Wednesday, December 28, 2011

1999 Books Read - Last Installment!

The last day of 2011 is almost upon me, and I have recorded neither November nor December books read in 1999. I am a procrastinator, I admit,  but had I not so rudely interrupted myself for the last three months with things other than blogging, I already would have been finished with the (seemingly interminable) list of books I read in 1999.  

Fear not; the list is not long. As I have written previously, I was a voracious reader until I discovered rubber stamping in September that year. The number of books read in a month declined precipitously from there on.

Without further ado:

November -

China Trade - S.J. Rozan
Concourse - S.J. Rozan
Mandarin Plaid - S.J. Rozan
Payment in Blood - Elizabeth George
Well Schooled in Murder - Elizabeth George
A Suitable Vengance - Elizabeth George
Rewrites (audio) - Neil Simon
Catnap - Carole Nelson Douglas
Brewing Up a Storm - Emma Lathen

December - 
Dakota - Kathleen Norris
The Cloister Walk - Kathleen Norris
Amazing Grace - Kathleen Norris

At least I finished the year with something other than murder mysteries.  If you are interested in things of a spiritual nature, I recommend Kathleen Norris' work to you.



 
                           THE END!
                                 

Back later with different stuff.  Tomorrow is also a day!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Christmas to All


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My Christmas cards have been designed, created, and mailed.

The gifts I am giving to family and friends are wrapped. Those that needed to be mailed to far away places have been sent -- on time!

The house smells like Snickerdoodles and Oatmeal, Cranberry, Walnut cookies that have just come out of the oven. As soon as they are cool, they will be packaged into hand-decorated bags for delivery to my close neighbors this afternoon.

A special Black Forest Cake for my Good Neighbor will be in the oven in a few minutes, and will be cooled, decorated and ready to deliver before suppertime.

At church, all the brass and silver has been polished, the Christmas frontal and other special hangings have been placed. The area behind and around the altar has been decorated with white and red poinsettias, small rosemary trees and even a couple of small fir trees (sans bells and trinkets). The window sills are dressed with tiny pine wreaths and candles, and beautiful. large wreaths are hung on all the outside doors. The nativity scene is set up, ready to receive the baby Jesus during the Christmas Eve service. It's all beautiful.

I'm happy and content.

My wish for all of you is a Blessed and Happy Christmastide. I hope you have a wonderful day.

Please remember --

The Work of Christmas

When the song of the Angel is stilled,
When the Star in the sky is gone,
When the Kings and princes are home,
When the Shepherds are back with their flock,

The work of Christmas begins:

To Find the lost - To Heal the Broken - To Feed the hungry -
To Release the prisoner - To Rebuild the nations -
To bring Peace among brothers and sisters -
To make music in the Heart.

- Howard Thurman

Monday, October 31, 2011

Books - October, 1999

I've been away, both physically and mentally, for about six weeks. Not only have I not posted, I haven't done my usual and pleasurable visiting of others' blogs. My apologies to my friends; I've not forgotten you but, perhaps worse, neglected you.  I would like to say that I'll change my ways immediately, but that would be more of a wish than an actuality.  I will say that I'll try to be back on a regular schedule as soon as I can.

This post will finish 10/12ths of the (seemingly) interminable list of books I read during 1999.  Aren't you glad the year is almost over?

I must have had some time on my hands that month, as I count 17 books and 1 book-on-tape on my list.  You may be relieved to learn ahead of time that the list drops off significantly, with only twelve books read during the remainder of that year.  I didn't keep reading records after that, so you'll be seeing no more similar posts.

Dover Clip Art
Without further ado:

Watchers - Dean Koontz
Last Days of Summer - Steve Kluger
Thrones, Dominations - Dorothy Sayers & Jill Paton Walsh
Murder at St. Adelaide's Gerelyn Hollingsworth
Murder & Other Acts of Literature -  an anthology
The Sixteen Pleasures - Robert Hellenga
Candle for a Corpse - Ann Granger
Murder at the Watergate - Margaret Truman
Dr. Nightingale Comes Home - Adamson
So Faux, So Good - Tamar Myers
Quaker Testimony - Irene Allen
Murder Among Us - Ann Granger
Dead Over Heels- Charlaine Harris
Biggie and the Mangled Mortician - Nancy Bell
The Pilot's Wife - Anita Shreve
Lucy - Jamaica Kincaid
A Torrid Piece of Murder - C.F. Roe
ICON - (audio) - Frederick Forsyth, read by Stephen Lang

Links lead to Amazon.com, with which company I have no relationship other than as a customer.

