Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

I mentioned yesterday that I had decided to accept the Nablopomo December challenge to post once every day for the entire month.   I was intrigued by the theme, which they defined thusly:  “. . . this month’s theme is ZEITGEIST. You have 31 days to try to capture the mood of your culture and your life as they exist right now. Use every tool in your blog box.”    I vaguely recalled hearing that term in some art history course or something, but I wasn’t totally sure what the definition was so I grabbed my handy dictionary and looked it up.

“The taste and outlook characteristic of a period or generation,” is how my American Heritage Dictionary defines it.

“I can get into this,”  I thought.   All day thoughts arose in my mind about how to explain the zeitgeist of my life to all of you:  both the regular visitors and commenters and the casual droppers by who stop by when I participate in certain memes.   What is characteristic of this household, something that would define us and give a feel for our philosophy of life and what is to our taste?

I’m not sure exactly what “defines” us here.   Perhaps it is the commitment to controlling what we eat as much as possible.

It occurred to me as I was folding the daily batch of massage linens that perhaps that activity might best define the boundaries and limits of our Universe here at The Havens.   Since I am a massage therapist, there are lots of linens to wash, every day.

Sometimes when I do laundry I envision how my sheets would look if they went through their path of travel without me being in the picture.   There would be these disembodied pieces of fabric flying down the hall and pouring themselves into the hamper, then leaping in a bunch and shaking themselves out as they flung themselves into the washer. Later they shuffle wetly through the short space from washer to dryer, and then flip and flop about in the livingroom as they magically made themselves into flat folded packets that then pile themselves up and march sedately down the hall to finally come to rest at the bottom of a pile of sheets in the cupboard, where they are stored.  Over the course of a few days, they rise to the top of the pile, sail out of the cupboard, unfold themselves in a wave and then float down onto the massage table, only to begin their cycle once again.

While I was walking Ruby today I realized that that could be the defining aspect of the culture of this house.   The dog gets walked.   Regardless of weather, state of mind or health, the dog gets outside where she can empty her bladder and bowels in the fresh air and where she can sniff the neighborhood’s odors and secrets out to her heart’s content.

The following photo vignette exemplifies one of the pitfalls of having a few more interests and activities going on than one can really keep track of.  This is what I found under the back of the couch when I was vacuuming today.

That is all that is left of the seeds I saved from the heirloom tomatoes that we grew this year that were SOOOO good.   The little mice ate them all up right before I put out traps and killed them all.  I guess the seeds were just as tasty and exotic as the tomatoes themselves were.   Fortunately I can get seeds from the gal I got the tomatoes from.   I need to figure out a better way to store my seeds too.

Zeitgeist.   It’s complicated.

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New camera

I have to say that I have had a very humbling experience in the last few weeks.

My brother got himself a new digital SLR camera, and back when I was going through the dumps he inquired as to whether I would be amenable to taking custody of his old SLR, an Olympus E1.   Perhaps it is “old technology” now, but I have been rather lusting after another SLR camera since I sort of gave up using the old film SLR I used to use.   So, I agreed to a custody arrangement, and the Division of Camera Services approved my application for foster parentage.   In due time, the camera arrived in a very portentously heavy box, complete with insurance, signature upon delivery required.

Very excited, I opened the box, and found not only the camera, but a 14-42mm lens, a comprehensive instruction manual, all  the paperwork and instructions in several foreign languages that came with the camera when originally purchased, software for allowing the camera to talk to the computer, 7 extra 1 gigabyte memory cards, and extra battery and charger, all the cords necessary for connecting the camera to other electronic devices, and a rather wonderful camera bag.


My IT guy installed the appropriate software, we put the battery in the camera and turned it on.   My, my, my.   It takes pictures!

It takes pictures exactly as you instruct it to, which means that so far I have had no particularly good luck with my essays to the garden and house.   I have discovered that I need to use a tripod if I am going to take pictures inside without a flash in my rather comfy but dim house.  I have discovered that the camera has its own way of interpreting what it is seeing, and it is very different from the results you get with a point and shoot.

I guess what I am trying to say is that the point and shoot sort of cameras that I have been using for the last five or six years have made me technology dependent.   Some people might even say that the P&S sort of camera is mostly idiot proof.  What I have discovered, to my chagrin, is that I am apparently an idiot.

I spent a pleasant afternoon the other day reading the entire instruction manual in an attempt to get a handle on this camera.

This is the best shot I have gotten so far.

I’m sure there will be more to come as I become more familiar with my new toy.

In other news, we had a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with my parents, sister, and son all in attendance along with my very good friend Kathryn, who was visiting me from Asheville.   It was an evening completely devoid of drama, and so everyone had a wonderful time.

