Sunday, January 21, 2018

Kindness of Strangers

It was the sixth anniversary of my husband's death.  It fell on a work day, so I went to work.  I was feeling kind of melancholy as I began my work day, thinking about all that had transpired over the last 6 years.  Each of my children was deeply affected by their Dad's death.  I had not realized, until this year, how much grief affects us, how it leaves an imprint on our minds and bodies.  It comes out in various ways, good and bad.

 I guess I was just hyper-sensitive that day.

It began early.  A man, I don't even know if he was a customer of mine or not, brought a large box, set it down and asked me what were these things inside.  As I opened the box it was filled with bulk herbs and exotic flowers.  He told me it was delivered to him, he tried to send it back, to no avail and he wanted to get rid of, so he gave it to me.  

Next, a woman,I don't even know if she was a customer of mine or not, gave me a bouquet of beautiful origami flowers.  She had been taught to make them from a Japanese friend, and had made a bouquet for me and another vendor.  Those beautiful flowers truly lifted my spirits!

After her, a customer gave me a hug for no reason, because they felt like it.

After that hug, a man bought a gift for his wife.  I told him how much, and he added a $5 tip, saying it was worth that much.

I was overwhelmed with gratitude.  I expressed my gratitude to a couple visiting from out of the area, told them what day it was and how my day had been going.  They added to the intrigue by telling me they were specifically told to stop by my table if they came to the market.

Is this weird or what?

To top it off, the coffee I purchased at the market with steamed cream was perfect!

I left work that day feeling tired, but grateful for all the many acts of kindness I received throughout that day.

None of those people will ever know how much their kindness meant to me that particular day. We don't know, or will we ever know, how our kindness affects others.  

Lesson learned: Kindness with a smile is a divine gift that enriches not only ourselves, but others who receive and see it! 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Surviving The Wooden Spoon

Surviving the Wooden Spoon.

My daughter showed me a Facebook posting of a printed tee shirt that read I survived the wooden spoon.  This gave us a laugh, because I was a fan of the wooden spoon.
We had five children.  Someone asked my husband years ago how many children he had.  He responded five.  The person told him he must be brave.  My husband responded brave or foolish, take your pick!

All of my children were mild spirited.  They all got along well with each other and others.  This made my job as a disciplinarian less stressful.  There were rules of engagement which we expected them to follow.  If not, they were warned.  The last time would be a promise.  "If you continue in this behavior, I promise you'll get the wooden spoon, and when you make a promise, what do you have to do?"  I'd let them finish.  "Keep it" as their eyes would hit the floor!
So the choice was theirs.  Rarely ever did I have to use the wooden spoon.  If I did, it wasn't in anger, it was fulfilling a promise! But I always kept it in my purse, just for show!
Today, my children are bright,  loving, compassionate, and caring people who are loyal, and keep their promises, sometimes to a fault.
Every once in a while though, I think they need to see the wooden spoon.  Choices some have made are kind of dumb and stupid, but I have patience and confidence that any weaknesses they struggle with, they will overcome.
So I may have to order 5 of those tee shirts, no 6, one for each of them and one for me!

Sunday, September 27, 2015


A customer stopped by my booth at the farmer's market this past week, and told me I needed to update my blog!  I told him I was thinking I needed to and was going to to.  I'm sure he rolled his eyes thinking sure!
My friend started a blog recently, and I am excited for her. 
Really I had started thinking about my own blog and what a slacker I was since I haven't posted anything since the Birds.  So I goggled the definition:
a person who avoids work or effort.
  1. So maybe I'm not a slacker in the strictest definition of the word, but real close.

    When I first started blogging my husband wondered out loud how I was going to pull it off since as he said I couldn't write myself out of a paper bag, and  it was the planning part that excited me, not the follow through.

    My reaction was I'll show him!

    When I began I had ideas galore (Must have been the wine coolers I was drinking), I had posts, posts, and more posts.  I had projects lined up to tackle.

    But you know what?  Life gets in the way sometimes.  My husband got sick and died which threw me for a loop, and took the I'll show him determination out of it.  I had a household to manage.  I became the principle breadwinner, and stuff kept happening.  Blog ideas popped into my head, only to be lost in the ether.  It's hard writing consistently.  

    I wish my friend well in her entry into blogdom.  I know it is a disciplined endeavor, and I think she is up to it. I am looking forward to following her musings and her day to day escapades.  If you would like to check her blog out, click the link
    Meanwhile, please be patient with me while I get back into the groove!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Bird Update

I wrote a few months back about the problems I had been having with birds in my 65 foot Pine tree.  I kind of outlined how I would proceed with my bird eradication  mission.  And mission it was. 
This year I fought back big time and won!   In early April, I heard the first squawks of the season.  I connected our piano keyboard to our guitar amplifier and fired away!  Each morning between 5:00 and 5:30 if one was awake, I could be heard blasting away at the night Herons who insisted on nesting in my tree.

