Posts Tagged With: plants


I was raised Christian and I’m continually stunned by avowed Christians who peddle hate, and spew vitriol about Arabs or Muslims or blacks, or gays… Hate begets hate; it sears the soul and I have a difficulty with that paradox. It is also partly why I am no longer a Christian nor a believer.

So, what can we expect from our government? Right now it is divisive, there is dominant greed, a consuming lust for money, power and prestige. Decisions are made to keep themselves in power over the broader good of the country, everywhere, not just in the United States.

And while I hew to no organized religion I would invite religious leaders to condemn the behaviors we see in government and to be vocal about reminding them of their supposed purpose as leaders.

The world’s religious leaders weighed in, representing 100 of the world’s diverse faiths, including Buddhism, Islam, Bahaism, Judaism, Confucianism, Zoroastrianism and all the organized Christian religions, Pentecostals, Catholics, Protestants, Evangelical Christians, Mormons.

Together they formed a Parliament of the World’s Religions. They found some common ground issued a joint statement of rules for living which exhorts all people to eschew violence, to respect and restore the planet and to work together to address the worldwide problems of poverty, hunger, oppression and prejudice. A  GLOBAL ETHIC.

Here are some of their (abbreviated by me)  Declarations toward a Global Ethic:

WE are interdependent.

Each of us depends on the well-being of the whole, people, animals, plants…

WE take individual responsibility for all we do.

All decisions, actions, and failures to act have consequences…

WE must treat others as we wish to be treated.

Respect life, dignity individuality and diversity, so every human is treated humanely…

WE consider humankind our family.

Serve others, forgive, not be enslaved by memories of hate, equality between men and women…

WE must strive for a just social and economic order, in which everyone has an equal chance of reaching his or her full potential.

We must speak and act truthfully and fairly…

WE commit ourselves to a culture of respect, justice and peace.

We will not oppress, injure, torture or kill…

Earth cannot be changed for the better unless the consciousness of individuals is changed first.

We pledge to increase our awareness by meditation, prayer, positive thinking, understanding, friendship, peace fostering…

And so it goes. The ten page document was forged by 200 religious leaders in 1993. Well meaning, but since then things have only gotten worse.

I wonder if the Parliament would choose a different leader every month to attend every session of Congress and continually quest them to adhere to the basic tenants of their declaration before they voted, if it would help? In essence to become a presence of conscience at every step of the way? Might help. Couldn’t hurt.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


DSC08641 (Copy)

Evergreen Fair has a sizable horse community. And, cattle, too, both meat and dairy. Just peeking into this barn, from her costume,  it looked like a girl dressed for English riding.

DSC08640 (Copy)

A barn with what I’d have to call “normal” sized horses. This young girl is a barrel racer. She calls it gaming. At our fair we have pony express and barrel racing among other speed riding feats.

Another Champion

A board full of ribbons for this pretty palomino. Her open stable door is an invitation for people to pet her horse and ask questions.

DSC08649 (Copy)

Then we saw a quarter horse. Ah. A familiar since my daughter Virginia took her quarter horse to the fair.

021-FirstPlace,Novice Category1981 (Copy)

She took a first place in the “novice” category, her first year with her horse, Reno.

023 -May, the fair. Copy

Both my girls had horse projects in 4-H. Kristanne, at age 10 wanted to join the horse project. We lived in a city and the leader said she couldn’t take that unit without her own horse. Her reply:  “Does that boy own his own tractor?”  They were speechless for a moment or two, and conceded that she should be allowed to join the horse project. She learned a lot and got to ride other kids horses.

DSC08732 (Copy)

The next barn we visited had sheep and goats. Black faced beauties sheared before the fair. Their wool is measured by weight.DSC08733 (Copy)

This sheep is a wool and meat animal.

DSC08735 (Copy)

Angora goats can keep their horns.  Oils stay in the coat and are judged before shearing.

DSC08740 (Copy)

Angora goats produce mohair. Only a few pens held sheep and goats. This is cattle and horse country.

DSC08742 (Copy)

The old fashioned spinning wheel is put to work, turning the mohair into yarn.


I finally found the dairy goats. Again, not many represented. Nubians are by far the most popular dairy goat. Their milk is very rich and plentiful. Virginia raised dairy goats in her 4-H project and two hogs as well. Dairy goats are a lot of work, but rewarding.

