More This-and-That

Random musings as spring slowly slides into summer…

  • I can’t remember a blackberry winter that’s hung on for so long. Just about the time I finished cleaning the woodstove and hearth and declared fireplace season officially over, here came cold weather again. We closed the windows and turned on the heat but we didn’t build a fire.
  • On the bright side, it looks like we ought to make it to Memorial Day without needing the air-conditioning.
  • In spite of cold temperatures, grass is finally beginning to replace the chickweed on my lawn. Thank goodness.
  • Poison ivy certainly doesn’t seem to be afraid of the cold. The walking trail in my woods that, not long ago, was dotted with fire pink and May apples and trillium is now carpeted with it….
  • …as is most of my body. I’m wondering if a poison ivy shot might be worth considering.
  • The very best day of spring is when I spot a rose-breasted grosbeak at the feeder on one side of my house and a hummingbird at the feeder on the other side.
  • And speaking of very best, the headline that accompanied Mary Jo Denton’s front-page, above-the-fold article in the April 23 edition of this paper was priceless: “Man Named Jesus Arrested for Speeding to Church.”
  • I’ve travelled more than usual during the past several weeks and just finished listening to the audio version of the nonfiction bestseller “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed. It tells, in part, about her 1,000-mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. And about her life off the trail, which was a whole lot wilder than the hike itself.
  • Speaking of hiking, on a recent hike in the Smokies, I encountered the most interesting National Park volunteers I’ve ever met–three men and four Tennessee Walking Horses. They were clearing the trail of downed trees. Three of the horses carried riders. The fourth carried huge chain saws.
  • And speaking of horses, I wonder if there’s any treat a dog loves more than fresh-from-the farrier’s-tools horse hoof shavings.  Sophie, the cutest dog in the whole wide world, thinks they’re even better than a ham bone.
  • Speaking again of horses, the “sloppy track” at this year’s Kentucky Derby was the nastiest I’ve ever seen.  A wonder that none of the horses or jockeys were hurt.
  • Speaking of jockeys, on the rare occasion when a woman jockey races in the Kentucky Derby, as Rosie Napravnick did this year, I always pull for her. And I always pull for the rare filly who qualifies for the race. (This year, none did.) I hope that someday a female jockey will ride a filly to a Derby victory. And that I’m at Churchill Downs to see it instead of watching on TV.
  • And speaking of sloppy tracks, I wonder if it’s possible to get all the mud out of the jockeys’ clothes. If I were doing their laundry, I’d use Tide “pods,” my new favorite detergent. I use them in my front loader washing machine, which I hate with a passion. But that’s too long a subject to cover in a this-and-that column.

(May 12, 2013)

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