Sunday, August 30, 2015

Don't You Just Love Pop Music?

The Nashville Public Library team celebrates library cards in this adaptation of Meghan Trainor’s performance of “All About That Bass.”

Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Night At the Library . . .

Presented by Pogona Creative and the Orange Public Library in association with Chapman University, 
and originally prepared for National Library Week. I found it on TheLiteracySiteDotCom.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Quote of the Day

Find the good. It’s all around you.
Find it, showcase it and you’ll start believing it.

- Jesse Owens.
 Olympic athlete, winner of four gold medals

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ode to the West Wind

- Percy Bysshe Shelley

O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being,
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,

Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
Pestilence-stricken multitudes: O thou,
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed

The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave, until
Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow

Her clarion o’er the dreaming earth, and fill
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)
With living hues and odours plain and hill:

Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;
Destroyer and preserver; hear, oh hear!


Thou on whose stream, mid the steep sky’s commotion,
Loose clouds like earth’s decaying leaves are shed,
Shook from the tangled boughs of Heaven and Ocean,

Angels of rain and lightning: there are spread
On the blue surface of thine aëry surge,
Like the bright hair uplifted from the head

Of some fierce Maenad, even from the dim verge
Of the horizon to the zenith’s height,
The locks of the approaching storm. Thou dirge

Of the dying year, to which this closing night
Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre,
Vaulted with all thy congregated might

Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere
Black rain, and fire, and hail will burst: oh hear!


Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams
The blue Mediterranean, where he lay,
Lull’d by the coil of his crystàlline streams,

Beside a pumice isle in Baiae’s bay,
And saw in sleep old palaces and towers
Quivering within the wave’s intenser day,

All overgrown with azure moss and flowers
So sweet, the sense faints picturing them! Thou
For whose path the Atlantic’s level powers

Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below
The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear
The sapless foliage of the ocean, know

Thy voice, and suddenly grow gray with fear,
And tremble and despoil themselves: oh hear!


If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;
If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee;
A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share

The impulse of thy strength, only less free
Than thou, O uncontrollable! If even
I were as in my boyhood, and could be

The comrade of thy wanderings over Heaven,
As then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed
Scarce seem’d a vision; I would ne’er have striven

As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.
Oh, lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!
I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!

A heavy weight of hours has chain’d and bow’d
One too like thee: tameless, and swift, and proud.


Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is:
What if my leaves are falling like its own!
The tumult of thy mighty harmonies

Will take from both a deep, autumnal tone,
Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce,
My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one!

Drive my dead thoughts over the universe
Like wither’d leaves to quicken a new birth!
And, by the incantation of this verse,

Scatter, as from an unextinguish’d hearth
Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
Be through my lips to unawaken’d earth

The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Kilt Monday!

'Cause let's face it,
Mondays can be so rough, hard, difficult.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Too Soon?

To Autumn
- William Blake

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stain’d
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou may’st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.

“The narrow bud opens her beauties to
The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;
Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and
Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve,
Till clust’ring Summer breaks forth into singing,
And feather’d clouds strew flowers round her head.

“The spirits of the air live in the smells
Of fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves round
The gardens, or sits singing in the trees.”
Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat,
Then rose, girded himself, and o’er the bleak
Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

It'a A Garden Party! - Change is in the Air

This feature, originally known as Saturday Farmer's Market, was created by Heather at Capricious Reader, and then hosted by Chris at Stuff as Dreams are Made on.

I lost all the new pictures I just took. I uploaded them but I can't find them anyplace. I've combed through the entire computer and they are gone. 

That includes the pictures for this post, so it will consist mostly of me blathering on.
Leaves from the neighbor's massive Maple tree are already making their way into the yard. Flowers are sprinkled sparingly across the garden and the edges of their leaves are traced with brown.

The weeds don't seem to be slowing their determined campaign to take over, and the afternoon sun is still punishing. But change, it rolls on.

We're losing the small Pluot tree. High winds knocked out my supports, and the sudden drop snapped off several heavily fruited branches. I tried to minimize the damage but the remaining branches are withering.

The other Pluot tree is also showing signs of stress. A few small branches are withering even with a lot of new growth new growth. I keep a close eye on the water needs of the trees, for obvious reasons, and that doesn't seem to be the problem.

Ah, the life of a farmer.

We suffered another loss this week. Our Australian Shepherd, Zeke, had been suffering from bladder cancer, but we thought he might still be with us for a while. Unfortunately, he suddenly stopped eating and we couldn't entice him with even the most tempting of previously forbidden contraband.

