Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I love the way its handle fits in the distal hinge joints of my fingers. The way it swings back and forth as I walk. The way it makes me feel useful, strong, and farm-y. The way it holds things: weeds, dirt, water, ash. The way it may be left, full or empty, anywhere, and it just fits.

Memorial Day at Paw Paw's pool

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Acoustic Cafe

Rurality recently posted some lovely pictures taken at Steve Masterson's place, just a hop-skip-and-a-jump from where we live. Every May, Steve is the gracious host of the Acoustic Cafe. We can't make it this year, but if anyone out there is looking for a great little music festival this Memorial Day weekend, check it out.

Here are some pictures from the 2006 event. (I no longer have them on my computer and attempts at downloading them from a Shutterfly shared site didn't work. You don't have to sign into Shutterfly or create an account or any such thing -- just click View Album and then click on each picture individually or watch the slide show.)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

that farmhouse feeling

Two things I like in my appliances: retractable cords and timers.

The past two evenings, drunk with sunshine after a month or more of rain, we have set the timers. Lee made French honey bread that finished baking in the bread machine at exactly 5:50am, just before the magic coffee maker that grinds the beans revved its engine and took off ~

Full of crust and butter and coffee, I contemplate forgiving the chickens for eating my pretty pink roses, which appear to have had enough buds on them to recover ~

It only took one day of sunshine to dry these out, but they sprang right back after a good soaking. I'm not sure what they are; the tag said something as enlightening as Flowering Plant ~

The tomatoes wear tiny fruit that hangs in a graceful droop ~

That's pokeweed growing on the other side of the fence. Lee wants to leave it there so that he can make poke salad, but I for one am skeptical of anything you have to boil three times before it stops being poisonous enough to kill you.

Did I mention we found a turtle? We were loading some wood from a fallen tree when we spotted him beneath the branches. Neal named him George Josh but Lee and I like to call him George Joshington. We made an outdoor habitat of our old rabbit cage. (Which might lead one to wonder whatever happened to our old rabbit. Well. At first he lived indoors with us, but then he chewed through all of the electrical cords, so we moved him out to the chicken coop. Often we let him roam freely through one section of the coop or another, until one day we couldn't find him in any section of the coop. He appeared to have escaped, Alcatraz-style. We later saw him hip-hopping happily in the field. Attempts to lure him back with baby carrots were unsuccessful.)

No pictures of this, but believe me when I tell you that I returned home from a Saturday morning run to find a frog in the tub. We set him free.

(Making progress on the camera front: picked one out, but an untimely flat tire has forced me to delay the purchase until next month.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

a few of his favorite things

Me: Neal, I have some questions for you.
Neal: Okay.
Me: What's your favorite color?
Neal: Blue.
Me: What's your favorite animal?
Neal: Elephant. No, dragon.
Me: What's your favorite food?
Neal: Hotdogs and beans.
Neal: Now. Let's talk about candy for a little while.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

deer valley, utah

It was snowing when we got there ~

The man who drove us from the airport to the hotel is a composer who also plays in a rock band that has toured in Japan. He was nice enough to take a picture of us in front of the hotel ~

left to right: Brent, Neeru, Rick, and me

The conference was hosted by our software provider, so in between ooohs and aaahs over the snowy mountains -- and fabulous food -- we learned all kinds of exciting geek-stuff. (Sorry -- no pictures of the exciting geek-stuff.)

another group shot, courtesy of Alta Anthony at Johns Hopkins University Press

Ski season had just ended, so most of the shops and restaurants were closed, but we did manage to find a cozy book store with a resident cat watching over the register. I needed a book for the plane ride home and could have spent hours browsing. My companions were very patient, and finally I chose a book of poetry by Gary Snyder.

The highlight of the trip: climbing to the top of the wall ~

Special thanks to Neeru for the pictures.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Julia has tagged me for a meme! So just in case the DVR list in my last post didn't satisfy your thirst for information about me, you're in luck -- here's lots more!

What are your current obsessions?
Growing tomatoes, murdering poison ivy, hating the codependent relationship I have with my cell phone.

Which item from your wardrobe do you wear most often?
Sports bra. Cause I'm sporty.

What's for dinner?
Lentils and rice with parmesan cheese, broccoli, yogurt with Grape-nuts cereal sprinkled on top. (Actually, that was last night's dinner. I just didn't want to fess up to the fact that tonight we went to Taco Bell.)

What's your greatest fear at the moment?
That my son will never remember to walk instead of run in the parking lot.

What are you listening to?
My best guess is that it's a giant moth fluttering into the kitchen window screen.

If you were a goddess what would you be?
But I AM a goddess.

What are your favourite holiday spots?
Smoky Mountains, Rocky Mountains. I like mountains. And woods. The Sipsey Wilderness is nice. England always feels like home, though I've been only a handful of times.

