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Saturday, July 31, 2010


This has been a busy week for me. I have worked every day on the berm and have it almost finished. The weeds have been pulled, the invasive sea oats and wild violets are gone. It all starts so slow, a little weed here and there until it’s overgrown. Not just overgrown as we normally think but wound into each other until it’s hard to find a starting place. I kept working in the back and dreading to start on the berm.

I had five tomato towers around the Japanese Maple and wove plastic netting around them. That was three years ago so the branches and leaves have had to endure the tight security to keep the cats out. It was a labor of love to cut each small bit of netting away from the tree. I worked two full days getting the netting and towers out but now the towers are over the tomatoes as they were intended to be. Today I worked on trimming and mulching so when I’m done I’ll take a picture of the finished project.

My grandson’s mother-in-law was in a car accident this past week and was air-lifted to a Springfield hospital. She had a broken arm, large gash in the back of her head with cuts and bruises….eyes swelled shut. Becky and I plan going out this afternoon to visit a while. I have to say she wasn’t wearing her seat belt and was thrown from the car. I’m mentioning this as a warning to anyone who reads this and has the same bad habit. Thankfully she has pulled through but will be a long time healing.

Bloggers who have read Ellen and Curtis found out basically from one another that Curtis died recently. I don’t know the exact date but he mentioned in his last blog that he wasn’t feeling well. His death must have been sudden and I hope to receive more information on his passing. They were a couple to be admired. Ellen died the same year Rocky did. Our list of regular bloggers who read one another and commented with one another is growing smaller. Youtube, twitter and tweets have taken many away from blogging. I’m not one to branch out so I’m sticking with my blogs.

Well, the shade is back on the berm again so I’ll try to finish with it today. If you’re wondering why I talk so much about the yard etc; it’s because that’s all I have to talk about. I’ve been spending most of my time outside working. I will try and think of something different by the next blog. Here’s hoping your yard is as beautiful as my son, George’s. It’s his picture I’m putting on today. When we visit with him I enjoy sitting on his deck and looking at the beautiful lawn and flowers.

Have a nice Sunday…….I’m on my way outside again.

Essentially Esther

Monday, July 26, 2010


Gardening is something that may not interest some but even with my limited capabilities now I find it fascinating. In fact, now that I’m not able to care for it as I once could, I find it even more fascinating. I wondered, the past few years, why this was so. I did many other things that held my interest at the time but now in my days of “winter” I’m beginning to see the “why.”

At the time they were needed. Then the “needs” and the “time” moved on. Like Nature, God is constantly “upgrading” us. Nature never sleeps and neither does God. They both present themselves, as necessary, for the lessons at hand and who needs our help now. The “now” is constantly changing with each day. We are taught to look to this day only. Tomorrow isn’t here and yesterday is gone. The cliché’ still holds whether we think it’s overdone or not. We may not see the end of this day. I’ve always known this but as I’ve grown older it is sinking into my consciousness as something to act on and not something to ponder.

As I work the ground of poor soil and rocks I don’t really dwell on them, but the blooms to come. The colors of the blossoms are so vivid, the intricate design of each so perfect and original, it is lesson after lesson for those who have a heart for gardening. In my case now it has narrowed down to flowers but what a blessing they are.

I have a friend who brought me three tomato plants in the Spring. She didn’t have room for them and thought I’d use them. Rocky always planted six tomato plants each Spring, always in the same place. He had grown up on a dairy farm and he still had the “feel” for raising something out of the ground. He never lost his love for the farm, be it crops or animals.

I planted and watered, fertilized and watered. I didn’t have a lot of faith. It was hard rocky ground but I knew tomatoes actually like poor soil. There used to be big canning factories in the Ozarks from Missouri to Arkansas. The soil wasn’t good enough for much of anything else.

One day I walked past and they had blooms. It seemed a miracle considering all they had against them. Surely the rabbits would eat them……we have several young families of rabbits. But as I write they are ripening and I thought I’d share them with those of you who read this blog.

The things that held my interest when I was young have either become more dear or I’ve forgotten. God has a way of working that out in a person’s life. The one thing I know I will always do is to meet God in my garden.

I know He will always be there………waiting.

Essentially Esther

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Last Thursday was quite a day. I was cleaning in the garage when out of no-where, Becky appeared. She should have been at work but here she was, not in uniform and acting in a way that made me wonder what was going on. She looked like the cat that swallowed the canary and said she just thought I’d like to have a pizza with her for lunch.

I left what I was doing….no makeup, hot and sweaty from cleaning and when we reached the door, out popped Jennifer. Jennifer, for those who don’t know, is Becky’s daughter who lives in CT. At first I didn’t recognize her…..but when it dawned on me who it was my jaw dropped and we had a big hug for each other.

Jennifer is leaving for the Ukraine in a few weeks and will live in Kiev. Her employment will be as it has been here in the States. She is a head buyer for furniture, fixtures and equipment of large buildings and orders everything from the ground up to the crystal used for the grand opening. She has worked on some of the largest buildings in the North-East and has her own company.

Becky and I were trying to get used to the idea of her going so far away when she made a fast trip back to see us. We had five days to visit with her and we did go to the pizza parlor for lunch that day…..and yes, I did clean up before going. My not recognizing her? Well, she has long hair now, different color, wears a size 6 and brown as a berry from living on the coast and walking her dog on the beach. I hadn’t seen her for three years and so the change was staggering to me.