Epitaph to a Dog
Lord Byron

Near this spot
Are deposited the Remains of one
Who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity,
And all the Virtues of Man without his Vices.

The Price, which would be unmeaning flattery
If inscribed over Human Ashes,
Is but a just tribute to the Memory of
“Boatswain,” a Dog
Who was born at Newfoundland,
May, 1803,
And died in Newstead Abbey,
Nov. 18, 1808.

When some proud son of man returns to earth,
Unknown by glory, but upheld by birth,
The sculptor’s art exhausts the pomp of woe,
And stories urns record that rests below.
When all is done, upon the tomb is seen,
Not what he was, but what he should have been.
But the poor dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend,
Whose honest heart is still his master’s own,
Who labors, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,
Unhonored falls, unnoticed all his worth,
Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth –
While man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven,
And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven.

Oh man! thou feeble tenant of an hour,
Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power –
Who knows thee well must quit thee with disgust,
Degraded mass of animated dust!
Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat,
Thy smiles hypocrisy, thy words deceit!
By nature vile, ennoble but by name,
Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame.
Ye, who perchance behold this simple urn,
Pass on – it honors none you wish to mourn.
To mark a friend’s remains these stones arise;
I never knew but one – and here he lies.

Many people find Autumn invigorating and inspiring. I'm not one of them; to me, Autumn and loss seem intractably entwined.

On the bright side, My freezer is almost full of delicious Roma tomatoes. My locally grown seedlings delivered well and I will try to save some seeds for next year.

Now is also the time to begin looking forward to next year's garden. I have ideas, but there is still a lot of work to do before I'd be able to implement any plans. 

Have you started thinking about next year yet?

Friday, August 21, 2015

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

This Morning's Selfie . . .

I don't mind growing old.

I never have.

But somehow this year has me taking stock of my life and feeling that there is way too much in the negative column and not nearly enough in the positive.

Not only have I failed to reach many lifetime goals, I have kept others from theirs.

Now what?

Once you've completed your inventory what are you supposed to do with it?

At my age it's way too late to start over.

Maybe I could find some inspiration in this list:

At 59, “Satchel” Paige became the oldest Major League baseball player.
At 60, playwright and essayist George Bernard Shaw finished writing "Heartbreak House," regarded by many as his masterpiece.
At 61, Charles Cagniard de la Tour, a French doctor, demonstrated that fermentation depends upon yeast cells.
At 62, J.R.R. Tolkien published the first volume of his fantasy series, "Lord of the Rings."
At 63, John Dryden undertook the enormous task of translating the entire works of Virgil into English verse.
At 64, Thomas Bowdler “bowdlerized” Shakespeare’s works, making them “family friendly.”
At 65, jazz musician Miles Davis defiantly performed his final live album, just weeks before he died.
At 66, Noah Webster completed his monumental "American Dictionary of the English Language."
At 67, Simeon Poisson discovered the laws of probability after studying the likelihood of death from mule kicks in the French army.
At 68, the English experimentalist Sir William Crookes began investigating radioactivity and invented a device for detecting alpha particles.
At 69, Canadian Ed Whitlock of Milton, Ontario, Canada, became the oldest person to run a standard marathon in under three hours (2:52:47).
At 70, Cornelius Vanderbilt began buying railroads.
At 71, Katsusuke Yanagisawa, a retired Japanese schoolteacher, became the oldest person to climb Mt. Everest.
At 72, Margaret Ringenberg flew around the world.
At 73, Larry King celebrated his 50th year in broadcasting.
At 74, Ferdinand Marie de Lesseps began an attempt to construct the Suez Canal.
At 75, cancer survivor Barbara Hillary became one of the oldest people, and the first black woman, to reach the North Pole.
At 76, Arthur Miller unveiled a bold new play, "The Ride Down Mt. Morgan," free of the world-weary tone of his previous works.
At 77, John Glenn became the oldest person to go into space.
At 78, Chevalier de Lamarck proposed a new theory of the evolutionary process, claiming that acquired characteristics can be transmitted to offspring.
At 79, Asa Long became the oldest U.S. checkers champion.
At 80, Christine Brown of Laguna Hills, CA, flew to China and climbed the Great Wall.
At 81, Bill Painter became the oldest person to reach the 14,411-foot summit of Mt. Rainier.
At 82, William Ivy Baldwin became the oldest tightrope walker, crossing the South Boulder Canyon in Colorado on a 320-foot wire.
At 83, famed baby doctor Benjamin Spock championed for world peace.
At 84, W. Somerset Maugham wrote "Points of View."
At 85, Theodor Mommsen became the oldest person to receive a Nobel Prize in Literature.
At 86, Katherine Pelton swam the 200-meter butterfly in 3 minutes, 1.14 seconds, beating the men’s world record for that age group by over 20 seconds.
At 87, Mary Baker Eddy founded the Christian Science Monitor.
At 88, Michelangelo created the architectural plans for the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli.
At 89, Arthur Rubinstein performed one of his greatest recitals in Carnegie Hall.
At 90, Marc Chagall became the first living artist to be exhibited at the Louvre museum.
At 91, Allan Stewart of New South Wales completed a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of New England.
At 92, Paul Spangler finished his 14th marathon.
At 93, P.G. Wodehouse worked on his 97th novel, was knighted and died.
At 94, comedian George Burns performed in Schenectady, NY, 63 years after his first performance there.
At 95, Nola Ochs became the oldest person to receive a college diploma.
At 96, Harry Bernstein published his first book, "The Invisible Wall," three years after he started writing to cope with loneliness after his wife of 70 years, Ruby, passed away.
At 97, Martin Miller was still working fulltime as a lobbyist on behalf of benefits for seniors.
At 98, Beatrice Wood, a ceramist, exhibited her latest work.
At 99, Teiichi Igarashi climbed Mt. Fuji.
At 100, Frank Schearer seems to be the oldest active water skier in the world.

