Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Photo from online local newspaper
Wow... we had so much rain last night. We had a huge storm at about eleven thirty and another "huger" one at about three a.m. All in all some of the local towns got eight inches or more Our guages showed five and a quarter... and our neighbors showed more and less, so we don't really know. I do know it over flowed our gutters and ran like Niagra into Mom's bedroom flooding her window sill and putting "tea" in her dolly tea party she had set up with antique dolls just inside the window. Needless to say, we were sopping with towels and moving stuff nearly all night. Today finds us kinda grumpy, achey, and just plain not good company.... This too shall pass... we still haven't experienced the terrors of the northern and river border cities and towns. Those poor people.
S o.... I took this photo of the sunset, clear and promising... A new night to refocus, replenish, retreat and regroup....
And our lilies for the sake of beauty... Aren't they beautiful... (Pay no attention to that dead stick behind them. It is a rosebush we have had since I was a little girl and we are giving it every chance to come out of it... haha.... but it won't.... so we will have to nip it off very soon....

Sunday, June 22, 2008

My "Front Yard" at Twilight

For as many years as I can remember the end of June has brought haying time... A few years ago my parents decided to hang up the hayhooks and allow a very capable and kind hearted man to rent this land. His equipment rolls the hay into these giant bales, and soon he'll spirit them away on a long spikey pole to feed his cattle next winter. But in my memory this field is filled with small round bales about the size of a sheep... Each bale carefully initiated by a rickety old baler held together by some of the twine it used to bundle the hay. As these small bales dotted the sunset my dad came home from a day in the field or a day at the telephone company, depending on the time of the year. (Vacation for our family meant Daddy was home to bale hay.) Either way, he'd don a cool shirt, grab a glass of water or lemonade and give me the nod. Big stuff, I was allowed to drive either the tractor and "sled" that scooted over the ground... or more often the old '47 pickup truck. Daddy was so strong he easily tossed those bales high, higher.... way up there to the top of the truck or sled... the hooks in his hands becoming an extension of his tanned armes coated with hayseed and grass. Always grinning like mad, my dad, as I've said before, loved... actually lived to work. This kind of night was his favorite. We'd get one or two loads before the late orange sunset brought out the dew and the mosquitos. Then it was time to go in. Daddy always headed for the basement and his shower, and we ended the night with either a big glass of root beer at home or my choice.... at trip to the local Frostop Drive-in. These bales outside my house this year loom lavendar and plum against the navy sky with its teal clouds with rain streaks across the pink below... an artist's dream... Toss in the hues of the sunset, and the visuals are stunning for a small scope of land in the Midwest.... and what about that smell of fresh-cut hay? Pink sky at night.... hayfield delight....

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Late for the garden tour

I am so sorry to be late with my post about the garden. I took my mother on a small car trip this morning and the whole day just got away from us before I was aware of it... Here are some shots of a beautiful garden I saw this week... Sorry, Cielo... I am usually more punctual with things I promise to do... Here we go....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

VBS.... potpourri Mayhem....

