- Early trains were thought to make women's uteruses fly out.
- Handcrafting books: Labors of love.
►Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones◄
- The Bayeux Tapestry with knobs on: What do the tapestry's ninety-three penises tell us?
- A medieval Arabic medical text was translated into Irish.
- Newly discovered letters show a different side of Mary, Queen of Scots.
- For Sale: A POW journal documenting World War II's "Great Escape."
- The long-lost monastery of a Dark Age Anglo-Saxon princess has been discovered in Scotland.
- How a sewage worker managed to break into the "impenetrable" Bank of England.
- A homeowner found a dusty old painting in the attic which turned out to be a lost Caravaggio.
- Four hundred artifacts have been unearthed at the site of a Nazi massacre targeting Polish and Soviet POWs.
►Channeling My Inner Elly Mae Clampett◄
- Humans are destroying chimpanzee culture.
- A new orca species may have been spotted off the coast of Chile.
- Caught on video: a dog and a coyote playing in a suburb of Phoenix.
- Woman attacked by a jaguar at the Wildlife World Zoo here in the Phoenix metro area. (Don't cross a signed barrier when trying to take a selfie...) Smithsonian Magazine also has an article about this.
- A month-long oil spill in the Solomon Islands threatens the world's largest coral reef atoll.
- A monastery has adopted an adorable stray dog who now lives like a friar.
- A napping moose keeps a Colorado library closed.
- Hungry otters are creating a unique archaeological record.
- How the daughters and granddaughters of former slaves secured voting rights for all.
- Robert Gentile, the mobster who may be the last living person with knowledge of the Gardner Museum heist, is set to be released from prison.
- Carolee Schneemann pioneered the way women's bodies were seen.
- A podcast series on women who changed the world.
►I ♥ Lists◄
- New Orleans: ten novels, one city, and one big holiday season.
- The ten rules for survival in a cozy mystery world.
- Ten thrillers featuring all-consuming obsession.
- Five books about the prairies.
- The twenty-five authors who've made the most money in the last decade.
- Author Brad Parks' list of eight great books set in prisons.
- Ten surprising facts about Nancy Drew.
- Merriam-Webster's list of eleven common terms that used to be "bad grammar."
That's all for this week! Don't forget to stop by next Friday when I'll be sharing a freshly selected batch of links for your surfing pleasure.
Have a great weekend, and read something fabulous!