Catchin’ up…

Gosh, it’s been 2 weeks since we last talked. I think I mentioned I was allergy-stricken, but I got pretty wheezy and went in to the nurse and was prescribed 6 days of Prednisone and given an inhaler. I can never decide if I love or hate Prednisone…on the one hand I feel all speedy and get-‘er-done-ish, but on the other hand I feel so sick and tired. Speedy always wins, though, and I got the gardens planted, the house cleaned, and stayed up all night learning Italian cooking with Lidia…

This is my new “cottage” garden, planted just across from the Peace/Bird Garden…

There are 21 plants here with hollyhocks and foxglove at the back with liatris, garden phlox, delphinium and lupine in the middle; at the front are coral bells, rosemary, and lavender. Most of the back plants will need to be staked, though you have to use your imagination to see that now.

The Edible Garden is going strong with corn poppin’ up, cucumbers jumping, and a small crop of green beans pulling themselves upright. Our peas are podding and the spinach is ready for harvest. I don’t want to talk about the beets and carrots and radishes– I just can’t thin seedlings properly– but the greens will be good! There are four each of watermelon and canteloupe planted, but they’re not doing anything, yet. We’re going to pull up the spring crop and plant some beans, as well as start some melons from seed between the existing plants, like insurance…

The roses have been stellar, their gentle scent pervading the front porch, but we knew they needed to be pruned soon after their first bloom. That pruning is now a priority as last night’s unrelenting rain has weighed them down.

Before we left for London I bought a new used camera, a Nikon D3300, an affordable upgrade from my antiquated D60; all my lenses fit it, too, so I just needed the body. I opted to not lug it around London, but I’ve been playing with it a lot around the house and gardens. I’m so happy to have my eye back in a viewfinder…

My #2 grandie, Olivia Mayne Casey aka Nova Casey, is graduating from 8th grade this week and we’re so excited! I’ll be snapping pics through my tears! Time flies, doesn’t it? Cherish Every Moment…

Peace

London Calling

No Clash…in fact, we’re feeling very much at home now as we finish up our 3rd day here. All has gone well.

Our first day was spent touring Windsor Castle.

Our second day we walked 10 miles, from our hotel through Hyde Park to Buckingham Palace, then past Westminster Abbey and Big Ben across the Thames to Queens Walk. We proceeded all the way down to Tate Modern where we stopped spent some time. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre doesn’t look at all like it does in the ads, but the gift shop is nice. We crossed Waterloo Bridge to Trafalgar Square and visited the National Gallery where we ate before we roamed their collections, then strolled through Piccadilly Circus to Green Park and on to Buckingham Palace and through the Hyde Park back to the hotel.

Today, our 3rd day, we took the Gloucester Road tube to Westminster, then back across the bridge to the London Eye. That was kinda fun and very viewful… We walked from there past London Bridge to Tower Bridge where we crossed over to the Tower of London. The Beefeater tour was so informative and funny; I loved seeing the Crown Jewels. Just up the hill was the tube station where we made a quick connection back to Gloucester Road.

The food has been so-so, but expensive. Our hotel bar stocks Magners Pear, my Favorite Cider Drink of All Time. I usually drink it at the Rose and Crown in Epcot and have never found it Anywhere else, even NYC, so I am filling up regularly while I can.

Tomorrow we wind up with Westminster Abbey for sure, but the rest of the day we’ll wander through the parks and such.

You know what? This place is really not even as big as Disney World, kind of a shock to me, even though NYC also surprised me with how easily you can walk to Everything. I’ve adopted a British accent, learnt from listening to the voice on the tube, and avidly Look Right, Look Left, and Mind the Gap…

We’ll be home late Tuesday night and probably sleep all day Wednesday, but by next week I will have sorted through the photos and will share.

Thanks to Michael for keeping an eye on the cat and our plants.

Peace

The latest News

We are enjoying a couple of days of warm and sunny after mostly gloomy and wet earlier in the week. The windows are open with the birdsongs wafting in on the wind. Casey’s already outside tilling the Edible Garden and I’m on my out to repot the basil. All of our plants are growing strong and it looks like the weather is going to be perfect to get them planted when we return.

