There's rosemary, that's for remembrance.
William Shakespeare: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Monday, June 29, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

...Of puppy dog tails.....

Out on the ocean sailing away, I can hardly wait, To see you to come of age, But I guess we'll both, Just have to be patient, Yes it's a long way to go, But in the meantime, Before you cross the street, Take my hand, Life is just what happens to you, While your busy making other plans.

My baby turned 40 today. He was and still is my Beautiful Boy. It seems time doubled its march after he was born. It needs to slow to half time. My baby became a.......


....a husband and father......

....a father's son in every way with the small exception of a name.....

....a brother.....

......what every mother wishes for in a son.....

I love you Gil. I love the little boy you were and the man you have become. I hope you read this one post; I hope you know that every time I say I love you it comes from my heart. I hope you know I will always be here for you in some way. I hope you know how proud I am of you.....proud of your accomplishments, of your honesty and ability to stand up and be are what every mother wishes for in a son. mom

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

rosemary, rosemary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

Quite well, thank you.

Over the weekend I read a few posts about gardens; in particular Jennie's garden and Barb's garden. Let me say right up front....I like both of these women a lot. I have known Barb for years and I almost met Jennie when we were in Philly so I feel like we are all BFF's. So, on that note, let me say again, I need to be up front. I think they have somehow embellished the photos they posted or they borrowed some from another source because come on....I know gardening. OK, OK...there was that issue when I was new to gardening when I plucked all of the "dead heads" off the zucchini plants....but I learned from that experience and believe me I know more about gardening now than these two women will ever know. Four foot tomato plant's, lush squash, flowers blah, blah....ladies, really???? Let me show you gardening and then you can revise your posts.

First: Barb gave me several Bee Balm plants. I think these are Bee Balm plants. They could be just big weeds, but I don't think so. Lush, large whatever they are.

These are my Sunflowers coming up. From. Seed. See? Gardening.
Clover. Clover is very difficult to grow...seeds, scattering, wind just right, water, sun....very, very difficult. Real gardening. Green thumb.
Ferns. I will concede that these grow wild and I let God water them...but still....I love them and talk to them and that is the important part of this gardening.
Here we have the infamous spotted knapweed. Knapweed is toxic. You need to wear gloves when messing with this nasty, excuse me....the difference between a flower and a weed is in the eye of the beholder....lovely weed. Knapweed roots spew out stuff that kills everything around it and it takes over everything. Steve and I have spent 3 years trying to get rid of this stuff, but the neighbors all around us don't care so we now have a lovely growth of it. Gardening at its best.....cooperatively gardening.
Spit bugs. I admit I am not fond of them specially when I am wearing shorts.....spit on my legs.....but we have 16 acres here and getting rid of this spit bug does no we just let them spit. See? Complimentary gardening.

Here we have hawkweed. It kinda looks like an orange dandelion only really tall. We have tons this year. Prolific gardening.

Yellow weed of some kind. You can name it. New to our forest. Welcoming gardening.
Red brushy looking weed. Cleaning tool gardening?
My favorites are wild daisies. They are not as thick as in previous years. See spotted knapweed. Not nice sharing gardening.
Sweet Williams....another green thumb effort and master gardening at work.
This is Sachi last year with her dead apple tree.
See this? Sprouting from the dead apple tree.....PhD in gardening and I didn't have to do anything.

Here is Spencer with what is now a dead dwarf peach tree. See? Dead.

Here is the replacement apple tree. We have had it 2 weeks. Not dead yet. Fingers crossed gardening.
What we thought was a dead pluot tree.....sprouting. Two effortless green thumbs once again.

Here is the cherry tree we bought to replace the then dead pluot. We actually ate two of those cute cherries. The tree is still alive....thank goodness gardening.

I have not posted what is actually growing in the garden.....hurt feelings and all. We have two 4" tomato plants that have been 4" for over a month. We have three rows of onions...they have grown a tad. We have two huge chive plants that have already bloomed and a straggly thyme plant. We also planted 5 shriveled up, sprouting 6 " things that are supposed to be potatoes. Now there is a stupid plant if I ever saw one. You make a hole, put the shriveled up thing in it, pile a mound of dirt around it and water. Difficult I know; you might want to read that again. So what happens? A bunch of leaves sprout in places nowhere near the mounds...and I mean a lot of leaves.....but no potatoes in sight. What am I supposed to be looking for? Do I have to dig them up? When? Hello...potatoes, come out, come out wherever you are.

