Hank likes Chickens

Peter Mayle inspired me to write in this blog. I was researching books, memoirs, blogs about Provence and re-discovered Mr. Mayle. He is a Brit who moved to a small town in Provence 25 years ago. I read his book A Year in Provence and knew that someday it would be my destination. Now, approaching 60, Provence here I come. Here we come, because Erica, my traveling side-kick is going too.  We both prefer people watching, eating in cafes and walking rather then say,  shopping, museum-hopping and tourist traipsing. Peter Mayle  mentioned in an interview that he writes 600 words every day by the southern French light that shines through his windows.  He is 70 years old and still has things to say. I am writing by the southern Vermont light that filters through the pines and maple leaves that are my view from the French room. Also, The Artist’s Way at Work strongly encourages one to write three “morning pages” every day. It doesn’t matter what you write, just do it. Something will emerge. I am up to 166 words and nothing much is emerging except that I am writing about other people writing. Jealous. Where is my novel? Where is it?

The garden is a crazy mess. The tomatoes are late. The beans are late. The green peppers are late. Weeds everywhere. Craig and I spent most of Monday putting up posts and stringing wire for the electric fence.  A fresh fence now vibrates with electricity. Beware creatures of the forest. Skunks, bunnies, deer and whatever have been feasting.  Potatoes look glorious. Corn is catching up. Lettuce growing with abandon. It’s not so bad. We are eating salad nearly every day.

I spent some time on Railroad Street today and did not hear anyone cussing nor did I witness unexpected exposed flesh. There were a lot of babies in strollers. A nice couple gestured me to their parking place which still had two hours paid up on the meter.  A sign advertized live music at the Wine Gate this Friday evening. I am watching for the so-called crap and corruption reported in the Caledonian-Record.

Hank recovered from his fear of the chickens and now thinks it’s fun to run around their outdoor play area. The chickens react by jumping all over each other and yelling in their chicken way.  That only makes Hank run more laps and then pant very close to the cage. Sometimes, he stands there quietly which they seem to tolerate.


How Does Your Garden Grow

Potatoes, corn, squash, tomatoes, beans, lettuce, green pepper and cucumbers

Potatoes, corn, squash, tomatoes, beans, lettuce, green pepper and cucumbers

Planted beets and carrots for the third time. We have been so focused on indoor projects, that we neglected the garden. The electric fence is not working. Deer, rabbits and who knows what other creatures have been feasting on the snow peas, bean plants, spinach. Cleared out all the carrot and beet seedlings. Last summer, I spent a lot more time in the garden and brought Hank with me. He did his rounds sniffing, peeing and generally spreading his dog essence every which way. I like to think that this was critical in keeping the interlopers at bay.

I watched The Patience Stone last night and was entranced by the acting and dialogue. It was a complicated story told in the simplest fashion. The film relied on a beautiful actress whose expressiveness made reading the sub-titles almost unnecessary. I cannot remember her name, but know that she is Persian. It plumbed provocative issues about gender, sexuality, religion, morality and politics. The setting is probably Afghanistan although no country is identified and no names are used. The main character is taking care of her husband who is in a vegetative state after being shot in the neck. He is a rebel fighter and she goes to great lengths to hide him from harm. She uses this opportunity to talk to him in a way that was not possible before his injury. Clearly, it is an oppressive relationship that now benefits from this woman’s need to tell her husband all of her secrets. He is a captive audience who, because of his physical state, listens completely and non-judgmentally. At least it looks that way. The Patience Stone is one of the best films I have watched in years.


Hank’s Kidz

Where are the kidz?

Where are the kidz?

This is Hank sleeping and dreaming about Drize-a-roo 2014.  He spent an entire week learning the likes and dislikes of each kid. Who likes to play like a dog. Who likes to teach lessons old-school fashion. Who likes to run up and down the driveway. Who doesn’t mind wet, smelly paws and drooling on their laps. Who doesn’t get tired of non-stop petting. Who enjoys looking but not touching so much. It was dog heaven…..

Garden Notes

Lettuce, peas are growing in abundance. The second planting of beets and carrots failed. Tomatoes are thriving, lots of yellow flowers, no fruit. Spinach eaten by a big, fat hare. Growing again. Potatoes look great. Corn growing slowly about 4 inches high. Beans growing slowly. Cucumbers and green pepper plants started to grow after heavy rain last week. Will try a third planting of carrots, beets and brocoli. Henry Homeyer recommends planting for fall harvest.

I have been thinking about Caledonian-Record ongoing articles about the “undesirable” individuals living in St. Johnsbury. The Selectboard just learned that Vermont CARES distributes 75 thousand needles every year. Fifteen needles were found in parks and on roadsides during the year. Not a bad ratio. Simmer down Selectboard. There was a provocative letter to the Editor from an individual who tends to lean towards Tea Party philosophies. Slammed the Selectboard for passing the “Profanity” ordinance. Asked them to define profanity. Made a point that St. Johnsbury Downtown went to hell in a handbasket with the closing of Hovey’s Department store and the Green Mountain Fruit Market. Shamed the individuals who are calling out Depot Square tenants. Stop blaming the poor. It’s so easy, they don’t have time to represent themselves politically on any level. Too busy getting surviving the day.

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