Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Oats, peas, beans, and barley grow,   Oats, peas, beans, and barley grow,
Can you or I or anyone know    How oats, peas, beans,
and barley grow?

The garden is planted, and a number of things are (finally) growing.  
Mostly weeds.  Flourishing actually. No oats or barley however.
The seeds I started early in peat pots rotted. The eggplant and pepper plants I planted early froze. 
Careful planning of planting. Recalculating. Planning of planting. Recalculating. Planting. Done.
Now hope (along with vegetables) springs eternal and it may have been worthwhile after all.
Peas have decided to thrive, and are about to tendril their way up the fencing provided for them. Corn is sprouting but needs a lot more time until it's as high as an elephant's eye.
Zucchini, yellow squash, red beets, yellow beets, broccoli, basil, cilantro, lettuce, green beans, yellow beans, eggplant, potatoes, pumpkins, white pumpkins, swan gourds, cucumbers, dahlias and sunflowers are on their way, although it is a l-o-n-g way to showtime.

Patience. That's what is needed.  Along with rain.  And weeding. Lots of weeding.

According to the song I'm supposed to stamp my foot and clap my hands, turn around and view my lands.  

I like the view.  I hope to like the fruits (or vegetables) of my labor as well.

Can you or I or anyone know   How oats, peas, beans or barley grow?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Time Flies...

Who knows where the time goes?

Apparently something happened to April... and May had nearly the same fate.  My last blog was about sapping?!?! Ooops. 

Apparently a few things took up my time since last I wrote.  Among the events: a wonderful visit to San Antonio to see the Nelsons; a special visit to CT for Phoebe's graduation; a Memorial Day/Graduation picnic for 61...and life.

Apparently I am finding time on my hands here in Morgantown, WV.  We came for SAWLEX (the sawmill and logging expo) which is scheduled for 8 to 5 on Fri and 8 to 4 on Sat.  Arrived there at 3:30 and saw virtually everything by 5...and yet we will return tomorrow.  Well of course we will, it's the sawmill shootouts!

Apparently I am slightly addicted to e-mail, facebook, blogs and the laptop in general.  Love being able to connect to the world, both near and far, and these new-fangled motels with high-speed internet access are wonderful.  Last night the Hampton in State College, PA. Tonight Residence Inn...it's like a little home-away-from-home.  Too bad it's only for one night. 

Apparently Judy Collins sang my thoughts:

But I will still be here,
I have no thought of leaving.
I do not count the time.
Who knows where the time goes? 
Who knows where the time goes?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The heat is on!

The heat is on.....
The Lord is good; tell it wherever you go...The Lord is good; tell it so others will know...

 I go to my blog, so I'm telling it here!

We're in the midst of boiling sap, and today we drew off the first syrup...one half gallon and five quart containers.  I took advantage of the minutes until the next drawing off to take a "necessary break" and get the labels at the house.  One message (for Tom) and then the phone rang...it was the welder down behind the sawmill working on Tom's excavator..."Lonna - get down here! I have a grass fire!!!" It was not a false alarm. I ran to the sap house to alert Tom - he jumped in the big tractor,  headed to the creek and got the yard-bucket full of water. That put it out! I followed down with a 5 gallon pail of syrupy water (from washing out the filters) and eft it. Tom got 2 more loads of water because Bob the Welder thought he'd come back after it rains...and Tom needs it done now.  The ground looks like Noah lives around the corner!

The heat was on... 
The Lord is good;tell it whever you go..      

Yes He is...ALL the time!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Skiin' and Sappin'

You got to go where you want to go, do what you want to do,
With whoever you want to do it with...

It's never quite as simple as the Mamas and the Papas made it out to be.

I went to Windham Mountain to ski with Rick & Gwen. 
Thought by mid-March the rates would be down...NOT. $65!!  
Thought weekenders would be home tending to daffodils or whatever...NOT. Crowded!! 
Thought taking the orthotics out of my boots was relatively simple...NOT.  Struggle!!

Where I wanted to be was skiing...or so I thought.  Apparently I want to ski midweek, and Saturday is definitely  NOT. 

So...2 runs...orthotics out...home...orthotics in boots used for sapping...

Sometimes You got to go where you HAVE to go, do what you HAVE to do...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Question

The party's over,  it's time to call it a day....

As a great ski season draws to an end, the maple syrup season begins.  

Spring in the Catskills means changeable weather, usually during a single week, but often during a single day.  Monday 7 inches of snow arrived. Tuesday hovered around zero with the wind chill from steady winds - great skiing. Wednesday was a tad sunnier and a bit warmer -more great skiing.  Thursday the movement towards spring was evident as snow receded and green shoots appeared. Friday was well into the 50s!  Saturday? Ahhh, Saturday. Snow is virtually gone, and the decision must be made: to tap or not to tap, that is the question.

Weatherman is no help.  Predictions haven't been all that accurate lately.  Forecasts are purely potential possibilities.

Just got The Word:  prepare to tap at ten. Was hoping for The Word...from my niece: meet  to ski.  Fun is over, work needs to begin. Question answered.

