Archive for May, 2020

Yesterday my Yellow Rose of Texas, Harrison’s Yellow, began to bloom.

corona yellow rose of texas may 28 2020

Forgive the very poor photograph from inside…It’s raining and very wet outside. This morning I saw that there were pink heritage roses blooming, the ones which clamber up my crab apple tree. I love these so much. They have begun blooming near the ground, but will bloom high in the tree fairly soon, I believe. The wild phlox, magenta and white, are blooming and also the Snowball Viburnum and the Keria Japonica shrubs, as well as my Buckeye tree which is our state tree of Ohio. Mine was begun from a nut, planted by a friend in the late 80s.

My orchids inside are blooming their heads off, but it is the outside plants in the garden which thrill me at the moment. The alium from my neighbor and my purple Siberian Iris are blooming. I wish I could walk better and see more. But I am going to try when it dries off a bit more. I have another rolater for outside which I am going to use.

A recent watercolor which I liked:

corona wc 5 25

Now if I can only get over my insomnia and this strange rash on my leg will go away, I will be much happier. But I am aware of and grateful for many blessings!

I continue to spend a lot of enjoyable time watching YouTube videos. Here is one you might enjoy.

Former NASA Engineer Builds an Incredible Obstacle Course For the Squirrels That Are Stealing His Birdseed


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Spring continues. More flowers are coming into bloom. Peonies are getting buds, but it will be quite a while before they open into flowers. Siberian Iris are coming along. The honesty and the wild phlox always look so similar from a distance – a cohort of magenta and white flowers.

It did not rain today but is still too wet to plant things on the deck. I have lots of baby plants sitting on the table waiting.

The Farmers Market worked quite well this week, but they are changing to another sort of software for the ordering. But I am going to make a fabulous salad for dinner with all these fresh organic greens, Japanese salad turnips, real baby carrots, scallions,  and spinach plus micro greens which I love. I’ll make my own vinaigrette and add some chopped up chicken. Yummmm.

I am still doing watercolor. I have to go finish the one I began this morning, but here is one from the 22nd, inspired by Ceecee.

corona wc 5 22

Alice, Mike, Emily, and my grandchildren and grand-dog are at Chautauqua this weekend putting in the dock. After years of no plumbing problems it seems that two pipes have broken recently. I am glad to say that they are working on a solution. Apparently there are new techniques available for such repairs.

I am reading Officer Clemmons which is really very good but often quite sad. Also, Louise Penny’s The Beautiful Mystery. For two book groups I am rereading D.E. Stevenson’s  The Baker’s Daughter and Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown. And I just finished Aunt Dimity and the Summer King from Nancy Atherton’s series.

I’ve had some health issues which seem to be making me tired though the suddenly very hot weather is not helping. But my doctor had started me on some antibiotics and I am hopeful. Andy’s back is better and he has been working on the Nyitra. He and Istvan may be testing it later next week.

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Week Eleven

March 8th was the last day I went out to have a buffet breakfast with Emily and her family. It was a delight. But soon after that the “lockdown”, the “shelter in place” began for me….It is true there have been a few family events where we gathered together at a good distance from each others “branch” of the family. And Emily and both daughters on one occasion, and Emily and just Sofia on another, came over and visited me on the deck. But we kept our distance. And Alice is helping me with a big clothing project, but again, we keep our distance from one another. It is very strange, but I am very aware that I have a much easier time of this than many people. My family lives fairly close. My income is not in danger – at the moment. I am rather an introvert and can be happy with reading, water color, movies, zoom meetings with friends, etc. I rather miss the belief that I had choices and could go to the grocery store. I still could, but am not willing to take the chance. I am not one of those foolhardy people who disbelieve science and evidence. I don’t listen to fake news programs. If I got this virus I would quite likely, though not absolutely,  die. I fall into too many high risk groups.

