"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, October 28, 2015

A Halloween Treat

This is one of my all time favorite movies.  Not sure why, but the era, cinematography, story line and suspense all play into it.  And, it's supposedly a true story.  The author/director appears in the first scene.  If you know how to do Netflix or streaming (I don't even know what it is) you can probably find it or you can go to Amazon to buy it.  Great  movie for Halloween.

Monday, October 26, 2015

It's Not Funny

How did I get so old so fast?  I am crestfallen.  Today I forgot the four digit code number for my debit card.  Twice.  I was shocked (and somewhat embarrassed.) It is gone; erased from my memory.  I cannot recall it and will have to go to the bank to get a new card and number.  The bank can't even tell me what it is.  

It's been nice knowing you and isn't this little girl the cutest?

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Product Review

You ready for this?  

I'm pretty picky about my feet.  I have every implement imaginable in triplicate.  I don't go to the nail salons: I prefer to do them myself (and fear infections etc. from the salons.)  I simply can't stand for my heels to get callouses and cracking.  After a summer of flip flops, they get pretty dry even with constant attention and said accoutrement and lotions.

Here is a new item I have found.  It can be purchased in the Soft Surroundings catalog and/or spas.  Using 17 different "natural extracts" including lemon, apples, clematis, chamomile and more.  It even listed ivy.  

Well it must have been poison ivy. 

Don't look at the next picture if you are squeamish or phobic about feet.  I'll skip down.

It's not my foot, I swear, it's my friend Mary Kay's.  Okay, just kidding.  Not only did my feet peel, the skin literally sloughed off, some in sheets.  They felt like a Shaggy Bark Elm tree trunk.  It has been a week and a half already.  Even the skin on top of my feet are peeling.  

Anyway, this stuff works.  I accused my sister of doing it on purpose (getting it for me and not telling me what to expect.)  But, all in all, after all is said and done, my feet are like baby feet.  Just make sure and pick a time when you can wear socks for a couple of weeks.  Wouldn't it have been funny to go to a salon with these feet?

And, you thought you were going to see a delicious treat or fall beautifulness.

Monday, October 19, 2015


I think I just read a guy book.  Another blog listed this as one of the best books of the year.  What?  Argh!

Horrid is my review with the most obnoxious style of writing I've read.  I hurried out to Barnes and Noble for this?  So please, tell me the three best books you've ever read.  I want my head to explode.  I am batting near zero of late and need some good books to read for the coming winter.  MFK Fisher is next up.  I'm trying to read Michael Chabon's THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER AND CLAY and I'm not sure I'll make it through the entire book.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Puttering Around

Or a fine fall morning; just enough cool and lots of sunshine.  Found a few last tomatoes that the deer haven't eaten.  Love them.

The acorns are in abundance this year and the deer are coming right up to the house eating them.  They are also crunching underfoot on all the patios and walkways.  Slightly annoying.

The pomegranates are just about ripe for the picking.  In fact, I don't even know how to tell if they are ripe or not.

After nearly losing my entire greenhouse full of citrus last winter due to the propane tank running out, a few are fruiting.  Here is a Buddha's Hand citron, the oldest known citrus going back thousands of years.

Here are the turmeric and ginger plants I started in early summer.  The turmeric is nearly three feet tall.  I don't like the taste of turmeric, though I take it in capsule form daily.  My daughter will get those.  I am interested to see how many tubers have formed in both.

There are so many frogs and toads this year.  From the size of your pinkie fingernail to bull frog size, these little guys have taken over my goldfish pond.  They hide under the lily pads or sun themselves on top.

They are actually very stealthy - cat like in the way they stalk their prey.  Horseflies and insects buzz around for a sip of water.  The frogs sit and wait, but sometimes they move like a cat then leap.  A wasp landed on me and I slapped it and it landed in the water.  It began to swim when a toad ate it.  No reaction from the toad.  Didn't blink an eye nor move its mouth.  I guess the wasp didn't sting it or else the toad is immune to its sting.  

I think these tree frogs are my favorite.  Not quite two inches in length, they camouflage themselves to what they rest upon.  
Well, there you have it.  Not even a cute toad limerick.  Just a beautiful morning.

Monday, October 12, 2015

New Back Porch

 Here are a few pics I took this weekend at the new city house.  Remember I had a list of things I could not abide, but all those wants and not went right out the window and mainly for these reasons.  The back of the house is all windows looking out onto this large covered porch and...

my view from there.  I called it a jewel box, planted with flowers everywhere and backing right up to a pond.  It took my breath away.

