Friday, April 30, 2010

There...and back again....

 This is one of the cutest kittens I have seen...going to live with my niece. They are all adorable and all over the place and into everything. Earlier tonight I found one of the smaller ones asleep in the dog food bowl...


  I have been offline for almost 2 weeks.  Today the technician finally came and fixed things. Apparently the eye of the dish was bad. He tried lots of other things first, before climbing up in the roof....but all told, he was here a little over an hour.  I was so excited to be back online...and then it started storming really bad and we have had tornado warnings all over the place all evening.  The rain and lightning seem to have stopped...the doggies are outside getting nasty (I'm sure),  and I felt safe enough to turn the computer back on.  Trouble is, I've been up since 5:30 AM and I'm about to keel over now.  lol

  Tonight I went to a meeting and gave an 8 year coin to a woman, saw my sponsor, and generally had a good time.  My pal Mary is coming home sometime tonight (probably here by now) , and I cannot wait to see her. I colored my hair yesterday, and she knows I have been playing with the idea of doing it.  The jury is still out on whether I like it or not, lol.  I was just tired of all the patchy grey and feeling like an old woman. I was just nervous about it coming out some goofy blackish color. Instead, I got a reddish almost, because of the grey, I guess. I think next time I will go one shade darker though...this is a medium brown, and I should have gone with a dark I think.

  I have been reading like a fiend (no internet will do that, lol),  working in the yard, getting the garden in and generally enjoying life.  I have been asleep every night by 11 or 11:30 and up again at the butt crack of dawn.  Sounds like a healthy lifestyle, doesn't it??  lol

  I will be back tomorrow full force (I hope) and mostly just wanted to stop in and say that I'm back in the cyberworld again.
  I really missed you guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thursday, April 15, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things....

These are the giant hostas in front of the back deck.    They are coming up now, with unfurled leaves of green and white and the fat purple nubs  that show first.  I always love these bad boys...they are gorgeous.

   Been a busy couple of days, with beautiful temps, sunny and mid 80's. Someone said that it is supposed to cool down again,. and get back to normal April temperatures later this week. Oops. I guess that's tomorrow.   My sister-in-law who lives in Minnesota told me it was raining there this morning. We could use some rain here too, and today got a little overcast from time to time, but no water fell from the sky.

  I got the rest of the leaf compost distributed around, and also planted the butternut squash seeds in the peat pots to get them started.  Tomorrow I may start some tomatoes. But first I have a doctors appointment with the Orthopedic guy, at 9 AM, and so I'm trying to wind it up and get to bed.  The Irishman was supposed to bring home some bags of composted manure, but he forgot. I'm hoping he'll get it first thing tomorrow and get it on the garden so we can work it in before the rains come.

  Took about a one hour nap today, fell asleep on the couch. I think I was out in that hot humidity and sun a little too long this afternoon...felt a little goo-ish. Came in and sat on the couch and before I knew it, I was asleep. Woke up with G-Rod the big orange cat on my chest, staring at my face. That's always a weighs about 13 pounds.

  I cooked a couple of those extra thick pork loin chops for supper tonight...I have a recipe that we love that came form a low carb cookbook, and the ingredients include onions and apples and cidaer vinegar and soy sauce. They really are marvelous. Heated up some peas and made a box of stuffing. LAzy cook's meal.  lol

  I feel so boring these days I don't even want to write. The kittens are growing like weeds, and the first batch was 3 weeks old on Wednesday. They are out and about and scurrying around as fast and clumsily as their little feet can take them. Absolutely adorable. The second batch are 2 weeks old and still snuggling and sleeping a lot. It's truly amazing how quickly they grow and develop.

  Alright....I'm off to bed so I can get up in time to make my dr appt.  I am going to try and talk him into giving me a shot of cortisone into this knee and see if that might help speed things up some.  I'm getting tired of all this.

  Goodnight....and all your dreams be in technicolor!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Is it still April ??

Caylee and Lucy patrolling the work of the water department...


  Another gorgeous day here on the Prairie. The water company sent a nice young man to my house today on a repair the trenches that have sunk all up and down the road. We had already filled it in with dirt, but he tilled it up and leveled it out nicely, and came back a few hours later and sowed more grass seed.  I have high hopes for the return of my yard, lol.