Tomorrow is also a day. Thanks be to God.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Books and More Books - September, 1999

I've been so busy with "card stuff" and church duties that I failed to post my regular installment of books read in 1999.  Having somewhat of a breather this evening,  I decided I'd better get with the program before the month is over.

The Zero Hour - Joseph Finder
Something To Kill For - Susan Holtzer
Curly Smoke - Susan Holtzer
The Dancing Floor - Barbara Michaels
The Bestseller - Olivia Goldsmith (not actually read, this was a book on tape)
The Face Changers - Thomas Perry
The Coffin Dancer - Jeffrey Deaver
Murder Must Wait - Arthur W. Upfield (one of the numerous Detective Napolean Bonaparte ("Bony") series set in Australia. "Bony" is half English, half Aborigine, and a very clever fellow)
Rattlesnake Crossing - J. A. Jance (A Joanna Brady mystery)
Bleeding Maize & Blue - Susan Holtzer

It was a treat to remember many of the plots, if not the fine details of most of these books.  I was (and still am) a fan of the "Bony" mysteries.  Looking at the long list of Upfield books while I was copying the link to this particular book made me want to read them all again.  Perhaps I shall do so, one of these days.

All links lead to amazon.com, with which company I am associated only as a customer.

I'm currently reading (on Kindle) Letters of a Woman Homesteader by Elinore Pruitt Stewart.  This came  recommended by Arkansas Patti of The New Sixty and I'm really enjoying it.

Tomorrow is also a day.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Bits and Pieces

The early morning air is humming with the sounds of lawnmowers as neighbors take advantage of the still-under-sixty-degrees weather.   The cats have found a warm spot on my small patio and are stretched out, getting their daily dose of sunshine.  I leave the doors into the house ajar so that they can flee to safety when startled by the bark of the neighbors' dogs.

We've had a lovely weather week, with morning temperatures ranging from the high forties to low fifties.  The humidity is low and it's a pleasure to be outside.  I need to enjoy this break in the weather while it's here; while we've had highs only in the low 80's for the last few days, a warming (or should I say "hotting") trend is on the way, and central Arkansas will be back into more seasonal weather all too soon.

* * *
While I should have been outside more during the wonderful weather,  I've been doing other things, indoors. My stamping buddy and I will host a Stamp Camp on Sept. 16. I designed three cards and cut and packaged materials for twenty of each.  I'm also leading the make and take sessions at two other stamping groups, one on Saturday the 17th and the other on Monday the 19th .  I'm a glutton for punishment, I guess!  While we have several Stamp Camps during a year, I teach only once a year for the other groups.  I usually select September as my teaching months, since it's easy to remember that my responsibilities fall around birthday time.

* * *
I have four wonderful children, three daughters and one son.  Son and two daughters have lived within a few miles of me for many years, while youngest daughter has roamed the world with the U.S. Air Force until her retirement to Nebraska two years ago.  Son has recently accepted an excellent job in a small southeastern Kansas town about 5 hours away.  He and his wife have purchased a lovely older home there, and are in the process of moving their household goods. Daughter-in-law has stayed here to cope with packing and real estate agents and the like, and Son comes back to Arkansas on weekends to help with the heavy stuff.    To their delight, even in a very slow real estate market, their Arkansas home has sold, and they will vacate the premises by month end. I'm looking forward to visiting them in their new digs, but will miss having them close by.

* * *
I marked the milestone of yet another birthday this past week.  My natal anniversary falls on Labor Day every few years, and this was one of them.  The whole nation took a holiday to help me celebrate  Ha ha!  I had a lovely dinner with my children on Sunday night, followed by a quiet Labor Day/Birthday with absolutely no hoop-la --  my kind of day.  I even got in an afternoon nap.  The evening brought a small gathering of my closest friends. One of the ladies also has a September birthday, the day before mine, and we have a joint celebration.  We enjoyed a good visit, exchanged gifts (with the other birthday girl and I on the receiving end of gifts from the others).  We also shared a delicious cake that has become "our" birthday cake.  The cake, called "Summer Fruit Tart," is made by Silvek's European Bakery in Little Rock (look here for a photo of our cake and other delicious treats they prepare), and it's been our birthday treat for the last four or five years.  Birthdays do have some nice things about them.

* * *
When not doing card stuff, I've been reading. Light reading only; I'm not up to material that requires a lot of brain power to digest.  I'm finally comfortable with my Kindle, and have read seven books in the last ten days, four of them, by the same author, in two days. If you're interested, the seven "cozy" books I read were by authors Robert Spiller and Judy Christie, and are listed in "Books Read in 2011" on my sidebar.   Other than tiring my aging eyes a bit, I've thoroughly enjoyed the quietness of entertainment that doesn't require sound. I had been watching far too much television.

