Farm Life: Raised Gardens for Rusty Joints

Getting older slows down the gardening process.  Those joints just are not as flexible as in days of youthful folly.  A little rust seems to settle into them each night, requiring extra rotations and maybe WD40 each morning (symbolically only).  Setting up raised gardens is one solution to the bending, squatting, and kneeling required to get down to ground level. Continue reading

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Farm Life: My Blackberries’s Got the Blues

Last week, I noticed that our blackberries had the blues… well actually orange rust.  Shriveled leaves that looked as if someone had gone wild with a can of blaze-orange spray paint.  A quick check in the growing-guide-book on berries instructed my weekend: cut them all out, start a fire, burn everything that had the least bit of orange color on it.  With a close inspection this went from those obvious orange leaves to cankered canes and new sprouts looking as if they had been dusted with paprika.  By the time I was done, 98% of the blackberry bramble was gone.  I flame-weeded the ground twice (before & after raking the leaves and mulch out from the area) for a controlled burn.  We will see what grows back.  At least our other berry brambles are clear… Continue reading

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Farm Life: Walking Small to Enjoy the Labor

My cousin recently posted some photos from a small walk she took around her garden.  I took a few minutes between mowing, weeding, and hauling stuff around to take a few photos of our May flowers.  Irises, peonies, daisies, and dianthus are bringing white to pink to red colors to our gardens.  Be careful of those cozy seats though.  The double Adirondack is about to have its bottom rot out.  The metal patio chair had peony blooms grow through it’s back.  Enjoy. Continue reading

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Theatre Review: Introspection on Three Plays

The theatre season has come to an end this Spring. So many shows, so little time to write about them. Thus, with three un-reviewed play programs stationed at my writing spot, I contemplated what they had in common. Intelligence, A Raisin in the Sun, and Smart People rounded out Arena Stage’s 2016-17 season. Each brought an experience, which I often have when attending a play, or reading literature: the personal introspection of the theme of the play to my own life experience. While stories may have the effect of transporting us to places and situations which we do not experience regularly, they may also have the effect of illuminating our memories. Now, does the phenomenon fulfill the Greek drama concept of catharsis? Continue reading

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Farm Life: Japanese Maple Tree

You all have been enjoying reading about my tree seedling planting.  I thought of one more.  In the morning, the light brightly illuminates a Japanese Maple which I planted more than 25 years ago, after we first purchased our lot and before we built our cabin.  The seedling was one I found growing in the edge of dirt around the apartment building at which I lived in Jackson Heights, Queen, NYC.   Continue reading

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From the Bookshelf: Stories of My Childhood?

After completing the 20 year quest for adulthood in Of Human Bondage, I noticed two small paperback books on my bookshelf.  These were books with titles which I remembered from my childhood.  Those should be good once-more-read selections, though being 200 page paperbacks from the mid-1960’s they would not free up space on my bookshelf.  Thus, I began reading The Greyhound, by Helen Griffith, and Gentle Ben, by Walt Morey.  My childhood must be a bit foggy, for other than recognizing the covers, I could not recall either story-line.  Maybe these were from my brother’s childhood. Continue reading

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Farm Life: A Bouquet for Cindy

“April showers, bring May flowers”.  We are having an extraordinary years for Spring garden color this year.  Ample rain, alternating with 70F to 80F days certainly turns the Appalachian Mountains into a hot-house.  Or, as I said to the Mrs. at the end of the day yesterday, “Nice August day, huh?” referring the 85F+ temperatures with 95% humidity and thunder showers earlier in the day and threatening (I grilled dinner at lunch time, anticipating the usual downpour just about the time I would light the grill for dinner).  April is just about gone.  One of my regular readers, Cindy, asked about seeing some of the flowers in the garden.  Here’s her Spring bouquet.  Cheers from our hollow to yours. Continue reading

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