Camp Sonnystone 2022

We’ve been having camp for a solid 10 years now, can you believe it? The grandies were so little, one not-yet-born, and we were go-go-go to the zoo, the museum, New Harmony, Henderson fests, downtown extravaganzas, and movies. Back then, Melissa would ship Emma here for a month, usually in June; once Eliza was about 3, she came, too. Melissa would show up and stay a week, a couple of times we went to Disney at the end of their visit. Irish Dance began to take up more of their time (National competitions are always July 4) and the visits were moved to two weeks, end of July-first weeks of August.

We’ve all gotten older now and our time together is more precious. The highlight of the New Yorkers’ visit is the morning run to Donut Bank for strawberry milk and French crullers, with the evening bed-time ice cream snack a close runner-up. The grandies changes have been faithfully recorded on the wall as they grew, but there’s so much more to them than their height and that growth can only be observed, as each year two different kids visit me, though still powered by the same sweet souls I have always known.

Of course, we painted birdhouses and canvases, shucked corn and snapped green beans for a picnic, but our Big Project was to restore our old Signs. The older Words had seriously faded, so we used some bright markers to bring them back alive…

Here’s an example of how faded they had become…

Ten Signs, ten years of growing hands and important Words…

You have to take the funny face pictures…

I’ve got more pictures for the movie and I’ll be working on that, but the house and gardens have required my attention. While the kids were here, we had a big storm that blew down several large tree limbs and one large tree. Casey has the limbs cleaned up, but the trees were old and it will take a while.

In the meantime, Now the weather is perfect and outside is where I’ll be…


Day at the Races

It’s been such a busy week here and I’m not at all prepared to give you the details, but I wanted to check in and share our traditional photo from Ellis Park.

PawPaw, Samantha, JoJo, Emma, Eliza, Nova at the track, 2022

By the Way, I’m a real loser this year — I’ve only won Once this entire season!!! Oh, well, we’re all having fun!

The Jose Gals are here until Friday and we’re pretty booked up, but there’s always room for More. Call or text if you’d like to visit…


They’re almost here!

The New Yorkers, sans Eric, are driving even as we speak, due to arrive later tonight for the next 11 days!!! We are soo Ready, but I saved a few chores for today — make up some cucumbers-in-vinegar, a tomato salad.

It is so gloomy outside, but cool, so I’ve trimmed basil, and cleaned up the tomatoes and cukes which have started yellowing with powdery mildew — all this rain!!! There is so little to show for our efforts at this time, but there’s a second wind of flowers on the bell peppers, a couple of canteloupes and cukes. Still no sign of zucchini, but we should get a couple of yellow squash while the girls are here, and the green beans are plentiful. The jury is out on the tomatoes…maybe a second wave???

We are filling our Peace/Bird Garden hummingbird feeders every 3-4 days and it’s a blast to watch the tiny birds fuss and fight with each other. I caught a peaceful trio this morning while my camera was handy.

I’ll be reporting in as Camp Sonnystone begins, so clear your calendar for my scintillating updates. Oh, please call if you’d like to visit!



For weeks now, it seems to me, I’ve been doing a whole lot of nothing — unless you call being sick doing something, which I do Not. I confess, that is my usual Summertime Mode, and I am quite good at it. I shuffle through the a.m. requirements of feeding the cat and drinking several cups of tea, but that’s nothing, really. Then I check the old email and wade through ads and newsletters, finally getting up and dressed, then back to the computer to obsess on Harry and Meghan, then outside to the back porch, down to Shady Grove, back up to the house and sit around and watch some YouTube, then fix some lunch, maybe get in the pool and float around, then back to the back for a siesta, then up and fixing supper, then more walks around the house and back to the TV for something boring so I can go to sleep…and on and on. Meanwhile, Casey’s out fixing something, or building something, just generally being creative and productive, even in sweltering heat, which seriously aggravates me. Stop and Rest with me! He does stop occasionally, but he’s just not good at doing nothing, no talent for it at all.

