"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

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Citrus Is Coming To Town


The citrus is tucked away for the winter.  I'll worry about them the entire time.  I heat the greenhouse with a propane heater and backup electric heater, but alas, the propane will run out and/or a terrible bout of cold will descend, and they will get nipped (or even worse).  And that is with me tending it.  With my husband watching over it, well, I am definitely worried this winter.  The plants are my pride and joy.


My cup runneth over this year with my tangerines.  I just sent my last one with my baby granddaughter, Penny Lane.  She was here for the weekend and loved them.  They are just the sweetest ever.  So good.


These are some of my oranges.  They are turning early this year.  Well, I guess not.


Some of my ruby red grapefruit.  


My Buddha's Hand citron.  The oldest known cultivated citron, the smell is of heaven.  Truly a perfume like no other.  It is used for the rind and candied.


And of course, this is always a result of the move.  Twice a year, it causes quite a row with my husband.  He throws a hissy fit moving them.  They do have large, long thorns and I planted them in large pots.  Hey, I thought more fruits, but the plants grew very large and heavy and we have to use a hand truck to move them.  I didn't know.  I asked a local nursery if they wanted the huge ones and they said no.  I couldn't believe it.  My ponderosa lemon is from stock that was from a 150 year old tree.


But, the reward is great.  This one didn't get far.  Truly sweet as tangerine honey.  And, if I get a chance to find someone to build a custom greenhouse at the city house, most, but the largest trees, will be coming with me.

I need to add that most of my stock came from Logee's Greenhouse in Connecticut.  They are a huge nursery and you should check out their catalog or go online.  They have so much.  Last year I grew ginger and turmeric.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Autumn Has Arrived


Autumn has come about a month late.  Maybe a little more.  Climate change deniers have an agenda; whether man-made or natural, it is here.  It was in the fifties with a strong wind and misting rain.  Good weather for a drive.  I wish the photos were better and the color was more intense than my phone camera could take.


I have so many beautiful pics I don't want to bore you, so I am showing just a few.




This tree was stunning, just play like I cropped out the car roof.


We decided to drive by the Philbrook Museum, but low and behold, I could not get very good shots.  This house was owned by the Phillips family, of Phillips Oil fame, and I'm told they only lived there about a year or so, then donated it to the city of Tulsa, which turned it into a museum.  This house is two stories and goes on for blocks.  I cannot imagine living in such a big house.  It has stained glass windows and is really very pretty.  It is on several acres, about twenty, and the grounds were gorgeous.  Giant oaks and formal gardens.  


There were many entrances, but we didn't get out to go inside.  We'll save that for another day.





The fencing and gates around the property were pretty.






The best part though, was shopping at an outdoor mall with my daughter and granddaughter Isobel.
There are animated little displays around the mall, even a cute Santa cottage with dutch doors and Mr. And Mrs. Claus.  We didn't go on Black Friday, but on Sunday and what luck - barely any shoppers there.  I'd better get busy as I've only just started shopping for Christmas.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

To Bathe Or Not To Bathe


I've been living at the city house for a year now.  For two reasons, I had never taken a bath in this tub.

First of all, it is so much easier and quicker to hop into the shower.  This tub is about 5 x 6 feet and a spa tub big enough for three people.  Now, I've never been to a spa, nor have I ever had a massage.  The thought of lying naked on a table with a stranger rubbing me - well, it's not going to happen.

So, the other evening I thought I would take my first bath.  I gathered everything I could remember (shampoo etc.), put my phone next to the tub, made a drink (it was wretched, sweet and syrupy) and as a last thought, turned off the lights even though the window is frosted.  I feared the neighbors might see my silhouette in the window.

Just about everything that could have gone wrong did.  I had put some lavender/chamomile bath salts in the tub (very slippery, cause it sounds better than slimy) and added bubble bath just for fun. When the bubbles covered the little round blowholes, I started pushing and turning buttons.  Nothing seemed to work then finally, an explosion of bubbles and water from the ceiling to the cabinets and walls, mirrors and floors. What a mess.

