Friday Four

1.     The Christmas Tree is up (a real one) and the angel and lights have been installed. Sometime this weekend I’ll put up the bead garland, and sometime next week, once Older Son arrives for the holidays, the ornaments will go on. The only major holiday work I have left is advance meal prep, all of which can go in the freezer.

Holly mug2.     Oh, and the rest of the decorating…which includes swapping out the everyday mugs for the Christmas ones. Many of them were inherited from my husband’s aunts, some were gifts. My favorite is this holly cup, too small to be considered a mug but just the right size for an ice cube and enough Bailey’s Irish Cream to make winter worthwhile. (Santa foolishly purchased her Irish Cream before the $4-off-on-a-purchase-of-2 coupon showed up in the paper…but at least Santa got a sale price.)

3.     Deer have been uncharacteristically absent from the neighborhood lately, but last month Walking Partner and I stood on a bridge over a nearby river and watched a mink–a real live mink!–catching fish and hauling them to an underwater burrow.

The next day I went back with a camera and naturally there was no trace of mink. Good thing I had a witness. However, I did see my first muskrat ever. I felt as if I’d been transported inside a Thornton W. Burgess novel! Had I not obsessively searched online the day before to ID the mink, I might have mistaken the muskrat for a small dog gone for a swim, but I caught a good look at the tail and it definitely was a muskrat. Despite close to a dozen visits to the bridge since, I haven’t spotted either one. Perhaps it was Water Mammal Meet-and-Greet Week?


That’s Jerry Muskrat between the parallel shadows. Jerry wasn’t cooperative about posing and I was as far out on the rocks as I cared to go without my wellies, but if you click on the photo it probably will enlarge so you can tell that the shape is a furry creature and not random river debris.

4.     This past Thursday night Younger Son and I were up late–way too late–staring at the sky hoping to see a Geminid meteor. Living in a metropolitan area makes home-based skywatching a challenge, but even with light pollution and inconsiderate neighbors who keep their lights on, we usually see something if it’s not overcast. Younger Son saw three (one as he was getting out of the car after work, one when I was watching another part of the sky) and we both saw the third, a big bright one that streaked right over our house. After that we gave up because it is a lot chillier hunting for meteors in December in Wisconsin than it is in the middle of August (fewer mosquitoes, though). One of these years we really have to arrange to borrow a farm field to get a good look at the Perseids.
© 2012 Anne Bingham and Making It Up as I Go

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8 Responses to Friday Four

  1. Marcia says:

    And they think you can’t see wildlife in the city. I didn’t know mink lived that much in water. Halfway through reading this, it started snowing on the screen!


    • Anne Bingham says:

      WordPress snows from Dec 1 through the end of the month. I think it’s such a cool feature (in both senses of the word) and was one of the reasons I was motivated to get a blog post up again after an unintended hiatus. Also, it was easier than revising…


  2. Vijaya says:

    Ooooh, I love your perfect sized holly cup and the muskrat is very cool.


    • Anne Bingham says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Vijaya. I’m still hoping for another mink or muskrat sighting, plus there is Old Hoytie, the elusive enormous turtle that Younger Son and a few other walkers have seen in recent years. Walking Partner and I think we almost saw it once — something the size of a garbage can lid was swimming upstream underwater–but it stopped at a fallen tree and never surfaced. It’s all very motivating.

      n Dec 15, 2012,


  3. Anne M Leone says:

    Wow, a mink and a muskrat! So cool! I haven’t seen any deer this year, and I really think I should be in a perfect place for it. Ah well. Nice to be able to share in some of your spottings.

    Also I love that you found a good use for your teeny mug–we’ve got a few of those, too. Lovely to look at, but not so useful at the moment.


    • Anne Bingham says:

      I’ve been getting pickier about mugs, in part because of the space they take (both in the kitchen and in storage). I have a Christmas set, a spring/summer set of flowers going from snowdrops to daylilies, and what I call a ferial set (imprinted with cartoons or plain) that I use in fall and January-March. Usually it’s just one from each set that I gravitate to, and if I didn’t have 5 cuphooks, I’d probably just use the one until time to change. However, it’s good to have extras when someone stops in, and fun to see them try to decide which to pick!


  4. Anne,
    I love that cute little holly cup! I, too, have various mugs that I choose from on a daily basis, depending on the day/season/mood. Sometimes, if my mind is really jumbled or I’m not sure how the day will go, I choose my plain white ‘blank slate’ mug. It all just depends.

    I love the idea of a Water Mammal Meet-and-Greet. What a funny concept!



  5. MaryWitzl says:

    We still have our Christmas tree up. It isn’t in the way, and we only put it up at the last minute, late on Christmas eve. Those are my excuses and I figure they’ll last up until Valentine’s Day. (I’d win a clean woman’s Bad Housekeeping award, no doubt about it.) Wish we had muskrats here!


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