Archive for August, 2011

you are now entering wilderness

I’m getting excited about going to the Smokies. We’re out Labor Day with plans to stop in Kentucky on the way. I’m thinking some dispersed camping in the Daniel Boone. Looking forward to hanging out in the woods, letting the dogs be dogs and pretty much do what they like, hiking, beating the heat.

Plus getting back in the Appalachians has an appeal. In 2000 i hiked the first 136 miles of the AT, all of Georgia and some north carolina. In related trips around that time I got another 20 miles in Tennessee, Virgina and Maine. The planning and then being there and it was such an emotionally charged time, newly married and my mom was dying. I was in a weird place, raw and open in someways and struck dumb in others that i still don’t understand. i did capture a sense of place. Wrote a number of poems and songs I ended up calling Appalachian Spring #1, #2, & #3. All of this and other stuff left me with a strong sense of place and i am anticipating my return.

We are going to start off at the Nantahala Outdoor Center where Amee and I had our backpacks stolen which I later saw as a miracle because I really needed to be home. I recall looking ahead that the next four miles of the trail is a long hard climb up. I am thinking John and I can walk the dogs up that mountain and i can add some new trail miles which I haven’t done since catching one in Shenandoah hiking with Jillian. There is a wilderness area there and i’ll never forget has a sign that says, ‘you are now entering wilderness, we cannot guarantee your safety or entertainment’.

Categories: travel

what’s for dinner

pretty quiet sunday here at leslie lane. the tigers almost blew an 8 run lead to the indians but ended up holding on and getting the sweep. made bacon and eggs for breakfast and used my bacon cook time to call directv about my missing local channels. sending someone out on wednesday.

mulched the roses and its just nice to see things starting to flower and getting to ready to flower as the summer starts to wind down. i was going to cover my compost i mulched with with a couple of inches of pine needles but want to wait until i get some lime to add. i think my soil is sour.

i dozed off in the easy chair so was up early. had a late night with Planet of the Apes which i enjoyed very much and it was nice to make it back to the drive in. the game was a long one and caught a little nap in the middle innings.

decided to grill out, mostly stuff from the market. baked white potatoes, grilled burgers drenched in traverse city cherry hot sauce and barbecue sauce, and sweet corn left over from yesterday that i rubbed in olive oil and Bob’s Steak Seasoning (because it has a lot of salt). it was good. did a mesquite fire and let it fire up and rolled the corn around till some kernels darkened slid em to the side and closed the vents and let it smoke.

also made a peach salsa with a peach, a grilled peach, grilled green pepper and grilled jalapeno. i let em darken over the fire and scraped off the skins (the peppers). the peach i cut in half and peeled grilled maybe a minute on a side. also did half an onion, a splash of malt vinegar & 3 cloves garlic (mine) pressed as well as a pint or so black grape tomatoes. it was pretty fucking awesome.

my last dish was wilted lettuce. took my bacon pan from breakfast and chopped up 3 pieces of leftover bacon, apple cider vinegar & some minnesota honey. poured it over the washed lettuce leaves covered for a minute and served.

it was a casual summer feast paired with the last of the chamomile mead that was gifted to me. yummy. thinking about taking a dog on a stroll. probably that fido, he has been extra cute today, wanting his belly rubbed and laying at my feet.

Categories: cooking, dogs, gardening

grammar free zone

what a blessed day. early to bed last night, early to rise this morning. listening to the rain come. tried the light roast ethiopian john made, pretty good not the greatest. made a pot of the guatemalan later and it was a touch better then that. the stuff from yemen is the best and panama was the least impressive, though there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. john said he would gift me his roaster when he goes back to california so i will be continuing on the home roast. expecting a grand nephew any minute now, my prayers are with the new mom. going to the drive in to see planet of the apes/cowboys and indians (weather permitting). trevor is coming over for dinner and the whole leslie lane gang minus the dogs, and the plants of course (they’re inveterate homebodies).

