Thursday, February 26, 2009


SOME have won a wild delight,
By daring wilder sorrow;
Could I gain thy love to-night,
I'd hazard death to-morrow.

Could the battle-struggle earn
One kind glance from thine eye,
How this withering heart would burn,
The heady fight to try !

Welcome nights of broken sleep,
And days of carnage cold,
Could I deem that thou wouldst weep
To hear my perils told.

Tell me, if with wandering bands
I roam full far away,
Wilt thou, to those distant lands,
In spirit ever stray ?

Wild, long, a trumpet sounds afar;
Bid me­bid me go
Where Seik and Briton meet in war,
On Indian Sutlej's flow.

Blood has dyed the Sutlej's waves
With scarlet stain, I know;
Indus' borders yawn with graves,
Yet, command me go !

Though rank and high the holocaust
Of nations, steams to heaven,
Glad I'd join the death-doomed host,
Were but the mandate given.

Passion's strength should nerve my arm,
Its ardour stir my life,
Till human force to that dread charm
Should yield and sink in wild alarm,
Like trees to tempest-strife.

If, hot from war, I seek thy love,
Darest thou turn aside ?
Darest thou, then, my fire reprove,
By scorn, and maddening pride ?

No­my will shall yet control
Thy will, so high and free,
And love shall tame that haughty soul­
Yes­tenderest love for me.

I'll read my triumph in thine eyes,
Behold, and prove the change;
Then leave, perchance, my noble prize,
Once more in arms to range.

I'd die when all the foam is up,
The bright wine sparkling high;
Nor wait till in the exhausted cup
Life's dull dregs only lie.

Then Love thus crowned with sweet reward,
Hope blest with fulness large,
I'd mount the saddle, draw the sword,
And perish in the charge

Charlotte Bronte



Wednesday, February 25, 2009

57 Hours

Sometimes I just hate being right.

Shortly after my last blog post I realized that all the trees around the house were doubling over with snow. I heard a su-woosh-thump sound outside the window and thought a tree just dropped a ton of snow.

I headed downstairs and the beeches and pines out back were hanging inches from the windows. I snapped a couple of pix and went into the bathroom.

Then I saw the tree top laying just outside the bathroom window!!

I started to get freaked out that a tree was going to come down on the house. We all sleep on outside walls near windows-making perfect targets for crashing trees.

I tore the old pull-out sofa apart with much tugging and straining. The springs let go on it a few years ago, and I had a spare Queen-sized futon that I decided to jab in there with the little skimpy foam mattress that came with it. The combo gives the couch a lot of oomph, but makes it very difficult to pull out into a sleeper.

With the two kids and indoor pets you can imagine I needed to vacuum it- just as I finished the lights went out. I transferred everyone downstairs in the dark with a dim flashlight and it took them hours to get back to sleep.

Morning dawned to show everything plastered with snow. Trees were doubled over touching the ground, branches snapped-oh, yeah.

I called the outage in to the power company in the wee hours, and the service started rattling off towns in alphabetical order. At least 40 towns were listed. Oh goodie.

During the day today I was taking a break at the desk (pretending I was online ;) ) and saw my cell phone. The other night K stopped by and started talking about text messages. She sent me a simple text, "Hi". I started thinking about it and decided I would reply today with, "Got snow?"

I went through several screens and found her text and started my reply; "G", then went to type, O", except the m and the n were infront of the "o". I typed "m", then again to advance it and instead received another, "m". I moved the cursor and tried again. I now had "Gmmm". I pressed a couple of buttons to try and figure out how to get from "m" to "o" and all of a sudden I saw, "reply sent." Yes, my first text message, "Gmmm."

The second morning dawned bright. Everything still laden with snow. And still no power.

I let the exhausted saplings sleep in and headed out solo for goat chores. My first solo since I burned my foot.

It wa sooo beautiful and nearly balmy with the bright sun on all the snow. My fingers froze on the collars and several times I had to ball my hands into fists inside my heavy work gloves to thaw them out.

