Saturday, July 31, 2010

I Just Wanted to Check the Spelling

Taj Mahal

I got an email from a friend that made men I wanted to look it up on the internet to learn more about it, but I wasn’t sure of the correct spelling. I did find it on the internet, and WOW, the Internet has a lot of articles on it. Most are LONG, as it was built in 1631 and thru the years, rulers wanted to tear it down to sell the marble, which is the main structure material.

I learned that it gets over 200,000 visitors a year and has extensive gardens  patterned after other nation cultures. If I remember right, it is included with the "7 Wonders Of The World".  I enjoyed reading about it. It is close to a river, so it was elevated with a lot of dirt for the foundation, and when they brought in the blocks of marble to built it, they had a NINE (yes, 9 ) mile approach. Apparently it has several wings etc.  I thought it was a place of worship, nope, some guy built it to bury his wife. (Crazy??) I think it said he had 14 kids. It took 16 years to build and had a bunch of architects hired for the job. Some from different countries to get mixed opinions. Elaborate undertaking. The architects had to sign a contract that they promised NOT to use their combined  ideas for any other structure in the world. It sits on a lot of acres and the various gardens are part of what visitors come to see.

Well, all this is irrelevant, but I found it exciting. All because I wanted to know how to SPELL it.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Bringing You Up-to-Date

My daughter Becky Jamison got an email today from a distant cousin of ours who was inquiring about me since I hadn’t written him for awhile. In the past, besides writing email letters, I’ve had a habit of frequently forwarding emails to many friends, but I found that they were not always welcomed. Hahaha. So I’ve quit doing that. I decided to post my reply to him here on my blog in case other friends and relatives were wondering why I’ve been rather “quiet” lately:

DSCN0106 “Yep,  Ernie is still here. Becky got me a new laptop, but anymore I hardly do any forwarding as most folks find it boring. Most jokes have been around several times. I mostly gab with my connections back in Kansas. And I explore topics on the internet: Einstein, Albert Schweitzer, you name it. My curiosity is varied. So many
topics are covered extensively. I get a good physiology & nutrition education with my medical interests.

I was never hospitalized in my lifetime UNTIL  my July 2008 broken leg not healing with my diabetes. Then followed by months of diabetic-pressure-ulcers healing with triple by-pass surgery relocating  upper thigh blood vessels to lower right leg to partially restore circulation and avoid leg amputation--it was an arduous 17 months with institutionalized (Hospitals & Rest Home Care Centers) rehab therapy etal. My mobility is still limited. It is slow healing and getting my strength back.  My right hip and knee are still weak. My daughter Becky is my faithful caretaker who enables me to live at home and she provides transportation.

PerennialsPhoto My recent excitement has been to establish a 24 feet by 4 feet flower bed set up with 35 perennial plants. (The photo above is NOT my flower bed. I’ll post pictures when my plants are blooming like that, tho!) Fun, fun, fun! I always have enjoyed  getting dirt under my fingernails with horticulture interests.  In Kansas we always had Roses, Dahlias, Peonies & Iris, but this is my first undertaking in PERENNIALS.

In recent times HYBRIDIZE has taken over in many fields.  Flowers were no exception. B_U_T have you noticed all the fuss with CROPS?? "Genetically Modified  Organism" or (GMOs).  Monsanto  Co. and others are trying to set the rules and regulations & TELLING the FDA and other Government Regulatory Agencies how to.  Thus some of these so called ORGANIC FOODS interests challenge FDA etc findings and already REVERSING some regulars. It is a Pandora’s box. Monsanto naturally maintains patents and their main objective naturally REMAINS PROFIT!! Several European nations already have BANNED any GMO grains from entering their nation. You look up GMO on the internet, and ha ha, depends on which side of the argument their interest are, you get conflicting explanations. The prominent view is FEEDING WORLD POPULATION REQUIRES GMO. Otherwise people will starve. Others quote birth defects and allergy to GMOs. It all strikes home with me since I worked two years at Mull Cattle Feed Yards, Pawnee Rock, KS after I completed my 54 year career as Comptroller of a meat packing plant. Naturally -- Bovine Growth Hormones (rbGH or rbST) have been in use since 1996 but some store chains are boycotting their beef AND the MILK ALSO. OHIO is a leading State facing that controversy right now.

Well, to sum it up comes to mind the expression THE BEAT GOES ON !!”

I Got My Garden Planted

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I’m so happy that I was able to finish planting the perennials I got for my garden this summer. As you can see in the pictures here that my daughter took, I still have to “find a home” for one cactus. I think I’m going to plant it at the far end by the gate where it will get plenty of sun. We’ve had terribly hot weather this week, so I got up at 5:30 this morning and finished my day’s gardening before it got too hot.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Back to my Passion of Gardening

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For almost 70 years, my passion has been flower gardening. Due to the health problems I’ve endured the last couple of years, I haven’t been able to do any gardening and I’ve really missed it. A few weeks ago I was surfing online, checking out the offerings of many of the flower nurseries I follow. I noticed that daylilies were offered at a really good price at Gurney’s Seed and Nursery Co. I gave in to temptation and ordered some.

To the surprise of my daughter and son-in-law, who’ve been helping me with my mobility for the last 2 years, I was able to get outside and DIG a flower bed in preparation for the arrival of my daylily bulbs. I recall an expression my wife Phyllis often said: “You can do anything you put your mind to!” Well, I proved that last week as I dug by hand a garden area that was 20 feet long and 4 feet wide. Since I’m not very steady on my feet and my knees are weak, I sat on the seat of my walker and drove my “sharp-shooter” into the ground. But I was able to stand long enough to spread the freshly cultivated earth with my rake and smooth out my garden area.

DSCN0106Oh, how I love the smell of fresh soil! I’ve been so happy that I’ve been able to get back outside to work in the dirt.

Shortly after I’d prepared my garden area, I received this email from Gurney’s: “Thank you for your recent order of LILY GRAB BAG. Unfortunately, we have had to cancel your order for this grab bag. We apologize for the inconvenience, but the product we received from suppliers did not meet our quality standards and therefore we could not ship it. You will not be charged for your grab bag order.”

This was my reply to them: “Thank you so much for being honest about your quality standards.  It reassures my opinion of GURNEYS. I have held you folks in esteem  clear back from when you were the sponsor for Lawrence Welk playing on the radio.  In fact years ago I visited his museum in California which had a mock up of the original GURNEY Radio Studio on WNAX, in Yankton, South Dakota. I also have fond memories when George B. German broadcast from Yankton radio. I still treasure my memory of him singing the song "Little Old Rag Doll". I am now age 88, which gives you an idea of the time frame.”

My daughter Becky knew I was disappointed that I wouldn’t be getting the daylilies I’d ordered, so she offered to take me to Brady’s, our local nursery, to shop for some flowers to plant in my big flower bed.

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I’ve started my planting, and oh! what a chore. But I’m really enjoying it. We had a good rain last night so I’m taking today off while the ground dries out a little. But I’ll be back outside in my garden tomorrow!

DSCN0110  DSCN0108 I’m proud that I’m still able, as I approach my 89th birthday in another month, to get outside and enjoy my favorite activity…getting my hands in that soil! I’ll show you pictures of my garden when it’s finally in full bloom!