john teased me for my grammar in my last post. i did have a 3 line run on sentence devoid of punctuation til the period at the end so i could see his point. especially since i’d posted some oatmeal for apostrophe day. but what are you gonna do. if i write for free i’m not gonna hit the shift key without recompense. it was legible if you worked at it.

went to the market early so i got bacon. i was light on cash so i didn’t buy out the store. kept me from getting a pork roast even though i was nice and early. some other time. i had a lot of stuff but i still nabbed 3 bags. got some lettuce which muddy farms or boots or whatever has been putting out every week. how do you grow lettuce when its 107????

got a 1/2 peck of peach seconds for six bucks. i ain’t proud. six bucks is six bucks and i don’t need the perfect roundness of grocery store expectations. had one it was oh’ so yummy. kale was lovely as well. i chopped some up in john’s leftover chicken and noodles and made a casserole. also added last weeks red peppers, banana peppers, onions, and i also got some okra, though mine is coming back strong after the deer predation of a few weeks ago. i still hope to have some late. i topped it with crackers and pecans, getting to the end of my 10 lbs early this year. will have a gap til the first winter market when this years returns. actually looking forward to eating some other kind of nut. a local cuisine is cool but its a big world out there with a lot of nuts for example. had breakfast this am with some yogurt, local apple, fresh ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. trevors here time to eat.

Categories: cooking, friends

Enter title here

August 19, 2011 1 comment

I’ve seen a lot of Facebook posts about the Florida teacher suspended for saying homophobic stuff on facebook. i read the article and my first thought was whose business is it of anyone’s what someone does on their on time. obviously i don’t have all the facts is he facebookfriends with students? would definitely make a difference. the school policy is think before you post on social media. i have a public job of some trust from the community and i would be aghast if someone tried to censor me. i reserve the right to post stuff that the majority of people think is wrong and offensive. i don’t do hate speech and there’s a case to be made possibly and i almost made that comment on the post i saw from a gay rights crusader but i didn’t because i didn’t want to start a fight. folks can be sensitive about some closely held beliefs and there doesn’t appear to be any room at all for nuance. my pro free speech is not anti-gay. my tolerance of private intolerance is just that a tolerance for folks that some folks don’t understand.

I saw it again as  a ‘defend this sad sack and defender of christian virtue’ post. i wanted to make a comment that hate speech isn’t christian but didn’t want to start a fight. folks can be sensitive about some closely held beliefs and there doesn’t appear to be any room at all for nuance. but as my brother just said the bible is real clear on homosexuality if you don’t read the new testament. which made me think of a piece i wrote called letter to a sunday school teacher  I stuck to the new testament, love and commonsense. Christians objections to homosexuality always strike me as disingenuous. if i yielded the point that homosexual behavior is a sin, which i don’t, why does it warrant a special status to draw such vitriol? Is it more of a sin then gluttony, for example? No one has objected to me teaching school, getting married, adopting children. No one has waved signs that say “god hates fat people” or even told me that i was in danger of hell when i am obviously overweight. no one has told me they love me as a sinner but hate my sin. no one has beaten me and hung me on a fence and left me to die. no, the special status of homosexuality is the mask of prejudice shrouded in religion. its hate and fear in the name of a loving god. its a selectively applied out of context justification for inappropriate behavior (judgement). jesus was always on the side of the outsider, the one out of power. i don’t think he’d be a fan of censorship or homophobia. it was the institutional transgressions of the powerful that jesus condemned. he only asked for stone throwing from the sinless. he did ask us to love our neighbors as ourselves. he told us not to judge. he promised us who would inherit the earth.

Categories: religeon

I don’t go to zoos

just looked through the poetry archive and i don’t have any of my milk carton songs. on a year game on facebook i realized the best part of 1996 [it was actually a couple of years later, i went mad in 96] was singing in a rock band. it was fun. we were stripped down and simple and i am no musician, tone deaf in fact but we were just having fun. we tried to straight ahead rock music with every song being different. a guitar player played bass and a bass player played guitar and me and the drummer were novices. we played mostly in a basement and pretty much just for friends. we made a great cassette and made 100. i wrote most of the songs or used stuff i’d written. this one started with the chorus i wrote when i went insane as i mentioned in ’96, that’s when i started writing songs and poetry. i wrote the verses on the drive from monroe to toledo for practice.

