Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Ten On Tuesday 4/14/15

1.  Yesterday, while I was working at the shop, it fell to me to jar the Worcestershire Powder. Not a problem. I noticed it was very fluffy so decided to jar it in the back room. Not only is it very fluffy, it is also sticky and got all over me, the table, the floor, and drifted up in the air. Did I put on the mask at once? No, not I, said the little red hen.  *sigh* From that moment until this I have been under a wild allergy attack.
     When I got home I immediately took a bath, washed my hair, put on all new clothes and took the spicy ones to the laundry.  Alas, the damage was done and continues into this morning despite allergy meds, peppermint oil under the nose, the humidifier and all manner of moaning, which my dear departed mother used to say helped.
    At least I learned my lesson. Mask Up!

2.  We are in a lovely rainy spell now, sans tornados, thank goodness. Well, Moore was hit by the first storm of the season, as usual but the rest of us are fine, so far. Some friends of ours came through town yesterday for a visit and said they were up and very worried all night because of the thunder and lightning going on outside.  They were positive they were going to blown away. These friends live in Encinitas, CA and their weather is beautiful but uneventful all year round. Poor dears.

3.  I'm back to selling some more of the frosty fudge Tamac again.  If you are a tarmac person and interested, here is what I currently have on hand. Leave me a comment if you want some of it and I'll email you the prices. Thanks. I also have lots of things in Avocado, a few in Frosty Pine and a few in the oney colored.

4.  I finished the book "The Girl On The Train" about which there has been much chatter on the social media and such.  It is a mystery, murder of course, and by the middle of the book I was much too scared to read in the evening and pretty sure any one of the five main characters could have and probably did kill the victim. It's a real page turner if that's what you had in mind.

5.  My Wisteria froze out again this year but it did manage to bloom for one day before getting blasted.  That's so odd because it has been blooming for several years and hasn't ever had a problem with freezing until last year.  I live in a little valley so I always get the last frost down here while the little hills on either side will miss it.  We planted our apricots on the hill where the cemetery is located for that reason. Apricots are so touchy anyway. So far we have managed to get one good harvest off that tree.
     Everything else is blooming to beat the band. Lilacs are everywhere and all those tulips my sister and I tucked into the cool soil in late November/December are blooming like crazy. After I crisscrossed the rose clippings over them the deer have decided to let them alone. My Redbuds are gorgeous and the Cherry is in bloom now.

6.  Abbey is on the lookout for a new/bigger house so everyone has been spending any spare time over there getting her house ready to sell.  It is amazing how much stuff we accrue over the years if we stay put.  There is an abundance of simplifying and organizing going on.  Yesterday, during supper play time, Zane managed to catch a big toad out in the backyard at her house, brought to wakefulness by these nice slow Spring rains with which we have been blessed. (Did I tell you my "sweet" cats managed to eat the one adult frog that had overwintered in my fountain pond? Ate him all but his head, which they left lying on the porch beside the back door as a special gift for yours truly. The cats do not understand me, nor I them.)

7. My wall of pictures is full of pics from the wedding, my kids and theirs and all the cousins, aunts and uncles who came as witnesses.  I hung a picture of my mom and dad up there in the midst of them yesterday. This is all their doing, after all.
     When we are children we think of our parents as so grown up, wise and mature, but looking at this picture, now, I realize they weren't even 30 yet and 30 is very young from my present perspective.
      My mom would say, "Yes, but things were different then. We had been through a war and everybody grew up all at once." I haven't been in a war, personally, but our country has been involved in wars ever since I was born. It seems like one long continuous war going on in different parts of the world for as long as I can remember. Wars and assassinations and bombings, random or planned.  Hmmmm…you would think we would think of a better way to live together in the world, wouldn't you?
I don't know though, we don't seem to be making much progress in that direction.
    And what about that pilot who decided to kill himself and flew the plane, along with all its passengers, into the face of a mountain? If you feel you have to off yourself you should at least have the good graces to not drag other people along with you.
They might have something to live for? You never know. But people who decide to take their own lives are often, not always, not in their right minds.  Sometimes, like the young woman in Seattle (?), you are approaching the horrendous, pain filled end to a fight against some dark disease and you know you have lost the fight.  To skip to the end in that case makes perfect sense to me. (That's my 2 cents on that.)

 8. A quote for you on this rainy Spring morning to pull this back from dark thoughts.

  9.  I did make a little progress on pulling the earth back from the foundation of the front porch before the rains began.  I am about a third of the way along. If I do it a bit at a time I can manage.

