Maggie Turner: Page by Page


  1. We are shocked and disgusted by provincial and federal governments in this country that don’t act quickly and decisively upon the recommendations of those who know best when it comes to this health threat: doctors, epidemiologists, nurses, scientists.

    I’m also somewhat surprised that so many people wait for government to tell them what to do; i.e., they’re not listening to the healthcare workers.

    Mostly I find it painful to see so much refusal to be responsible for one’s own actions. Or to think clearly about who is saying what, and why.

    Anyway … Scott and I both got our first shots on Thursday (Moderna) … so we will soon feel somewhat safer ourselves, but since we can still carry this thing to others, we know we’re in it for the long haul. Unfortunately we have loved ones who seem to think this can never affect them, and they aren’t concerned about what they may be spreading, and of course you can’t tell them anything.

    People. Tsk. I know we all have to weigh our options and are only doing our best and we sometimes slip up and so on. But the stupidity and the unwillingness to curb behaviour … are disheartening. I know this has been a lot more difficult for a lot of people than it has been for me. I need to remember that and be patient.

    Keep well,

  2. Kate! I too am shocked and disgusted. The provincial governments were left in charge of measures, and what a fiasco that is. The virus said DIVIDE and CONQUER, and so it came to pass. Humans are being far too cooperative with this virus.
    I share your sentiments on these issues.
    Ontario is in a state of emergency, today we set a record for new cases, and our hospital is at capacity for ICU care. Pretty scary. And yet, yesteray and today, all kinds of people are having guests. I wonder if there is some sort of fungus infection affecting people, because I find it so difficult to perceive the level of stupidity that drives the behaviour I see out there,
    YAY! I am so glad to hear the you and Scott have had your first shot. What a relief that must be.
    I am busy avoiding people, as anyone might be carrying the virus around with them. It is easy to be kind when you avoid people, I find. A friendly hello from a distance while out on a walk around the block is as far as I take human interactions these days, months, year. I am lucky I don’t have a workplace I have to go to, gearing up and trying to keep safe out there must be a nightmare. I cut Attila a LOT of slack over just about everything, because he has to brave a crowded workplace with some very careless and thoughtless people. Most are good of course, but one person can bring in the virus and infect everyone else. You can catch the virus even when wearing a mask, it is not a shield of invincibility.
    Anyway, glad to hear you and Scott are doing well, and that you are as safe as can be hoped for!
    Are you getting ready to put in your beautiful flower garden this spring?
    Stay safe dear friend!

  3. Margarett

    Dear Maggie, and friends: My goodness… have a warm snap, and we here in Texas are at48 degrees this Saturday morning. We FINALLY got almost 2 inches of rain this past week… we are still about 2 inches behind so far for the year. It has been cool/ rainy all this past week. The trees, grass, and Spring flowers love it. I think this will be our last true cool weather for our Spring….probably will be 90-100 this time next month. Oh, how I wish I could have some of your garden bounty! Attila is out-doing himself. And, your vegetable broth sounds wonderful, as do your planned cabbage rolls. I am making baked chicken and green beans for our dinner tonight, which will be early so we can attend Ryder’s soccer game at 5:30 this afternoon. We have been busy getting ready to have our master bathroom spruced up this next week…repaired, textured, and painted walls and ceiling; painted vanity and cabinet over the commode; new “ right height” commode for old folks; new floor tile; new faucets….that’s about it. Thank you to our crazy government for the extra stimulus checks of $1400.00 each. Don’t even get me started on how nuts our country is right now. They are actually considering trying to increase our Supreme Court to 11 justices from 9….which it has been since the late 1800’s. The Liberal Democrats cannot stand the idea of the current ratio of 5 conservatives and 4 liberals. At least, we are getting a lot of our population vaccinated, with the 2 dose requirement. Mike and I are still masked up and cautious. Everything else in Texas is completely open. I do not agree with this strategy. The virus, and the new strains, are still here and rampant. But, we have vaccinated over 30 million folks out of a population of roughly 320 million.
    Fighting medication changes and side effects. That is all I will complain about, health wise. Your flowers are gorgeous!!! Too cool for any blooms here, except for a few roses. Everyone in Texas lost a lot of shrubs in the freeze we had over a month ago for 4 days. So, people are busy removing dead ones, and replacing….hopefully with more cold hardy varieties. My hollies weren’t affected at all. I may end up loosing one huge Oleander….not
    sure if it will revive itself. Other than that, I have no more news. Write agin soon.
    xxoo. Margarett

