Sunday, June 24, 2012


John died Saturday, June 23.

He wanted to hug and touch. I grew tired of that. I wanted compliments and talk. Twenty years we lived together, though the last five were more convenience than couple, longer a pair than we'd been with any others. My old farm house thrived, we built a studio and a shop. I stopped smoking 17 years ago egged on in part by his "old people can't stop!" He never did and it slowly conspired to bring him down. 
We split over care for my father. John moved to Ocean Springs without my input. It was past time to split, he was right. And it seemed a good plan for my dad, only John grew very ill, hardly able to leave his room. My father died; John has suffered over a year longer - fortunately under the dear care of his daughters. 
I learned how to kill a chicken. I learned about building from footers to roof beams. I learned to abide pintos and mashed potatoes in stead of red beans and rice. I grew fond of butter milk poured over corn bread. But I never liked his Thanksgiving stuffing! 
Enough, I want to go work in the garden before it grows too warm; I will come back to this! 
Walked to the swimming hole thinking of wild mushrooms, thinking of the fun John and I had in the fall looking for mushrooms. Found what I call a "red hairy", suillus pictus", and marked the spot so that I would find it on the way home. Walking home I found another and Baldwin found another - so I've a celebration dinner in John's memory tonight.

Furthermore, John set the standard for blackberry picking; I can see him in a flannel shirt, his old work pants, belt around his neck with a bucket cut from a milk jug - setting out early in the morning for the bottoms. He had pretty good nerves, drove a dynamite truck all over West Virginia for the mines (lots of two lane roads which consisted of one center paved lane and fairly wide gravel shoulders). I must have grown more volatile than dynamite. 
John could sit in a chair in the shade of a tree with his shot gun waiting for the ground hog to show. He was an amazing shot. He shot a wounded deer in the river, in the fog. Baldwin had run home to tell us that he had just been joined on the logging road by a limping deer who veered off into the river. John hustled fast and we got to the river in time to see the deer trying to cross. 
About the time that John's ashes were being interred in Beckley, Elizabeth sang "July, July" - a song she wrote which had us in tears at Ann's while reading through our show. Borrowing from Elizabeth's lyrics, John did a good job in his life. As Mindy said, "he taught Baldwin how to build." Ezra, tonight, added, "he was great to play golf with!" (He saved Fred's (my second x-husband) life on the golf course!). He was a fine masseuse. 
Need to toast him with some Jack!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Baby Sofia home!

I've tried to send no worry, wearing my green locket with Sofia's picture, morning qigong dedicated to her, but it was a great relief to hear my son's voice this afternoon, "she's coming home!" Sofia, only one week old, has had a second hospital stay to check her respiration, which will suddenly fluctuate and speed up. Nothing has been found amiss. Her appetite is great her dad reports. Oh, happiness. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Halcyon day

Rhododendron blooming and honeysuckle azalea along the river bank. A noisy hawk flies the water course beside me; Mr. Lee doesn't bark - too busy with the scents, I guess. Baby Sofia is due any minute and I have taken myself to the river to wait.
For two nights a deer has gotten into the garden. Yesterday it ate tops of bean plants and a few tops of corn - last night, merely the tops of a few okra plants and a leaf of fig. I fortunately sprayed with the deeraway last night just in case it was no accident that a deer ended up in the garden. I also added more rope to the opening to the garden from the chicken yard. I don't see how a deer could leap the fence?  Tempted to try to stay up all night just to see.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Last night after midnight, I woke up to yipping and whistling like sounds. Mr Lee was growling by my ear. It seemed that the house was surrounded by a pack of coyotes having a party - no doubt, with rabbit dinner! I looked for any signs this morning as I walked to open the chickens - but no scat. 
A picture I took last week of DD when we were building a city with the blocks. 


Saturday, June 9, 2012

early garden mornings

After I open the chicken coop, I enter the garden to choose greens for my morning smoothie - the collards have been providing most of the mix of late - their large gray green leaves remaining tender and sweet. I now have lamb's quarters to add; this morning I added a few sugar snap peas as I have a good crop. I have been planting lettuce and arugula and beets every week in hopes of replacing the rabbit damage which left me bereft of these greens. Oh, delight this year I have squash plants on the edge of bloom, tomato plants with green baby orbs this soon. 
Watching Maria Sharapova and Sara Errani in the finals of the French Open with mr Lee on my lap. I hadn't planned to be inside when this is the best time for garden work, but I have missed watching tennis - this just a wee indulgence. Well, perhaps tomorrow morning for the men's final, I will again be sitting here. I am discouraged by the damage by deer this year around the house (which does not have fencing as does the vegetable garden). They have munched the buds of the purple and red day lilies. My deer away concoction doesn't seem to be thwarting their appetites. I'm making a stronger brew today to set in the sun. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

More pictures from trip

Mary Louise has emailed some more of her good pictures.  Here we five are waiting at the airport to begin our trek. I so remind myself of my mother in this picture in my white blouse with a collar, only mother would have buttoned the top button and instead of blue jeans, red jeans. Stephanie and Nayla vied for the most baggage; Stephenie had an old plastic soda bottle of bourbon checked in one of her two bags. Nayla who stands behind us, who initiated the trip, had a large suitcase filled with color coordinated outfits - many with bling. She was the youngest of our ground, still in her 50's; Clara (from Cuba) sitting on the right, is a hale 72 and much fun.  
The highest point of the trip, notice the glacier in the background (some 3,000 meters, about 11,000+ feet). Mary Louise found my green hat a helpful spot of recognizable color in the markets! This our last day of the trip took us through the Sacred Valley, beginning with a chilly walk up a series of terraces to the Temple of the Sun.

Friday, June 1, 2012

sitting in wall window

Mary Louise just sent me this picture which she took with either her camera or Iphone.