Friday, December 19, 2014

Remembering .....

Laura Christine (Christie) Hollingsworth Poe
August 26, 1978 - December 19, 2007
I will love you always.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving, Again

"Give us thankful hearts...
in this the season of Thy Thanksgiving.
May we be thankful for health and strength,
for sun and rain and peace.
Let us seize the day and the opportunity
and strive for that greatness of spirit
that measures life not by its disappointments
but by its possibilities,
and let us ever remember that true gratitude
and appreciation shows itself neither
in independence nor satisfaction
but passes the gift joyfully on
in larger and better form."'

W.E.B. DuBois

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Gardening Daughter has gifted me with a new-to-me plant -- Crocosmia.  She planted a couple of stems (sans any flowers) about a week ago  in my front garden.  It wasn't but a couple of days later that the plants had produced flower stems, and yesterday the first blossoms appeared.  I don't know exactly what variety of Crocosmia this is... could be Lucifer, or perhaps Emberglow or Masonorum... names of several of the red varieties. Whatever the variety, it's unusual and very pretty.  I can visualize large clumps of them gracing this area.

She also brought me baskets of bright red Million Bells (calibrachoa), pink/purple/yellow Lantana, and a mixed dish garden of Lamb's Ears (Stachys byzantina); Angelonia and another variety of Million Bells.  Very colorful!

All this plant-gifting was in (unnecessary) payment for babysitting my granddaughter several days during the preceding week. 

Today is sunny... and dry, for a change.  It has rained almost every day for the last week, varying between downpours and drizzle.  The ground beneath the grass is almost boggy; goodness only knows when it will be mowed again.  Where's a goat when you need one?

Tomorrow is also a day -- and heavy thunderstorms are in the forecast.  Ah, well!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Tragedy in the Bird's Nest

When I checked the bird's nest this afternoon, all I found was one dead chick; the other two were gone completely. I suspect a raccoon.  Sad, sad, sad.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Two days old

There are three babies in the nest.  The first two were stirring around in the nest when I checked on Sunday afternoon; the third one hatched sometime before I checked on Monday mid-morning.

A few minutes ago, I managed to catch two of them awake and yawning for food before Daddy Cardinal shooed me away.

There's no noise coming from those gaping mouths. I think baby birds don't "cheep" for a few days.

Mama Cardinal is hardly ever on the nest during the day; too busy hunting food for the babies, I guess.

Bye the bye, the pot that contains the nest is only 6" across.

Tomorrow is also a day. 

Monday, May 5, 2014


Two of the eggs have hatched, and Mama Cardinal is busy bringing them whatever it is that new baby birds eat!

Will keep you posted.

Tomorrow is also a day.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Bits and Pieces

This fuzzy photo is the best I could get in the circumstances under which I was working.  A young female Cardinal (if you look closely you can see her head/beak on the right and tail on the left) has taken up housekeeping in a small hanging basket left out in the freezing cold over the winter. In the carefully constructed nest just below the top of the container are three small eggs, the first cardinal eggs I have ever seen.

The circumstances I mentioned above are (1) that the basket is hanging within four feet of my back door, and (2) opening the door widely spooks her off the nest.  I just opened the door a crack, stuck out my cell phone/camera and snapped without really looking or trying to focus.

It makes my heart glad to see her there, and my heart needed a gladdening.  I discovered her nest this past Saturday morning, when my grandson and I went to the back yard to dig a grave for my sweet Missy cat, who went to play with her baby Sweetie Pie last Friday afternoon.

I now have four cats buried in my back yard: Bubble (the sweetest kitty I have ever had) died in July 2000; her brother Squeak died in May, 2012;  Sweetie Pie went to be with the kitty angels just over a year ago, and now, Sweetie Pie's mama, Missy.  They are all buried in their favorite sunning places.

I think that's the end of my having cats; it's just too hard to let them go, even when it's inevitable.

Tomorrow is also a day.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Lady Banks Rose

Lady Banks Rose
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Rosa
Cultivar: R. Banksiae

A pretty little thing, isn't it? This relatively new addition to my back garden was a gift of Gardening Daughter. It's been in the ground next to a side fence for a couple of years, but bore only one small cluster of blooms last year. It's not completely covered with blooms, as I hope it will be when mature (see Internet photo below -- Glorious! -- I should live so long!) However, I didn't have to search among the leaves for color this year. It's a right cheerful sight.

