We have a little mystery in our yard. I planted some standing cypress a few years ago and have had a couple bloom each year. They are bright red and really lovely! However, this year we have a yellow one. Why? How? Will the seeds make more yellows? I don't know. I bought the seed from Wildseed Farms so I guess I will have to check with them. Anyway, here are the photos for all my gardening buddies.
(There aren't many blooms on the yellow one because just as we were taking pictures Sadie jumped over it!)
There are times when work is satisfying and leisure is restful and life is good. This weekend was like that…a pleasant experience from beginning to end. But I would be remiss if I didn’t back up and tell you about the irony of Friday evening.
Gary finally found someone to consider taking Sadie. The guy works with Gary, but lives thirty miles away in another town. Anyway, he and his family were going to be out and about anyway so he said they would come after work to look at the dog.
About an hour before Gary usually arrives home from work there was a sudden rain shower and I closed all the windows. (I danced around joyously for about ten minutes before I realized we weren’t getting an end to the drought, just a little teaser. Oh well.) In about thirty minutes I went around and opened all the windows. As I opened the bathroom window I noticed that ALL the dogs were in the road looking to the west. Then I heard a four-wheeler coming down the road and the driver stopped just at the edge of the yard where I couldn’t see through the trees. A young male voice said “Come on girl.”, and Sadie ran off down the road! Didn’t see her again for twenty-four hours!
Well, you can imagine what a wonderful mood Gary was in when he came home and she was gone, especially when he couldn’t reach his co-worker by phone. At least the guy was understanding when he got here.
Yep, Sadie showed up the next morning for breakfast! As we left for town we drove west to the next road instead of our usual trek out to the highway. We wanted to see if we could find that four-wheeler! Sadie followed us for about two miles and then veered off the road. She hasn’t been back. We never did see the four-wheeler, either. So she probably belongs to someone within five miles of us. I hope they are kind to her. She seemed like a nice dog. And no, I don’t want her back. We’ve cared for several strays that have gone on down the road or been given to new owners or found their original owners. I’m sure there will be another one.
The rest of the weekend has been busy, but a good mix of work and play. We had “clean sweep” at 7am on Saturday to avoid the heat. Worked for about two hours and then had our beautification meeting. Solved a few problems and set some new goals. All of our civic organizations are suffering from S.T.P. (same ten people), but we are determined to go forward. TRAC is planning a barbeque in conjunction with the Rodeo in August. The Civic and Cemetery Club is raising funds for a new chapel. CCA is in the last stages of gearing up for Heritage Day in October.
After the meeting Gary and I went to a car show in Durant. Gary is planning a car show for TRAC for next spring. We made some contacts and got some good ideas.
Went to Lowe’s and bought a few plants off the clearance rack. Can’t beat perennials for toughness! They bounce right back with a little TLC. That’s where I get most of my “fill-ins” for little spaces where annuals are through for the year or another plant hasn’t done what I expected. Right now I’m pulling out corn poppies from the planter by the REX II and putting in a few perennials and some zinnia seeds.
Had a great new experience Saturday night. Gary cooked dinner!! He has always grilled a few things and I’ve been less than enthusiastic about the whole process. We finally talked about it when he recently bought a big new grill. I told him that the problem has always been coordinating and cooking everything else! He’s out there grilling a couple of steaks and I’m doing the rest of dinner. Something was always cold or overdone or whatever because I never knew exactly what he was doing. Well, last night he jumped right in and cooked the whole dinner while I worked in the yard! He made pork tenderloin and grilled vegetables with yogurt pesto sauce. It was wonderful! But the best part was that I just took a shower and then sat down to eat dinner. I told him if he is going to grill like THAT he can do it every day.
It was good to be back in church today after our trip to Ft. Worth last week. We had a nice group in Sunday School- sixteen. Enough for a lively discussion about the suffering of Job!
I spent part of the afternoon finally getting some new photos framed and some photo cards ready to take to Craighead’s. I sell a few there on consignment.
My dad came for a visit this afternoon and we talked about the old days of Caddo. I wish I had more time to just sit down and talk to everyone who is over seventy years old. There are some tales to be told!
