Thursday, May 28, 2009

An unplanned day off

Tried to log in to work from home this morning and just got the 'clunk' sound. Kinda makes me laugh, that clunk, as it sounds like something mechanical went wrong. But something quite electronic was keeping me from logging in. Luckily, my son does hardware support at my office so I put him on the task. I won't go into the details here, but I blame the security system at work that keeps all the computers up to date and cleans off things from our computers that it 'thinks' don't belong there. And of course, there's the problem. A program, no matter how smart, can't really think, and so it deletes permissions and setups here and there. Nobody really knows what it's doing. After an hour and a half of troubleshooting, I told my boss I'd rather take the day off and get some stuff done at home. And so I did.

Did a couple more patches of lasagna mulching amongst the myrtle. This is coming along well and goes a little faster each time as I get the hang of it. I've modified the program a bit. Instead of newspaper, peat moss, grass, peat moss, I leave out the first peat moss and just top it all with peat moss. As it gets watered in over the coming days, it all mixes together anyway, so why give myself an unnecessary step. The grass definitely spreads more easily dry and I will try to keep up and use my grass clippings right away every time now.

I think the people driving by must think I'm crazy working out in the hot sun on that hillside. They would probably just plow all this myrtle under and re-landscape some other way. So many here hire yard people -- I'm talking homeowners who are the ages of my kids! These young familes clearly are not geared to taking care of their own yards.

But as for me, I have strength and energy, I have newspapers and grass clippings. I have hundreds and hundreds of myrtle plants. Why not use all these things if I can? Why spend money to put in something else? The only thing I need to buy is the peat moss. (which is quite expensive at $13 for a 3 cu yd compressed brick). By the way, I figured out how to get that huge brick up my steep hill without carrying it. I just roll it end over end. You must be resourceful when you aren't strong enough.

So now I'm finished with outside work for the day. I will run the sprinklers a little later just in the areas where the transplants are still getting started. But now I'm going to clean up and go get a nice bottle of wine as my friend has returned from points north and is coming over to see me in a couple of hours.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Poetry Wednesday: A Barred Owl

Visit Jacqui's Multi-blog Poetry Wednesday

A short poem:

A Barred Owl

The warping night air having brought the boom

Of an owl’s voice into her darkened room,

We tell the wakened child that all she heard

Was an odd question from a forest bird,

Asking of us, if rightly listened to,

“Who cooks for you?” and then “Who cooks for you?”

Words, which can make our terrors bravely clear,

Can also thus domesticate a fear,

And send a small child back to sleep at night

Not listening for the sound of stealthy flight

Or dreaming of some small thing in a claw

Borne up to some dark branch and eaten raw.

Richard Wilbur

U.S. Poet laureate 1987-88 and winner of a Pulitzer Prize, you can read more about this poet here.

By the way, if an owl could write poetry, would that make it a Bard Owl?

Monday, May 25, 2009


Every year I lose plants and I add plants. Trying to perfect various areas of the yard. Last year I know I was planting new things all summer long. Some specialty sunflowers I planted didn't make it through the winter. I should have known - they looked pretty exotic and probably were not for my zone. I also noticed that last of my beloved bee balm has died. I don't know if I'll try to replace any of them. They seem prone to disease and eventually die off. I also lost some hyssop where the gophers came up last fall. I buy hyssop every chance I get and stick it somewhere. Later in July I'll have hummingbird buzzing around like bees.

Today I spent a couple of hours walking around the yard, locating volunteer plants, and moving them to places that needed some filling. After all, if a plant likes the location so well that it gives me new baby plants, I think we need to go with that success. The following are some things I managed to find and transplant:

Russian Sage. You can actually have too much of this large bushy plant so, sometimes I just pull them up and throw them away. They need to be in the back or at the corner of a plot as they get to be four feet wide and four feet tall. I did transplant one little fellow today.

Blanket Flower. This low-growing flower looks like a weed until it blooms and then it has the prettiest yellow and orange flowers you can imagine. I had one volunteer in a spot where I had moved one previously. Must have seeded down or left some roots. At any rate, a free plant.

Lavendar. I have found lots of starts of this fragrant plant. I let them get a little established before transplanting. They start out as one single stem, and then branch out from there.

Ice Plant. I needed a couple of places filled in with yellow in my new border area. I just chopped off a section from the well established plants in the backyard by the birdbath.

