"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, 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.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

A Patch Of Blue

Life throws curves from time to time.  And, out of the blue.

We've turned the corner and my middle daughter's sight is returning.  From white and lined, to total darkness in the blink of an eye.  Well, two weeks actually and it seems like much longer.  Poor girl was scared, frustrated and literally could not do much of anything.  Even eating was hard until she figured out that a sandwich or something like it was easier than using utensils.  

After hospitalizations and many doctor visits, IV steroids, MRI's and the like, color is returning and she can now read in one eye and see shadows in the other.  Her neurologist said he has only seen one other patient in his career, that lost sight in both eyes at once with her condition.  Very rare, but it always seems to be unless you're the one with it.

She has struggled so, but has made it to the other side; a real trooper.  Neurologist will follow up with her every six months and if no other symptoms after 5 years, he will say it is not MS.

We are over the moon.  This has been a trial for all of us.  Blue skies shining down on us.

Thanks to all of you.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


Over a period of four days, my middle daughter has gone blind, in both eyes.  I've never even heard of such a thing.  Sat all day Saturday with her in the ER.  The GP sent her to an ophthalmologist and he says it is Optic Neuritis.  I researched it all afternoon into the night.

It has gotten worse daily.  She said last night, all she can do is sit and hold her new baby girl.  She can't even get the kids uniforms ready for school, or anything else.  She is devastated - bereft.  I'm not sharing any of my research with her, but taking notes.  I'm trying to not catastrophize it, but it's impossible for mothers not to.  Or this mother anyway.

We are going for a contrast MRI today to see what is causing it.  I just hope they can figure out what  is happening. If any of you have known of this or experienced it, please help.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Turtle Love

Spring break last week and my little grandson, Ollie, went to the Oklahoma Aquarium in Tulsa.  Seems like this sea turtle and Oliver bonded.  What a happy turtle or hungry perhaps?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Naughty Nonna

I usually keep these silver bowls filled with candy treats for the grandkids.  I really shouldn't as I end up eating it too.

I can't wait to see their faces when they see these little dried anchovies from Myanmar.  What in the world would they do with them?  Snacks?  Fish sauce? Paste?  Actually the last two would be good, but I'm not popping one in my mouth.

PS ~ the weenies can smell them and love to snack on them.  I wouldn't have bet on it.

Monday, March 27, 2017


Oh, my aching back.  After siphoning this putrid swill down my throat, you'll remember, I drained the goldfish pond at the city house.

To this.  I was shocked how much the gopher dug from the ground and deposited in my pond.

Ta daa.  I filled up three blue storage containers with the slimy, stinky muck and mud.  I thought I was going to have a heart attack.  Can't wait to get it cleaned out and another siphon then the filter and fish.  Yay!  I wasn't shouting yay while doing all the work though.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Garden Love

I found these two flats of ground covers.  From chartreuse to sage greens and purples; I don't even know how many different kinds of plants there are.  The instructions say you can lay down the whole sheets or cut them up into 5 inch squares to put down. They are growing on a layer of coir, or coconut husks. I wish I had room on the walls (brick) as I can see them as a vertical garden.

Supposedly, you can fill in areas or even put out in the lawn as they can be mowed over.  I am such a sucker for new things and am trying to figure out where to put them.  I just love these.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Sometimes You're The Windshield

Sometimes you're the bug.

Be still my beating heart.  It's spring!  My favorite time of year.  I've been holding back at the nurseries.  Only planting perennials and bulbs and nothing that will freeze.  

I've shown you the photo of the goldfish pond where gophers dumped their tunnel detritus.  Their tunnels are all under the rocks so I can't lay traps properly.  I can't even move some of the rocks.  Now, big rats have taken over the tunnels.  I caught one, but cookies, peanut butter, gummy bears and cheese don't tempt them. And yes, those rat traps hurt. The bird feeders have all been moved to the edge of the lake.

So, I went to the hardware store and bought clear tubing, so I could see when the water was coming near my guzzle. Who knew siphoning came so fast?  And, you have to suck hard. Yes, you guessed it.  The bacterial, amoebic fecal filled filthy swill went down my throat several times.  I wish I had a picture of me holding the tubing down in the water and over the 8 foot drop trying to drain it.  I got air in it several times and I had to start all over.

To my horror, those little menaces dumped a load of dirt that nearly fills half the goldfish pond.  It would fill a wheelbarrow, which I don't have at the city house.  Aye yay yay.  And those cute little rats watched me the whole time.  This time, I'm the bug.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

King Cake - A Little Late

I was told this little old pottery face is what was used in a King Cake.  The beholder of the slice with the face embedded, was bestowed luck or something.  Maybe they didn't have to give up anything for lent and hopefully, didn't crack a tooth.

Friday, March 17, 2017


Okay, so they aren't green, but I did buy some green ones too.  These purple shamrocks are huge and I am going to plant them today.  What better day to plant them than on a warm, sunny St. Patrick's Day?

It is a big holiday in the US too.  They dye rivers green and have parades and celebrations.  I read that one of the things they do is drowning the shamrock, which is putting one in the bottom of a glass and filling it with beer or whiskey.  

The grandkids have gone to the farm for the weekend with their Poppa T. and took green clothing with them so they wouldn't get pinched.

I've heard Ireland is one of the most beautiful places on earth.  I named my first child, Erin.

Erin go bragh.

Thursday, March 16, 2017


My rant - never mind.  But, the ranchers that burn off rangeland for their cattle, really piss me off.  So much wildlife and plant life dies in these fires.  Plus, they always get out of control.

