Thursday, August 14, 2014

what happens when you stop micromanaging the lawn

and let the flowers in

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Memory can be a fine mesh sieve

the only thing worse than re-reading a book but not recall it until you're nearly at the end (and suddenly know how it ends)  is re-reading a book and finally remember  that not only did you read it a year ago, but you didnt like it then either.  Sigh.

Friday, August 8, 2014

It was a very bad day (6WS)

 arright arright, im coming, hold yer horses..
 damned humans,  heeeerrreee kitty kitty kitty  niiiice kitty go walkies?  yeah, right...
Some walkies.  All this damned green, all these horrible pine needles, they hurt my FEET.  Dont they know this is my NAP time?
 Where's the sidewalk?  The traffic?  This is a damned forest,  all she does is drag me out here and then disappears, expects me to follow her. Oh, please.
We just  keep walking and walking and walking--my feet hurt, im missing my nap, im thirsty and where the hell IS she...
Yep, there she goes again "there's a good boy, niiiice kitttty"  Oh wait. I heard something
 Oh god. what was that. Sounded like a of those vicious turkeys, I just know it is...
Oookay, that's it, she's hiding, and Im going home. I've had enough of this crap  She wants me, she knows where I'll be.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

We have been assimilated

It's happened.  Just got The Call from my husband in the grocery store.  He wanted to know if he should get this size or that size of coffee, and I said, get the one that's the better value.  He said, "but..." i said, you're doing the 'how many eggs do we have in the refrigerator' thing.  

He laughed, I laughed,  and I promise, I will never get/use a cell phone just because I can't remember if we need milk or not.  Ever.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Meditation with the sound turned down (6WS)

The first winter we spent in here, in 1976, was one of the more dreadful winters we had experienced. It was during  those years when we had gone back into a cold weather cycle, and it took us broadside. Temps went down to -20 and stayed there, and zero was considered a warming trend. We had only green oak (never trust avuncular wood guys, they dont hear what you need;  they hear what they think you need) to burn for most of the winter, and the parlor stove I guilted  my mother out of.  The dog would wake me in the morning, barking ferociously at his water dish, which had frozen solid over night.  He was never a fan of ice, lol.

One of the cats, weary of being cold all the time, royally expressed her annoyance by peeing in the dog's bed, all the way through all the old blankets, staring straight at me the entire time. If she had had a middle  finger, it would have been used.  Did it for an entire week at 5 am every morning, and then stopped.  The point had been made, and she managed to score a few points off the dog, too.

There was no running water, no washing machine, no indoor plumbing. The windows were covered with plastic sheeting to at least keep the wind out a bit. on a windy day it was like living in an iron lung,  as the plastic billowed in and out...
I had no driver's license and couldn't leave the house that long anyway, because the kitchen stove was good for three hours, and then it would go out as if it had been switched off.  Did I mention the roof leaked?

But.  And this is important. Neither one of us ever said, or even thought, this is ridiculous, why don't we just pack it in and go to town?  We didn't stay because of the cats or the dog, or because we were so broke we couldn't have afforded an apartment somewhere (which we weren't);  it quite simply never occurred to us to leave.  There were harder years, and colder winters, but we were more prepared for them, and had learned how to work around the hard parts.

 I finally understand that it has become, for us, a  meditation. For someone else  it might be the neighbor's apple orchard,  or the lake you visit every summer with a profound sense of coming home, and the long wait all winter to return.  It can even be an avocation (woodworking, pottery, photography...) chosen without the sense of "This instead of  That" in the process.  "This"  you say, solidly, "is what I am, and what I do."  It defines you, even as you define it within yourself.  For Harry Truman, (the Mt. St. Helen's guy, not the President) it was the mountain. When they came to bring him down from the mountain, he refused. It was his home, he said.  I can understand that.

It can also be the land you live on, the house you own.   It matters.

my mother in law, the least fanciful  of women, once said, 'this is a good place to heal". and she was right.

Friday, August 1, 2014


New sign on the board at my favorite church marquee:
"The King is Back!"

forgive me, but the first thing I thought of was, there's been an elvis sighting...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Been a busy summer

in several directions, and this place, sadly, has been mostly at the bottom of my priority list.  Not for reading, but for contributing.  (slaps the blog lady on the wrist--get your act together, lady, people are watching)  

however,  I did add a link to a place called  "Lope"  which I keep forgetting about and shouldn't>>>over there in the Interactive List.

