"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, October 14, 2017

Sisters


I've mentioned my sister from time to time.  We are polar opposites: she the prettier, more popular, outgoing and - older sister.  Those of you with one will understand; trailing behind like a puppy, wanting to play with her and her friends, a certain standing or hierarchy always awarded to the older sibling. We are only two years apart and shared a bedroom; we know each other like the back of our hand.

We spent many years apart, working and/or raising kids.  Now, we have more time to share.  We tell each other everything - she is my best friend and loves me more than anyone else in the world. I can't imagine her not being there for me.  She is the strong one.  Nobody can get one over on her.

This week has been a trial.  She went in for a CT scan of her liver and they saw something else on the other side.  After every type of scan, she has a large tumor on her adrenal gland above her kidney. It is very rare and after finally getting results from the PET scan yesterday, it is now a question of where to go.  I want her to go to MD Anderson.  She doesn't like the idea of going to Houston and would like to stay in OKC near her home, daughter and grands.  We'll see.  Meanwhile, I've been on the couch with a heating pad, nearly immobile with lower back disc thing, for a week.  As I've said several times before, sometimes you're the bug...

KK is "my north, my south, my east and west."

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Falling


Try as I might to get rid of stuff, sometimes I come across something I just have to have.  With flowers winding down and leaves starting to fall, I thought this little bike with basket would be cute by the porch this Christmas.  I decided I'd put little wrapped Christmas packages in the basket to display with my old sled and might just fill the basket with red apples.  So many cute things to do with it.  Well, at least that's how I convinced myself I needed it.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Rapture



Just in case you haven't heard, tomorrow is the Rapture.   I don't know about you, but it doesn't sound like something I'd be looking forward to.  

I've had this old 1942 print, called Rapture, for many years and it's going to the booth today.  Trying to make a little money on the hype.  I think there are even angels flying out of that speeding train. 


Anyway - it has been nice knowing you if it does happen tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Woke


Just in case you were wondering, or even had a fleeting cursory think about what I've been up to, well, I've been working on my magnum opus.


Just kidding.  I haven't had much to say.  I believe I have become a slug or one of the single-celled amoebas or some such thing.  Can't really even think of any accomplishments of late; just moving through the days in a daze.  Not that bad, but pretty bad.  


Okay, with the handful of brain cells I have left, I have been reading.  Most I can't finish, but I did immensely enjoy Al Franken's latest.  He is so funny and though I thought I knew all about American politics, I do not.  Imagine Mitch McConnell lunching with Al and laughing so hard milk shoots out of his nose.  Or Harry Reid with his head thrown back; his guffaws heard down the halls of congress.

I just started Sally Quinn's autobiography last night and can tell I am going to love it.

So, I am so 'woke'.  Woke you ask?  Yes, I've heard it used and wanted to ask what that meant, but thought better of it.  It is a new term (probably old) being used on social media.  It is an American vernacular word, or slang for being aware, as in socially aware.  Cool, groovy, awesome, whatever.




Thursday, August 24, 2017

Gangbusters


My little pearl sized tomatoes did very well this summer.  The plants were as large as regular sized tomato plants.  The ones to the sides aren't really very large for comparison.  I learned a lot about my raised garden beds this summer.  The tomatoes toppled over the edge and were on the ground; hard for the mowers.  I might change their positions next year due to the amount of sun, on the other hand never mind, as they would be much too hard to move.  I do love having them at waist height and no weeds.

The mornings are cool and dewy.  It has been a very rare August - cooler and rain.  Wonder what that portends for winter?  I'm just going to enjoy fall, though, can you believe that Christmas stuff is already on the shelves at stores?

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Just Because


I really like this video, so here it goes.  Sorry about the ad at the first.  You have to pay to have them removed.  I'd put this on full screen for your viewing pleasure.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Eclipse And Crystals


My three pound Lemurian laser point quartz crystal.  All my crystals will be getting cleansed today during the eclipse.  These last months I've been immersed in crystals.  Can't read enough about them. I guess I've become a real rockhound.  But, so much more.

