It’s been a busy week here at Sonnystone Acres with a lot of dr. appointments and that Birthday on Tuesday. Slowly but surely we brought down the Christmas decorations and spread them out around the house. The weather was perfect for hanging lights on Thursday and Friday and we added a new Star… Sorry, I haven’t gotten a picture yet, but it looks good.
Yesterday we held The Official Decorating-of-the-Tree with the Jr. girls
After the tree was finished, we headed Downtown to their Christmas celebration. Nothing going on there appealed to Olivia, so we dropped her off back at her house and it was just the three of us. We had free hot chocolate, a visit with Santa’s assistant, and met the Eville version of Anna and Elsa…Lots of Fun!
I have not bought a single present and currently have no idea what I should buy…As the kids get older I feel more and more like just giving them money. The little one definitely wants toys still, and even the older ones want to open some gifts, so I may do a mix-up of presents/cash. We’ll all be happy no matter what, I’m sure…
You know how it is — every year as soon as Thanksgiving leftovers have been eaten, we all say: I can’t believe it’s Christmastime already! Thus begins the buying and the baking, decking the halls and the fa-la-la-ing. We make our lists and check them twice, and I’d better get busy!
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…
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.
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.
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…
I suffered through another rainy, gloomy week and we’re now rewarded with sunny skies and oppressive humidity; it’s almost summer, finally, and as I sweat through my shirt I wonder why I longed for it.
Samantha went with us to the New Harmony Antiques Show yesterday.
I found some old sheet music, well-preserved, to buy and discovered we hadn’t brought cash with us, just enough for some drinks and treats. The prices at the show seemed very high, just like everything else lately, but I wonder how much they sold. It was a paltry showing of vendors, but the crowd was good.
We got a late start to our Cemetery Loop Trip yesterday because it was so cold in the morning. We finally set out at about noon and modified the map to only include the Kinkade-Maynes and I’ll get over to Grayville another time. It was both fruitful and disappointing.
We went first to Lick Prairie Cemetery where my 3x great-grandfather, Benjamin Franklin Mayne, is buried alongside his last wife, Phoebe. (my actual 3x great-grandmother is buried near Springfield, Ohio). This pretty little cemetery even has a full list of “residents” with a code to help you find their spot.
As we drove up the road towards Parkersburg, we drove through West Salem, a village where my great-grandmother’s family lived. I’d gotten the address where Grandmother lived with her Aunt Hattie in 1900 and I hoped to find something there, but what could be old enough is certainly falling down, or the house may have been where a large church parking lot now covers a block. We did see this, though:
Next stop was Oak Hill Cemetery in Parkersburg, IL where I hoped to find my 2xgreat-grandmother, Analiza McWilliams Kinkade, and 2x great grandfather, Alexander Kinkade. I did find my 3x great-grandparents, Joseph and Mary Ann (Walker) Kinkade…
The last time I visited Oak Hill cemetery was with my great-grandmother Mayne when I was a kid and I can picture her standing in front of her mother’s tombstone crying. My memories turned out to be useless. Whilst searching around (I love cemeteries) there was another couple and two kids running around and we struck up a conversation. Turns out the fella is a Kinkade! They are retired military, living up the road in a town called Oreo, out decorating graves with their two grand-daughters. He’s from the line of Albert Kinkade, though, and I’ve never been able to make a connection to that family, though I’m sure we all go back to the Scottish Clan Kinkade. We never did find Analiza…
We moved along the road to Marion Church Cemetery, one where I feel right at home; my 2x great grandmother, Emma Eliza Mayne, donated the land for it (and the church). You have to traverse three miles of gravel road to get to this cemetery, but the church is still in use and they take excellent care of it. Emma and her husband, Leander Mayne, are there, as well as my grandfather, Robert A. Mayne, Sr. There’s also Uncles Chester and Herbert, both of whom died in 1880s, and their stones are in bad need of cleaning. I need to do that some day.
Guess who was also visiting the Marion Church cemetery? The Kincade couple that we met up at Parkersburg. The gentleman is also related to the Blood Family who are buried there; (great) Grandad’s sister, Nellie Mayne, had married Frank Blood back in the 1890s and they had two children that my 2x great-grandmother Emma helped raise. We are all truly connected, eh?
I told the lady that I hadn’t found Analiza and she called her sister, who works at the County Clerk’s office and she checked some records and said that Analiza (who died in 1877, age 31) was back in the Oldest Section alongside her parents, my 3x greats, George and Catherine McWilliams. I wasn’t even thinking to look for them and had focused on the Kinkades. I didn’t do my homework well, either, as I should have known that Alexander Kinkade is buried in Bethel Cemetery alongside his second wife, Josephine. Definitely another trip is in order, and I’ll bring some tombstone cleaner with me.
I was not happy with the temperatures falling back into the 40s this week. Spring is such a tease. It’s nice to turn the page of the calendar to June and start the final stretch of the Vernal Season.
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…
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.
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…