Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Blueberry's Choice

Last week, Zoe suggested we write about wine.  And, Blueberry thought that if we were going to write about fruit at all, we should write about....well... Blueberries.

More specifically, She thought we should write about Blueberry.  And by Blueberry, of course, She meant we should write about Her.  Herself.

It makes sense, really.   Of course a Rabbit would want to write about Herself.  Of course She would.  And She would want you to read about Her.  And you would WANT TO!!!

The thing is this:  We want to write about Blueberry, but we also want to write about one other fruity thing.  So, we're going to tackle both subjects.  I KNOW, I KNOW!  Risky!  It is.  But I think it will be OK.

First up, Blueberry.  In lieu of actually writing about Blueberry (because HOW COULD WORDS SUFFICE?!?) we are just going to show a picture of Her.

As for the other fruit, it has to do with Cherries.  It is Cherry season here in Northwestern Pennsylvania, so it's a good time to write of them.  And, as it is always beer season, it seems that one should write of Cherries and Beer right about now.

Blueberry, Cherries, and Beer.  A triumvirate of sorts.  At least for the purposes of including everything in this post.

First off, let me say that if you have never tried fruit infused beer, you should.  And if you live in the part of the world that is now experiencing Summer, now is a good time to try a fruity beer.  Just because it's good.  Here at the Lilypad, we tend to think of fruity beers as Summer fare.

You may find yourself at your local beer store or grocer wondering, "What would Zoe and or Blueberry choose?"

Give yourself a pat on the back for asking that question, will you?  Thanks.

Since you asked, here's what Rabbits Recommend:

Samuel Smith Organic Cherry Ale.  WOWZA!  Now, that's good stuff!

It's not too sweet, it's not too tart.  It is simply smooth and refreshing.

Which brings us back to a certain Rabbit...  It has come full circle.

See, I told you we could write about it all in one post.  Did you doubt me?

You shouldn't.  I have Rabbit Power on my side.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Here We Go Again!

You're not going to believe this!!!

For 13 years, we Lilypadders rolled with at least four (4) cats.  Sometimes more.

We began with Jobie and Rosie, essentially.  They were the Chick's cats before we met.  We added Ernie and Scottie to that mix pretty quickly.  Many years passed before we added Miss Emmie, but once she showed up in the yard with her irresistible seafoam green peepers,  there were five.

Five.  That was a lot.  Sometimes, it felt like a zoo, but other times, we hardly noticed unless it was time for them to strap on their feedbags, as it were.

Then Miss Zoe popped in (She really deserves Her own sentence, yes?)

Ernie packed up for Sparkle Pond about 5 years ago, leaving us with four cats again.  Then Jobie left and we were down to three, but not for long before Lilly came.  Then Toby.

Next, Blueberry came to stay.  (Same as above-- Rabbits need Their Own Sentences!!)

Then a couple of months ago Rosie moved on to Sparkle Pond and last week, Scottie.

We have a lot of turnover!

And, then, there were three.  Plus two Rabbits.

The Chick hates odd numbers.  But we quickly adjusted to just the three.  Things were Calm.  Things seemed a lot less like a zoo and a lot more like, well....a house with a few Animals.

But then, Sunday morning, the Chick said to me, "So, I have to tell you.  I looked at (our friend) Eileen's website for Orphan Angels and I think there's a cat there who needs us."  As it turned out, she had looked at the Orphan Angels' site a few weeks ago before Scottie got so ill, and then forgot all about it when he started doing so poorly.  The rest of us in the Lilypad didn't know that the Chick had already chosen our next cat.
(A side note:  that last sentence was foreshadowing...)

But on Sunday morning, she remembered.  And she couldn't stop thinking about this cat.

She texted Friend Eileen who agreed to meet us at noon on Sunday at Orphan Angels, which is her Awesomely Amazing free range Cat Store.  There are two Giant Rabbits there as well, but since it's mostly cats, we call it a cat store.  Anyhow, it is a wonderful place.  We were both excited and nervous to meet this new cat, whose current name was "Ditto."

