Category Archives: gardens

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

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In a recent article, I read about someone who designed a “Pizza

Garden.” This inspired me to suggest you grow a vegetable garden

focusing on your children’s favorite foods.They will be more likely

interested in the garden’s outcome, if they enjoy the idea of what

it will end up in, in a prepared dish.

Since today we are celebrating Cinco de Mayo, I thought of some

vegetables that would be wonderful to include in a Mexican dish.

For next year’s Cinco de Mayo, grow a “Tacos Garden!”

In my son’s garden, he grew red, yellow, and green peppers, hot

red chili peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, potatoes, onions,

corn, watermelons and pumpkins.

Last year, my son and his wife ‘canned’ the red, green and yellow

peppers and onions by being given small batches a quick dunk in

boiling hot water. Waiting for them to cool and then, freeze them in

large freezer quart Zip Lock bags, pressing them to remove all the

air bubbles.

I call this process, ‘flash freezing,’ but not sure if they told me this

or if it is really the correct label.

There may be a more accurate way of describing and naming this

process. My son and daughter-in-law chose to chop onions and

put them in freezer bags. They also used the method of scraping

the kernels off their ears of corn, where they could then boil them,

cool them and pack in freezer bags.

I think you may find how many seconds you boil each food item on

the internet, since they said you don’t want to boil any of the items

too much or they will be ‘mushy,’ when you defrost them.

For a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta meal, you could defrost onions, corn,

and choose your favorite peppers. While waiting to get olive oil,

in a skillet, nice and hot, finely chop up onions and the peppers.

When you have lightly browned the vegetables, set them aside.

If you use a pre-packaged taco seasoning, I recommend the

lower salt ones available.

If you already have a natural pack, or spice jar, prepared with

your favorite taco seasonings, add some of this to the skillet

with the appropriate amount of hot water.

The oil from the onions and peppers will be fine, if you don’t

get it too brown, or black. (Yikes!)

I like to use 80% lean beef, but have used cooked chicken cubes

or ground turkey.

If you are a vegan, you may find some recipes for using other

thickening agents.

On one of my last year’s comments, Celeste had added a link

which will help you out.

Some suggestions were to use tofu, eggplant, kidney beans and

other kinds of beans. If you do this, you may wish to use a soft

shell taco or tortilla.

I like to also top the meat with sliced tomatoes, but if you have

canned diced tomatoes, you may wish to use these.

Drain, of course, and add to the meat, once it has been cooked.

I usually make guacamole, purchase sour cream and low salt salsa

to add for extra spices.

You may vary this informal recipe, but the main focus I wished to

impart was,

This is the time to start planning your vegetable garden!

Having children get involved, is so much more fun and easily

done, when you call the garden, a “Pizza” or “Tacos” garden!

This idea was used in a public area by the Delaware Community

Market. There was a nifty, helpful article called,

“Growing Pizza in Delaware,” by Deena Kloss, in the July, 2013

edition of the free magazine, “Natural Awakenings.”

Here is a list of spices, that the children in the Delaware

gardening “Kids’ Club” planted last year, in the early part

of June:

1. basil

2. parsley

3. tomatoes

4. peppers

5. onions

The “Kids’ Club” was led by garden volunteers, Bob Sullivan-Neer

and Master Gardeners, Regina Grywalski and Diane Gelinas.

They also produced radishes, snap peas and arugula in raised

garden beds.

An amusing sight in the community gardens is a pink painted

step ladder, that got too ‘rickety’ to be used as a ladder. Some

purple morning glory vines were flowering last summer. They are

such a lovely sight!

Another interesting and fun way to ‘recyle’ old and no longer

useful household items included a wooden head- and footboard,

painted bright yellow. Some old wooden pallets, buried partially in

the ground, then, filled with dirt became literally a “flower bed!”

Brightly colored zinnias were popping out, making the kids happy,

last year, to pick bouquets for their parents. I like portulaca, since

you can pinch the dying seed pods and save to plant again the

following summer. They are quite hardy and colorful.

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I have added updates throughout this post about children’s

input in gardening.

I babysat my four grandchildren last Saturday night while their

parents had a much needed dinner out and a movie. The kids

were put in ‘charge’ of drawing or listing, foods that would be

ones they would like to grow in their garden.

My son had used individual art pads, using a ruler to add some

lines under the area their drawings would go.

I thought of another way of doing a garden art project, could be

to give the kids old gardening catalogs, scissors, glue sticks and

allow them to practice their cutting and gluing skills.

The grandchildren were excited about the project, which did help

me to keep them occupied for almost an hour. The littlest one,

age 4, Makyah decided that her scribbling free form vegetable

garden was rather hard to explain. I asked her if she would like

me to write her special vegetables, fruits and flowers down on

the lines provided. I also praised (of course!) her lovely use of

colors and designs.

I asked Kyah what the yellow swirls were and she labeled them,

“Corn.”

I wondered what the big bushes of green were and she said,

“Lettuce.”

