Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Giving Tree (Farm)

Back when my Grandparents lived on the farm, it was actually sort of a sustainable community by today's standards, it was out in the country so it was prudent to have a large garden and also a small apple orchard. This is the last standing remnant of what used to be about twenty apple trees.

And after a long time the boy came back again. "I am sorry, Boy," said the tree, "but I have nothing left to give you - My apples are gone." "My teeth are too weak for apples," said the boy. "My branches are gone," said the tree. "You cannot swing on them-" "I am too old to swing on branches," said the boy. 'My trunk is gone," said the tree. "You cannot climb-" "I am too tired to climb," said the boy. "I am sorry," said the tree. "I wish I could give you something....but I have nothing left. I am just an old stump. I am sorry...." "I don't need very much now," said the boy, "just a quiet place to sit and rest. I am very tired." "well," said the tree. straightening herself up as much as she could, "well, an old stump is good for sitting and resting. Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest."

And the boy did.

And the tree was happy.
- Shel Silverstein

I would add that the farm makes for a fine place to garden, walk, sit and rest as well.

An end or new begining?

Tomorrow GM will file for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This possibility began long ago, but became very public discussion a little over six months ago. We all hate everything about this for all kinds of reasons, but in many ways it really marks the end of the great industrial expansion of the United States. The bigger question is "What will we do next?" As Americans we have never really liked to sit back and wait for something to happen. We tend to try to make things happen. I am hopeful about what we may do next.

Old Cadillac Advertisement from 1914

My first post on GM

First Breath, First Look, First Steps, First Kiss

I went to check on the garden this afternoon and was fortunate enough to have arrived just as a new calf entered this world. There are some that claim that animals cannot feel, I wish those cynics could have been with me today to witness the tenderness that this new Mother showed towards this tiny new calf who, within about ten minutes was up and about. I will miss this farm when eventually the developers claim all of it. For even now at 40 I am still as moved by this scene as I was when I first saw it when I was ten. There are some experiences that cannot be conveyed in a text book.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Digging In The Dirt III

So, most everything has gone as planned except for some of the seeds that were clearly planted too deeply (is four feet too deep?). I have reseeded some of those spots and they are starting to poke up. I will stop by Ace Hardware on Robinhood Road and pick up some new plants to fill in the other spots where we had losses. I am pleased so far with the garden fabric; keeps moisture in and weeds to a minimum, except for that confounded wire grass. We should be seeing some produce relatively soon now that the warm weather seems to be here to stay combined with the terrific rains we have been having (I have been practicing my rain dances as of late - quite an embarrassment to be caught by one's wife while practicing in the shower).

Digging in the dirt part duex.

Digging in the dirt part one.

Memorial Day

To her we drink, for her we pray,
Our voices silent never;
For her we'll fight, come what come may,
The Stars and Stripes forever!

Monday, May 18, 2009

She did it!

My oldest just graduated from Wake Forest University today with a major in Cultural Anthropology and an Environmental Studies minor. My wife and I could not more proud. She is the young person I wish I could have been; dynamic, caring, passionate and adventurous. I cannot wait to see what she does next. I am convinced that she will make her mark on this world and will end up leaving it a better place for her having been here. Saying we love her is an insufficient comment to express how we feel. Well done Alex.

I should mention that she is setting a fine example for our youngest!

Click here for photo album of the day (two pages).

Monday, May 11, 2009

1967 Jeepster - left behind

This is a bit different than my previous "left behind" posts as this was left at the restoration shop that is working on my old BMW. The owner dropped it off, asked to have a good basic restoration done, when it was complete he walked away from the bill and left the car. If you are interested in this recently restored seriously cool car, call Daran Thomas at 919-363-8589.

******SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD********

Saturday, May 9, 2009

OBX Lighthouses: Ocracoke, Bodie & Hatteras

How often do we look at lighthouses and are so impressed with the structure itself that we fail to notice the details such as the windows. I'd love to get inside and take some pictures. I expect that the extremes between the sun pouring in through any possible entrance and the shadows created by the thick concrete walls would be great fodder for some black and white. Anyway, the more I look at these, the more I am feeling the need to go back.

The Lighthouse
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The rocky ledge runs far into the sea,
and on its outer point, some miles away,
the lighthouse lifts its massive masonry,
A pillar of fire by night, of cloud by day.

Even at this distance I can see the tides,
Upheaving, break unheard along its base,
A speechless wrath, that rises and subsides
in the white tip and tremor of the face.

And as the evening darkens, lo! how bright,
through the deep purple of the twilight air,
Beams forth the sudden radiance of its light,
with strange, unearthly splendor in the glare!

