Posted by: David | May 3, 2010

May Things Look Up

The beginning of May has us in thrall of April’s disasters. Prayers to the families of those lost in these horrendous mining disasters, and to ward off the great big blobs of crude oil floating toward the Gulf coasts. May we all live to see the day when we no longer need to tear into the ground to find black stuff to burn.

Last weekend for me was not bad at all. On Friday evening we had a little get-together at a co-worker’s house. It was good potluck fun, complete with some Effen vodka. The guy in the “Wicked Pissah” t-shirt brought the Effen vodka, and showed us some amazing stuff on his brand new Droid Incredible cell phone. It was pretty freakin’ incredible. You can point it at the sky and it will show a star map, point it at a bar code and it tells you what the product is. It can listen to and identify popular music. So take that iPhone! The hostess of the party has this lovely little pooch named Bailey. Check out the ears on this little bugger.

Bailey is half Yorkie half Toy Fox Terrier. I wonder how he and Oliver would get along.

Saturday I managed to fire up the lawn tractor and got a start on mowing the grass. But after I was only 25% into the lawn, my wife came out to say goodbye as she and my daughter were going to the new house and to take a hike in the nearby woods, which sprawl out for miles to the north and west, in the Blackwater River flood control area. This is one of the many nice things about the place where my daughter and son-in-law decided to build their home. I wanted in on this, so I parked the lawn tractor, figuring to finish later. Don’t like to stop mowing once I start, but whatever. We took Oliver along, and he acted like a lunatic in my car on the way over. Frackin dog needs some Xanax or something.

The second coat of joint compound has been applied. Cute fireplace!

We spent about 15 minutes checking out the progress on the house. The kids want to move in yesterday. But I bet they’ll be moving in before June is over. Painting could be started later this week. Then flooring, the power company said they’d be up to connect the place to the grid in a couple of weeks. So then we took a little hike. It was nice. First stop, the hickory trees along the road. They’re flowering now.

It’s a hickory flower. I think. Don’t know much about hickory …

Just across the street is a horse farm. There’s a cute little ass that watches you closely as you walk by. I expect we’ll be learning his name before too long. He lives on this farm with a bunch of horses.

My wife says he’s a “miniature donkey”. Yeah, a little ass with an intense stare.

ot too far into the woods, we find a patch of painted trilliums.

nd bluets. They were everywhere!

The New Hampshire woods in the spring are so amazing. Flowers all over the place. The blackflies were not too bad, but we managed to accumulate a few ticks on our hour and a half of hiking. Oliver had a great time too, but he had about 20 ticks. He wasn’t thrilled about the removal process. He doesn’t like people poking around in his armpits. Who does?

Sunday was a complete yard work and gardening day. As much as I kept thinking I should go for a bike ride, I had that remaining 75% of lawn to finish mowing, and then some garden beds to get ready for the cabbage plants my wife said are ready to go in. Mowing took about an hour and a half. Digging beds 15 and 16 took a lot longer. I was pretty sore by the end of that task. And there was only enough fertilizer to complete one bed. But today my wife bought another bag and both beds are now ready to be planted.

The bed on the right is #17- Jerusalem artichokes, which are about an inch high now.

Digging out beds 15 and 16 and the 3 footpaths in between filled the wheelbarrow with weeds 3 times. And induced that delicious, ibuprofen-needing soreness that guarantees a good night’s sleep. Bed #14 is planted with asparagus, which have started poking up.

They seem a little early to me this year.

Not much to see yet, but beds 5 and 6 are filled with hundreds of onion seedlings.

You can barely see the greening tinge among the oat straw. My wife very carefully plants each tiny seedling in rows, followed by strips of wet newspaper and straw. It took like 5 or 6 hours to plant each bed.  We give them lots of water while they’re young. Last year it rained like crazy in the early spring and our onion crop was magnificent.

Bed 4. Sugarsnap peas.

eds 2 and 3- garlic. Bed 2’s plants look more vigorous.

ed 1, pansies, lettuce varieties, and some red Russian kale. Celery will be planted here soon.

So that’s about it on the garden and home front. Tomorrow, Tuesday, is the last day of final exams at the college. The underclass students will be clearing out in the late afternoon. Then the seniors have the run of the campus for a few days until Saturday’s commencement ceremony. By Saturday afternoon about 3:00 o’clock the campus is like a sad ghost town. We all have next Monday off. We call it “Commencement Breather” day. We need it.



  1. it really IS a cute little ass! LOL~~

    Hi j3ntan, thanks for your comment. How about them ears? Pointing right at ya. Who’d think a donkey could look so intense?

  2. I rather like that donkey and also the photos of your various beds getting planted and ready, those pansies looking out of the straw. Good donkey photos are rare.

