Thursday, July 30, 2009

Happy Trails to You

On the last day of my recent hiking trip to West Virginia, one of my hiking shoes decided to throw off the rubber sole plate. My whole fromt foot was just flapping in the breeze and this resulted in us having to visit the nearby drugstore in that famous little mountain town that I wrote about earlier and to purchase that all purpose repair tool known as duct tape. Hubby wrapped my foot sturdily for our final day of hiking before heading home. The temporary repair worked very well. These hiking shoes should have been replaced a number of years ago as the cushioning had long since been pummeled. I remember the day that I bought them, about 15 years ago, in an REI store in Denver.

We had gone to visit my relatives outside Boulder and we were planning on doing a little hiking in the Rocky Mountains. My brothers and sister who hiked all the time were amazed that I was planning on hiking in tennis shoes. It was decided by my relatives and husband that I finally needed a REAL pair of hiking shoes. You may be surprised at how nervous I was trying on hiking shoes. I felt like an impostor. These fancy shoes were for people who climbed mountains and straddled ridges and skirted glaciers. All I did was follow cleared mountain trails and stumble across meadows. I felt guilty spending so much money on something I only used a dozen times a year. REI had a ramp that you were supposed to walk up and down rather fast to see if the shoes were comfortable in the toe area. I self-consciously pretended I was testing each of the various sizes and finally bought the pair of shoes above.

They were the most comfortable shoes I owned, and after the first few hikes I regretted not putting out the money earlier.

Upon returning from our West Virginia trip the next weekend we drove up into the city and stopped at the REI store there and purchased a new pair of hiking boots. This time it was just like buying a pair of shoes. I put on the cushioned hiking socks I had tucked in my purse, put on various pairs of shoes and walked all over the store in them. I was not self-conscious at all. and actually focused on feel and comfort. I purchased the "cute" little silver blue trimmed shoes above and I am now looking forward to another 15 years of hiking. I think they do say the legs are the last to go, and I am counting on that.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Junk in the Trunk---Part II

Finding some uninterrupted afternoon time I sat and opened the scrapbooks and as requested took some photos for the many, many readers and lurkers of my blog. Hang in there, this should be really, REALLY interesting...!

I so 'fondly' remember putting together this 'comprehensive' manual for our basketball coach which was ultimately for the team that year. He 'contracted' with our Business Education teacher to have me and my best friend be his personal secretaries. He corrected every period and we worked for days changing many details! I can guarantee that he probably had to take remedial English in college and was trying to get even in some weird way. This would have had questionable shades of sexual discrimination today. At least they should have admitted that no one on the basketball team knew English and therefore, could not read it (How's that for discrimination?).

It appears from this memento that, during High School, I went to the State Convention for the Future Homemakers of America. This conference did not appear to have made any impression as I cannot remember much of it at all! I also do not think I am an exceptional homemaker as a result, either.

This is our hometown newspaper with an article on the newest members of National Honor Society. Wow...were we a little dorky, or what? Here we stand waiting to be served tea by our club faculty sponsor. She was like a little Ms. Marple. (Names have been redacted to protect those still serving jail sentences.)

While in High School I was in a fashion show. I DO remember this because I am such a nut for parading around in new clothes. We got to wear clothes borrowed from the dress stores in the nearby larger town. As you may recall, I came from a family that watched money closely and I rarely got to wear new clothes. This was a treat for a poor farm girl.

This is the important notice of my college tuition waiver, which had I not received, I may not have gone to college.

This is my Freshman Beanie...Yes we actually wore them for one whole day. What a crock!

This is a homemade record of something...what I don't know. Now I have to find a turntable! Maybe it was something from debate club?

When I turned 21 during my senior of year of college, one of the my former High School upper classmen friends, a really nice guy that I had no interest in, invited me to the Playboy club in Denver for drinks to celebrate. (I hope he didn't pay for membership just for me!) It was an awkward and cool and weird experience. I was so naive that I didn't question why someone would be serving me drinks in a rabbit costume with overflowing mammary glands. I cannot tell you how absolutely sophisticated I felt, as if I was in some Doris Day movie. I am sure that I looked like a 14-year-old Doris Day as well! ( And, no, I didn't do anything non-Doris Day at the end of the evening.)

