Friday, April 20, 2012


Springtime gardening in Oregon is not always
glorious bliss,
nor can one rely on digging in soft soil
or sunshine warming
 old gnarly, arthritic fingers
grasped around a hoe.

We can experience all four seasons in one day.

But the daffodils aren't aware of the chilling
snowdrifts they're pushing away
on their quest to find the sun.

I disturbed one earthworm in my digging last week ....
 one of the "spring" days I was 
"digging in the dirt," after the snowdrifts melted,
(digging in the dirt is one of my favorite descriptive expressions when
my kids call and ask what I'm doing),
When I found the little fella he was.....
coolish, but alive.
I picked him up  -  yes, in my bare hands! - and transferred him to my compost bin
that's been "cooking" all winter ...
I'm expecting great compost!

As we headed toward the compost bin
the silly childhood song came to my mind and mouth as I sang,
"Inch worm, inch worm
measuring the (marigolds) daffodils,
you and your arithmetic will probably go far.
Inch worm, inch worm measuring the (marigolds) daffodils,
seems to me you'd stop and see
how beautiful they are."

Thanks to fotosearch for this amazing image!

How industrious inchworms are ...
measuring and eating,
".... measuring the marigolds...."

One worm-gardener lives below the soil, turning the
dirt into "black gold" compos,.
while the inchworm lives above ground
 eating his way through our gardens........
hopefully not consuming too many marigolds in his quest for food.

Rejoicing that spring is here ...
and in due time ...
in a week or so,
my daffodils will be golden cups of
sunshine brightening  up my gardens.....
even if a late-in-the-season
wayward snow cloud dumps on them!

This barren garden-fence in my background
will soon be a sturdy backdrop
for the daffodils planted in front of it.

 I took a bit of poetic license by changing the
little song a bit....
the worm I found wasn't actually an "inchworm" and I
took him out of the ground instead of off a marigold or daffodil.
But how wonderful .....
all of God's creation has its own unique job to do .....
inchworms "measure the marigolds",
earthworms wiggle and waggle through our soil, breaking up the clods and hard-packed soil, turning 
 the darkest dirt
 in their path into black gold.
And I'm privileged to have my own continuing
life cycle ....
as I (like the inchworm) count my blessings
inch by inch
yard by yard
mile by mile!
And like the earthworm
I will wiggle and waggle my way through life,
breaking up the hard-packed soil
that blocks my way into being
the kind of "earth worm" God can use in this garden called

Saturday, April 14, 2012


P.S. to yesterday's post.
I forgot a very special
 in my last post:

Kindness of Gary for building Dad's
memorial bench,
and Dean for the plaque,
my neighbors, Julie and Betsy,
for the birthday flowers.
KINDNESS is at the top of the list.
KINDEST regards
sent in birthday cards
and telephone/email/Facebook messages.
 love ya'll!
Little Old Widder Woman

I've never eaten Kale
until my granddaughter, Karissa,
made a sandwich for me last year with
Kale in it.
Thanks, Karissa!
And I've been making
Kale sandwiches ever since.

Yesterday I called my sister, Betty, and told her,
"I'm eating the most outrageously delicious sandwich! And
here's the ingredients:
sandwich thins, mayo, tomato,
sliced red onion, sliced mozarrella cheese, and
"I wouldn't stop eating to call you," she said, "to tell you about it if
I was eating something that good!"

I'm not a share-a-recipe-type person
so I laughed
when I told Betty,
"Oh my gosh!!!! I'm sounding just like our Mom!"
(our Mom, Betty Kaemerer, was a share-a-recipe-type person) 
Reflecting on other segments of the sandwich ....
Onions were number one food enemy
on Eldon's list of BAD food.
If I snuck an onion into something for myself
he knew it and pronounced,
"Those are going to make your feet stink!"
Well, I don't know about that ....
But as Little Old Widder Woman,
I find myself eating many foods
once forbidden to take up space in our refrigerator.
But he loved ME, so that balanced it out and brought me
much happiness!
Speaking of happiness ......
The alphabet contains many ingredients for happiness ....
If you go down the alphabet
from A to Z and list things that begin with a certain letter,
K for instance,
you will begin to see how blessed you are.
Now, I started out with the letter
K simply because
Kale makes such a good sandwich.
But then I started thinking about
K things
that bless my life:

KISSES from puppies


(didn't you know KNOWLEDGE begins with a K?)


