Monday, March 30, 2009
With my girls as my companions, I raked the leaves and pine straw up from the back yard unearthing tasty tidbits for my foraging brood. Let me just say that there were some very disgusting creatures that went down the throats of those five hens. Blecch. I am so glad I am not a chicken. I would starve.
Penning the girls back up I went to the side garden where I ripped out a patch of iris, a clump of society garlic that I will plant elsewhere and raked away piles of dead, decaying leaves. I did leave some to turn into the garden, the tiny bits of leaf mould will be greatly appreciated by new plants.
This year I am turning every bit of planting space into food-producing earth. If we cannot eat it, it will not go in the garden. The side garden will be for herbs- rosemary, basil, anise hyssop, lemon balm, lemon grass, oregano, cilantro, chives and the like. Years ago that is all that grew there but, after our house fire that killed them all, I did not replant, sad for their loss and waiting for another time. That time is now.
Little by little the front yard is gaining new purpose. I have extended the garden area a little (and will do so every year until I have a full food-filled yard) and dumped the remnants of last years pots into the bed. It's all still good, weed-free soil and there is no sense wasting it. A water trough that I picked up at an estate sale a few years ago (for $3) now sits at the top of the garden beds. The intent is to add a coupling and attach a hose to it, cover the top with fiberglass screening held on with wire to prevent mosquitoes, etc. from taking up residence and use the water that is caught in it to water the garden. I hope it works because that trough holds a lot of water and it would certainly save some $$ and keep the hubs happy.
All in all it has been a very productive day. I have my seed potatoes on the window sill sprouting tiny eyes, ready to be planted on Thursday. Seed pots made from newspaper are collecting under the bench in the family room and they will be filled with organic potting soil and tiny seeds this week. The eight windows I snuck out of my neighbor's trash pile will be attached together to make a small greenhouse for hardening off the little seedlings as they grow.
Yes, it was the perfect day to be outside, breathing in the first wisps of Spring air and soaking up brilliant sunshine. I highly recommend it.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
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Saturday, March 21, 2009
We didn't do very much while she was here. In fact, we mostly stayed home, played games (Oceanopoly, our new favorite), watched NCIS and gabbed.
Yesterday we did venture out to an estate sale along with Grammy and Cilla, my partners in crime. We found a few things to bring home but, to be honest, there wasn't really that much of interest. Plus everything was in a very musty basement, not my favorite kind of place.
Out of a big $2 bag of buttons, this is what I am keeping. A few mother of pearl shirt buttons, six beautiful glass buttons the color of the Caribbean ocean, a clothespin, two sparkly studs, some metal cuties and two thimbles.
My big purchase was an old celluloid photograph album. Empty, of course. It is a bit weary and worn, but the inside pages are beautiful.
Six floral lithographed pages, still vibrant in color and ready to be used in some creative manner. I can't help it, I just sit and stare at them, they are so pretty.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
I slid out of bed, put on my chicken-tending Crocs, donned my bathrobe and went to the kitchen. Filling a pitcher with water, I grabbed my Monet's Garden umbrella my mother-in-law gave me for my birthday last year and trotted out into the darkness.
Let me describe our tiny piece of land to you- it slopes. And where is the chicken pen? Near the bottom of the slope. And what happens when you have copious amounts of rain? The ground gets muddy. And what happens when you step on muddy, no-longer-grass-bearing, sloping ground wearing your chicken-tending Crocs? You slide. About two and a half feet, until you reach the place where you had to dig out the hill to accommodate the door to the pen. Then you carry on sliding until you come to a stop at the door. And what happens to the pitcher of water you were carrying as you slid down the hill? It pours out all over you. And the umbrella? It rolls away, probably back to Giverny. But that doesn't matter, because you are already soaking wet from the pitcher's contents, which is now seeping through your bathrobe and into your pyjamas.
Yes, that pretty well describes my Sunday morning. I got up from the ground dripping wet, covered in mud and chicken poop and hoping beyond all hope that no one was watching me. They weren't. Or at least that is what I'd like to think. Back to the kitchen I went, filled yet another pitcher of water, cursed my chicken-tending Crocs and went back out into the dark, rainy morning to complete my chores.
I'm pretty sure that I heard the girls laughing in the hen house.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
11:57- The sound is building to a cacophony and I think that there might be three or four owls in the woods behind my house. My goodness, they are noisy.
12:12 AM- The "Who-hoos." have now elevated to war cry status. I am sure there is something out there that is running for its life.
