Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dad's Woods

I'm not sure why the floor of this forest is covered with this beautiful carpet of ferns when 1/4 mile away my woods is knee deep in briars and jewel weed. In the fall these ferns turn a lovely golden color.

Dad owns 20 acres just 1/4 mile from my place, about 5 of it is this woods of mostly oak trees. It has been a wonderful resource for me as a place to gather firewood and walk our dog. The property wraps around a small country church whose congregation averages 10-12. Each Sunday Mr. Barto walks the mile or so from Gatesburg to pull the rope to ring the bell at 10 before 9 to call in the faithful.

A hard working weekend. Two loads of firewood on Friday evening, gardening Saturday morning, a little tennis then picked up a wood splitter and started in on my big pile. My method has been to bring in about 10-12 loads of wood stacking the big stuff outside the shed and renting a splitter for a day. Margy and I spent most of Sunday working on it but now the shed is full. It takes a while to get this job off my "to do" list so feels nice to have it done. I know people often complain that "they don't make things like they used to" but I can tell you that it's just not true for wood. I'm sure the stuff they're making now is tougher and much heavier than it used to be.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Today's Bouquet

I like to bring flowers into the house and make arrangements. Just like Mom did.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Notes From Home

It rained today, hard at times, but cleared for an evening walk with Lucy the dog. All was washed clean and sparkled in the evening light.

Spring chores to do: gather firewood, replace back door sill and storm door, replace shop porch newel post, scrape reglaze paint up stairs bath window before it rots, replace large area of grass with vinca ground cover, reset front stoop stones.

But for a few late bloomers, the oaks and hickorys, our mantle of green is complete, a new bright green, not the faded stuff of mid summer.

Dylan was sick, scary sick, but is now on the mend.

The dogwood, bleeding heart, and lilac bloom. The lilac's perfume is like a little cloud around the bush.

A bird has nested under the eve at the front door and we are met with a chorus of cheep, cheep, cheep, each time we approach.

Margy hung the hummingbird feeder on the porch yesterday and they were on it in a wingbeat.

Lucy is a joy and a chore. She literally jumps for joy at the prospect of a measly cup of dry dog food. She must always be on a leash or she will run off.

I was inspired to build a rocking chair in the style of Sam Maloof but have barely started. I come home with intentions of going to the shop but after doing the dog and dinner I stay on the couch and do emailin' and bloggin' and facebookin' and then it's time to get ready for tomorrow.

We eat fresh asparagus from the garden every day, sometimes minutes from picking to the pan, and have more to give away.

A bluebird has nested in the box near the garden this year.

Robin is a farmer and a cook and a traveler and has been gone long enough that we can't wait to get to know her again.

Lucy and Simon are friends. He rubs against her just as he does against our legs.

Tuesday, playing racquetball, my knee collapsed just like old times. Hadn't happened in 10 years or more. I fall in a heap grabbing my knee, it hurts like the dickens but quickly fades. I limp for a day and wonder what to do.

It's 10:30 and Margy isn't home yet. This new job is hard. Interesting, new people and places, but very consuming.

Dylan got straight A's this semester.

Ginger the rabbit must be nearly 10 years old now. Her eyes are cloudy. She is more affectionate than she used to be and leans into your petting hands.

Dinner with the folks on Wednesday. Dad, 93, the songster, Mom, 90, unable to finish a sentence but still a look of love in her eyes.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Feeling lucky? If you''re reading this you should because it means you can see. Just for a moment think about how utterly amazing this power of sight is. If you woke up tomorrow blind you'd be on your knees begging, promising to never ask for another thing if only you could see again.
Let's play a game - it's simple. Think of absolutely anything that you would like to have. It can be real or imagined. No limits whatsoever. Think of the most amazing coolest thing you can dream up. It's yours. The only catch is you have to give up sight to get it. Have we got a deal?

If you get stuck on that one pick Option 2: Hearing. Option 3 is the ability to move.

OK here's something else. Water. I think water's coolness factor is off the charts. Whoever thought water up had to be a fucking genius. Game 2: Design a planet and think of something better than water. As far as we know no life exists without it. It's a shape shifter that has no equal as solid, liquid, vapor; its faces of oceans, lakes, ponds, sleet, clouds, rivers, snow, streams, hail, creeks, puddles, glaciers, rain, waterfalls, rainbows, icebergs, etc, etc. With one or two exceptions it is the only substance on the planet that expands when frozen. I mean where'd they come up with that little wrinkle? If you're on the design team you gotta at least give your colleague a pat on the back for that one.

And what about hot water. Sheesh. I should be waking up each day giddy anticipating the pleasure of a hot shower. And for me personally, I don't have to haul it a mile, or start a fire; I have to turn a knob to get an unlimited supply at a temp of my choosing. And, you're not gonna believe this, but even my shower water is so clean I can drink it without fear of cholera, dysentery or even a mild case of the runs. I'm not kidding, it's true.

All of this is just from wondering why we take so much for granted, why it seems our nature to focus on what's missing, why something must be lost before it's value is recognized.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


COMRADES!! Despair not!! I received word today of our fallen brother on the grassy moors of Yorkshire. The callousness of the deed did pierce my heart! Even here imprisoned in exile the words did reach me. The tears did well up within me as I read the account of this brutal slaying. "It was sweeeet", the lass claims as she breaks the neck of the still twitching Brer Thomas. Alas where is the heart, where is the soul of such a one.

A noble fellow was Thomas as remembered by all who knew him. A fine young buck doing his best to help his mate raise a new family. Heck, he even helped with the dishes now and then. And now in the blink of an evil eye he is no more.

Fear not!! Though ye be mere defenseless, soft, fuzzy, pretty much brainless, creatures ya still got 'em outnumbered and if ya keep doin' what ya do best (wink, wink) chances are pretty good some of you will be left after they're long gone.

Yours in the struggle to survive,

Ginger Baker