Wednesday, October 29, 2008


There was snow this morning, and plenty of it, weighing down the few trees that still have leaves and the electric wires, and anyone who was trying to travel.
As I rekindled the fire in the woodstove, I tried to think of some good things about winter. Other than the pervasive and comforting heat of the woodstove, the only thoughts that came to mind were that there are no mosquitoes and as someone else someone once said "You don't have to run the water long befor it gets cold."

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Good-bye for now, old Farmer

As surely as spring followed winter and spring and summer found me in my garden, for the past 25 years I could be sure of a welcome interruption in my labors . The Old Farmer would walk up to the garden fence and say, "We need rain!" I would walk up to the fence and we would talk about, just about any thing.

Memorable was the the time one of the city campers complimented him on having such tall corn so early in the season, no one ever told that camper he was looking at elephant garlic, not corn.
And the morning he came over giggling like a schoolgirl, and proceeded to tell me that the night before he and my son were sitting on the bench and he told my son the he was "Going to drink a beer, take a shower and go to bed." Jr, who was about 3 said that he was "Going home and drink a pop, take a shower and go to bed."

In recent years the Old farmers health was failing him, it was getting hard for him to get around, his garden got smaller and smaller, and he got frailer and frailer, I saw him only once this spring and 2 days ago a few weeks short of his 80th birthday, he gave up the fight.
He hated winter and I guess that another one was just too much to face.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

My Grandfather

Long Ago and far away, in a land called childhood, this was a special time of year. Not because I was going back to school, which I hated.
But because we spent so much time at my Grandfather's farm.
One of my earliest memories of him is feeding the chickens. I think I was only a little taller than the chickens, and there were a lot of them. They would peck at the feed in my little pail, I tried gamely to scatter it, but I was soooo scared! But my grandfather would urge me on and soon I learned not to be scared.
Then we would gather eggs....which was always mysterious to me. Exactly how did that chicken make that egg. I had an idea and I wasn't about to eat any of those.
But at this time of year, there were apples, bushels and bushels of them to be picked in the orchard, remnants of it remain. The smell of coal smoke , will always remind me of picking apples.
The big treat was to wander up to the edge of the woods and pick hickory nuts, the fragrance of their husks lingered on my hands and I loved it. I recall their mellow flavor and how very hard it was to free the nutmeats from the shell. That mammoth sprawling tree is long gone.
I would bring home the husks in my pockets,their fragrance quickly faded.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

And before I knew it

I don't think it was ever really summer this year. Or if it was I was absent that day.
I am reminded of Ray Bradbury's story "All summer in a Day"... and may-be it was.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Go Home said the Man in the Moon, go home

"Go home said the man in the moon, go home
Go home said the man in the moon,go home
cause it's getting kinda late
and I'll soon turn put my light
Go home said the Man in the moon go home."

I'm not sure who wrote that, I think it was Harry Nillson, but it became a popular lullaby, which it was not intended to be, around my house. And with the full moon fast approaching I look up in total wonder at this light in the sky, and there he is the man in the moon looking down on me and smiling his wistful smile. Thinking to myself, about all the times I hummed or sang those words, and the lullabies of other parents.....and the wonder in the eyes of children when they see the man in the moon. Long before us and long after our time is over.

Before you go to sleep on the night of this full moon, smile back at him.
Sweet Dreams

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Staking Tomatoes

Today was the day, the sun was bright and the wind was brisk, and the tomato plants were staring to droop under the weight of those little green orbs. It was time to stake the tomatoes. This year I have a mere 35 plants and a few volunteers of unknown variety, but you can almost bet the are some kind of cherry or grape tomato, if one does it right or perhaps its if one does it wrong, you only need to plant them once and they will comeback year after year. Each year I scrounge about looking for whatever stakes I can find, I have used such things as old mop handles and flooring boards from the old veranda, ripped to size. Lately I have had to buy lumber for this purpose and find a dry place to store it overwinter. The birds are singing even the chickadees, which is surprising, as I'm not used to hearing them at this time of year.
The wheelbarrow filled with stakes and my small sledge hammer I'm off, I think this is the mid-point of my Summer , though the weather feels more like late spring. This will be an all day job, there is no sense in wasting this beautiful day. Somewhere off in the distance someone is hammering, and I try to hammer in a rhythm that answers theirs. Once there was an extremely clever or extremely confused woodpecker who answered my hammer blows.
Every now and them there is a weed to pull or a bit of history to pick up, In the forefront of the photo is a flattened thimble, inscribed with the word "sterling"and when I turned it over expecting to see the word silver, I saw instead the word "gasoline".

