"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

Hello Friends!

Friends, Romans, countrymen...y'all. Foodies, gardeners, artists and collectors - let's gather together to share and possibly learn a thing or two in the mix.

Donna Baker

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memento Mori

"Alas poor Yorick..."  Memento Mori, in Latin, literally means 'remember you must die.'  Not me??!!

Ok, nothing living and no one gets out of here alive.  Memento Mori are traced back to Socrates and the Victorians were very interested in them as a means of reflection on mortality.  Great writings (even Keats), great art and jewelry harken back to Memento Mori. It is said they are a way to remember to live each minute of every day to the fullest.  I am trying to do that very thing lately.  Looking under the rocks.  Enjoying and wondering - very curious about the world around me. This jade skull is one of many crystal and gemstone skulls sold in my web stores.  Not hawking them, just FYI.

Don't know the artist, but artwork abounds on the subject.

An antique gold ring for sale on 1st Dibs.

Even the evil eye jewelry everywhere today is memento mori.

In the US, Memorial Day has expanded to include family members that have passed.  

I don't have many veterans to remember and thank, but my brother-in-law was an Army captain, who flew Huey helicopters in Vietnam; he would swoop in to rescue the wounded and in fact, was shot down twice - a true American hero.  He rests at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

Thank you this Memorial Day to all of the brave men and women who have fought in wars.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Weed Or What

I don't know what this is, but its got a week before I whack it out.

Those bottom leaves are nearly two feet in length and it stayed neat and tidy for two years - close to the ground.  This year it is growing up and out. It's about 3 feet by 3 feet in a small bed across my back patio.  It keeps putting out these buds and I wait each day for blooms, but I think it's just unfurling more leaves.  

Whatever, it is getting a severe pruning next week if nothing of the floral variety appears.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Mother In Laws

I sell things on eBay, Etsy and Mercari.  Mostly crystals and stones, old pawn Navajo jewelry and a few things left over from my antique booth.

This item cracks me up.  I just love it and have several - all different.  This is a vintage Navajo mother in law bell.  All sterling silver, the bell and chain both handmade by a Navajo artisan, the story goes that the son in law was not supposed to look at the mother in law.  Talk about respect.  Anyway, the mother in law wore these little bells so she could be heard approaching.  There is a little clanger in the bell and each one makes a different sound.  Some of these have a turquoise cabochon on the  front.  The stamping on this bell means something, but I don't know what.  I only know the bird wing stamp, which isn't on this one.  It is decorated front and back.  I also have some Navajo bell earrings, but I'm keeping one pair.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Nouvelle Vague - Dance With Me

It is a beautiful day - a happy day with rain this morning and sunny skies this afternoon. I think I have planted my last flowers in my garden. I think.

This song is on my playlist and I remembered I posted this long ago.  Just love how they re-did the song and video.  And I just love this song. Hope your day is happy too!

Monday, May 14, 2018

E For Effort

It was a nice Mother's Day.  My husband provided a take out meal (including paper plates, napkins and plastic cutlery) and the kids and grands came and went to celebrate the day.  

This dish was the most impressive, for my husband had to make it and haul it from the farm to the city house.  I tried not to laugh, given that he hasn't a clue what tempered chocolate is (and thus, had sugar watery droplets on top). Nor the fact the marshmallows were hard since they have been in the pantry since last July 4th celebration. These tiny strawberries were from the plants he planted last year (he has always detested gardening). I asked what he used for dipping them in chocolate and he said he used a Hershey Bar and put it in the microwave.  

Will wonders never cease?

Monday, May 7, 2018


Well, I have tried and failed to capture my beautiful bunting.  I have probably taken 30 pictures from different angles, in different light and the iPhone cannot do it justice.  I ordered 20 feet of this from England.  It was to be made of handkerchiefs, but alas, it is just printed fabric.  I never send anything back.  Anyway, it goes across my covered patio and I hope it is not bothering all the nesting birds in the birdhouses.

I googled bunting as I thought it was an English thing and I have always loved it.  But, what if it were French?  So, it seems in the seventeenth century, sailors made bunting from wool and hanged it from ship ropes or something.  Just love it. I'd probably have it down to the lake and in the trees if I could.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

The Great Veggie Patch

After more than thirty years of large scale vegetable gardens, this is how I grow them now and you'll not find a pumpkin in this patch.

