1. 1.
    traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
    "the peripatetic nature of military life"
    synonyms:nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant,migratory, unsettled
    "I could never get used to her peripatetic lifestyle"
  2. 2.
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Day After No(e)L, Yes, 'E' and 'L': Counting Blessings on the Gulf Coast

Yes, "E" and "L"

It was the Day; it was Christmas
And all through the night
Not a spoon still was stirring
Those meatballs--they had tasted all right

The kids and the Grand safe at home with their gifts
(SAM and I were now alone except for the cat)
When what should appear in Mobile, Alabama
But a funnel (tornado) that lifts
Lots of trees, roofs, and cars in the air
And then they did splat

Old Man Winter clashed with Warm Gulf Moisture
And stirred up some trouble
Still, SAM and I kept our cool
Though our stomachs with too much food and anxiety did bubble

The weather scenes on TV were looking quite bad
But no one was hurt, at first reporters did say
The flashlight and candle were made ready
In case of power outage so a Scrabble game we could play

The game was begun with "slob" in the middle
And by the time it was over the last word was "if"
With tiles all gone and points added up
SAM had won fair and square though he did manage to miff

My "qi" would have been "quiet" if not for his "mod"
The U in my "human" was placed for the kill
But SAM was the cool one with sharp wit and honed skill
His "slob" in the middle the game had begun
By the end of the game I was "upended" by SAM's "if"
And he had won

Though the wind still is blowing
The storm's worst now is past
By light of day Mobile's damage will be showing
But the damage will not last

Last night on TV the people kept on saying
Through the storm their spirits were lifted by constantly praying
With them, we prayed too while the game we were playing
That the people we love with the Word that is right
Would be safe and at peace through the storms of the night

Look closely at the game board and you will see
That the "bib" that SAM made with "B," "I," and "B"
Was finished by me with an "L" and an "E."
The comfort we find to keep going through strife
We find in that book; yes, "E" and "L" with an "if" become--


Thursday, December 20, 2012

The 'Nature of Reality' at Lake Piney Z in Tallahassee

View from one of the "fingers" on Lake Piney Z in Tallahassee
"The nature of reality, then, is both discrete and continuous. It is superficially discrete in atoms, stones, planets, stars, and living creatures, but ultimately deeply continuous, because it is everywhere undergirded by consciousness. And individual consciousness is the connection between the transient features of the 'outer' world and the changeless structure of non-local primary consciousness..."

Transcendental Physics, Edward R. Close, Ph.D., Paradigm Press, 1997.

A good friend and colleague of SAM's, Dr. Ed Close, gave us a signed copy of his book, originally published back in 1997. I tried to read and understand it, but frankly, most of it seemed incomprehensible to me. Physics ain't my cup of tea. The book languished on the shelf and was dutifully packed, unpacked, and re-shelved many times over the past 15 years and almost as many moves in that span of time. I'm kidding, maybe.

Whatever kept me from understanding the genius of Dr. Close finally opened the door for me. I was absolutely stunned like most of the "outer world" by what happened last Friday in Connecticut. And then, the news media wouldn't let go of the story. I wanted to know what was going on in the rest of the world, but most channels were clogged, absolutely blocked, like many of the aquifers we depend on for clean, recharged water (click on link for Lake Piney Z). Dams were constructed to hold information in place so that it could be manipulated. For what purpose? To get people talking. At the office, at the gym, at church, around the dinner table...Gun control. So that's it. "Never let a crisis go to waste."  So said the mayor of Chicago at one time, and I believe he and his associates are sticking to their guns. Mind control. So that's it.

