FRIDAY FUN

It all began by accident, really.

My new neighbor Alison

 

Wanted to learn to knit.

Then the next week Carrie decided to join us.

 

We picked late Friday afternoons

To get together.

And eventually John started showing up

Offering wine.

Then Carrie and Alison decided

We needed to expand on this idea

And before you knew it

Every women in our church

Was invited for some Friday Fun.

The rules

Such as they are

Are simple.

The hostess is in control

Of food

Of drink

Of activity

Or the lack there of.

Last Friday was my turn.

And what with it being mid-May

It only seemed natural

To gather in my garden house

And do a little flower arranging.

Then Christianne

“Knower” of all things royal

Realized it was the week before the royal wedding.

And the plan grew.

A little flower arranging.

A little lesson on royal wedding traditions

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And a lot of silliness.

Something I don’t often let happen.

Not that I’m dower…

I’m not

But I just don’t get silly often enough.

So with a few plastic tiaras

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And a royal name tag game

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We were off.

Cramming seventeen women

And their flower vases

Into my garden house.

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We are an eclectic group

Ranging in age from 30’s to

Well multiples of 30!

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Carrie made peach and strawberry bellinis

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Christianne made a lemon blueberry cake

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As close as we could get to the upcoming

Lemon and elderberry royal masterpiece.

After a few brief instructions.

Everyone dove into the flowers

I had cut and conditioned.

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It’s not been a prolific flower spring

What with our mid-April freeze

So I foraged a bit.

Using Columbine along with some Arugula gone to seed.

A bit of blooming sage

And of course Euonymous

Because it lines two sides of my fence

And I can never cut enough of it

To keep it out of my path.

Also because I’ve known it to last

Something like 3 weeks before it wilts.

It’s the titanium of flower arranging.

So there you have it.

A recipe for fun.

Friends…flowers…frivolity

With a side of royalty!

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Gail

(alias Lady Edith Peg Rural Route!)

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Filed under Arugula, Bouquets, Columbine, Euonymus, Flower Arrangements, Gardening Friends, Gratitude, Sage, Uncategorized

“RRANGEMENTS”

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I bought these little enameled vases

Years ago

At “Crazy Days”

And only remember using them once.

Until Harper and Henry discovered them

One Easter.

They spent most of that Friday

Snapping off tulips

To make “rrangements”.

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So, of course, I had to send some home with them.

Later that year when I visited.

I noticed these little vases all over their house

They were constantly changing the flowers

Kids love to pick flowers

And they seldom leave enough stem

To actually put in a vase.

So these tiny renditions

Were just the ticket.

Kids also learn by watching.

And they have a splendid example

Of arranging in their mother.

In all the years of their marriage

There are always flower arrangements around

When we visit.

In the guest room

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On the fireplace mantel

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And kitchen window sill

Along with the dining table.

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The kids have picked up on this

Often having flowers in their room.

Luckily, Elliott is good at growing flowers

Supplying dahlias and roses and hydrangeas

All season long.

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It’s the simple things

That we often remember about our childhoods.

The smell of my mother’s pies in the oven.

The warmth of the fire that my father

Built each winter day.

Standing over my grandmother’s floor furnace

Making my night gown into a warm balloon.

The roses at her front door.

I’m thankful for the memories

That Kristina and Elliott are creating

For their family.

And happy that flowers are part of those memories.

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Happy Mother’s Day

Gail

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Children in the Garden, Dahlias, Flower Arrangements, Gardening, Grandchildren, Gratitude, Hydrangea, roses, Uncategorized, Vases

RAIN, BLESSED RAIN

Most of the country has experienced

What seems to be the longest winter

In recent memory.

Our winter has been

In and out.

Bitter cold days

Sprinkled into sunny winter glory.

But it simply has not rained.

Fires 100 miles to our west

Attest to our dry fall and winter.

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Thankfully it starting raining on a recent Friday night

And continued through Saturday.

Bringing hope to my garden

With each drop.

The Japanese Maple trees

Are sighing with relief.

