Monday, May 30, 2022

Memorial Day Weekend

I've had a feeling lately I'd like to go to north Missouri and see the graves of my parents; I'd also like to go to Versailles to visit my husband's parents' graves.  Cliff isn't the type to think about such things, and he was having so much fun this weekend I didn't want to bring it up.  Today I mentioned it, though, and he said we could do that any time.  Memorial day will be over, but the thought is the same, anyhow.  We won't be going both places the same day, since my parents' graves are 100 miles north, and his parents are 100 miles southeast.

Our daughter brought a couple of her grandkids over Saturday and ate brisket sandwiches with us.  Yesterday after I came home from church, the grandson and Alexandria ate toasted brisket sandwiches with us.  Today, my cousin Betty, who I haven't seen for quite a while, came knocking at our door, and she, Cliff and I had toasted brisket sandwiches!  It's a good thing I had that brisket cooked.   Yesterday and today we had fresh strawberries from the garden with ice cream for dessert.  

 Great-granddaughter Amara helped me pick strawberries Saturday, eating half of what she picked with great enthusiasm.  Later she decided to climb a tree.

So, we've had quite a weekend with pleasant company.  Tomorrow Cora will be here to visit.  Our cup runneth over.

My garden surprise for the day was finding two tiny tomatoes on my vines, one on the Big Beef plant and the other one on a Jet Star plant.  The moles are in my garden more often now, so I ordered a mole trap on Amazon.  It has great reviews; I only hope it works well for us.

I'll share a comical review of the mole trap on Amazon that made me chuckle.  Click on it to make it larger.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Making Labor Day plans

We don't usually make plans very far ahead; I don't even buy green bananas any more.  However, we decided to risk it this time.  One of the first big tractor shows we ever attended was the Midwest Old Thresher's Reunion in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.  We've been there three or four times since then, too.  Last week I got an email about it and mentioned it to Cliff.  It doesn't change much from year to year, but there is a lot to see.

The problem is, neither Cliff nor I can do a lot of walking any more, and the the Old Thresher grounds are huge.  We couldn't recall ever seeing any golf cart rentals, but I scoured the website to see if they had them, but found none.  However!!!  They do have mobility scooters.  They are $75 a day, per person.  I spoke for two scooters for two days.  (::note to self::  save up plenty of money for this event.)

Always before, we stayed in whatever camper we owned at the time, but our camper days are past.  I got us a highly rated motel twenty miles from Mount Pleasant for three nights.  Getting a motel in the small town of Mt. Pleasant is virtually impossible.

I also ordered our tickets for the venue, since they are cheaper when they are bought in May, and I ordered tickets that assure us a good seat at the country music show on Thursday night.  Anyone on the grounds can watch the show, but getting a good seat isn't easy, because most seats are first-come, first served.  We'll be seeing Leroy Van Dyke, an old guy from Missouri who had one hit in his life, as far as I know, although he is a decent singer.  He's famous for singing "The Auctioneer".  Also in the show are Jimmy Fortune and The Malpass Brothers.  We often watched them on Country's Family Reunion.  If you're not a country music lover, just ignore this paragraph.  But we like all three of the acts.

With the motel, the mobility scooters, and meals, and boarding for the dog while we're gone (I already spoke for his board, because you have to book early for holiday weekends), this is going to be quite an expense for us, but I think it will be well worth it.  Once again we'll see the huge steam engines, the farm tractors, the sorghum making and broom making, the threshing machines... I can't wait!  

Friday, May 20, 2022

A note from my husband

Last night my husband and I were conversing.  I don't know what led up to the point when he said, "You're amazing."  I don't even know what the conversation was about.  I thought maybe he was kidding around with me, and said something like, "Yeah, right."

"You really are," he responded.

And I said, "OK, how am I amazing?"

The conversation faded away and I thought no more about it.  This morning I piddled around in the garden for awhile in the early hours; when I came inside at 6:30, Cliff was already up, sitting in his spot on the couch, sipping coffee.

"Well, you're up early this morning," I said.

