June 1st, 2006



Today I went out to purview my harvest. No skunk. The cats were all bunched around the food, as normal. My quart sized water jar was defenseless, however. Today, garden ravages were NOT weather-related.

One of the CATS uprooted a nacent watermelon/cantaloupe/cucumber/green bean plant (right. i have a "black thumb" -- I have to wait until fruit appears before I know what I am going to be harvesting most of the time.) I DO know a bean seed from the others, and the black type of watermelon seed. So, either a just sprouted cucumber or cantaloupe is lying there, all dried out.

Do NOT think "bean sprouts" here...


Meanwhile, indoors, the 72 delphinium seeds that were twice replaced when nothing sprouted now show some signs of little whiskers of plants.

Some balls have mold, but I'm pretty sure the rest have what will be plants. And with year-old seed I found in the back room in a box, unplanted. I bought them in late October last year, discounted, and when I got home, discovered it was too late at our latitude to expect them to survive outside.

This February, forgetting that I had seeds already on hand, I purchased more. I think they didn't grow because I had them under a north facing window, and the area was just too dark.

I set them on a box, higher, in between two windows, sort of in the way, then just be sure I don't carry fat things past, as the box they are balanced on is about half the size of the tray.

I'm excited! I've wanted Delphinium for years. They won't flower this year at all, but that's not a problem if I get them well-established. They are a perennial.

So far, next to the white skirting of the mobile home, I have yellow tulips (labeled PINK, of course) blue/gray bearded iris, miniature hyathesianths, pink tulips, and some tiny white fall blossoms that ALSO have stickers when they flower, which makes them a NO GO around the house, as I have to pick them out of my pants and socks all the time. Of course, they are VERY persistent...and TALL.

More Cool Language -- Lytton Strachey, Eminent Victorian

. .restless and indomitable, scouring like a stormy petrel the angry ocean of debate.
    -- Lytton Strachey, Eminent Victorians


Word of the Day for Thursday, June 1, 2006

stormy petrel \STOR-mee-PET-ruhl\, noun:
1. Any of various small sea birds of the family Hydrobatidae, having dark plumage with paler underparts; also called storm petrel.

2. One who brings discord or strife, or appears at the onset of trouble.

But far from a 'pet' of the Communist regime, Gorky, the "stormy petrel of the revolution," also condemned the revolution early on as a "cruel experiment" with the Russian people "doomed to failure."
    -- Valentina Kolesnikova, "Maxim Gorky: Hostage of the Revolution", Russian Life, June 1, 1996

And, after grading a huge pile of semester tests, this one had special appeal:

Word of the Day for Wednesday, May 31, 2006

pleonasm \PLEE-uh-naz-uhm\, noun:
1. The use of more words than are necessary to express an idea; as, "I saw it with my own eyes."

2. An instance or example of pleonasm.

3. A superfluous word or expression.

Dougan uses many words where few would do, as if pleonasm were a way of wringing every possibility out of the material he has, and stretching sentences a form of spreading the word.
    -- Paula Cocozza, "Book review: How Dynamo Kiev beat the Luftwaffe", Independent, March 2, 2001


Such a phrase from President Nixon's era, much favored by politicians, is "at this moment in time." Presumably these five words mean "now." That pleonasm probably does little harm except, perhaps, to the reputation of the speaker.
    -- Eoin McKiernan, "Last Word: Special Relationships", Irish America, August 31, 1994


Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! And to Spiro, too...

Just a Horse

Do you remember, fayzee, my KCMO friend MH from Seven Castles Arabians? Her last horse, Buzz, her driving horse, just had to be put down. I think he's in his 30's so that's no surprise, but, yeah, it's about the tears... So I stole a bit from your email -- I hope you don't mind...

This came to me today, and somehow struck a chord in my heart. It was just yesterday, I was unloading branches and looking at the hills behind Jake and Wanda's house, and thinking how I missed Dakota and wishing for one more ride, and I choked back a tear, because I did not want to miss what I can no longer have, then this came, just as a picture of Joc's beautiful face disappeared from the computer, and I miss "just a horse". Thank you, L, for sharing; I am sharing my tears with all of you today.

The Wave

Goodbye, Dear Friend.

Just a Horse!

From time to time, people tell me, "lighten up, it's just a horse," or,"that's a lot of money for just a horse". They don't understand the distance traveled, the time spent, or the costs involved for "just a horse." Some of my proudest moments have come about with "just a horse." Many hours have passed and my only company was "just a horse," but I did not once feel slighted. Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by "just a horse," and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of "just a horse" gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day.

If you, too, think it's "just a horse," then you will probably understand phrases like "just a friend," "just a sunrise," or "just a promise." "Just a horse" brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy. "Just a horse" brings out the compassion and patience that make me a better person. Because of "just a horse" I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future.

So for me and folks like me, it's not "just a horse" but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment. "Just a horse" brings out what's good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day. I hope that someday they can understand that it's not "just a horse" but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being "just a woman/man."

So the next time you hear the phrase "just a horse", just smile, because they "just" don't understand.

Live Simply.
Love Generously.
Care Deeply.
Speak Kindly...
and Leave the Rest to God.
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