30 August 2010

Dream or Nightmare?

Up Against the Wind

We took the little Cape Dory 10 out in 23 mile per hour winds on a big bowl of a lake...Sunny at the tiller, we were really clipping along. Time to turn back, white caps. Sunny said 'coming about' at the same time as she turned the tiller 90 degrees...racing turn. Whee...the wind caught the sail and tipped the mast right into the water. We swam for awhile, using the capsized boat as a sail to aid us to the shore. Saelyn was a trooper, 7 years old...no bargaining for him. He screamed at the top of his lungs, "God, make someone come and save us!!!" 

It wasn't three minutes later that a boat came from a nearby resort...The Coast God, I imagined. Someone had been driving down the road and glanced at the lake at us and the sailboat just in time to see us keel over, and then stopped by the resort to report it. 

Well. It was a great lesson for Saelyn. Stay with the boat and keep the faith, baby. 

26 August 2010

Perhaps folks should read, "It Can't Happen Here", by Sinclair Lewis...written in 1935.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor there was a concerted push to divest communities of all things Japanese, and a forced relocation and internment by the United States government in 1942 of approximately 110,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese residing along the Pacific coast of the United States to camps called "War Relocation Camps." I see the Father Coughlins of today's talk radio inciting hatred and racism...and I fear for this country. Radio drove the hatred in Rwanda and in Serbia. Do we really want our nation to degenerate further into chaos and violence? Do we wish a Balkanization of our country? 

22 August 2010

Still life with licuado

Spent yesterday at the widow's home, family and friends taping and placing plastic over windows, doors and anything not to be sprayed...and then sprayed stain over the cedar siding...repaired the deck and put some wind bracing in. After clean up we sat on the deck and chatted...looked over the lake. Her deceased husband's daughter was here in the morning with her family from Beijing. It was so good to see their shining, smiling faces and to hear of their lives. Nicole works for the IRC and has been busy with earthquakes and floods, Ning Li is a director and actor. He had a part in and was the assistant director for a series on CCTV called, "The Legend of Bruce Lee". They left early to visit grandma in North Dakota. 

Got a phone call early this morning from my daughter. Her step father died during the night. She was teary. The grandchildren didn't know yet, although he did stop over to say goodbye to them all two days ago, knowing he was failing. It's been expected for a long while and he has had a lot of pain...it was a blessing and a relief, while being very sad and heart wrenching. Bittersweet. He was younger than I am by two or three years. Cancer. 

It's going to be a hot one today. 90 and sunny. Headin' to father-in-law's lake place (where the pontoon is on a lift) shortly after noon. Then a get together on the beach at some friends' home, with visitors from afar. 

21 August 2010

The Times They Are A Changin'

Potatoes, onions and garlic are harvested.  First cropping of carrots and beets have turned into various summer mornings' juice.  Wild asters are blooming, golden rod, ragweed are winding down.  The yellow flowers of summer are turning to blooms of blues and purples.  The Perseid's prolific meteor shower from the comet Swift-Tuttle peaked last week and yesterday began the annual migration of the nighthawks.  Wild rice is filling out and will be ready to harvest within a couple of weeks.  Birch leaves are yellowing. Autumn will soon be upon us.

13 August 2010

Another Year of Learning

Trying to crowd everything into the upper garden this year just did not work.  I'm used to two micro climates and space to really grow.  Plants were shaded which needed full sun...and companions were difficult to isolate from antagonists.  We did not make our goal of a subsistence garden.  The past decade and a half has spoiled us.  I need to revamp the upper garden and reclaim the lower garden I've let go fallow.  My bad.  Trying to downsize in the garden was not an area in which getting small was a success story.  I feel motivated, though.  The weather was very strange this summer.  Nearly perfect in every way until the 4th of July...and then along came 6 inches of rain in a few hours...followed by a string of thunderstorms and heavy rains.  It rained again yesterday a couple of inches.  That's over 20 inches in a month or so.  I was ill prepared.  Coupled with the high humidity were temperatures more akin to the south.  Rarely do we have hot and humid periods lasting more than a week during the summer.  This was different.  There are more mosquitoes in the past month than I can ever remember here.  Is this the new 'normal'?  Will it continue?  Will the winters be harsher and the summers become more turbulent with each passing year?

This fall will be a flurry of activity.  Harvesting wild rice (we'll need more to supplement our food stores this winter), preparation of both gardens.  Culling winter killed fruit trees, transplanting others we have in reserve.  Adding on to the house off the front room as we did off the kitchen last fall.  Get firewood under the third woodshed which is now complete.  (We must have 8 years of fuelwood on hand now)...

Learning and relearning.  Stumbling and brushing ourselves off.  Making changes.  

I need the exercise.

10 August 2010


We just returned from voting in the primary at the town hall...there were the 4 election judges and helpers there, Cheryl and I were voters number 6 and 7...and when we left one of them said..."That's 7...we're half way to our goal!"   So the four judges, me and Cheryl...and someone else.  That's our township!

I had three very wonderful visitors stop by while Cheryl was with clients.  Enjoyed the conversation and the laughter very much.  Good folks!

Cheryl, the cats and I are communing by the firepit, enjoying the afternoon.

01 August 2010

Went to a wonderful gathering at some friends' place yesterday afternoon into the evening. What wonderful fresh fixin's from everyone's gardens. Quite the feast. Not to mention the desserts. I'm certain I ate two to three days worth of food.

Speaking of the gardens...my goodness. The hostess and host's gardens were incredible. Sincerely the nicest I've seen in a long while.

Really doesn't do the gardens the justice they deserve, but gives you an idea.

Many of the folks there were multi-generational connections to the area. The hostess runs the local sawmill. So interesting to speak to a WWII vet who still farms, is fit as a fiddle and speaks several languages from his travels in Europe during and after the war. An amazing font of knowledge on everything from machinery and general physics...to haute cuisine.

I enjoyed myself immensely. Such fine conversations.

As the world burns

Vietnam: As an advisor and liaison I lead native troops but nonetheless was looked upon as the "supreme local power", way too muc...