Another Eden

A seed, some as large as a coconut, others as small as a mustard seed. They grow into plants much larger than the seeds themselves. A mustard seed doesn't grow into a coconut. It all works out as planned. The most important thing in life is the world that God made us. I don't understand how he made it work, but I'm so glad he did.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Friday at last!

"Do not fail, as you go on, to draw something every day, for no matter how little it is, it will be well worthwhile, and it will do you a world of good." ~ Cennini.

Just a few words while I'm taking a break from getting ready for tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow is the big one-year-old birthday party for grandson Maddox. Yes, Susan, He is really going to be one. Time flies I guess whether you're having fun or not. So tomorrow is the party. According to Jill, there will be more adults than kids. And do you really think babies care about birthday parties? I remember when the kids were small they were always ready for everyone to go home as soon as they dropped off the presents. Of course, my kids were always a little anti-social. Even now when the three of them get together they won't talk to anyone else. Or maybe they just won't talk to me. No, no, I've heard other people comment on it, so it isn't just my paranoia. Well, whether Maddox cares or not, I still get to see him and Ethan and Tasha, plus a bunch of kids I don't know yet but can spoil anyway. I tell ya, if I had known how great grandkids are I would have had them first! Play with 'em, hop 'em up on sugar and chocolate, let 'em watch all the cartoons they want and then when they are about to explode, send 'em home with mom and dad. It is sooooooo cool! Plus, Maddox is starting to walk so he can get into anything now. And Ethan has decided he likes me, well, as of last weekend he liked me, that might change this weekend.

Today is also Jill's birthday. She is (mumble snort cough mumble) years old. I don't know whether she cares if people know how old she is or not, but I ain't gonna be the one to tell.

Well, April is almost gone so here are the things to do for May off the gardening calendar.

Insect Alert:
* Bagworms on juniper and arborvitae. (Late May)
* Elm leaf beetles and larvae on elms and zelkova. (Late
* Mimosa webworms on mimosa and honeylocust.
* Lace bugs on sycamore, pyrancantha, and azalea.
Pine needle disease treatments are needed in mid-May.
Cool-season lawns can be fertilized again. If you did not
fertilize cool-season grasses in March and April, do so
Warm-season lawns may be fertilized again in May.
Seeding of warm-season grasses such as bermudagrass,
buffalograss, zoysiagrass, and centipedegrass is
best performed in mid-May through the end of June. Soil
temperatures are warm enough for germination and an
adequate growing season is present to promote winter
Dollar spot disease of lawns can first become visible in
mid-May. Make certain fertilizer applications have been
adequate before ever applying a fungicide.
Nutsedge plants become visible during this month. Postemergent
treatments are best applied for the first time this
month. Make certain warm-season grasses
have completed green-up.
The second application of pre-emergent annual grass
herbicides can be applied in late-May or early June
depending upon timing of first application. Check label for
Vegetative establishment of warm-season grasses can
Annual bedding plants can be set out for summer color.
Soak new transplants and newly planted trees unless
rainfall is abundant.

Do something just for yourself today. My suggestion? Do something for someone else. It'll make you feel good and make them feel good. Who knows? You might even get a hug out of the deal!


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

There is a reason.

Well, I was complaining about the weather yesterday. Moaning that Oklahoma is incomprehensible. But then this morning Kathy reminded me that there is a reason for this weather phenomenon. A perfectly predictable reason that occurs every year and screws up our weather.... Today is the first day of the Art Festival! That's right, just like the first day of the state fair, the art festival brings with it cold and wind and rain and yuk! See, Oklahoma weather is completely predictable. Just ignore those tornadoes that whapped El Reno, I think those were just there to excite the weather guys with their new brands of radar. We went to Wal-Mart last night while the whole thing was going on and just before we went in they herded everyone to the back. When we went in the parking lot was full and there was a line at every register. By the time we got our stuff there were no lines and you could park about anywhere. So here is the new plan, whenever the tornado sirens go off, let's all meet at Wal-Mart. It is about the only time I've ever seen the joint empty.

I have discovered one of the differences between men and women. Last night Kathy and I were talking about Erin having her second birthday a few days ago and while we were both tearing up she was saying that if they still lived in California we could have gone to the party. And I was thinking how awful that would be! I hate kids birthday parties because there is so much stuff going on. I like having them on non-days. You know, you go and get the kid because it's Thursday. Something like that. Well, I guess I better get over hating kids birthdays because Maddox's first is coming up and the party is over here. Well, I'll pass that when I get to it. At least I get to see the kid!

I finished the second article for Susan's Historic Homes newsletter. This one is on informal styles and the third will be on the romantic style, my favorite! Here's the second article:
Landscaping Design for Vintage Homes, Informal Styles

Landscaping for historic and vintage homes can take several forms, but there are two broad classifications that should be selected from before you start to choose your landscape. These are formal and informal. These two classifications may be mixed but only with great care, otherwise the landscape looks messy instead of planned.
The cottage garden is usually thought of when informal styles are mentioned. There are two main types, English and American. The English style is characterized by little hardscaping using reclaimed materials. Arches built of tree trimmings and reclaimed stone paths. Plants are mostly ornamentals and left looking untrimmed. The American style is a mixture of ornamentals and food plants with a dense planting style that allows different species to intermingle.
Both American and English styles typically use plants from seed and cuttings from neighbors, this is after all how they started historically, and a mixture of perennials and annuals. There should be a strong sense of companionships in planting rather than beds of varieties. And colors are not only added by what looks good on the color wheel but also by strong splashes of vibrant colors for accent. The important part to remember is that while maintenance is low, it is by no means nonexistent. Although plants are allowed to intermingle, they are not allowed to run rampant. And allowing plants to self-seed does not mean allowing them to self-seed just anywhere. Lines are curved instead of straight and allow parts of the garden to be discovered. Plants are often natives or well behaved imports and usually of the older varieties. Use repetition of colors and varieties in the garden to not only please the eye but also settle the mind. But the most important rule in informal gardens is to allow yourself to break the rules. If you have a plant or an art object or a color that doesn't really succeed, use it anyway, please yourself.

