Archive for September, 2009

Previously on The Havens, I mentioned in passing that we were getting set to build a strawberry bed.

Work is well underway on this project.   In fact, we began the initial work yesterday in between me writing my Garden Bloggers Bloom Day post and continuing the cleaning out of the day lily garden at the north edge of the Stroll Garden.  Today I helped build this wall in the morning before I had any massage clients.

I believe I have also mentioned previously how difficult it is to get an award winning picture in this garden, due to the work in progress.   For example, if I am trying to get a long view of the Stroll Garden from the back door, there is a heck of a lot of stuff in the way that a professional photographer would view with a jaundiced eye.



That is, unless (s)he were intending to do a photo essay about how to build a concrete wall using slip-forms.   Then all that stuff would be an object lesson.

The first picture would illustrate that in order to build a rock and concrete wall without using too much of the expensive concrete, you need a good collection of rocks of all sizes.   The more rocks you have, the less concrete you need.  These rocks came off our place, emerging from the ground during the vineyard preparation five years ago. For a long time we used them as a rock mulch for the grape vines, but that became a logistical nightmare for weed and fungus control, and so Jim removed them from the vineyard and piled them back in the savanna for future reference.   This is the future.

The second photo illustrates the panoply of equipment that you will need for the job.   The little cement mixer is electric, and was an impulse purchase that occurred once when Jim went to a tool show unaccompanied.   When he brought it home, I had no idea why we needed a cement mixer, but it turns out that we need one on a very regular basis, especially since we put the concrete block bed borders into the vegetable garden.

The picture below illustrates why it is necessary to have at least two wheel barrows.   We have two wheel barrows in use at the same time on a regular basis.  Today there was sand in one wheel barrow and the portland cement in the other.   That way when the evening falls we can move any unused cement into the carport easily where it will be safe from the dew fall.   (Damp cement is counterproductive.)  The sand arrived here in the back of the pickup truck, we buy it a half yard at a time from our local cement block purveyor.


Making the mortar requires a judgment call.   You start with about a gallon of water in the cement mixer, add one shovel of cement and one shovel of sand and start the machine turning.   As the cement mixer continues to turn, you add three more shovels full of sand and sufficient water to make the mortar the right consistency.   It can’t be too runny, and it can’t be too stiff or it will be hard to work the mortar down into the interstices between the rocks.   It seems like the proper consistency is sort of like a rather thick muffin batter.

The next shot is a view of the trough Jim made to pour the portland cement mortar into once it is “right”.   We scoop the mortar out of the trough, which in this picture is resting on our venerable garden cart.   That item is loaded with rocks for the wall.   The buckets contain little rocks and there is one bucket that has water in it for keeping our tools clean.


Finding a bucket that will hold water is starting to be quite a challenge at The Havens.   So many of them have been sitting around in the sun they have become brittle.   Then the second you do something the slightest bit stressful, like throw a few rocks in it, the bucket cracks.   Good bye water holding ability.    Today I about decided that it was time to acquire some metal buckets that will last.

In addition to rocks, sand, cement, a water source, wheelbarrows and buckets, you need a hoe, a couple of things to schloop the cement out of the trough, some old butter knives for pointing the mortar, and the slip forms.  I found rubber kitchen gloves to be invaluable hand wear, giving me enough sensitivity to work the cement in between the rocks, but remaining stout enough to stand up to handling rocks.

The next picture shows the site once it was prepped for the wall to be built.   First the trench was excavated to 6 inches depth and backfilled with road base.  Jim spent a couple of days tamping the road base by tapping it with the big sledge hammer, since we don’t have a mechanical compactor.   Then he pounded rebar into the trench through the road base and down into the undisturbed dirt beneath in order to anchor the wall.   He doesn’t want it to go anywhere later on.   Also, he established the lines that indicate the straight and level course for the top of the wall.


The next picture shows the slip forms in use.   These very useful pieces of equipment are designed to clamp onto the part of the wall you have already built, thereby making it possible for you to create nice high and straight walls.   Notice the turnbuckle located down at the top of the form.   That is what clamps the form to the wall beneath it.  We are only going up 16 to 18 inches, but we have friends that used these very forms to make the walls of their house over 10 feet tall.