* * *
Speaking of TV's -- my Gardening Daughter's husband gifted me with a huge surprise for my birthday, a new-to-me wide screen HD TV!  He's a "latest and greatest" techie and a big time movie buff, and recently acquired one of the 3-D televisions.   Having no room in their home for another wide-screen TV, something had to go, and the sweet boy was kind enough to replace my old, beginning-to-get-fuzzy television..  The television set that used to be in their living room is now in my living room.  I'm still getting used to being able to read all the fine print on the commercials!  Gardening Daughter assures me that it was entirely his idea to pass the still good-as-new TV on to me, and he delivered and set up the unit (and a new DVD player) while I was away from home for a day.

Guess that's about it.

Tomorrow is also a day.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New Blooms

Sweet Autumn Clematis
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Imagine, if you will, opening your front door and walking into air heavily laden with the scent of sweet honey.  That's what it's like at my house these days.  Sweet Autumn Clematis, which is twined around the three columns that support the small section of the roof that shelters my front entryway, is in full bloom.  The blossoms are small, about 1.5  to 2 inches across, but full of fragrance, and there are thousands of them on the three vines.

Although I didn't capture any bees in these photos, I do have to be on the lookout for them when I bury my nose into a clump of blossoms.


I don't recall when I first discovered this late-summer blooming vine, but several years ago I started with one vine, which I planted on a trellis outside one of my bedroom windows.  Autumn Clematis is evidently a good self-seeder, as the three vines now gracing my front walk were all 'volunteers' which I discovered in various parts of the yard.  The oldest plant (the one pictured) is on the northwest corner of the little porch, and gets the most sunshine, making it, so far, the heaviest bloomer.  I've also treated the volunteer plants as pass-along plants, and several of my friends are, I hope, currently enjoying the blooms on their own plants.

I always look forward to having these sweet blooms outside my window and door.  Next spring, I'm going to be on the lookout for some more 'volunteers.'  Methinks that some portions of my chain link fence in my back yard would be improved by planting some vines at the base.

* * *

I hope all my blog buddies are well, and escaped any damage from Hurricane Irene.  I've been saddened to see the destruction left in its wake.

Tomorrow is also a day.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Delighted

Today is Gardening Daughter's oldest daughter's birthday.  She's twenty-three years old -- not a child any more; in fact, she has a beautiful 2 year old daughter of her own. 

Of course, I made her a birthday card.  That's what I do.  I hasten to say that the butterfly images are not "stamped" but were already printed on some lovely papers I acquired at the local scrapbook store. For those who might be interested, the paper patterns are from the "Gabriella" collection by Bo-Bunny.

While I don't often blog about the cards I make, I was pleased with how this one turned out, and since she doesn't read my blog,  she won't see her card until I give it to her this evening.

This is what it looks like when it's closed:


When it's partially opened:


Fully open:

I hope she likes it.

* * *

Did you hear about the electrician who lost all his incandescent bulbs?  He was delighted.

Tomorrow is also a day

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hooray!

lycoris squamigera
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It's a lovely, lovely morning here.  At sunrise, the temperature was 68 degrees; the wonderful coolness makes it pleasant to be outside. I thoroughly enjoyed sitting at the table on my little patio while I drank my first cup of coffee and watched the cats stalk imaginary (or real) creepy crawlies in the grass.

Today is going to be a mowing day.  The much appreciated rain that we received last week, a total of five inches, has caused the grass/weeds in my yard to grow with abandon.  If I don't cut it soon, one of those threatening letters from the city fathers will show up in my mail box. Yarrrgh!

The lycoris squamigera , otherwise known as Naked Ladies, that I received two years ago from Carol and her husband (Coward's Corner with Luckie) have bloomed!  I am tickled pink! (pun intended) Naked Ladies get their name from the fact that, at flowering time, the plants send up only a bloom stalk - no leaves.  Each blossom-bearing stalk that you see in the photo above was, in April, preceded by the leaves of the plant, which emerge to gather energy for the bulbs from which the later flower shoots will emerge.  Mother Nature has provided an unusual, but efficient, method for blessing our gardens twice.

Closer view of the blossoms

* * *

Did you hear about the chef who had to be fired after burglars took his stove?  He had become deranged.

Tomorrow is also a day.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Books - August, 1999


The Spoken Word -  Robert R. Irvine
Barking Dogs - Robert R. Irvine
Staggerford - Jon Hassler
First Cases (an anthology) - editor Robert Randisi
The Seville Communion - Arturo Perez-Reverte
The Gifts of the Jews - Thomas Cahill
The Man Who Loved God - William X. Kienzle
Los Alamos - Joseph Kanon
The First Eagle - Tony Hillerman
Extraordinary Powers - Joseph Finder
The Bohemian Murders - Dianne Day
Emperor Norton's Ghost - Dianne Day
The Ape Who Guards the Balance - Elizabeth Peters

Provided links will lead to Amazon.com where you can find further information about the books, should you be interested.

