Thursday, December 16, 2010


It's been very cold.  Good thing I'm retired as my car isn't working.  It froze up and I don't feel like spending the money and time to unfreeze it so I'm stuck in the house for a while.  Been decorating the tree, baking, cleaning and taking long winter naps.
The winter months seem to be moving along just as fast as the summer and fall months did.  Not sure if that's good or bad.
There is a beautiful star that follows the moon around at night, or maybe it's a planet.  I love the night sky but I don't know much about it.
My Christmas shopping is done, not much this year, and I've been wrapping the gifts.
I have a real tree...Scotch looks like an artificial one that I put together wrong.
Well the dryer just shut off so I'll be closing for now.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fall and winter close behind

The chipmonks have gone underground, the robins, redwinged blackbirds, butterflies, bees have all disappeared south.  The Canadian Geese are flying in V formation for real and leaving.  Frost in the morning.  Got out my winter clothes and turned the furnace on just a little.  Got out the flannel sheets for warmth at night.  Have the garage cleaned out so the car will fit in there.  Took down all the summer furniture and plugged in the bird bath.  Put the snow brushes in the comes winter.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Today is Wednesday, September 10, 2010

This day my brother in law winged his way to heaven
To dance with the Angels.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.
Take kindly to the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann c.1920

Thursday, September 02, 2010

The War is Over

When the war started I made a very patriotic wreath and I decided to leave it hanging up until the war ended.  It got very, very dusty and warn, but today I took it down.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

