Laboriously Laboring and Languidly Lingering this Loathingly Liquid Labor Day

Labor Day.

The last holiday before the official end of summer.

And this is a steamy one for sure.

Humidity levels are through the roof so if you venture into the sun, you’ll braise…not bake  :roll:

It is a day to celebrate the working person.

A day to ‘not’ work [as long as you don't work in retail, then it's a day to go Christmas shopping].

I know, right?

Anyway, since I don’t work outside the home, it is just another laundry day, with the added bonus of baking turtle brownies. (turtle brownies:  nuts and caramel in the brownies, um yeah mama)

Baking?  Today?  In this heat?

Ummm, my indoor thermostat says 68, and as he knows me well…he knows that should his digits read below 68, I shall haul off and punch him in the face!

So yeah, it’s a baking day  :)

brownies

A glimpse…that’s what you get!

As happens in the summer, more bloggers are out living life rather than inside writing about it, hence, less blogging more jogging. At least it seems so to me.

And while I wasn’t out there jogging (God forbid!) I was ‘out there’.

So Labor Day does tend to remind me that it’s time to come in once in a while and ease back into the fall yarns (get it?) so when winter comes, I’ll be knitting stories with the best of ya!

I don’t have any particular “What I did on my summer vacation” tales to weave, but I do have a snap or two that do paint (crafty eh?) a pretty picture of some of the fun we had.

Like…the time Matty spent back in the lower 48. Three weeks of sun and disc golf and beachin and boozin (ahem) and cousins and Grandfolks and…well, you get the idea

labor day collage

Did I mention boozin’?

For myself…most of my time was spent in the same places as the boys…I just had my hands on something other than a beer bottle.

[Ah shit, that's a lie. I had one hand on a bottle and the other on the camera.]

Okay? Geesh! Can’t get away with crap around here!

So my time was spent catching mountains and moonlight; a that bud for you…
labor day collage 2

…then rivers, lakes, and lilly pads; roads and bridges too.
labor day collage 3

I had a couple days where the pickens were slim; a tree and some deer, and an old car pullin in. A whirlygiggly butterfly and dead people’s ground; a downpour and a pond sign for an absconded pond.
labor day collage 4

But you all know what I’m like, always a barn or two; then Supe with his sidekick, and a damsel lunching, eew eew…
labor day w Collage 5

This is a glimpse of what I’ve been laboring with. And if I do say…
Life is Good!

Let's Fly

Let’s Fly

Hope you all had an enjoyable, relaxing, family and fun filled summer.
I look forward to seeing more regular attendance now that Blog U is back in session.

:) R

If it ain’t broke…

land mines
Barbara Walters, of 20/20, did a story on gender roles in Kabul, Afghanistan, several years before the Afghan conflict.

She noted that women customarily walked five paces behind their husbands.

She recently returned to Kabul and observed that women still walk behind their husbands.

Despite the overthrow of the oppressive Taliban regime, the women now seem happy to maintain the old custom.

Ms Walters approached one of the Afghani women and asked,

‘Why do you now seem happy with an old custom that you once tried so desperately to change?’
The woman looked Ms Walters straight in the eyes, and without hesitation said,

“Land mines.”

The Fickle Pickle

fick·le ˈfikəl/ adjective:

changing frequently, especially as regards one’s loyalties, interests, or affection.

I’m in a pickle ’cause I love slap and tickle but taken alone I hate a slap but love a tickle am I fickle?

 

No…not quite like that.

Here’s the thing…I was sitting on the porch this morning, as is usual, with my coffee and smokes, thinking…

“I love this” followed immediately by “I hate this”.

That thought alone, occupied my brain for the next 2 hours. Through my second cuppa, my third smoke, changing the sheets, checking my mail, taking my shower, love/hate, love/hate, love/hate…

Enough with the fickle pickle already!