What are you reading right now?
Newsweek. I finished The Geurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society while in Utah earlier this month (wonderful book). We're going to the library tomorrow to return some things -- not sure what I'll dig into next.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Putting entirely too much half and half in the bottom of my mug before pouring the coffee.

Who or what makes you laugh?
My kids and my husband, Will Ferrell, Tommy Boy, The Big Lewbowski.

What is your favourite spring thing to do?
Wear sandals. My feet like to breathe.

Where are you planning to travel next?
I'm seriously considering going to Chattanooga to do a half-marathon trail run later this month.

What is the best thing you ate or drank lately?
Steak and salmon at the Stein Eriksen Lodge in Deer Valley, Utah.

When was the last time you were tipsy?
At the opening night reception for the conference in Utah. Which is funny, because the conference itself was hosted by Mormons.

What is your favourite ever film?
Too hard to narrow down. There's a particular camera movement in Wonder Boys that is utterly graceful. I love Lost in Translation. The Nightmare Before Christmas.

What is the biggest lesson you've learned from your children?
Eating and sleeping on time are essential to one's well being.

What song can't you get out of your head?
Well, I don't know what it was before, but now it's that song that goes Well, I can't get you out of my head....

What book do you know you should read but refuse to?
Look Homeward, Angel, by Thomas Wolfe. Not because of modern day criticism (to be honest, I would probably enjoy its meandering style), but because I associate it with the summer before my senior year of high school.

What is your physical abnormality/abnormal physical ability?
Physical abnormality: my spine is crooked (not so much so that you can tell by looking, but I did have to wear a brace when I was young). Abnormal physical ability: ummmm -- I can run 26.2 miles -- does that count?

What is your favourite colour?
All shades of blue are nice. I like a little bit of red here and there. In early April, the deep red clover against the high green grass, with an occasional orange/yellow wildflower standing out, is simply striking.

I tag The Country Experience, mountainmelody, and Heather K. You're it!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I feel like blogging but I don't feel like thinking. I don't feel like doing pictures and text and laying it all out just right. I'm frustrated that I still haven't gotten a decent camera. There is no good reason I still haven't gotten a decent camera, just like there is no good reason I still haven't cut my hair.

A list would be good right about now. Hmmm. Ever wonder what we record on our DVR? No? Oh well, here you go:

The Office
30 Rock
The Daily Show
The Colbert Report
Namaste Yoga
and a bunch of scifi and adult cartoons for Lee

We did manage to get a few of our tomatoes into the ground this afternoon ~

They are actually much taller than this, but we set them deep down, burying some of the leaves as you often do with tomatoes. The soil is amended with coop junk, and the plants are mulched with a layer of compost and a sprinkling of coop hay. They're planted in an area where we're making some raised beds by double digging and terracing, in part of the yard that we didn't turn over with the terramite. Lee has claimed the terramite-turned area -- it is now the island of lost plants. I am ruthless in my culling of seedlings, but he can't bear to let any of them go.

Ah, well -- I couldn't resist adding a picture and text after all. I feel better now.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

pretty little surprises

In the spring of 2007, after finding our house in Hayden but before permanently moving in, I transplanted some irises from our yard in Roebuck Springs. They didn't bloom at all last year, so I thought I'd done something wrong -- thought perhaps the bulbs weren't deep enough. Then someone told me I might have to wait up to five years after transplanting them before they would bloom again. This made me feel both hopeful and disappointed at the same time. I had given up on expecting any blooms this year -- everyone else's were sticking out their fuzzy little purple and yellow tongues, and mine were just sitting there making pretty little green Vs at the foot of a tree.

Then one day last week, I noticed that one of them had three buds on it! The others were showing no such signs, but this one was about to pop!

and pop it did (drat that cell phone lens!) ~

These roses surprise us every year -- they are among the many things that were here long before we were (double drat that cell phone lens!) ~

I've been trying to catch roosterman atop his well for quite a while. He likes to spring from here to the treetops. Before we had chickens of our own, I had no idea how high they could fly ~

Here are some of our tomatoes in the coldframe. This shot was taken a couple of weeks ago -- they're even bigger now. They are beyond ready to be put into the ground, but I spent last weekend preparing to go to Utah (business) for a few days, and this weekend was rained/tornadoed out. We'll set them out next weekend, come rain or shine ~

Stay tuned for a recap of the Utah adventure....

Friday, May 1, 2009

absent minded

the dog ate it, well
at first i forgot, then
later squandered, as though
it were disposable, some thing
i could live with

plucking and puzzling tongue
to paper

(like i forgot to refuse meat, or
your best friend's name)

there isn't much time, remind
me again
i wanted to be a poet

swelter - not venom but memory - inside
this tropospheric tent, eyes unzip

blackberry blossoms, fruits
sometimes falls/
is thrown
perfectly ripe to the ground

comes some thing canine, or
else forgotten