crying kids and apples


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We have cool friends who just take the initiative and do stuff, and without them we would be inert.  They took us to an orchard high on a mountain in western North Carolina yesterday.  The best part was just being with our friends, but the orchard was nice too.  The thing is, and what these pictures do not convey, is the amount of people there.  I estimate a thousand.  Just swarming the orchard, baskets in hand.  Lines at the fried apple donuts section, lines inside the barn to pay for their apples, apple cider, apple pies, apple butter, apple jelly, apple everything.

The animals, who no doubt love the feed people give them from the little gumball-machine feeders, were just standing far back from the fence in the middle of their field like yeah no.

I passed a lot of moms and dads reading their small children the riot act because their wee kids wouldn’t cooperate amidst the 1000 people on this hot September day.  The ambient sound everywhere was something like, “…or so help me I will…”

I think what was going on, judging from the matchymatchy outfits on the tiny human siblings, was that they were to be props in an idyllic Fall orchard photo shoot, and they would’ve been better off taking a nap.  One lady had a kid who was trying to break free from the wagon she was supposed to be sitting in, and the person I assume was her mother was grabbing her with one arm while the wagon full of siblings was rolling down an incline, and that little girl wasn’t budging, and the mom was spitting threats at her, and the wagon was still going, and I thought maybe the mom, combined with the weight of the wagon, was going to rip that little girl’s arm off.  Other matching children squirmed as their parents shoved apples into their hands and commanded things like, “Look up at the tree! But smile! Look up at the tree and smile!”  or, “Sit still! Turn around! Quit crying! Smile!” or, “Look at that apple you’re holding!  Can you smile at the apple? You like apples, don’t you?”

But from the way a lot of those little kids were acting, I seriously doubt they’ve ever eaten an apple.

It was fascinating.

And also I got miniature honey bears, so.


oct, maybe kisses







oct is here

plenty of jerusalem artichokes from the looks of it

my friend told me she’s heard of people having to move, they’re so invasive

flower patch still spittin out zinnias; fine with me

another hen is laying.  saved from the stewpot {not. not that i’d do that}

i have to wear my ugly apron into the woods when i feed the goats because they hop up

they hop up with their mud and muddy my pants

not anymore

now the apron

unflatteringest apron which ever was ever

and the boots

the pink boots that will survive the apocalypse

all bad deeds are done in the pink boots

just lovin these early oct days

windows open

a bit of rain here, some rays of sunshine there

a cool breeze here, a stillness there

the cat sleeps as if near death; this is what she does at the equinoxes, her hair either falling out or filling in

interesting about cats

maybe we will hike tomorrow

maybe we will kiss in the woods

maybe he will take my little hand, maybe i will take his freckly one



Memorial Day in a weird brown color

TennesseegnomecoralbellsandtoadabodeagastacheexplorerschickenandScoutexplorershollyhockexplorerstomatoesexplorershusbandwieldingmacheteexplorershoneysuckleexplorersrosesexplorersOur gnome.  Our Tennessee gnome.  He helps win football games, see.

Coral bells and our toad abode.  Vacancy.  Tell your toad friends.

Anise hyssop.  Soon I will tweeze my fingers down the length of the stems and then inhale the licorice fragrance on my thumb and forefinger, again and again and again and every time I’m outside.

Scout and my one surviving chicken.  Maybe next weekend we’ll go to the farm that’s an hour away and get some new ones.  Delawares.

Jet black hollyhocks.  Last week I thought they were burdock.  I’m so delighted they’re hollyhocks!!  I much prefer hollyhocks!

Tomatoes.  We’re trying straw bale gardening this year.  So far so good.

My husband wielding his machete.  I told him, “No, hold it like you’re wielding.”  He did his best.  Then he said, “You betta stay outta my blood line.” Then he went to play tennis.

What he’s up against.  Miles, it seems, of honeysuckle.  What we need is a goat.

And those are my little tea roses.  My imperfect roses.  They don’t get enough sun.  And they get too much water.  And they’re attacked by all sorts of things.  But they keep growing.  My husband gave them to me eight years ago.  I would never try to move them and risk harming them, so they stay put.

I hope you have a nice vacation day.  If this is a sad day for you, I’m sending a prayer out that you’ll feel joy and sweetness and comfort and hope for beauty that will come.


chickens, middle-schoolers

chickens2014 eggyolk2014Yay. Two chickens still alive.

We don’t have enough eggs now since the chicken theft.  Having to supplement with eggs from the store.  Gasp.

In that there bowl are two of mine, two of a stranger’s.  Mine are orange, with distinct edges.  The ones from the store are yellow with a strange cloud issuing forth.


Get your own backyard chickens, people.  It’s no big deal.  (As long as you don’t live near mountain lions.)  Just feed them, tell them they’re beautiful, collect their eggs, be healthy, repeat.

OK, so I’m really enjoying having middle-schoolers.

My house is full of middle-schoolers every day, and they make me laugh.  My son is 14, my daughter is 12, and all the stuff that’s going on with them is so typical.  Acne, braces, voice changes.  I find it amusing.  They don’t, but I do.  Every day I’m like ooo, what will he sound like today My daughter has to put those wee rubber bands on her braces like thrice a day, and food bits sometimes get stuck in her mouth and she gets really frustrated.  They grow out of jeans in like a month so they get embarrassed about their shins showing.  All their friends are tall and skinny and hungry and they look like gangly clumsy wiggly giants.  They have a hard time getting their words out.  The thoughts form, then there are a lot of uh’s and um’s and and’s before the actual sentence emerges.  Their brains are growing faster than their tongues can keep up with.  Their understanding of humor is changing.  Things are funny now that weren’t a year ago.  Things are not funny now that were a year ago.  When one of a group of them manages to sum up a thought in concise terms, they all pounce on it–repeating it, repeating it, laughing, laughing–because someone has spoken what they’re feeling or thinking, and what a relief, knowing they’re not alone.  My niece is in 8th grade.  Her teacher made them all sit down and shut up and write an encouraging note to the person sitting in front of them.  One of the students wrote a note to the person in front of her that said, “You have a nice butt.”  I laughed and laughed.  I would be so encouraged if someone wrote me that note.

I like middle-schoolers.

That’s all I got for now.