Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Photo by Sam Abell

Hello blog. I see you are still here, an image, an idea, caught in the eternal grasp of cyberspace. I thought I would drop in for a look-see, wondering if there is dust on the furniture and cobwebs in the corners. I almost believe someone has been stopping by to dust, keeping things clean while I linger elsewhere.

I feel a nostalgia for the time spent here, earnestly composing thoughts, feelings and random nothings. Enjoying the release and relief you gave me when I needed it. Wandering the pages of my fellow scribblers was a welcome diversion from the life.

I lost it somehow. Poof.........gone! It started slowly, the attraction fading, the words drying and falling from my brain, parched and dusty; sawdust of the mind. One day, we simply parted, whispering we would get together again sometime soon, knowing the truth beneath the promise was, no.

I found a new place, an easy diversion: Facebook. Please, dear blog, do not judge me harshly. Once  words poured through my fingertips and traveling the sphere of ideas and intellect through the click of a mouse was a pleasing adventure. After a time it became an impossible journey. When your mind becomes as dry as the Gobi the only thing to do is status updates.

I'm glad I stopped in for a visit. Perhaps we can do it again sometime, sometime when drought will cease and thought sprouts like the dandelions in my lawn. Catch you later, gator.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

Something for Everyone

You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six. 
~ Yogi Berra
Yesterday, the end of humankind, today tacos and Berra, served up on a blog. Lunch was good, the ground is saturated and I will do almost anything to avoid cleaning the house. That's all the news fit to print.

Now we all know why I retired the blog. : )

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Stuff & Such

The earth laughs in flowers ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
I am a distant relative of Ralph, as we call him in the family, on my father's side. My one and only claim to fame, as it is passed down the family tree.

The earth isn't laughing so much of late, I think. She is having a conniption fit over our lack of care and understanding and I believe she will have the last bitter laugh if we are not careful of her.

Phytoplankton is not reproducing at an adequate rate. Phytoplankton is that microscopic stuff floating on the oceans surface which provides food for much of the marine life, and this is important, it provides about 50% of the earths oxygen. In other words, if this continues, we are screwed.

And the beat goes on........

Monday, June 11, 2012

Uh, huh


I found this on Facebook. I'd say it rings true, and sometimes I think I can be that person.......except I have plenty of vices!

The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they’re going to have some pretty annoying virtues. ~Dame Elizabeth Taylor

Thursday, June 7, 2012

On the Porch

It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad. ~ C. S. Lewis

Just because I like the quote.










The first week of June and it is feeling like the dog days of summer. I'm feeling as if I live in the Mississippi Delta instead of near its headwater, which gives me an excuse to sit on the porch eying the crumbling, the peeling and the overgrowth without much enthusiasm.

I've dusted off the old blog, mostly as reason to take photos again. I got out of the habit and find I want to snap the shutter, not because I aspire to be good at it, but because I don't. One thing in my life I have done simply because I enjoy it. I like the history this digital record creates, that I can browse through and remember when.

The view from the porch changes year to year, even as it stays the same, just more so. Crumbling pots that once stood whole, gardens in bloom and then in decline, tree limbs that once sprawled are now gone from a storm. Peeling paint and freshly painted. Empty pots and blooming plantings.

The greyhounds Jessie and Nellie become Grace. Basset Harvey morphs into Howard. I guess we cannot just go on being an ordinary, decent egg. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Days of Wine and Roses

and peonies.
 I waited three years for this rose to bloom. This is "Allegra", a Paul Barden rose named for my friend, Allegra Smith. This rose is as lovely as her namesake and well worth the wait.
 Beautiful and vigorous, Baronne Prevost. 
 I do love peonies.

 This is another Paul Barden rose, Gallicandy. It also took three years to bloom, but it has gone wild this year. Very vigorous.

 Pretty in Pink


 I planted this rose twenty years ago and it bloomed happily for about ten years and then stopped. I left it because I was so busy I couldn't deal with it and basically ignored it. Two weeks ago I told Mark I wanted to put a chain around it and pull it out. When I walked over to it, there were buds. Could have knocked me over! I love the large, peony-like blooms of this old timer.
Summer is in full-swing, I'm busy on the farm chasing my tail. Hopefully the sun is shining where you are.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Don't Know Who Said It........

Humility is the foundation of humanity.

I think this is worth a thought.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Can You Give Me a First

FIRST AMENDMENT

AMENDMENT I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Have you noticed the rightwing noise machine references the First Amendment every time one of their own says something repulsive? As a defense for ignorant speech being called to task by society, freedom of speech gets pulled out of the little grab bag of tricks by the lineup.