    It is depressing to see how photographers try to make fun of donkeys by photographing their face from the front and with a lot of perspective distortion, as they also do to camels, destroying the dignity of the animal. And let’s not mention the pigs in this context. Imagine what they think of Man who only bows to the Lion, though the Lion invariably looks dull, even when photographed in Africa.

    You know I thought of you when I took that photo, and that you might like to see that little guy. Since my daughter will be living across the street from him, there will likely be more pictures of him in the not too distant future. I agree that lions look dull in photos.

  3. Hate to break it to you but the iPod can do all of that, too.

    And yes the asparagus seems early to me, too. Ours has been up for a couple of weeks.

    Yeah, but the iPhone doesn’t come in Verizon. Yet. And they cost more. But this Droid is a pretty good imitation. Sorta like the way Windows 7 is a pretty good imitation of Mac OS X.

    Gathering batch one of asparagus now …

    Hope you’re feeling better soon. 🙂

  4. Love that donkey. All the planting is terribly impressive, but it makes me feel like a real bump on a log — with roots!

    That’s one of those lessons I’ve yet to fully learn too, in regards to the amazing efforts of others. There’s so much more I should be doing, but this is all I’ve done. So be it.

    I think the donkey gets it. 🙂

  5. off topic:

    “I warn you, madam. I know the Geneva convention by heart.”
    “Oh, how nice. You must recite it to me some evening. I play the harpsichord.”

    I love it when you make jokes. I think that the harpsichord could be the perfect accompaniment. A large church organ would only drown out the recitation.

  6. I love that mini donkey! I’d go and pet him every day if he was my neighbor.

    Hey Girl, I bet that donkey would like that. Should I find out otherwise, I’ll let you know. 🙂

  7. That is indeed a very cute little ass! 🙂

    I really enjoyed all the garden bed pictures…all the effort that goes into it, but so much goodness that goes into your meals, vs. all the crap that’s out there 😉

    Thanks Romi. Let’s just ignore all that crap that’s out there. You might be surprised to know that I often think about my “internet friends” when I’m out there working in the garden. Weird huh?

  8. I keep reading the title of this blog the wrong way as if “May things look up” were similar to “may he rest in peace” a pious wish.

    But did you see! Last Thursday there was a panic on thee stock exchange, and I did not hear about it until FRiday, but it must have been awful with things falling down to 1/1000th of their value in a matter of seconds. Immediately an explanation was issued: that it had been a typing mistake somewhere, but two days later I read that the reason for that collapse was not known. Imagine how fragile the whole outfit is!

    Anyway, it may have been what threw the Europeans into action and they finally signed a 1 trillion agreement to stem the devaluation of Greek, Spanish, and Portuguese debt certificates.

    I don’t know whether you really thought these things are not worth following too closely. If Spain collapses, we have to leave here, and better earlier than later, and for instance in that situation it would be almost impossible to sell our flat, because lots of people might have to leave at the same time, and so there would be even more of a glut than there is right now. — This is already happening to hundreds or thousands of Latin American immigrant workers who bought flats here and now have to leave and can’t sell their flats.

    In fact, we would probably not leave, and yet again, one might have to, etc. The reason I have been watching these things for years is that I always expected the dollar to collapse first. After all is is being supported by some enigmatic Chinese view of the future, not US policy.

    Another stupid post title, I’m sorry to say. You are not reading it incorrectly.

    I certainly thought of you and your prognostications when the Greek crisis hit the news. I do really think they’re worth following closely, it’s just that I’m so ignorant of economic theory I scarcely bother. I am just one more idiot standing in line … I think that the craftiest thieves are just working out how to get every last bit of everything, knowing there’s little time left. It hurt when my meager retirement savings dropped by third a year or two back. And I’m fully aware of the fact that China’s optimism (and good old-fashioned greed?) are pulling the strings on the Uncle Sam puppet. In fact, whenever I see the Bank of America logo, I think, oh, you mean Bank of China? We’re so close to paying off our mortgage now, just a few more years … I hope that you can stay afloat too.

  9. But the title really means “the things of May”, doesn’t it?
    A cabbage has been in my kitchen for about two weeks. It was huge when my husband bought it. He was very proud of the acquisition, because he could not think far enough and that it would take us about a month to eat such a big cabbage.

    Instead of cutting off some piece I started to use it up by pealing off the leaves, enormous leaves. I used them to make salads and also cut into small pieces to cook along with lentils. So after about two weeks it had become rather small and no longer round and açof a pretty light yellow colour. The shape was more like a mushroom’s, but with leaves still tightly packed.
    And now, from the stem of the cabbage, just below where the leaves start, I saw five very small little stems carrying some 20 or 30 tiny buds.

    May is a verb in this case. But also a play on the name of current month. Hoping for things to “look up” or to improve from the dregs of April.

