Thursday, May 31, 2012


One of the things I didn't like about teaching was watching sweet, sensitive, smart kids crying because somebody was being mean to them.  I don't intend to imply that all smart kids are sensitive and bullies aren't smart.  I just found myself watching and many times the bullies weren't the smartest ones.
And it wasn't always boys who were the bullies.  One year the slowest girl intellectually was trying to get all the rest of the girls to ostracize another little girl who had an unfortunate home life.  The one being picked on was hard-working and nice. 
  I know school is a place where kids have to be.  But to allow one child to try to isolate another child was wrong.  So I kept the girls in and asked the other girls how it made them feel to have this one girl tell them what to do.  The other girls were hesitant to say anything but one said that it made her unhappy because nobody was supposed to tell her what to do.  I didn't think it would make as big an impression if I just said it was wrong.
If that were the only instance, it wouldn't have been such a pain to me.
As adults, we don't have to go anywhere except work.  We can choose who we associate with.  If I can't find somebody who likes and respects me, I'm OK with being alone.
Kids don't really have that option.
Organizations are sometimes places where adult bullies have freedom to oppress others.  Churches, clubs, committees, all have hierarchies within them.  If narrow-minded people run those places, tolerant people have to disassociate themselves from them.  Find a place where your efforts are welcome.
When the bullying is physical, my discussion with the students was to quietly go stand beside the person.  That would let the bully know the person wasn't alone. They didn't have to say anything.  Sometimes there would be a long line of people standing.  This was better because "taking up for the person" sometimes got everybody in trouble.
The children who were picked on as children...I like to picture them deciding not to let others determine their self worth.  The loudest person isn't always the one who is right. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It's Best

I made a pasta salad at my husband's request.  I used dreamfield's pasta and put tuna, a cucumber, a bell pepper, a can of asparagus pieces, some olives, a small can of English peas, two boiled eggs, a can of kidney beans, and mayonaise.
It didn't all fit in one container so I put some in a bowl to eat and asked my husband if he was ready for a bowl.  He said, "It's best when it's cold."
I said, "It's best when I'm hungry."

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


We had storms off and on today.  Our area is over ten inches low on rainfall for this month so today's inch of rain was good.  The hail we probably could have done without.  Five hours without power wasn't great, either.  The generator kept almost everything running (but not my computer).  I wonder how much propane it used in five hours.  But the well, air conditioner, pump, lights and appliances in three rooms and at least one bath were on, as well as the freezers.
It's the first time since we moved in our house that the power has been out more than an hour. 

Eating Out

Eating out can be tricky on a diet.  A couple of places have low-carb offerings.  Cracker Barrel and Hardies are a couple that I know of and like.  Some places have perfectly innocent-looking food, but they've loaded it with sugar or put something else in it.  At Cheddars I ordered broccoli-cheese casserole, but it had rice in it.  Why couldn't they have called it broccoli-cheese-rice casserole?  They were nice about it.  I had discussed it with the waitress before I ordered it.  When it came with rice as an ingredient, she cheerfully exchanged it.
But today at the hospital, the two entree choices were fried chicken nuggets and spaghetti with meat sauce.  The sides were fried onion rings, mac and cheese, pinto beans, corn, and steamed cabbage.  The steamed cabbage was the only thing on my diet.  The difficult part was that I liked all of those things and they looked well-prepared.  So I ended up eating a salad.  I don't like salad all that much but it was an offering and it was on my diet.
 I'd rather have had food.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Day Lilies

 Day Lilies have started to bloom.  This is one of my favorites.  Mama's friend, Rudine, gave me a bunch of daylilies and irises.  They weren't blooming at the time, so I just dug up some from different parts of the flower bed, hoping to get different kinds.
This is one we bought at the Farmer's Market last year.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Every Day There's Something

Larry has been working on his grill hut.
I planted strawberries in some old tires.  I got the idea from permaculture books.  Larry didn't like the idea so I put them where they couldn't be seen from the road.  I liked the idea because the stacked tires make a raised bed and are easy to water.

