Aug 31, 2012

WSOS meet Old Whitey

yellow jackets took up residence in our garage. we couldn't see quite where - they were zooming in and out behind a big bunch of garden rakes, shovels, hoes that leaned in a corner. after we searched the internet (google "winged spawn of satan")  i devised a plan involving fishing line and a bungee cord to pull the tools over from inside the house. i gathered materials and made my plans.   meanwhile john went out one night and just stealthily moved all the tools.

three nest holes were in the dirt and bark rubble of the garage floor. during the day the WSOS poured in and out and threatened anyone who came near. winter is coming and we have 6 cords of wood dumped in the driveway to stack in the garage.   something must be done.

after more research, and suggestions from chemist friend Liz, John purchased some stuff to spray. i had my doubts.   but one coolish night (last night) he suited up in heavy shirt, hat, pants tucked into socks, heavy gloves and headed out on his mission.

in just one minute he was back in the house laughing. our resident skunk, Old Whitey, had found the holes and was digging up the nest!  yum!  go Whitey!  we'll see later today how that worked out.

while we were laughing over this, hank and barney were tearing up the kitchen. what? what? a moth? a LIVE MOUSE!  their first!  being just over a year old, and shelter kittens, their moms never taught them catching and killing.   they were doing pretty well at chasing. John managed to chase it out the back door.  knowing mice, it'll be back.

Aug 29, 2012

ring out bells of vermont

yesterday at 7 pm all the bells in all the towns & villages rang through the mountains and valleys for the anniversary of last year's amazing floods of Irene, and all that has come to pass since then. 

Aug 28, 2012

napping 4 dummies

cats indulge in napping as a hobby.
they find new and interesting places, and then take a nap there.
you might say "what a lovely spot for a picnic"
or "we should definitely kayak here"
cats say "what a perfect spot for a nap"

 if they could, they would keep life-lists of places they've napped.
they'd want to nap on every covered bridge in the country
or every lighthouse
or every state park
they'd have slides to show you
an online photo album of their last 100 naps.
humans check right out when they nap
cats nap their way into the sounds and smells and breezes
and especially sunbeams

Aug 26, 2012

it came from curio obscura

been so busy i never get to second life.  today there was a sale at curio obscura and mudpie made a trip in-world.  mudpie's pet mouse, and lucy's pet cat are always very happy to see them!  i feel guilty leaving them alone so much.  they rush over eager for a pat or some company.

see mouse? click to enlarge!

mudpie bought a tentacle.  hope it doesn't catch mousie!  stay away!
i'm all stretched out!

Aug 24, 2012

veggie heaven

a food day today.
our neighbor's been generously sharing the garden produce, and our fridge hardly closes.
last year it was zooks.  ..i'm just eating the last of my frozen zuchinni bread!
this year it is cukes, cabbage, rainbow chard, tomatoes, and a pepper or squash here and there.
so delicious! but!
today is the day.
last week i started the vinegar made from blackberries and water. 
we're eating the amazing tomatoes fast as we can.
today i washed and briefly steamed 3 pots of chard, and bagged and froze it for winter soups.
the long colorful stems, i debated, then (shhh) threw away. as Ma said in Jeff Danziger's Out In The Sticks "want not, freeze not."
i used the rest of the cabbage to make a big lot of cole slaw to eat for a few days.
the remaining cukes became 2 jars of refrigerator pickles (not worth dragging out the canning equipment)
now i just have the not-quite-ripe pears on my pear tree, and all the quince if i want to make jelly.
who needs a CSA when you have NGV -- neighbor growing (too many) veggies.

