Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Road Trip!

Be a friend.
You don't need money; Just a disposition sunny; Just the wish to help another.
Get along some way or other; Just a kindly hand extended out to one who's unbefriended; Just the will to give or lend, This will make you someone's friend.

Be a friend.
You don't need glory. Friendship is a simple story. Pass by trifling errors blindly, Gaze on honest effort kindly, Cheer the youth who's bravely trying, Pity him who's sadly sighing; Just a little labor spend on the duties of a friend.

Be a friend.
The pay is bigger (Though not written by a figure) Than is earned by people clever In what's merely self-endeavor. You'll have friends instead of neighbors For the profits of your labors; You'll be richer in the end Than a prince,

If you're a friend. 

- Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)

Edgar Albert Guest was born in England and moved to America with his parents when a young child.  He lived in Michigan.  I first became acquainted with Mr. Guest's works when I began searching old Arkansas newspapers for the poems of my great-grandfather, Aaron Filmore Peabody.  Many times there would be a poem by Mr. Guest in these papers also.  Great-Grandpa Peabody's style was much like that of Mr. Guest's. 

But anyway, I found this poem and I thought it was appropriate to this post.

And Now, (please say this like Edith Ann, if you don't mind....) (If you don't know Edith Ann, you're missing out, so go HERE for a dose of that.  In fact this particular segment is one of my absolute favorites.)

In true A.D.D. fashion, I have wandered from the original intent of this post.

Which is actually about Paula and me.

I met Paula on GardenWeb's Oklahoma Gardening, a forum that we were both contributors to.  I've made many friends via GardenWeb.  Glenda, Sandy, Florida Jo, Joplin Carole, to name some others.  You know who you are....  That's how most of them came to follow my blog, and it was through that blog that Paula learned about that HUGE redo task in our John Deere Green kitchen that we took on, right after we moved here in 2010.  And she determined that she would come here from Norman and help me paint over that Gawdawful stuff.  So she did and we did.  And that put faces and true personalities into the friendship that we had already developed via e-mail. 

Paula tries to make the trip to spend a day or two with us every year, usually around springtime, but there are times when other responsibilities come into play and she's unable to do so.  There are many layers to Paula.  She has a very demanding full-time job.  She's a wife, mother, and grandmother.  She has a home and garden.  Every year, she coordinates The Spring Fling for the people who are part of Oklahoma GardenWeb, and holds it in her front yard.  They all bring food to share at noon-time, and extra plants and seeds for trading.  They get to know each other personally this way and a good time is had by all, as the saying goes.  She likes to come to us when our local garden clubs have their plant sales, and we always take her Garagin' with us on Saturday morning.  We have a blast.  We are all easily entertained, I guess you might say.  Heh.  So this spring she sent me an e-mail and told me that she was trying to figure out when she could make a trip but didn't know if she'd be able to this year.  And I said to her, "WE could come see YOU, you know."  So she asked, "How's Valentine's Day for you?" and the road trip was ON.

It's a three-hour drive, and this early in the year, we all understood it would be "weather permitting".  For awhile, Mesonet was reporting that we'd have freezing rain, but we couldn't have ASKED for better weather or better driving conditions.  No rain on either end of the trip, and above-freezing temperatures the whole time.  The trip there was pleasant and the three hours passed quickly.  We had started out at 5am, had the Interstate mostly to ourselves the first part of the trip and traffic was even light the rest of the way, as well.  Hubs and I share our friends, and he loves to drive and get out and see new scenery.  For me, it's always the destination more than anything else.  But we had fallen into winter doldrums and needed to get out.  So this trip was a "win-win" as far as we were both concerned. 

Paula's driving instructions brought us right into her driveway, and before we could get out of our car, her husband, I'll call him KM, for blogging purposes, was right there to greet us with Paula not far behind. 

We stayed the rest of that day, spent the night, and left around noon the next day.  We had Breakfast Casserole for brunch, then grilled steak, baked potatoes and salad for supper and the next morning we had a huge breakfast of biscuits, hash-browns, bacon and sausage, and eggs. 

Our men were already acquainted, because KM had come with her on her last visit here, and some of the time the men visited with each other.  If Paula and I were in another room, they tended to sit there together, listen to the things Paula and I said to each other, interjecting their comments / corrections / complaints / rebuttals at will.  It's A MAN THING.  If you ever want your man to hear you and pay attention, just forget talking to him directly.  He will pay rapt attention if you allow him to "overhear" what you say to another woman.  Heh.  When Hubs and I were much younger and I felt like he thought my talking was just so much "Wah-wah-wah-wah-wah", and seemed more interested in what was on TV, I'd just sit down and write in a "fake journal" and leave it laying on the table.  I knew that as soon as he discovered it, he'd be unable to resist reading it if he could do so without my knowing.  He couldn't disclose that he had read it, because he knew he wasn't supposed to, but afterwards he would have a better understanding of why I was giving him "The Old Cold Shoulder" and we wouldn't have to have an argument, which almost always consisted of my being thoroughly pissed off and full of frustrated words, and him all silent and bottled up and determined not to hear a dang thing I said.  That's A MAN THING, too.  One caveat, if you decide, ever, to do the same thing: Do write with the knowledge that he WILL be reading, and word your feelings carefully so that they will produce understanding and not frustration, jealousy and betrayal.  Know your man, is what I'm saying. 

All this is not to say that Paula and I did not include our men.  It's just saying that women have to have their "woman-talk".  For the most part, men know this.  And men, I think, are very curious about just what it is that women say to each other.  We are a different species from them and I feel like they struggle to understand how we tick sometimes, but they don't think we KNOW that and they're more comfortable if we don't LET ON.  WE don't understand how THEY tick, a lot of the time, either, but women are not uncomfortable with anybody knowing that.


