Monday, June 28, 2010

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TIME TO DO A RAIN DANCE. Everything is wilting in the heat, parched and dry, gasping for a gentle shower, or a long hard rain. Even a fast and furious thunderstorm that dumps and runs would stave off death by lack of moisture. Actually, having no faith in rain-inducing dance (and it being far too hot for such sweat-inducing activity), I dragged out the hose this evening and gave a little faux cloudburst to the straggling, struggling flowers within reach; but it seemed so pathetic. I've got no photos, it's dark, and I can't say much more on the situation, much less do anything about it.


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Friday, June 25, 2010

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THIS TIME I SAID TO THE LITTLE ACTOR, as he and I sat on the porch of his soon-to-be new home while his mother cleaned inside, "Can you give me your best shot at a middle-aged man kicking back with a cold beer on a sweltering June day? Root around in the insulated, ice-filled cooler, then take a few swigs."


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He aced it. I felt cooler just for watching.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

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Add ImageCOMING TO YOU WITH AN UP-TO-THE MINUTE REPORT on my little orchard: I'll just be brief and to the point--there doesn't seem to be a very cheery cherry outlook. Let me put it this way: there likely won't be anything here for pie by and by. The tree is looking forlorn.

As for the apple, it's got five comely pieces of fruit, which leads me to believe that the pie, if there's going to be one at all, will have to be apple.














Unless pears will do. Because I've got a pair of optimistic statements concerning my pear tree:

1. It looking quite healthy, and
2...it's loaded!





Dear Reader, I'm trying to be calm and reasonable
and not to overestimate my chances of success--
but, yowzy-wowzy, this year's percentage of yield increase
could be quite whopping!

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Monday, June 21, 2010

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SUMMER SOLSTICE AND
my yard man's working late.


























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Saturday, June 19, 2010

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FRIENDS OF MINE AND MY YARD MAN (he's been working
exceedingly hard in the yard these days) invited us to their house
this evening. We got to take a peek at their adorable newborn
quadruplets. Hmm...well, these quadruplets actually live right
next door. The babies' home is so close, however, that our friends
like to think of them as their own; and they're in a position to
easily watch while the mother of the infants (and sometimes the
father) rush around staving off the little ones' hunger.


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Since the mama and papa spend so much of their day doing this,
we got to watch them in action, too.



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Any parents would surely have their hands full with so many
babies; but since these particular ones have no hands, they've
always got their mouths full.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

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TODAY'S OPERATION WENT WELL. It was a good day on which to
have scheduled it, the weather being so perfect and all. I arrived well
in advance of the time I was to be there...not that I was nervous, but
I certainly didn't wish to be late.

First thing, the operating tables were set up. (They were not your
standard operating tables, but a slightly more adaptable version. And,
yes, there were two of them--adjusted in place, side by side). The tools
were all laid out, ready to be put to use. I asked a lot of questions, wanting
to be sure things would go smoothly. One never knows, Dear Reader.
Things can go wrong, you know--little slip-ups that make all the difference.

But...those operating technicians answered every question with confidence.
They assured me that the outcome would be excellent.

It was time to begin. The technicians lost no time, but set right
to work; and, before I knew it, the first part of the operation was over--
they had finished the glassectomy, and the condition of the door: pane-free.

Slick as a whistle, then, they had a new piece of glass on the tables,
wrapping the door frame around it--tucking and tapping with their tools,
hoisting it up promptly to put it back into service.







It's such a relief to have it over;
I'd been itching to scratch that job off my list for ever so long:








DO SOMETHING!! about the fogged-up
glass in #57's sliding door!




So, then.
That operation went so smoothly, I immediately scheduled the next.











They carted away the sliding screen door. It's to be admitted, and tomorrow's operation will be for removal of its stubbornness.

(I'm hoping it goes without a hitch).
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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

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AN EARLY RISING.

























Moon on the rise, circa 6:45 p.m.


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Monday, June 14, 2010

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SHUCKS, I DON'T HAVE THE PHOTOS to show you, but yesterday evening's varied activities make an eclectic list:
l. Traipsed through a greenly-built new home wearing blue booties, on the way to...
2. A picnic, where among the thirty-odd guests (none of them truly odd, one or two just a little strange) one guy was celebrating his birthday (we celebrated with him), and two couples (two!) were attending on the anniversary of the day they married (and just because I'm fascinated by this, I've got to tell you their names---Mike, Mary, Mike, Marcy). As I was leaving...
3. Got chased by a turkey (slightly domesticated, I believe, with a wattle that looked to be designed by Betsy Ross, all red-white-and-blue and flapping). When I noticed the turkey behind me, I stepped up my walk; the turkey then stepped up his walk. I moved even faster, and the turkey got a look in his eyes. I ran for the car. (That man who was was leaving the party with me found it quite hugely amusing). Much later, after a lot of listening (plus rhythmic shaking,
swinging, tapping of my limbs, fingers and toes)...

video



















video

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4. I took a little walk with a
bluegrass-singing legend*,
(patted him on the back and
thanked him for the
evening of music).**







**Lots of pictures of this





*No pictures of this
(Ralph and I walked in the dark).
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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

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REPORTING FROM THE FIELD ONCE AGAIN...
this field, however, just a stone's throw away
from my house (if I had a good arm),




















and this one--
just a short buggy ride away.












