Sunday, April 26, 2009


Winter has finally given way to spring and the hostas have emerged from their winter sleep. The humming bird scouts were buzzing around the porch so I set up feeders and two male scouts immediately began to dip into the sugary mixture. After a few days they were joined by more males competing for space at the hanging feeder. We expect the humming bird wives and kids to arrive any day. A perfect morning is to sit in the yard with a cup of coffee admiring the hostas, and being entertained by the antics of the humming birds and purple martins.

Here is the hosta Variegata Undulata next to some Dianthus.

This is a Frances Williams hosta. It's one of my favorites in the garden right now. I've planted several new varieties and am anxious to see how they develop this year.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

quote of the day

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.”

-Mark Twain

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

tips on being a grandpa

  • Lose your dignity. Get in the floor with the grand kids even if you need help to get back up. Sing silly songs. Make them up and encourage the little ones to make up their own verses. Of course, all this silliness lasts until they start kindergarten when they will get all sophisticated on you. Of course, it's great fun to tell corny jokes when they become teenagers.
  • Carry plenty of change. Since I retired I don't carry money; I just use my debit card everywhere. But, when you have the grand kids along you never know when you'll meet up with the ice cream man, or one of those vending machines with the claw and the stuffed toys.
  • Don't be a disciplinarian. It's the parents' job to train them to be good citizens and it's your job to give them a break from all that. (exceptions: you have to keep the little twerps from pit bulls, street traffic, and sharp objects.)
  • Savor the time spent with them. I was surprised at how fast my daughters grew up, and now the grand kids are leaving the nest even quicker. So listen to their stories, laugh with them, and make as many memories as possible because they will be gone before you know it.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

what i'm reading now

Cry, the Beloved Country was a worldwide best seller when it was published in 1948. It's the story of a Zulu pastor and his son during the racial injustice of apartheid. It's not just the story of people but of the land. It's been on my reading list for years but I just got around to it. I'm sorry it took so long.