Friday, April 18, 2014

Ponderings of Theodore--the teenage years.

The teenage years are often a difficult time as we transition from childhood to adulthood. During this time, we try to figure out who we are and who we want to become. We explore, we retreat. We're popular, we're invisible. We're happy, we're sad. In other words, we're in limbo, not quite sure where to land. During some of Theo's teenage angst years, he wrote about this. One of those times was in today's poem.

                                                                 Limbo
                                                            by Theodore

                                          How can you be falling if you never hit the ground?
                                          How can you be flying if you never touch the sky?
                                          How can you love yourself if you never are good?
                                          How can you hate yourself if you never are evil?

                                          When people stare in awe and wonder
                                          And flee before your touch
                                          Neither heaven nor hell will take you
                                          And you want nothing so much

                                          As a solid place to stand
                                          And someone to take your hand.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Freeze warnings--who knew?

I learned something interesting yesterday-at least interesting to me. I learned that freeze warnings are only issued during the growing season when there is the possibility of serious damage to plants. Previously, I thought the weather service issued a freeze warning anytime it was likely the temperatures would dip below freezing.

I came to this new revelation yesterday while watching the evening weather. Most of the viewing area was issued a freeze warning--except the mountains to the west. I wasn't sure why they were excluded, but I just assumed there was a warm front headed for us that had already reached them. However, in reality, it was because the official growing season hadn't started there yet. Therefore, there was no need to worry about the plants. Who knew that this was the real reason that the mountains didn't get the same warning? I certainly didn't until the weatherman mentioned it.

When I learn something new like this, I often wonder why I didn't know it before. I've been watching the weather my whole life, so how did I miss this? I'm not sure, but learning about it now has been fun. Sometimes it's the little things. Actually, it usually is the little things that make my day. :)

Want to know more?
http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/encyclopedia/growing-season/?ar_a=1 
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/images/pah/pdf/frostfreeze.pdf

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During the poem sharing I've been doing this month, I've tried to include a variety of poem types--simple rhyme, children's, classical, and home grown. Today's poem will be another kind--a modern, free verse by Dylan Thomas.

Here In This spring
by Dylan Thomas

Here in this spring, stars float along the void;
Here in this ornamental winter
Down pelts the naked weather;
This summer buries a spring bird.

Symbols are selected from the years'
Slow rounding of four seasons' coasts,
In autumn teach three seasons' fires
And four birds' notes.

I should tell summer from the trees, the worms
Tell, if at all, the winter's storms
Or the funeral of the sun;
I should learn spring by the cuckooing,
And the slug should teach me destruction.

A worm tells summer better than the clock,
The slug's a living calendar of days;
What shall it tell me if a timeless insect
Says the world wears away?


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Second Look--April 16, 2014

We had a warm weekend which encouraged a lot of plants to make an appearance. Among them were several different kinds of daffodils. I'm trying once again to remember how many varieties we have and so far I've counted five. The daffodils were all already planted when we moved here, and I can never seem to keep track of them.

Unfortunately as I write this, it's sleeting and snowing outside. I hope some of the plants didn't make an appearance too soon.

Here's what I saw this week during a Second Look.



























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Here's today's poem by Robert Frost.

A Prayer in Spring

Robert Frost

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which  it only needs that we fulfil.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Milk

As most of you know, I track my weekly food waste and last week I had a big surprise. We had spoiled milk. I don't remember having spoiled milk during my entire adult life. And while I remember milk spoiling when I was a child, that too was a rare occurrence. (Back then, we drank whole milk that spoiled faster than the skim milks of today. Also, spoilage usually happened because one of the kids forgot to put it back in the refrigerator.)

During my childhood, we always had whole milk, butter, and ice cream in our house. We even had butter milk, which I hear if you weren't raised on it, is not too appealing for most people. My father was a farm boy, and the way he saw it, dairy products were a must for every day life. We were happy he thought that because we all our liked milk. There was no need to tell my sisters and me that we needed to drink it to get strong bones. We were already consuming it with gusto.

Not only did I enjoy milk, it was a useful tool sometimes during supper. That was on those days when my mother served liver or sweet potatoes which I considered the worst tasting foods on earth. The rule was that you had to have a spoonful of everything, but no more if you didn't like it. So I would get the smallest spoonful I could, then spend the next while taking a small bite, then a drink of milk to wash it down. Another small bite, then a drink of milk. I could easy drink a couple of glasses of milk using this method before a small serving of sweet potato was gone. That seems kind of silly now, but it was my tried and true method then.

