Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Thank You Note For Aunt Gigi

Dear Aunt Gigi,

Aunt Gigi you are the best! I want to thank you for bringing me all those Disney character toys from DisneyWorld in Orlando. Someday when I'm a little bit bigger I'm going to go down to Orlando and check out those Disney characters in person. I really like Buzz and Woody.

In the meantime I'm going to keep working on my walking so that when I get to DisneyWorld I can really do some high stepping around the parks.

Love and hugs from your little nephew,
Jack Aidan

P.S. Grandma Jojo helped me write this thank you note

Our Grandson's First Steps

Click on the two links below to see Jack Aidan taking his first steps. These are not his actual first steps, but he hasn't been walking long and needs to build up some confidence to let go of your hands. The first clip was filmed with the camera sideways, so you'll have to lean over to watch.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin's Home/Alaska Governor's Mansion

When we took our Holland American Cruise to Alaska in May of 2007 we toured Juneau, the state capitol, and walked around the Governor's mansion. At the time we didn't know who was the current governor of Alaska but what sticks in my mind is what we saw standing in the backyard: a small metal children's swing set. That's when it dawned on us that the Alaska governor must be rather young to have a swing set in the backyard. I guess we were right. She is a young mother with five children. I'm sure we will learn a lot more about her in days to come. If I remember correctly, the swing set was behind that side portico and tall tree. Below is another photo of the mansion that shows a tall totem pole by the side of the house. I thought the totem pole was a neat touch.

Today's A Big Day In Ohio

Yesterday, August 28, was my second brother's 78'th birthday. Happy Birthday, Carl Gariety! Here is an Air Force photo of my brother as a young military man. From 1951 to 1955 Carl was in the Air Force and spent his time as a plane navigator in air force tanker planes that refueled B-25s in the air much to my poor mother's consternation. I think he also was a gunner. Carl loved planes and loved flying and I think even considered making a career in the Air Force. However, his love of Ohio and farming won out so Carl returned to Ohio to farm and to work a factory job in Dayton, Ohio. Today Carl can watch his three sons and many grandsons farm Ohio farmland near Russia, Ohio. My fondest memory of Carl occured one day while Carl was still in the Air Force. The crew pilot somehow arranged that a flight schedule could be planned so that each crew member over a period of time could have a flyover over their hometown. Our family received the news of when this would occur and we were ready and waiting. My parents and neighbors were outside with bathtowels to wave at the plane as it made several very low passes over Russia. My sister Mary Ellen and I were in school so we had to get permission from our classroom teachers to go outside to wave. My sister's entire class went outside to wave but my teacher only allowed me to go out and wave. I can remember that that Air Force plane flew so very low that I thought it might hit the church steeple at St. Remy's Catholic Church or a silo on a farm. Carl is turning 78 this weekend. Happy, happy birthday Carl!

Another fellow will also celebrate his birthday in Ohio this weekend. John McCain is now in Dayton, Ohio to announce the name of his running mate and he will celebrate his 72'nd birthday today. So happy birthday to John McCain too.

McCain has picked Governor Palin of Alaska as his running mate. I was expecting him to choose either Tom Ridge or Mitt Romney or Colin Powell. This is a big surprise I think.

Very Last "Baby Jack" Blogpost

I think I told you that I have decided that when Jack learns to walk by himself that I would call him a boy and not a baby so no more Baby Jack blog label posts. Well, today Jack came for a visit and we made a little video of Jack taking some steps all by himself. He has been doing this for sometime. So after today I will label future Jack posts Jack Aidan. I like his middle name Aidan and it will keep down confusion with my Jack. I don't want to refer to them at Big Jack or Little Jack. Tune in tomorrow to see my video of Jack Aidan stepping out on his own. In the bottom photo Jack is learning that Grandpa's computer chair is big and goes round and round like a merry go round. Get ready Little Dude. Grandpa is ready to give you a spin.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Cat Who Thinks He Is A Dog

This is the most famous cat in our golf course community of Piedmont. Let me introduce you to Sundae. Sundae is a cat who thinks he is a dog. Not only a dog but the alpha dog in a household that does have two actual dogs who are beautiful border collies. He has become the celebrity in our community. Everybody knows Sundae.

We first met Sundae soon after we moved into Piedmont. Late one night the doorbell rang and I answered it. Soon as I did so this woman throws this big black and white fur ball into my face and says here is your cat that I found on the street so I'm bringing him home to you. What? While I proceeded to tell her that we don't own a cat Sundae proceeded to walk big as you please into my living room and park himself under an end table like he really did belong in my house. So this stranger and I both then proceeded to chase Sundae around and around the living room until we caught him. Then the woman apologized for disturbing the peace and left with Sundae. I soon forgot about this handsome black and white cat until our paths crossed at the end of my pipestem. This time I learned that Sundae had two siblings, an all grey cat and a pretty calico cat.
And at this second encounter I met Sundae's first family which consisted of a plumbing businessman, his wife and their five small children. I soon discovered that this family never allowed any of the three cats to be inside their house. The cats were assigned living quarters in the garage and the cats even had their own kitty door attached to the garage door. Now when the cold winter months would come sometimes one and sometimes two and sometimes all three cats would wonder across the pipestem to what became known as Sundae's second family's home. The second family would feel sorry for all three cats and bring them into their house to warm up a bit. These visits became more and more frequent and longer in duration. Soon the first family and the second family who were on very good terms realized that the cats really wanted two homes so they agreed that joint ownership might be ok. So now the cats had homes on both sides of the pipestem and I had three cats to watch as I did my gardening since both owners still allowed them to be free roaming cats. Cat life went on like this for about a year or two.