She had purple stuff, which I asked if they were purple cabbage

and I remembered, too late, a valuable lesson:

**Note:  Never, ever try to guess what children’s drawings are!!

Kyah looked quite impatient and annoyed at me, scolding me,

“No, Nana! Can’t you tell those are flowers?!”

I asked if she knew what kind they were and in a rather superior

tone she said,

“Daddy will know what kind!”

Both Lara, age 10 1/2, and Landen, age 9, drew beautiful and

elaborate gardens with details. They needed some help with

spelling, but the finished projects were awesome.

Marley, age 6 1/2, was very excited about her drawing, stayed

the longest at the table, with her hands covering some of her

drawings, too.

Children will get excited as the plants grow and change. My

older grandchildren say their very favorite ones that came out

of last year’s garden were:

Corn on the cob, watermelon, cucumbers and potatoes.

They mentioned having fried potatoes with onions and since

their mother doesn’t like onions, they told me,

“Daddy makes Mommy her own ‘batch’ of fried potatoes for her

breakfast!

Last but not least, you may remember that their garden produced

a ‘minor miracle’ last Fall!

Exactly 6 pumpkins, just in time for Halloween!

(One for each member of the family, parents included.)

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“Yo espero que tengan a muy bueno dia y hasta la luego!”

Sorry, I am not sure why the ’tilda’ on the 2 “n’s” did not appear!

I am not positive but I tried to say in my ‘rusty’ Spanish,

“I hope you had a very good day and see you when we meet again.”

Abrazos y besos.

Roses, roots, and thorns

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The letters in the word, “rose” can be rearranged to spell “Eros.” How appropriate

that one of the most beautiful flowers has the letters who form the Greek “God of

Love.” The Peace rose was named 50 or more years ago. It is a pale yellow-tinged

rose with pink tipped petals.  Thorns can also help you to reach another letter

combination: “sore.” You may be sore from the needle-like thorns or you may be

sore, filled with heartache. While the rose still gives us light and lovely radiance

in its flowering.

 

In the 15th century, Henry VI declared a War of Roses. How sad and upsetting to

label anything that is filled with death and killing, with the word, rose, in its title.

 

In Medieval times, a white rose suspended from the ceiling of a room meant there

would be ‘secrets’ shared or imparted. It designated conversations which must be

totally private. The term, “subrosa,”  means “confidential.”

 

Roses have been found much longer ago than Medieval times. There were drawings

of flowers on cave walls. Particularly, historically discovered on cave walls, was

a five-petaled “rose” drawing found in Crete during the period of 1450 B.C.

 

Traveling even farther back in time, roses have been discovered by archaeologists,

in fossilized form. The rocks have been preserved and photographed have come

from the beginning of Earth’s plant life, possibly the oldest ‘flower’ ever. This is

dating back 30 million years ago. One could almost, truthfully, exclaim that roses

have been around forever.

 

In 76 A.D., the Roman writer named, Pliny, included 30 different remedies and

medicines derived from roses. Roses were used in ancient times for healing wounds,

treating insomnia (rose tea), stomach disorders and “toothaches.” Rose petals also

helped to cover the awful smell of death or illness. By scattering rose petals around

enclosed spaces, you could tolerate the odor of diseases, including the Plague.

 

 

 

In the Talmud, it is written only pink roses were allowed to bloom in Jerusalem.

The city’s name means, “Paradise,” which makes sense the pink roses be there

to fill the air with their aromatic, floral scent. Visually and using senses of all kinds,

to be immersed in Paradise. This is how some gardeners feel in their gardens.

 

The 13th century rose was brought back to Europe, from the Holy Land crusaders.

This is considered “the Old European” traditional rose. Another ‘root’ history of

the rose is it may have come form Italian travelers, from the Gulf of Salerno. The

trail of the rose, also has possibilities with the Roman Emperors cultivating them

after bringing them back from their Middle East travels.

 

The Chinese have incorporated roses in their artistry and have been given credit

for those beautiful “tea roses,” since they have for 1000’s of years compared the

scent to the aroma of the hearty tea leaves.

 

Explorers of the 1800’s, also have been considered ones who brought the first

seedlings of roses from Asia. These explorers brought these to Europe, which

then American settlers brought seeds of all kinds of plants, including seedlings

of roses to our continent. While traveling across the ocean, in 1692, explorers

discovered roses prevented sea-sickness.

 

The belief of the rose as an aphrodisiac is more than just a romantic novel’s

idea. The appearance of this belief goes back centuries using rose hips as

part of a mood enhancer. The rose hips are also known to have Vitamin

C which is considered a natural way to help prevent depression. It is also

considered to be a way to prevent ‘apathy’ and ‘resignation,’ in books of

old folklore and medicinal texts.

 

Marie Antoinette’s good friend, Pierre Joseph-Redoute, was a wonderful painter

and artist, along with being one who enjoyed gardening. One of his famous rose

paintings is hung in one of the French Art museums. The artist is known for his

botanical paintings, which have become made into prints for decorating homes,

along with the Palace. In France, roses are included in 12th century cathedral

stained glass windows.

