Saturday, December 31, 2011

Good-bye 2011

In an attempt at festive air, I am planning on painting my toenails while peering at Times Square, if I do stay up that late - or can't sleep due to this noxious head cold. I can't believe that while miserably choking on the least tickle in my throat, I decided to read The Virgin Suicides. I am not at all sure of Eugenides' purpose, but I can't help but think that in his great exaggeration of a family's propensity for suicide, that he wasn't exposing the sorry waste such early deaths are and the inadequate ability peers have to help change events. Being one awfully acquainted with the subject, I don't quite buy the anniversary suicides of the four remaining sisters. I can't believe that at least one wouldn't have like myself wanted to get the hell out of town - and have succeeded. Thus I have enjoyed this last day of 2011, conscious of my past and looking forward to beginning a new year with the promise of new family members! Apropos of nothing in particular, I am posting this photo of my mother at age 14 (perhaps inspired by the book - for she also was schooled in suicide).

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

tufted titmouse

Not sure if the tiny bird hit the glass door to the deck or not, but it lay on the deck, looking dead until I picked the fluff of little weight up. It perked up after a bit of Arnica, but has not taken off and sits at the bottom of a bucket in pine nest. Such an icy wind out that I think I will let him/her spend the night inside - plan to hang the bucket from Bilbo's old hook so Katrina can't bother. So far Katrina has no idea that the bird is in the house. I'll have to figure out a top so titmouse doesn't end up on the floor in the night and meet up with roving cat.

4:30 titmouse perched on edge of bucket, then flew up to perch on candle holder when I went to ease the bucket outside. I was able to let him out on the edge of the candle holder. Now fluffed up, titmouse sits on a branch of the red bud.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

rain, not ice - maybe snow tonight

Was I like the weather? Ice becoming easy
like crossing legs
turning away
separate beds; rain
a kind of dance that didn't include you.
Flakes of snow, a tease
kept you looking
for grace until you got smart
left for sun,
tried not to look back.

Monday, December 26, 2011


Sitting here with the best mug of coffee ever! Got a bag of roasted chicory and a bag of Fair Trade coffee beans (Mexican) in my stocking - now waiting to be inspired before bundling up to drive to Qigong. Have two hand made leather books (fortunately small) to fill with poems - have an assignment for 2012. Such a wonderful Christmas with local lamb chops for dinner (scalloped potatoes and roasted eggplant and pomegranate/avocado/blue cheese decorated salad) and the very fantastic pecan pie Baldwin made.

How does the Christmas tree manage its demise
never many gifts beneath its spindly limbs
but today apparently my eyes
to blame, the tree inspires
plans for de-materialization.
Not the same.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Some things are meant to be, for they happen effortlessly. Sitting snug at one of the larger double tables in the back room of the Buffalo and More yesterday noon, I just felt like beaming. What a fine group of women and we do Qigong and we're eating bison and laughing. Happiness is easy, maybe it is doing Qigong that helps. It sure helps us move. Who knew at 66, I'd be most happy leading a group of other women in Qigong.
Of course, happiness explodes when grand-daughter comes bouncing curls into the house. Being grandmother comes easy too - and so much lighter than mothering. Not the hours, not the worry.
Then there is Mr. Lee, who bounded into the hollar December of last year; I certainly hadn't imagined my heart flying out in 12 pounds of corded white fluff.
Happiness just be in the bones!
Nothing to do but try to share it, donate it, spew it into the atmosphere. Know you lucky when you got it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

up river walk

Sun too fine to miss as the days shrink towards winter solstice. Mr Lee and I walked toward the swim hole, turning back for a sit before the wide mud hole that prompted bath last week. Can't hold onto a thought with the current of the river swift near our feet. Gladly no thought. Grateful no thought! There is more than enough time for that in the house under a roof.
With no thinking going on, I guess it is absurd to be here; guess I figured the space would prompt . I do have a notion that was inspired by my brother's email photo of his family's Christmas tree in Colorado, which is to scan in pictures from an album that I brought home from Ocean Springs - photographs, I think he might want. Since he took a fall on skis over Thanksgiving, I suspect he is not doing much skiing this trip.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Horses Prove Homeopathy Works

This is my first horse client! I have never met him in person and I did not receive this photo until AFTER I treated him via telephone (he lives 100 miles away). Blue had an unfortunate habit of shying from the least prompt and trying to run off. It was a sudden alarm response, no warning to the rider. After considering the case, asking a few more questions, I suggested Belladonna. It worked wonderfully for Blue. Years later this same horse lover called about another horse. This case was a bit more complicated; but by the second phone consultation, I knew the remedy and mailed a dose. This mare was "hormonial" and posing ("squirting") for the male horses in the pasture. The remedy worked and this horse who was uncontrollable is now riding the hunt. Recently I helped with a third horse, a handsome large fellow who has won just about every prize possible in the ring. But is now retired and had developed ulcers and edema of all legs; it was a frightening issue and the vet had been unable to help. I considered an end of life remedy of incredible breath, and the horse is now doing very well with years ahead of him!
These horses were not cured by placebo. Homeopathy works. I am no horse person; I do not own a horse. When a twelve year old at summer camp, I took riding only to slide down the neck of the horse when the horse decide to chomp on grass by the side of the rink. I did not see nor touch any of these horses. I have never met their owners! It is very satisfying to see how powerful homeopathy is.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

planted tulips!

Up into the 60's today and I spread another bale of peat moss on each of my raised beds and then planted 12 tulip bulbs in each! I figure it will take the moles a long time to dig under the frames of the beds and for the voles to follow. I'm hoping for never; but I know that is like hoping for no morning glories in the new beds. Usually if I plant tulips, they are eaten before they bloom - even if I wait until January to plant the bulbs! I'm fortunate to get one or two flowers.
The raised beds look so fine, I look forward to early lettuce and greens, to not having to wait for tilling before planting, to onions and peas! I will take pictures tomorrow.
Early morning picture of the beds with Mah
oney and his chicks happy in the like spring December morning. Granddaughter went with me to Qigong this morning and spun around in the circle of us until I too was dizzy. After class we went to Krogers and scored a red helium balloon. We found apple cinnamon tea and pomegranates.
Mr Lee and I just returned from a walk about Red Bud with some lines:
Given the choice of road or grass, I'll stick with the deer path.
what a gift of a day with a surprise when we reached the saddle: stone stacks in the field by a small oasis of trees. Similar, I think, to seeing horses in a field; these stacks of stones fasten my eye to a repose. While horses lend a grace, they add potential motion; stone cairns make me pause and send me deep. Just want to sit with the day, with the sky, with the field. Mr. Lee sits too. He pants, I breathe.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