This lavender has just started to bloom.  It smells lovely and is full of bees.

Larry found a mimosa tree on our property and moved it beside the driveway.  I love watching the butterflies and bees that enjoy this tree.

Some of Larry's grapes were killed off with the last frost, but some survived.

Larry's running rattlesnake green beans have started to climb.  The peas are coming along well.  He has them mulched with hay.  The hay around the green beans provided plenty of seeds for grass.  I hope he gets rid of the grass before it is time to pick the beans.

I tried to dig a hole to plant this little curly maple, but the clay was too hard.  I used my Mantis to dig the hole.  It turned the dirt clods into powder which was easy to deal with.  The water soaked right in, too.  Since I had the Mantis out there, I used it to edge weeds along the edge of part of the rose strip paralleling the road.  It is hard to cut right up to mulch, so sometimes the strip is lined with tall weeds.  Using the Mantis, I could knock the weeds down, and till in some of the mulch,  win-win.

The flower boxes and baskets are looking better.

Impatiens do well if I plant them and water them.  They also do well if I just drop them on the ground, throw mulch over them and water them.  I have to say, plan two is easier.

This is the first year the plum tree has made more than one plum.

The gardenias have started to bloom.  Aunt Annie picks some to put in a glass in her kitchen window.  She enjoys the fragrance and just leaves them there until they root.  I wonder if mine will root.  I don't think it is possible to have too many gardenias.

This shows the drip irrigation I've spent some time on this morning unclogging the tiny sprayers.  I should have done it sooner.  

Freedom of Religion

I've noticed in the news that the Catholic higher-ups have filed suit against President Obama based on freedom of religion.  I had been wondering why nobody was apparently concerned.
Their mention is of the government's definition of religion.  It is apparently what takes place in church.  The government has missed out on the idea that if one goes to church, it may be from a conviction that influences every aspect of life...from education to health care and everything in between.
I'm very sorry that the Catholics are standing alone on this issue.  Erosion of our freedoms toward one group is a foreshadowing of what will happen to the next group.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


I have not been able to connect to the internet since Thursday night.  I don't know what happened but Thursday evening it worked.  Friday morning it didn't.
Today I took my old wireless adapter to Best Buy.  I didn't have the receipt but basically I didn't want to buy the same one again.  The clerk showed me a couple of others that he said were better.  I picked a different brand and took it to customer service because the clerk said they might give me credit for the other.  I thought I bought it in April, but no receipt.
At customer service the lady scanned it and scanned my card and said I had gotten it at the end of March and gave me credit on the new one:)
Both people were nice and went out of their way to be helpful.  I wasn't expecting anything back because even though I had the box it came in, I hadn't kept the receipt and hadn't asked...they offered!
Some poor guy there had set off the security alarm on the Apples and the clerk was crawling under the counters right before he got to me.  He was calm, pleasant, no nervous breakdown in sight!
I got my usb adapter home and couldn't get it to work.  The tech support number popped up and the guy helped me...and this wasn't easy.  When I spelled my name and he spelled it back to me, I couldn't even tell if he got it right.  So considering the language difficulty, I appreciated his patience.  At one point I had to go find a magnifying glass to read a number he wanted.  I understand he was getting paid, but if he understood me as badly as I understood him, he has a very difficult job...and now I have connectivity again:)

Thursday, May 24, 2012


"Can we borrow your hose again?"
"Can you tell I'm using it?"