 

In the story, “Sleeping Beauty,” the rose vines with their thorny protection make

it very difficult for the Prince to wake Beauty from her sleep. The vines grow and

surround the castle while she is deep in slumber.

 

Withering roses mean that love is transitory and love can fade. There are many

ways the flower is used as a metaphor  in books, poetry and stories. Blue roses

come from a gene from a blue petunia injected into a white rose. I think you may

remember in the play, “The Glass Menagerie,” the brother calls the invalid sister,

“Blue Roses,” which indicate the possibility that she has pleurisy.  Australia was

the country given credit for having the clever horticulturalists and scientists who

managed to ‘create’ this blue rose. Symbolism of the rose would take many pages

of writing, along with intensive research.

 

When Carl Jung analyzed a rose depicted in a church stained-glass window with a

magical circle surrounding the rose, he described it in quite mythological terms.

Jung said the rose symbolized,

“Our mortal yearnings for Union with the Cosmos.”

 

Dreamers sometimes are accused of looking through “rose colored glasses,” which at

times, sometimes I prefer them.

 

The expression, “second hand rose,” may have its roots from the days when Henry II’s

mistress (who would have been considered ‘second class’ or less worthy of his time,

since the wife was given preferential treatment) died an early death. Poor Rosamunda.

 

Tough times or parts of our life that are challenging make our lives, “No bed of roses.”

 

“Rosy” cheeks may depict a ‘picture of good health,’ as the children in the Campbell

Soup advertisements display round, rosy cheeks  while they entice us to warm up with

their product.

 

The oldest living rose bush is the size of a tree. This may be found by a cathedral in

Hildesheim, Germany. There is a historic document which provides proof of it dating

back to possibly 815 A.D. It is considered, “The Thousand Year Old Rose Tree.”

The story or legend of the Lower Saxony, Germany tree, is that during WWII, the

bush caught on fire from Allied bombs. The root system was removed, undamaged.

It is still flourishing and flowering in Hildesheim, Germany.

 

From the history of roses through the ages, it seems that they are meant to continue

to grow against all odds. While we are meant to benefit not only from their beauty and

romance, but admire their longevity and endurance. The Peace rose radiates its power

of Hope to us all. The rose holds a special place in our lives and it is amazing to learn

from its very existence.

Roses have flourished from the beginning of time and will continue to do so,

until the Earth stops spinning.

~reocochran 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sending a Little Sunshine to You

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Here is a collection of things that produce happy thoughts,

along with a few quotes that hopefully will brighten your

day.

Drew Barrymore is so funny, sometimes in a quirky awkward

way but also in a beautiful and soulful way. Here is a book

she has written having taken photographs of hearts and

including them for all to see in, “Find It in Everything.”

Her words are well worth putting on your refrigerator:

“Hearts are my beacons. . .

Whenever and wherever I

see the heart shape, a smile

spreads across my face.

The heart has an unbeatable

romance when you discover

one where you least expect it.”

 

This made me think of the movie, “Titanic,” with Celine Deon’s song,

“My Heart Will Go On.”

 

“Keep your face always toward the sunshine- –

and shadows will fall behind you.”

~ Walt Whitman ~

 

Winter brings a change in moods and outlook, so here are a few more

ways to enjoy your days and find brighter moments.

1. Listen to upbeat music. Move with the music and dancing will give

you some extra energy and motivation. Also, it is FUN!

 

2. Walks with dogs or friends, a partner or spouse, with hand held,

warm scarf, mittens or gloves and a big parka, crunching through

old leaves or new snow… Just petting an animal or hugging a pal,

can be extra special to include. I have had friends who say they

need 4 hugs a day!

 

3. Add a potted plant to your office space. This has been found to

make people more productive and less stressed. The reason is

scientific: The plant reduces airborne dust, adds moisture and O2

to small spaces. It is also known to filter out harmful pollutants.

 

4. Placing vacation photos in strategic spots, can open your mind

to the times when you were happy and relaxed. “Gazing at a happy

moment from the past, can improve your present outlook.” In

other photos, choose ones of family and great memories together.

 

5. Staying hydrated with a slice of lemon or infusing your water with

berries, can certainly add a twist to your taste buds and improve

you in more than one way. Our daily ‘slump’ in the afternoon, is not

just due to wanting a nap or aging! We need to remember to add H2O

to our daily habits.

 

6. Fruit flavor sorbets and other refreshing choices can help be your

saving graces, helping ‘save the day.’ Chocolate and coffee have those

anti-cancer elements along with giving you some extra ‘pep in your

step.’

 

7. Just as a potted plant in your office or bathroom can improve a

location in your house or workplace, a bouquet of those grocery

store flowers can make your dining room a pleasant place to be.

I am sure there are many gardeners that can attest to their bringing

a bouquet of their garden’s flowers has brightened many people’s

days. A shut-in or elderly person will respond with such a big smile,

it will be a day-brightener to you, as well.