Then the pretty calico cat that I liked to feed in nice weather on my patio suddenly disappeared from sight. So I thought the calico probably had been unlucky one day and gotten itself run over by a car. Much later I learned that my very next door neighbor who also lived on the pipestem had decided that she liked that pretty calico so much that she was going to claim exclusive ownership to it. She took the calico inside her house and that calico cat never came outside again until this family moved away to Houston, Texas. I don't know how she worked this out with either the first family or the second family but I guess she did. I do know that she even renamed the cat Peaches. (The first name I don't remember.) Peaches went to Houston, Texas and became a cowboy cat.

A more dramatic development in our neighborhood cat story occured when the first family moved to Florida and left the two remaining cats with the second family. The second family went from on again off again foster parents to the neighbor's cats to full time official adoption parents. And by now these two cats had names. The gray cat who was skitish and shy was called Greyson. The big black and white fur ball who wasn't afraid of anyone or anything was called Sundae. And he has become the most famous cat in Piedmont and I personally think he thinks that he is a dog.

He is not top cat in my opinion. He is top dog. Let me explain. From my breakfast room window I can see this pathway that is in the bottom photo and I can watch everybody walk their dogs. Now when I watch the second family take their two border collies for a walk I also get to see Sundae going for his walk too. Maybe he thinks he is a dog because he sees that he is black and white like the border collie. I don't know. But I do know that he is just as faithful as the postman delivering mail. He comes and goes every day. He never fails to walk. And bless his heart, he goes in all kinds of weather: hot, cold, rainy, snowy, icy, you name it and he is scampering along after the border collies. It is the funniest thing to watch. I've now seen it hundreds of times but it still gives me a chuckle.

Look again at the bottom photo. ( You may need to click on it to see what I'm describing.) On the right are Sundae's second family and my good neighbors, Bob and Maura, and the two border collies. They are waiting for Sundae to catch up to them. (I had detained him by taking his picture with my camera.) Sundae always walks about ten paces behind the big dogs. If they start to go faster, he speeds up. If they start to go slower, he slows down. But he always keeps a distance of ten paces behind the dogs.

You should see this pet parade at different times of the year. In the spring when the birds return you can tell that Sundae would like to chase a bird but he knows that he is a dog so he has got to do what a dog has got to do. Walk. In the summer when it is hot you can tell that everybody is about their business and can't wait to get back to the air conditioned house. In the fall they are all trudging thru the fallen leaves. And in the winter they are all slip sliding away thru the snow and ice.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Final Olympic Chatter

The Olympic closing ceremony was spectacular but more laid back and informal then the opening ceremony. It reminded me a little bit of a Circus Soliel performance with people dangling by wires and flying up and down on wires. I liked the hand off to London for 2012 with Michael Phelps standing in London historic district. And it looks like Phelps will try to pick up more gold medals in 2012. Well, good for him. In the meantime he can hang out in the million dollar high rise condo he bought at Fells Point in Baltimore.

Now couch potatoes, are you ready to move on to a couple of weeks of political convention watching. I'll probably watch both conventions but I'll not comment on them on this blog. I figure we all will get more convention info than we want or need from the various TV networks.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Guessing Games I Answer

Here is the correct answer to what this electrical contraption is. It is a De Laval cow milking machine circa 1948 that was used on our dairy farm in Ohio. In the past you all must have milked cows or been to your local county fair because you all answered correctly. I must admit that Abe cornered the market on the most surprising comment with his guess and Wanda came in second. Now that you all are winners you can read this story about my husband Jack. This true story occurred to my Jack one hot night in late August of 1964. Read on to find out what happened to Jack.
A Hot Night In Missouri
(Alternate Story Titles At End Of Story)

There was a little boy and his name was Jackie Lee and everyone just called
him Jack. He was born in Missouri and went to school to learn the 3R's: read'in, riting and rithmetic. When he graduated from Hale High School he wanted to go to college and learn some more read'in, riting and rithmetic. So in the summers while in college he found a way to make money for some of his college expenses.

He got a job working the graveyard shift in a milk processing plant where he bagged the dried milk being processed and kept the milk tubes from clogging up with dried milk. One hot night in late August Jack was really really busy. Some of the milk tubes kept clogging up while other milk tubes kept pouring out dried milk for Jack to bag. This went on and on and on so Jack kept running around frantically clearing the tubes and bagging the milk. He was hoping the day shift worker would show up soon.

