"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

Friday, August 26, 2016

Turtle Time


If you have followed my blog for long, you know I am Mother Nature; feed just about all creatures.  Gammera and his wife remain at the farm pond, though I have thought about bringing them to the city lake.  You'll have to type in Snapping Turtle at the top left of the page to see posts of Gammera.  Anyway, the lake we have out back is full of water turtles.  They line up on rocks or land or logs to sun during the day.  As you can see, I still don't know how to crop my photos or anything relating to pictures.


They have terrific eyesight and jump into the water when you get too near them, but always arrive before the fish when there is food in the mix as they are quite the scavengers of the waterways. Won't be long before they dig down in the mud and hibernate till spring. Some of these guys are as big around as a peach basket.  Others not so much.  This smaller one decided to swim over to watch me watch him.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Last Of Summer



Okra is the last vegetable left in the garden.  It loves the dry and heat and comes on like gangbusters. Of African origin, it can be eaten many ways.  Lately, I see it salted and dried whole in containers, but I've yet to try it.

I have deep southern roots; my mother and her family were from Louisiana.  Where I live now, okra is mostly dredged in cornmeal and flour and fried.  Farther 'down south' it is eaten stewed with tomatoes or in my favorite dish, Gumbo.

I slice it and put it in a freezer bag and toss it in the freezer.  Some dredge it in their favorite mixture then freeze it to fry later.  This Gumbo recipe is the real deal, straight from New Orleans.  I make so much of it, I freeze what is left for later and it is just as good as the day I made it.  So here it is.

New Orleans Gumbo

Make a roux with bacon grease and flour.  I use about 1/2 cup grease to 1 cup flour.  You want to cook the roux till it is golden to amber in color and the consistency of gravy.  ADD 2 lbs. of sliced okra and cook down for about 15 minutes.

ADD    2-3 cups of chopped onions
1 cup chopped green
scallions
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 TB. minced garlic

Cook 10 minutes more then ADD 1 1/2cups chopped tomatoes

ADD 2 quarts cold water.  Mix ingredients.  ADD 1 whole chicken that has been boiled and pulled from the bones.

ADD seasonings:
3 whole bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
5 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 TBS. lemon juice
10 whole allspice
8 whole cloves
1 tsp. mace

Bring mixture to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for one hour.  Stir from time to time and stir bottom of pan to keep from scorching.  At the end of the hour, add another 1/2 quart of water and a package of sliced polska kielbasa or your favorite kind of sausage.  Cook 15 minutes more and serve over your favorite rice.

POINTER'S - I've used the water that I cooked the chicken in or added chicken bouillon to the brew.  I don't like chomping on the cloves and allspice so I use it ground up. And, since I rarely measure, certainly adjust the spices to your taste.  I usually use more than the recipe calls for.  I've also added shrimp and crab at the last few minutes of cooking.  I don't think you can mess this recipe up.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Dogs


I found this book from the 30's at the antique mall.  If you know anything about me, my dogs are the joy of my life, my shadows, love me as much as I love them; I could go on and on.

Evidently, Lucy Dawson (Mac) drew dogs then did their poses in pastel.  She even mentioned doing work for Princess Elizabeth and her beloved Corgis.

This book is one of three dog books that were published, I believe.  


This Westie is Timothy.  She writes about how the dogs reacted to her drawing them and their behaviors.



Another Timothy, Lucy said he was a six month old at this sitting and could often be found at Battersea Park.  Such a cute book.  Loved her descriptions of the dogs and their sittings for her portraits.



Friday, August 12, 2016

Uptown Funk Redux


Now, here's one for us oldersters, or should I say, the original hipsters...

Uptown Funk


I downloaded this video for the grandkids, but found another version we oldsters might like even better. Only problem is I can't figure out how to get them both on this one post.  So stay tuned for the next version in a bit.


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Wallpaper


When I bought the city house, if you remember, I had lists of things that it had to have - three car garage, large lot, all hardwood floors and tile, no upstairs
 and on and on.  It all went out the window when I found this house.