You can see the progression of the wall in the above photo.   First you schloop in a layer of cement maybe one to two inches deep.   Then you start placing rocks.   This is where having a varied selection of rocks available is a real asset.  Ideally, you will have rocks that have flat sides that you can lay in right next to the forms.   Then you throw mud (mortar) at those rocks and wedge them into place using the odd shaped rocks and smaller pebbles you can find in your pile.   Remember, the more rocks you have in the forms, the less cement you will have to make.   But there has to be enough mortar to hold the rocks in place.  It is important to have mortar contacting the surfaces of the rocks and filling the holes in between them so your wall will be strong once the mortar sets.

Once you have the form filled with rocks and cement almost to the top of the form, you let it sit for about a half hour to let the cement start to set up.   Then you loosen the turnbuckle and lift the form up and away from your setting wall — carefully, so you don’t dislodge the rocks.  Then you use the butter knife to point in the mortar on the outside of the wall before the cement has completely set up.  That is what Jim is doing in the following picture.  He is catching the excess mortar, then he throws it down on the work surface where we are going to work next.


Later, after the cement sets for an hour or so, he begins working over the surface using a wet stiff bristled brush, so the excess mortar comes off the rocks.   The next day he will use a wire brush to remove even more.   This is the way the wall looks after it has sat over night, but before the wire brush cleaning.


After the first course was built up about a foot or so, Jim laid in horizontal rebar for more reinforcement, and tied it to the verticals.   We raised the forms and continued filling them with rocks and mortar.   When we had the wall built to the height we wanted it to be less about half an inch, we stopped adding rocks and Jim added a top layer of mortar which he smoothed off.

Below is the completed wall after the top layer has been added and the pointing has been done.   At this point there had been no brushing done, it was still too wet.   We will be doing quite a bit of “cleaning up” of the front of this wall, because the flat rocks that were against the forms were chosen for the excellence of the crystal formations and striping in the karst limestone that “grows” out of the fields here.


You can see the horizontal rebar emerging from the unfinished end of the wall at the right edge of the picture.

We figure in about a week, we will have the wall completed for the new strawberry beds.   Pretty cool, huh?

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Once again it is time to share what is going on in our gardens with the rest of the garden blogging community.   This is a lovely tradition begun and carried on by Carol over at May Dreams Gardens.   Aside from the fact that this monthly meme allows me to realize just how fast time is passing, it also gives me a chance to visit other people’s gardens via the miracle of the internet.

It is a rainy day here, so our plans to work on the wall around the new strawberry bed are put on hold for the nonce.  We are not going to complain about some much needed fall rain.   It will make the apples and plums and grapes happy to put on fruit next spring to get well watered in the fall.

Fall is definitely arriving here, our tomatoes are winding down and I have harvested the winter squash.   We have 29 butternut squashes curing in the back room.  Soon I will be bringing in the sweet potatoes, which did quite well this year.

Below is a view of my container garden just outside the kitchen door.   A while ago, Gardening Gone Wild had a photo contest about containers which I didn’t even bother to enter.   My containers are plebian and pedestrian, not created for accessorizing the garden or to  provide a patch of color, but to provide me with food and entertainment.  The fact that they are nice looking is secondary to their function as vegetable garden adjuncts.   These containers are sporting hot peppers, tomatoes and sweet potatoes.  The marigolds are there more as companions to the tomatoes than as ornamentals, although they serve that function nicely.  Okay, okay, there is a moonflower vine in there, so the whole thing isn’t completely utilitarian.


Observe the little red spot that is resting on the bar of the pergola to the right.    Let’s just get a closer shot of that, okay?


Look?   Isn’t that sweet?   A little tomato resting next to a couple of purple hyacinth beans.   What could be more delicious?   “But, why is that tomato up there and not on the plant?” you might ask.  Let’s just investigate the situation.


Suddenly, it doesn’t all look so innocent, does it?   It is evidence of a crime, a stolen fruit eaten right in front of the kitchen window by some brazen squirrel.  I tell you, their days are numbered here at The Havens.   But why did the little tree rat not finish off the evidence?  What could have disturbed this snack?


Maybe cats are good for something after all.

I claimed that fall has arrived; I suppose I should present some evidence of the fact.  Back by the barn, the rugosa rose has begun the fall round of blossoms it always puts on after the weather cools and we start getting the fall rains.   What I like about this time of year is the presence of the fruit ripening from the earlier spring bloom at the same time the plant is blooming anew.


My fall bulbs have started their display.   There are colchicums blooming in front and back, if you want to see pictures of them blooming, follow the link, I’m trying to keep this post to a manageable size.

