BOOM – Blooming


An explosion of color has happened all around us in just a few days. This never fails to amaze me in Ohio.

In Ireland we never loose the green of the grass in winter but here it goes dull and brown. With a little heat and rain it becomes almost fluorescent.

The daffodils and hyacinths also seem to grow at lightening speed. You need to make the most of them while you can though. Unlike in Ireland where they linger in the cool of the February spring we’ll into the beginning of April here the season is a short two weeks.

The cherry blossoms have also popped overnight and are bringing color to the city as well as the suburban gardens.

All these delightful signs of spring remind me of my first year at college when I went with friends to work the summer in Holland.

We camped for ten weeks and worked every hour we could in the bulb fields. First the lads pulled the bulbs and we girls cleaned them. It was really dirty work and we were paid by the basket. Man those baskets were big. They could easily hold two hundred bulbs. There is no way to describe the state of your hands after a day on the job except that the dirt was still  ground in them the next morning.


One if the biggest challenges with the job was a condition called Hyacinth Itch. When we got back to the camp ground at night we all knew who’d been working the hyacinths because they’d be scratching all over.

Once the bulbs were all plucked and cleaned we moved on to packing. This was much more civilized but was a job that kept you on your toes.

The bulbs were packed into boxes or bags six rows high and stacked on pallets. That’s when the fun started. Someone would stand at the end of the conveyor belt and shout out the order for each customer. It would go something like this. Four Royal Tulips, six Dutch Glories, three Mighty Warriors etc etc

We students would then run around like crazy putting the bulbs we were assigned to onto the merchandising case. It was hilarious. Talk about a work out.


The funniest thing was one of the varieties I was assigned. It was a miniature daffodil just like some growing in our garden right now and had the unforgettable name of a Little Willie.

The ribbing I got back at the camp site was classic. So Gillian my pals would ask how many Little Willies did you handle today?

Blessing #304 – Blooms Fade Memories Don’t

BOOM – Bread & Breath


It’s national stress awareness month. Had no clue this existed!

A few days ago though the popular life guru Deepak Chopra was on TV talking about the subject.

Stress  affects all of us to differing degrees unless you have mastered the art of relaxing like Deepak.

He claims that we achieve peace only when there is absence of thought.

Deepak is renowned for techniques to help us deal with stress and an important part of this is achieved through breathing.

Yoga draws heavily on this. Deepak is just launching a new campaign called Breath of Life that  gives tips on simple steps to quickly  mitigate stress any time any place.

Today a few friends and I were in Panera for lunch. The chain is known for its excellent Bread one of the great joys in life.

They are a major supporter of Autism Awareness Month which is also in April selling huge cookies called Pieces of Hope for the cause.

We can only imagine how very stressful communication must be at times for people on the autism spectrum.

Makes you wonder is it more than a coincidence that stress and autism awareness fall in the same month. Is there a link or common path for treatment?

Blessing # 303 – All Who Bring Bits To Solve The Same Puzzle

BOOM – Ballerina


According to a spot on TV yesterday morning there has been a breakthrough in the world of ballet.

Thanks to actions taken years ago, with the formation of schools such as The Dance Theatre of Harlem, and role models like Misty Copeland there are now many ballet dancers of color.


At last, because of a business demand, a company has started to make shoes of different color to match different skins.

Up until now all ballet shoes have been pink!

Ballet dancers have had to color their own shoes to match their skin tone. This was a real wake up call for me.

You would think that having been married to an Indian for 33 years and with a Chinese son this is something that should have occurred to me before now. 

It hadn’t.

What it underlined was just one more example of the things people of color have to deal with everyday that we whites never think about.

If you have other examples please share them. We need to know.

Blessing # 302 – Steps Forward

BOOM- Beaten


Have had to take two days to think this through before sharing. Was not convinced it was a blessing.

On Friday morning we got a message from the lovely town planner in Marion to say she had fixed for the State planner to come and meet us at the little would be B&B to assess what might be needed for our project.

Nearly fainted with excitement!

I’d talked so much about this idea that  my friend Dee Dee has even given me a book of recipes to get me ready!

Swinging into action with first things first, urgent messages  and texts were sent to the listing agent and our agent to make sure we could get into the property.

That’s when the punch in the stomach happened.

The listing agent sent a text to say the property was no longer available! After much toing and frowing we learned that an offer had been made and that a contract had been signed by the buyer. The owner had not yet agreed to the offer but this excluded further viewings at this time.

So while all is not lost it is no longer a project firmly in our grip. We had to cancel with the planning office who were very kind and understanding.

At lot of thinking of what might have been ensued including why the heck did I do so much shopping and what on earth am i going to do with all the chairs and glass and STUFF I’d bought.

Gotta get me a shop!

Blessing # 301 – Plans to Perfect

BOOM – Brainfreezer


At last! Hallelujah a warm day!

Sun shining and plenty to do. Zumba followed by some tag sales and then when Aaron got home from work a little trip into the center of town to snoop around the shops.

Our little town has an abundance of three things. Antique shops, restaurants and ice cream parlors. Each one has their favorite place to shop and eat and partake of a frozen delicacy.