Path to restricted area for Indian mound research at Lake Piney Z

But it--mind control--will never happen, at least not completely. The "non-local primary consciousness" would not allow it. You see, there are still people out there who read and think and believe in individual consciousness...and the nature of reality.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Home-Grown Sentiment from Southern Illinois: 'Hurt Not the Oil and the Wine'

Sentiment from a Southern Illinois Oil Field Worker
Whenever SAM and I visit Southern Illinois, we do our best to boost its economy by purchasing some local products. The last time that SAM went up there for work, he came home with wine and apples...

and the shirt pictured above. One of the oil field workers he has known for years now has a little side business selling shirts with some home-grown sentiments like the one pictured. They're fairly popular in certain circles. I wonder if the Oil-Drop Lady (that's what SAM calls her) on this American Petroleum Institute commercial would like it? SAM wishes that someone would hire him to make a commercial. He says he would be the perfect Gas-Bubble Man. I have to agree with him.

I heard on the news this weekend that Larry Hagman, the actor who played J. R. Ewing on the hit TV show Dallas way back in the 1980s, has died. He created a character that people loved to hate, and it's no surprise that this character's slimy behavior was associated with his powerful position as head of an oil company. For some reason, over the years the term "oil business" has become synonymous with corruption and greed. Why, though? The United States' oil and gas industry employs tens of thousands of hard-working people, and the pay is pretty darn good in most cases. These people actually produce something useful. It's valuable, oh-so-necessary to our current standard of living, and marketed worldwide. Remember when one of the most important measures of America's wealth (GDP) was based on the goods and services she produced herself? I do.

Now it seems that our economy is driven by what we consume, mostly products from other countries. You might have noticed just how crazy it is this time of year in the department stores and shopping malls. Black Friday crept back to Thursday this year and interrupted the usually peaceful celebration of Thanksgiving. Workers at stores like Wal-Mart and Target were rightfully upset that they couldn't be at home with their friends and loved ones on a truly American holiday. They had to go to work so consumers could do what they do best. Consume. On Thanksgiving.

I feel a little guilty myself of participating in the consumptive madness. We went out for dinner (gasp!) instead of cooking and eating at home. No shopping was involved, just eating at a local, Pensacola favorite--the Angus Steak House and Restaurant. It was lip-smackin' good! We thanked the server for working on a holiday and gave her a big tip.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Graceful Living on the Gulf Coast: Expect the Unexpected

SAM with lucky redfish (it's not a keeper/outside of legal "slot size," so released) on 11-11-2012, Pensacola Beach Pier
It seems that no matter where you go these days, you are subjected to someone else's taste in music, usually not to your liking. Restaurants, shops, and workplaces want to hurry you along, stir you into a buying frenzy, or lull you into complacency with your lot in life. I usually tune out the tunes I hear. Lately, though, I've been hearing a song played at work that gives me a lot to think about: Tim McGraw's Live Like You Were Dying.

It certainly does not lull me into complacency with my lot in life or anything else for that matter. It's reminding me to notice things--expect the unexpected.

When you live near the sea (or maybe it's when you've lived for more than a few decades), you get used to having marvelous, unexpected things happen. The wind picks up, and the waves crash with increasing intensity and frequency. Life is charged with possibility.

Body of electric ray (?) found on beach near Destin, 11-3-2012
It's been happening a lot lately for some reason--the unexpected, I mean. Most of it has been good, and that's even more unexpected. What have we done to deserve it? Absolutely nothing. Can we expect it (the "good") to continue? Of course not. Life is nothing if not full of grace, even in death....

Several years ago, on a day not unlike Veteran's Day 2012, SAM, son, and I went to Pensacola Beach, expecting to have a sun-and-fun-filled day on the water, kayaking and relaxing on the sand. The wind and waves had kicked up a notch more than we expected. Kayaking in the Gulf was not an option so we relaxed on the beach and watched some adventurous souls venture into the chilly and choppy sea. There were rays of some sort darting to and fro in the water, and some people on the beach were following their progress.

Not more than an hour had passed when we heard some commotion happening nearby. Apparently, some swimmer was in trouble. People were yelling, ambulance sirens announced the arrival of emergency responders, and presently the body of a young man was dragged onto the beach from the crashing surf. We stayed where we were, not wanting to get in the way of some form of help arriving every few minutes from the parking lot nearby. A group of young men fell to their knees and began to pray. What was happening? We talked to some other people nearby who had ventured close to the tragic scene and then returned to their beach blankets, all of them with a stunned look on their faces. Apparently, a young man visiting the beach with a group from a local Christian college had a sudden heart attack and collapsed in the water. We all watched as a helicopter swooped down, creating a sudden, unnatural sandstorm. It collected the body of the young man along with a couple of his companions and disappeared in a cloud of noise and sand.

