Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A Few Days of Stormy Weather . . .

Once again, I'm standing on a brink of another new year.  For me, the year begins in September, the start of something new,something possible. I have been know to look at pen and paper supplies for hours, picking out the ones that will suit me without fail.  The Sunday paper  had a headline boasting money-saving coupons for Back-to-School.  August can be filled with anticipation.  31 Sunday evenings, that anxiety of returning to work that never seems to be done.  Grading is so repetitive.  Once one group is all sorted out and humming along, there' s a new group that needs to hear your instruction.  I want a nickel for every comma splice or split infinitive. Maybe I'll do that this year.  Put in a nickel for each time I note these corrections.  I bet it would buy me a night out.  It may make the process a challenge, because the nickels should be less by semester's end, right?  I think I'm going to do this and see if I'm making progress.  This will be called the NICKEL ASSESSMENT. 

Nickel in Yankee idiom means hug.  So I'll expect a bunch of hugs this semester. I will keep you apprised of the experiment. 

It's much cooler this morning.   A perfect day to accomplish a lot.  So far, so good.  I have written letters and cards.  Re-read my poems  written during 31x31 poetry challenge.  I can't believe that I've been on task with this.  I have a million thing yip-yapping at me.  The other day, I put by Apricot Jam (pure gold,as my mother would say, 'Too Good For The Common People.' Of course, if you were told this, you weren't one of the common ones.  You were uncommon and would know what was uncommonly good. This includes you who stops by and read this.)   Well, this batch of jam was a  wrestling match. It bubbled and jumped out of the pot.  Splats of sweet, sticky heat, enough to burn my forearms, face, wrists-- the price of close work. I was stirring with a kettle screen. The process took three hours. If any you get a jar of this jam, you are NOT to be  less than enthusiastic.  I know, I can't hope to have rave reviews, but it would be nice to hear that it brightened that muffin, or piece of toast, or ice cream . . . and you thought of us, of our attempts to live simply and honestly here on the farm.  Every jar has sun in it.  Imagine that! 


Here's the latest issue of THE BLUE Heron Review.  Please take a moment to peruse these exceptional poems.  This is one of my favorite journals.

Back to work . . .

Sunday, August 2, 2015

It's August. Believe it.The Fall Semester Begins at the End of this Month!

Sometimes, I use this blog to keep my ambitions honest. I have had a very gentle summer.  Being here on the farm, with little distraction, just the daily work has been fortifying. I have been working on my writing and well as tending the gardens.  No drama.  No complaints.  No aches. No disappointments.  It is what it is.

Since I have been working on prose, I thought I should do a 31x31 poetry challenge for the month of August.  I think this will ease me back into the Fall semester. So far, so good.  The poems can be in any form, any theme, any length. So two done.  29 to go. I did sneak a 100 word story in the mix.

I bought 4 quarts of apricots two days ago and I'm waiting for them to ripen up a bit before I make a batch of jam. Usually, we have an abundance of apricots, but this year, the early summer weather has some rain storms that included hail and tortured our local fruit farms.  Strangely, this did not affect our orchard, but we no longer have apricot trees.  So for the past two weeks, I have driven the country roads West of here in search of apricots.

On Friday we went to the Mennonite auction, but  were shut out by  farm stands owners who were buying produce (whole lots).  We just couldn't compete with the asking price.  I wondered what they were going to sell the produce for, in order to have a profit.  Something was way off. 8 quart baskets of peaches are going for $12.50-14.00 per basket, depending on where you are.  Closer to city or towns with higher population reflects the higher price.

I was really disappointed by the auction, and our driving up and down those country roads, with no luck.

Then, on a lark, we stopped at two places we knew would be pricey, just to see if they had apricots and blueberries.  Sure enough, just what we wanted.  Bought blueberries in one spot and apricots in the other.

The blueberries are amazing this year.  I love summer.