On Turning Seventy

Ringo Starr celebrated his 70th birthday last week by playing at Radio City Music Hall and saying his new hero is B.B. King, still jamming in his 80s.
Joining Mr. Starr in his 70s next year will be the still-performing Bob Dylan ("May you stay forever young") and Paul Simon ("How terribly strange to be 70"). Following soon after will be Roger Daltrey ("Hope I die before I get old") and Mick Jagger, who is reported to have said, several grandchildren ago, "I'd rather be dead than singing ‘Satisfaction' at 45."
A rock 'n' roll septuagenarian was someone the gerontologist Robert Butler could have only dreamed of in 1968, when he coined the term "ageism" to describe the way society discriminates against the old.
Dr. Butler, a psychiatrist, died at age 83, a few days before Ringo's big bash. No one, his colleagues said, had done more to improve the image of aging in America. His work established that the old did not inevitably become senile, and that they could be productive, intellectually engaged, and active - sexually and otherwise. His life provided a good example: He worked until three days before his death from acute leukemia.
But as much as Dr. Butler would have cheered an aging Beatle onstage, his colleagues said he would have also cautioned against embracing the opposite stereotype - the idea that "aging successfully," in his phrase, means that you have to be banging on drums in front of thousands - or still be acting like you did at 22 or 42.
That stereotype is almost as enduring as ageism itself.
"The stories that we hear tend to pull us toward the extreme," said Anne Basting, the director of the Center on Age and Community at theUniversity of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. "It's either the stories of young-onset Alzheimer's, or it's the sky-diving grandmas. We don't hear enough about the huge middle, which is the vast majority of folks."
In fact, for most people, the 70s represents the end, not a beginning. Life expectancy in this country is still 78 - higher for white women, lower for men and blacks. It is rising, but not as fast, perhaps, as our expectations. As Gloria Steinem said of her 70th birthday in 2004, "This one has the ring of mortality."
Yet with Clint Eastwood directing films at 80 and Betty White starring in a new sitcom at 88, the pressure for 70-year-olds is not to face mortality, but to kick up those slightly arthritic heels ever higher.
The eighth decade, said Dr. Basting, is "now seen as an active time of life: you're just past retirement, that's your time to explore and play mentally." But while many will be healthy, others will not. "There will be an increase in frailty and disability because people are living longer," said S. Jay Olshansky, a demographer at the University of Illinois at Chicago who studies aging. For some people, an increased risk of stroke and Alzheimer's "is going to be the price they pay for extended longevity," he said.
The risk, gerontologists say, is that in celebrating the remarkable stories, we make those not playing Radio City, and certainly those suffering the diseases that often accompany old age, feel inadequate.
Social policy may only contribute to that pressure. The European Commission recommended last week that European workers not be allowed to retire before 70, to keep state pension funds solvent. In this country, Representative John Boehner of Ohio, the Republicans' leader in the House, suggested raising the retirement age for Social Security benefits to 70 to keep the program afloat.
Thomas R. Cole, director of the McGovern Center for Health, Humanities and the Human Spirit at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston and the author of a cultural history of aging, said he hailed anyone who, borrowing a phrase from his mother, age 85, "is playing above the grass."
At the same time, he said, "if we don't pay attention to the dark side of our 70s and 80s, we're not going to pay enough attention to the people who need help."
"We're going to make it look like if you're sick, it's your own fault; if you're not having orgasms or running marathons, there's something wrong with you. We need to think carefully about how to take care of people who are frail. We need to allow people to not feel like failures when they can't do the things they used to do."
He traces the origins of this "splitting apart" of the reality of old age - good and bad - to the mid-1800s, when people in the United States first experienced what he calls "the legitimization of longevity."
Life expectancy was only 40, but people began to believe that humans could live to be old - which they defined as 80 or more.
"People first began to say, ‘I'm here to live a long life, and if I work hard and am a good person and am middle class, I will die a good death,' " Dr. Cole said, " ‘and if I don't do these things, I deserve a short life and a painful death.' "
That split persists, he said, in our obsession with health and longevity, visible to anyone glancing across a magazine stand.
"It assumes you can control these things through willpower," he said.
Gerontologists tend to think of successful aging as taking advantage of what potential there is, staying as socially and intellectually engaged as possible. Our culture tends to measure it more in terms of how active people are.
"It wouldn't do us a whole boatload of harm to reinstate some values to contemplation," said Dr. Basting. "Part of the pressure on older people to be successful and give back and volunteer and be active and play tennis is that we are a culture of doing. We don't really know how to be. That's something that late life gives us, is time to be. But that's stigmatized."
We might take a new model from musicians and other artists growing older. Creative types tend not to retire, but their later work often reflects their different stage of life. Dr. Cole cited the roles and films of Clint Eastwood, and the songs of Mr. Simon. "Old Friends" reflected on the strangeness of 70 from a young adult's perspective, but on an album released when he was 60, he sang of "growing old" from a first-person perspective.
On the other hand, Dr. Basting said, Mick Jagger might test the limits - can he really strut like that when he's 75?
For boomers, it can be particularly jarring to watch the icons of the rock 'n' roll era aging. Robert Kastenbaum, a 77-year-old psychologist who has written extensively on aging, compares it to a 50th high school reunion and meeting the girl you had a crush on.
"This bubble-headed girl who was too sexy to exist, there she is now as the most mature, sensible grandmother," he said. "You think you can't believe the difference. The fact is both of these things are true. She was truly adorable, now she is admirable."
We need to recognize all those stages, he said, and not think there is some dissonance. "It's tolerance of ambiguity."
Dr. Butler might have agreed. In a recording of what was apparently his last interview, conducted less than two weeks before he died, and posted on 'The New Old Age', the New York Times blog on aging, he told Joshua Tapper, "Sometimes the oldest person in the room comes up with the most thoughtful thing - not always.
"I think we ought to have a realistic portrait of all different periods of life and not try to romanticize old age as the most wonderful, all these great old wise people," he said. "I think that goes too far."
Does the pressure ever let up? Maybe.
Dr. Basting, who has studied elderly theater troupes, recalled that one member declared that the age of 90 was "true freedom."
"Anything you do, people are just shocked that you're alive," Dr. Basting said. "There're no expectations at 90."

Friday, July 30, 2010

It isn't about being afraid in a thunderstorm
It's about learning to dance in the rain