I could live with the NO lists except for one thing.  The kitchen, the study and this powder room were a burgundyish red.  I'm like a bull when I see red.  I like whites and creams (the rest of the house) and pastels, not deep jewel tones.  These had to be painted before I moved in.  All except for this powder room.  There wasn't time to redo it and personally, picking wallpaper is so difficult for me.  It is overwhelming.  Just too much of it to look at.

I'm tempted to just paint over it so I don't have to look at it.  I see wallpaper in magazines that I like, but gah...  It is unbelievably expensive and even though this powder room is small, it has six walls to match up.  Believe it or not, large prints look good in small rooms.  I love Laura Ashley prints and so many others.  But, I also love the Martinique pattern that is famous from the early 1900's and designed specifically for the Beverly Hills Hotel.  I don't know why I like it, I just do.  See below.


I also like newer patterns as in the one below.



I won't bore you with more pictures as there are probably a thousand different patterns I like.  I think interior decorating would be such a hard job. If only I could open the door and poof - all bought and hung and beautiful.  Sigh.


Saturday, August 6, 2016

Sometimes You're The Windshield, Sometimes You're The Bug


Here is a great singer/songwriter to go with this post.


I came home to the farm this week and what did I find?  In preparation of re-doing the deck, my husband decided to 'trim the hedge', a job I have always done.  I planted these boxwoods more than twenty years ago and they were huge.  Imagine my shock at seeing this and it looks so much worse than this picture. 

My God, I told him.  Did you use a chainsaw?  No he said, the hedge trimmer, though our trimmer wouldn't cut through a twig larger than a 1/4inch and some of these are two inches in diameter.  I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.  

You can see through them and I doubt they will ever grow back on the house side.  He said they were all dead inside and I told him they always are; they grow from the outside.

In thirty years, I would have had a beautiful landscape of plants and gardens - that is if it were not for the husband's weed eater, herbicides and burning.  At the city house he is not to touch anything as I have hired a garden and lawn crew.  I still haven't figured out the watering system, but will, somehow.

The refrigerator is on the fritz too.  The new ones now are expensive and computerized.  The ice maker and filtered water system has gone out and I don't know who I'll find to fix it at the farm.  

My husband catches raccoons and opossums in a cage as they eat all the animals' feed.  I've asked him not to do it in the garage or patio as it makes such a mess when they try to get out.  He caught a skunk.  My patio still stinks whenever I walk out the door.

Me, I'm heading back to the city soon.  It is not fun keeping up two houses.



Sunday, July 31, 2016

Seasons


When seasons begin or come to an end, I am usually out in the woods or fields, looking for the first signs of spring, etc.

August, in Oklahoma anyway, is the hottest one.  Temperatures are often in the hundreds and rain is rare.  Not my favorite kind of weather.  So, while deadheading the echinacea and phlox, (please, if anyone knows if this will encourage another flowering, let me know), I found these leaf skeletons.  There were quite a few in fact.  Perhaps, the first sign of fall?

The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there
a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst 
the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many.

Oliver Wendell Holmes
"The Seasons"






Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Lamplight


I have been selling 30 years of antique accumulations from the farm and barn.  It is all the stuff left over from doing the Marburger Farm show in Round Top, TX.  I have only had a booth in a mall since January, so it has been a learning curve.  

First, the mall I'm in has over 300 dealers.  LOTS of stuff.  Therefore, the dollars are spread out more.  Secondly, I have noticed that the smaller stuff sells more - OK is in a recession and the choke point seems to be around $20.00.  

The booth I'm in is about 8x8 feet; not big enough for furniture and crammed to the ceiling.  I just love the booths that are spare and styled, but my thought is, if it isn't in there it won't get sold and I have to pay rent, a commission that goes to the mall and I pay all credit card fees (they don't accept checks.) It is difficult to keep it all orderly and leave room to walk around the booth freely.  It is a lot of work. I had hoped to sell out quickly so I would't have to keep it going for too long.

And oh the joys of keeping up with my stuff.  If it is missing, they encourage you to walk the entire mall to look for it.  I did that for awhile, but quickly tired of that and wait for booth owners to turn it in to the front desk and they will return it.  I have had things missing for a couple of months. I notice things that aren't mine right away, but evidently some booth owners never come in.  I now have a new appreciation for putting something down across a store when I change my mind.  It happens a lot.