I made a river rock circle around the Shady Grove firepit!

Soon enough I’ll be doing something: The New Yorkers will be here next week! What’s next week? I dunno. Melissa stays maddeningly vague about their Estimated Day of Arrival, but I could now clean the dang house, wash up the sheets, plan some meals, and take inventory of my Camp Sonnystone stock. We have this year’s hand sign ready for their touch. I’m playing “The Gettin’ Ready Rag”! Our Camp Word for 2022 is Grateful.

I think we could safely plan some parties and performances for after August 1, working around weather and camp activities. I look forward to seeing our friends and family, so give me a call/text so we can make plans.

I’m sooo excited to Do Something!


I’ve been sick since Wednesday, flat out on the couch both Thursday and Friday, finally somewhat upright yesterday. My little brain has been doing the Nursing Process since the onset of symptoms — that is Analyze, Diagnose, Plan, Implement, Evaluate — and as I’ve analyzed the hell out of the illness, I have no diagnosis. Isn’t everything Covid now? It’s not a cold (what happened to our old familiar rhinovirus?), but the body aching is reminiscent of flu. The coughing could be either/or, low-grade temp same. After my #3 vaccine, I was sick for a day, and somehow this feels the same, only with lots of coughing/snot. I’m calling it Covid because I want to finally face this thing I prepared for all these years…

Even though the diagnosis is iffy, the Plan is the same, so I implemented decongestants, cough drops, tylenol, plenty of fluids. The most important treatment, for me, is to lie down with a box of tissues at hand, and let my body do its healing thing. Our immune systems are wonderful and hats off to mine for its valor and ongoing dedication to my well-being. I still feel rundown, and definitely brain-fogged, as if I’ve been gone for a while, but I have rallied, so I’ll evaluate the Plan as a winner and carry on.

It’s been rainy, a good time to be stuck on the couch, and of course the gardens love it…

(I didn’t realize that I had the long lens on my Nikon when I shuffled off to get these pictures between rains, but it’s an interesting change of our usual view…)

The Edible Garden

The Peace/Bird Garden

The Jose’ Family is moving into a new apartment even as we speak…err, write. Their new place has a large terrace and I’m excited to help Melissa plant and grow a nice garden. They still plan on visiting here at the Acres in a couple of weeks, so I’m gearing up for Camp. I’ll let you know as soon as I know when they’ll be here and we’ll plan parties!

Take care of yourselves! Watch out for mystery viruses!


Back at the Track

Ellis Park, home of thoroughbred racing, opened Friday, but the torrential rains and subsequent humidity kept us away. Today felt humid to me, but there was a nice breeze and we sat in the shade. All of the turf races were moved onto the dirt, so horses were scratched like crazy — there were only four horses in the first race. I was griping, not really feeeling any of the horses/jockeys/names, so sure enough, I lost every bet. When I am not feeeling it, there’s nothing to be done, so I only bet three races ($6) and we came on home. I’ll be going back on Friday and hopefully I can sync in…

But there’s so much more to the races than betting my $2 show wager–

exciting races run by beautiful horses

and fine company…

Lana and Charley met up with us, and they were actually winning…

I must remember to take flat Ronna next time to bring me luck…

It looks like a beautiful week ahead for us; hope it’s just as nice in your neck of the woods…


In the Garden

Sorry for my absence, but I’ve been caught up in the World of Irish Dance, on the edge of my seat for the North American Irish Dancing Competition that was held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada this year. Emma placed #5 in the U16 group and Eliza placed #17 in the U11 pack. The Jose’ family, consisting of my daughter, Melissa, and son-in-law, Eric, as well as the two EE’s are having the time of their lives and it’s sweet to see.

