"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

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Crafting Redux


As I mentioned in a previous post about a book I bought about Crafting With Cat Hair, I found some more ideas about making things with your pets' hair.  There is a France based business, Dog Wool, that will make items of clothing from your dogs hair. I love it - don't find it repulsive at all.


This necklace is from an etsy seller, Flora Davis, that will make jewelry from your cats' hair.  
A quote from an instruction book says it best, "Better a sweater from a dog you love than from a sheep you'll never meet."  

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Just Thinking


After a shattering week, would our planet be better off if women ruled the world?  I don't think we could do any worse.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Need Your Help


If you've followed my blog for awhile, you know that my dogs are my life.  They are my best friends and yes, I even love them like family. 
Sister, my red weenie, is in trouble. I need your help.  She has become diabetic.  She has been on insulin for a month now, but I've yet to get her regulated.  She won't eat the dog diabetic food.  
The Hill's Science Diabetic food comes in hard and soft canned.  She refuses the hard and while she ate the canned at first, she now won't eat it.  Diabetic dog food requires fiber (both soluble and insoluble) and vegetables and meat in the right percentages.  Perfect, yet she won't eat it.  And, I'm not going to starve her to make her eat it as she has already lost half her weight and looks skeletal.  I already have to lay down on her on the bed to give her her shot because she jumps and pulls away when I try to give it to her. 
Do any of you have recipes I could make at home for diabetic dog food?  I looked up some on the internet, but am unsure about them being sound and the right proportions.  Please let me know if you have recipes or know of someone who does.  I'm worried sick about her.  She's been so sick, I need to get her on the road to recovery fast.  She's always been the ornery one, and now, more so.  She loves eating just boiled chicken, but I need to get her eating the other stuff too.
I've owned over 15 dogs in my lifetime and never had one with diabetes.  It is killing me.  Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Celebrating Summer


Peaches.


Peach ice cream.


Pies in jars.  Kids and grandkids.  Holidays to celebrate.  What's better than that?


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Oh June


"How did it get so late so soon?"
Dr. Seuss

Where have you gone sweet June?  Can it be nearly over?  I had much to do.  Got some of it done, but not nearly enough.  July will be too hot to do anything outside, but I'll spend much of it canning and freezing the garden's bounty.

"It was June, and the world smelled of roses.  The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside."
Maud Hart Lovelace

"What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade."
Gertrude Jekyll

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Twee


Writer's write for the love of language.  Well, I did anyway.  I keep seeing a word popping up I was unfamiliar with.  You know, one of those au courant words, like bespoke - overused and a little tiresome.  Anyway, I looked up twee.  I was even shocked it was in my tattered 1970's version of Webster's, (notice the twee little flowers I found pressed in my dictionary).

Twee, an adjective, means childish, clever, dainty, elegant, cute or sweet. Yet, I am seeing it used not only as an adjective, but as a proper noun and even plural.  

Twees, it seems, like thrift store cardigans, cats, Ira Glass of NPR fame.  Portlandia is uber twee, and how about the greatest post war existentialist, Charlie Brown of Peanuts fame.  

Twees are diarists and tend to form attachments to their beloved records, books and even movies.  An iconic band, Neutral Milk Hotel is twee and Zooey Deschanel is supposedly the Oprah of Twee.  So, I surmise Twees are the new nerds.  Guess we are all a little Twee.

It all leaves me scratching my head. Twee - tweeer - tweeest? Twee - twang - twung? 
My summation - huh?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Never Say Never


Never again!  I swear if I ever even think about stripping a piece of furniture, I'm going to remember this chair and ottoman.   I've stripped furniture before and each time I tell myself I'll never do it again.  
This chair is large and so comfortable.  It was painted with layers of silver, gold and bronze with some kind of horrible faux finish.  The material was a white chenille kind of fabric.  I thought I'd just paint it a different color, but couldn't think of one.  Sooooooooo, I decided it wouldn't take that much to strip.  I did not count on all the different surfaces, but two and a half weeks later, I found a light maple underneath the paint. 
I should have just painted it a lacquered finish, but it turned out fine, though I am already wishing I had used a different fabric. I did my best, but never again!



Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Crafting With Cat Hair


My husband told my children the time has come to put me in a home.  He thinks I am certifiable; was aghast at this purchase.  I didn't write it.  I told him rabbit fur, llama, sheep and on an on...  Now, I don't agree with him and thought this was a splendid idea when I ordered this book.  What could be sweeter than having a tangible memory of your beloved pet? 


A felting needle and felting block were all I had to buy.  There are the cutest crafts in this book.  I just wish my weenies hair was longer than an eyelash.