It started with trying to find healing crystals when my daughter went blind.  I had heard of Reiki, Chakras, Ayurveda, Feng Shui, etc.; thousands of years of history using million year old crystals.
I was a skeptic, as I always am, and realize most others will be too. Just let me mention titanium, quartz, lithium and even cobalt 59, whereby when it is changed at the atomic level, becomes cobalt 60, the same used in radiation therapy.

I'll step into it slowly, but let me leave you with this thought, from no less than the most brilliant mind in recorded history, Nikola Tesla.

"In crystal we have a pure evidence of the existence of a formative life principle, and though in 
spite of everything we cannot understand the life of a crystal, it is nonetheless a living being." 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Iron & Wine - Time After Time



If I only knew how to add more of his songs to this post.  Sam Beam is a polymath; he can do just about anything.  Writer, musician, film maker.  I'd like to go on and on.  You can watch a tiny desk concert of his at NPR on youtube. Or you can watch other videos of his there.  Or, you can listen to my favorite song of his, Swans And The Swimming.  His new album drops next week.

PS ~ I love his video with the flamenco dancers, something called A Boy With A Coin.  I am agog at those whom are genius at their crafts.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Weight Of The World


When world events become too much to bear, I often find solace in nature. I am reminded of what wonders we can still find.  Ashes And Snow,  the dvd, is mind blowing and restoreth my faith in Mother Earth.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Quakes, Tornadoes and Fish Kills, Oh My


All that, and more.  My beautiful summer garden is on the wane and I check each day to see what is still faring well.


The echinacea is fodder for the birds now.  The orioles certainly do like those pin sharp seeds and that is all they are getting as I had to stop feeding the birds due to the rats.


Love black-eyed Susans.  They return each year like gangbusters.


Though the phlox are losing many petals, they still smell wonderful and the butterflies love them.



These flowers grow all over.  I haven't a clue what they are.  The first year I pulled them all up and saw one I had missed had snapdragon-like flowers climbing up the stalk.  They also come in many different colors, so I left them all this year.


So, summer is hurrying by.  It has been a strange one.  Oh, by the way, in the past week, there have been 1500 earthquakes (fracking.)  A fairly strong tornado passed within blocks of my first child's house and did quite a lot of damage.  Buildings destroyed and trees down and people hurt at 1:30am. Sirens didn't even go off.  Daughter's house was spared though only five blocks away. The tornado stayed on the ground for seven miles. It is only the third tornado in August since 1950 in Tulsa.  Seems it was caused by unseasonably cooler temps.  I'm not complaining about the cooler temps as August here is usually miserably hot, in triple digits.  Global warming? Climate change?



Oh yes, and the fish kill on the lake.  I saw a dead fish off my dock.  Then another and another.  Over about two days, every fish in our lake was floating.  Small fry and huge fish as long as my arm.  Everywhere.  Hundreds.  The smell was horrid. The wildlife department came out and tested.  Seems the perfect storm of events occurred.  Low oxygen levels, number of waterfowl and high temperatures and whatever else, caused it.  I doubt there are any left.  At least the turtles and waterfowl weren't affected.  It was terrible.




Sunday, August 6, 2017

History


I love history (with the exception of political science.) I didn't love it in junior high school, but find it so fascinating now. Love geography too which is very much entwined with history.

I have been reading about the Library of Alexandria.  So much on the web about it.  The history of the world was stored there on papyrus.  Great scientific works, writer's writings, maps of early earth, astrological data and theory, art and works from the greatest minds of all time. One historian wrote the great flood happened 430,000 years ago.  Much of the early writings, which eventually became the bible and qua ran and torah, were lost in the destruction of the library. Mind boggling what all was lost.  


This is an early depiction of Sappho. Most of the nine volumes of her writings were lost in the conflagration.


Just a few scraps remain.  Not only a genius, her writings/poems were legend and she put it to music - the original Joni Mitchell and Laura Nyro.

