Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Eve 2015

Ending the year by bringing all my trash to the recycling center before leading my class in qigong. I will begin 2016 with empty garbage cans and aim to spend at least some of the new year weeding thru my too many things. Bring books to the library and clothes to MEAP store. I have accumulated too much to clean out in one day. Besides I need to burn old writing and poems, a cold weather project. And cold winter is due to come the weather man says; we have been unusually warm. I will just dearly pray that snow will hold off until after I return from my trip to Dominican Republic!
Speaking of trips, I enjoyed my time in Houston with Ez, Jen and Fia and with Jen's mom and her brother and his family. Played with Fia's Christmas presents with her: legos (princess and her cat with castle and catapult - really, ha!), playmobile (family camping with tent), tee-pee and huge soft dog, play-do (sea turtle mold and jewelry making kit), and with Fia's doll - oh and puzzles too!! Ez and his friend, Mulvi (who let me stay in his guest room only a few blocks from Ez's house) met me in New Orleans for my brother's party for his daughter, Libby, at the Home of the Blues. I was supposed to be there at 5 PM; but due to fog in Roanoke, I didn't arrive until 10:30. The airline finally got a bus for 50 stranded passengers to Charlotte. Brief hello to Brother, Libby and William - enjoyed the band (Pat Green) and Irma Thomas who sang a couple of songs. We flew to Houston in the morning, Christmas Eve. I was supposed to leave Houston  on the 28th at 8 am, but, deja vie, planes were delayed because of tornadoes in Dallas and foul weather across the country. I finally got home at 8 in the evening, standby status. ah! Global Warming bringing dramatic weather; Mississippi higher than recorded.

Monday, December 21, 2015


Pictures from Dominican Republic;  they've moved into the compound with the fringe from roof palmettos etching out the light from windows and doors (which are soon come!). A stove and a mattress and kids' stockings hung. I'm so looking forward to being there. Happy day of least light; happy coming of the light! 
Two walk day, Alma joined me for the afternoon hike to the bottoms to familiarize the dogs to her presence which will be their person for the few days I'm gone. Christmas in Houston after party down at the Home of the Blues in New Orleans. I'm bringing caramels and dark chocolate bark from the Chocolate Spike. I think I am ready.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Thinking Heavy in the Cold, Thinking Light

Warmer today after two mornings in the 20s. Wild goose qigong at the river while dogs nose the river bank. Stamping on the heaved earth. Trying to find good remedy for cold in the nose; Schussler tissue salt, Kali Muriaticum seems to be helping immensely. Shortly after the first dose on Friday, swollen glands deflated! "Without the presence of this salt no new brain-cell formation would take place!" (Boericke & Dewey's bk on 12 Tissue Remedies of Shussler). I think I needed this remedy years ago. "It is found in the blood in greater quantity than any other inorganic salt except its close relative Sodium chloride (Nat-mur)." Interestingly, it is the principle remedy for smallpox - controls the formation of pustules; in that vein, to be considered in cases of herpes, shingles, lupus, measles, hoarse cough and glandular swellings. 
This has prompted a closer study of all 12 tissue salts and some other of the Kali remedies. I have recently suggested Silica for a friend. A remedy which I think of when treating an infant who seems to be failing to thrive, with difficult dentition. Interestingly, Silica is an excellent remedy for gum disease in adults. Mentally, people who need Silica, are very detailed oriented. I now think that their physical state (difficult assimilation)  correlates with their tendency to take copious notes and tape classes, repeating classes without retaining skills. These folks are cold, prone to wearing hats, lack vital heat. There is a lack of 'grit."

