Saturday, July 25, 2020

Good News

Good news!

Oh, are you not just starving for good news these days?
Remember me telling you about the elderly gentleman in England who walked up and down his garden to raise money for the NHS?
He was knighted by the Queen in her first public appearance since the Covid 19 lockdown. ( I knew she would do that! Please, don't ask me how I have the insight on what the Queen will do, I can't tell you ALL my secrets!)  Captain Tom Moore wanted to raise 1000 pounds by walking 100 laps around his garden. I think the final total raised was over 23 million pounds.  (Be sure to look at the BBC and see the videos of Captain Tom speaking about this! Excuse me, SIR Captain Tom!)
Then this week, a man in Wisconsin, USA won the lottery. He won MILLIONS! He chose the cash option which gave him $16.7 million. Here is the good news about that...he chose to share it with a friend of his! They had told each other that if one of them won the lottery, they would split it. They sealed the deal with a handshake back in 1992. Hey, a deal's a deal.

A young boy in Minnesota, USA protected his sister when a dog attached her. He shielded her but he had to receive 90 stitches in his face.  Chris Evans, the actor who portrayed Captain America, heard of this and sent him a message that an official Captain America shield was on its way to the lad! 
On the home front, butterflies are suddenly appearing on our bright orange Mexican sunflowers and this morning, a bright yellow (male) goldfinch landed on one! (This photo of the goldfinch was from last year because I couldn't get to the camera quickly enough but the one this morning was just as gorgeous!) And do you see the twig where the bird has landed? That is the remains from the Mexican sunflower from LAST YEAR! It was in a pot, you see, so we move it there where we can see it, the birds have a place to land and we can see them!
Have you heard that people have really taken a great deal of interest in the birds this year due to the lockdown and folks noticing nature for the first time? That is good news to me since my husband and I have enjoyed the birds for years! They bring so much beauty to us.
Also, the butterflies have been a bit scarce this year but with our Mexican sunflowers blooming more, we have gratefully seen more of them! 

More good news!  FINAL: The Atlanta Braves beat the Mets 5-3 at Citi Field today! Down to their LAST strike in the 9th inning, Ozuna tied it and then, the Atlanta offense scored 3 in the top of the 10th inning to win the game!  Oh goodness me, how my Dad would have loved that game. "It's not over til  it's over", he always said, "there's always hope". (Loved watching the baseball games with him as we talked on the phone together!)
Have I told you all before that I pronounce my husband's name the English way? In America, Richard sounds like "Rich-URD" instead of Rich-ARD".  If you can't understand what I mean, you might remember "Keeping Up Appearances" and Hyacinth giving her poor husband such a hard time. Not that I would ever do the same! "Oh, Rich-ARD". 
Well, not much anyway! (Be sure to look at the web version if you look at this on your phone so you can listen to the video I have for you!)

Take care everyone! Wear masks and keep your distance! Looking forward to the day when saying this is just a memory.
Share your good news and stay positive. Keep encouraging each other.  Have I told you lately how much I appreciate all my blogging buddies? Y'all are just the best.   

Sunday, July 19, 2020

The Joys of Gardening! (Hornworms On Tomatoes?)

Hello all my lovely friends out there in Blogland! How are you all doing? It is my hope that you are doing all you can to stay healthy during these trying times.

Richard and I have been quite busy with our garden. (Well, Richard mostly, I just help, a bit!)  One weekend, we WRESTLED with something called a tomato hornworm. I had no idea what it was, I had to do a search on the internet for it. (In fact, it is called a TOBACCO hornworm, it has white, horizontal markings on the side. If it has red v-shaped markings, it is a tomato hornworm. The way to remember it, the white can remind you of cigarettes and the red can remind you of vine ripened tomatoes! Hey, I didn't make this up, just telling you what I learned!)  Okay, it doesn't really matter which one it is, both of them will eat your tomatoes and leaves SLAP UP!  So, you must get rid of them! My information said to get a bucket of soapy water and drop them into it. Yep, it does the trick!  Now, it is called a hornworm  but it is actually a caterpillar for the Sphinx moth.  It is called that because when the caterpillar is at rest, apparently, it reminds one of the Sphinx. (Don't ask me, whenever I saw it, it was head first into one of our tomatoes!)  No worries, after that one weekend, we were able to pick them off the plants and are now enjoying our tomatoes, besides our crisp cucumbers!  And sometimes a cucumber will "hide" from you and will grow too big and will be too bitter to eat. I think I told you in a post before that when I was a little girl, we would wrap up the overgrown cuke in a wash cloth and pretend it was a baby.  Did anybody else do that? So funny to think of these childhood memories...