The writing that remains, speaks volumes.  I loved this line she wrote.

"Although they are/only breath,
words/ which I command/
are immortal".

And I just had to add a couple more pictures.  Hmmmmm....... I can't quit.



Just unimaginable.



What remains.




Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Dew Drop In


I got nothing.  Except these.  I've told you about my slight aversion to large, tropical flowers.  I don't know why.  The hibiscus are coming out next year.  They simply take up all the room in the little garden outside of my bedroom.  They do not delight me.  I am thinking of replacing them with miniature roses.  
This plant is growing on me.  Each flower is striking in its color scheme.  I think I'll let it stay.


We are in the hot and dry part of summer.  Haven't had rain for a long time.  With it too hot to enjoy being outside during the day, I am surprised to see dew in the mornings.  The dew point makes it hotter during the day.


Still fighting the rats.  They will not touch the poison in the locked feeders.  I have just about given up.  One has crawled up into my raised planter and tunneled around.  Just about killed all of my vegetables.  It has even been eating my teeny tomatoes.  I set a trap in it, but it didn't take the bait.
But the days march on.  Summer is flying by and the grands are not happy about having four more weeks before school starts.  Son moved back last week and is nearby.  We found out they are having a little boy near Christmas.  I think they are shocked as they were sure it was another little girl. Nevertheless, they will be thrilled when he gets here.

Hope your summer is going swimmingly.


Friday, July 14, 2017

Lily Dale


Or another place I'll never go to.  Lily Dale, NY, City Of Light, birthed the Spiritualist movement in the 1800's.  I heard about Lily Dale a long time ago and it piqued my interest.

Those wacky Victorians, without television nor computers or iPhones took to soothsayers, crystal balls and ghosties.  


Of course, if they went to Lily Dale, they didn't need to communicate with modern day conveniences.


Here is the former tree where mystical things happened.  It became a stump and today is a fenced off cement platform.  


Lily Dale was a popular destination, as it is today.  About 250 year round residents live in cute Victorian houses.  Today, it is inhabited by mystics, mediums and clairvoyants.  In summer, they open their community to thousands of visitors for readings and shopping, programs etc.  Famous psychics and even Deepak Chopra has spoken there.  Signs hang on the doors when the mediums are taking customers.


Before you scoff, here is one story.  Lucille Ball, who lived nearby in Jamestown, went for readings as did many other famous people.  While still young she was told she would meet a Cuban man and become a famous comedian one day.


Residents must go through rigorous testing and study for two years before they are allowed to practice in Lily Dale.  Wouldn't it be fun to visit with them? Many 'speak' to the spirits around you and give you messages from beyond.  One woman spoke of a childhood friend speaking to her from an unseen spirit world.

Myself, I think I'd rather hear about other things, like past lives and future events rather than spirits hovering around me.  There is lots of info on the net about Lily Dale.  Have a look if you are interested.  I find it fascinating, but will never go to western NY.  Too many other places I'd choose, but probably won't ever get to see either.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Mother Nature


I am Mother Nature - interested in any and everything, but nature is far and above all else.  I have a robin and a young squirrel that have befriended me.  Every evening, the robin comes and sits on the fence near me.  All day long this squirrel comes.  I can even call him now and he comes.


Of course, the weenies come running and chase him off whenever they see him, but he comes right back, peeking around the plants and such, stays only about two feet away.


He'll go off a little way, then come right back.






He looks in my windows and makes noises if I'm in the house.  I was on the dock feeding the geese and turtles and looked down and he was a foot away from me.  I had the fleeting thought that he's getting pretty fearless; a vision of him jumping in my hair or face with those little cat-like claws and had to shoo him back.  

I finally figured why the robin comes in the evening.  He's looking for some pecans too.  I threw a few pieces down and he immediately jumped down and ate them up.  Just hope Squirrely doesn't bite the hand that feeds him.  

PS ~ I have been grabbed and bitten by a squirrel before and the claws and teeth hurt.  It bit my fingernail too.

