Friday, August 31, 2012

Ducks on the Pond

Okay, we got rain early this morning. Remnants of Isaac and the last swirl of the rain gods. We got 2 inches of water while my hub and I were asleep, so this will be a surprise for him, too. I thought I heard rain, but with our airco noises I am never quite sure.

Right now there are two ducks swimming on the pond, and I saw a few small fish jumping up for a test of the atmosphere. Finally our pond is reviving!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Almost Every Culture Has Their Gingerbread

Even while shopping at Ikea, you can purchase gingerbread! It may be called something else, but essentially it is gingerbread. Actually Walmart sells these in a different wrapper, so you do not have to go to Ikea. But if I had my choice, I would choose Ikea. Shopping there is always a treat.

Memaw has her version of gingerbread in Just Plain Cooking.

Gingerbread (Memaw's)

1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1 egg
1/2 cup boiling water

Sift together first 6 ingredients.
Cream shortening and sugar.
Add molasses and egg. Beat well.
Blend in dry ingredients gradually. Mix thoroughly.
Add 1/2 cup boiling water and stir until smooth.
Bake in well greased 8" x 8" square pan in a moderate oven at 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes or until done.
Serve warm with a lemon sauce.

Lemon Sauce (Memaw's)

2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
1 egg yolk
3 tablespoons flour
Juice and grated rind from one lemon

Mix sugar, flour, and water in a sauce pan.
Heat over medium heat until it comes to a boil and begins to thicken. Stir constantly.
Beat egg yolk in a cup. Gradually add a little hot mixture to the beaten egg. Stir so the egg will not turn to scrambled egg. Add egg to hot mixture. Blend well.
Remove from heat and add lemon juice and rind.
Spoon over cake.

(I ate this version of gingerbread and thought that the lemon sauce on top was good, but personally, I like gingerbread all by itself. No sauce is needed!)

Dodged the Bullet

Well, we dodged Isaac's bullet and got a drop of rain, too. My hub and I had the yard work complete before the drizzle began last night. I can't say that the pond has filled, but it is wet outside. At least I am not rushing out to water anything this morning.

Trying to write this blog while our beagle keeps begging for attention is not easy. He has had his walk in the rain, played tug of war with me and his one legged stuffed duck, eaten his favorite snack of vanilla wafers topped with peanut butter, and has finally collapsed on the floor in front of the tv. He doesn't watch tv, but he just loves being close to us.

Do I really have work to do around here?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Waiting for Rain from Isaac

Isaac has washed out too many people in Louisiana and Mississippi, but we are still dry. Too dry! I keep reading that we are going to get rain, but it looks like I will be watering plants and trees outside tomorrow. We have had some slight gusts of wind, and that is enough of that. But a little rain would be welcome here. On the west side of our house you can see sunshine, and on the eastern side everything is black and cloudy.

Our Flip hates this wind. Outside he is okay, but when he hears loud breezes while he is inside, he barks like crazy. He jumps upon the front door or runs to the mudroom door. I think he thinks that a big truck is coming up our road. And he hates big trucks. And he hates big tires.

Right now Flip is begging me to give him attention, but I just say "Bed" and he finds his cage or his bed. Good doggy! Good right now, anyway.

This week we checked our hurricane supplies. Just what I thought, most food items expired two years ago. So my hub found a new list for me, and Flip and I went shopping at Dollar General at 9:00 am today. I know our provisions aren't fancy, but in case we ever have to live for a couple of days without electricity, we will have some food and water to keep us going. In case you are curious about what I stashed away, here is my list:

Water (fresh pumped yesterday)
Soap (my hub said his mother said there was a shortage during WWII)
Toilet Paper (yes, we have a portable toilet)
Powdered milk
Cans of evaporated milk
Saltine crackers
Wheat thins
Peanut butter
Sardines (yes, we eat these!)
Canned peaches
Corn flakes (we can make our own milk from the milk powder)
Breakfast bars ( my hub hates these, but he will eat them if he is hungry)
Pork and beans (Hobo food?)
Canned corn
Canned yams
Potted meat
Can corned beef
Can cooked ham
Moist wipes
Hand sanitizer

Flip is at it again! Poor baby, he thinks a Mac truck is going through our house! Hope we make it through the night.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Hit!