potpourri image courtesy of
For many of you in blogland it is time for VBS, Vacation Bible School. I was thinking of my years as teacher in bible school a while ago, and one memory just stands out as a lesson to be learned by me, not by my kids. I was always fond of teaching either seven year-olds or the two's and three's. And most usually, I chose the little ones because as a high school teacher and junior high, it was such fun to take a summer switcheroo and teach the babes. I had such great helpers, usually students from high school. My son helped me a couple of years, and he was fabulous with the young ones. I also had a gal who could read my mind. We worked together for about five years, and I think when she moved away, I only taught a couple more years. One summer's morning we introduced the idea of a nature walk and took along a box and a sack for the wee ones to fill with dried leaves, grasses, and plant materials. We had them crunch little sticks and create the most unusual medium for potpourri we'd ever seen. Thirteen little ones trooped back into the room to create potpourri bags for Mommy... Uh, well,.... that was the plan at least. The fans flipped and flopped the flimsy netting all over the room, making it nearly impossible to set out the base for the bags. Finally using our elbows, extra hymnals, and whatever we could find, we anchored enough of the netting to fill with this brambly mess of weeds, hay, and dried goop. Ah... time for the icing on the cake. We, being a young mother myself and my girl only a high school junior.... knew nothing of the properties of oil of cinnamon.... Yeah. We poured a lovely dollop on each bundle, and began the task of tying them up with pretty satin ribbon and a silk flower. What deliciousness we were making for MOMMY.... Until we noted the oil of cinnamon had eaten the paint right off the tables. My assistant quickly telegraphed a look of panic to me. Too late. As I mouthed.... get the bags away, they each took a whiff... in the endearing way only three year-olds can do anything. They grabbed their little bags and held them to their noses. Immediately, and I mean now... they began screaming wildly and their lips and noses turned a hideous shade of purply red. The oil of cinnamon burnt their baby skin and felt like liquid fire. As my helper and I surveyed the room, I know I felt like I was witnessing some kind of surreal horror shot in a movie... What then seconds ago had been happily chattering toddlers had turned into little banshees with bright red faces and the loudest, most heart chilling screams... I was sick, immediately begging for mercy and for this not to be happening.... We each grabbed about three or four babes under our arms and shepherded the rest upstairs to the two bathrooms and began dousing them with cold water. It worked. Praise the good Lord, it did. The red miraculously went away and they began to point at each other and giggle. We were washed in the blood of the lamb that morning as we felt so pardoned for our lack of knowledge ..... What a memory..... Those kids are all graduated, and many of them have little two or three year olds of their own. Luckily they are safe from me this year as I am not a helper in VBS... Have a good week. Don't forget to stop and smell the roses.... the non-cinnamoned ones, that is.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Reuben, Reuben, I've been thinking...

So... do you like them not? Reubens were my go to sandwich when we ate out while my son was a baby. I loved them. then for about twenty-five years I haven't ever had one again. Today we ate out with some friends who used to work with Daddy. I ordered one along with them, and it was quite nice... not my favorite, as Johnny Depp says in Chocolat.... but good.

I think the marble rye is my favorite part. As they say of Food Network, you eat with your eyes first. ..... I should leave it at that I think.
I sat on a different side of the table than usual... and I was amazed to discover all these old goodies hanging on the walls... See, they always say to change one's perspective a little and discover new treasures... Today I did so... I guess... if you can call a shelf over a salad bar a treasure..????

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Ducks in a Row... Okay, Geese?

I have posted several times about my "babies" at the lake. Fridays I take my mother to the beauty shop for her weekly "do." It is fun for both of us because she gets to visit with her friends there while they pamper her, wash and set, and send her out all fresh and cute... and I race by a cool little drive-by Coffee shop called "Brewed Awakenings" (isn't that cute) and grab a sugar free strawberry white chocolate latte... (to die for... it's my summer sin until crisp autumn will bring in another flavor I'm sure). I scoot out to my favorite parking spot at the lake and hope I have brought a remnant of bread that could be spared... This week. No geese. I was a bit disappointed. I usually set the alarm on my phone so I can just read, feed the birds, or relax.... about 45 minutes usually.
As it is with life, a little purple martin popped by, pretty ecstatic to be the sole recipient of all those crumbs. He must have let the cat out of the bag because soon came his fellow martins in a swoop.... followed closely by those "lovely/ugly" Sith Darth Vader looking things. They seem all crippled up when they walk, look so exhausted, and don't really squawk. They kind of hiss and breathe like Darth!!! They were lappin' up the goodies. Suddenly the beauty girls.. (and maybe a gander?) came a flyin' across a bridge and down the street. What??? what????? They were missing out, and they were frantic... Then you should have seen the bread fly... It even went back up the air in smaller and smaller pieces as they shook little bites loose.... I had been feeding the Red Heads by hand, but soon got a little "chicken" as I feared being nipped by so many aggressive eaters.... It was a hoot. I love those guys....But I noticed when the really big chunks were gone, the pretty ones left first, the masked ducks second... and then the little purple martins were left bee-bopping around, picking up all the left overs.... kind of what you might call a "pecking order" for sure, huh? Have a good day. It's clouding up for another round of storms here. Beware picnickers....

