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.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

We got some much needed rain yesterday and might get more tonight but it hasn't cooled off - 92 right now at 5:30. At least I got the pool closed before the trees really started to shed their leaves. That cuts down on what will be awaiting me next Spring when I get the pool opened again although it's obvious that leaves do slip under the edges of the cover when it's windy.

I did some pruning on my special rose bush today. It's taller than me and about as wide as well. I saw a lot of rose hips and was wondering if I should collect them. My mom used to talk about them but I can't remember what their value is other than maybe rose hips tea.

One thing is certain, I should have watered my two Boston ferns more often. I think they're not good candidates for bringing inside. I relied too much on the sprinkler I set up for the other plants and they obviously didn't get enough water being at the edge of the action.

I still haven't made the pesto I plan to freeze. I did buy walnuts and pine nuts to use together or separately, I haven't decided on which recipe I'll use. I was asked for a recipe by my daughter Karen and I pulled out all I have. One interesting one uses peas instead of basil which would make it easy to make year round except that it also needs fresh mint leaves. I do have a surplus of mint in three large pots. One kind is chocolate mint and it smells and tastes like a chocolate mint patty, yum! Whoever created that mint plant was a genius. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

I was happy to see yesterday that my parsley plant is regenerating itself after having been completely rid of its leaves by some of those large green and black striped caterpillars. They did the same to a plant a couple of years ago but it wasn't able to come back. I have been bringing in the pot of parsley every fall as I love having fresh parsley to pick whenever I need it during the winter. These are the same marauders who attack tomato plants. A few years ago my younger daughter and I had a field day pulling them off and running over them with her car. Pretty yucky but effective. We enjoyed the noise it made as well. I guess there's a bit of the school boy in us.
I also have a giant basil plant in a pot. I just measured it and it's 44" tall. I know I can't get it to winter over inside so I plan to make as much pesto as I can and freeze it in portion sizes. That beats paying $4 or more for the fresh leaves at the supermarket. Next spring I'll buy a potted basil to put in my kitchen window since I can keep that alive until it's time to plant outdoors.
Terri Anne and I have been admiring the sunflowers her class planted last spring behind her school. They're the really tall ones. We planted some here a couple of years ago but had them in pots so they weren't as spectacular. I think I need to find a good in the ground spot for some next year. In 2008 I wrote a poem about them.


Heads heavy on their long
green necks, they shift
their gaze from Sun
whom they've adored
and homage paid this
Summer long. But now,
as Autumn nears, they
bow their heads and strike
a downcast pose like
supplicants in an obedient
mode whose prayers fall
down to Mother Earth;
these prayers the seeds of
their own Resurrection.

Monday, September 9, 2013

This morning I went outside to check on my plants. The ferns are looking really awful, they're all brown. I want to pull out those uglies but not sure about stepping into that area since I evidently still have some snakes.

I removed a tiny one from my pool skimmer basket last week. It was dead so I had no qualms about holding it. I even got Terri Anne to touch it and then hold it herself. She was quite proud of her ability to overcome a fear most of us have. I don't recommend picking up just any old critter but a dead harmless snake is okay. We discovered that its belly is smooth if you rub it in one direction and rough and prickly if you rub it the other way. The little beady brown eyes made me think of the gecko on the Geico commercial. Today it wasn't on the stone wall where we left it so it might have been a meal for some other creature.

I also heard a hummingbird's chirps as it was circling and deciding where to land on my feeder. I still haven't refilled the seed feeder for the other birds but I'll try to remember to do that with Terri Anne's help after school today. 

My basil plants have grown so tall that they were tipping over. I had to find something to stake them so they're upright. I also noticed a large bumble bee lovin' on one of the blossoms. I needed to cut off the blossoms anyway so I left his till last but finally removed it with him intact. He was so intent on getting his fill of that basil blossom's nectar that he didn't even fly away. I'm going to pick lots of leaves to make some pesto which I will freeze to use this winter. Now my hands smell like basil which is one of my favorite scents. It reminds me of a poem I wrote in 2008:


I'm drunk on basil's
sweet, seductive scent,
as I select the best leaves,
the ones its other admirers
have not yet sampled.
I'm not the only lover
of this herbal siren whose
perfume greets me when
I touch its leaves or
slake its thirst with
welcomed drinks of water.
But now as Autumn's
near and living as I do
where Winter takes its toll
on tender plants, basil's
scent will soon be just
a memory and a longing
for Spring's return.