Friday, July 29, 2011

A Mini-Snake on a Mini-Break

Hi, all!

Well, I've done a huge batch of pickles; an even huger batch of green beans; and a modest batch of Gravenstein applesauce.  Lots and lots still to go!  It's fast and furious now.

Thank you everyone!  Beth, Vicki, Linda, David, Carolyn, Barbara--what wonderful comments on my debt-ceiling post!  I am so gratified for hearing your heartfelt concerns, right here, real time..blogging.  Love you all and wish we could all gather together for an evening around the campfire, so to speak!  

And here's my only photo for the week.  Too hot, too busy, too tired at the end of the day when I resolved to post something at least....and yesterday's trip to the landfill and blacktop city nearly did me in!  I know it was at least 100 degrees on that asphalt parking lot!  Home again, as evening was coming on, I plopped down in a chair on the porch ....

...and just then, this little garter snake peeked over the edge of my in-process pool, which now has four resident frogs ....and a mini-snake!  Took this shot when it was practically pitch dark.  No kidding.  And no flash (didn't want to blind the poor critters! ) Watched the snake as his tongue crept out from its mouth ever so ssssssss-l-o-w-l-y, apparently testing the ambient smells!

Again, thank you!  Have a good weekend, all.  I'll be back to visit from time to time, so don't go away!  Meanwhile, I am keep an eye on all your posts, including your very special one, Elora, on London and your upcoming Vancouver trip!  Give Victoria, BC a super big hug from me.  Used to live at Duncan, --more like Cowichan Station--remember?  Have a great trip!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Impasse on The Yellow Brick Road

Well, here it is, folks. The Debt-Ceiling Crisis. And so, at the hands of all politicians, be it Repugicans or Democrass....the losers are--as always--us. But hey! They've got theirs. What else matters? If you get my point.   It occurs to me that we no longer live in a DEMocracy. We live in a PLUtocracy. I remember my mom talking about the "plutocrats" as though they were a disease way back in the 40's when I was a toddler. And, you know what? She was right.

Definition of plutocracy via Wikipedia:

Plutocracy is rule by the wealthy, or power provided by wealth.

And then there's the "corporotacracy." Rule by corporations (who are now individuals, just like you and me according to our crooked Supreme Court)....oh, my. I said it!

See what hot weather does to one?!

Incubates bad feelings! You don't want to think about this too long. It's not good for your health!

Sickening, as it were. And all this White House show of in-good-faith "negotiating..." What theater! An award-winning puppet show, to be sure. Worthy of an Oscar. And do "they" think we don't have a brain? Well, if you think the "news" on Google represents the real concerns and issues of the day, perhaps you need to re-evaluate. Bread and circuses.

For example, tell me you're really waiting breathlessly every evening to learn "what the stock market did" for the day. Are you excited, waiting for the "news" of just how much the bankster profits increased for the day? In your search for reality, you might want to make a stop to visit Dorothy on the Yellow Brick Road:

Some of her friends are still looking for a brain. And where is the Wizard?

OTOH, if you want a little encouragement in overcoming your cynicism, sign up for the online Picks Of The Week from YES! Magazine. It will do your heart good to see that others have wonderful ideas for transforming our sick country back to vibrancy. Worth a look. And if you are motivated by their bright, sparkling ideas (I am!) send them a donation, roll up your sleeves, and begin rebuilding America. And BTW, where are the protest marches? Or are we just too busy...?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Easy on the Eyes

It was one of those not-so-rare beautiful evenings out here, JOTOLR...

Watching that big ole moon, rising above us all....

and the waning sun hand-painting a magical backdrop to a lovely (and cooler) end-of-day!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Living Slowly on the Run

Good morning from West Virginia!

I know I've been AWOL.  But if you saw our garden, you'd sympathize with me!  It's huge beyond words! Dimensions are 280 by 60 feet plus the vineyard and gourd patch.  And amidst the recent heat wave, weeeeeeeeding and weeeeeeding and weeeeeeping water out of my forehead about as fast out as I can drink it back in...well...I just plain played out the energy into making our food for the coming year!  Thought I would stick my head back in here and look around the empty room to see if anyone noticed my absence and tidy things up before going back to the salt mines, so to speak! 

We don't have air conditioning so we keep doors (with screens on them) open all night, watch the Atomic clock in the morning for convergence of outside and inside temperatures before closing all the doors when outdoor and indoor reach balance.  It's the art of keeping cool in a fabulously designed house that takes the hot air out the tromb wall and out, and sucks in the cool when evening arrives. We've been able to maintain a 20-degree difference:  94 outside 74 inside.  Not bad.  I've draped old tablecloths and sheets (both white) over sun-splashed windows, keeping the living room and dining room in total shade.  And, it's really paid off!  We've been very comfortable downstairs.  Upstairs (where the computer is located) has been another matter.  Toward sundown, things have heated up to where it's stuffy and too warm. the doors and wait for evening to bring relief!

The tomatoes are blooming like crazy.  Same with the cukes.  Canning season is just around the corner.

How are you all doing through this summer so far of drought and exotic thunderstorms and dust bowl conditions?

