Sunday Report

It has been my pleasure to have my stay-at-home-life unexpectedly interrupted by a visit from my Aunt Shirley and Cousin Kim,  Aunt Shirley is my mother’s sister, the lone survivor of the nine Eatons.  She has always been my favorite.  Several years back when she was half-mad at me for not coming to see her I was sweet-talking her and told her she was my Favorite aunt.  She retorted “I’m your Only aunt.”

But she was my favorite even back when she had a lot of competition from Aunts Thelma, Clara, Almeda, and Joyce.  After she chastised me, I never again went to Disney without heading over to Melbourne, and I had visited her when we were there to celebrate my birthday in February. She was living alone with significant help from her daughter and home health, and spent her days taking her dog, Leo, out for short walks.

In late March she fell, cracked her clavicle and twisted her feet in a knot that put her walking days behind her.  She moved in with Kim and was total care for several weeks. During that time she shrunk down to about 100 pounds, had hallucinations, and things were looking bad. They got the hallucinations under control and  started physical therapy.  Increasingly, she wanted to see her “boys” who live up here in Grayville, IL, the town where Shirley grew up, about 40 miles from Sonnystone.  As they worked through the really out-of-it days, she begged more and more to go back “home”.

After a couple of months, Shirley was getting a little more mobile so Kim decided try to get her on a plane and over to Illinois.  They missed the first flight!, turned away at the airport because of some boarding pass fiasco.  The next morning, Shirley woke up and told Kim she was going to die that day.  She got on the phone and called her other four children and told them how bad she felt and that she was going to die.  Well, that got their attention.  Her oldest daughter flew in two days later from Texas and stayed for three days.  Daughter #2, along with her daughter and grandchilren, arranged a caravan from North Carolina to Grayville for the week-end of her visit.

Later that day  for the first time since her fall, Aunt Shirley got herself out of the bed and wheeled herself in to the living room where Kim sat,astounded…  “I thought you were going to die today.”  Shirley laughed and said, “Not Today!”

So Kim, Shirley, and Kim’s children flew into Evansville Thursday, the 11th.  The family had a big party at her grandson’s old Victorian home in Grayville, the porch and lawn filled with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren on a beautiful Saturday.  Everybody got along and nobody got any drunker than usual.  I wasn’t there, but I’m told that at one point Shirley looked around and asked “What are all these people doing here?” and immediately answered herself, “Oh, that’s right, it’s my dying party.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Aunt Shirley came over to spend the night and I was able to see how deep her self-care deficits are (deep).  As she puts it, her feet are frozen.  It takes an act of great will to move them.  Transfers from wheelchair are Work for anyone involved…and scary.  It’s such a Big change from when I saw her just four months ago.  She was still glowing from the Love at the Dying Party…or maybe it was tears from the Farewells as she left Grayville.  I’m glad I got to spend some time with her.

Aunt Shirley at her Dying Party 6/13/2020

So I’m messed up on my schedule for blogging the Sonnystone Saga.  Though I have worked ahead on these articles, I still need to write up several more.  When I do genealogy I end up following more people than I need to and I read the history of the times in which they lived.  Fascinating stuff, but it’s also time-consuming.  Gardening is prioritized over research/writing, as is cooking/eating, so I’m at least a week behind.

Cleaning the house is usually at the bottom of my priorities, but it is Officially Filthy in here, so it has surged to the top…  I’ll get back to the Sonnystone Saga, publishing when I can, as I know you are waiting with bated breath for each installment, all six of you, so don’t despair.  We have 50+ more years to go!  I will put it on a Page soon, so you can read it in the proper order and at your leisure…

It’s a beautiful rainy day and my plants are drenched…


Sonnystone Saga: Meet the Reeds

To celebrate 17 years living at Sonnystone Acres, we are publishing  a series of posts chronicling the first three families who lived here, spanning 111 years… This is the third installment of the series…

John L. Reed was born in England in 1815. Try as I might, I find no record of his parents or when he arrived. Because his life is intricately entwined with the Inwoods, I have reason t believe that upon his arrival he settled in with the British community that had been established in the 1820s around McCutchanville.

