Monday, December 30, 2013

The New Year Cometh...

... and cometh, and cometh.  

On Sunday last, one of my random thoughts concerned the chronological coming of the New Year. I wondered where the New Year first arrives on our earth, at least according to the present global time-keeping system, international date lines and such. The answer may be found in the following link, should one care (or even be curious) about such things.

Google is a wonderful tool, although careful perusal of a world globe with proper attachments could provide the same information.  (does anyone have a globe anymore?)

Should one be so inclined, and have a generous supply of "bubbly" or other celebratory beverage on hand,  one might begin to celebrate the coming of the new year by lifting a glass, in absentia, with the residents of Christmas Island.  Then one could continue to celebrate, on the hour, every hour, with other Pacific Islands, New Zealand, Australia, the Far Eastern countries, Asia, Europe, the British Isles, Greenland and the mid-Atlantic, and, if still awake and able to stand, one's local time zone in the US of A. 

Tomorrow is also a day... and New Year's Day (somewhere).

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Brief Thoughts Following Christmas Dinner

There are both positive and negative consequences of having Christmas dinner at someone else's home --

Upside: there are no leftovers for which you must find space in the 'frig.

Downside: there are no leftovers.

Tomorrow is also a day.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Christmas Meditation

No one can celebrate
a genuine Christmas
without being truly poor.
The self-sufficient, the proud,
those who, because they have
everything, look down on others,
those who have no need
even of God -- for them there 
will be no Christmas.
Only the poor, the hungry,
those who need someone
to come on their behalf,
will have that someone.
That someone is God.
Emmanuel. God-with-us.
Without poverty of spirit
there can be no abundance of God.

     -- Oscar Romero

To any and all those who might happen to come across this post, I wish you a blessed Christmas.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Missy Helps with Stamp Camp Prep

Another Stamp Camp is this evening, and I've been preparing materials for twenty participants.  Missy decided she would help by holding down any loose papers that might have fallen off the table.(grin)  She wants to be part of the action, I guess.  I lost count of how many times I removed her from my work area; she does love to sit or lie down on any form of paper.  

Despite her assistance, all the card parts are safely tucked into their individual packets and ready to go.  Perhaps I can even get in a snooze before time to leave for the event.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Another Bloom

Iris - unknown (to me) variety

Once again, I'm put out with myself because I don't keep adequate records (actually, I keep none) of the names of the beautiful plants I have sprinkled here and there in my yard.  This Bearded Iris was a gift from Gardening Daughter a couple of years ago She acquired it at a sale sponsored by the Arkansas Iris Society. If I recall correctly, the name of the plant was written on one of the leaves. Did I write it down?  Or, memorize it? No.  That oversight doesn't, however, diminish my enjoyment of its beauty.

Tomorrow is also a day -- and there are buds waiting to flower.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Bits and Pieces

   John F. Kennedy Rose                           

For the past four or five days I've been plagued by vicious upper respiratory symptoms, made worse, I'm sure, by the dust I raised in the whirlwind attack on my craft room, about which I so cheerfully reported in my last post.  Since I subscribe to the "germ theory" of disease, I assume I picked up the responsible virus/bacteria a few days before I started the cleaning frenzy. Whatever/whenever/however acquired, the resulting symptoms caused an immediate cessation of my cleaning activities.  Although I've not felt ill enough to confine myself to bed, I have dozed, a lot, in my recliner, consumed quarts and quarts of various hot and cold liquids, sneezed and coughed until my ribs are sore, and kept the "Puffs" folks in business.

Missy cat stayed by my side most of the time, not demanding to be outside -- which was a good thing, since the weather was not conducive to outside activities, even for a feline.   Our area, like much of the country, experienced a sharp drop in temperatures from those earlier last week, and on again-off again precipitation.  Just rain here, thank you. Nebraska daughter reported another 2"-4" of snow on her acreage.

A cat has only so much sympathy and patience, and yesterday afternoon being sunny and temperate (in the high 50's) she demanded to be outside.   Having spied a few white roses from my kitchen window, I ventured out with her and found not only a bush full of roses but that my 'wet foot' Iris had bloomed.  (I'm sure this variety has a real name, but Gardening Daughter, who gave it to me, described it only as needing to be in a moist place, unlike many other irises. Adjacent to the back yard water tap seemed to be as good a place as any.) The iris is in a bed next to the wall and immediately under my kitchen window and thus not visible from it.  I'm happy that I ventured out; I would hate to have missed its blooming.