I’ll give you a couple of quick looks at the Stroll garden.   You are getting a full vista of the whole garden first, followed by a close up of the Petite Prairie.  Notice the exuberant hibiscus in the foreground.   That area is the rain garden, and I have to say it is looking quite beautiful all dressed up in its asters and coreopsis.



The sweet autumn clematis on the arbor over the Hosta Dell is in full swing.   There are hundreds of bees and wasps and butterflies enjoying it right now.  Notice the hardy hibiscus making a play for attention on the left.   It is absolutely amazing right now, largely due to the fact that when Jim emptied the swimming pool he ran the drain hose into the rain garden basin and the hibiscus liked all that steady moisture delivered right to its roots.


The sedum garden next to the Thyme Walk is really looking good.   The plants are starting to fill in and colonize the gravel mulch.  It is very busy with pollinators too.


I’ve been busy cleaning up the vegetable garden.   I planted the first wave of winter salad greens, and you can just see them coming up in the foreground of this view of the whole shebang.


Back in the rear of the garden are the salad greens that were left over from the early summer planting.   We’ll be able to eat off these until frost while the babies in the front are growing and getting ready for the cold frames to go over them.


The chard row is a work of art right now.


I recently mentioned that we harvested our four basil plants and got two pounds of leaves off them, which we made into pesto.   This is the part of one plant that we did not harvest because the bees were so happy with the flowers we couldn’t bear to deprive them of all the blossoms, despite the fact that there were grapes and sedums and zinnias and marigolds for them to eat.


That is six inch welded wire mesh making the tomato cages, just in case you are looking for scale. If you turn around and check out the torch tithonia, you’ll see why I always have at least one “pet” tithonia on the place.   Aside from the amazing color, the pollinators love this flower and the monarch butterflies also utilize them while they are migrating through.


Step outside the vegetable garden gate, and you have a view of the pond.  It looks very shaggy and wild, largely due to the jerusalem artichokes, tall prairie coneflower and goldenrod that are blooming on the left side.   Heck, the asters on the right don’t look very preposessing either.


Well, the reason I have this area is for the wildlife, and they are enjoying this fall nectar source to the fullest.




Back behind the pond, the bittersweet is making its fruit.   Behind you can see the heart shaped leaves of the pipe vine, which I have planted in hopes that the beautiful Pipe vine butterfly will come and colonize The Havens.   If you  build it, they will come.


Another thing that is going on back there is moon flowers.   Some days there are just one or two blossoms.   Other times, more.  Whatever the number, it is a spot worth checking out every evening at sundown.


Another thing that is happening behind the pond is the raccoon grapes (Ampelopsis cordata Michaux), which are ripening.   These are such interesting fruits because they change colors several times while they ripen, and the berries often sport several colors in a bunch.   While the grapes are not edible for humans, the birds love them.  They make a great green wall and I love looking at the berries.  Additionally, they do not support the fungi that attack the wine grapes, so we can let them grow without harboring a disease vector.


Well, that’s about all I have time to share with you.   The rain has let up and I think I’ll get out there and continue with the cleaning up of the day lily beds I began on Sunday.

Thanks for visiting, and hope you have time to check out some of the other participants in Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.

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Oh, the subject for the Gardening Gone Wild monthly photography challenge, “Picture This”, is Ornamental Grasses.

As I said in a previous post, “Ornamental grass” is a subject after my own heart.  I have been dreaming of having a collection for several years.  One of the mainstays of the new Stroll Garden is the ornamental grass patch which I call the “Petite Prairie.”   This is the smallest prairie in the known universe.  I conceived of it as a visual barrier in front of the back beds of the stroll garden, supposedly to give  mystery to the path that winds away back there.   You are not supposed to be able to see what is around the corner, so that when you arrive at the bed of viburnums and spireas it will be a surprise.

I did a whole series of posts back in February about the formation of this series of beds. When we started the little prairie patch, I already had the nucleus of an ornamental grass planting growing out in front of the place in the wildflower strip that is no more.  I ordered a bunch more grasses this spring to add to the collection.   I have been enchanted with watching this brand new garden start to fill in a bit.  It will really be special in a couple of years when the large grasses have expanded and the shorter ones have filled in a bit.


There are some grasses I moved into this garden from spots around the house.   The puffy ball of grass in front of the horizontal rock is one of those.  I have no idea what it actually is, it volunteered in the day lily bed about ten years ago  I liked the way it looked and it has proved itself to be non-invasive.