Next on my memory journey is a bunch of letters that I continue to pour over! Enough about me, now, what about all of you?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Junk Trunk Revealed---Part I

It seems that readers of my prior post are somewhat lets take a tour of this old trunk.

I opened the heavy trunk lid and one of the hinges broke away as that side of the lid slid to the floor. Inside everything was dusty from bits of yellowed paper and most of the items in a jumble. So much for how well my brother (or his wife!) packed the trunk. This vase above (what used to be a vase) has absolutely no memory for me. Was it a gift I bought my mother on my travels? Was it some stupid trinket I bought for myself? This vase had never been used. So much for the hope for treasure.

My life was absolutely so filled with very important events that I had to make a huge and comprehensive scrapbook of all my high school activities followed by another thick tome of all the cool stuff I did in college. These thick scrapbooks are filled with mostly cocktail napkins, theater tickets, theater programs, old ribbons, newspaper clippings, my band letter(s) and a very few awards as well...nothing that even my children would find of interest today. There was also a JFK scrapbook filled with newspaper clippings.

My music tastes were somewhat prosaic, but I had no money and so each album was purchased with care. I also had some Frank Sinatra albums and an entire collection of Shakespeare productions on record (OMG, what a bore was I?), but where those went I surely don't know. Does anyone remember the singer Claudine Longet and that terrible murder in Aspen?

Above is the dress I wore to my Senior Prom. I am so surprised at how thin I was. I was actually elected "Queen" of the prom that year. Before you get impressed (ha!) my graduating class was under 25 students and only half of those were girls. I do think this Jacqueline Kennedy style of dress has stood the test of time. If I was still that thin ( yeah, big dreamer) and still had somewhere formal to go, I think would wear it.

Now I am going to sit down and open these scrapbooks...more to follow. That ought to be somewhat interesting.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Treasure Chest

I left my childhood home heading to Hawaii first and then on across the Pacific years later, so many years ago, that many of the memories sadly have faded to misty gray. It was a farmhouse at the edge of town on the 'other' side of the railroad tracks. I could walk to school but lived just far enough to catch the school bus which stopped at the turn by my driveway. The only kid that owned a car was the Doctor's son. In those days it was not an uncool thing to ride the school bus. That was the time you had to visit and gossip and I luckily got on the bus at the beginning of the route. My friend from the farm nearby would put on all her make-up on the bus because her father was a very religious conservative. The population of the town was under 2000 which did not seem at all small to me when I lived there because my experiences were also small and I knew almost everyone in town.

My parents have since passed and the farm was sold a few years ago. I probably will not go back that way again as the few friends I have stayed in touch with have moved far away or to nearby towns. A very sad thought, something that probably happens to most of us if we are blessed to live past our usefulness.

I had moved 99% of my 'things' (invaluable stuff ya' know) from my parents' home except for an old camel-back trunk that I had purchased at the Salvation Army store for $5 when I was about 13. I always had BIG plans to restore it, restoration which was needed as can be seen from the photo above, but I never did. (Admittedly it did not have all that white paint on it when I bought it...I think since my brother is in construction he can take credit for that.) I kept it at the back of my closet in the old farmhouse and put inside school annuals, record albums, letters, prom dresses, scrapbooks, etc. For years after I returned to the States I kept forgetting to make the arrangements to have it shipped to where I lived. The trunk was moved to my brother's house when the farm was sold.

Last week it came via UPS wrapped in plain plastic and had been left outside next to the deer fence gate as we had gone shopping for the day. I had been planning on getting it crated, but I find that it weighed more than 70 pounds with all the junk inside. I have not asked my brother how much it cost to send, so I will find that out and send him a nice fat check. We struggled to load the monster into the back of the car and got it as far as the garage floor where it has sat since. I am finally going to open it up today (although I am fighting a sore throat from germs generously shared by my grandson) and see what treasures are tucked inside.

