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Independence Day

This post is a bit dated. I wrote it on the 4th, but kept it private and neglected to go back and edit = post delayed.

Got home from Denver this morning about 10 a.m. spent the night at the Elms and when at 6:30  we were all awake. Erin said, "Hey! Why don't we just go on home and we did. Didn't even let the husband know that I was going to show up which didn't give him time to get rid of the dancing girls but oh well. Didn't stop for breakfast.

It was raining when we got home about 10 a.m., and it was a moist Fourth of July night. The neighbors who just moved in are having a great display. I watched that for a while then I attempted to drive around the square block on which I occupy one side but, there was an insane amount of traffic out there accompanied by a dense blanket of smoke. So I drove to town- which seemed to be a relative place of safety - and circled back to return to the farm from another road.

The realization sunk in just how seldom I drive around at night these days. I had a hard time seeing in the dark and smoke. For a moment I thought I was lost on a road I've traveled thousands of times. I suppose that at any time I could have just stopped like all these other people in the middle of the road and watched the fireworks. But, I felt trapped. I nicely (though I didn't feel nice) explained to a man that I needed to get home and he let me through. I arrived home to the continued booming of fireworks. But the dog at least had finally gone to lie down. She does not like loud noises. So I got a little dose of fireworks, but not much on this Fourth of July. It was enough.

Feeling the effects in my back from being in a car for 10 hours. And, winding down from what turned out to be good trip to Denver. I went off to bed and forgot about this entry until today.

Having an challenging time recovering from the travel stress, but getting a little better every day.

Oh...and the raccoon count has risen to 8. All out of attic, moved trap to near compost pile.

Not at Home

How strange it feels to be away. Right now I am in Denver, not bad for a city. My first Air B&B, amazing house, feels like home, but it isn't.

Been up since 3. Suppose I can sleep all day. Kids going hiking. I am not.

I miss my dog, her toenails clicking as she settles to sleep beside my bed.

I wonder if the green beans need to be picked.

Tomorrow is the concert.  That's why I came - to dance.

Until then I'm just killing time and missing my real life.

Critters in the Attic

I noticed a lot of thumping and scratching coming from the attic above my bathroom. Consulted with the husband and we were thinking squirrels. He bought a live trap and set it up under the bird feeder, a favorite hangout for those "tree rats." First night netted no squirrels, but one medium sized raccoon. He or she was transported some miles away to an area with a nice creek.

The count has now risen to 5 raccoons and 1 squirrel. The squirrel went to our son-in-law who says he has none and wanted this one. Two more of the raccoons were adults and also transported to the same creek bank to begin a new life.

Last night husband set the trap up in the attic; and this morning inside were two babies. I did not go look at them, breaks my heart that they are separate from their mother (maybe). He said they were much more viscous than the older ones, hissing and very hard to get out of the cage. Raccoons make a sort of clicking sound, and as he was depositing the babies he heard that sound coming from the nearby weeds. I am going to believe that it is their mum and they will be reunited. Otherwise, these little ones were definitely big enough to live on their own.

The cage is reset and in the attic once again to see if there might be some more little 'uns up there as raccoons usually have litters a bit larger than two.

I haven't heard any noises from up top today, so hopefully they have all been captured. In the 42 years we have lived have never had this happen. Of course, more and more wild animals come nearer the house as they are losing their space to humans.

Now to figure out where they might have gotten in as there seems to be no access point. And, kudos to the husband for raccoon removal.

A Hairy Situation

Age has not done wonders for my hair. Once I had a great mane, but now it is thinning badly and the texture has changed as well. So, for fun, Erin and I went shopping bought some cheap fake hair to see what she could do braiding it into my hair using a weave technique.

It actually looked ok the first day and since she did an underhand braid the fake stuff didn't even show. Not so great after sleeping on it and the humidity had it all fuzzed up so I took it down. Loved the way it looked right after unbraiding. It was all kinky, but that lasted about an hour and then it was a giant fuzz ball.

We had fun doing it, lots of laughs and may try something different at another time. The fake stuff was cheap, no way was I going to invest in human hair for any number of reasons.

After going into the "hair store" I did give some thought to shaving my head and wearing wigs when I leave the house. They have some amazing wigs these days.

Missing in Inaction Again

Whoa, I haven't posted since I cut my finger, which is now all healed up. It did make typing a pain for a while. But, mostly, I just got "the blues" because it rained and rained and rained here. Grateful to live far enough away from the rivers not to be in the flood zones. We have, I think surpassed the levels of the "Great Flood of 1993" here in Missouri. Many roads are still closed and waters have not receded much.

The last few days have been quite nice. We have been blessed with a long cool spring, first in several years. I have finally quit cutting asparagus, an impressive crop, but it did in my back. Strawberries didn't amount to much, too much water. But, I picked enough for a shortcake and a pie. The greens have done well, though the lettuce just isn't growing. The tomatoes are looking sad. They don't like having their feet so wet. The clematis on the garden has outdone itself this season. Sadly, the one out front perished.

Last Thursday, I saw Stephen Marley in concert, awesome experience. Went with Erin and Anah who both really had a fabulous time dancing. I wasn't able to dance as much as usual as it was hot down front, but I got in some good moves on the hillside a bit away from the front of the stage. I see that I must get out and walk more regularly before going to Denver to see Ziggy at the end of the month. Need more stamina.

