Saturday, April 29, 2006


A good day's work at night fall.

By the way, it rained 2.7 inches last night and today. Beautiful! Oklahoma City is actually .31 inches over for the monthly average but still over 2 inches low for the year. I may even have to mow for the first time this year next week.

leverage at work

The front porch stoop which used to be up on concrete blocks is now flat on the ground.

Friday, April 28, 2006

3 posts and 100% chance of rain

The only thing missing to make this a perfect morning is some donuts to have with my coffee! Hope there are no tornadoes to blow down my posts but the rain is otherwise welcome.

It's chilly as the clouds come it. I'm going to shut the windows and get a little reading done.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Two posts up and a porch to go

I thought I couldn't dig any deeper in this clay than the 18 inches I had struggled to reach but my neighbor, Ray, convinced me that I could so I kept digging, adding water, digging, adding water, digging.... I reached 24 inches (!) on two of the holes and sunk the posts. I tried to get the third hole dug but, as you can see, the darkness came first so I filled the hole with water and called it a night. If it doesn't rain in the morning, I will finish the third hole and sink that post. I am beginning to see the porch better in my mind. All that sitting and staring at my house is starting to turn into something tangible. Maybe I'm not just a hopeless dreamer!

I got to watch hummingbirds as I worked up until about 8:25 when I guess they called it a night. I look forward to seeing them in the morning. They seem used to me and didn't pay me any attention as they fed and fought over the feeder and just generally did their day. One of them was harrassing a chickadee in the redbud and then chased it across to another tree and then again to another. The chickadee (probably a carolina) looked big compared to the little ruby throat.

It has been a good day on the farm. It's amazing what a little encouragement from a neighbor and from some friends can help a person get accomplished.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

a hummer and a porch

I watched a hummingbird fly from flower to flower, tasting the nectar, then taking a few sips out of the feeder and then flying off around the house. Lovely!

I set the strings today for my 8x16 porch. I think that's big enough. I'm taking the 4x6s back and getting 4x4s. My neighbor is coming over in the morning to help me with the plan. Hopefuly, I can set the posts in the afternoon.

There's an 80 to 100% chance of rain on Friday. That'll be nice. It's not very green for it to be springtime. This morning was in the 40s and very chilly. It warmed up into the 60s in the afternoon and is chilly again tonight. I like it but it certainly does stay cold in the house a long time. It's not quite cold enough to light the wood stove or to stay in bed all covered up. But it almost is. I put the flannel sheets on today and the blankets and the comforter. I'm going to tuck in and read American Democracy, about the politics of oil, the religious right and the national debt and how our country is going down the tubes as countries will. Fascinating.

Monday, April 24, 2006


Well, it rained for about 4 minutes. I took all my animals outside to see it since they've never seen rain before. (They are all over a year old.) They liked it! After 30 seconds, they all ran inside and watched through the front door screen. Wish I'd gotten a picture.

The goats (who did not get a chance to come inside) were headed for their shelter but it stopped before they got there so they just started chewing their cud where they stopped. There was a bit of hay in the feeders but it had a few drops of rain on it and they so don't like to eat wet hay. They are, alas, like all goats -- notorious wasters of hay. When they strew it out in their yard, I always say, "there you go again, being notorious about your hay." They pay me no mind but it doesn't stop me from telling them.

Such is life on this little farm.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

High temperatures

I don't guess I mentioned that one day last week we had a record 96 degrees. The previous had been 92 in 1987. And it's April. Did I mention no rain?

Another record high

We hit a record 91 degrees today. The former was 89 in 1989. It did seem hot. It's supposed to be hot Monday and then cool back down to the 60s and 70s the rest of the week. Still no rain. Everything is so dry. I watered yesterday and it's dry already where I watered. I feel a pervasive sadness about it all.

Ruby, the pond queen

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Hummingbird argument

There are two male ruby throats out there, arguing over the feeder. To me, they are using up precious energy. There are four feeder holes on the thing! What do I know, though? Maybe their argument goes way back to when they were dinosaurs or some such. All I do know is that I'm glad they are gracing my feeder and me with their presence, however heated their attitude.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Coffee and porch materials

Today, Preston and I had lunch after work and then had coffee at a new shop in Moore -- The Blue Bean Coffee Company. There was quite a bluish/purple tinge as we walked in. The coffee was pretty good and the atmosphere was ok. The proprietors tried to give us one coffee card and asked for Preston's name, as if we were married. I said, "They think we're together," and we laughed, and Preston said we probably would be but we're both gay. There was a pause and then one woman said one of her best friends is gay and that was funny too but we took it in stride, as Preston and I will, got separate coffee cards and drank coffee, occasionally talking to the women at the shop.