"I had some things on my mind, so I got up to take care of them," he told me.  "Last night you wanted to know why I thought you were amazing; so although I don't often buy you cards or make a fuss about Valentine's Day and all that, I made a list for you."

And he handed me a page out of the little spiral notepad he always carries around in a pocket in the bib of his overalls to write lists, phone numbers, and dates on.  I decided to share this with my readers.

I believe this beats any Hallmark card in existence.  

He's always said I don't believe him when he tells me I'm pretty, or sexy.  What he doesn't understand it that I do believe that's how he sees me; I've just never seen myself that way, never have.

I guess I'll keep him around.   

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Oh how I love these mornings

I've been rescuing my old Iris plants for two years.  I had many beautiful varieties in front of the house, but they pretty well got taken over by grass and weeds.  I moved some of them to the back, where the same thing happened gradually.  Cliff hated mowing around them, and besides, the grass was so thick within the bed that the flowers weren't happy.  Finally I told him to just go ahead and mow them.

Year before last I decided to start moving the tiny Iris spears that showed up every year in the yard, only to be mowed again.  They never give up, even though they never get to bloom.  I moved them along the inside of the fence nearest to my garden.  I had no idea what color each one was; I didn't even remember what colors were in each location.  Only one or two bloomed last year, but they are coming around now.  White ones, pinks, lavender, and purple.  One is about to open up that I've been hoping to see:  a black Iris!  I do hope I'm right about that.  Now if only a yellow would show up, my joy would be complete.

I've had some failures in the garden this year, mainly with corn.  I planted the seeds too early twice, hoping to beat the odds.  Most of them didn't even sprout.  When the frost was over, I made sure to use this year's seeds; I planted again, two half-rows side by side.  Again, only a few showed above ground, and this time the temperatures were right.  The other two halves of those rows were planted in green beans.  Half of the ones on one side didn't come up well, but the others are perfect.  I think what's happening now is the mole population: they don't care where they make their underground highways, and yesterday I found they had even gone burrowing right below my eleven sweet potatoes!  Cliff wanted to put grub killer on the garden, but I don't think I need that where I'm growing food for us to eat.

As for the corn, I decided to plant some in hills where I had tilled the spinach under, since it started  going to seed this week.  You make circles two-and-a-half wide with one yard between them and plant nine seeds in each hill (it really doesn't have to be a literal hill).  This is the best method for small gardens, because if corn is planted in rows, you need more that 1 row for good pollination.  Just thin the little plants to five or six per circle so they are up-close and personal. for pollination  One hill would probably make a meal of corn-on-the-cob for a family.  I'll let you know how it works for me.  HERE'S where I got my information.

I am getting more excitement out of my flowers and vegetables than I've had for years, maybe even more excitement than when we had our motorcycle.  Every day there's something new to see, and I can't wait until the sun comes up to check things out.  I still have some daylilies I'll be watching for blooms, and the gladiolas will come later on.  Tiny sprouts are just now appearing on the Hibiscus, my very favorite flower; it blooms all summer as long as it gets enough water.

Oh yes, and I have a favorite tomato plant:  It's a Big Beef that's 18 inches tall, the biggest and heartiest of the five plants I've purchased, and it has six blooms already. I took off the small blooms that first came on, but now I'm leaving them.  I actually sit in a chair and look at it sometimes.  I also have a Supersonic, two Jet Stars, and a Big Boy, which used to be a favorite of mine.

Meet Mr. Big Beef

I'm sorry all I have to talk about is my garden, but it's my main activity right now.  I'm still reading, but am not really finding anything to read that I'm thrilled about.  

