Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Planting Cotton and building "Eudora" The Joggling board. At my Nebraska home "Mississippi on the Plains"

Hinds County News
June 2017
Me in my brand new bibs!  my Spring gardening uniform

I, Gloria Christiansen, living at my home, “Mississippi On the Plains” in Holdrege Nebraska, soon will be a cotton grower!  Yes, I will!!!  Of course, my planting of cotton will not be of the magnitude of lets say, a Mississippi Delta plantation or of a Gaddis Farms in Hinds county…. doubt you would even describe mine as patch of cotton…I am suspecting my cotton growing will be more in the manner of a large galvanized tub from the farm store in size.

Y’all, at Garden Club Monday evening (April 17), our speaker was a Nebraska Master Gardener, toward the end of the meeting he held up beautiful fluffy boll of cotton, he vowed and declared he grew it right here in Holdrege.  Well, you know I light up like a Christmas tree! I was so excited!  I had to know where I could get seed.   lo and behold he had cotton seed with him and he gave me a package!   Now it is just a matter of waiting for the ground temperatures to come up to between 65 and 70 degrees.  Wish me luck! Because I do not even live on the south side of town.

 There is not a cotton gin close by….so to get my cotton ginned, I may have to box it up, send it priority mail, to the Gaddis McLaurin Hardware store, Main Street, Bolton, Mississippi, and ask Joyce if she would mind stepping it across to the Bolton Gin.

The Joggling Board
I told you last month I had lumber delivered so I could construct a Joggling Board, like the one Eudora Welty mentioned in her book “The Delta Wedding”.   It is finished!  And It is Grand addition to the back yard! Some of those who have seen my joggling board, have speculated it is perhaps the only one in Phelps County…. Maybe even the whole state of Nebraska!    Wouldn’t that be wonderful!   I have never been first at anything…ever. 

“The Delta Wedding” Joggling Board and the tub of cotton will be the focal point of my Mississippi Garden.  In addition, to the Joggling board and cotton there will be okra and collard greens.
Love to all,
 stop by if you get this way!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Hinds County News April 2017
Good Morning! Hinds County!  I am writing this March 20, the first day of Spring, today’s high, here in south central Nebraska, is fore casted to be in the middle 60s, yesterday’s high was 85, weather man said this morning, snow is a possibility toward the end of the week.

We have had some gorgeous days of late....so I have been scrambling to get yard cleaned up and ready for spring.   I have never been ready for spring…. Ever!   Now, I understand why it was difficult to be ready for spring’s arrival while in Mississippi…big yard, so many bushes needing attention, big pecan trees, dropping huge limbs all winter long.   Those limbs piled in and around the burn pit had to be dealt with and that is not easy as you might think…You cannot just strike a match and set the pile a blaze…oh no!   It was usually very dry, so had to wait until after a nice rain...and a day the wind was not blowing.

fallen limbs from my pecan trees
fire pit behind spider

But here…in this little tiny yard…...I still cannot be ready for spring when it blows in! Why!? 
  I know the answer, I have come to believe I have a mental disorder “Putter Brain” …. I will stop raking, cutting back roses, or cleaning out planting beds to run to the lumber yard to buy lumber to build a joggling board!

This is a joggling board
(not mine)

  Or make a hardware run to get a can of bright pink paint to repaint my flamingos, or a junk run in search of yard art…. The junk run turned in to a tree and flamingo pillow buying excursion.

New Pillows

  I do recognize I am an out of control putterer…. If there is a cure…I do I really want to be cured? Me thinks not.   This morning as I peek out my front door…I see a fabulous flamingo pillow in the swing, bright red pillows in the Adirondack chairs, plastic flamingos staked around in the yard.   One hardly notices the shrubs that need tidying up, or the great piles of leaves that have blown in the corners of the fence.

new tree

The tree I planted in the front yard, by the Adirondacks and swing, is a flowering crab, the picture on the tag shows the blooms being almost the exact same color as the flamingos! Won’t that be fabulous?!!!!

I planted a maple in the back yard….in my direct line of sight, as I peer out the west window of the kitchen…. Won’t that be fabulous when the leaves turn this fall!!!