So…to clear my head of this love/hate dialogue that was making my head spin, I thought I could put it down on paper and try to figure out if I am, in fact, ficklish.  (That’s like being ticklish only not as much fun)

Or, am I just someone who can NOT make a damned decision and stick with it.

I found it was much easier said than done. Mostly because there are waaaaay too many; way, way, too many; did I say way to many?

However, not to be deterred, and despite the shear number…I’m giving it another go.

Only this time, I’m limiting myself to one fickle per letter of the alphabet. I don’t know yet if I’ll have one for every letter, just as I already know I will have to choose between more than one for some others.

But…if a letter is empty, then I’ve got nothing.

Yet!

I know…it’s a bit ridickle!

And I also know, limiting some of the letters to one thing is going to be near impossibickle!

But, I shall try. Because, my hope is, by the time I’m done, I can look at the list objectively and do one of two things:

Decide which side of the coin I’m on.
or
Embrace the pickle and be tickled that I’m fickle.

No…seriously.  I need to do this.

I need to challenge myself to be more/do more/try more/embrace more…things that I love.
To a greater degree than not doing more/trying more/being more/embracing more…of the things I can change.

Because…the ‘hate side’ is…simply put…FEAR

Here goes ~ The Fickle Pickle of Love/Hate Relationships A to Z

Aging
I love that I’ve earned my stripes.
I hate that that they are on my body, so I undress in the dark.

Beaches
I love when the beach is empty and the waves are crashing.
I hate the bikini strewn, human oil slick, so I beach in winter.

Crowds
I love the excitement that creates a crowd.
I hate feeling alone in one, so I avoid them.

Dreams
I love hearing about dreams.
I hate having them, so I don’t (at least I don’t remember them).

Equality
I love the idea of it, in all things.
I hate that sometimes, I am part of the problem in remaining silent.

Flying
I love the journey,
I hate the hassle, so I don’t (very often).

Google
I love that you can have an answer in a flash.
I hate that it has replaced looking things up in the encyclopedia and the dictionary, but I’m guilty too.

Humidity
I love what it does for my skin.
I hate what it does to my hair, I’m a chia pet!

Immigration
I love that American means Everyonecan.
I hate that it has become counting pennies vs. counting kids, but that’s the reality we live in.

Jingles
I love knowing them, singing them, and recognizing the product by the tune.
I hate knowing them, singing them, and recognizing that I just might be a couch potato!

Kayaking
I love the idea of being ‘one with the water’, especially in the quiet, early morning mist, just as the sun rises.
I hate the spidery hidey hole where I can’t see my feet, so I don’t.

Love
I love love, being in love, being loved, giving love.
I hate what happens to me when love doesn’t feel safe.
I hate losing a single second to that most of all.
Shying away from love for fear of pain may be a form of self defense.
But it’s the worst offense against yourself there could ever be.

Motherhood
I love being a mother, for there is no love like it in the world.
I hate being a mother, at times, for there is no fear like it in the world.
(Though this, I would NEVER change)

Nakedness
I love the rare times I’ve allowed myself the freedom, wishing it always felt that way.
I hate the majority of my adult life has been spent trying to avoid it.

Obsession
I love the passion it takes to have one.
I hate the control I lose when I do, which is often.

Porches
I love being a porch dweller; morning coffee, afternoon wine, thunderstorms…
I hate being a porch dweller; going out to smoke, checking the spi-dar for spiders, being spied upon by the people driving or walking by, an oddi-tee in a nigh-tee!

Q

Rainbows
I love the spontaneous way they pop up hither and thither and yon, alone or in pairs, nature at it’s best.
I hate the feeling of ‘somewhere’ I get when I see one.

Smoking
I love smoking
I hate everything about it, but here I am

Technology
I love how the human mind works, developing new technology to solve the world’s problems
I hate that technology has replaced some sadly lacking human qualities…like kindness, empathy, compassion, and common sense. Definitely one of those ‘double edged swords’

U

Vermont
I love Vermont, you know I do. I am as Green Mountain blooded as I am red blooded.
I hate Vermont, and I’ll leave it there.