We already had a new name picked in honor of Scottie (as his real name was F. Scott Fitzgerald, we chose a name from The Great Gatsby) and also in honor of Rosie (we had Rosie, now Lilly, and the new name was also a flower-related name).


Though she was very shy, Daisy was immediately responsive to attention (who isn't, right?).  The second we walked into the room, she looked right at the Chick.  When I began to pet her, she purred and ran to her food dish to eat.  Both good signs.  We packed her up and brought her home.

And that was that.


She is settling in nicely.  

More to come on Daisy later in the week.  We'll see how she feels about Flip Friday.....

Friday, June 25, 2010

Flip Friday

It's been a long week here.  The loss of F. Scott Fitzgerald was a shock to the whole Lilypad.  We are recovering, though, by thinking good thoughts of all the Cats who are now at Sparkle Pond.

It also helps to have Fresh Cats, as we call them.  New Cats in Fresh Suits who are young and bouncy and playful.  They don't replace the Sparkle Cats, but they certainly inject the house with FunLove.

Of course we also know that Rabbits Help Everything.

And so, to Celebrate this fact, here is a movie in which Toby the MiniCat (who is really no longer Mini!) tried to horn in on the Rabbits territory, while they try to teach him to Straighten Up and Fly Right.

Do you think he got he message?  I'm not so sure.

See for yourself...

Toby The Rabbit from marcy hall on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Something New

OK, this isn't something TOTALLY new that we're going to write about today, but it is a newish topic.


When I last wrote about wine, it was because I was making it.  Remember?  Let me jog your memory for a moment:
The wine fermenting in the carboys.

Miss Zoe, trying a little of the homemade hooch.

Do you remember that?  Zoe thought you would a least recall that picture of her, sampling our squeezin's.

Zoe suggested, for those of you who enjoy a something a little more aged than just plain grape juice, that we write about a couple of wines we have tried recently.  Blueberry, on the other hand, wasn't sure that writing about fruit related things (other than Herself, of course) was terribly appropriate. 

But, since we have tried some excellent wines lately, and because I also wanted to write about them, Zoe won out.  (Next week, we will write about a topic of Blueberry's choice, so don't worry.  She is thinking now about what She might want to address.  Her Ears are up in Contemplation.  Or, maybe it is Grouchiness?  Hmmmmm.)

All this, and we haven't even gotten to the wines yet!

First, let me say that we, here at the Lilypad, judge books by their covers and wines by their labels.  Sometimes, we get burned by that philosophy, but as a general rule, we find that if a publisher or wine maker is willing to put time and money into the packaging of their product, then they must really believe in it.

Here, then, I reveal the labels from two recent wine tries:

You will notice that they are both Pinot Noirs.

Ever since I read the book Sideways by Rex Pickett, I have been on a Pinot Noir kick.  Miles, the novel's main character (besides being a one hit wonder sort of writer and a rather pathetic and alcoholic recent divorcee who is trying to keep his soon to be married friend on the up and up while on a pre marriage wine tour), is a complete wine snob and will pretty much only drink Pinot Noir.

As I read the book, I couldn't recall ever really having a Pinot.

Well, I certainly wanted to while I was reading.  And after.  And now.

The way Pinot is described in the book was exquisite-- the black currant, cherry flavors meshed with smooth vanilla and other essences resulting in a rich wine with a velvety finish.  Well, who can resist that?

Not I, I say.  Not I.

When was the last time YOU had a Pinot Noir?  If you want to try something delicious that's not too expensivo and is definitely delicious, try Arrogant Frog or The Seeker.  You won't be disappointed.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Farewell, Sweet F. Scott

Last Friday, the Rabbit Girls and I posted a movie for our dear, sweet, Scottie Cat (a.k. a. F. Scott Fitzgerald).  Scottie had rather suddenly taken ill a couple of weeks ago, and we thought it would be nice to honor him.