The party's over....

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Days of the Week

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sun-day

Sang the days of the week to several tunes, read the days of the week in numerous books; that's what kindergarten teachers do...or at least did... when I was teaching.

My 4 year old grand-daughter has known the days of the week for eons it seems, and has incredible calendar skills.  That was eerily apparent in our conversation last night. I asked about the birthday party she had gone to for her friend, and she described the fun they had at McDonald's.  Thinking she would relate to "friends", I mentioned that I had been skiing with my friends earlier in the day.  "Nonna!" she exclaimed...interrupting my sentence..."you don't ski on Wednesday,  you ski on Tuesday!" Nonplussed, I said I like to ski with my friends whenever I can...but I was a bit stunned that in Texas she was so aware of my activities in New York. Listening on the other phone, Tom couldn't hide his surprise. After the conversation he mused that at 4 he probably didn't even know days, months or much else!

So...should it be a surprise that I got a phone call this afternoon thanking me for the perfect timing of the box that had arrived as they returned, sobbing, from pre-school? Why so sad? No surprise once I was informed that the crisis is that next week is Spring Break...NO SCHOOL...horrors! 

Yes, she is something else. She has informed her mother that if she "thinks hard enough, she can probably know everything...but I still don't know how to tell time, or....." So...there are a few things she doesn't know! 

She knows Tuesday isn't Wednesday!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tuesday Friends

'Cause you got to have friends...

Bette Midler knew. 

We seem to have "days of the week" friends.  Sunday we see our "church" friends.  Mondays and Tuesday we see Tom's UGARC friends...if he has a meeting.  Weekends we see our "second home" friends.  

Winter Tuesdays are special for 8 weeks when I can ski with my "Tuesday Ski" friends. We are all seasoned citizens who like to ski, and we've made friendships within the sub-groups and throughout the larger Senior Ski Program.  Don't know all the names or many of the stories, but we recognize each other at the opening joint session before we break into our smaller classes.  Sometimes we meet again ad hoc on Wednesdays without the instructors.

Similarities draw us together...faith, commitment to those less fortunate, proximity, skiing. Through these starting points we create Venn diagrams of overlapping people, activities and "likes".

I know too.

'Cause you got to have friends.....

Friday, February 27, 2009

Life's Ups and Downs

Slip slidin' away, Slip slidin' away...

Paul Simon wrote that long before I found myself sliding down Why Not on Wednesday.  

Tuesday had been one kickin' day of skiing. Grooming and conditions were really good, and we had Alpine Jack skiing all over the mountain! Why Not was a group favorite, and we took turns being asked by Alpine to follow him down various segments. He made the mistake of saying to me "OK...let's do it"...and do it we did!  I flew down...and then figured out he had meant to follow rather than race.  Ooops.  Must admit it was totally worth it when Ski Larry told me Alpine had said I was totally in balance & my skis were well placed. Alpine told me it was "an awesome run"...I thought so, but he confirmed it.

Remember...pride goeth before a fall...

Wednesday I met Larry and Barbara. Another gorgeous day, good conditions and great grooming.  Ski Larry and I had made about 5 runs down Wolverine, a double black...and they were good runs if I say so myself.  We decided to go to the east side and give single black Why Not a shot before meeting Barbara for a run and lunch. The top was just like Tuesday, and I stayed to the right away from the icy patch I remembered...but didn't know about the little trench the groomers had left.  Saw it, got over it, lost balance and just as I thought I had a chance of regaining balance, I was down...slip slidin' away.

Wasn't terribly worried until I felt I had slid far enough...and the feeling of the edge ridge against my back confirmed that.  I definitely didn't want to go over the edge...in any sense. Somehow stopped, minus the left ski...which Gentleman Larry delivered to me. Took stock, got up and we skied off to meet Barbara.

Believe we're gliding down the highway, When in fact we're slip slidin' away...

Ate lunch,  got mostly dried out in the sunny slope-side of the cafeteria and went back out. Not the same. Butchered Wolverine and decided to forgo another run on Why Not. Wanted to, but wisely didn't.

Sore enough the last two days to think it was very wise.

Slip slidin' away, Slip slidin' away, 
You know the nearer your destination, The more you're slip slidin' away. 

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Transition Time

The North wind doth blow, And we will have snow,
And what will the robin do then, Poor thing?...

Well, the song I sang with Kindergarten classes for so many years has come true yet again. I've seen robins and bluebirds in surrounding locales, and now the redwinged blackbirds are appearing at my feeders...amidst snow squalls.  They are my true harbingers of spring's imminent arrival. One appeared Friday, a couple more Saturday and today.  Maybe they're menopausal and need cooler climes.  Not!  They're males.  Probably just forging the way.

The human male in this household forges the way. In the technological area the forging hasn't always been so good. Can you say Beta? Blu-Ray? Seemed like exceptionally good ideas at the time, and in fact were better than VHS and HD-DVD, but that doesn't matter...they're punchlines now. (Not unlike our Vega...google that one if you're too young!) 