In the meantime he waited and waited and bagged and bagged and cleared and cleared but no one came to relieve him. He was the only worker in that section of the milk plant that night and the only phone in the milk plant was locked up in the plant office. What was our young Jack to do. He didn't know. Finally Jack got very very tired from working so hard all night long. He wanted to go home and go home now. He was not interested in dealing with the dried buttermilk that had caused the milk to fly out the tubes to the great beqond of Missouri. So Jack decided to just leave the plant and let the processed dried milk fly out into the town air. What was wrong with that? He was not at fault he thought. The problem was the machinery when switching from reguler dried milk to dried buttermilk and he was not the plant's machine mechanic to fix the problem.

And remember this was 1964 and the Environmental Protection Agency that Jack would later work for had not been created yet and a young Al Gore growing up in Tennessee had not dreamed up his save the earth campaign yet. Besides cellphones hadn't been invented yet either and remember the plant's one phone was locked up in the plant office which wouldn't open till nine A.M. And did I mention that Jack was mighty tired. So what would be the harm of leaving the job unattended while the dry milk escaped into the air above the town. No harm indeed Jack thought but little did Jack know about Murphy's Law that states that what could go wrong will go wrong and what has already gone wrong may go from bad to worse.

So Jack was just expecting a little milk white dust storm that morning. But suddenly all hell broke loose when the weatherman reported morning rains for the Hale and Clillicothe areas. Well, before Jack could blink an eye and jump in his sister's car and head home to the family farm a little black rain cloud formed above the town and Jack was like Winnie the Pooh with that rain cloud over his head. Excepting now there were two rain clouds: a little black rain cloud rolling into town and a big white milk cloud rolling out of town. The real trouble began when the two clouds met.

Soon rain started falling and falling fast. Then dry dried milk started falling and falling fast. And then wet dried milk started falling and falling fast. Soon it was a total white out. Milk was now coming down hard on everything. Milk rained down on houses. Milk rained down on cars. Milk rained down on dogs and cats. Milk rained down on people standing outside in their yards. Soon milk was running down the sidewalks and into the town gutters. Jack decided it definitely was now time to make a break for it so he got in his car and drove thru milk soaked streets to get out of town. He was so embarrassed but he didn't care. He was going to run away from that milk plant job and he did! The very next day Jack returned to his college studies at Central Missouri University. And he promised himself that he would study read'in, riting and rithmetic even harder his sophomore year so that when he was a grownup he would not have to earn his living by working in a dry milk plant. And he did study the 3R's very hard his sophomore year at old CMU and the next summer he found a different summer job. He learned to pump gas at the local gas station for folks sitting in their cars doing absolutely nothing. But that is another Jack story for another day. End of this Jack story. Alternate Story Title: The Day It Rained Milk

Second Alternate Story Title: Abe Lincoln has just suggested this: Missouri Milk

And let me report that you are now reading the revised edition of this true story. I must have listened to Jack over the years tell this story a million times but I must have tuned out while listening because I got a few details wrong. This did not occur in Hale, Missouri. It occured in Chillicothe, Missouri. Jack just explained that Hale, Missouri was way too small too have a milk processing plant. You had to go over to the big city: Chillicothe, Missouri to find a good paying summer job at $2.50 per hour! That's because it was a plant with a union to negotiate job salaries. And this occured between his freshman and sophomore year in college not right after graduation from Hale High School. Right out of high school Jack worked at the Hale Locker Plant cutting up and wrapping beef and pork for farmers who had their animals butchered at the Locker Plant. This must be true because Jack does know his cuts of meat.
And the get away car belonged to Jack's sister Judy and her husband Wayne.

Olympic Chatter V

The second week of the Olympic games seems anti-climatic after Phelps's swim for the gold last week. However the Jamaican runner, Usain Bolt, was fun to watch run and win and do his victory lap. He now has three gold medals from these games.

Every time I saw the ladies beach volleyball team I wanted to jump thru the TV and cover those girls up with a t-shirt. Just way too much skin being shown on beach volleyball by these women. And this is what probably makes Saudi Arabia leave all its women at home. The U.S. ladies did get gold though in beach volleyball.

The U.S. basketball teams are now making their run for the gold. I hope they do it. We saw that Kara Lawson from West Springfield High School here in Northern Virginia made 11 points in one game. Yea, Kara! She also seems to be the team spokesperson at these games.

I wonder what the Chinese have planned for the closing ceremony. Can they top their opener? Time will tell. Meanwhile, the Olympic chatter is giving away to political chatter and the VP choices for both parties. Anyway you slice it the race for the White House will be a big Olympic feat for either candidate. Have you thought about it? Which candidate would you run thru the streets carrying the torch for in this event? Or are you in a funk because your choice didn't make it to the finals.

