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May Day.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

I skipped my usual trek to downtown to witness the Morris dancers and the Beltane Festival which occurs at 6:00 a.m. every May 1st. Lots of reasons, none of which alone would have been persuasive, but added up to passing on it this year. I think this is only the second time in twelve years that I've missed it (the first time we would have been there, but SATs had to be taken and we didn't have time to do both.)

Anyway, I took a major hike around the farm which, at roughly 200 acres, can take a while if you're not in a hurry, and I wasn't - I was looking for spring. I made an error in taking my phone instead of my camera, so I have to email myself all the photos and that hasn't happened yet. But found some spring beauties, some trillia (trilliums, if you insist) not yet in bloom, trout lilies just coming up. Found two more good-sized areas of ramps (wild leeks), which is good.

I gathered some of the ramps, some French sorrel that I planted years ago, and some dandelion greens (from the garden, where I'd only end up pulling them anyway) and made a wonderful May Day salad with a hot hard-cooked egg, a couple slices of bacon (left-over from another culinary adventure) and a teeny bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

I brought in some of the daffodils that just started blooming the other day and put them on the mantlepiece, along with 50% of my hyacinth supply (one.)

I'm so glad it's spring (summer, if you prefer the old Celtic way of figuring the seasons, which I do.) I feel like I'm waking up from not only winter but some kind of long darkness of the soul. I haven't finished mourning my husband - not by a long shot - but I'm starting to feel like maybe it's worth making a life for myself. If I'm anything like my mother and grandmother, I've got another 30 or 40 years ahead of me, and just sitting on the sofa staring into space isn't going to cut it.

Then came fair May, the fairest maid on ground,
Decked all with dainties of her seasonís pride,
And throwing flowers out of her lap around:
Upon two brotherís shoulders she did ride,
The twins of Leda [Gemini]; which on either side
Supported her like to their sovereign Queen.
Lord ! how all creatures laughed, when her they spied,
And leapt and danced as if they had ravished been!
And Cupid himself about her fluttered all in green.
ó Spenser, The Faerie Queene, VII. Vii. 34

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NORASPAT 5/5/2011 7:46PM

    The leeks sounded great I love Leek and Tatie soup, Oh so good but I have never been able to grow them over here.
I still have not eaten dandelion I will get there some day.
We used to love the Maypole and the Morris dancers. One of my brothers friends was a lead dancer in the community, and he was really well respected. HUGS Pat in Maine. emoticon

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HIPPICHICK1 5/2/2011 12:30PM

    Happy Beltaine to you!

Glad to hear there are signs of spring in your 'hood. I spotted some trillia as well yesterday - leaves only and blooms on the end. My daffs aren't blooming yet but there are a few with yellowing heads. Crocuses are up and almost done. Dwarf irises not far behind. Wild strawberries that I let grow in my garden last year are really multiplying!

Thank you for Spenser.

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SUZYMOBILE 5/1/2011 9:20PM

    Couldn't agree more. Spring is a new beginning.

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VALERIEMAHA 5/1/2011 8:31PM

    Spenser's almost as extraordinary as you are!

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/1/2011 7:20PM

    Happy May Day!! Sounds like you're doing well!! Loved hearing from you.

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BUNNYCATS 5/1/2011 5:23PM

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful prose. Your May Day salad sounds delicious. Happy May Day! emoticon

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

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SUZYMOBILE 4/13/2011 9:07PM

    OMG! (OWL!)

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NINJA_SMOO 4/13/2011 4:45PM


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HIPPICHICK1 4/13/2011 4:03PM

    What the FRAK?! LOL!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 4/13/2011 10:47AM


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Rural Life Part 10: Rocks

Saturday, April 09, 2011

I always thought (when I thought about it at all, which was rarely) that once you gathered the stones from an area, it would be stone free. I'd go for a ride in the country and see the stone walls and piles made by farmers clearing fields, and I'd think that that was a once-and-done thing.

Not so.

Since moving to an area with a) rocks and b) lots of garden space for me to mess with, I've learned that rock removal is an ongoing thing. Apparently, during the winter, underneath the snow, things are happening. The ground freezes and thaws and scootches around, and stones work their way up to the surface. Who knew? So in the spring there's always a day of rock removal. Today was that day.

I moved a few new rocks into a nice little pile. Most were. meh, about five pounds, maybe a few ten pounders. One more to go. I tried to pry it up with my fingers, but it wouldn't budge. I tried to move it with a hand trowel: nothing. *sigh* All right, I get the shovel. Nothing.

If you're now thinking, "Oh, come on. It's a rock. How big can it be?", you are making the same mistake made by me, and by the captain of the Titanic. The answer is that it can be very, very large. I dug and pushed and fussed and finally determined that, although the part visiblwe above ground was maybe 18" in diameter, the part below ground was roughly the size of a Chevrolet.