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I Went to a Garden Party.....

What a tradition... I attended an "opening of the garden" party again this year at my friend's home in Bevier... She has an absolutely adorable little secluded garden and she carries out a tradition of opening it with a lovely luncheon and closing it with another. This year has been plagued with incredibly bad weather, and the day she had her little gala affair the weather was just as "iffy" as it could be. Most of the group spent the day on her new porch in the front, but I sent a camera with a lovely young thing to be sure I got pictures of all the special garden nooks... I think my favorite time in a garden such as this would be early spring, late in the evenings, and in the fall. Her closing party is usually punctuated with some kind of wonderful soup. Her guests have been known to huddle around a little fire pit or to cuddle underneath an umbrella as the weather dictates, but it is such a sweet tradition. Her table, which I forgot to photograph, was decked out with lovely garden plates, grape dessert/salad plates, and vino grape napkins. We had home made rolls, chicken salad on Bibb lettuce, melon salad, cheese ball and crackers, Mandarin orange cake, and Red Devil's Food double chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese icing piped on top....It was a true garden theme throughout. Me? My green? thumb???? Uh... well, I have silks still stuck in the pots outside Mom's door. She planted many flowers, and I have watched the rabbits creep about in the evening, and I've known they were the ones who evidently follow her around and nibble off the petunias and tomato plants at the ground. Bad rabbits. Even on her porch with three steps. How rude! Mr. MacGregor is sorely needed around here. Enjoy your blessed Sunday. Happy Father's Day. Make or keep a memory close in your heart.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A contest about Summer reading.... Read on!

Dating After 50: Negotiating The Minefields of Midlife Romance by M. D. Sharon Romm (Hardcover - Sep 9, 2005) - Large Print

Okay, so does this make anyone else laugh except me? I dunno... I just was looking through Amazon's selections that might be similar to my lovely book called The Age of Miracles, by Marianne Williamson... and I saw this one... Read it again..... Yeah, it's the large print thing that gets to me.... I must be a bit slap happy tonight.

I'd show you all a beautiful picture of what I accomplished today, but... you guessed it. I took one of those big sabbaticals and just took a gigantor nap of two and a half hours this afternoon in my recliner. During which time my 83 year old mother on her walker did a couple loads of laundry, put away dishes from having company to dinner last night, rearranged a closet shelf, and did some other stuff.... Do you think she noticed? ...... Yeah, she noticed.... I awoke feeling refreshed, kinda happy (I'd dreamed a rather happy little dream)... Sure I had the traditional "I napped too long" headache, but at least I felt human.
Did any of you belong to a summer reading group at your local library? It was a major thing in my summer to try to get my mom to take me to the nearest town (Macon) and let me be a part of that group. I understand now just why it wasn't all that terrific for her to leave her summer work of mowing, canning, cleaning, laundry, gardening... you name it, my Mother was knee deep in it.... and drive twenty miles, sit in a boiling hot car for over an hour and let me be read to... I didn't go to that part that I recall... but I did participate in the weekly thing of reading so many books. You bet. Our reward the only year I recall was a movie. We saw Lad: A Dog, and I was the only one who absolutely bawled her eyes out. The next year they saw Big Red, and I stayed home. Having seen it later at the Drive-In, I was sure I made the best choice. What is it with dog movies? They are simply sadder than they need to be....

I am in the market for some summer books. Leave a comment related to your favorite book or books..... I'll draw a winner from all the comments left in June that mention books, and I'll send that person a surprise book from my stunning collection.... Who knows? I might even have more than one winner. (I have tons of great books that I don't mind sharing.)
My recommendations (since you asked) are going to be posted along this month. I will have to think about the choices. I have mentioned a few I have read this winter, which are amazing.... Williamson, Follett, and of course my Irish poet.... but surely there are more great books out there. I'd also love to hear about favorite coffee table books and how to's and self helps.... and anything that you find yourself coming back to time and time again.... like Simple Abundance or Romancing the Ordinary. Both are soul savers of mine.... I think I'll return to my book right now.... Have a good one.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Thank you, Cherished Vintage

Oooooh... Lookie here! Thank you.... I received a lovely package with these lovely gifts. And you should have seen how pretty in the boxes with pink wrappings and tulle bows.... Such a treat. No wonder.. Check out her pretty blog at
Thanks so much for these lovely treasures....