    Very fertile cabbage you’ve got there! I’ve eaten cabbages this way before too. They keep in the refrigerator better when whole.

  10. !!Imagine! I got a warning from WordPress saying

    “We have a concern about some of the content on your blog. Please click here to contact us as soon as possible to resolve the issue and re-enable posting.”

    What could that be?

    Did you contact them? Did they take down a post?

  11. Yes, but it was of a forbidding size (the cabbage, I mean). I have a new refrigerator, by the way. I forgot to tell you :-), but even so, I would have had to take out at least one shelf to put in that cabbage, see?

    The warning. It was nothing. The Chinese had put in a copyright notification, and WordPress had to take out the picture, which, it is true, was very very pretty, of the Great Wall. —

    According to law, WordPress had to take out the picture immediately, and so I don’t know whether I had accidentally put it in full size, which I never do if it is not in public domain.

    However, I know that it is a copyright violation even if you put it in small, but the legislation is still changing and adapting and anyway can’t keep track of the changing technology. I always feel sorry for the judges.

    Congratulations on your new refrigerator. I hope you fill it with many more cabbages.

    So the Chinese have copyrighted the Great Wall? What about people who see it from the International Space Station? Will they have to close their eyes when they fly over China? Maybe the USA should take a lesson and remove pictures of the statue of liberty from Chinese textbooks.

  12. Holy Cow. You have a lot going on in the month of May. I like to take it as easy as possible. What does Bailey think of all this?

    Yo’Momma, it’s so great to see you back on these interwebs again. Thanks for commenting. In the academic schedule May should be the harbinger of take-it-easiness, but since I work in IT, summer at my little college is usually busier than the rest of the year, plus the beginning of the gardening and bicycling seasons, yeah I’m too damned busy. Time for some vodka.

    Bailey is my good friend’s dog, and I’d love to know what he thinks. Next time I see him, I’ll ask.

  13. It would be nice if the financial mess were simply caused by some thieves, but it is a much bigger, very general trend of printing money to finance wars in the US, to keep the EU going in Europe, and to help the third world. That can’t be reversed from one day to the next.

    I’m not sure how that would be nicer, but it’s my opinion that the inherently false nature of money itself (and human greed) cannot help but to bring about these struggles. I know that this is probably the kind of generalization that drives you mad, but that’s how my simple mind sees it. Irreversible indeed. Once the Great Thieves have All The Money, then they can enslave the entire Earth, just like on TV.

  14. As per usual, I’m in love with your garden.
    And guess WHAT?! Now that I’m exiled from Toronto for a while, I actually have a yard and I get to grow my VERY OWN GARDEN this year.
    Haven’t planted it yet……rule up here is you have to wait until after the May 2-4 weekend, but this weekend, shit’s going in the ground! Pics to follow!

    Talea! Thanks for stopping by. I love it when you compliment our garden. Sorry you’re exiled from Toronto. Did you quit your Facebook job or are you on hiatus? No matter, so glad you’ve reopened your blog and your face to the interwebs. I’m going over there to drop commentary straightaway. Lookout!

    Glad you have access to a garden plot too, and looking forward to the photos. That’s an odd rule, wait until the May 2-4 weekend. Most folks around here do it at the end of May (Memorial Day) but real gardeners have peas flowering by then.

  15. But would you abolish money?

    You would realize that without money, you must go back to a system called “feudal”, where wealth is in real estate, people work for their food and end up becoming part of the landed property. Individual freedom started with money. It was portable wealth that set people free from their “land”lords. Money, like bricks or spoons or fishing rods, is only an instrument. The problem is in its quality, and that is determined by the people who fabricate = issue it.


    The new header: It is a spring picture, isn’t it? But I cannot imagine what the pink would be. The trees look like autumn, and the lawn looks like spring.

    Yes. Abolish money. I’m ready for the feudal system, though I may not survive it. I know it would be a lot of trouble for you city dwellers, but I can’t help that. It’ll be trouble for me too when the vagabonds and desperadoes come and tear into my garden crops.

    I’ll only get myself into more trouble if I expound on the fantasy of financial instrumentation and that “real” estate is not real at all. Guess I can’t help myself … The image of Jesus’ tantrum at the money changers in the temple is what keeps coming to mind. And I don’t even wear the label of “christian”. Individual freedom started with money? I can’t accept that. And yet I work 5 days a week for my paycheck. What a fool I am.

    The header is a spring picture, yes. Maybe 4 weeks ago. The pinkish color is from the setting sun (and from my manipulation of the image). The trees look like autumn because their leaves are just beginning to bud.

  16. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

    Heheh. Don’t know much about hickory, don’t know much baarleeeey.

    I forgot how much I love your blog.

    Moonie!! Thank you for coming by. I love your blog too. I’m so glad you’ve been posting lately.

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