Pink Chintz Thyme. I have enough of this I could make dozens of starts if I wanted. I just took my shovel and chopped off a nice piece here and there and extended both ends of my pathway that's starting to look more like a little stream as it fills in.

Jupiter's Beard. I took five well-established plants and moved them to that upper sidewalk on the south. It will be a real test for these most hardy of plants as this is right by both the sidewalk and hot asphalt road. They'll need watering at least twice, maybe three times a day, until they are established.

Coreopsis. This was not a volunteer, but a plant that was being squeezed out by some huge daisies. I noticed there are two more plants that also look like coreopsis there, but I will wait and be sure they aren't just weeds.

Artemesia. Like the coreopsis, this one just needed moving as everything around it was encroaching. Plus I didn't like three of these pretty silver mounds right together.

What remains are several scrub oak plants. This plant is native to this hillside and grows everywhere with just rainfall to keep it growing. I have four or five nice little plants, and I am going to plant them on the west side of the house to eventually block my view of my neighbor's messy back yard. I sit up above and my deck looks down into a yard that they have completely cemented in. It's horrid. That's where their two dogs spend their time, in that hot yard. Well the owners do leave a child's wading pool for them to cool down in. I toss them treats so they won't bark while I'm sitting on the deck. I'll transplant the scrub oak another day, my day got filled up and I got pretty exhausted from the work. My ex-husband told me you can't transplant these, they will not survive. I don't believe it and I just have to try anyway.

It was supposed to rain this afternoon. Didn't happen. So I had to give all the transplants a good drink of water.

Oh, I did buy two additional plants. Hyssop (Anise scented) for the hummingbirds. I already have quite a bit of hyssop around the yard and I love it. Also a pretty red diantha to give that new area some instant color. All in all, a very good day for my yard. Let's hope everything lives.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Really keeping busy

It's no pretense, an incredibly productive day. Removed a lot of old sporting goods and toys, suitcases, and other stuff from the garage and donated to charity. Checked out lawnmowers at Lowe's and Home Depot. Decided what I wanted and then found it's not available in town. Will keep looking. Mowed the lawn - the old mower behaved just fine (more grass clippings so I'll be lasagna mulching tomorrow), cut up a whole bunch of pruned branches to fit in the garbage. Paid bills, got a letter notarized and ready to mail. Planted a new burning bush that I bought a couple of days ago, washed down the patio, and installed some new solar garden lights along the rock wall. It's only 7 now and I may watch a movie since one arrived today. Or I may start the sprinklers and get things watered. And do one more batch of laundry to finish up what I started yesterday. Then a second shower of the day, and call it good. Maybe a glass of wine and SNL. If I'm not asleep

Still a couple of things remaining on my May to-do list. Dealing with the lawnmower is one. I'm going to add an item for tomorrow to transplant a number of volunteers to various spots in the yard. No need to buy plants when I'm producing so many of my own.

Seriously busy. No time to be lonely.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Trying to keep busy

Friday night and no date. Watched a movie. Thinking of organizing my sock drawer. That got me thinkng about that old Statler Brothers song, "Countin' Flowers on the Wall". (Now don't tell me I've nothing to do.) So I started browsing through some videos and stumbled across this very pretty one. A Beatles song originally, from the White Album I think. Performed here by Sarah McLachlan.

My dear friend called me tonight from Minnesota, I hadn't expected that. It left me a little melancholy. He sounded so tired and done-in. I hope this all works out.

A couple more garden pics

I got a better picture of the pink chintz thyme. The color is a very strong violet as you can see better in this light. (Click pictures to view larger.)

And here's the ice plant, with the yellow in glorious bloom, and the purple just starting. The soil in this spot is practically sand and this large patch started from just a couple of little 4" pots. Spreads nicely and is not fussy at all about conditions. The yellow plant has spring green color succulent leaves, the purple one has a more forest green leaf. I like them mixed together. I like this so much, I've planted more in my xeriscaped area to give me a colorful border.

You can also see the woolly thyme here. It's more of a grayish green where the pink chintz has a more spring green. No flowers on the woolly thyme either. Here I'm encouraging an eventual lawn. I laid down patio bricks I found elsewhere in the yard. I created a checkerboard pattern and planted thyme in the empty spaces. Last fall I divided some of them and planted in other empty spaces. This stuff is very hardy and spreads wonderfully in just one season. Eventually, I hope to take up the patio bricks and let the thyme completely fill in. You can walk on it, it requires very little water, and it looks lush and NO MOWING! It will require patience and in the meantime, the patio bricks help with the transition.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A dear little deer

I was arranging pots of flowers on my patio yesterday and thought I might just try a bird feeder there again - I haven't seen the deer recently and maybe the "deer fence" I used is keeping them away.

