Tuesday, May 31, 2022

What Iris Is This?

These iris are from roots given to me long ago. They look like an early relative of the showier Bearded Irises.

Does anyone have a name for them? 


Sunday, May 29, 2022

Imagine . . .

A country that cared more for its living children than for fertilized eggs, that treated the Earth as the fragile mother of us all, that practiced loving one's neighbor rather than merely mouthing it, that chose its leaders based, not on appearance or party, but on experience and ethics.



Saturday, May 28, 2022

Poor Starving Jenny

I thought she was getting a drink of water . . .

Jenny is actually fishing for waterweed/elodea.

And she is eating it. It's probably full of vitamins. And she's been doing this routinely now with no stomach upsets. We do feed her twice a day . . . plus snacks.


Friday, May 27, 2022



These are some thank you cards I made. One is a panda and some bamboo, and the other is a mouse. When people give you stuff, it is polite to send them a thank you card. I like making them too!

 The mouse also has flowers and a sun and sky. And fancy loops at the bottom.

Sandy sent me A BUNCH of acrylic paints for painting rocks. There are 24 different colors! Meema wanted me to start on paper so I could get used to all the colors and because they are different from watercolors like I have been using. 

Meema gave me a little palette she had and after we put some colors in the holes, she showed me how to mix white with a tiny bit of color to make pale pink or light blue and lots of others. You HAVE to clean the brush EVERY time you change to a different color, or the paints will get all muddy and there will be a Big Mess. So that is what I did.

I just had to try all the colors--this is not really a picture of anything. Meema said I am returning to my non-representational roots.  Then I decided to add some glitter glue to make it even prettier and she said that now I was doing mixed media. Meema is silly sometimes.

Next, I did a picture of my daddy. I got paint all over my arm and hands and we had to do some cleanup. Then I borrowed Meem's phone and took LOTS of pictures. Here they are.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Instead of a Josie Post

 All I can think of is the agony of the families in Uvalde and the murderous complicity of every politician and voter who rejects rational gun control. (By which I mean at least the kind of vetting one goes through for a driver's license.  And, for god's sake, a waiting period.) 

And then there's the hypocrisy of those who mouth "thoughts and prayers" and say "it's too soon after the tragedy to talk about a solution." It's always too soon because there's always another tragedy.

May all those who see school shootings as the price we pay for so-called gun rights rot in the hell of their own twisted souls. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Towel Day

Today is Towel Day, honoring the late Douglas Adams, creator of the amazing Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe, in which the hitchhiker is advised that a towel is the most massively useful thing a hitchhiker can carry, for many reasons but most importantly because if one has a towel, others will assume that one has other necessities and is a really together guy.

I always keep a towel in the car-- since I don't hitchhike, I don't actually carry one. But towels have been on my mind recently, particularly the supply of towels in our house.

Each of the two bathrooms has a towel bar with a nice clean, fluffy, relatively new towel and washcloth. The doors of the two bathrooms have hooks from which hang more towels, clean, but thin, frayed, and undeniably ratty. (See first photo.) These are the towels in actual use. The nice towels stay unused--except when Josie takes a bath. She is having none of the crummy towels.

Our linen closet has a stack of unused new towels. So why aren't we using them?

Beats me. But I remember that my grandparents were much the same--continuing to use threadbare towels when there were new ones on the shelf. Is this an old age thing? Inherited frugality? For what are we saving those new towels anyway?

Maybe in honor of Towel Day I'll gather up the ratty ones and put them on the shelf for utility/dog use and break out some new fluffies. Walk on the wild side! Live for the moment! Woo hoo!

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Between the Rains



Monday, May 23, 2022

Three Books

The Moons of Jupiter by Alice Munro is a collection of quietly unassuming powerful short stories, many of which were first published in the New Yorker--which is for me a recommendation of quality.  Set in contemporary (late 2oth century) small-town Canada, they delve into the human condition with unerring precision. I really enjoyed this and will look for more of her story collections.

More good reads from the Book Pusher's bag. Kristin Hannah seems to be immensely popular just now--NYT bestseller and all that. I often see her recommended on FB pages for readers. Both of these were enjoyable, almost un-put-downable.

The Great Alone is set in backwoods Alaska where a troubled Vietnam vet takes his wife and daughter to live off the land, away from the corruption of society (and the PTSD demons that pursue him.) The descriptions of life off the grid and the other homesteaders are vivid and the setting is awe-inspiring.

The Winter Garden is set in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, with lengthy, beautifully done flashbacks to the Siege of Leningrad that seem all too relevant today with the war in Ukraine.  Again, the prose is beautiful, the descriptions fascinating,

And yet . . . both books left me annoyed with one or more of the characters and feeling manipulated by the author. (I know--that's what authors do, myself included.) But some of the characters' choices seemed really unlikely to me and the plots a bit soap-opera-ish. 

Several reviews described Winter Garden as a tear-jerker and I guess that's part of my problem with it. Both novels are squarely in the genre of Women's Fiction--relations between sisters, husbands and wives, mothers and daughter(s) are at the forefront in both books. 

Still, I enjoyed reading them and learned a lot about Alaska and the Siege of Leningrad. Good reads, just a little soppy for my taste.


Sunday, May 22, 2022

Hail, Yes!

A sudden hailstorm blew in and for a while, thanks to our metal roof, it was a great deal like being inside a popcorn popper.

 When it was all over, there was a welcome inch and seven-tenths in the rain gauge and the air was much cooler.

 Jenny is not a fan of rainy weather and especially not a fan of hail.

Hoping it didn't damage any gardens. Back when we grew tobacco, hail was a worry as a bad storm could destroy an entire just-planted crop.

 I don't know if there's any baccer grown in the county nowadays. It's a terrible, labor and chemical intensive crop that contributes to addiction and causes cancer--good riddance. 

But it was wonderful to have participated in the deep-rooted culture of our new home.  I wouldn't have missed the experience.


Saturday, May 21, 2022


Puff pastry (thank you, Pepperidge Farm) appetizers for a little birthday party. The recipe is HERE but I substituted Mexican mixed shredded cheese and feta, as well as Kalamata olives instead of ripe.

The honorees are on the downhill side of fifty, and I couldn't resist quoting another friend who made a toast at a fiftieth birthday party some years ago.

"Remember, the glass isn't half empty; it's one-third full!"


Friday, May 20, 2022