Sunday, March 15, 2009

Emily P's Recital

Last night I had the pleasure of hearing Emily P play the violin and piano at her "unofficial" senior recital, which took place at her church. She has been taking violin lessons since the age of three, and piano since the age of eight, of course she is very good at both. She is a member of several honor orchestras and has played in our city's symphony. Her mother is a violin teacher, though she did not teach her daughter. That never works very well.

Emily and her mom

Emily played seven pieces, and had all but the last one, "Tarantella", a duet with her mother, memorized. I really like that piece, but my favorite was "The Entrance of the Queen of Sheba". It struck me while mother and daughter were playing together, what a blessing it is for them to share the gift and beauty of making music together. To create something at the same time, to blend in perfect harmony. It is certainly something rare and precious in this day and age, a mother and daughter bonding through classical music.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Pastel Mints Medicine

Pastel Mints

I bought a box of pastel mints today that were marked down to half price. I am not in the habit of buying candy or keeping it around the house, mostly because I have no self-control when it comes to sweets. None. Two of my boys still live at home. At Halloween, I buy candy early while the selection is good, then I give the unopened bags of candy to them for safe keeping. LOL I buy their favorites because they get to eat whatever is leftover, and anymore, we don't get many Trick or Treaters.

On a sidenote, Youngest Son was disappointed that Halloween fell on a Friday last year since he didn't get to dress up and go beg for candy because he had a football game to play in. Just as well...people look a little askance at a 6'2" 'kid' Trick or Treating.

Anyway, back to the story. Mom bought me a crystal candy dish some years ago. I have it filled with dried hollyhock flowers. My mom never kept candy out in the open either. She'd hide chocolate up in a kitchen cupboard. But my youngest sister aka a Chocolate Bloodhound, would find it. When we were very young, and one of us needed a St Joseph's orange flavored baby aspirin, which we LOVED, she would open up another aspirin bottle for the "well" kid. It held pastel mint "medicine" and she gave one mint to the well kid. We knew it wasn't medicine, but it kept everybody happy.

Here's a picture of my sister and me at about the ages of four and two, when we were given "pastel mint medicine". I'm the dark haired one on the right.


P.S. I've eaten almost the whole jar of mints while typing this...that's 130 g of sugar! Ugh! I'm getting a headache and going into a coma now. Goodbye.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Spring Garden Chores Begin


This is my strawberry garden, ...rather messy after winter. We threw some old cyclone fencing and a broken trellis across it for the winter because our dog was having territory issues with the dogs next door and would tear through my strawberries, leaving torn up plants in her wake. The dead vines hanging on the trellises are perennial sweet peas.

Actually, this is the second version of a strawberry garden I planted probably 18 years ago. The first one never thrived as it was shaded by a big cottonwood tree AND tree roots interfered with the whole garden concept. Impossible to dig and plant around tree roots. Those plants died out and the garden was abandoned.

Then the cottonwood's lead branch was destroyed in the October Blizzard of 1994. The tree began to slowly die, though we kept it for a long while because my boys loved to climb it AND one end of a zip line was attached to it. A few years ago we had the tree cut down. Meanwhile, on the other side of the backyard, my neighbor's strawberry plants had migrated under the fence into my border garden. But our side of the fence was very shady and again the strawberry plants didn't produce much fruit.

Last year, I decided to transplant a bunch of those 'volunteers' to my old strawberry garden, which now sits in the sun most of the day. I put in as much compost as my compost bins had produced, to enrich the soil and started anew.

I was rewarded with the tastiest strawberries I've ever had in my life. The flavor is intense and sweet. Now, I simply cannot abide even the organic strawberries that our local supermarket carries. "My" strawberries have the deepest, most solid red color I've ever seen. I have no idea what name they are called, but who cares. They taste great.


Below is what the perennial sweet peas look like in summer...I left these that I had planted in interim years "between strawberry gardens" because they are so beautiful . I tie them to the trellises. I'd like them planted somewhere else because they throw a million seeds that volunteer, but right now I don't know where to put them.

Perennial Pink Sweet Peas

Here is the garden all cleaned up an hour or so later.


Can't wait to eat some of these strawberries in a couple of months!

P.S. The blue metal drum there off to the left... it's full of compost from the local sewage treatment plant. It is deemed safe for kitchen gardens, but I just can't bring myself to use it on them. I do use it on the lawn and flower gardens though. Powerful stuff...a little goes a long way,...the flowers love it.