Paula and I talked gardens, essential oils (she has a Pinterest board, but I can't find it now), kids, grandkids, husbands, food, decorating ideas........  Well, YOU know......

She had a couple of gooseberry bushes she said she was going to dig out.  I offered to give them a new home, as mine will flower but will not make berries, probably because you need a male and female plant and I, apparently have only females. 

She had a big clump of pampas grass that grew from seeds wintersown one year.  She said she was going to move it, and KM dug me out a start.  I've tried to grow pampas grass many times and failed. 

We played with her essential oils.  She had several that I don't have, so I got to open the lid and smell the ones I was curious about.  Frankincense and Myrrh, for example.  She gave me samples to try of some.

She gave me a permanent marker for plant tags, and had her tomato and pepper plants started, so gave me some Kellogg's Breakfast tomato seedlings.  She had told me earlier she'd plant some for me, because my seeds of this variety don't produce the right thing now.  Must've crossed with something else.  I'll transplant them today and add some worm castings.  They'll catch up with the others quickly, I bet.

I had brought her a few things -- a pressure cooker I'd found at a garage sale because I want her to know what it's like to cook rice or beans in just a short time.  I brought her some Sunchokes and some Walking Onions.  She left some artificial sweetener at my house a couple visits ago, so I brought that back and some that I had bought and didn't like.  I told her, if we didn't show up, we might've gotten stopped and searched, and found to have a pressure cooker and some white powdery stuff in ziplock bags.  But Hubs didn't speed and all went well. 

Paula had this cat plant and I was real tempted to ask her for seeds, but I promised myself I would not love another cat.  It hurts too much to have to take them to the vet for that very last time. 

Isn't he a beauty?  He is a Maine Coon Cat.  I had one, named Pearl, and she was the sweetest, most loving cat I ever had.  Huge feet, though, and when they walk on you as you are sleeping in your bed, you KNOW it.  It's not that they are heavy, because they're not, they're mostly fur.  But Pearl would press down VERRRRRY firmly, with each big-footed step. 

This was Pearl.  She insisted on keeping me company while I sat at my computer. 

Her "neck ruffle" would get so full and thick that every little stick that was where she would roll around would get tangled in it.  And it would mat.  So I would trim it with the scissors while she was all relaxed in my lap.  She had the saddest eyes and came to me as a stray.  I named her Poor Pitiful Pearl, even before I knew she had decided to be mine.  Later on, when she wasn't Poor or Pitiful anymore, we just called her "Pearl". 

I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I had intended to.

KM would not pose for me and told me this was his best side.

Well, allrightie, then......  That's Hubs to the right. 

I loved their pine trees.

All too soon, it was time to head home.  Paula took this Selfie.

I don't have any makeup on so now you know what The Real Me (on the right) looks like.  I can see a little of my Aunt Viv in my face, and that's kind of comforting.  And yes, Paula is EVERY BIT the onery little bundle of sparkles she looks to be.  Heh.

And no, they are NOT saying, "G'wan!  Git Outa Here!!"  Heh.  Thank you, P&K, we had great fun, a good visit, yummy food, and a good night's rest.  And we didn't even have to sleep in the shed (private joke).

I thought Hubs was NEVER going to buy gas, he said he would not pay the prices they were asking for gas along the Interstate.  I kept pointing out filling stations to him and he got really snappy with me, ergo I got hacked off at him and quit talking to him when we were down to a quarter of a tank.  Which was probably what he was trying to accomplish.  He finally filled up in Ponca City.  And then he got himself lost.  Ah, Karma.  *Evil Giggle*.

We got home three hours after leaving Paula's house, safe and sound.  I called Joe to tell him we were home and to thank him for keeping an eye on our house.  I haven't called Bob, who was keeping an eye on the back of the house, but he saw us drive by.  Both Joe and Bob are hunters and they have guns.  So I feel safe when they keep an eye on our house.  Then I called Paula to tell her we'd arrived because she said that was something she required of us.  Well, OK then.  She told me on the phone they'd already run to Walmart and she found the worm castings that I told her might be there, in their garden center.  Got online, emailed Carole, who was waiting to hear that we got home, and found JR's email about the babies being born and so I called and talked to him, told him that we love him and to tell Au that we love her, too, and he chuckled and said they love us back.  I told him to bring My Angel over here if they need to, she'll be fine with us, and I have a feeling when those babies come home we'll see more of her than we usually do.  Heh.  I've been thinking that they over-estimated the number of weeks they're going to keep those babies in the hospital, just to hedge their bets, because they are, after all, only two or three weeks overdue.  Twins run smaller than singles, though, so it's anybody's guess.

And there you have it.  Today is a beautiful, unseasonably warm day and we have gooseberries and pampas grass to get settled in.  It's STILL too windy to burn trash *Sigh*. 

Hope y'all are having a good week!  Hugs xoxoxoxo


  1. awwww shucks! I wish I was half the hostess and fun you make me sound in type! But we DID have a great time this past weekend!!! I LOVE my gifts too! But the best gift is the memories of our time all together. Hands. Down. Even KM was telling me of some things he and Hubs have discussed doing our next visit to you! Life is about the moments we share, and I'm so very blessed that you share. Now as I've said...my only questions are .... when are you coming back and when is the spring plant sale?!?!

    Hugs to you, Dear Friend!!!! XOXOXO

  2. What a fun time you 4 had. Thanks for sharing. I loved seeing you, & Paula, have saved the photo to your folder in my 'puter.

    Enjoy the rest of your week ~ FlowerLady

  3. Great post, Ilene. Friends and family are what life is made of, and plants, of course. Fern


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