I love Mexican food.  Some of it is on my diet, some isn't.  But I found a sour cream enchilada recipe in the Tennessee Farm Bureau magazine.  I made it exactly as it was in the magazine except I used low-carb tortillas and added chopped hot peppers.  It was pretty good, but the can of cream of chicken soup and the can of cream of mushroom soup will be omitted next time and replaced with cream cheese.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


My friend who lives near me has retired!  I look forward to having somebody to play with:)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hugh Laurie - Moron to Genius

I liked Hugh Laurie in House.  The first time I remember seeing him act, though, was in Black Adder.  He played a simpleton every bit as well as he played a genius in House.
Watching House did not remind me of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, but the Sherlock Holmes movie I saw did remind me of House and Wilson.  I don't think the relationship between Holmes and Watson was quite as dysfunctional as that between House and Wilson.
The two-house conclusion of the series would have been improved, to me, if they'd omitted the first hour.  I'm glad they had a good time putting on the show.  But not an hour's worth of glad.
Then the ghosts of characters past showed up in the final episode and House decided he could do better.  It didn't end with "God bless us every one," but maybe God bless House and Wilson.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Morning Walk

 I tried walking for exercise and didn't like it.  This morning I walked with my camera, a bucket, snips, and a digging tool.  This is Larry watering my gourds.
This is a fig tree.  It's its second year.  It has little figs on it.  Larry had it covered with hay bales and a tarp for the winter.  Fig trees smell nice.

These lilies were freebies in an order we made several years ago.

This is Larry's first cabbage harvested this year.  His cabbage plants are the prettiest I've ever seen.  In fact, I don't think I ever put cabbage and pretty in the same thought before.

This went on my morning walk with my camera and me.  I deadheaded as I went and hit a lick at some plants growing where I didn't want them.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Pasta Dish

Today I decided I was in the mood for pasta (I used my Dreamfields pasta so it was on our diet).
I put a whole lot of garlic, some olive oil, diced jalapeno, and black olives in it.  Larry ate his and said I got too much garlic.  I thought I did, too.  I put two cloves of elephant garlic in.  I thought it would be mild enough that it would be just enough.  It wasn't mild at all.  It was strong.  It was still good enough to make again.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Summer Kitchen

Larry made the trusses last week.  They put them up this morning.
The blue metal roof isn't as dark in bright sunlight.  It looks aquamarine in the picture, but it is darker.

But my Daddy Died

No, I didn't call him Dad, Pop, whatever, he was Daddy.  I don't know if you realize that nobody can annoy you as much as somebody you love.
When Daddy died, I got a new take on life.  When somebody I love does something that annoys me, I try to keep in mind that I have that person in my life still.
So when I'm wiping crumbs off the counter, peanut hulls from under Larry's chair, water spots from the sink, I can stew over the tiny irritations, but it's better if I realize that if he dies, I won't have those irritations.  I won't have him, and he is much more than the sum of my irritations.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Health Update

They test for a lot of things every six months.  The doctor wants it to be every 4 months.  But anyway, we went for our consultation following the lab work done Monday.
My glucose was in the normal range, my A1C was 5.9 (down from 6.1) and the high end of the range is 5.7.
My cholesterol is in the normal range except my hdl was 75 and 60 is the high end.  But hdl is the good one and nobody wants me to bring that number down so it will be in the normal range.
My triglycerides were 75.
So those were the numbers I was concerned with and they were all good.
Larry's numbers weren't good, but they were all better than last time.  So it was an excellent report for both of us.  The doctor asked what diet I use and I told him, low carb, low sugar, high protein, high fiber, high fat...the Atkins diet.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

You've Got a Pretty Place

I snapped this picture from my front porch.  He saw me and called out, "You've got a pretty place."
I'm pretty sure he couldn't see the possum lying dead right beside my front step.
Larry said a coyote must have brought it there and then been frightened away by the motion-detector lights.  I wish the coyote had taken it off when it ran. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

When People Go on a Rant

When people go on a rant about politics and specify GOP or Dems, I actually think that may be a healthy attitude because they apparently think the other side would do better.
"The GOP doesn't care," by implication means "The Dems Care."
I think "Politicians don't care" sums it up for me.  I think most of them are bellied up to the government trough. I think others who are trying to do a good job are too stupid to accomplish their goals.
To find out who may have brain one and has actually gone in to public service to serve, I think we should watch the media...they will be showing us what dorks the politicians are even if they have to stage it.