No one alone: from each projecting cape
And perilous reef along the ocean’s verge,
Starts into life a dim, gigantic shape,
Holding its lantern o’er the restless surge.

Like the great giant Christopher it stands
Upon the brink of the tempestuous wave,
Wading far out among the rocks and sands,
The night o’er taken mariner to save.

And the great ships sail outward and return
Bending and bowing o’er the billowy swells,
And ever joyful, as they see it burn
They wave their silent welcome and farewells.

They come forth from the darkness, and their sails
Gleam for a moment only in the blaze,
And eager faces, as the light unveils
Gaze at the tower, and vanish while they gaze.

The mariner remembers when a child,
on his first voyage, he saw it fade and sink
And when returning from adventures wild,
He saw it rise again o’er ocean’s brink.

Steadfast, serene, immovable, the same,
Year after year, through all the silent night
Burns on forevermore that quenchless flame,
Shines on that inextinguishable light!

It sees the ocean to its bosom clasp
The rocks and sea-sand with the kiss of peace:
It sees the wild winds lift it in their grasp,
And hold it up, and shake it like a fleece.

The startled waves leap over it; the storm
Smites it with all the scourges of the rain,
And steadily against its solid form
press the great shoulders of the hurricane.

The sea-bird wheeling round it, with the din
of wings and winds and solitary cries,
Blinded and maddened by the light within,
Dashes himself against the glare, and dies.

A new Prometheus, chained upon the rock,
Still grasping in his hand the fire of love,
it does not hear the cry, nor heed the shock,
but hails the mariner with words of love.

“Sail on!” it says: “sail on, ye stately ships!”
And with your floating bridge the ocean span;
Be mine to guard this light from all eclipse.
Be yours to bring man nearer unto man.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

This is just really cool.

Audrey III?

OK so it's just an innocent little Peony about to blossom out at The Farm, but for a second, it reminded my of Audrey II from The Little Shop of Horrors. Have a look and see what you think -

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Storms a comin'

We are presently under a tornado watch until 9 tonight. I love watching these spring and summer time storms roll in. All seems quiet, the wind stills to the point where it seems that the world has stopped turning and all at once with a deep rumble, the temperature drops and the wind seems to sprint out of the woods followed by rain drops like large glass marbles that pound on roof tops and pavement shattering into that thin layer of mist over the ground.......then the light show.

********Update - all is well, we did not wake up in OZ. Hopefully we will get some sunshine today to allow the garden (see previous post) to make use of all the moisture.***********

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Digging in the dirt part duex

OK, installation is done per my previous post, although I have a bit of real estate left. I am thinking that I may go heavy on the flowers with the left over space. So far we have used about 50 bags of mulch and will use the remaining 20 when everything has grown up enough to cover the base of each. Just an FYI, I discovered that you can actually put 50 bags of mulch into a Suburban with the third row out. If you are wondering about the photo with what look like green berries, that is actually a pear tree - a great distraction for the deer - they prefer pears to everything else we are growing.

I should mention that after having been at it for about 7 hours today - I should sleep well.

***Update - my friend Lucy has offered to pawn off some strawberry plants that have overtaken her garden to fill in my left over areas. This is a really nice gesture as these were originally my Grandmother's gardens and she planted a TON of strawberries. So, thanks Lucy, nostalgia is where I live.****

Friday, May 1, 2009

Wishing I could sail into the fog of sleep

Its about 1:45 AM and I am pie eyed and certainly not happy about it. I go through these little bouts of insomnia periodically usually brought on by life's little issues. I am usually able to close my eyes and visualize a time or place that I associate with peace and relaxation. So this time I am allowing my mind to wonder back to Maine, Blue Hill specifically. The cool humid air, the fog chasing the sail boats back to the harbor and only the sound of the breeze pushing through pines carrying that amazing blend of salt air and forest with it.

To Sleep by John Keats

O soft embalmer of the still midnight,
Shutting, with careful fingers and benign,
Our gloom-pleas'd eyes, embower'd from the light,
Enshaded in forgetfulness divine:
O soothest Sleep! if so it please thee, close
In midst of this thine hymn my willing eyes,
Or wait the "Amen," ere thy poppy throws
Around my bed its lulling charities.
Then save me, or the passed day will shine
Upon my pillow, breeding many woes,--
Save me from curious Conscience, that still lords
Its strength for darkness, burrowing like a mole;
Turn the key deftly in the oiled wards,
And seal the hushed Casket of my Soul.

Previous sleepless night's post - click here