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Poem , Hayes

FAIR is each budding thing the garden shows,
  From spring’s frail crocus to the latest bloom
Of fading autumn. Every wind that blows
  Across that glowing tract sips rare perfume
From all the tangled blossoms tossing there;—
Soft winds, they fain would linger long, nor any farther fare.
The morning-glories ripple o’er the hedge
  And fleck its greenness with their tinted foam;
Sweet wilding things, up to the garden’s edge
  They love to wander from their meadow home,
To take what little pleasure here they may
Ere all their silken trumpets close before the warm midday.
The larkspur lifts on high its azure spires,
  And up the arbor’s lattices are rolled
The quaint nasturtium’s many-colored fires;
The tall carnation’s breast of faded gold
Is striped with many a faintly-flushing streak,
Pale as the tender tints that blush upon a baby’s cheek.
The old sweet-rocket sheds its fine perfumes;
  With golden stars the coreopsis flames;
And here are scores of sweet old-fashioned blooms
  Dear for the very fragrance of their names,—
Poppies and gillyflowers and four-o’clocks,
Cowslips and candytuft and heliotrope and hollyhocks,
Harebells and peonies and dragon-head,
  Petunias, scarlet sage, and bergamot,
Verbenas, ragged-robins, soft gold-thread,
  The bright primrose and pale forget-me-not,
Wall-flowers and crocuses and columbines,
Narcissus, asters, hyacinths, and honeysuckle vines,
Foxgloves and marigolds and mignonette,
  Dahlias and lavender and damask rose.
O dear old flowers, ye are blooming yet,—
  Each year afresh your lovely radiance glows:
But where are they who saw your beauty’s dawn?
Ah, with the flowers of other years they long ago have gone!
They long have gone, but ye are still as fair
  As when the brides of eighty years ago
Plucked your soft roses for their waving hair,
  And blossoms o’er their bridal-veils to strow.
Alas, your myrtle on a later day
Marked those low mounds where  'neath the willows’ shade at last they lay!
Beside the walk the drowsy poppies sway,
  More deep of hue than is the reddest rose,
And dreamy-warm as summer’s midmost day:
  Proud, languorous queens of slumberous repose—
Within their little chalices they keep
The mystic witchery that brings mild, purple-lidded sleep.
Drowse on, soft flowers of quiet afternoons,—
  The breezes sleep beneath your lulling spell;
In dreamy silence all the garden swoons,
  Save where the lily’s aromatic bell
Is murmurous with one low-humming bee,
As oozy honey-drops are pilfered by that filcher wee.
And now is gone the dreamy afternoon,—
  The sun has sunk below yon western height;
The pallid silver of the harvest-moon
  Floods all the garden with its soft, weird light.
The flowers long since have told their dewy beads,
And naught is heard except the frogs’ small choir in distant meads.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

I've been busy

with the gardens.  I have a wonderful veggie garden with the best tomatoes I've ever grown.  I've saved rhubarb in the freezer for winter.  I've had several meals with my homegrown peas and beans.  My little pumpkins are starting to blossom and the birds eat the morning glories and sunflowers as fast as they grow.  Or maybe it's the chippies, squirrels and rabbits.  I got my monthly gift today.  It's a little baby angel in angel wings and I put it in the tea garden, very cute.  I trimmed back some of the wild branches in the back yard and I think maybe the hostas will bloom this year.  I'm pleased that my Concord grapes are coming along as they should.  All my Dogwoods are beautiful this year and putting on quite a show with the blossoms and berries.  Here are a few pictures too.
Now I have to get busy in the house again.  I need to sand half the dining room floor and re finish it...again.  I've taken to just throwing stuff into garbage bags and throwing it out on garbage day.  Maybe someday someone will find it all in an old landfill.

This is my sweet Owen and this year he LOVES to come down those two huge slides.  Last week he decided he could also go down the covered one that's dark....he told me he even kept his eyes open all the way down.  You can't imagine how much I love that boy.  He reads books to me now...he calls them chapter books and he's only in kindergarten.  I hope he never loses his curiosity for life.

Hali....that's a long A, pronounced Hailee...she is like a fish in the water.  Always laughing and happy...except when she pretends to cry to get her own way.  A typical girly girl....unless she's playing football or soccer, then she's a little toughy.  She is sweet and soft and always considerate...a darling girl that's fun to hug.

This is my monthly gift.  It's so cute in the tea garden and a remembrance of things past.

These last three are the Yellow Lily in my South Sun garden, one of my favorites.
Some old standbys from the back garden
The flowers and leaves that are growing on the garage.  I believe the flowers are Clematis but not sure what kind.

Friday, June 11, 2010

On planting yet another vegetable garden

Chuang Tzu And The Butterfly by Li Po
Chuang Tzu in dream became a butterfly,
And the butterfly became Chuang Tzu at waking.
Which was the real—the butterfly or the man ?
Who can tell the end of the endless changes of things?
The water that flows into the depth of the distant sea
Returns anon to the shallows of a transparent stream.
The man, raising melons outside the green gate of the city,
Was once the Prince of the East Hill.
So must rank and riches vanish.
You know it, still you toil and toil,—what for?

