Archive for the ‘Family – Linda’ Category
I’m a little late with prom photos, but here is prom circa 2013.
After the howling winds, the Winter Solstice arrived, along with the snowplow about 2:30 in the afternoon.
My favorite wife in the glow of the candle in the darkness.
It took a great deal of effort to get the bonfire to light, but light it did to help light/warm up the longest night of the year.
A couple of the brave sojourners who made it out. The usual crows od 100-120 was cut way back to about 40 this year. But that meant more room to move around in the house and enjoy chatting.
Linda was invited to speak at the UU Fellowship in Burlington, one of Iowa’s classic river cities.
It was a delightfully pearly morning and we made sure to go down the river before the services started and watch the receding fog reveal the bridge.
The suspension bridge headed to… (Illinois)
The river is extremely low and there’s not much barge traffic in the port.
Linda getting ready to head in.
I’ve always thought that the Eastern edge of Iowa was the edge of the East and the western edge was the beginning of the West and this Fellowship had an east coast feel to it. Met some more great folks and warmly received.
One of the favorite services of the Ames UU is the Apple Communion.
Today was the day. The early spring and regular last frost meant there were virtually no local apples this year, so these came from Missouri.
After bringing us along with the life and story of the apple, she’s finally ready to let us commune!
Before the noon funeral, we were afforded a few brief moments on Lake Superior.
We awoke before the sun and headed down to Brighton Beach.
Merchant vessel Walter J. McCarthy Jr. heads out of port for points east. She’s a modern great lakes boat, about 1/5 of a mile long, measuring 1,000 feet long.
November 20th on the lake in fall coats?
We also took a short walk up Lester Creek. All of the shots today were taken within the city limits of Duluth, a great place to get outside.
We only had one good hive this summer, and for one reason or another, didn’t get around to extracting it until today.
We put the supers in the back of a car and parked it in the sun to help the honey warm up even more. It wasn’t enough and still had to hear up the frames to extract.
The yield from one five gallon bucket.
The top of one of the buckets. We ended up with three 5 gallon buckets about 3/4 full each. Now we’re set for soap and honey for a while!
Here I am, a few days behind. It’s refreshing, though in a way isn’t it? No worry from me about instant tweeting or posting to facebook from a phone, just old-fashioned days behind real time.
We were in St. Paul this weekend to bring Claire back to school after a short break.
While we were there, Claire facilitated for Linda to speak at the small UU church a few blocks from campus that she attends. Even though we hauled up “bio-orb” a rolling composter for Claire’s house, a case of Annie’s macaroni and cheese, honey, garlic, and a lemon tree, we still were on Claire’s bad list since we elected to spend the night with some folks I’ve known for 30 years instead of staying in her house with her roommates. Bad parents for that move, but we’ll all get over it!
Today we were grateful most of our chickens made it safely to maturity (unlike the 10 turkeys this year who all perished by deformed leg problems, storm, or dog).
Martin hauls the chickens to the killing cones, where I deftly make a cut on the side of the neck where they bleed out.
Next, it’s a few dips in about 150 degree water. The chickens are ready to scald when wing feathers pull out easily.
The chickens before the plucker spins.
About 30 seconds later, most of the feathers are gone.
Then the chickens go to a different pair of hands for cleaning and later cutting up into meal-sized portions. I wouldn’t say it’s a particularly fun day, but it is rewarding have control of the chickens from chick to freezer - knowing how they’ve lived and been processed.
The express purpose of the visit was for Linda to speak at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Oxford Mississippi.
Here’s Linda and Gail before the service.
And Linda in action. The church was a wonderful old building, reminiscent of a one-room school house, with a wood-strip floor and the good old building smell and aura. The congregation is vivacious, bright-eyed and full of life and energy, and unlike many other smaller congregations, has a very young average age.
