A Tribute

I was going to post a re-run today, thinking I surely had posted something good about MLK Day in the past, but I was wrong. I had posted something, but it wasn’t what I call “good”, so I went in search of inspiration.

When I watched this, I cried. This is what I mean to say…


Welcome, 2021…

This was the first year that Disney has taken pictures on the Haunted Mansion Ride. I really like the snap featured above…shows two people just relaxing, looking around, taking it all in… That’s pretty much what we do… We plan to do more of it in 2021.

Today is the 8th day of Christmas and we received 8 maids-a-milking, bringing our total gift count to 120 as they joined the 14 swans-a-swimming, 18 geese-a-laying (check for the golden egg), 20 golden rings, 20 calling birds, 18 French hens, 14 turtledoves, and 8 partridges in their respective pear trees. (according to Dr. Caligari’s Cabinet) We must be up to our ears in bird poop…

Hope You’re Enjoying your Day!

New Year’s
by Dana Gioia

Let other mornings honor the miraculous.
Eternity has festivals enough.
This is the feast of our mortality,
The most mundane and human holiday.

On other days we misinterpret time,
Pretending that we live the present moment.
But can this blur, this smudgy in-between,
This tiny fissure where the future drips

Into the past, this flyspeck we call now
Be our true habitat? The present is
The leaky palm of water that we skim
From the swift, silent river slipping by.

The new year always brings us what we want
Simply by bringing us along—to see
A calendar with every day uncrossed,
A field of snow without a single footprint.


May our footprints in 2021 be gentle…

May our Days be filled with Love and Peace throughout the Seasons…

Bye-Bye, 2020!

Ring out the Old! Ring in the New! Ring out the False! Ring in the True!

Yesterday today was tomorrow, and tomorrow today will be yesterday…

…..George Harrison, “Ding Dong, Ding Dong”

Let us Move Forward with Hope for a more Peaceful, Healthy, Compassionate World… All you Need is Love (love is all you need)


Election Day 2020

One of my early memories, from about age 7, is of the day after the 1960 Election Day. We were living up in Gary, Indiana and mom was a Republican deputy precinct committeewoman. She had risen at 4 a.m. to get to the polls on Election Day, where she worked from 6am to 6pm checking voter registrations and signatures. She and her cohorts had then gone down to Repub HQ, taking the ballots to be counted, and to watch the returns, rooting for Richard Nixon to be our next prez. I’d been long asleep by the time she returned home, but she had stayed up all night watching the TV coverage, especially the late-breaking returns from nearby Cook County in Illinois. When Mayor Daly’s Machine delivered the vote to JFK, Mom was outraged…

I just remember her still crying as she sent us off to school, insisting that the Democrats in Chicago had “stolen” the election from Nixon… Pundits now claim this to be a myth, but my Mom believed it then and so did I, of course, giving me an early introduction to the shady world of politics and elections.

Shortly after that election day we moved to Eville, where Mom plunged right back in to working for the GOP. From 1960 until 2000, she worked the polls, becoming Precinct Committeewoman down here during the 60s; continued as an election official in Washington, IN, after they moved in the 70s; and finally finishing her work back here in Evansville in the 80s and 90s.

Election day, 1968, I was excused from school to canvas and “get out the vote” for the Republicans. The committee chairmen would drive us into the neighborhoods where we would walk door to door to see if anyone needed a ride to the polls. They drove dozens of people to vote that day and I remember thinking some of them might be voting democrat, but the adults told me that Voting was our most Essential American Right and that what we did in the polling booth was private. After the polls closed, we all went down to HQ and the party started… Nixon won that year.

I have voted in every election since my first in 1972 and after Mom moved back to Eville, always voted at Her polling place, where she proudly showed me off to her buddies. She roped me (and Casey) into volunteering and we spent several Election Nights celebrating at Republican HQ (they don’t call it the GOP for nothing: open bar).

