Sunday, June 25, 2017



The past while I have been working on a new garden project.  To the south of my fairy garden was a spot that wouldn’t grow grass and just became overloaded with white pine needles.  I decided to turn it into a garden area last fall and began working on it.

I had torn the bricks from my old herb garden and wanted to do something with them.  I stole them from the State Bank of Davis after it was built.  They had discarded a lot of unused bricks, some whole and some broken in half.  I took the whole bricks to the south west side of the house and made several planters out of them.

I have since filled the planters with Japanese iris, Blackberry Lilies, my transferred Japanese fern, a transplanted Bleeding Heart and I purchased a delphinium last week to go in also.



Two weeks ago, I laid down newspapers and covered them with weed barrier.  I hoped to kill most of the weeds that were still growing.  This week I got brown mulch and filled the garden bed.  Yesterday I purchased gold mulch and filled the pathways.  Ta da -- a new garden.

I have to finish spreading the gold mulch today in the upper flower bed.  And then, I have to put in some time weeding and getting rid of some irritating plants that are trying to take over.  Anyone out there looking for some daisies?  They must be thinned.

My hollyhocks are looking so beautiful in my flower garden, thank you very much Noeha Garard.



The dog is growing and is a happy camper.



Life is good.


Peace be with you.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

I had a pleasant surprise this past weekend.  I was watering the plants at the front gate when someone pulled up beside me and said, “Hello Wilma.”  I turned to see who it was and to my surprise it was one of my best friend’s, son and his wife. Jay and Katie were out visiting the old neighborhood and wanted to stop by.  I told them to give me an hour to get to the grocery and back and I would love for them to visit.

We had a pleasant visit.  Katie is pregnant and she and Jay caught me up on all the details. They invited me to join them for breakfast on Saturday.  We met at Rowe’s A Frame in Durand.  I had biscuits and gravy with a fried egg on top.  It was very good.

Later that day, Jay and Katie came back to the house to help me transplant a Norfolk Island Pine that lives in my solarium and is about 12 feet tall.  Neighbor, Jeff Scaduto, joined in the replanting and after struggling for some time we finally got the plant out of its old pot and into a new one with more room for it to grow.  And it took all three men and myself to get the thing done.  Thanks to Jay, Jeff, and the hubster.




Afterward the hubster and I repotted my Phyllodendron bipinnafidatum which is also a huge plant.  We had to cut it out of its old pot to get it into a new one. It has had a baby and is starting to grow another one. If there is anyone out there who would be willing to take on a monstrosity of a plant, I have one.

It finally rained last night and the garden is looking good.  Snow peas for dinner again tonight.



Peace be with you.

Monday, May 29, 2017



One of my friends on FB posts frequently, “what is on my mind today.”  I’d like to post what is on my mind today.

First of all I am sick of all the Trump bashing.  I remember when Clinton and Bush and Obama were president, all of them were bashed as well but no nearly so harshly. I’m not a big Trump supporter but let’s back off a little and give the guy some room.  Maybe he will straighten up his act, and become the gentleman we want as our president.

I have also noticed that most of the bashers are very much against bullying.  What is this bashing, but adult bullying?

When I was in Springfield recently I read a bunch of articles and political cartoons that were printed when Lincoln was president.  They were really hard on his ass too and look how history has acclaimed him some hundred and fifty years later.

Speaking on being hard on asses – I read an interesting article this morning by a psychologist who suggested that parents need to take more responsibility of raising their children with discipline and love.  Wow!  What a unique idea!

I was not the best parent in the world but my goal was to raise children who would go out into the world and make it a better place to live.  I told them “no” more than once.  I forced them to get along.  They stood in a corner often as babies.  They had an occasional spanking as young toddlers.  I housebroke them and we all got along pretty well in their teens. I explained that there were things that were appropriate for adults and not children – drinking, smoking and sex.  When they became adults, they could experiment with these.

My girls live very far from me but that is okay.  I raised them to know right from wrong and they are both doing quite well.  We have a lot of fun when we get together but I don’t need them up my ass all the time, and I know they don’t need me in theirs.

