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Thursday, June 28, 2012

PARCHED! HOT AND DRY



In my younger years I would hear old men cussing the weather out, sweat pouring from their brows as they pushed hand mowers."Its just too dam hot," were the adult words uttered on the street. Then came the invention of home air conditioning that helped old timers survive the heat. Now they could take breaks from the heat by jumping into the house ever so often to cool down.

Women were mostly housekeepers in the non-air conditioned days of the 1940's and 1950's. As women, their responsibility was to try to keep the house fairly cool.

Women usually found that opening windows early in the morning while it was still cool allowed cool air to creep into their homes. Long about 10 a.m. they scurried around shutting all the windows and pulled the blinds and curtains. This locked in the cooler air and kept out the mid-day hot air. The house interior became like a dark tomb until late evening when the women scurried around again to open the blinds, curtains and windows letting in the night air. This routine of open, shut, open, became a daily pattern during the dog days of summer when I was young living in Michigan.

Now many years later, I live in Kentucky without AC. I thought I could tough out any temperature Mother Nature sent my way. But alas, I have now cried "uncle."

Today, when the temperature is supposed to reach 102 and continue its hot streak for days -- I will be enjoying my newly installed window air conditioner. I still feel some guilt about installing it.


ADDEDUM
Temps starting today -- 102 ranging up to 106 by Saturday. Please remember the wild critters, like the birds and butterflies, for their lack of water out there in those shrubs, lawns, and tree areas. Try and set some shallow pans of water under the trees and shrubs to help them survive during this dry hot spell.



Sunday, June 24, 2012

ROBIN'S NEST




Last week I was out and about running errands when I noticed a lovely robin's nest sitting on an exterior window ledge of an empty store front. Picking up the nest, I noticed some gaping holes in the interior bottom. However its overall structural integrity was fair.


I collect nests but only those that I feel have been abandoned, not to be reused by the bird family again. 


The concept of a nest has always represented home to me. What home one might ask? My answer is --   my home where I live now, where I lived as a child, where I lived as an adult and sometimes where I live in my mind. So you see, I have many homes.


A home usually has bits of the following traits; semblance of a family, structural surroundings to protect one from natural elements, familiarity, and mostly hope. Hope that you can fly, at will, from your nest and be able to return at some point in time. Hope that there will always be family and or familiarity within each home/nest as one ages, and lastly that your nests will remain standing in your mind. Not all of us will be able to experience the family home, familiarity or structural surroundings we once knew.


So maybe someday we might not have the childhood/adulthood homes to revisit. But we will always have the home that we live in at this instant and our home that lives in our mind. 


Robins build and rebuild  homes for their families. For them each rebuild and location is different in some way. They adjust. We can adjust if need be. 














Friday, June 22, 2012

SOLITARY PERSON



Last weekend I walked the fields of shadow and sunlight surrounded by soft white wildflowers and an old pig barn. It was early morning and all was still. There was a certain meditative quality surrounding me as I snapped photos. The tree with it wind-sweep stature, giving way to chronic ageism yet providing a youthful ballerina stance for me. The white pig barn fading along with the old tree. I was in my element. 


When I got back to my abode in the woods, I looked up a favorite poem selection by Rainer Maria Rilke.  His poem is titled The Solitary Person. It underscored my morning feelings as I observed the quiet landscape. Here it is for you.


Among so many people cozy in their homes,
I am like a man who explores far-off oceans.
Days with full stomachs stand on their tables;
I see a distant land full of images.


I sense another world close to me,
perhaps no more lived in than the moon;
they, however, never let a feeling alone,
and all the words they use are so worn.


The living things I brought back with me
hardly peep out, compared with all they own.
In their native country they were wild;
here they hold their breath from shame.



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

CONTROVERSIAL CONFEDERATE FLAG


About ten miles from where I live is the above barn with its hanging large confederate flag. A rural area. In the South it is not unusual to ride past a private home and or a private building that has a confederate flag displayed for public view. Sometimes even a truck has a confederate flag on a pole jammed into its back cargo area -- flying with the breeze as it rides along a road. 


Some say the flag represents history.


I say bull-shit to this.


I feel that it represents extremism. Especially racism.


This flag represents the part of South that I do not like.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

CABBAGE PATCH

Small cabbage head ready to pick

I am not raising a garden this year. I've been gardening since I was very young and the actual act of planting and observing plant growth is probably my most enjoyable part of gardening.

Early morning light dancing on the large cabbage leaves


Now that the gardening season is in full swing here in Kentucky, I realize that I miss gardening. To offset that yearning I visited the Berea Community Garden in Berea, Kentucky. Several gardeners were there working their plots which they pay twenty-five dollars for -- giving them a full gardening season. The plots are exceptionally large and most are well maintained by a great cast of gardeners. 

When I came upon this beautiful cabbage patch I just had to take some photos of its full splendor. I found the heads and large leaves all very artistic. Nature gives us such a lovely palette of colors, shades, lights, shapes, and lines.  






Wednesday, June 13, 2012

DOG, HORSE AND HOUSE



Today, I have been reading many posts on some of the blogs that I usually follow plus finding some new blogs that I have added to my Google reader. This action is a quality break from working on projects during my "summer-time off." 

This summer I bought a new Canon Rebel camera and have tried it out a bit. I think it is going to be awhile before I feel comfortable using it. The two photos on this post were taken with my new camera. The top one is an impromptu shot of my sweet dog Sal (sallie tomato - real name) and the other is of a neighbor's horse that I often notice as I ride past its barn. He usually stands outside the barn looking rather majestic. I just had to take a photo of him -- yet,  when I walked close to his corral to take his photo he played shy with me. Like humans, we often seem confident to strangers when viewed from a distance, yet on closer inspection we can be rather timid.

For those that are aware that my house is for sale -- it still is for sale. Seems one has to price way below what was paid for a house in order to sell it. Some folks are getting great buys as a result of this "down" economy. Europe, in many places, is in worst shape than us so I should not complain. (but I do a little bit)

I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer. (although it doesn't officially start until June 20th)