As I’ve Planned and Planned this trip to London, then planned some more, I have come to the conclusion that my best option is to have an outline rather than a rigid schedule, giving us flexibility for bad weather or just feeling tired. After a half-day trip to Windsor Castle on Friday, we will have no other “appointments” and we’ll buy our tickets at the door of wherever we decide we want to stop. We know that will include Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, The Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe, The Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, The National Gallery, Buckingham Palace, St. James Palace and Park, Kensington Palace and Gardens, Hyde Park, Green Park, Wildlife Park, Victoria and Albert Museum. I have mapped out several walks to see all of that and who knows what else we’ll see on our way? I am not sure if I’ll be able to write much next week, but I am going to try.

Leaving Wed. 4/27 Return Tues. 5/3

The Queen had a Birthday, her 96th, on Thursday. Of course, we had a toast to her Health. Whilst checking out the latest Royal Gossip, I came across this fascinating little clip.

It is such a Fine Day! I’m going to go outside and play.

Peace

Easter Greetings…

We had an Egg Hunt with the Jrs. yesterday…

We definitely had the best week-end day for our activities; today is gloomy and cool, better suited for Good Friday. My preferred plant place opened up on Wednesday and I stocked up on herbs… I may have to repot them before we travel… The Predictors say it will be chilly until Thursday, so we’ve got All of our pots in the laundry room.

We managed to cross everything off of our to-do list last week, moving around perennials and shrubs, so I’ve spent little time on the London Plans. This week, however, I’m free to pore over the maps and websites.

Peace

The Sunday Scoop 4-10-22

It’s been a busy week, sort of…well, it’s been a week, anyway, rainy and cold with a smattering of sunshine interspersed. We have a young pileated woodpecker showing up to the suet.. and that’s been pretty exciting…

Today, however, is sunny and warming up nicely so I am planning on attacking my Garden To-Do List.

We dug up our daylillies and daisies and I have no idea where to put them. I am not really fond of daylillies, especially where I had them, but I planned on giving them away and got no takers. For now, I think I’ll toe them in around the Big Tulip Poplar and see how they do…or maybe not. We need to plant a leftover rosebush out back and pull out the grape vine, too.

We visited Hillside Gardens on Thursday and I bought 3 Better Boy tomato plants and 6 california wonder pepper plants. I am going to repot them and wait until after our trip to plant outside. Ronnie’s fruit stand should get their first shipment in this week and that’s my place for herbs and flowers and other vegetables. They’ll look pretty out on the enclosed back porch and I’m quite grateful that my looming travel will hold me back from making my same old mistake of putting warm-weather crops in the ground too early. My cool-weather garden bed has peas a-poppin’ and tiny little beets, carrots and spinach peeking up. I’ll spare you the picture of dirt this week, but when you look real close you see them…

It should work out pretty well to have everything ready to go upon our return from London May 4–May the 4th be with me!! I couldn’t resist. I’m spending the rainy days engrossed in my planning and the Youtube has been so helpful, though a real rabbit-hole once you start watching. I watched a guy *gal? walking around London silently, just traffic sounds, etc. in the rain, for longer than I care to admit. However, it has really given me some looks at the Most Popular Sites and I get more excited every day.

Back to the Here and Now: My Irish Dancers are in Belfast, Northern Ireland, competing in the World Championships. My #2 grandie, Olivia, is on a school trip to Washington, D.C., so I’m kept busy sending out the long-distance Love. Samantha was here yesterday to play, though!

The Sun is beckoning me — lighting up the dust in the house, too — so I’m going to pretend I didn’t notice and go Outside and Play!

Even if you’re stuck inside, I hope you enjoy this Beautiful Day!

Peace

The Sunday Scoop

We got the countertop installed last Wednesday! There’s always something more to do, but we’re calling it done-for-now.

There’s more storage, more workspace, and it feels so New — something rare in this old shanty.