I only have two places where veggies can be grown and there is a raised planter at each corner of the house.  Being waist high, bugs are easy to spot and the beds can be easily tended.  Only drawback is the amount of plants I can grow and the beds dry out very quickly.  This is the second year, so I've learned a bit.

After years of tilling the soil and weeding and planting and harvesting, canning and freezing, I think I deserve these.  The roadside stands will have to supply my tomatoes.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Sweet May

Finally, warm spring days.  May sweet May. Much to do in the garden.  I caught this Pennyhopper in the garden.  I told Penny I caught a bug and put it in a jar so it couldn't get away.  I am a magpie and save all sorts of things.  Bug wings, dried bugs, mini spaceman, bones - lots of things.  I've made one of these for all the grandkids.  This Pennyhopper is sitting on a chunk of amethyst, her birthstone.

She's holding dried lavender and has a little parakeet egg is in her basket.  Ladybirds are on the wood around the back.  She was quite enamored.

As I said I love May and so look forward to the flowers and warm weather.  My iris are blooming and the peonies are in bud and about to burst forth. I need to re-pot some citrus and plant many annuals.  I can't wait to see it all.  But, with the sublime comes Mother Nature at her worst.  Tornadoes in Oklahoma are most prolific in May and tomorrow might be a real lulu.  I am almost more afraid of large hail as it just beats the plants down.  I've never personally seen hail larger than a quarter, but have heard of it the size of grapefruit.  Tomorrow will tell.

When the wind blows mightily on the days in question, you know somewhere is going to get it. Hope it's not here.  I'm not going to plant my hydrangea plants until after tomorrow.  Will have my truck in the garage, so it won't be damaged.  Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Playing Footie

Carson's mom was at physical therapy for her knee today and the littles came to Nonna's.  Carson and I were playing footsie.  He loved it.

Carson and Penny are the sweetest kids.  Never cry and always smiling.  Must be their mother's genes, because their dad was my cranky boy.  He grew out of it thankfully.

I need to be out in the garden, but they are more fun.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Big Lips

Isn't it fascinating how trends and fashions change?  I needed a picture and googled enhanced lips as I didn't know what else to call them.  

Well, I call them a fat lip which I got this week at the farm.  I was loading my truck with citrus trees and sewing them with burlap (it took hours BTW) and adding a few other things to bring back to the city. A cast iron weenie bank tumbled off a box and hit me right in the mouth and nearly knocked out my front tooth.  It hurt like hell and is swollen and bruised and I dare not wiggle my tooth to loosen it.  I have a thing about teeth. 

I'm closing my antique booth at the end of this month.  Antiques in the US are hard to sell at the moment.  Millennials do not want them.  They want new things and seem to only want things as far back as the 80's and 90's.  I am done with it too and am having a 50% off sale.  Oh how I hope I don't have to pack up much.  It is too hard to move heavy stuff and I'll probably give away quite a lot of it because I don't want to store it. I still love antiques, but after 30 years, I am done.

Anywho, back at the farm, I realize I miss the quiet and solitude.  I miss seeing the Milky Way and bright stars at night.  I miss the fields and blue hills in the distance.  I miss all the animals.

When I got back to the city yesterday, there was a hatch of new mallard babies on the lake, my flowers were blooming and I realized I was smiling when I walked in the door of my city home.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Staff Of Life

I've been baking bread.  Friend Monique, from La Table de Nana, is quite a baker and I decided to use a recipe she published.  So glad I tried it as it is easy and very good.  Of course, mine doesn't look like hers', but I am happy with it.  It got me thinking of the old proverb about bread being the staff of life. I am a bread devotee; could easily live on it alone.

Sounded biblical to me and then I remembered why.  The Lord's Prayer has the line, "give us this day our daily bread". Googled it and found it was referred to as the staff of life for ages.  Staff meaning food in general.  Seems Jonathan Swift was quoted to have said, "bread is the staff of life".

Nevertheless, this bread is a no knead variety.  My kind of bread. You must use a cast iron pot with a lid.  I didn't think I had one in the city.  Looked around and found this old chicken pot I'd never used. It is small and the perfect size for a loaf (almost a ball) of bread.

