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

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

Hello Friends!

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

Donna Baker

Monday, 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.  I might just have to yank them 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 naive or innocent.  No one would dream of talking back to a teacher, nor be disrespectful to their elders.  
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.

Thursday, April 3, 2014


"Do not wish to be anything
but what you are, 
and try to be
that perfectly."

St. Francis De Sales

My kids heard me repeat quotations over and over as they grew, sometimes for inspiration, sometimes to motivate and once in a while to admonish.  At times they would even question these tidbits and I would tell them that I didn't write them nor make them up.  As they got older, I even used some more timely phrases like, "Uh oh, there's big trouble in little China," or "don't cry for me Argentina," when it was appropriate.  

I've heard them repeat some of them as grown-ups, and it makes me smile.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


This is the worst job I have to do every spring - dread cleaning out the goldfish pond.  While still too cold to climb into the foulest, stinkiest water you've ever seen, I am trying to clean it out with a swimming pool net and pole.  I will have to get in soon though, before the snakes come out of hibernation. Be that as it may, it doesn't take long before my mind begins to wander to the fossils I have placed around the pond. 

Oklahoma used to be covered by an ocean, which mildly disturbs me, but because of said ocean, I find many fossils in limestone around here.  I've said give me a fossil over diamonds and watches, jewelry that I do not wear (though I do love a Van Cleef and Arpels Alhambra necklace in turquoise).   Above is a fern leaf and dragonfly encased in limestone.

A tree trunk millions of years old.  Guess it grew when the ocean receded.

Don't know what the heck this is, but perhaps a tubeworm of some kind.

My favorite though is this fish or sea serpent.  The head is on the right and the rest of the fossil curves up to the top of the rock.  Notice all the bones and plant life scattered around.  
Well, I better get back to the pond scum.  At least I found something to break up the chore.

Friday, March 7, 2014

It's Spring

It's spring alright.  How do I know?  I'm digging through cabinets and drawers.  Thirty years of detritus and all sorts of things.  Rubber bands, receipts and files from too long ago have filtered down to the bottom of cubbies and piles of paper are being purged.  As I dig I wonder, why did I save these old rubber bands, clips, ink pens that no longer work and stacks of papers?  
To tell the truth, I am somewhat of a magpie by nature, but much of this is ridiculous.  Saving things on the chance that they might be needed someday only adds to clutter.  
Like a slip of paper I have saved for years.  It has Phi 1.618 written on it.  Below is the sign for Phi.

Phi, pronounced like fly, was discovered by Fibonacci and is the solution to a quadratic equation (math was my worst subject in school so I know I didn't save this for the math).  Phi is also known as the Divine Proportion, The Golden Mean, or the Divine Ratio.  So, how does it effect us?  Well, Phi is the proportions of the human body as well as animals, plants, DNA, the solar system, art and architecture, music and even theology. Phi unwinds the chambers of a nautilus and the spiral of a galaxy, arranges seeds in the head of a sunflower. So how does Phi 'figure' into my spring cleaning?  Well, I guess it seemed interesting at the time, but out it goes.  

UPDATE ~ I found another slip of paper from a magazine article which is why I copied Phi down in the first place.  Susan Dell (yes, that Dell) started a clothing company in the 1990's (that's how long I have held on to these scraps of paper) and she named it Phi, after the divine proportion.  So, nothing profound or life changing.  Just a bit of minutia that interested me at the time.  Finally throwing them out.  But, oh no.  Wait, here is a third scrap.  I must have really been impressed.  Seems that Phi is the principle on what Leonardo da Vinci based his illustration of The Vitruvian Man. I could go on but I think I've probably lost most of you by now.  So, nuff said about Phi, but isn't it beautiful ~ like spring?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Wild Cherry Tree

Found something new in the Henry Field's seed and plant catalog.  It is a wild black cherry tree.  I have never seen one for sale before.  
Grandma Great had one in her front yard and used to make jam with the cherries.  She said she watched birds come eat them, then fall out of the tree onto the ground like they were drunk.
I found a wild cherry tree by the lake once.  It was very gnarled and old, but had a few cherries still attached.  The aroma of wild cherry was something I'll never forget.  So strong and wonderful.  I can't wait to get mine.  I'll just have to be careful where I plant it because these trees can reach 80 feet tall.  I am excited about this tree. I'm going to make jams, liqueurs, tarts, syrups... The juice has been used for ages as a cough remedy and the bark can be used too.  I will have to read up on why the birds get drunk from eating the cherries.  Don't want druggy birds flying around the farm.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Plate Excuse