Aug 23, 2012

nature's screechers

all these years earwigs have insisted on sharing our house. 
some years a few, some years a plague. 
to better relate to them, i've read all i could find from earwig scientists and exterminator's websites. 
earwigs came from england. (on the mayflower?)
nothing eats them, except guinea hens. (can that be true?) 
they sometimes emit a foul odor. (when? and why?) 
they are good mommies, guarding their bazillion eggs and then guarding the babbies that hatch out. (redeeming qualities ~ so sweet) 
they eat decaying vegetation. 
they don't get in people's ears. (never. ok maybe once somewhere one did by accident) 
they try to hide if you are trying to kill them, (but they are not very bright)
all these years i thought i was an expert. 
then this week i read in the NYT science section that male earwigs have 2 working penises. (or penes to be correct) 
that's all it says about that subject. (believe it or not) (no why, no how, no pictures)

Aug 19, 2012

Flowers of the Flood

 today on a walk up the road i noticed some kinds of plants -- weeds -- wildflowers --  i've never seen before in my years walking this road.  and in my back yard, too!  since last year's flood, some of my usual weeds are not as much in evidence, although not gone....that mustard stuff, and the poison ivy...  and i have some new weeds.
 i had to look up a ferny-leafed greenyellow flowerspiked plant. it's ragweed!  i didn't even know what this famous plant looked like. 
and here's another new one i had to look up.
some kind of smartweed - i think several kinds are in my yard

jewelweed has come up behind the garage -- i think i'll keep it if it will stay! jewelweed is so pretty, and. supposedly good to rub on a poison ivy rash, too.

 i don't have a picture of japanese knotweed, because i pull up any plants as soon as i spot them...don't mess around with that stuff. 
according to the internet, you can eat it in the spring.
naaaaa don't think so.

Aug 18, 2012

Thursday meditation

the meditation center is open several times a week.   the same method of meditation is taught and practiced in the same room on the same cushions and yet each of the days is different.
thursday meditation is mid-day on a weekday, when traffic and construction work and the store downstairs are active.  when the weather is good the windows and doors are open and the busy world outside flows in and out of the room with the breezes as we sit and hold our seat.  none of that peace and quiet, non- distraction coddling for us -- we practice holding our seat and staying with our mind through it all, as all of us sneeze, open water bottles, take off sweater, scratch.

someone is timekeeper on thursdays, but no gatekeeper.  perhaps that's why it is thursday that throws me the otherworldly challenges!  one week it was dragons fighting outside the center. the noise was deafening. we sat through the metallic screeching and tearing, the alarming beeping, the building-shaking crashing.  it went on for the entire hour. (our center is next to a train yard.)  i knew it was a test and i brought the dragons and their fearful battle into my consciousness instead of letting them pull my mind out to them.  i was not afraid or angry.

another time, as i left the room, i was attacked by a demon!  she flew at me with beak and talons emitting dreadful cries!  i tried to remember how to deal with this...i did remain outwardly calm, mostly friendly, but i admit i tried to get away and make her stop.  not bad for a first encounter, but in retrospect i should not have tried to get away, but maybe worked my way along to the tea area as she followed screeching, and made tea for both of us?  i remember one story of a sage who allowed the demon to eat him up, but i'm not sure how to do that.

i don't have these encounters with the other world evenings, or on sunday mornings when there is a gatekeeper and often even a kasung, and there are protector chants at the beginning and end.  but i am curious to face these thursday challenges.

Aug 12, 2012

ms y times ms x = drama squared

which comes first, a dramatic life, or a career cutting hair?  Sweeney Todd had plenty of drama before he took up the profession, but does it also cause life-drama?

 i called ms x for an appointment yesterday, caught her at home without her book, it was the anniversary of her mom's death -- now there's a story!  

we ended up on the phone for an hour. her life is so dramatic, she even has an identical twin,  not exactly an evil twin but...  when i said someone told me you were also working at the salon down the street, she said her twin, ms y, had without telling her taken a job there and some customers had gone there thinking it was my ms x. twin hair-dressers (*cough* cosmetologists) must = drama squared!

i'll try her again next week.

Aug 5, 2012

still life with purple

last sunday, came home and dropped my stuff on the porch chair.  came out later and saw it and it looked so pretty!