Yessiree, out in the field is the place to be...right now, right here.





(If you're right here, right now, Dear Reader, and you can't be out in the field, you may want to do as I do--drive slowly by and gawk at the ones who are*).






*(The sight's so captivating;
I feel idiotic, but act like a tourist!)
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Monday, June 7, 2010


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YES, I'M MOST DEFINITELY HOME AGAIN...
but I forgot to show you these pictures I took while at Biltmore.




















I like these photos, and think they're rather artistic...you know, artistic photographs of an artist who's rendering an artistic representation of another artist's fine-art sculpture.




Of course, artwork of every kind was in great abundance there at Biltmore. Lest you think this painter might have had a shortage of sculpted work from which to choose, let me quickly rid you of that notion.




George was not one to skimp.
















(Though I'm skimping here with photos to prove it, the statues and busts and other carved works that George seemed to crave [don't know if he actually craved them, but yipee for the anagram] are as plentiful as ants at a picnic.)


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Believe it!


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Sunday, June 6, 2010

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I INVITED THE LITTLE ACTOR OVER TODAY to discuss some of the latest ideas I've had for movie production. He didn't help me strategize much, but was pretty amenable to everything I suggested. Early on in our planning session, we took a break for dinner, during which he had his first taste of Garlic Mashed Potatoes. "Here's a little exercise in acting," I told him. "Act like these potatoes are just about the yummiest thing you ever did eat!"

video

Dear Viewer, do you find his performance convincing?



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Thursday, June 3, 2010

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MORNING, NOON, AND (almost) NIGHT.

Lots of this:















and this:














sometimes things like this:















once or twice, this:















overall, this:

video

GOING HOME.

(Notice how we passed that car like it was
sittin' still? My chauffeur likes that good
old bluegrass music. It gives him a heavy
foot.)

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

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JUST A SHORT .7 MILE a pied TO THE TOP of the world,
during which my camera took matters into its own hands
(sigh) once again.

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I wrested control with this 360-degree view at Craggy Pinnacle, Blue Ridge Parkway, second day of June, 2010: the scene every bit as impressive as all the man-made sights of Asheville. (Sorry, George. I hope you would've agreed, Napoleon's chess set notwithstanding.)

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I had to send my hiking companions out of the picture (so they wouldn't distract, you know). They grumbled a bit, but obligingly absented themselves
until summoned back. (One might suppose they are
always so docile; one might suppose.)
...
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In spite of the cool and overcast sky (we followed a rain shower to the top of the mountain), it was hard to leave that high point. We got hungry, however,and didn't feel like scrounging for berries and wildlife.














So instead we made our way down the mountain and had this:
a fabulous vegetarian meal.









---------------------------And this (but only for the half of our party who live in Asheville, and not the half spending their final night at the motel, tossing things into suitcases and preparing for an early morning departure.)






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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

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AH, MY SOUTHERN VACATION...here's more of it (mostly photos, fewer words, because, after all, I'm still busy here in Asheville doing lots of things I can only do here, and eating lots of food I can only eat here, and not doing the things I can 'not do' any place at all). And now that I've mentioned food...







(I'm sorry, please forgive me if I say ah once again...or even ahhhhh. I can't help it, I've been missing this good ole biscuit-eating way of life; and, woe is me, I didn't think to show you the plates of food my chauffeur stowed away!)











We ate the famously good food at 12 Bones, where the very Barack and his wife Michelle hung out with our daughter and her boyfriend a few weeks ago. (Uh, huh...at adjacent tables!)

"The wait line stretches out the door no matter when you come,"
says Caroline. "And that was BEFORE Obama!"






So, then to the Arboretum, with the many plants and flowers




of the colorful and the bonsai sort,
and the carefully trimmed and shaped;

not to mention miles of this,

and some of that,


and a little of this.
And...after that...
back to the four-acre house--you know, Reader Dear, the one where the builders said goodbye to George and put away their tools in 1895, finished with the four floors and the 250 rooms and the 65 fireplaces and the 43 bathrooms and the bowling alley and swimming pool. Still don't know which one I mean? The one with Napoleon's chess set in the salon, okay? Yes, Biltmore --most humongous private house in the nation!

It just so happens there are gardens there, too. (What a surprise, huh?)




































Two conservatories.
Acres and acres of landscaped gardens.
Thousands of acres of open meadows, wooded mountains, a river, small lakes, vineyards...hmm, you get the idea, do you not? I can only give you a few glimpses.

video
___________________________________And here's the final one: wild Vanderbilt geese.



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