garden, web site and Mom's party  May 21 2004


This is probably going to be a short post for now.  The blog company was trying to encourage me to write something on here as I haven’t done so in a while.  Hopefully I can write more often when I get the web site “more finished”.  Some of this post is cut and paste from E-mails and other stuff I have written lately. 

Our web site has been up and running for a while now.  I can’t believe that I have learned how to get it onto the web.  I even know how to add stuff to it.  You can view the site at  . 

There are two people who have signed up to receive an E-mail notifying them of when I update this.  It would be interesting to know who those people are.  I am curious to know if they are friends, family, enemies or what.  This blog can be found via Google and also via the main web site for these blogs.  I have gotten replies to messages from two people who are/were strangers to me.  So no telling who has signed up for automatic update E-mails.

Right now I am working on a page to the web site with a catalogue of all the gardening and related books that we have.  It is that time of year again.  I have counted seven pumpkin plants that are up now.  I even have black eyed peas growing.  I get enough peas for seed the next year and about one small "mess" of peas. They don't like this weather.  We get cool damp springs a lot.  I always forget what the peas look like as baby plants.  I think I pull them up as weeds sometimes.  I nearly did that the other day, but I happened to notice something familiar about them.  For those of you who don’t know, black eyed peas are a type of bean.  They grow in the Southern U.S. traditionally.  I grew up eating them in West Texas.  Maybe I can write how to cook them on the beans and cornbread page of the web site.  I think one of the "pretty" weeds I had Douglas save, is a canola plant.  They grow tons of it in Canada.  They must put it in bird seed. The squirrels are always planting bird seed in our back yard.  A couple of years I found peanuts planted in the garden by the squirrels.  They didn't grow, because the squirrels dug up the nutrient rich sprouts.  I assume they are nutrient rich.

I have been working more on the web site.  We went to Illinois for a surprise party for my mother.  I will write more about that later on in this.  I hope I have room to stick some pictures from it on the site.  But right now, I am cataloging the "gardening" books we have in the house.  I was writing up a book we got recently in Illinois.  It is from 1917 and is about growing a garden to prevent the food shortages they had during W.W.I.  I happened to be listening to Radio Vlaanderen International (RVI Flanders) while I was writing up this book.  I thought it was ironic that I was listening to Flanders while I was writing about W.W.I.  I don't normally listen to that station.  I have been listening to an old analogue boom box that happens to have short-wave on it (as an after thought probably).  I get all kinds of stuff on it I don't normally listen to---or that I don't manage to get on the Grundigs for some reason. 

I wanted to catalogue all the books we have a long time ago.  It is a large undertaking.  I will do them in sections as I get in the mood.  The reason I wanted to do it, was in case anyone we know would want to borrow any books we have.  But also as I go through the books, I can maybe decide to get rid of one or two.  We need to move most of them to the basement, as the floor in this room is warping.  I have a terrible picture of myself talking to a fellow radio hobbyist in mainland China over the computer program Skype.  You can see all the books in the back ground.  Maybe I can put it on our site soon.  I will have to take an “after” picture of the room sometime as well.  I know I want to get a good picture of this “desk” and stick it on there.

By the way, I hope to be studying for an Amateur (Ham) radio license soon.  If anyone wants to help or offer any advice it would be most welcomed. 

Speaking of gardening… Some Notes...

I listened to a neat program on the BBC World Service once.  It was about various food plants and where they originated.  It was either the program that told about potatoes or another program, on traditional farming in general, that I learned the following...  1-16-96  This is how they traditionally grow things in South America.  First, they plant what we call corn (maize) on little hills.  Second, they plant beans so that they climb the corn stalks.  Third, they plant squash and pumpkins etc. between the hills. I



have tried to duplicate that method, but I need to try it again sometime.  I normally just poke the seeds randomly in the ground, as I don't have enough patience to organize the vegetables.  I went out today (the day I originally wrote this paragraph) and I found seven pumpkins growing.  Yea!!!  They are very old seeds and I am hoping to get some pumpkins in order to get more seeds for next year.  These are a special variety of pumpkin and I probably won't be getting more seeds from the source. 

Don’t get old!!!!

I was telling some of my family that we have the best family.  When my husband prefers to spend time with “us” rather than his own family, that says a lot.  I don't realize that I miss everyone so much until I leave after a brief visit. 

When women get "old" they must get more emotional or something.  I seem to get teary eyed at the drop of a hat anymore. 

Travel plans do not belong in an E-mail. I am not as careful as I should be, but the "whole world" can read an E-mail as it travels to its destination.  I try to tell people to be very careful when sending E-mails.  I guess I should put some E-mail security tips on my site so people can read them. 

People use their whole name on their E-mails a lot of the time.  I try and not have my name on the E-mail as an identifying thing.  I use, writerwithbottles, whatdubhghalldoes or something like that.  If I need to identify myself I put “from Robyn in Michigan” as the subject.  Identity theft is a real problem.  If you use your mother’s maiden name as your password for a credit card or some such, do not use it as an online password or use it in E-mails. (Try not to say in an E-mail, “my mother’s maiden name is Fluffelhoffer” if it is a password you use for something important. I know it is not always avoidable, but try not to do it.)  Try not to connect your name with any important passwords you use.  For non important online passwords I tend to use the same words all the time so I can remember them.  But I use


other “obscure” passwords for important things.  I try to keep them written down on paper beside the computer.  (I have a small filing drawer thing.)  I try to never stick financial things such as my S.S. number, or any bank accounts etc. OR important things, on the computer that has my online account.  It is not always available to avoid that.  But people can get though a “back door” and view all the stuff on your computer if you aren’t careful.  We happen to have a computer that is not online.  It is not connected to a printer though.  So, if I wanted to print out my SS number I would do it on this computer.  I would type it in and then not even save that document onto the hard drive.  If I understand correctly just to delete it without never saving it, can still leave the document on the hard drive.  A thief can still find my SS number. 