the atmosphre of it all

There is no doubt in my mind that it is insanity to allow oneself to be sucked up into the atmosphere of it all, commonly called Christmas. Isn't it a bipolar high to buy more things than one needs? But we are encouraged on all fronts because it is supporting local economy, it is good for the larger economy. And I am a vulnerable grandmother who has realized that this will be my grandchild's first Christmas to become enchanted and bewitched into the celebrated madness. What am I doing by enticing her into this crazy occasion? Her parents are holdouts who refuse to have a tree. Smart. I succumb to the tree because I live in the hollow whence darkness comes by 4 o'clock in December. How now to temper the everywhere enticements? How do I not respond to the request out of the mouth of 3 year old, "I want a tea kettle for my kitchen."
So I went looking for a tea kettle yesterday. Did you know that Wal-Mart has stopped selling tea kettles - the old fashion ones that go on a burner? Needless to say they didn't have tea kettles for kid's kitchens. But on my roll down the ails my eye caught the sight of a doll high on the top shelf, an African American doll. Do you know how rare a find of this sort is where I live? She's beautiful. I bought her. Now I don't know what to do with her so I have hid her in the upstairs closet. I came home to a message that the kid garden tools had arrived at Cambria Toy Station; these were the original ONE Christmas present (except for stocking presents) that we had decided ruled our Christmas giving. Fortunately for nanee, the stockings are ample. But I have to admit that I have hid another present that I'd bought months ago: a set of kitchen furnishings for the doll house. Now I'm really up the creek,or tree - what to do????
This is a luxury dilemma; there are oodles of grand parents who can't afford one gift for their grand child. But I've given to the Salvation Army, to the United Way; I sent cards from the Women's Resource Center to my friends that a donation had been made in their names. I've spent way more money on donations in Africa for water, goats and school supplies. But this doesn't solve the American ethical dilemma of how much to spoil a child? GRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

evenings with grand daughter

I thought I was a fair conversationalist, but grand-daughter has me beat. "Why?" Because I exhaust my repertoire of responses by 8 PM and fall asleep before the wee head drops to the pillow. I am mentally weary. How boring life becomes living alone and undemanding. "Why?" Because chickens don't require imagination in the least and even Katrina and Mr. Lee are fairly easy to please. "Why?" Because it seems that humans distinguish themselves by wanting attention. "Why?" Because I think, humans seem insecure about their being in the world. "Why?" I don't know. "Why?" What do you think?

For a wonderful video on WHY, go to granddaughter's family blog:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

waking to no snow

Of course, I am disappointed that we in Riner have missed any sign of snow this morning. But the part of me that needs to drive to Qigong this morning is elated, hoping that Blacksburg also missed the fluff or possible ice because I've scheduled a guest for class. Friend Ann who studies with a different Qigong teacher in Blacksburg is coming to demonstrate some new techniques. Alma is bringing snickerdoodles!
Such rain for two days has swollen the creek which is now backed up all the way to my spring turning the water a muddy hue I dare not drink. Water from Blue house well has me covered and I will begin boiling my water when the color clears for several days. I am so accustomed to the life form in my water that it doesn't seem to disturb my health. I hadn't expected such rain and forgot to save water in preparation. The river was tumultuous yesterday, yet Baldwin's cairns have all survived. I carried Mr Lee across the creek twice and then he managed quite well the next two creek crossing on the way to the bottoms. He's a strong little dog!
Working on my folders for the blog - this will be an endless project for this winter which may bring snow at some point. And for half of January and all but leap day of February, I will have time on my hands with the Blue house on vacation.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I'm so impressed with my blog's new look, gift from Mindy and Baldwin, that I am slightly intimidated and thinking about a new camera and generally dumbfounded. So I am beginning with a picture of my tree of lights which does much to raise my spirits in this darkest period of the year.
Rain began last night, light rain meeting us as we exited Chris house after a wonderful evening celebrating birthdays. When I lay in bed last night I had images of babies loose in the back of cars - we who raised our kids without car seats or husbands who might make an effort to share the overwhelming job. I can only vaguely imagine Pat's or Elizabeth's lives with four babies under the age of five! As Pat said, her oldest learned how to count by counting diapers for the twins!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

busy time

Whatever element, planet or person marks me, I do not know, but I have been busy with new homeopathic clients of late. Most wonderful to hear that a horse in Charlottesville is doing well after a remedy; unfortunately the remedy was given after the owner took a terrible fall. The mare had a striking manner of posing for other horses in the field; she was "over sexed" and had been treated with hormones which did nothing to stop her aggressive behavior. A dose of Platina turned her around and her new owner now rides her in the hunt.
Have an appointment this evening and one tomorrow. Yesterday a smiling delightful infant who you would never guess had an ear ache; mr lee was in on the consult!
I now have four raised beds Baldwin assembled in the garden yesterday. I have been hauling pine needles from the woods and leaves, straw with goat pellets from old chicken house and a bale of peat moss for each. Will give me something to work on as long as the weather permits this December - and I can plant my tulip bulbs safely away from the moles!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Turkey turkey

MI wish I had taken a photo of the bird I cooked from Weather Top Farm in Check VA for it was excellent, magnificent. Monday after I returned home with the 12 1/2 pound (seemed heavier than Mr. Lee who weighs 13 lbs!) organic,pastured turkey, Baldwin suggested a dry brine and he handed me a fresh bouquet of herbs (sage, thyme and rosemary). I rubbed sea salt and rosemary over the bird and covered it in the refrigerator until Thursday morning. (Luckily I invited Alma to drive with me to pick up the bird - and we did not get lost!)
Thursday morning I brushed off any excess salt and whiped out the cavity. I stuffed turkey with organic tangerines, organic apple, onion and celery and lots of Baldwin and Mindy's herbs. Early that morning I had began cooking a stock for the gravy with the neck, liver and heart - with carrot, onion, celery, jalapeno, herbs, lots of salt and pepper. I calculated that the bird would take 4 hours and I decided to cook it breast down for the first 45 minutes. I go with the Joy of cooking and heat the oven to 450, immediately turning the oven to 325 when the turkey goes in. I pushed a couple of tbs of butter up under the skin of the breast and rubbed olive oil over the rest of the skin. Thru out the cooking I basted the bird with olive oil about every 25 min - sometimes I basted with stock. I debated whether to cook in my gas oven on Convection Roast or Convection Bake. Ach! I went with the bake until the last hour when I switched to roast. I tented the breast with foil, but the bird was very brown anyway. I am writing this down so that next year I have something to which I can refer. um.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tree down and sectioned