 

8. Sunrooms, atriums, public places that have sunny places are so

wonderful to help you feel better. I enjoy the Columbus, Ohio

Franklin Conservatory, at least two times in the winter. My Mom’s

senior living apartments has a greenhouse with three cozy chairs

in there. You can often see a couple of people sitting in this room

that is attached to the art room. Also, it is a nice place to snip and

weed, feeling useful. There are sometimes people sitting in the

art room, putting together a puzzle, with the greenhouse room’s

double doors open so they may benefit from the sunshine and

plant’s energy given.

There are also other places at no cost to visit. Let me know if you have

a few that I may include…

 

9. Herbs and spices can enliven your life, bringing some vigor into

your appetite and their scents can exhilarate you, too. I love the

scent of tangy patchouli or Italian herbs like basil and oregano.

The scent of peppermint is a great one that can invigorate too.

It is also great to calm and create better muscle relaxing in your

stomach, not only soothing it, but enhancing its function.

 

10. Colorful fabric will change your room and change your own

perspective while wearing brighter hues. It is a simple way of

sprucing up,’ along with being a fairly reasonable way of changing

your décor or wardrobe. Add a dash of color, while the skies are

gloomy and gray, your mood lightens without too much fuss or

bother. I enjoy looking at decorating magazines, paint and fabric

swatches, merely ‘dreaming’ about a change, makes me happy.

 

Here are a few musical ‘suggestions.’

1. I just discovered a man named Andrew McMahon, who sings in a real earthy voice,

gravelly and reminiscent of some of my old rocker favorites, along with Neil Diamond.

His song that mesmerized me was, “Canyon Moon,” which begins with lyrics about

a dissatisfied woman, “Somewhere on a cold October.” His debut solo album, having

been in bands but not on his own… is titled, “Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness.”

**Wow!**

2. If you are wishing a little sunshine, here is one of my favorites, “Little Darlin’s!”

The Beatles’  in “Here Comes the Sun.”

Always a big wow, when I hear the tinkling beginning guitar strands and only one

man, from Kentucky, ever called me, “little darlin’.” (Alas!)

 

 

What little sunny things make your mood cheerier?

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Everything!

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I will be throwing a surprise healthy note in amongst a few recipes and

hope you will enjoy this simple post.

I used several sources, including “Prevention” magazine (April, 2014 and

December, 2013) and “Natural Awakenings” (May, 2014 edition of our local

free “magazine.”

First of all, seasonal allergies are the worst! I hear several of my friends and

coworkers who have these problems and wished to share a few suggestions,

using natural and healthy choices.

A moderate intensity workout, a ‘jog,’ can actually help your symptoms!

Who would have thought, since you will need to be outdoors to jog around?

Thailand did this study, exercise may decrease the body’s release of irritating

histamines and other biological mediators. So, this means you can’t use the

allergies as an ‘excuse’ until you have seen if this helps your symptoms!

Another way to naturally ‘cure’ your allergies is a traditional Chinese way

of handling many ailments: Acupuncture has been known to decrease

patients’ dependence on medications, even with allergies. I always like

the way the Chinese say, “Acupuncture brings the body into balance.”

Checking out your intake of fruits can actually help you. Your diet can be

making your allergies worse.  1/3 of patients with seasonal allergies, have

immune systems that react to the proteins in foods, in a similar fashion as

the grass, dust and other things that set you off. People with ragweed

allergies typically have reactions to watermelons, cantaloupe and honey

dew melons. People who have found to be allergic to ‘birch tree pollen’

(pretty specific, huh?!) have been found to react to kiwifruit, apples, pears,

peaches, plums, coriander, fennel, parsley, celery, cherries, carrots, hazel-

nuts and almonds. My mother is allergic to grass and some weeds, but liked

gardening so much she would try so hard to just use the next method of

handling her allergies.

Pollen clings to clothes, our shoes, skin surfaces, hair, even eyelashes.

When you have hiked or worked in the yard, your common sense may

tell you to go ‘rinse off,’ but you may dilly dally, sit and have a drink of

pop, water or iced tea. By sitting down, you have created a pollen transfer

to your furniture. This is so fascinating and an easy way to picture this!

So, this is described in the April, ’14 “Prevention,” like this:

“Taking a shower at night, in addition to in the morning washes the stuff

away and helps you avoid allergen torture while you sleep. Gross but

true: Pollen also clings to the mucus in your nasal passages, so you should

rinse your nose.”

The “Neti Pot” is known for helping people stave off colds and also, to clear

mucus passages, with a saline solution. This is another ‘new’ cure, that I

thought some of you had not tried with allergies.

I liked another passage’s descriptive powers, in the same magazine:

“One route to relief is to treat pollen like a nighttime bandit. Keep your

windows and doors shut tight.”