The women's basketball team took the gold and Kara Lawson scored the most points in that game! The men's basketball took the gold and reclaimed title of the dream team.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ride 'Em Cowboy

Our grandson Jack on the Fisher Price toy horse that his mommy used to ride when she was Jack's age. That used to be a white Arabian? horse. With the passage of time I think it has turned into a yellow Palomino horse.What can I say. Look below. The original rider of this horse has changed just a little bit too but she still has that great smile and dimple.
Ok, smile for the camera before we go for a little trot.
Now how much audio does this horse have? Well, back in 1976/77
Fisher Price toys didn't have much audio capability.
So Jack stop pulling on the ears and grab those reins and pull up and you will hear a little neigh.
Neigh, Neigh, Neigh.
Note to reader: Baby Jack loves sounds, especially music. Give him musical sounds and his little bottom starts dancing. And if a toy makes no music, he is not interested in it for very long and he gives it a toss. The one exception is books. He loves his books.
Someone asked us when we were going to stop calling Baby Jack, Baby Jack. I replied when this boy starts walking all by himself then we will call him Jack Aidan. And I will have to then create a new label category for the blog called Jack Aidan.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Three August Garden Photos

Three August Garden Photos
Spider plant (cleome) in the lamium.
Clematis blossoms climbing the rose vine.
Black butterfly garden decoration and hollies.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Book Club Wine Outing

I want to tell you about this amazing lady who died last year at the age of 82. Her name was Juanita Swedenburg and she was the most famous winemaker on the east coast. Her photo was on the front page of the Washington Post a couple of times and she was on the cover of People magazine too. Yesterday our Piedmont book club caravaned to Middleburg, VA to visit her winery where I snapped this photo of a picture of her that was hanging on the wall. We got to meet her son Marc Swedenburg who is now carrying on his mother's wine legacy by running the winery.
Why is this woman so famous in wine circles? Because in her own quiet professional way she challenged an existing law in New York State that required out of state wineries to use a middleman to sell their wines to folks in other states. Naturally this law favored the New York State wineries and made the middleman a lot of money. Juanita didn't think this was right. No other product across the nation was being restricted in this fashion so why should winemakers in every state be required to follow this law for their products. Juanita filed a lawsuit that eventually made it all the way to the United States Supreme Court in Washington D.C. and won that lawsuit because she said public opinion was on her side. Unfortunately her husband Wayne whom she met in the Foreign Service in French Indochina (Vietnam) in 1952 and married in 1953 died the year before she won this Supreme Court decision. Tomorrow I will write Part 2 of our book club wine outing. In the meantime you can click below on this site to read Juanita Swedenburg's obituary that appeared in the Washington Post in June of 2007. After you read the obituary I think you will agree with me that someone needs to take her life story and put it into a novel or biography for everyone to read.
The obituary was written by Ellen Crosby who has written these three wine mystery books: The Merlot Murders, The Chardonnay Charade and the Bordeaux Betrayal.

D. J., one of our book club members who works at the winery for weekend winetasting events told me yesterday that the day before Juanita died she had been driving her tractor over the rolling acerage of her vineyard to check on the grapes growing on the vines. By the way, this winery sits right in the middle of Virginia's horse hunt country made famous by Jackie Kennedy years ago and so on Saturday D. J. was not too surprised to have two customers ride their horses to the vineyard for a winetasting.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Love Me Tender

Love Me Tender. Happy Friday. Have a good weekend and remember that tomorrow will be the 31'st anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley. Look over to your right under Labels to find Celebrities and you can find what I wrote last August 16'th about Elvis.

Olympic Chatter III

Michael Phelps now has six gold medals from these Olympics. Wow! I don't want to jinx his winning spell so I'm not saying any more about Michael.

But did you read that now someone has documented proof that those Chinese girls were not 16? I think this situation is a black mark on China's hosting of the games. So is substituting a prettier girl to lip sinc to the singing of the supposedly not as attractive little girl who had the great voice. I thought she was a sweet little girl. What's wrong with diversity. Anyway beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I just read in Breitbart there was another fake moment at the opening ceremony. The 57 children who carried in the Chinese flag and were suppose to represent all 57 ethnic groups of China were actually children of one ethnic group--the majority Han group. And the fact that those giant fireworks footprints leading the way in the night sky on opening night were fake too. That's four fakes for these Olympics. Hmmmmmm....maybe I'll start calling this the Fake Olympics of 2008.

Now while I seem to be on a little rant here let me say I also noticed in the opening ceremony that not one drummer was a female. They had exactly 2008 drummers drumming away but not one was a female. Which makes me ask the question does it always have to be the little drummer boy? And did you notice that Saudi Arabia didn't have one female in its nation's parade of athletes? I read in the Washington Post that women in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to do any sports. In this day and age how strange is that.

Miniature Farm Animals and A Big Appetite

After we went through the children's barn we discovered some more cute animals in another barn. I really liked the miniature brown horse and the two miniature cows. Miniature cows? I've never seen miniature cows before. Baby Jack said he hadn't either. We never did find Charlotte the Spider or her famous web. See what I mean. Those barns were just too fresh and clean. Not like a real barn on a farm. But it sure would have been nice if someone had written some pig above that black potbellied pig!