Friday, May 28, 2010

What I did today

I painted a ladder first white and then a little blue, I soaked Morning Glory seeds for planting, I dug out the peach tree that died because of rabbits eating all the bark off the trunk.  I forgot to water the seedlings which I'm going to do right now.  It's time to put the inside plants outside.  I'm mourning the loss of last fall.  I wonder how long it takes to get over that or if I'm just milking it for an excuse. 
Meet me in St. Louie, Louie, meet me at the fair
Don't tell me the lights are shining any place but there
We will dance the hootchie cootsie, I will be your tootsie wootsie.
If you meet me at St. Louie, louie, meet me at the fair.
...just felt like bursting into song.  LOL

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


 Last October I bought six packs of Daffodil bulbs, 15 to a pack to plant in the yard.  I found them in the garage today all moldy and mushy.  Better to take a day at a time than to plan for the future.
I'm going to wait until this evening and then my plan is to paint the ladder and if I get that done I'm going to soak the Morning Glory seeds and plant them tomorrow.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hot and humid, broke a heat record here in town

  Went out for lunch with Hali and Dan to Perkins.  Hali has always asked me if she could play that machine with the stuffed animals in it so today I said sure and gave her the two quarters.  She did it all by herself and actually got a Backyardagains, we were all so surprised and happy.  She just grabbed it with the hook and threw it down the shoot and got it.  I was so surprised I didn't even think to take a picture.  I forgot what it's name is but it's the blue one, or maybe it's purple.  She took it with her when she went back to her Dad's house.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Today I cleaned up the garage a little more, planted three tomato plants, two rose bushes and two Bridal Wreaths and watered them.  I also took out and set up the hoses and a few more odds and ends.  I get tired so fast but maybe if I do some each day I'll gain strength like the old days.  Was a most beautiful day today, sunny and hot.  All my Dogwoods are in full bloom and I sat out and enjoyed them for a while.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Raised Veggie Garden

Shopping List
  • 1 Cherry Tomato
  • 1 Tomato
  • 1 Eggplant
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 1 Hot Pepper
  • 1 Bell Pepper
  • 1 Bush Type Cucumber
  • 4 Chives
  • 1 Rosemary
  • 3 Basil
  • 2 Dill
  • 2 Stevia
  • 1 Sage
  • 3 Curly Parsley
  • 3 Flat Leaf Parsley
  • 3 Trellis/Plant Supports
  • Twine
  • 1 20-inch Terra Cotta Container
  • Potting Soil for Containers
  • Organic Slow Release Fertilizer (Apply at planting time.)

Friday, May 07, 2010

May Gardening

Well once again I brought my knockout roses back in the house. Snow is predicted for tonight, up to three inches. They look so pretty on the kitchen table and smell so lovely. I also planted a lot of seeds today. Spinach, Lettuce, Peas, Beans, Sunflowers, Marigolds, and Forget Me Nots. I have other seeds too but things like Morning Glories I like to plant directly in the yard. I've had my cookies and milk so now off to bed LOL. I think it's the cold that's making me tired tonight.
This year, unexpectedly, I have grown old. Although, on the inside, I haven't changed at all.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Windy Day Fun

Grandchildren and I went out to Bay Beach today and flew/flied kites.  It was so much fun.  It's an activity I really enjoy to the fullest.  A wonderful kite flying day.  It was so easy to launch the kites and they flew and dipped and slipped all over the sky. 

Friday, April 02, 2010


O what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.


by: Edna St. Vincent Millay

Friday, March 26, 2010


It's almost 8pm and the sky is not quite dark yet.
I've been going shopping and out for lunch with the Salvation Army on Mondays. It has been a lot of fun and very nice to be with people. On Monday they told me I can't go with them anymore because I have a car.
I think when I was in the hospital and lost all the memories for more than a month...I think it opened up a space in my brain and now I can remember some things I had forgotten. For example today I remembered playing on the living room rug at 618. I was playing with my brother Bobby's lead soldiers. He was there too. My Mom was in the kitchen by the window ironing. She had on a blue dress. I had on a blue dress too. My brother had on dress pants and a short sleeve shirt. I was holding one of the lead soldiers to get it warm so it would soften up and I could bend the legs to make it sit down. My brother was stacking and counting some coins. Well sort of coins, they were the color of terracotta pots. The front door was open and the sun was shining in. HaHa, I wonder where this memory was hiding.
Easter is coming. I have stocked up on eggs because my grandchildren like to color them. I think we are all going to the Zoo on Holy Saturday to take part in the bunny hop, and have breakfast with the bunny. I'm looking forward to going but never know if the plans fall through. Well I can still go cause I have a nice strong car now that loves the highways. I even got a new Easter bonnet LOL.
The rabbits were hungry this winter and ate most of my little pine trees.
In an email from my brother today he said they ate a couple of his too. He's already thinking of getting out in his gardens. I need to visit him more often this year. I almost dropped in on my sister yesterday but decided against it.
If I can dig yet this year, I'm going to plant roses on the South side. I think climbing roses, maybe seven sisters. Thinking to put butterfly bushes in front of them and then annuals in front of them. We'll see, I have big garden dreams.
Enough rambling I have to go try to eat something for supper. Mashed potatoes and corn sounds good.