I debated all year whether to cut down the black walnut between my house and the spring house. The kick to action was the profuse crop of walnuts this fall! Luckily for me, Baldwin's friend Eli came and with Baldwin's help managed the feat of falling the tree without damaging house! There is more light and spaciousness. But I feel a sadness and guilt as I remember this tree, hardly a wrist in diameter when we moved here, 37 years ago and I watched it thrive after its too near neighbor maple died, toppling very close to the back porch. There is another black walnut to the north of the house, perhaps too close; it also is pending removal! Black walnuts are not easy to live with near house or garden, spreading a toxin which kills especially ever greens (I have lost several). It was a healthy tree, although branching early into three which Eli assured me was dangerous - likely to split the trunk in two. My friend Alma voted for keeping the tree as it was healthy without the canker which is attacking walnuts in the area. The day of its death, squirrels were in the limbs, jumping from the spring house roof.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

the Passing of Bilbo - Parakeet

I will remember Bilbo on the deck rail, snug under the branches of the red bud happily mimmicking bird calls. He was never eager to converse with me or other humans, nor did he escape his cage although I frequently left his door open. But he was a vivid blue spot of energy in my day, ringing his many bells to bring me back to NOW. It was a week ago that I found him on the bottom of his cage, his plumage spotless as he'd just finished molting. His appetite hadn't changed, but his stool was loose (i think stool is the wrong word here - but je ne sais pas!). Katrina's marking of Bilbo's demise seems to be the capture of a titmouse yesterday. There is now such a blank space on the wall where his cage hung! But I don't want a new bird. Not yet.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Learning of super tonics

My most favorite super tonic of late is chia seeds, but yesterday I discovered a new super tonic: hemp seeds. It has long outraged me that the United States has outlawed the growing of hemp! Grown in Canada and elsewhere - probably everywhere but here (here because it is a weed - but not cultivated). Besides the obvious benefits, one of which is hemp paper which would save untold trees, hemp seeds are high in protein and contain all nine of the essential amino acids (like flax). These potent seeds have the power to treat nutritional deficiencies caused by diseases such as Tuberculosis or cancer; hemp seeds are anti-inflammatory. Adding hulled organic hemp seeds to your diet (eat plain - taste somewhat like walnuts, a bit greener or add to salads or other food) will correct any long standing issues with blood flow, help reduce blood cholesterol, reduce the chance of arterial thrombosis and more - lots more! Hemp seeds contain a perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 Linoleic Acid and Omega-3 Linolenic Acid for cardiovascular health and general strengthening of immune system! Here's a near free source of food, good source, and in America we can't grow it. Must be because the Pharma folk can't patent it. Of course, the surveillance helicopters can't distinguish hemp from its sister MaryJane.

Friday, November 11, 2011

flirst snow flakes

Wind is cold this Veteran's Day, but the sun is out which warms the green house warming the south east side of the house and my room where I write, french doors to the room of green. What would have been a miserable discovery by myself, was mitigated by Baldwin's great help: He and I went in the studio to drain the pipes and were assaulted by a deadly odor. The refrigerator decided to die and take a freezer full of pastured beef with it. Gross! We emptied the frig and mopped with clorox. The smell is gone and the frig stands by the driveway ready for the trip to the dump! I don't eat meat often and I suspect this incident will serve to put red meat way down on my list of desirable food.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


From working at the polls to peering inquisitively at nature - if it weren't for the time to lollygag with trees, I don't think that I would have the inclination to stand at the polls asking, "would you like a sample ballot?" over and over again! Sad that Don Langrehr lost and that Brandon Bell lost. I can't help but wonder how someone feels at the results who did not take the time to vote. Bothers me, especially ticks me off, if the non voter could walk, had a car, and a brain. In what reality is the nonvoter inhabiting? I've heard an unregistered 50 year old man say, "what has the government done for me?" Oh, poor poor pitiful one, vote so you can register a complaint. Not voting will certainly not help.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Frosty mornings

The deck is so frosty in the mornings that i can skate or slip on my way to open the chickens. I've covered three small areas in the garden with plastic to fashion mini green houses in hopes of prolonging the life of arugula, chard and collards. The ends need tending to today as I've not gotten them snug enuf; if the sun stays with us, I will open these small tunnels so they don't overheat. I need to gather some pine needles or other mulch to put on the sides - probably by December. Day light savings ended and the morning is lighter and easier on the rising - but i know that i will be sad this early darkening evening as I drive into the burg for our fund raiser for Planned Parenthood.
The first light over the east ridge on the shards of frost set the hollar adazzle. I think it lightens my mind; how can i tell you? Too intent this hour on paying attention to "On Being." Later!
Of course, we are part of but one of multitudes of universes - the avenues between: black holes, i hazard.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Novel November

I hadn't heard of this challenge; 500 words a day. I can't imagine doing more than 50 each day for 30 days! I'd rather tackle a play. It's difficult to follow the day to day command; rebellious nature erupts - we question if it is as necessary as brushing our teeth. Daily I open and close my chickens, but not at the same time. Likewise with feeding my cat, my dog and bird. At my first job after college at National Geographic, I talked my editors into allowing me to come in at 8 and leave at 4 - I liked not being part of the herd? I'm not sure, but they let me do this - and I relished walking to work from 31st and Q Street to downtown DC.
Problem is when I rebel from my own best practices, as with writing every day. I am a loyal walker, every day to the river or around Red Bud - but I can avoid my room to write as if it were a ward in the asylum. Perhaps it is kin. I relish qigong daily, often more than one time in the day; why can't i transfer this discipline to writing?
There is the issue with having stopped smoking 16 years ago - sitting with a cigarette before an empty screen had its attraction! Dark attractions! This habit along with a mug of coffee which I have also given up, conspires to make writing difficult - the brain balks, memory falters - imagination blanks. I want to move. I suspect I need to better OCCUPY MY SPOT!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

