Thursday, July 31, 2003, 8:15 a.m.
74 degrees, breezy, sunny
The wind has been picking up
steadily since first light. What began as
a perfectly still morning is now a day with horizontal
We must take advantage of this excellent weather today,
as the next several
days are probably going to be wet. The busy season is
just beginning for gardeners
who pack away food for the winter. Harvesting and
processing summer fruits and
vegetables is time consuming and repetitive work,
sometimes even back-breaking.
The payoff comes in the middle of a snowy winter evening,
when we feast on lasagna
made with home-canned sauce and frozen spinach and
zucchini, with a side of italian
green beans seasoned with basil, all picked and processed
on a hot summer day.
The aroma of the meal draws forth the memory of bending
in a sun-drenched garden,
selecting perfect items for the sauce; each tomato,
pepper, and onion is a miracle,
tiny seeds providing all that food! Basil and oregano
stains the hands with a pungent
aroma that is better than any store-bought perfume, and
the garlic... ah, the garlic !
Can you smell all of these wonderful things simmering in
a giant kettle, filling the
whole house with the fragrance of home? The grand payoff
of growing and preserving
our own food is not merely for the cash savings (which
are considerable) or the
knowledge that our food hasnt been tainted by
pesticides, herbicides, fungicides,
or any other potentially lethal substance. The best
reward is in the memories of
summer that are invoked even on the harshest winter day.
The snow may be piling
up by the foot, but a simple piece of toast spread with
preserves will help chase away winters chill as we
remember picking the sweet
juicy fruit... the sun... the deerflies... the summery
goodness of it all.
Preserve some memories,
Wednesday, July 30, 2003, 7:15 a.m.
63 degrees, gentle breeze,
The sun is peeking in and
out of high broken clouds in the east,
but most of the rest of the sky is clear. The breeze is
cool and dry
and the sun is already quite warm. Robins have been
singing their mating
song for the last few mornings, and today the bluebirds
joined in the chorus.
This would be a late brood for both species; nesting
boxes must be checked
to see if any new birds have moved in. So far this year
our eight boxes have
held only one family of tree swallows and one batch of
wrens. There have been
bluebirds all over the place, but they are scorning our
hospitality in favor of more
natural nesting cavities. I have never known bluebirds to
mate this late in the season.
Perhaps their songs reflect something other than the
desire for a partner. Is it
possible that birds sing for the pure pleasure of it,
lifting their lovely voices in joy
and delight at the beauty of the morn? Or are they
teaching their young the musical
skills needed to attract a mate of their own next spring...
Tune in to nature,
Tuesday, July 29, 2003, 7:30 a.m.
62 degrees, breezy, mostly
It was a wonderful night for
sleeping and dreaming under a warm flannel
comforter. It was only fifty degrees at first light, and
sweaters were required
for early morning porch-sitting. The breeze is fresh and
coming from the west,
nice dry air blowing the dew from the lawn. There are
small densely packed fluffy
clouds drifting in slowly from the southwest, but they
are not the kind that carry
rain. Yesterdays sunshine brought a lot of red
raspberries into full juicy fruition;
they are huge and sweet this year. Even the wild ones are
larger than usual. The
waxwings that peck away at our strawberry crop have never
bothered the raspberries;
this good fortune remains a mystery. Perhaps they travel
to some nearby blueberry
meadow instead of hanging out here. I also suspect that
they are raising younguns
and our cats are good hunters; this may enter into their
decision to skedaddle.
Lately the kitties have been ignoring birds and going
after rodents in the meadows,
easy to find now that the hay is gone. Our back porch is
a forensic nightmare of moles,
meadow jumping mice, deermice, voles, and field mice at
the end of a days hunting.
This gruesome lineup represents the animals that
arent immediately consumed; we can
only guess how many critters are doomed on a daily basis.
It is the nature of felines
to be near the top of the food chain. They are total
carnivores and built for stealth,
speed, and destruction. It is somewhat amazing that cats
are often perceived as being
cute and cuddly, when that is the opposite of their
natural feral state.
This duality of character draws us to cats as pets;
simultaneously wild and tame,
sadistic and loving, deadly and nurturing,
they are terrible and wonderful at the same time.
Have a purr-fect day,
Monday, July 28, 2003, 7:30
65 degrees, breezy, sunny
There are just a few clouds
on the horizon east of here, but I can tell
they are moving away from the Hill. We are entitled to
some sunny days,
now that the water crisis is over for a while. The soil
in the garden is still
too sticky to work this morning, but with this nice
breeze and warm sunshine
it should be tillable in no time at all. Weeds should
pull easily today, and it is
a good day to clean up the asparagus bed and spread a
layer of compost on it.
Mushrooms have sprung up all over the lawn, beautiful
pure white ones on long
sturdy stalks. I havent examined them closely, but
chances are good that they
are lepiotas, or possibly destroying angels. Neither is
edible, and the angels are
quite deadly. I wont have time to do spore prints
today, but both have easily
identifiable field marks. The lepiota has a ring around
the stem that slides up and
down, and the angel has a bulb at the base, often
referred to as the "death cup".
The destroying angel looks very much like the edible agraricus
mushroom that is
found on the supermarket shelf. If eaten, this imposter
will cause a very painful
demise, with intestinal cramping and vomiting for several
days, until death must seem
a relief to the victim. This is why the only white wild
mushroom we will eat is the
giant puffball; it is impossible to confuse this monster
with anything toxic. We still
have a couple of months before these volleyball-sized
fungi will appear at the edge of
lawns all over the North Country. Until then, we can
enjoy looking at the beautiful
variety of mushrooms that are abundant in the woods and
meadows following the
recent rainy spell. Theres fungus among us !
Sunday, July 27, 2003, 8:30 a.m.
64 degrees, windy, cloudy,
It is wonderful to be back
home again !
Friends in the area say that it has rained nearly every
day that we were away,
and the condition of the lawn and garden supports that
report. The weather is
supposed to clear up later today, and I reckon the next
few days will be spent
bent over the long rows, thinning plants and pulling
weeds. The bean plants have
more than doubled in size and are loaded with little
beans; of course, we will
have to wait until the plants are bone-dry before we pick
them or pull the weeds,
as soil-borne diseases are sure to invade if they are
disturbed while wet.
The early planting of corn is tasseled and forming small
ears, and the tomatoes
just need a little sun to coax sweet color into them.
Raspberries are beginning to
gleam red in the rain, and in a weeks time we will
be overrun with plump juicy berries.
Something got into the new broccoli patch while we were
gone and ate about half the
plants; there are no deer tracks visible, so it may have
been a woodchuck or a rabbit.
As soon as the rain abates I will cover the remaining
plants with hot pepper spray to
discourage the pests. Lilies and black eyed susans bloom
prolifically, and the recently
shorn hayfields are starting a new bright green second
crop of grasses and wildflowers.