I wonder, where were they during their junior high school civics class? Is it just me, or does it seems no one in America understands what the First Amendment is? That the purpose is to protect the people from the power of the government. The government is not allowed to pick you up and send you to a gulag because you call the president a pinko, nazi, communist, secret muslim, terrorist, Kenyon infiltrator, radical, magic negro who is turning America into a European Welfare State. That is freedom of speech, the freedom from your government shutting your speech down by shutting you in a cell.

Freedom of speech does not carry through to anything else. You and I may indeed say anything we want, short of "Fire" in a crowded building, but we are not free from repercussion if what we say is not met with approval. Whether it is someone hanging up the phone on you or advertisers dropping a radio host like the bloated gasbag that he is, there are consequences to actions. Try telling your employer he is an ass and see how far freedom of speech takes you.

The amazing number of newly minted constitutional experts which have shown up in the past couple of years should be making my heart go pitter-pat. Alas, not so much. It would be fair to say the only part of the First that gets much attention from these shining examples of American Exceptionalism is the misguided interpretation of free speech. The rest of it is of no use to them, as it can be disruptive to their cause and disturb the closely held belief that the Founders were Tea Party types. Not the Boston version.

Give a good, brand new Constitutionalist a Second and a Tenth with a dash of First and you've got yourself a deal, good buddy: America, rightwing style.




Thursday, March 8, 2012

Grace, Sofa & Pillow Talk, Sort Of

YOU SAY WHAT?
No more days and nights of greyhound glory on the most comfortable place in the house?
Never mind. Disaster averted.
Sometimes I think Gracie is treated like the redheaded stepchild. Howard is outgoing, always present and he loves the camera. Gracie is reserved and off doing her own thing, which often includes barking, so Howard ends up being center stage. My animals sometimes allow me to understand human behavior better, to realize why we often end up the people we become. As a child, I was Grace. Being Grace as a child felt isolating and unacknowledged. Being Grace as an adult gives me the freedom to be reserved and off doing my own thing, which often includes barking, figuratively speaking!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Phooey

I have very poor vision, which has not been helped by this thing we off-handedly call "getting older". So this is from my bad-eyed perspective: I hate the new word verification. I spend longer trying to get a comment published than I do reading the whole damn post. Then try writing a comment, only to be confronted by that squiggled, illegible nonsense to have it posted. Over & over.

I want to comment but I am saying that all I am going to give it is one attempt, maybe two, from hereon.

Okay, got that off my chest. Have a lovely day, I'm going to spread my sunshine around somewhere else......

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Nature's Way

Howard is not impressed
 Rain yesterday, followed by about 6 inches of heavy, wet snow
 Trees are weighed down
 Nature's tree trimming service
 Bucolic scene
 Large limbs everywhere
 Large part of a tree
 Solemn 
 Lovely
It has been a snowless winter. This is the first time I plowed this season. This snow made a huge mess. Trees and limbs are down everywhere. The power was out this AM, but I got my coffee due to a gas stove and a pestle & mortar to grind my beans. I knew that thing would come in handy!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Keeping With a Theme

Peach Clafouti
Just 'cause it's pretty.

I had time on my hands yesterday. Not so much today, but I do have something good to eat.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Of Soup & Such

A dreary, blustery Sunday in late February and some fresh produce in the refrigerator ready to go south on me soon becomes Sunday lunch.

Anyone who has read this thing I do knows I love to make soup. This little beauty is composed of butternut squash, carrots, celery, red kale, onion and garlic, chicken stock I made in January and froze; fresh dill, salt, pepper, barley and some lovely smoked bacon. A little Grana Padano on top and it's good enough to eat.

As a nod to my good internet friend and trained chef, Allegra, I did all my prep in advance and I cleaned as I went. I will forever remain a home kitchen cook, but with a little nudging I can be a tidy one. All right, it also takes some effort and discipline on my part and therein lies the rub!

Bon Appetito.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

If it's Saturday......

....it means spending the day in here.
It's not all fun and games. These dear beasts lead to a lot of
 this.
Crap happens and on the farm it happens in spades, or at least by the manure fork full.

Yes, I really do live on a farm.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Like a Rolling Stone

Nobody says it quite like Matt Taibbi. This is probably the best analysis I have read about how we got this rabid rightwing in America. Matt is so good at putting it in simple terms. If you have a couple of minutes, read it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

And Then There Were Four

Do me a favor. Please. Sit back, take a breath, close your eyes and consider. Consider what life will look like in the world envisioned by the Republican candidates for President of the United States.

Forget about ideology and just see it.

Yes, I watched what seems like my millionth debate.

Footsteps

 starting someplace, going no place.


America?


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Not Longfellow


Howard wakes, a scratch, a yawn. Pitty-pat of toes to greet the dawn. Gracie rolls, she leaps, she frolics, all her moves are hyperbolic!

The horses call to greet the day, what they really say is, give us hay. The barn is warm, the smell is earth, whilst on I go adding to their girth.

Morning on the farm, life knows no harm, beats poetic cadence by an arm!