DSC08763 (Copy)

Another nubian in colors I hadn’t seen before. Kids love their goats and sleep in the pens with them before they give birth or whenever they want to rest.

DSC08755 (Copy)

This is an alpine goat.


A la mancha goat has funny little ears. They are small goats, good keepers and absolute escape artists. At the fair, people would ask, “How come you cut off their ears?” Virginia had one and was glad to see her go. Her 4-h project had toggenbergs as well, but I didn’t see any at this fair.

DSC08777 (Copy)

After the goats, we went to the cattle barns. In the arena they were judging heifers.

DSC08775 (Copy)

They are young and can be ornery and difficult to handle. This girl had to drag her animal into line.

DSC08781 (Copy)

We saw some beautiful dairy cows.

DSC08779 (Copy)

This girl was outside of the judging area and looking angrilly at the arena. Her dairy cow may have been disqualified, or she was simply unhappy with the beast. But, to me, she was a beautiful specimen. I only mention it because the kids who raise animals for the fair have a serious regimen and rules to follow. It is great training, hard work and discipline.

DSC08698 (Copy)

Enough of animals for now. We stopped in the horticulture exhibit and saw plenty. But, here are 3 different tuberous begonias, one of my favorite flowers.

DSC08699 (Copy)

Drop dead beautiful color.

DSC08700 (Copy)

A begonia with prettier leaves than blossoms, which are bitty little flowers on a thin stem. We will visit rabbits and chickens, pigeons and ducks, tomorrow. Can you tell I love a fair? Something for everyone.












Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments


I’ve been kind of ho-hum about genetically modified foods, except, I believe we have the right to know what we are eating and whether it is genetically modified or not. The right to know is important. We’ve had genetically modified products for ages. Just hand pollinating or cross pollinating is genetically modifying a plant. Or, grafting a scion from a different fruit tree onto another, is an example. But, adding chemicals to seed is an whole other step. My feeling is that the company who modifies it should know the end result if the seedlings spread to the wild or cause unwanted changes.

One negative about genetically modified seed comes from a farmer who bought seed at his supplier and the supplier said he had some of this “new” seed from Monsanto that someone had ordered, then failed to pick up. The farmer bought it, planted it and was crucified when the company found out he had it. He was put through a horrible rigamarole because he hadn’t permission to use it from the company, nor paid the full price. They harassed him through two growing seasons for fear of patent infringement. The hapless farmer was pretty unhappy with the way he was treated by this mega corporation.

But, now comes information from a study that is disturbing. However, I don’t know the size of the study and who conducted it. I read about it on

Rats fed a lifetime diet of Monsanto’s genetically engineered corn or exposed to the company’s popular Roundup herbicide, in amounts considered “safe” in drinking water and GM crops in the U.S., developed tumors and suffered severe kidney and liver damage, according to a study released this week.

We may not develop the same problems as rats, but even rats are part of the environmental balance we need. What else will it affect?  Birds? Or raptors that eat rats and gophers?

And this from the editors of On Earth Magazine, a publication that deals with environmental issues:

Carbon-fueled climate change is responsible for many terrifying things, but some normal-seeming rice plants in one recent study is a warning. Scientists from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture grew a feral, weedy from of rice alongside a cultivated form in controlled environments that reflected carbon dioxide levels of a century ago. As C0-2 levels went up, the weedy rice was better able to synchronize its flowering period to that of the cultivate rice, leading to cross pollination and resulting in a zombie-like hybrid with alarming characteristics. From the feral parent, came a diminished nutritional content and a weaker hull. But, the cultivated parent gave it a genetic resistance to weed killers. The weedy rice that always pops up in fields has been traditionally controlled by herbicides.

Now, add in climate change with genetically modified seeds with resistant chemicals in them?  Could be a horror movie.

We don’t have corporate soil and private soil. It’s everyone’s soil. So, when we put something in the soil, it should first be proved harmless. Back off, Monsanto. Prove your safety. But, that isn’t likely to happen now, is it?

Isn’t it wonderful to know that corporations and conglomerates always have our best interests at heart?



Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments


Most of us have several families, children, siblings, cousins, or pets.  I have a family of plants. I didn’t start out to name them, but  each one is a story. This is Kristanne, who had me baby-sit her plants when she was moving out of her apartment. It almost created a border incident as we traveled to Southern California, picked up her houseplants, with a much smaller version of this giant, returned home by way of Arizona, and re-entered California. The border guard wanted to know what all those plants were sticking out of the windows in the back seat,  and poking out of an uncloseable trunk.  After a suspicious examination he said:  “Do you always take your plants with you on vacation?”

Now, what to do with it?  Damaged by frost while the tile floor was redone after a flood in December, it has lost some of its beauty. It is full of sharp, points. Nearly impossible to move. It needs re-potting. Its gotta go.

Uncle Charlie is a split leaf philodendron, given to my best friend, Betty, (now deceased). She named it and lovingly cared for it, split it,  and shared it many times in defiance of her husband’s family who rejected and ostracized his gay brother Charlie.  I need to nourish that statement for Betty.

My mother-in-law Alta, gave me many plants, and two survive, this soft begonia…

…and this very fitting mother-in-laws tongue. It is twisted and woody and old and should be tossed. But, Alta has been with me for so many years. How can I do that to her, no matter how sharp her tongue was?

My mother had a black thumb, so she often bought plants for me so she could enjoy them at my house. This lipstick plant is about three feet long, and very plain when not in bloom. Do I really need to keep it?

Then there’s moses-in -a-boat from my dear friend Anne.

And a rosary plant from Aunt Kathleen.

My Jeannie, hoya, I’ve had for 51 years.

And, a fiddle-leaf philodendron that is nine feet tall and spreads another seven feet along my dining room ceiling. It, too, struggles with a too small pot and neglect. It’s time. But…they’re family!


Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment


I’ve been accused of being biased and I know it’s true.   I know  two of the cutest kids on the planet and, they are all mine to spoil for another day before I head for home.

Owen spent a day with a friend while Theo stayed close to my elbow explaining how to play plants vs. zombies on a DS, an electronic toy. His parents limit their time on electronic devices, which is a good thing for a parent to do,  but Theo claimed he would like to have enough  time to play to an advanced enough stage where he can earn enough coin (fake coin) t0 buy another version of the game. So, of course, I made sure he had a leisurely day of lying around and playing DS as much as he wanted for a whole day. Ahhh!  It’s so fun to be a grandma.

He did his chores, put the chickens to bed, fed and played with the cats, and we both enjoyed the day.

Then we enjoyed the neighbor’s fire on his driveway, (a curiosity), from  distance.


Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment


My neighbor, Jan Stewart, invited Jim and I over for a second Thanksgiving Dinner with her family. Jan is my friend and neighbor.

Her son, Brian, went to grammar and high school with my youngest daughter.

Brian’s wife, Debbie Pendergrast and my daughter were best of friends and have children close in age.
Jan’s oldest grandson, cammeron, is now married with a child of his own and he lives on the road above me and is also my neighbor.
His mother is Jan’s oldest daughter shown here with her first grandbaby. That makes Jan a great grandmother. It sneaks up on you. Suddenly we are the matriarch’s of our families and it only gets better and better. When I was growing up, grandmothers and great grandmothers didn’t look like these two women, youthful and full of fun. May it ever stay that way.
I like the connections and roots of friends, family and neighbors. But, as Jim prepares to leave, I know that you don’t lose those connections by becoming a gypsy and ramblin’ about the countryside as we did most of 2009 and 2010. You just gain friendships and connections as you go. How grateful I am to have met and got to know Jim’s son and family, cousins, Donna and Bob Parker, the Di Paola family, Diane and Bob Comollo, Jackie and Ray Nichol and their daughter Rebecca, Simone and Pat Purcell. Friends, Dolly Giordano and Arthur, Bill and Loretta Gallagher, Jim and Ginnie Palumbo, Sue and Art Lambart, Ted and Sandy Walden, Leo and Fran Perth, Ted and Judy Price, Al Penta, Beverly Malland, Randy Vining, Bob Gambol, Horst and Margo Schnieder, Barbara De La Fuente, Helga Geday, Jan and Larry Seaberg, Debra Vinsel, Kerri Kaufman, Donna Huffer, Bob Parker…I’m probably forgetting someone. Each has become a connection and gives life that same solidity as the roots of home.
Now I have new names to give to my plants. My wandering jew I’ll call Randy…
Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at