There is plenty to do indoors today,
but we are itching to get into the gardens and put things
Let the sunshine in,
July 26, 2003
If the World Was Only 100 People
There would be:
14 from North and South America
52 would be female
48 would be male
70 would be nonwhite, 30 white
59% of the entire world's wealth would belong to only 6
and all 6 would be citizens of the United States
80 would live in substandard housing
70 would be unable to read
50 would suffer from malnutrition
1 would be near death
1 would be near birth
Only 1 would have a college education
99 of them will not see this message,
because only 1 would have a computer.
When one considers our world
from such a compressed perspective,
the need for both acceptance, and understanding becomes
July 25th, 2003
"We were made for these times...stand up and show
Do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I
have heard from so many
recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They
are concerned about
the state of affairs in our world right now... Ours is a
time of almost
daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the
latest degradations of
what matters most to civilized, visionary people.
You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris
some have aspired
to while endorsing acts so heinous against children,
people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is
breathtaking. Yet, I urge
you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit
dry by bewailing
these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most
because, the fact is - we were made for these times. Yes.
For years, we
have been learning, practicing, been in training for and
just waiting to
meet on this exact plane of engagement...
I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy
vessel when I see
one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more
able crafts in the
waters than there are right now across the world. And
they are fully
provisioned and able to signal one another as never
before in the history of
humankind... Look out over the prow; there are millions
of boats of
righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your
veneers may shiver
from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that
the long timbers
composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest.
lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to
hold its own, and
to advance, regardless.
We have been in training for a dark time such as this,
since the day we
were born to this Earth. For many decades,
worldwide, souls just like us
have been felled and left for dead in so many ways over
and over brought
down by naivete, by lack of love, by being ambushed and
assaulted by various
cultural and personal shocks in the extreme. We have a
history of being
gutted, and yet remember this especially - we have also,
perfected the knack of resurrection. Over and over again
we have been the
living proof that that which has been exiled, lost, or
foundered can be
restored to life again.
In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward
fainting over how much
is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on
that. There is a
tendency too to fall into being weakened by what is
outside your reach,
by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is
the wind without raising the sails. We are needed, that
is all we can know.
And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great
souls who will
hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when
Didn't you say you were a believer? Didn't you say
you pledged to listen to
a voice greater? Didn't you ask for grace?
Don't you remember that to be
in grace means to submit to the voice greater?...
Understand the paradox: If you study the physics of a
waterspout, you will
see that the outer vortex whirls far more quickly than
the inner one. To
calm the storm means to quiet the outer layer, to cause
it to swirl much
less, to more evenly match the velocity of the inner core
- till whatever
has been lifted into such a vicious funnel falls back to
Earth, lays down,
is peaceable again. One of the most important steps
you can take to help
calm the storm is to not allow yourself to be taken in a
overwrought emotion or desperation thereby accidentally
contributing to the
swale and the swirl.
Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at
once, but of
stretching out to mend the part of the world that is
within our reach.
Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help
another soul, to assist
some portion of this poor suffering world, will help
immensely. It is not
given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the
critical mass to
tip toward an enduring good. What is needed for dramatic
change is an
accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more,
continuing. We know
that it does not take "everyone on Earth" to
bring justice and peace, but
only a small, determined group who will not give up
during the first,
second, or hundredth gale.
One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do
to intervene in a
stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on
deck shines like
gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks,
can send up
flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to
catch fire. To
display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these-to
be fierce and to
show mercy toward others, both, are acts of immense
bravery and greatest
necessity. Struggling souls catch light from other
souls who are fully lit
and willing to show it.
If you would help to calm the tumult,
this is one of the strongest things you can do.
There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I
too have felt
despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair
for it; I will not
entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my
plate. The reason is this:
In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is
that there can be
no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who
you serve, and who
sent you here. The good words we say and the good
deeds we do are not ours:
They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us
here. In that
spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a
great ship is in
harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But
that is not what
great ships are built for.
This comes with much love and prayer that you remember
who you came from,
and why you came to this beautiful, needful Earth.
-Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Message from the Hopi Elders
We have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh
Now you must go back and tell the people that this is the
And there are things to be considered.
Where are you living ?
What are you doing ?
What are your relationships ?
Are you in the right relation ?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.
It is time to speak your truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other;
And do not look outside yourself for the leader.
This could be a good time !
There is a river flowing now very fast
It is so great and swift that there are those who will be
They will try to hold onto the shore.
They will feel they are being torn apart and they will
Know the river has its destination.
The elders say we must let go of the shore, and push off
and into the river,
Keep our eyes open, and our head above the water.
See who is in there with you and Celebrate.
At this time in history, we are to take nothing
Least of all ourselves.
For the moment that we do, our spiritual
growth and journey comes to a halt.
The time of the lone wolf is over, Gather yourselves !
Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your
All that you do now must be done in a sacred manner
And in celebration.
"We are the ones we've been waiting for..."
The Elders, Hopi Nation,
Speak Your Truth
July 23, 2003
Speak your truth, though all that you fear would rise up
to stop you.
Speak your truth, though all within you would silence it.
Speak your truth
for that is your savior. You still believe, at times,
that your fear will protect you.
You still believe that by holding back you will be safe.
Know this: There is no safety
in holding back. There is no safety and there is no
hiding. Not any more.
You may not, even now, know the fullness of your truth.
That is okay. Open your heart.
Open your heart as wide as you can, then wider still.
Open your heart
not only to share your love and your truth but to receive
it. How can you be a clear
vehicle for truth if your heart is closed ? So open. Open
and trust. You fear ?
Transform your fear. Fear has no place in your mansion at
this time. Go into that room,
that room that is your fear. Go into that room and begin
a thorough cleaning and clearing.Acknowledge the fear and
then open the windows wide and allow the fresh breezes
the ocean of spirit to blow your fear away. Transform
your fear. Change its form to joy.
Change its form to heart. Change its form to something
you can take out into the world.
Speak your truth. You dont yet know the fullness of
your truth ? Then write.
Write not what you think you know. Write to discover what
you know. Write to discover
the truths that lie deep within you, truths that have
lain hidden even from you.
It is your fear that has kept them hidden. Transform your
fear and feel those truths rush
up to the surface with a force you did not know you
possessed. Speak your truth. That is
the only way to peace. That is the only way to love. That
is the only way to oneness.
You do it. You do it well. There is more to do. And that
more is the fuller, clearer,
louder, more vocal, more passionate expression of your
truth. At all times. In all ways.
At all costs. Yes, at all costs. There is no more time to
fritter. There is no more safety
curtain to hide behind. Unless you step forward with your
truth, there will be no
Heaven on Earth, and Separation will be the only
Speak your truth. Whatever that truth is be it
about peace, about love, about oneness,
that is the truth that yearns to be spoken. The past has
passed and now it is time to walk
fearlessly and defiantly into the future with nothing
between you and the world but your truth. Express it as
you will through the spoken word, the written word,
the painted canvass... whatever. Take your gift of truth-telling
you do possess it and throw open the
shutters of your fear and hesitation. Speak it. Express
it. Be it. There is no time left to leave it unexpressed.
