Category Archives: Garden

Random musings

I have a very mild corneal abrasion.  I’ll be all right, but I look like a twitchy monster.

Public Safety reminder: wear protective glasses when weed-whacking the garden.


Since I’m writing this on Saturday evening, I am indeed wondering if a 2.5-hour nap this afternoon will keep me awake tonight.

100° days wear me out.  So does a corneal abrasion.

At the antique mall this week: two new (old) pairs of cufflinks.

At Metro Imaging on Friday: words I never wish to hear.  Arthritis.  While I don’t know the severity, the treatment, or the prognosis, I can say without hesitation that my left arm is hurting, and that over the last week this hurt has escalated significantly. We’ll see what Dr. Feldman says on Monday.

Since the bus connections are only twice-daily from Venice to Mezzano, I have decided to rent a car and drive whilst in Italy next month.  Hertz has great prices, and I’m a Gold Member.  I must hie myself to AAA on Monday to procure and International Driving Permit.

And we’ll see what stories I will have about driving a manual-transmission Fiat from Venice into the Dolomites.

10 p.m. and heat warning is in effect.  The temperature is 84° well after sundown.

U-Verse service really stinks. When I return from holiday, I’m dumping it.  Apple TV will be my new approach, I think.

My niece Kristen is 27 years old today. This photo shows her more than 20 years ago, with our beloved Aunt Esther:

Aunt Esther with her great-great-niece Kristen. Both have the middle name Marie.

I’m grateful to my friend Robert for reminding me of this gem from Dame Julian of Norwich (c. 1342-1416):

As truly as God is our Father, so just as truly is he our Mother.
In our Father, God Almighty, we have our being;
In our merciful Mother we are remade and restored.
Our fragmented lives are knit together.
And by giving and yielding ourselves, through grace,
To the Holy Spirit we are made whole.
It is I, the strength and goodness of Fatherhood.
It is I, the wisdom of Motherhood.
It is I, the light and grace of holy love.
It is I, the Trinity.
I am the sovereign goodness in all things.
It is I who teach you to love.
It is I who teach you to desire.
It is I who am the reward of all true desiring.
All shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well. Amen.

I visited her cell whilst in Norwich for a week in 2015:

Her cell from garden.



For the first time since 1995, when I sold my house in Blue Springs, I have irises blooming in my yard. Words cannot express the indescribable joy this brings me.


Thanks to the help of two Webster Conservatory students, my Saturday morning was entirely productive (to 10.30 at least, when I’m writing this!).

All the leaves that blew back around in December are now mulched and in the green recycling bin.  Ceramic pots are filled with bedding plants (mostly marigolds and petunias).  Weed control has been applied to the lawn.  Begonias are in the front porch planter. Some books are boxed and ready for Goodwill.  The garage has been swept and tidied after the winter cold.  Generally speaking, the outdoor property is cleaner and greener.

I saw my first hummingbird of the season this week, and put out fresh nectar this morning.

And Spring seems more real.

Pictures to follow.



I took my camera, with macro lens, outdoors with me on Saturday.  Auggie joined me.

The peonies are sprouting upward with speed.  The taller shoot here is about 5″ tall.  Their emergence from slumber is a week or two early, and in another two months or so they will burst forth in giant pink blooms.

The week

What a week this was . . . !

I could barely summon the energy for a dog-walk Saturday morning, so tired was I.

This past week was my first full week at the office in the last month. We had a power outage, a canceled afternoon & evening of classes thanks to the threat (unrealized) of ice; I had a couple of days away for illness and a day away for travel.

And so this week felt grueling, but I like gruel.

I sang a cabaret show on Tuesday evening, and as usual felt the weariness 36 hours later on Thursday.

District solo & ensemble contest was this weekend. Aaron and Ronan received ratings of 1, and Isaac a 2. These ratings are accurate reflections of what the adjudicator heard, I think. (And then I found out that Grace went to contest unknownst to me, and also took home a 1 rating!)

Between their sings on Friday, I spent more money than necessary at Costco; bought some Lucky Brand jeans and a couple of pairs of socks at Nordstrom Rack; and enjoyed some Tex-Mex. But their bookends of the schedule meant a late arrival home on Friday.

And after Ronan sang on Saturday, I dropped by the shoe repair store in Ladue, then lunched on Thai noodles at Pei Wei, then went to see my niece Anna as she started her shift at Barnes & Noble.

My living room is under repair and renovation, and things are a mess. I don’t like mess.

We had our fifth audition day in the last 29 days on Friday. And orchestra concert started the week, and a choral concert will finish it this afternoon.

My Messing Award was announced.

And we received unexpected news that our assistant professor posting was approved and is now live, so I spent part of Friday evening sending emails far and wide about the suddenly-available position. We need a skill set and background that is somewhat extraordinary, so this search will be a fun one!

I saw all but one of my students this week, both at Webster and at home.

The decennial accreditation process with the National Association of Schools of Music has begun in earnest. Hours fly by when having that fun!

I closed on the refinance of my house, and am now in a shorter mortgage with happier terms.

So, after this litany of why I’m beat, the thanksgivings —

I am thankful for, and recognize that I am blessed with:

  • A home
  • A dog
  • Job security
  • A salary that leaves me comfortable
  • The promise of money in the bank when I retire in a few more years
  • Joyous anticipation of several international trips in the next few years
  • A voice with which to teach and enlighten and entertain
  • Faith
  • No worries about where my next meal is going to be found, or how I will get someplace
  • Good and talented students who wish to learn and grow
  • Family that is well-knit and gets along
  • The promise of Spring, since my daffodils and tulips are now emerging from sleep
  • The luxury of burning candles for mood and scent, and not out of necessity.