Friday, July 18, 2014

By Golly I think we have it now (link to Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac)

(which is now also listed in the Interactive Stuff list)

Garrison Keillor

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Aizhai suspension bridge

If you dont use Bing as a home page... this link should take you to a gallery of views of an  incredible bridge.  I've always loved the Chinese landscapes,  there seem to be mountains all over the place, and it has made the Chinese  into incredible engineers in the process.   the slideshow is really worth the trip.

Aizhai suspension bridge

Saturday, July 12, 2014

garden, wood, lawn; lather, rinse, repeat (6WS)

--and I know when I've reached the pivot point of the summer when I start thinking "next year I need to do this and put  that over there" and understand that for this year I've done all the titrivating and tweaking I can do.  But by golly, next year...=)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Prepositional Phase

prepositional phase

where you are right now
between away and to

is not where i am
among the concerned leaves
down along the empty  hallways
beside and amidst the parted grasses

there will never be an after
without the before that came before
no here no there
no way around above or through
without me,  without you

the perhaps of you and I
has been overtaken by the now

why doesnt even enter into it
and that will have to wait for spring

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sorry, I've been off in all directions lately.

sometimes (as I think i have mentioned before) things happen in bunches.  all the water backs up in the dam and spills over (no no, that was a metaphor),  you go to the doctor and he says,  we need to have some blood work done.

The little oh oh light goes on in your head. 

So now I am making the rounds of osteo doctors, physicians,  blood work places.  The folder I started last winter now has a new one beside it.  Last winter it was about tests and scheduling and exams.  Physical Therapy.   This new one will probably be an extension of that,  with treatments and results as well. 

We're also in the middle of  finalizing the Land Trust for this place, and that takes up a fair size hunk of energy, mental and otherwise. 

I just fired my old reliable wood guy because he was becoming less than reliable and more expensive as well.  I hated to do it,  but at some point you have to stop making mental excuses for him, and move on. 

And I guess moving forward is what we do, every day. Sometimes a bit of backtracking, but it's still progress of a visible kind. 
this is a porcupine leaving,  totally fed up with my incessant picture taking;  I often feel this way,  just want to turn my back and walk away.  If i had his quills, I just might =)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

What happens when you don't take vacations from your vacations

Every year I do a bit of titrivating to the garden, much the way I used to rearrange furniture in different rooms;  next year, I say, I want peonies over there and maybe a bit of poppy for color...

and next year thats what I do.  This year however we have raised the bar a bit, and instead of replanting peonies and scaring the daylights out of unsuspecting jonquils when the new neighbors move in next door,  we have decided that stove A (parlor stove) really needs to  be in the dining room and stove B (log burner) really needs to be in the parlor.

From there it's like a rock dropped in a still pond.

In order to make this work properly, we have to change the kind and amounts of wood we will be using, and make a space for the new shorter stuff so that its easily accessible and more plentiful.  Before this, we  just culled out short bits and stored them on the attic stairs.  This year we are actually buying quantities, and it needs to be separate, and will be living on the porch. and arent you all fascinated by this. It will also be dumped on my lovely lawn.  sob.

We got more long wood last year than we could use, so we have to explain to the wood guy in short words and with a lot of arm waving and pointing, that no no we need short chunks and then 16-18" stuff.  12 cords total.  Then he tells me how much that will be and I go in the house and have a nervous breakdown.

And of course due to global warming last winter was, by some accounts, one of the mildest on record (whose record, and which southern tropical island did they take the readings from)--it was so mild  that Florida had snow and Louisiana got to practice driving sidways in snow with one foot on the brake and one on the gas...and we had such a mild winter that we actually burnt 13 cords of wood.  three years ago we were averaging  8 to 9.

Monday, June 30, 2014

not for the faint of heart (2nd chorus)

i have been having problems with a new website,  and someone suggested installing Opera as a browser;  don't ever try this at home...

I got part way through the install process and in order to proceed it asked me if I wanted at least three tool bars, including an instaweather one, a music all the time one, and a calendar. I said no, not really.  further down the line it said you really need to install this WONDERFUL registry scan program, and proceeded to do so.  It told me I had over a 1,000 harmful errors in the registry (implying that if I didnt Do Something the entire western world would collapse into the ocean. No thank you, I  said.