I don’t go to zoos

to see the animals in their cages

And I don’t go to work

to see the slaves bring home their wages

I know a secret I know the score

I know that money equals time

And they ain’t making any more.

You can’t get ahead

Playing by the rules

Laws are passed

By the ruling class

And only obeyed by fools

So step back and think about it

There’s only just one you

Do you want to go down in the history books

Doing what you do?

So why don’t you turn off the TV set

And go to the woods for a day

You might just be surprised

At what mother nature has to say

She might just tell you

To fuck it all

Give all your money away

Sell your house and car and VCR

And live in a tent by the bay.

I don’t go to zoos

to see the animals in their cages

I don’t go to work

To see the slaves bring home their wages

I know a secret

I know a score

I know that money equals time

And they ain’t making any more.

Categories: friends, poetry, work

birthday float

August 14, 2011 1 comment

john and i had a long night but the birthday moonlit float of the gasconade went splendidly. Its a beautiful drive from Columbia to the Linn area where we put in. trevor had suggested the gasconade with a put in at where it crosses highway 50 at the 219. We decided, wisely in hindsight, to use it as our take out, correctly surmising that we would need an extremely clear land mark for a pull out to have any chance of seeing it. We drove around quite a bit following roads and driveways trying to find a nonexistent river access point.

We ended up just parking the truck on highway 50 near the take out area after scouting around on foot. We realized it would be a haul pulling out the boat so for day floats it would make an easier launch point then take out point.

We then drove to Linn at the 203 and easily found the boat ramp. we packed up the boat and got on the water at dusk. there were a couple of boats but we didn’t pass any as we set off. the nice part of a night float is it thins out the boats with engines. caught a little of the sunset and the moon was up nice and it soon settled in to as dark as it was going to get. you could probably have read a large print book by the light of the moon.

The river was strange not knowing what’s ahead until its upon you. shallow at times and a fair number of trees and other obstructions coming up out of nowhere. the gasconade is braided through there and it would be hard to tell shadows from islands. mostly the current could guide you until it took you under a low hanging tree. some of the rocky bluffs would look like channels and even though it was mostly a calm and gentle float there was a hint of excitement on occasion when obstacles appeared out of nowhere.

we left the dogs at home but regretted not bringing one or two as it was fairly easy. we used the outriggers which was a good move though we never needed them. there was one area where going around an island we were in a narrow and swift channel with a maze of downed trees to navigate through that the outriggers barely cleared. john broke out the light and i paddled us through. our short boat with a big keel makes it very maneuverable and that was probably the highlight of the trip.

It was peaceful, though we passed two parties and a few people camped on gravel bars. there were fireworks, occasional sounds of the city, some car noise on occasion but a lot of peace and some pretty bluffs. not a lot of wildlife to be seen but we scared up a big heron and the swallows or whatever insect eating birds would buzz us on occasion. Big splashes from the suspected asian carp rounded out our interaction with wildlife. bugs were thin.

the perseids were light but i got a couple of flashes, nothing worth wishing on. john saw a nice one but declined to wish being a rational sort. we were quiet some and talked some and it was peaceful. i definitely want to do it again and want to see the gasconade by daylight.

this is my 5th float of the year, with one more planned and likely at least one more, so not a bad year for floating considering the swollen nature of the big muddy. thanks to john for the lovely sandwiches and working out the logistics. many thanks for all the b-day wishes, i am blessed.

got in after 4:00 but feel pretty good. got some bean soup on the stove with sarah’s easter ham bone, market white potatoes, onions, yellow pepper & a hot pepper with rosemary, oregano, lots of garlic, time & a little sage from the garden. also started my day with my first egg and tomato sandwich of the year. got a nice heirloom tomato and very yummy. put a little fresh dill & fresh ground pepper in my market eggs. hope to lime some more pickles, watch the Tiges catch up to the Orioles (down 3-1 in the 4th) and may mow the backyard. laundry of course.