The food was wonderful.

The last three Thanksgivings for Jesse were spent in Iraq, so he was very thrilled to get to experience a fresh home cooked meal for the occasion.

Kathryn and Jesse helped me paint my utility room while they were here.   Not only do the walls look fresh and new and unblemished, everything got taken out of all the cabinets and closets and cleaned before being replaced.   I even threw a few things away, although I was gratified to learn that there isn’t a lot of stuff in there that doesn’t get used on a fairly regular basis.

I feel renewed by the “girl time” that I got while Kathryn was here.  It was so wonderful to see her.

I have signed up for the Nablopomo December “blog post every day for a month” challenge.   So we will see how that goes.

Meanwhile, we are enjoying some light snow and brisk winds.

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Photohunt: Juicy

The hunt today is on the theme “Juicy.”

I thought about this theme all week.  I expect we will be seeing lots of fruit, especially luscious ripe fruit.   I’m inclined to join in on that.   We produce juicy grapes every year now, in our vineyard.

We put them through our stemmer/crusher, and they prove their juiciness.

Here you can see them in all their glory, in the fermenting container, right before we pitched the yeast and began the fermentation process.

They make a fabulous jelly, too.

But there is another connotation of “juicyness” that attracts me for this theme.  The second definition in Webster for “juicy” is “Interesting, racy, or titillating.”   I aspire to being a juicy older woman, and I have lots of friends who fit that bill.   They are interesting, they are involved in relationships where they titillate their partner and are titillated by them, they are not above a certain raciness.   I’d like to think that I also fit that description.   And so, a selection of my juicy friends.

We’re all well over fifty.   And we are juicy — men too!

Have fun visiting other photohunters.

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Once again Garden Bloggers Bloom Day has rolled around.   Hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens, this is the day when gardeners from all over the world share with each other what happens to be in bloom in their gardens.

While things have slowed down considerably, there is still quite a bit going on at The Havens.  There are little spots that are sheltered, there are very hardy bloomers still hanging on in spite of three mornings in a row with frost on the ground and a hard freeze a couple of weeks ago.

The sheltered include one lone optimistic Purple Hyacinth Bean. . .

. . . a couple of clematis . . .

. . . the salad greens in the cold frames and the swiss chard.

The hardy optimists are the bed of garlic . . .

. . . the Knockout Rose, which truly is on its last legs. . .

. . . several different dianthus . . .

. . . Mexican hat . . .

. . . the one chrysanthemum that I have not managed to kill . . .

. . . some pink yarrow . . .

. . . and the last of the fall blooming crocuses.

There are a couple of black eyed susans still persevering, hugging the warmth of the ground, and the miniature rose in front is also still pretending that it is rose season.

But by and large, the bloom season seems to be done for this year.   Right now we are harvesting the leaves from The Havens, the rental property that The Havens owns and the neighbors across the street who never do anything to their lawn but mow it.

Soon it will be truly winter, and I imagine at that time I will discover that I need new long winter underwear, just like I discovered that I need new outer wear earlier this year.   I hate shopping.

The winter birds are here.   We have a full complement of titmice and chickadees, a large flock of juncos, lots of carolina wrens, sparrows and finches, a group of cardinals, blue jays, red winged black birds, downy wood peckers, rose bellied wood peckers and hairy wood peckers.  There are still robins hanging around.  The other night an owl had a young dove for dinner.  I also was pleased to note a nuthatch hunting on the elms yesterday.   The yard sounds very busy when you walk around it.

Well, I must go off to walk Miss Ruby.   Stop around to visit some of the other participants in GBBD here.

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Photohunt: Dark

Today the theme for photohunt is “Dark.”   The other players can be found at TNChick’s site.

I had a challenge with this one, as most pictures I take of or in the dark don’t turn out well.   I thought about how we feel when we see a big dark cloud like this forming in the west.

You are always happy to see the chance of rain forming, but a cloud like that often contains hail, high winds or a tornado.

One night I caught a pair of spiders courting.   Most of the shots I got of this activity were out of focus as the camera was having a difficult time deciding what in the world I was pointing it at.

Contrary to popular myth, she did not kill and eat him, he successfully completed his mission and escaped back to the edge of the web.

I love bonfires, and they always look best at night, after dark.

I like to sit in my living room late at night, in the dark, and watch the gases burn in my airtight fireplace insert.

No picture I have does this vision justice.   The burning gases flicker in all the hot colors, from yellow through orange and into purple,  floating and dancing like northern lights in miniature, an elemental force contained within a steel box in my living room.

So glad you stopped by to visit.

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