Can and Should

The last flower bed is done. Yay. I picked up some perennial ground cover, so I can do a little planting to keep it from looking so bare this season. In the fall, I’ll plant some bulbs for next spring and that will be that. I have no plans to add any more flower beds. Well, maybe some more Clematis vines on the back fence. Maybe.

The annual community wide yard sale has come and gone again. Thank goodness. The weather was perfect this year, unlike the freezing cold rain last year. It would have been nice to take my daily walk and peruse the offerings like several of my friends were doing, however, the best thing about staying at my house selling the things I don’t need or use is not being tempted to buy any bargains. I’m pretty sure I saved a lot of money.

Leaving clean air for my grandchildren to breathe, a clean planet with beautiful wide open spaces for them to enjoy, and good drinking water so they can have a healthy life is the responsibility of each and every one of us, each and every day. We must act accordingly, vote accordingly, recycle, buy vehicles that serve not just our needs but also our planet, and conserve our resources. It’s all possible. The technology and the innovation are out there. We must lead in this – because we can, because we are smart enough, because we know our grandchildren’s future means more than money, because we know better, because we are leaders and there is only one planet, because we can and should. That’s what makes America great, because we can.IMG_2131

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Bald Eagle Circling

Built a nice fire and the wind came up, it started raining, and that was the end of that. Of course, later the clouds disappeared and the sun came out. Typical. I’ll try again. Bad wind and tornadoes have ripped through the area of our farm, picking up $80,000 sprinklers and smashing them into the ground. Hail beat the corn into the ground, but for most, the growing point wasn’t above the ground yet, so if the weather warms up, the corn will probably survive. The farmers just have to get new sprinkler systems up and running – in a hurry. The problem is everybody wants it at once. That’s not going to happen.

That’s the life of a farmer. Back east, some farmers haven’t even gotten the seed in the ground yet because of bad weather, and others are trying to replant due to flooding. Weather is the great equalizer. Spray pilots can’t fly when the weather is bad, and the ground rigs can’t run either. Farmers might think they have done a great job planning and executing for the year, but the weather doesn’t care. Floods, drought, tornadoes, hail, too hot, too cold – and nations of starving people. Kind of scary.

I took my first long bike ride of the season the other day. I have to admit, there was a little soreness afterward. That will get better – if I keep at it. It was a stellar day with perfect weather and temperature. Several goose families were out with the babies. They are darling to watch. A bald eagle circled above me three times while I rode around Rigden Reservoir. I don’t know if I was close to a nest or just looked like I might be a food source. Either way, eagles are beautiful birds, soaring with such grace, much more than I had on my bike. I had to stop to keep from going in the water in order to watch him, but he had no trouble at all keeping me in his sights. Summer is here.IMG_2126

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Thank You

Another one of those home maintenance projects came up. This one was easy to do, replace the batteries in the wind sensor on my retractable awning. The lights went on when the new batteries were installed, just like the manual said, the motor jogged, just like the manual said, the test failed. I lifted it up and dropped it five time to mimic the wind, just like the manual said. Nothing. I did it again. Nothing. I took the unit off again and checked the lights, yep they came on, jogged the motor, yep, yep. Tested it again. Nothing.

Next step in the manual is to call the 1-800 number. I did that. The gracious lady had me repeat the above steps, exactly how I had just done it. I lifted the awning and Bingo! It worked perfectly. Now tell me. How do electronics know how to mess with you that way? The lady laughed, said it happens all the time, she doesn’t know why, but maybe it had time to re-set itself. Bugger!

My peeps are on vacation. I am house sitting, cat sitting for neighbors, working on the book and unwinding from a wild spring by staying home and enjoying the fruits of my labors in the house and the yard. I believe they call it a stay-cation. Whatever you call it, I think it is very beneficial to breathe deep occasionally and count blessings. Every where I look are pictures of my family, furniture from my grandparents, objects I’ve collected or gifts I’ve been given from all over the country, books, flowers in bloom, green grass, a growing garden, all blessings and not to be overlooked or minimized. They are my life and I am blessed. I also have the most wonderful friends and family, and you who read my books and blog. Thanks. I don’t think I say that often enough. From the bottom, the tippy tips, the outer edges, and the very middle of my heart, thank you.

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Strong Together

A wonderful weekend with wonderful friends passed in the blink of an eye. The excess on my desk is fairly well cleared, and the laundry has been folded and put away. With some helpful suggestions from my friends, I am rearranging some artwork. That is, I am when I need a break from writing, but the key word here is writing. I am back at it!

April showers waited until late May, but I am happy that we are getting them. Reservoirs are filling and sprinkler systems are shut off, all of which is very, very good. It is cold and breezy like you expect in March, but we can live with that too.

