Tuesday, June 23, 2020

And the Music is Still in the Air

She is fixed in his mind like the picture
He's kept in his wallet for years
And the image has never been tarnished
By the blood, sweat and tears
And to him it appears

That the moon is still over her shoulder
And the ribbon is still in her hair
And he can still see her dancing
And the music is still in the air  

Sometimes he finds it's amazing
That all of his children are wed
When their mother is still turning eighteen
And turning his head
She still turns his head

And the moon is still over her shoulder
And the stars are still falling above
And she never gets one minute older
And he is still falling in love 

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Commonplace Book

A Commonplace Book. “Commonplace”, from the Latin 'locus communis', meaning “a theme or argument of general application.”  For me, it is a collection of thoughts, ideas, anecdotes, poems, observations, and quotes that stood out and caught my attention, some with comment, some without. Essentially a scrapbook, a repository of thoughts too good to just pass over and let go.

"We should be living by covenant, not by convenience."
(Elder Robert C. Gay, of the Presidency of the Seventy, Worldwide Devotional for Youth, 3 May 2020)

"When an angel misses you, they toss a penny down … sometimes to cheer you up, to make a smile out of your frown. So, don’t pass by that penny when you’re feeling blue; it may be a penny from Heaven that an angel tossed to you."

"The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him."
(Lamentations 3:28)

"We always think of failure as the antithesis of success, but it isn’t. Success often lies just the other side of failure."
(Leo F. Buscaglia, Born for Love: Reflections on Loving, 7)

Saturday, June 20, 2020

All Tuckered Out

This sweet little boy stayed pleasant while his sibs took nabs.  Maybe the stories we read helped.  Anyway, a little later in the evening he crawled up on the couch, covered himself up, and fell asleep.  He's had a busy day.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Something New

I saw something today I have never seen before.  Himbeere and his friend were visiting this weekend and, since his birthday is coming up but he wouldn't be here, we decided to have cake and ice cream today for him.  The menu was at his request, so we had pancakes for lunch.  Then the cake and ice cream.  Brombeere lit the candles and brought the cake over while we all sang the Happy Birthday song.
Then he took the cake, brownies actually, which were still in the pan.
Instead of blowing out the candles, which is what normally happens, he took the pan and waved it back and forth until the candles went out.
And it worked!  They all went out!
I guess with his girlfriend sitting right there, he didn't want to take any chance of missing any if he blew them out the traditional way.  After all, if any more than one had failed to go out, he could have been in serious trouble.

Sunday, June 7, 2020


When we moved into our current home, the people we bought it from had a small child.  They had set aside a portion of the backyard and put in a small play area for their child.  Nothing elaborate, but a bordered area that they landscaped and covered with chips.  Since they took the play equipment with them when they moved we were left with a playground with no playground.  Our kids were older than what we could do in that space so we converted it to a garden.

At first, we didn't do much with it.  In fact, over all these years, we never put the whole thing into a garden.  It took several years to get all the landscaping material out so that there was nothing but dirt, but after a little bit each year, we got all the stuff out.  But, with everything else going on, some years  our garden was limited to just a strip of stuff growing along the edge.  Several years ago our neighbor was nice enough to come over and till the whole thing.  That was one of the bigger gardens we've ever had here; we planted a few rows of tomatoes.  That's what we have usually grown, tomatoes

Anyway, this year we decided to give it a major try again.  As mentioned, it has been several years since we had it tilled so we wanted to till it this year.  It had a lot of grass get in it, to the point that the last year or two we just mowed the grass rather than try to do anything about it.  So there was a lot of grass.  It has always seemed to me that if you treat weeds like grass, pretty soon you have grass.  Yeah, that's what happened out there.
It had gotten to where it was hard to tell where the edge of the garden space actually ended and the lawn started. Even though there are landscaping timbers all around, marking the edge of the garden, it was getting hard to tell. 

We had looked into buying a rototiller but I guess we waited too long into the season.  Every place we looked was out of stock.  We also tried borrowing one from a couple of friends but that didn't work out either.  So we rented one and brought it home.
We had to start by pulling out the tires that were part of last year's experiment in growing tomatoes.  I haven't actually measured it, but I figure our garden space is about 20'x20'.  If it's bigger than that it's not by much.  
But all that grass is pretty formidable.
Combine that with the design of the tiller we ended up with and it turned out to be a lot of work.  This tiller had the engine way out in front. That seemed to make the tiller want to go down instead of forward.
The grass kept getting waded up around the tines. Had to stop every now and then to pull all the grass out of the way.
Then a little later, it was stop again and clear out the grass.
The tiller had a hard time deciding whether to bounce over the top, chop along nicely, or dig down into the dirt.  So one minute you were pushing, trying to get it to move forward.  The next minute you were pulling back on it, trying to get it to dig up the ground.
We actually went over it all twice.  The second time over Brombeere actually took a try at it.  She only did across the space once and down the side before she let Schwartzbeere have it back.
Schwartzebeere did the majority of the tilling.  It was more work than any of us thought it would be.
When it was done, his hands were pretty dirty.
Then we had to clean the tiller up before taking it back.  That went quick and easy.
And now that it's all done, it looks much more like a garden.  
Back when we used to garden more we always tried to get it in over Memorial Day.  Before that and there was a risk of frost or snow.  After that and the already short growing season around here can often be too short.  For the kinds of stuff we have usually wanted to grow, getting it in on Memorial Day has always seemed to work pretty good.  This year we started a few things in little pots. That made it easy to bring them in on the cold nights.  But we haven't gotten them in the ground yet.  That's a story for another day.  But at least we're ready now.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

