Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New wardrobe

So, my granddaughter Kaitlyn has decided I need a new wardrobe. She must think that I shouldn't be wearing shorts and tank tops at my advanced age. So the other day she cut pictures from an advertisement in the Sunday newspaper's coupon insert. This is how she would like me to dress from now on.

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See, there's a different one for every day of the week! Oh, darn! She cut off the important ordering information. Maybe they'll run this one again in Sunday's paper! I can only hope.

Monday, June 22, 2009


This is what caused it.

If I could no longer read or write,
I would speak my grocery list to the heavens
And shop at twilight in an open air market,
Looking to the sky to see
If I needed milk or peas
As though the stars were letters on an inky blue page.

The leaves above would serve as my abacus.
Adding the smiles of my grandchildren
To subtract the worry lines on my face.
The notes of the birds' songs
Heard through the open window at daybreak
Would make the need of sheet music obsolete.

If I could no longer read or write,
I would compose my love a letter
With soft fingers inscribing my devotion and trust on his skin.
And the warm gaze of his eyes into mine
Would be the only romance novel
To have a place on my bedside stand.

~Susan D~

Thursday, June 18, 2009

That's no lady.....

......that's my lady's thumb.

Or if you you are a botanist, you might call it polygonum persicaria

I just call it "that damned weed".

I pull and yank and pull some more and it just won't go away. It will take over your flower beds and gardens and lawn, if you let it get away from you.

According to the USDA, it is an edible plant that can be steamed or eaten raw in salads. I haven't tried it. It might be delicious, for all I know. I don't really intend to find out as I don't usually eat my enemies.

Apparently it pretty much blankets the entire United States and Canada, so if you decide to give it a try on your dinner plate, let me know how it tastes. I'm open to being convinced. In the meantime, to me, it is still "that damned weed".

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Here I am--one year later

Today is my first blog anniversary. My first post was simple and to the point. I've learned much since those early days. Heck, I didn't even know how to 'cut' and 'paste', even though David had tried and tried to explain it to me. I just had a mental block about it. Can I just say that cutting and pasting has changed my life. Some of those early posts took hours for me to complete because I was flying by the seat of my pants. There was a LOT of trial and error. Mostly on the error side. I've come a long way and actually feel comfortable giving advice on some of the techniques of blogging. I've had some wonderful help from some of my blog friends along the way. Thank you very much, bloggy friends!

This simple little blog has come to mean a lot to me. It's not as cerebral as some of the ones that I read and appreciate. Even though I'm a fairly intelligent person, it's just not me. I like to entertain and amuse and that has been my primary focus. And, of course, the showcasing of my wonderful grandchildren, of how they grow, and giving my friends and family a place to come and learn about them. And, also the antics of my fifteen chickens. They entertain me as well.

I want to thank all of you who visit me regularly and leave insightful, witty and supportive comments. It wouldn't be any fun doing this if it weren't for you, my friends. I appreciate all of you very much.

So, I'm sure some of you have wondered what the present "me" looks like. You've seen me as a child and as a high school graduate and a shadowy reflection on Ruth's blog. Anyhoooo, this is one I took myself this morning and you get to see me as I usually appear. No makeup and hair barely combed, in front of the computer in my pajamas.

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Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Doo-Wop and Huey

I love Huey Lewis and the News. There I've said it. Is there anything better than Huey jumping around the stage, playing the harmonica and singing "The Heart of Rock and Roll" while the Tower of Power Horns blasts out the tune behind him and you dance along with the music? I don't think so.

But, wait, I've never been to a Huey Lewis and the News concert where, apparently, they always sing an a Capella song or two in the doo-wop style. Probably to take a little breather after all that frenetic energy gets him huffin' and puffin'.

Anyway, this is one of my favorite songs.

Weren't the eighties great! And the sixties, too!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Grandbabes on parade

Just sharing a few new pics of the grandkids.

First, my handsome and very smart oldest, Gaige Colin.


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My second and also very smart and handsome grandson, Nathan Connor, performing at his Kindergarten graduation program. It was a Caribbean theme.

Here's one of the songs they performed.

With his beloved teacher, Ms. Tammy Ardrey.
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The lovely and shy, Miss Kaitlyn Emily, sister to the above boys.


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The beautiful and elusive Miss Lauren Elizabeth who does not like having her picture taken by Grammy. Probably because her daddy takes a bazillion pictures of her!

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And last, but certainly not least, the amazing Matthew Tyler, Lauren's little brother who will soon be one year old. He's into EVERYTHING!


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Friday, June 12, 2009

Goodwill goes Italian

See this bowl? It is an Italian ceramic one that my mother-in-law gave me a couple of years ago. I love it and it's the perfect size (6 inches high by 9 inches diameter) for pasta salad, or potato salad, or any kind of salad. I love the colors and its versatility.


Well, yesterday on one of my regular forays into our local Goodwill store, I found her little sister!

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She is 3 inches high and 4 1/2 inches across. Perfect to hold sauces, salsas, or veggie dip. I couldn't be prouder! The only problem is now I realize that there was more than likely a set of sister bowls in in-between sizes.