I call this my Goonie Bird plate.  Bought it at Round Top. Though I love it (I'm a bonafide bird nut and love all things bird),  it has been shelved in a closet.  I don't know where it should go.  The painter/artist did a wonderful job.  It is fairly old, but not dated.  I wonder if the bird is extinct now?
Truth be known, I am really just piddling around, trying to find things to keep me from doing the things I should be doing; a lame excuse to use a plate, I know.  Do you feel guilty wasting time and not being productive?  Oh well, guess I'll piddle some more and find a wall to display it on.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Breaking Bad

I'm a late bloomer - didn't get on the Homeland or Breaking Bad train until later.  If Breaking Bad was a drug, I'm hooked.  On a bad binge for both.  Finished Homeland and now on to Breaking Bad.  I can't quit you, Walter White.  It is that good.  Just hope Homeland hurries up with the next season.  Love these shows!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Field Sculpture

We go years without snow and this is what we've had for so long, I can't remember when the ground wasn't covered.  It will be melting by the weekend.  I will be in Tulsa or I would go outside naked to feel the warm sunshine on my skin.  

I made these armillary spheres (not quite finished) from old rusty wheel forms (don't know if that is what they are called).  They were used to hold wooden wheel pieces or wagon wheels.  We have tons and I figured they would work as field art. By the way, armillary spheres were early celestial globes. Wish I could find an old airplane to put out in the field.  A rocket perhaps?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

To Mope Or Not To Mope

Trying to brighten up my day (and keep from doing the things I should be doing).  This white bisque rabbit came from Anthropologie.  I guess it is glazed inside to keep water from leaking out.  I also got a goose head.  Just loved these and the gerbera daisies. But, take a look at the paper basket.

I went to Hobby Lobby last week.  I  usually just go there to buy art supplies.  All the rest I consider stuff. I have more stuff than one should have, and am trying to give it away.  Nevertheless, I was amazed at all the cute things they have. They had these paper baskets in different shapes and sizes, and made in China of course.  They were so cute.  Grandma Great used to make paper bead necklaces with a string chain to entertain all the grandchildren. Guess that is what hooked me.  They looked like her necklaces. If you haven't been recently, I suggest you go.  I can't tell you how many things I wanted to buy. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Funny Farm

Banana In Snow

"They're coming to take me away ha ha
They're coming to take me away ha ha, ho ho, he he,
To the funny farm 
Where life is beautiful all the time".
(And warm?)

 The first use of the term, Funny Farm, was used in John Knowles 1959 novel, A SEPARATE PEACE, set in New Hampshire (no wonder).
"You might start to believe it, then I'd have to make a reservation for you at the Funny Farm."

Well, they don't call it the funny farm for nothing.  This winter is killing me.  Going to go try and work on a painting, but I'm afraid my muse is frozen outside somewhere on my Peaceable Hill Farm which is why I put a banana in the snow (a lame attempt at an art installation piece/joke). Pitiful.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Natural World

I've had this tableau tucked in a corner for several years.  So, I got it out, cleaned it up, added a few more things and Voila.  I consider myself something of a naturalist; look and find all sorts of things on the farm and read about them.  My sister calls me Mother Earth.

Had trouble photographing this guy, but the red changes colors from different angles.

Isn't he a beaut? Would have loved to see his wings extended, but this is the way I found him.

Screech Owl skull with his right ocular bone nearby.  They are really tiny under all those feathers.  The sound  they make is like a woman screaming.

Some type of shorebird or tern.

This is a baby snake skeleton which was nearly impossible to photograph.

So this is where it ended up; crowns my new ikea medical cabinet.

Now all I need to do is fill the cabinet.  