bat gone

October 22nd and our first freeze. Thirty-seven years ago, September 15th was the first freeze date, probable I should say - but in the hollar it could be sooner than that. Impatients zapped along with tomato and pepper plants in the garden; the greens will just get sweeter and a new crop of arugula looks yummy. The blustery nights of the past several days caused such unrelenting banging of the paintings hanging outside on the porch that my little bat was frightened away from his home behind one of the canvases. Frightened or just annoyed. Grand-daughter and I just slept through the ruckus night before last. Of course, keeping up with an inquisitive mentally and physically active three year old is a great sleeping aid. And here she is in Nanee's boots!
I had thought that I would talk about the movie IDES OF MARCH which I saw with Ann, Jane and Kathy Friday; the disillusionment with male politicians because of their promiscuous behavior which sets them up for compromise, blackmail even - and political favors to garner votes. That this is not such a problem in Europe - America seems intent on holding onto its Puritan roots? I am more horrified by the buying of elections, the frightening reach of arch conservatives like Pope in North Carolina. The negative robo calls and ads blatantly deceptive. What is at the heart of the matter is that the public seems unable to question the political ads. That the voters act on promises of no taxes without realizing what the consequences will be. Cut backs in budgets in North Carolina have impacted their excellent education system - it is a travesty! And it is creeping, or should I say galloping, into Virginia. We have only been rescued from the Republican agenda because tho our Governor is Republican, our Senate is still majority Democrat. This election could change that. Very very scary.

Friday, October 14, 2011

best leaves in many falls

The leaves are spectacular this year. Being in the colors on the walk to the river delights me. I would think healing. I had to curtail my walnut raking in the yard as the wind loosens baseball bombs and I have nearly been beamed. Cool wind. It appears that Mr. Lee's clone has beat me to Occupy Wall Street! I'm trying to create a sign for Occupy Blacksburg; nothing so far worth making. Like to see VT stop burning coal.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

found a yoyo

Mindless games then and now. Would a kid today know what a yoyo was? Or how to play jacks which in 6th grade my friends and I had refined to an intricate art - throwing the ball up in the air and picking up jacks and catching the ball before it bounced! I recall that the Heath twins were superior players as later they would be excellent tennis and volleyball and basketball players. This yoyo glows in the dark. Eat your heart out!
Good rain this evening, needed rain. Gusts of wind loosening a cacophony of walnuts on the deck, occasionally the tin of the shop roof. They bob in the pond; a boon year. Absolutely the hardest nut I have ever tried to crack.
Thinking of sending a check to the US Treasury in Obama's name; let's lower the deficit in Obama's term! My other notion of this rainy day was a sign to wear if I join Occupy VA Tech on Wednesday - it would call for wearing a cow head and the sign: "am I a person yet?" maybe it would need elaboration, "if a corporation is a person, than why not a cow?"
The joy of the day: eating popcorn with grand-daughter!
la- la- la!!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The irony i suppose

I so admire the Occupy Wall Street happening. I keep trying to think of a good spot to find locally to emulate what's going on in NYC and now in several larger cities. I guess I could just stand in my pjs with a sign saying down with CEO compensation in front of my virtual retirement account! I might even travel to Roanoke and pace in front of my brokerage firm; but they are a small firm, not Bank of America. I don't have a debit card. I don't know what the Occupy Wall Street folks have said about the EPA or the Republican effort to castrate most environmental regulations on air and water. But I would like to protest on this subject. Shit, I still want single payer national health insurance - hey 99% are there enough of us out there that this is worth protesting FOR??? I have been guilty of remarking for several years, "hey why aren't we out on the streets about this?" And i am rabid about the attacks on Planned Parenthood, but I doubt Occupy Wall Street wants to go there.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

to know what I think I think...

I think it was Samuel Beckett who said, be alone to know what I think I think...but i've probably misquoted. The sentiment though seems pure Beckett. Yet another perfect day, the burning bush getting it on! Baldwin building rock pillars in the creek when Mr. Lee and I walked, we stopped to look for rocks and to chat while the goats ate. Too lovely out to spend time inside, thus I have neglected to work on recruiting poll workers!
I did clean the chicken coop water pan and their nests are filled with grass clippings and cat tail fluff. Oodles more black walnuts picked up and relocated; there seem to be twice as many still on the limbs! I've thrown some on the drive thinking I may be inspired to crack a few this winter - a very difficult endeavor which calls for a tool i don't have, a serious vice, i'd suppose. Fascinating to watch a squirrel deal with a black walnut - what teeth they have!
So much depends of the quality of winter! Whether I will sort through my old piles of papers or begin to scan mother's photos of her sculptures. Whether I will tackle shelling black walnuts in the thick of a snow storm!

Friday, October 7, 2011


If I didn't check the calendar hanging in my kitchen, I wouldn't know that it was Friday; Friday has lost its "fridayness." I don't work outside the house; I've no children to walk to the bus and to be looking forward to this day all week! There remains a sense that Friday begins the weekend - but it starts at dawn - I don't have to wait til happy hour. But I do not start drinking in the mornings; I'm not inclined to drink, except for a glass of wine in the evening while fixing dinner. However, I realize how empty a life can become without some attachment to family, work, or other routine spinning organism or construct - like pet or chickens or nonprofit! And then I have the imagined necessity or aspiration of writing a poem. Duty ebbs and flows with demands. Now I am trying to schedule poll workers to hand out sample ballots on election day - not an easy task to find enuf democrats in my neck of the county with 5 polling places. I'm not very happy with this "job," but I feel it is important to show face on election day - the face of a democrat in a republican/independent/ possible tea party area. Which gets me to Occupy Wall Street now happening all the way to New Orleans and which cheers my heart! I am delighted to join the efforts however discombobulated, virtually; and I keep wondering where locally we can begin displaying a physical presence. I suggested at qigong class a few spots: President of Tech's house or maybe Beamers place - folks whose salaries are hugely disproportionate to those under them (college athletes who are truly abused for naught). But these suggestions weren't seconded; there is a branch of Bank of America in Blacksburg and at the mall there is Well's Fargo and some other big bank branches.
I realize that since grand-daughter began preschool, Nanee has time on her hands! I don't want to fill it impulsively, and I want to hold open the possibility of spending time with little brother. A time to create. And with my house now overflowing with visual art, I have got to limit myself to writing.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Qigong happiness

I love our class. I love qigong! And we all notice rewards in our bodies, and perhaps in our minds. I giggle as I don't know that super brain yoga has changed my tendency to forget the necessary word in mid sentence, but my energy is better. At the river every day I do sets by the huge tulip tree.
Rita has already used super brain yoga on a first grade class! Jenny has taught qigong to her friends on vacation!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

what i am doing, i think

No groundhog in the have a heart this morning; must have chosen the wrong hole under the fence - will try second choice in Mahoney's territory with the hens. Carrying a bucket when I go to the chicken coop to collect black walnuts which I toss in a pile away from the yard for the squirrels. The walnut tree's lower limbs touch the ground with the weight of nuts this year; down by the river one of the large walnuts has the largest green globes I have ever seen. Does this imply a cold winter or just remark on the rainy spring?
End of September so soon. Leaves on the deck which I sweep as they fall again and again. Soon I will move the lime tree into the green house (20 limes dangling from its spindly limbs). I love fall and savor the last of the fresh dinners from the garden.
And as I bend to collect another green walnut, I smile with the flash image of myself at 90 doing this or sweeping the leaves over and over again from the deck!