Wine
I love what it does for me
I hate what it does to me.
Let’s face it, beer drinkers go deaf and shout and have their beer-bellies.
Wine drinkers go soft and fuzzy and have wine-wattles!

Xray
I love xray technology for finding broken bones and cancerous tumors.
I hate xray for finding things we cannot fix.
I do wonder if I’d rather not know if that’s the case.

Yoda
I love Yoda for his wisdom, manner, sense of humor, and common sense :-)
I hate Yoda because to look at him reminds me that Superman is mortal :-(
As are we all…but still.

Zoos
I love the zoo for obvious reasons.
I hate the zoo for even more obvious reasons.

So…the challenge to me is to address the love/hates and see which are hurting me or preventing me from growing as a person.  Granted, some will remain as they are…we can’t love everything, but nor can we hate everything…and we can certainly have a bit of both now and then.

As a shield…hate sucks.

As a tool…hate sucks.

As a rule…hate sucks.

As a reminder to do better…hate can work.

Challenge yourselves…and if anyone has a love/hate they’d like to share, I’d like to hear.

xo

R

The Barn Dance

IMG_0658

There are some things that are just so much better when you do them in a barn!

Whether it’s squarein’, folkin’, cloggin’, or stompin’, the dances are da bomb.

It could be fiddlin’ or pickin’ and grinnin’ too, the music hits all the right notes.

If stichin’ and bitchin’ is your thing, a quilting bee could be the answer.

Meeting your sweetie on a Saturday night, or cruising and schmoosing at a Sunday social? Both could land you smack dab in the middle of a damned good roll in the hay.

Not that I had any such experience, but when the gals of the FHA ‘colluded’ with the boys of the FFA…there was usually chaff involved. (Chaff – the technical term for ‘honey, brush your britches off!)

No matter what it is, it’s just better in a barn.

This love affair with barns isn’t geographical. No matter what part of the world you live in…you’ll see evidence of local customs and ethnic traditions in the barns that dot the countryside. And whether there’s a floor (or sumpin’)being laid or a roof (or sumpin’) being raised, chances are you’ll find it’s for/with the community (or sumpin’).

That’s the draw for me, and it has been a life long one. The architectural type and features give us the biggest clues as to the who, the what, the where, and the when.
IMG_0022

But it’s the condition of the barn that gives us the why.

Is it a model for advances in the industry, surrounded by shiny equipment and smelling of fresh mown hay and odor d’cow?
IMG_0071

Or is it a sad landmark of better times? Rusting tractors, broken fences, over grown pastures and paddocks with just a whisper of what once thrived there?
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Why is that barn falling in on itself…

Seen better days

Seen better days

…and the one down the road a bright red beacon of hope?
IMG_0049

Why is the barn so big and the house so small?
IMG_0050

And so on…

Growing up in dairy country, barns were as common a sight to me as high-rises and tenements are to city dwellers. But common or not, I’ve been drawn to them for as long as I can remember.

Maybe it was the stories my father would tell of life on the farm; drinking the milk raw, taking the cream right off the top, smokin’ corn silk in corn cobs, telling of things one did ‘behind’ the barn?
:wink:

Or my own memories of tire swings hung in the space between the giant barn doors, or pushing my oldest brother (I swear he jumped) out of the hay loft doors ’cause there was a bee headed my way? I think perhaps being around folk who didn’t think “What, were you raised in a barn?” is an insult, may have had something to do with it.

One day, when I’m better equipped to do so, I’d like to tour our beautiful country just to photograph farms and barns. Or parts of barns. Or things that go in barns. Or…you get the idea.

When traveling, my driver is always saying “Look Babe, there’s a silo”. He gets me.

Or when I’m running the dirt roads with Supe, he’s always suggesting this path or the other because “There’s a great barn down here”. He gets me too.