And, just because, I smile every time I pass this large bag filled with middle daughter's birthday gifts.  I wish I had a monkey.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Merry May


How has the merry month of May passed so quickly?  Perhaps it was all the chores outside preparing the garden beds, planting and cleaning up.  So much to do that there is little time to enjoy anything else.  Don't know the answer for that or maybe I do.  Hire a couple of gardeners or let it grow wild.  I know that answer to that.  I'll be crawling about the gardens before it's over.

"I found a strawberry blossom in a rock.  I uprooted it rashly and felt as if I had been committing an outrage, so I planted it again."   Dorothy Wordsworth
So me.


Friday, May 23, 2014

HYMNE DES FRATERNISÉS


In Memoriam - a remembrance for all those lost to war.

This song, I'm Dreaming Of Home, is from the movie JOYEUX NOEL, a great movie based on a true story.
On December 24th, 1914, during World War I, in the trenches, amidst the carnage, the Scottish, French and German forces called a truce to celebrate Christmas together.  This old Scottish hymn is sung in the movie by the Scottish soldiers.  Here, by a French boys choir.  

L'Hymn des Fraternises
(I'm Dreaming of Home)

I hear the mountain birds
the sound of rivers singing
a song I've often heard
It calls to me now
so clear and so loud
I stand where I am
and forever I'm dreaming of home.
I feel so alone
I'm dreaming of home.

It's carried in the air
the breeze of early morning
I see the land so fair
My heart opens wide
There's sadness inside
I stand where I am
and forever I'm dreaming of home
I feel so alone
I'm dreaming of home.

This is no foreign sky
I see no foreign light
but far away am I
From some peaceful land
I'm longing to stand
a hand in my hand and
forever I'm dreaming of home
I feel so alone
I'm dreaming of home.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My New Bike


Got a new bike for Mother's Day.  Hope it will tear across the fields as I fear the main road at the end of the driveway may prove the death of me.  With cars whizzing by at 50 plus miles an hour, I dare not.

I am going to have my husband shoot a video of me trying some tricks on it to text to the kids and grandkids.  It ought to be funny - or not.  As long as I don't hit my head I'll be good to go.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Buddha's Hand



Well, I am tickled pink. This year is my first crop of Buddha's Hand.  
The oldest known citrus, (3000 years old) Buddha's Hand, has hardly any pulp and is mostly used candied.  Oh, does this plant smell wonderful.  Won't you please help me with tips on how to use candied citron?  Don't like fruitcake and hard pressed to come up with anything with candied fruit. Guess I could just eat it candied from the jar.


Monday, May 12, 2014

Paper Wallet


Isn't it funny how some things stay with you?  Around 20 plus years ago, I saw this young boy of about 10-12 years old.  He was standing in front of those coin machines that send a plastic ball with a toy inside for a quarter or so.  He pulled out a school lined paper wallet that he'd obviously made himself.  I found that so touching.

This pre-teen child was so cute.  He was morbidly obese for his age and his striped tee shirt rolled up over his tummy, but he didn't seem to mind; wasn't tugging at it or trying to pull it down.  He was very intent on counting his money to see how 'much' that little toy would cost him.  

I hope he grew up happy.  I hope he had enough money to afford a good life.  I hope he wasn't teased too much.  I hope he found love and is loved.



Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Mother's Hands


I have this little tableau in the guest bedroom.  Little homemade dresses, costumes and such, made by  mothers of long ago.  The pink plaid flannel dress was one of several from the same material, but in different sizes.  It is the oldest.  The white cotton tissue thin dress with embroidered roses was going to go on my scarecrow but I just couldn't.  The little fringed velvet dance costume would probably fit a two year old.  It is precious.  I can't sew a straight line, but appreciate the time and love that went into them.  

Happiest day to all mothers out there.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Keep Out

I hesitate to show you my signage, but what the heck. I admit I'm eccentric; don't suffer fools gladly.  
At the entrance to our driveway (a quarter mile long that ends at our house) there is a POSTED, KEEP OUT sign.  A little farther, a no trespassing, hunting nor fishing sign. Most of our driveway is lined with trees and you can't see the house from the main road.  Even so, can you believe, all kinds of people (mostly the unsavory kind) drive up our driveway.  What?  Would you do that out in the country?
Here is what I did with the Halloween skeleton.


Still they come.  And, my little ankle biter, Sister, really does bite sometimes.


So down the fence row I made these signs, like a roadside attraction.





And still they come.  Not the kindly hard working farmers of olden days, but meth heads, hillbillies, those of the criminal ilk who've never worked a day in their life. If you've seen the movie, Winter's Bone, it could have been filmed around here. 


My Peaceable Hill Farm is my paradise.  It is my haven, my sanctuary from a cold, hard world.  I am very selective/protective of my farm and home and don't abide the uninvited.
It was meant to be tongue in cheek.

(But, I really kind of mean it).








