Sunday, October 31, 2010


I have never, not in 37 years, had a trick or treater in the hollow. I've carved pumpkins, roasted pumpkin seeds, occasionally made pie (which i plan to do this year with my little pumpkin grown by Alma as soon as i remember to bring 1/2 and 1/2 home). I buy candy some years, we eat! Perhaps it is a lack of enthusiasm; i was spoiled by Mardi Gras - a true masquerade! I had a Halloween pin once i liked: "this is my costume!"
But Halloween is not enough of a distraction from election day in two days - which seems more the scary event. Delighted that the rally for sanity in DC garnered over 220,000 people - now, if only, the elections will prove thoughtful.

Monday, October 25, 2010

who's in the hollow

Pigeon is looking better, almost completed molting, now Bilbo parakeet has started shedding his feathers! Strange to be down to two cats; we had to relocate Oskar after he attacked Baldwin and Mindy's Alaska, leaving two fang wounds in the neck. I assume Oskar did in my Greystroke. Katrina seems elated that she's top cat as poor moaning Griffin who is a living skeleton of a cat hardly counts as a competitor in any way. Griffin has actually perked up these past two days, jumping up on the deck bench to beg! He loved licking the soup bowl with remnants of Alma's squash soup. Perhaps when I return from my visit south, a dog will find me - us!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Making Plans

I kept procrastinating about making reservations to visit my dad; i had to finish District D democratic schedule for election day, i had to finish LET THE GREAT WORLD SPIN, i had to enjoy yet another glorious fall day, i had to clean out the chicken coop. I finished the book last night, cleaned the coop (partially) this afternoon, i completed as best i could the schedule of poll greeters, i hiked up Red Bud, happily descending to hammock with Mindy and Baldwin while Pearl twirled nearby! So I did it: I will be leaving on November 17th and returning on the 30th. I hope my friend Sharon will be up for a quick visit to Texas during that time and I hope that Thanksgiving with Dad is more fun than it has been in the past (tho I guess it will be dinner at a casino!).
Had wonderful guests this weekend: Charlotte (Katharine Heath's daughter) and Saundra (Katharine's son's wife's sister), good food and good talk. I'm hoping that Saundra might even return for a visit in February when I have promised her snow!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

young blood?

We were brain storming (old folk- "brain storming") at the end of our Planned Parenthood meeting the other morning, jacked on coffee, about how to attract some young blood to our table; we didn't finish and put it on the agenda for next meeting. The same subject has come up often at the Riner Museum meetings; I anticipate it at other meetings. On the ride home, it occurred to me that what are old people for if not for sitting on boards; the young are working, have kids, pets and PTA. But we do this idle brain storming because we fear that the next generation will not desire to matriculate onto community boards - ever! What we should pay attention to is the scary fact that there are more of US than them; who is going to take care of us if we don't do all we can to make a hospitable and vital community for our children!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

walked up to top of Red Bud

Clouds coming into heavy masses as I took up my afternoon walk and veered up, steeply up, the north face of Red Bud to the top! There are less of the massive oaks which populated the top when 37 years ago I moved here - the drought, no doubt, has killed a couple. But the top has still a powerful feel. I see where turkeys have recently passed, their scratched ground left. The deer have left scat. I can see far and no house but the blue house. I had meant to come up before the leaves so thickly obscured the ground to look for 'sang, but I'm too late. On the way down I recognize places where I know it grew (and years ago i had planted some). O perfect day!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

some sweet potatoes

Half of the booty in the sweet potato patch; well, depending on the voles (lets see: moles tunnel, eat grubs; voles use the tunnels, eat vegetables). The taters were ummy last night, if a bit charred, roasted with peppers and onions while Elizabeth and Chris and I swung on the front porch drinking wine (they smoked). Chris brought delicious spicy edamame and chicken salad and I had also made squash/chard fritters...we ate seconds and thirds, finished the wine and got the old house warmed up real good! I sure am glad that Chris is semi-retired. This old house can use some visiting, me too.

