The Sunday Scoop

I’ve got not just 1 scoop, not just 2 scoops, but 3, maybe 4, scoops this week!

Kitchen Remodel Update: All of the cabinets have been painted (and cleaned), the glassfront cabinet has been painted (white for now because we’re almost out of blue). Everything looks clean and crisp.

Phase 2 includes moving the refrigerator, hanging some new wallboard, putting in a base cabinet (already purchased), new countertop and lots more behind-the-scenes stuff like finding a place for everything. We hope to be done in 2 weeks, but availability of countertop may affect that goal.

I had the honor of accompanying my #2 grandie in the Indiana State music competition where she sang “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme”. We’ve had a lot of fun preparing and practicing, and she was awarded a Gold medal for her efforts! #2 is an 8th-grader now, a sweet girl, and I am so proud of her…

I have been busy with genealogy research and was able to write and publish two posts last week.

The first is The Maynes of Albion 1910-1925.

The second is The Stallings Family 1910-1925.

I’d love it if you’d click on over and read those; I think you’ll enjoy the stories. Update 1/31/2022: I have unlinked those posts to edit them… I have discovered new newspaper clippings that tore holes in my timeline. I don’t have to start completely over, but there’s a lot that needs to be corrected. >sigh< I really liked the story the way I told it…

Sometimes I feel a little haunted by all these greats and grands living in my mind, but then I wonder if it’s not really me haunting them

So that’s the News from Sonnystone Acres for this week.

Next week will probably be more of the same, but you never know…

Peace

The Sunday Scoop

Any writer can relate to the current state of Mind dominating my days: wrapped up in my characters and plot, living in a different time and place from good old Sonnystone Acres. Since these characters are also my relatives, there’s another level of imagination added — putting 2plus2 together from stories and facts.

Right now, I’m living 100-years in the past, WWI, trains and automobiles, bobbed hair and suffragettes. In particular, my great-grandfather and his family moved from the farm in southern Illinois to Evansville, Indiana to work as a brakeman for the L&N Railroad in around 1914. In addition to my great-grandfather, Ed Stallings, the family included my my great-grandmother Gainsey, and their children, Vivian, Verla (my grandmother), and Maurice and they lived in Howell, a neighborhood on the edge of the train yards that had been built by L&N for its workers; it was literally surrounded by the tracks and the trainyard.

I lived in Howell in 1974 when I was pregnant with my daughter and remember that my then-mil was worried that the trains would trap me there when I needed to get quickly to the hospital. It’s true that we often waited forever when they were hooking and unhooking the train cars, but I didn’t have a problem.

There were train tracks everywhere in Evansville when I was growing up; the “highway” came right through town and the tracks impeded any kind of traffic flow going north-south. The “highway” going east-west had a train track right down the middle — I was terrified to drive on it when the trains were wobbling back and forth a foot from my car!

Since my great-grandfather worked for L&N, his family got to ride for free and the Stallings ancestors rode the trains to visit relatives in St. Louis frequently during those days. I only was able to take one trip, from Chicago to Evansville, when I was about 6 or 7. I remember my sister getting mad at me because I got the hiccups and kept saying “excuse” me after each hic…and also the conductor going down the aisle announcing “Terre Haute, next stop! Next stop, Terre Haute!”.

It wasn’t just Evansville, of course, where we were accustomed to hear and see trains. The highways often had tracks that ran parallel and I remember my uncle “outrunning” one as I rode in a 3-hole Buck packed with cousins, aunts, and grandma to visit my Aunt Almeda in West Frankfort, IL.

The sound of a train in the distance transports me to my childhood, fills me with a nostalgic yearning for “the good old days” when I was a kid. As John Prine put it…”I can hear the train tracks through the laundry on the line.”