Tomorrow is also a day.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Thank You, Lord, For the Rain

Over 3 inches of liquid sunshine fell on my property between 6 p.m. yesterday and this morning. What a blessing!

Tomorrow is also a day.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

On This Day


(image from Internet, not my yard, thank goodness)

August 2, 1954
 
"Severe thunderstorms produced golf ball size hail for thirty minutes in north central Kansas. One drift measured 200 feet long, seventy feet wide and three feet deep. (The Weather Channel )"

I guess a Heat Index of 113 degrees, which is what it is at this writing, is not as bad a three feet of hailstones.  Mother Nature loves variety, doesn't she? 

The photo above, which I found on the Internet, and which is not of the above referenced hail storm, seemed to have had a somewhat cooling effect upon me, but I suspect that could have been due to my crunching on ice chips and sitting close to the air conditioning vent while I composed this post.

* * *
I sometimes am concerned about the cost of the water I keep putting on my flower beds, but an early morning glimpse of large butterflies feasting on my Lantana blooms made the drain on my wallet worth while. I couldn't get outside with the camera fast enough to catch them drinking the nectar, but it must have been tasty; one large one just about buried his/her head in one bloom. Maybe they'll visit again in the morning.

Tomorrow is also a day.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

All's Well

My sister has emailed me to complain that she is tired of looking at "Should I Be Worried?" when she visits my blog.  I quote: "...people will be worried."  I doubt that, but I apologize to my loyal readers who find nothing new when/if they visit.

All's well, here. I've simply been beset by ennui, due partly to the heat and partly to the lingering discomfort in my back. I have visited my physician who, after extensive tests to and upon my person, has declared that nothing is broken and that my problems are "age-related."  I hate that! I don't mind 'getting older'; it's the getting 'old' that torques my jaws.  I'll get over it -- one way or another, sooner or later.

On the plus side, during the hiatus I've read a couple of quirky mystery stories (a detective who is assisted by ghosts) that I downloaded onto my Kindle.  I wouldn't want a steady diet of that sort, but they were enjoyable diversions.

I hope you all are well, and staying cool.

As my friend Suldog might say "Later, with better stuff."

Tomorrow is also a day.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Should I Be Worried?

My eyes popped open from a good night's sleep and this crazy song was running through my head -- even before my feet hit the floor.  I must have been singing it in a dream.


video

Singer: Georgia Gibbs, from YouTube

I've continued to sing the words I remembered for the last couple of hours (no, I don't remember all of them; this song was popular just after I graduated from high school-- a day or two ago.)  The cats' food was dished up with a serenade of sorts. The back yard plants have been treated (?) to a "tweedle dee dee " along with their morning drink, and the deck was hosed down with an accompaniment of "gimmee, gimmee, gimmie all the love you got."   If Squeak, Missy and Sweetie Pie could speak English, I'm sure they would be saying "Enough, already!"

Maybe the heat has finally fried my brain.

Tomorrow is also a day.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Books - July, 1999

Dover clipart




Continuing with my monthly installment of books read in 1999:


Tears of the Moon -  Di Morissey

The Alienist -  Caleb Carr

1 Ragged Ridge Road - Leonard Foglia & David Adams Richards

The Chatham School Affair - Thomas H. Cook

Murder Makes Waves -  Anne George

Murder Gets a Life -  Anne George

Pillar of Fire -  Robert R. Irvine

Called Home - Robert R. Irvine

Baptism for the Dead - Robert R. Irvine

Deal Breaker -  Harlen Coben

Flight of Eagles - Jack Higgins


I'm currently reading from a number of Kindle books, sporadically and as I have an interest.   I've been hopping between Dutch Fairy Tales for Young People; The Message: The Book of Proverbs (Eugene Peterson); The Bittermeads Mystery (Ernest Robertson Punshon);  Murder in Passy (Cara Black);  and The Mystery of the Big Ben (Fernando Trujillo).

Could it be that I have attention deficit disorder? Or, do I just seek variety?As usual, all links lead to Amazon.com.

Tomorrow is also a day.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Whew!

You Tube

Miss Piggy and Kermit

I'm inside, and staying cool and, if it's a scorcher where you are, I hope you're staying cool, too.

Tomorrow (another hot one) is also a day.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Needs Must

My mother used to say "needs must" quite often, and the phrase was added to my vocabulary as I grew older.