You have a book percolating in you ? Write it. Write it
now. Do not wait for some perfect moment. There is a
message you need to express ? Speak it. Do not wait for
some perfect moment. Do it now. In whatever form it calls
upon you to employ. Times are urgent. You stand at a
crossroads, an intersection between love and fear. Do not
give in to the low vibration. Allow yourself to choose
love. You are the peacemaker. You are the leader whose
example will change the world, will change the course of
history...if you choose to act on your souls
imperative. Speak your truth. Speak it for all to hear.
Speak it regardless of perceived consequences. Speak it
as though your life depended upon it. For it does. Not
only your life, but all life. You think this an
exaggeration? Look around you. Read the news headlines.
Fear is the currency of the times. It is time to devalue
that currency into extinction. There is no room for it,
no place for it, no time for it. Speak your truth. Only
you know what that means for you. Open to that truth.
Trust it. It is time. It is time to know and be known.
All that exists is this moment. This moment of truth.
Your truth. Speak your truth. You cannot hear that often
enough. In the days and moments between this writing and
your reading of it, it will be yet more critical.
Dont seek what you believe to be true and truth.
Seek what you know to be true and truth. Go within. Go
deep within. Allow that truth to emerge in whatever way
it must. Allow it to emerge and once it does, launch it
out into the world. Launch it with your empowerment, your
love, your passion, your commitment. Let your truth set
you free. Let it break apart the shackles, and throw open
the prisons that have held you back, held you down, and
fed off you. Speak your truth. The world needs it. The
world is ready for the transformation it will begin, even
as parts of the world would struggle from it and with it.
Think how you struggle against parts of it. Think it only
for a moment then let it go. What is your truth? Own it.
Speak it. Free it. They will soften. Their hearts will
soften. For if yours softens, theirs cannot help but do
How can it be helped when all are one? Speak your truth.
Write your Congressmen.
Trumpet it from the rooftops and know that there is no
An open letter to President Bush
Yes my child, I have heard you.
Many times I have spoken to you in return but your heart
is hardened to my voice.
Through the years you have asked me to grant you your
wishes. I am not a genie.
Why would you have me be a low spirit who would perform
tricks at your request?
I am Truth.
Though I love you I can grant you nothing, not even the
wisdom you plead for.
Some are born with wisdom, some gain it through hard
experience, but it cannot be bestowed.
You were born into a life of privilege, yet you are angry
of your gilded comfort. Deep inside, you know that your
mind is weak and this
makes you envious and afraid. You have surrounded
yourself with a high wall in
order to seek protection. This wall is made up of people
you admire, people more
intelligent than yourself, people to give you guidance.
What a shame.
Guidance is the one thing I could have given you, if you
had been willing to listen.
The people you keep close to you are the very people I
chased from the temple.
Some of them claim to speak for me. Their words are vile
and they offend me.
I am Peace. I do not sanction war. If you would live with
me in your heart you
must find your way out of the darkness you have created,
for the path you walk
is the path of evil. Do not pray for your army to prevail
The slaughter of children for treasure and pride is
Open your heart, child, and I will show you the way. Yes,
you will fail.
Yes, you will be ashamed. Am I asking too much of you?
Take my hand and I
will give you the strength to see what good is in the
world. The snakes around
you will whisper against me, but I am Truth, and I will
lead you into the Light.
Turn your back on these charlatans,
for they use you poorly and for their own purposes.
Walk with me and show the world that your heart is filled
with my Peace.
The Nature of Power
July 21, 2003
It is time, time to reconnect with the fullness of the
power that you are.
When your power is challenged, hold firm and steadfast.
Stand firm in your
power and do not allow another to push you out of it. Yes,
it may be difficult.
Yes, it may be stressful. Yes, it may call on what seems
to be every ounce of
your strength and resolve, which, of course, is not true.
But it certainly may seem
that way to you. Good! Exercise that strength. Exercise
that resolve. Exercise the
power that you are to be the fullness that you are in
Power does not exist in a vacuum. Like every other
element of your strength,
it only needs be present when it is challenged. There is
no reason or call to be
particularly powerful when all is well, when all shines
magnificently, when nothing
and no one would seem to challenge it. Just as there is
no need to trust when all is well,
there is no need to be in your power when that power is
Be in your power in every moment, regardless of what
comes your way.
Be in your power and choose empowerment. Choose it from a
place of openheartedness.
Choose it from a place of love. This is not an aggressive
power. Not at all. This is not
about shooting down. This is about staying grounded in
your strength, regardless of what is
going on around you. It does not mean lashing out. It
does mean standing firm. This is not
about bullying. This is, perhaps, a response to bullying.
Bullying, be it from an individual or a nation, is not an
expression of power. It is an expression of powerlessness.
It is the last resort of the powerless. To find something
within it, within him, within the nation, within the body
cosmic and politic, that can lash out in some synthetic
expression of synthetic power: That is what bullying is.
When you stand firm in your power, that is when the bully
There are lessons and implications at a geopolitical
level in this, of course. What are they?
They are that war is not the answer. They are that being
in a place of authentic
strength and truth and coming from that place at all
times, in all moments and in all occasions, with a desire
for peace: that is what stands down the "enemy."
Of course, there is no true enemy. The only enemy is your
The only enemy is your
lack of power, those places within you that fear,
those places within you that would be afraid.
Open to the power within you. Stand firm in that power
from a place of openheartedness,
loving kindness and love infinite. For that is the truth
of the Universe.
That is the truth of the cosmos. That is the truth of All
That Is and All that You Are.
Congratulations for every moment that you are able to
stand in that power, to call out for help from your
highest, most powerful self, to keep your heart open and
to hold your own fear at bay. Congratulations. And for
those moments when you cannot or have not been able to,
take a deep breath and choose again. In the next moment,
choose again. And in the next moment, choose again. And
in the next moment, again, make a choice for peace, make
a choice for love, make a choice for the love-centeredness,
love-powered empowerment that is the truth. Power and
empowerment do not exist as something you take from
someone or something else. In other words, you are not
powerful because someone else is not. You are powerful
when all are in the truth of the holiness, the wholeness
of their power. And that holiness and wholeness are and
remain the power of peace, the power of love, the power
of acknowledgment and integration of all that
Choose. Choose your
power. Not at the expense of another, but in concert with
so that all are in and coming from their places of
authentic power. Not fear-based
for that is no power at all. That is a false construct.
That is pretend power. That is the power of the bully,
who sees the powerlessness in you.
Once you are an expression of the power within you, there
are no bullies.
For no bully would dare. That is the truth. Never is it a
choice between your power and
the other's power. All are powerful. And when all are
empowered from a place of love,
there is no reason to fight. There is no reason to battle.
There is no reason to war.
There is no reason to fear.
