Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Every year At This Time I Hear That Book Banning Is A Thing Of the Past . . .

The Top 10 Books that Americans tried to ban last year {LINKYPOO}

What I get from all these book  challenges is that learning about the real life issues and events that confront children and families is dangerous, and everyone should be kept as ignorant as possible.

For their own good, of course.

Sure. That makes sense.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Kilt Monday!

'Cause let's face it,
Mondays can be so rough, hard, difficult.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

This feature, originally known as Saturday Farmer's Market, was created by Heather at Capricious Reader, and then hosted by Chris at Stuff as Dreams are Made on.

It has been a rough week. I've pushed myself past the point I should, and am paying the price.  (I know. Whine. Whine. Whine.)

We pulled up all the Lavender because it was beginning to smother itself and then replanted it. I had used the recommended spacing, but the plants grew bigger than they were supposed to. We also took the opportunity to lay down weed cloth. The bed looks severely ugly right now. Deformed plants that can't be pruned correctly until early spring with too much space between them, and exposed weed cloth looking raggedy. No garden prizes this year.

Eventually there will be inorganic mulch and the plants will be pruned properly and grow back in. Eventually.

Update on the neighbor's irrigation and our trees: Two weeks ago we told the renters. They told their landlords. Nothing happened. Our large Plum tree is looking worse. I finally called the water folks and they said that they will look into it and let me know what happens. For the sake of my trees, I hope they don't take too long.

I have some new pictures but I haven't gotten around to uploading and messing with them yet. Soon, I promise.

In the meantime . . .
here's a snap of some Pink Flamingos grazing among the Lantana.

Flamingo Watching
- Kay Ryan

Wherever the flamingo goes,
she brings a city’s worth
of furbelows. She seems
unnatural by nature—
too vivid and peculiar
a structure to be pretty,
and flexible to the point   
of oddity. Perched on
those legs, anything she does   
seems like an act. Descending   
on her egg or draping her head   
along her back, she’s
too exact and sinuous
to convince an audience
she’s serious. The natural elect,   
they think, would be less pink,   
less able to relax their necks,   
less flamboyant in general.
They privately expect that it’s some   
poorly jointed bland grey animal   
with mitts for hands
whom God protects.

from: Flamingo Watching. Copyright 1994.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Kilt Monday!

'Cause let's face it,
Mondays can be so rough, hard, difficult.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

It's A Garden Party! - One Last Daisy!

This feature, originally known as Saturday Farmer's Market, was created by Heather at Capricious Reader, and then hosted by Chris at Stuff as Dreams are Made on.

I didn't get any more pictures this week, as I've been working and forgot all about the camera.

I managed to (with help, of course) lay weed cloth under the Fruit trees and mulch them. We had to take out my poor Pomegranate first though. The neighbor's sprinkler system had sprung a small leak and I didn't notice in time.

The tree was in serious distress and I had been checking for pests and disease when the problem was rotting roots. It was so far gone that my husband didn't even have to dig it up, he just rocked the trunk back and forth and it came up. Poms aren't just drought tolerant, they thrive on neglect and can't stand wet feet at all.  We will be replacing it, but it will be going in a different spot, away from possible sprinkler problems.

We also lost our small Pluot tree. I had hoped it would survive but there was just too much damage when the wind knocked the supports from under the heavily fruited branches. We haven't taken it out yet. That will happen after we finish on the front beds.

So, after we replace the Pomegranate and take out the Pluot there will be room for two more trees. We are considering a Sweet Almond. I would love an Olive tree but I think they grow too big for my space.

Any suggestions?

We also laid weed cloth between the Rose bed and the Herb bed, and mulched the whole area. No more grass. I didn't put the cloth in the beds themselves. The herbs are too close together for that, so I will still have to weed them by hand. And I still have work to do with the roses.

The next project is the Lavender bed. I'll let you know how that turns out and hopefully have some pictures of all this.


The Fact of the Garden
 - Minnie Bruce Pratt
With this rain I am satisfied we will be together
in the spring. Seeds of water on my window glass,
transparent sprouts and rootlets. In your backyard
steady rain through the heavy dirt we dug in,
our shovels excavating some history of the tiny garden.

Our blades cut through the design of a previous digger:
rotting boards, rocks, earthworms big as young snakes;
a tarnished spoon, pink champagne foil from a party;
a palmful of blue feathers from a dead jay.