I used to take long baths in a soaking tub at the farm.  I don't know how I did it.  This tub is basically on the floor and the bottom is hard.  I wasn't feeling it.  It was boring. Next, the sun dropped like a rock and it began to get dark.  Fast.  I did have a nightlight on but it was hard to see.  That was the last straw, then it hit me, how to get out.  There was nothing I could put my feet against to get out.  Bubbles all over me.  I'd wipe my hands and no bubbles would come off.  Glue bubbles.  So I decided to drain the tub.  Bubbles still wouldn't come off.  

I thought about calling 911 and asking for women firefighters to come help me out of this tub, but didn't.  I thought of sliding over the side like a seal, but feared breaking my neck.  

I finally got out, but I don't think I'll be taking a bath in this tub for a long time, if ever.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Oliver Sacks


I've just finished reading ON THE MOVE and GRATITUDE by Oliver Sacks.  I enjoyed them immensely.  The first, an autobiography and the second he wrote after his terminal diagnosis.

What a privilege for a glimpse into this man's life - the kind of man rarer than rare; a bright star in the sky inhabited by other incredible people circling his orbit.  Sacks was kind and empathic, with a profound curiosity and deep love of the world around him.  Though we have lost his genius, we still have thousands of his writings and studies. In one line in the book, he told of a visit with an old friend and described it as, "the flowering of the moment".  I'll never forget his happy soul.

 In this new age of Dumb and Dumber, it was a pleasure to know about him.  The old book at the top is OLIVER TWIST by Charles Dickens.  It is very old and its pages brown and brittle.  I bought it for $3. at the mall as a gift for my grandson Oliver.  I think I'll have to have his mother read it to him as he isn't called Ollie the Destroyer for nothing.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Help And Hope


This is something I found again not long ago.  Though it was popular in the sixties, it was actually written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann.  

If you are like me, it will take a long time to move beyond this election - our dreams dashed.  Hope this might help.

DESIDERATA

Go placidly amidst the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others
even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.  Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of years;
gracefully surrender the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield
you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

America's Arab Spring

Half of Americans wanted change.  

We saw how that worked in country after country in the Middle East. 

I am deeply ashamed that a fascist like Trump has become President Of The United States of Amerika.

Fuck you Trump. Fuck you. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Sitting Ducks


Nineteen - 19 - quakes this past week, all due to fracking.  Last night was a big one.  It shook much longer and harder than last weeks'. I kept waiting for it to stop shaking, the noise and popping and cracking.  

After the one last week, the Corporation Commission shut down 37 disposal wells near the quake site (there are thousands) and shut down drill sites within a 6 mile radius.  

This quake happened in Cushing, where a major pipeline runs and the Keystone Pipeline from Canada was going to hook up on its path to the Gulf.  They also store about 10% of the US stores of crude oil in Cushing.  Major spot.  There, the electricity went out when the shaking began.  Partial, old buildings collapsed and they are assessing the damage today.  Glad winter hasn't arrived yet.

I don't know what the Corp. Comm. will do after this larger one.  As I mentioned before, the industry slipped this by us.  We had no idea what fracking entailed nor the results of it.  I don't think we could have stopped them anyway as our state's economy depends on the oil and gas industry.  Civil services, education and on and on are hurting from the collapse of gas prices.


Meanwhile Boo the cat, wanted out of the house.  All the animals were aware of the quake.  He's been in the city for nearly 3 weeks as he was sick and needed attending.  He's an outdoor cat, but I've been too afraid to let him outside as he isn't familiar with the territory and might get lost.  He is going home tomorrow.  He has clawed up the edges of my new powder blue modern sofa and OMG the cat box thing has been horrible.


Though we've not had a freeze yet, the cottonwood leaves are falling - all over the lawn and flower beds. Last week I had to catch a rat.  This week, a gopher has made a hill next to my goldfish pond and the sand has sifted in the pond.  That, and the filter/pump froze up.  I, who can tell the difference between a flat or phillips head screw driver, but that is it, had to take the whole filter and motor apart to clean out all the sludge and matter.  Even with tweezers.  Aye yay yay.  