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Cooler weather is coming

I've had a productive and wonderful day, in spite of the heat.  The grandson recently gave us some roasts and steaks from the last cow he had butchered, since neither he nor his significant other like to cook.  Last night I got a chuck roast out of the freezer to thaw, and this morning I put in in the crock pot, so we had Sunday dinner on Thursday noon:  Roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, the last of last year's home-grown sweet corn from the freezer, and spinach fresh from the garden.  I messaged Arick (the oldest grandson) at work and told him he and Alex could come and warm up leftovers this evening; he said she is working late tonight.  She's a manager at Hooter's, so her hours are always changing; she may go to work at 8:30 in the morning, and the next day leave for work at 4:30 P.M.  Anyhow, I messaged her and told her to come and have some leftovers any time she wanted to; she was glad to oblige.  We really like her:  She's always pleasant and fun to talk to, and she loves to eat anything I make.  Grandson will be over when he's ready to eat this evening.  He's already home from work, but will wait until his girlfriend goes to work before he comes over.  He usually goes and works out in the evening, too. 

In the garden, the sweet potatoes are coming along.  I paid for a dozen plants, and the seller included two extra ones.  It looks like I'm going to have eleven living plants (knock wood).  That isn't bad, all things considered.

I found a packet of zinnia seeds this morning, so I tilled up a little spot in the corner of the garden area and intend to plant them tomorrow morning while it's cool.  They are saying there's a chance of rain tomorrow; I hope they're right.

I'll probably also pull up the radishes and spinach tomorrow.  Radishes are starting to go to seed, thanks to the hot weather, and the spinach won't be far behind them.  Then I can plant some other things in that space.  My Iris and peonies will soon be blooming, and after that, the day lilies.  The slow-poke hardy Hibiscus hasn't even come up yet!

Monday, May 09, 2022

Summertime already

Yes, it's warm and windy.  You won't hear me complaining at this point, although the ninety degree temperatures heading our way starting today marks the end of morel season, and probably the end of our radishes and spinach, both of which like cool weather.  As for morels, everyone around here had all the morels they wanted.  Those cool, cloudy days gave us a good long spell of mushroom-hunting.  The grandson gave me his last ones.  I'm experimenting with dehydrating them, since my oven has a "dehydrate" button.  It's a convection oven too, so the fans keep the air moving as they dry.  I'll use them to give soups a little of the morel taste.  We had spinach from the garden Saturday, and I'll probably pick some again tomorrow while the getting's good.  Once the radishes and spinach are out, I'll use those two rows for something else.

Cliff and the grandson mowed our yards, so I took a picture of our home sweet home while we were outside.

We had a nice weekend.  Our daughter, her husband, and her youngest daughter were here, so two of our great-grandchildren, Ivan and Amara, were here.  Cliff took them for a tractor ride, which they both love, although Ivan would have rather had his mom along.  My daughter got the cutest video of Amara leading all of us in an "orchestra" of kiddy instruments, but I guess there's no way to get it from Facebook to my blog.

The garden is prospering fairly well.  I can already see the tomato plants are happier with the warmer weather; they have started growing.  Oh, and my strawberries!  I can hardly wait.  There are blooms galore, and even some tiny green berries.

I'm out there pulling tiny weeds out of the patch every day.

My iris' are getting ready to bloom.  I transplanted some of them from the yard to my garden, since grass and weeds were overtaking them where they were before.

I recorded another song my parents taught me.  Eddy Arnold had a hit with the song in 1949, and that's probably about the year my parents were singing it around the house.  

At that time, the only rice I knew about was rice-and-raisins, which we had for breakfast once in awhile.  It was a favorite of mine.  So when I heard this song, I pictured people tossing pans or bowls of cooked rice and raisins at the bride.  Don't laugh; after all, I was only five years old.   

I had to look at some words with this one, because I only recalled the chorus.  I should sit in a different location when I record.  My glasses reflect the light, sitting here.  Not that it matters much to me.


