Friday, February 14, 2014

Winter being what it is here in St. Louis right now my yard is covered with a blanket of white, no gardening to be done. I did have an inspiration to write a poem about what goes on in my yard year round.


I have this love/hate relationship
with squirrels. I hate that they
mess with my bird feeder
and yet I love seeing them
scamper across my yard
tails swishing as in the
chant my daughter taught me.
We use their name in derogatory
ways as in squirreling away
our treasures or how a person
might be acting squirrely or is
just plain squirrely. And now
I'm working on retrieving
the already shelled peanuts
in my stash, the ones that
slip down into the mass of
those still in their shells.
It hits me like an acorn from
a stately oak, I'm no better,
no worse than a squirrel myself.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The view outside my window this second day of the new year inspired me to write about it.

 Other than the few potted plants I brought inside my gardening is on hiatus. Sadly, the parsley plant didn't make it. Evidently it didn't have enough recuperation time outside after those caterpillars ate all its leaves. I did bring in my bay leaf plant and it's struggling. If I can keep it going through the cold months it should have a better go next spring and I won't have to buy a new plant! I also brought in my thyme and rosemary plants. They're doing very well.

I had an idea for an apron I want to submit to Northern Sun. They've asked for ideas and if I can get my son Tom to help me with the graphics I'll submit it. It has to do with herbs and if it's accepted I'll let you know.

Now for the poem I wrote:

Happy New Year

It's like the frosting on the cake,
the finishing touch, covering up
all the rough edges, the mistakes,
the ugliness that bare spaces announce
without impunity, without grace or style.
The bare bones of nature aren't always
attractive; snow blankets them with
this pristine layer of softness;
a layer of hope that the New Year
will be better than the last.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

My basil is toast, burnt toast is what it looks like. Most other plants are still hanging in there since we haven't had a hard freeze. I think about going out and removing whatever isn't going to survive the winter but I keep finding things to do inside instead. Maybe it's because I'm not ready to give up on what I enjoyed all spring and summer. This is a beautiful time of the year but always makes me nostalgic. I used to think it was because it heralded the beginning of the school year and as much as I enjoyed school it put restrictions and limits on how I could spend my time. No more spending each day in imaginative play or reading favorite books straight through. The days are shorter as well and cooler in the evenings so that being outside requires some sort of jacket. Then I turn my thinking to the fact that I can cook some of my good soup recipes and I can pull out my winter wardrobe. Change can be good and something to look forward to.This year we're enjoying a beautiful vista of changing leaves. I have to watch that I'm not distracted by them as I drive. I've written a poem about the trees and another one about the change back from daylight savings time. They do tend to intersect.

Coming Out

The debutantes of Autumn now vie
for our attention; their gowns of
yellow, gold, orange, bronze and crimson
stand out in stark contrast to the staid
and somber greens and muted brown
their escorts wear. No shrinking violets here.
They're using this occasion now to shine before
the last song of their season is played out.

-  November 6, 2013

Time on My Hands

Early yesterday morning, 2 a.m. to be exact,
we stopped saving time. At least that's how
it sounds when you fall back after having
an extra hour of daylight at the end of each day.
And how can you save time? Time keeps moving
no matter how fast or slow we act. It's not like
saving pennies, is it? Can we say "a minute saved
is a minute earned" the way we say that about pennies?
The penny lies there in your hand, a tangible object,
while the minute is gone never to be experienced again.

- November 4, 2013

Saturday, November 2, 2013

It's cooled off enough that my basil plant is just a memory. Oh, but I did pick several stems and have them in a vase of water on my kitchen counter. The other herbs are toughing it out until we get an actual freeze.
Now as I drive around my town so full of large leafy trees I'm enjoying the changing colors and also thinking about where do all those leaves go. I know some rake them or have them vacuumed up by some enterprising individuals. I prefer to leave them to their own devices, either blowing away or getting chewed up by the people who cut my grass.
But back to my original thoughts, what does happen to all the leaves? We have many large trees with a gazillion leaves. It looks as if we'd be up to our ears in leaves when all of them finally bite the dust. Maybe I have too much time on my hands if I can ponder this. On the other hand I did think of the trees when their leaves leave. It's kind of like when my kids and now my grandson left for college. . .