This is not a unique idea by a long shot…I’m sure if I Googled it, I’d come up with thousands who’ve done that very thing, and done it extremely well. But that does not daunt me. I know what I like and I know taking snaps in a drive by is not very professional, but it’s what I do.

One lesson I’ve learned in the time it’s taken me and my third eye to become better acquainted is that, we each have our own perspective; we each see the beauty and the ugly in our own way; we each do what we do for our own reasons; and our eyesight is but a tool…

It is our hearts that are our true guide to what we capture and why.

So, if you’re keen on barns and the like, or just want to see the barn dance so far…you can see it on through link

Just remember…where there’s a barn, there’s a barn dancer.

And I’m one of ‘em.
IMG_0095

It’s all in a name

Ah…the good ol’ summertime.

A time for beaches and bicycles and picnics and bbqs and vacations and staycations and more likely than not… family.

Whether you’re a nut from a towering oak, have a touch of sweetness like the magnificent sugar maple, are tart and tangy like the bounty that falls from the fruit trees, or run more to the quiet strength of the whispering pine…we are all branches of our family trees.

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As it will, nature steps in to prune our branches. Our leaves fall through the natural process of age and death, or in times of storm and disease, we sadly lose precious limbs way before their time.

Nature will…have its way.

But because our roots are so deep, we continue on…new saplings sprout from new seeds and new blood.
Often, we are stronger and more resilient for it. Having richer hues and sweeter fruit.

Or, as is common enough in my family to be the rule and not the exception, (leaves fall too close or too far, whichever the case may be) we end up with nuttier nuts and fruitier fruits.

Which leads me to:

“The Family Reunion”

For the good folk up here in the extreme north, the best thing to be said about summer is …NO SHOVELING!
Next to that…there is reunion season, which in my case, consists of the following:

Mother’s Mother’s side
Mother’s Father’s side
Two distinct and unique trunks of my maternal grandparent’s tree.
Let’s say it’s where the Spruce meets the Elm.

Now, the Spruce and the Elm don’t share the same patch of ground. Perhaps because the Spruce is pretty rigid and doesn’t change much, and the Elm, while close when push comes to shove, has a history of infection and being hard to find (much loved all the same).
But…two distinct and separate genus with two distinct and separate reunions.

Which brings me to the other half of my tree:

Father’s Mother’s side
Father’s Father’s side
Or, as is our case…
ONE trunk for my paternal grandparent’s tree
(It’s a damned big tree!)

This is where the mighty Oak meets the Sugar Maple and rather than remaining as such…they became a whole new tree.

The Maple Nut Tree (Don’t Google it…no sucha thang)

Here’s the roots…
The George boys had a thing for the Smith girls…
Brothers marrying sisters…
(No, not their own sisters…we may be hilly people, but we don’t all play the banjo!)

Anyway…because more than one George married more than one Smith, the reunions are Smith/George amalgamations rather than just Smith or just George.
We even have Smiths who married other Smiths and those Smiths married Morrisons who in turn married other Morrisons…

EEE GAD, it’s enough to make you dizzy!

Anyway, the reason I started this, besides having just attended above mentioned gathering of Maple Nuts, is to do with names.
:lol:
It really is about names.
But not just any names.
Old names.

One would think, with sir names like Smith and George, the given names would be rather vanilla, wouldn’t you?
Tom, Dick, and Harry kind of names. But no.
And it just tickles the shit out of me to sit around listening to the older folk talk about their parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, bandying around some names not heard 100 years from here.

Kids my age, and those after, hear these names and think
“What the hell were they thinking?”
But I disagree. I think there is something strong, and connective in these old names.
It speaks of family more than the color of our eyes or the shape of our nose.
Names that are passed down in an obvious attempt to keep a loved one alive are beautiful names.

Shall I?
Okay, I shall.
Just a tiny sample.
Promise.

