Archive - 2008

December 23rd

Christmas, early

Because sister Tracie is leaving tomorrow, we had Christmas tonight. That means, of course, eating huge amounts of food and giving each other material blessings.

In the morning, I head to Omaha. I can't wait to put the snow behind me.

Merry Christmas to everybody!

Political stuff

• Nobody is qualified for office because they are related to a famous president. This Caroline Kennedy thing is just nuts. Instead of swooning over dynasties, you'd think we'd have learned by now to treat them with suspicion.

• Obama's choice of Rick Warren to invoke at the inaugural is perfectly fine. I don't care which theistic poobah they bring in to perform the hocus pocus. He's as good as any.

December 22nd

Early Christmas with Aunt Olla

Despite the cold temperatures, Aunt Olla was game to come out to Mom and Dad's for supper this evening. It was a good time. She was in fine form, telling stories and cracking jokes. The biggest challenge: The carpet. The Fertile Hilton has tile floors on which you can just shuffle along. Shag carpet after months of shuffling is a rude awakening.

Mom made a big meal. Pork chops, squash soup, riced potatoes, gravy, corn, parsnips, beans and carrots. Olla seemed to eat pretty well.


With the parade of scumbags that has been dominating the national stage lately, it is great to have a local politician display some honor. How sad that such obviously decent behavior is viewed as the exception rather than the rule.

December 21st

Why Arizona

Once I decided not to go to Fargo for a book signing yesterday, a decision which was unnecessary in the end, I looked forward to a day at home puttering around. But I couldn't putter. I laid on the couch all day, not feeling like moving at all. The lethargy stretched into the evening. I barely could muster the energy to dress up and go out to fill the stove.

This morning, what a difference. I have been running around the house like a chicken with its head cut off, getting ready for my imminent departure to Arizona.

December 20th

Storm canceled

The second big storm of the season didn't happen. About six inches of snow fell, but it came straight down. Very pretty. And the winds just haven't whipped up, at least yet.

However, I am content to be at home in the -10 degree weather instead of on the road.

I am completely groggy, not feeling like doing a thing. Cold does that to me. Causes the hibernation instincts to kick in.

Book signing canceled

The storm has caused me to cancel the book signing at B. Dalton in West Acres. I guess I am getting old and unadventurous.

December 18th

Inside information

During the day yesterday, we filmed more footage for the gardening show which is due to come out in January or February. I am learning a lot about the process. I can't believe how much work goes into a half-hour segment.

The camera guy is amazing, a real pro. He spends up to an hour preparing each shot, getting rid of undesirable light in about a dozen different ways using blankets, sheets of colored cellophane, aluminum foil, screens and other devices, as well as adding light with various bulbs and reflectors.

Nursery party

Had a fun Christmas party at my house last night. I wish I would have taken more pictures, but I was pretty busy hosting. Above is my mother, right, with Darlene and Sharon.

December 16th


Spent the day taping episodes of Little Garden on the Prairie. Today, there was a professional cameraman who was knowledgeable about lighting. It was fascinating to watch him work. He adjusted and adjusted until he got it right. I was watching on the monitor, and every improvement was worth the trouble.

I am slowly catching on to how to speak on camera. It gets easier with every taping. But man, does it take time. I can't believe the work that goes into a five-minute segment. I am completely worn out.