Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Garden Visitors

I'm very pleased with my little garden this year.  For a minimal amount of effort, I managed some good results.  I've already blogged about my turnips.  They lasted, crisp, sweet and crunchy, for a good month. This was my third year planting them, and I will definitely grow them again.

New Jersey is named the Garden State for good reason. In summer, every nook and cranny sprouts something green, especially when we have as much rain as this year. While I wasn't looking, my garden grew some very lush weeds. Birds and butterflies were enjoying the seeds by the time I pulled them, and I almost hated to take their feast away. Still, I had to keep some order.

I grew zinnias again this year, and they are still going strong. I noticed that they attracted many lovely visitors: monarch butterflies, black swallowtails, and some beautiful tiger swallowtails.  I also had a hummingbird this year, which is unusual. I tried to get a photo, but it was too fast for me. You'll have to take my word for it.

For several years now, the blue swallowtails have left eggs on my parsley. They hatch and grow into rather huge and gorgeous caterpillars.  Last year my grandkids were aching to keep them for pets. So far, no one has successfully hatched a butterfly, but no doubt they'll try again.  I have learned to plant an entire 1/2 barrel in parsley so there is enough to share. I still have some stalks with leaves eaten off by this year's invasion.  Maybe you can see a few here...

This is my first year to see tiger swallowtails. Such gorgeous creatures, I had to write about them.

Butterfly grace notes
Hover over my zinnias
Prompting a duet

©Karen Eastlund

So, there you have it! A little haiku ditty to celebrate the beauty in the world.  Enjoy!  And come back soon, please, because I have another garden story for you.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Grandma's Diary, May 1928

May 1 – Tues.
Very warm & the first summer day we have had. Luella & Roger came over after soft water. We hustled all morning & went to Decorah. I stopped in B.O. & got a hat. Paid $3.25 for it. We called at Prices, Glens. Carls. Myrtle & Marjorie were there. We almost cooked coming home. Baby was good today. Charley McCarty came just before supper. Paul Ward & Florine Jerviss were married this afternoon at 2 o’clock. Some young hoodlums were here hanging May baskets & yelled around until I felt like turning the dog loose on them.

May 2 – Wed.
Very warm and terribly windy. They put some garden in radishes, beets, lettuce & peas. The baby was quite fussy last night but slept fine today. Charlie went to Howard’s after supper.

May 3 – Thurs.
A lovely day, quite warm but not such a wind. I washed baby’s clothes and three comforters. Anita cleaned some of the shelves in the pantry. We went over to Luella’s & weighed Marilyn, she is five weeks today & weighs a little over 11 lbs. Elmer was going to B.O. but it started to rain about 7 and rained most of the night and we need it badly.

May 4 – Fri.
Very muddy, but clear & sunny, but some colder. I got my wallpaper that I sent for Wed. Elmer went to Burr Oak in afternoon. LuVerne rode his pony over & stayed all night. The pony got out of the barn & started home & I had to take a rope over nearly to Rheuwinkles so he could bring him back. Raymonds went to a dance at Burr Oak.

May 5 – Sat.
Very nice but is still muddy. We just did the Saturday’s work. Elmer went to town in eve. LuVerne came over and stayed all night again as they went to a reception at Haugens Hall for Walter Barth & bride. The Blaess boy & Leistikow boys were here hanging May baskets but we didn’t try to catch them.  I expected a letter from Doris today but didn’t get one & was very disappointed.

May 6 – Sun.
A beautiful day, & we didn’t dress up because we thought we wouldn’t have any company, but Luella & kids came just before we had dinner and we just finished when Laurence & wife & baby came. We got their dinner & they all went home early so Anita & I went for a little ride & stopped at Jim’s a while. Elmer went to ball game at Decorah with Cecil Wicks & Gene went too & got hurt when the bleachers gave way. They thought at first that his leg was broken but it wasn’t. Claude & Add were here in eve.

May 7 – Mon.
A nice day but so windy. We washed & had the lines full twice, we ironed all them in afternoon & eve. I got a letter from Doris & she wasn’t very well & Margarette was sick. Hughies whole family are sick but Dorothy & Raymond went to Decorah in eve after medicine for them. They have the flu.

May 8 – Tues.
A nice day & cool in morning but very hot about noon. Marilyn would not sleep today & was awake nearly all day. Luella & Roger was here a few minutes in morning. After dinner Anita went to B.O. & Marilyn and I went over to Luellas. I cleaned up the ice box & got it ready to be varnished.  Elmer went to B.O. in eve.

May 9 – Wed.
Very warm day. Anita got her sandals & they were too large so Luella took them. I got a letter from Doris & Margarette is better. Mrs. Dr. Holm died Sat. The mail man left one of my letters in Snells box so Anita & I went up after it. We didn’t accomplish much today. I cut potatoes all forenoon & Anita & Elmer planted them. The baby slept good all day until about 5 but was awake then until nine. Elmer went to B.O. after chix feed & Anita & baby went. They brought a qt. of ice cream home. We varnished the ice box.