Another thing on my mind today, is Memorial Day.  My parents called it “Decoration Day.”  I believe that term originated after the Civil War.  After several more wars it became Memorial Day to honor those who had died in service to their country.  Veteran’s Day, however, honors those who are currently in service or those who were in service.

I am thankful for all of the above.  When I graduated from high school I wanted to join the service but I was 17 and my parents would not allow me to enlist.  I sure could have used the discipline in my life, and I really wanted the help the government would have given me to go to college.

This year as a retiree, I am staying home on Memorial Day.  No big bashes for me to attend.  It is still a little cold for swimming and besides, everyone and their grandma are here at the Lake for the weekend.  The line at the front gate yesterday was at least ten cars long.

What I am going to do is go out into my Eden and work on my yard and garden.  It is pretty muddy right now because we were on the verge of building an ark.  I do hate weeding in the mud.  I got new gardening gloves though and they are working wonders.  They are kind of rubber on the fingers and palm and material on the hand part.  I highly recommend them.  (Thank you Pat.)

Yesterday while working in my yard, I discovered that I was growing a Pitcher Plant.  I vaguely remember getting seeds or a piece of one last year. It is so cool and now I want to move it to somewhere I can appreciate it.  It is growing under a shrub right now.  I forced a limb to cling to its neighbor so I could get the photo of the Pitcher Plant. It is carnivorous and I can’t wait to see what it catches.  I hope it catches Japanese Beetles.

Happy Memorial Day.  Wouldn’t Solemn Memorial Day be more appropriate?


Peace be with you.

Added:  I discovered what I thought was a Pitcher Plant to be a Jack in the Pulpit.  I guess it won't be eating those Japanese beetles.

Saturday, May 27, 2017



About a month ago I cleaned out my cabinet that held cook books.  I realized I didn’t use half of them and I really needed space for some new gadgets I had gotten.  I brought the cook books upstairs to sort them out and send to the Goodwill store.

The cook books are still sitting next to me.  I kept looking at the top one which was American’s Test Kitchen Cooking for Two.  The casserole on the front cover was haunting me.  I wanted that!

I took the cook book downstairs and read it through.  I earmarked three recipes that I really wanted to try.  They were Shrimp Scampi, Beef Enchilada Casserole (the one on the cover), and Chicken Saltimbocca.  I have never made these recipes nor eaten them, except for Beef Enchiladas, just not in a casserole.

Last night I was anxious to make something different for dinner. I had purchased prosciutto at the grocery and was determined I was going to make the Chicken Saltimbocca.  The hubster was hesitant about the recipe.  I read it to him and he said he’d try it.

He sliced the chicken breasts into cutlets and I got them prepared for the fry pan.  We had six lovely cutlet pieces.  I headed out to the herb garden for sage.  You needed a teaspoon of chopped sage plus a sage leaf for each piece.  The sage was in fact the ingredient that made me hesitant about the recipe.  Chicken, sage and Italian ham?  Okay, maybe it would work.

I got all the ingredients ready at the work site.  I put in the first three pieces and as usual, the hubster took over the frying.  He cooks the meat, I made the salad.  I was ready to put in the last three pieces but he told me to hold off as they would cook differently and he wanted to watch them closely.  (He’s a bit anal, but he does cook a mean piece of meat.)

Meat all browned nicely and put aside, we sautéed the shallot and made the initial sauce.  Meat back into the sauce and we whisked in the butter, parsley and lemon juice.  The aroma was magnificent.  I think it was the lemon juice that did it.

I must say that Chicken Saltimbocca is now on our list of dinners to make.  My only regret is that we didn’t make more sauce and have a little pasta on the side.  A couple of ravioli would have been perfection.

Chicken Saltimbocca

¼ C plus ½ tsp. flour                                               Pepper
6 boneless, skinless chicken cutlets                       4 slices prosciutto
2Tbsp olive oil                                                          1 small shallot, minced
1/3 cup chicken broth                                              ¼ cup vermouth
1 Tbsp. butter                                                          2 tsp. minced parsley
1 tsp. lemon juice                                                     salt

Spread ¼ cup of flour in a shallow dish.  Pat the cutlets dry with paper towel and season with pepper.  Dredge the cutlets in flour and sprinkle top with minced sage.  Top with a piece of prosciutto.  Press lightly to help prosciutto adhere.

Heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the whole sage leaves and cook until the leaves begin to change color.  (15 to 20 seconds)  Transfer to paper towel.

Carefully lay the chicken cutlets in the skillet, prosciutto-side down and cook until brown about two minutes.  Flip and continue to brown.  Transfer chicken to a plate.

Pour off all but 1 tsp of the oil left in the skillet.  Sauté the shallot two to three minutes.  Stir in ½ tsp flour and whisk about 3 to 5 minutes.

Return chicken to pan, prosciutto side up.  Heat about 30 seconds.  Transfer to a platter.
Off the heat, whisk the butter, parsley and lemon juice into the sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Spoon the sauce over the cutlets, garnish with the fried sage leaves and serve.

(Note:  make more sauce than this because you will need it.  I’d probably double if not triple the sauce ingredients.)

Peace be with you.



Sunday, May 21, 2017



In my retirement, I find that most days are like all others.  I have my little routine and I go through it and find much enjoyment and satisfaction.  However, on occasion, I find an adventure coming up and I get so excited.  Tonight, for instance, we are meeting quite a few friends for dinner.  The special occasion is the hubster’s birthday, my friend, Nancy’s, birthday, and our good friends Suzie and Greg Watson are in town from Arizona.  There are sixteen of us meeting for dinner and drinks.

I am just so excited.  Not only do I get to see my old friends whom I haven’t seen in a couple of years, but I get to visit with my close friends with them.  I have an hour to blow before I start to get ready and so I thought I would start a blog.

Friends have been so important in my life.  I wasn’t very close to my family. I consider myself a displaced zygote.  Which means the stork dropped me in the wrong family?  I loved my family, it is just that I didn’t have much in common with them.

And so, friends became important to my life.  My very first close friend was Emma.  She and I were in Kindergarten together and we were in the same class throughout elementary and junior high school.   We drifted apart in junior high and I became close friends with a bunch of the kids from the class ahead of mine.

In high school, I became close to Jeanie who I had known since childhood.  Her family lived across the street from me when I was four.  She lived down the street from me and since we cheered together, we became best friends.

In college, I met Pat, and she was my best friend for two years.  We just met up in Springfield a couple of weeks ago and it was like we had never been apart.

In my adulthood, the hubster was my best friend for years.  We adopted a few friends (Dave, Dave and Fuzzer) and we hung out for many years.  I didn’t really have any girlfriends during this period of my life.  I had girlfriends who were the girlfriends of boyfriends but I never got close to them.

When we moved to Illinois, I met Ellie.   Her husband and mine got along, and her son was about the same age as my girls.  She was such a dear and often loaned me her son. We were both social butterflies and organized various groups of people to go out to dinner, to parties or to plays.  We grew very close to each other.  We walked together, talked together and shared many memories and feelings.  I just about died when she moved to Arizona.

Across the street was Nancy.  Her son introduced himself to me as Joshua Fairchild Heath.  I asked about the Fairchild as I have two ancestors whose names were Fairchild.  He told me his grandparents’ names were Fairchild.  After that he told everyone that my girls were his cousins.  Nancy and I became very close also and still are to this day. We often get together to bake or to can. We call ourselves, “Women who drink and can,” or “bake”.

Beyond Nancy lived Garnet.  I lived here three or four years before I met Garnet.  I don’t’ even remember meeting her for the first time.  We ran into each other off and on and she and I started riding our bikes around the lake.  She got me a job at the mental health facility where she worked and we worked together for half a year. Garnet and I drifted apart as she likes to be a loner quite often. In recent years, she has been going through chemo and radiation, and damn her, but she is going to put up with my presence, whether she likes it or not.  (I think she does like it.)

Suzie moved into the house across the street when Nancy moved away.  (Five doors down.)  Suzie was determined that she was going to become a reflexologist and write a book.  Darn if she didn’t do it. She and I became very close.  We made several trips together and did quite a bit of walking and hiking. When she moved to Arizona, it broke my heart.



When Suzie moved away I became closer to her sister-in-law, Lorraine.  Lorraine is like my spiritual sister.  She is also a reflexologist and is going to instruct me in reiki.