  I took it easy today, baked bread this evening,  and cleaned my closet. I have lost an entire set of sheets somewhere...decided to change the bed and lose the flannel sheets. Found a different set that I put on the bed and cleaned out my closet because I thought surely they had to be in there luck. When the Irishman came home from work, he arrived with a truck load of composted leaf material from the neighbors. So...we shoveled it into the potato bed, the small bed, and made a big pile of it at the foot of another bed. I made a big batch of brown rice and a chicken stir fry with pineapple, carrots, peppers and celery, onion and garlic for supper. It was delish.

 The first batch of kittens is almost 3 weeks old  (tomorrow). The little buggers are moving at the speed of light, albeit clumsily, and have been all over the room here and 2 even ventured out into the hallway. The hardwood floors there gave them trouble, as they can barely control their little legs the way it is. They are just adorable...and I have gotten the babygate out to try to corral them.

  I have a big day tomorrow, and am about ready to call it quits for the night. The lilacs are smelling up the whole yard, and I can smell them even now, wafting in the open window.  This weather is so great....

   I am reading a new Elmore Leonard novel called  Up In Honey's Room.  New to me, written in 2007.  So far, so good.  I have read 3 paperback thrillers in 4 days.   After this, I am reading a book by Anita Shreve called  All He Ever Wanted.  A gift from a pal...

   All(s) Quiet on the Garden Front.  :)


Monday, April 12, 2010

A Marvelous Monday

This has been  an absolutely perfect day.

I got up this morning and straightened the house, know. Then I sat out on the back deck and listened to the birds.  I messed with the mower a bit, put some fuel additive in the tank and finally got 'er cranked up. I mowed the front and side yards, and that was about all I could manage. lol  The back isn't quite ready for mowing, but the front and side had big clumps of grass that I couldn't afford to let get much higher. This is a direct result of the way I have bought grass seed and sowed it every year since we moved here. Into the bare spots. When we bought this place 5 years ago, the place was a junkyard...they had cars parked everywhere, piles of half burned linoleum and carpet (partially buried), and it was all ruts and yuck. I have turned it into my own little paradise with a lot of hard work. And so far, it hasn't  Anyway, it looks much neater out front and I'm glad I did it.

Then I made myself a meatloaf sandwich and sliced a juicy red tomato and sat down outside and had lunch.

The I got busy planting the peas.It was easy--I had done all the hard parts of it yesterday and today I only had to rake it a little and plant the seed. 2-3 inches deep and 18 inches apart (the rows).  Good thing was 82 degrees today.  Sweat city. As soon as I finished that, I hit the shower. 

I love gardening. I love the miracles of putting a seed in the ground and knowing that a plant will appear. I read somewhere that this is Faith. Perhaps it is.  I feel such a kinship with the earth every year when I plant. Growing my own food always feels like such an accomplishment.

The Jack Russell Terrorist (Molly) has appointed herself Guardian of the Wee Ones.  The 2 momma cats are leaving the kittens for longer and longer periods of time, and as soon as the little beggars start squealing, herself runs in to make sure everyone is alright. They sound like little piggies. lol  Today when the bigger ones started cruising the floor looking for their momma, she came in and gently nudged them back into their little hidey hole. They don't seem to be the least bit afraid of the dog either, and move right up to her and nuzzle her leg or her snout if she's sitting down. It's quite adorable. (I guess they haven't heard the stories about Miss Molly the Poodle mauler...)

  I am good and physically tired....the kind of tired you get from manual labor.  Thinking I'll reward myself with a short meditation time and then my big comfy bed, next to my big snuggly husband.

  Life is good.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sundays Musings


It's been a lovely Sunday, and I am nearing the end of it. Got up at a reasonable hour this morning and made Spanish Omelets for breakfast.  The the Irishman and I sat down and went through the garden seeds. We decided to trash the Heirloom seeds we got last year. The germination rates were terrible and the yields even worse.  We decided what we are going to plant this year, and where we are rotating things to. I got a new journal started for the garden, as the one I have been using since my gardens of 2002 is falling apart at the seams.  I just happened to have another one to use. We are indeed going to tear up another piece of the front yard.  Yippee!!  (Less I have to mow). 

