Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Gardener Trims Up The Climbing Roses

The Gardener Trims Up The Climbing Roses

I purposely didn't trim back this spring the white climbing roses on this black metal arch in our side yard. Big mistake. When the roses bloomed last week the weight became so heavy that the arch began to lean to the right. So my Gardener Jack had to rescue the leaning arch by cutting back the climbing roses. Lots of white roses ended up in our AAA trash bin. It was hard to do but we had to do it. After the roses finish blooming we will give these roses a second trimming.

Never a dull moment around here. First an arch about to capsize from all the blooming roses and then our beautiful robin eggs disappear. Most likely stolen and eaten by a crow or red shouldered blackbird or grackle. Fiddlesticks!

Monday, May 30, 2011

What Happened? The Eggs Disappeared Overnight!

What Happened?
The Eggs Disappeared Overnight!

Saturday night Jack and I went to bed after looking out the breakfast room window and seeing momma robin sitting on the nest. Sunday morning Jack woke up all excited. He calculated that the eggs were due to hatch either on Saturday or Sunday so he was hoping we would see tiny baby robins in the nest. Instead when he checked the nest momma robin was gone and the two eggs were gone too. Jack hunted but didn't find the eggs lying 0n the ground or on the patio near the nest.
So what happened to the eggs? Did a darn outdoor cat eat them? Did another bird remove them? What a bummer! If anyone has any ideas, please leave a comment here.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Robin's Nest

The Robin's Nest
I just love the color of these egg!
Robin egg blue!
And it is fun to watch her sitting on the nest keeping the eggs warm.

My Peonies Bloomed This Week!

My Peonies Bloomed This Week!
I made lots of bouquets for the kitchen and breakfast room of the peonies that bloomed this week.
The other day I looked outside my breakfast room window to the far left and saw a hummingbird gulping down hummingbird food from the feeder.

I then looked over to the far right window and discovered momma robin was sitting on two eggs in a nest in my white climbing rose bush near the patio. It has been so much fun to watch her sitting on her nest and guarding her two eggs. I wonder how long it will be till the eggs hatch?
Below is another peonie bouquet on the kitchen island. The blue flowers are catmint.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day Service For Bryan Rearick

Memorial Day Service For Bryan Rearick
Last Sunday the Veterans Hospital in Washington D.C. held a memorial service for all servicemen who have died in the last year. Veterans who served in the following wars: World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, the two Gulf Wars and Afghanistan were honored and their names listed in the program. My husband Jack and daughter Jeanine drove in and met up with Bryan Rearick's family for the memorial service. Jeanine's late fiance, Bryan Rearick, was one of the deceased servicemen being honored.
In this photo Scott Rearick (Brian's older brother) with his oldest daughter Juliet, Jeanine, Lee and Kathy Rearick and Edwin Knepshield, Kathy Rearick's brother.
The presentation of the colors was done by members of the army, navy, marines, air force and coast guard.

Each guest was given a flag and memorial program. The photo below was taken by Jack before the ceremony started. At one point in the service each service branch asked its former members to stand to be recognized. My Jack, Scott Rearick and Lee Rearick stood for the army. Kathy's brother, Edwin Knepshield, stood for the navy. This memorial day weekend take time out from your celebrations to remember the true reason for having the memorial day holiday.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bouquet From The Thobes In Ohio And PA

Bouquet From The Thobes In Ohio And PA

What a beautiful bouquet of flowers I got from all the Thobes because of my recent stay in the hospital. Thank you! Thank you!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Presidential Politics

Presidential Politics
I put this photo on my Facebook page several weeks ago but decided to post it on my blog too.
With all the Republicans entering and exiting the presidential race and all the pros and cons about giving Obama a second term in 2013 I thought the message on the back of this truck summed up a lot of what we are hearing now in the media. We saw this truck on James Madison Highway near Haymarket, VA and got a chuckle from its message.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

May NARFE Meeting

May NARFE Meeting
Jack and I want to thank Ron Bantam for running the May NARFE meeting since Jack and I were in the ER room at Prince William Hospital for my recent leukemia bout. This photo Jack took at the VA State Conference back in April. In the photo is the VA President of NARFE, Bill Schakelford and his wife Donna Schakelford. Donna was the principal speaker at our May Manassas meeting and she addressed the social and medical and financial issues associated with Alzheimer's disease. In the 21'st century one in eight Americans may fall victim to this terrible disease that destroys families and causes economic hardship.

April NARFE Meeting

April NARFE Meeting
The two ladies above spoke at the April meeting of the Manassas chapter of NARFE. The lady is a former federal worker and the other is a retired school teacher. They started a business in retirement that helps senior citizens downsize their possessions when moving into smaller quarters. Their guiding principal is to get green and red removeable labels and mark everything in the home doing one room or closet or cupboard at a time. Green means keep and red means eliminate. They stress that to keep from being overwhelmed do not put things out and create a clutter on the floors or furniture. Just label the items and leave them in their current home. Then when finished you can have movers come in and remove all the red tagged items for donation or estate sell.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Horse Race Cookies From Red Truck Bakery

Horse Race Cookies From Red Truck Bakery
Every year on the same Saturday as the Kentucky Derby the Virginia horse crowd gets all dressed up in nice shirts and ties and dresses and hats and head to the Virginia Great Meadows Races which is in Plains, VA, not for from Warrenton. Dickie who writes Dragonquilter blog that I feature on my blog roll goes every year with her husband Scott and some other friends.