This morning was a 'needs must' morning.  While there's been some improvement, I'm still hobbling around with a really sore back. Be that as it may, both front and rear yards had to be mowed; I don't need any more notes from the City Fathers.  I had hoped that my Coast Guard grandson, who was here for a few days this past week, might have done that for me, but he spent most of his time with his sweet girlfriend.  I don't blame him at all; given the choice, I'd much rather sit in a cool room and watch movies with my sweetie than to push a lawnmower in the heat.

I'm happy to say that it took me only 45 minutes to mow both front and back yards.  Thank goodness for a self-propelled mower!  The discomfort in my back doesn't seem any worse. Perhaps the heat and exercise was good for it.

After I've cooled down a bit, I will water the flower beds then put out the sprinklers. The ground is, again, incredibly dry. Our rainfall seems to be either feast or famine.

I've still to do the trimming around the edges, but ...

...tomorrow is also a day.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Just because the sun hasn't made an appearance today doesn't mean it hasn't been a glorious day; beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  As of this writing, we've had 2.5 inches of liquid sunshine since just after 8 a.m., and it's still raining. Yay!

After receiving only a drop or two (almost literally) of rain since the last week in May, this is a most welcome relief.

The temperature is currently 70 degrees F, very much unlike the almost 100 degrees F we sweltered under at this time yesterday. 

Just about heavenly, it is.

Tomorrow is also a day.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Uh, Oh! Not Enough Research and Not Enough (Brain) Memory

Earlier this year, on the birthday of Charles Dickens, to be more precise, I posted a number of Dickens quotations that I had gathered from the Internet.  One of those was:

"There either is or is not, that’s the way things are. The colour of the day. The way it felt to be a child. The saltwater on your sunburnt legs. Sometimes the water is yellow, sometimes it’s red. But what colour it may be in memory, depends on the day. I’m not going to tell you the story the way it happened. I’m going to tell it the way I remember it." ~ (Great Expectations)

I liked the last two sentences so much that I incorporated them into my blog header, with attribution to Charles Dickens.

Today, I received a comment on that February post.  In it, the author inquired of the location (chapter) in Great Expectations containing that passage.  Since I would like to reply to the commenter, I thought I would take a few minutes to look it up. 
 
A few minutes?  Ha! I have spent the goodly part of an afternoon looking for it.  First, on the Internet, where I found the above quotation several times, each with attribution to Great Expectations.  However, when I located a treasure trove of Dickens e-books which provided phrase search capability, the quotation was not to be found; not any of it.  Searches on 'sunburnt legs', 'saltwater', 'the colour of the day', 'the way it felt to be a child', returned nada, zilch, zero, bumpkis.
 
I have the Dickens novel Great Expectations on my Kindle.  Kindle has word search capability.  Did I find any of it there?  NO.
 
Ye gods and little fishes!  What's going on?  Evidently, my blog post distributed inaccurate information. But, if not Dickens, who wrote it?
 
Further research this afternoon has, I think, answered the question. The quotation is not from the pen of Charles Dickens, but from a screen play written by Mitch Glazer which was based on Dickens' novel.  The movie, a 1998 20th Century Fox film, also is titled Great Expectations.  A list of quotes from the movie can be found here.   Guess what?
 
Kudos, Mitch Glazer. I like your words very much, but am somewhat chagrined to learn that they are not Dickensenia (did I coin a word or is there another word for what I mean?)
 
I'm off now, creating a response to the person who left the comment. 
 
Tomorrow is also a day. (If I get the urge to post more quotations, I will try to vet them first.)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Container Gardening


For several years, I've wished to have an herb garden, of sorts, and the soil in my yard being what it is -- clay! -- I haven't done much (read: much of anything). Gardening Daughter planted some Thyme, Basil and Parsley in a small bed next to the entrance to my carport (photos here).  The Basil died out after the first season, the Parsley wintered-over, is in its second and final year and is going to seed (yay! perhaps it will reseed itself there). The Thyme has flourished and I frequently pick a few sprigs for cooking.  But, it's not well-placed for a satisfactory herb bed.

I have two 24" plastic pots with saucers that have, over the years contained various growing things.  Those things having died out over the winter made the pots available again.  During Youngest Daughter's visit,  she and the other daughters (Eldest and Gardening) decided that these would make suitable container gardens for some herbs (and other stuff I like).

I now have two large containers of plants, some edible, some not.