Through the years, my milk drinking has decreased and I prefer water today. However, the Carnivores in my family still love their milk. When there were four of us living here, we bought milk 2-3 gallons at a time, and that would happen a couple of times per week. However, with Wally and Theo buying their own milk now, obviously Ward and I don't need as much. I have cut back to buying a gallon a week. Sometimes that's not enough and sometimes that's too much.

I hear there are a lot of uses for old or spoiled milk, however I haven't paid much attention to them before. I never had any reason to. However, maybe that's something I should look into these days.

Do you drink much milk?

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Today's poem is a few clever lines from Shel Silverstein again.

Shaking

Geraldine now, stop shaking that cow
For heaven’s sake, for your sake and the cow’s sake.
That’s the dumbest way I’ve seen
To make a milk shake.
~Shel Silverstein



Sunday, April 13, 2014

Thankful Sunday--April 13, 2014

I am thankful for my blog friends.


It seems that one of the biggest surprises people have when they start a blog are the friendships they form. I am no different. I have made many blog friends who provide me daily with kind words, encouragement, and information. Thanks to all of you.

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Today's poem is Excelsior by Walt Whitman. What point do you think Whitman was trying to make in Excelsior? I'm still pondering.

 Excelsior
 by Walt Whitman

Who has gone farthest? for I would go farther,

And who has been just? for I would be the most just person of the earth,

And who most cautious? for I would be more cautious,

And who has been happiest? O I think it is I—I think no one was ever happier than I,

And who has lavish'd all? for I lavish constantly the best I have,

And who proudest? for I think I have reason to be the proudest son alive—for I am the son of the brawny and tall-topt city,

And who has been bold and true? for I would be the boldest and truest being of the universe,

And who benevolent? for I would show more benevolence than all the rest,

And who has receiv'd the love of the most friends? for I know what it is to receive the passionate love of many friends,

And who possesses a perfect and enamour'd body? for I do not believe any one possesses a more perfect or enamour'd body than mine,

And who thinks the amplest thoughts? for I would surround those thoughts,

And who has made hymns fit for the earth? for I am mad with devouring ecstasy to make joyous hymns for the whole earth.
Who has gone farthest? for I would go farther,
And who has been just? for I would be the most just person of the earth,
And who most cautious? for I would be more cautious,
And who has been happiest? O I think it is I—I think no one was ever happier than I,
And who has lavish'd all? for I lavish constantly the best I have,
And who proudest? for I think I have reason to be the proudest son alive—for I am the son of      the brawny and tall-topt city,
And who has been bold and true? for I would be the boldest and truest being of the universe,
And who benevolent? for I would show more benevolence than all the rest,
And who has receiv'd the love of the most friends? for I know what it is to receive the passionate      love of many friends,
And who possesses a perfect and enamour'd body? for I do not believe any one possesses a      more perfect or enamour'd body than mine,
And who thinks the amplest thoughts? for I would surround those thoughts,
And who has made hymns fit for the earth? for I am mad with devouring ecstasy to make joyous      hymns for the whole earth. - See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/23621#sthash.GYLPkArX.dpuf

Who has gone farthest? for I would go farther,
And who has been just? for I would be the most just person of the earth,
And who most cautious? for I would be more cautious,
And who has been happiest? O I think it is I—I think no one was ever happier than I,
And who has lavish'd all? for I lavish constantly the best I have,
And who proudest? for I think I have reason to be the proudest son alive—for I am the son of      the brawny and tall-topt city,
And who has been bold and true? for I would be the boldest and truest being of the universe,
And who benevolent? for I would show more benevolence than all the rest,
And who has receiv'd the love of the most friends? for I know what it is to receive the passionate      love of many friends,
And who possesses a perfect and enamour'd body? for I do not believe any one possesses a      more perfect or enamour'd body than mine,
And who thinks the amplest thoughts? for I would surround those thoughts,
And who has made hymns fit for the earth? for I am mad with devouring ecstasy to make joyous      hymns for the whole earth. - See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/23621#sthash.GYLPkArX.dpuf