Wednesday, June 30, 2010


My grandson came for a sleepover yesterday. We christened the area formerly harboring bamboo now known as the camp out place with a real wood fire last night. We went to a pool party with the artists group MACA earlier in the evening, and had a fire in the chimnea when we got back. Since I forgot to feed the child all day-my bad--we cooked hot dogs and talked about important stuff for 5 yr olds.  Yes he slept and so did I. We played all day today and had a smaller fire before his daddy came to get him. I am the best grandma in the world. At my house anyway.

Another day in the country

On Monday, I went with my good friend Marion to Lexington to visit another good friend, Nancy. We had a lovely greasy lunch at Bailey's Truck Stop--fried pork chops with the perfect amount of black pepper in the breading--yummy. On the way back we stopped for tomatoes at the "tomato lady's" house. She is Mennonite and her children are lovely. The tomatoes were picked that morning and were warm and full of juice, red and ripe and smelled like tomatoes!! Nancy whipped out her food mill upon our return and proceeded to make juice.
  We had such a wonderful relaxing day and the 4 hours drive to and from seemed like a trip around the block. Good friends, good chat, good food. Life is good! Nancy is very dedicated to her lifestyle and I admire her for that. These are some of her canned goods. The onions are on a drying table her husband constructed. They will soon be twisted into a string of onions and I know they will be as beautiful as they are useful.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Done digging

So here is how the spot in the backyard looks now. I spent this morning clearing away the pile of dirt/mud covered roots. The curb is piled high and those monsters are sprouting already. Yikes!! There's still a little finessing to be done, especially where the dirt covers the walk way (on the right side of the photo) but I have no energy for this right now. That will involve lifting the stones that form the pathway and filling underneath them to keep dirt from collecting in the future. I may move some of the concrete ornaments scattered about the yard over to this spot, just for fun.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Back at the ranch

The lilies are blooming now. Don't you love how the tiger lilies turn themselves inside out to get your attention?

A wonderful day

Just got back from an afternoon with some of the most talented people I know. When I think about it I know LOTS of talented people and that is good. Good food, good chat, great art, good dogs! Thanks to Jean and Diane for opening home and hearts to such a friendly group. Lots of rain on the way there, no rainbow, but I did find a pot of gold.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Online challenge--"Rhythm"

It's reveal week finally. I had this quilt finished with a week of the theme being issued. The writing around the heart is the names of goddesses from different cultures, who represent love, marriage and fidelity. I did throw in a ringer--the Chinese goddess of face cream--Hsi Shih. That was too funny to resist.
The full title of the quilt is "Chants to Your Favorite Goddess...a beating heart, the comfort of the circle, soft voices in the chant, the hum of a sewing machine."
For more info on this quilt and to see other equally amazing art works, click on the 2010 online challenge badge. Good stuff

Monday, June 21, 2010

Solstice 2010

The outdoor room is finished enough to have a small fire in the broken chimnea, but I decided to go with 12 candles instead for a low key celebration. I did burn the effigies but feel it might be too personal a thing to share with the world wide web. And I did that at 1 am hoping to coincide with the festivities at Stonehenge. Also lit candles at 6:28am local time and said a few words to the earth. According to my meager research on solstice activities, this is the time for renewal of spirit and to release the sadness, fear and pain from your life. I might need more than one day for that!
  Oh there are two nice chairs out here too. I just didn't get them out of the truck before I took this photo, maybe sometime in the future I'll get a shot of them in the space. I am completely exhausted from digging and have lost a few more pounds from all the exercise. Now I feel I have an excuse to eat something yummy that's probably not very good for me. 
   There's still a huge pile of dirt encrusted roots that need to be done away with. May have to pitch it all and not worry about keeping the dirt. But not today. The grindstone and the laundry are calling for my undivided attention.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

And more digging

We were blessed with rain last night and cursed with a 4 hour power outage. I went to the book store while the power was out and upon leaving the store saw a rainbow. Wow, I hadn't seen one in seemingly forever and it was so beautiful. It was a big one too with a fainter rainbow to the side. A few other people were just standing there looking at it. It was a very nice moment. I need a lot more of those.
 Okay back to the dirt. All references to dirt in this post can be interchanged with mud, you know, because it rained last night. Dirt becomes very very heavy when mixed with water. And makes an even bigger mess than usual. But there is noticeable progress on the hole. Plans are shaping up for the solstice. I need to find the time for the solstice and I decided to burn a couple of effigies. Don't care if it's customary, I just want to get some s**t out of my system.
If the weather cooperates I'll be digging again this evening. The grindstone is calling for my nose so I need to work a bit this afternoon. At least that is an indoor under the AC activity.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

More digging

The top photo is from yesterday.This morning I moved the first pile of dirt completely into the hole. This afternoon I plan on starting on the other pile. I decided not to obsess too much over the root hairs, but still sifted a lot of them out of the dirt. I may regret this next spring, but who knows if I'll even be here. As you see the hole is about half full and look at that pile of roots on the curb. It will get much bigger by Friday --trash day.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


The heat is absolutely brutal, so my digging is limited to a couple of hours in the morning and I spent a couple more this evening when the sun was off the spot where the hole is. I took a photo this morning but couldn't really tell any difference. Mostly I'm sifting the roots out of the dirt--no point in putting them back in the ground, eh? The biggest question I have is do I have to sift out the root hairs, you know the scraggly bits that hang off the main part of the bamboo roots? They break off and I wonder if they are viable even though they have dried out. There is a good sized pile of the bigger parts of the roots on the curb right now. Tomorrow it should be bigger. YES!
 I went online to check out any advice for the root hairs, but only found stuff about the rhizome not going back in the ground. I'm sure I'll have survivors coming up next spring even though I dug and pulled the runners as far as I could. I will have to be diligent about cutting them down. But that will be a project for next spring. The solstice is Monday so I will be shoveling dirt for the rest of this week. Even if I don't get the gravel at least I should have the hole filled in by then. Next post will have photos of the progress.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Yard redo

This is some of what I've been up to lately. Of course I waited till summer arrived in all it's glory and vengeance to decide to do this and nearly caused heatstroke for one of the brave souls I hired to dig. These are before photos of what was a stand of golden bamboo. It took me no time to cut it down but digging the roots was a nightmare as they had grown in a circle of sheet metal for eight (or more) years and some roots had found their way to freedom where the metal pieces overlapped. The goal is to have the new outdoor room completed by the solstice, so I can have a small celebratory fire, to honor the earth and plead her forgiveness for the oil spill.