Peace out to you and your Dear Ones.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
On to the meme. Here are the Rules: Grab the closest book at hand (no fair going out of your way to get something intellectual, just what’s within arm’s reach of your keyboard). Turn to page 56, go to the fifth sentence and post the results - include the sentences that follow to provide some sort of context. I'll skip the part about tagging other bloggers. (I don't like rules much.) And I'll break another rule, since I didn't think page 56 would provide enough of the flavor of the only book that was within arm's reach, which happens to be the book I'm currently reading. Instead I've picked the 5th sentence from page 256:
Because it was late afternoon - chore and milking time - they were restive; but because they weren't working and their stomachs were full, in a warm room, they should be sleeping, and they blinked, yawned, and grimaced to keep their eyes open.
The farm women, nearly starved for anything resembling higher culture, demanded more from the occasion than it could possibly yield. With eyes as white as freshly peeled hard-boiled eggs they inspected the jewelry, hair, and clothes of the other women, tasted each morsel of food disapprovingly, strained to hear conversations from neighboring tables, worried about wrinkles in their faces, and frowned at their husbands to sit up straighter in their chairs. . .
Ah, to be included at the table of people whose backs did not ache and feet were not swollen, whose nurtured capacity for merriment so exceeded all unpleasantness that the bass notes of living could be blithely ignored. This was the real human technology that from time immemorial had driven small farmers off their land and muted the howl of those caught in the gears. In the scramble to secure a place at the banquet - at least for their children - the cries of those run over by the Engine of Progress could scarcely be heard.
While visiting M&M who live in the Driftless region of southwestern Wisconsin, we attended an open house at the small potato farm of friends of theirs. One of the other guests I met was David Rhodes' wife.
David was recently interviewed on NPR's "On Point." You can listen to the interview here. I've quoted the written introduction to the interview below. It's a succinct biography and history of his latest work.
Writer David Rhodes published three novels still in his twenties, was hailed as one of the best of his generation, was paralyzed in a flash, in a motorcycle accident, and dropped off the map for thirty years — living simply, quietly, almost invisibly in the rolling countryside of rural Wisconsin.
Three years ago, a young fan tracked him down. Discovered he was still writing. And brought him back.
His extraordinary new novel, Driftless, takes us deep into the lives and hollows of the world he has quietly observed, off the map, for decades.
I was intrigued upon hearing about David and his new book at the open house. Then Mom sent me a link to the interview. Having frequently visited the Driftless Region, I was naturally very interested in the book and even more interested after listening to the NPR interview.
I thought it would be an excellent read this winter, so I ordered the book from Amazon and have not been disappointed. I'm still in the middle of it, and am looking forward to reading Rock Island Line, David's last novel which I also got from Amazon, next.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
A pink pelargonium overwintering in the basement greenhouse.
The ever-present double impatiens, now safely overwintering in the basement, awaiting cuttings.
A Christmas Cactus cutting overwintering in the basement. I think it deserves a more prominent spot now that it's blooming. Time to bring it upstairs.
The sodium light in the basement distorts colors. This is a peach-colored geranium, (pelargonium,) rescued at the last minute along with two other pelargoniums I forgot about until last week.
A Sambac jasmine is happily overwintering and budding in the basement greenhouse. Last year there were two, but one expired over the winter. I hope the last one standing makes it through the winter.
Definitely not blooming, next year's veggie bed has added a second layer of pavers and several alternating layers of autumn leaves, grass clippings, and all different kinds of compost.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Preamble, US Constitution
There is no more important resource for changing the direction of this country and defining the ideas that will transform America than the American People.
Tell us your ideas and be part of the change you're looking for.
From CHANGE.GOV, the website of the Office of the President-Elect.
Could our collective voices influence public policy in our new administration?
Could Michael Pollan's Farmer in Chief proposal be implemented in whole or in part by our new administration?
Would it be audacious to hope we, the garden blogging community could, with our voices and collective passion for our environment influence our new administration's farm policy, gardening in schools, support of Victory Gardens, promotion of urban vegetable gardening and local food sources, and other vital issues?
post script: If you haven't yet signed the petion to President Elect Barack Obama to grow an organic vegetable garden for his family on the White House grounds, with surplus produce shared with local food pantries, please visit Eat the View.
Please sign the Organic Consumer Association's petition letter to President-Elect Barack Obama today and urge him to take a stand in support of organic food and farming. After you sign this petition, please forward it to everyone you know. Please visit OCA.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
The calamint still has a few blooms left. Even with not much sun it's bloomed all summer. There were two of them last year, but one didn't make through the winter. I hope this one lives to bloom again.
Two Susans are all that are left, with lots of seed heads for the critters still.
I'm not at all sure this pretty oxalis will survive the winter. Fingers are crossed.
Frost got the bugbane before it bloomed last year. If not for the late frost this year the buds would never have opened. I thought about cutting them and bringing them in one evening when predicted frost didn't materialize here. I may do that still, but I'm glad I took a chance and got to see it bloom in the garden.
A closer look at the bugbane blooms.
I'm sure all these blooms will be toast by bloom day. We are definitely on borrowed time with our glorious November summer, so I seized the moment and captured them while I still can.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
There are still a few stalwart Susans blooming.
The serviceberry is almost bare, but the color of the remaining leaves is lovely. It was especially pretty this fall.Color is everywhere. This is a peak over the hedge into a neighbor's yard.
Across the street this maple is glowing in another neighbor's yard.