Thank you Business Insider (of all places) for this encouragement.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Monday, August 17, 2015

Kilt Monday!

'Cause let's face it,
Mondays can be so rough, hard, difficult.

This is the season when many ask, "Are you red or are you blue?"
Well, which is it?

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Saturday, August 15, 2015

It's A Garden Party! - More Odds Than Ends

This feature, originally known as Saturday Farmer's Market, was created by Heather at Capricious Reader, and then hosted by Chris at Stuff as Dreams are Made on.

This showed up in the yard a while ago, and as we try to encourage any volunteers that might happen by, I let it stay.

It's located 'conveniently' between the actual beds and near the sidewalk.

I figured it was a Squash or a Cucumber, and was I surprised!

It looks remarkably like a Butternut Squash, don't you think?

I'd like to thank the birds for this lovely gift.

They share in my Fruit harvest, but give back so much in the form of pest control, song, and just plain beauty to the garden. Now they've added planting (something besides Sunflowers) to the mix.

Of course, the Oranges are hanging in there.

The tree doesn't seem to have suffered much so far from the change over in watering.

I still hold my breath when it comes to this tree. The Master Gardener said that it is so finicky because we are actually past the zone where they thrive.

I guess that's why you only see them in every third or fourth yard!

Tomatoes anyone?

The plants have taken over this bed, and I'm getting plenty of fruit along with the foliage.

The Bananas are also still happy.

I was afraid that the water cutbacks, might be a problem for them but they seem to be thriving.

Now, if I can believe the literature, We've only the frost to worry about.

The earlier the first frost hits, the less likely we are to have fruit.


Ah! Sunflower
- William Blake

Ah Sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveller's journey is done;

Where the Youth pined away with desire,
And the pale virgin shrouded in snow,
Arise from their graves, and aspire
Where my Sunflower wishes to go! 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Dewey Help?

I found this floating around and thought it was a great idea. It lets kids know where they to find help that they might not be willing to ask for.

This would be the most helpful bookmark I've ever seen. The individual books each library contains may vary, but the Dewey Decimal System categories are the same in all libraries, it's nearly universal.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Kilt Monday!

'Cause let's face it,
Mondays can be so rough, hard, difficult.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

They Have No Sense of Personal Space . . .

The morning glory!
It has taken the well bucket,
I must seek elsewhere for water.

- Kaga no Chiyo (woman haiku master)

Saturday, August 8, 2015

It's A Garden Party!

This feature, originally known as Saturday Farmer's Market, was created by Heather at Capricious Reader, and then hosted by Chris at Stuff as Dreams are Made on.

How I long to see
among dawn flowers,
the face of God.

- Matsu Basho

It's hot and dry here.

In our water bills we received notice that each household is to reduce water consumption by at least 35% or face stiff fines.

I started changing my garden a couple of years ago, and the biggest changes were in the irrigation system. Yes, I've let go of a lot of water hogging plants along the way, but I still have quite a few that may still need to go.

With the new soaker system, mulch, and change in plantings, I saved 45% in June. I don't know how I did last month because the link seems to have disappeared from the city website. But I'm off to a good start.