R. banksiae has likely been grown in the gardens of China for hundreds of years. The species was introduced to Europe by William Kerr, who had been sent on a plant-hunting expedition by Sir Joseph Banks. He bought the first Lady Banks' Rose, subsequently named the white Lady Banks (R. banksiae var. banksiae) from the famous Fa Tee nursery in 1807. A number of other forms were subsequently discovered growing in China, including R. banksiae var. normalis, and R. banksiae 'Lutea', the yellow Lady Banks' rose (brought to Europe in 1824 by J. D. Park). This cultivar has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit[4] - 
Wikipedia article

Tomorrow is also a day.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dainty Bess Comes Through, Again.

Cultivar: Dainty Bess
Hybridized by Archer; Year of Registration or Introduction: 1925

I took the above photo yesterday afternoon with my cell phone camera. Not too bad, considering.  This rose, Dainty Bess, has been a faithful bloomer in my yard for 24 years.  Its leaves look a bit worse for wear and black spot; I haven't given it the attention it deserves. 

Dainty Bess is always the first of my few roses to bloom, and it will soldier on through the heat of the summer, putting out a bloom or two from time to time until hard frost. 

I do have a new yellow rose, courtesy of Gardening Daughter, about which (the rose) I shall post later.  

Tomorrow is also a day.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Image: Internet

It's not about the bunny.

Wishing you a Blessed Resurrection Sunday and Eastertide.

Saturday, April 12, 2014


Once again, I berate myself for not starting the tax form preparation process as soon as I get all the necessary information from various entities.  Thanks to TurboTax(R) software, it took me just over an hour to complete, and print, both federal and state income tax returns this afternoon. 

As anticipated, I'm getting small refunds from both Uncle Sam and Uncle Arky.  These monies will be used to pay my real estate and personal property taxes which, although not due until mid-October, will be paid as soon as these refunds are in the bank -- a financial revolving door.

Now I can start reading, again.  This time, the book is Julia Spencer-Fleming's Through the Evil Days, the most recently published book in a series which I've been following for some years.

Tomorrow is also a day.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Eaglets and Other Stuff

I have granddaughter duty today while her parents are at work. She's always a pleasure to have around and, while she's here, I tend to get involved in activities that are not usually on my schedule.  I'd like to think that keeps me young but, alas, it just tends to wear me out.  I've heard it said that whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger.  I wish!

She and I have spent an enjoyable few minutes this morning watching the Decorah, Iowa eagle-nesting site on streaming live video.  I was first made aware of this wonderful site three years ago, and followed the hatching of that year's batch of eaglets. 

I missed that wonderful event this year. The three eaglets were hatched on April 2, 3 and 7, and are already peeking their down-covered heads out from under Mom (or Dad -- both parents tend the eggs and young).

Technology is wonderful.  Pay a visit to that site, if you have time. Just wait out (30 seconds or so) the inevitable commercial that precedes the live feed.  It's worth the wait.


Microsoft XP -- My desktop computer, which I've had for more than a few years, operates on XP, a system which as of April 8, Microsoft is no longer supporting.  Reading all the hoopla and security warnings about continuing to use XP made me uncomfortable about continuing an Internet connection to my desktop. To upgrade to Windows 7 is not a,  simple task and is more than I care to do.  Although I'm backed up through Carbonite, I'd still hate to have any of my files hacked, or to import some horrible virus that would corrupt my hard drive (that's happened -- not a pretty thing!) So, I disconnected it from the Internet on April 7.

Laptop to the rescue!  Two years ago, I purchased a laptop computer which operates on Windows 7, a system which will continue to be supported by Microsoft for several years -- probably until after I'm dead and gone, if the truth be told. I will continue to work on my desktop sans Internet connection, transferring information to my laptop via Flash Drive as needed, and use the laptop for my Internet activities.

That's all, for the nonce.  Tomorrow is also a day.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Edward Wilson Griffith
April 10, 1941 - May 11, 1969

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing

Ruby Throated Hummingbird
Image: Wikipedia

Yes,  I know I shouldn't fool around with things about which I know only a little bit and not near enough to do what I need to do. However, I recently completely ignored that understanding of myself and jumped feet first into a technological problem I should have left alone.

My cell phone had been "acting up," as I mentioned in my last post.  I occurred to me to access the phone's online user guide and find out how to fix the problem.  I read through pages of (mostly) non-understandable language until I found the section which referred to the problem I was having, and proceeded to follow the slightly-fuzzy directions for correcting the same.

I clicked here and there; deleted this and that, presuming that I was making progress.  I made progress, all right.  I progressed myself into a completely non-working phone with which I could do nada, zilch, bumpkis -- a piece of junk fit only for the trash-bin.

I took said junk to the dealer from which it came. "Uh, Lady. What in the world did you do to it?" 