Enjoy yourself today. Go to the art festival, or better yet, make your own art. Draw, paint, sing dance. Make art for yourself and for God.


Monday, April 24, 2006

It is Monday again and how often do these days come around anyway? Four or five times a week? We had Natasha and Ethan this weekend and once more I am struck with the wisdom of God. He makes sure that you get your kids early enough that you have almost enough strength to deal with them. When Abby and Dart dropped them off Saturday, D'Artagnon said, "I'm glad the boy is asleep, I might not be able to leave him." Abby immediately responded, "I could!" Apparently mommy was spending a little too much time with him. By the time they picked them up on Sunday afternoon, I was agreeing with Abby. Not that they were a lot of trouble, but you know, we've talked about the need for Sunday naps before, and those kids were seriously cutting into my nap time. Kathy had no problem. Ethan went down for a nap and Tasha was watching Blue's Clues (for the 400th time in 24 hours) and she told me it was my duty to stay up while she napped. Just because Ethan saved all the "surprise" diapers for her. Well, I have to admit it was kinda nice. Ethan decided he liked me (or he decided that I wasn't going to go away) and he let me play with him and feed him and change his clothes and diapers. Wait a minute, maybe he didn't like me after all, he just needed a slave! Oh, well. I expected cinnamon rolls for breakfast and was all ready for them and then Kathy informed me that Tasha only expected them for Saturday breakfast. Well, so what? I was expecting them for Sunday breakfast! Doesn't what I expect mean anything? Apparently not. We had cereal. We've never kept Tasha on Saturday night (and nobody had ever kept Ethan overnight before) so we ended up bailing on church. Mainly because I was chicken and tired and sore. The kids probably could have dealt with it. Ethan doesn't know me much better than he would know the nursery people and Tasha makes friends wherever she goes. But then I would have to take the kid to nursery and take the kid to children's church and how do I put up with that instead of playing with them?

Speaking of Tasha making friends wherever she goes. We went to the park behind the house yesterday morning and we were playing on the playground. Another family came in and Tasha introduced herself to Jasmine and they started playing like they had known each other for years. Of course, then in the middle of it all, Tasha had to use the restroom so she told Jasmine we'd be right back and she rushed back to the house with poor, old, tired Peepaw trailing behind. Then as we got back to the park, Jasmine and her family were leaving. Jasmine said she would be back another day, but Tasha was upset to see her go and cried. My heart was breaking and there was nothing I could say to make it alright. Sometimes children have to see friends leave, but why can't we soothe their hurts? And why can't we soothe each other's hurts? That is the homework I'm going to give you guys this week (since I'm not teaching Sunday School anymore I have to pass out the Homework to y'all instead of them) I want each of you to find one person that is hurting (How hard can it be to find one?) and help them with their pain. And remember what it took me years to learn (And I still forget) sometimes the best way to deal with a problem is just listen and agree that it is a problem, instead of giving your opinion of a fix. Ok, I'll admit that last part is directed to the guys out there. Somehow, women already know this stuff and guys only know they want to fix it. Usually with a bigger hammer.

Well, the weathermen are shouting gloom and doom again in central Oklahoma. Of course all the storms were in Kansas, but they might get here some time. It is supposed to cool off to unseasonably low temps here in OkC. Highs tomorrow in the 60's. How is that unseasonable? Oklahoma really doesn't have any established seasons. We have 90's in December. We have ice storms in October. What the heck are we supposed to expect? Oh well, if you have taken your tropical plants outside already be sure to water them well and put them in a protected place tonight and tomorrow night. It is supposed to dip below 50. Of course that means it will be 85 for a low both nights, or it will be 42 below zero for both nights, or one night hot and one night cold. I don't know, the only comfort I have is neither do the weathermen.

Give yourself a break today.


Saturday, April 22, 2006

A Retraction

Apparently when I said the other day that I could do simple addition and subtraction I was overstating my talents. Today is the 36th Anniversary of Earth Day, not the 26th. Hopefully I didn't confuse too many of the younger ones out there. And those of you that are my age, hey, at least we thought for a while that we were ten years younger than we are!


Happy Earth Day

This is the 26th anniversary of Earth Day. A lot of progress has been made but ever so much has been lost.