During Mom’s lifetime I would have Never admitted to her that I had voted any way other than Republican. She always said she wouldn’t vote for Jesus Christ if he was on the Democratic ticket — or as Dad called them, “the damn dims”. We have witnessed what that attitude has done to the Republican Party in the last 5 years… She would have drank the kool-aid and worn the hat, I think, as have most of the rest of my family. Still, I’ve been sad to see how ugly the GOP has gotten and I don’t think it represents what my mom (or I) believed in…

But I still believe in the Power of our Vote. I’ve picked the loser on many an occasion, but never doubted the integrity of our elections or the grassroots volunteers who work their asses off to assure that our Vote counts. Since 2016 I’ve developed a skeptical streak, but I remember my mom, opinionated and biased as hell, but honest, and Thank all of the folks who volunteer for the work they do to keep Democracy going.

2016 also opened my eyes to the people who don’t vote—I really thought Everybody voted, or almost, when in actuality it generally runs between 50 and 60 percent nationally. This year, as we read about the record-setting early voting, it remains to be seen if it is really an increase. Rightfully, there should be At Least 90% of Americans voting. I’d love to see that.

It was 18 years ago yesterday that Mom passed over. We buried her on November 5, 2002, which just happened to be a local/state election day. The church where we held the service was also a polling station. As we rolled her casket out, the poll workers stood quietly and for just a second the bustle stopped… It was so fitting…

“No party holds the privilege of dictating to me how I shall vote. If loyalty to party is a form of patriotism, I am no patriot. If there is any valuable difference between a monarchist and an American, it lies in the theory that the American can decide for himself what is patriotic and what isn’t. I claim that difference. I am the only person in the sixty millions that is privileged to dictate my patriotism.”
– Mark Twain, a Biography


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!!





Derby Day

Yee-haw, it’s time to watch the most exciting two minutes in sports:  the 145th Kentucky Derby, brought to you by sponsors  whose goods you cannot afford, but would definitely buy if you could.. and happily wear a Longines watch as you drink Woodford Reserve bourbon from a pure silver cup, cheering on Your horse from millionaires row at Churchill Downs.

Just as good, I’ll be wearing my Timex as I drink Old Crow from a Disney cup, cheering on my pick from a comfortable chair in the Family Room…    (to be fair there are a lot of sponsors, and you could, for instance, afford a snack or many from the Yum! family of products)

It’s a Baffert kinda Derby this year.  The top three favorites are All Three the horses he’s entered.  The only other favorite, Omaha Beach, was scratched on Thursday, so odds have been changing up, but nobody looks better than Improbable, Roadster, and Game Winner.  There’s a certain amount of “that’s not fair” and “oh, he can’t just sweep the Derby”, but yes, he could.  Tacitus has benefited most from the favorite’s loss, going from 10-1 down to 5-1; his sire was Tapit and that was a horse full of surprises, so …

On the other hand, it could be the day for a long-shot, two of whom look good to me:  Jon Court, a local legend and super guy, is the oldest jockey riding today, on Long Range Toddy, at 49-1;  Cutting Humor is a Todd Pletcher horse with another old dude, Mike Smith, riding in at 24-1.

It’s another gloomy, raining day in Louisville, dammit…

  • Rain will fall throughout large portions of the day at Churchill Downs for the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby.
  • Experts are predicting sloppy track conditions, as there could be between a half and three quarters of an inch of rain in the hours leading up to the Derby.

Seems like we’ve had a streak of bad-weather-derby-days in the last several years… You can read those tea-leaves and decide which horses run better in mud, but I’m not going there.

That’s why they call it a Horse Race — anybody can win…  Learn all about the contenders Here

(Remember, you don’t have to bet to enjoy a horse race)

(You don’t have to drink to enjoy a horse race, either, but I do, using my own mint, simple syrup, and Makers Mark to make Mint Juleps)

I bet the horses online at TwinSpires these days.  Yesterday’s Oaks netted me $25 betting the long-shots to show and I’m inclined to use the same strategy for today’s race card.  I’m afraid to bet against a Baffert horse, though…something my daughter taught me.

Olivia will be Singing in  the Evansville Music Academy Spring Recital at 2:30.  After we enjoy her performance, we’ll head back home and catch the action.  May the Horse be with you!




