Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Spring Blessings

When weather cooperates, farmers are busy replacing the fields of henbit and wild mustard with plantings of corn or soybeans, Gerald said I was probably correct that those early plants equal out any nutrient depletion when they are plowed under. Best of all, he explained those plants hold the earth and prevent erosion. And they add organic matter to the soil. So they are helpful as well as colorful to look at. He said some farmers actually plant rye or turnips (a field turnip, not the table kind) to accomplish those tasks; and as the plant and roots deteriorate, better air and water passages are left in the soil beneath the planted crops.

Nothing is prettier than white dogwood blossoms peeking through greening woods, and that has been a major pleasure for me this spring. I am in the midst of facing up to what must be done for a tooth problem. The spectacular displays of dogwood along the highway made even the anxious ride up to the periodontist at Mt. Vernon pleasurable for me and Gerald.

We continue to watch college softball games and are more interested than ever as tournament time approaches. We even got an unexpected over night visit from our son Gerry back when A&M played at Missouri. Taking some batting cages up early in his truck, he swung by here. Gerald had debated driving over as we have done it the past, but seeing it on television was certainly easier. In the third game of their series last Sunday No. 18 A&M beat No.1 Florida 6-4. Today Gerry posted that they were 7th nationally in home runs, 18th in batting average, and 7th in slugging percentage. Go Aggies!

Oregon moved up to No. 3 ranking after a streak of winning shut-outs and players breaking school records. Geri Ann hit her 10th homerun this season last night. They will travel to California this weekend.

A friend started Katherine’s birthday celebration a day early with a gift-laden visit from her church girl friends. I made a homemade birthday cake and ordered in pizza for Gerald and me to join Katherine in her bedroom to celebrate. I have opened and displayed her birthday cards there; her husband’s flowers and the flowers of a friend have made the room festive. I read to her the more than 100 birthday wishes on Facebook, and she enjoyed reminiscing of those friends from the times when she lived a much different life than now--one full of activity, accomplishments, and challenges.

Unfortunately, one of Katherine’s long term aides, the oldest and one of the very best to get much accomplished in a brief shift, had to resign because of some health problems. She stuck it out through the need for infusing an antibiotic, and the last dose was given on Katherine’s birthday. We deeply regretted her leaving, but knew she needed a chance to rest and revive. So I have spent more time at Katherine’s house than usual trying to help out until she secures more staff. (Final exams at the local colleges have also played havoc with some of her aides.)

Her many bedroom windows open up on a lovely city park, and the activity there does add some variety to her limited life. Last fall, Gerald fixed a new television for her up in the air above those windows at just the perfect height for her viewing. Always good with electronics, she understands all the complicated choices that modern TVs have, and she has to repeatedly tell me step-by-step what to push to get shows chosen, watched, recorded, rewound, or whatever, while I still long for the days when one pushed an on and off button. But the television and some things on her phone (which is even more complicated than the TV) allow her keep up with sports, the political season, local news, and the current TV shows every one talks about. Since I am busy doing other tasks while there, I am not so up to date. (When I am in my kitchen at my house, however, I usually have the news on and try to keep switching from channel to channel as commercials come on. Nevertheless, I know the words to some of those commercials.

In addition to softball excitement, our singer/actor granddaughter Leslie got a call back on an audition for a nation-wise tour this week. Suddenly she had to frantically arrange to take the very last seat available for a flight to New York City, and she even got a request to return on Tuesday, but she did not make it to the final cut and returned to Nashville where she had been pouring her heart and extra time into the second “Any Song Will Do” event to be streamed at 7:30 tomorrow night (Thursday). Hope you can watch it with us at

And her brother Elijah finished his student teaching with an A and will graduate from Illinois State this Saturday morning. As if that is not enough excitement for Jeannie and Rick’s family, Cecelie has her prom at Freeport High School that night!

The excitement here on the farm is the abundance of asparagus and now a handful of strawberries starting to turn red. Gerald honored me with the first one but confessed that some little animal had actually had one or two before mine.

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