William and Hannah Inwood were from Godalming, Surrey, England and were among the earliest settlers here in Southern Indiana.  When they arrived in the USA in 1821, they already had three children: Harriett, b. 1815; John, b. 1817; and Sarah, b. 1820.  They had three more children after their move to Indiana:  Mary, b. 1823; George, b. 1826; and William, Jr. b. 1828.  William and his family settled land between Mechanicsville and McCutchanville along the state road, now Petersburg Road.  Hannah died in 1835, age 47.  William lived another 20 years, dying in 1855.  His children were grown by then and he had already conveyed his land and wealth to them.

In 1841, John Reed married Sarah Inwood, the daughter of William, Sr. and Hannah.  He and Sarah had three children together:  John “Jack”, b. 1842; Thomas, b. 1846; and Mary J., b. 1849.  The 1850 census shows that the family lives in Kratzville, a small community near Stringtown.  John was working for a trucking service as a drayman (driver of a beer truck). He owns real estate valued at $1100.  The kids were ages 7, 4, and 1.

Something very unexpected occurred between 1850 and 1860…John and Sarah Inwood Reed divorced.

Divorced?! you say, Divorced in the 1850’s?!  Unheard of.  I don’t have record of the actual divorce as those are hard to come by, but I discovered — to my amazement — that divorce was not as uncommon as I thought in those years.  In fact, Indiana had such lax divorce laws in the 1850s that coming to the state was a popular quick way to shed your spouse.

From “The Indiana Magazine of History” : [From 1852 ] until 1873, Indiana used to have one of the most liberal divorce laws in the country, and unhappily married individuals flocked to the Hoosier state in order to bring their unions to a quick—and relatively painless—end. According to Garber, in those days judges were inclined to grant a divorce decree “as a matter of course in every case where the defendant did not appear and oppose it.” The applicant had only to provide “proof of residence” and swear under oath that there was “statutory cause” for their petition.

Still, Divorce was considered quite scandalous in polite society… It appears that Sarah Inwood Reed was the first to stray which was even more sordid.   Sarah gave birth in 1856 to a son named William Green and in 1858 had another son, Benjamin Green.  I have no clue who their Daddy was, though I’ve looked everywhere for him.  The only candidate I’ve found would be a married man!  I’ve not ruled it out…

In the meantime, John Reed had moved to Richmond, Indiana and married — get this –his ex-wife Sarah’s younger sister, Mary Inwood Childs!!

Mary had married Stephen Childs in 1842 and they had three children:  Sarah, b. 1843; George, b. 1847; and Mary, b. 1849. I do not see a record of Stephen Childs’ death — or his life, for that matter, other than the record of his marriage to Mary, but let’s just assume that he died because one divorce is all I can handle.

While John and Mary rode out the scandal in Richmond, they had two children together: Minnie, b. 1857; and Ada Belle, b. 1859.  I do not know if John’s sons with Sarah, Thomas and John, jr., went with them, but their daughter Mary disappears during that decade.

So it was that in 1860, John and Mary Inwood Reed returned to Center Township, Vanderburgh County. Post office of McCutchanville, and bought Sonnystone land and home from Jacob Miller.  The family had moved in by the June, 1860 census and it shows that the property is valued at $2700, personal property $120.  They had a full house:  Sarah Childs, 17; George Childs, 13; Thomas Reed, 14; Minnie, 3; and Ada (Belle), 7 months.  John, Jr., 18, is also counted as living with them, working as a farmhand.

John and Mary Reed named their estate Reedmont. They owned their farm and are surrounded by Mary’s family.  Mary’s brother, John Inwood and his family lived on the farm just south of them.  Her brother, George, lived two farms north.  Welcomed back into the fold?  By some, perhaps, but the Inwood family reunions must have been a bit awkward…

1860 census reveals that Sarah Inwood Green and her two sons, ages 5 and 3, are living with her youngest brother, William, a grocer who lived in downtown Evansville.  Guess who else is counted as living there?  John Reed, Jr., heretofore called Jack, is listed as a drayman…

I can’t find a record of Jack serving in the Civil War, though he was just the “right” age for it.  Thomas Reed was only 15 in 1861 when the War started, but he managed to get in at the very end, joining the Indiana 42nd Regiment, Company A in February of 1864.  The 42nd met up with Sherman to fight the Battle of Jonesboro and were part of the March to the Sea and the Siege of Savannah.