Then late morning, we headed out to the backyard. I started clearing out the patch where we will plant edible pea pods and  bell peppers-red, yellow and green, of course!  It's time to get the peas in the ground, as they cannot tolerate the hot weather around these parts. They will be finished by mid-June. I spent the better part of the afternoon cleaning out dead stuff, turning over the earth and raking the clods out of it. Clod-buster, that's me. lol  The Irishman took on the more daunting task of doing the same to the potato beds. We aren't going to mess with the fingerling potatoes this year. We'll plant trusty Red Pontiacs instead. They store better and yield more per plot. We moved the cold frame to a new location at the end of the potato bed, and I'll use it to store garden stuff this summer. I think I will put my seedlings in it as well...they'll germinate better out there than they will anywhere else, I think.  I found 4 dozen peat pots that I bought at an end of the summer sale somewhere. I will start squash, tomatoes and bell peppers in them, and maybe okra.  The green beans will go directly into the dirt, as will peas and the edamame when it arrives.  We're planting cabbages, beets, green beans, peas, bell peppers,  carrots, tomatoes, okra, swiss chard, collards, corn, squash (winter and summer varieties), potatoes, onions,  sweet potatoes, garlic, spinach, lettuce, radishes and cucumbers.

The fruit trees are in bloom and beautiful. The apple and cherry both just burst out in flowers, the peaches have been for awhile. The lily of the valley are coming up and my giant hostas are poking their nubs up through the ground. Spring is definitely here...although in one of my journal entrees from 2005, I wrote that we had a hard freeze on April 30th...have to be so cautious about not jumping the gun on planting.

Thank you, everyone, for your kind words after that last post.  I feel much better now, and immediately felt my spirits lift when I read the comments you left.  There are a lot of blessings in my life today too, and each one of you is counted in that.  I guess sometimes a person just has to experience the lows, and then walk on through them back to the mesa. I'm back.  lol

It was close to 80 degrees here today. Beautiful-- and I got a suntan on my arms and legs.  I made sure to wear a broad brimmed hat out there, and I was sweating to beat the band. It really felt good to be active and to feel the sun caressing my face. The birds were singing like crazy and all the critters were out back to help. It was a really nice way to spend a Sunday...just my partner and I doing the things we love, on our property that we love, with the person we love. We cooked some brats and grilled some thick cut potatoes and ate supper outside on the deck. I made some coleslaw to go with it and we feasted.

Time for bed.  Wishing you all the sleep of angels and dreams of the highest order.


Friday, April 9, 2010

These gotta be somebody else's blues....

The Celtic Tree of Life
 This is the Celtic Tree of Life.  I have always loved these kinds of pictures, and especially love the fact that I  can now fritter away half my life on Google researching things like kitchen altars and Brighid, goddess of the hearth and home. It was a lovely way to spend about 2 hours...I'm having a time of getting this page to lay out the way I want it to. The type keeps moving to the top of the page, above the picture. Arrggghhhh...AND--it's all in blue, and underlined.  Who knows. I'll just finish out this post and then edit it all, I guess.  Well-that was weird. The link button was pushed.  Never still is moving the type. sigh..

I have been having a strange 24 hours...alternately melancholy and sad and then okay.  Last night I was sitting here and my knee was hurting so bad I was crying. I am so tired of the chronic pain in my life that I could scream. This stupid knee is just the last straw.  I never thought my life would be like this...I have always been so active--camping and hiking and doing crazy fun things all the time. Now I am middle aged and in such bad shape I can barely recognize myself. Who is this old all grey and skin so wrinkled?  The one who groans when she gets up or sits down? The one who always has to sit on the sidelines, watching everyone else do all the things I love?  The one who is so overweight that her clothes don't fit and her breathing is affected and her knees and ankles can barely do their job? And I search for solutions and know that there isn't much that's in my power to change. I will never be the same as I was. I cannot undo that fateful afternoon , when I was knocked off my bearings and tilted all topsy turvey into a completely different dimension than I was used to.  I didn't guess, that day, as they wheeled me into the ambulance, that my life would be forever and irrevocably changed.