After grabbing another tissue and pouring a glass of wine, I will begin this good memory trip or maybe it will be just an emotional one or maybe a surprising bore. After all, we are so much in love with our own history. My treasures, my junk, who knows...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Signs of the Times

Each of these photos was taken in the good old USA except for the hot pepper sign which was taken in Puerto Rico and the 'stuff' sign from Nassau. Signs taken in other countries and written in English can be even more funny! I wish I had owned a digital camera in my travels years ago.

So this is how he got started! And even thus he has come so far.

Not sure but it looks like popsicles are doing the carving?

Cute sign outside a Puerto Rican restaurant. Those Latinos have such a good sense of humor.

I posted this photo a while back. This is outside an oyster shucking house and it means what it says. The ladies do not like being photographed in their working garb.

I don't think anyone would want to let their pet roam in this mine field. (click to enlarge)

Posted this photo a while back and it was taken in Nassau. I just liked the fact that they admitted they sold stuff rather than treasures and souvenirs.

And what can I say about this one? Those in Florida know exactly what this means but for the rest of us...I like my Cubans hot...but pressed?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Retired and being in a rut can happen quite easily I think. It was time for us to try something least challenging to two old f***s who spent most of their time avoiding anything edgy. We needed something to do that was out of the safety zone.

The directions on the website said that a table had to be reserved ahead of time if one expected to sit during the show(s), otherwise it was 'first come first served.' Reserving a table cost $10 per person and IF you sat at this table you had to order at least $10 worth of food per person...not counting drinks. We wanted to sit as close to the dance floor as possible with the best view and so put out the big bucks. The email said the doors opened at 7:00 PM and we needed to be there by 7:45 so they would not give away our 'reserved' table. They also said if you left your drink you may find your drink gets taken away...since 18 and 19 year-olds were allowed inside. So many rules I felt like I was back in college. I don't think college has any rules these days, does it? When we got there, the tickets I picked up at the will-call window said the doors did not open until 8:00 PM. Great, now we had an hour to kill. We went next door and ate some shrimp.

Finally 8:00 arrived. My son and a few band members came by to chat. We sat down and ordered our drinks and food and as the first band rocked out we put in our foam ear plugs that my son had gotten at the bar. He mentioned something about OSHA requiring them to be available...who knew? (I still had ringing in my ears when I got home though.)

The first band to play was a group of 20 somethings with a cultured nerdy look, glasses and button down shirts and big clunky shoes. Perhaps the look wasn't cultured as when the band called their fans down to the dance floor...the fans stood like cigar store Indians each with their style statement beer in one hand and facing the players. Not a toe tap or a head bob among them. One young lady about 290 pounds and 5 foot 8 inches had her arms around another young lady who couldn't have weighed more than 90 pounds even in wet clothes and who stood just over 4 feet tall. They seemed to like each other very much, but not enough to sway to the music. Another couple was a fawn like girl in a short skirt and black top and her cute and small boyfriend who kept his hand lightly on the small of her back with extreme self-consciousness. Boy did this take me back to that time of awkward sex that must have been a part of my life so long ago. The rest of the fans looked like computer repair folks.

As the band ended, the crowd had started to grow and the tables were filled by the second band. I looked around the room and guessed that the age level had increased by about two years. This band was trying very hard. They had a marketing guru for lead singer as he got tried to get the crowd to chant out the name of the theatre/bar as a gesture of thanks. I will give them credit for trying hard as he really seemed to be enjoying his role and at least their fans did a little head bobbing.

Finally my son's band was up to play. They were the coolest of course. The fans filled the floor. Only one cover was played and all the rest original --- lyrics and music mostly written and composed by my son. I am prejudiced, I know, but he is very talented. The fans were jumping and clapping and enjoying themselves without being intoxicated. One gal was there in a short little dress and my favorite style statement, cowboy boots. Her date, oddly, was in a suit and tie, but my daughter explained he had probably come straight from work. There were the traditional cleavage and bare waist girls and the guys in faded T-shirts. I knew a few as friends of my son from high school, and others looked familiar.

I looked around the room and at one side table sat a small group of parents, very straight looking with their short gray haircuts and conservative dress. (No, I was not looking at a mirror on the far wall!) I knew they must be parents of the members of the band that I didn't know. They looked a little pained as I guess this music was not quite their thing. It was like a Meet the Parents moment with the expression on their faces of trying hard to 'get this.'

