Friday, April 29, 2016

shedding time

This was two days ago; today a slim garter snake on the rock rim of pond. I tried to show True who was here, but shy snake coiled into his hole in the rocks. I have been attempting to reach the chicken house before another black snake finds the treasure. So far, I think successful. Alma says that the baby chicks are growing, acquiring wing feathers. 
Cleaning house in preparation of visitors, cleaning what I would neglect. True helped me. My broken vacuum wand is just his size now - a back breaker for me! We even swept the deck. Very quiet with just True here; twice he said that he was tired and lay down on the rug with the bears (stuffed ones). I think he was bored without his sis who was spending the night at Claytor Lake. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Trusting in a warming trend

I have been pulling plants out of the green house, assuming that there will not be a frost. Risky, but long term forecasts look good. Geraniums seem happy! The deck looks more lived in; and Friday the deck will be filled with people too. Alma has baby chickens at her house which she will mother until ready to join my 6 hens here, probably not until July or August. True helped me plant some dwarf zinnia seeds in a pot. We duck taped one of my deck chairs whose seat had split. I need to get a few new ones, but am reluctant to get rid of a perfectly good frame...maybe yellow this year? Yesterday evening I planted some more potatoes - I fear that I've used part of a row that sported potatoes last year. I should have consulted last years planting map. The dada spots of green cover Red Bud mountain's head. So quickly spring undoes the winter bland landscape. In the photograph the severed plastic milk jug on the ground is a clever green house Alma made containing many poppy seedlings. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Baldwin Birthday Kayak

A very very good day for a kayak trip on the Little - though the water was pretty chilly, the air was eighty. I played with P and T on the island below the shelf falls shortly after Baldwin and Mindy paddled off. P and T had water cannons which shoot water way across the creek. P sculpted a sand "snowman" while T and I built a stone house. We dawdled in the creek all the way home. A very fine day. 
I carried True to the island, then went back to tote Mr Lee. Mr. Lee figured out how to get back all by himself, letting the current take him ten feet down from the path. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

April Afternoon

still under red bud
crazy with neighbor's bees, a
levitating dome.

young rabbit at door
in mouth of cat
in shock.
i would not let them in
suppose under the deck
the slaughter begins
later a token left
of guts and fur.

Spring in the hollow. Scent of the flowering wild plum in the evening air as i walked up the road for the mail. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


Wonderful birthday, even the rain went away - first walk with dogs up the cabin logging road, second with Pearl and True and Baldwin down along the left bank of river, third up to the blue house for delicious dinner. wow! 
Picture up on the road to the cabin before the sky cleared.
Pearl with bluebells on left bank of river.

Monday, April 11, 2016

All beaches are not alike

Blue house is home and back on beach time - though indeed a change from Playa Coson. Finally today the weather has warmed; T celebrated by wearing his birthday suit - though the river is hardly warm enough for swimming.
Had a good time with P Sunday, learning how to blow bubble gum bubbles on the drive to Floyd for the Empty Bowl benefit for the backpack program in the county. I delight in this benefit, getting to choose a bowl, then picking a soup to fill my bowl - taking a seat with friends while music plays. P was as delighted as I was - hugging her bowl, the colors of her red/black outfit, to her chest. P's braids done in the DR.
When I walked along the left bank of the river this afternoon where several clumps of Virginia bluebells bloom, I saw a clump of 12 yellow swallowtails in a patch of sand by the water.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

careening wind - bones cold

Crazy April, snow flurries until this late afternoon; bundled up for walk with dogs - but not warm, nor could I warm to walk. Tried in the wind to cover raised beds, but the wind fought me off - i managed only one of the four. Hay covers small plants, but I think all will survive the 20 degrees - or pray this true. Reading a book, White Dog Fell from the Sky, Botswana in the 70's - beautifully written. A good day to fall into another world of a book - although I suffer the horror of that time, I learn. 


this home that has not been a shell
out-grown, but has coiled inward
creating sound or capturing it
until at heart the center
aligns with nothing
more than me
and all that is 

the universe, i suppose.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Busy in Nanee Land

Blue house is filled again and Mojo is sometimes there and sometimes here. Since I roasted a chicken for a welcome home dinner, I am the dog choice abode for I have scraps. Both Pearl and True have grown taller, seem more confident and delight me with their play. Pearl drew a picture of her brother on his red balloon - it was so funny to watch as True posed, winking one eye and twisting his face, sticking out his tongue. Then she drew a self portrait on her balloon - i do wish I had taken pictures. 
It is a leap at first to Nanee land, but now it seems I never vacated, not completely. Somewhat like motherhood, a permanent twist of the mind - hijacking of synapses? It has been a cold week, cold wind, snow flurries forecast tonight after midnight. I cover the raised beds, but the plants seem ok. Not growing much in the  cold, but the arugula and spinach are treats which Pearl and I nibble. Cilantro is looking promising. Some of the strawberry plants have flowers. And in the green house the lime and lemon still bloom, scenting the air. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Yellow Swallowtails at river

red bud and the balcony

This picture reminds me of our house in New Orleans - the flowering tree and the balcony. The red bud are outstanding this year, or so it appears to me. I am glad that Baldwin and all will be home in time to see the spring still happening, sorry that this week is forecast to be colder than many weeks in March. But then April is always a bit more crazy and teasing. 
I wrote an email to the board of supervisors urging them to investigate the open burning at the Radford arsenal. A meeting Saturday was informative and disturbing. The permit for the Arsenal's open burning is up for renewal this year. There is no NO transparency in dealing with the Dept of Defense it seems. For years the hazardous waste at the arsenal was dumped into a sink hole on the 7,000 acres. There is a relatively high incidence of thyroid cancer here about. In 1999 the arsenal was put on the EPA's superfund lists - but mysteriously disappeared from that roster. Makes one wonder about any town/city adjacent to an arsenal - and to think that Blacksburg is a "great place to retire!" Grrrrr.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

River stones

Over 40 years I have collected rocks from the river and brought them home to set in pots of flowers. Yesterday it occurred to me that when I reach 80, I will begin to bring a stone back to the river, each time I manage the trip down. A gesture of thanks, a giving up of things i have collected. Perhaps it will inspire me to disseminated other possessions. And leave less for my children to bother with after i am hanging out in another dimension, whatever. Or maybe they would rather bear a rock with them as they walk to the river, place them on my grave, if I have a grave - or just a depression in the field as do the graves of the two llamas. Unless I am ashes, and that would be easier to deal with, the only spot on this rocky land to dig a grave, is the sandy bottom land. If ashes, maybe a spot under an old oak on the top of Red Bud would be nice.

April Fools' Day

Met Alma at Tractor Supply to pick out some baby chicks, but the chicks we wanted were sold out. Alma has said that she would raise chicks for me and herself as she has all the equipment. I decided that I need 3 or 4 laying hens as I have only three hens laying and three hens dying. This morning I found the last of the Barred Rocks dead; my lace wing doesn't look long for the world. 
In celebration of April Fools' Day, I took a good walk with dogs, smiling over memories of my mother's cotton stuffed cheese snacks she would serve with cocktails on this day. I often rack my brain for something silly to do on this day to fool friends, and I listen to NPR closely to hear the bogus story (I still remember the duck tape farm). 
This spring awes me as if I have never walked in spring - as if winter erased all memory of spring from my mind!