They leafed out on schedule

Only to be frozen a couple of times.

Creating the saddest looking tree

I’ve seen in a long time.

Now, with this moisture

They have begun the process of

Putting on new leaves.

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And things are budding out.

Iris

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Allium

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Peonies

With their attending ants.

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And those stunning Japanese Tree Peonies.

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They don’t last long

A few days of bloom and they are gone.

Yet, they are so worth growing.

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With these buds

Comes hope

And so it is with gardeners.

Whose spirits have frozen

And thawed

And frozen

And thawed

More times than we can count.

But with the rain comes

Hope.

And gardeners thrive on

Hope.

 

Gail

 

 

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Filed under Allium, Bugs, Gardening, Gardening;Perennials, Iris, Japanese Tree Peony, Peonies, Perennials, spring, Spring Flowering Bulbs, Uncategorized

WIND AND OTHER LUXURIES?

Wind.

Growing up on the plains

It has just been a part of my life.

My father always said that his mother,

A woman who kept house during the dust bowl

Putting wet towels around doors and windows,

Understood that wind was important to staying cool

In the summer.

And she never cursed it.

Rogers and Hammerstein even wrote it into

What would become our state song.

You know

“Where the wind comes sweeping down the plains.”

I’ve always tried not to complain about the wind.

But these past few days have really tried my resolve.

The wind has been howling off and on.

One day it’s an unusually hot wind out of the south.

Then it turns on a dime and gives us a mid-April frigid north blast

Leveling my tulips for the third time.

With wind in the forecast for last Friday

I was fearful we might have to cancel a long planned fun morning

Of Debra and her camera in my garden.

But on Thursday she called to say she was coming.

Period.

Luckily my garden is somewhat protected

With old trees and a two story house

Covering it from the south and north.

It was still pretty

Shall we say breezy

When Debra arrived Friday morning.

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For the photographer in Debra

My backyard is something akin

To a village of bouncy houses

For a three year old.

She just doesn’t know what to jump on first.

The parrot tulips in the pots on the patio

Drew her in

And the clicking began.

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But the wind was wanting to play as well.

Some of the pictures were clear

Others blurred

And some take your breath away.

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It did not detour her

Finally declaring she would just wait

“The wind will die down…it always does.?

She moved from parrot tulips

To the more protected Hellebores

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To the tulip lined path

leading to the garden house.

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The light and the wind

Dancing around.

Creating opportunities

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And problems.

All of which were  joyfully accepted.

Her patience paid off.

As you can see by the results

I’m sharing here.

This reminded me of my grandmother.

Accepting what she couldn’t change.

Finding the good in what some would consider bad.

And just simply making the best of what you are given.

Some might call it Pollyannish.

Others perseverance

I call it grace.

Gail

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Filed under Garden House, Garden Photography, Gardening, Gardening Friends, Hellebores, Parrot Tulips, Pettit Basset Griffon Vendeen, Shade Garden, tulips, Uncategorized

The Good News Easter Egg Hunt V.6

When you choose to live in the same place

Year after year

Decade after decade

Roots grow deep.

Trees mature

As the branches grow and spread

And multiply.

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There are choices you make staying put.

I think about this a lot these days

As people come and go from this place

And we stay put.

Nowhere in my life

Is this more apparent

Than on the Saturday before Easter.

This year was our 6th Good News Easter Egg Hunt

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Once again Kay worked her magic.

And this year we had the added help

Of Grace.

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New ideas

New energy

A new branch on our tree.

Paper mache’ eggs were a big hit

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Especially when the kids figured out

They were filled with goodies.

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Bird feeders are now sprinkled all over town

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Helping our feathered friends survive

A colder than usual week that followed.

And, of course, there were lady bugs.

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It’s was a mix of old friends

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And new.

Children who have been here every year.

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And some coming for the first time.

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So that’s the thing about staying put.

Your life gets very full.

Making room for decades of friends

Connections and memories

While saving space for new friends and adventures.

Sort of like a mature perennial garden.