                                     (Note the small pickling cucumber the correct size and the overgrown one that was hiding! I pickled a few but honestly, we just like to eat them!)

Since I spent so much time on research, I will share my newfound knowledge about the destructive caterpillars which are usually called hornworms.
 Manduca quinquemaculata---that is the one with the v shapes on the side, it has a black horn.  Commonly called the tomato hornworm.
Manduca sexta-  "robust & bright green with white diagonal striped markings on the side, 
and a small horn on the last abdominal segment (head is on the other end.")  P.S. I knew where the head was, it was right down inside one of our tomatoes!  This one is called the tobacco hornworm, said both interlap but the Manduca sexta is more common in the southeast USA, which is where we are! 
If you are ever growing tomatoes and you notice some tiny black dots underneath your plant, then look out for these hornworms! And look carefully, they are masters at camouflage. Not sure if these are everywhere in the world but they sure are here in Georgia.

Nature and needlework,,, that is what has helped my sanity! (And by needlework, I mean my crochet, I find it very relaxing.)  What has been helpful to you?

And of course there is always MUSIC!
We must have a song!  "A Kiss To Build A Dream On"...I have been humming that for a while now!   (Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein, someone I truly admire and sung by the one and only, Louis Armstrong.)  Enjoy! 

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

The Monastery

The Monastery here in Rockdale County, Georgia is a place of serenity and peace.
The stained glass windows at the Monastery are blue, purple and pink. The whole of the church is bathed in a blue light when the sun is out but the altar is in yellow, the windows there are yellow and orange. It is very effective.  The monks built everything here, the concrete building and the stained glass windows. At first, they meant to just have the windows as plain glass. However, the Georgia heat made for a change of mind! It made it much cooler with the blue....

  The church at the Monastery has been closed since mid March so I have not been able to step inside the sanctuary of the church since then.  I miss it. Of course, the monks are quite elderly now and it makes perfect sense for them to close down but it is still something that I miss terribly. Still, I know that the monks are there and working and praying every day.  (That is what they do, after all, "ora et labora"...the Latin for pray and labor.)
If you are reading this from the USA, you can always go to their website and order gifts for mailing.    I do think they ship anywhere in the country.
The fruitcake and biscotti are both very good. 



Sunday, July 5, 2020

Do You Want To Know A Secret (I'm Happy Just To Dance With You.)

Do you enjoy a play on words? I do! My title post might seem to imply that I secretly love to dance. (Which does happen to be true, I am no good at it but does that stop me? NEVER!)  No, no...what I am really trying to tell you is that George Harrison sang the lead on those two Lennon/McCartney songs.  Those two and those two only! (Wait, you are thinking...what about "Something" and "Here Comes the Sun" and "If I Needed Someone" and I am sure you can name others, but those were written by George Harrison, you see.)
So...if you are ever in a situation and are asked what are the two Lennon/McCartney songs where George Harrison sang the lead...the answer is : "Do You Want To Know A Secret" and "I'm Happy Just To Dance With You.".  

If you ever win any money or prizes with this, you can just thank me. You don't have to name any of your children after me, but my name is KAY!  (And if you have a boy, GEORGE would be nice.)

And Richard and I watched the film "Hard Day's Night" recently. Did we enjoy it? YEAH YEAH YEAH!
Whew, how are you all doing?  Everybody getting along okay? Trying not to get too stressed out? Good luck with that! Remember I told you that I thought we should all be wearing masks?( I watch too many films, I know but I feel just like that character from "Independence Day" know the one who everyone thought was nuts but he KEPT saying that there were aliens!) Upsetting to me to see the news and see everyone acting as if the virus is over and not wearing masks and just PACKING themselves onto beaches and bars.  Another film comes to mind, "Did IQ's just drop sharply while I was away?".

We need some more music, I think...Take care everyone, we will get through these rough times. We just need to try our best and be sensible.  Respect all but be a good example!
You must know and I might have told you in a post before but John Lennon got the words for the song "Do You Want To Know A Secret" from the Disney film "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs".  Just before she sang the song "I'm Wishing", she giggled and said, "Do you want to know a secret? Do you promise not to tell?"  Songwriters get their ideas from everywhere! 

Look, I can't go to England just now so I am going back to October 2019 and you can see me in Russell Square in Bloomsbury, London in my grey jacket.  Hope to be able to walk there again soon.  I'm wishing!