Monday, May 5, 2014

Gardeneer


Found this Gardeneer at the flea market this weekend.  At only $20.00, I figured I would get at least that much enjoyment from it.  Must be from the 30's or 40's.  Doesn't take much to make me happy.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

World Naked Gardening Day


Oh yes she did, again.  Yes, it is that time.  A favorite holiday it would seem since I seem to get so many views of this post.  So, what the heck.  Here it comes around again, for old times sake.



The first Saturday in May is World Naked Gardening Day. No kidding. Yes, yours truly used to often garden in the buff in her younger days.  That free spirit Edna St. Vincent Millay also used to garden and weed in the nude at her beloved Steepletop estate in New York.  Known for her wild ways, she famously wrote, "My candle burns at both ends."  I just love her.

Alas, after a bout with skin cancer and my aging skin and body, I no longer garden without clothing and a hat.  It is much cooler without them though.  Oh, and yes, I got caught several times gardening nude. I either ran like a linebacker back to the house or grabbed a workshirt hanging on the tomato cages nearby.  Oddly, I wasn't mortified nor embarrassed. I was pissed - usually confronted the interlopers to let them know that I knew they saw me.  Mind you, I live on a farm and do not abide those who show up unannounced.  Nevertheless, happy Naked Gardening Day this weekend.

Through the Wormhole- Tracking Souls to the Afterlife


I thought this video might be more succinct and shorter than the one on the previous post.  Morgan Freeman narrates and Dr. Hameroff discusses the soul and what happens after near-death experiences or dying.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

TEDx Brussels 2010 - Stuart Hameroff - Do we have a quantum Soul?


My soul to take redux.  Okay.  I find this infinitely fascinating. But, bear with me yet again.  
Dr. Stuart Hameroff is an anesthesiologist who has studied and watched thousands of patients drift off somewhere when put to sleep during surgery.  He saw death and near-death experiences frequently.
Dr. S posits a theory he derived, the Orch-OR theory of consciousness, by which he contends could solve the mystery of what happens to our souls in near-death experiences or at death. This is absolutely incredible.

Many moons ago, I came up with a theory of Donnativity.  My kids thought it hysterical.  It was my theory of interconnectedness/ akin to a spider web.  Problem is, now I can't remember it.  Poor aging brain of mine.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

My Soul To Take


21 grams.  That is what our soul weighs.  I kid you not.  But, doubters, don't take my word for it.
  I'll try to condense this down as I like to write my blog in the form of a short story instead 
of a novel.  Bear with me as this is about the things we can't see or quantify.  Until 1901, that is.

Dr. Duncan MacDougall sought to measure mass lost by a human body at death.  In his quest to prove his hypothesis that the soul had mass when it departed the body, he took into account body fluids, weights, air, etc. He measured patients he knew were dying on an industrial scale, which was reported to be sensitive to 2 tenths of an ounce.  On nearly all of the patients, when they took their last breath,  the weight loss was the same.  21 grams.

 Dr. MacDougall later measured fifteen dogs with similar controls and circumstances and reported the results as "uniformly negative".  With no perceived change in mass, he took the results as confirmation that dogs did not have souls.  It was later conjectured that Dr. MacDougall was in fact sacrificing experimental animals; created a scandal when published by the New York Times.  

Be that as it may, his colleagues said they couldn't replicate his studies, and therefore, found his experiments unscientific.  Now, that might have been the end of the story, until a modern day anesthetist used quantum physics to study what happens with consciousness, proto-consciousness and the rest of the story will come in the next post.



Saturday, April 26, 2014

Train Travel

 Just a thought beginning to form in my brain.  Haven't even discussed it but with one of my peeps.  The Orient Express is now back and running from Paris to Istanbul.  I've always dreamed of seeing Istanbul and on the Orient Express.... well, what a trip that would be.  I don't think they'll want us wearing our flip flops though.  Oh well, I guess we can carry them in our bags.




Friday, April 25, 2014

Home



I wrote down the piece at the bottom of the post years ago and found it in a stack of yet more paper.  
My Mom died when she was 40; our family died that day too as did our 'home'.  My youngest brother, 3 at the time and 13 years younger than me, hasn't contacted us in 3 or 4 years.  Todd had a terrible life after Mom died.  Last I heard he was in jail for meth.  My sister and I finally gave up on him - didn't stop loving him.  If you've gone down that road you'll understand.
Very sad.  But, this piece (not of my own writing) is for all the lost; not only like Todd, but those who have lost lives and/or loved ones, those whom long for home...  I don't even know why I'm telling this as I am usually very private about my life. The following is really beautiful.   

"Home is not simply a mark upon a map any more than a river is just water.
It is the place at the center of the compass 
from which every arrow radiates and where the heart is fixed.
It is a force that forever draws us back; shores us up.
For where the home is, there lies hope, and the future waits
and everything is possible."