To celebrate Earth Day I moved dirt! For those of you who are purists, you will be happy to know that no fossil fuels were expended (other than those which were used to make the shovel and wheelbarrow) in my dirt moving project. The dirt came from two years ago when I built the patio for Jill's wedding and has been sitting hiding behind a fence and to day I moved dirt and leveled it out and tamped it and watered it down to cover the edge of the patio so we can have Maddox's birthday over here next weekend. Hopefully I can get all of it done and get rested up so I can enjoy the party! While I was moving dirt, Kathy was cleaning off the front porch. Man, the winter can add up some dirt and soot, can't it? She got it all cleaned up and then told me I had to clean the windows some time this week because "you get them so much cleaner than I can!" I am so being played! Well, luckily, cleaning the porch wore her out because moving dirt has worn me out, so we pretty much won't get anything else done today. Which is a good thing because Natasha and Ethan are coming over to spend the night with us. A little intimidating. Natasha is no trouble at all. She is almost 5 and is going on like 25. She gets herself ready for bed and helps with her little brother and as long as you promise her cinnamon rolls for breakfast in the morning she is an angel. Ethan, on the other hand, is a little high maintenance. He really likes to be held. This will be the first time we have ever had him all night. Luckily I am a heavy sleeper, so it is pretty much up to Kathy to take care of him in the middle of the night. Which is ok, because he likes her better anyway! Rotten kid!

Susan has suggested that I post pictures of my yard because there is so much in bloom. Great idea but you'll have to bring over your camera because I am still in the Middle Ages (that's middle ages not middle aged) and still don't have a digital camera. But if Susan or one of my kids will bring over a camera I will be happy to post some. Though there isn't really that much in bloom. We have a couple of irises, dark purple, that are out. About three weeks early. And the peonies are blooming, the whites seem to have taken over the pinks. I will probably have to dig them out this fall and split them and add some reds and pinks. The May Night salvia is beautiful. It doesn't seem to spread very much. This is the third year and it is still pretty small and staying where it was put. Amazingly well-behaved for salvia. The false dragon's head on the other hand is about to take over.... AGAIN! If anybody has a few acres of slope that you want to cover up with a herbacious perennial, let me know. This stuff will cover in about two years. A while ago I gave some to a lady at my church, after telling her that it was invasive, she still yells at me. Apparently I didn't stress enough how invasive it was. Think bamboo, only short and with an attitude. There's not really anything else in bloom. The weigelia has finished blooming, it is almost completely spent. Doesn't seem to have taken very long this year for them to blow. The hardy hibiscus is about 6-12 inches out of the soil. Everything is proving that God has brought us Spring again, even if it does feel like Summer.

Be good to yourselves. This is the time of year to let your inner child out and let 'em run barefoot. But make 'em watch out for stickers!


Friday, April 21, 2006

Busier than a One-armed Paperhanger.

To those of you who have wondered if something was wrong and e-mailed, called, sent out esp messages and generally worried and/or threatened me, nothing has been wrong, I've just been busier than a one-armed paperhanger. What does that mean, anyway? How could someone with one arm hang wallpaper? Heck, I have two arms and still can't hang wallpaper. I think maybe if they grafted two more arms on I could hang wallpaper. No probably not, I think it is more of an eye-hand coordination thing. Basically I'm a klutz.

Anyway, I've been very busy, though if you asked me what I had gotten accomplished I'm not sure I could tell you. It seems like everything I need to get done has to have twenty things done to prepare for it. I start out with good intentions but we all know how those go.

One of the things I haven't gotten accomplished. Kathy and I went to Hobby Lobby the other day. She doesn't allow me to go in by myself. They had presentation cases on sale. Of course, they were on sale for 1/3 off and every week you can get a coupon for 40% off on anything not on sale, but anyway, We went back to look at them because I have been hauling my designs around in a mailing tube to interviews. Keeps them protected, but doesn't look very professional. So, being used to work in 24x36 format, I started out looking for 24x36 cases. They don't have those. They have portfolios, but then you have to tie the pieces of paper down and they get all wrinkled and look nasty. So I kept looking and the largest they had was 14x17. Ok, so almost everybody works in quarter sheets any way. And although I would have to redo all my designs to get them to quarter sheets, I can do that. They'll look more professional and keep better protected and everything. Then I started doing some simple math (yes, I almost flunked out of algebra, but I can do subtracting and dividing... Well, I can if I take off my shoes and socks) a quarter sheet isn't 14x17. A quarter sheet is 12x18! Nobody even carries vellum in 14x17, or even 11x17 (the ISO standard quarter sheet). Everybody carries vellum in 12x18. I can get all I want at Michaels, Hobby Lobby or Triangle A&E. But if I want 14x17 or 11x17 I have to go to Triangle A&E and buy half sheets (at almost twice the price of quarter sheets) and have them cut down (yep, that's another charge). Anyway, my plan now is to call Triangle A&E and find out if they have presentation cases in 12x18. I would have asked them when I called about the paper but I got sidetracked by learning that they would charge by the sheet to cut the things down! Don't they have one of those big guillotine looking cutters that can cut ten or fifteen sheets at a time? Why would they have a cut charge for every sheet? Because like the rest of the world they are out to get me. Remember, just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out after you.

So, rather than get anything done, I have been dithering around worrying about paper sizes. Last night in class we were talking about plotting our designs and Tom the instructor asked me what I usually worked in. But talk about too much information! I think he tuned me out about a third of the way through the rant. Of course, some of you tuned me out a lot sooner than that.

Well, I have to go pick Kathy up from work. She is working downtown now. I hate downtown. I hate traffic. I hate cars. I'm gonna get a horse!

Take care of yourselves.


Monday, April 17, 2006

Happy Śmigus-dyngus (Wet Monday)

It is the day after Easter and I think we need to remember the message of Resurrection Sunday throughout the year. It is easy to get sidetracked and go all secular, even for those in the clergy when we come off the high of the celebration and end up in the day to day business of running our lives. Make your prayer today and every day for Jesus to remind you of what he did for you.

