Wednesday, May 25, 2016

sometimes I am such a stupid

that little search box up there just above and to the high left of  the post box...type in a word or phrase and it will magically take you (or me) to allll the posts with that word or phrase in it.

I spend two days  hunting for my old posts about when we bought the  new woodstove.  type in "wood" or "stove" and bob's your uncle, there it is,with all the other posts that reference it.

whacking myself on the forehead

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Setting the Goals Making Visible Progress (6WS)

Last fall was devoted, not to garden cleanup but to getting as much wood in the shed as we I could.   And of course we were drawing from outside, and didnt touch the shed wood until the day before Christmas.

I dont usually winterize the plants, they are all pretty hardy, and those that pretend to be, like the butterfly bush, will die in two years anyway,   Ordinarily i do give everything a final coat of mulch, but I never did get back to the lawn.  So I just leave what's there until spring. Which happened this week, with a roar and a nasty chuckle.

After a winter of relative idleness (apparently feeding stoves and napping doesnt count as work),  the muscles have turned, if not to jelly, but to old lady legs and arms.  it always takes about a week of bend-and-stoop-and-whine  to get the muscle memory awake and working.

The only way I've found to do that without causing too much damage, is to set narrow-edged goals that leave room in either direction for continuing or stopping.  The mental muscle memory appreciates this.   As I carve out a chunk of garden that has an incredible amount of witchgrass already, I tell myself,  "okay,  to that plant. Ill do all these and then stop when I get there..."  At first, it's a struggle to get to that point, but after a few days Im making bigger goals with tougher demands. It sounds complicated, but it's the only way I can force myself to keep going.  In a week or so Ill be out there half the day without even noticing.  Right now it's hell with a spading fork.

One of the few times I heartily wish for strong sons (or even grandsons)...

Monday, May 16, 2016

well it is only May, what can you expect

I won't put the picture up. It's too cruel.

This morning it was 28 deg. when I went out on the porch to pick over some wood for a morning fire. Then I looked at the roof of the shed, and thought, hey, I don't have white shingles up there...

And on the tarps covering the wood behind the house

It's snowing right now, ever so lightly. I'm trying not to look.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Friday, May 6, 2016

The minefield called "Mother's Day"

I got email today from a site I visit regularly,  suggesting that if I want to send my mother a pretty gift, sign up here...

It sort of took me off balance,  I don't really remember ever getting this kind of email solicitation before,  and I found it disturbing and invasive.  Not sure why.   And later today nearly the same thing happened at another site, suddenly there's a big old drop down window covering the screen,  suggesting that I might like to do "something nice" for "mom".

Part of the disturbing aspect is the assumption on the part of what amounts to total strangers that 1), you have a mother, 2), you actually need to be reminded that you have one, and 3)., they are all too willing to let you spend your guilt money at their site.

My mother's been dead for 17 years.  I doubt if I need to send her a card, a gift, or a greeting.  We were not always on the best of terms anyway,  and it's the assumption that we are/were that scalds me.  I keep thinking of those people who are still struggling with loss, suddenly being smacked in the face with one of these guilt laden invitations.  ouch.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Checking in--yay it's stil raining

Not much going on around here, unless you consider the rain

I was thinking the other day,  if you take into account the seven month drought last summer that stretched from March to September here, and the lack of fall rains after that, and the appalling lack of snow in this region (maybe three or four inches all winter), that pretty much turns into a year long drought.
It is now raining, slowly, gently, and has been for over a week. It looks like we may get showers for another week, daily.  I am so not complaining.

Just found this weather/drought site,  it's really fascinating.  You can find your state, zip code, region, whatever, and it's pretty current.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Small Learning Experience

It once was, that if you hit "next blog" at the top of the page you would be given a random blog to view with pleasure, alarm, horror, or boredom.  There were times when I could be treated to all of the above and a few more emotions, in the space of ten blogs or so.  When I found one that appealed, I'd read into it, maybe bookmark it, maybe start to follow it.  And then on to the next.

Now, it seems, Blogger has decided if you seem even slightly interested (ten seconds seems to be a kind of bench mark, apparently) in a blog on, say, birds,  well, by gosh and by  golly that's what you get.  Hover too long over the marshes of a distant preserve, or read into a gardening blog or two, and suddenly you are seeing marsh birds, endless images of gardens,  and birds in gardens.  Where have the other blogs gone?

This morning I decided, as much as I wanted to read about bushtits and upland lakes,  I was going to try to wrestle my blog hunting away from Blogger.   Fifteen tries later I broke free of the bird lovers and plummeted into the gardening.  Undaunted, I kept moving.  More birds, more gardens. Aha, porn. oh, wait...

Fast forward to economics, a few political blogs, ducking the golden eagle swooping over the marshlands again,  dodging owls in their native habitat, and came up upon an unhappy mother and her unhappy life. One more click and I found myself staring at a Japanese entepreneur making and selling handbags.  I rested there for a bit, let Blogger catch up with me, and maybe tomorrow I can find a wider range.