Lauri was the wife of the man who sold us the lot on which we built our house.  Her daughter babysat for us once when we were hard up not knowing anyone in the area because we were new.  Lauri painted and wall papered for a living in those days and she asked me if I wanted to join in with her.  I did the trim and she did the rolling. We worked well together.  She married and moved quite a distance from me. She went on to become a CNC operator and we saw each other frequently but not enough.

Naomi was another friend who meant so much in my life. She played guitar and sang like an angel.  Or a demon when she wanted to.  I sang harmony, and soon, there was a whole group of people gathering on my deck with guitars and percussion entertaining the neighborhood.  We never did have one complaint in all those years.

These women are my sisters. They know me, my good, bad and ugly self.  I know theirs.  Tonight, I get to see some of them and catch up.  I am so excited.  As we get older these times are far and fewer in between.  I shall cherish tonight and hopefully, have a couple of photos to share with you. Photos to remind me of the memory of being with my close friends.



It was truly a night to remember.  We shared lots of hugs and kisses, laughter, joy and so much more.  And the food wasn’t bad either.

A few folks I expected didn’t show but the group that came had a wonderful time.  Our waitress and staff took lots of picture of the group of us.  I enclose a couple of my favorites.




This will be a memory for always.  Peace be with you.

Friday, May 19, 2017



Hi.  Remember me?  I am Emily.  I am a rescue and I live with Wilma and her hubster.  I am very happy here and have such a good time playing with my squeaky toys, taking walks, playing frisbee, but something here is baffling me.

I go get a squeaky.  I shake it and chew it and finally get the plastic thing out and break it apart.  Then the next day there it is again.  It looks a little mangled but the squeak is back. and I am so perplexed.

I’m thinking Mommy is magical.  She sits with the squeaky toys at the counter sometimes, fooling with them, and won’t let me have them. Then out of the blue, she will throw that darn squeaky toy that I had destroyed not two or three hours ago.


I feel like I am living in a Steven King novel.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017



I had a new adventure over the weekend.  I met my college roommate in Springfield, Illinois and we did the tour thing. We had wanted to do this last fall but with the new dog I was afraid to leave her for two days.  She did not do well.  The hubster said she ate very little and stayed upstairs most of the time.  Oh well, she has to learn to get along.

My trip down was pretty uneventful until I reached Springfield.  I drove the hubster’s Acura and used the GPS to navigate.  I really knew the drive to Bloomington since I’ve done that one a million times heading back to Ohio.  I drove by the World’s Largest Grill.  It had Johnsonville on the side of it.  I gave the driver the peace sign as I went by.  He waved back.

I got close to Springfield and my GPS told me I was three minutes from my destination.  I kept driving and driving.  Three minutes turned into about ten.  Finally, the nice lady told me to take the next right off the highway and as I was doing such she told me to take the next left.  I veered left as I knew there were no lefts off the highway.  I realized that I had done a very bad thing.  The nice lady advised me to take the next left and I did and got back on the highway going the other way.  Then she turned me back around and I knew where I was. I kept expecting to turn right and then left but she didn’t take me the same route.

I called Pat and let her know I was lost and would be a little bit late. By this time I could hardly wait to be there and out of this car.

This is the thing with computers and technology stuff and me.  I have this magnetic body thing going and I mess these things up.  My new I-phone doesn’t recognize me half the time.  My computer goes kerflooey at a glance. I could never wear a watch because they quit on me.

And so, my friends, the GPS screwed with me.  I came in and found Adams Street but I was at the wrong end.  And two blocks down there was no street at all.  I called Pat and she told me she had come in on Second and it was at the corner of Adams and Second.  I had seen Eighth Street a while back and so I backtracked to Eighth and sauntered over to Second.  Sure enough, the hotel was right there.

Pat called and told me to let her know when I got there and she would come down and help me with my stuff.  My impatient self had to hurry without her.  I grabbed my suitcase, pillow, cooler, purse and a bottle of water and headed to the front door.