All can be in a place of power simultaneously. Not the
power of mutually assured destruction, but the power of
mutually assured protection, mutually assured love,
mutually assured peace. For there is no need to war,
there is no need to battle, there is no need to fight
when there is no need to fear. And there is no need to
fear when you and all act from a place of empowerment,
which is a place of fearlessness.
Fearlessness is a vibration and a resonance beyond the
vibration of courage, which is an
important vibration, which allows you to take your fear
and move with it and through it.
But the next vibration is the vibration of fearlessness,
which is acknowledging and
immediately transforming it into the
power that is your birthright, the power that is your
soul right, the power that is the infinity of your
highest and greatest self.
Peace and love to you. In these times of shakiness, in
these times of uncertainty,
in these times of fear, all the fear now rises to the
surface. So much has been stirred up by so much and by so
many, as you and they and we all shake up the fear that
lies at the base of the darkness within us. So that fear
bubbles up to the surface. So much rises. Be in your
power in the midst of that fear. Know that the fear is
not real. Fear is a denial of the power within. As you
acknowledge and act on that power from a place of
openheartedness and loving kindness, nothing and no one
can have any true harmful effect upon you. Choose
know the true nature of power.
July 20, 2003
Two feelings are fundamental to the attracting of
anything in your life:
one is gratitude, the other is self-appreciation. When
you look at your life
with gratitude, you shift your focus onto what you like.
As you shift your
focus onto something, more of the same comes to you. That
is the Law of
Attraction. Gratitude does not work because the Universe
says, "Look, there
is one who is grateful, let us give this one more for
they deserve a greater
reward." The Universe is a neutral place and
responds simply to your focus
of attention. Gratitude places your focus upon the
positive side of any
subject; it places your attention onto the having of
something, rather than
the lack of something. As you practice gratitude and
acknowledge what you
already have, you shift not only your focus, but also
your vibration, into
the direction of more of the thing you are looking for.
You see, you cannot
ask for anything that you don't already have.
If you were born on an island somewhere where there were
no birds and
therefore no eggs, you could not ask for more eggs. It is
the same with
everything your heart desires. When you ask for abundance,
you already have
it. When you ask for health, you already have it. You see,
if your legs lack
health and you cannot walk, your arms still work don't
they? Are you then
totally devoid of health? No. Inwardly you know what
health is because it is
part of who you are. The Four Principles of Creation are
who you are, they
are not things you need to earn or discover. Perhaps you
need to remember,
but that is all, that is all. Health and well-being,
abundance, love, and
the power to create are what you are. They are your very
being, they are
your soul, and they are the expression of the God/Goddess
within you. We say
to you with absolute knowing: You cannot ask for anything
that you don't
With gratitude you can focus on what is already present.
For example, let us
say that you are looking for an intimate relationship,
one that provides you
with companionship, love, sharing, and all the things you
want from a
partner. These things are already in your life, expressed
by the people who
are now in your life. Your friends offer you
understanding, and many other things. When longing for a
partner, most of
you focus on your loneliness, and as you focus on the
distance the opportunities for connecting with that
special someone. When
you acknowledge that what you want is already there and
shift your focus
onto it, you strengthen its presence and cause it to grow.
If you are one that says, "I cannot feel gratitude
for I am so unhappy with
my life", then let us say to you: Feelings are the
result of thought;
thought is the catalyst for all that you think. You can
teach yourself how
to feel gratitude by practicing it. Just as you can
self-appreciation in order to engender self-love, you can
gratitude and encourage that feeling within you.
When you want something to come into your life, sit and
think of all aspects
of it. Consider the essence of what it is that you want.
If it is more money
that you want, what does money represent to you? For many,
synonymous with freedom. What else does it represent?
Your ability to create
an environment that is pleasing to you or any other thing
with which you
associate having money. Once you know what money
represents to you and
understand the essence of it in your life, begin to write
down all the areas
of your life in which that same essence is present. As
you acknowledge where
this essence already exists, you begin to attract more of
the same. At the
end of each day, write down all the things you are
grateful for, all those
things that contain the essence of the thing you want
more of, and you will
have gone a long way in shifting your focus onto the
positive side of the
subject of your desire.
Here are more examples to help you on your way. Let us
say that money
represents your freedom to travel and to explore. If this
is the essence of
what you want money to do for you, then you more than
likely have that
essence in your life already in the form of a car. Bless
this car! All
things have consciousness, awareness, even so-called
inanimate objects such
as cars, houses, and washing machines. Imagine that you
are tuning into the
essence of your vehicle and thank it for representing the
essence of freedom
in your life. You may want to thank your car each time
you go on a journey
and reaffirm that this vehicle is a manifestation of your
mobility and freedom. Your life is never void of what you
want. It may be in
a different form, or in a quantity that is short of where
you want to be,
but it is always there. We have observed that most of you
who dwell in this
place of wanting something, tend to focus on its lack.
You lament your
inability to travel, and see a world that keeps it far,
far away from you.
Through simple acts of gratitude you begin to shift your
focus onto the
having side of the equation.
Gratitude is not a spiritual obligation; it is not a
spiritual law that
'good' and 'loving' people are expected to follow. It is
of the love already present in your life. It is using the
Universal Laws to
your benefit. As you acknowledge all things with
gratitude, you begin to
radiate love, and as you do this, you become magnetic to
love, health and
well-being, abundance, and the evidence that you are
Self-appreciation is paramount. There is nothing more
important than that
you feel good about who and what you are. As you
acknowledge yourself with
appreciation, you open the door to allowing more good
things to come into
your life. It no longer becomes a question of deserving
or ability; it
becomes a question of allowing. How much will you allow
yourself to have
If there were nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine
subjects upon which
we could speak, and if you were to ask us which out of
all these subjects
was the most important, we would say to you, with an
without a shadow of doubt or the twinkling of a second
self-appreciation is the most important topic of all.
the key to your spiritual growth, to enlightenment, to
it is the solution to everything that is considered a
For many generations you have been taught that to
appreciate oneself is to
be haughty and arrogant and unfitting. You have been told
to keep yourselves
small and not to think too highly of yourselves, for you
are unworthy of
such adoration and recognition. We bring you a different
message. We say
that it is time for you to appreciate yourself and that,
self-appreciation, all other things that you are striving
for will either
elude you or remain a struggle.
As you learn to appreciate who you are and what you have
to offer the world,
all the qualities that you want to develop, such as
love, compassion, caring, and strength, will be yours. As
is true in
everything, that which is within you is reflected outside
of you. That which
you feel manifests in your world. Therefore, if you want
to develop love,
patience, and compassion, it is love of self, patience
with self, and
compassion for self that first must be developed. "You
can only give what
you already have." Does it not make complete sense
to you when we say that?
If you have but little love for yourself, then you will
not be in a position
to offer authentic love, i.e., acceptance, to another.
You will offer a kind
of ingratiation perhaps, telling yourself that you are
loving and kind, but
when you give love, there must be a two-way flow. The
flow must come from an
open heart, a heart that is also open to the receiver.
