18 September 2012

A Sweet Reminder of Friends

This week I harvested our first crop of Sweetgrass. The plants were a gift from our friend S. L. when we saw him at the 18th Century Native conference this spring.

After much pondering of where to put the plants, I decided to coddle them out of fear that these would perish like the others if they weren't close to home. Therefore, I squeezed them all into the biggest pot our local garden center offers and put them next to the garden hose so they could easily experience the drought-and-deluge they are purported to prefer.

The animals thought the pot a great leaping off point, which did some damage until I put a few dozen pieces of coat hanger wire sticking out of the soil. That works extremely well if you have problems with cats and chickens in your pots.

Harvesting and processing is easy and everyone is enjoying the scent. Even Bea, who all but rolled in my stack of bunched grass piled up in preparation for braiding.

15 September 2012

kindness & generousity

Our friends back in New Mexico are still occasionally ask us "don't you miss it here? At least the fabulous sunsets?"

Well, dear readers, we miss our dear old friends and especially at this time of year, the fresh crop of red and green chiles, but that's about it. Really. Seriously.

Here are a couple of fairy recent sunsets from the veranda. Judge for yourself but these seemed like pretty fine displays of color (shades of Gerald Cassidy's paintings) and form to Mr. Fuzzy... and there are hardwood forests in every foreground...

The Fuzzies surely don't miss the drought, forest fires of epic proportions and perpetual blowing dust. And the Fuzzies do rather enjoy walking into the yard (a green yard, lush grass) and gathering walnuts and hickory nuts. The Creator blessed this area with all the food man and beast could ever require.

Admittedly the gardens here have needed to be watered both this summer and last but native flora are abundant and beautiful without and action from the hand of Man.

Drought tolerant plants such as marigolds and nicotiana rustica flourish with no more care than weeding although not native. Mr. Fuzzy has finally recovered enough from his bout of pneumonia to cut and hang this year's crop of rustica.

There are no friends like old friends (and several times SuAnne has bailed out the Fuzzies over the last fifteen years, we couldn't have done without her). Yet there is a wonderful elation in making and cementing new friendships, too.In the last seven days:

Mike brought his peach pie made from a Cook's Illustrated recipe to the Cafe last Sunday and shared with his fiends. Scrumptious. Sort of like a peach upside down cake but upright.

Handsome George dropped off a gallon of his freshly made apple cider. Making cider is labor intensive and a work of love (just in case you've never done it yourself). It was particularly kind this year given a general dearth of apples. The Fuzzies really enjoy it.

Wilma & Glenn had us over for dinner; the main course was her incomparable chicken and dumplings. The chicken is as tasty and tender as any Mr. Fuzzy has ever slid into his gaping maw. That's a real compliment. But wait- the dumplings are without peer. Methinks the mana of the Isrealites must be related to Wilma's dumplings; it seems to fit the description pretty well.

To our old friends, and to our new friends, thank you for all of your positive influences on our lives. We love y'all.

06 September 2012

Quadruped healers

As disclosed in an prior post, Mr. Fuzzy had far too much fun at the CLA show and came home with double pneumonia and possibly the flu as well. Mrs. Fuzzy took this image the day of the diagnosis, shots and pills. Mr. Fuzzy felt pretty poorly that day and for the next sixty hours or so; it seemed like modern medicine's relief was never going to kick in.

That day, nearly all of the domesticated Stratheden quadrupeds came and laid with Mr. Fuzzy; clearly they knew something was awry. Here are the phirst pheline physicians administering to the sick: Buster at left, Fred at right, and the dark spot at Mr. Fuzzy's right is Jack Tar. Before the dawn, all nine of the felines had visited and both canines. Rocky the dog cuddled him all night and never abandoned the patient even though his coughs constantly wracked the bed all night long.

Only in the last couple of days has Mr. Fuzzy had any strength or endurance. Both days he manages to walk to the mailbox and back, about 3,200 feet in total. Today, he spent his frustrations on the weeds along the driveway and harvested yet more bell, banana and chile peppers from his garden. Life is in balance once more, and he is extremely thankful.

03 September 2012

once in a blue moon

There are two definitions of "blue moon" and apparently the more widely used "two full moons in one calendar month" is actually incorrect. Nonetheless, it dominates the popular usage of the term.

The full moon of August 31st was the second full moon of August, and hence, a 'blue moon' in the common definition. Mr. Fuzzy took his Sigma 150mm f/2.8 lens out and captured it rising, the blue moon over the Blue Ridge.

"Blue Moon of Kentucky" is the title of a fabulous 1946 Bill Monroe waltz. Mr. Fuzzy rather enjoys the original 3/4 time recording with Flatt & Scruggs playing and Bill singing.