Sunday Report 5-16-2021

I’ve been Trying not to gripe, but this weather has sucked. Eight straight days of lows in the 40s when I’ve already planted my peppers dictated that we cover them every night.

The tomatoes didn’t like it either, but I did talk to them every day and all seems well. They were not small or tender, so there was no chance of them dying, but I know from experience that they will be slower to fruit.

It’s the continuing saga of learning to not get in a hurry; everything in its own season…

The birds have kept me company as I wait to get outside and really dig in. I heard a goose honking and carrying on and looked outside to see this…

Sort of a Goose on the roof… He was talking to his companion, perched just out of the sight of my camera and they seemed be planning something, then flew off.

The feeder was visited by a Scarlet Tanager — surely a sign of Goodness…

This week I’m Really going to get the garden in: plant the cucumbers, squash, watermelon, sunflowers, marigolds. I’ve got some parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme for a Simon and Garfunkle garden bed and they’ll be happy to be in the ground, too.

Hope the sun is shining where you are!

Peace

Sunday Report 5-9-2021

Happy 13th Birthday to my #2 grandie, Olivia Mayne Casey! She is a writer, author of a series of books she’s been working on for a couple of years now. She is a singer and a dancer, a scholar and a good friend. She is a Joy to be around and I love our Saturdays together. We went out to the mall yesterday and did some low-key celebrating; she picked out a pair of new shoes. She’s wasn’t keen on letting me take some pictures, but I did manage to snap this…

Happy Mothers Day! Though she’s been gone nearly 19 years, I still miss my Mama every day. I recently framed a picture of her when she was young. I find myself going over to it and feeling her spirit; unfortunately, she keeps telling me she hates her hair in that picture!! She was always picky about her hair…sorry, Mom, I like it…

I’m researching our Irish ancestors and coming up with some new info. It’s keeping my mind off the weather that is not warm enough for the peppers I’ve planted. I’m obsessed with trying to keep them happy as the temps stubbornly refuse to rise up to our averages… Spring is so whimsical…

I hope your day is packed with Love…

Peace

Overthinking the Derby 2021

It’s the First Saturday in May and a Beautiful Day for the 147th Run for the Roses in the 12th race at Churchill Downs. Unless there are changes this morning, there will be 19 horses running in the Kentucky Derby this year. How do we pick a winner??

As Paul Simon wrote: “The problem is all inside your head, she said to me. The answer is easy if you take it logically…” there must be 50 ways to bet the Derby…

Logic–Ha! You can bet by choosing your favorite horse name, jockey, owner, trainer, silk colors, horse color… You can pick by pace, speed, past performances, or take a tip from one of the many “professionals”.

You could choose by the Odds, but I’m ranting about those… In fact, I’m put out that there are so many horses in this race at all, something I moan about every year. This year really underscores my complaint: Of the 19 horses running, Nine have odds greater than 40-1, Three have odds greater than 30-1, and 4 have odds greater than 10-1. That leaves you with Three — just 3 — horses and one of those, Essential Quality, has a morning line of 6-5 (that ain’t no odds at all).

Essential Quality, a beautiful gray horse who is unbeaten in his Five starts during the Prep Races, does look like a Super Horse. Sired by Tapit and out of Delightful Quality, he is bred and owned by Godolphin, trained by Brad Cox and jockey Luis Saez sits aboard. He’s in the #14 post position and certainly appears to be sure bet– but nothing is sure in this race despite those odds.

The other two horses with odds below 10-1 are Hot Rod Charlie and Rock Your World. I latched on to Hot Rod because of his name, reminding me of my cousin-in-law, Charlie Pierson. Who wouldn’t bet a horse named after him, and with odds 7-1? Rock your World is fast and will set the pace, but can he go the distance? I dunno, because he doesn’t have a whole lot of experience.

The four horses with odds between 10 and 20 to 1 are more my style: Known Agenda, Medina Spirit, Midnight Bourbon, and Highly Motivated. I’m angsting over All of them. As a true over-thinker, I’ve followed the Derby Prep Races which started in January. Points are assigned to each win, place, or show of those races and these four have shown themselves to be strong contenders.

Of the also-rans, only Soup and Sandwich appeals to me. He is a light gray with Spunk and I love his name.

I place my bets online with Twin Spires and they sent me a $10-money-back offer. If I make a $10 Win bet and that horse comes in second or third, I will get my money back; that sort of makes up for the short odds on Essential Quality, so I’ll wager $10 that he will win.

Medina Spirit, a Baffert horse, is a sure bet for me across the board, as is the afore-mentioned Hot Rod Charlie. For my show and combo bets, it’s between Known Agenda, Midnight Bourbon, Highly Motivated, and Soup and Sandwich.