Friday, June 6, 2008


Outside @ 1:30 a.m. to sit on my park bench and watch the skies for storms, soak up the dank intensity of the night... Boom! Inside in a lightning's flash. Crawled into my bed, newly moved with the headboard on the west wall between two huge windows. Uh... along about 2 or so a.m..... Boom! Whoosh! Crash.... The T-storm hit with a fierce growl and whisked the curtains even around my bed.... I lay there about five minutes and thought about the big locust tree outside and the logistics of where it would crash and through which window.... and I high tailed it up to the main quadrant of the house and slept the rest of the night in my recliner. ----- Stay tuned a little later for some awesome pics of the gift I won on the Cottage Charm Giveaway.... How cute! ........

Thursday, June 5, 2008

And yet again.... until 5 a.m.

Lightning photographed by EMA Volunteer Charlie Heflin. Charlie photographed these lightning bolts while performing storm spotter duties during an activation for a tornado watch.
Well, another rumbling in the western skies tonight as the forecast looms ahead for tornado watch until five a.m. I can't begin to count how many nights have been like this during our spring and early summer. So many of our sister counties and towns have been hit, lives lost... property damaged. It is so sad... and frankly a bit scary as well. I am a lover of weather, and I have been since my childhood. I remember the days when I was afraid of storms, but that soon passed as I saw raw excitement in the splashes of thunder, blasts of wind.... days of ice and snow.... I love weather... I know... one of these days weather will damage or claim something or someone I adore and I will regret loving its wild, untamed heat and heart. I don't like damage or danger. I just like the play of light and dark clouds, the noise outside... the absence of heat and bright glary sunshine.
So Missouri has suited me just fine lately. My idea of a perfect night is a snowy one with all loved ones of me and of all of you tucked in safely and warm.... no school the next day and a blanket of snow drifting deep and velvet blue against the fences. Barring that in the middle of June, I will go for a rainy morning, dark and rumbly.... and a house brimming with smells of cooking and company on the way to enjoy a cozy brunch... Bright flowers checkering the tablecloth and maybe a quick nap in the recliner before they get there.
On the June I turned ten years old my mother requested one thing for our mutual birthdays. She asked ever so sweetly for my father to tear down the little white outhouse at the edge of our lawn. He liked it for storing garden things and didn't really want it torn down. They just had a big difference of opinion, and she maintained she wanted nothing else for her birthday. I remember thinking that was such a dumb thing to want for a birthday, but I think I was basically neutral on the whole controversy. On June 28th the wind and storms set in and we experienced a long night sitting in our kind of dampish basement on makeshift benches made from boards laid over ten gallon stoneware pickle crocks.. (yep. we sat on them!!!! Blue salt crocks!!!! oh, yeah). We could see the lightning through the tiny window high above our heads (you ALL know those little basement windows with the window wells outside???) and we heard the trees crashing branches down, splitting and swaying as hot wind cooked the countryside. Our dog was in his house, and my mother was petrified. Daddy was standing on a little radio box and peering out the window when he turned to Mom and announced she had her birthday! It had turned midnight, and the electricity long gone was suddenly present in its raw form... A bolt of lightning in the eastern sky illuminated a blank fence row... Our toity house had blown down... Happy Birthday, Mom! Daddy was thrilled with the timing, and Mom got her way... just not in the way she was hoping...

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Winner... is.......

GardenGoose said...
I'd love to enter your give away Gayla.thanks for the opportunity. I hope you'll stop by my blog and say "howdy" too. Tina
You are the winner... Please email me with your address, and you'll be burning a candle and drinking tea before you know it.... Congratulations!