I'm quite taken with  False Dracena/Cordyline, that spiky stuff one can often see in container gardens (flower gardens, usually).  I like it so much that both my pots have a red/purple variety in the middle, surrounded by, among other things (divided between the pots): Sweet Basil, Spicy Globe Basil and Purple Basil; Fennel; one Jalapeno Pepper and one Sweet Banana Pepper;  Curly Parsley and Flatleaf Parsley; Catnip (you know I'm going to have a treat for my kitties); and Purple and Green Sweet Potato Vines.

Gardening Daughter told me that container gardens, whether veggie or floral, to be pleasing to the eye should have "Thrill," "Fill," and "Spill" ( Thrill - something tall and eye-catching - that would be the Dracena/Cordyline, Fill  -the herbs, and Spill - the Sweet Potato Vines which will, eventually, spill over the edges.)  I'm quite satisfied with the results.

Yesterday morning, examination of the pot containing the Sweet Banana Pepper revealed that some critter with teeth (squirrel or raccoon) visited this pot on Wednesday evening and evidently liked the taste of this fruit. I suppose I should be glad the plant wasn't pulled out of the pot.  I've harvested only one pepper to date; this one is a goner, but there are a couple of blooms, so I may yet have some more.


The weather forecast for the last few days, and the remainder of the week, has predicted thunderstorms, albeit with only a 30% -40% chance of rain.  So far - nada!  I've had to water both front and back plants every day. The large pot of Million Bells by the front door must be watered twice daily.  Ah, well; it's only money (for the water bill.)

Tomorrow is also a day. Perhaps it will bring some rain.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bits and Pieces


I was watching TV last night when my attention was diverted to a scene outside my front window. The evening sky was a most glorious color. Not wanting to miss a photo-op, I arose, picked up my camera and ventured outside. The photo above was the first photo.  As I stood, amazed at the colors on Nature's canvas, in just two minutes the scene had changed to this:


Ahhhh!
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I haven't tinkered with the colors in any way. I did change the ISO from 100 (first shot) to 800 for the second one.
* * *

I'm down in my back, again.  I've been arising early to work in the yard, trying to get some things done before the heat drives me indoors.  On Monday morning of this week, I must have applied too much "vigorish" to my weeding which, because of my knees, is done in the least ergonomic manner one could imagine: I brace my feet and bend from the waist to do my weed pulling. 

Uh, oh!  Something that I shouldn't have stretched stretched, or moved out of its normal place, and I've been paying the price for my folly ever since.  Muscle relaxers and Aleve don't seem to make much difference. The weeds seem to know that they are safe for the time being and are laughing behind my back, I'm sure.   About all I've done since Monday is to keep the birdbaths and feeders replenished and to water those plants that must be watered if they are to survive.  Otherwise, my yardening activities are severely curtailed.

* * *

I noticed yesterday that the blooms on the oakleaf hydrangea, which is very near the birdbaths, have changed from snowy white to an interesting greeny-pink, as evidenced below.  I find the aging blooms quite beautiful.

Oakleaf Hydrangea Bloom

* * *

I've been letting the cats come into the back yard with me when I go out in the early mornings. They are quite enjoying the experience and, for the most part, are content to wander inside the fenced area. The only escapee is Missy, my solid black mama kitty, who takes great delight in hopping the fence, sitting down in the neighbor's yard and looking at me as if to say 'nanananabooboo'.  Fortunately, I don't have to stress myself trying to go get her, as she soon tires of agitating me and hops back over the fence, albeit with a smug look on her face.

* * *

Tomorrow is also a day.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Recent Visitors

Thule
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Youngest daughter, Shelley, who lives in Nebraska, and whom I had not seen in person for almost a year, arrived on June 1 for a ten-day visit, accompanied by her 16 year old son and a very large Afghan Hound (photo above.)

I had shuffled things around in my small home to allow for their accommodation, which included an oversized kennel, borrowed from Gardening Daughter, for Thule (pronounced 'Too-lee'). I'm happy to say that she didn't balk when it was time to use her private quarters, which had been placed in the room where Grandson was to sleep, even though she would have preferred to sleep on my bed, which I shared with Daughter. 

Thule is an extremely large dog.  Having her here was much like having a Shetland Pony lumbering about the house. Fortunately for all, Thule is a gentle giant.  She barked when she thought she needed to protect my daughter, but otherwise was a very well-behaved guest.

Thule is used to a more active lifestyle in her home town, where there is a large dog park where she is allowed to run free, so Daughter walked her several more times each day. I didn't accompany them; by mid-morning, the heat index was in the 90's, and my mama didn't raise no idjit. During these other, shorter, walks, both Daughter and Dawg returned with their tongues hanging out.