Even with the heat; even with the cut back in water; my garden still seems to be happy.

My Yellow Floribunda is still going strong. 
It blooms in bursts, waxing and waning, but shows no signs of stopping yet.

The Lavender has reached its peak and will soon be fading. 
Harvest will need to start by early next week.

I swear I thought this Bougainvillea was dead. 
After winter it was just brittle sticks, and as spring wore on nothing changed. Then suddenly bits of green appeared, and now look! It looks alive to me.

This Daisy just keeps on growing.

Dew evaporates
And all our world is dew . . . so dear,
So fresh, so fleeting

- Issa (on the death of his child)

Friday, August 7, 2015

With My Sweety in the Evening Garden . . .

Summer night -
even the stars
are whispering to each other.

 - Issa

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

In the Hammock . . .

I want to sleep
Swat the flies
Softly, please.

- Masaoka Shiki

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Autumn, the Seasom of Loss has Come Early This Year.

Empty-handed I entered
the world
Barefoot I leave it.
My coming, my going --
Two simple happenings
That got entangled.

Like dew drops
on a lotus leaf
I vanish.

- Kozan Ichikyo

Our cat George left us today, and yesterday we got news that our Australian Shepherd Zeke will be leaving us soon. This beautiful piece just seems appropriate

Monday, August 3, 2015

Kilt Monday!

'Cause let's face it,
Mondays can be so rough, hard, difficult.

Sunday, August 2, 2015


I've always been amazed at the artists who are able to create such intricate beauty with such a difficult and impermanent medium. To see more examples, click {HERE}.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

It's A Garden Party - Late Summer Odds & Ends

This feature, originally known as Saturday Farmer's Market, was created by Heather at Capricious Reader, and then hosted by Chris at Stuff as Dreams are Made on.

I know the Farmer's Market has been rained out the past few weeks. You know the old adage "when it rains, it pours?" Well . . .

This, however is a place I strive to keep positive, so without further ado:

We have a new 'face' in the garden.

I found him while preparing to weed eat around the Herb bed, and he got a bit miffed at me when I moved him out of the way.

Not as cranky as the Praying Mantis, but close.

I was sick when It was time to tie up the Tomatoes, so as a result the Romas are running all over the bed.

It is more difficult to pick the fruit, but I've never had such an incredible harvest.

My freezer is filling up and I imagine I'll be picking tomatoes up until frost.

Banana leaves make for beautiful artwork.

I don't know if I'll ever get any fruit, but the plants are quite happy with the same reduced amount of water the rest of the garden is getting. If the frost holds off long enough we'll have bananas.

The Crepe Myrtle seems to have such an ethereal air about it.

This year, like last, instead of blooming all at once the blooms seemed to roll across the canopy with large swaths of the tree budding, blooming,  and spent all at once.

That makes for a strange looking tree. The neighbors' trees have all done the same and so far I haven't found a reason why.


I hope, any way.

The neighbors have stopped watering their lawn, which means they are also no longer watering my Orange tree.

Now I can control the water - which means can't blame anyone else if I lose the oranges this year.

A Girl’s Garden
- Robert Frost
                         from: Mountain Interval

A neighbor of mine in the village
    Likes to tell how one spring
When she was a girl on the farm, she did
    A childlike thing.

One day she asked her father
    To give her a garden plot
To plant and tend and reap herself,
    And he said, “Why not?”

In casting about for a corner
    He thought of an idle bit
Of walled-off ground where a shop had stood,
    And he said, “Just it.”

And he said, “That ought to make you
    An ideal one-girl farm,
And give you a chance to put some strength
    On your slim-jim arm.”

It was not enough of a garden,
    Her father said, to plough;
So she had to work it all by hand,
    But she don’t mind now.

She wheeled the dung in the wheelbarrow
    Along a stretch of road;
But she always ran away and left
    Her not-nice load.

And hid from anyone passing.
    And then she begged the seed.
She says she thinks she planted one
    Of all things but weed.

A hill each of potatoes,
    Radishes, lettuce, peas,
Tomatoes, beets, beans, pumpkins, corn,
    And even fruit trees

And yes, she has long mistrusted
    That a cider apple tree
In bearing there to-day is hers,
    Or at least may be.

Her crop was a miscellany
    When all was said and done,
A little bit of everything,
    A great deal of none.

Now when she sees in the village
    How village things go,
Just when it seems to come in right,
    She says, “I know!

It’s as when I was a farmer——”
    Oh, never by way of advice!
And she never sins by telling the tale
    To the same person twice.