We didn't really know what was wrong with him, though his symptoms could mostly be chalked up to old age (he was somewhere between 17 and 20 years old-- we never knew how old he was when we adopted him).

We first met Scottie at our local Humane Society.  The Chick had gone there to pick out a cat.  She had just gotten Ernie, who was a teeny kitten who made funny pterodactyl sounding sounds, and who needed a friend.  When she walked past the cats in their little cat pens, Scottie reached out and grabbed her.  From that very second, she knew that he was our cat-- he picked us.   Well, he picked her at any rate.

The Humane Society would not let her take him home.  She had just moved into an apartment, and they needed tons of proof that, since she was living in an apartment,  that having a cat was OK with her landlord, etc.  She didn't have that.

At the time, I was still living with my parents while just beginning graduate school.  So the next day, I went in by myself and snatched Scottie.  They had no problem giving him to me, since I lived in a residence with my family.  Scottie seemed confused.  "Don't worry," I told him on the way to the Chick's apartment.  "You'll like where I'm taking you.  I promise."

And that was that.  We had two sweet orange and white cats.

At first, Scottie was depressed.  He would sit at the window and cry and cry.  He would sit and stare at the walls.  Slowly, Ernie taught him how to play.  They remained best friends for 13 years.

Ever since Ernie packed up and moved to Sparkle Pond a few years ago now, Scottie has been lonely for him. 

At 2:30 Am on Saturday, June 19, 2010, they were reunited.

We still don't really know what was wrong with Scottie, and frankly, it doesn't matter.  He lived a good, long life full of playing and snuggling and loving and lots of brothers and sisters.  He loved his rabbits and he loved to eat.  He could sit in the window for hours with his big, fluffy orange squirrel tail floating around in the breeze.  Scottie loved people.  He would greet people like a butler at the door, and as soon as they sat down, he'd want to be on their lap.  

He loved everyone equally and well.  We can all learn from that attribute.

You will be missed, sweet Scottie.  Sparkle Pond will be a better place because of you.  And Ernie will be happy to see you.   I can't say the same for Jobie and Rosie, since they weren't always so sure of you as Ernie was, but they will at least give you a nod and a growl if nothing else.

Thank you for being such a wonderful cat, Scottie. 

 Scottie in the Rabbit Room with Zoe-- just last week.

Scottie's last portrait Pre-Sparkle Pond, 
again taken last week in his Rabbits' Room.  
Still so handsome.

Rest in Peace, Scottie.  We'll love you forever.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Flip Friday for Scottie

It's been a bit of a rough week here.  I didn't feel much like writing on Wednesday, so I didn't.  If you've been keeping up with the Chick's blog, though, you already know why.  Our sweet Scottie Cat is preparing to head to Sparkle Pond to be with his friends, Ernie, Jobie, and Rosie.

It's a difficult thing to watch Scottie winding down, yet we feel as privileged to be a part of this process with Scottie as we have been to have been a part of his life.  Whatever it is that is wrong with him just felt like it happened so fast.  We had the impression that he would go on for many more years, and instead, he suddenly just decided that he is tired and he's ready to move on to something else. 

We don't know how much time we have left with Scottie, so we are just trying our best to balance our need to smother him with love and kisses with his need to have his own space.  We are trying to be respectful of his process.  It's not easy.

In his honor, Zoe and Blueberry would like to feature Scottie in today's movies.  It's a montage of a few different movies of Scottie.  A couple of the clips were filmed recently, as recently as over the last week or so.  Even though he's not feeling well, he still exudes the same handsomeness and distinguished look as he always has.

Our dear Scottie.  We love him so much.

For Scottie from marcy hall on Vimeo.

Monday, June 14, 2010


True Confessions here:  Zoe and I have been confused lately about our blog.