Oh how I wish I was the Queen or at least could afford assistants.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Daydreams



Found these little dolly ice skates to decorate for Christmas.  They had another pair a little bit larger, but I figured I didn't need two pairs.  Then again, when am I ever going to see them again?

It is a dreamy Saturday; a perfect day outside.  The little flock of sparrows born this spring in the birdhouses, are still together (isn't that something) and are feeding just out the window on the porch. They have made quite a mess with all the seed, but that is all right. 
The geese offspring are still with their parents as are the duck siblings.  Who knew they would stay together so long?
They are all waiting for me to come feed them; they even come in the mornings when they see the shades rise.  

I tend to live in the moment, not in the past, and yet, I love old things.  Go figure.

Friday, November 4, 2016

VOTE


I voted today.  I've never been so affected by a campaign before.  

If you think this is just about America, it is not.  One only has to think of FDR to know this concerns the whole world [our Earth].

I voted by absentee ballot.  I had planned to go back to the farm next Tuesday, but my husband is going to have a surgical procedure Monday and can't travel for 24 hours.  I've been messing with this thing all week, calling here and there.  The ballot arrived with a long list of do's and don'ts; I had to go find a notary republic to notarize the thing before I mailed it.  I was going to overnight it, but the post office assured me it would arrive at the County Election Board by Monday.  

God help us.


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

And Another Quake


I couldn't sleep last night and was in bed reading.  About 11:30, I heard what sounded like a strong wind outside my bedroom door which moved around the house and went down the other side.  The cat looked up and I knew what was happening within a second.  Cracking and popping.  The last one was a 5.8.  This one was a 4.5.  I don't know if this crack was there before or not.  

Remember, very few in Oklahoma have earthquake insurance.  It is too high and the deductibles are 20%.  

Damn frackers.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Lady Of The Lake


Another holiday, come and gone.  At the farm, we never had a trick or treater.  So different in the city.

I fixed up this booger and hoped it wouldn't scare the little kids too much.  I had a storyline to go with her.  I even bought dried duck and chicken feet at the pet store (they look so gross.)

With a few gallons of candy, I waited and waited.  I was shocked by how late they began to arrive.
I had planned on taking pictures of the littles, but opening the door, trying to keep a biting weenie and cat back, holding the tub of candy, it turned out I didn't get a single pic.  At times it felt like the zombies from The Walking Dead, with arms outstretched, all coming to the candy tub at once.  I don't remember when I stopped trick or treating, but I was surprised how many kids were in their teens.  They said they had heard there would be clowns on the prowl that night.  Evidently, scarier than my Lady. 

I had planned to tell the older kids about the lady that crawls crab-like, out of the huge culverts that drain into the lake; a labyrinth that runs under the streets, to get the bad kids that throw rocks and sticks at the waterfowl in the lake.  The dry duck feet were for those kids.  Didn't even get to tell my tale.

I served up full sized candy bars and large boxes of candy too.  One teenaged treater even hugged and kissed me.  I thought I would discourage the tricksters as I have had to yell twice at kids chasing the babies and throwing rocks at the geese and ducks.  But, instead, I think the trick was on me; I started something and may be mobbed next year.

I haven't been to the farm in more than two weeks and my husband arrived this morning with a large box.  It was full of bills, catalogs and magazines.  Not how I wanted to start my day.  It felt like a belated trick.

Hope your first of November will be a good one.  I shopped yesterday and all the Christmas decorations are out in the stores.  What happened to autumn?  We haven't had it here yet; it has been very warm and windy.  

Monday, October 31, 2016

Scary Recipe


Here's a scary recipe, courtesy Honey Boo Boo - her family's favorite passgedi.



Let me know if it's any good.


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sunday Sunday




What a fall we've had.  Warm and dry.  Very few leaves have started to turn as evidenced by this weeping willow over the  lake.  I certainly hope it doesn't bode for a hard winter.  When I got up this morning, it was clear, then a fog rolled in.  Unusual.  It is cooler though today.




I planted a small pencil holly this morning. I love that they keep their tall narrow shape and do so without any pampering.  The glass wind chimes I hung this summer were taken down and packed away for next spring.  This wreath on the patio was coming down too, but I spied Jenny Wren perched on it - checking it out.  They love to overnight in little pockets and just as I expected, she hopped right into the middle hole, so I'll probably leave it up for her this winter.