Sunday, May 08, 2022

Sunday Stealing

1. Do you like your handwriting?  It's pretty sloppy using either hand.  But it's my handwriting, so I think it's fine.
2. Do you like roller coasters?  I was scared of them for the first thirty years or so of my life.  Then some neighbors talked me and my kids into going to Worlds of Fun in Kansas City.  They begged me to ride the roller coasters there, and I found I really liked them.  Not any more, though.  I had my fun on roller coasters in my thirties; that's enough for me.
3. Do you like scary movies?  Not the really scary ones.  I like the Shining.  I love Christine.  That's about as scared as I want to be!
4. Do you like shopping?  I used to like looking at the weekly grocery ads and finding bargains, but there are no bargains now, so that's over.  I really did used to like grocery shopping, because it was about the only time I got out of the house; now I don't care if I leave the house or not.  I've never liked shopping for clothes, purses, shoes, etc.  I don't care much about that stuff, and would just as soon be barefoot wearing jeans, shorts, and T-shirts.
5. Do you like to talk on the phone?  Hate it.  I don't mind anyone calling me if they need to, but I don't like to make small talk with someone on the phone.
6. Do you sleep with the lights on or off?  Off
7. Do you use headphones or earphones?  I wear glasses, so headphones and earphones hurt my ears.  And the kind that goes IN the ears won't stay put.  
8. Do you have tattoos?  Do you want any?  I have one on my left shoulder nobody sees, because it's covered by my clothes.  I got it ten years ago... click HERE if you want to see me getting it.  I'd like a ring tattoo on my finger, but since fingers are bony, it seems like it might be pretty painful.
9. Do you wear glasses?  Yes
10. What is your strangest talent?  Accidently hurting people's feelings.
11. Have you ever been in the hospital?  Yes.  Twice having my babies, and once for a knee replacement.  Oh, and once for a week when I was 7 or 8, but they never figured out why I was sick.  I just gradually got better and went home.
12. What color mostly dominates your wardrobe?  None.  I don't care what color clothes I wear.
13. What’s your most expensive piece of clothing?  Coats are the most expensive clothing article I buy, but they last a long time.
14. Have you ever had braces?  No, but I needed them.  We were poor.
15. Have you ever been on TV?  Nope.

 of clothing?

14. Have you ever had bra

Thursday, May 05, 2022

Warm weather ahead

Well, there's nothing like Missouri.  This spring most of our temperatures have been cooler than normal.  Now it looks like Mother Nature is going to flip the switch and give us instant summer next week, with temps in the 90's.  You have to love Mother Nature, who thinks it's a joke to leave spring weather entirely out of the picture, going directly from winter to summer instead.

We have been getting plenty of rain, so that's a good thing.  I could pick some spinach from the garden today, but I'd be sinking up to my knees in the process, so I'll wait.  There are radishes ready, too, and Cliff is happy about that.  Meanwhile, the pepper and tomato plants are the same size as when I put them out there because they are pouting from the cold.  No worries:  When those 90 degree temps appear three days from now, they will grow rapidly.  

They look a little raggedy, but they'll be fine.  I hope.

I received my twelve sweet potato plants yesterday, with directions not to plant them in the ground until temperatures are over 55°.  Tonight's low is 52, and Friday night is to be down in the 40's.  My gut tells me I could probably get away with planting them now, but I think I'll wait until Saturday.  Meanwhile I wrapped wet paper towels around the roots as directed, since they aren't supposed to sit in water; the leaves aren't supposed to be in contact with the wrapping or water at all.  I'll probably, even then, have to mud them in from the looks of things.

We had a skillet full of morel mushrooms yesterday noon, and for breakfast today, scrambled eggs with onion and morels, wrapped in a tortilla with a little picante sauce and cheese added.  That's such a filling breakfast, I told Cliff we'll eat dinner at 1 P.M. rather than noon.  I probably won't be very hungry even then.  The grandson has been very generous with mushrooms this year; he's found most of them on days when the temperatures were in the 50's and nights in the 40's.  I had my best luck finding them in just such a year:  wet, cool, and cloudy... I think it may have been 1994, but don't hold me to that.  I recall wearing coats when I hunted for them that year; one time I found so many they wouldn't all go in my bag, so I took off my coat and carried them bundled in that, and passed some around to neighbors.  Our place, as I've said, is mushroom heaven.  

I need to ride the recumbent bike today, since I skipped yesterday.  My knees aren't up to taking a walk, even if it wasn't wet and muddy outside.  Other than that, except for the time I'm cooking dinner and washing dishes, I'll probably be reading.

