Posts Tagged ‘random’



… it should not go away because it keeps me away from my little garden and that lets the herbs and veggies do what they need to do which is simply grow. I do have to go out and snip this and that to encourage further growth, and thin this and that so that I don’t have plants competing too much, and I do have some more seedlings to plant, and some seeds came in the mail and I have to be strategic in what I do with them because I’ve got this plan, you see, to create a wall of vines, some that bloom in the morning, some that bloom during the day, and the ones that bloom at night. Whoa! I’m trying to balance gardening in support of birds and the bees while respecting that a certain person in the household who is digging my raised beds doesn’t mind beauty but he’s really into edibles, especially tomatoes and basil. But he does understand that my growing cardinal vines and borage (which is edible but he doesn’t like the cucumber flavor) will help get his tomatoes properly pollinated. In this wierdest of all years in my living memory, I’m not gardening for sustenance necessarily; I’m gardening for sanity. I know, growing up in Virginia, that my dad’s vegetable garden definitely put food on the table. I remember helping him plant seed potatoes, beans, squash, peppers, onions and he grew his tomatoes, too. He gardened to feed his family but I suspect he gardened to find peace as well.


lemon basil


spearmint, basil and marigold


orange mint, marigold, curly parsley, flat leaf parsley, oregano and a wonderfully empty red pot waiting to be filled

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Luckily this window can be opened from the stop so I can use the windowsill to plant herbs and sprouts. In front of the window is a small bookcase and its top provides a great (small) spot for more herbs and knickknacks. It is a fun zen-like exercise to arrange the space. Now to actually buy more herbs … 🙂

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nature overwhelming private property

It is important to analyze the how and the why of Trump winning the 2016 Presidential election but right now I am more concerned with the present situation. It’s Fall 2017. While there’s that whole Russian influence piece to be dealt with, there are no hanging chads to be counted. Trump is president. So my question for today is … why is this man who is technically the leader of the most powerful nation in the world being allowed to grandstand and postulate like a spoiled uneducated potty-mouthed silver spoon-wielding toddler without consequence?  Why hasn’t his phone been taken away and put in a lock box until he learns some manners?

He leads the world closer to war(s) with schoolyard taunts back and forth with other world leaders most of whom are as juvenile and narcissistic as Trump. He’s debasing the idea of the American Dream by consistently, if not systematically, instilling fear across this nation. He’s planted the seeds of hopelessness in the hearts of those most desperate, and who aspire to make it to these shores, to start a new life, and to become a productive part of what should not be a stagnant place, this place called the United States of America.

Is there no censure for this man’s juvenile behavior? Does the title of President prevent one from being held accountable for one’s actions?

I mean, really, in a world where daily scores of men, women and children die horrible deaths from violence, starvation, drugs and so many other tragedies, he spends his time (and U.S. tax dollars) and internet bandwidth taking on the NFL as an institution? Through his words and actions he taunts and bullies individually the men and women who expressed once again the idea of the American Dream, an idea that includes freedom of expression?

I think that there is no greater recent expression of what makes America great than what NFL players and owners did this past weekend … they did not all agree that kneeling during the anthem was the right thing to do … but they agreed that those who do bend the knee have the right to do so because where else but America can you do such a thing, to publicly and safely protest what you perceive to be an injustice? Linking arms this weekend, whether standing or kneeling, were Americans of every race. How beautiful was that?

I recollect from the Civics and Government classes that used to be taught in grade schools that there was this thing called “a system of checks and balances” which made U.S. government rather unique in the world. What are the checks and balances on a sitting U.S. President who is inadequate to the tasks before him?

Clearly it is in the best interest of certain individuals and certain institutions for a man like Trump to have the keys to the kingdom. Let him (and those for whom he is simply a mouthpiece) try to bar the gates and build the walls. Others have done so in the past. And over time those gates have been reopened and those walls have been taken down brick by brick. Too many people are becoming near frozen with fear and I say, even if it be easy for me to do so, remain steadfast. Put your words into actions. Keep in mind the upcoming elections. And, you know what else? Be good to your neighbor. Trump isn’t going to be building any bridges. But individually we can. We know what’s tearing us apart. So become agents of change to unite.


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Just a blanket I sometimes wrap up in when I write. 😉

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… I would paint what I hear in this piece of music, Rhapsody No. 1 in D Flat Major by Herbert Howells.  The entire piece is only five minutes and 35 seconds long, but it is the segment between 1:30 and 3:00 that moves me most. I first heard it being played a few weeks ago at Trinity Church in Copley Square.  The organist, Colin Lynch, was rehearsing for Sunday services. I appreciated the beauty of his playing but at first the music itself did nothing for me … and then something happened. I was hooked.  And then released. As he kept rehearsing the piece, I wanted to dash into the church and stop him to ask what in the world was he playing but that seemed inappropriate.  I thought I’d catch him at the end of his rehearsal but I missed him.

Time passed, lots of traveling took place but I could still hear that music.  I tried to describe the piece to other musicians and people who knew classical music far better than I. Keep in mind I have no language for music (which is why I want to paint what I’m hearing). I kept saying, “It’s the kind of music that, you know, leads you someplace,” and other not especially helpful phrases.  I was about to give up my search when I did chance upon the organist. This time I stopped him in his tracks and asked, “Hey, Colin, what was that piece of music you were playing two weeks ago?”

He lifted an eyebrow but he indulged me.  He helped me find the language to describe what I’d heard. And as we narrowed down the possibilities of what he may have been playing, he finally asked, “Was it loud? Did it get really loud?” “Yes!” I said, and so he nodded and then wrote down the possibilities.

It was Herbert Howell’s Rhapsody No. 1 in D Flat.  Imagine my pleasure when I found this Youtube recording by Nigel Potts. Listen at your leisure. And that’s my random story this bright Monday morning.  Have a good day, folks. 😉


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After smelling an open jar of wild mint (that’s all it was, I swear) I once had a waking dream of setting up camp in the desert, my feet sinking into the hot sands, the air filled with the sounds of horses snorting and the jingle of their bells. I was perhaps influenced by a conversation with a man from Morocco. Even before that dream I had been planning to visit the Sahara, as well as deserts within the U.S.

Some of my favorite movies have depicted vast dunes of sand in shades of sparkling white to dusky cream and even dark gold. Lawrence of Arabia. The English Patient. Dune. There’s that opening scene in the 1979 movie, The Black Stallion.  And, of course, Star Wars. 😉  I love the depiction of man or beast making their way across the shifting landscape.  I have been lucky to visit many different landscapes and to photograph them.

But no deserts yet.  Not really.  This morning, as I lay in bed, photographing the hills and valleys of the cotton sheets, I wondered anew if I ever will see such sandy sights firsthand.

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