Saturday, April 26, 2008

Irises Galore

Irises are one of my favorite flowers (okay almost all flowers are my favorite flowers) and over the years I have always kept beds of irises but they rarely bloomed. I was lucky if there were a handful of blossoms in the spring. This year for some reason all my irises are blooming. I have them in three different beds and all three beds are full of blooms. I may take pictures of more flowers tomorrow to share some of the colors with you.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

It Is Not What You Think

I know what some of you might think but it isn't a still! We finally bought a rain barrel and had it installed on Saturday. This spring we seemed to have been blessed with showers though we still have a rain deficit for the year. It won't matter for us this year since we now have our own rain barrel. We are very excited about using it and doing our part to conserve. My flowers will be so happy!!!

Monday, April 14, 2008


A couple of weeks ago we would come home from work and find straw and vines scattered all over our front steps and porch. We cleaned it up the first day without realizing that a bird was building a nest. After the second time of finding the same straw mess we spotted the beginning of a nest but no bird. We swept away the straw and the early attempt at a nest in hopes of keeping a bird off our front porch. We sit on our porch whenever possible and I didn't want a bird interfering with my porch time. The bird ignored our hints and came back again, starting another nest. By the third episode of us cleaning and the bird nesting, we realized that it was a very persistent robin and we gave in to the nest. So now we watch and wait as the bird tends the nest.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Thinking of the Past

Sometimes I see, hear or smell things that remind me of my past. Sandalwood soap happens to be one of those things that takes me back in time and immediately reminds me of a woman named Vera Bayer. It would have been difficult to have grown up in Warner Robins during the 1960s without knowing Mrs. Bayer. She and her husband founded the Warner Robins Supply Company just a few years after the town was established. When the town was not even 10 years old, a deadly tornado passed through destroying much of the small community and the Bayers helped with search, rescue, clean up and repair. They were pioneers of sorts. Mrs. Bayer was recognized for helping to establish the Warner Robins Little Theater, she organized a million talent shows and taught ballroom dancing at Westside Elementary. Why teach children ballroom dancing? Because everyone needed to know how to dance. To this day my older brother, along with many other men in Warner Robins are fine dancers because of Vera Bayer.

I came to know Mrs. Bayer as my dance teacher, but she was so much more than that to me. From second grade until seventh grade I went to the Bayer home twice a week after school. I walked from my elementary school to their house, about a mile, let myself in and made myself a snack. Times were different then. The door was never locked and I was free to help myself to whatever was is the kitchen and frankly that was more freedom than I would have ever been given in my own home! I would then change into dance clothes and have dance instruction for an hour.

After class I would have the joy and pleasure of just being a part of the Bayer household. It was there that I watched Mrs. Bayer refinish antique furniture, helped strip a horse trailer, learned about antique chamber pots, walked on cork floors and beautiful oriental carpets, listened to every kind of music one could imagine, played with magical wind-up toys (I loved the bartender mixing drinks), saw all sorts of French and Japanese items, and held a beautiful hand-carved sandalwood fan. To this day I can remember sitting in the den, in the chair that Mrs. Bayer finally gave me, waving the hand-carved fan and enjoying the exotic scent of the sandalwood. She was an amazing woman. She knew and had experienced many things far and beyond the every day life of Warner Robins and yet she happily shared her adventures with others openly and lovingly.

We lived in Elberta at the time and both our home and world was much smaller. My excursions to the Bayer's house exposed me to so many things that opened my eyes to a world that I could have hardly imagined. It was at the Bayer's house that I first witnessed the planting of a tree to mark an important occasion. The magnolia that was planted in 1966 must be enormous by now. Redecorating, upholstering furniture, sewing and making costumes was an every day occurrence at the Bayer house, as was playing the piano, painting or celebrating the arts. Thanks to Mrs. Bayer, I grew up knowing the words and music to every Rodgers & Hammerstein musical just as well as I know the hymns in the Baptist hymnal. I learned to appreciate so many things that were not necessarily a part of the household in which I lived.

When it was time to go to another dance teacher, I cried for months. While Modern Dance Academy ended up being another fantastic memory for me, the dance studio could never compare to the wonderful world I had enjoyed on North Davis Drive (285 if my memory serves me).

I hope each of you reading this post were lucky enough to have had a teacher and mentor like Vera Bayer. She died a year or so ago and though she may be gone, memories of her will remain forever in the hearts of those who grew up knowing and loving her.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

It Takes So Little To Make Me Happy

I was excited to know that a robin (yes, the red, red robin) was building a nest on our deck. It seems that our activity may be interfering with the process so I will keep you posted on the nest activity. Meanwhile Sami sends me an email with a video clip of Jordan and Miah dancing. The enthusiasm is inspiring and reminds me that we all need to sing and dance more often. Grab your partner!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

No Pollen in this Picture

We are drowning in pollen. Do you have a yellow car, deck, driveway? Everything in our yard is yellow. Thankfully today it is too cold to be outside, otherwise I would be out on the deck breathing in and wearing the yellow stuff. The pollen seems so thick at the moment that if you open your mouth while outdoors you can almost feel yourself choking on the yellow dust. On another note, Sami sent a few more pictures of the girls wearing their Easter dresses and I just had to share. As the granny I think I am allowed to say that they are the cutest!