No Isaac yet, but I hit 10,000 pins on Pinterest last night! My hub still finds a couple of doubles, but I really try to pin (repin) new ideas. It isn't easy to remember all 10,000 pins. And I have been pinning for one year, some old ideas are new again. Pinning is still interesting!

As for Isaac, we are expecting some rain. And maybe some wind. And hopefully no damage. We cut grass and weedeated until dark last night in anticipation that later today the rain will begin. The next thing will be to secure all outside furniture and pot plants. Luckily we don't have lots of outdoor decorations, etc.

So bring it on! My hub replaced our water container, and we checked out our emergency supplies. Now to wait for our pond to fill up to the brim.

Will keep you posted as long as we have electricity.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Where Else But Zaandam, The Netherlands?

Beauregard Master Gardeners

Oh, that Pinterest!

On the new app for my IPad I couldn't figure out how to pin my photos from my iPad gallery. Today I found an app that would solve that minor problem and added photos that our Master Gardeners president took of Saturday's demonstration gathering at the fairgrounds.

So if you are interested in what we were up to from 8-1 on August 25, check out the Beauregard Master Gardeners' board on Pinterest.

Now to figure out how to do the same photo thing with this blog. I thought I accomplished this feat sometime in the past. Now how did I do it?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Ranch Dressing in the Mail!

Back in the early spring I mailed packages of ranch dressing mix to some friends in The Netherlands. They never received the package! Amazing!

Well, today I sent another package (this time a sturdy box) with regular ranch dressing mix and buttermilk ranch dressing mix. I will be really disappointed if my package does not make it this time. Give it a week, and the package should be at its destination. I made sure to fill out customs papers this time, so if we need to we can track it! Ha, and all for ranch dressing mix! Anyway, M and J, when you get this package, enjoy it. And I will bring more when we see you in the fall.

Tomorrow (or rather today in a few minutes) morning the local Master Gardeners are having a demonstration morning at the fairgrounds. I made several "no sew" garden aprons made from old jeans to sell in their store at the event. Hope no one thinks this is a stupid idea. I think they are cute. I will add photos of the aprons and more next week.

Now to have a cookie and milk and go to bed. Early morning tomorrow.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

200 Followers on Pinterest

Yippee! 200 followers on Pinterest! And I actually know only a handful (my nieces). The rest are followers who like what I like from yummy food to gardening to crafting/needlework.

Over 100 followers began following me the last two weeks. As they are mostly garden lovers, I guess they found my Mastering Gardening board.

Yesterday I created a Beauregard Master Gardeners board so that I can keep track of the events of Master Gardeners around here. So that means I will probably need to be a shutterbug again until some MG members send me some photos.

Now on to the 10,000th pin!

Wild Dog

Well, I guess we won't have to buy much dog food anymore.

Our Flip has tasted RABBIT!

Not once, but at least twice. Maybe more! He is out hunting every morning, and the last two days he has come home with prizes.

First it was a big rabbit, and this midday it was a smaller one.

We noticed that he wasn't eating his own food, and now we know why. He has found a delicacy, to him anyway. Now to find out what to do. Maybe nothing.

This too will pass. I hope!!!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Dream Devil Food Cake

The last of two chocolate cakes in Just Plain Cooking is here today.

I am not sure why it is called Dream Devil Food, since I don't dream of doing much with the devil. It is hot enough here in The Deep South! Can't even imagine the temps of Hell!

Keep Calm and Keep Cool! What about a piece of cake?