May 10 – Thurs.
Cooler & nice to work. I alabastined the hall & Anita & I painted all the woodwork so it is all done but the floor. Elmer planted a small piece of corn today & went over to Raymonds after quack grass digger in eve.

May 11 – Fri.
Beautiful day but windy. In afternoon Anita, babe & I went to B.O. to the Mother’s entertainment given by the Club girls. Their program was very good & had a swell lunch of sandwichs made of buns with cold boiled ham, angel food devils food, pickles & coffee & each one got a carnation. Anita took angel food. There was a big crowd and a very nice time.

May 12 – Sat.
Nice & not so windy. We washed the babys clothes & did the Saturdays work & I raked the back yard. We took Marilyn over to Luella’s and weighed her, she weighs 12 lbs. Elmer went to B.O. in eve & Raymond went with him & Luella & kids came over here for a while.

May 13 – Sunday, Mother’s Day
Very nice in morning but clouded over before noon. It is some cooler too. I went to church with Jim & Eda. Mr. Butler was here to dinner & he and Elmer & Raymond & LuVerne went fishing. They didn’t get home until 5:30 but had a good big mess of fish for supper. About 2-30 Anita & I went over to Luella’s but Anita was sick & vomited so we had to come home. Mr. Butler stayed all night.

May 14 – Mon.
Nice day, but windy and quite warm in afternoon. We got our washing out early and ironed nearly all of them. Marilyn was very good in forenoon but fussed all afternoon. Anita & Elmer went to Decorah to Cass-Parker show and LuVerne stayed over here.  I kept the baby.

May 15 – Tues.
Very nice day & warm. At noon Anita & I took the seed corn grader down to Merles & stayed a little while & then stopped at B.O. & Anita did her trading & we got over to Luella’s & found out she had forgotten to get any bread so we went back after it. Rained hard in eve. Charley McCarty was here in afternoon & stayed all night.

May 16 – Wed.
Rainy all forenoon. Ellis Brode came & got 12 hens that they caulled out at 19cts per lb. Charley McCarty went away after dinner & Bert Daniels & another man came to paper & we didn’t have a thing moved out nor any of the paper off.  They got the front room nearly done. Elmer had to go out about 5 o’clock & milk a cow for the baby. She has been the best today she ever has been. The paper hangers stayed here all night.

May 17 – Thurs.
Cloudy until after noon. The men got through papering a little after noon and charged me $12 for the two rooms. They did a very good job. We got the rooms cleaned up & was as tired as a dog, & went to bed before nine.

May 18 – Fri.
Rained again last night or toward morning so I washed in forenoon & Luella went up to Leistikous after oats about 11 and I went back with her and after dinner Luella & I went to Decorah. Parnell was to come up with us but we forgot to get him. LuVerne stayed here all night & it rained very hard. Louis came after potatoes & got 5 bushel at $1.50 per bu. I got Marilyn a little ring for having my name.

May 19 – Sat.
Bright and nice but so muddy. Elmer took me to Burr Oak before seven & I took the bus to Rochester & from there to Minneapolis & got there at 5 to 3. We were one hour late. Emil & Ernest Berge were there to meet me. We ate a lunch & took some slippers to Sears to be exchanged for Doris & got home a little before dark. It is very dry and dusty here at Isle.  Margarette had grown so & was so fat but Marion looks so little & poor. I slept with Margarette in the day bed.

May 20 – Sun. – Isle
Very nice & bright. We got up about 6-45; Emil & Mr. Berge went fishing and got 8 nice ones & toward eve they went again & got four more. Doris, kids & myself went for a little ride.

May 21 – Mon. – Isle
Very nice day and we had a terrible washing and didn’t get it hung out until after dinner and then mopped both dining room & kitchen. It is so dry & dusty & is terrible. Margarette was over to Sandstroms for a while. In eve we rode up to Barsness’ but I didn’t go in but stayed in the car with the kids. I made hermit cookies today.

May 22 – Tues. – Isle
Much cooler. We did all the ironing & made some jam. In eve Emil, Doris & Margarette went up town to order a mattress for a bed and to see about getting a garden spot.

May 23 – Wed. – Isle
Very nice & bright. I washed a few garments for myself & Doris cleaned the house. Emil & Berge went fishing after school & had supper about 8. Margarette & I rode up town with Emil after some things. Doris, Emil & Berge came home at 11-20 & the boys stayed until 1 o’clock. They got 7 very large pike. Doris caught the largest one. Marion woke up at 11 and I had to feed her cream of wheat. I got a letter from Anita.