Then we went to Home Depot and I bought three 4x6x12 posts, six 80 pound bags of concrete and six 2x4x8s. He helped me load it up and when I got home I put the concrete and the 2x4s in the barn and the posts in the yard. (I have a very special way of unloading 80 pound bags of concrete.) Then I went and got 15 small bales of alfalfa for the goats and stacked it in the barn. Then I watered some and fell asleep on the sofa for a glorious few minutes as the unmistakable sound of the hummingbirds at the window feeder hummed me into dream land. I awoke and read and watered some more

So now I have the beginnings of the porch. Next, I will dig the holes. Right now, I will go to bed.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

More hummers

Kelly and I sat outside this afternoon from about 5 to 6 watching a couple of hummingbirds (ruby-throated, of course). They flew from the feeder to several different trees, usually to the same spot in the trees. We watched one preen for several minutes in the rebud tree. It was precious. They weren't competing quite as harshly as they do sometimes. I suppose that will come later in the season when they are more possessive of their territory. They were both males. I saw at least one female this morning.

The sound they make is so obvious and special to them. At first it sounds like a big bug but is louder than that and unmistakable. They light on the feeder perch or on the tree limbs for seconds or minutes. They become so much more real and birdlike when they are perched. Kelly is going to Belize next month and will have the chance to see dozens of different types of hummers, I suppose. That will be neat!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Today I saw the first hummer of the season. It came to the feeder I had put out quite a few days ago. I heard the sound and opened the curtain. Sure enough, that's what it was! Hummingbirds are magnificent! The feeder had been over run by ants, though, and I don't think the bird liked the food. I cleaned it out and made new sugar water and put vaseline on the hanger. I read that might keep the ants out. I didn't have an ant problem last year so hope they find something else to eat. How do they find the sugar water hangin in the air on a small wire? That's amazing.

Monday, April 17, 2006


I saw 4 scissortail flycatchers sitting on the telephone wire today -- 3 on the top wire and 1 on the bottom. It was very striking against the evening sky. Their tails are so fascinating.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Firsts for the Season

Today I experienced the first mosquito of the season -- actually the first three or four! Certainly not my favorite part of spring but I suppose we can't have one without the other. I planted asparagus and a bleeding heart today, both gifts from a dear friend. I planted potatoes and carrots a week or two ago. My timing may not be good but at least I got the things in the ground. Sometimes I get so lost in thought about gardening that I forget to actually go out and plant things. I planted some wild flowers, Granpa Ott's morning glories and have plans for marigolds.

The hibiscus is coming back from last year. I thought perhaps I had lost it to the drought. I did lose some lavendar, the fennel, the strawberries (they were about spent, though), several rose bushes (I have got to stop planting tea roses in central Oklahoma!) and a plum tree I didn't pay enough attention to. -- By the way, I am not going to worry about grammar on this thing. --

Anyway, It was hot today for April 16th -- 91 degrees -- and still no rain. We are over three inches low already for the year and normal by now is only about seven inches so we've had half as much rain as normal. That is after last year's problems. Guess we'll have to hunker down and conserve and keep the hearty plants going and let the others go.

I have cut back on my driving in the past few months but that's a whole 'nother post so here ends the day's recorded history.

The skunk scent

Instead of, "skunks stink," how about:

It's sort of a thick, powdery smell
like when you breathe it in
it coats the passages
all the way through your nostrils and your throat
to your lungs --
not a wet coating but a dry one,
hence the "powdery" quality.

It's not really a stinky smell but more of just
an unpleasant one
Sort of like when you're chewing
something you don't like the taste of
but even more
you don't like the texture
So much so that you have to spit
it into the napkin
and then you can't
get rid of the taste
that lingers long after
partly because of
the awful texture.

Anyway, that's what
the skunk smell is.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

To Ferron

Instead of "Thank you for putting your music out and saving my mind and my life" How about:

In the center of the ocean
where no one has been or will be
on all sides deep
there must be little pockets
as in a pair of work jeans
places where necessary things are waiting
just in case
Like a pocket knife
a few coins
or a scrap of paper
maybe a stub of pencil
just in case
someone finally does make it down there

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A Day

A full day so far. I've figured out a few things about this blog thing, painted the front door and a garden chair (red), and waterproofed the outdoor wood furmiture. I dug up my brick walk and used the 6,8,10 rule (or 3,4,5, according to how you look at it) to square off the corners for the new porch which I have been planning for the past few years. I think I'll make it 8x16, a big project, I know, but 12 feet will be right over the pipe to the septic tank.

The coffee I am drinking is exquisite, I like it with cream.

It's harder to write when I imagine someone might read it. I've been to a few blogs today and some people tell too much information. On the other hand, what difference does it make? I can either read it or not. It's different when I'm the one doing the writing, though. I mean, what if I say something I don't mean? Or what if I misspell something? I suppose I can always delete the post.

Also, I did some laundry. Not exciting, I guess, but a satisfactory feeling from it nevertheless.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Instead of “You told a spectacular story tonight,” why not:

You took off your dress,
slipped your shoulders and arms
out of the sleeves
and let it fall to the floor.
You were more than naked underneath
You were an ocean into which
I dove
Salt water trickling down my throat
The essence of you swallowed
into my being
You were a sea bird
with graceful wings
lifting you over the water
No land in sight
Alone in the vastness
Yet at one with the mystery
The water
The flight
The sky
The horizon
The distant shore
The floor where your dress fell.
I saw through you then
But I was born too late to touch you