Dream Devil Food (Memaw's)

3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup warm water

Combine milk and vinegar.
Sift together flour and salt.
Cream shortening and sugar.
Blend in eggs, one at a time. Beat for 1 minute.
Combine vanilla with soured milk mixture. Add alternately with dry ingredients to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Blend thoroughly after each addition.
Blend baking soda, cocoa, and warm water. Add to batter and mix well.
Pour into two well greased and lightly floured pans.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool and frost.

Cocoa Butter Frosting

Sift together 3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar, 1/3 cup cocoa, and 1/8 teaspoon salt.
Cream 1/3 cup butter.
Blend in 1/4 cup hot cream alternating with sugar/cocoa mixture.
Add 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla and beat thoroughly.
Spread on cake.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Passed the Test!

Well, we did it! All of my peers in the Master Gardeners class passed the test tonight!

The test itself was super difficult, but we were prepared and followed the directions to a "T."
So now we will need to get our 40 hours of volunteer work in our community, and then we can wear the badge. Some classmates have already put in their 40 hours in the community, but my time will come. I have a couple of ideas, but while my own garden needs me, I will do what I can do here.

Graduation is in two weeks here at our house. I will share photos of that event at that time. Now to solve my own garden and yard problems!

(Oh, by the way, I won the lovely garden tile made by Mary B.-my classmate- in a lottery tonight. So I am a double winner! Yippee!)

Chocolate Sheet Cake

I should be finished with Memaw's cake recipes by next week. Then the last segment of the Just Plain Cooking cookbook begins--PIES. I have a dear friend in The Netherlands who enjoyed my birthday party when I made pies instead of cake. Actually I like pies better, too. Especially the savory ones, but Memaw did not include any of those. Maybe I will.

Now back to the cakes.

Chocolate Sheet Cake (Memaw's)

2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 sticks oleo
4 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk ( put baking soda in)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla

Sift together sugar and flour. Set aside.
Mix oleo, cocoa, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a rapid boil.
Pour over flour and sugar mixture and stir until mixed.
Add buttermilk, eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla. Mix well.
Pour into a greased 11" x 16" pan that is at least 1/2 inch deep.
Bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees F.

Begin making icing about 5 minutes before cake is done.


1 stick margarine
4 tablespoons cocoa
6 tablespoons milk
1 box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans

Melt margarine, cocoa, and milk and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add sugar, vanilla, and pecans. Beat well with a spoon. Spread on cake while hot. When icing begins to cool, cut into squares.

Monday, August 20, 2012

I Can't Believe You Eat (Drink) That!

Recently while having dinner with friends, I heard a parent say,"I can't believe you are drinking that," to the youngest child at the table. I wanted to say something like,"We all have different tastes," but then I would have interfered with a parent/child relationship.

In many families I know both here and abroad, I have noticed that parents are huge influences in food tastes of their children. I figure my hub and I were also that way with our son, but we eat almost anything and everything. And so does he! I can't think of too much that he (or we) haven't or wouldn't try, at least once. But we have never told him that he wouldn't or shouldn't like some food or drink.

I have even heard a relative say, "None of us in this family eats ------." Well, I guess not if the parents say it tastes nasty! I always get a good laugh when I see or hear about a college student who finally finds out that they really like to eat something that Mom or Dad never prepared or ordered in a restaurant. They had to wait over 18 years to find out that their taste buds were not controlled by their parents.

So lighten up, parents! Prepare and serve foods that even you don't like. Don't be so prejudicial about what tastes good and bad to you. Give your offspring a chance to enjoy food!

If nothing else, the kids will be great dinner guests wherever they go in life.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Chocolate Cake from Just Plain Cooking

Baking time again. This time a chocolate cake.

Chocolate Cake (Memaw's)

1 3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and flour two 9 inch pans.
Cream the sugar and shortening together until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add vanilla.
Sift together flour, soda, and salt. Add alternately with the buttermilk.
Make a heavy, smooth paste of cocoa and boiling water. Cool slightly. Add to cake mixture and blend well.
Pour into pans and bake 35 minutes or until done.
Ice as desired.