I am still doing water color but I have an odd sense that a sort of Corona-Chaos has crept into it, at least for the moment. I have a hard time focusing. There is some difficulty knowing when to stop…For instance:

corona wc 5 19

I felt my mind wasn’t quite engaging the way I wanted it to, and it shows…I have done more work on this, but not really improved it. Tomorrow is another day.

My leaf exercise, a few days ago, turned out better, I think.

corona wc 5 2020 leaves 2

But I need to return to an ‘in the flow’ sort of experience. I’m sure I will if I keep on keeping on.

Our local police surprised me by advising residents not to put check payments in our mailboxes. Several have been stolen. They suggest taking them to the boxes at the post office. The area where we live is normally a very safe one and I am sorry to hear this.

Alice has been making masks for all and sundry. She has also begun to deliver meals on wheels. She mailed a mask she made to one of her meals on wheels clients who came to the door holding a napkin over her face. And Emily has begun teaching a summer session. There is usually a week or two of break in between, but this time only one or two days. This is the last week of school for my grandchildren. Some of extremely happy about this! I think it is hardest on Stephen who is the youngest and struggles to do without playing with his friends….Alice is a den mother and they just had a meeting to prepare for summer scout camp. Apparently, our council is one of the few in the country which is still having camp. But it is one boy to a tent, no communal dining hall, no group activities…..etc. None of the things which make summer camp so worthwhile for kids.

If the rainy days would stop, at least I would be able to plant out the plants which are still living on the picnic table on the deck. It’s really too wet to plant them now.

Our Farmers Market continues and ordering begins tomorrow at 7am. They are trying to find a time which is not so high volume because that part of the process has been frustrating with its slowness.

A rather dull post, I’m afraid. But my life is not that dull at the moment. There are always things to try to accomplish. My reading has been quite mixed of late. I think my next post may be about that.


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While we are keeping social distancing and Andy wears mask and gloves when he has to go to grocery store, the last few days were quite lively, in our life.

Friday, my D.E. Stevenson book club friends, who have been coming to visit me every summer at Chautauqua, had a great zoom meeting which lasted well over and hour. We laughed a lot and talked about what we are doing and what we are reading. We had planned to meet at the lake in early August but that is now canceled and even the Chautauqua Institution has canceled their 2020 season. I think about how the numbers of this year made me think, rather as a joke, that it would lead to better “vision” and understanding and how this may be happening for many people, though in a way no one could have foreseen. All of us are bibliophiles, but we touched on other things we are doing for our sanity as we stay at home. I’m still doing watercolor, some have pets.  one loves cooking, one of us knits, one sings and makes miniatures as does another who is also involved in a local history museum and missed this zoom get together  to attend a virtual board meeting. one is a quilter. My daughter  missed the meeting too, but is almost too busy with schooling her third grader and sewing masks for many friends. Our lives are obviously changed but I think our interest in many things is a kind of protection. For people with lots of curiosity, the internet offers amazing resources.

Later on Friday, Andy took me for a long drive where we could see signs of spring even though colder weather was upon us.  Saturday, we went together to pick up our market order. I had never seen this for myself and it was fascinating. It takes place in the large parking lot of a private school in the National Park. When you enter you check in (from your car) with a masked person who checks you in and radios the other stations who you are. (Every car has a sign on the window with the name of the ordering person.) Then you slowly drive from station one, to two, to three. At each place masked and gloved people pick your orders up from each vendor’s tents and put them in your car. I order a lot from different people and am in awe of how well this system works. I’m getting organic meat, cheeses, produce, baked goods, plants and specialty items. It’s very high quality. We are so lucky to have this available.

That was Saturday, but on Sunday we gathered on Alice’s deck. We were fortunate with the weather. At various times during the day it rained and it was pretty cold but Alice and Mike kept checking the weather predictions and we gathered at the warmest time of day, and the driest. Each family had its own distant table, but we could still talk to one another.

corona mday 5 2020

Emily made a delicious quiche with ramps and spinach, and different cheeses. There was bacon on the side… Alice had a special dish with asparagus, dandelion, and those tasty Japanese hakurei turnips. Delicious and unusual. Ingmar baked croissants. There was coffee and an apple crumble cake from Alice. It was a feast! I received a beautiful yellow calla lily and a pot of French lavender.

corona mday 5 2020 calla lily

corona mday 5 2020 french lavender

Congratulations if you have read all this long winded way! There was more I wanted to say but I will spare you! We are all well and being socially distant and keeping safe and fairly sane. I wish the same to you.