Eldon's 70th birthday, 2005

And now the great-grandKIDS add up to  11!

Captain E. raising the Colors aboard KHARAH
(it counts if happy things have a K sound)

Greek meaning:
Calm, cheerful, delight, gladness and joy.

My life has been a
spectacular colorful images .....
images that flash in and out of my memory,

Kith and Kin,
nice old fashioned term for 
friends and family,
are imbedded in 
that kaleidoscope,
tumbling around in my mind,
leaving happy and sad
And the KIN, last but not least,
my KAEMERER parents and siblings:
Walter Desmond and Elizabeth Ann, my parents
Betty and Desi,
Joe and Kathy,
Chris and Howard .....
As we sang in the
Catholic School Choir:

Lord have mercy!
Hmmm ....
I wonder what letter of the alpahabet I'll do next ....
A.... or B,
C D .... E

I think I'll do E as in Eldon.
For him and all these things I am
forever grateful, Lord!

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Monica Lawson  April 2012

When life gives you sticks and stones and dandelions
you gather the stones to put in the fish pond,
gather dandelion leaves for a home-grown salad,
and play fetch with the stick.
It reminds me of the old saying that
we've all heard,
"When life gives you lemons
you make lemonade!"

True Story, Baja Mexico around 1989:
Monica and Carol, two "gringa yachties" off to Cabo to spend a day
shopping and seeing the sights of the small, quaint
Mexican village, leaving our husbands aboard to
do whatever husbands do when they
get rid of their wives for a shopping event.
We looked forward  to shopping and eating our way through town at the local vendors:
fish tacos, esquisitos, home-made guacamole and chips.
Rowing to shore was the first step to get from our
boats anchored in the harbor
to tying them at the dinghy dock,
then a short stroll to town.
Backpacks are strapped on to carry
our "treasures" back to the boats.
The unofficial/official attire for Gringas strolling around a Baja town in those days was
 modest cotton pants and shirt or skirt and blouse,
 a big straw hat to ward off the near 100 degree weather, backpack to carry passports, hand-held radios and money along with bottled water - and to stuff all the goodies into it for the walk home -  tough leather sandals strapped on, sunscreen lathered on exposed skin,
and a camera dangling from a chord around your neck.

We tied our dinghies to the dock and walked a few yards to the side street leading to town.
Monica, chatting up with Carol, wasn't paying attention and stepped off the crumbling curb .....
SPLAT! ended up flat on her back and a painfully twisted ankle.
Can you say embarrased!

"No, I'm fine ... I'm fine....
I'll just....."
grunt and groan, pain!
"I'll be okay ... just help me get .....OWWWW!"
That didn't work.
A taxi driver saw my dilemna and came to my rescue.
Mexican men are so gallant.
Carol called over her hand-held radio,
"Kharah .... Kharah. Come in Eldon!"
No answer.
She tried again and still no reply.
He was taking his usual siesta with the radio off.
She made a general announcement to the yachty fleet anchored in the bay of my
misstep and necessity to take a taxi ride to the local doctor.
"And would someone go to Kharah and let Eldon know
that Monica has to get her ankle  ....... oh wow! It's really swollen now!"

Taxi driver spoke no English.
I spoke Spanglish.
Together with hand signals and the painful look and sounds coming out of me  
and  my elephant-sized ankle,
the taxi driver said, "Doctor ahora, Senorita. No problemo!"
I loved the way Mexican men called all women Senorita!
No matter what age you are.

