My mind wanders, but it is not lost…

I am adept at wasting time, especially on a cold, gloomy day like today. The bird garden, just outside my window occupies my thoughts for a while as I watch a fat jay trying to get the proper grip on the suet feeder, finally giving up and perching awkwardly on the sunflower houses. But my mind wanders…

Wassily Kandinsky, artist

That Prednisone really messed with my gut, not just in that killing-your-natural-flora way, but also it made me ravenously hungry and I have no willpower, so I ate every sugary treat I could find and then ordered more. I hate when I do that…but I do it for less reasons than Prednisone, so you’d think I’d learn my lesson. In yet another attempt to placate my guilt, I’m embarking on trial of probiotics. I tried the flora-fixers about a decade ago and didn’t stick with it (no surprise), but I’m more impressed with them nowadays and I hope to reset my gut biodome…

Back at the birdfeeders, a cardinal family has arrived and I watch them picnic together, admiring how the babies have grown. But my mind wanders…

Wassily Kandinsky, artist

I’ve never had much of a routine since retirement, happy to change with the seasons and the needs of the day, but it seems appropriate to set a schedule for Summer Vacation that involves Family and camping. I’m set up to hang out with the Jrs. two days each week; there are some good library programs to attend and I’ve got an idea to visit some of our local parks each week. A couple of months ago, Casey and I started going up to New Harmony to check out their auctions every month, so that’s on the calendar. But my mind wanders..


I had to trim my basil and was wondering what to do with it. Handily, I had planned to have turkey-feta-spinach burger this evening and I’ll just trade out the spinach for the basil! Brilliant! But my mind wanders..

…what am I going to about my hair? my shape? my face? my Age? Perhaps lip plumper could change my life, give me more energy; maybe I should get a perm; I need to walk Every Damn Day; how old am I really??? But my mind wanders…

Wassily Kandinsky, artist

Well, if nothing can be done, I’ll make the best of what’s around and play some Dave Matthews…


Catchin’ up…

Gosh, it’s been 2 weeks since we last talked. I think I mentioned I was allergy-stricken, but I got pretty wheezy and went in to the nurse and was prescribed 6 days of Prednisone and given an inhaler. I can never decide if I love or hate Prednisone…on the one hand I feel all speedy and get-‘er-done-ish, but on the other hand I feel so sick and tired. Speedy always wins, though, and I got the gardens planted, the house cleaned, and stayed up all night learning Italian cooking with Lidia…

This is my new “cottage” garden, planted just across from the Peace/Bird Garden…

There are 21 plants here with hollyhocks and foxglove at the back with liatris, garden phlox, delphinium and lupine in the middle; at the front are coral bells, rosemary, and lavender. Most of the back plants will need to be staked, though you have to use your imagination to see that now.

The Edible Garden is going strong with corn poppin’ up, cucumbers jumping, and a small crop of green beans pulling themselves upright. Our peas are podding and the spinach is ready for harvest. I don’t want to talk about the beets and carrots and radishes– I just can’t thin seedlings properly– but the greens will be good! There are four each of watermelon and canteloupe planted, but they’re not doing anything, yet. We’re going to pull up the spring crop and plant some beans, as well as start some melons from seed between the existing plants, like insurance…

The roses have been stellar, their gentle scent pervading the front porch, but we knew they needed to be pruned soon after their first bloom. That pruning is now a priority as last night’s unrelenting rain has weighed them down.

Before we left for London I bought a new used camera, a Nikon D3300, an affordable upgrade from my antiquated D60; all my lenses fit it, too, so I just needed the body. I opted to not lug it around London, but I’ve been playing with it a lot around the house and gardens. I’m so happy to have my eye back in a viewfinder…

My #2 grandie, Olivia Mayne Casey aka Nova Casey, is graduating from 8th grade this week and we’re so excited! I’ll be snapping pics through my tears! Time flies, doesn’t it? Cherish Every Moment…


The one you’ve been waiting for…

I know you’re on the edge of your seat waiting for pictures from our London trip…

The easiest, quickest, laziest way to share my pics with you is to make them into these little videos. I didn’t take the time to edit the photos and Lord knows they need it, but when you view them for short seconds, you don’t notice so much how bad they are. Each of the videos lasts about a minute. I used the cheesy music to achieve more of a music video effect rather than a slide show, but I don’t blame you if you want to mute the muzak.