Then, there is a crazy person that comes in regularly and tears through the far corners of my booth - turns it inside out.  I'd like to smack them.  No normal person would leave a booth in that condition.  In fact, I had to remove all my textiles, like quilts and rugs, as I'd find antique quilts in a heap in the middle of the floor.

I've had a few 25% off sales, but I don't really sell more during them.  How's that?  I don't know as it would make a difference to me.  Nonetheless, I haven't had a sale this month and won't for awhile.  One item, an old metal Life Savers display, brightly colored and in great condition, sat there for two months.  I marked the price up and it sold.  I am just trying to make my money back, but will take a loss if I have to.  But, some things are one of a kind, rare, and I refuse to give them away.  Am I cutting off my nose to spite my face?  It is hard to know.  The market has changed.  Whereas, large wooden English pieces were once all the rage, you can't give them away now.  Thankfully, I don't have any.  I love primitives, but now, in Tulsa anyway, they are not selling.  They still sell in TX, but I have to wait for a buyer from TX to come through.  The younger crowd don't like antiques so much anymore - they like modern and minimalism.  

So what does all this have to do with the lamp in the picture?  I saw this lamp and bought it to see if I could make money on it in the booth.  I have only bought two things to sell in this booth.  It is French, Art Nouveau from the 1890's.  Heavy painted metal, it is also a candelabra lamp.  It is beautiful, but not really my style.  I got it all priced and ready to take to my booth, then at the last minute decided not to.  Why, you say? Because I fear the customers will try and pick it up and mess it up or even worse, break it.  I thought about putting a sign up - please do not touch - but they will.  So, I sat it in the entryway and will ponder what to do with it.

It's a whole new world in antiques.  This old antique has lost her touch. Not like the days when I was into it.



Monday, July 25, 2016

Enlighten Me


I need my avid readers to enlighten me - "masterpiece" I read in the reviews.  I must have been sleep reading (or just a big dummy), but I am not going to re-read this book to try and find the masterpiece inside.  If you have read it, please talk to me and tell me about it.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Toot Toot


This is for the two or so guys that read my blog.  I know, from having a son, you like things that go vroom or putt putt along, all those endearing little sounds boys make.

I pass this little vehicle, or whatever it is, on the way to town when I'm at the farm.  It is just the oddest thing.  It reminds me of the cardboard boxes I used to climb into and turn into cars.  The days and life much simpler then.  I have never seen one driving on the road.

My friend Monique, recently went to Paris and reminded me of scenes we witnessed too while in Paris.  These smallish cars (I drive a pick-up truck) would pull up to the curbs to parallel park and would literally bump into the cars in front and in back until they wedged into a parking place.  I and my friends simply stood with our mouths gaped open; couldn't believe what we were witnessing.
If someone did that in America, they'd face stiff fines and a ticket and big insurance bills.  That is if you are lucky and don't make someone mad enough to elicit road rage.

This little vehicle is old.  The top was peeling and tattered.  I didn't want to tarry too long and couldn't get a front shot or risk being run over by traffic.  

Sorry ladies.  If only there were some pretty wildflowers growing alongside.  I'm off to can bread and butter pickles; the last thing I am canning this year.  



Is anyone having trouble with blogger?  Mine is acting up and I fully expect my blog to go poof.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Summertime Slugs


This time of year, in the state where I live, it's miserable outside.  Here I am.  Just kidding.  Buzzy is feeling it too. 100 degrees in the shade turns me into a wet noodle.  Drains all strength.  I guess that is why they take siestas in Mexico.  If you don't get out when the sun comes up, you'll have to wait until midnight to do anything outside, then fight the mosquitos.  

Of one thing I am sure.  Henry James didn't come from Oklahoma.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Wild Week In The City


Hot days, but bearable on the porch.  The mother Mallard and her nine ducklings came strolling by, didn't care I was sitting on the porch after pulling weeds.  They waddled by me and hopped in the goldfish pond, diving and drinking and enjoying the water.  They have stopped up my new filter/pump, but that's another story.



They won't all fit in the pond soon.


I went to get more cracked corn as they strolled to the feeder.


The night before, a strong storm came through and knocked out the electricity for two hours.  The heat is what woke me.  Everything got a good watering though and it was nice on the porch.  Until another storm came through before noon.