We could learn nothing more than speculation from the people we encountered as we walked toward the water's edge. The rays were still swimming back and forth along the beach, seemingly more agitated than before, and the swimmers were all beached. No one seemed eager to take a chance on meeting with something else dangerous or unexpected in the water.

The young man who was airlifted to a nearby hospital was never revived, we later found out. We have often wondered what could have happened to him. Finding the body of an electric ray (at least that's what we think it was) on the beach last weekend brought to mind the young man's demise. Somehow the connection of rays and a young man's sudden death made sense. Really? Death makes no sense. Neither does the wind, nor do the waves. Grace is nothing if not full of life, even in death.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Return to Eseldorf and a Strange Ending for Pecan Shells in My Garden

On my way home from attending a class at UWF last Friday afternoon, my cell phone rang. It was a call from SAM.

"Guess what, honey? I have a surprise for you. It's something we've been wanting for a long time!"

What could it be? I wondered. A million dollars? Another grandchild on the way? No, there was something even more special waiting for me when I got home. It was a truck-bed full of pecan shells from the Renfroe Pecan Company. Can you believe it?

I rubbed my eyes because I had trouble believing what I was seeing. We were told earlier this year by the nice young man with the pecan-shell-mulch ad on Craigslist that he had an exclusive contract with the company to pick up their spent shells. So how did SAM finagle a truckload of the stuff? FOR FREE? Well, it turns out that the nice young man must have prevaricated. He stretched the truth. He told a fib. There was no contract with the company, and anyone can pick up a load of pecan shells.

Of course, lying comes so naturally to the human race, especially when money is at stake. Or witches, for that matter. Huh? You'll have to forgive me. Halloween is next week, there's a presidential election the week after, and I've been reading Mark Twain's account of The Mysterious Stranger. Or was it his biographer's account? There is a dispute over who really wrote the tale, and that's probably as it should be. As it turns out, the mysterious stranger is the Great Prevaricator, the Father of Lies, known in one version of the story as No. 44.

Once we got over the shock of being "misled" (it sounds so negative to call it being lied to), we were delighted to find nuts in the mix. Lots of them in fact. Five pounds (about $45 worth if purchased at the grocery store) at least by my reckoning. I have to wonder why there were none in the previous load from the pecan-shell guy. It took us a while to sort through this pile. The neighbors were sure staring, but we were past caring.

The nut pile was growing, but spreading of shells sure was slowing. Wait! I thought. Grandson is coming over for a visit. We will offer him the chance to help. And he did, quite willingly. As a reward, Grandpa SAM offered him the choice between a stack of five quarters and a crisp dollar bill for his efforts on finding more nuts.

"Can't I have both?" he asked.

He's pretty sharp, that one: another good knife in the drawer, a chip off the old block, or a nut that didn't fall far from the tree. SAM said his great-grandpa would have been delighted with him.

Getting back to Mark Twain's story setting of Eseldorf ("ass-ville"), I have to wonder why there was nothing like a good fish story in the midst of it. Animals did play a big part. A faithful dog and a magic cat were presented but no fish. Well, except for the ones that kept multiplying in the frying pan when unexpected company showed up for dinner. That's even better than a whopper of a story about the fish that got away. Or trying to convince someone that some fish have teeth like we do. Yes, sheepshead have human-like teeth. Or do we have sheepshead-like teeth? If Darwin's theory is correct, then the fish were here first, right? Humans came much later. If only fish could talk. I'm sure they wouldn't lie. They have no Moral Sense. Strange. That's what kept getting Twain's Eseldorf-ians in trouble. It should be what keeps us out of trouble.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Autumn Leaves Time for a Visit to Dixon Springs State Park and a Friend 'In the Garden'

Secret Aging Man and I were on our way to work for him and a family visit for me when I saw the sign. "Dixon Springs State Park." We weren't far from the border between Kentucky and Illinois. "I just have to see it again," I said. What age deletes from my memory, Southern Illinois replaces. Leaving Interstate 24 for a two-lane highway, SAM in the driver's seat, I leaned forward with anticipation. Would I find the place just as I had left it that summer in high school? Of course not! I've been back to it since then, the summer I took a field botany course and learned more about human nature than Nature nature.