The kitchen cabinets are looking good…

I’ve got to get back to my imaginary world and move the ancestors on to 1920s, another mind-blower…the prohibition of alcohol from January, 1920 to December, 1933. Can you imagine how people would take to Prohibition today? With all the screaming about constitutional rights and citizens united, can you imagine what would happen if the government started tearing down businesses and destroying their product? Interestingly, it was during the Prohibition years that my family began to drink! I carry on the best I can…

Peace

The Sunday Scoop

Not much to scoop today…After angsting for days, I finally chose a color for the kitchen cabinets…I forgot to get a true “before” picture –we’d already taken off the cabinet doors — but you get the drift: we’re entering into a blue phase. I’m taking the opportunity to clean up/organize all of the cabinets, too. It’s amazing how much crap we’ve stuffed up on the top shelves!

Casey’s got a shop set up in the diner and he just paints away while I write. It’s been a productive week for both of us. I am focused on my research and writing the ancestors and should be able to post a chapter in a couple of days. I’m planning two, possibly three, chapters after this and then my first draft will be finished! I would love to have first edit done before we head to London in June, but since it’s taken me three years to get this far, I wouldn’t be surprised if that goalpost gets moved.

Speaking of London, the trip is Definitely Back On. We’ll not be there for the Queen’s Birthday, Trooping the Colour and all that, but will arrive the week after. The Royal Ascot is taking place that week, where I hope to glimpse Her Majesty and other Royals. I’m back to planning it all out and the concierge at Queens Gate Hotel in Kensington is helping tremendously…getting excited…Long live our gracious Queen!

Scene from my weekly lunch with the Jr. girls…just before we went to the mall…

Peace

Sunday Report 7-18-2021

This is your intrepid girl reporter with the Latest News from Sonnystone Acres…

Melissa was in a fender-bender, nobody hurt, Eliza slept through the scary part. Her car was totaled by the insurance company. Her visit with us was planned for around the 26th and she thinks she can buy a new car and stay on that same timeline, but I want her to just breathe. Of course, I want them here Now, but I want them here safely. That’s all I know for now, but that’s just a week away…

Meet Hopper, our resident bunny…

Hopper was a wee fella* when he presented in the veggie garden and destroyed a few green beans. We covered up all the holes he was using to get in, and he learned to be quite content around and in the Peace/Bird Garden, munching on leaves, clover. He’s rather tame and will often stay eating a couple of feet away from where we’re working or sitting as if he were invisible. We’ve seen neither hide nor hair of a mama or siblings, so I believe he was pretty smart to set up camp here near our house and away from the coyotes and hawks. I probably shouldn’t name him, but name or no name, I’ll be sad if something happens to him. *He may be a gal and that’s okay, too.

We’ve added on (again) to our veggie garden, moving the fence back about four feet and adding a gate. I’m full of ideas for a shade garden that lines a gravel path leading down to the firepit. I also potted up the parsley, sage, and rosemary to make room for the tentacles of the watermelons and cantaloupe.

We’ve got a windowsill full of tomatoes, a colander of green beans, and several bell peppers from The Edible Garden…

The Peace/Bird Garden…

Peace

Sunday Report 7-11-2021

It’s been a challenging week here at the Acres…nothing Serious, just a lot of aggravations. Since retiring, I’m easily disoriented to date and time, so last week’s Holiday that wasn’t a Holiday just threw me off. Then I got obsessed with my hair, hating it etc. culminating in a Nightmare at the Beauty Shop. It’s fine now, just fine, but I’m still ranting in my mind.

I did get out to the track on Friday and won $13! It was a day for longshots, so that’s a good sign, isn’t it?

It’s rained fiercely and we’ve done a lot of propping back up in the gardens, running outside between rains, especially in the Peace&Birds Garden.

The Edibles are prolific.

The New Yorkers will be here before we know it, so it’s time to start planning for Camp Sonnystone 2021. We still are sans Theme Word. Ideas? Thoughts? We’ve already used Peace, Love, Joy, Dream, Family, Music, and Together. If we use your idea, you will be gifted a free Day at Camp…who could ask for more?