Our grandson got hot and thirsty and so did we so we trooped over to the food tents and had some barbecue ribs and a dish of ice cream. Here is our hot and sweaty little man sampling Mommy's ice cream. I wish he could tell us what he thought of the fair and all the kids and animals. Maybe next year he will have some words in his vocabulary besides Mama and Dada and Cat. Hmmmmmmmm.....we didn't see any barn cats.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Baby Jack at the Fair

Grandpa had a great time taking Baby Jack into the children's petting barn to see some of the littlest and gentlest farm animals on display. Lots of families were in this barn so they had to wait in line until the crowd cleared. Baby Jack seemed to realize that that was what they had to do if they wanted to see the farm animals, so he didn't seem to mind. Notice that our little boy doesn't have any shoes on at this point. He seemed to like the feel of the fresh straw. Thank goodness it was very fresh and not sullied with manure!

There was this very fat black potbellied pig that all the kids wanted to see and pet. With grandpa's help Baby Jack got right up there and petted the pig. I don't think a regular pig would have been so accommodating unless it was Wilbur the Pig from Charlottes's Web.

The Prince William County Fair

We took Baby Jack to the Prince William County Fair yesterday. Grandpa showed him cows, goats, pigs and sea lions. Seal lions? Yep, they were there sunning themselves and looking very bored. They were part of a carnival exhibit and show. Tomorrow I'll post some photos of Baby Jack with Grandpa at the fair. The Prince William County Fair is the largest county fair in the state of Virginia. However Prince William County no longer has much farm land because the land has been transformed into housing developments, business parks, shopping centers and school yards. In fact Piedmont where we reside used to be a dairy farm. So the Ohio girl from the dairy farm is back on the dairy farm. Not really! What I'm trying to say is that this fair is a small cry from the great county fairs that still exist in Ohio. Especially the Great Darke County Fair! There were a lot of suburbanites taking their small children to the fair to experience farm life. We saw a good reflection of our current county population there: Indians in saris, Japanese and Koreans with cameras, and Hispanics pushing baby strollers were making the rounds of the barns to give their little ones a farm experience. Just like we were doing for Baby Jack. But I must admit that this was a Disney sanitized and glamorized version of farm life. How could I tell? Because there wasn't enough fresh manure lying around in any of the stalls. You can't have manure lying around to gag the city slickers! I even saw something I couldn't believe. A man was using a baby wipe -n-dipe cloth on a cow's rear end to get every possible sign of the manure off the animal. Boy, we surely didn't use wipe-n-dipes on our dairy farm in Ohio. We just got used to the perfume of the farm.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Olympic Chatter

I read in today's Washington Post that the Olympic swim god, Michael Phelps, has a hard time gaining weight. I guess he stands around 6'4' and weights 185 lbs. but would like to weigh over 200 lbs. When I found out that he is only 23 I thought to myself don't sweat it. Time will take care of your little problem.

Who Let The Dogs Out?

Woof! Woof! Who let the dogs out? Just like I stated a few weeks ago, the dog days of summer last for about three weeks in Northern Virginia. From the last two weeks in July thru the first full week of August we have our high heat and heavy humidity. Now that weather pattern has changed and the dog days of summer are gone. Each morning we awake to temps in the low 60's and we go up to the mid 80's without humidity. Very, very pleasant. It feels a little bit like fall is here already. And have you noticed that we are now losing about 90 seconds of daylight each day. Yes, the days are getting a little shorter too. Woof! Woof! Who let the dogs out?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Black Knight's Butterfly

This butterfly bush is called The Black Knight. Along came a yellow butterfly to sample its blossoms. Photo taken from my dining room window. Is it just me or does it seem that all the news you hear and read about these days is so gosh darn depressing. We need to be informed citizens of the world. However, scandals, political accusations, bizarre beheadings, outbreaks of war, horrific traffic accidents---sometimes the news gets to be too much to take. Then I find it is nice to take a break from all that bad news and just look out the window and watch nature at its best. Black Knight's Butterfly---just what the doctor ordered. Or God.

You know---I think that is another reason why so many people blog today. They want to spread some good news about their family and friends at work and play. To spread the word about life that is not lived in the fast lane or reported on in the corporate owned media. (Again, you need to click on each photo to get a real closeup look.)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Now You See Him, Now You Don't

This little guy moves fast and my camera moves slow, so I'm surprised that I even got these photos of a little hummingbird at one of my feeders. You will need to click on the photos to really see anything here. The last photo----he's gone---to the backside of the yellow feeder. He moved to the backside because a bee was bothering him. You can see the little bee at the red plastic blossom.
Final comment: if you look to the right and click on the Label Hummingbirds and go to the August 15, 2007 blog post, you can read what I wrote about the four hummingbirds who frequented the feeders last summer. Last year the hummingbirds were so unique that I gave them each a name: Hummer, Humms, Helter Skelter and Hip Hop. The two I have this summer are so alike that I can't tell them apart, so no name yet.