Monday, September 19, 2011

excuse; no excuse

I'm pretty good at rationalizing, of turning an insult into a compliment. Of setting a positive spin on what is a dismal forecast. This morning, however, I pushed myself out of bed after a half an hour of worry lying prone with my hand on Mr Lee's head. I kept thinking about his ordeal tomorrow, teeth cleaning and extractions - how many extractions are not known. It's been 8 months since Mr Lee has lived with me and I should have taken him earlier - but then he has had time to grow stronger and familiar with me and with this hollow. I've no excuse, just magical thinking - even though I recognized that he has a difficult time chewing kibbles and dog bones (he hides chew bones around the house). His breath has improved!
Speaking of excuses, I was raised with "no excuse." I always kept a project deadline at school; the dog never ate my homework. I figured my self worth hung on my reliability. I'm rarely late. It made me wild to hear my former partner's excuses for everything, from forgetting to take out the garbage to failing to recall the name of the person who called for me. I couldn't seem to persuade him that his excuses were an avoidance of taking responsibility of his actions, for his LIFE!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Garden Devas

I don't know how I may have coaxed them or bargained so well for the health of my corn and sweet potatoes, but whatever happened in my lazy organic way has garnered perfect corn and now almost perfect sweet potatoes! I figure devas or luck, because normally the corn has worms - not many but certainly not zero! And for several years I have lost half of my crop of sweet potatoes to grubs and voles. I suppose the moles have done a good job of eradicating the grubs and by some magic stopped the voles from following their tunnels to the crop.
I took Mr Lee to the vet today to have his teeth checked; and his teeth are as feared in very poor shape. So it is cleaning and pulling on Tuesday for little one; but he should be much happier when recovered. I hate to imagine! I'm cooking chicken soup because of the cold and to dress Mr. Lee's kibbles.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Home again, happily home again

Mr Lee snug on the sofa with me, Ent wife to my left, her serenity changes the atmosphere of the room - I arrived home with a neatly and tightly packed Prius with goodies galore. Pearl and Baldwin and Mindy met me at my house to help unpack. All of mom's sculptures I brought made the trip safely; Ent wife was in the passenger seat! I only fit into the car four pieces of furniture; the twin child's chair to the one I had, an old early American dough bowl on legs, plain early Am bench and ditto rocking chair. I found slides of all of mother's work.
I packed some glasses in old table linens, packed the sculpture with linens and a wonderful satin quilt. I've plates and a china tea set. I'm as yet not fully unwound from the trip - Sharon and I drove thru Tropical Storm Lee to get a van load of goodies to Ez and Jen in Houston; the weather let up by Lafayette as Texas got no rain.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Getting on the Road

As usual I am a reluctant traveler until I get on the road; I miss Mr Lee, Katrina, Bilbo, my bed, my hollar and most of all the blue house dwellers. I am just happily ensconced with limited horizons! I sit in a bowl. I listen to NPR and wonder how I can make a difference - is this a version of contemplating my navel? I practice qigong.
But I am looking forward to seeing my son and his wife in Houston; talking and laughing with my friend (his godmother) on the way. I've got a book on tape for my drive from here to Ocean Springs and I'm thinking of side trips off of the interstates.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Earthquakes and hurricanes and a funeral

Apparently my 111 year old farm house is either earthquake loose or secure on bedrock OR I am too spacey to have noticed that there was an earthquake on August 23. Baldwin and Mindy had vivid shaking experiences while Pearl slept thru it. Now there is a humongous hurricane, Irene, in the Atlantic hours away from crossing, at least partially, the Outer Banks of North Carolina and continuing up the East Coast. The forecast is ominous.
But for my heart, the unannounced furious power of Nature was not as dramatic as earthquake and hurricane but nonetheless devastating. I attended a small funeral in a wooded clearing for a too small person in a casket that no one ever wants to see. It is small comfort to know that around the world on any morning a hurricane of too small deaths occur - the earth convulses under the feet of hundreds of families. But I am sad.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Breaking up

I remember my sister and I coming home from school one afternoon to find my mother on our porch trying to fire the house cleaner, the vacuum cleaner between them. The woman whom we had never seen before as this was her first and last day, was not leaving easily - she wanted another day. My mother couldn't seem to get it across that she didn't have the energy or inclination (my mother soon after the birth of our brother developed pericarditis and was not supposed to be out of the bed) to train someone to use the vacuum, let alone anything else. It was a stand off which resolved soon after the two women took note of the two teenagers coming up the front steps.
I have, no doubt, inherited my mother's difficulty. I know other women who share this handicap. I know someone who says that it is particular to southern women, who avoid confrontation. She feels that it is dishonest and inauthentic. I think she has a point. However, relationships are way more intricate than vacuum cleaners. Although, there are relationships which can suck energy from one. And that is the way I was feeling about a certain relationship which I managed to take an hiatus from yesterday. I just finally realized that I didn't have the energy to be with the person - maybe it is the cancer thing.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Livability Initiative