We head-bobbed and toe-tapped and I didn't get back to my daughter's house until after midnight. It was exhausting but also rejuvenating as I hadn't hung with a cool crowd in years. I am playing that great music from the band's website as I write this.

PS: (If you are brave enough to listen go here: My favs are "Arsonist" and "Everybody Knows")

Sunday, July 19, 2009

That Time of Year

It is that time of year when the river's bounty is providing us with seafood for enjoying during the cold winter months. My kitchen smells like either smoked fish or or steamed crabs...both of these are not necessarily good smells when you have them on and off during the day. But it is nice to see the freezer beginning to get full once again.

I was steaming yellow beans all last week and will be processing the pesto from our bolting basil this next week.

Tomatoes we are eating as fast as they come off the vine. The plum tomatoes this year are mealy tasting and disappointing. The tangerine tomatoes are prolific but not all that delicious. The sweet little grape tomatoes are as good as in the store, but even sweeter. There are a few other varieties ripening and not ready to pick.

My hair is damp from steam and hanging in my eyes and my apron looks like I lost a food war. Too busy these days to write anymore.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Snowballs in H***

Interesting plant in the photo above, no? Go ahead, take a guess and identify this common (rare in my garden) flower.

Those rare, fringy, skinny plants are ta-daa...marigolds. They are marigolds on a diet. You may have never seen skinny marigolds .

When beginning my garden this year, actually re-beginning after the building of the deer fence, I read somewhere that planting marigolds around roses will help to keep insect pests away. It appears that insects do not like marigolds. Actually I am not a big fan of marigolds myself. I know, I know. We are supposed to like all of nature's bounty and marigolds have their place in this world. I would put them way in the back of the flower garden and in the shade. Their flower is nice, but they have no fragrance and they have no drama for me, common since my childhood.

Anyway, I am all about biological controls and selected the "snowball" marigolds to stand as sentries around the delicate rose bushes. I bought a packet of seeds, planted them in the seed tray and nurtured them way back in early April. Most of them germinated. They are like cockroaches in that they are hearty and healthy. I then planted them carefully and symmetrically in front of and around my roses. Weeks of work and they were beginning to make a nice little hedge. They loved the soil and the limited sun and began to grow like weeds. I had done the germinating and planting in two week periods and the first group was ready to bloom. Lovely snow white blossoms even though they grow mostly in the shade. (I somehow did not grasp the true shade of these 30 foot trees on the side of my yard until this summer when I began serious work on flower beds.)

The second group of marigolds was planted two weeks later in the sunnier bed. They took to that bed like weeds, again. Then one morning I went out and saw what you see above. What the? What on earth eats marigolds? It had ignored my cone flowers, my roses, my statice...not my sunflowers, but everything eats my sunflowers.

Thus began the detective work. Fortunately I am a dyslexic sleeper and sometimes wake up at 2:00 AM, 3:00 AM, 4:00 AM and sometimes I even sleep in and get up at 7:00 AM. Each morning I saw nothing in the vicinity of my marigolds. The only active animal was a little rabbit eating the clover in my lawn...the same one I chased around the yard last week. I would let him sit there and munch away as he did a real job on the clover.

I had sprayed the marigolds with hot pepper oil and cut with vinegar and water but, what will come as no surprise to the avid gardener, one morning I saw bunny enjoying his salad of marigold leaves and his dessert of marigold flowers following the clover appetizer. He was mowing through the plants like it was his last supper, as maybe it should be, because I think we are moving him to new fields tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Navigating a Narrow Mind

When she first looked out the back window at the river that sunny summer morning the view seemed strange. There was too much space. Then she realized that it/they were gone. The bright orange-red barge and its smaller brother tug boat were not there on the opposite side of the river tied together like prisoners with lifetime sentences against the opposite shore.