No-Knead Bread

3 cups + 2 TBS all purpose flour
2 tsp coarse sea salt
1/2 tsp. Red Star Platinum yeast
1 TBS honey
1 1/2 cups warm water

Mix ingredients. Dough will be sticky but don't worry if it is dry and shaggy like mine.
Shape into a ball - cover with plastic wrap and leave on counter 12-18 hours.
Turn dough out and shape into a ball. Score an X on top. Cover and leave 30 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 475 degrees.  Bake 25 minutes with lid on then remove lid for another 8-10 minutes.  This bread is so easy, I mis-read the directions, baked it covered for 15 minutes and un-covered for 10 minutes, AND IT STILL TURNED OUT!
Dried fruits, nuts or seeds - customize your dream bread. I have had to use measuring spoons and cups instead of my hands and eye estimations.

And I'll need a staff to walk about before long if I don't quit eating bread all of the time.

Sunday, March 25, 2018


I just can't help myself.  

Tom got me thinking today about the heroic French policeman that gave his life to protect others.
An honorable man.

It matters not whether Republican nor Democrat.

Why is the most disgusting, embarrassing, moronic excuse for a man still in office?

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Out In The West Texas Town Of El Paso

I thought of that song when I bought this piece.  I can just imagine an old cowboy in his saddle and sombrero, loping along in his leather chaps through the sagebrush and canyons.  

It is an old Navajo stamped cross, sterling silver and I just left it as I found it.  It's very heavy for its size.  Though I've been selling many of my old collections, I don't sell my old west or Native American pieces.  I'm such a magpie.

Of course it might have belonged to a padre at one of the many missions out west....

Oh the stories they could tell - Pony Express, rattlesnakes, kachinas, the pueblos.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Old MacDonald

The wind has been sweeping down the plains today.  So much so, in fact, my house has been popping and cracking like the roof is going to blow off.  I heard they were clocked at 40-50mph, but they seem stronger.  

My daughter-in-law, mother of Penny Lane and Carson, had knee surgery last week and has to use crutches for two weeks.  Taking care of a 3 year old and 3 month old was more than I can do.  Especially, well, I won't go there. Nevertheless, though they are precious, it was difficult.  In comes her Mom.  Thank goodness.  She's younger.  

They farm wheat out in the panhandle of Oklahoma.  The wind is worse there and they haven't had rain for more than 150 days.  Their wheat sells worldwide.  Hope it is still standing.  

I felt like the cavalry had arrived and I got a kick out of her license plate. Farmers are the toughest people - salt of the earth.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Peep Eye

Humor me.  Penny Lane turned three this weekend and she is playing peep eye with Carson.  Such precious babes.

Thank you all for caring to comment on surgeries.  Ollie is great and got a rad hard cast yesterday.  He was raring to go back to school.  Mine turned out great too - all benign.  

With spring temps tomorrow, I'll be out in the garden.  Life is good.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Coos And Boos

My sweetest boys.  Grand littles are the best and I lucked out on these two sweetie pies.  Couldn't get sweeter boys.  Ollie broke his elbow and had to have pins put in.  Here he is before surgery yesterday.

And here he is after.  All is well and he is recovering nicely, but this little monkey can't be still, so I don't know how this will keep him down.

And I don't know if I showed you the newest angel in our family.  Carson was born in December and is a joy.  Nonna babysat Carson and Penny yesterday, and he is a dream baby.  Cooing and talking to me.  He is a beautiful baby and looks like sissy Penny Lane.

So happy.  Never cries. Almost captured his smiles. Grandchildren give me hope.
I will be undergoing surgery tomorrow so boo for Ollie and me.  If only I could put a bag over my head.  Just life.

Sunday, January 28, 2018


Winter is on the wane. How do I know?  I'll tell you at the end.

This is how I amuse myself on those cold winter days when I don't venture out much.

The same nuts I bought for $4.98 per bag before Christmas are now 75 cents per bag and I buy lots of them.  The squirrels are waiting on the porch each morning when I raise the shades.  I'm afraid I've let them get too friendly, but they make me smile.

Of course, the weenies come running to chase them away, but the squirrels have little fear of them.  Sister is momentarily guarding the lot.

In an instant, the squirrels are back.  I'm surprised they even run away from the weenies as they don't go more than a few steps away.