All of the little goats were well-behaved for me.

I struck out for town later searching for lights in houses. It wasn't until mid afternoon that I called a neighbor and discovered the outage in the area seems to be limited to our road. Delightful.

I had a brief nightmare that we would be without power for a month.

We did see something on TV later that afternoon. A cat in love. LOL.

We're fast approaching the start of day three.

I forgot to pick up a paper today and without the internet or TV I have no idea the extent of storm damage in the state. The power co is still listing dozens of towns in alphabetical order.

The prehistoric radio shack transistor radio is tuned to a great classic rock station with no news. The dial and reception is so touchy I am just leaving it where it is. They are playing classic rock and I am astounded that I know the lyrics to nearly evey song they play. Zeppelin, Frampton, Seeger, Stones, Queen, Benetar, Bryan Adams, REO Speedwagon-it seems I know them all. When did I memorize all these lines?

Finally this am after finally figuring out how to make the perfect cup of campfire coffee, the power came back on. 57 hours down.

Later this afternoon the Willow and I were off on a hay run, listening to our regular station of new music. "Sticks and stones and animals bones, good days and bad days," the Willow sang along automatically in a high falsetto.

And so goes the next generation of music.... :D

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Inuit Snow

Tonight we have tlamo tlapinti , or, snow that falls in wet fat flakes snow that falls quickly.

Since living in Maine, which tends to have snow on the ground for at least a quarter of the year, I have learned to agree with the Eskimos. There are many types of snow. Luckily for the Eskimos, their language is designed so that a minor change in a word creates a whole new meaning. Thus, 100 words for snow.

Some of the definitions lead one to wonder if the website is a joke, although a .edu URL Such as: a name for the snow used to make Eskimo Margaritas, or snow burgers, or the name for snow sold to German tourists (also American and Japanese-apparently other nationalities don't buy snow in quantity). Other ones seem quite clever, as in the name for snow marked by Huskies vs. that of snow marked by Eskimos.

Some of the snow types that I have yet to experience include the snow used to make a fermented drink; a mouthful of snow because you fibbed; and small packages of snow given as gag gifts, hahatla. That name is a good example of why I think these names might be fabricated. It would be most definitely hahatla if the snow was also qiunaya, or snow mixed with husky feces.

Well, good amusement during cellillir. Or at least until the power goes out from all the snow on the lines. The prediction is upped to 10-14 inches of heavy wet snow. ( tlamo tlapinti )

Saturday, February 21, 2009

"...Leaders have no excuse – they are elected to lead and to protect the public and its best
interests. Leaders have at their disposal the best scientific organizations in the world, such as the
United Kingdom’s Royal Society and the United States National Academy of Sciences.
Only in the past few years did the science crystallize, revealing the urgency – our planet
really is in peril. If we do not change course soon, we will hand our children a situation that is
out of their control, as amplifying feedbacks drive the dynamics of the global system.
The amount of carbon dioxide in the air has already risen to a dangerous level. The preindustrial
carbon dioxide amount was 280 parts per million (ppm). Humans, by burning coal, oil
and gas have increased carbon dioxide to 385 ppm, and it continues to grow by about 2 ppm per
Earth, with its four kilometer deep ocean, responds only slowly to changes of carbon
dioxide. So more climate change will occur, even if we make maximum effort to slow carbon
dioxide growth. Arctic sea ice will disappear in the summer season within the next few decades.
Mountain glaciers, providing fresh water for rivers that supply hundreds of millions of people,
will disappear – practically all of the glaciers could be gone within 50 years, if carbon dioxide
continues to increase at current rates. Coral reefs, harboring a quarter of ocean species, are
threatened, if carbon dioxide continues to rise.
The greatest threats, hanging like the sword of Damocles over our children and
grandchildren, are those that are irreversible on any time scale that humans can imagine. If
coastal ice shelves buttressing the West Antarctic ice sheet continue to disintegrate, the ice sheet
could disgorge into the ocean, raising sea level by several meters in a century. Such rates of sea
level change have occurred many times in Earth’s history in response to global warming rates no
higher than that of the past thirty years. Almost half of the world’s great cities, and many
historical sites, are located on coast lines.
The most threatening change, from my perspective, is extermination of species. Several
times in Earth’s long history rapid global warming of several degrees occurred, apparently
spurred by amplifying feedbacks. In each case more than half of plant and animal species went
extinct. New species came into being over tens and hundreds of thousands of years. But these
are time scales and generations that we cannot imagine. If we drive our fellow species to
extinction we will leave a far more desolate planet for our descendants than the world that we
inherited from our elders. We will leave a world haunted by the memories of what was..."