Second Cuttings

This reminds me of long ago Ohio summer hay harvests. You had the first cutting and baling and then later the second cutting and baling. Well, these Jackson Perkins roses are the second cutting. The first and biggest bloom was in June. The third and smallest bloom will be in October before a frost does them in so to speak. The ones on the archway are still second blooming and the ones by the patio got cut back yesterday. No I don't bale them up. Way too many thorns on this particular variety to even do a cutting for a house bouquet. You need to be wondering around my yard to enjoy these. If you click on the second photo, you will see that these roses have pretty soft yellow centers. You will also see our blue blue skies. Right now I would like to see some clouds in the sky because for the past week it has been very, very dry here.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Home Eviction Coming Soon!

Who will get evicted from Big Brother 10 this evening? Will it be Memphis, the bartender, or Jessie, the weight lifter? I think and hope it will be Jessie. He is so arrogant. I hope he goes tonight. This is a good group of players this year. Keesha reminds me of Evil Dick's daughter from last summer's show. Old marine Jerry doesn't really know how to relate to anyone or how to play the game for that matter. And old Renny is a stitch. I like her. April and Ollie are having a show romance. Bet it dies when the show is over. I can't figure Libra out yet. But she sure is working everybody over lately. Are you watching this show? If so, who do you like? And who do you think will make it to the final four? In my humble opinion the smartest girl got evicted last week---Angie. Jessie got evicted from the house. Michele from Rhode Island is the new HOH.

A Yellow Canna Blossom

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Mushroom Man Had The Answer

Fishing Guy threw out the term fungi so I did a Google search and discovered Mushroom Man. I sent an email after I saw his amazing fungi photo collection. I never knew there were so many kinds of mushrooms. You want to see great photos of very unusual mushrooms. Then click here. And thank you Mushroom Man for identifying my little mushroom as Mutinus elegans! I found it under the photo category Wild and Wierd and discovered a couple of others in the wild and wierd category growing now in my garden beds. In the heat of August the botanical play is turning into a horror show. Scarry!

The Wild Side of Baby Jack

I wish I knew what Baby Jack was thinking.

Maybe something like, Mommy you ain't seen nothing yet.
Wait till I learn how to get out of this thing.

Or Daddy I can't wait till I'm old enough to go to fraternity parties.

Or I know Auntie Jeanine will take me to the Arlington hangouts soon as I learn to walk all by myself.

Or I have my grandparents wrapped around my little finger.

Monday, August 4, 2008

I Have A Little Mushroom

I Have A Little Mushroom
I have a little mushroom.
He is about five inches tall.
He is living in my flower bed
With his funky see thru bottom
And his queer deep red head.
I have a little mushroom.
I do not know his name.
I do know he grows very fast.
I wonder if he is poisonous.
Others like him I killed in the past.
I have a little mushroom.
He is as strange as strange can be.
I do not know what to do.
The rabbits won't even touch him
So what am I suppose to do.
I have a little mushroom.
Here is his little mug shot.
Take a look at his scarlet face
Please, can you identify him?
Help me put him in his place.
I have a little mushroom.
I still don't know his name.
But Ohio Fishing Guy took a look
And gave me some good advice.
If rabbits won't eat, he's a fluke.
I have a little mushroom.
That Abe Lincoln couldn't identify.
Same for Wanda who hopped right over.
I can't add him to Patty's soup.
I'll leave him standing in the clover.
Click on photo to see the well lit rear end on this guy.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Summer Bird Food

The purple coneflowers are blooming and the seed heads are getting ripe. Soon the yellow finches will have a summer feast. Right now the finches are flying in and checking the seed heads to see how ripe they are and then deciding that they need to wait another week. Something like humans checking the tomato plants in early August to see if the tomatoes are ripe enough to pick and eat.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Leo A. Gariety Weds Theresa Dapore August 3, 1926

Formal Wedding Portrait
Leo A. Gariety and Teresa Ellen Dapore
August 3, 1926
St. Remy Catholic Church
Russia, Ohio

This is my mother and father on their wedding day 82 years ago today.
My father had his hair slicked back and was wearing a three piece suit My mother wore a short flapper dress with a long veil that had fresh orange blossoms in the headpiece. White hose and shoes completed her ensemble.She carried a large bouquet of long stem roses. The bride's younger brother, Lawrence Dapore, was the best man for my father while the groom's younger sister, Viola Gariety, was the maid of honor for the bride. The officiant for the ceremony at St. Remy Church was Father Ratterman.

My mother always told us children two incidents that occurred on her wedding day that she did not like. One, when the photographer was taking this photo her headpiece fell forward across her forehead and it looked like she was peeking out from her veil. She always remarked that someone should have noticed this and pushed the headpiece back a bit. Two, Father Ratterman who was known for having a very quick temper became angry with the young servers when it was time to present and bless the bride's wedding ring because they were being slow. So after he blessed the ring he threw the glass holy water shaker on the church sanctuary floor where it shattered and broke into a million pieces and made a loud crashing sound. This incident shook up both my father and mother who would always remember and tell this story with distaste. Today it makes me think of the breaking of glass at a Jewish wedding ceremony.

Turner School in Willowdale Circa 1909

Click on photo to enlarge picture.