Many of you who focus on giving find it difficult to
receive. Then, it is
like using up the energy in a battery. The more you give,
the more of your
own energy you are giving away. When you are open to
receive, then you
become a conduit for the Universe, a channel for love.
Pure Universal Love,
the love of God, begins to flow through you. This love,
this energy, is the
source of all life, and as you become this channel, it
feeds you, sustains
you, keeps you in health and well-being, and allows
abundance to flow freely
into your life.
Self-appreciation is about saying: I accept myself
exactly as I am. It is
also about acknowledging your unique gifts. Your world is
full of artists,
healers, writers, great chefs, architects, teachers, and
miracle makers who
are yet to be discovered. They have not yet been
discovered because you have
not allowed yourself to shine. Within each of you is a
highly skilled being, just waiting to be discovered. Many
of you catch
glimpses of this in moments of inspiration, but then most
of you immediately
begin to compare yourself to others and tell yourself
that their work or
creation is of much more value than yours.
Self-appreciation is not about putting another down, or
thinking you are
better than another. It is about acknowledging the
greater part of you, the
part of yourself that is tapped into Universal knowledge
and power and can
create miracles. It is about acknowledging the truth of
who you are. The
truth of who you are is simple. You are a child of the
divine, more than
that even, you are the divine.
Somewhere along the line, many of you got the idea that
you were here to
prove yourself worthy of God or some other higher
authority. This is not the
case. You are here through the expression of your free
will and you came
forth into this plane of existence in order to create.
The Earth poses some unique challenges. It appears that
there is much
evidence suggesting that you are alone and not connected
to the power of the
Universe. But this is exactly why you chose to come here.
It was a challenge
that you were delighted to take. You are not here on
probation; you will not
be released from this place for good behaviour. You are
not here waiting for
the chance to go somewhere better. When your heart is
self-appreciation, it will govern what you draw to you.
It will govern your
experience of the world and how you relate to others.
Then when you are
fully self-appreciative, you will have the most delicious
experience in the
Universe. You will be physically focused, your heart will
be fully open to
the love of the Universe, and God's love will stream
through you, using you
as a channel for all that is great. There is no greater
experience than this
one, to be physical and spiritual simultaneously. This is
why your planet is
so populated, for many, many souls are wanting this
and self-appreciation is the key.
When you look at the great teachers, how do you think
they got to that
position? How did the Buddha and the Christ get to that
position? It was
through self-appreciation. It is only through loving and
that you open yourself to the love of God. For God can
only give you that
which you are prepared to give unto yourself. There is no
higher truth than that.
A TIME COMES !
July 19, 2003
A time comes in your life when you finally get it......When
in the midst of all your
fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks and
somewhere the voice inside your
head cries out - ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying or
struggling to hold on. And,
like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your
sobs begin to subside,
you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and
through a mantle of wet
lashes you begin to finally look at the world through new
This is your AWAKENING !
You realize that it's time to stop hoping and waiting for
something to change or
for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over
the next horizon. You
come to terms with the fact that they are not Prince or
Princess Charming and you
are not Cinderella and that in the real world there aren't
always fairytale endings,
or beginnings for that matter, and that any guarantee of
"happily ever after" must
begin with you and in the process a sense of serenity is
born of acceptance. You
awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not
everyone will always love,
appreciate or approve of who or what you are..... and
that's OK. They are entitled
to their own views and opinions. And you learn the
importance of loving and
championing yourself and in the process a sense of new
found confidence is born of
self-approval. You stop bitching and blaming other people
for the things they did to
you, or didn't do for you and you learn that the only
thing you can really count on
is the unexpected. You learn that people don't
always say what they mean or mean
what they say and that not everyone will always be there
for you and that it's not
always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own and
to take care of yourself
and in the process a sense of safety & security is
born of self-reliance. You stop
judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept
people as they are and to overlook
their shortcomings and human frailties and in the process
a sense of peace and
contentment is born of forgiveness. You realize that
much of the way you view yourself,
and the world around you, is as a result of all the
messages and opinions that have
been ingrained into your psyche. And you begin to
sift through all the muck and mire
you've been fed over the years about how you should
behave, how you should look and
how much you should weigh, what you should wear, where
you should shop and what you
should drive. You also sift through the crap of how and
where you should live and what
you should do for a living, who you should sleep with,
who you should marry and what
you should expect of a marriage, the importance of having
and raising children or what
you owe your parents. You learn to open up to new worlds
and different points of view.
And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and
what you really stand for.
You learn the difference between wanting and needing and
you begin to discard the
doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never
have bought into to begin with
and in the process you learn to go with your instincts.
You learn that it is truly in giving
that we receive. And that there is power and glory in
creating and contributing and you
stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer"
looking for your next fix. You learn
that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the
outdated ideals of a bygone era
but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon
which you must build a life.
You learn that you don't know everything, it's not your
job to save the world and that
you can't teach a pig to sing no matter how hard you try.
You learn to distinguish
between guilt and responsibility and the importance of
setting boundaries and learning
to say the word, "NO." You learn that the only
cross to bear is the one you choose
to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake. Then
you learn about love.
Romantic love, familial love, how to love, how much to
give in love, when to stop
giving and when to walk away. You learn not to project
your needs or your feelings
onto a relationship. That is so hard to do for most of us.
You learn that you will
not be, more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or
important because of the
person on your arm or the child that bears your name.You
learn to look at relationships
as they really are and not as you would have them be. You
stop trying to control people,
situations and outcomes. Sometimes you must just go with
the flow. You learn that just
as people grow and change so it is with love....and you
learn that you don't have the
right to demand love on your terms...just to make you
happy. And, you learn that being
alone does not necessarily mean lonely... You look in the
mirror and come to terms with
the fact that you will never be a size five or a perfect
10 and you stop trying to
compete with the image inside your head and agonizing
over how you "stack up."
You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings
aside, smoothing things over
and ignoring your needs. You learn that feelings of
entitlement are perfectly OK....
and that it is your right to want things and to ask for
the things that you want and
that sometimes it is necessary to make demands. You come
to the realization that it is
your God given right to deserve to be treated with love,
kindness, sensitivity and respect
and you won't settle for anything less. And, you allow
only the hands of a lover who
cherishes you to glorify you with their touch.....and in
the process you internalize
the meaning of self-respect. And you learn that your body
really is your temple.
And you begin to care for it and treat it with respect.
You begin eating a balanced
diet, drinking more water and taking more time to
exercise. You learn that fatigue
diminishes the spirit and can create doubt, depression
and fear. So you take more
time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter
fuels your soul. So you take
more time to laugh and to play. You learn, that for the
most part, in life you get
what you believe you deserve... and that much of life
truly is a self- fulfilling prophecy.