I can't remember if I showed you this book.  I ordered it from Barnes and Noble.  Supposed to be a southern novel, in the vein of Faulkner and others.  The author is from Montana??  How can you be a southern writer from Montana?  It was worth the read, which for me is a thumbs up.  I think you know from past reviews, I like books you can't put down - want my head to explode and I'm more often than not disappointed.



Since I have found so few books of fiction that take my breath away, I've been looking for more non-fiction books.  I hope some of these will take me down a new path.  Does anyone know a good biography of Eleanor Roosevelt and also Theodore Roosevelt?  

I just finished binge watching House Of Cards last night.  Boy, can I pick em - and at the same time of the coming election. Will have to find another series to start watching.  Any suggestions?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Superstitious Wishes


I have saved many of our annual wishbones from Thanksgivings past.  Why?  I don't know.


Guess you could make a sculpture or art piece from them.


Or perhaps, display them in a pretty tableau - maybe even paint them with gold leafing, though I prefer the natural bone.


Well, I wondered how the wish part came about.  The wishbone is a furcula, or 'little fork' in Latin.  In the 1400's, it was used as a method of divination.  A goose's wishbone was dried overnight after a feast of some kind.  The elder studied it the next morning and would predict whether the winter would be severe or mild, dry or wet.  It was also an object of superstition used by warriors on whether or not to wage wars and carried as talismans.

All good, but I wanted to know where the wish came in.  As you know, the persons hold on to the furcula (I like wishbone better) and the one receiving the larger part makes the wish.  This practice developed in the 17th century and at the time was called a merrythought.  

I'd hate to pull apart an ostrich's furcula.  Ick.

Obviously, it is a rainy day here.  I guess I am pretty superstitious, the yin of wishes. The number thirteen - well I never schedule anything on that date.  I'm sure there are many more that give me pause, but I can't think of any right now.

Do you have any superstitions?  I'd like to know.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Road Not Taken


We own a mountain - at least part of one.  Pine Mountain is beautiful countryside, wooded mostly with oak and pine, and also has a lake at the bottom.  Limestone bluffs are full of fossils from an ocean that covered this land eons ago. Also, many arrowheads and spear points and even a carved stone button from Caddoan Indians that lived here for centuries.  We have two old log cabins, mostly down except for the stone foundations.  We've dug up pottery and flower bulbs from the settlers of long ago. 

I humored my husband and went with him to his "Cabinette" on the mountain this weekend.  He is in preparation for the coming black powder deer hunting season which begins next weekend.  He and his pals all come for a ten day hunt, one of two in the fall.  It is his favorite place in the world.  He would rather go here than go to Paris or Rome.

Me, I avoid it at all costs.  We definitely go down different roads.


Here is what they call the shitter.  It is a nightmarish place with cobwebs, rodent droppings, you can imagine.  And, guess who had to go there?  The toilet seat was full of mosquitos, but I didn't see any rats or snakes.  OMG!


The 'cabinette' is basically a shanty with an old school bus at the end.  That is where the snorers sleep. They have a kitchen and all the modernities of home including satellite tv and internet hookup. It is awful and you couldn't pay me to ever sleep there.

Would you believe these guys are all professionals; doctors, bankers, etc.?



This part of the state is hillbilly country - real Deliverance kind of place. This little gem was on the road a few miles away.  Now you know why I like the city.  I'm not showing the confederate flags, etc.  Though I'll go fishing, or used to, I only go to ride the ATV's around the mountainside.


We stopped by the feed store on the way home.  All the baby fowl are back.  These baby turkeys, my favorite fowl, are sleeping.  We have no more fowl at the farm.


It was 90 degrees this day.  This box (land) turtle has been scanning the patio for caterpillars and such.  He'll go dig a hole and hibernate soon.


And this last little something at the farm, before I head back to the city.  This was the only day that wasn't filled with errands; MRI's, x-rays and a sick cat to the vet.  I'll have to take him back to the city with me to keep an eye on him.  It is very hard going back and forth, my truck filled coming and going.