My Favorite Carrot Cake

Butter, for greasing the cake pans
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring the cake pans
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 large eggs
1½ cups canola oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 packed cups peeled and grated carrots (about 1 lb.)
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup cream cheese, softened (8 ounces)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk or water, if needed
2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and pre-heat the oven to 325°F. Heavily butter and flour 2 round 9-inch cake pans, tapping out the excess flour. Set the cake pans aside.

Place the flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

Place the eggs, oil, and vanilla in a small bowl and whisk to combine.

Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir to combine. Add the carrots and nuts and stir to combine.

Evenly divide the batter between the prepared cake pans. Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the edges have pulled away from the side of the pans, 55 to 65 minutes.

Place the cake pans on wire racks and let the layers cool completely, about 1 hour.

While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting. Place the cream cheese and butter in a medium-size bowl and beat with an electric mixer until very smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. With the mixer running on medium speed, slowly add 3 ½ cups of the confectioners' sugar and beat until it is fully incorporated and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat unit just combined. If the frosting is too soft, slowly add the remaining ½ cup of confectioners' sugar and beat to combine. If the frosting is too stiff, add the 1 tablespoon of milk or water.

Run a knife around the edge of each cake layer to loosen it from the pan. Invert the cake layers to unmold them. Place one cake layer on a plate. Spread some of the frosting on top. Place the second layer on top of the frosting and frost the side and top of the cake. Press the 2 cups of nuts onto the side of the cake.

The cake can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 1 week.

Friday, March 12, 2010

A house that lacks, seemingly, mistress and master,
With doors that none but the wind ever closes,
Its floor all littered with glass and with plaster;
It stands in a garden of old-fashioned roses.

I pass by that way in the gloaming with Mary;
'I wonder,' I say, 'who the owner of those is.'
'Oh, no one you know,' she answers me airy,
'But one we must ask if we want any roses.'

So we must join hands in the dew coming coldly
There in the hush of the wood that reposes,
And turn and go up to the open door boldly,
And knock to the echoes as beggars for roses.

'Pray, are you within there, Mistress Who-were-you?'
'Tis Mary that speaks and our errand discloses.
'Pray, are you within there? Bestir you, bestir you!
'Tis summer again; there's two come for roses.

'A word with you, that of the singer recalling--
Old Herrick: a saying that every maid knows is
A flower unplucked is but left to the falling,
And nothing is gained by not gathering roses.'

We do not loosen our hands' intertwining
(Not caring so very much what she supposes),
There when she comes on us mistily shining
And grants us by silence the boon of her roses. 

   Asking for Roses by Robert Frost

Little Jack Horner sat in a corner eating his Christmas Pie
He put in his thumb and pulled out a plum
And said what a good boy am I.
Here's my new Plum P.T. Cruiser

Friday, January 08, 2010

The Heart’s Summer

By Epes Sargent

THE COLD blast at the casement beats;
The window-panes are white;
The snow whirls through the empty streets;
It is a dreary night!
Sit down, old friend, the wine-cups wait;
Fill to o’erflowing, fill!
Though winter howleth at the gate,
In our hearts ’t is summer still!

For we full many summer joys
And greenwood sports have shared,
When, free and ever-roving boys,
The rocks, the streams, we dared;
And, as I looked upon thy face,
Back, back o’er years of ill,
My heart flies to that happy place,
Where it is summer still.

Yes, though like sere leaves on the ground,
Our early hopes are strown,
And cherished flowers lie dead around,
And singing birds are flown,
The verdure is not faded quite,
Not mute all tones that thrill;
And seeing, hearing thee to-night,
In my heart ’t is summer still.

Fill up! The olden times come back
With light and life once more;
We scan the Future’s sunny track
From Youth’s enchanted shore;
The lost return: through fields of bloom
We wander at our will;
Gone is the winter’s angry gloom,—
In our hearts ’t is summer still.