"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

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Dew Drop In

I got nothing.  Except these.  I've told you about my slight aversion to large, tropical flowers.  I don't know why.  The hibiscus are coming out next year.  They simply take up all the room in the little garden outside of my bedroom.  They do not delight me.  I am thinking of replacing them with miniature roses.  
This plant is growing on me.  Each flower is striking in its color scheme.  I think I'll let it stay.

We are in the hot and dry part of summer.  Haven't had rain for a long time.  With it too hot to enjoy being outside during the day, I am surprised to see dew in the mornings.  The dew point makes it hotter during the day.

Still fighting the rats.  They will not touch the poison in the locked feeders.  I have just about given up.  One has crawled up into my raised planter and tunneled around.  Just about killed all of my vegetables.  It has even been eating my teeny tomatoes.  I set a trap in it, but it didn't take the bait.
But the days march on.  Summer is flying by and the grands are not happy about having four more weeks before school starts.  Son moved back last week and is nearby.  We found out they are having a little boy near Christmas.  I think they are shocked as they were sure it was another little girl. Nevertheless, they will be thrilled when he gets here.

Hope your summer is going swimmingly.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Lily Dale

Or another place I'll never go to.  Lily Dale, NY, City Of Light, birthed the Spiritualist movement in the 1800's.  I heard about Lily Dale a long time ago and it piqued my interest.

Those wacky Victorians, without television nor computers or iPhones took to soothsayers, crystal balls and ghosties.  

Of course, if they went to Lily Dale, they didn't need to communicate with modern day conveniences.

Here is the former tree where mystical things happened.  It became a stump and today is a fenced off cement platform.  

Lily Dale was a popular destination, as it is today.  About 250 year round residents live in cute Victorian houses.  Today, it is inhabited by mystics, mediums and clairvoyants.  In summer, they open their community to thousands of visitors for readings and shopping, programs etc.  Famous psychics and even Deepak Chopra has spoken there.  Signs hang on the doors when the mediums are taking customers.

Before you scoff, here is one story.  Lucille Ball, who lived nearby in Jamestown, went for readings as did many other famous people.  While still young she was told she would meet a Cuban man and become a famous comedian one day.

Residents must go through rigorous testing and study for two years before they are allowed to practice in Lily Dale.  Wouldn't it be fun to visit with them? Many 'speak' to the spirits around you and give you messages from beyond.  One woman spoke of a childhood friend speaking to her from an unseen spirit world.

Myself, I think I'd rather hear about other things, like past lives and future events rather than spirits hovering around me.  There is lots of info on the net about Lily Dale.  Have a look if you are interested.  I find it fascinating, but will never go to western NY.  Too many other places I'd choose, but probably won't ever get to see either.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Mother Nature

I am Mother Nature - interested in any and everything, but nature is far and above all else.  I have a robin and a young squirrel that have befriended me.  Every evening, the robin comes and sits on the fence near me.  All day long this squirrel comes.  I can even call him now and he comes.

Of course, the weenies come running and chase him off whenever they see him, but he comes right back, peeking around the plants and such, stays only about two feet away.

He'll go off a little way, then come right back.

He looks in my windows and makes noises if I'm in the house.  I was on the dock feeding the geese and turtles and looked down and he was a foot away from me.  I had the fleeting thought that he's getting pretty fearless; a vision of him jumping in my hair or face with those little cat-like claws and had to shoo him back.  

I finally figured why the robin comes in the evening.  He's looking for some pecans too.  I threw a few pieces down and he immediately jumped down and ate them up.  Just hope Squirrely doesn't bite the hand that feeds him.  

PS ~ I have been grabbed and bitten by a squirrel before and the claws and teeth hurt.  It bit my fingernail too.

Monday, July 10, 2017

You Dirty Rat

No, it's not about Trump.  I don't want to compliment him.

Still trying to catch rats.  I've spent over $100. trying to put a dent in the rat populations around the city house.  I had field rats the cats would bring in at the farm, but never anything like this. These are tunnelers and climbers and evidently, friendly little shits.  And, by the way, I read they like that too.  I never had to pick up after the dogs at the farm, but it is nearly on a daily basis in the city.  Geez Louise.

This little machine is supposed to electrocute them.  Haven't gotten one.  I'm thinking about taking it back since it was $50.00.  I'll believe anything.  Seems the varmints are phobic about new things.  Problem is, I don't want to leave it on during the day as my weenies might get their noses fried.  I finally purchased two more enclosed units with poison and placed them around the sides of the house past the fence, so the weenies can't get to it.  I'm nearly out of options.  I'll check the feeders in a couple of days to see if they have eaten any of the bait.  These little critters are pretty smart.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Done For Another Year

Went to the farm for the fourth.  Such a different year in weather.  Lots of rain, but we did get in a bonfire and fireworks.  I stayed in the house with baby and didn't get pictures of the display.  The fields were full of purple loosestrife, but just a few wild plums and blackberries this year.