I cooked tonight. Simple fare: turkey cheeseburgers, and steamed artichokes. I’m not much of a cook. But Gary didn’t complain. He never does.
So…life is good and simple and satisfying tonight. I pray the same for you and yours.
I suppose you’ve all heard about the troubles at My Space. Predators gain access to young victims by pretending to be someone and something they are not. But many of the victims do the same- they lie- about their age, their sex, their situations.
A local news report this morning is warning citizens about a man posing as a new police officer in order to gain access to homes of the elderly. He lies about his position and authority.
Last week I discovered that someone who presented a “problem” to me and asked for my help, lied to me.
And don’t get me started on politicians or actors or journalists.
It’s a problem rampant among us- people lie. Duh. One of the things I’ve enjoyed about the television program House is that one of the foundation principles of the doctor’s diagnosis rubric is people lie.
We all lie. I admit its in our nature. I seldom tell anyone my correct weight. I may hedge about my personal finances. I might not answer truthfully if you ask me what I think about your new haircut. However, for the most part, I’m an honest person. I would never lie about something I’m going to do for you. I wouldn’t lie about who I am. I wouldn’t lie about anything important. Therein is the problem. What is important to me is obviously not held in quite so high regard by the next person!
My penchant for honesty also costs me some pain. Because I’m honest, I seldom notice that people are not being honest with me. I assume everyone has the same values until they show me otherwise. So I get hurt before I realize that people lie. I’ve had parents lie to me about helping their child with homework. I’ve had people lie to me about projects they are going to complete. I’ve had people lie to me about money they owe me. I’ve had people lie…about nearly everything. But I still approach life with a sense of trust. I still believe most people are honest…until they lie to me.
Honesty is a character trait we learn at an early age. Most of us were punished severely for lying to our parents about our actions. However, I don’t remember being rewarded very often for being honest. I think if you get in trouble and you admit that you made a mistake your parents ought to cut you some slack. Didn’t work that way at my house! I remember a very foolish lie I told my mother when I was about five years old. I’d been playing outside for so long that I wet my pants. So I changed and did the only thing I could think of- I put the wet pants in my baby brother’s crib!! I tried to convince her that he was somehow responsible for them. Perhaps that’s why I can’t lie; I’m not good at it!!
This problem with lies has escalated because of the anonymity of cyperspace. As we blog and email and search the worldwide web we can be anyone we choose. We can create personas that are designed to impress, manipulate, or exploit others. We can lie about anything and everything. It’s a dangerous world out there and many people will choose to do just that. Let’s choose a different path. Let’s be honest and just be ourselves.
It has certainly felt like summer for weeks now, but the weatherman tells me today is the real deal. He even emphasized it by giving the soil temperatures- 90 degrees at 2 inches below bare sod, and 80 degrees at 12 inches below. No wonder my poor flowers are suffering!!
I worked in the yard early this morning. With vacation, community duties and such, I have to wonder if my neighbor has assumed that I’ve given up gardening. My flower beds are wild and terrible. Reminds me of the year I broke my leg, or the year I had back surgery, or the year…never mind. No excuses this year! There are lots of flowers, but there are also baby trees, Johnson grass, and vines. I’ll be trimming and mowing and watering for the next six weeks.
I’m not much of a bird watcher, but I got a pleasant surprise yesterday. I looked out my bathroom window and there was a painted bunting eating grass seeds. I haven’t seen one in years. Guess this is my lucky year because I saw two red-headed woodpeckers at Ft. Washita last week, and two quails on Nails Crossing Road yesterday. For those of you saying “so what?” I have two tidbits of information. The red-headed woodpecker is not that common red-bellied one you see all the time, and with the fires, hunters, homes, and cars around here it is getting more and more difficult to spot a quail. (Found some photos at USGS)
I guess I should report on the dog saga. Sadie is fine and we are adjusting to each other. One sad note: the vet doesn’t think she is blind, but she seems to have very poor vision. Even my neighbor commented on it. She has trouble finding us unless we speak, she can’t play fetch, and she runs into things. Either she has poor vision or she is REALLY clumsy. That probably means we are stuck with her. At least she is becoming a gardening dog, whether she likes it or not. It drives her crazy when I work in the yard because she wants to lie down next to me. Well, I work in one spot for about ten minutes and then move, which compels her to move. If I turn on the water or go to the porch to get another tool she follows me. I guess we are both getting some exercise.
