Fribble's Blend

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Location: Jefferson City, Tennessee, United States

Published by: Hard Shell Word Factory ( and Awe-Struck E-Books (

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Hibiscus In the Hallway

Back in 1963, when I had my first eye surgery, my dear friend Ann brought me one of her hibiscus plants. She had lived on St. Croix for many years, and having a heavy scientific background, took up breeding hibiscuses. The one she brought me was one that had survived both hurricane Hugo and the move to Florida. We were going to dye fabric the day it was about to open its first bloom at my house. We sat on the patio and watched it for the ten or fifteen minutes it took to unfurl its five golden petals and expose its deep deep red throat and long gold pistil.

Since then, I've moved to Tennessee and lost touch with Ann -- and since she was about ten years older than I, I've been afraid to ask old friends about her. But yesterday the hibiscus bloomed again -- a glorious flower, better than any in recent memory. It was my birthday -- and I was too busy to notice it. But the bloom reopened this morning. After all these years, it still cheers me on.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

It's All Over But the Coughing

I've had bronchitis. I hate to be sick, especially with breathing difficulties. I had asthma as a kid. I hated the stuff that my mother burned at the side of the bed. It was supposed to help -- I don't think it ever did. I take Vicks -- in any form. But I use it.

When I was a kid, everyone heated with coal -- and probably the worst offender was the school I went to. We walked a mile down hill to school, back up hill for lunch, back down after lunch, back home after school. It was a strain on our lungs.

The coal furnaces are gone, replaced with whatever -- things that definitely don't pollute the home quite as much, even though they my pollute somewhere else. Where the breathing problems come from as anyone's guess. A vile germ, a dumb food allergy -- whatever.

But I've miss three Sunday's of church services. If there is anything I hate, it's to hear someone coughing up a lung during a church service, so I stay home out of respect for other people.

But I'm better now -- just short of breath now and then, and I try not to cough when anyone else is around. Another few weeks and cold season starts! I can't wait!

Monday, October 08, 2007

And Not a Drop To Drink!

When I got up this morning at 5:15, I discovered we didn't have any water. We determined that our pipes were not at fault. In this dry spell, there have been several water main failures in the neighborhood. When I called our water company, I found out that they knew all-l-l-l about it -- most of the county is without water, some since Saturday morning. They thought they had fixed the problem, only to have it blow again.

We had an ace in the whole -- three rain barrels that had some water in them. They also had walnut leaves in them, so the water was a suspicious shade of brown, good enough to flush with.

Son went to a place where we can get spring water for a small fee -- they were doing a brisk business. We just saw on the television that the schools will be closed again tomorrow. When we open a tap, it just growls.

Hold on! Update to report! We now have a product that can best be described as a substantial dribble.

I'll keep you posted. (At least my my steam iron is loaded!)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Dull Thud

Fall is not going to be beautiful this year. At least, I don't hold much hope for it. It's been too dry. We thought the drought was over, but we had about three showers, and three more weeks of dry weather.

The grass is all dried up, broken, blown away. I'm carrying water here and there, trying to keep the perennials going so next year won't be a total loss.

Husband has, after ten years of listening to me, decided that I am right -- we should not have any lawn next year. Much as I am thankful that he has finally seen the light, I am dubious. I wonder if we will encounter as much neighborhood resistance to this idea as I got the year when the kids were tiny that we didn't have a Christmas tree. I'll never forget that one!

We have a big front yard, about 70 feet from the driveway to the line of trees that temporarily forms the western boundary, and about 60 feet from the road to the house. We have some big trees, some little trees, shrubs, peonies, irises -- and a lot of weeds. We looking at hardy, drought-tolerant willing-to-spread plants -- carefree is a plus.

I have few illusions that we can accomplish our dream in one year. It might take time, because, there is a lot more yard than what I have described -- side yards, back yard and the part of the hayfield that will be turned over to us in about three years. We own it, but a farmer hays it.

Hm -- turn it all into hayfield? Sorry. The drought must be getting to me.