Since Bella and I drove the Ranger through the garage wall, knocking it off the concrete slab, the littles have had to be happy driving the lawn mowers around the place.  It seems to appease them, though they are always asking Nonna to drive them around the farm.

Ollie caught the first fish; it is always a competition, especially if one gets a bass and the other doesn't.

And, Oliver almost caught the biggest fish when I saw him looking and tugging for his hook and bait.  Ollie STOP.

Sweet Wonder Woman, Bella, is still at the age where she doesn't care about her hair or dress.  I asked her if she was wearing deodorant or a bra yet.  She was rather insulted.

The kids built teepees with leftover bois d'arc posts, also known as Osage Orange.  During the old west days, settlers used bois d'arc wood for fencing in cattle and many of the trees still grow along fence lines.  Speaking of cattle, my husband got two young heifers to fatten up for fall sale.  They were only there one week before cattle rustlers cut the fence in three places.  Problem was, the young cows are so spooky, the rustlers couldn't rustle them.  We found them nearly two miles down the road  days later.

Though rain was threatening and the fishing wasn't very good because of all the rain, the grandkids had a good time.  Even bigfoot couldn't dampen the little's time at the farm.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Hollyhocks And Rat Catching

I've never had Hollyhocks before so I should be grateful.  To the naked eye, these look black.  My iPhone camera found some color.  This is not a color I would have chosen, but it's what I ended up with. Whatever.

Now, I need some advice from my English friends.  In the states, we all covet an English garden.  My take is that for the most part, it is mass plantings and correct me if I am wrong.  I am thrilled with mine, except for one thing.  Besides the gophers and moles, I am now over-run with Norway rats.  Gray with rounded noses, shorter tail and ears and not as large as brown rats, they are adorable, and very friendly I might add.  I have had to move the bird feeders down next to the lake.  The rats eat the seed and try to climb the poles and jump from tree limbs etc.

I have fed birds for forty years.  It is a joy.  Google says I have to get rid of bird feeders and clear out all foliage.  WTF?  I quit filling the feeders, but I'm not mowing/clearing out my gardens.  I've thought about a bb gun, tried traps and even went to buy a humane trap.  I couldn't kill them up close and looking at me.  Poisons are out because of the dogs.  

They've had three cases of plague next-door in New Mexico and with all these rats....  What to do?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

What The Heck

I thought I had uploaded/downloaded a video before, but tried everything thrice to get it to work.  Seems like 1 minute and 6 seconds is too long to add to blogger.  

Anyway.... I watched this second hatch of sparrows leave the nest yesterday.  Mom and Dad both joined in to coax them out.  Kind of like potty training - exasperating for them.

This was the last one.  So much cheeping and calling from the family, it finally decided to fly.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Big Small

It is lily time at the city house.  I don't know what these are, but they are HUGE.  At least 9 inches across.  So pretty.  Flowers are amazing.

Perfect for this small porcelain wise man.  Though I don't think you can see it, there were droplets of honeydew inside the flower.  I tasted it.  Sweet. Wonder what lily ice cream would taste like.

This tiny colander is full of pearl sized tomatoes.  Those cookie cutters are the child-sized ones.  I waited for two years to find these teensy tomato seeds.  A burst of flavor.

When I was a child, I would have died with all the miniature things they have today.  Smalls just enchant me.  Happy days...

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Sittin' On The Dock Of The Lake

Each morning is about the same.  After coffee and such, I head outside to look about.  My flowers are really taking off now.  The heat and dry season began this week.

My coneflowers and phlox have started blooming.  Love them both.

I feed the birds and waterfowl.  They are usually waiting for me.  The ducks, geese, turtles and fish get a 27% protein mini-chunk dog kibble.  This rather large red-earred slider, along with different sized friends, never miss a feeding.  They make me laugh.

Turtles are pretty smart and have wonderful eyesight.

The baby Canada geese are nearly as large as their parents now.  Only a small tuft of fluff left on the back of their heads.  The turtles get close to them and I've seen the geese warn them away and even peck at them.  It's a free for all.

So, this is how my mornings go.  Just hanging out back, sitting' on the dock, wasting time.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Showing Photographs

Guess who came to visit Nonna this weekend?  Penny Lane, in all her hippy headband glory.
She'll be moving close in July.  Son (her Dad) just finished his internship and will receive his Ph.D.
It has been a long hard winding road and we are so proud of him.
One more year of a post-doc and his little family is over the hump.  And, new baby sibling for Penny is coming before Christmas. 