The Jr. girls were here Thursday and Friday and we had a blast going to the mall, the zoo, and to the Theatre to see Sing 2. Another Spring Break is behind us and I wish the time didn’t go so quickly…

I must make a decision today — tomorrow at the latest — regarding my visit to London. >sigh< Let me explain…

This trip was planned and paid for in 2019, kids, and there have been so many changes that I can’t say that I care about it much. You see, the Goal was to see The Queen at Royal Ascot; back then she attended Every Day and I was assured, veritably certain to get a glimpse of her from the Queen Anne Enclosure as she arrived in a Royal Carriage from Windsor. She was only 93 at the time and was still making all of her usual appearances. Then Covid. Three years later, she is having problems with walking and currently doesn’t want to be seen in a wheelchair. Since Prince Philip died last year she has appeared to be increasingly frail and her appearances are few and far between. She is determined to be at the Duke of Edinburgh’s Memorial Service this week and to take part in as many Platinum Jubilee events as possible, especially Trooping of the Colour in June, but her family have had to take over Most of her duties.

So here I am with a hotel reservation for The Jubilee Week, her birthday week and the week of Royal Ascot. Face it, the crowds in London that week will be insane and I’ll not get Close to Buckingham Palace to see her, though I may be able to find a spot on the Trooping the Colour parade route as her carriage goes by if I manage to get my butt on a curb the day before, but I’d be better off watching it all on the telly. I’ll be very surprised if she makes it to Royal Ascot more than one day and what day will that be?? Probably not the day I’m there!

To make matters worse, the Price of the plane tickets has Doubled for that week! When I chose those dates I underestimated the power of the Platinum Jubilee to make it all so much more expensive! What with the price of everything — Everything — inflated, I have to admit that I just can’t afford this trip…not in June, anyway.

What I can do is go at another time, if our hotel will allow us to change the reservation Again. I’m looking at late April now, just one month from now. I’m going to contact the Queens Gate today and see if they’ll cooperate. If they do, Wow, we’re going to London next month! If they don’t, I’m okay with that, as well, because I’m tired of thinking about it.

You’ll be the first to know when it’s all settled…

Peace

Poems by heart

Happy Spring to you! Today is the Equinox, when the daylight is equal to the night. Having planted peas, beets, radishes, carrots, and spinach three days ago, I’m ready for this week’s predicted rain, though I dread the gloom.

This time of year always reminds me of a poem, one that I know by heart. I’m not even googling this, so it may be off. I must have memorized it more than 50 years ago, possibly closer to 60!

The year’s at the Spring,the day’s at the morn.

The morning’s at seven, the hillside’s dew-pearled.

The lark’s on the wing, the snail’s on the thorn.

God’s in his Heaven, All’s right with the World!

Robert Browning…

Over the years I’ve often quoted that “God’s in his Heaven” line whenever I am immersed in Nature’s Beauty. The All’s right with the World, is encouraging and I look to the perennial changing of the seasons to reassure me. Just like Life, Spring is not lived in just one day, but in a succession of days spent seeking sunlight and warmth; it is a process of steady renewal that culminates in verdant color that All God’s creatures enjoy!

cardinal on the lamp

It was a busy week here at the Acres and I have acutely missed the hour we lost. I read an article that said Napping is a sign of creeping dementia, so I’ve forced myself to pull All-Dayers this entire week. Well, dozing in front of the TV doesn’t count, does it?

We’re getting our countertop put in this Wednesday, but Casey has to pull out the old one and the countertop people will pick it up and use it for a template to cut the new. This means I won’t have a kitchen sink or workplace for 2-3 days. I’m down with that and looking forward to eating out!

Olivia and Samantha aka Nova and Unicorn, will be here Thursday for a sleepover to celebrate their Spring Break Week! Last year we were at Disney with them, so we can’t top that, but we’re going to have Two Days of Fun and Feasting, an event that may become a tradition — one never knows…

One really does never know, does one? Who knew that the poems we memorized as kids would bring us such comfort and joy in our old-ish age? I believe I always knew how precious Springtime is, though we try to hurry it along when it insists on staying cloudy or cool or rains incessantly.

magnolia tree buds

Despite its whimsical nature, Spring always brings to me the desire to refresh and renew, to try again: This time my seeds will grow; this time I’ll really quit; this time I’ll really begin, this time I’ll get it right. There is Hope as the trees and shrubs bloom and we watch the birds mate and feather their nests and it seems appropriate, even necessary, to remember the poems of our past.

