May 2011


One of the greatest ideas my daughter-in-law had for the wedding reception was to have a photo booth for the guests to play with.

She got the idea from Cara and Jeff, and I put it together with music after the wedding.  It is really great!  First, here are some still photos:

Rachel & Andrew

We used a bedsheet for the background (it turned out not to be big enough).

Our “third son” and Younger Son

We used a computer with a webcam that takes photos.

Mom & her sisters

We used a corner of the room in which we had the reception.

My husband & myself

I bought a nice frame at a yard sale and painted it a darker red. 

Some friends having a Great Time

My biggest disappointment was that not all of our guests used it.  I really wanted to have photos of everyone.  Ah well.

Here is the 2-minute video montage (with music) itself; I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!



I have always been a person who wants to know The Names of Things.  When I work in the garden and hear a bird singing, it is a great joy to know who it is:

The Scarlet Tanager, which sounds kind of like a robin and kind of not.

Photo by gnburges, Photobucket

To that end, I’m getting serious about identifying and recording what type of wildflowers we have here on the property.

In the past, I identified and wrote some down so it wouldn’t be too difficult when next year came round, but it’s been a hodge-podge of confusion.  I’m helping myself out with photographs this time.

Buy an inexpensive book that will hold photos.

Arm yourself with the best wildflower I.D. book.

Take photos and print them out–even cardstock or regular paper will do–and keep them in the book for next year!

Here are a couple of astonishing spring flowers that are so small you might not even know you have them at your house.

Ground Ivy (also known as Creeper and Gill-over-the-Ground) is a definite nuisance weed in these parts, but you have to admit that up close even it looks pretty.  The word “gill” comes from a French word that means “ferment” because the leaves were once used to flavor beer in Europe.  It belongs to the mint family.


But this next one–it takes my breath away!  Thyme-leaved Speedwell, which was used for many ailments in the past.   It is very tiny underfoot in the grass.  It’s Latin name “Veronica Serpyllifolia” comes from words that mean “true” and “image”, named after St. Veronica.  There is a legend that she loaned her veil to Jesus to wipe his brow as He was carrying the cross.  When He gave it back, the veil had the image of Jesus’ own face impressed upon it. 



When we moved to this house 20 years ago, we gave it the name Heartsease because we felt that at last we had come home, in many different ways. 

“Heartsease” is also a nickname for a tri-colored violet/pansy, and we have many kinds of violets here. 

This is the season.  The grass in our front yard is colorful with these sweet little flowers. 

White ones

Purple ones

I decided this year to find out how many different varieties we have here, and to identify each kind. 

Well, THAT was a bigger job than I bargained for!

Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide says there are 900 species in the world, but the books I have obviously do not list them all.  Here is what I think we have:

Northern White Violet, in the front yard.  It is very small and dear.  The flower is on a separate stalk from the leaves.  It has a scent.  I wondered why I could smell something sweet when there were no flowering trees around.


The grass also has Common Blue Violet.  No scent!

Along the wooded drive, there are some Long-Spurred Violets.  Their leaves are on the same stem as the flowers and there is a long “spur” on the bottom petal.

Smooth Yellow Violets down that way too.

It’s a toss-up as to which are my favorites.  I appreciate the tiny Northern Whites for their fragile appearance and scent, but the Halberd-leaved Violet is really pretty.  It’s in the back yard under the evergreen trees.

Go outside right now and see how many kinds of violets you have in your own yard!  You might be surprised.


It came to me that it’s as if my Older Son and His Wife have died.  That, along with the loss of my circle of friends, the death of Imogene (our outdoor cat), the near death and sudden lifestyle change of my mother, and countless other changes, can account for the vast amount of grief and apathy that’s been with me these last few months.

I think that some folks could have made this time easier, but they did not.

For years, I’ve struggled with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, and all that goes with them, and when I have “down” days, I bear it well because I know it will pass and there will be “good” days again. 

I do not have that rational thinking with this hard time.

Meanwhile, I’ll try to pretend–until things get better!

I “pretended” I was invited to the Royal Wedding.  It was a lot cheaper and easier to attend doing it this way:

Re-creation of myself watching the Royal Wedding on television


My outdoor hat needs some gee-gaws, feathers, or something to make it look more fancy, but it will do in a pinch (which is what this was)