Well, today is Smigus-dyndus if you are Polish or Chech or Slovack. What is Wet Monday, you may ask? You weren't going to ask? You don't really care? Well, when has that stopped me before? Smigus-dyngus is the day that all the boys and girls in Poland run around throwing water on each other and giving each other elaborately decorated eggs. It started out that the unmarried boys would sneak into an unmarried girls bedroom that he fancied and douse her with several buckets of water (actually, it started out as sprinkling her with holy water, but where's the fun in that?), this happens, of course, with the full cooperation of the girls mother, who is after all, trying to get the girl married off anyway. As a matter of fact, any girl who didn't get drenched several times during the day was considered beznadziejna or hopeless. Actually, that is just the dyngus part. The smigus (or "whoosh") is the act of whipping the girls legs (I'm assuming lightly) with willow or birch branches. Ok, I never said that the tradition made all that much sense. Apparently, it all has something to do with fertility and the church incorporated the pagan rites to make Christianity more palatable to the populace. I guess no one ever asked the girls what they thought or maybe the boys would be the ones getting whipped. No, considering how blood-thirsty some women can be you'd end up with a bunch of crippled boys and how are they going to work in the fields?

Ok, now that you've had more information on Polish fertility rites than you ever wanted. I just want everyone to remember to send in your Income Tax forms (yes, I know I'm a little late, but if you read this within a few minutes after I post this then you'll have time. Hey, if you haven't finished your taxes yet, what the heck are you reading this for? Get busy!) Tonight at midnight is the deadline. And here is my free tax advice for the season, if you are sending in an extension and you owe taxes, they will hit you with a penalty if you don't go ahead and send in as much as you owe. And is you are getting a big refund, shame on you, don't let the government play with your money all year for free! Change your records at work so you get a small refund or owe the IRS a small amount. That way you get to play with your money all year and they only get what you owe them. And we do owe them, you know. Not any more than you owe, but what you owe. TANSTAAFL!

After you pray for Jesus to show you what he's done for you, pray for a friend, a neighbor, and enemy. That's our job, you know. And if you can't think of anybody else to pray for, what the heck, pray for me, I can use all the help I can get!

Love yourself and someone else today.


Sunday, April 16, 2006

He is risen indeed!

Happy Easter everybody. It has been a beautiful day. I got up to a glorious morning, sun shining, birds singing, Kathy and Keith grumbling (Keith isn't really a morning person). All three of us went to church at Our Lord's (it was a wonderful service, Pastor Robert gave an almost normal sermon {I was disappointed actually, usually he has some of the most skewed outlooks that shows me something I've never seen before} the music was fantastic, there was a dancer {I love holy dance, and it is something I haven't seen enough of growing up in the Baptist church} and the people are so warm and loving). The only problem with Our Lord's is that God hasn't made it clear that that is where he wants us. From the very first Sunday we went to Trinity we felt the peace of knowing that is where we belonged. We fought against it a while, after all, no one really wants to go to a small, inner-city, struggling, not enough workers, and let's face it, slightly weird church. But we knew that was where we were supposed to be at that time. Now even though we love Our Lord's and Council Road we just don't feel that either one of them are the place. Yes I know, the walk isn't about feeling, but our feelings are one of the ways that God tells us where we belong. Oh well, He has a place for us and he will show us that place. One of the problems that I have is that God spoiled me for most churches. Billy Graham (I think it was Billy Graham) once said that the most segregated hour in the United States was Sunday from 11:00 to 12:00. At Trinity there were anglos, latinos, African-Americans, Chinese-Americans, Laotian-Americans, people from Ghana, people from Kenya, people from Ethiopia, people from Russia, Estonia, Belarus, all together, all loving God, all loving each other. You just don't get that too many places. A lot of places we've visited, I look around and it is so WHITE. I'm just not that comfortable with anglos anymore.

After church we went over to Jill and Jeff's, oh let's face it, we over to Maddox's house. The only thing Jill and Jeff are there for is to pay the bills and keep the kid fed. Jill made a wonderful dinner, ok, maybe not so traditional, it was lasagne and salad with chocolate silk pie for dessert, it was delicious! Then we watched Maddox and Sammie (the daughter of an old friend of Jill's) hunt Easter eggs, and then we sat and played and talked until it was time to take Keith to the airport. We dropped Keith off at the airport, it is harder and easier at the same time isn't it? We used to take family to the airport and go in with them and wait and cry and follow them back to the gate and watch them walk down the jetway. Now you drop them off at the front door. There isn't any reason to go in, you can't go past the front room anyway, the airlines want you to drop the luggage outside so they can go over all of it out there. Security would just as soon you not even be on the property. MAN, with my rampant paranoia, airports aren't really the place for me at all.

So we got home after dropping Keith and we pretty much passed out for our Sunday nap. I don't know what it is. Emily talked about it a while ago, on Sunday you pretty much have to take a nap. Monday through Saturday, unless I haven't gotten to sleep or worked myself to death or the kids are here and wear me out, I don't need a nap. I usually can't even take a nap without feeling awful, but Sunday afternoon comes and if I don't lay down for a nap, I fall down and take a nap anyway.

Well, that was our Easter. And the theme I hear over and over is, "The Lord is risen! He is risen indeed!" God bless each of us and may he remind us that of all the gifts he gives us, the greatest gift was his Son.


Friday, April 14, 2006

The kid's asleep.