Monday, May 14, 2012

It Isn't Easy Being Me (Or My Doctor)

My feet hurt.  They have hurt for years.  I thought it was from working on concrete floors at school.  But after I retired, they still hurt.  Walking helped some, but not enough.  I couldn't tell if I was making them better or worse.
So I made an appointment with a podiatrist.  I told him, "I want you to tell me I don't have deep-vein thrombosis or bone cancer."
He said I just have spider veins and they aren't very bad.  He said my circulation was good.
I said but my feet are cold (still thinking something is terribly wrong).  He said (with a completely straight face and no quiver in his voice indicating that he was trying hard not to laugh at me...he was good), "Your feet are cold because the nerves in your feet are sending a message to your brain that your feet are cold."
Now this was very helpful.  Nothing is wrong with me except I need to exercise my feet.  I came home and looked up arch exercises and got started.  My feet feel better already.
The whole idea that something is terribly wrong every time I have any twinge is Larry's fault.  I've watched him ignore things until he'd end up in the hospital and have big awful scars.    And I'm not always wrong.  I'm not always over-reacting.  The melanoma I found on my leg was tiny, the smallest their lab had ever seen...but catching it small is good.


I've tried a lot of things to help me sleep.  Larry says he thinks about what he wants to accomplish the next day and then drops right off to sleep.  I tried that but I just wanted to get up and write my list down.  I have tried a lot of things. I tried keeping my mind totally bland, counting sheep, saying the alphabet backwards, drinking (I wake up about 2:30 a.m.).
This past week I have been visualizing myself I'm above the bed looking down.  I look very comfortable, relaxed, and asleep. This has been good.  I've dropped off to sleep without getting back up after an hour and a half, reading another hour or so, and then trying again.
I don't know if it will continue to work, but I'm pretty happy with it right now.

Mine! Mine! Mine!

Hummingbirds are evidently pretty territorial.  This one drinks from the feeder and then stands guard.  Any other hummingbirds that try to share are chased away.  

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Medicare Concerns Me

Medicare concerns me for several reasons.  For one thing, I don't know if "they" are going to decide I am not worth the upkeep at some point.
But that isn't what made me decide to blog about this.  People call on the phone and try to get me to buy things all the time even though I had my name put on the "Do not call" list.  Now people call and try to get me to agree to receiving things with the understanding that "Medicare will pay."
Yesterday I went to a podiatrist.  He suggested inserts for my shoes and told me where to go to get them (not WalMart).  I went and the receptionist said, "Why not get some of the specially-made shoes?  Medicare will pay for one pair a year and three inserts."
The doctor didn't say I needed specially-made shoes.  I am aware that some people do need them.  I am afraid that too many people think "Medicare will pay" means "It's free."


Bath and Body Works has a line of coconut lime products.  Lovely fragrance!  Sea Island Cotton was my favorite before this.  It didn't smell wonderful, but it didn't make me cringe.
I went to my podiatrist appointment.  He said that knot on my foot is a ganglion cyst.  I looked it up when I got home and it was called a Bible cyst at one time because people would try to cause it to erupt with a heavy book.  Not a suggested treatment.  More people get them on their hands, but the second most common location is the feet.
I ordered Nathan Lowell's Double Share which just became available in e format.  I really like the series.  I ordered it from them instead of from Amazon because it said the author would get more of the money and it wouldn't cost me as much.  Win-win.  Except if I had ordered it from Amazon I would have had it right then and this way it took several days.  Emailing back and forth was odd because I emailed the format request.  A couple of days later he said I hadn't sent the format request so he was sending several.  But I didn't get it.  I sent another email with the format request and this morning I got it.  I transferred it to my Kindle.  It is there.  But then my netgear was disabled and I couldn't connect.  I enabled it again (finally).  It may not have had anything to do with the ebook.  It doesn't seem to like it that I'm using my Fire with it and the computer.  But what does a wireless think it's going to do...just run one thing?
Anyway, there for a while it was looking as if I'd need to dash up to the hospital to use their wireless!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Today's Plan