On the other side of the road where the “evil dogs” are, there is a new development. They have killed their owner’s pig…a pig weighing over 200lbs. I have cautioned my other neighbor and we are both carrying our hoes with us when we are outside. My neighbor has also sworn that he is going to get rid of the two most aggressive dogs this week. We’ll see.
We had a nice weekend with Robert. Went to the movies, a tour of downtown Ft. Worth, and some malls and shops. He is moving to Arizona next week. Now all of my children will live far away!
Off to the genealogy library to do some more research. later…
My granddaughter is graduating from the eighth grade and so of course I have to blog about my own eighth grade experience.
Eighth grade was a wonderful year for me because we had stayed in one place long enough for me to have real friends. My friend Elaine lived down the street and we spent a lot of time together. I had my first serious boyfriend in the eighth grade. A group of us went to the fair, movies, swimming, and parties.
Eighth grade was the last year I participated in sports with any real enthusiasm. I had been on the volleyball team the year before, but broke my arm. While recuperating I learned to keep score for boys’ basketball. In the eighth grade I got certificates for both softball and basketball scorekeeping.
I graduated from Teague Elementary school in Highway City, California. I still have my graduation program. I was valedictorian of my class of forty-three students. Like any girl, I saved my corsage from graduation, but not my speech! I do have a little hand-written note from my teacher that reads, “Mary, Valedictorian, a farewell address, 5 minutes.” Elaine was salutatorian. I also received an award for history and geography, and one for language arts. I have my diploma and the little ribbon that was tied to it.
Mr. Monteleone was our superintendent and principal. My teachers were Mrs. Odyth Pittman, Mr. Kenneth Kennedy (also the vice principal), Mr. James Higgins, Mr. John C. Andres, Mrs. Rahma Kennington, Mr. Manuel Navarrette, and Mr. Albert Parley. What I remember most was how professional most of them were. They wore suits or dresses and took their jobs very seriously. Mrs. Pittman was my favorite. She always encouraged me and wrote nice things on my report card. Mr. Kennedy arranged for me to go to my first “author’s brunch” and meet real writers. Mr. Higgins sparked my interest in the Civil War by making it so much more than dates and battles. Mrs. Kennington spent countless hours improving my grammar. Mr. Navarrette was so cute most girls didn’t care what he was teaching! Mr. Parley taught math, poor guy. And I don’t remember Mr. Andres at all.
I only have a couple of photos of graduation and typically I was behind the camera, not in front of it. I do have this photo taken a few weeks before graduation. Don’t know what was going on with that hair!! I got it cut very short the week after graduation and I remember how angry my parents were when I got home. (My aunt had taken me to get it cut.)
My graduation dress was white and came from the Dotty Dean store in Fresno. It was $25.99, on sale for $14.88. I still have the tag, the receipt, and my dried corsage.
Of course eighth grade wasn’t all about reading and writing and friends. It wasn’t all sweetness and innocence. We were very poor and I usually worked in the fields when I wasn’t in class. I was constantly arguing with my parents about boys or school or boys. It was also the year I witnessed my first serious gang fight. One of our neighbors ran over and killed his own child. One of my classmates was already drinking and causing the rest of us to worry. Several were smoking. My friend’s little sister died of SIDS. But those are topics for other days and other blogs.
Eighth grade is still a turning point for students. Next year my granddaughter will have to start thinking about her future and college and earning money and all those serious, grown-up things. She’s leaving childhood behind and beginning the next phase of the journey to adulthood. I know she’ll have trouble with her parents and school and boys and friends, because we all did. I only hope she has as little pain as possible and that she makes wise decisions most of the time. She’s a smart girl with good parents. That’s a great way to start high school.