You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working
for and that wishing for
something to happen is different from working toward
making it happen. More
importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success
you need direction, discipline
and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it
all alone and that it's OK to
risk asking for help. You learn that the only thing you
must truly fear is the great
robber baron of all time... FEAR itself. You learn to
step right into and through
your fears because you know that whatever happens you can
handle it and to give in
to fear is to give away the right to live life on your
terms. And you learn to fight
for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud
of impending doom.
You learn that life isn't always fair, you don't always
get what you think you deserve
and that sometimes bad things do happen to unsuspecting
good people. On these
occasions you learn not to personalize things. You learn
that God isn't punishing
you or failing to answer your prayers. It's just life
happening. And you learn to
deal with evil in its most primal state - the EGO. You
learn that negative feelings
such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and
redirected or they will
suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe
that surrounds you. You learn
to admit when you are wrong and to dedicate yourself to
building bridges instead
of walls. You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in
many of the simple things
we take for granted, things that millions of people upon
the earth can only dream
about. You learn to be thankful for a full
refrigerator, clean running water, a soft
warm bed, a long hot shower and the beautiful stars at
evening that shine in the
heavens. Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for
yourself by yourself and you
make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to
never ever to settle for less
than your heart's desire. You hang a wind chime outside
your window so you can
listen to the wind. And you make it a point to keep
smiling, to keep trusting,
and to stay open to every wonderful and exhilarating
As it says in the words of the beautiful poem Desiderata:
"You are a child of the universe, no less than the
trees and the stars,
you have a right to be here."
Friday, July 18th
It All Depends On Our Perspective . . .
A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An
American tourist complimented
the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and
asked how long it took him
to catch them. "Not very long," answered
"But then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch
more?" asked the American.
The Mexican explained that his small catch was
sufficient to meet his needs and
those of his family. The American asked, "But
what do you do with the rest of
your time?"... "I sleep late, fish a little,
play with my children, and take a siesta
with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the
village to see my friends, have a few
drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs... I
have a full life."
The American interrupted, "I have an MBA from
Harvard and I can help you !
You should start by fishing longer every day. You
can then sell the extra fish you catch.
With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With
the extra money the larger
boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one
and so on until you have an
entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to
a middle man, you can negotiate
directly with the processing plants and maybe even open
your own plant. You can then
leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los
Angeles, or even New York City !
From there you can direct your huge enterprise."
"How long would that take?" asked the
Mexican. "Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years,"
replied the American. "And after that ?"
asked the Mexican
"Afterwards? That's when it gets really
interesting," answered the American, laughing.
"When your business gets really big, you can start
selling stocks and make millions !"
"Millions ? Really ? And after that
"After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny
village near the coast,
sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish,
take a siesta,
and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends."
Have a Great Day :)
Thursday, July 17, 2003, 8:00 a.m.
72 degrees, windy, partly
It is a beautiful morning on
the Hill, but I must leave for a short time.
When I travel, I miss this place more than words can say.
This is my home, my safe haven.
I have been to some lovely and interesting places in my
but my spirit resides here with the tall trees and the
Catch you later,
Wednesday, July 16, 2003, 8:00 a.m.
67 degrees, breezy, overcast
The air is hazy this morning,
with the sun just on the other side of thin
clouds, struggling to break through and dry up the land.
There were several brief
hard showers through the night with insufficient rain to
fill up the birdbath, but
pelting the tin roof with ferocity while they lasted. The
sun is barely out now,
with soft shadows being cast. The hayfields are full of
gigantic rectangular bales;
we tried to tip one over last night, and could barely
budge it. Haymaking has come
a long way from the days when a baler didnt even
have a kicker, and we had to
stack each bale onto a flatbed to be hauled to the barn.
The pay in those days was
fifty cents an hour, and the work was back-breaking. Now
machines do all the work,
and some hay doesnt even have to be stored indoors.
Giant plastic-wrapped rows of
round bales dot the landscape in cow country. The
downside of this is all that plastic
and what becomes of it; we pick long shreds of it out of
our hedgerows every spring,
as the strong Tug Hill winds shred it from the bales and
waft it to and fro like
kiteless tails. How do farmers dispose of it when the
bales are unwrapped ?
Can it be recycled ?
At least the piles of old baling twine would eventually
rot and decompose.
At what price progress...
Respect the Mother,
Tuesday, July 15, 2003, 8:15 a.m.
76 degrees, gentle breeze,
The sun is so bright and hot
that it is uncomfortable sitting on the porch this
morning. The valley is obscured by fog, but the air is
pure and clear on Gomer Hill.
The cats have been creeping in and out of the down hay,
looking for little critters
that have been made homeless by the recent mowing. The
hay has been rained on
a few times, but should dry in the heat of todays
sun. Last night's shower was
not in the forecast, but I could see it coming as I drove
home from Boonville.
The western sky contained huge oddly shaped cloud banks
with the suns rays
radiating from every gap. Tongues of rain were reaching
towards the earth,
and it was a beautiful thing to see until I remembered I
had left windows wide
open in the house. By the time I arrived home there was a
arcing across the whole sky, its colors brilliant against
the black clouds of
retreating rain. The shower left as fast as it came, and
the sunset was full of
lingering colors the rainbow left behind. The lawn is
already bone dry, and today
will be a good day to add the aroma of freshly cut grass
sweet whiff of shorn hay.
Have a great day,
Monday, July 14, 2003, 8:30 a.m.
74 degrees, breezy, mostly
The air is fresh and clear
this morning, and it will be a good day
for the hay to dry. The view from the porch is very
with yesterdays lush waving meadow fronds of summer
grass now lying flat
against the earth.. We took a last walk on the hayfield
before the mowing began, admiring the many varieties of
grass and wildflower
that were in profuse bloom, glowing with rich color in
the morning mist. I
picked a double handful of black-eyed susans that had
in two places, wonderful golden oases in a venue
dominated by daisies and red
clover. The alfalfa was just starting to bloom, every
color imaginable: white,
yellow, pink, lavender, blue, and deep purple. Now all of
blossoms are drying in the hot morning sun, waiting to be
gathered into bales
for feed and bedding. We can once again see all the way
to the hedgerows,
catching a glimpse of hen turkeys prodding their broods
along, or the dark-furred
fisher as he bounds along the stone wall. We love the
meadow paths of summer,
but now that they are gone we love the clear views just
Have a beautiful day,
Sunday, July 13, 2003, 7:30 a.m.
56 degrees, breezy, overcast,
The soft rain is just the
ticket for helping out the gardens and field crops.
It is like a giant soaker hose has been turned on. Every
drop is sinking deep
into the earth, not running away down the drainage
ditches and dry creeks.
Vine crops like squash, pumpkins, melons, and cucumbers
are growing larger
and more robust as we watch. When the heat returns
everything will put on
a burst of vigorous growth. The dark rain clouds are
slowly moving east,
leaving a layer of high bright clouds overhead. The
weather should clear up
by afternoon. It will be a good day to pull weeds from
the perennial beds;
they should pop right out of the moist soil. Wed
better make a date with the
lawn mowers as well, and trim up the living outdoor
Have a great day,
Saturday, July 12, 2003, 7:30 a.m.
