The Stone Tool

I live along the Catawba River.

I see all kinds of rocks.  Round river rocks and white quartz catch my eye.

The stone I found yesterday stood out because of its perfectly flat polished surface.

I turned it over in my hand several times.


There were also polished indentations on each side.

I put the stone in my palm and wrapped my fingers around it.

Worn spots for index tip and side of thumb. Slick flat bottom for grinding.

It fit just like a glove.  It was like connecting with an ancestor.

The photos do not do this justice.  I wish you could feel this in your hand.  It is amazing.

The grinding tool/manos was made for a person with hands the exact size as mine.

Indentation worn for the thumb.

I would never have figured this out if I had not turned it around in my hand.

This isn’t just a tool, it’s a treasure.


The Wind said Wait

Spring was to arrive, but the wind said “Wait.”

There was cold in its voice.

It chilled the tiny buds as it passed.

The daffodils turned their faces away.

One last lull was coming. One last cold.

Stay put.   Not yet.




A Child of the Woods

Back when I was young, I spent most of my time outside.

I have always been fascinated by nature.


We would include rocks, plants and animals into our play.

When my sister and I took a walk this afternoon,

we saw a lovely stand of white wildflowers.


I wanted to call them another name, but “blood root” came out of my mouth.

The scientific name is Sanguinaria canadensis.   Sanguineus means blood red.


That name was way back in my brain. We used to play with this plant.


The roots bleed red, as the name implies. We would paint ourselves with its dye.


I was thrilled to have that memory brought back to me.


You may take the Flower out of the woods,

but you cannot take the Woods out of the Flower.


If I’m not Weeding, I’m Reading

We had some snow here today, so the weeds had to wait.

I made progress in several of the books that I am reading.

I only read non-fiction right now.

My last book of fiction made me so mad that I tossed it.

I can read books simultaneously if they are dissimilar. Otherwise, I get them confused.

Tristan Gooley’s How To Read Water is a hit with me.  It is even better than his book, The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs.

A Woman’s Place is at the Top by Hannah Kimberly is a fascinating story of the mountain climber, Annie Smith Peck.  I admire her determination, but she was not as civic-minded as my two heroes, Marianne North and Beatrix Potter.

Gretchen Rubin inspires me with her thoughtful pursuits at improvement.  I have just started Happier at Home,  but I really enjoyed her book, Better Than Before. 

Elizabeth Kolbert is a really great science writer. Do not let the “science” deter you. Her book, The Sixth Extinction is on my top ten list.

In case you are wondering what the bunnies do in wet weather, they chew on sticks.

I caught Charlotte wistfully gazing out the bottom panes of the French doors today. I know she would hate it out there in the cold, but she still wanted out.

They enjoyed eating bark off of fruitwood sticks. These are now ready to burn.

Tomorrow will be sunny, so I won’t be eating so much…I mean reading so much.



Gran’s Almond Bush

I am so happy to have another “family plant” in my garden.

This Flowering Almond shrub came from my mom’s mother. I think it is a Prunus glandulosa.  It has always stayed small, like a dwarf form.


I remember a year when we had a late snow. Its tiny pink blooms were dusted and glistening. It was a beautiful memory that I cherish.

My sister got this bush from mom when they paved over its spot near the house.

She sent part of it home with me yesterday.


I am researching where to put it and how to plant it. It is too precious to make mistakes.

I will keep passing these treasures along.

The Flower is rich in green…plants of course.




Craft Coffee in the Afternoon

My sister and I went to the POUR Craft Coffee Festival yesterday.  Our aunt was there because her son, our baby cousin, was one of the planners. He is in hot water.  The business.  These roasters used Marco equipment in brewing.

I was thrilled to get to go to a craft coffee event and visit with family at the same time.

It was held inside The Unknown Brewery in Charlotte, North Carolina.

It was a great event for anyone who likes to drink or even smell coffee.

There were some bakeries there also, but since it is Lent, I only ate the samples.

I did not want be rude to the lovely young lady.

Each Coffee Roaster was sharing samples of their different blends of coffee. The coffees had different types of beans from different sources around the globe.