  4. Hello Margarett! Glad to hear your news. How wonderful that you got the rain your garden needed! Garden’s come to life when they get the rain and sunshine they need. Attila loves his vegetable garden, he even includes a few flowers for me. Today he ate the first wee thing out of the garden, he grabbed an onion stalk to chew on.
    Glad to hear that thing are looking up in the US in regards to the vaccination progress. Things are dire here, hospitals almost at capacity and very low vaccine supply, so low vaccination rates. Very few people who have managed to get a first dose of the vaccine, have received a second dose. We are under stay-at-home orders for the next five weeks, I hope it works, so many at risk and nothing to be done about it.
    Sorry to hear you are still having to struggle with meds, but very glad to hear you are able to attend Ryder’s soccer game!
    Congratulations on your renovations, always fun.
    I hope that the deep freeze in Texas was a one off thing, and that it doesn’t recur every year! Enjoy your garden! xxoo Maggie

  5. I’m sorry your trees are doing poorly. Our orange tree is a sad goner, too. It used to give us such tasty fruit. It got a fungus. We’ll have to replace it soon with a tree more suitable to the desert.

    I wonder if the climate change encourages these fungi and ash borers? :'(

    Stay well!

  6. Joan, sorry to hear about your orange tree! I hope the replacement gives you as much pleasure. I know nothing about gardening in the desert, it sounds challenging.
    “The emerald ash borer is an Asian species native to China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Mongolia and the Russian Far East. In 2002, the beetle was detected for the first time in North America in the vicinity of Detroit, Michigan, and later in Windsor, Ontario.”
    So the ash killer bug is an import. World travel and trade spreads a lot of things around, as we are well aware of at this point in history!
    I’ve read that habitats are moving north as the climate changes. Tics were never a problem here when I was young, but they are now, as their habitat has extended north.
    Stay safe dear friend! Live, love, and laugh!

  7. Anonymous

    Prayers that Attila and you stay safe from Covid. Mini thunderstorm here today and windy but otherwise a lovely day. Enjoyed hearing your description of all the growing things. I loved Downton Abbey!


  8. Sandy

    I love the retaining wall and your garden too. I’ve read that 1 shot of the vaccine can offer some protection. You’ve both been so careful and are now partially protected. , but I hope you and Attila can get the second shot.

    <3 <3 <3

  9. Thanks Bex! I love the retaining wall too! There used to be a four foot high concrete porch at the front of the house. It had slumped and sloped towards the house for so many years that the water rotted the sill plates on the foundation. We had that removed when we dug up around the basement to install a drainage system, and waterproofing. We still have a long way to go on the exterior basement renovation though. This slope that was left after the concrete porch was removed was washing away into the driveway. Now it is properly shored up and I love the job Attila did, it looks nice, and retains the soil at the same time.
    We still need to put a finish of some kind on the cement blocks, and I want a little roof over the front door, so that I am not standing in the drips from the existing roof, when I am fumbling with my keys to unlock it. But all that is for a future date, and I am very happy that the slope has been taken care of!

  10. Thank you Joan! The Lungwort comes out first in our yard, with its pink and purple blooms, such a joy to see. It spreads rapidly, so will fill the bare spot by mid-summer. When the blooms are spent, the spotted leaves are quite pretty too. 🙂

  11. Thank you for your prayers Eileen! Sending thoughts your way, of good health and good fortune. We are starting to see some lovely days here now, isn’t it grand!
    I love Downton Abbey too, and I think Julian Fellowes is quite a talented fellow. The privileged did live quite elite lives, and that is Mr. Fellowes family history, so he tells the stories with such love and respect, for all the characters, above and below stairs.

  12. Thanks Sandy! The retaining wall was a long time coming, and I love it. The garden is such a source of joy! I think were I too live someplace without a yard, I would have plants indoors, and if a balcony were available, it would be filled with growing things!
    Yes, the first shot of the vaccine offers us 60 to 69% protection from getting Covid, the second shot will take up to 85 to 95% protection from getting the virus. This means that the more people with at least one dose, the closer we are to controlling the spread of the virus. England and Isreal have had real success with administering first doses and controlling spread, so I am optimistic about it.
    The other benefit, and the big one for us on a personal level, is that the first dose prevents serious illness and hospitalization after 14 days, and we have passed our 14 days. So even if we get the virus, we are unlikely to get really sick or have to go to the hospital. This isn’t a 100% guarantee, people with two shots rarely get really sick or die from Covid, it does happend, but the odds are in our favour.
    I hope everyone I know has had the opportunity to be vaccinated! Hoping you have had your opportunity Sandy!