Early this morning as I walked to the kitchen for a refill of coffee, there was a large animal standing by the feeder. It took two glances before I realized it was a deer nibbling at the bird seed. She (she?) is fairly small for a mule deer, so probably young, and more buff in color than brown. Almost the color of a cougar.

I grabbed my camera, but by the time I got back, she was already looking at me through the window. So I just watched her and took no pictures. There will be other opportunities -- now she's discovered the bird feeder is back.

It's a problem trying to put the bird feeders out of reach of the deer and yet still have them low enough I can easily refill them, and then also enjoy seeing the birds.

Here's some pics of my visitors from last summer They like a nice cool sip from the bird baths too.

And here they are relaxing on my deck back in 2007!

Interesting that this little girl was alone today. For years they have come in packs of around five -- two or three adults and two or three young ones.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

In the yard - things that are looking pretty good

I turned on the sprinklers this morning, even though we have an overcast day. I'm not counting on rain. But it is a bit cooler. Here are a few things I'm liking in the yard.

The pink chintz thyme is just so lovely. It is intensely pink. Later on the blooms will fade and this will be a lovely spring green the rest of the summer. I have to shear off the dead blooms. If I didn't have those stepping stones in there, I could use a small mower. This thyme is 'walkable' meaning that you can step on it and no harm. One web site I visit for drought-tolerant plants says you can train this to be an entire lawn. Wouldn't that be lovely! In a week or so I'm going to divide some of this and expand my pathway. My vision here was a thyme pathway leading up through the water-wise section of my yard. (Click on images to see larger.)
On the west border of the front lawn I have this little wisteria that never gives up. I pruned it mercilessly earlier this spring and didn't expect blooms, but there you are. Yes, I should have mown the grass yesterday, but instead went to the symphony with my friends. You can see a bit of my front corner garden that is all perennials and coming along nicely. I will probably supplement with a few petunias to get some color in there now as most of this garden doesn't start blooming until later in June.
The creeping phlox is always so nice. I've had to add in more of the deep pink as it keeps getting crowded out by the white and lavender. Also in this garden are many perennials that will bloom throughout the summer and fall.
And here is the hard worker of the garden, the Jupiter's Beard. It dies down completely every year and starts fresh every spring. It's about three feet in height now and will grow no higher. Very bushy and green lasting well into the fall, often to the first snow. The red blooms are just starting and will be larger. Then when those blooms die out, you are left with small red buds like you see here, also lasting until the frost.

This plant reproduces like rabbits! I have to pull the many starts like weeds or it would take over everything. I have transplanted volunteers everywhere in the yard. At least the little plants are easy to remove, unlike the viney myrtle.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Poetry Wednesday: The Jumblies

Visit Jacqui's Multi-blog Poetry Wednesday

The Jumblies is a charming little fantasy of a group of people who go to sea in a sieve. Written in the 19th century by Edward Lear, it has been published many times with various artist's ideas of the characters and events of the poem. But none, perhaps, more delightful than the illustrations by Edward Gorey. Just by chance I picked up the 2008 mini calendar featuring the Edward Gorey illustrations. All year long I studied those little diagrams with all their clever detail. At the end of the year I almost saved the calendar, I loved those illustrations so much. But then I thought it would just become more "stuff" to throw out later, and so I threw it out. Now I regret it and wish I had it back.

But here is the poem along with the cover of the calendar. And for a bonus, below you'll find a YouTube video of what is perhaps Edward Gorey's most famous piece, his animated introduction to PBS' Mystery Theatre, a delightful piece as well!

If there is a message here, I'd say it's that we should not be so cautious with our plans that we never have a real adventure.