You can just see it begin to rain on the lake.  Before too long, tornado sirens were going off, the wind was blowing 90 mph, rain coming in circles and sideways; I have never seen a more severe thunderstorm.  It was like a hurricane.  Tree limbs were coming down and I feared our roof was going to blow off.  The house was popping and cracking.  Lightning and thunder like I've never seen.


Unfortunately, I could not capture the degree to which it stormed.  You can see one of the neighbor's branches down and some in the water.  We had branches down in our yard, but a twenty foot long tree fell across the lake from us and floated in front of their dock.  That is, until it was swept over to our side.  I wanted to signal the neighbors to come get their tree, but didn't.  They also lost another large part of the tree in their yard.

More than a hundred thousand homes were without power for days (not us thank God as I couldn't bear that heat.) Trees are down across the southern part of the city.  Every house has some down.  Roofs were damaged and blown off, brick walls came down, fences down and a house nearby burned to the ground from lightning in minutes.  Even though the rain was drenching, the wind stoked the fire and it was consumed before the fire department arrived.  Within thirty minutes, the storm had passed.  All week, chainsaws have been cutting up trees.  Everyone with pickup trucks can haul their trees to a local pasture.  I don't know what those without a truck are going to do.  I've looked at the roof and no damage, so thankfully, we were let off lightly.  We still have a few limbs high up in the elm tree that are hanging, but I don't think there is any way to pull them down.

And, no I didn't hide in a closet, but I did stay inside.  It was pretty scary.  My little wind chime glass balls were whipping about.  One broke.  I was sorely tempted to run outside and tether it down, but was afraid I'd be struck by lightning over a twenty dollar wind chime.  



Sunday, July 10, 2016

Fleur de Lis


They're everywhere!  I have planted Stella d'Oro day lilies and have a few orange ones, but I've never planted any others.  My mistake.  These orange speckled ones are some of the last of the lilies to bloom and I have been waiting and waiting to see what they were going to look like.  First of all, all blooms hang downwards, unlike all the others, and the stalks are 5 feet tall.  Then they opened.


The blooms all hang downwards like Chinese lanterns.  They are gorgeous.


And did I mention they are all huge flowers.


One of my very favorites.


They are really unbelievable.


This one had white speckles.



Isn't this one a beauty.



These are large also.


What can you say but gorgeous...


Sigh.


Okay, I lean toward pastels, but pretty just the same.


These are whoppers and I do love the deep salmon color.  And, all the lilies are planted in multiples the reason I say they are everywhere.


Finally, does any one know what those tall purple flower spires in the background are?  They look like phlox on a stem about 5 feet tall.  They are also everywhere in the garden and I just love them.  As I said in a previous post, the only thing I can squeeze in are seeds.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Well Hmm


  Who is included in this cookbook with more than 350 fellow cooks/gardeners from all fifty states?

Well, take a guess.  Alice Waters perhaps?  You'd be right. Maybe Thomas Keller too.  And moi?  My fifteen seconds of fame (I wish it had been a little more exciting than this, but then I'd be greedy, so never mind.) I did see it in the cookbook section of Barnes and Noble so that was a little kick.

A percentage of the sales of this cookbook went to benefit Second Harvest, the largest charitable organization against hunger in the U.S.

They selected my dill pickles.  I've written the recipe in a post before and these are the best you've ever tasted.  Funny thing was, when I got my copy of the book, the recipe was unrecognizable (is that literary license?).  And, they used my business name, Wild Child Designs, from my business card which had nothing to do with my pickles, for the title of the pickles.  A catchier recipe name perhaps?  Would they have been selected for inclusion if I called them Dull Pickles?  I guess they can do whatever they want in publishing.  Hmmm....


The amounts of ingredients were altered and instead of alum, they substituted grape leaves.  I've never done that.  I do grow the peppers, cukes, dill and garlic, but I have no idea how these pickles would turn out since the recipe is so different. Anyway.

My husband brought gallons of pickling cucumbers up to the city house on the fourth.  Problem is, all my jars, spices and canning equipment are at the farm plus I've been babysitting an 18 month old angel for the last couple of days.  Guess I'll be giving this bunch away.

