Tuesday, November 14, 2017

This and that

Let me say it again. Despite good intentions, I have been largely absent from here. Nothing big happening, just lots of little things that don't seem that interesting to share. But I'm going to do it any way. Below are a few of them complete with no pictures. :)

Last week we had our first hard freeze which was the signal for time to start going at warp speed toward the holidays. But before that, I was still pretending that the mild days of fall would continue indefinitely. I worked on weed control and bed cleanup. I collected seeds (note to self--more to do in this area) and mowed grass. But the most important thing I did outside was to plant crocus bulbs. Crocus are truly the highlight of spring for me with their bright, early colors, but I didn't see any come up last year. I'm hoping my newly planted bulbs bloom the first year and I have little pockets of crocus greeting me here and there in a few months.

(Chose not to insert picture of plain dirt where I planted the crocus.)

Also, I've started on holiday prep. I'm not one who shops all year for things and finishes my holiday shopping in August. It always seems that if I see something in May, it won't wait easily until December or by December that persons needs or wants have changed. Anyway, I've started making a few things. Unfortunately, I can't show them to you yet. But let's just say, that concepts don't always turn out in reality. Several weeks of kitchen mess have given me some "interesting" things to give.

(Can't show you what I've made or it will spoil the surprise for some.)

I know that I'm very old fashioned, but I'm one of those people who still sends out cards, letters, and pictures at Christmas. I've started that process and everything should be ready in two or three weeks. I also have started that for my mother. I was obsessed one weekend while making a card for her to send. Nothing was working out quite right partly because I didn't know how to use the four different editing programs I was trying. But now I think we're in good shape to help her with them when we visit at Thanksgiving. Preparing cards is something that Wally and Theo often do with their grandmother.

(Can't show you the cards I've been working on for privacy reasons.)

Ward went away on a week long backpacking trip a couple of weeks ago and I did a few things to surprise him for when he got back. One of them was working in the garage. Wally came over and helped me put together some shelves that we got several months ago to help organize the garden area. It took a bit of rearranging, but Ward came home to a cleaner, better organized garage, at least in one corner. He noticed and was pleased. Mission accomplished.

(Chose not to show you pictures of our messy garage. Actually, I forgot to take some.)

I'm not sure what else has been going on. Let's see. We went to a dinner theater, Theo's been sick, and we got the furnace fixed. And there's that work thing that keeps happening every day. So there you have it--whatever it is.

(Didn't take pictures of the furnace, or a sick Theo and wasn't allowed to take them at the dinner theater.)

Until next time...

Saturday, November 4, 2017


We had a cloudy sunrise this morning.

Good Morning.

I'm not a morning person. Never have been. Ward learned long ago, it's best to not talk to me in the morning. Some people wake up fully awake, but not me. It takes my body a few hours to feel awake even when I've had a good night's sleep. But that doesn't mean, I'm not enjoying this morning.

I awoke early to go walking, but my walking buddy couldn't make it until this afternoon. So here I am in a quiet house with the men in my family all sleeping. Both Wally and Theo are here for a visit, so the day holds extra excitement for a day spent together.

The cats have been fed and are already stretched out for their morning nap. Only the sighting of an occasional bird out the window gets an alert. It's a cloudy morning, so there's no crowding into the same sunbeam for them.

There's something about the quiet of the morning, that is very calming. Soon there will be hustle and bustle with to-do lists and errands. But for now, I am enjoying the peace of the early morning. I hope you are, too.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Time Flies, Sometimes

I turned around yesterday and realized that some how, it was the end of October. How could that be? In my mind, I just finished July. Time is a funny thing. It's a constant, but it seems to speed up and slow down at different times. How does that work? I stumbled across an article that gives a little insight to this question.

It all relates to the way we process things in our brain, according to a study done in Munich, Germany and reported by Scientific American. Researchers interviewed 499 people from ages 14-94 about their perception of time.They found that in short durations up to a year, for all ages, time seems to go fast--especially when they were having fun. The difference seemed to come when time was examined in retrospect. Time from childhood seemed to have gone slowly, while time from later years (over 40) seemed to go much faster.

Here's how the researchers explained this phenomenon. The brain lays downs memories for novel experiences. However, it doesn't do that for familiar ones. So when you experience a lot of new things, like everything in childhood, there are a lot of memories to go with that time period. However, when you experience fewer new things, like much of adulthood, you have fewer memories. So the same time period can seem either long or short depending on how many memories you have associated with it.