I sat on the ground next to the rock, and we looked at one another long and hard.

It's going to look wonderful with a little bird bath on top of it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YARELL 4/11/2011 6:33AM

    oh Gosh Rock Picking.... I swear there were years our farm grew more rocks then plants!
I could never decide which I hated more, picking rock or haying.

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HIPPICHICK1 4/10/2011 10:21AM

    Heavy Chevy!
It IS going to look great with a bird bath on top!

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SLIMMERKIWI 4/10/2011 12:25AM

    hahaha - a cubic yard of stone is about a ton and they DO work themselves up from underneath. The ground is always on the move but we don't often notice it except with the obvious earthquakes:-(

I am sure that the birds in your area will love you for providing them with a lovely bird bath, and in turn they will reward you :-)


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MORTICIAADDAMS 4/10/2011 12:07AM

    Yep. We find new ones all the time. Erosion is an ongoing process. Mountains are turned into plateaus eventually.

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QUOOTIE 4/9/2011 6:08PM

    excellent choice. Births love both baths and rocks. This really works. I have picked many rocks, not for years though, it can be quite a good time. Oddly those not in the know can't see it. Rock on, as they say

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SUZYMOBILE 4/9/2011 5:36PM

    So where are Parts 1-9? I want to read those, too!! I think there's the making of a book here.

There was this deserted yard in the neighborhood where Dingo and I kept finding polished stones, which the earth seemed to keep churning up. I have an entire glass urn full of them now. I had hopes that this horrible winter would have somehow churned up more of them, but no luck.

Our entire yard is full of rocks. The insane people who predated us here seem to have actually ADDED the things on purpose and artfully. What were they thinking?

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Phone and internet service, please, with a side of embarrassment.

Friday, April 01, 2011

This morning started out normally enough, but when it was time for me to do some grown-up things (like filing my daughter's financial aid information before the deadline, as I swore to the poor financial aid counselor I would do this time) I couldn't get an Internet connection here at the house. Well, I know a thing or two about these things....I know!...I'll restart the DSL box!

Okay, still no Internet service. Well, does the phone work? Hmmm.....nope.

Call the phone company - in my experience, unless there's a widespread weather disaster, the only reason my telephone goes away is because I somehow blew off/forgot about paying them. No, phone company is okay money-wise. Put in a service call? Sure, why not.

.........................(five hours later)

White van in the driveway, little man shinnies up the pole, then comes back down. Comes to the house to do something or other outside. Dial tones heard through the window glass. Little man knocks on door but isn't patient enough to give me time to get there and starts to leave. "Wait! Come back! What did you discover?" Little man returns. With rueful head shake, tells me that the problem appears to be (insert dum-dum-dummmm of doom here) inside the house.

"Okay, well, there's only one place the phone wire comes in - see, it's right here in the corner - but I don't see how...., I mean, it was fine this morning and no one goes back there...."

"Well", says little phone man, getting down on his knees in the corner, "it appears there have been CATS back here."

"Um....wha? Cats?" *cough*

"YES!!", says little phone man. "There is a WET SPOT on the CARPET and the box is all CORRODED."

"oh! oh my!"

"YES! But I can FIX IT ANYWAY!", little phone man declares as he replaces the corroded box and a couple wires. "But you must MOVE the equipment up onto a shelf to prevent this from happening again."

"I'll do that", I said, glaring at one of the possible culprits, hiding under the table (the culprit, not me, although if I thought I'd fit I might have tried.)

Exit little phone man. I tentatively reload Spark People and sure enough, all is well in Internet land.

And my reputation as Crazy Cat Lady (why are there no Crazy Dog Ladies?) is apparently secure. Cat pee as telephone destruction mechanism...who knew?

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUSSELLORAMA 4/4/2011 11:45PM

    LOL Why do we even own these beasts? I'm glad it was fixable!

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PENNYAN45 4/4/2011 10:45PM

    Hooray for the little phone man!!

I'm glad he was able to get your service back up and running again.

Between our pets and our kids - there's always a chance for an embarrassing laugh when service guys come to the house.

I'll never forget the time after a service guy left the house, I looked in the mirror and was horrified to see that on the front of my shoulder was a big blob of spit-up from my new little baby boy. No wonder he looked at me oddly as I was babbling on. (It had been such a treat to see an adult during the daytime.)



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SUZYMOBILE 4/3/2011 12:03PM

    This story is wonderful. I don't care about the cat pee. It just makes a great story! Try Febreze, by the way. Several shots of it, over time, kill the odor.

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YARELL 4/3/2011 7:42AM

    coughing... ummm....

there are crazy dog people.... I am one. Trust me, we are out there!

Thank you for sharing!

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SLIMLILA 4/2/2011 7:33PM

    Oh no! But it's all fixed now.... What a pain!