Gail

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A slinky slows you down a bit!

 

 

 

 

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THE VELVET FOG

Today we said goodbye to “The Velvet Fog”.

That was Bob’s nickname.

Given by his church choir.

Earned by having a smooth velvety bass voice.

Bob was by profession

A pediatrician.

The only pediatrician in this  part of the state

For many years.

Known for his ability to diagnose

Difficult and little known

Ailments in children.

He was beloved.

My friend Linda recalls a childhood bout of scarlet fever.

And knowing when she heard that gentle deep voice

At her door – making a house call.

That everything would be all right.

I sang in the choir with Bob and his delightful wife Betty

For just over 40 years.

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Now anyone who has ever sung in a church choir

Knows that we are the quirkiest collection of people.

Ours is no different.

It goes something like this.

The sopranos – of which I am one – catch on quickly.

Not because of our superior musicianship

But because we get to sing the melody

Most of the time.

The altos have the rich part.

The harmony.

The dissonant notes

That resolve into unexpected places.

The tenors – well there are never enough tenors.

All church choirs need them

To add to the fullness of the music we sing.

Then there are the basses.

Bob would be there

With that mischievous twinkle in his eyes.

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Usually sitting on the back row

And having a great time.

Now I won’t say they don’t pay attention

But one year when our choir director, Charlotte

Gave out “awards” at the Christmas party.

Bob got the “where are we, Charlotte?” award

Because he never really knew where we were.

In his later years Clark did his best to keep him on task,

But what can I say – he tried.

So today we sang all his favorite hymns.

Eddie Lou, our choir director,

Invited everyone who had ever sung with Bob

To come and join our choir for the funeral.

His favorite anthem  – the one he asked to sing

Almost every week

Was “Battle Hymn of the Republic”

In SEVEN parts!

A piece of music sung by so many of us

Since high school.

We filled the choir loft

More men than women

Unusual for a church choir.

And we sang

Our hearts out

For Bob and Betty.

They have been married for 72 years.

I’m so thankful they shared so many of them

With us

The choir.

Gail

 

 

 

 

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Five Fruitful Years

Last week

Loaves & Fishes celebrated

It’s 5th Anniversary.

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That doesn’t sound like very long.

But if anyone has ever

Built a non-profit from scratch

They know what has gone into

Those five years.

Lots of work

Lots of mistakes

Lots of love.

For those of you who don’t know

Loaves & Fishes is a client choice food pantry

That helps to feed our hungry neighbors.

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Lots of our hungry neighbors.

About 752 families each month

We strive to give them healthy food choices

Things they can’t always afford.

The food comes from

Our “Mother Ship”

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.

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From local residents who contribute to our food drives

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From generous donors who believe in our mission

From local grocery stores who give us their leftovers.

The work is done by

A great staff

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Led by our forward thinking Executive Director Carrie

And dedicated volunteers.

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It takes 20 – 25 volunteers to open our doors each day

To drive the truck to pick up food donations.

Load and sort the food.

Stock the shelves.

Do the intake interviews.

Be a shopper helper helping clients make smart food choices.

Committed Board of Directors members

Nutrition class teachers

And those of us who work in our garden.

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All of this so that elderly neighbors have good nutritious food

Given to them out of love

By someone who cares.

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And young families working hard

But not quite making it to the end of the month

Knowing they have someplace to get help

So their children can eat.

And it’s done

With amazing efficiency.

It costs about $33.00 a month to help a family.

Families come to us for help

On average 4 times a year.

It’s been an amazing ride.

Those of us who were there at the beginning

Were smiling all week long

Seeing what so many have worked so hard

To create.

Loaves & Fishes has been a big part of my life

Over the last years.

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I can’t think of anyplace I would have rather been.

Thank you to all of you who have done your part

And more.

So, if you are within shouting distance

I hope you’ll come and see what we are all about.

Maybe even think about volunteering or donating.

It’s an amazing place

Filled with God’s love for all.

Gail

http://www.loavesandfishesnwok.org/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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