Today my chapter (minus Kim who couldn't join us) attended the Red Hat Country Western Jamboree held at the Boone County Fairgrounds in Columbia, Missouri. The proceeds benefited Ellis Fischel Cancer Center and the event was sponsored by Red Hatters Judy Taut, Jordena Travis, Rosemary Bagby, Peggy Sue Flatt and Delores Harmon.
It was our first official Red Hat gathering and we had a blast! I had never seen so much red and purple in my life!!! The ladies across the table from us were from the Scarlet O' Hale-R's from Hale, MO and they were wonderful! Their pictures are in the slideshow.
Belle Jolie found a beautiful pink hat for $10.00 and a lovely charm bracelet with pink hats on it. I was busy just carrying my stickhorse and taking photos. I think my favorite part, aside from the ladies at our table, was the ladies (all over 70) who did line dancing! They were just phenomenal!!
All in all it was a wonderful day!! I can't wait for our next Red Hat event!!!
Well, I'm definitely sore from the bike ride, but not so much that I won't be ready for another one this coming Saturday!
Yesterday while my husband planted the birch, the shrubs and the grape vines, I planted, in the containers on my front porch, pansies in beautiful shades of lavender, pink, purple and white. (I'm not a proud Pink Hatter, am I?) I don't usually do pansies, though I love them, because our weather is just too hot and humid for them. But it's been and continues to be so cool and I've been so dying for spring that I just had to have some flowers and I figure if the weather gets nasty again, they'll probably be o.k. through it. I also bought more morning glory and sweet pea seeds because the others I sowed didn't come up. Now I must get these planted.
I have designated this week house-cleaning week, so I must tear myself away from the QMB2 and get busy!! Hopefully, I'll work out some of my soreness and stiffness! Rhonda, I hope you're right! As it is, I'm so out of shape, I can't be said to be in any kind of shape at all-- not even bad shape-- so it may take years for me to get in shape!!
Saturday was an extraordinary day!! I got up early to finish my monthly grocery shopping that I'd started the day before (I make out a menu for the month and do all the shopping at one time) and my sweetie decided to help me. We bought, while shopping, two grape vines, a forsythia bush, a birch tree and a pussy willow-all of which I've wanted for years! But the best part is that he bought me a new bicycle-a Schwinn, bright hot pink with 21 speeds!!
Ever since we began hiking the Katy trail, he's been talking about getting bikes and riding it so we can see more sights along the trail. A few weeks ago, we stood in our garage surveying our grown children's bikes. He determined that my son's would be perfect for him, but that my daughter's was too small for me and that I'd need a new one. Apparently, yesterday was the day! We couldn't wait to get home and get ready for our first ride!!!
After putting the groceries away, I made a killer chicken salad for sandwiches, packed our lunch and we were off. We'd decided to ride from Jefferson City to Hartsburg, a round trip distance of 20.8 miles. Since I had ridden, in the not too distant past, a stationary bike at the local Y a distance of 10 miles with ease, I figured this ride, along my favorite river and bluffs, would be no problem whatsoever. And you know the old saying, "It's like riding a bicycle," meaning once you learn you never forget how? Yeah, right. Getting on for the first time at the trail, I felt like Niles and Frasier learning to ride in their 40s. I started calculating-it had been exactly 32 years since I'd been on a bike. And it showed!!! I wobbled all over the place!! And within the first two minutes, my legs began to burn and I wondered at the wisdom of this decision.
I kept trying to look up at the bluffs on my right-they are SO beautiful-but each time I looked up I nearly ran off the trail! But we got to see places we would never see otherwise because they are to far to walk to. It took us two hours to get to Hartsburg where we stopped for lunch. And we had stopped to rest plenty of times along the way. We'd left Jeff City at 3:00 and we left Hartsburg at 5:50. I was totally dreading the trip back. The 65 degree temperature had dropped considerably by that time, there was an east wind blowing, and we were headed directly into it. I'd only brought a light jacket so I pedaled hard to stay warm.
On the way back we stopped to rest at a beautiful little area dedicated to former governor, Mel Carnahan. There are a couple of benches and a picnic table under some large trees overlooking the river. When we stopped, the nearly setting sun was shimmering orange and gold on the water and I truly lamented the fact that in our excitement we'd forgotten the camera. The first sight of the capital building was a sweet one even though we still had about 3.5 miles to go. The sun had gone down by the time we reached our car, but the sky was still pink and orange.
I could barely get off my beautiful new bike and when I managed to, I walked like a mummy. But I have to admit, I felt like I had acomplished something worthwhile
in one day I drive past a coyote, a skunk, a fawn
each felled in a flash of inattention or perhaps
of strategic deliberation and I can see the wind
lifting the fur as the car speeds past, their grace
hovering over them even in death, and
every night I petition the Ancient of Days
supplication for all without voices, for their comfort
for eternity more blissful than anyone supposed.
