We live in an equestrian neighborhood. A lot of us have barns in the back yard of our small acreages. Many have horses. Walking around enjoying the sight of the horses and the pretty spring flowers has been Recreation #1 since the darn virus took center stage a few months ago.

The beautiful scenery makes you feel 100% different than when you are glued to the bad news, much of it fake. It seems like there are people in positions of power who are trying to drag out and even expand the misery of covid-19 well beyond the need for precautions.

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Our eldest and her wonderful husband live near San Francisco. Everybody there is green to the gills, meaning, environmentally-minded. They decided that they hate gas-emitting machinery such as mowers and weed whackers to care for their common neighborhood grounds. Instead, they have hired . . .

. . . a flock of sheep!

The sheep come with a moveable pen, a shepherd and his trailer, and a very purposeful shepherd dog.

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One of my favorite love stories of all time was how our neighbors in Arizona  met and married.

He grew up in Council Bluffs, Iowa, across the Missouri River from Omaha, and attended Omaha’s prestigious boys’ school, Creighton Prep. He went to undergrad and medical school at Creighton University here, and departed for Los Angeles for his surgical residency.

After he had been there a while, he got a rare night off.

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A sly grin crossed my face in the garden store when I saw the “Baby Pak Choi” seeds. (“Pak Choi” is the smaller form of “Bok Choy,” my longtime favorite G-rated swear word.) Making sure they don’t come from China — nope, these seeds are from Boulder, Colo. — I had to buy them.

I’m so mad at Red China for this covid debacle, it will be a pleasure to grow this popular,

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We returned from our winter home after more than five months in the Great Southwest. I was perturbed and perplexed to find that my two red oven mitts were missing from their longtime perch in the drawer nearest the oven.

Forced to use two rags to get the tray of meatballs out of the oven, I scorched the top of my left hand, already hurting from a day of garden clean-up.

What’s this?

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One man’s yuck is another man’s yum – and that seems to go double for desert creatures. Look at that big bite taken out of a prickly pear cactus. Eww! Found it at the end of our driveway. Must’ve been a big, hungry deer or javalina. In the desert, you can’t be too choosy.

No harm done – so many, many more cactus in the yard that were NOT eaten. I’m sad that critter can’t have a Dairy Queen blizzard or a good rib-eye – but nummy must be in the eye of the beholder.

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How much are greeting cards these days? They are colorful, beautiful and complex, with amazing textures and add-ons. But yikes – they can cost five bucks, easy. You could go broke being nice.

Low cost is not the only reason I love my Mother’s Day cards from my precious granddaughters. These are their handprints representing cacti in bloom. They’re not only colorful, beautiful and complex, with amazing textures (sequins for the cactus needles) and add-ons (cut-out cardboard for the pots).

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Happy Mother’s Day! Of the countless wonderful things our Mom did for us four kids, the most important is that she insisted we know Jesus, memorize Bible verses, and go to Sunday School. We all had perfect attendance, even finding churches on family vacations in other states. She made sure we had a deep and enduring spiritual foundation that has paid off throughout our lives.

Don’t get the idea that Mom was a buttoned-up Puritan,

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We had an old, old, old, OLD girlfriend (!)(JK!) come stay with us about a month before the covid disaster hit. She knows me well. Though she shouldn’t have, she brought me three wacky housegifts:

A one-pound bill from The Royal Bank of Scotland, enough for a pint in a fine Scottish pub. We were supposed to go there on our joint Big Bad Birthday trip this fall. But now we aren’t so sure we’re going,

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All creation moves to the beat of God’s design. He is the conductor and everything alive is one of His musical notes. Everything’s in synch! You can see it right now, down our street.

A tall, husky saguaro (suh WAH ro) cactus is in bloom – at exactly the right time to feed the bats on their spring migration to Arizona from Mexico.

The saguaro is Arizona’s state flower, and May is its prime time.

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