I try to live in the present.  I try to be grateful for my life every day for whatever small thing I can think of, whatever big thing there is. I have routines instituted in my life that keep me upright, save me from being housebound,  and generally help me find the joy in living. But every now and then,. I go through the stages of grief, mourning the life I used to have, before an 80,000 pound side lift fork machine caused the Ubiquitous Event that crippled me.  I guess that's all this is...I feel worn down and worn out and I want to stomp my feet and cry and scream out that it's not fair. That this shouldn't have happened to me.

I know there are millions of people out there who have it a lot worse than I do.  I am not terminally ill, looking at the short life left for me. I am in possession of all 4 limbs. I can walk, even if it is with a lopsided gait and very slow. I am sober today, no matter what. But I am just in one of those little funks. It shifted today when I made a bowl of popcorn and took my book and sat out on the chaise lounge in the sunshine.  It was warm and the sun felt good on my face. The birds were singing and it lifted my spirits. And then it took everything I could muster to get back up and out of that damn chair, and I nearly lost it.

Forgive me this bout of self pity. This whining diary of a day in the life of Queen baby. I hurt and I'm angry and I mostly am incredibly sad at the way my life has turned out after all.

  And tomorrow will be a new day. I have plans to meet a newcomer in the morning and talk about the solution to a "seemingly hopeless state of mind and body".  And there is a solution, and I know there is, just like I know there is light at the end of the tunnel and a silver lining behind every cloud.  Just like I know that there is a grand cosmic plan to all my life, and that some things had to happen for other things to happen, and to be able to see all the dominoes fall perfectly into place.  In the end,  the good still outweighs the bad, and I am no longer ruled by feelings of uselessness and self pity.

At least, not for very long....

Time for bed. I will surely feel better in the morning, when I awaken to the songs of the wildbirds that are all coming back, heralding the advent of spring. I will leave you with a poem by John O'Donohue:


On the day when 
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance to balance you.

And when your eyes 
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you, 
may a flock of colors
indigo, red,green
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
 a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the curach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.



Thursday, April 8, 2010

Feels like fall today...

  But this weather can't fool me. Outside the window of my office, I can see the peach tree that is loaded with blossoms this year after a decent pruning last winter. And the lilac has erupted in blossoms over by the fence.  My Montmorency cherry tree is blooming now too, as well as the apple. The irises and lilies are bigger every day, and the weeping mulberry is suddenly green. 2 days ago, it was 82 degrees. Today is not making it to 60.  Tonight is supposed to be chilly, but then the temps begin to slowly climb back up to where they should be, mid 70's.  We had a short but serious storm yesterday...some straight line winds, but no damage. It got nasty fast. Mother Nature can be swift and vengeful.

  I've pretty much taken the day off today...stayed home and vacuumed and cleaned the little chickies pen. I swept down the front porch, which is full of all sorts of seed pods and such, all being tracked into the house like crazy. Fed the big chickens, fed and cleaned and watered all the cats and dogs dishes.  Wanted to get some laundry done,  but it's gonna have to wait til tomorrow, because I'm not doing anything else today. lol I will be going to my womens meeting tonight at 7.

  Just got an email from the University of Illinois-Champaign/Urbana...they are sending me a full set of edamame seed to grow as part of an experiment to see if I might want to make them a continual part of my gardening.  I'm excited...I love those beans. And the nutritional content is  out of this world..they are a complete protein, have no cholesterol and very little  saturated fat. They are high in Vitamin C, K, manganese and folate. They are a good source of dietary fiber, iron, calcium, thiamin, magnesium, phosphorous and copper.  A good food source for the  subsistence gardener.

   Eating leftovers for supper, so I don't have to cook. I think I'm going to take a shower in a minute and get myself ready for the girls.  I made a wonderful ground turkey/ pork sausage meatloaf for supper last night, with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli, and the night before that, it was bbq'd chicken. So...the leftover choices are good.  