Undaunted, they tried to give me the same registry scan and I stopped the install.  However I had to uninstall the basics from the Uninstall program (there were five) and then go into the registry and delete the bits they had oh so conveniently left behind. There were lots.  They even installed a shortcut button on my desktop, which I deleted.

Now, two days later, I find that like puppies around an empty food dish the Opera program is still sitting on my desktop with its tail wagging hopefully.  I clicked on the short cut button and it started barking and leaping and I dumped it. Again. 

And as a special added attraction, I find that this little number has been haunting me for a week;  even have begun  humming snatches of it (quelle horreur) when no one is looking. It needs a new home.  Im sure it will love it at yours.
Henery the Eighth

Saturday, June 21, 2014

in case any body was wondering (6WS)

im still here. still breathing.  the solar storms are raging,  there are flutterings of the magnetic poles,  someone is now trying to blame our cool summers here in New England on you-know-what  and Al Gore is beginning to sound uncomfortably like the man carrying the sandwich sign that says "repent of your sins, we are doomed".

however, its a beautiful weekend and i have been enjoying it to full advantage.  Charlie ate a baby turkeylet the other day,  much to the consternation of the baby's mother and me,  and this morning I caught him stalking three full grown hen turkeys, obviously with designs on their ediblity.

this could turn out to be a long expensive summer, lol.

Oh, and happy solstice,  everyone.  It's been a long long wait, hasn't it.

Friday, June 13, 2014


Windows7 works very well.  we just installed it about  a month ago (why rush into these things, right) and aside from a few unhappy moments it has been a  nearly intuitive process.


There is always a however, isnt there.  In this particular OS,  Word has integrated itself with all text functions.  If I  misspell  a word in Outlook, Word underlines it in wobbly red.  If I forget the apostrophe, it adds it.  If I decide to type teh for the,  it gets corrected.  I have managed to turn of the wobbly red line,  but teh and apostrophe's still get corrected, as does waht, taht, etc. Lord help us all if I have occasion to email a Mr. Taht.  Who does exist, I just checked.

Last week something arrived in my Inbox and before I had a chance to open it the Officious Email Police informed me that this was a potentially dangerous website and could be sending me potentially dangerous email.  And promptly deleted the mail.

Now and then I do like to get out on that high wire with "Potential Virus" hanging over my head like a malevolent crow,  but Microsoft no longer allows me that thrill.

and if anyone has a clue as to how to delete that damn spell check from my email, you will be my bestest friend forever.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Monday, June 9, 2014


she was very good at details; I valued her opinion on projects that would, ultimately, involve her

she was a connoisseur of gardens and catnip in particular

and where she trod, she trod carefully and lightly

Saturday, June 7, 2014

mow mulch dig mow mulch wait (6WS)

(and sometimes all that effort pays off )

                                                    Alium and Solomon's Seal                      


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Not a bad way to spend a Saturday

As part of the Easement process here,  Moose Mountain Regional Greenways (our  Easement holder) will be sponsoring three or four walks/tours  a year,  wholly staffed and sponsored by them.  Saturday  we had the first.
I can only imagine what the neighbors must have thought, seeing 15+ cars in a long train (this is truly back of beyond countryside) heading up the road...several neighbors got involved too  (great if exhausting way to meet folks),  and off we went, covered in Deet and sporting an amazing assortment of walking sticks, canes, and bits of tree limbs for support.
It was surprising how many botanists, bird people, and flat out nature observant people there were.  We found lady slippers (to my surprise), lotsa skiddy wet leaves, which is the quick way to get down a steep hill, black flies, mosquitoes, ticks. I was at the tail end of things,  and to look ahead and see this conga line of enthusiastic people was both encouraging and funny at the same time.  They pondered the meaning of scratch marks on beech trees (bears was the general consensus),  of linden trees and hop hornbeam;  we admired the mountain view from the edge of our neighbor's field and probably nine gazillion pictures were taken along the way.
I am still a bit wired from it, but pleased and surprised at the turnout.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

gardening is never a straight line (6WS)

Head out to plant the tomato plants which are now languishing in teeny pots and looking like gangly teenagers,  and three hours later they are still sitting beside the  garden,  and you have moved from pulling weeds to mulching,  you've mowed one side lawn,  started turning the compost bin,  and are now hunting for the bag of lime and the lopping shears...

