Saturday, May 30, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

It's cool again, and the weather has that touch of early spring. (I love working in the garden without breaking a sweat!) I'm carefully getting back to some of the yard chores and loving it! The garden looks wonderful because we've had so much rain lately and everything is so green. Our summers are usually quite dry, so I am thankful for the cool, wet springs.

I have two pair of nesting wood peckers in one of the backyard trees this year. One is a red bellied and the other a downy...they are lovely to listen to calling to their fellow birds in the morning. I also have a little flying squirrel that if I can bare the mosquitoes in the early evening they are there for all to see eating the suet I put out for the birds. I easily get frustrated with the big fat squirrels around here, but these gentle gliders are a joy to watch.

With the busy street out front you wouldn't think that we could have so much wild life, but we do! From swallows to bats, from 'coons to possum we have it all! We even have three different kinds of owls and two types of raptors! (I lost a morning dove today to one - nothing left but the feather all over by the feeders!)

My very favorite bird here is our large bard owl who swoops through the yard looks for a tasty morsel many evenings during the week. I'm a late night dishwasher and get to observe these critters that fly or traverse our yard at night.

The summer brings out so many others creatures that make our yard a way station for food or water. From humming birds and occasional Great Blue Heron (Looks like a Pterodactyl when they are flying!) to that huge tom turkey that feeds upside down on our bird feeder we get to enjoy all the wild has to offer.

I've always wanted to move out and away from this busy area we live in but if we must live here, at least I have the joy of enjoying the wild things right in my own backyard!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Back - Continued!

I am doing so much better since I went to the chiropractor! (No meds today at all either!) I have to let things heal a bit, but I think I will be back to walking tomorrow. Since I have a family inherited back problems I have these nasty episodes every once in a while, but because I garden and walk I am blessed with fewer problems than others in my family.

I sat in the glider today on our patio and enjoyed the humming birds. They are truly a wonder to watch! Our yard is often filled with all sorts of birds and critters. I actually had one digging at the edge of the garden last night. Part of my asters were dug up and I believe I know why. I added some bagged compost to my own that has sea kelp and shellfish in it and it does tend to draw the night time marauders.

If the weather is good tomorrow, I will probably be back to scratching away at the garden weeds tomorrow - and I cannot wait to get my hands in the soil!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Wooziness has overtaken to me. I was hit with extremely painful hip after a simple 1 mile walk. Today I ended up at the chiropractor and he did some adjusting and suggested I go back on the pain meds the doctor gave me when this crazy back problem first surfaced over eight years ago. I've been on and off them over the past seven years and had doctors, physical therapists and now chiropractors trying to discover what's going on to cause the continuous deep ache. I have to say that the chiropractor has done more to solve and eliminate my pain.

It's funny what we do to get rid of pain...we even go as far as to be loopy to get a few moments of relief. Living with pain can make a person so much more aware of those simple things that most people take for granted like taking a walk.

Hope this thing passes soon but I'm never sure as it seems to come and go of its own volition.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


We had the most beautiful weather today. It really was and I am thankful for warmer days - but not too warm of course! I planted another hanging basket and had granddaughters over for lunch too, I could not ask for a nicer day.

Like many here I am struggling for things to write. It is not that I don't believe I can do it I am a writer after all...but like every other person in this state that has the highest unemployment in the nation in this nation I have nothing here to really get excited about because there are no wring jobs out there that I can fill. Thankfully I am still here in our home and we are surviving.

So for the moment, I am taking a painfully needed hiatus and spending time in my yard and with my family. Blessings to all who enter here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Times They are a Changin'

"Those were the days my friends we thought they'd never end..." Ah, those old songs that have words that step out of one world and into another. I'm from an age where songs often (though not always!) had meanings and wonderful words beyond simply the, "I love you," and, "he left me," choruses.

Song writers like Woodie Gutherie and even the likes of Cat Stevens had pretty meaningful lyrics that put to music made you get really involved in your minds and not only your voice as you sang to those tunes on the car radio on the way to everywhere with friends. Those drives were often on the way to the beach, or to a school dance and with the windows rolled down the freedom of the open road enticed many of us to play the music loudly, and had us singing even louder! (Is this where the boom, boom, boom of today's kids thumping car radios comes from today?)

I'm really not sure who we felt we might reach with our voices raised in song, but we sure felt the need to express the tunes and words with anyone who might listen. Peter, Paula and Mary had quite a few anthems that grabbed us then as did Bob Dylan and we really seemed to feel the words and the tunes too (Blowin' in the Wind, If I Had a Hammer). During those moments we felt we needed to get out and change our worlds or at least change our own life directions. Our times really seemed to be going crazy. That image of the young people putting flowers in the ends of National Guardsman's rifles really stuck in my personal image of those times.

Protest could also be fun as some of the songs of earlier generations haunted us with songs like Charlie on the MTA and even some of the songs of protest from even earlier times. When I look back there was so much optimism despite the war, and hope too, during that period in our nation's history. But it also held an edginess and fear that hung tight to the edges of every one's existence.

With the shape our world has taken these days I often wonder if some of those songs might find a home in new forms during these hard, and fearful times. Curious, but those pieces of music shaped many of our lives. We actually seem so bereft of those kinds of songs today.

