Wednesday, May 26, 2010

can you hear me now?

mumbling that is

on Monday we had wind -- as in BIG WIND -- 68 mile an hour gusts

and that fence that needed replacing -- heh, obviously our "patch" applied the last time is not going to hold it until later in June when we might have had some help doing the work

so here's the picture of what the wind did -- totally broke off the fence post right there at the top of the stairs and took the whole panel down into the yard behind us (oh look, there's a fire hydrant right there in case we ever needed to know)

since I already had a metal mesh nailed to the posts back there for my peas to climb up at least I didn't have to worry about the dog getting out of the yard
so yesterday, when the wind finally slowed a bit, we went out to examine the situation close up

we took out pry bars and hammers and the limb saw and took apart the panel that had been laying on the ground

of about 25 fence boards, I was able to salvage 10 that we will reuse when we put the fence back up

the panels on either side of the one that is down will also have to be rebuilt, but you can see our "props" there holding things together temporarily

the broken post is the only one we will have to replace, which is good news -- so the shopping list is only 2x4s and cement and fence boards

and we'll be doing this a little at a time since we're doing the work alone -- at least I have the money to do it thanks to a generous gift from my sister (pulled my butt out of the fire AGAIN!)

I was thinking yesterday as I was pulling the nails out of those fence boards that the outdoor work, like fencing, was about the only thing we didn't do ourselves when we remodeled the house we lived in in California -- guess that's why I'm getting to learn how here ---


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mammy and the molasses

A while back someone reminded me that there are a lot of stories that Mammy (my grandmother on my mother's side) told me that no one else who is still around knows.

She used to tell me a story when I'd go to bed at night -- sitting on the side of the big tall bed (the one that lives at my house now), in the dark with just a little light coming in from down the hall, and she'd talk about her girlhood -- where they lived and what their life was like

So I've decided that every so often it would be good for me to share these stories, and it's interesting that in a lot of rural areas nothing has changed about how this is done
In the fall, after the harvest, they would make molasses

She would talk about taking the cane and putting it in a big long pan over the fire

She described the pan as having little "doors" between the dividers in the pan, saying "the cane went into one end to cook and by the time it had been moved and pushed down the pan to the last section it was molasses"

Since she said cane and I had seen sugar cane in the grocery store occasionally, I thought that was what they were growing

I realize now that it was actually one of the varieties of sorghum -- they were making sorghum molasses -- they used it to sweeten cooking and to spread on bread -- they didn't keep bees, they had sorghum

Her story makes the process sound easy, it really takes hours and hours of work even before the cane can go into the pan to start cooking.

Those must have been sweet memories indeed for her, and it must have been before she was 14 years old, because her father died in 1910 when she was 14.

(NOTE: this post is being written on May 18, 2010 --- EXACTLY 100 YEARS after his death -- and no, I didn't plan that!!)

No wonder there was always a jar of molasses at Mammy's house -- and I learned to love it -- just stir it together with a little butter and spread it on a piece of warm toast

sweet indeed

Sunday, May 09, 2010

what if?

two really big words those --- just six letters, but the question forms a huge open space to consider infinite possibilities

sometimes this is a bad thing --

what if I fall down the stairs?
what if the fence falls down?
what if something bad happens?

those kind of what ifs have been a constant fiber in my life, and in a way I battle with them every day -- just some days more consciously than others

but more recently I've been thinking about what if in a more positive way

what if I try putting that fabric with that fabric
what if I print that rubber stamp on that print fabric
what if I use beads on this piece -- or embroidery -- or markers
what if I try to talk my artist friend into doing a collaborative piece of art

part of this more recent "what if" thought is because I've been looking at the websites of other artists in the last couple of weeks

looking at their work and thinking "wow, how did they do that" or "how did they come up with that idea?" followed with "what if I tried ___" (fill in the blank with many things there)

at least it is more positive "what if" thought!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Mother's Day Present a week early

my daughter has a beautiful soprano voice

it is one of the things I most miss now that she is married and has a home of her own

I loved listening to her sing when she was at home

she's been working with a teacher near where she lives

this weekend was their Spring Recital

and for the first time since 2001 I got to hear her perform


what a great mother's day present -----

encore! encore!