Friday, January 25, 2013

Haiku Monday: TRIUMPHant Winner

has triumphed over all other entries
 us  with his bike tales.
was nothing to do but
 him bonus points for

to all entries.
Soooo many wonderful haiku
I would have struggled to
determine a  "best".

I look forward to
Monday's game.

 is full of daily triumphs.
 And defeats.
This week our
 theme is focused on the
of   nature.  
Our usual classic
 5-7-5 format  please. 
This go around I will  award an  additional point to haiku which do include a seasonal reference ( kigo ) and two additional points to those including a cutting word (kireji) .

As always, I like visuals but they are not a requirement. All entries should be submitted by midnight PST on Monday, January 28, 2013. Good luck, offer as many haiku as your wish , please indicate only two for judging.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Haiku Monday: SPEED

"Action" shutter speed
Camera ready ... steady ...
Damn! Hummingbird blur.

Offshore engines roar
pulsing against my vitals
why does speed excite?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Straw Bale Entertainments

Thus far, my  2013 has been mostly not too good. I've had one health issue  on top of another. Today at four I am having an emergency tooth extraction for  a tooth which split the long way from root to crown..  Which means it cannot be saved. It also is extremely unpleasant to deal with. Sounds simple enough but with me, things are never simple. I've had very state of the art, high tech  laser surgeries to regenerate bone growth in my face, lost to osteoporosis. This facial bone loss is usually limited to those in their ninth or tenth decade . Lucky me. Because of the investment in trying to keep my face I cannot just walk into any dentist's office and have a tooth pulled. No. It takes a team of specialists, an anesthesiologist, an OR and a wonderfully smart, talented team of very  kind specialists.  You see, that tooth  resides in hope to be preserved new bone growth.  I also had to be on antibiotics for a minimum of three days before this surgery. Today is just the extraction. Once the current emergency of an exposed root nerve is resolved, next will come bone grafts , laser wizardry, implants and the transfer of many thousands of dollars from my coffers to theirs. This team is worth every penny.

In an effort to keep myself in a positive mindset while waiting I have been researching straw bale gardening. There are all kinds of reasons for choosing this form of container/raised bed gardening. I have read enough to be totally confused. When I reach a standstill I switch to reading about hobby farm gardens or peruse the catalogs for Heirloom seeds, seed starting paraphernalia of every description and about every one's favorite natural form of de-bugging an organic veggie patch. 

 I have gotten out gridded sketch pads and thought about layouts, cast shadows, which plants should be on which axis and if tucking in a few marigolds along the bases will add to both the aesthetics and  the de-bugging objectives. Once or twice I have strolled out onto the deck to try to envision the  fullsome beauty I am expecting by June. Okay maybe not this June, but some June.

I've considered using blueberry bushes as part of the dividers  and have thought long in hard on natural grass or mulching between aisles. I have spent entirely too much time wondering if it is possible to keep the  wandering vines of various squashes in some  sort of order . Maybe the beauty is in the abandonment of order? Both concepts are well defended online and in numerous publications.

Last year I visited Monet's garden in Giverny.  I remember reading he envisioned his garden as a painting before buying a property and planning a garden. Once he did all of that, traveling Europe, speaking of his gardens, collecting seeds and knowledge to bring home to this great ambition it was 16 years before the garden had sufficient interest to be painted.   In just 3 days of researching I am now positive  I owe Monet an apology for insufficient respect for his amazing accomplishment.

Then too, while in France, I visited  or stayed in Chateau with the most wonderful gardens. Often they combined hedges, flowers and veggies in a most artistic arrangement.  Quite the inspiration.  The French,  have a knack for making it look easy.  Like staying slim and dressing like Chanel.

The result of all this sketching, researching and drooling is this:  I have made it through the miseries with a fine distraction. Maybe, by June, I will have nurtured along a healthy garden and a healthy Fishy.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year Prosperity

     We live in the South, where prosperity in the new year begins with a pea. Black eyed peas to be sure. Often served with rice, called "Hoppin' Jon" by some, enjoyed by all.

 Blowfish, being a yankeeman, did not grow up with this celebration food on his Mama's table. Not on New Year's Day nor any other day either. He has though, become  a right devoted convert to this annual tradition. Not surprising for a man who has always been serious about his groceries.

Most New Year's Days we mosey off to an "Open Farm" celebration where the food is Southern classics. Collard greens, black eyed peas, skillet cornbread, roasted pork,or  ham, or the entire pig. Gallons of sugary iced tea and every variety of cookies or brownies. (The default thing to bring when you do not know what to bring). These past few years I think Blowfish has stepped up to be the taster of the peas. To see if they are done "just so". Of course, being a yankeeman and Italian, his idea of "done" is "aldente".  If he pronounces the black eyed peas "perfect!" then our host knows they need to go another 20 or 30 minutes before calling his guests in from the stables to make it inside for the blessing followed by  the buffet table rounds.

Folks from the horsey community come, the churchy folks and neighbors come too. It is always a mixed crowd so there is always someone new to befriend. There's a good opportunity you will meet up with someone you have not seen in a decade or more so usually there is a  fun bit of catching up too.  Of course the horse folks come in horsey clothes as do the neighbors. But every year, some of the churchy folks come in their church finery and, well they regret it.  They especially regret this choice if it is a wet year. These are always, always the folks with children who beg and plead for an opportunity to " ride a horsey down to town".  The kids are eager. The parents reluctant. But, if they have had a glass or two of the mulled cider, they loosen up  and realize those kids will out grow their church finery before the next Winter arrives so they might as well have some fun.

It is great fun too!
It is a grande present to start the New Year surrounded by the squeals of joy of young children. They do not need to be your own little loves. They can be complete unknowns ... joy is contagious! Most of us parents of horsey kids or the older kids in training lead these newbies around on a lead line trying hard to give 'em a memorable start to the New Year. I don't think we have ever seen anyone try to scare a child. We give them a  good time, brag on them a plenty and pass out ribbons to all our "Little Winners". Most years it is difficult to tell who is more excited by this experience, the tots or their parents. Usually, it is the parents. Truth is, first time I saw Mermaid on a pony I cried. Maybe I had a premonition of the coming "Horse Mama Poverty" which is always trumped by "Horse Mama Pride and Joy".

Some years my resolution has been to remember the moments of the day. Folks are not talking politics, or economics, or insurance, or projections,  or government controls, or gun laws. They start the New Year making  merry, with old or new friends of every generation. Guests wander around the farm patting the horses or sneaking them a sugar cube.  Kids chase dogs and play with cats or play hide and seek around all the barns and sheds. Some  ladies get buckets to pick up the late falling pecans speaking of favorite recipes. Others stroll the grounds holding the hand of a spouse they have not noticed in a week of busyness. In the best years the sun shines, it isn't too cold and the birds sing out glad tidings.

My most favorite New Year's was the year I found the birds nest. Half way between the wash racks and the  feed shed. It must have just fallen.  It was perfect. A work of incredible  art.  Constructed entirely from long  black horse hairs from a mane or tail. From Mermaid's  horse. Her "twin of another species" who was "the most beautiful pony in all the kingdoms". I was certain this miracle of the nest  was a message for me. Not just because I was mother to these "twins" but also because designing " nests" for people is my mission.

 It resonates with me always, but most especially every New Year's Day. 

Honor thy Father.
Love thy neighbor
Share your joy
Celebrate the presents of life

Happy New Year!
Blessings on you all!