So, there you have a Master Gardener's look at home gardening. Email for tips or questions. I am happy to share everything I have learned over the years.

This photo? I just like it that's all.......two kids in the shadow of the bridge over the water being happy from nurturing and love....just like a garden but they give love back in the form of flower kisses and tree leaf hugs.

Monday, June 22, 2009

This little happy face.....

.......Transformer loving, Big Wheel riding, full of life, much loved grandson, Spencer, turns 4 today. Time is going by waaaaay too fast. Love you to pieces, Spencer and I am sending you 4 birthday kisses.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


This was originally posted in January of 2007. I love and miss my daddy every day.

Last month my blogger best friend Gina of eclectic-defined (see my favorites) wrote the most beautiful blog in memory of her mother who had passed away.

I was cleaning today and playing as loudly as I could Hungarian Rhapsody #2. One of my most vivid childhood memories is when I was 5......I was in my bedroom with the door closed but not shut. I had a record player, the box type that looked like a tiny suitcase and it played 78's. I was playing the #2 Rhapsody. I had several scarves; one was tied around my head and I was pretending I had long hair and there was a scarf in each hand. I was dancing round and round, stomping my feet and singing la la la-a-a, la la la-a-a. I saw my dad peeking at me through the cracked door and stopped dead on the spot because I was so embarrassed and I started to cry.

My dad was not a tender man in gesture but what he said to me that day has never left me...."Dance Rosebud, dance.".....and he closed the door. He was the one that gave me that name and when I was old enough to never want to be called that by anyone he still did but with love.

My dad will have been gone 20 years tomorrow. He would have been 103 last year. I am an older woman, I think 103 is ancient but when my dad died at 83, I didn't think of him as old.

I usually called him Daddy unless I had called him on the phone, then it was "Hi Pops." My mom called him dad as did my brother. My kids called him Papa, to casual friends he was Bob and to his old cronies he was Baldy. His given name was Robert Marion.

It is hard to imagine one's parents as children. After all, they have always been adults to their children. I have pictures of my dad when he was a a dark colored, coarse appearing jacket and knicker pants. The shirt he is wearing has a collar that looks tight and he once said he felt like a pencil neck kid in that shirt. Another picture of him as a young adult shows him trim and fit in a plaid jacket and wearing an English driving cap. He is standing next to an old Ford.....his stance is proud, his foot rests on the running board and he looks carefree and happy.

My mind's picture of my dad is of him in his size 52 Levis faded at the knees. He cuffed them at the bottom and would drop his cigar ashes in this hidden spot. The rest of his daily wardrobe consisted of J.C. Penny chambray shirts and Romeo "slippers" that were his and dress up.

My dad's face over the years changed little...his eyes remained a crisp blue with a few laugh lines at the corners. Internally Glaucoma, Diabetes and Hypertension were taking their toll. As I sit here typing this blog I can smell him....the faint odor of fresh cut wood, sweet and comforting. His Friar Tuck head always had a baseball cap on it with a trucking logo on the front...this was his life's work, trucking.

By the time I was born my dad was a hard living, hard drinking man ....he had grown up poor in the back woods of Ohio and had run away to California hoping for a better life. He worked in a bakery for a while, married and had a daughter Barbara Jean who was born deaf. He lost everything in the 20's including his family. Eventually he went to work for Crow Trucking and began his career.

He met my mom in the early 40's and I came along in 1944...his Rosebud. By the time I was born he was working for Roscoe Moss Water Wells as a senior driver. He was the leader of a bunch of rowdies that partied by having BBQ's and beer busts. I was scared sometimes of my dad as a kid but I think that came more from my mother's reaction to his drinking and her personal miseries......and his absences from home on long haul trips did little to foster a father/daughter relationship.

As a grown woman and mother my relationship with my dad changed; he changed.....his driving was replaced with the title of Yard Foreman. He drank a beer occasionally but the cigars were replaced with toothpicks. Only the Levi's, blue shirts and slippers remained the same.....suddenly he was a grandfather; a gentle loving man with a soft voice and a tenderness with my children I thought I had never known. But then I would remember a daddy that called me "pumpkin" and Rosebud, watched Hopalong Cassidy with me on TV and showed me off to the boys at the truck yard. I remembered going on runs with him to Barstow in his truck and holding my hand at my First Communion, standing with him next to his '55 Chevy and in front of his prized brick BBQ.

