Gardens and Weddings

“May shall make the orchards bloom;
And the blossoms’ fine perfume
Shall set all the honeybees
Murmuring among the trees.”
“May” by Frank Dempster Sherman

I have already seen bees outside our home. There is also a mosquito inside our house. I saw her come in as I went out to feed our outdoor cat, Louie. I fear, with all this wet weather, including rain all this week, that we will be in real trouble this summer with a bumper crop of mosquitoes.

Last week, I was worried that our beautiful pansies would die from lack of water on the porch. They need water almost every other day and it is difficult to remember to water them. I finally took a big pot, placed a coffee filter at the bottom to cover the drain holes, and filled the pot with potting soil. I intermingled the different colors of pansies in the pot and they look great. All the while I was sitting on the stairs fixing the pansies, Louie was head-butting me to pat him. He has learned to jump up on the top post of the handrail so that we now no longer have to bend over or sit on the stairs to pat him. (We think that he is a very bright cat having learned to do this trick after only five or six years of prompting.) The pot of pansies is now under one of the evergreen bushes in the front yard. I still have the whiskey barrels to plant but it has been too cold and rainy to sit outside for such a big project.

I had big plans to wash our heaviest jackets, air dry them outside on the clothesline, and put them in the attic. It has been too cold. I wanted to put some of our heavier sweaters and jackets in the attic too but we are still wearing them. The other day, I put the heat on for about one-half hour. I couldn’t take the cold in our home. I know that some day very soon the weather will be in the 80’s with high humidity.

We had a wonderful time on Mother’s Day. Daughter Jeanne and son-in-law David invited Hubby, daughter Sue, and me to come to their home any time after 1 p.m. on Sunday. They were in the living room with granddaughter Erin when we arrived. Grandson Brendan was in his room working on something for his Boy Scout meeting that evening. Son Paul arrived just after we did. (Daughter-in-law Alex was spending the day with her Mom.) David had the grill ready to go. Brendan took our orders and David started grilling. He always cooks hamburgers beautifully. Sue had made potato salad, which tasted especially good that day. Jeanne had made lasagna for us, always a big hit. She had also made chicken salad, cutting the chicken into tiny pieces, which is the way that Hubby and Sue like it. We had brought plenty of soda with us. We also polished off a bag of chips along with a tub of onion dip, made with Knorr’s Leek Soup Mix. We ate well.

After we had eaten, daughter Jeanne told us that grandson Brendan would like to show us his Eagle Scout project, cleaning up one of Rockport’s scenic areas, Halibut Point. Down we drove to the point. The sun was shining nicely that afternoon although the winds were brisk. We took photos from start to finish, especially with Brendan proudly standing near the cleared bushes and undergrowth. I did O.K. with the walk down the loop toward the ocean because I had a hold of Hubby’s arm. On the way back up the hill, however, I grabbed son Paul’s arm too. With their help, I made it up the hill easily. There will be a little more about Mother’s Day in Rockport next week.

Here is a little more on our Pope’s Hill meeting, held on Apr. 27, at the Leahy/Holloran Community Center. John O’Toole, who served as president of the Cedar Grove Civic Association for 16 years, told us that he was one of those who worked to make the Murphy School K to Grade 8. He also co-founded, with Sean Weir, the current president of the Cedar Grove Civic Association, the Irish Festival that has been held in Adams Village for the past two years. (Both festivals drew thousands of people.) Our family had such a wonderful time at the festivals; daughter Jeanne and the World’s Greatest Granddaughter Erin came all the way from Rockport to attend the Irish Festival last year. We are looking forward to this year’s festival on Columbus Day weekend.