The Jumblies

They went to sea in a Sieve, they did,
In a Sieve they went to sea:
In spite of all their friends could say,
On a winter's morn, on a stormy day,
In a Sieve they went to sea!
And when the Sieve turned round and round,
And every one cried, `You'll all be drowned!'
They called aloud, `Our Sieve ain't big,
But we don't care a button! we don't care a fig!
In a Sieve we'll go to sea!'
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

They sailed away in a Sieve, they did,
In a Sieve they sailed so fast,
With only a beautiful pea-green veil
Tied with a riband by way of a sail,
To a small tobacco-pipe mast;
And every one said, who saw them go,
`O won't they be soon upset, you know!
For the sky is dark, and the voyage is long,
And happen what may, it's extremely wrong
In a Sieve to sail so fast!'
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

The water it soon came in, it did,
The water it soon came in;
So to keep them dry, they wrapped their feet
In a pinky paper all folded neat,
And they fastened it down with a pin.
And they passed the night in a crockery-jar,
And each of them said, `How wise we are!
Though the sky be dark, and the voyage be long,
Yet we never can think we were rash or wrong,
While round in our Sieve we spin!'
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

And all night long they sailed away;
And when the sun went down,
They whistled and warbled a moony song
To the echoing sound of a coppery gong,
In the shade of the mountains brown.
`O Timballo! How happy we are,
When we live in a Sieve and a crockery-jar,
And all night long in the moonlight pale,
We sail away with a pea-green sail,
In the shade of the mountains brown!'
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

They sailed to the Western Sea, they did,
To a land all covered with trees,
And they bought an Owl, and a useful Cart,
And a pound of Rice, and a Cranberry Tart,
And a hive of silvery Bees.
And they bought a Pig, and some green Jack-daws,
And a lovely Monkey with lollipop paws,
And forty bottles of Ring-Bo-Ree,
And no end of Stilton Cheese.
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

And in twenty years they all came back,
In twenty years or more,
And every one said, `How tall they've grown!
For they've been to the Lakes, and the Torrible Zone,
And the hills of the Chankly Bore!'
And they drank their health, and gave them a feast
Of dumplings made of beautiful yeast;
And every one said, `If we only live,
We too will go to sea in a Sieve,---
To the hills of the Chankly Bore!'
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

Edward Lear

Oh dear, I found a different one. I must share.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Lasagne Gardening - 1st attempt

Turns out this isn't rocket science. Took me about half an hour to do this space that is about 10 ft long x 4 ft wide. I have a big space to do, and this used almost all of the grass clippings I had saved. However, this will be a summerlong project and I will generate many more bags of clippings to contribute to the project.

I this area I am trying to reclaim my "Myrtle Hill" that is basically wasted space in an upper triangle of my yard by the street. We had intended to just fill it with lovely myrtle that, once filled in, is very low maintenance. Problem is, before the divorce, the sprinkling system started to go, and the ex just sealed off lines and let some areas die. Here in the myrtle patch I have some lush full areas, and other areas that are taken over with wild grasses and weeds. My goal is to pull out all the grasses and weeds, lay down my lasagna mulch, and where needed, fill in empty spots with volunteer myrtle plants of which I have plenty!
Today's Trivia Question: What do you call plants that start on their own from parent plants nearby?

If you said "volunteers", you speak my language. My friend from Brooklyn said she had never heard of plants "volunteering" and she's quite sure it's just a Utah thing. It might be. So, gentle readers, is this a term you use where you live?
Here's where I started. This is a particularly bad area, more weeds than myrtle. The hill is fairly steep here. Spent a little time pulling weeds first.

Here's more of the area I plan to do. I know, pretty ambitious. But it's like eating the elephant -- you do it a bite at a time.

Step 1, put down newspapers. I put them down in whole sheets, tearing where needed to fit around existing plants. I know a guy who shreds his newspaper and tills it into his garden. It's another option. One thing: don't use the shiny coated color ads and these will not break down easily. send those to the recycler. Just use the ordinary newsprint paper (color ink is ok).
I wet the newspaper down as it was a little breezy and it was hard to keep in place..

Step 2. Peat moss. I just tossed shovels full all over the newspaper and then spread it a little by hand. Notice the can of coffee grounds here -- I sprinkled those in at this layer. Wet everything down with the hose.

Step 3. Grass clippings. Now this would have been much easier if I hadn't had these bagged up for a week. But I had, and they were already very wet and fermenting. Hoo boy, it was sort of like going straight to manure but bypassing the steer. Next time I'll use my clippings right away while they are dry and easy to handle. There was no need to water down this layer.

Steps 4,5 and 6 would be peat moss, then chopped leaves, followed by another layer of peat moss, but my leaves all went out with the trash before I had read this article. Next fall I'll have leaves for such a layer. My step 4 was just another layer of peat moss, spread over everything and watered down good.