  13. Thank you Joan! Maybe there is a way to serve kale that is better than boiling and straining it. It is good for you. Mom and my brother are using it for smoothies. I haven’t tried that yet. Stay safe dear friend!

  14. Sandy

    The manual is great! The tea sounds wonderful too. Your garden is going to be amazing this year. I hope your family continues to stay safe from the virus. (((Hugs!!)))

  15. Thanks Sandy! We have had this piece of stitch work for years now, and had been displying it a Christmas time only, it was a Christmas present. But this year we kept it out, and it took a while, but now it hangs on the kitchen wall. I love the tea! I love peaches, so it is wonderful. Stay safe dear friend! (((Hugs!!)))

  16. Bex

    For Joan, for the kale, put it on a cookie sheet and bake it in oven for a bit to dry it out. Then put it in a food processor and grind it up to a powder. Use it in soups etc. in the powder form.

  17. The rhubarb was so good Joan! I guess you cannot grow it where you are, too warm, it is a cold climate plant. The only issue with it that it is so sour that a lot of sugar is needed to make it enjoyable… and I can’t eat a lot of sugar. I did have a slice of the squares though, couldn’t resist it. The rest is for Attila.
    The sun is shining today, hooray!!

  18. Anonymous

    Hello Maggie, and all of my “Maggie friends “. Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms…or, as I understand , are no longer called ‘women’, but are correctly referred to as “birthing
    persons…”. I really think that people are all going completely nuts. I literally turned OFF the TV…sometimes, I just want to scream back at the ‘talking heads’. I am worried that Atilla had another case of COVID in his work place. And, that you two haven’t been able to get your 2nd vaccine yet. Mike and I were so fortunate to get ours back not long after Christmas. We met Jeremy, Natalie, Carson, and Ryder for my Mother’s Day dinner at our favorite steak restaurant. The restaurant was absolutely packed….many people wearing masks unless they were drinking or eating. All of the employees were masked. It was my first time out to eat in over a year. Again, it was packed, and there was a 90 minute wait for a table. Thank goodness Natalie had gotten reservations for us, so we were quickly seated. Ryder had made me a card….I will treasure it always. 6 year olds are pretty good at coloring, and he has quite the imagination….he included all of our pets on the cover of the card and quickly explained that ….”yes I am a GRAND-MA-ma to people, but I am also a mother to our pets.” Natalie told me that he had explained the card to her as he was making it. Grandchildren are WONDERFUL. It was a fun and loving meal. I am slowly getting the back yard gardens in shape. I finally found someone to help me, and she is not charging me an arm and a leg. In fact, we are becoming really good friends. We have had a lot of rain in the past 3 weeks, with rain forecasted most of this next week. In Texas, we take all the rain that Mother Nature will give us. We know that during the heat of summer, we usually don’t get nearly enough rain. Since I have lived here since 1991, we had only 3 or 4 years that we managed to get rain nearly every week. We are much more likely to be dry and hot. We have a misting system around our deck rail….we enjoy it, but the birds go nuts for the mist. My new garden helper, Karen, is a contracted landscaper, and she is going to use her business discount for me to get the plants I want for my container plants. I have 6 large pots in the front, and will only have about 10-15 in back on the deck. I used to have over 100 containers planted for the deck….I am scaling this number way back this year. It would take me at least an hour of watering…and, I just can’t do that any more. But, since I am doing fewer pots, I plan to try and combine the
    pots with some planned chaos. Several pots will have something tall, a filler plant, and finally, something that spills downward. I have really enjoyed planning these combination plants…I usually just planted each pot with one type of plant. So, it will be interesting to see how they all turn out. I do love gardening. I have never tried planting vegetables…I don’t have any area in my back yard that would get enough sun. So, I depend on our local farmers market for veggies. I am happy with an all vegetable meal…Mike -not so much. He wants meat at every meal. I enjoyed Downton Abbey. I am interested in the monarchy,….and, the history and the difference between the Brits and America. And, I love their accents. Well, my friend, I need to get some sleep….I can’t believe I have been reading until 2:30 am….I will regret this tomorrow! But, hey, I don’t go to work anymore, and we only set the alarm if we have a morning appt….otherwise, we wake up when we wake up! Take care, and stay well. xxoo margarett