We got a call that our mountain was on fire and nearing the cabin.  Of course, we were both in the city, so dealing with the forestry service and local volunteer fire departments by phone is frustrating to say the least.  

They rarely get into trouble for burning, but I have seen the aftermath, and many lizards, turtles and ground nesting birds' nests are killed and destroyed.  Now, multiply that by the wildlife that is killed when they start cutting hay.  Sometimes, depending on the rain, they do it several times during the summer.  

I quit eating red meat for five years in protest.  Guess I need to start drinking/using nut milks.  Eventually, maybe their practices will change, but I'm not holding my breath.

Thursday, March 9, 2017


Freckles.  Caused from exposure to UV-B radiation.  If you are a fellow freckled person, I doubt you were enamored of them when you were a child.

I was fair-skinned, had dark brown hair and light blue eyes.  I even won a contest for the most freckles at a fishing contest when young (mortified.) I usually had zinc oxide on my nose as it always got burned.  I'm waiting for it to fall off.  People wanted a tan when I was growing up - no one used sunscreen.  I burned after about 15 minutes.

Every freckle is a friend I'd hear - no they were not.  I tried a freckle cream; it did not work.  Not only were they on my face, my legs and arms are covered with them - even today.

Now, they are calling them liver spots.  Ick.  But, I have found a way to get rid of the most heinous ones.  Freeze Off, the same liquid nitrogen aerosol the dermatologists use, takes them off.  They now like to take them off with a laser (quite a bit more expensive), which will cause you to walk around with scabs all over the back of your hands, but I am not a happy camper with liver spots on my hands. Period.

Addendum ~ I just read a Harper's Baazar magazine yesterday and it seems that the models walking the catwalk are painting freckles on their faces.  Will wonders never cease?

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

To Mail Or Not

I found these old envelopes and postcards from the seventies.  Thought I would put them in my booth, but I'd probably never see them again if I do that. 

I try not to bring up politics, so if you love the Republican party - even with him at the helm - 
just click off this post.  I think I mentioned my own husband and my daughter-in-law voted for him.  She was talking (this weekend) about how the mainstream media lied all the time.  I held my tongue, though I wanted to say, yeah, Fox News and the National Enquirer.

Anyway, I thought about sending one of these to the White House, signed by the ghost of Richard Nixon no less, to tell that man, he better get out while he can still hold his head up, though I know he wouldn't get it.

I don't even know if the Watergate Hotel still stands.  What would likeminded people write to that man?

Friday, March 3, 2017

Nests and Eggs

Don't know why I am thinking about nests and eggs this morning.  Must be those darn goose babies from last year. They are out on my porch, quite large now and crapping on the sidewalk and patio and honking.  The minute the drapes go open, they swim over and climb the steps.  They actually peck on the windows and look through them. I put a little fencing across the back yard next to the lake, but there are a few spaces they can still get in.  Worse, I saw them picking at my tiger lily shoots coming up.  They also like the seeds from the bird feeders that are dropped.  It's always something.  

By the way, during the move, I dropped and broke this sculpture of my hand.

This is a study of mockingbirds I did.  If you remember, I used to climb the tallest trees to look into nests and see the babies and eggs.

I do miss my chickens, especially the ones that were like pets.  But, I really miss the eggs.

I know I've told you this before so humor me.  Indians learned to make baskets from watching the birds' build their nests.  I love that.  Here is one I made.

Little hummingbird nest.  They'll return the first of April, so have your feeders ready.

The mallard eggs in my bush last spring.  As you can see I am thinking about spring.  On the back porch yesterday, I watched a starling going into the birdhouse the sparrows use.  The sparrows have been making trips for stuff to build their nest and the starling was going in and removing it all and flying away with it.  Mother Nature doesn't like that.  Me and my weenies are getting ready to go chase the geese away.  Better put my pants on first.  This ain't the farm.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Winter That Wasn't

Though it might not be over yet, I think the end of winter is nigh.  Yay!  Spring is my favorite season. Only a few daffodils are open, but I'll take them.  Today I am planting more seeds in peat pots, though I haven't had good results with that.  They either have a damping off or aren't warm enough or something.  Going to try again anyway.  I found these teeny tomato seeds about the size of pearls that I had a few years ago. They are a bite bursting with flavor.  I hope some of them grow.  

I bought two raised beds for the city house.  They are waist high and I put them on either side of the house to see which one gets more sun.  Vegetables need at least 6 hours of sun per day.  There isn't anywhere else here for vegetables, so I'm giving it a shot.

This weekend I bought the weenies a pup stroller and we used it this morning.  They were too nervous to enjoy it, but hopefully will as we do it more often.  At least it got me out for a walk.  I've spent the winter being a slug and I hope to change that.  

Hope this week finds you out in the garden with lots of sunshine.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Born A Brat

Nature or nurture - that is the question.  Methinks it is both, but I tend to lean a little more towards nature, though of course, nurture is critical too.  Cognitive dissonance. "Children aren't born bad," my husband says.  But, is there truth in the old term, the bad seed?

I don't know the answers,  but look at that little oppositional brat to the right.  The personality already forming - a non-conformist or perhaps, a free-spirit?  Always fighting against something; swimming upstream, walked different paths and did not follow or lead, because I did not care what others did.  Rebel without a cause?

I wish I had not been like that.  Wish I were not an introvert.  I was a wild child.  Roamed the countryside and neighborhoods, quiet and observant.  My business, as an adult, was Wild Child Designs.  There is hope for those children.  They can succeed in life, but woe to the parents that must deal with them.