Day 1- Windsor Castle

Day 2 – Buckingham Palace, Queens Walk, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus

Day 3 – London Eye to Tower of London

Day 4 – Westminster Abbey

And a bonus video — Signs and Pubs

My allergies are assaulting my head and throat and my eyes were gommy and sticky this morning. I’d love to be outside, but the pollens are overwhelming my benadryl. I won’t complain (much) since I’ve had these pictures to go through. Hope you enjoy seeing them!


We’re back!

We ran into a little difficulty on our return flights from London on Tuesday morning 4:00am, when our 12:15pm flight was cancelled, but it turned out to be for the best. We had booked our Covid tests, required for re-entry to the US which is stupid, for 8:30am at the airport and though we would have had the results in time for the flight, we would not have made it through security, baggage drop, etc. without a lot of stress. As it was, we caught a 3:15pm flight and had some lunch, bought some souvenirs at Heathrow. We arrived at DFW about 7:30 to find that our Eville-bound flight was delayed, giving us more time to navigate our way to the gate, but we didn’t make it home until 11:30am — about 25 hours after I woke up in London.

I was pretty pooped yesterday, but managed to get my tomatoes in the ground. I’m waiting to put out the bell peppers and basil until the predicted storms pass. No hurry, as we are supposed to have beautiful weather by Mothers’ Day and all of next week. I’m stocked with seeds, ready to dig…

Saturday is the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby, so it’s time to do some stretegery and calculate the winner. We can’t just bet the Baffert horse this year, so it’s a little more challenging. Historically I’ve made more winning wagers on the Fillies, so I’ve got to focus first on tomorrow’s Oaks, also in its 148th year. I have been spending the same $$ for years now, managing to eek out a profit for quite a while, but last year nearly wiped me out. This is my year, though…

On our last evening in London, we took a quick walk around Kensington Gardens, through Queens Gate past the Prince Albert Memorial to the Peter Pan Statue near the Serpentine, then back to Round Pond and Kensington Palace, finishing up exiting at Queens Gate. It was a lovely way to end our trip. The video only takes a minute…


London Calling

No Clash…in fact, we’re feeling very much at home now as we finish up our 3rd day here. All has gone well.

Our first day was spent touring Windsor Castle.

Our second day we walked 10 miles, from our hotel through Hyde Park to Buckingham Palace, then past Westminster Abbey and Big Ben across the Thames to Queens Walk. We proceeded all the way down to Tate Modern where we stopped spent some time. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre doesn’t look at all like it does in the ads, but the gift shop is nice. We crossed Waterloo Bridge to Trafalgar Square and visited the National Gallery where we ate before we roamed their collections, then strolled through Piccadilly Circus to Green Park and on to Buckingham Palace and through the Hyde Park back to the hotel.

Today, our 3rd day, we took the Gloucester Road tube to Westminster, then back across the bridge to the London Eye. That was kinda fun and very viewful… We walked from there past London Bridge to Tower Bridge where we crossed over to the Tower of London. The Beefeater tour was so informative and funny; I loved seeing the Crown Jewels. Just up the hill was the tube station where we made a quick connection back to Gloucester Road.

The food has been so-so, but expensive. Our hotel bar stocks Magners Pear, my Favorite Cider Drink of All Time. I usually drink it at the Rose and Crown in Epcot and have never found it Anywhere else, even NYC, so I am filling up regularly while I can.

Tomorrow we wind up with Westminster Abbey for sure, but the rest of the day we’ll wander through the parks and such.

You know what? This place is really not even as big as Disney World, kind of a shock to me, even though NYC also surprised me with how easily you can walk to Everything. I’ve adopted a British accent, learnt from listening to the voice on the tube, and avidly Look Right, Look Left, and Mind the Gap…

We’ll be home late Tuesday night and probably sleep all day Wednesday, but by next week I will have sorted through the photos and will share.