I'm not sure this explains how time seemed to jump from July to October, but it does explain some other things like why I remember and quote more things from my childhood that any other time. This subject needs more examination. When I have time. :)

Do you notice time in different ways?

Sunday, October 22, 2017


or It Was a Privilege

Saturday, Ward and I went to a memorial service for a former neighbor, Joe. Joe lived a long, good life and died at the age of 92. When the service was over, a friend through her tears, said that we all need to know someone like Joe.

Joe grew up on a farm in Virginia and served in WW II receiving both a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his service. He married his sweetheart, Patsy, and had four children. Joe was no stranger to hard work and often worked two jobs to provide for his family. He sometimes bartered and did additional work to provide extras for his kids like piano lessons and braces. Joe stressed the importance of education to his children, but also told them that common sense beats book learning every time. He was an active member of his church and used his faith to help him through some of the difficult times in his life.

We got to enjoy the fruits of Joe's labor.
When we first met Joe and his wife, Patsy, they were retired but living an active life. They were the first ones to welcome us to the neighborhood with a plate of brownies and we became fast friends. Joe spent time with Wally and Theo showing them some of his things from WWII and telling them of his experiences. He also showed them his favorite saddle and told them stories about his time on the farm.

Joe hadn't lived on a farm for a long time when we moved to the neighborhood, but it seemed that once a farmer, always a farmer. He could usually be found outside tending to one plant or another. Joe planted an acre of garden for just he and Patsy. Well, actually, he and Pasty, and his friends, and his neighbors. We could always depend on Joe for a steady supply of fresh vegetables during the summer.

I think that I always felt a special connection to Joe because he reminded me of my father. Joe and my father were the same age and both grew up on a farm. They loved being outside and they both felt there was no need to do something unless you were going to do it big and well. Their gardens were a perfect example of that. And as they aged, they also found a way to keep doing what they wanted, sometimes to the dismay of those around them. Below is a perfect example of that.

After Patsy died, Joe's kids worried about their dad being home alone because he had his own set of health problems at this point. They got him a golf cart to use as he checked on his garden, etc. I think that his kids thought the cart would lessen the chance that he would fall while he was roaming around on his three acres. I was surprised, but Joe used his cart faithfully. However, one day I looked out the window and Joe was on the top of a ladder with a chainsaw trimming one of his big trees. No spotters, no help, just a man doing what he thought had to be done. I went across the street and told him that I was there on behalf of his children and they didn't approve of what he was doing. However, I got a big chuckle from it and admired the fact that he was going to keep doing what he liked as long as he could.

I couldn't agree with my friend more. We all need to know or to have known someone like Joe. Someone who valued hard work. Someone who was faithful to his family and church. Someone who put his life on the line for his country. And someone who provided his neighbors with a steady supply of fresh vegetables. I am very happy that I had the privilege to know one of those people.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

A Second Look--October 12, 2017

or Busy Bees and Other 6-legged Creatures

Fall is officially here according to the calendar and the weather is slowly following along. Overall, we've had warmer than usual temperatures which is okay by me because I'm still trying to catch up on yard work that needs to be done before everything goes dormant. The leaves of some trees are starting to change and others are going straight to the turn brown and drop stage because of lack of rain this fall. With fewer things in bloom now, the bees seem more concentrated on the fall blooming flowers. One of the things I noticed earlier here in the new yard were fewer bees. Now I wonder if I was comparing different seasons in my mind and not realizing it.

Without further ado, here are a few things I saw recently during a Second Look.

We inherited some very healthy mums outside our backdoor and they are giving quite a show.

The bees are enjoying the mums.

As are the moths...

And the flies.

The patio tomatoes are still giving us tomatoes for salads in the evening.

The osteospermum continue to bloom.

As do the ever-faithful marigolds. The bees like them, too. 

But I do not like the European Hornets that are eating the bark off our lilac bushes.

Yesterday morning was dark and dreary and I found this bumblebee sleeping on a purple sage plant.

And close by, I saw a cricket. I'm wondering if this is the one that sounds so loud at night.

Many trees are still green, but some are starting to change colors.

The leaves have already fallen off this pear tree revealing an interesting bird's nest. It's very messy which suggests a sparrow built it, but it doesn't have the coarser material that I've usually seen in sparrows' nests. I'm still waiting on Aunt Martha for an ID.