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

C.E. Chaffin 1954-2013

I was searching about the web,  wondering how CE was doing, and this one hit me smack in the face.  It may not mean a lot to many people who read here but anyone who was writing and online in the last 15 years or so may remember Melic Review both as a poetry crit board and as a lovely online poetry magazine, one of the few at that time who would accept work exclusively online.
He was the first online publisher (and only one actually) who ever took my work, and we were friends for several years while Melic was still online.
I shall miss him, and even just the fact of him online.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Too Much Green is Just Enough (6WS)

I have dug and mowed and mulched and mowed and planted and mulched and mowed and rearranged and dug and discovered ticks and black flies and mowed and it is now raining, and I can stop doing stuff.
As a friend of mine is fond of saying,  "I have leaped onto my horse and am about to ride off in all directions", and I never understand that more than when summer arrives.

All the apple trees are in full flower,  the lilacs and early peonies are one step away from  blooming.  This is the time of year I really like best,  when the tidying up is done and all those wonderful varied mounds of green are about to turn into something else.  All that potential, all those possiblities.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

It's raining on my new lawnmower (6WS)

but I dont care.  its new, its shiny, nothing clanks or bangs or falls off. the old one was a gift from a neighbor who didnt want to spend the extra $$$ to have it repaired--so we cobbled a few bits together and it ran well if not perfectly for at least six or seven  years here.  But Thursday it breathed its last death rattle and I do mean rattle,  and we realized that it was Over.

Friday, May 9, 2014

To get the heart started

just found this elsewhere, it reminds me of the old Atari games

Monday, May 5, 2014


6 months ago I had blood work done for my yearly physical.  One of the tests, I was informed, might  be expensive, and they didn't think my insurance would  cover it. I said, since this is the reason I'm having the blood work,  I guess I'll just take my chances.

I got a notice about three months ago that Blue Cross had paid part of it, Medicare had paid the rest, and I owed nothing.  Oh GOOD I thought.

Last month I got a bill from the Lab where the bloodwork had been done.  For the full amount.
Sooo I called Blue Cross and the nice lady there spent a good fifteen minutes on the phone with the Lab people, and then said,  you're all set.  They said they didnt get the notice until after the bill went out two weeks ago...(which was also a flaming fib, since the bill was dated two days before I got it)

Last week I got a bill from the Lab, stamped  OVERDUE.

Soooo i called Blue Cross, and we went through the same process.  This time when the girl got back to me she sounded a bit sweaty.  As if she had Had Words with someone Difficult.  She assured me crisply that the bill had been paid and I should be getting No More Bills.  I said, what if they send me one.  There was a pause and she said,  "Ignore it."

I can hardly wait for Round 3.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Milestone: One toe over the line (6WS)

We all have 'em:  first time someone calls you 'sir' or 'ma'am" in a store,  turning 21,  turning a decade over,  your driver's license,  retirement, medicare,  the first time somebody asks if you'd like the senior discount, and later on, just assumes.  ow.

Today another first:   in the grocery store the very young (maybe 13) clerk looked at my mounded cart full of stuff and said,  "ma'am, would you like help with that out to the car?"

Saturday, April 26, 2014

In my travels, I found this:

Even if you don't read all of it, read a bit. Dip your toes in.  Im not sure the URL takes, if not, copy and paste it, somewhere.  Its worth the effort

Ohhh and by the way, somewhere between and here and over there we passed the 20,000th post event.... how cool is THAT...yay

whoever gave me this, thank you (6WS)

the cough the wheeze 
the sudden sneeze
this cold has brought me to my knees
my head feels like it's fulla bees

Thursday, April 24, 2014



          Youve got to admire this kind of singleminded devotion to duty

                                               (click on the image to enlarge it)

Monday, April 21, 2014

sometimes one picture...

Words of way too many syllables dept.

(names changed to protect the embarrassed) found in one of the local papers:

"X  X  poses for a portrait yesterday with the road the town of  X built on her property as an access road to a water tank a couple of years ago over her left shoulder."