My dad's retirement years were my closest with him mainly because my mother loosened her need to be involved in every interaction I had with him. We spent hours talking about his childhood and mine too. He grew beef stake tomatoes and 5 foot long beans. He loved the earth and plants, wood working and making gifts for my children with his special saws and tools. He was a wild coupon collector, did all of the grocery shopping and most of the cooking. He never had a charge card and bought their home, cars and everything else with cash.

In his last year, every morning, rain or shine, he would walk the block around his home and talk to the neighbors, look at plants and pets and then share the gossip with my mother when he got home. He loved the Dodgers and if he was unable to attend the games, he would sit in his lounge chair and fall asleep listening to them on the radio.

He was loving, tender, distant at times, sometimes quiet, sometimes loud, honorable, dependable and my friend. He was all things that a daddy should be.

He showed me how to have the strength of character to weather hard times and grow and learn from them. He loved unconditionally....a rarity....and something I have yet to master. I know I learned from his thriftiness and am today trying to appreciate the woods and plants around me because of my dad. He lived what a parent should be to an adult child.....something just as challenging as the raising process.

I wish my dad could see all that I have accomplished, how I have changed, how I appreciate him. No matter my age or the years since he has been gone, I love my dad more than any of these words can express.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fish lips, feathers and kids.

Our trip was topped off with whipped cream and cherries when we went to the Long Beach Aquarium on Friday with Gil, Sachiko and Spencer. This little family loves the Aquarium so much they have year round tickets. We were given guest tickets for Mother's and Father's day so we already knew an adventure was waiting. Sachiko and Spencer are perfect tour guides because they know all of the "good places."

Spencer had a great time getting wet on a squid......he knows exactly when the spouts go off and managed to direct some of the water onto the parents standing on the sidelines. Everyone squealed with joy.

Sachiko befriended this sort of Wallaby....I have forgotten its official name. She talked to it and told it she was sorry it was behind a fence.

Lorikeet forest was great fun.....bird poop and not so happy birds aside.

You can buy sweet water to feed the birds. Obviously Sachi and Spencer know just the right technique to get the birds to snack with them.

Speaking of snacks....time out for some grapes and string cheese.
The Aquarium itself is absolutely wondrous.....with everyone looking closely we were able to find all kinds of water secrets.

Anemones look so soft and are colorful (That is not an anemone in Sachi's hand...that's Holly WebKinz).
My little boy was if it was his first visit.
The kids could identify lots of the fish in the big tanks.

My little girl smiled happily.

Pools of small rays are fun for little hands to touch. To be honest....I didn't touch one ray.....not a little one and for sure not the ones as big as a flying saucer.

The day ended with a late lunch at Bubba Gumps. I had grilled shrimp tacos. There were three of them and they were huge. Popcorn shrimp, fries, blue and pink drinks and iced tea decorated the table as well.

We had a great time and hopefully the next time we are in California the kids will take us to the Aquarium again.

As if whipped cream and cherries weren't enough......we added nuts on Saturday. One of our favorite places is the Redondo Beach Pier. The last time we were there was for my 50th birthday....almost 15 years ago. We were meeting Chris and my brother-in-law at Tony's for dinner. Tony's serves some of the best sea food around. Here is a long shot.......then

...a little bit closer.

A view from the pier. The weather was perfect. We sat on benches and people watched. Interesting to say the least.

This fellow was not happy.....he was quietly sitting on his rail taking a snooze when who should come along but a bunch of tourists from a bus snapping pictures, flashes going off all around(I was standing quite a distance away) and folks and kids acting stupid trying to jump close and touch him. He rightfully took a nip at some one's hand. Took care of that group really fast.

We strolled over to a bench to sit and look at the ocean. Steve pointed out one bench to sit on...I said, No. Let's sit over there where the sun isn't in my face. I managed to lean into pigeon or gull poop on the back of the bench. Did you know pigeon or gull poop stains do not come out of a white t-shirt or off a handbag fabric strap? They don't....not even with stain remover and a tooth brushing.

We stayed at the Costa Mesa Marriott Hotel for both graduation trips. Great place to relax. You know, when we travel I am rarely bothered with the every day aches and pains that plague me at home. Proof I think, that I was meant to be, at a minimum, a Princess.

We flew home early Sunday. I had 5 loads of wash to do. The end.