Monday, June 27, 2016

Saturday, June 25, 2016

New buddies-- report

At least the cats are getting along

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Poem for June

At The Other End of the Journey

she wonders at the lack of inspiration
worries that she isn't worried more
somewhere the words have withered in their sleep
she worries that she isnt worried more
sometimes at night she wakes and feels the music
that comes from finding lines that cut her deep
but knows she'll never finish this one either
rolls over, sighs, and settles back to sleep
in the morning she remembers waking to the call
ponders what the words were that she lost
and even though she understands the bargain
would prefer to have the music, regardless of the cost

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Monday, June 13, 2016

Some Days are Better Than Others

--at least so far

We have two cats. One, Charlie, is the stray we found on the wall two years ago.

The other one, Toby, is half of the bonded males we got about five years ago.  When Charlie arrived there was a certain amount of huffing and puffing and my husband for some reason decided that we should keep them separated.

Soooo. the cat screen doors went back on, and Toby lived upstairs while Charlie was lord of the downstairs.  They eventually began having friendly little pawfights under the door, and stropping back and forth across the screening.  It bothered me.  I knew they were making friends.  No, no, he said. what if Toby (who is uncatchable) gets hurt?  I understood his reluctance;  we have never been able to catch Toby or even pat him.  He accepts us, but we can't touch him. god only knows what his previous owners did to him and  his buddy Sammy...

Today I got him in a weakened moment (My husband, not the cat)  and  said, let's try.  So I swung open the screen door across the bedroom, and the one downstairs in the hall.   no one seemed too excited, lol.   After about a half hour Charlie opened his eyes, wandered into the bedroom to see what was in the food dishes.  I looked in,  and he was washing Toby's head.  awwwwww

I think its going to be okay.

Addendum:  we found them in the front bedroom, side by side, sitting in the window.  I can't stop grinning.  Toby is used to snuggling with another cat,  and   I think it put Charlie off a bit at first, but apparently  he's getting used to the attention.   Im more pleased for Toby's sake, he was so lost after the other cats died, and he's really been totally alone (as far as cat buddies go) for two years.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

This old house in bits

this is why I gave up on scraping down the door:  the white paint went on, as they say, straight from the can, and heavy. under that is/was a dull flat grey with the tenacity of cement, and under that this original paint which the camera interprets as semi navy blue but in reality is more of a sapphire.  That the woodwork was a dull pale green seemed not to matter, lol.  by god someone got hold of a bit of blue paint and they wanted to use it. =)

This is a corner of the mantel in the dining room.  The dentils are all hand done, and whoever painted it used the same white paint and almost totally obscured the detail.  The paint used  had the holding power of putty;   I could go just so far before I felt like I was going to do more damage than good to it.  Its this color, truly, underneath.  You wonder why anyone felt the need to paint this at all

And this is the mantel in the parlor.  This part of the mantel is where I stopped trying to dig out the white paint that someone had slopped over the other three or four coats on the dentils.  the carving on this is just lovely.  the left hand upright molding on the side, you can see, has a remainder of the black paint all the fireplace wood was painted with at the time.  That silver looking band on the bottom is the front edge of the heavy aluminum flue cover, to keep the birds out and the smoke heading in the right direction.  

I wanted to get a nice shot of the greeny grey paint but the camera insists its a lovely pale grey and I refuse to get in  a shouting match with a camera at this point.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Garden in the fog

still life with cart

elderberry bushes

the first poppy, purple alium,  solomon's seal

lol everything looks more intriguing in the fog

Saturday, June 4, 2016

This is just plain fun

Be warned, those of you who remember this game from years back, it's gotten more complicated, and I think more fun.

Ron., I know how you LOVE these things...


Thursday, June 2, 2016

Thursday 13 Book List

for once I've been keeping track of my reading through the entire year--so far, since  January,  I've managed to cull out 13 that are worthy of saving, and reading again.  Tried some new authors this year,  and some very old (as in classics I never got to yet) ones,  it's fairly eclectic.  It's always a bit disappointing to reread old favorites and find that, like the Campbell's Soup you loved as a kid, this too seems to have lost its flavor.  The Terry Pratchetts are rereads, as is The Samurai's Garden.  Some I've had around for years and never really got into:  Antonia Fraser,  Edwin O'Connor,  P.D. James...

1. The Night of 400 Rabbits   Elizabeth Peters 

2. The Attorney                    Steve Martin

3. The Samurai's Garden      Gail Tsukiyama

4. Everything She Ever Wanted   Ann Rule

5. Dorchester Terrace          Anne Perry

6. The Night Watch            TerryPratchett 

7. Family Man                   Calvin Trilling

8. All In The Family         Edwin O'Connor

9. The Lincoln Lawyer     Michael Connelly

10. Low Country              Anne Rivers Siddons

11. Thief of Time             Terry  Pratchett

12. Marie Antoinette         Antonia Fraser

13. Death In Holy Orders    P.D. James

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Just one Thing:

Over the years, both on message boards and now on blogs, Ive noticed a strange phenomenon--if someone happens on a temporarily unused topic, or discovers that this post has passed its sell-by date, they will not comment, no matter how much they want to.  "Oh bother," she'll say,  and leave.
I asked someone once why you DO that and she said, well, no one is using it...

Do you know how little sense that actually makes?

What I'm heading for here, is this;  if you stroll back through some of my posts (and  not just mine, but anyone's out there) and find something to comment on, for the lord's sweet sake do so.  If the blog is obviously current, there's a good chance the author will see the comment, and maybe even respond.

Now and then I find older posts by people that are just riveting, and if I do comment, sometimes I'll get an answer back very quickly.  People like to know that their older stuff gets read, too.  We've become too  much of a rip and read culture,  and that's kind of a shame.

Bloggers love comments. Even if its on a five  year old topic,  it still counts.  And I guarantee you, comment, and you'll probably get a response from me.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Hot Humid Green Glowing Leaves Flowers (6WS)

not to mention ticks, black flies,  mosquitoes
and birds that never STOP, already.

 I've done everything but roll in the fresh cut grass and that may be next.

 I am not even complaining


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