Creamy Chocolate Icing

1 box confectioners sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons milk

Put all ingredients into mixing bowl. Beat at high speed until light and creamy. Add more milk if necessary to get right consistency. Spread onto cake.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Quitters are Losers!

I don't care! I am not giving up my blog! I should be prepared that there are some really creepy people out in the WorldWideWeb! But they can stay away from my blog!!!!

I'll keep this short today, since I am down to 10% battery. If you still haven't followed me on Pinterest, my favorite board is Mastering Gardening with 76 followers and over 1200 pins of beautiful photos and great gardening advice. Remember to double click on the actual pictures and you will go right to the websites for more info.

I am heading for the 10,000th pin on Pinterest. This last week more and more people have started following my boards (especially the MG one). You don't need an invitation to join Pinterest anymore. Just do it!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Slimy and Creepy Things

We have seen several snakes outside our home in the last week. Don't ask me what kind. Yesterday I saw a gray one slithering right where I was going to turn on the water hose to water my hanging plants. Needless to say I postponed that watering until later. But it was long, thin, and gray. And a snake!

Earlier yesterday my hub saw a snake slithering away from a pear tree I had just watered. Am I attracting snakes? Oh, those creepy things!

Speaking of creepy things, there are some creepy people stalking my blog.

How could I possibly know that? The Stats for Blogger tell me too much info for comfort. Although I can't see WHO is reading my blog, I can see the traffic sources, country, and time. I can also see which posts have been read. The traffic sources reveal the most, and today I saw something really creepy and disturbing. Enough to make me rethink whether to continue with this blog.

I'll have to sleep on it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cut It, Pull It, Kill It, Feed It, Water It

When is a plant a plant and when is it a weed? According to the experts, any plant that is growing where it shouldn't grow is a weed.

So that means that today when I pulled the Bermuda grass out of my raised beds and threw it in our yard, I was helping it go back home where it belonged. Maybe it left a few roots in the veggie bed, but I will get them next time around. They are tough little devils and grow like lightning. Those that got tossed back home don't have it so easy, especially not in this dry heat!

As my hub and I do our own yard work, we spend a lot of time cutting, pulling, killing, feeding, and watering our plants. Last year during our drought, we weren't as busy as we are this summer. This summer it seems that every single day we have some job outside with the growing things and some dead things.

I had planned to take the day off today, but I ended up weeding the last of the veggie beds. Now there is no excuse for planting the fall garden. I just have to try to time this right, since we want to enjoy our fall garden harvest. Plus I need to gamble on whether the seeds will sprout in this dry heat.

Thank goodness for drip systems!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Under the Weather

Unfortunately it is high summer, temps in the 90's F, and I am "under the weather." Summer colds are nasty. Literally and figuratively! Just grab the Kleenex box and take it easy. That is what I am doing today.

As an etymology student, I couldn't resist trying to find the origin of "under the weather." The origin is a nautical one. When a crew member or passenger became ill on board a ship during a storm, they were advised to go below deck and lie down for a rest. That was where they could be "under the weather."

I am taking that wise advise. So it is back to bed, even if we are on land and just above sea level.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Pumpkin Upside Down Pie (with a Crunch)

After the Spice Cake problem yesterday, I tried an "out of season" dessert last night. It is definitely easy and a keeper. According to www.the, this is called Pumpkin Crunch Cake. I made a few changes and call it Pumpkin Upside Down Pie (with a Crunch).

Here is my recipe:

Pumpkin Upside Down Pie (with a Crunch)

1 box butter yellow cake mix
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin purée
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup broken pecans
1 cup butter melted (1 stick salted and 1 stick unsalted)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt sticks of butter (mine were frozen) in Pyrex or CorningWare dish in the heating up oven. Keep an eye on that butter!
Grease bottom of 9 x 13 inch pan with Pam or Crisco spray (I dusted with flour, too).
Mix pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and salt with a whisk. Pour mixture into greased pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix over the pumpkin mixture and then top with broken pecans.
Drizzle with melted butter.
Bake for 50-55 minutes.

