Sunday, September 26, 2010

At the Alpaca Farm

In Allenton an alpaca farm was open for visiting this weekend. Curious, I went, and in and around the barn were 20 sweet-tempered alpacas wondering what all the fuss was about. The rancher explained that they live about 15 years, don't bite (they can't; only one of their jaws has teeth) and should never be washed; it ruins their wool, shorn every spring and made into sweaters, mittens, hats, yarn, blankets, socks, and toy alpacas. This farm is named Adelman's Alpaca Dream, because the father of the family always wanted such a farm but died before creating one; the mother and son then fulfilled the father's dream, establishing the farm in 2006.

They will also sell you an alpaca or board the ones you have.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


These are growing wonderfully in the roadsides this autumn. People can't eat them. They are winterberries, ilex verticillata (to the best of my knowledge and ID skills). They are a form of holly, and will hang with us all winter, feeding birds (although their berries are not as popular with birds as some). Belying their beauty, they are poisonous to people. Its cousin plant is called ilex vomitoria, and it grows in the coastal Southeast.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tenting Tonight

When the normal dwelling just can't hold all that's in your mind and heart; when the usual bed is like your own miniature sweat lodge; when the days are dry and cool and getting cooler; when the moon is big; when you just have to crawl into something and hide...very fortunate and privileged that I have the property on which to do this. I keep this section of meadow mowed just for this reason. Also makes a great deer bed when I'm not using it.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Made for You and Me

Who's the leader of the club? The first rule about gun club is that you do not talk about gun club. The second rule of gun club is that you do not talk about gun club. Nor clay pigeons, nor the mechanical thing that throws them, nor targets shaped like groundhogs, nor Cabelas which has good sales. Nor about getting this year's license and hunting for ducks, doves, turkeys in the Missouri River bottoms, and roasting 'em up, or if there is any firearm that can take a grizzly bear. As far as I have heard, the only thing that can stop a grizzly bear is a really riled-up wolverine. Nor do you talk about Sept. 11, 2001 and how firearm sales have soared since then.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Walk a Mile in My Shoes

Life in the country requires serious footwear, but sometimes I'm forced to go to the city, and for that I need dress shoes -- women's pumps with heels. But I'm very active, and can shred the soles of a pair of girly shoes in less than one day.

To slip and fall on the wet gravel in front of the Divine cabin, or on asphalt, or on cobblestones in the city streets, for me, would be no joke. I walk places, run in the rain, climb stairs. Three months ago, wearing stockings and a suit, in an emergency I vaulted a stone wall (using the old Western Roll). For YEARS I've pined for a pair of ordinary black pumps that could handle all this; and, oh yeah, fit my Extra-Wide, divinely crafted feet.

Finally in a Janesville, Wisconsin McDonald's this summer, I see an employee reading a shoe catalog called Shoes for Crews. Online I found their pair of passable-looking pumps with SERIOUS non-slip soles. I mean, these pumps have TREADS. And they're comfortable. Mostly they sell clogs, oxfords, sneakers, boots, etc. to working people: kitchen workers, nurses, construction workers, farmers. But I ordered their pumps and now have confidence that at least my shoes, even my girly shoes, won't hold me back or let me down. And I just had to let you know.