Tuesday, April 25, 2006

As long as I can remember, I have been able to glance at a patch of grass and spot a four-leafed clover. My dad was amazed that I could find the four-leafs so easily. He told me I was the luckiest girl in the world.

Dad died five years ago on April 29. He was a good and decent man who believed in God and lived his life accordingly. Dad worked hard and supported his family without complaint. Dad loved his wife, his children, the land he lived on, music and a good cup of coffee. He had a crazy sense of humor. His heroes were cowboys.

Dad could get on a horse by vaulting over the horses' rump and landing in the saddle. He could also hold on to the saddle horn and swing up into the seat without putting his foot in the stirrup.

Dad was a mechanic and at one time he owned a filling station. He was a stickler when it came to maintaining vehicles and he gave me frequent reminders to rotate my tires and check my oil. I could call Dad on the phone, imitate a "funny" sound my car was making and nine times out of ten, he correctly diagnosed the problem. He was strictly a rural driver, but he wasn't afraid to tackle "big city" traffic. He stopped at the end of merging lanes leading to interstate highways and waited for traffic to clear before he entered. Once on a family vacation, we went back and forth five times over a bridge across the Mississippi before Dad figured out which exit to take to get us through Memphis.

Dad used to entertain us by standing on a footstool in the livingroom and conducting orchestral music that Mom was playing on her stereo. When I was a beginning piano student, he dazzled me with his ability to play "Chopsticks", "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and "I Dropped My Dolly In The Dirt" on the piano without using written music. Dad and Mom sang duets in church. My favorite was "Ivory Palaces". My parents never missed a single piano or voice recital that I performed in.

One summer day, Dad and I went fishing. I caught a catfish and as I was taking it off the hook, I ripped my thumb on the catfish barb. My thumb wouldn't stop bleeding so Dad made a poultice out of some mud and put it on my thumb. I was 32 years old. I hurt my knee in a basketball game when I was a freshman in high school. Dad took me to the emergency room, but there was a man having a heart attack and all the doctors were busy saving his life. After waiting several hours, we decided to leave and make an appointment with our family doctor the next day. It had been raining heavily the entire time we were at the hospital and we couldn't get home because bridges were either washed out or under water. Dad and I ended up spending the night in our church.

Today as I was crossing the lawn at the high school, I looked down and there it was. A four-leafed clover. I chuckled as I bent over to pluck it and Dad whispered in my ear, "You're the luckiest girl in the world." He is so right.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Those who are closest to me know that I am low maintenance when it comes to my appearance. I am clean, neat and I don't dress too frumpily. I don't spend a lot of time or money on hair style, nails, tanning, makeup or any of the other grooming concerns that seem to occupy the time of so many women that I know. Don't get me wrong....I have no problem with those who are more concerned with their appearance than I am with mine. And it is at this time of year, I begin to realize that maybe I should have paid a little more attention to my own appearance in the months preceding .....swimsuit season.

I love good food and that is evident when observing my figure. There is simply too much of it. I exercise and I do a lot of physical labor outside. But I also eat a lot so I have much extra padding.

The other day I pulled out my swimsuit and stuffed myself into it. Standing in front of my full-length mirror, I decided I needed to make a swimsuit season resolution......to become more high maintenance or at least a little more aware of my calorie intake.

Friday, April 07, 2006

I recently discovered that several of my gardening friends were unfamiliar with nasturtiums. The nasturtium is a flowering herb and is very easy to grow. The seeds are rather large and have hard shells so it is best to soak them in some water overnight before planting. The soaking helps the seeds to sprout faster. The plants grow rapidly and produce yellow, orange, red and creamy-white flowers. Nasturtiums do well in full sun, but they do not like extreme heat. They bloom best in poor to average soil. If the soil is too rich, the leaves will be beautiful, but there won't be as many flowers. The flowers and leaves are fully edible and are high in Vitamin C content. They have a peppery flavor that enhances salads and sandwiches. Nasturtiums are an excellent container plant. They also do well in hanging baskets. They add vibrant color to any spot you put them in!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Wednesday.......half way through Spring Break and we had a nice thunderstorm this morning. I was reminded of something I wrote for a poetry workshop summer before last.

tin roof rain.....
odor of dry earth too long
scorched by a golden orb
gone mad
with July's passion.
liquid bullets kiss the face
fragrant, fragile
rain is summer salvation
in a dirt road cathedral.

Monday, April 03, 2006

More From Jasper

My human is on something called "spring break" which means she is home all day with me, my friend Cherokee and the cat. It is great to have her with us, but she was a maniac!! We had to work outside all day. I must have dug twenty new holes. My human pulled enough grass to start a whole new lawn somewhere. Then she mowed the lawn we already have. She planted flowers, moved rocks, tried to get the weedeater started and raked a lot of mulch around so the tiny, new plants could feel the sun. She got the "garden hose" out of the shed. I thought it was a long, green chew toy. How was I to know that water wasn't supposed to come out of the middle of the "garden hose"? Water comes out of the end. What's the difference? Now my human is working on something called "taxes". "Taxes" must be pretty bad because she is rubbing her forehead and groaning a lot. I am exhausted so I am going to sleep on the sofa.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Standing on the bridge in the snow

The river was across the road and the end of the bridge a few hours before these pictures were taken