The decade of the 1870’s was a bright one for most of the Family of Reedmont/Sonnystone Acres…

Stay Tuned…




The Sonnystone Saga: The Millers

To celebrate 17 years living at Sonnystone Acres, we are publishing  a series of posts chronicling the first three families who lived here, spanning 111 years… This is the second installment of the series…

Jacob Miller was born 1812 in the Electorate of Hessia.  It’s unclear when he came over from Germany and finding a Jacob Miller/Muller/Mueller in the plethora of German immigrants who swarmed into Vanderburgh County in those days is like finding a needle in a haystack.

What’s certain is this particular Jacob Miller was 26-years-old when he married Maria Klein in 1838.  He bought his first 20 acres of land in Center Township in 1840 and opened a blacksmith shop, one of many in Mechanicsville,  on the north corner of Sonnystone, near the State Road (now Stringtown Road).  Just up the hill, they built the original Sonnystone house, and the hand hewn logs that Jacob placed as a foundation still hold the place up quite nicely today.

Maria and Jacob had five children:  Henry was born in 1840; Conrad, 1842; John, 1844; Jacob, Jr., 1846; and Mary, 1848.  The 1850 census reports that Jacob’s property is worth $2000.  That’s about middle of the property value of his neighbors.

The Miller children were educated in the schools of the time.  John died before 1860, probably right here at Sonnystone  None of the sons became blacksmiths, but they made their own way.

In 1860 the Senior Millers sold Sonnystone and moved the blacksmith shop south of Pigeon Creek near downtown Evansville.  His sons were grown and his daughter had married.

Oldest son Henry was working as a Post Office clerk in 1860, living down near the Ohio River. When the Civil War started, he found work on the steamboats and was a  Union Army Captain by the end of the war.  He married a lady from Nashville, TN in 1868 and together they had three daughters.  Henry died in 1874, just 34-years-old.

By 1870 Jacob,Sr. had retired from the smithy and the couple were living with Conrad and Jacob Jr., all of them rather wealthy according to the census.   Conrad and Jacob, Jr. started work as store clerks, but by 1871 they established a business together: Miller Brothers Dry Goods.  Maria died in 1879.  Jacob, Sr. died in 1883.

In 1885 the Miller Brothers erected a building on Main Street that was the Largest dry goods store in the state at the time and for many years thereafter.

In 1886, Conrad withdrew from the business and moved to Boston and engaged in the same sort of business, becoming a successful merchant there. After Conrad left Miller Bros. Jacob joined in with W.S. Gilbert and the name of the business became Gilbert-Miller Dry Goods.

Jacob, Jr. never married, but has a lengthy biography in the aforementioned “History of Vanderburgh County” (1889) that gushes over his character and accomplishments. He served for a year in the Civil War, 136th Regiment of Indiana Volunteer Infantry and was also a city councilman for several years.

In the meantime (1887), Conrad, age 45 and now living in Boston, MA,  married Anna “Annie” Jenness who is a famous lady that I’d  never heard of.  She was a “dress reformer”…huh?

From Wikipedia:  Anna “Annie” Jenness Miller (January 28, 1859—August 1935) was a pioneering clothing designer and an advocate for dress reform, as well as an author and lecturer.  She basically loosened the corsets and invented “leglets” for women, making it easier for them to ride bicycles.  I think we call them pants today.    She was really cool, a member of the Massachusetts Women of Letters alongside the likes of Louisa May Alcott, Julia Ward Howe, Lucy Stone and that was before she married Conrad (17 years her senior) at age 28.  You can read more about here here.


During the 20 years that the Millers lived at Sonnystone the area had faltered commercially.  Evansville’s population, which had declined between 1840 and 1850 to only 3,235, surged to 11,484 in 1860 and businesses there were growing strong.  The areas around Sonnystone — Mechanicsville, Kratzville, and McCutchanville — were mostly farms.

John Reed bought the estate in 1860 and he and his family farmed here for 63 years.

The Reeds have a convoluted story to tell…

Stay Tuned…



The Sonnystone Saga: Intro

Introduction to the Intro

To celebrate 17 years living here at Sonnystone Acres, today we start a series of posts chronicling the first three families who lived here, spanning 111 years…this could take a while.