thanks again faithful reader and continue to make comments. if you’re ambitious register and make them on wordpress so they last. facebook has its charms but it is transitory, your comments do not have to be.

birthday pickles are done

birthday pickles are done, did 5 quarts, 1 pint & 1 cup of dill pickle slices. used garlic, dill, grape leaves, and asian basil out of the garden, cukes from betty & bill & hot peppers and green peppers from the market. from the store used a pint of apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup balsamic, & 3/4 cup white vinegar, quart of water (from the tap not the store) & 1/2 cup kosher salt plus mixed peppercorns. in each jar i put a couple few peppercorns sorting out different kinds for different jars, couple few cloves of garlic, couple of grape leaves, couple few asian basil leaves, couple few hot pepper rings & green pepper slices and 1/2 a handful of dill leaves (hadn’t gone to seed yet). considered putting in bitters. next time.

market was nice. saw many people i knew and talked to none, just like i like it. i am there to shop and managing the crowds about the best i can do. i got flustered buying a chocolate card. do i want a loyalty card? i’m not ready for that kind of involved decision making, i barely decided to buy the chocolate bar. after that it was smooth sailing. the line was too long for peaches though, that’s how i know i’m spoiled. can’t wait 5 minutes for  local peaches in season. plan on grabbing some at wilson’s and i got a cantaloupe.

harry came by and offered to take me for breakfast. i decided to make it an event and enlisted john’s help in buying a fancy hat at larry’s boots out at midway truck stop. fame hasn’t gone to their heads out there though they are busy and need to hire some more help in the kitchen. Our waitress was very pretty but didn’t know how to hold a coffee pot, or a tray, or take an order without writing out every word slowly. She said “truck stop people drink a lot of coffee, I mean they guzzle it”. ah, the glamor. at least she didn’t have to hitchhike to the mean streets of LA to try to be famous, just learn to pour bad coffee.

i got a stetson, black, kind of dressy. almost went for a brown one that looked even more cowboy but i was looking for a dress hat. i didn’t have anything to wear on ‘wear a fancy hat day’. next year i’m covered and for when i MC the trivia for the Phoenix Fringe.

john and i are pretty well ready to float, except for loading the boat. we decided to do the 203 to the 219 on the gasconade so our pull out was by a bridge and we wouldn’t miss  it in the dark. decided to skip going out to dinner since we had the big breakfast. i had the hamburger steak and eggs, dad would have been proud and we sat in the smoking section but didn’t smoke.

didn’t get a nap in so it will be a long night perhaps, i think the excitement of the whole thing will keep me awake and you dear faithful reader, i will tell all about it when we return. lord willing. mostly though i am grateful for the love and support of family & friends. many times an attempt at a life well lived leaves you alone and unappreciated but not me. people have been good and i am thankful. as my buddy kalil gibran says: “to give when asked is good, but to give without being asked, out of knowledge, is better’.


Categories: cooking, family, friends, travel

tomorrow i’m prime

August 13, 2011 1 comment

Looking forward to turning 43 tomorrow. I like prime numbers. I have been reading “A Beginners Guide to Constructing the Universe” that goes over the archetypal symbolism of 0-10. Its been a cool book full of great number lore, based in Pythagoras but sweeping in its scope. Doesn’t seem to have an axe to grind but just putting the information out there, making connections. 42 has been a bit of a tough one and i won’t shed any tears to see it gone.

the tiges just pulled out a close one against baltimore. Valverde made it a nail biter but struck out the last guy and built his lead on saves. this could be the year. john was impressed i could talk baseball with our brother-in-law bill. Owe that to dad like so much else.

The heat broke, its been nice. thinking about taking one of the dogs for a walk. probably smokey, she gets the least exercise.