Thanks to Michael for keeping an eye on the cat and our plants.


The latest News

We are enjoying a couple of days of warm and sunny after mostly gloomy and wet earlier in the week. The windows are open with the birdsongs wafting in on the wind. Casey’s already outside tilling the Edible Garden and I’m on my out to repot the basil. All of our plants are growing strong and it looks like the weather is going to be perfect to get them planted when we return.

As I’ve Planned and Planned this trip to London, then planned some more, I have come to the conclusion that my best option is to have an outline rather than a rigid schedule, giving us flexibility for bad weather or just feeling tired. After a half-day trip to Windsor Castle on Friday, we will have no other “appointments” and we’ll buy our tickets at the door of wherever we decide we want to stop. We know that will include Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, The Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe, The Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, The National Gallery, Buckingham Palace, St. James Palace and Park, Kensington Palace and Gardens, Hyde Park, Green Park, Wildlife Park, Victoria and Albert Museum. I have mapped out several walks to see all of that and who knows what else we’ll see on our way? I am not sure if I’ll be able to write much next week, but I am going to try.

Leaving Wed. 4/27 Return Tues. 5/3

The Queen had a Birthday, her 96th, on Thursday. Of course, we had a toast to her Health. Whilst checking out the latest Royal Gossip, I came across this fascinating little clip.

It is such a Fine Day! I’m going to go outside and play.


Easter Greetings…

We had an Egg Hunt with the Jrs. yesterday…

We definitely had the best week-end day for our activities; today is gloomy and cool, better suited for Good Friday. My preferred plant place opened up on Wednesday and I stocked up on herbs… I may have to repot them before we travel… The Predictors say it will be chilly until Thursday, so we’ve got All of our pots in the laundry room.

We managed to cross everything off of our to-do list last week, moving around perennials and shrubs, so I’ve spent little time on the London Plans. This week, however, I’m free to pore over the maps and websites.


The Sunday Scoop 4-10-22

It’s been a busy week, sort of…well, it’s been a week, anyway, rainy and cold with a smattering of sunshine interspersed. We have a young pileated woodpecker showing up to the suet.. and that’s been pretty exciting…

Today, however, is sunny and warming up nicely so I am planning on attacking my Garden To-Do List.

We dug up our daylillies and daisies and I have no idea where to put them. I am not really fond of daylillies, especially where I had them, but I planned on giving them away and got no takers. For now, I think I’ll toe them in around the Big Tulip Poplar and see how they do…or maybe not. We need to plant a leftover rosebush out back and pull out the grape vine, too.

We visited Hillside Gardens on Thursday and I bought 3 Better Boy tomato plants and 6 california wonder pepper plants. I am going to repot them and wait until after our trip to plant outside. Ronnie’s fruit stand should get their first shipment in this week and that’s my place for herbs and flowers and other vegetables. They’ll look pretty out on the enclosed back porch and I’m quite grateful that my looming travel will hold me back from making my same old mistake of putting warm-weather crops in the ground too early. My cool-weather garden bed has peas a-poppin’ and tiny little beets, carrots and spinach peeking up. I’ll spare you the picture of dirt this week, but when you look real close you see them…

It should work out pretty well to have everything ready to go upon our return from London May 4–May the 4th be with me!! I couldn’t resist. I’m spending the rainy days engrossed in my planning and the Youtube has been so helpful, though a real rabbit-hole once you start watching. I watched a guy *gal? walking around London silently, just traffic sounds, etc. in the rain, for longer than I care to admit. However, it has really given me some looks at the Most Popular Sites and I get more excited every day.

Back to the Here and Now: My Irish Dancers are in Belfast, Northern Ireland, competing in the World Championships. My #2 grandie, Olivia, is on a school trip to Washington, D.C., so I’m kept busy sending out the long-distance Love. Samantha was here yesterday to play, though!

The Sun is beckoning me — lighting up the dust in the house, too — so I’m going to pretend I didn’t notice and go Outside and Play!

Even if you’re stuck inside, I hope you enjoy this Beautiful Day!