It already looks like rich black soil where once was a sandy weedy patch. It's not too hard, but it would make more sense not to do it at noon on a hot day. I'll go out again at 4 to do another patch of this size. Over the summer, I'll put up pics of areas as I get them completed.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Old folks are taking over Facebook

It used to be a social networking site for college students, but Facebook stepped outside the college realm and everything changed. I joined over a year ago to play Scrabulous with my daughter. At that time I didn't see a lot of people my age on the site, but it was fun to play. Another friend started up and we two oldsters have been playing Scrabulous now Scrabble ever since.

But in that time my generation found FB. Between political, school, family, and social connections, the friends keep adding up. I love it. There are more and more people of my age and older there. And every day I see little messages from my kids and family members, pictures, announcements, you name it. The whole bunch of us get to see it at once. Now even my 80-year old mother has joined. It's remarkable how much more connected you feel.

Do the young kids mind now that older folks are joining? According to a story on CBS News, some kids are freaked out that their parents are on FB. Luckily my own kids and now my granddaughter don't seem to mind. Of course, you can block certain items of your page from view by certain people if you want. FB offers many levels of privacy to suit your own comfort.

So if you don't have a FB account, you're behind the times. Get with it. Everybody and their dog is there now. Literally! Your dog can have his own FB account.

If you want to friend me, search for Becky Griffin Stauffer.

Poetry Wednesday: Heart, we will forget him

Visit Jacqui's place for Poetry Wednesday

This little poem appealed to me this week. My friend leaves town tomorrow to go look at condos in Minnesota. His house here is sold, it's now fait accompli - he will soon move to regions northerly. This is a little sad, I know. But it says just how I feel.

Heart, we will forget him
by Emily Dickenson

Heart, we will forget him,
You and I, tonight!
You must forget the warmth he gave,
I will forget the light.

When you have done pray tell me,
Then I, my thoughts, will dim.
Haste! ‘lest while you’re lagging
I may remember him!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Lasagna Gardening

As promised I'm going to write a bit about this. I'm not an expert, I've just read one article, but I'm about to launch into it and I'll report my success or failure as the summer progresses.

The idea comes from Pat Lanza, author of the book Lasagna Gardening. She says she developed this technique simply because she was to unable to keep up with weeding and caring for the garden in traditional ways. She says you can put this right down over old sod to effectively kill the grass without chemicals. She used this to kill an entire lawn and turn it into a wonderful flower bed that required no weeding.

The technique makes huge sense to me, but holds an extra appeal because it gives me an opportunity of recycling things that are readily available to me (though I'm still skeptical about the no-weeding part). In a nutshell, here's how it works.
  • Put down a layer of newspapers. This will keep the weeds down (I haven't read the book, but I'm assuming you overlap sheets and maybe even double them for good coverage.
  • Add a layer of peat moss.
  • Add a layer of chopped leaves. Sadly I already raked and disposed of my leaves. But there's alway next fall.
  • Add another layer of peat moss.
  • Add a layer of grass clippings (oh, I have plenty of those and will be glad not to fill my garbage can with them every week).
  • Add another layer of peat moss.
Wet it down. You can now plant in the plot (I have already planted so I will attempt to place my 'lasagna' around existing plants, and may add in some annuals).

Over the summer, the concoction will decompose and will enrich the soil underneath, building up a new layer of rich top soil.

Now, since I have not actually read the book, but only a newspaper article about it and about the success some local gardeners have enjoyed with it, I am enthused but probably not completely well-informed. Still, it seems so logical and practical, I am unafraid to strike out on my own experimenting with the process. I will add my coffee grounds that I save as I've heard they provide a source of nitrogen. I may also add steer manure where I want to really enrich the soil. It is very cheap at KMart and where I used it last year, I find beautiful rich soil this year. Yes, there was an odor for awhile - a rather farm-like odor. But tolerable.

So there is the promised description. Today I must address my sprinkling system. A number of sprinkler heads were broken off in the winter time and one break in the line I've found so far. I need some new glue as my old can has pretty much congealed. One of these years I'll have someone dig up the entire system and do it right. But for now, I need to limp by the best I can with the comical system devised by my ex-husband.

Then I want to get flowers in the various pots around the yard.

When that is done, I will begin my lasagna gardening project. This will be done piecemeal as I collect newspapers and get grass clippings each week and will do a section with just what I have. It will certainly be a work in progress. I'll report back later.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Sleep. Deprivation.