Certainly, the contours of the land were the same, not much different there. And silly rules were still posted: a "No Swimming" sign in the very place where swimming would seem most appropriate--the catch-basin for a natural spring.

The cabins were there or at least they were standing. A "Dead End" sign seemed more than appropriate for them now.

The cabins' window-blinds were sagging and wrinkled like the lids on an old woman's eyes--hey, I'm beginning to resemble that remark. No signs of recent life appeared. Still, I thought I heard the ghosts of loud whispers and giggles from girls sneaking over to the boys' cabin in the middle of the night. Rules and raging hormones somehow cannot coexist in the mind of a teenager. Our teacher, Mr. R, surely must have known that nothing short of a barb-wire fence surrounded by punji stakes could separate the girls from the boys at the end of a week-long field trip away from parental supervision. Back then, I guess school authorities and parents giving their permission were fairly naive about such things. Mr. R and his 18-year-old daughter were our only chaperones for the trip.

Nothing "naughty" happened, of course. I think the presence of old church buildings in the park must have made some impression on a group of youngsters raised in the Heartland or Buckle of the Bible Belt. Or it could have been the fact that none of us trusted Mr. R's daughter to keep her mouth shut about our shenanigans. She was nice, but none of us really knew her. We were high school freshmen, and she had just graduated high school. She was officially a "grup" and apparently wise in matters of the heart. She already had a steady boyfriend. We were newbies on that scene.

Considering the present state of Illinois' economy, the park's condition wasn't too shabby. But I did find the lack of signs about the park's history somewhat shameful. Who, for instance, built this wall?

And what was the origin of this ancient well at which SAM is pointing his finger? Was it the foundation of a bath house? The state website link at the beginning of this post indicates that 19th century visitors to the area used to bathe in the mineral springs for health reasons.

Maybe a better question is why don't we utilize our state parks for similar purposes today? Why did traditional forms of therapy such as hydrotherapy and massage therapy fall out of favor with people interested in maintaining good health?

Thank goodness the end of the week-long trip that SAM and I made wasn't plagued by unanswered questions or shrouded by the mists of time and fading memory. We stopped on our way home to visit a gardening friend, one I'm sure that many of my visitors are familiar with: Tina of In the Garden fame.

She and Mr. Fix-It had an answer for every question, a wonderful supper for hungry guests, and warm hospitality for visitors who forgot how cold Tennessee weather can be in early October.

And of course, they had plants to share: asters, irises, cannas, and variegated Miscanthus.

I hope we can repay their kindness someday soon. It's been nearly four years since our last meeting in New Harmony, Indiana. I pray it's not so long until the next one.

Hummingbird on my cold-hardy ginger

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Water That Moves: A Catalyst for Commotion in Motion

Fountain at Lake Ella Park in Tallahassee, 9-15-2012
You know what they say about a body in motion? It not only tends to stay in motion but could also become a catalyst for commotion. Well, that last part is not what "they" say. It's something I added. I put myself in motion this last weekend to visit Daughter in Tallahassee. There were plenty of reasons for the visit:
  1. I hadn't seen Daughter in a few weeks.
  2. It was my turn to make the 3-hour-each-way journey by car.
  3. Recent telephone conversations with Daughter have been almost as sketchy and unsatisfying as some versions of text messaging. "How u been? OK. Me 2. Wassup w/wrk? Same ol same ol. Same here. OK. Luv u. Luv u 2. Bye." (Would you believe I can't bring myself to text like that? I have to spell it all out. It can be agonizingly slow, but old writing habits are hard to break.) 
  4. A massage CEU course was being offered at Core Institute on Saturday. Interestingly, it dealt with movement--the Feldenkrais approach to it. Huh? That's what I thought when I received an e-mail from the Big Bend Chapter of FSMTA. Something massage-related I'm not familiar with and two credits for my effort and curiosity? I'm game. Count me in. Same for Daughter. Plans for the weekend? Too bad. Mom's comin' for a visit.