So, come on now.  Tell me about your 15 seconds/minutes or days of fame.




Monday, June 27, 2016

My Gracie Girl


My beautiful girl Gracie.  It has been a bittersweet weekend.  I've been trying for a couple of years or more, to find a forever home for her and Brownie, though I had no hopes that anyone would take Brownie because of Brownie's advanced age.

Gracie showed up at the back fence as a yearling.  Dark gray and dappled with a dark mane and tail, she was a sweetheart and came regularly to see me.  The neighbors that owned her are the worst -  all I will say about them.  They neither fed nor cared for her.  So, I started feeding her over the fence
and fell in love with her.

Brownie showed up a few years later.  Her owner from down the road didn't want her and she had been on her own for years, wandering.  I had to start feeding her too as she was the alpha, and would eat Gracie's food.  So, now I was caring for two horses.

The neighbors were divorcing and asked if I wanted to buy Gracie.  We fenced in five acres, built a stall and tack room and brought Gracie to live here at the farm.  She and Brownie would call to each other and were inconsolable.  Brownie is skittish and I had no way of bringing her here except for cutting the neighbor's fence.  But, I did still feed Brownie.  

Brownie did finally find her way over and we put her in with Gracie.  They've been together several years.  Gracie is now eight and Brownie about thirty.  

With my husband's health problems and my joint replacement and other issues, it has become so difficult for us to haul hay (at $16.00 a small bale) and feed bags (at $12.00 a forty pound bag) for protein pellets and bags of oats.  I won't mention they love graham crackers, apples, peanut butter and carrots.  I've spoiled them rotten.

Three forever homes fell through for Gracie.  I was not going to let just anyone have her as they often end up on a truck bound for Mexico to be slaughtered and sold for meat.  Don't get me started.

Well, I found a forever home this weekend.  Gracie is huge, white with dark skin and they figured she must have some draft horse in her as she is so large.  They said they'd ride her and if she wouldn't, then she could just graze the pasture. That is what I wanted for her.  Nothing expected from her; just to live a peaceful life; no one abusing her or neglecting her.  And, they asked if they could take Brownie too.  There are angels still among us. They are only about a half mile away as the crow flies.  

The farm is quiet now.  No more fowl or horses.  It is as if the farm has a golden transparency over it.  Makes me sad to know the end of farm life is nigh, sort of like the many dilapidated farm buildings and barns I see around here.

I went out late last night to look at the stars, as I do every night when I let the weenies out one last time. I was surrounded in total silence.  
I cupped my hands and as loud as I could, I called Gracie Girl.


Sunday, June 26, 2016

My Citrus


Most of you know I have a large citrus collection - my pride and joy.  I've kind of become a citrus hoarder as the greenhouse in winter is overflowing, to say the least.

I returned from quite a long stay at the city house, and what did I find?  Several dead trees and the ground covered in citrus flower petals at the base of every pot.  There was to be a banner crop this fall. They had not been watered and in high summer temperatures, it is an every other day task.

This is my Australian Finger Lime tree.  It has never produced (in 3 years) and this year it was covered in little purple flowers.



So, there were no more flowers and the leaves were curled and drying up, but look what I discovered this morning.  My first crop of baby finger limes.


This is what the finger lime looks like when ripe.  It is full of large vesicles filled with lime juice.  They can be used on salads and I don't know what yet.  I'll have to look for recipes.  I can't wait to taste them.




Friday, June 24, 2016

Oh My Aching Feet


I would love to show you more of my flowers, but decided to throw you a curve instead.  Kind of like Brexit??? Don't get me wrong.  I don't know if the leaving is good or bad, but the stock market right now is making me think it wasn't such a good thing, but what do I know. Anyway...

If you are old enough, you will remember going to the shoe store (where we used to have to buy shoes) and climbing up the steps on this machine to get a possibly lethal dose of - RADIATION?

These shoe fitting fluoroscope machines were actually built in the early 1900's, but they became commonplace after the war in the forties.  Every shoe store had one.  It was fun to see the X-rays of your foot bones and the more times you did it the more radiation you received.  So, if you were a little brat like me, you kept climbing up on it.

