Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Butterflies and gardens

Yesterday I was taking pictures in the morning hours. Probably why I didn't finish cleaning my living room carpet and putting everything back together until after 8:00 PM. Exhaustion ensued soon after.

Black swallowtail sipping nectar from my lilac bush.

Mr. Bumblebee finding something yummy in the chive bloom.

A silver-spotted skipper enjoying both.

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My very first hen resting in the herb garden.

From the herb garden: mint, chives, cilantro, sage, thyme, flat-leaf parsley, basil, oregano, lemon balm and green onions from the veggie garden.

Lettuce from the cold frame pictured below. There are a few pea plants mixed in with the lettuce. The grandkids planted those in early April.


Our first time for raised beds. Green onions in the front and peas in the background. We're also trying the Joy of Gardening method.

We're experimenting with this method from Mother Earth News for raising our tomatoes. We're trying a few heirloom varieties: Cherokee purple, brandywine, hillbilly and Elberta peach.
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Green beans
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This label says it all, folks!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Maybe next time

For Kindle owners and wannabe owners.

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Columbus Dispatch's political cartoonist, Jeff Stahler, also has a nationally syndicated one-panel comic strip. About once a month, Jeff holds a contest to help him caption one of his comic strips. The winner gets his or her name on that panel as co-cartoonist. I tried one time, but didn't win. Maybe you're funnier than I am! Give it a try!

Monday, May 18, 2009

The one hundred

They said it couldn't be done, but I finally made it to my one-hundredth post! I had intended to bore all of you to tears by listing one hundred things about meme, but I didn't want to lose all my readers this early in the game. Anyway, even I couldn't think of 100 boring or non-boring meaningless items pertaining to my life. Soooo, when I clicked on Sandy's Movie Monday MeMe, I knew I had my subject. Who doesn't love movies?

No one, and I mean no one, cries more at movies than I do. Well, maybe Aimee, my daughter. Or David, who has been known to weep buckets at certain tearjerkers. No, I'm the reigning champ at movie hiccuping, snotty, salt-encrusted eyelids, red-faced sobbing. This also happens when I read emotion-inducing books. I'm a sap, what can I say? Nobody loves me any less for my shortcomings; in fact, some might say it's slightly endearing.

So, without further ado, here is one hundred of the movies that have caused me to cry. Yes, you heard right, there are more.

In no particular order:

Sophie's Choice
Saving Private Ryan
Schindler's List
Terms of Endearment
The Joy Luck Club
Fried Green Tomatoes
The Spitfire Grill
Million Dollar Baby
To Kill a Mockingbird
Bridge to Terabithia
Breakfast at Tiffany's
We Are Marshall (David and I both sobbed for the entire movie)
Bridges of Madison County
A River Runs Through It
On Golden Pond
Lonesome Dove (I know, not technically a movie, but it coulda been)
Sweet Dreams
Empire of the Sun
Cold Mountain
Little Women (all of them)
The Green Mile
Thelma & Louise
Shawshank Redemption
Legends of the Fall
City of Angels
Field of Dreams
The Sound of Music
Hope Floats
Old Yeller (or pretty much any old Disney movie involving animals)
Sleepless in Seattle
An Affair to Remember
The Right Stuff
It's a Wonderful Life
The Perfect Storm
Ordinary People
The Cowboys
Love Story (shut up!)
Gone With the Wind
Black Hawk Down
What Dreams May Come
Message in a Bottle
Kramer vs. Kramer
Coyote Ugly
Life as a House
Brian's Song
Dr. Zhivago (original)
Imitation of Life (Lana Turner)
A Summer Place
Gosford Park
Breaking the Waves
Cider House Rules
Edward Scissorhands
This Property is Condemned
While You Were Sleeping
Norma Rae
Lonely Are the Brave
A Perfect World
Charly (Flowers for Algernon)(Cliff Robertson)
Dances With Wolves
Howard's End
Dawn Anna
Lone Star
Lorenzo's Oil
Dead Man Walking
One True Thing
Music of the Heart
Out of Africa
Pay It Forward
The Sand Pebbles
The Deer Hunter
The Burning Bed
Where the Red Fern Grows
The Yearling
The Pianist
Remember the Titans
The Great Debaters
Sometimes a Great Notion
Come Back, Little Sheba (Shirley Booth)
The Champ
Midnight Cowboy
Angela's Ashes
The Last Picture Show
Meet Joe Black

Friday, May 15, 2009

May you always

When I was a little girl and into my young teen years, I always knew where I would be on Saturday evenings. In front of our black and white television with a bowl of popcorn watching the Lawrence Welk Show. Yes, I was quite the nerd. I loved watching Bobby and Cissy dance their little hearts out in front of the orchestra and my mom loved Joanne Castle and her ragtime honky-tonk piano. But my favorite act was the The Lennon Sisters. 
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I wanted to be a Lennon Sister. My sisters and I sang all the time, and in harmony, while my sister Jane played the piano. Mostly we sang gospel hymns, but Jane loved to play pop tunes from the fifties; such as, "Sincerely" by the McGuire Sisters and "On a Slow Boat to China" and "You, You, You" and "Deep Purple". I think I would have fit right in as the youngest Lennon Sister. Cute smile, dimples, ponytail. Unfortunately, no one in my family ever thought to contact them to see if they would take me on, darn it!