 This is a clump of day lilies I'd like to get out from under a bush.  I didn't plant them under the bush, but the bush grew.
 I put a tsp of yeast, a tsp of sugar and about 1/6 liter of warm water in these plastic bottles I've been saving.  I am going to bury them at a slant to see if slugs and snails actually will crawl in but not out.
 Larry is building what he calls a grill hut.  I think it is more like a summer kitchen because he is going to run a gas line and power line to it so we can put up vegetables in the canner out there without putting the heat and humidity into the house.  He is building it a little at a time (some out of each paycheck).
 I got my pictures out of order.  I'm still planting seedlings.
 It is difficult to tell, but this is two trusses.  He built them yesterday.
 This shows the other two he built yesterday.  You can also see Daddy's old nail gun he's using.  I helped on one of them.  I stood on a board so it would flatten out enough to he could nail it.  I think he just had me help him on one of them because I wanted him to stop and let me take him to the doctor...he was making awful sounds.
 He has lots of pieces of wood cut so all he has to do is put a bunch more trusses together.  These are intended to roof the summer kitchen.  He ordered the metal yesterday.  The guy at the lumber yard asked if he wanted ocean blue to go with the house.  I thought it was pretty interesting that he remembered what color our roof is.  Larry only remembered blue.  I remembered ocean blue so I knew the guy was right.
 More pieces of wood stacked to use on the trusses.  You can also see the cabinets he's made since he turned it into a shop.
One of the cabinets visible in this shot will go into the summer kitchen.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hummingbirds Are Back

There were three when I thought I snapped the picture.  I only see two right in the air to the left of the feeder and one at the feeder on the right with a backdrop of trees.

Larry's Stuff

 This part of Larry's garden has potatoes and corn.  He has started mulching it with old hay.  I know hay isn't supposed to be wonderful for mulch because it contains seeds, but it is not this year's hay.  It may not even be last year's.  We planted sunflower seeds in the skips.  They haven't sprouted yet.
 These are his potatoes, all hilled and mulched.
 This is the muscadine arbor.
This little birdnest is in one of his grape vines.  The open beak is above and a little to the left of my thumb.  There are three baby birds in the next.  I was lucky to get even one in the picture because the sun was shining on the digital display.
In this part of his garden he has cabbages, Brussel sprouts, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and marigolds.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I'm Not Gay

I'm wondering about people voting about what marriage is.  It seems to me that the separation of church and state is violated with this problem.  It seems that people can be married in a religious ceremony but they also need to take care of the civil technicalities.  People can just be married in a civil ceremony.  All this time I've been thinking that the civil end of it was just another way for the government to make a buck...or a few.  But the overlap where married people have different rules than single people because of this ceremony seems interesting.  The part where the government has any say-so at all seems odd.  Why don't they allow the various denominations to determine the beliefs they uphold and just charge a license fee to any who commit to cohabitation legally?
I'm sure there are a lot of ramifications I haven't thought of.
It isn't illegal to room with a person of the same gender.  Does the government really care who people have sex with as long as they aren't inflicting it on someone who objects?
I'll bet there are heterosexual couples who are married who don't have sex.  Does the government care?
Over half the states in the United States have voted on what marriage is.  It just seems like a religious thing not a civil one.