We packed as much as we could into the time we had. Uncle George from KC came down to see her as well as her friends and family here. It was so good to have her. Becky and I drove her to the airport in Springfield yesterday to fly back to CT. and begin her packing. Of course I will keep our extended family and friends up on her progress through the blog. It’s the best way I know to get news out to everyone.

By the way, I didn’t know George was coming either so I had two surprises. I am sharing a couple of the pictures taken and will have more from time to time. The one picture is of Jennifer and her brother's son, Brady...... we couldn't all be in one picture so had to stagger them.

Essentially Esther

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


………..is it we learn the most from our mistakes or when life turns on us like a viper? Those good days we enjoyed so much are soon forgotten. Being King of the Hill only lasts a few hours, then it is someone else’s hill.

As children we loved everyone and friendship didn’t seem like a big deal. The older we grew and the people who have passed in and out of our lives left some footprints. The good things we do are always noticed by someone. Unfortunately, the bad things we do are noticed by everyone.

To have a friend it requires us to be a friend. To show ourselves friendly. There are as many ways to do that as we have friends. I read once where our personality is different with each of our friends. Some bring out the silliness in us, the serious side of us, the knowledgeable, the kind, the invention and art of being a friend.

That’s why our parents always advised us to pick our friends well. If we spend a lot of time around a bad influence some of it will rub off. I like a Chinese proverb I read once where it is said, “You cannot give another a rose without some of the fragrance remaining on your hand.” As a gardener, I know this to be true. As a kindness it is the same. You cannot give another kindness without some of it staying with you. God blesses on each end…..it is His gift.

I don’t know that there is ever a need to ask the “why”…….but if we think about it there is always a reason. And sometimes when we are quiet enough, that little still, small voice will tell us………..

Essentially Esther

Thursday, July 08, 2010


The long weekend got me off guard as far as getting to the blog-site. Becky was home those three days and we worked in our yards but had our suppers together. I am still working on the tangled mess down in the “hole” and love the progress along with the results. I could be wrong but several of the oak trees are looking like they have an infestation. The bark looks like it’s been burned…..and the leaves are turning brown. I’m undecided because it could be the trees have suffered with no rain in June to speak of.

The 4th of July was consumed with everything from sparklers to gigantic booms and some of them made the two cats and one little doggie scramble for cover. When the first couple of the fireworks went off they ran to me and wanted protection. I hated the lack of compassion I had for them because they looked like deer in the headlights and I struggled to be somewhat serious for their fright. Why is it so funny to see your little dogs and kitties terrified? Please tell me I’m not the only one.

When I got up and looked out the front door there was a display right down the hill from us and they were shooting off the big chrysanthemums and various other pretty floral fireworks. Along with the beautiful colors to look at, we kept hearing horrific noise from the large fireworks. At one point they let a bunch off all at once and it was deafening. By that time the cats were in the back bedroom and not coming out.

I was torn between seeing the beautiful live display here and Toby Keith who was at the Boston celebration. I’m a Toby Keith fan and hated to miss him. I did a pretty good job of keeping up with both programs…commercials helping out. Most of the day I watched the History of US and it was very interesting.

I was surprised with some of the founding Fathers information because I have been out of high school for 61 years. There is much more opportunity now to read about their personal lives and I imagine the schools have good teaching tools with the attained video and audio devises. I have always enjoyed History so I watch the History Channel when I can.

I am proud of our country and pray every day for our troops and for the politicians. Surely there has to be a way to bring the division between all the different parties to an end. Our country has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world and we the people are generous and the first to aid in a crisis.

May it always be the land of the free and the home of the brave……….

Essentially Esther

Thursday, July 01, 2010


.......... is hot, unending and a time-stealer. For some reason I am married to my flowers this year and spend much of my time outside. The one picture is the garden in May……the other is today, July, and it’s in transition. You really find out who the wimps are and those hardy enough to keep going. Spring flowers are delicate and need to be enjoyed early because any little weather change can send them packing.

I like my flowers like my friendships. No matter what kind of weather, how much rain we do or don’t get, no special needs, just stand up to all of the above and stand tall. I definitely admire determination, effort and seeing things through. I like my friends that way and I try to be a friend that way.

I spent the morning cutting out the Missouri wild ferns from my garden. They don’t like hot dry weather and that’s what we have a lot of right now. They turn brown and after so long, they come back. I pulled out lots of poison ivy and garden “want to be’s”….the wild violets move in any place that’s vacated…….they will grow back but I keep them pulled out as long as I can.

I planted Cosmos to put on my cards when they bloom. There are many bright colors and will work in nicely with the other blossoms I have. My card friend is a garden lady also. We trade plants and blooms back and forth. Many of mine are from family…..Rocky bought rose plants for our wedding anniversary once and he liked Hen and Chicks so my neighbor gave me a good start of them. It’s fun to watch the progress of plants…..this spring my hens started having little chicks. They look so cute in the container but I’m going to have to put them in something bigger with all the babies coming. Women have shared flowers back and forth in the act of friendship for all ages….and when I’m working in the garden I feel surrounded by those dear old friends and family members.

One thing I know, unless you are a gardener you just don’t relate. It is not the hard work it seems……for when you love what you’re doing it isn’t work, it’s fun.

Essentially Esther