You may already know about the ‘magical’ powers of ‘butterbur’ as a potent

herb, which contains compounds that block the chemicals released when

you are getting an allergic reaction. A Swiss trial was conducted, using the

amount of 8 mg. tablets of butterbur extract 4 times a day did relieve

the allergic symptoms, just as well as the antihistamine cetrizine. You

can find this in “Zyrtec” and other products similar in its content.

Other natural plant-based treatments include stinging nettle, quercetin

that is found in a number of foods, like grapes, tea, onions and tomatoes,

along with spirulina. This is a nutty tasting nutrient rich, type of algae.

You can take this as a supplement or throw it into a smoothie, as it

can be purchased in powder form, one scoop will do the ‘cure!’

Probiotics have become a popular topic, but even while fighting

allergies, guarding your gut, can really help your system manage

better. Scientists and researchers feel that by regulating your immune

system, through the use of probiotics, found in some food products,

like Activia yogurt and you can also purchase in a supplement form.

They have been found to counteract the inflammation in your body,

that causes allergic symptoms.

I hope some of these natural ways to handle your seasonal allergies

will help you or your family members.

 

I found out that you can use oil from your pantry as a ‘cure’ for

vaginal dryness. Plant-based oils are safe and non-irritating to

use as lubricants, if needed in a ‘pinch.’ This is from Dr. Mary Jane

Minkin. For longer term relief, use a gel or cream moisturizer. An

alternative is coconut oil, but check on a small surface, just in case

of allergies.

 

Now, for some simple ‘cures’ for stomach stress!

If your stomach is in ‘knots:’

Try valerian root extract.

If you are feeling ‘bloated:’

Drink hot water with lime.

(I have tried this, since I read it, and it works!)

If you have an upset stomach and/or

indigestion:

Chew a handful of fennel seeds.

(But not if you have ‘birch tree’ allergies. See above!

I cannot eat foods with fennel seeds, I have found, but

as far as I know am not allergic to any trees! Smile!)

If you feel nauseated:

Try ginger slices.

(I like to drink ginger ale or ginger tea.)

If you ate too much:

Sip fresh lemon balm tea.

(I like to include a slice of lemon, often with just

hot water, if I feel like I am ‘too full’ and need to

get my tummy feeling better, or the lime slice.)

 

Here are just a few simple recipes I culled for this post:

Strawberry Peanut Butter Toast

Top 2 slices of multigrain or whole wheat toast with 2 T.

(tablespoons) of peanut butter. I have recently been liking

the Natural Peanut Butter, with simply peanuts and a little

bit of salt in the recipe. The recipe suggests you try an Organic

Peanut Butter.

Layer with sliced strawberries and for a ‘twist’ add chia seeds

(1 tsp. teaspoonful)

The “Healthy Elvis” Sandwich

This serves 2 people.

4 slices of multigrain or whole wheat bread

3 T. (tablespoons) of almond butter

4 tsp. (teaspoonsful) of crumbled crisp bacon

(about 2 slices were used, the brand given, “Applegate.”)

1 T. (tablespoon) of honey

1/2 tsp. (teaspoon) cinnamon

1 lg. banana

1. Arrange bread in even layer on a clean work surface.

2. Stir together almond butter, bacon, honey and cinnamon

in a small bowl.

3. Spread this concoction on bread, dividing it evenly on the

4 slices.

4. Slice banana and put on top of two of the slices of bread.

5. Put sandwiches together, the ones with bananas make the

bottom of each sandwich, (don’t want to tip them over!)

6. Put the two sandwiches on a heated grill, I used a little olive oil

or you could splurge with a touch of butter on this! Grilling this

will make amazing sandwiches. Scrumptious!

(If you must know the calorie count is 418 calories for just one

of the sandwiches.)

And, I really missed the idea of marshmallow fluff, which my Dad

always included in his pretend “Elvis” sammies.

 

 

 

 

 

July’s Forecast: Making Plans

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As we begin July, there will be plans ‘in the making’ for family reunions, annual

gatherings, holidays, picnics, barbecues and enjoyable pastimes. These could all

fall into the category and be labeled, “Rituals.”

Here is a poem on the subject:

“Rituals encase memories.

They link the past and the present,

They choreograph the dance of intimacy

that families and friends perform.

They give us access to each other.”

~Written by Wendy M. Wright~

 

JULY

 

July 2-

Canada Day will be observed on this Monday.

Also, an important date to celebrate. In 1964, fifty years ago today,

President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed into law, the Civil Rights

Act. It outlawed discrimination of the following: racial, ethnic, nationalities,

religions, minorities and women.

The Civil Rights Act abolished segregation in schools, workplaces and all

public places.

Here is a Thomas Kinkade quotation that seems appropriate to the beauty

in our relationships. among all peoples:

“Perceptions of beauty vary.

We should delight in the diversity of taste.

Just as we rejoice in the abundance of experiences that life has to offer.”

(Thomas Kinkade, 2001.)

 

July 4th-

In the United States, called The Fourth of July.

This celebrates Independence from Britain, attributed to July 4, 1776.