Where are those Peace Train, or Eve of Destruction songs that made you really think about where we were really heading during those turbulent 60s? Though I'm not really a nostalgic person and seldom revisit my old records, they sometimes waft through my mind when I consider the financially hard times as well as the war we are embedded in these days. Where are those who speak for our plight these days in song? Or maybe a better question might be, how might we define this generation in a really good protest song?

Do You Save Your World?

I sat in my comfy leather chair enjoying a good read on the Hebrew language tonight after a great day in the yard filling pots with veggies and contemplating how the arms of my neighbors the trees seem to break forth from the trunks where ever there's an opening in the bark. I know, way to many strange thoughts! :-)

But looking at all the new branches today, there really does seem to be breaks in the bark to let those branches and limbs through - honestly!

I love sitting outside and contemplating the natural world after a busy day. Next to a cold winter one in the comforts of my warm, cozy living room it can be the best place for all sorts of contemplation. I think that type of thought is something the world doesn't seem to have much time for these much time spent working and saving the world I think.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Today's New Financial World

For those who find themselves on the line financially because of job loss, health care costs and the economy life is getting a little tougher. Many of these people in this predicament are, or were from the middle class and are now being relegated to lower class status and this really begs the question, "Is the middle class vanishing?" For those of us who have graced this part of the of the century as middle class citizens and are facing these huge losses it is more than a little daunting.

The car companies are all trumpeting the fact that they will be coming back leaner and better - but they will be back! But in the wake of this mess the one thing that seems to be lost is that the over 40s worker who will re-train but who will not fit the young and energetic image that many employers are searching for in this new economy will be the biggest casualty.

Most young people will find a way around these economic woes, but the face of the new poor will probably be the children of World War II who have helped build what we know as the middle class today. The jobs that will be available for these workers is shocking. Jobs like greeters and cashiers or some of the other retail positions are and will be available, but if a person is a skilled worker, or a college educated one there is nothing now to utilize the skills that have been honed over a decade or more. From machinists to middle managers and business people there are few jobs, and fewer actual openings.

So how do we as a country work to create the jobs, careers and hope for those mired in this newly made situation? One outlet might be the industries that President Obama is hoping to create in our more energy efficient future. The expertise from engineers down to the tradesman in these new businesses could lead to answers as to how these workers might be put back to work. But the main idea many of those hiring have to get past is the idea that an older worker is not as viable possibility as any other looking for work. After all we are fast becoming a nation of older workers courtesy of the baby boom generation and we need all our worker to actually get through this mess.

Convincing those who hire might not be an easy step, but it is a necessary one in order to get these talented people back into the workforce. In order to get our nation back on track it is also truly a necessity.

Beating Back the Cold

The cold that is creeping in again this week could well kill many a new plant in yards across the county. I've covered my tender annuals, but even that doesn't help sometimes. Funny how the plants are out there in area garden centers all over and it usually is way too early to plant them safely so we spend days sometimes weeks covering them or shuttling them in and out of building for warmth when they're really not ready to make any kind of appearance in our communities.

That kind of playing around with nature is called frustration for those of us who need warmth and color after nothing but whites and grays for months. So instead of thinking we buy to see and touch those tender petals once more, and in the process we are tempting fate. Will we beat the cold, or will the cold win out?

Each year those annuals are so beautiful, and that temptation often ends up being the loss of all that you've bought - or maybe, if you're lucky a reprieve for another summer of gorgeous flowers or veggies.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Bit of a Time Out

Springtime is when my disappearing act becomes a common place thing in daily life. I spend hours with grandkids outdoors and begin getting my garden ready for those lovely summer please forgive any lapse in my article writing and note making because I'm busy with my green work right now!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Our Own Woodworker Extraordinaire (Norm - Eat Your Heart Out!)

My husband has taken up woodworking. He couldn't begin with a simple bird house or something it, oh no! Instead of getting to know about the medium and tools gradually he dives in, and often ends up over his head in a project!

Through the years we've been together he has plied his trade as a machinest and metal worker and over those years any necessary wood working project around the house has turned into blight on his otherwise perfect metal working record. He built various wood projects like a shelf or small cupbaord only under duress and totally hated every second of any project where he had to work with that unreliable product - wood.

Well about three years ago he got into doing the wood work for a Model A woody he was helping build with a friend and though wood is still in mny ways a four letter word, he's finding at least an understanding of that soft, and unpredictible medium. His first project recently was a porch glider for our patio that he was sure he could begin and finish in his time off between Christmas and New Years of that year.

Well, that project went from one week to five long weeks and really sent him reeling with the familiar frustration surrounding, "That unreliable thing called wood!"

This year he again tried to create a wood piece - a table that folds up for the patio, and now he is working on another, a moveable island for our kitchen. The stress is still there for the way wood can sometimes not seem reliable because it can grow and shrink in the middle of a project - but he has come to enjoy the endless power tools that go with woodworking today. His excitement doesn't come from the project itself anymore, but now comes from the love of how many power tools he can work with during the process of any given project.

So where does he go from here? I'm really not sure. But I think he finally has the sense that he really doesn't have to conquer a wood job to enjoy it anymore, and that is at least a start to liking the art of woodworking!