They had sat idle for years like fat retired whales, never moving and only occasionally groaning wildly in the wind or when the owner started up one of the rusty motors to do something unfathomable for an hour or so, making ugly raucous noises where large metal pipes were clanged or moved to another side of the barge. Most recently, as the deck to the barge owner's new house was completed, the monstrosities were moved to the nearby dock no longer blocking the owner's wife's view of the river.

In Tabor's mind they were like the war flags. Her side of the river was filled with fancy motor and sailboats and weekend children's rafts and paddle boats. The other side was filled with working gear, small fishing boats, and lawn BBQs and, of course, the two rusting whales. Oddly she felt guilty at her happiness in 'winning' the mind war that had resulted in the ugly monsters being removed. This couldn't have been the owner's livelihood because they were never used. They had become very expensive pieces of deteriorating junk. Surely the owner with his dark mustache and beer belly was just as glad as she that they had found a new home.

Yesterday, sitting on their new partially completed deck, they had waved as she floated by in her canoe. She waved back. Maybe this war was only in her mind.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Born to Be Wild

"Road Trip" Just whisper those words and hubby has bags packed and the car out of the garage in seconds. Since his retirement he is so into filling his days with activity. I, on the other hand, even though I know I am going to die for sure some day, fill my days with sitting and reading and being perfectly happy. We are a good match as opposites. He gets me out of the house and I keep him from spending all our retirement money on gasoline.

We had been wanting for years to explore the Cranberry Glades of West Virginia. This is about a 6 hour drive from where we live. We reserved a reasonable room in Marlinton (there no longer are cheap rooms in this world) and packed our stuff and headed out on the highway (shades of Steppehwolf). Marlinton, West Virginia, does not appear to have a web page. When we reached a Visitors Center near Hot Springs in Virginia, no one there could tell us about the town or how to get there even though we had our heads close over Virginia road maps. These are people who live in the region! Finally we found it when we pulled out the WEST Virginia map. The town is just a wide spot on the road just below a major ski area. It appears to be barely surviving on the tourist industry. Our motel still uses metal keys for their doors. The 5 or so restaurants all have exactly the same menu. If you order spinach it will come from a can. If you order gravy it will be thick and white. Applesauce is served with everything. The waitresses, country girls, are friendly and actually can "talk your leg off." Chatty Kathy, from our motel restaurant, told us her life story over breakfast, which started 20 minutes late because she was late to work.

We took a walk down the main street after one evening's dinner at another restaurant and the exotic culture of this town was like a foreign country to me. There was a fire and brimstone tent meeting at one end of town with a heavy-set black preacher shoutin' and singin' for all to hear. He had quite a few devoted followers chiming in with 'Yes, Lord.' while they sat on metal folding chairs in the lawn under a large open tent. At the other end of town, only three blocks away, was a street fair with a reasonably good country band providing mountain music between the vendors selling cotton candy, hotdogs, popcorn and lemonade. A skinny and angular young man with a mouth full of buck teeth was standing in the middle of the street in front of the band and kept shouting "Yee Haw" to the music as he jerked along to the rhythm. For a minute I thought I was in a Dolly Parton movie. I am not making this up!

We were barely able to book our room in this area as the ski resort a few minutes away was holding lots of activities each weekend during the summer, most certainly to keep the economy moving. SnowShoe Mountain Ski Resort (their website gives a real flavor of the place) is a mass of diverse architecture covering the top of the Snowshoe Mountain. "Also known as Forever Wild, Snowshoe is a year-round adventure located in Pocahontas County." The only things 'wild' about this resort are the mountain bikers who keep the trails muddy and the jeep wranglers who up the ante even more with their off road contests. The architecture is described as 'Swiss village' and I describe it as interesting and little frightening for such a lovely mountain area. The footprint is huge. This particular coming weekend was a Jeep Jamboree and a major Chile Cookoff. We ate at the ski resort one night in search of healthier food and asked the host of the restaurant if he was planning on being busy the coming Saturday.

"We are going to get our butts kicked big time," he smiled. And then he went on to explain that this event was such a big deal even CNN was covering it. That explained the camera crew that was setting up just out side the restaurant when we entered. "Butts kicked big time"...I don't think I have ever heard a host say those words to me in a nice restaurant.