Enjoy warm, but equally delicious at room temperature.
Better than pumpkin pie! ;-D

Friday, August 10, 2012

Speculaas Spices

So glad we are going to our other home base in a couple of months. I am out of speculaas spices, and our son will surely order pepernoten.

Isn't it interesting how important spices and flavorings have become in our food? Back before Europeans traveled the world over to bring back spices, their food was probably healthy but BORING! Just remember "peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot, nine days old." Most of the flavor back when that nursery rhyme was invented came from the leftovers that were stirred around with the new additions every day. No fridges back then! Just a big black metal pot hanging all the time near the fireplace. No wonder people were so short and died in their 30's.

Even salt and sugar were not readily available and were expensive. Imagine not having salt, pepper, and sugar!

I keep too many spices in my spice drawer and usually end up throwing out the really old stuff. Not many years ago McCormick reminded customers that their rectangular spice cans were obsolete and the contents needed to be discarded. I wish I could see how many of you are rushing to your spice cabinet to see if you still have those cute little tins.

Today's recipe is Memaw's Spice Cake from Just Plain Cooking:

Spice Cake (Memaw's)

OOPS! I had better discuss this recipe with Memaw. It doesn't make sense to me.
Will try this another day.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Everything You Wanted to Know from Old Men

I borrowed this video from Ashley Weeks Cart's Blog A La Cart.

Play it at your own risk!

Handy Shower

Almost 50 years ago my older cousin from up North (northern Arkansas!) built a new house with her new husband. As she was five years my senior, I always sort of looked up to her and visualized my future. We weren't anything alike. She was buxom, and I was not! She had brown hair, and I am a blond. She seemed to have everything, and I wished I did. She had nice clothes, and she handed them down to me. Yippee! I had it made!

But back to the house--she took us on a tour of it. Two things left an impression on me. The first was that she had a place to keep her ironing board permanently set up, just in case. The second was that they put in a shower stall right inside their mudroom hallway. That way when her hub came inside sweaty and dirty from mowing, he could shower before entering their beautiful home.

Well, I keep my ironing boards (2) hidden away, since I rarely iron anything. How times and fabrics have changed in 50 years!

But we have a shower stall right off the mudroom, and boy is it ever handy. Actually it is the shower for our indoor pool, but I use it when I come in from working in the yard and garden. Such as this morning. Gosh was it ever hot outside even before 10:00 am! Then we "dipped" Flip in the same shower an hour later. Although he doesn't love getting cleaned up, he tolerates it. And the shower stall is handy and easy to clean up.

Although my hub never met my cousin with the shower just inside the back door, he designed his pool and shower stall to my liking. It saves me a whole lot of work and cleaning!

Pitch Black

As I was on my way to bed last night, we lost electricity. Flashlights in hand for cases like this, we speeded up the get in bed process and called it a night. Flip, too.

Instead of putting him out in his sleeping place in our airco cooled garage, we let him sleep inside. Well, he ended up in our room until the lights came back on. Then he was guided back to the living room and his bed. Guess we should have put him back in the garage, since he was up and ready for play before 7 this morning.

Oh well, maybe I do need to go out and work in the garden this morning. Weeds are taking over, and there are still tomatoes on the plants out in the raised beds. Maybe I will blog more later when I come inside.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hotel Cake

Back when I worked as the ambassador's secretary at the South Korean Embassy in The Hague, one of my responsibilities was to make coffee for guests and staff. That is really quite hilarious, since I never have been a coffee drinker and would not know a good cup of coffee if I drank it.

Anyway, I made coffee and sometimes served Hotel Cake to visitors of the embassy. Dutch Hotel Cake (or Oma's cake) tastes like American pound cake. I love it! In fact, if I stay in The Netherlands for an extented time, I make sure that I keep Hotel Cake in the freezer.

Many years ago my in-laws were house watching while we were on vacation, and my mother-in-law said she was so glad that I kept Hotel Cake in the freezer. Then she always had a quick treat for coffee visitors, and who knows how many of those she had at our house?