The Sunday Scoop — 4/3/22

The Excitement of planning my upcoming London trip has pervaded this week, eclipsing all other tasks. I’m wallowing in over-thinking, imagining all sorts of scenarios and timeframes, then re-imagining it, then fretting and changing the Plan again. Even after all the attention, I’m only Sure that we will leave EVV April 27 5:15 and arrive LHR April 28 12:45pm, check in to The Queen’s Gate Hotel in South Kensington where we will stay for five nights and return to LHR 12:15pm May 3 to arrive EVV 9:15pm.

The Queens Gate Hotel is a couple of blocks from the Wildlife Garden/Museum of Natural Science, and a couple of blocks in the other direction to the Victoria and Albert Museum. I chose this hotel quite a while back for its location 0.5 mile from Kensington Gardens and I feel like I know the route through the Gardens and Hyde Park (about 2 miles) to the Buckingham Palace by heart now.

In order to get the full Royal Effect, we’ll take a bus trip to Windsor Castle where HM The Queen is currently residing. Maybe I Will get a glimpse of ERII after all, but I’m Sure to Feel Her Presence there (thanks, Mary-my-old-nursing-school-roomie, for pointing that out).

There should be time to see The Tower, The Globe, The Eye, The Tate Modern and The National Gallery and any green space I happen upon — and there seem to be plenty.

Today is a lovely Spring day here at the Acres, so I’m bringing my attention back to Our gardens. I can see about a dozen peas peeping up and a scraggly row of spinach can be spotted if you look closely; the radishes are filling in their space nicely. I don’t expect the beets and carrots to show up too soon as it has been cold.

We’re planning on moving some forsythias and a viburnum to the East side of the house. Of course, “we” is just a euphemism. Casey’s got his own list of outside work and I have to put my requests in, hoping he’ll schedule them soon. We’re dodging rain showers this week, so I wait patiently.

Heading out into the Sunshine, hoping All is Well where You are, too!


The Sunday Scoop

We got the countertop installed last Wednesday! There’s always something more to do, but we’re calling it done-for-now.

There’s more storage, more workspace, and it feels so New — something rare in this old shanty.

The Jr. girls were here Thursday and Friday and we had a blast going to the mall, the zoo, and to the Theatre to see Sing 2. Another Spring Break is behind us and I wish the time didn’t go so quickly…

I must make a decision today — tomorrow at the latest — regarding my visit to London. >sigh< Let me explain…

This trip was planned and paid for in 2019, kids, and there have been so many changes that I can’t say that I care about it much. You see, the Goal was to see The Queen at Royal Ascot; back then she attended Every Day and I was assured, veritably certain to get a glimpse of her from the Queen Anne Enclosure as she arrived in a Royal Carriage from Windsor. She was only 93 at the time and was still making all of her usual appearances. Then Covid. Three years later, she is having problems with walking and currently doesn’t want to be seen in a wheelchair. Since Prince Philip died last year she has appeared to be increasingly frail and her appearances are few and far between. She is determined to be at the Duke of Edinburgh’s Memorial Service this week and to take part in as many Platinum Jubilee events as possible, especially Trooping of the Colour in June, but her family have had to take over Most of her duties.

So here I am with a hotel reservation for The Jubilee Week, her birthday week and the week of Royal Ascot. Face it, the crowds in London that week will be insane and I’ll not get Close to Buckingham Palace to see her, though I may be able to find a spot on the Trooping the Colour parade route as her carriage goes by if I manage to get my butt on a curb the day before, but I’d be better off watching it all on the telly. I’ll be very surprised if she makes it to Royal Ascot more than one day and what day will that be?? Probably not the day I’m there!

To make matters worse, the Price of the plane tickets has Doubled for that week! When I chose those dates I underestimated the power of the Platinum Jubilee to make it all so much more expensive! What with the price of everything — Everything — inflated, I have to admit that I just can’t afford this trip…not in June, anyway.

What I can do is go at another time, if our hotel will allow us to change the reservation Again. I’m looking at late April now, just one month from now. I’m going to contact the Queens Gate today and see if they’ll cooperate. If they do, Wow, we’re going to London next month! If they don’t, I’m okay with that, as well, because I’m tired of thinking about it.

You’ll be the first to know when it’s all settled…