   It's been a relaxing day ...and not totally unproductive.  Life is good.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Typical Tuesday

 Pretty good shot of chicken butt...if I do say so

  Late getting here. Spent a big chunk of the day with my friend at Garden Ridge...she bought a beautiful wind chime and some other stuff.  I bought an Elmore Leonard book.  I know, I know. She kept encouraging me to buy, buy, buy. But nothing excited me enough to get it. So...except the book. I LOVE Elmore Leonard and have read a great number of his books.  He's a prolific writer and my hero. 

 It was 82  degrees today!  And windy. We are expecting thunderstorms tomorrow.but right now, after midnight, it is 75 degrees. Crazy. I actually had to turn on the air conditioning today It was really hot and stuffy in here. I only set it at 76 degrees, but still...I always try to wait til the last unbearable minute before turning that sucker on...

  Tomorrow I am going to the recovery house and do some step work with a new sponsling. And before that am meeting an old sponsling for an early lunch get together.  THEN...I am taking a couple of days off.

  I am watching trees leaf out and plants grow like they are on speeded up video. It's nuts, I tell you. When I got home today from shopping, the clematis was 2 inches taller than when I left. AND the weeping fruitless mulberry sprouted leaves. I LOVE spring. It's magickal.

  The chickies and kitties are growing like weeds.  The local farm pastures are full of newborn calves. 

  I am saddened by the story out of West Virginia and the loss of lives in that coal mine. We have a rich history of mines in this area and the town of Mt. Olive has a miners cemetery, where the bones of Mother Jones are interred. There was actually a bloody massacre at a town called Virden here, back when they were trying to unionize the mines. Please say a small prayer for the families and their devastating losses...

   All the doggies are in, so I guess I can go to bed now. It's almost 1 AM and this old hen is tired. 


Monday, April 5, 2010

Post Easter week madness...



    Spring is here. The peach trees are sprouting their lovely pink blossoms and the lilac is leafing out. The clematis is over 5 inches tall in only the last 4 days. I have to get the trellis out soon for it. It grows at the corner of the front deck and looks like this at  it's peak...

It's freaking gorgeous. And it grows so fast it's scary. lol

  The grass is filling in. We planted grass seed Saturday over where the water mains were set and the  trenches have sunk. The Irishman brought dirt home from work, where they are building a new truck lot.. and filled the sinkhole. I took a stroll around the yard yesterday after coming home from my brothers and saw that the tiger lilies I planted last year (free from a friends yard renovation) are up in about 6 inch high clumps and look great. The yellow irises I planted around the bottom of the rock wall are looking all spring green and healthy too...more from the same yard reno.  I have a friend getting ready to give me some sweet sage and some rhubarb from her yard.  I LOVE freebies, don't you?? I also love having little pieces of my friends lives growing in my world. I have a lilac out back that was a gift from my old neighbor Mary in North Carolina. I have a Japanese Maple from my pal Kim there too. I have a clump of beautiful lilies given to me last year by my friend Dorothy that are planted at the bottom corner of my little stairway  at the corner of the rock wall.  I wasn't sure they were going to make it, but there they are, standing strong.  I have a small stand of Siberian Irises that need relocating and hopefully I'll get that done soon, a gift from the yard of my friend Persis.  I like walking around, seeing the plants, and remembering the blessings of friendships. I am one lucky duck. 

  It's another beautiful day on the horizon. 63 right now. We had some serious storms last night, and I couldn't get on the computer, but sat up reading until after 1:30, when the winds were gone as quickly as they'd come. It stormed for a good 3 or 4 hours.  It smelled absolutely wonderful out there.

  My life is busy right now, with lots of diverse activities. Had a few friends for supper on Saturday night...made homemade pizzas and a big salad and we had a ball. It was such a blessing to be with intelligent, fun folks.  I know that things will get busier and busier and I will have to start choosing the ways I spend what little free time I have...and still have some left over for me and the things I need and want to do. 

  Feels good to be back online and blogging...can't believe it was only a week I was away....feels like 3 !!  I have sooooo much reading to catch up on !

  Have a blessed day, everyone. Hope you all had a restful weekend and got to share in the blessings of the season.