There are all different areas of gardens.  I love this little bricked in seating area.

In one location, we have our own little deck dock.  I'll have to put a couple of chairs out on it.  I am told the pond is stocked with fish.  There are eight houses that surround the pond.

Lots of wildlife too.

This is looking down from the porch.  I've never seen anything like it as there is about a 6 foot drop off from the porch to a small lawn down the stairs, but mostly flower beds and plantings.

Of course there has to be something for Miss Worrywort to worry about.  Can you imagine going over to meet the new neighbors and telling them, please don't try to pet the red weenie because she will bite you...
I really am nervous about doing that.  With this kind of fence, Sister can't get through it, but she can sure get her head through it and she will bite strangers that try to pet her.  Hmmm....

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Chosen

While my husband was in the hospital a nun popped in one day.  In full habit with a backpack slung over her shoulder, Sister Mary Lucy was a sight for sore eyes; a comforting presence.  She was older than we are, (but probably the same age as the older I get I suddenly find out that people I think are older than I am, turn out to be younger than me.)

She was a serious sort and a nurse I think, as she carefully looked through all the iv's hanging on the pole. She had notes too that she perused.  She asked a few questions then reached in her pack and pulled out some cards of Jesus with prayers printed on the back.  She recited some of them.  We began to talk.  She had lived and worked at the Vatican for 10 years and commented on the Pope's visit to the U.S.  She is a fan.  She talked of times when millions of the faithful came to St. Peter's Square.  I looked in her eyes, her countenance.  I couldn't help but wonder how her life had brought her to this spot, the kind of person she was.  All business, she never smiled.  Three times the door to the room opened and quickly shut.  "They'll come back." she said.  I could tell that the nun's run the hospital and expect reverence from the staff.

She went back to her pack and reached inside for more Jesus cards which she then realized she had already done.  At that point, my husband's hip was hurting and he rolled over onto his side.  I accused him later of playing dead.  She walked over to his bedside and began to feel around his back and shoulders (he was down to 100 lbs.) and I think massaged his back and bones.  

She then read a piece of paper (she didn't know the author) in a very thoughtful manner.

The Blessing Of Unanswered Prayers

I asked for strength that I might achieve;
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy;
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life;
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I had asked for,
but everything that I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself my unspoken prayers were answered;
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.

I can still hear her voice reading it.  She was so appreciated by me.  I must send her a note.  Though I am not religious, she gave me peace and wonder that day.  Bless you Sister Mary Lucy.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Amidst The Chaos Comes Calm

I've been away for what seems a very long time though I know it hasn't been.  My husband has been in two different hospitals and all that goes with it.  I feared a couple of times that he might be dying.  It was a sobering period. Pneumonia in both lungs, malnutrition, dehydration and the infectious disease all came into play at the same time; the perfect storm. You lose your sense of real time, don't know what day it is. This is how rattled I got. I had driven to the barn to lock up the animals, and I usually stick my cell phone in my bra for a pocket.  When I got back to the house, I started frantically searching for it as I talked to my son, then finally figured out I had it up to my ear. We'll discuss more about that later, but my husband  did get the feeding tube while there and it is so easy, I wonder why he didn't do it sooner (but I know the answer to that.) 

During those dark and crazy days, I'd come home in the evening to feed the animals.  This Great Heron has taken a fancy to me and comes to the nightly feeding frenzy of fish, turtles and such.  He's fearless now; comes not for the smorgasbord, but to dine on the little fishes that are waiting for me.  This brazen, ungainly fellow belly flops down suddenly into the water and comes up with a fish in his beak then struts around with it before deciding to swallow the poor little fry. 

 The moon on the pond (notice the inquisitive little turtle head poking out of the water) was the early blood moon later on that night. It was nice to see that all was well and as it should be.

We closed on the new city house the next day after my husband made them release him from the hospital.  Plan B was to sign at the hospital. Oh those poor nurses and doctors. The worst, hard-headed, terrible, awful and stubborn patient on the planet has become a darling once again.  Happy as a lark even though he may never be able to eat or drink again.  Can you imagine?  Our lives will change.  I went out and bought frozen tv dinners so I won't be eating in front of him.  We'll figure it out. 

It is a beautiful day.