Once I escape the Luis Vittons and the Coach bags.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Statement of Policy concerning Early Spring (6WS)

I refuse to garden in a winter jacket

It is  my considered judgement that wooly hats and mittens clash with lawn mowers  and it's hard to pull the rip cord in mittens

Sunburn, yes. Frostbite, no.

I will wear rubber boots out there but do draw the line on wool socks and fleece-lined mukluks

If I have to shovel a path to the garden shed, maybe we should wait a week or two, ya t'ink?

It's also very hard to turn a compost heap when it's still a 4X4 block of ice with twigs embedded in it

Thursday, April 14, 2016

thirteen of them (Jaudo13) (Thursday 13)








E enjte


Dydd lau

thu nem




Wednesday, April 13, 2016


You go into a new forum, and are confronted with about five screens of sign-in 'security" code.   Your address, repeated.  your magic question.  your password (oops, it has to be 12 letters and numbers, no two consecutive, lower and upper case);  your date of birth.  your screen name (ohhh sorry, that one's been taken) --and so have all of these.

now comes the little box with the strange swirly looking letters, pink and yellow on a white background. No clue as to how many there really are, (is that a sideways number or part of the design...) or if you need to use upper and lower case...oops, sorry, try again.  (you have three more tries and then, sir, or madam, you will have to start over)   oops, sorry.  you have used up your tries.  Start over please.  e-mail address? no, that's been taken----

All this to enter a forum where you want to ask a single question about one item.  and by this time I have totally forgotten the question,  lost the site address,  and no longer care.

By contrast, all I have to do is go into my local bank and 'look familiar" and they will give me my savings account number.  No ID necessary.

(shakes head. wanders off)

Saturday, April 9, 2016

I miss the Five and Dime (6WS)

1. the narrow board squeaky hardwood floors

2. goldfish and turtles at the back of the store beside the potted plants

3. the snack bar with the red vinyl seats and a foot rail to hold your packages

4. the notions aisle

5. the popcorn machine at the entrance

6. the parrot

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Fast Forward

8 years ago today I started this blog, with trepidation
and not much hope of it going anywhere.  it's a small thing,
as these things go, but it's mine, and like Gollum, I cling
to the rocks and shoals of it, waiting for the shiny parts.

44K pageviews, 22 followers (several of whom have wandered
off), and a LOT of photos.  It's been fun.

Every day is the first day, and the last.

Then again, I guess it's that way anyway. These days I wake up
a little surprised that I woke up at all, and glad to be here.

and here. Thank you for taking the trip with me. It's a lot more fun
with company in the passenger seat.

13 cool things about bread

1.When it's done baking the smell fills the house
2. Making bread is great exercise
3. Always knead it longer than the recipe tells you to
4. It has to be truly awful to be inedible, sorta like cheesecake
5. Toast
6. More toast
7. If you're the bread baker in the group, people say, ooooo.  you bake BREAD?
8. If you're not, you wish you were
9. Yeast is magic
10. Once you get over the idea that yeast is a living organism...
11.  It rewards all the work when you open the oven and it smiles up at you
12. A sandwich wouldnt be a sandwich without it
13. Oh, have some more toast

Thursday 13

Sunday, April 3, 2016

A very long walk

100 years ago this part of New England was just recovering from almost total deforestation;  farmers had found new and more efficient ways to manage the land, sons and daughters were now working in towns,  and the once ubitquitous farm land was reverting back to fields, truck gardens, and forest.  In the late 1800s NH was 90% agricultural land,  by the end of this last century it had reversed itself, despite our sincere efforts to pave anything that didn't fight back.

Places like this took less of a direct hit because of the topography, and the trees crept back steadily as there was less and less need for grazing land and huge acreage for crops.  This particular bit of land was scraped down to bedrock by the glaciers, carving large tracks for the melt that followed.  I suspect that thousands of years ago there were serious rivers in each valley, all of them heading down to what would someday be towns, and lakes, and larger rivers.

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `

The biggest concern was the rain: would it?

It started to rain the minute people began arriving for the walk;  35, more or less, amazingly enthusiastic people.  It continued to rain while the two tree guys introduced themselves and we huddled like refugees waiting for the walk to begin.  It rained harder as we marched off into the woods. Some people actually brought umbrellas =)

we had originally suggested splitting the group into two separate parties, one to go west and one to go east but the organizers felt we needed to stay together.  