In 2003 we bought a falling-down old house on 4 acres of property, just about a mile from where we were living in Evansville IN.  We were new empty-nesters and had been looking for a fixer-upper with some land for a while. This one fit the bill and was less than a mile from the neighborhood where we’d lived and raised our children for 18 years.

We bought the house from a couple of 80-somethings who had lived here for 30 years. The lady was ill and he was old and it fell into disrepair.  They had no children and when the gentleman died a nephew moved her to St. Louis.  About a year after we moved in, we received a package from the nephew that contained the property’s original paper abstract, a collection of legal documents that chronicles transactions associated with the land, including references to deeds, mortgages, wills, probate records, etc.

The abstract is only about the property and though its owners are named, it gives me no clue as to what was built here, e.g. homes, barns, businesses.  It’s full of measurements using chains and rods and stones that interest my husband, but I was more intrigued by the presence of a Last Will and Testament and a couple of court records, as well as recognizing the surnames of some of the former owners who have streets around here named after them.

I had already been curious about the “S” on the chimney outside…what did it originally stand for?  (Smith)  There is a name carved in a stone step (with a boot-scraper embedded) that sits at our front door.  Who was that? (John E. Reed) The answers in the Abstract only led to more questions, and nearly 15 years ago I collected some info at our Historical Society. The venture was sidelined for years until I subscribed to ancestrydotcom. Recently I started a Sonnystone Acres Family Tree and uncovered all new info about the first three families, stretching from 1846 to 1957.

We’ll start, though, with the original land patent.  On March 26, 1821, the northwest quarter of Section 5. Town 7 south, Range 10 west, containing 169.2 acres according to Government survey was entered at the U.S. Land Office at Vincennes, Indiana, by William Hampton.

This land is located in Vanderburgh County, Center Township, specifically in an area once known as Mechanicsville.

From “A History of Vanderburgh County, from the Earliest Times to the Present”, published in 1889:

{referencing Center Township}: The principal village in the township is Mechanicsville, commonly called Stringtown, because its houses are strung along the road.  At a very early date, the point where the Petersburgh road left the State road was selected as a good place for a smithy and wagon shop. It was a busy place in early times…

Mr. Ira Fairchild, who came with his family from New York to Indiana in 1818, thus pictures the early days of this village : “In 1829 my father removed’to Mechanicsville and opened a blacksmith’s shop …  which was a famous institution in its day. This house was built of heavy hewed logs, 30×40 feet square, had five forges and worked a force of seven or eight hands. All the livery horses of Evansville were brought there to be shod, and all sorts of iron work was done. At this time Mechanicsville seemed in a fair way to outstrip Evansville in the race for position. Thomas Smith had built a saw-mill on Pigeon creek, and on the hill where he afterward kept tavern he carried on a cabinet shop, … and supplied the demand for furniture for miles around. The village also boasted of a well-kept hotel, a’ wagon shop, and country store, and was withal a place of very considerable local importance.”

In 1839, William Hampton and wife conveyed to John H. Craig 89.2 acres.  The next year, 1840, John H. Craig sold 20 of those acres to Jacob Miller and another 20 acres to Jacob Winkleman.  Mr. Winkleman sold his 20 acres to John Hardy in 1845.  In 1847, Hardy and his wife sold those acres to Jacob Miller.  Miller now owned about 40 acres of the original William Hampton land patent.

Jacob Miller and his wife Maria (Mary) were Sonnystone’s first residents.

Stay Tuned…




This Girl


Emma Magnolia Mayne Jose graduates from 8th grade today.  Emma’s my first grand-daughter, my #1 who Named me Jojo.  I am so proud of all she has accomplished in her 14 years. We’re tuning into the Town School ceremony via livestream, buckets of tissues nearby, to listen to her speak.  I’m so glad we could attend in this way, but I’d rather be in NYC…



Coincidentally, Ten years ago today I posted my first blog on “The News from Sonnystone Acres”.   I started the blog “Sonnystone Acres” in June, 2004. I can’t access those stories anymore, though I did find about four years of them.  It’s cringeworthy stuff, but I liked blogging.  In 2010 I came across the free WordPress site and started the garden blog, Growing Every Season.  The platform was so much easier to use that I re-started The News to chronicle my life– good thing, too, since we often have to go to the blog to remember when we went where, or what year something happened, so it’s now essential.