Last Tuesday, Hubby and I attended the funeral Mass for Elizabeth “Betty” Devin, mother of our friend and co-worker Maureen Barrett. The Mass was celebrated by Rev. Richard Conway at Blessed Mother Teresa Church/formerly St. Margaret’s. We were early for Mass and while we were sitting, we were looking at the beautiful stained glass windows. They are magnificent. We were seated near the St. Aloysius window and we both remarked how pretty it was and unique. There are not many St. Aloysius windows in our area. (Hubby knew that Aloysius was a Jesuit saint.) The church also looked very well maintained. We can only imagine how beautiful it was in its heyday. Drop in some day, especially on a sunny day, when you can really see the beauty of the windows.

I just received the summer flyer from the City’s Parks and Recreation Dept. I was pleased to see the dates for the first two of the three Wednesday Evening Concerts on City Hall Plaza. The first evening will be Wed., July 13, which is Motown Night, featuring Boston’s own Soul City Band. The second concert, on July 27, is Disco Night, featuring Stardust. (I will definitely be at that one because I love disco music.) The third concert will be in August on a date TBA. This will be Country Night, sponsored by Country 102.5 FM, WKLB.

I must confess: on Fri., Apr. 29, at 5 a.m., I was sitting in my chair in the living room, coffee cup in hand, (with decaf, of course), ready to spend the morning at the wedding of Will and Kate. Daughter Sue had already given me the program for the wedding, which even included the times at which the members of the wedding party would be leaving their homes. Princes William and Harry left Clarence House at 10:10 a.m. for the five-minute to Westminster Abbey. Ten minutes later, members of foreign Royal Families arrived at the Abbey from Buckingham Palace. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh (Prince Philip) were the last to arrive at the Abbey before the wedding party.

The wedding ceremony began at 11 a.m. I was interested to read that Kate’s sister Pippa’s name is actually Philippa Middleton. One of the three-year-old bridesmaids was the granddaughter of the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker Boles. There were 1,900 people in Westminster Abbey who were invited to the ceremony. Among the foreign dignitaries in the audience were Prince Albert II of Monaco and his fiancée Miss Charlene Wittstock. (The couple is to be wed on July 9.) Kate’s wedding ring was made of gold from Wales. The queen gave the gold to Prince William shortly after the couple announced their engagement. The queen’s wedding ring, the late Queen Mother Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, and Diana, the late Princess of Wales, all had their wedding rings made from the same nugget of this Welch Gold. By the way, the wedding couple asked that donations for their wedding be given to charitable organizations. One is called ‘Beat Bullying”; another, “Help and Care at Home,” that cares for terminally-ill children; and the “Army Widows’ Association.”

You probably saw the wedding party walk to the right side of the Grave of the Unknown Warrior, who is an unidentified serviceman taken from the battlefields of World War I. I really enjoyed all the pomp and circumstance of the day. It was lovely to watch. Thanks to daughter Sue’s program, I knew exactly what was going on throughout the morning.

Even though I am just a fair gardener, I love to read garden hints to try to improve my skills. I saw this one in a March magazine. If you eat soft-cooked eggs, this might be easy for you. When you crack open a soft-cooked egg to eat it, crack the smallest area in the top that you can get your spoon through. You could also make a fairly small hole to get the egg out for scrambled eggs. When the egg is cleaned out, poke a few drainage holes through the bottom of the egg with a needle. Fill the egg about three-quarters of the way with potting soil and then plant a seed or two in the soil. When the seeds have germinated, crack the shell and put the seedling/s in the ground. Crush the broken eggshell and it will provide beneficial calcium when you mix the little pieces into the soil.

Did you hear the new morning man on WBZ Radio this past Monday? His name is Joe Mathieu. He is the morning anchor man from 5 to 10. He is from the Boston area, having grown up listening to Gary LaPierre. Joe is a 1996 graduate of Emerson College, with a degree in Mass Communications/Radio Broadcasting. Quite a few people had thought that Rod Fritz might get the job but I think he is moving to the 8 a.m. shift, which he likes. Joe’s voice is very pleasant. I think you will enjoy listening to him.
Belatedly, here is a lovely thought by Saint Therese of Lisieux: “The loveliest masterpiece of the heart of God is the heart of a mother.” (This was printed in St. Ambrose bulletin.)