So forging the way can be a bit perilous.  For humans, it's just money.  For the feathered friends, it can be life threatening. I do my part to help both species.

He'll sit in the barn, To keep himself warm,
And hide his head under his wing, Poor thing.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Feed the birds II

My Little Chickadee

While I love to feed and watch the birds, I find myself looking for "favorites".  Yes, I'm thrilled to have had several pairs of cardinals who were faithful all winter.  Just showing up was payment enough for me. Have also enjoyed the doves, wrens, starlings, crows (what scavengers!), pheasants, turkeys, juncos and of course the chickadees.  Especially My Little Chickadee. He (I have deemed him a he) has a totally white head and really stands out among the rest. The first time I spotted him I was captivated. Hoping I would catch sight of him, he granted my wish. Then again.  Then the next thing I new we were into mid February and he has been a regular. Tried to capture him...on film...but to no avail.  Throughout the day I glimpse him darting from tree to tree, feeder to feeder.  Makes preparing meals, eating and cleaning up the kitchen fun.
A year ago we had a one-eyed little bird.  Have often wondered what happened to her (yes, I dubbed her a her) as I was doubtful she would last too long.  She was around for quite some time, but - you know what's coming - I lost sight of her. (Sorry - couldn't resist.)

Favorites?...among birds?...among people...among kids or grandkids?  Oh, don't go there.
Well, maybe among the birds.

I do love my little chickadee. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


If I could put time in a bottle, The first thing that I'd like to do...

Actually there are times I wish I could bottle time...save precious moments, extend precious moments and even spend unwise moments better. The song is actually melancholy, and the idea makes one think.  Jim Croce's Time In A Bottle.  Look it up, read or listen to it. Did he have a clue how short his time was to be?

Maybe I can't put time in a bottle, but I can put it on my wrist once again. UPS delivered my new watch and it arrived in an impressive box.  Wonder how much that added to the cost?!  The band has a foolproof closing device...maybe this one will be around for a good, long time.

So I'm back in business...telling time, gaugingItalic time, and spending time.  Wisely, I hope.

But there never seems to be enough time
                To do the things you want to do 
                                      Once you find them...          


Monday, February 16, 2009

Feed the Birds

"Feed the birds, tuppence a bag...

Mary Poppins could get bird seed for tuppence a bag....me, not exactly.  
$19.99 for 50 lbs of black-oil-sunflower seeds at an Agway in Hudson...enough savings for Tom to make a u-turn and buy 3 bags.  One for his mother and two for us...or at least the birds we feed.
Not exactly a bad habit, but a semi-expensive one...rewards?...priceless.
I find the constant kaleidoscopic changes mesmerizing, soothing and full of lessons. 
Birds come in waves.  Not a lot of overlap between species, although some are more tolerant than others toward their fellow feeders. 
Not unlike humans. 

...tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Early each day to the steps of Saint Paul's
The little old bird woman comes.
In her own special way to the people she calls,
"Come, buy my bags full of crumbs.
Come fed the little birds, show them you care
And you'll be glad if you do.
Their young ones are hungry,
Their nests are so bare;
All it takes is tuppence from you."
Feed the birds, tuppence a bag,
Tuppence,tuppence, tuppence a bag.
"Feed the birds," that's what she cries,
While overhead, her birds fill the skies.
All around the cathedral the saints and apostles
Look down as she sells her wares.
Although you can't see it, you know they are smiling
Each time someone shows that he cares.
Though her words are simple and few,
Listen, Listen, she's calling to you:
"Feed the birds, tuppence a bag,
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag."
            - from Mary Poppins

Friday, February 13, 2009

Time...to shop

Does anybody really know what time it is?

I did...until I checked my watch yesterday and it wasn't on my wrist. Hmmmm. Had to get Tom from his meeting and meet Karen for dinner.  Must  have left it home. 
At home it became obvious it was gone. And I really liked that watch.
Not in a pocket...nor the car...nor Shop Rite (yes, I dug the sales slip from the garbage and called).
Oh yes...I remember hearing something "clink" when Tom and I switched drivers at the Stone Church. (He was late for his meeting and had to finish putting on his boots in the car, so he allowed me to drive...for about 3 miles.) 
Drove up this morning, and there was the watch-face in the middle of the road...part of the band off to the side...the rest well hidden as I couldn't find it.
Well, here is my opportunity to use my first Coinstar certificate...for Overstock.com.

Yes, I really know it's time to shop.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Where Am I?

Where Am I?
Am I really here, blogging as if I know what I'm doing?  Apparently so.
Thought I would be skiing, but with 50+ degrees for several days, that is not an option for this semi-sane geezer.
As I showed a Tuesday-skiing-friend the joys of facebook, he asked "Why?"...and when I told him I enjoy seeing what relatives, friends and acquaintances are doing he dubbed me a voyeur.  If the shoe fits... So now I must venture out into the cyberworld and start posting.
Don't check back too often as I doubt there will be much different, but for now I am here.
Where are you?