Saturday, August 21, 2010

good day sunshine

What better way to spend the morning than to run, meet good friends for coffee, mosey over to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens to see an art exhibit, and then head downtown for some fair trade shopping ~

striking nature photography by a friend and fellow blogger

gorgeous paintings and drawings of flowers by another friend ~ i wish i could link you to her blog, but she doesn't have one ~ yet ~ (hint, hint)

sculpture/water feature at the botanical gardens

lily pads

water lily

funky little critter on the Alabama woodlands trail

shark rock


Monday, August 9, 2010

where i left off

Highlights since last I blogged ~

rooster donation

Sometime in June, this fellow appeared at our house. We haven't had a rooster in a while, and I love waking up to a good crow, but this one gets started at around 4:30AM and goes all. day. long.


We celebrated Neal's birthday at
Rickwood Caverns State Park. (Thanks, Allison, for the picture!)

red clay groovy

With the help of Laurie Kramer, Artist in Residence at
Art Works Alabama, the Girls Scouts of North Central Alabama made Alabama mud tie-dye t-shirts.


Did I mention we're going to build a shipping container home on the banks of the Locust Fork? The picture above is an example of one that's being built close to Palisades Park. Our design is somewhat similar in that we're placing the containers on either end, but we'll also be incorporating some hay bale construction in between, and shoring up the sides with dirt for the sake of insulation. We're hoping to cut the driveway and place the first container this fall. Up until now, we've devoted most of our time to pesky details, such as locating the plat, arguing with the loggers, and proving that the now-gated road that provides access to our land belongs to the county and therefore should not be gated (they gave us a key; we're still working on this one). We're antsy to make some real progress, as time and money allows.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

blount springs

Every day, on the way to school, we pass a white sulphur spring that smells like rotten eggs. It's one of several mineral springs found in Blount Springs, Alabama.

Blount Springs was once a popular resort where people came from all over to heal themselves in the magical mineral water. My father-in-law can still find the spot where the old train station used to be.

white swirls of sulphur in the water

there are several of these ~ i think they're spring portals

an old stone wall

a hollow tree trunk ~ i always wanted to live in one of these when i was a kid

go ahead and make your own caption for this

tree love

Sunday, March 14, 2010

the man eats raw eggs

Me: Lee --
Lee: Yes --
Me: Tell us about eggs.
Lee: What would you like to know about eggs?
Me: What prompted you to begin eating raw eggs?
Lee: I believe we have established that I am mildly insane.
Me: Were there any other contributing factors -- health benefits, taste, etc.?
Lee: Yes.
Me: Please elaborate.
Lee: I'd heard about eating them before and that they're really good for building muscle and they are supposedly a perfectly balanced food. For years, I believed all the propoganda PR hype from the anti- raw egg people -- that they were really bad for your cholesterol. But after further research, just out of curiosity, I found that there are quite a number of sources that espouse the health benefits of raw eggs and that explain that detrimental effects only come from cooked eggs, because cooked eggs change the structure of several different elements within the egg. I had also believed the hype about salmonella until I did further research and found that the percentage of eggs that are infected with salmonella is somewhere in the neighborhood of one in thirty thousand eggs, but those eggs are factory hatchery eggs, where the chickens live in unhealthy conditions and are fed unhealthy foods.
Me: So it's a darn good thing our chickens starting laying again recently.
Lee: Si. Yes.
Me: How many raw eggs are you eating each day?
Lee: No more than two.
Me: Do you season them, or do you just crack them into a glass and drink them like Rocky?
Lee: Well, that's an interesting question, Meg. Not really that interesting, but worth answering at least. (Insert loving look from me to Lee here.) Until today, my process was to take eggs that are no older than six days, thoroughly wash my hands, and then wash the shell of the egg with hot water and one drop of soap, crack it into an egg-drinking glass (has to be the right size), and then drink it. At first I thought it would be icky, but in actuality, since I've begun to consume raw eggs, the thought of cooked eggs has become more icky.
Leah: You eat raw eggs, Daddy?
Lee: Yes, yes.
Leah: Ewwww!!!!
Lee: They really have no flavor -- barely perceptible flavor. But, as to your question, do I season them: for the first time today, as an experiment, I put a dash of hot sauce on the egg (Leah: Eww, gross!) before I drank it (Leah: Eww, double gross!), and it therefore tasted like hot sauce.
Me: Are the anti- raw egg people, like, militant?
Lee: Insidious. It's a worldwide conspiracy.
Me: Why doesn't the egg industry address this issue and promote the consumption of raw eggs?
Lee: The egg industry represents egg factories, which produce nasty eggs. I would never eat a raw egg from an unknown source.
Me: Are you going to start eating all of our backyard eggs? Because I still like them scrambled.
Lee: Then we need more chickens.

Monday, February 15, 2010

found between the dust and buttons

Today, while tidying up the kids' room, I came across a journal that Leah kept last year, when she was in the second grade. Some excerpts:

If I were president I would help the poor.
I would make gas prices lower.
I would make school longer.
I would also make chocolate bars bigger.
I would also make giant packs of cookies.

I learned that the rain forest gets 60 inches of water each year and that jaguars like to eat fish and that sometimes the rain forest will flood.

5 things I learned
1. Sound travels faster in liquid than it travels through air.
2. Sound travels faster through solid than it travels through liquid and air.
3. An echo is a sound that bounces off of something.
4. Some sound waves are made to just go in one way.
5. Scientists have special microphones to listen to whales.

The life of Leah Waites
Leah was born August 29 2000 in Alabama. She went to kindergarten at Redmont and learned how to fingerknit and paint. She went to first grade at Hayden and learned how to do math and she learned all her alphabet. She went to second grade at Hayden Primary also and she learned how to write in cursive and she learned about different word meanings.

In spring you hear birds singing. You see the flowers bloom. You smell the pollen in the air. You feel the breeze go by. You talk to your plants so they will grow.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

why i'm a heathen

i pledge allegiance to a flag of all things known and unknown
i reject all other flags other than to find them pretty
i am not allied to random acts of birth
i do not worship the idea of a god that would choose one person over another
based on random acts of birth that result in cultural- religious immersion
and then expect some other person with some other random cultural-religious immersion
to preempt the others
my god is all things known and unknown and my god accepts all things known and unknown
and the telling of stories is the telling of stories and is not the road to redemption
or the path to heaven or the truth with a capital t
i am quilting a flag of all flags and once i am done it will still only be pretty
because it will still not represent all things known and unknown
it is mainly something that keeps us warm
and the miracle can be represented through story
but the miracle is not something that happened in a story
it is all things known and unknown
and it has no name
and there is no list of all the names we create at the end of the line
with a pass next to one and a fail next to another
the miracle is all around us and needs no embellishment
attempts to manifest the miracle through any medium are what we call art
of course something happens after we die
our bodies decompose and feed the earth (if we let them)
making food for new bodies to live
the miracle is not a spectacular show or a bestseller
i respect art and desire warmth
i respect your art and hope you are warm
but my flag does not fly over any one nation under any one god
it is too big for that

Saturday, January 2, 2010


i am falling asleep to embers
only i am not falling asleep

i am dry-eyed, dry-throated, dry
the heat steals my water

my son has bad dreams in the next room
tosses and protests
injustice is relative

we have a bed
and an oven
the futon is folded up for sitting
the water runs
the roof holds

we got the fancy guppies at the shop owner's
they are hardy, live long
the snails and plants clean the tank so we don't have to

fish must be different from people because fancy and hardy
     don't go
luxury is relative