"Wet Foot" Iris

The new leaf growth on my JFK roses has me somewhat puzzled.  The leaves are at least twice the size of last year's leaves and, if my eyes don't deceive me, the rose blooms are at least half again larger.  (See rose photo; that's my not very small hand behind the bloom.) Also, the iris seems to have grown quite a bit taller since last year; perhaps the Christmas snow contained a tonic. 

Tomorrow is also a day.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

These Foolish Things Remind Me --

At lunch time today, I found the refrigerator lacking in leftovers, having consumed the last of several "I'd like a to-go-box, please"  meals yesterday evening. I'm currently involved in a much needed sorting/trashing/cleaning activity in my stamping/crafting room, and didn't want to take much time out to prepare a meal. When I'm on a roll, I'm on a roll.  

I did spy a partial jar of Marinara Sauce in the frig that needed to be used soon and so I decided to have pasta, the skinny, quick cooking variety. 

After the pasta had boiled for the recommended time, I tested a strand or two to determine if it was ready.  That simple task reminded me of --

Why should cooked pasta remind me of her, you might ask?

If you never played, or your children never played, any of the Carmen Sandiego games, you missed some funny, but educational playtime.  If you are familiar with the elusive Carmen, you will, of course, remember one of her henchmen --  Al Dente!

OK.  I'm up and away --  back to the craft room.

Tomorrow is also a day.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Trip

Crystal Bridges Museum, Bentonville, AR
photograph - Pat Phillips

My sister from Hot Springs Village invited me some weeks ago to go with her to visit the Crystal Bridges Museum in the northwest corner of Arkansas, a little over four hours drive from where I live, and so we did, on the Friday just past.

The museum has a number of wonderful works of art in its permanent collection, but the special exhibit she wanted to see featured the work of artist Norman Rockwell, perhaps best remembered for the hundreds of paintings he created as cover art for the Saturday Evening Post.

Thinking that my son and his wife, who now live in extreme southeastern Kansas, might also enjoy the Rockwell exhibit, we invited them, and their younger daughter and her husband, who live not too far from the museum, to join us.  All being in agreement, we met at a lovely restaurant in Bentonville at the noon hour, had a leisurely and delicious lunch, then went to the museum about a half hour before the time assigned to us.  

I knew beforehand that Crystal Bridges was quite an attraction, but I truly was not prepared to find perhaps a thousand persons already on premises.  It appears it's a popular destination for coach tours, as several "Greyhound"-type vehicles were in evidence.  

After a quite reasonable wait for admittance to the Rockwell gallery, we greatly enjoyed the exhibit, which included actual covers of all of the three hundred twenty six (326) issues of the Saturday Evening Post featuring his work.  Many of these I remember fairly well, as the Saturday Evening Post was delivered to our home in New Mexico for many years. 

After leaving the Rockwell exhibit, we made a fairly quick trip through the rest of the galleries.  The permanent collection contains more than a few highly recognizable and well known works of art, including "Rosie the Riveter,"  a famous Rockwell painting, and works by Gilbert Stuart, Georgia O'Keefe, and Mary Cassatt. More than a small smidgen of the Wal-Mart wealth has been spent to good end.  Thank you, Ms. Alice Walton.

My son's and daughter-in-law's home being less than a two hour drive from the museum, we had already made plans to spend Friday night with them rather than making the longer trek back here.  I don't get to see them as often as I would like since they moved to Kansas, and greatly enjoyed the time spent with them.  We had dinner at one of their favorite restaurants in Joplin, then drove about 20 minutes to reach their home in Baxter Springs, KS.

Sister dropped me off at my home yesterday afternoon, arriving here early enough that I could get in a short nap before bedtime!

Tomorrow is also a day.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What Season Is It, Anyway?

I turned on the air conditioner this evening after I "broke a sweat" just sitting at the computer with Missy Cat on my lap.  It's snowing in some parts of the U.S. but it was almost 90 degrees here today!  

I might have just opened a window to let a bit of cooler air inside, but there is so much pollen in the air that it's visible even to these old eyes. My dark green automobile has a heavy chartreuse colored coating. Driving the speed limit in the neighborhood doesn't seem to budge it.  I guess a rolling car gathers more pollen.

