Sunday, April 30, 2017

Not so silent Sunday with Guest blogger from Huffpost and an Iceberg

Iceberg Stops By Canadian Town, Just To Chill

“It’s the biggest one I ever seen around here.”

A town in Newfoundland received a high-profile visitor this month: a massive iceberg that has turned the little community of Ferryland into a tourist hotspot.
While the region is known for icebergs during this time of year, Canadian Press reported that this one drew hundreds of people over the weekend.
“It’s a huge iceberg and it’s in so close that people can get a good photograph of it,” Ferryland Mayor Adrian Kavanagh told the news agency. “It’s the biggest one I ever seen around here.”
Although the iceberg is about 15 stories high, that’s just 10 percent of its mass.
Most folks can’t wrap their heads around how big it is,” Barry Rogers, the owner of Iceberg Quest Ocean Tours, told The New York Times.
The iceberg was just as impressive from above as it was from land:
“Iceberg season,” which generally starts in April, has been especially busy this year, CTV reported. More than 615 icebergs have already been spotted in North Atlantic shipping lanes. Last year, there were 687 icebergs the entire season, which ends in September.
“There are certainly a significant amount of icebergs out there. When you look at the iceberg chart it’s truly incredible,” Rebecca Acton-Bond, acting superintendent of ice operations with the Canadian Coast Guard, told the CBC.
“Usually you don’t see these numbers until the end of May or June,” she said. “So the amount of icebergs that we’re seeing right now, it really is quite something.”
Experts attribute “uncommonly strong counter-clockwise winds” pulling icebergs south from Greenland, where they break from the ice sheet, for the rise in activity. The CBC said global warming may also be playing a role.
These icebergs are traveling a similar route as the one that struck the Titanic on April 14, 1912; the ship sank early on April 15, less than 400 miles from Ferryland, killing more than 1,500.
According to Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism, Ferryland was one of the homes of the Beothuk, a now-extinct indigenous people. Ferryland was also the site of a 17th-century colony called Avalon, the remains of which are currently being excavated. Today, it’s a popular spot for viewing birds, whales and ― of course ― icebergs.
“We love welcoming visitors to our province,” the agency wrote on its Facebook page. “Especially those of the glacial variety.”

Saturday, April 29, 2017

forythias, I alwaysthought they were magic

  The last  sunshine yellow blossoms are dropping like sunshine yellow raindrops in today fierce wind and rains, they cover the periwinkles glossy green leaves like so many fallen star sparks.

Most of the homes in that long ago and far away neighborhood where I spent a large part of my youth had forsythias growing somewhere hear the house.  Each spring they would bloom, without having any leaves, sometime even when snow was still on the ground.  I was sure these plants were magic.  So sure in fact  the first shrub I bought for my first home was a forsythia. 

The forsythias,  natives of southeastern Europe and China, are members of the olive family,which accounts for the rich olive oil fragrance of the cut branches.  During the 18th century Robert Fortune was sent to China, where most of the 11 species of forsythia grow, by the Royal Horticultural Society to find blue flowering peonies, and to learn about the varieties of peaches grown in the Emperor's gardens, and new varieties of tea.  The Chinese grew it mainly as an ornamental plant, however it is not considered toxic and was used to treat colds.

The Victorians, who assigned a meaning to almost all flowers chose Anticipation for the forsythia.  Which  seem more than appropriate to me. 

Unlike many other flowers the forsythias four petaled blooms only come in one color, an uplifting sunny yellow that against the drab browns of early spring is so welcome to a winter weary heart. I haven't been able to find any superstitions built around this flower , I like to think it is because it does signal the arrival of Spring. There was a mention of the forsythia's blooming starting the so called "onion and garlic snows". 

Forsythia Magic, Legends and Folklore 

by Patti Wiggington                                          

Forsythia is associated with anticipation and love. Image by SuperStock-PKS Media/BrandX Pictures/Getty Images

Sometime between Ostara and Beltane, you’ll probably start to see the bright yellow blooms of forsythia plants appearing. This early spring flower is associated with the sun, thanks to its yellow flowers, and it seems to have an uncanny ability to blossom without any care or tending whatsoever – it’s not uncommon to find random forsythia plants in full bloom at properties long since abandoned.

  • According to some legends, once the forsythia flowers begin to bloom, it means you’ll still have three more snowfalls before the winter is truly over.
  • During the Victorian era, flowers were assigned special meanings, as part of a “secret language of flowers.” The forsythia is associated with anticipation. Use forsythia in workings related to things you hope to see happen in the long-term. Also consider using it in divination workings – after all, knowing things in advance leads to anticipation!
  • Forsythia is a hardy plant that blooms with little to no maintenance – try using it in magical workings related to longevity and sustainability of your goals.
  • If you do any work with numerology, forsythia is associated with the number four. This in turn is connected to the four elements – earth, air, fire, and water – as well as the cardinal directions and the four seasons. Four is sometimes connected to creativity. In Chakra energy work, the heart is the fourth chakra, and so it relates to emotions and our compassion towards others.
  • Pagan author Laurie Cabot, in her book Love Magic, recommends clipping a few forsythia stalks and placing them in a jar of water on your altar to bring love your way – as the buds begin to open up and flower, so will your love life.
  • There’s a Korean legend that tells the story of man returning to his wife after a long journey, and finding her waiting by a forsythia bush. He was struck by her beauty, and vowed to never take their love for granted again.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


clock keeps on ticking
the shadows grow longer, longer
peacefully rockin'

Saturday, April 22, 2017

earth day remixed and remuddled

Each generation seems to think that it has reinvented the world and all things in it. How else can one explain the return of platform shoes?  And that isn't all,  consider the idea of saving the earth through being "Green".  I think it used to be called being frugal, "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without."  We once called it recycling
or repurposing.   I could spend hours watching Eugene Runcus of "Hillbilly Blood" repurpose all sorts of things, even making an air conditioner for his Moms car using scraps and castoff parts.   "Hillbilly ingenuity"  they called it, the thoughtful staff of the program also warned us some of these ideas could be dangerous and not to try them at home.