12:17- Silence waves its magic wand over the woods as the piercing wail of a fire engine cuts through any thoughts of sleep.
12:27- The owls must feel confident that the fire engine was not coming for them as they once again begin to serenade us. Oh, joy. Oh, rapture.
12:34- There is an owl in my back yard. Where's a big rock when you need one?
12:47- Through the window comes a sound that sends chills down my spine, something akin to the nasgool as it looms in on Frodo Baggins on the crumbling wall in Osgiliath. Only in this case, there is no Sam to save this victim from impending doom. Or Faramir for eye candy.
12:52- Silence. It's about freaking time.
8:51 AM- Ah, here's Faramir. Why couldn't he be running through my woods ?
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
Then click this link and let those elected to represent us know just how you feel!!
You can also help by contacting the Senators and Congressmen from your state and encourage them to vote "NO" on this and other related bills.
Enough is really enough. It is up to us to ensure that our children and future generations have access to pure, whole foods as Nature intended, not some genetically modified semblance of food. Not only that, but to preserve the American farmer and his or her attempt to provide us with good, wholesome nourishment.
Okay, I'm off my soapbox now. :)
Saturday, March 7, 2009
I have noticed many signs while out and about- buds nodding their heads to the sun, daffodils in bloom looking like teacups and saucers lining a shelf, crocuses dotting lawns like Easter eggs. Even the dandelions, the brave ones, have popped out and polka dot the grass. Yes, it certainly does look like Spring. And that is what gets me every time.
Friday, March 6, 2009
I think it was Winsor who copied the diary, as there is not one of his own in the papers we have, only letters home to his wife. His sister, Adrianna, married my great-great grandfather, Daniel Smith Kimball.
What lies in these pages are the tales of a group of men, banded together by war, trying to make sense of what they were doing, being courageous in captivity and noting those who did not survive. I cannot imagine what it was like to see a fellow soldier, a friend and brother, perish.
On August 18, 1864, the company was taken prisoner after an unsuccessful attempt at battle on the Weldon Road in Petersburg. There, they were taken into Petersburg, then moved to an "island in the Appomattox land". from there to the railroad station to board a train to Richmond. They were placed in the Libby Office, where a complaint was waged, and ignored. From Richmond, they were transferred to Belle Isle, "about 1100 men, no tents, sun very hot, dew very heavy. Received about 1000 prisoners at night."
From Belle Isle, the men were taken South to Danville, Westboro, Greensboro and, finally, Salisbury Prison, SC.
October 16, Sunday
Eleven men perished last night. Cap't Davis of the 155 N.H. shot dead by the guard, for no provocation whatever. Sun set hazy with the appearance of a storm."
December 25, 1864
A dull Christmas. No signs yet of getting out of here. The mortality continues about the same. About 3500 men have died since Oct. frequent rumors of Union success. There has been a rumor also of the death of Jeff Davis.
The Year has closed and I am a prisoner still. Year closed stormy. News scarce, mortality on the increase. Rations very poor, no meat and but little bread.
The last entry of the diary is from Feb. 23, 1865. It reads:
Rained during the night, marched at 8 A.M., passed through Lexington, crossed several streams, very slow and hard marching. Halted at night after making ten miles.
As the last entry of a mortality in the 16th Infantry is on Feb. 19, I assume that William and Winsor had been released. In all 37 of the men died and 8 deserted.
I cannot read this diary, and that of my great-great-grandfather, without felling swells of emotion within me, mostly sadness and anger.
This diary and others like it, are treasures. Links to the past from which we can learn from and, in some cases, relate to. I always tease my dad about the things that he keeps squirreled away in his office. Some of them are really not that interesting, but the things that are need to be kept, shared with the family, so that we will know who our ancestors are and what they did to help form the nation in which we live.
Family. History. Inseparable, needful and ours.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
What was not a mistake here in Georgia, was the weather man's prediction of S*N*O*W!! Leaving church at noon time, we were greeted by big, fat flakes of snow falling from the sky. I swear I zoomed straight back to my childhood, that's how excited I was to see it. My humble apologies to those who have nothing but snow and cold, winter temperatures, but this is a treat here in the south, one I welcome with great exuberance for the one day we receive such a blessing.
Here are a few photos of The Great Georgia Snowfall of 2009. Take a good look at that little squirrel. He stayed in that position for a full two minutes before he returned to munching on sunflower seeds. It was hilarious. But I bet he was really mad at me.