 This is where I go when I feel too cold! The green house is heavenly with the blooming lemon and lime, festive with the riot colors of the blooming geraniums. A break from my study.
Another tissue salt which I find useful is Ferrum phosphoric, which if taken at the first sign of inflammation can prevent full blown head cold. "Iron (ferrum) is the biochemical remedy for : 1 The first stage of inflammations.
2 Pains that are worse from motion and better from cold.
3 Hemorrhages caused by hyperaemia.
4 Fresh wounds cause by mechanical injuries." 
The mental symptoms with call for this remedy include "trifles seem like mountains, annoyed at trifles!" 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Salubrious Weather

Maybe not the expected weather of December, but glorious sun and 50's to 60, expected 70 on Saturday. Celebration long walks with dogs. Qigong at the river; singing and airing out the house. I cleaned up my CD player and tried out two new discs - the whole house filled with the music.
After qigong today, Beth offered a presentation of salt fermenting vegetables and fruit; inspired I have started a quart jar of cabbage, ginger, garlic, carrot, jalapeño, stem of broccoli. In 7 to 10 days I should have some goodies. After a quick trip to the recycling center in Riner, I met my class at the Buffalo and More for lunch - they treated me. I love the way the class has expanded and continues after five years. Here's to more qigong and to fermented vegetables!
The island in a different light!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

in a certain light

On a walk last week, as the sun bowed behind the Floyd ridge, I stopped to take a picture of the island opposite the wild persimmon trees. So blue. The water more often a green tint. 
Today I cut a very small (maybe 2 feet high) cypress and have a decorated tree on the wood stove. I hung my stocking. It is pretty festive inside. I promised the dogs I would fill my stocking with dog treats and cat toys! And tomorrow i am mailing a box to the DR; Baldwin and Mindy sent an address. Their house is looking fantastic; they must move in by the 20th. I am calling it the found planet. Baldwin has done a beautiful job designing and building this enclave of pods. I look forward to January when i visit. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

thanksgiving meal with friends

I remember my grandmother, Mary, used to say, "we should treat our family members as we do our friends!" And what fun for me to have dinner with friends. 15 at Susan and Andy's table with Stefan and Alden, Katy and Mike, Molly, Jason and Elliott and Bodhi, Richard, Diane and Richard's sister, Lynn and me! Organic turkey from Weathertop Farm, stuffing with cranberries, mashed potatoes, Katy's beets, my creamed spinach, kale salad, Lynn's green beans, Diane's gravy, corn bread and rolls, cranberries. Pecan pie, Molly's pumpkin pies, chocolate pie and brownies for dessert. I am satisfied. The great full moon bringing me home with treats for the doggies. I am blessed. (I will pull the tide in you to me, sang the moon - i thought)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Weather of Gratitude

Coke bottle green, the river. Qigong on the sand where Baldwin's benches were before the flood. Down below the fire pit at the edge of the river below the shelf falls, a small sapling scratched bare by the rutting stags. Thank great river,earth, sky of it all. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Learning Wild Goose Qigong

Down where the creek meets the Little, on new sand from the big rain in October, I went through the wild goose set Robin gave us at the qigong retreat this weekend.  I did not rouse any of the Canadian Geese who I often see, but I remembered the sequence, inspired by place. First gazing at the expanse of sky, arms raised turning right than left keeping feet facing forward. Flying over the mountains next, breathing in as arms rise, out as they fall - several great arm wings to one side and then to the other. Then patting the water, hands flapping up to make a good stretch, as if preening to the tip of each wing. Over the pines for the fourth movement, flight as one hand stretches out and up, the other hand stretches down, then the palms pass each other as they stretch to the other side. 
The 5th and 6th flow into one another as the geese fly over a lake. I step out to the right, hands flapping over right knee and rising up over head until palms face up, then arms move to the sides still flapping. Pause, breathing in the arms move behind, flapping as the body stretches out over the lake, the neck stretching to get  a good look. Arms move back to the knees and repeat. After several flaps to the right side, move to the left. The seventh movement takes the geese into a glide: hands crossed in front of chest, step out to the right as arms move to the side and back, stretching forward. From one side to the other, the same smooth movement. Now the geese fly over the moon: prayer hands, step out to the right and stretch forward as hands lead, then hands pull back and body tucks down and inward (a slow rocking). The geese fly home: turning from one side to the other, arms undulate. To end the set, gaze at the sky with arms raised as in the beginning.
Look forward to doing this in class tomorrow! 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