There is another Spring poem, or verse of it, anyway, that I quote to myself often, though it has only been lodged in the old brain for about 30 years:

sweet spring is my time, is your time, is our time, for springtime is Love time and viva sweet love…

e.e.cummings

Peace

Finally Finished

When I started researching my family tree back in 2018, I thought I’d just work on it for about a year and be done. Turns out there is enough mystery and intrigue in the research to keep me occupied for what has been 4 years now. I have taken breaks from it and I’m ready to take another, but I had set a goal of covering the paternal grandparents to 1945. Today I finished and I feel free to move on to Gardening — just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, too!

Not only do I feel the relief of moving out of the 1940s, but I’m super excited that we bought a garden cultivator/tiller.

Casey is like a kid in a candy shop and I’m very grateful that he likes this stuff as much as I do because I have Plans for that tiller!

This week’s weather is predicted to tease us with Spring. I try to plant peas on St. Patrick’s Day, so thanks again, Universe. Though our average last day of frost is April 8, my garden journal from 2021 records that we had a snow on April 24. In 2020 the temps were struggling to get above 40 in early May. I must remember that Spring is fickle.

My family story has obsessed me for a while now, but I’m ready to fill my head with garden plans. I’ll be back on Thursday for a St. Patrick’s Day Planting post. Don’t forget to wear Green or I’ll have to pinch you.

Peace

Old News, hardly a scoop…

I didn’t give enough space to our local birthday party, celebrating Samantha’s 7th and my 69th birthdays. Here’s a little montage of that day, February 19th…

I have now officially ridden Every Ride in the Walt Disney World parks, knocking out my last two at Animal Kingdom. I had put off the Rite of Passage ride when I was having some back problems several years ago and I wish I’d ridden earlier! It is now my Favorite Ride! We were pretty chill after our early mornings and spent a lot of time hanging out at pool bars (and pools) around the resort. I marked off “visit Nomad Lounge” from my must-do list, too. We had perfect weather…

Spring greeted us when we arrived back here at Sonnystone, and it was so beautiful last week that we were outside cleaning up and planning this year’s gardens. It’s time to start seeds inside, we plant our peas and potatoes on St. Patrick’s Day and I am impatient, as usual. I hope to start a Gardening Series on Thursdays and keep you up to date on how the garden is growing.

I used the nice weather as an excuse to procrastinate finishing up my Ancestry to 1945. I’m really going to get it written this week, I tell myself. I’m very ready to wind up that blog and spend more time here at the Acres providing you with plenty of Blather and Balderdash.

Peace

The Sunday Scoop

There is an upside to a sleet/ice/snow storm…the birds flock to our food. We moved the feeders to a spot under the porch so the ice couldn’t cover them and brought them in at night to dry and warm. There were never less than 30 birds in the area, lots of juncos on the ground, dozens of cardinals, finches and wrens of all sort, woodpeckers, and those damn grackles, too. One awkward pileated woodpecker showed up, too…

The kitchen has come along swimmingly! I’m never good at the “before” pictures, and we’re not done yet…

It’s a good thing you didn’t click on those Ancestry posts last week (and I Know you didn’t). Turns out I got a major part of the story Wrong and I had to un-publish and revise. It was kind of a bummer, as I rather liked the story the way I told it, but I came across some newspaper articles that contradicted it. I’ve changed the original posts, but haven’t yet gotten time to continue writing the tale.

Two weeks from today we’ll be on our way to WDW to celebrate my birthday, #69 to be exact. I’m calling this year my “Farewell to the 60s” event. Naturally, we start at Disney; naturally, we’ll end at Disney, too. That’s us.

Because of the ice, I postponed my usual visit with Grandies #2 and #4 from Saturday to Sunday (today). Lo and Behold! Samantha lost her first tooth and then her second soon after!

Peace