As I can't get Hotel Cake here, maybe I should try the following recipe from Just Plain Cooking.

Old Style Pound Cake ( Memaw's)

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
5 eggs
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Heat oven to 325 degrees F.
Grease bottom of loaf pan and lightly flour.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
Cream butter and gradually add sugar, beating all the time.
Beat in eggs one at a time.
Add flour mixture.
Add lemon juice.
Put batter in greased pan and bake about one hour and ten minutes.
Let cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan.

Monday, August 6, 2012

To the Test

With the exception of a landscaping lecture tomorrow night, I am finished with my Master Gardening class.

That is, except for THE TEST! Rumor goes that no one has ever failed, but I won't take a chance. So I am cramming.

Sounds really silly, since how many 60+ers cram anything but food into their mouths. (Guilty)

But cramming I am doing for this Open Book test in a couple of weeks. Since I really haven't looked too much through this gigantic notebook that I wag back and forth to class, I started reading and hi lighting last night. Miracle that it actually was interesting and not boring. Haven't gotten to the PH section yet, tho'.

The last time I crammed for a test was back in 2006. We had just arrived here in the US, and I wanted to "renew" my 30 year expired La. drivers license. So I studied. Then when I went down to the DMV, I did not have to take a test! My Dutch license and my old expired La.license were enough proof that I could drive. So there! Wasted time cramming!

We will see if cramming for this gardening test is also a waste of time. I doubt it, since I learn something every single day about how my garden grows (or doesn't). ;(

Sunday, August 5, 2012

I Love Flash Mobs!!

From the first moment that I saw my first Flash Mob, I was hooked! What organization! What timing! What a lot of cooperation and practice! Watch this one from Kenia and enjoy!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Took a Break

I took a short break from blogging, since I couldn't get this blog to do what I wanted it to do. An example of that is my Mending Fences poem. I still have a lot to learn about blogging!

Before I go deadhead my knockout roses (which should do that themselves!), I will publish a recipe.

Sponge Cake (Memaw's)

4 eggs
2/3 cups water
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon lemon extract

Separate eggs. Put yolks in a large mixer bowl. Add water to egg yolks. Beat 8 to 10 minutes. Add sugar gradually to egg yolks. Fold in flour and salt. Set aside.
Beat egg whites with cream of tartar. Beat real stiff. Add lemon extract to egg yolks mixture.
Fold egg white mixture into egg yolk mixture.
Put in ungreased tube cake pan.
Bake 350 degrees F for 60 minutes.
When done, invert pan and let cool. Remove from pan.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

But some say that "Good fences make good neighbors."

When we first moved here, our nearest neighbor asked if we were going to put up a fence. I found that to be an odd question, but answered, "of course, not." We haven't seen the need for a fence. Our Flip would have had an awful summer this year if there had been a fence. He and Chandler became good buds. Every morning Flip raced down our gravel road to find his four-footed playmate. After three hours of adventure and play, he came home breathless and tired and then slept peacefully until an early dinner.

But some say that
"Good fences make good neighbors."

As for me

"Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence."


(Robert Frost)

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors'.
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
'Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows?
But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down.' I could say 'Elves' to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me~
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."

Back Page Story

Remember? I am the back to front magazine reader. And my favorite magazine article is probably the last one in the magazine.

The back page story! Even the Time and Newsweek magazines have excellent articles right before most people put the magazine to rest. As I choose to read that article first, I never miss that last article. Maybe the expression" save the best to last" fits here.

I would be curious to find out when magazines started this back page story tradition. I guess that I should know, since that has been my beginning point for many years.

Most magazines that I read round out the issue with a personal interview or interesting facts about a person, place, or thing. For the normal magaine reader who reads from front to back, I think the back page story just leaves you with a good feeling and desire to see the next issue. For me, the BPS ( back page story) just whets my appetite for what is within the magazine.

It is like eating your dessert first! So don't skip dessert. Check out the BPS!