66 degrees, windy, mostly
It is a beautiful morning
here on Gomer Hill. The recent rain has left every
surface heavily laden with glistening water droplets.
Each drop refracts the suns
rays as they slant over the land, and the whole view is
blindingly bright. There is
a low bank of dark clouds moving in from the southwest,
and I think we may be in
for some more rain before this day is through. Everything
in the garden has nearly
doubled in size; even though we have been watering the
rows, there is nothing like
natural rainfall to really push things along. The
zucchini that was little-finger small
earlier in the week is now banana sized and quite tasty.
We can look forward to daily
harvests of green and gold zucchini until the first frost.
The tomato plants are ready
to be pruned and tied to supports, but the leaves must be
dry for that job to avoid
transmitting disease. The last of the early spinach is
ready to layer into lasagna, just
as the young tender leaves of the second planting are
perfectly ready for salad.
Thanks to our usually cool nights, spinach and lettuce
can be grown all season long up here;
six or seven successive plantings ensure good salad
fixins for about six months.
Pinetree Garden Seed Company sells a mix of lettuce seeds
all in one envelope, so the
different varieties mature over a period of time. The
green leaf lettuce is ready first,
with buttercrunch and red oak leaf next. The tall stately
heads of red and green
romaine are the last to ripen, and by then the next
planting of lettuce is ready to
thin out and use for gourmet greens.
Lettuce enjoy the day,
Friday, July 11, 2003, 7:45 a.m.
56 degrees, windy, overcast,
The beautiful rain that is
falling serves two purposes today.
It is soaking into the ground to help every living thing
(including the weeds)
achieve full growth, and it is giving us a break from
outdoor work for a little
while. Of course, the first chore to be done when the
rain stops will be to pull
those new weeds that the rain has encouraged. It is very
chilly this morning,
and we will probably light a small fire in the kitchen
range to ease the dampness
that has seeped into the house. Yesterday we found some fraise
the plump little wood strawberries
that have a unique flavor all their own.
They taste almost like bubble gum, and a little bit like
pineapple. These are
different from the wild strawberries of the field, larger
and snowy white on the
inside. They grow on tall stems and the slugs never seem
to bother them the way
they do domestic berries. They are best when eaten by the
handful on a hot sunny
day, sweet and juicy and full of summer. When the last
berry has been enjoyed,
there is still the exquisite pleasure of lifting our red-stained
hands to our faces
and inhaling the cotton-candy fragrance that the fruit
has left behind.
Have a berry good day,
Thursday, July 10, 2003, 8:45 a.m.
63 degrees, breezy, a little
It is another cool summer
morning on the Hill, and I hope the laundry dries on
the line before the rain begins later today. We are
hoping for a good solid rain,
one that will soak in at least an inch and exempt us from
chores this week. Yesterdays gentle showers kept
the leaves green, but didnt
really amount to much in total accumulation. The rain
stopped just as we began
our days work in the woods splitting great rounds
of ash and maple into
stove-sized chunks. Every time we bumped into a sapling
or tossed a piece of
wood up against a tree we got a little shower anyway. As
we worked, I kept
smelling onions. I didnt see any of the familiar
lance-shaped leaves of the wild
leek, our most common wild onion. I noticed hundreds of
white flower clusters
borne on ten inch stalks coming directly from the ground,
with no leaves attached.
I pulled one up and sure enough, there was the familiar
little bulb of a leek on
the other end. I never realized that leeks had flowers
until yesterday. The bloom
looks almost exactly like a common garden onion flower,
only smaller. I took a little
nibble of a bulb and it was hot, much more pungent than
the bulbs of spring. It
had almost a garlic bite to it, and then of course
thats all I could taste for the
rest of the day. I will have to try some of these summer
bulbs in soup and see
if cooking tames them at all.
Have a soup-er day,
Wednesday, July 9, 2003, 7:45 a.m.
59 degrees, calm, overcast,
It is a chilly morning for
summer. The rain is so light that it isnt drumming
even a tiny pitter-patter on the tin roof. There
isnt a breath of wind;
not one leaf is twitching. Such calm is rare on Tug Hill.
The only movement
in the trees is from the scores of birds busily tending
their young. It seems
that every species has hatched at the exact same time.
swallows, catbirds, bluebirds, woodpeckers, sparrows,
all are busy feeding and herding their fledglings from
place to place. Most
adult birds will continue to help their young find food
long after there is
real need. Family groups of bluebirds hang around
together all summer.
It is not unusual for the extended family (consisting of
several hatches, a
male, and two or three females) to pay a final visit to
the birdbath in late
September, before departing for warmer climes. What a
wonderful sight ! The
rosebushes will be filled with perching bluebirds,
against the bright red of the
rosehip fruit. Some years there have been as many as two
all seeming to bid us farewell for another year.
Look into the trees around you today;
what will you see?
Keep looking up,
Tuesday, July 8, 2003, 8:30 a.m.
67 degrees, breezy, low
The humidity is very high
this morning, and the air is damp and heavy.
Not much rain fell yesterday, just enough to settle the
dust. There may be a
few showers later today as a cold front passes through
the area, but for now
it is good that the sun is behind clouds to give the
crops a little break from it's
blistering rays. With the promise of cooler weather for a
few days, it is a perfect
time to transplant broccoli and cabbage seedlings into
the garden for fall harvest.Each row will get a
protective border of dog hair (saved from a years
worth of haircuts) and soap shavings, to try and deter
the deer from their favorite snack. Last year, their
timing was perfect. We had sold lots of broccoli, and I
had plenty put by in the freezer for winter. We had scads
of other harvest chores to complete, and after a day of
digging potatoes and canning tomatoes and peppers, I
headed down to the broccoli patch just before dark. I
intended to put more in the freezer, even though I was
bone-tired and ready for bed. Every plant had been gnawed
right down to the ground, a gift of sleep from our brown-eyed
friends. If only we could train them to wait until
October every year, what a help that would be! For now,
we will just set out the tender little seedlings and
protect them any way we can, and hope for the best.
Monday, July 7, 2003, 7:00 a.m.
74 degrees, calm, partly
The sky was mostly clear
when the sun came up this morning, but the
clouds are beginning to move in from the southwest. It is
a curious thing
that everyone refers to the sun rising
or coming up,
when in fact the sun
stays put in space and the earth does all the moving
around. The clouds are
moving in steadily, and I suspect we will see rain before
the day is over.
A very small fawn has just appeared on the road, and is
now being coaxed back
under cover by a doe. This is the first fawn I have seen
this summer. I hope this
one doesnt develop a taste for broccoli. Barn
swallows are dive bombing the dog
as he goes about his morning routine in the yard; they
must have young ones out
and about. There has been no sign of bluebirds since
Saturdays tragic slaughter;
I hope they have found a safe place to raise the
Summer is in full swing on Tug Hill, with its
accompanying joys and
disappointments. Life is lived one day at a time;
what are you doing today?