Notice, she is beginning to dislike posing for pictures.  Precious twos.

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Vase

I cut some calla lilies for the vase I bought, but just didn't want to cut more.  It would be really pretty with three in each pocket, but this was all I could do.  She still makes me smile.

Friday, June 9, 2017

I Got Nothin'

Except for this.  It is a magazine I've purchased from time to time.  Thick, nice paper and once in awhile, it occasionally speaks to me: I think I'm a little old for it actually.

I have always had an affinity for windows.  Bought and sold many antique ones and painted them on canvas.  I love the crackled paint, but could never live with it.  I think heebie jeebies; hold my nose kind of thing.  Love to buy and sell primitives, but don't usually put them in my house.  

This really spoke to me though.  I think is was written for me (though I'm old enough to know I'm not going to change the world.) But, there is hope for the problem child.  And, like Candide, I'm off to tend my garden.
Have a wonderful, magical weekend.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Is It Dead?

Well, this is how I spent my Memorial Day.  Watching my weenies for twitching, foaming at the mouth, vomiting and seizures.  Yes, quite the cautionary tale.  My sweetest Emmy snored and dreamt a little.  Ornery Sister, was at the other end of the couch and since she has medical issues and both of my little girls are elderly, I watched them like a hawk.

I have had problems with gophers, moles and sewer rats.  They have tunneled all over and in my flower beds.  After trying traps, I bought some poison.  I have never used it before, but they were tunneling everywhere. So, I measured some and poured it down the hole.  I stuffed steel wool over it and cut out some heavy hardware cloth (metal) and put it on top then hammered some spikes in it to keep it down.  I covered it with dirt and flower seeds.  That was two weeks ago.

This morning, I saw the girls little butts sticking out of a hibiscus shrub and knew what they were up to.  As I walked over I passed by the poisoned place and glanced at it. They had not only torn the hardware cloth away, but had also pulled out the steel wool.  I about had a heart attack.  I replaced all and put rocks over it, then hurried in the house and called my vet.  She gave me the symptoms to look for and said they could take hours to appear.  She is 2 hours away and I'm sure not too happy to hear from me on a rare day off. She didn't think after two weeks and rain that they'd be in danger, but told me the steps an animal hospital would take.

So, still no symptoms and perhaps we dodged a catastrophe today.  I wish I had a large margarita, but I don't.  Tonight, after a frozen tv dinner, I'll be watching the third season of Bloodline and House of Cards.  They are both really good.  

Note to self - never use poison again.  I've seen new tunnels and the rat eating at the bird feeder so it isn't dead.  Aye yay yay!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Things We Cannot See

Cue the harmonic music of the universe (at least what I expect it to sound like.) This beautiful crystal piece is citrine, a form of amethyst.  It is used for healing, feng shui and many other things.

Some of you will think I have gone over the edge.  I too used to not believe in anything that I considered a pseudoscience; things that could not be proven according to the standard of rigorous scientific testing.  Just say I'm a skeptic.  Curious, but still skeptical.

Enter my daughter and her sudden loss of vision.  We still don't know what caused it.  We have to wait to see if some terrible auto-immune disease rears its ugly head.  She finished her last dose of steroids yesterday.  Her little face blew up like a balloon, which she isn't happy about.  She still has some vision problems, but it is much improved.  As a mother, I have wanted to help her heal in every way, on every level possible.

Years ago, I had a dream of a young woman with eyes like turquoise neon beams.  She turned to me and told me to "follow the crystal line (or crystalline.")  I have thought of it over the years trying to decipher the meaning, going so far as to spend hours on anagrams to see what it could mean.  There were 200,001 different meanings and I wasn't going to spend anymore time trying to solve it.  But, I never forgot it.  Let me add here, that I have had prophetic dreams before that in fact, came true.  I have no control over it though; can't summon anything.  Just think I'm intuitive.

I have always loved rocks and crystals and fossils.  Never knew anything about them though.  Enter Nicolai Tesla and Edgar Cayce and thousands of years of crystal history and use.  Don't give up on me yet.  Think of cobalt 60 used in radiation for cancer (actually it is cobalt 59 that they've changed on an atomic level to make cobalt 60.)  Lithium is used in batteries.  Quartz, uranium and on and on. And yes, they do have vibrations.  Tesla himself talked of them and their vibrations, resonance on a molecular and atomic basis.  "Nothing exists in the universe that does not have harmonic vibration," Tesla wrote.  He believed magnetism one of the most important processes, even states the universe would not exist without it.  Enter hematite and magnetite, rocks from the earth.

Edgar Cayce, a physician and psychic, left over 14,000 readings and information on the power of crystals and stones.  He even used them in his practice for healing.  He believed his trances were from Atlanteans (yes, the lost continent of Atlantis) and the information he has provided was riveting. 