I had some parsley come my way yesterday, so since my current kitchen stove has a dehydrate setting, I dried some parsley just for fun.  It took very little time and the leaves were dried to crunchy perfection.  I've never done any dehydrating before, but I'm thinking maybe next year I might try dehydrating morel mushrooms.

OK, it's time for me to do something useful.  Whatever your weather, find something good about this day, for you'll never have another chance to experience these 24 hours.  Each day comes with its own blessings.


Monday, May 02, 2022

A voice from the past

Yesterday afternoon I received a phone call.  I answered the phone and a familiar voice said, "Donna?"

"Yes," I answered.

"Do you know who this is?"

"Yes," I said.  "this is Terri." 

I have seen this lady briefly perhaps half a dozen times through the years, when we'd chance to meet at stores, or at the Lenten Friday night fish fries in Lexington.  The last time we saw one another was just a few months ago at the funeral of a mutual acquaintance.  We worked side by side on a conveyor at Whitaker Cable in the 70's.  We had quite a bit in common:  We both enjoyed going to our churches, and sometimes would visit one another's churches.  We both loved singing country and gospel music.  Back then, we'd sometimes get together to sing and play, just for the fun of it.  Sometimes others would gather with us and sing, playing guitars if they had them.  Good times.

She told me she'd been trying to clean house Saturday and found a cassette tape I had made of me singing songs I had written; she stumbled across it in the back of a drawer, having forgotten she even had it.  She put it in her cassette player, she said, and listened to it all day, over and over. 

My first thought was, "Is there really somebody alive who still has a cassette player?" 

She said she has a hard time singing any more, but she still likes to try.  She wants us to get together.  She wants to hear me sing again.

I told her Cliff is pretty good about being my chauffeur, so we could probably make that happen.  My intentions were that Cliff could sit on the sidelines with Terri's husband and listen to us and visit, but he wasn't interested in doing that.  I'm sure, however, that he'd take me to Lexington and leave me for a couple of hours so Terri and I can catch up with one another and sing a little.  My husband has told me several times that since he can't sing, he always feels like a third wheel just sitting around when everybody else is singing.

We have a cold day today, highs in the 50's with light rain.  I told one of my preachers yesterday that I sincerely hope I can put my jackets and coats away before my birthday comes;  he asked when that would be, and I told him July 7.  

Hey, the way the weather is going this year, you never know!

I'll take it though.  This kind of weather gives me an excuse to make soup; today I made potato soup.  Tomorrow, maybe chili, if we're not having morel mushrooms.  The grandson has plenty of those for us!

Sunday, May 01, 2022

Sunday Stealing



First Job:  After-school job at Woolworths from October to Christmas; I'm not a people person, and I hated it.

First Favorite Politician:  Dwight Eisenhower, just because my parents loved him.

First Record/CD:  Probably Jailhouse Rock, by Elvis.

First Sport Played:  I hate sports because I'm terrible at them.  Nobody ever wanted me on their team.

First Concert:  Peter, Paul, and Mary

First Foreign Country Visited:  Mexico

First Favorite TV Show:  My Little Margie

First Favorite Actor:  Roy Rogers

First Favorite Actress:  Lucille Ball

First Girlfriend/Boyfriend:  I only had one boyfriend before Cliff, and I'm just glad I ended up with Cliff.

First Encounter with a Famous Person:  We had our picture taken with President Jimmy Carter and his wife in Plains, Georgia... is that really an encounter?  Probably not.

First House/Condo Owned:  An old four-room house on 20 acres about 25 miles from where we now live.  We bought it in 1967. 

First Film Seen:  My mother used to take me to movies as a child, and the first one would probably have either been Ma and Pa Kettle or Abbot and Costello.

First Favorite Radio Station:  WHB from Kansas City.

First Book I Remember Reading:  I'm sure the first book I remember reading was a little book of nursery rhymes.  The first chapter book I remember was The Bobbsey Twins.