Two friends and I, excited by tales of "tea party" disruptions at local government meetings, felt propelled to attend the Livability Initiative "kick-off" meeting at Claytor Lake yesterday. As it turned out, I apparently hit the jack pot: table four with 5 supporters of property rights and no federal government intervention in local affairs. There was the moderator (pregnant from Philadelphia with no knowledge of the New River Valley), a retired man from Pearisburg and myself completing the eight. Before the cacophony in the room roared into discussion, a former boss of mine came over to whisper in my ear, "You got the perfect table!" I sensed that he was being sarcastic. I looked again at my table mates: a corpulent retired man from Draper with a "Promise Keeper" golf shirt, a young Floyd-hippy mother, an angular couple also from Floyd already upset that their paper work wasn't like everyone else's, and a late arrival woman who joked, "i was looking for a wedding but couldn't find one" (also from Pulaski). At short introductions, I was surprised to find that I was the old timer having lived on the Little River for 48 years - even the combined years by the others didn't come to half! This fact did not however earn me any respect. Not even with my quickly revised view of the future: Passenger rail service returns to Pulaski, Radford and Cambria providing job opportunities! Of course, the unwavering 5 dismissed my future of a ban on all artificial fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides! I threw that one in just to be ornery. As the only representative from Montgomery County, albeit from the outback and largely Republican section of the county, I mentioned that I had worked in both Floyd and Pulaski. All of us did agree that the natural beauty of this area was its greatest strength; they wanted to add "God made not man made."
As we moved further into the discussion, it became them and us. The no government five vetoed all but their own suggestions: they wanted a future which insured property rights, with no gov't intervention, a self-reliant self-sustainable valley. They wanted jobs, but they failed to offer any ideas for attracting them. The Pulaski duo were convinced that gov't grants had done nothing for the county; I agreed with them that Pulaski was a very different place than Montgomery county as far as opportunities went. But when I suggest a clean up of Peak Creek which runs thru the town and a return of the passenger train, they poo-pooed the idea. The "wedding" crasher said that the "gov't" had stopped the rail service because of low use. The Pearisburg man offered that at that time gas was 25 cents a gallon! The angular couple from Floyd complained bitterly of the town council in Floyd. It was so noisy in the room and the technology crashed at one point - I began to sit back and to just observe the property rights folks. They were beginning to get angry that my suggestion for more trails connecting the counties, along with rail service was being considered as one of our three top views for the future. ah! I was way in the minority; but I had faith that the majority of the room was from Montgomery county!
My next table was totally different. At a "natural resource" table we all agreed on the need for clean water and air. We were unanimously pro-regulation; we wanted all the help we could get to clean up the New River' Valleys air and water.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

August river

Mr. Lee sat on a rock opposite me perched on a larger rock further off the shore. He did not bark and actually explored almost up to his ears. We played with the long strands of neon green weed - from, i suppose excess nitrogen fertilizer in the river, too little rain and the warmer temperatures. I'd like to dream up a use for the green; i'd love to stop all sales of chemical lawn fertilizer. WHY ARE PEOPLE SO IGNORANT OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR ACTIONS? And if not ignorant, why so uncaring? Mr. Lee and I plan to investigate, possibly picket; now that we know were Morgan Griffith's office is we could add it to our winter agenda.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dream: caught in a maze

desperate motion

to escape

hadn't thought of stilling myself,

of meditating a window

or outside scene.

Blaming dream on too much wine

or should I thank the wine

for revealing the dream?

7/31/11 mhn

Saturday, July 30, 2011

happy butterfly bush

The only plant really adapted to this summer in my yard which seems to thrive is the butterfly bush; I almost killed this one by mulching it! Besides the obvious charm of this bush, it has the benefit of not being on a deer's list of muchables. And it attracts butterflies. And it's odor is delightful. I want more as I move into zero scape and old age which necessarily twin. Low maintenance is a plus. Despite my use of a rotten egg, hot pepper and garlic infused water concoction sprayed liberally on plants favored by deer, I have pathetic roses and strangely pruned lilacs. I realize there is a draw back to the butterfly bush, which is its ungainly growth. I don't care, I like blooms in late summer.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

there was a turtle in the garden

In the garden this evening: two tomatoes, low hanging, with bottoms gnawed and telltale signs of tomato worm - but couldn't find the worm or the turtle. Lovely swim at 5:30; after a warm noon protest outside the office of Representative Morgan Griffith. Felt good showing up with many people I knew to urge Morgan to vote to raise the debt ceiling, bring in revenue by raising taxes on rich or/& closing loop holes in the tax code and leaving Medicare and Social Security from drastic hacking. We may not make an impression in Morgan's dim brain, but who knows - worth the effort. Mr. Lee and I are bushed.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


An acquaintance

this young buck of three nobs

across the dried creek bed


as we stare

I with my bucket of water for chickens


he grazing in this safe spot


(maybe tomorrow I can get a photo)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Collecting jewel weed and plantain

Surprise visitor today who is an herbalist, lives across the river in Indian Valley, came looking for Jewel weed and Plantain. I took her for a leisurely stroll down creek to the river collecting the two plants. She is fascinating, having grown up in Dominican Republic (speaks French and Spanish fluently) and having studied herbs (prompted by her experience being healed by her grandmother's herbal tea as a child). She has met my friend Alma and we are hoping to get together for dinner soon with her partner also. And most exciting is the RAIN on this muggy day, keeping the temperature in the 80's, prompting me to do some qigong in thanks under the wet sky.
Oh so luscious Cherokee Purple tomato, large as my fist, larger than my fist - for lunch. ah. Such delicious-ness sets me in speechless heaven - nothing to do by lollygag in the taste, in the communion of garden.

Monday, July 18, 2011

yet another snake

The last two snakes have been considerably smaller in girth; this one coiled as if to sleep in the laying box with egg in mouth! I do wish I could persuade one to stay in the studio environs instead of raiding coop.
Got my stitches out today and sallied into the river in celebration around 5:30 when the sun had left the swimming hole! Wonderful feeling after almost two weeks just getting my feet and legs wet. I now feel like a captive in my scarf clad window cave from noon until 5; but with the heat I am adapting to afternoon reading. Today I even hung new kitchen lights which I found at Home Depot; they work on the track system already installed but much brighter - mini indoor flood. Perhaps I will transform into an improved house cleaner, more likely I will get back to water colors.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

cool days in July

Cool, almost chilly, and a bit of rain - Pearl and I played inside almost all morning and Mr. Lee got a bath. Kind of a spoiler this weather as the 90's are due to return next week, but not to enjoy would be insanity, impossible I think.
Straining at the keys, some restlessness tugs at me to move; but I'd like to wrestle longer with this page. After all my last post was fairly strong. I don't seem to be so "bothered" now. I seem to be sliding into the denial pool of living, adding more tumeric to my diet, keeping up qigong, but not overly concerned with skin. Well, this is dishonest; I am worried about my skin enough that I am avoiding sun in the hot afternoon. And I'm looking for a UV protective shirt after returning one from LL Bean, knowing that I'd rather stay inside than wear it out.
The topic which creeps into my mind is, cancer happens so damn fast. Well, the cancer probably didn't happen so fast in my body, but the discovery and consequences happened way quick. Too speedy for my assessment emotionally. I mean I was just learning to live with my "shark bite" scar when at the first 3 month check up they do another biopsy which a few days later is said to be another melanoma! This one fell heavily. I tried to hang onto the good news that it was "insitu" which did carry me far. In fact, if I hadn't been visited by my old friend (known each other since 6th grade), I might have keep my delusional mask on tight. Well, her visit and the near catastrophe of the garden tour pulled down my facade. I had cancer. It has been removed. But now I have to be checked again and again. It is rare the dermatologist says to have two melanomas, and very rare to have three. I'm rare enough. I'll bask in the three month hiatus from full body check! I'll let myself stress out every third month! I'll look into the vacation suggestion Ezra gave me.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

