Sunday, May 31, 2015

Gone to Brasstown . . .

The garden is hoed; the houseplants watered, and things are as close to in order as I can manage. Today I'm going down the road for a week of teaching at John C. Campbell Folk School. I know I'll be super busy so I won't be posting or blog visiting till next Sunday. 

I'll leave you with a couple of book recommendation -- Kate Atkinson's HUMAN CROQUET --which I finished reading the very same day my niece Amelia e-mailed  to praise Atkinson's LIFE AFTER LIFE and A GOD IN RUINS ( both of which I intend to seek out very soon.) HUMAN CROQUET was an enchanting and unusual story as well as a New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year. I'm happy to know there are quite a few more Atkinson novels waiting for me.

(from Amazon) Part fairy tale, part mystery, part coming-of-age novel, this novel tells the story of Isobel Fairfax, a girl growing up in Lythe, a typical 1960s British suburb. But Lythe was once the heart of an Elizabethan feudal estate and home to a young English tutor named William Shakespeare, and as Isobel investigates the strange history of her family, her neighbors, and her village, she occasionally gets caught in Shakespearean time warps. Meanwhile, she gets closer to the shocking truths about her missing mother, her war-hero father, and the hidden lives of her close friends and classmates. A stunning feat of imagination and storytelling, Kate Atkinson's Human Croquet is rich with the disappointments and possibilities every family shares.

Another I really enjoyed was Colleen Oakley's BEFORE I GO --  a surprisingly un-maudlin novel about a young woman faced with terminal cancer. I found myself completely engrossed in the choices and decisions of the main character and, when I put the book down, having to remind myself that I am not a young woman nor do I have terminal cancer. Just that terminal condition called Life.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Thinking Ahead

When Cathy Guthrie posted the above picture on her Facebook page, offering a truckload of firewood for a hundred dollars (delivered,) we were quick to  take her up on the offer. John and Justin have been working up wood for the coming winter and, since John has a splitter set up under a canopy, this looked like a perfect way to add to the growing woodpile. 

Ideally, one would work on the wood during the cool weather of fall. Ideally, one would have a year's supply already on hand and dry, but the past few winters have consumed a lot of wood and the guys are playing catch up. It was  such good wood and such a good-sized load that we ordered another.

If any of you local folks are interested, let me know and I'll give you Cathy's number. If you're on Facebook, you can check her page HERE.

Cathy and  her minions   farm interns Veronica and Jordan were able to offload the big rounds right by the canopy. And though Cathy had to get home to take her daughter to gymnastics in Asheville (such is the schizophrenic life of an organic  farmer/mother/firewood entrepreneur,) they kindly posed for a picture - Ali Ali showed them how it's done.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Mostly Non-Vulgar Blooms





Double Your Pleasure

Japanese Iris
Dandelion Galaxy

Old Fashioned Iris

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Rather Vulgar Flower

Ah, the scent of carrion is in the air! The Arum Vulgaris (also called arum dracunculus, voodoo lily, snake lily, stink lily, dragonwort) is in bloom!

Yes, those are flies promenading on its spadix  (the vulgar bit)-- they are lured by the aroma to act as pollinators.

Why would anyone want a thing like this in their garden? I've been asked that more than once and can only say  I find this plant strange and wonderful.(I did, however, move it farther from the house after the first year.) 

There's more about it HERE.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day 2015

All those lives ended . . .
Honor them by pondering
War's true cost before
Beating the drum . . . 
Waving the flag . . .
And sending more to die.