The trip wasn't all about serious stuff like learning. Really? You can learn a lot from a soul that's been dipped in the icy waters at Wakulla Springs. There must be something in the minerals or the constant movement of the water.

Whatever it is, someone needs to bottle it and call it "Commotion in Motion." Or maybe "Endymion Energizer."


The rising moon has hid the stars;
Her level rays, like golden bars,
Lie on the landscape green,
With shadows brown between.

And silver white the river gleams,
As if Diana, in her dreams,
Had dropt her silver bow
Upon the meadows low.

On such a tranquil night as this,
She woke Endymion with a kiss,
When, sleeping in the grove,
He dreamed not of her love.

Like Dian's kiss, unasked, unsought,
Love gives itself, but is not bought;
Nor voice, nor sound betrays
Its deep, impassioned gaze.

It comes,--the beautiful, the free,
The crown of all humanity,--
In silence and alone
To seek the elected one.

It lifts the boughs, whose shadows deep,
Are Life's oblivion, the soul's sleep,
And kisses the closed eyes
Of him, who slumbering lies

O, weary hearts! O, slumbering eyes!
O, drooping souls, whose destinies
Are fraught with fear and pain,
Ye shall be loved again!

No one is so accursed by fate,
No one so utterly desolate,
But some heart, though unknown,
Responds unto his own.

Responds,--as if with unseen wings,
An angel touched its quivering strings;
And whispers, in its song,
"Where hast thou stayed so long!"

(Henry W. Longfellow, 1807-1882)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Firebush: Native or Not? The Burning Question of Plant Miscegenation

A native (I hope) Firebush, Hamelia patens
Adam was but human--this explains it all. He did not want the apple for the apple's sake; he wanted it only because it was forbidden. The mistake was in not forbidding the serpent; then he would have eaten the serpent.  (Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar, Mark Twain's Pudd'nhead Wilson)

Gardening seems to be the net that captures much of my attention and folly, often at the same time for some reason. Since laying the blame at someone else's feet seems to be the fashion these days, in politics and elsewhere, why shouldn't I play along and try to fit in?

So, it all started years ago when I helped my parents with their vegetable garden. It was never complicated then. Plant seeds or seedlings, tend the plants to adulthood, eat them or their progeny. Consume, consume, consume! The carnage continued in later years but on a more sophisticated level within the slick pages of plant catalogues. See that beautiful plant pictured here in all of its impeccably air-brushed glory? Buy it, buy it, buy it! The more exotic the name, the better. Especially if it ended in sinensis. If the Chinese were having smashing success in their country with a certain plant, why not give it a go here in the good ol' U.S. of A.? If they can make it grow, we can make it flourish. Then I started hearing cries--very faint at first and gradually getting louder--DON'T BUY IMPORTED PLANTS! USE NATIVE PLANTS! Would I succumb to my hedonistic, Adam-ant, consumerist instincts or listen to reason?

I bought the plant pictured above at a Master Gardener plant sale earlier this year. As far as I can tell, based on this UF/IFAS article about firebush, it has orange-red flowers and hairy leaves. It must be a native firebush. Hooray! For once, I had chosen well and listened to reason. But wait...There's more.

Hamelia patens, var. glabra?

Three additional shrubs purchased a few months later at one of the big box stores and also labelled Hamelia patens joined their sister (brother? cousin?) in the garden. Only now do I discover that the blooms start out red but turn into trumpets of yellow. And--worst of all!--I finally notice that the leaves are hairless. Could it be the dreaded Hamelia patens var. glabra?