"Tyme" was, really "Olde Tyme" was, clothing was passed down, even written into wills. It must have been an honor to get garments someone had worn and loved.  Somewhere along the timeline, when cloth and later clothing were mass produced, the hand me down was invented, also the rag bag which was the forerunner of the paper towel, one guesses.  Buttons were carefully removed from old garments and put in a jar, these buttons and other tiny, decorative treasures were reused, sorting through the buttons was also something to do and daydream over on a rainy day.  Old clothes were often taken apart and made into quilts. not necessarily the colorful patterned bedding we think of but merely fabric carefully pieced and layer together to make a warm blanket.
Sadly clothing that had been out grown or was out of style , became "hand me downs".
A term much dreaded by those who find themselves wearing someone's, especially a sibling's "hand me downs" to school. 

As many of my  readers know I was around for the first Earth Day, a way back 47 years ago, and I was excited about it then and over time my excitement has turned to passion and that passion that has become a lifestyle.   


That's what Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin believed. He was disturbed that an issue as important as our environment was not addressed in politics or by the media, so he created the first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970. An estimated 20 million people nationwide attended festivities that day.

The First Earth Day - America's Library

Though I am far from a shinning example,  living gently on the earth is as close to a goal as I will ever have.  Along the way, I have learned a lot, sometimes a lot more than I wanted to know about repairing and repurposing things.  Learned how to use my internet machine  to explain to me how to fix things, and even to remake clothing  and repurpose other items.   I don't have recycling bins, I have a recycling room.  Anything I can buy second hand, I will.  Etcetera Etcetera Etcetera!  Also I won't buy things that have too much packaging. And I could keep in going, but that would be very dull, and preachy reading  indeed.

But "green" , no I'm not green, I'm well season wood when it comes down to it.


In truth this recycled thought, from a message sent to me on my internet machine, which is also recycled, from a friend who also lives in a house where recycling rules, though I wouldn't  exactly call us "green". 

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled,
so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.
But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, which we reused for
numerous things. Most memorable besides household garbage bags was the use of
brown paper bags as book covers for our school books. This was to ensure that
public property (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced
by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books. But, too bad we
didn't do the green thing back then.

We walked up stairs because we didn't have an escalator in every store and
office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a
300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We
didn't have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throw-away
kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up
220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early
days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always
brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right; we didn't have the green thing
back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And
the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a
screen the size of the state of Montana . In the kitchen, we blended and stirred
by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When
we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers
to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire
up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that
ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health
club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she's right; we
didn't have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a
plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with
ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor
instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we
didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to
school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We
had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a
dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal
beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest
burger joint.

But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were
just because we didn't have the green thing back then?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in
conservation from a smart ass young person...

We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss us

SilentSaturday, Silent earth day

~~Tess McNair

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Monday, April 17, 2017

To plant a garden

"To Plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow"
~~Audrey Hepburn

    Strangely, its not the days when the brilliant winter sun makes the snow on the roof melt and drip like summer's raindrops from the eves, but  on  the quiet  days with subdued light , a gentle  breeze much like the times before a spring rainstorm, only much colder, that  I miss my garden the most.   It's then, that  I want to curl up in the big comfy chair, drink coffee and  day dream over seed catologs.  When the first  catkins appear and the green tips of daffodils break through the frozen ground, I am ready to send for seeds.

But now a brief word about daffodils, because I do digress ALOT.  Anyroad, and I do mean any road that I travel at this time of year might have clumps of daffodils  dotted along side of it, in one area there are daffodils growing and blooming between the ties of an abandoned railroad.  Because daffodil bulbs are toxic, few if any creatures dig them up and eat them, so they remain long after the buildings and the builders of said buildings have left this vale of joy and tears, but still the fragrant yellow blooms return each year to mark their memories.  Stalwart messengers of spring, blooming year after year completely untended.

Ok. back to the seed catologs.   And there I sit, in front of the pellet stove watching those bits of stuff that look like rabbit pellets burn, sputter, flame as I day dream about growing huge tender, and flavorful vegetables in a nearly weed free garden where just the right amount of rain balances with just the right amount of sun, the frost doesn't stay too long or arrive too early, no deer jump the fences and take a taste of every bean, tomato or pumpkin.   Yes, I always day dream about the perfect garden, and what fabulous meals I am going to make from my vegetables.   There is no store bought cuke that will ever dare to compete withwith one fresh from the vine, peeled and sliced onto fresh bread, and topped with mayo and a dash of pepper.  A treat that can only be savored for a few weeks a year.  Each year I look forward to that treat.
And then there is the rich and varied experience of planting and harvesting your own food, perhaps even canning some of the extra.   Something that has been  part of my life for as long as I can remember, and probably longer.  I don't think that as a child I really appreciated home grown and home canned food, those pretty cans that lined the grocer's shelves were  much more modern and appealing.   The old fashioned ways were fun to watch, and it was fun to help plant and pick, but not something you would talk with your friends about unless you liked being call "a dumb farmer" or a "hick".   But with age comes perspective, so now I proclaim to the universe.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

haiku~~~Aprils full Moon

                                         ~~~Travis Heying | The Wichita Eagle via AP

Pink flowers, pink moon
warm atmosphere tricks the eye
under a clear sky

plowing~~~guest blogger

Gentlereader, now that the garden is tilled  and for a time, at least, the big jobs are done.   This piece on Clifton Clowers came to mind,...