Anyway, the first blog post on The News brought along my following of about 12 people.  I had just returned from a trip to NYC to visit with Emma..  It is All Emma, 4 years old, radiating charm…  I adore this girl…

All together now?

Thank-you for following me!  I want to tell you all about my recent trip to NYC………

Sunday morning tap class:

Melissa sang beautifully at a recital that afternoon (tears from Mom) and we supped at Maz before she went off to sing a Mass.  Eric, Em, and I stopped by Merrion Square for a short snort, then grabbed the car, picked up Mel and we went down to the HighLine.  Remember when I went there in November?  It sure looks different now with all the plants in bloom.  I took tons of pictures of the flora and fauna, but you’ll have to check those out over at the garden blog.   Here’s some people pix:

From there we walked to Bill’s for a coldass beer.  It is this kind of backdrop that makes me feel like I’m on a movie set when I’m walking the streets of New York.

The next day, we took Emma to school and ran some errands.  After school, she and her buddies (and her mom’s buddies) went over to the park and play, play, played:


On Tuesday, the City opened up all the museums along Museum Mile for free, closing off the streets for an Art Fair.  As we arrived, lo and behold, there was de la Vega, an artist I have long revered (I have 2 t-shirts, that’s how much I revere him) chalking his art from 103rd down to 80-something where the Met is:

Emma picked up a piece of his chalk (he carried a bagful, and would hand it to the kids or leave it to be picked up when he finished) and began to do her own art all the way down the street (until her chalk was gone):

The finale was a sneak preview of  the St. Joseph end-of-school Show, to be presented next week, but kindly practiced on stage just for a visiting Grandma…thanks to Andermanis….

The songs were great and not your usual kids song, and the best: All You Need is LOVE.  As they stressed the LOVE, they put their hands in the air…..I love Emma’s school.  I love her whole life, actually, and it’s so fun to watch and be a part of it!!





Sunday Report

What a Week we’ve Experienced… We watched as Americans came out of their homes and onto the streets in Huge numbers to peacefully protest police brutality against African-Americans, calling for changes within the police system.  For a bit there, all we saw  was fire and looting and elected officials called in the National Guard and imposed mandatory curfews.  Hundreds of Thousands of people continued to protest, peacefully, literally Everywhere across our country, Every Day.  Amazing!  Frightening!  Inspiring!

I haven’t been to our town’s protests, but I’m so impressed by how many have turned out.  I’m still leery of Covid — remember that? — so I’ll leave it to the young -uns for now, but I’ll find a way to support this Cause.  We can’t just leave it up to politicians.  It should not be the burden of only the black and brown people.  If we want to see systemic change across the board, then we woke middle-class white people must use whatever we have to continue to Speak Up.

We’re all suffering from Crisis Exhaustion, but Be Strong…

To celebrate the 17th Anniversary of the day we moved into our current abode, I’ve worked up a few posts dealing with the history of the families who lived here, starting in 1846.  It is also the 16th Anniversary of the Blog known as Sonnystone Acres, so I will share some “Best of” posts.  16 years of Blogging?!? Crazy, huh?  Time to celebrate..

Grandie #1 graduates from 8th grade this week — where has the time gone?  I hope when she’s my age there is a much more Just and Safe America.




Sunday Sermon

Dear Friends, fellow humans, let our deep pain at the horrible state of our country be expressed as Love — not the romantic, feely-feely love of hallmark cards, but the Agressive, Active Love that can overcome this civil war.  As our cities erupt with fire and anger, let our Love envelope those hurting and those hurt.  Can we look around and see a Way to help those who have been oppressed for 400 years?  Sometimes it’s our very helplessness that can move us to cry out that this racism must end.  I said it, racism, and it’s built in to our culture, wired into our brains, and many white people deny it because it is tribal.

I am a “woke white woman”.  What does that mean?  That means I realized, with horror, that I am a bigot.  The revelation came to me over Ferguson, the sight of Michael Brown lying in the street, dead, while the white police officers figured out their story to justify his murder.  Prior to that I used the usual racist-white-person excuse that I had personally always strived to treat people the same–and I did.  As a nurse, I looked at the illness, the wound, the problem and used the same tactics to heal no matter a person’s color  That much is true.