We love writing Ordinary Enchantment.  We love telling you tales of the Lilypad and its Mammalian Contents.  Now that Blueberry is here, She and Zoe discussed things and decided that they kind of wanted their own blog, separate from Lesser Things such as cats, art, stories about the Chick and me.

"We want Our Own Blog!!!"

That's all well and good, but They forget that while They may come up with the content, I still have to help them with the work-- take Their pictures, make Their Movies, etc.  And while They were thinking about doing this, I was thinking about starting a new kind of blog completely.  One about Food and Art and Drink and such.

It's confusing because we here at the Lilypad love SO MANY THINGS!  We love to make Art.  We love to Write.  We love Animals.  We love to Bake and Cook.  We love to Drink things.


Writing separately about all those things seemed like too much.  Too time consuming.  Too overwhelming.  Especially because I want to have time to do all those things listed above!

Plus, I am starting on some new adventures, like trying to get in better shape (again!) by running and boxing, and also trying to bake gluten-free things for the Chick.  I may even try to make her gluten-free beer out of buckwheat.  Add to that that there are many Animals here who all need a lot of attention, and sometimes hospice care (as you will see today on the Chick's blog-- our precious Scottie is not at his best.)

Our Little Old Man, Scottie

So, here is our decision:  For now, I said "no" to the Rabbit Girls about having Their Own blog.  We may still do that in the future.  Maybe event he not so far away future.  But right now, what is Important is FOCUS.  It's kind of something I lack and definitely something I need to work on.

The point of all this is to tell you that Ordinary Enchantment is officially branching out.  There will still be Rabbits and Cats and Art.  But there may be more of Other Things as well.  More Everyday Occurrences.  More Ordinary Enchantment, which is how I see my life.

It's going to be hard on Certain Rabbits, who like to be the Center of Attention, but it's the way it has to be.

DON'T WORRY!!!!  There will still be Flip Friday Rabbit Movies.  For those of you who were worried, rest assured that that will not diminish.

"Rabbit Movies had better NOT diminish!!  I just got here!!!"

Are you ready for this Adventure?  I HOPE SO!!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Flip Friday

One day a few weeks ago, as is my usual practice,  I opened the door to leave for work.  Normally, when I open the door to leave for work, the main thing I do is make sure the MiniCat isn't too close by.   I had done that, and he was nowhere in sight.

The thing is, though I am looking for something that may run OUT of the house, I am not usually too aware of things that may run IN.  And, on that particular morning, while I was vigilant about keeping the MiniCat IN, I was not vigilant about keeping Outdoor Whatnot OUT.

That being said, as I opened the door, I felt like I saw something shoot past me and into the house.  It wasn't a cat and it wasn't a mouse or a dog.

It wasn't even... A Bunny.

It seemed small but substantial.

In fact it sort of clomped by me.  Quickly.  Clomp clomp clomp clomp CLOMP!

I was already running late.  The MiniCat was in, and I had to go whether ther was something in the house or not.

"Hmmmmm...." I thought as I got on my bike to ride to work.  "I wonder what that was?  I must have imagined it, right?"  I agreed with myself, and then went about my day.

The next morning, the same thing happened.  I innocently opened the door and-- ZIP!! Something went right past me.  I felt like I saw a blurry flash of metal and then that was it.  Nothing else was in sight.  I scanned the room, and, seeing no small animals or anything else besides a wide-eyed MiniCat, I left for work and forgot all about it.

On the third morning, I was ready.  I creaked the door open, oh, so slowly.  I looked from side to side.  Seeing nothing, I exited the house and began to close the door behind me, when-- WHOOSH!!  Something went by me again!  This time it felt like a bag swished by my leg.  It almost made me lose my balance!

And, then, last night, when I got home from work, and I went up to the Rabbit Room to feed The Girls, I saw what those whooshes and zips were all about.