One thing to remember, is that anyone can read an E-mail as it travels to its destination. 

Another thing is that there are “bots” (computer programs) that do nothing but gather people’s E-mail addresses off of E-mails.  So, if you just hit forward to send an E-mail and you leave all the address on it that the E-mail went to before you got it, that is how people get so much “spam” or unsolicited E-mail. 

There is probably more I could put on this, but I will have to research it and write more later. 

Oops! I almost forgot this section…

Mom’s party…

My sister sent me a flier back in February.  It was about how “they” were organizing a surprise party for Mom in May.  She is a breast cancer survivor eleven years.  They have a “Race For The Cure” each May there in Peoria, Illinois.  The flier said something about us walking or running past Mom in the race.  I was suddenly in panic.  I am so horribly out of shape.  And then I slipped in the shower a few months before.  I didn’t feel like walking much.  At one point Douglas and I were talking about our reply to my sister.  We had just come back from a shopping trip.  He joked that I couldn’t walk across the parking lot how would I ever walk three miles in this race…  Wow!! I have picked up Austria in English on the radio!!!!  I’m listening to Austria!... Over the months I tried to keep the secret from my mother.  I call my grandfather once a week usually after I talk to mom.  It was able to “release” about the party with him.  I almost let it slip to mom once though.  I managed to stop my sentence short.  At one point my grandfather said that someone had told Mom already.  I kept it quiet in case he was wrong.  Then my sister confirmed that it was still a surprise via E-mail.  Whew!  Douglas and I were wondering where we were going to stay during our trip to Illinois.  My sister said we could stay at my mom’s.  How?  So, we called her up and asked if we could come and visit Mother’s Day weekend.  Mom could hear Douglas say that I was homesick as she was on the phone with me.  I told her that I also wanted to visit a Botany (plants) book shop in Chillicothe, Illinois.  She was sure that my motives for visiting were NOT homesickness.  Telling her I wanted to visit the book shop confirmed it. We made plans to visit and stay with Mom on Mother’s Day weekend.  Later on She told us that she was going to go out to dinner with friends, but that we were going to eat at my sisters.  Finally we arrived in Illinois.  We went to Chillicothe, Friday in the early afternoon.  Mom had made me a hair appointment for 3:00 on Friday.  Douglas took me there.  It was a shock that I got my hair cut off to my shoulders.  I had been growing it to about waist length since sometime in the early 1990’s.  I told the beauty operator (hair dresser) about Mom’s party.  She was very excited that she was going to be surprised.  With my hair cut and styled, I went back to Mom’s.  We got ready to go to my sister’s.  Of course we told Mom that the reason we were getting “dressed up” was because we wanted my sister to take our picture at her house.  Mom asked me if I would ask Douglas to cut up a watermelon to take to my sister’s.  Douglas heard that, and gave her a strange look.  I blew it off as it probably wouldn’t be necessary.  So, we were ready to leave the house.  As we left Mom yelled at us to not forget the camera.  My Dad and Douglas had already driven the route to the place where the party was going to be held.  They had discovered that there was a detour because of construction.  We left before Mom had to be there.  So for once we were on time if not a bit early—which was good.  We get there and meet up with the friends and relatives, from Texas, Missouri and Illinois.  Finally Mom and Dad show up.  Mom couldn’t be more surprised.  My grandfather had called her before they left.  He had asked if my aunt and uncle were there.  Mom had said no, like, “Why would they be here?”.  My grandfather had let the cat out of the bag.  But it didn’t make sense to Mom so she forgot about it, until she reached the party.  Thank God!! 

Hopefully I can get some pictures of the party onto our web site.  I am not sure if I will need to buy more space from our ISP first.

Anyway, I am going back to the cataloging.  I am maybe half way through.  I am missing two books I



wanted to stick on this list.  I know where they should be, but locating them might be difficult.  I didn’t stick them with the gardening books, as one is on weather, and the other is on insects. So, I am not sure where they are.  I know they aren’t in the same location though.

Douglas is out golfing with Duane.  They found a golf course that is about as cheap as hitting a bucket of balls at the driving range.  He’s back now as I am writing about Mom’s party.  He was up three strokes after eight holes.  It was tied at the end of the ninth hole when Duane tied it. He is too embarrassed to say how many shots they had. 

I am done with the party story for now.  I will write another entry if there is more to add.  I thought I saw a flash of light outside the window.  We saw thunderstorms coming this way on the weather radar.  I should get off this computer quickly.  I will post this, check the E-mail and then get off.  I am listening to Voice of Russia World Service now.  They are playing a program about the history of Russian music.  Very interesting sounding instruments. They are coming in very well for having the radio next to the computer!!  It is almost like being in Moscow.  I can’t believe it, must be the storm helping the reception.

 See you later.