Tomorrow is also a day.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

All Done, Uncle Sam

Yay!  I had to look for only one item I needed (filed in the wrong place) and that took just a few minutes.  Forms are completed, signed, sealed, and delivered (into the hands of the USPS.)  Even better, I'm due small refunds from both state and federal governments.

I even had time to go outside and pull a few weeds.  Life is GOOD!

Tomorrow is also a day.

A Friend, Indeed

The yard police won't be sending me a letter this week, thanks to a good neighbor.  He came across the street yesterday afternoon with his heavy duty riding lawnmower, which handily gobbled up the overgrowth in both front and back yards. What a difference!  It's safe to walk about, again.

I fear a new lawnmower is in my future.  The one I've used for years, which was already well used when I acquired it, has seen its best days. It's almost too heavy for me to use, even if it is self-propelled.  I hope I can find a lighter weight one which has enough power to tame my jungle.

I still need to use the trimmer around the edges, but that's a task for later -- after the tax returns are filed.

Tomorrow is also a day.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Crunch Day

"Julia Child" Floribunda Rose
(photo from my LG Phone)

Gardening Daughter brought me this beautiful rose the evening we buried Sweetie Pie.  It eventually will be put in the ground over her grave.  It's a lovely old fashioned rose, with a very strong sweet fragrance of licorice and spice (so the tag states; to me, it just smells like all roses should smell.)  The buds open to a deep, sort of orangy-pinky-yellow, and fade to a light cream color (the tag states "Butter Gold.")  I love it already. 

GD and I transplanted a "Lady Banks" climbing yellow rose from her garden to my fence last year, but it has not yet bloomed. We shall see what we shall see.  The few other roses I have in the yard are white (John F. Kennedy), pink (Dainty Bess) and one of those continually blooming "Knockout" roses -- deep red in color.  I am extremely fond of yellow roses; I don't know why I didn't plant one when I moved here.  Ah, well;  now I have one.

Today is Crunch Day...the day I acknowledge that I simply cannot put off working on my federal and state income tax returns any longer.  I have used a popular software for this purpose for several years and the process is not much more difficult than falling off a log.  I probably could do it without resorting to any outside help at all, as my income is minimal and my itemized deductions no longer exceed the standard deduction Uncle Sam allows.  Despite of the ease of doing it, I simply detest the process.   Perhaps I don't like to be reminded of how little money I have.

Tomorrow is also a day.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

All's Well Weather-wise

We had a willy-waw of a rain storm yesterday, in two installments, early and late, complements of the latest winter storm. The severe weather in Arkansas passed to the west and north of us in mid-afternoon.  The small town of Clinton, where I graduated from high school, and the surrounding area suffered considerable damage, whether from a tornado or fierce straight winds I know not at this writing. Most of the photos shown on TV are of mobile homes, of which there are a plentitude on the outskirts of town.  I've no longer in touch with any one with whom I went to school, so there are no dear ones to worry about, but I'm sorry for those who were affected. No deaths reported so far, and only a few injuries, despite significant damage. 

This morning, I spoke with youngest daughter who lives in eastern Nebraska.  She reports a newly-fallen additional 4" of snow at her place.  Like many other areas of the country, they had been enjoying very temperate weather for the last few weeks.  She's been preparing her new garden space, but had nothing in the ground but onions and carrots.  They should survive the snow all right.  Time will tell.

This time yesterday, our temps were in the high 70's.  At this writing it's 45 degrees. My feet are cold.  This cold spell won't last too long, and I hope it dries out, soon.   The chickweed is so thick in the back yard that it's like a blanket over the grass. I haven't heard from the city fathers, yet, but the front yard could use a hair cut -- when it's warmer.

Tomorrow is also a day.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

New News -- Not Good News

RIP, Sweetie Pie
August 1, 2002 - April 9, 2013

I regret that my first post of 2013 is sad news.  After a 3-month long illness during which she lost more than half her body weight, Sweetie Pie has gone to play with the kitty-angels in heaven.  She was gentle to the end and, if one can attribute such things to animals, appreciative of the loving care she received.  I am extremely sad tonight, and will miss her very much.

Gardening Daughter and I will bury her in the back garden, not far from her companion, Squeak.

I hope to be back in blogland with happier news, soon.