The weather will be warm today and I'll be out cleaning up some flower beds, in between watching the wildlife.  Everyone has been sick with a form of the flu; I think we've all had variations of the same virus.  I am at the end of mine, but this one saps your energy so I may be doing more watching than working.

Besides cleaning the flowerbeds, I'll be making a loaf of bread from friend Monique's blog.  I haven't made bread in years, so I am going to have to be patient and let it rise for a long time.

And lastly, winter is on the wane.  At the farm, I always looked for the changes of the seasons. Signs of spring, like the wild onions and mayapples are the first to appear. In the city, the birds are busy popping in and out of the birdhouses, feathering their nests.  Both the males and females are bringing in dried grasses and feathers, prepping for their spring hatch.  Seems early, but there you are.

"Do you know why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories."

Peter Pan

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Far And Away

To all my friends from far away, I wish you the happiest holidays and a great New Year.

And from whence they came.  These were country cardinals. They don't visit the city much.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Sergei Polunin, "Take Me to Church" by Hozier, Directed by David LaChapelle

I was reading about Sergei Polunin.  David LaChapelle directed a documentary called DANCER about Sergei and it sounds very interesting.  Have to find it.  Anyway, here is a dance from that documentary.  Watch it in full screen.  It is breathtaking. Sergei is also acting in the new MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, which I hope to see.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween Fun

It has been crazy for the past two weeks, but I had to come up for air.  

I have a weird sense of humor, but this made me laugh.  I'd love to have these for the trick or treaters tonight.

Saturday, October 14, 2017


I've mentioned my sister from time to time.  We are polar opposites: she the prettier, more popular, outgoing and - older sister.  Those of you with one will understand; trailing behind like a puppy, wanting to play with her and her friends, a certain standing or hierarchy always awarded to the older sibling. We are only two years apart and shared a bedroom; we know each other like the back of our hand.

We spent many years apart, working and/or raising kids.  Now, we have more time to share.  We tell each other everything - she is my best friend and loves me more than anyone else in the world. I can't imagine her not being there for me.  She is the strong one.  Nobody can get one over on her.

This week has been a trial.  She went in for a CT scan of her liver and they saw something else on the other side.  After every type of scan, she has a large tumor on her adrenal gland above her kidney. It is very rare and after finally getting results from the PET scan yesterday, it is now a question of where to go.  I want her to go to MD Anderson.  She doesn't like the idea of going to Houston and would like to stay in OKC near her home, daughter and grands.  We'll see.  Meanwhile, I've been on the couch with a heating pad, nearly immobile with lower back disc thing, for a week.  As I've said several times before, sometimes you're the bug...

KK is "my north, my south, my east and west."

Saturday, September 30, 2017


Try as I might to get rid of stuff, sometimes I come across something I just have to have.  With flowers winding down and leaves starting to fall, I thought this little bike with basket would be cute by the porch this Christmas.  I decided I'd put little wrapped Christmas packages in the basket to display with my old sled and might just fill the basket with red apples.  So many cute things to do with it.  Well, at least that's how I convinced myself I needed it.

Friday, September 22, 2017


Just in case you haven't heard, tomorrow is the Rapture.   I don't know about you, but it doesn't sound like something I'd be looking forward to.  

I've had this old 1942 print, called Rapture, for many years and it's going to the booth today.  Trying to make a little money on the hype.  I think there are even angels flying out of that speeding train. 

Anyway - it has been nice knowing you if it does happen tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


Just in case you were wondering, or even had a fleeting cursory think about what I've been up to, well, I've been working on my magnum opus.

Just kidding.  I haven't had much to say.  I believe I have become a slug or one of the single-celled amoebas or some such thing.  Can't really even think of any accomplishments of late; just moving through the days in a daze.  Not that bad, but pretty bad.  

Okay, with the handful of brain cells I have left, I have been reading.  Most I can't finish, but I did immensely enjoy Al Franken's latest.  He is so funny and though I thought I knew all about American politics, I do not.  Imagine Mitch McConnell lunching with Al and laughing so hard milk shoots out of his nose.  Or Harry Reid with his head thrown back; his guffaws heard down the halls of congress.

I just started Sally Quinn's autobiography last night and can tell I am going to love it.

So, I am so 'woke'.  Woke you ask?  Yes, I've heard it used and wanted to ask what that meant, but thought better of it.  It is a new term (probably old) being used on social media.  It is an American vernacular word, or slang for being aware, as in socially aware.  Cool, groovy, awesome, whatever.

