Saturday, May 14, 2016

A Good Day

What a great day.  Saturday, day of fun and games.  That Spouse o'  Mine left really early for a morning bike ride (7:15 am??), and I headed out the door myself forty-five minutes later.  Lots to do on a terrific, not hot, and not too altogether windy day.  (In rural Kansas, this type of day is graded A++)

Today, I:

Planted a boatload of lavender. (I have one more day and I will be DONE this spring!)
Planted twelve echinacea plants in the cutting garden. Perennial.
Planted twelve coreopsis plants in the cutting garden.  Perennial.
Weeded everywhere I walked.  I learned this from a lavender grower I visited a couple of years ago: we walked and talked and he weeded every step of the way.
Made up two strawberry pots full of snapdragons and petunias, for the Grotto.  No banana trees this year: I am going annuals and a few perennials.
I tore out almost all of the sedum in our front bed.  I toted it (by lawn tractor) down to the creek bed, and tossed it into an erosion site.  The lawn tractor then died on me (as it did two days ago), and so I left it and walked back to the house.  Miraculously, a few hours later, it was back in the barn.  Huh.

There is some backstory to this: two days ago, I filled the thing with gas, and proceeded out to the pasture to mow trails for that evening's Kite Flying  and Happy Hour with my fellow lady friends of rural Kansas.  The mower died after about 300 yards.  (Three football fields).  I left it out there.  The next evening, that Spouse o' Mine ascertained that I had filled it not with gasoline, but with diesel.  Hence, the inactivity.  But, my disclaimer is this:  someone neglected to label the red gasoline container as "DIESEL".  We somehow have acquired a million red gasoline containers in our fourteen years here in rural Kansas.  But we have never had a need for any diesel and so it never entered my mind that I should question, "I wonder if there be diesel in this red gas container??"  But that Spouse o' Mine bought a legitimate, if small, tractor earlier this spring, and lo and behold, it runs on diesel.

Well.  We both learned a valuable lesson this week.

OK, back to my glorious Saturday: I spent nearly all but one hour of this day outdoors.  I enjoyed the blooming peonies, irises, salvia, the baby bluebirds, the orioles which are indeed stopping and eating the cherry jam I set out for them.  We have hummingbirds just sitting around, surveying the space.  And I loved our silly cat Sister Monica Joan who thought the tippy-top of our roof was THE PLACE to be this afternoon.

Sister Monica Joan (named for a nun in Call the Midwife) is a black-and-white kitty I got from the animal shelter last summer.  I went there planning to spring the kitty who had been in there the longest.  It was a win-win-WIN!  Sister Monica Joan had been in there for three months, PLUS she is black and white.  My thinking, here in rural Kansas, is that not many wild predators (read: fox, coyote) go after black-and-white animals (read: most usually skunks?)  Our vet thinks I am hilarious.  And the other win?  Sister Monica Joan is the sweetest little kitty one could ever imagine.

One of our neighbors (he lives seven miles away) stopped by this afternoon to drop off some wonderful lettuce from his garden.  I, in turn, sent him home with four squash plants - all four different heirloom Italian winter squash plants.

I went out to my Darwinian garden, and ZOUNDS! The sweet peas I planted too many weeks ago are now up.  I think I just checked on them a few days ago and decided they were a loss, but, no!  Yippee for fun garden victories.

And so now I am showered and pondering dinner.  I mentioned to that Spouse o' Mine that I can't Pass the Peace with anyone at church tomorrow because my hands are AWFUL.  They are like sandpaper, even though I wore gloves all day.

* sigh*

I suppose that in the great scheme of things and days, mine was pretty wonderful.  I hope you had a nice day, too.

A turtle kite:








Monday, May 09, 2016

My Birthday Celebration!


I celebrated a birthday today.  Not MY birth, but one of several birth days I celebrate each year.  
This day is all about her:  
Claire Hilary.


















Sunday, May 08, 2016

May 8th. Mother's Day and more...

This weekend for me started on Friday, bright and early. I had many lavender propagations to get into the ground before A) the rain came , and B) before I headed south to Oklahoma, Pryor Creek, exactly, to celebrate mother's Day with my Mom and Dad.

I got up early, with the sunrise, and I made myself a thermos of coffee.  Then I beckoned one dog and three cats to follow me out to the lavender.  Although, I simplify their animal vocabulary by calling anything out of the range of our yard, "Pasture!"

"PASTURE!"