Great Grandfather Smith (ok…the next part is a sing along)

M.U.R.D.O. M.U.R.D.O. M.U.R.D.O. and M U R D O was his nameo!

Now, farmer Murdo Angus Smith married the lovely Rose La Brecque. They had 11 children (that’s Family #1).

Norman George, Mary Ethel, Eva Maude, Christie Rose, Margaret Leona, Clara Esther, Gladys Irene, Pauline Mae, Paul Angus, Walter Robert, and Baby Girl.

These names that don’t quite rrrrrrrrrrrroll off the tongue like names do today, but, it was all about continuity.

The lovely Rose died at the tender age of 36 (she needed a rest I think), whereby farmer Murdo married Marion who had another 5 children (that’s Family #2).

Murdo Harold, Joyce Ann, Fred Donald, Gerald Lloyd, and Virginia Maggie.

Again, these names don’t effortlessly fall off the tongue, but suggest a ‘reason’ behind them.
Nothing trendy here.

Great Grandfather George
Elmer Eugene George
(The only other Elmer I know lives in Cartoonland!)
Now, Elmer married Sophi (pronounced so-feye) Laundry and they had two sons
Raleigh Royal Eugene George and Morton Guy George
(So much packed into two little boys right? Oh, and a side note on Sophi~she had sisters…Mary, Maude, and Mert. LOL. Great huh?)

Both these George boys married Smith sisters:

Raleigh Royal Eugene George married Mary Ethel Smith (my grandparents) and had two children
Roy Eugene and Betty Rose

Morton Guy George married Christie Rose and had four children
Stanley Morton, Philip Dale, Beverly Ruth, and Harvey Elmer

Sadly, after my parents’ generation, the names became more normal(?)
Gone are the Murdos, Elmers, Mortons, and Raleighs.
No more Claras, Maudes, and Gladyses (Gladi?)

I’m as guilty as the next gal. I named my kids rather trendy names, but I think if I’d spent more time sitting under that big ol’ Maple Nut tree, I’d have found the courage to be different in the pride I feel when I’m sitting in that big pile of leaves.

Had that been the case, perhaps I would be the proud mother of Raleigh Murdo Elmer Roy?
Or if I’d had a girl…Mary Clara Maggie Rose?
Perhaps…

And the groaning you hear in the background is my husband who has NO room to talk…he is the son of ELBO.
But THAT is another mango tree altogether!

I hope you’re enjoying the summer, and hoping too, that you’re gathering round the base of your own magnificent family trees. There’s nothing quite like it.

And for those nuts that are part of my Maple Nut Tree…here’s a reminder of the beautiful day spent reminiscing about the old times and creating new ones. (Thanks Debbie and Henry)

-Click on a circle to bring up the full size photos-


The whole gang

In The Meantime…

I’ve been MIA for a while, having traveled to Vermont to spend some time with the folks, and since, have decided to stay another couple weeks…so, I thought I’d share a little quirky quickie so you don’t COMPLETELY forget me  :wink:

A husband went to the police station to file a “missing person” report for his missing wife:

Husband : I lost my wife, she went shopping & hasn’t come back yet.

Inspector : What is her height?

Husband  : I never checked.

Inspector : Slim or healthy?

Husband  : Not slim, can be healthy.

Inspector : Color of eyes?

Husband  : Never noticed.

Inspector : Color of hair?

Husband  : Changes according to the season.

Inspector : What was she wearing?

Husband : Not sure whether it was a dress or a suit.

Inspector : Was she driving?

Husband : Yes.

Inspector : Tell me the number, name & color of the car?

Husband : Black Audi A8 with supercharged 3.0 litre V6 engine generating 333 horse power, teamed with an eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmission with manual mode.  And it has full LED headlights, which use light emitting diodes for all light functions and has a very thin scratch on the front left door.

(And then the husband started crying…)

Inspector: Don’t worry sirWe will find your car.

Right?

:lol:

Hope you are all doin’ fine!