If you want my take on the beauty of this area which we saw on our daily hikes through the meadows, over the waterfalls, and between rocky caverns, along with a sad wildlife story...that, of course, gets posted on 'my other blog.'

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Because You Asked

I received some lovely comments on my prior post as it touched a chord in some readers. The reason it touched a chord is that we are all on the same boat...some going first class and some going steerage and some hanging on the edge of the stern for dear life. And we all get to shift places on this boat, usually without being asked.

In answer to some questions about the creation of the post, it did not take me long to write it. It really did just flow from the heart. I have traveled a lot and have seen some of this in my travels. I did research by looking up traditional names starting with T from various countries via the Internet. I did research by perusing some world headlines to stimulate thought.

I have been on travel, a second road trip, this time to the enticing mountains of West Virginia on a hiking adventure which included viewing mountain meadows, rocky crags and waterfalls like that above. I will reminisce briefly on that trip once I get the photos all processed. I will also attempt to catch up on reading blogs. It seems that it is very easy to get far behind as my blog list keeps growing.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

My World on Wednesday #1 --- Looking at the Moon

Tabor decides to eat the leftover pancakes and remaining strawberries with honey for breakfast.
(Tushar has only a dollar for food today so he is skipping breakfast.)
Tabor kisses her husband goodbye at the gate in the beautiful early morning.
(TalAyeh kisses the air that still smells of rose water from the funeral of her husband.)

Tabor polishes the oak end table that was purchased when her children were first born.
(Talia goes through the ashes of the fire and finds the brass drawer pull from her best end table.)
Tabor turns on her fancy computer to check her email correspondence from one and all.
(Tanya unfolds a yellowed and creased letter from the priest who had abused her so many years ago and then touches a corner to the flame.)
Tabor decides to walk in the flower garden before the day gets too warm.
(On an abandoned hillside in Berlin, Tabbert find his community garden destroyed by the land owner.)
Tabor washes the garden dirt from her hands in the lovely patterned sink of the powder room.
(Tu bin washes the blood from her hands at edge of the river reflected in the glow of an explosion.)
Tabor decides it is time for tea and reading her new bestselling book.
(Tierra pushes aside the layout for the morning edition and flees from her newspaper office as the soldiers break down the door.)
Tabor answers the phone and is overjoyed to find the call is from her laughing grandson.
(Tamira answers the phone and is overjoyed to find the call is from her father fighting in Iraq.)
Tabor decides not to cook dinner and persuades her husband to try that new restaurant in town.
(Tae-Hyun quietly closes the metal gate to his tiny restaurant and locks it tight as he puts out all the lights.)
Tabor slips between the fresh clean sheets and snuggles into her bed with pleasure at the ending day.
(Tawson shifts carefully in the hospital bed trying not to pull out the intravenous tubes or increase his pain.)

Tabor reviews her day and is thankful for its abundance.
(The nameless gray-haired woman in the homeless shelter reviews her day and is thankful for its abundance.)

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Mums on Acid

Am I the only one who wonders about wildlife like this when the 4th of July comes around? The very first explosion sent two geese (this photo above is of ducks) high into the air and away from the river. We watched, for the very first time, from our boat, the small town fireworks. It was preceded by some very nice smaller fireworks shows on the lawns of several mansions at the mouth of the river. The boats were anchored in comfortabe space along the mouth before the entry to the bay and while the water carried the banter of celebratory boaters, the dusk and darkness provided a blanket of privacy. Since it was just hubby and I we could freely neck as the nightflowers exploded against the black sky. Other things I noticed in the glass half full side was that the weather was a breezy 72 degrees and the normally sweltering sun was hidden behind a high gray sky that threatened rain which never happened. This is the coolest 4th of July I have experienced in a long time. For a while the wakes of the boats prevented me from reading while waiting for the dark, but eventually the surface of the ocean calmed down.

The glass half empty side was that the almost full moon was hidden and could not light our way home at the end of the show. The glass half full was that all 99% of the boaters were intelligent and polite and actually followed the Rules of the Road and wending our slow way home watching the red and green bow lights on the motor and sailboats along the 5 miles up river was actually quite nice.