out my window

Out my window, the strip tease of the walnut; hard freeze morning. Volunteer millet in the garden, frosty tan, with the corn stalks. I haven't opened the chicken house, too cold. But I stepped onto the deck to feel the petunias in window boxes and they are dead stiff. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

first picture of newly sculpted swim hole

All of the vegetation on the beach is gone. Less sand facing the river, more now facing down river. Out crops of blue slate that were covered by sand and shrubs are bare. Baldwin has made some rock stacks! Pearl has colored a face on a rock using pigment from other rocks. We have yet to explore debris piles along the banks.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

After the Rain

The sun showed up around noon; the sky aching blue. Finally. Last Wednesday my rain gauge topped off at 5 inches in the morning. The creek so high and fierce that my son and his wife were swept off their feet and dragged 12 feet. Three more inches by the next morning and the road rutted and just barely negotiable. The river higher than we've seen in 41 years. John's picnic table was snatched by the fury down at the camp site; the hammock filled with debris. The bottom field slippery with a coating of river silt. Baldwin's cedar chairs and bench floated off. It is a new landscape, the creek scoured, the logging road to the swimming hole strangely clean.
Playing today where the water would have been over our heads.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Today on my river walk

I didn't have a camera to take a picture of the Hearts a Bursting, but i will hope to capture a photo to add to this post this weekend, in spite of the possibility of rain. I did on the path to the swimming hole (though I wasn't going to swim, because of chill and head cold), find hickory nuts, strange small black pecans and oyster mushrooms! Baldwin has discovered how delicious the hickory nuts are, especially the ones from the shag bark hickory. I've been wanting to taste them, they smell wonderful, vanilla-isn. The squirrels so quickly eat or hide them that they are not that easily discovered. We have many hickory trees; I am surprised we haven't harvested more nuts. The vast majority of the nuts here are black walnuts, terribly  difficult to crack. I have a battle trying to keep the seedlings from garden and even under the deck.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


True was three in August; he has leapt into three with every cell firing. He swallows vocabulary like seedless grapes; he has us giggling daily at his use of new words. Running or Baba's shoulders are his only transportation options. His intent sees no obstacles. He falls. But he hugs so dearly when comforted! Today on the island below the falls, he brought his mom a sand birthday cake with a small plant on top which he noted was the candle. Sweet energy!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

rainy day gray

And all that goes with that: sniffles and low. Pleasant walk to the river where the spice bushes  display their bright red berries under the canopy of large riparian hard woods. My slight stack of rocks near one Baldwin made out from the mouth of the creek is holding against the rain swollen river. It was such a big treat to have my "boys" here with their families - I am still smiling on that and
all that goes with that! So I teeter between joy and sadness. Fairly maintaining a mid-ground.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Trying to Idle Summer

Two three year olds in the house; first they want each other's toys, then they push and shove. Suddenly they hug. Luckily I had my camera. Cousins with energy abundant and delightful ways with language. We've had visitors all of August and now into September I have my sons together.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

salubrious days

The air as if liquid, the water of the same temperature - tho the air is dry - i can't explain, but the verisimilitude of the day lightens my body and I feel as if I  move as a ghost...but then how would I know. The light, the air, the water, the temperature, the light breeze are all of the same tone - there is a lovely harmony. It is easy on the mind.
But this week the construction crew took the ancient leaning tree. The tall pine which grew and thrived at a 45 degree angle; bent, I supposed by the wind which comes all the way from West Virginia to this ridge. I suspected that the tree would be taken, yet sighed as I noticed the stack of its trunk today.
The studio has a new bed - the only king size in the hollow - and Mindy's painting over head. Guests due for this summer, and dear Teo and Jen and Fia.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