This bothers me:

When I mentioned to a friend that I couldn't attend something which I don't now recall because I had just heard from the dermatologist that I had another melanoma, she proceeds to pull up her blouse to show her back. Oh, I had many removed! There were discolored spots, but no scars that once had sutures, no 26 stitch long slice which I now have on my back, or 2 1/2" scar that looks like a shark bite on my left upper arm. She would be dead. She did later change her story, not melanomas. Another friend when I told her of my melanoma, two in the last 5 months, stripped off her shorts to expose what she claimed were suspect spots. I couldn't see anything. Look folks, I do NOT think that in your right mind you would take out a boob for some one to check for lumps, if that someone just told you that they had breast cancer! "Hello," my cancer is not about YOU.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

mr lee and mr turtle

I might have guessed what Mr. Lee was barking at sooner, only I just dismissed his persistence; but this afternoon at peak stress moment, I went to look: a turtle. "Mr. Lee," I said "NO, turtles are our friends." This, of course, was not persuasive. I finally got Mr. Lee on the deck and took Mr. Turtle up creek - far enough away the he has escaped harassment so far this evening.
This morning I found another black snake in the coop and hustled down to the river. Realizing that I had better not risk wading across with the wound on my back, I just let him loose down river.
Now it looks like Yoga Sharon has finally arrived.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

got scars?

There was a time, age seventeen, when I wanted scars. I wanted a scar that was a warning. This was before tattoos or I would perhaps have gone for a tattoo/a sign that would alert viewer to the fact that "this woman has suffered some trauma - tread with caution." At seventeen I took up smoking, it looked tough, I wanted to be tough. This is the dilemma of a "cute" person.
Today I have a good scar, one that looks like a wild big mouthed animal - maybe shark - took a bite out of my upper left arm. And now I have a fresh one on my back, no depth to this one, but a bit longer. It is bandaged. I won't really get a look til tomorrow. Susan says it is a good one, that our friend Ann won't like it. Susan came with me to the dermatologist's office and she got to watch the whole excision of my second melanoma. I asked the doctor if there was a chance I'd have another; I mean I'm ready to give up scars, I've got enough. He said it is rare to have three. I asked,"do they die before they get another?" The two medical students laughed with me and Dr. Hurd smiled. "no they are still alive!" Oh I was giggly - I mean, what's to do in such a situation. Glad this melanoma was insitu, and glad i didn't have to be put out. Glad I'm a giggly sort a cute 66 year old with scars!

Friday, July 1, 2011

numero four

I grabbed this one and put him into a feed sack for Baldwin to take further down the road; it was the largest one, I think, of the egg thieves.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I have frequently used the phrase,"I have to make two mistakes before I know I've made a mistake," in reference to much of my life. It was formulated after my father told me, with not a touch of sympathy in his voice, "only a fool makes the same mistake twice." He was referring to my second divorce! He didn't know about my two abortions. Of course, it is somewhat prideful to think that I learned after two mistakes...I certainly smoked more than two cigarettes, took more 'shrums and LSD than two. However, this second melanoma (fortunately "insitu") has prompted me to hope this second incident is the last.
Wonderful weekend at Robin A Murphy ND's Qigong seminar - and I was able to recall the Amrita Mudras to share with my class in Riner. I love doing qigong; I can notice how much stronger I am than 3 years ago . I suspect, too, that my bones are much stronger and my balance improved. Mostly I feel my grin is more often on my face - I just hope I can keep a face on! ha!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The snake magnet

Third black snake of the season caught in the act of swallowing an egg; this snake 1/2 the circumference of the other two. Blessedly we got 3/10th of inch of rain and the garden is happy as am I, taking a hiatus from watering. Have tiny cucumbers and yellow squash; some green tomatoes also.
Discovered this afternoon at the dermatologist that I have to go in every 3 months this year; today I left with eight spots burned off and a biopsy of a mole on my back (she didn't think was very bad?). So I am renewing my effort to avoid sun during peak time; altho, I will check chicken coop between 2-3 in the afternoon as that seems to be prime time for snake munching down. I told the snake on the walk down to the river that he could have made a home in the coop if he had stuck with mice and left all eggs alone. Don't believe I can make a deal with a snake, but would have loved to have this one take up residence under my house. Eggs must be a great temptation.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

another trip with black snake!

I'm beginning to know black snakes. This one's coat was more glossy; it didn't make choking sounds on the way to the river. Of course, I didn't nab it with an egg in its mouth! There may be a line up at the back of the coop, looks like an everyday addition to my routine to check the coop earlier in the day than normal.
There is much thunder in the West.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

zen lessons?

Lessons began last night when Jana leaned out of her Rav4 window to say, "that tire is flat!" pointing to the right front of my Prius in the YMCA parking lot after Qigong. Sooo Susan and I pulled into the conveniently located neighboring gas station with air machine. I managed to secure 3 quarter and we were in business. I dropped Susan off ("please let me know you make it home!") and headed for 460, thinking to take it easy and get off the bypass. I risked waiting until my usual exit before 81 and made it to the Radford St. stop light before the tire pressure light went on. So at the gas station by the 81 entrance I filled up the air and prayed I'd make it home. Indeed I did, the light not turning on until my drive way.
Today after qigong (which Saroj took me to) I filled up the tire again and set off for the Toyota quick stop; I had to stop in Christiansburg for air. After having to haggle with the service person who first said that "there is NO warranty on tires that come with NEW cars!" I drove off 4 hours latter with a new set of tires for all four wheels - at a fair discount....grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. The service person finally called Good year after I had them remove the tire to try to fix and it was DRY ROTTED after only 3 years and 23,000 miles!!!! Good year agreed to $52 a tire for new ones. I am pissed that the Toyota folks whom I visited 3 weeks ago for an inspection, told me that my tires were still good and they mentioned that the warranty didn't work unless treads more worn - but they did mention a warranty....HEY, TOYOTA GET ON THE SAME PAGE!
it was so good to arrive home and to take a walk to river with Mr. Lee! now it is cool with a storm over the East ridge making sound and wind and HOPEFULLY rain!.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Just returned from walking with captured black snake grasped in hands down to the river, wading across for relocation camp. Yesterday's one egg was evidence enough for me to begin the several times a day check on coop routine. And the second check around 12:30 proved opportune: with egg propping jaws unhinged, I easily clasped the snake behind jaws, expelling egg and yanking snake out of nest. It was docile enough that I decided to walk it to the river. It wasn't until I stood at the river bank that I realized it would be an easy wade across; I did almost slip on the second step!
Wonderful early evening thunder storm yesterday, just as I was about to walk up to Blue house for dinner with Mary T and Alan, Soren and Noah. I hope California is a good home for all of them, but we will miss them in these parts. May have to take a trip out west to visit someday...