Thursday, August 24, 2017


My little pearl sized tomatoes did very well this summer.  The plants were as large as regular sized tomato plants.  The ones to the sides aren't really very large for comparison.  I learned a lot about my raised garden beds this summer.  The tomatoes toppled over the edge and were on the ground; hard for the mowers.  I might change their positions next year due to the amount of sun, on the other hand never mind, as they would be much too hard to move.  I do love having them at waist height and no weeds.

The mornings are cool and dewy.  It has been a very rare August - cooler and rain.  Wonder what that portends for winter?  I'm just going to enjoy fall, though, can you believe that Christmas stuff is already on the shelves at stores?

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Just Because

I really like this video, so here it goes.  Sorry about the ad at the first.  You have to pay to have them removed.  I'd put this on full screen for your viewing pleasure.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Eclipse And Crystals

My three pound Lemurian laser point quartz crystal.  All my crystals will be getting cleansed today during the eclipse.  These last months I've been immersed in crystals.  Can't read enough about them. I guess I've become a real rockhound.  But, so much more.

It started with trying to find healing crystals when my daughter went blind.  I had heard of Reiki, Chakras, Ayurveda, Feng Shui, etc.; thousands of years of history using million year old crystals.
I was a skeptic, as I always am, and realize most others will be too. Just let me mention titanium, quartz, lithium and even cobalt 59, whereby when it is changed at the atomic level, becomes cobalt 60, the same used in radiation therapy.

I'll step into it slowly, but let me leave you with this thought, from no less than the most brilliant mind in recorded history, Nikola Tesla.

"In crystal we have a pure evidence of the existence of a formative life principle, and though in 
spite of everything we cannot understand the life of a crystal, it is nonetheless a living being." 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Iron & Wine - Time After Time

If I only knew how to add more of his songs to this post.  Sam Beam is a polymath; he can do just about anything.  Writer, musician, film maker.  I'd like to go on and on.  You can watch a tiny desk concert of his at NPR on youtube. Or you can watch other videos of his there.  Or, you can listen to my favorite song of his, Swans And The Swimming.  His new album drops next week.

PS ~ I love his video with the flamenco dancers, something called A Boy With A Coin.  I am agog at those whom are genius at their crafts.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Weight Of The World

When world events become too much to bear, I often find solace in nature. I am reminded of what wonders we can still find.  Ashes And Snow,  the dvd, is mind blowing and restoreth my faith in Mother Earth.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Quakes, Tornadoes and Fish Kills, Oh My

All that, and more.  My beautiful summer garden is on the wane and I check each day to see what is still faring well.

The echinacea is fodder for the birds now.  The orioles certainly do like those pin sharp seeds and that is all they are getting as I had to stop feeding the birds due to the rats.

Love black-eyed Susans.  They return each year like gangbusters.

Though the phlox are losing many petals, they still smell wonderful and the butterflies love them.

These flowers grow all over.  I haven't a clue what they are.  The first year I pulled them all up and saw one I had missed had snapdragon-like flowers climbing up the stalk.  They also come in many different colors, so I left them all this year.

So, summer is hurrying by.  It has been a strange one.  Oh, by the way, in the past week, there have been 1500 earthquakes (fracking.)  A fairly strong tornado passed within blocks of my first child's house and did quite a lot of damage.  Buildings destroyed and trees down and people hurt at 1:30am. Sirens didn't even go off.  Daughter's house was spared though only five blocks away. The tornado stayed on the ground for seven miles. It is only the third tornado in August since 1950 in Tulsa.  Seems it was caused by unseasonably cooler temps.  I'm not complaining about the cooler temps as August here is usually miserably hot, in triple digits.  Global warming? Climate change?

Oh yes, and the fish kill on the lake.  I saw a dead fish off my dock.  Then another and another.  Over about two days, every fish in our lake was floating.  Small fry and huge fish as long as my arm.  Everywhere.  Hundreds.  The smell was horrid. The wildlife department came out and tested.  Seems the perfect storm of events occurred.  Low oxygen levels, number of waterfowl and high temperatures and whatever else, caused it.  I doubt there are any left.  At least the turtles and waterfowl weren't affected.  It was terrible.