The mark on the bottom is "ceramiche alfa". Alfa is an Italian ceramic tile maker that once made pottery as well. I looked on Replacements, Ltd., but they don't carry that pattern. I also went through eleven pages of Italian pottery on Ebay with no success, although I did see several pieces that I would like to own.

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My other Italian purchase was this book, The Passion of Artemisia by Susan Vreeland. I read it several years ago when my wonderful friend Lynn, the art history expert on Italian Renaissance, recommended it to me. It is the story of Artemisia Gentileschi, who was the first woman elected to the Accademia dell'Arte after years of struggle as an artist. At a young age, she was raped by her painting teacher, Agostino Tassi, and then put on trial for accusing him in public. It is a fascinating story.

If you would like to see a film featuring the the paintings of Artemisia Gentileschi, I highly recommend "Painted Lady", starring Helen Mirren, my most favorite actress. It was originally a two-part mini-series for the BBC and it was shown here in the states on Masterpiece Theatre about ten years ago. Dame Mirren is astounding in her portrayal of Maggie Sheridan, as she is in all of her work.

For a very different perspective on Gentileschi's life, there is the movie "Artemisia", which presents Gentileschi and Tassi as consensual lovers.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I'll have some peas, please!

With all the sunshine and warm weather we've been having lately and the help of the two hundred feet of garden hose, our garden is really taking off. I picked the first batch of peas yesterday, and while there were enough to serve for dinner, I decided to save them along with others I will pick in the next couple of days for the whole family to enjoy on Saturday. There is nothing like fresh peas from the garden. They are so tender and flavorful. When I was a kid, my mom always made them with a cream sauce and they are very tasty. But for myself, I enjoy them the most just lightly steamed with a pat of butter and a sprinkling of salt. The simpler, the better.


The zucchini, green beans and cucumbers are starting to bloom. I also have teeny little green peppers, Early Girl and Celebrity tomatoes the size of golf balls, and even the heirloom tomatoes have tiny little fruits set on. My eggplant isn't doing as well. One of the blooms has fallen off, but it has another one coming on. The lettuce has been pulled up as it was turning bitter from the heat of the sun, and in its place, David sowed beets and carrots.



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I'm making some pesto this weekend, too. That's flat-leaf parsley in the background and petunias on the right.

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As a relief from all the green, how about a little color?

A delicate evening primrose.



A perfect day lily


This is penstemon which the hummers and the bees love. If you look closely, about two-thirds of the way down the stem, there's a bumblebee sticking his head inside.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Susan's Monday Movie Meme

Movies, movies, movies! I love movies! So, like Sandy, I decided to play along with The Bumbles this week.

The theme for this week is "Show us your collection". No problem! I tend not to buy very many, but the ones I do are ones I really, really like. Well, mostly.

Most viewed: That's easy, 'Lonesome Dove'. Even though it's umpteen hours long and is technically a mini-series, we have watched it more times than I can remember. It is THE best western ever made, in my totally unbiased opinion. What's not to love about Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duvall at their cowboy finest? The book is one of my favorites, too.

Never viewed: 'King Kong'. Really? Did we need another version with Naomi Watts as the heroine? I'm sure it's a fine version, but I think I prefer the classic with Fay Wray. Oh, wait a minute, it has Clive Owen in it. Excuse me, I'll be back in....3 hours and 7 minutes.

Afraid to admit you own: 'Annie'. Oh, don't get me wrong, I love the one with Aileen Quinn and Albert Finney. The one we have was made for TV with Ashley Johnson and Joan Collins. Yes, THAT Joan Collins. It is worse than awful.

Guilty pleasure: 'Dirty Dancing'. I will watch the entire thing just so I can hear Patrick Swayze say, "Nobody puts Baby in a corner!"

Most shared: Like Sandy, I don't share much, but my copy of 'Brokeback Mountain' has made the rounds in the family.

Why did we buy this?: 'Once Upon a Time in the West' is a Henry Fonda/Claudia Cardinale fake spaghetti western snoozefest. Our son, Jaye, bought it for his dad for Father's Day or Christmas. I think we made it through about fifteen minutes before turning it off.

Most treasured: 'Dad' with Ted Danson as the son who doesn't have time for his aging father(Jack Lemmon), but comes to treasure his time with his father when he's forced to take care of him after an illness. When we watched this the first time back in the 80's, our son Josh cried so hard he had tears actually squirting from his eyes. He bought it for his own Dad after he became an adult.

Wildcard: Boy, this one is tough. I can feature any movie that I want for any reason. There are so many, but I guess it would have to be 'To Kill a Mockingbird'. I'm sure that it will make many lists, but it IS my very favorite movie of all time. Is any father more understanding and brave and noble than Atticus Finch? And besides, every time we watch it, I get to hear David say at the end when Boo Radley is revealed behind the door by Scout, "I forgot that Robert Duvall plays Boo Radley!" Really, honey? After all these years?