I love the Chicago (group or band) song, which is called,

“Saturday In the Park, (I Think It was the Fourth of July…”)

Always love those horns and  the way the lyrics include so much action

in a public park.

July 5-

First Quarter Moon

(Are we waxing or waning? I believe it is waxing…)

July 9-

First Day of Ramadan

Nunavut Day- Canada. This has been celebrated among Canadian Native

Americans, since 1993.

July 12-

Full Buck Moon.

Also, Orangemen’s Day (N. L.)

July 13-

The Final FIMA World Cup Soccer Championship Game!

July 15-

The Major League All Star Game, being held this year in Minneapolis.

July 17th-

Well, I wanted to list this concert that I would wish to attend. It may

be possible, yet! Philip Phillips (an alumni and winner, from “American Idol”

television show, plus O.A.R. will be playing at the Lifestyles (or L.C.) Pavilion.

This will be an outstanding concert, with lively and original songs being played.

This is also celebrating 30 years of Promo West from 1984 – 2014, here in

Columbus, Ohio.

July 19-

Last Quarter Moon

(I think we are waning, now!)

July 26th-

New Moon or No moon tonight!

The Moon is covered with the shadow of Earth. Spooky!

“It’s dark out there at night!”

July 27-

Delaware’s Annual Automobile or Car Show.

I am going to describe the downtown blocks that will be

closed to traffic, while you walk along our “main street”

Sandusky Street for four blocks, running North and South:

Here are the cross streets that intersect Sandusky Street,

running East and West.

From Park Street to Spring Street, closed.

From Spring Street to West William Street, closed.

From West William St. to West Winter Street, closed.

You may walk in the streets, but when there is promenading

for the cars, watch your toes! All sorts of antique, racing,

unique and well kept cars on display, you may sit on OWU’s

campus lawn and picnic, or if you are in town, let me know,

I am going to be walking and browsing, enjoying the fun

atmosphere and some live music, fair food and other sights

to see!

The last quote is one from A. A. Milne’s books:

“A little Consideration,

A little Thought for Others,

Makes all the difference.”

~ Eeyore the Donkey ~

 

Spread some happiness around in July!

For a whole month of July, my good and dear friends, Jason and Felda,

along with their children, Kridia Dawn and Zachary (otherwise known

as “Zachy- Poo!”) will be in the Philippines’ celebrating and enjoying

Felda’s Mom, cousins and extended neighbors and friends. Keep them

in your prayers for a safe journey and filled with precious memories.

Please feel free to leave a comment of any additional concerts, county fairs,

events or holidays celebrated that may be noted for other’s to take part in!

 

Making Father’s Day Plans

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At work, yesterday, we were talking about fathers. We really don’t know

what kind of pressure they had, in the past. We feel men and women

have a combined amount of stress, due to financial difficulties, low

wages, high cost of living, and raising families is not a ‘easy job.’

The song that came to mind, was the “Under Pressure” one with

both David Bowie and Queen singing it. Can you believe that came

out in 1981? And we were calling it a ‘newer song!’ Later, in 1982,

the group Queen performed this solo, on their album called, “Hot

Space.”

Also, someone volunteered the ‘older’ Dolly Parton song, “9 to 5.” We

all liked that movie, which is more of a support of women but the guys

said it was the only one they could think of, agreeing with Tammy, that

we are ‘behind the times!’

Guess what? We found out this is a 1980 song, so only one year before

the other song we came up with, representing marriage and parenthood

stress. We may need a newer song to suggest you listen to, to help you

feel that we have understood the way life has become even more hectic

than when we were growing up!

They felt the lyrics expressed how we all have to pack a lot into

our days, especially those who have families. Juggling many tasks,

meetings after work, sporting and other activities that children

need parental guidance and support can all lead to crazy moments.

My good friend, Bill, calls those days when people are raising kids,

as the “hunter/gatherer” stage. I know somewhere along the way,

one of my commenters disagreed with this terminology, not sure

what alternative, they did suggest a better way to describe the

way life is in the fast zone!

Lastly, we were discussing how we didn’t understand our parents

until we got older, had children and even, sometimes wish we had

had more time to just relax and enjoy them. Knowing time is so

precious, not able to stand still and really listen and pay attention

to what their important pieces of advice are. I remember thinking

that “I knew it all,” especially since I had graduated in elementary

school education, so I already ‘knew’ what children needed and

all.

Boy, did I get a huge splash of freezing cold water, a big dose of

reality!

There are NO manuals or instructions that explain how it is to

be a parent!

This post is in honor of fathers, along with mothers, who work as

a team to raise their children, doing the best they can, as much as

possible!

I have a good friend, who shall remain nameless, who still wished

she had more time to talk to her mother. I still wish I could ask my

Dad’s advice on more things. I would like to just listen to him again.

He could go on and on, rambling, if he liked. I would relate to the

desire to have someone to pay attention to, much more now. Now

that I am alone.

When asked, “What are you doing for Father’s Day?” I received an

interesting summary of choices. I hope you will add some present

and if you wish, some past ways you celebrated Father’s Day.