Photo of children attending the Turner School in Willowdale, Ohio. It was a one room school with just one teacher. This photo was probably taken when both my mother and father were in the lower grades. Probably around 1909 or 1910. My parents are in the front row. Mother has her hair parted in the middle and she has on a white pinafore. My father is the second boy from the far right and he has on a dark jacket.

John Baptiste Gariety and His Five Sons

John Baptiste Gariety and his five sons standing in front of the barn on the family farm. From left to right: Francis Gariety, John Gariety, father John Baptiste Gariety, Julius Gariety, Lawrence Gariety and Leo Gariety.

Lawrence Gariety at age two was stricken with a childhood disease either diptheria or scarlet fever, which affected his hearing and speech and he was deaf and dumb all of his life. He never married but lived with brothers and sisters till his death on March 16, 1972.

John Baptiste Gariety Family Circa 1910

The John Baptiste Gariety Family Circa 1910. Middle row: John and Mary Elizabeth Gariety seated. Back row: older children standing from left to right: Lawrence 1895; Francis 1883; Florence Ragon 1900; Elizabeth Mary Utz 1880; Margaret Mary Pepiot 1885; Emma Mary Monnin 1887; Alice Peoppelman 1897; John 1889; and Julius 1893. Front row: two youngest children seated from left to right Leo 1903 and Viola Luthman 1905. The twelth child, Clara, 1891 died in infancy and is not pictured.

John Baptiste Gariety and Mary Elizabeth Francis Gariety

Jean Baptiste Gariety II who was later called John Baptiste Gariety II with his wife, the former Mary Elizabeth Francis.

1693 - 1926 The Despoire Family Tree

Now we are climbing the Despoire (Dapore) family tree from 1693 to 1926 when my mother married and changed her name from Dapore to Gariety.
1. Jean George Depores, born circa 1693 in Frahier, France married Jenne Marie Pelletier.
2. Jean Pierre Despoire, born July 16, 1731 in Frahier, France married Therese Pequignot on June 8, 1751 in Frahier, France.
3. Jean Joseph Despoire, born March 11, 1769 in Frahier, France married Jeanne Antoine Ballay on August 7, 1799 in Frahier,France.
4. Joseph Athenuse Despoire, born July 11, 1802 in Frahier, France married Francoise Scholatique Poly on February 23, 1824 in Frahier, France.
5. Justine Despoire, born November 26, 1829 in Frahier, France and immigrated to the United State thru New York somewhere between1848 and 1854. There is written records that he also used the first name of August and Eustin concurrently once in the United States. Justine Depoire also dropped the "s" in his surname. He married Malinda Lallemand February 11, 1861 at St. Remy Church in Russia, Ohio.
There is evidence to indicate that Justine served with the Fifth Ohio Volunteers in the Civil War from November 1861 to November 29, 1864 when he mustered out at Columbus, Ohio.
6. Frank Joseph Dapore, born January 25, 1866 in Darke County and married Mary Ellen Turner February 16, 1892 at St. Remy Church in Russia, Ohio.
7. Theresa Ellen Dapore, born October 19, 19o2 in Darke County and married Leo A. Gariety August 3, 1926

1490 - 2008 The Caritey Family Tree

We will climb the family tree and find some folks. We will find big apples, little apples, bad apples and good apples and a good story or two about each one. We begin with Jean Caritey in Vesoul, France who was born in 1490 approximately---before Christopher Columbus discovered America! Here we go.

1. Jean Caritey, born near Vesoul, France in 1490. Married who and when?
2. Nicolas Caritey, born near Vesoul, France about 1510. Married who and when?
3. Humbert Caritey, born about 1560 married Claudine Melay.
4. Valentine Caritey, born about 1590. Married who and when?
5. Valbert Caritey, born about 1635 married Anne Monier in Villersexel, France in 1660.
6. Jean Claude Caritey, born 1676 first married Marie Roy in Villersexel in 1704? When Marie Roy Caritey died, Jean Claude Caritey married Francoise Despore in Frahier, France around 1710. This shows a link to
my mother's Despore (Dapore) family tree.
7. Etienne Caritey, born May 3, 1712 married Eve Pequignot in 1740.
8. Francois Caritey, born in 1752 married Jeanne Francoise Pequignot in 1791. (We are now up to the American Revolution.)
9. Jean Baptiste Caritey, born July 13, 1796. This is our ancestor who immigrated to the United States in his old age after his first wife died. He lived in Frahier, France and married Francoise Josephine Grisey in 1830. They had eight children but only three survived to become teenagers. When his first wife died and the potato blight was sweeping through the French countryside killing both the potato and wheat crops, Jean Baptiste Caritey booked passage to the port of New York from a French port. On the way to America Jean met and fell in love with Rozella Rosen on board the ship. They landed in New York. They got married. Rozella got pregnant. Jean found a job as a day laborer digging wells in New York City to save money to send for his three teenage children in Frahier. Meanwhile the immigration authorities had misspelled his name so that now he was registered as Jean Baptiste Gariety. Then tragedy struck. A well that Jean was digging caved in and Jean was killed. His widow had to strike out for western Ohio where she knew there were French communities and Jean Baptiste had a cousin, Augustin Caritey. Rozella became a servant to a French family in Frenchtown, Ohio but when it came time to give birth to her dead husband's child, she walked from Frenchtown, Ohio to Newport, Ohio through the snows of January to give birth at Augustin Caritey's farmhouse. Rozella gave birth on January 20, 1856 to a boy and named him Jean Baptiste Gariety. Later the Jean would be Anglicized to John. Rozella later married a Miller and had four more children.
10. Jean (John) Baptiste Gariety II, born on January 20, 1856, married on January 20, 1880 Mary Elizabeth Francis at Holy Family Catholic Church in Frenchtown, Ohio.
11. Leo A. Gariety,born November 23, 1903 on a farm near Newport, Ohio married Theresa Dapore on August 3, 1926 at St. Remy Church in Russia, Ohio. Leo Gariety had 11 siblings: Elizabeth, Francis, Margaret, Emma, John, Clara, Julius, Lawrence, Alice, Florence and Viola. Leo and Viola were the two youngest children. The only child still alive is Viola Gariety Luthman who will be 103 this fall.
12. Joann Gariety, born on the farm near Russia, Ohio married Jack L. Shipley of Hale, Missouri on April 15, 1974 at St. Sebastion's Catholic Church in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Joann had three older brothers, Paul, Carl and Harold and one older sister, Mary Ellen.
13. Jennifer Mary Shipley was born in 1976.
13. Jeanine Marie Shipley was born in 1980.

