30 October 2010

momma's time in the bobcat.

my momma was a good one.

this photograph is one she had my co-worker terry take while my brothers were out on jobs many years ago. she asked terry to teach her how to operate the loader and then eye-scoop a picture of her in it. she later surprised my brothers by giving them each a framed photograph of her for their office desks-- this exact view of her waving.

once in a while, as the screen saver of pictures at work scans through the albums on the computer, i'd see this scene of her and feel like it meant something more. it'd stay up for a few seconds, and i'd stop whatever i was doing so i could cherish it. the earth and a body shutting down took her from us four years and a bit more than eight months ago when she totaled sixty years. i often see her as the good some people just can't seem to be in this life.

27 October 2010

a narrow castle.

i've never seen a narrow castle (para-light house ?) like this except in my mom's side yard. her father or grandfather made them with shards of glass, bowls, and anything of the like. my brother scott relocated it behind the barn. it has a windmill-inspired twin still lodged in the ground at my mom's old house, in the yard not far from the driveway.

this one was where a squared off sandbox used to be, not far from the driveway when i was a little one. i always loved playing near it for hours at a time.

18 October 2010

autumn soup in the city.

last weekend, a hamburg friend and i trotted our way to philadelphia on a sunday morning to let our eyes gulp the genetic anomalies on display at the mütter museum. but before that, we downed some brunch at the white dog café in the university city region. 

before my bananas foster stuffed french toast arrived at the table, i sipped spoonfuls of  apple cider pumpkin bisque with its light array of toasted pumpkin seeds and hidden raisins of the white grape variety.

not sweet nor tart but more savory, the contents of this bowl hugged well what hides under my ribcage--that proverbial fist-like mass which best enjoys the good in life through palate persuasions, especially fall finds.

16 October 2010

rose of sharon - sparin' an ''a'' for an ''e.''

rose of sharon ! althea.

but we always wish it were spelled sheron.

14 October 2010

the dead butterfly parade.

all too often, i find dead butterflies by the side of swamp pike. i collect them and always set them down in the shade on this bent cypress wood foot stool, for some reason i never really put much thought into--- and still don't seem to have the energy to either. sometimes, i don't want reasons. just actions.

and i spilled some poetry, persuaded by reminders.

a thin shell, wings, lyrics

pressed into its profile, the monarch
butterfly is a closed book against tired
pavement. with cars sweeping past

at 45 miles per hour, those papery
wings, they are silent without glory
and tremble of a short history. i cannot 

read her wingspan or her spine when
she is stuck to the ground, that butterfly.
the day's air flattens of her what once

fluttered, tiny toes formerly locked lightly
to pollen spots, and their quiet habit
is quieter still, in an unmoving throw

of orange and black with delicate
flecks of white. but even while dead,
she pulls the sky into her veins.


wood and wings. wooden wings. hm.

13 October 2010

shubs, oh shubs.

according to one of the two signs handled here by my brother matt here last week, we apparently had shubs on sale for $10.00 each.

mind the backwards j's turned lowercase l's. 

i thought he was testing me and that it was a joke to see if i'd pick on the misspelling. but he claimed it must have been a mistake. missing r's happen ! i found a spare to throw in for the creation of shrubs, which are now on sale for $10.00 each with select plants.

shubs, oh shubs.

12 October 2010

pumpkin pie, oh my.

yum and a half ? that's the phrasing that comes to mind when eye-gaping this pumpkin pie from oley's black bugging baking company. yesterday, i picked up two pies after work, with one as a gift, and one for the moi factor. i managed to eat half of it at once, with success across several facets, including-- no stomachache. shh.

flavor-swift bites were another winning attribute, luckily, as i expected since having devoured a peach crumble pie from felicia fisher several months ago. if i had a more flexible schedule for venturing out and about, i'd probably also have more pies eaten in my lifetime too.

i ate the remaining half of this pie for breakfast. my stomach clapped in agreement with the decision on this foggy morning.

08 October 2010

wild goldenrod, not ragweed.

i recently googled ''ragweed,'' wondering what it looked like since i wasn't familiar with it, and i ran into an acquaintance who had experienced a terrible allergy attack several weeks ago. she said it was due to ragweed pollen in the air. 

so i found photos that noted ragweed as this, but tonight, i realized it's commonly confused for ragweed but is wild goldenrod. i have some goldenrod from a perennial nursery, and it does of course look similar. but these yellow sprigs are all around right now, seeding on their own in let-go landscapes.

06 October 2010

cider applesauce wins my heart's vote.

swoon and a half already. so many meal-time ingredients can be titled comfort food. but this is one which i easily feel makes the whole world seem right and decent, when i down a spoonful of it-- cider applesauce crafted and jarred by bauman's apple butter in sassamansville.

a few years ago, i discovered this uncommon applesauce and fell in love, sharing it as gifts to others, and all with glee for the palate.

strawberry applesauce is a new one for me, and i'm sure i'll like it once i open the gleaming jar. i bought some cranberry applesauce for my sister last year or the year before.

one attribute i wholly adore about bauman's product line is that their vibrant variety of fruit butters are vegan. this means i can send my pennsylvania-turned-californian friend packages of it as surprises once in a while, given his vegan diet. it can be very tricky to find fitting food gifts anywhere, but i especially love that they can be a positive reminder of home for him while also paralleling perfectly with his eating choices.

bauman's apple butter easily knocks all other apple butters i've tried right out of the water, no exaggeration. in fact, when i'd buy some other brand at the grocery store just because i couldn't get to their shop during my schedule, it felt insulting to eat the inferior blend and was never quite up to par, ever. really. luckily, bauman's fruit butters are sold in quite a few locations around the area and even in neighboring counties.

some of their fruit butters are apple, pear, strawberry, strawberry-raspberry, strawberry-rhubarb,  apricot, peach, honey peach, plum, strawberry-rhubarb, blueberry, pumpkin, sweet tomato, and cherry.

for a chance to win 1 gallon of freshly pressed cider from bauman's apple butter, visit this news, not blues blog post and comment at the end of the story, noting your e-mail address. the contest ends sunday the 17th of october. spread around the freebie-love and some fruit butter too, perhaps ! 

04 October 2010

curing a clogged drain sans drain-o.

for a while, i let a clogged drain have its way with my tub. sick, i know. but i finally took the time to whip out the natural ingredients to get it kick-started to let water flow through it again. i always felt nauseous and wrong buying drain-o, looking at the ridiculous, what-the-hell-are-these ingredients listed on the bottle with all the cautions and warnings for its  havoc of health hazards. 

but a few years ago while i was covering a town hall meeting hosted by pennsylvania state representative david kessler, he made note of the easy, not so poison-ready, and more environmentally friendly way to free up a clogged drain-- something many people who have been around the block have known about for years. he mentioned the likes of baking soda and vinegar.

add about three-quarters cup of baking soda to the drain hole in the tub. then pour about a half-cup of vinegar over top of it, covering it securely with an object so that none of the liquid or powder climbs back up but stays down in the pipes.

leave that sitting for about half an hour. in the meantime, bring a teakettle of water to boil. after the half hour, uncover the drain and very slowly pour the hot water over the opening.

this should help to unclog the drain decently. if it's a very bag clog, repeat the process.

also, i shed like a banshee with oodles of hair, at least in the shower, so i had to use tweezers to grab up gathered goops of hair. ack ! so that definitely helped to clear the drain fully once i had used this au naturale method for unclogging.