I have been studying crystals and rocks; the effects and use of each one.  Unbelievable.  I have researched, sourced and purchased all that are anti-inflammatory, help the immune system, help with nerves and eyes and more.  I put them in a bag to go under my daughter's pillow and during the day, she wears others I bought as beaded bracelets.  Hey, it can't hurt, though some crystals are more powerful than others.  I asked her the other night if she was sleeping with her crystals and she said, "yes, I'm sleeping on that bag of rocks under my pillow." :)

Feng shui, Reiki, Ayurvedic medicine and thousands of years of history - who am I to scoff?

My daughter took a cake decorating class last week.  This giant three layer cake was certainly serendipitous.  Don't think it was a random vibration from the universe.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Monday Monday

Monday morning.  Don't feel like spraying for ants and weeding, nor going to the antique booth.  So what to do?  Well, I still have to do all those things and more, but I sit on the porch reading Tesla's theories about the ether and magnetic forces.  More about that later.  But, I must have ADH because the squirrels and baby birds and ducks, goslings and ducklings are just too cute.  

Then, I spy a large water turtle in the upper left corner of the picture next to the porch corner (feel free to fiddle with the picture as I just don't know how to on my iPhone or computer.) The neighbors don't garden much and are putting in a new bed next to their porch.  Mrs. Turtle has other ideas.  She is working hard to dig out her nest to lay a clutch of eggs.  I can't concentrate and I am getting whiplash from trying to read and watch her, afraid I'll miss the big moment (I did.)

She moved down the slope slower than I've ever seen a turtle move.  Hard work I guess.  I surmise she had been covering them up.  She got down to the lake finally and plopped in the water.

Tesla said the past and future are only metaphors; that there is only the present.  Yet, these eggs are going to hatch in the future (small chance since I'm betting the neighbor will dig them up) and this post will be in the past.  Go figure.

And, all the creatures are craning their necks and talking or hanging off the fence, waiting for their morning rations. So off to start this metaphoric day.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


Anyone have a guess about what this is?  

It is old, made of pottery and has some numbers on the bottom.  Looks like an old Druid to me.
About 8-9 inches tall, my guess is that it is an old chess piece.

Saturday, May 6, 2017


Whole lot of cheeping going on.  Baby sparrows under the eave on the back porch are sure calling both parents to bring something good to eat.  Very sweet.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Joni Mitchell - The Circle Game

I thought this song apropos for this post.  With all that has been going on, I just had to let you see the newest member of our family.  Little Cady just turned three months old and won't even be one before our newest addition makes its debut.

She's a cutie if I do say so myself.  Though she's tiny, those little arms and legs are rarely still.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Just Thinking

This is my standard picture when I am become ruminative (hopefully like Rodin, not a cow.)  Taken at the rear of the Rodin Museum in Paris, six or so springs ago - a wonderful trip with a few friends and my sister.

It is hard to post when much is going on (though I've read all my favorite blogs in the meantime.)

 Best of times, worst of times things.
My daughter's sudden blindness took its toll - living from hour to hour; worrying far too much, which is just me.  She is seeing again, though still has problems, but hopes to be back with perfect vision in a few weeks. Truly a blessing.

I looked at a blog today and saw that the author died in April.  Such a shock.  Another has been injured and yet another lost her beloved husband recently.

Such is life I guess.  I did find out yesterday that my son and his wife will have a new baby to love by Christmas.  Hope big Sis, Penny Lane, won't conk it with her toys.  Enjoyed loving on Penny this weekend.  

Oh well, enough of this.  Finally have a sunny day after so much rain and cool weather.  Off to tend the garden.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Favorite Things

Well, after much gnashing of teeth, I have finished the goldfish pond at the city house.  I'm going out for some koi today to put in it.  It was filled with a million billion mosquito larvae and I had to move quickly and this time I didn't swallow the swill nor larvae.  The pump is hooked up to the fountain, so that should keep the pesky mosquitoes out till the fish arrive.

I have had this old fish bowl with observant children for quite some time though no fish.  Too many animals to take care of, but I lugged it to the city house and got the little black boogley-eyed goldfish.  Sadly, it didn't last long.  I'm going for a betta today.  I'd like to get two, just because, but I won't.  I've bought and sold several of these goldfish bowls and wish I had them back. One was a black cat looking down and another a Cheshire cat.  Another was terra cotta with two children that had a fountain hookup on it.  I love this kind of thing.  I think I payed the most for this one.  A whopping $35.00.  The younger generation just don't appreciate old things these days, a win for me, but wait, I'm still trying to get rid of stuff, so never mind.