The odds are changing even as we speak. I’m still befuddled and bewildered, so I’ll turn to my Ace in the Hole: Let the grandies pick…

Good Luck!

Sunday Report 4-25-2021

The Sun is Shining! This last week has been intermittently gloomy and gray and I’ve counted the days until the predicted return of warmth. We did set a record for the 1.5inches of snow we got on Wednesday/Thursday, but no one I know celebrated. We covered our perennials for two nights as the temps plummeted, and Now they look as relieved as I feel. As I’ve mentioned, in this neck of the woods we’ve had freezes well into May, but my trusty forecaster seems certain that we’ve seen our last frost. The peas and potatoes don’t care, of course, and are just growing like champs.

It was a busy week Inside, though, as I caught up with some family members and friends. I took advantage of the indoor-time to write up the Irish Ancestors, but it will be a wee bit before I publish it. My friend, Kathy, is visiting her sisters in Carmi and I drove over there for some luncheon on Friday. After a delicious meal, we drove out to the Big Prairie Cemetery to find the gravesite of my great-grandmother “Gainsey” and her #2 husband, Jack. It was a mite breezy, but the sun was out and it was a pleasant stroll. I like the Peace of a cemetery.

Today I’m going to put the perennials in the Peace/Bird Garden: coreopsis, liatris, and pineapple sage. The birds are still keeping the feeders busy and we spotted our first hummingbird yesterday! He/she was here and gone, but what an awesome harbinger of Spring.

My wish right now is to be able to sleep with the windows open, so that the Dawn Chorus of Birds wakes me every morning. I’m looking out for the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks that visit each Spring; my birder-friend, Sharon Sorensen, wrote about them in the local paper today. I didn’t realize that they fly by night and navigate by the stars. There’s a sermon there…

Today is the First Day of Derby Week! Have you picked your horse? I’ll give you my picks in a Special Edition this week. I have my eye on a couple of not-favorites, but those favorites look strong, too… You can count on me to Overthink it to oblivion…

Get your hat ready! It looks like it’s going to be a pretty day for a horse race on Saturday…

Peace

Sunday Report 4/18/2020

If you’re a regular reader of my stories and reports, you may remember how last year I got kicked out of my Favorite plant place because I told the owner, who I considered a friend, that she should be wearing a mask. Here’s what I wrote last year…

Wow, that was awkward… April 19, 2020

I’ve been soo looking forward to getting down to my local plant place this morning.  I had read an FB post that said she’d require masks and gloves, limit the amount of people inside (it is very small and crowded with plants), and so I felt she was doing her best to keep us all safe.  I was very disappointed when I saw that she was Not wearing a mask and I said so as I walked in.

She went off on me.  I mean, she was hollering at me, shaking, tears…Told me that the Dept. of Health said she and her employees cannot wear masks and that the problem was with the shoes…that I would need to go home and bleach my shoes after I shopped… My jaw dropped, under my mask, and I said, I’m sorry.  I was thinking about You; I’m wearing a mask.  She yelled that my mask wasn’t doing me any good (per the Health Dept.) I was wearing gloves and she shouted that I couldn’t wear those gloves in and they had an employee standing there (no mask) handing out gloves (no social distancing). She howled that she and her employees are not sick…(you could still be a carrier) I tried to calm her down, but she kept on wailing that I just don’t know how scared she is and how hard she’s working.  (good thing she’s not a nurse) She was screaming all this standing about a foot away from me and realized how close she was, so she stepped back a couple of feet and kept yelling,  Inside people stopped and stared, many of them not wearing masks, many of them crowded together.  During the rant she said the Health Dept. told her she is not allowed to Make people wear masks. This went on a little longer until I said, If you’re going to keep yelling at me I guess I’ll just leave.  She said Go.  I was shaking by that time, so that was that.

That place has been a part of my life since I started gardening 20+ years ago and I’m already grieving it. I love those people and support them even in the winter time when they’re just a convenience store.  The yelling lady is a kind person and I forgive her for her tirade, but there was no social distancing going on by her or her employees and they were Not Wearing Masks to protect themselves.  I hope they’re all okay and remain healthy.

…………………………………………………………………….

Fast forward through a year that went rather slow-motion through rising numbers of Covid cases and deaths. I have already been up to Hillside Nursery for my veggies and bought some herbs, as well, but I miss the variety of perennials and herbs that I could Always find at Ronnie’s Fruit Stand, the business that had thrown me out. I checked out her FB page and Lo! and Behold!, she was taking appointments, limiting people to 20-25 at a time, emphasizing that All should wear masks as she feels our statewide mandate was rescinded too soon. I wondered, but I was ready to shop and Opening Day was the next morning. I signed up for a 9am appointment.