Incredibly not one neighbor complained!

Each morning I would count about how many flew out of the tree;  2 dozen, 3 dozen, 1 dozen, 4 dozen, then one day there were so many, I used one of my husbands favorite terms; butt load, which incidentally is a unit of measure, , each morning it took 15 to 20 minutes of hassling so they would not return that day.

I was so tired each morning when I would hear the squawks,  many mornings I just wanted to stay in bed and hassle them later.  But no,  I got up and went outside saying to myself. "Oh no you don't!"

That diligence paid off!  It took about 3 weeks, then they were gone.  Not one bird was left in my tree! Where they went, no one knows.  I just chalk it up to what the Bible at Ecclesiastes 9:15 says about a city:  "And there was found in it a man (or woman),* needy [but]*wise, and that one provided escape for the city by his (her)wisdom.+ But no man remembered that needy man (woman).

There were no birds to be found in the whole town!  I saved the whole town from those birds this year. Think I got credit?  Hah!  But that is okay.  I could walk under my tree this year.  No dead bird stench, no big bird poop over everything.  Just a quiet and peaceful summer and fall.

Lesson learned?  Diligence pays off!  Any goal that is diligently and persistently worked at can and will be realized!

Next year those birds may try to return to my 65 foot Pine tree.  You know what I have to say about that?


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Class of 1973

The class of '73  Wow!

Today at the market 4 women assembled in front of my table.  I heard screaming and saw hugging.

 "What is going on in front of my table."  I thought to myself.  So I approached these women and asked what the ruckus was all about.

One apologized  for blocking my table.

"We're here for our 40th high school reunion,"  another spouted off, and, "I haven't seen her in years!"

Being slow on the uptake, I asked what year they graduated.  1973 was their reply.

1973?  That was the year I graduated from high school.  Has it been forty years?

I overheard one telling the other 3, she had been married for 35 years, her oldest son had given  them a grandchild.  Each shared a little about what they had been doing during those forty years.

It was quite a moment, as I scanned back over the forty years I had been out of high school.

 It has been said that the forties are the old age of one's youth, but the fifties are the youth of old age!  As I observed these women, they were indeed in the youth of their old age! 

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Birds

For the last 8 years or so, we've had a bird dilemma.  Each year towards the end of March  and well into May, Night Herons have chosen the 65 foot pine tree in our front yard to roost and to hatch the next generation.  
Adult Male Heron
When we first moved into our new home, I remember explaining to my youngest, who was about 5,  that we weren't the only family living on our property.    We observed together the various birds building nests in our trees, and enjoyed watching them. 

These are a different kind of bird!

The birds I'm describing now are NOT welcome in my trees.  The first year we had the epidemic we had about 4 dozen of those birds in our tree.  They squawked like chickens early in the morning, left big bird poop over everything in sight, and in their clumsiness while feeding their babies, dropped crawdad shells and small fish in my front yard.  Cars were splattered.  Heads pooped on, and so on and so on.  Friends swore they wouldn't visit me any more.  When asked why, they'd tell me to look at their car!

The worst of the infestation came in mid July with 110 degree temperatures.  I kid you not.  The babies would fall out of the tree.  Unable to get back into the tree, they would die.  Wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of dead birds were hauled off and buried. The stench was overwhelming!

The next year we fought back.  But I must tell you, these birds are protected by law!  Once they nest, it is against the law to bother them.
Heron Eggs
Juvenile Heron

My husband rigged a conduit pole system.  Each pole was 5 feet in length, with connectors.  When they returned each year we would each morning dawn our hard hats and create a 65 foot pole.  I'd hand him each length until we could see it out the top of our tree a block away!  Then we would  shake it until they flew off.  We had about a ninety-five percent reduction of birds in our tree.  There are always stubborn rebels, even in the bird kingdom! The key was to chase them off before they nested.  We knew their biological clock told them they had to lay that egg!  So hassling them each morning was the thing to do!  They'd fly off, where I did not care!

That was our morning ritual for years.  When Barry got sick we were unable to chase the birds away.  They returned.  Not as many as before, but enough to make a mess.  I swore to myself no more.  I would not have those birds in my yard even if it meant cutting that beautiful tree down.

Last year they returned and I went into action. Since loud noises bothered them, my idea was to install a speaker 60 feet up in the tree, record predator noises on my iPod, and blast them!  Nice idea, but it didn't work.  We blew 2 speakers!  I started fooling around with the sound effects on our electronic keyboard.!  I went through most all of them to find something I could use.  I found gunshot sound effects.  I was on to something!  We hooked the keyboard to a guitar amplifier and fired away!  It almost worked except I noticed, about a week later, egg shells on the ground in my front yard. Crap, we were 4 weeks late! Once again wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of dead babies were carted off!

This year there will be no fooling around.  We are on it!   I hope the neighbors understand.