It is 8:30 and Maddox has passed out on me. It was fairly easy. First I play with him til he's exhausted, then I keep him up past his bedtime, then I give him a bottle while I hold him and we watch baby mozart and I don't let him get down and by the time baby mozart is over he is willing to climb the stairs and put himself to bed! Any way.

They all went to the Hornets game about 6:00. My other daughter's Alison and Abby and of course Ethan came over before they left and stayed about 30 or 45 minutes after before they had to leave. So Maddox and I only really got about 2 hours by ourselves. Grandkids are much easier. Especially when they are babies. They think you are wonderful because you spoil them rotten, you can give them anything, because after all, what are your kids going to do for baby sitting? And then when you are exhausted and can't take them any more, you call the mom and say, "I think he might be running a low fever." And every speed limit between their house and yours is broken. Warning, this only works on first kids and sometimes second kids. By the time your kids have three of their own, they don't care if the kid has typhoid, you said you're take care of them and they aren't coming over til either you or the kid are dead!

Oh well, I had a wonderful time. For a little while I had both boys here and could watch them interact and then I had Maddox and we played and cuddled all night.

Thank you God for my grandchildren. And thank you for keeping me from killing their parents long enough to have them.

Tell someone that you love them. Better yet, show them.


Hi all, it is Good Friday and waiting breathlessly for Easter. Kathy took the day off, our son Keith flew in last night from St Louis and we are spending the day with him and our daughter Jill and son-in-law Jeff and of course Maddox! But Maddox is taking a nap so who really cares about the rest of them? Everybody but me is going off tonight to the basketball game and I get to take care of Maddox. I think we're going to the pha house tonight for supper (Maddox and I) the boy loves the noodles! And of course, Papi will do anything to make him happy, no, really, it has nothing to do with the fact that I love the pha shops and Kathy won't go with me, I'm doing it for the kid, honest!

Class last night was interesting. We finally moved on from widgets and started working on blocks. Blocks are what makes cadd so great. You draw something once and save it as a block and it is always ready for you to put into any drawing. Ok, maybe I'm too interested in this stuff (Kathy thinks so) but to me this stuff is so cool. Of course it takes me forever to draw a design (just ask Susan), I usually have the design in my head and then it takes me so much time to put it on paper! Of course, part of the problem is that I have to spend twenty minutes getting everything ready to draw and by the time I'm ready, I'm out of the mood. ADD raises it's..........

I'm back. Actually it wasn't ADD this time. It was the air conditioner. Kathy and Jill wanted it on so I had to run up to Home Depot to get some filters. Change of plans. Maddox and I don't get to go to the pha shop. Kathy called for a pizza because Jeff went back to Mustang to pick up someone that is going to the game with them so they aren't going out to eat. They will sometime leave us alone, maybe, Jill keeps telling me my options, apparently three kids wasn't enough training. When Ryan was born, Laura was making her mother nuts. She would read something in the books or someone would tell her something and she would take it as gospel and then her mother would yell, "We told you that a month ago!" The second kid mellows them, doesn't it?

Well, they all left me and Maddox wants the keyboard so I'm going to cut this off.

God bless you all, Wayne

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Seder tonight and Easter almost here.

Well, I was looking over my last post, I don't usually reread things (if I make a goof, I make a goof), but I got comments and a couple of e-mails and dang it was a downer! I didn't quite make it to suicidal, but it didn't seem far off. Well, blame it on the housecleaning. Dusting always depresses me ever since I saw that commercial with the magnified dust mites. Those things give me the creeps.

Well, I took Kathy to the doctor yesterday and he says that it is the arthritis in her knee aggravated by walking on the treadmill. A shot of cortisone and by yesterday evening she was walking much better. He told her to lay off the treadmill and go to water aerobics or something less impacting on her knees. So now I have to walk on the treadmill so it doesn't go to waste. It's either that or haul the thing upstairs to use it as a clothesrack, and I'm not carrying that sucker up the stairs! Thank you for all who were thinking and praying for her.

I had CADD class last night. Some times I think we make the poor instructor's head hurt. There are eight people in the class (started with twelve) including one girl that comes about every other time and a guy that has missed two classes for hockey games. We've been drawing widgets (small instruments or tools with lots of angles and surfaces that don't really do anything but make you draw them to scale) and it seems to be taking longer than the instructor thought it would. He keeps saying that next class period we're going to move on, but the next class period comes and we're back on our widgets. Personally, I'm getting a little tired of them, I've drawn three so far and since I just want to use it for landscape design, I don't need to worry a lot about angles and planes anyway. Well, sooner or later we'll get to something else and then I'll complain about that.

Tonight Kathy and I are going with Jim and Susan to Seder dinner at Our Lord's Community church. I haven't been to a Seder in years but it still amazes me the way God can use something as wonderful as a family meal to explain about the coming Christ. I would also say that it amazes me that the Israelites couldn't understand the parallels between Seder and Jesus, but since I have been so hard headed on my walk, I'm not going to jeer at anyone else. Some other friends of ours have semi-invited us to Seder at Council Road Baptist for Friday night but I don't know if we'll go to that or not. First of all, two Seders in one year seems a little strange, and a Baptist Seder seems even stranger. After all, I grew up in a church where the Youth Minister was asked to leave because he would have communion every time he had any of the kids over for a meal or party. Something about it would take away the specialness for us, after all, we don't want kids thinking that Jesus was a party animal, now do we? You have to remember that the Baptists are the ones who have been trying to convince people for years that the wine in Jesus' first miracle was really just grape juice. And that women aren't allowed to do anything in the church because of one verse of Paul's, of course, that goes out the window if they can't get anything done. And now most Baptist churches are allowing divorced me to be deacons because they can't get enough undivorced men to serve, if they can find any undivorced men at all. I thought I said I wasn't going to rag on anybody else's conceptions of the Bible, there goes another resolution.