End of July - gardenia blooms

The day lilies are almost spent; and I regret, as usual, not having more blooming flowers for August about the house. My encore roses have failed to flourish as they seem to do for everyone else; the deer were rough on them and the horrid grass in the front of the house has starved many plants of nutrients and water. And then there is the gardenia on my deck blooming! I cannot complain.
I have nearly completed work painting my front deck, second one this summer. I have almost "enjoyed" the brush strokes, glopping on the thick medium to cover a deck neglected too long. And the repetitive task has been company to sad happenings which bother. Like my good friend's grandson who at just 5 has developed aplastic anemia. Or the sudden death of a wonderful man of the community - a man who was committed to social justice. A man whose death doesn't allow anyone who knew him to waste time mourning, but whose life prods at us to do more. To act when we see need.
And the heat today prompted me to join the floating world and follow Pearl to the river with tubes balanced on our heads. Little True in his own little inflated bloat tethered to his Papa's tube. Wonderful!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


She's seven today, my first grandchild. And in celebration this morning, I finally got around to hanging my hummingbird feeder. But I celebrate much more in my thoughts: this lean, lanky cinnamon colored girl who has brought the world to me in ways I had not imagined. Her sensitivity and empathy stop me; I watch her crouch down to let her brother climb onto her back. Images of children all over the world with their baby siblings bound to their backs crowd my view. I ask her to set him down for the walk to the river; it is too long and he is almost 3 and old enough to walk on his own. She obliges, but as we walk she constantly turns her head to check his progress! He is soon leading us down the path and we laugh at his antics.
She has seemed precocious to me in everything from kicking a small soccer ball at 3, to learning to read before 5. She is a story teller extraordinaire; with at least 5 on-going sagas of families  whose names I struggle to remember. Now she is not only learning  Amharic, but is nearly fluent in Spanish since attending an international school in Dominican Republic in winters, where she studies French. And she plays piano. And she loves salads. And she makes cards for every occasion. And I am beyond proud to be her Nanee.

Sunday, July 5, 2015


My friend, Mike Waterlond, taught me how to make enchiladas in my small kitchen in the house my husband and I rented while attending UVA graduate school. We made corn tortillas from scratch and a tomato sauce with a large can of tomato juice, a quart bottle of beer, along with chiles (the large brown dried ones and a can of jalapeños). Mike taught me that to cut the spicy heat of the sauce, you could add more salt. We dipped the tortillas into the cooked down sauce, placed the shell into a pan and added cooked sausage, chopped onions, cheese and black olives. When we had depleted the sausage, we stopped - there must have been 15 of them. As directed I spooned sauce over the lot and added cheese. They went into a 350 degree oven for 1/2 an hour.  Mike married Diane Wakoski a couple of years later; she had come to UVA for a year as poet in residence.
The batch of enchiladas that evening were so hot to the palette that only I could manage two.  I learned that evening that if you had unexpected guests just up the heat or hold the salt. Since then (40 years ago), I have amended the recipe: I now stuff store purchased tortillas with fresh vegetables from the garden. I still add olives and cheese. But if I don't have beer, I add Piri Piri spice. I use home canned tomatoes.  Diane divorced Mike, claiming he was gay. Last night's enchiladas contained zucchini, onions and swiss chard from the garden, red beans, Kalamata olives and sharp cheese. They were delicious.
Mike was the first person I knew fairly well that died of AIDS.  I hadn't heard from him in quite awhile; another classmate and close friend said that he had been working as a lobbyist in DC.  I think of him every time I assemble enchiladas or cook his Round Top chicken soup (which also contains a bottle of beer!).

trying to bait a poem!

new machine, new clean look, i hesitate to make my mark
gold finch at the feeder near the window
close enough that I am familiar with frequent visitors, a male
now sleekly golden, with bandit black crown, like a beret that his slipped.  the birds a distraction
i hadn’t sought this morning waiting for grandchildren to boom
into the quiet kitchen. and always, baiting a poem
from the pool of the sky.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