My friend, Karen

My friend, Karen, lived across the street from us when we lived in Melody Hill from 1963-67 (a long stretch in one place for my family).  I remember summers when we stayed overnight constantly, going from my house to hers.  We skated and skateboarded, and built a skateboard-for-2 using four skates and some plywood.  We built a fort in the field out back and ran screaming when we saw mice.  We experienced the Beatles invasion together.  We took in a stray cat and named her Jo-Kar (joker) and when she had kittens my parents had a conniption. We never missed an episode of  Peyton Place when it was on three times a week.  We crushed on the Men from U.N.C.L.E.  We were still innocent and imaginative and we spent hours just talking.  I am so grateful to have had a best friend like her.  We moved to California in 1967 and it was heart wrenching to leave.

Karen’s father died last Saturday at the ripe old age of 92.  Her mother is still living.  I went over to the funeral home and we hugged and hugged, cried a little, but smiled, too.

No matter how life moves you in different directions, the bond you form at an early age is enduring.  Karen and I have seen each other a few times over the years, but FB got us back together.  She lives in Florida now and one of these years we’re going to swing by and visit.

I’m sorry for the circumstances, but seeing her today was like a gift.



The Thanksgiving Edition 2018

I started in on Casey as soon as we turned the calendar into November:  What do you want to do about Thanksgiving?  I don’t feel like cooking this year.  Should we take a trip?  We’d better figure out what to do before it gets here, ’cause I hate just it when a holiday becomes just another day…

You see, we have no regular tradition to celebrate the 4th Thursday in November.  Back when everybody was still alive, we blithely went from one big meal to another, savoring the kind of cooking that is the stuff of legend.

In the years since Melissa moved to New York, we’ve bounced around, even visiting for the Macy’s parade a couple of times.  She hasn’t been home at this time of year for at least a decade now and isn’t in New York, either.

The Regional Oirachtas, a very big deal to an Irish Dancer, takes place in Philadelphia over the holiday and that is their tradition now.  Michael’s wife still has a grandma who lives up in Dale, so they always go up there with her family.  That’s an evening meal, though, and I have occasionally done up the turkey-dressing thing for them at lunch.

So it was that I found myself going into a rather bitter rant at the dentist’s office Tuesday.  All the poor girl did was ask what our plans were and I announced that my theme for Thanksgiving was “blank Thanksgiving”…I carried on a little ways about not having any family to celebrate with, not liking to have to make so much food for just us…She suggested a turkey breast and I sort of snapped at her that it sounded like a TV dinner…I went on that not every family was a Rockwell painting, when I caught myself, moved by the crestfallen look on the face of my sweet little dentist.

I’m a pro at turning it around, so I changed my vibe to Every Day is a Day to Be Thankful, and I’m thankful for you all…and I thanked my way out of the office, beaming gratitude throughout and into the waiting room…  When I got to my car, I gave myself a stern talking-to…

Just what is this all about?  Are you sabotaging your own happiness?  Why the griping and complaining?   I won’t take you through my entire process, but it was clear that I needed to plan a Thanksgiving Day Celebration, and my favorite part of Thanksgiving, the part that has always been a constant as I’ve forged through the day, is the Macy’s Parade.   And what’s the best part of the parade?  When the Real Santa and Mrs. arrive at the end.  So what do I need?

I need a little Christmas Now…  With that song as my theme, I swept in and announced that we’d be having a little Thanksgiving Day luncheon, Wolf’s BBQ and some sides;  that Olivia and Samantha would be spending Wednesday night so that we could get up and watch the whole parade together;  that then we would haul out the holly and put up the tree before my spirits fall again…

So That’s what we are Doing!!!

We’re up to catch the Parade, eating cinnamon rolls that PawPaw baked, drawing pictures and singing songs….  Who could ask for more?  I can, so we will facetime Emma and Eliza later and I can watch the kids share the cousin love.

After Mr. & Mrs. Claus have arrived, we can start the decorating…   I’ve been playing We Need a Little Christmas on piano, but remembered a small part that is only in the musical, Patrick says something like, but it’s a week before Thanksgiving…and The Great and Wonderful Auntie Mame says…

Well, once I taught you all to Live Each Living Day…

Live Every Day like it’s Thanksgiving Day…

Live Every Day like it’s Christmas Day, too, but maybe not so much tinsel…