Friday, May 29, 2009

quote of the day

There have been periods of history in which episodes of terrible violence occurred but for which the word violence was never used. ...Violence is shrouded in justifying myths that lend it moral legitimacy, and these myths for the most part kept people from recognizing the violence for what it was.

--Gil Bailie

slimy snails and slugs

If you've ever grown hostas you know that snails and slugs are the bane of every flower garden. They can strip those lovely plants in a short time and break a gardener's heart. Well, I've found the perfect solution to this problem. Without using chemical poisons that wreak havoc with the environment I am now ridding the garden of these pests with beer. Yes, that's right, beer. I dig a small hole near a hosta plant and place a plastic cup inside with the rim at ground levcl. I pour in beer about two inches deep. The snails can't resist it! They come from miles* around to get drunk and die in that deadly elixir.

*snail miles, that is. 1 snail mile = 27 inches

what i'm reading now

Angels Flight by Michael Connelly is crime novel full of suspense. It takes place in L.A. with a plot that that begins with the murder of a high profile civil rights lawyer aboard the small trolley Angels Flight, an historic Los Angeles landmark. Attempting to prevent the type of riots that occurred in the city following the Rodney King commotion and also avoiding the further tarnishing of the police department image the deputy chief assigns Harry Bosch and his team of investigators to solve the crime. In the process Harry exonerates one suspect and reveals another. He has a difficult time navigating through the political motives of the police commanders, the racial tension caused by the murder, and the reputation of police misconduct. It was a good read

Sunday, May 24, 2009

quote of the day

My father.....used to say, "I need my anger. It obliges me to take action." I think my father was partly right. Anger arises, naturally, to signal disturbing situations that might require action. But actions initiated in anger perpetuate suffering. The most effective actions are those conceived in the wisdom of clarity.

--Sylvia Boorstein

sunday morning

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

happy birthday kelly

We celebrated Kelly's birthday this weekend. We had chicken and dumplings for lunch and now Kelly, Jenna, and Marley await the lighting of the candles. It looks like Jenna snuck a little sample of the frosting.
We took a big risk not getting a permit from the fire department for a flame of this magnitude.

Kelly blows ou the candles with the help of Jenna and Marley

Chocolate cake, blackberry cobbler, ice cream

Monday, May 18, 2009


Marley and I planted tomatoes and here she is resting. I'll probably get all my fresh produce from a local farmer's market, but I prefer to grow my own tomatoes. We planted Cherokee Purple and Arkansas Traveler, my two favorites cultivars.

Barberries are my favorite landscaping plant. Here is a beautiful Golden Japanese Barberry

Friday, May 15, 2009

someone's been sitting in my chair and they've broken it all to pieces

Someone who needs to eat a little less and exercise a little more has been sitting in my recliner. It broke down. A wooden brace at the front of the chair frame gave way causing the chair to slump. It looked sad and forlorn.
Last night, Dorothy and I flipped the chair over and, working together, reattached the brace to the frame with 6 penny nails. I held the frame in place while she hammered. Then we reinforced the joints with metal "L" brackets. A pry bar was necessary to stretch the springs back into their brackets. We had unfastened them to make it easier to maneuver the brace. The chair is as good as new. We're a team!

Today, I'm starting to eat a little less and exercise a little more.

the mythic whippoorwill

A Feather From the Whippoorwill by Emily Dickinson

A feather from the Whippoorwill
That everlasting -- sings!
Whose galleries -- are Sunrise --
Whose Opera -- the Springs --
Whose Emerald Nest the Ages spin
Of mellow -- murmuring thread --
Whose Beryl Egg, what
Schoolboys hunt
In "Recess" -- Overhead!

Every evening after sundown the Whippoorwill calls. Although that familiar cry is a sign that Spring has been firmly established, I've never actually seen one of these birds. Have you? The poem above is in error. Schoolboys couldn't have searched for the Whippoorwill eggs overhead (assuming they searched in a tree for a nest). Whippoorwills don't build nests, they simply lay their eggs on the ground.

I found this picture in the Reader's Digest's Wildlife of North America. Notice that it is not a photo. You have to find one in order to take its picture.

The other night it sounded like the bird was on my front porch. I grabbed the flashlight and went in search of the elusive creature. I panned the light across the porch but saw not a feather. Then I heard it in the yard. The flashlight revealed nothing. Each time I pointed the light in one area I heard the bird in another. Do these birds actually exist?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

back on line

I've been having trouble staying on line. I had to buy a new modem and everything is working better but I suspect there's more to be fixed on this computer. I usually try to respond to commenters but I haven't been able to . Maybe things will be ok now.

Monday, May 04, 2009

the derby and egg rolls

Saturday, Dorothy and I watched the Kentucky Derby while we sipped mint juleps. She also made Kentucky Hot Browns, open faced sandwiches with turkey, ham, a white cheese sauce and topped with a slice of tomato. We always have a $1 bet. My horse was Musket Man and hers was Dunkirk. Of course the race was won by Mine That Bird a 50 to 1 long shot. Since my horse came in ahead of hers I thought Dorothy should pay me. She didn't think so

It seems that so many of our family gatherings are centered around food. That's why as the years go by we have trouble with weight gain. The kids came down yesterday and we had egg rolls.

As you can see, we always make plenty

Here are the sauces we like to put on our egg rolls. The bottle on the right is a sweet chili sauce imported from Thailand. Very good. We also use wasabi.

Dorothy, Kelly, and Burk enjoy their meals

Tara was unavailable for this picture of the grand kids. Here's Hunter 6, Sam 20, Marley 9, and Jenna 3.

more hostas

There was so much interest in the hosta post below I decided to share more of my hosta garden

This is the hosta "Big Daddy". Notice the blue color and the "seersucker" effect on the leaves. I bought this just three days ago at a local nursery.

This is "Color Glory". I planted it as a bare root just a few weeks ago along with the "White Feather" below.

This is the "Gold Standard". The other hostas have been mulched with red oak chips I got free from the city of Fayetteville. (a pick up truck load) But, I like the contrast I got with the dark pine bark mulch you see here.

This is the "Guacamole". Most hostas have one color on the leaf bordered by a darker or lighter color on the edge. This one has a darker green streaking across a lighter shade. I like to have the younger ones planted next to a rock or something like this half buried shard of a clay pot.

This is a very young plant. It will have a curly leaf and this is the pale, creamy green color it will be. It's called "White Feather"