Spring Storms

So, yeah, we had some snow. We had about 7 inches of heavy, wet snow. Hard to tell exactly, since most of it stuck to the trees. Enough to need the driveway plowed. :(

The snowbanks roadside are approaching four feet.

I saw the little goats bolt for shelter a couple of times today when the wind let loose and dumped a mini-avalanche of snow from the trees onto the herd.

Blue skies today .

Another spring storm moving in tomorrow. Gonna get clobbered. 8-12 inches of heavy wet snow. Time for the last snowman? I think this might be a storm we roll the (200 foot) driveway and make a monster for the end of the road. =))

PHotos to follow. :) ;)



Lost Son


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Peko Sleeping Lazy




Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I miss CZ and Doolybug :(

The coyotes were back last night. The back yard backs into miles of woods-and you name it, lives out there. Including a good sized coyote pack. They must time their hunting range to the phases of the moon-this is the third time they have come (that I know of) this winter, and each time I was menstruating.

That might seem odd to notice that, but in the past I have used urine splashed from a jug high up into the trees to fake the coyotes out, and mark my territory, so to speak. I have had to recruit the Firebird for urine donations when the pack comes around this winter, since I don't want to use menstrual urine. Well, who knows, it might REALLY scare them away...

I have had some great comic ideas for what the coyote might think when he smells human urine twenty feet up in a tree. Hopefully he thinks that I am sitting there with a gun if he goes anywhere near my goats.

Last night they arrived howling around the back line, and I stepped out on the deck with a broiler pan and a cake pan and started banging them together. I recalled KS' offer of bottlerockets, and had an evil chuckle about what the coyotes would think of that. They kept calling-fairly near, so I let out one of those "Hey you go on" in a big bad voice and the howlings stopped.

I could smell an odor and couldn't tell if it was disemboweled goat or the dish of meow mix left out for feral black kitty.

I went to bed.

This morning we were greeted at the back door by a presentation. Jingle the fat indoor/outdoor cat, had killed a chickadee. The head was neatly severed and placed on the fanned out flight feathers. She leaves us mice heads in similar fashion.

The dilemna now becomes if feeding the birds is beneficial enough to the group of birds to forfeit the occasional morsel to the cat? I don't think belling the cat would stop it.

The little goats were all safe and accounted for.

Laundry. OMG. Thank God I did laundry right before I burned my foot. I have just sorted FIVE WEEKS of laundry. Hopefully the foot is up to the task of getting it all done tomorrow-it is already in the car-

The foot is loads better. I actually have made it through the local megalo mart twice. There is still one spot not healed. Obviously third degree there. Yeah, that was hot water! I feel alternately grateful that I can hobble with discomfort and pissed it is not all better by now.

A couple of the barred rocks have started laying again. Big fat brown eggs. The eggs so fat they don't fit into the jumbo cartons. Tonight will be breakfast for dinner-eggs, pancakes, bacon, toast, occasionally homefries-and tonight fresh squeezed lemonade..mmmm maybe some hollandaise...:P

And the night comes down.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Don't Go Far Off, Not Even For A Day

Don't go far off, not even for a day, because --
because -- I don't know how to say it: a day is long
and I will be waiting for you, as in an empty station
when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep.

Don't leave me, even for an hour, because
then the little drops of anguish will all run together,
the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift
into me, choking my lost heart.

Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve on the beach;
may your eyelids never flutter into the empty distance.
Don't leave me for a second, my dearest,

because in that moment you'll have gone so far
I'll wander mazily over all the earth, asking,
Will you come back? Will you leave me here, dying?

Pablo Neruda



Paned Snow


Wake up grey skies snowflakes dancing floating sifting sparkling constant. Noon weather says partly cloudy with radar showing snow bands off the Atlantic into our nook. Sea drops singing nourishing . Afternoon falls woods dusted backyard beeches dance.

DuskGlow nears.

Sunday, February 15, 2009



Sun in my eyes day. wake up warm glow eyes squint bask in lovely light peach pink glowing warm effuses. Chocolates handipped cherries and kisses make merry mice. Flowers stitched and sticked and tucked heart-like around welcome. Cold beer warm garnet wine, vanilla shocked whipped clouds imported strawberries rain upon sponge yurts.

SpringBeam nears.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine series LEAF


Valentine series DANCE


Valentine series PARADE


Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine series OOPS


Valentine series TIGERA


Valentine series TIGERB


Valentine series ELEPH


Valentine series STEG


Valentine series OUROS


Happy Valentine's Day


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"We dance round in a ring and suppose, but the secret sits in the middle and knows."

Robert Frost

Tuesday, February 10, 2009



Capitalism and Journalism

CBS really irked me this week. Nearly a month ago Captain "Sully" Sullenberger crash-landed a plane with 155 people on board into the Hudson River in NY. Naturally, the whole crew was under a gag order while the incident was under investigation.

As soon as the gag order was lifted, CBS signed exclusive rights to the story. No one else was allowed to interview the Captain or crew until CBS aired their interview on 60 minutes. They sat on that interview for nearly two weeks before airing it this past Sunday before the Grammy awards.

Clearly, the network was hoping to sweep viewers from the interview into the Grammy show, and vice versa. I think they failed, and serves them right. Personally, I had been looking forward to both the Grammies and the Sullenberger interview. But the two did not fit together very well. After watching 45 minutes of the coverage of what happened when Sully's plane lost both engines, CBS cut to Scott Pelley interviewing the band Cold Play. How obtuse.

How many viewers really stayed on to watch pretentious musicians prancing around stage after the seriousness of hearing family after family thank the Captain for saving their lives, for not making them a widow, for saving the lives of wives, husbands, brothers, sons?

Personally, I couldn't stomach the awards show afterwards, and shut off the TV.

As Captain Sullenberger said when Katie asked him about being a hero, "I think everyone just wants some good news-something to feel good about."

CBS, you have a lot of nerve keeping that good news to yourselves for two weeks! The excuse of scabbing together different interviews with the crew and families-who cares? It stunk! It would have been much better to immediately release the special exclusive interview with Sullenberger following the standard evening news-instead of that 2 1/2 men trash-and then follow-up with the other interview parts as they became available.

When alternated between Sullenberger's description of the landing, some of the crew stories seemed embarassing. Especially the stewardess that isn't wearing her uniform. The facts came out that "a passenger pushed by her and opened the rear door and water came flooding in," left this viewer wondering if someone (her) really bombed at doing her duty that day, especially in comparison to the real hero.

Her story would have seemed much less embarassisng if it was given its own airtime at a later date.

CBS, I hope this was a one time misjudgment on your part to withhold news from the public and sit on it until it is financially benficial for your network. Journalism should seek to inform the public, not fill your pocketbook.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

To You.

LET us twain walk aside from the rest;
Now we are together privately, do you discard ceremony,
Come! vouchsafe to me what has yet been vouchsafed to none—Tell me the whole story,
Tell me what you would not tell your brother, wife, husband, or physician.

Walt Whitman

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Maybe letters do make a difference

The US is currently undergoing a transition from analog television broadcasting to digital. In fact, the government netted 17.8 billion dollars by selling those soon-to-be available airwaves to wireless networks. A small portion of the airwaves will be allocated to upgrading emergency communications.

