Friday, May 25, 2007


May 25, 2007

All Grandma's are very proud of their grandchildren. I'm no exception. This month we're celebrating the graduation of our youngest grandchild, David Michael. Beautiful strong name for a wonderful grandson. He is totally focused on improving the world through changes in computers. He's been an assistant to the Tech administrator at high school for the past 4 year and this year was Tech student of the year. Its amazed us that even the tech administrator has him come to his house to deal with his computer.

He works out computer problems in his mind as he walks. Everything I 'work out' has to be on paper not only so I can remember, but so I can actually figure it out. Last year he developed a program that will save many hours for the computers in schools. This year he has developed something that will help to clean and protect computers...

Most of all I love his heart. No matter where he is, school, home - when he hangs up from the phone he always says 'I love you'. What more could a grandma ask?

Students today are taught so much more than we were taugh when we were in school. As we watched hundreds of students recieve their diplomas, it was amazing to consider where they were all going once they left that stage.

Its a time of mixed feelings. His plans include moving to Norway to develope software etc. Its hard to find words that pay tribute to him, as I'm sure each Grandparent... or parent.. finds. He has wonderful crinkly eyes and deep dimples when he smiles. We scarecely recognized him with cap on at graduation since he has adopted the 'techie' beard and full hair. LOL.

David - this is for you and we are VERY proud grandparents wishing you much success in the future and blessings you can scarcely count.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 30, 2007

New blogger site

I don't know yet how to get these blogs combined. Blogger has transferred me to the 'new' set up. The url for that is


Saturday, April 07, 2007

Spring Color

These first few images were found in a surprising place - Walmart's Garden Shop. This type of flower lasts here during the cold weather and in spots where they only receive morning sun. The sun in winter is even strong enough to shorten their life.

They are so beautiful and such a whiff of spring. We have friends who are still insulated by snow, longing for those first spring blooms.

We have had a few pots of tulips, some paper white narcissus.. which were beautifully fragrant and are awaiting blooms on a hyacinth and some crocus. They weren't prechilled so had to 'sleep' in the refrigerator for several weeks. Its about time to bring them out and enjoy their bright spot of color and spring smells.

I don't know what these purple leaved plants are. They stand about 4' tall and are such a bright spot in the shade.

There are so many orchids in the trees in people's yards and in all the parks.. all in the shade.. I don't know the names, but we're planning to find a few more orchids to put into our trees. Hans bought me a phaelenopsis orchid over 12 years ago for an anniversary - its still blooming and has had 'many babies'. This year it had nearly 100 blooms.. We've been waiting for the blooms to be done to separate and repot the mother plant. On nearly each blooming stem it forms a new plant and those newly formed plants have flower stalks with their own set of blossoms.. Altogether a wonderful investment.

The amaryllis are in bloom right now - again one bulb from another long ago anniversary outdoes itself each year. Its been in the same pot for nearly 10 years and last year I put it into a larger pot on advice of an internet amaryllis society. The bulb is huge and one stalk alone had 6 massive flowers already. The second stalk is about to open its beautiful flowers. I planted some last year and they bloomed, but far fewer have buds this year. The Amarylis society says that they tend to dig themselves into the ground and don't bloom as well because they become too deep in the soil. I think we'll be digging and potting all those bulbs during this summer.

Today feels like a winter day - only 43 last night and less than seventy in the shade during the day. Another cold night tonight and another fresh springlike day tomorrow.

I hope all that I know have a beautiful Easter tomorrow - its such a time of renewal and new beginnings...

Thursday, April 05, 2007


Sunday, April 01, 2007


April 1, 2007 April Fool's Day...

'Misti' this first picture is for you. Its from the 'vegetable garden room' at Hollis Gardens. This is the kale we grew in Maine.. Curly Kale. No matter how beautiful, no one in my family grew to love its taste. In the background was red chard.. along a bit further was a strip with reds, oranges and yellow stemmed chard.

A whippoorwill was singing first thing this morning. Its been a long time since we've heard them. Down here their song is only two notes.. Poor Will.. and so that's what they are called. Up north, its three notes.. Whip poor will.. The song was always comforting when, as children, we had to go to bed. We were told to listen and we'd find our friend there with us as we went to sleep.