For several days in a row I have awakened at 3 a.m. completely unable to get back to sleep. I know a number of things are weighing on my mind and are disturbing my sleep. Not the least of which is how to get caught up on all I need to do in the yard.

Sleeplessness is an affliction of middle age. I remember in my 20's having delicious long hours of sleep -- until the children came along. And even then, grabbing sleep whenever a minute allowed. It was so easy then. Not so much now.

The effects are cumulative when you get into one of these cycles of sleeplessness; you start having mental lapses, forgetfulness, slowness.

When I get up at 3, I'm fine most of the day until around 3 or 4 p.m. Yesterday (working from home), I literally fell asleep at my computer at about 3:45. Since it was quitting time, I shut down and proceeded to find a soft couch and zonked out for an hour. Even then I did not feel rested.

So here I am again at 5:30 a.m. already with over two hours of wakefulness under my belt. Along with a couple of cups of coffee. I'll be working from home again today, but I think I'll log in at 6 a.m., as I suspect around 3-ish I'm going to require a nap.

I am so resistant to the process of aging. I just don't want to give in. But I am recognizing that willpower alone will not stave off the effects. Perhaps I need to take my friend's advice and hire a little help with the yard and relieve a little of the worry that hangs around all the time in the back of my mind. Maybe then I could rest a little easier.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Poetry Wednesday: Stand By Me

Visit Jacqui for this week's Poetry Wednesday.

Last weekend my little film group selected the movie "The Soloist" for our monthly get-together. I am a bit out of touch and didn't have prior knowledge of the story - a true story - of an accomplished, Julliard-trained cellist; a man with great talent but also having a broken mind. It's a heart-wrenching story of the life of a schizophrenic, homeless street musician.

Here in Salt Lake, there is a well-known figure who sits outside theaters and concert halls playing his cello for donations, similarly afflicted as the person in the movie. Over the years I've seen him become thinner, scruffier, sadder. I once saw him without his cello, just talking to a fence.

I'm tempted, but for now I'll skip the political pontificating about how it happens that we have allowed these people to fall through the cracks. Instead for our poetry Wednesday, I'll offer, not strictly a poem, but song lyrics, and an inspiring performance on video.

Just by coincidence, someone very dear to me sent me a YouTube video this week of a well-known song performed by mostly street musicians from around the world. Scroll down for the video. (Yes, I did use this on another blog this week, but if you saw this already, well enjoy it again, it's well worth watching twice.)

Stand By Me
Lyrics by Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, Ben E. King

When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we see
No I won't be afraid
No I won't be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

And darling, darling stand by me
Oh, stand by me
Stand by me, stand by me

If the sky that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
And the mountain should crumble to the sea
I won't cry, I won't cry
No I won't shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

And darling, darling stand by me
Oh, stand by me
Stand by me, stand by me, stand by me

Whenever you're in trouble won't you stand by me
Oh, stand by me
Oh, stand by me, stand by me, stand by me

Darling, darling stand by me
Stand by me
Oh stand by me, stand by me, stand by me

Playing For Change | Song Around The World "Stand By Me" from Concord Music Group on Vimeo.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Tulips after all

Despite the leaves being chomped off early on, the buds persisted and many bloomed after all. I credit the new deer repellent I picked up. It seems to be working.

The color is not quite right here. This photo is from yesterday morning, an overcast and slightly rainy day. The tulips are deep red, but somewhat washed out here.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Gentle Side

In this corner of the blogosphere I've found some interesting and artistic friends who both love and create art, who observe and appreciate nature, and who offer gentle support to other friends here. It is an amazing medium that allows us to meet and become acquainted with such worthwhile people though we may never meet them in real life.

Elsewhere on the blogosphere I write about politics and events of the day. The people I meet there are rarely gentle in their speech or attitudes. And while I like a good debate as well as the next one there, sometimes it's nice to escape to this quiet and gentle corner where I know there will be heartfelt thoughts expressed, beautiful pictures, words of encouragement.

In my real life I notice that all of my close friends have one or more special talents or gifts, and all have a love of nature, spending much time beautifying their own yards and visiting lovely places around town. I've come to the conclusion I seek out such people and feel most comfortable with them. The truth is, these people enrich our lives in so many ways.

How lovely that I get to know all of you! This calls for a repeat of a favorite video I've posted before.

The Traveling Wilburys, Handle With Care
. . . Everybody's got somebody to lean on.