Our cut-off date for the whole country was to be February 17th, 2009. President Obama stepped in and Congress followed, pushing the date back as optional, to June 17th. That meant some stations of their own choice may continue to use those analog airwaves until the latter date.

We have been one of those families caught in the cross-hairs. We live in an extremely rural area-meaning, out in the sticks-amongst some lovely rolling hills. We watch very little television, so we don't have a satellite or cable (if cable TV even comes down our line). We rely on a set of battered rabbit ears to pick up PBS and our local CBS affiliate. Those were the only two stations that were clear enough to view.

A couple of months ago I tried to order some converter box coupons over the phone. After ten minutes of tediously responding to computer prompts, I finally reached the point where I could provide my address. I was told in monotonous computerized detail how to provide my street address or PO Box. I have both, but I opted to use my PO box, where I prefer to receive mail. The computer then asked if I lived in an area where I couldn't receive mail at my residence, such as an Indian reservation, etc, etc, and I replied, "No."

Wrong answer. I was immediately informed I was not eligible for coupons and rudely disconnected. I was given the option to appeal the decision online, but since we have two TV's; one digital and one analog, I figured we would just hook up the rabbit ears to the digital when the time came. The digital is currently used for video gaming only.

Then PBS announced they were going to cut their analog service early. The night before that date, I hooked up the rabbit ears to the digital, and was thrilled to see that we could get a couple more analog stations in that location, although not very well. Then I started the search for digital signals. Nada. That's right, we can't get ONE digital station here without upgrading to a rooftop antennae.

As if temporairily crippling myself didn't already preclude climbing a ladder to install a rooftop antennae, there is also over a foot of snow and ice on our roof at the moment. And the way things go here in Maine, there will most likely be snow and ice there until May. LOL. So we were faced with no TV after February 17th.

As soon as I heard that Congress finally agreed to June 17th as optional, I was e-mailing my only remaining TV station. I asked them to please delay their switch until June, explaining the dilemma with the snow and antennae, but omitting the personal details of being personally temporairily handicapped.

I received a nice email back within a few hours, and the station had not made a decision, but my email would be circulated at the meeting along with other concerns. I was thrilled to hear the next day that the station had decided to delay until June 17th at extra cost to themselves for maintaining double transmitters.

I checked their website this am, and found a poll regarding how ready folks were for the switch. 22.63% of the responders had indicated that they were NOT ready. Or, 1:4-1/2. That was a lot more people than I would have guessed!

Now, we could certainly survive well enough without TV in this house. But, there are a couple shows that we look forward to sharing together as a family. "Big Bang Theory", "King of the Hill", and "Ghost Whisperer". We have also been looking forward to the new Survivor-which might be questionable family fare, but there are plenty of opportunities to discuss what is good and bad behavior . LOL. For me, I also watch the local and national news nearly every night while cooking supper.

I mentioned this small amount of time to the station in my email. In their announcement, they included the statement that they felt they had an obligation to the public to continue broadcasting in analog so that viewers could have access to emergency information. So, I don't know how much of an impact, if any, my email had upon their decision, but I was quite satisfied with the outcome. I would just recommend that if an issue is important to you, strike while the iron is hot and voice your opinion. Someone's got to speak up once in awhile...

Speaking of which, I am still mulling over (take my own advice, don't I?) how to handle complaining to the clinic over the open jar of burn cream they used on me. I really won't feel at ease until I have expressed my views on that. I tried looking up guidelines on the internet last night without much success. The best I have so far is an email reply from a relative who works at one of the largest hospitals in the country, formally as head nurse of the ER. She stated,"no one uses community jars of burn cream anymore except perhaps third world countries."

Maybe the clinic figures Maine fits that description...*roll eyes* I bet some third world countries get more TV stations over the air....

While I would love to finish on that note, I have to add something else about Maine. Our two senators, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, have been in the national headlines lately. Particulary Susan Collins, who has been instrumental in shaving down Obama's enormous economic stimulus package to help get it passed. Yeah, she's a Republican, but I voted for her-go Susan!

