Category Archives: 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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A SUNDAY MYSTERY

I don’t surrender my fall weekends easily.

John’s 50th class reunion

Certainly justifies

A non gardening weekend.

586 graduates in the College High Class of ’67

13 National Merit Scholar Finalist.

Pretty impressive.

And a fun group of people, too.

So with little to report

From the garden.

I’ll just leave you with this

Mystery to solve.

We found this suspended in the Mandavilla

Just before we left on Friday.

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It’s still here this evening.

It’s not attached,

It’s just hanging ,

In the midst of a web

Connected to the plant.

I’ve been observing nature

Up close for a very long time.

This is completely new to me.

Anyone know what’s about to hatch

Right outside my back door?

Gail

“He who finds a thought that lets us a little deeper into the eternal mystery of nature has been granted great peace.”

                                                Albert Einstein

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Filed under Fall, Gardening, late summer garden, Mandavilla, Miracles, Mystery, Nature, Uncategorized

PLAY DATES

Ours is an “arranged” friendship.

When Bay and Debra moved to town.

Bay’s mother, Jean,

Was concerned that Debra wouldn’t have time

To meet new people.

What with two toddlers,

A new medical practice

And studying for her medical boards!

Jean asked if I’d give her a call.

I did.

The four of us went to dinner

And have been friends for decades.

Early on we decided we needed

Scheduled “play dates”.

This often consisted of trips to

The city.

Clothes shopping for kids

And long lunches.

During which we discovered

That we had been living

Somewhat parallel lives.

Over the decades play dates

Turned into scheduled weekly calls

When Debra moved to the city.

There were years where life overtook us

And we didn’t have much time to

Keep up with each other.

But ours is an easy friendship

Since we see the world

Through many shared life experiences.

Friday was the first scheduled play date

For quite some time.

The plan was to go to the city.

Run errands together

Have lunch

And great conversation.

But mid-week

I realized that my garden

Is full of bugs

This time of year.

And Debra is in full-blown

“Macro bug mode”.

Her Instagram tag line is

“Read images while at work.

Take images while away from work.’

She takes the most amazing pictures.

Birds in the winter.

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June flowers in Giverny

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And now bugs.

Early in the week.

I had spotted three orb spiders

And a big praying mantis.

But by Thursday night

I was down to one orb.

I feared I had gotten her here

Under false pretenses.

Friday morning she arrived

At sunrise.

Bearing gifts.

Her famed cookie dough.

The Holy Grail of Chocolate Chip cookies.

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I directed her to the surviving orb.

She began to click away.

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John couldn’t resist

Getting in on the day.

Catching bugs

To feed to the spider

For Debra to photograph.

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And before we knew it

Orbs began to appear.

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Totaling four in all.

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Next I found a praying mantis

Or two.

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So she clicked

And I scouted for bugs.

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She sees the garden through her macro lens.

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I see it as a gardener.

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I know where the bugs

Hang out.

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We were a good team

As usual.

It was a delightful morning.

Play.

It’s as important now

As it’s ever been.

Gail

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Monterey – 2010 with Debra & Kristina

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Bugs, Butterflies, Fall, Garden Photography, Gardening, Gardening Friends, late summer garden, Monet's Giverny, Nature, Orb Spider, Praying Mantis, Uncategorized

IT’S A JUNGLE OUT THERE

This has been an unusual summer

On many fronts.

I’ve been gone half the summer.

Two weeks here

A week there.

Grand kids will do that to you

I’ve learned.

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Not that I mind

I don’t.

But I’m not used to flitting around

Like that.

Then there was August.

Days turned into

Weeks of mid-80’s

And there was the rain.

In a month when it might not rain

At all

We had 6 inches!

So…

Combine my absence

With cool temperatures

And gentle rains

And what do you get?

A jungle.

The Cockscomb is officially

Growing out of its mind.

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Zinnias have popped up

Everywhere.

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The Asters are blooming,

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And Cleome is still going strong.

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Then there is the crabgrass.

If you don’t pull it.

It just keeps growing

And growing.

I think I’ve filled

Four poly carts

With the stuff.

Yesterday I managed

To get about half way through

The weeding process.

With a little deadheading

Along the way.

That’s really all there is

To do out there right now.

That and enjoy Mother Nature.

Yesterday was a tough day

To be one of these.

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Not sure if it’s a moth

Or a butterfly.

First one was eaten for lunch

By a Praying Mantis.

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Then this Orb spider

Had another one

For dinner.

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I was still

In the garden

At dusk

When the locust chorus

Began singing

A familiar song.

Fall

Isn’t it yummy?

Gail

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