Again with the rain, flowers and other plants are like a jungle. I have pretty much given up weeding and am just letting things go. Love the blossoms; though for the first time in years, the wisteria did not bloom.

Next week is predicted to be cooler so hoping to be outside more. Again the rain, has kept me in the house more than I wanted.

Two days ago I took significant piece of meat out of my index finger while using the mandolin. Amazingly it has taken a long time for this to happen, considering that with sharp objects I usually take a hit. So, the finger is sore. My daughter, the nurse, brings me this Skin Shield to put on it for protection and OMG, thank goodness, the pain only lasted a while, it really hurt, a hint: first ingredient - acetone. They use this on surgical incisions, I cannot imagine. But, it works. No pain, no gain?

So the finger has got me all riled up to start off with and I go to the fridge to open a container of olives. Never opened before, but the olives are dried up and molded and all of the brine is gone to the bottom of the fridge.

Made the discovery last night, left the clean up till this morning. I haven't had this fridge for very long and have not had a major spill. This is not the first refrigerator I have found difficult to clean, but is perhaps the worst. The crisper drawers slide on these plastic rails that are screwed to the bottom and there is this teeny space between them and the bottom of appliance. Who designs these things? Obviously they are not someone who has to clean them. So I donned a rubber glove for my injured right hand and got the job done, all the while cursing the designer of the particular model I now own.

And that being said, I have to focus on cooking some Mexican chicken in the crock pot as the grandchildren are coming to eat later.

I am very grateful to look out and see sunshine today as we have had a lot of rain with near winter temps and I haven't been outside. I don't even care if it is cold and muddy I'm getting out there today and soak up some sun, plus it is asparagus cutting day.

I am also grateful to have taken those pics of the peonies looking so good. The rain, as is often the way of Spring, has beaten them down and they are looking sad indeed.

Happy Wednesday...

A Most Delightful Spring

Having had crap springs for the previous 3 years  the kind where you have two nice days and then it turns in summer kind of springs. I don't know if it is the contrast that makes this spring seem doubly lovely or not, but it has been really grand. Rain when needed, cool for the long term giving one time to enjoy the daffodils. Lots of of foggy gloomy days through which my mood suffered, but they do provide perfect "greenhouse" growing conditions. So everything is lush and abundant.

I've been cutting asparagus every other day for about a month now. Finally made cream of asparagus soup yesterday which made for a nice lunch today. The winter spinach is now almost finished, the last few warm days are making it flower, but the second planting of spinach is just starting to be pickable size so that has worked out like a dream.

We've been eating a lot of sauteed greens and salads. I love having these fresh greens, chard, spinach, kale, collards and lettuces and think probably it is the only time during the year I eat enough green leafys.

Anah started work and she loves it. Trent proceeds to divisional competition in hurdles. Jay graduated from high school.

Life is green and good and abundant here at Shady Grove Farm. I shall now inundate you with pictures.

See the farm...Collapse )

Mother's Day rocked

Daughter number three hosted a wonderful dinner at her house for all of the family and everyone showed up except my two oldest grandsons. One lives in Austin, the other was making ice cream for his mother. The food was great, the company mellow, and everyone enjoyed themselves. Couldn't ask for more.


Went to daughter's house to watch Anah get dressed for prom and hardly recognized my granddaughter. She looked like a super model and about 10 years older as well. That was some makeup job.

Later out to the community college to watch the "Grand March" and see all the dresses. Once I started thinking about the whole thing as a costume ball I was more comfortable with the insanity of the thing. Because mostly I kept thinking of all the $$ spent. Everything is so over the top these days.

Anah was, of course, the most beautiful girl there. In the end, she and Jay stayed a while and were so tired that they didn't even go to a party. Still seems weird to me.


Give Me That Old Time Religion

As I sit here musing, thoughts arise about the years of my life during which I practiced Christianity, a particular brand of that doctrine known as Disciples of Christ. Every Sunday my parents dropped my brother and I off at the First Christian Church set down at the corner of Morley and Coates Streets in Midwestern small town Missouri. As soon as my bro was old enough to navigate the street on his own he took off to the nearby gas station where he played the pinball machine until just in time to get back to church and be fetched home for dinner. Being the good girl I was then, I dutifully attended both Sunday School and church services.

Easter was such a big deal. Hymns, which remain a fave kind of song for me, were special and dedicated to, well you know who and his miraculous rebirth. There was sunrise service near the edge of a huge lake and that too, remains impressive in its way. My new hat, and pale blue faille coat, went so nicely with my white gloves and shoes, so long ago the only color for that image is in my mind.

In later years my brother (by this time a biker) refused to go to church with our parents, who by then had become members themselves. But, he stayed home and made this great brunch for us all to come home to after the sunrise service. Great food. Leave it to me to remember the food.

In other years we would go to a sunrise service and breakfast combo at a small country church. Food not as good, but it had it's own charm in the simplicity of the sanctuary.

All the old folks who liked to have me attend Easter services with them died; I haven't been back to church since the 80's? We continue to dye eggs and have egg hunts for years, but haven't done that in a while either. I know I could dye eggs on my own, but then I'd have to clean up the mess and it is so much more fun to watch a bunch of kiddos running amok looking for eggs.

Not often, maybe just today and maybe for just the time it took to write this down, I miss the Easter celebration.

Jesus and egg laying bunny rabbits, what a duo...



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