Here are the girls when they were first starting on Mr. Welk's show. They always called him Mr. Welk, you know. They were good girls with good manners and very respectful toward their elders. That's little Janet in front, Kathy on the left, Diane in back and Peggy on the right.

The girls in later years singing my favorite of their songs. Notice their dresses are disguising at least one pregnancy, Peggy's (second from left). Peggy was alway pregnant, after she married, of course.

I love that tight four-part harmony that is usually only achieved with family members. Diane and Peggy are now retired from the stage, but Kathy and Janet, along with their (other, not me!) younger sister, Mimi, perform regularly at The Welk Champagne Theatre in Branson, Missouri.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

New-fangled solar dryer

After twenty years of not having a clothesline, we finally did it. Now I can have that bury-your-face-in-the-sheets-and-inhale feeling again. I can also feel good about my lower electric bill and helping the environment.

Little Red (Hen) likes to peck at our jeans...and legs, and toes.

A head of cabbage a little past optimum human consumption? No problem for the hens!

Louise, my Easter Egger who lays pinkish eggs instead of green, scores a quarter for herself.

Watching chickens and clothes drying, do I know how to have fun, or what!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Southern Reading Challenge Three

"Whenever I'm asked why Southern writers particularly have a penchant for writing about freaks, I say it is because we are still able to recognize one."

-Flannery O'Connor

Well, I thought I was going to take a break from posting for a while and what do I do but sign up for the Southern Reading Challenge. The challenge is to read three books about the South by southern authors between May 15 and August 15. I think I can handle that.

The three authors I chose are just barely southern, not from the Deep South, but from Kentucky, close to my hometown. The first two are about hard times in southern Appalachia. The third is a memoir by one of my favorite female writers from the South.

My three are:

Icy Sparks by Gwyn Hyman Rubio

Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund

Clear Springs by Bobbie Ann Mason

If you would like to join in, click on the link above.

"In the South, perhaps more than any other region, we go back to our home in dreams and memories, hoping it remains what it was on a lazy, still summer's day twenty years ago."

----Willie Morris

Okay, I amended my list and removed the Jesse Stuart book, because it is really BORING! I've replaced it with Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund which isn't technically set in the South, but the main character is from Kentucky and brings her Kentucky ways to the Atlantic Coast, namely Nantucket. It looks vastly more interesting.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Could this alée be in Calais?

I'm pretty sure the next photo session took place in Calais, France, which was the ferry embarkation point for Dover, England.

The alée has a fountain hidden at the back. I have a feeling this was taken on a Saturday or Sunday. There are a lot of people strolling about.


Now what is this structure on which the ladies are sitting? In the distance it almost looks like you can see the sea. And, our fourth lady is back, but heavily veiled. Grandmother seems to have lightened up considerably.

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There is no trace of the building below, probably because it may no longer exist. Most of Calais was destroyed in World War II. If I had been one of the ladies in the next picture, I wouldn't have included it in this album!

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Here are two of the ladies, bundled up against the chilly air for their crossing of the English Channel aboard Le Nord Calais. The other photo could either be the White Cliffs of Dover or Cote d'Opale, depending on whether they were looking forward or looking back.


Ahhh, back in jolly old England!

The skyline of Dover perhaps?


Walking among the ruins of a castle?



Tudor rowhouses.

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And now, I am worn out from all this travelling, and the ladies and I just want to go home to America.

Some decadent layabouts living it up on the high seas. And I do believe our Junior Miss is looking just a bit more stylin' that when she arrived in Europe.


This journey has ended. The ladies and I do hope you have enjoyed it as much as we have. Arrividerci, adieu and cheerio!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Canals, windmills and wooden shoes

Even in the early years of the Twentieth Century, canal boat rides in Amsterdam were popular with tourists. These boats appear to be carrying mostly dry goods and supplies, but I'm sure there some which carried passengers. You can take a look at the modern version here.


Yes, our next stop is Holland. The church on the right is Nieuwe Kerk, or New Church , which wasn't so new, even then. The building in the picture on the left is a wonderful example of "stepped gable" architecture which is from the Dutch Renaissance style. I'm sure it's a famous building and statue, but I couldn't find it.

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A typical windmill scene and a harbor scene with sailboats and houses.

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Harbor scene with shops or houses.

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Little Dutch girls and boys.


And large Dutch girls and boys. Those outfits sure didn't do the women any favors, did they?



Next post the ladies take a ferry ride.

Monday, May 4, 2009

There has been a delay..... our northern sojourn.

First I have to show you these mystery photos. I have looked in Rome, and Venice, and then Florence and they are nowhere to be found. I'm hoping that someone with Italy on their dance card will come up with names.

The building in the background has a fairly distinctive architecture. Just for fun, when you enlarge it, there's a gardener on the right using a waterhose and slightly in the foreground is, I think, a manual lawn mower.


The ladies are having tea in the garden with another lady. The lady on the right is trying to catch a little shade from the ornamental tree.

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And now, for the most mysterious scene of all.....


What the heck are those crazy women doing? Some weird ritual in an almost empty room? Is it a room in one of the buildings in the other picture? And, they're all dressed in black, including the new one. Curiouser and curiouser. All theories are welcomed.

Next time, we're heading north, for sure.