Happy Birthday, Sylvia


I remember this fellow, who we met in Cartago, Costa Rica.  He grew the very best oranges and always had a smile and a warm greeting for us.  This is one of my favorite pictures of Sylvia.

Today is her birthday.  For that reason I invite you to join me in wishing her a very Happy Birthday.

Garden Slowing

Much to Sylvia’s delight, garden output is slowing.  Most of the zucchini and tomatoes are in their final stages of production.  Everything has done so well except for parsnips and carrots.  Neither germinated at the first planting.  (Perhaps we got some bad seed?)  Carrots did germinate at second planting, but are not yet ready for harvest.  Sad to say, no parsnips for this year.

Our garden looked like this last week:


Compare that to a year earlier:


Special Day

It was 55 years ago today that Sylvia and I made our vows to one another.  In some ways it seems a lifetime ago, and in others like it seems like it was only yesterday.

We are enjoying a quiet day.  This evening we’ll go to our favorite restaurant and have a scrumptious dinner.

Careless Words

At times we can be careless and even reckless in our choice of words.  That point was driven home to me on Saturday.


I was walking by the kitchen where Sylvia was at the counter preparing a meal.  She said, “I’m making poppers, do you want me to leave seeds in your jalapeños?”

Being a bit distracted, I responded, “What ever.”  Thus far, our peppers haven’t been that hot.  Sometimes I like a bit more fire.  How was I to know that the potency had increased?  I probably should have been a bit more careful in my choice of words.

Later at the table, Sylvia carefully selected three for me and took the other three for herself.  She took the first bite and observed that hers was a bit more spicy than usual.

On the first bite, I realized she was correct.  On the second bite, I retrieved a tissue as my sinuses began to clear.  (This has been a bad year for allergies and they’ve had me congested all summer.  Clearing the sinuses means welcome relief.)

As I was finishing the first popper, two more tissues joined the first one.  Soon, I reported, “One down two to go.”  Sylvia smiled at me.

After the third popper was gone, I discarded three tissues.  My sinuses were clear and it was easy to breathe through the nose.

Now it’s Monday afternoon and my sinuses are still clear.  That’s a good thing.  #ReadyForMore

Out in the Garden

It was on June 27, that I last posted a pic of our veggie garden.  You should see it today.  Thanks to Sylvia’s efforts, it is flourishing.


That is a zucchini in Sylvia’s right hand and those are the zucchini plants behind her.  We will have an abundance of these beautiful summer squashes,

Looks like were in for our best year of onions, beets and butternut squash (these three not visible in this pic).  Also the jalapeños are loaded and some are ready to harvest.

I’m Walking

I had a number of captions for this photo:

Sylvia, mail in hand

Sylvia, mail in hand

The first was, “Walking in a Winter Wonderland.”  We’re not necessarily feeling that way after the second big snowfall in less than a week.  When we were teens, Chubby Checker hit the charts with, “I’m Walking.”

How about, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays this woman from getting her mail.”  (She already has her male.)  Yes, I think I like that one.

Do you have a better caption for this image?

Good News Day

Tuesday just after noon, Sylvia took me to the podiatrist.  (I still am not allowed to drive.)  They took X-rays of my foot and it looks good and seems to be doing well.  I was able to trade the heavy boot for a light-weight surgical shoe.  As the doctor said, it’s not as comfortable as the boot, but it’s easier to deal with.

After that, we stopped at the steak house and had a nice lunch.  I’d call it dinner.  Grilled prime rib is not on our normal luncheon menu.  That was in celebration of our wedding anniversary, which is today.

That evening, a friend dropped in for an overnight visit.  We always look forward to seeing Sharkey.

Sharkey and Sylvia

Sharkey and Sylvia

This morning started with breakfast with Sharkey.  Then she was on her way east to be with friends.  Later we’ll travel to be with Sylvia’s family as we celebrate her dad’s 98th birthday.

Today is our special day as we celebrate another year of togetherness.


Happy anniversary my love.  I’m looking forward to many more years together with you.

It is Finished!

The title comes from Sylvia’s words when she came in from weeding the veggie garden.  It had started in the flower gardens.

Granny's Garden has some begonias now.

Granny’s Garden has some begonias now.

Upper walk-out flower garden

Upper walk-out flower garden

Lower walk-out flower garden

Lower walk-out flower garden

The veggie garden -- here unfinished

The veggie garden — here unfinished

After pulling the last of the weeds in the veggie garden, Sylvia planted a row of green beans.  The first planting usually comes to maturity while she is with her family at the lake.  I pick some and recruit some help with the rest.  #arthritis-stinks

Good News Day

Neighbor Bob makes hay

Neighbor Bob makes hay

Yesterday was a very good day for us.  It was one of those days that you check mark on the wall calendar.  (Or do you do that?)

I always look forward to neighbor Bob cutting our lower [used to be] lawn for hay.  It saves me a couple hours and a gallon of diesel each week of the mowing season.  It will feed his beef cattle.  It’s a very good deal for both of us.

On the way out the drive, I stopped at the mailbox.  I handed the contents to Sylvia.  She opened one envelope.  It was from our mortgage company.  Inside was a small check for “overages on mortgage payoff.”  That was terrific news!

Then we drove to the orthopedist’s office.  There, they took X-rays of Sylvia’s wrist.  The images showed good progress.  We won’t have to go back unless she has problems.  Also, she does not have to continue with the therapy sessions, something to which she has been looking forward.

It think we’ll sleep well again tonight.  #feeling good

Family to the Rescue

I won’t show you a “before” picture of the area along the foundation wall of our house.  It is the area we call “Granny’s Garden.”  It got that name when Briana (our granddaughter) gave Sylvia a sign to post there.  The sign said, “Granny’s Garden.”

We had the veggie garden planted and that was the next item on the TO DO list.  Our son, Bryant, and wife, Barbara, volunteered to help us on a Saturday morning.  We gratefully accepted the offer, and they showed up on time.

Soon, Sylvia, Bryant and Barbara were cleaning up Granny’s Garden.  It was a lot of work.  While they did that, I used the tractor and chain to pull out some unwanted mulberry trees in the walk-out area.  With Bryant’s help, I even pulled out an overgrown shrub.

Barbara cleaned up the holly bushes (one male, one female)

Barbara cleaned up the holly bushes (one male, one female)

A couple steps back to reveal more.

Gone is the chaotic jumble that ruled this region

Gone is the chaotic jumble that ruled this region

Turn and see the other half of Granny’s Garden.

Hollyhocks and roses hold forth in this side

Hollyhocks and roses hold forth in this side.  Can you see the garlic?

There’s still a lot left to do.  We expect to make slower progress on that front.


Sylvia’s therapy is going well.  Mobility is rapidly returning to her wrist as she faithfully does her prescribed exercises.  Her goal is to be finished with therapy by month’s end.  I believe she’ll do it.