I WANT TO BELIEVE
I once read in a book on astrology that for mothers who wish their babies never had to grow up, if their babies are born under the sign of Pisces then those moms will have their wish. Well, I am a Pisces and I have to admit it's true. A part of me still believes in magic, fairies, unicorns, and Santa Clause (as a child in my ultra-conservative Christian home Santa was never allowed) along with all things that might make life better and more interesting.
Four years ago at the Democratic National Convention, I heard Barack Obama's speech and I said to my family as we watched it live and to my friends as we watched it on tape afterward, "I hope this man runs for president." I never imagined, however, that he would be running in the very next election. Nevertheless, I'm glad he is, because I want to believe in his words. I want to believe he will end this imperialistic war that has put our country so much deeper into debt, that has been such a boon for corporations like Haliburton, and that has cost so many young lives. I want to believe he will end or greatly reduce the influence of lobbyists in Washington, and that he will bring health care to every American. I want to believe that he will renegotiate NAFTA and initiate steep penalties against corporations who outsource American jobs overseas. The list goes on and on, but if ever there was a time for change, it is now.
For the past couple of years or so, my husband's plant where he has worked for the past twenty-three years has been on the chopping block. Each time I pray and it survives. Barely. This time, I found out yesterday, it survived again, but the plant is going to lose a third of its business, so it's really just a matter of time. It's doubtful the economy can turn around in time to save it. The really sad thing here is that I know we are the lucky ones. Millions of Americans have already lost their jobs, jobs they worked at for over twenty years, just like my husband, jobs that have been outsourced to other countries so the corporations can continue to make record profits and their CEOs can receive yearly bonuses of several million on top of salaries of several million. I am heartsick over the direction Bush and his Neo-Con minions have taken this country. I want to believe it's not too late.
Because music is and has always been such a huge part of my life, I've decided to include it on my site. However, when I put it on my profile it messes up my columns so I'm going to keep it on my blog. I realize I'm way outside the norm in the music I like, but hey, I can't help it. I love what I love. I'd like to find someone who enjoys even some of the same music as I do!
About three years ago, we had two nephews who were my daughter's age die within 18 months of each other. The song "Gravity" always reminds me of them.
I think I'm going to have to replant the morning glories, but I have lots of four o'clocks and lobelia. I'm going to give the sweet peas a few more days before I give up on them. Oh, and my violet teapot is lovely!!
Well, I finally have crocuses blooming-- March 28th must be some kind of record! It's certainly the latest blooming of them I can ever remember! So I decided to mark the occasion with a new background!! And my daffodils have swollen buds on them-- maybe they will bloom tomorrow. Also, my white lilac is budding out-- I hope it doesn't get frozen in this crazy weather we've been having. We've had hail the past two days!! Of the seeds I've started indoors, I have numerous four o'clocks up already and it's been less than a week since I planted them. Still no sign of the morning glories, lobelia or sweet peas. I always worry until they poke their little shoots up, and sometimes my worries are well-founded. I'm hoping I don't have to start again with them this year!
There are three things I have always especially loved about the place we've lived for the past fifteen years. The first is that every spring our backyard is filled with violets! (They have always been one of my favorite flowers.) I'm sure this is due in part to the fact that from our backdoor to the woods beyond is only about thirty feet. The woods are the second thing I love about this place, along with the little stream (a run-off, really) that marks the end of our yard and the beginning of the woods. The third thing is that some summers there are two frogs that come out at night and sit on my kitchen window pane to catch the bugs that are drawn by the light. I dearly love those frogs, even though I don't see them every year (and probably don't see the same ones year after year!!). My kitchen window looks out onto our deck which overlooks the backyard and the woods, so they must come up from the creek, or else they live in my flowers. But they get used to me and soon realize I won't harm them. I even sit on the deck beside the window while they catch their bugs.
There are also many squirrels and rabbits which my big dog loves to chase but can never catch. They are very entertaining. Also, cardinals, bluejays, crows, sparrows and, my favorites, hummingbirds!! They LOVE my flowers!! We also see the occasional snake, raccoon, possum, wild turkey or deer. I feel very lucky to have so much wildlife just outside my backdoor!!
Anne is coming home again tonight. Two weekends home in a row is a rare thing. This is the end of her Spring Break week, but she has had to work all week so she didn't get to stay at home. She called this morning to tell me that the teapot she ordered for my birthday should be delivered today. I'm so excited! She insisted I pick it out and I chose one with violets all over it. I can't wait until she gets here! We will have tea in my new violet covered teapot!!
I do not know much about gods; but I think that the river
Is a strong brown god--
T. S. Eliot