"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, 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.


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


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


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.