After Seder comes Easter. This Sunday is Easter and we haven't decided where to go to church. I really hate going to Easter service when I don't have a home church. You never know what to expect and you can't really use that to decide if that is the right church for you because Easter is usually nothing like the regular services. Maybe we should try Emily's church, after all, any church where they can get the priest to climb on a donkey can't be all bad! In her blog Emily titled it "Other tasks as assigned." I think my dad could have related to that. It always amazed me that the church could come up with so many things that weren't in his job description that he had to do just so they'd get done. But I don't think I ever remember him riding a donkey on Palm Sunday, Leading one in the Christmas pageant, yes, but not riding it.

My goal when we do find a church (and it still depresses me on how long it takes) is to not teach a Sunday School class or serve on a council or committee for at least a year. I think the only way I can do that is to tell them they'll have to ask Kathy. Nah, she'll probably wimp out on me and say yes. I'll have to come up with another way. My friend Pastor Mark (Trinity International Baptist {the most un-Baptist Baptist church ever}) gave me a long list of stuff to think and pray about before we settled on a church. At the top of the list was find a church that isn't struggling financially. That lets out about all the inner city churches. Another friend of mine said not to choose a church socially. I agree that socialablity shouldn't be first on the list, but that is where I want to choose my friends from. After all, you become the people you hang out with (something I denied vehemently when I was young) so I want to hang out with holy, Godly people. Makes sense to me anyway.

By the way, for all you birders out there (if there are any) I have a couple of ID questions for you. As someone who can barely tell a cardinal from a blue jay, there are a couple of birds that have been hanging around my front yard. One is a little smaller than a jay and is mainly grayish-brown with white bars on his wings and two white bars from the base to the end of his tail, the other in very small, barely bigger than a hummingbird, that is gray with the most amazing reddish-pink throat and face, What the heck are these birds. Inquiring minds want to know. Speaking of hummers, for the last three years we have had the ugliest creature in the world sipping from our hardy hibiscus. It is cream colored with black bars all over. I swear the first time I saw it I thought it was a cottonwood borer! It was a little late last year and I actually missed it. But then it showed up and I couldn't believe I was waiting so anxiously for something so ugly. I am always amazed at God's creation, but never more so than in the Spring.

Take time to thank God for something today. If nothing else, He let you breathe.

God bless,


Saturday, April 08, 2006

Constant friends are better!

Well, I spent most of the day cleaning up the house (yes, we're already discussed the fact that I'm slow) because we had some old friends that we haven't seen for years coming over for dinner. We used to go to church with this couple when we went to PCBC, and when we moved to Trinity we kind of lost touch and then they moved to Tulsa for a while and now they're back and we saw them a couple of weeks ago when we visited Council Road. So last week Kathy wanted me to invite them over for supper and then he didn't get back to me for a couple of days and I figured that they didn't really want to get together and then he called and invited us for supper and then Kathy explained we were going to have them for supper since they had never been to our house and I told her you never argue when someone is going to feed you a free meal but they were going to come over here and so I had to clean and then Kathy (who has been having some trouble with her knee) moved wrong or something and anyway, she hurts too much and so I had to call and cancel but at least I got the house clean, which I'm wondering if that wasn't Kathy's plan all along. Whatever, I've decided I like constant friends better. Susan and Jim have been over to our house so many times that Kathy doesn't worry about the place being spotless. Susan knows how hard Kathy works and knows how worthless I am around the house, and let's face it, Jim's a guy and unless the mold is crawling up his leg on the couch he probably wouldn't notice whether the house is clean or not. Actually, as long as Susan has a flat spot to sit and knit, she probably wouldn't notice either. So my question is, why do we do this to ourselves? Do we really care about these people's opinion? If someone is more worried about how clean your house is (let me stress here that our house isn't like a toxic waste dump or anything. After all, the grandkids are crawling all around the place so Kathy makes me sweep and mop fairly regularly) than spending time with you, do you really want to hang out with them anyway? And if they aren't that worried about how clean everything is, why the heck did I spend all day cleaning?

Do you ever wonder what makes a friend anyway? I saw a guy in 7-11 the other day over by my mom's house. He kinda looked familiar to me and he said I looked familiar, but we couldn't figure out from where. Nobody's name sounded right and he didn't go where I went to church or school, and let's face it, if I don't know you from church or school I probably don't know you because I don't really go anywhere else (kinda sad, that). Anyway, between that and canceling today, it just got me thinking about old friends. I don't really have any old friends. Not people I've hung out with all my life or anything. Most of the friends I've had just kind of fell off the radar, you know what I mean? I lot of my friends that I had in my twenties were friends of me and my ex-wife, so during the divorce they felt like they had to take sides and weren't really willing to. Or they were her family, (one of my best friends ever was my ex-father-in-law, he really didn't know how to handle the divorce) and kinda had to take her side. Then in my thirties most of my friends (and I really use that term loosely) were somehow affiliated with whoever I was dating at the time. So when I broke up with Ms. X (usually because whoever she was marrying didn't see why I was hanging around) they kinda fell by the wayside. Whenever you make friends at church, well, maybe I should say whenever I make friends at church, if you change churches they kind of fade away. That's probably my fault, but it always seems to happen. The people I go to school with, I don't really socialize with because, after all, most of them are my children's age and I don't socialize with my kids that much either. They're only there to deliver the grandkids anyway. Kathy says that the reason I don't have many friends si because I tend to hold people at a distance, and that's true. But sometimes I think that people want to be held at a distance. Several years ago I went to Promise Keepers with a large group of men and when Kathy asked about them I could tell her about their whole lives (except what they didn't want people to know, I don't tell secrets) but they didn't know anything about me. I'm a great listener and a great talker. Not so good on the sharing part though. The guy that probably knows the most in the world about me, we only talk about once a year. He lives maybe 5 miles from me and we love each other, we just don't spend much time together. My brother probably can't remember my wife's name (his wife's name is Linda, but that's kinda cheating. After his first wife Kay, every woman he's been involved with is named Linda, he claim it keeps him out of trouble) and my sister probably doesn't want to remember my name. I have plenty of cousins, but they're all kinda weird and they think the same thing about me.