What I find difficult to understand is suicide bombings. Who raises their children to be so ignorant? to be so easily swayed? The truth is – most all of us do. People raise their children to think and act like they do, even if that closes their minds. People want to be right. Bottom Line. Thank goodness the majority of parents throw in compassion, respect, and caring as they teach their children.

There in lies the problem though, those parents who don’t throw those critical elements into their children’s daily lives. Children Learn What They Live. An old saying, but old because of its truth. Parents model the only example most children will follow their entire lives. Not their teachers – don’t try to put it on them. Children model their parents. Children’s speech, their actions, their aggressiveness, their love, their attitude, most all of it comes from their first and most important role models, their parents. If we only knew what a huge responsibility we take on when we have a child. I didn’t then. I do now.

Stand strong Manchester, Boston, New York, Paris, Brussels, Earth. Diverse, divided, different – that’s how we stand strong – #together.

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Door Nails

Deep snow blanketed my lawn and flowers. It was wonderful moisture, but there are many broken branches in the trees around town. I lost one apple tree to the weight of the snow. It literally broke in half. After two days of rain and snow, there were 3 1/4” of water in the rain gauge. It just kept coming. I put buckets over the tomato plants, but I’m afraid some things are going to ‘bite the dust,’ ‘buy the farm,’ die, and soon will be ‘dead as door nails.’ I understand a lot of sayings, but was unfamiliar with where that last one came from. What is a door nail? Aren’t all nails dead – so to speak?

Here’s what I found. Nails were hammered through doors to add strength – in the old days, more recently for decoration – and the pointed ends that came through on the back side were hammered down so they couldn’t be pulled back out (clenched.) This rendered them useless to be used again – hence ‘dead.’ Remember, those were the days of recycling. Anything and everything metal was used as many times and as many ways as possible. Just thought I’d pass along that nifty little tidbit. I’m trying to find positivity as I look out on the frozen landscape I was mowing two days ago.

A weekend of fun is the perfect segue back to work. I am ready. There is much to do on the book, the cover, the title, marketing preparation, etc. I have some trip planning to do too. Can’t forget that. Happy summer everyone. School is almost out for the kiddos. I will see my grandsons soon. Before we know it, I will be lamenting summer being over. It happens so fast, but that’s the way it goes…

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Chuck & Duck

Sometimes my world seems flipped upside down. Even when I know the changes are coming. Even when they are expected. Even when it’s all good. I guess it is just the speed at which the changes fly past me. My brain does ‘chuck and duck.’ I get stressed and my brain says, ok, this or that has to go, and it simply ditches it out the back door. It doesn’t ask permission, it just chucks while I’m ducking the next thing flying at me. I’m sure it’s a survival mechanism, but some of what got chucked might have come in useful later. Oh well. It’s gone.

The kids have gone east to pack up their house for their move. The kid-zone is quiet. The breakables can now come back out because I have company (grown-ups) coming for the weekend and I stashed them all in the guest room.

We got in one four mile hike and one bike ride. Not too good. I don’t know where the time went. We thought we had time to do all sorts of hikes and exploring, but somehow it evaporated. I know there are years to do these things after they get settled. I certainly hope this isn’t a sign of how much faster life is going to slip by me now. Yikes. That’s scary – and stressful. CHUCK IT!

A lovely thunderstorm came through, leaving good moisture in its wake. My granddaughter and I went out on the patio and listened to the rain pattering down in lyrical waves. Nothing better. I looked at the forecast and saw snow at the end of the week. Now that is downright rude. I already lost my blueberry crop for the year. It won’t hurt the carrots but the squash and tomatoes won’t like snow at all. Come on, give us a little break. I have no desire to plant them twice.

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day! Even if you’re a dad, you can still have a special, fun day. It’s okay. Parenting is where you learn patience, a very necessary ingredient in life.

Last night we built a fire and made s’mores in the fire pit. What a lovely evening. The temperature dropped into the chilly-need-a-jacket zone by the time we were willing to give up watching the coals, but it was wonderful, none the less. Fun to have family here to share that with. I tend to skip building a fire when I’m by myself. I don’t know why when I enjoy it so much.

One step forward, one back on house hunting. I said it wasn’t easy. The kids finally did find a great property that I believe will suit them very well. Thank goodness. You cannot imagine my relief. It was the best Mother’s Day present I can remember in a long time. Now they have to go home and pack. Well, to me, after getting through this hunting process, that part should be easy. The tension of not knowing what to do next if they couldn’t find a place they liked coming home to was a killer. IMG_1904

My granddaughter is testing the limits of her grandmother. She knows where her favorite crackers are in the cabinet and she takes me there and points to them several times a day. The response is not always what she wants, demands, hopes for, and cries for. It is so difficult being a year and a half old when the adults around you don’t behave correctly. Her language is popping right now. What fun. When we went out to dinner, she high-fived and gave knuckles to the wait staff. I guess she was celebrating the new house even though her parents hadn’t yet gotten the phone call saying they got the house. Kids must know these things.

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