Ours is Rita’s renowned for frozen custard but we eat their sorbet by the bucket load. They have some funky flavors that Aaron loves little cotton candy and Swedish fish. Being an oldie I stick to Mango magic..

Blessing # 300 – Summer Soon!



BOOM – Baseball


If you were asked to choose one sport that spells USA what would it be? For me it has to be BASEBALL.

When Aaron was little we had his Mud Dogs and that was great fun. The coaches were such lovely men and their wives too. They dedicated so much time to the team and organized all the little snacks and parties for the boys. The games were quite long so we all got to know each other quite well. It was so very wholesome.


Yet in all the years we have lived here we’ve never been to a professional game. Each year when the season starts, which it did just yesterday, we say with conviction that “this year we are going

In Columbus we have a good team The Clippers and a fine stadium so it’s not like a game is not accessible. Yet we postpone.

One thing about keeping a blog is that it records commitments and plans as well what has happened so this year there is even more reason to make it happen.

We will wait though till the sun comes out!

Blessing # 299 – Bucket Lists

BOOM – Broadcast


Our local TV station NBC 4 is celebrating their 70th birthday. Most of us can’t remember a time without  TV.

In our home we feel close to the team who help us wake up each morning.

Even if we only see them for a few minutes we know their names and follow their major life events.


They have bright smiles and interspersed with the serious stuff they bring us lighthearted stories to kick off the day and give us a laugh

The team who bring us the evening news are respected for their cool calm demeanor and to the point reporting.


Many of us probably remember the anchors on the programs we grew up with as kids. They were like our teachers and helped cultivated an interest in what was going on outside the boundary of our homes. They gave us broader perspectives on the world at large and at the same time gathered the family around the box together.

With cell phones and constant updates from social media you got to wonder how relevant the traditional programs will be for the adults of tomorrow.

Lets hope the human touch and the face of journalism will stay strong. Maybe we need to make a point of watching the news together again!

Blessing # 298 – Connectors


BOOM – Bérets & Baguettes


For sure Aaron is not the only teenager to do this. He springs things on us at the last minute.

This morning he came rushing downstairs saying I need dark trousers! Hurry hurry!!!

Now this same lad goes to school in shorts when it is minus twenty. It’s impossible to get him to wear trousers. So why the panic this morning?

Seems that in French class everyone has to dress a la français! So blue shirt, dark pants and then the brainwave struck to find his French scouts béret.

We got it and he put it on and then things quickly deteriorated into a full blown take on being French. A baguette we need a baguette! We found that too and had a good laugh!


This brought back memories of a time our friends Michael and Lorraine came to stay with us in Switzerland. While we were at work they took the boat across lake Geneva to Evian France.

They were to buy a baguette for dinner that night so they bought two or three. Armed with le pain they must have looked like locals because someone came up to them and started babbling away in rapid fire French.

They knew enough of the language to know the person was in a hurry asking for directions but didn’t now where the person wanted to go!

They tried to explain this but the person just got angry with them and marched off!

How we laughed about this! It was like a skit from a comedy show!

Just the sweetest thing and a reminder that……….

La vie et dur sans confitures! Et plus amer san pomme de terre! 

Blessing # 297 – Sugar and Spuds!

BOOM – Ballot


Today the news tells us there is a battle going on at the polling stations in Chicago.

There well may be but a victory has also been won.

Come what may by the end of the  day the great city of Chicago will have a new mayor and the great news is it will without doubt be an Africa American Woman.

The candidates Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle have quite different political stances but each has already made her mark in history.

Who knows what they will go on to achieve. One thing is for sure though they will have inspired many with their courage and determination to climb the mountain and see the promised land.

Blessing # 296 – When Everyone’s a Winner



BOOM – Best Bluff


April Fools Day brings the chance to play a trick or too. Did you play one this morning?

The tradition is said to date back to the time of King John of England. The man was not popular with his subjects and so when he planned to build a hunting lodge in a particular village they played a trick to make him rethink.

The townsfolk pretended to be crazy. Among other things they showed the kings men, who came to visit the on April First, how to Drown Fish!

This may have given rise to the French term used on this day Poisson D’Avril. In any case it led to a tradition that the British media has cultivated over centuries and that never fails to give us all a chuckle.


When you look back at classic April Fools pranks the one that often ranks highest is the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest Story. The threads of pasta being plucked from trees was shown on the very series BBC Documentary Program Panorama. In those days pasta eating was reserved for the upper crust in the UK who’d been to Italy so many people believed the story!


I wasn’t born when this was shown so it made no impact on me but I remember my Dad would always mention it each April Fools Day.

Some classics that fooled me stick with me to this day and make me smile.

The first was Smelly Vision on a popular kids program closely followed by the report of the discovery of the skeleton of the Lough Ness monster.

Stories about self driving buses are becoming a reality so who knows what might happen!


Hope it’s not the aliens landing!

The best though was when April Fools Day fell on a Saturday. Half the UK was glued to the TV watching the sporting program Grandstand when a fight seemingly broke out in the background as the announcer read the sports headlines.


Ah the BBC did good that day.

Share your favorite if you can!

Blessing # 295 – Jokes that Stick

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