Ten in a Bucket

Inspired by my friend Anne. Oops, I mean Ann. Without an e. I don’t know why. She wrote a post about the ten most important things on her Bucket List. Do you have a Bucket List? I’m sure you have. I have never seen the movie, but I have one; it’s a “Before I die, I want to…” sort of thing. Ann’s got me thinking. There are always, constantly, forever things that I casually say ‘someday I’ll do that’, but… will I? Will I even care next week? What are the things that have endured on my list for years, and will stay there until accomplished? Things I’m quite sure I won’t change my mind about. Ever. Until I kick the Bucket. Bwaha.

1) Hang-gliding. The closest man has come to actually flying. This has been on my list since I was just 3 years old and my family visited my Aunt in Georgia. We took a trip to Lookout Mountain TN, and I watched the hang-gliders launching from the top of the mountain and fly down to the valley below. (There are even pictures of me watching, but there’s a baby sleeping in my lap so I can’t go look for them right now.)  It is magical. I can imagine how absolutely free you feel.

2) Visit Scotland in general, and Foulis Castle in Particular.   It’s not a huge, romantic, fairy-tale castle. But it’s very real. And it’s the seat of my family’s clan. So… that’s a no-brainer. 🙂

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October Colors in the Garden

Burgundy mums are my favorite. Pink is nice, I’m sure yellow is cheery and all that, and orange is perfectly suitable for blending in with pumpkins and whatnot, but deep wine red is just so satisfying. And the smell! Not specific to any color, obviously, but I’ve been known to stand for a long while with a branch of mums in my hand, rubbing the leaves and inhaling deeply. I do this in the garden, in the flower shop, and once at a boutonniere work-shop, where my co-worker thought I was sniffing glue.  Anyway, let’s put that moment behind us… Last year, while working at the greenhouse, potting up mum cuttings for the fall season, I brought home a few extras, grew them on and planted them in my garden for a nice little autumn display. We had such a mild winter, one of them came back this year! That very rarely happens for me. I don’t mind a bit.

Second week of October, and still no frost. The Impatiens are grateful.

A new hosta I put in this summer. I wish I knew it’s name, but it had no tag when I got it. I find I am growing addicted to hostas, something I never would have believed could happen. They are just LEAVES after all, just a bunch of GREEN with pathetic flowers that don’t do much for anyone. Well… that mature clump does look really eye-catching… and those giant blue ones… and the tall neon-green… and those itty-bitty variegated ones with bright yellow stripes! Yeah. I’ve been bitten.

Clickety-clickety for a loooot of pictures, and more plant gushings than you ever wanted to read.

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Walking on Water

A couple of weeks ago, my sister and a couple of friends went over to a local historic site by the lake for a walk on a pleasant fall day. We haven’t had much rain in a while, the the lake level is down quite a bit. A lot, in fact. People in the area haven’t seen it this low in a long time.

We were able to walk along a good part of the lake-bottom, which is now a 20-30 foot-wide strip of barren rocky ground in some areas. The coolest part was, eons ago there was a train-tack that ran across a bay, from the town where I live  to the town, well, on the other side of the bay. Go figure.

Anyway, it hasn’t been there during my lifetime at least, but sometimes when the water is low you can see a bit of a point from the far side where the tracks once lay. Now, the water is so low, there is a point from our side  that is well above lake-level, half way across the bay.

So, naturally, we walked half way across the bay.

 

This far.

Because we simply couldn’t go any further.

 

Yet another tale to tell the grandchildren.

I walked half way across the lake.

A touch of Color

 

Here in the valley where I live, we have yet to have a frost this fall. Last year it was similar, such beautiful warm weather well into October, and although I personally can’t complain about it, the trees never color up like we expect them to. Everything just turns drab yellow and brown. Every year that I can remember we’ve have flaming red and oranges, even purple, and the only brown is on the ground already dried up. It’s still early in the season, and we may yet get a nice stiff frost, but as this time you have to hunt for the color.

 

 

Virginia Creeper makes me smile… when it’s not in my garden or trying to strangle the life out of my trees.

Found some.

Of Autumn Blooms

The nights are cool (and mosquito-free! Yay!) and the colors of my outdoor world are definitely changing. The leaves aren’t turning yet, but Autumn Joy sedum is no longer beautiful pale heads of broccoli, but a soft rose-pink. Aster, wild and cultivated, are everywhere, billowy and fragrant. And my Sweet Autumn Clematis, which has completely consumed the 12′ windmill in my garden is starting to pop the masses of tiny white stars open. It took a few years to get established, but it is now one of my favorite fall plants and I can’t imagine a flower garden without one!

This photo is not mine, I couldn’t find one on my computer and it’s too dark to take one now, so… yeah, I stole this picture. This one is growing in the same form as mine, it’s AMAZING. Just when the greens of summer become tired and everything starts to look dull and dying, the fresh, pure white beauty comes out to say hello. Along with the dusty pink sedum, pastel pink anemone and purple asters the yard perks up again.

 

Daddy-long-legs Dance and Caligraphy

Have you ever noticed Daddy-long-legs sitting in their webs, madly whirling in circles? I want to know what this means. I tried googling it and came up with nothing relevant. I did get to listen to a clip of a song by a group named after my jiggling friend, but it was definitely not my style of music.

In other news, today I am working on lesson #20 of my art class, which is lettering. I have always like calligraphy and at one time I was pretty comfortable with a pen, bottle of ink and Copperplate script which a beautiful 92-year-old lady who used to volunteer at out local library taught me years when I was roughly 10 years old. With it you can crate deliciousness such as this:

 

 

(And may I just say here that I’m very sad to hear how many schools no longer even bother to teach cursive writing? I have it on good authority that there was a day when everyone who went to school was expected to have ‘fine’ penmanship and slovenly writing was punishable by a wipping! I say we bring it back. *cough*)

However, this assignment of mine is quite different stuff, having to do with rulers and lines and comparative sizes and a great deal of accuracy.

“Every Feeling Revolts!”

I am so stinkin’ right-brained it isn’t funny. Consistency and perfectly straight lines make me cry. Or at least cause some degree of anxiety. I like swirls and roundness and free-style. I keep telling myself that I just need to get through this assignment, and then I get to move on to the next lesson, which is Composition. I’m pretty excited about that, it’s an area I definitely could use help in, and  it doesn’t demand harsh lines.

Summer Harvest

 

 

Mom planted a mix of zucchinis this year. I like it! The yellow is pretty funky. Yes, it IS yellow zucchini, not summer squash. Behold the stem end. See? Nothing is not zucchini. Anyhoo. Four hills are giving us four zucchini a day currently, so I’m playing with a number of zucchini recipes! Most of them I love so far. Some to come shortly.

 

Click through for more summer yummies.

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Oh, farm-boys…

Let’s see if this video thing works this time. WordPress promises that all I have to do is copy/paste an url from youtube and it will embed, but last time I tried that it FAILED. Bad WordPress.

ANYWAY. I would like to think that some of you don’t know the song that this is a parody of, but it’s been so prevalent in our culture lately that it’s hard NOT to have heard it. Or of it. The original is pretty much disgusting to me, all about physical… you know… lust, in a nut-shell. When I saw someone post an agrarian parody, I had to check it out. Dirt flows in my veins after all.

These guys nailed it. The world needs more young men like them.

Best part: Water, water, water… you’ll know it when you see it. (heeeeyyyyy, that even fits in the song and I wasn’t trying! Hah!)