10.  My grands have been helping me plant lots of goodies in my raised beds. Most everything is up now but I am still waiting on the tomatoes that seed themselves back. (Thanks Ann.)They know. Maybe this week they will feel it is safe to pop their green heads up and take a look around.  Soon I will push a few squash seeds into the soil and some sweet potatoes.  Maybe. Sweet potatoes take up a lot of room and sometimes they rot in the ground if the timing isn't right on digging them in the Fall.  We'll see.

     Right not I'm going to get ready to head to town to get an MRI on my shoulder. It has been wacky for more than a year now and exercising and therapy haven't seemed to make things better.  The nerve is still hurt from last summer's injury and I have accepted that may be a long term thing. But I want to know if some of this can be fixed. If not…then at least I'll know for sure.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Spring Has Sprung

Happy Easter and Blessed Spring.

    After much preEaster cleaning, planning, buying, cooking and traveling to and from the City, all my kids and theirs rolled into the driveway on Saturday last, ready to celebrate. The farm did not disappoint. We have had typically unpredictable weather of late but Saturday was a bluebird day, perfect for planting seeds and potatoes, flying kites, chasing each other around the gardens and swinging.  We welcomed cousin Allison and her 15 year old daughter, Anna, from St. Louis via Okeene. Sadly, Great Grandpa Dotter was not able to attend the festivities this time around but he heard all the stories and we sent samples of the fish-fry and chocolate cake home to him.
     I wish I had taken a picture of this particular cake for you. It is not the most stunningly beautiful cake ever but it is unique. I used these three shallow cake pans (yes, it is a triple decker) which Dad gave me a while back. The pans belonged to his grandma, Marybelle Bingham, who taught Dad how to cook, sew, can vegetables and much, much more during the summers he stayed at the farm with his grandparents when he was growing up in the thirties.
      The cake is chocolate without frosting, and in between the layers is a slathering of Oklahoma Sand Plum Jelly.  Everybody had a piece and swallowed the sweetness, dusted with legacy, slowly with a smile and a sigh. Sometimes the simplest things are the best. (And all the little ones sing, "Thank you Great Great Great Grandma Bingham".) People live forever in our stories and the memories we share. Thanks for sharing this one, Dad.
      Apparently there are few things more fun to kids than a pile of dirt. I have a goodly amount of fine, brown earth piled up in front of my house, waiting to be pushed up against my tall foundation and organized into flower beds.  There are several steps in the process and I am stalled at the second one: clean the wall and paint it with water shield. Soon…..I hope. Life happens and no one who knows me will be surprised to hear that I am slow to make decisions.  It will happen sometime but for now this pile of dirt is gangs of fun for all the grandkids so it stays. Thus far no toes have been chopped off by small hands wielding small shovels. I count it a minor miracle. Silly me, I made sure to wash the porch well before anyone arrived. Ha. Needless to say, the washing needs to happen again, now that they are gone.
        Here are the little dirt diggers all cleaned up and ready for Easter Vigil Mass. I laugh when I see this picture because less than an hour prior to this shot being taken they were all out making dirt angels on that pile of earth. What a fun bunch and a grand blessing to me. Yes, bow ties, side braids, lilacs and scallycaps are always cool in these parts.

     We had a fish fry on Saturday afternoon, courtesy of Able, Kari and Zach. Hot fish and hushpuppies, asparagus and broccoli slaw eaten off paper plates under the branches of the giant Elm tree.  Thanks for building that huge, sturdy picnic table, Danny. We are putting it to good use still. Good thing you made it 'hell for stout' or it would have fallen apart long ago.In the above shot I draw your attention to Miss Maggie Jewel who is providing dinner music on recorder for the rest of us. Yes!!
      Here are three of the kiddos with Anna, their newfound friend and first cousin once removed.

      Of course there was a a gigantic egg hunt and, following mandatory naps or reading time for everyone, a pirate treasure hunt with clues, gold doubloons and a prize at the end for all the players.
Books, of course. As the Covington Clipper would have read: A good time was had by all.

    Last, but not least, is a shot of my gorgeous Bleeding Heart plant which I planted the spring after my mother died.  It is thriving and graces my one shade garden every spring. Mom has to be helping with this one because I tried to grow Bleeding Hearts many times while she was alive but could never make it happen. Now they are no trouble at all. That's the green thumb she inherited from her mother, still working its magic. There are all kinds of inheritances, so say we all.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

For Mimi

Grandma, Mimi, Nana, Grammie,
that steady light which always waits,
always listens,
always hopes,
always loves.

