August — and HOT! I don't know what is going on in the plant world. The pin oak is beginning to drop acorns — and the first little leaves of Star of Bethlehem, a springtime bulb, are showing!
However, I am comforted by the fact that my favorite month, October, is close to arriving. Used to be September began the fall season, but not anymore. Still, we here are a lot better off than folks in the middle of the country, and elsewhere, so let us be truly grateful for our own conditions, and in prayer and support for those less fortunate.
Our new little cat, Molly, has gone from hiding under my husband's desk to ruling the roost. She is very talkative, and this makes Toby and Oliver uncomfortable. She generally has the run of the house, usually when they are out or settled somewhere out of earshot. I was going to name her Miss Daisy at first, but she seemed too timid. Now the name is apt, except that no one drives her. She is in control — vociferously!
Speaking of cats, I was glad to read that the City Council had toured the Lodi Animal Shelter and found out just what goes on there. I hope they came away realizing that there is great need for a new shelter and how much the city owes to PALS and other volunteers. We needed a new shelter when I came here in 1957, and there has been no action taken in all these years. Now, of course, money is tight, and I guess a shelter isn't high on the list of priorities. For my money, it's at the top. I think it was Gandhi who said something about a civilization being judged by the way it treats its animals.
Have been hearing that the Woodbridge Farmers Market picked up a bit after the last column, which makes me glad. However, it still needs more support. The hours have been changed to 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Sundays, which does give people time to get there after church. I had a great time chatting with the vendors who were there: Jacky Souther, who sells really good shelled walnuts; Michelle James, who has a line of delightful hairbows and beanies (Truly Blazin' Creations); David Atencio's The Etch, which features custom design etching on glassware. The day I was there, he was showing glass bee mugs with team emblems, eagles, etc etched on. I imagine his wares are multiple.
Toledo Farms was there; Micaela's (Phillips Farms baker) daughter was there with a nice selection of vegetables and fruit. Also, had a long talk with Tod Nordman, whose family and neighbors grow produce to share. Tod brings his to WFM, and what doesn't get sold by the near end of the day gets given away. He also has flowers; I came home with some! Jan and Richard Hust, whose farm and self-serve stand are on West Turner Road, were just closing down, putting sacks of great-looking onions on the truck. They operate under the name of Verdura Freschia.
Every booth at the Woodbridge Farmers Market is manned by those who grow their own fresh produce or add their creative touch to other kinds of items. Stop in and encourage these local people, not only for the work they do but for being willing to sit in the sun on Sundays because they have faith in WFM and want it to thrive.
Time Out: "Never regret. If it's good, it's wonderful. If it's bad, it's experience." — Victoria Holt, author.
And to segue to the next item: I have been privileged lately to meet two local authors, who have just published books. One is Orlene Detone, secretary for the American Legion. She has written a children's book, "The House Without a Family," and will be having a book signing at this coming Sunday's omelet breakfast over at the American Legion Building. Time: 8 to 11 a.m. Prices: Book, $8.99; breakfast, $6. You can't miss with this one!
By chance, I happened in on a recent book signing at House of Coffees. Lori Polk was presenting her self-published book, "Most Blessed," her story of realization that she needed a personal relationship with God, and how she found it. She is starting another book about her personal life, and is planning a series of books for children. Her current book is available at Vine and Branches for $9.99.
Looking ahead: Ronna Roberts and Alexei Badrack of International Ballet Theatre Institute are already planning their season's schedule of classes, and are taking enrollments now through September for morning, afternoon, and evening classes directed by Alexei, an internationally known choreographer. They are also holding auditions for the winter performances of "Clara's Dream," from "The Nutcracker Suite," and for "The Snow Maiden," "Winter Vignettes." There are roles for ages 3 to adult, novice through professional levels. Backgrounds in theatre, contemporary dance, gymnastics, and similar areas are helpful.
Also in the near future: Lodi Garden Club is holding a fundraiser to install a Blue Star Memorial, honoring the men and women serving in our Armed Forces — past, present and future. The memorial will be installed in April, but the fundraiser will be on Oct. 4 in the Micke Memorial Building. It will include a Hawaiian luau luncheon at 11:15 a.m., served at 14 tables set in Hawaiian/island décor, a presentation on orchids by Barry Barlow of the S.J. Orchid Society, and a raffle. Hawaiian dress is suggested — or at least a lei or two!
There are only 112 tickets available and they will be on sale until Sept. 28. Call 209-367-1544 or 209-334-4009. Raffle tickets will be six for $5, 15 for $10, and 35 for $20.
And one to end with: "The bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you refuse to take the turn." — Anon.