Charlene hangs with us, watching, “The Bold and the Beautiful”

from 1:45 until 2:00 pm. She is on her lunch break, so during the

commercial breaks we ask her, “What did we miss during the first

fifteen minutes of this half hour soap opera, we have become rather

attached or ‘addicted to.’

She said she plans to take her four year old son, Ian, to a big box

retail store, where he usually insists on buying his Daddy a card

and a gift. I wanted her to trace his hand and make a homemade

card, she says he won’t do that! Ian is a ‘force to reckon with!’

Charlene’s husband, Chris, works here, so we like to ask about

what he will be rewarded with for ‘His Day.’ She added that she

will cook one of his favorite meals, lasagna, garlic bread and a

dinner salad. It takes a lot of time to prepare it, having learned

the ‘hard way, ‘ from Christopher’s mother, the ‘true Italian way

to prepare this dish.’

Keith, whose daughter, Ashley, spent this past year in a haphazard

thrown together home-schooling adventure turned 13 this past week.

She is staying home, making a Cool Whip ‘concoction’ with crushed

Oreo cookies for Keith’s Father’s Day. He also had been happy to

hear that she was going to clean up the kitchen, dust and vacuum.

She may take off for the swimming pool, but this work was promised

to be completed by the time he came home today (Friday). By the

way, she failed seventh grade and will be taking it over again. Many

of my ‘regular’ commenters, will remember how I worried a lot about

the way Keith was handling it, how I had to step away and basically,

wash my hands of it. (Background information available on Keith

and Ashley post. )

Tammy’s father, who has had heart surgery, knee surgery and also,

still takes a lot of medications is 83 years old. His wife is in much better

shape, Tammy’s mother is ‘on the ball.’ For Mother’s Day, Tammy and

Mike (“Fencepost Buddies” love story post) had her parents, her sisters,

brothers, nieces and nephews over for a huge potluck/picnic. It had

ended up inside, but they are crossing their fingers to have it outside.

They purchased bags of mulch and will be putting this around her

mother and father’s flower beds, plants and trees. That will be their

gift, plus hosting their large, extended family on her side.

Melvin was ready to tell us all about the great barbecue that he and

his handicapped girlfriend helped to prepare dishes and a skinless pig

roast for a paid graduation party. Their catering “earned them more

that two weeks at Advance Auto, all in nice, crisp 100 dollar bills cash!”

Melvin’s used to being a cook in the Army, also for his large family.

The family is mainly out East, which he and his girlfriend are heading

that direction so, other than cards, there may only be the “trip out East,”

as his Father’s Day gift. They will be taking from June 20th until June 28th

to travel there and back, driving. He hopes to connect to some of his old

Army buddies, but nothing like their huge reunion last year, in MA.

We were trying to persuade him to open up a restaurant or catering

business, but Melvin thinks it would be too stressful on his girlfriend.

Trevinal and his wife, who I wrote about his taking nursing classes,

to get ahead in their life together. His father used to work at Advance

Auto D.C. #23, too. He is retired and when he did, he passed on the

advice to his son, to try and find a better job. Trevinal sits at our table,

laughs at our ‘old age’ jokes and is in his thirties. (I wrote about his

being designated “Special Education” while growing up, how he is

going to Columbus State and now has a 3.5 average every semester!)

Their love story is ongoing, first a good career, children next…

They are celebrating with his mother and father by taking them to

Ryan’s Steakhouse, which is a buffet style restaurant. They have some

plans to help trim trees, mow the lawn and  his wife plans to bake a cake,

too.

My friend, Mark, whose mother lives with him, told me today that he

plans to take her to his father’s gravesite, they will plant live flowers and

also, take home the Memorial Day wreath, they had left a couple of weeks

ago. He is the one who I gave my telephone number at Thanksgiving and

we have stalled out in the dating area of our friendship. Sort of ‘back to

square one.’ I like him a lot and will hope someday it may mean more to

him, too. Meanwhile, fun to have a man to flirt with, once in awhile!

One who has a home, computer and is not homeless, like I meet at the

library! Ha ha!

I have offered tonight and tomorrow night to watch grandchildren and

have plans to give cards to my son and my oldest daughter’s man for

their special day. I have decided that “Nana sitting” is enough, so won’t

be enclosing money this year for Father’s Day!

Work equity sounded like a great way for people to help their Dad’s out,

along with saving money. It is a trend across all income levels, giving

time is always an excellent way to show you love someone!

I will be posting about the Poll I took that was on the subject of which

television show featured your favorite Dad, father figure or male role

model, tomorrow!

I was surprised at the results at break, lunch and after work, with my

coworkers choices. It may or may not amuse you! It brought back a

few good nostalgic memories.

Let me know, “What are you doing for Father’s Day?”