When I got there, I saw that the Owner was busy helping people, wearing a mask. I slinked around and back to the Herb Section and it was like heaven to see full racks of hard-to-find favorites of mine like lemon verbena and pineapple sage, and there was plenty of basil. In the perennial section I picked up some liatris and coreopsis, chatting away with other shoppers, just so glad to be back. As I stood in line to check out, the owner came up to speak to me…

“I’m really sorry about what happened last year. I’m so glad you are here and I was so wrong to act the way I did. ”

I answered, “It’s okay, I know you were really stressed.” and we shared a big masked, vaccinated, almost post-Covid hug. “Have you stayed well?”

Tears came to her eyes as she replied, “No. On May 1 I got sick. I almost died. I thought I was going to die.” We shared another hug. Note that May first was less than two weeks after our encounter.

So I’m glad to be able to run back and forth for plants at my old stomping ground, but saddened that the messages about how to avoid being infected were so mixed. I’m sure glad my friend recovered.

We’re supposed to have frosts and snow flurries this coming week, so my plant-babies will be taken in and out of the shed for a while longer. Spring takes its time, but I’m hoping that will be our last frost.

Peace

Sunday Report 4-11-2021

After three weeks of gallavanting, it’s nice to be back home. Tuesday was my first full day and it was a doozy: spring blooms waving in a soft wind, woodlands greening, cotton-candy clouds played hide and seek with the sun in the — yeah, I’m going to say it –azure sky.

The gardens drew me in and I spent a good part of the day outside cleaning the porches and shuffling around some plants. We moved the bird feeders from the Peace Garden and raked up the sunflower husks as best we could. The coneflower and rudbeckia are coming up nicely.

I must admit, however, that I have been tired. Wednesday Jessica, Olivia, and Samantha spent the day with me while a new furnace was installed at their house. They do school all day, so I learned a few things, but I needed a nap…

On Thursday I started a Photo Project, pulling out all the photos (again). There are so many, and some I’d forgotten. After studying up on the ancestors, I’ve come to know them better; their faces seem familiar. The not-so-familiar face is Me, but I have another project for those…a little later. The Current Project is to frame up a dozen or so and listen to them. We all know Every Picture Tells A Story…

It’s a slow process, as you can imagine. Since it’s also time to start seeds, I’m pretty sure my table will be covered over for a while. Be on the Look-Out for the Garden Blog…

Peace

Early Report 3-28-2021

I am always a little sad when our Disney vacations end, but my heart is overflowing with memories of walking hand in hand with these girls…

We arrived at Sebastian Inlet State Park and set up camp about 3pm; spent the afternoon and evening wandering around. After a beautiful sunset…

the full moon rose just behind our campsite…

The plan is to hang here for a while, then drive by my cousin Kim’s place for a visit. We’ll head up to Lake City for the night, get up early and be back at Sonnystone tomorrow afternoon.

It’s been a Magical Trip…

Peace

Late Report 3-21-2021

Last night at the campground, we enjoyed Goldie’s new amenities…

We slept well and were up early, arriving at Pop Century around 10:30. After moving in to our room, we grabbed a bus over to Disney Springs and met up with the Jrs..

After a little shopping, we’re back at Pop, relaxing, resting up for the next five days of Magic.

It was an interesting trip…Somewhere near Chula, Georgia we saw the usual treasonous display…

And again, just north of Lake City, FL…

Tell me again: who won that war?

We’re going to have a great time this week. Hope you do, too…

Peace

Midweek Missive

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Erin go bragh!

I ran into a little problem over at the Garden Blog: I’m out of storage for uploads (pictures and what-not). I have to either upgrade ($$) that site or go through ten years of posts and start deleting. As we prepare to leave town on Saturday, I don’t have time for either of those fixes, so I’ll decide later. For now, I present to you, the first Garden Journal entry of 2021.


The Edible Garden in Winter…

The garden is still covered with its winter mantle of leaf mulch, but we cleared enough over in the corner to plant some peas. I planted our tried-and-true Oregon Sugar Snap and added Little Marvel this year, just for fun.

I didn’t want to take up the space for potatoes, so we are trying out these 10-gallon growing bags with cool viewing window and sturdy handles.

They came in a pack of four, so we planted three red in one, three gold in another; now we’ll wait a month and plant the other two bags. It seems a lot easier than digging trenches and hilling, so I hope they produce! Keep on Growing!


We’ll celebrate the Arrival of Spring while driving south for our vacation at Walt Disney World. After our return, we’ll begin our seed starting and get serious…Plus I’ll figure out what to do about the other blog.

Wishing you All the Blessings you can handle, from the bottom of my Scots-Irish Heart…

Peace