  19. Margarett, Happy Mother’s Day to you! It sounds like you had such a lovely day! I can’t imagine having a family get together, seems like some kind of wild fantasy at this point! 🙂
    Grandchildren are wonderful! We will find them much changed when we finally see them next, they grow so fast in a year, and it will be a year and a half when we get to see them again. The card is a treasure!
    So far as we know there have been no additional cases where Attila works. This is very good news for now!
    We don’t anticipate getting our second shots until July, four months after the first shots. Canada’s strategy is to give as many people as possible their first shots, but even for that we don’t have nearly enough to go around. The elderly that can are all vaccinated, and the now the deaths are occuring in younger seniors and a few middle aged people. Our death rate is soaring, and our daily infections are not decreasing rapidly. If our stupid provincial government can keep its big boy pants on, and continue our state of emergency for a few extra weeks, these numbers will drop drastically, saving many, many lives. Canada has few options for vaccine strategy, because we don’t produce our own, and getting them from other stricken countries is unreliable. Until now the vaccine shots have been trickling into the country, but deliveries are increasing, so we can vaccinate more of the population with their first shots. England found this strategy worked well, but their government kept restrictions until the numbers in hospital, and deaths, dropped. I am hoping our provincial government shows as much sense, but I have my doubts. The first shot should keep most people out of hospital with serious symptoms. I am really, really, really looking forward to July when we can get our second shots.
    Your garden sounds beautiful! So glad you have found someone to help with it. Scaling down to what you can manage is so wise, and trying something new with the planters is an adventure. I am sure it will be wonderful!
    We don’t eat a lot of all-vegetable meals, Attila likes his meat. But the dishes we prepare don’t use a lot of meat, usually just a few ounces each. I’ve found ways to cook the meat to maximize flavour, so we don’t miss having a lot.
    Glad to hear you and Mike are seeing your family, enjoying going out, and making the most of retirement!

  20. WendyNC

    Maggie, perhaps it’s that you see Attila as an ordinary mortal, while his mother perceives him as a god and, therefore, omniscient. She wouldn’t be the first mother to view her son that way. 😉

  21. Wendy! My mother-in-law certainly does hold her sons in high regard!, being a God entails a lot of rep;sonsibility, LOL.
    Me, well I love Attila, the ups and downs of him, the longs and the shorts of him. Yep he is a mere mortal, I would not want him any other way.

  22. Joan, I”ve seen the Tilley hats, they look so versatile. My summer hat is similar, but if I have my hair up in a clip, it can be a bit awkward to put on, so I was being lazy. No more, like you, I will be wearing my summer hat when I venture out for the next five months or so. Then it will be back to the wool toque.
    Rain and hail are a big part of spring weather here in Ontario, Canada. You would think that by my age I’d know better than to trust cagey old Mother Nature!

  23. Margarett

    Hi Maggie: I have now proven that having an iPhone available, while I am working on the iPad, is very valuable. I had no clue what a Cowichan sweater was…now, I know it is a sheep fiber! I love, love, love rhubarb….I can only find it here, frozen, in some of our higher classed grocery stores. I have a niece in Omaha, Nebraska who weaves her own yarn from all types of fibers….rabbit fur, sheep, and goats! She definitely was born in the wrong century. But, I enjoyed watching her with her spinning wheel. Speaking of rain, we are in the middle of quite the thunder storm…with large hail. So far, we have received 6+ inches this May. And it barely made it to 60 degrees today. I have been researching private pay nursing services for a friend’s Mom. What a headache. There are over 200 such agencies just in our small 15 mile radius. And, unless the agencies are licensed for Medicare and Medicaid, there isn’t a lot of info on line about the private agencies. Your walks sound great…even though you got soaked. I have to agree with you….it was not Atilla’s fault! I love rain/ storms…but can’t stand high wind, and tornado warnings. I long for the days when I could easily walk my 2 1/2 miles…we have a wonderful walking trail
    through a beautiful wooded area just up the street from where we live. Who knows? Maybe some day, huh? Take care my friend…sending warm thoughts. xxoo margarett