Monday, July 10, 2017

You Dirty Rat

No, it's not about Trump.  I don't want to compliment him.


Still trying to catch rats.  I've spent over $100. trying to put a dent in the rat populations around the city house.  I had field rats the cats would bring in at the farm, but never anything like this. These are tunnelers and climbers and evidently, friendly little shits.  And, by the way, I read they like that too.  I never had to pick up after the dogs at the farm, but it is nearly on a daily basis in the city.  Geez Louise.

This little machine is supposed to electrocute them.  Haven't gotten one.  I'm thinking about taking it back since it was $50.00.  I'll believe anything.  Seems the varmints are phobic about new things.  Problem is, I don't want to leave it on during the day as my weenies might get their noses fried.  I finally purchased two more enclosed units with poison and placed them around the sides of the house past the fence, so the weenies can't get to it.  I'm nearly out of options.  I'll check the feeders in a couple of days to see if they have eaten any of the bait.  These little critters are pretty smart.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Done For Another Year


Went to the farm for the fourth.  Such a different year in weather.  Lots of rain, but we did get in a bonfire and fireworks.  I stayed in the house with baby and didn't get pictures of the display.  The fields were full of purple loosestrife, but just a few wild plums and blackberries this year.


Since Bella and I drove the Ranger through the garage wall, knocking it off the concrete slab, the littles have had to be happy driving the lawn mowers around the place.  It seems to appease them, though they are always asking Nonna to drive them around the farm.


Ollie caught the first fish; it is always a competition, especially if one gets a bass and the other doesn't.


And, Oliver almost caught the biggest fish when I saw him looking and tugging for his hook and bait.  Ollie STOP.


Sweet Wonder Woman, Bella, is still at the age where she doesn't care about her hair or dress.  I asked her if she was wearing deodorant or a bra yet.  She was rather insulted.


The kids built teepees with leftover bois d'arc posts, also known as Osage Orange.  During the old west days, settlers used bois d'arc wood for fencing in cattle and many of the trees still grow along fence lines.  Speaking of cattle, my husband got two young heifers to fatten up for fall sale.  They were only there one week before cattle rustlers cut the fence in three places.  Problem was, the young cows are so spooky, the rustlers couldn't rustle them.  We found them nearly two miles down the road  days later.


Though rain was threatening and the fishing wasn't very good because of all the rain, the grandkids had a good time.  Even bigfoot couldn't dampen the little's time at the farm.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Hollyhocks And Rat Catching


I've never had Hollyhocks before so I should be grateful.  To the naked eye, these look black.  My iPhone camera found some color.  This is not a color I would have chosen, but it's what I ended up with. Whatever.

Now, I need some advice from my English friends.  In the states, we all covet an English garden.  My take is that for the most part, it is mass plantings and correct me if I am wrong.  I am thrilled with mine, except for one thing.  Besides the gophers and moles, I am now over-run with Norway rats.  Gray with rounded noses, shorter tail and ears and not as large as brown rats, they are adorable, and very friendly I might add.  I have had to move the bird feeders down next to the lake.  The rats eat the seed and try to climb the poles and jump from tree limbs etc.

I have fed birds for forty years.  It is a joy.  Google says I have to get rid of bird feeders and clear out all foliage.  WTF?  I quit filling the feeders, but I'm not mowing/clearing out my gardens.  I've thought about a bb gun, tried traps and even went to buy a humane trap.  I couldn't kill them up close and looking at me.  Poisons are out because of the dogs.  

They've had three cases of plague next-door in New Mexico and with all these rats....  What to do?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

What The Heck


I thought I had uploaded/downloaded a video before, but tried everything thrice to get it to work.  Seems like 1 minute and 6 seconds is too long to add to blogger.  

Anyway.... I watched this second hatch of sparrows leave the nest yesterday.  Mom and Dad both joined in to coax them out.  Kind of like potty training - exasperating for them.

This was the last one.  So much cheeping and calling from the family, it finally decided to fly.

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.