Well, in Warrenton we heard this spring that a new organic bakery had opened and was serving homemade sandwiches so in March Jack and I motored on down to Warrenton in Fauquier County. (This is the town where Jack Kent Cooke, the former redskins owner, divorced a couple of wives years ago.) Above are the horsehead cookies.
Here are the red truck cookies.
And here's the antique red truck!
Here's the inside of the bakery which has been transformed from a 1950's era gas station.
Just being inside brought back memories of the 1950's.
Here's the one table in the bakery made of old boards from a barn.
This is a communal table so you sit with strangers.
The day we went we talked with a couple from Falls Church.
This was the tag on the back of the red truck.
Here's a photo of the front of the bakery.
You can see that the two doors on the right are old time garage doors.

Did You Watch The Preakness?

Did You Watch The Preakness?
Since I just got out of the hospital on Thursday from complications of my leukemia I should have said no when Jack volunteered to find the ingredients and make us Black Eyed Susans to drink while we watched the horse race on TV. Shhhhhh! Don't let my doctors at the Cancer Center at Lake Manassas hear about this.

P.S. I'll post the traditional recipe after I go eat breakfast.

Black Eyed Susan

Over a blend of pineapple juice and orange juice in a glass add equal parts of :
Mt Gay Rum from Barbados
Cointreau which is an orange liqueur from Angiers, France
Finish with a slice of lime or orange on the glass rim.

My opinion of this drink. I would prefer a mint julep! But if making it, go very lightly on the booze and let the taste of pineapple and orange juice dominate this drink. It is a strong drink for he-men.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I Got A Fruit Bouquet For Mother's Day From Jeanine

I Got A Fruit Bouquet For Mother's Day From Jeanine!
Thank you, Jeanine
Yum, yum!

Last Sunday's Pics Taken By Daughter Jeanine

Last Sunday's Pics Taken By Daughter Jeanine
Last Sunday daughter Jeanne came home for a visit and I handed her my little Sony camera and asked her to some pics of what was in bloom in my flower gardens. Here's what she saw and shot.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

My Leukemia Has Kept Me From Blogging

My Leukemia Has Kept Me From Blogging

I'm now out of the hospital after having a scare with low vital signs that came after having on Tuesday of this week a bone marrow biopsy done for my anemia and general weakness. It is great to be out of the hospital and enjoying this beautiful warm Virginia weather. This afternoon Jack and I watched on TV the Preakness horse race from Baltimore's Pimlico Racetrack. Hard to believe that I last posted something on this blog two weeks ago when the Kentucky Derby was happening. Signing off now. Will write more tomorrow and share some pics.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Did You Watch The Kentucky Derby?

Did You Watch The Kentucky Derby?
Jack and I watched on TV while sipping mint juleps.

NARFE Alzheimer's Standing Committee

Donna Shackelford of Fairfax, VA is the NARFE state chair for the alzheimer's committee.
She does a great job and brought to the convention the writer of the book below. Robert B. Schaefer writes in this book about his wife's long struggle with early onset alzheimer's disease.

Robert attended the NARFE state convention to autograph in ink pen not ballpoint pen his book. I bought a copy and was so impressed with both the book and Mr. Schaefer's penmanship. I dare you to read this true story and not shed a tear or two.

Take a look below at Robert B. Schaefer's wonderful penmanship. Oh my, in the day of electronic mail this is surely a dying art form.

This is a photo in the book that shows Robert, Sarah and their four children: Sean, Tom Bobby and Kathy back in 1976.
And here is a picture from the book of Robert's wife, Sarah, shortly before she succumbed to alzheimer's in 2008.

Some Facts About Alzheimer's Disease
1. More women than men get this disease
2. The disease causes plaques and tangles to develop in the brain
3. Alzheimer's is the leading cause of dementia in older people
4. Scientists now think that one in eight Americans will now develop alzheimer's
5. Robert Schaefer calls alzheimer's the idenity thief of the 21'st century
6. A man by the name of Alzheimer discovered the disease way back in 1905

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Strolling Silver Strings

The Strolling Silver Strings
Norfolk Public Schools
Nationally Recognized Globally Competitive
Heidi Kirby
Program Director

See the card above. The Strolling Silver Strings are putting out their first musical CD this month.
So if you would like to support this group and listen to some wonderful show tune music of the '40s thru the '80s contact this director and she will give you instructions on how you can order their musical CD.

The Strolling Silver Strings

The Strolling Silver Strings
Norfolk, VA Public Schools
Heidi Kirby, Program Director
Jack and I attended the NARFE banquet where we had the chance to hear the amazing Strolling Silver Strings. What are they? They are a group of string orchestra students from the six Norfolk City High Schools who compete for one of the select positions in this group. This outstanding group has played for two presidents: Reagan and Bush. And there are only three such groups like this in the entire United States so Virginia and Norfolk in particular are very lucky to have one of the three groups.
These high school students are incredible. Their director pointed out that they must spend many hours each week in practices or in performance concerts while still maintaining their other high school classes. She pointed out that one member is the quarterback for his high school football team and that the dark haired young man on the cello in the above picture will be his high school's valedictorian this spring.

Monday, May 9, 2011

I Got Flowers For Mother's Day!

I Got Flowers For Mother's Day!
Thank You, Jennifer, Terry and Little Jack Aidan!