Monday, February 27, 2006

My Grandmother's Garden

I was named for my grandmother, Kathleen. She was a wonderful woman who believed that meat was bad for you and that chocolate covered cherries were an important source of nutrients. She lived to be nearly 90 and it was osteoporosis that killed her, not bad cholesterol. She fell, cracked a vertebrae, got pneumonia and died. I loved her dearly and to this day I miss her.

When I sat on her lap, which was not large due to her girth, you could rest your head on her boobs and feel truly blessed by the comfort of them. She bore five children, only two lived to maturity. Some died at childbirth and one died in World War II. They called her Kit. She giggled when she had a bit of whiskey. And she went to confession every week just as a good Irish Catholic woman should.

She had a green thumb unrivaled by anyone in the family. There were four things I remember about her garden. One, the apple tree which provided fruit for her apple sauce and apple butter. The secret to her recipe was lots of sugar and cinnamon. Sugar could cure just about anything. Second were her lilac bushes. They covered two sides of the yard with their beautiful colors and fragrance. Third, lilly of the valley. They are tiny little white bells suspended from green stems that are so fragrant. And then there were the peonies. They are lush, colorful blooms that last for a long time. I can remember the exact spot that each of these filled in her garden. Although the peonies were in the front yard.

I planted two lilac bushes when we first moved to Lincoln. I killed one with the heat and barely save the other one. Peonies are out of the question here because it's just too hot in the summer. We've planted two apple trees so I can make my own apple sauce and butter.

But the most important find at my favorite nursery is Lilly of the Valley. I've never seen them before. They need shade to partial shade. I have just the spot so bought some. I planted 20 of them and hope they will spread. Even though my sense of smell is limited, I think I'll be able to smell these. Even if I can't I will have fulfilled a dream of re-creating part of Grandma Kit's garden. The photo is of the Lilly of the Valley.

Memories are so important.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Planning for China

Not too much going on these days. We've had lots of rain and then lots of sun. Kerry is busy doing his homework for his drawing and watercolor classes. While he's doing that I've been making lists of things we need to take to China. Everything on the list so far is drug related. The list starts out with "tylenol, pain patches and Immodium A-D". I have no idea if we will need these things but we will have them. Oh, and toilet paper. Apparently some bathrooms don't have it. It's hard for me to imagine what it will be like there. I've seen pictures, watched movies and listened to the news but I don't think any of that will prepare me for the real thing. People who have been there say the shopping is terrific. You always bargain. One fellow I talked to said he and his wife bought fake Rolex watches for $2.50/watch. The starting price was $20.
I'm bringing along my binoculars and a book on Birds of China. It would be great to add to my life list. Well, I'm off to shop for a new backpack and some more black stretch jeans. Gotta love the stretchiness.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

I Feel Funny With This Thing Around My Neck

The dog is Katie, a border collie of exceptional talent; I don't know the young woman's name. Katie belongs to my friend Doug. I think Doug wishes he knew that young woman much, much better. Katie and the hairdresser got along very well. Katie stayed with us last fall while Doug went to Burning Man in Nevada. I love pictures of Katie so Doug always sends me lots. I just wanted to share. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Super Bowl and Chocolate Martinis

This was our third Super Bowl party in Lincoln. That makes it a tradition. Kerry makes his special (the secret ingrediant is ketchup) chili and rice. I made cornbread. It's great on top of the chili plus we had lots of assorted foods. But the highlight is always the chocolate martinis. Usually our friend Einar brings them. This weekend, however, he had to go to Chico to have a "come to Jesus" meeting with his college-age son. So I was on my own. 5 cups of vodka, 6 cups of chocolate liquer, Hersheys chocolate syrup and some kahlua to make up for the lack of chocolate liquer. I made it at 9 a.m. It's really gross to measure out that much liquor that early in the day. I was still working on my coffee and banana.

So here are the photos. The group of three (Kerry, Katie and Mary) are artists who are showing with Kerry in a gallery at the college. The rest are friends and the food table. We have Tivo so I'm going to go back and watch the commercials. We did watch half time. I want biceps like Mick Jagger. The kids screaming in the pit could be his grandchildren. I hope I'm that fit at 65. I'll need another knew to be like that. Now Keith Richard is another thing. He looks like he died a while ago and was brought back for the Super Bowl. Who would have thought that the Rolling Stones would ever appear at a Super Bowl and in Detroit no less. Anyway, here are the photos.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

On Golden Pond...Sorta

Here's Kerry out in his boat on the upper pond. He's fixing the pump that brings pond water to our irrigation system. It stopped working when a snail crawled into the orifice. Took us quite a while to figure this out. We tried all the high tech stuff first. When in doubt look for critters to plug up things.

It's nearly sunset. The green stuff on the top of the pond is parrot feather. Don't ever dump your aquarium into a moving stream. Parrot feather is that stuff that makes your aquarium look great, but it's almost impossible to get rid of once it's in a stream or pond. The upper pond gets most of it. The lower pond just gets cattails. Nice to look at, but they are pond killers. They can literally take over a pond and wipe it out. That's your pond lesson for the weekend. Tomorrow we have a Super Bowl Party. I'm making chocolate martinis. Yum. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Outside My Office Window

This is a Gerbera Daisy. It's what I see when I look out my office window. They are hardy creatures that bloom all year. My bulbs are poking their heads out and the trees have fat little buds on them. Spring is not far away. Posted by Picasa