It was also a reflective week in Oxford as it marked the 50th anniversary of the admittance of James Meredith into the University of Mississippi. His enrollment was met with riots, deaths, and 30,000 troops to keep order, and he remained under the guard of U.S. Marshalls during all of his time at the University until he graduated. There was no such hardship when in 2002 his son graduated as the top doctoral student in the school of business.
Ever just want to hop in the car and drive somewhere you’ve never been before? We first grabbed a sniff of the Mississippi River near Keokuk Iowa, and traced it down through Hannibal, St. Louis, and Cape Girardeau, and the bootheel of Missouri, followed by Blytheville, Arkansas, finally crossing over the Mississippi in Memphis, Tennessee, before continuing on to Oxford Mississippi. Driving time, about 11 hours.
Here are a couple of biologists-turned seminarians, Linda and Gail at Gail’s home outside of Oxford. I was struck with the rolling densely forested countryside of Northern Mississippi.
Our hosts for the weekend, Pat and Gail in front of a more or less indestructible spider web. Both are professional arachnologists (study spiders).
Pat shows off one of the 60,000 or so spiders in her collection – this one named after her!
Down South, there are plants that ya’all don’t get to see up north, like this lilly plant that sends up foliage in the spring, dies back, and then sends up the flowers in the fall.
Of course, there are the Magnolia trees as well.
Here we’re kicking back on the back steps of Rowan Oak, William Faulkner’s home in Oxford.
This was a bit of a rarity in this part of the state – a cotton field. We actually saw much more cotton in Arkansas.
There was however, no shortage of Kudzu – namely along edges of forests, as you can see along these railroad tracks – it covers nearly everything in sight.
The peppers are doing just fine this year. We thought we’d try roasting some hot peppers just for fun.
Niece Jillian is here for a short visit, trying to keep busy on the farm (not usually much of a problem!) Here she’s cutting the jalapenos.
A tray ready for roasting.
Linda hard at work, peeling the skins off the peppers. They are good!
With Claire home only a few days between her summer at Wolf Ridge on the Superior coast and starting school, we thought we should try to get a few family photos.
First, the big picture.
Like many things, hazel harvest seems a bit early this year.
Here’s the yield from about a 15 foot row of hazelnuts.
Some of them are completely dried down, others have a bit more time to go, but with the recent spotting of a new squirrel in the yard, it was time to pick (the squirrel can have all the acorns and walnuts).
Martin picking the low-hangers.
Linda looking at the higher nuts.
The day started early.
Before sunrise, sometime around o’dark thirty, we awoke to the sound of a car in need of exhaust work revving its engine, dying and starting up again. Then we heard the loud stream-of-consciousness yelling.
“That’s not good.”
More engine revving.
“Now I’m in trouble.”
“Oh, now what do I do?”
I looked out he window and saw the guy who delivers the Sunday paper with his car teetered between the steep ditch and road. I looked at Linda and knew it was a job for me. “You stay in bed, I’ll handle this one.” Better to have someone able to call 911 when the crazy guy who almost rolled his car in the ditch go ballistic on me.
I went out to survey the situation and knew what would need to happen. It was nothing a chain and tractor couldn’t handle. I went out and greeted him.
“Glad I didn’t wake you up.” He said.
“I was just getting up to empty the bladder, you didn’t wake me up.” “Looks like we’ll need the tractor and chain,” I said, and started walking back to the shed.
All the way back to the shed and until the roar of the tractor starting in the dark shed, I heard him stand on the road and tell the details of his predicament and how it came to be. I’m sure Linda and the neighbors down the road heard every word.
It’s always a bit dicey getting a car out of the ditch with a chain and avoiding a roll, but he was more than willing to take the chance. The front a back lights on the tractor were a nice bonus as morning’s first light found us. I got him pulled out and told him to stop and help someone else further down the road sometime.
Then it was off to Ames, where Linda was the guest minister at the Unitarian Fellowship of Ames. Last week she did the same thing in Des Moines.
As usual, her message was well-received, even gathering a rather rare immediate applause upon conclusion.