Monday, April 21, 2014

Tattoo You


"The times they are a changin'".  Think that was from Bob Dylan, but can't remember.  Hmm, wonder why... Anyway, this is one of my middle daughters' back tatts.  One.  
When I was growing up, tattoos were bad - only worn by soldiers returning from war; usually of naked women, and also by thugs (my kids say, "what's a thug").  
In my day, no one would have even considered a tattoo nor bankruptcy and I only knew of two friends whose parents got divorced.  If a girl got pregnant, she was spirited away to a home for unwed mothers. 
My dad wouldn't speak to me after I got my ears pierced so I can't imagine if I'd have pierced an eyebrow, nose, nipple or tongue.  I draw the line at piercings, so kids you better hide them well or run.  I might just have to yank it off if I see one.  
It is amazing how much things have changed.  Our culture seemed so much more civilized back then. Maybe it was just naivete or innocence.  No one would dream of talking back to a teacher, nor be disrespectful to their elders. We wore hats and gloves to church!  Some things better left in the past.
Societal mores aside, all three of my children have tattoos.  They won't listen when I tell them they'll get Hep C or HIV.  I tell them, no more tatts, but they continue.  I think it must be addictive as I see no end in sight. Oh well.  At least they are good kids, never been arrested, college educated and have good jobs.  I'd like to find someone to paint faux tatts all over me to give them a real shock.  Maybe even a teardrop by my eye.  I'll show them thug.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Dog Fishing



My dogs have decided that the most fun thing in their world is to go fishing.  Sister, the red weenie, wouldn't dream of touching her toe outside if there is a raindrop on the ground.  Yet, the lure of fishing makes her abandon all of her inhibitions.  The girls go crazy; howling and barking; they really flip out.



From the time the lure or worm is cast, they fly into the pond; try to swim out to catch the cork monster.  And, they have been hooked too.


Sister is coming back with her fish while Emmy...


guards her catch.


Finally, Sister has a good roll in fish stink.
I love my weenies so.  They are like my children.  I cannot imagine life without them.  My middle daughter once posted a pic of Emmy on facebook and said, "This is my sister.  Mom loves her more."

Here is a poem from Edna St.Vincent Millay that I love.

"Parrots, tortoises and redwoods live a longer life than men do;
Men, a longer life than dogs do;
Dogs, a longer life than love does."

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What might the future hold? Predictions at TED, 1984-2014



If you haven't already, go visit the TED website.  It is the best thing about the internet.  Top minds in all fields demonstrate and speak on such profound topics.  
While growing up, what things did you hope to see come to fruition one day?  I wanted to see people's faces displayed on phones.  Check.  Flying cars like the Jetson's.  Not yet affordable for me, but for some of you perhaps. Check.  Lastly, I want to see the discovery of extraterrestrials amongst us. 
Watch this short film about past and future discoveries, but go to TED for the rest of the story.  So thought provoking and wonderful.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Just Thinking



"As I grow older,
I pay less attention
to what men say.

I just watch what
they do."

Andrew Carnegie


Photo taken by me from the rear of the Rodin Museum in Paris

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spring Sprang Sprung


Spring is coming along nicely at the farm.  Things are greening up; I love the chartreuse.


Little Red is about to fly up on my shoulder.  She likes me, but really just wants me to feed her. The way she looks into my glasses always makes me think she wants to peck that little black dot out of my eye.  She must see her reflection or she really does want to peck that speck out of my eye.  Baby chicks do that.


Babies are hatching around here.  I did buy some new baby Turkens and Auracanas, but hens are sneaky and hide eggs that later hatch.  At least Mom can take care of them instead of me.  The turkeys are laying.  I almost hope they don't hatch.  Two are more than enough. 






Gracie wonders what in the heck I'm doing, but really just wants an apple or a carrot. 


It is time to trim all the avian boxwoods.  There is so much to do I really don't know where to start, but it's SPRING!


Friday, April 4, 2014

Game of Thrones


Still having withdrawals from the best show ever - BREAKING BAD.  I am not going to get over that it is over for some time.  Be that as it may, another show that I like is returning this Sunday - GAME OF THRONES.  I do hope it helps me get over the fact that Breaking Bad is no more.  
I haven't read the books, but my favorite character so far is Brienne of Tarth.  She is noble, tough and I am not sure why she is my favorite character.  Just hope they don't kill her off like everyone else.


Here she is last season fighting a bear bare handed. Her tormentors put her in this dress as she's usually in a full suit of armor; would never be clothed thusly. 
CALL THE MIDWIFE is back too, along with some of my other shows.  For someone who used to never watch television except for PBS, I sure am watching a lot these days; my kids know not to call during Mom's programs.