I built the Adirondack chairs from a kit, I like them a lot, they really dress up the front yard.  I painted them bright white…I am not a neat painter…lots of drips and runs…but I am not disheartened …because I have nearly convinced myself drips and runs give the chairs character and age, like this was not their first coat of paint.   And with the addition of the bright red pillows, one hardly notices the chairs runs and drips of paint.

Essentially the paint job looks as if it was done by your teenager, trying to make a fast buck, to buy a tank of gas.
Love to all
Come see me if you get this way!

You can sit and joggle on my joggling board with me….

Since writing this I have begun to make my joggling board 
 I had never heard of a joggling board, until recently when my book club read Eudora Welty’s The Delta Wedding…She mention a joggling board….so you know I must have one! I have not gotten it built yet…But lumber has been delivered! 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Hinds County News
  December 2016
Our first snow has fallen,
 Winter came quite abruptly to Nebraska, we were blessed with a long and delightfully mild, nearly jacketless fall.

Our first snow came, on Friday, the day after one of the most pleasant weather days in my memory, Thursday the 17th of November, the high that day was 75 degrees, no wind just a gentle breeze from the South.  The pups and I spent the entire day outside.

 I cut greenery, and made wreathes for my doors, windows and gates.   That is going to be a lot of green and red on this little house….But, the southern side of me knows, “It is not  done until it is overdone” But my southern side also knows, there is a fine line that you cross over to “tacky”.  But southerners, especially southern women, possess  a very valuable gift, they have an innate, you might even say God given ability to hone in on tacky, we KNOW what tacky looks like.

 But we, ourselves, we  NEVER EVER do tacky….Our friends and our neighbors…they are the ones who do tacky.  And we do not mind at all saying how tacky they are.  Oh!  Not to them, not to their faces…we would never do that…that would be tacky. 

Southerners, particularly the ladies, also have the unique ability, an art really, to carefully pick their words, say them in a sweet tone, wearing a charming smile, that never hurts feelings. They say things like “Interesting”, "Fascinating", they will reach far to find something nice to say, “oh what a great color!”

Wait! Wait! This reminds me!  let me tell you about a friend and what she did, that left us all rather stunned and without words…It was winter, everything had turned brown in her yard….Our friend got up in the middle of the night and took cans of green paint and went outside and sprayed all the brown plants in her yard green.   Her only statement about the incident was “I just got tired of looking out the window and all I could see was brown.”  

 Our friend had recently lost her husband, so we attributed to the late-night painting spree to her loss.  So, the worst that was ever said, but repeated over and over was “Bless her heart she in mourning.”  She never did it again.  (I know some of you Edwards folks remember this event)

So anyway where was I before I got off on that…..Oh yes I remember! The day before first snow.
Around noon, my brother stopped by and we ate a nice lunch of my homemade Tamales,  salsa, from one of the last farmer’s markets, and sour cream…we ate in my little building.

 When he left, I took the wreathes to the garage, for safe keeping until after the snow, and high winds that were forecast to come with the snow, then I sweep out the little building.   The rest of the afternoon the pups and I spent watching the sky, as the sun went down, it spread a subtle glow of gold, lite up the beautiful church across the avenue….It was a grand day!

In fact, the pups and I sat in little building, until the street lights came on, I did not want the day to end, so Emma and I went for a walk, my house is a block from downtown, we walked toward town, the store windows were brightly lit, in the windows were Christmas trees,  snow men, dolls and toy soldiers…

We walked and we walked, back home I went to close the little building for the night, instead I sat back down and watched it get darker and darker. 

Summer was gone, there would be snow on the ground tomorrow. I felt not unlike I did after Angela and Adam had left home, and they would come back for a visit.  When they left…. John and I would stand on the porch, and watch as they drove out the driveway, down the hill, over the railroad tracks, up the hill and turn the corner by the old water tower….when they finally disappeared from sight, John would sit down in his rocking chair, I would go to the swing….and we would just sit….sometimes we cried.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas from Mississippi On the Plains