In the meantime…the garden grows on…

What you don’t see — the bloopers, if you will — are this year’s fails. It seems all of our zucchini plants are boys, so no zucch forthcoming; something broke/ate the bottom stem of one of the canteloupe plants (we have three back-up); after a dozen nice sweet peppers, there is no sign of bloom or fruit. But, we’re feasting on tomatoes, brought in a couple of pounds of potatoes, and will soon have a bumper crop of cucumbers and green beans. I think we’re in the black…

The Shady Grove…a good place to stop…



It’s Day 3 of my News Block. I feel exactly like I did on election day 2016 — sick to my stomach and afraid. I cannot allow myself to be emotionally manipulated by media, both social and otherwise. I have put up the Forcefields to block the anger from entering into my Peace. I am struggling to Be Here Now, in The Present with The Presence.

I’m so glad I have my gardens and my grove where I can throw myself into the trimming, the harvesting, or the contemplation of birdsongs or the purpose of creepy-crawlies. There have been a lot of bees around, a good reason to rejoice, and I’m feasting on homegrown tomatoes and peppers. Gratitude abounds here in the Present Moment…

Edible Garden

Coneflowers in the Peace/Bird Garden

I’m calling this Shady Grove now; an excellent spot for Contemplation.

Casey’s been staying busy remodeling Goldie’s interior, my design, of course, and she’s beckoning us to take a trip off-grid…

I hope that you will take the time to clear your mind of the “slime from your video” (Frank Zappa) and your timeline. Come back to the Present and receive the power you need to go forward in Love and


Celebrate Dads Today!

My Dad passed away 25 years ago…and I’m still kinda mad about it…but that’s another story. Today I just miss him and his wit and wish he were here to make me laugh. He would say, “Right, Bug?” and to that I say, “Right, Dad!”

Me and My Daddy, circa 1978

It’s a beautiful day to celebrate Fathers, both quick and dead, and I hope you enjoy it!


Flashback Friday

I hate that we missed Zydeco Night at the WC Handy Blues Fest…again. While we didn’t always make it on the Thursday when the Cajuns perform, we always drove across the river to Henderson, KY for at least one of the nights to hear Super Musicians, tapping our feet under the trees in Audubon Mill Park on the riverfront — until Covid. It’s now been three years since we’ve attended and we’re ready to go. Yesterday was too damn hot (96 feels like 104) for these two old folks, but a storm has blown through and cooled us off for the weekend, so I’m excited to be crossing the bridge tonight or tomorrow.

Let’s step into the WayBack Machine and set the dial for 2013, June, when we had a great time at Zydeco Night…and so did Flat Ronna…

up all night…


I can’t sleep.  I tossed and turned, told my brain to STFU, finally got up and have exhausted every bookmark on this computer.   I have an appointment in the morning, so it’s too late to take a chill-pill…I’m doomed…

Here’s some pictures of last night’s Blues Festival headliners, Voice of the Wetlands Allstars.   The Allstars are a group of New Orleans musicians pulled together by Tab Benoit to raise awareness of the erosion of the Gulf Coast wetlands (beginning before Katrina, actually).

bluesfest 058
bluesfest 061

The version visiting Henderson last night included Benoit on guitar; Cyril Neville belting some blues and playing percussion;  Johnny Sansone made the harmonica wail and played accordion for some zydeco;  legendary drummer Johnny Vidocovich; a remarkable bassist,  Corey Dupelchin;  Waylon Thibideaux playing an electric fiddle that was way cool;  and the cherry on the sundae:

 Big Chief Monk Beaudreaux brought it on home…

bluesfest 079
bluesfest 083

Boy-child, his lovely bride, and their precocious daughter were with us.  The weather was Ohio River Valley Summertime, complete with sweat and chiggers…Olivia loved the waterpark and I sure wished I could have cooled off with her…

bluesfest 002

Charley and Lana were with us, as well…

bluesfest 040
casey and charley

But, as always, my Twin Cousin, Ronna Lynn Loppnow, was the Life of the Party…

bluesfest 025

(Ronna lives down near Houston, TX and we don’t get to see her very often, so Lana and I try to take her with us when we’re having the Most Fun)

I guess I’d better try to get some rest…

Back here in 2022, I’m grabbing my lawn chair, bug spray, and Flat Ronna; we’re ready to Party!