Go with the flow,
Sunday, July 6, 2003, 7:30 a.m.
74 degrees, breezy, sunny
Summer is definitely here,
with hot temperatures and humid air.
The meadows are beginning to show the pale yellow-green
and brown of
mature grasses waiting to be harvested for hay. The
forest is green above
and below, with ferns and mosses providing a lush
backdrop for the mushrooms
that have popped up everywhere after the rain. The canopy
is so dense that owls
are often heard but seldom seen. Huge pileated
woodpeckers dash through the
trees at low altitude like F-16 fighter jets, dodging
branches at breakneck speed.
The yard was full of bluebirds last night, with a pair
feeding on the ground nonstop.
We suspected that there was a nest nearby with some young
birds in it, as the
adults would root up some grub (literally) and then fly
off with it. Our white cat
was snoozing on the porch while we enjoyed watching the
flashes of blue. Suddenly,
she bolted down into the rose hedge, and emerged with a
young bluebird held firmly
in her jaws. We made such a fuss that she dropped it, but
then our dog snatched it
up and carried it into the house. I bribed him with a
biscuit and he let it go;
it fluttered weakly on the kitchen floor. I held it
gently as the life drained out of it
and the small black eyes closed for the last time. I
could feel no broken bones and
there was no visible wound, but the little fledgling had
sustained a mortal injury.
We buried it under the roses, where his spirit will warn
away other young birds.
It is just the nature of things that some creatures are
predators and some are prey.
It is natural, but not pleasant. There is no sign of the
bluebirds this morning;
they have herded their family to a safer place, away from
the keen eyes of
the cats. The cats will stay in for a few days, until the
young birds are
better educated in the ways of the world.
For the birds,
Saturday, July 5, 2003, 7:30 a.m.
70 degrees, windy, big cloud
The sun pokes through the
cloud cover for seconds at a time but it certainly
looks as if more rain is imminent. It may be coincidence,
or it may be an actual
scientific fact, but it seems like there is always a
thunderstorm following the
fireworks of Independence Day. Last nights storm
was a doozey, with lots of loud
thunder and multiple strobes of lightning. About a half-inch
of rain fell on the
thirsty earth; now the corn will fairly leap out of the
ground. "Knee-high by the
Fourth of July" is the standard phrase. Ours is knee-high
to a very short person.
Spring was so cold and wet this year that the early
plantings germinated poorly,
and the seedlings that sprouted didnt grow well.
Corn planted a month later has
caught up in size to the early May seeding. We hope for
just the right amount of
rain to fall this summer, enough to keep our gardens
growing, the lawns green, and
the forest fire danger low. And even if it interferes
with todays outdoor holiday
weekend activities, a little more rain is just the ticket
for a green summer.
Singin in the rain,
Friday, July 4, 2003, 7:30 a.m.
72 degrees, breezy, hazy
It is so hazy this morning
that the entire valley appears to be a pale grey smear
beyond the second treeline. Probably this means that, as
the day develops, the
air will be heavy with humidity and the heat will become
oppressive. It will be
best to get the outdoor chores done early in the day.
There is the chance of late
afternoon showers with a front passing through tomorrow,
bringing some much-needed
rain and cooler dry air. The heat has been wonderful for
the gardens, and after
watering the zucchini plants they doubled in size. Each
plant has a dozen tiny zukes,
smaller than my little finger. In just a couple of days
they will be ready to harvest.
Split lengthwise, marinated in teriyaki, and cooked on
the grill, they will be the hit
of Sunday dinner. Most folks let zucchinis get too big;
the secret is to pick them
young, before the seeds develop. Sliced raw into a salad,
served with a creamy dip,
stir-fried with fresh basil, or simply steamed and
sprinkled with romano cheese...
what a versatile vegetable! Summer is full of wonderful
healthy fruits and veggies,
and a great time to improve our eating habits. Dont
hesitate to try new things and
combine favorites in new ways. Buy locally grown products
and be sure to savor every bite.
Thursday, July 3, 2003, 8:00 a.m.
66 degrees, breezy, mostly
The sun is trying to shine
through the cloud cover. There are strawberries
waiting for the warmth of the sun to bring out their
The breeze will sweep away most insects as we pick
berries, but nothing seems
to stop the persistent deerflies. A head scarf with a
portion of fabric hanging
down the back of the neck seems to be the best deterrent,
but not the best
fashion choice for the man in my life A handkerchief
tucked into a ball cap works
just as well. I am watching a young deer stroll up the
road, casually grazing along
the newly mown berm. We have had a problem this year with
deer in the garden.
They have eaten the tops of the bean plants, nibbled at
corn shoots, and trimmed
the lettuce and spinach down to he ground. We hung some
AOL start-up discs on
poles (finally, they have a useful function) and their
reflection seems to deter the
critters somewhat. I also grated some Coast soap into
slivers and scattered them
around the plants that seem the most tempting. Every
night just after dark, the dog
and I go on patrol, encircling each garden and scouring
the area with a flashlight.
So far so good. There are more deer around than ever this
summer, and we have
seen several fawns in the area. Raccoons seem to be
rebuilding their population
after the rabies epidemic of several years past, and as
the corn ripens we will
have to deal with them as well.
Take care of business,
Wednesday, July 2, 2003, 7:30 a.m.
72 degrees, calm, sunny
The sun is shining brightly
on Tug Hill but the distant views are
obscured by haze. A light mist follows the curve of the
Black River, and
the Adirondacks are not visible from the porch this
morning. There is not a
cloud in the sky; it will be a pleasant day to work in
the woods. During the
deepest part of winter when we burn the wood we cut today,
we will recall the
blue sky and lush green leaves of summer, and know that
the wheel of seasons
will continue to turn even after we are gone. This is how
we mark our days,
planning for the future and remembering the past.
Lets not forget to live in the moment as well,
for each one is important.
Have a momentous day,
Tuesday, July 1, 2003, 7:15 a.m.
64 degrees, breezy, sunny
The morning air is cool and
dry and the dew cooled my feet as I picked
strawberries for breakfast. The yard is full of
blackbirds of all ages and
a young speckle-breasted robin is among them, pulling up
worms like a
cartoon bird. It was downright chilly last night as I
took a post-dusk walk.
I was looking for fireflies, but it was probably too
chilly for them to be
very active. There were several drifting above the berry
patch, but none
in the meadows. There was one by the back door clinging
to a blade of
grass and flashing its light in sets of three, perhaps a
message to another
bug. I watched it for a few minutes, and it was three
short flashes, a pause
of several seconds, then three more flashes, repeated
over and over and over...
The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects
and Spiders says
that the firefly uses its light as a mating signal. Adult
fireflies do not eat,
they just mate, lay eggs, and die.
Have a non-boring day,