What I didn’t realize is that I would never be treated the way a black person is.  I understood that I had “gotten away with” stuff that black people would be jailed or killed for.  I saw the kids at the “good” school where I worked treated in two different ways with black kids always suspected and black parents always undermined.  I was sick with grief and guilt.

No amount of whitesplaining made it look any better.  I saw that my parents, my family members were of the bigoted mindset and that they seriously did Not See it–in fact, denied it vigorously.  I saw white people have biracial grandchildren that they loved and helped raise, so they claimed that proved they were not racist….but they still hated the father and the father’s family because their bigotry is so ingrained.  I’m no better than them, though, but I decided at that moment to be aware of my bias, my stupid feeling that this is America so everyone has the same chance–Ha!    Once you see something, you can’t un-see it.  Dr. Martin Luther King said, “An injustice anywhere is an injustice Everywhere.”

The folks rioting and burning have had the knee of the oppressor on their necks for centuries. I can’t say what I would do if I were in their shoes.  I’ll just not judge but Look, Look for a way to Agressively, Actively Love them and not make it in any way about myself.  Dr. Martin Luther King said, “A riot is the language of the unheard.”

Already I have prayed and prayed hard, sometimes with just tears because I don’t know what to say.  I left my church as I watched them coalesce around a mentally ill man who stoked their bigotry and homophobia, calling him a messiah even though he couldn’t tell you a single Bible story.  Since the pandemic I’ve been able to “attend” a lot of different church services and there are plenty of them who do not preach this and I’m relieved, even invigorated by their sermons.  In particular, I’ve virtually visited a lot of black churches; it’s a different world and one that has informed me about their plight. The scales continue to drop from my eyes and I see some ways I can help them and I will.

The truth about our country is this:  the confederacy won that war.  Though Lee surrendered, they went to Plan B and murdered the president and cabinet members running the country, replacing Lincoln with a Southerner.  We don’t teach that in our history books, the ones that are chosen in Texas; they don’t teach about the laws that were passed to keep these people from being recognized as People. As People!  My mother truly believed that black people had different skeletons and blood than white people…

We know Better.  We can Be Better.

I was out the other day to the grocery store and was astounded to see 95% of the people not wearing masks.  Taking care of each other has been labeled a Liberal thing, a Democrat thing, a Weak thing.  Taking care of each other has become a Weak Thing?  Is that what you believe?  Please.

It’s Pentecost Sunday in the christian church, marking the story of the Holy Spirit coming in like a big wind,  As the disciples preached, everyone in the audience heard the message in his own language because Love is for All of us.  It Woke them Up.  May that same Spirit of Love Wake Us Up today.


Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that…

 Martin Luther King…

Sunday Report

Here we are at day Number Million of the Coronavirus Covid-19 Pandemic and how are ya’ll faring?

Sonnystoners have never been tempted by “normal” and there’s nothing out there that I Need to Do so badly that I would risk my life.  We’ve been caught up in the Seasonal Chores — gardening, cleaning the porches, putting up the pool, mowing between rains — just going with the flow.

The Big Thing that changed for us with the advent of the quarantine was our Plans…plans for traveling, but also plans to be with our New York Family to celebrate #1 Grandie Emma’s Graduation from Eighth Grade.  She will graduate via Virtual ceremony from Town. School on June 10th or so, and I will be present, probably with a better view than I would have if I were there physically.  Emma is just such a Great Kid and I’m not just saying that because I’m her Jojo…her Teachers and fellow Students agree.  I’m so proud that she was chosen to speak at the Town. Graduation…Check this out.

Who knows when or how school will resume in the Fall, but she will be attending Trevor School, a Learning Place that fits her, and welcomes her as a Student Ambassador.  Her wagon is hitched to a star.

Another Plan that changed was our Trip to London for Trooping the Colour and Royal Ascot.  We’d planned to go to Emma’s graduation, then hop a plane for London.  Thanks to the pandemic we did get a credit for our flights without change fees.  The hotel was also non-refundable, but I started a correspondence with The Queen’s Gate to see if they would also give me a credit.  At first they wanted me to schedule a visit before the end of the year.  Air travel and such are still so flux that I asked them to please extend my credit to accommodate a similar trip to what I’d planned.  I told them of my Royal fetish and crush on Prince Charles, moving them allow me to visit anytime before 30 June 2021.  Yay!  We’ll skip the Trooping the Colour since I don’t know When I’ll be comfortable in a crowd that size and will arrive the day after.  I made friends with the concierge and he will help us arrange tours and transport to the Royal Ascot.  Even though I’d planned this trip for that last six months, the New Trip will be Better, I just know.  All’s Well.