She had been awaiting her call:


She was distraught about being up there doing who-knows-what, and she mewed and mewed up on the rooftop the entire time I was planting lavender:


Hands-and-knees, I crawled along the rows, trying to get those plants in before my planned 2:00 pm departure time, to drive to Pryor Creek.  I did have 20 minutes to spare (kid you not!), and I lay down on the sofa with the kitchen timer on, in case I lapsed into a coma nap.

I did not!  I got up, and drove five hours down to Mom & Dad's house.

Happy mother's Day!  (Early)

At my Mom and Dad's we had fun family stop in all along the afternoon hours.  I think we three (Mom,Dad, and I) all tried to sneak in a catnap between visitors, but all for naught, and that was OK, for sure!

It was a great time, for all.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Year Ago

A year ago, that Spouse o' Mine told me that he was planning to go to an agricultural meeting in Istanbul, Turkey.  Did I want to come along?

Well, hell yeah, I wanted to come along.  I made plans.  I budgeted for my air fare.  I studied Turkey, world history, and more importantly, Istanbul.

Then , through the past year, the Syrian war and ISIS and other programs have caused a whole lot of turmoil in Turkey - mainly in the southern border.  (Google it, PLEASE?)  

Because of this, about eight weeks before our trip, I opted out of my dream trip with that Spouse o' Mine.  Too much unknown?  He would be in meetings, and I, who loves to explore on my lonesome, would perhaps be in the perilous parts of Istanbul.

And then, only three weeks before our departure, there was a suicide bomber in a "tourist market" area of Istanbul, which killed a lot of people.

That Spouse o' Mine is in Istanbul as I type, for almost one more week.  He calls me each day.  I have admonished him NOT to go to any "tourist" market or other.  Go to meetings and then back to the hotel.  (I don't think he is following my directives, but at least he is not telling me such.)

And that is my April, 2016.

Almost a Month Later!

It's not been writer's cramp.  It's been...just...life.

I read a blog today which made me sad.  A cyber-friend accidentally hit a cyclist who ran a red light.  Her fault.  Not his fault.  Her fault.  This made me sad.

One of the comments to this blog post gave the opinion "...cyclists seem to believe themselves to be above traffic laws, maybe because they are saving the environment, after all. Good lesson/reminder that they are not above physics laws, but sorry ***  had to be the teacher."

We have bulls out in our neighbors' ranch, and they excrete lots of manure.  This person's comment was perhaps to allay my cyber-friend's emotions, post-accident.  But reading her comment had the same effect on me that our eau de neighbors' bulls on a southwind day does: BULLSHIT

 A) A "good lesson reminder" ??!!!  Does this person comment on all sad incidences this way?  What a tool.

B)  Again, "... believe themselves to be above traffic laws"...does this person comment on other traffic accidents, injury or death-related, with such judgmental vitriol?  

 To lump a population of cyclists together and give them a bad name is not at all right.  

I am a cyclist.  So is that Spouse o' Mine.  As are our adult son, two adult daughters, and our son-in-law.  We use vehicles just as everyone uses vehicles.  Some of ours have two wheels (bicycles).  Some of our vehicles have four wheels. (Automobiles.)  We pay taxes for the usage of roads, whether or not a day calls for a car or a bicycle.  We follow the rules.  We all wear helmets!  We have lights on our bikes!  We wear bright colors!  Most of our cyclist friends follow the rules, the laws.  If we see a cyclist NOT following the rules and laws, we all are vocal to them: we call them out.  

I witnessed a cyclist getting hit by a car, right in front of our house.  He was not injured.  (Although pretty sore the following days.)  It was not his error, it was the automobile driver's error.  Her car sustained some dents and a cracked windshield, where he, our college-student acquaintance hit first her hood and then her windshield.     

Two years ago we, that Spouse o' Mine and I, went to the funeral of a cyclist friend of ours.  He had been hit from behind by an automobile driver who was typing on his GPS while driving.  That driver had so many feet, SO MANY INCHES, to be away from our friend Mark.  And yet, he was typing away while driving, and he hit Mark.  Mark was killed instantly.  We had only ridden our bikes with Mark a few days earlier.  

We all carry opinions about drivers, cars, bicycles, pedestrians, motorcycles, and such.  Unless you are Gandolf the Genius or have all the wisdom in the world,  KEEP YOUR INSIDIOUS, UNCARING WORDS  TO YOURSELF. 

And that's all I have to say today.  Oh - except for this: Tom, I am very sorry for your accident.  VERY SORRY.  I know it must have been horrible.   
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