PS ~ Since Boo, who is white, is going back to my all white city house, I decided to try and give him a bath last night as the outdoor cats like to roll in dust and dirt.  First and last time, with a few puncture wounds to boot.  Ever try and give a cat a bath?

The first picture reminded me of my favorite poem by Robert Frost.  I memorized it many years ago and couldn't remember it verbatim, which was unsettling.  So here it is in toto.  I hope I don't forget it again.

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN

Two roads diverged in a wood,
and sorry I could not travel both
and be one traveler, long I stood
and looked down one as far as I could
to where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair, 
and having perhaps the better claim,
because it was grassy and wanted wear;
though as for that the passing there 
had worn them both about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
in leaves no steps had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
somewhere ages and ages hence:
two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
and that has made all the difference.


Sunday, October 9, 2016

Saving The Monarch


I planted milkweed this spring for the Monarch butterflies, to see if it would work as fuel for their long flight to the mountains in Mexico. Sure enough, they've been lined up this week, waiting their turn to get whatever it is they get from the plant.

I have seen them flying south before a cold front at the farm.  Legions of Monarchs from high specks in the sky to ground level.  It was beautiful. 

It is hard to fathom how they know where to go, especially since they weren't born in Mexico, have no weathermen to warn of an impending cold front and their return is tenuous at best as they end up on many windshields, etc.  

The winds were fierce this week and with those thin wings acting as sails, they often had to fly past the milkweed and come back to them with the wind at their backs.  I don't know how they battled those winds.

Tulsa just recently built butterfly way stations on an piece of land.  Patches of wildflowers and milkweed to rest and feast upon before their long flight home. Deforestation and environmental practices have depleted their numbers.  I'm going to plant more milkweed next year.  

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Beyond Low


 

I try to steer clear of politics and religion.  This person has all of the character traits that I abhor in a human being.

Please, use your own blog to defend this man if you must.  I don't want to know who supports him.

PS ~ last night my grandkids spent the night with me.  Bella, 9 years old, told me that Trump said to grab girls by the vagina.  How low can it go?  Not much lower.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Look Away


A blog friend mentioned she hasn't seen my booth at the antique mall, so better look away now if you scare easily.  Here are some pics from yesterday before I started moving things around.  It is full and thus, looks a mess.  I am basically just moving things around.  Sell a few things - add some new things.  Aye yay yay.

 I had an old floral hooked rug on the floor, but it was getting trashed so I took it out.  The antique tulip quilt and the homespun twin bed sized fabric are the only textiles left in the booth.  I've gone in several times to find them balled up on the floor.  The quilt is from the 1800's and in good condition as is the homespun.

I thought they would have flown out the door, but they've been there from day one.  The cradle did finally sell, but sat there for months.


Some booth owners paint their booths.  I am not kidding.  Yes, I would have liked another color than brown, but not going to happen.  I love the spare and styled booths, but I figure, with the rent, the 10 - 15% commission and card fees, if it isn't in there, it's not going to sell.


I've got some nice old baskets, but haven't sold a one.  Same with pottery.  I have a Clarice Cliff plate and a Wade pottery pitcher and don't think I could give them away.  In fact, I brought the Wade piece home as it is in perfect condition and they will break it.  

The most expensive things in the booth are the fairy painting and the french trumeau mirror which you can't see very well.  Pretty much, I am trying to get what I paid back, or even at a loss.  But, some things, the rarest, I'm not going to budge on.


Aye yay yay.  I've had several 25% off sales, but I didn't sell more, so I haven't had one in a couple of months.


There you have it.  Almost everything in the booth is old.  This mall is in an old supermarket and is huge.  I realize that means the money is stretched out over 300 booths, but it also gets lots of traffic.  From what I can tell, it is mostly the garage sale stuff that sells.  Like I said earlier, it is a new day in the antique biz.  I need a larger booth, but am not going to pay the higher cost.  So, it is just going to have to look junky. And, I've had many items disappear and broken.  

The only thing worse would be to have to take all of this back to the farm where there is more  waiting.