It became known that people were being given extreme radiation exposure; the doses had large variations between the machines.  Bone cancers and genetic effects were being logged and by 1953, the US FDA banned them, but some were still in use as late as 1970.

A college physics professor of mine told me if I had used one, I should be monitored for cancer.

I saw a restoration show in 2012 and they tested one of these machines for radiation before they started to tear it down.  The meter reading was off the charts.

Just thought you might like to know this little factoid.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Home


I've been thinking of others' posts about being away from home, whether from illness, vacation or necessity.

I am a homebody.  Even at the new house, it has become my home and I find such peace here; don't go many places unless shopping and such.

Though I love the thought of traveling and watch many travel shows (and I am fascinated with Mt. Everest and why anyone would want to climb it), but when I do travel, I usually find myself counting the days and longing for home.  I posted this prose before and thought about it this morning.  I think I heard it on Call The Midwife.

"Home is not simply a mark upon a map any more than a river is just water.

It is a place at the center of a 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."

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Summertime


"Summertime......and the livin' is easy" - unless you live where I live.  It is blisteringly hot this week.  We were spoiled by a late, cool and wet spring and we are now paying the price.  I think yesterday, we were the hottest in the nation according to the heat index and with the humidity, it is steaming.  The news was showing eggs frying on the street.  I can function outdoors when the temperatures are in the 80's, but not in the high 90's.

It will be a two shower day and right now, I am fiddling around thinking of things I need to do indoors.  I planted this morning and fed the waterfowl which left me dripping in sweat and dirty.  So, I'm clean and drinking a glass of Bigelow's raspberry, hibiscus and rose tea.  Won't be able to drink hot drinks until fall.

I don't even want to go back to the plant store and/or get out to run errands.  How did they live before air conditioning?  

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Smokebush Tree


I was driving in the city the other day and saw this smokebush tree.  I have never seen this color before.  It is called Royal Purple.  

It is lovely and I'd love to have one, but alas, no room.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Haiku Duck


This is what I woke to at the city house last week.  They were all splashing and diving in my little goldfish pond.  I loved the moment.  In the next, the weenies barked and the mother flew over the edge and onto the lower lawn, quacking loudly to her brood to follow her. It is an eight foot drop and I thought, oh no, there wasn't any way, but all nine babies hopped onto the rocks and leapt over the edge in free fall.

If you remember, her eggs were snatched by something in the spirea bush.  Another mother lost her entire brood in one day.  Like the travails of Jemima Puddle-Duck, nature and farm life can be cruel sometimes, a fact Beatrix Potter herself observed.  This mallard mother is a good one and seems to be caring for them.  She brings them back many times a day.  So, I've named her Haiku.  Why? I don't know.

I don't really understand haiku poetry, but do appreciate the ability to be succinct; say what needs to be said in as few words as possible.  

Here are a couple of haikus for you.

In the sharing 
of simple pleasures
we become closer still.


Sitting by the lake
watching the ducks swim about
comfort in nature.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Lily, Lily, Rose



A favorite plein air painting by John Singer Sargent, Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose.  He painted this at the same time every evening over a two year period. The carnations have come and gone, but right now, lilies reign supreme at the city house.

I am impressed that the former owner planted perennials in succession so the blooms just keep coming.  I am filling in with annuals then need to mulch.  The only lily I can identify is the calla lily.  Can't wait to see what the others that haven't opened look like.









Okay, here is a rose.  She planted the same kind around the house.  I think they might be Drift roses or something like that.  I've already deadheaded them once.  Not a sign of blackspot.  At the farm, I've tried every rose and they all get blackspot, whether I spray or not.


Don't have a clue what this large plant is.  At first I thought it ghastly, but it is growing on me.  I hate to admit it, but I do not like large blooms, as on poinsettia plants, Bird of Paradise, glads, hibiscus... But, 
I do love moon flowers, roses and hydrangeas, so never mind.  

I read a funny story once about Truman Capote opening his apartment door to an armload of poinsettia plants.  He shut the door and said that he didn't even want to know who would send a plant like that.  Since they are for sale around my birthday, I get loads of them.  Some even sprayed with glitter.  I've finally gotten family to stop buying them for me.


This is what I shall be doing today.  Braiding onions and pickling the ones that don't have a stem.  Happy day to all.