No laughing! You knew this was coming. I’ve put up posters, harassed people, and made numerous phone calls. No one will take a stray dog. No one will pick it up. So…for now I guess we have a dog. I have named her Sadie, though Gary wanted “Sara”. (I thought that sounded too much like a girl, not a dog.) We are taking her to the vet on Thursday when we get back from our trip to OKC. She’ll need shots and surgery. After I spend $90 on her I’ll probably feel a lot more attached! She seems calmer now that I’m a little calmer around her. I still get startled in the yard sometimes when I suddenly have a wet nose against my leg. You have to remember that there are six pit bulls (plus the other mutts) across the road. (Did I tell you one has a milky white eye? Yuk!)
Everything else is going well, despite the heat.
I’m adjusting quite well to the new refrigerator. I think we’ve had salad at least once a day since we got it. I can make Jello again. Gary LOVES Jello. I can keep cold, not frozen, water.
Gary bought a new grill today, so I guess we’ll soon be having steak with our salad!
I bought a new sprinkler and it is helping to keep the flowers alive. I’ve already given up on the lawn. I finally have a few pictures from our yard. One is the lily by the back door. The other is our “wild” Shasta daisies. They have gotten completely out of hand and I need to divide them again.
If you wonder why we haven’t been great about taking flower pictures lately it’s because we are in the middle of several projects. I have to have “before” photos for the wildflower grant application. We’re taking downtown photos for a “scavenger hunt” contest. We just finished taking pictures of the “yard of the month”. We’re taking pictures of area historical markers and plaques. We took two rolls of pictures in Tulsa.
Have to keep this short because we’re getting ready to leave in the morning. We’re going to OKC for a couple of days. I plan to see the Oklahoma History Museum and whatever else strikes our fancy. Later…
Gary is on vacation so we’ve had some crazy, busy days. Saturday we went to the Magnolia Festival in Durant. It’s a modest but growing event in Durant. They have the usual vendors and singers and pageants and car shows and artwork and crafts. We went to hear Pake McIntire (Reba’s brother) because he’s going to be the main attraction at our Heritage Day in October. Had an enjoyable time, saw some friends, and Pake isn’t bad either. He is good with a crowd, appeals to an older audience, and sings a variety of country music.
Sunday was worship/work day. Had a big crowd at church for Baby Dedication Day. We really have an abundance of babies this year!! Great to see the future growing up in our church. After service we ate lunch and went back to town for our monthly “Clean Sweep”. Swept the sidewalks and watered the flower beds.
Monday Gary and I headed to Tulsa for a little tourist action. We went to the aquarium and the zoo. Drove in the rain, but that’s a good thing. Our whole area has been so dry!
Had a wonderful time at the Oklahoma Aquarium in Tulsa. I was quite impressed with the layout, the displays, and the variety of creatures. The displays are divided into themes- Biodiversity, Adaptation, Marvels & Mysteries, Oceans Room, Coral Reef, Shark Adventure, and Fishes of Oklahoma. The shark tank is one of those with a clear observation tunnel and it was such fun to watch the children’s reactions. I also enjoyed the 65,000 gallon coral reef exhibit. The colors of the fish are breathtaking! I never appreciate the diversity of nature until after a visit to an aquarium. I kept thinking “there are so many wonders of the world that I know nothing about”. There were creatures on display that I hadn’t seen before, and I’ve been to several aquariums. How many more are out there??
The building also houses the Karl and Beverly White National Fishing Tackle Museum. The 4,000 square-foot museum has more than 20,000 pieces and is valued at more than $4 million. It was interesting even though neither of us fish anymore. The lures range from the early 1800’s to modern day. It’s amazing to see the ingenuity of man!
Awoke Tuesday to a violent storm that tore the roof off a local church and downed trees and power lines. It moved on quickly and we were still able to go to the Tulsa Zoo. This was our second trip, but a totally different experience because last time we went in the fall on a hot day. Yesterday was drizzling and cool. There were few people around except for some campers. Apparently several groups in the area bring their little day campers to the zoo. There were preschoolers in red shirts and school children in green shirts accompanied by harried parents and counselors. Reminded me of why I enjoy vacations!!