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Tuesdays are special because they are the day we can order at the Farmer’s Market! The pick-up has been smooth as silk for the last three weeks, but last week and today the ordering has had real software problems. At least, that is what they are calling them. Apparently the Covid-19 situation has caused a lot more traffic on the website they are using. We should be able to order at noon, but it is around 4pm by the time we can. I sat all afternoon checking every 15 minutes. This is not as crazy as it sounds because some things are sold out very quickly when ordering opens. But I was able to order today, and so was Alice. My favorite middle Eastern vendor, Smyrna Mediterranean Morsels, has increased their offerings so I am also trying their dolmas, stuffed grape leaves, and their stuffed spinach and feta pides.

A bit of shocking news this morning was that the Chautauqua Institution is canceling its entire 2020 season.

I am still doing watercolor, but missed a few days. This is another abstract piece.

corona wc 5 3 2020 abstract

Lots of excitement this morning. I saw a huge woodpecker in my backyard. By the time I got my phone out and the camera engaged he had jumped down and I couldn’t see him anymore. But a few seconds later he jumped back up on the stump. Unfortunately, his back was turned to me and I only got a very poor photo. However, it was enough for my birding cousin to confirm that it was a pileated woodpecker. I’m quite thrilled about that.

bird large red headed woodpecker 5 5 2020

Last Sunday afternoon we met at Emily and Ingmar’s home, outside in the back yard, at safe distances, to celebrate Alice’s birthday. The most excitement was that the kids discovered a pretty large black racer snake under the little rowboat by their pond.

corona 5 2 2020 nathan

Emily had some of the most fragrant small flowered daffodils in her garden!

corona 5 2 daffs at ems party

It is the dark orange flowers which are so sweetly scented.

Finally, a photo of my thoughtful son, Andy, at the party.

corona party andy

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Desultory Notes

It is exciting today because tomorrow is Saturday and Andy will pick up our order from the Farmers Market…I ordered 27 things and 12 were live plants. This is the first time those have been available. And today my potted David Austin Rose arrived in the mail. It is blooming and very beautiful though it seems white and I thought I ordered a yellow rose, Vanessa Bell.

rose david austin vanessa bell 3

Perhaps this will be yellow in time…Or not. I will enjoy it whatever its color or name….

I will be getting more of the red pepper spread which is not ajvar but something called muhammara which has no eggplant in it, but walnuts, and which I like very much. Also tabouleh and pistachio baklava.

Early this afternoon my DEStevenson friends, who meet at Chautauqua and had planned to do so this August but probably will not be able to do, tried to have another zoom meeting. Last week this worked for me, but somehow, not this week. But I managed a facetime with Karen, on our phones, and it was a sort of work around so I showed up as a small photo on her larger zoom square. These friends are truly kindred spirits and I treasure being able to see and hear them.

Yesterday was my oldest dd Alice’s birthday. She is 45 now. That fact astonishes me. What memories. She was born the day South Vietnam surrendered. One funny memory with that day is that Paul stopped at my Dad’s dentist office to tell him about Alice. When Paul spotted the Highlights for Children magazines in the waiting room, he immediately sent off a subscription for Alice. Not that many one day old people have magazine subscriptions!

I continue to do water color. A recent one is this:


corona wc 4 27

I realize I did more “doodling” on this after the photo, but this is pretty much what it is.

I am reading a longer than usual but very interesting mystery, Recipes for Love and Murder, by Sally Andrew. It is set in rural South Africa and the main character is very lovable and interesting. I will read the others in this series I think.


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