The weather has been absolutely beautiful lately - nice breeze, cool air and sometimes too warm sun. Hollis Gardens is always a refreshing oasis... Today was no exception. There was one family there with 4 little girls, all dressed in swishy, swingy long pink dresses. They looked like junior bridesmaids posing for a proud, but a bit frustrated Dad. There was no label, but I believe the 4' plant with lavender flowers was a verbena bonariensis. Amazing flower! These little girls looked like a patch of brightly colored flowers themselves.

There were 7 or 8 huge staghorn ferns hanging on one of the old live oak trees. These trees live for a few hundred years and grow very slowly,, their branches almost gracefully reaching out.

I'm still feeling very frustrated with my Mavica camera. I've loved it for quite a few years, but am now quite disappointed in the quality of pictures since its less than l mega pixel. There are so many beautiful images to be captured, just waiting for me to make a decision and order a new camera. Sometimes the events of life so fill the days that things like choosing a new camera take the back burner. Perhaps it takes a few days like today with weather just begging to be enjoyed with camera in hand that will push me to order a new one. I took nearly 60 pictures today - just enjoying the variety of flowers offered.

Hollis Gardens always has unusual varieties of plants among the common, easy to grow plants. This one was particularly unusual. Its called Gomphocarpus Physocarpus.. Its common name was "hairy balls"... It was quite a large open and airy shrub covered with pale green translucent 'balls' approximately3" across, along with clusters of white and lavender flowers.

Last year there was a peach tree filled with hundreds of lucious looking peaches. This year the peach tree looks a bit haggard, but I recognized another fruit tree nearly ready for picking - the loquot. I'd never tasted them before eating at a nearly Chinese Restaurant. Absolutely delicious and nearly maintenance free.

One section of this garden is for butterfly plants. There was one huge patch of a very frangrant dark red flower head made up of many tiny florets. Upon smelling I would say it was a form of the old fashion Sweet William found up north. Amazing fragrance! Along the winding path was a section of the common nasturtium. I'd say there was nothing common about them.. One patch was a particularly brilliant carmine with the flowers held well above the leaves. There was also an anise hyssop.. about 3-4 feet tall and delicious licorice smelling foliage. One of those 'gotta haves'. This pink flower is a passiflora.. passies, I guess they call them on the Garden Web.

When I came to 'my' blogger, they had switched me to the 'new' version. I'm not sure what to expect, but did find that they only had a posting from last summer in 'archives'. I guess I'll be investigating to see how to use it. Kerri, thanks for the offer of help - I may well need it after seeing what a struggle it gave 'Alice'.

I hope each one in the colder areas are daydreaming about their summer gardens and those in the warmer areas are watching those tomatoes form and plants bursting into bloom.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Silent Night, Holy Night

Daisy Lupin
has invited anyone to share a Christmas memory on her site. There are already some wonderful memories posted by others at

One of the most wonderful memories at Christmastime happened when we lived on a farm in Maine. We'd never lived on a farm and this one had an 1800's 2 story cape code house with a 30 foot shed attached from to back leading to a huge barn with an open center and hay lofts down either side.

My husband divided the areas under the hay lofts into 3 parts on each side. One for the rabbit cages, one for the cow and calf, one for the pigs on one side and on the other, chickens, pony, and milking goats. Because the temperatures would hover around zero during the coldest months, he had sliding openings from the center of the barns into each section.

Each time I would go into the barn on the day before Christmas there was an odd sense of expectancy. I went out late in the evening and opened the large sliding doors to watch the bright crisp clear moon.. There was such a hush in the barn.. when I looked around all the animals were at their openings quietly looking out toward the sky.

Nothing eventful happened, but I can still feel that overwhelming peace that filled that barn. God's word says that if no one praises Him, even the rocks will cry out. I wonder if in some way animals aren't aware of God as their maker. That was such a special, wonderful night. May that peace touch everyone during this time when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

Friday, December 08, 2006

A Christmas Gift

Someone sent this to me -- As I'm flooded with invitations to join Medicare in a few months, this was very timely. Hopefully it will change my thinking and therefore how I fill my days. I don't want to wait till I'm in my 80's to enjoy this concept. JHopefully this mind change will be my Christmas gift to myself -- and to anyone else who needs it. There are some here who already live like this - and I so admire them -- and am grateful for their sharing their 'adventures' wiht all... so thank you

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays - whatever you celebrate.


