Thursday, April 23, 2015

KNEADING DIRT

 
There is something inherently cathartic about getting your hands down in the dirt to plant flowers. Don’t you agree? All my life I have been partial to impatiens and geraniums. At this time of year, my yard usually bursts with their colorful blooms, brightening my days well into autumn. Because... once placed in the ground, these pretty flowers usually last until the first snow flies. Their longevity rewards me for my efforts. Getting down on my hands and knees, to garden, is a tedious task… and now that I’m older, I do not do it.  As a result, this traditional rite of spring is sorely missing from my world. But I have the memories of my days in the sun and kneading dirt. When I was a little girl, I used to help my mother fill the hillside outside our house with HENS & CHICKS. They caught my fancy, early on. And when I see them today out in the garden shops I am filled with delight. They look primitive, yet have a modernistic shape that fascinates. I like the texture and feel of these succulent beauties too. Is there a flower or plant that is your favorite at planting time?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

AstroWives: The Women Who Helped Pave The Way To The Future


It’s no secret I am always on the lookout for a good book. A few years ago I found one I thought my mother might like. So I bought it, and I sent it to her. She was delighted.  Said it was the perfect read. At the time I also bought a copy for myself. But I put mine in the bookshelf, unread and forgot about it. At night I like to sit on my porch and look up at the stars. I have always had a fascination with Outer Space and our travels there.  I remember well, man landing on the moon and what a triumph that was. I remember the stories of the Russian woman who orbited the Earth, pregnant.  I believe this thing called LIFE is bigger than us here on Earth. We are not alone. I think life besides ours, exists in that great big Universe out there. It simply has to… with all those billions of planets and stars. And I am convinced the survival of humanity depends on us pushing beyond our planet to find it and other habitable places to live. I am excited about the talk of putting men on Mars in the next 20 years. And I am thrilled we have probes circling the dwarf planets Ceres and Pluto today. Our country wastes so much money on trivial things. I think NASA and our government should be bankrolling space exploration, full speed ahead, like John F. Kennedy wanted. In the big scheme of things, I think it’s important for mankind to venture where it’s never been before, much like our ancestors did. With that said, I stumbled on the book I had put away. It was there staring me in the face. So I began reading. It is called THE ASTRONAUT WIVES CLUB by LILY KOPPEL. (Behind every man is a good woman.) It is the true story of the young military wives that were catapulted into history when their husband’s became America’s first ASTRONAUTS. Almost overnight these women became role models and fashion icons of a generation. And because of the danger of their husband's missions, they became each other's support systems. It is a wonderful read. It takes you back to a time and place where anything was possible. Where people tried to achieve the impossible and did.... paving the way for the future. I haven’t been able to put this book down. Pick yourself up a copy. I guarantee you’ll love it too.

http://www.astronautwivesclub.com/

One of my blog buddies told me it's been made into a TV drama. If it stays true to the book it should be good.

http://www.nola.com/tv/index.ssf/2015/02/abcs_astronaut_wives_club_mini.html

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

NIGHTTIME IS A HOOT


Late one summer night, about eight years ago, I heard a ruckus in the front yard. I thought it was teenagers playing around, imitating camp noises. When I went outside to look… I was surprised by what I saw. Turns out I was wrong. It wasn’t kids after all. It was a Great Horned Owl. It stuck around for the rest of that summer and then disappeared when winter rolled around. But the following spring, it came back for a return engagement. And it’s been a fixture here at our place ever since. By and large, this elusive bird only ventures out at night to catch it’s prey. The bigger the better. (It hunts rodents, bats, skunks, raccoons, rabbits and squirrels.) But every now and then, I catch a glimpse of it, in the daylight or around dusk. However, it never stays put long enough for me to take a photograph. Talk about frustrating. Unfortunately this year… our friend the owl… has taken up residence, in the tree, right outside our bedroom window. And... as a result, we are having some pretty restless nights. It keeps waking us up with his/her noisemaking, at the most ungodly hours... shrieking on, and on, and on.The Great Horned Owl’s hoot female or male… is an eerie guttural sound that will frighten the bejesus out of you, if you are unfamiliar with it. Legends and myths say that such creatures foretell death or great fortune. I am hoping it’s the latter. Is there something that disturbs your sleep during the wee hours of the morning?  




Thursday, April 2, 2015

HAPPY EASTER. SOME BUNNY LOVES YOU


Growing up… Easter was always a happy time. A time of renewal. It was a dress up occasion in my family. I donned an Easter bonnet, fancy dress,  pretty gloves and white patent leather shoes. Before heading off to church, early in the morning, we got to see what the Easter Bunny brought us. It was always a rainbow basket, wrapped with colored cellophane paper. It was filled with green grass, decorated hardboiled eggs, a chocolate cross, hollow panorama sugar eggs and a sandwich bag full of jellybeans, that would spill out and get tangled up in the shiny grass. The tradition continued well into my teens, thanks to my mom. When I was much older, married with a couple children of my own… my grandmother died. It was around Easter. Although more years, than I care to mention… have passed since then… the hurt of missing her, lingers. So… whenever the holiday rolls around… I think of her, with fond memories, one in particular.  She had a tough life. When my grandpa died she had to give up everything she had… and had to move in with my mom, dad, brother and I… because she couldn’t afford to live on her own. That meant we got to come over to her house to help her downsize. There were lots of prized possessions that were designated trash and went out to the curb. But upstairs I found something that really caught my eye. It was hidden treasure. It was trivial in the big scheme of things... but it was something pretty extraordinary to me… as a little girl, exploring this big old house my Nana lived in. Tucked carefully away, in the back of a closet… was a pretty Easter Basket. It was different from the one the Easter Bunny usually gave me, so it stood out. But I shrieked with delight when I saw what was inside it. In it was an unopened bag of beautiful PINK grass. I had never seen PINK Easter grass before. (I daresay, none of my friends had either, because they all celebrated Passover. I couldn’t wait to show them.) This discovery was amazing. PINK GRASS. It was magical. The stuff of fairytales. (Today you see pink everywhere, but back then you didn't.) I tenderly fondled it, as it crackled beneath my fingertips. Imagine that? PINK GRASS. I just knew my Nana had been saving it, especially for me, because ordinary GREEN grass wouldn’t do. No, that grass had to be something special. So PINK it was. Back in the day when conformity ruled, my grandmother DARED to be different. And that left a lasting message on my heart, one that puts a smile on my face and a spring in my step to this day. ENJOY your EASTER and PASSOVER. HAPPY! HAPPY!