Friday, August 1, 2008

French Ancestory In Ohio

When you think of New Orleans you think of the French culture there. Same thing goes for Montreal, Canada. But did you know that there is a long and vibrant French culture in western Ohio? The following four communities in western Ohio have many folks with French heritage: Versailles, Frenchtown, Newport and Russia. And let's all learn to pronounce Russia the way the locals do: Rue She or Roo She. Now, let's consider these town names. Versailles makes sense and so does Frenchtown and Newport but how on earth did Russia get in the picture? Because many of the first immigrants that settled here were French soldiers that had fought in the Napoleonic Wars and had marched to the Ukraine to fight. When they came to western Ohio in the wintertime and snow was on the ground it reminded them of the Ukraine so they named their village Russia.

If you were to visit Paris and the Arc de Triomph you would see inscribed on the monument the name of a French general who fought under Napoleon: General Grilliot. There are many Grilliots in these four communities and they can trace ancestory to General Grilliot. Here are some more common French names in this part of Ohio: Cordonnier, Francis, Guillozet, Goubeaux, Gasson, Magoto, Monnin, Monnier, Pequignot, Pettijean and Reboulet,

Now Joann's maiden name was Gariety. That doesn't sound too French does it? In fact, one of her brothers once remarked that we must be Irish since we have a name that ends in "y" to which her father replied: "Well, how come my parents always spoke French at home and I didn't learn a word of English till I went off to that one room schoolhouse called Turner School near Willowdell, Ohio for first grade in 1909?" So the Garietys didn't know too much about their French ancestory until some of their relatives in later years did research and published family histories.

Joann now has two family history books that she dearly cherishes:

A Book of Genealogy of the Carity and Gariety Families of the United States and the Caritey's of Frahier (Village) in Haute Soane, France From 1721 A.D. This book was a combined effort of Norbert Gariety (my first cousin), John R. Gariety of Casper, Wyoming and Claude and Pierre Caritey of Frahier, France.

Dapore: The Descendants of Joseph Athenuse Despoire in America, 1846-1987. This book was the combined effort of Marsha Sorrell and Juanita Gerling.

When you were reading these two book titles you may have picked up on a very common problem when shaking your family tree for names. Names were frequently, for no rhyme or reason, changed by the immigration authorities in New York City. For instance, Caritey became Carity and Gariety; and Despore became Dapore.

From these two family histories we learned what we suspected but couldn't prove before: that both sides of the family came from France but not from the Alsace-Lorraine Department but the Frenche-Comte Department which is just twenty miles east of Swizerland. But what was really surprising was the knowledge that both sides of the family came from the same village in France: Frahier in Haute Soane. There is even evidence that a certain Caritey in Frahier married a certain Despore!

Cheap Entertainment

No need to get in the car and spend money on gas to go somewhere for summer entertainment. We have our backyard water show to enjoy.

Box Turtle Drug Bust

Earlier this morning I was reading the Washington Post and having a cup of coffee on my patio while the outside was still cool and refreshing when I came across a funny article. The story is about box turtle #72 who lives in Rock Creek Park. (Yes, the same beautiful park in northwest Washington that played center stage in the famous Chandra Levy disappearance and murder.) This time a little box turtle equipped with a transmitter led a researcher to a newly planted field of marijuana. The marijuana farmer was a college student from upscale Chevy Chase, MD who was making a little college expense money. Click here to learn more of the story. Box Turtle #72 according to the writer of this article has a brain the size of a raisin. Take a look. She is a cutie pie!