Fidget While Sitting Still

It turns out that my Kindle Fire allows me to fidget while sitting still.  I read some of Maximum Ride, a few pages of a Permaculture book, a few pages of an Atkins book, took notes on the two nonfiction books, looked up heirloom wheat (I heard that wheat has been genetically modified to make the yield larger, but it also causes the body to form more fat), checked my email, checked other people's blogs, went back through the three books, over and over.  I was at the hospital.  I did everything on my list of "chores" talked to whoever came in, sold a couple of things, and entertained myself with my Kindle.
Back when I read real books as opposed to ebooks, I would have taken one book with me to the hospital.  I wouldn't have wanted to have stuck with that book, but that would have been all I had.
With a Kindle Fire, it is easy to flip back and forth because the most recent books are "on top."

Monday, May 7, 2012

Bald Spots

 These chunks of grass came from the edge of a flower bed.
 Larry said they are too tall.  I said for him not to cut them until they have reestablished their roots, then just scalp them with the lawn mower.  He said it is bad for the lawnmower.  I said to just never cut them.  I dug the holes as well as I could and I didn't see him out there helping.  I'm sure I would have noticed.
We planted bulbs here.  The oak seedlings are doing the best however.  Today I plan to put garlic, cilantro, tomatoes, peppers and mulch here.  The bulbs may rot because I will be watering this section.  I'm not sure what I will use to edge it.  I want something free.  We don't have enough rocks.  I may use monkey grass.  Larry thinks I should use treated lumber.  The only way that will be free is if treated lumber suddenly drops from the sky.  That hasn't happened so far in my life, and I'm really OK with it.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Big Three

We went to Kenya a couple of times and while we were there, we went on photo safaris.  The big three there were rhinos, leopards, and lions.
I'm not a fan of wildlife, actually.  It was interesting to see the animals that we normally only see in zoos roaming around...not always in Nature Parks.
Now we live in Tennessee.  We have annoying wildlife, here, too.  Sometimes I'm happy to see them, but more often, I'm wondering if they are going to eat sometime.
For me, here in Tennessee, the big three are seeing indigo buntings, goldfinches, and cardinals all together.  I can't get a picture that shows them clearly, but they are wonderful together.  Each of those birds is individually charming, but together, the colors really pop.
I saw my big three today:)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

It's Pretty Right Now

I'm not great at living in the moment.  I had a fourteen-year-old boy helping me in the yard this morning.  I said, "It's going to look really pretty"
He said, "It looks really pretty right now."
I was somewhat taken aback because I tend to see what I'm planning.
I should enjoy the moment more.
I had him dig up the irises from my rose hill and plant them in this strip.  I wanted the colors mixed so we took care of that.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Some Days Are Better Than Others

 All of our ground isn't bare.  The structures visible in this view are for grapes and muscadines.
 The dark spots are holes for a ground cover Larry decided would be good.  They are tiny juniper-looking things.  Larry dug eight holes with a shovel yesterday and four this morning.  I dug six this morning with my Mantis.  It is easier to dig with a Mantis.  The dirt is lovely when the Mantis gets through churning it up.
 This is what they look like.  The dirt is some from a shovel-dug hole...see the clumps?
 More blooms have opened on the Little Gem Magnolia.
 My idea of ground cover is knock-out roses, day lilies, irises, and things that will seed.  I'm also rooting crepe myrtles to go between the roses.  In my mind, the crepe myrtles and roses are the same color.  I guess I'll see if the crepe myrtles ever bloom.
 Here is Larry operating a shovel:)  He was exhausted after digging four holes in this hard clay.
 Most of the irises are finished...but the day lilies have started putting up a few bloom stalks.
 Eddie Jean stopped by today and ran the cable for the fountain.  Then he put "Caution" tape in.  The cable is inside 3/4" pipe.  It isn't connected to anything yet, but I can cover it up and plant flowers.  I asked if the yellow tape is so I won't forget about the pipe.  He said he knows I know where it is, but if somebody else digs, they'll have a clue. The dirt to the right of the trench has been there long enough to be hard.
I ran the mantis through the ridge.  Then Larry started filling in the trench before I had a chance to tell him I wanted to drop plants in before filling it in.  Oh well, the dirt was easy to make holes for the leggy impatiens I am going to put there.