Straight away to El Doctor. The taxi driver let us know he would wait -
no flag running.
El Doctor spoke very little English, but his sense of direction which led
him directly to my ankle needed no interpretation.
"No ..... (he made the strangest ggggggggg sound while twisting
his hands as if breaking something) " I gathered him to mean
it wasn't broken. At the time, Cabo San
Lucas didn't have the
luxury of x-ray equipment.
A few quick turns of an ace bandage and I was fit to return to the streets.
"Mucho hielo ...... umm, ice. Mucho ice!" he instructed.
The taxi driver made more money from this escapade
than did the doctor!

Taxi ride back to dinghy dock to be greeted by a distraught
Eldon getting ready to find his damsel in distress.
The ride back in the dinghy and climb aboard Kharah
was not the most pleasant part of this mis-adventure ....
my ankle was beginning to complain .... a LOT!
Pour down the Ibuprofin and sit back on the settee with
foot up on a pillow. Now ... I could get used to this!

"The doctor said I should put ice on my ankle ... lots and lots of ice,"
I told Eldon.
"Yeah right! Sure ... ice.," he said, and opened  then glanced
down into the empty ice chest
(we didn't have refrigeration aboard our small Tahiti sailboat.)
Knock, knock, knock we heard on the hull of the boat.
It was our neighboring yachty with a bucket full of ice!

Gracious thanks and hugs all around, they left and Eldon resumed
taking charge of the medical emergency.
Whew! It sure was hot!!
Sweat- pouring - into- and- stinging- your- eyes hot.
And thirsty! Man, never before had that kind of thirsty.

"Could I have some water, honey?" I asked Eldon.
"And would you squeeze a little lime into  ....."
Blink .... bloink!!!
When life gives you lemons in the form of a
badly twisted ankle,
you pack some of the ice around the injury,
and with the rest..........
make lemonade.

So you see,
after I finished the painting,
"Sticks and Stones and Dandelions"
how I just naturally recalled
making the best of a bad situation
from my past cruising life.
Sticks and stones and broken bones .....
kind of has a ring to,
wouldn't you say?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Sunday, April 8, 2012

He has risen ...... halleluia! 
Umm, yes it's Easter Sunday and today we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ ....
 but I'm referring to
"Amarillas" above. If you read last years posts I told how I put this healthy looking fellow into a pantry and forgot about him (after he had bloomed at Christmas and the flower and flags all died away).... until one day I opened the pantry and it appeared as if a pale green stalky monster was trying to get out! Seems we all - including healthy Amarillas (sp?)  - search for the light until we find it. And I'm sure if I hadn't opened the pantry that day "he" would have creeped out through the cracks in the pantry door.
So after blooming this past Christmas I decided against putting him in the pantry, so I left him on the windowsill in the living room. His flags didn't droop or wilt but the flowers faded and died away. But the flags were an attractive backdrop to the geraniums that bloom all year long in the front room window.
 Very little water and barely noticed amongst the splendid geraniums,
and Snickers, my cat hiding in the geraniums,
Amar - I shortened his name - soon did what all bulby plants do:
he decided it was spring (even though you can plainly see snow drifts outside the window)
and a long green stalk emerged
and at the top of the stalk you could plainly see clumps of what promised to be
his flowers.

Note: Snickers keeps watch in his own personal geranium "jungle". Can you see him peering out at you .... ready to stalk
but wait, I digress. That's another story.

Oops ...  I was wrong about the snow outside the window. It had snowed that night but I took the picture later in the afternoon - snow melted!
Amar could very easily become my favored plant (yes, even over my beloved geraniums!).
"Amar"  blooms at Christmas,
in time to celebrate the birth of my Saviour, Jesus Christ.

And then,
after dying off,
he comes alive again just in time for Easter.

Thanks God
for beautiful flowers,
for melted snow,
my cat, Snickers,
and a reminder that we all leave our
beauty behind
but can be born again in You.


Feb. 27, 2012 I unplugged my television
and computer and went on a 40 day "fast",
kind of like giving them up for Lent.
My next post I will describe what an amazing,
fulfilling, dramatic and uplifting experience that was.