So, what's the harm in putting native and non-native firebushes together in the landscape? Could there be a possibility of plant miscegenation beginning its insidious work here, gradually corrupting the native population and confusing a bunch of pollinators? Read the article and decide for yourself. Don't believe me. I'm just a gardening fool, and I like reading, especially Pudd'nhead Wilson. Don't read it! I forbid it! You might end up liking it too.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Isaac, What's So Funny?

Isaac, You'd Better Behave, Or Else!
If hurricanes or tropical storms weren't so destructive, observing the human reaction to them could cause a chuckle. I've been watching (and participating in) the mad rush to stock up on necessary supplies since Friday--gasoline, canned food, bottled water,, party favors, balloons, birthday cake.Yes, someone turned 30 this past weekend, and it wasn't me, as you can plainly see.

Anyway, back to the mad rush. Some famous and not-so-famous meteorologists have been racing each other to the Gulf Coast to report on the threat that Isaac ("he who will laugh") poses to our beautiful beaches and laid-back way of life. SAM watched The Weather Channel today and heard one of those brilliant prognosticators say that he was reporting live from Mobile Bay in Mississippi. What??!! Maybe that weatherman is lost in the Cone of Uncertainty--at least he is about geography. Mobile Bay is some distance from Mississippi, buddy. Try Alabama.

Even the Windy City's famous newspaper wants to get in on the action, providing us with a great article about the immediate political response to yet another crisis. Throw some money at it, and maybe some of it will stick this time. Who knows what happened to the billions spent in the aftermath of Katrina? Not I, said the politician asking for money before this storm even makes landfall on the Gulf Coast.

I was talking to someone at work today, and he was fairly disgusted with all of the frenzied activity taking place around here in NW Florida. Many schools and public offices were already closed on Monday. Medical clinics are shuttered, leaving some patients without critical treatment. Isn't it better to be safe than sorry? I remember what a mess Ivan left us with back in 2004. He (the guy at work) seems to think it's a big, fat, wet blanket response. One size does not fit all here. Our fate is (or should be) determined by choices we make on our own. Imagine that! Live in a flood-prone area or move to higher ground? You mean we're not all in the same boat, all of us in this together? Nope. You mean we should strive to make rational choices and take responsibility for our own actions, not expecting Uncle Sam to pick up the tab or decide things for us when we make stupid choices? Wow, what a novel idea! Seriously, a novel idea. It sounds too much like fiction to me.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Make the Most of the Least Bee: Celebrate NHBD

Least Bee that brew--
A Honey's Weight
The Summer multiply--
Content Her smallest fraction help
The Amber Quantity--

(Emily Dickinson, c. 1863)

Today is National Honey Bee Day. Celebrate it...

Miasma has you moping. Summertime heat has you sweating the small stuff, not to mention the bigger problems plaguing you and the rest of the world. It magnifies the tiniest of irritations. Tempers flare like the sun, lashing out whips of fire.

Take a deep breath and cool your thoughts for a moment. Park your worries on the petals of a flower and imagine yourself fanned by 200 wing beats per second. Now then, "bee" content. It only takes the smallest fraction of, multiplied by Powers of Ten, to change perspective. To help the amber quantity?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Jeff McKenney, MD: A Doctor Rich in Patients (Patience) and Wit But Poor in Dilatory Time

Slow...No Wake

How poor are they that have not patience!
What wound did ever heal but by degrees?
Thou knowest we work by wit, and not by witchcraft,
And wit depends on dilatory time...

(Shakespeare's Othello, II, iii, 376-379)

Some years ago, SAM and I attended a small country church near Paducah, Kentucky, and became acquainted with the sister of a missionary in Honduras. She--the sister--spoke of and presented a slideshow of the incredible work that her brother, Dr. Jeff McKenney, and his wife had begun some years earlier in a remote area on the northern coast of Honduras. It wasn't the impressive presentation or the engaging personality of the sister that convinced us to support the Cornerstone Foundation. I must admit it was reading Dr. McKenney's fascinating account of his tribulations and triumphs that convinced me (and then us) to help fund this medical mission. Dr. Jeff has a penchant (read here) for penetrating the mysteries (to me) of missionary work.