In addition to a couple of other volunteers I transplanted there, I have three kinds of Festuca glauca in the Petite Prairie:  Boulder Blue, Sea Urchin, and idahoensis “Siskiyou blue”. I ordered several pots of the nasellia grass, and when it came I split the pots in half so I doubled my starts.   I also planted blue avena grass, two kinds of blue stem, and a couple of varieties of switch grass.  There are some varieties of sorgastrum in the garden too.

My vision for the Petite Prairie is to display the amazing textures and colors of grasses in a microcosm of prairie ecosystem.  Prairies are notorious for their wonderful flowers, so of course I have flowers.  I have tried to limit the things I plant out there to things that I would actually find on a prairie, which is why the miscanthus and the Japanese blood grass got moved out of the prairie garden.   They are back in the corner by the pine trees, in front of the wild grape vines.  I call this area The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.


But back to the Petite Prairie.  So far I have three kinds of milkweed out there, in addition to the echinacea and the prairie coneflowers.   There are also lance leafed coreopsis, Deptford pink, Missouri evening primrose, agastache, Mexican hat, scutelaria,  a bunching goldenrod and silene “Praire fire” planted out there.  I aspire to indian paint brush and apache plume, which I intend to order this fall.

I have been trying for a couple of months to capture an image that gets across the incredible variety of colors and textures that exist in the Petite Prairie.   I like the following picture because it really does capture the Impressionistic side of ornamental grasses.

This is my entry for the Gardening Gone Wild photo contest:   Petite Prairie on an August evening.


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Photo hunt: Electric

Today the theme for Photohunter is “Electric.”

If you look this word up, you get the expected definitions regarding electricity usage.   But in my Webster’s dictionary, the third definition is, “Emotionally exciting, thrilling.”

It was in this sense that I ‘caught’ this theme, as I remembered a series of photos I took on a drizzly night when Ruby decided to break up a big cat-argument that was going out by the garden.   Mike had been having words with a ratty grey stray tom cat, and was not the least bit pleased to have his descriptions of the other cat’s antecedents disturbed.

I caught the scene after Ruby had thoroughly chased off the grey cat, and Mike was still full of adrenaline, safe atop the pile of concrete block we were using to make the raised beds in the garden.  It was a completely dark night, and the flash lit up all the droplets on Mike’s coat.   To me this is the epitome of an emotionally exciting moment.  I’m sure it must have been thrilling for Ruby to look up into this face:

November 5, 2006 035

He is glaring at Ruby, who is Innocence personified.   “What?   Who, me?” she seems to be saying.  November 5, 2006 034

I find it interesting that at the moment of this interaction, Mike has no gratitude for having his bacon saved by the dog, who probably kept him from getting himself all torn up yet again.   At this phase in his life, Mike had not achieved the warrior status he had in the years before he died.   He inevitably came away from any physical encounters with other cats with a bite on his right forearm.   Mike always led with his right, and he did not have a lightning fast jab.   The bites always formed abscesses, which involved trips to the vet and antibiotics.

Later on, both Mike and Smokey came to view Ruby as a very useful minion in the battle to defend their territory from the stray cats that wander through.  She was sent out as the Advance Guard, and once she had patrolled the area, they could go and pee on their bushes without being disturbed by other felines.

Be sure to visit the other Photohunters.   It’s always fun to see what people come up with for this meme.

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Photo contest angst

Once again I have decided to enter the Gardening Gone Wild monthly photo contest.   This month the prize is a selection of ornamental grasses, which I would dearly love to have.   I have spent my plant budget already this year working on the Petite Prairie, and I could use a few more plants to fill it out.   This month the subject for “Picture This” is Ornamental Grass, and you would think that I could capture an image of this nascent prairie garden that would give me the prize.

I have been trying for several months to figure out just how one could get the magic of the textures and airiness of grasses into an image.   Last month during “On Your Knees” I spent a lot of time on my knees in the wet grass being eaten alive by the tiny bugs Jim and I have dubbed “the ankle biters” because they tend to bite your ankles as you walk about the yard.  They are so tiny, I have no idea what kind of bug they are, but where they bite you itches like crazy for about 10 minutes.  They don’t leave welts, which is a blessing, and they don’t go higher than your knees when you walk around, so wearing rubber boots foils them.   They like the cool of the evening.   Anyway, in spite of all that looking and creeping and shooting and cropping (and scratching), I did not get a single image that I thought got across the vision I had for it.