May 24 – Thurs. – Isle
Very warm. We drove up town in forenoon & I mailed Marion’s slippers. After school was out we rode over west of town while the men fished a little but didn’t catch any. Margarette was sick after we got back. She had gas pains & didn’t eat any supper, and she was sick all night. Her hand was swollen and her arm hurt her so we couldn’t move her. We stayed up with her until 1-30 & she slept some from then on.

May 25 – Fri. – Isle
Cloudy all forenoon but no rain. Margarette didn’t feel a bit well until toward night & didn’t use her hand at all but felt much better in afternoon. In eve Doris, Emil & Berge went to the movie “The Big Parade” it lasted until nearly 11 & they didn’t like it at all. Margarette slept fine & Marion was good but I had to give her the bottle while they were gone.

May 26 – Sat. – Isle
Very nice day but much cooler. A little after 5 some high school boys came & rapped on the door & wanted Emil & Berge to both drive cars to their class picnic at Taylor Falls. So they went the boys rented cars & Emil drove one & Berge the other. We drove up town after meat & groceries after dinner.

May 27 – Sun. – Isle
Very nice day but cool. There was a frost this morning. We had to have a fire in the furnace. We all took baths and just laid around all forenoon. After dinner I wrote letters & all the rest went to sleep but Margarette & I. After supper we drove out to Mr. Althous about five miles from here.

May 28 – Mon. – Isle
A beautiful day. Doris did a big washing. I stayed up stairs with the kids & made a pie & got dinner. After dinner Doris drove over to the other house to see how much cretonne she would have to get for porch windows & couldn’t get it here so we all went over to Wahkon but couldn’t get it there. Emil & Berge went fishing at 6 o’clock and got home at 11 and had 15 good sized pike.

May 29 – Tues. – Isle
Nice day. I didn’t iron any until afternoon & nearly finished it. In eve we rode out quite a ways & it seemed very cool. Doris helped correct examination papers after we got back. I got Marion’s shoes & 1 was a 1 & one was an O…. so sent them back again.

May 30 – Wed. – Isle – Decoration Day
Lovely day. No school. Doris washed bed blankets. We saw the parade go by to the cemetery. Emil took Margarette up town with him. Emil & Berge had papers to correct in eve. I got letters from Anita & Luella.

May 31 – Thurs. – Isle
Cloudy but no rain. Doris went over to Matters to look at a baby buggy & was up town & over to Haggbergs nearly all forenoon. They bought the buggy for $15 and brought it home. I made cookies this morning & sewed in afternoon. We took a little ride up north before supper. In eve Doris & Emil marked papers & Berge finished & went fishing & caught four. It rained a little in the night.

Thursday, September 5, 2019


My Spiritual Journey First Thursday pals are posting about nudges today. My thoughts:

I've been through a challenge recently. I was asked to lead a workshop, a 3-hour workshop, for some folks who teach writing to young children. It needed a PowerPoint presentation. I had never used PowerPoint. It needed to look professional, like a graduate course. Daunting! At the last minute, because I didn't really understand the technology, I had to give it without my speaker notes. Whoa...

So, first of all, I survived. I'm thankful for that, believe me. There were moments when I wondered.

What made me agree to it in the first place? A nudge. I had a nudge. I wanted to share some things I hadn't been able to share.  I wanted to feel like I was still "in the game." I wanted to use all my God-given talents to the best of my ability.

So, I stepped out of my comfort zone. More than once, in the preparation process, I came close to meltdown. I'm old, folks! Technology is a huge challenge to me. Plus, I had to drive a fair distance on busy roads in New Jersey's rush hour traffic. That, in itself, can push me to my limit.

What kept me going? A number of things: support from a colleague, and support from my husband, but also very important to me, I had support from my faith community. My prayer partner continued to pray for me through the months of preparation, and that reassured me. I felt nudges every time I went to worship. I felt that every hymn, every prayer, every sermon, supported me. I felt that I was in God's hands. 

In spite of that feeling, however, several times toward the end of the process, I felt panic. My heart raced, my muscles twitched, I couldn't sleep. I really had to work my way through it. I sang hymns, I played them on the piano, I sang along with them in my car. I tried to gain perspective. I practiced deep breathing, I exercised, I drank Tension Tamer Tea. I ate... wait for it... chocolate!!! Yes! I read that chocolate can have a calming effect, and I absolutely went for it! God is good!

I am still learning from this challenge, and I expect that to continue. What a huge blessing. A small example is the SJFT image above. This is the first time I've been able to use it because I didn't know how to transport it before.  So... TaDa!!! It may be a small learning, but I'm happy for it.

The results are still coming in, but I received positive feedback from the teaching staff as well as my support colleague.  I know I forgot a few points, but that doesn't distress me. I feel positive about the experience, and my confidence is boosted. My learning curve was huge, and I managed it. I worked hard. Really hard. I'd like to say that I worked my butt off, but I'm afraid I still have a fairly substantial one. That's okay. We're talking about nudges, not miracles!

My best to all of you. May your nudges lead to blessings.