Oh, sure, I understand the basic concept. How can you expect people to understand and accept the Gospel unless you first minister to their most urgent needs? Kindness and good intentions are all fine and good, but when a belly is either empty or split open by bandits wielding machetes, critical attention must be paid to feeding or fixing the belly before the soul.

The main thing I don't understand about mission work is how missionaries like Dr. Jeff and his wife can so easily put aside their own lives to save other lives? Well, maybe not easily, but willingly. It must have something to do with dilatory time or the lack thereof. Such a thing does not exist in such a man's vocabulary or thought process. Time is of the essence there and here. Okay, so maybe I'm beginning to comprehend. I owe, I owe. It's off to work I go...

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane ["olive press"], and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me..." 

Then he returned to the disciples [after how many times of waking them??!!] and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go!"

(Matthew 26: 36-46)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Little Cabin in the (Southern Illinois) Woods

The Cabin at Mountain Glen in Cobden, Illinois

Little cabin in the woods
Little old man at the window stood

Saw a rabbit hopping by
Then knocking at his door
Meadow view from the Cabin 

"Help me! Help me, sir!" he said.
"Or the hunter shoot me dead!"

Passionflower vine in the meadow

"Come, little rabbit, come inside,
Safely to abide..."


Yes, I really am off my rocker, just in case you were wondering--off my rocker on the cabin porch and back to work in Florida. Vacation in Southern Illinois is over. Or is it?

I am still savoring wild cherries and wondering what elderberries (if that's what those pink berries are) taste like...

Capturing deer emerging from thickets...

Taking a boat ride on Kinkaid Lake to a favorite jumping-off point...

Shooting wild turkeys--with the camera--just as the sun comes up...

Watching Grandson take his first hike in Giant City State Park...

Taking advantage of family photo opps...

Thinking that silliness abounds when Grandson's around.

I can't leave Southern Illinois without bringing home some of its summertime bounty. The peaches are from Rendleman Orchards in Alto Pass. Tomatoes are courtesy of a generous brother-in-law who loves to garden.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

WFREC: Cheers! Here, Plants, Everybody Knows Your Name

I don't know why, but for me it's a pleasure to pull weeds--as long as they're in someone else's garden. Maybe it's because I get to learn something new every time I visit. Wouldn't you know this lovely shrub is a Clerodendron ugandense (maybe 'Blue Wings')? I didn't until I asked the real Master Gardener in charge of volunteers at WFREC. It (the WFREC Gardens in Milton) is one of those places where, if you're lucky enough to be a plant, everybody knows your name. Everybody except me. I'm still learning, and it takes a lot of repetition. One of these days those plants will be as familiar to me as the characters on Cheers! I credit years of television reruns for that phenomenon.

Bees visiting this shrub don't have blue wings or extraordinary power, but they do tend to transcend ordinary when captured on a flower.

Some beds, it may be noted, were designed in formal style. If not for outside heat and obligations, I would have stayed there quite a while.

Who can resist antique roses that invite you to sit a spell and enjoy their smell? Forget your venting and breathe in their scent(ing)?

I'm glad that there were signs to remind me of the names. If not for that small help, I would have to resort to games...

Like memory-jogging-hopscotch or pick-a-plant-by-number or jump-in-the-nearest-fountain. Or smell-the-rosemary or ask-the-master-gardener-again or climb-the-nearest-mountain.... Oh dear, I would not have you deluded. In Florida, you see, the mountains are not included.

If "cool" is what you're looking for, then take a walk among shaded caladiums galore.

Some weeds in other beds are left for next time 'round. You won't notice if you don't look closely--they never make a sound.

(Thanks to Mary, my friend from NFREC and Gardening Friends of the Big Bend, who gave me the idea for this post.)