One day I had a date for lunch with friends. Mae, a little old "blue hair" about 80 years old, came along with them---All in all, a pleasant bunch. When the menus were presented, we ordered salads, sandwiches, and soups, except for Mae who said, "Ice Cream, please. Two scoops, chocolate."

I wasn't sure my ears heard right, and the others were aghast. "

Along with heated apple pie," Mae added, completely unabashed.

We tried to act quite nonchalant, as if people did this all the time.

But when our orders were brought out, I didn't enjoy mine..

I couldn't take my eyes off Mae as her pie a-la-mode went down.

The other ladies showed dismay. They ate their lunches silently and frowned.

The next time I went out to eat, I called and invited Mae. I lunched on white meat tuna. She ordered a parfait. I smiled. She asked if she amused me. I answered, "Yes, you do, but also you confuse me. How come you order rich desserts, while I feel I must be sensible?

She laughed and said, with wanton mirth, "I'm tasting all that's Possible. I try to eat the food I need, and do the things I should.

But life's so short, my friend, I hate missing out on something good.

This year I realized how old I was. (She grinned) I haven't been this old before."

"So, before I die, I've got to try those things that for years I had ignored. I haven't smelled all the flowers yet.

There are too many books I haven't read. There's more fudge sundaes to wolf down and kites to be flown overhead.

There are many malls I haven't shopped. I've not laughed at all the jokes. I've missed a lot of Broadway hits and potato chips and cokes.

I want to wade again in water and feel ocean spray on my face.

I want to sit in a country church once more and thank God for His grace.

I want peanut butter every day spread on my morning toast.

I want un-timed long distance calls to the folks I love the most.

I haven't cried at all the movies yet, or walked in the morning rain. I need to feel wind in my hair. I want to fall in love again.

So, if I choose to have dessert, instead of having dinner, then should I die before night fall, I'd say I died a winner, because I missed out on nothing. I filled my heart's desire. I had that final chocolate mousse before my life expired."

With that, I called the waitress over.. "I've changed my mind," I said. "I want what she is having, only add some more whipped cream!"

This is my gift to you - Live well, love much & laugh often - Be happy.

Be mindful that happiness isn't based on possessions, power, or prestige, but on relationships with people we love and respect.

Remember that while money talks, CHOCOLATE SINGS

Monday, December 04, 2006

Roads less traveled

Whenever we have to go places, I love the trips that avoid the huge, improved traffic filled highways. I love the two lane roads that wind through the woods with clumps of houses here and there. Its seldom more than a few minutes off the beaten path to find these wonderful roads. One road we take fairly often when we go to Clermont goes through the green swamp and through an area they call Rock Ridge. EVERYONE knows about Rock Ridge and that its not a place to get off the hard roads at night. We've never encountered problems, but the area is more enhanced by this mysterious warning I think.

One afternoon coming home we saw a man parasailing.. or is it hang gliding. He floated above us with what looked like a small lawn mower engine attached to his 'wings'. Soon he was joined by a lightweight. Beautiful blue sky with added interest. I love to go slowly through these areas - you can see deeper into the swamp in early spring and late fall when so many of the leaves have fallen. One time as we came home as evening was falling, a family of racoons went racing across the road and disappeared into the swamp.

Along one mile stretch of the road, is about a 4' high vein of soft rock. Real rock is very rare down here. We have some limestone deposits, but nothing like the boulders you find in more northern sections of the country. A joke where we used to live was that people learned to farm around the rocks - OR.. we'd all be rich if we could market them.

That's why so many of the New England farms and houses have wonderful old stone walls.

I hope everyone is enjoying the anticipation of upcoming Christmas. I found out tonight that my son in law is singing a solo at church this Christmas. He who said he couldn't sing. Sometimes I think God gives us grace to do things we ordinarily either couldn't or wouldn't to bless His children. He gave me the grace to play the organ one year at church. I'm certainly not a trained organist, but I know that He either enabled me to play, or He allowed people to hear something that was pleasing. LOL. I'm never sure which it was.