July so soon - Independence Day

The beginning of June I visited Sofia and her people in Houston, between the rains! Jen was in Trinidad for the christening of her nephew for several days, then Ez was in Mexico for work. So I got to be with Sofia, swim time and book time, tea time with dolls and puzzle time, bath time and dinner time. Ez and I went out for sushi - and another night we walked to get boiled crayfish. The highlight of the visit was Fia's 3rd birthday party. Face painter, giant blow-up bounce princess house, piñata, beautiful cake, delicious jerked chicken Ez cooked - and we managed to keep the kids from the pool. I left Houston the day more rain via a tropical depression was due. But in Charlotte my connecting flight to Roanoke was cancelled and I had to spend the night (when Ez was texting me on my way down, autocorrect turned Charlotte into Cheap Otter!).

Sunday, May 17, 2015

One month later

The time between has been limbo, bronchitis land. I am crawling forth, working in the garden the last couple of mornings. However, for more than two weeks, it was cough, poor sleep, no stamina - cough! Haven't had a bout of bronchitis like this since I was a smoker. Fortunately all of the early work in the garden is doing well; I have lettuce every day, onion tops, cilantro. Baldwin saved the day by mowing down the weeds which were about to take over. And my potatoes are up and thriving. I also have asparagus daily. My peonies are blooming; the spring have been incredibly lovely. The wisteria booming! Poppies and annual flox all about the house. I need to add some more pictures to this new computer; hold back from flooding the memory.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

shopping with my son

Rainy day shopping with son and Pearl and True which began with the need to find a new ceiling fan for my bed room. We start the search at Home Depot as they have great children carts and quickly decide on a remote control ceiling fan. The rain continues and since we are out, we decide to look for a canoe, since we can't take the kids in our single seat kayaks. But Dick's has only two canoes in the store. The children are restless and needing a snack. After blue berry muffins at Panera we decide to look at lap tops for me next door at the Best Buy. MacBook Airs were on sale! And here I sit before my so light weight 11" MacBook which I was able to set up on my own. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


I have been commandeered by grandchildren, happily, but the time is hurtling along. Red buds are on the very plump edge. And I am getting a new roof that is absolutely the icing on the cake! Blood root down by the river and woods along creek, and by the house the Virginia bluebells which I transplanted have spread and proliferated. It is blustery but warm.
My rooster, Mahoney died today - a surprise and I just noticed that he looked a bit ragged yesterday; then last night he wasn't on the perch between hens, but asleep on the floor. This morning cold.
Tomorrow I will have grandchildren for an overnight while their parents go to visit very ill friend. I've had Pearl and T. this week while Baldwin and Mindy teach at VT. Even successfully got T. to nap. So perhaps the overnight will be uneventful!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Celebrate Women

I am lucky, born among strong women, inspired by my mother and her mother. If not for them I would not have gone off to Sarah Lawrence, one of very few from the deep south! More strong amazing women there who coaxed poems out of me: Jane Cooper, Grace Paley and Muriel Rukeyser. Friends who amazed me - I thought we would change the world...feminist, anti-war protesters. And maybe a little of our world did change. But I realize the world spins torrents of need, we only began.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

oh, March

I wanted to have qigong class, but the schools closed and so cancelled qigong. It is still only rain falling down, but Alma tells me the rain is frozen on the ridge just a mile away where she lives. We plan to meet half way when it turns to snow - Alma has almond pear cake to share. And I have just learned that this weekend Robin Murphy Qigong seminar is cancelled due to plumbing issues and weather. I'll do my routine at home as usual and turn up the music. In anticipation of white, here's a picture from the 26th of February - not so long ago; all of this scene has turned back to winter tan, brown, black and gray - even the road has thawed from the sheet of ice. Sharon moans that even on the coast of Mississippi tonight's temperature may burn the azalea buds. We've nothing so delicate here; however, the birds yesterday sounded spring.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

