Thursday, May 31, 2012

eye glasses lost

I think it was on the plane to Cusco that I accidentally left my eyeglasses. Not so important as I only wear prescription lenses for driving and for movies; they were transition lenses though, nice. Now I, by Virginia state regulation, HAVE TO HAVE AN EYE EXAM in order to fill my prescription as the RX is over two years old. GRR. When the Wal-mart vision department informed me that they could not refill my RX and why, I sarcastically said, "well, isn't that capitalism at its best; you and the optometrists benifit!" - certainly NOT the consumer. I've had the same RX since I was a teenager.

Inca memories

I adore the Peruvian dress, the colorful full skirts, the intricate woven cloth from alpaca and llama. Small groups of inhabitants milled about every place we went asking for coins if we took their pictures or pet the baby alpaca. It touched me to see a red llama which reminded me of my llama, Crissy, at Machu Picchu. The town of Cusco is laid out in the form of a puma. Snake, puma and condor were the three main sacred animals of the Inka - well, I imagine llamas were also!
At the terraced site of the temple of the Sun the day after Machu Picchu, I was reminded of my small affinity to the Inca. There is a rock which juts out from Red Bud mountain on the path by the creek to the river which looks like a turtle head. I have over the years left rocks and wishes and gratitude on this cool rock face. For the Incas out crops of rocks on the mountains were worshiped as, in the case in the sacred valley, as the messenger to God. Our guide, Carlos, pointed out the nose and cheek bones, eyes and forehead and beard. Further up on the same mountain was an outcrop of rock in the image of a king - the constellation, Pleiades, moves during the year in the night sky adjacent to this face, telling of weather for the growing season. To the right of the messenger to God, is a stone storage building which is a passive refrigerator for potatoes and other vegetables. The Inca terraces are intricate, rocks on the bottom, then pebbles, then sand and last humus. They cultivated thousands of types of vegetables (especially potatoes). 

More Machu Picchu

Sitting here in my room with book cases to my back, further back my prosperous looking garden and red bud mountain in front of me - at all of 2,000 feet, I am awed that I took this picture just days ago (May 26th). I am still trying to find the words to describe this adventure. It will take time...a spiritual trip I can say. This high culture was so obviously dedicated to the civilization of man and the cultivation of potato (among many many other vegetables). On the last day in Cusco before bed, I happened to see an interview with a Peruvian artist - with a picture of large paintings (reminding me of Picasso's Guernica) AND a sculpture of a potato (i think in silver) with abstract figures holding it up.
This second picture from Machu Picchu shows our guide, Hamilton, on the left, with the red flag. the two guys to the right, obviously feeling the oxygen thin atmosphere, hands on their crotches! Oh, I used every mudra I knew in the climb as I felt as if there was a heavy brick pressing against my sternum.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I'm HOME! With still a Machu Picchu high coursing my brain, oxygen deprived brain that is. Managed to climb up to the highest point of MP and the next day up to the Sun Temple in the Sacred Valley - all more awesome than I want to speak of tonight. Tonight I am fit only for hugging Mr. Lee and kisses to beautiful grand-daughter and her beautiful parenti, a dinner of fresh steamed peas from the garden and soon a soak in epsom salt bath. but here's a pic! This is me of the green hat with a cup of cocoa leaf tea and my friend Mary Louise whom I have known since age 7 (another New Orleans person with ties to Texas and to Panama). more later!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Egg Thief

First black snake in the chicken house this year, curled snug in box hugging an egg. An easy grab as he was no doubt lethargic from already having ingested egg. Walked snake down the creek to be freed after a lecture about stealing my eggs! 
Began packing for trip to Peru! Music of the Andes in the back of my mind is filtering into my routine...I am getting excited.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

One down

To Katrina goes the victory, one rabbit down, albeit a young bunny, pint sized and quivering in cat jaws at the door. Finally Katrina ate the catch when I refused to let her inside with it. Now to hope that this murder sends great alarm out to all of Peter's relatives and there will be no more interlopers in the garden. 
Rain all day yesterday and today heavy gray skies. I want to push some green bean seeds into the bean row I have raised in the garden and if not today I will do it tomorrow which I think promises sun. I have a plan to put squash seeds in the center of each square of corn in the back of the garden. My pea plants are blooming!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Peter Rabbit cornered

This evening I made an attempt to secure the chicken yard from what I hazard is loose enough fencing that rabbit could squeeze under. The chickens delighted in my work as it entailed shovels of earth tossed at the fence, earth filled with rudely dislodged earthworms and cut worms and no doubt other chicken candies. I will have to find other solutions as the chickens have scratched away most of my work! Yesterday evening I surprised rabbit, who ran from one corner of the garden to the next - frantically - trying to find an escape hole. I inspected the fence, but could not find a sure entrance. It was in the chicken yard that I found the most likely entrance. Rabbit had managed to eat the tender tops off all of my young beets. Now I blame rabbit on my lack of lettuce. I know I planted several varieties and have only a few plants. My other plantings did well, no other explanation for no lettuce. It does seem like a boon rabbit year; there are several on our road in the evenings and mornings. Katrina was fairly unmoved by the rabbit event while Mr Lee went after Peter. I was the one who got very close and had an impulse to catch him - an impulse I smothered with the quickly following scenario of rabbit bite - and with the sure knowledge that I wouldn't have the nerve to strangle the bunny. 
In spite of Peter Rabbit, I had a wonderful Mother's Day! 


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Stinging nettles in smoothies

Rainy this morning, abundance of green all about me as I rake grass for the chicken coop. My peonies are opening and I can't walk past without bending for a whiff. Winter falls from my shoulders in a shrug. This is what I wait for and can never fabricate. 
The stinging nettles are up by our camp site at the river. Mindy walked home from the river with a bouquet in her hands yesterday.  I have grown to not  mind the quick sting as I pinch off a nettle top - convincing myself that the discomfort is healing to any arthritic tendency in my hands. Their leaves are hugely beneficial:
  • Strengthen adrenal, urinary, lung and kidney function
  • Purify, build and nourish blood
  • Removes phlegm, alleviates dry cough
  • Reduces symptoms of PMS
  • Alleviates gout, asthma, rheumatic/arthritic conditions, and anemia
  • and can benefit those who suffer from seasonal allergies

Friday, May 4, 2012

many little tomato seedlings

Thunderous storm yesterday afternoon, a woo woo storm, I thought, with lightning all about the house. I didn't get into the garden to tuck tomatoes which Baldwin brought into the ground - but perhaps this weekend. I may plant one of the cherry tomatoes in a pot for the deck.
This morning I found that a deer had pruned my hibiscus which I just liberated from the green house - the deer also ate most of an ornamental sweet potato plant in a hanging basket! Selective munching as I can't find other damage. 
I have begun my summer routine early: opening windows at night to let in the cool evening air and closing the windows in the morning to keep the cool air in through the hot afternoon. I have hung scarves on some of the windows which are especially situated to garner the late day sun. I have washed my duvet. And yet I have plants still in the green house and seedlings I dare not risk in the garden yet. Alma says that pepper and tomato plants are effected badly from morning temperatures in the 40's or lower. But I now have so many tomato plants that I will try planting some of them! Enough to test - My new weed eater...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


This morning some Martian impulse lead me out in the wet grass to chain saw the two dead limbs from the weeping copper beech which no longer weeps because of the looming black walnut. Then I trimmed dead limbs from the Seven (or is it Nine?) bark shrub by the studio; finding nothing else nearby, I returned the saw to the shop!