I know that it is impossible to take a photo of fireworks when sitting on a rocking boat, but the photos below were fun to process anyway. They look like mums on acid.

We almost didn't take this holiday challenge as our neighbors had said the boating was crazy on the 4th, but since we had been alone all day we needed to do something. We were pleasantly surprised and now feel perhaps we can take our grandchildren out on this holiday.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Sheesh, Is there no Zen here?

I am heading out to dinner at the 'summer' house of the head of a unit that I worked with in a prior life and for whom I had a miserable "TEAM" working experience. I am only going because my husband's project requires could use this fellow's input and support. I am going to see his summer cabin and praise its lovely location and praise his wife's marvelous cooking and watch his beautiful children play at the water's edge ( if they are there) and then come home, and hopefully, not throw up. I can rise above this.

Tomorrow Saturday is our Independence day in America. It really is an important day and unfortunately we sometimes convert it to BBQ and too much drinking and forget the real reason we have to celebrate. We had invited my son and his friends but my son never responded told my husband he would let us know and so the few other people we invited at the last minute had also made other plans. I hate empty holidays but looking at the glass as half full, this means I do not have to put on fresh sheets in the bedrooms and plan any meals! (My daughter and family are visiting friends for this day.)

I spent this morning chasing Mr. Rabbit in circles around the flower garden and then around the vegetable garden....REALLY!! My husband thought this was very funny. He has a very immature sense of humor. I also had to move the little box turtle from my sad sunflowers as he seemed to be lost in the sparse jungle of stems. Why oh why do I think I can fool Mother Nature?

(In case you need a break from my ranting: The recipe for parsley dressing is here for one of the salad dressings. The other I made up using balsamic vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, salt, garlic, parsley, red wine and olive oil..maybe some other things, but I sort of was working with the cooking muse and working on using up leftover stuff. All was whipped in the food processor.)

The transmission, clutch(?) something went out on my 10-year-0ld Mazda last night and after it was towed from my front yard this morning to the mechanics garage he said it would cost $500 just to go in and look at the problem!. This is after a tree fell on the deer fence last week which will cost $300 to repair. There is a glass half full is cloudy with scum floating on top...but at least the car stalled in the yard instead of in the Virginia mountains where we were a few days ago and at least I have free towing with my insurance.

I hope all of you have a Happy 4th...even if you don't live in the beautiful if somewhat crazy U.S.A.

Sharing the Munchies

I found these hungry caterpillars munching on the parsley in the garden the other day and asked hubby about them. He said he had decided to leave them alone because they make butterflies eventually. What about the parsley, I asked. He said that we had way too much of it anyway.

I thought about this for a minute and realized that we had so much parsley because I was never harvesting it and using it. I had been focusing on other stuff from the garden. I have not been a big parsley user in my cooking in the past, and therefore, since we had so much success this year with the lovely green lace, I decided to search the Internet for some parsley recipes.

I harvested a bunch of leaves (two different types) and proceeded to wash and dry them allowing spiders and caterpillar poo to float away.

An hour later and with the kitchen smelling strongly of garlic and with spilled olive oil across the counter and with green stuff everywhere, I finished two recipes of parsley dressing. One pungent with Parmesan and garlic and one sweet with gentle spices and balsamic vinegar and red wine. Guess we will be eating a bunch of salad this week. All this green has got to be healthy, right?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


A number of years ago Oprah was promoting the use of a personal journal in which we recorded all the things in our life that made our lives rich and full. Clearly we all lived lives of abundance, but just needed to make that more concrete by recording it daily. I actually kept an 'abundance journal' for a short while, but like many New Year's resolutions it fell by the wayside years ago.

This house is for sale. It is actually a three-house compound on an island in the river near where I live. If you know someone who has a few million to spare, let them know about this abundant opportunity.

This sailboat belongs to one of my neighbors. It was brand new when purchased almost a year ago. To my knowledge, it has never been released from the dock and used except to sit on the back deck while at dock and watch the sunset on rare evenings! My husband would love to own a sailboat, but that is an abundance we will never have.

For the next few months I do not have to buy cut flowers from anyone else. My yard is providing me with so much abundant beauty.