snow in the night - stealthy

Four inches or more of snow as a greeting in the morning, later the power went off for three hours. I went ahead and fired up the wood stove as I figured that if I did so, surely the power would come back on. Indeed, just after I shoved a nice oak piece into the stove, the power returned! My neighbor's tractor is broken down, well, the blade is almost breaking off; so my road was pristine when the dogs and I walked up for the mail. It was ice about 3 inches down from the compressed snow - slippery.Chickens still reluctant to venture out even after I cleared more ground! Looking forward to Monday when temperatures are due to rise and rain come.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

in anticipation of sun

I have wash hanging from the line on my upstairs porch; I have cleaned the chickens block of ice out of their drinking tub and given them fresh water and cleared a small area of their yard, tossed scraps accumulated the last few days. Since the heavy rain that woke me in the night did little to melt the inch or so of snow and sleet covering the road, I plan to throw out some salt. The road looks better than I had imagined, as Robin had scraped the snow from Tuesday off. But I do need to walk up to see if it hasn't drifted something fierce in the last bend before the spot that was the barn. Later.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

most fickle tempest

Absolute mayhem in the skies: sleet and snow, all sleet, all snow, then blustery snow and ice. The temperature mercifully is 22 which after zero seems kind. Sometime this afternoon we are due for strictly rain. I don't begin to fool myself into believing that an afternoon of rain will melt away the 2 inches of snow and ice. It is heavy stuff to shovel, so I have not. And the conglomeration has no doubt fouled my sled run which was fun yesterday afternoon. My chickens look weary of their shut in life, or I project. I am thinking of a nap.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

zero and the year of the sheep or goat

We're all accounted for here in the hollow; I have even counted the chickens (10) who huddle in their smelly straw strewn coop.  Bundled up, I can hardly see my feet which disturbs my balance on the narrow path to the hens as I shift the kettle of boiling water from hand to hand to pour over their block of ice.I also tossed a cup of cracked corn underneath the bird feeder where doves, cardinals, junco nod  congregate, a flock of winter dulled gold finch decorate the branches of the red bud. A pair of jays come now that the cold has settled in, and the downy woodpeckers are frequent visitors to the suet cages. Usually in the afternoon house wren comes, and I've forgot to mention the chickadees and titmouse and upside down nuthatch. Along with the gold finch are two couples of house finch. I haven't seen yet this winter the red bellied woodpecker couple who were visitors in past winters. Now I do have sparrows who also prefer the ground to the acrobatics of the swinging feeder.
This was the road yesterday; today there is an inch more snow. I'll wait for the sun to walk to get the mail with the dogs - the high only forecast to be 10 degrees.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

news of the sun

An email this morning from further west speaks of the sun. I will salute. While long legged Mojo bounded thru the 8 inches of snow, Mr. Lee ran only to the end of my hastily dug path and back. I walked a heel to toe walk to the chicken house and back to forge a way without the shovel. It is lovely powder. I will have to sled.
Robin cleared the road and my cold water in the kitchen sink is unfrozen! A bit of Mardi Gras revelry in the hollow. Now waiting to hear from Alma about mail delivery so that the dogs and i can have a good walk. Want to check out the ice on the river, but may wait a few days for that venture. Mr. Lee accumulates too much snow on his fur to make it to the river and back. Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Monday, February 16, 2015

light light snow

The figures range from 6" to 12" of snow through tomorrow. I wouldn't mind but for the arctic blast that is shaping up to bring minus temperatures on Wednesday and Thursday. Even the dogs don't want to go for a walk when I go out to pour boiling water on the chicken's tub of ice. I did this morning wheel a load of fire wood to the side of the house covered with plastic. And so I am prepared, just praying heavily for power to stay with the hollow!
I will take a picture when there is a prompt. Close to 3" at 4 PM have fallen.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day