So now I have another chance, and this time the prize is even more germane to my present gardening needs, so I truly covet winning.   Oh, I’d like to bask in the admiration of my peers too.  God knows there are some incredibly talented photographers and gardeners that take part in these contests.   I truly feel very outclassed on a regular basis by the other entries in the competition.

So, today I went out to the Petite Prairie on another photographic safari, looking for a prize winning image of my ornamental grasses.  I really love this new garden, there are so many textures and colors.   Right now the Llano Indian Grass (Sorgastrum nutans) and the “Cheyenne Sky” switch grass (Panicum virgatum ‘Cheyene Sky’) are blooming, and the textures of them together are really splendid.


The switch grass is the sort of “beaded” one in the background.   The whole clump of this grass makes a sort of haze of red and gold in front of other things.  In my experience, this haze is a knock out when you are standing there in the garden, but the camera does not catch it the same way my brain does.   So even when I get a pretty nifty picture, the textures don’t seem to come out the way I envision them.


There are seven different grasses in this picture.  I love this garden, but is that an award winning shot?   I just don’t know.

Then I wander along in the garden, and I get totally distracted from my purpose by the dinner plate sized hibiscus in the Rain Garden.


I think the pollen grains and the tiny drop of nectar on the pistil are just delicious.

Further along in the garden, I try to capture the rock garden in such a way as to demonstrate the “coastline” Jim and I tried to create along the sea of gravel.  The junipers and sedums trailing down the rocks are supposed to give the impression of distant forests.  Behind them are “sunset lit clouds” of sedums.


I happen upon a view along the Thyme Walk that really entrances me.


The sweet autumn clematis is covering the pergola with a roof of blooms. This is another display that it is quite difficult to get on the camera because the blossoms just absolutely glow with whiteness and tend to wash out in the long view.


They are better close up.  Turns out they are also quite busy, many bees and wasps are visiting.


The bees are dividing their time between the clematis and the sedums in the Rock Garden.


Finally I give up the photography for the moment,thinking the light might be better later on.

Instead, I pick a posy for the table.   Another in the series “Bouquets you can only have if you are a gardener.”  This particular grouping is full of color and demonstrates the amazing spectrum of colors you will find in zinnias if you save the seeds.  It is not a very nice smelling bouquet due to the marigolds, yarrow, and goldenrod.  It has a very pungent herbal aroma rather than the sweetness we usually think of in a flower arrangement.


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Labor Day Report

It has truly been a fantastic weekend.   We went up to our friends’ place near Montreal where we attended the monthly Sauna Gathering.  Jim took a four layer chocolate cake, which was perfect because there were plenty of people there to share it.   The sauna was hot and rejuvenating, it was great to connect with our friends and catch up on every thing that has been going on since the Fourth of July party.

Of course, it was gratifying to have my friends admiring the new me.   I had a really slinky black outfit to wear, a nice light linen sweater over a skirt I bought three years ago which looks a lot better now than it did when I bought it, and it didn’t look that bad when I acquired it.   People are great in this group, they know just how flattering to be without going overboard or sounding insincere.

The cake was great, but I have to say the pizza Jim created for dinner tonight was superb.   Yes, I have food porn for all you foodies.   Following is a shot of the second pizza.


Sorry, this picture in no way does justice to the amazing flavors that were running around my mouth when I bit into that.

Just look at the colors:  the pesto was freshly made today.   We went out and harvested the basil bushes for the second time today.  When we finally had all the leaves removed from the stalks there were almost TWO pounds (that would be almost a whole KILO) of basil leaves.   We did not have enough pine nuts in the house so a grocery store run had to be made to complete the task of putting the pesto together.   It is in the freezer now.

While we were doing that, the tomato puree was cooking down (it still is, for that matter).   I canned 22 pints of puree on Saturday morning, and this batch will make another 24 or so.

We also are roasting tomatoes every night, and freezing them each morning.  This will make a particularly wonderful addition to the food repertoire during the winter.

Needless to say, our house is redolent of the mixed flavors of roasting and simmering tomatoes mixed with basil and roasted garlic with a splash of fresh bread thrown in.   My senses are reeling.   That could have something to do with the wine I have been sampling today.   We took a bottle of our Marechal foch from last year out to share with Jay and Jeri, and one of our friends stopped by with some absolutely amazing pear wine, which we were compelled to sample as well.   I haven’t been this drunk in quite some time.   I think my calorie count for the day has been completely blown.   Oh well.   Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do, drink what there is to drink, and eat what there is to eat.

The first pizza had the freshly roasted tomatoes used as a sauce which was topped by salami from Columbo in San Francisco, plus fresh mushroom and olives.   That was a great pizza, I have to say.