This is one of the stone walls that divide one pasture from another deep in the woods at the bottom of the valley.  to the right you can see how steep it is.  

this is basically the same area, only looking the other way, up the side of the other valley.  At the bottom, one of our tree experts is showing us about a basswood tree,  one of only a few that we have. They LOVE finding stuff like that. =)

We decided to take the easy route (most of the people on the walk were  over 50, some I suspect were even over 80), through the admittedly sloppy valley.  At some point one of the wood fellas hopped a wall and we found ourselves trekking upward toward the beech ridge.  It was a lot like that part in the Hobbit where the  hobbits are inexorably shunted downward, toward the Evil Tree, only in this case we were being somehow propelled up.  Since snags and downed trees blocked the way down, over and over,   up seemed the way to go.  Suddenly we all agreed that since we were here, yes, yes, the beech ridge would be lovely.

this is the end of the beech ridge path, leading to the neighbor's field and the really cool view.  He's very generous about sharing the view, and it never disappoints.

 And this is one corner of the pasture, (yes, it was still raining.  endlessly)

Below that  photo is the overlook, on a good day you can see the ocean, 40 miles away.  

We turned back, to come back to the main house, all along the beech ridge but going the other way.  Once there my husband said, hey, let's take the OTHER walk too and everyone said, oboy and off they went.  My jacket was thoroughly soaked, and I was starting to forget what toes feel like, so I came in, stoked up the fire, and had one of my power naps in the rocker.

An hour later they all trooped back, having taken not only the scenic route but the long loop,  a complete journey of nearly three miles.  yikes.

As they left, the rain stopped.  The sun came out almost immediately.  Of course.  And last night, just to make sure we didnt get too excited about spring, we were given two inches of snow. Nature's answer to "spring? Can't last,  don't get used to it..."

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Before dawn, this morning, a woodcock (6WS)

One of the uglier birds out there, but for me, always a sign that the seasons are progressing the way they should.  I went out to get kindling for the morning fire, and sure enough, I heard the whistle and that nasal "peent peent peent" overhead.
They have a tendency to sit smack in the road or field (if I close my eyes you cant seee me) and only when you approach too closely do they fling themselves upward and fly away.   Once your heart stops pounding and settles back in your chest you realize you have just terrified a Woodcock.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Addendum /Link alert

this is a link to an earlier post that describes the process a bit more clearly:


At the moment everything is in stasis:  a bit of rain, a bit of snow,  a LOT of wind.  Not much to write about (and I so do not want to discuss Scary Politics here) and unless you are fascinated by the processes involved in de-mousing a closet,  I will draw a tasteful veil over that and promise I am still around, if not visible.
Tomorrow if it doesn't rain we are going on what is called a Site Walk with MMRG (Moose Mountain, our Land Trust people), with two very interesting tree experts and probably 30 people total.  This is what I wanted to have happen,  that it become a place to learn stuff about the way trees mature, the way forests mature and change, and why a messy 'natural' forest is the place where wildlife actually live, rather than just pass through to get to the good stuff.   This IS the good stuff.

I'll try to remember to take photos.

Last year we had 20 or so, that the sight of them winding their way across the land in a kind of careful conga line was both gratifying and hysterical at the same time.

And now I must go tidy up the porch. It's been a repository for wood and bits all winter, and it's begun to look as if there should be a wringer washing machine at one end and an old washtub at the other.  =(

Friday, March 25, 2016

They are calling this 'ice pellets" now

     I don't care what March came in as, but it's surely going out as a Yeti...

Monday, March 21, 2016

Words of one Syllable department

One of the coupons from my KMart purchases yesterday:

                                 5% OFF
                    APPAREL PURCHASE


Role Play??? is this now Kinky Mart?

On another front, my new microwave (in two languages and every other line is a safety warning) tells me that I  MUST keep my microwave clean and I MUST never clean the oven while it's plugged in --but as an alternative,  it says if you cannot access the plug, be sure to keep the door open while you clean it.  er.  Unless you are very very tiny, this is almost a given...

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Something is tugging at my sleeve (6WS)

1)  I now have one of those annoying little pill box strips that not only reminds you to take your pills but also tells you what day it is,  instead of staring at a blank calendar and realizing that in order to know what day it IS, you have to know what day it WAS...

2)  it took me three tries yesterday to figure out how to spell cupboard.  Two tries to get deciet deceit  right.

3)  I can still add, multiply and subtract,  but division is beginning to elude me;  this is not good.  I was never in the top forty when it came to math,  but at least I could handle division.

4)  My handwriting is now illegible enough to confuse even me. I would like to blame the computer for that, and do so frequently, but still...

5)  Last year my closest friend (who is 94 this year) called to tell me she had written me a real letter, and when it came I decided the least I could do was respond in kind.  After I found the paper, an envelope, and a pen.  It covered a full sheet and half the back side, and by the time I was done, a half hour later,  I was exhausted.

6)  I have mastered the 15 minute Chair/Book Nap and the instant Asleep at the Keyboard Nap which hints at  the  terrifying  possiblity of Supper Naps in the future...

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Looseleaf Notes, colleen, if you're out there...

It would seem that your blog has been taken over by
someone selling tea.  Im assuming this is not your doing,
and you have been visited by the Redirect Monster...
No matter where or how  I click, it comes up tea...