Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Turning Down the Volume

Why are we all so angry?  When did we all get so loud?

I am weary of the cacophony that occurs when opposites (religious, political, sports) assert that because they deeply believe they are right that that means the other side must be deeply wrong -- and worse than wrong, evil, or stupid, or deliberately obtuse.

And right now, as you read that sentence you are saying, "umm hm" because you are sure that I'm talking about them. 

I'm not talking about them.  I'm talking about us.  I mean, them and us.

I cannot possibly be the only person who believes it might behoove us all to learn when saying more words more loudly doesn't make us more right, or more noble, or more intelligent, or more possessed of some special insight.  

Sometimes it just makes us noisier.

I rarely discuss politics in the public forum, and I'm certainly not going to start doing that now. 

While I do write about faith on occasion, it's only mine on which I can speak with any true knowledge or insight, or authority.  

I am passionate about college football -- most especially the Crimson Tide -- but I don't believe it makes me morally or intellectually superior or more fun to be with than any of my friends who have a particular favorite of their own. 

And let's face it -- we seem to be incapable much anymore of recognizing when the horse just ain't gettin' up again.

I really do believe we can be different and remain civil, and if we can be that we might actually start to listen to one another again.  We might actually be able to hear ourselves think again.

Perhaps the biggest gift I have received from being hurt a couple months ago is that of craving silence.  I seem to have a threshold of noise/words/visual clues I can process in a day before I get skizzy.   

Lately, the volume has begun to go up on all the Big Issues again, and for whatever it's worth I am hereby withdrawing my own noise from those arenas.  

Exercise your right to vote or not.  Exercise your right to worship or not. Exercise your right to enjoy a good game in good spirits.

But I'm going to -- when I need not to hear all that noise -- take some time to just be quiet and watch this over and over.  

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Henry's Garden - RIP

There hasn't been a garden post in a while. Things have really come to a halt out there over these past few weeks, and it wasn't looking all that pretty so I figured I'd spare the pre-eulogy.  But it's done, now, and so it's time to look back.

So, here's how things went:  some things just did not do well at all. The squash were the first casualty, which broke my heart.  Melons were a bust (cantaloupe came in, but were tasteless).  Beans just didn't quite do their thing.  Eggplant were marginal, cucumbers were awesome, and the tomatoes kept the Farmer very happy for a sufficiently long period of time. Green peppers just didn't happen, but the radishes were amazing while they lasted.

But the biggest surprise to me was the okra.  I have spent most of a lifetime avoiding it whenever and however possible.  It got to where  Henry was picking a basket of it almost every morning, and I just couldn't bear not figuring out how to use it.   Henry started out frying it up, but it has been a hot summer, and who wants to do that regularly in the heat?

Then I ran across a place on the internet that said steaming it just to doneness created a whole 'nother dining experience, so I figured, "Why not?"

Oh. My. Goodness.

Love at first bite, people.  My life has changed.

I learned some other things while Henry's garden 
went about its business, 
things I want to share with you.  

1.  Something is always happening, even when you can't see it.

2.  Farmers are just little boys 
all grown up,
 looking for some dirt in which to play.

3.  Even the best farmer in the world can use help sometimes.

4.  Rain helps everything grow.

5. There's a whole lot of excitement in pretty things that spring up. It's easy to be dazzled, and we enjoy admiring beauty.

But it often happens that when beautiful things are free from spending so much energy on being noticed they are finally able to reveal their hidden gifts and best fruit.

6.  Some days, just showing up can make somebody's day.

7.  When you've been married a long, long time to your best friend,  gifts from the heart trump gifts from the wallet every time.

8.  And finally, there comes a time when it just seems all 
the good stuff is over....

But guess what?

I looked at the garden this morning and saw some flashes of color. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me, so I walked through a misty rain to take a closer look.

And I got my final lesson from the garden.

9.  Easter happens around us, all the time.

Morning Glory!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Down By the Riverside

We had a great time at the riverfront today watching the Dragon Boat Races.   Here are some of my favorite shots that really pretty much have nothing to do with the races!  Click on photos to make them a little bigger, if you like. If you do that, just hit the back button to get back to the blog.  Thanks for looking!

Periwinkles and Storm Clouds
Most of the day held the threat of rain, but except for a very light and brief sprinkle at the end of the day, what we got were really nice breezes off the water.  

These are in wonderful planters all up and down the Riverwalk. 

These sculptures are also all along the Riverfront. 
 They really do cause you to do a doubletake!

See?  You looked again!

Water, water, everywhere -- below and above!

This might be my favorite picture from the afternoon, because I took it blind.  I couldn't see the viewfinder because of the glare, so I just aimed the camera in the general direction of the shot I wanted and punched the button. 

Chinese exchange students from AUM (I think!)
added to the spirit of the day.

Genesis 1:3-9


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Canna, after a summer rain.

Want more Wordless Wednesday?   click  here!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Our Saturday in Pictures

So, this is the first all-day, spend-the-night thing we've done with Rosemary, and I have a feeling that when we hand her back over to her folks tomorrow we will be crashing shortly thereafter.

We've had fun....

We sugared some blueberries for a cobbler.....

.... with turbinado sugar

Then we went outside and saw a HUGE butterfly, but by the time we walked back inside to get my camera he was gone.  But this is where he was.

Really.  RIGHT there.

Pop had worked hard on tents and stuff all morning, so when he came in he needed a little attention.  

Pop needs a stylist!

...and maybe a little more off the top.

On the other hand, maybe I like him just fine the way he is.

We got by for a short visit with Granny and Pap, where Rosemary shared a banana with Pap.  Not just anybody gets to do that.  He's pretty particular about his banana company.   Granny has been going through lots of old things, and had these three pictures laid out on the kitchen counter.  Left and center are Rosemary's great-great grandfathers, and on the right is her great-grandfather.  All three of them served as President of the Montgomery Rotary Club.  That's pretty cool.
Granny also had this sitting out -- a vintage baby food jar, filled for who knows how many years with discarded screws that somebody was probably sure they would need someday.   We went to Target just after this, and I checked -- they don't make Vegetables with liver, with bacon, anymore.   Imagine that.

Also at Target we rounded a corner and found another BFF for Rosemary.  This was a hit.

At least that's what it looks like, the way I see it.


Remember these?

I never got around to making the blueberry cobbler.  I made meatloaf -- with ketchup, just the way Henry wanted it -- and I was afraid if I made traditional meatloaf AND a cobbler for the same meal I'd wake up wearing a string of pearls and feel compelled to wear stockings and heels whilst cleaning house.