Hope you’re enjoying yourself and that your hair is better than fine…

Peace

Sunday Report 6-27-2021

Behind the scenes of the scintillating life that I share with you on this blog is my Real Life. In my Real Life there are many relationships and each of them takes their turn at drama. Most of my family do Not read my blog, so I’m often tempted to spill the tea about them, but really I would rather just let it all be. However, Real Life intruded just last week when I delivered my Aunt Shirley’s ashes to her son Jeff’s house. I brought her ashes up from Florida last March and she’s been sitting on a shelf, surrounded by other family pictures. She’s been inspiring me — Shirley never was one to be quiet. — but it was time to move her along, getting her verry close to her final resting spot beside her Mom & Dad.

Aunt Shirley just before setting off on the last leg of her last trip to Grayville…

At any rate, I’ve had too many dramatic scenes played out for me this year, Distracting me from Ancestry research that I started Last Year and I was beginning to think I would Never Finish! I’m here to announce that I have, at last, added my great-grandmother’s family to my ancestry blog in a 3-part series published right Here: https://allmyancestry.wordpress.com/kinkade-mcwilliams-walker/

I still need to write a 4th chapter to tie up some loose ends, but I really need to move away from the family tree for the summer. Genealogy takes up so much time that I have to make it a seasonal hobby to make room for my gardening and travel, not to mention my Living Family!!

Here’s What’s Happening in the Gardens…

We decided to stake our zucchini this year…

…so far it’s working, but it isn’t helping them get pollinated so I need to attract bees. We’re looking at Bee Houses to attract Mason Bees, but it may be too late for this year…still studying. Any suggestions?

Ellis Park starts live racing Today…another reason I have to put away the genealogy. I’m skipping Opening Day, but I’ll be there In-Person on Thursday or Friday, or both…depends on the weather.

I love Summertime! Hope you’re enjoying!

Peace

Sunday Report

Happy Father’s Day to all the Super Dads out there, especially my son and son-in-law, Junior Casey and Eric Jose’. Hope you’re getting Mega Love and Attention which you surely deserve!

And it’s the first day of Summer, the Longest Day of the Year, the Solstice. From Ancient times the Solstice was celebrated as Midsummer and even today the Scandinavian Folks are partying like champs, drinking vodka and dancing around the Maypoles until they are dizzy.

We were out on Wednesday to feed the Budgies!

I love watering the gardens first thing in the morning, then sitting outside in my Thoughtful Spot and/or the front porch swing. It’s a great time to Praise and Thank.

I’m bemused by the hydrangeas…we have all colors growing side-by-side, a veritable rainbow. We’ve never put any lime or whatever it is people to turn them different colors. The pink one, by the way, was a gift from my old Bunco Club when my dad died 24 years ago; we call it “Dad” and it just keeps giving.

The Edible Garden is going to be actually edible soon…

The Peace Garden…

Peace

Sunday Report 5-23-2021

When Spring decided to give us some planting weather, she did it right. We’re sleeping with the windows open, waking up with the birds, and loving every minute of these gorgeous days. I got Everything done: planted squash, watermelons, parsley, sage rosemary, thyme, basil, green beans, cucumbers, sunflowers, cardinal vine, marigolds, then polished them off with a splash of Miracle-Gro.

The coreopsis in the Peace/Bird Garden is so Cheerful, don’t you think? The purple coneflower blooms are beginning to open up and check out my strawberry!

We covered the pool area with new heavy-duty woven fabric and moved the umbrella table/chairs onto it. Today the pool goes up.

I’ve made some new discoveries regarding my Kinkade/McWilliams ancestors, and learned new Grandpa Eaton information, so I’ve spent any non-gardening time working on that. I’m planning a Cemetery Loop Scenic Drive for Memorial Day. I like to imagine that my 3x great-grandparents will be thrilled to have a visitor, as it’s been at least 50 years since any of our side has stopped by.

Oh, do you remember that we had to cancel our trip to London in June 2020? We received credits for our hotel and I rescheduled for June 2021…next month. UK is still requiring 10-day quarantines, so I cancelled out that date, as well. However, the folks at Queens Gate, where we’ll be staying, say things are opening back up soon and that quarantines should be lifted by July. We’ve decided to take our trip the last week or so of September and I’m full-on into making that happen. Sooo excited!

So that’s my week here at Sonnystone Acres… Hope you’re enjoying the Season wherever you are!

Peace

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