Thursday, May 24, 2012

ListenUp: The Dough Rollers...

I saw these kids a couple of years ago when they opened for Bob Dylan and they blew me away. More fun than an almost middle aged woman should have. The supporting cast changes every so often, but Malcolm and Jack are the heart and soul of this little band.

At said concert I was privileged with a close encounter with Harrison Ford. Mr. Ford is Malcolm's father and the concert was in his home town of Jackson Hole Wyoming. (More information than you wanted I am sure). But let's just say that in the rather small venue, standing so close to Harrison was good enough for me to check "Meet Han Solo" off my bucket list! Happy cleaning music Thursday!

Quote of the Day: "Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid." --Han Solo super cool guy

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

UPlifting: A Walk

I live in a rather harsh climate. The north country is often covered in snow. And ice. And darkness. But for a few months out of the year we are acutely aware of the splendor of sunshine and warmth. Now is one of those months. Sometimes it is just rainy and snowy and windy in May, but this year's start to spring has been glorious to say the least.

Today I dropped the kids at school and parked my car near the river and walked. I walked for quite a long time, and just breathed in the smell of lilacs and the sound of birds and people and geese and ducks. So many of each that the walking path was crowded with them. Cyclists and walkers. Kids on skateboards and moms with strollers. Friendly "good morning"s were exchanged with passersby and all seemed well with the world. I stopped in a shady spot near the falls. The sound of the water drowning out the noise of traffic and activity.  Stretching body, and mind, and Spirit. Taking all of the side paths and twists and turns that I could find. Yes, I believe glorious was just the right word!

Quote of the day:
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;        5
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,        10
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.        15
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
                                                        --Robert Frost 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

ListenUP: Subterranean Homesick Blues!

Cleaning day music...Mr. Robert A. Zimmerman! This is one of the best songs ever written. Ev. Er. And what that kid did with this video is brilliant, I say. Brill. Iant. You're Welcome...

Quote of the day: "You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows"--Bob Dylan

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

GrowUP: Turning Flower Beds Into Edible Beds

I have a decorative flower bed in my backyard just off the kitchen and back patio. It gets great sun and is in close proximity to the actual vegetable and fruit garden, but it has mostly been home to flowers and bulbs and other decorative plants.

A couple of years ago I added strawberries to the bed because I did not want the strawberries to run amok  and take over the vegetable space. The flower bed is contained by a brick border and gravel path on all sides so I knew the berries would stay put. The next year I added a small container with a few herbs for the same reason. Many herbs spread like wildfire. Last year I decided to take full advantage of the sun that this spot gets and put my tomatoes in this flowerbed instead of their usual spot in the garden proper. I believe this was the beginning of the end. This year I thought to myself, "Why is this a flowerbed at all?"

I have an adorable neighbor with raised beds surrounding her front lawn. The previous owners of the house always had decorative shrubs and flowers in those beds, but not Miss D. She put in pumpkins and squash of various sorts. All summer long the beds are full of lovely green twisting vines and giant leaves that collect the morning dew. By Autumn it is more decorative than any summer annuals would have been with its collection of round fat pumpkins and the like.

And so I believe that a little at a time I have been converting this flower bed into and edible bed. I just need the final push to tell me it is ok. I do not know why I am so reluctant. Tradition, I guess, tells me that I am supposed to think that flowers and shrubs are pretty and that vegetables are utilitarian and must be shunned and put in the corner of the yard where no one well see them. Well bah on that! I think food can be pretty too. At least I am hoping I can make it pretty because right now that flowerbed looks pretty frightening. I am embarrassed to show it to you. I tore out a large bush and lots of the bulbs that are usually there. I am trying to get those pitiful looking strawberries to fill in now, and I put beans in the end to climb those supports in the back. But I still have a long way to grow. I am hoping that this is a "before" shot, or that if there is no "after" shot, you will have forgotten about this by that time.

So can a former flowerbed be edible and attractive? Time will tell....

Quote of the Day: "Gardening is not a rational act." Margaret Atwood poet