I called out to the Chick.  "Well," she said when she saw what was going on in the Rabbit Room, "at least you have your movie for Flip Friday.

And, that, I do.

Behold the Rabbits with their new,  friends...

Noses and Gnomes: Take One from marcy hall on Vimeo.
I hope you make some new friends this weekend, too!

Best Rabbit Wishes to you for a Wonderful Weekend!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Musical Memories

Over the last few months that the Chick has been teaching YogaDance and other classes, we have spent a lot of time thinking about music here in the Lilypad.  For the Chick, the Music is pretty much As Important as the movement in her classes.

We attach a lot of meaning to music.  It is able to transport us to different times in our lives (both good and bad.)  I am struck with musical memories all the time.

Last week, I was confronted with a musical memory in the form of a donation to the Library.  We have a support group called the Friends of the Library, and they collect books and other items that people are getting rid, sort through them, and then sell them to make money for the Library.  People drop off stuff all the time.

And what did we get last week?  A box of record albums!!

It was fun to look through a whole box of albums, but there was one in particular that I had to write about because it was SO FUNNY!!!

This album is one that I grew up with.  My dad owned it.  He LOVED Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.

Who doesn't, right?

Well, I looked at this particular album about a million times when I was little.  Like seriously-- one million.  And every time I looked at it, what did I think?

"Oh, my!  Look at that pretty wedding dress!"

And so, there it was int his box of records and I saw it and I exclaimed to my co-workers, "OMG!  I totally remember this record!!"  And, I (innocently) held it up.

"Ummmmm....what is she wearing???" asked one of my co-workers.

To which I replied, "Well, a wedding dre...."  My voice trailed off as I turned the album around.

Here is what I saw:

OK, so this lady is totally wearing whipped cream!!

Hey!  I was little!!  I didn't know!!!

Anyhow, it was fun to remember and FUNNY to see it from a new perspective.

Zoe and Blueberry and I now leave you with this video-- one of our favorite Herb Alpert Hits, "Tijuana Taxi."  I swear, it will make you want to drink a martini.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Friends We Miss

Lately, the Chick and I have felt a little out of sorts.

It is not a sad out of sorts, necessarily.  Not exactly.  It's more of an underlying persistent kind of ache that you feel when something is missing.  Like, we were walking trough Lowe's today, and suddenly, Christine turned to me and said she was missing Rosie the cat like crazy.

We realized that we both were.

And when we say we miss Rosie the Cat, we realize that we miss Jobie and Ernie the Cats, too, and that I miss my Grandpa and also my Grandma, who went to Sparkle Pond right before Ernie. 

And then, we remember that we are feeling this way in large part because today is the one year anniversary of our dear friend Ken's passage to Sparkle Pond.  Besides that, in another few days, in fact on the 12th of June, it will also mark the one year anniversary of my friend Susan's (with whom I worked) passage to Sparkle Pond.

That's a lot of people to be missing!

I guess more than any sadness, what we are feeling about these passings, both the ones that were timely (like my Grandparents, who were both in their 90s and the cats who were like little oldsters themselves) and the ones that were not so timely (like Ken and Susan who were both in their 50s) is a sense of urgency-- are we living our lives as we want to live them?  Are we doing the things we were put on this Earth to do?  Are we keeping our promises to be the people we say we want to be?

Those are questions that the Chick and I contemplate all the time.  Our lives are always a balance to live our creative dreams while still dealing with the practicalities of day to day living.  It is a difficult balance sometimes, and it can get frustrating and seem overwhelming.

We have a lot of Diva Moments here in the Lilypad as we try to negotiate these types of challenges.

We are Very Challenged!

"Challenged?  Yeah-- no kidding!!"

The point is, though, that we try to meet these challenges with some amount of Grace.  And that Grace is something that we learned from the People and Cats I mentioned at the beginning of this post.

Also, it is partly through the Teachings of Such People and Such Cats that we remember that these things that we do?  They really are Worthwhile and Important.