As we grow in strength
she weakens,
as we blossom into beauty
she fades,
as we struggle in this world
she journeys toward the next.

Out of hardship, resolve and joy
she fashions a shining light,
a legacy of love,
and gifts it to all of us.

Remember this, for it is true
and brings great comfort:

Love is stronger than death.
Love wins. 

Amen. Alleluia!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Work Day

        Today dawned warm and bright, the perfect day for outside chores which have lain too long on the sideboard.  First up was righting the entire drip irrigation system in Maggie's Wood. This was my third go at the system and included adding some new lines for the brand new Peach and Bradford Pear that I planted last Tuesday. Leaks were mended, drippers reattached and cleared of debris. Alrighty-then, that should do it and we're ready for watering season.  I need Able to stop by sometime and cut up the dead apple tree that finally crashed to the ground over the winter.
       Next, plant the Canas and do some more weeding in the Prayer Garden. Hmmm…seems the deer have discovered tulips are especially delicious. In good news there are tulips planted everywhere so surely some of them will survive. Thanks Annie-roo.  I attached the little copper caps to the tops of all the fence posts. Very cute if I do say so myself.  I then did some patching on the side of the small fountain in that garden. Something has given it a swift kick during the winter and it sports quite a crack. I hope it will hold water. I may have to install a lining of some sort if it is a problem. Deer?

 Next up: Cleaning out the pond.

     I was waiting for Christy to show up and help me clean out the fountain pond but she backed out at the last minute.  Okay.  Cleaning out the pond involves catching the fish and transferring them to the secondary barrel and then bucketing out the water and using it to fertilize all the gardens in the area. Then, lying on the rocks or in the mud, you pull out all, or most of, the water lily roots and bucket out the muck at the bottom. That's all there is to it. I dread this job and have let the lilies get completely out of control.  There were so many roots and muck in there that the fish hardly had any water to swim in.
      It's really a treasure hunt in the oldest sense because I find all kinds of things at the bottom. This time besides finding several large rocks (which are waiting for someone stronger than I am to pull them out) I found three or four flower pots that had disintegrated or had their lilies escape, and the broken pieces of a quart jar. How I managed to not cut my hand off while groping around in the muck is beyond me (a minor miracle if there ever was one). I also found a small yellow sail boat, a blue drinking glass, the rod I use to clean out the tubing to the pump (yes!), a live clam, many snails, a frog who eyed me with suspicion and then croaked at me several times in disgust, and a small stainless steel bowl, none the worse for wear. There were no gold doubloons, sadly.
    What a job and soooo stinky! Nothing stinkier than muck at the bottom of a pond…well, there actually are lots of thing stinkier, now that I think about it. Let's not go there. I did the whole thing in stages, so I wouldn't have a heart attack and die draped over the edge of the pond, mucky up to my elbows. That would not be a good thing to have happen. I rested and read every now and then, and had some cool ginger tea. Yum. The pond has new water and has settled now and the fish have been returned to their now spacious digs. I left three of the lilies which ought to be enough to get it started again.  If anyone needs any water lilies for their pond I have plenty available. Speak now before I toss them into the tree row.  This is only the really good roots. The rest of them are piled high in two different wagons, waiting for me to have the energy to drag them away. Not tonight.

 That's all the work I'm doing today. Done.
 I will  sleep very well tonight.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Poem: Walking In The Dark

Lantern lights three steps
whichever way I turn.
Three steps only.

Where am I?

I walk,
ears wide
eyes wide
hand up.

I know this place
but darkness disguises,
I recognize nothing
except…there, that tree.
Is it? yes…no? It is.


Stand still… breathe,
remember, connect.
You know this place,
see, there and here.
Yes, of course.

There is a moon.

Put out the light;
trust the space
your heart knows.


Darkness is not malicious,
it is a teacher, a mirror.
It shows you yourself.
You will not die.

Protect your eyes
and walk among the trees.

Love Thursday

Pear blossom showers and air pink tinged with fragrance of blooming peach trees.
Pansies lifting their cold weary leaves and bursting into vibrant, singing colors,
Daffodils standing in yellow clusters, nodding like gossiping girls,
Sunny Twinkles shining their little lights amid knee-high Larkspur 
which will soon blanket garden and field with soft lavender hues.

Wind chimes calling to the sleeping toad, "Time to wake up, a new day dawns."
Where are my gloves and trowel, where my garden clogs? 
I have beets that demand space in the raised beds 
and wooden fences that cry out for climbing roses. 

Where to begin, I ask, grinning from ear to ear.