Sunday, June 5, 2011


I have been away from blogging; excuses amount to working on "heavy boots" to preparing for poetry jam to nothing at all. But I didn't want to neglect a reference to yesterdays lovely lazy kayak down the Little with my friend, Susan. Thanks to Baldwin setting us up: kayaks waiting at bottoms and his truck at the Blue Springs bridge, we had just enough of a work out that we could manage.
I forget how long it takes to reach the 787 bridge; perhaps a 10 minute drive, by river, an hour! We could have lingered longer, but we talked and lollygagged enough to sooth ourselves and to heal whatever might need healing.
Although the Poetry Jam fund raiser from Pulaski tornado victims was poorly attended, I so enjoyed reading with Chelsea and being backed-up by her husband Bill! It was fun to read with music which prompted me to vary my speed and emphasis (or so it seemed to me!)
I suspect though that i need to get on the river again SOON! Friends of the Library intrigue and disappointing people are getting me down and my dander up!

Monday, May 23, 2011

stupid or what?

Working this morning in garden, trying to clean up the oasis (ha) between hot tub area and studio - which by July will be not hot tub area and perhaps shady sitting. Sky holding dampness of last night's storms. Pulling out the spent (think of the odd use of this word) orange poppy stalks, having to dig under taller grass to loosen soil. Then phone rings and I run with wet sopping leather gloves, fumbling to get them off. Homeopathy 101, for sting on face that has now swollen; after "does cold make it feel better," i suggest Apis. Back to get the wheelbarrow to fill with the debris. Then the phone rings, I run again - answer before checking the number; it's John. I don't recognize his voice at first and he says it's papa John. oh, pathetic. He wants to know if my brother will buy back his golf club stock ; I say don't ask, he will call if he wants it. I am cold. I say I have got to go. I decide to take a shower; the sun's coming out, it's hotter. How can I feel so little, but stupid, yes. I decide to cut John out of a photo upstairs.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

oh dear, tragedy

it seems that my guinea hens have been raptured; i've only dotted feathers on the path up from the studio - i don't know if one or more than one. But fear has scattered them. oh, dear, the end of the world comes often in the hollow; pigeon also seems to have taken off, up or out??!!!
i posted on FB this morning just returned from the Blue House where everything appears ok - I've set out grain for the guineas in their usual spot in case some may have survived the horror of last night. I know there was nothing amiss at 11; as I didn't get home from hearing Anya's band in Blacksburg until after 10. And I saw no feathers on the path last night though it was dark and the stars were particularly vivid.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Guineas circle the house

The movement ever so slight of flowers or of grass is tell tail of the presence of the guinea pod, that and a low "buckwheat buckwheat." I've discovered them in the front of the house near the water barrel and all about and upon the back deck (even to the door, peering inside!). Waiting on Mary Tartaro to pick up "Heavy Boots" and another piece (maybe "pig man pan"); I think I am last on the docket today so I should ump myself and walk doggies to river.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Blogger up again, in the wet hollar; too wet to plant in the freshly tilled plots which Baldwin worked for me two days ago, too much rain to drink the water directly from the tap. But the flowering is bountiful and my plum tree which has never in its 18 year (?) life produced plums is pendulous with green babies. It's problem was always that it would bloom too soon and suffer frost damage. Eating fresh salads from the earlier planting, potatoes up and looking well and finally a tiny slim asparagus shoot. Monitoring the swollen Mississippi as its bloat moves down to New Orleans; the Army Corp plans to open the Morganza spillway today to divert water from Baton Rouge and New Orleans which will hopefully remedy the dire situation. I keep thinking that Katrina was warning: there really is no way to protect this below sea level city from rising water, not with global warming. Ah, but I am struggling with my anxiety for this once home, birth place, especially as my sons with their families converge there for the memorial for their Uncle Don which is May 21. Working on Heavy Boots who has transformed...may post a picture soon - it is due for pickup in week!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fowl situation

The odor in the shop was beginning to be fowl - 6 guineas were growing and needed outside air i figured. Prematurely and with no thought to the weather, 2 nights ago I let the six loose in the chicken coop. They immediately went to the highest roost and nestled in behind the hens. In the morning they were on top of the laying boxes. They seemed happy to stay in the house after I let the chickens out; but I did leave the small door open. In the afternoon I found 4 guineas in the yard and two (as seen in the picture) still in the coop. I asked Baldwin to close the chickens up that night as I was going to be late getting home from Qigong. I sensed something was amiss when i arrived home noting the light on in the coop. Baldwin had been unable to even find the guineas and had left the light on and chicken door open in case they came back. I closed the small door and went to bed with worry for the loose guineas. What a stormy night with high high wind and an 1" of rain which woke me up several times. A guinea hell of a night. In the morning I could hear the "buck - wheat...buck - wheat" of the guineas. Three were by the garden fence; but before I could corral them towards the chicken yard, Mr. Lee chased them off. Since i had to go into town, I hazarded that the three would be ok until I returned. In the afternoon when I returned, I found a dead guinea - and heard no familiar guinea talk. I feared that others had meet the same fate as the dead one. I walked to the river. John Weeks came to cut the lawn. By almost 7 when I sent to see the weather upstairs on TV, I heard a peep - a guinea "buck-wheat." And at the front steps was a lone guinea. I threw out some corn and kept Mr. Lee inside. I figured that as evening came I might be able to catch him. By 8, I walked to the chicken house, and unbelievably there was a guinea - no two guineas. No, as I got nearer, 5 guineas were at the door of the chicken house! I had some sport catching all 5, but all 5 are in the chicken coop for the night! I'll make an outside smaller yard for them in the morning - they are definitely too young to be out loose.