This day, an hiatus from bitter cold, still the wind feels breathed from ice. Ah, but tomorrow bears getting through - maybe 9 degrees in morning, wind chill - double digits below zero. Alma came for lunch instead of dinner because she worried that by early afternoon snow flurries would descend upon us - and she has duties to secure her chickens for the freezing night. Alma brought some delicious custard that she had made - what a treat.
I got fantastic Valentine pictures of all my grand children - full heart.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

artic wind careens

Snow flurries from all directions, then blue sky, then storm heavy, the temperature plummets. I've posted the forecast low temperatures for the next several days next to the kitchen faucet with command: DRIP THE WATER! I hope to avoid the frozen hot water downstairs the day before I left for Dominican Republic. I have not wheeled a load of wood to the back door, insurance against power outage - which I should do, I suppose. I do plan to take a warm bath, just in case, and for mental health! I love to watch snow flurries while soaking in the tub. It was when I most enjoyed the hot tub. I scattered more straw in the hen house, for more insulation - and hung a piece of plastic against their door.

Monday, February 9, 2015

another warm day

This weekend was filled with qigong in Blacksburg, so today was for Mr. Lee and Mojo. Alma did come to take them for a walk on both days; but by the time I got home they were hungry and happy for a short walk in the dark. I am still trying to coax Mr. Lee to face the camera instead of barking at invisible river monsters.  I did the "stand by the stream" standing pose watching the water rush around the rocks.The qigong Saturday and Sunday was strenuous, not so much as to raise sweat, but knees are a bit sore. I just feel like I need a slow day and a good night's sleep.This morning I did follow our warm up routine, in hopes of imprinting the set for class on Tuesday morning. I'll go over it again this evening in lieu of driving into Blacksburg for Robin's class. Yesterday evening when I checked to laying nests, there were 4 eggs!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A warm day in February!

I set up the camera on a rock, but as the timer ticked down Mr. Lee wiggled out of the frame! A fine day for a walk and a tangerine at the river. I sense  my soul growing fat as I walk the old logging road. Singing in the flesh and bones.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Eating chicken with THE NEW YORKER

It was a mistake, thumbing through my Feb 2nd issue while sitting in front of my organic chicken breast, pan seared with asparagus, shitaki and portabella mushrooms - with roasted potatoes on the side. Oh, yes, delicious; the first chicken I have bought in months. But what loomed from the pages of the magazine after I had noted all of the cartoons and read the two poems, was a chicken outline filled with what appeared to be empty pill capsules and chestnut burrs. Oh, no, more likely salmonella! Did you know that there are NO contamination limits on chicken parts processed for sale in the USA. Not long ago the USDA found that "24% of all cut-up chicken parts  are contaminated by some form of salmonella." And, AND moreover, the most contaminated parts are CHICKEN BREASTS ( Consumer Reports: "a third of chicken breasts tainted with salmonella carried a drug-resistant strain"). Now you know. Needless to say, I have a queasy stomach this morning. There are no Federal rules because of the beef and pork lobbyists who fear that if chicken is regulated, they will be next. Read the article!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Escaped the Northeaster

Yesterday the sun broke out and the temperature rose to 44. I noticed at 5:30 in the afternoon that the day was indeed growing longer. The chickens agree with the lengthening of our day: first egg of 2015 laid on Sunday. In celebration, I filled the laying boxes with pine needles.
We are missing a major snow storm moving up the east coast, scheduled to drop 1 to 2 feet of snow, with winds up to 75 miles an hour. In spite of a cold in my throat, I am dancing happy to see colors outside and no flakes.  My chickens are delighted too - they don't tolerate snow.
Mojo has excavated a foreleg of deer which now moves from spot to spot in the front lawn. A smaller bone was claimed by Mr. Lee who came to the door begging to be allowed in with it. I explained that it was an outside toy and he dejectedly moved off. But they are frequently in and out checking on their stash.
In a fit of wishful thinking, I followed the counsel of the League of Conservation Voters of VA email and called my state senator, Ralph Smith. I asked the young aide to give the senator my  message that hoped he would support an inventory of toxic sites, increase the penalty for polluters (now $10K - certainly nothing to any business), and support timely reporting to DEQ of any hazardous spill into water ways. You would think that all of these points would be no brainers. Oh, I wish. But to the Republican dominated Senate and House in this state who want the EPA to shrivel and die, these items will probably be made into issues thwarting free enterprise.  Nevertheless, I make an effort to call my representatives. Makes me feel like I made an effort.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