Beth, that flower is an Astilbe.  Perennial.  And it was truly that bright.  It's faded now, and I look forward to more flowers on it next year.  This was the first year with it.

Don't wait up for me.  I'll drift in and out of this blog-home as I can grab some photos that you'll enjoy.  Taking life slowly while on the run!

Love you all,

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Too Hot!

Can't believe it's Friday!  Where did the week go???!!  Been too busy, too wrapped up in garden, keeping things watered, weeding, worrying (about weather anomalies that we can't control and should not worry about!), and all manner of excuses for not blogging.  Perhaps the best excuse is that it's just too HOT! to sit upstairs at the computer and type! 

I always think of July 4th as being midway through the summer.  And the corn, of course, should be knee-high by this time...and it is!  Sweet corn's on the menu soon! Meanwhile, we're into salads using baby kale, pak choi, Wavy mustard, and all manner of cold veggies.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Looking for a cool-down in weather by Sunday
Let's hope!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Thank you, all!

 I think I am over the hump.  It's the first day of July, the month when farming (and gardening) does its thing with a little less frantic intervention on the part of the farmer. There's always weeding, of course.  And watering...the latter made a whole lot easier with the use of 250 feet of soaker hose being applied judiciously, row by row.

And that reminds me:  remember Pete Seeger's song?   It's a it is...

The Garden Song

written by Pete Seeger, sung by Arlo Guthrie and John Denver

Inch by inch, row by row
Gonna make this garden grow
All it takes is a rake and a hoe
And a piece of fertile ground
Inch by inch, row by row
Someone bless these seeds I sow
Someone warm them from below
'Til the rain comes tumbling down

Pulling weeds and pickin' stones
Man is made from dreams and bones
Feel the need to grow my own
'Cause the time is close at hand
Grain for grain, sun and rain
Find my way in nature's chain
To my body and my brain
To the music from the land
Inch by inch, row by row

Gonna make this garden grow
All it takes is a rake and a hoe
And a piece of fertile ground
Inch by inch, row by row
Someone bless these seeds I sow
Someone warm them from below
'Til the rain comes tumbling down

Plant your rows straight and long
Thicker than with pray'r and song
Mother Earth will make you strong
If you give her love and care
Old crow watchin' hungrily
From his perch in yonder tree
In my garden I'm as free
As that feathered thief up there

Inch by inch, row by row
Gonna make this garden grow
All it takes is a rake and a hoe
And a piece of fertile ground
Inch by inch, row by row
Someone bless the seeds I sow
Someone warm them from below
'Til the rain comes tumbling down

Sing along with Pete here:
Pete Seeger in concert with The Garden Song

Thank you everyone for your caring friendships.  Hope your July will be wonderful!
Wish our national anthem was America the Beautiful instead of
"bombs bursting in air..."
but maybe, someday, we'll arrive at the doorstep of being a caring and peaceful's going to take a lot of work, though...
Love you all!

Something is Broken....

And that was our day yesterday, out here JOTOLR.  But instead of "something" it seemed more like "everything" was broken.  Blogger simply added to the soup.

The cows and steer-calf decided they wanted their winter rations during summer and finally figured out how to circumvent the electric fence, normally barring them from crossing from one field to another.  Admittedly, it was a sham.  But the sham had worked for several months with no battery.  But we knew a day of reckoning was in the offing.  Indeed, "offing" arrived yesterday.  Nothing would deter the bovines' recollection of succulent clover and new orchard grass-second cutting in the growth stage.  So, they were fixated on migration

Then, as luck would have it, the tractor decided to cough and sputter, and seems to have caught some kind of fuel-virus, and needs MM's attention to clear some sediment in the fuel tank.  Not a fun job, and one which required pretzelizing to reach various connections in the belly of the beast...

So yesterday morning, MM was in the bowels of the machinery, only to be called away to fix fence.  The resultant analysis on that front required two trips to town--something we DON'T take lightly in the high-fuel-cost era (we PLAN every trip and rarely "run to the store" without a huge list that has been accumulating for at least two weeks!)  But this was close to "emergency"...the fencer people were in one town JOTOLR and the battery people were in another, JOTOLR in the opposite direction.  Tightwads that we are, MM surmised (and gruffly announced--tight-lipped) at the end of the second trip that we had traveled some 75 miles for the fence affair, costing us I-don't-remember-how-much for the two trips which could only be spread over two items: clicker and battery. (This is the price I pay for being married to an armchair economist!)

Once home, we donned our nail belts with hammer, fencing pliers, all manner of insulators and other assorted wire, staples, and nails, and set to work with a vengeance on giving the cows a nice surprise.

I can't deny that I am gleefully looking forward to their surprise when they broach the fence this next time.  Ouch!  Having it tested at the fence company showed that it was HOT!

In the end, I admit, too, the fence repair was a job that needed doing.  It's just that we would rather not have had to do it just then, just the midst of an already "something's broken" kind of day!

One good thing:  Blogger seems to be repaired.  There were MANY "something's broken" questions regarding our ability to comment, and Blogger seems to have recognized that such is true. Keeping fingers crossed.  Don't need another "something is broken" situation. At least for a few days, anyway!