Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Country Newspaper

Among the delights of rural living is the local newspaper, in our case called "The Current." Issued twice a month, it is packed with ads and interviews with local merchants and members of the Chamber of Commerce, plus photographs of local awards ceremonies, benefit events, and ribbon-cuttings -- and the goings-on at the food pantry and Senior Center. I favor those photos of a philanthropic group handing over a poster-sized check to whoever gets it. I also enjoy finding out what names folks are giving their babies these days: Painter, Logan, Chance, Destiny, Harley. All the writing and photography is bylined by one person, except for the Letters column. This week's Current front-page headline is especially charming: "Kiwanis Celebrates 15 Years of Bowling." But see for yourself...I read every word, including the "On Grandma and Grandpa's Knee" anecdotes.

There's an election April 6 and you can bet this week's Letters column is a hoot.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Asparagus Keesh

("Keesh" spelling is courtesy of Demetrius, who spit the stuff out at a party where they served "pizza quiche." He was the same guy who microwaved some kiwifruit and stormed, "These are the worst potatoes I have ever eaten.")

Ahem. Friend and I, not all that old but experienced in life, were talking about pleasure, and when all is said and done, good eatin' is the one pleasure that never fails. In spring, whether one is young or not, one's fancy turns to thoughts of asparagus quiche, roasted asparagus, asparagus raw, sauteed, or steamed, asparagus pasta. I recommend using Baby Swiss cheese for a delectable result, and put the asparagus, once you steam it, on a layer of sliced spring onions if you can. Try as I might I couldn't get this photo right-side-up; must be the planets today.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Which Twin Has the Toni?

OK -- raking an acre of "lawn" -- if you can call clumps of weeds, cedar-tree sprouts, and mole holes a lawn -- is a big job -- especially because I didn't do it last year. Raking the the leaves (oak and hickory) into a pile, I then very cleverly sweep them onto an old shower curtain and drag the curtain to a place I can dump the leaves . . . smart. . . brains. . . no dumb bunny.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Buckhorn, Mo.

Ask not what this bull is doing alongside I-44 West near Buckhorn, Mo. It may well be competing with the Worlds Largest Rocking Chair and the Vacuum Cleaner Museum along I-44; or it may be something political or commercial -- can't tell.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Crocuses, OMG!

Beyond all mundane pleasures this world has to offer -- the miracle of spring. These showed up in a neglected area of lawn. OMG! My favorite flowers! I bowed down and worshipped! And just had to share them with you.


Last night I heard spring peepers and was overjoyed. Spring is here in Missouri!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Old Swimmin' Hole

Yes, there's a swimmin' hole, in La Barque Creek, on this property, and y'all can jump in barenaked if you like, come July and August. Everyone says they want to do this, but when it comes down to it, T-shirt and underpants is as far as they'll strip -- if they jump in at all. Of course my summer guests are almost all between ages 40 and 72, and one can't expect them to go hog-wild and rip off their clothes. Nah, they'd rather sit on the porch, drink wine, and discuss how to avoid probate. Visited the swimmin' hole just to look at it and think of good times to come.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Secret Pond

The Secret Pond below the cliff is accessible only when there's no greenery. Mid-April until November, briars and honeysuckle will tear your sleeves off, and maybe your face off, and the mud is like wet cookie dough and ankle-deep. Went down there today, while I still can. Beneath the cliff, although it was 60 degrees up top, I found the pondwater still frozen. See the picture for yourself. That's why I'm not hearing spring peepers yet.

Peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) are very common one-inch-long "chorus frogs." Only the males sing, thousands of them, all night every night, and it sounds like "sweet sweet"; some say it sounds like jingle bells. Occupying "semi-permanent wetlands" like the approximately-one-acre Secret Pond, their music is among the earliest and therefore most thrilling signs of spring.

One night a few years ago I was listening to them with a friend and said, "I wonder what they are saying." My friend knew: "They're saying: Love me. Love me."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Stolen Goods Retrieved

Raccoons grab and steal the wire suet cage that I fill and hang outside for my birds -- that is, if I don't fetch it in at dusk every day. And they drag the cages up to 30 feet away, chop-shop 'em, and gobble the suet meant for my woodpeckers. Of course the little thieves don't return the empties. When the grass is tall, and the ticks, thorns and poison ivy are full blast there is no way I'm going to march through several hundred square feet of that to look for a dark-green suet cage. I buy a replacement for $1.

But today, just before everything goes green (we hope), I tromped through the brushy slope of rugged land just south of the cabin for the first time in a couple of years, looked hard, and retrieved three missing suet cages in various stages of decay. I plan on marking them with neon-orange tape so that when raccoons make off with them they won't take four years for me to find. Needless to say they were all very very suet-free.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Cure for Cabin Fever

Horribly tempted the last few days, late winter, so tedious, tempted to:

-max out the credit card on bling, spa visits, facelift & lingerie
-max out the credit card in Bali, Java, Belize, etc.
-max out the credit card at Pacific Guns & Archery
-buy a Jaguar and let them repo it in a month or two
-play hooky from everything
-start screaming
-go get checked for Alzheimer’s
-go on a bourbon bender and paint the town red

But then – just yesterday I saw this daffodil, about 2 inches out of the earth. And now I can wait!