I went to my hairdresser on Friday and I’m blonde again.  Nails still ratty and ugly, but I’m hesitant to chance my usual salon. I might have to actually do my own for a while…. Casey let me cut his bangs…okay… that the New Normal?  I can live with it.


Wishing you All a Peaceful, Loving Mothers’ Day

I read an article the other day:  10 Unforgettable Literary Moms.  I came away with one quote that resonated my heart.

It’s a quote from Toni Morrisson’s deeply haunting book “Beloved”.  I confess, I didn’t get very far into the book before I set it down.  It was a glimpse into a world that is so disturbing and painful that it caused me pain, too.  I’ve always said I’ll get back to it when the Time is right because there is something to learn about suffering from it.  At any rate, here’s the quote from Sethe, whose tragic past has complicated her relationship with her daughter, 18-year-old Denver.  Despite all of Sethe’s problems, she is a Mother.

Grown don’t mean a thing to a mother.  A child is a child.  They get bigger, older, but grown?  What’s that supposed to mean?  In my heart, it don’t mean a thing.

She’s not talking about “raising” a child here.  She’s talking about the effeable feeling of Being a Mother.  There are no words, though I’ve just spent an hour trying to write some.  It is Mystical Spiritual Love that is instinctively protective and nurturing.  It doesn’t change  just because your children reach a certain age.

It’s not about the Love you receive from your children.  It’s not about what a Good Mother you are or aren’t.  It’s about that Spirit that enters you when you give birth, committing you to a Lifetime of Support to your creation.

I suppose that it’s possible that some mothers don’t feel it and I’m sad for them and their children.  Most of us, though, have been Blessed by that Love.  Now that my kids are parents, they, too, know that Ever-Present Love and Caring for their kids.

It doesn’t change, no matter how much anger or sadness has found its way into your lives.  It is Forever and Always.

It isn’t easy, this mothering thing.  We try our best to keep sight of that inexpressible Love when times are trying, but ain’t nobody perfect.  The Perfect Mother is one who has done her Best…and that’s all of us…and that’s Good Enough.

They are still my children, my babies.  In my heart, they never are Grown, but I sure do respect them as Adults. They are Good People.  I love being their Mom and am so grateful.  (I really like those grandkids, too, but that’s yet another Indescribable Love!)




Sunday Rerun: Derby Days

Finishing up the Loooooooong month of April was quick…!bam! it was the First Saturday in May, aka Derby Day in the Casey Family.  It was the Best Weather for a Derby we’ve had in years, but No bets were placed, no hats were donned, and no Juleps were consumed.  We did tune in to watch the Virtual race of past Triple Crown winners, won by Secretariat with Seattle Slew right behind.  With the Derby rescheduled for early September, we’re still a bit leery of the idea of such a large group gathering, but it would be nice…

Instead of preaching to you about wearing a mask (please do) and physical distancing (stay 6 feet away from me), I want to relive the Kentucky Derby…

Here’s a rerun of reruns from the 2018 Derby!

News from Sonnystone Acres

It’s that Magical Time of Year — Derby fever has been raging in Louisville, KY for 2 weeks and we now have the field set and can make bets beginning tomorrow.

It looks as though Eville is going to have decent weather on Saturday with a.m. clouds/p.m. sun and highs in the 70’s,  in stark contrast to my report in  2013 Coldest Derby Ever  

I shared with you in  2015 – It’s Derby Week-end how befuddled I become when betting The Run for the Roses, but I’m a little less confused than usual this year.  (2015 was the American Pharoah year, so the decision seems easy, now.)

In 2016, I was visiting NYC on Derby Week-end…

Eliza’s Derby Hat 2016 NYC

Around these parts, we have a Real Kentucky Thoroughbred Racetrack, Ellis Park, 10 miles away, but Manhattan lacks such amenities.  I discovered TwinSpires, the Official online wagering…

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