We dug and planted. We intend to have a history here
behind this rented house. Despite the owner there is a secret
between us and the ground. In the wet dirt, our fleshy bulbs
and the pink cloves of garlic are making nests of roots.
The fact of the garden has satisfied me all morning:
that we worked side by side, your name round
when I spoke it: that my fingers worked in the dirt like rain,
the ground like a made bed with its mulch of leaves,
orderly, full of possibilities, acts of love
not yet performed.
                            Now the water’s slap on my window
has made me think of something else, suddenly,
what I don’t want to, the way I wake up in the night,
think I’ve heard a gun shot.
                                           The memory, news story
you told me a week ago: the farmers south,
far south, El Salvador, afraid to go into their fields.
What does their dirt look like? I don’t know.
Instead I see that some thing is being planted:
U.S. soldiers watching as others bury a dead
hand, arm, head, torso.
                                    To be afraid
to put your hand into the dirt. To be afraid to go
look at your ground: that it has been cut like skin,
will bulge out like cut muscle: that on a fair day
there will be subterranean thunder, then a loud, continuous
hiss of blood.
                      I wish I could see only the flowering
bulbs voluptuous in the spring.
                                                But what is planted is
what comes. In the fall, plant stones: in the winter,
the ground gapes with stones like teeth.

I hold to the plan we thought of: small: full of
possibilities against despair:
                                              us handing out
sheets of paper, thousands, the list of crimes:
sharp thin papers delving up something in people
in parking lots, shopping malls.
                                                 What will come of this?
Perhaps people to stand with us outside the buildings,
to say again: Not in my name. Words adamant as rock,
and actions, here, in the coldest months, before
soldiers move again in the fields to the south.

from: The Dirt She Ate: New and Selected Poems. Copyright 2003.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

I've Decided to Go On a Diet - the Hobbit Diet!

I think that this is one I can stick to. 
What do you think? 
Is anyone interested in forming a bloggy support group?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I Wish I Had This Book.

I can only offer you this link, I'm afraid, but I would love to have the real thing in my collection.

with illustrations by Charles Cullen

Monday, September 14, 2015

It's Not Your Job

- Caitlyn Siehl

when your little girl
asks you if she’s pretty
your heart will drop like a wineglass
on the hardwood floor
part of you will want to say

of course you are, don’t ever question it

and the other part
the part that is clawing at you
will want to grab her by her shoulders
look straight into the wells of
her eyes until they echo back to you
and say

you do not have to be if you don’t want to
it is not your job

both will feel right
one will feel better

she will only understand the first
when she wants to cut her hair off
or wear her brother’s clothes

you will feel the words in your
mouth like marbles

you do not have to be pretty if you don’t want to
it is not your job

Saturday, September 12, 2015

It's A Garden Party! - Some Autumn Color and A Couple of Friends

This feature, originally known as Saturday Farmer's Market, was created by Heather at Capricious Reader, and then hosted by Chris at Stuff as Dreams are Made on.

A Lesser Gold Finch takes a break from eating pests in my garden to pose for the camera.

They are quite gregarious and acclimate easily to my presence, whether I am shooting photographs, working in the garden, or simply enjoying the atmosphere.

Although there are stragglers throughout the day, in the early morning and early evening they congregate in noisy, large numbers at the feeder.

Presumably they are all sharing how their days went and making plans for the next day.

Next up is the Coopertina Ninebark.

It varies in its copper shades throughout the season, but it is always stunning.

It has grown so much this year that its growth habit reminds me of a large breed dog in its adolescence, all gangly and leggy.

Its job is to lessen the effect of the afternoon sun on the west side of the house and I think it will do just fine.

All I've read suggest that pruning is good for it and it seems to be happy where it is.

I took a chance and didn't buy Lady Bugs this year.

There were still a lot, like this little gal.

(Do boy lady bugs have issues?)

They are still around, but I wish I had supplemented the population earlier.

I have started seeing aphids and their little ant overlords.

Ladybird, ladybird
 - Mother Goose

Ladybird, ladybird,
Fly away home,
Your house is on fire
And your children all gone;
All except one
And that's little Ann,
And she has crept under
The warming pan.
Finally, my Marigolds seeded themselves last year. I harvested the seed but never replanted. This little patch has been going all Summer and looks like it may continue until we get frost.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Why Should the 9/11 First Responders, Real Heroes, Have To Continuously Beg For Their Health Care?

to Fight for 9/11 First Responders
- Again

The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act is set to expire at the end of this month, though thousands of firefighters, cops, and EMTs still suffer from illnesses, including cancer, caused by their work at ground zero.

Want to know which lawmakers are standing in their way?
There's an app for that!

If we really want to support our heroes, then we must make our voices heard.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

A Big Part of My Life, Lately

I must add that I have not actually won this award.
An acquaintance posted it, and it captured so well what it is to sew with cats.
After a bit of searching, I found its source {here}.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Writer Sara Paretsky posted this devastating poem on FaceBook.

by Somali poet Warsan Shire

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbours running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won't let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it's not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn't be going back.

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles traveled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough

go home blacks
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
be hunger
forget pride
your survival is more important

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
run away from me now
i don't know what i've become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015