 

 

 

10 Ways to Stay Young

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I received Mom’s card, that she bought in the downstairs area of her senior living

apartments, at the end of last week. This is called the ‘library’ where you can choose

to borrow, return or give books and pick out greeting cards. There is an ‘honor code,’

where you go to the nearby Front desk to pay for the cards or check out the books.

This card, and its message, really made my day this week!

It was one of those simple ones that talk about friendship. She vacillates between

saying that I am her ‘best friend’ and missing her faithful little dog, Nicki, (her ‘other

best friend.’)

These notes, I realize I have mentioned, hold important feelings that she shares

with me, her only daughter. I am touched with her added embellishments, sincerely

expressed ideas and loving memories of our special ‘girlfriend’ visits and shopping

trips.

She writes to many people, her words are less descriptive and their clarity may not

always be there. Time has taken some of her training in spelling, grammar and English

usage away. But the essence of love shines through to all of her recipients of letters.

Her good friend, Joyce, who will always be known as “Pooky” to those who love her,

wrote her a long typed (on the computer and printed out) letter. In this, she was

supporting my Mom’s asking to be able to have her dog back. Nicki is residing with

my brother and sister in law, with multiple dogs, on a ‘better, healthier’ diet and

regime. Their main concern was that Mom had fallen, so they felt with her new

walker, therapy visits and trying to manage Nicki with the walker may do more

‘harm than good.’  “Pooky” lives in California and I have written her notes to

keep her abreast of my Mom’s current health status, along with over the years,

many holiday cards. She is a good and true, lifelong friend of my Mom’s.

“Pooky” sent a clever list which has some fun, but often expressed, ideas about

growing older, includes positive life lessons and ways to stay young.

On the top of the first page, my Mom had handwritten these sweet words:

“You know all of these, my Robin, but it never hurts to be reminded of them. . .

To my best friend in the world!”

“How to Stay Young

Friend to Friend Advice”

1.  Try everything twice.

On one woman’s grave, the epitaph reads:

“Tried everything twice. Loved it both times!”

2.  Keep only cheerful friends.

The Grouches pull you down.

Keep this in mind, if you are one of those Grouches!

3.  Keep learning.

Don’t stop!

Whatever it is that stimulates your brain cells and keeps

your mind active.

4.  Enjoy the simple things in life.

The little ‘details’ can make you happy.

5.  Laugh often.

Belly laughs, long and loud.

Laugh until you gasp for breath or tears run down your face.

If someone produces this level of joy, spend lots and lots of

time with them.

Be silly!

6.  Sad things and tears happen.

Unfortunately.

Endure, grieve and move on.

The only person who is with us, our entire life, is ourselves.

Live while you are alive.

7.  Surround yourself with whatever you love:

Family, pets, keepsakes, music, art, crafts, plants. . .

Make your home a retreat or refuge.

8.  Cherish your health.

If it is good- preserve it.

If it is unstable- improve it.

If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

You are still here.

9.  Don’t take guilt trips.

Take instead trips down memory lane, to the mall or to a new place.

If you can afford to, travel far and wide. If your health does not permit

this, wander through countries in books or on the Internet.

10.  Tell the people you love that you love them every time you see them.

Every opportunity, try to show your gratitude towards them.

(Author Unknown, some embellishments are my own added to the list.)

So here goes, I am following the ‘rules’ laid out in the life list! I wish to tell you

again, that I appreciate your being part of my life. I think that our community

of fellow bloggers satisfies many things on the examples mentioned. So, in

honor for #s 3, 4, 7 and 10, I am thankful for your enhancing and enriching

my life!

You fill in the gaps in my life, helping me to utilize my brain daily.

We talk, through our posts and replies, about things and share our worlds.

Your thoughts and feelings bring us closer together. Sometimes more than

my friends I spend time with. Maybe it is the safety of being separated by

time and space. Maybe it is due to being sojourners in a world of our own

making.

Fellow bloggers you brings my inner thoughts and respond positively, for that:

I thank you!

Maybe it is the way we bounce off each other, spurring each other to reach out

and connect on a different level than most daily interactions.

To those poets out there, thanks for treating me to your beautiful (sometimes

angry, distressed but always meaningful) words. You have inspired me to try

my hand at writing poetry. It is a different way of writing than I am used to!

To the artists out there, whether using paint, pen and ink, photography or

other creative and artistic ways you lead your life, I appreciate your sharing

this with me. The ‘details’ of life that you give to me, through your art and

music, are limitless!

To the ones who incorporate animals, healing solutions, share your faith and

other ways to connect and feel whole; your posts make me feel good and lead me

to peace in my heart and soul.

Those nature lovers and healthy lifestyle believers, you make me want to be

more interactive in environmental issues and eat more healthier. The cooking

blogs and vegan choices are certainly ones that I copy down suggestions and

feel that I have become more aware of what I am ingesting!

Then those who have traveled or are out there, living in different countries,

letting us know what is happening, Thank you!

It makes the world come together and become a ‘smaller’ place, uniting us in our

common interests:

Wow! The inspiration in the gifts you all share, continue to amaze and challenge

me to be a better ‘me!’