Taking Leave

Do they feel the separation? Is there pain
when their leaves let go and drift away?
Do tree mothers mourn their passing?
The loss is graphic, bare limbs, bare trunks,
their young lying lifeless at their roots
forming a blanket before snow falls.
I like to think the tree mothers fall into
a deep and peaceful sleep and dream
of Spring's arrival with re-birth and
new lives to nurture and enjoy.

30 October 2013

Friday, October 11, 2013

I'm glad the pool cover is on although I know leaves are able to slide under it. At least I don't have to deal with that until the pool's opened again next May. Autumn seems late this year and leaves are just now starting to fall in earnest. I don't even try to rake mine and can't afford to pay someone to do it for me. I have so many large trees it would be quite an endeavor either way. Driving through Kirkwood today it struck me how many trees we have and how many leaves will eventually fall from them. 
No, I haven't made the pesto yet, if you were wondering. I did manage to post the picture of my basil plants on my Facebook page and will add it to this page when I figure out how to do it. My daughter Leslie wrote the instruction: "Add gadget and type in title". I'll have to have my computer expert here in town (my son Tom) help me do that.
Nearly every day I make a To Do List and rarely cross off everything I hoped to do that day. At least it keeps me aware of the important stuff and until a frost is forecast the basil is okay outside.
One thing I didn't put on my To Do List is putting up the Halloween decorations. I did bring them up from the basement but I think the lingering warm weather has kept me from getting into the Halloween mood.

Monday, October 7, 2013

I finally decided to bring in the parsley plants yesterday. I have curly and Italian (flat leaf) growing in the same pot. They've made a remarkable recovery from the caterpillar scourge a few weeks ago. What prompted me to move the pot inside was how much cooler it's gotten. I know we're not frost threatened any time soon but it's good to bring in plants that have been outside all summer before you turn on the furnace. It gives them a chance to acclimate to the difference. My bay tree is not nearly as tall as I had hoped it would be.
I'll try to keep it going through the winter. It might be a slow starter. Pulling a fresh leaf off when I need one is much better than having to rely on the ones in a jar.
One year I bought a large wreath of bay leaves from a catalog. When they had all completely dried out I pulled them off and bagged them. I use a lot of bay leaves for the marinated shrimp I serve during the holidays so I got my money's worth out of that purchase.
There are two houseplants on my screened porch that will come inside as well. I haven't done the best job of remembering to water them but they've survived.
Now my work is cut out for me with all the basil I have. I want to take a picture of the plant and post it before I turn its leaves into pesto. I read that it's best to make it fresh each time because it darkens when you freeze it. I, however, can deal with that since it's the taste I'm looking forward to this winter when I pull some out of my freezer.
Another sign that summer is truly over was the lack of watermelons at the grocery store. I was, however, excited to see them at Sam's Club. Problem is, it's not as good as the earlier ones. Obviously they were picked a little too soon.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Yesterday I was going to share with you one of the things I love to do with a poem I wrote about it. Unfortunately, while I was doing some light housekeeping, the only kind I seem to do except when I'm expecting company, I knocked over my water jug. OOPS! Some of it spilled onto my keyboard. I frantically grabbed paper towels and did my best to dry it off. Then when I tried to write this post my keyboard took on a life of its own and it was kind of like that doll in a very scary movie, Chuckie I'm thinking was its name. At any rate when I typed I noticed that lower case "L's" would pop up inside words and then a whole string of them would follow a word. I'd delete them but after a while the L just stopped working. You don't realize how many words have "L's" in them until you can't use that letter. I couldn't even send out an email describing the problem by saying one letter I need doesn't work. I had thought I'd need to replace my keyboard which according to Tom is about time. The delete key top has come loose and I have to keep putting it back in place. That's due to over use I'm sure.
With that chore off my "To Do" list for this morning I can happily share my poem and then get on with other things like planning the SS program and cleaning my house for the Brownie meeting Sunday afternoon!

Ode to Crossword Puzzles

What joy you give me when
an answer pops into my mind;
what satisfaction I feel when
I recall forgotten facts,
the name of something I
would not have known
save having learned it at
your site. Some might scoff
and label this as trivial pursuit
but life's made up of trivia,
of little things, the minutiae
of our existence. How else
would I know so much and
daily be required to use it
and what's more know the
correct spelling? No Spell Check
on that checkered grid!

I might add that doing these puzzles daily doesn't keep me from getting other things done. I do the puzzles while I eat my lunch and dinner.