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

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

Hello Friends!

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

Donna Baker

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

In The Garden

Found another old fountain of a wee one riding on a dolphin.  I just love these types of things though they seem to be getting heavier and heavier.  This one just makes me smile.
As the summer wanes, I long to be outside again; it has been too hot, until tomorrow.  So, I will try and get my housework done today so I can enjoy my gardens.

And forget not that the earth
delights to feel your bare feet
and the winds long to play 
with your hair.

Khalil Gibran

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Just finished this book.  I really wanted to like it.  I read a Kirkus Review of it to see if I was missing something.  I can review it in one word.  Forgettable.  I wish I had my $25.00 back. Only thing good about it is the packaging.  Colorless is what the book is.  Just quoting Voltaire doesn't make one a philosopher.  I doubt I'll read anything else by Murakami.  Wish I could have gotten something from it because I rarely read fiction and am wading into it again.  I just finished The Goldfinch and found it just okay (would like my money back on that one too).  Couldn't finish The Paris Wife.  So, I hope my next book, The Alchemist, will be a good read.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


As you may remember, one of my favorite actors is Gael Garcia Bernal.  Type his name into upper left corner if you want to know more about this amazing man.  His latest starring film role is ROSEWATER, opening at the Telluride Film Festival this weekend.

Based on a true story, Jon Stewart wrote and directed the film.  The story leading up to the film is very compelling.  Can't wait to see it.  From Telluride it is on to Toronto film fest then for release in November.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My First Pomegranate

I've been taking care of this potted pomegranate for three years now and finally, it produced one this summer.  Just turning with its first blush.  I am tickled.

Did you know the pomegranate originated in Persia eons ago and spread throughout the Mediterranean region?  All parts of the plant were used - its rind was used as a suppository for birth control.  The plant, blended with mustard oil, was used for sagging breasts.  Who knew women had to worry about these things thousands of years ago.

The myth of Persephone prominently features the pomegranate.  Now you know.  Go to Logee's tropical plants for one of your own.  Mine has grown to over 6 feet tall and has beautiful red flowers in the spring. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Artsy Fartsy

Toilet paper roll art by a French artist - Junior Jacquet.  By definition, it is art.  So many definitions of the word, one would have to look at the etymology of the word art.  Let's just go with the Latin definition of art as a skill or craft.  
Artists have been creating since the dawn of man; containers used to hold paints date back 100,000 years.  I've read companies are doing away with the toilet paper rolls.  Guess this art will really be a rarity in eons to come. They'll be studying and describing it as a time when the world was wasteful which deeply touched the artist...

photograph taken by Mattieu Geichet

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tomato What?

I have had an abundance of tomatoes this summer.  So many in fact, I didn't know what to do with all of them.  Well, I decided to oven dry some of them which I've never done before.  The last photo is probably equivalent to one whole tomato.  What? I burned the first batch and nearly this next.  A bushel ends up being a handful. Supposedly, I can freeze these, then re-hydrate them in a jar of olive oil and herbs with garlic.  Not sure what to do with them then.  
Do any of you know how to use them? 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Styling At The Farm

If you've read my bio, you know how much I love Zaha Hadid and her designs.  Starchitect extraordinaire, she is a living legend.  Born in Iraq, she is known for her genius (and her suffer no fools personality).  Though known mostly for her architecture, she partnered with Rem Koolhaas to design shoes.  This Nova shoe is pretty incredible.  I can just see me stomping around the barnyard in them.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Existing On The Farm

We are having a cool spell with rain - very rare in these parts this time of year.  The greenhouse collapsed last winter and is in the process of a redo; not a very glamorous one I might add.  

I have been sleepy; a nap would keep me awake all night.  Sleepy or an existential crisis?  Am I living or existing?  I'm not sure.  I've been calling it the'troubles'.  A million things to do yet I don't want to do them. Maybe I shouldn't read about Sartre.  Sometimes I can be very impressionable.
By the way, I just finished reading The Goldfinch.  I liked it or I wouldn't have finished it, but found myself skimming it, then having to go back a re-read - not such a good thing.  My summary would be, What? Ten years? Next book in queue is a biography of Suzanne Valadon, artist extraordinaire.
Finally, my kids spend a lot of time on the web (too much if you asked me), but found this joke somewhere.  Though possibly a tad politically incorrect, it did make me grin. Oh those kids.

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


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


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


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


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.  

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.

Friday, April 25, 2014


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."