Oh well, getting back to constant friends. Mainly because I was starting to depress myself. Constant friends are better. Susan and Jim and Kathy and I eat together on all the weird holidays. Ok, sure, they had thanksgiving with us but that was really a fluke. We're more the Flag Day celebration types. Besides there are more weird holidays, so we get to eat together more. After all, Christmas and Thanksgiving are just two days and they're jammed together anyway. When you get together on Flag Day and Arbor Day and St Patricks Day and times like those, you get together a lot more times. My other friend Jim can fix anything. So I call him fairly often for dinner or just to hang out, that way he doesn't feel like I'm only calling him when I need something fixed. Not that that would matter. He would drop whatever he was doing and come help me fix whatever it was anyway. My friend Alice sends me e-mails and e-cards and pictures of her kids and grandkids even when I sometimes get behind and forget to respond to her. She just keeps plugging away at me, and there are times when the e-card she sends keeps me from sliding into a black hole. My son-in-law D'Artagnon is willing to do anything for me. He has helped me cut down trees and pull up stumps and build a deck and even was willing to climb in the crawl space and fix a broken pipe, although he couldn't fit in the crawl space and had never soldered a pipe before (Jim to the rescue again, not only can he solder, he's so skinny, he could fit in the crawl space with room to spare.) My son-in-law Jeff has helped me so many times it is amazing. He even helped me build the flagstone patio before he was my son-in-law. But it was for their wedding reception.

You know, I do have friends. Thank you Lord, for the consistency of my friends even when I am inconsistent.

Treat yourself and your friends well today.


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A clarification (for Susan)

Ok, when I said that the golden jubilee hyssop was a yellow plant with chartreuse foliage I did not mean that it was somehow a coward or even less manly than other types of hyssop. Being basically a guy I see all chartreuse plants as yellowish. So I just meant I don't particularly like chartreuse plants, that's all. Actually, I have a confession. I know all the colors, but when you throw around words like chartreuse and puce, people look at you funny. And they already look at me funny because I play with plants for a living.

Be good to yourself,


It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. It's a beautiful day for a neighbor (come on, come on, sing along with me). Ok, enough silliness. Oh, who am I kidding, it can go on for a lot longer than that.

Well, I went out to lunch with my mom and my daughter Jill, with of course, Maddox. I went along because Jill doesn't think she can handle mom and Maddox at the same time. And we went cause mom wanted to take Jill out for her birthday. Yes I know, Jill's birthday is at the end of the month, but mom has got it in her head that it is the first of the month and since she gives cash for presents, Jill just lets her think that. Of course, if it were me I'd take the early present and then remind her later that my birthday was coming up and she if she would forget and give me more. Well, Jill's nicer than me. After lunch we went to Lowe's and found the swing mom wanted. Jill had her truck so it was easy to get the thing home. Of course, mom was shopping for kids shoes all morning (well, as early as my sister can make it anyway) and then we went to Lowe's and Sunday and Monday and Tuesday she was shopping all day, and she refuses to take her wheelchair because it's embarrassing, so she's having trouble with her balance, which embarrasses her, but I guess not as much as the wheelchair, AAAARRRRGGGGG. I think kids were easier, especially when my kids were small and you could beat them in public.

Well, anyway, when we got the swing to mom's house and I got it unloaded, then I was going to put it together (well, after Jill and Maddox left, Gotta have my Maddox time) but mom didn't want it put together today because it might rain so I can't hang it up and it will get wet if it rains even under the patio cover and if I put it in the garage it will be hard to get out and I don't know what the heck we're going to do with the thing whenever we do hang it. I guess we'll be babying the thing forever.

I was going to talk about the Oklahoma Proven plants for 2006, with pictures and everything but the pics I've been able to get are tiff documents (who knew tiff came in documents, I thought it was just grass) and apparently Blogger doesn't like tiffs. So I'll just write about them and give you the website so you can look at the pics if you want to.