After a prolonged visit, I came away with a new phone, which is working beautifully, thank you, and which has many more "bells and whistles" than my old one.  Thanks to Christmas gift cards from generous relatives, I didn't even have to shell out any of my hard-earned Social Security income.

I've made myself a promise that if this one should go wonky on me,  I won't try to fix it, but head straight to the dealer for, I would hope, a more educated approach to problem solving.


I've read four books this past week, all actual hold-in-your- hands, turn-the-pages books.  The first one, a referral from Arkansas Patti at her The New Sixty blog, was The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson, a Swedish author.   The title is a mouthful, but the story is absolutely delightful, and highly recommended!  Thank you, Patti! 

Due to budgetary constraints, I'm really tight-fisted -- about almost everything, including e-books for my Kindle. Although Jonasson's book was available in the Kindle edition, it came at a price, so I requested the paperback edition from my library. After a wait of a couple of weeks --the book seems to be very popular at present -- it arrived and was picked up. It took me several days to read it. I didn't rush; I savored it.
On April 4, while I was at the library to return it,  I browsed the Mystery section (my favorite) and selected an armful of books -- four "cozy" mysteries and one not quite so cozy, and have read three of them. 

Why the reading binge?  I'm sorry to say it's my one of my favorite avoidance tactics.  I need to be working on my taxes!

I did make myself pull together some of the more detailed information I need for my tax filing; I'm not completely ignoring the task, just dragging my feet.

What has the image of a hummingbird to do with this post, you ask?  Gardening Daughter called me last evening to report that hummingbirds are at her feeders. Too soon!  Too soon!  It's not even warm, yet!

Tomorrow is also a day.

Monday, March 17, 2014

What's Going On?


The latter part of this past week brought balmy, shirt-sleeve weather to our part of the U.S.  My daffodils and forsythia bloomed, the day lilies began to send up new leaves, and all was looking well for the world. "About time!", I thought, and began to make plans for working in the flower beds.  Silly me! 

By mid-afternoon yesterday, a light rain was being pushed by a cold north wind at about 50 miles an hour (the gusts turned my umbrella completely inside out, took my breath away [so much that it scared me], and nearly blew me off my feet... really!) and then.... snowed last night!  

Not very much; the ground was not even completely covered, just clumps of snow here and there, when I got up this morning.  The temperature is rising, even as I type, and a quick look out the window just now shows that it's nearly all gone.  

We Arkies are wont to say "If you don't like the weather, just wait a few minutes; it will change."


* This past Saturday, which was a balmy day, my stamping partner and I hosted another successful Stamp Camp, our first of this year. I'm happy to report that a good time was had by all.

* I continue to enjoy my Kindle, and the free books I download from Amazon.  As I've previously commented on this blog, I am a (big) fan of mystery stories. My taste runs to the "cozy" mystery, although a well-constructed thriller also holds my attention.  One evening last week, I began to read Louisiana Longshot by Jana DeLeon.  Once I read the first page, I couldn't stop. This has to be one of the funniest stories I have ever read. If laughter is good medicine, I shouldn't be sick for quite some time! Highly recommended by yours truly, if you enjoy such things.

* My smart phone, a gift from my son-in-law in 2012, is behaving erratically. I've checked everything I know to check, and have had others more experienced than I try to resolve the problems I'm having -- to no avail. Perhaps it has a built-in self-destruct chip. :)  I fear a new phone is in my future.

I am slightly amazed at how much I have come to depend on this pocket-sized piece of technology -- being able to send and receive email when not at home on my computer; texting (never while driving, thank you); taking photos; checking the weather, etc., etc.  I've become so comfortable with it that I have been giving thought to doing away with my "land line."  Today, I'm not so sure!

* Today is St. Patrick's Day. Are you wearing green? Interesting information on the wearing of the green here.

That's it.

Tomorrow is also a day.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Brrr, Humbug!

Last night, we got a small taste of what other parts of the country have been going through for weeks -- frozen precipitation.

When I went to bed, it was raining steadily with frequent thunder and temps hovering at the 32 degree mark. When I opened the curtains this morning, the ground was white with a couple of inches of sleet. 

Although there are a few icicles hanging here and there, and trees and bushes have an icy sheen to them, sleet is much preferable to freezing rain.

As I write this, the temperature is 23 degrees F, and is not forecast to rise above the freezing mark until after noon tomorrow.  That doesn't bode well for our church's annual  Shrove Tuesday pancake supper, but we shall see what we shall see.

Tomorrow is also a day.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Bits and Pieces - Is it Spring, Yet?