ice not snow

This was the swimming hole a week ago, today the ice coats pines and bare limbs - perhaps the roads but I am not venturing out. I had wanted to attend a Kalachakra Qigong workshop in Blacksburg, but ice and cold and cough are keeping me here. I found my card table in the shop this morning when i went to look for a new tub to hold water for the chickens. I broke the bottom out of a tub this morning with just a stick trying to break the ice - same thing happened with the other water tub when Diane was taking care of the birds. Some dynamic with twos as yesterday morning the fan downstairs in the dinning room would not work; the fan upstairs in my bedroom stopped working while i was in DR. I called Frank Walker who was good enough to come by and found that the downstairs issue was a broken wall switch; the upstairs fan is a dead fan as I had thought. Ah, so what odd thing will amuse me today? The decks are slick like skating rinks!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

snow in the forecast

Let it snow, I've the beach in my bones still. I've sun and coconut palms in my head with small hands grabbing mine. I'm still tasting papaya with passion fruit or lime. I can feel the ocean rocking me. Let it snow. Well, just not too much!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Tugging back into here

False spring prompting a walk to the swimming hole where ice, thin and milky spans the space. How odd that I can stare at this beach, while playa Ballenas lingers and trumps. Two days ago I was with son and his family, now I am home again missing their faces so delicious with love. It was a wonderful trip staying in Las Terrenas in their rented house with long, wide front porch always shaded. Accompanying Pearl on the 45 minute walk to school, a small compound with open walls to the town surrounding it.Helping young True onto my lap to read his book, help open his case with puzzle blocks, or take apart the wooden sail boat and put it back together. Always the beach, everyday the beach! Everyday fresh fruit: papaya, passion fruit, mango, pineapple, bananas...avocados, limes. 
Back to the ocean, watching Pearl jump from her father's shoulders again and again. True in his mom's arms, then in his float, then in the surf - happy under the water. We walked to the where a river, crystal clear, runs out to the sea - we waded in. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

weighing in

Laughing at myself holding an at least 40 pound suitcase while on small bathroom scale to see if I'm over the weight limit for international travel - can't see over the suitcase to know - twisting the heavy weight to the side, still just glimpsing the dial. I know from lifting 50 pound bags of corn that it isn't quite the maximum allowed, so I set down the case and decide to wing it - I can always transfer a few items to my carry on pack. I'm getting excited about my trip to Dominican Republic. Can't wait to see those faces - that match the tiny dolls in my heart.
I couldn't have picked a better time to leave, the coldest weather of the season forecast this week with a high in the teens and a low in the oughts. My body is ready to be shocked into warmth, or should I say heat. My toes and my fingers will delight right off, and my nose! Today on the second dog walk of the day, I tied my scarf about my face as the wind was a hurt walking up to the mail box and it wasn't even below zero. Tomorrow I will need more paraphernalia.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

One Dead Mouse Day

On the cold floor of the studio lay a not yet decomposed mouse which I grabbed by its tail along with a night light which was the impetus for my visit. How fortuitous to find it.
Mojo and Mr.Lee and I have just returned from the river; I have taken to kicking the old unbound soccer ball half way down - the dogs dislike my play as I have accidentally bounced into their flanks. Mojo now walks behind me, while Mr. Lee runs far ahead. The rain has not swollen the river or creek; but the chair was too wet for a good sit. I wrote something for Mojo walking back:

Sniff me a story, Mojo
standing rigid, nose twitching at the other shore -
your depth of field humbles my sight.