We spent hours sampling sips of coffee from tiny mugs given out at the entrance. We learned about roasting beans.

I took photos of each vendor’s sign. I blinded the nice young man at the Nightflyer booth. (Sorry dude. My bad.)

Jokes were made about sipping and chugging, caffeine highs balanced with beer mellows.

My sister and I decided our palates were not sophisticated enough to taste the tones and hints of the beans and skins/cherry/cascara.  A helpful gentleman suggested this was because we were “older.”  (Just because something is true, doesn’t mean that it needs to be said.)

My sister’s one purchase of the day was some Arabica Soda from Charleston, South Carolina. It was a refreshing blend of beans and skins and sugar and carbonation. We predict a hit here.

It was a great chance to taste many brands of craft coffee.

I must make one suggestion to our cousin from Marco. Next year please add a craft cocoa vendor for your old-lady cousins with our unsophisticated palates.


Rats, Camera, Action!

After hours of “Operation Caddy Shack”(another ridiculous movie), we can say with great confidence that there are no more rats in the bunny yard.

I guess our bad neighbor was a lone wolf, so to speak.  I did not check the cadaver’s gender before the burial.

I would have posted sooner, but I felt faint toward the end of the events and had to come inside to hydrate, shower and lie down. I am not sure what caused the spell.  It could have been due to excitement, exhaustion(from digging and laughing) or smoke inhalation.

We found many tunnels along the base of the basement.

Tunnel opening with smoke coming out.

Mr. Flower started the mission with fire, followed by smoke and last, but certainly not least, water.

Billows of smoke from another tunnel.

I must say the most disconcerting part (other than flames shooting up the side of my dwelling, fanned by my husband with a shop-vacuum) was the amount of water used.

Mr. Flower playing with fire and power tools at the same time.

After the use of flames and smoke, we placed hoses in the holes to fill the tunnels with water. The hose ran and ran and ran, but we never saw any water coming out from any other holes or drain pipes.

Water disappearing down one of the holes.

Where did it all go?  I do not know.

After my much needed rest, I had to go down and remove the mess from the bunny yard. They knew something big had happened.

I might add that one of my children’s favorite books was Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.

 I couldn’t shake the feeling that we had been outsmarted. Perhaps somewhere up the hill, in the woods, was a group of rats watching us, and laughing.


Never underestimate the enemy.

Know your neighbors.

Know your enemies.

Put out the flames before blowing smoke


I will be glad to get back to gardening. This has been way too much action for the Flower.

FLOWER and Mr. Flame



My Dead Bad Neighbor

The digger has been relocated to a different hole. One that was dug by Mr. Flower.

We never did get a picture of the culprit. If you can’t get a photo, a little poo will do.

I must say that I suspected its identity all along.

My head knew all the signs pointed to rat, but my heart wished for weasel.

You will not be seeing any photos of dead creatures on my blog. I made this rule years ago when a dead raccoon was found in the fairy garden.

My children insisted that I include a blog post about the “Fairy Fatale”, but I refused.

I knew that the poor little thing had fallen from the tree the previous night during our bonfire gathering. He had climbed up into the tree above to spy on us. The young raccoon was so scared by the ghost stories, that he lost his grip and fell to the rocks below.

The fairies just finished him off.

Thus ends the mystery. I hope my readers are not as disappointed as I am.

“Why the Critter Cam then?” you ask.

Mr. Flower suspects that the culprit did not act alone. He has been studying up and making plans. He seems rather excited. He has been referring to this Friday as ‘Ground Hog’s Day.’ For you readers who may not know this, it is the title of a movie starring Bill Murray. I hated to remind Mr. Flower that the aforementioned film involved a rodent out-smarting a human.

If you’re local, you may want to drop by tomorrow. (Bring a lawn chair.)



I Found an Earthstar

I found an Earthstar in my yard.

Its rays were spread, its sac was flat, its spores were gone.

Its job was done.

I peeked into the mouth-like hole to see if I could spot a spore.

But all were washed away by rain.

This tiny barometer knew just when

to unfold rays and open its pore

to send its tiny jewels into the wet world

to be stars.