Friday, October 15, 2010

light and color

for some reason, i can't go out without my camera in pocket. the light is magical in the fall; yesterday I kept thinking that i could capture falling leaves as one can a snow flake in the still shot. Played with DD this morning; named the two dolls that stay at Nanee's, Ami for the no face Amish doll and Suzie for the Africa doll with beautiful big eyes and a batik dress (i want so badly to decorate the Amish doll - someday when DD agrees, we'll have to paint a face on the Amish doll - i guess I respect the plain dress, but it is soooo against our nature or for that matter nature's nature!) . Walking thru the woods memorizing one of my poems (Node) for our next production; i like the poem more than i thought i did, i like the ending lines: "this winter's gluttony of despair has knotted here beneath my right breast / I have to find the timbre to restore vibration to this still spot."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bears gotta climb

We couldn't just go outside without our friends, could we? And a delicious fall day is a good day for a climb. We will soon need a tree house, so we can easily get up there with our animals.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

a new tool

I think of myself as more of a tree hugger than lumber jack, but I've got a new light weight battery powered chain saw and i'm going after little trees cluttering up the fields. Yesterday I cut 20 or so little scrub pines and piled their small trunks up for a rabbit hiding place. I trimmed a wild apple; well, I began the process! I have many stored memories of chain saw safety, from years of cutting wood for heating the house - I'm a dangerous woman!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


On 10-10-10, I gathered basil from the Blue House garden and made two jelly jars of PESTO with extra garlic and walnuts - l leave out the cheese to add later. It lasts well in the freezer and a tablespoon full in soup in the winter sends me to thoughts of summer. In an effort to lower my carbon foot print I did not go out, but walked in homage to trees. In respect to this land, in dear close breath with the wing of dragon fly and bird. In what little I presume to know of my soul, it hosts a connection with earth, a comfort and a howling sorrow at what appears to be a lost respect by humans of this connection. What can we change but ourselves: I fall back into the nest of my hollow, walk again and again the river, seeking and not seeking. Lying down with my face to the sky.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Closure of a sort

This morning as I came down from letting the chicken's out at the Blue House, with Irie and Mojo racing before me, I tried to search out the odor, the possibly cadaver odor, somewhere near the studio. I had noticed something when I walked up, but being in a hurry, I didn't stop. It wasn't hard to find the source, and it was, as I had feared, Greystroke. I suspect that some beast had dragged him from a deeper recess under the studio deck - I wonder if he'd gone there to die? It was a good spot as he could have viewed any activity in the kitchen. I buried him in the overgrown garden under the butterfly bush. I brought him some marigolds.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

someone i knew

A good friend from college called this afternoon to tell me about another friend's death; Betsy had had to track down the 93 year old father of our dead friend in order to find out if she was indeed dead - we'd know that she was battling stage 4 colon cancer, mostly alone in her tiny Brooklyn NY apartment (her mother in a nursing home who no longer recognized her family) and her father in New Jersey, a sister in London, and a 20 year old daughter still acting out from the death of her father just a couple of years ago. Anner had been sober the past 11 years and was a certified yoga teacher and was loved by the law firm for which she worked. Betsy and I talked for near an hour - trying to put Anner's life to rest. She had always seemed fragile to me, needing to be taken care of; ironically she took care of her much younger muscian husband who didn't work and who, Betsy says was obese. And then she took care of a daughter (of whom we know so little) and the series of boy friends. Anner, we let you go, the small pieces which we touched -

Saturday, October 9, 2010


I found the picture of Greystroke that Molly had taken years ago; he really was a handsome cat. What is most amazing is that a new male cat has arrived - coming out from the spring house when i went to close the chickens Friday evening (I was calling out from Greystroke as i've been doing whenever i go out into the yard). He's a sturdy healthy and friendly guy, a tabby - I'm calling him Oskar. He is leery of dogs and has not come into the house - he eats well!


Three days ago, my male cat, Greystroke, disappeared. He had blue eyes and had appeared suddenly in the hollow 17 years ago. Several months ago I had noticed that he had lost his voice; I hadn't thought much about it as my blond/red cat, Griffin is a howling, moaning cat. Greystroke was a good eater and somewhat of a bully, eating his food and some of Griffin's. I've called and searched the perimeter of the yard these few days. Nothing, no sign. And I'd like to find a better picture of him that shows his beautiful eyes.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fall really

Being Fall, new blue rubber boots, no leaks thru the creek. I'm cold tho, not at all prepared for days which hover in the 50's; where is the sun? The deck is almost cleared, plants hefted into green house which looks tropical and lush. I've put a new filter into the hot tub. The heat pump is on, tho set at 65. Flannel sheet on the bed, I'm wearing socks. Poor pigeon looks cold too.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

the rewards of the garden!

Pickled jalapenos from the garden that I clipped last night in fear that in spite of the weather reports, we might get frost! No frost (tho 40), so I will probably pickle a few more; ummy recipe from Alma with olive oil in the vinegar concoction and carrots and onions and lots of garlic - plus bay leaf, salt (of course), oregano, thyme and marjoram. Yesterday I got a first egg from one of the three young hens, smaller than the eggs from my two year olds. Time for a walk...