Still planning on doing a night float of the gasconade tomorrow. the 219 to the 235 in case i am never heard from again. you’ll know where to send the search parties. its a full moon on a saturday on my birthday, how often does that happen. would prefer to float the big muddy, but its closed. its also the peak of the perseids so even with the full moon should see lots of sh0oting stars. let me know your wishes i may have extra. mostly for peace, freedom for the people of syria, that sort of thing.

well the dog ain’t going to walk itself.

Categories: dogs, travel

there and back again

returned today from an extended outing to go to the family reunion. its a long drive to have lunch with family but it needs to be done. i felt like i strengthened some connections losing dad and was glad i followed through with coming up although i didn’t push myself to chat with people as much as i’d hoped. i finally went through a few edits on dad’s eulogy, emailed it out to those i’d promised, and submitted it to the new yorker. if they pass on it i may try a few others like it and if no bites then i’ll throw it up here on the blog.

the trip was good. we took dad’s truck and john drove. i keep going back and forth on if i’m going to keep it or not. am now leaning towards not, its a bit out of my league to deal with and i hate to take a loan out to get it. at least his bill’s will be paid up. i may change my mind again. got to move on the probate thing, probably this fall.

the drive up was pretty smooth and staying at betty and bill’s was a good idea. it wasn’t so hot up there and they have built in swimming pool and have done a lot of work on it and its pretty sweet. i could get used to swimming every day. smokey and fido kept wandering off so they were mostly leashed which cut into their getting to run around and be a dog. fido was off enough to get into the burrs though.

betty and bill also have an amazing yard, big with a big vegetable garden. very lovely, got a shopping bag full of cucumbers, and betty even picked them for me. they’re tomatoes were coming along nicely as well as potatoes (russets which are tough to find seed apparently), cabbage, green beans, and other stuff. it was late because they had a lot of rain early on but its come along nicely.

betty and bill really crank out the back yard food production far more then most of my friends who state it as a value. they’re big production makes me question my organic approach. maybe i should try optimizing for pulling out food. its making me think and seeing the sad state of my little patch upon my return is making me want to step up my game.

my big plan is to put in a short wall around my first bed and add significantly more compost. hopefully improve the drainage by raising the bed and adding a lot more organic matter. we’ll see, it would be good to get the wall built while its hot and dry.

the reunion itself was pretty fun. a little more sober then usual with a lot of deaths recently and one less then a week prior. one birth though. my niece julie is due on 8/18 and we’re all excited about that. grandpa trapp’s was 8/17 and of course mine and my brother dob’s is on 8/13 but happy to be having another leo in the family. and the food was amazing. so much stuff mostly homemade it was good stuff.

sunday we went to rumors a Mediterranean place which most liked some not so much. i was sad to hear the beirut closed. that was the first middle eastern food i’d had and it really expanded my world being a vegetarian at the time. a big group of us went and spending a lot of time with family was really nice. am going back for christmas.

john and i left monday morning and drove out to iowa city. we reminisced about camping near there on our mammoth first hitchhike across the country. we camped for a week while john’s ankle healed up. this time we stayed at a motel 6. made it a point to spend a lot of time relaxing each day even though it meant i didn’t get to see friends. i am learning to respect my limits. although i did go out and see bobby’s band saturday night even though they didn’t come on until after 12:30. bob and i went and they played at howard’s in bowling green which brought back some memories seeing some shows their back in the day. hadn’t changed much. bobby’s band “minus elliot” was a lot of fun.

today had breakfast in montezuma, really good diner food, had a denver omelet with roast beef, cheap and yummy. there was a nice break from the heat and humidity especially yesterday though we drove through some heavy heavy rain storms after leaving the Iowa 80 truck stop. that also brought back some memories as john and i spent a lot of time there as kids. its quite a deal now, major tourist trap but we just ran the dogs.

and then back to the show me state. like hitting a humidity wall driving back down. got home and cleaned house. its nice to do that ahead of time but couldn’t and glad its done. settling down with some baseball and about ready to call it a night.

Categories: camping, family, hitchhiking, travel