It was a beautiful, sunshiny and warm day today. YAY!  Unfortunately, it's not Spring, yet, but it felt like it.  It was great to be able to go outside without fear of getting frostbite. My car's thermometer read 65 when I left church. Wonderful, wonderful. 

I spoke with my Virginia brother-in-law earlier this evening. They received 14" of snow at their place in the suburbs of Washington D.C., but didn't lose power, so all was well.  He was able to clear their rather long  driveway with a snow blower and get out to the grocery and pharmacy in his 4-wheel-drive vehicle. Sister kept the birds fed, so she was happy.

Missy kitty is much improved. She was a wonderful patient for the first week of her ear drops; entirely compliant, totally unlike  Sweetie Pie, her daughter, who used to fight me tooth and claw when she required ear drops. What a difference! I gave Missy extra "crunchy munchies" as a reward for her good behavior, and now she expects them every day just about the time I would have treating her ears.  Didn't take long for her to catch on.

I will have granddaughter-sitting duty several days this week while her mother prepares for the State Garden Show, which will be held this coming weekend. She is much involved in the several days long preparation for this event, working behind the scenes and also designing and creating her own floral arrangements to be entered in various judged categories. Although she'll be exhausted by the time it's over, next Sunday afternoon, she loves it.

That's about it.

Tomorrow is a also a day.

Thursday, February 6, 2014



Missy and I have just returned from the vet's office.  She has an ear infection that I have treated at home for a week or so, but the problem has not improved to my satisfaction so it was time for professional attention. 

Missy, my one remaining cat, is (as you might imagine) my cosseted baby.  What is it, I wonder, about old ladies and their cats?  She definitely rules the roost around here. It might be better to say that "I am owned by a cat" rather than "I own a cat."

Although the streets are clear, there is still ice on vegetation and utility wires. The temps are still below freezing at this writing but I won't complain: My Nebraska daughter called me yesterday to report that it was -17 at her home place -- and that wasn't the wind chill! Double "brrrr!"

Tomorrow is also a day.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Warning: Run on sentence!
Although Tuesdays are my days to volunteer in the church office, this morning, after opening the curtains, looking outside and observing the ice glaze on plants, trees, driveway and street, and icicles hanging on utility wires and roof edges, and remembering that my Mama didn't raise a fool, I made an executive decision to stay home!

Perhaps I shall bake bread and make a pot of soup, instead.

Tomorrow is also a day.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Candlemas Day

Disclaimer: Yes, you've seen this post (or much of it) before -- if you've been following my blog for 5 years! The following first ran on 2/2/09; I thought I'd blow the dust off and give it another go.

* * *

Today, February 2, is Candlemas Day, the day upon which the season of Winter in the northern hemisphere is half over. The end can't come soon enough for a lot of folks.

An old English folk song declares:

If Candlemas be fair and bright
Come, Winter, have another flight.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go Winter, and come not again.

This day is also known as Groundhog Day (lots of information), and here in the U.S. we direct our attention to Punxsutawney Phil. He popped his head up to bright sunshine this morning, and left us with a dread of six weeks more of Winter to come. For more information on Phil, go here.  (Current note:  The information about Punxsutawney Phil is still true. I just checked.  Brrr!)

In addition, February 2nd is celebrated as the Pagan Festival of Lights, St. Brigit's Day (Ireland) and in the Roman Catholic church, the Purification of the Blessed Virgin and The Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple.

* * *

New Stuff:  The photo above is a new addition, courtesy of The Daily Office East, a devotional service to which I subscribe.  From this post I learned that Candlemas Day used to be the day upon which all the beeswax candles in the church were blessed. 

As the weatherman projected, the balmy temperatures of yesterday have fled.  The thermometer currently reads just above the freezing point.  Skies are heavy, leaden and primed to dump some winter mix upon us before the day is out.

Stay warm and dry!

Tomorrow is also a day.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

It's Already February?

This image has nothing whatsoever to do with this post. 
It's a card I made years ago with one of my whimsical rubber stamps. 
I post it just because.

How time flies when one is having fun!  January was full of computer work, reports, filings, etc., just part of the work I do as the volunteer treasurer for my church.  I'm always quite relieved when the month is over and I've managed to get everything finished. 

It's a balmy 60+ degrees at this writing, but it won't last long; we're due for 1"-3" of snow by Tuesday of this coming week.  Weather!  Bah!  Ah, well; we can use the moisture!

Tomorrow is also a day.

Friday, January 17, 2014


Did you hear about the theft at the museum? The burglars took every painting of  unclothed people. I guess you might say that the museum walls were denuded.

Tomorrow is also a day.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Bits and Bits

The temperature seems to be stuck at 32 degrees -- and it's raining, just a light rain, but water nonetheless.   Everything not generating its own heat is becoming coated with ice.  It looks a bit like this:

I took this photo a couple of years ago during a similar weather event.

