Sixty Days Without Face Book

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Today, May 31, started with another thunder storm. After almost an inch of much-needed rain, it’s time to get out and weed.

But first, some thoughts on the 60-day mark.

I miss my friends. After much thought, this is only reason to reactivate my Face Book account. Without it, I’m not able to keep up with the hundred or so people that live far away and have busy lives.

When I was about 12, I had a pen pal in St. Louis and another in France. Both were girls about my age. We corresponded by writing letters—snail mail—and after a couple of years, lost touch. We just got out of the habit of writing. Too bad. I enjoyed knowing them and discovering how their lives differed from mine. If we’d had Face Book back then, would we still know each other? Maybe.

Because Face Book is good for keeping up with friends and family. If only it didn’t have the ads, the political rants, the bots trying to tell us what to think, the creepy friend requests from guys I don’t know, the bullies pretending to be friends….

I need to spend the next 30 days weighing pros and cons. 




Who Should I Be Today?

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Last year, I took on the Ray Bradbury challenge to write 52 short stories in a year.  I fell a bit short, only writing 32 and most were bad. But I had a handful of not-half-bad stories, and three that seemed good.

One of the things I learned along the way was how to be another person. Never mind that I’m a–well let’s call it ‘senior’–female. I could be an out-of-work 30 year old male, a mean and murderous female school teacher, a male retiree bent on revenge … you get the picture.

Weeding the mermaid garden this morning, I wondered what it would be like to sing songs  to destroy men and ships.

Fall Over No More


Found this pair in a junk store four years ago. Problem was, they kept falling over in the wind. Now they have no feet, but they are impervious to the Kansas wind.

Thanks, Jim!

Face Book still sends me birthday messages. Avner, Renae, and Janet–hope you see your HAPPY BIRTHDAY on the blog! Hope this is your best year ever.


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I’ve been trying to grow an apple allée in the back acre. So far, I have six trees, three varieties of apples for cross pollination.

Problem is, the trees aren’t cooperating. One of them keeps falling over.

“You used the wrong soil,” Jim says. And he’s probably right. Instead of plopping the tree into Kansas clay, I mixed in potting soil. The remaining trees are still quite young. It’ll be several years before they grow enough to form the alley, or the path between them.

Just in case you’re wondering, the word allée comes from the French aller, the infinitive meaning ‘to go’.

I’ve been looking for examples of allées, and here is a good one. Driving out of the Rutlader Cemetery–about a mile from our house. I think these are oaks, but honestly, my tree identification skills are not great.

I like to think that someday, my apple allée will look this good.






Another Storm


Another storm struck last night. An unexpected storm.

The radar showed severe weather near us–mostly to the east–but we seemed to be living in our usual good-weather bubble.

Until a dark cloud blew in. Lots of lightning very close to the house. The rain didn’t fall down, but swept sideways. The sky turned dark green, the wind roared, and we watched as best we could for the lowering clouds that presaged a potential tornado.

We had to comment to each other. Did the weather reporters know it was coming and just didn’t tell us? Was this now the age of fake weather?

Of course, we were joking. Although it’s a sobering thought to be living in the post-truth age. What horrendous storms will that cause?





Stormy Skies

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Skies like this aren’t unusual in Kansas. I shot this after last week’s storms began to head out, and sure enough, this week’s been sunny. Lots of blue skies.

Getting something done in the garden. Getting something done in the office.

It’s all good.



As a more-or-less right brained person, I tend to see wholes instead of parts. Sometimes this is a plus. Like when planning a garden or a novel.

But when it comes down to the nitty-gritty—weeding and editing—I tend to get overwhelmed by all the little pieces. And for me, overwhelmed means immobilized.

I do better when I focus on just this one thing.  

This chapter, page, sentence rather than the entire work. This one garden, section, plant rather than the whole yard. When I narrow my focus, I’m more likely to keep moving forward.

We have a courtyard off the master bedroom and the centerpiece is a 15-foot Japanese maple (Acer Bloodgood) that by rights, should not have lived in windy Kansas. During last fall’s storms, branches banged on the roof and gutters until Jim tied them back.

In February, we gave the tree a hard prune—30 percent. The photo? On this branch where we made a cut, the tree focused on just this little sucker today …  Pretty.