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pretty Thing

How is this for a post on a winter's day?  Such a pretty, silly thing.  I carried it to dine in Paris.  Small, though it came in a larger size, it was big enough to carry keys, cell phone, credit cards and a lipstick, perhaps an errant piece of silverware if one collected that sort of thing (and no, I don't, though Barbara Walters does when she visits the White House.)  

Can you imagine how long it took to make all those teeny ribbon roses?  Pretty, yes.  Silly, because with a wonderful, beloved country slaughtering dolphins and whales, well, it seems like such a paltry, silly thing.  Go Caroline!

Friday, January 10, 2014


My birthday and Christmas come close to each other.  My family has a hard time figuring out what to buy me.  Unless I specify what I want, well...  I get quite a few stinkers.  I only asked for two things.  I love this salt shaker snow globe from Anthropologie.  It was a gift to myself.

I am not like most folk/women.  No Manolo's or Jimmy Choo's for me.  PS ~ It doesn't work.

Anyone want a bung? It goes in a hole.

Tweetle, dee dee.

Not sure how I'll use this.  Hmmm.  Perhaps I'll climb a tree and peer down a knothole. Ideas?  Maybe I can sneak up on someone around a corner and watch them unawares.

Oh, I love this medical cabinet from ikea.  Trouble is, I need another one and it cost almost as much to ship as the item did. So, do I drive to Dallas and pick up another or just pay the damn shipping? 

I got other things I love and some stinkers too.  I don't wear jewelry, except for small earrings, so I was happy with these.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Aging Ain't For Sissies

"Go start the car, honey." 

As we age, we begin to forget things.  My proudest attribute, was my near photographic memory.  Notice, I said, was.  I am beginning to forget things. Drives me nuts; simple words, minutia, things I used to pride myself in knowing. If you remember, fun for me growing up was reading encyclopedias and medical books. I worry that I am in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's Disease.  So, I decided to turn to an expert.  He is a neuropsychologist; specializes in traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer's, stroke, blah, blah, blah.  

Dr. T. Ph.D., ABN,FACPN, I'd like to ask you a few questions.

Q - In terms we can understand, what is Alzheimer's Disease?
A - A disease of the brain that results in accumulating or progressive death of brain cells.
Q - What is the difference between Alzheimer's and dementia?
A - There are many diseases of the brain that result in progressive cell death - all of those are classified as a form of dementia.  Alzheimer's is the most common cause of dementia.
Q - Are they treated the same way?
A - Other than a few reversible causes of dementia (i.e. meds, depression, thyroid, etc.), there are no effective treatments that reverse the dementing process.Some significant progress has been made in the treatment of Alzheimer's, but Alzheimer's remains a progressive, virtually untreatable form of dementia. 
Q - Well that makes me feel a whole lot better.  What percentage of the population will get Alzheimer's?
A - On average, there is a 15 - 20% chance of elderly developing Alzheimer's in their lifetime.  This risk of Alzheimer's increases with age and certain genetic biomarkers, for example, there is almost a 50% chance of Alzheimer's in patients over age 80. "Christ, let me go look it up on my Power Point presentation." 
Q - zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz  He can't find his memory stick. Hah.  It's all right dear. I'll put you in a good home.  That is what he always tells me. Personally, I don't care if I get dementia at 80 (though I'm sure I will if I make it that far).  I do care if I get it now.  What is the earliest documented case of Alzheimer's?
A - Cases in patients as young as 20 that are undocumented with no confirmation by autopsy.
Q - What are the earliest signs to look for?
A - In Alzheimer's, it's memory loss.
Q - What kind?  Like punctuation, words, names? Oh, God.
A - Here is an example.  Alzheimer's patients forget whole experiences instead of not being able to recall specific details.
Q - Do you think I am showing signs of Alzheimer's?
A - You show normal age related forgetfulness which is different from Alzheimer's. (I didn't tell him I momentarily forgot how to recharge my camera battery the other day). If you forget parts of certain experiences or conversations and you know you forgot - you are probably okay.  If you don't remember and don't acknowledge you've forgotten, that is probably a concern.

Well, that's all I want to know. It's all a bloody crap shoot.  If you have a question, I'd be glad to ask Dr. T for you.  Meanwhile, it's been nice knowin' ya.