The End

Monday, February 20, 2012

Around the Corner, Down the Road

It hasn't been all fog and garbled words flowing from fingertips. Life moves forward and drags you along, despite your grumbling and protestations.

I have become acutely aware of our food. Where it comes from, what has been done to it, and how it is raised. This is not such a positive thing if one actually wants to continue to eat. Factory farms and the Monsanto-ization of America have made eating a hazardous business indeed.

Yet another Monsanto official heads a government agency as head of the FDA, no less. Another cog in the wheel of demolishing the efficacy of regulation. Such a simple idea: stack the deck of agencies designed to watch the hawks looking to eat the chickens, with the very hawks we chickens are scurrying from for our very lives. Beautiful in its simplicity, effective in its operation, destructive to our well-being.

As I not only want to continue eating, but as a matter of biology, must, I have turned to small sustainable farmers in my area for much of my food. I don't know why it took me so long to consider my options, but there you have it, I am sometimes slow. The important thing is, I finally got to where I needed to go. Elmbrink Farm has become a source for pasture raised heritage breed pork and the best eggs I have ever had. Ever. In late spring I will add free ranging chicken to the list of clean food coming from this nearby farm which abides by sustainable farming methods. People like the Brinkmans may be our only hope for survival in this chemical infused food marketplace. Perhaps this is hyperbole, but I don't think so.
To my amazement, there is an organic family owned dairy, Cedar Summit , with its own creamery a mere forty-five minutes from home. What is even better is, they sell their milk at a grocery store fifteen minutes from my doorstep, eliminating the weekly drive down to New Prague. I have not seen glass bottles of milk since I was a child and we had a milkman. The cream is incredible.
There is a meat locker in town which masquerades as a deli, but those of us who have been around here for a while know what it is behind the upscale facade it now wears. Grass fed beef from local famers is sold there, making it very close and simple to buy. I use limited amounts of beef, making this option a lucky chance for me.

To be frank, I cannot be entirely local, I live in Minnesota after all and I do like salad. Somehow, a constant of root vegetables and gourds does not appeal all that much! I use what I was able to freeze from my own garden and buy the rest.

This is my journey from Costco to local. It took a bit of effort, but the result has been beyond worth the energy to figure things out. One person does not make a dent in the food monolith that envelopes our ecology and our grocery shelves, but many persons making considered choices can nibble away at the destruction. And, oh my, the food is so good!

Wishing a good day to all, it is time to go to work for me.

Friday, February 17, 2012

We Are Champions

WF Last Of Roses
My Zinger, my orphan baby, born to the beloved LF Diamond Rose on a beautiful June afternoon, shortly afterward to be left in my inadequate sole care. I have never felt so ill equipped for a task in my life; a newborn foal relying upon my ability to keep him alive and to raise him to function as a horse.
Somehow, I managed to do both, although we hit a really bad patch one week into it, he inhaled milk into his lungs and a miserable case of pneumonia developed. Which I was told he would not survive. I was his champion and I would not allow it. It was my moment to step up. I have a sense of awe that through sheer will and determination I kept the boy alive. 

I became Zing's dam. He reacted to me as a foal does to his mother, a strange and graceful relationship between the two-legger and a much more noble beast. He spent the summer mostly in the barn, to protect him in his weakened condition from the heat of the day. But, as he improved we would go out to the babies pasture in the early morning so he could intermingle with his own kind. I had to be a good mare, allowing him to venture forth into the little herd of mamas and babies, touching noses and quickly darting back to my protection. Running joyfully around me, as foals do, showing off his magnificence for all to see. This became our morning routine, our communing among the quiet of a herd of mothers mindfully tending their charges. No one seemed to find it odd that I was inserting myself as one of them. When I came to the pasture with my colt they graciously accepted me into their tightly knit band, as good mares will do.
He grew big and he grew strong. I was his champion, I protected and corrected and cared for my colt. He learned to be a horse. My old, gentle man Tanzar cared for Zing when he was finally well enough to spend the day outside. Bounce taught him to roll in the mud like you mean it. He became a show horse before he reached one year old. Tall and gangly, he showed himself like he meant it. He became my champion.

He gave me something I never expected to have; a Nationally titled stallion. A multiple Champion in a cutthroat industry, but always my colt Zing, the goofy, slightly skewed Zing.
He has taught Kristina to be brave, to be bold and to ride like she means it. He has taught us both to be patient, to realize somethings don't really matter. It is the journey that counts. I have journeyed with him for eleven years now, eleven years. I can hardly believe that so much time has passed since he ran circles around me, showing off for all the world he had in that pasture.
This is what got me thinking about my colt. The eleven year old Zinger snoozing in the sun this morning, just another horse in winter garb taking a nap in the warm sunshine. Not looking anything like a champion, yet I know; we are champions, he and I. He knows it too. It is our shared history.