I'm hoping the rain stops soon.  Right now, the ice is not heavy enough to break limbs and utility lines. We need it to stay that way!

* *
Since I elect not to venture out in this sort of weather, I'm catching up on some household chores that were put off during my Christmas/New Year activities.  How one old woman and one old cat can disrupt the desired order is beyond me.

* *
I've got a loaf of bread baking in my bread machine (love it!) and the house smells wonderful. Warm bread, butter, and some flavored honey that was a Christmas gift will be on my lunch plate.

* *
Tomorrow is also a day.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I Didn't Freeze...

... during the Arctic Plunge, but some of my water pipes did. 

Foolish me!  I went to bed Sunday night without leaving a dripping faucet, and arose Monday morning able to draw water only from the cold water tap in the bathroom (which is an interior room.)  Fortunately, both hot and cold water were flowing from all taps before sundown and I suffered no burst pipes. 

Last night was even more frigid, by about 5 degrees, but I heard the drip, drip, drip of water in my kitchen sink every time I stirred from sleep.  It was nice to be able to wash my face in warm water this morning.

Unlike many parts of the U.S., central Arkansas was blessed by the absence of freezing precipitation during the worst of it. We have much for which to be thankful.

It's January, with all the attendant work required following the end of one year and the beginning of another. I worked in the church office all day today. I made serious inroads into my work load, but still have much to do before month-end. I know I'm nuts, but I love all that record-keeping stuff.

Stay warm, and keep your powder dry.

Tomorrow is also a day.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Bits and Pieces

I've been colder than a well-digger's boot today. There's something about the construction of my house that, when it's quite cold and the wind blows, it matters not where I set the thermostat; I'm simply not going to feel warm.

I remedied the situation somewhat by cooking up a big pot of hamburger/veggie soup with plenty of hot chili flakes as part of the seasoning. That, and several pieces of hot cornbread, baked in my heaviest iron skillet, at least warmed my innards. My nose and toes are still chilly, but my core temperature has risen by a degree or two, I'm sure.

* *
I recently finished reading a book.  A book-book.  Big deal, you say?  Since acquiring my Kindle, which I have kept loaded with freebie reading material from Amazon, I haven't had many book-books in my hands.  I had almost forgotten how heavy a book can be (not necessarily a good thing for arthritic wrists and hands), or how enjoyable it is to feel ink-on-paper under your hands (a good thing).  

This particular book was P.D. James' The Private Patient (Faber and Faber Limited, 2008), loaned to me just after Christmas by a friend. I've always found P.D. James' mystery novels very interesting. She really knows how to spin a tale, and how to captivate the reader with her opening words. As example:

" On November the 21st, the day of her forty-seventh birthday, and three weeks and two days before she was murdered, Rhoda Gradwyn went to Harley Street to keep a first appointment with her plastic surgeon, and there in a consulting room designed, so it appeared, to inspire confidence and allay apprehension, made the decision which would lead inexorably to her death."

I'm a big fan of British mystery novels, anyway, and Baroness James has a way with words that is vocabulary-expanding, to say the least.  I take perverse pleasure in having to occasionally resort to a dictionary to get a full understanding of her descriptive language. 

Baroness James  (more information here) is now 93 years old.  I hope she lives for many more years, but time is not on her side.  I always grieve the passing of authors whose work I enjoy; I think they should all live longer than I do, and continue to be published until my dying breath.  It that too much to ask? 

That's all the bits and pieces for now.  

Tomorrow is also a day.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year - New Look

A Happy New Year to All!

I traveled to my sister's home in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, to spend New Year's Eve and Day.  She had invited a dozen or so of her single female acquaintances to join her for a Global New Year's Eve party, during which we would toast the arrival of the New Year in various parts of the world.  We had a glorious time, with delicious food and an ample supply of bubbly with which to do our toasting.

I was happy to have been included on the guest list for this event. Sister's friends proved to be delightful. All are retired from the work-a-day world but still very active in a wide variety of activities: writing, art, music, charitable foundations and the like.   Several of them had, in pre-retirement years, lived abroad: Pakistan, Kenya, Honduras, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and other places that I can't at this writing recall.  I had a wonderful time listening to their stories.

New Year's Day was spent in leisure activities including a lovely visit with some of my own dear friends who moved to the Village in late October last year.  

I arrived back home after dark, but in time to attend our Wednesday evening church service, the first service of 2014.

All in all, a wonderful day.  Thank you, Sister, for a lovely time.

Tomorrow is also a day.