I got inside and the lady at the desk hurried over to help me.  My knees were shaking I was so nervous.  It seems as though I get lost everywhere I go.  I dumped the stuff and asked about Pat.  Desk lady said she would call her as she couldn’t give out her room number.  About this time Pat comes in the door and says, “Look what I found in the parking lot?”  She had  my phone in her hand.

We hugged and laughed and I about cried.  I told her I just wanted to go sit down, I was so shaky. We made it to our room and I collapsed onto the bed.  (We have this friend, Joe Clark, who used to travel with us and he always jumped on the bed when we arrived.)
I had brought my cooler and I had made myself a stiff drink, just in case, and I drank it. Half an hour later I felt much better.

We decided to go have dinner as we had two $10.00 off your meal tickets for Arlington’s which was just around the corner.

Pat got this wonderful package from Travel something.  It was two nights’ stay, two tickets to the Lincoln Museum, two $10.00 off your dinner coupons and two free drinks downstairs at the No Name Bar.

Arlington’s turned out to be a very festive place.  It had a very interesting horse statue and people hanging on the wall.   The menu wasn’t much but a bunch of sandwiches.  I ordered the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich on a Waffle.  It came with Buffalo and bleu cheese dipping sauces and I must say it was great.  I’d order it again. With our coupon, our dinner came to a rousing $12.00.

We had a terrible night’s sleep. The couple next door decided to get romantic around 2:00.  At 2:30 I thought the wall would collapse from their banging.  They finally shut up around 4 but I couldn’t get back to sleep.  We also had a train about two blocks away and it kept it up all night.

We drove to Lincoln’s neighborhood at 7:45 to get there when it opened at 8.  The was a massive group of Girl Scouts and we tried very hard not to get into their group but it couldn’t be avoided. They turned out to be very nice young ladies. The Girl Scouts were having a huge jamboree. We got to see their parade.

Not only was the town packed with Girl Scouts, the Gay folks were having a big convention also.  There was also a large number of bikers (Harley) in town for a Viet Nam dedication of some sort.  Everyone we met were just so friendly.  Springfield is a nice little burg.

We toured Lincoln’s home and it was lovely.  I took a picture of his bed.  He and his lovely wife, Mary, had separate bedrooms but that was a sign of importance in those days.  I became very fond of old Mary on our trip.  She was really given a bad reputation by the press and everyone around her.

Pat is reading the bio of Mary Todd Lincoln and is passing it on to me when she finishes.

We toured a couple of other homes in the neighborhood but decided we would rather go tour the Frank Lloyd Wright home in Springfield.  It is the Dana-Thomas house.  It has like 36 rooms.  The tour guide was so knowledgeable and had a good sense of humor. Of course, we toured with the Girl Scouts. I’d highly recommend this tour if you are ever in Springfield.

The next day we hit the Lincoln Museum.  What at joy!  The figures are so realistic.  The display of ladies’ dresses in the White House was very impressive.  The movie they showed had lots of sound effects and I was jumping out of my skin. It wasn’t nearly as crowded as I feared it would be and I really enjoyed myself.



We had lunch at a very cute restaurant in town and I had French Onion Soup and a salad with walnuts and bleu cheese.  I suggested the waiter serve the soup with a pair of scissors. It was so wonderful but I fought a hard battle against that cheese.

We had dinner again at Arlington’s and for the life of me, I cannot remember what I ate.  I believe I had onion rings.  Old age!

Our breakfast the next day was an adventure.  The room was full of Girls Scouts, bikers, gay people and Pat and me.  The poor lady who was working the room, clearing plates and garbage and stuff, was in a frenzy.  She had been so kind the day before and even called me “baby”.  When I left, I handed her a ten because I really felt sorry for her.  I think her co-worker had copped out on her that day.

We drove out to the monument area.  I wanted to see the Lincoln Memorial and rub old Abe’s nose for good luck.  It is so shiny from people rubbing it.  We then ventured to see the Viet Nam Memorial before all the bikers arrived.  I cried just walking up to it.  Very heavy moment for me.

And so, Pat and I said our “goodbyes”.  I climbed back into the Acura to head home.  I did type in my address just to see how the nice lady would mess with me.  She did when we got to Lake Summerset because it is a private residential area and the GPS people do not have the correct information about us.  So there!



Peace be with you.