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JRSWHIMSY 4/2/2011 6:50PM

    It also kills a ficus... given enough time

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AARONSGIRL420 4/2/2011 10:50AM

    Too much sparking, not enough petting?

Is "Fluffy" trying to tell you something? teehee

Cute story (in an embarrassing way) Thank you for sharing.

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HIPPICHICK1 4/2/2011 10:39AM

    Good question! Why are there no crazy dog ladies??

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JANEDOE12345 4/2/2011 8:23AM

    I wonder if there, umm, (shuffling feet and looking down at floor), if there was umm, sort of -- like a smell sometimes?

In my house, for 31 years, all new cats have marked their presence at least once in one particular corner on the wood floor. That's a lot of cats. I spray it with an enzyme a few times a year.

Crazy cat lady? There are many of us out there, and it's not determined by the quantity of cats so much as how the cat(s) take over your life. Lol, your sound like they are starting to get a good hold on it!

Good luck with the FAFSA. I used to be an Admissions Director and that form would make strong men cry.

Comment edited on: 4/2/2011 8:50:38 AM

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BETHGILLIGAN 4/2/2011 8:18AM

    OMG! That is so funny! Our animals make us look ridiculous in so many ways!!! Oh, and I would be the crazy dog lady!!!! I currently have 3 rescue beagles in my house!! Glad you are up and running again!

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SLIMMERKIWI 4/2/2011 2:17AM

    I LOVE it:-)

It reminded me of years ago when we lived in another village close by (with a small tidal river right below us.) Anyway, one day the phone in our bedroom was dead as a door nail. I ended up calling out the Phone Co. The guy came into my bedroom (one way to get another man in there - LOL) and he pulls on the phone line....... then he continued to pull ........ and continued to pull! The next thing the end comes through the little hole in the wall and he screamed - LOL! His comment was the bloody rats have chewed through it! If he had seen the size of the rats around our place (river rats) he would have done more than scream LOL! The body alone on most of them were a foot or more long! We never DID get that phone working again:-(


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    ROFLMBO!! Love the story!! The cats probably have some they tell about you too. emoticon

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Email scam alert

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Received this just now:

Dear customer!
We were not able to deliver the package which was sent last week in time
because the recipientís address is not correct.
Please print out the invoice copy attached and collect the package at our office.
USPS , United Parcel Service of America, Inc.

with an attached zip file.

I live iin a very small town, so something coming to me with an incorrect address would get here anyway - Donna, the postmistress (is that the correct term?) knows where I live and would drop the package on her way home at night. However, for people in a city, I can see that this might have a certain surface validity to it.

Your first clue is that a zip file probably contains something larger than an address form. You might also wonder how the Postal Service and/or UPS would have your email address. And aren't invoices something that tells about an amount paid for a sale, rather than a means of gathering an address? Anyway, the whole deal is a scam. This isn't how delivery services operate. Don't open the attachment.

Here's the story:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMA48 3/31/2011 7:24PM

    Thank you for passing along this super great info! emoticon

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SLIMMERKIWI 3/31/2011 5:08PM

    I would be inclined to put this on the general message boards AND your teams, to get it out to as many people as possible.


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    Thanks for the warning!!!

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MRE1956 3/31/2011 1:17PM

    Yep, I've gotten a few of them - the biggest tip-off to me regarding suspiciousness is that I, nor anyone in my family, have not recently placed orders of any kind and are therefore not anticipating anything legit.....

Nope - not anticipating gifts from others, either.....

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SUZYMOBILE 3/31/2011 12:55PM

    Thank you! I'd be leery of it too!

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BETHGILLIGAN 3/31/2011 12:50PM

    Thanks for the info!!

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JANEDOE12345 3/31/2011 12:12PM

    UPS leaves a sticker on the door, or used to. Now the guy knows me and knows where to put the package out of the weather. And the mail-lady, Joyce, will drive right up my funky driveway and toot for me. If I am not home, she leaves things in the mudroom. It is a nice feeling to live in a place where you know the delivery people. Nobody would email me about a package -- they would just knock on my door at least on my hill.

I had seen warnings about this phish and it comes just about every day to my email spam box.

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    Having a small business I get a lot of "someone sent you a package... click this routing link to see it's shipping status" . Some are real, some are bogus... I assume they are all bogus unless I am truly waiting for something. Even then, I won't normally open these, I'll go to the shipper's website and check it out from there.

"protect yourself" - it's good advice on the internet too!

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HIPPICHICK1 3/31/2011 10:36AM

    It's incredible how many phishing scams are out there! I got several from Revenue Canada this morning about my income tax refund. I haven't filed a return since 2005! LOL!!
(That will definitely be rectified this May when I have some time off from pot-making to get it all done. emoticon )

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