We had a great time -- which about wore me out.  Daughter rose every day just before 6 a.m. (some time before my usual getting up time) to take Thule for a long walk. By the time they returned, I was up and working on my second cup of coffee. She and I had an opportunity for good visits each morning before Grandson was up and about, then we putzed around the yard, or watched TV or just talked.  On several days we worked on projects around the house which had been a bit much for me to undertake on my own; I don't have as much muscle as I used to have.  I'm happy with the results, and very grateful for the help.  I got rid of a bunch of stuff, and that makes me happy, too.

We made one excursion out of town, to see my sister in Hot Springs Village (Thule stayed home with a sitter).  Other family members and friends visited here, and we had supper in the homes of my other daughters a couple of times.   Daughter helped me prepare for a Stamp Camp, which was held on the Saturday before they left.  She said she enjoyed doing some stamping, and putting together packets for me (I did all the paper cutting), and I'll take her word for it.  I was happy to have her assistance.

My grandson cooked supper for us one evening -- a Paula Deen recipe he brought with him, Tilapia with Basil and Tomatoes. It was fun to help him assemble all the ingredients (we had only to buy some Tilapia fillets, I had everything else on hand) and to watch him prepare the dish, which was delicious.  Perhaps he'll pursue a career as a chef. :)

He's a neat kid!


They are all back home safely, after a thirteen hour trip which included several detours and at least one back-track because of the flooding Missouri River.
 
I was glad to have them here, and glad to have them back home safely.  I'm planning a fall visit to their home in Nebraska (it's too hot here to go now and leave the responsibility for caring for my garden to others).
 
That's about it.  I miss having a morning coffee buddy.
 
Tomorrow is also a day.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Books - June, 1999

Dover Clipart


For those who might wonder, I've not fallen off the face of the earth; I've been engaged in other things outside the world of blogging. I've finally started trying to construct a post or two regarding my recent visitors -- my youngest daughter, her son and a very large Afghan Hound by the name of Thule (as in Greenland). 

In the meantime, another monthly installment of books read in 1999.  
Chromosome 6 - Robin Cook
Plum Island - Nelson DeMille
Murder in the Chateau - Elliott Roosevelt
Larceny & Old Lace - Tamar Myers
Gilt by Association - Tamar Myers
Night of the Dog  (a Mamur Zapt mystery) - Michael Pearce
The Girl in the Nile - (a Mamur Zapt mystery) - Michael Pearce 
The Poet - Michael Connelly

Murder and mayhem evidently occupied my reading list this month, none of which I would recommend for the young lady of still tender years pictured above. Not being of tender years at the time, I enjoyed them all.

I'm currently reading, when I stop to take a breather, the Kindle Edition of an old, old story by H. Rider Haggard, The People of the Mist.

All the links above lead to Amazon.com, with whom I have no association other than an occasional purchase.

Tomorrow is also a day.

Monday, May 30, 2011

In Memorium and In Appreciation


These flowers, which were on our church altar yesterday, were taken to the residents of the Arkansas Veterans Home this afternoon by Gardening Daughter, her husband and myself.  The flowers were given by one of our church members to the Glory of God and in memory of our country’s patriots; those who gave their lives to defend it and those who lived their lives to promote and support national values and unity.
The men and women who live in the facility seem always glad to have visits from folk in the community, even those they don't know, and they, and the staff, seem to genuinely appreciate flowers. These had an extra added attraction in that they smelled wonderful.  Some of the white flowers are Stock, which has a distinct fragrance of sweet cloves; I love their perfume.


The Veterans Home is as pleasant as a place like it can be, I suppose. It's clean and well maintained and with a very friendly and, I trust, helpful staff. It was my son-in-law's first visit, but I suspect it will not be his last. 
I hope you had an enjoyable Memorial Day holiday, and whatever else you did, I hope you took a minute or two to remember why this day is set apart.  
Tomorrow is also a day. 


Thursday, May 26, 2011

More Blooms


In one of my earliest posts, I wrote about the Mophead Hydrangea pictured above. It was planted in the spring of 1965. At the time, it was just a florist's potted hydrangea that had been sent to our family at the time of my father's death in January of that year.  It has grown quite large over the years and is one of my pride and joy plants.  Yesterday morning, it was covered with blooms in various stages, as shown below.

 Just opened; still greenish white.

 Beginning to show a bit of blue.

 Getting there. Green gone; now pale blue and white.

 All blue, and about 6" or 7" across.

Other plants now in bloom in my front garden are:

I love those huge, bronze leaves!


Calibrachoa (million bells)
a gift from Gardening Daughter.

I do love this time of year!  

I suppose I could have used these photos for several posts, but other plants will be blooming tomorrow and in the following weeks.  I'll have "Springy" blog fodder for a while before the interminable summer heat arrives.

