Friday, August 16, 2019

Quote du jour/John Muir

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.

John Muir 1838-1914

More about the man here.

The canned tomatoes I buy are from Muir Glen, and this quote was on the can.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Farm and Garden Report 2019 - First Potatoes

This year I bought a couple pounds of Yukon gold seed potatoes to plant in our new vegetable garden.  I was also given some purple potatoes from a friend who had more that she could use. These potatoes came from a nun who does the gardens at a home for elderly nuns. We ate many, but let some of them wrinkle up and sprout eyes, and we planted those as well. We have quite a good size potato patch.

This evening we dug for the first time, and found these beauties.

They are in the oven baking right now. We'll have them with pesto made with our basil; a salad made with our lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers; and some leftover tabouli made with our parsley! Ah, the bounty of August!

I'm sorry I haven't written more often. It has been a very busy summer with the little ones, and also planning a move for Tom's mother and step-father from Independent Living to Assisted Living. That takes place on Friday, and the kids start school in a couple of weeks so there will hopefully be more time for ye olde blogge.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Quote du jour/Chris Packham

I know it is summer, but I am not finished with Springwatch yet! In the US, it is shown on BritBox. If you have even the smallest Anglophile bone in you, you will love it, and Acorn.

I just heard Chris Packham say this, and I am amazed, amazed, and knew my readers would be as well.

Scientists at Tel Aviv University in Israel have been looking at the relationship between flowers and bees. They were looking at evening primroses and they found that within 3 minutes of a bee buzzing past a primrose flower, that flower increased the sugar percentage of its nectar by 30%. So the flower was sensing that the bees were there and tempting them with more sugary nectar. They reproduced the sound of buzzing bees and they also used other buzzings which weren't bees and they found that only the bee buzzing produces this response in the flowers. So, fundamentally folks, flowers can hear bees buzzing, and respond to them. Now, I don't know about you but I love that. ... Flowers can hear bees buzzing.

Chris Packham
on Springwatch 2019

Sunday, July 28, 2019

The wonder of it all

Last evening was very special; one of those times that makes you stop and feel the richness and joy of life.

When our dearest little granddaughter Hazel came home after 2 months and 3 days in the hospital where she had been born at a day under 29 weeks, I put up a video of Natalie Merchant's "Wonder" in honor of her. (Hazel's birth story is here if you are a new reader.) I thought the words perfectly described this little wonder who had lived through such a precarious beginning.

When I heard Natalie Merchant was coming to our small town theatre, I bought tickets 4 minutes after they went on sale for Tom, Margaret, Hazel, and I! The tickets sold out in 2 hours.

Last night was the show, and as Hazel didn't last too long sitting in the seat, we all went outdoors and listened. It was the most perfect summer evening you can imagine. The place is not air-conditioned, but Natalie asked if the doors could be open, so we got to hear everything. The stage was just inside, and people occasionally walked in and watched. There was one other little girl there and she and Hazel became fast friends and had a wonderful time. They even picked petunias out of a pot and put them on the stage for Natalie. Most of the time they played in the outdoor eating area, but when I heard "Wonder" begin, I asked Hazel to come in with me and she did. Margaret told her this song means a lot to Nana. Well, you know I was crying most of the way through it. One of life's perfect, perfect moments. So thankful, so lucky, and that prayer of thankfulness is never out of my mind and heart.

And another very special thing is that in 1998, we traveled to Saratoga Springs, New York to Lilith Fair, and Natalie was one of the performers!

Margaret took a selfie of all of us before the show began.

And here is the official video of Natalie singing the song.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Quote du jour/Call the Midwife, last words, last episode of series 8

Again in the perfect voice of Vanessa Redgrave, we hear these words spoken.

Gathered together, we find our light
And each spark shifts and multiplies,
Scattering its radiance on our ordinary lives
Like everything precious, more valuable when shared.
Like every common miracle, made of the stuff of stars.
Let the light shine.
Watch for it falling on each other's faces,
Count the beams, catch them, let them be reflected back,
See the hope, see the promise.
Never hide your fears in silence.
Listen to those you cherish.
Hold them in your arms.
Let them hear your heart.
Tell your truth. Tell your story.
Tell your love.

And oh, what a season/series eight was. I rented the DVD from Netflix, and just finished.

At the end of each season I think, well that was the best, so far. I love this show so very much. I watched the extras, and Miriam Margolies said that she told everyone that she wanted to be in Call the Midwife, and she was! And another treat was seeing one of my favorite British actresses, Annette Crosbie.

When she is on-screen, it is hard to see anyone else. She is so wonderful.

When Call the Midwife finally ends, and I hope it goes on for a decade at least!, I will buy the box set of DVDs, and watch over and over again.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Mrs Bale says, "bring on the heat"

Mrs Bale is looking pretty smug these days!

If you have visited here even a few times, you know that I am a cold weather girl. I do not like hot summer weather. Last year we decided to see how it was this summer, and if there were some hot days, we would try a window air-conditioner. Pretty much all of us who live here don't much like the weather when it is over 80º F. with high humidity. That combination makes for "bad sleeping nights." Around about early July that weather came. We actually got two window units; one for the living room

and one for the bedroom.

And that's all it took to make the house comfortable. We turned the floor fan in the living room to face the kitchen and that blows enough of the cool, air-conditioned living room air into the kitchen to make being there very comfortable.

We don't use them every day, only on the hot, hot days, and as Robert Frost said about something entirely different, "that has made all the difference."

PS, we've just decided to get one for the room that will be the grandchildren's room when they sleep over. It is on the other side of the upstairs, and that area is very hot.