Archive | October, 2009

A Fighting Man

24 Oct

John’s Bar and Grill” is how my brother answered his phone last night.  The phone near his bed where he is hooked up to oxygen and a breathing machine in the new hospice in Tucson.

To our shame, my husband and I found it remarkable that brother Jay is so positive and upbeat.  He is a career military man, a soldier.  No warrior gives up; he fights the enemy to his last breath.  Jay is being a true soldier.

Stout heart won fair lady.  His wife Rose is determined, focused, loving, thinking only of her husband.  She shows up for him dressed as if going to a wedding or a fancy dinner party.  Hair, makeup, dress, high heels, jewelry.  She also is positive and upbeat in his presence.  She is a wife worthy of a warrior. She will not have her man fighting his last battle thinking he married a wimp.  She is there to support and encourage, to stand beside him.

Jay’s military buddies have been coming by to see him.  They talk about work, not about the obvious.

Jay is thinking of life, of others, of his duty.  His situation and attitude  resemble battle scenes written by Kipling about British soldiers pinned down by overwhelming enemy forces in India.  There is not a word of self-pity, regret, no bemoaning fate, no blaming other people or God.  What Jay presents is cheerful steadfastness while doing what God has set before him to do.

God Bless him.

October Snow Beauty

16 Oct

We just started eating a locally grown watermelon, some of us eating more than others:


Then yesterday, after the morning turkey hunt and violin lesson and lunch, as Jay and Isabelle were leaving to go squirrel hunting (she shot two), Jay said “It is so cold for October.  This whole month has been cold.  There has been so little sun.”  While they were gone it started snowing–but nothing stuck.

Last night, as I got ready for bed, the infrequent car driving by the house had a deadened, dull sound that in this latitude is an aural indicator of snowfall.

And sure enough this morning we woke to


Looking towards the blueberries


Looking at the (formerly) tall perennials

The blueberries had to be shaken to remove the heavy, slightly ice-crusted snow;  many of the bushes still have leaves.

Walking up back, Hawthorne spent most of his time snuffing for voles in the snow-covered fallow field.  The sight of  the woods line and hedgerows of trees still in their metallic colors capped with snow  immediately reminded me of the highly crafted artwork or jewelry of finely colored metals worked by repousse and chased with silver.

Often, it is clear to me how artists gathered ideas for their creations from Creation.

The Turkey Trot

14 Oct

No, not the dance; I am referring to the 19 minute hunt Jay took less than an hour ago which resulted in him bringing home another 10+ pound hen turkey and busting up the rest of the flock for the morning’s hunt.

The evidence:

secondhenAs you see, Hawthorne was quite taken with her.

Here is the goose girl’s goose:

girl'sgooseAnd another:

cuddleIt is not just her.  It is familial.


Killing Frost

13 Oct

Woke up late yesterday morning–a nasty cold involved in that–to find the first killing frost was still in attendance all the way up to the house.  My father said it was 24.6 degrees on their barn and that it “looked like it had snowed”.

Here the heavy white layer of frost stayed on the ground until almost 9.30AM.

We had a nice long green autumn; almost a month longer than usual.  Not any warmer, really.  But wetter, and the cloud cover and moisture on the plants worked together to result in not any good conditions for an  earlier hard frost.

I had woken up about 3AM Monday morning and Orion’s belt, my old friend of three stars in a row, was in his winter position out my window, clear and bright.  No wind.  All the stars were blazing.  Perfect frost night.

Goose, Turkey, Goose, Roller Derby

11 Oct

Jay shot one Canada goose during the early season.  October 1st was the first day of turkey season.  Jay shot a nice 10+ pound hen.

Then yesterday was the first day of the youth weekend goose season.   Isabelle, Hawthorne and Jay went up back  early and came home with one goose!  I ate the liver, heart and half the gizzard for lunch.  Hawthorne got the other half.

Angela and Linda came for lunch.  Then, after supper, we went to the Ithaca Women’s Flat Roller Derby final game of the season.  The Suffer Jets won.  (Check out the video of the Sept. game to see a little bit what it is like.) There were 800+ people at Cass park rink.  I did not see anyone I knew other than the ladies I came with.  Over 30 years in Ithaca and there is still a new demographic to be explored! The Ithaca College Pep band played.  What a hoot!

For October 5th

5 Oct

Thou workest perfectly. And if it seem

Some things are not so well, ’tis but because

They are too loving-deep, too lofty-wise,

For me, poor child, to understand their laws:

My highest wisdom half is but a dream;

My love runs helpless like a falling stream:

Thy goodness embraces ill, and lo, its illness dies!

-George Macdonald , Diary of An Old Soul


1 Oct


cabbage at the home farm



waterlilycrocwaterlily autumn crocus

solsealsolomon’s seal

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