Tomorrow is also a day.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What's Blooming

 Oakleaf Hydrangea


 Hybrid Day Lily 7" across. I sure do have a gnarly hand!


Asiatic Lily

It's not quite June but, if I were I singer, I'd be singing "June is busting out all over."

Tomorrow is also a day.  I wonder what will be blooming then?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bits and Pieces - Dancing Between the Raindrops


 
Friday night of last week, a heavy rainstorm blessed this area, leaving a bit over three inches of liquid sunshine.  Saturday morning's skies were overcast, with more thunderstorms and potentially heavy rain in the forecast for most parts of the state.

Not so good.  

Saturday, May 21, was the date scheduled for the formal exchange of wedding vows for my son's youngest daughter and her husband.  They were legally married over a year ago by a Justice of the Peace and live in a very small town in northwest Arkansas; she drives almost daily into Fayetteville where she attends the University of Arkansas.  It had been her dream to get married at Thorncrown Chapel, just outside Eureka Springs, AR, and Saturday was the date set for this event. 

I had long ago made plans to attend this event, but it didn't look like the weather was going to cooperate.  Eureka Springs is 190 miles northwest of my home, a three and a half-hour drive over good roads that wind up and down and all around the hills that make northwest Arkansas so beautiful.  Although the roads are good, if they are wet, I'd just as soon be driving somewhere else.  What to do?  Go, of course, wet roads or no wet roads; she's my granddaughter.

Eldest daughter, her mother-in-law and I left here at 10:00 a.m. under heavily overcast skies to make the drive for the 4:30 wedding.  By the time we were 40 miles away, the sun was shining with hardly a cloud in the sky.  The countryside was beautiful, with nary a trace of dust on the trees and grasses, their having been washed thoroughly by the previous evening's rain.  The wildflowers along the side of the road were blooming in profusion. I was driving, or I would have had some photos.

We arrived at Thorncrown Chapel about an hour before the wedding was to begin, so we had time to wander around a bit in the still wonderful sunshine.  Those three umbrellas and a raincoat in my car stayed unused.


Exterior, Thorncrown Chapel

 Interior, Thorncrown Chapel

The ceremony was well attended by family and close friends and followed by a reception at their church in their hometown, a bit over a 30 minute drive southeast of Eureka Springs.  Those folk who didn't make the wedding were there for the reception; an almost full house.

We left the reception just after 6:30, headed east on U.S. Highway 412 (not my favorite road number for this reason) across the top of Arkansas, through some more beautiful country to intersect with U.S. Highway 65 which would lead us back into central Arkansas and home.

We got home just before 11 p.m., just ahead of another batch of thunderstorms which left another half-inch of rain. 

Life is good!

Tomorrow is also a day.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Consider the lilies of the field...

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"... how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." Matthew 6:28b - 29 (KJV)


I ventured into the back yard this morning, thinking that I would mow before the thunderstorms anticipated for later today.  Sorry to say, I didn't have enough "oomph" in my muscles to start the mower.  I think it's about time to invest in one that will start at the push of a button. The lawn will go un-mowed for a few days until I can make the purchase or (more cost-effective) get someone with more muscle power to get it started for me.

Just under my bedroom window, this day lily had opened this morning, the first to bloom in the long row next to house.  How do I know it opened this morning?  Because that's what day lilies do; open for a day, then wither and die.

This particular lily, whose name I no longer recall, was gifted to me by my youngest sister.  I always think of her when it blooms.

Tomorrow is also a day (and there are many lily buds waiting to open.)

Post-publication P.S. Happy Birthday, Baba.  My father would have been 125 years old today. My granddaughter observes her 30th birthday today.



Friday, May 13, 2011

Books Read - May, 1999

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Dover Clip Art


As I promised (threatened), here is yet another list of books I read in 1999, this particular list being for the month of May of that year, and except for one (I'll let you guess), all 'light' reading.
Lethal Practice - Peter Clement
The Prophetess -  Barbara Wood
Murder on the Silk Road - Stephanie Matteson
Murder at the Falls - Stephanie Matteson
Blind Descent- Nevada Barr
The Club Dumas -  Arturo Perez-Reverte
Days of Drums - Philip Shelby
The Monkey's Raincoat -  Robert Crais


All links are to Amazon.com, a company with which I have no association whatsoever beyond an occasional purchase for my personal library.

Tomorrow is also a day.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

By the Sea - South Padre Island


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A few photographic glimpses of our recent trip to South Padre Island, Texas.  Granddaughter (and Grandma) really likes the water.  I know that seagulls are pests, for the most part, but I enjoyed watching them.

Tomorrow is also a day.