But this pizza was even better.   Now, let’s just get it over with and let you know that the crust was home made with freshly ground wheat from the food room.  So it was pretty special to begin with.   Then it was topped with the fresh pesto, followed by fresh home made whole milk mozzarella, which Jim made a few days ago from milk that I get from one of my massage clients.   She and her husband have a dairy, and I get fresh unpasteurized unhomogenized milk and she gets massage for a discount.   It’s all good.

Okay, so then on top of that is a freshly sliced vine ripened organic tomato at the peak of its ripeness.

I have to take a break now for the flavor orgasm.


The  flower garden is pretty right now.   This is an atmospheric view of the pergola over the Hosta Dell, which is decked in Sweet Autumn Clematis right now.   In front of it is a selection of the grasses in the Petite Prairie.


The sauna garden is looking splendid too.  The marigolds and sedums are prime.


The moon flowers FINALLY bloomed.  This one is on the fence out by the pond.   I am very proud of this crop, all the plants I started myself from seeds I collected from last year’s blooms.   So my moon flowers have come full circle.


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One of the things that appealed to me about Jim was the fact that he enjoyed reading.   When I first went to meet his parents, I noticed book shelves with books in the living room.   I thought that was a good sign.   It was only much later that I had my attention drawn to the entire wall of books in the basement.

When his mother died and the contents of the house were being dealt with, many of those books came home to reside with us.   I doubt if any of them have “value” in terms of money.   There are times when I wonder what criteria were used to decide which books to tote here.  When the boxes arrived, they were put up onto our shelves willy-nilly.   There is NO cataloguing or arrangement system in place at The Havens, I am afraid, and the situation will only deteriorate when the books at my parents’ place have to be dealt with.

So anyway, the other day we were motivated to search for Owen Wister’s “The Virginian” and in the process one of the odd books that has been hiding on the shelves in the back room rose to the surface of the ocean, so to speak, and floated into the living room, where it has been amusing us.

This book is “Ten Thousand Dreams Interpreted: or What’s in a Dream, A Scientific and Pracitcal Exposition,” by one Gustavus Hindman Miller.  This book was copyrighted 1901, and this is the first (and probably only) edition.   How it arrived at the family manse and why it stayed long enough to be adopted by us is a mystery.   The book is not.

(I have a “Dream Dictionary”, by Tony Crisp, copyright 2002, which I use occasionally to help me elucidate some of my rather odd dreams.   Let me just say that I don’t put a lot of credence into dream interpretation, but sometimes by looking in my D. D. I get an insight into what the heck is going on in my subconscious.)

Now that the usual disclaimers have been made, I wish to present to you one of the Ten Thousand Dreams, as interpreted by Herr Miller.

“For a woman to dream of flying from one city to another, and alighting on church spires,”    Wait, we must stop here for a moment and meditate on this image.   How poignant, how precise a dream.  It is the “alighting on church spires” part that really intrigues me.   Is this such a common dream, alighting on church spires while flying from one city to another? “foretells she will have much to contend against in the way of false persuasions and declarations of love.  She will be threatened with a disastrous season of ill health, and the death of some one near to her may follow.”

(In contrast, the 2002 book relates dreaming of flying suggestive of confidence and the ability to solve present life problems.  By the way, there is no mention of alighting on church spires.)

I don’t know.   I just like the imagery, the way the language is used, the very archaic view of life and relationships.

If you dream of “falling from a foot-log into clear water, it signifies short widowhood terminating in an agreeable marriage.  If the water is not clear, gloomy prospects.”  Something that signifies widowhood is not gloomy?   I guess it depends on who you are widowed from.  (There are no foot-logs in the 2002 book.)

Here’s another:  “For a man to dream that he is a girl, he will be weak-minded, or become an actor and play female parts.”  Wonder if Dustin Hoffman and Robin Williams ever dreamed of being a girl?

Okay, just one more.   “Mountain:  For a young woman to dream of crossing a mountain in company with her cousin and dead brother, who was smiling, denotes she will have a distinctive change in her life for the better, but there are warnings against allurements and deceitfulness of friends.   If she becomes exhausted and refuses to go further, she will be slightly disappointed in not gaining quite so exalted a position as was hoped for by her.”

Have you ever, woman or man, young or old, dreamed about crossing a mountain with your cousin and dead brother, who was smiling?

I don’t know.   This may become a regular feature at The Havens.

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