Today we’re off to the genealogy library in Colbert to work on some projects. Tomorrow will be a photography outing to Fort Washita and Lake Texoma, then a trip to the Sand Bass Festival, lunch with friends on Friday, quiet(?) weekend, Monday some business and a meeting, then a trip to OKC on Tuesday and Wednesday. Take care and keep in touch!
My daughter’s blog today is about my granddaughter holding hands…with a boy. My granddaughter is in the eighth grade, a pivotal age for the whole “boy/girl” thing. I chuckled as I read about my daughter’s reaction, but I don’t miss those days with my own girls. The angst! The hormones! The tears! Ugh!
Of course I had a boyfriend when I was in the eighth grade. He was short and cute and had dark wavy hair. His name was Tom. He was already in high school, and like all good fathers, my dad instantly distrusted him because he was “older”. It didn’t matter that the difference in our ages could be measured in mere months. It was the concept of the older therefore more experienced guy that kept my dad awake at night. Oh, the angst! The hormones! The tears! It didn’t matter that the kid was a neighbor or that his mother was the school secretary. And it didn’t matter that neither of us could drive. My mom dropped us off at the movies or we went to parties with mutual friends from the neighborhood. All that mattered to Dad was that he was a boy.
We “dated” for most of the summer before I went to high school. I wore his ring. He came over for dinner. We went to a few movies. We hung out at the local pool with friends. When school started we got to see each other on campus. I met some of his buddies. We ate lunch together. Then a few months later the world came to an end and we moved. Story of my life.
I had actually been through it all before. His name was Bobby.
Bobby was my first boyfriend. We were in the fifth grade together and he lived down the street. His parents owned a grocery store and lived above it. We lived behind a bar. Bobby walked me home and carried my books. It was no small feat since I was quite the diligent student and loved to bring home extra work. We also lived two miles from school! That Bobby was loyal and sweet and strong. I still have the Valentine he gave me. ‘Course I also have deep emotional scars because I got sent to the principal for the very first time because of Bobby! He was flirting with an older girl and she was mean to me and I wrote her a mean note and called her a “good for nothing gold digger” and I got sent to the principal and cried all the way home. I told you- angst, hormones, tears. The stuff of relationships.
There were lots more boys- some funny, some cute, some stupid. There were a few good men. Then a husband/divorce. Then my wonderful Gary and thirty-four years of a satisfying marriage. I presume most women look back on at least some of the relationships they’ve had and ask “WHAT WAS I THINKING??” And the answer I suppose is that we weren’t thinking, we were feeling. We were experiencing. We were growing. That’s what relationships are all about. That’s why eighth grade romances are so poignant. Women recognize that first crush, that first reaching out, as the beginning of the road to discovery. The journey isn’t about boys. It’s about us. It’s about discovering who we are by looking in a mirror held by someone else. It’s about facing the challenge of being true to ourselves while meeting the expectations of someone else. It’s about finding that person who makes us happy.
Let’s face it. We want to be all noble about our relationships. We want to do the right thing and be the good person. We want to marry someone our family and friends approve of and our enemies envy. But when it gets right down to it, we choose the person who makes us HAPPY, and every other reason goes out the window. An elderly friend of mine is ecstatic because she has found a new relationship with a man in her assisted living complex. She never quite imagined being happy again and neither did he. The same thing happened to my great aunt. She married, for the third time, when she was in her eighties. It seemed silly to some friends and family members at the time, but he made her HAPPY.
I digress, as usual, but only slightly. I suppose in my own round about way I’m just coming to terms with my own reaction to the idea of my granddaughter holding hands with a boy. I wish my daughter luck in dealing with this new aspect of her daughter’s life. I’ll pray for her. This is only the beginning. I’ll laugh and cry with her. But I’ll also pray for my granddaughter. Pray that she has a pleasant journey on the road to womanhood. Not too much angst, hormones, or tears! Pray that she doesn’t make too many mistakes. Pray that she doesn’t have to kiss many toads before she finds the guy who makes her HAPPY. Pray that I live long enough to see her married to that wonderful man.
But for now, this guy she’s holding hands with…he’s just a boy. And he’d better behave himself!