Thursday, February 5, 2009



My foot is healing well. So well, in fact, the nurse and PA were high-fiving it in the hallway after seeing my progress on Monday. I have been changing the bandages daily and applying silvadene. There was just one 3 cm large spot above the ball of the foot yet to heal, and it looked narrower today. The rest of the burn is dark new skin.

Still on crutches in public-with the snow and ice and not being able to comfortably walk in a boot, I encase the foot mongolian-style with yarn and old fleece. Local shop-owners have shown me much concern-and in the smaller groceries customers behind me in line have found conversation openers such as, "What did you kick?" LOL.

I even had the chance to try out a motorized shopping cart last week. I started out determined to make the round in crutches, and made it halfway through the gigantic store before everything started screaming in protest-the hip bearing the weight, the palms and armpits from the crutches, the middle of the back from swinging my torso...

So I gave in and grabbed a motorized cart-what a blast. Other shoppers looked on me , if at all, with a sort of pity that must pervade the life of the permanently disabled. Not me-I was having a blast, gunning the thing around corners and racing down the aisles-scooping items off the shelves without stopping. I even told the cashier that I was tempted to bring the crutches in and fake it when I was better, just to ride around in the cart.

My birthday came and went without much fanfare. Some folks I wanted to hear from were unavailable-other folks came through with nice suprises. One out of state relative sent a lovely package of presents. An old friend of the family, whose birthday falls two days after mine, showed up the day between with a load of Chinese take-out which the kids and I gobbled like starving refugees. So nice not to have to cook! He took the leftovers home, but left the remnants of the six pack of winter ale, which I enjoyed the next day, now free of the pain pills. What a lightweight I have become-two beers and I was stumbling around on crutches and then called it an early night!

I made my favorite chocolate cake, and we spent my birthday eating the whole thing-cake for breakfast and lunch, and it was a struggle to save the last three pieces for dessert after dinner. I had promised to save the friend a piece for his birthday, but he was lucky to get the last cupcake by the time he showed up with the food the next evening. Hey-I told him to come by the day before for cake! heheh.

Just wrapping up the birthday celebrations-today I received a birthday note from C. Yep, he's still trying....He took a bad fall a week or so ago and shattered his ankle and then had to go out of state for his Mom's funeral-and he was apologizing for not getting me a card on time! He was having surgery earlier this week, so I did call him and leave him my new number. He lives locally and will be on crutches for months-I figured I would at least offer to make some store runs for him once I am mobile.

Of course the way small towns go, he had heard through the grapevine I was on crutches and chastised me for not calling him for help...

Now he is the one down and out-with a shattered right ankle, he won't be driving anywhere soon. Uck, what a winter!

I have been stretched thin for reading material-finally I can sit comfortably at the computer without having to prop up the foot. I had played with the idea of moving the comp close to the bed, but I couldn't figure out how to do it when I couldn't stand on two feet. So I spent lots of time on the couch reading some of the Firebird's sci fi fantasy books he received for Christmas.

Not sure if this is what I had in mind when I said I needed a vacation! Been tough not to be able to make snow forts and go sledding and hike up the pond...and all the other fun winter things that make winter bearable around here. But, spring is that much closer, so bring it on, baby! :P

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Roots and Leaves Themselves Alone.

ROOTS and leaves themselves alone are these;
Scents brought to men and women from the wild woods, and from the pond-side,
Breast-sorrel and pinks of love—fingers that wind around tighter than vines,
Gushes from the throats of birds, hid in the foliage of trees, as the sun is risen;
Breezes of land and love—breezes set from living shores out to you on the living
you, O sailors!
Frost-mellow’d berries, and Third-month twigs, offer’d fresh to young persons
out in the fields when the winter breaks up,
Love-buds, put before you and within you, whoever you are,
Buds to be unfolded on the old terms;
If you bring the warmth of the sun to them, they will open, and bring form, color,
perfume, to
If you become the aliment and the wet, they will become flowers, fruits, tall blanches and

Walt Whitman