Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Bountiful Harvest from Tom's Garden on Legs

Monday morning I harvested the vegetables from Tom's garden.  The weatherman was forecasting a possible freeze during the night.

His garden has been bountiful. I've lost track of  the number of  times we have had vegetables from his garden this year.  He put in a soaker hose this year.  Maybe it helped that he watched the water supply closely.

In late July and in August, he harvested red beets.  They were a nice size and sweet, just the way I like them.  We had a couple meals of beet greens, too.  When I was a child, Mother fed us beet greens from her garden, using the leaves from the beets she pulled when she was thinning the row.  Sometimes she served us cooked beets with butter on top.  Other times she pickled the beets.  I liked them, no matter how she prepared them.

Lately, we have been having Swiss chard, green peppers, and green beans.

On Monday, I picked a mess of Swiss chard.  Tom planted spinach the first couple years he had his garden.  Then a neighbor told him Swiss chard was better.  It didn't go to seed and it was hardier.  Fewer insects bother it.

My Grandma and my Aunt Audrey always referred to a large picking as a "mess".  It is a country term from northwestern Ohio. It seems to me I have seen the term in books I have read about Kentucky also.

I also found a mess of green beans and seven green peppers.  This is the first year that Tom's pepper plants have done well in his improvised garden.

We didn't have a freeze or even a frost Monday night so we may get even more vegetables before the plants are finished for the year.

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Lion in Winter, Play by James Goldman, Presented by The Drama Workshop

Cast: Front Row...Karen Romero as Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of England,  Wallace Johnson as Henry II, King of England.
         Back Row...Rick Hunt as Richard (The Lion-hearted) and oldest living son of Henry and Eleanor, James Gilhooley as John, the youngest son,  Michael Gettinger as Geoffrey, the middle son, Robert Hyer as King Phillip of France, and Hannah Goodman as Alais (French princess, sister of King Phillip).

Just by looking at the picture you can see one of the play's conflicts, the conflict between the young and the old.  The young are rising into power and the old are determined to keep their power.

Despite this being primarily a drama, there plenty of funny lines  These lines often have to do with the attitudes of  parents toward their children and attitudes of children toward parents. And in the case of  Eleanor and Henry, you will recognize the attitudes of married couples toward one another.

When Eleanor and Henry had a serious conflict, he used a solution available to kings. He put Eleanor in prison. Out of the goodness of his heart, he has let her out for Christmas.  Needless to say, they have strong mixed feelings for one another as well as for their sons.

Alais, the French princess adds turmoil as young pretty women do.

 Both Henry II and King Phillip have plans involving increasing their power and lands and so the Hundred Years War limps along.  The display in the lobby shows the lands  under dispute . To get a better look at the map , click on it. All in all, living as a ruler in  the twelfth century was like a game of chess.

Fortunately for me, the playbill also  included a time line of  English historical events which led up to this Christmas celebration.  (The Christmas celebration is actually an invention of the playwright as a setting for the drama.)

By the end of the play, Henry thinks he has solved his problems but we know better.

The play is directed by Francis Boyle and produced by Dennis Murphy.  Under Boyle's direction, the veteran members of the cast, Wallace Johnson and Karen Romero shine as powerful, opinionated royalty.  The supporting members  play the parts of unique and evolving characters who will rule the next generation.

As always, the refreshments at intermission reflect the content of the play.  There are tiny Yorkshire puddings and English Royalty Cho-Chip Scones as well as tidbits that honor French cooking.

The play is being performed on the Thrust stage option so the action is close to the audience and three-dimensional.  Here, a member of the stage crew is changing details of the set for Act 2.

As always, there is a long list of team members who provide the support which makes it possible for the actors and director to accomplish their magic.

The play will be presented again tonight, October 21, 2016, as well as tomorrow night and Sunday afternoon.  Check The Drama Workshop website:

 or call the box office at 513-598-8303.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Busy, Busy, Busy Weeks...Fall...And Then...Brr

We have been busy the last couple weeks.  We usually do a lot this time of year because it is difficult for Tom to get out when the weather is bad.

There has been the usual yard clean up, the hose to store, the generator to check out.  The grass is growing more slowly.  I haven't mowed since the tenth of October.  So far I have been able to "rake" the yard by using the mower to blow the fallen leaves up around the trees.  We will have to get out the old fashioned rake in a week or so.

The last time I mowed I noticed there were quite a few hardy plants sending up a flower or two.  There were a very few late New England Aster blooms on the plants we bought at the Aullwood Farm and Nature Center a couple years ago.

I checked out the other New England Aster, a cousin-in-law gave us many years ago.  The original came from Wisconsin.  It is different from Ohio's plants.  It doesn't begin blooming until the Ohio version is finished blooming.  The buds were still closed.

On October thirteenth we took a walk along the Miami County Bike Trail.  We walked  across the Great Miami River on the bike trail bridge for the first time.  Tom was hoping to find colorful foliage.  This is what we found...just a little bit of color.

We made a trip to northwestern Ohio last weekend to visit friends and relatives.  We also visited the Glass Pavilion at the Toledo Museum of Art.  The leaves were more showy up there.  This one was beside the parking lot.

As we headed back south, we continued to see colorful trees.  And the next morning when we looked across the street at the neighbor's yard we saw this.

In the backyard the last flowers were gone from our "Ohio" New England aster but the "Wisconsin" New England Aster looked like this.