Living our Dreams is Worthwhile and Important.

We will feel out of sorts for awhile now.  And that's OK because that is our Reminder.

As the Chick often says, "It's Important to Remember to Remember."

So, that's what we will do.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Flip Friday

Well, as always, it's been an exciting week at the Lilypad.

Last week, a Fresh Rabbit.

This week a Fresh car named Seven.

(By the way, for those of you who wondered about Seven's name, she is named after the Star Trek Voyager character, Seven of Nine.  Seven of Nine was once part of the Borg Collective, but she becomes disassociated from the Borg and begins to rediscover her humanity through a variety of means.  We chose this name for a few reasons:

1.  Because we are obviously major geeks
2.  Because we want to maintain the mix of machine with humanity, meaning, we want to be resposible stewards in our car ownership
3.  Because Seven's awesome green color is called "Alien."  How could we NOT choose a Star Trek related moniker?)

Anyhow, Fresh Rabbit.  Fresh car.

With all of this Fresh stuff, the Mini Cat wanted to remind you that it wasn't that long ago that he was still fresh, and that, well...he IS still fresh.  Because of that, he wanted his own movie.

Curtain Cat from marcy hall on Vimeo.

And, then, of course, because it is Flip Friday, there MUST be a Rabbit Movie.  Miss Blueberry was sleeping during movie making time and chose to let Miss Zoe, Resident Rabbit Superstar, star alone in this week's movie. 

Zoe was, of course, happy to do this, though being a Good Sister, She did at least try to share the Responsibility.

You may recognize a certain cat making a cameo appearance at the beginning of the Rabbit Movie.  Zoe would like you to ignore that part of the movie if you could, please.

Miss Zoe (with a side of Toby) from marcy hall on Vimeo.

All of us here at the Lilypad wish you a happy weekend!!  Here's to Fresh (and maybe Not- So- Fresh) Things!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Big News at the Lilypad!

And you thought we had Big News last week!!  Well, we did.

If you read last week, then you know that last week's news consisted of welcoming This Rabbit...

...into the Lilypad fold (WELCOME LITTLE BLUEBERRY!!)

But today's news might knock you over, which is what happened when This Rabbit heard the news (and I don't mean about Blueberry!)

"Whoa!!!! WHAT???"

Today's news is Big, but not in a Mammal way.  Well, at least, not in a Small Mammal way.

Today's News is Big in a Large Mammal way.

Here-- let me give you a hint...

We here at the Lilypad have been car free for the last nine years.  It has been difficult.  It has been delightful.  It has been a pain in the butt.  It has been easy.

Not having a car is a series of paradoxes.

When we first gave up our car, we did it for a lot of reasons.  As artist/ writer/and now dancer types, we didn't want to be tied to the financial obligation for one thing.  Also, the war in Iraq was just beginning and not having a car was our own little protest. 

But, as the years went on, it got more difficult to get around without relying on others, which was never our intention.  Our local bus company, struggling with drops in ridership, reduced its service, making it impossible for me to ride home from my night shift at the library and also making it difficult to get around on weekends either to get to and fro work or to get out and enjoy music or other activities.

Of course, our bikes were always good for these tasks in the moderate weather.  But, let's face it-- we live in Erie, PA.  We love it here, and this is no way a dig on our weather, but we get a lot of SNOW!  and ICE!!  Both these things put a damper on biking for many months of the year.

We could deal with all of this stuff, though.  And we have.

Except, now things have changed:  The Chick has started living a different kind of life.  We both have changes coming that require more mobility.

And so, the time seemed right.

We have gone back and forth on this decision so many times, that, truthfully, neither one seems totally right.  But, we feel like we've learned enough in the past nine years to be responsible car owners, and that's important to us.

Here we go, then, on a New Adventure!!!  MAMMALS ON WHEELS!!!!

The Lilypad with her New Addition, the Kia Soul named "Seven"