First off let me tell you a little about the Oklahoma Proven label. There are several places in Oklahoma (OSU/OKC among them) that take new plants and plant them and pretty much take minimal care of them, OSU/OKC has students taking care of theirs, for heaven's sake. If the plants not only;y survive but thrive, they get the Oklahoma Proven label. These are some tough, beautiful plants. The first is the Prairiefire crabapple. Crabapples are beautiful but they have a lot of disease and pest problems, not to mention Oklahoma heat knocked some of the older varieties for a loop. Prairiefire is supposed to have solved all those problems. It is a beautiful small tree and when in bloom will take your breath away. Diabolo ninebark is the shrub selection for this year. Ninebark has always been a tough shrub but diabolo is also beautiful. Dark foliage, white flowers and red fruit in the fall, makes a really distinctive planting. The perennial choice for this year, is the golden jubilee hyssop. I've always loved anise hyssop. The foliage has a great scent (hence the common name 'anise' hyssop). It takes heat and is rarely seriously damaged by Oklahoma winters. The selling point for the golden jubilee is the chartreuse foliage. And not being a big fan of yellow plants, I'm not going to say any more. The annual choice is wishbone flowers of the Summer Wave series. As far as annuals go, several years ago they came out with wave petunias and they come in more than just blue shades. Ok, so I don't think ALL the Oklahoma Provens are great. I promise you, there is someone out there that will call me a liar and say these are the best crop of OP's ever released. The good thing about OP's is that they are tested and proven in Oklahoma and will stand up to our Summers. No small feat when you consider how weird this place is. Ok, the Oklahoma Proven website where you can find this year's choices as well as past years with pictures and more information go to

Shelly wanted to know what color the caladiums were and I realized I didn't give a whole lot of info in the last post. The caladiums are green with red centers and according to the picture is wonderful. Of course Shelly doesn't think that Susan would run me over either. Well, maybe not, but she would have to think about it long and hard, I tease her a lot you know.

We got the tropicals out on the front porch last Saturday. A little early, but once Kathy gets tired of them it is time for them to move! I like it because you can sit out on the porch and feel like you're in a jungle. We will probably end up getting a few more. Every year I tell myself that we don't need any more, and every year we find some we just can't do without. No, that isn't a royal we, Kathy is as bad as I am.

Well, speaking of the front porch, I think I'm going to go sit on it and watch the people walk by.

Find someone today that you can honestly tell them you love them, and then don't forget to tell them!


Monday, April 03, 2006

Monday Again?

Well, it seems that the weeks keep rolling by. How do you get these things to slow down. I don't want them to stop, but it would be nice to get last weeks stuff done before this week starts.

You know what? Shopping for other people is more expensive than shopping for myself! I had to look for a porch swing for my mother last week, she wants it before Easter, of course. So while I was out trying to find out what was out there, Kathy hunted me down at Lowes. We just happened to stop by the plants to see if they had anything to put in the concrete planter (in the sun, and I forget to water the thing half the time, so it has to be tough). We didn't find anything for the planter, but lo and behold, we found a red-twig dogwood that Kathy has been wanting forever, and a pink pussywillow. So we hauled those home and I was finding places to put them on Saturday morning. It is a good thing I hate grass. Our yard in miniscule, but our flower beds take up a lot of room. Ok, so far this year we have planted two black lace elderberries and a red-twig and a pussywillow and my friend brought over some datura (can't waste free plants!) so I had to find a place for those, and for Father's day last year my daughter gave me a bunch of seeds from Hawaii (thank goodness my kids have figured out I don't wear ties, now if I could just get my mother to admit it) so I have to put those in pots before it gets too much later. And when Kathy and I went to Sam's yesterday, we picked up a box of 60 caladiums. Where the heck am I going to put 60 caladiums? There isn't that much shade in the entire state of Oklahoma! Oh, well, I'll figure out something.

Shelly reminded me that plants are not the only unfriendly aliens that we have imported to the States. Think med fly, fire ants, that carp that is eating everything in the Great Lakes, and who could forget killer bees! I do tend to get tunnel vision on plants. Occupational hazard. But let's face it, we tend to act without thinking of all the ramifications. I don't have any advice on the regular screw-ups in your lives, the Lord knows I've made too many myself to try to figure out anybody else's, but as far as plants are concerned, do a little bit of research before you plant something that is going to bite you.

My oldest daughter came up from Ft.Worth so Kathy could help her with her taxes. She got here about eleven and left about eleven Saturday night. Of course she left right after our power got knocked out. Why is it my children always desert me when the lights are out? Good thing I'm not afraid of the dark any more.

Yes, when the storm came through Saturday night we were one of those houses without power. It was out for about 6 hours. Of course, we still managed to get up in time for church, time change and all. But then when I asked Kathy where she wanted to go she told me the zoo. Naturally while she was taking a shower, I put on shorts and was rarin' to go. Then she couldn't figure out why I was in shorts because she was just funnin'. Needless to say, I still haven't gotten to go to the zoo. Anyway, we went to Our Lord's again. We really like the pastor there. He looks at things just slightly skewed. For instance, his text was the first chapter of John's gospel on Sunday, and he mentioned that the LDS and JWs added an "a" in the verse about Jesus being God. I knew that the a had been added but never really thought about why John left out any explanations to that statement. We are still hunting for where God wants us to be, but I think Our Lord's in definitely in the running. We saw Susan and Jim leaving the church and tried to catch up with them, man, Susan can really move when it's time for lunch! Anyway, we finally caught up with them in the parking lot (of course, Kathy had to stand in the roadway and flag them down, if it had been me standing in the roadway, Susan would have been yelling "faster, faster", but I don't think Jim would have run me down) and were able to have lunch with them and spend a little time talking. Susan is looking a lot better and Jim is much more relaxed. You can check Susan's blog for an update on her health. I can tell you, she looks great, except for still a slight resemblance to Chip and Dale.

Well, I'm going to close this thing out for now and try to figure out what the heck to do with all those caladiums. Be good to yourself today, give your inner child a cookie, and if you have any to spare, give my inner child one too.

God bless,