Workin’

Beltane                                                                       Beltane Moon

Flagged off my Latin tutor for this Friday.  Bees, garden, retreat, finishing Missing combined to soak up my good work time.  To do well at the Latin I have to have a full day; it takes me awhile to turn on the neural network that recognizes cases, remembers Ovid’s peculiarities and enjoys the play of connotation and denotation.  Once I get in that place, which may take as much as a morning, then I can translate faster, with more facility.  But.  I need that unbroken time.  Just the way I work.

Rain kept me out of the garden last Thursday so I’ve got to out there right now and plant potatoes and chard.  The garden’s looking good, daffodils and tulips, bleeding heart and hosta, pachysandra and maiden-hair ferns greeting the strawberry blossoms, the asparagus spears, the green shafts of the allium family:  onion, shallot, garlic and the small leaves of the emerging beets.

Today, too, is another round in the Can I keep Gertie in the yard game?  I added another wire and plan yet more moves.  I’m smarter; she’s more persistent.  An equal match so far.

A lot of manure

Spring                                     Full Flower Moon

Moved two hundred pounds of composted manure by wheelbarrow from the garage back to the garden.  Gee, that got my heart rate up.  Moved the same yesterday, too.  Still amending beds.  I put down newspaper as mulch between my garlic rows, then layered composted manure on top of the newspaper.  Got caught up in repairing the damage done by the dogs.  I’ve done bits of it here and there over the last week or so, but this time I finished it up except for leveling.  That took the bulk of the time.  Also did some weeding and planted an errant onion that had ended up underneath the wisteria.

Since I restarted my non-cardio workout last night, I slept well.  The work this morning was labor intensive, moving the loaded wheelbarrow, shoveling soil from one place to another, so I should sleep well again tonight, too.

Last night I finished my ArtRemix research for tour #1.  I’m going to plan two tours, but am working on just one right now.  An educator from the Walker has given us a framework for thinking about art after WWII and when I plan the tour, finish reading the research and map out a path, I want to go through each piece from her five point perspective.

Timeless Masterpiece Liked

Samhain                               Waning Dark Moon

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

It never occurred to me just how much Emerson and Brad Childress have in common.  The Vikings are always getting ready for this Sunday, not thinking about last Sunday or the Sunday after this one.  This is the only game that counts right now.  This one.  Quarterbacks especially, but all others, too, must have short memories so bad plays won’t affect their next play.  Which is the only play that counts.  Of course, encephalopathy from hitting large, fast moving objects also helps.

Perhaps Eckhart Tolle has an NFL consulting career ahead of him and a new book:  This Game is the Only Game-Play Here Now.

Scientists Dissect Coworker To Find Out More About Scientists Fri, Nov 06 2009 This important segment and the following article:   Timeless Masterpiece Liked are on the Onion website.

Primal Eating

71  bar rises 29.87 0mph NE dew-point 58  sunrise 6:00  sunset 8:38 Lughnasa

New (Corn) Moon

A vegetarian meal  tonight.  Spaghetti squash, golden beets, cucumber tomato and onion salad and cooked whole onion.  Colorful and healthy.  All but the tomatoes were from our garden, including the garlic and cilantro sauteed in olive oil as a dressing for the squash.  After the OMG tomatoes the plants have settled into production with many fruits, but none mature right now.

I know some perhaps many of you who read this cook things straight out of your garden or meat from your stock, but I haven’t done it much.  Flowers and shade plants, shrubs and trees have occupied my time.  I love them and will always tend them but the vegetables now have my attention.

Primal eating happens when you go pluck five beets out of the earth, take them into the sink and wash them off, trim the leaves and roots away, then slice these hardy roots into smaller pieces, add tarragon and balsamic vinegar, some salt, cook and eat them.  The same tonight with the spaghetti squash, the cucumber, the onion, both in the salad and the one I cooked whole.   I knew these plants when they were tiny seeds, barely bigger than the lead in a pencil or when they were small potted specimens.  The onions and the garlic went into the ground as what they would become, only larger.  In each case though the same hands that harvested them prepared for eating.

10,000 years ago some hunters and gatherers first planted seeds and tended crops.  The effect on human culture still gathers momentum even today.  Nomadic life began to disappear for those people.  Settled villages sprang up around the fields.   The keeping of animals for food was more predictable than the hunt.  In both cases though our ancestors had to give up the moving from place to place depending on season and game patterns.  Our bodies, developed in the paleolithic to survive predators and hunt for prey, found themselves out of place.

They still do.  So, while gathering and cooking goes far back in our history, it does not go all the way back to that earlier phase of the moveable feast.  This fall, however, when Kate and I pick wild grapes that grow in our woods and turn them into jam we will travel back to those ancient times, the ancient trail of seeking food where it decides to be rather than where we care for it.

This meal tonight was a Lughnasa meal, a meal of first fruits, the harvest we do not plan to store either through drying or canning.  As a Lughnasa meal, it put us in contact with those early Celts whose gardens might spell the difference between survival and starvation.  We live in a wealthier time, but not in one any less dependent on the gifts of mother earth.