In the Chickens Again

Another day, another batch of grandkids, another trip after eggs.  This time we took Schwartzbeere's kids with us.  They were a little younger than Blaubeere's kids so it was all the more new to them.  Yes, we took Blaubeere's kids out a while back but I didn't get around to posting on that trip.  Anyway, Schwartzbeere's oldest is only four and little kids and farm animals are so cute together.
So Grandma ducked into the pen to gather eggs while the kids waited and watched with Grandpa.
Chickens make such a gentle sound when they're calm.  This time they were a little excited because they thought they might be getting something to eat.  But they calmed down pretty quick.
The kids were quite content to watch through the fence.
Lots of questions.  They were pretty fascinated.
Checking out this angle and that, getting a good look at the chickens.
Pretty soon Grandma came out with the eggs she'd gathered up this trip.  Two dozen, about normal.
Then a last few minutes watching the chickens and it was time to go.
You know how it is, Grandma needed lots of help carrying the eggs.  They are eggs, after all.  Can't be too careful.  It was a fun visit.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

On the Wheels

Weather and schedule.  That's what keeps me from riding my bike more often.  But tonight, they did not interfere and I was able to get out.  And what's even better, Brombeere came with!   We had been out once before several weeks again but her bike had issues and we ended up cutting that ride short.  After I got back I made some adjustments to her bike.  This evening, as I was getting ready to go, she said she wanted to go so our first stop to put some air in her tires and then off we went!
Then it was off to the trail.  The plan was to just go as far as Brombeere wanted, this was only her second ride of the season, while I have been several times since that first ride.
I like these trails, and tonight we only ran into one person.
So on we rode.  One thing I like about the trail is the scenery we got to ride by.
Flowering trees, spring time is good for this kind.  They get loaded up with blossoms pretty heavy in the spring.
All the farm land we rode by was freshly planted, or in the process of being tilled and planted  This spring has been nice to the farmers.
So we rode out, turned around, and came back.  All in all, it was a very nice ride.  I'm hoping there will be more rides like tonight.  I like riding with my favorite person.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Spring Has Sprung

Normally, in the fall, there's stuff you do to get the yard ready for winter, one last mowing, clean off leaves and other stuff, put the mower away for the winter. All that jazz. I'm the one that usually does most of that kind of stuff in the fall. However, I was a bit distracted last fall when all this should have been happening. In October, Blaubeere and her kids came over and gave us some much appreciated help with the last mowing of the lawn and raking the front yard.  But the backyard, other than getting mowed, didn't get much attention.  Then, winter and grandkids happened and the yard got a lot of use over the winter and into spring.  By spring the yard was in pretty rugged shape. 

Every time you mow the lawn you need to walk over it and check for stuff.  Stuff you don't want to hit with the mower.
The first mowing of the season is usually a little more work.  This time, since we'd had some nice weather and the little grandkids had been here about a week before and left a mess out back, it was more work than normal. 
Early spring growth is uneven, especially if you have a dog.  A bigger dog makes it even more noticeable.  They fertilize in some places and burn the grass in other spots. Uneven grass, lots of clumps.  Yeah.
All over the backyard
And the barrel of toys had been tipped over and scattered up by the house.  So, yeah.  It took a little more time to walk the lawn and clean up the toys, both the kids toys and the dog  toys. This dog doesn't fetch.  You throw something, you might get it back once but almost never twice.
Put I got that stuff  picked up and got to the mowing.
About two and a half hours later it was all done.
I like a freshly mowed lawn, 
And all the clumps of grass were gone.  Couldn't do much about the burned spots, though.
In any case, the yard looked a lot better.  Mowing a lawn provides an opportunity to get a close look at the lawn.  We need to get the sprinklers turned on.  It was pretty dry.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020


Some friends of ours have a daughter that recently got into the egg business.  So she got some chickens and set them up on the family property and put the word out that she was in business.
Her pricing schedule gives a discount if you gather the eggs yourself rather than her gathering them so that's what we do.  That way the eggs are only just a little more expensive than what you buy at the store. 
Plus you get the joy of interacting with all those chickens.  Not that they're real social creatures, they just like to gather around anyone that might be there to feed them.
So once a week we go out and gather eggs.  We even bought a cute little basket for it. 
We go out and gather about two dozen eggs each time.  Now chickens are not the cleanest creatures with their eggs.  So when we get home we have to wash and clean the eggs up.
This week we came home and had scrambled eggs.  We like to spice them up with peppers, onions, and cheese.  Sometime we put other things in them as well but we didn't have any of that stuff on hand this particular evening.
Farm to table, right?   Farm-fresh eggs.  Pretty nice to my way of thinking.