The stic forrest is back.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


We borrow the earth from out grandchildren, and we inherit it from our I have heard it said.And that is why I recycle, anything and everything, except lunch bags. I know people who wash and dry those filmy little germ havens but......not me. Reuse, recycle and repurpose. Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without. And if it is overpackaged, I just won't buy it.But, this is getting ridiculous. There is no curbside pick up where I live, might be in part do to there being no curbs. This requires me to thouroghly wash all the food containers, and store them until I have enough to make the trip worthwhile. So over time I have developed my own recycling program, and yesterday was recycling day.I loaded up my Subaru, and started out, large plastic containers, margerine,coolwhip,yogurt, for use in food storage after fellowship etc dinners, were dropped off at church, where I picked up paper, cardboard etc. to add to my stash. Then on down the road to drop off green and brown glass[ out here not all towns even accept glass]. Next stop, several miles down the road is plastic (1&2only) and steel cans, recycled by the boy scouts, who bless thier littl e hearts will let you deposit the items in plastic bags, something many places will not do. And on we go to sell out accumulated aluminum cans{paid for the gas anyway. Keep on crusin, keep on crusin" to a little shop that take all of the packing peanuts, small cardbard boxes and bubble wrap to reuse, and happens to be next to the place where I can recycle batteries. The shop keeper asked me it I would drop off cardboard for her and also some OK because I'm obsessed. A quick iced tea and I'm back on the road to drop of cardboard, magazines, and cotton fabric. By this time my car is finally has some room in it, I have a few small boxes of scrap metal left, and some cores, this is the fun stop, I like scrap yards, it reminds me of when I was little and I would go to the garbage dump with my Dad, we would pay a small fee and then drive up to the top of the hill stop and get out and toss the useless items down into a raven. There was also a large boiler at the scrap yard which I needed get a good look at.

It was by this time lunch time, and I was ready . Nothing better than than a Reuben, on homemade rye, ad a little air conditioning.

The last stop is for a small box of clear glass, the collection box is located across from the grocery store, so with my mind on the delights of day old donuts, I emerge with day old vegetables and bread.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Solstice strawberrys

I would have posted a picture of strawberries, loverly sweet strawberries from my garden, but by the light of the "strawberry moon' a family of deer ate them all. Hence the photo of foxgloves.

Today being the solstice, the day of equal night and day, from here on out the hours of daylight diminish as we sink into winter, its such a subtle change I never seem to notice that the day is getting shorter, until the first signs of autumn appear.
My mother, who is now in her 8o's, tells the story of how when she was 6 or there about she heard my grandmother talk about the longest day of the year, so off she went to pick wild strawberries, she walked quite a distance over 2 miles, picking berrys where she found them and thinking that it was "the longest day of the year",she kept on picking. Her pails were getting full when she realised it was getting dark, fast! Thought she wasn't lost, she was frightened, and started to run home. She and the berries arrived safely, but to this day she still laughs when she tells the story.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Safe in my garden an ancient flower blooms

I think I was born to be a gardener. Some of my earliest memories ar of the mudpuddle in the back yard I called my garden. I was always planting 'seeds' and profusely watering them, and when they didn't grow, I just enjoyed the mud.
An now that I am allegedly an adult, more like a senior citizen, i explain my passion by saying that gardening is the adult form of playing in the mud. Long winters are spent daydreaming of the bounty of tomatos and huge pumpkins I will grow and reading about better methods of composting. When the icy winds howl in the chimney I think of the heat of summer. Shall I compare me to a summers day, hot sweaty and dust covered......and as close to sane as I will ever be. Happy as the child playing in the dirt.

I look forward to those first days the ground is thawed and I can take my winter weary muscles out and start spading, listening to the chickadees and the wind in the still bare trees...and feeling the first warmth of spring.

We moved here about 25 years ago. The house had been lived in by a couple who had lived well into thier 90's, they and thier small family had lived off this plot.
The first year we lived here winter came early and after the long, cold winter we discovered the snowdrops and crocus, rhubarb and horseradish, spearmint and quince, currents and yellow ladyslippers they had planted. And I began my garden.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Do I believe in Fairys????????

Do I believe in fairies? I want to believe, I certainly believe in magic and mystery and imagination. I believe some things were never intended to be explained. some things just are.
I feel that if Sir Arthur Conan Doyle believed in fairies I should at least be open minded. But then does it really matter if they exist or not? They bring a promise of beauty, and balance to our lives. A sense of enchantment and the permission to dream.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I don't have anything to say!!!!!!!

Well actualy, I have plenty to say or I never would have started a blog. The problem is getting started, overcomming the blank page. I mean there will be people reading this...may-be. I am reminded of a statement made by Jacques Cousteau, the inventor of Scuba equipment. He was describing about a woman who in her youth, had served as a nurse on a ship that was sunk in battle, she had been rescued and now many years later had just been down in an underwater craft to see the wreckage, He said of her that now she would "be returning to the everyday adventures of life."

That statement has stayed with me, and made me alert to the everyday adventures. Those small moments like a sunset or the smell of ferns on warm summer day.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

I never thought.....but I shouldda known.

I never thought I would buy a computer
I never thought I would get on the internet
I never thought I would buy a digital camera
I never thought I would start a blog,

slightly wordy Slent Sunday on a road

Not every picture is worth a thousand words, but the memory it represents is.